Sunday, December 31, 2006
1. I am quite partial to chocolate.
2. I am rather an emotional person.
3. I listen to Radio 2.
4. I aim to lose three stone in 2007.
5. I have booked an introduction to the gym with a personal programme plan thrown in on Thursday evening.
6. I can't count very well.
7. I get carried away with enthusiasm once I start something.
8. My daughter is getting married in May. I am the first 'Mother of the Bride' amongst my peers.
9. I love listening to music, especially folk influenced.
10. I have been waiting for a 'friend' who said he was calling round just after 1pm. It is gone 4pm now. I am bored. Irritated.
11. Anything else, I don't know about me either....
Saturday, December 30, 2006
Mec bought a nice suit, but isn't sure if he'll get married in it - I suspect a decision on that will be a long time coming...
Had friends round to lunch, Jacky, Peter and the girls, who always lvoe to come round for cold turkey, salad and my special bubble and squeak. I was rewarded by them playing a game with me, we played Taboo, but they noted that after complaining that no-one else would play with me, I feel asleep between turns...
Given that Friday was the last of the visitors to be catered for and entertained (I do my best when I am awake...) I was able to put my feet up last night and watch Mrs Henderson Presents, before going to bed, feeling very relaxed and sure I would sleep well....
I was awoken from a very deep sleep about 3.30am with Clive standing in the doorway saying, 'The dog's being sick, can't you hear?' I dragged myself awake, feeling guilty and responsible, and worried there was something seriously wrong as she had kindly puked on my bedroom carpet earlier that day. I heard Clive going downstairs with wretching (and wretched) dog, so I got up and went down too. I stood and shivered in the kitchen while the dog vanished up the garden, and after a while I went back up for my dressing gown. Clive had vanished. 'Where are you?' I said, wanting moral support in case I had to ring the vet. 'I'm back in bed,' came a voice from the front bedroom. 'No point in us both being up.'
The dog came in, wagging her tail and looking for a biscuit, and looking too well for an emergency call to the vet...(or Merlin, perhaps, he is generally on duty still about 3,30am...) So I went back to bed, wondering about the logic of waking me from a deep sleep when 'there is no point in both of us being up.' Of course I slept very badly from then on.
And they say women are not logical. Hmmph.
Change of subject to calm me before going to sleep..have two new CDs..first, Rufus Wainright..mmm.. not sure, jury is still out...and Nick Drake..think I like him better, although a bit depressing, which is rather stating the obvious ..he is ahead on points...
Went to the theatre in London last night, saw Much Ado About Nothing at the RSC (ok so I slept through some of it, you would guess that!) was a good production, had Tamsin Greig (Green Wing, Love Soup) and Patrick Robinson (Ash in Casualty..a fact which evaded me and bugged me until the end..I knew I recognised him!).
At least it got me out of the house!!!
Friday, December 29, 2006
But..the new blogger asks me to sign in ever f**ing 5 minutes, even to comment on other blogs, and ticking the 'remember me' box doesn't help. I am getting bored with signing in. And talking of getting bored, whilst searching the dash board and looking at updating m side bar to include books wot I am reading, or music wot I am listening to..I sort of clicked on a 'update my blog' thingy, and now, while I don't have the things I wanted, I also don't have the links to all your wonderful blogs that I really, really, wanted to keep.
This tells me, a. not to mess with things I don't understand, and b. to stay asleep at, oh it's now 4.46am, I have been at this for over a hour now..and c. can anyone out there help????
Added to which, James has been working on my laptop, he has altered my screen resolution, the look of my desk top, he has upgraded my Internet Explorer and now my tool bar is different and, for instance, I can't find the button I used to click to increase the text size on people's blogs when I can't read them.
I am not a happy bunny now. I will be tired tomorrow and I want my old template back. Sob. Sulk. I think I will try and sleep.
Thursday, December 28, 2006
Well, praise the Lord, it has been found! I said I wouldn't get upset, because I knew, just knew, deep down, that it would turn up when I least expected it...
I kept fighting back tears when anyone asked about it..no, I have not yet found my ring, and it's been a month now.
But when I was sitting in the lounge with James and Amy yesterday afternoon, cosily by the fire, and I was sorting through a pile of paperwork looking for something in particular (which I found by the way) and James decided to go through the piles of papers and magazines on the magazine shelf underneath the coffee table, and throw lots out, although I told him I had done that recently, he still found loads to bin..he suddenly leant down and looked right under the table, picked something up off the carpet and said 'What's this doing here?' and he was holding up...my ring!!!
I was speechless. He was confused at my reaction, my joy, as he was the one person who didn't know I had lost it! I was confused as I had last seen my ring in the kitchen, and the coffee table has been moved, only slightly, I grant you, over Christmas, nearer the sofa or nearer the fire...and I have hoovered on a daily basis recently..so how did it get there? How long has it been there? How amazing James should look underneath and find it...all those things I looked up to heaven (wherever it is) and thanked God for it, before kissing my ring, (stop it...) and kissing James.
Just thought I'd share this with you!
Wednesday, December 27, 2006
I do find feeling responsible for everyone else having a good time takes its toll..I know I shouldn't feel it, but for so many years I have been the life and soul of the party..I buy all the presents and hope everyone lvoes them...I cook the dinner and hope it is good...I try and entertain, set the mood, make tea, offer cake, and feel it is all my fault if people don't have a good time. It's a woman thing!!!
Christmas Day was low key, after a post church visit to Laa and Mec..back home it was just me, Clive, James and the m-in-law..and altho I tried hard, maybe too hard, James and I seemed to clash, and I realised how close to being tearful I was, and how easily he could upset me. To say James takes after my father is an understatement....
I have to acknowledge that, altho I think I hid it well to those around me, I was just feeling depressed. But better than the previous few years, I really, really did want to feel jolly and happy and bouncing with seasonal fun...however, you just can't make it happen if it's not there... thee is a feeling that, at home, I cannot be myself...I wondered, if I was with certain other friends, would I feel differently? Could I relax and be really me? Or would my love of certain music irritate others? My lvoe of singing reindeer and little musical Father Christmases playing jingle bells..would they get thrown across the room at me as well? Would anyone want to play a game, or have me read Winnie the Pooh to them? Or would we all sit in silence, reading or watching TV... would I wonder how to connect with the people across the room?
The Vicar of Dibley made me laugh. Mostly the unsuitable jokes about animals....very funny...I texted a friend and asked if I had anything in common with Geraldine (the scene when she takes down the Bible seeking comfort..oh yes!!).. and the reply was, yes I was funny, and caring and a great actress too. I was thinking more of my love of sex and chocolate..not necessarily in that order...
Sunday, December 24, 2006
The world hath suffered long;
Beneath the angel-strain have rolled,
Two thousand years of wrong;
And man, at war with man, hears not,
The love song which they bring:
O hush the noise, ye men of strife,
And hear the angels sing.
I open the door to be greeted by an over excited DC, complete with Father Christmas hat, delivering the turkey, and expressing amazement that I wasn't up because he said he would be going out early... yes I say, but I didn't know you would be delivering here this early..I said later...anyway, we go into the kitchen and open the box and show Clive the turkey and gammon ham. They are large enough to feed Africa twice over..if you remember (see earlier blog) I left DC to order the meat for me... Clive tuts and complains to me that the turkey is too big and we'll never eat it, and why did I get such a big one, and at that moment something snaps, I burst into tears, and say nothing I do is ever right, and I head back upstairs crying and embarrassed and wrong footed.
I realise that my struggle to be Christmassy has been under constant seige. The encouragement from Clive over the past few days has included: The music I play is too loud, when I have the heating on the house is too warm, when I light a fire I don't do it properly, when it does get going I have used too much coal/too many logs, there won't be enough to last over Christmas, I bought too much at the supermarket, why did I buy this, that, why didn't I get any lemons, etc etc etc, and the fact that the turkey is now too big was the last straw, so to speak. Added to the fact that I have done all the Christmas shopping, bought all the presents, written all the cards, and got no thanks and only criticism has suddenly seems very unfair and I have had enough.
Clive comes up and sheepishly apologises, and says it's all fine, and why don't I go down and have a cup of tea with David, who is loitering and unsure what to do. I go down and he apologises for the turkey, and we discover his one is smaller (he has a goose too!) and so we swop. He tells me what fun they had at the carol service choir rehearsal last night, and I feel even worse.
The good thing is that I cried buckets after they both left the house, I have now got it out of my system, Clive is being nice to me and appreciating things more, so things can only get better...can't they? Happy Christmas Eve.
Saturday, December 23, 2006
After a lvoely lunch I make my last visit, to a mum with three under three, including a new baby, who has post natal depression. I was there nearly an hour and a half, and left feeling drained and very sorry for her. Still her husband is off for the whole of Christmas now, and I will find her a volunteer in the New Year, so mustn't worry about her.
DC called by for a cup of tea, I had the fire lit, and the tree lights on, so he could appreciate the ambience, while I listened to how busy he is, who is coming to them for Christmas Day, Boxing Day, how they have choir practice that evening, how he and H are on duty at the Christmas Eve carol service, and again at midnight mass, and they will spend the time in between at the vicarage drinking, and what fun it will all be, and when he leaves I feel a mixture of exhaustion and sadness that I can't somehow raise the same level of energy and enthusiasm. What is wrong with me?
I spent the whole of Friday evening by the fire, listening to Christmas music, wrapping presents and telling myself I am fine, and Christmassy..really I am....
DC's parting comment is that he is going to collect the meat order from the Meat Co. at 7am next day, did I want to join him? I said, no thank you, but he may kindly pick my order up for me, and I'll see him later on...seemed like a good idea to me!
Friday, December 22, 2006
It has always been found. Never really lost. Always there. I lvoe my engagement ring, always have. Then, about a month ago, when Jacky and Peter came for Sunday lunch, i took my ring off in the kitchen to make crumble. For the apple crumble. I remember pulling my ring off, so it would not get gunked up with pastry mix...I think I put it on the side....then I forgot about it until the next day..and it wasn't there.
Clive had made chicken soup there, and chopped and peeled vegetables, and cleared away..so that Monday evening saw me wearing a pair of marigolds and going through the bin, tea bag by tea bag, carrot peeling by potato peeling by apple peeling...nothing. No sign.
I have refused to get upset on the grounds that it must be here somewhere, and it will turn up. It always has done. One day soon, someone will say, 'Look what I found!' and they will be holding my ring. I refuse to get upset because the ring is very precious to me, and if I have lost it..it doesn't bear thinking about it. My finger looks strangely empty without it, sparkly with sapphires and diamonds...it really is all I want for Christmas. To find it. Any ideas - please?
Thursday, December 21, 2006
Greetings from Santa and his helpers. We wish you a Merry Christmas.
Having discovered that Mec was out at his Christmas 'do', I offered Laura dinner in exchange for helping me make mince pies. Although the lounge was warm and cosy, and the kitchen was freezing, we were brave and soon warmed up, and with the help of seasonal Christmas music (of the Slade variety!) we soon had a tray of home made mince pies ready...
We retired to the lounge to chill and gossip, spoilt only by my inability to keep awake. What is wrong with me? At half eleven Laa went home to talk to the cat and wait for Mec's call to fetch him from the station. I felt useless. 'Can you not stay awake with me one hour?' Well, no, obviously not...
Feel a strange mixture of Christmassy and slightly depressed. I know, I know, Christmas is enough to do that to anyone. I unpacked a new laptop yesterday, and the packaging was on my secretary's desk (I was going to clear it up, honest..) She came in, burst into tears, which she has never done in 4 years, and I went to comfort her, to ask if she had an elderly parent crisis, and to send her home. 'No,' she sobbed, 'It's all this crap on my desk,' and some of it flew across the room with her help. Oh..I cleared her desk, made her coffee, and told myself to be a tidier, more considerate boss.
On another more personal note, which should not go un-noticed, while editing a number in my phone, I came across mum and dad's phone number...and after looking at them for a minute,as I sometimes do...I said goodbye... and deleted them, as I have not been able to do before. Just did it. Quietly. And got on with my work. One small step for man..a huge leap for Sally!!! Why is something so small so meaningful??? A few tears last night when I went to share it with someone..but I did it.
Wednesday, December 20, 2006
It was another of those sunny, cold days - well not that cold if we are honest - but blue sky and just right for a walk. So we took Sophie dog with us and had a wintery walk round Verulamium park (sited where the old Roman city of Verulam once was..I even showed them the remaining bit of wall...) and our walk ended up at the waffle house, where we partook of lvoely waffles, milk shakes and hot coffee.
We had all of twenty minutes back home when I dragged them all out again (leaving Clive to start cooking dinner - he volunteered, honestly!) to the mayor's annual outdoor carol service, accompanied by a small brass band. We stood by the City's Christmas tree and sang loudly to all our favourite carols..and I rejoiced that here I was singing..for the last couple of years that was not possible...no singing..only fighting back endless tears...so to be able to sing carols again and feel happy to be sharing this with friends, showed me how far I have come this year...
Back home again where I finished cooking roast beef and all the trimmings, as they say, and so the Lowestoft party left well fed and happy..the St Albans party added a log to the fire, collapsed onto the sofa and feel sweetly asleep......
Tuesday, December 19, 2006
Last weekend I was full of energy, on a roll and ready ahead of time. This week, having been a bit stressed and not too well, it felt like harder work..but when they arrived on Friday I had just made it: meal ready, house tidy and even the Christmas tree decorated..I put the hoover round, lit a welcoming log fire and a few candles, stood back and the door bell rang..how's that for timing!!!
After a good evening of eating and catching up, we headed for bed when M*ria noticed me falling asleep in my chair... good thing as I was up before them cooking breakfast! When DC arrived to accompany us to the market for a little shopping (any excuse..) I was still cooking so he was put on to coffee duty, and was rewarded with a cooked breakfast.
The market was good, we shopped and looked and shopped and walked, and talked, had coffee and sat outside..December for goodness sake, and we were sitting outside!! Madness. Clive came in to town and joined us..somehow we were separated and I was with D*ggit and David was with M*ria..Clive found them first..D*ggit wanted to buy some jewellery, so I took advantage of M being in the book shop to guide him to a rather nice jewellery market stall..only to discover M there already! I tried to get her to b*gger off, as subtly as I could, and she stood her ground and told me to b*gger off: then I realised Clive was on the other side of the stall and she was helping him choose something for me!!!
As if a day in St Albans was not enough, late afternoon found us at the local garden centre Christmas shop, which we all lvoe (except Clive, who went home for a cup of tea instead!!) and we bought all sorts of wonderful things. (ie Christmas tat. But lvoeyl Christmas tat.)
D and M cooked the most wonderful thai green curry for dinner and then we collapsed by the fire..the four of us just sank into the sofas, eating chocolate and rinking coffee, until D offered to open a bottle of whiskey. 'Don't mind if I do,' said Clive happily, 'Very kind of you to bring a bottle' ''Oh,'' says D, ''we can't come to stay with Sally and David without bringing whiskey.''
Thankyou D*gitt, that was priceless. Just priceless....
Thursday, December 14, 2006
Wednesday, December 13, 2006
Then it was in to St Albans for some serious Christmas shopping. In my trainers I had no trouble with my feet, and we are so not good for each other in terms of the amount of Christmas rubbish we buy..including singing reindeers...but we lvoe it all...we got back to my house loaded with so much shopping we had to unload it in the lounge and sort it: Clive was open mouthed at the amount and our cheeriness...I made us cups of tea as we had had no time for lunch or a drink..too much shopping to do....
That, together with my lying in bed with a cup of tea internet shopping, oh I lvoe it....means I am nearly done...hooray!!!!!
While I am taking the morning off work to be in bed with stress, I may as well do something useful and blog.....
Headache, tears, more tears...nothing serious but a few life events just taking their toll...mostly involving some other people so can't go into detail, except got myself involved in a situation that is very difficult, being blamed and resented for something that is not my fault..been going on for a few months..have had a crappy time trying to be chirpy, wonderful, make it better etc etc, have finally had an apology (and a lvoely basket of Christmas flowers), have spent hours on the phone yesterday suddenly being friend and counsellor...had two difficult client visits through work, double booked myself and messed up..result, a head ache, tears, and the clear message that Sally is very tired and emotional and needs to go home!!!
When dear C gets home to find me in bed and puffy eyed, I try to tell him how I feel in the hope I will get a hug. He shrugs in a man way, says a few unhelpful but obvious things, concluding with, 'well, she has apologised, so what's the problem?' Please, please, is it me, or is it not obvious that apology or not, the hurt has been caused and I have dealt with it up front in a cheery generous way, but not unsurprisingly, the hurt has to come out somewhere? The hug I did not get.
Oh well, no serious damage done...just a hectic weekend with people staying, my cousin and wife, so last week was shopping, cooking, cleaning, working. preparing..we did touristy things in St Albans, went to London and saw Evita, went to Hitchin and saw St Agnes Fountain...f**ing brilliant..I sang...it was festive, jolly, Christmassy, and I could sing...I didn't cry..but by Monday morning when they left I was bl**dy tired.
Doing it all again this weekend!!! Must get up and wash all the bedding....it's a good life if you can stand the pace....
Tuesday, December 05, 2006
Anyway, time came to go to the cinema, a walk for about half a mile, the lift to the 4th floor, more corridors, a flight of stairs and there we were..thank God..as I sank gratefully into my seat, bets were being taken further along the row about how long it would be before I was asleep..what can they mean???
Turn your mobile off, says Clive to me. I hunt in my bag...no phone. James rings it. The manager of the First Floor Bistro answers. It was found in the ladies loo. They all look at me. Well, doesn't everyone take their phone to the loo to check texts? The film is about to start, but my phone needs collecting. Clive moves his legs to allow me out of the row, and tells me to be quick. I get up and limp out of the cinema. Limp down the stairs, down corridors, into the lift, walk half a mile, collect my phone -thank you - and do it all again, trying to hurry and feeling my feet and knees become more painful by the minute. I won't even go into the game with the lifts..it would have been funny to watch me running from one button to another..and the lift that kept stopping didn't go to the fourth floor....I almost got hysterical...
I got back before the film started!! And I stayed awake all through except for a couple of mins in the first poker game..I closed my eyes then..but other than that was gripped the whole time! Loved it..lvoed him...excellent film.
It ended at gone 11pm, and then we all had to extract ourselves from the row, and gather all of James' and my Christmas shopping which was spread between all of us, under seats, between seats, etc.
I managed the walk to the Barbican underground, bringing up the rear, slowly, while Mec hovered about being caring..good job someone was... the next train to St Albans was delayed, until about 12.20am, and I pointed out that actually my car was at Highgate..and needed collecting..I wondered if a. Clive would offer to come with me or b. (please God) offer to go and get my car and let me stay on the train with Laa and Mec and get a lift home from the station... Clive took in the situation and said, 'Oh, I'll get the train with Laura and Mec and see you at home, no point in both of us going to Highgate'.
Sometimes I wonder if, in fact, we are a couple....
The train comes in. It doesn't stop at Kentish Town. The plan was to get a bus from there to James' flat, he would then drive me to my car, I would then drive home...simple... Never mind, says James, we can get off at West Hampstead and get a cab to your car. Yes. We bid farewell to Laa, Mec and Clive and get off, me limping as best I can along the platform. I am cold, tired and lame.
We stand on the road for fifteen minutes watching traffic before a cab comes along. I slide in and sit down and happily pay my third tenner of the night...after finding my lvoely, lovely car on hampstead lane, I drive Amy and James back to his flat. Oh, I forgot, Clive's parting comment to me on the train was, 'Go and have a coffee in James' flat before you drive home. You're tired and in no state to drive home like that.' You couldn't make it up!! I declined the coffee as I needed just to get home: I put on the radio loudly and headed for the M1. It was a quick journey home, and I pulled on the drive at a quarter to two. Yes. 1.45am. Some day out.
Next time James invited me out for the day, remind me to set the agenda....
Sunday, December 03, 2006
He next came up with the idea that we could end the day with seeing Casino Royale in Hampstead. Lovely. We were all up for that, including Laa, Mec, Amy and Clive. So he booked for all six of us. Except Hampstead was full. So he booked the Barbican instead.... mmmm...
Anyway, I arrived and parked in Highgate and James drove up from his flat, ten mins away and picked me up. Saw his new place in Parliament Hill, very nice. We got the bus to Great Portland Street, and there was the High Spot of the Day....a deli/chacuterie called Villandry..a loviely coffee shop to boot and just gorgeous, all the staff in their proper white aprons and the shop filled with delicious deli food and Christmas goodies..I could have eaten and shopped in there all day. We sat and waited to order breakfast..the young waiter was rather a long time with a couple in the corner..two amazingly young men who were so good looking they had to be gay, and he was obviously taken with them...he eventually got to us, this lovely young French boy - so good looking - and we ordered our coffee and pastries. 'No, he's not gay,' announced James who was blushing slightly from the French boy's attentions. 'Well, you are taking your mother out,' I said, 'he thinks you're nice boy...'
Then the walking started. James walks. And walks. Covers ten miles in a few strides. 6'4" and young and fit. Behind him, running, in high heeled brown boots (wanted to look smart for my day in London..) is 5' 3" not so young not so fit.
We walked to John Lewis. Debenhams. Selfridges. M&S. By then I was aching, feet hurting, knees stiff. We had a lunch stop. Then carried on. More shops, more walking...James says a shop is 'round the corner' and it's six blocks away. I try really really hard..but eventually I am in real trouble...feet blistered and in agony. Can hardly walk. My knees respond by stiffening up completely..I am absolutely crippled and desperate. James keeps walking and I am hobbling behind. Eventually the penny drops. 'You really can't walk can you?' 'No.' He helps me a few yards along to the nearest Prt a Mnger, and sits me down and gets me a cup of tea and a slice of lemon cake. Yum... When he gets back I am rubbing my knees and close to tears..I am trying not to cry because a. it is so girly and b. he will feel bad, but everything f**ing hurts. He runs out and finds a pharmacy, bless him, and feeds me nurofen. It is only half past three and we are due at the Barbican at 6.30pm to eat.....
After a long sit and a talk, the nurofen kicks in and I feel a bit better and say I can make it to whereever he was heading, somewhere he wants to go for Amy's present. It's round the corner...ok.
Three blocks later! we get there, and I walk in open mouthed. Dover Street Market. Concrete floor, brick walls..have they rented a disused warehouse for a week or two? No, it always looks like this..we consider small leather purses and plain black cardigans priced at about £150, and I really do feel out of touch. I resist the old person's statement of 'I'm sure BHS will have something just the same only cheaper,' cos it would only earn me a slap.
Next is H*bit*t on T C Road, miles away, so I insist on paying a tenner for a taxi. I look round, admiring all the furniture with James' name on, and feel very proud. We go into He*als next door, and I collapse onto a sofa while J looks round, and I wonder if I can buy the sofa and sit on it all the way home. My feel are on fire. I may never walk again.
Time to head to the Barbican, we are weighed down with shopping, but managing ok between us. I pay another tenner for another taxi and literally hobble into the Barbican and Mec and Laa just collapse at the sight of me..... but they are very concerned too.
Was that the end of it? No..not at all.....