365 Project 15 – 20: A week in winter


Day 19:  SNOMG!

Last week, although I did continue taking daily photos for my 365 Project, I didn’t bother posting them on Instagram. This was partly to keep you all on your toes  because the photos I took all totally sucked, but it was also because a friend pointed me in the direction of the Project 365 app which – yes, you’ve guessed it – is designed specifically with projects like this in mind, and basically allows you to organise your daily photos in a neat little month-by-month display, and also to set reminders etc. It’s cool, it’s free, and it’s something I totally should’ve discovered myself, except I jumped right into this project without really thinking about it. I know, SO unlike me! Ahem.

Anyway, I now have the app and am storing my photos there, so that when I post these roundups you won’t already have seen the photos on Instagram, and you can all be thrilled and amazed by them. Or as thrilled and amazed as you can be by a photo of the heater in someone else’s living room, that is, which is to say “not very”. And yes, I took a photo of the heater in the living room. Look, it was kind of a crappy week, OK? Some of the stressy things I mentioned back in December came back to bite me in the butt last week, and then the SNOW came to bite me in the butt too, so it was never going to be a good one, really. The fact is, though, as much as I hate all of the Snowcialmedia Hysteria, I have to admit that last week the snow itself was almost welcome, purely because it gave me an excuse to hibernate and not leave the house. This week, on the other hand? This week has been different – better – and the claustrophobia of not being able to go where I want, wear what I want and do what I want is really starting to get to me. Last week, though? Last week I hibernated. And I took a lot of crappy photos. It’s OK, though, because one of the things I realised from my first two massive roundups is that the photos I’m taking for this project are as much writing prompts as they are snapshots of my Very Important Life, so with all of that said, here they are:

project 365

Day 15: The heater in the living room. Exciting!

It’s here purely to visually clue you all in to the fact that the temperature, it was cold. The heater, it was needed. The sentences, they were strangely structured. So, yeah, it was cold. Did you all get that? Good, moving on…

Day 16: Beside my bed

My beloved Kindle, and also some real live books. The ‘Tigers in Red Weather’ one was sent to me as a review copy by the publisher. I was a little bit confused by this, because the last time I wrote a book review I was in high school, but hey, can’t complain. I don’t review Porsches, luxury holidays or champagne either, so if anyone wants to send me any of those, that would be fine. (I haven’t read it yet. It looks good, though.) The yellow things are my earplugs. I have a low tolerance for noise. We’ll get to that soon.

Day 17: MOAR reading

I downloaded The Mystery of Mercy Close by Marian Keyes, and devoured it in a couple of sittings. I would’ve done it in one, but you know, pesky work, grumble grumble. Anyway, I absolutely loved it: definitely recommended.

photo a dayDay 18: Friday night with Dexter. And also Rubin and Terry. 

Guess who forgot all about that day’s photo until 11:30pm, and then had to take a blurry photo of the TV screen? Oh yeah, that would be me…

Day 19: I hate myself for taking a photo of the snow.

Next thing you know I’ll be talking incessantly about Les Miserables and using the word “deskside” in a totally non-ironic way. GOD.

After all of that lying around doing nothing, however, on Sunday we figured it was high time to rejoin the land of the living, and also there was absolutely nothing to eat in the house, so we decided to go out:


Day 20: OUT

We went to a local chain restaurant. The food is good and cheap, but we don’t tend to visit this place very often, purely because any time someone in the restaurant is having a birthday, they play Cliff Richard’s “Congratulations” at an absolutely ear-splitting volume – like, so loud you can’t even hear yourself think. This, of course, would be no big deal, except for the fact that every time we’ve been there, there have been, like TEN birthdays in progress. Seriously. I guess it must be the go-to place for birthday meals, or something, so there you’ll be, enjoying your meal, when suddenly “COOOONGRAAAATULAAAAATIIIOOOOOONS!”booms out, and you have to stop mid-conversation and wait for Cliff to do his thang, before you can speak again. As soon as you do, though…  ”AAAAND JUUUBILAAAAATTTTIIOOOOONSS!” So you close your mouth again, and sit and wait, and politely applaud the “birthday person”, then you turn back to your conversation and… “CONGRAAATULLAAAAATIONS!”

And then you pick up your bread knife, and you slice off your own ears, because there is a limit to how often most people can listen to Cliff Richards in one evening, and in my case, three times before I’ve even placed my drink order is three times too many.

Anyway, enough time had elapsed since our last visit to this restaurant for us to be willing to give it another go, but as I opened the door, I turned to Terry and asked how many times he reckoned we’d hear Congratulations before we left. I was thinking we could maybe do some kind of “Congratulations!” drinking game or something. “No times,” said Terry confidently. “They won’t play it tonight.” And you know, Terry was right. Obviously no one in our town has a birthday on January 20th:  I have stored that fact away in my brain, so we can go back next year.

Despite the absence of Cliff and his boyish vocals, however, our meal was not to be the quiet, intimate affair we had hoped for. Mostly because we were in a chain restaurant, you know? I mean, if it’s “quiet and intimate” you’re after, you don’t go to a joint that plays Cliff Richards at top volume every time someone sneezes, do you? That’s why, as we slid into our seats, and noticed that the booth opposite us was occupied by a family whose two small children were screaming at top volume, we weren’t particularly phased by it. Well,  at least it was better than Cliff, after all.

Then each of the two adults present pulled out their phones. And started playing music on them. Tinny music. From not one, but TWO cellphones: cellphones which were competing, not just with each other, but also with the already loud music playing in the bar. I guess that’s a thing now? Playing music from your phone – or from your TWO PHONES – while you’re in a restaurant? And, OK, it may not be the classiest joint in town, but even so, people, EVEN SO. Cliff Richard may have had the night off, but Terry and I STILL couldn’t hear each other speak because of all of the clashing music tracks. It was so distracting we almost asked to be moved to another table, but we didn’t. Because we’re British: we don’t complain. And because if we had complainedwe’d have been THOSE people, and everyone would’ve thought we were horrible child-haters, when really, we don’t hate children at all: we hate adults who bring their own source of music to a restaurant.

(I’m exaggerating, of course. We don’t HATE The Others.We just… OK, yes, we hate them. And by “we”, I mean “it’s mostly me”.)

“Leave it,” I told Terry, as he started to flag down our waiter. “We won’t complain NOW, when there’s a chance of something being done about it: we’ll just wait until we’re home, then we’ll passive-aggressively complain on the internet. So that’s what we  I did.

Thankfully The Others switched the music off when their food arrived: I think they were doing it in a bid to keep the children quiet, and, you know, kudos to them for that, but the sound of children being children is just part of life: the sound of music playing from two different cellphones at the same time, however? That’s classic Others.

In summary: it was a “Music Playing from Two Cellphones at the Same Time” kind of a week. But my burger was delicious.