Wednesday, May 31, 2006

moth to the flame

Last night Tom and I went to see his aunt sing. We caught up with the lovely Katharine and Rich, that charming chap James and Evil Pete, who is obviously not evil at all. Vic normally sings with a band, but last night went acoustic with only Chris on keyboard. She sings beautifully, making goosebumps rise on my arms and my spine tingle. With only time for two songs it was difficult to get an idea of just how good she is, but Moth are playing the Komedia on 28th July and I fully intend to be there.

We headed off before the end of the evening to fill our empty stomachs at Wagamama. It was almost eerie, sitting there with only two other people and the whole restaurant in comparative silence. But observing my surroundings was shortlived, as talk came round to the precipice we find ourselves standing on. There are times when I can hear the pebbles rush down the sides, gathering pace and clicking against each other. The world is a whirl of excitement. I can feel it as I look over the edge, and know that any minute I shall start to slip and slide and rush down with the pebbles, over the edge and onto the next adventure, onto a different ground.

It was no wonder that I woke early, walked along the quiet streets with blue sky and warm sun on my back, smiling up in wonder. Today I will find beauty in unexpected places, today I will find each smile makes my fingers tingle, my spine shiver. But it won't just be today. I think this adventure is here to stay.

Tuesday, May 30, 2006

six days of relaxation

Chelsea was great! We were lucky with the weather and managed to avoid the two major rain showers by either eating lunch or hiding away in the large marquee, wandering amongst the displays. I found some amazing mirrored sculptures, beautiful hanging seats and found myself inspired by the gardens. It was so interesting to see the designs and planting up close, to see what effects they had on people, how they impressed or disappointed.

After a glorious day exploring the gardens, plants and stopping for a drink in Covent Garden, Mum and I dropped in on Ping Pong, as recommended by Tom and Sprink. Delicious little dumplings of steamed goodness, and a bottle of red between us, filled us and let us rest our aching feet before catching the train home to Brighton.

Friday was probably one of the best evenings I've had. If I said that the food at the Seven Dials Restaurant was delicious and the company fantastic, it wouldn't go anywhere near explaining the evening. And so I shall stop there.

The rest of the weekend passed in a relaxed mismash of wanders to the marina for the Big Splash, catching up on some friends, watching X-Men 3 and numerous glasses of wine. I feel rested and comfortable and supremely happy. Long may it continue.

Tuesday, May 23, 2006

last day

Finally a few rays of sunshine this morning, on my last day at work before a six day break. After the past few weeks, having some time off is a dream. I envisage lie-in's, breakfast at Bill's, and glorious sunshine. However, I know the sun won't shine for long.

Tomorrow I'm off to Chelsea, and I plan to take my wellies. I have visions of ploughing through Glastonbury-style mud slides, of feeling continuously damp and cold and shivery. But also I'm longing to see the gardens, to wander among the flowers and take in all those glorious scents.

For the rest of the break I have much to look forward to, meals out, a picnic, a barbecue (I'm noticing a food-related theme here). I shall read books, relax and take long, hot baths. I don't want too many plans, I want to be free to jump up and drive out to the countryside if the rain stops, or stalk down to the beach and watch the waves crash. And only 8 more hours until I can escape.

Thursday, May 18, 2006


Yesterday evening Mr "I told you it wasn't along here" Burt and myself made a short train journey to Lewes, to listen to readings from Vita Sackville-West and Virginia Woolf with music from a solo cello at Southover Grange. It would prove to be an interesting evening, but not for the reasons I expected. It began with the cellist, who was completely unaware of who the readings would be from and whilst fluffing his way through an introduction of "Peter Sackville-West", promptly began to make his cello sound like a strangled cat.

It has been suggested to me that the cellist was in fact a fake. The real cellist had been murdered by his identical twin brother earlier on in the day, and as his disappearance would be noticed if he didn't perform that evening, the evil twin brother decided that he would step boldly into the dead mans shoes and brave the cello.

The interval came, and still stifling giggles, we exited, looks of amazement on our faces. I don't think I've ever had to leave a performance half way through before, and it was with relief that we turned the corner and let our laughter burst forth.

To aid recovery, we dropped in on Ollie at the Brewers Arms before heading back to Brighton, safe in the knowledge that culture is not necessarily always a good thing.

Wednesday, May 17, 2006

shift up a gear

Tomorrow the scaffolding will arrive. Suddenly flat hunting seems far closer. For a while there I had been drifting, forgetting about flats, about leasehold, freehold and surveying. I had forgotten to remember to start collecting boxes, to make lists of things to keep and things to throw away. After a brief phone call last night it all rushed back to me, and there it is, real again in front of me.

The outside of the house is going to be painted a soft light green, which those small areas already coated show, will be easy on the eye but also give much needed colour. From tomorrow this painting can start at the back of the house, before moving out to the front once the scaffolders have permission from the council to use the pavement. The party walls will be worked on, my bedroom repainted and then the work is complete.

It fills me with excitement and has caught me unawares whilst I wasn't paying attention. Next week I must use one of my days off to trawl estate agents, putting my name on lists and start to anxiously wait for particulars to fall through the letterbox. I have this awful feeling that now I'm a grown up.

Tuesday, May 16, 2006


With the clouds looming overhead, thick and heavy grey with rain, and the darkness spreading through the sky, I get a tingling in the tips of my fingers. This afternoon I am all built-up-energy, brain flashing, fidgeting and unable to sit still. I look about me, thoughts not staying on one surface for longer than a few seconds, and even my speech is faster, less coherent, jumping about.

I get the feeling of a thunder storm brewing, the closeness and this reined in energy are sure signs to my mind. I want to jump up and run out, dancing in the rain drops, getting soaked to the skin. Instead I am surrounded by exam scripts, elastic bands and chatter, listening to the heavy raindrops hit the window. All frustration, all bound up, and the tingling in my fingers doesn't stop.

Monday, May 15, 2006

gangsters galore

Saturday evening found me dining in Donatello's with Lyndsey, catching up on her adventures and trying to avoid the hen nights, and the associated half naked men, screaming in the bar. We guzzled wine like no tomorrow and made plans for future ventures before heading out into the warm night air and a walk to the Nightingale Theatre.

The theatre is above a pub on the corner of Surrey Street. After ordering our interval drinks we stood about, tickets in hand, waiting for the late show of "Ten Thousand Several Doors". It was a fabulous promenade play, with the audience walking from a dark, black-painted room, through back corridors and out of kitchens, from scene to scene. The actors walked past you, brushing you aside or standing menacingly in their well-cut suits, legs apart in true gangster form, whilst the double bass hummed.

We left elated, talking nineteen to the dozen, and headed down to the Speigletent for a last drink and a dance to, unexpectedly, songs from The Jungle Book. The only mar on this fabulous evening was being covered in earth by a hidden assailant by Hanover Crescent on the stroll home.

Friday, May 12, 2006


Insomnia visits about once a year, when my body clock decides that the sleepless nights I've voluntarily put it through are not enough and I could do with one more. Last night was one such night. Despite the yawning, eye rubbing and general sleepiness, my brain, working much like a freight train, continued to roll on. For the second time in seven days I'm running on three hours sleep.

There are times during one of these nights when I can actually feel myself falling asleep. My eyes close and the world gets much darker than normal, my limbs feel heavy and won't move and a blackness descends in my head. Unfortunately this is normally followed by my helpful brain saying, in a wide awake voice, "you're falling asleep, isn't this weird?"

Fortunately last night was missing this most frustrating of insomniatic (you see, now I make up words) problems. My body didn't even try to sleep for many hours, so I fidgeted instead. Fidgeting is almost as bad.

A combination of Kaiser Chiefs, Alabama 3 and the fact that I get to drive to work in the sunshine in a sports car, have all meant that I am at present wide awake. I expect my first caffeine injection to hit home shortly, and from then on the day will pass in a confused fashion, with sense being just beyond my grasp. Oh what joys to look forward to!

Wednesday, May 10, 2006

days like these

I'm feeling restless in the sunshine. Instead of being stuck in the office, warm sunlight pouring through the window, I want to be outside, picnicking in Laura Ashley. I'm not quite sure why Laura Ashley. It's not a style that normally comes to mind, but I have suspicisions that I'm finding my romance mojo, and Laura Ashley spells romance.

I'm on my own this morning, and so there isn't the slightest chance of sneaking out to bask in the sunshine. To bring the outside in, I have a large tub of strawberries at my side, which I shall devour (there's another good word) throughout the day. Strawberries are food for the Gods, along with raspberries of course. In my new garden I shall grow them in abundance and descend upon my friends with mountains of the delicious soft red fruits along with tubs on home-made strawberry ice-cream.

Even the scent of strawberries takes me far off into summer, sunburnt skin, barbecue smoke and hot nights when soft sleep takes longer to come. I love spring, with all its freshness and light, but I love the sultriness of summer, the knock of cricket balls and sand in my shoes. In two weeks I'm off to Chelsea and have a couple of days off before the Bank Holiday. To me the late May holiday is the start of summer and whilst not wanting to wish my days away, a part of me can't wait.

Monday, May 08, 2006

41 hours

A red corset, a clarinet, on a floor that bows and bounces with each step. The sun comes down over circus tents.

Red hair, full pub. Dancing till the early hours. Walking in circles, following the boys.

Sun rising over the Seven Dials. Clean, crisp morning air. Walking home to bird song before the chill sets in.

The man in Richer Sounds who tells you facts you don't need to hear. Smiling into your eyes as if imparting special knowledge.

And rest those tired eyes.

A brief walk, some more talk and Indian takeaway to fill you up.

Sleep comes quickly, all worn out, until the morning brings bright light through the blinds.

And all the time, my grin won't stop.

Thursday, May 04, 2006

hammock weather

It is definitely hammock weather. I sat outside on the grass during my lunch break, reading Ian Rankin and letting the ants climb my knees, but back in the office my head fills with thoughts of hammock lounging.

I've long been of the opinion that hammocks in the office would make a happier workforce. Obviously in weather like this we would de-camp to the sunnied outside, but during cooler days I would definitely appreciate a hammock over a swivel chair. Of course, it would make typing that bit more difficult, but I've thought about that too. I could have a secretary. She/he could type for me as I lie there, sipping tea and feeling full of self-importance.

This sort of train of thought always carries me away, and I start to think of "Butlers I would want...". I often wondered if a certain friend of mine would make a good butler, but have decided that although his scrambled egg making abilities are great, I don't think he'd offer the kind of Jeeves-like plans I would need to get me out of the Wooster-like scrapes I would undoubtedly feel I ought to get into.

You see, this hammock weather does indeed lead a girl to think but not, I fear, of work.

Tuesday, May 02, 2006

weekend gone

Despite the somewhat gloomy weather I managed to fill my bank holiday weekend with a combination of further work on the house, visiting family and catching up with friends.

James introduced me to coddled eggs on Friday night, whilst we sat drinking wine and laughing raucously at "The 40 Year Old Virgin". It's good to have a belly-aching laugh, with tears streaming down your face every once in a while.

Mum and I have started to work on the hallway downstairs, and after a quick trip to B&Q, where the trolleys have minds of their own and compost is hard to find in small bags, we returned home with the usual array of powertools to keep us happy. I learnt more about "No More Nails" than I feel I ought to know, but am duly impressed by its sticking power.

Sunday was a day of adventures in Queen's Park. James and I stopped off at the Walmer Castle for lunch before heading out to meet others for the May Day Festival. There was a may pole, fresh faced young green-clad dancers ready with their red and white ribbons, and many garlands adorned heads. The weather, however, let us down and we all headed back as the sun went in and dark clouds loomed.

Yesterday my brother drove us up to Kent to visit family. Once we'd hit the M25 the weather started to turn to one of those lovely blossom filled, sunny spring days. We stuffed ourselves with deliciously pink roast beef, drank of pink bubbly and red wine, and walked the dogs through fields of crops, green leaves just starting to rise from the soil. I was driven home along sun dappled country lanes at great speed, listening to The Police and dreaming of what lay behind the cottage curtains. As we came close to home the evening sunlight flickered from windows like camera flashes, dazzling and promising hot summer days to come.