Thursday, 30 December 2010

Still Having Fun


My Christmas Eve hostess has invited me to the ballet on Sunday. Somewhere in Islington. She must be a glutton for punishment, having driven me back home on the last occasion. Seems she had a difficult time at Christmas, rows etc. Sounds like everyone has the same problems in the festive season.

Ambrosial Alchemy, Arcadian Forest, Apollo's Muse and Fitzgeorge Fruit Cake, all some of the rather pretentious names of Fortnum's mini cakes. Kindly provided by Dorothy and Julian. Very delicious - good thing they are small.

Just purchased some plastic bertrand and norman greenbaum on itunes. Will soon play on my ipod dock. Wonderful old rubbish. Coming from someone who liked the Incredible String Band until I was told they were Scientologists, which put me right off. They stopped being famous shortly afterwards. I had absolutely nothing to do with it.

More Gifts and Boring Body


Julian and Dorothy appeared last night, bearing gifts: a new telephone, which is hands-free and has a loudspeaker; and a docking device amplifier thingy for my ipod. Both were installed and both work. Marvellous. The telephone is a small orange thing and the docking thingy is small and cool, but with amazing amplification. I am so lucky.

Slightly amusing was a belated Christmas card I received, the enveloped addressed to me, but inside, 'to John, Rachel and the boys' - John being my ex, my second husband. I wonder if he received my card? Bit of an own goal by the sender.

My right kidney (at least, that is what I assume it is) has been giving me trouble since mid December. I shall have to force myself to visit the GP and try and wring some more antibiotics out of him. Last time this happened, investigations were negative on a scan, but I was prescribed long term antibiotics which cleared things up for a while. Seems I had a kidney infection which is no doubt revisiting me. Very tiresome.

Wednesday, 29 December 2010

Tuesday night and Wednesday morning

10pm. Going to bed. Kook went out at 8.30 and hasn't come back.

I eventually realised that, when attempting to find music on my phone was that I should have pressed the button for the ipod, not itunes. Then I found I could not stop the damn thing playing, so just turned the sound right down. New laptop mouse still not working.

6am. Kooky woke me up and I fed him.

Yesterday I popped in to Liberty and couldn't find much in the sale. Maybe I should have gone to Fenwicks, which I may try at some stage. I did find a few bits in Jaeger, and I must say, if I were half the size, there are some very smart clothes there at surprisingly reasonable prices.

Must try harder on the food front. I failed dismally again yesterday, exceeding my allotted calories by around 400. Once 'off the wagon' it is quite hard to get back on again.

Tuesday, 28 December 2010

Hopeless i-tunes


Kook went out and came back much later, absolutely drenched. Either he had a problem getting back in or he was carried away by his sudden freedom to roam around. He is now fast asleep on my bed, his paws on my downturned copy of Small Gardens, and How to Make the Most of Them, by Violet Biddle. Advice he hardly needs, it seems.

Less luck with i-tunes. I managed to download (I think) a few of these, but could not find out how to listen to samples or play them and hear what they were like. Then connected my phone hoping they would somehow absorb them. However the itunes thing on the phone will not tell me what tunes I have in the phone and just refuses to even go on to the itune store, while advertising their wares on the phone. I give up. There is no point in getting a docking device if the music is either not on the phone, or won't come out of it. Modern technology is such crap.

Monday, 27 December 2010

Tuesday 28th December

Last night, Kook was delivered home. Julian and Dorothy brought him back and left immediately. Dorothy thinks that Julian is stressed by letting him go. He settled in as though he had never left, to the degree of biting my arm at 5am when he decided I should get up. I grabbed him, and taking Julian's advice, stuffed him down the bed under the covers and held him there. He eventually managed to escape and avoided my bed after that. I got up at six and fed him and he has gone out to re-acquaint himself with his territory.

I suspect that he may have frequent visits to the Borough, judging by his behaviour at Baglady Towers. We shall see. He certainly seems to have some empathy with Julian and Dorothy, and so far, has not attacked them.

With all the food in the house, it is rather a struggle to get back on track with my diet. I may have to jettison some of this, though as a wartime baby, it is against my instincts to throw away food. I have frozen what I can, though, and the huge pot of soup will last for several days. Pity the Lye Torng is closed, they could have used the surplus bananas for their banana cake, and the sweets and liqueur chocs would have found a home.

Julian and Dorothy had purchased a new mouse for my computer a week or two ago. This is now not working, which is a damn nuisance. I suspect the problem lies with my faulty laptop rather than the mouse itself.

Monday All Day


Well, here I am, my kitchen lurking somewhere under huge piles of dirty dishes, food remainders and general chaos, my living room floor covered in the remains of glittering poppers.

Last night Julian and Dorothy arrived, cooked food and poured drinks. We half watched Slumdog Millionaire which Julian found rather cheesy. I think we may have had the traditional Christmas row later. It started when Julian expressed a wish to keep the Kook for a few more days when I had been looking forward to seeing him. Things became worse when I said I might obtain another cat to keep him company. This was generally disapproved of on financial and catfeeding grounds. Anyway disagreement rumbled on for a bit, Dorothy becoming rather heated about it, then they both went upstairs. I could hear a bit of clattering around in the kitchen, and assumed coffee or tea was being made, but noticed a rather sudden silence, preceded by slamming doors. On investigation, I discovered they had left. Dear me. Since it was past midnight I decided that the best thing was to get some sleep, so immediately went to bed.

Since they missed out on Liberty's sale yesterday, due to Sunday opening times, tube strike etc. I hope they manage to get there today. I got up late today and will probably spend the day clearing up the house a bit. And reading. And listening to Radio 4. Oh, and watching the soaps, sadly missed, tonight.

Again I have overindulged. When Dorothy and Julian arrived here, they had not eaten all day because they get up rather late. On the other hand, as a very early riser, by that time I have consumed nearly all of my allotted calories. So for two days I have doubled my calorie allowance.
The price of this overindulgence will be revealed on the scales next week. I truly deserve to be flung into Dante's third circle of hell, condemned to lie in revolting slush.

Sunday, 26 December 2010

Boxing Day


Yesterday, Julian and Dorothy turned up, laden with gifts and food. Dorothy has been rather unwell with some kind of 'flu virus, but is recovering slowly. Fortunately he has a week in which to get better, but certainly seemed on form last night. Nibby rang from Oz. She had a super Christmas Eve and day, dining with friends on what sounded like masses of wonderful seafood.

We had the usual Christmas Day blowout, starting with tea and Pandoro (breakfast), then continuing later with champagne, jamon and other cold meats, all eventually progressing to a vast Label Anglaise chicken which came out of the oven looking like a small turkey, but was delicious and moist. Because we had eaten so much during the day, puddings and cheese were not an option and we ended with some excellent coffee from my Nespresso.

We spent ages unwrapping the presents: I acquired a wonderful collection from Romy, including a bag calender for next year; multiple gifts from Madeleine, with a super Cath Kidston umbrella; gorgeous scent and a very needed sewing box from Julian and Dorothy, from Liberty. Now I can proudly keep my sewing kit on view, rather than hidden where I can never find it.

On the weight loss front I devoured well over 2000 calories during the day. Despite this, I had lost 1lb this morning. No doubt I shall pay with a huge weight gain next week, especially since there's so much food left in the house. I somehow cannot bear to throw away cartons of double cream, preferring to add cream to my otherwise sensible porridge. Oh dear.

After a visit to the Liberty sale, Dorothy and Julian will return to help demolish some of the remaining food mountain tonight. We shall have chestnut and vegetable soup, followed by smoked salmon, cold chicken, ham and salads, followed by Christmas pudding or mini fruit cakes bought from Fortnums, and fruit salad. And more coffee. We may play some of the silly games I bought for Julian and Dorothy. By the way, don't bother to buy the Science Museum pen that is supposed to work by depositing some of its nib on the paper. It doesn't work. Definitely a real damp squib. Will no doubt be on sale. I had purchased it in M & S for Dorothy, who likes these (normally clever) things.

Text from my hostess on Christmas Eve. Seems they all went off for Midnight Mass at Southwark Cathedral, which was very good.

Saturday, 25 December 2010

Christmas Day


Woke up at 5.10 am. Merry Christmas to all, including moi.

Romy sent me a thought for Christmas: What would have happened if it had been three wise women instead of three wise men? They would have asked directions, arrived on time, helped deliver the baby, cleaned the stable, made a casserole, brought practical gifts AND there would be peace on Earth.

Went out to drinks early last night and the minicab assured me that I could get transport back if I called between eight and nine. Well, when I arrived, the company was much depleted because of a death in the family of the main guest, who had been bringing most of the people. However there was a small and select group, and we enjoyed drinks and food including some delicious home made onion soup, which took me back to evenings with my first husband in the early sixties, drinking onion soup in Paris at Les Halles. When I wanted to leave the hostess, despite the later arrival of two more guests, insisted on cabbing me back in her hire car, which was very kind: I had rung three local minicabs, none of whom were answering their telephones. I shall remember not to go out on Christmas Eve in future unless on foot.

Talking of which I am limping around a little today, having somehow injured my foot: I woke up yesterday morning with the pain so I must have somehow twisted it during the night. This has rather limited my ability to leap all over the house, organising and preparing things for Julian and Dorothy's arrival.

Oh God, my neighbour is on her doorstep again in pyjamas and wearing rubber gloves. She seems to be lending a ladder to another neighbour, also seasonally clad in pyjamas.
Probably starting the spring cleaning early. Oh well.

Friday, 24 December 2010

Christmas Eve


has rushed up and caught me unawares. Lye Torng, where I had planned to have lunch was closed for Christmas. Obtained some cash and a few purchases at Elephant & Castle before coming back for some scrambled eggs. Above are some children carol singing at the shopping centre in Nottingham.

The house is still in disorder and I must remember to polish the glasses when laying the table tomorrow. No idea when Dorothy and Julian will arrive, but I am sure to have time to tidy up a bit and watch TV since I suspect they won't arrive until the evening.

Madeleine should arrive here in half an hour or so. I hope to get out for a drink later with one of the SE1 forum girls if I can get some transport. After that it's home and telly all the way. Still bloody cold outside.

Tuesday, 21 December 2010

Christmas Spirit Missing at Baglady Towers


Dear me - my neighbour spends so much time on her doorstep I wonder she bothers to go inside at all - think of the rent she would save by camping in the street. Down at the end perhaps, where there's a bit of grass. She could pitch a tent on this like a sinister gipsy, or she could be a lady in a van, parked opposite. Frequently emerging to shout at someone with her foghorn voice. Full of seasonal charity, I am.

I wonder if Sainsbury's will turn up. The deadline for their delivery is in ten minutes. If they don't appear within the next half hour I shall have to attempt to contact them.

Today a huge shipment of white tissue paper arrived, just in time for present wrapping. I have decided that this is the tasteful option. Nicky Haslam recommends drawing paper, but it seems rather a waste, and too stiff. Admittedly the tissue paper is of the commercial variety, so rather cheap, but tant pis. I shall compensate with fancy ribbon.

I wish the grocery delivery would come soon as I do want to get out and do some shopping.

No Kook Yet

My neighbours invited me up for a drink the other night. The baby had grown enormously. I hadn't seen him for a month or two so the growth seemed rather alarming. However, he did appear to be rather keen on the bear I had bought him. His parents think it is the red and white stripy scarf which catches his attention. They kindly gave me a present, and I gave them a Broon's 'Cooking with Bairns'. I don't think it has recipes about how to deep fry Mars Bars, hopefully. They will spend Christmas in Glasgow, so I hope the weather will be all right. They left yesterday.

Lunch at Lye Torng yesterday. Dorian and Louise were both fine. Dorian has abandoned plans to spend Christmas and New Year abroad, since the thought of lying around in cold airports for Christmas didn't hold much allure.

Kook is still residing with Julian and Dorothy. Apparently he is fine, but will reappear at Baglady Towers after Christmas. I have certainly had more sleep and less worry while he has been away, a bit of a Kook-free holiday, but am looking forward to getting the beast back. I suppose he does give me something to whinge about. Even the fishes are looking a bit lethargic. I have had to top up the pond with buckets of water since the hose froze over. I shall check that, and buy them some more food today.

Christmas Countdown


Chains on shoes, with a spare pair of normal shoes in a bag, is the answer. The only problem is deciding where to change in order to avoid slipping with the chained shoes on marble surfaces in shops. Ho hum. Fortunately we had a bit of a melt yesterday, which I hope will continue, though more snow is forecast.

Panic call from the Clerk of the charity sharing our office who had inadvertently locked himself out. Good thing I live nearby, so he cabbed it over and I lent him my key, for which he was very grateful. Such a nuisance, locking oneself out, and easily done.

I have continued to try and tidy up a bit. When Julian came over yesterday we found four more boxes of crackers in a cupboard, so left two there. I now have four boxes of crackers for this year, plus some for Madeleine who is popping over on Christmas Eve, so Christmas should go with a bang! That was feeble. Someone has kindly invited me for drinks later on Christmas Eve. If weather permits, I may well go.

Shopping arriving today. I may well do a little more locally later. The cleaner is coming tomorrow, fortunately. I have some present wrapping to do yet, but mainly I have to tidy up all my clothes. As usual, I have been buying too much, and they are lying in piles all over the place. Ditto with books. You can't give them away these days.

Monday, 20 December 2010

Falls

I found that it is hard to get boots off and on when going in and out of premises, so I decided to put the chains on a pair of shoes instead, which I shall carry in a bag and just change shoes when going outdoors, which should prove easier. We shall see.

Bad news from Romy in that our ice casualty has not only broken her arm, but also her leg. She had insisted on coming back with us, but fortunately we did get a car to take her to A & E on arrival. Unfortunately, people will slip on ice - Dorothy and Julian fell several times coming to see me last night. Yesterday a cab driver told me he had seen quite a few young people having falls on the ice. Trouble is, it is so much worse for elderly folk, with their brittle bones. Which is why I have been rather obsessive about using my 'chains' as a feeble oldie.

Julian is coming over tomorrow. I have been reprimanded for the state of my kitchen, filled as it is with Christmas clutter, so Julian will help me tidy up, to clear some surfaces for cooking.

At the SE1 dinner, quite a few people noticed my weight loss. Trouble is, they all thought I was ill! One of the problems with old age - no one assumes you are bothering to try and lose weight. Perhaps my makeup was rather pale.

Sunday, 19 December 2010

Jolly Scotsman and Chains

Put my chains on my boots and ventured forth to catch a cab to Marks, where I purchased a few things, including a newspaper, then into Eroma cafe for a capuccino and a read. Outside sat a jolly red-faced man, dressed for the weather with heavy walking boots. I remarked on his choosing to sit outside. 'Where I come from it's a summer day' he replied. Seems he was a hardy type from the north of Scotland. Even the Walworth Road looks quite picturesque when covered in snow.

The trouble with boot chains is that if you wear them inside most floors become an ice rink. The thing to do is wear them outside, then remove them in the cab and chance the short, icy walk at your destination.

The cab driver, after hearing of our trip to Thoresby Hall, now wants to go there, and I suspect he will. I shall expect a huge discount if I return there.

Saturday, 18 December 2010

Christmess

Tremblingly, I slowly crept onto the scales this morning. Amazingly, despite a week away and much temptation, and even succumbing to one marvellous lemon tart; then coming back to a dinner party, I have actually lost weight. 3lb, which takes me back to my weight on 12 December. I now feel well prepared for Christmas. I most certainly will put on weight, but I know I can get rid of it, though hopefully, it won't be such a huge task.

I find I am in a frightful mess: I am washing clothes; I have bought and put up a Christmas tree; my shopping is arriving hopefully on Tuesday; my cleaner is coming on Thursday; hopefully, Madeleine will appear early on Christmas day if not before, when I can hand over her present and some more bits and pieces for that side of the family; I think I have sorted out my final Christmas cards; but, search though I may, I cannot find my cheque book. This is something I never normally need, but wanted to send cheques to my niece and nephew. I have accumulated presents for their children in the house but am too disorganised to go to the post office - in fact I have had several things for over a year which may have to find other recipients, so useless am I. But my missing cheque book is a bit of a nightmare, since I was relying on this to send the money. It looks as though the search will go on into the New Year. Fortunately Julian and Dorothy live close to me and will be here at Christmas. Dorothy tried to refuse a present for Christmas, but needs a new suit, so I shall pay for this. Apparently there is a cheaper price to be had for orders between Christmas and New Year. I expect Julian will allow me to contribute to something, too, so at least no problems there. What it is to be old and completely disorganised. Dear me.

Friday, 17 December 2010

Thoresby Hall


Here's the view from my right hand bedroom window.

Thoresby Hall is a Victorian gothic house, rescued by Warners, who have turned it into one of their adult hotels. It is grade I listed and quite Puginesque. There is a Great Hall, a huge library, a rather beautiful Blue Dining Room, and some gorgeous bedrooms and suites. All the rooms I saw were of a very good standard. The grounds are very large with a lake, fountains and formal knot gardens. Peacocks strut about the place. These peacocks are quite funny, as they huddle at times in the smoking area, which has chairs and tables and those umbrellas with heating elements; the birds look at first glance like a bunch of vultures. Unlike those at Sinah Warren, they have managed to escape the foxes by flying up into trees.

Just outside the main reception area there is a path leading to another building which is part of Thoresby Park, but not the hotel. These house a glass blowing business, a jewellery maker, craft shops and galleries, and a clothes shop and cafe. We found this very handy since we only had one outing away from the hotel. The building surrounds a pretty courtyard with statuary which was seasonally adorned with santa hats.

This was the first time I have stayed in such a large place, and very good it was. Most of the punters are retired folk, with the occasional young couple who may have been under the hopeful delusion that 'adult' hotel meant something rather racy - only to be sadly disappointed on arrival.

Not normally an avid frequenter of stately homes, somehow, staying in one does stimulate a curiosity about the history, and I should certainly like to stay in some more of these places. I quite feel the 'ancienne chatelaine' in me emerging. Dear me. Perhaps old buildings and old people have a certain sympathy.

Back Home Again


My hotel room was the one with the large open window, to the right.

We all set off, with only a couple of latecomers, and arrived safely. As we drove North, snow was lying in the fields, which looked quite magical. The hotel rooms were said to be very good indeed, and certainly mine was excellent. We were given our own dining area in a private space. The food was very good, unfortunately, but I did show some restraint, unusual for me: even more so because the puddings were absolutely terrific and there was an enormous choice, dammit.

Various activities took place during the day. The highlight of our stay was a fantastic choir singing in the great hall. Romy and I managed to find fireside seats here frequently. The library was huge and imposing, and as well as thousands of books, board games were provided, though there was a separate room for chess and another for snooker and table tennis.

We took a trip to Nottingham, and nearly came back minus two, who had disappeared. Romy and the coach driver were so much kinder than me, and the coachie called in at the bus station and alerted police, and the two were found safe and restored to us. Seems they had thought we were meeting somewhere other than where we had dropped them off.

Apart from a man who was made ill from eating one of those awful reheated sausage rolls, all was well for the rest of the stay. However, on the way back we stopped for a comfort break, and one woman managed to slip on the ice and fall, and injured her wrist. She cabbed it to A & E on our arrival since she was keen to get home and Romy arranged for friends to go in the cab with her and deliver her cases. We got back in time for me to unpack and dash off to the SE1 dinner.

Sunday, 12 December 2010

Off to Nottinghamshire

Kooky is in residence at the Borough now. He has emerged from hiding under the bed to present Julian and Dorothy with a huge poo, mainly missing his poo tray. So typically thoughtful of him. He certainly knows how to express himself. He followed this by sitting on a windowsill, surveying the outside of the property. At least he has come out of hiding - it took him months to come out fully at Bag Lady Towers.

Still reeling from my vast weight gain, which did not seem wholly explained by the amount eaten, leading me to consider buying some new and accurate scales. What puts me off is that the new scales, being more accurate, may reveal a most unwelcome weight in the first place.

I have packed far too much stuff as usual. Now waiting for Romy to turn up and collect me. I have packed some food, since the sandwiches we purchase supply about two days calorie allowance for me. I may eat a piece of fruit.

Saturday, 11 December 2010

Bad News

Unbelievable. Gained either 2.5lb or 3lb (depending on where I stand the weighing machine!) since last week. Though I was hardly expecting to lose any weight, the gain is a very nasty surprise, particularly the day before an enforced five day stay in a hotel. Usually it is a good thing to lose weight in anticipation of Christmas, but I now suspect large gains will happen. Will just have to try harder. It really is hard to count calories in guessed quantities of food and unknown things. There will be more guessing next week. I shall just have to double the number of calories when guessing. The weather hasn't helped, either. Oh well, we shall see.

Was thinking of meeting my niece, but had totally forgotten that the hotel is adults only, and she said the journey would take an hour and a half with the children being difficult, so this plan was abandoned.

Pierre in Canada sent a very welcome cheque - as he said, rather depleted, as is the oil well from which it came, but nevertheless a very helpful contribution to Bag Lady's Christmas festivities.

Last night Julian and Dorothy collected Kooky and all his paraphernalia. I do hope he will behave himself rather better than he does at home. I have warned them to keep a hand on their head if he starts pacing around on their bed at 5am in case he attacks them. Actually I think they may be able to shut him out of their room, which is probably the safer option.

With a horrified fascination I watched the second? Bridget Jones film on TV last night. Dear me, apart from some funny bits it really is rather sickening. Or perhaps I am just old and a bit jaundiced. Yes, that's probably it.

Thursday, 9 December 2010

The Past and Present

I suppose that I feel sad to realise that only I will remember all the good things from the past with my ex: meeting in Paris, his last year at Oxford when we lived on a houseboat, Algeria in the early sixties where we lived in romantic poverty, and so on.

I should concentrate on the present, really. Talking of which, it seems there were major riots last night, threatening Prince Charles and the Duchess of Cornwall's car, which was somewhat unwisely driven through the protesters who threw eggs and paint at it. I suppose they were finally at the cutting edge of something. Almost literally. Dear me. Enough to make one retreat to the past to remember some good times.

Work today, and our office lunch. I am rather dreading next week, especially since there is so much I haven't done for Christmas, and now will not have time to do. I shall have to send my presents off in the New Year, which is probably when they would arrive anyway with the postal problems.

Thursday Evening

Feeling a bit sad tonight. Had a call from my ex, which demonstrated he had forgotten everything that was said and agreed when I met him a short while ago. He acknowledged having memory loss, and said he had recently been admitted to hospital with what could have been a fit or a mini stroke. He was confused about why no one wanted to know him. I now realise he has probably had dementia in a small way for some time and has become angry about things he is unable to recall or understand. Like his behaviour to people. He said he could not hear properly over the phone and will write to me. Again.

I feel quite helpless really. I do not really like him at all, but feel sad that he has been mentally ill all his life, managing to alienate everyone he has been close to, and now things are even worse for him.

Looking on the bright side I watched TV and was somewhat disconcerted to discover that Boy George and I have fancied the same men at some stage: namely Shaking Stevens and the young David Essex. Oh well. Boy George came over rather well on TV in this documentary about his early influences.

Monday, 6 December 2010

More Cards

More cards arrived, from Sharon and Alan, Ivana and Val,Chris and Victoria, Romy and Bernie and Catriona - with a pretty necklace inside. I am really lucky.

Having eaten too much on Sunday, I also exceeded my allowance on Monday by 100 calories. Really MUST try harder. I find the afternoons and evenings much worse, and tend to get hungry then. I should keep some carrots and celery in the fridge which would help.

Work again on Tuesday and off again today. Back in to work tomorrow and Friday.

Monday

Glamorous rellies. I have. Julian and Dorothy both looking very elegant in well chosen designer clothes. Everyone was on form and being very amusing last night and it was so good for us all to see Madeleine. I hope to see Madeleine again before Christmas since I still have some bits and pieces for her to collect for their Christmas sojourn in the country.

Dorothy has lost a considerable amount of weight and is looking very cool these days. Such a good example. I must try harder - as my school reports used to say.

I shall go to work tomorrow. Meanwhile, more washing to do and I may start packing a few things for my trip to Nottingham.

Black and White



Decided to try reducing the colour from a snap. I think it looks more tasteful, though not a good snap.

Sunday, 5 December 2010

Food Glorious Food


Oh deary me, spoke too soon. Madeleine pitched up, followed by Dorothy and Julian and we sallied forth to the Ivy. I was quite restrained with two glasses of wine, a rather large grilled steak and some vegetables, but totally ruined everything by eating a lethal pud of honeycomb parfait covered in thick melted chocolate. Oh well. The Ivy was very smart and quite pleasant and the food was fine. But I am still being pressed to try Bob Bob Ricard which is apparently very good despite frightful reviews, and Pied a Terre. I am told I must try Joe Allen's which unaccountably, I have never been to. Bad grammar.

Antonia kindly sent red roses and some champagne today, and Madeleine brought Howard Jacobsen's prizewinning novel, as well as some pink hyacinths, so my living room is full of lovely flowers. A super birthday treat.

Now I shall have to reduce my food consumption over the next week and hope that I do not gain a vast amount of weight.

Saturday, 4 December 2010

Party Pooper

I really am a lightweight - only drank one glass of wine at the party last night. Most of the food was either pastry or fried pastry so managed to avoid it without much of a problem. Glad I went because it was good to see people again, but it was rather an effort in the drizzling rain. The stairs, though many and steep, seemed easier to get up now I am lighter. I left early because I thought a taxi might be hard to find late on a Saturday night.

Weighed myself today. Actually lost 1lb which is almost a miracle since I have been going for food comfort in the cold weather. I do seem to feel the cold more now I have lost weight. Dorothy has also lost 1lb so we are both on track. Although I had lost nearly half a stone before I started on the diet, while sticking to the current diet I have now lost 2st. Only another 8 stone to go. Ha ha.

Shall ring Nibby later. Saff sent a link to a utube piece about the Treacle Market in Macclesfield, which looks fun. She has a stall there, and is enjoying selling stuff.

Friday, 3 December 2010

Cute Kooky


Playing innocent.

Just ploughing through the gigantic name dropping session that is Nicky Haslam's memoir, Redeeming Features. Trouble is, I do like to read stuff which is written simply, from past to present, and it darts all over the place. There are some very funny anecdotes in it, which does indeed redeem it a little.

Have just put another pile of washing on, changed my bedding, and now have wonderful aubergine linen sheets. Linen sheets are so cool and somehow relaxing, reminding me of the linen sheets from my childhood. Hooray for La Redoute, whose linen sheets, though still expensive, are much cheaper than anywhere else. I suspect that if my weight ever becomes 'normal' I may purchase more things from them since some of their stuff is quite stylish.

Caturday


Kooky yawning. Maybe this will give you an idea why I am not keen on his biting habit. Again today he was whingeing for food at 5am. After a late night I had hoped he would leave me until 6am. Some hope.

Text from Romy to say that now, Spanish airlines are now acting industrially, i.e. not, so it remains to be seen whether she may be able to fly out today.

My aims today are to get my hair done and go to a party. I shall now have to buy food, though Dorothy and Julian have delivered milk, bread and cat food, so Kooky will survive. I have definitely eaten a bit too much in this cold weather, so am not expecting any good news when I weigh in tomorrow, and then I have to go out to lunch.

Lots of Facebook birthday greetings. Dorothy has done something to my mobile which seems to give it some internet connection at last, which is great.

More Birthday


As you can see, my snaps have strangely come back. My antlers fell down, so I fixed them above the mantel mirror and painted them white.

Dorothy has mucked about with my laptop and confirmed it has a problem, but says if I can get it to limp along for a bit he will be changing his laptop next year and I can then have his.

Dorothy and Django came to wish me a happy birthday, with some lovely roses, a bottle of fizz and a wonderful Liberty silk square designed by Grayson Perry. Dorothy played with the laptop, Julian played with Kook and it was really good to see them both again. Seems they may be going to India for a couple of weeks on business in January.

I finally discovered that Sainsbury's had left a voicemail which is hard to find on my new phone, telling me that they had failed to deliver and I should make a complete new order. They are such a pain. Now I can't get another delivery until next week.

My Birthday


Today is my birthday. I have unaccountably reached the age of 69. I had always imagined I would succumb to drink or drugs before I had left my thirties, but didn't try hard enough with either of these.

The groceries never arrived last night, nor have I heard a word from Sainsburys. I spent about twenty minutes trying to get through to them last night to no avail. More positively, this morning I had an extravagant breakfast of toast and marmalade with Lapsang. I also opened the present which Romy had kindly left for me: as I had suspected, it turned out to be a fabulous stand for my Nespresso capsules. I have filled it and it is now ready to go, and looks very good indeed.

I have also received an excellent card from Michel, my newishly found brother, which is a great thrill. Oh, and a super bouquet has arrived from my sister Sharon in Devon. This is a gorgeous hand tied pink and white affair and is in pride of place in the sitting room window. So pretty.

Romy is probably going to Spain tonight. I am rather afraid to leave the house because if Romy's return flight does not arrive in time I will have to take the punters on holiday alone. If I break a leg meanwhile the whole thing will have to be cancelled at the last minute so I am being ultra careful since it is still rather icy outside. I may have to call upon Julian to fetch some cat food as I have nearly run out. Kooky will be most put out if I cannot provide for him. The Sainsbury lack of contact or delivery hasn't changed and they are impossible to get hold of, though I have sent an email. We shall see. Have managed to sort out my Christmas cards online though. I shall potter about and do a bit more washing later.

Thursday, 2 December 2010

Thursday Evening

Managed to cab it to the office. The place was deserted of course and my computer kaput. Oh well. The chairman popped in to sign some papers and we had a coffee and a chat. Sloped off early to await shopping, due at 6pm.

It is now after 9pm. Can't get hold of Sainsbury's and they haven't called me, so not sure whether to give up and go to bed or stay up until late hoping shopping will arrive. This is not good.

Wednesday, 1 December 2010

Old People In Hospital

Yesterday I staggered into the office. Bloody cold. Must start wearing a hat or unfashionable silk headscarf to keep the draughts off. Romy had been in since daybreak beavering away, since the trains are so hopeless she decided to start very early. My computer still missing, annoyingly.

On BBC 4 this morning, a news report about neglect of the elderly in hospital, especially with regard to feeding and personal hygiene. Nurses are so highly trained these days and no one wants to change and clean up patients, and because of health and safety regulations two nurses have to change patients. I am sure that the allegations are true throughout the country in most hospitals. When my mother was in the John Radcliffe before she died, I had to ask the nurses to change her every time I visited. At least they did it. A couple of years before when visiting another elderly lady in Guy's, we asked the nurse and we were told that two nurses had to do it. We asked where the clean sheets were kept and did it ourselves. In addition, food was left on this paralysed stroke victim's trolley where she could not reach it. In fact she needed spoon feeding and was obviously starving as she very quickly ate all the food her daughter brought in for her. I suppose they could tell relatives to bring in the food for patients as they do in Spain and elsewhere. The official answer seems to be to appoint a patients champion in hospitals. Bollocks. They need to appoint many more ancillary nursing staff to perform these essential functions, or make trained nurses do it all, even if it means appointing many more nurses. I do approve of the idea of bringing back an independent complaints system. Especially since I ran a CHC for ten years.

There is also a survey stating that there is very little specialist care from consultants out of hours and at weekends. It would be good to see consultants dragged away from their golf courses and put on duty rotas to cover these times.

More bloody snow last night. Kooky very displeased. I shall force myself out to work for a short day. I do hope my groceries arrive this evening.

Tuesday, 30 November 2010

Cold and Snow Now

Today it has started snowing outside, large thick flakes falling slowly at the moment. I had to finally wash my one remaining non motheaten cashmere sweater, which is the only thing which keeps me warm. Today I ordered two more from Lands End. They are £70 which seems a lot, but worth every penny to me. Unfortunately they didn't have any more neutral colours, so bought a kind of blackberry colour and a black polo neck one. Even if these get devoured by moths they will see me through the winter.

Suddenly remembered that not only do I have to go to the hairdressers on Saturday, but have a party on Saturday night. It is my birthday on Friday, so in view of all these outings, and lunch at the Ivy on Sunday, will spend a quiet birthday evening at home and watch TV. Not much chance of weight loss, either this week or next. We shall see. Just hearing about a potato marketing guy in America eating nothing but potatoes every day for a month. He is feeling healthy, his cholesterol is down and he has lost weight. Might make a good plan B, though a rather tedious one - no added cream, butter, fat, oil etc.

Day off today, which is just as well, but back to work tomorrow for a couple of days.

Romy bought me a birthday present from Bluewater. I have been good and left this unopened though I suspect I know what it may be. Very naughty of her.

Since I have been overfeeding Kook, his mood has improved considerably and he has bitten me less, though I felt a light, playful nip on the leg when I got up this morning. Perhaps he is like a man, and becomes evil when hungry. Blood sugar levels, probably.

Sunday, 28 November 2010

Monday Morning Chill

Thought I knew it was very cold on Saturday evening, I started noticing draughts everywhere. I could not understand this, and when I went to bed upstairs it was particularly cold, despite leaving the heating on all night. All was revealed at 11am on Sunday when I went out to get the papers: the main front door had been wide open since 8.30pm the previous evening. The second time this has happened. Not a good idea in this area, quite apart from the weather. I rang my upstairs neighbours bell later and mentioned this, and they were very apologetic. Oh well. I suppose I should be grateful I was not murdered in my bed, which is near the front door.

Call from Dorothy on the way to the hairdressers last night. Seems the assessment was very good. Dorothy has been reading my blog and says I go on too much about food. I may take to drink, though I have been trying to do this all my life without any great success. Maybe not, too many calories.

Finally, Wagner has left the X-factor. With Katie Waissel. The others are all pretty good. Rebecca is my favourite because of her modest manner and excellent voice. We shall see.

Must organise a shopping delivery today. Hibernation has a very definite attraction in this weather.

Saturday, 27 November 2010

Cheery Sunday News

Nervously climbed onto the scales. Amazing - despite quite a difficult week I seem to have lost 3lb. Still just over 15 stone, but another week or so and I will have lost at least two stones. At one point I was well over 17, maybe even more, and not so long ago, so calorie counting, however inaccurate, is working. Just a matter of sticking to it, which is hard in cold weather, but obviously not impossible. This has rather made my day after last week's setback. Must remember not to become complacent.

Just had a long chat with Nibby who has told me about something called Yupo which is a kind of plastic paper. You paint on with with watercolours, then can do all kinds of effects, blotting, drying, layering and polishing, and apparently it is totally fantastic. She says there's a demonstration DVD by someone called George James. Sounds exciting. I feel another purchase coming on.

Bloody Cold Outside

It is. Last night, I dug my old Belling electric fire out. It does make strange noises which I seem to recall from the old days of electric heating - kind of buzzing noises coming from the coiled wires on the elements, which should probably be alarming but are oddly comforting, and the warm glow is rather good. I normally only drag this out in extreme weather when there is thick snow outside, but last night it felt so cold, despite wearing a thick cardigan. I suspect my central heating is a little inadequate. Anyway I left it on constant all night, so this morning the house is slightly less cold.

Yesterday I went to Borough market, clutching a painting of Richard, the proprietor of The Rake, done from a photograph several years old. A few people had admired this so I assumed it wasn't completely unflattering. Richard was nowhere to be found so I left it with an employee at his beer stall and scarpered, just in case it was less flattering than I had imagined.

I purchased some more smoked paprika and some of those rather good salted Marcona large almonds for Christmas. I did a little shopping at Sainsbury's on the way home, and noticed they had some very pretty tiny iced fruit cakes with silver stars on top. Excellent for a couple, or a small family who don't want to be left with the usual excess after Christmas.

Despite emailing, my niece has still not sent me her address. I hope this arrives before Christmas. She must be very busy with two small children and a new house. I shall see if Nibby has it. Nibby always pretends to be a completely disorganised artist, but is very hard headed underneath it all. Falling on her feet is her specialty, whatever happens to her. I am the reverse of this, pretending to know what I am doing when I haven't a clue. Oh well.

Thursday, 25 November 2010

Lost Punters - and Found

Bluewater was a bit of an adventure. It was a cold day and around ten people, including our trustee helper, didn't turn up. When we arrived, we all went our own ways and did some shopping. Romy had arranged separate transport for a punter in a wheelchair and her helper, and they managed a satisfactory shopping trip.

I had intended to restock with Lapsang tea, since the local Tesco does not stock this. However, I became quite carried away and purchased masses of clothes and some Christmas presents. When we came to leave, a couple was missing, so Romy rushed around to all the exits in case they were at the wrong place, but no luck. The centre management refused to put a message out on the loudspeaker, so leaving messages at customer 'helpdesks' we had to leave, half an hour late. Later that evening I had a call from Romy to say that they had been waiting outside Marks & Spencer at the other end of the shopping centre, and had then moved to House of Fraser, after we left. They managed to get back by bus and train, and rang Romy in the evening. I had been imagining all kinds of mishaps, so was glad when Romy rang with the good news. I suspect that Romy had burned off the calories we consumed at lunch by rushing around in search of our missing punters.

I bought a very silly Santa playgro with a hat and a white teddy bear for the baby upstairs, but will give them these with receipts in advance of Christmas. That way they can either change them for something more sensible, or the baby can appear as a mini Santa at gatherings in December, and will no doubt bump into many other mini Santas. He will be too young to be irritated by seeing others in the same outfit, hopefully.

Wednesday, 24 November 2010

Old Age

Here it is. Here. Me. I could never stand old people. Grumpy looking, slow, ratty and a bit frightening. I have always done my best to avoid them. I did quite like a few old people such as my grandmother, and a couple of great aunts, but generally, just no.

I am now getting what I deserve. What I have tried to ignore, but has been inevitable since the day I was born, is now very much here. And now. I am bloody OLD. Really old.

I had just been getting used to, at first, being no longer young, but young middle aged, then middle aged, then late middle aged, etc. I suppose I have been old for nearly ten years but, with the purchase of my mirrored screen which shows my incredibly large body, my undoubted haggard, wild, staring OLD face and wild, staring old hair have been equally revealed to me. Damn, damn, damn.

An approaching birthday is yet another spiteful reminder of the inevitable. Perhaps Kook has turned against me because he, like me, is not keen on old people.

Now I may start thinking about wearing crimplene, having a perm, wearing transparent plastic rain hoods which I shall keep handy in my bag. The list is endless. I shall start by baking. I have long had it in mind to make a batch of those wonderful nineteen fifties cakes, Jap, or Japonaise cakes. These are absolutely delicious, rather like large sized macaroons sandwiched together with coffee icing. In fact I could make mini ones the size of macaroons. I shall now try and organise myself to make a batch of these, and give them away to someone who would like them.

The other day, I was reminded of my friend John, who once told me that the most irritating thing about being old was being patronised by younger people. I have discovered the truth of this. When presented by a group of older people, young people have a huge tendency to decide that the poor old things all have Alzheimer's, as well as being deaf. We are talked to as though we are about five years old, which is intensely irritating. If I had the strength, I should probably become a geriatric thug, and give these younger idiots a good kicking. Oh well.

Tuesday, 23 November 2010

Wednesday

Met Romy for lunch yesterday and a visit to Sensational where Romy purchased a couple of things. Kept falling asleep all evening - I was definitely designed for hibernation.

Read a rather creepy bestseller by Sarah Waters called The Little Stranger. I am still thinking about purchasing a Kindle.

Going into work today, and a trip to Bluewater tomorrow. Must do some household shopping on the way in as I have run out of bread, milk etc.

Have been doing some fairly awful sketches of the Kook reclining on my bed. He nipped me twice again this morning, having materialised at 5am. Despite all the food, he is clinging to his bad habits. Defeated by a cat, that's me.

Monday, 22 November 2010

Tuesday Morning

You may see that no one comments on my posts. However I do receive a lot of spam, and now I am receiving spam in Russian, all from the same source. People are so strange.

On re-reading The Stray Sod Country, I have decided it is an allegory of kinds. About how time in the guise of the author/the Ketch/Nobodaddy, plays with the lives of ordinary people and communities, usually ending with either tragedy, albeit sometimes farcical, or more generally, loss and disappointment in old age. Ho hum.

Apart from being semi-gripped by soaps, I am becoming disillusioned by TV. In particular, I managed to watch about two minutes of Giles Coren and Sue Perkins in their customary slapstick mode which is applied to every appearance of this pair, before becoming both bored and irritated. Maybe it's just me, but I find it hard to believe that people are stupid enough to put up with such self-indulgent crap. Rant over.

Seems we are due for a very cold winter. I would say 'bring it on' but for my elderly, rather inefficient boiler, necessitating warm cardigans in my flat most of the time even now. Though I do like to see a lot of snow when looking out of the window. A white Christmas would be pretty.

Monday Morning

Sunday was very quiet. It was drizzling, so only went to the shopping centre. I bought some papers and groceries, then straight home for a coffee. I made a stew of some onions, garlic, meatballs, beef stock, carrots and mushrooms with various herbs and seasonings. I shall be serving this in the Catalan way: eating the vegetables and meat as one dish, and serving the rest as soup with a few pieces of pasta. Of course, the Catalan dish has chicken or lamb, various sausages including morcilla and is therefore much more meaty and hearty. Mine is Carn d'Olla lite.

I keep falling asleep all the time, particularly in front of the telly. I managed to watch the X-factor, because of several earlier catnaps, but only managed half of a much lauded four part drama, partly through tiredness, and partly because the characters were unsympathetic.

Watching the ads for Kindle on TV, and was rather tempted. However I don't know about the prices they charge for the books, so shall reserve judgment, though I know lots of people who rave about it. Would certainly avoid my current embarras de livres, which have escaped from the overflowing bookcase to almost every flat surface.

Tweet from my new-found bro Michel, who was cooking for nine on Sunday. I can't remember what it was like to be surrounded by so many. He must be an excellent cook.

Saturday, 20 November 2010

Fatter than Ever

Aargh - put on half a pound today. I suspect that eating meals in the Lye Torng, albeit without most of the sauce and rice, is the cause of this. Together with the glass of wine and pudding I ate on Thursday. I have definitely felt hungrier in the colder weather, so must be very careful next week.

Re-reading The Stray Sod Country which is improving all the time. Some books need to be read several times to appreciate them properly.

I seem to be semi-hibernating - last night I fell asleep before 9pm downstairs, so went straight to bed and slept until Kook woke me, thankfully at 6am rather than 5. Nine hours sleep seems rather a lot, but I did wake up once or twice in the night.

I shall ring Nibby this morning for her news from Oz. No Sunday lunch for me today. I shall purchase another Iceberg lettuce which, chopped up and dressed with vinegar, will form the base of a couple of dinners, with meat or tuna on top. And maybe some peppers or tomato. I have made a fairly substantial warming soup with lentils and green beans, suitably diluted with chicken stock, which will make a good starter.

More Saturday

Seems John Mortimer described Tantric sex as 'the plumber position: you stay in all day and nobody comes.' Well, I thought it was funny.

Had a little yellow curry at Lye Torng for lunch. Dorian not feeling very well, sweats and a sore throat. Hope he recovers over the weekend.

I shall subside in front of a Harry Potter film this afternoon, then watch the X-factor tonight. How sophisticated.

Put some washing on and refilled the pond - the water evaporates fast. Fed the goldfish which are getting enormous - they seem to live forever. It is really dull and drab outside today, as well as damn cold. Envying Nibby in Oz, where it's damn hot.

Caturday Again - Kooky Disgraced Again

Spoke too soon about Kooky. After grooming he decided to fight the brush, and before I could move, attacked my arm ferociously. I grabbed him and chucked him out of the room, barricading the doorway with my new mirrored screen. Shortly afterwards I heard the catflap, so suppose he went out to attack something else. I am afraid he has become uninhibited. I shall have to remove all brushes after grooming. I think he is not able to distinguish the difference between play fighting and actual aggressive fighting. Obviously had 'issues' in kittenhood. Only I would acquire a maladjusted cat.

He has returned and is being pleasant again, lying on the bed. I shall leave him there and collect today's paper. After that I may have a diet coke in Lye Torng, and read the paper for a bit, before thinking about lunch. I suspect this week will be rather tragic on the scales, since I have felt peckish all week with the cold weather, and have probably nibbled more than I should. Must buy more carrots and celery, or make a huge cabbage soup. This could be the answer. We shall see.

Friday, 19 November 2010

End of the Week

Yesterday's trip went off successfully. I managed to find a white Amaryllis and a string of garlic and one of onions from France, now hanging rustically in my kitchen. We saw three reindeer and a robin, I successfully swapped all three of my roast potatoes for some carrots and parsnips, so total excess was avoided, and only swallowed one small glass of wine. Romy wheeled a punter around and helped with her shopping before doing some of her own at the last minute. I hope next week's outing to Bluewater goes as well.

Quiet day today. Dorothy made it to an industry meeting last night before working today. Seems not only was our flat broken into, but there was a fire in the main parts caused by faulty electrics, mending in progress, but also problems with damp and cracking in the balconies. This will apparently be fixed but at large expenditure to the residents. That apartment is working out to be quite expensive.

Kook made a tentative nip at my head this evening at feeding time, but was discouraged by being swept away again. His attacks, though daily, are getting far less vicious.

Thursday, 18 November 2010

Thor's Day Again: shopping and eating

Taking two coachloads of punters off shopping for the day. I shall be in a hired car, which will hopefully pick up three disabled punters. We are promised lunch when we arrive, and some helpers will push the wheelchairs. Somewhat financially depleted, I may just see if I can find an amaryllis in pink and white, which I failed to do last year. No doubt the punters will stock up on huge quantities of local farm meat, which is both excellent and cheap. A local cabbie who lives nearby told me that the pies are excellent. Sadly, I did not need to know that.

I hope that Dorothy will inspect my laptop and somehow fix the iphoto application so that I can print and post my snaps, which are currently trapped in the application. This would be a welcome birthday present.

Last night I ate a whole pomegranate: Romy brought back two enormous ones, which her neighbour picked off a tree in Spain that day. What a treat! I checked the calories in this: my calorie book said 50, my database said 100, so plumped for 100 since it was rather large. It shows how varied calorie measurements can be.

Texted Dorothy and was surprised that they are coming back today because Dorothy has to work tomorrow. This puts paid to my plan to take a trip to Borough Market tomorrow morning to replenish their groceries in time for their arrival.

Tuesday, 16 November 2010

Tuesday Afternoon

Had some garlic pork on a layer of shredded cabbage for lunch. Quite edible.

It is much colder outside today, but sunny. Had a brief word with Romy about the foul meeting. As usual, she is making excuses for our difficult trustee. At least she had a good break abroad. I hope Dorothy and Julian are also having a good time.

Kook is quite perky today, and like me, extra hungry with the cold weather. I have found out why I am always tempted to eat more in the evening. According to the Times, one's taste buds are at their most lively then. Add that to lowered lights, TV, etc. and the temptation is there. Seems that if you eat in front of a mirror, you may well consume less, especially if you keep the light turned up brightly. I have found that if I have some marmite drink or thin soup first, it helps, especially if I follow the meat or fish dish with an iceberg salad with very little dressing. And eventually, a piece of fruit, followed finally by a small strong coffee. Saving most of my calories for this meal is also good. I always keep some raw carrots and celery in the fridge for emergencies.

I am attempting to reduce my intake today anyway, to make up for last night. I blame Marks & Spencer Dinner for Two. It's all their fault.

Eating for England

Hair done. Tony is gradually cutting out the layers, but some way to go yet. Cheered by this, I picked the chicken and vegetables out of a green curry at Lye Torng, and two spoonfuls of the rice for lunch. Became slightly carried away in the evening, and had some rich chicken soup with red wine, peas, and bits of chicken in it, followed by a (fortunately very small) M & S creme brulee. This took me nearly 300 calories over my daily allowance, which will be paid for today. Must be more cautious, particularly since I have to lunch out on Thursday.

Finished watching Downton Abbey on Sunday. It was very good, but small inaccuracies were irritating here and there, usually in language, such as calling a car a 'motor' which would not have happened. A car was either a motor-car, or a car, but never a 'motor' in upper class circles. I also doubt whether the butler would have hugged the daughter of the house under any circumstances. Over time, probably, historical details become less accurate, but it probably doesn't matter because fewer and fewer people who care about these are still alive. Only fussy old people like me even notice these things. Oh well.

I am still attempting to mend my ways, to try and prove that one can teach an old bitch new tricks, but I suspect I shall always be a miserable sinner. Being nice to everyone is rather uphill work, and certainly doesn't come easily. I must also make a huge effort to be enthusiastic, another hard task for a rather jaded old bat. Ho hum. If I don't have much more success fairly soon, 'Qualities of a Leader' may find a new home with Dorian, who has expressed some interest in reading it.

Monday, 15 November 2010

Monday Morning

Dear me - reading 'Qualities of a leader' has been somewhat depressing, reminding me of my endless shortcomings. Seems I am a slacker, showing lack of commitment; courage; communication; competence; discernment; etc. etc. I may crawl into a hole and hibernate. Reading this is a bit like being told off by one's parents when a teenager. The fact that I even think this demonstrates rather tragic immaturity. Well, never mind. I shall just have to try harder (or being realistic)just try. At least my faults have been pointed out.

Shall put in a repeat prescription request today, then off to Debenham's for Tony to improve my hair, which will be a boost to the morale, I hope.

Programme on the radio about how we are using the left side of the brain too much. Reminds me of the really clever book Nibby gave me, called 'drawing on the right side of the brain', which dotty though it sounds, seems to be able to teach any fule to draw, so long as they stick to it and practise.

Sunday, 14 November 2010

More Sunday

Had a long chat with Nibby who has several more commissions, and is delivering a painting of a horse to Sydney next Tuesday. I hope she gets paid lots of money for it. She is a very good artist indeed and a horse lover. She once won the first prize offered by the Arab Horse Association, and her painting was on the front cover of their magazine. Seems my niece and nephew are both fine, one has just moved and the other is moving soon to share with a girl friend.

Wandered down the Walworth Road. A remembrance service was going on at the front of the old town hall. Purchased a £10 dinner for two. This consisted of a whole small chicken, some fresh prepared veggies and a couple of creme brulees. I bought these because they came in very cute little fluted white ramekins. Rather than grill the tops I fried some sugar a la Jamie, and poured over the tops. So much easier. At 285 calories each they are a bit over the top, but reduced my other calories accordingly. I cooked the chicken in the red wine, also part of the deal, with garlic, and had a little for lunch. The stock will form the base of a chicken soup to eat later.

Made a rather unsuccessful boiled citrus cake with an orange and three limes. Basically, I should not have used limes, and I think I forgot the baking powder, judging by the flatness. However, I shall put it in the freezer and it can be used as a trifle base or iced with orange butter icing at a later stage. It might be good as a limoncello trifle base. We shall see.

Romy is back in rainland again, poor thing. I do hope she had a good time in Spain. I heard from Dorothy who was cycling around in Spain, but hasn't inspected the flat yet.

Saturday, 13 November 2010

Remembrance Sunday

I was dreading weighing myself today, but in fact I am pleased to report the loss of 4lb, which is a decent step in the right direction. I think I may be rather erratic in my weight loss, despite sticking to the number of calories advised.

Seeking a bit of self-improvement, I read about a youngish woman who transformed several ailing businesses into world class organisations. I was quite surprised that she read many motivational books. She seemed particularly keen on John C Maxwell's '21 Indispensable Qualities of a Leader'. I had always assumed that such books were only read by unsuccessful salesmen. I immediately purchased this slim volume at a discounted price from Amazon. I have to say that, even if one were not the slightest bit interested in leadership, the book is a good reminder of how to cope successfully with life, and is definitely a bearable read, unlike so many of those ubiquitous business theory tomes.

Reading the Prisoner Ben blog, I feel so sorry that he has been left on tenterhooks for a couple of weeks regarding his parole hearing, but glad he is concentrating on organising his Ph.D study, which will help under such difficult circumstances.

Remembrance Sunday today. I usually watch this on TV, but may avoid it today, depending on the weather. I am thinking of wandering down the Walworth Road and having my customary lunch in the Beaten Path. We shall see. First I shall ring my sister Nibby in Kangaroo Valley.

Samedi Matin

It really does make you sick. Seems that the small income from the Spanish flat may all be gone. The flat was broken into (nothing much pinched) and the entire front door needing replacing, at 900 euros. Dorothy and Julian are therefore staying in a hotel. I was hoping the income would pay for their short break, but I suspect there will be very little, if anything, left after paying for the damn door.

I can see that when I retire I shall have to force myself to live out there just to keep it occupied. I really don't want to let my London flat though, since I need to be able to get back when I want to, and having spent the last few years getting the place almost how I want it, do not fancy dismantling it. However, if I were to move away to somewhere where I could take all my furniture and reassemble it, I would be tempted to leave London. The property prices are so good in Northampton and I have a friend living there, and only an hour from London by train, so, hmmm.

Having my hair done at Debenhams on Monday. I can't stand it any more and need a morale booster right now, even though I can't really afford it.

Taking the punters to Polhill Garden Centre next Thursday, which will get me out of the office. And to Bluewater the following week.

Friday, 12 November 2010

Week's End

It was most enjoyable to deal with the letters and cheques to new beneficiaries. I had to ring one at home to check his address, and he said: 'I'm overwhelmed, I did not realise that anything like this existed - I've gone all red'. All this put things in proportion a bit, and I am hoping some new trustees due to be appointed soon will help matters.

Very rainy and windy yesterday and today. Texted Dorothy who is going away with Julian for a well deserved break. The shopping, Sainsbury's this time, has just arrived. Kook took a slight nip at my calf last night. Since he wasn't hungry, I suspect he does it just for fun. If only I were amused.

I do hope I have managed to lose weight this week - the last decent loss I had at the end of October was two and a half pounds - much less since then. As someone pointed out though, at least it's going down, however slowly.

Radio 4 feature about Dame Ninette de Valois. I remember seeing her many times on the bus in Barnes years ago. She was a tiny, elderly woman at the time, but immediately recognisable, with a slightly Queen Victoria face, but more attractive, and lovely eyes. One can imagine she might be rather imperious.

Wednesday, 10 November 2010

Vile Meeting

Last night's meeting was indeed ghastly. Everyone was fine, apart from the usual suspect, who was very aggressive and unpleasant all evening. Fortunately I think everyone else was as bored as I was by his continued irrelevant interruptions. Even the Chairman commented that he was very rude to me. Oh well.

Fortunately I had chosen the wrong dinner, which looked very unattractive, so did not eat much at all, and just one small glass of wine. I had quite forgotten that the traditional English way to serve liver is in huge, livid lumps, rather than the Italian way, in thin, elegant slices. I suspect also that this huge mound was pig rather than lamb or calves liver.

I was very glad to get home, and after giving Kook some more snacks and a short grooming, went straight to bed.

Meetings, Bloody Meetings

Just read that taking coke over the age of 35 is very dangerous. I must reduce my use of hard drugs. Though a mug of cocoa or Horlicks does not seem a very attractive alternative.

Newsy email from a friend who has just moved house this morning. Seems she has a huge kitchen and a huge living room. I am so jealous. I remind myself that the Elephant and Castle is, or soon will be, the centre of the universe. Even with a small kitchen and living room. Actually the living room isn't too bad, but is marred by being in a basement. Though it is currently painted white, I was inspired by a rather grand room in the latest Interiors mag, which was also lacking in light, but they painted it a very jolly lemon yellow, glazed in layers. Quite tempting. But not urgent. Unless someone wishes to volunteer. Ha ha. In fact, white may be fine for this Christmas. I have the usual tree dilemma, and am seriously thinking about getting a tiny real one (two or three feet tall) to stand on a table. Found some rather jolly and quite tasteful snowflake stickers which look good on the kitchen window, so may leave them as a start to Christmas decorating. In a way there's not much point as no one comes around, but they will cheer me up a bit.

Ghastly meeting tonight, made worse by dinner afterwards. I wonder if I can resist temptation and stick to my diet. I am not usually too bad if I stick to meat or fish and vegetables, no potatoes, no sauces, no pud and one glass of wine. We shall see. Julian has kindly offered to feed Kook tonight.

It really is bloody cold, but the sun has been out since lunch time. Reminds me of Spain in the winter. Outside, I can see the Shard getting taller and the glass outside cladding ascending rapidly. It will be absolutely gigantic when it is finished.

Seems the students are revolting over the cuts and increased fees. Apparently they have broken into Tory HQ and are causing mayhem. Takes me back to the Paris riots in the sixties. Frightful noise and crowds, as someone said about World War I.

Monday, 8 November 2010

Monday - Raining All Day

After deciding that some males of my reluctant acquaintance have all the allure and sophistication of drunken warthogs, I feel I should apologise to any drunken warthog who might read this.

Anyway, was listening to the World Service at the crack of dawn and heard the fascinating story about an Australian doc called Barry who discovered the Helicobacter, the cause of gastric ulcers. He could not test it on animals since it was a human bacteria, so he swallowed the content of the Petri dish himself. He said it was a bit like when boys dare each other to eat slugs etc. After five days he fetched up with gastric problems, and thus came the great discovery, for which he much later received the Nobel prize, deservedly, despite the vested interests of the drug companies who had been making a fortune with the wrong tummy drugs. Not to mention the careers of people who operated on gastric ulcers.

Found a cat blog called thecatorialist.blogspot.com which has pictures of cool cats.

Disappointing weight loss again this week, so will have to try harder. Dear me, at this rate I will still need a supersized coffin and will be too fat to be cremated. Don't ask, it was an article in the Oldie from years ago.

Sunday, 7 November 2010

The Morning After

The cursor seems to be behaving itself now, though I really prefer to use a mouse.

Had a very quiet day at home, expecting a delivery which now won't arrive until Monday, with several others.

I went to Jackie's firework party in the evening. I had made some little coffee cakes, some pate and a kind of cheesecake trifle, which consisted of lemon cheesecake covered in a thick layer of the damsons I had purchased from the short-lived farmer's market at Elephant. It was a very pleasant evening - dry and clear, and lots of fireworks. Met up with quite few people I had previously met at dinners and so on. In fact everyone enjoyed themselves so much that when I left just before midnight there were still quite a few people there. As usual, there were some newcomers, and Jackie is very hospitable, entertaining so many locals.

Rude awakening at five, with much running around across my bed and a slight bite from Kook, just to remind me of my lowly station. Got up and threaded him through the catflap and closed the kitchen door to prevent a recurrence.

Saturday, 6 November 2010

Saturday

My mouse has given up the ghost and the cursor does not work properly so I can't use the laptop much. Maybe it is moribund.

Romy came around for a coffee. I showed her the card from my mad ex and said it was rather embarrassing as the new neighbours would have seen his crazy ramblings, and she cheered my up by saying they would realise I had a cross to bear!

I shan't be able to do any internet grocery shopping at home because of the cursor, which gives up after I have been using the laptop for a few minutes. I have managed to save my shopping list with Sainsbury. Now to add insult etc. Romy is still being offered more and more very good deals from Ocado. I can only think that Ocado are ostracising shoppers who live in my area, which is what I originally thought.

Kook is such a monster - woke me at 3am despite being able to go outside, but obviously did not manage this since he started again at 4.30 and had done a poo in his tray. I turfed him out and went back to bed. I am wondering if his chip is interfering with the opening of the catflap at times.

Friday, 5 November 2010

Dreary People Infecting My Space

A rather depressing day at work with an unpleasant and rather hysterical email on my screen first thing. Wasted too much time thinking about how to deal with this and finally took Romy's advice and sent a short, sweet reply. Spread the love. Hmmmm. However, I did not take Eckhart Tolle's advice on the here and now, and instead became rather depressed and inactive during the day.

On my arrival back home there was an unpleasant postcard from my ex, accusing my son of being 'abject' because he refused to communicate with him. It is quite hard to feel sorry for some people. Seems there are several meanings for the word, all of which apply to my ex and none to my son. Perhaps he should spend some of his new-found money on a dictionary.

I must be wearing the wrong scent to attract all these very negative vibes. Probably a good thing I don't know many people or I might be receiving poison pen letters every day. I must be terribly evil, and would no doubt be burned as a witch had I lived in those days. I should rename my cat Pyewacket. I have always liked that name. Maybe I am a reincarnation of some real old witch.

On the plus side last night, Kook was being quite sweet and I found some new Sainsbury's seeded batch bread, small, but 69 calories per slice, and much more tasty than the Warburton one. Had an excellent mashed sardine toasted sandwich for breakfast. Last night I discovered that a pint of low calorie jelly (40 cals) with two punnets of raspberries poured in (60 cals) makes a good pud with servings of between 25 and 33 cals per serving, using either a quarter or a third of a pint per serving.

Thursday, 4 November 2010

Thursday Morning

Uneventful day at work yesterday, and the possibility of a couple more trustees soon, hopefully. Had a chat with the chairman about things. I may go in for a bit today since Romy might need some help with the huge amount of stuff she has to assemble and post.

I have given up locking Kook in for the night. I had a five thirty awakening but again, did not get up until the clock struck six. I think Kook is slowly beginning to realise the connection, because he mewed at the clock a few times. We shall see.

Later, after he had eaten breakfast and gone outside I heard loud yowling and saw him and a small but feisty grey cat confronting each other on the top of the fence. I operated my cat scarer, which had very little effect, but eventually the beam shaking around over his face sent him off. Unfortunately Kook, though he did not pursue the cat, did not come back until later. I checked him for injuries and found none, thankfully.

Strange thing - I was so tired last night that I fell asleep in front of the TV at about 7.30, and waking at 8, decided I might as well go to bed. This resulted in my eating 200 less calories. Not a bad strategy. May try it again some time.

Tuesday, 2 November 2010

Crumbly Old Bat and Vile Cat

Attended the balance clinic for another check-up and was offered an eight week course of treatment. Since I have had no problems for some considerable time, and they are on my precious free day, I have decided to forego this opportunity. Frankly, my most irritating problem, apart from gross obesity, is psoriasis on my scalp which drives me mad, and the next in line is the odd sensation in my right kidney, which is now less painful after three months of antibiotics, but still uncomfortable and slightly worrying, but leaving no clinical signs or pathology to pick up on.

Geriatric rant over.

Last night Kook starting mewing at 2am but then shut up until 4. At four I put him outside, but he emerged again at 5.45 and mewed until 6, when the cuckoo clock forced me up to feed him. He is so demanding. I feel a bit drained today.

The problem with buying Christmas presents that you like is that when they arrive you are tempted to keep them. Fortunately I have so much stuff that this would be entirely impractical. Mind you, I have occasionally purchased two items when very tempted. Dear me.

If anyone would like an appallingly large and aggressive black cat who is deeply ungrateful and demanding, please let me know. He is a masochist's dream - but very attractive and fluffy.

Monday, 1 November 2010

Still Fat, Broke and Stressed Out by Hellish Feline

Decided to avoid the Beaten Path since my weight loss was not very good last week. Instead I came home and had some soup.

Dorothy rang me for a long chat, which was nice.

Having purchased most of my tiny Christmas presents online, I discover that I am somewhat boracic. Ho hum. A bit of a bore. I shall try and exist on lettuce, sardines and the odd bit of cheese. Oh, and a few eggs. We shall see. Meanwhile the new supply of coffee I purchased is going well, and it is a real relief to be able to drink excellent coffee every time at home with nil effort. Madeleine kindly commented on Facebook on my negligible weight loss.

I may lash out on a few raspberries, to add to the low calorie jelly in an attempt to fool myself that I am still eating excellent desserts. Sad, really.

Kook has not understood the concept of the clocks going back. Having fed him late last night I was hoping for a bit of matinal respite, but no. At five pip emma, he bounded onto the bed, whining for a bit, then howling like a banshee as he prowled over me. I managed for about an hour to stand the stress of not knowing whether he would start biting me, before finally getting up to feed him. Unfortunately, he also ignores the cuckoo clock. Since it is electronic, I shall increase the volume. In the past year, he has become Master of His Universe, i.e. me and his flat.

Saturday, 30 October 2010

Scattering of Ashes from Model Boat

Went to a strange little ceremony today. Hilary's ashes were to be scattered on the Thames from London Bridge. A small group gathered, and when the funeral directors arrived we all went down some steps to get nearer the river. Simon Hughes and the funeral guys clambered over the barrier to the foreshore. As we watched from above, they launched a small black model catamaran, containing the ashes. A priest from Southwark Cathedral read a prayer, and the ashes were presumably released into the Thames, by pressing a button on the remote. After this the boat floated about a bit, with various people playing with the remote control. Boy's toys. Seems it was the maiden voyage of this boat, which had apparently cost £700. Good thing they didn't lose it. I suspect Hilary might have found the whole thing quite funny. Afterwards we went and had a coffee, which warmed us up a bit. Seems the last lot of Hilary's ashes will be scattered in Gibraltar, according to Hilary's wishes, and Simon and the others will probably make a good weekend of it.

Had a wander round More London before cabbing back to Lye Torng. Their meat servings have become so minuscule I had to order two lunches to get more than five or six small pieces of meat. They were always more generous with the meat, but perhaps times are hard, and having reduced the choices, they have also reduced the portions. Since all I eat is the meat I may have to dine elsewhere in future.

Today is Sunday and I only lost half a pound. This may be due to a large sauerkraut meal I consumed mid-week. Today I may well lunch at The Beaten Path, if I can be bothered to go out in this dreary weather.

Spoke to Nibs this morning and poor Bear has been in hospital with swollen tonsils, but is fortunately now back home. Spoke briefly to Dorothy who seems to be in a permanent hurry.

Friday, 29 October 2010

No Birthday Dinner - but Birthday Sunday Lunch

Tried to book several places for my birthday, but all full so shall go to the Ivy for a very late Sunday lunch instead. Actually this will give me the chance to sit and watch the soaps on my birthday, while eating a lettuce leaf in preparation for Sunday lunch.

I have been starving all day. Had a lunch at Lye Torng and the amount of meat has shrunk to nothing, so came back hungry and had a toasted cheese sandwich, decimating the number of calories I can consume for dinner tonight. I may have to make a Marmite drink to fill me up, since I am still hungry, unaccountably.

Shall now go and put another load of washing in the machine. Gosh, my life is exciting. All this to avoid actually doing some painting. Can't put it off much longer.

Ida Barr, Kook and Quiet Birthday Dinner

My Mondays and Fridays are being eaten up by hospital appointments etc.

Yesterday Romy and I went to Deptford Albany to watch Ida Barr and many others in the afternoon. This was a recce for a possible pensioner venue. The verdict was generally favourable, despite poor Romy being pursued by more than one very elderly lounge lizard.

I am still seriously considering a chat with Celia Hammond about the acquisition of another feline. It would have to be a tabby female, and not either aggressive or desperately timid. Sedate, I think, is the word I am seeking.

Another 5am awakening. I think I will have to feed Kook much later in the evening. That might help.

I was trying to find a suitable place for dinner on my birthday in December. Year after year it gets worse, with every restaurant full of noisy and uncouth office parties. Madeleine suggested somewhere where they only take up to six diners, if we can get a table, which sounds a good way to avoid too much surrounding chaos. I shall ring them today. If not, Dorothy has suggested some place called Bob Bob Ricard which has had terrible reviews but the decor is excellent. Hmmm. We shall see.

Wednesday, 27 October 2010

Cat and Very Tiresome Ex

Just feeling a bit depressed after watching the programme about cat women and seeing Celia Hammond tending for a dying kitten.

Then I saw a missed call from my ex. Rang him to hear he had been to see a solicitor and needed his son's address. I had been asked not to reveal this so did not. He then expressed amazement that his son did not wish to see him and said ' you mean if I told him there was £10,000 in the bank, he would still not see me?' I assured him that this was so, and that his son had plenty of money. He kept saying 'but I am his father' and insisting he had 'rights', though what rights an absentee parent can have over someone of 43 do not rapidly spring to mind. I shall check and make sure that our son still can't stand him, but I think my ex may well have Alzheimer's as he seems to completely forget this fact every few months.

Tuesday, 26 October 2010

Self Help Smiles

Reading my new book, I now realise that all the frustrations of life are as nothing, and have given me negative thoughts. I shall attempt to watch my reactions and thoughts and attempt to live in the 'now'. This could be rather brilliant advice. If somewhat tricky to achieve. We shall see.

Did some washing this morning. Had a sandwich of mashed sardines drained of their olive oil and seasoned, made in one of those toasted sandwich bags. You can buy a couple of those bags in the pound shop, I noticed. I hope the sardines will keep my Omega oils up a bit. It is a slight effort to eat sardines first thing in the morning, but plenty of Lapsang does help.

Kook has devoured his breakfast and gone out. I was rather afraid of opening the kitchen door unless he took a lump out of my leg in retaliation, but hunger came first and he then streaked off outside when I opened the catflap.

Tiresome Monster

That was a vile night. Kook screamed for hours, eventually shutting up at about midnight. I started to feel quite murderous, as I could hear my upstairs neighbours pacing up and down. It must have been very loud in their kitchen. He started again this morning at about 5.45am. I eventually forced myself up at 6, but very tired. I hope he will eventually settle down and get used to sleeping in the kitchen or I will have to put him in the living room for the night with his litter tray, which I am not keen on doing. He must have a sore throat this morning.

My internet wasn't working, so rang O2 who were very helpful and gave me a password which I wrote down somewhere safe. They fiddled with the signal to make it stronger but said if it did keep turning off I should take the laptop to the Apple store. Some chance. I have to say the wireless signal is not good here. I clicked the 'interference robustness' thingy in the hope that this will improve matters. No wonder I can't watch things on IPlayer.

Nasty Reflection, Nasty Kook and Esoteric Handbook

Dear me, look even bigger than yesterday in my new mirrored screen. Quel cauchemar.

This morning I had scrambled eggs on toast with mushrooms. Followed by a clementine and a small apple. Oh, and some coffee with milk. Must stop until lunch time.

Had a text (followed by a text conversation) from Madeleine suggesting I might like to board a cat for a few weeks. Since Kook is being rather vile, and even worse today, having bitten me twice and been banished to the kitchen, I am inclined to give him another cat to bite for a change. I have warned Madeleine about his nasty nature. My other thought is that Kook may be bored and may benefit from the presence of another mature cat. It belongs to my niece whose house burned down and who is currently staying with Madeleine. Madeleine's hospitality does not however extend to the cat. Understandably, she doesn't fancy having a cat tray in the house, and has no catflap. Having said that, a cat would need to be very large and muscular to get through my catflap. Even Kook calls me to let him in and out rather than use it. We shall see. Kook's previous owner told me that he is fine with other cats. I should coco.

I am currently engaged in reading a self-improvement manual (my first) called 'The Power of Now' by the improbably named Eckhart Tolle. Hmmmm. I shall become a Scientologist next. Not.

Sunday, 24 October 2010

Sunday Again

After my rude awakening, I partook of the strange breakfast of grilled mashed sardines on toast with tea (200 calories) to top up my oily fish complement.

Romy then turned up with her husband bearing the huge weight of my new screen, which is now installed in my doorway. I just hope the cleaner does not manage to knock it over. Unfortunately Romy could not stay for coffee as the van could not comfortably be parked outside.

Tesco actually turned up well on time with a free Daily Mail - not my choice of paper but gift horses etc., and I have just finished unpacking my shopping. I do wish Ocado would realise the error of their ways and email me some really decent offers. Oh well.

I shall now relax for a bit with a cup of coffee. And contemplate my vast bulk, amply reflected by the mirrored screen. It may yet help me to lose weight.

Saturday, 23 October 2010

Rude Awakening and Lost Weight

When Kook seems to get bored with mewing loudly to try and wake me up, he seems to rush up and down stairs really fast, then over the bed, leaping about and howling loudly. I vainly thought this was another attention-seeking behaviour. Well, it was in a way, but now I know this is the signal that he is dying for a poo - which has been deposited in his tray by the time I have been roused by an appalling smell. He is like a dog, and never covers it up. I sometimes think he is not entirely stupid. The swine.

Despite a week spent struggling not to eat everything I saw, I suspect not entirely unrelated to the cold weather, I have managed to lose two and a half pounds. Am now fifteen and a half stone. I would like to be under fifteen stone by my birthday in early December. My danger point after this and before Christmas will be the Turkey & Tinsel break in Thoresby Hall in December - four whole days of probably quite decent, and substantial, hotel food. My only way out is to drink buckets of water and not hang around in the restaurant for too long. Breakfast is always the biggest challenge. Oh well. Eating out is never so bad so long as I can find a steak or a large piece of fish with a salad.

No More Cheap Veggies and Still Broken Dishwasher

Awoke betimes (5.30am to be precise) this morning to more Kooky torment. I am so soft with him, I'm mushy peas. Oh well.

Last day of the farmer's market - not enough customers. Purchased a huge bunch of carrots with tops, also edible, a punnet of raspberries and a pound of russets for £2.45 the lot. People are obviously a bit slow on the uptake around here, or they don't recognise anything that's not in a can as food. Met one of the punters who said he couldn't attend the Turkey & Tinsel break at Thoresby Hall because he'd be on his Caribbean cruise - most annoyed because he has to fly to Barbados first rather than cruising from Southampton. My heart bleeds.

Naughty lunch of green chicken curry at Lye Torng. BUT, only ate a tablespoon of rice and picked the chicken and veg out, leaving the sauce, so not too bad, but had the flavour at least.

Now back home, I shall do some washing and some washing up. I must phone the Bosch people since my washing up is not very good, compared with the dishwasher. Need to tidy up quite a lot, too.

Friday, 22 October 2010

Ai Wei Wei and Gauguin

I have to say my 'elder' visit to Tate Modern has only confirmed me in my low opinion of Gauguin's work. Most people seem to be very keen judging by the huge crowds queuing up to get in. I am a bit of a philistine no doubt despite eight years of art education. Was more impressed by Ai Wei Wei. Just looks like a huge field of grey gravel, but like sunflower seeds close up, and on picking up, individually made ceramic seeds, which are quite heavy. China is a big place.

Had lunch at Lye Torng, and a quiet afternoon doing the washing and watching daytime TV, which everyone pours scorn on. Oh well, suits me, anyway.

Masses of junk mail, but can't resist looking at lots of catalogues before discarding them.

Wednesday, 20 October 2010

Cat Litter, Tesco and Big Society

Oh dear. I was hoping to stick to Sainsbury's for groceries, but they don't do my smart pack of Catsan, which has now become essential because Kook is staying in at night. Ocado do, of course, who I must avoid for as long as possible, since they have offered me no incentives whatsoever to return, and guess who else? the accursed Tesco. I shall now have to put up with Tesco's inefficiency for at least one order, when I will stock up on my cat litter. Incidentally, Kook has not bitten me for a couple of days. I have purchased his favourite catnip drops which may have some bearing on the matter.

Those Southwark Circle people, part of Participle, on radio 4 this morning. Seems they are trying to replace the welfare state by encouraging self help among the elderly poor. The Big Society in action. Dear me.

Monday, 18 October 2010

Kook, Poo and Lip Stain

Of course, I am a weak woman. When I left my living room to go to bed, Kook was sleeping peacefully on the sofa, so I didn't have the heart to move him. However he woke me up at 3am, having done a very offensive poo in his litter tray, which I covered. I shut him in the kitchen with a large cushion to lie on. He mewed and mewed for what seemed like hours. I woke, slightly more refreshed than usual, at 6.30, when I set him free. I fed him and let him outside, and hope he will refrain from pooing in his tray, which he only did because his catflap was locked.

Having spent some hours wandering up and down Oxford Street on Friday, in pursuit of a really red lip stain, and after purchasing several unsatisfactory contenders, I finally made the interesting discovery that a permanent red marker which had been left in my flat by some builders, was best. For your information it is Staedtler Lumocolour. Others may wish to do a skin test, but I shoved it straight on my lips and applied some (optional) red glittery gloss over the top.

I have also discovered a rather foolish (and tiny, but fun) Christmas present idea for any unfortunate females I know. You will see. I have been shopping online.

Sunday, 17 October 2010

Internet Deprivation

Been without internet and home phone for a couple of days. Now connected to O2 fortunately.

My ex husband rang to say he had some money for his sister, so knowing I would meet her today, I agreed to relieve him of it. However when I rang her she denied that he owed her any money. Turns out the whole thing was my fault as I had thought she had loaned him money many years ago which he had not repaid. Seems that she was complaining about his asking for money, but she never actually coughed up. So he has saved himself a few hundred. However, I was stuck with meeting him, and having basically nothing to say, regaled him with the misdeeds of some of his extended family, so some sheep were even blacker (morally speaking) than he. Turns out he has had quite a stroke of good fortune financially, and may move abroad to live, which I thought was rather a good idea.

Today I met Madeleine for lunch at Livebait. It was quite good, but rather calorific. I hope my only misdeed as I only lost 1lb this week. We shall see. Kooky has bitten me twice in the last couple of days. I don't know how funny he will find it when I shut him in the kitchen for the night.