Saturday, July 29, 2006

We're all going on a summer holiday...

So we're off on holiday soon, to stay at the campsite we so hoped we could. Am praying that there will be lots of surf and nice weather. Not sure what we're going to do in what order but I hope to go to the Tate St Ives as well as the Boardmasters in Newquay. And paint and read a lot. But first must complete three applications which must be at their respective destinations by Monday. I think it's going to be a late night...

Wednesday, July 26, 2006

Some random thoughts

Mean meaning to post this for ages - last week I surely made the worst 'celeb spot' - Geri Haliwell walking her princessy dog in Primrose Hill. If it wasn't her, it was someone who so desperately wanted to look like her they'd sold their soul. And bought a rather arrogant dog.

Also this week I have read that you should only post on your blog what you wouldn't mind telling your mother, face to face. That either makes for a desperately boring blog, or you have to be inventive. I'm not sure which is worse?

And speaking of worse, went to Ealing last night. The actual event I went to was really enjoyable - a bbq and drinks with the people I organised the ball with - but Ealing itself is rather horrid. Although their house was actually quite nice. I tried to look up their address on my A-Z but found Ealing was off it's remit. Then journey planner had trouble locating the address. I finally discovered it was as far west as the district and central lines go - so far west in fact, that one of the trains I could get to visit my parents in Berkshire also stops at Ealing. And then when we finally reached Ealing Broadway, the best we could find to buy some drinks was a Budgens. Thankfully I managed to find a lift home!

And yes, the ball did happen. Some found it to be a great evening, others - especially the poor few people who didn't get any food - found they had a few more criticisms. Although we did make some mistakes, we did rather more things better. In fact, we enjoyed organising it so much and people enjoyed the dancing so much that we're planning another for Burns Night next January. Event organising as a career?

Monday, July 24, 2006

This is harder than it looks (Part 3)

In an increasingly busy week, it gets harder and harder to find time to write every day, especially as I can only post after work. The ball finally took place on Friday and I think it went well. It was rather marred for me by a terrible migraine - I had to leave the sit down formal supper as I thought I was going to be sick - but I still managed to take the microphone in front of 150 people!

Spent Thursday, Friday and Saturday involved with ball preparations and tidying up again afterwards, so was very glad of a relatively free weekend. Met up with friends in Westborne Grove and managed to get the dress which I have been coveting for several months. Only trouble is, I've seen Kate wearing the same one, so I hope no-one thinks I've copied her! I saw it in the shop well before I saw it on her, I promise. Still, it is a great thing to wear on a hot day and because it is so short, you have to stand up straight and tall, so you look better and more confident.

Off to another friend's for supper now. Will leave work and get in early in the morning when I can concentrate better - have been feeling a little off this afternoon. Then M will collect me and we will pack for our holiday together tonight.

Thursday, July 20, 2006

London Streets

Found a very useful website today which lists London Streets and then shows you a picture of the street - a sort of virtual high street - so you can see what there is before you shop. Extremely useful, but I still can't find any silver napkins for the ball. I did find a Cath Kidson tea cosy (bright pink with white spots) in the sale, so I guess it's not all bad!


Went out for the best meal I think I have ever had in London last night. I restaurant just around the corner called Lemonia. So good that I posted a review on a restaurant review website - if you click here you should be able to read it when they update their site.

The service was great - and I normally find service to be terrible. It was friendly, busy and a great atmosphere. The food was perfect for a hot night, well, I suppose it is often hot in Greece. Even when I found a small stone in my hummous, they were apologetic but not too much and then sent over cherries on ice whilst we were drinking our coffee they didn't charge for. And best of all? It's within staggering distance of our home.

Wednesday, July 19, 2006

Will there be surf

Having looked at the surf report on Magic Seaweed it seems that there is some small surf, two to three foot depending on tide and location. Although its not that big, I'm sure we'll find somewhere that has got a bit of swell.

Am really looking foward to this holiday. Am feeling rather tired and worn out at the moment. I'm sure the hot and humid weather is not helping and that it is partly my damned period pains which won't seem to go away, but I have a longing for fresh air and the smell of the sea which is getting stronger. And means that my love for London is going through a bad patch; I still love Primrose Hill and all that London has to offer. I think perhaps I just need a holiday. I have had 10 days leave since christmas - 5 of them snowboarding - in addition to the two weeks sick leave I had to recover from my operation. This doesn't seem much in comparison to the time off that I had when I was a student. I have now been working a full time job for a year, but as July - December 2005 was temporary work and I could afford no time off, I have only had 10 days holiday in the past 12 months. So I'm very much looking forward to this one!

Tuesday, July 18, 2006

Long Hot Summer

I hope this beautiful weather lasts all summer. We're off on holiday soon. I have sent off a booking for a weeks camping on Bodmin Moor, on a working farm called South Penquite. I wasn't really sure about camping away from the sea, but the more I think about it, the more I hope that the booking works out. Of course, the downside to this beautiful weather is that the surf will be rubbish...

Monday, July 17, 2006

When summer ends...

...Alexandra will be home again. Life seems to be passing by very quickly, leaving little time to stop and stare. She has been away the entire time that I have been living with M. So natural does it feel that it feels as though Alexandra has been away forever. Sometimes in that peaceful state between waking and sleeping, I try to imagine what she is doing, what she is seeing. I have seen photographs, a couple here and there, scattered in her sporadic e mails like punctuation, usually when she is just about to move on. I can't wait to see her again, but with her return will come autumn, cooler days, more faded light and the onset of the end of another year. Time seems to be spinning faster and faster, leaving behind a kaleidoscope of colours and memories, things to be processed, organised and filed away for the winter of old age, which seems to be just a little closer in the distance.

Feeling Old

Back to work on a Monday morning. I think I'm starting to feel old. Couldn't sleep last night and when I did, was rudely awakened by period pains at 6am. Tried to ignore them but they were perstistent and finally had to get up for a drink and piece of cake in order to gulp down nurofen plus. I love whoever invented the painkiller. Along with contact lenses, its my answer to the Channel 4 intro question - what's the worlds greatest invention. You know, the one where Julie Cooper from the OC says "the thermos - it keeps the hot things hot and the cold things cold. How does it know?"!

Anyway, had a lovely weekend. On Friday evening I went to Topshop. Friday evening is my favourite time to shop as I have the whole evening to myself and there are fewer people than at any other time. Perhaps more people have a life to live on Friday night. At the moment though I find it a peaceful way to spend Friday evening. And you don't have to queue for the changing rooms. So, as I was examining every item of clothing in Topshop, I noticed that it was just girls going about being girls, looking at everything and trying to work out how each piece would (or not) work in their wardrobe. I bought a skirt and a cardigan, both in the sale. Not bad considering I originally went looking for shorts. Bus home (so convenient - is this a good thing?) and then Big Brother.

Saturday - managed to get up at 9.30am. Realised this is part of the reason I am feeling old. Friday night used to end drunkenly at about 3am, Saturday started about 2pm and then we'd go out again. A Saturday starting at 9.30am is now pretty much our norm. We cleaned, tidied, did two loads of washing and ate lunch together. M and I then took our respective work to the pub at the end of our road and sat in the sunshine drinking Pimms and working. Such is the life of those who do not have a garden. We are thinking of asking the people downstairs if we can sit in their garden, for they never seem to. Two parties to attend in the evening. One with work colleagues, then a mad dash across London to M's brother's flat. His partner, my virtual sister, her birthday. She is a designer and makes me the most beautiful clothes. A wool jacket for autumn is next on my list. Sat on the balcony, drank and talked. Caught up with old friends and enjoyed the summer evening. Taxi home at 1.30am - further signs of old age as this felt early yet strangely normal.

Sunday - arrival of period and news that I am not pregnant. Part of me wanted to shout this from the roof tops. A more secret part of me was rather sad - I had talked myself into feeling that should I be pregnant it would not be the end of the world and we would cope. But we don't have to - which I feel is the better news. Migraine (as usual with day one) and food shopping to be done. Also a meeting for Friday's ball, flowers to arrange and then the 7pm service at church. Home again, supper, washing and Spiderman. And to bed, to sleep and to work.

Friday, July 14, 2006

Am I a moaning minnie?

I think you know you moan too much when a colleague says "don't get her started on that again" followed by "oh Rachel" when you begin to protest. Perhaps I do go on a bit. Or a lot. I guess I just like to discuss my views and test whether or not my reactions are valid. Some might assert that if it is my reaction, then it's valid. Perhaps I don't mean valid, perhaps I mean reasonable, proportionate or even 'socially acceptable'. Would someone else respond in the same way that I have? I suppose that is the definition I am using.

So, I was airing my views about a particular occurence. It must have at least appeared interesting to an eavesdropper, as a third person joined our discussion. I started to fill her in, at which point the above "don't get her started" happened and the eavesdropper rapidly began to look like she wished she had never stopped. I wonder if that was because my story sounded boring, or she was put off by the thought it might be an issue between my friend and I? Or perhaps she thought I was having a work related bitch and wanted to join in but on realising it wasn't felt bad that she thought it was. Or perhaps I over analyse everything someone else does far too much, and what I should really be working on is my need to analyse myself (it can't be over analyse because I can't even analyse at present). So I shall be working on that.

I think its easier to analyse through written reflection than in my mind. I find my mind is rather too full. I don't think I'm shallow necessarily but I find I don't have many layers of empty space to think and reflect on my own actions. And perhaps rather too many layers to think about those of others. Perhaps I'm using them up on the wrong thoughts. No, I think that my defence mechanism left over from depression is to not think too deeply about my own issues. I can literally feel my brain freeze when I start to think about anything too deep related to myself. This might be why I keep shopping and can't seem to organise my life - because I can't let myself think about it incase the depression returns. It's been five years. I should have recovered. (I don't mean from the depression, I mean from the over simplified brain shut down).

I think I'll come back to this. I'd better actually do some work today!

Thursday, July 13, 2006

What am I?

Even if YOU don't know what faith you are, Belief-O-Matic™ knows. Answer 20 questions about your concept of God, the afterlife, human nature, and more, and Belief-O-Matic™ will tell you what religion (if any) you practice...or ought to consider practicing. Warning: Belief-O-Matic™ assumes no legal liability for the ultimate fate of your soul. Find your soul's path here

I found this entry on Rachel's blog. I followed the link and apparently I am 100% a Mainline to Liberal Christian Protestants. I don't really know exactly what that means. I know that I class myself as Christian (and prayed the alpha prayer) but further than that, I'm not really sure. I think I'm fairly liberal, but then I am also very much in favour of traditional values as well. Perhaps I would refer to it more as a realistic and modern approach to Christianity, rather than necessarily being a liberal approach. This requires more thought I feel.

I've done it...

It's actually quite satisfying. With a little trial and error, I've managed to add some things to the sidebar of my blog. I know there is still a '<' which I'm not sure how to remove (I've managed to get rid of it - yay!), but I managed to add an entirely new section in order to list other peoples blogs which I have enjoyed reading. I hope they don't mind, still I suppose any extra readers it generates for them will be well received. At the very least it gives me a quick link to their pages.

I actually feel rather pleased with myself, as my computer language use has so far been restricted to practicing building rather simple websites. Which I never launched. And this is live!

This is harder than it looks (Part 2)

Am slowly getting used to posting my (entirely random and mostly unconnected) thoughts. Life is still rather mundane; am getting up - well, dragging myself out of bed and into the bath, usually 10 minutes before I have to leave - leaving the house and walking (or getting the bus if I'm late, which at the moment is most mornings) and arriving at work. Late. Work is rather tedious at the moment. Am trying, more on this at a later date, to find a Training Contract. But in its rather elusive absence, I continue with my current role. I hope my resentment hasn't started to show. In the evenings, which seem rather too short and at the weekends, which don't seem to contain enough days, I try and fit everything else in. Church, mid week church group, WI meetings, seeing friends, seeing M. It doesn't seem to leave much time to fill in applications, move money and juggle credit cards. There seems to be no time to do the washing or cleaning, let alone do the filing. More organisation I think is needed - across my whole life. But if one is so busy organising life, when do you find time to live it?

So, added my first two links to my posts today. I assume this is the general idea, that I attach links so people can follow my thoughts. If there is anyone reading it... I think I'm starting to get the hang of this. Now all I need is an audience.

From toast to cigarettes

A few months ago, I had a consultation with my oldest friend, Jo, who also happens to be an NHS Dietician. She gave me some dietary advice, some of which I have managed to follow. And the results have been great. My IBS is greatly reduced. Amongst other things, I have stopped eating toast and dried pasta. I thought I would really miss toast, but you really do get used to not having something after a while. Perhaps I can apply the same thought strategy to cigarettes...

Tuesday, July 11, 2006

Life and work

Extremely boring work meeting today. Found out a colleague had gone through my desk whilst I was on leave and taken a notebook containing my notes of mistakes on a particular project. Found myself getting really angry and having to bite my tongue to not shout at him for going through my desk. Is this allowed - taking my notes, not shouting? I suspect shouting is wrong, expecially at work. Sometimes it just comes out.


No post yesterday as I was attending my sister's Graduation ceremony. As I watched her walking across the stage to shake the Chancellor's hand - through a camera viewfinder in order to capture the moment for my father, who for reasons beyond his control, couldn't be there - I realised that the only thing I felt for Annie was proud. Proud that she had achieved a first, for all three years, proud that she had won a prize for best mark in her year - her 'hat-trick' - proud that she had overcome health issues to succeed and proud that I was there watching her. And also bloody annoyed that she had managed to achieve what I had never managed to. But thats the beauty of siblings. You can be proud of them, happy for them and secretly wish you'd managed it as well without it becoming an insurmountable problem.

Friday, July 07, 2006

Writing for an unknown audience

A thought just occured to me. Why, or for whom, am I compelled to write a blog? I haven't actually told anyone I know that I've started one: I've discussed the idea with a number of people but I'm sure they made the - entirely reasonable - assumption that it would never get off the ground. I have many ideas and schemes and mainly that's where they remain. Therefore, I'm not (at present) writing for a known entity, a personal audience. I can't imagine an internet user will stumble across this whilst on-line shopping or sending their googlemail. Although I can't be sure, as I don't really know where this site may be listed. And perhaps secretly I'm hoping that someone might? So I'm not necessarily writing for an unknown audience, although I am aware that posting on the internet puts my words within the public domain. So, that leaves writing for myself. For me. Why would I write for myself? I know what I do, what I think. But do I really stop and reflect on what I do, what I say? So perhaps I'm keeping a diary, not of my life, but of my reaction to my life. But why do I feel the need to write on-line rather than in a beautiful notebook kept stashed in my desk? I guess this is more convenient, I can write from work or wherever I can find a computer. But whenever I try to keep a diary, in whatever notebook, I usually stop after a few entries. Perhaps the potential of a blog is the thought that somebody might read it, that there is the possibility that ones words may be read (and maybe even enjoyed) by another person. It is also, I imagine given that this is my second ever post, a satisfying experience - writing down thoughts, holding a conversation with oneself and exploring issues and ideas in a way which is both public and private at the same time. There is scope to perfect the way that one writes, to experiment and find a voice, a tone, a style which fits. And also the pleasure of seeing ones work 'published' without even having to leave the desk. Or just an excuse to think about myself just a little bit more?

What do I hope that this blog will achieve? I hope writing and therefore implicitly reflecting on my thoughts, actions and reactions will allow me to become a bit more like I want to be, and a bit less like the person I fear that I am.

This is harder than it looks

The seeds of inspiration to start this blog were first sown a few weeks ago in a Fulham Women's Institute meeting - Lucy, the President, had invited the director of a blogging site to speak us about the new Fulham Women's Institute blog. On the tube on the way home, I began to formulate the idea of starting my own personal blog, a diary of my life, that would also enable me to keep in contact with my gorgeous sister, Alexandra, currently living in a campervan somewhere south of Darwin, Northern Territory, Australia. So, in typical Rachel style, I thought about it for a while, talked about it for a while and then did nothing.

Then, one wet lunchtime this week, my usual plans were foiled. On an average lunchtime I take my sandwiches and the paper plus the all important picnic blanket, and head for Regents Park. There, I spend 45 precious minutes with only myself and my so-duko (and all the rest of the people who work nearby - but I pretend that they don't exist). Anyhow, back to the subject. I started reading the bbc news website, which in turn led me to a blog by another Rachel. I'm not sure why I felt compelled to read her blog - perhaps it was because she was also a Rachel - but reading her account of her year following the London Bombings of a year ago today made me start thinking of my earlier promise to myself to start writing again. Through a blog.

So, here we are. It's harder and easier than it looks. My life seems fairly mundane at the moment. But its a start. I'll keep you posted.