Sunday, 25 December 2011

Christmas Day

Is it compulsory for someone to get a slinky for Christmas? I think that maybe it is.

We're almost at the end of Christmas Day in this time zone and after an earlier than expected start this morning, I'm about ready to turn in. But before I head bed-ward I just wanted to say that I hope you've had/are having/will have a lovely day.

Happy Christmas to all and thank you so much for visiting. 

Tuesday, 22 November 2011

Monday, 7 November 2011

100 Words: Style Counsel

I haven't taken off my jacket even though I've been home for ages. Covering up has become a comfy habit I can't shrug.

My children suggest a makeover involving lipstick and dresses and a face mask of fruit they saw being made on TV.

I look in the mirror, smile at their hopes and try to bend a length of hair across my forehead to see if I'd suit a fringe.

"What do you think?"

"Go on mum - take a risk, make an effort. Otherwise you're always just going to be a forty year old woman in a coat."

Thursday, 23 June 2011

Thursday, 28 April 2011

Late Night Link

I was just about to publish a post when I read this. So very touching.

Wednesday, 13 April 2011

100 Words: Goodbyes

You packed for a holiday - Tio Pepe, wine, fudge, and books. Your summery linen tops and trousers reminders of warm evenings in Greece, people-watching from the balcony.

You'd cleared your flat of any evidence of pills and illness - no telltale bedside boxes of  unpronounceable pain killers or sticky plastic spoons. 

I must admit it was a shock seeing you disguised as someone else in borrowed pyjamas, even though the nurse assured me you'd picked them out yourself. Funny - we had you down as a nightie lady.

But then you always were a bit surprising - I'd no idea you liked fudge.

Wednesday, 16 March 2011

Eat Cake. Raise Money

Liberty London Girl posted this and inspired me to contribute something baked to the Cakes for Japan fund raiser where all proceeds will be going directly to the Red Cross.

The pop-up cake shop will be open on Friday 18th March 2011 at Maiden, 188 Shoreditch High Street London EC2 and the organisers are encouraging people to host similar events nation/world wide.

I thought I'd just mention that the Cakes for Japan (London) event raised over £2000 in just three hours! Visit here if you want to read more.

Wednesday, 9 March 2011

50 Words: Comfort Food

There is a tin foil and greaseproof paper covered bowl in my fridge that holds a Christmas pudding.

We thought we were too full to eat it at the proper time but maybe we just couldn’t.

I think I’m hungry for the taste of that pudding.

My mum made it.

Thursday, 3 March 2011

I Love This

My son's drawing of Jeremiah Obadiah Jackanory Jones, the protagonist of this wonderful book.

Wednesday, 2 March 2011

Me I Am. Am I?

Some days it seems like nothing gets resolved: Several starts but no finishes, flitting between one task and another and misplacing energy where there's no potential. A battle with indecision and ultimately defeat by inertia. And I can't work out what to wear.

Take the past day or so. I've been tinkering with how the blog looks hoping that I might be able to smarten it (me) up a little.  At various times - in between sock matching and other kinds of work avoidance - I've removed the profile photo, replaced it with one of me and changed it again only to end up back where I started. 

So at around 9.30pm (GMT) - if you'd have been passing through - you might have caught a glimpse of me. But when I published that particular draft of me I didn't look like the me I thought I was - am - and reverted to the little shoe picture which is, in fact, far more sweet and colourful than my own real self.

Something similar happened with the blogger header - currently wearing Futura medium, lower case in dark red, likely to change later. Earlier today it was fancily dressed up with a photo I took last Friday of the South Bank at night - all lights and mood with artfully arranged text on top. Then I discovered that another blog features almost exactly the same view on its header and I thought I should take mine down.

And now I'm back where I began it's been all change and no change. I'll have to start again tomorrow with a better end in mind.

Wednesday, 23 February 2011

Wednesday Evening

I'd hoped for more words than pictures this week but it's half term.

Here are some photos of today's walk. Apparently it's the same walk we always go on - the never different one, the always the same one - which caused a bit of a hoo ha on exiting the compound.

Towards Tower Bridge and The City

East towards Canary Wharf

Thursday, 17 February 2011

100 Words: Pens, Paper, Pocket

I'm not certain how I ended up with three pens in that pocket but the discovery of such treasure makes me feel rich.

Elsewhere on my person I've got receipts and bits and tat jostling around in a just in case jumble. 

And adding shape to my formless bag slash sack is an empty yet weighty last year's diary re-commissioned for this year's great ideas. 

They could come any minute. They might all arrive at once. But I'm ready for them - equipped. I've got the instruments, the implements, the tools, the supplies.

I count the pens again - one, two, three. 

With thanks to Baglady and Mr. London Street for the original 100 Words idea.

Monday, 14 February 2011


I found this tiny picture in a shoe box with some other bits and bobs.

Maude was my great grandma and I'm guessing she was in her late teens when this portrait was painted. The inscription on the reverse reads:

To Harry 
With Love From Maude.

Harry & Maude were married in 1906. 

Wednesday, 9 February 2011

Nothing Happening Here

Dear Reader,

I'll be direct -

I'm stuck.

See those letters below? I'd like to be able to arrange them into words, sentences and paragraphs - perhaps with an engaging thread running through.

But it's not happening.

If you feel at all moved to respond to this dilemma with an idea as to how I might get unstuck - I'd be most grateful.



Wednesday, 2 February 2011

Wednesday, 26 January 2011

Sound Effects

Saturday night buzzes with a familiar soundtrack. The low rumble of buses and the idling car with a dizzying bass can make the loose pane in the front door tremble. At twelve, or just after, there'll be the clatter, slam, lock of the shop window shutter.

Once in a while a shrill, late night post-pub spat punctures a stretch of dark quiet before fade out.

Early Sunday and the volume is turned right down and the place seems altogether more sleepy. My drowsy band of slippered feet and tea sippers and the muffled drumming of next door's washer on spin make up the morning's background score.

Sometimes there is a window of four or five or six seconds of silence.

Sometimes you notice it.

Saturday, 22 January 2011

Much Appreciated

This week, having been in receipt of what can only be described as nice things, it feels only right to say in bright red letters to those generous souls responsible for the giving thereof, a heartfelt


Some gifts came in the form of actual stuff - a thoughtful present and note from my cousin and then another from my brother. What nice people they are - it's not even my birthday.

Others were shaped as kind deeds. Like the one from the lovely Baglady who fielded some traffic my way via a mention on twitter.

As if that wasn't enough, this blog post was featured on Schmutzie's Five Star Friday list.

Crikey - I'm really touched. All of the above are very gratefully received.

Have a lovely weekend.

Friday, 14 January 2011

12.20 Appointment

On the letter they sent me it said to bring two different forms of ID. I slip three - passport, driving licence and household bill - into the plastic sleeve and check again that I've got the right day, date and time. 

The bus journey there is slow and loud - something wrong with the upstairs aircon - but I've still time to get a drink. In a coffee shop chain I don't normally go to, an assistant takes my order and holds up a small and a medium cup - one a thimble, the other a bucket with something like a ten pence price difference. I push instinct to one side and opt for the larger of the two.

It tastes horrid so I leave half, wishing I'd got tea.

A quartet of guards is on duty in the foyer of the building my appointment is in. It's the complete airport security experience without the option of flying - bags in trays, pocket contents emptied, x-ray machines and arms out turn around.  I'm only going as far as the seventh floor.

The waiting area, to which I've been directed by a couple of A4 landscape posters pinned to a door and a wall, is hot. The signs instruct visitors that there is NO NEED to go to reception but to take a seat and wait. I do what I'm told.

The office the woman calls me into is small. For a moment I don't know where to put my bags - floor, chair, lap. Whilst I'm bothering and dithering, the official slides four stapled sheets of paper across the desk, folds over the top one and asks me to check the document. I go through it and then she reads it back to me placing some ticks in boxes as she does so before asking me to sign at the bottom.

These two simple actions take no longer than a couple of minutes. I try to concentrate but I'm aware that a quick speed conflict is brewing in my head as the worry that I might have to say that I think I'm going to cry jostles with the rational thought to just get the thing done and not be so silly.

My mother's full name, date of birth, date of death and age are printed in Arial bold at the top of the page. Apart from her address, I don't recall any of the other information on it.

I hadn't expected to feel tearful. In fact I hadn't anticipated that any 'feelings' would be joining me at this please-check-the-details-and-sign-here-twice event.

But it's not the right place in which to emote. The purpose of this office is to function as part of a departmental machine where paper is processed, stamped and filed. There are no soft effects in the form of flowers, magazines tissue boxes or sympathetic smiles to accommodate or invite tears. On this occasion - thankfully for me and the woman opposite - I manage to swallow the lump in my throat.

I judge the pen she hands me as tricky to write with and I can't grip it properly. It's too spindly in my fingers which happens to be where my emotions have now congregated.

There's a brief respite from the tangle of thoughts in my head where I concur with myself that the observation about the pen was correct. The twitchy digits won't be calmed though and between my fingers it seems possessed with cartoonish energy that I can only control enough to make a spiky squiggle before we reach the crux of our meeting.

"Old Testament?" The official offers, as if it were were a toffee from a bag. I go ahead and read out the four lines from the pale blue, laminated card which looks like it's been stuck on top of this particular holy book. I attempt a final jiggery jaggery signature and the next step of the procedure is explained. Something something ten days, something something sealed envelope something something.

Outside the offices, I'm not certain what to do next. Across the road is the cafe and I remember the thought I had about what my mum would have said about a disappointing cup of coffee.


"Should have got tea."

Monday, 10 January 2011

Tuesday, 4 January 2011

Re: Previous Post

In that photograph is one of those moments. It's the quietness at the end of one part of a day that holds the expectation of evening.

Saturday, 1 January 2011