Last post of 2005

Well I'm sat here with a glass of wine, pre-shower and Lost (I know, the glamour of my life gets me sometimes too) scribbling (can you scribble in type?) down what may well be my last entry of the year. It's my last night at home and I've had a lovely chilled day with the family. Tomorrow it's Dad's birthday, and then I'm on the flight down south in the afternoon. I wonder if I'll bump into Amelia the cute toddler and her mum again? They were good company on the flight up...and infinitely preferable to being stuck on a plane between two drunken men.

It's been a good visit home....I've caught up with most of the people I wanted to (Erin, Shirls and Rhona, see you at spring break?) and also seen a few people I wasn't expecting. I've had a really good rest after a heck of a term (I know I've whinged at times, but there were points where I actually didn't know if I could take the wuss, surely?). I've caught up with my family. I've embraced my love of bad films (this evening's choice was The Prince and Me... ooooof). And I've discovered a bizarre addiction to turkey. It's been fun.

For the next few days I will be at Hannah's sharing the new year with her and her lovely family and friends...I might check in here, but we've got wine, cinema and Pride and Prejudice - fests planned... I may see you on the other side.

A very happy new year to you all, and I hope 2006 brings you all you want, wish for, and desire.


P.S. Next review of '05.
P.P.S. Post after that - panic in written form as work kicks off again!
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FDOF contd., photo 2

This? Is a really nice pic of P.

The cat, however, looks like he's had a leeetle too much wine.


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A lovely picture of Swiv and the cat....with P brandishing a Trivial Pursuit board behind them.


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FDOF tbc

More pics tomorrow, or later tonight, but now I'm signing off for a wee while!

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FDOF, photo 9!

This photo was originally going to be 'cute pixies peeking through shrubbery'. Instead, there's only one thing P's expression could mean...



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FDOF, photo 8!

Of course, as I tend to be having a war with gravity at all times, I didn't go on the play equipment....


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FDOF, photo 7!

Swiv in action woman mode!

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FDOF, photo 6!

P on the commando slide. We're dead grown-up, us!

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FDOF, photo 5!

My life, older sisters are embarassing, right? Swiv and P try to keep it together...


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FDOF, photo 4!

The park near our house, with the town hills in the background. Ooooooh, frosty!

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FDOF, photo 3!

Here are P and I. I love how P looks like he's just won a particularly odd looking stuffed animal at the fair!

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FDOF, photo 2!

Here are Swiv and I, all dressed up and ready to go to the park! Hurrah for childish regression!

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Family Day of Fun (FDOF), photo 1!

Et viola, as promised, here are the photos from my sibs and I earlier today. Here we have Swiv, complete with the ever attractive 'trainers as gloves' look. Nice!

The great thing about these photos is that for the most part Swiv looks like an eskimo (OK, let's be PC, an Inuit tribesperson), P looks like an extra from The Munsters (swarthtacular) and I look like a particularly smiley hobbit.

Except, of course, I generally look like a smiley hobbit!

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So the siblings and I never made it to the movies today....demain, toujours demain!

Instead it's been a chilled day in the country mouse house. A morning of relaxing, watching The Muppet Christmas Movie, chatting, drinking tea and squabbling over the shower (I really, really wanted one, Swiv and P were arguing with Mum because they didn't want to have one - I know, how grown up!). Then we had uber-sandwhiches and watched Neighbours. I never get to watch it usually, as I work through both showings, but am enjoying trying to understand it in any way, shape or form. Then we concluded that we "couldn't be arsed" (direct quote) schlepping all the way to Inverness, but did need to get out of the house.

So we took the camera and went for a walk. Cue lots of photos of the three of us behaving like utter prats, which I shall upload later today or in the foreseeable. Good to hang with the sibs though, we don't get to do enough together.

Then we came back and ate looooads of candy, and played Scrabble - I got a score of over 300, woot! - and Trivial Pursuit. Yeah, we're losers, what of it?

And now I'm in my usual place, doing netty stuff and blogging avec Samuel le chat, preparing for a glamourous evening of letter writing, TV watching, snacking, phoning friends and reading heat magazine. Down south on Thursday to Hannah's (yeah, baby - bring on new years!), then next week I actually have to start working again, quelle dommage!

Later all,
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Pic 5: Ambassador's Reception

Another pic including the one and only Hoti (Harding of that Ilk!), the man, the legend. Such a top bloke, and a good friend.

We've had a way of it though - friends to snogging to ignoring each other to drunken chat to good friends to dinners to him flashing my mum (long story) to Edinburgh, darling to amusing texts to riding a fairground in Leicester Square on my birthday...

If we've fit all of that into the last year and a bit, I can't wait to see what five years of friendship might bring!

Let the adventure commence, Hoti!

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Pic 4: The Gilesgate 3!

So last (academic) year I moved to Durham, and I met these two amazing women, Miss Wilson and Jean, when we all lived together. Two of the coolest, brainiest, funniest and most random people I have ever met, and who I truly love with my whole, foolish, insignificant and prone to fucking up heart.

Nai, if/when you read this, send me an does Paris in mid Feb sound? And Jean I cannot wait till you come see me - how is the shire gonna cope?

Good Lord, I am a soppy cow!

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Pic 3: unflattering as heck

This photo is of Miss Wilson, Harding of that Ilk (Hoti, hee) and me, celebrating St. Chad's day by wearing a lot of green, and drinking cheap booze by the looks of it (by the end of this day two of us would be at home drinking tea and watching a DVD, one would be half naked and trying to win a college talent show....answers on a postcard please!).

I love that fact that none of us really seem to care about what's happening or that we're being photographed. But something is evidently reeeeaaallly funny!

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Pic 2: Friends, neighbours, relations, members of the clergy

This photo was taken last autumn, when my gorgeous friend Cat, who was a gapper when I worked at Q came to visit me in Durham. The guy in the photo is Father Trey, who was one of the acting chaplains at my college (kind of explains the hand gestures, right?). Now Cat's at uni in Sydney, doing lots of high flying Christian Life stuff, and her wee sister Beth is going to be the new gapper at Q. As for Trey, I'm not really sure, but no doubt it will involve young ladies, theology, wit and drinking. Typical Anglican (sorry, Episcopalian!).

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Memory lane...

I've nothing much to write about today - it's been a day of eating, watching telly, reading, eating some more....

Tomorrow we're going to hopefully get through to Inverness to go catch a movie (probably King Kong or The Chronicles of Narnia, failing that some pap like Just Like Heaven), and I'm going to try and get some pictures of the siblings and the hometown. For now though I'm going to post up some random pictures I have on my computer of the people I love and hang out with....all the better for you to get to know me.

I love Boxing Day. I'm just unable to move due to intense obesity right now.


Exhibit A, above: this is my gorgeous cat, Sam. Here I have caught him mid stretch, sprawled on the top bunk of the beds my sister and I have to share whilst we're here on holiday. Where he totally should not be...
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Revenge of the bookworm

So, I have half a degree in English (the other half is Film Studies...please withold laughter!), and I've always loved to what better way to relax than hit and stock up on some reading goodness for the frosty winter evenings to come in the next couple of months?

So, in my basket, poised to go, I have copies of....

The Symposium - Plato. Jean is a specialist in Ancient Greek Politics and Philosophy (damn, some of my friends are highfalutin'), and she recommended this. I'm....anticipating it.
Middlemarch - George Elliot. I have been meaning to read this for the longest time. It was actually a second string read for one f my honours courses that I never got round to, so it's a bit of a catch up for me.
Mrs Dalloway, To The Lighthouse - Virginia Woolf. I think it's about time I got into Woolf.
A Portrait of the Artist As a Young Man - James Joyce. What can I say, I'm working my way up to Ulysses!
Sons and Lovers - D.H. Lawrence.
The Aventures of Huckleberry Finn - Mark Twain. I actually can't believe I haven't read this yet.
The Idiot - Fyodor Dostoevsky. Sounds fun, don't it?
Nostromo - Joseph Conrad.
Metamorphoses - Franz Kafka.
The Age of Innocence - Edith Wharton.
Wuthering Heights - Emily Bronte. Oh, how the Bronte girls annoyed me. I'm hoping that coming back to this book after a couple of years might have improved it.

As well as this list of heavyweights, I'm also going to go to the secondhand bookstore in town and buy myself a half dozen more chilled, recent books too.

But before I get my shop on, I thought I'd work out which books I have at home that I've half-finished, or abandoned, or need to get to before buying more, as well of those I've been given recently....
1. Anna Karenina - I like this book, but it's soooooooooo long. Will have to buckle down to it.
2. Siddartha - Am totally stuck two-thirds of the way in and I don't know why.
3. The Weaker Vessel : Woman's Lot In Seventeenth Century England - Really good so far, am halfway through.
4. Beloved - Finally refound the copy I have of this (thanks, Mlle Wilson), need to get it read.
5. A Passage To India - fell behind a radiator.....must try and retrieve it!
6. Possessing The Secret of Joy, The Woman Who Walked Into Doors - just haven't got to these yet...
7. Mao's Last Dancer, The Learning Game - Got today, yes!

Oh, the next couple of months are going to be a bookfest.

I'll be over here with a cup of tea, a blanket and a good book :-).


PS Reading this post, you may assume my home is a mess of books. Add some clothing, CDs and DVDs to the mix and you've pretty much got it...
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Good evening ladies and germs, and a very happy Christmas / Hannukah / Kwanzaa / Saturnalia / Chrismukkah to all. I am a very plump country mouse at the current time, due to a heady mix of turkey sandwhiches, mince pies and what my darling refined sister refers to as "flatulent veg". I really don't think I'll be able to move properly again until we are well into 2006.

Today has been a very usual Christmas here, full of food, fun and family. After a reasonably late night yesterday we all woke up just before 9, and after sourcing coffee (even on high days and holidays, my family all need coffee or tea to function) we hit the presents. My stocking (composed by Swiv and Peter) was the highlight of the morning, I was really impressed with the time and care that went into it (my siblings are renowned for both their hatred of shopping and their lack of money!). I also had some fabulous pressies from friends, highlights including a book I've coveted for a while (The Learning Game) from Miss C, a kickass looking book (Mao's Last Dancer) from Shona - plus a very cute 'Rough Guide To Choreography', some fairy fortune telling cards (yep, really....)* and some of my favourite flavoured tea from Peachy, and some kickass slippers from Emmar (Seriously, they are like the best slippers ever...totally not my usual thing but just....unghohyeayhsocooooseeey). Plus I got lots of fab stuff like toiletries, socks, mugs, sweets....I have really been spoilt this year! To my friends reading this, thank you!

I feel doubly (or even trebly) spoilt in that I've already had all my gifts from the children I teach - candles, champagne, smellies, more candy than I'll evvvvveeeeer eat; and I've still got my presents from Hannah, Miss Wilson and Jean to come (yay, Royal Mail!). It's a giftacular!

More importantly, my family all really liked their gifts....I love giving a present that is appreciated!

The rest of the day has been very chilled. Mum, Peter and I watched 'Madagascar' while finishing the dinner prep., and the whole country mouse gang sat down at about two for our traditional Christmas feast, complete with Top of the Pops mocking and watching the Queen. After that I retired with the cat and Sense and Sensibility to chill for a few hours, then it was Doctor Who** and The Importance of Being Earnest (I'm a sucker for Wilde***). And now I'm in my PJs (and new slippers), chucking some blog down before pottering my way to bed.

I looooove Christmas! Hope yours has been fab!


* I think I might do a reading with them later - anything of interest will no doubt be reported back here!

** David Tennant really is a bit cute, no? Damn, I love geekboys.

*** And Colin Firth, of course.
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Leisure pursuits (week ending 24/12)

This is the weekly post where I chat on about the books, films, DVDs, TV shows and CDs I've been enjoying in a certain time period. This week that would include....

Breakaway - Kelly Clarkson. I know, I know judge me all you like! It's an OK album though, but a bit filler heavy. Since U Been Gone is still one of my songs of the year though, so I'm glad I got it, if only for that track!

Sense and Sensibility - Jane Austen. This is my current 'bathroom book', and I'm rereading it for about the third time. Just a great book with awesome characters, and at times I definitely catch shades of myself and Swiv in the Dashwood sisters. I think I could be very content to find my Edward Ferrars!

And that's it....expect a bumper post next time with gifty goodness to come tomorrow to hike up the input!

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'Twas the night before Christmas...

And in a big quiet house,
Not a creature was stirring,
Bar our own country mouse....

You see, this is the problem. I really like midnight mass, and was glad to have dragged my heathen family to it (it's a yearly tradition now, complete with in-jokes, japery and looks of confusion). However, since my normal bedtime is 10.30 / 11 ish (I know, how rock'n'roll can one girl be?) I have to drink a load of coffee and tea to stay awake for the service (Oy, what next? Me complaining about my back? It's official, am an O.A.P.). So now it's 1.30, I'm in my PJs, I'm dying to get to bed because it's the big day and I get to see what my family think of their gifts, but can I sleep?

Oh heck no.

So I am sat here, blogging away and surfing the net (which is, of course, comme une ghost town, Christmas?), eating cheese and attempting to convince my caffiene assisted brain that it really is time to hit the hay. Hmmmmph. Also, can't go for a walk or anything to tire self out - there's a whole housing estate of primary schoolers waiting for a glimpse of Santa / reindeer / elves, and I'm a little too smiley, short and chubby not to be mistaken for a little helper.

Church earlier was nice though, but my family were a tad confused by the whole Eucharist thing. Dad and Peter really seemed to enjoy is...Mum and Swiv were a little more bewildered. But I think they enjoyed more than they disliked, and I do like going to church at Christmas. Call me a sap, but I believe in the inherent goodness of the season, the wanting to help others, to share, to spend time with the ones you love, to think of those you've lost or those who are in need. I think it has the potential to be a real chance for regeneration and change, where people want it to be. It certainly serves as a catalyst in my little world,at least.

I hope this post finds everyone happy and well, and looking forward to (or recovering from) a Christmas full of all the goodness the season has to offer, both sacred and secular.

Much love,
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This year, I've decided I like new year's I'm going to make them now (think of the fodder for sarcasm they will afford in oh, February or March). Here goes - I'm going to make several, so I'll hopefully get at least *some* of them achieved.

1. Start planning what on earth I want to do.
So I've got my degrees, a kickass bunch of friends, a quirky but supportive family, a good job and a cute wee flat...what now? This year I would like to figure out my gameplan for the next few years...further study? Travel? Going work crazy? Or just hiding under a duvet eating cheese?

2. Correspond.
I love writing letters and am pretty good at it; but this year I am determined to become a better writer of cards, letters, etc..

3. Read oodles of books.
I read a fair bit, but I want to read even more - I'm going to try and make it part of my schedule (not least because I need to get cracking on the book lists that Jean and Wilson gave me!).

4. Sort out my photos into albums.
(I had to put at least one I thought I might actually do!)

5. Take more holidays or trips.
I would like to go to France to see Mlle Wilson, to Durham to see Jean, to London to have fun with Henry and Tim. I would also like to go off on holiday somewhere fun too....I never took holidays as a child, so I guess I'm making up for it now!

6. Do *something* this summer.
Work / volunteer / intern / write bad prose? Eight weeks is too long to be at a loose end :-)

7. Start to understand my hair.
Am going to invest in some straighteners. Let the hilarity commence.

8. Lose 30 pounds.
Have already dropped 15 since starting at school, would like to trim off some more, which would put me at my lowest for a fair old while - the point where I look curvy / voluptuous and all that good stuff.

9. Learn to drive.
Argggggh. I am going to be such a bad driver. But I really need to be able to! The quandary...

10. Cook more, and get a few recipes perfect.

11. Pay off my credit card, and keep slogging away on the loans.
Yuck, but necessary.

12. Have at least a few dates, liaisons or intrigues....I'm not ready for spinsterhood just yet!
It's not that I don't have any offers - I'm just a strange combo of oblivious and / or fussy.

There we go, a dirty dozen resolutions....and for luck, number 13 should probably be to keep up with this blog. I always say I miss writing for pleasure.

It's now half-twelve; this country mouse is off to bed.

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Carb overdose

Wow. What is it about pizza that seems to inspire me to attempt to eat the equivalent of three meals in one? Egads, am full...

Am sat writing this in front of our dining room telly, which is currently set on Trinny and Susannah traumatising several women into their style of dressing. Hardly cerebral but good background noise (and a darn sight more interesting than what my family are watching in the main room - Rosemary and Thyme - yawwwwwn). Today has been a typical day at home, with mum at work and my brother, sister and father trying to out-lazy one another. I didn't even figure in the rankings, getting up at the ludicrously early hour of half past nine and showering and changing before 11. Swiv won hands down - rising at 11, not showering at all (eutrgh) and staying in her PJs all day. I kind of wish I could.

Got the last few bits for my family's Christmas and wrapped it all up...and despite a very Christmassy December so far, I'm not....really....that into it? Hopefully after midnght mass tomorrow that will all change!

Would love to type more, but am being lazy at the mo and have very little to update....

More soon, and seasons greetings to all!

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The journey continues

It is a tired (and emotional, but not overly so) country mouse that reports to you this evening. As I type I am aboard a train bound west from the northern lights of Auld Aberdeen, headed back to my family home. I’ve been in Aberdeen for just over twenty four hours, but oh, what a trip it’s been!

I arrived into Aberdeen yesterday at about 4, and met my wee sister (she who is vicious – Swiv) before hitting another train to go to Stonehaven for a family tea with my aunt and uncle and some of their brood. Three hours later we headed back to town after viewing a thousand and five wedding photos (one of my cousins, Gillian, got married earlier this year and I couldn’t make the ceremony due to a typical amount of disorganisation, crazy work schedule and general ineptitude) and eating a huuuuuge meal. Even though I’m a “proper grown up” now, I think my aunt imagines that between my visits to her I sit in a lonely room, starving. Hence the feeding up! It was great fun though, and as always I left feeling happy and hoping I’d see them all again soon.

On the way back to Aberdeen, Swiv broke it to me that we would be going out drinking that evening. And not just any old drinking…no, we went to ‘Rock Kareoke’ at a bar in Aberdeen…. It was really good fun, but I got a wee bit of a shock when I discovered that even the DJ was younger than me. I did manage to represent for the twentysomethings though, nicking not one but two inflatable microphones and helping my sisters flatmate Laura and DJ Martin to sing ‘Build Me Up Buttercup’ to a stonking reception at the end of the night (I know, it’s hardly rock, but it still brought the evenings music to a decent conclusion!). After that we ventured to a local ‘nitespot’ but after almost getting stuck in a toilet stall and having a young reprobate stamp on my foot (I’m all for pit hospitality, but I tend to check my victims are OK if something crunches!) it was time for home, via chip shop. Bearing in mind that I did this kind of thing 2 – 7 (!) times a week as an undergrad, my hips are explained a little!

Today has been catch up central. First up I met up with one of my dearest friends, Shona. Shona is many of the things I admire but will never be – she’s clever, talented, organised and funny…and thus great fun to spend time with. We had a couple of coffees and caught up on all each others news (bottom line, we are working really, really hard right now!), and left after a couple of hours resolute in our hope to see plenty of each other in the coming year – or at least to keep the emails and letters coming :-).

Next up was a lunch rendezvous with my friend Vicky, and I had an extra surprise when our friend Al came along as well. Vicky and I lived together for three years as undergrads, so we know a lot about each other – we’ve seen each other tipsy on cheap booze, hungover after the above, excited, upset, tense, determined…. Plus we’ve seen a lot of changing wardrobes and hairstyles. Al came into the equation when Vicky started her law degree, and has lived with Vicky (and our other friend Rhona) for much of the time since I haven’t lived with them. The three of us had a brief but enjoyable lunch, with lots of anecdotes, stories and catching up. It is very hard to think that the three of us, who used to attack the student union together with such glee and aplomb, are now a teacher, a lawyer and an estate agent….but that is the way the cookie crumbles. We’re all happy, and that, after all, is what’s important. Again, had a really good catch up, caught up with new email addresses etc., and I am determined to see more of them in the coming year than I did in the previous one!

After a highly enjoyable lunch (in a restaurant that was a church last time I came to Aberdeen!) I hit the shops for the last of my Christmas shopping. I love spoiling my family at this time of year (our extended family don’t do gifts, so I guess I try and compensate?) but the shops were a definite patience trial this time. Nonetheless, I bought loads of cool things and now only need to but some port, some sweets and some giftwrap to have my gifts all sorted! Yay!

Then I headed to the Still, a pub in Aberdeen, to meet up with Swiv and three of my friends from my student drama days. Bex looks fab and is as funny as ever, Brebsy had oodles of gossip and smut to impart (and a gift, woo!), and Brian was as enigmatic as ever. I also made the slightly silly error of having two large glasses of Shiraz Cabernet and then trying to eat chicken fajitas. Who knew Mexican food could be so aerodynamic?

Swiv has been a little down, ill and grouchy all day, so we decided to hop on the train home tonight rather than braving the rush tomorrow (everyone will be heading home for Christmas…). And now we’re gonna watch ‘Madagascar’. Yay, laptops!

Later all,
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Travelling and moving

A journey as the country mouse heads north for the winter (hey, I never claimed to be sensible!).

I am writing this on the Gatwick Express, hogging an entire table. There are 7 minutes left, and I can virtually guarantee that when there are 30 seconds left the train will become super, super busy and my table will be joined by about 46,000 people, no doubt Belgians, eager to sit near me / by me / on me. The joys of travelling in the week before Christmas.

5 minutes to go and I’ve been joined by a pretty girl, who’s chatting on her mobile. Luckily it seems to be a simple perfunctory call, so I am hoping she’s not one of those people who can’t handle a thirty minute journey without phoning evvvveeeeryone in her phone book. She’s hung up now. Yesssss. Further to the hopes for a kindred train spirit, she’s not glaring at me, hasn’t invaded my foot space (I know, I’m petty as hell) and has taken the outer seat.

Now, don’t get me wrong. I am all for manners, and indeed have risked many a glare from a teenage boy or yuppie businessman by giving up my seat to an older person, pregnant lady or person with children when travelling by bus/ train/ metro/ tube. But when there’s plenty of room on the train or other vehicle providing public transportation? People….spread out!

10 seconds to go….. and we’re off! Another person is tapping away on his laptop also, but I doubt he’s of my ilk. He’s very smart and businesslike, whereas I am writing something to upload to my blog later, and am currently listening to ‘There Is Life Outside Your Apartment’ form Avenue Q. And I’m wearing jeans, a pink sweater and walking boots, and am working a particularly frizzy case of travel hair (roll on tomorrow’s hair cut!). Hardly captain of industry wear. Lord bless the school for giving me a laptop – it’s great for work, and just as useful for my actual life.

I may have misjudged Pretty Girl Opposite Me On The Train (PGOMOTT). She’s now made two further calls. More updates, later.

Wow, Sarf London always looks bleak on this bit of track. It’s the portion between Victoria and Clapham, and it’s really going for that Urban Decay look firing on all cylinders. Probably doesn’t help that today is all grey and blowsy and damp and lacklustre. No doubt I’ll be desperate to get back to this after ten days of Scottish temperatures.

PGOMOTT is on the phone again. In another language! Wow, I wish I was bilingual. OK, I can muddle along in French (“Ah, bonjour, je voudrais un pain au chocolat et un grand café au lait, s’il vous plait.”) and I can just about keep up with the conversations of others in slooooow German (for example, I know that “Pimmelkopf” is a great variant to use when you tire of the boring old British “Dickhead”). But I wish I could speak another language fluently. Maybe Spanish? Yeah, then I could go to Madrid and dance and drink and siesta and have passionate fights. Hmmmmm, it would be a change.

God, I’m hungry. Why does travelling make me hungry? I know the schedule of sitting, waiting and changing trains (damn, apart from the last bit that was almost a Jack Johnson lyric) is hectic, but why am I starving now? I may have to repair for a bowl of chips and a beer at Gatwick. Oh man, why did I have to think of that? Now I’m really hungry and craving fatty foods. Doggone imagination.

We’re now crawling through East Croydon station. The Express doesn’t stop here, but does slow down to give you a full glimpse of the misery. Now, I like Croydon, having spent quite a few visits there when Nat lived in that neck of the woods; but the place kind of defines “bleak”. Especially to a country mouse like me. There are many things that cities and towns have that make me jealous (cinemas, shops, nightlife, culture, PEOPLE….), but the grim tower blocks, litter and bloody little oiks spitting I can definitely live without.

Ticket collection time! Woo! A nice smiley trainee took my ticket away, which is fortunate because otherwise I would wind up keeping it my wallet for about six months convincing myself I’m going to scrapbook it or save it or something. I always do that. My friend Hannah is an excellent keeper of things – cinema tickets, theatre programmes, plane ticket stubs….I think she inspires me to think I can do it too, when actually I’m far too disorganised. I just wind up with a box of crap which I chuck out in a fit of pique when moving day arrives.

Still hungry.

Ryan Adams is now what I’m listening to. I caught the Ryan Adams train very, very late, only getting ‘Gold’ a year or so ago. Actually, I bought it at Gatwick on the duty free (other purchases included No Doubt’s ‘Tragic Kingdom’ – I had worn out my tape copy…old skool!, and a kickass pair of navy beaded flipflops. Ah, 2004, the year I embraced flipflops….praise be!).

I’m trying to think what discoveries I made in 2005….hmmmm. Fashion stuff first I think…. I discovered that ballet pumps are cute, and even cuter when adorned with flowers and / or embroidery. That Clinique skincare is totally overated (for my skin, at least), but that their foundation still kicks so much butt, as does their cream eyeshadow. That I love Bath and Body Works, but judging by my VISA bill from my trip to NC, it’s lucky they haven’t spread over here yet. That I love the smell of sweetpeas, magnolia and Ralph Lauren’s Romance. That I both suit and adore skirts, but that I cannot wear suits under any circumstances….I look like a besuited marshmallow.

Oh, here’s Gatwick. Doesn’t time fly?

More soon,
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The Country Mouse Tales


My name is Claire.

I am in my twenties and I live in the back of beyond, UK, teaching a bunch of adorable yet demanding seven year olds.

This is my latest blog...and the one I'm going to try and stick with.

This is where I'm going to rant, dream, ramble, discuss, recommend....

You get the picture? Welcome to the Country Mouse Tales
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