• General

    Cold, Sad Monday

    Still no heat here. I feel cold all the way down to the bone. Our landlady was here half the day yesterday, trying to get the plumber from across the road to look at the combi-boiler. I was so angry at her ex- not only is she going through hell right now, because she’s sick (leukemia), and taking care of her ex-husband, who is incurably ill, she just broke up with her boyfriend because he started drinking again, threw all her stuff into the street and beat the hell out of her. She has a black eye, a cut on her eyebrow, and horrible bruises and slashes up her legs where he beat her with a walking stick. We offered to give up the house, so she could move back in, but she said that she couldn’t afford it. She’s so sweet, and this is very sad.

    Phil and I are breaking up. He lied to me, looked into my eyes and lied to me about something very important. I couldn’t lie to him…I don’t know how he could do it to me. So everything that I was counting on is a lie, and I don’t know what to do or where to go.

    Very cold in many ways here.

  • General

    Cold, Strange Day

    Uncomfortable weekend. I was really looking forward to this weekend, too. Our combi boiler (which runs the central heating and heats water) is on the fritz, and we’re trying desperately to get a plumber out. I’m wearing my heaviest coat right now, and have been all day. So chilly and grey.

    Weird news from back home, from an old friend…who has suddenly decided that I am this major bitch and has been writing about it. What the hell? I know that I shouldn’t be bothered by it, but I am. I must have this amazing talent to piss people off, even across oceans. *sigh* Whatever…

    Phil is out right now, picking up a heater from his grandmother’s house, and I am waiting for the plumber. It was below freezing last night, and it feels as though it’s going to be just as cold tonight. Very strange mood, disconnected and restless.

  • General

    Thoughts on Nigella

    Phil and I watched a cooking programme that we like to catch when we can, Forever Summer with Nigella. I find here very interesting for several reasons. The first thing, obviously, is that is is not a waif-model type. She is very rounded, very Female, and likes herself that way. She seems to feel sexy, even though she doesn’t fit the current ideal of what a beautiful woman should be. Secondly, she is extremely sensual when she cooks, and unapologetic about liking good food. She’ll eat while she’s cooking, putting things in her mouth with her fingers, and then putting her hands back in the bowl. She makes these noises while she cooks. Often she cooks for gatherings of friends, but last night she made this huge platter of courgette-and-cheese fritters and sat down alone with a glass of wine, obviously prepared to eat the lot. She’s unashamed about being passionate about many things. She shows her kids on her shows, but never a man. No apologies. She has a sense of humour.

    I like that. I think she’s a healthy role model for women. She seems like someone that you would enjoy being friends with.

  • General

    Winter is Here

    We seem to have jumped straight over fall into winter. This morning I had to scrape a thick layer of ice off the car (with a cassette, as I didn’t have any de-icer). The roads were very frosty and slippy, and visibility was poor due to the thick mist. The sheep looked very grumpy, all hunched up in their fields, glittering with ice and tearing at the frozen grass. At lunch I went out shopping for a coat – in secondhand stores, of course, since we can’t afford new right now. I didn’t find one, and had to go back to work huddled inside my thin nylon jacket.

    Li, one of the teachers at the college, quit. Everyone was very upset about it, and it is a shame – I think she was probably a very good teacher. It was over an obnoxious student. As one of the other teachers said, “What does it take? Death threats?” (For those of you back in the states, there was a case recently about two brothers who made over forty death threats to a teacher over the phone; they were expelled, and their mother fought for the right for them to be allowed back in school. Meanwhile, the teacher in question was home with a near-nervous breakdown. I could NEVER be a teacher.) I hope she changes her mind and comes back while she still can.

    Not much else to tell. Watched a very interesting mini-series, the second part of which was last night. Tipping the Velvet, a Victorian period, lesbian drama, very well done. And the American in me was shocked down to the bone to see lovemaking scenes featuring large strap-on dildos. That you would neverever see at home, even on cable.

    I’m soooo cold….

  • General

    Thoughts While Virus Scanning

    Not much happening tonight; it’s very grey and cold. Hard to be enthusiastic about anything with another of these damn headaches. Maybe it’s a brain tumour. Maybe it’s just stress. All I know is, it’s difficult to think about anything, much less be creative, with these never-ending headaches. I have to see a doctor…sometime.

    Virus scanning because my computer, admittedly not new, is in near-total slowdown mode. It’s pissing me off, and I can’t think of anything else to do, since it’s defragged and Nortonized, and is still not happy.

    I need to start a new art project. I’ve started plans for doing a tarot deck, thought about a childrens’ book, thought about doing a gorgeous coffee-table book of erotica and short stories. I don’t know…I need to do something. My brain is atrophying.

    Think I’ll go downstairs and have a cider…since we don’t have any scotch. Phil got me addicted to scotch and honey on cold nights.

    *sigh*

  • General

    Weekend, at Last

    Well,
    the week has ended on a much better note than my last entry. Work is finally
    moving along, and although tired after a long week, I feel good. Phil and I
    went out in Leek this morning, as I wanted to show him all my favorite places
    (discovered on my long lunchtime walks) and my favorite park – and it rained!
    Of course, as soon as we got back to Congleton, the sun came out. There you
    go.

    What else is happening? I worked on a CD presentation this week, which was an interesting project. As soon as I shoot the video interview section and add music, I’ll be done. Phil is doing very well at his job; they are so happy with his work that soon he’ll be producing his own commercials. He’s very excited. The bathroom is finally almost finished. (Not banging my toes on the damn ladder is a GOOD thing!) Here is a picture of it.

    Not much else to tell. Things are good…

  • General

    :(

    I was upset last night after work, and I sideswiped the concrete post on the side of the driveway. Slashed the tire and bent the rim, dented the fender. *sigh*

    Trying to get any work done on the site is like trying to herd cats. I don’t want to just jump in and start changing everything on my own, it’s not a personal homepage, but I can’t get anyone together to talk about it. I’ve been going blind this week and last, going through all of the multitudes of pages that people have done in FrontPage and Word (!!!), cleaning up the code, ripping out all of the background images and fucking awful colors and graphics…with no guarantee that the culprits won’t go straight back in and re-do their pages! A lot of it needs an ASP coder, which I’m NOT, and I can’t get help. I went and stood in Dave’s office yesterday, and he was too polite to ask me to leave, so he promised to get together with me after lunch. Well, five o’clock came around with no word…I don’t know what to do.

    This is the weirdest job I’ve ever had. I don’t know who I answer to, I don’t have any help or direction, and everyone is too passive to want to get anything done. I don’t want to go in all intense and gun-ho with them, but really! Should I quit? Should I stay?

    Do they even realise that I’m still there?

  • General

    Catch-Up

    I haven’t posted for a while, due to tiredness and just plain laziness. It’s always stressful starting a new job, and it takes a while to get used to a schedule again. I admit, we both got very spoiled while we were off work. ;)

    Last weekend we went to a ferret show (who’d have thought there was such a thing?) and came home with two new ferrets. The male is an albino, normally not my favorite color, but he is SUCH a sweetie. Phil’s father christened him Jose Ferret. The female is a sandy, which means that she is a cream/honey color. Very type A. I admit, I am quite taken with him, and I put up with her, little ball of stress and single-mindedness that she is.

    We went to dinner the other night with a lot of the people that I work with, to an Indian restaurant in Leek. Wonderful food, and wonderful company. Phil felt a little uncomfortable, since he didn’t know anyone, and he could only have salad, but overall it was a great night.

    The flowers are from our bank!!! They came with a bottle of wine, as a “We’re Sorry” gesture for making a mistake on our account! You’ll NEVER have that happen in the states.

  • General

    Pros and (just a few) Cons

    Today I went for a walk at lunch and saw:

    A market vender doing his spiel for the passers-by, who said “…now, I’m not saying that they fell off the back of a truck, but the fact is we may have knocked a few off…”

    A pub called The Quiet Woman, with a sign that shows a woman in a long dress, candelabra in one hand, and her severed head beneath the other arm. Really weird.

    An old lady pushing a pram with a Yorkie in it.

    Things I love about England:

    1) Everyone is really, really friendly.

    2) The politeness…even in road signs. If you are held up by roadworks, there will be a final sign that apologizes for the wait. There are caution and road crossing signs for Caution: Elderly People (with a little silhouette of a bent-over person with a cane), and also things like Watch for Blind Persons (near schools for the blind).

    3) Desserts. I need to stop eating them! Gorgeous sponge puddings with fresh berries and hot custard on them. Meringue shells filled with strawberries and double cream. *sigh*

    4) The livestock – all the cows and sheep look so clean and shiny. I’m used to rough beasts dripping snot on one end and diarrhea from the other. Also, you see them sleeping a lot…unlike there, where they have to spend every minute of the day desperately hunting food.

    5) Weird sports, like lawn bowling and cheese rolling. There was a carnival one weekend, and the local dog club put on a choreographed exhibition to music with their dogs.

    Things I don’t love about England:

    1) The rain.

    2) Things like Half-Day Closing. You’ll go into a town to do urgent shopping, and find out that the entire town is closed on Wednesday, or whatever. Weird.

    3) Driving. On tiny little roads that are big enough for one car, but somehow handle two-way traffic…AND cars parked on one side!!!

  • General

    The End of a GREAT Week

    It’s Friday night, and I am waiting for Phil to get home. I really am very, very happy…I can’t remember when I’ve been this happy. I’m living in a place that I love, I have a great job with really nice people, the best house, and Phil…who is wonderful. Yes, we’re broke…but it doesn’t seem to matter right now. :)

    PS: I saw cows in the road today for the first time. Came around a corner at 50+ mph, actually, and there they were, which was quite heart-stopping. Sat there while they meandered past, followed by an old bugger who tapped them idly on the butt with a stick, obviously in no great hurry. It was very “olde-English-y.”