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Tuesday, March 4, 2014

2014

Babysitting the two little sproglets, who thankfully are in bed.

Life is good....not much to report. Work is absorbing, my colleagues are great value.

My Australian friend is dating, found someone online. She always seemed so cynical about men, exactly like SATC's Miranda, so seeing her (on Facebook!) loved up is really quite inspiring.

Went to Amsterdam in January to see my old London flatmates, now married, to each other, and with two children.

Amsterdam was cold, wet and grey, but had a lovely time walking in the Vondel Park and all over, seeing sunken houses, the English Reformed church, all the while chatting and catching up. Stopping off for coffee, a cookie - in a tiny shop, all decked out in wood, that only sold one type of cookie - dark chocolate with white chocolate chips. Or a cone of frites. Or in a chocolate shop - for chocolate mousse and espresso. Went to the Baakerswinkel for afternoon tea. Loved being somewhere so close in miles, yet so different - it's such a tonic, noticing all the quirks of Dutch people: crates for bike baskets, weak black tea, dark, sober clothes.

Had a spa day in January to counteract all the dreariness of the months and to feel refreshed.

Riding and having lessons all the time. Going hunting on Saturday. My mother's horse, her point to pointer did very well the other week, came 3rd, so we have high hopes for his race, at our local hunt's point to point on Sunday.

Reading loads, love the winter nights. Just finished Anne Sebba's 'That Woman' about Wallis Simpson.

Going away to a cottage in Scotland in a month's time with family.

Saturday, November 23, 2013

House sitting again

Seems to give me opportunity for reflection, a spot of house sitting. Nice to have space to myself to think.
Feel so busy. Work is a whirlwind, home on the farm is always phones ringing, people in and out and then there's all the work with the horses.

Speaking of which, my little pony - he's not big, but he manages to act like a big, bolshy stallion. I was lunging him this afternoon, had to do it for almost an hour, as he was full of it. We finally finished, I was struggling with the gate, as my wellies had got stuck in the mood and he sank his teeth into the top of my riding hat and yanked it backwards and forwards very roughly. It really hurt, as I had my chin strap done up tight.

Went hunting for the first time in 12 years the other work. Survived. Just don't feel that fit or that capable but surprised myself. My pony jumped a horrible jump that I wouldn't have expected him to. It was one of those situations where you're stuck in a line and it's easier to jump than extract yourself and back track.

In other news: enjoying eating shite and watching 'Barefoot Contessa' and looking forward to a spot of 'Keeping up with the Kardashians'.
It's getting icy cold. Just took the dog for a walk down the field, as the sun was setting, casting such a golden glow over the village. Soon be winter and Christmas.

Work is good. Find it fascinating, work with people with learning disabilities and an ongoing question is what is best for them? They all have a busy timetable during the week and the opportunity to be in a craft workshop, the weavery, garden or cafe. Some people think they need to be productive, others see it as therapy. I'm torn, being a Yorkshire gal, I'm all for productivity, but you can't make people work and much of the time, community members either don't want to, can't be bothered, or are distracted.

My colleagues are great, so good to enjoy going to work, to like having a natter and a catch up and to feel like an equal instead of a subordinate, as I did to my previous Marylebone boss. Doing an NVQ in social care soon.

Dating: Put myself on Guardian soulmates as well as match. Live in hope.

Had a few glorious days in Bologna in September. Loved wandering around the streets, exploring, getting lost, finding the best gelatateria - La Torinese, going to art galleries, sipping gin and tonics in Piazza Maggiore, in the afternoon sun, reading book after book. Espresso and nutella croissant for breakfast. Love their little thing of if you order a glass of red wine in a bar, they bring out all these little snacks; crisps, tortilla, olives, even a small dish of delicious fusilli one time. So refreshing just to get away like that.

Had a Saturday in London, catching up with my Australian friend, lunch in Hampstead, walks, a pub, dinner, then the cinema, an Italian film, The Grand Beauty, I think it was called.

Sunday, June 23, 2013

Sunday at home

A rare Sunday off, although I left work at nine this morning.

Didn't get much sleep last night, so today I'm staying close to the sofa, reading and watching dvds.
Haven't got much chance to do that recently, have been taking advantage of these lighter nights, running, riding my bike or my horse.

It's a cool, grey, wet windy day, so I don't have to feel guilty and it's nice to have chance to catch up.

Great to have a horse again.
Have got a five year old skewbald gelding. He's only 14hh, which actually is an ideal height for me, as I don't really even reach the 5 foot mark, if I'm totally honest!
We got him as a yearling, from the horse sales to be a companion to one of the thoroughbreds.
Tried to sell him, when the thoroughbred no longer required him as a friend, but the market's not good, apparently.
Thought he was too small for me, wanted something around 15hh.
Started riding him and really like him, he feels exactly right.
Love his enthusiasm, every time we go out on a hack, he really steps out, ears pricked, forward going, whereas some horses are reluctant to leave the yard.
Good to have a project, to get him going, jumping, ready for the upcoming hunting season.
All very absorbing and time consuming.

Had a London friend up to stay the other week. Perfect sunshine.
Every day was packing a picnic, the map and getting in the car to drive to some local place of interest, a historic house or the seaside.
Interesting company, gins and tonics outside, took him round the farms, he had a go on my horse and went on a plane ride with bro in law.
He was a good guest and seemed to appreciate all the running around.

'Met' someone on Match.com, who I'm in the process of arranging to meet for a first date in York.
He does seem really nice, although of course, you should just really suspend judgement until you actually meet them.
I have gotten terribly slow at returning his emails and texts.
Life is kind of nice how it is and I suppose I am reluctant to allow a man to mess it up, although it could be fun to meet someone. In theory!

My main fear is that in spite of boot camp, riding, even started running, I am no thinner.
Weight just does not come off.
Did one day of the 5:2 diet last week and that gives me hope, if I do that, because I actually managed to be a stone lighter at one point in 2012 doing that.


Wednesday, February 6, 2013

Thoughts on London

Spent the last weekend of January in London, catching up with my old flatmate, who now lives in Amsterdam with her husband and baby.

Was amazing to spend a couple of days, just like we used to, staying in Bayswater, talking. Catching up.

Afternoon tea at the Chelsea Teapot. Vanilla tea, for the first time.

Drinks and dinner at a gastro pub in Notting Hill. Very late night - after 12!

Brunch the next morning at 202, on Westbourne Grove. It was like 2006 to 2007 again. I realised that if I still lived in London everything would probably be the same, and not necessarily in a good way.
Funny though, how that moment in time, those few years of being in London has gone. Would be so hard to return to it.

Told A I was coming down. Thought he was going to arrange drinks and to meet up on Friday, but nada. He made all the right noises, then did nothing.
I went to the cinema, Whiteleys Odeon to see The Impossible. I got a stupid,half hearted, no effort email from him on Sunday evening. I didn't bother to reply. Then the next day, more emails, where he tried to say it was my fault that we didn't meet up.

Felt sad and drained and angry. Fed up yet again.

Have been ill with a cold since. I hate it when you get all excited about something that's going to happen, you get your hopes up, then nothing. Again. Makes me laugh now. I have so many disasters, that I'm detached. It's so nice when there are no men messing things up, making you unhappy. I really quite like it when it's just me, doing what I want, without distractions. I'd be happily single for ever, I think. I worry though, about what other people expect of you, that's the worst.

Anyway. As ever, onwards and upwards. For the first time ever I was truly pleased that I've made the move back up North. I had fun in London, but the dirty air, amount of people and the way money just goes, got to me. I loved coming back to the peaceful quiet of rural North Yorkshire, the sweet clean air.
Being able to sleep soundly and having less stress in general.

So that's progress.

2013. Got a few days annual leave. Hibernating. Roaring fires. Sleet and rain against the windows. Heavy grey skies. Fill dyke February. Not planning on doing a great deal, getting over my cold. Bought a SATC boxset, wanted it for years. Reading. Joined a boot camp. On the beach at Scarborough. Got to get fit. Have very little enthusiasm and am pretty sceptical about whether or not it will work. Did go on the treadmill today though for half an hour. My sister kind of made me join it, so I did to stop her nagging.

Thursday, December 20, 2012

Coming up to one of my favourite times of the year.
Love that lazy week between Christmas and New Year, looking forwards, to long cold walks, roaring fires, alcohol at all sorts of inappropriate times, too much food, films, relatives and not being at work.

Have got a week off starting Sunday, my aunt, uncle and cousin arrive from Melton Mowbray and we all go out to dinner that evening to a local pub. It kicks off Christmas and heralds the point where you can stop doing and start enjoying.

Have been organised, all presents wrapped, baked - brownies, cookies, quiches, Delia's veggie sos rolls, made orange ice cream this morning. House is cleaned, spare beds made up, had my hair cut and the tree is up. Can't help that siege mentality. It's that idea of stopping the world, normal life for a while and holing up.

And then you get so sick of it, being so lazy and greedy, you're ready for January and a new life.

Seeing R tomorrow night for drinks and supper. He wanted to see me before Christmas. My heart is sinking a little at the thought of it. I hate myself for being so mean spirited, but I just find him a little tedious and annoying.

Have been enjoying watching 'Last Tango in Halifax', a drama on BBC 1. Very funny. Last episode was last night. Looking forward to watching Downton Abbey on Christmas Day.

Really enjoying my job, had a review yesterday. It's probably one of the most fun jobs I've had. The hours are great. I left at 3.30pm yesterday and don't start until 2pm today, so I get lots of time to do other stuff and lie ins, on cold, wet, windy mornings.

Horrified by the shootings in the USA. Always seems extra awful when anything bad happens at this time of the year. Saw a statistic, where something like 90,000 people in the US were killed by guns in a year and in the UK it was 39. Says it all really.

Tuesday, November 6, 2012

November

Rather nice to have been off work yesterday and today, curling up, keeping warm, sipping a huge glass of red wine and watching the incessant drizzle outside.

Popped into town both days, for the incomparable flat white at this rather scruffy coffee shop. It's so good.

Bought a warm, cheerful looking hat and scarf, a pair of gloves and a sort of brown poncho.

Reckon it's going to be a cold winter.

Love house sitting, for my friend's parents. Big, spacious house, vast well stocked kitchen. The sitting room is a lovely room, so much light and it's so peaceful, overlooking the Yorkshire Wolds. The cat is a black and white fluffball, very affectionate, furry and friendly.
The bed linen is flannel, so soft, so cosy. Been watching the Food Network, in particular, Nigella Express & The Barefoot Contessa. Watching a Channel 5 whodunnit - 'Concrete Canyons' at 3.15pm.

Couldn't be bothered to go to a bonfire last night at my sister's and her husbands. Don't like loud bangs anyway. Better to keep the sofa company. It would miss me.

Stocked up on a supply of magazines, crisps, Ben & Jerry's, chocolate and wine. I don't usually get a chance to hole up like this anymore, as I don't live alone.
A little depressed. A, of course didn't turn up, didn't come. Didn't even say: 'Sorry, I can't come'.
Bored of it all.

Asked R if he fancied seeing 'Skyfall' and he said: 'Of course I flaming well do, even though I'm not really a James Bond fan'.
Hard to reconcile; R who so wants to be with me and A, who so doesn't.
Cannot get my head around being with R, even though he's super keen. I've had boyfriends who I don't really fancy before, and it's just not worth it, 'just to be with someone'.
Put myself on Match.com. Feel about as desirable as a hedgehog to a balloon.
Will try and snap out of it from tomorrow.

Hoping Obama wins the election. Romney seems a little bit too far to the right.
Emailed a girl I met in NYC in 2011 to see if she was ok after Hurricaine Sandy and she said she'd been off work, the schools were shut. One block to the right of her was the East River and torn up trees.

Monday, October 29, 2012

Unravelling or unwinding

Was feeling generally quite anxious about everything.
Work. What I'm doing with my life. There seems still to be so many questions and no answers. Or solutions.
But I'm off for the next couple of days and starting to unwind a bit.
Popped into town this morning to fill up with petrol, do some shopping at Sainsburys, have my weekly flat white at a scruffy little cafe. (The flat white is just as good as Monmouth coffee).
Bought a new dressing gown and pjs.
I'm house sitting for the next week or so and am going to take advantage that and of this grey, heavy weather and hibernate.
Is it a bit of Hurricaine Sandy?
Been reading the headlines. Part of me finds the thought of a storm on the Eastern Seaboard thrilling and I would almost like the idea of getting supplies in and seeing it for real, especially in NYC.
I should imagine the reality is very different and it's all very well for me to say that when I'm in the relative safety of England.
Planning to read - a biography of Nigella and 'The Secrets of the Sands' by Sara Sheridan.
Snuggle up. Watch the food network. Drink red wine.

Told the cafe that I'm not going to be able to cook there much longer, due to my full time workplace putting pressure on me to work Saturdays.
In one way it will be a relief - because every week I get really worried about being able to cope and cooking things right.
On the other hand, it has been great experience and on the whole things have gone alright & I've learnt a lot about cooking and pressure.
The irony is that at my other job, we get to do a fair amount of catering - whether it's baking with the residents, cooking lunches or like yesterday, making finger food for a birthday party lunch - and I'm super relaxed and thoroughly enjoy it.
And I know that for some people that could be stressful.

I have suggested that A visit me for a few days whilst I am house sitting.
Would be fabulous, holing up, shutting out the world, it would relax me and I'd love to spend time with him.
He hasn't really committed, sounds vaguely interested, but I am prepared for him letting me down. Disappointment.
Trying not to email him. Said he could come, if he wanted. Trying to leave it at that.
I know I should not be wasting time on someone who seems so unsure about me.
Guess I keep giving him these little chances, but there is a limit to how much I can take and if doesn't take the bit between his teeth, by the end of the year, then that will be it.
Except this time, there will be no ultimatums, as they so don't work.