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Sunday Sludging

Lurking about the house on a Sunday mornings is one of the paramount pleasures on life, and I’ve only found it more fun since I moved back in with the APs. 7am snuggles with the Pig, then sloping downstairs for coffee and the papers with dad, then oodles of lying about in heaps waiting for lunch. Today R has demanded Lego construction in spades, and I’ve already built a twee cottage with a garden, a monkey in the tree and a cup of coffee on the windowledge. R immediately annexed my creation, saying he could pep it up a bit, and hey ho, it transmogrified into a spaceship. With a garden and a monkey in the tree! Very Iain M Banks.

We were out last night at the village Harvest Supper, where we fed 70 hungry locals a combination of casserole, baked potatoes and lovely squodgy puddings washed down by altogether too much wine. It was Full Moon last night too, a beautiful windless evening and possibly the last soft night of the year. I walked home at 10pm in the pitch dark, with R lighting my way with his little torch, and listened to the leaves crunching underfoot, where last week they were still on the trees. The colours are coming out in the leaves more and more, as successive cold nights kill them,  stripping the translucent slides of colour one by one as the chemicals leach and break away.

Today is pot roast (it’s been cooking for 12 hours now, on low), roast potatoes, swede and leeks, followed by chocolate fondant puddings and cream. A real rib-sticker. We had the great news last evening that the village Bonfire Party will be going ahead this year, at the bottom of the hill in the Tree Field – cue mulled cider, sparklers and wassail. I can hear the wind fretting round the eves and I’m getting that cosy feeling that all warm-blooded animals know – the simple pleasure of being out of the wind and dry. Perhaps I’m thinking, at some deep level of my brain, about hibernating. Well, if I am I’d better stop  – all the best times of the year happen between now and the spring.

The day consists in this

There’s a set rhythm to the day chez jools and it was slightly upset this morning by my not setting my alarm clock and getting up 25 minutes late! Once I got my feet under me, made breakfast for R, made toast and tea for mother, fed myself, fed the dog and got R ready for his farm trip (grumpily attired in spaceman wellies and an adorable ski-skin) I was knackered. Work’s good that way – you can rock up at 08:45 and settle in for a rest before you get on. Two jorums of coffee, a quick squizz at the news and weather and check the old e-mails before the rest of the team appear and on with the mottley. The site team have got the heating on, thank goodness. I made a severe tactical error witha short-sleeved top (told you I was distracted this morning) and had to immediately borrow a cardy from my boss. She’s a kindly soul and mothers me no end so I didn’t feel bad asking. I think she offered, actually, as I was sitting there  in a centrally-heated room shivering like a whippet. What a wuss!

So now the house is quiet, Mother is drinking her last tea of the day (at least from my perspective – I’m OFF the CLOCK) and I’m sitting snuggily in bed waiting for ‘Great British Bake Off’ to begin. Hail Hollywood, Silver Fox of bakers the world over, and Hail Berry! doyenne of the pastry classes! And Hail, Hail Sue Perkins, who is simply one of my favourite wimmin on the TV, second only to Sandi Toksvig and Clare Balding. Hollywood I could go for. He’s just a stunner – but you know me and older guys, constant readers!

There’s all sorts of drivelling filth I could knock on about spoons in puddings and cracking crusts and god knows what-all – suffice to say he’s a lovely bloke and I admire him because not only is he a supremely accomplished baker, but he’s a happily married dad and business-owner and none of the hoopla around this show has gone to his head. And Mary Berry is a goddess. That is all.

Happy things this evening include: new copy of Grazia to titillate the gossip gland in me; a glass of rosé which might turn into two glasses of rosé, who knows; a grand book called ‘The 10,000 Year Explosion: How Civilisation Accelerated Human Evolution’ by Cochran & Harpending which, while execrably written as regards style, participles and pace, has some really revolutionary ideas. And the authors can’t help it. They’re really excited, bless them, and they’re only an Adjunct Professor and a Distinguished Professor respectively at the University of Utah. I thought America was where the grammar came from?!

Being Graduated….

…as Rowan put it, like I had suddenly been calibrated in millimetric increments all the way up my left side!

I am extremely proud to say I graduated, despite all the ordure I have waded through. I love the hat, obviously. But all it has done is make me extremely hungry for further academic attainment. To that end, I’m starting a postgrad in Management in January. It fulfils the academic requirement for an MBA also.

I had a lovely sunny day with all my colleagues in the Cathedral here in H —. Joyous lunch with many toasts and then squiffily meandering into the cathedral cloisters to line up in reverse alphabetical order. Nothing funnier than watching pissed management students trying to reverse-alphabetise, and in high heels too. Well, no, not the BOYS.

Looking at my pic I couldn’t be anyone but my father’s child. Thank you. Tim, for your academic rigour and enquiring mind, without which I wouldn’t be where I was today. Love you, daddy xxxx

Man Vs Food

OK, I know. Not high quality televisual entertainment, but the fact remains that Adam Richman loves food and seeks out the best. And, goddamnit, it’s a metaphor for me. I want to eat it ALL, NOW!!

Being the type of girl I am, and knowing me as you do, constant readers, you’ll know that passing up a golden opportunity is not really in my nature. Well, I’ve done it. A lovely man of my aquaintence made his views known about my person while I was single, and despite some vestigial disquiet I gave it, if not my all, then a good deal of SOME. He’s perfect. He’s gorgeous. He declaims Yeats. He loves me to bits. He nurtures. He caresses. He cuddles and protects. He calls me five times a day from Japan. You get it.

Problem? Hitch? Glitch in the Matrix? Married.

Now, my regular readers will know my immediate prob here. He’s separated. Properly, no messing. But. Still.

As I told him, I could bung all my morals in a jar and go for it. Jane Eyre thought about it too – giving in to Rochester and becoming his darling in a honeyed bower somewhere in the Med. Fortunately for her, her mother as the lusus naturae stopped her from following her overwhelming temptation. My mother didn’t inspire me quite this way, but hey, I got there in the end.

It fucking hurt. I cried, buckets, and still do.

But the right, best and only thing to do is what I did, and separate myself from him before it all got too good, too real.

So here we have the real Man Vs Food – morals vs appetite. Bitter victory.


…and back we come

This year has been pretty rocky. When you look at the fact that I haven’t posted for 12 months or more, you’d have to expect there to have been some sort of seismic event. Well, you’d be right.

I have done nothing at all over the last 12 months, unless you count getting better, sorting my medication, separating myself from harmful people, finding a new job where they don’t denigrate and belittle, parenting my son, trying to settle in back in my parents’ house and keeping the voices at bay. In some of these things I haven’t been incredibly successful, but I have been supported and nurtured by my incredible strong and lovely friends.

I want to name them here. David, Barbara, Sarah, Jess, Trucie, Roger, Paul, Caroline, Joyce, Jenny, other Jenny!, Jo, Nicky, Malcolm, Joao, Roni, Sally. And others – thank you.


So – September 2011, everything fine; or I was saying everything was fine, at any rate. I do this. When everything’s ‘fine’ then it’s crap. And it wasn’t too crap, just crap enough.

Mal and I split up and I moved out at the beginning of November 2011. We didn’t really make the break till January but for him, it was over in November. I tried to keep it going, but it didn’t work. The wife. The ex-wife who is still the wife; the lack of financial stability, the curt refusal to consider getting married. It matters to me, it all matters. Why wouldn’t it? That’s why people split up, because their needs, wishes and desires don’t gel. Ours didn’t gel. We’re still friends – he bought me a birthday present and drove 50 miles to deliver it unasked – but we’re not lovers. Well, we hadn’t been for ages.

I have had a nervous breakdown and am now living with my parents. I have been invalided off work and I cannot get through the day without sleeping or sitting boneless in sunbeams, thinking about nothing. I am a wreck and a shadow. My work put me here. Nothing else. Just my work. My fucking work. My lousy, stinking pissing work.