localfreak: avatar which I have used as mine since scarboard days 10 years ago (Default)
Oh how I miss those heady days of being ergonomic. No, really. I am loving living in the new place in many and diverse ways but it seemed pointless to start struggling with my computer chair to bring it with me being that it is one step away from falling apart and periodically all the screw covers fall off and, because I don't sit properly on it, all the padding is on one side and that side is no where near my buttocks. BUT suddenly it's a killer to type or even spend excessive time scrolling with my mousie without all circulation in my hands being seriously compromised.

So that's a thing.

We'll work it out. I'll get a new chair. It's just there are so many other and potentially more vital immediate things and the wait is quite difficult, particularly writing wise.

On the bright side it is keeping me away from to much bad fic. I have tried to read some new stuff but apart from a few smashing new snippets from authors I like or updates to fics I'm already following I am distressingly finding the fandoms I am most lurking on on Ao3 seem to be filled with things that sadly do not suit my needs. I'm not saying they're all bad (although one huge epic which sounded interesting continues to taunt me- the story begins with Natasha having a public breakdown in Shield and needing Coulson to give her a hug- my cue to backspace because NATASHA SHOWS NO WEAKNESS DAMMIT especially not over a MISSION BRIEF.) it's just I don't care for the ships, and am not in the mood for non-powered AUs or PWP ( I know I know hark as Mistress Bona, but really I always am a sucker for LONG PLOT PLEASE).

I actually want to get a bit of writing done- I've moved the laptop onto the floor by the fire and am typing this hunched over it cross legged to give my hands a chance to receive bloodflow. Unfortunately, as my back is stupid and weak I don't think I'm going to be able to hold it out much longer to actually try and write anything.

Oh how I miss it, being Ergonomic.
localfreak: avatar which I have used as mine since scarboard days 10 years ago (Default)
The presentation at work went quite well. My co-worker I was presenting with was a little put-off by it because it didn't run at all as rehearsed, but I suspected that could happen - the first slide came up and the debate/discussion began then rather than happening all at the end. We had to prepare it as if no one was going to speak but as it happened it took us about an hour from slide 1 to reach the end of what was actually quite a short powerpoint. It was good though, I felt, because they did speak to us and whilst a lot of the things raised were things I would have expected to come up, there were a couple of things I didn't know about how certain systems work and also gave me an opportunity to hear about what they actually want and get suggestions from them in to how to make things happen (and also make sure they know their suggestions are welcomed and needed). I think I held my own quite well in it, which is a bit bittersweet because of course I didn't actually get the job that would have mean these guys would've been 'mine' so I can only direct them to others for things, and only do a little to help from my position. Still, my boss was there so the fact that I did come accross confidently, didn't let my accent broaden into incomprehensibility (I don't know why it does this, it's an odd habit I've picked up in the past ten or so years and it annoys me to death) and genuinely engaged well with people will hopefully mean good things- particularly as my appraisal is in June.

I get the keys for the house on Monday. PANIC STATIONS! Heh. Mum and I went around there yesterday to pay the current owners for a fridge that they are leaving because it's fitted into the kitchen, and they were so nice and lovely, it really made me feel better, and we stood in the Absolutely Terrific kitchen for a few minutes talking and being friendly and it was just really nice. They mentioned the window cleaner, who will know our family from all the generations living in the area (there's a lot of that, where we're moving to, it's very cosy) and then talked about their friends in the neighbourhood. It just made me feel a bit happier because we really do want to make friends (or at least pleasant acquaintances) with everyone. Mum is really going to miss chatting over the fence to our nice neighbour, it'd be nice to broaden our friendship circles a bit more. Shaunie lives nearby with his mum and sister too so I'm hoping once we get settled to maybe invite them over for a cuppa.

There's still a lot to be done with regards to The Hovel. I'm determined to do my best not to drag it with us, but it's so weird! Some days I can be incredibly ruthless and other days I go all wobbly and find All The Things Might Be Useful, or else that they represent so much time and effort I went into making them that I feel obliged because otherwise all that would be for nothing. This includes half-finished knitting projects, a bag full of cloths I collected to make a new rag-rug (jury is still out on whether that should come with...), pictures from uni, ornaments from my bookshelves at uni, and of course my gigantic amount of videos. Some of these I can truly rationalise- there's a lot of stuff on there that you can't get on DVD, (e.g. BBC dramas lost to the mists of time) and I will and do watch them, but then there's others that are like...well, you COULD get them on DVD, but they'd be very costly and stuff like that. I have been doing quite well in my ruthlessness lately. A lot of X-Men has gone (it's mostly on youtube anyway), all the Dragon Ball Z has gone (because I don't care and have never re-watched), my Land Before Time video, Santa Claus (it's on EVERY CHRISTMAS, I don't need to own it), The Ladykillers (have it on DVD), Titanic, Robin Hood Prince of Thieves (I can get a copy if I really want to), The Little Vampire, a lot of the ones where I taped The Wind In The Willows off the TV (I have the DVD boxset for heaven's sake!), The Shining, Nightmare Before Christmas...you get the idea. Replacable stuff is gooing. The stuff that stays is, like I said, stuff you can't get anymore and also the videos of bb!me for sentimental reasons (all of them filmed by and featuring Cliff, it hurts too much to play them at the moment but some day I think Mum will appreciate being able to look back on them, and then I will put them on DVD).

Right, on that note I'm toddling up to the loft to try and sort some more stuff to go to the charity shop.
localfreak: avatar which I have used as mine since scarboard days 10 years ago (Default)
Today has been quite productive. The house, sadly, does not look massively changed but I did manage to get five bags and a guitar to the charity shop, and we have loaded up Mum's car to take other items to the Haven charity shop (which does electricals and homeware) tomorrow, as she is taking Nanny to that part of town anyway for her pension. I also put a few more things up on ebay, so progress is being made on The Hovel.

Most of the stuff in the donations bag today were bric-a-brac things, toys, ornaments, amusing hats, old comic book annuals some CDs- just general bits really. Plus the guitar. I am a little sorry about having to say goodbye to it, but it has been many a year since I suffered through lessons and I was pants then. Hopefully it will go to a child who had a bit more talent and co-ordination than I did. I have reserved a few things from my sort out for friends who have/had previously expressed an interest too. A lot of recycling also happened. I find it so very hard to throw ephemera away- old magazines, newspaper articles etc. It's knowledge and citations that I will not get back, but I now have a whole shelf of my cupboard totally free in return!

We had quorn burgers for tea, which were very nice. Happily, mum found them acceptable and I enjoyed an uncomplicated burger without the usual feeling of trepidation that THERE MIGHT BE GRISTLE OR FATTY LUMPAGE. So, overall a success. And Nanny sent down a slice of homemade current slice for our pudding. :) Because my Nanny is awesome.
localfreak: avatar which I have used as mine since scarboard days 10 years ago (Default)
Last Thursday I with some others were taken out for a meal as a thank you for helping out with the examinations the other week. We went to a Turkish restaurent. I was a bit worried when I heard that at first because I am not adventurous in food and to be honest not really used to restaurents- I think I've been out for more meals since I started working where I do now than I ever had in my whole lifetime previously. As it was it was very enjoyable and I tried a lot of new things including Tabule, Yaprak Sarma, Humus, Hellumi and Mantar - little bits that we all shared for the starters, and then for the main I had Roasted Med. Vegetables with Grilled Goats Cheese. It was DELICIOUS. The puddings were less turkish- local ice cream -vanilla and ferrero rocher flavour. Yum, yum, yum.

So I have had my horizons broadened and my vague aim is one day actually being able to take people out to places and not feel vaguely like this sort of place is not for you. But that's a while off yet. For one thing, for various reasons I am having to actually do things with my finances at the moment which does not leave much scope for extras- if I've forbidden myself from even buying cheap books, I hardly think a reasonably fancy restaurent would be a possibility. Hopefully in a few months, though. I would like to take Mum out somewhere for her birthday, actually. It is so hard to buy things for her at least going out for a nice meal would be something she could enjoy at the time. She still hasn't read the books I got her for Christmas, or watched the Jeeves and Wooster dvds I bought her the year before (actually, it's still in its packaging :-( even though she loves Jeeves & Wooster).

In other news, I'm off for the WHOLE WEEK. I need to make plans to see friends and things, most definitely, and I also need to do some research for my next essay, and GET RID OF JUNK. :D I am really keen to do a real clean of the place, did some small parts yesterday already; none today as I was doing uni work this afternoon.
localfreak: avatar which I have used as mine since scarboard days 10 years ago (Default)

This? This is what is left of the sofa, or rather, what was left of it yesterday afternoon. It has all now gone to the Tip in its seperate pieces and is no more. On the one hand this is a success, in the sense that although it was nice to have a couch I never sat on it as the hovel crept over my side of it and so the other side got all the wear and had a delightful hole in the arm from one arm resting on it all the time and the springs had sunk. So yes it is a good thing that it went. The fact that now there are even less places to sit in the house- as the two chairs of disparate styles are also covered with all the junk that was originally on the sofar- is merely details.

So often with The Hovel it is a two step forward, one step back kind of deal. Take just now, after noting with some frustration last Christmas that we often buy new things for decorations, but we do not get rid of older things, and also that our decoration usage has dimished markedly the worse the hovel has got, and the older I have grown, I went through them and if we had either bought them within the last three years and not used them, bought something to replace them or not used them in the past ten or more years I put them to go. This came to about three boxes and a separate carrier bag full of baubles, and also a large Nativity set (as we bought a new one because Mum always complained every year that one made our allergies worse). So I hauled them down out of the loft and we went through them. WE WENT THROUGH THEM. Mum has therefore kept: the attractively beautiful stained glass decorations, which we bought a few years back and have never been used as they are too heavy for the tree, three small gold candles, one heavy gold coloured brass candle holder (with small candle), a red ikea candle with berries on it, two large red candles with garlands on the holders, a blue candle we've had for over twenty years with a winter scene on it, two boxes each containg 10-20 small gold candles...

yeah. She likes candles. She also doesn't like to light them. All of these have therefore been put back up in the loft to sit there for another decade or so. Maybe ocassionally coming down and being looked at. Maybe.

Oh and she also kept the lovely hand-stitched advent calendar I had as a kid. It is lovely, don't get me wrong, but that's why I wanted to donate it- I wanted someone to USE it again rather than just have it up in the loft 'for the future'. I'm feeling very old at the moment, and very One The Shelf Woe Is Me Etc, but the point is I need to stop saving everything I love for the next generation who may never come- other children should get to enjoy them. Mum said "the dog can have it" and which I think I, for the first time, embodied the phrase "giving the hairy eyeball". So now she's going to give it to the lady next door for her granddaughter, which is a much better plan. I should focus on that, and the fact that the rest of the stuff- streamers, baubles, lights, two desk-trees etc are now in the car ready to go to charity and hopefully to families who will love them and actually need them.

But a little bit of me is stuck on "WHY SO MANY CANDLES? WHYYYY??". She has also refused to take the heater I have had waiting at the loft hatch to go for four months- why? Because 'if the gas goes of' I'm like 'we have another one' 'well that might not be enough'. And also continues to make no offer to help in terms of getting rid of the stereo or the old printer. Both of which may I add are mine and therefore I should not have to go through someone else to dispose of them as I wish- unfortunately I need someone else to help me get them down from the shelves.

So yes. FOCUS ON THE POSITIVES. POSITIVES. STUFF IS LEAVING. Even if it isn't the stuff I wanted to leave, or ALL of the stuff, and my loft is full of pretty candles.
localfreak: avatar which I have used as mine since scarboard days 10 years ago (Default)
I would say that the three bags of clothes which are too big for me at present in my mother's car ready for charity-shop-dropping on Monday are signs that the diet it working. This however would probably be a delusion, as not only have some of the items been up there for donkey's years, others I recall being a little too big to start with and others still I don't recall ever wearing at all so I'm not going to take them as indicative of anything but the family's weird thing about Stuff.

On the bright side the fact that these are now In Bags In the Car is a definite positive. The box of books I sorted still remains grumpily on the floor by my desk. I have worked out that I am probably owed time however from all the late nights at work last week so perhaps the opportunity will arise that I could arrange to leave early one day. Logistically it is either this or putting the books into carrier bags (because boxes are precious don't I know?) and then subtly landing them on my mother to take to charity when she least suspects. (Also on the plus TWO BAGS of COATHANGERS in the bin! Huzzah!)

In other news: Prawn is back from foreign climes (yay!) and soon will be off back to Uni to do his Masters. Also, the Awards night went passably well. In some ways I didn't feel it was quite as good as last time but that might be the fact that I must have had one major adrenaline high after that one was over considering we were cobbling it together and still flipping putting the awards in the envelopes when people were arriving. It didn't help, though, too that I suppose people who came last year knew what to expect so they weren't quite as excited, and I was all in pieces because I'd wanted everything to basically be ready done and dusted and then we'd only have to pour the wine and sit back and let things go, which completely didn't happen.

I have been berating myself about writing, both academic and non-academic, lately because I know that I should get off my bum and do more but ....life..and...FANFICTIONADDICTION...it's just hard. Regretting it know because I think it's that poetry group thing next Wednesday and I've not written a verse- the only thing I have written is a flash fiction piece. I did end up yesterday reading one of my old Nanowrimos (excitingly titled on my computer as 'Cath and Jim's story', and I was please to find out that despite some gaping flaws (passage of time issues, too many minor characters who appear for a scene, a little flimsy on some sections, inconsistent language from the five-year old) it wasn't actually as dreadful and unfinished as I thought it was. So that was something. I have a feeling I may have been disheartened on it when I tried to research something and was told by my Nanny (should clarify, story set against WWII home front background) that I'd got one fundamental scene completely wrong.
localfreak: (BAH!)
There was a bit of a row at one point last week, when I realised that my driving license, which is the only form of photo ID most pubs and supermarkets accept, wasn't in my wallet. I knew I'd had it at Pride (because usually I am IDed everywhere and once was not allowed into a place when I was eighteen in order to use the toilet because although I had three separate pieces of ID with my d.o.b on me I didn't at that time have a driving license or passport. It was honestly a close call that night with having to piss in the street if a kindly bouncer hadn't taken pity let me and my friends in the pub down the road despite it being after last orders (oh those were the days).

So, okay, no panic I couldn't remember which wallet I took to pride but I only use one of two when I go out (depending on pocket space) so even in the hovel it shouldn't be too hard.
But it was. An almighty and pointless row about me moving things later the wallet, with ID, turned up underneath a pile of papers, in a shoebox, underneath a table where it had evidently been pushed off by the weight of the random clutter that had since accumulated on the table.

Today I was all: You and Me Hovel. Back on track. Now the trick is to start small. Like, sock drawer small. So that's what I did. Socks, underwear, the lot of it- I have lost weight so a lot of the undies are rather baggy so I was all "I will not be a miser about it, if it's stupidly big or uncomfortable or getting faded then it will GO", also came the usual collection of underwear bought as 'bargains' for me by family members which never were in my size in the first place. So that was good. Then demotivation hit again. There's just SO FUCKING MUCH, and worse- when I started to move some things to find out what was in this pile or that pile I found MORE carrier bags of Things which have crept in on me, and which I can't just dispose of or throw away because 1. I am not unobserved and 2. Things Come Back. No, really. I had this bag of clothes we went through, some of which admittedly weren't mine but despite belonging to my mother she has never worn because she doesn't like the fabric only for them to be removed from the bags to go, because yes they are a brand name. "Do you want to try them on again first? Or for me to put them on ebay?" "No. No. Let me think about what I want to do with them."- that was about two months ago now. They're in a pile, ont top of ...*stares at pile* I'm not actually sure what they're on top of. But anyway, they're about knee height over in front of my DVD/CD bookshelf. With tea towels on top.

Will It Never End?

Also I'm in a really irrational and ranty mood anyway because my Mum keeps LEAVING THE BACK DOOR OPEN, which is in direct line with my chair and my computer and I'm FREEZING. I keep repeatedly saying how cold it is, and SHE STILL KEEPS DOING IT. FFS. RARGH. RANT RANT RANT RANT RANT.

Okay. Going to try and go and do some sort of calming activity. Like going out for a walk I think.
localfreak: (Drunken Sailor)
My room is still a little grey box of rubbish, which is at least partially my fault. Mum has done some sugar-soaping the other day but the tail end of this week in work has been seriously emotionally and physically draining. Not only is it Induction week, with all the usual chaos that entails, Thursday was C's last day and so there were handover meetings before and then on the day we were running round sorting out her send-off at that but then I got told that the Newbie Temp is going to start on Monday.

The reason that we are having a Newbie Temp is because C's job hasn't actually gone out to advert yet due to various things. This means that I will be covering much of her work (and under pressure to do really really really well doing this) and so some of my work is now going to go to the Newbie, who will sit at my desk on reception and do many of the more rotten and distracting things like setting up rooms and telling people where the toilet is. So yay! temp! It's just that this meant on Friday in addition tomy usual jobs I was rushing to make him up some sort of guide and a little bit of information for him to be able to have a look at and refer to, and also make plans to wipe out some of my monday schedule to train him, and clear my desk which was messier than usual because C had been handing over many of her files to me on Thursday and I hadn't sorted out where to put them all yet.

Phew. So yes. A bit mad!

Today was a very chilled day, which probably isn't great as I should have got more done. I did however get a good haircut ready for Pride next weekend! (wooooohhh)! And I started putting a few books on ebay, as part of my 'I need to make space on the bookshelves' project for all the refugee books from my room. I haven't put many up yet though, only a tiny few, I will need to be clear-headed to properly go through the rest- I did resist bravely buying a new poetry book whilst with my mum in Rivendell today too, which I count as a win for me vs the hovel. Now if I could only get the hovel to spit back the awesome poetry book with the green lady on the front which disappeared about ten years ago... Anyway I'm still knackered from staying up late to watch the Olympic Opening Ceremony (GIANT VOLDEMORT BEING CHASED BY A THOUSAND MARY POPPINSES! :D I liked it!!) so I spent the evening watching the women's football (GB vs Cameroon) and drinking Wychcraft. Quite a good evening really
localfreak: avatar which I have used as mine since scarboard days 10 years ago (Default)
It is nearly done. Well- the scraping that is. Depite me being disgustingly adult and sensible and not going to see Batman last weekend but staying in to scrape walls there's just a little bit more to go still. After that I don't quite know what we do next- wash down the skirting boards and repaint? Or fill in the holes in the plaster? Or try and work out the cause of the Worringly Damp Bit above the boiler which may be caused by the gutter on the outside?

Now I've never been that keen on my bedroom. I didn't spend much time in it except when playing with my miniature dog collection as a child. I didn't like feeling closed off from what was going on downstairs and if I wanted room to play something else then it was just much nicer to pull down the ladder and climb up into the loft where my blackboard is. There was only really one think I liked about my room: my book case. Back then we didn't have any bookshelves downstairs so there was only this one book case for all my books (and the drawers under my bed, but they were mostly where I stored my video collection). What I didn't know- until we attempted to move it to get to the wall behind is that 1. it was screwed into the wall and 2. Nanny had cut it down specifically to fit that gap- without filtering in the skirting board. So when we attempted to move the bally thing it all went a bit wrong. So the bookshelf has been dismantled and is to go the tip.

I'm a little bit sad about it but not hugely so- after all I've been hoping to move anyway and it isn't like we don't now have bookshelves downstairs.

Except they've all got books on too. What this ultimately means is that at some point I am going to have to do another ruthless charity shopping/ebay selling cull of my books. It's quite hard, but the fact of the matter is that the majority that were in my room were ones I would not dream of parting with (the entire scripts of Blackadder, all the Vampire Chronicles, my oldest and most favourite poetry books, my favourite re-reads like What Katy Did, The Secret Garden, Harry and the Wrinklies and so on) which means that those downstairs which I keep but am not necessarily going to re-read too often may have to go. There are some that probably should- ones I bought but just haven't got round to reading and so on, but there are many others I am conflicted on. Take Breakfast With Scot which is a charming book about a gay couple attempting to raise a nephew who even at such an extremely young age is exhibiting behaviours that could imply the child is trans or otherwise on the genderqueer spectrum- on the one hand wanting to be good fathers and wanting to protect the child from bullies, on the same time knowing that they must tread carefully- is zie genderqueer or is it a young child merely acting out behaviours of his mother who has died? It's a lovely, sweet story...

But am I going to re-read it? Ever? And even trickier, it was bought in Foyles' Queer section- it's not as simple as getting rid of a book saying 'Well if I ever decide to read it again I can get it from the library', nor is it on ebook as far as a cursory google has shown.

*sigh* I foresee some tough decisions ahead. Work is about to be excruciatingly evil as Induction Begins Tomorrow DUN DUN DUUUH and goes on for weeks and weeks and weeks.
localfreak: avatar which I have used as mine since scarboard days 10 years ago (Default)

I hate DIY. I hate it. I know we're not rich, I know that unless the numbers come up or I magically invent a way to write a novel with the use of trained house elves it is not going to happen but I tell you this: If I ever get my own place I am going to Support Local Trade and pay a little person to come in and Do This Shit for me.

This evening I haven't got any further scraping my room. The daylight just got sucked out and dammit I'm tired. Of course I then felt horribly guilty but by the time the guilt compelled me to prize my fat posterior from my perch it is too late to do any scraping without disturbing the nice neighbours (wouldn't actually care much about the unneighbourly one except a vague fear that he might Come Around And Smash My Face In). I just feel like it takes so fucking long and even when the walls are done it won't be over because then they have to be done up again- some of it blatently needs filling in on the plaster and then there'll be paste and wallpaper and all sorts of other effort and it's just a bloody awful thing.

I've also put a call out on facebook to see if anyone can reccomend me a handman who will do both the fence and the hard-standing. So far I've had reccomendations who will do one or t'other but it'd be so much better I feel if I could just get one bloke in and go "This is what is wrong, make it better please. Here is your money."

Haven't found anyone yet which is a bit disappointing. I was hoping if a friend reccomended them I'll be less likely to get ripped off.

Work is absolutely insane at the moment, but to be honest that might be a good thing because the hovel is currently being seriously demotivating. I've been working on this poem and I've found it actually easier to write during my break in work despite constant interruption than at home at the moment. I'm on the final draft now so I'm hoping that's sorted and then I need to type it up and make it look nice ready for presentation.
localfreak: avatar which I have used as mine since scarboard days 10 years ago (Default)

The reasons for my radio silence this past week have chiefly been that, in addition to being rather manic at work, I have been house-sitting whilst some of my relatives had a few days away at The Retreat. I was lured there with promise of using Auntie's internet and an actual shower (Oh I do miss showers, damn The Hovel and it's stupid electrical issues). She had as promised left me a new sponge but had neglected to identify: a towel, toothpaste, where the binbags were and any shampoo suitable for non-blonde hair. The whole Family are A Bit Mental About Stuff thing continued as I was obliged to clean her computer desk of: dog treats, HP sauce, sweets, papers, three coasters and a pile of make-up before I could actually have a play on the web at all. Apart from that mostly it was fine staying there. A little weird because The Hovel is so small and even though many of their rooms echo in terms of goat-trails and piles of miscellany it felt Enormous compared to the little two-up-two-down. I mean- I actually had to walk more than five steps to the kettle from the computer!

In addition to that last night was C's leaving do. We went for a meal in Warrington that was really nice. I had mushroom risotto, salmon for the main and then this chocolate thing for pudding. The cocktails were 2 for 1 before 7pm so I also had my first (two) Singapore Sling. It was an unusual taste but it grew on me and was quite nice- although I was glad of the good meal as it was awfully strong! I also tasted other people's cocktails as the only one I've had before was Sex on the Beach and, to be frank that was from Wetherspoons in Widnes and comes two pitchers for a tenner so was not really in the same ball park as watching a guy make it in front of you. I tasted Screaming Orgasm (like icecream) and Strawberry Daiquiri (IT BURNS - sooo strong) so that was interesting. Afterwards we went to a club and were pretty much the only group in there. I meant to go home early but I just couldn't seem to get the chance and ended up dancing in Ridiculous Shoes of Death (which despite being Ridiculous I quite liked and have now Ruined beyond repair) from about 11.30 when we started there until the club kicked out at 3am. My feet are in serious amounts of paaaain. Yowch. Every time I tried to sit out and rest someone just pulled me back in. I was trying not to drink too but people kept giving things so...yes. Luckily I think despite the fact I mixed like I have never mixed before (I don't even know what is in a Jagerbomb and I think I drank ...several) I danced most of it off and so have escaped without hangover.

Especially lucky as I was in work today! I got to bed at 4 and then crawled out again at 7.30 to go to work. Astonishingly, was quite okay apart from the fact that work is a lot of standing and walking and my feet are currently like "I AM BROKEN IN MANY MANY WAYS *sob*" I don't think the experience has converted me to the clubbing lifestyle but it was generally quite fun. I like dancing provided I'm sure no one is looking at me or, in this case, the majority were much drunker than me and thus unlikely to recall me making a tit out of myself. So far I have not come across any incriminating photographs on facebook so fingers crossed I've survived that okay.

In other news the hovel frustrates me mightily. Mum decided in her infinite wisdom that whilst I was house-sitting. Instead of what I thought she might do which is clear out a pile of cardboard drawers so that the table and chairs that Mrs M gave us at the beginning of the week can go in the space, she decided to strip my bedroom walls. Now I have mixed feelings about this. I have wanted my bedroom re-decorating since I was about 10. It has ABC wallpaper. Various reasons, including the fact that she can't stand the smell of paint and the fact that every time we planned to do this another more urgent hovel incident occurred that took precedence meant that this never happened. Now when I've mostly been inclined to leave it as if we do intend to sell it doesn't really matter that it has ABC wallpaper on she has decided to do it. "Okay," I said, "So whilst I'm away you'll start with the wall my bed is against then yes?" As obviously I can't sleep if the bed needs to be upended to get to it (my room is small).

She has not done this. She has done part of the wall by the door and most of the wall on the other side from my bed near where my cupboard of comics and stuff is. Auntie Maura lent her the steamer which she has not used because 'it makes a mess' and after each bit she does she carries all the pieces to a special bag so it 'doesn't get messy'. Really? Really I could fucking weep. Also despite comments about the mess neglected to cover up or move the computer monitor that is in the room awaiting me to maintenance it. Or, you know, bin anything that is not mine that happens to be in there like the pattern books, magazines, craft things, picnic blanket from M&S three unused Ikea fleece blankets (I hate sales sometimes. Really hate sales.)
Not a very happy bunny about this but I am trying to take it buoyantly. Which is actually quite tricky on three hours sleep. There's nothing to be done but roll with it and I'll have to muster some energy from somewhere and just crack on with things myself when I can. It's not like we were in a major rush to move, mostly because of All the Other Shit in the hovel that needs to be done (particularly the garden- did she ring the guy about the garden? No. Of course not) and there's only one house on the market at the moment that I'd like to take a proper look at.

Going to go and keep myself going on a herbal tea methinks.
localfreak: avatar which I have used as mine since scarboard days 10 years ago (Default)
The cold is improving, although Mum has also had it and so I am now sharing my living quarters with a chesty-cough darth vadar, so the miasma lingers on.

Despite the driving rain it has been quite an okay week, lots of work. The hovel was getting me down a bit the other day because the loft has reached that point again where there needs to be charity shop and tip runs before I can move forward- and considering we've both been dying of colds and it's horrible weather that hasn't been happening. At least the first part of the week was good for the Cheshire Show, Auntie Ig and Auntie M were doing the display there.

This evening our Zog put up a zumba game on to sell so I bought it off her for Mum as she really liked it when I borrowed C's copy that time (I hated it) and so whilst I waited for her to come after her class I went up to Mum's room and managed to fill a bag of clothes to go- most of it there was nothing wrong with it just either didn't fit me any more or I didn't really wear (this is often because I was keeping it because Mum or Nanny had bought it for me and I feel awful getting rid of presents). I did manage to find my Santa Monica t-shirt which I think I maybe wore once before the hovel ate so have brought that down to try and get it into circulation. A lot of other stuff went in the bag though so that's good. I also managed to secretly take a rubbish bag out to the outside bin by putting the bag from her bedroom which, considering she's ill, is full of tissues, on the top. So have also managed to get rid of a pile of random scraps and four odd shoes. This is definite progress! Tee hee.

The clothes thing also has an ulterior motive- I am going out with work twice in the next few weeks and with those fashionistas I can't get away with wearing the exact same suit twice so at least if I do end up getting a new shirt or jacket I will feel less awful about acquiring more stuff I will rarely wear now!

I'm working in the morning but I noticed on koha this evening that the next Temeraire is STILL checked out *gnashes teeth* so unfair!
localfreak: avatar which I have used as mine since scarboard days 10 years ago (Default)
The Bank Holidays are almost over. Work is very nearly glowering around the corner at me, but mostly I'm feeling pretty buoyant.

Work on the hovel continues a slow crawling advance. The pictures and some other bits have sold today, a few more things tomorrow and I have put up a new batch of stuff (mostly craft patterns for porcelein dolls and sheet music for a Wurlitzer we don't own) so this is very pleasing. For some unknown reason my hovel clearing is leading to a push-back from other family members which is why I have also had to put a pile of clothes on ebay because Nanny insists that they are 'too good' to give away, (because the lady who owns them is on her deathbed and her house had to be cleared in a hurry, so Nanny got all this stuff given to her) but which nobody wants. I have therefore promised I will put them on, dutifully, and if they do not sell I shall be able to take them to the donation place with my conscience clear that I tried. Some of the stuff is okay but all of it is polyester and rayon and there's this one cardigan thing that just screams "Gizz uz a fag luv *hacking cough*" (it's clean and unworn, by the way, it's just the style of cardigan that does the screaming)

On the less good side no movement has been made on the whole Getting A Quote For the Kitchen or Getting A Man In To Sort The Garden. But then again, bank holidays have provided convenient excuses on these fronts.

In Other News

I have currently seen 18 films and read 18 books (not counting comics, journal extracts, magazines) this year. This is somewhat awesome although the pressure is now on in that I feel like books should definitely stay in front which means I could do with putting down the fanfic and reading something before tomorrow. Hopefully tomorrow Iron Man 2 and Thor should arrive and I WILL BE WATCHING THEM. Most definitely yes.

The Hovel

May. 26th, 2012 08:54 pm
localfreak: avatar which I have used as mine since scarboard days 10 years ago (Default)
Things ye must know about the hovel

1. Every object has a use/reason for being kept
2. It is not dirty in here, just disorganised

It bothers me that on recent programmes about hoarders or hoarding issues people are so often shown at the worst end of the spectrum- like Mr Trebus from A Life Of Grime so many years ago- people who can't see their bathrooms, pissing in buckets, with rats making nests in discarded clothes. I'm not saying it doesn't happen but I'm very suspect about how helpful it actually is for people trying to accept their own issues when it is so very easy to look at a programme and go "We're messy but there's no way we're like that."

The term 'hoarder' is becoming vogue over here in a way that it just hasn't really been before- everyone has an idea (usually the above) about what 'people like that' are like. Stupidly keeping useless crap and afraid to get rid of anything, tangled in absolute crazy neuroses. I'm not saying it's particularly sane to hang on to everything, but I know a lot of people with a long history of hanging on to things that seems, well, sensible. I mean you keep stuff that you're quite likely to need again, you don't want to throw money away and damage the environment by throwing things- hand me downs a way of life- I got Zoe's old schoolbag, Auntie Nicola's old books- it just kind of makes sense.

Until it all gets a bit crazy, anyway. But it's HARD to give up on things like that. I've just put a series of framed prints on ebay that I found in the loft. All through my childhood they were in a series on the wall by the staircase so as I stood on the stairs I would crane me neck to look at them. Mum thought that they'd been given to someone but, as often in the hovel, the hovel had taken them back. If they sell, I won't be sad at all because I hope they will go to someone who will appreciate them, but it doesn't mean it's not tough to let go.

Worse than that is the toys. I know their names. I loved them to pieces. An anti-social brat they were my friends and playmates and I kept them to hand them down to younger cousins and good homes. I worked in a charity shop too, I know what happens to most donated toys, when they don't have space for them. I also kind of wanted to keep them for my own children, despite the fact that since my teens children have been increasingly less on the cards so to speak. You never know, but I guess it's silly to keep everything on the off-chance.

No tip runs today because WORDS CANNOT EXPRESS THE HEAT but I filled a binbag full of scraps dismantled an Antwacky wardrobe thing that was in the loft, went through another three lots of shelves and Mum has washed two batches of toys for me. They are now hanging on the line LOOKING BALEFULLY at me :( . I'm trying to ignore it.

So a few bags of rubbish and recycling, some bits on ebay and more ready to Go- that's an okay kind of achievement.
localfreak: avatar which I have used as mine since scarboard days 10 years ago (Default)
So today was always going to be crazy at work because we had a lot of big meetings going on and the phone was practically ringing itself to death, but this could only happen to me. I was dressed up a bit because I was to be minuting a meeting which various higher-ups were meant to be attending so I had a white shirt on and this green thing that goes over it like a sleeveless cardigan. I had salad for my dinner, nice mixed salad affair: cabbage, lettuce, cherry tomatoes, carrot and scallions with some of a new Irish cheese Mum got which is like Super Strong And Gorgeous. I was REALLY LOOKING FORWARD to my salad. Until I attempted to carefully halve the first tomato.

I promise you it didn't just squirt out it EXPLODED WITH JUICE ALL OVER MY GLASSES, down my face, shoulders, stomach, trousers- you wouldn't think that tiny tomato could have SO MUCH MESS in it but OH IT DID. At first I could only sit there, unable to see with my glasses coated in a film of juice and seeds. If there had been a candid camera it would have been the perfect You've Been Framed moment.

*headdesk*. So conclusion: When dressing for something important, WEAR A FUCKING BIB.


Nearly thought I would actually have to drive home for a change of clothes like a kid who's wet himself, but luckily with help from some of the girls in the office I managed to hide the worst of the stains that wouldn't come out, including judicious placing of my ID badge and lanyard.

In other news- I can hardly believe it myself- the other day when I got home I SENSED a difference immediately: Mum had actually TAKEN THINGS TO THE TIP! Huzzah! A rug, an old box and some other things I couldn't even tell you what all I know is there was a space where there wasn't a space. It must be the weather because this evening I have just helped her load up her car with items for the tip or charity shop (some for each) FROM THE LOFT.

My cup, it truly overfloweth. And to illustrate the absurdity of the hovel, which is truly like the junk kingdom from The Labyrinth the following will be disposed of on the morrow:
* A plastic chair I broke my arm by jumping off when I was five
* A tiny black and white battery powered television
* An ariel
* 2 yellow cushions
* 2 pink cushions
* A badly damaged guitar
* An ornament of a frog on a bicycle (actually she has decided to send this to Nanny's but it still counts!)
* A CD Shelf with futuristic sliding doors. Well, it was futuristic in the 90s anyway. It actually has never been opened and weighs half a ton- I found it but as it was from Ikea the box gave no indication as to what it contained and I had to turn to the internet to find out what it was at all.

It doesn't seem like much but I can't describe how absolutely delighted I am. May the clearing of the hovel continue!!
localfreak: (BAH!)
I have been on annual leave since Wednesday this week and last night was the first time I have a. worn shoes and b. left the house since I got in from work on Tuesday.

I have been Essaying Like A Madaman. The area around my desk, currently strewn with biros, page-upon-page of handwritten notes, printouts, photocopied readings and articles and weighty textbooks will attest to this. I have managed to both complete Draft 2/3 of Essay 1 (Academic book review) and Draft 1 of Essay 2 (5000 words to do with the relationship between the image and the real). I have also since printed out Draft 1 of Essay 2 and attacked it with my vicious red pen (lots of "YOU HAVE USED THE SAME WORD THREE TIMES IN THIS PARAGRAPH MORON" and "WTF DOES THIS MEAN?" and "NO SENSE. CUT THE CRAP" - I am a very harsh proofreader when doing it to myself) decided to scrap certain examples (Voldemort Gif- you are amusing, but it is really neither time nor place) and planned out some provisional notes of extra things I wish to add instead. I also spent some of my time proofreading Prawn's disseration- although my comments are strictly much more positive and non-evil on his than they are on my own work.

Now I have Stepped Away and am partially through the process of making a banoffee pie, which, should the endeavour be successful, will be offered up for pudding after Sunday dinner tomorrow.

I am increasingly eager to have these essays done. In the run up to them, over the past month or so, all other endeavours (including, but not limited to, cleaning my computer desk, getting the old computer down from my room to wipe my docs off it so I can give it to my Auntie and Uncle, whose PC has just gone kaput, buying shoes and Tackling the Hovel) have been put on hold.

With regards to Tackling the Hovel, however, exciting developments may be afoot! We received a leaflet in the local rag yesterday that a cash-for-rags recycling branch is opening In Our Town!! A while ago, C-at-work informed me of a place like this based in the nearby town I work in and I informed my mother of the idea excitedly. 'This is great!' I enthused, 'No more sorting and ironing things to send to charity shops only for the hovel to swallow them before they reach there! We can just bag stuff and then take a big batch.'

The snag in that plan? Mum will not brave the town where I work on Saturdays, because traffic is dire, and its opening hours did not extend to late evenings, thus meaning I was stymied from taking them after work. This meant that although I could fill as many bags as would fit in my tiny bedroom, the actuall Taking them There was left to Mum and Nanny. Who...haven't got round to it. Because they never go to that town for anything there's no incentive to 'drop off en route' anywhere and then there's the whole 'getting things to the car' and 'it hasn't stopped raining in a month' etc etc.

So, at present, there are two binbags in Mum's room, and two in mine waiting to go and the only reason there aren't MORE bags is that there is nowhere to put anymore without risking some sort of major avalanche. BUT this new place, which opens on Monday, is where the old Help Romania shop used to be (a charity shop much beloved by me in earlier years because it was approximately 0.4 miles from our house, as opposed to 0.8 miles which, when travelling uphill and over bridges and carrying heavy bags of stuff is a noticable difference). Of course, for carrying these bags a car will be the better mode of transport but the point is that even though in the car the distance will be greater (one way system) than 0.8 miles it is far, FAR more local than the other end of a completely different, larger town.

I am exceedingly excited that this might mean when I get in from work on Monday FOUR MORE BAGS will be gone! *fingers crossed*
localfreak: avatar which I have used as mine since scarboard days 10 years ago (Default)
Yesterday, whilst at work I started thinking about writing. I am mostly quite shit at it these days- chiefly due to lethargy and a fanfic addiction, if I'm brutally honest about it. With my current existential little crisis (mostly being dealt with by Ignoring It As Much As Possible) I have been thinking how shit it is that I write stuff I never finish, and even when I do finish I don't get my arse into gear for rewriting. Pondering this I made myself a list. It went something like this:

1. Convert 'Cath and Jim Story' into screenplay (two parts?)
2. Rewrite MARKed and make longer (don't be afraid of bulking things out)

and then overleaf, I listed three short stories I currently have half-written somewhere on my computer:

1. Graveyard Children's Book (man meets Smiths-style emo?)
2. The New House Children's story (change it to a short by making the new baby arrive?)
3. Molly and the haunted cottage.

With this new determination that only ever comes upon me when I'm meant to be doing something else, I resolved that yes, I would DO THESE THINGS.

But so far it's not happened and now, on a Sunday afternoon, replete with my dinner and pudding, would be the perfect time to work on any of these. And I'm not.

I know that I could block it out on a calender, make it regimented, formalise the listing process but in all honesty I know I wouldn't stick it out. My course readings should be appearing next week ready for my next module, and between regimenting my day during working hours, where my day is made up of lists and segments of allocated time for this and that, fitting in the coursework (allocated time), the extra job (monthly allocated time) and the hovel clearing & health stuff the only time left would be these Sunday afternoons. There would be no time to just be Outside of a schedule.

I may love deadlines and being on time but even I need a break for a bit!

Productive today though- took three lego sets and the skateboard to Nanny's as Auntie Irene knows someone who would use them, and then two boxes of books and things to the charity shop. There's still mountains more already sorted (and mountains more still to sort) but at least it's something.


localfreak: avatar which I have used as mine since scarboard days 10 years ago (Default)

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