Saturday, January 28, 2006

About the diet...

On Monday, which was a good day, I said I was going on a diet and giving up chocolate. Caroline said she gave it til Wednesday. Clearly she over estimates my willpower. It lasted until Tuesday, when I had a bit of a bad day. I had chocolate biscuits. Wednesday I had chocolate cake (not my fault, they put it out for lunch on my training course) and there were chocolate buttons on the table too (I do hope the others didn't want any) then on the way home I was incredibly sleepy and I had to pull off and go and buy a coffee, and somehow a couple of packets of M&Ms got into the bag.

Thursday I bought petrol and a bar of Cadbury's Dairy milk crept in, and on Friday the lovely man who gave me the chocolate orange last week gave me a dark chocolate they are very hard to find, but when we do, we know the rules..we have to buy a couple. I ate it in the car before I got home.

Today, Saturday, I popped out for bread and dog food, and somehow an iced ring donut came home with me.... come to think of it, this diet really isn't going well, is it?

If I am not going to be a new slim me, then I have become a new slightly red/auburn me as I was bored this morning and dyed my hair.

Sorry, I will try and think of something to make my blog more thought provoking/arty/political ....hang on while I have a chocolate biscuit and think about it...

Friday, January 27, 2006

Such a busy week.....

Work is so busy. Not enough hours in the day. Was on a training course on Weds, an hour or so up the A1. I was - unsurprisingly - acutely conscious of the speed limits. It made for an irritating drive. All the way the speed limit varied between 30 and 60 then unrestricted - not actually sure if that still means 60 on an A road, or 70?? - but it meant I was constantly slowing down or speeding up, sometimes just for yards, one minute 50, oops now 30, oh this bit 60, and so it went on. I seemed to have a queue of irritated drivers behind me who all then overtook me on the slow bits. Should I have a notice on my back window saying 'Sorry, but I have 12 points.' Er, perhaps not, on reflection, it might make me a bit of a target for bored policemen... on the other hand, that could be fun.....

Finished the day off with a finance meeting which finished at 11.30pm. Which meant when at a meeting yesterday afternoon, during a fairly boring presentation I was nodding off.... I was alone last night, (just for a change) so changed into my jim jams and curled up on the sofa with a large coffee, a packet of digestives, the dog (yes I broke my rule about dogs on the sofa. I needed a cuddle) and Babylon. Oh dear...then, being sleepy and very sensible - Caroline do you hear this - being sensible went to bed at 10.15pm. Went to sleep. Woke at 1am, 3 am, 5am and finally 6.30am when I gave up trying to sleep. Think I am suffering from night starvation....

Tuesday, January 24, 2006

It went like clockwork!

Yes, it went fine. Clive and I went early over to the charity in Hatfield and dropped the desks off. Yesterday morning I didn't know what on earth to do with them, the suddenly both were wanted, and Clive and I cleared them out of the office, put up new shelves, and there I was at 10 to 9 on my way to the office, bright and early, ready to clear a space for the desks which were due to arrive mid-morning - I asked the company to ring and give us half an hour's notice to make sure we were ready!

As I approached the roundabout towards town, looked right and what did I see but a certain Audi coming on to the roundabout to go straight across in front of me, headed towards the station. Given that the Audi driver knows my little silver polo well, I felt sure he would see me, I waved, and thought, hey what a gentleman, he might even let me across the roundabout first! As I pulled out, so did the Audi, at speed, so I braked hard and got a sideways look from the driver that said, 'My right of way I think' as he sped off towards the station. I stopped waving. Funny, I had been feeling happy til that moment. Now I felt very small and ignored. Not recognised. No space in someone's busy life. I felt really tearful. Now how stupid is that? And I had been doing so well for quite few days now. The incident has grown in my head all day, as a metaphor for my life......

Anyway, I pulled up outside the office, and there sitting waiting for me was a nice man in a white van come to assemble two desks. So much for mid-morning with a warning phone call! I ran around moving stuff and making tea (as you do) while he carried in piles of boxes of wood and desk bits - by the time N and M-A arrived the office was a sea of assembling parts, and we had no choice but to stand and chat cos we couldn't do any work!

I had meetings this morning, but all afternoon I spent unpacking my bits and files and in-trays and trying to be tidy. M-A loves her new desk and shelving and was happily re-arranging all day.

By 4pm I was flagging and desperately tired and feeling strangely sad..I had such high hopes of my new desk, but somehow it anti-climax. Well, I was tired, I had worked at the office all the previous evening, and been up early...goodness, I felt I had earned an early night, so I bid M-A farewell at 4.30pm and headed home for a long, hot bath, and a cup of tea and a few biscuits, followed by a snooze on the sofa.

There I have lain all night, with the dog, (I broke the rule about doggies not sleeping on the sofa, but she is so warm and cuddly....) She slept, I watched 'Crocodile Dundee.' One from the past!

I returned Sophie's devotion by a late night walk round the block, on a gorgeous misty, clear frosty night. We both enjoyed it.

Oh, I left someone a voice mail earlier, saying, 'You're not very observant are you?' He rang back later. 'You weren't the one in the silver VW who tried to cut me up on the roundabout, were you? Sorry, didn't see you, I was running late for the train.....''

Monday, January 23, 2006

I am so excited.....

..really I am...we are getting new desks at work tomorrow! I have ordered two new desks, one for me and one for M-A, big oak desks with right hand returns on, to give us more working /pc space. Sounds impressive but they are basic and not too expensive, and the man is coming to build them and install them tomorrow. As someone for whom the prospect of a new book or new pen is almost orgasmic, then a new desk..well, the earth will really move.

Clive and I have spent the evening at my office (we know how to have fun!) putting the old desks in his van to take to another charity in the morning - I had the brainwave of e-mailing round this morning as I didn't want to dump the desks, and ten seconds after sending it, this charity rang and asked to have them..Result! We have also fitted shelving on the wall above M-A's desk so that files and books can go up there, leaving her more work space. I even washed the wall as it was looking grubby. I am so good to my staff!

I put an extra shelf up in the meeting/training room and reorganised all the files in there, so it looks neat and tidy. Tomorrow I shall attempt to do that in my own space, and keep my new desk clean and tidy. Goodness, I do like this new burst of energy and tidying and organising mood that has come over me! Perhaps it could even extend to my house.....

Took a bowl of my home-made vegetable soup to Rosemarie to have for her lunch (and chocolates for after) and had a bowl myself, with a brown bread roll and no butter. I have to confess to eating a large piece of Christmas cake with my cup of tea while watching Neighbours, but I have had no chocolate today. Oh sorry, I promise not to become a diet bore.....

Must go to bed..only one sleep and it will be time to go to work and take delivery of a new desk..oh, did I mention that?

Sunday, January 22, 2006

Well, it had to happen.....

Yes, it had to happen sooner or later. Reality check. Trying on bras in M&S yesterday, in a mirrored changing room...not a pretty site....stepping on the scales this morning and realising I am just a pound or so of my all time high...trying on clothes for work and not being able to do them up..seeing Sunday Style on TV this morning instead of going to church (James and Hilary's fault...) seeing people doing things with their lives, taking control, exercising, controlling what they eat, losing weight and feeling a whole lot better because of it.

Someone telling me that with the amount of sugar I put in to my body am at risk of diabetes. how dad got that in later years...together with a wish to get the old Sally back, well as near as possible, the one that had energy and enthusiasm.... feeling this weekend as last weekend, the strange feeling of really not having to go to Bristol to see my parents or clear the house or actually have to do anything..and what I am choosing to do is sorting stuff out in the house, washing, cleaning, ironing, cooking nourishing meals, making soup, walking the dog...all part of cleansing and moving on. Controlling my diet and losing weight will be part of that process. Won't be easy, but it's not possible to live on chocolate and biscuits for ever and like what I see in the mirror..nor is it healthy. So this is me reclaiming my life, finding out who I am again and choosing what I want to do.

Just at this minute it is to go to bed with my coffee and read the Sunday papers.....night.

Friday, January 20, 2006

Tap and unwrap..yeah, right....

So I am prepared to leave work, on Tuesday, drive home, finish packing and get a cab to the station to get the train to Bristol. In the morning however, I speak to a certain person on the phone who tells me he will be driving from North Yorkshire to St Albans, by mid day and he will happily give me a lift to the station. Fine.

About half past one he rings to say he left later than planned, (surprise) but will be back by three thirty latest, he just has a half hour conference call from 4 to 4.30 but will be in plenty of time to take me to the station. Hmmmm. I say, if I haven't heard from you by 20 to 5 I will call a cab, otherwise I will miss my train. Fine, he says.

I leave work, finish packing, make sure I have all my paperwork for court, driving licence, train tickets, and realise I am starting to get quite stressed about the whole thing. It's an added stress worrying about catching trains and crossing London and catching connections....

Anyway, half past four come and goes, twenty to five comes and goes and by now I am stressed and fuming, I really don't need this kind of support. In desperation I ring his mobile and he answers, saying cheerily, 'I am on my way!' I slam the phone down and five minutes later am still stood on the pavement with my bag and at ten to five he arrives. 'Hello,' he says happily getting out the car.

'I said if I didn't hear from you by 20 to 5 I would call a cab. How did I know you were even back from Yorkshire?'

'Well I am, I finished my conference call just after 4.30 and here I am, what's the problem?'

Screaming mad lady: 'Yes, but I didn't know that. If you don't let me know how am I supposed to know you're not f*****ing late as usual? I really don't need the stress.'

So we drive to the station in silence, me trying to calm down, him wondering what he has done wrong exactly. 'Sorry' he says quietly. Then, 'I bought you a chocolate orange to eat on the train .' Damn.

So anyway, the chocolate orange story. I put it safely in my bag, where it stayed til I got on the Bristol train at Paddington. I sat by the window, opposite a lady and then a man sat next to me. (Note..we were all doing Sudokus. How sad is that!) I had a bottle of water and my chocolate orange. That would do nicely until 7.30pm when the lovely Caroline would meet me and we would go out for dinner.

I quietly unwrapped the orange. Mmmm it smelt good. It was also slightly warm and therefore kind of stuck together. I tried to prise a segment or two apart with my fingers. Failed. Got slightly sticky. Tapped orange lightly on chair arm. Failed. Tapped harder. My fellow travellers looked at me. I popped the orange back in its paper and returned it to my handbag, not wishing to look desperate. The journey continued. I could smell the chocolate. After a while I got it out again and had another go. Solid as. Rummaged frantically in my bag, hunting for a nail file. Nothing. Put orange away again. It doesn't matter, I'll be there in a hour, I can wait.

Time passes. The chocolate orange smells amazing. I start to get a panic attack. I have chocolate with me I can't eat. It's torture. I consider sending abuse text messages to David, this is all his fault, why can't he just buy me a large bar of dairy milk? No, he has to be bloody clever and buy a chocolate orange.

I consider my options. I'll stand up and ask everyone in the carriage if they have a pen knife. I'll ask the man to move, squeeze out and walk six carriages to the buffet car and get a knife. I take the orange out and look at it. I consider if I can just try and cram it into my mouth in one go, will the lady opposite notice? The man gets off at Swindon.

I get the orange out once again and this time I can't wait. There is a tiny hole in the top where the segments meet. I get a roller ball pen out my bag, take the top off, and stab the orange with the point. I stab again. The pen sticks into the orange. I put it on the table and bang it down..and miracle, the pen is forced into the orange and a couple of segments come away. They go into my mouth...just the two...

Later that night I offer Caroline a piece of chocolate orange from the half that is left. 'You only ate half on the train?' she says. 'I am so proud of you, what willpower.'

'But Caroline,' I say, 'I only opened it five minutes outside Bristol...'

Thursday, January 19, 2006

So much chocolate, so little time!!!!

Yesterday was a real chocolate day. I know I need to lose weight, but not yesterday. I needed the comfort! I have stories to tell always, but I am a bit tired. Yesterday was an emotionally draining day! The important thing is to tell you that I have kept my licence..the court decided not to ban me but I do have 12 points on my I have to spend the next three years being oh so careful!

I was in court at 10.10am and it was all over by 10.30am. It was a far more emotionally draining experience than I had anticipated. Hence the need for chocolate. I actually left the court house to walk into the centre of Bath to find a nice cafe in which to collapse with a large coffee and stop shaking. However, I came across the Cadbury's Cocoa House!!!! Well, it might as well have had my name on the door! I went upstairs to the restaurant (spying the shop downstairs for later) and ordered a Classic Hot chocolate, made with liquid chocolate, non of your powder rubbish and after a tussle with the menu decided on rich chocolate cake with ice cream. I sat in the corner, as befits my friend Winnie the Pooh who always took elevenses into the corner to look after them.... I didn't say anything for a while...the lovely people even give you a spoon so when you have finished drinking the hot silky smooth chocolate, you can eat the chocolale sludge that is left at the bottom of the mug...

I have to say that the cake was like eating thick chocolate concrete, and I couldn't finish it. But I spent the time happily calming down and texting all the people who had texted me good luck to tell them the good news! I asked for the bill and was about to leave and my mobile rang and it was Liz, ringing for a very quick chat. Half an hour later and all the cafe knew about my court case! As I finished that call I had a call from Rosemarie, and I had been there so long it was time for another hot chocolate, so I ordered another! I was there ages but needed the time and space. As I was leaving, I saw the couple next to me get their order of toasted sandwiches. You mean you could order real food????

Then I saw a mum with two small children who had order a huge platter of chopped fresh fruit, and it looked gorgeous..strawberries, melon, apple etc etc..and it came with a pot of melted chocolate to dip it all in! Now that's the way to eat fruit!!!!

Tomorrow I will tell you the story of the Chocolate Orange.....

Tuesday, January 17, 2006

This could be the last time...... quote Mick Jagger. No, not the last time I blog, nothing that serious, but the last time I drive my car for a while. After many, many, many years as a conviction free driver, I managed to get caught by speed cameras on four occasions between April and June last year.

Tomorrow I go to court in Bath to stand in front of magistrates and plead with them not to take my licence away cos I am a good girl really, and I need my car for my job, and I was on my way to various fun things at the time, your honour, such as visiting my dad seriously ill in hospital, on my way to his funeral etc etc.

This evening I get the train to Bristol and will be met by the lovely Caroline and we will go out and find something to eat. Don't worry, I have booked a restaurant. Haven't checked for accessibility but I'm sure it will be fine. Or I'll bring her dinner out to the car.

Anyway, now I am going to the dentist, the first of three long appointments..don't ask..just feel very sorry for me...I will drive there and back carefully and safely and appreciate the joy of driving my little silver car...just in case..... oh I always wanted a part in a court drama. I have written my script. I mean statement. Caroline and my solicitor have read it and say it is fine. Come on, let's have your predictions here...will I convince them to let me off???? What do you think??? (Prayers after 10am tomorrow will be appreciated..)

Sunday, January 15, 2006

Time to hibernate, methinks....

I swear this time of year, Jan to Feb, it feels natural to light the log fire every evening, and not move very far away from it. I am currently sitting on the floor right next to it, laptop on my mum's pouffe (is that how you spell it?) between my knees, Sophie dog curled up on my left and we are sleepy and cosy together. It's all I want to do every evening! I have put on a lot of weight since Christmas, as sitting around by a lovely fire and watching TV or listening to music or reading is generally accompanied by eating. Mmmmm.

Anyway, this week has been quite good fun, work is busy and challenging and lots of good things happening, which of course I can't tell you about, or they'd have to kill me, or I'd have to kill you first..... but Friday evening saw the 4th annual volunteers' dinner. I meant to finish early in the afternoon to chill and get ready, but with lots of work and bereavement counselling and driving to Hemel to get the coffee things from my mate with his own coffee company! meant I didn't get home until a quarter to five and had half an hour to get ready. Sod it thought, I am not having a quick shower, I am determined to have a soak in a hot bath and relax, even for 10 minutes. So I started running the bath and went downstairs and made a cup of tea.

Oh, the height of decadence, lying in a bath at 5pm on Friday evening with a nice cup of tea, I do know how to live. But when I got back dawned on me that the heating and hot water had only been on since 4.30pm and therefore the water was not yet hot..I ended up with 3 inches of lukewarm water, and believe me, that doesn't cover a it was a very quick bath.

Even I wish I could video what happened next, it was so comic. I dressed in a brand new Per Una top which is three layers of flimsy lacy material in a vest/cardie type of combination and gorgeous but low cut, and I realised that wearing this plum/aubergine low cut top didn't look too good with large amounts of white bra showing. By now I was running late and panicking, and kept having to take the top off to try new bras on. The three layers are attached and kept getting tangled and inside out and on one occasion I got stuck with it half on and half off and it caught on my skirt zip, and I got almost hysterical. Fortunately I still managed to pick M A up and get to the hall to organise the dinner, although I kept pulling at my top in a self conscious way....I have to say I got a lot of compliments from my volunteers about my sexy outfit...and a kiss from a local, sexy GP, but that's another story.... and the meal wasn't bad either!

Friday, January 13, 2006

And this was the present....

This is the birthday present I gave my friend for his 45th birthday. The message on the box says it all..'We do not stop playing because we grow old, we grow old because we stop playing'. My philosophy exactly.

I was informed yesterday that he had installed the software and plugged the hamster wheel into the computer. It should go round as you type. Apparently, all it did was crash his pc....oops, sorry.

I found this pic on e-bay. Someone is selling this as an 'unwanted gift.' (One bid so far at 99p.) I wonder......

Thursday, January 12, 2006

We are all getting older......

..scary but true. A friend had his birthday on Tuesday - turning 45, and really entering middle age. Surely not? Well, he had the day off work especially, and spent the day clearing out and tidying his wardrobe. Didn't even go out for lunch. I was working late so he did stop by the office and enjoyed a cup of tea and the chocolate and vanilla cheescake kindly provided by M&S. He turned up wearing an old jumper, found in the bottom of the wardrobe, to ask my advice re throwing it away. I am probably not the best person to ask, quite liking the Alan Titchmarsh look in a rugged, cosy, out door sort of way. But it really was quite an old jumper.....

So having arrived looking a tiny bit middle aged in a gardening jumper, he proceeded to tell me about plans for the birthday evening. He had talked about ringing round some friends, to see if anyone fancied a drink. A quiet night at the pub. Well, no wild party then. But when I asked him, he said he had changed his mind, to quote, 'I can't be bothered to go out, I think I'll just stay and have a quiet night in with the wife.' or words to that effect.

Do you think it's time I found a new toy boy?????

Tuesday, January 10, 2006

Disgusted of Tunbridge Wells...

I've never been an official complainer. I've never written to newspapers complaining about the state of the roads, or rung the BBC and ranted about any of its programmes. Until tonight. Well, there is a first time for everything! God knows, I'm no fan of Tony Blair, and I might be critical of many of his party's policies, but I hope I am fair. I like to state a point of view, I also like to hear the other side of an argument. But Kirsty Wark's treatment of Tony Blair on tonight's Newsnight had me reaching for the phone and complaining within ten seconds of it finishing. Her whole handling of the discussion was completely biased, the audience was rigged with people against govt policy, there was no-one there to put an alternative view, and if anyone dared to start saying anything remotely positive, Kirsty shut them up and moved on. She asked Tony Blair questions and then didn't always allow him to answer. One or two ridiculous comments from audience members, Tony didn't bother to respond to, and quite frankly I don't blame him.

Did anyone learn anything from that discussion? Was anything gained from such a negative tirade? I'll be interested to check on the BBC website tomorrow if anyone else complained. I'll be very surprised if they didn't.

The discussion mentioned parenting and children's behaviour, and the importance of parent and family support at an early age, and preventative intervention. Yay! If only someone had mentioned HS!!!!!! I'm due to start running another parenting programme in February. I have run many Parenting Programmes now over the past ten years, and I can tell you - they work. Parents who come on them can turn their family life around, learn to take responsibility for their children's behaviour, put in appropriate boundaries and discipline, and most importantly, learn to enjoy their children again. Obviously it is good if a parent comes on the course willingly!

Did you watch the programme? What do you think?

By the way, the person who came to the Family Centre, the one I went to see last night, and gave her the notes of our counselling sessions. Big risk, I thought. I got a text message from her today: 'Hi, Sally, I sat up til 1.30 this morning reading these notes, and boy, I am so proud of myself as I can now see how far I have come! Some things are still the same, ie family. x thank you so much they have made me smile.'

Aaaaah. That's good.

Monday, January 09, 2006

The year is flying by....

..into double figures tomorrow! Yes, the Cadbury's creme eggs are in the shops already. Yuck, I really don't like them. But I have been known, when desperate, to eat the chocolate off the outside..then you are left with a sticky mess in your hand..ok, too much information...

Had a quiet day at work on Friday and went to bereavement counselling in the afternoon. I walk into the room just fine (mostly). I tell her I am ok. Then where do those tears come from? Buckets, and about so many things. She is a good counsellor. We can have a laugh too, which is so important in counselling, don't you think?

Crummy weekend. The best bit was not going to church on Sunday but instead going into the office with a carpet cleaner and scrubbing the carpets clean..for one and a half sad, I really enjoyed it! James and Hilary came over Sunday, and the three of us watched a DVD..Mr & Mrs James said after, what a silly waste of two many holes in the plot, I drove them mad saying, 'Oh, that wouldn't happen...' and I was told off for taking it too seriously. I do like watching mindless rubbish that is vaguely believable....

Tonight I went to see an old friend, someone who came to me for counselling for three years, between 1996 and 1999, when I worked as a therapist at a Family Support Centre. She did so well, turned her life around so much, and I always had a soft spot for her, and a lot of respect. All my other notes from that time I shredded, but I always kept my notes of 95 sessions with her!! We saw each other from time to time, but I had not made contact with her all last year, not being in a good place myself. Bless her, she rang me to see if I was ok, and told me she was writing about her life. I told her I had her notes and asked if he would like them. Somehow I always knew that one day I would give them to her.

One of her children died, three years ago, aged 3, after two years of illness and brain damage after a tragic accident. Not surprisingly she has struggled to come to terms with this, as well as all the other baggage from her life...tonight we just sat by the light of a candle, with two cups of coffee and talked for three hours. About life and death, coping and not coping. I have given her the book, containing notes of those three years. We talked about it, and she does want to read them, and wants to see how far she has come. We hugged and I drove home. I wait to see what she says when she's read them. She is amazing, a survivor of all that life has thrown at her, and a fighter. I lvoe her.

Saturday, January 07, 2006

Time to laugh...

OK, so it's time I made you laugh. Earlier this week I went out for a meal with friends, most of them, if not all, will be familiar to most, if not all, of you.

I drove to the Indian restaurant, kindly giving a friend a lift so that he could drink. I then discovered three other friends had got lifts there, hoping I would take them all home.

After the meal - which was excellent, a new Indian restaurant recently opened, and rather special - we headed off to a pub, the Rose and Crown to be precise, where a band was playing, the drummer of which I know. A young band but immensely talented. Impressive live, and their CD equally so. They are called Legions. Watch this space.

Anyway, I drove to the pub with my four friends (all male), three in the back and one in the front. As I reversed into a parking space outside the pub, with ease (I am very proud of my parallel parking) my friend in the front smiled. 'Your parking is so impressive' he said. 'Thank you,' I said. 'Yes, he continued, 'You know exactly what 12 inches is.' Pause. (Sniggers from the back). 'Yes I do' I said, looking meaningfully at the friend. Pause for effect. 'And you don't.' Complete hysteria from boys in the back. I take the key out of the ignition and get out of the car, smiling smugly. Collapse of stout party.

Friday, January 06, 2006

Nearly time to head up North....

I so nearly packed a bag and headed up to Manchester after work yesterday, without telling anyone where I was going in a kind of, 'They'll all be worried about me then, then they'll be sorry they didn't take more care of me' kind of way. Of course I didn't, I just lay on the sofa, snuffled, slept and ate chocolate all in no particular order. And of course I can't get into 98% of my wardrobe (or my clothes).

Anyway, reading the two comments on my blog from two Mancunian friends - well three actually - I realise that I would have been welcomed with a hug and a bed for the night. I am so going North one weekend very, very soon. Lvoe you all xxx

Thursday, January 05, 2006

One year ago today....

Doesn't seem possible. A year ago today since my mum died. Not sure how to mark the occasion. Not fussed about driving to Bristol to wander about a cold, damp cemetary. But want to do something. I compromise on going to work for the morning and focussing successfully, then coming home for a couple of hours in the middle of the day to think about her, do more paperwork, sort out some photos and just pay my respects.

Bad timing means I open a letter containing a cheque for my half of the house sale. I look at what is not a small amount of money, an amount which would normally make me say, 'Wow, time to shop!' but this time I just think, I'd rather have my mum than the money, and the tears start. I miss her, I want to talk to her and give her a hug. I ring my aunt, her sister, for someone to talk to, but she is out. I feel rather alone and no-one else in my family has remembered. Just a hug would be nice. I look at a few photos, cry a lot and think of her. I deal with some paperwork - nearly at the end, just final house bills to pay.

I pull myself together and go to work, visiting and arranging support for someone - though I don't talk about my work, do I? - but it seems fitting that this is someone whose mum died last year, and she now has the worry of looking after not only her two small children, but her father who is unwell and lives alone.....I can smile and offer empathy, and introduce her to her buddy.

I come home and curl up on the sofa a lot of chocolate. I didn't eat lunch. A friend discovered I was home at lumch time, although he didn't realise why - and why should he, this was a private moment - but he popped round with a large tuna and mayonniase bap. Lovely, except I was crying too much to eat at that point.

A little later, after he had gone, I returned to the living room and spied what I thought was a piece of soggy tissue on the carpet. I picked it up. No, it was a piece of wet, soggy lettuce. Where had that come from? Oh, the dog didn't want that bit when it ate my lunch. Cheers, Sophie.

Tuesday, January 03, 2006

Christmas Day!

This pic was taken by Clive on Christmas Day - a nice view of the Christmas tree (lovingly decorated by me!), with Laura and Mec sharing a sofa, James looking very tall opening a present, and me with my back to the camera which is just as well.....

Sunday, January 01, 2006

Happy New Year! Start as you mean to go on.....

Starting with..not getting to bed until after 2am, following a better night out than expected! Or rather, I was not in the mood, but I got better..... then sleep in and be brought a cup of tea by someone who is going to church but doesn't pressure you, so you stay in bed not feeling tooooo guilty (just a bit)... Well this is me, not you, so I am in bed, all alone, which this morning I am happy with! I have made another cup of tea and come back to bed with my laptop and the large bar of chocolate that Clive bought me for Christmas and I am still working through it!

Last night and this morning, my phone was bleeping with New Year greetings from friends..and when I look at the names....Maria, Shaun, Liz, Caroline, David.. yes all my lvoely, wonderful GB friends and I feel so lucky and loved and not at all alone, and although I felt pretty crap all day, in fact very crap, and unsure how I felt really..thinking over 'this time last year', you know how it goes, and Christmases past, and New Years past, when the children were small, and we stayed with my mum and dad, and it was fun (mostly!)...and this week is the first anniversary of my mum's weird those words are to type and read unreal..and this is such a long sentence, I really ought to breathe..and I have been feeling unsure and upset about certain relationships in my life, and what to do, but last night I felt positive, cared for and loved, and for that I thank you all.

New Year resolutions:
1. Eat more chocolate.
2. Lose weight.
3. Get out more.
4. Go to the gym and swim more.
5. Do Hospital radio again. I miss having my own show!
6. See more of my friends.
7. Laugh more and cry less.
8. Do more coffee/lunch/tea/dinner with friends
9. Go to more gigs. Steve Lawson on Jan 12th, the first????
10. Appreciate Sophie dog more, walk her a bit more, love her more, now she is 13 and has arthritis... :-(. But she has medicine.

Oh, sorry, what a selfish list. I should say save the world, give to the poor, live generously, do more for others, but as Jesus said, sort yourself out and get your own act together before you can be any good to other people. Or something like that.

Quarter to eleven. New year's morning. Still in bed. Eating chocolate. Talking to my friends. Love you all. Here's to next year. xxx