Thursday, 31 July 2008

Packing for the Holocaust

So right now I should be packing. I'm going away for a week in Cornwall and in the true British style I am having to pack everything I own to allow for the vagaries of the British Summer Weather.

So - here is a quick run down. Is there anything I have forgotten?
  • My galoshes have been scrubbed clean,
  • My striped bathing suit with exhausted elastic has been shaken free of anorexic moths along with my flower adorned bathing hat...
  • I have casual clothes, smart clothes, in between clothes and not much to them clothes.
  • Should I pack for snow? Just in case? I mean, this is the British summer so there is a far greater chance of a sudden snowfall than there is in the winter. OK - gloves, scarf and skiing trousers it is.
  • I have deliberately forgotten my suncream in the hope that this will guarantee scorching days that I can't venture out into for fear of burning to a crisp and being mistaken by Rick Stein for a cornish lobster.
  • I have packed an entire separate case of books in case nobody sells books in Cornwall.
  • The loyal hound has a towel, his bowl and his favourite rubber chicken (I do wish he wouldn't sit on it when I am driving though as, out of the blue, it gives out this long and pained squealing which frightens the living daylights out of me)
  • Naturally I have a tin opener and some tins of sardine paste. I didn't waste my time reading all those Famous Five novels for nothing.
  • I have emptied the contents of my bathroom cupboard into a suitcase in the hope of actually using some of the products that I keep buying because they promise that they will make my hair so shiny I can be used as a solar panel / my eyelashes so long I'll trip over them/ my skin so soft that puppies will be envious.

At least if there is a holocaust while I am on holiday I will be able to last the whole thing out.

Ok - that's it then. I'm off. I'll be back in a week with my tales of sun, surf, expensive ice creams and hot men that I was too nervous to go up and talk to ....... That is assuming that the pixies don't get me.

Wednesday, 30 July 2008

Brief Encounter with a Butterfly

So, as official doting aunt I thought it would be nice to take my nephews on an outing. How lovely am I? Consequently I gave my OCD sister three months warning that I planned on taking them to the 'Butterfly Jungle' in Conwy. Now, this is close by Welsh standards. Only 31 miles away and I had this thought that we might be there for an hour or so and then we could go round the castle since the oldest nephew is obsessesed by being a soldier (he can frequently be found with a bucket on his head (sterilised first of course), pretending he is on parade.

So lunch was prepared for them (you can't expect them to eat food from a strange kitchen for goodness sake) and we met at 10.00 o'clock this morning just outside the butterfly house. My sister already had the look of a martyr being sent to the burning pyre but both boys looked pretty excited at the prospect of being allowed outside their bubbles and there was much reiterating of the fact that we were going to see 'Butter and flies'. Come to think of it, maybe that was why my sister looked so martyred. She does hate those flies.......

First appearances of the butterfly jungle are not very preposessing. Imagine a greenhouse that is more suited for mass illegal growth of dope and you are about there. Inside it was warm (it's a greenhouse so that's not really a surprise) but there were butterflies of all shapes and sizes. Huge electric blue ones, jagged winged black and white ones, beautiful multicoloured ones with intricate patterns. They flew around our heads, they came and landed on the boys coats, they ate nectarines, they drank water off the floor at our feet. They disguised themselves as leaves and fluttered up as you walked by. The boys were entranced. Not a swoon in sight they wandered round going 'ooh' and 'aah' and 'look - a butter fly'. They hunted for caterpillars and they studied the goldfish in the pond with great intensity.

After twenty minutes the youngest was sleepy (isn't that a good thing?) and the oldest was hot so we said we would go outside for five minutes and have something to drink and then come back in to have another look. Well, that was the plan I knew about anyway.

As soon as we emerged both boys perked up and started shouting about which butterfly was best. Before we even got near the drinks, my sister started marching us all back to the car. The oldest nephew asked in a tone that Oliver would be proud of 'can we go back in now?' and was promptly told that he was too tired and didn't want to. Actually, I wanted to go back, my father (who had come along to defend us from unknown butterfly perils and show willing as a grandfather) wanted to go back, and of course the non sleepy nephew wanted to go back. But no. What did we know? Apparently this was more than enough stimulation for the month and having been inside for a whole 25 minutes the boys could not possibly stand anymore entertainment without being thoroughly overcome.

I swallowed this blow manfully and brightly suggested that we go to the castle instead as the smallest boy would think it was just a walk, and the oldest would love it. I could have bought him a brand new bucket as a helmet and he could have marched up and down the ramparts defending us from all comers. This suggestion was also squashed as being entirely unsuitable for such delicate flowers. Instead they went to Tesco, which apparently would be more than enough entertainment for them, and then they went home.

My whole grand outing took three months of persuasion, two hours of driving and a total of 25 minutes actually spent with the butterflies. I think I might swoon with frustration.

Tuesday, 29 July 2008

Grilled like a Dover Sole

Three cheers for the bravery of me. I have rung one of the cybermen! Not the pilot or duck fetish man but a brand new one who is apparently frightened of e mail and thinks that 'a phone call is worth a thousand e mails'. Shakespeare would roll in his grave.

So, I promised to call him at 5.00 o'clock and promptly forgot all about it and got distracted. It was only at 6.00 o'clock when the loyal hound started pretending that he was too weak with hunger to make it to the door that I realised what the time was and that I was late for my very first cyber date. Now, having leapt with gay abandon into the deep end of the cyber dating pool I didn't know what to expect from this first phone call business. Had somebody warned me that questionaires would be involved I might have just stuck a toe in and complained that it was a bit chilly and I was going back in. Here are some of the questions I faced:

Cyber man: "What are your hobbies?"
Me: "Errr, umm, Macrame and birdwatching? (never done either but they sound like proper hobbies to me)"
Cyber man: "Do you want children? I want lots and soon"
Me: "Isn't that a little bit forward? We haven't even met yet....."
Cyber man: "Where exactly have you lived?"
Me: "what? a detailed list with addresses and stuff? Why do you care?"
Cyber man: "Do you like lawns. I love mine and find mowing it very relaxing."
Me: "Why? do you want to mow mine? Isn't that a bit random as a follow up question? Are we really talking about lawns or is this all a euphemism and I am too thick to have noticed?"

You get the gist. I feel expertly grilled, Dover sole at a michelin restaurant would have nothing on me. Frighteningly he wants to talk again, he may want to mow my lawn. What have I got myself into. Doctor - help - the Cybermen are here........................

Monday, 28 July 2008

Game, Set and Match with slobber on.......

The blessed peace, the quiet, the sheer heaven of being home alone. The world is my oyster. I can hear nothing other than the occasional sigh from the Loyal Hound as he enjoys life without being in trouble and the bliss of solitude once more.

He has suffered greatly over the weekend. In an eager effort to please he has carefully gone around gathering up the various articles of clothing, toys, beakers, snotty tissues that have been abandoned in a trail behind the swooning nephews, and has carried them all back to me. What can I say. He has a tidy nature. Unfortunately my sister has an excessive awareness of hygiene. No ten second rule for her. Despite having grown up surrounded by dogs, cats and various other bits of wildlife dragged into the house (usually by me and my brother), she has decided that wildlife is 'unsanitary' and the loyal hound definitely counts as wildlife.

I tried explaining that a dog's mouth was more sanitary than a persons mouth, but she rather unkindly pointed out that she didn't see any people carrying her children's abandoned belongings round in their mouths. Picky or what.

She then heaves a long suffering sigh as he appears with another abandoned T shirt carefully scrunched up in his mouth, tail wagging with pleasure at being able to help. As I hand it to her she ostentatiously puts it in the 'wash pile'.

What happened to her? She used to be a normal, fun, amusing person who laughed and didn't secretly wipe down counters with antiseptic wipes when she thought nobody was looking. Then she got married and had children. Now I'm not saying that it is the fate of all women to become dull, paranoid and disapproving when they procreate but there are days when I think it was hers. What really confuses me is how she can now so thoroughly disapprove of her own childhood? Everything that we loved about growing up - being allowed to run outside on our own, refusing to wear our shoes for months on end, lying fast asleep in a heap of dogs, waging war on each other with pillows, sticks, hand grenades (depended on the level of war as to the weapons used), refusing to change our clothes when they were covered in grass stains, cake and river weed. These are all things that frighten her to death for her own children.

Consequently, they scream with fear if they trip over, they sob if they get water on themselves, they think flies are the work of the devil (this may be true but as there is little you can do about the pesky blighters I don't think it is worth pointing out their true evil nature to children), they don't like being barefoot on the grass. I could go on but it just depresses me.

What depresses me more is that there is an inviolable law that says you can't tell your sister that she has turned into a lunatic and that her children are following her down the yellow brick road to lunacy. Even worse, all this paranoia makes her life exhausting, and her exhausted and consequently even more paranoid, dull and freaked out by anything that can't be controlled.

Having got that little rant out of the way I must return briefly to the loyal hound. In between irritating my sister he managed to excel himself in a sport that all dogs should be famed for - Croquet.

There is a standing rule in our house that if the dog retrieves the croquet ball mid game then you have to play from where he drops it. Little did everyone realise that I have got his training to a peak of fabulousness and he carefully fetched my croquet ball and dropped it neatly in front of the relevant hoop each time. Game Set and Match to me and the Loyal Hound!!!!

Sunday, 27 July 2008

Send in the clowns - now, please......

So. Wondering where I have been? Why I have so heartlessly abandoned you for two whole days? Did you even notice? I have been in HELL! My sister and her nephews are staying for a fortnight with the grandparents. As they (the doting grandparents who were my fairly disinterested parents) live only a mile away I am therefore considered free entertainment at all hours of the day and night.

Now, let's get a couple of things straight. I like my nephews. They are the only ones I have got and due to the fact that they live five hours away for the majority of the year I am able to feel a yearning fondness for them that I rarely have to translate into action. The problem is that they are what could be termed over indulged. They don't have miniaturised ferraris with real engines and personalised numberplates, they go one better. They have nervous dispositions.

This makes them sound like regency heroines and it isn't so far off the mark. If they knew about swooning they would take it up with a vengeance. Swoon when their mother is not in the room, swoon, when they see a dog, swoon when it turns out that you aren't going to land a jet helicopter on the lawn on Sunday (an idea they gained from what???). There is no end to the swooning possibilities. And I sort of wish they would swoon. It would be quieter. Instead they scrunch their faces up into a fleshy piece of origami that turns them from mildly cute children into candidates for 'Chucky - the plastic surgery leftovers' and they scream in unison at a pitch that kills all wildlife within a 50 yard radius. Once or twice a day this could be useful. Stand them in a patch of weeds riddled with rabbits and let them loose. The ultimate in organic control. But every 30 minutes all day and for a great deal of the night? Seriously?

Now obviously, they dote on me. Who wouldn't? OK - lots of people. But they are small and they have never actually been allowed out to meet anyone else (the nervous dispositions - remember?). Consequently yours truly exerts a fascination on them that means I have a constant set of stalkers who scream if I go out of sight, look too tall, look fractionally bored, or just look. It's exhausting. Why does anybody have children if this is what it involves? I have played every game possible. Finger Wars at breakfast, Hungry Hippos at lunch (and am I bad at that game. I think I had a hippo with ADT), tractors, Bob the Builder's phone games (oddly addictive whilst being wildly irritating), more tractors, building dens, knocking down dens, cricket, the list goes on.

There is a brief glow of satisfaction at being adored by small children which is rapidly replaced by a feeling of being hunted down by wild animals. This is the point where I am considering getting my pitiful life savings and blowing the lot on hired entertainers. Bring me your clowns, your au pairs, your balloon artists. Bring me anything to distract attention from me.

The life savings option is a real one but not accessible until Monday, so until then, I am reduced to hiding. Quite literally. This is shaming when I get discovered cowering behind curtains by my sister who has come to find out how the nervous ones are. Shaming for two reasons. One - because I am hiding from a four year old and a two year old, and two, because she gives me this really irritating look that says ' I do this all year, and you can't even manage a weekend'.

Oh god, I can hear them coming. This could be the end - help. Please, somebody. Send in the clowns, before it's too late.................

Thursday, 24 July 2008

Don't you just hate the stress of good weather?

There is a horrible stress that comes with the brief british summer and it works like this. The hot weather arrives and you instantly start wondering how long it will last? An hour? Ten minutes? Ten days. From the moment the sun starts shining I start dithering. Should I still go to work? (Obviously not), should I mow the lawn? (I'd rather not), should I lie hidden in the thick grass that is my lawn and read a book? Can I plan a barbecue (in Wales, we toss a sheep on the barbie - none of that shrimp nonsense. They struggle a bit at first but it's all worth it in the end, once you've got over the burnt wool smell that is).

Of course if you plan a barbecue you fall into the British Summer Sun Trap. The one where it lulls you into a false sense of security with the promise of a dry day only to drench you the second you get outside in your floaty summer dress and gossamer like sandals. Ok, so I look less like a flower fairy at these moments and more like Aunt Sally, but you get the general idea.

Like a novice, I have made just this very error. Planned a barbecue for Saturday in the optimistic hope that we might manage an entire week without rain only to be told by the radio that Saturday is to be renamed 'Noah day' as floods, thunder, lightning bolts and any other atmospheric disturbance they can think of will all arrive as I go outside to light the few puny charcoal briquettes that I had stored for this very event.

Now being Welsh I won't let this deter me. Last time I arranged for a barbecue for 20 odd (and I mean odd) friends it not only rained but there was a howling gale. Having struggled to put up an improbably named Garden Marquee I weighed it down with a few handy bits of welsh hillside and insisted everyone stand inside under a drip or two and look as if they were enjoying themselves. I set the umbrella on fire whilst trying to protect myself from the rain at the same time as cooking over the barbecue and was mobbed by desperate guests trying to dry themselves in the flames of my smouldering shelter. All good fun even if I did nearly lose an eye in the scrummage.

However, despite Darwin's threats of imminent extinction if I fail to evolve I have learnt nothing from this and shall embark on another sodden outdoor meal this Saturday. I refuse to have the last remaining hours of our British summer ruined by the stress of wondering when it will all end. Instead I shall just accept that it will end, most likely at the moment that we sit down to eat....................

Wednesday, 23 July 2008

I think Ali G wants me..........

So, in an effort to avoid doing any work ever again, I am spending an alarming amount of time perusing the internet on fruitless expeditions to find my very own cyberman. I have to tell you that pilot boy and Playwright man (alias wetsuit duck fetishist) are looking pretty good now. I have been marked as a favourite by some pretty weird men. Want the highlights?

Fiji Man.... He says he is looking for somebody with Vigour. Who the hell has vigour anymore? Not me, not for many years now. He also says with great pride that he deliberately seeks those who are the most incompatible for him as 'opposites attract' and that we should 'take a walk before closing the door on love'. Hmm, I think he should just take a walk actually.

Mountain Man: Now, he sounds ok on his description, if a little earnest, but he looks like a mountain man. His photo is all beard and eyebrows. He could be anyone under all that and based on the news this week, I'm wondering about international terrorist. Richard Madeley would understand.

Cross Eyed Man: I know I am sounding a bit like a perfectionist now but number three has the most impressive wonky eye I have ever seen. I admire his ability to go online and show the world himself, flaws and all but even looking at his photo disconcerted me. I am obviously a horrible person to be looking for someone normal. What is wrong with me?

Downright Scary Man: this one is a cracker. His description says with pride that he has his own hair, teeth and car. In his photo he is grimacing in that way that you curl your lips in close to your teeth and stretch your mouth open. An expression that totally lacks any sense of humour but does instill fear in the viewer that you might be stocking up on a nice chianti and some fava beans. Please go away. I would not be nice to eat.

And saving the best for last is the Sacha Baron Cohen lookalike. Conveniently based in Iran, he has promised that he "know how to treat with ladies and respect honourably them even during sex cases," How am I to resist that?????

So, these fabulous contestants are making duck fetish man and pilot boy look like the George Clooney's of the webworld. I may have to take the plunge and actually meet with them......

Tuesday, 22 July 2008

I have Male!!!!

So, did you miss me? I missed myself while I was away. I have been racking up the mileage and ruining my carbon footprint. It now resembles one of those Jurassic Park prints that collect water and that people fall into. That's what comes of doing some 800 miles in a week I suppose. I made it home late on Sunday night and was so tired the following day that I really was cross eyed. I couldn't read anything, and had a headache so bad that I actually tried to see if somebody was behind me and trying to split my head open with a chisel and hammer. Unfortunately the whole cross eyed thing made that exercise tricky and exhausting.

So having rebelliously taken Monday off, in lieu of the weekend that I didn't have, I am now back in full working mode and am promptly doing my blog rather than my work. Hurrah for playing hookey.

So obviously the first thing to check was the progress of the war of the cybermen. Miraculously, I have male!!!!! Two of them in fact. Who knew that putting a photo of Catherine Zeta Jones up on the site would actually get results? Ok, so one of the responses was from Michael, wondering why I was looking for a new date, and one was from the La Jones's lawyers asking that I immediately take off all photos as it makes her look fat being squished into my little ad but it's still interest isn't it?

I also have exciting communication from a pilot in Dorset, and a playwright in Yorkshire. The pilot sounds rather nice actually. He has sent me his phone number though and now i may actually have to talk to him which is a completely different option to just rambling away by e mail.

The Playwright did have a funny story about trying on a wetsuit home alone (hmm - really?) and getting stuck in it cos he couldn't reach the zip. Eventually at 5 in the morning he managed to hook the zip onto a doorhandle and undo himself. I'm thinking that this might be some freudian story that should be warning me off. Actually, it just made me laugh. There is a more worrying side to him though - most of his messages seem to be about his ducks, of whom he is abnormally fond? Should I be worried???

Tuesday, 15 July 2008

At War with the Cybermen

So, in an effort to shut up my married friends, my mother and the farmer at the bottom of the road, I have signed up for some internet dating. This is not undertaken lightly. My previous experiences of this have been disastrous. Here are few of the pitfalls that you can expect:

Personality Transplant Man: this is the man who obviously hires somebody to e mail you with witty and amusing sonnets, thereby luring you into agreeing to meet. At which point the sonnet writer is summarily fired and you get to meet the geek who has been locked in his office basement for the last four years and can't see properly in real daylight. One of the ones that I met had knitted a sweater out of his beard... need I say more.

Snub Man: these are the ones who you mark as a favourite in the hopes of having a pointless e mail conversation with him in order to avoid doing any actual work. However, having glanced at your profile which you have judiciously amended to sound more like Nigella Lawson than yourself, they refuse to mark you as a favourite. They snub you. Cold. It cuts to the quick to find that a complete stranger doesn't think you are interesting enough to even e mail saying 'bugger off you lying baggage - I know Nigella, and she isn't you'. ~Very hurtful.

No Interest Whatsoever: one of the sites I tried I got no interest from anyone. Not even the nerd in the hair shirt. Nothing. Niente. Being filled with boundless self confidence I decided this was due to a technological glitch and e mailed the administrators to explain that the tidal wave of interest in me had quite obviously crashed their system and could they forward on all the gushing e mails of admiration that I must have received. They replied that nobody was interested and perhaps I should change my photo. I don't think I have recovered from this blow. It was the only photo of me worth looking at - it didn't even really look that much like me by the time I had finished photo shopping it and airbrushing out most of myself. How could they?????

Having given you a glimpse into the hellish life of internet dating you should now all be amazed at my bravery and gallant courage. I am launching myself like a tow boat onto the stormy waters of the cyber men. Anyone out there looking for a cyber woman????

Monday, 14 July 2008

Wish I was an IT girl.....

I do, really. Not a Tara Palmer whatsername type of girl. I mean who wants to look that stupid in public that often? Actually I achieve that effortlessly. just without the designer wardrobe and the photos in OK. I want to be an IT girl. Skilled with my computer and more importantly, skilled at fixing my computer.

Friday was traumatic. No internet access at all frightened me into hiding under my duvet and shivering for a great deal of the day. Then my night in shining nylon shirt turned up and hit three different keys and fixed the problem. So, I felt pretty stupid, and well rested from hiding under the duvet. In all fairness the IT knight in his shining Ford Escort did not mock me. There was mutterings about women who live in the middle of nowhere, and danger money for having to drive past the deranged cattle, but all in all he was pretty friendly. As he should be since he earnt £10 for every key that he hit. Bargain for him.

The problem is that now there still seems to be a remnant of a problem that only emerged this morning. This means I can access the internet (hooray) and send e mails (hooray) but not receive them. This is disastrous.

What if I have won some huge competition with a time sensitive reply? I'll never collect that millon pounds and free face lift? How will I be able to order my cheap degree online or stock up on pharmaceuticals sent from Canada? Can life continue in these straightened circumstances? More importantly do I have the courage to ring up and explain that I have forgotten which keys he hit and that I need him to come back?

Friday, 11 July 2008

Cold turkey on a wet day

So, blogging was really supposed to be an experiment of sorts - an effort to see if I could actually keep a blog going and to see if anything ever happened in the life of a single country girl that could be worth recording. Well something has happened. A new, dark force is controlling my life and I am helpless in its toils. Blogging. It seems I am addicted.

I know this because yesterday, for no reason known to me, the loyal hound or any of the help manuals I consulted, my internet access became, well, inaccessible. I had a connection, my computer just couldn't acknowledge it. It was a techonological version of being sent to coventry. I hated every minute of it. I panicked that I couldn't see what my favourite bloggers were doing, and I worried that my non existent readership would abandon me at the first hint of my downfall. I had to get to a computer..... This isn't all that easy in the hills of Wales.

Internet cafes are in Wales. I mean, there is probably about 200 miles between each one and they only open on the third Friday of every leap year, but still, they exist. Just not within 200 miles of me. Yes, I could go to the library, but it is a mobile one that follows a top secret schedule and still catalogues books with a rubber stamp. Not a good internet option. So, who am I to ask? My nearest neighbour is terrifying; A colonial import with ADT (she is nearly 50 but I'm hoping she'll grow out of it) she tackles the lightest of social calls as a call to arms. This means asking her for anything at all, let alone her internet connection, can result in three sponge cakes, a bag of jumble and a tour of the garden before you have even mentioned the computer. Rule her out.

A two mile walk later and here I am. Wet through, but with access to my blog. Like a small child I have been reduced to running home to my parents to sob on their shoulder, steal their last biscuit and raid their office. I almost looked like the little girl in 'Little House on the Prairie' running through the grassy fields towards the loving arms of her parents. Well, apart from the fact that the fields have 5' high thistles in them and are filled with very slippery sheep shit. Oh, and the fact that my parents were asleep in front of the cricket and didn't even notice me break in and use their computer.

So, Hurrah for parents who have computers, hurrah for blogging, and hurrah for Wayne, the computer hero who is coming out after work, struggling up my mountain, through the myriad gates and past the demented herd of cattle to fix my computer and ensure that I am not deprived of my next blogging fix..... I'll be back.

Wednesday, 9 July 2008

So over excited I might Burst!!

Having been sitting avoiding as much work as possible, and avoiding running across the yard to go to the loo (my legs are now welded in a crossed position) my entire day has been cheered up by Katyboo1's weblog. Not only was it amusing and possibly the best description of Norfolk I have ever read, but she has marked me as a link! How fabulous is that.

Katy is now elevated to Goddess status and should immediately ring Nigella and tell her that she has been demoted. Actually while you are on the phone to her, could you tell her to stop wearing so much makeup and trailing her hair through the food (what happened to her for goodness sake??)

All bow down and worship at

Covered in strimmer fuel and vexed

There are days when being single is intensively irritating. Yesterday was one of them. Having got back from my meetings I decided to tackle the forest known as my garden. Out came the strimmer. Now this is a pretty straightforward piece of kit. you fill it up. Fiddle with the choke for ten minutes to get it running and then cut everything in site. My much loved strimmer has worked beautifully for many years now but yesterday, for no reason at all. It leaked it's fuel everywhere and 5 minutes of strimming used up an entire tank of fuel. Why? why would the cap start leaking for no reason at all and how the hell do I fix it??? If I was a Blue Peter presenter I would probably know how a judicious use of a loo roll and some double sided sticky tape could fix the thing and turn it into a hobby horse. However I don't even have a Blue Peter Badge. No hope there.

Then I had the book club over for supper. Due to a failure to believe my watch, the kitchen clock and the radio I was not remotely ready when everyone arrived. In fact I was sitting on the sofa, covered in strimmer fuel and getting aggravated about the fact that I have to do everything to keep my life (and strimmer) running, and can blame nobody else when stuff doesn't happen.

In addition there is nobody to notice when I do get round to doing stuff. I hate that part of being single. Probably if I was loved up/shacked up/stuck in an unhappy relationship, my other half wouldn't notice my labours anyway but at least I could get cross with them for not noticing, and for not helping themselves. Then I could give them the strimmer to swear at.

Definitely one of those harder days.

Monday, 7 July 2008

David Bellamy's heaven

So, I'm back from my holiday but that information seems to be top secret as my phone has scarcely rung all day. Well, both my sisters and my brother rang but that hardly counts. So I should be seizing this blessed moment of calm to get a scythe and fight my way into the garden but i can't be bothered. It's too much like hard work and will only show me how much more hard work I should be doing in order to have a space around the house that Monty Don could smile on, rather than one that David Bellamy can hide in. This seems to be partly due to the fact that the last bit of work I did before I went which was weedkilling which seems to have had a stimulating effect on all the plants I wanted to kill as they have thrived whilst I was away and I now can't see past the weeds to the trees.............

in addition, the book club that we set up in a drunken moment in the depths of winter is due to meet at my house tomorrow night. I have no food other than two old bananas and no real urge to drive the 50 mile round trip to the supermarket. There's no escaping it though. That is what I am going to have to do. I have read the books though thanks to the holiday of doing nothing (MM Kaye Shadow of the Moon and TH White Sword in the Stone - both old favourites).

So, rather than unpack my grotty suitcase, mop the floor in the kitchen in an attempt to pretend that I am a good housefrau, make bread from scratch (as if), weed the garden, cut the lawn or generally use my time usefully I am spending the day writing this and reading everyone elses blogs (Katyboo as ever and Wife in the North out of curiousity).

At the end of the day I shall be cross with myself for getting nothing done. No win situation unless I get off my keyboard and leave the office for the wilds of wales that lurk outside the door.

Who says its good to be back?

So I'm back from my annual foray to the world where the sun shines for more than 5 minutes. Turns out it can shine all day, every day. Who knew??? Not me for much longer as it has done nothing but rain since I got back.

Upsides of returning:

The loyal hound was overjoyed. Fetched me an entire duvet, three books and my sunglasses which I had forgotten to take with me
I now can't worry about the fact that my holiday is nearly over
There were two cheques in the post.

Downsides of returning:

I had to come home
I have to go into the office
I don't have any more holidays in sunny places until October when I am going to Qatar, which I don't actually want to go to....
It's raining all the time
Siestas four times a day are frowned on here.

So there you go. Brief foray to the world of swimming, sleeping, reading and eating is tragically over and the grey tinged world of tiredness, being awake, being too tired to read and feeling guilty for eating has reasserted itself.

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