Monday, November 28, 2005

Another brilliant weekend.....

Who would have thought it possible? Two weekends in a row... just as I thought it had all gone horribly wrong..having had such a good time in Yorkshire with my good friends....of course I had had a few weeks looking forward to it, planning it, organising it..doing it..then..yes, then came the inevitable downer, suddenly, nothing to do, no e-mails to write, no quiz to work on, by Friday I was a sad, sad, person, and spent my bereavement counselling hour just sobbing........

So the prospect of a weekend in Liverpool was not good, I was not in the mood, but I had promised Hilary to take her to her uncle's, and James was going to stay with me at my cousin's. Too late to back out.

James drove there while I slept mostly..dropped Hil off at her Uncle's house opposite Liverpool John Lennon airport at Speke, and headed off to my cousin's through vaguely familiar childhood territory.

I really don't know my cousin Johnny, or his wife Jean, that well. I met him once during my growing up years. We have met several times in the last five or so years...he is the son of my father's eldest brother, Max, who died in the war when Johnny was 6 months old. His mum was my mad Aunty Terry. When have I met Johnny recently? At Uncle Bill's funeral (my dad's younger brother) then my Auntie Sue's funeral (dad's younger sister) Aunty Terry's funeral, then cousin Tobie's wedding (hurrah, a happy occcasion!) then my mum's funeral, then my dad's funeral. I know, Five funerals and a wedding!

I have also seen them a couple of times in Bristol when they kindly called in to see my parents. They have asked me to go and stay so many times. So I did. And I had the most lovely weekend. Very relaxing, really looked after, fed well, chauffeur driven round Liverpool to old haunts, my old home, schools etc etc, and then spent Saturday evening, after a good meal, curled up in front of a log fire watching dvd's..first the film of Phantom of the Opera which I've never seen....I nearly had a heart attack when the msic started! Johnny has surround sound, five speakers and a woofer! As they live in a huge detached house he has the volume up to ear bursting levels..and it;s f****ing brilliant. After Phantom we watched Michael Flatley's Feet of Flames, recorded live in Hyde Park, not everyone's taste but the dancing is superb, and the music, again, amazing, I'll never go back to an ordinary stereo!

And the best bit..while he was looking through the dvds, I spy Fairport Convention..oh I say, I lvoe them. Oh says Johnny, do you like folk? Do I? Do you? Oh, yes, he says, my favourite band is Show of Hands. What?????

Next thing it is 2am and James and Jean have gone to bed and Johnny and I are watching Fairport in concert..I have never heard them sound so good! Then various folk CDs go the car next day it is Ralph Mctell, and after lunch Show of Hands in concert at the Albert Hall. I think I maybe a little deaf today. All these years, and it turns out we have been missing each other at folk festivals!!!!! Will I go again? You bet I will!!!!

Wednesday, November 23, 2005

Oh, how we laughed......

..yes, the Nov Ops weekend - together with programming and the office staff - including the lovely Laura - was very good, lots of discussion, lots of listening and sharing, lots of silliness and much laughter. In fact I only cried once and that was just a tiny bit so doesn't really count. I love that community, the time spent with Good Friends, and the fact that when the joke was on me - as it was once or twice! - my caring friends checked out to make sure I was ok about it and not upset. That was very sweet - but I loved every minute of it, so don't worry!

I loved the planning, the evenings with David working on the pub quiz..oh how we laughed........ the journey to Yorkshire, via Toys are Us in Luton., buying up the shop with little presents and toys for our friends..trying to get to Dalesbridge early to lable all the doors, put the presents and sweets on the pillows, and then light the log fire and have the tea made before anyone arrived...failed slightly but it didn't matter...

LIz has blogged well about the weekend and really summed it up....there were so many and David trying to cook breakfast on the Monday morning for 7 people, and David wanting to do it his way which meant it took about two hours and two sittings..his determination to make Doggit and Maria a fresh pot of coffee although he had nothing to make it in....while we were arguing in the kitchen over how to cook the sausages, Liz said, if you two were married, it would end in divorce, but on the grounds of whose unreasonable behaviour???

It got worse...the 'hour's' joutney to Edale to look at another possible centre for next year..... me and Maria chose the route. daid tried to look a the map and choose another way, but I said, bugger off, we have decided, just shut up and drive and leave it to me....... almost three hours later, when we have literally driven up hill and down dale, and headed south and west, then I decide we can't access the Edale valley from this direction, there is only one way, so although we hav been following signs in the Manchester direction, suddenly I get him to follow signs to Sheffield, it's just this little road on the map......the atmosphere is getting slightly frosty in the car - and very frosty outside..maria texts from the car behind..'It's very beautiful this way'. My point entirely. When I say, 'this is the scenic route, isn't the scenery lovely,' once too often...... Doggit and Maria are treated to the sight of David stopping very suddenly on the top of Snake Pass and get out of the car. I get out too, and seeing David heading for me, throw the map over a dry stone wall and start running..down hill and can't stop...David catches up with me and the momentum nearly takes us into a boggy ditch.. I am shreiking for him to stop before we fall over, and am laughing so much I have no control.

'Why the f*** did you come this way?' asks Doggit. I laugh more and David says, 'Don't make her laugh, she'll wet herself.' Actually it is too late for that, and I am made to sit on a towel the rest of the way home. And I am not allowed to drive. We visit Edale for an hour, and meet the lovely priest in charge, Adrian, who has waited over two hours for us.

We eventually arrive in St Albans at 8pm, having had no lunch and no tea, cos I had been very naughty and made us late. But was it worth it? Every minute.

Wednesday, November 16, 2005

Help help help!

Busy! Stressed! Feel I may kill someone. So many spots. Lank hair. Strange hormonal activity. Bursting into tears. Need to finish funding application. The agenda for the weekend. Washing. Ironing. Packing. Need to sleep. So much going on at work I don't know where to start..... it's Thursday tomorrow and my car is still full of stuff from Bristol..I've washed my mum's bedding, I'm surrounded by her stuff and I have to not think about it...

And do you know, some people who are away on holiday in the sun, lounging around by swimming pools, have the cheek to blog and text about consideration for others. No doubt they'll be posting holiday pics soon. Ttch.

Anyway, I am ready for bed. I have three days off work. I am going away. I will see friends. I will behave badly. Hopefully. I will laugh. I will eat. I will Have a Good Time. I will tell you all about it when I get back! There, I think the stress and threat of violence is lifting....good night.......

Tuesday, November 15, 2005

Sorry, sorry, sorry....

Just realised it's Tuesday and I haven't blogged since Friday!! Sorry! Whatever have I been doing??? Worked Friday, then bereavement counselling in the afternoon, followed by tea and cake out with a friend...far better than going back to work, my counsellor insists on it....

Then into town on Saturday morning, breakfast out with same friend..quite lovely, only downside being I paid both times because of a slight wallet problem.....discovered the French Market in town again. Hurrah! The sun was shining, it was a lovely Saturday morning, the ambience was tres beau, and I practised my best French when buying vegetables, fresh baked baguettes and croissants, honey covered roast peanuts which I am eating as I type....and then..there was the handbag stall. Oh, it has the most wonderful handbags...I already have two from previous visits, and I bought my lovely black leather work brief case there last time the market came to town - Italian leather and soooooooo reasonable....

While small person with wallet problems was away finding a cash machine I happened upon a loveyl shiny black leather handbag, just right for the winter. When the nice lady saw my current brown handbag, and realised it was one of hers, she was so pleased she offered me discount. Lovely assistant arrived with wallet just in time, and as the lady obviously expected him to pay for the hand bag, he did, so as not to look mean. How generous.......

Wallet person quite spoiled the shopping trip by then buying large quantities of various garlicky salamis, olives and three kinds of smelly cheese. All of which I loathe with a passion. (Oh no, he plans to take some away a the weekend.....)

Saturday night, James, Laura and I jump into Clive's white van - well the company van anyway - and head to Bristol for a very last sleepover at The House. We have a jolly journey, but arrive in Bristol late on what feels like, and is, the coldest night of the year so far. I offer to go in and put lights and heating on, to make it more welcoming, then we head for the nearest little Indian restaarant for a litle something. Very nice it is too.

Back at the house we sit in the lounge with the heating on full, and the gas fire on, and put the TV on in an effort to be cosy and jolly. We watch TV and all fall asleep as the room is so warm....

At 12.30am I open my eyes and suggest we all ought to go up to bed. James and Laura opt to sleep in the twin beds in the front room they always slept in as children, and I go in my mum's bed. Unfortunately, the kitchen celing has leaked with the recent rain, so there is a huge lake on the kitchen floor, and the house feels damp - and I forgot to check that the radiators were on upstairs. they were not, and the bedrooms were like bloody freezers, and the beds felt cold and damp. James sat huddled against a radiator (once I put it on!) on the end of Laura's bed, and she put a fleece and socks on to get into bed. She is shivering so much she gets the giggles, and while I am in the bathroom, I hear James call out from his bed, 'Mum, it's not fair, her bed's next to the radiator and she's got her feet on it, and I'm freezing and I need my socks......' I kindly go into the bedroom to find James his socks, and he sticks his size 11 feet out for me to put them on. There is a limit to my maternal devotion, I say, handing him the socks. The sounds of James perishing from hyperthermia just makes Laura giggle more, and I can hear her teeth's the last night in my parent's house, and we are all laughing. How I love my children.

Friday, November 11, 2005

Third time lucky.....

This is the third time I have tried to post this blog, once blogger crashed on me, then the whole pc seized up, so here goes. In response to Caroline's blog on whether she worries about herself enough...I came out of work on Weds evening (and it was dark, may i say in my defence) and looked down the road to find my car. Where did I park it this morning? Have I been out to do any visits, and therefore have I moved it? I walk to the silver Golf I often try and get into, and then realise it's not mine. (Mine being a Polo for a start.) I carry on down the road, to the bottom, and no, my car is not there. Oh I remember now, there were no spaces this morning, I parked in the next street. So I continue down the hill to the bottom, cross the road and pass the gorgeous exotic rug shop, and turn up the next street...which is empty. Not a car to be seen.

Pause. Think. Oh it might have been yesterday I parked here. So where is it? I turn and walk back past the rug shop and back up my street, which is quite a steep hill, and I am talking to myself as I go past all the, not mine, can't think where I parked it, no it's not here, has it been stolen? All the way to the top now, and no....(puffing abit now) ...except what is parked right outside the office door? And I mean right outside..yes, my car. Am I losing the plot? As Caroline says, I should worry about myself a lot more..unless, of course, you want to do it for me......

Tuesday, November 08, 2005

A bizarre evening...

I forgot to mention it! Last week I went out with Rosemarie - we had the usual pasta first, then bought coffee and sweets at the cinema, and settled down to watch first, the adverts, then the trailers, then, as the film was about to start, the screen went black, the lights came on and a disembodied voice announced..'Ladies and gentleman, due to circumstances beyond our control....' and I was up and out my seat ready to go, recognising an evacuation when I see one. 'How did you know?' said Rosemarie. 'You are so calm.' 'Happens all the time' I said, 'Either at GB or the theatre, don't panic.'

We joind the masses exiting the complex, cinema, restaurants and shops, and all stood around wondering what was happening. I spotted a lake of water moving across the MacDonalds floor, and guessed the Incident was in there. Suddnely we heard fire engines, and three sets of lights coming into the car park, and I realised that the fire engines would arrive just where all the people were standing about! A few self conscious student types working at the cinema were given yellow jackets, and stood about half heartedly asking epople to move but we just ignored them. It was more exciting to stand in the way of the firemen in breathing apparatus, between the road and the restaurant. One student had 'Manager' on the back of her yellow jacket, and she even had a loud hailer, but didn't attempt to use it.

No announcements were made, no attempt to move people out the way, and no-one said that the cinema would not reopen, a fact I deduced after watching the yellow jackets giving out free cinema tickets to people. It was calm, peaceful and yet chaotic. 'Oh if only I had a yellow jacket' I said to Rosemarie, 'I could have this crowd moved in an instant.'

Just imagine if a certain David had been at the cinema with you think I could have restrained him from getting involved?

As it was we collected our free tickets and went back a few nights later and saw Nanny McPhee. Highly entertaining . And Colin Firth is always worth watching......

Monday, November 07, 2005

I hate the hurting.... feel so helpless, don't you? I haven't had the feeling for a while, I'd forgotten how horrible it is. Like I used to hurt when my mum was anxious, ill and unhappy, I hurt so much for her, and my dad when he was so ill and alone.

Before that I have hurt for my children..when relationships went wrong, or they were unhappy at Uni, I was always the one they would talk to. But I always felt so helpless...... Strange that recently, everyone around me, close to me, has been happy, their lives sorted, nothing for me to worry about..and yet I have been so depressed!!!! Now things are not going well for James, he is hurting so much, and I am there for him to talk to, but actually can't do anything..I have to watch and hear his hurting and sadness....and I hate it. It's like a pain inside, and I realise how good it has been in recent months because both my children were happy.

Life is so complicated...I wish it could be easy. But it isn't. Sometimes it hurts like hell.

Sunday, November 06, 2005

Sally needs.... get a life, obviously! Or I wouldn't have been sucked into this game. I have done all the usual Sunday things (except go to church, but I had a bit of a cough, listen, hack hack, and I think a bit of a temperature...) so I stayed home and cooked roast dinner for Clive and his mother, and made and iced a chocolate cake for Laura's birthday tea. It was so professional, Laa and Mec thought I'd bought it!

Now I am alone as Clive is up in the office on the computer working, as ever, night after night..Friday I was so fed up I went out and bought masses of chocolate..a bit of a shame as I had actually lost weight this week....

Anyway, here I am in the lounge with my trusty lap-top and I couldn't resist taking the challenge set by K and C... so into google and Sally needs......

Sally needs to consider technical expertise..(how true) ..above all, Sally needs to sift down her 'long options' list. (right, I'll give it a go.....)

Sally needs new shoes. YES!

Sally needs to decide how quickly she wants to get her hands on the money. (Sally would like now please, any money, I'm ready...)

Sally needs a reality check. Well, obviously.

Sally needs to get on and take her test this year. (Which test? I'll need to revise.)

Sally needs only the surname as the records are in the database. (I think we could all work that one out, given time...)

Sally needs the money from you before the order is placed. Absolutely. Every time.

To return to the human world, Sally needs to find her magic silver locket. It has been stolen by Quintis Quigley and his partner. (Quick, boys and girls, help find it cos we need Sally to return to the human world...don't we?)

Sally needs an operation to release the build up of blood in her head. (Euegh. Nasty. But it would probably help....)

Oh dear, if only they would bring back Monarch of the Glen. At least it kept me out of trouble on a Sunday evening!

Friday, November 04, 2005

I have tried.....

Really I have. After Liz's helpful comments re the doodle box thing, i did another one, and followed all her instructions, but nothing worked, so i just pressed all sorts of buttons in ever increasing frustration, until something came up and offered to save something, so I saved it to my piccies' folder, then tried to upload it on to my blog. But..sadly, only error messages. So it's not for lack of trying. And it was such a good doodle!

Am still very tired or not sleeping properly, so habe to admit, sometimes can't be bovvered to blog, which is not a good state I know. But went to a conference yesterday, on Important Things I Ought to Know About and slept like a baby through the fifrst 40 min keynote presentation..ooops....I wish i could bring the speaker home to bed with me.....if he just talked for a bit I'd be right off!

Clive has installed a new keyboard which is high up with a wrist support and all the keys are curved and different sizes..I can't ue the wrist spport it hutst and my wrists don;t like the height and the new be honest I would hab thought it was the kind of keyboard you'd buy a disabled person to support thwir hands..and if you thought my typing was bad before, I keep getting the wrong keys because of the curves and strange ky sizes. see, I havbe to stop now cos my hands and wrists are hurting.