Thursday, November 22, 2007

I finally got myself up and ready to cook (after getting sucked into the Great Teacher Onizuka manga I was reading - good stuff) so toddled off into the kitchen to start preparation for the chestnut and sage cobbler I'm making today - you know, the possibly-taking-as-my-veggie-Christmas one. WHY does every recipe start with cutting an onion! And every single time, My eyes get so sore and watery I have to leave the room!?! I swear the salesman that came to the door thought I was crying (worked well to get rid of him, though...).

Um, so yes, I had to come back in the lounge and of course to my coomputer. Isaac went to sleep at last, and I've been doing more weeding on flickr, some of it proper deleting of photos that I know aren't even on my hard drive (but...I have enough photographs, so will I ever miss them?) Strict decluttering!

Yesterday I didn't cook, but I did clear out the kitchen, so all was not lost. I want to sort some of the pile of death I have lingering by my computer - it mostly seems to be catalogues I'm keeping to see if I want to buy Christmas presents from them for people, but maybe I should just have a really good look NOW, working out who I need to buy for still. I always find it hard to shop for everyone like that - I'm better at buying for one person at a time - so for example looking through first for ideas for my mum, then again for ideas for Justin, then again for ideas get the idea - and you probably see why I've not touched this pile, and why it is now know as the pile of death. Hopefully I'll have time to cook, tidy a bit, and still go through the pile, or at least begin to - with Isaac not sleeping for a while you feel like you have to be quiet to let him sleep and by the time you kow it, it's...uh...4.12 in the afternoon and you've not started cooking or tidying yet. Yeah, I'm pretty shit as a housewife. Just as well I'm a stay at home mum, right? I'm good at that! :D

I also want to (want may be too strong a word) change the cat litter, put some more washing on, hang some clothes up, see if I can pair any more of Justin's socks before he explodes one morning of pent up rage, sort out these three million piles of CDs & DVDs hanging obout into a serious collection of things we actually want to keep all on a few discs we can actually find. I need to make more Christmas Cards - and start deciding who I'm making them for, too. I have more presents to wrap, including some that have to be done when there's no one else here. I need to look up the garden plants & work out what needs frost protecting & how, as this garden gets frost (our last one was really sheltered, so I've never needed to know before). I need to finish clearing out the clothes piles in our room and get the suitcase away (it's still out from a wedding we went to last month). Isaac needs to tidy his room (which usually takes up more of my time than his, getting him to physically do it). I have a lot of stuff to get on Ebay but to get to that stage I need to have less crap & clutter down here as I'll have nowhere to put the ebaying stuff when I get it out. I need to sew up Isaac's sleeping bag, dye my hair red for Christmas again, compile all my torn out recipes into one recipe scrap-book I have set aside for this very task. I want to do the same with some of the cardmaking designs I've seen (as I've bought a few magazines for inspiration and I already have enough magazines scattered around the house - I'm obsessed, I tell you!). Oh yes and there's some books I'd like to read before they have to go back to the library - where did those new library books go? - and I have to go to the library tomorrow to take the Dvds back, one of which we finally saw last night (Walk the Line, at last - excellent) and one of which we may potentially watch tonight. We want to make friends with the library staff as they like the same things as us and are funny and interesting and have kids too and read the same books as us and are the same age as us and and and...

I think for too long our friends have been either moving to London for work / giggles, or have settled down to the degree that they never see any of 'us' any more (whatever did happen to Steve? Oh yeah he got married and had a baby...) - We are married and have a baby! surely that means you can talk to us! - OR are just those few years younger than us that makes a difference, or I guess aren't settled enough - still all about the clubs and pubs and bands and drinking. Not to say we don't like bands (we're seeing the Montain Goats next month, we saw Polysics and Guitar Wolf this year and they were fantastic) and certainly not to say we don't like drinking (though again, I have been reminded of that recent Maybe I don't like drinking, after all). It's just - we did all that. We did it really, really well. We would have bought the t-shirt, except it wasn't low-cut or skintight enough, and was only available in the same boring colours as everyone else. I perseveered, I really tried, and did it for about 15 years...that's a really big part of my life there. Some of those days / nights I'll remember for years. (Some I can't even remember now). At least I can proudly hold my head high and say I did it, and scraped through, and am now a normalish human being - which none of us ever expected would happen.

The carrots are calling. *sigh*

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Day two...

The Country Garden Cottage Pie was rather lovely, I had seconds for lunch today as well. Not the healthiest meal due to the volume of cheese, but pretty good without that, so next time I'll do it with less. Today I've not yet decided between ' Chestnut & Sage Cobbler' and 'Bobotie' - both one pot meals (less mess, yay). The chestnut & sage is a potential 'meal-to-take-to-someone's-house-over-Christmas-instead-of-meat' as I'm the only vegetarian in the families (at least the families we'll be seeing over Christmas that is).

We go to my mums house on Christmas day - this year is going to be the easiest 20 minute walk now we live so close - most other years we've had to go up a really steep hill & a 40 minute walk, one year we even drove 3 hours down the motorway from Stoke on Trent! Hopefully it'll mean that we can have a really good little 'just-the-three-of-us- Christmas before we go, which will be nice. At mum's is my sister and her 2 children (and my mum, of course) Joe (15) and Nathaniel (3). Joe I think is at his dad's house till mid afternoon / early evening so at least Justin can be with us rather than going upstairs to play computer games with Joe - I have to keep an eye on Isaac by myself then, which is tricky when the two younger boys are together as they are buggers :)

The day after, Boxing Day, is Pamela's birthday (that's my mother-in-law) and we go over to hers, and usually there is Karen (Justin's sister) and Darren (her boyfriend) and Marjorie (Justins Grandma) and Peter (Pamela's boyfriend). It's a birthday and Christmas celebration all in one which is nice, though it is the complete opposite of my families celebration - far more polite and well behaved!

The day after that is Colin's birthday - that's Justins' dad - my father-in-law - so we either go to his house or to his sisters house (Di) - I think now Colin has a bigger house it'll probably be there all the time, which is good in one way - very child friendly, as they have children Isaac's age and now younger - but also a shame in a way as Di's house is very traditional and is in the country and feels a bit 'old' - in the sort of 'olde' way - not all modern clean lines and so on - and we like that, it feels ever so cosy. Still, it's usually fun with so many people - Karren and Darren again, but then Colin, his wife Nicki, their 3 year old Keira, Justin's Nana Joyce, Di and her husband Peter, and sometimes people from Nicki's side now as well - her Mum or Dad usually. This year as well will be Isaac's Uncle George who is only a few months old!

I managed to get 4 cards made last night and was very pleased with them, it's something I only started doing a little while ago but, like the knitting, I find it quite relaxing, and I'm really pleased with the results. I'm starting to wonder if I might find it hard to part with them...On that note, I've also signed up to Crafts 365 - photograph something you're making every day for the next year - so I think that getting my camera out for taking three photographs will be more likely to happen than just for one. Every day! They might overlap a little as well, I would imagine. I'm trying to clear out my flickr account a little bit to make way for all these photographs that are going to be coming in, but that's about a weeks constant work by itself, as I used it for storage when I moved house / PC and so I have to open and save them all before I can delete anything. Not the quickest job!

Today Justin was working locally - his current job is in London - auditing London hospitals - but starting the last week in December (before Christmas I mean) he's going to be working in our home town! No more getting up at 6 am! This morning I was woken by the sound of the ironing board being taken out of the understairs cupboard at about quarter past 7 and it just makes *such* a difference to how I feel during the day. Mind you saying that, I haven't got any more work done in the house than usual - mainly thanks to Isaac refusing to sleep - but I have got a lot of secret things done for Christmas, so I guess it evens out a bit.

Todays plans? Cook soon, moar cards!! and we really *have* to watch a film tonight, as I've got to take them back in two days time. I can knit while I watch too. Dofus would be good but hmm, I doubt it :( Apart from that? My house is filled with STUFF. Stuff where it doesn't need to be. Why is there a spanner on my kitchen worksurface, and a book of poetry, and a ukelele? I need to have such a little amount of stuff that when things don't get put away after use, I still have a house underneath, rather than a dump.

Tuesday, November 20, 2007

So : I've been trying out Live Journal, but didn't get on with it. There seemed to be too many things you should or shouldn't do, and I'm not really very good at that sort of thing. I think you might have to be a bit clever to be able to make the most of it, and of course sociable as well.

I considered facebook notes, but probably not adjustable enough for my tastes, and I know nobody would ever read them. Somehow, that doesn't matter on here - but on a place where I'm connected to coming up to 100 people, I feel that would be kind of disappointing. Also, I don't want to think to myself that people *are* reading, else I'll get self conscious and start writing to an audience, whereas this isn't to be about that at all. (Not to say that you can't comment at all, or anything, as indeed that would be most welcome).

Oh and I know there's others - I'm on so many sites dotted around the web - I'm thinly stretched over all of them but without enough free time to be active on any of them. So just use the few I like and understand. Flickr for mass photos, deviantart for cosplay event photos and the better photos (maybe some of my old peoms up there too now I no longer use allpoetry). Facebook for friend connecting, as I never use myspace anymore anyway and besides, there's barely any difference between them now, thanks to myspaces status updates and facebook applications. Plus, you know, I'm 30, so that waves goodbye to a whole load of others (bebo, orkut etc - well and myspace to be honest). I'll stick with money saving expert for my life advice, along with hot uk deals and zen habits for my proper life changing stuuff (you know, like becoming vegetarian mainly thanks to that blog, for example. It's wonderful).

Back to this old blog it is then. First on blogger, I had Isaac's diary - from before he was born, up to he was about a year old. It just became way to hard to look after him and keep up with writing about his life in that way. I've still got the 'photography blog' where I just posted my best photographs...not that I ever update that either. Then this blog started as *my* diary (effectively). I got bored and forgot, so I changed it to an allotment diary for a while when we moved earlier this year. Then that fell behind too...

I posted on my livejournal a while back about starting anew (and no, I'm not posting the link, as there's only about 3 things on there). It didn't happen, as I wasn't happy with the format. To be honest, I'm not that happy with the layout of this one, but at least I know I can change that...something outdoorsy, I should think...

I'm signing up to the Project 365, uh, project, and the Kids 365 project. (These are 1) taking & posting at least one photograph a day and b) taking a photograph of Isaac every day - both for a year. I'm not doing the self portrait version, but I'll try and appear in a daily once a month or so, for recording purposes only! Isaac is three now, and starting nursery after Christmas (hmm, if I
ever fill in that form). Before I know it, he'll be off to school, loving his teachers more than me, untucking his shirt, slouching, and then leaving home (well, I hope...wonder what house prices will be like by *then*?). He's so very, very photogenic and it seems a shame not to record at least just a little bit of his daily life, especially as it's going to change so much soon. The joy of this place is that I can send my daily photographs here from flickr and vice versa.

So my friends moving to Belgium can keep up with my allotment news (if she starts using the internet more, anyway). Isaac's auntie can read up on how he is from up in Bedford. I can keep track of what I'm making in my weekly meal plans and what we've tried & not tried, and what we've planted in the allotment and how it's going...So - it'll be a bit of evertthing, and
probably not every day, but hopefully every couple of days. If not, someone prod me on
facebook. I'll be starting the photographs on December 1st, but I'm going to try and start
regular blogging again before fact...

So, I'm making 'Country Garden Cottage Pie' today with ingredients from the weekends
farmers market. I want to make a few more Christmas cards later this evening, as I got my printer rigged up at last yesterday and have run through a whole colour catridge already printing assorted background papers out. (Only £9 a cartridge! Might need to get a different printer...). I want to knit some more of Justin's scarf (and the speedy rate of about 5 rows a day before I fall asleep, it's going to take me till *next* Christmas at this rate). We do have a couple of dvds we need to watch before Friday - Walk The Line and Grave of the Fireflies (at last we have relented... we know it will be sad) - when we need to return them to the library. I would also like to spend some time on Dofus, do some tidying up, and catch up on lolcats. Any questions?

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