Thursday, January 29, 2009

Winter Sun and Entertaining Hangups

I always feel so much better when the sky is blue and the sun is shining during these cold winter months. Today is one of those days.

FlyLady is always on about CHAOS (Can't have anyone over Syndrome) and I certainly suffer from it - I always feel our house is so rubbish compared with other people's - too messy, not enough storage, too small, unfinished decor wise, but today I beat off my fears and invited some new people in for coffee, hoping they wouldn't notice all the things that make me feel selfconscious.

I have this idea in my head about how I want to make the house welcoming, but I always feel that I fall short of this ideal - probably mostly gained from magazines and books and unrealistic portrayals of how advert-land life should be. They liked my cake though - thanks, Ad, for making me make Banana Cake!

At least I'm not alone. I've just finished reading 'Confessions of a Failed Grown Up' by Stephanie Calman, author of The Bad Mothers Club. Hilarious! and so much I can relate to - its funny how I have friends who I would consider 'grown-ups' and others including myself are definitely still waiting to grow up. It's just a shame that the exterior completely covers up the quivering inner child!

Wednesday, January 28, 2009

Instant Gratification

I'm not the world's most patient person - most people who know me will tell you that, but there are some things worth waiting for. I can wait, as well as the next person, for something really good, but the thing that is trying my patience and has been for some while is my computer - it is just so slow!

OK, I could just go out and buy one, except that we spent the money on a ski trip for one small boy, and I won't go into debt for some machine. But however much I seem to delete from the system (and yes, I do know you have to empty the bin as well!), I can never find enough space to defrag it or make it go faster. It's driving me nuts - I want speedy computing and I WANT IT NOW!

Tuesday, January 27, 2009

Central Line Odyssey

I hardly ever go on the Tube, but today I had a meeting in Essex near the end of the Central Line. It was much quicker than I expected, noisy but not too bad on the whole.

I had hoped to see the new Olympic Park as we went through Stratford, but although the station is overground, and there are signs of building all around, including what I think is the new station building for the fast train link to the Olympic Park, you couldn't see the main site. Shame :(

I'm very excited about the 2012 Olympics coming to London and am hoping to be a volunteer of some kind as I don't think I'll qualify for the 100m! I'll probably end up in a luminous jacket on some street corner in the rain, but at least I'll have played some small part in it - if they'll have me.

The meeting was about aid in rural Uganda, about as far removed from the grey, urban landscape that fills my daily life, but at least this day was sunny with a blue sky and London looks so much better in the sunshine.

Monday, January 26, 2009

Grand Scale Frustration

Yes Liverpool blew it at Anfield AGAIN - this time to Everton, who took the lead with a poorly defended goal. Of course, Stevie G stepped up to the plate and scored a blinder, only overshadowed by the amazing flick on by Torres, but there was no-one in the box to have a go. Kuyt, bless him, works his proverbial socks off, but isn't exactly the sharpest goalscorer on earth, Babel is talented but either weak or lazy, not sure yet, but not good enough for the team.

They remind me of old Arsenal teams, just passing across or back when you are jumping up and down screaming at them to go forward, but they have no ideas and no-one far enough forward to take advantage anyway. Boring and cautious, don't know what Rafa is doing to them but it's not good. Perhaps it's his kidney stones, but he really needs to get a grip. Even the bog standard sides have worked out that if you smother Stevie G and Torres then they have nothing - it's so frustrating.

On the lower league side, at least Shrewsbury are doing well, in the playoffs in a mega close division. They aren't playing well, but they are grinding out results. Need an away win soon though - 24 matches or something with only 1 win isn't exactly blinding form, maybe this week at Barnet??

Thursday, January 22, 2009

Cold weather, comfort food

I've been on a cooking frenzy (at least by my standards!) this week, having bought the Sainsbury's mag and decided that our weekly diet is really boring. So I actually planned and shopped, and ended up spending loads more money than usual, but I told myself that I had to stock up on essential ingredients which will last more than one meal (at least that's the theory - in practice it will clutter up my spice basket until it's sell-by date but never mind).

So today I made parsnip gnocchi (served with sausage and bacon and green beans) - recipe torn out of the newspaper yonks ago, and guess what, it was nice, and everyone liked it, so it will make it into the hall of fame that is my home recipe book. I also made meringues for dessert out of the remaining egg whites, and managed to keep them white instead of the dirty cream they usually are, so a result there :)

I have great plans for some spicy potatoes and cauliflower to serve with chicken tikka one day, and have made kulfi for dessert that day - another first.

Whether this culinary variety will last beyond this week is anyone's guess, but in the meantime, the family are experiencing something different, yesterday Nigella's Pea and Pesto Soup, tomorrow who knows???!

Monday, January 19, 2009

New Year's Resolutions

Only 3 weeks late but I can't be doing with the perennial lose weight, get fit thing that new year always brings, the whole guilt trip downer, so....

- make a rolling birthday book so I can remember people's birthdays from one year to the next.

- finish off all the things I've been planning to do in the house - paint banisters (sp?), get new stair carpets, put pictures up, finish sanding the filling DH did months ago so that the house finally gets to be how it was planned to be.

- do some new stuff - go somewhere, do something, take up a new skill, hobby. Got to branch out before I die after all, otherwise this life will have been somewhat unsatisfying! I feel like a very boring person atm.

So, come December 31st I can see how I did - hmmm!

Wednesday, January 14, 2009


As January is here I need to get going with my FlyLady following again - she has been an inspiration to me in keeping up with the chores! My house may not do her proud at the moment, but as my spring cleaning progresses in baby steps I hope to create order and serenity in the home, not to mention rid myself of a load of junk!

Tuesday, January 13, 2009

Secret smiles.

Over the last few days I've noticed various people walking around town with a big smile on their face - alone and not on the phone, and it makes me wonder what is happening in their lives that makes them walk around beaming? It's a nice thought, that in these days of gloom, credit crunch and grey January is not enough to stop them feeling good.

I've still managed to take my daily photos for my photo 365 project. I want to try to journal a bit with them - it should provide a good snapshot of my life day to day, whether it is interesting is less certain - not sure there is that much of interest in my existence really.

Friday, January 09, 2009

If I ever write a novel

Court will provide me with an endless supply of names for my heroes - or antiheroes perhaps. It is astonishing how many different surnames people have. We always joked about how many Jones', Williams' and in more recent times Patels there are, but in reality how many do you meet. I must admit to loving names and am fascinated at what people call their children - avid scouring the Times births deaths and marriages columns at any opportunity - it doesn't take much to keep me happy.

Of course, I knew daily blogging couldn't last, but I only missed one day, due to manic life calling. I did get my daily picture for yesterday, but not yet today - have to think what sums up today for me in pictures.

Wednesday, January 07, 2009

Am I sad? be waxing lyrical about rice pudding? We cooked for the old folks today and Karen made an especially yummy rice pudding with black cherry compote which was the perfect thing for a freezing cold January day. Comfort food at its best, and I admit I might sound rather middle aged in getting excited about such a down to earth thing, but at this time of the year in this economic climate it's been the highlight of my day!

Tuesday, January 06, 2009

It's still freezing...

I am such a Brit with my weather obsession. Kids were stuck at home today with the heating broken at school while I got stuck with this dreary drone at court who just loves the sound of his own voice - I mean, why tell a boring story in a few sentences when you can have a captive audience chewing off their own body parts waiting for the end of the tale. Worse still, he talks to me as if I was 4 which makes me want to stick pins in his eyes. Hopefully I won't have to sit with him for a while as he does my head in - another triumph of the justice system, he just goes on and on until you agree with his solution for sentencing etc. I learnt what filibustering was when reading Barack Obama's book 'The Audacity of Hope' - good book so far, I like his writing more than I expected. Anyway, thank goodness this guy isn't a politician, he would be the champion filibuster of all time - funny that he never found a wife really!

Meanwhile, I maintain my membership of the Bad Mother's Club by being completely unable to find DS2s PE kit this morning - usual story, it was buried under a pile of teddies in his room, however, even better than usual, it was still unwashed, I mean, I usually manage to get it washed before I lose it, but this time it's festered for 2 weeks in it's lovely PVC bag - yum! Still, at least I don't have to wear it. Worst of all, as I still wallow in post-Christmas ineffectiveness, it was DH who managed to find it, I couldn't even manage that!

So that's my day - freezing feet, boring blokes and smelly PE kit. Can't wait for tomorrow!

Monday, January 05, 2009

It's been an age....

I can't quite believe how long it's been since I blogged on here -in my head I do it a lot, in practice? well you can see.

Anyway, new year, new resolution and all that, I'm going to try and get a bit more down this year. Starting today:

- woke up to snow, that's unusual in itself - didn't last long but at least it was white for a bit!

-woke up late - big kids went to school, then got sent home again, result for them, but Nat and I stayed asleep for a long time.

-car is in the garage AGAIN - this car is literally driving me round the bend! We have spent so much money on it and it is still causing us problems. I wish we could just ditch it and get a new one, but credit crunch etc etc we'll be stuck with it for a while yet. Funny that I was thinking we should get the same again next time - NOT ANY MORE!

- Debbie and Daniel popped in for a cuppa earlier - nice to catch up after the hols.

- Scrapping aims for this year - to get more done, use up my stash - same old same old, but I still love it, trouble is, I take more photos than ever I scrap, and I keep taking them. I really need an extended period of house arrest (with internet access and pizza box delivery) to catch up.

I have done 2 LOs over the holidays - didn't even dent the stash - Studio Calico you have a lot ot answer for! So much lush stash, and not just to stroke hopefully!

Finally, I have decided to try and do the 365 photos for this year - managed so far - just. Not going to post them all on here though - that would be much to much effort and organisation, but maybe some highlights?...

Watch this space, it's a bit like watching paint dry, but just occasionally I might surprise myself.