Sunday, 27 January 2008

Big Garden Watch

Woke up to a blue sky and sun shining weakly over the garden. I sat outside drinking coffee and counted the birds in the garden. There aren't many different sorts but there is lots of activity. I saw:
  • 2 blue tits
  • 2 black birds (male and female)
  • 6 sparrows (my neighbour says they sit under his eaves and try to peck out the morter to get into his attic)
  • 2 wood pigeons
  • 2 robins
  • 2 collared doves
  • 1 magpie

Saturday, 26 January 2008

Growing things

The bulbs are poking through the bare earth. Leaves are budding - tiny, energetic. I'm excited by the second growing year of the garden. Waiting for the spring flowers. There's a yellow crocus about to open. It gets you in the mood for tidying up, pruning, watching. I belatedly moved a rather orangy red rose from where it was in too-close proximity to an elderly and huge wine red rose (colour clash) and transplanted it in the front of the house where hopefully I will be able to learn to love its multiple blooms (assuming it actually takes to its new home). Chatted with my neighbour about christmas, the roof and my deceased rat(s).

Thursday, 24 January 2008


The wretched stench of death seeps up through the floorboards of the dining room. There is no mistaking it now, the bin has been emptied and bleached clean, the compost pail has been dumped in the compost bin, there's been spraying of odour eliminising sprays and burnin of incense. All to no avail. There be dead things down below. (S'pose that's what comes from putting punnets of poison down there).

Sunday, 20 January 2008

Waiting at the End of the Universe

Please take a ticket and wait your turn. A number is called: three hundred and five please come to desk 4. My ticket says 333, issued at 5.40.

3 people behind the counter. Takes approximately 10 minutes to deal with each person trying to return items. Then there are five minutes in between to get the goods out back. This is an uncared-for part of the warehouse store, all the glamour and lighting kept to the bits where they are trying to pursuade you to purchase something. Here are hard benches, unflattering lighting with nothing to look at. Returners sit with their heads in their hands, unwanted, damaged, broken goods loaded on trolleys.

By 6.30 we are onto number 325. The last couple of people have been at the counters for 15 minutes. The 3rd staff member has wandered off. There seems to be an inverse proportion between the length of time it takes to serve someone and the closeness of your number.

My advice is this: make your choices carefully in Ikea. Do not go in there and buy on whims, don't buy on the spur of the moment. You do not want to have to return anything.

Friday, 18 January 2008

Ludicrous claims by tube train drivers

On a crowded morning train, sorry actually packed liked sardines, the tube driver asked us to please stand away from the doors because proximity to the doors was affecting the motion of the train. Two things went through my mind as my face pressed into the mac of a man in front of me, the angular handbag of a woman dug into my lower back and people to either side held me up - a. how exactly, and b. since when (first time I've ever heard that one in about 20 years of travelling by tube).

Thursday, 17 January 2008

Blue sky yonder
the black thunder cloud is passing over and in the distance the blue sky is growing up from the horizon. A plane flies into the clear sky. The pink edge inches towards our office. Perhaps it will be dry by going home time after all.
And suddenly the rain started, then lightning, hail pounded, car alarms went off and thunder clapped. Its nearly time to go home and I didn't bring an umbrella to work today. Sigh.

Wednesday, 16 January 2008

January Blues

Its the longest month of the year (psychologically speaking), dark, damp, nothing to look forward to. Weeks of endless drudgery stretch out ahead of us. Work is mundane. Nobody is going out. Little things are keeping a glimmer of optimism alive - like the sunrise, like the hyacinths coming into bloom in the kitchen, the daffodil tips poking through the sodden soil, ER back on tv and ceramics class starting up again.

Wednesday, 9 January 2008

Urban Fox

(Or two, or three). Woke up yesterday, looked out of the window, as the light rose saw a fox sitting around in the garden without a care in the world. Later joined by a mate. Today there were three - two went one way and the other went down the side of the house.

They're young - haven't started making those horrible screeches yet. Just playing. Its going to be really stinky when they grow up if they don't move away when they grow up.

Tuesday, 8 January 2008

Attack of the Blue Bottles

Sitting watching CIS (repeats) a big blue bottle flew into the room, was dim wittedly attracted to the light whereupon I swatted him. Two minutes later another one appeared. I checked the other corpse was there thinking perhaps I had only stunned him and he had secretly come back to life and snuck up on me again like baddies in horror films. It wasn't him. Fly 2 was faster, less dozy. I had to chase him. Finally flapped him in the air.

Later I turned to find two more blue bottle baddies sharing some space on the standard lamp. Tricksy. Wouldn't be able to get both in one swipe. First one went down fast. Other one required some careful sneaking and sudden pouncing action before he too went down.

Phew. Cleared the air.

In flies another one. Flies about, hangs around the light on the shelf. Shoots across the room. Crawls over the light by the stereo. Makes a dash for the standard lamp, does one round, crosses the room. I'm after him flapping and swatting at his tail all the way. But he's crafty and gets between the back of the light and the wall. (He's the one that got away - like in all good horror you have to be left with the uneasy feeling that it isn't over yet). The next one will be called The Revenge of the Blue Bottles, or something.

Thursday, 3 January 2008

Still hasn't snowed yet.
Still waiting... its cold enough to snow but it feels a bit damp in the air - might come a bit slushy.
We were promised snow. Thick snow. We're still waiting.

Tuesday, 1 January 2008


Woohoo. Its a new year.

I hate the celebrations of a new year - always disappointing - either you are out with lots of pissed people stuck in a venue determined to have a good time (never easy to have an enforced good time), or choose to be at home, sometimes alone which starts off ok but by the countdown you end up feeling extraodinarily lonely and bahumbug about the whole thing.

I haven't made resolutions. But I do want to try to crack what it is that I really want to do. Over the last year work has seemed more and more dissatisfying - its not providing enough time for the self (not that work is really about that par se). Working for money is no longer enough...

I wish you all a good one.