Monday, 21 November 2016

OMG, it's a blog post!

I can identify at least five types. Leaves on the decking in my backyard (disclaimer: not pictured). It’s one of those wild mid-November days when flying golden leaves make me think of the tornado scene from The Wizard of Oz – flying leaves, flying furniture, flying old ladies on bicycles who turn into witches. Only that was black and white.

Silver birch (bottom of neighbours’ garden [neighbours who by some quirk of Victorian development are the only ones in the block of terraces to have a garden]), lime (come over the roofs from the row along the edge of the busway), hawthorn (ditto, or from the mystery field  at the far corner of the terraces [dog walker heaven, full of shit, lined by plum trees that bear small but sweet orange fruits in late July]), sycamore (edges of same field, or small specimens along the hedge next to the limes) and oak. Oak? No idea. I’ll have to go and find it sometime; I didn’t know we had any nearby, but with this gale it could have travelled. Despite living in one of the North West’s reputedly shittier towns, I’m happy to report there are quite a few trees in the area along with quite a few patches of greenness, some of them officially sanctioned parks, some of them mysterious patches of grass and shrub and plum trees. The boy and I even realised there was a tulip tree on our walk into town the other day. We hadn’t realised until we saw its autumn leaves scattered across a flight of steps. And we only know it’s a tulip because of the wildlife club at a nearby museum where the boy had made a leaf-identification book a couple of months ago.

The tea must be brewed now. Yes, all of this has been flitting through my head while I waited for a cuppa to brew. Perhaps that’s why I’m known for my strong tea. Colleagues at my last job had a mug made for me when I left that read: Stewed not Brewed. I chipped the edge of it in the kitchen at my current job last week.

Today, I called in sick. Cue many thoughts about whether I really am sick. It’s not that I feel particularly guilty (sure, you reply, that’s why you have to point it out like that). It’s that I worry too much about what people think of me. And the thought that they’re thinking I’m the sort of person who calls in sick with a cold is too much for my psyche to bear. So I justify myself to nobody, in my head. Then I decide, completely on a whim, to start writing this diary. Subconsciously, I’m probably doing it just so that I can explain to the computer screen and you, my imaginary reader, that I really am sick. It’s not just my normal winter cold; it’s a cough and cold on top of a cold. I spend September to March every year either having a cold, developing a cold or trying to get over a cold. I’ve had dodgy sinuses all my life. Apparently, this is why I feel tired all the time – even when I’m asleep I get very little deep sleep. Doctor’s suggested solution: stick my head over a bowl of steaming water five times a day. Sure, doc, cos it’s not like I have a job, or a life. Anyway, I tried it when I had a few days off. Sinuses cleared a little from their baseline state for about twenty minutes each time then back to their usual state.

Cue another thought: Why did I write a job or a life? Why do we have to treat the two as separate, as if life is something that happens only after 6pm or crammed into the weekend? More on that and my perpetual search for the point of it all another time.

My tea is nearly drunk. I might go straight onto another mug. I went back to sleep this morning at 9.30 and woke up again at 1.30pm, which means I have a lot of tea drinking to catch up on. It’s going dark now (3.45pm) and I’m caught between the desire to rush out into the weather to get some fresh air – a phrase that carries vast meaning in my life associated with my uber desire to run away from it all to the mountains – and the desire to wrap up in a blanket, drink hot chocolate, pluck another book from the shelf and hibernate. So I’ll do what I always do when I can’t make a decision, or I know there’s some task that needs doing but I’ve overthought it into some mammoth undertaking: make another cuppa.

Saturday, 13 August 2011

On hold

I know, I know! Where have I been all this time?

Well don't get all excited now, because I'm only popping in here to officially inform you that the blog is on hold for the time being. You can imagine some annoying tune is playing while you read this if you like. What about Greensleeves? (Because that's really going to make you act more like a reasonable human being when you finally get through to the poor call-centre worker you're about to shout at, isn't it? A clue... No! Classical music mostly makes me want to hit something.)

I've just been too busy to keep up with this. Trying to juggle work, being a mummy and, on occasion, just being me. So, um, bye for now and be happy!

Friday, 8 July 2011

Being three

Being three means you really want to ask 'why?' all the time even when the question itself makes no sense in relation to the conversation that has gone before. It means that every time you feel a bit fed up or don't get your own way you declare that you don't feel very well and that your tummy hurts. Being three means asking mummy why she doesn't have a willy every time she sits down to wee. It means pretending to open each of the four bottles of beer on the kitchen worktop and handing them to mummy one by one with a 'there you go'. Then demanding that mummy opens them and hands them to you. Then repeating the whole thing a dozen times. Being three means suddenly deciding there's a monster under your bed and that is why you have to stay in mummy's bed even though it's only 5.45am. It means developing an irrational dislike of certain items of clothing, such as your new Gucio shoes or your rainsuit. It means that you ask loudly in public places why someone is fat, or spotty, or wrinkly. It means having entire conversations with yourself out loud without self-consciousness, usually arguing about something. It means that you go to nursery and learn about children being called naughty all the time even though no one has ever previously called you a naughty boy. It means wanting to know what everything is made of and what's inside things, like pebbles and twigs. Being three means that on the days you go to a cafe and mummy doesn't order you something special because she thinks you'll share hers, you turn out to be ravenously hungry, but on the days that she orders you something separate you don't touch it. It means that you've starting acting 'shy' in front of strangers because so many of them have said 'Aww, have you gone shy?' to you that you are finally convinced this is the right way to act. Being three means making a fuss every single morning over the brushing of teeth, washing of faces (and branchial sinuses that need washing so they don't get infected) and getting dressed. Being three means becoming aware of your own littleness, so that you declare that when you are bigger/older you will be able to... drive the car, drink beer, go to school, go to the shop on your own, reach high things, use mummy's camping knife etc.

Sunday, 3 July 2011

Sun, sea, sand

We've been on our hols, camping in Devon, the boy recovering from chicken pox. He enjoyed digging holes on the beach, lining up rocks and examining seaweed. But he didn't like the big waves, especially when mummy disappeared into them with nought but her cossie on. I expected him to wake with the dawn at 4am, but he actually slept til near seven every night, which I was so glad of. I've only camped with him for two nights at a time before, whereas this was six nights albeit with a friend to help out with the toddler-chasing activities. I'm feeling all refreshed in mind and spirit from the fresh air and sunsets, the rolling green hills and sea views. My body could still do with a month of early nights though.

Friday, 17 June 2011

Right now...

  • I am getting used to the keyboard on my new laptop. I am mightily pleased with the machine itself, purely because it is a beautiful shade of cherry red and the casing has an industrial tread-effect texture.
  • Little man is munching multigrain hoops and drinking warm milk whilst watching some telly, only this time it is bedtime and not breakfast time. I have steered him towards watching Deadly 60 so I can admire Steve Backshall.
  • I am slurping a glass of pinot grigio and looking forward to a takeaway when a friend comes round later.
  • I am trying to get used to the extra light flooding into the back of my house but am, on balance, not that happy with the loss of the mature silver birch tree in my neighbours' garden and the way they have hacked the leylandii hedge so that my view will now always be of dead brown bits. 
  • I am, somewhere at the back of my mind, trying to decide whether I really want a man cluttering up my life. 
  • I am looking forward to getting on with my subversive cross-stitch design and have decided the world is probably divided into those of us who giggle childlishly at seeing the word 'fuck' in embroidery and those who would sneer at such puerile nonsense.

Thursday, 16 June 2011


I love the utter pointlessness of these. Egg cosies. The only real use I can think of is if you live in a very large mansion where there's a long trek from kitchen to breakfast room and your butler really does need to keep your boiled eggs warm. But your soldiers would go cold. These two pairs were pressies, now I'm going to make myself some in a denser type of felt. They're from Scandinavian needlecraft by Clare Youngs. Sorry for the lack of posts, I've ventured back into the strange world of internet dating. No, you won't hear about it.

Saturday, 28 May 2011

Meet Ginger

Here's Ginger, an impromptu gingerbread man. He came about because I ordered some felt from Blooming Felt. Now, this felt was for some birthday gifts, the nature of which cannot be revealed until next week. However, it was not the sort of felt I was expecting. I'm no expert but I knew I wanted proper wool felt. None of your cheapo polyester stuff. But what I got was a woven wool fabric with a slight tendency to fray, which isn't ideal for a project that requires felt and therefore has raw edges left unsewn. I made the gifts with it and am hoping they don't disintegrate on first use.

I then ordered some more felt from Myriad (which also has a large stock of lovely-looking but expensive wooden toys - daddy is going to be given the catalogue and told to get his saw out as he is quite handy with wood). Since I had already made the gifts, the purpose of this felt was unclear, but I wanted it all the same. I had to choose colours based on the tiniest of squares on their website. Hence this rather orangey shade of brown, which could really only become a gingerbread man.

Now, can anyone tell me the correct way to start off blanket stitch so you don't get a diagonal bit of thread at the back?!