Showing posts from 2017

I'm beginning to get very excited about Christmas... is this normal?

There are 74 days left until Christmas!!

This came as a bit of a surprise to me when I looked it up today, as I don't feel anywhere near ready for Christmas. Also, is it my imagination, or have shops not got Christmas in as early as last year? I went looking for wrapping paper last week and couldn't see the sort I was after in Tesco, W H Smiths or Asda. In fact, Asda had no Christmas paper and shelves still full of Hallowe'en!
That struck me as rather odd, because when it comes to Back To School the shelves are cleared and replaced by Halloween before school even starts. I think I was hoping for something similar with Christmas.

So, in an effort to get Christmas juices flowing, I thought I'd share a few things I'm looking to do or get for Christmas.

1. Visit Salisbury Museum.
They have the Terry Pratchett exhibition on, until January 13th and my two sons are keen to go. We live in Liverpool, and there's a long distance between the two places, so we've booked…

September has been and gone...

I had a wild time. No. Well, I had a time.

Time is my most precious resource. I say it again and again, but it's what I'd like most for Christmas, Birthday or any time when someone offers me a gift. I'd like time.

I want a day that has at least 2 extra hours in it. An eight day week, and a year with two Decembers.
I want a time-turner that works for revisiting moments I've loved, and a pause button for times I'm enjoying so much and don't want to end.
I want a way to stop ageing so that everybody I love can stay at their favourite age for a long time. I want to be able to turn around and see the generations before, and talk to them so that they can tell me that time is irresistible, and the only thing to do it go with it.
Time is a flood, time is a great tidal surge that is washing me away. Time is the great leveller, the great destroyer, the ultimate barrier to immortality.

What I really need is to grasp hold of my time and to use it well. What I need is to em…

It's nearly been a week... and a week is no time.

I haven't posted here or on How to Hygge since last Monday. Last Monday. Golly, around about 9.30pm last Monday, what a peaceful, innocent time that was.

Let me say right now that none of my family were anywhere near Manchester Arena last Monday night, but several friends and acquaintances were and several friends of friends, including a girl whose friends go to Sarah's school.

I've taken the week to think how to frame a response, how to express my thoughts and.... I don't think there are words to say, no neat twist of phrase that can capture the emotions. Anger, sadness, concern, hope, thankfulness, love, empathy, pain, worry, hope again, relief, anger at someone else, guilt, happiness, love and finally hope.

Manchester has been through hell and back this week, although for some people they may well still be in hell. What has given me hope this week is the response of people from across the world to the atrocity. I am especially proud of my home city, Liverpool.... no…

My bathroom needed cleaning.

So I sewed up a pair of slippers instead.

As displacement activities go, it is one of my best. A couple of hours stitching, a couple of hours watching 15 to 1 (my quiz show of obsession at the moment) and a good rest.

It would, after all, be what the Doctor ordered, if I ever got to see a Doctor. Unfortunately, and I guess I'm not alone in this, my surgery has a new system of appointments so that you can no longer book ahead an appointment unless you stand on one leg in a thunder storm for an obscure hour between gleaming and gloaming on a night that may or may not be a day as well.

Or you have a telephone consultation with a doctor who may or may not want to see you that day. But if you do that, you must ring at 8am promptly to join the queue and talk to the rottweiler who may or may not pass your number on to the medic.

I am not cross. I am not at all cross. I just hope that I actually never need to use the service until it has collapsed and recovered again.

Back to the pleasant…

My Days have been filled recently...

I have been busy over the past couple of weeks. I think life (for me) seems to get faster the older I get. Certainly, I look back at the days of at-home motherhood with a yearning I didn't expect to feel. When the most I got done in a week was 2 or 3 days supply, and they weren't guaranteed.

Work is pretty full time, of course, so I find myself trying to fit a life into 2 days of the weekend. And since I love me a good bit of downtime and solitude, I find I'm fighting the urges to rest and relax or to get up and do. So I feel very Jekyll and Hyde. I'm either calm efficiency and getting the house cleared well, or collapsed on the sofa, remote control in hand, guinea pig on stomach and bewailing the days when I was able to watch daytime TV alone.

I have no idea how full time workers fit in housework. I know that possibly before I began full time work I should have cleared the house, so that I could now consider getting a cleaner in to do a bit for me. As it is, I grab op…

Wednesday Wind Up: 29th March 2017 Beauty and the Beast

It's been so long since I posted a wind up!! I can hardly remember the categories. I'll make them up for today.

I'm reading ... well, nothing in particular. I was supposed to read Ben Elton's Two Brothers for Book Club on Monday, but I missed it due to the funeral and didn't have to admit that I hadn't actually finished it. I like it so far.

Next month's book is The Alchemist by Paul Coelho. Fortunately I read that a few years ago, and it's short, so I might just quickly read it and then finish the other one.

Apart from a mess, I'm still supposed to be making the hygge shawls from the Scheepjes CAL this year. Time in the evenings seems to have been at a premium, so my CAL sits in a corner, unloved, unwanted and undone. This weekend, I promise, I'll get my mojo back and go for it hell for leather. If I could just catch up with the embroidery part....

On TV we're still watching Game of Thrones as a family. I never thought …

92 is a good age

Yesterday we went to the funeral of one of Mr AJ's cousins. She was called Paddy, although she'd been christened Irene, because her Dad had wanted a boy.
Now, Peter's family are a dying breed. We had six cousins in total there yesterday and there were only another 3 or 4 missing. At our wedding, my family could have gone on forever: his was distinctly smaller. And 24 years have only made it shrink more.

I'm rambling. Yes. Back to my point.

My point is that her true family actually weren't the relatives. There were 5 or 6 neighbours there, many of whom had known Paddy for the 40 years she lived in the house, who talked about her with such love, and sadness at her passing, that it made me smile. They had given her food, took her out for drives, been there for her when the closest family were almost an hour away. Two of them even had power of attorney at the end, because of the closeness and the proximity. I wish we could all say that we had neighbours as close and as…

Happy Mother's Day. A DIY day..... so far

Happy Mother's Day so far. I hope if you have children, then you've organised them rather better than I have my own. So far I have made my own breakfast, bought my own present, written the shopping list and even read an Improving Book. I'm feeling weary and wondering what to do with the afternoon.

It's a good job there's no football on this afternoon or I'm sure the pressure to watch it would be the last straw. As it is, I've been told that I will not be able to Finish Off the Bedroom Clean that I was doing yesterday because there is Important Work for DH to do.

So my list for the weekend has sort of gone South. I think I shall alter it. The sun is shining, and the meal I'm going to make for my parents is an easy slam in the oven one, so I may set off for a walk in the woods to clear my mood.And any spare time I have left, I'll get on with my Hygge CAL. I'm well behind with it. The idea of crochet with embroidery was irresistible, but really I n…

Did I tell you we had guinea pigs? Can I introduce them?

We are a Grandmother.

Yes, there's my age showing through. Does anybody else remember Margaret Thatcher (curse her or bless her as you like) coming out with that statement? Good grief, but she was skitted for that.

Anyway, what I mean to say is I am the proud guinea pig Grandma to a herd of oh my God Guinea Pigs.
How many did we have last time? Two? Three? Well, let me introduce the herd.

This is Lorelai. She is named after the Mum from the Gilmore Girls. She's big (over 1kg) a little bossy and also very, very hairy. She's also the only one of the original guinea pigs from last March left. (RIP Teddy and Olga)

Sherlock. She's David's guinea pig, and he named her. Sherlock can disappear into holes you would swear aren't there. I think she creates black holes and disappears into them. She is very cute, and it's so lovely to see a massive bearded 19 year old go as soft as jelly when he holds her. We really could have called her Steve McQueen or Cooler King bec…

Look at my new baby...

No, not a real baby, of course, but a book baby.

I've been absent for the past few weeks because I've been incubating a little project all of my own. It's quite time intensive, this writing business and, I have to say, I think Virginia Woolf had an easy time of it with no children, no guinea pigs and no full time work to get in the way.It took me at least a week to get the first page written, and a few good weeks after that to finish the whole book.

Can I introduce you to 50 Ways to Hygge the British Way?

It's a hygge book, of course, but one written specifically from a British rather than a Danish point of view. A book for the hygge-lover who has read Meik Wiking's Little Book of Hygge or Bronte Aurell's Essence of Hygge, loved the idea and is now sitting thinking "Well, that's all very well, but how do I hygge in the UK? We don't have short hours, a good work/life balance or decent Danish pastries in my home town."
You know, when you've …

Time flies... yet another post on how easy it is to let time slip past.

6 weeks since last I wrote to you. 6 weeks of work and life and work and life. I've done nothing and yet done so much, been nowhere and travelled to Russia. Lived and breathed beyond living and breathing.

How to Hygge The British Way has taken over my life to an extent: I write there nearly every day, I have a pattern, a routine of books, recipes and random thoughts that seems to work. I love it, how could I not, it's so me, this home and safety and love that hygge generates, that I want to write for it as often as I must. I actually have my posts planned and ready to write when I set down.
This leads me to feel guilty. Because Angel Jem is still me, still who I am, still who I seek to be.

And yet, poor Angel Jem gets less and less time. I could just replicate the posts here. I could just cut, paste, change a little and post again, but that feels wrong. I can't even claim to separate the areas out because there are so many overlaps between my personal journal which this is …

I'd forgotten how good time off was...

I have finally come to the end of the longest time off since I started working for Peter in the summer... 7 work days or just under 2 weeks off work!! I'd forgotten quite how blissful lie ins could be, or how wonderful not to shower/dress/move off the breakfast chair until past 11am (one day until past 2pm!) could be.
It's back to work for me tomorrow, so nose to the grindstone again! But I thought I'd share some pictures of my Christmas, before I gradually begin stripping the place again. I'm usually quite blue at this time of year, but I'm hoping that hygge will carry me through. A good blend of outside walks and indoor treats to keep me happy. That, and a regular dose of hot chocolate.