Friday, July 27, 2007

Not a flamin' 'gain

Right... I'm annoyed now - damn it I'm ill again. After a few months of feeling well, normal, for a while (not bouncing normal, but coping normally normal) I feel like crap again. Had a nasty bug which started about 2 weeks ago and just didn't shift - never quite became flu or a cold, but has left me totally wiped out.

I'm hoping a few days of 12-14 hours sleep and having a ginger cat permanently attached to my stomach will help. This had better not last long, the cat might get bored.

Anyway.... every down-turn seems to produce its own new language of lowness, so my new expression to describe how I feel is "like curdled milk" - warm and fuzzy, in a "gone off" kind of way. The irony is I'm DAIRY INTOLERANT!

Monday, July 23, 2007

Of Biblical proportions

"For thou didst cast me into the depth, in the heart of the seas, And the flood was round about me; All thy waves and thy billows passed over me." (Jonah 2:3).

And so the rains certainly did come. I was working from home/feeling ill on Friday so I managed to avoid the trauma that trying to travel home would have been. Decided to stay at home and work today rather than risk getting trapped anywhere. Husband's work is without power, water or road access as it sits right next to the river that is about to overwhelm flood defences as the water travels downstream. He is currently watching the cricket.

For those of you who aren't familiar with what has been happening in my home county of Gloucestershire, UK just log on for all the gory details.

Luckily our house is snug and dry - most of the way up a hill and just beyond the area affected by water and power cuts. But the damage is astounding, I'm amazed that the area hasn't been declared a disaster zone - or do we not do that in the UK?

Tuesday, July 17, 2007


Despite feeling like curdled milk (flu/cold/high temperature thing that won't go away), I am also feeling rather warm and fuzzy, in a good way, today. Had a lovely night out last night with my former colleagues as we celebrated the 10th anniversary of the organisation. In the time I'd been there we hadn't had a proper "big do" so it was so nice to have everyone dressed up to the nines - evening dresses, tuxedos and all that jazz - all in the wonderful setting of a restaurant made out of an art deco cinema.

I got to catch with all of the people that I miss having my daily natters with - over coffee, or when I need to stretch my legs. Had a good table - friends and interesting people who I didn’t know so well. Great food. Nice music. Very funny after dinner speaker – the gregarious Laurie Taylor. I even forced my dashing friend in his white tuxedo to dance with me.

Yes it was quite frustrating working there a lot of the time, but I met some damn nice people. I hope I'll be able to keep up with them even though I'm not there anymore. Had a good chat with my old boss - one of the people I do miss the most - I'm sure our paths will keep crossing in the future, although he'll be retiring at some point in the next few years.

Monday, July 09, 2007


Partly inspired by my train journey this morning and partly by Mark's post, today I was thinking, as I often do, how important music is to me. I'm not a very highbrow classical music scholar nor a low brow "just pop" listener. I'm an eclecticist.

Americana. Folk. Country. Indie. Alternative. Rock. Grunge. Soul. R n B. Pop. Acoustic. Singer-songwriter. Even a little Dance.

My album collection spans them all. Blues and jazz are absent, but probably due to ignorance rather than dislike.

The soundtrack to my morning was an old, familiar album from the early 90s, from one of the artists who helped me to discover the "new women of country" - Mary Chapin Carpenter. For any of you who like songs that tell stories that are based on acoustic music, and don't know MCC yet, let me know and I'll send some off to you.

"Come on, Come on" was released in 1992 and contains the first country song that spoke to me with its honesty. "He thinks he'll keep her" is a classic woman's country song - a downtrodden wife finds her voice and her feet. The title reflects a throwaway comment in a bar by her husband on the merits of his wife - "I'll think I'll keep her".

Speaking to me today was "The Hard Way". You can listen to it here and the lyrics are below. It is just a sweet little song, nothing mind blowing, but reminded me that the best things in life often coming from doing things the hard way.

Show a little inspiration, show a little spark
And show the things that drew me to you and stole my heart
And tell me something I don't know instead of everything I do
And look at me as if I mean something to you
Our hearts are beating while we sleep, but while we're wide awake
You know the world won't stop, and actions speak louder
Listen to your heart, and what your heart might say
Everything we got, we got the hard way

Show a little passion, baby, show a little style
And show the knack for knowing when and the gift for knowing how
And have a little trust in us when fear obscures the path
You know we got this far, darling, not by luck, but by never turning back
Some will call on destiny, but I just call on faith
That the world won't stop, and actions speak louder
Listen to your heart, to what your heart might say
Everything we got, we got the hard way

Caught up in our little lives, there's not a lot left over
I see what's missing in your eyes; you're searching for that field of clover
So show a little inspiration, show a little spark
Show the world a little light when you show it your heart
We've got two lives, one we're given and the other one we make
And the world won't stop, and actions speak louder
Listen to your heart, and your heart might say
Everything we got, we got the hard (everything we got, we got the hard way)
Everything we got, we got the hard way
(Because the world won't stop) hang on, baby...

Friday, July 06, 2007


I graduated four times in the last two days... ok, well I didn't actually graduate, but I led student processions into the Great Hall and stood next to them while they went up to shake the Chancellor's hand, so it felt like graduating.

Although I've been absolutely shattered this week, and I really could have done with a day at home today, it was still a really nice feeling to see all these young people so happy. It was also an excuse to get the old academic gown on again (although I swear the fabric was different than I remember) and wander around with a mortar board on. Free lunch as well (although not entirely edible as I was feeling fussy).