Thursday, September 28, 2006

memories that made me smile today

Rabbit County
My last meal at Wagamamas
Walking through Paris streets on a warm summer evening
Dreadful cocktails on Bournemouth beach
Beautiful cocktails in Valentino's bar & arguing about why people read fiction


Today is a day for sitting on a sheepskin rug, mug of homemade soup in hand, and staring into the open fire. Despite the extraordinary amount of effort it took to get up this morning, I’ve settled into one of those gloriously serene and romantic states of mind. The world is continuing around me, I occasionally look up and watch it, smiling to myself before turning back to work.

It is a day for nesting, for settling down amongst the bits and pieces in my mind and putting them all in their rightful place. I have that lovely calm feeling I get from knowing that everything I want is where it should be; that feeling you get when you finish the spring clean. Everything sparkles, surfaces are clear and you know you could reach out one hand and find anything you want at the tip of your fingers.

So in my head, in much the same way as I would do after a spring clean, I’m sitting back and putting my feet up. Basking in that fire glow and warming my toes. I pull my sleeves down and curl up on my sheepskin, nestled down and rested. I know that outside the storm is brewing, I can see the thunder clouds, but inside is warm and cosy and I am happy here.

Wednesday, September 27, 2006

sweet sorrow

It looks likely that I will be exchanging contracts on the new flat within a matter of days. It's such a relief to have that light at the end of the tunnel, to know that moving will be within a week or two and I can finally go back to having "my own place". A new one, where I shall rip off plaster, damp proof, and lovingly redecorate. I can almost smell the paint and feel the wallpaper, but before that I will have to leave Tom's.

Although it's only been two weeks, I actually feel quite sad at the thought of leaving. I miss the cats dreadfully, and the excitement of buying my own place and finally getting that foot on the property ladder does fill me with a desire to be out at once. But I also feel quite torn, with part of me wondering how things would have been if I had have been moving in permanently.

Of course, the fact that I'm moving three minutes walk along the road helps to combat this; knowing that I could almost walk home in my bathrobe, slippers on feet and bleary-eyed to feed the cats. It has been fun, and it is a lovely house: I'm glad that I won't be leaving it completely.

Monday, September 25, 2006

partied out

Finally the birthdays are over, at least for a month or so. It was a wonderful week of dining out, dashing from restaurant to restaurant, munching through delicious meal after delicious meal. We spent Tom's birthday on Friday at the Tin Drum, supping with Tom's dad and others before heading home to sip champagne and watch Spaced until our eyelids drooped.

Saturday was a busy day, catching up with parents and getting ready for the Woodland Disco, a fabulous fest of every imaginable animal, along with fairies galore. Everyone took part with relisPublishh, dancing and talking the night away, at least until costumes got to hot, face paint ran and face wash was used by plenty.

Sunday was spent, as you can imagine, recovering with a long lie-in and a Chinese take away. We curled up on the sofa together, bears and all, and relaxed in front of what can really no longer be called a television, instead the projector threw Midsomer Murders against the wall.

I'm thankful though that, as lovely as the partying was, it's now over for a couple of weeks. Worn out, it will be nice to eat at home, to spend time together and maybe even have a Sunday morning without a pounding headache. Oh joy of joys to not be rushed off feet and dashing from place to place. Instead I shall concentrate on sorting out my flat, with an exchange of contracts looking closer than it has before. Enjoy the peace, I say, before the moving starts again.

Wednesday, September 20, 2006


Today is a good day, today I ordered my shiny new black Macbook.

Now begins the wait. Exciting as it is, it has taken far too long already - how will I possibly last two weeks?!

Tuesday, September 19, 2006

birthday bliss

What a glorious way to spend my birthday! The morning was gentle, settling down in front of the laptop to check my emails, reading Ian Rankin and lounging in the bath.

I met Tom for lunch at Bill’s, wolfed down delicious Buck Rarebit with ham and a fried egg, deliciously yolky, which oozed into the toast. Then it was a stroll around town to pick up two new dresses for our evenings out this week. I popped into River Island for a lovely wrap around, and Velvet for a longer dress with a beautiful print for Wednesday’s trip to Blanch House.

The rest of the afternoon was spent spread out on top of my duvet, with Horace and the book that James bought me for my birthday: Mortal Engines, a fabulous story which I found unable to put down except for brief moments when making cups of Earl Grey.

Then, wearing the new dress, we drove off to Cooksbridge and The Rainbow Inn, to dine on delicious pork, chicken and lobster ravioli, steak and duck. It was wonderfully tasty, and so good to go back to the Rainbow again after too many years. We returned home for a glass of champagne before resting our weary heads and falling asleep before they hit the pillow. Bliss.

Sunday, September 17, 2006

moving on

It has been a busy few weeks, but I have now moved out. We took a vast quantity of unwanted belongings to the dump, filling up the car or van on numerous occasions and trailing back and forth. I have also put what little I am keeping into storage, all locked up safe and sound along the road where it shall patiently wait until I am ready to move into the new flat.

It was a long and stressful process, one which has left me covered in bruises but with fabulously strong arms. Although it was sad to leave the old house, home for so long, I have to admit to only occasional twinges when I miss it.

Yesterday I celebrated my birthday, with a meal at the Sukhothai Palace followed by much drinking, debauchery and dancing back at Rosehill. It was a fabulous way to wind down and relax, and despite my tiredness did manage to stay awake until five thirty, when I fell asleep on the sofa.

Today has, naturally, been one of rest. After my brother rose from the depths of unconsciousness just after midday, we sent him home and trotted down to the Park Crescent for a roast. Although near, it was disappointingly either burnt or cold, depending on which area of the plate we were attacking. To make up for this I decided on an afternoon of snoozing, which certainly made up for the lack of gastronomic success. Quietly nestled up on the sofa, I’m settled in for an evening of Spooks and curry and not a box to pack in sight. Glorious!

Monday, September 11, 2006

packed out

I’ve now spent more time around cardboard than I have ever cared to, given myself numerous paper cuts, become smeared in news print and been covered in dust and dirt when clearing out the attic. The house is in a complete state of confusion, with boxes being a feature in every room.

However this didn’t stop me from having a house-cooling party on Saturday. The crowd gathered round to drink lots of wine and chilli beer, talk nonsense and toast the house and the last eight years in it. It was lovely, if a little sad, to sit with those people who have spent the most time there over the years, to look back over the memories and yet be safe in the knowledge that we didn’t spill nearly as much wine as we used to.

Sunday was a day off, I spent the vast majority of it asleep, catching up and letting myself wind down after another stressful week. This evening I will be back to the parcel tape and marker pen, labelling up the boxes. Tomorrow Mum & I will be ferrying things to the tip, and this will hopefully get the vast majority of useless junk out of the house, giving me that much needed light at the end of the tunnel for the end of the week. Only three more days to go and then it's all over.

Monday, September 04, 2006

moving date

My moving-out date is set, 15th September, three days before my birthday. This means that I will be homeless for my birthday, a depressing thought only made bearable by the fact that I will also have a rather large sum of money, for a short while at least.

It’s exciting to have a date but it’s also rather sad, a bitter-sweet pill. I have been saying goodbye to the house for months now, and had one of those lovely solitary weekends where I shut myself away to pack and immerse myself in books. It was glorious to sit there, snuggled up on the sofa with the bears and Josephine Tey, occasionally raising my head to glance out of the window at the grey skies and rain showers.

My mind fell back to the cottage we lived in when I was young, with low square-paned windows looking out over the fields. You could sit and watch the storms brewing in the distance and yet have the warm crackling of the open fire behind you.

But there shall be no more resting for me, there will only be boxes and boxes and farewells before that limbo in between homes. It all seems to have happened so quickly and yet taken such a long time that I am left clutching at nothing but panic and lists, endless lists. I hope it won't be for long.