29 October 2007

Mirror, Mirror on the Wall......

I’ve been trying to avoid The mirror, A mirror, Any mirror for about a month. I finally faced my worst fear and stood, butt naked in front of the full length one in my flat on Saturday night. Post Wagamamas.

The phrase “a sight for sore eyes” sprung to mind. And not in a good way.

Thank God for the temporary healing power of White Zinfandel.

Whether the lack of gym activity for a month or the increase in food-to-mouth activity can be blamed I’m not sure. Suffice to say – I can unfortunately, only really blame myself. No one forces me to stuff my face with all the good stuff. Unless you count the multiple personalities that lie within.

I caught up the The Smiths on Sunday. Youngest Son Smith has recently completed a NLP course. Neuro Linguistic Programming. Means nothing to me either. But he says that I can train my brain to alter my relationship with food. Or something like that. He has known me for literally all his life, and knows that I have been trying (not hard enough mind) to not be a fat old lard arse for about 20 years. He claims the secret to cracking this nut once and for all is not hard. He agrees that I am a relatively intelligent person. That is, I know that eating less and exercising more is the true path to happiness. I also know that bread is the food of the devil and no good can ever come from eating a loaf of Tiger bread as a treat on a Saturday afternoon. However, he reckons that with a bit of “reframing” I can succeed where all of this sensible talk has failed.

I’m feeling positive. Although the sight of me naked did nothing to stop me eating a whole family size tub of Rachel’s Rhubarb Yogurt for breakfast. Sometimes I really really hate myself.

24 October 2007

Goats and Cream Teams

Boo, The Family and I recently got back from a wonderful week in Norfolk staying at this beautiful holiday home.

During the week we did some stuff on the beach

And some stuff on the pier

And we fed some goats

And ate some ice cream

And rode on a steam train

And had a boat trip

And I took two of my favourite ever pictures of The Most Beautiful Little Girl in The World....

Child 44

As anyone who knows me will know, I very reluctantly will read a book outside of my chosen genre – only if bullied or cajoled by someone who’s opinion I trust… Lady Doore, Packfordshire, Heat magazine…

A new bully/friend-from-new-work (who’s opinion I now trust) together with Ridley Scott (who’s bought the movie rights) persuaded me to try a first novel by a rather dashing young man who nine years younger than I am, and half Swedish (if that’s relevant at all) who has recently completed a six month stint in Phnom Penh story lining Cambodia’s first ever soap….. ahem.

Child 44 could not be further from my first choice of book to read if it tried. Opening in Ukraine in 1933 with the line “Since Maria had decided to die her cat would have to fend for itself”, I kind of knew there would be very few troubled relationships, cocktail parties and spending sprees down Bond Street.

I was gripped.

Chapter 2 opens twenty years later in Moscow with the apparent disappearance of a young boy following a rather fierce snowball fight…and Leo Demidov, a member of the Ministry of State Security, being instructed to convince the family who believe their son was murdered that crime simply doesn’t exist in the Soviet Union in 1953….

What unfolds is a really vivid and gruesome story which sees Leo risking everything to pursue a horrific killer….

About a quarter of the way through the book I started wondering what Chapter 1 has to do with the rest of the story.

About half way through a very small penny started to drop.

About three quarters of the way through I downed tools and couldn’t/wouldn’t stop reading till the end.

A couple of scenes will probably stay with me for a long time; and I don’t think I’ll ever be able to think of camphor oil without going cold, but more than that is the fact that I read a book without a pastel cover, and loved every minute of it.

11 October 2007

Location, location, location

So Boo and I made a list of what we wanted for our wedding... and then we added some other bits to the list and took a whole bunch of bits off - and we came up with a day that suited us both as a couple and as individuals. It's hopefully going to go something like this:

1. small country hotel for a long weekend in early spring 2009
2. late afternoon civil ceremony on the Sunday with just 7 guests in total
3. reportage photography and cupcakes (of course)
4. emerald and sage outfits for our guests
5. early evening entertainment in the gardens with Pimms and canapes, and late evening entertainment whilst having our wedding breakfast

We then went onto a very clever website that lists the 3,000 or so places licenced to hold a civil ceremony in the UK.

We then worked our way down those lists of venues and looked at the website of every single place within a 2 hour journey of where we live to come up with a longlist of possible venues.

We then read the brochures of those five places, and came up with our shortlist of 3 venues.

That's 3 venues within a 100 mile radius of where we live that might be able to host the wedding we want.

We went to see one last weekend. The smallest room that has a licence is just too big. Bugger.

So just two remain.

The Inn on the Green.

The Manor Hotel.

We are due to see both hotels when we get back from holiday. If neither of them are right, we may have to elope...now, there's an idea.....

5 October 2007

Not too shabby I say

So, last night I went for a meal with work to a Cuban place called La Floridita which lives in the old Mezzo on Wardour Street.

Sat on the table next to ours was a rather fine fellow by the name of Carlos Acosta – who won the Prix de Lausanne aged 17, and joined the English National Ballet at 18. Now he is one of the most sought after guest stars at the Royal Ballet – and mighty fine to look at on stage.

See below.


Thinking I might buy me some of them there tickets....

2 October 2007

Too late will be the cry when the man with the houses walks on by.

Boo and I are planning on buying a home together before we get married. Our options are:

1 - Buy a one bed flat (shed) on the open market in either a god forsaken Inner City hovel, or the middle of fucking nowhere.

2 - Buy a property through one of the various Housing Association / Government Initiative schemes that are running. You basically have to be either some sort of local hero or “key worker”, prove that you are skint (no problem there), fill in a million different forms and then sit and wait for one of the major house builders to build a block of nasty box flats in an area where you are eligible to apply….

Boo will not be swayed by my third option of getting a transfer from the studio I currently rent from a Housing Association to a one bedroom flat. This would be, I have stressed, my back up plan not my first choice. But he will not hear of it. He says renting is for fools, losers and not for a young couple such as us.

I say – fuck all that – I refuse to start our married life living apart.

I have tried to explain that having worked for nearly 10 years in Estate Agency (option 1) and 3 years in Social Housing (option 2) I know just how difficult it can be to buy a property – and that having a back up plan is wise.

We are officially arguing.