Tuesday, January 27, 2009

Sad Tidings

Fare thee well, Murph. Fond of rabbits, bolting off, Lily and puns. You came, let me join in and hung around for awhile.

I hope your Heaven has a very comfortable basket, slow rabbits and a bone that never ends.

We will miss you, but not half as much as Mrs Rhine and Drew.


Sunday, January 25, 2009

Three Cheers...!

Hip hip - horray! To Inspector Monkfish who came at short notice and took my computer to one side and showed it who was boss. Boy is now back on the Internet, and within 24 hours, has lost the frown lines which had taken up residence between his brows (especially when he looked at me).

I sent IM an invitation he could hardly refuse - come fix my pc and I'll show you a good time (but not THAT good a time). He turned up here and we exchanged news and gossip. He fixed my pc and I made him a chilli. The chilli was a bit of a disappointment, I used a different type of chilli powder - it said 'Hot' and it lied like a cheap rug. I'm going to dump it and go and get some from the local Veg and Fish Shop.

I even convinced him, okay, so I twisted his arm, to look at shiny cars. Well, who told him to say he was thinking about looking for another car? I have a sneaking suspicion I have developed a bit of an obsession with my car. When we finally went to the showroom this afternoon, both he and the poor sod of a salesman just kept on laughing at me. It's not my fault! It's really not. Just because I kept interrupting with facts and figures about the car (constantly) and I went on and on about the environmental benefits and economical bits...anyone would think I don't have a life and have turned into an anorak...oh...ummm...

Anyway, Boy and I are going to salsa regularly now. Tomorrow, we will be shaking our funky stuff at the Forum...if anyone wants to join us - please do, bring some blokes. It has proved beyond a shadow of a doubt what I've been saying for years...a single, straight guy who is willing to dance is never without female company.

When we went to Stalham on Thursday, we had such a good time. My feet didn't work very well, but I'm a firm believer in the 'as long as you don't stop moving, people won't care' School of Dance. It's good to be moving again, I hadn't realised how much my energy levels had plummeted until I started pushing myself.

I'm actually feeling very pleased with myself at the moment. I have been getting up earlier in the mornings and have been exercising every day before going off to work. I can't be too smug though, the workouts aren't exactly tough, they're the Rosemary Conelly ones and I've been doing the cardio one day, toning the next. But, I have to start somewhere and the good thing is, although it is hard work, I'm not as unfit as I was when I first got the dvd. I remember suffering to get half-way through. I can't even begin to think about doing the Nell McAndrew yet, it'll take a couple of weeks before I kill myself doing that. However, based on Amazon's recommendations I forked out for a Davina McColl set, but there is no way I can do that for at least a month. Those work-outs are really tough, even if they are only 30 mins a pop.

I suppose I'm just tired of listening to myself whinge. I like being fitter and healthier, I have more energy and I can cope with things better. I did it before and foolishly let things lapse, so I'm working it. I have a goal: I want to be 8 stone in 2 months time. I want to be fitter and stronger than I am at the moment. I know life isn't automatically going to become 'rosier', but I really won't miss feeling rubbish about my body shape, and sluggish and just generally bleugh.

So if you've made a New Year's Resolution to doing something similar, let me know how you're getting on...let's cheer each other on!

Saturday, January 17, 2009

Saturday Night

Today, I spent most of my time in my former place of employment, chatting to the girls (who are fabulous) and buying eyeshadow I certainly did not need...but oh yes Ladies and Gentlemen, my life is now far more complete now I have it.

I popped into M & S for some more...pants...shall we say? While my underwear is currently wearable, with my lack of exercise and comfort eating it is, shall we say...stretching beyond it's comfort zone. And while I am exercising again and hopefully will be a lot lighter, I figured new pants would be more comfortable and give me more impetus.

By the time I headed home, my back was aching, I was pissed off with shoppers and I was thirsty. I was lazy, took a bus and oh look, it stops right outside a pub. The first pint of cider was nectar. The pub wasn't busy so I chatted to the bar staff and the local crime lord. I ordered some chips to go with the alcohol. Then I saw they did mulled wine. Well dear readers, what is a girl to do? Sad bitch that I am, I stayed on for 3 glasses of mulled wine and a J2O (orange and passion fruit if you must know). I've set the world to rights, chatted up the bar staff and come up with a artistic project which would encorporate the local business community. It has been a good night out.

Even if I am off to bed before 22:00 hrs.

Thursday, January 15, 2009

When the Going gets Tough...

...and the Tough have left, then it's only us chickens.

I added 'leaving wallet in car' to the list of Things I will Never do Again and moved briskly on. The car is brilliant, I loves it to bits. As long as other people leave us be, I think we'll be just fine.

This week also marks the beginning of my New Year's Resolution kicking into effect. Ladies and Gentlemen I actually got up early, two days running and exercised before I went into work! Go me. Go me. Okay so it's only two days, and two days do not make a routine, or an immediately fit body, but it's a start. Not only that, but I've been having soup at lunch times and, AND been eating nearly 5 a day! Oh yeah, I'm on fire!

I can't work up the enthusiasm for swimming as the weather has been so frigid. I know they heat the pools etc, but I'm a tropical flower and I need it steaming before I wade into any water. As it is I've got 3 layers on, which I think will ensure I continue to be single for a life-time. Lets face it 60 dernier tights and a thermal vest is not what you would call....alluring. I don't care, I'm comfy.

Despite the crap this week, I'm feeling more positive and energetic than I've felt for a long time. Long may it continue.

PS. Because I'm nosey...I'd love to know what's on your List of Things Never to do Again...go on, be brave, tell all.

Monday, January 12, 2009

Trouble in Threes

Trouble 1.
I had to travel to a meeting on Saturday, in my fabulous, new shiny car. The world turned into an icy grey sheet, no distinction between sky and ground, white bits floating in the biting wind. I'm not travelling too close to the car in front, we pass near a farmyard entrance, there's mud and crud on the road. I actually see the stone fly up from the car in front's back wheel and hit my windscreen.

*crack*

There is damage, but it's not greater than a pound coin and I carry on regardless. The next day for the Sainsbury's shop I realise the small crack now thinks it's a spiderweb and is trying to head towards my steering wheel. So, I ring the insurance company, arrange for the Glass People to ring me and arrange a mutually convenient time to fit a new windscreen. I grumble, but hey ho, whatcha gonna do?

Trouble 2.
I'm getting ready for work this morning, usual rush around muttering expletives under my breath, when I realise I can't find my wallet. This in itself is not an unusual occurrence; I am the world's worst at putting things down and walking off with no memory of said action. I head down to the car, beginning to panic...and my passenger window is littered across the pavement and on the seat. In the next hour I make tearful calls to my bank, the police, my insurance company and the DVLA. Several neighbours stop and were brilliantly helpful. One knew it had just been done because all was well when she came back from swimming at 7.30, it was now 8.30. The other was an off-duty copper who was calling the incident in as I was waiting to hear from the police when they would be able to send someone round. He was an absolute sweetheart. He took the details, was sympathetic as I burst into tears yet again, didn't tell me what a muppet I'd been, got my crime number and helped me try to secure the window. The CSI was a honey, did his dusting thing, which came up zilch.

Chances are it was an opportunistic crime. If I was stupid enough to leave my wallet there, they were stupid enough to have a go. They have basically got bugger all. I was able to stop my cards and there was little cash and change there.

In many respects I was lucky. The good neighbours, the off-duty copper, the very kind and sweet bank tele-people (and you know how much I hate my bank). It's an inconvenience, I'm without my car for a few days, but thanks to the Director who has let me borrow the MR2 again. Even so...it's been a crap day.

Trouble 3.
I pick up the MR2 from the garage (service interruptus) and park it at work. I try and get my head around the bits of paper and tasks that have been waiting for me all day. One of the smokers says to me 'where's your number plate?'

What?

The number plate has fallen off/been nicked off the front of the car. Joy. Fortunately that can be sorted fairly quickly, but even so, it's yet another thing.

Basically, I've had quite enough of today. I'm beginning to wonder if I'm jinxed.

Saturday, January 10, 2009

Vroom Vroom

Over the festive period I realised that as much as I love the MR2, the Director loves her more. Despite my sobbing pleas, begging and general arse kissing, he was adamant that while he was more than happy for me to be bombing around the Norfolk countryside in her, she was still his and her return would be eventual.

The problem with driving a fabulous red sports car, is that it rather spoils you for anything sensible. Viking loves his Ford Focus and made many attempts to impress upon me how good, reliable, quick and affordable the brand; his brother and father also drive various versions thereof. I took his advice and whiled away many a half hour on Parkers and compared performance, price and sexiness of several brands of car.

I made the mistake of looking at the local BMW dealership website. Oops! Who told me to do that? I think Boy was disconcerted at the site of me moping up the keyboard and refused to have anything to do with me and the car search. Apparently, I was embarrasing. Hah! He only knows the half of it.

One manic Saturday, Alix and I had coffee and cake and I invited her to come for a drive with me out to the dealership. Oh Boy. Mistake number 2. BMW know all about customer service, I can tell you. We waltzed in, aiming for nonchalance as these beautiful, expensive driving machines glittered at us (I say 'we' and 'us', read 'I' and 'me', Alix had her eye on the Mini Coopers). We were escorted to a waiting room, given tea and coffee. A very nice man came along, introduced himself and asked our requirements. After he did a computer search and we finished our coffee he took us out to see the most gorgeous car. I fell deeply in love. It was a Series 1, 123d in black. It had more buttons and switches on the dash than the shuttle Endeavour. It was amazing. We took it out for a test drive. OMG! Sex on wheels. At one point I glanced down and I realised I was doing 90 mph and we were just floating along.

Alix dragged me out of the dealership, sobbing. I had to do some research on the insurance. It was just as well I was sitting down at the time. The quote was hideous. I mean, even too hideous for me to even contemplate, even at my most retail therapy blinkerd state. With a heavy heart, I realised I'd fallen for the Bad Boy, I wanted a long-term relationship and this Bad Boy would just be Bad News.

I went along to a local Ford Garage to look at a sporty and completely specked out Fiesta ST. It was black, had heated seats, privacy glass, electric windows, leather seats and was obviously much cheaper price-wise than the Bad Boy. Then I started asking about pesky things, like fuel consumption and to my complete surprise although both cars had 2 litre engines, the Bad Boy was quicker and far more environmentally friends. The dealer, seeing an opportunity and my obvious love for Beemer, showed me his daughter's car which was the step down and therefore a step down in insurance and car tax. I thanked him for his time and hot footed it back to the dealership. I figured I would be better off buying from the proper dealership which could provide all the warranties and bits and pieces necessary.

The brilliant salesman who dealt with us before was unavailble, but I was still treated to coffee and biscuits while they looked for something more...sensible. As they found a car, the brilliant salesman walked in and took over, he showed me round both cars so I could compare like with like. I asked him at one point if he'd pop the hood which he did and to his complete bemusement I asked him if it would be inappropriate if I licked the engine. I made an appointment to test drive both cars, the Bad Boy and his Reliable Cousin two days later, I wanted to take my time making the decision.

I test drove both. Yes, the Reliable Cousin is not as light on his feet than the Bad Boy; but, he was no slow poke either. And of the choice of the range, the Series 118d, gives the best mpg to engine performance. It's got excellent environmental credentials, it's also a damn site safer than the MR2, with crumple zones, 6 air bags and traction control. True, it lacks many of the bells and whistles of the Bad Boy, but let's be honest about this, it's not like I'm going to be spending my time fiddling with them...I'd have to read the manual and I'd sooner eat my own toenails quite frankly. Give me something I can plug and play and I'm a happy bunny.

To cut a very long story short, the Reliable Cousin is now parked outside and when I look out the window, the frost is sparkling in the full-moonlight. I think ours will be a relationship based on trust and respect and as long as the idiots maintain their personal space, it'll be a lasting one.

Resolutions

I must admit I find displacement activities very useful. It gives me the opportunity to do the things I've been putting off and successfully procrastinating something else. Win-win I think.

I'm not sure how it happened, I think it probably had more to do with my New Year's Resolution to exercise, but I started sorting out my bedroom. For those not in the know, Boy is the responsible adult in our household, a person can walk into his bedroom and see pretty much all of his floor. Walk into mine and you will see piles, piles of clothes, shopping bags, shoes, bags of cosmetics, hand bags, books, journals and so the list continues. I'm not known for my virtue of tidiness.

Earlier in the week I was laid low by this wretched bug and I couldn't bear to be in my bedroom. Once I had stopped doing my impression of a dying swan (coughing pathetically, with the occasional whimper for effect) I wandered into my bedroom with a roll of black bin liners and had a look at my wardrobe. By the time I finished I had 3 very full black bin liners and more floor space than I know what to do with.

Boy poked his head round the door then ran to me, sobbing he collapsed against me, he wanted to know how long I had to live. Cheeky git.

What I find disconcerting about the whole process is that although I've turfed out 3 bags of clothes and a bag of shoes, my wardrobe is still heaving at the seams and I still can't find anything to wear in the morning.

Thursday, January 01, 2009

New Year's Day

Please read this quietly...I had a fabulous time last night...

Saw the New Year in with the Norwich Chant lot, we played cut-throat Articulate, drank several different varieties of alcohol (which could possibly be the reason for my current state of fragility), ate yummy snacks, sang along with Hootenanny and danced while Gee dejayed everything from Tamla Motown to 80s kitsch.

I crawled into bed at about 3 am, I tried to limit my drunken declarations of undying love and slept pretty well.

My hopes for 2009 are fairly straightforward.

~ After being in my flat for nearly 10 years, it's time for somewhere with more space for Boy to stretch out and for me to have a study, so I'm house hunting.
~ As wonderful as the MR2 is, I would like something that's mine which is a newer and requires less regular pampering. Unfortunately, that car has spoilt me and every time I look at something sensible...I can't go there.
~For my sanity, I need to do more creative stuff: I've got to get back to my writing and my art. Included in that is going to the theatre, going to arty cinema, indulging in galleries and museums.

Time to have a bit of fun methinks.