Thursday, August 31, 2006
Wednesday, August 30, 2006
2. The smell of blackberry crumble baking.
3. Listening to the comedy and drama on BBC Radio 7 because I've now got broadband. I listened to Just William and Journey into Space on Mondy, and Dr Who, Hancock's Half Hour and part of a mystery story about a strange French village yesterday.
Tuesday, August 29, 2006
2. Yoghurt collecting round the frozen blackberry decorating the top of my smoothie.
3. Finding a tin of sardines and eating them with nubbly bread and some slices of homegrown cucumber.
Monday, August 28, 2006
2. Finding a giant snail -- he was as big as a victoria plum.
3. Looking at London from a viewpoint and seeing as little dots on the horizon such giants as St Paul's, the Post Office Tower and Canary Wharf.
Picture by Michael Grant
Sunday, August 27, 2006
Yesterday was a bit of a Beautiful Things bonanza, and I'm feeling too lazy to exercise discipline and discernment.
- Two postmen holding... one postman and one postwoman holding hands.
- A boy with an elfin face caught my eye while I was having coffee in Hoopers. He was with his mum, who had the same almond eyes and sharp angles, but she looked so tired that she was changlingish rather than elfin. An older sister manoeuvered the wheelchair carrying the youngest sister. She was about six, with huge thick glasses eyes and extraordinary hair the colour of a stormy sunset. As they settled at their table, the brother reached across and moved her damp fringe out of her eyes.
- Amid all the drinking and live music on the Pantiles, a geeky boy reading a book called Financial Calculus.
- Talking to someone I know vaguely from school and being told 'your name often comes up in conversation.'
- A friend giggling about a new 'possible' on the boy front. It's important to be wary at this stage, but I can't help but like all the 'when this happened, it might have meant that.'
- The Pantiles is all about seeing and being seen -- a man trolling up and down wearing a panama hat and smoking a meerscham pipe.
- A very teenage songwriter getting up on stage with his guitar and harmonica and playing his songs. Of course they were clunky and full of angst -- he's 18. But he was on his way, and his friends loved him -- he had a little gang of eight mouthing his words and cheering him on.
- Giving goodbye kisses to a line of people.
- The quiet bit between the Fox Fanfare and the Star Wars March where it says 'A long time ago in a galaxy far, far away...' because even thinking about it sends a shiver down my spine.
Saturday, August 26, 2006
2. Madie opening her leaving card very slowly and reading each signature in front of us all.
3. The hysterical cackling drawn from me and Andy at Team America. This political commentary and Thunderbirds spoof was lovingly and lavishly created by the guys behind Southpark. It uses puppets to jibe at over-simplified good vs evil views in the war on terror. The humour is crude -- one of our favourite scenes featured the hero throwing up outside a bar. And it lovingly exaggerates Supermarionation's slightly-off scaling, sometimes visible strings and always unsatisfactory puppet walking. But the puppets were also sophisticated, with actual recognisable expression. I really enjoyed the numerous international locations, too -- often cliched to good effect, they were so lavish that I want this film on DVD so I can stop and take a look at the conference of world leaders, and Kim Juong Il's lair, and Cairo.
Friday, August 25, 2006
Thursday, August 24, 2006
2. BBC Radio 4 is asking people to talk about their favourite landmarks. I've been enjoying reading listener's comments here -- it's pleasant to read positive thoughts, rather than endless complaints. And some of the comments are pure 3BT. Here's the official Today Programme page.
3. I can't get over how much I am enjoying my yoga class. From school I am used to games lessons and gym classes where I was yelled at for not trying, and now it's wonderful to have a teacher who accepts whatever I care to achieve.
Wednesday, August 23, 2006
2.The smell of brown sugar.
3. Footage of a seal sleeping in an underwater field of eel grass on The Blue Planet. It looked so fat and contented rolling gently in the current.
Tuesday, August 22, 2006
2. There is a small boy in the lobby of the supermarket. He has his hand in the letterbox and is muttering to himself 'I'm stuck, I'm stuck.' 'Are you all right there? Are you stu... I see -- you're just pretending.' Phew.
3. Fenella's desktop wallpaper is a picture of Andy trying to conceal himself with a newspaper while chasing her out of the bathroom.
Monday, August 21, 2006
2. Discovering that after I left the party Team Fenella intercepted a suspicious box of money. A car pulled into a parking space on the High Street. When it left, there was a Chinese box sitting on the kerb. Naturally, the girls picked it up. Another car pulled up and then left pretty quickly. They called the police, and handed the box in. The police said it probably wasn't drugs, more likely Chinese takeaway profits.
3. When you're a bit hungover and very hungry -- a plate of food.
Sunday, August 20, 2006
2. Four goths reaching the centre of Hever Castle Maze. 'Get a picture of Squeaky,' said the... the... uh one in dark black. Squeaky was a large black rubber rat. They set him on the plinth in the centre and photographed him on their phones.
4. We set Fenella a series of hen night challenges -- kiss a man with a moustache; get marriage tips from a divorced guy; kiss 15 men on the cheek leaving lipstick marks on them; find a man wearing white socks and kiss him. But the best one was watching her sitting on the knee of a poor boy out celebrating his 21st birthday, flirting with him until he bought her a drink. Oh, and the look of fear on the waiter's face as we asked him if he was wearing white socks. I enjoyed watching how people reacted to us -- a couple trying to enjoy a quiet dinner which had been interrupted by the 15 kiss mission watched the girls' progress round the room with big grins on their faces. And every time a new challenge came up, the 21st birthday boys perked up. Girlfriends were generously tolerant about allowing their dates to accept kisses from the bride-to-be.
Saturday, August 19, 2006
2. The wonders of pizza. It goes in the oven. It comes out of the oven. Then I eat it.
3. Andy has come upstairs to help me finish a secret surprise for Fenella. I am polishing the proofs, and he is writing a poem. We talk a bit while we wait for his ideas to settle. I like best the moment when he goes quiet and all I can hear is scribbling. And next best I like the moment when he rather shyly announces: 'OK, it's called A poem about Fenella'.
Friday, August 18, 2006
He-who-shall-not-be-named was moved to make a film of this post.
1. A flurry of afternoon excitement caused by a fire in the bins at work. The fire marshalls let off the fire extinguisher at it, and poured lots of water in. Bet the bin men are going to love us.
2. Getting a sweet note from a lady who has used 3BT to do her travel diary. She said: 'As a life-long optimist and positive-thinking person, I find that focusing on precisely three things is an exercise in discernment.'
3. Being told I've cheered someone up.
Thursday, August 17, 2006
2. The Oast Silly Sports Day created a number of extraordinary and beautiful sights -- Ellen running to victory in the egg and spoon; people wandering round with egg all over them following the egg catching competition; Oli practising wellie wanging with a pink boot (clearly worth it, because he won by a long way) and Ed hammering home in the sack race.
3. Bananas and pineapple grilled with brown sugar.
Wednesday, August 16, 2006
2. Tumble dryers use huge amounts of energy, which seems very wasteful when clothes tend to dry themselves if you hang them up. But when the laundry pile grows so fast I can't keep up, it's very satisfying to put dirty clothes in the machine and later take them out ready for the wardrobe.
3. Completing a task that I have been putting off.
Tuesday, August 15, 2006
Monday, August 14, 2006
2. Wandering round the DIY store looking for decorating supplies that I forgot to pick up on my last two visits, I see a wooden box which I thought was too expensive yesterday at £15 has been reduced to £10.
3. Covering the hideous grime revealed by sugar soap with a coat of clean paint.
Sunday, August 13, 2006
2. The shining brightness of my window frame after it's been painted by Katie, and the cleaness of the hall in its new decorating.
3. Lou and I were chatting at the bar in the George when an oldish ginger man came up and started talking to us. We talked to him and his friend for a bit and then weasled ourselves out of a trip to Dav's with them, claiming that we were meeting friends in the Grapevine. Thinking that they wouldn't follow us there because they would think we were lying, we went there and drank martinis -- Lou from what was probably the last martini glass in the whole of Tunbridge Wells. And then I spotted a man looking at me. When I smiled, he came over and introduced himself. Wow. I know lots of women find it annoying being randomly approached, and knock the guy back with a sharp line, or just ignore it. But for me boldness is much appreciated in a fella, specially if he has something interesting to say.
Saturday, August 12, 2006
2. The sound of the girls at work squealing and giggling hysterically at something.
3. Finding things. I'm decluttering to help the flat sell. I keep finding stuff that I thought I'd lost -- most notably a stash of notes for Found, a story I wrote when I was nine and my copy of The Phantom Tollbooth. You'd have thought it would be difficult to lose things in a studio flat, but it's really not.
Friday, August 11, 2006
1. Long shadows early in the morning.
2. Having control of the air con.
3. A good nectarine that perfumes my flat and has juice that runs down my chin.
Thursday, August 10, 2006
2. Sainsbury's do a mixed selection pack of strange tomatoes. There is a green striped one, a purple one and some yellow ones with long noses.
3. The clanking of wine bottles among the shopping.
Wednesday, August 09, 2006
2. The whooping chuckle of a moorhen.
3. When I was young and had no sense I worked hard at defrosting the freezer, scraping away the ice with a spatula and a pan of hot water. Now I just open wide the door, put down a bowl and some clothes to catch the water and sit back with my book while the ice melts. I like the noise of the water dripping and the occasional clatter as a big chunk of ice falls through the shelves.
Tuesday, August 08, 2006
Monday, August 07, 2006
2. Driving home along A-roads. We went through Dorking and Reigate, which both have high streets that are a jumble of chain stores and independent shops. And we passed a cricket match being watched by families whose children were paddling in a stream. We saw a carving made from a dead tree; and a quote from that mysterious poem about the traveller by Walter de La Mare.
3. A walk that goes across the old railway line. I always feel a bit strange crossing it -- it shows how quickly nature reclaims things because unless you look carefully and spot things in the woods like a few bits of railway stone, and a couple of railway sleeper fence posts, you'd never know that a railway ran through these fields.
Sunday, August 06, 2006
2. Claire in a girly dress with pink sparkly shoes and handbag.
3. Dancing to Come On Eileen.
Saturday, August 05, 2006
2. The train was full of people excited about the weekend, including a family with four sons on their way to see their grandparents and a man in a blue rubber chauffer's uniform. I was met at nearly the last station by Claire and Louise just as it was getting dark.
3. The new paint smell at Claire's house, and the feel of the brand new, still-springy carpet.
Friday, August 04, 2006
2.Google spreadsheet -- it's a spreadsheet; it's free; doesn't have to be downloaded; and you can share it with people really easily.
3. Friends who shout up at my window. What must the neighbours think?
Thursday, August 03, 2006
If you would like an idea of what a fuchsia looks like, try this BBC page.
2. Beans on toast for lunch.
3. I missed a week of yoga, and I really felt it last night when I went again, especially now the weather is cooler. Poses that I achieved easily last time failed completely. It made me realise that it is worth going to the classes -- I will remember this next time I get the 'can't be bothereds'.
Wednesday, August 02, 2006
2. Parents who provide practical help as well as support.
3. The little cherub faces under the top floor windows of my block.
Tuesday, August 01, 2006
2. Oli describing a car journey from the West Country to London he made with one of my uni housemates. Ben started everyone African chanting -- cause hysterical laughter for the entire 4-hour journey. 'It just went on and on,' said Oli. Ben used to occasionally let out a made-up African chant around the house if he was especially happy.
3. Finding Dutch salt licorice on sale in Tunbridge Wells.