Thursday, December 08, 2011

Mincing

If anyone asks, these bad boys are the best Mince Pies in London City.

(But NOT the Waitrose Short Crust ones, or the Luxury ones, FYI.)

I know this, as a friend organised a Mince Pie tasting at the weekend, and the 15-strong Tasting Committee chugged its way through 14 types of mince pies, judging them against a secret and specific set of criteria*.

Just take a moment, and imagine having seven mince pies in a row (we had halves of most). Doesn't sound like much, does it? But it gets quite hard going after a while. Mince Pies are quite.. filling.

OTHER FACTS ESTABLISHED BY THE COMMITTEE:

- Heston's are rubbish (they came last, and the stuff you sprinkle on them smells like one of those tree-shaped air fresheners for cars. Sorry Hesty.)

- We are not a fan of puff pastry in our mince pies (because, basically, that's an eccles cake with festive dellusions)

- Extra sugar is no substitute for taste, darling

- One of the brands from Selfridges tastes slightly of fruity Hubba Bubba. Weird

- The structural integrity of pastry is really rather important

- Nothing says Christmas like a whacking great bottle of Amaretto, does it?

- Home made is really also the way forward, as they came in second, third and fourth (OR The Committee is biased. And lovely.)

- The addition of a tiny wee bit of stilton to the filling before baking can be surprisingly delicious


This is Boz, helping you all have a better Christmas..


* I'll say now that one of the criteria was 'holistic joy' and leave it there.

Tuesday, November 29, 2011

Well that was stupid, wasn't it.

I can't remember exactly what possessed me. A few months ago I casually mentioned to m'dad that my flatmate was off overseas to see his extended family for Christmas. So if they were in town at any point around the holiday, they could, you know, stay or whatever.

"Oh?"

"Yes."

~manly supping of pints~

Skip forward a week, and my sister rings.

"So I hear we're spending the family Christmas at your place this year? I think this is a great idea."

"Wha..?"

"I said I think this is a GREAT idea."

Yes. It turns out I'm hosting the entire family of six this Christmas. Ah. Right.

All sorts of questions suddenly occur. Where will everyone sleep? Do I have enough bedding? Do I have enough forks?

I strongly suspect that the solution to this problem will be me throwing money at the good people of Sainsbury's, Waitrose and John Lewis, and doing the full Margo Leadbetter by getting Christmas delivered in a van (or not). Things that I have noted down so far:

1. Industrial quantities of toilet paper
2. Wholesale size box of Quality Street
3. Earplugs

It's actually gonna be great (Dad has said he will still cook Christmas dinner). But gettnig there is going to be very interesting. I have not bought an advent calendar this year because it would just feel like counting down to an alcohol and stress induced breakdown.

Look, Mummy, this door has picture of sedatives behind!

Wish me luck.

Friday, September 23, 2011

"There's a turn up for the books, then."

(Apologies, as this is broadly an expanded rumination on a tweet.)

I love some of the mild panic intimated by some of the rational and calm scientific community in this BBC News Online story about CERN.

"We tried to find all possible explanations for this."

I'm sure at some point they'll find that someone forgot to carry the decimal, or they lost a couple of atoms down the back of the fridge or something while someone wasn't looking. Everything may well return to normal.

But watching a whole bunch of quite seriously talented scientists do the collective equavalent of going 'Um..' is a bit good. We're humans. We're not meant to know or understand everything. You can insert the usual bit about people once thinking the earth was flat and the atom was the smallest bit of stuff going here, if you like.

It's nice to have our collective smugness punctured a bit. Look lads, new facts! Re-think EVERYTHING!

Also, being all artsy around the waist and ankles, it struck me how much easier it might be for me to accept this than some people in the scientific community. I have a (very, very) broad understanding of the science bit. But no where near enough to get hindered by any hard and fast rules of physics or owt.

"Stuff goes faster than the fastest we thought it could go? Okay then. Is anyone making tea?"

Alright so even I appreciate that if something is found to go faster than the speed of light, that has potential consequences for all kinds of thinking, theories, clever stuff and (most importantly) sci-fi writing. And I'm not dismissing this lightly. But what I'm saying is, imagination is a really, really important part of anything. Especially science.

I have no real point here - and I'm certainly not saying art is more important than science - nossir. Both have their place in a harmonious universe. I firmly admire all clever maths and science types, simply because it's so far removed from my own abilities!

Right. I'm just wittering now.

Tuesday, August 09, 2011

Because what this really needs is another ha'pennies worth

I feel like Kate Ashfield in Shaun of the Dead;

"Can everyone! Just calm! The fuck! Down!

I live in South London, but I'm not indulging in much flames-and-smashed-glass rhetoric today. I went to bed fairly normally last night, after sitting in front of Twitter and various news channels for several hours. (I did drift off to sleep to the sound of distant sirens though - more on them in a sec.)

Yes, some pretty violent and unpleasant things have been happening over the last couple of days, showing humans and Londoners definitely not at our best.

But rolling TV news does make it look worse than is. We're not under marshall law just yet; and for those talking about rubber bullets and water cannons, let's try and remember that a lot of the people causing trouble are, well, so very young. In the long-term, is that really going to help?

Of course, that's not to say that a lot of people haven't had their businesses ruined, or faced some pretty scary stuff last night. Because they did. And that's horrible.

It feels like a small tipping point has been reached. However it started, people are looking for any excuse to smash a window and nick some stuff.

Which shows that there are some pretty unhappy people out there, doesn't it? People don't really do that if they are able to live happy and fulfilled lives (here comes the preachy). The further away the people at the top get from the people at the bottom, the less happy society as a whole is going to be. I firmly believe that. Wealth distribution should be even.

(FYI, this piece in today's Grauniad is excellent - and one of the few pieces I've seen not written from some white, middle-aged dude.)

It's hard when buildings are burning down, but the bigger picture is that a lot of things in the way we live are not working, and a lot of people let down by 'the system' are more or less left to get on with it (hey, you all know my lefty vibe).

And it's not everyone, either. Reading Twitter last night (before it got all hysterical and shouty) showed more than handful of positive stories. Kids helping people home and stuff. Let's not demonise everyone under the age of 20. Because if you do that, then that's what they become.

And let's remind ourselves that places like Brixton or Peckham are not war zones, whatever the media says; they are places like any other, where some good stuff happens and some bad stuff happens. (Props to my friend (and Peckham dweller) CheddarChica's ace blog post from last night.)

But as I'm halfway through the very interesting Blood, Sweat & Tea, I can't help thinking about all the people in the emergency services working the last few days*. You know. Although those buggers being laid off and having their pay scruntinised in the press.

I'll be honest, I'm a bit worried about what the response to all this will be once everything has settled down. It's a good excuse for a stronger-than-really-needed attitude, particularly with heavy handed legislation. It may not just be a couple of politicians holiday that get ruined; if this is handled poorly, then reactionaly politics could land us in bigger problems.

Anyway. What do I know? That's all my guff on this. As you were.


**UPDATE: Basically, what LC said, in far fewer words.**



* Although as the book points out, which surprised me a bit, the ambulance service is not technically an emergency service. Really? Really!? Then worrahellisit?!

Wednesday, August 03, 2011

..and cheat at tax!

Just read a really interesting thought from a colleague asking whether all the recent scandals mean us hoooymans have become more corrupt and evil, or if we're just all more clued-up about stuff and asking our corporate overlords more awkward questions.

It's probbaly the latter, to be honest, which is a damn good thing too. But Gods dammit one of these days I want to be good and proper evil. Not like, Liz Jones low-grade evil*, but full-on, empire crushing, riotous, don't-give-a-monkeys, launch-the-express-train-to-hell fury of evil malice.

My mid-life crisis has a lot to deliver.

No good will come of this, of course, and as always its seeds of self-destruction will likely lead to my dismal downfall**. But I've spent thirty years being the comparatively holy child. It's time to flip a couple of fingers to the man-slash-universe.***

One day.

In the meantime, here's Eartha Kitt:





* I think I've linked to this outstanding reaction in every possible public forum now. Christ, I've even bought his book. Short of printing it out and handing it to people on the street, I'm done here.

** Possibly in some inapporpriately hilarious way. Like a lower-rent, gayer, Wile E. Coyote. I'm unlikely to be terminated by my own mis-fired ground-to-air missiles, really. But a boy can dream, you know?

*** Unless this involves hurting kittehs. This goes without saying.

Tuesday, August 02, 2011

Things I have learnt since recovering from chickenpox

1. I got off fairly lightly, especially on the itching front.

2. Contrary to all pretence, I am not in any form vital to the successful operation of the office. Darnit.

3. My ambition to maintain a relaxed and peaceful frame of mind since coming back to work has been, well, a challenge. But this only underlines the fact that something in my life has to change fairly soon. Mmmyeah. It's all been the same for far too long.

4. Sometimes the NT puts on shows that I really don't enjoy at ALL . (NB: This may not have anything to do with the chickenpox.)

Aaaaand that's about it, really. Cheers for all the nice messages - that was nice, that was.

And so life carries on.

Wednesday, July 20, 2011

Things I have learnt since contracting chickenpox

1. No part of the body is safe from blisters. Think about that for a moment.

2. The ones on your scalp are the worst.

3. Also the ones behind the ears.

4. People can actually recoil. I thought they just did that in books.

5. My flatmate is awesome and kind. And also very patient.

6. Fever-fuelled dreams are a great way to imagine up ideas for kids films you will probably never write.

7. They make you wait on your own at the Doctor's.

8. Calamine lotion smells like dentists that have been left out in the rain too long.

9. Mums are amazing and know everything.

10. Grown up medication is never as brilliant as Calpol.

11. I would pay almost any sum of money for my dad to come and stroke my hair as I went to sleep, like he did sometimes when I was a kid.

12. Sleep is GREAT.

Tuesday, July 05, 2011

...it's me again, Hive Mind...

Apparently I need a holiday or a rest or something.* Once again I've gone over half the year without really taking a significant chunk of time off. Apart from a few days to move, which of course was very relaxing.**

So. I'm taking some time off and going somewhere. On my jack jones. Just me.

Apparently, this makes me a freak.

Holiday?

By yourself?

Without anyone else?

Yes, friend. You see I was raised by a pair of kick-ass and groovy parents, and if there is one thing I can do, it is be by myself. I can literally do it for hours. On my own. No hands.

I've been kicking around the internet (because I can do that now) and looking for places to go and hang out. A phrase has cropped up a number of times:

Single person supplement!

I'm sorry? Come again? Same room, yes. Eating less food, probably. And you're charging me more? Huh.

Obviously traveling by yourself is not a new thing, but as the evidence suggests, there's more than a whiff of suspicion about the single traveller. It appears vaguely acceptable to go it alone in another country, but.. here..?

Yes. Here. I've just moved flat. My bank account is emptyier than Jane Marple's swear box. I want a holiday. I'm not marauding around the British countryside snatching children off the streets.*** Bugger off with your "Naww, poor you. No friends?" I demand luxury and rest and time reading books and working out what I'm supposed to be doing with my life. I have plenty of great mates. I don't want to see them ALL the time.

I feel a bit penalised because I'm not in a couple. All the cool places have a slight air of smug romantic getaway to them. I just want a decent place to sleep and relax and sit about. Maybe walk about a bit in the country or by the sea. ~hefts weight around a bit on bar stool~

And oh I have found cool places if you are entwined with another human-slash-humans. Staying in a disused railway carriage, Sir? Perhaps Madamoiselle would prefer a glamorous eco-pod dropped onto the Cornish countryside? Or a yurt for you and yours..? No..? A 1940s former Showman's van, perhaps?

Well if you're single you CAN'T. Nossir. Families and couples only, ifyouplease. Certainly if you want to be able to afford them and not face daily confrontations with your social status as Persona Non Nupta by waking up next to a string of unusued beds. Outcast. Pariah. Etc. Etc. ~Falls off bar stool~

So. I need somewhere cheap-ish to go in the UK where I can hang around and do not much for a bit? Any ideas, anyone...?


* Unpicks fingernails from desk.
** Ahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahah ~sits on unpacked Boz box~ ~rocks~
*** Can't make any such promises about awesome kittehs, obviously.

Monday, July 04, 2011

Hallo the internet, my big furry reassuring friend!

Four weeks.

It's taken four weeks since moving flat for BT to get us properly connected to the internet. I mean, really? I'm a single gay man. My flatmate purports this puts me in a vulnerable group. I NEED THE INTERNET.

...because when you've used up your Smartphone's data allowance for the month remarkably quickly, getting everything you need to do done at work sucks. Seriously. I am surprised at how much of what I do involves being hooked up to the hive mind.

Anyway. Happily flat-settling now. The only other minor disaster was finding the new flat didn't have a TV aerial.

I'll just repeat that for those of you rendered unable to comprehend this.

The new flat. Does not have. A TV aerial.

Apparently this is the 21st century. WHO KNEW. This is being swiftly rectified, if only to avoid a repeat of the sweaty fear that gripped my flatmate and I when we discovered this. We clutched at each other in terror.

AND without the internet we didn't even have iPLAYER. I KNOW.

(Yes, yes, summer, outdoors, frolicking in parks, wine in the sunshine, blah, blah roobarb.. I know, I know.. I don't spend all my time indoors staring at screens, I promise.)

Tell you what, as well. Moving house when you've been out drinking the night before and forgotten to have dinner. Not so fun. I was as surprised as anyone..

Tuesday, May 17, 2011

Pre-upheaval upheaving

I have responded sensibly to the date in a few weeks hence set for moving flats by taking all the stuff my parents dumped on my a few months back out of its boxes and leaving it lying around my room. The floor is strewn with school books from twenty-five years ago, old posters, badges, stuff to go to charity shops, old books and tee shirts that haven't fitted me since primary school.

Things I have rediscoveered;

1. I hoard bits of paper like it's going out of fashion. Which I suppose is broadly true. I need to stop this. It is not healthy.
2. I used to be in the Pulp fan club.
3. I also used to be in the Dennis the Menace fan club.
4. I own a pocket watch with a tick so loud it prevents sleep.
5. I own every letter everyone has ever sent me. Ever. And I remain rubbish at replying to correspondence.
6. As a band, Octopus never achieved the kind of fame their promotional materials promised.
7. Lauren Laverne has apparently not aged. At all.

There will be more of this.

In the course of all this rummaging. I have also disturbed ... something. I was woken at 1.30am a few nights back by a muffled scurrying. A fluttering in the boxes on top of my wardobe. It was distressingly loud. The room was dark. I did not investigate.*

So I have to sort out all this STUFF. It's fun, if I can keep my enthusiasm up. Fingers crossed on the move. Everything is signed and sealed. In theory, we just have to pick up the keys in a couple of weeks. Normally flathunting is a deathly experience, but it went okay this time.

*This morning I find that a childhood teddy bear is missing a kidney.

Tuesday, April 12, 2011

I'm being crippled by the arts

Financially, I mean. I haven't tripped over a Henry Moore.

The problem is theatre. I'm a bit addicted, I have discovered. I'm totally blaming my parents, for not only introducing me to the medium as a child but also buying me membership to some of capital's best stages. Membership means advance booking. Which means cheap tickets (cheaper than cinema, often).

And my mates. Who either work in theatre, near theatre or like the theatre. Bastards.

And probably the better class of critics too, who keep telling me about the stuff I'd really like to see.

So far this year I've been to nine theatrical productions. I have another two this week. And a few more lined up after Easter*. Cheap seats and all, but it adds up. I looked at my bank account last week and nearly had a conniption. Oopsie.

Of course, I am extremely lucky and fortunate to have anywhere near this kind of access to "the arts"** - which are incredibly valuable, both culturally and eocnomically. I am horrified by the depth of the cuts to the culture scene in the UK. It's madness and must be ended***. It's too the detriment of our existence. Art (drama included) is one of the ways we make sense of the world, and by doing that, we move ourselves forward.

But so much other really important stuff is being cut back on - fairly pointlessly - that it's difficult to direct enough anger in one direction at once.

Yeah I know. I sound pompous. But even if I'm a bit poorer in one sense (because of my poor financial management skillz), I'm certainly richer in others.

I value the arts, is what I'm saying, really.

(And also I need to find a way of making money from this. Where's my column in the Independent on Sunday?! Tsk.)


* Sorry, the Royal Wedding Bank Holiday Eve.

** Well it's what they call it on Radio 4...

*** Sound the long-standing crush klaxon. I was watching Howard's End for all the wrong reasons.

Tuesday, March 15, 2011

The Age of Terror

For all sorts of improbably evolutionary reasons, when you're young you think you're a little bit invincible. Rocks will bounce off you. Of course you could hold that collapsing roof up. This flesh is flame-retardant.

Even as a slightly neurotic young chap, I was still quite firm in the belief that if the house was falling down, I'd still have enough time to grab a few of my favourite things before evacuating. I'd probably still grab my bag before leaving the craft, contrary to all sound advice. Of course a car crashing into me wouldn't break anything. I suppose if I didn't I probably wouldn't have left the house very much (thus, of course, contrarily putting myself in more danger).

Watching some of the footage from Japan makes me realise my point of view has changed. I'm a bit older now. I would just grab my loved ones and run and run and run and not stop to look back.

Tuesday, March 08, 2011

A list of things I don't like about my bank (thrills!)

A couple of weeks ago, my bank did a good thing. Since then, it's done a lot of quite bad things. Bad things it could so easily have not done.

Good thing: My bank phoned me to tell me my debit card details had been found on 'a list' and that they needed to cancel my card. Irritating, but necessary and very helpful of them.

Bad thing one: They couldn't tell me any more information about how my details might have got on this list, where this was found, or how I might stop this happening again.

Bad thing two: It takes 7-10 working days for a replacement card. I mean, really? That long? As a species humanity has put people on our planet's moon, turned sunlight into usable energy* and invented the paperclip. Admittedly, in the cosmic scale of things, these are all quite small achievements. But can it really be that problematic to create a small piece of secure plastic and post it to us? And if it is, explain to me why.

Bad thing three: Not posting it to me. Unlike the normal cards that get sent to my home, because they (not me, they) cancelled this one, I have to sign for it. Ah. So there's no point in sending it to my home. I won't be there. Can you send it to my workplace? No. Oh. WHY?

Bad thing four: Not sending me a letter to say it is ready for collection. Will you? No. because that's, like, really hard. (To be fair, having had customer service letters form my bank before, I'd rather not have another one with typos and grammar errors in. Because they really inspire me with confidence, you know?)

Bad thing five: Sending it to the wrong branch. Okay, so i also accept some fault here. Because when they said, "The branch on X road?" I did not specifically ask if there was more than one branch on that road.

Bad thing six: Open plan style banking branches. I don't want to do my business in front of everyone, thanks.

Bad thing seven: Being able to identify that the card had not arrived (because I was in the wrong branch, of course) but telling me that to find out where it was, I'd have to wait "15-20 minutes" to sit down with someone. Really? At 11am? Really??

The one other slightly good thing: the dude on the phone that said sorry when I phoned to check where it was.

A lot of this comes down to communication. I will put up with quite a lot if people;

1) Explain why something has to happen, straightforwardly and without patronising me.
2) Recognise that things are not going brilliantly, without trying to put the blame for this on me.
3) Say sorry.

It's not difficult. It really isn't.

* Obviously plants got there first with this one, I will admit.

Friday, March 04, 2011

On with the paranoia hat.

Am becoming more and more convinced that the Powers That Be are distracting us from all the more important things that are happening by messing with our minds?

I mean, really??

Bar the odd lucky bugger among us who has their dream job, or those that had a above-and-beyond awful experience at school, how many of us would honestly say our working life is somehow better than our school life.

Really? Do we really want to ruin the early lives of young people even more? Don't they have enough stuff to deal with?

Make work and school more fun, I say.

One day, I'll find the off-switch for this indignation. One day. Maybe.

(I know. Link to the Telegraph. Bite me.)

Tuesday, March 01, 2011

The Guv'Nor

We had a school Governors sub-committee meeting last night, of which I am Chair.*

(I know. How do I stand the non-stop excitement that is my kerrr-razy life.)

Always dread the meetings. They stick out in the diary like little clouds of post-work gloom. Commitment made manifest. Last year a friend ran through an exercise with me where you prioritise and rank the things you want to do more of. School Governing came bottom of quite a long list.

But then the meeting was brilliant. We got loads done and it was really energetic. I came away feeling really great and actually useful.

It always happens like this. I really must be less curmudgeonly about my free time.

Still a bit confused as to how I actually became a school governor, not having any of what I imagined to be the normal prerequisites; a child, a severe nervous condition brought on my teaching a small army of 'little darlings' etc. I think I saw it as a way of volunteering.

I'm what they call a community governor (the other kind, aside from parents and teachers, are local authority governors). This means I am supposed to represent the local community, I think.

Word.


Hmm..




* The position of Table having already been filled, obviously.

Friday, February 18, 2011

The Non-Secret Seven

I've been tagged! Like ye goode olde dayes on Blogs. I like a good Meme.

Seven random things. Powering up...

1. I spend a fortune on headphones. Like, a lot. Really. It's an ongoing expense. I currently have a Sony pair I bought last year. And they are breaking already. I get through about three pairs a year. Maybe I should be a bit more careful, but they all end up with one ear flickering in and out. I drives me made. What I really need is to find a good person who is handy with a soldering iron.

2. I am good with lyrics. Must be the way my mind works. I think I've logged about this before. Singing along in the shower comes as standard and I WAS JUST SEEING WHAT THE ATTACHMENT DID. So I have a good memory for lyrics. mostly to pretty awful songs. Theme from Ulysses 31? Yeah, hi.It's me, No-no. Small robot you know. (I'm also quite good at identifying who is doing any given voiceover. I am stupidly quite proud of this.)

3. I can do a killer Moira Stewart impression. I have nothing further to say about this.

4. I can tie a cherry stalk into a knot in my mouth. But have yet to find a way of doing that appears in any way sexy. I just look like a spinster aunt sucking a sour boiled sweet.

5. Had I not been born with a Y chromosome, I would have been called Mercia. I have no idea what was going on in my parents' minds with this one. They are normally good and kind people.

6. Don't like scallops. Nup. Not even a little bitty bit. Don't see what all the fuss is about, or why they crop up on Masterchef so often. But, hey, we're all different, right?

7. I like being in my thirties. Of course, statements like this are the harbringers of certain doom. But one of the best things that has ever happened in my life is reaching the point where you accept with perfect amicability that not everyone will like you and you will not like everyone else. It makes the good people worth hanging around for (like meeting the good lady who tagged me in this meme, you know?).

Tag thyselves!

Monday, February 07, 2011

I have basically titted away all the good years, haven't I

So, I was re-watching the recent Star Trek film again last night, as one does when one has a spare evening to oneself.

I may have been a little 'tired and emotional' as I found myself welling up a bit at the pre-credits sequence. You know. The bit with the USS Kelvin. Won't say. Spoilers and that.

So it finished and that was really good, still. Then I started watching it again from the beginning with the commentary from the Director and writers and stuff. Because I'm a bit spoddy like that, and have seen it enough times now for some of the magic to be spoiled.

At the point where the big Star Trek logo rocks up for the first time as a sort of title card sortofthing, JJ Abrams notes that he found the genius guy who did this "on the internet" and he was "23".

23.

Internet.

This made me pause a while, and come to the conclusion that I really should have been doing the sort of stuff I really liked a whole lot earlier and with a whole bunch more effort, if I wanted to ever get anywhere doing something I liked doing. (Although I don't actually know what that would be anyway.) Given that I'm now 31.

I mean. This blog has been running on and off, hot and cold, for some years now. I can't imagine anyone is going to come across it and say "YES! THIS GUY! WE NEED HIM FOR OUR MULTI-MILLION POUND COOL PROJECT OF COOLNESS!" are they?

*expectant face*

Dammit!

Especially when, after checking analytics, people are coming here through search terms such as "dougray scott saturday kitchen", "escape pod trump tower" and (my favourite) "bab bap bap ba ba ba".

Although, I am now of course wondering now if Trump Tower has a cool-type awesome escape pod of awesomeness.

Monday, January 31, 2011

Adopts wise pose, steeples fingers, and...

Bit of an extreme* week this. On Thursday I attended the cremation of the aforementioned dead grandmother (my first funeral of any description), and then on Saturday I witnessed two very dear mates get hitched.

You'd think that as a result I'd be in a perfect position to offer some kind of worldly-wise profound statement on the circular and ongoing nature of life.

I'm really just far too tired.

I'm sure I'll think of something.

At some point.

Yes.

(* This is a statement made comparative to the rest of my relatively sedate life.)

Monday, January 17, 2011

Funny how stuff pans out.

So. I was in the middle of writing a blog post about my Grandad's umbrella. My dad's dad died a few years ago while I was in Morocco. He was a great old duffer and a nice bloke, if a little straightjacketed by his Victorian sensibilities.

I tidied my room just after New Year and somehow misplaced my umbrella. So I grabbed the one my dad's mum (aka Gran) gave me after he died. She is from a generation that can't abide things not being used. It's a good umbrella. Sturdy. Strong. Neat. Keeps the rain off. All the important stuff.

It struck me as I was travelling to a meeting near St Pauls that the umbrella had done this trip before. He used to work around there, and I let my mind wander for a while, imagining the last time it was there and what Grandad would have been doing. It was a nice daydream. I was genuinely fond of my Grandfather.

Same week, we found out that my Mum's Mum (aka The Other Gran. Keep up.) had died. I had to use the umbrella to brave the almost biblical quantities of rain in west London to get over to her flat and help mum out. It's sad but she had a good innings and seems to have gone in her sleep. There are worse ways.

No point to this, I guess. Other than "Huh".

(I should point out I was not close to my Mum's mum, but am obviously doing my best to be there for my mum and sister.)

Tuesday, January 11, 2011

51 weeks of glorious possibility!

One week in, then, and so far the year still feels like a big ol' heap of unknown. I quite like this. The anticipation of stuff happening is often so much more enjoyable than the actual stuff, which quite often involves;

1. a lot of quite dull paperwork,
2. potential financial instability,
3. planning matters in prolapse-inducing detail.

I am not good at any of the above. Well, I'm quite good at financial instability, but not by design.

It's a cliche that the New Year is a time of fresh starts and that, but this year it feels like lots might actually change.

(This is the post they read out after I get mowed down by an anvil delivery truck sometime next week, isn't it?)

Tuesday, January 04, 2011

2011: A promise

(...although not The Promise*.)

I never normally make resolutions. It seems futile to start the year with broken pledges.

But this year, rather than identify something want to stop doing, I've identified something I want to do more of; writing.

I plan to be a bit more organised about this, rather than the 'here and there' approach I've used to date. It's not for any grand purpose; purely my own enjoyment.

Inevitably, this will entail a bit more blogging.

Try and contain your excitement, brave souls.




* Here I am, walking primrose...