Wednesday, November 29, 2006
This rant brought to you by English Teacher, Too Tired To Paragraph.
Monday, November 20, 2006
Well, we've moved. It took us the entire weekend, as we had a lot of boxes, and we're still living in complete chaos, but we're in the lovely new flat. Well, I say lovely, but it currently has all sorts of oddness and craziness and kitschness going on. But I'm sure it will be very lovely very soon. I'm almost sure...
I arrived first, having collected the keys so that The Girl could move her stuff as soon as she arrived. And, well, you know how you can wander around a new place thinking non-essential things like "Ooh, I could put my bookcase there," but not register something more important like "Hang on, there's no furniture in this flat" for about twenty minutes? The flat came with some very ugly furniture, and we had negotiated for most of it to be taken away, but we asked them to leave two sofas and one bed, these being important items that we do not have. These had been removed. We are currently living and sleeping on The Girl's sofabed in the lounge. This has been mildly amusing so far, but we've been promised a bed and something to sit on, and if we don't get them soon then we're going to get really very pissed off.
The next amusement, having spent hours moving all The Girl's boxes with the 'help' of removal men who were going as slowly as possible as they were being paid by the hour, was to discover that the TV doesn't work here because aerial reception is so bad. We can't even get digital. Never mind, we say, there will be Telewest, since it's already all installed here. Except that The Girl needs a BT line to connect to the company who provide her with cheap international calls, and you can't get Telewest TV without getting their phone line. Never mind, we say, we'll find another way to sort out the international calls. I am about to ring Telewest. At least then I'll be able to watch Torchwood. It's amazing how much you can miss TV when you've been without it for a weekend.
We spent all of Saturday afternoon putting up The Girl's bookshelves, which occasionally collapsed, and throwing away entire mountains of bubble wrap. Then on Sunday we made two trips over to the Lovely Flat, where I was very kindly helped with moving all my boxes by R's T and Former Flatmate. Then we unpacked all Sunday afternoon. We had grand plans to find a local and get a drink when we'd finished, until we realised that we will probably be finished around January. So we gave up and went to bed. I shall come home at a reasonable hour and try to keep going. The Girl has a show for the next three weeks, therefore she can't be home until really late for the next couple of nights, so it's me and my boxes for a bit. I am compelled to straighten out all her haphazard rows of books, which will take me a while, so I'll keep busy.The flat is lovely, and a very decent size and in a fantastic location, but it's decorated (how do I put this?) to very individual tastes. Which are not my tastes. Everything is brass, including an enormous mirror over the mantlepiece that I am just going to smash up one of these days (they left this but not the sofa??) and the light fittings are little fake candles decorated with fake drips. We're getting the interior designer (aka Former Flatmate) over to tell us how we can make it all slightly less appalling. Till then, I am mostly trying not to look. Oh, and we also have our very own Phantom Dennis. He has been switching off the lights in the bathroom and hiding things that we need. I will have to leave him some sort of peace offering in the hope that he will start to like us and do more useful things instead.
I am very happy. :)
Saturday, November 04, 2006
Those who know me are very aware of how I feel about our 21st-Century version of Christmas, complete with its crass commercialism, incessant advertising, screaming children, completely-lacking-in-imagination media saturation, tinny-music-blaring-out-of-speakers-in-every-freaking-shop 'carols', and general mad rush to buy stuff that causes shopping centres to become a complete nightmare for at least two months of every year. In short, I believe that it is sent to us directly from the devil himself, yes indeed. So it may come as a surprise to these people to hear that this afternoon I did most of my Christmas shopping.
This is entirely the fault of The Girl, who is getting quite excited about her first proper Christmas (what with being Jewish, and all). She decided that we would make a list, order a huge number of books-and-things from Amazon, and then have a leisurely wander down the high street to see if we could find a few more goodies. And so, I am now the proud owner of many gifts. In November. It's a bit odd.
The weather was utterly beautiful today. I love cold, bright, autumnal days. More of those, please.
It could all almost make me happy that it's nearly December 25th.
But not quite.
Friday, November 03, 2006
We're setting off on a journey, The Girl and I.
We don't quite know where we're going. We know it will be somewhere good, though.
It's not long since we pulled out of the driveway. We've been in familiar territory so far, but we're still insisting on looking at the map. The Girl likes to follow maps, but she doesn't like how much I panic over attempting to read them. (I'm dyspraxic, which can lead to a range of interesting moments, from "I can't find the North Circular on this. I don't believe it exists," right through to "I'm going to throw the bloody map out of the bloody window if you don't tell me what bloody page we're bloody well on and stop quoting bloody road numbers that mean bloody nothing to me, OK?") And if I'm honest, I like the map, too. It can be a lot safer following someone else's route plan than just looking out of the window and enjoying the view, without any structure to what we're doing.
But there's no route plan for this journey. No one has driven exactly these roads, in exactly this order, before. We've never been anywhere close to the place we're headed for. The Girl has spent some time somewhere in the vicinity of where we're driving now, but she can't really remember the route she took - and anyway, she wouldn't want to drive the same way twice, especially since she didn't end up where she wanted to be. We want to go somewhere new, somewhere that's ours. And that's the problem with following the map too closely. Too many other voices, other expectations, are getting in the way of what we want to do, where we want to go.
As we begin to move beyond familiar streets and onto the motorway, there's an incredible sunrise across the horizon ahead of us. The Girl and I are sharing a bag of chocolates, listening to the morning news on the radio and beginning to notice the scenery.
And I want to throw the map out of the window, stop for coffee and start enjoying the ride.
So we're going do just that.
In actual news: I'm still sick, but I'm getting better. It's got very cold recently. The Girl's central heating really doesn't work properly, so I'm at home enjoying my own.
Oh, and The Girl and I move into our new flat in about three weeks time.