31 December, 2008

Hot and Sour Soup

The whole family was up visiting the grandees in Wolverhampton yesterday, so I came home to an empty house and ate leftovers for dinner, plus a tub of hot and sour soup from the Peking Garden, and it was SO GOOD. The great thing about where we live now is that there is a Chinese takeaway, an Indian takeaway and a chippy, all about twenty paces away from our frontdoor, there are also about four caffs within a half a mile radius and a couple of promising-looking homely little Italians.

New Year's Resolution

My New Year's Resolution is not to say, I'm good, when I mean that I'm fine.

29 December, 2008

J Walter Hottle Bottle

I think I am forming an emotional attachment to my hot water bottle - it's so lovely and warm and comforting and (now that it is wearing its new Christmas stripey knitted cover) fuzzy. When we go on holiday I seriously contemplate taking it with me, because I don't want to be parted from it.

Yesterday, LSS looked up from the Sarah Connor Chronicles to announce: I can see my breath! I looked up from Celebrity Mastermind and assayed a breath. I too could see my breath. Alright, I give up - we're turning on the heating.

Back to work for me today. LSS and the kids had massive breakfast at Not the Best Cafe in Wandsworth, then went on gigantic walk across Wandsworth Common, up Northcote Road (pausing to buy Larry half-price walking boots from Blacks) and up to Clapham Junction.

24 December, 2008

Secret Agent Curly's Mission Report

23/12/08 The Daddy monster is trying to blow up all of the earth to make a new planet for his kind of monster the Rakins!! The Rakins are the most dangerous monster in the whole unirvurse. Agent Isabel.

23/12/08 So we secret agents must stop the Rakin monsters or else they will destory all humans and animals!! The Daddy monster is the king of the Rakin monsters. The Queen is very nice and is trying to stop her husband from hurting us and the animals of the earth. Agent Larry

The Queen Rakin has asked us to stay in a very very good hiding spot just in case the Daddy monster does anything stupid or bad. Agent Curly.

23/12/08 This is very bad. Larry is a double agent and is on the Rakins side and she's found out what I'm about to do but I have a sneaky plan to stop the daddy monster from getting the note by sneaking up on him and hitting hard with a long cardboard tube on his head. All agents take this note all of you should get this note down. Agent Curly.

23/12/08 We must stop Larry from getting to daddy and telling him what were going to do to him so we have asked the Queen Rakin whats going on and she says everything going fine. Agent Larry.

Christmas Eve 24/12/08 Okay all agents this is bad news. The Daddy monster has found out what were going to do but this is good news because Larry doesn't want to be a double agent anymore because she's bored of being a double agent. Agent Rosie.

Christmas Eve 24/12/08 Everyone knows that were secre agents so we have to keep it a secret to anybody else because all of my family know that I'm a secret agent. Agent Curly. (Picture above of Agent Curly's consternation at the blowing of her cover).

24/12/08 Disappearance's are happening all over the world and we think the Daddy monsters got them locked u pin cages above shark-infested waters and is going to release the rope and make the cages fall. Agent Grace.

23 December, 2008


My goodness, I haven't posted for ages because I have been ill for ages. This cold/flu started on 5 Dec, seemed to clear up quickly, turned into a flu on 12 Dec, which kept me in my bed for 5 days. Then it seemed to get better for 3 days. Then it got worse again for 3 days (another day off sick), then better for 2 days, worse for 1 day, and now it seems to be gradually getting better, apart from the occasional stabbing pain behind my right ear and in my left elbow, general exhaustion, and having to stop and have a good racking cough every half hour or so. Everything I would have done in the run-up to Christmas I have not done, all I have done is work, rest, cough and sweat. I have been comforting myself by reading London Ambulance Service blogs, which are all about what MONUMENTAL SELFISH IDIOTS the public are, constantly calling 999 for colds, flus, stubbed toes, taxi to the hospital, period pains, paracetamol etc. It really makes you despair. I could never work for the LAS. I would not be able to make it through the first shift without telling one of these idiots off and being fired. And they get paid, like, 20-25k per annum, for doing something which is about 100 times more difficult and worthwhile than what I do.

In between, also managed to make it out to Amsterdam for pre-Christmas with the Crazy Frogs. Amsterdam was insanely expensive due to the sterling-euro parity and every expenditure had my eyes watering with the pain, while my poor credit card was giving out audible squeals of anguish. To make matters worse, the Dutch do not seem to believe in eating - you go out to lunch and are offered a choice of a grilled ham and cheese toastie (for EUR3.8), or a meatball sandwich for EUR5.50. If you want proper hot cooked food, like pasta or meat or whatever, there is no chance that you will get it for less than EUR10. The Crazy Frogs were crushed and broken by this Lutheran regime. Every time they spoke of their former sybaritic life in HK, tears sprang to their eyes.

Got home yesterday evening. First port of call was Cookies and Co for full English fry-up - egg chips beans for Mo and me, sausage chips beans for Larry, blackpudding on toast for Curly. Larry in particular suffers terribly from the curse of the continental breakfast - she cannot accept that a bit of cold bread with a teaspoonful of jam constitutes a heartening repast. And who can blame her?

Put the marzipan on the cake today. Icing tomorrow, and mince pies. Maybe this is the year that I will actually make it to midnight mass.

13 December, 2008

Cough cough cough

just recovered from a bout of flu that left me utterly prostrated for 4 days - I missed two days of work, which I have never done in my life, and of course made me think that this is the beginning of the end and that my body is breaking down and will never recover.

Anyway, so I'm fine again, but still coughing and feeling too limp to go to today's rehearsal for Mozart's Requiem, which means I will not be doing the concert tonight, which is a shame, but I just don't feel up to it.

Irish Academic came to stay for a couple of days and showered us with lovely gifts including a Spode dish, a scarf that has the appearance of being knitted out of oatmeal and a tinkly silver ornament for our Xmas tree. She is so nice - I love people who come to stay bearing gifts.

Went to Christmas dinner with the team last night at a private members' club which has a public dining room - it was in trendy Shoreditch but I thought it was a bit lame really and the food was definitely nothing to write about, especially for the money. But there you are, hopefully soon the recession will begin to bite and rip-off places like these will all go to the wall. Christmas spirit! Bah humbug!

Got our new old piano today, from off Ebay. Just need to get it tuned and we are good to go.

It is half past two and so grey and drippy there hardly seems to be any point in staying up. I think maybe I will bake a cake.

03 December, 2008

Country House

It's a strange thing about this house - even though it is on a big busy road, when you step inside it, you feel as if you're in the country. I suppose when it was built, it WAS in the country, and it still feels like a country house. How nice it would be if when you looked out the window, you could actually see Wandsworth as it was two hundred years ago, with cress fields all around and the river Wandle burbling away in the background.

Went to the Rothko exhibish at the Tate today, which was primo - then fish and chips with the hubby at the cafe for lunch.

On the tube today, one chap tapped another chap on the shoulder and said, in a fetching mixture of self-importance and reticence, Excuse me, but that gentleman appears to have his hand in your back pocket. It turned out that it was NOT a gentleman's hand in his back pocket, but the hand of the chap's girlfriend. There were muttered apologies and we all continued on our journey in an atmosphere suffused with embarrassment.

Poor old SMW decided to descend from her mountain fastness to take a sophisticated city break with an old chum from Goldman Sachs. Formerly from Goldman Sachs, I should say. Guess where she went? Venice. I hope she brought her waders with her.