Wednesday, September 29, 2004

How on earth did it get round to Wednesday evening again so quickly? And it's not as if I've been doing anything interesting that would help the time fly by quicker - just work, the odd PR visit to local agents and then alcohol-free nights, due in part to a desire to be more healthy, but if truth be told more to do with the fact that I am penniless until tomorrow - Pay Day! Yippee!!!

I am torn between the need to get an early night, as I'm up at 5 again tomorrow for the second networking meeting, and the desire to go and buy a bottle of wine, or forego the wine but visit Tesco at midnight, when my bank account will be credited and stock up on all the little luxuries I'm about to run out of, like food and toilet roll!

I suspect I shall end up with a combination, the dullest; early night, no wine, no provisions and no call from Cute who is out with his golfing chums for an end of summer blow-out. The worrying thing is, I'm actually beginning to enjoy curling up in bed early with a book and waking refreshed the next day. I'm also beginning to enjoy the relaxation of workload. I think there may be a correlation between the 2.

Maybe I don't have to work 14 hours a day, 6 days a week and have energy enough left to simply open a bottle of wine and tip it down my neck at night. I keep telling myself I could leave early and go for a run after work - so far I've managed to find something to do to occupy my time sufficiently to ensure that it's been almost dark by the time I've actually got home ( hence the reason I am writing this right now) but I can't put it off for ever - nor do I want to - I'm sort of getting into training for it - I ran up to cashiers on the fourth floor about a dozen times today and managed to hold a conversation, without sounding like an asthma sufferer as soon as I reached the top on each occasion!

I've got 7 weeks before my charity ball, if I can get into one of my evening frocks by then I'll be delighted!

Monday, September 27, 2004

To say it was a "Friendly", I've seen less aggressive fights for the last mince pies on the shelf in Tesco on Christmas Eve! The game started well enough, both sides pretty evenly matched, the other team marginally uglier but then I might be a bit biased. Our Chief Coach was the referee, but you wouldn't have known it, he was being remarkably fair.

We maintained possession for the lion's share of the first half, which was clearly beginning to piss the visitors off a bit. That could explain the force with which 2 of their less-blessed models hit Benn with a shattering dump tackle. It laid him out cold and there was a very worrying crack to be heard as he hit the deck and lay motionless for what seemed like an eternity. It was very scary indeed. Benn's one of Jack's best mates and a fellow member of the EPDC, our fastest back, it was all Jack and I could do not to cry.

He'd regained consciousness by the time the ambulance arrived, and even managed a small wave as they strapped him to a board. Thankfully one of the dads is a professional physio for our local football team and he'd been giving him First Aid and generally taking control. Nigel, the Dad, got Man of the Match.

We learned shortly before we left that he was ok, nothing serious, Phew! Whiplash and a rather nasty cut to his mouth, but they were letting him out after a short period of observation.

I've spoken to his Dad tonight and he's a bit bruised and sore but already enjoying all the attention from his sister.

The game eventually continued and we were defeated 24-0 - not a fantastic start to the season but at least no-one died.

The day improved when I drove over to see Cute. We indulged in one of my greatest passions, guaranteed to get my heart pumping and juices flowing, the Sunday Crossword, I only needed 5 clues when I left, and I'd solved them within 5 minutes of reaching home - which I think impressed him. I also knew the answer to the final 2 clues that his mates had needed for the Saturday Telegraph General Knowledge puzzle, thus ensuring that I wasn't marked down as a Barbie, not that I could ever be accused of that! I'm not glamorous or blonde enough.

I had another early alcohol-free night. And here endeth another weekend.

Friday, September 24, 2004

I walked in to the hotel to an imagined soundtrack of seraphic fanfares. I'd half expected to see television cameras outside, or at least the local press. It's not every day I get up at 5am and drive halfway across the county for a breakfast meeting, in full make-up with freshly washed hair.

I was greeted instead by some jaded looking men in suits sporting sticky name badges. I soon had one slapped on my lapel, but not before I'd expressed my need for caffeine, preferably introduced intravenously.

It was an interesting meeting and I came away slightly euphoric, caused not in the least part by my self-induced smugness at having a) made it on time, b) managing to make sensible conversation at that ungodly hour and c) being the only female present and much younger than the majority of the other occupants of the room. I've signed up for the next twelve months and in honour of the occasion have foregone any celebratory wine in the hope that I can repeat my gargantuan efforts at getting up early again tomorrow.

I even managed to stay awake and relatively perky all day and ate very little in an attempt to regain some calorific credit for the full English breakfast I'd heartily consumed with my fellow red-eyes.

I am becoming so virtuous my theme tune is in danger of becoming a Gregorian chant or perhaps the Tales of Hoffman - you know the one, wailing ladies, I think they used it on an advert with a cat.

There is little chance of any counter-attack against this holier-than-thou onslaught this weekend, I may partake of a small glass of sherry tomorrow evening and then spend Saturday carefully pressing creases into Jack's sponsored rugby shorts ready for Sunday's first match of the season. We've been told to be there for 9.50am which should be no problem given my recent Olympic getting-out-of-bed regime. I may lead the parents in a small cheer-leading routine. I must go and make some pom-poms.

Monday, September 20, 2004

It was a beautiful morning - so much so that I almost didn't mind getting up at 7.30 to take Jack to his County trials. I am sure I was told we had to be there for 9.30 - so I was rather surprised when we rolled up at 9.40 to find we were amongst the first. Surely the County coaches wouldn't stoop to the tactics that my friends at the Club use - that is to tell me the arrival time is half an hour earlier than it actually is, so as to ensure I have a half-decent chance of getting him there on time.

John (alias Fucking Hostile) bought me a cup of coffee and a bacon buttie ( I gave him the fat off it) and then proceeded to make me giggle at the back, so much so that we were in danger of being shown the red card. I left before we got ourselves into trouble and came home and prepared a pretty fab Cottage Pie ready for tea.

I almost left it too late to jump in the shower and wash my hair. I wanted to achieve the "I've been standing on a rugby touchline and look how fabulous I am" effect. I think it was reasonably successful. At least, Cute seemed very pleased to see me when I popped round for a cup of tea half an hour later.

We did a bit of the crossword ( I only need 2 more clues and I'll have completed it), had another cup of tea - and then it was off to pick up my Rising Star, a borrowed set of golf clubs to boot.

Jack was more excited about them than he was interested in whether he'd made the squad. My lounge has already been turned into a make-shift putting green with the aid of a jug and some carefully positioned cushions. Rather that than find small holes bored in the lawn though.

Saturday, September 18, 2004

Most Fridays I come home from a long hard week at the office feeling weary and ready to dive into a bottle of Chardonnay and let Jonathan Ross wash all over me. And who can forgive me that?

Not so last night. I left the office, and a completely empty desk at 3. I intended to arrive at Martin's early enough to secure the first slot in the shower so I had time to dry my hair and prepare for a long and diverse evening. Instead I found myself passing hammers and nails to a ladder-bestraddled host intent on securing his name above his kitchen door. An hour, a cup of tea, and interminable minor adjustments to the tilt of the frame later, Sophie had arrived,Martin was just popping into the shower to tidy it up sufficiently (his father is midway through the tiling) and Sophie and I found ourselves with 40 minutes within which we both had to be fabulous and ready for the delights of the evening ahead.

We had both had the forethought to bring 2 options of attire, one strapless, one rather more conservative. We both chose the latter option, both for entirely disparate reasons and it later proved a decision well taken.

I was looking forward to the dinner, the annual gathering of Aberdeen Grammar School Former Pupils Yorkshire section, not least as it was held at the same venue as Mrs Roger's recent wedding breakfast which I had unfortunately missed and also because I had so much enjoyed the previous year, listening to the personalities of yesteryear and generally meeting new and interesting folk.

It was much the same this year save that there were fewer women and the lamb was slightly more fatty. I was more than compensated by being seated next to the Adorable Andy, resplendent in full highland dress and a good 30 years younger than the next most eligible male(Martin, of course excluded from the selection).

We were the last to leave a very successful evening, I could regale you with anecdotes but you really had to be there, and headed South to the call of the Welly - a club, the venue of one of my favouritest client's 10th (Business)Birthday Bash.

My clubbing days are definitely numbered. Sticking to the carpet may once have felt comforting, knowing I had some sort of anchor preventing me from falling in a heap if I had drunk beyond my limit - now I know my limit, it just feels a bit tacky. I did see Mark, so I'm pleased I showed my face, I didn't know or understand any of the music but I suspect had I drunk a little more Birse Tea earlier, I would have been bumping and grinding with the best of the motley bunch.

So today - Tesco breakfast, glorious September sunshine, sleep on the sofa for the best part of the afternoon, quick dip into Tesco and a return date to Cute Suit's for tomorrow afternoon set (I last saw him on Thursday night so this is definitely hotting up). And I have another whole day before I'm back at work and I have no housework to do - I love being a lady of leisure.

Thursday, September 16, 2004

I am going to bed early, I am eating porridge for breakfast and fruit for lunch, I am even shunning wine(well, half the bottle - give me a break!) yet still I am absolutely shattered.

I'm getting up ok and feeling tired, that's normal, but I'm not getting that kick-in at any point throughout the day. Today I had numerous cups of strong coffee and a few Pro-Plus tablets but I could still have quite happily curled up under my desk and gone to sleep for half an hour. I even accidentally marinaded myself in caffeine when I clumsily reached for a file and poured the entire contents of my over-sized mug all over me and down into my handbag. Still no effect.

I left at 3pm to collect Jack from school. We were heading for the Presentation of his Juniour Sports Leaders Award. We were 40 minutes early so I dropped the seat down and had a few winks. It had absolutely no effect whatsoever. I still found my eyes drooping whilst in mid-conversation with the Leader of the local Council, even though we were catching up on gossip about a fellow friend.

Fortunately, Jack was also feeling a bit weary and chose to forego rugby training, so after a brief sojourn into Tesco for a card for a friend of his, we came home and I promptly fell asleep on the sofa for 2 hours, waking only as Harrison Ford hit the screen at which I took my cue to start the manic tidy up in readiness for the fairy visit tomorrow - she comes to clean, not pick her way through dead flowerheads and dirty pots.

I should have a reasonably easy day tomorrow - work 'til 2 then off to visit another estate agency with my Lovely New Boss - I might offer to drive in the hope that he offers me a new car. But then I have to kick my heels 'til 11pm before picking Jack up from his party (hence the card). There'll be no cleaning to do and the plumped cushions on the sofa will be oh so tempting.

Perhaps I'm catching my probate guy's apathy/lethargy virus. No that can't be it - I'm still motivated. I will be drinking and dancing at the weekend - if I last the course I will know for sure that hedonism is the way to go.

Tuesday, September 14, 2004

I wasn't in my usual Monday mood today. The day dawned bright and I was early to work having dropped Jack off at school whilst Mum's signed off. I tootled along to work - that car accident the other week has slowed me right down - I'm not quite being overtaken by bathchairs but it's not too hard to imagine the day.

I had intended to crack on with last weeks leftover jobs - instead I found myself sounding the cavalry horn and stepping into the Probate breach - man down with a slight touch of 'flu!!!!! So my mind was not entirely tuned to Property dynamism when I unexpectedly pulled off 2 coups.

First of all, Lovely Little Lisa was having problems with an apparently awkward conveyancer from a neighbouring town. I got on the phone to him, made him laugh and think I was doing him a huge favour and what do you know - we got what we wanted, ( he didn't know I was about to concede defeat 'cos I had another grieving widow to see) saved our client some money and I let Lisa call her to tell her the keys were ready for collection.

Then, I had a difference of opinion with one of Cute Suit's mates over a rent deposit. Again I could easily have given in, this time more out of a sense of complete self-interest - but I dashed off a charming yet slightly ballsy email -and what do you know? He caved in.

I was beginning to feel invincible so when the rather bohemian client I had just saved from future tenant disputes rolled up unannounced in reception, I came over all Diva and sent my secretary out to see him. Doesn't he realise how busy and important I am?!! You have to treat some clients like crying babies and leave them 'til they tire themselves out.

So how rewarded did I feel when she tiptoed back into my office with something hidden behind her back - he'd only bought me a Pepper plant, festooned with bright red, purple and yellow bell fruit with the message " A hot and spicy gift for a hot and spicy lawyer!"

Some days I just love my job!

Sunday, September 12, 2004

The Pennines were awful tonight, In-Laws marginally less so. We arrived about 4pm yesterday afternoon to glorious sunshine, admired the new sun-room, Jack particulary impressed with the huge plasma screen adorning one wall, drank copious amounts of tea and then settled down to watch a naff Jim Carrey movie after a very edible Bolognese. The heavens opened, the drinks cabinet didn't!

I did sleep well though, Lisa does a very good line in bed-making.

Today dawned with menacing clouds and an even more worrying lack of response from Stephen to my calls. I figured he must have the hump for not having driven straight to his door but rather have the audacity to stay with his much more welcoming, chatty and sweet-smelling sister in her much more welcoming, comfy and sweet-smelling home. Jack was keen to go golfing despite threat of rain and I think he saw it as a potential way of actually enjoying some time with his Dad without fear of conversation desert.

Lisa took him off for a gruelling bike ride whilst I picked up a Sunday paper after dropping June off, I suspect they think I am a bit above myself for daring to choose the Sunday Times over The People, God forfane! Stephen eventually answered his phone and declared the golf a no-go as it would interrupt his enjoyment of the Grand Prix from the sumptious surroundings of his local "shithole" (as Jack later described it).

Jack, bless him, dutifully allowed himself to be driven down to meet his Dad, protesting that he would NOT go into the Pub! He came back after an hour or so having gone into the very same pub and played Darts with his Dad's targetly-challenged Mate's son. He later confessed that the extent of his conversation with his Dad amounted to them exchanging "Alright!", confessing to a rather spurious sadness at the departure of Michael Owen to Real Madrid, followed by an exchange that has convinced me that Jack is destined for the Diplomatic Corps!

Jack: I might be coming over at half-term.

Stephen: When's that?

J: End of October I think

S: Do you think you'll remember my birthday then? Do you know when it is?


J: says Ermm - is it the 21st? Ermm -I'll certainly try, cough cough!

He was absolutely bursting to tell me the minute we got in the car and far enough out of earshot - I think we'd made it as far as Queensferry - perhaps I have been wrong to theorise that there is no coincidence in that the only time Jack or more usually I, ever get a call from Stephen is either on Fathers Day or his own birthday.

The highlights of an otherwise non-descript weekend included a fantastic underwear purchase - hipster lace shorts are my current preference; managing to navigate amidst fog-like spray from all the scary lorries on the M60; and a lovely call and follow-up texts from my Sunshine Man. I missed my TV debut - literally - it was edited out so it mattered not that I was mid-way between Oldham and Halifax as it went to air.

Saturday, September 11, 2004

The workload seems to have increased again. Not sure if that is in direct correlation to the fact that Eva is now back off holiday and keen to sell her flat, Roger's flat and buy the new house that she put a successful offer on from Austria. Wonder if Roger is aware that copious amounts of Cava numb the agony of dilemmas over flooring materials? I must make a mental note to tip him off.

Spoke to Ali - or Mother Earth as she should erstwhile be known. Shelling peas second time around by all accounts - I'll take her word for it. I'll try and call in and see her and new baby Ella if I get chance on the way back from Wales - but I have to be back home for 8pm in time to see the closest I'm ever going to get to TV - my clients are being showcased on BBC2 and there is ever such a slight possibilty that he might mention his fab lawyer. Wish I'd held out for the recordable DVD player now.

Cute Suit, alias Sunshine Man, is lying sleepless in a hotel room to a soundtrack of a snoring mate and the beat of a wedding party - and on his birthday night too. He liked my card and apparently I've come up randomly in conversation today, not instigated by him, of course - I don't quite know what was said but knowing the source fromst which it came, it had to be reasonably flattering.

And so to bed, Wales here we come!

Friday, September 10, 2004

Well Mum's managed to surpass herself this time - sub-somethingorother brain haemhorrage! Dozy mare! Why can't she just get a headache like the rest of us? They seem to think it is reasonably mild and likely to heal itself so they've let her home after she refused a Lumbar Puncture. The lengths she will go to avoid the start of a new term.

I took the afternoon off following a pleasant lunch with a rather nice financial advisor who seems keen to send work my way, and had my roots done once I knew Mum was coming home. It was really sunny. I quite enjoyed driving home before dusk but was a bit disappointed that Countdown didn't seem to be on. I tried to watch Richard & Judy - it soon reminded me why I stay at work so much.

House is clean, the fairy has been, Jack's out playing with his friends, so there's not much else for me to do other than watch Emmerdale and read a book.

Thursday, September 09, 2004

The work situation hasn't changed - I've spent the last few days superstitiously leaving one file to be worked on when I've left at a ridiculously early hour of 6.25pm each night. I'm trying to enjoy the leisurely pace - it would be so much easier if Cute Suit had a similarly low workload - but alas, he is burdened and about to go away for a weekend of larks with his mates so I am way down on his priority list - at least for now.

Mum's got herself admitted to hospital - not really sure why - she was diagnosed with Mumps lsat week and started choking last night - so it sounds like Fat Neck Syndrome. I hate to sound so callous, I am concerned, but she's ill so often you get sort of conditioned to it.

I've officially got the Fat Backed Secretary sacked - she had a letter of dismissal waiting for her as she arrived back from her 3rd Cruise in 2 months - good riddance - hope she uses her time at home to work off the hump.

I've also seen Mark, my successor at my old job and a good friend - he seems pretty cool with the situation so I am greatly relieved. I spotted my old boss just ahead of me as I made my way to the car park tonight so I must confess to dawdling a little so as not to have to talk to him and answer any difficult questions - as long as my proper friends are still speaking, I have surprisingly little allegiance to a firm I was with for over 7 years and had thought I would stay with to my dying day - life can be greener on the other side.

Monday, September 06, 2004

I was in very grave danger of reaching the bottom of my In-Tray today. I was working on the last file - it was only about 3pm - I would have gone home at lunch time were it not for the fact that I had a client at 4.30pm. But what do you know? as magically as the little brown jug, my in-tray filled up to about 14 new matters or queries by the time I had finished with my client.

I must worry too much - I do worry too much - my gorgeous potential new boyfriend has just spent a weekend with his only daughter back home, he has also undergone a speed seminar (something which I can also enjoy(?) later this month) he hasn't called or texted, he has no reason to, but I am now wondering, despite my better judgement, if he has gone off me, or worse - hates me! Daft thoughts, but they enter womens heads - wherefrom? Crap previous boyfriends and a certainty that we are not worthy of nice men bothering with us - so used are we to the formerly described crap boyfriends.

Nice things did happen today - I went to see Alison's Mum & Dad, Ella's new Grandparents, to express my joy at their new grandchild - they were so pleased to see us I almost asked them to adopt us - but I think Ron has already done that in his own mind - he told me he was so proud of me he considers me his honorary daughter. That meant so much to me, not in any way to detract from my own fab Dad and Mum, but we do all have a tendency to take one another for granted and he had no reason whatsoever to say that - he's clearly forgiven me all the teenage years of barffing in his downstairs loo when unable to hold my own weight in beer.

And I booked a weekend in Wales - Lisa is clearly up to her arm-pits in other peoples shit - I shall arrive with shoulders unto which she can unburden and Jack can enjoy his paternal family- wonder what havoc Stephen can muster?

Thursday, September 02, 2004

I was awoken at 5 o'clock this morning by the phone ringing. I picked it up on auto-pilot and was greeted with Stephen Hawking!? Well, at least a synthetic voice telling me I had a Voice Text(?)

I got this saucy message and just assumed it was The Throb finding yet another way to amaze and surprise me with his inventiveness. I put the phone down and dreamt no more about it. I did try and send him a quick text pointing out the ungodly hour but the poor reception here prevented it from being sent.

So I was just a little concerned later in the day when I finally got around to asking him about it, that the reply came back that he had no idea what I was going on about. I started to worry. Who else would send me a faintly sinister anonymous call at that time of the day? I started to panic a bit mid-afternoon after Jack had said none of his friends would have done it.

I imagined all sorts, none of them good, and ran through anyone that could possibly have my home number. I never thought of dialing 1471 - and what do you know? It was some floosy jack had been talking to a few nights earlier when I'd been in bed. Phew! The Stalker Wraith behind me instantly dissolved and Jack got some lessons in phone etiquette when I'm the one with it positioned by my head whilst I sleep.

Nothing else has happened today! Nothing! Pretending not to wait for calls is such a great aid for weight-loss.
I could have been enjoying the fresh, clean air of the Dales this week with my Dad and Auntie and all my other lovely relatives, but Little Miss Conscientious chose to stay at home, or more accurately work.

It's already paid off - had I gone away, I wouldn't have got the call from Rachel inviting me to join her backstage-access-all-areas at The Darkness gig in a few months time. Fab! Fab! Cheese Nazi, help me slim enough to get into that silver cat-suit in time, please!

Nor would I have got the new farm sale - complete with peacocks! Or received the emails from Cute Suit today. I was beginning to fret, having had only one since Saturday, Bum-Patting Day - God! Had it wobbled too much? Had my new bra not been quite so appealing to him as it had to me? (pink chiffon, small white polka dots, balcony style with ruching - it's really very fetching). Would I never get the opportunity to invite him over for a Birthday celebratory dinner washed down with lashings of Chablis?

He's calling tomorrow - I prattled on for so long about Justin, I didn't have time to settle any firm dates for my culinary seduction evening. I'm thinking simple starter, grilled asparugus wrapped in Serrano ham, impressive but deceptively easy main, lamb a la Cherrypie, and school pudding, la piece de resistance, Wellington Fudge with pink custard - it does it for me every time.

Tomorrow is Angel Day - I've left an offering of Flash with Bleach for my kitchen floor and treated her to Bounty kitchen roll. Don't expect to hear from me tomorrow night - I shall be purring down the phone on my newly-plumped sofa in my fresh and sparkly lounge to my fresher and sparklier potential new beau. Tee Hee!