Does this look festive to you?
There are a half dozen of these in the window of a swanky jewellery shop by way of yuletideification.
As mentioned in last post, I went to Maj's for dinner the other night and had big adventure. We have a london transport website
, it's done by the mayors office (Red Ken
). It has a 'handy' route planner thingy, where yuo can mix and match the various delights the city's public transport system has to offer until you're in a frenzy of lines and wiggles and "may be disruption to the route" signs. Having experimented with various routes to Maj's newish abode from my office, I asked Ken to provide some alternatives, which his website duly spat forth . . . . I started out from here
which Ken got absolutely right. this is where the first bus went from. and lets cut a long story short, becuase you can see where this is going and you're busy people. The second instruction led my to change to a bus the goes directly to her street. it started off fine. I went past here
but i didn't notice it turned south instead of north and next time I looked up I saw
this was not good. this is the river thames. thus indicating that we were back in the vicinity of figure 2 above, namely St Pauls fucking cathederal. it's freeeeezing outside and I have to get off the bus, having spent nearly forty minutes and travelled a total of maybe a half mile east, and wait at the stop in the middle of the bridge for one coming back the other way. (this is london bridge, btw). I didn't get there nearly ten and don't think I've thawed out yet. not to mention the BIG GREEN WORLD OF SNOT, where I now reside.
Elsewhere . . .
So, what do you do when you have a stinking cold, your house, having stood quite merrily for nearly 200 years decides to . . .(well, to do what I have no care to discover, since the changes of being able to afford to do anything about are slimmity slim.) and your house is so untidy you can't find your pets?
LOCATE OTHER SIDE OF PLANET. GO THERE.
I'm off to pack, see you all in a fortnight. (don't do anything too exciting, and could you tape Lost for me?)(and feed the guinea pigs)(and the fish) (one or two houseplants might need watering. . . thanks)
curiously, a new sensation. and. even more curiously, a competitionvery very small and tired voice. very very tired little eyes.I made it. but i missed my deadline. but it was a fake deadline. I almost made it. but then my boss decided to look at it. so, we didn't go to press this afternoon. but. she liked it. she said it was interesting. actually interesting. she only changed one of my headlines. made a few little changes - so i would get to learn "her preferences". I'm so relieved.the whole thing is just shy of 50k words, which i've researched and written from scratch in six weeks of three days per week (with a couple of weekends thrown in for free).and this woman, she's really really smart. i've been lucky to have bosses in the past who were well respected and knew an enormous amount of stuff, but different stuff than me, so the relationship was always about me advising them, helping them. she's the first boss i ever had who has massive knowledge and expertise in a similar field to my own. working for her is scary because non of bosses before were really able to challenge me. they could disagree with me, sure, but they had difference frames of reference (and, obviously, i was always right!). but this one? she could kick my arse down the street with half a precision sentence. I don't want to kick anyone's arse, but I want that sparrowhawk precision.I'm of to Maj's house for a glass of something before I plough through this pile of proofs again. I really want to impress my boss.p.s. then I'm going on holiday. for two whole weeks! year end really snuk up on us at chez dodo, and its a case of use it or lose it when it comes to vacation days. we're going transatlantic to florida. Any non theme park, non city stuff suitable for two tired, dysfunctional 34 year olds and one small inquisitive person would be very welcome. (since we've done no planning. none. we booked the cheapest flights we could find on sunday night, which happen to land in tallahassee, and that's it) we want to sleep long, walk slow and eat plenty. Will send postcards, actual postcards in the mail, to providers of best suggestions (whether we're able to go to the place mentioned or not)
Are we nearly there yet?
So. there's umpteen different ways to reassure someone that there's life outside of parenthood. there's rarely a situation which, albeit with a bit of planning and a slight compromise, you cannot include your infant and still participate in.
I've been a big proponent of that. Taken my daughter pretty much everywhere I wanted to go since week one.
The thing I never considered was: Is there life in my relationship outside of parenthood?
I am staring down the barrel of yet another holiday during which, after she's gone to bed, we sit in silence. Each with a separate novel or puzzle book. Because there are no household chores to share. No shared TV interest to slump in front of - no 'Millionaire' to pose answers to. We don't even talk about what we did during the day.
Even at home, there are deathly silences where our conversation should be. We can talk about the offspring, work, building/decorative house-related stuff and that's it. There's no laughing that doesn't involve her.
We just met in town for lunch - the two of them went out this morning to pick out a couple of things for his mother while I did some work. I combed my hair, put on clean jeans - there may even have been deodorant involved - to go and meet them. Half a dozen times I tried to start a conversation. About his father's health (he had an operation on his foot yesterday), about our upcoming holiday, about a christmas party we've been invited to. About the fucking menu.
I got nothing.
I know he's tired and under work pressure. Well, so am I. I know that everyone deals with fatigue and pressure in different ways. It's quite possible that I've had my empathy chip removed.
But why do I feel that it's always me driving this bus?
(And because of the Offspring, I can't get off. The doors are locked.)
(Like a macabre Speed sequel)
Anyone trying not to climb walls with sleep deprivation may want to look away now.
- that means you, honey. Step away from the post!)
Something is about to go horribly wrong. I may have to spend the rest of the day very very quietly in the corner of the room trying not to attract the attention
of THE FATES/GODS (you choose) because something
definitely needs to balance out here.
1. Offspring (3) woke at gadawfuldarkandearly
o'clock. I went down to her room and, instead of bundling her up and bringing up back in bed with us (where, granted, she would try to keep quiet and still for about ten minutes before demanding "warm goats milk in a pooh cup"), i told her it wasn't morning yet, that she's just woken me up with her calling, and that she should try to go back to sleep. She said she couldn't/didn't want to. And I don't know where this came from, but I said, well, shall I pass you a couple of books, then maybe you could read quietly for a while?
She did not call out again until 8 o'clock. 8 O'CLOCK, PEOPLE!!!!!
2. I got a mobile phone bill this morning. It's my second one with a new service and it was way over, nearly double, in fact, what I was expecting it to be. I called them. I spoke to an actual human person. An actual human person who went throguh
my bill, said he could clearly see there had been a mistake somewhere, and said he'd fix it. ANd
you know what? He fixed it. He apologised for the error and inconvenience. He knocked a discount off my NEXT TWO BILLS. He added itemised billing to my account, for free, so I could interrogate the next one to satisfy myself that it hadn't happened again and that he had altered what he'd said he would alter.
So. It's been really nice, all this. Nice getting to know you all. Reading your posts and having you visit me here and so forth.
If you don't hear from me again it's because a grand piano, attached to a giant anvil with "ACME" emblazoned
on the side has fallen from the sky, and that I am now pancake flat on a pavement somewhere.
That's all folks! (Cue music)
Three bus stops
Sometimes I get the bus back from London, rather than the train. It takes longer, but its cheaper and warmer and more sleep inducing.
So, last night the bus is delayed. again. but the depot is cold so we're allowed to sit in the bus while the driver finishes up her game of canasta and her woodbine.
In front of me are two terribly terribly ladies, reminiscingLady1 "We didn't have apartheid as such in Botswana but, even so, there were hardly any Blacks at the golf club"
Lady2"Oh. I used to play golf with them. The Blacks. Some of them were quite charming people."
Lady1" At our club, the men had their private lounge, the Blacks had the salon, and the women were left out on the veranda with the mosquitoes."Stop 2
My good friend, recently acquainted with the interweb as Her Imperial Maj
, texted me during Stop 1 above, to tell me she was abandoning her fruitless search through the telly channels of nothingness, and sitting down with her guitar for some good old fashioned, finger blistering music learning.
I said maybe i'd scribble her a song to practice with.
Here it is. (I hope that in cold light of blog it doesn’t wish it was back being a quick half lit half ass scribble in my jotterThe Two of Us(from the back of the special bus)
I wrote you a song
You’ve looked out for my heart so long
Hardly can recall
Where it was that it went before
Needed space to roam
My thinking found a home from home
EvenIf we’re both at sea
You make it back to port for me
Wrote you a song
It won’t take long
Cos I’veleaned on you
So much of lateit’s true
and Ineed you to
help merelate life to
the world inside my head
Or I’d be lost
I wrote you a song
You’ve looked out for my heart so long
Hardly can recall
Where it was that it went beforeAnd I
Wanted you to know
Each little thing
makes a great big whole
Lot ofMeaning much to me
You defy my gravity
Wrote you a song
It won’t take long
leaned on youSo much of late
it’s trueand I
need you tohelp me
relate life tothe world inside my headOr I’d be lost
Depots not too bright
And I’m writing late at night
AndStraining rhymes oh lord
Just to get you to practice your chords
So keepStrumming just for me
I’ll toast the crumpets and make the tea]
(i hear it with cheesey guns n rose-ish guitars, but Maj says its countryfied)Stop 3 (at which you must disembark and change vehicle)
On a local bus this morning. As I'm buying ticket, offsping bounds off, as usual, to find someone interesting to sit next to. She finds a roundish older lady with long, neat hair and immaculate lipstick in a red coat.Offspring"Hello, I’m 3"Lady "Hello dear"O"Are you somebody's grandma"L"yes I am dear
O”I’ve got a new dress, it’s pink”
L”yes, it’s lovely, isn’t it, dear. What’s your name?”
O, quick as a flash, as if that entire preamble had been engineered to this moment:
“Lauren Twinkle Flower Fairy”
Really – I have no idea where this stuff comes from.
My daughter saw me cooing over Daisy
, and asked me to print one out for her.
Now I find this.
Turns out she thought Daisy was loney. I had told her about the Two Dads
, but she insisted that Daisy needed "littler friends."
There is something
As much as I may gripe about laws and politics in this country. I should be more grateful for the advantages I have. And should try to remember more often, and should contribute to more often, most of the rest of the world.http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/world/south_asia/6148590.stmhttp://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/world/south_asia/5323858.stm
with my mouth opening, then closing againBetween picking her up from nursery and getting her coat off at home:"I don't want it to be autumn, mummy, I want it to be morning!""Postman Pat can't come into my school, can he mummy, because he's not a dinosaur""Why are the breakfast things still on the table from this morning?"
yesterday ended much better than it started. although today I still feel a little too far away from the world, and worrying about the new project i have going on at work is makign it worse. or maybe one is causing the other. anyway.we had friends over last night. not old friends, we've only known them a couple of years. but people with whom we have enough in common to feel really comfortable with, and sufficiently different ways of thinking to keep everything interesting. We've been camping together a couple of times, and eaten together a fair bit. They have a daughter a bit older than ours. Unlike us, they're expecting another early next year.(the thing that's most unlike us is that they've known each other almost all their lives, and were sweethearts since their teens, where as you can work out how long we've been together with the following equation: Age of Child + 9 months + 4 months + some beer)(= 2 mortages +100 mile house move)anyway. we were talking about all sorts. including cunning new devices our children have come up with in recent weeks to get out of complying with whatever we want them to do.Our latest is getting her imaginery friend to contradict all our instructions "but Lilly May says I don't have to!" etc etc. This led to each of us talkign abotu the imaginery friends of friends or sibling etc. WHen it got to my turn I had to confess that, while i'd never had an imaginery friend, I had had an imaginery audience. I used to pretend i was gving school assemblies on some topic or other. that I was parading art projects or singing something. Except that the teachers, who would normally stand around the edges and at the end of the leg folded rows of children, instead of listening, would all be talking to each other. whispering in that special silent teacher whisper way, among themselves. I don't remember what my classmates were doing. Needless to say, much teasing ensued about my inability to control even the fruits of my imagination, let alone the real life show and tell i'm trying to pull off in the day job. But still, the day ended much better than it began. Dinner was a success - the oven decided it would be a fan oven after all, and nobody seemed to mind that desert was out of a box (which i know always bothers me more and other people likely don't even notice). It was warming to be with people who didn't really expect anything of me. Who didn't ask why I wasn't myself, or if I was ok, but who gently brought me along a few paces towards the fireside.
Breathing down my neck
the thing between me and the rage, it's not so robust today.
sometimes its bricks, sometimes its sweat inducing translucent plastic. today its tissue thin. single ply. a fine fine membrane of restraint is all i have.
This post is awesome. Humbling.
And the first few paragraphs are feelings we share. But that's another tale for another time.
Wow. Don't know what to make of this
. But forgive me, my transatlantic friends, for I'd rolled my eyes and assumed this pity party was your doing. Turns out, it's one of ours.
I've started to read one or two of the members posts, but had to stop as I could feel my hackles rising. All this talk of "suddenly" their partner left them, as if women up and off and disrupt the life and emotional wellbeing of their children at the drop of a hat. "We had a few problems a while ago, but things seemed to have resolved themselves" RESOLVED THEMSELVES? THEMSELVES? Men see 'resolved' as meaning a topic has been removed from the conversational menu. Often because each time we try to broach it, a little extra piece of light gets stubbed out in our hearts, until we're left sitting alone in the dark.
Thanks to Her Imperial Majesty
for bringing it to my attention.
It Shouldn't Be Allowed
Oh Oh By Georgio
There was once this man. This English man, about 15 years my senior, who I met on his 42nd birthday over a decade ago, at a work-related event in Miami. This man who I lusted after as I had never lusted before. Lusted to the point where the occassional day dream about him on the train or bus could have me missing my stop by miles. He was never any kind of boyfriend/partner material, but he was (is, as far as I know - we share a very occassional email from different continents) very funny, very smart and, did I mention? mouthwateringly lustworthy.
Anyway. this was all longish ago. We met several times for dinner and drinks over several years (we were both working internationally, so our paths rarely crossed in the flesh. as twere) After three or four years of this, there was finally The Kissing and then, another year or so later, there was The Sex. And then, various circumstances meant we didn't have reason to be in the same place much, or had other commitments, we've met briefly once or twice, but nothing more physical ever happened. (He emailed me earlier this year (again from another continent) and asked if I "fancied an affair". Which was strangely disappointing (though i confess my heart raced for a few seconds) and I told him he should have his midlife crissis with someone who enjoyed his company less). I don't think he's really crossed my mind since then.
Anyway. This man always wore the same cologne, Armani Gio.
Sooooooo - and i'm getting to the actual story here -
Yesterday I was on the tube, and I got off to join the throng shuffling along the platform
as i inhaled, my breath caught in my throat, my skin was tantalised, agonising in anticipation, icy . . I could feel his melting tongue . . . .I could feel . . heat . . I gasped, mouth watering, struggling to focus, and who did i see standing beside me?
No - of course it wasn't! it was some random, dough-faced ugly bloke.
Needless to say, everything snapped up tighter than .. .. well . . . I don't know tighter than what. But so tight I was likely a half inch taller, that's all I'm saying!
Hello to anyone popping over from Eva Las Vegas
. I just realised that the first thing you might see is my rude and ranty number from yesterday. Sorry about that. I don't always swear. Sometimes I just take pictures of the doors in my house. Because I'm suggestable
Sometimes I even do politics
I'm cock-a-hoop, as we say around here, about winning the laptop lament poetry comp.
Thankyou for stopping by. (am posting from work (slapped wrist) so hav to skiddadle)
People - if a small child in a stroller waves and smiles at you in the street - Fucking Wave Back, You Miserable Bastard
Portals for Mortals
Those extra doors . . too dark too untreated or too skinny, too not closing, too close to other doors so they crash horribly into one another, too handleless, too handle high, too many evil knob3000's
. But I suppose they do reflect the ungainly chunks of dead wood flapping about in my brain.
couldn't get them on before, but here's an experiment with photobucket, as recommended by Ms R.R.Skate
(don't think i've quite got it yet . . .)
Get Your Lovefest On
Dear Ms C.C.L Fest
, Please accept the following nominations to enter the hallow'd halls of your Lovenest:Ms F Slippy
for being measured, always telling us just enough, not frivolous with words, so we know they all mean something.Ms B Poppy
, for pictures so stunning and evocative they make me want to get on a planeMs I .O.B. Sess
, for more than I can list here, but let’s just say, for the sake of argument, her new strap lineMs RR Skate
, for being fresh and honest and funny and, apparently, the best childcare in the universeMs W Girl
, despite giving me something else to obsess aboutMs G Vibrator
, even though we're on a break. Because I miss her.Mr J Cha Cha Chaaa
. Because we’re all normal.
Two Thousand Words (i mean. if a picture really could tell them. which i think these pretty much do. our two bedside tables, unplugged)(check out the bedtime aspirational manual on his side)(smug? me?)
Good Good Good day.
Loving my day.
really really busy but making actual progress.
There's groovy trumpety music pumping out of
and beautiful blue skies above
And the world ROCKS!
I am allowed to be the H word. I am. And to be IT without worrying that it means I'm getting out of control. I CAN get excited and enjoy myself and feel all thrively AND STILL KEEP MY PERSPECTIVE.
I can stop any time I want.
With extra added squeaks of delight and spontaneous random handclaps of giddiness.
very little relation to the book. but such is the way of these things
(I AM. I'm working really hard. But the songs keep singing in my head . . .)
at work, sneaking into blogger, but i just HAD to say
back to work, please.
(i really really wanted the tshirt)
I'm going, I'm going!