Tag Archives: friends

Famous last words

I don’t often quote myself, but about three posts ago I apparently wrote this: ‘I don’t think I am going to go into another post-holiday depression’. What was that about pride and falls?

Basically I’ve been feeling totally horrible since the end of last week, partly triggered by a big upset with Genius Brat last Thursday. Also not helped by the fact that on Sunday at the church visitor drop-in with no visitors, I foolishly volunteered to play Dutch Blitz (it’s a Mennonite thing) against possibly the fastest player in the Mennoverse. Everyone else was slamming down cards at the speed of light and I was sitting there staring at my cards and wondering what they were for… I dropped out after the first round and went and locked myself in the loo and howled. Later a friend found me on the stairs and listened to me for a long time – our church is good at that.

Have been mostly sleeping since that time, but did manage to send off some extracts of my published work yesterday to a lady who wants to publish them in a Christian writers’ mag. This was actually my only really urgent task, so that counted as a good day.

Also managed to get out of hosting a dinner party for US friends on Thursday while The Grouch is having a church elders’ meeting; instead someone else who wanted to see them too is hosting it. I really would like to start having friends round for dinner more, but this is not the right moment. And I have cancelled my sermon for Sunday – if no one else volunteers to do it, we will have a service without a sermon. It won’t kill anyone.

I think I am on the upward curve now but still taking things very easy. I really do wish a psych would diagnose me as type 2 bipolar – it would explain the ups and downs so much better.

The third great Christian festival

OK, so I didn’t sew the buttons on or do the ironing – I watched TV with The Grouch and Genius Brat instead. How did you guess?

I did however manage to find enough clean clothes without buttons missing, to pack for the wonderful Greenbelt Festival which is where I spent the Bank Holiday weekend, wandering happily through crowds of people and stalls with gorgeous clothes and edible food, and stopping every few minutes to talk to someone I knew. As I remarked to Genius Brat, ‘There are twenty thousand people at Greenbelt and I know all but six of them’. I even had a lovely cup of tea and chat with people I had been at university with, and another chat with the curate and his wife from my old church in Waterloo. I also saw two parents from GB’s school and had a good talk with one about how bad the school now is on special needs! The Grouch says: ‘There are three great Christian festivals in the church year: Christmas, Easter and Greenbelt’.

I also managed to take in a few talks, exhibitions and a fair amount of music, including a talk on my hero Thomas Traherne (they have discovered new manuscripts, woo-hoo!), a set by Royksopp who were amazing, the film Man on Wire and a concert of music by Taverner, beautifully played and sung. It was good to see some Wibloggers there as well – it’s extraordinary how my different internet lives cross over.

Being on duty on the Mennonite church stand was fun as well, even though Health and Safety had cracked down on our usual gorgeous homebaked cookies, and so we had pipecleaners to make things out of instead (there was a secret stash of cookies for stand workers and close friends…)

Close shave of the weekend was when The Grouch drove to our Travel Inn (we don’t camp) which he had booked on the last day of the festival last year, and they had lost our booking. Fortunately he hadn’t left it till late at night, and they found us probably the last room in Gloucester, which wasn’t too far away. Otherwise we might have found ourselves camping without a tent, which ought to be left to our gay friends…

Now shattered and shaky because of the sheer amount of walking and talking I did over the weekend, but I don’t think I am going to go into another post-holiday depression. I actually thought the other day that God was speaking to me through Bible reading notes (a rare occurrence) and saying, as was said to Bartimaeus: ‘Take heart, get up, he is calling you’. Might be a good verse to get me out of bed, actually…

More good times

This surely can’t go on, but I have been having some more good times over the last few days. Yesterday it was down to King’s Cross again to meet an old friend and fellow-writer, in a restaurant which I had passed and noted on my way to the Dental Hospital and the Sleep Clinic (what an exciting life I lead), and which I thought would be vegetarian and/or organic. It turned out to be neither, just ridiculously expensive, but we had a very nice meal and then repaired to Costa in St Pancras station for decaf coffee and more nattering.

On the bus on the way to King’s Cross, I had rung my mum and invited her to go to what sounded like a Nice Italian Film (a category she and I both like) this afternoon at our local art house. Then this morning The Lady Who Shares My First Name, from my singing group, rang and asked if I was free for lunch as she was (like a double glazing salesman) ‘in my area’. So I became an even Badder Mother and deserted Genius Brat from just before lunch to just before dinner. He doesn’t seem to have minded.

I walked 15 mins to the lunch place, had a good natter with The Lady With My Name, and then walked another 20 mins to the cinema, passing the gym on the way, which makes it an extra virtuous walk (doesn’t it?). My mum was late arriving at the cinema so I took the opportunity to be the first person to ring her on her new mobile, to which she has finally capitulated at the age of 94. Sadly, she had switched it off… Anyway, she arrived just in time, and the film (Mid-August Lunch) was delightful – I recommend it if you like Italy, gentle comedy and feisty old ladies, of which there are four in the film.

So all in all, another satisfying, if not productive, day. I am now going to be very righteous by doing ironing and sewing on buttons, while hubby defrosts the freezer. Oh, the joys of domestic life.

Good times still rolling

The good times continued over the weekend, with a meal out on Saturday night with good friends whose son is best friends with my son; then a church lunch on Sunday (with three good desserts!) and a nourishing service on Sunday afternoon.

Managed to get GB back to school for his physics exam on Monday, in spite of the fact that he hadn’t gone to sleep till about 2.00 am! (he came straight home after the exam which he wasn’t supposed to). And this morning I did a ‘learn yoga so you can teach it to your kid’ session, and would have gone to a silent film in the afternoon if I hadn’t driven round and round trying to find a legal parking place and finally given up and gone home. Why oh why does an area have a unique arts cinema with afternoon showings, and then limit pay and display parking to 90 minutes, which is less than the length of most films? Do they really want to shoot their own local economy in the foot?

Oh well, I had a sleep instead. Not as culturally satisfying.


Last Wednesday night I had an acey-pacey brilliant pain in the foot, as Adrian Plass would say. I tried my best to rejoice in my trials and count it all joy, but basically it was the worst pain I have ever had, including gallstones and labour, so it wasn’t long before I was yelling for someone to come and amputate my foot to make it better. The NHS Direct doctor told me to keep taking the Ibuprofen and if it was still bad tomorrow, to see a doctor. However I knocked myself out with a sleeping tablet and by the morning my foot was 99% back to normal. Now people are mentioning a four letter word to me – gout – and I am wondering whether I ought to get it checked out although I now have zero pain and my foot is working totally fine.  Surely one has to drink a lot of port to get gout?

Meanwhile I failed to join the gym yet again, because I thought I shouldn’t do aqua aerobics two days after having such a bad foot pain. However I did get to all my other social appointments: Friday night I went with a friend to be in the audience for a live recording of the Radio3 literature panel ‘The Verb’, Saturday night I went with a man from church to a show of Noel Coward’s songs which was brilliant, Sunday afternoon I attended a parents’ meeting on greater participation in the borough’s decisions about special needs, and then afterwards I drove straight to church, arriving just in time for tea, and found that good friends from Canada were visiting so we all had an impromptu party with takeaway curry to celebrate their presence. I can’t think why, but I was a little tired last night…

Finally some more medical news: I have worn the jaw splint thingy that is supposed to stop my sleep apnoea for two nights running, managed not to puke when putting it in my mouth, and most important of all, managed to sleep both times. I have no idea yet whether it’s working – hubby will have to monitor that – but it seems to be doing a better job of stopping me grinding my teeth, than the BRA (Bite Raising Appliance!) which I used before. It was certainly a big improvement on the C-PAP machine which kept me awake all night.

Chocolate Christmas

Have been too busy doing Christmas and then recovering from it, to blog recently. So here’s just a brief report:

This has definitely been the Christmas of chocolate. First of all, because I had a voucher, I bought myself a big box of Thornton’s continental online. (I always buy myself a Chrissy present because that way I can be sure I will get one thing I actually want). Then my Ship of Fools secret Santa sent me various bits of chocolate, along with a  jiffy bagful of other beautifully wrapped and labelled and in some cases handcrafted presents. Then my mother bought me not only a box of dark truffles but also a box of mixed chocolates from our local posh old-fashioned grocery store. Such has been the chocolate overload that it took me till December 28th to even open my Thornton’s box.

Otherwise, Christmas has gone well and various shortcomings of food (like the complete mess I made of meringues for Christmas Eve, and the mashed potatoes instead of roast at the Mennonite Centre on Christmas Day) have been compensated by the excellent company (and the games of Scrabble and Dutch Blitz). We had a last minute extra Christmas dinner with our best church friends on Boxing Day – with roast potatoes at last. After Sunday’s extremely short service prepared by someone else but led by me, everyone (ie the about 6 people who actually turned up) wanted to stay together for longer, so we ended up having an impromptu small party at the Mennonite Centre again (thank you Will for the wine and cheese).

Just to extend the season (which in any case goes on at least to my birthday on Jan 21st), we are having a noon-to-midnight drop-in at our house tomorrow, so I went Tesco-ing today to get supplies for it (I meant to get everything online via Ocado, but there were no delivery slots available). For some reason Tesco has made me feel nauseous, so I hope I am not going down with anything. It could of course be due to an excess of chocolate…

Interim report

I got the black wig at the fancy dress shop for £6 – haven’t opened it yet so I don’t know how good it is but I wasn’t prepared to pay £17.50 for a superior one which would require one being a Goth more regularly to make it worth while.

Also got some lovely earrings and a scarf, neither of which are black, from the vintage clothes shop nearby. Before that I had a lovely lunch with one friend in a very comfortable pub with sofas, and afterwards I had an equally lovely tea at the London Mennonite Centre with the lady who had been my ‘auntie’ at college, detailed to look after me when I was a fresher 35 years ago, and whom I haven’t seen for 21 years. She has no right to look so young, but she said I did as well, so that’s OK. Note to self: find some other words to replace ‘lovely’…