Skyscrapers and String


That’s better!

A recent tv program (The Chilling Adventures Of Sabrina) touched on the biblical story of “the judgement of Solomon” which is a brilliant description of how to choose what is important.

Recently, my judgement has not been great. I de-prioritised the gas leak in favour of other things (I want to kick myself) and also failed to write my Christmas cards and join the local gym when I had some time off recently, due to an electrician messing me about and making me wait for three hours so he could go to the gym instead. I won’t be doing that again!

So frazzled and fed up with putting myself last yesterday I took myself to the British Museum, had a wonderful lunch out and saw the fabulous exhibition on the Assyrians. It was extremely inspiring!

I also realised a couple of ambitions by finding out more about King Esarhaddon and his family and also I bought a book on cuneiform as I plan to learn how to read it. I’m not sure I can learn to speak ancient Akkadian but I learned Latin and Ancient Greek at school so I wouldn’t put it past myself to give it a good stab.

So today I woke up and looked around and saw I have achieved some good stuff now; I have gorgeous turquoise silk curtains up in the living room, the ceiling and woodwork is fresh and white and my new living room furniture is ordered and will be here in a few weeks after Christmas.

After spending an hour or two writing the cards out (and covering the kitchen table and work tops with glitter) I went to the shed and had a good tidy up and Jon measured up the glass panes as one had broken and I was stressed thinking water was coming in, we’ve had so much rain recently.

But there was no water damage at all and after a very short time order was restored and all I need to do now is go in and have a bit of a clean.

Once we had a sit down and a coffee we then went to the local gym to have a look round. It was really nice and we joined and I’m really excited.

I still have a few cards to write and some letters to attend to this week and some serious scheduling to arrange but I’m feeling much more accomplished and less frantic and behind with everything.

We still have no decorations up but we found some new drawing pins today in Wilkinson (I love that shop) so we can get them put up this week.

To be honest, I have had some great role models for time management in my life and I’ve read everything on the subject and I do know what I need to do to help myself get better at it.

I’m just relieved my to-do list has been crushed and I’m moving forward with things that please me.

Here you can see one of the beautiful carvings of horses from the exhibition yesterday. So many lovely things to see.

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Leaking gas and trying not to crack up …

How do you spend your time?

Are you furiously hurtling from one deadline or appointment to another and feeling crazy like you never sit still for a minute?

I’m busy, working, writing for a hobby, crafting and I like to cook and I love seeing friends and going out to museums, shopping and eating out.

There’s so many things I like to do I can’t begin to list them.

It’s usually fine but the last couple of weeks have been particularly pressured and I’m suffering a bit from overwhelm.

This wasn’t helped by the fact that a couple of weeks ago we had our boiler serviced by British Gas and we told the engineer we could smell fumes. He carried out the tests and signed a form to say everything was fine and he left.

We could still smell fumes but were so busy with decorating and trying to get straight we figured it could wait because the inspection went well.

So this week I call British Gas again and the same engineer came. We spoke to him and insisted he check everything again and despite his being adamant he couldn’t smell anything it turned out that we had a gas leak. A bad one.

So I won’t bother you with the massive upset this week or the disruption it caused or the terrible scare I had. Or the argument I had with British Gas.

I will say this, if you have a household boiler inspection from British Gas they no longer check for gas leaks. So be prepared for the engineer to sign off even if gas is pouring out of a broken pipe.

So I would like to say everything else this week went smoothly but that would be a giant lie, the pressure heaped upon me didn’t abate and I felt suffocated and stressed.

It’s been six months since Ithaca and I wish I was back there.

So today I got up, pottered about and I sat painting happily at the kitchen table.

I’m taking the weekend to do something for me and I do deserve a break to be honest.

I just need to breathe.


Who am I?

So much has changed this year.

I always imagined growing older would be a straight forward linear progression, marked by Birthdays and New Years Resolutions.

Instead, it’s a series of painful and profound rebirths, where you emerge after a life changing event, newborn and weakly floundering in unfamiliar territory.

At every turn, I am groping for the light switch and stubbing my toe on something sticking out from under the bed.

I sat and made a to do list when I was on holiday in June and couldn’t find it.

I bought a new notebook and made another list of goals and that’s somewhere downstairs.

I can’t find it.

In books about relationships it often says that women when they are single seek a knight on a charger to rescue them. I already have one of those but I still feel like I need someone to rescue me from myself.

It would be great if I could find all the answers and put some solid plans together.

But I’m just living one moment at a time, looking forward to a salad for lunch today. Taking another sip of coffee and savouring the taste.

Perhaps I’m supposed to just drift about and enjoy myself with whatever there is to hand?

Or perhaps that’s just me all over.


Fabric…

So I’m sitting here with a cuppa and I’ve had a restful day.

A long nap capped off a walk in the sunshine to my favourite wine shop, and a nice lunch.

I’m knitting a cowl in some yarn I bought in Hobbycraft a long time ago, which has an attractive gradient between denim blue-pink and grey.

Knitted in the round in a broken rib, it really sets off the colours to best advantage.

It’s already dark now and the new fairy lights on the tree in the garden are twinkling prettily.

I’m trying to let go of so many things, I really want to heal from the past and walking about on an idyllic day in sunshine I was surprised to find I could feel so much anger rattling around from so long ago.

The problem for me is that I have never expressed my anger but swallowed it. And it’s given me psychic indigestion.

I could feel all the annoyances buzzing like bees and following me like a cloud. All non specific, a generic sense of having been annoyed a lot.

Do you think it’s like a scab forming now things are more peaceful?

Anyway, I have my knitting and all my little family and friends, and new fairy lights in the garden, so its all good really.

All I have to do is open my eyes to the present and smile. And drink my tea. And knit.


Wandering about aimlessly…

My Nan had a favourite motto: “He who hesitates is lost.”

This week I have been trying to up my daily activity and my fitbit has a function to remind me to move about every hour for 250 steps.

Well it’s as hard as hell to do more than 4 out of 9 hours and once I managed 6/9.

If I go out shopping with a friend I can ace 8/9 but if you work it’s pretty impossible, unless you work in an enormous office building and use the loo two floors down and take the stairs.

I have a walk in the park every morning, 30 minutes in a brisk fashion, swinging my arms and all that and either during lunch or after work I try to get at least another 20 minutes around the block.

During the day I take my recycling piecemeal out to the wheelie bin, and no longer do I take stuff upstairs by the armful, I go back and forth with one thing at a time.

But I still can’t crack the 250 steps per hour!

I sit down at my desk and work and before I know it, it’s lunchtime and the Fitbit is tutting at me..

Lunch used to be for eating and having a bit of a break, it’s not easy geeking continuously.

My job relies on problem solving. Working out how to trigger certain things and not spam half of Europe.

So today with my two long walks before work and at lunchtime I have appeased the Fitbit and it’s ravenous demand for steps.

I’m sitting in a chair – exhausted – holding my cat and trying not to fall asleep.

All I want is a cup of tea and a nice slice of cake but that’s a bit counterproductive isn’t it.

And there’s no cake anyway.


Epic Fail Itsu…


And So Today…

Hello everyone,

I’m starting to feel a bit more like my usual self and I’m getting things done and fitting in exercise, meditation and eating well.

One of the things I have been enjoying most lately is recreating the fabulous lunches I used to eat when I worked in Canary Wharf.

So for the last couple of months I have been re-creating the epic stir fry dinner that was the special in 5 North Colonnade.

It’s been really easy.

All I had to do was ensure I had pre cut stir fry, fresh noodles and a suitable protein and in a few minutes in front of the wok, my lunch of dreams was ready and I would usually pair eating it with an episode of “The Blacklist.”

Now, no one can eat the same thing day in and day out and I realised the other lunch I was hankering for was the Itsu salmon bento box.

So I studied the menu, ordered the salmon, sushi rice and edamame beans in the shopping and found the recipe for the green herb dressing.

So tomorrow the rice cooker will be steaming and the salmon will be poaching. I have wasabi and pickled ginger. Obvs I got chopsticks.

So bring on Thursday!

I’ve had too much wine with dinner and it’s all good. If I drank more and worried less my life would be a damn sight more bearable.

Hope you’re having a jolly day!


Today I wrote…

Over the years, I have amassed a sizeable hoard of stationery.

Poetry is a new occupation, I always intended to be a great correspondent.

After filling a handprinted notecard with my tiny, spidery script, I managed to knock my ink bottle over and cover the table and both hands.

But it all comes off.

My collection of cards lives in a little suitcase and my stamps are in a little vintage box.

I have at least half a dozen calligraphy pens and various fountain pens, all with different colours of ink.

Another large box holds ink pads and rubber stamps. And I’m not sure how many stickers I have as well to use up.

When you write with pen and ink, it’s like painting. Or drawing.

So you can draw little cat faces and things while you’re about it.

Put stickers on the envelope.

Stamp hydrangeas on things then colour them in with metallic brush pens.

The choices are endless.

I’m really happy to be writing letters again.

Tomorrow I get to walk to the post box and put the letter in.

And then decide which of the coloured papers I will choose for my next letter.


So much change…

I’m upside down.

Nothing is the same as it was. The familiar has become the unfamiliar.

In just a few years the occupants of my world have changed and I’m in a different show to the one I auditioned for.

How does that happen?

I’m looking for signs of something that will become normal, but I’m not picking up on anything.

So hard on myself and so tired, even after sleeping well and eating good things.

Everything seems to be endless work, just to stay still. I’m not making progress with anything and I feel overwhelmed and don’t know what to do next.

It’s confusing, and requires so much organising, just to arrange food and keep the house and garden straight.

I wanted a relaxing weekend, which I have had to some extent, but the house was dirty and the garden overgrown and shopping for the week had to be planned.

We both worked really hard and everything that had to happen has been done.

I have this vision of swanning about, book in hand, lounging around and enjoying everything.

There’s always time in the day to myself, during the week however I’m usually knackered and grumpy by then.

And now it’s getting dark out early, so my brain thinks it’s bedtime.

While writing this I realised there’s a solution to dark evenings.

Fairy lights. Everywhere. Gin and tonic. Music. Scented candles.

I also need to plan fun things and put what I need to hand.

See, all your problems can be put straight if you talk to someone.

Thank you for listening!


Ready to move…

Already my birthday has passed and the drawing in of Autumn has started.

I’m always spooked by Birthdays and it’s hard to get to grips with time slipping past. I feel sad.

Every day is filled with things to do and it never lets up, even for 5 minutes.

I’m sorry that so much of my life is spent on small ordinary things yet without those duties and taking care of what matters in seemingly unimportant ways, everything would degenerate into chaos.

Recently, I spoke to a friend and they were telling me that someone they knew never made time for things that were fun.

Now I see that’s true of me as well.

So I’m thinking about the days and weeks ahead in a different way.

Thinking about fun, what does that mean?

I’m going to have to make it easier to pick some fun things to do, like make some kind of mcdonalds menu.

And put what I need nearby so I’m not grovelling about looking for things I need when time is short.

Where’s my paper and pen, I need to do some brainstorming.