Archive for March, 2009|Monthly archive page

Renovations and reservations

In Uncategorized on March 24, 2009 at 5:25 pm

I am starting to wonder if anything is ever straight forward. The work on the kitchen and the bathroom is now complete. I waited with baited breath to see the gleaming results.

I was a bit miffed when I discovered that the workmen, those oh-so-conscientious types who had taken three weeks longer than scheduled such was their dedication to their craft, had failed to replace the light fittings, and that the shower didn’t work.

Then there was the more pressing concern that they’d messed up the water supply so that there was none spilling forth from the taps.

I don’t know about you, but my chief expectation from a bathroom, aside from lovely slate flooring and shimmering white porcelain, is your run-of-the-mill running water.

Still, so very, very close…


Friday 13th

In Uncategorized on March 13, 2009 at 11:54 am

This week has been hell on fiery wheels. Every time I think I’m over the worst, something else happens to kick me in the teeth. The bathroom is STILL not ready. The fact it should’ve been finished by the end of February is neither here nor there, apparently, I’m not owed any explanation as to why it’s taken so long. I am expecting a new wing to the house, the time it’s taken.

I’ve had all kinds of greivances this week, I can’t even start to get into them. I failed to see my friend Zoe before she left to head back to Sydney, so I’m disappointed at that, and I am nowhere near out of the woods with everything else.  I thought March was going to be a good month after the debacle that was January and February, but apparently not.

I’m going to my mum’s tonight for a comforting roast dinner and a grumble. There are times that only those home comforts will do, and this is one.

Roll on 5.30pm………….

Orange and interesting

In Uncategorized on March 10, 2009 at 2:21 pm

No, not a fake tan disaster…

In light of my abject, mortifying failure to stick to my healthy menu and lose weight, I’ve decided today to take on a more eccentric pop-star persona and I’m only eating orange-coloured food.

I had a satsuma for breakfast, a peach for my mid-morning snack, tomato soup for lunch, followed by a second satsuma, and I shall have baked beans on toast for my quick-fix protein meal before kick boxing.

And then I shall possibly demand that Mark separates all the other Smarties from the orange ones for my supper.

Tomorrow I might co-ordinate my food to my outfit.

No fun diet update

In Uncategorized on March 9, 2009 at 4:33 pm

I’ve not mentioned how I’m getting on with the no carbs, no booze, no fat, no fun diet lately – good reason, I’ve yet to recommence it. I start every day with the best of intentions and then come lunch-time I could gnaw my own arm off so I end up boycotting the stash of soup building up in my desk drawer and going to Greggs/Boots/M&S.

Plus at the weekend I drunk more than I have since the beginning of the year, so technically I’m still eating to soak up the alcohol. Maybe I’ll start afresh tomorrow.

Yes, tomorrow.

Whatever happened to Baby Jane?

In Uncategorized on March 9, 2009 at 2:00 pm

The whole Babyville cycle has obviously got to me. I had a dream last night that I had a baby. It was proper nightmare stuff. I suspect that the dream was not just based on the Zoe/Louise/Donna baby making cycle but also on the episode of CSI: New York I watched – a mad couple had decided to con a young pregnant girl NOT to have an abortion but to part with the child for $50,000 and had killed her and cut the baby from her body. (They couldn’t adopt because of the woman’s mental unhinged-ness, funnily enough)

Anyway, the dream was horribly vivid – I woke up, wide awake and terrified, I was in a cold sweat and thought I was covered in blood. It was one of those dreams where you don’t grasp that it’s not real – while I was relieved that I wasn’t dead, I didn’t click that I didn’t have a baby and I lay there worrying about the other issues – the fact that the baby was a boy and Mark didn’t want a boy, he wanted a girl. Then we’d called it Jack so my aunt, Stella, refused to have anything to do with us because HER son was called Jack.

Is it any wonder I feel tired today?

Baby, baby

In Uncategorized on March 5, 2009 at 2:48 pm

I think I may be made of wood.

Almost everyone I know is having a baby or caring for a new baby right now. In the next few days I shall be making the acquaintance of Jake, new son of my close friend Donna, and also shaking hands with Oliver, the son of my oldest (I mean in terms of the time I’ve known her, not her age, she’s younger than me) friend Zoe after she brought him over from Sydney.

As I’ve already said, my best friend Louise is due to have her first baby on May 4th (she won’t call it Yoda, I’ve asked) .

Whenever I hold someone’s newborn, everyone looks expectantly at me as though I’m going to toss the offspring into the air and yell: ‘Must dash, uterus is twanging, back later!’

But I think my biological clock stopped some time ago, if indeed it ever worked.

My parents get all excited by such events, maybe they think if I spend enough time around these friends I’ll decide I have to have one. I think they’ve given up all hope of having grand-children – my brother spends half his life working abroad and I would rather spend my hard earned cash on clothes and holidays than baby formula and rattles.

It doesn’t help when I find out how much childcare costs. The idea that if I wanted to come back to work I’d then have to shell out a large chunk of my salary to have someone take care of my child does make me think that the whole set up is a bit unfair. People sneer at stay-at-home mums for not working just as much as they sneer at working mums, yet it could be a catch 22 – I have a friend who is a stay at home mum because it simply isn’t economically viable to work full time and pay a nanny or a nursery, she’d make nothing, and I have a friend who is having to work when all she wants to do is spend time with her daughter because if she doesn’t, she can’t afford to keep them both fed, clothed and sheltered, and her mum and dad take care of the baby during the day.

That’s the beauty of a pair of shoes – you can just put them in a box during the day and take them out at the weekend and they’ll love you for it.

run for the hills

In Uncategorized on March 4, 2009 at 11:03 am

My loathing of running is well-documented. I love the idea of it, being free, in the open air and feeling the world rush by as I pound the pavements, but in reality, the stitch and the feeling that my lungs have filled with blood put me right off.

But my friend Darren (who frankly hardly had to worry about the love-handles anyway) has embraced running this year. He’s lost a stone and is suddently super-hero fit – running between six and twelve miles a night (although why you’d do that when you could watch 24 escapes me).  He’s lined up to run two races in the next two weeks – one a half marathon and one a 21-mile jaunt.

He’s never felt better and I am almost tempted to give it a go myself. I might wait til it gets a bit warmer though, and no doubt I’ll find a number of other reasons why I shouldn’t. There’s a little park/nature reserve thing about half a mile away from home, so in theory, I could start with a Sunday morning stroll and work my way up.

I could be one of those revoltingly fit women you see all kitted out in lycra and iPods jogging along to Beyonce or something. I do like the idea.

Hmmm. Watch this space.

My best friend’s wedding

In Uncategorized on March 4, 2009 at 9:25 am

I came within a gnat’s eyelash of booking a flight out to New York for the weekend last night. My best friend Louise is getting married at City Hall on Friday, and I wish I could be there to see it happen. She’s going to have a second, bigger wedding back here in the UK next year, but I’d love to be in NYC at noon on Friday.

She’s having a baby in May, and I think, once I get over the fact that all my friends are having children and I’m having to realise that we’re really all grown up now, that she and Dan are going to be fantastic parents. Their relationship is one of the best I’ve ever seen and if there was ever a couple that were meant to be, it’s Louise and Dan.

They met on a holiday to Spain, got chatting, stayed in touch via email and, because she was based in London and he in Seattle, jetted to various glamorous locations to spend time together and get to know one another better. In 2005, they travelled around the world together, and then they both relocated to New York, where they live in a beautiful Chelsea apartment and have quite the most covetable lifestyle I’ve ever seen. It’s truly a modern fairy tale and one that I have to tell anyone I know who frets about never finding Mr So Called Right.

Most of my friends are married, or on the way to being, now, but I am devastated that due to the circumstances of the past couple of months, I can’t justify the expense of heading out for a short break to fling rose petals around and toast them both. So at 5pm on Friday I shall be sure to have a Manhattan and channel happy thoughts to the happy couple.

Grand Designs

In Uncategorized on March 2, 2009 at 3:31 pm

Sounds like I am five days away from having a beautifully renovated house.  It’s been a long time coming: two years since I contacted the insurance company (and paid the excess) to replace a ceiling damaged by a flood. 24 months later, I am close to unveiling not only a new ceiling but a new bathroom, in the hope that when we finally come out of the other side of the recession (when will that be? 2018 maybe?) I will have managed to add value to my property.

It has brought out the Laurence Llewellyn Bowen in me though. I keep forgetting that I am not actually living there and that this is for the benefit of tenants; and as a consequence, I’m choosing ridiculously overpriced things, then having to be reined back in…if I wasn’t, the floor would be black granite with fragments of glitter, and the walls would feature a glass mosaic. The rest of the house has been ‘neutralized’. My flamboyant and beautiful rasberry ice-cream bedroom, replete with chandelier, is now cappuccino and cream (though it is still replete with chandelier), but the walk in wardrobe and shoe-cupboard still captivates viewers.





I was thrilled to bits on Friday when my agent (the very brilliant Andy Hart at Bergason, Sutton Coldfield – if you have a property to let, I can’t recommend them enough) told me that despite having seen the house in its current state of disrepair – ie. plaster-coated kitchen walls and ceiling, bathroom devoid of tiles and indeed bath, shower, toilet or basin – a tenant was desperate to move in. You see, there’s no substitute for people who can recognise potential. I bet they’d have gone for the pink bedroom too.

I still miss it, and come Friday, there will be a serious tug-o-war of the emotions going on.