Friday, 28 October 2011

Happy Halloween!

I've started decorating already!

Necklace restrung from Poundland decoration
Lurex jumper - charity shop

Tuesday, 25 October 2011


... managing marvellously to have some for Neighbor Next Door With The Tidy Yard this morning. Yes, the missing "u" in the word, and the tidy yard. Whose fence post I fixed.

This morning all hell was breaking out the other side of the party wall. Lost-the-plot dad screaming at their little boy, boy screaming back.... at first I cranked up the 6Music volume. Then I got a glass to the wall - to check out what exactly was going on. Seems they were trying to get a contact lens in, for his lazy eye. He's 4, for chrissakes, and was getting totally distraught. And the dad was getting horrible.... I nearly went round there. And then I thought, ah, they wouldn't do this if they didn't have to. And they must hear a fair bit from our side when the 14 year old is on one. It all died down soon enough. And I would have felt awful wading in at their doorstep. And all sorts of awkwardness.

And now the tw*t is HAMMERING - aaaaaarrrrrggggghhhhh. When I've got the day off, with a silly stomach, with no sleep last night. And thought I could have a snooze now the 12 year old's gone to school...

*breathe*. Its all about the tolerance. In Gok voice.

Monday, 24 October 2011

Making Myself A Bit Late For Work. For Real.

Ewwwwrrrrggghhh - back to the World of Work today, after 9, or is it, 10 days off. An utterly slack life indeed. No wonder I need to have a job - I obviously lack the willpower to hack it self-employed. Whatever, I was dumbstruck by How Did It Get That Dark Since I Last Got Up That Early? Despite 2 dreams torturing me that I've been Severely Late (9am and 3pm ....) I am still sitting here, stubbornly having a 2nd cup of black tea, with precisely 36 minutes to shower and find something presentable in which to leave the house.

No doubt Work Talk will be of How Dark It Was This Morning, and who the hell is Patrick Crawley from last night's Downton Abbey. I will, of course, be extremely one-up on helpful in the latter conversation, from watching the previous series. Though maybe less knowledgeable about why Mary seems to get romantically entangled with all her male cousins. Heir or not. Isn't that inter-breeding? Is that what the New Era they are talking about, at the end of the First World War, is supposed to eradicate? Matthew's legs are twitching... he may be back in the running. Literally.

Sunday, 23 October 2011

Pictures On The Walls

Last week I was going to spend the afternoon painting a wall grey in my dining room. The plan got waylaid by World of Work overspill... but very much later that evening, watching an old Who Do You Think You Are (Natasha Kaplinsky), the wall got its paint.... The painting mojo hasn't returned since then, so I still haven't got the ladder out of the cellar to do the top 4" of wall.

In a bit of a "blah", down-phase a little while ago, I filled my ebay watch list up with Warhol pop art. So the mini blue Liz and the mini red Jackie O were from there...

And to keep the pop art going:

Poster at London Bridge station.

And on another wall, in my dad's lounge, is this l'il beauty:

It's called "Interlude" by Teymour Amiry, 1963. It's been in the house forever; the downstairs of the house is totally still original mid-century. As is the wallpaper throughout the house... The only thing I've found on the artist is a listing on New Zealand's Trade Me. So possibly a New Zealand artist??? Its quite creepy, as I just don't like still, dark water like rivers and ponds, but its quite enchanting even so...

Tuesday, 18 October 2011

To The Wallpaper Museum. And London?

Off dahn south tomorrow, to the land of oast houses, and a certain house styled as a non-ironic 1950's throwback. Yes, an afternoon and an evening with my dad, which will be lovely, and I will put my fingers in my ears when he tells me yet again that I've filled his kettle The Wrong Way. He has a big birthday soon, and I'm hoping I've managed to find him three things which don't elicite the directness that was the response I've had from him once or twice of "what did you get me that for?".

After that we're kicking our heels round London for a bit. This time around its a bit tricky thinking where to take 2 boys who are getting increasingly less possible to impress. They've never let me forget the time I wouldn't let them in the Apple store. We found out the next day that one of my friends had been in there at exactly that time, and she had stumbled on a Mighty Boosh promo event... I'm thinking a sweep around the low-culture bits of the V&A. Though obviously we have absolutely no expectations of spotting Noel Fielding...

Thursday, 13 October 2011

Perfume Discoveries, Pop Art And Monochrome Tones

Today I had it all wrapped up. I was to be at the World of Work til 1, then free-wheeling the rest of the afternoon, doing exciting things. Like buying a ball of black wool at the market, to finish a black, grey and white scarf I've been knitting the past 2 evenings. And painting another dining room wall mid-grey... having an obsession with pop art and primary colours at the moment, so planning to put up some colourful prints on a darker background in the next few days.

Almost made myself late this morning as Jarvis Cocker was on 6Music, saying something about songs he used to write when he was a young'un. When I got there, the frenzy began - not enough staff, finding awol tutors, no coffee, stopping students gluing each others' faces, coping with students obsessed already by christmas... and doing overtime until 4 o'clock.

Got back. Lovely warm afternoon. Cup of tea and chocolate brioche. Out in the garden. Have an unofficial deal with the American neighbour to bring in each others' dustbins, whoever is around at the time. This involves navigating 2 huge wheelie bins round several corners and down an alleyway between the houses. How quaint - only up north, eh. Invariably there is cat crap somewhere in the alley. Which is not at all quaint, and the cats had been there again.

I wondered about spraying some old perfume around, to see if that would deter the moggies. Lancome's Magie Noire, which I bought a decade ago, has always been a bit heavy and noticeable on me, maybe ok in winter. I could just waste the rest of it on the alleyway... I squirted my wrists, and sniffed, googled the ingredients, sniffed it some more... Found a charming perfume blog and signed up to it... and decided it was definitely too good to waste on the alleyway. I shall wear it over the next few days and expect people to be asking me what it is. Or else some cats may run the other way. And my spam box will get filled up with garden pest deterrent products.

Sunday, 9 October 2011


Friday. An appointment at 2. Which always means that I do zilch with the rest of the day, using the getting ready, and getting to, as the "thing to do" for that day. It was with the psychiatrist who I succeeded in bribing the 14 year old to see 2 weeks and 2 days before. 2 days and 2 weeks of me wondering what she'd concluded from the mere hour (and bulging file of notes from other professionals) that she'd seen him for. Seen his anger, irritation, resentment...

There was a mix-up. I was supposed to have been at her other hospital. Not the one I'd had the previous two appointments in. No, one that I didn't have an address for or even a written appointment confirmation for - she'd just looked at her diary on-screen and given me a date to be there next. Only there was evidently not here, it was actually there. The receptionist took 20 minutes to decide to tell me I was in the wrong place, and hopes of progress fell through the floor. My assertive bolshy streak took over - was there not a way to ensure that the psychiatrist and I could have this meeting, albeit over the phone? There had to be a room I could use? Seeing as I couldn't get there now in such a short time, and she wasn't going to get over here? Phone call arranged, I was put into a room full of open files. Which I did not peek at. I just read a wallchart detailing what they do if parents refused to medicate their ADHD children.

She rang through, apologising profusely for the appointment mix-up, and I burbled apologies about making assumptions about where it would be. Then we ran through what she felt about the 14 year old.

Autistic Spectrum Disorder. Did she mean Aspergers? Yes, she did. Leaflets would be sent, letters written to the school, referrals to other services made. It confirmed what I'd long thought, so it was a relief, maybe I hadn't been a paranoid parent all these years.

But it hadn't been recognised until now - it often is hard to diagnose - so the 14 year old has been having a tough time for a few years, and has cut himself off. What now? How was I supposed to tell him there had been a "diagnosis"? That he has a recognised disability?

I got outside the building and any sense of relief, validation, vanished. I don't know what the future holds for him; maybe he won't ever get a job, am I going to have to tell his future partners? Maybe that's nothing to do with me...

Today I told him. I opened up the conversation with "if the school could give you a bit more help, what subjects would you think you'd like to concentrate on?" He named 3. I said maybe we could look at whether we could get that to happen, having another meeting with the school to see what they could offer him. Then I sort of wove into "well, you know that woman we went to see the other week? The one who sees quite a lot of people your age? Well, she thinks..... and that would mean you could get a lot more support". He told me to go away.

Wednesday, 5 October 2011

The Other Side Of The Night Before...

Back on to my "regular" World of Work timetable, and my bodyclock has finally adjusted to the legging-it-like-a-loony pace. I left WoW yesterday, having contributed to the well-being of those I was in charge of by having:
* learnt a new Australian phrase "shag on a rock"
* drunk 3 coffees
* had a lunchtime conversation with the girls about waxing and men with ear hair (euwwwwwggghhh)
* planned some Official Day Off time running about town, dropping stuff off to the charity shop and picking up another old Quality Street tin from the sorting to lurve those mauve patterned beauties.

For once I was ahead of the game with thinking about dinner - something italian, sloppy and autumnal now that we've got the post-heatwave cool-down. And then I remembered... the 12 year old will be bringing home pizza from his school cooking class. So not only do I have the day off today, I don't have to cook tonight! And I just might go and watch the Liver Birds in a minute - boots and beehives - and then I will get myself out, instead of having just a bit more sofatime...

Tuesday, 4 October 2011

More Sunday Night Film Watching And Other Things...

Another one on my list of late-Sunday-night-films-I-have-missed-the-first-10-minutes-of is last week's L'empreinte de l'ange, starring the compelling Catherine Frot. Excellent pacing to the film, wonderful cinematography, and I worked out the twist.

Meanwhile, other randomness:

* One of Zoe Ball's eyes is smaller than the other. Now that It Takes Two is back on, dinner may sometimes be late...
* Philip Glenister is back on tv Thursday night in Hidden. No red Audi Quattro or Bolly Knickers though.
* Len Goodman is on tomorrow's Who Do You Think You Are. I love these trawls through family archives and unravelling of long-ago mysteries.
* I really need to find out what blogger has done to the photo-adding thing; not being able to put photos up is more luddite than I'd like to be. Alas I feel this may require some concentration.
* Some lovely people in town were handing out free bars of Galaxy last week. Guess who forgot to put it in the fridge? Having to put chocolate in the fridge in October??
* We are supposed to be getting a hurricane later this week. Straight after a heatwave? Crazy times...

Monday, 3 October 2011

Sunday Night Film-Watching

Monday morning is never a good time to wish you hadn't stayed up so late the night before. Yeah, I was naughty and stayed up til nearly midnight because I flicked channels after the starchy superbness of Downton Abbey and found Nowhere Boy on Channel 4. I somehow missed the first 10 minutes, so had to quickly catch on that the racy bird teasing a teenage John with a kiss-me-quick hat was actually his mum. Anne-Marie Duff as the latter was full of the amazing facial expressions she does so subtly. Shameless's loss... The whole shebang was a great story, poignant, and a total delight of 30's to 50's decor. And utterly heart-wrenching when John and Paul hug at Julia's wake... And again as John leaves aunt Mimi's for Hamburg, after telling her to tick both parent and guardian in his passport application.

Saturday, 1 October 2011

An Unwise Amount Of Pretzels And Popcorn...

... can only mean that Strictly is back. The dodgy trailer that makes Anita Dobson look like Emily Bishop, the how-bad-can-Lulu-really-be, isn't Russell Grant just like Frankie Howerd... awesome stuff. Especially Nancy Dell'Olio being set-up with that lethal feather boa. Some wardrobe mistress might just be finding a horse's head in her bed shortly.

Earlier today we went out intending to find some cool breeze down by the river in a nearby city. We took the tree-lined pedestrian route to the centre, taking photos of leafery and buildings, marvelling that we were trampling over orange, crunchy leaves in a HEATWAVE, but its too humid and late for me to figure out how blogger have sabotaged the upload-the-pics thing, so no photos for now.

Next along, near the new-favourite caff, were some marvellous gospel-choiresque peeps singing their hearts out to raise money to replace the old folks' minibus that got trashed in the riots. I had to shoo the kids along as the 14 year old was being cranky and rude about how his eardrums were being affected, but they got some bus-building silver from me. Lunch and ice creams were about all we spent on - we steered clear of the hordes in the shops, and I stayed out of the charity shops but popped into a couple of air-conditioned emo boutiques so the kids could window-shop t-shirts. Then by mid-afternoon it was back for a siesta on the sofa with the papers. And a bit of Celeb Masterchef. Danny Goffey made some interesting cake, and multi-tasked brilliantly despite Greg and John's butting in. I was distracted by how nicely he speaks - being a rawkstar an' all, I thought he'd drawl but no. Very home counties.

So, the ebay photos are getting done tomorrow - as is pretty much everything else I've deferred and wriggled out of doing. Why do today what you can put off doing til the next day, or something... ;)

Small Plans...

... oh I really shouldn't let myself post sometimes; especially not when I'm meant to be getting ready for traipsing off to the World of Work. Must remember; hang out lots of washing in the mornings instead of writing self-pitying drivel!

Anyhows, I'm putting plans to move to the seaside on the back-burner for now for reasons of (im)practicality, but instead looking at cutting down the way money trickles through my fingers so that we can go on far more seaside adventures/travel/blah blah blah. Top idea so far though is to make more money... so I've been faffing about on ebay and typing in random objects that I happen to own and happily finding out people are paying ££ for the same things. A gas heater for VW vans being one of them - a very random car boot treasure from eons ago, purely because it was turquoise and silver, for instance. So later on today, with the glorious sun still out (we hope) photos will be taken and Some Proper Ebaying will get done.