Thursday, November 30, 2006
2. The Yellow Submarine has apparently crashed into the forecourt of the John Lennon Airport. Oli noticed numerous signs directing people to it
3. The happy messages from BBC Radio 2 listeners about David Morris, whistling world champion.
Wednesday, November 29, 2006
1. Oli's excitement about his new bathroom.
2. Going to the cinema with people who play 'Guess what this is advertising.'
3. The wanton destruction in James Bond because no-one appears to worry about who is going to clear it up.
Tuesday, November 28, 2006
- Three Beautiful Things scientifically proven (thanks to all those who told me about this article).
- I've written on One At All, the project that lets nations compare their ways of life, about: Local customs of my country; In my country the days we celebrate are and The most important fact in my country's history.
1. Being allowed to hold the nephew of He Who Shall Not Be Named. The baby was very sweet -- even if he did posset, hiccup and suffer from a bit of wind. It was also good to meet HWSNBN's sister, having heard so much about her, and it's always fun to have a baby to pass round the office.
2. A mysterious noise outside my window turns out to be the Men From the Council stringing Christmas lights across the High Street. They were working just a couple of bay windows away from me.
3. Being told that 'joyous' is a 'very Clare word.'
Monday, November 27, 2006
2. A programme of BBC radio shows believed lost but then recovered. My favourites were The Green Machine -- a factory worker bonds with his vibrating sprocket press causing chaos on the factory floor; and The Great Fire of London -- a collection of eyewitness accounts of historical events.
3. Something Andy said to me on Saturday -- the more I think about it, the more I like it, which is why it counts for today. He pointed out that the 180 hits each day on Three Beautiful Things is about the same number of people as a primary school assembly. So... uh... play nicely, and please note that the loos by the adventure playground are out of bounds until the plumber removes the tennis ball from the soil pipe.
Sunday, November 26, 2006
2. Ellen saying that when she was little, she used to go into the cowshed on the farm where she grew up and sit with the cows. Because of this, the smell of cows and silage makes her happy
3. Not falling off my heels all evening.
Saturday, November 25, 2006
2. Getting back to the office moments before Oli, who usually gives me a lift to and from work, leaves for the day. This mean that I didn't have to make anyone go out of their way.
3. Katie calls and she sounds as tired as I do. We chat for a while discover that we are both about to curl up with comforting DVDs -- Nanny McPhee for Katie and Kiki's Delivery Service for me.
Friday, November 24, 2006
2. When waiting somewhere cold and damp for a friend, seeing them pull up in their car.
3. Being shown my hotel room and discovering that it has a view of the sea from two sides.
Thursday, November 23, 2006
2. Every lunchtime Douglas drops in on us on his way to the shower so we can tell him how wonderful he is for going out running in his lunch hour.
3. The Shipping News -- this time the film version. It's one of my favourite books ever for the eccentric local newspaper and because it is the story of a man learning that he is allowed to be happy. The film is fantastic -- it looks exactly like the pictures I imagined while reading book.
Wednesday, November 22, 2006
2. At work we have had a new website installed. It's a huge change and has caused chaos, with lots of new skills to be learnt. Things are starting to settle down and we are learning the site's ways. Yesterday a new feature that users have been clamouring for was added, much to everyone's relief. Now we just have to teach them how to use it.
3. Finding an ancient mixtape of mine. It plays some songs that I haven't heard in years, and I find myself singing along, remembering the key changes and the tricky rhythms as if they'd never been away.
Monday, November 20, 2006
2. Changeable weather -- distant showers blowing in across the fields; the sun lighting up the raindrops on yellow oak leaves and a rainbow over the barn.
3. Phonecalls to and from: My grandmother; Katie; Claire M; Rosey; Lou and Rosey again. We were gossipping; organising; catching up and checking up.
2. Looking down at my cross-stitch and feeling as if I've achieved something. Cross-stitch scratches the same itch as sudoku and jigsaws, but at the end (if I've picked a good design) I have something pleasing to look at.
3. Being walked home on a revolting night of rain and high winds. Good company makes me bold, so we take all the shortcuts across the Common that I don't dare to use at night by myself.
Sunday, November 19, 2006
2. Apples -- because I can eat them while I'm typing or reading without worrying about stickiness.
3. Sherry in a beef stew. Beef gravy and sherry are made for each other.
Saturday, November 18, 2006
2. My computer has been wrong for a while. I keep tweaking and testing, but the error keeps occurring. What I like is when I test for the umpteenth time and the pause between clicking the icon and something happening is just a bit too long; and then it works.
3. Very slightly pissed Fenella and Andy draped over my sofa telling me that I can't move out.
Friday, November 17, 2006
2. Reminiscing with my grandmother about my grandfather. I remembered him rolling down the lawn in their garden with me, Robert and Rosey when we were tiny. She said that he did the same at Dunorlan Park once.
3. Fenella brings me some French bread back from her business trip to Paris.
Thursday, November 16, 2006
2. A schoolgirl waiting for her friend in the middle of the park. All the secondary schoolgirls round here have a short skirt for their uniform. It makes them look very leggy and a bit awkward.
3. Before yoga, our hall is used by a very noisy children's group. They always run late, so we've taken to going in as they are clearing up. There is always shouting: 'Whose is this jacket?' 'Whose rubbish?' 'Pick up that bag and take it to the car!' 'Come on Becky! Hurry up!' and I really like the silence after the door bangs behind the last one.
Wednesday, November 15, 2006
2. The cheery beep of the sandwich van's horn and the cries of 'Sandwiches!' 'Sandwiches!' that chain around the building.
3. Late at night the sound of someone whistling as they meander down the High Street.
Tuesday, November 14, 2006
2. The sunset call. At this time of year, at around 4.20pm, one of the people sitting on the west-facing desks will say: 'Look at the sky!' and we all run to the windows -- or out into the carpark if it's an especially good one -- to admire the orange and red and pink stained sky.
3. Proper darkness -- living in a town I don't often see proper, pitch black, can't see my hand in front of my face. I grew up in the countryside, and I really miss it. However, now that the nights have drawn in and we never leave work, which is in the middle of nowhere, before nightfall, my darkness craving is satisfied.
Monday, November 13, 2006
1. I've mentioned guelder rose and its gleaming red berries before; I'm going to mention it again because the leaves have now turned crimson.
2. A bike leaning against the back wall of a country churchyard at service time.
3. My Berghaus walking boots. Since I bought them back in 2000, they've taken me to Nepal, China and round Africa. They've been up and down mountains and tramped across the mud of Kent and Sussex farmlands. They've protected my feet on a volunteering holiday and walked me safely to work on snowy days. They've been paddled through streams and shuffled through sand -- desert and beach. They've moved house three times with me. They've waited patiently in ski lockers for me to come back and marvel at how light they feel after a day in ski boots. So far, they show no signs of wearing out, so I hope they've got a good few miles left in them.
Sunday, November 12, 2006
2. Woman of a certain age overheard in a shoe shop: 'I've got to be tactful about what I wear: I'm a twin, you see.'
3. Everything stopping for the two-minute silence on the 11th of November at 11am. Gradually the stalls stop serving and everyone turns towards the war memorial to stand still and think about all those who died protecting our way of life.
Saturday, November 11, 2006
2. Ellen comes in to say that Douglas-downstairs is alone in the office and singing 'and he's rather good!' We crowd to the top of the stairs to try and hear him.
3. A neat little homemade shepherd's pie in an earthenware dish. I made it last night with some leftover mince and mashed potato. Much more satisfying than a ready meal.
Friday, November 10, 2006
1. The easy way a brioche loaf slices. The knife seems to slip through it as if it wants to be in slices.
2. Now that Ellie is taking all our phone calls, it's much easier to concentrate on the work that I really enjoy.
3. Finding a CD that I've forgotten I own. Looking down the track list, I can't recall any of the songs; but once it's playing it all comes flooding back. The Coral -- The Invisible Invasion
Thursday, November 09, 2006
2. Looking out from the carpark at work across the dark fields and woods to Crowborough, a mound of twinkles and sparks rising out of the mist.
3. Reading The Framley Examiner and spotting knowing references to all sorts of things. I'm convinced the writers are rogue subs from a middle England newspaper. Who else would know about community news correspondents who try to file their copy by emailing you an 8MB bitmap scan of their minutes?
Wednesday, November 08, 2006
2. Ellie's story about a schoolfriend who somehow managed to put a macro on MSWord that closed it down every time she tried to launch it.
3. The chance to have an early night.
Tuesday, November 07, 2006
1. Rolling over in the night and finding a still-warm hotwater bottle with my cold back.
2. Sunbeams slanting through trees so that the almost bare branches make shadows on the mist.
3. Showing James, Kim and PaulV the ways of Chinese steamed buns. They are light and sweet and fluffy, and I imagine that when we have evolved into Eloi this is the sort of thing we will pluck from trees and eat.
Sunday, November 05, 2006
1. Feeling that my blog housekeeping is under control... if only the same could be said for real housekeeping.
2. While listening to a radio play, getting a very strong mental picture from it. Then I realise that the picture is the cover of the book version that I read when I was 13. The Blade of the Poisoner is on Radio 7 this week. The story is the efforts of band of adventurers to save a boy marked by a poisoned blade. The scratch will kill him in a month unless... unless... my memory doesn't go back that far, but I'm sure it involves a disparate band on a mission apparently doomed to fail through a lavish fantasy landscape, all the while pursued by the Poisoner, his stupid guards and their trained spiders.
3. I know there is a wonderful sunset visible from the back window on the landing because the white walls of the buildings over the street from the window in my flat take on a warm pinkish glow.
2. At the Dunorlan Park fireworks, a little indie boys wearing a long striped top and his hair gelled down into a lank fringe at the front and up into tufts at the back. He had his arms around two girls. He made me think of a Rolling Stone. They almost fell over three more little indie boys who asked in cracking adolescent voices: 'Are you gonna stay in town after this?' 'He's got to be home by 10 o'clock,' said one of the girls.
3. The joy with which the crowd greeted the fireworks. At first there were some sarcastic oohs and ahhs, but these were quickly replaced by genuine gasps of amazement at high rockets exploding overhead in umbrellas of coloured stars and smoke; and clouds of bright fireflies falling slowly earthwards before twinkling out one by one.
Saturday, November 04, 2006
2. The bit in Swallows and Amazons where Titty is left alone on the island to put candles in the leading lights. I like it because she enjoys her own company so much, but then wishes she could go back to Holly Howe after her mother comes to visit.
3. My neighbours coming round to check that I'm still alive; and a get well soon note from work in the comments for yesterday's post.
Friday, November 03, 2006
2. The biscuits at the conference venue, and seeing one of our speakers pocketing a few packs. He said he'd come back because he'd forgotten his coat.
3. The O. Henry story, The Head-Hunter.
Thursday, November 02, 2006
2. My work computer has no speakers. Boo. But this means I have to use earphones if I want to listen to the radio at lunch time which means almost no interruptions by the phone and people wanting things, because I can't hear them.
3. BBC Radio 7 had a dramatisation of The Owl Service. It's a novel by Alan Garner inspired by the Welsh Blodeuwedd myth. I read it when I was very young and didn't really appreciate the whole love-triangle class tensions plot, but this time I got a lot more out of it.
Wednesday, November 01, 2006
2. The people at work who oh and ah over my cross-stitch. It's easy to forget when I keep my nose to the fabric, thinking only of the next stitch, just how much I have done.
3. The fish that swim through the air in Mirrormask.
1. Bringing donations to the charity shop with Nick to carry the awkward things. 2. Sending an edit back when I have very little to say, ex...
Today a special guest post by Nick... 1. My wife's courage and stamina as she painfully brings our baby into this world. I'm so prou...
1. This week there are green-orange leaves caught in the water gully. 2. He comes up to ask me how scary is The Haunting of Hill House, wh...
1. She brings soft almond cakes for pudding. 2. In the fridge I have a jug of lemon iced tea. 3. Sifting compost as the evening cools.