Tuesday, November 30, 2004

counting blessings
My Granny who lived into her nineties used to say 'you have to count your bessings'. Here goes: I live in one of the best cities in the world, right in the centre of it all in a nice flat. I have a husband that loves me. I have a reasonably well-paid job. I have some great friends. I'm learning new things.
So why on earth am I so dull and disatisfied?
Answers on a postcard to...
My Granny also used to ask people to put on their hobnail boots and give her a kick up the arse.
Any volunteers?
the cleaning lady
I think I've mentioned before that cleaner G has left our employ and gone to Miami (like you do). In the months since we've muddled along with greater and lesser success. This weekend I devoted myself to cleaning like a professional - every surface in the kitchen (and there are a lot) was scrubbed clean, every item out on display (and there are many) was put in the dishwasher (thank goodness for dishwashers). Then on Sunday it was time for the weekly pilgrimage to the Farmers' Market in Marylebone. Organic food bought from the people that grew it - the highlight of my week, when for just a moment I really am buying into the dream, then the walk home with heavy rucksacks and the slow realisation that another week has passed and the dream is no nearer.
We had a team meeting this morning and in the five minutes before it got started I was chatting to a couple of the others. A said: 'My friend has just told me she's pregnant for the second time.' F said: 'All I hear about from my friends is engagements and housewarming parties.' And then after some thought I said: 'But those things just don't seem possible if you live and work in London. I have friends who are married with kids and a mortgage, but none of them live in London.' 'Hmm,' we all said sadly and looked mournfully at each other while drifting off into our own private reveries.

Friday, November 26, 2004

I should have counted sheep
Left work early to get to college in time. Arrived uncharacteristically on time only to find that my class had been cancelled due to a power cut.
Rang TA on his moby - no answer. Rang TA at home - no answer. Tried to assess likelihood that TA was in the local supermarket picking up delicious repast for dinner. Rushed around the aisles looking for a tall, skinny man in a suit carrying an umbrella, grabbed two bottles of wine, a bottle of sherry, some milk and some cheese - random items, things I knew TA wouldn't buy if he was in the supermarket. Found a short queue but then realised that I'd pushed in front of a hesitant OAP (the second time this has happened at this particular shop in as many weeks). Apologised, let frail-looking old lady in ahead of me. Her shopping: basmati rice, prawns, steak and some vegetables. Frail old lady: 'mumble, mumble, mumble, gall bladder, mumble, no, mumble, fat'. Me: 'Oh, poor you.' FOL: [looking at my alcohol-and-dairy-product-laden conveyor belt] 'mumble, mumble, wine, mumble, drink, mumble, mumble, nice, mumble, sad.' Me: 'Really? Yes. Hmm.' I said goodbye to the FOL and left the shop feeling guilty.
Beat TA home, picked up mail. Letter from college complaining about my lack of attendendance. My mood was not improved!
TA had not picked up delicious repast and both of us were stumped as to what to cook and - for the first time ever - I was not hungry. TA improvised while I retired to bed with a book. Suitably inspired, I shaped my eyebrows (which are usually a bit Dennis Healy), did girly maintenance tasks and lounged in a pair of manky joggers and a fleece feeling somewhat decadent (decadence is a state of mind and, for me, often descends when I have unexpected free time). After a tiny dinner I alternated between reading and chores - laundry, dishwasher, sorting through my wardrobe - while trying to act French and louche.
Left housemate C and TA to their own devices: that new playstation game where you're a gangster eating burgers, working out and shooting people, and toiling over a new website, respectively.
Went to bed early. Couldn't sleep. TA came to bed at nearly midnight and fell asleep immediately. I ground my teeth in frustration, poked him until he woke up and complained about the unfairness. Tossed and turned, sighed and generally tried to sleep in ways that guarantee sleep will not occur. Then, to my neverending shame, the following thought occurred to me...
We need more storage space under the sink. It's a shame all the cleaning products take up so much space. Wait a minute, Mum keeps all her polish, cream cleaner, bleach, dusters and cloths in a satchel hanging up in the kitchen cupboard, the when she or Dad do housework they take the satchel round the house with them. Why don't we do that? I wonder if TA will let me repurpose one of his satchels? Hmmm...
And so I eventually drifted off into a troubled sleep, punctuated with dreams where TA told me that I was obese.

Thursday, November 25, 2004

you can't handle the tooth; the tooth hurts
Or it does if you're me since I've got an impacted wisdom tooth and it's infected. I scored some antibiotics yesterday, but they have yet to take full effect. I'm feeling woeful, full of woe - woe, woe, woe. I need lots of love and soft mushy food. Alternatively, since I spent a fun-filled five minutes adding to my already gargantuan wishlist on Amazon yesterday*, feel free to treat me to something nice.

*An exercise in futility since no one ever buys anything from it, me included...but at least it offers some of the same satisfaction as clicking 'add to basket' and 'proceed to checkout' with none of the associated expense.

ooh, new wishlist link...all my obessions exposed for your viewing pleasure.

Wednesday, November 17, 2004

Okay, I give up. I spend two weeks thinking about posting but not, then as soon as I officially wave goodbye to regular blogging the urge to post becomes overpowering.
I have spent the last ten minutes trying to persuade Google to solve my quarter-life crisis, but for once it's not coming up with the goods. I know I've written ad nauseum about how I want life - my life - to change drastically and really I should stop now but I can't. In fact the whole founding principle of the UB was to document in some tangible, outside-of-my-head way just how much I wanted my life to change. But here I am over a year later, having quit my job and tried to create change I find myself in pretty much the same position as a year ago. On the surface everything ticks along nicely but underneath I'm seething. Something has to give, somehow there has to be away to achieve my own Good Life.

Tuesday, November 16, 2004

the whole hog
Went to the Farmers' Market yesterday. Filled with enthusiasm by Hugh Fearnly-Whittingstall's excellent book MEAT, I bought four trotters and half a pig's head (amongst other things). I also spotted Anthony Worrall-Thompson filming at the market. As TA said, it's obviously the place to be if you have a double-barrelled name.

Tuesday, November 09, 2004

Exeunt, pursued by a bear
The above is my favourite piece of stage direction ever, taken from A Winter's Tale. In my own winter's tale the bear is any number of things: work, college, TA's need to focus on work - meaning that I'm doing more house management, our joint need to spend time together at the end of the day [today is our second wedding anniversary]. But my lack of posting is due to more than that, I'm tired of my own voice and, although I have three or four corker posts mulling around in my addled brain, tired of writing too.
It's time for an interval, a costume change, some refreshments and witty conversation. Posting from now on will be sporadic, until the bear has gone. Thank you all for your kind comments.