Posted Mar 6, 2007
Yes, I know it's early for a spring clean, but as spring also seems to be early this year, I'll blame it on global warming (well, why not, everything else is down to it - oh, that and 4x4s which are the scourge of society ).
Part of it was realising there are only two of us in the house, but it was full; part of it was seeing that our neighbour's house is cleaner and tidier than ours even though she has a week-old baby ; and part of it was realising that thanks to the conservatory making a sieve look waterproof, we needed to spend some money, and hence find some money to spend.
I don't know whether to be impressed, depressed or what that our list of stuff to sell is about 2 1/2 sides of A4 - and it's all stuff we haven't used and won't miss! It's actually making me think about our society's obsession with accumulating *stuff* and furthering the realisation that stuff doesn't make us happy - it's like trying to feed a starving lion with a single peperami. It's not the right thing, and it won't work for very long, and if you're not careful you can get consumed by it. And yet, despite knowing this, we still have a house full.
It's occurred to me that I want to get rid of this stuff - i.e. sell it - so is that just propogating the "stuff makes you happy" myth even further? Am I just trying to take advantage of someone else's desires? I tell myself no, because I'm happy to get a fair price to get rid of stuff, not necessarily make huge amounts of money, but where does that line get drawn?
And while I wouldn't normally quote anything by Friedrich Nietzche, I feel this one is quite appropriate: "He who fights with monsters might take care lest he thereby become a monster."
I don't often do philosophy and deep thinking, but when I do, I make Eeyore look manically cheerful .
Well, on that cheerful note, I'll be off to write a load of adverts.
Hmm... A dilemma!
Posted Jan 29, 2007
Two journal entries in less than a week - something's definitely happening!
I happened to forward an email to a number of friends, including a couple of my ex-colleagues. I got a reply back from one of them (who I really liked working with, and has now moved departments) asking me how I was and what I was up to. I replied that I was good, but getting a bit frustrated and bored sometimes - so he didn't happen to need a part time assistant, did he?
Well, he's only replied and said "Oh, yes, we do actually - do you fancy coming back?"
So now I'm in a bit of a tizz, for a number of reasons;
1) I know that he's a good guy to work with and we always got on really well.
2) What he's working on is very interesting.
3) It would exercise my dulled technical instincts a bit more.
4) The trouble is I really don't want to go back to work full time
5) I'm still enjoying having time to do the shopping and cleaning during the week
6) There are a few volunteer initiatives that I want to be involved with
7) Although we're not desperate for the extra money, whatever I earnt would be put in the "Next House" savings pot - which may be wise considering house prices here.
8) I know from talking to Dave that morale and everything else hasn't exactly improved since I left.
It isn't anything like a formal job offer, but it's still a lot to think about. I'm arranging to have a chat with the guy sometime next week, as I'm away this week - and I'm feeling really, really torn. Especially as I'm not sure how that would impact any pregnancy plans . So I've got a lot of thinking to do...
Life. It happens all at once, just when you least expect it to!
A bit of randomness...
Posted Jan 24, 2007
Well, it feels like it's been a bit of a random few weeks, so I thought I'd immortalise it in a journal .
Having spent a few weeks feeling quite dragged down by the darkness and dingyness of January, I've suddenly found I'm enjoying these colder and sunnier days. I like frosts, and being able to see my breath in the air, and waking up this morning to see an inch of snow on the ground was more exciting than Christmas .
The windy weather last week made two of our fence panels in the back garden fall down - luckily, we get on well with the neighbour whose garden it adjoins, so I think it'll be repaired this weekend, weather permitting. Even though the fence was only wooden and so was the post, it was still a shock that the post actually snapped .
I was shocked at how the high winds led to tremendous transport chaos - the M42 was shut in both directions, the M6 was shut, the M1 was shut, the trains stopped running... We had a panicked phone call from one of our friends - her and a friend had been frantically trying to get a train out of Birmingham for several hours. To make matters even scarier, when they tried to leave the train station (I can't recall which one) they had to fight to be let out as the staff were so desperately trying to stop people coming in! So we ended up driving all the way from Leamington into the middle of Birmingham to pick her up - which was a surprisingly trouble-free journey, given the doom-and-gloom on the travel news.
This year is going to be all about weddings and babies - we now have 4 weddings to go to this year, and know of 4 babies that are due this year already. It's exciting . Plus I get to be bridesmaid for my friend Heather, who's getting married in August .
Me and Dave are probably among the few people who, before actually expecting a baby, have gone out and actually bought a pushchair already (it's secondhand and a bargain, honest!). And we haven't read up on pushchairs or anything in much depth - but £80 for something you saw selling on eBay for £180 *has* to be a bargain!
Silvia is now 4 months pregnant, and starting to show, so I think I'm starting to get bump envy . Hey ho.
....and a Happy New Year!
Posted Jan 3, 2007
Well, somehow I seem to have made it into 2007 (2007 already? Gosh. Where is the time going?!).
Much as I worried that I was going to be one stressed bunny for Christmas, somehow as things came together and the day drew closer, I calmed down and actually enjoyed it . My first ever attempt at cooking a joint of ham went very well (check out the pictures of it boiling in a massive pan at http://www.flickr.com/photos/dave_and_lins ) and no-one had food poisoning.
My parents came down from Rotherham Christmas Eve afternoon, and after dinner we walked around the corner to see a stunningly tastelessly illuminated house, complete with flashing Santa, snowflakes, bells, a train (why trains? I've seen several houses with those. Is there some Christmas symbolism here?) and a rather special 3-D plastic illuminated nativity scene. We've been telling them about this house since it first lit up in November, and they'd wanted to see it for themselves!
Christmas morning was good, and we opened all our presents (I'd list them, but it would take ages!), and had breakfast. I soon went into the kitchen to sort the ham out - our full Christmas lunch was maple and mustard glazed ham, with redcurrant and cranberry sauce, with mashed potato, roast potatoes, peas, and caramelised carrots and onions . Everyone said it was delicious, and it really was lovely .
We managed some cold meats and pickles for tea, and then summoned up courage to have the Christmas pud. The net result was that all anyone could face eating on Boxing Day were some sandwiches and we waved my parents off mid-afternoon.
The next day, we got up at 4am (yes, 4am) to get down to Dave's parents in Dorset fairly early. I persuaded Dave to swing by Next at 5am so I could grab a pair of jeans (which I did, for £12! And the only other thing I bought were some socks). I was actually shocked at a) how many people were there and b) how much they were buying. It was like the locusts had descended!!! I also (meanie that I am) asked Dave if we could swing by Poole so I could drop into Lush as soon as they opened and get my moisturiser as I'd run out . We got there for 9am.... and they didn't open till 10am . So we went and parked up and watched the sea for an hour, till I could run in and run back out again. We finally got to his parents at 10.30am, and it was great to spend the day with them and my sister-in-law .
On the 28th Dave's uncle, aunt and three cousins came up and we had a family get together. It was the first time I'd seen everyone since the wedding, and it was great to see them all again. We also got more presents, including a quite fantastic chocolate fountain from Dave's mum and dad . We all ate ourselves stupid!
We finally came back down here late on Friday night, through the middle of torrential rain and high winds, but we got home at 11.30pm, and pretty much emptied the car then went to bed.
The next day, we went round to Chris's house to help him and Hannah decorate and finish fitting the bathroom suite. Dave spent most of the day painting and plastering the bathroom, and I spent the day cleaning and painting the kitchen (and covering myself in paint, too). Chris did feed us wonderful bacon and egg butties and kept us well supplied with tea and chocolate.
On New Year's Eve, we went around to help them again, this time to help fit the toilet, to find that the soil pipe to toilet soil pipe interface isn't the same, and basically Chris is going to have to build a little box to enclose the extra plumbing he's going to have to do. Which is a pain! Dave stayed and helped Chris sort the house while me and Hannah went shopping and grabbed food for the New Year's Party that Chris was having in his house that night (yes, really...).
The party was fun; there weren't that many of us. Chris cooked a chilli and some rice, and did his famous mulled wine again, which includes a huge amount of brandy . My alcohol tolerance is usually a couple of glasses, but I could barely manage a glass of it! We listened to some music, and then we all joined in playing "Who Wants to be a Millionaire" Buzz - which was competitive, but good-naturedly so. As the night progressed, we then moved on to having team battles on the Singstar for the PS2. It's a karaoke game that actually analyzes your voice to see how close you are to the tune, and awards points for your performance. It was embarrassing, but fun as most people joined in and didn't care how bad they sounded . That may have been down to the mulled wine, though!
By 2am, we were partied out and went home. New Year's Day was spent dossing around the house, feeling how upset our bodies were at all the crap we'd fed them over the last week . I was a bit shocked to discover that I'd put on half a stone in a week . So, the diet has started in earnest.
The slightly maddening thing is that we still have a tin of Celebrations, two Chocolate Oranges, a box of Green & Black's minatures, a tin of bakewells, a box of orange and lemon jellies, a box of chocolate biscuits, and a whole Christmas cake to eat . Not to mention the 4 M&S melt-in-the-middle chocolate puds that are lurking in the back of my freezer!
We haven't really got any New Year's Resolutions, apart from trying to replace the leaking conservatory (the windows leak, as well as the roof ) and hopefully, maybe, starting a family . And somehow working our way through all the above food!
Anyway, I hope everyone had a wonderful time, and that 2007 will be a happy year for you all .
Posted Dec 23, 2006
Just a quick journal entry (in between all the festive food preparations) to say Merry Christmas and Happy New Year to everyone .
I've been quite stressed and busy these last few weeks, and I'll be glad when it's all over, to be honest. I volunteered to help some friends sort food and drink for a big Christmas party last week, and I've been helping Silvia sort her house and her Christmas presents... My parents are coming down from Christmas Eve to Boxing Day, so I've had to sort all our food out; I found out last week that I needed to buy presents for all of Dave's extended family too (3 x uncles, 2 x aunts, 5 x cousins) just when I thought I'd got all my shopping done; and we've spent a large part of this week tidying, cleaning, painting and organising the house so it looks vaguely house-like rather than somewhere that needs DIY SOS to come and sort it out. Add into that the fact that Dave's car seems to have developed a rogue electrical problem that drains the battery super-fast, and that we've been trying to get someone on to sort the conservatory out, and it's been quite busy.
I can't seem to get into the festive spirit this year . It just doesn't feel like Christmas time, even though it's been in the shops for months! Once I get all the prep out of the way, I think I'll be able to finally relax and enjoy it all. I hope, anyway!
to all, and have a great time . See you all in the New Year!
Rains - Wondering where time's going and why it's in so much of a hurry!