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NotJustAHatStand

People say life is the thing, but I prefer reading*
 

The Good Thing About Being Busy...

Monday, April 30, 2007

...is that it provides plenty of material for your blog.

I barely stopped all weekend, apart from Saturday night when I sat on my sofa in my jammies with a curry, watching The Queen on DVD.
On Friday night, the Boy and I went to visit my granny to wish her a happy 80th birthday. My grandad, who normally lives in a care home, was spending the day at my granny's house so it was nice to see them both together. My grandad suffers from dementia, so he can be quite hard work sometimes, but at other times, he's just like his old self. His sense of humour has always been razor sharp and this is one thing that hasn't been affected by his illness. As we were leaving, my uncle was taking my grandad into the lift and I said we'd take the stairs. Quick as a flash, my grandad retorted 'make sure you put them back'. It's moments like that you see that he's still the same man. He may ask you five times in the space of an hour what your name is again, but he still has a wicked sense of humour.

On Sunday we went to my cousin's daughter's (does that make her my second cousin?) christening. I've only ever been to a couple of christenings, so I don't really know the etiquette, but I don't know if the minister tipping holy water into the font from an Evian bottle is normal? Apparently he'd consecrated the font and hadn't noticed that there was no water in it - cue lots of rooting around in cupboards to find holy water with which to christen the baby. At least it was Evian, and not Tesco's own I suppose.

After the christening I took the opportunity to speak to my uncle to ask if he would give me away at my wedding (did I mention I was getting married this year?). I never thought I would have to ask someone to do this - of course I always assumed it would be my dad walking me up the aisle - and it was odd having to ask my uncle. When the Boy proposed, one of the first things I thought about (once I'd gotten over the shock, natch), was who would give me away. My dad's brother was the obvious choice for me - he doesn't have any kids of his own, and I think he'll be good at keeping me calm on the day. He's a fireman, so he's good in a crisis. It might be a bit weird because my uncle is my dad's double, but it was always going to be weird whoever was giving me away. Anyway, I'm glad I've asked him now, as it's the one thing on my To Do list that I've been dreading.

Oh, and he agreed by the way, so the bridal party is complete. Well, as complete as it will ever be, with the two great gaping holes left by both of our fathers.

So after all that, I was so tired this morning that I couldn't drag my sorry arse out of bed to go to the gym (#boo, hiss#). I did feel a tiny bit guilty about it, especially when the Boy ignored my attempts to persuade him not to go, but then I snuggled back into my pillow and felt a bit better.

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There's Nothing Wrong With Bullet Points*

Thursday, April 26, 2007

Things I have been doing:
  1. Planning a good long post, that has a topic and is thought provoking (ish). That is not this post.
  2. Freaking out about the hee-uge list of questions our wedding venue expect us to answer.
  3. Feeling quite smug about my every-other-day gym attendance, but rather dismayed at how much of my evening it takes up - I have to go to bed at a NORMAL time, and I have to be ORGANISED. These things do not come easily to me.
  4. Shopping for gifts - my granny's 80th birthday tomorrow, and a cousin's christening on Sunday. And I'm effing rooked.
  5. Realising that it's just over four months until I get married. FOUR. MONTHS. Jesus H. Christ.
  6. Writing a To Do list that is actually almost as long as my arm. I do have short arms, but that is still A BIG LIST #whimpers#
  7. Randomly capitalising whole words, apparently. This is not a good sign.
  8. Planning a bit of an overhaul of the blogroll (lots of new people to be added) and possibly a whole new template. (HA! Like that's gonna happen anytime soon - Ed)

So, in conclusion - busy, tired, and a teeny bit stressed.

P.S. I have been keeping up with everyone's blogs, even if I haven't left many comments.

*Except that they don't show up in my template so I had to do a numbered list instead.

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Ow #2

Monday, April 23, 2007

A month and a half after I joined the gym, I have officially begun my fitness regime. I had a session with a(n) (evil) personal trainer yesterday, who figured out a programme for me.

Evil Personal Trainer asked me what my goals were. I told him I wanted to get rid of my bingo wings before the wedding (he sniggered). Then he devised a punishing* schedule of cardio work, and resistance training, including lots of fitnessy type terms like chest presses and iso-ab work, none of which mean anything to me. But he also gave me an Idiot's Guide to the Gym, on which he drew little stick men to remind me how to do each exercise. He clearly had my number because this was before I told him about falling off the cross trainer. I wished I'd kept my mouth shut about that though as, instead of laughing like everyone else I've told, he just looked at me a bit strangely and said that none of his clients had ever done that before... Maybe he thought I wasn't taking things seriously enough. Or maybe he was concerned about leaving me unsupervised in the presence of dangerous equipment. Oh well.

*Well alright, it's probably quite tame. It is about 4 years since I got off my arse to do any exercise beyond walking to the kitchen.

He then showed me how to do each exercise, and made me practise it so he could tell me what I was doing wrong (turns out I wasn't clenching my buttocks with enough zeal). One of the exercises he had me doing involved lying on my back with my legs in the air, bringing them in to my chest, then raising them again. It was, if you'll excuse my language, really fucking hard! I was terrified I was going to let out a little trouser trump with all the exertion. Thankfully I managed not to disgrace myself.

That was yesterday, and then this morning I got up with the Boy at 6am (!), got to the gym for it opening at 6.30, and was warming up by 6.35. I did my programme (and was grateful for EPT's little stick men), then got myself ready for work and was at my desk 15 minutes earlier than usual, starving and in pain, but happy. It's 3pm, I can now type without wincing, and I feel good for getting my toosh in gear and doing some exercise. I'm aiming for at least two visits a week, ideally three.

This means I can go home tonight and eat chocolate with a clear conscience - I burned nearly a whole Crunchie on the cross trainer alone.

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Bleak House

Thursday, April 19, 2007

There's a house round the corner from here that makes me sad. It's a pretty little bungalow, on a nice street, with a wee patch of garden at the front. It makes me sad because it's so neglected.

I thought the garden in our rental flat was bad, but that was nothing compared to this place. There's a waist-height garden wall, and beyond that... weeds, weeds and more weeds. The weeds are level with the wall. And densely packed. They are established weeds. They could almost be classed as shrubs. There are some wild flowers growing in one patch, which are actually really pretty and if the rest of the garden wasn't a complete wilderness it would look kind of Victorian-kitchen-gardeny, but as it is it just looks neglected. The tall hedges on either side crowd in and make the front of the house dark and gloomy.

The house itself is a bit tumbledown too - the whitewash is flaking away, and the woodwork round the windows is all scabby and looks rotten. There are mouldy-looking curtains hanging haphazardly from all the windows, which never seem to be opened. They look like they would dissolve altogether in a stiff breeze mind you, so maybe it's a good thing that they're untouched.

All the other houses on the street are well looked after, and you see the inhabitants out at the weekend, mowing their lawns, or washing their cars. But this wee house looks dark and lonely, and a bit creepy - even in daylight. I always imagine some reclusive Miss Havisham-like character lurking inside, peering out at all the happy people going about their lives and cursing them for it. Every time I walk past I look for signs of life because I'm really curious to find out if the house is inhabited, and if so, by whom. Only once have I seen any indication of it being lived in - I was walking past one night and there was a faint light coming from one of the windows...

It was dark and windy, it was just me and my overactive imagination and this was the first time I'd seen any movement. You might be expecting me to say that I boldly marched up the path and chapped on the door to find out the answer to the burning question, but I didn't.

I scuttled off quick-smart, checking over my shoulder all the while to make sure I wasn't being pursued by an angry hermit.

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Sunday Night Syndrome

Monday, April 16, 2007

I have real trouble sleeping on a Sunday night. It's probably a combination of sleep patterns getting messed up over the weekend, the prospect of another working week, and thoughts along the lines of 'it's Sunday night, I never sleep well on a Sunday'. Any other night I happily pass out not long after my light goes off. But not a Sunday, and most especially not the Sunday after a busy weekend involving two very late nights.

Last night was particularly bad. I read for a while, and snuggled down in the lovely fresh sheets about 11.45. The Boy was already asleep (as, freak that he is, he gets up at 6am to go to the gym before work). I lay, yawning, listening to his deep breathing. He started snoring gently. I was still wide awake. I did my first check of the clock.

Midnight.

I figured out that if I went to sleep in the next fifteen minutes, I'd get exactly seven hours sleep before I had to get up.

Fifteen minutes later, the Boy was still snoring, and I was even more wide awake than I had been half an hour before, because I was thinking about it too much. Like when you go to type in your PIN number at the cash machine - if you stop and think about it too much you can't remember the number.

I tried to turn over, away from the noise from his flapping tonsils, and remembered that I'd walked into a door handle that day, and bruised my ribs. Ouch.

By now it was 12.30, and I was starting to get ratty. Less than seven hours sleep, but only if I went to sleep in the next fifteen minutes!

I started doing yoga breathing (in through the nose, out through the mouth), and picturing the sea gently lapping the shore of a beautiful white beach. I felt myself getting a bit sleepy....

Then, 'nnngggghhhh', a loud grunting snore from His Nibs.

I gave him a gentle nudge* but he didn't stir. The last time I remember looking at the clock was about 1am. (If I go to sleep NOW, I'll get 6 hours!)

Then, bang on 5am this morning (a full 2 hours and 15 minutes ahead of schedule!) I woke up.

Ting! 'Good Morning!' Said my brain. And that was me.

I lay quietly for a while, trying not to lie on my sore ribs, hoping that I'd drop off again. Then the birds started with the singing. Then the Boy's alarm started going. Then HE jumped out of bed, refreshed after a good night's sleep, and happily skipped off for his workout.

Meanwhile I stumbled into work late (because of COURSE I fell asleep just before MY alarm went off), bleary eyed and dopey, wearing shoes that didn't match my outfit and with eyeshadow on only one eye.

Nighty night #yawn#

*Ok I kicked him, hard, in the shin and hissed 'shut it!'

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Oy vey

Sunday, April 15, 2007

It's been a busy ol week.

I saw my mammy on Wednesday night, as I do every week. On Thursday night we had an unexpected trip to the vet with Coco, who was looking decidedly peaky.* On Friday I went to see Swan Lake on ice (which was spectacular), and yesterday afternoon we went to a lovely stationery shop and met the nicest girl ever, who's going to make wedding invitations like the ones I fell in love with, for a fraction of the price. I'm considering asking her if she'll marry me, instead of the Boy. She wouldn't fart in Tesco and blame it on me.

*She's fine now. In fact, she was fine about 10 minutes after we got her home from the vet, the little bisom.

Last night I went out with the Drama Queen, and what seemed like half the population of Brussels, to celebrate her birthday. I met the lovely Petifilou, and Phoenix (currently blog-free but hopefully not for long). It was the first time I've met other bloggers - Queenie doesn't count as she is a pre-blog friend - and it was lovely to meet them and put a face to the online persona. I was a little nervous because it's a unique experience - it's weird to know so much about people you've never met, and for them to know about you, and then to be in a room with them for the first time. But it's nice too, it kind of felt like the four of us were part of a secret society. Apart from Queenie and the Boy, none of my friends know about my blog so I didn't really know what to expect, meeting other bloggers in the company of people who don't know about this part of my life. But it was fine. And then of course, I had to start talking about farting didn't I - one area where my online persona and my real personality converge.**

**Honestly though, there was a guy in the pub on Saturday night that must've had some kind of condition. One drawback to the smoking ban - BO and other people's farts. Bleeurgh.

Today the Boy and I pottered about the house and garden and ate lots of nice food. I'm pleased to report that my carrots have sprouted. I went out to water them with my pink elephant today (which is not a euphemism, my watering can is shaped like an elephant), and was highly excited to see some green shoots coming through. Hopefully the shoots are actual carrots, and not weeds, but we shall see. I meant to take a picture as proof but by the time I remembered it was dark, so you'll just have to take my word for it.

My bed has fresh sheets on it, and I'm about to start a new book. If only I didn't have to get up for work tomorrow it would be perfect.

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Farty Pants

Tuesday, April 10, 2007

The Boy and I have been together for over seven years now, and have known each other for ten. While we do try to retain some mystery, it's kind of hard. We've lived together for the last four years, so he's seen me puking, fainting, weeing and, once, laughing so hard that tea came out of my nose.

There are some things that we just don't do, one of those is leaving the door open while we go to the toilet. Having a wee is one thing, but the other thing is done behind closed doors, and we prefer it that way. Having said that, we're not above a bit of toilet humour. A wee trump is good for a laugh and we quite openly break wind in front of each other, and have a giggle about it. Frankly, if we were one of those couples that 'take it to the toilet' then we'd hardly see each other. But bear in mind this is only when we're on our own, not in any other company (apart from maybe my mum).

So the other day in Tesco, when the Boy sidled past me with a shifty look on his face I knew he had some devious plan - he has previous for this kind of thing so I should've seen it coming but alas for me my guard was down. We were standing near the end of an aisle in the home section, which was empty but for us and a well-to-do couple talking to a Tesco employee about buying a TV.

As he reached the end of the aisle he paused and, with absolutely perfect timing, released a loud, prolonged fart then disappeared round the corner, leaving me horrified and unsure how to salvage any dignity from the situation.

In the end, I loitered for a few seconds with my head down, trying to make it seem as though I was above suspicion (my thinking was that if it had been me who farted, I wouldn't be hanging about). As soon as an appropriate amount of time had passed, I scuttled round the corner without looking at anyone, and found the Boy helpless with laughter in the next aisle. As soon as I saw him I dissolved into giggles as well (which impeded the accuracy of my punch unfortunately) and we both scarpered.

This is why I can't imagine being with anyone else.

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Mary Mary Quite Contrary

Saturday, April 07, 2007

My garden seems to have noticed that it's spring, and is growing quite enthusiastically. It was starting to look a bit wildernessy so we went out this afternoon and attacked it with the lawnmower and various other implements that were lurking in the back of the shed (most of them housewarming gifts, all of them untouched since we moved in). Despite our lack of any horticultural skills we managed to beat the triffids into submission, and make it look half decent.

Then I went all housewifely and did lots of washing, which I hung in our newly-tidy garden to dry, picked up all the grass cuttings that the Boy had tracked between the front and back doors, and then cleaned the kitchen. So much for a holiday weekend. I'm bloody knackered - my arms feel all weak and wibbly, and my back is aching.
But look!

No silver bells, or cockle shells and certainly no pretty maids all in a row, but don't it look tidy?! And aren't I just the little domestic goddess?! The only fly in the ointment is that Carrot Watch 2007 is in danger of grinding to a halt. No progress whatsoever. Not a sausage! I would post a picture if there was anything to report. Instead, here's what I found when I came in from the garden, hunched over, shiny faced, and covered in grass stains - my cat Roo having a snooze on the kitchen table:

I know it doesn't look like it, but she has a really hard life you know.


(This is her pitiful, 'deprived cat' pose, the one she adopts whenever someone new comes into the house.)

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Bleach

Thursday, April 05, 2007

I've decided not to go ahead with any scary bleaching techniques. I realised how lucky I am to finally have healthy(ish) teeth, and that I shouldn't jeopardise that for the sake of vanity, especially when my teeth don't really need whitened. If I looked like a female Shane Macgowan then I could justify spending in the region of £500 on my gnashers, but thankfully I don't. I've just had too many cups of tea. The photographer has already said he'll subtly touch up everyone's teeth in the pictures anyway.

So I called my dentist and made an appointment. He wants to see me for a check up before I can make the appointments for the crowns, so it's going to be a good couple of months before I'll start looking gorgeous again.* But I'm glad I've made the decision, I now feel like there's light at the end of the dental-trauma tunnel.

*Ha!

In other news, I've fallen in love with the most expensive wedding invitations I've seen in my search thus far. They are custom made letterpress invitations and they are absolutely stunning. Unfortunately they're also twice the price of any other invitations I've looked at, and I don't think we're going to be able to afford them. Well, when I say 'we can't afford them' I actually mean 'the Boy won't let me have them'. But I truly have fallen in love with them - they are totally in keeping with the wedding venue, they match my colour scheme exactly, and they are SO PRETTY.

Stupid budget.

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Steep Incline Ahead

Sunday, April 01, 2007

Have you ever tried to dance a Gay Gordons uphill?

It is not easy. I know this because I was at a wedding reception on Saturday night, in a marquee which had been put up in a field with rather a steep slope.

It's a strange experience, dancing uphill, and I had my doubts that it was safe after watching numerous guests lurching dangerously close to the flimsy back wall while doing the Dashing White Sargeant. One lady in particular had to be rescued at the last moment by her dancing partner, as she nearly ended up in the loch behind the marquee. I spent most of the evening sitting down, because I didn't trust myself to walk on the dancefloor without falling on my arse. I struggle to wear heels at the best of times, but the combination of a squint floor plus a few V&T's was just a recipe for disaster.

The first comedy moment of the evening went, appropriately, to the bride as she and her new husband joined in a lively version of Strip The Willow. He birled her round like there was no tomorrow, causing her train (which had been hoiked up into a bustle) to come loose. She took out the whole first row of the ceilidh band, knocking over all their music stands and sending their sheet music everywhere. To their credit, the band managed to keep the dancing going - the accordion player carried on without his music while his bandmates picked up the stands, gathered all the music together, then jumped right back into the song.

Later in the evening, a drunken guest at the next table provided more entertainment by attempting to sit on a chair that was approximately 2 feet to the left of his arse - he stayed in a sitting position as he fell, and ended up on the floor with his legs in the air. He did at least manage to stay inside the marquee (which was lucky as he may well have ended up in the loch due to the steep incline and our proximity to the water). He was an elderly gent and wearing the kilt - thankfully I didn't get to see if he was a true Scotsman or not.

It was a good night, if a bit unconventional. But then who wants to be conventional? The bride and groom enjoyed it, which is the most important thing. Although I suspect he might have got a bit of an ear-bashing about the incident during Strip The Willow.

The rest of my weekend passed by in a flash, and I don't really have much else to report. I'm finding it a bit difficult to blog regularly as I'm in the awkward position of being busy, whilst not doing anything interesting enough to write about...

I'll have to goad the Boy into having a row or something.

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*Logan Pearsall Smith



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