Archive for December, 2005

green, green grass

Saturday, December 31st, 2005 | Uncategorized | No Comments

With Christmas over; the wild boar devoured, the wine drunk, the presents unwrapped and the headaches gone, for the past few days I haven’t been able to stop my mind wandering off to Spring. It seems such a long way off, with the cold and dreary months of January and February to come, and yet I can almost touch the soft new grass, the bright trumpets of daffodils and smell the scent of opening buds. I long to be surrounded by green, not the barren wasteland of leafless trees and bare gardens that I feel enclosed in now.

Next week I shall start my garden design course. I’m really looking forward to having something creative to get my teeth in to, and have already had a thousand ideas, foxgloves and hammocks, fountains and vegetables plots all stirring up in to a mass of colour. To me it is an exciting way to start the new year, with a new project that already has me enthralled.

On Monday I will also start dance classes with Lyndsey, a way to keep those pounds off I hope. We had a fabulous time at the ballet on Thursday, the dancing was better than last year, and the sets were amazing. We’ve promised to go up to London this year, to catch some more, if only as it makes us stand up straight and glide for the rest of the evening!

For now though, have a Very Happy New Year. May it bring you adventures galore!


Thursday, December 22nd, 2005 | Uncategorized | No Comments

This week the office has been inundated with presents from members of faculty. We’ve had a large range of chocolates, bottles of bubbly and beautiful cyclamens in deep blood red. I could never say that we go unappreciated, with the thanks and well wishes we have received. It’s been really heartening to know that we’re doing a good job but I have to admit that I’ve never seen anything like the response we’ve had.

Everyone is winding down at the moment, and there is a general air of sleepiness set about the place. Voices are hushed, footsteps are small and dragged along the corridors, eyes opened blearily. My kettle has boiled many times today, and I’ve filled the room with the thick roasted smell of coffee in an effort to keep myself awake. I day dream of duvets and roasted chestnuts, of walking along Ashdown Forest as the sun begins to set, and warm glasses of red wine.

I am finally starting to feel Christmassy. This year it seems to have taken me so long, and now with only two days to go, I’m beginning to feel that tingle in my soul. In three days time I’ll be tucking in to a succulent leg of wild boar, sitting around the table with my family, in the countryside again. Presents will be opened, jokes will be told and silly hats will be worn, in true Christmas spirit. So for me, there is only tomorrow morning to go before the holidays start.

friday’s success & sunday’s sleeplessness

Monday, December 19th, 2005 | Uncategorized | No Comments

Friday was a success; not only did I find one black dress, I found three, and to compromise I bought two. I strolled around with Katharine and Sam, from shop to shop, holding up dresses, smiling into the mirror and after three quarters of an hour, found three in a row. It was a splendid afternoon, made even more splendid when I realised that one of them was a size ten.

To celebrate, the girls sat drinking nicely chilled wine and nibbling on Katharine’s home made salsa and guacamole. We talked nonsense, shared our plans for the new year and vowed to meet up again in a couple of weeks.

Saturday I walked through the Lanes with Mum & Dad, dropping into shops and feeling the cold air redden my face. We stopped for lunch and talked books, presents and Christmas. I got home feeling achey and by six o’clock had a temperature and shook under the blanket on the sofa, wide eyed and pathetic. It meant I missed Ben’s party, and the chance to wear my new dress. I was frustrated and fed up, so I picked up Jonathan Strange & Mr Norrell again, and took myself away from the sofa.

Sunday was quiet, a day of reading The Sunday Times, ironing, and lounging in the bath. For a moment I thought the new-ish neighbours were moving out, that the late night noise and sleeplessness was over. I spoke too soon. At 2:00am I was still awake, pillow over head to blot out the music. It leaves me feeling tired today, and ever so slightly melancholy.

the black dress

Friday, December 16th, 2005 | Uncategorized | No Comments

Today is a short day, I’ll be leaving at 2pm to meet Katharine at St Peters Church. We are going on an expedition to find me a black dress. As yet, I’m not sure whether we will be successful. Although I know what I don’t want, I’m not quite sure what I do want, which makes shopping for me, remarkably difficult.

I haven’t had a black dress since I was an insect thin size eight, in my late teens and early twenties. I can’t believe that I’ve gone the last six years without one, and the other day it got too much for me. I decided, whilst jotting down a list of things to do in my moleskine, that a black dress is a priority, a necessity. I must have one. And I must have one before Christmas. I suspect that jotting down things to do whilst watching “What Not To Wear” from the corner of my eye, is something I should do less of, it could get expensive.

I would like to have found the perfect dress, miraculously, in time for this evening. The girls are coming around for wine and nibbles to welcome in Christmas. I imagine smoked salmon, asparagus spears, thick lumps of melt in the mouth Camembert and glasses of dark rich red wine, and me, back straight, smiling in my beautiful black dress.

I know that by five o’clock I’ll be tired, frustrated and in need of a bath to calm my nerves, but I’m crossing my fingers that, somehow, I find the dress and all will be right for an evening.


Thursday, December 15th, 2005 | Uncategorized | No Comments

This morning I am alone. The office is open, the phones are ringing and the emails wash in as on every other day but for a change I’m here by myself. It is pleasant, to sit quietly working. I feel a soft calm in my fingers as they write, each word neater, each sentence given more thought. I move with no rush, and in my head I’m purring, little shivers down my spine.

The sun is streaming through the windows behind me, lighting up the white walls and throwing shadows that move and flicker. There is the gentle hum of everyday from the cafe along the corridor, occasional notes of the radio and laughs of conversation. People come in, and I smile and answer, unhurried.

To be this solitary every day would be lonley, but once in a while it is a pleasure to be enjoyed. This afternoon the bustle will be back to normal, with a Christmas Quiz, sticky mulled wine and too-sweet mince pies but this morning I am serene.


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