Monday, 17 November 2008

a happy medium

OK - So, yesterday morning I started by putting a coat of paint onto a wall in our annex. Then I went into the loft, carted a whole load of our predecessor's rubbish down into our big estate car (not boasting....well, you couldn't really boast about a ten-year-old Vecta estate of unknown mileage but certainly north of 160,000 miles..... just saying that it was a lot of rubbish). I roped in DM and we took the lot to the dump, sorted it and deposited it in the various recycling bins or general rubbish. Then when we got home, I did another coat of paint on the wall in the annex, filled the gaps where the new flooring meets the old flooring with wood filler, cleaned up the new floor and made lunch. Then I went back into the loft and sorted another car-load's worth of rubbish ready to take to the dump, along with cleared up a whole load of rubble that was just lying around up there. Next, a trip to Morrisons to buy a paper and a dustpan and brush (to get the rubble from the floor into a rubble sack). Then another coat of paint on the annex wall.

Next, two people who I love dearly (DM and our friend Dee) both gave me earache about "not doing too much" so I had a shower to remove all the grime and tucked myself up on the sofa with Mr Floppy (bunny) and Rosie (dog) in front of Hercules Parrot on the telly (no, not my original joke, one of Agatha Christie's own ones which I love so much I use it all the time myself).

I fell asleep (seems reasonable after the earlier part of my day) for a couple of hours, waking up at 6.30pm in time to set the fire and make the dinner. What did I get at this point - another earache about being asleep on the sofa.

I can't win. I get told off for doing too much and I get told off for doing too little. Where is the happy medium? Why can't I find it? Is it something that comes to you in a dream? Is it only available to certain types of people? Is it something I'll NEVER find?

Anyway - isn't being a happy medium just an excuse for being dull?

Monday, 10 November 2008

The Star of the East

My trip to London (east of Cornwall), started with a night out in the East End, at a restaurant specialising in Eastern (Indian) cuisine, with two of my best buddies, both of whom are Eastenders, although one of them is now residing south of Manchester, that's still east of Cornwall. I've never eaten in Brick Lane before but it reminded me of Mulberry Street in New York, apart from the different origins of the two ethnic groups and cuisines. Dozens of restaurants, each with someone posted outside trying to tempt in diners who walk along the street in a daze, wondering which will be best.

Colin and Paul always visit the same one, although this is based on no special intelligence about which is the best, simply it's the first one they tried and it was so good that they didn't ever see the need to try anywhere else. We had a completely bonkers evening, giggling and gassing from 7pm until about 11.30pm. I got "home" at about 12.30pm. Colin and Paul are very important to me. We've been friends for twenty seven years and will remain so until we're carted off in eco-friendly boxes.

The following morning, my parents came and picked me up for a visit to my 90-year-old grandmother. She's as sharp as a razor although she's very physically frail and is now blind so she only recognised me by my voice.

I requested the trip east of London to Kent to the place my Mum was born and raised in because it's three years since I last saw my Nan, in hospital, after she'd had a stroke, I'm ashamed to say.

While we were there, we popped in on my Mum's uncle and aunt - my Mum's Dad's only surviving sibling. It was traumatic because my Great Uncle has recently been diagnosed with inoperable cancer and his world (and that of his wife) is shattered. I find it hard to describe the raw misery of their circumstances. Life can be very cruel.

So, over the course of the day, I saw my Nan, her brother-in-law and his wife, my Mum and two of her siblings, my uncle, my second cousin and my Dad. Blimey, that's a bigger family tally than I've seen for ages and ages. probably since a family wedding back in the annals of time.

Then out and about for another evening of craziness with Shazbop and Champagne Hughie - another two of my "besteds". I was due to go out with the two of them the week after I was ill and of course had to cancel that date. I'm sorry it's taken me a year to remake the appointment but am glad I made it eventually.

My next visit was to see two of my closest friends at my ex-office. We had lunch and they declared me "looking like Linda again" so that was marvellous. As with my other meetings this week, I can't describe the poignancy of spending time with people I hold so dear.

From there on to the North of London, to see my beloved Spurs give a complete thrashing to a team from a long way east of the UK - Dinamo Zagreb. What a fabulous evening - last time I went to the Lane we got a complete thumping so to see us win 4-0 was sheer joy. Not only that but I managed to see several of the DSHM (sadly not WHL Sarah so however much I spent three days embroiled with a group of my best buddies, the week could not be described as complete.)

I must say that the Dinamo Zagreb fans were magnificent. they didn't stop singing, even after the final whistle blew, despite their defeat. Not only that but on a damp and fairly bleak London night, they were all completely topless, singing their hearts out, naked from the waist up. Kudos to you all.

Finally, the Bell and Hare, now under new management and sadly without Carol and Maureen. Gone is the sticky carpet, gone is the picture of lady Di over the bar (and, incidentally, the one of us), in are loads of new Spurs photos and other memorabilia. Ahhhhhh, memories.

Did I find the star of the East? You bet I did. Did I slay dragons? You bet I did. Did I find friendship? Yes, yes, yes.......

Sunday, 9 November 2008

the acid test

I've been on an adventure over the last few days as I said last time I posted. In part, it was meant to help me to get some closure and some solace but in part it was also meant to test my ability to survive on a trip after a year of near-isolation.

So, what did I learn?

Well, the first thing I've learned is that the trip was utterly exhausting. I am amazed regularly at how I managed all of my work commitments on top of that commute. I have come home so tired I feel as though I've been through a mangle. That's with no WORK involved at all. There was a time when I'd have done most of what I did this week, while putting in a twelve-hour working day too.

The second thing is that I am still not completely well in as much as my obsessive, compulsive side showed up when I was travelling to meet people and getting my timings so badly wrong that I spent a total of eight hours sitting around in stations and coffee bars simply waiting for my appointment with either friends or trains - equivalent to a full working day over the three-days of my journey.

Finally, I've worked out that there is so much more to life than dashing around. Even though I've had some "enforced" waits for people, it's actually quite nice to spend an hour drinking a coffee and reading a book without needing to dash off anywhere. I just wish I'd spent that hour in the comfort of my London home-from-home rather than in a relatively uncomfortable coffee bar. So, I reckon that if I can learn to curb my obsession about timings, I can make room in my world for some great that's a good lesson learned.

I'm saving my "adventure" story for another day so please bear with me on this one.

Tuesday, 4 November 2008

Lindiana Jones and the Star of the East

Dear All

Lindiana Jones is my new "personality" - from now on, I'm going to be an intrepid explorer, without fear but with guile, cunning and sheer strength of will.

I'm off to slay a few demons, defeat some enemies (both personal and in a broader context) and, most importantly of all, to go and find myself some buried treasure. On my journey, I expect to find a few lost friends, make some new friends and experience great excitement and thrill, not to mention warmth and solace.

So, I'm climbing aboard a great iron monster and disappearing for a few days, hopefully to emerge after my adventures with a new sense of purpose and some deepfelt satisfaction.

I have on my trusty boots, my big whip is in my pocket and I'm ready for the off.........

Is the world ready for Lindiana? Who knows! We'll see over the next few days.

Sunday, 2 November 2008

loving Harry Bluenapp

#Come on come on Hurry up Harry come on We're going down the pub# (Sham 69)

la la la

We went to the pub last night to watch the Spurs play Liverpool because we're too tight to sign up to fact, we think it's a complete rip-off but that one's a long story and I'm not really telling that tale today.

So, we walk to the pub in near-darkness - a 40 minute walk across the moor, get there just as the match begins and within three minutes we're a goal adrift. Hmmmmmm. The pub's new manager comes out and asks who the two Spurs fans are that had phoned up earlier and to his credit, he didn't crow.

We watch a game where in truth Liverpool could have scored several goals before, in the 70th minute, they did....but in their own net! So 1-1 and game on as they say. In the dying moments of the game, we managed to pop in another to go on to win the game, get off the bottom of the league for the first time this season and find ourselves with a song in our hearts "Harry Redknapp's Blue and White army".

Pub grub, some semi-drunken conversations with some of the regulars and a bit of people watching ensued before we got in a cab and got home with a smile on our faces.

So, Harry Bluenapp, Harry Houdini, Harry Hotspur - whatever you want to call him, he's our hero.