Around Here

And so, Isla is nearly two.  I’m finding this harder to deal with than last year.  But I’m hoping she’ll let me share her cake.  That’ll help, yeah?

In related news, Neil and I recently celebrated three years of marriage with a seafood dinner and the same message he’s been writing in all my cards for nearly seven years.  And just so he knows: You’re welcome, Dude.  The pleasure (and heartburn) is all mine.

In my absence from blogging, there’s been a lot of Peppa Pig, and library trips.  And ‘Isla, sit forward, please.’  Netflix and very little chill.  Gotta work on that.

But Isla’s good.  She says ‘peas’ and ‘tank you’ and ‘beshew’ when people sneeze.  And fart.  She loves to read and then pile all her books on you.

She has her father’s eyes and her mother’s sarcasm.

Last week, we were counting pennies for the piggy bank  fart tin.

‘One, two, three, six,’ she says.

‘How much are you?’

‘Too much!’ she says.

True enough, I thought.  But keep going, kiddo.

She’s funny and smart and she grows in her sleep.  I cry every time she leaves the house without me.  Even when she brings me home flowers.  Because she brings me home flowers.  And coffee.

Isla knows that I’m fuelled by coffee and hugs and Judge Judy.

Isla sleeps better than I do these days.  She sleeps through the night and I don’t.  I do my best worrying, and reading, at 4 in the morning.

I distract myself from swirling thoughts by reading and taking pictures of my books and messaging friends to ask, ‘why am I awake at 4am?’

I also yell at The Gilmore Girls and The Batchelor.  I yell things like:

  1. You’re a dick.  Don’t be a dick.

B. Does anyone ever not accept the rose?  No, say no.  Don’t stoop.

iii. Well.  That was awkward.

D. Why am I watching The Batchelor?

And then it’s not 4am anymore, it’s 9. And Isla, who now sleeps in a real bed, shuffles through and it starts all over again.

Coffee, Ma?







Coffee, Castles and Carnage

My drive-by view of Edinburgh Castle

I’ve loved movies since I cried during Follow That Bird and my Dad took me to My Left Foot and called it research.

Whether it’s at home with a bowl of burnt popcorn, or in a plush seat at the theatre, I don’t talk during the film and I watch to the end of the credits.

And for the record, I didn’t ask for my money back because The Artist is a silent film.

My most recent movie date with Sarge was Carnage, before a coffee and a successful book trade with a friend.

I snapped some photos, and drove backwards over some cobbles on the way to cheesy nachos and an early evening showing.  My kind of Sunday.

I’ve loved Kate Winslet since Sense and Sensibility, and Jodie Foster since Nell.  Jodie Foster’s most recent character is considerably less zen than Nell.  I kept waiting for her to burst a blood vessel.

After the film, we somewhat reluctantly switched on our mobiles.

Sarge had four missed calls from work.  On a Sunday.  The next call he got sent him into the office.  Somewhere in the world, a computer exploded.  On a Sunday.    And I found myself looking to dump Sarge’s phone into the nearest vase of tulips.

The Lost Day (Or Two)

I went to a New Year’s Eve party with shotguns taped to my chair.  They were plastic. The party was post-apocalyptic.  Because, y’know, the world is supposed to end in this year.  Depending on whom you speak to.  I think we’re good. Even better now that I know what day it is.

You see, I lost a day or two back there.  I know I’m not the only one.  Happy New Year, folks.  I hope you’re caught up, too.

Even though New Year’s Eve saw my last pint of cider for a while, we still rolled home at about 4 in the morning.  Just in time to see a half-naked, badly tanned man stagger out of the lift and have a complete stranger declare me Queen from the stairwell.

The rest of the journey to the flat was relatively uneventful.  I transferred out of the chair with my guns still in place and everyone said good morning at 3 the next afternoon.

By the time I had my Annual New Year’s Day Cry, ripped the guns off and bumped into some coffee, it was time to go to Sarge’s parents’ for dinner.  On the way out, we met a girl tottering on her heels and weaving out the front door.  Good times?

Now.  It was dark when we got home and dark when we went out for round two.  I was confused.

‘I’m confused’, I said to Sarge and our friend.  I knew a day had passed somewhere, but WHERE did it go?  And HOW did I miss it?

‘I’m very disconcerted,’ I said. ‘We haven’t seen daylight today.  Are you sure it’s gone?  This is some trippy shit.  Is this the Apocalypse?’

And I wasn’t even hung-over.

But I did lose the power of speech sometime after dinner.  We came home, and I was saved by Saving Grace.  We woke up the next afternoon.

‘It’s Groundhog Day’, I said.

No, it’s New Year.  Again.

And so, Happy New Year, again.  Since it’s kind of happened twice for me, I have decided it will be extra awesome.

And I hope it is for you, too.

Groundhog Standing1
It's Groundhog Day. It is. It isn't. Image via Wikipedia

Got Glue?

This is a picture of a tube of The Original Su...
Image via Wikipedia

Well.  It happened.  I called both my parents and told them before they read it online.  My friends can’t believe it’s actually true.  And we weren’t even drunk.

As per a new tradition, Sarge and I met for coffee after work on Tuesday.  We were on our way to dinner when the world went from just under the speed limit to slow motion.  I came off a curb-cut/ramp, and the front wheel caught in a rut or on a piece of gravel or something.  The chair stopped.  I didn’t.

I stuck my arms out and more than mumbled ‘Whoa!’ as the pavement got closer to my head, which I turned to save my nose and my teeth.  This is where being taught how to fall at the age of five came in handy.  One of the lenses from my glasses was on the ground.  The other was in my eyebrow.

Did I mention I was in the street?  And Sarge was more concerned than I was?  And a car stopped and two strangers got out?  And one of them, shall we say, forcibly suggested her friend call an ambulance?  I checked my teeth and my nose, and said I was fine.  Turned around and got in the chair, realising I was bleeding all over my butterfly bag.  In the two minutes all of this took, we were surrounded by mall-cops, who again suggested an ambulance.  One of the women gave the bits of my glasses back to Sarge saying, ‘They’re broken.’  At this point I knew there was nothing seriously wrong with me, because I thought, well, gee.  Ya think?

It took five people to wrap my head so the gauze would stay in place.  One guy thought I’d need butterfly stitches.  How appropriate!

When I soaked through the fourth pad of gauze, I agreed to go to the hospital, and I let the mall-cops tick a box and call an ambulance for me.  Sarge looked paler than I did.

Someone asked how old I was.  ‘Twent…thirty,’ I said.  Everyone looked at me.  ‘It’s not the knock, it’s just the first time I’ve said it out loud.’  People accepted this and soon an EMT was asking me the same question.

I was lifted into the ambulance on something that reminded me of an in-flight chair.  ‘What time’s the plane, boys?’ I asked.

Sarge lifted my chair in and there was no place to put it but on a stretcher.  It was buckled while Bill the EMT took my BP and pulse.

‘Will you take his, please?’ I asked as Sarge sat down next to me.

I was asked a bunch of questions and made some jokes and I saw that Bill tapped ‘Uneventful journey’ into his computer.

‘Does that mean I’m boring, Bill?’

I’ve never been so happy to be dull.

‘How are you?’

‘OK, except I have to pee.’

And so we checked in via the toilet.  We got up to the desk.   There was an American woman there before me.  She thought she’d taken too many travel-sickness tablets.

We waited. And waited.  And waited.  I didn’t feel like reading, and I didn’t have my glasses, so I tried to sleep on Sarge’s shoulder.  I kept saying ‘I must be next,’ and then switched to ‘can we just go home?’  The gauze kept slipping, and by the time my name was called four hours later, it had popped off altogether.

My nurse’s name was Karen.  This made me feel better.  Then Karen said, ‘I can see the end of the cuts, we can glue them.’  No stitches?  She went away again.

‘I waited four hours for glue?  I almost want stitches,’ I said to Sarge.

Karen cleaned me up and glued my head shut, and I thought again how lucky it was that I only broke my glasses, and the cuts didn’t inch further into my eye.  Thank you, Karen.

We got home at midnight, with tape strips and fish and chips.

I went to work the next day with the beginnings of a black eye and my old glasses.

Nine To Thirty

There are nine days until my 30th birthday.  In light of these single digit days, I have revamped my 29 list:

Call Embassy if passport doesn’t appear.

Write blog posts that aren’t lists.

Outline new projects.

Read my 20th book of the year, and possibly more.

Pop my ear.  My cold from last week has moved into my right ear.  Never has the phrase ‘blow it out your ear’ meant so much.

Watch people bake Cakes for Japan, Edinburgh – Tsunami Appeal Fundraiser.

How To Have A Really Bad Cold

I’ve never been a good stuffed up person.  I’ve never liked taking naps, ask my parents.  The last time I slept during the during the day, I’d had all my wisdom teeth out the day before.

Last week, my body was gearing up for my annual cold, and this week it has lashed out.

While I had a towel over my head just above hot water this afternoon, I put together a list of things to do when you don’t do colds:

1. Have your partner/friends bring you cold medicine/cheesecake/tiramisu, without asking them.

2. Call your Dad and say: I have a code in my noeds, and laugh until you lose what little voice you have left.

3. Camp out on the couch, and pretend your Grandma is sitting on the other end of it and your Nana is making you chicken soup in your kitchen.

4. Ration your TV watching, but always make time to watch people yell at other people.

5. Put vanilla essence in your tea, and socks on your feet.  The uglier the better.

6. Listen to your go-to music (for me that would be country).  If you cry at the sad songs, blame the cold.

7. Read entire books in four-hour jags.

8. Look forward to times you won’t have a cold.  Do little things on your to-do list, so you don’t feel like a waster.

9. Take a stroll to shake off the cobwebs.  Thank you, gale-force winds.

10. Take funny photos to cheer yourself up.