Friday, 31 December 2010

New Year's Resolutions 2011

2010 is fading fast, 2011 is a mere 8.5 hours away so let's cut the crap and get these resolutions down!

1. Ride Mary-anne more.
Like I said in my previous post, this is a resolution which I failed to keep and is being carried over to 2011. I have a horse called Mary-anne. She is now 17 and for those who know to care a 14.1hh light bay cob mare of Irish descent. Since I moved to university 5 years ago I didn't want to be someone who's social life over took her hobby. I didn't want my old childminder Ina's prognosis of "boys taking over from the pony" and continual questions of "so are you actually still riding it or have you given it up yet?" to prove correct. I can't say that since I went to university I had as much dedication but I still went up on a semi-regular basis. In fourth year though (last year) I saw myself letting my work (no, not 'boys') take over the time allocated and I was seeing Mary less and less. I aimed to resolve that but I failed. I am hoping this year will be different, one less undergrad degree and one less wedding will hopefully allow this to happen. To be more systematic than last time I am aiming on average to visit her once a week to ride and if not groom and care for her.

2. Save up for a deposit.
To be more clear, I mean a hypothetical deposit for a house. It would be such a waste to sell our current home before the area improves enough to make much of the investment so we are looking to rent and buy a new place. A few years ago this would be easy enough but now a minimum 10% deposit is often required so all savings that can be made are pretty much hitting the ISA for this end.

3. Save up a Cats' 'instead of insurance' fund.
I hate insurance companies with every fibre of my being. All they do is make you pay them a fortune only to find a loophole when lo and behold you actually need to claim, so that they don't have to pay out. Im not naive about it, I know that's how they make profit, but I really don't want to then be the chump paying for it. So for pet insurance we are going to put the monthly payments we would have been paying into a savings account in place of insurance in case the cat's need the vet etc.

4. Keep Running Regularly.
Having completed the 10k run resolution in 2010 I aim not to go for another distance challenge but just keep it up. There was a point where it got a little insane training and I don't think going for a half marathon would be healthy. The problem is when there is no race day deadline finding the motivation to put in the work at the gym falls away. This year I want to stop being a yo-yo runner and run once a week as a routine.

5. Don't Succumb to Politeness if Ever Faced with the Former Bridesmaid Again.
5 weeks before my wedding my bridesmaid took a flakey and deserted her post. Whatever the reasons were she was unwilling to see an alternative point of view. This was a problem but not a deal breaker in terms of speaking to her again for me. That is until she basically managed to spin it so she took a lot of money that was not hers when she left the scene. Suffice to say I have no interest in this person being in my life. However, there are a lot of things I would like to say to her and none of them too pretty. Despite people's stereotypes of me I do spend a lot of time not having the courage to say what I really think when someone attacks me personally. I have no problem arguing when it's a matter of opinion and issue, but not when it comes to people I love, and let alone myself. I am fed up of being polite and reserved. Ok it is helpful if you have to see these people and there is no good in opening a can of worms but in this case, I wont let myself be polite. If I ever see her again I will have no hesitation in telling her exactly what she needs to be told.

6. Get a masters, get funding for 3 years and start my phd.
Self explanatory really. I am doing a masters I aim to complete. I intend to do a phd and I need to get 3 years funding for it. Then I need to start doing the phd.

7. Learn Something New: Latin.
On Tumblr I put up a post asking people to submit ideas for a kind of different resolution. A few people replied and one was from Jenny. She suggested I learn something new, offering candle making and meditations as one's she was going to have a stab at. Normally I would have said yes to something like candle making as I love doing creative making type things but I have already done this having had a candle making kit for christmas one year. In terms of meditation I have tried hypnotherapy and found it to be useful in a crisis but not something I could fit into everyday life. I know that's my being flawed because I just can't sit still for a minute, I have to be doing something. But I decided Jenny was right I have to try something new and that is to learn a new language. Seeing as I am already at University it would be ideal and make the resolution more likely to be kept should it relate to my studies. In order to tackle the 16th century fully for my phd, and not have to resort to the 17th century like certain academics want me to (thats right big mac!) I really need to learn old Scots latin to do so. Therefore I am going to try and get on a course and then aim to have a grounding in Latin by 2012.

8. Don't Rely on the TV to Get to Sleep.
I have gotten into a bad habit of not being able to get to sleep without the television on in the background at night. It happened gradually starting with music when in 6th year at school and became dvds on laptops at halls at uni and now is dvds on the television. My theory is that all those voices that keep you up reminding you of things you need to do or things you did that day when it's time for bed are so loud that I use the tv noises to drown them out and fall asleep. I know this is not good for my rest and that if I want to get to sleep outside of my own house this doesn't bode well. Therefore I am going to make a concerted effort not to have the tv on when going to sleep.

9. Bake Something, Once a Month, in the Shape of Gingerbread Men, and Share it with my Brother, Jamie.
Indeed this one was suggested by Jamie himself. I turned it around and made it into a resolution where we meet up once a month with Stuart too and have the baked goods and spend some time together. Since Jamie moved to the West End and I stopped working at Boots I don't see him as much as I'd like and hopefully the lure of gingerbread men made of anything but gingerbread (maybe scone dough, pizza, tiffin or cake) will help sort that out. Thanks Jim!

10. Never Buy Bread From a Shop*.
Recently I leared how to bake my own bread thanks to Hugh Fearnley-Whittingstall's simple instructions and creation of a "bitch and bake" group on television. Since I first tried it I haven't bought a single loaf from a shop, let alone rolls or even a baguette. The home made bread is different and so much better. You can add anything you want to it, you can make loaves, rolls, ciabatta, bread sticks, garlic bread, seeded batches, fancy shaped bread, pizza bases and much more and all from a 50p bag of flour and some dried yeast. It seems like a long time to make it totalling about 4 hours in all but once the hard part of 10 minutes kneading is over its just moving it twice. If you do it in the evening you are in the house anyway and it makes little difference. So I have decided to keep this going. I will make some more to put in the freezer for just in case as well so we wont be tempted to buy any shop bread. * As a side if a specific type of bread is required i.e. gluten free or someone's favourite I have not made then shop buying will be allowed.

11. Grow My Vegetables More Efficiently.
Since I moved into this flat I have made the tarmac-ed back court into a pot plant filled area where I have managed to grow many vegetables. Never though have these vegetables rivalled my vegetable buying at the supermarket and they have more been a few meals worth if that. This year when I start out seeds from February onwards I am going to focus on the ones that I know will yeild enough to make a difference. No more "ooh PHYSALIS, that sounds fun to grow" or attempting to grow 6 different kinds and colours of tomatoes just because I could. I will pick out the exact veg to grow and grow them in large amounts. Not only that but I will make a big effort to plant continously in order that veg is ready in stages and not as a all at once glut. I hope to account for most of our own veg in the summer and some in the spring, autumn and winter. For the veg that I will end up buying in supermarkets I will buy seasonally and from the closest source possible and try to use the greengrocer on high street or at the fort even.

12. Once a Month, with Stuart, Cook a Home-Made, Joint Three-Course Meal.
This year Stuart started cooking from recipes and has been very successful. On a few occassions we made the effort to each cook a course and have a 2 or even 3 course meal served at the table at home. Stuart suggested to me I make it a resolution to do this and make sure we do it every month. It will make sure we spend some time together doing things other than watching dvds or working as well as advance Stuart's cooking skills and try to make me like cooking as much as I like baking.

So there you have it, my 12 point plan to a perfect 2011. I will try my best to keep checking back and updating about progress and of course I will put in the end of 2011 run down on the overall results. I may even sneak in a half time score in June. I'll keep you posted.

Thank you for reading my blog in 2010, I hope you had a spicy, festive christmas and wish you all the best for 2010.

Happy Hogmanay,

Helen x x x x

p.s. It took me so long to write this that it is now only 7.5 hours until 2011!!

Monday, 27 December 2010


It's that time of year, the end of the year. A few people have blogged about resolutions that I have read now and it's about time I did the same. I also need to recap on this year as a whole as a lot has happened and aulthough things appear pretty much the same, a lot has changed for me in a non-tangible sense.

I started this blog on a whim. An old friend from school had started one based on her resolutions to track her progress and successes in trying to keep them. It wasn't really the resolution idea that I emulated - indeed, I never even bothered to post my resolutions on this blog when I started it and instead threw them into the black hole of facebook, never to be found again - it was more the honest out-pouring of her thoughts that I admired. I think I have always been an evocative person and putting my feelings into words and prose hasn't been an issue, but it was the outlet to an extent, and the actual process of doing it, which I had lost in the year or two prior. I had lost a lot more in 2007-9 that just that and being on the edge of the new leaf, a metaphorical blank piece of paper seemed very appealling. I added a quick scheme - later to be changed to match my tumblr or "lite" version of this blog - and was away. When I was young I would write. I would write stories, notes and random thoughts. I never had the decidation to the scheme that the journal keeper or diarist had, but I still keep some old notebooks with quite lyrical text scrawled in. I lost this when I went to university. Seeing all these blogs with their curious themes and imaginative protrayals of their keepers inspired me, not to mention the fact someone I used to see at school most days was laying down more of her life on a daily basis that I was in a year. I admired the openness with which she typed and the fact she was able to put her honest self out there and not care what people thought of her. I suppose it is a far cry from days past. This was what I tried to repeat, only with my own personality as the guide. I think one of the key themes which has characterised this year for me has been the fine tuning of my personality, well, what I mean is my acceptance and willingness to promote it.

So, getting down to the resolutions themselves! I'm going to use some styling here for e f f e c t. I am also not going to go into terrible detail for some as I feel my older post in the sunshine and in the shade has already done this to some extent. I also would like to note this as what I think of as my most accomplished blog this year, the one which matches what I outlined as setting out to do most successfully.

1. Play with Molly and Maisie more so Molly isn't too fat

Stuart and I got Molly and Maisie almost two years ago and we were attentive cat-parents. Part of this was reading the side of the bag of - the most vet recommended, and expensive I might add - cat food and doling out rations in way prescribed based on our cats weights. Suffice to say we were a bit shocked when the vet blatently told us that Molly was overweight. But we did what the - very expensive and YOU recommened - cat food bag instructions said! No, no, no. You see, our cats are indoor cats, to avoid car squishings of little meatbags, and they don't expend much energy, especially seeing as they sleep basically ALL the time, and that's too much food. So we were to experiment with "indoor cat" (i.e. reduced calorie) cat food, smaller amounts more often and exercize. Yes, that's right for all you who want to lose weight, human or animal alike, you eat LESS and exercize MORE and you WILL lose weight. I can testify to it. So can little Molly. It worked and Stuart and I were delighted when we went to the vet to find that Molly was the perfect weight and very healthy. We were even more delighted by the fact that the vet liked their collars and was glad to have "some cuddly ones" for a change. So in terms of this resolution I can declare it to be well and truley kept.

2. Ride Mary-anne more.

This resolution represents basically the opposite of the previous one and a failure. My horse, Mary-anne, is happy as larry at grass but I always feel I should be up there much more. And I should. With university, wedding, running, cats, irractic car ownership and my general laziness I have not been riding Mary more. In fact, if anything I have ridden her less. Never one to like to fail, I will carry this resolution to 2011 and work harder on it next year.

3. Run a 10k.

In 2009 at the start of August my Mum invited me to take part in a charity 6k road race with the school she is a teacher at. She intended to walk it. We decided we would at least run it and soon started actually training and did run the 6k in full. Stuart did it too and we finished in 38 minutes. After this I thought, well if I can do that I can do a 10k too - only 4k more! So I aimed for the May 10k but that fell through. As I had made this resolution and May went by I felt bad. I was doing a lot of finals, sitting, studying, putting on a study belly, and with a wedding approaching, and not running. As soon as exams were over I signed us up to the Great Scottish Run 10k in september, the weekend after the wedding. Stuart and I combined training with wedding preparations and spent the summer this way. In september we completed the 10k in 1 hour and 8 minutes which I deem a very acceptable time, especially since I had the cold and suffered a nose bleed mid race! So I managed to keep this resolution. My aunt who also runs said to me, you know what they say, if you can do a 10k you can do a half marathon. I have decided not to add this to my resolutions for 2011 though, as I want my shins intact for the rest of my life.

4. Get Married.

This one was easy! Well, I was engaged when I made this resolution and we had set the date. I added it as a joke but the joke was on me with the ridiculous amount of minutiae that had to be organised for the event. Even still, I suppose I can mark this as a kept resolution too.

5. Graduate.
When I made this resolution I actually meant deep down to add "with first class honours" to the end of it but not only would that have been a jinx, it also seemed so big headed, especially when everyone around me would come into uni and go "a 60!?!... BRILLIANT" when I had just received the same mark and nearly died in disappointment. It all turned out ok though and I got the following marks for my classes: 84,78,75,70,68,65 which equates to a first :). Now I am doing my masters happily and it has kept me off the dire job market which it just fine by me. So, it is kept.

All in all I think that 4 of 5 kept is pretty good and like I said the one not accomplished will be carried over with me. I could easily put down my new resolutions here but for now I will hold off. It's only the 27th and I would like to make that post on the 1st of January, first post of the new blogging year. I get the feeling that my friend with the resolutions will also have had quite a lot of success in her keeping of them too and wish her the best. After I type this I will prod her to blog her results too!

As a round up of the year I really have to emphasise that 2010 has been the best year of my life. So many exciting and good things have happened and I don't know that I could have imagined anything else better at the start of the year. I've become more myself in my own body/mind this year that I have ever before and feel so comfortable. This has a lot to do with certain social aspects of my life and the realisation of certain truths that I have decuded from the array of events thrown at me this year.

I have finally understood what I view as the myth of friendship. I know who the meaningless people are, and I can accept that everyone is out for themselves. Several people have revealed their true colours to me this year and I am glad because not only are they no longer clouding my life, they are no longer clouding my judgement either. They have taught me more about human sociability and it has allowed me to keep the few true friends I have on my terms. I know not to need everything from a friendship, and I can value when a friend actually makes an effort to show their real intent. Lesley, Kirsty, Fiona and Jenny have in different ways been good friends to me on different levels and I appreciate that. I am happy to have my best friends - Stuart, Molly and Maisie. I am also eternally happy not to give a shit that my best friends are my husband and my cats - one is family and the others are linked to me like family in a social heirarchy which can't be abolished. I love them dearly. Molly is accompanying me currently to me left, purring like a machine and looking into my eyes with a look of need for love she so often has.

Along with this appreciation of the truth comes a new outlook. The idea of karma has connotations of either hippies, or my name is earl. Both good in different ways- but both fail to describe what I want so I will neglect that term. I believe in people getting out what they put in. If you put in nothing, you will get back nothing. If you do bad things, bad things will catch up with you. This is not a literal exchange nor immediate as often protrayed. It seems to be almost a balance that touches the general outline of life. It's not quite realise-able unless you really look for it. Good people have gotten good things this year and the bad people have gotten what's fair in return. Kidneys, boys, financial quagmires, psychological impediments to normal life. Is it wrong to feel like everything is right in my world because of this? I don't know, but what I do know is that I tried hard to do the right thing, and be a good person in 2010, and it worked out. I'm not going to question that in 2011.

Tuesday, 21 December 2010


Some people can't handle their drink, and some can't handle drugs. Some people can't handle stress, some people can't handle other people, and some people can't handle anything at all. I can't handle my own adrenaline.

I know the science behind the body's production of adrenaline and I know of the 'fight or flight' terminology. I understand that the production of this stuff is necessary, helpful and for some completely exhilirating; something to be sought. For me it is altogether more complex than science makes it out to be. That's because it's not just the body that feels the presence of adrenaline - it's the head too.

Without sounding like a broken record to those who know me, or have heard this tale before, a few years ago I was unwell. I was unwell for months and this culminated in what I deem a deserved pessimistic attitude. I was entitled to it, and it was a period of feeling down. I assert it was that and no more, but there were doctor's who thought otherwise. Suffice to say I was persuaded with a line more akin to bt credit card foisting telephone sales people than people who got 5 A's at 5th year and spent 7 years in university. And I was prescribed. All your troubles will just be lifted! All your fears will dissolve like an Alka Seltzer! You'll feel yourself again..

Well no, actually, I felt more unlike myself than I ever have and more like a screaming banshee whose brain was in a blender and body performing a marathon workout. By the time I was rescued from this state and taken to the pyschological safe house that was my Mum's livingroom my eyes were like glazed needle heads and I felt like a ghost. I know this description sort of makes light of it now and that's an ok way to deal with it but I must outline that it was the most scary thing to happen in my life and the one event which more than anything fills me with rage. I feel like someone who has been attacked, conned really.

Anyway, what I experienced then I now know was a panic attack brought on my god awful prescription drugs that disorient not only your brain but indeed every single fibre of your being until you trust nothing and no-one and not even your own perception. My whole body was confused as my brain teetered on the edge of reality and it was scared. I like to think of my brain and my body as conjoined twins; two seperate entities with their own system, sharing a space and a little clairvoyance. As my brain lost the plot my body couldn't handle it and it reacted in the only way it knew how that didn't involve long term physical repercussions: the phenomenon known as a panic, or anxiety, attack.

A panic attack involves a certain situation resulting in the creation of a large quantity of adrenaline in the body. To me it seems like the body reacts to this adrenaline in an abnormal way. When normally the reaction to the situation would be get the hell out of here or get them right now, a panic attack turns this to where do I go I can't even move and I know I should get you but I don't know who you are, who I am, what I am... When people suggest it feels like a heart attack I suppose that is an accurate description of the physical manifestations, it increased heart rate, the breathlessness, the hotness and shooting pains and cloudy, dizzy head. But for me, I can liken it much more to the view that it is like going insane. You feel like everything you knew about yourself, the people you know, your views, your environment and the world itself is being turned on it's head. It's like you've been led on your whole life and suddenly up is down and the grass is blue. It feels like you can't handle even the smallest thing and a light breeze would blow you over the edge. There is the regular part of you who is fighting this, holding on with raw palms and ragged nails, trying to get back. But there is also this other part of you which just cries to let go, lacking the energy required to stop sinking in the sand.

Of course this feeling alleviates itself after a time, within half an hour, more often than not a lot less time than this, though it feels like you've been in that hell for a lifetime. And once it's over it's still not over. Depending on the severity it will come back to haunt you. For me it was the same time of day. I had my first panic at night and that's when I would get one. The next day the same feeling would rise, but the physical symptoms would be reduced, a miniature wave of panic that would echo the original, though not the full intensity. At the end of a wave you begin to feel positive again, like it's going to be ok. I view it as a poison bottle, the panic attack fills the bottle and the waves of panic every night after for days or weeks empties out some poison. The first night after a lot is emptied, so the next night is easier, and each night more until it is just a vague incling that those feelings exisit. Then you forget it and the bottle is empty. Dealing with the symptoms is important and developing the ability to know that a panic attack is just a panic attack is important. What's more important though, it being able to handle your adrenaline.

Adrenaline is like alcohol for me. You know how for some people drinking enhances their current mood? Like someone is happy and they drink until they are extatic, or they are sad and they drink until they are depressed and crying? Or even angry and drink until violent? Adrenaline is like that for me. If I'm in a normal mood and adrenaline emerges it helps me get stuff done that is urgent. If I'm not in a stable mood though, it can have a very bad effect. But really, that's now a thing of the past. I suppose its a bit of time and a bit of coping techniques but it all works out.

The point is, I hate the way that adrenaline can make it's way in when you don't have any reason to expell it. I have a deep hatred and anger for the doctors who caused the first panic attack which I really doubt would have come at all if not for them. I hate how the idea of doing exciting things like rollercoasters or even climbing walls still gives me the background feeling of panicy dread - not for the acceptable reason of the fear of the activity but for fear of the fear that adrenaline causes itself. I suppose we are all at odds with our bodies in some way and this is mine.

The reason I discuss this is because tonight I dealt with adrenaline in a completely normal way and I didn't even think about it until after it was done. I think that's the first time that the aura of panic that clouds the back of my mind has failed to existed. In the last few years I feel like a lot of my living has had the aim of getting back to where I was when I was 18 and life was totally in sync. I know that's rose tinted viewing now but I don't want the bad things that have happened to stop me from getting back to where I had advanced to before. One of these things was the adrenaline/panic attack issue and I think I may have gotten back on par tonight.

Wednesday, 15 December 2010

bowlie and beyond

Oh dear blog it's been a while and there haven't been many words flowing, this shall be remedied. There are a few things that need laid out just now.

I have just returned with my husband from a holiday to Butlins. Not just to Butlins though, to Bowlie 2 - a music festival curated by Belle and Sebastian. I really can't be bothered typing in the history of this event for two reasons, one being I have just added hundreds of covenanters to my database this afternoon and my fingers don't want to type anymore, the other being I didn't know about the first Bowlie and it did not subtract from my enjoyment of the event. I really dislike those people who think they are better than you because they were at the first one, or they knew the band before the band or they saw the famous concert. Whatever. So basically Bowlie 2 is/was a music festival at Butlin's Minehead where you get a chalet and can do all the Butlin's stuff as well as see three days of gigs, it's pretty good to be sure.

We decided to drive there which was I suppose our only logical option seeing as the train station is still ages from the venue and 9 hours on a bus? No thanks. So we we had to decide between taking Hamish - Stuart's car - who is new, safe and not so fuel efficient and the Bug - my car - who is old, rattly but very fuel efficient. We took Bug. Stuart wasn't insured but that was sorted and we managed the trip from Glasgow to Minehead on only one tank of fuel per journey which is pretty amazing. The trip consisted of driving a little too fast on those straight bits of road which in our defence offer you no option but to do it, you feel you have to keep up. It also consisted of ridiculous car games such as eye spy where the thing spied kept on dissapearing out of view too quickly due to speed and became basically something beginning with: R - Road; T- Tree; B - Bridge; or C - Car. We had slightly more success with naming through the alphabet with a specific catagory (e.g. Cars, A- Astra, B - Bugatti, C - Clio etc) but we quite speedily started choosing categories such as "stationery" and ended up putting Abacuses and Underwear on our metaphorical desks to fill in gaps. By the time we resorted to the number plate game it was hour 5 of the journey back up and we were just shouting words as they came into our heads - JOP "JIM ORANGE PIANO" GDR "GOD DILLPICKLE RAG" - or even worse we were simply dipping into the profanity bag and pulling out these beauties - SAP "STUPID ARSE PISH" BJB "BIG JOBBY BAWS" and so on. We did make quite good time though. Traffic impeded us on the way down but on the way back we made 7 hours INCLUDING breaks, at the end of which I think I may have started seeing things but that's neither here nor there as the Bug bombed along the straights of Abington and Lesmahagow.

The festival itself was brilliant. It was so grown up. I can illustrate just how pleasant it was with these comparisons between it and my other main festival experience of T in the Park 2005: Tents become Chalets. The ground becomes a bed. A plastic cupboard of diahorrea becomes a neat bathroom. A bottle of water and a tictac becomes a shower and toothbrush. Cheap boxed wine and £5 falafels become Coca Cola and soup. Grass and mud becomes fancy carpets. Getting pissed and falling over in a puddle becomes swimming in a wave pool with space bowl flumes. 500 feet from the stage becomes 5 feet from the stageCrushed bones and elbows in your ear become clean people maintaining your personal space. And most importantly, distorted and vague sounding bands become perfectly sound checked and levelled hand picked bands.

I'm not going to go into immense detail of the performances, only to note the following bands as either brilliant, or a good surprise: Belle and Sebastian (especially Judy and the Dream of Horses and Sleep the Clock Around), The Go! Team (especially Ice Storm), Sons and Daughters (especially Rama Lama and Taste the Last Girl) and Dirty Projectors. See my tumblr for photographs and videos. The other amazing thing at this festival was the laid back nature of the bands and the security. I don't mean laid back like lots of crap happened, I mean the bands staying in the chalets too and wandering about all the same as us. Us being allowed to wander through the venues as bands sound checked and rehearsed was another plus.

Aside from the music, there were other things to do including swimming, walking on the beach, and specially selected television programmes by ATP or Belle and Sebastian in your chalet. Here are some of the highlights of the weekend for me. Writing postcards on the floor in the Pavillion while Belle and Sebastian rehearse in front of us on stage. Swimming in the pool, jumping 7 foot waves, crazy flumes. Going under the water with Stuart and singing a sing and guessing what it was. Eating supernoodles with bread sticks. Taking oranges with me everywhere. Alex Kapranos's obvious envy of my fuzzy hat. "winning" 10p (and losing like £2 of 2ps) on a penny falls machine called Hot Dog. Losing at air hockey. To be honest the only dissapointments of the weekend were when the candyfloss machine took my £1 and never gave me the floss and when the machine that takes 1p and stamps the words "I love dinosaurs" on it was jammed and I couldn't use it.


I feel I need to tag this on here too so I don't forget. Last year I made New Year's Resolutions. I do every year, some times with more vigour than other years, but after a completely dismal 2009 I hoped that acheiving these would stop a bad streak and turn over a new leaf of luck. I did this in response (aka copying) my friend Jenny who has done the same on her blog Another Year's Words. Seeing as 2010's demise is nearly upon us I intend shortly, probably in my next blog, to give a round up and review of the year structured around my resolutions and the new outlook I have on life, which I never seemed to seek, rather it sought me. For now, here are the resolutions as well as I remember them, and we will see how well I have done.

Play with Molly and Maisie more so Molly isn't too fat
Ride Mary-anne more.
Run a 10k.
Get Married.

For the end, soon.

Monday, 6 December 2010

a feast fit for christmas

yes, so tumblr is down today and i feel i must continue my advent of christmas activites so i will put such 'lite' issues on bobbenblog itself today. this one is about making a roast dinner. we did this yesterday - me and my husband. my husband who is stranded at work over night tonight due to 6 hours of non-stop snow blizzards today from 9-3. it's very odd being in the house with the girls and not him but i will cook and bake myself out of missing or worrying about him. last night we had a wonderful roast dinner of pork with crackling, oven baked cheese filled portobello mushrooms and roast potatoes. here it is...

pork - score the skin and add oil and salt. the salt features juniper berries. add marmalade to the bottom of the pan which will make a sweet sauce. cook for the appropriate time, the first 2/3 under foil and the last 1/3 without the foil to make crackling.

mushrooms - put portobello mushrooms in a pan and cover with oil. half fil them with breadcrumbs then fill with cheese. we used cranberry stilton. cook in the oven for about 30 mins

half new potatoes and put in a pan with a shallow layer of oil. add honey, rosemary, and chopped red chillies. cook for 1 hour. use a pastry brush to mix the marinade on all the potatoes as they cook.

Thursday, 2 December 2010


One day there was someone who had a room to themselves, someone who was able to close the door and be completley alone. People would knock before being able to come in or receive a frosty welcome if they did not. Inside the room there was a lot of noise. There was music that radiated out but inside made the room feel like a capsule of white and glowing red where every inch of the music was reverberating against the walls and back into the head of the inhabitant. There was a girl in the room and she did all her being there. She would dress there, she would think there, she would mimic a breakdown there, and she would sleep there. In the mornings she would crash, to the window, through the door, to the floor. She would move things and use things and try things and discard things and leave in a whirlwind. It was always the last place in the world that wanted leaving. It sought every fiber of her then. In the afternoons there was return and light and heat and sustinance. Revival took place and each day as darkness shrouded the room activity stuttered and night brought a different mood. Noise grew louder and throughts grew thicker, obscuring. The room lost its dimensions and became fog in a forest. The room became a house and the house became a world. The girl hid in the underworld, she made it herself and let the noise engulf her. The world let her write, it let her think, it helped her not to think and then it let her cry. Somewhere there were other feelings, but the world focused her. It made her assertive, it made her a killer. Her eye was on the prize. Deep throbbing bass kept the walls pulsing, the world was alive and she would not leave. There was deep blue, purple and silvery light. She let the world break her down into building blocks and lie exposed in the corner. She let the world keep her up until her eyes felt like pinpricks and her head ached to a shreik. She let the world take over and make what happened before seem like a grain of sand. It obscured the view, but finally exposed the reality and the truth. And she slept there. When she woke in the night the world had retreated, still holding her, but wider and grey and white in light. She saw things she didn't know to be true or untrue, and she wrote them down. In the morning the world was a room as square and as rigid as she felt. She stepped out of the door and it seemed never to have existed.

Each night she grew a milimetre, and each day she emerged with steel in her veins. And no-one ever suspected her. And no-one needed to know but she.