Wednesday, September 30, 2009

I did it my way

This is my last post before I head to the South West to get hitched. It's been an interesting road to get to this point, full of diversions and unexpected things: despite all that, right at the moment, I'm seriously tired and looking forward to my holiday (Dorset, for those of you who may be wondering).

I'll be seeing you all on the other side, where we are going to show East Central London how to party.


Monday, September 21, 2009

Usually drink, usually dance, usually babble

I've emerged smiling into the new week. This is quite something. I think it's a combination of being illness-free (well, apart from the spot on my face that feels like I'm growing an extra head) and also seeing all and sundry on Saturday night for food/booze/dancing.

My night out, then. Yes. It was an absolute riot, albeit a very polite one. The vast meal we ate (an absolute banquet, with starters, cocktails, mains, desserts, coffees AND service charge for just over £25 a head - a stone-cold bargain for central London) offset the very strong tequila-based drinks, so by the time we got to the dancing we had all sobered up. That didn't last long. Before the night was out, I found myself dancing to The Cult. Now that hasn't happened to me in a while. Or at least, it's never happened to me in the same half hour as dancing to Wearing my Rolex.

To sum up, it was great fun, the group was just the right size, and I feel incredibly lucky to have such a great bunch of friends.

Friday, September 18, 2009

Say I'm your number one

The back pain subsided and was replaced almost immediately with a cold. I now have kidney pain, which is less debilitating than back pain, but it’s making me jumpy, because I have a big weekend planned. I’m having a hen-do of sorts, that will involve copious amounts of tequila-based drinkery, copious amounts of Mexican food, and copious amounts of dancing at Buttoned Down Disco.

Last weekend I went to Devon. It was not the best of times, but there’s no sense going into detail here.

I wanted to post here to a part of a music blog called Freaky Trigger, called Popular. The latter reviews every number one record since the 1950s. I’ve been reading for about a year or so and have been contributing comments to the entries that I find most interesting. My comments aren't insightful or funny, I just enjoy chipping in. I’m sure you’ll spot me if you know my Twitter handle.

Popular has now reached the period of music that I love most of all, the mid-1980s. Such richness, such diversity, such pomposity, such hair. Each new entry transports me back to that time. Given that this period coincides with me at my most exposed (newly at secondary school/hating it; family troubles; general pre-teenage confusion about everything), the songs aren't always a pathway back to feelgood.

Two weeks to go then.

*sharp intake of breath*

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Thursday, September 10, 2009

Of backs and birds

I'm hanging in there, still, but this time with back pain.

Back pain. It screws things up like nothing else. At present, whenever I move, it's like I'm a shop window dummy being pushed around on a trolley. Any sudden movement is out, any bending or shifting is a chore. Thankfully, I managed to sleep last night, otherwise I'd have been all over the place today.

I got into the flat about an hour ago, and since then have been pottering around in unbending, robotic way. I heard a rustling sound, like someone eating crisps, but shrugged my shoulders and figured it was my downstairs neighbour, or a nearby child crinkling up some plastic, or some curtains brushing against something.

I just went into the bedroom to check on something, when I heard the rustling again. Then I saw it - a scruffy-looking Blue Tit fledgling. It must have flown into the flat via our bathroom window. At any rate, the poor wee thing was panicking and terrified, so I quietly opened up the window and let it out. Clearly starving, the bird flew straight to the nearby cherry tree to eat some catkins.

I find my interactions with things in the world unsettling sometimes.

Because we live at tree-height, we have a good opportunity to watch birds. The Blue Tits are always good entertainment, because they seem to hang about together in a vast, cheeping gang. Often, there will be thirty or forty hanging about in the same tree, hopping from branch to branch, fronting up to one another like a bunch of teenagers.

My encounter with the bird reminded me of the work of artist Emily Sutton. She embroiders the most beautiful bird ornaments/sculptures. I'm a huge fan of these things, although I'm not sure I need a tiny embroidered bird in my already cluttered life.

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Tuesday, September 01, 2009

Digging your scene

The last few days have been busy, which has been both blessing and curse. I feel a lot less numb, as described in the post below, and am now beginning to feel a faintly euphoric (some might say neurotic) force propelling me forwards. Some of this feeling has to do with my wedding day being less than five weeks away, and some with my growing acceptance of what's happening with my Mum.

Another thing that is pushing me is the letter we received from our allotment association to tell us that our plot is not up to the accepted levels of cultivation. This means that we need to tidy it up, and fast, or they will take it away from us.

Following some intense negotiations over the past week with JJ over whether we shouldn't just admit defeat and give the plot up, we set about doing some serious work yesterday evening. Ninety minutes of intense shearing, hacking and raking later, it's looking much better already, and we are both feeling more positive about what we can achieve. It helps that we picked and ate some of the most delicious french beans we've ever grown yesterday. It is worth's just a lot of work. We have to consider exactly how much time we can commit over the coming weeks and months, and we may still need to consider relinquishing some or all of the plot.

Like most things, a degree of planning is needed. Luckily, planning is what I am good at.

We spent Friday night to Monday morning in Devon catching up with my Mum and the family, and it went well. Mum seems relatively chipper, but she has her moments (don't we all). One regret is that we hadn't timetabled seeing my three great-nephews and I know that they are upset about this. According to Sister #4 one said "they are always too busy these days to see us") . They aren't aware of my Mum's condition: they have an inkling that something isn't right, but they are too young to be told the full story at the moment.

This week and next I am planning to keep things quiet and low-key. I have to start learning to apply make up for the wedding, which is an alarming prospect. I wear the stuff about once a year, and never with much success. So it's going to be a steep (and as I'm discovering, expensive) learning curve.

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