Listening to/reading/watching

  • Spooks, Heroes and Little Dorrit
  • The Ascent of Money
  • Fountains of Wayne, Dusty Springfield, Nickleback, Talking Heads

Cluster Map

Monday, April 30, 2007

What I meant to say was...

I've been trying to write this post all day will probably still suck but here goes.

I have to go in to hospital for surgery a week on Monday - the dreaded "cyst" is now the size of a cricket ball and it has to go. Only the downside is that when it goes it will probably take what's left of my left ovary with it.

"Don't worry" say my mother "you've got another one."

"I know" I wailed "But I liked having two"

I realise that it's probably worse for a bloke, people would probably notice ( at least in the changing rooms) if you only had the one bollock. Wheras given ladies internal plumbing no one need know if I don't tell them.

I can't say I'm in any way looking forward to be chopped up...and it means I have less than no time to get the rest of my cases sorted out before I leave work. Oh well, I suppose once I do leave it will no longer be my problem, but if I leave things untidy then people will no doubt bitch about me (which is probably the lesser issue) and I will have the guilt ( undoubtedly the greater issue).

Sunday, April 29, 2007

Random Update

Well in a shock turnaround the guinea pig was found alive! And in much better condition than his clarify, we never found any remains, he was just gone and so we assumed the worst had happened. Anyway he was seen *ahem*" playing" with the Jack Russell at the bottom of the garden, so we set a humane trap and got 'im. Result.

I went to TB's new factory dinner on Friday night. I am rubbish on Friday nights, always knackered, I can swing my pants on Saturdays after copious administration of sleep and red wine but Friday night is usually a wash out. Any how I scrubbed up , took some "yeast vite" and put on a brave face, and discovered two things, firstly his new colleauges are lovely. And secondly TVR (tequila , vodka and red bull) is not the drink of choice for me.

I wasn't rude to the person who wanted me to go all the way to London for a one hour meeting and only pay me for the one hour! - I said No, really nicely.

I admit I am getting stressed now - I want the house sold and us moved it's all being going on for far too long!

Thursday, April 26, 2007

Business Class................not

It's a lovely, sunny day and I really don't want to spend this afternoon sitting on a train for 3 hours. But needs must when mammon drives ! At least it's only one day!

I'd be tempted by a first class upgrade but I'm not convinced that on a Virgin Pendalino it's actually worth it? - Free Evening Standard, a Curled up sandwich and a cup of tea, all yours for £45! Midland Main Line is a different kettle of fish all together - bigger is definately better, for trains as well! On a Pendalino you do feel is if you have been prematurley interned - Virgin Coffins? It's bound to happen eventually.

Now I need a cup of coffee if I am to face rest of the day

Laters x

Tuesday, April 24, 2007

Cookie RIP

Last night either next door's cat or a fox out of the back field broke into the cage and murdered our guinea pig. And trashed the cage!

Poor old AB.

She said "I'm a disaster with guinea pigs, one ran off, one died and now one's been murdered. Can I have rabbits instead?"

Monday, April 23, 2007

Back in the old routine

A short list of things that I discovered when I went back to the office;

1. My so called assistant had not bothered to check through my post to check if any letters had arrived in relation to any of the cases I'd asked him to keep an eye on.

2. Partly because of 1 and another couple of mistakes they missed a trial!

3. They buggered up a bankruptcy hearing for the second time.

4. I don't actually care about 1 to 3 any more, for two reasons, I've now sorted it all out and in 6 weeks time the fact that they can't wipe their own arses is not my problem.

5. Yoga in the morning is hard work when you are middle aged and stiff.


Oh I loved it ! - sorry I know the fact that I loved Kingdom and didn't understand Pinter makes me an irredemiable intellectual lightweight, but we knew that already, I only have a 2:1 and it's a science degree for heaven's sake...the law came much later.

Anyway - back to Kingdom, it had everything a Sunday night drama should have, pretty scenery, unthreatening local nutcases and a hero who can see through to the crux of the matter without losing his cool...and it has Stephen Fry, let joy be unbounded.

To nit pick if he was trying to cover the spectrum of work he appears to be covering (probate, conveyancing, litigation) he would need to join dabblers anonymous and his insurance premium would be bloody horrific. People do do it, but it is frowned upon. And he would need more than two cases at any time to keep that great mausoleum of a house/office ticking over.

To be fair, we all have smelly clients and I did (I admit) adore as an articled clerk having the key to the deceased's house and going through all their stuff. Bet he's never reposessed a jumbo jet though!

Saturday, April 21, 2007

Almost Regular Restaurant Review -Brasserie Blanc, Oxford

I like Jehrico. If I had loads of money I would buy one of those pretty cottages and rent it out to students just so I could say it was mine.

But I don't have that sort of cash so instead my mate S and me went to Brasserie Blanc for lunch, this beautiful Saturday. The staff merit special praise, fantastically efficient, charming and friendly and I even came away with a reccomendation for hair styling product - us naturally curly types need all the help we can get and share info whenever the chance arises ( curly creme, toni and guy M range apparently - I'll let you know how that works out).

Set lunch £11 each, includes a glass of wine, and a basket of bread to start. Lovely lovely celeriac salad topped with a perfect poached egg and then a very acceptable minute steak and chips. The cappuccino was very good indeed. (see Mad Jack's it's really not that difficult! - well it probably is in order to look this effortless you doubtless need a mad perfectionist at the helm). The inclusive house white was delicious and if I could remember what it was I'd go and buy a bottle!

Occasional Restaurant Review - Mad Jack's Shrewsbury

I was really excited about lunch at Mad Jack's, all the pedigree was there, owned by the same team as the Mytton and Mermaid, who also used to run Cromwells. I have very fond memories of wonderful salads in Cromwells garden in the sunshine.

So real excitement led to real dissapointment. My friend's baby (she is one and well behaved, blonde and beautiful) joined us for lunch, not only are there no high chairs, but the way the staff behaved we may as well have been carrying a turd, not a child.

Tiny ciabatta sandwiches, the chef having a strop about replacing steak with chicken in one of them and cold chips! Oh yes and three sandwiches and three drinks - £36! - this is the provinces boys stop taking the piss!

Surly staff, food not up to snuff - definatley not the place for lunch, dinner may be better but I'm not going to risk it.

Friday, April 20, 2007

All good things.......

My three weeks as a "lady of leisure" are coming to an end and suddenly there seems to be an awful lot to do! Bollocks! I was just getting used to getting up late, walking the dog and sitting about in the sunshine. I have a lovely tan let me tell you , even if the legs have been helped along a LOT by Johnson's "Holiday Skin" !

I am having a last blast by going out for lunch twice in two days , A Lady who Lunches, hurrah!

I also need to (Lippy's To Do List Follows - feel free to skip this part!) open a new bank account for my business, confirm the draft business cards, write to AB's extra subject teachers and cancel the lessons after this term, finish writing the programme outline I've been fannying about with for the last fortnight and finish writing paper for Naples. Naples currently lacks any urgency at all! - the conference is not until September even if the paper was supposed to be in end of April! And a trial settled so I need to cancel my hotel and child care for next Wednesday. Going purple when completed as can't work out how to do a strike through! - thicko!

I am feeling fit and relaxed and pretty chilled actually - I have to stop fretting about a holiday the TB won't go and enjoy himself until the house is sold, so I may as well just forget about it! - and there is bound to be something last minute if by some lucky chance a punter turns up in the next 5 weeks.

Wednesday, April 18, 2007

Much better thanks!

Yesterday got loads better! My friend made me a lovely lunch at her place (she's a vegetarian health freak but makes the best salads anywhere) then I spent the afternoon at the hairdressers drinking wine - you have to drink the wine otherwise sitting with gloop on your head for an hour reading glossy magazines is just TOO mind numbingly boring!

Then tap class - yay. Nothing like a few exercise endorphins for shifting a bad mood out of the way. Today I do have to do a bit of work. I don't know how I'm going to get on when I am back in the office next week - it's taken me until eleven o'clock this morning to do the stuff I normally do before eight when I leave for work - eep! I hope I'm not going to turn into one of those people who can't function without the routine of going in to the office, that would be really dreadful! I want to be able to achieve what I want within my own flexible timetable - and I really think I do have the self discipline to do that. I'll be ashamed of myself if it turns out that I don't. I have to get better at listening to what other people are doing rather than running my diary solely for my own benefit as well!

Must get on - Dad wants me to go and play golf with him this afternoon - he's 74 and still plays 18 holes a week!
Game on!

Tuesday, April 17, 2007

Blue Mood

The trip to the Dr's yesterday and knowing for sure that I haven't got anything terminal ( just painful, annoying and fairly easily sorted out) has left me feeling really low and disorientated, when I should be happy and relieved.

TB has gone back to work after 11 days at home - and that's weird . All the uncertainty of the move has just hit me around the head really hard, we need to sort the mortgage and or bridging out etc etc, no one seems to want to buy my house - I'm sort of offended by this it's a lovely house you bastards! And suddenly it's all a bit much.

And (this is ridiculous mid life crisis stuff so if you are easily irritated look away now!) someone I had a stupid crush on (it's allowed even when you are old and married and not going to do anything about it) has gone off me....even worse, went off me as he got to know me and to add insult to injury, is now going out with someone that he is liking more as time goes on...I know but even sad old menopausal bints like me have egos you know!

Sunday, April 15, 2007

The knicker question

Why is it that one always wears nice knickers for an appointment with the gynae? It's not like he or she is going to see them. In my case, these days, it's probably some pathetic attempt to not appear some desparate middle aged housewife in really sensible pants. This also being the reason why I don't own any really sensible pants.

Or it could be a strange remnant of everyones mothers exhaultation to "remember to wear clean knickers in case you get hit by a bus!"

Spring Thrift

I'm not really sure what's come over this household in the last couple of days. The fabulous warm weather has clearly fired up a hither to unknown "thrift gene" - maybe it's Vitamin D dependent or something.

Anyway - AB, bought a new bike from a neighbour for £15, then sold her old one to my partner at work (for his 7 year old not for him !) for £20, she had to throw in her bike hat for that but now she has stolen mine so she is still quids in.

I decided to quash my ludicrously expensive amazon habit and have joined readit/swap it ( instead, I now need to head to the post office tomorrow morning and send a whole pile of books around the country. But won't it be exciting when the new books start dropping through the letter box. They won't smell as good as amazon parcels .........and yes we are talking tragic new book addiction here.

The TB has run true to type and put everything that he was going to take to the tip in the "Bargains under £50 section of the local newspaper. So far his sales include - 24 paving slabs for £20 ( I really don't understand that one, that's the same price they are in Homebase, maybe it's a green thing?) and a hexagonal glass fish tank (with accessories) for £25. The fish tank was one of my tactical errors - it looks wonderful, but takes up half a room and about 40 gallons of water.

Thursday, April 12, 2007

Fighting a Losing Battle!

It's Spring - clearly. So begins the push to look even halfway respectable in summer clothing.

So in addition to the diet and the exercise "regime" (ok walking the dog, yoga practice and two dance classes a week - but that's not bad for a woman of my age!!), it's out with the exfoliator, the "Holiday Skin" moisturiser and toe nail polish. In fact having taken my feet out of a pair of boots for the first time in 6 months a trip to the chiropodist is clearly called for.

But of course nothing goes to plan, having slapped on some eye cream last night this morning my eye lids have swollen to twice their normal size, I can hardly see out and according to the AB I look like a blood hound...piriton and anti allergy eye drops it is then!

Wednesday, April 11, 2007

Trip Finder

I find dossing around at home seriously difficult - home = work, or at the very least an hours yoga, some ironing, walking the dog and cooking a three course meal. I can't just sit around and read a book in the garden. I don't know if it's genetic or programming or what but there it is. At home I'm not happy unless my days are rammed full of doing stuff.

In order to doss I need to be elsewhere. Add to this I have a long standing and probably terminal case of itchy feet.

I need to be booking holidays- or at least trips to somewhere. But wait, you greedy cow, I hear you say, are you not already going to a rock concert in Denmark and a law conference in Naples are you never satisfied??? Well to be honest, no. I have concerns about both - suddenly the Chillies are headlining Live Earth at Wembly on July 5 - they are also headlining in Copenhagen over the weekend 5-7 July so I'd really like to know what the deal is. And by now, when I went to Norway for legal conference I'd already booked the hotel and my flights! - we don't even know for absolutley certain this time that it's Naples,that's just the best guess, but it's definatley Italy somewhere, almost certainly!

Monday, April 09, 2007

The Islands of the Blest...

The quotes I remember always come from authors I really like - hence a thorough knowledge of Nancy Mitford rather than Dickens.

"I believed myself to be sailing towards the Islands of the Blest, while in truth I was destined for domesticity, children the usual lot of woman kind"

Well for two weeks only I have domesticity unincumbered by the office! - hurrah, and as Tickers correctly predicted cooking is a feature! It was pretty warm yesterday , so other than baking some really nice wholemeal and sunflower seed bread the menu was mostly salad. But today a huge 14lb chicken (christmas present from Mother in law!) is getting a roasting, with accompanying vegetables and probably a lemon tart to folllow? Or lemon ice cream maybe?

Oh and I made hollondaise sauce to go with salmon on Saturday - lovely and really easy I was amazed.

I really like it!

Oh well after a week there with her mother the AB clearly shares her father's view of London, "it's dirty, smelly and unnecessarily uncomfortable!". Yes but it's also endlessly fascinating. You can walk out of the door in London and do something you've never done in your life we did;

- walked along the Regent canal from Hackney to Islington on a warm spring day, then sat outside a cafe on Upper St having coffee and watching the world go by.

- went on a back stage tour of the Royal Oprea House, and we got to see the Royal Ballet in class preparing for Mayerling that evening, Carlos Acosta is the visiting principal dancer, and the man is amazing not only is he built like a god he floats!

- one of those amazing London things happened , I took AB into Foyles to buy a new book and Jaqueline Wilson (if you don't have a small girl aged between 7 and 12 she is not the most famous writer in the world, but if you do, she is!) just happened to be there doing a reading and a book signing. So the AB now has a signed JW first edition! Way cool.

- an easy walk takes in the Golden Hind, the Clink prison ( vile - and how come the first women's prison opened 60 years before there was one for men!!!!!- opression!), Borough market (only Thurs,Fri and Sat) and the Globe. Best bit was the fencing master at the Globe putting "his boys" through their paces with first a rapier and dagger, then a two handed sword and then a quarter staff, it looked fantastic.

And the AB got to mock me in the sound booth trying to do my voice overs, she also got to see the camera boys lighting the studio and my very lovely (that girl is so talented and so beautiful) editor hacking bits of my interviews together to make me look good. I never knew this stuff existed when I was 10!

Saturday, April 07, 2007

Lippy's Occasional Guide to London Restaraunts -Faulkners

Faulkners Fish and Chip Restaurant
Kingsland Rd

Faulkners "faultless" fish and chips were reccomended to me by a man what knows - and they are spot on, the cod fillet thick white fish, thinly battered, the chips fat and hot and well seasoned with salt and vinegar. No gravy or brown sauce here thank you very much. The mushy peas tasted great although slightly too green for the northern purist in me....but a slight disagreement on verdigree spectrum is not enough to detract from, for me, perfection!

You have to brave the wilds of Hackney but the 242, 243 and 149 buses all stop conveniently close by.

Sunday, April 01, 2007

10,000 Brummies can't be wrong!

The AB and me are off for a girlie week in London - she is coming to laugh at me recording voice overs and then we are doing eating, shopping, and cultural stuff - well the British Museum, Mary Poppins and a backstage tour of the Royal Opera House. The TB is off staying in a golf club in deepest Suffolk so don't go feeling sorry for him.

Anyway given that I'm away for a week there are a number of things I'd like to tell you about/Ask your opinion on.

1. Jordan/Kerry Katona - this is my theory. Kerry Katona is broke and hitched to a no name waster. Her mate Jordan is worried about her and they therefore concoct a fictitious argument to keep Kerry in OK mag and the pay cheques coming..discuss.
And yes before you ask, we read all the gossip mags, Heat,OK, Hello. They go around the office on the same circulation list as The Solicitor's Journal and the Estates Gazette.

2. Yesterday we had an afternoon out with the CCS (the Chav Cheering Section) for complex reasons the AB, TB and me were crammed in the NIA with 10,000 Brummies cheering on the live version of "Dancing On Ice". It was spectacular and Chris and Jane are certainly impressively dancing on into thier dotage - they must have a combined age of over 90! But way to make money - 2 shows, 10,000 in each £44 a ticket , that's a million a day! I'd come out of retirement for that.

The audience was largley comprised of the fat, chav and bewildered and most of them had brought their Gran as well. But apart from the TB muttering "I've stopped believing in evolution as of now!" it was a good afternoon. Although a particular high spot was on they way out of the car park- when a small, round stripy child nipped out of the back of the Corsa which was in front of us in the queue and pulled a take away pizza box out of the boot. obviously cold pizza in the boot in case of nutritional why didn't I think of that?

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A blog about being middle aged, in England in 2013