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


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


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.


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.


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.