Friday, January 26, 2007

6 weird facts about me

I have been tagged by Helen – (thanks!) – now my devoted readers will realise what a complete loon I am. I did actually think of a couple more than 6 but had to cancel out some that should just remain confidential. So, here goes;

1. When I was little, I’d watch old black & white movies on our tv and somehow came to the private conclusion that colour didn’t exist in the world before the 1950’s. I clung to this belief for many years and finally shared my theory with Kim, my sister when I was 9. She promptly laughed in my face and told everyone we knew which made me look like a complete idiot – thanks sis, love you too.

2. I was born with a little hump-like thing on my back. My poor mother, she must have thought she’d given birth to Satan’s child. I can’t in my wildest dreams imagine the pain she must have been through. What must she have thought at the end of a hell-ish 23 hour ordeal when she looked down at this deformed, bloody crying mess of a creature. The hump-like thing went quite quickly and my parents have managed to get over their suspicions, I think.

3. At the grand old age of 10, I decided that all I wanted from life was to have a never ending supply of my 2 all-time favourite things - books and Tropicana Orange juice. Nothing else was necessary for me to be happy and content – I was a simple child.

4. I sometimes sleep with my eyes half-open – I’ve never seen it myself (obviously) but I know it has freaked some people out. They either think I’m awake and try to have conversations with me or according to some others, I look like a corpse.

5. I went to a convent school, was dragged off to temples by relatives when I was little, briefly went to a Methodist Church on Sundays and even joined the youth fellowship. Luckily, I’ve managed to escape the clutches of organised religion relatively unscathed although I reckon a little of the Catholic guilt thing has rubbed off on me.

6. I would secretly like to live inside a man’s body for 24 hours. Before my feminist sisters out there chastise me, I want to make it clear that it is purely out of curiosity – to experience urinating standing up and having a tumescent penis, I do actually enjoy being a woman.

I have no one to tag unless I can somehow re-tag other people??? Is that allowed in tagging universe?

Tuesday, January 23, 2007

1 down - 33 to go

Hurrah, Sarah was pleased with her fluffy hats and these were delivered on saturday. It was such a relief that I managed to meet this deadline even though it meant a lot of intense knitting whilst hanging out with the girls on Friday and being teetotal. I've got my fingers crossed for her assesment today, I really hope she makes the show - plus my hats will get a little strutting on the catwalk which would be wicked. It was actually really fun being involved in her little crafting club - there were about 6 people in different parts of her flat busy with either sewing, studding or painting. I also got to watch the first 2 episodes of the new 24 and Gruff got to watch the Simpsons which made him very happy.

So, that's now done and dusted which means that I can get on with finishing off some projects that have been loitering around like Asbo-ed hoodies.

Except for the fact that I've started a fixation with 2 new projects - a pair of fluffy greyish-blue legwarmers inspired by the grey January clouds and a sea cushion that I've decided to make out of some Sidar yarn I picked up from John Lewis. It's a lovely shade of blue and turquoise and reminds me of the sea and diving... ahhhhh..... will post some photos soon I hope.

I feel quite smug today if a little achey because I managed to make it to Bikram yoga yesterday. In fact, I feel even more virtuous (if that's possible) because yesterday was supposed to be the most depressing day in the year according to The Guardian and I for one was more than ready to slob out on the futon. I actually got quite a lot done because I had to organise my time properly. The dude Joachim taking the yoga class was the tallest guy I'd even seen who purred out instructions with a slight German accent. 'Fill ze strech, allaw yur baady to rich out. Bee patient, empty out yur mind as you foll in two ze pazicion.' I'm now working out a little timetable for my Extra-Curricular activities and am close to the big decision regarding the torture chambers.. urm, I mean gyms.

Friday, January 19, 2007

Confessions & Contrition

I have been very bad. I think I need professional help.

Whilst surfing the net yesterday, I ended up buying some patterns off the Rowan website then wandered into Liberty's as it was late might Thursday shopping and ended up buying some bargain yarn. So I went into John Lewis during lunch today to find a pattern book for yesterday's yarn and ended up picking up another 10 balls of yarn just because they were on sale. Plus I bought more off the internet after I came back from lunch. I need to seriously stop this insane habit before I bankrupt myself and end up being an homeless bum on the streets because I've been fired from my job as I'm always on the internet blogging, reading other people's blogs, searching for knitting patterns and buying yarn.

I can just see it now, I'll be wheeling my mountain of stash in a Tesco's trolley with bits of colourful yarn twisted in my greasy, unwashed hair. I'll accost random strangers to tell them tales of how I used to be a city professional with a lovely flat in one of the trendiest parts of London. They'll wrinkle their noses and pull their children away from this deranged woolly witch of a woman. Being addicted to recreational drugs has at least some modicum of glamour, I feel so depraved with this yarn habit, can crack be any less addictive??

Sigh,... I need to exercise some self-control in all aspects of my life. I have been eating like there's no tomorrow so much so that my clothes no longer fit me. I don't know if it's a sign of abject misery that I have to console and satiate myself with food or happiness since there's also the theory that being miserable makes you loose your appetite and there is clearly no sign of that in my life. I find these angry, red gashes right across my tummy every evening which cry out, 'Loose the weight, you fat biffer!' It's getting to a point that I find it difficult breathing and it's seriously uncomfortable. I'm also incredibly nervous and paranoid about ripping the seams of my clothes whenever I sit down.

I need to confront this, bite the bullet and either buy an entire new wardrobe or just eat a lot, lot less i.e. no constant snacking on biscuits and chocolate throughout the day. Since the first option is clearly out of order (what? spend money on clothes instead of knitting books/pattern/tools/yarn/books??!!) - I just need to eat less,... and buy less yarn.... and skiv off less,... less, less less.... hmmmm,... I guess I could make a start by getting on with some work! Okay, I'll go make myself a cup of coffee now to perk myself up... and maybe have some chocolate biscuits with it, and THEN I'll get to work....

Thursday, January 18, 2007

The Ks & Peas

Frantic flags cling to their poles
Clouds rush by into the Grey
Gale force winds have slowed our strides
Pressing work due last, last week
Glares out at me with hands on hips
and pursed up lips.

I read page after page of
screen-based blogs about
Knitting (hurrah for the Phoenix
and Wasabi peas)
and other fun mindless things.
Inner discoveries thanks to Myer's Brigs.
(I'm an INFJ for those in the know.)

This latest entry was inspired by
a man who vowed to learn
100 poems off by heart.

The morning's distraction
has therefore been reading
Poems that people like and know.
I like reading poetry,
I like writing poems
I like words that never reach the edge of the page
but hang suspended, kept up by the wind.

It's not my fault my inertia can't be moved
though gale force winds prevail.

Tuesday, January 16, 2007

Word dreams

I have been on a huge reading over-drive and thereby making a small gnat-strengthed dent on my pile of 'unreads' which currently equates to about 97.67% of the books in my little flat.

(Come to think of it, I'm currently only utilising the same percentage of my stash. I might actually analyse the figures as part of my drive to be more organised - that way, i'll be able to keep track of yarn/book supplies, keep them low like inflation and hence ensure that should the flat ever catch fire, at least the firemen won't have to wrestle through a mountain of burning yarn and books to reach me)

I think I desperately need more sleep - was wide awake after washing my hair and read a few chapters of my Jilly Cooper book, indulgent I know but i need some fun to balance out the woolly grey blanket that is the January skies. This resulted in the most bizarre dreams involving horses, children, the payment of public-school fees and rich, lascivious property developers. Hmmm, I guess they make your dreams so much more interesting. Having (only) a day away from the book, I found myself struggling to remember who was who and how they inter-related. I much prefer getting stuck into a book at long, chunky sittings - finished most of 'Perfume' on the train to Exeter which made all the signal failures and delays vaguely tolerable.

With this influx of literary images and people embedded in my mind, I now find it next to impossible to get my mind switched onto more pressing things at work, issues that I have been sitting on. Important work stuff that I need to sort out! But it's hard to concentrate when my mind drifts off into the land of 'ks' n ps' and I think about what I need to knit next, for whom, in what order, by when etc.

Then flipping over to thinking about what book I want to read next and then what ECA I should do in the coming week, how to fit some swimming practise in and the time-tabling required. Honestly, I just wish real-life wouldn't get in the way of all the fun stuff!!

p.s. watched a programme on growing your own vegetables hosted by a wrinkled and over- enthusiastic witch-like lady and I so long for a garden - life's SO unfair (mentally thumps table)

Wednesday, January 10, 2007

Dancing fish

Went on a Total Immersion weekend down in Hampton to learn how to swim freestyle - it has changed my life. It focusses on swimming as an artform as opposed to sport and I can't wait to dip into a pool to practise the drills I've learnt. Who would have thought that balance and rotation goes into swimming, that it should be pared down to its bare essentials. We think that thrashing and pullling our way through down to the end of the lane in the fastest, spashiest manner is doing it right but it's about keeping swimming (and life) simple and gliding through with effortless grace and elegance. It's not a competition and learning patience was one of the major points constantly repeated to us. What a revelation and so applicable to everyday life. There was something zen-like about learning to love every stroke you take and embracing the water instead of fighting it. I realise that I need a lot of practise but being able to achieve more fishlike swimming would be just perfect.

Also went to my first ballet class last night and what a joy! The graceful stretches in time to the music was so calming and relaxing. I always knew that i'd enjoy it and Teresa our teacher was the archetypal, strict ballet mistress. I love learning new things and ballet has been one of those things I've thought about doing for the past few years and just never got round to for some crappy reason or another. Ah well, better late than never I guess. I'm secretly hoping that both swimming and ballet will help me with my Quasimodo-esque posture!

Thursday, January 04, 2007

This Other Life

Like most of the UK's 30-something, telly-watching populace the prospect of This Life + 10 was simply too intriguing. A symptom of the Friends Reunited syndrome. Yes, the characters still hadn't chaned much and could swear and bitch for England but surely that's the deep-seated fear that we all have within. That life and life lessns have taught us nothing, that we repeat the same mistake unable to escape our own demons and weaknesses. This Life was simply groundbreaking in terms of content and stylistically. I was a little too young to completely identify with the characters then but I suspected that this is how we were headed that we'd be a disaffected, unhappy, navel-gazing lot caught up in the trite minutaie of trivial anxieties. It was never 'real' or edgy (for that 'Shameless' pushes more buttons), you never believed that they were really lawyers, just young people in LA Law style pretending and blagging their way through their jobs much like what we all do. In any case, my post-uni life was more 'Gimme Gimme Gimme' than anything esle!

What followed was 'The Thick of it' - what a sublime show, the blinking politician on Paxman was hilarious. This and Radio 4 makes me happy to pay my license fee if only there was more.

Very excited - have joined the Bookcrossing thing and released 2 books this morning. Am planning on dropping a couple more off and hope this will make me read all the books I've amassed so that I can pass them on. Want to be better at reading the books on my list this year.

Also have to get on with the knitting of mohair hats which will mean all other projects taking a back seat for now.

Tuesday, January 02, 2007

Full moon over Marble Arch - Hello 2007!!

I cannot believe it is 2007... it's so terrifying that we're 3 years away from 2010 yet numbers become meaningless after a while. It's just that it's so difficult to comprehend that the years flash by in minutes. What happened to 2001? 2003? My mind is completely blank.

Spent yesterday bursing a hangober from hell thanks to Harry at The Macbeth who was more than generous with his drinks. But at least I didn't shlep all the way to Shepherd's Bush and got to spend this New Year's hanging out in my hood. Everyone wanted to do seperate things and compromise wasn't really an option as people (myself included) dug in their heels.

Watched loads of telly yesterday under the duvet, shows that I hadn't watched in almost 20 years. 'Superman' - how tacky and cheesy? Couldn't help but be reminded of Christopher Reeves mortality and untimely death. It was again unfanthomable that Superman was fallible. 'The Great Escape' ( have never watched that from beginning to end but what a totty fest! Steve MacQueen... yum!). Then 'Top 10 wild dives with Tanya Streeter which was pure nirvana to me, I was deeply envious of her free-diving abilities but also that she got to dive in such cool and exotic places AND she swam with manta rays - something I want to do before I die! But her eyes lit up whenever she talked about dives and you could see in her aqua-marine eyes that she's got such a passion for the underwater world and a lot fo respect for its marine inhabitants. Then we got Melvyn Bragg interviewing Damien Hirst in 'The South Bank Show' which was brilliant as usual. Thought DH came across as really bright and unpretentious which was a revelation - Brit Art has never seemed cooler. Plus there were interviews with other artists who ranted against these youngsters at Art school who were more concerned with getting their hair gelled and sculptured than delving into art history. Sigh - we were all young and foolish once and we possessed such arrogance. So much time was wasted and we thought that youth was everlasting... and 2007 has crept up on us.