Monday 29 October 2018

Still toothache

Day 1 of half term and already I feel that the children have squeezed me dry financially. A few quid here and a few quid there. Just a snack or two. A thing and another thing. I may start leaving my purse at home. Or maybe I'll just stay at home. It's cold out there all of a sudden. The first swan arrived on the estuary today all the way from Siberia.

The photos are of a little poppy-themed yarn bombing we spotted on our travels. The whole little town was bedecked with them, it was lovely. I think I shall look for a crocheted poppy this year, with the money still going to the Poppy Appeal, but a nice yarny one.

I still have toothache and it's driving me bananas. I have ordered soup books from the library in a bid to eat something healthy. I have to admit my diet has been rubbish for a while now. Not nearly enough vegetables. Too much dairy and oats. Things that don't hurt my tooth to eat. But it can't go on, I know I'm not doing myself any favours. A little neglect isn't the end of the world, but it wouldn't do to get in the habit.

On the writing front, I am thinking about doing NaNoWriMo - National Novel Writing Month. The idea is you write 50,000 words in the month of November. Now I've written it down it sounds like madness. I have no idea where I'd find the time, but I think it's probably one of those things where there's never a perfect time. If I've given up by day 3 you'll need to pretend you never heard me say I'd do it.

Friday 19 October 2018

Murder, trifle, slamming things

I am trying to work out how to murder someone. It's a writing thing, not an actual thing you'll be happy to hear. Nonetheless, it doesn't feel very healthy, devoting thinking time to it. I wish it could just sort itself out and I would sweep in and solve it. But alas, I must do the killing as well as the thrilling denouement. I'll let you know how it goes. I am leaning towards rohypnol and a quick shove into the docks. But I'm also going to need to weigh the body down. You see, not healthy. Let's talk about something else.

The biggest boy went to France for a week and is now all continental. He also had a birthday and got braces - it has all been going on for him. He's finding eating tricky, not least because they've sort of propped his teeth apart to stop him actually biting them together. We are all mystified as to how he is supposed to chew things. Does he have to eat soup for two years? Of course, we should have asked at the time, but he was a bit stunned by it all and I was struggling to stay awake (bad sleeping again). I am compiling a list of things that can be eaten without teeth. Gnocchi and trifle, here we come.

I have been busy, busy, busy here, but frustratingly no-one else in the house appears to have anything to do. I am grinding my teeth and building slowly towards explosion point. It's a common thing I think, that the woman of the household does almost everything. And the more capable the woman is etc. I shall say no more, but imagine me simmering away and slamming things.

Hence the weekend promises to be tense. I would rather love to decamp with my laptop to a cafe and come home when it's all over. But of course I would miss the urchins after half an hour. Well, at least after a month or two. So we will all rattle round together and no doubt it will be good. I shall concentrate on keeping my mouth shut and Getting On With Things. Wish me luck. And if any bodies bob up in the docks, it almost certainly will not have been me.

Tuesday 9 October 2018

Bore da

A fancy house no? Legend has it that a wealthy merchant had it built so that he could climb the tower and watch his ships coming in to Bristol up the river. Photos from an afternoon in the city, having a Change Of Scenery. Since we've had the dog we haven't been into town much at all, so at the weekend we went for a wander on the downs and around the nearby village. A nice change, but Bertie prefers the wide open places where the lead can be put away and he can be all free range.

Thank you all for your great suggestions on how to deal with anxiety. I have read your comments several times, and taken note of everything mentioned, all excellent ideas. I shall refer back to them from time to time as needed. As well as being good suggestions, your words were encouraging and made me feel not alone in feeling anxious on occasion. So thank you.

In other news I am toying with the idea of learning a few words of Welsh. Every time I go there I wish I could speak it. Or at least pronounce a few things. And now we have the mighty internet, I'm sure it can all be done online. It was either Welsh or Italian, or maybe Spanish. But as we can actually see Wales from here and I'm not likely to be in Spain or Italy any time soon, I thought I'd start local. And before too long it will be free to go there when they remove the toll from the bridges (at the moment it costs £5.60 to go to Wales). There will be no stopping me then.

Have you ever learned another language since school? I don't imagine it's easy, but just a few sentences would be very satisfying to know. I do love listening to people speaking it. And oh, the accent, perfection, I love it. The biggest boy and I went on a boat trip a couple of years ago when we were in North Wales, and I could have listened to the boatman (captain?) talk for hours.

I'm off to investigate online Welsh now. Until next time my friends, hwyl fawr.

Friday 5 October 2018

Vegetables and all the good stuff

I seem to have a photo shortage here at the moment, but I do have homegrown olives. They are small but plentiful. I don't imagine they'll be edible, but the hot weather (I assume) has spurred the olive tree into production. It never looks particularly happy, and I can never work out why. It's on a south-facing patio and I make sure it has plenty of water. Maybe it would rather be dry. But anyway, I have olives.

I know you can't eat them as they are. I bought some from a souk in Morocco once when I was cycling there and tried it, and they made my whole face crumple up. There must be some mysterious alchemy involved in the curing process. If they look fat enough I will do a little research and find out.

In the meantime there is the luxury of summer fruit from the freezer and windfall apples. Crumble anyone?

I am wrestling with a little anxiety at the moment. The vague, unsettling sort. A touch of insomnia, some teeth clenching. All ridiculously unnecessary. I am considering yoga or meditation. Does anyone do these things? Do they work? I'm sure they must, lots of people swear by them. I think it would take a lot of practice to empty my mind. Although of course some would say that my mind is already fairly empty.

I think I shall choose a happy, cosy book next time as well. I am reading Jane Harper's Force of Nature at the moment, which I'm really enjoying, but I read something really unsettling on holiday, and slept really badly. It was a good book, just a bit disturbing. So in the interests of anti-anxiety I shall re-examine my reading pile and remove the less positive stuff for now. Less murder!

I also need to start eating better. I don't have a huge appetite at the moment, and I know I haven't been eating enough veggies. I wonder if the iron tablets are to blame. I just need to get back in kilter, balance it all. Vegetables, healthy reading, a little light meditation. Fortunately the dog makes sure I get some walking in every day. We went down to the river this morning with his whippet friend. It wears him right out, trying to keep up with those long, graceful legs. Which means I can work without interruption for a little longer before he makes me get up and entertain him.

I was feeling a bit peaky this morning, so I laid down for a bit. Despite the whippet running, he took half of the stuffing out of his basket and then licked my face until I got up. There's no peace to be had. Wishing all a good, stress-free weekend. CJ xx