Archive of ‘My So-Called Life’ category
Well, as you can probably tell from the lack of hysterical blog posts and tweets, Wednesday’s cleaning-fest and raised hopes all turned out to be for nothing. OK, not QUITE for nothing: the house got a REALLY thorough cleaning, and Rubin got a nice walk while we were waiting for the viewing to be over. Oh, and Terry now has a great dinner-party story to tell, about that time he was forced to hide behind the bins in his own back garden when the prospective buyers turned up early, and he wasn’t sure what to do other than to dive outside and hide. (I had already vacated the house with Rubin by that point, having anticipated just such an event, but Terry wanted to have a quick word with the estate agent before the showing, so he’d stayed behind. I watched from behind a tree as The Others drove up to the house and Terry sneaked out. I actually have no idea why it’s so important to me that they DO NOT SEE ME, EVER but somehow it is…)
So we have a clean house, a happy dog, and I also got a good laugh at the expression on Terry’s face as he made his escape. What we don’t have, though, is an offer on the house, and that’s kind of a bummer, because obviously we can walk the dog and hide in the back garden any time we like, but we can’t move house until someone decides to take this one off our hands first. We also can’t seem to think or talk about anything else, as you’ve probably realised. We spent the entire day yesterday waiting by the phone, jumping every time it rang, feeling crushed every time it turned out be just another recorded message telling us we’d won an all-expenses paid trip to the Bahamas…it wasn’t much fun, in other words, especially when things had been looking so hopeful.
So, now we’re back to waiting, and hoping someone else will come and take a look at it. On that subject, I was just out of the shower on Wednesday, when there was a knock on the door, and Rubin instantly exploded into frenzied barking. Terry was on the phone to a client at the time, and I couldn’t just let Rubin bark his head off while I answered the door, so I scooped him up (Rubin, I mean, not Terry. If I’d been carrying TERRY, that would definitely have made what was about to transpire a little bit stranger, but honestly, not much…) and rushed downstairs, still in my dressing gown and towel turban, and with Rubin doing his utmost to escape my clutches. I tucked him under one arm, and used the other hand to throw open the door, only to be met with…
…two little girls. Like, less than ten years old, probably.
“Er, excuse me?” one of them said. “I just wondered how much your house is?”
I was a little taken aback by this, to say the least. In all of the scenarios I’ve imagined in which prospective buyers turn up on the doorstep unannounced, I have to say, I’ve never imagined them wearing school uniform. So I stood and stared at these Junior Others, uncomfortably aware that Rubin’s legs were frantically clawing at my dressing gown, which was about to open any second, at which point I would go from simply being The Mad Woman on the street to being The Mad Woman Who Flashes Children. Which would definitely be a downgrade.
“Wow,” I thought, “Either I’m getting REALLY old, or buyers are, like SUPER YOUNG these days!” Then I said the first thing that popped into my head, which just so happened to be the question, “Why, are you interested in buying it?”
Well, the child gave me a really strange look, and honestly, I can’t say I blame her, because there I stood, all wild-eyed and partly-dressed, with a towel on my head and a small, hysterical dog under my arm, asking her if, by any chance, she was thinking of investing in property.
“Actually,” she said, “It’s my mum who’s interested in it, not me. Because I’m ten?”
(She didn’t actually say the last bit. I could tell she thought it, though.)
At that point, thankfully, Terry finished his phonecall and came to my rescue. He took my place at the door, and I slunk off upstairs with Rubin, to spend a few bitter moments wondering if I could possibly have handled the situation any worse than I had. (Conclusion: probably not, but you never know with me…)
I’m guessing that this probably won’t turn out to be the hottest lead on the house, because seriously, who sends their 10-year-old child to negotiate the purchase of their next home, WHO? (Answer: THE OTHERS do, obviously.) Is that a thing now? It is, however, the only lead we have right now, so I’m just going to put it out there that if any other pre-teens are interested in getting their foot on the property ladder, we would be more than happy to show them around.
I promise I will try to wear real clothes this time.
(I also promise that sentence sounded much less creepy in my head…)
TWITTER | FACEBOOK | BLOGLOVIN‘
Since the house has been on the market (Yes, it’s another one of those “I’m selling my house, and I’m going to talk about it forever” posts. Sorry.) we’ve had three sets of potential buyers come to take a look at it.
Now, this was a part of the process I’d been absolutely dreading. I HATED the thought of having to follow The Others around my house, listening to them list all of the things they hate about it, and repeatedly answering the question “But what do you DO with all the SHOOZ?” (Note to self: remember to make up smart comeback to this, so you don’t keep on having to go, “Er, I wear them? On my feet? Am I doing it wrong?”), so I was really pleased when our estate agent told us we didn’t need to be there when they show people around. This works for me: I don’t have to deal with the awkwardness (I have the ability to make even normal situations awkward, so I really hate to think how badly I could screw up a situation that is inherently awkward anyway…), and the prospective buyers don’t have to pretend they’re going to buy our house, just out of politeness. (Which is what I tend to do when I look at houses and the people are in them at the time. If Terry wasn’t there to stop me, I’d probably make an offer on the spot, and end up buying a house I absolutely hated, just because I couldn’t think of a polite way to end the conversation.)
There’s a good side and a bad side to this, though…
[Dress and boots: both Zara, circa 2011 // Jacket: La Redoute, 2012 // Giant snow heart: c/o Terry]
So, our house is probably going on the market soon. I’m not sure quite how soon, but … soon. Too soon for my liking, because folks? I am FREAKING THE HELL OUT right now. Like, lying awake at night worrying, and waking up thinking, “OMG, WHAT ARE WE DOING?” – that kind of freaking out. It’s no fun at all, let me tell you.
Oh, don’t get me wrong: I want to move. I’ve wanted to move for years now. I’ve said it so many times it really doesn’t need to be repeated, but I’m going to do it anyway: this house is small. And cramped. And just generally uncomfortable, in lots of different ways, really. When we bought it, we saw it very much as a “starter home” – we assumed it would be a decent first step on the property ladder, and that we’d only live in it for a couple of years before moving on. Onwards and upwards.
We didn’t anticipate that Terry would need a kidney transplant, of course. Or that we’d both end up leaving our well-paid jobs and starting our own business because of it. But that was what happened: Terry’s diagnosis came almost exactly a year after we bought the place, and after that, moving home was the last thing we wanted to think about.
Now we’re not just thinking about it: we’re on the brink of actually DOING IT, and as I said I want to move. I’m excited about the big life change we possibly have ahead of us. I’m downright delirious at the prospect of having some much-needed space. I’m looking forward to having our friends over, and not feeling like I have to constantly apologise for the house, or have them all spend the evening rotating in and out of different rooms because if we all tried to sit in the living room we’d probably set a new world record. I’m ready for this. It’s time.
(Celebration, Florida, 2012. Has nothing to do with this post.)
On Monday morning, Terry, Rubin and I were woken by the sound of an opera singer warming up her vocal chords in the office, which is just a few short metres from our bedroom. She sang a single, er, “trill”, (OK, not musical, no idea what it’s called: one of those long, warbly notes that you hold on to for a while, going up the scale?)… and then was silent.
Simultaneously, the three of us raised our heads and looked at each other in confusion.
“Did that sound like an opera singer to you?” Terry asked.
“YES. THANK GOD you heard it too,” I replied. “I was scared to mention it, in case it was just me, and you accused me of being crazy again, like you did on Thursday night.”
(On Thursday night, I woke Terry up by shouting the word “TRENDY!” in my sleep. Under questioning (and while I was still asleep), I revealed that I’d been “trying to think of a word to describe my hair.” Obviously I didn’t think too hard before shouting out a word that doesn’t even remotely describe my hair, but look, I was SLEEPING, OK? I was probably dreaming I was someone else. I do that a lot. But anyway: the opera singer!)
We knew the opera singing hadn’t come from either of us, and we couldn’t blame Rubin, either (which is what we normally do when something happens in the house that we can’t explain), because he was right there at our feet, having snuck into the bedroom at some point during the night, and been granted access to the bed by one or the other of us, but probably me. Oh yeah, and also because he’s a dog. And seriously, his singing is terrible.
(Oh, and it wasn’t coming from either of our phones either, because they were also in the room with us. And also not opera singers.)
Nevertheless, the fact remained: an opera singer had sung. All three of us had heard her. And she had sung in our office, which, honestly, was kind of strange, especially when you consider the complete absence of opera singers in our household on any given day.
We were pretty sure the singer had sung from inside the house. The sound had been much louder and clearer than someone shouting in the street, for instance, and I’m able to speak with some authority on this subject, because our house is within walking distance of a pub, and we’re regularly woken from our peaceful, trendy-hair-filled slumbers by the sound of The Others stumbling home and standing shouting – and sometimes fighting – in the street beneath our window. Just last week, in fact, we were treated to a 30-minute show by an Other who came out of the woods and stood shouting angrily into his cellphone, just a stone’s throw from our house. It’s a good job we didn’t actually HAVE any stones to throw, is all I’m saying.(Joking!) (Not!) (No, really, joking: don’t throw stones, kids!)
So, we KNOW what people shouting/singing/fighting in the street sounds like (We also know what someone driving a mini motorcycle up and down said street for five hours solid sounds like, but that’s a whole other story. ), and we knew this wasn’t it.
So WHAT WAS IT?
Um, honestly? I have no idea. None at all. If I had to guess, I’d say the house has probably been built on the site of an old opera house, which burned to the ground under mysterious circumstances, and now the unlucky prima donnas who once trod its boards are stuck helplessly between this world and the next. I think that’s the most likely explanation, but I watch a LOT of horror movies, so maybe just disregard that. It could also be something to do with Nigel, The International Man Who is Considerably Less Mysterious Than He Used to Be Next Door, who has now been AWOL again for several months. It could be connected to The Voice. Or there COULD be a completely rational explanation. I hope not, though. Rational explanations are always SUCH an anti-climax, aren’t they?
Ah, well, it could be worse. I mean, we could be haunted by the spirit of Justin Beiber or something. That really WOULD be weird. Especially considering he’s not even dead.
Yeah, I know, I know: it’s ANOTHER one of those stupid “photo-a-day” roundups. Right after the last one. With nothing in between them to at least allow me to PRETEND I sometimes write about other things here. SIGH.
Look, it’s not my fault. I HAD intended to have a couple of outfit posts for you this week, but… the weather. I don’t need to tell you about it, do I? Suffice to say the snow stuck around until a couple of days ago, and while it was here, I was dressed like this every day. Well, when I was outside, anyway. I didn’t dress like that at home, although don’t think I didn’t consider it. Did I mention it’s been COLD? Anyway, the snow was here, and then it melted. But when it melted, the rain came. And the rain remained. It’s still raining right now, in fact, which means I’m STILL not leaving the house, and I’m STILL not wearing anything worth photographing, because… the weather. Yes.
Anyway, I may not have managed any outfit photos, but I have been continuing with my 365 project, and I’ve gotten a little bit behind with the roundups, so I figured I may as well play catch-up. Seeing as I’ve nothing better to do, obviously.
Last week’s set of photos mostly revolved around my attempts at the Insanity Asylum workouts. Other than the photo of the pink sky, obviously. It’s… a photo of a pink sky. Look, I LIKE THE SKY, OK? As some of you may recall, I completed the original Insanity 90 day programme last summer, and really enjoyed it. I mean, I say “really enjoyed it”: I’m fairly convinced Shaun T and I were mortal enemies in some previous life, and that’s why he’s trying to kill me in this one, but still. This is the kind of exercise I like best: mostly high-energy cardio, which gets you totally out of breath and doesn’t give you much opportunity to get bored. Like yoga, say. God, I hate yoga.
So I completed Insanity (Yay, go me!), and for a while I was all, “I will work out every day now, for I have learned new habits which will serve me well throughout the rest of my long, healthy life.” Then December happened. And I ate ALL the things at Christmas. I also didn’t work out at all, and although I did make an attempt to get back into running at the start of this month, that attempt was to prove unsuccessful, because… the weather.
Enter Insanity: The Asylum. Which has well and truly kicked my ass over the past few days. From the top:
21. Welcome to the Asylum. Apparently I will “look and feel like an athlete in 30 days”. But which one, I wonder? My breath is bated. I bet it’s Tiger Woods. I just have a feeling about it.
22. PINK SKY.
24. Free weights. (Actually, they weren’t free at all: Terry paid for them. Boom boom!)
23. Resistance bands. My favourite is the green one, natch.
(Yes, I mixed up the order of these slightly. Such a rebel I am!)
25. On Friday, these shoes arrived, courtesy of Sarenza, whose brand ambassador programme I’m lucky enough to be a part of. I love them.
26. On Saturday we went out with a bunch of friends to a birthday party in a local bar. My “out on the town” outfits are rarely documented on this blog because I always leave it to the last minute to get ready, and then it’s too dark/late/Terry is too annoyed with me to take photos of them. I don’t think “tragedy” is too strong a word to describe this sorry situation. (Yes I do.) Instead, you’ll have to make do with this blurry iPhone photo, the capturing of which made me realise there IS actually an art to that whole “I am taking a photo of myself in the mirror” thing, and I am sadly lacking in that art. For instance, I was wearing a really nice jewelled collar but can you see it? No, you cannot! Because I’m holding my phone in front of it! That’s why my face is frozen in an attitude of barely contained anger. It’s either that, or the fact that there was an ice-cream van parked outside my window blaring out the A-Team theme song for twenty minutes. Or maybe that’s just my face.
(It’s totally just my face. I have one of THOSE faces. My “resting expression” is best defined as “pure, undiluted anger”, even when I’m perfectly happy and am thinking about, I don’t know, kittens or something. That’s why people are always walking up to me and saying, “Smile, it might never happen!” And why I’m always smacking them in the face in reply.)
27. The road to my parents’ house, where we headed on Sunday afternoon. It’s long. With many a winding turn. OK, it isn’t: it’s kinda short and straight. No one ever writes songs about those kind of roads, do they? Just blog posts. And not even full ones, just, like, a few paltry sentences as part of some stupid photo roundup. Sad for those roads.
28. This is Poppy. She is a parrot. And I’ll just ‘fess up right now: this photo of her was actually taken by Terry, using the “real” camera, which explains why it’s so much better than the rest of ‘em. (Actually, the top photo was taken by me with the real camera, too, but I included the blurry iPhone version in the roundup itself. I don’t know why I’m telling you this, because it’s not like I’m in a court of law and in danger of being charged with non-adherence to some strict Project 365 Code of Honour or something, but I feel the need for full transparency, apparently.) I DID also take a photo of Poppy with my phone, so this totally counts as part of my project (yes it does, shut up), but mine came out really dark and blurry, so I’m using Terry’s instead. Anyway, Poppy belongs to my in-laws, and unlike her predecessor Pepe (yes, it’s confusing), may God rest his soul, she is notable for being a nice, friendly bird, who has yet to take a chunk out of anyone’s finger. Unlike, you know, Pepe. She is also notable for the fact that we don’t actually know for sure what sex she is, so people walk around saying things like, “Look at Poppy, what a pretty girl he is!” and “She’s such a good boy, isn’t she?” Well, gender is such a touchy subject, isn’t it? We wouldn’t want her to feel like she was being pressured into being one or the other if she doesn’t want to. You just do you, Poppy. Atta girl. Boy. Whatevs.
29. I bought shoes. They are from River Island. I hope one day to be able to wear them, but, well… the weather. GOD.
And we’re all up to date. FINALLY.
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:
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.
Day 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 complained, we’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.
Robert Rodriguez pencil dress c/o Shopbop // Sam Edelman boots c/o Shopbop // faux fur H&M scarf // leather bow gloves (gift from my parents) // Gucci sunglasses
Well so far it looks like 2013 is shaping up to be a long-sleeved pencil dress kind of a year. Which is… a little odd for the rest of you, I guess (Terry, for instance, just isn’t sure whether he can pull off a pencil dress…), but just fine by me: it’s one of my favourite shapes, after all, and I’m building up a small (but long-sleeved) collection of this style of dress, which will hopefully see me through many a winter to come. Assuming I can stay away from the Haribo mix, that is, and so far it’s not looking very likely. So sweet, but also so sour! And fruit is one of the essential food groups, right? Ahem.
Now, I don’t generally play “favourites” with my clothes, so whatever you do, don’t tell the rest of them I said this, but of all of the dresses I own, this one is definitely one of my favourites. For now, anyway. As well as being beautifully made, in the most gorgeous, thick fabric, with a cunning little zip at the hem (so you avoid getting into situations like this one…), I just love the sheer simplicity of it, and the fact that something so totally plain can be dressed up and made to look special. I’ve been waiting for an opportunity to wear it, and I figured the start of a New Year was the perfect excuse, because obviously if you’re going to be consuming a ton of food, the best thing to wear is a pale-coloured dress, which will stain easily, no? I swear when I walked through the door for our traditional New Year’s Day dinner, my family all started crossing themselves and muttering prayers under their breath, and I’m pretty sure I saw my dad hiding the ketchup and red wine in the garage. I DID consider simply cutting a hole in a sheet and popping my head through it, but in the end I opted for a couple of strategically draped tea towels. That’s my standard dinner-time look, actually. Sometimes I wonder why I bother buying actual CLOTHES, when it would be so much simpler to just cut out the middle-man and buy a selection of overalls and aprons. Maybe with polka dots, say. Or stripes.
Anyway, as luck would have it (And I’m pretty sure it WAS just dumb luck, and nothing at all to do with me…) the dress managed to get through dinner unscathed, and will live to see another day. As for New Year’s day, well, it was a pretty good one, all things considered. My mum almost lost an eye removing a rogue contact lens, and Rubin woke Terry and I up in the middle of the night with what I will simply refer to as an “upset stomach” and allow you to fill in the foul-smelling, gag-inducing blanks yourselves, but there was lots of food, lots of wine, and it was basically a bit like Christmas, only without the pressure to buy people gifts. And, well, with a whole lot more dog poop. Yes.
We’ve been telling ourselves the whole half-blinded mother/erupting dog incidents were NOT omens of doom for the rest of the year. I mean, it COULD still turn out to be a friendly dragon, despite the slightly less-than-auspicious start, couldn’t it? A fluffy, friendly, long-sleeved-pencil-dress-wearing dragon. Fingers crossed, everyone…
(Zara pencil dress // Schuh heels – both from 2011)
Happy New Year, everyone!
Every year, I try my best not to build New Year’s Eve into the emotional ordeal it so often turns out to be for me. I tell myself it’s a beginning as well as an end, and that regardless of what the date is on the calender, life will be exactly the same as it ever was on the other side of midnight.
Despite all of this, though, I always find it a melancholy time of year. I just don’t do well with endings, and while most people seem to view the New Year as a blank slate, I see it more as a sleeping dragon, just waiting for someone to come along and poke it with a stick. We just don’t know whether it’ll turn out to be a friendly dragon (Er, like some dragons totally are, obviously…) or whether it’ll up and destroy the village, and honestly? I’m scared of dragons anyway. You should be too. I mean, I know it’s super-negative and all that, but some years are just bad ‘uns, aren’t they? And as the clock strikes midnight, I always find myself worrying that this will be one of them. That, and that people I don’t know will come over and expect me to kiss them. I’m not good with that either. I’m just a whole barrel of laughs today, aren’t I? Happy New Year, everyone! Please don’t unsubscribe!
Anyway, with that bit of teenage-like angst out of the way, what I WAS going to say in that first paragraph, before I got derailed by talk of dragons and suchlike, was that every year I try my best to NOT BE LIKE THAT, and instead to view the New Year as a whole bunch of opportunities waiting to be discovered, and… I’d add some other pithy, optimistic stuff here, but I’m sure you’ll all have had your fill of inspirational “New Year, New You!” sayings on Facebook, so I’ll just leave it at that. I’ve only ever managed to pull this off a handful of times, but you’ll be relieved to hear that this year was one of them, and that I’ve worked out what the key to a non-depressing New Year’s Eve is: it’s basically distraction. Surround yourself with lots of people, and lots of noise, and before you know it, you’ll have sailed through midnight, and be living in the future, without even realising what happened.
With this in mind, Terry and I spent New Year’s Eve in exactly the same place we spent it last year: with both of our families, at a local bar/restaurant which throws a big party, complete with food, drinks and the wait staff dancing on the tables. It’s a pretty good way to do it, because we get to celebrate with all of the people we love most (or a lot of them, anyway – not everyone was able to be there, but there was still enough of our favourite folks to make it a lot of fun), and I only had to kiss one complete stranger, so that was a relief, too. Oh, and I also chose to celebrate by dressing like a glitter-ball for the occasional. Well, I figured if you can’t wear something sparkly on New Year’s Eve, you basically never can, can you?
And that was our New Year’s Eve. I have no idea what kind of dragon 2013 will turn out to be, but I sincerely hope it’s the fluffy, cuddly kind, and that you all have an absolutely wonderful year!
(P.S. We had to use the flash on a couple of these to get the glitter of the dress to show up in the low light – apologies for my shiny “Flash Face”!)
(P.P.S. I don’t make New Year’s resolutions, but this year I did decide to start a Photo-a-Day project, which I’m doing on Instagram. I may or may not post some of the photos here too, as roundups, but if you just can’t wait to see even more photos of my shoes and my dog, you can follow me here.)
Season’s greetings, everyone! I hope you’re all enjoying a good Christmas/holiday season/Wednesday/delete as appropriate.
*Goes to check that it is, in fact, Wednesday. Realises it’s actually Thursday. Panics slightly at the realisation that OMG, the time, it is passing her by. Stops speaking in the third person, because seriously: ANNOYING.*
I may not be a big fan of the hysteria that surrounds the run-up to Christmas, but I do take a break from the humbugging for the day itself, which is always a good one. This year was no exception, and we’ve spent the past two days at my parents’ place, where we got lots of lovely gifts (many of which you’ll see soon, because they were the type of gifts you can wear…) and had lot and lots (and lots and lots…) of delicious food: so much, in fact, that we were still eating it on Boxing Day. My parents are probably still eating it now, in fact.
(I’m joking: my parents are probably hitting the sales right now. The apple doesn’t fall far from the tree is all I’m saying…)
Every year, my mum does a different theme for our Christmas table, and this year’s theme was holidays and days out: she’d made an amazing table cloth covered in mementos from our various trips (it totally didn’t photograph well in the low light, which is also why some of these photos are a little yellow…), and we had starters from around the world, before the “traditional” turkey dinner, which actually isn’t particularly traditional in our house, this being the first time we’ve had it in years. We all had far too much too eat, but hey, it’s Christmas: it’s what you do, no?
Rubin, meanwhile, had a slightly more adventurous day, thanks to an intrepid cat, which had the temerity to wander past the house while Rubin was sitting at the window, guarding us all. Well, he wasn’t going to stand for A CAT on his patch (I mean, can you even BELIEVE it?!), so he took off into the garden in hot pursuit (The cat wasn’t actually IN the garden, of course, but outside is outside as far as Rubin’s concerned…), and somehow managed to pull a muscle in his leg in the process. We’ve no idea how he did it – my mum was watching him at the time and says one minute he was running flat-out, and the next he was… well, STILL running flat-out, but now on only three legs, the fourth being tucked up under his belly. We spent the rest of the day fussing over him and trying to get him to lie down and rest, but he didn’t seem to notice anything was amiss and continued to try to jump on and off the furniture and race around after his toys, so I think the whole incident was more traumatic for us humans than it was for him. He’s still limping slightly, but as I write this, he’s just launched himself off the bed and raced downstairs to bark at the Tesco delivery man, so I think he’s probably on the mend…
Hope everyone’s having a good holiday season!
(Skirt: Topshop // sweater: H&M // shoes: Ted Baker Keanah 2 c/o Sarenza // Bow bracelet: ASOS // Petticoat: eBay // Brooch: vintage (gift from my parents)
There is a scene in Modern Family (possibly in the very first episode, in fact), in which Phil has convinced a reluctant Claire to race him. He’s talking excitedly about how totally awesome this race will be, and how terrified Claire must be of losing. Then the camera turns to Claire, who just stares at it resignedly and sighs, “I just want to read.”
I laughed out loud when I first saw that scene, because it basically summed up my whole life. Right now, for instance, everyone is running around getting psyched up about OMGCHRISTMAS and WRAPPING GIFTS and … I don’t know, drinking mulled wine or whatever. Me, on the other hand?
I just want to read.
For as long as I can remember, books have been my solace. I was one of those kids who would trail around the supermarket after her parents, unable to see where she was going because of the book held inches from her nose. The kind of kid who would happily go out and play with her friends (I, er, DID have some friends…), but who would secretly be looking forward to coming home and curling up with a novel. There was no smell better than that of a giant stack of new library books; no sound I’d rather hear than the soft thump of the librarian stamping them before handing them over, with all of their exciting new worlds tucked inside them. My teachers always described me as a “voracious reader”: a description I liked because it made me sound like some wild, book-eating animal. I imagined myself in a cage, passers-by watching wide-eyed as I tore at a pile of books with my sharp little teeth, breaking their spines with a snap.
I stayed that way throughout my childhood and teenage years, all the way through university (I studied English Literature purely because it would allow me to read even MOAR BOOKS, and call it “work”), and into the first few years of my “proper” adult life. Over the last few years, however, I’ve noticed that reading has become less something that’s as natural and necessary as breathing, and more of a stolen luxury, indulged in infrequently. There just never seems to be time any more. I’m sure my fellow small business owners (and probably everyone else too, to be honest) will relate to the feeling that you need to be ALWAYS working, and perhaps the only downside I’ve found of working from home (Well, other than the fact that no one believes you’re actually working, of course…) is the guilt that radiates from the glowing laptop screen any time you try to step away from it and do something else.
This week, though (and last week too, actually), I’ve been doing a lot of reading. In fact, I’ve not been doing much else. It’s been a rough couple of weeks, for various reasons, (nothing to worry about, just a random collection of things that would be only mildly stressful on their own, but which decided to all arrive at once: awesome!),and I’ve been dealing with it by doing the bare minimum of my tasks for the day and then retreating to my room with a huge mug of coffee and my Kindle.
That’s not the only reason for the lack of posts lately (It hasn’t stopped raining since my last post, and it’s so dark and overcast all the time it’s like a permanent twilight. The actual twilight, I mean, not the books/movies. A permanent Twilight really WOULD be scary…), but it is one of the reasons, and it’s also one of the reasons I probably won’t be around much over the next few days. As luck would have it, however, I don’t expect many of YOU will either, because the holiday season is looming and most people I know seem to be finishing up work today or tomorrow, so I just wanted to pop in and wish you all a very happy holiday if you’re celebrating it and, well, a very happy next few days if you’re not.
Now, if anyone needs me, I’ll be in my room with a good book…