Thursday, 31 March 2011

More Gok

Here's another not v. good snap of me wearing the creamy coloured Goks which will be good in the summer. Gok has rather cleverly designed these specs for the mass market. The fact that they are cream rather than white somehow makes them easier to wear with everything, and the shape is very good: just a little retro. With my evil Goks, he has been rather clever with the design in that they are quite extreme, but rather than colour them black, he has coloured them dark grey, with a matte, barky design. The only objection I have to the dark ones, is that I would prefer the round part of the frame to be larger. The result on me is less David Hockney, and more Grandma Moses. I can see why he did it though.

Julian has given me some probiotic kind of capsules which I have to take once a day. These are full of vile-sounding bugs so should be effective. Must remember NEVER to take bran again. I have had to stay at home, having a very quiet week, while the work mounts up. I shall go back next Tuesday.

I may venture forth a bit today. I managed to get the tiny fountain working in the pond yesterday, which means I will have to clean it every day until all the muck from the pond has gone.

At lunch in the Lye Torng, Louise told me her best friend had died in hospital the night before, at only forty years old. Though she had been ill for a long time, it came very suddenly. They had known each other since the age of eight. All Louise's friends from those days are now dead, which is very sad. I think going to work was helping her cope, but she was very distressed, of course. I shall have to try and think of something nice for her.

Wednesday, 30 March 2011

Even Better - Sad Mothers Day

Here's me in my new Gok Wan 'evils': I am hoping they make me look rather vile and cross. Good fun.

Last night Julian appeared with two willow trees with tiny catkins on. She swept through the garden defeating all but my tragic Christmas tree which is still there, and replanted the willows in large pots. They are very pretty weeping willows, and Nibby has warned me never to plant them in the garden or they will bring up the building foundations. I should imagine my opposite neighbour's bamboo will be the first plant to do that. Julian also came bearing gifts from Chicago, including a very pretty painted small nesting box, made from a large pod from Peru. I have hung this in the garden. Unfortunately we found another dead bird in the garden. It was large and grey, the same as the other bird, and I suspect may have been another young blackbird. Vile though he is, it is hard to imagine that Kook is capable of catching anything - he can hardly walk along the fence he is so fat. We shall see.

Every time Mothers Day is near I really miss mine. On the last time I saw her on Mothers Day we were due to go out to a local restaurant, but she felt unwell, insisting that I went along with her husband while she lay down and had a rest. I really did not want to go, but frankly felt she wanted him out of the way in any event, so I had a miserable lunch, and couldn't wait to get back to the house to ensure she was feeling better.

Her last husband was an awful man who liked everything to be terribly organised, was obsessive about money and many other things. I remember many years before when we visited them in Oxfordshire, he would not only send a map but would spend a long time on the telephone explaining the entire car journey, mile by mile to my husband, who was an experienced driver.

My mother was very quick and intelligent, and though they had the common interests of bridge and golf for many years, she progressively found it very frustrating to be married to this country bumpkin, who became more irritating and obsessive as he aged.

When she eventually became very ill with a heart condition, he had started 'dating' another woman, which unbelievably galling though it must have been, when she could not retaliate, did give her some relief from his company as he spent most of his time with the 'other woman'. Still, (not that as a divorcee, I have much idea about relationships,) if I had been married to someone for thirty years, and we were both over 80, I might expect my husband to look after me in my final illness and await my demise before setting out on affairs with other women.

Tuesday, 29 March 2011

Black Bloc

I have been pondering my future: I shall definitely 'retire' from gainful employment at the end of the year. I can paint a bit, but may well become a more active anarchist, rather than an armchair activist, which is what I do now, campaigning, with millions of others, about selling off forests and nasty Nocton cow farms. I may take the 'black bloc' approach. At least black is smart if one is dashing about causing mayhem everywhere. Seems I am too late to pick up a geriatric ASBO. Such a shame.

Definitely retirement time. Just did a questionnaire from Sunday's Observer about empathy, and rather shockingly discovered my scores were so low I probably had Aspergers'. However on a recount of the scores I was above average in empathy,but realised I couldn't add up properly any more.

Completed my census form online. Asked if I spent more than 30 days abroad in the year I truthfully said no. But thought afterwards it would be easy to spend many more than 30 days abroad in various places on business. Oh well. No doubt some confusing answers will ensue.

Here's the Kook again.

Stuff on pavement

Slightly better

but still doubled up with pain a lot of the time. Julian is going to get me a hot water bottle which will help. Taking lactulose which is helping, but I will have to be off work this week, but hopefully back by next Tuesday.

I keep finding odd things outside. There was a vast pile of rubbish the other day, causing neighbours to forage around until it was all removed a few hours later. I think someone had died in the sheltered housing nearby and they were clearing the flat. Rather sad.

Monday, 28 March 2011

Sick Monday

Dear me. Feeling quite ill on Saturday, with awful abdominal pains. I suspect that the large quantities of oat bran I had taken in porridge, as recommended by Nibby, were exerting a toll on my innards. Eventually spoke to my GP who happened to be working for Seldoc, and she advised various remedies. Of course when I finally forced myself off to Boots on Sunday they were closed with a staff shortage, so I purchased what I could over the counter in Superdrug. None of this had any effect. I had rather a fever last night, but forced myself along to my quack today. She has provided reassurance that I am not suffering from obstruction, and I now have some suitable stuff to take. I shall now eat again, as she recommends it. I long to feel normal again.

Saturday, 26 March 2011

Saturday Riots - Clocks Forward Tonight

I am awaiting news of riots to take place in London. Shall not attempt a visit to the West End - best off here in the South End.

Super dinner party last night in Borough. The hosts were a super young couple, who provided fabulous sea bass with roasted peppers, tomato and fat potato slices. My Jamie 30 minute starter of fennel salad, with the addition of a bunch of radishes, thinly sliced, and smoked anchovies on the side, went down very well indeed. This was certainly partly due to thin slicing in the Magimix, and helped by blitzing a whole lemon with olive oil in the Magimix for the dressing. The pudding was fruit and cream on a nut pastry. Very good wines including a Pouilly Fume, Brouilly, and some Baumes de Venise provided by Alice. A jolly crowd and a good time was had by all, but I still haven't learned to play with food, as no doubt will be revealed tomorrow, when I have my weekly moment of truth on the scales.

Re-reading the Mapp and Lucia novels, which are certainly keeping my spirits up, and collected my Gok Wan glasses yesterday.

Friday, 18 March 2011

Friday, even

Pissing with rain outside. Despite this, I purchased two pairs of Gok Wan's from Specsavers. One mini David Hockney pair in dark grey, with small round frames which make me look cross and evil (perfect) and the other pair, rather pretty with a vaguely cat's eye retro shape in cream, which with reactolite lenses will be excellent in the summer.

I was horrified to discover that the Temple Bar (which I never went into) and The Beaten Path, both on the Walworth Road, have closed. Pubs certainly are disappearing fast. Just read this and realise why they are closing. Anyway.

I shall unpack my Ocado delivery and slither across to the Lye Torng for lunch.

Rang poor Dorothy, who is working very hard from home, suffering from 'flu.

Fletcher's flat up the road, which I once tried to persuade Madeleine to purchase for £60k, is now on the market for £425k. Such a pity Fletcher is leaving because he has done marvellous work on the spare bits of land either end of our street.

My neighbours upstairs asked if I minded their putting a small tree outside. This will be rather welcome as the frightful people next door leave their recycling box outside without a lid, and hang nasty smelly things in plastic bags in festoons from the top of the railings. I hope a tree will disguise some of these horrors next door to our house. I may help pay towards the tree, as the rubbish has been annoying me for months. It is bad enough with my nasty neighbour over the road. In fact, I may have to move, just to live in a better neighbourhood.

Thursday, 17 March 2011

Another Thor's Day

After an uneventful morning at the office, we staggered forth to lunch at the White Hart, where the Paddy's Day crowd overfilled the premises. Fortunately Romy cleverly found somewhere to sit, and grasping our first glass of Guinness, we submitted to the jolly Irish singing, our Chairman roaring out vigorously. Romy very kindly purchased a lunch of bacon, cabbage and mash with parsley sauce, off-diet but delicious.
After a bet at Cheltenham, we scarfed another half of Guinness before setting off to purchase a coffee machine for the office. This took some time. The girl in John Lewis was offhand to the point of rudeness, so we went to House of Fraser and immediately found what we were looking for. We shall set up the machine and order more coffee next Tuesday, so I can look forward to a decent drink in the office.

Message from my cleaner to say she was ill, so I told her not to bother to come this week and will see her next Thursday.

A quiet evening falling asleep in front of the telly with Kook.

Wednesday, 16 March 2011

Tiw's Day and Wodin's Day

Back to work. Earthquake and nuclear problems in Japan causing much anxiety with Julian and Dorothy.

Last night I rang the emergency number, to find that if people could get to Tokyo from Sendai safely, they should do so, but there were no plans, so far, to evacuate UK citizens. I was told that there was only one airport working with flight delays and over 1700 people waiting in the airport for help, flights etc. Julian relayed that information back to friends in Sendai, either by internet or mobile.

Today we are having an investment meeting in the office, though things do not look good for our investments after this disaster.

Monday, 14 March 2011

Moon's Day

Oh dear. Took some great snaps of Kook with my iphone, but it somehow won't connect with my laptop. Actually it will connect with the internet, but not with iphoto. Such a nuisance.

I am plagued with ants in the kitchen so will purchase some anti ant stuff today. It's that time of the year again. I was horrified when pouring maple syrup from the fridge on my porridge to find masses of ants had somehow got into it from the kitchen top where I had left it for a short while.

Getting my hair done today. My scalp has been unbearably irritated and nothing much helps. My latest effort is some shampoo for itchy scalp, which I shall try for a while. We shall see.

I have glanced at the census form and found the questions to be excessively intrusive. Why do they want to know the name and address of my employers? Ridiculous. I hate to think what ghastly social engineering will ensue. My only hope is that the eventual analysis will be completely disorganised and the forms will somehow get destroyed by mistake. There is a £1000 fine for not completing it, which I cannot afford, otherwise I might risk it. I think the census should be limited to numbers of people, relationships, ages and type of employment if any plus number of rooms in dwellings. Full stop. Rant over.

Saturday, 12 March 2011

Sun's Day

Hooray, lost 1lb. Total 41lb only another 90 or so to go. Dear me.

The Japanese disaster just gets worse with a second nuclear reactor facing meltdown, too.

Brief call from Dorothy. Sounds like Chicago was damned cold with snow and wind and all work with no play. I expect they are glad to be at home. I was afraid they might want to move there, but seems unlikely, fortunately. Nibby is due back in England in August, her house sale having just gone through.

I am up betimes because of cat person arriving to see me this morning at 9am.

The cat lady arrived and took copious notes about the Kookster: feeding times, food eaten etc. etc. and I gave her a key. I am expecting a large invoice to arrive by email some time soon.

Went to M & S and purchased a paper, some hot smoked salmon and dressed crab. I am back on my dietary foods of Knorr's chicken noodle soup, (45 cals a serving), diet jelly (11 cals) with added raspberries (20 cals). But will treat myself to some dressed crab on lettuce with lemon this evening after the soup.

Saturn's Day

I always spend Saturday in a state of neurosis, worrying about weighing myself on Sunday, and therefore eating more. Just heard that two tablespoons of vinegar a day speed up the metabolism. Must buy some, especially after the Thai green curry I have demolished for lunch.

On the news, the Japanese earthquake seems absolutely devastating, which is what I had suspected after the initial reports: whole villages, trains, buses, ships gone, plus a blown up nuclear reactor. So dreadful.

At least Ben is back at Shepton Mallet so hopefully we don't have to worry about his sudden 'disappearance' but the sooner they transfer him to open prison the better. What a nightmare the past few days have been for him. And his many supporters. I just don't know how he keeps sane under such appalling treatment. He is writing an excellent blog at

Good thing I rang the framers before collecting my print - it isn't ready so I told them to email me when it is done. Hopeless. I would have liked to put it on the wall today.

Friday, 11 March 2011

Freya's Day

A rather vain attempt to eat much less, but could not resist a green curry. Oh well. At least my calorie intake was within the normal bounds for once.

Kooky for his annual check and jabs. I have definitely been feeding him too much. He was very heavy indeed and hard to carry. Seems he should completely forego the dry food and eat one tin less than usual. I may leave this until after Easter. We shall see. At least he has been checked, and I shall give him some worming and fleaing drops at some stage in the future. The vet shaved off a rather bad clump on his tummy.

Quiet evening, and texted Dorothy. They are due to land at 6am tomorrow.

Dreadful earthquake and tsunami in Japan, thousands feared dead. I suspect worse is to come. There is also news of protests being severely put down in Saudi Arabia and even the Emirates. The whole Arab world appears to be kicking off.

Tomorrow I collect my print and may hang it in a prominent place. I shall have my hair done in time for Easter on Monday.

I really must rationalise my wardrobe. It is getting out of control once again. I wish I was more disciplined about spending money, eating too much, etc. etc. Oh well.

Thursday, 10 March 2011

Thor's Day

Successful morning at the office followed by lunch at the Marco place in Middlesex Street. We had steaks, cheese and puddings, after cocktails and wine. I may never eat again. Then we purchased a new office mobile, which was rather time-consuming and ended up at the Elephant & Castle where Romy purchased two skirts and I bought three cardigans on a three for two offer which was great.

In Middlesex Street we found a wonderful discount chemist with the most amazing lip colours and masses of other cheap stuff, immediately purchased.

All in all an excellent day.

Wednesday, 9 March 2011

Wodin's Day

Madeleine arrived and we went to Le Bouchon. Unfortunately Madeleine's lamb was somewhat pink, like my beef, but she wouldn't have some chicken, which would have been cooked through. Fortunately, Spitalfields Market was in full flow, and I could not prevent myself from buying a rather pretty pearl ring and some arty coasters. Madeleine was also tempted into a very good photographic print for a wall in her room.

Just a brief text from Dorothy referring to continuous meetings.

Our Chairman popped into the office today to sign a form and have a chat. Applications for outings arriving ++. Tomorrow we will be lunching at a Marco place, another of my Groupon purchases. Meanwhile I am racking my tiny brains (my only small body part) about what to provide for the next SE1 starter. Since Alice is to be there, I think I will do some cheese and walnut tarts, with an alternative of pate, maybe pheasant pate. We shall see.

Noticed a car in front on the way home advertising 'Sam's ARS Ltd', which I suppose was intentional. Life is strange.

Saturday, 5 March 2011

Another Plateau

Dear me, I have overeaten. Weight remained the same this week. Must try harder. Perhaps I should try a lettuce diet for a week.

No word from Dorothy or Julian in Chicago, but hope they are having a good time.

Today is Sunday lunch at Le Bouchon. I spent most of yesterday pottering about the flat, doing washing and tidying and rearranging things. Despite which, the place still looks totally chaotic.

Kook is being adorable and allowing me to groom him, with only the occasional light nip. He still has some fur clumps which need cutting out, though.

Pancake day on Tuesday. Shrove Tuesday, followed by Ash Wednesday, when we used to wear a cross of grey ash on our foreheads as children, I seem to remember. I think they are fasting days, which might be very appropriate in my case.

Friday, 4 March 2011

Friday Morning

Julian and Dorothy are going to America this afternoon for a week. I hear it is rather cold there, so hope they are taking plenty of warm things.

This week has been one of dietary indiscretions. I really must make more of an effort to eat less. I write this having consumed a ginger nut with my coffee. Oh dear. I am certainly dreading the scales of justice on Sunday morning. I am a born sinner.

With Romy to a charity meeting run by a bank yesterday at Canary Wharf. It was interesting to see a different view of the country's sorry financial situation, described rather graphically, and depressingly. We have a small investment and a bond which we may well increase next week.

Romy collected the newsletter which we sent out before leaving the office, so we shall expect some rapid responses requesting holidays and outings to land on our desks in the next week or so.

Instead of cooking this Sunday, Madeleine and I are sallying forth to Le Bouchon and hopefully, for a wander around Spitalfields Market. At college around there for five years I developed quite a sentimental attachment to the area. I remember our lengthy lunches at the Market Cafe, now sadly gone, seeing Gilbert and George and chatting with Dennis Severs.

Next Friday Kook is going to the vet for his annual jabs - which is always rather an ordeal. We shall see.