31 January 2008

Eh Joan

So Joan Didion’s The Year of Magical Thinking has been produced for the stage. I know because somebody bought me season tickets to the National Theatre, so I get all the advance ticket booking notifications (after the Queen, politicians, double-agents, CEOs of major corporations, and friends and family of the National Theatre buy up their share, of course).

And it got me thinking (magically!) about how on earth does somebody make a play of that book? And then I figured it out:


JOAN DIDION busies herself making dinner. Offstage, JOHN GREGORY DUNNE presumably sips brandy by the fire.

JOAN [shouting]: John? Would you like butter and bacon bits on your potato or just sour cream?


JOAN: John?


JOAN [offstage]: Oh my God! John! What should I do? Call 911? Okay!


DOCTOR: Joan, I’m afraid your husband is gone. He was pronounced DOA.


JOAN: Nooooooooo!



JOAN: Maybe if I sing the alphabet backwards and list the Presidents of the United States in order while wearing John’s beloved slippers on my head, he’ll come back. He always did look a bit like Nixon!


JOAN: I can’t believe he’s gone. It was just a normal evening. I was making dinner.



Actually, they’ve probably found a better way of creating dramatic action out of book-long introspection. Because surely people aren’t going to sit through a whole play made of up Joan’s internal monologue, eh?

The Stars show was packed, by the way. I guess they’ll be turning up on Nokia ads and squeezing themselves into skinny jeans now.

There’s something about fame that makes you believe you would look okay in a pair of skinny jeans, but don’t believe the hype. Especially if you’re Jack Nicholson.

29 January 2008

I'm thinking of a dream I had

I am disabling the ‘speak too soon’ feature on my mouth and reverting to self-congratulatory retrospection, should the situation ever warrant it. Because work is indeed a nightmare and not even the misty watercoloured memories of my spun sugar weekend can help me now.

Some stupid bird outside with nothing better to do at four in the morning than dig for worms and sing ‘Like a Virgin’ into its hairbrush at top volume is what finally woke me from a lovely dream wherein my line manager fired me and let me go home. I spent the next hour and a half having angry conversations with him in my head on the living room sofa before allowing that maybe it wasn’t the most productive way to spend the wee hours and forcing myself to go back to bed.

Now that I’m at work, I feel like I should probably speak too soon and say that things have been going markedly better than yesterday. It’s all about attitude I think. If you have a good attitude and ignore any poor ones meanwhile, you should be able to maintain a clear enough head to solve the problem of how on earth do I build a website in five days. For instance. But I will not say such things, not yet (possibly not ever).

So, Stars tonight, and then a small gathering at ours to look forward to this coming Saturday. It’s great to plant stepping stones across the vast pond of your week, but even better to pave the whole thing over with enjoyment if you can. Gosh I’m feeling didactic today, I’d better let you go or next I’ll be telling you what you should have for breakfast.

Eggs! Because they suppress your appetite for much longer than toast or cereal!

28 January 2008

Not the greatest

I’ve made a compromise on the cheese sandwich, by also bringing in hummus?

Well, I’ve transformed the sandwich into fussy fingerfood, with the hummus, is what I’ve done. Though why we can’t just officially ban lunch in this country is sort of beyond me! People have enough to do in their day as it is. Specifically this person.

I’m trying to see the silver lining on this massive storm cloud that is the helpful redefinition of my job role, but right now all I can see is the insurmountable, time-sensitive, highly-flammable (why not) work that lies ahead of me. Take ‘excite’ out of ‘exciting’ and replace it with ‘frighten,’ and you get my job! Want it?

This past weekend, though, was totally worth whatever terrors are soon to emerge on the workfront (please let me off just this once, little jinx fairy!), because although none of it was planned, we still somehow managed to hit critical mass in terms of both activity and enjoyment.

We finished off Sunday by seeing a live performance of Cat Power in Shepherd’s Bush. I was expecting a bit of strangeness, having seen her at ATP last spring (if I squinted really hard and jumped high enough to see over the crowd), but nothing could have prepared me for the constant pacing, partial ranting and obsessive backwards stalking that was Chan Marshall on stage last night.

You have to be able to look past her irrational outbursts and intense fidgeting, her awkward gestures and moments of utter panic about what is going on around her in order to properly enjoy the husky heartbreak of her vocals. I think she told off about three different people and even dropped her mic at one point, but it was still an unforgettable event. It’s only too bad she focused mainly on her new covers album, and butchered the old favourites by changing up everything except the lyrics.

The opening band was a novelty for about 10 minutes: a DJ, a lanky blonde French woman with a bad voice and the tallest brunette in bunny ears with no skill for roller skating - though that’s mainly what she did when not sitting cross-legged blowing soap bubbles from a wand - that you have ever seen. Yes, I’d say 10 minutes.

Tomorrow, we’re going to see Stars at Koko. Bruce is concerned they’re not big enough here to fill the venue, but I guess we’ll see about that. I don’t know who is popular where or why anymore, I only know what I like! And the world revolves around me mainly, so.

Oh didn’t you get the memo?

27 January 2008

Why oh why would I want to be anywhere else?

We’ve been toying with the idea of moving to Canada for a while now, but after Bruce came back from Jordan and the sun re-emerged for two days in a row, things became a little less clear.

Lily Allen got one thing right, at least, in the ready-made lyrics of her twee discography, which is that a nice day in London beats the hell of out a nice day anywhere else in the world (I’m paraphrasing here, obviously). I’ve since realised also that I can be ecstatically happy anywhere, as long as I’m with Bruce (my apologies to your gag reflexes).

Yesterday we woke up early and had breakfast at our local cafĂ© before heading down to Neil’s Yard for haircuts. Hair by Fairies is a low-budget, high-quality miracle, as even in a wee city of little consequence, where there’s nobody to impress except your boyfriend and the baby hipsters selling ice cream, you could expect to pay at least $40 for one of their cuts. But you only have to pay £12, and they’re always spot on.

I won’t describe the cuts except to say that we both left with far less hair than what we went in with, which brought about a welcome change for us both.

After a film (The Savages), an early dinner (Adams Rib) and a bit of window shopping in the fresh, sleepy air, we were ready to scrap the whole idea of moving. And then we found ourselves crammed between a crying baby and a golden retriever on the 453 (“Hi, my name’s Meltdown Touchy Breaks, I’ll be your driver for today”) and were unsure again.

One thing we did decide is that no matter what happens this year, we are going to continue on as usual and not postpone any major decisions on the off-chance we end up going. There’s no reason not to find a two-bedroom flat with a garden in a nicer part of town come spring, for instance, and continue to work and save, while taking holidays and doing whatever it is that newlyweds set out to accomplish these days.

We’re in no big rush, and as these are the best years of our lives, I’m more inclined to slow down and start enjoying the days for what they are now. And I think I’d really miss Never Mind the Buzzcocks.

24 January 2008


"You wouldn't expect your cat or dog to do the washing up or cleaning round the house."

Certainly not...

(Y'all come back now, hear?)

Seven hour party person

At the moment, I’m eating more brie on a bagel than any single human being has the right to before six o’clock on a Saturday (that’s eighteen hundred hours, for those of you on a twenty-four hour clock).

It seems my recent lunch phobia is reserved solely for my own sandwich-making efforts, as I’ve been eating this sandwich from downstairs with unbidden relish (in the pleasure sense, though there is some kind of onion chutney involved). Or maybe my tastes are far too refined for Tesco brand spreads.

Bruce called around noon to say that he’d landed safely (after telling me he was still in Jordan, because I guess he likes it when I cry) (just kidding) which means that my world is back in order. I won’t feel like he’s home yet until I get some visual proof, though, at the very least.

All in all, something that could have been a calm and positive experience for me turned into something rather pathetic and anxious. On the one hand, it doesn’t much matter now as that was the last time he’ll have to travel without me (as far as we know). But on the other hand – fuck. I need to sort myself out one of these days.

I thought I was being clever by soaking the dishes in hot soapy water several hours before the cleaner came, as the cleaner either doesn’t know how to wash a dish properly or doesn’t care. But the few remaining dishes I didn’t get a chance to wash before she came are a right two and eight. The rest of the flat is spotless (save for the dust).

So at approximately six o’clock (eighteen hundred hours!) you can picture me breathing a massive, onion-y sigh of relief as I turn my key in the door and for once in too many days have someone reply when I call out ‘hello?’

Gosh, I think we're supposed to be seeing Cat Power tonight...

23 January 2008

I used to wish the phone would ring

Have you ever noticed how it’s your own weakness that invites antagonism? The things you fear most are what will chase you to the ends of the earth. In a dream, once you confront the monster, doesn’t it lose its claws?

I don’t know, but strength improves your armour – it adds a sheen that reflects the sun so brightly, your enemies will think you’re a supernova. And nobody fucks with a supernova.

Damnit, I’ve got a meeting to get to.

22 January 2008

Wrist in pace

I've been saying "Heath Ledger died" outloud, over and over to myself, in an Australian accent. Not because I care particularly. But try it, it's really easy!

21 January 2008


There’s a woman I sometimes see at the same point on my route to work in the mornings, travelling in the opposite direction on foot. Her awkward frame and cautious advancement brings to mind a set of china teacups, precariously stacked and then carried tremblingly off to the kitchen. I used to think I wanted to be very thin, and I still do, but that’s maybe a bit too thin.

Completely unrelated to this, I’ve been going off food recently, specifically sandwiches, to the extent where I have had to cut out all sandwich fillings save for cheese. But today, somehow even cheese on bread managed to creep me out. It felt like I was eating something dusty, even though it tasted fine and the bread and cheese were both newly purchased. I don’t like eating cooked food at lunch, but not eating lunch at all isn’t an option.

So I think I may have to bite the bullet and start taking leftovers to heat up in the microwave. I’ll need the biggest bullet you’ve got, though, as the idea of eating a hot, whiffy lunch in an open concept office is about as appealing to me as the idea of masturbating in front of Santa Claus. Less, even.

(Somewhat related,) I watched a bizarre French film (redundant?) off pay-per-view last night, called L’Ennui. I thought it would be an easy way of staying engaged in something, as conventional narratives register less and less the longer I’m alone.

Luckily it turned out to be a much smarter film than its explicit synopsis gave it credit for, and it’s been repeating on me all morning. One thing I can’t get over is how the leading lady (uh, girl) and I seem to share a similar body type (though I have nicer breasts, obviously). It makes me think that rake thin girls aren’t all that, necessarily.

I can’t imagine Ms Tipsy Teacups being very sensual astride her chauvinistic mate, for instance, and nor would I want to imagine such a thing! Nonononono. My imagination has officially fled the country. I am all about staying in the moment now, just as the Dog Whisperer prescribed.

At the moment, one of the few remaining sales people on this floor just about fell off his chair for no reason. That was funny.

20 January 2008

Can't put your arms around a ghost

It took me 31 years to have an epiphany. My very first one. It’s such an obvious one too, it hardly qualifies, but I’ll tell you anyway, if you’d like.

There is no answer to life because everyone has a different question. The best thing you can do is find someone who has the same question as you and then fall in love with them.

Whenever anyone told me they were lonely and wanted a boyfriend/girlfriend, I could never understand that feeling. I’d never been without one since I discovered that boys could do more than call you names and push you over, for one thing. But on the other hand, lonely or not, it plain doesn’t make sense.

I know what it’s like to feel lonely for someone in particular. But how can you feel the lack of someone you haven’t even met?

Then I met Bruce and I think I understand. I was never looking for happiness, because I didn’t know that existed either.

What I’m trying to say is that people spend their whole lives taking aim and missing, aiming and missing, because they only have a general sense of what they’re taking aim at. You can have the husband, the job, the city, the children, the money, but that’s it. Materialistically speaking, you’ve achieved your goal, so you can go ahead and die now.

Obviously not. You don’t know what you’re living for until you find it, and then you discover that it was never in the thing itself. When you got that bottle of Channel no. 5 for Christmas, did the joy end there? No, you had to slather it on every morning and then one day annoy me with your stench at the IMAX theatre while I was trying to be suitably impressed by animated, naked, gold-plated Angelina Jolie in 3D.

It’s the same with love – once you’re in it, that’s where the journey begins and not a moment sooner. You may as well throw out the maps now because you’ll never arrive at your destination; all you’ll want is just one more day with that person, one more look, one more feeling, just five more minutes, I’ll be right there…For as long as you can manage.

Though you probably figured that one out a long time ago, hey? Well nobody ever said an epiphany had to be original.

Where's my unhappy ending gone?

Today I went grocery shopping.

I know that doesn’t sound like a big deal, but believe me, when your instinctive reaction to being alone is to shut down completely, doing something like leaving the house to forage in the urban jungle is a very big deal.

It’s strange to think that I have no problem managing a troublesome workload across several teams and domains and yet the prospect of dodging strangers to put produce in a cart and then handle a transaction at the end of it all makes me break out in a sweat, even if all goes well.

The Dog Whisperer had an episode where some woman was prone to anxiety attacks and needed a work dog to be with her at all times, because the work dog had a calming effect on her. Bruce is like my work dog, I guess, as these are anxieties I completely forget I have until he’s not around.

I really like the programme, not only because Caesar makes me laugh whenever he imitates the behaviour of a dog, but because I get to see a wide range of women behaving more neurotically than their pets.

In the same way that Caesar’s pack keeps every individual member-dog in check, I’m able to gauge my behaviour against the general masses and see that 1. I’m not so bad, really and 2. There are areas I need to improve in.

If I could live the balanced life of a calm, submissive animal, I think all my problems would be solved. I don’t need a pack or a work dog to tell me this, but it helps to remember that unless something really bad is taking place over an extended period of time, it’s pointless to get worked up about life when it’s just going along as life does.

I know, I know. I need to get out more. This week though, I promise.

19 January 2008

Painting the coat red

This day could have gone one way or the other, I wasn’t sure. Seeing as how I’m still in pyjamas, though, I guess it went the other.

I spent four hours downloading music from our library onto the iPod Touch I got for Christmas, giving unfamiliar selections a quick listen to determine if they were worth trying out. And that’s about it.

Rather than cooking, I took the easy option of instant porridge for breakfast and a cheese sandwich for lunch. Thank goodness there’s a ready meal in the fridge for later.

One of our friends we rarely ever see anymore asked me to come out for someone’s birthday drinks. I briefly considered it, as it seems unlikely this day is going to get any livelier on its own. But I’m not really feeling the standing up vibe, let alone the get-on-the-tube-and-drink-and-dance-and-make-awkward-conversation vibe.

Most things I’d like to do at this point are not even possible. Such as:

Lying very still in a shoebox fit with a lid that has a million tiny pinpricks, the whole operation rotating slowly on a turntable. Someone would agree to play music appropriate to lying still in a shoebox, gazing at fake constellations. They wouldn’t speak to me; they would just quietly switch tracks all evening.

Dragging a large basin into the living room and filling it with perfumed oil and leaves and soft petals and heating it up slowly with an electric kettle conveniently located on a bathside table. A blindfolded someone would play music appropriate to having a sensual bath alone in one’s living room.

Curling up in a rocking chair in a remote country home, in a white room that has only a dresser, a mirror and a large, soft mattress hung low inside a cast-iron frame. I’m wearing a rough, cotton nightgown and my hair is tangled and unwashed but my feet are scrubbed pink and I’m just about to become aware that Bruce has been watching me from the doorway, a glass of iced tea in his hand and dust on his shoes. (The iced tea is for me.) (I gave the DJ the night off.)

Being tucked into the cab of a Ferris wheel with two heavy blankets over my lap, drinking coffee and watching the sea rise up to meet me and fall away again, over and over for hours, or until I had to pee.

I think I might have a bath.

17 January 2008

Captain's log: oop!

Bruce called me at work about ten minutes after he was supposed to be airborne. When I asked him what was going on, he told me about this. Not very reassuring, but I have high hopes that his flight will be cancelled until tomorrow and I can spend another evening with him. Well, moderate hopes.

Okay, it’s hopeless. I’m sure a little glitch like that isn’t going to hold things up for long, especially not at an airport as vast and hectic as Heathrow. But it was worth imagining anyway.

It is amazing how much your perception can change when someone you love leaves you to your own devices for a while. My legs felt like lead weights as I walked to work this morning, as though my heart had turned to stone and cracked open and the two halves had sunk into my knees.

Unless Bruce comes home again, I’m probably going out for dinner tonight, which will be a nice, positive way to kick-off his not being here. If I can get into an upswing immediately, I’ll stay swung up there long enough for the initial blahs to wear off. And then I can make the most of this time I have to myself.

All this stupid, useless time.

16 January 2008

Ella ella ella ella

When the editor told a boldfaced lie in order to steal my umbrella last night, it was the straw that finally broke the back of a day already rife with colleague-inspired stupidity. By the time I reached home, I was soaking wet and the cleaner had only just arrived, which meant we had to spend another hour away from home, in the rain, as grocery shopping was pretty much the only option.

I’m okay now, though I wouldn’t be at all surprised if the divorce papers were on their way to my office. I’m not sure what it is that sometimes replaces my good-natured optimism with blind rage, but it’s bigger than me and I’m just thankful that it makes an appearance in my life much less frequently than it once did.

Tomorrow Bruce flies to Jordan, where he won’t be tied to a cluster bomb of Israeli insurgency and dropped on a hospital because those things don’t happen there and anyway, he’s going for business, not journalism or politics or anything that would inspire someone to want to hurt him! Unless they take offence to his interpretation of the founding member of the organisation on the opening night of their play. I wish I had Bruce’s job, I really do.

No, instead he will be in a resort, meeting friends from all over the world, drinking, dancing, and taking his lunch breaks all bundled up by the frozen outdoor pool. It’s only one week, though, and I am slowly inventing ways to feel less lonely.

I’m having dinner with a colleague next week (the one who never lets me do anything) and a common friend sometime in the next few days. There are drinks on Friday, because there are always drinks on Friday - somebody at work makes a cup of tea and that’s cause for a drink on Friday - so I may just attend this time around. Except in my case, I’ll have a thimbleful of wine and fall over, because my tolerance has failed.

I also thought about. Well. About writing something I guess. I mean, I always come up with some idea or other when I’m walking to work, which is nearly every day. It seems wrong to not explore those things, although whenever I read or hear about the act of writing from any writer, new or established, I feel a bit queasy in the irony organ.

I’m thinking the only viable place for words nowadays are down a trash compactor or on an internet server where they can be chewed up by ads or replaced with different words altogether or die in a fiery blaze of FLICKR IS HAVING A MASSAGE or DIARYLAND’S FALLEN AND CAN’T GET UP.

Because it preserves the impetus, while eliminating the embarrassing issue of detritus.

15 January 2008

No trick pony

The guy who won the T. S. Eliot prize for poetry did something revolutionary like use ‘thus’ twice in a row or whatever. I couldn’t really tell from his reading, but it sounded like he ended one line on ‘thus’ and began the next line with ‘Thus.’ Genius! I hope that one day I too am ‘captured’ by poetry, so long as poetry doesn’t put me in an orange onesie and threaten to forcibly remove my head.

My manager has a new plaything assistant of sorts, which takes the pressure off me quite a bit. Well, it alleviates his specific brand of pressure anyway. Now I am beholden to none, responsible for all, blah blah blahdiblah. I’m on lunch now, obviously.

A friend of ours signed us all up for this. It is a free photographic treasure hunt, which somehow relates to a film festival and, distantly, celebrity spotting. We’re to bring an idea and a prop of some kind, so my idea is to take photos. My prop will be Bruce’s camera, as it’s served me well in all sorts of sticky photo-taking situations.

I have a new flickr, by the way – a joint flickr account with Bruce. We decided we’d only add people we know in real life, which cut down our collective contact lists by quite a number.

It’s only so that my mother can find us and then not feel horrified when I post photos of her. If you want the link, though, I can send it to you. YES YOU. I have no idea who I’m talking to, by the way, but if there’s a You reading this, then I guess it’s you.


What-a-would-you-like-a-to-know-about-a-my-life? I will describe things annoyingly in a poor Bulgarian accent. Though it’s down to you, what you want to hear about first.

For now, I will make up a poem on the spot, to celebrate someone-or-other winning the T. S. Eliot prize for poetry:

Giddy Up

OH how I met with the Director
I didn’t hear a word he said
I was trying to read email
Email pop-ups that kept
Popping-up on my screen
Sorry, I’ve gotta get that thing fixed

OH how I’d love to dump this job on its ass
Except that jobs don’t have asses
Asses are for people
Who need something to sit on
Lily Allen wrote a song
About her bum-bum
It wasn’t very good or funny
Because artists are one-trick ponies


14 January 2008

One hundred

I think that if I never left work, I might be able to stomach it. The problem isn’t being in this seat, panicking and doing various bits and pieces – it’s the anticipation of being in this seat, panicking &etc. It’s like Day Hospital: you know, either commit me or let’s not pretend I should sometimes be painting watercolours side-by-side with those who cannot stop washing their hands. I can’t go from 0 – 100 in a matter of seconds, and certainly not vice versa. I can, however, stay at an even 100 if I don’t sleep or go home.

In spite of the fact that, when I went to purchase the new Stars album at HMV in Vancouver, a simpering sales girl I’d rather not discover commonalities with said it was soooo good, I’m listening to this album on repeat. Because it is soooo good, but also because I’m running low on supplies. Somebody needs to discover a revolutionary new sound and then download some tracks and then burn them onto a CD for me. Please.

We’ve finally caught up with all our television shows, culminating in Channel 4’s Big Fat Quiz of the Year, which was a big fat disappointment from last year’s Big Fat Quiz. Now I know far more about Lily Anal Allen than I’m comfortable with and am beginning to fear that Noel Fielding has lost it (‘cause let’s face it, Russell Brand is more whore than comedian these days). I still don’t know who Rob Brydon is but he’d better not approach me in a dark ally, unless he wants to watch me yawn to death or roll my eyes repeatedly before I kick him in the shin.

Beginning Thursday, I get to rediscover what it’s like living alone, though only for the week. Probably it will be much like it was when I was living alone in Canada, minus the booze and cigarettes and pizza. And Canadians. Actually, it will be nothing like that time, because I plan to not leave the house unless it’s for work. It takes too much effort to go anywhere and mainly I just can’t be bothered anymore. In fact, you can find London in Coventry until further notice.

13 January 2008

Saturday in her Sunday best

I am doing…okay. We went to Borough market this afternoon, and bought Clementines, figs, fancy lemonade and cola. I also bought some Japanese rice snacks, which contained a moldy peanut, which I stupidly ate because I was tipsy off a glass of red wine and had decided it couldn’t possibly be a moldy peanut. But it was a very moldy peanut.

The market was cold, dim and lovely. There were wild game hanging against the side of a stall - a pheasant and two of the largest hares I’ve ever seen. Bruce ate venison and I had some world famous quiche, or maybe just regionally famous quiche.

Bruce is going to Jordan next week for work. I’m trying not to worry too much, but I wouldn’t want to alter my personality by being completely insensate or anything. It’s got to be one or the other; I’m not so good at in betweens, as you know.

There’s nothing at all to worry about, except that it’s much harder to control events from a distance. If I know what the driver, pilot or doctor is up to, things are usually okay. Actually, if I’d written nothing about it and worn a certain bracelet, I could probably have prevented most traumatic incidents in my life.

11 January 2008

About the weather

Today we stood in the rain, waiting for the bus, our silence seldom interrupted by one or the other saying, “We should go home.”

We really should have. Instead, I’m at work, watching grey cloud-matter travel furiously north and trying to keep my mind on what I’m supposed to be doing.

08 January 2008

Putting out the trash

Apparently some boy in Mexico glued himself to his bed so that he wouldn’t have to go back to school after the holidays. I know how he feels, but I’m not clever enough to come up with those kinds of solutions.

I’m off to the doctor again tomorrow, hopefully for the last time, at least for a while. People start to wonder, when you’re sick so much. Either that or they’re jealous that they can’t be sick more often. Sickness is like a gold ticket in my place of work, but one you use cautiously.

Before the holidays, another sales person was fired after only a few weeks. Two new people started yesterday, both from Australia. I’m curious to know why they would choose to come here - from sunny, clean and roomy to crowded, rainy and miserable - but then maybe they would ask me the same thing.

Seeing how tentatively new people interact tends to drive home how integrated I actually am now. It’s nothing I feel proud of. Today somebody screwed me over unintentionally and unapologetically, for a very stupid reason. It’s just part of the culture, when you’re making six figures (I doubt he is, actually, but he certainly makes more than me).

Let’s see, what else can I bore you with…

I’d meant to see some people who were visiting London, but in the end, I only managed lunch with Cloudesely. It was strange to see him in this context, as usually our meetings involve chance run-ins at the pub back home. One of my cats sat with him on the sofa while he had his breakfast, which I tried not to be too jealous of. I hear he reads here sometimes. Hi Cloudesely! (And sorry, Stuart!)

We’re having an influx of overseas visitors in the next five months and I’m going to have to book time off soon and start making my travel plans. I’m not sure how that will work out, as we’re trying to save money right now, for one thing.

I’m only writing here because I’m too tired to go for a walk and I don’t want to be bothered on my lunch hour. I’m almost completely done with writing online. I’d rather just keep up with my friends. When someone I know says, “I read in your blog…” I feel a twinge.

It’s a complicated twinge. On the one hand, I feel like those people who embarassingly circulate newsletters about their lives to friends and relatives, except worse (I post it to strangers). And on the other, I just plain feel bad about not keeping up with close friends in a more direct manner.

It was never my objective to solicit notoriety or respect online, even less so when I saw the standard of its readership (present company excluded, of course). Out of the millions of people out there who make it their business to know someone else’s, I have the email address of every single one that matters (so, five or something). I should try using them sometime.

That’s not to say it isn’t a good time-waster. And my writing muscles have definitely benefited from all the exercise (dangling participles and sentence fragments are a good thing, yeah?).

Bruce is going to be in Jordan next week, so I may be here more often at that time, and during other times of loneliness or stress. The internet makes a good dumping ground at least.

Blah, another half hour to go and then it’s back to work.

07 January 2008

'avin' it

After the worst sleep of my life (two and a half hours, I reckon), I am somehow sitting at my desk, moving through a massive pile of work like a sleeper moves through dreamscapes (slowly).

I think I’d be panicking were it not for the fact that panicking takes more energy than I can afford at present. My mind is also on other things.

Some of you have been asking me about my flickr, so I’ll tell you: I deleted it. I’m going to erect one that includes images my parents can see, since they are snoops of the highest order and will find my face anywhere it appears, regardless. I won’t send them a link though, because they like a challenge.

It’s lunch, but I’m trying to decide if I can afford to not be working right now. I was supposed to be back last Friday but misunderstood the dates on my ticket. My boss said, “Well, there’s not much you can do once you’re there,” as though maybe there was something I could have done. Boo.

The CEO sent a Christmas card to my home. In it, he invited me to have a web-tastic 2008. I…don’t know what to say about that really.

06 January 2008

And then

Well, I did it. I survived two overseas flights, two bouts of jetlag, the hellish onset of pneumonia and (the occasionally hellish) two weeks living with my parents over Christmas and New Years.

Christmas day wasn’t much to write home about (and the cats can’t read), but the moment I knew I could get out of bed without wanting to fall back into it, we set out to explore the city in as many ways as we could fathom (seventeen, all itemized).

Most of our time was spent with my niece and her new boyfriend, both of whom were great company and accommodated our desire to see and do things that didn’t include sitting on the sofa discussing eagles (a desire I will leave to my parents, bless ‘em). They have a gorgeous, big apartment in the West end of downtown Vancouver, which made theirs a good home base for activity.

We went to Granville Island for lunch and Kitsilano for shopping, English Bay for the Polar Bear swim (we talked my niece’s boyfriend into doing this so we could take photos) and Gas Town for New Year’s Eve.

The four of us rang in the New Year upstairs in a tiny wine bar belonging to the Irish Heather, and there were maybe two other tables of people, which made for a very chill and intimate evening. Across the way, a fetish party was in full swing by ten, with dozens of buff men and women taking their clothes off on the massive balcony they occupied. After much shouting and charades, a group from our side crossed over into the nubile atmosphere of theirs, which left us nearly alone for midnight. It was nice.

Bruce and I did plenty on our own as well – we visited the aquarium in Stanley Park, shopped on Robson and Granville Street, saw some impressive video instillations at the Vancouver Art Gallery and, of course, caught a few good films (Juno and Sweeney Todd).

We didn’t see my sister or nephew again until the last day, as they finally succumbed to whatever made everyone else in the family ill at Christmas and weren’t feeling up to leaving the house. But it was a good last impression, and my family felt full and content in a way it hadn’t ever before, at least not for me.

Coming back to England was difficult. I don’t think I realised how much of a struggle it can be living in London, at least not until I left and the ice melted from my temporary shield. It’s going to make being at work much harder knowing that a day’s travel could result in the comforting embrace of mountains, fresh air and good customer service, among other things. As much fun as I’ve had here, at heart I’m just another Canadian girl, pining for Canada. Who knew?

But we’ve been talking a lot over the last few days, about how to make things even better for ourselves. We haven’t worked out the details, but there will be some exciting changes coming up for us this year. I guess if there’s one thing I’ve learned from meeting Bruce, it’s that I can expect the unexpected. Yeah. There are kids screaming bloody murder beneath my window and I want to nail them with something frozen, though there’s no snow in London.