Listening to/reading/watching

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

Cluster Map

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!


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!'s a puzzlement.

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A blog about being middle aged, in England in 2013