Sunday, 30 March 2008

British Summer Time

So, it's BST again. We have 'lost' an hour and again debate the rights and wrongs of changing the time by an hour. It was sunny today and the day seemed so much longer than those of Easter weekend. It was great getting back from our day out at 8pm and it not being pitch dark. (We went boating in Oxford and walked around the town very slowly, on account of my bad legs.)

The day was fresh and springlike. Birds fed their chicks by the verges as we boated by, and there were tiny lambs grazing next to their mothers in Oxfordshire fields. I think I decided then that I would probably not eat lamb again. I obviously previously knew where lamb comes from, but I hadn't thought about it too deeply.

Anyway, this clock thing... I think we should stick to summertime and enjoy our longer evenings. The Scottish farmers – if is indeed them for who we change the time twice a year – surely have the same amount of daylight whatever the time? And it has been proven that darker evenings mean more accidents for children and motorists. So, why do we faff around with the time despite this?

Saturday, 29 March 2008

There will be an Oscar

Having seen There Will Be Blood over Easter, it's impossible to dispute Daniel Day-Lewis's Oscar win. His portrayal of aspiring oilman Daniel Plainview is astounding. The character is gruff, harsh and distant but has charisma in spades.

It's a long film that chronicles the rise of a man who has a lucky strike down an oil shaft he has built on his land. He has a son and tells people who ask that his wife died in childbirth. He's a strange fellow: quiet, but driven, and also pretty menacing. I won't give away too much of the plot; suffice to say it isn't Hollywood but somehow manages to be epic.

Without Daniel Day-Lewis, I doubt this film would have succeeded – he was simply amazing.

Thursday, 27 March 2008

The Apprentice

Ah, he's back. Alan Sugar and his gravelly voice, shiny boardroom, greying comrades and inevitable 'you're fired' is back on the TV.

The Apprentice is my favourite reality show. I love watching the competitors start off by being friendly and then descend into what I've been dealing with most of the week: political shenanigans designed to upset the applecart for their team members. They're all after the one job – to sit at the right hand side of Sir Alan at one of his many companies.

There's always the troublesome opinionated one, the posh one, the good-looking one, the timid one, the earthy one, the loud one, the nutty one, the quiet but effective one (who fails because of their lack of oomph) and so on. A great mixture. Like any workplace in fact.

Last night, Nicholas (number one in the picture) was fired. He reminded me of the preacher in There Will Be Blood. Not for preaching (though he did do a bit of that, on and on about his qualifications), but it was his face. It's scarily similar and kept making me laugh. Great film, that. Daniel Day-Lewis was amazing.

Yesterday, I was on the phone and became a bit Alan Sugar-esque. I've been dealing with people who simply cannot get on with their jobs without me spoon feeding them. I've lost sleep this week over having to pick up after people who really should know better, and should be working much harder. And, as any regular reader will know, me and my sleep take strong measures to keep our relationship healthy.

So, having had just a few hours kip the night before last, having made the silly move of looking at emails at 11pm, I was not happy yesterday morning. As I explained the situation to the big boss, expletives, to which I hardly ever resort at work (in anger, at any rate), flew out of my mouth. It certainly got the point across.

I'm well and truly done with putting up and shutting up. Those days are gone. I have no patience with being messed around, workwise and otherwise. People have expected me to accommodate them and I've gone along with it for too long. I know I let it happen, so it has been my own fault. But people that persist in taking advantage of me now should consider themselves well and truly fired.

Thursday, 20 March 2008

First day of spring

I can't believe today is the first day of spring, and tomorrow is Good Friday. This year is flying at supersonic speed.

I hope you all have a happy, peaceful Easter break and have the chance to go out and see the season's new blooms. Eat some chocolate, too.

Wednesday, 19 March 2008

I don't have a penis

Every morning I log on to my computer and am greeted by several spam messages, which have automatically been squirreled away into a spam folder. Throughout the day, more appear, telling me to 'pleasure my lady' and, erm, 'get a bigger one'.

I don't understand why I am receiving these adverts. Does anyone open them? Is there a roaring trade for this sort of thing?

The 'names' of the people sending these adverts are quite amusing. I'd post some but sadly I've deleted the lot.

Tuesday, 18 March 2008

Knee strike, elbow strike

Doing kung fu has caused problems with the structure of my imperfectly-structured legs. I am not built to be a top class sportswoman, apparently. (I didn't need a physio to tell me that...)

Anyway, my kneecaps are in the wrong place some of the time due to slight misalignments that may have set in when I went through a growth spurt. They now click and snap and try to get to where they should be but due to stronger muscles on one side of my legs (from kung fu training), they can't quite make it. Certain muscles have tightened up to compensate and the whole thing means my poor kneecaps are suffering. So, when I bend or crouch, everything seems to seize up. It's not pleasant. Anyway, I'll see the physio again this week – she seemed to think it can be sorted out – and I'll have stronger-than-ever legs. Bionic me.

Getting to work and back yesterday was awful. The buses were packed (I had to stand a lot), the bus drivers seem incapable of driving smoothly, train journeys were long, and I was exhausted, in pain, and ready to cry on the way home. S called and picked me up from the station, which was an absolute boon.

Oh, on the way home, I had a large idiot plonk himself on the seat next to me when there were plenty of other seats available. He dug his elbow into me, claiming his space and part of mine, and pressed up against me. I mean – what the hell is that all about? Because you are big and bulky, you think you can squash me and I am not going to do anything?! Moron.

So, I used my stronger-than-it-ever-has-been upper body, sat up really straight and dug my very strong elbows (which often perform elbow strikes at large men and thick pads) right back into his arm. Shame, he didn't like that. He whined: "Well, your coat is over the dividing line of the seat." Oh piss off, mate. Your huge body is taking up more than one seat and your elbow is in my space (my coat was not on his seat, and in any case, if it had been obstructive, he could have said 'excuse me', like a polite person).

I told him to stop poking me with his elbow, to which this 45/50-year-old said, "Well you started it." How pathetic. I was seething. He would never have behaved that way had I been a man. This is partly why I do kung fu. I was ready to belt him if he continued to assault me by pushing me hard against the window/train wall. I told him again to take his elbow out of my space and sat there, feeling thunder rising, willing him to go (apparently I do this vibe thing effectively when really riled). Maybe he felt it, too, because he shifted uncomfortably and moved within seconds. He got up and found a set of four seats all to himself.

It reminded me of a time when I was 16 and sat on the top deck of a bus. A man came upstairs and sat next to me even though there about 30 other seats free. He pushed up against me. It was gross. I got up and moved away; I was scared. But now? No way will I let some lowlife treat me like that. These people would never mess with a man that way – who the hell do they think they are?!

Friday, 14 March 2008

Kneed therapy - part two

Having had something wrong with one knee, I was pleased that the other one was relatively OK. Until yesterday. I crouched to get something from a bag and – Bam! – I felt an excruciating sharp pain in the good leg, and screamed.

It's awful. The pain has remained – a tight feeling and clicking. Also, down the sides of both my legs, from the kneecaps down the muscle, it aches. I stood up, let it subside and gently crouched again – the same thing happened. And it happened again this morning.

When I went to the physio on Tuesday, she seemed to be unbothered by the tightness and sensations in the then one bad leg. Hmmm. I have now booked a private physio, because, at this rate, I won't be able to walk much. It's pretty scary.

Wednesday, 12 March 2008


There is nothing more restful and sweet than the sight of a rabbit washing its face and ears.

Kneed therapy

Apparently, one of my kneecaps is facing inwards instead of straight ahead. This was probably caused by a kick during kung fu, according to the physio, a short, athletic woman with strong shoulders and great posture. She had the build of a swimmer.

The good news is that I won't need any draining or cutting done. I just need to be diligent about my posture, physio advice and exercises, and not overdo it. So, relief. I just hope it gets better soon.

I won't be sparring in kung fu for a while though. I've been watching one of my friends being trained for a competition and it looks really tough. He has lost two stone and is knackered by the end of class – he looks far healthier for it, as he was a little bit overweight when he started kung fu.

* * *

On another note, this made me laugh. Leona Lewis being asked by a child if she was a virgin, when in fact the little boy had meant to say 'vegetarian'. Ah, out of the mouths of babes...

Tuesday, 11 March 2008

Old maid's knee?

I have to have my knee looked at today at the knee clinic. I'm quite glad that my car is an automatic so that I don't have to use my left leg at all. Instead it just stays there, tapping gently to the music that I pour through the speakers.

People have been scaring me with various tales of knee woe. One had an operation that took 18 months to heal; another had to have their knee drained. Drained?! And a third had to give up football (OK, so that was someone telling me about Paul Gascoigne.) And there are more tales, usually involving people's mothers. I am indeed old enough to be a mother, oh yes. But still. Also, they throw the names of conditions at me – old maid's knee, housemaid's knee and so on... one person kindly called it runner's knee, which sits more easily with me.

I am desperate to get the joint better. I need to run to keep feet [eh, typo, or what? I meant 'fit']. Kung fu is keeping me fairly fit, from what I can do, but being at half power isn't enough... My capacity for doing press-ups is increasing though, so that's good.

I will have to return the recently-purchased platform heels (12.5 cm), partly because they are a bit too high, but mainly because – shame – I opened another shoe box last night and found a pair that I bought pre-knee and hadn't been able to wear (and had forgotten about). They are absolutely gorgeous. Mmm. I will have to impress on the orthopaedic doctors how vital it is that I wear these new heels. I don't wear high heels often but I would like the option. There's only so many months a year that a girl can get away with Uggs (well, the NZ version of Uggs)... And, right... anyway... I can't wear them to the office. They'd never take me seriously again.

Saturday, 8 March 2008

Retail therapy

Ah, the last bit of the working week was a bit pants. Without going into too many details, something went wrong (OK, so that's really quite crappy as far as details go...). But anyway, anyway, anyway, it was a bit iffy when I got the post and opened a letter, and I was rather peeved. My stomach slumped, my heart sank and my forehead crumpled. Ha, I've been through worse.

Still, I couldn't focus on work, as much as I tried. So, I took myself off in my car and headed to the local shops. The local shops are very nice indeed. Mmm, yes. And it was a weekday and not many people were out and about so I had shop assistants – entire departments' worth – to myself.

There they were, bringing me shoes, telling me how good they looked (and they did...). And I purchased said shoes. I did. I forgot, conveniently, that my knee is basically royally fucked, and I handed over my shiny card in exchange for a pair of shiny new platform shoes. And then, I thought it was time to go, because, yes, I did feel a bit better.

But obviously not better enough.

I found myself drawn into the third shop along from the shiny shoe place – a shop that normally never satisfies... went in, browsed, and saw a gorgeous skirt. Lovely. Unusual shape and tailoring. I picked up my size, went into the changing room and, well, it was just a formality really. I felt quite smug as it was wrapped in tissue paper, packaged and handed over. Ahh.

I drove home, feeling quite a bit better than I did when I had set out. I may take the shoes back if the doctor bans me from wearing heels but I will still have my lovely skirt...

The rest of the day was a bitty workwise but I managed to accomplish some necessary tasks and then went to kung fu and had a brilliant session, despite the knee problem. I wasn't up to full strength but it was fine as the instructor kept in mind the knee thing and I managed to do a fair bit. Endorphins are definitely the best therapy of all.

Thursday, 6 March 2008

Mad, sad world

And yet another story that is just too despicable. A mum, her daughter and son, killed by the mother's former boyfriend. The focus of the case has been on the pretty, talented daughter, Kesha Wizzart, who decided to stay at her mum's place as she had arrived back home late (she normally lived with her father). But then, she was raped and murdered. It's hellish.

The fuckwit responsible got 38 years minimum. I hope he rots in jail.

What is happening in this world? Is it really getting worse? Is it just that all these cases are coming to a head at once? What??

Wednesday, 5 March 2008

Yet another one for the hellbound handcart

Poor Kate Beagley. She was on a first date, did all the right things, and a pathetic excuse for a human being killed her.

The lowlife Thing has been sentenced to life and must serve a minimum of 30 years. Again, I hope he is in with a bunch of feral inmates who are psychotic and have sisters that look like poor Kate.

The news is so depressing of late. So many murders. Was it always this way? Should we stop reading the news to preserve ourselves? Or do we owe it to the people who have suffered so horribly to know what they went through/are going through – to form an opinion and speak out? As long as hearing bad things angers, motivates and disgusts, rather than desensitises, I think we need to know.

Tuesday, 4 March 2008

Let's face it...

...I am rather 'merry', having quaffed half a bottle of cava. Cheap date or what? Life has been an unending seesaw for years. One thing. After. Another. After a while it gets quite exhausting. It takes a lot of strength – at times – to maintain the status quo, the equilibrium.

S is away at the moment, well, a long moment: a week. I feel like getting absolutely plastered and writing my novel all night. But I can't do that because I have a sleep programme to adhere to.

I'm getting there, though. I am.

Cava shield

is the answer tonight

and I am nicely marinated in it

a pickled brain

is sometimes

rather pleasant

when life

is a bit too

ready to throw


after ball

at your face


I taught myself to play the guitar and keyboard when I was a child. I wrote many songs, too.

Sometimes, sometimes, I wish I was a rock star.

Monday, 3 March 2008


What an evil man, this so-called nurse was. I can't bear that he murdered these patients – people with whom he was entrusted. Again, yet again, I find myself hoping that there is a hell. A proper, scorching, terrible hell. He'll be sentenced tomorrow. Let's see what they decide is an apt punishment...

Fingers crossed.

UPDATE: He has been jailed for a minimum of 30 years. I hope he meets plenty of inmates who are rather fond of their grandmothers...


A grandmother in Melbourne tracked down the two men who raped her 18-year-old granddaughter, knocked on the door and blasted them in the genitals.

The 81-year-old then went to a police station, lay her gun on the counter and, confessing to her actions, said: "They won't be able to rape anyone again."

The men are still alive, BTW.

Three million people in the city want to make the granny mayor or have her canonised. She did what she did because she feared the police would go easy on the bastards, and let's face it, what would they have got? A year or two in return for possibly ruining a young woman's life? Good on her.

Sunday, 2 March 2008

Marching on

It is distinctly springlike in London today. The sun is beautiful but there is a sharp wind blowing. The sky is a pale blue, streaked by high clouds and lower clumps that threaten afternoon rain. The clematis is blooming. I didn't prune it back last year but it doesn't seem to have suffered – it is reaching up the high walls and looks gorgeous.

It is Mother's Day today. Mum didn't want to go out – she insists on cooking – so I'll take a gift for her. Goodness knows how the day came about – there are dozens of theories – but from the days when I was a little girl and pasted coloured paper petals on to a card for her, it meant something good. It was a day for kind gestures and thanks. It still is.

My friend, SS, has sent some flowers to his late mum's best friend to place on her grave. I was telling him my plans to visit my mum and dad today when he and I spoke in the week. And then I remembered. He was OK, didn't seem upset, just told me what he planned to do.