Wednesday, January 27, 2010

Strange days

The weekend was spent caring for my mother and being reminded of the 20 year anniversary of an enormous, life-changing event. The irony didn't escape me when I found myself in Devon on this major anniversary, doing exactly what I did 20 years ago to the day/hour/minute - not sleeping, worrying my head off and crying, albeit about a mile and half up the road from where I was before.

I was also reminded that it is possible to be practical and deal with stuff that you're not expecting at short notice, when you are forced to. My sleep was interrupted by Mum frequently - she needed help to do things, and I gave it to her. I was also disturbed by The Dog at one point, who jumped onto the bed and gawped at me like a furry apparition, the first time she has ever come into the bedroom at night. They say that dogs are sensitive to serious illness and I suppose this was proof. [Then again, she was just as likely to have been wanting a biscuit. There's no way of knowing.]

I should be clear and say that I am neither seeking, nor expecting pity. Life goes on and as ever, we all find ways to cope and deal with what we've been given. Sleep deprivation is something I don't deal with very well, so it's an opportunity to learn. I'm not a wreck, even though I know what's coming. I'm not sure as yet if that's more or less comforting than what happened with my Dad.

Friday, January 15, 2010

The city's ripped backsides

I did try to write a blog post about the last decade just recently. I gave up. It's impossible. I suppose that the larger bits and bobs of my life for the last (getting on for) five years are captured here on this blog...although there needs to be some awareness that there are a lot of things that I either glossed over briefly, half-explained, or never spoke of.

Here's a quick thing.

A decade in numbers
Four jobs (five, if you count the part-time family history research one).
Two homes - urban drama near King's Cross station (the place that I like to think was the actual flat above a shop mentioned in this song); in the suburbs, in Ham.
Two great-nephews and a great-niece.
Two fabulous voyages to the United States of America (numerous voyages to the Continent).
One partner/husband.

That's ten years, in essence, yet it doesn't really do them justice. I'm aware that I blinked and missed bits of it. Perhaps I need to be less of a passenger in future.

Back to the present. Off out in town tonight for the first time this year for a drink and some fried food with DL and some of the other usual suspects. I'm looking forward to it. So another decade begins.

Sunday, January 03, 2010

It's nothing special

*A brief foreword: I lost half of this post because Blogger signed me out, so if this seems a little pissed-off in tone, that's why.*

Incredible. I can't quite believe where the last ten years have gone. I recently had to shut my Hotmail email address (post-hacking) and was astounded when I noticed it had been set up in September 1999.

Let's tackle 2009 before we tackle the decade, though, eh.

2009 - in short
A bit of a big one in the grand scheme of things. I got married to my long-term (and some would say, long-suffering) partner JJ. At the same time as I was planning our wedding, my mother was diagnosed with terminal cancer. So all the jollity has been tempered rather. I am feeling pretty sad, yet the last six months have been amongst the best times I've ever had. The irony doesn't escape me.

Still, what is life if it isn't full of ephemeral stuff to get you through the laffs and the tears?

I think I said a year ago that it I hadn't been able to settle to new stuff. Many of this year's top albums I have never heard, and probably never will. A few songs caught my ear and made me smile: Poker Face, Single Ladies, Heavy Cross, Heads Will Roll. The 80s came back again, which is a bit boring when you can remember the music in (frankly) autistic-levels of detail from last time around. I also liked Stereolab's most recent album, which will be their last. Typical.

In the Loop, for sure. I saw this in a packed Curzon Soho and I honestly thought I was going to cough up my lungs with laughter at one point. My favourite Malcolm Tucker line: "I will hound you to an assisted suicide...".
Also, Anvil! The Story of Anvil, which has to be one of the funniest and heart-warming films I think I've ever seen. Favourite scene: the wedding reception. I watched this on a plane and was shuddering silently with laughter, the tears pouring down my face - the stewardess was quite concerned.
Moon was also superb, with a great central performance or two from Sam Rockwell.
Definitely not Burn After Reading, which had I not been on a aircraft at the time, I think I would have walked out of. Bilge.

3o Rock, Mad Men, The much great telly this year.

Untimely departure
The one, the only Lux Interior.
"I've been to the mountain, it was just a big hill"

Teenage crush of the year
Out in front by about nine miles, Charlie Brooker (despite the fact that he frequently makes me look like a lunatic on public transport, when I'm laughing out loud at his newspaper column). And Richard Armitage, surely the only sane reason to watch Spooks.

That's it for now, readers,: I wish all three of you a happy new year.