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Listening to/reading/watching

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

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Sunday, December 28, 2008

2009

I've been "writing" ( I use the term writing in it's loosest possible sense of course!) this blog for over 2 years now so I'm able to look back on my new year resolutions for 2007 & 2008 and go me I've acheived a couple of the things that I wanted to do in each of those years. Noteably I've failed on the travel plans - due to lack of money and giant school fees, but hey, what can you do!

Most pleasingly (and despite slippage!) I'm a whole 12lbs lighter and a dress size smaller than I was this time last year. And I managed to keep my little new business on the road despite a couple of non-payment by clients disasters and I at this point I owe no one anything. On the horse front I acheived my NVQ1 in horse care, competed for the first time in 20 years or so (OK not to any standard but a rosette is a rosette) and only fell off once! My gym attendance was sporadic but I walked for 40 minutes every day.

So rather than resolve I'm going to make some wishes for 2009. I wish that in 2009 life will be;

- more sociable. Some more parties and some more laughs would be lovely.
- turn up a NBF ( New Best Friend - or at least one who doesn't live miles and miles away!)
- prosperous ( probably a slightly demented wish in a recession but I can wish!)
- fit and healthy!
- feature me being a steady size 12 (not a vascilating 12-14!)
- involve travel! (although I concede that will depend upon the prosperous bit)

And I wish for all my kind and forbearing readers everything you would wish for yourselves!

Happy 2009!

Monday, December 22, 2008

Excellent.

It's Christmas, and therefore everyone has flu, or variations thereon, some involving continuous sneezing and others involving vomiting. This makes for an interesting and somewhat challenging combination of nursing requirements.

When I say everyone, I mean of course everyone but me. By the law of Christmas mothers are immune from illness until Boxing Day only after I've cooked the ham, the goose, the trifle and the chocolate log will my immune system succumb. And on Boxing Day afternoon (with the fridge stuffed with enough cold food to last a week) I shall inevitably stricken by a combination virus which includes both vomiting and sneezing ( hopefully not both at the same time!).

Until then I'm enjoying solo nights on the sofa, eating Quality Street in front of the fire and watching repeats of "Love Actually", I've just realised in fact that I had never seen it all the way through, uninterrupted, until this evening....excellent.

But don't forget Christmas isn't about religion - it's much more important than that (which is why all this avoiding it to not offend other religions is such nonsense) it's very lack of religion is made clear by the alacrity with which all faiths join in, turkey, silly hats and all. Christmas is about the human spirit, the hope in the depth of winter that the sun will come again and the earth will be warm. Which took a bit of beleiving when you were in a cold cave I bet. So to "SOL INVICTUS" the invincible sun and to you all Happy Christmas .

Friday, December 19, 2008

London

Just back from the smoke with an only mild hangover!

Manged to ;

  • Get lost on the way out of the Xmas lunch venue, so totally failed to go with everyone else to pub on Kings Road, ended up on Wandsworth Bridge and had to jump in a cab back to the hotel (thank goodness for black cabs!)
  • Now stayed in fave hotel so often that I'm getting free drinks off the manager - may be a bad sign. He is a nice bloke though bless him.
  • Got to 8am breakfast meeting even with lunch hangover.
  • Have 3 new instructions today - do they not know it's nearly Christmas! Great to have the work but clients need to work on their timing.

Have shamelessly stolen good line from teen movie that I know old mate won't see and told him his mood swings give me whiplash! It's true but I fear it may have something to do with his current cocaine content!

Tuesday, December 16, 2008

All Clear!

So now I feel stupid . Cancer scare was just that , a scare. My biopsy has come back clear and very fast (thank you BUPA). I have to go back in 6 weeks to double check but really it's just paranoia,

On the upside, I now have sufficient life insurance! Weird that was all I was worried about , leaving the family in a mess with not enough money.

Have v little work today so I ought to do it all quick, then go to the gym. Whether I do or not is a different matter.

Monday, December 15, 2008

Bruised!

Ah yes, the Riding Club Chritmas Indoor Showumping - what a complete disaster that was!

The AB was off ski-ing that evening and I was in two minds as to whether or not I really had time to go and compete in the afternoon. My dear horse clearly picked up the vibe and thought "well Lippy if you can't be arsed neither can I" and chucked me on the floor at the second fence.

In front of all my mates and all the AB's mates. I should have got back on and made her jump the course - but to be honest, I was completely winded, my head was ringing, I felt sick and more to the point I didn't trust the old cow not to chuck me on the floor again.

I did go round the course at the end - on someone else's very sweet and well behaved pony.

Time for a re-think when the loan agreement comes up for review in the New Year I think! - one credit crunch side effect, lots of horses up for share or loan with financial terms being very "negotiable"!

Sunday, December 14, 2008

The Jumbo Jet

Time was that if you owed a sufficiently large sum of money, your creditor could obtain a judgement against you in the High Court, he could then obtain a writ of feria fericas and instruct the Sherrif's officers of the relevant Balliwick to levy execution against your belongings. (in other words come around your house and take your stuff).

And so it came to pass, in the year of our lord 1992, that an African National Airline, had conspicuously failed to pay for their aircraft fuel and owed Shell at Manchester Airport a suitably large amount of dosh.

At that time, there was an articled clerk (me) working in the office of the Under Sherrif of Cheshire, within whose Balliwick Manchester Airport fell. And so armed with our sealed writ, one Wednesday morning the Under Sherrif and me headed off to Manchester Airport. Where we were met by the head of airport security and chauffered down the run way in one of those little brown cars with the orange light on top and the siren (always wanted to do that!). When we got to the plane, we stuck a sealed writ on the door, while the airport mechanic took the battery out of the engine. We went up to the cockpit - where the amount of loose wiring hanging down everywhere was scary - and stuck another writ on the dashboard (is that what you call it?) . And then we all went home.

Boss had a much more interesting time later when I was back at law school - evicting Swampy and his mates during the Manchester 2nd runway protest.

Thursday, December 11, 2008

I am a Writer ! (well, maybe not!)

Today has a definate writing theme as on the to do list it says;

* write legal column for this months "Living in Bumpkinshire Magazine"

* write firms monthly client newsletter

This is rich Lippy I hear you say - you cannot spell and your grammar is atrocious! Yes I know Darlings, I have editors. And the aforementioned editors cannot complain as it is all done for love and no pay.......well for free advertising and PR and no pay at any rate. So you will appreciate that it is with no small degree of jealousy that I note Colleen Rooney (nee McLoughlin) is being paid £47,000 a week (!) for churning out 500 words for OK magazine! That's nearly £100 a word! At that rate this blog post is worth almost a grand.. What do you think , is this drivel worth that kind of money?..maybe if I just stuck in a few pictures of me and the toy boy? Although the Toy Boy bears less resemblence to Shrek and is more a taller, Brummie , Ray Winstone! No? You don't think the family outing to Hunstanton would cut it in the same way as the Rooneys honeymoon in Vegas? Damn.

But seriously, can "celebs" continue to be recession proof? The poor souls still toiling away in my old law firm have just taken a 15% pay cut which wipes out their last 5 years pay rises in one go! My work has stayed pretty steady I have to say - which as I am a new start up business I'm very pleased with. But so many people are struggling it's just awful. Even the liquidators aren't making any money because all the firms and people going bust have no assets ( liquidators get paid out of what they raise from the assets and book debts of the company for themselves and the creditors).

I keep telling myself that I've lived through two recessions already and the fortunes of me always seem to be curiously out of synch with the economy as a whole. While everyone else was a "yuppie" I was poor and desparate. In the early 90's recession my life picked up and I had a good job. During which good job I must admit I spent a lot of time reposessing other people's houses. Have I ever told you about the day I reposessed a jumbo jet on the runway at Manchester Airport?

Tuesday, December 09, 2008

I knew I'd be embarassed by that last post - so hey - lets all pretend it's not happening! OK?

The Messiah in St Paul's last week was lovely but honestly, Handel doesn't really do it for me. That makes me a Phillistine I know, but there it is, too much trilling and not enough tune for my taste. Beautiful cathedral, very hard chairs, but of a draft up your back.

My meeting in London for this Thursday has been cancelled so an extra day! - I actually took it today if I'm honest. I've done no work at all, went riding this morning and then out for a very long lunch...shameful self employed behaviour.

I do need to work tomorrow and variously sort my life out. And I will.

Monday, December 08, 2008

Oh shit!

I really really don't want this to turn into an "ailments" blog. You know the kind of thing, bravery in the face of invasive medical procedures. I admit I do moan from time to time about what's up with me - but that's I hope, a reality check in what would otherwise look like a charmed life.

But today life sent me a bit of a curve ball - an unrelated bit of my anatomy is playing up and in the next week or so ( basically as soon as they can sort out the appointment) I have to go for tests to see if I have cancer. I probably haven't and I will in all probability regret this post as a bit of over dramatic self pitying rubbish. I contemplated not making it on that basis. Particularly as I don't pretend for one minute that this blog gives full and frank discolsure of everything that's going on in my life..........it doesn't, I'm too much of a wimp for that.

I am pissed off though - with everything else I feel I have gone through my legitimate share of medical "poking in prodding", it's not fair!!! Lifes not fair Lippy get the fuck over it!!!

However, I need to frame this fear in words. My immediate family know but I can't exactly ring my friends going "Hi how are you? I might have cancer." So I'm imposing my fear on you instead. Sorry and all that. When it turns out to be absolutely nothing then you can share my embarassment.

Love

L xx

Wednesday, December 03, 2008

Sugar Rush!

Update on annoying case - client took my advice. Admittedly only after I told him he was running his commercial dispute like a divorce case, ie too much emotion and not enough looking at the bottom line! Which was a bit of a harsh thing to say, even for me. But.....the advice worked ...result! OK it's a small battle in what may prove to be a very long war, but hurrah!


Nicey's asking about love. To which my instant knee jerk response was, "don't ask me, I've been married for nearly 20 years!". And then I thought about it a bit more. I once made the mistake of asking the TB why he loved me and he said "because you are really kind to me" - I was furious, I wanted to be told it was because I was beautiful, fascinating, sexy and irresistable. When you first fall for someone, in that initial "sugar rush" maybe you are, fascinating, sexy and irresistable. But then you turn out to fart and sweat like the rest of the world. And what counts, is someone who is nice to you and loves you for who you are - not what they thought you were or wish you would become. And how do you tell when someone loves you ? When they cook you beef in red wine with dumplings, because it's your favourite, even though they really don't like beef in red wine with dumplings. Guess what we've got for tea tonight?

Tuesday, December 02, 2008

Solicitor, thinking beautiful thoughts!

I am at the end of my patience with a case - probably because being in pain wore me down a bit. This is a difficult position to be in because, honestly, to be useful as a professional adviser to some extent you don't have to give a fuck how the case turns out.

It's my job to tell you that what you are doing is stupid. It is not my job to stop you doing whatever stupid thing it is you are proposing to do - you see the difference??

One of the fascinating things about my job is the brilliant (and sometimes slightly mad) people that you get to work with. In consequence whilst walking the dog around the forest this morning I was able to take some on the mobile advice, from a very expensive barrister. The advice was very good and I now only owe them a pint. A pint of champagne maybe, but still. So what was the advice?

Either get back to a place where I don't care about this case, or hand it over to someone who genuinely doesn't give a toss. Handing over the case or involving a barrister is the £500 an hour option. The cheap option ?- "solicitor walking dog through forest, thinking beautiful thoughts!"

Sunday, November 30, 2008

Less Carbs, More Yoga

On a mission NOT to feel as bad as I did last week ever again! So as the title says, less carbs and more yoga.

Isn't this relentlessly grey weather depressing, like living at the bottom of a bucket!!!

Even the Xmas market in town failed to make me feel better today, it was too crowded, too gaudy and too full of "Christmas tat!". Bah humbug and all that.

I am very fortunately going to hear the Messiah at St Pauls on Thursday evening, let's see if a bit of high culture can't do the trick.

The AB is off ski-ing with school in a couple of weeks, I am envious if only that she will have snow and mountains and hopefully a bit of sunshine. The actual skiing, not so much, I'm a bit of a coffee skier, "I'll ski down this green run and then I'll have a cup of coffee!". Toy boy off to Holland tomorrow working having been in Germany last week. I'd like to be in Norway now though , I've only been once and I've been thinking about it a lot lately. Beautiful place, lovely people....maybe I could sneak a weekend flight to Oslo....

Wednesday, November 26, 2008

The "old trouble" (endometriosis) has kicked off again - which means pain, at the minute to the point where it hurts so much I feel sick.

And it's cold - what I call "Fen Cold" a deep damp accompanied by a biting cold east wind that pushes the cold and damp deep into your bones.

Viz - I feel shitty!

Sorry.

Sunday, November 23, 2008

Survivors

God I loved the original series of "Survivors" when I was twelve. It inspired countless kids games and as many fantasies about how I would live if I was "the only one left alive!" - having a small swarm of younger brothers and sisters you can see how that fantasy was quite appealing.

The remake is on BBC 1 tonight and I hope, beyond hope, that it matches up to my fond memories. Otherwise it's back to working out whether it's better to stake out a supermarket or take over a farm early on!

When you're stacking shelves in Tesco's you'll wish you'd listened to your mother!

It's exam time for the AB - and as the pampered public school educated offspring of doting professional parents she's not worried - why should she be?

Because I, her screaming harpy of a "first generation to go to University" mother say she should be that's why! I didn't battle my way through the 11 plus , 10 o Levels and 4 A Levels so that she could be a slacker! No - that isn't the way it's supposed to work.

So she is subjected to a constant barrage of questioning about how may Latin declentions she has by heart and whether she has really done the practice French comprehension that she said she had - whilst listening to the sound track of High School Musical 3, obviously.

I periodically scream "it won't be my fault when you're sweeping the streets! I've done my best!" not sure it's helping.

Thursday, November 20, 2008

Buy this Book!

Among the links to this blog is one to "Skips Acorn Treasury" the delightful blog of the Fabulous Mr Goss.

What you may not know is that he has written the latest Torchwood novelisation "Almost Perfect"...and not unexpectedly it's wonderful. A delightful combination of watching Torchwood and spending an evening getting mullered on daiquari's and setting the world to rights with Goss. And whilst each of those things is great fun together they are a combination I've found both entertaining and utterly compelling - so go, buy read....honestly there are many many worse ways to spend £6.99. It may well save you from wasting another evening watching "I'm A Celebrity" and if it sends you out to look at the world through a wholly more cynical eye then so much the better.

Monday, November 17, 2008

7 Things - Stolen from Everyone!

7 Things I plan to do before I die:

1. Take a month’s holiday in India and Sri Lanka
2. See the Northern Lights
3. Own an Irish Draught Mare
4. See my daughter grown up, independent and happy in whatever way works for her.
5. Have mad curly silver hair (ok it’s mad and curly now but when it’s silver I think it will be wicked!)
6. Tango in Buenos Aries
7. Spend a summer travelling around Europe from Norway to Portugal and all points in between.

7 Things I do now:

1. Cook from scratch all the time. Everything – even curry and crispy duck with pancakes and make my own bread.
2. Ride horses.
3. Take my Jack Russell on Long Walks.
4. Do yoga
5. Tap dance in private!
6. Read books – all the time.
7. Iron sheets – because they are just better that way. (Yes and duvet covers and pillow cases)

7 Things I can't do:

1. Eat Marmite (eww yak ewwwwww!)
2. Be at any kind of a height without my knees turning to jelly (who had to close their eyes and be led across the glass bridge into the Bull Ring Car park? yes that would be me)
3. Run. Well Ok I can run, a bit, but I hate it; my chest and running are ergonomically incompatible.
4. Make meringues – it’s a mental block thing
5. Sew – as in make clothes sew.
6. Draw or Paint
7. Watch soaps – East Enders or Corrie or whatever else there is, not my thing.


7 Things that attract me in the opposite sex:

1. Tall and well built (call me shallow but I just can’t find it in me to fancy a short, skinny bloke)
2. Rough accents – Cockney, Yorkshire, Geordie – I married an almost Brummie for heaven’s sake.
3. Wearing something other than a suit to work; suit = no vote
4. Doing stuff – don’t care what you are into so long as you are into something, no couch potatoes please.
5. Competence – not being able to cook or iron or look after yourself is a major turn off
6. Being chatty – life is too short for strong and silent
7. Not being shy – in my humble experience all shy people are arrogant bastards who just can’t be arsed to think about any one else.

7 Things I say most often:

1. You haven’t got a hope in hell of winning this case.
2. I’d love to help you but I’m afraid it’s only a practising certificate not a magic wand.
3. Please pay me £2000 on account.
4. In my respectful submission
5. Which one of us went to law school?
6. You aren’t going to be happy with the outcome unless the judge says he loves you and wants to have your babies. And I think the chances of that happening are frankly slight.
7. £180 an hour.


7 Celebrities that I admire:

1 Stephen Fry – the brain, the delivery, what a guy!
2. David Tenant – he’s the Doctor nuf said.
3. Amanda Redman – I just think she’s cool
4. Eva Green (Big Girl crush on Vesper Lynd)
5. Ian Rankin
6. JK Rowling
7.Richard Armitage ( or is that not the kind of admiration you were thinking of?!)

7 Favourite foods:

1. Roast Lamb and Mint Sauce
2. Chilli Squid
3. Fiorentina Pizza
4. Chocolate Mousse ( the kind with no cream and made with very dark chocolate)
5. Roast Goose and Apple Sauce
6. Brownies
7. Digestive Biscuits with Philadephia Cheese

Your bog standard weekend.

On Friday's the standard form of email sign off seems to have become "have a good weekend" - which is nice. But slightly leaves me feeling as if I'm missing out on something.

My standard weekend follows the same basic format that it's done for years, it goes like this -

Saturday - get up and clean the house right through, do the washing and ironing. Take the dog for a decent walk.By then there is only time to make some tea and watch some drivel on the telly current drivel position is occupied by Strictly Come Dancing and Merlin.

Sunday - either swim or go to gym first thing, home for a big breakfast then head off to stables and ride for a c couple of hours . Snack lunch - then more dog walking, both weekend days it's usually 5 miles or so per walk. The home cook a giant roast for everyone , have some wine and collapse in a heap. Go to the cinema may occasionally substitute for collapse in a heap.

I've done a quick straw pole of my mates and really - not all that unusual. Probably go to about 6-8 parties a year, less than 1 a month! And to the pub once in a blue moon, because I don't know anyone at the pub so what's the point?

Friday, November 14, 2008

Crackered

Working in London for 3 days I spent one night in a fabulous suite at the Fox in Smithfield - can I say wow, TWO flat screen tvs and a huge slipper bath and my own balcony. Such a shame it was work and I was on my own. Day 3 was an emergency stop over however - it's ages since I've done a emergency shirt and knickers run to M&S - and there were NO hotel rooms in London anywhere.

Fortunately I was saved by a lovely friend who lives in Brockley, I went and stopped at her house, which was fab and involved the obligatory couple of hours in her local wine bar, "Mr Lawrence" - if you are in Brockley do call in, it has nice wine, nice big comfy arm chairs and food too.

After spending 30 hours in meetings over 3 days came home last night and slept for 11 hours straight. This morning I'm off to ride the horse.

And nicey - have been to the gym twice this week and done yoga every morning. I still hate the treadmill but I'm slowly learning to live with it.

Friday, November 07, 2008

Bang and Sparkle!

So Lippy where have you been?

All over the place mate!

This morning I schooled my friends horse for her, he's a perfect little gent but tends to canter like a rocking horse. Making him stretch out is a bit of a stretch for both of us, so after three quarters of an hour we were both pretty sweaty and decided it was job done! Then came home and did some work.

On the work front at the minute I seem to be spending vast amounts of time explaining to other lawyers that it is NOT POSSIBLE to be a "sleeping director " of a company. You took the money - therefore you have to go to the board meetings. I honestly feel like asking " Did you actually go to law school ?Or were you just asleep at the back of the class?!"


Many thanks to Nobody Girl for holding my hand over hotel rooms - yet again! Just my luck to be searching for last minute accomodation when there is a huge travel conference in town. And I need my beauty sleep as I have a scary meeting with HSBC in Canada Sq the next day - eep.

Went to the AB's school bonfire party on Wednesday night - hence the bang and sparkle in the title, And it was fab - have a sneaking suspicion that some of this terms school fees may have gone up in smoke that night the fireworks were so spectacular. The kids went feral around the grounds with their mates and all the adults stood coooing over the fireworks. Typical! Going to see some more in the Abbey Gardens tomorrow. And I bought our New Year rockets from Waitrose today - they are huge, the TB will have a fit!!! And they were on "two for one" so he is going to be outside shivering for hours letting in the new year - oh well, maybe we should just line everything up (all 30 of them) and light them at a run?!

Have a banging sparkly weekend - and catch you next week.

Oh and if I'm a bit absent I'm trying to write a novel this month. I know, joke, I can hardly string a sentance together at the best of times. If you would like to monitor my progress go to nanowrimo website and look for andien. I may even post an extract for general mocking!!!!

Sunday, November 02, 2008

Haloween

Well, I'd bought mini milky ways and little packets of maltesers and did we get a single trick or treater? No.

Our kid went out and after last year's dissapointment ; 3 granola bars , an orange and an apple - we live on a very middle class road, full of doctors! She had clearly managed to educate the neighbours and came back with what I thought was a massive haul of smarties and mini mars bars. But I was brought up to speed by her mate who said " we did much better when we lived in Essex, all the chavs give you loads!"

Monday, October 27, 2008

Hunter Trial

Didn't fall on head today - did however get beaten by 12 year old daughter, which on reflection is how it should be....I now have two pairs of filthy dirty riding boots to clean!

Friday, October 24, 2008

"Come On!"

"Come On" - said in a Stoke accent a la Robbie Williams in Rock DJ to reflect my roots. Stoke, that is, not Robbie Williams, although I did work in his Dad's pub once. The Red Lion in Burselm when I was a student - I think Robbie was about 2 at the time!

It's grey, it's raining, I need to go and get some practice in for the Hunter trial on Monday - it would not be cool to go around the course having not ridden at all for three weeks. I fear this may only serve to bring foward the part where I fall on my head from Monday to today but never mind.

OK I solemnly sware that at 4pm today I will shut the door on my office and not open it again until Monday afternoon (Hunter trial in the morning) whatever happens.....

Wednesday, October 22, 2008

Supper Club!

I have got such a cooking head on today...it's just a lovely crispy, autum, lets make the most of having a massive kitchen day - don't you think?

So as a dedicated home worker I will settle my two sets of court papers, send off the cheque for my new practising certificate (the Law Society are robbing bastards -£1000 a year just to stay on the roll in return for which I get precisely nothing, thanks boys!). And then I shall get the old apron on.

I am planning - chocolate/cheesecake brownies (where you alternate brownie and cheesecake mixture in the tin so it comes out marbled), spiced pumpkin soup and a sour Goan chicken curry. Not to be eaten all at once obviously - hmm, might even try to make some Nan bread, I'll see how I feel. Bright sunshiney kitchen, baking smells, Radio 4 - heaven! I am SUCH a cheap date.

Monday, October 20, 2008

French and Saunders, wop a doey ooh!

So French and Saunders - the Still Alive tour. I had front row tickets for the first night - and honestly the place was so packed with celebs I didn't know whether to look at the stage or the audience. I was "THAT" close to Gok Wan who was sitting in the row behind, with an exquisitley pretty blond boy who I sincerely hope was his boyf, and I didn't scream "Gok Gok I love you please be my new best friend" - which I thought showed commendable restraint. Lenny was there (obviously) and Jane Horrocks and all the Dibleys and Catherine Tate (with her mum), Lisa Tarbuck (oh my God I'm WAY thinner than she is ! I was amazed!).

Anyway, yes , yes the show.....the good bits of F & S are funny and make you wince at the same time. There was a sketch about public school kids left in the boarding house for Christmas which was so spot on I didn't know whether to laugh or cry, or yell "I know her, it worked out OK in the end!". Too much big screen if I'm honest, and for me too much slapstick - although the two old men sketch at the end was horrifically hilarious. The original Ab Fab sketch with Dawn as Saffy was as good as I remembered and all in all I had a stonkingly good time. Thanks girlies!

Tuesday, October 14, 2008

Skiving


Oh bollocks to it - I have awarded myself a couple of days off! - I'm going to see French and Saunders at the Drury Lane theatre on Thursday with a jolly good mate of mine, hurrah.

Will be back on Friday evening - hung over and no doubt poorer but at this point I'm not sure that I care all that much.

Sunday, October 12, 2008

Crackered!

I am working my second Sunday in a row - which is good for the finances but little else.

To tell you the truth after practically jogging around London to see clients at the end of last week , I was hoping to a quiet start to this one - but no chance. Got to be in Chancery Lane at 11am tomorrow and need to be ready for it. And I don't even feel as if I've turned myself around properly this weekend either. There is still a big pile of laundry that needs finishing off and I could do with a weekend in the spa from the look of me.

How to balance this out ?

I am deeply jealous of anyone who has had a "go rip it up" weekend - no chaance of one of those, and I am not even sure that I could stay awake long enough to enjoy it.

Survival tips warmly welcomed!

Monday, October 06, 2008

So who do you want to win Strictly?

Strictly Come Dancing is the only "reality" tv that I watch..I can say with hand on heart that I have never seen the X Factor or Big Brother or anything else but when it comes to Strictly I'm addicted.

Why? - apart from a bit of a Len crush which is disturbing enough in itself. I like all the spangly bits and thinking "with a few lessons I could do that" . It is clearly a girl thing as while the AB and I become frantically excited the TB retreats to his office and works and even a scantily clad Lisa Snowdon can't tempt him into the sitting room.

So back to my question - who do you want to win?

I really like Jodie - I think because she reminds me of a very old friend (who was also very tall and an ex-model) who died very young and who I still miss dreadfully. But with my honest head on she hasn't got much of a prayer.

Cherie I would love to go far, as the standard bearer for all of us who aren't 20 any more.

I think Rachel Stevens may well win which would just be really annoying.

And out of the Tom/Austin stand off - haven't made my mind up - but hopefully I have several weeks of delicious lechery ahead of me before it's necessary to make a choice!

Saturday, October 04, 2008

How did it go yesterday?

Well as you ask - not very well.

In the novice dressage test I only got a 4th place - nice try but no rosette. To say that my daughter is gloating over my fall from grace doesn't begin to express the true depth of her feelings.

And then in court I lost, due to the fact, as the judge commented to me in the robing room afterwards, that my client was " a lying little toe rag"..........well spotted Ma'm.

Tuesday, September 30, 2008

What's New?

Honestly doesn't it drive you mental when people ask that ? My life is not one unending search for novelty thank you all the same.

Actually what is new is pretty scary. The "financial crisis " can seem distant and esoteric but to put some personal spin on it. If the American insurance company AIG had not been propped up by the US government and had folded, more than half of the solicitors practices in the UK would have had to close their doors over night. At least while they found themselves new professional indemnity insurance. AIG is the biggest provider of PI insurance - which is of course compulsory and without which necessary evil no solicitor can work. Fortunatley for now - until they turn out to be the next victim - I'm with Zurich!

Lots of litigation is also funded by after the event insurance - a client of mine has just concluded a deal on a case which was so funded. And this afternoon (3 weeks after it was promised ) we have had to have the "where is the fucking money?" telephone call.

Unsurprisingly I'm not lifting a pen without being paid on account!

Thursday, September 25, 2008

Freelancing for the Faint Hearted

Yes it's true, I sit around the house all day, staring at a computer screen and waiting for the telephone to ring. I don't drag into the office on a train, I don't wear a suit every day anymore (just high days, holidays and court days!) and I don't have to worry about having partners in a law firm.

But I still haven't got it sussed yet, although having read the Sunday times this week I'm not as bad as some!

Stuff I don't do;

- take naps
- watch day time televisiosn
- lie face down on the carpet drooling
- sit in my pyjamas all day
- eat chocolate
- spread my work all around the house


Stuff I do do;

- walk the dog every day
- keep all my work in the office
- work odd hours if I feel like it
- ride the horse first thing in the morning instead of going to work
- have a bad addiction to celebrity gossip websites - mrpaparrazzi (don't go there, it's just wrong!)
- have a very, very tidy office with fresh flowers and scented candles - you sad indulgent bint Lippy!
- cook nice dinners every day (did this malaysian salmon recipie last night - stole it out of the hairdressers copy of OK magazine and it was yum! maybe I should post it?!)
- go out to business networking events at least a couple of times a month

Stuff I wish I did;

- went to the gym every day instead of a paltry couple of times a week
- understood my own tax returns instead of just bursting into tears and throwing the envelopes at my accountant - but he's a nice man and his wife is a lawyer who does exactly the same thing so he understands.
- really kept on top of all my legal research so I didn't have to rush around like a nutter trying to get all my CPD points in the last 3 weeks of the training year like everyone else.
- have enough self discipline not to leave all my really horrible phone calls until 4pm thus ruining the rest of the day!

C'est la vie de Lippy!

Wednesday, September 24, 2008

Freedom

The flexibility of being freelance is mosly lovely, but it can lead one to make appointments in a fashion that may strike others as well, frankly, a little bit mental.

For example next Friday I have a dressage test in the morning and a fast track trial in the afternoon..........................hmmmmm

Tuesday, September 23, 2008

Autumnal

It is very definatley autumn isn't it. And no sign at all of that Indian Summer that we all convinced ourselves we were going to get, on the basis that, after such a lousy August - WE DESERVED IT!

The weather God clearly disagrees.

The mantra for everyone seems to be "spend less and save more" - and it's certainly true Chez Lippy, in a fit of thrift I promised the TB that I wouldn't buy any new clothes for the next six months. As I've gone down one jeans size and am well on the way to dropping another this could be pretty interesting. So far I've stolen one of his belts, punched new holes in it and am adopting the baggy "boyfriend jean" look.........this isn't going to work quite so well with the suits that I wear for court. I may have to negotiate a "new frock for court" exemption and a "new suit disclamer" - but I'll allow the financial weather to make up it's mind first.

Even more disharteningly all the really crazy clients have decided that "Lawyers are not an essential business spend" . I am overwhelmed with nostalgia. Oh for the heady times when client's would fill their next door neighbours sewage outflow pipe with expanding foam (just in time for Christmas), the case of sunken floating restaurant which was owned by an insolvent partnership both partners in which promptly died, the grandmother who , when her son died, discovered he had been ripping her off for years and promptly (before the funeral) issued proceedings against her grandsons who were the executors of his estate. Ah well.....those were the days........

Friday, September 19, 2008

Quarks and Strangeness.

Well a couple of 5.30am starts this week (to get to London for 8.30 am meetings) led to some falling off the waggon. Having got myself to Liverpool St for 8 am I awarded myself a Cafe Nero skinny cappucino, twice - oh dear! And whilst I still haven't had any bread - a bit of pastry but no bread. And bizarrley with the cappucinos and some large glasses of white wine, and only going to the gym once - I've started losing weight again! Hurrah! But how weird is that - apparently tight lipped, hanging on in desparation is a self defeating posture to adopt. I suspect though that unless I climb back on the waggon pretty sharpish the gains will soon turn into losses.

Talking of losses - I can't actually worry about money at this point. I've taken my disaster on the chin and I'm carrying on. My poor Mum and Dad are very concerned as they have pensions and investment income only, quite a lot of it in the Halifax. But hell, if the worst comes to the worst, we've got a big spare room they can sell their house and move in. It would have to be pretty hairy for them to volunteer for that though - whilst we get on pretty well it's an exceptional family that gets on THAT well.

How was London? London was fine, very good meeting, very good conference. Ended up in a rather fabulous pub just off Kensington High St. It looked like a spit and sawdust boozer from the outside, but inside was all blonde wood and squashy leather sofas. We fell into conversation with a former "Miss Teen New Zealand" and her rich English boyfriend. The boyf had , like my brother before him, acquired a full on South African accent on the strengh of a six week stay in Cape Town and as a result was virtually incomprehensible. Almost makes you glad you are not rich enough to fritter your life away in Kensington Boozers every day.

Saturday, September 13, 2008

Planet Legal

Well here on planet legal insolvency is the hottest game in town and let me tell you it's not much fun.

I am a litigator, all of my client's are therefore, by definition, unhappy people. As things stand in the world of business many of them are also desparate people. And there are limits to what can be done to help.

If your business is looking shaky don't hang around hoping that things will get better - chances are they won't, draw a line, call a halt, get some help. And keep chasing your debtors hard - very hard and if you haven't got the knackers to chase hard pay me and I'll do it for you.

So keep your costs down, and your product development up - and don't ask me how to do those two things simultaneously, I've spent a small fortune on training updates for myself this month which is what passes for "product devlopment" in my profession....well that and going to the gym so you don't have a heart attack in the court room. I do sometimes wonder whether the old school litigators had it right, the ones who had to be fetched from the snug at the Dog and Duck when it was time for closing submissions. On the other hand the last one I knew who had survivied chirossis went bankrupt.............

Friday, September 12, 2008

When John McCain dies it's going to be very bad!

Well you may think it is high time that I took my head out of my arse and had a look at the outside world...and you would be right.

Oh dear I know Barack Obama had many reasons not to want Hillary as vice president but I think that is a failure of nerve that he is going to live to regret for ever.

Sarah Palin is clearly a bloody nightmare ; doesn't believe in sex education in schools (doesn't look like the parents did a very good job in her house!); doesn't beleive in global warming; has never travelled any further afield than Canada and Mexico. And has all the empathy and intellecutal depth of the moose heads she sticks on her walls. But she clearly has the "Daily Mail" factor going for her in spades. Putting the governor's private jet up for sale on ebay was a political masterstroke. If you don't think about her policies for too long they almost sound sensible - "We are importing a lot of oil - that's bad" "We could dig up Alaskan oil that would be good. And so if a few polar bears die there's plenty more and this global warming stuff is a myth anyway."

I admit that she gives me hives. But I think part of what makes her so scary is that she represents the America that none of us card carrying lefty Europeans want to admit even exists. The red necked bit in the middle. We've seen Deliverance. We know they are out there - looks like they are coming to a White House near you very soon.

Thursday, September 11, 2008

Doing something right?

Our lovely French exchange student goes home next week. We will miss her she is so sweet. And she said "I am really going to miss all the lovely food you cook when I go back to France.."



So I'm not totally hopeless!

Wednesday, September 10, 2008

Head down...but doesn't that leave your arse exposed?

So how is it all going? The family are OK - TB is working hard as his factory gears up for their annual insanely busy phase. AB is back to school and loving everything about school apart from the actual lessons. She tried "forgetting" to do her homework on Thursday, nice try, but it only resulted in her being woken up at 6am and having to finish it before school, don't think she will try that one again in a hurry. Her father never shouts at anyone but he is really difficult to argue with.

As for me, I have stuff to do..which is good. But I have a confession...........although I work hard for my clients I don't have a really giant legal brain (although when I go for the complete head and body transplant I'm going to ask for the brain augmentation chip as well, might as well get the whole package). I had an interesting trial in Manchester on Monday where although I won I did come out thinking "Lippy not one of your best performances, in fact face it babe you were more than a bit shit." Client is happy enough but I am really really not.

I want to be on top of my game and doing my best work, but I seem to be skidding along from one fire fighting job to the next. And my confidence in my own abilities is pretty low to say the least. Added to which I am having to go out and "sell" what I do in a competitive market and what I really want to say is " actually, I'm a bit shit at the moment, I would go and see someone else if I were you."

Oh well, keep trying eh, it's never going to improve if I give up.

Diet and fitness wise , I'm also at the point where I have to stop moaning and just accept that it will never get any easier. I've lost a stone since the beginning of the summer and am a fairly respectable size 12-14 (except shirts, I think I just have to give up on shirts, boobs and shirts are just never going to be comfortable together, at least not with all the buttons done up!). I walk the dog every day for 40 minutes, ride twice a week and go to the gym three times a week so not too shabby for an old bird. I kind of feel as if I'm getting nowhere - I've entered the loan horse and me for a local mini hunter trial in October and another dressage competition. But she is the sort of horse where you have to work for every stride so if either of those is not going to end in disaster I need to be fitter!

Wednesday, September 03, 2008

Back to School

I always liked going back to school for a new year - new pencils, new uniform, nice new exercise books. And it's even better now that it isn't actually me who is going back to school!



But in sympathy with the atmosphere today I made sure I cleared off the lingering nasty cases last week so that I could attack some new ones today with vigor! And low and behold a couple of new cases turned up to be attacked , hurrah! And went and did the marketing thing at lunch and networked my little socks off, then had payback and went for coffee with a friend . She is off to do research in Egypt for 10 weeks the lucky thing.



Anyway came home, finished the accounts and did some admin and everything is still looking shiny for tomorrow.



In other news - don't look now but I've been coffee free for a whole week, shhh , don't jinx it. White tea with pomegranate and a blueberry yoghurt fruit tea - in other words just drinking vats of hot water.

Monday, September 01, 2008

Letting the side down...

I have to say that it is very difficult to lecture my child on being a responsible citizen when between them her aunts, uncles and grandparents have variously;

- run off to join the circus,
- been the bodyguard of the president of an African Country,
- been sent to prison for telling a judge to fuck off during their divorce case,
- had 5 children by the age of 23,
- had the pub close on the day of their funeral because it had lost it's best customer
- travelled overland from London to Australia in a Land Rover pausing only to have a baby on the back seat en route
- defended a charge to a public order offence on the basis that none of the witnesses had seen them or they would have mentioned the naked man with purple bollocks.

There is no hope, or at least.............very little

Thursday, August 28, 2008

Credit Crunchie

So Lippy - enough of the eating habits, how is the business going?

Well the summer has been very patchy to tell you the truth. Some work, but not what you'd call steady and while we won't starve we won't be booking a Carribean cruise any time soon either. It seems that work is picking up as we move into September but there is a common thread of people with very horrible problems who are at a high risk of not being able to pay my fees. So am i offering them a no win no fee deal? No I AM NOT, in the interests of self preservation I am making them pay on account. If they want to take stupid risks they can do it with their money not mine.

But I've not been able to avoid the universal problem of the bankrupt client - unfortunatley i had stupidly instructed a barrister to act (because I had known this client for a long time) and now I have to pay £10k of barristers fees out of my own pocket....ho hum...........that will learn me.

What's to be done then - two things really, head down and do the work, and get out and meet the people who have the work to hand out.

And at the end of a year of moaning about being self employed would I go back to being a salary slave - NO!

Tuesday, August 26, 2008

I would really really like

Really really really like .. a cup of tea and a slice of a victoria sandwich (with jam and fresh cream).

I am developing a dreadful masochistic streak and have taken to watching the Hairy Bakers just to torture myself with their tales of chocolate chip cookies, scones and home made bread...........

Saturday, August 23, 2008

Testing my resolve!

I have now completed four whole weeks of this no wheat no dairy thing, and I'm sort of getting used to it and some of the choices are becoming more automatic. Always the salad, never the sandwich , black coffee, no ice cream for me thank you - oh,and definatley no cake *sigh*.

I'm gearing myself up for another major challenge in September - the caffiene has to go! I am down from 8 cups of coffee a day to 2 anyway as I don't like it nearly so much without milk so hopefully the last effort shouldn't be too bad. And the diet coke and the dark chocolate - those little life rafts in a pure water sea have to go too.

I may well sink in a sea of self pity this week - I am being abandoned, the AB has gone to my Mum's for a week and then her Aunty's for another 3 days after that. And the TB is off to France with work - ho hum..........I shall hit the gym (re-assessment session booked for 9am on Tuesday in a rare fit of enthusiasm), ride the horse, swim and walk the dog until his little legs fall off. I shall do lots of work and my office shall be a shining beacon of efficiency and toil. Either that or I shall be slumped on a sofa watching Casino Royal on DVD until the telly screams for mercy!

Tuesday, August 19, 2008

Summer Reads

Lippy reccomends books to see you through the rest of the summer and into the autumn ;

1. A Bit of A Blur - Alex James (didn't like him but a good read)
2. The Girl with The Dragon Tattoo -Stieg Larsson (I love Swedish Crime writers and this one is an absolute corker)
3. The Steep Road to Garbdale - Iain Banks (son of Crow Road and none the worse for it)
4. The Bellini Card - Jason Goodwin ( I love love this series - fascinating)
5. Garden Spells - Sarah Addison Allen (drippy chick lit with more than a nodding aquiantance to Practical Magic, for when you want to turn your brain power down to "low")


I couldn't finish Sepuchure by Kate Mosse, or Down River by John Hart both of which I found tiresome and utterly predictable! Today's Waterstones haul is Exit Music - Ian Rankin, Ghost - Robert Harris and The Draining Lake by Arnaldur Indridason ; I'll let you know how I get on!

Beaming with Pride!

"Hairspray the School Musical" starts it's run on Sky soon - why do I care, because the director is my gorgeous and hugely talented junior relative Katfish. (No I'm not telling you how we are related we just are, and no I'm not her mum!)

She has been working so hard that I haven't spoken to her for ages, apart from a few voicemails telling me that "Denise is lovely"

So do watch, and do be nice.

I'll be sure to pass it on when she comes to crash in the country for some much needed R&R!

Thursday, August 14, 2008

Landlady from hell?

I don't mind house guests, really I don't, but for the last couple of weeks I seem to have been running a small boarding house!

We have the permanent residents; me, the TB, the AB (who is becoming markedly less Angelic as teenagedom approaches but that's a different post) and the French exchange student.

Additionally in the last 7 days we have had at various times, my best mate and her daughter (all the way from the Philippines ), my sister, her husband and her son (all the way from the West Midlands) and the FES's boyfriend. And it has been lovely to see everyone - shame about the monsoon weather that the brought with them. But goodness it's hard work for the catering staff - i.e me. I have done the full reportoire of roasts, lasagne, chinese noodle things and now I am truly running out of ideas. I suspect a few evenings with the cookbook collection are in order.

And whilst we are on culinary matters, having given up almost everything my chilli consumption has gone through the roof - I've moved on from chilli sauce ( bit girlie with all that sugar) and on to Capstan Full Strength Sri-Lankan chilli oil. It's so good it should probably be illegal!

Saturday, August 09, 2008

Purity Update

I completely understand why people walk out of rehab in a strop after two weeks. In week one you get the instant payback - quick 5lb weight loss, better sleep all the nasties from your initial habit start to fade away. Week two brings the set backs - I didn't fall off the waggon don't get me wrong but yesterday had major "attack" - hideous bout of pain, in the middle of a shopping centre 30 miles from home, I had to sit down for half an hour and wait for the horse pill pain killers to kick in. And that raises all the "what the hell am I bothering with this for?" questions.

I hope it's just things "shifting back into place" rather than getting any worse - but fuck me it's depressing and it's raining, and it's August so nothing much is happening....well apart from a constant stream of visitors. Best mate and child last week and sister, husband and child arriving on Monday...which is nice, hope it stops raining so we can go out somewhere.

Sorry to be such a miserable git.

Monday, August 04, 2008

Wrong phase of the moon????

I can't help but feel that the first week in August is not my luckiest time of year.

This time last year I was in hospital, on a men's ward .in the next bed to a convict who was chained to a prison warder - being pumped full of drugs that I didn't need for an illness that I didn't have!

Splendid!

This year I'm short of work and stuck with a bunch of slow paying clients. I really hate threatening clients with bankruptcy proceedings but when you know they could pay you and just won't - even though they were more than happy with the work, then breaking point does arrive. So the first threatening letter has gone with another to follow shortly. There are only two thank goodness, that are really really taking the piss.

I know I am in much better financial shape than many, I don't owe anybody anything (no loans baby) and I have savings.

I had one potential client on the phone today who almost made me cry - working their ass off in a pub business and making less than £100 per week - because the brewery are taking all the profit. I am not sure there is much I can do, I'll certainly try but I think they just signed up to the usual brewery shit deal.

Whatever you may think of me - promise me one thing - never ever take on the tenancy of a pub.

Sunday, August 03, 2008

Purity Sucks!

I have been wheat and dairy free for just over a week now. And the early morning craving for a Venti Latte with a double shot and cinnamon syrup is not getting any less...but I persevere. Honey and lemon juice isn't the same at all.

Caffiene and sugar are a much bigger problem. I am still drinking a black coffee with one sugar at least once a day - a huge improvement from my 8 cups a day habit but too much caffiene non the less. This is next weeks mission - lose the diet coke and the black coffees and drink lemon tea instead. Vile stuff I know but frankly anything that can help the pain levels here...things are pretty desparate and desparate measures are called for.

I am hoping that at the end of two months I can move on to a slightly less restrictive regime which will allow me to have weekends "off" - I've found a chocolate almond cake that I intend to bake on my very first weekend "off". Meantime Indian Food is pretty much my salvation - a wheat and dairy free treat with plenty of chilli.

Friday, August 01, 2008

Feral and Partially notcturnal.

Work is still deadly quiet, I hope something turns up soon.
In the meantime the work I have I'm doing early in the morning and at night,

Otherwise in the lovely daylight hours I've been riding, been to lovely Holkham Beach (twice) unfortunatley not with the horse (that would have been fantastic) I love love that Beach, white sands for miles and pine woods behind them and lovely clear water. Swimming in the sea wasn't actually all that cold. Swimming in the river at St Helens in Thetford Forest was THAT COLD but beautiful all the same, and you get a view from the middle of the river when you are swimming that is so different and so much better than what you can see from the bank.

I did do one thing I went to a business networking coffee morning - there are so many business networking organisations that you could go to an event every day and meet more web designers and reiki practitioners than any one would need in an entire lifetime, but sometimes they throw up a good lead. The thing is to work out which opportunities will work for you and which won't!...it's a puzzlement.

Tuesday, July 29, 2008

10 things I've never done

As I'm a bit short on inspiration. Things I've never done;

1. Kissed a girl ( or any other sort of girl on girl sexual activity)
2. Been arrested
3. Taken illegal drugs
4. Been in a fight
5. Been in a car accident
6. Been to Disneyland (or world or any variety of Disney theme park)
7. Fitted into a pair of size 8 jeans ( at least once my age was in double figures!)
8. Been in a rock band
9. Done a parachute jump
10. Drunk Tequila

I realise that makes me sound terminally boring, so a few things I have done;

1. Eaten kangaroo ( and shot it first)
2. Milked cows for a living
3. Surfed on beaches with no Shark nets
4. Been on a night safari in Natal
5. Dived over coral reefs in the South China Sea
6. Spent the night in a bothy on Rannock Moor
7. Sailed a yacht across the channel over night
8. Climbed the Pyramid at Chichen Itza (back when you still could and the pyramids of the Sun & Moon)
9. Run down 5th Avenue to get the last elevator to the top of the Empire State building last thing at night. Way better at night........
10. Applied to be a judge ( and got knocked back!)
11. Taken too many degrees!

Still sound like a boring fucker!

Monday, July 28, 2008

I should have done this ages ago

It only takes 6 weeks to break a habit apparently.

So, it a bit of a last ditch attempt to aviod any more surgery, I am doing what I should have done 12 months ago and cutting wheat, dairy , sugar and caffiene out of my diet completely.

I already eat plenty of fresh fruit and veg and red meat only a couple of times a week so those things aren't a big problem. The meat I eat is organic so no hormone issues there.

However for a "venti latte with two shots and cinnamon syrup" junkie like myself this is horrible. Thank goodness it's really hot so that I'm not missing my mid day coffee but mornings are a bit rough.

Still if Ronnie Wood can do his de-tox without keeling over or giving in I can do mine!....at least I can still have a couple of white wines on a weekend!

Friday, July 25, 2008

Other people's lives

Do you ever long to know what it is like to be someone else or is it just me? Judging by the proliferation of celeb magazines and websites it clearly isn't just me, but I'm not just fascinated by famous people.

I find myself on the train into Liverpool St, looking at the windows of all the flats in Bethnal Green and thinking "what do they all do?"

At school I was fascinated by a girl at school,we will call her Tracy, who lived in a big glass sixties "pad" complete with white shag pile carpets and a swimming pool, her Mum drove a lotus and looked quite a lot like Farah Fawcett Majors. I didn't actually like Tracy that much and we were never particular friends, but I just wanted to know what her life felt like, mostly because it was so different from mine.

Currently I have the same fascination for Alice who keeps her horse at the same livery as mine, and I suspect is how Katie Price would be if she had never been Jordan - i.e normal chest size, really good rider (pushing at the boundaries of international standard), extremely pretty and married with a couple of kids. Also very good company. I like her a lot more than I liked Tracy!

That's part of the fascination of blogs isn't it? The insight into other people's lives, or at least how other people perceive their lives to be - which may be something quite different.

Wednesday, July 23, 2008

Reverse Phsychology?

Work is still a bit quiet, ticking over , but hardly busy.

So, as yesterday was the hottest of the year so far, I packed up the kids and the dog and headed for the big sands on the north Norfolk coast. And I have to say it was lovely, blue sky, blue sea and soft sand. We picniced and I did fully intend to swim in the sea, but between walking the dog up the beach and reading Alex James "A Bit of A Blur" I never got around to it.

I had left a message on the office voicemail to say I could be contacted on my mobile phone ...I lied, Orange mobile network coverage in Cromer was patchy to say the very least. This had the heartening result that after a very relaxing day I then felt loved and wanted (in the professional sense) due to a barrage of voicemails and incensed email messages! Hurrah!

Tuesday, July 22, 2008

It is all in the timing.

I am a morning person, and whilst in it's own way this is all well and good, it means that I don't really do evenings. At least I don't do them well. It's as much as I can do to eat my dinner, drink a couple of glasses of wine , read a bit of a book or watch a bit of telly and then pass out on the sofa about 10 o'clock.

Don't misunderstand me I can work of an evening - in fact some of the best legal work gets done when you can tune out a few of the multitudinous channels in your brain and just focus on one. But proper evening activities - classes, going to the pub, exercising in an evening are all a bit...well beyond me really.

My mother is a complete night owl and has always found the fact of my early bedtimes a matter of intense annoyance. In fact when I was a child she used to come to my room and wake me up and make me do things - like tidy up and bake cakes. Apart from the fact that this was clearly slightly insane behaviour it also made me even more intransigent in my view that evenings were for sleeping.

Later on they became for sleeping and sex...obviously. In fact once I had found someone that I could have sex with at home of an evening , without all the hassle of going to parties and copping off, I pretty much stopped going to parties. Which is a bit sad as I was only 24 at the time. But frankly I really hadn't been much good at parties, hardly the life and soul, usually I was either trying to cop off or had given up and was asleep under a pile of coats in the corner.

I do like dancing though, but it's better in the afternoon. And I like talking to people..and I can be quite chatty and charming ...but I am way WAY better company at lunch than at dinner, and at breakfast when no one else wants to talk at all...I'm a wow.

Monday, July 21, 2008

Mamma Mia

Towards the end of the movie, my daughter whispered "I'm really glad Daddy isn't here, he'd have been grumbling This is drivel! all the way through the film!

He would.

But we loved it - it was sunny shiny happy and had lots of Abba songs, and Meryl Streep looking fab and having the option of getting off with a selection of (only slightly) younger blokes - hurrah!

It also gave rise to a phenomenon not seen since lines of kids were practising the Saturday Night Fever dance routines on my Mum's lawn in 1976. The trying to copy the movie ...only this time it involved me jumping on the trampoline trying to do the "Streep Splits" to Dancing Queen. I am happy to say that I did manage it at least twice and that nobody had to call an ambulance!

Saturday, July 19, 2008

Chav Central!

Took the day off and went to Alton Towers with the fam yesterday. And enjoyed the very fast roller coaster, (Rita Queen of Speed) but this thing "Air"

Made me feel so sick and giddy that I couldn't walk, eat or see straight for the rest of the day - yuk!

I shouldn't be rude about the Towers, having grown up spitting distance from them, but if you want to feel thin and well dressed in comparison to everyone else who is there it's the place to go! Lots of fat people in tracksuits eating burgers and drinking bottomless cups of coke.

Anyway - the kids all enjoyed it, and my sis had got free tickets for us, so it didn't cost £93 per family as it should have done. So guilt assuaged and job done.

I prefer my adrenaline of the horse riding or sailing variety really. Heights and me are not a good match at the best of times!

Thursday, July 17, 2008

Those of a delicate disposition look away now...

This is all going to get a bit medical and yuk so you may want to skip this one and come back tomorrow.

The reason that I only have one kid is because I have severe endometriosis, this means that the lining of my uterus has gone walk about in my pelvis, where it bleeds randomly causing some pretty severe pain. This is not so bad.

However, my endometrium (uterine lining) has also set up shop in my ovaries, where the bleeding doesn't dissipate but causes cysts - think giant blood blister the size of a grapefruit - now these babies hurt like a bastard. And if you've been hanging around here for a while you may remember that last May there was some surgery to try to dispose of them. And while it worked for a little while there, - THEY'RE BACK!

And it hurts to the point where I have to take two giant co-codamol tablets before I can get out of bed in the morning , this is boring.

The only option is more surgery - more radical this time, as in take an ovary out. Yes I know you can't see it and so it doesn't seem real, but it's mine all the same. And having gone through all of this a year ago, I don't feel like doing it all again - the oxygen tube up your nose is SO not a good look when friends come to visit.

I feel bad boring you with all this again - you were bored with it last time. I like my girl parts, even if they don't like me and I don't want to have them or any bit of them removed. I suspect I will wimp out yet again and go for the "minimum surgery " option. And face the fact that I may have to go through all of this again , again.

They try to make me have a hysterectomy I say NO NO NO!

Wednesday, July 16, 2008

Relentless

The trouble with pets; husbands, children, horses, dogs...is that they are so demanding! Not only do you have to work to make the money to pay for them, but then you have to feed them, wash them, exercise them and clean their houses out. It's relentless! And then after you've done all that - you're expected to look after yourself! Shine up the house and still have neat painted toe nails and non- hairy armpits!!!

Still have managed to tear myself away from the never ending chorse to do a few other things. So far this week;

Work is still quiet - a few new enquiries so as this is the second time around with the "bumpy work" scenario I shall try to be cooler about it.

I got to the beach! - yay! And then it went cloudy - boo! But now that I live only an hour from the coast. I can go again, whenever I like all summer! I haven't lived here for a year yet so all of this is still a novelty that I am getting used to.

Came 4th in dressage competition - bit dissapointing but we had gone up a level from "preliminary" to "novice" so it wasn't too bad, AND it was the first time we had done an outdoor competition and poor horse was a bit spooked by the white boards that form the boundary of the arena. She tried really hard though bless her.

Going to Alton Towers on Friday - thanks to little sis coming up with free tickets. It's bound to pour with rain but who cares.

C'est tout!

Sunday, July 13, 2008

Weight loss

Well team, I may have finally cracked this one.

The secret is - work out every day, ride and swim and walk the dog and in an ideal world go to the gym and do yoga. AND only eat the same amount of food as the 22 year old French lodger.
Works a treat - lost 5lbs in a fortnight and she is here for 3 months! - hurrah! Tell you what though I am a bit pooped with all the exercise, not sure I am getting any fitter just more knackered.

It is summer - you can tell, because between the torrential rain and the thunder storms the sun does actually come out, and I have a shocking "farmer's tan" from riding in a v-neck t-shirt, red neck, red arms and terrifyingly white everywhere else! ewww!

Still , I seem to be going to parties and barbeques, listening to dodgy folk groups, having friends in camper vans staying on the drive and saying endlessly "I'd like to go to the beach" without ever actually getting there. Lets hope for progress in this area soon!

Saturday, July 12, 2008

Observation

It is always one of those clients who reject my advice, and insist that a case follows their agenda.
(which one of us went to law school Mr Client? - hey that would be me. And the Legal 500 entry, oh what a shocker that's me again!)

It's that client who then sacks me and complains that the costs in the case spiralled and no progress was made. Has it not crossed your mind numb nuts that if you had followed the advice that you paid for things would have turned out differently?

Obviously not! - so hey, I will just send you a final bill and make myself feel every such a lot better!

Wednesday, July 09, 2008

Fishing

We want to go to the coast and have a morning's mackrel fishing ...how hard can it be?

Well according to the internet pretty bloody difficult, looks like there is one boat, it's a bit of a serious charter and it's booked for 8 hour trips every day until September. There has got to be something a bit less hard core than that hasn't there?

I will ring tourist disinformation this morning and see if they know anything. Otherwise may just have to content myself with a swim in the north sea! Boo!

In the spirit of "holiday reading" I bought "The Beautiful Game - a WAG's tale" . I knew that it would be bad, but good God it was appalling! With the life of the heroine being SO boring why did the author chose to go into lots of detail about the endless beauty treatments and not give any detail at all about the sex, "we shagged lots" - well don't we all love, but I've paid £6.99 and I want to know a bit more than that!

Well.............. Actually I didn't pay £6.99, this year I've bought all my law books from Waterstones and collected the points on my Waterstones loyalty card. As my annual law book spend is about £2k I've got lots of points and lots of lovely free books! Thank goodness this was one of them.

Tuesday, July 08, 2008

Holidaying at home!

We took a family decision to go feral in East Anglia rather than taking a break abroad this summer - maybe we will go away in the autumn, maybe we will change our minds and head for Spain at the weekend? Who knows!

For now the TB and the AB are both knackered and mooning around the house like zombies.

I'm trying to finish off some of those "nagging boring" jobs that have been hanging around for ages, writing articles for newsletters, finishing instructions to counsel for learned associations who aren't paying anything - all that demotivating stuff that you have to do to try to make sure that the next paying job does turn up. I am off to a business women's networking lunch tomorrow for the same reason.

If the sun does come out then I'll take the dog for a walk and may even go for a bike ride!

Just you watch, the sun will come out and the office telephone will start ringing!

Sunday, July 06, 2008

Older, wiser and more beautiful? - I wish!

Today is my birthday, I am 46 years old, not an age you dream about being but what the heck I'm fit, solvent and pretty much living the life of Riley so who cares?!

I had a lovely day today; - flowers, cards, presents, 14 people round for lunch , which admittedly I cooked but friends brought pavolva and wine and stuff so it was really nice. And I'm too old to think that "nice" is a bad word, it's a good word, and it was a good day. The adults drank wine and Pimms and the kids had a water fight in the garden. I overcatered massivley so we have a freezer full of food and a beer fridge full of drink. A beer fridge in the garage is one of the useful things that comes around with age, that and a really good king-sized bed.

The technology gives a whole new dimension to birthdays too - I've had cards, texts, facebook messages and emails ! Yay.

Thursday, July 03, 2008

Hedwig lives down our way.

This morning after I crossed the river I could see a large white bird, it's wings flapped slowly...it can't be..........I got closer, hoping that the dog (who being a Jack Russell has no interest in anything he can't eat, fight or shag), wouldn't scare it off. But the bird was too busy hunting.

And I was right, a large white snowy owl was hunting in the water meadow at eight o'clock this morning. It looked well, magical.

Insomniac I wonder or just hungry? Or after the adder that the dog tried to pick a fight with yesterday morning?

Anyway - thank you Universe, white owl against bright blue cloudless sky , what a sight to have seen!

Tuesday, July 01, 2008

Your Actual Fun!

I actually went out at the weekend - twice in two days, good grief!

Friday was a long lawyer lunch in a west end restaurant, so long in fact that when we finally got turfed out at 4pm we went around the corner to the Dover St Wine Bar and carried on until closing. The thing is with the whole "responsible professional" gig is that you can't go out and get mortal unless it's with really old mates or with other lawyers. Other lawyers is the safer option as you know that none of them are going to grass you up to anyone else. So yes, I drank solidly for eight hours and felt fine - which probably says very bad things about my liver.

On Sat morning I was up early and off to Liberty's sale, having made the effort to be there at 9.30 am you would have thought I would have bought something, but now. Even hungover £175 for a pair of jeans didn't seem like a good plan. The mate I went with though spent £600 in two hours, her old man is never going to let her go out with me anywhere, ever again.

Then on Saturday night I went to a ball, which was lovely, large country house , big tent, nice food, lots more wine, three rock bands (including the most amazing Motown Tribute group ever!), a trad jazz band, a string quartet and a disco (different rooms obviously) - I listened to them all, and ended up bopping away to northern soul in the disco tent at 1 in the morning. Up at 8 again to collect the AB ...and then at 11 the French exchange student arrived. The most impressive aspect of the whole weekend was that I managed to speak French!!! - didn't do a fat lot of work on Monday however.

Thursday, June 26, 2008

Am I A control freak? - I dunno, yeah, probably.

I've been pondering the question of "Am I A Control Freak" for a couple of days.

I'm not sure it's true.

What is true is that I cannot be doing with people who create unnecessary drama out of a straightforward situation - loads of people thrive on doing that. They must be bored, but for heavens sake, get a hobby, buy a dog, don't get your kicks by making other people's lives a misery. Life is genuinely hard enough. Strive to make it simple.

And that is where the potential control freakery comes in - I accept that nothing in life is certain, it is going to throw me a curve ball. Therefore I try to be ready for the shit life is going to throw at me. So that, when the next pile of shit it arrives it will find me clean, sober, reasonably fit, wearing prisitine knickers and knowing where all the invoices are to fill in next year's tax return. I enjoy the illusion that this level of preparation gives me a fighting chance.

Friday, June 20, 2008

Scruffy, Sad Loser


Am I alone in this or is anyone else devleoping a bit of a crush on Rhys Ifans, Sienna Millers recently dumped ex? There has been a lot of drivel in the press on the lines of "she's hot and he's not!" and whilst he may not exactly be pretty, he's pretty sexy, in that long loose limbed don't give a shit sort of way.
So Rhys if you are thinking of a change from equisite 26 year old blondes to *ehem* "older" curly haired redheads, then, walk this way...................................(as this is strictly in my dreams the TB need never know!)

Tuesday, June 17, 2008

Lying to the Dentist

Do you think that everyone lies to the dentist?

I know I do. Today was the 6 monthly check up and polish, and so of course my consumption of cups of coffee with sugar in any 24 hour period was duly trimmed back from 6 to 2. And my flossing history was similarly upgraded from a truthful "most days when I remember" to a frankly fraudulent "morning and evening your honour, without fail". Still I haven't done too much damage, still got my own teeth, albeit with fillings, and no nasty gum disease. Goody good.

So who else do we routinely lie to?

Traffic wardens; obviously "I was just going to get another ticket to put more time on !"

Husbands; "Of course this isn't a new dress, I've had it ages" (but frankly they ask for that, if their powers of observation are that feeble!)

But no one else really, not Doctors or Accountants - but is that because they can plainly see the truth of the situation for themselves? Hmmmmm

Sunday, June 15, 2008

Father's Day Catering

Well, we thought the TB deserved a bit of spoiling for father's day, so went full on with the catering;

Tea in bed with the Sunday Times followed by the full English breakfast - sausage (Newmarket natch) bacon, tomato, egg, beans and toast (home made bread)

Followed by a nice walk with the dog before lunch

Baguette (home made bread) with home baked ham and mustard

A short nap, a swim and then for dinner

Roast Lamb, new potatoes, carrots, green beans, peas, mint sauce (with mint out of the garden)
Lemon meringue pie (made by me from scratch) and cream
Coffee

And he seemed pretty pleased with it all ! (Smugness rules OK!)

Friday, June 13, 2008

Occasional Restaurant Review - Indigo at One Aldwych

How perfect was this meal?

I ordered lime and soda from the bar while I waited for my guest ( lady guest, client it was work - honestly your mind!) and got fresh lime juice with a small dash of sugar syrup and club soda. Beautiful - so beautiful in fact that I will be squeezing fresh limes to have at home. The restaurant is upstairs overlooking the lobby bar so great for nosy people. And the eavesdropping is fabulous - I do know for example that the woman at the next table had just told her husband that she was never going to share a bed with him ever again. If she talks that loudly at night I bet he was quite relieved.

Anyway food - The most fabulous baked bream with new potatoes which had been slightly crushed and mixed with crab meat and green beans. That was it with a glass of rose and it was just fabulous. I may have been ruined for the foreseeable future. Or at least until I save up enough money to go to Indigo again.

Jordon's Glamour

Well Jordan (Katie Price) competed in a preliminary unaffiliated dressage competition at Hickstead last week - and because I am a nosy git I looked up her score - and she got 153 which to be fair to her is pretty good for a first time out. The same score in fact which I got for the same test in an unaffliated dressage back in October.

So, apart from being 15 years older than her and not having £60,000 kicking around to spend on a couple of top flight horses and the kit...I'm have the same chance of competing in the 2012 Olympic dressage as Jordan......................i.e. none!!!

Monday, June 09, 2008

Social Pirana! (yes I know it's Pariah but face it no one wants to hang out with a Pirana!)

Honest, I'm becoming a fucking hermit, I mean really. I have not been out socially for MONTHS.

This is a bit of a toxic combination of the TB's naturally antisocial nature, his habitat of choice being a shed. Although to be fair if you can actually get him to a party, two beers in he turns into the life and soul, and everyone is throwing me evil glances for keeping him locked away in a dungeon. Because that is the reason he gives them for not having been out for months. When the truth is he has been in our sitting room, drinking whisky and saying in a whinny voice "but I'm reaallly tired and I reaallly don't want to go out...."

And lack of funds ...or fear of insufficient funds to pay the tax man. Having had a bit of work recently this fear is now resolving and we are going to a ball in a couple of weeks - which could even be fun...........I'll need a new frock, and shoes................that could be even more fun!

Monday, June 02, 2008

Des Billets

Finally we are agreed. Due to lodger and lack of funds we aren't going to holiday in the summer break -apart from weekends and the coast and stuff.

Instead we are just going to go feral in our home county, swim and catch cray fish in the river, jump on our trampoline,have picnics at the beach , go for bike rides and play with the ponies. The TB even has a yen for a spot of sea fishing out of Aldeborough.

We are also going to go to see Crowded House in the forest, and go to Latitude and I have clearence from the Financial Director (the TB) to book the tickets today - way cool!

Sunday, June 01, 2008

Occasional Gastropub Review

The Beehive, Horringer, Suffolk

I had wanted to go here for ages. We went for lunch today, and I came home gutted and consumed with guilt for making the TB spend his money taking me there!
It really isn't a good sign when you struggle to find something you want to eat on the extensive blackboard menu, but I did.
I finally settled on:

Bruschetta with goats cheese, honey and walnuts - which was actually very nice
Veal schnitzel with new potatoes - which didn't actually taste of anything
and
Swiss chocolate ice cream - OK but boring.

So a resounding 5 out of ten. All a bit too pretentious and not yummy enough - when there is nothing you would kill for on the desert menu it's probably a sign to think better of it and go home.

Although really it probably is a sign. Our S, has taken up triathlons. This is not a kind thing to do to your slightly older, slightly fatter but still taller same sex relative. And for me at the minute stamina is a real issue, to the point where it is preventing me doing this I want to do (NOT THAT!) just jumping longer show jumping courses and working on bigger cases. So I looked up a beginners triathlon training regime. JC on a bike! Well OK me on a bike. I think I should have a go, I don't run so we will ignore that bit. Otherwise it prescribes, two swims, one bike ride and two sessions in the gym. I can only ride the horse once this week so it might even be do-able.
I can feel my brain slipping into "but if I only do one swim, one bike ride and one gym session that will still be good" - it will be good but it will be the sipperly slope to nothing again.

I'll let you know how it goes. For now I have to finish the ironing. Oh and to assist the ironing I've rented the DVD's of Weeds - how did I miss it for so long! Shoot me I am a cultural disaster!
On the upside I get to watch it all now.

And so far I love Greek, - got to finish the ironing before episode 2 at 8 on BBC 3.

Laters babes!

Tuesday, May 27, 2008

Holiday Weekend

Well it was a long weekend and we were set to go and do healthy outdoorsy things, cue torrential rain and really strong winds. So we ditched the proposed canoeeing and tandem riding and contented ourselves with a very soggy walk around the Forest of Dean instead. The good thing about wet soggy walks is that you can use them to justify to yourself eating steak and kidney pudding ( yes PUDDING with SUET CRUST) in the pub at lunch time. I have in point of fact eaten loads of crap this weekend and drunk heaps and managed to come home 2lbs lighter - hurrah.

We did manage tp get home, but very very slowly due to huge amounts of water and traffic, only to find the electricity had gone off over the weekend so the burglar alarm was driving the neighbours mental and the freezer had defrosted..there is always payback.

Sister's can of course be guaranteed to ruin any moment. Particularly if they are ( is in this case) the local detox nurse. As we drove over the hills and looked at yet another stunning view, she calmly informed us that; "Ketamine is really big around here, we think they've got a supplier in the ********( name of institution with held for legal reasons) , it reduces you to a vegatitive state you know, why would anyone want to do that?". Although it would be one way to deal with the rain, personally I'll stick to steak and kidney pudding and bottles of red wine.

Wednesday, May 21, 2008

Yoga ...OMG

And the next commandment is this....you shall not skip yoga class from February until May and expect your hamstrings to be more than 1/2 and inch long!

Ow ow and ow! Did my first yoga class for almost 3 months yesterday, and due to sporadic yoga practice and much horseriding my hamstrings are now a stretch free zone. God have I got some work to do if I don't want to be asking someone else to paint my toe nails sooner rather than later. Crap!

Off to middle sister's for the weekend (the nurse) and she has big plans apparently - including a spot of caneoing on the Wye. Cross your fingers for good weather as she will press on regardless!

Will be lovely to see her though.

Monday, May 19, 2008

Cross-Country

We did great! OK we got around without the horse falling over or me falling off, but we were slow, so slow in fact we might reasonably have been called ponderous. But never mind. Both in one bit and all the fences also in one bit ...hurrah.

And in another bit of horse news I passed the riding element of my NVQ level 1 in horse care this morning so I can ride to the requried standard - also hurrah.

But enough horses. The TB and the AB now want to take up scuba diving so I'm off tonight to find out when the next PADI course is at the pool cross the road. I could fancy it, in fact you know, I could fancy myself as a bit of a female Indiana Jones - bit of horse riding, bit of sailing, bit of scuba diving!! But no snakes...............I really really hate snakes!:)

Thursday, May 15, 2008

The Horse

I have a horse on loan..which is a bit like burning five pound notes but more fun, mostly, and a lot more messy ...and smelly....and...oh well anyway.

Last week we won the local Riding Club dressage competition - which had become a bit of a mission after this comment from the AB the day before;

"there is still time to pull out of the dressage competition Mum, I mean, you don't know the test very well and you don't want to look like a muppet!"

Needless to say the large red rosette saying "1st" is now stuck in the MIDDLE of the kitchen notice board.

So tomorrow - I am going to attempt to ride around a cross country course for the fist time in ten years. If there is an illegilble post from an intensive care unit on dodgy hospital wi-fi on Monday you will know that the attempt went horribly wrong. I shall endeavour to fall on my arse and not my head but we shall see!

Sunday, May 11, 2008

Amazing Weather

I live in what is , statistically, the driest county in England. But the weather at the moment, even taking that into account, is fabulous.

There hasn't been a cloud in the sky all week. And althuogh the BBC has informed me that the temparature has been a sensible 22C the thermometer in my front porch says 26C in the shade!
And according to the forecast it will stay like this until Friday - fabulous!

No excuse for eating anything but salad and for not taking plenty of healthy exercise.

The business is still going through an unsteady patch - work is coming in. But I got bullied into writing off a bill (I had done nothing wrong) because things had gone badly for the client and they wanted me to "share the pain". They send me a lot of work (all the 5 new jobs in the past two weeks have come from them - potentially around £6k of work) , but the bill was £900 that I can't really afford to give up. So? I gave up. What a complete wimp.

But, to be fair the mortgage and school fees are paid, there is glass in the windows, food in everyone's belly and clothes on thier backs - so in the scheme of the world we are fortunate indeed.

Tuesday, May 06, 2008

Sit. Report

The not blogging actually didn't mean that I still had no work, had gone bankrupt and slit my wrists.

It did reflect the fact that I got food poisining at a business dinner and felt like I'd been poisoned for a week - also lost 5lbs so it's an ill wind that blows no good.

So yes , I have work, hurrah. And a few people may even pay me shortly, even more hurrah. It would be helpful if they stumped up some cash as I have to pay the VAT man at the end of the month.

The weather is just stunning - so the pre-work dog walking is not the chore that it was in sub-zero biting east winds back in January. I'm contemplating working in the garden. The wi-fi stretches that far, it would mean installing a couple more programmes on the lap top and the lap top is no where near as nice a machine to work on where there are big documents. So I'm thinking about it - lunch and coffee breaks in the garden is pretty good!

We had a very lazy holiday weekend - just enjoying the lifestyle really, go to the market, buy nice food, come home and cook it and eat outside. Go for a walk by the river at the back of the house or go across the road for a swim....what's not to love. Oddly no one is particularly fussed about going away on holiday this year.

Tuesday, April 22, 2008

Still nothing!

I admit it - I am panicking now. Still nothing!

It's not that one week of no work is an issue, it's the fear that it will turn into lots of weeks of no work. Which I can't afford. Added to which a client is going bankrupt on me. Which means i will lose out to the tune of about £5k. I realise that hearing I've got a financial issue is a lot like hearing that Kate Moss has put on 3lbs, but I don't have £5k to spare in the first year of trading on my own account. And yes I do have some savings but £5k will be missed. Hey ho.

And an admission - it's Tuesday afternoon and I haven't been to the gym yet! - I have been to the stables, for the whole of yesterday morning and this morning and mucking out and riding is good exercise. And the dog has been walked for an hour each day ..and I've done yoga for an hour each day and yes.................I'm making excuses!!!

Monday, April 21, 2008

The Profitable Use of Downtime

OK it's day one of "no work week" and so far, walked the dog for an hour, and done horse stuff for the rest of the morning.



A normal person would do housework or laundry now - but was so panicked at the thought of a work free week that I did all of that yesterday. And I cooked a huge piece of pork for supper last night and so have a request for cold cuts and mash tonight. Hardly time consuming.

I admit it, I am completely freaked by having nothing to do. My littlest sister has suggested "yoga and meditation" and everyone else I know has just laughed.

Oh well, peel the spuds for mash I suppose and then go to the gym !

Sunday, April 20, 2008

Hopefully the devil will find some work for these idle hands!

For the first time since I became self employed last July I am facing a "real freelancer week". In other words I have no work. Added to that, everything is up to date, from the filing to the accounts to the archiveing. Even the monthly client newsletter has been written and sent out. I literally have nothing to do.

Hopefully the lull won't last for too long, there is stuff allegedly "in the pipeline" and a couple of ongoing cases where nothing is happening just at the minute. I am finally doing what I should have done last August and signing myself up for every business women's networking lunch and chamber of commerce breakfast in this county and the three neighbouring ones!

It's my own fault I should have hit the marketing pedal a lot harder last summer - back then I was happily engaged in ongoing cases (which have since settled successfully for everyone) or writing for training providers (who have since hit financial worries of their own and stopped employing freelancers).

So - what to do this week. The plan is to go to the gym every day. Ride on as many days as I can scrounge a horse to ride ( so far 3) and do some yoga. The ironing is all done, the house is spotless ... ......I've even baked bread this afternoon.

Help!

Friday, April 11, 2008

Brain wired up wrong!










I was obviously very bored last week, as I got onto a train of thought along the lines of "who would I fancy if I was a bloke or a lesbian?"
Well my male side/lesbian alter ego, clearly goes for forthright women with big gobs. And I clearly am incapable of going for anyone under 35 , because my list went;
Amanda Redman


Catherine Tate Nigella Lawson



Strangley the people my alter ago would go for, don't co-incide with my dream donor for the complete head and body transplant (ie who I would love to look like) who would be Kate Hudson. Well you would wouldn't you? Look like her if you had the chance?





Tuesday, April 01, 2008

Stuff in the News

Well dears, the weather is still dreadful. It rained, hailed and snowed here yesterday, I wish it would make it's mind up and do one thing well!

But, all the same, much has happened since my last blog entry.

The McCartney divorce and all the hoopla that surrounded it for instance. I didn't really give a monkeys about the McCartney's themselves but some of the surrounding press comment was just .......just..... infuriating! In particular, after Fiona Shakleton's soaking there was an opnion piece in the Times, by a bunch of women wishing they too had soaked their ex-husband's divorce lawyer. Why? Because the female divorce lawyer was apparently "stroking my husband's ego after everything he had put me through." After I had finished screaming "Oh FUCKING GROW UP" at the newspaper, I realised two things;

1. I hadn't been halucinating when I heard my MALE DIVORCE LAWYER colleagues telling their FEMALE clients that "wow, you look really fabulous today" , "how are you , you're looking a little pale, things getting to you?" "That hair cut is wonderful!" - no ego stroking at all going on there then????

2. That the person they really wanted to throw water on was the husband's mistress - but that would have been assault. The lawyer can only laugh and prentend it means nothing.

I do remember why I gave up the laughingly labelled "Family Law" once I was allowed to when I qualified. Despite all appearences that the press would like to give to the contrary, it isn't very lucrative (bit of a girly ghetto, the big fees are in commercial work darling). And also it's very very dull. All splitting up couples say pretty much the same thing about each other, he says "she's never worked a day in her life she isn't getting a penny out of me the lazy cow!" and she says "he made me give up work he's ruined my life".

And truthfully, I got fed up of being a punch bag, and did memorably one day utter the unforgiveable line "well sorry darling, I don't care how much of a shit he/she is I didn't make you fricken marry him so res ipsa, not my fault!"

Monday, March 17, 2008

Spring Break!

My parents are coming to stay for 3 weeks.

The AB is nicking off to France on a school trip for 10 days of this.

The TB is stressed at the mere thought of it so there may be a divorce - alternativley there may be a lot of long walks.

There will almost certainly be a blogging hiatus!

Tuesday, March 11, 2008

Libel

The thorny topic of libel is once again hovering like a dark cloud over the blogsphere.

What is it? How does it happen? And how likely is it that one day someone will sue you for something that you say in a blog?

What follows is a short introduction to the concept and is in no way intended as a subsitute for proper legal advice from your own lawyer.

Libel is a written statement that is defamatory. The publication of a libelous statement entitles the person who has been libelled to damages without having to prove that they have suffered any actual financial loss as a result of the libel. This is different from slander, or spoken defamation which (other than a few specific cases such as impuing someone's professional reputation or the chastity of a woman) requires a real financial loss to have occured before the right to damages arises.


So what's defamatory? "A statement intended to lower the stading of a person, or persons in the sight of right thinking people."

And which statement amounts to more than "vulgar abuse"

So "Lippy is a fat cow" is not defamatory it is mere vulgar abuse.
"Lippy is a crap lawyer and I wouldn't trust her as far as I could spit" is a libellous statement and actionable.

Let's get a grip on reality here - libel cases are prohibitivley expensive. £85,000 for costs to trial is not a top end quote. It is to put no fine a point on it, a rich man's hobby. And there is no legal aid available for cases to be taken in either libel or slander and frankly quite right too. If that became a bottomless pit of public money for defamation lawyers I'd be first at the front of the queue to protest against it.

Libel damages are ridiculsously high in comparison to personal injury damages for one reason - personal injury cases are heard by a judge alone, and he works from a price list for the damage caused - e.g. broken arm - £2000.

Libel cases are the only remaining civil cases which are heard by a jury - and the jury also sets the level of damages. So they tend to be more "american" than is common in the rest of the UK jurisdiction - think up your own examples of people in the public eye who have been given far too much money for being referred to as a too specific type of twat.

In conclusion - if you slag off your ex in a blog can he sue you for libel. Yes. Is he likely to sue you for libel? Unless he is a bored millionaire with a chip on his shoulder who wants, for reasons of his own to put you in the bankruptcy court - No.

Friday, March 07, 2008

Working Day



My morning walk is normally very beautiful, as you can see, it was lovely this morning just pouring with rain - freezing cold and sideways!
But it is part of the utter luxury of homeworking - that the day goes;
8am - School Run and dog walking.
9am - At desk starting work.
3.30pm - Finish work and go to the Gym

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A blog about being middle aged, in England in 2013