Wednesday, 1 January 2014

A New Approach

Yesterday, I decided to write a to be list for 2014 rather than a to do list.  Why? Because it occurred to me that sometimes we get too focused on the things that we do (or could do, or should do), rather than thinking about the things that we are, or want to be.  Or at least I know I do.  I think "oh blow it, I eat too much", but I rarely think about the fact that I'm generally quite kind.

So I'm not making the usual resolutions.  For a start, they have never worked for me.  I've never been any happier as a result of making them, or slimmer, or more well-rounded intellectually.  So I'm not doing it. 

Here's what I am doing.  I'm chucking away the bathroom scales.  I saw this on Twitter the other day.

And it's true.  So I weighed myself today and that will be the last time that I weigh myself until 1st January 2015. During the year in between I'm going to worry less about what I weigh, do things that make me happy and we'll see what happens.  Doesn't that sound fun?

In other news, Murdoch turned nine recently, which was very exciting.  He celebrated by burrowing his way under my duvet and farting excessively.

Happy New Year everyone!

Thursday, 7 November 2013

A million little things

I have been told off a couple of times recently for not updating my blog.  Sorry about that.  It's not that I haven't done anything to write about, because I've been up to all sorts.  I have a different kind of problem.

I'm overwhelmed.  Not with a big bad thing.  There is no Big Bad.  Oooooh, it's like season six of Buffy, where they realise that sometimes the badness is just every day stuff that happens *nerd face*

There are just a million tiny little things that I need to get done and I've been feeling so increasingly overwhelmed by my evergrowing to do list, that I've been paralysed and unable to do any of it. To the point where the most reasonable option for the past couple of weeks has been to come straight home from work and hide under my duvet.  It's not very healthy, is it.

Then on Tuesday evening I had a minor breakthrough.  

At least a year ago (probably closer to two), a friend lent me a DVD box set to watch.  I got halfway through it about six months ago and then got busy and didn't watch any more.  Ever since, that box set has been sat there bugging me.  I have been disproportionately distressed by that box set, just sitting there, not being watched.  
Ooooo look at me, sitting here, not being watched
My friend hasn't wanted it back, hasn't hassled me or anything like that.  It was just another thing on my list of things to do that I haven't done.  On Tuesday I had a revelation.  I do not have to watch the rest of that box set.  There is no reason on Earth, why I should have to watch that box set.  No one is making me worry about this.  Phew.  

So on Wednesday morning, I returned it to my friend and immediately felt MUCH BETTER.

So last night I went one step further and deleted my entire to do list.  All of it.  It's mostly tidying up and and housework, nothing on there that will cause death or bad hair days.  So I got rid of the lot.  And felt EVEN better.

Then I put two things on the list.  Just two things.  And I did them this morning.  I hoovered the flat and put away the enormous and evergrowing pile of clean underwear in the drawer where it belongs.

I've now got two more things on the list.  I need to write a blog (*TICK*) and clean the bathroom. 

The paralysis has been broken and it's time to start getting things done again.

Sunday, 30 June 2013

In which I bemoan the nonsense of modern songsters.

It's been a couple of weeks since I've blogged, so you'd think that I'd at least have the decency to make this a good one, wouldn't you.  Well tough luck kids, because I don't really have much to say.  But you've got to learn at some point, it's a tough world out there and you can't always get what you want.  Which reminds me of something that has been playing on my mind a bit recently, in a round about sort of way.

Have you heard that new song by The Wanted?  I didn't really know who they were, so I looked them up. As it turns out, they are a fairly generic British boy band. Not really my thing, but actually not too terrible. Until they recently released a monstrosity of a song called "Walks Like Rihanna".  It seems to be based around the concept that you can be quite generally shit at everything, but it'll be ok if you walk like Rihanna. Riiiiiiiiight.  Does this mean I need to start striding around the place, punctuating my strut with the occasional slut drop on my way over to the office printer?  It's inadvisable.  I suggested it last week on Facebook, my friend gave it a go, and HR are now involved.  I think I'll carry on with my usual plodding gait and be done with it.

This is not the first time that songsters have advised us to do this sort of thing.  Remember when Maroon 5 tried to suggest that it would be a good thing if we all had Moves Like Jagger?  Good lord. The man's about 203 years old. And he moved like he didn't have full control of his limbs when he was in his prime.  Yesterday, a friend of mine commented that he looked like a giant twiglet. This is true.  A twiglet that doesn't have full control of his limbs. And probably tastes considerably less Marmitey, so WHAT'S THE POINT.

And where will this nonsense end?  Will we at some point in the near future be urged to have Hair Like Donald Trump? Toes Like Megan Fox's Thumbs?! (seriously she has toe thumbs, Google it).  Call me old fashioned, but for now I'm going to stick to having Naps Like Your Nana.

Wednesday, 12 June 2013


Memory is a funny thing, isn't it? I have a terrible memory and remember very little of my childhood. I only really recall stories that have been told and retold so many times that the original event is almost meaningless, because the memory lies in the story telling.  But I do remember some really stupid stuff.

It occurred to me today that I cannot recall a single birthday party that I had as a child (unless you count being taken on a plane for the first time on my eleventh birthday, to Paris and my dad MORTIFYING me by speaking to the pilot and getting the entire plane to sing happy birthday to me. Very sweet now, but at the time ground-swallowingly MORTIFYING).

But I vividly remember the vague feeling of surprise that I felt the first time that I saw a picture of Pat Sharp after he'd had his mullet cut off.  I've looked it up. That happened in 1992, so I would have been 14.

I can't remember the names of most of my teachers, even the ones that I liked.  I can't recall the plotlines of books that I have read and sometimes get halfway through a film before faintly realising that I've already seen it.  But I remember very clearly having a dream featuring an evil cartoon milkman who was delivering poisoned milk to everyone.  It was so vivid that for years I was convinced that I'd seen it on TV, but I've never been able to find a reference to it.

I had a dog called Lizzie when I was little, right up until I was nineteen. I struggle to remember her face (mainly because I get Murdoch's furry little mooey superimposed on it whenever I try to conjure it up), or how soft to the touch her fur was.  But if I know a song, I can name it within the first few notes that I hear.

What weird memories do you have?  Or not have? Is your brain as weird as mine?

Tuesday, 21 May 2013

Zombie Hoof

Recently, we have been plagued on our morning walks.

It all started a few weeks back, with the unfortunate death of a young deer. We don't know how the deer died, only that our dogs discovered the carcass and found it irresistible. It may be the most exciting thing they have ever seen, smelt, eaten. To we mere humans, this carcass may appear unutterably disgusting, a foul, stench-ridden harbinger of doom. To our dogs; manna from heaven.

After a while, scavengers had pretty much taken the deer leaving only a few scraps. Which is where our problem began. When we were out in the woods early one morning, we called our dogs away from the area that we knew held the deer remains. They all came, but one was not alone. In her mouth, she held what become known as the highest prize of all. The Zombie Hoof. So called because despite our best efforts to dispose of the Hoof it keeps coming back. 

The Hoof has been thrown in a tree. A short while later it was back in a dog's mouth, being paraded about. 

The Hoof was buried in the woods, but sure enough, a while later there it was. Covered in dirt and dog slobber. The Hoof.  

Quite frankly, our nerves are shot.  I fully expect to be sat at my desk at work, only to suddenly hear a *tap tap tap* at the window. Zombie Hoof!  It's like that bit at the end of the horror movie where the monster JUST REFUSES TO DIE. Except it's already dead. 

It's affecting our lives.  We used to have such lovely conversations on our early walks.  Now they all go a little like this.

"I really liked that butterscotch tart it was totally GAH! Zombie Hoof!"
"Drop it"
"Drop it"
"DROP IT!!!!!"
"Good boy. Now leave it."
"Leave it"

and so on. 

And just when we thought that matters couldn't get any worse, one of the dogs found Zombie Skull this morning......


Tuesday, 16 April 2013


I'm not sure that I have the right words to explain why yesterday’s events in Boston have made me so upset, but I'm going to try.  A non-runner will not fully understand this.  They will be upset by what has happened, and I'm certainly not belittling that.  They will connect with these people at the most basic human level, with the part of all of us that cries out when another being is hurt.  But a non-runner may not know why it is so upsetting that it has happened to these people on this day.

Whenever I've run a marathon, I've had conversations with my non-running friends and have always failed to really make them understand that the 26.2 on the day is the reward.  The pay off for all of the other miles that have been run.  Hours and hours of running spread over months.  Running in the dark.  Running in the cold and the wind and the rain and the mud and the snow.  Running when you don’t really feel like it.  Running when your friends are out at the pub, or tucked up warm in bed on an early Sunday morning in February. 

And that few runners do it alone. 

Those miles have been supported by friends and family.  Those who run with us.  Those who wait patiently at home looking after the kids so that we can go out and train.  Those who understand that for the hundredth time, we’re not going to be coming to the pub / cinema / drinks party.  Because we’re training.  So yesterday should have been the payoff.  Not just for the runners.  But for the friends and family who got to come and support and cheer those runners through the last 26.2 miles of the journey that they have shared together.  It should have been a celebration.  And someone stole that from them.  Not just the people who died or got hurt.  But from all of them.  

So I’m upset.  And quite frankly mad as hell.

I ran a marathon on Sunday in Brighton. I made it safely over the finishing line and got a PB.  My sister, brother in law and my two year old niece were there to support me.  It was a wonderful day, a celebration.
I saw a quote on twitter earlier that I hope we can live up to.  Stay strong, runners.  

If you're trying to defeat the human spirit, marathoners are the wrong group to target