Wednesday, December 29, 2004

I've reassured myself that I'm a reasonably good judge of character having spent a lovely evening with the first ever chap I chatted to on the net all those months ago. He was far nicer than I'd expected, and I already thought he was a great guy. I was very relaxed - not sure if that was down to his easy-going company or the copious amounts of champagne that I managed to quaff. All part of my training regime for New Year's Eve.

I've seen the hotel website. How excited am I? It looks absolutely stunning. Key words like "international jet set", "complimentary Hermes perfume" and "unlimited champagne" particularly stick out. I shall now dash off to the dry cleaners with my poshest frock and do 6 months worth of stomach crunches in the space of the next 2 days to a backing track of the Marseilleise.

Tuesday, December 28, 2004

Flipping Christmas! I was almost able to see my toes until the last two days - now they've disappeared again. I shall either have to go on an enforced diet of Atkin's friendly cold turkey, or bind myself very tightly in left-over wrapping paper until my Loire trip is complete - either way doesn't promise much fun.

Kathryn & I did little more than lay about on sofas complaining about the TV and do nothing about it for 2 whole days. I threatened a walk on Boxing Day - I won - ish. We drove to Kathryn's new house - parked at the opposite end of the street and then walked back and had a nosey over the garden wall. That done we got back in the car and drove home to a large mug of Earl Grey and Bailey's and a mouthfull of rum balls. That was the total extent of our exercise for the entire Christmas weekend. I swear I started day-dreaming about doing sit-ups and going for a run, but I lay very still 'til it went away.

So now back home. Darius was very pleased to see me and has shadowed me all night. He hadn't even brought me any dead mice as gifts either. I fed him a container full of Turkey as a small peace offering and let him sleep on me on the sofa all night - one way of missing all the crap TV - is it some sort of conspiracy to enforce everyone to buy digital do you think?

So the next few days......I've got a number of people to see, and quite a few presents still to buy.... but I've also got a shopping list of essentials for my French trip; nightwear, liposuction, acrylic nails, hat scarf and gloves, St Tropez tan, Euros, flat boots, boob job. I suspect some things will have to go in the interests of time constraints - it can't be that cold in France can it?

Friday, December 24, 2004

I finally gave in and made a mad dash around Tesco and town for some presents for my sister and lots of drink. Managed to blow over £400 in less than 2 hours - bah humbug! F***ing Christmas!

So now I'm about to load up my car and tootle down the motorway to loaf about on Kathryn's sofa - change is as good as a rest they say. I have treated us both to some sexy silk pyjamas which I shall insist we don this evening and do not discard until the day after Boxing Day.

Oh! and I asked Mum for her opinion on the proposed trip to the Loire valley. I expected shocked disbelief and horrific screaming. She truly surprised me - she told me I was old enough not to need her permission and that life is too short - I should go and enjoy some fun!!! I must have done something really bad for her to care so little - surely she hasn't finally realized that I'm a big girl who can stand on her own too feet and display common sense and reasoning??

I expected my useless Debit card to be rejected - that was to be my last excuse for dipping out - but no! The man from Ryanair said yes too! So I'm facing an incredibly exciting New Year and a very frugal January.

Merry Christmas, blogmates. See you next week. xxxx
I've heard stories of people going to Blingington Fields and finding themselves sitting at a table next to Elton John, Madonna, Bill Clinton.............

Imagine my chagrin, then, when I spot the ginger-haired, slightly slower brother of Woody, a lad I went to school with, dining at the table in the corner - I thought this was meant to be an exclusive restaurant! It didn't detract from the occasion - Eva's driving there almost did, but it was just a short 5 minute white-knuckle ride on what would otherwise be a 10 minute journey around twisty country lanes :-/

Food was fabulous, company even more so, bill not too painful - I spent just about as much on the bar bill after Friday night and at least I could remember the lunch.

I thought that would be highlight enough for an otherwise grey day - but no! Having declined the invite to Texas last week, I'd resigned myself to a miserable lonely new year at home with my trusty sofa - but what's this? an invite to the Loire Valley? 5 star hotel? Fireworks? castles? and all for the cost of a flight? Ok - so he's stranger - might be a serial killer - or worse - a health fanatic - but I could do worse things - and I don't have any offers more tempting.

I've chatted it over with mates - differing responses have left me dazed and confused - so I have decided that I shall phone my Mum tomorrow - and assuming they have reception on the beach - shall ask her approval - if she says yes, I'll go happy - if she says no, I'll go defiant and rebellious. Oncea teenager always a te............

Wednesday, December 22, 2004

Martian did not disappoint with his dinner party contingent - a very eclectic mix that came together well once marinaded in oodles of wine and beer; amongst the ingredients was a little dash of sour young lemon which lent a piquancy but was removed early enough so as not to sour the mixture, some very mature salt, a little Sally sweetness and Prince Edward majesty, prime Yorkshire Beef, some southern frothiness, a few sleeping ingredients to add body, and a rather unctuous dark substance that quietly hinted at hidden depth. I suspect my contribution was the oil that bound it all together - I certainly displayed sufficient fat vessels to keep the lamp lit.

Softly's profiteroles were historic ( I'm a Winner reader, you guessed) - I usually shun pudding but no-one could have resisted those - they'd be on my list for a Last Supper request.

We did get a bit loud and lairy for a Monday school night - but it is Christmas week - and I had the ultimate excuse for not arriving at work on time - I was playing Santa again to far-flung estate agents to cover the fact that I was actually playing spoons with the unctuous dark substance who just seemed to invite you in and then envelop you in warm delightful sensations.

I've now got Eva's birthday lunch at Blingington Fields to look forward to tomorrow - I've almost depleted my reserves so this will be the last big push before poverty sets in.

Sunday, December 19, 2004

Well if you'd told me this time last year that I would be happy chatting to unknown men online, I'd have laughed, nay scoffed, at you. The suggestion that I might even pluck up the nerve to meet one of them would have been met with curt disdain. The internet is a place for paedophiles, porn-junkies and pit-faced geeks surely. And besides which, even they would have rejected me as too old, too fat or too human.

It's a mark of how far I've come that I met not one but two of my long-term cyber-buddies today. I was very happy and relaxed to do so and delighted with the results.

I almost didn't make the first meeting - I'd got caught up in a quasi-counselling, semi-ego-boosting chat with a charming chippie which lasted 'til dawn, so I struggled to lift my head off the pillow and arrived at the ground just as the match kicked off. I'd already texted the Coach and confessed my guilt - so after a relatively pain-free payment of a fine, Jack got to play in the second half.

So engrossed was I in the game, that I almost forgot I was wearing festive elf ear-warmers as I turned just as a familiar looking hunk was walking past. There he was - The Dynamo - in the flesh. I believe we won but I paid virtually no attention to the play on the park after that. I'd very quickly ditched the comedy head furniture - but then was very conscious that I was about to be put up for an award - Worst Bad Hair Day of The Year - it's between me, Justin from The Darkness and Billy Connolly - I'm a sure favourite. If only we'd met up on Friday night - tight black satin bustier under a pin-stripe suit with killer heels and glossy locks suits me far better than muddy trousers and a Michelin-reminiscent anorak. Sadly, there was no point in impressing him however as in the time it took me to muster the confidence to meet him, he'd found a much more suitable candidate and is now very much an item with a lucky local girl. But the mention that he has a brother who is recently single did not go unnoticed.

I then dashed over to Castleford to meet The Quietman - who had just driven down from south of Glasgow to meet up. We had a very pleasant afternoon and a spot to eat - I amazed myself at my energy, it had to be his relaxing charm that kept me going - and he even produced gifts - how touching was that! Specially as they are all I currently have to look forward to on Christmas morning.

I had tentatively arranged the sequel to the dinner I enjoyed with Nige off Tint the other night but he'd been delayed so I headed back for a well-needed kip.

Since Friday morning, I've had approximately 7 hours sleep so I'm now a firmly established member of the Junior Doctor Bank - I have a dinner party tomorrow that promises to be interesting and enjoyable, after lunch with a former possible assistant who has now appointed herself as my pimp and has apparently drawn up a Business Plan that she intends to discuss over Tuna Melt.

I shall be chewing Pro-Plus washed down by Alka-Seltzer, lots of coffee and a few Diet Cokes.

Saturday, December 18, 2004

Fab night out with work last night. Food was excellent, waiters were tastier, wine flowed ( I was remarkably sensible and stuck to very long spritzers so as to pace myself - we were out from a little after 5 so I needed to spread it over the next 12 hours).

I'd intended to go to one bar where there was a possibility that the Dynamo and 31 of his engineering mates were going to be partying. I didn't make it, having spent much longer at the original venue, then transferring to its sister bar (maybe sister's not the right word - it has ever such the slightest suggestion of being a gay bar with overtly homo-erotic art displayed on large canvasses), and then managing to persuade Kirstie that she could live without seeing a personal appearance by Chesney "One and Only" Hawkes so we all ( by now we'd lost a few, but gained a couple of handsome surveyors) piled into Attic where we proceeded to throw some shapes about a pleasingly empty dancefloor and rather naughtily acquired a packet of cigarettes that appeared to have been abandoned.

By the time we'd run out of steam, money and contra-band fags, we were all having such a good time that it seemed the natural progression for everyone to come back to mine (hotel) where we could continue our group bonding, drinking and merry-making. We lasted well past 5am - some of us kept going a good while after that too.

Needless to say, the drinks bill wasn't very pretty this morning. Nor was I! And I've got to try and keep this up for at least the next week!

I shall be mostly drinking Alka-Seltzer.

Friday, December 17, 2004

Angel Features has given me the best Christmas present ever. I am so thrilled I cannot begin to tell you.

Ok - I can.

I've recently sorted out some Wills for her and her husband - all in a day's work to me - very easy and absolutely no sweat whatsoever. Ok - so I'd normally charge well over £100 plus VAT for them and that's if they came to the office, not personal visits at home well after hours- but I like to do favours for nice people and she makes a mean cup of tea. And what else would I be doing with my evenings? Anyway...........

She texted me mid-afternoon to say that her husband's Will was signed and on my coffee table - and that she'd left me a surprise!! I was intrigued and a little worried that she might have taken all my bar humbug jokes to heart and........... horror of horrors - put up a Christmas Tree for me!!! It would be staying there 'til she came back to work in January.

How utterly thrilled do you think I felt when I eventually arrived home from work to find her husband had installed my new loo seat, which has been sitting there for almost a year, rehung a picture that had fallen down about 6 months ago, and tightened all my electrical sockets. I could have cried I was so overcome. I could not have asked for a better Christmas present.

And it gets better - I then got a call to say that a couple of my sockets were dodgy - not only will he fix them - he'll also look at sorting out the lamp on my dressing table which threatens to electrocute me every time I dry my very long hair.

I have the Best Cleaner In The World! And she has the best husband ( for her - he's into Dungeons & Dragons stuff so I'm not that jealous) and combined they are one of the nicest most selfless, honest and genuine couples I have come across in years. I'm ever so humble.

Thursday, December 16, 2004

For a girl that never goes out, I've not had a bad 24 hours.

Yesterday lunchtime I was supposed to be having a free lunch with Sophie at a new bar opening up just across the road from the office. They were clearly unable to cope with more than 30 people at once and had closed the doors so we grabbed a bite to eat at an old-faithful cafe and caught up on the essentials.

I then dashed home and positioned myself under the shower - not easy when the new showerhead doesn't quite fit the present attachment, I must try out my recently-acquired Power Screwdriver to make life easier. Nige off Tint turned up on cue and we had a lovely evening at a restaurant that I've been covetting for ages. Came back and I made awful coffee - nothing wrong with the coffee, I'm just used to secretaries to do that sort of thing for me.

Today I managed to replicate my previous experimental outcomes with work/time studies and had successfully answered my entire in-tray by 11.30am, even finding time to see a delightful client, and then headed off for a slap-up lunch with one of my fellow red-eye gang. He used to be a scuba-diving instructor - such an attribute in a financial advisor!

So quiche and a selection of 3 salads ( potato, coleslaw and red cabbage was my choice), a rather nice pork tenderloin on a bed of creamed parsnip, lamb rosti and roasted cod cooked in exotic spices with rather disappointing bitter chocolate samosas to finish ( tip to chef - forget the fruit - anyone that goes for chocolate puddings ain't interested in healthy stuff) - and I've eaten more, and substantially better in the last 24 hours than I have in the preceeding 24 weeks.

And it doesn't stop there - tomorrow I get to play Santa to a number of lucky estate agents spread over the neighbouring counties - Friday I go out with work, and hope my prodigal comes good with her sofa - Saturday I recuperate - Sunday is set to be a Dating Site reunion, bacon butties for breakfast with Dynamo who I've been talking to for months and emailing daily, followed by lunch with Gordy, another friend from the early days that I've yet to meet in person.

Dinner party Monday - more estate agent Santa drops Tuesday - and then - da da dah!!!!..........
Blingington Fields for lunch on Wednesday - Elton was there recently, Madonna in the summer, me? about 4 years ago - and I had to pay that time too!

I'll be glad when Christmas comes at this rate and I can have a rest.

Tuesday, December 14, 2004

It appears that the lads had got their heads together and decided to have some fun whilst we grown-ups were out partying without them. I rolled home to find a rather affectionate and clearly pissed young man waiting to hug me. I sent him to bed and set about discovering the source of his sauce.

I knew there was nothing in my kitchen that could have caused that, but I did spot a can that clearly originated from his Grandad's stash in my bin - but what were all those pink splashes on the kitchen work surfaces? And would 1 can of extra-strength have made that much damage so quickly?

Clock the empty bottle on the side. The daft apeth had only downed the best part of a bottle of Angostura Bitters! At this rate he'll be tea-total by the time he's 16! Mixed it, albeit strongly, with a litre bottle of Coke. I couldn't wait for his hangover - and took great delight in warning him how poisonous AB can be when not diluted sufficiently.

Needless to say he was not looking too chirpy at the prospect of driving a forklift in a confined space next day. I could have offered him a lift, but he resolutely mounted his bike - maybe the work ethic has got through at some level. And he even tidied his bedroom when he got back! He must have been feeling poorly and in need of some TLC.

I administered aspirin with a short reprimand and a reminder where the cleaning cloth is kept - and then merrily sauntered onto my dating site. I was just picking up messages but all these people started to talk to me - I'm polite to a fault - know how hard it is to be rejected - although I draw the line at Morroco - not sure why, but I do. And before you knew it,I had a number of would-be suitors clamouring at my profile.

I could pretend I got overwhelmed and went to bed - but no - I stayed the course - not something one should ever do on a school night - but the result is another potential date.

Goodness me! Forget the cleaner, I need someone to sit on me at weekends and stop me doing daft things. But until they do, I'm on the up.

Saturday, December 11, 2004

I've managed to make it to the end of the week, just. I started sneezing on Wednesday night. By Thursday afternoon, after having been the only breakfast meeting member who had bothered to turn up with a guest ( I was expecting 3 but 2 obviously thought better of it), there was a steady drip off the end of my nose and the slightest hint of shivering.

I could have got miserable - but then Sophie dropped off a picture of me and Pixie Peter at the Ball the other week - and I sent it to a few people. Positive feedback is always lovely to receive. I took advantage and customized it for my online profile - which prompted more compliments - and what do you know, I'm feeling sassy again - still sniffling and sneezing, but definitely sassy.

Maybe not the best attitude to be in when picking an outfit for the rugby parents annual Christmas dinner - a modest affair at a local eat-all-you-can - I chose the bust-enhancing corset! My bust does not need enhancing. It barely needs an introduction.

I did manage to cause some hilarity to Randolph and Bully with an entirely innocent remark that I made - I won't repeat it - you had to be there. I laughed along as they went into ever more elaborate avenues and images - I saw it as my good deed for the day.

And now I'm home - wondering what to do with myself between now and Sunday's match - sleep? read? a combination of the two feels about right.

Wednesday, December 08, 2004

I spoke too soon about the my support staffs' taste. I turn my back for 5 minutes, whilst I gently cajole our fabulous office manager into bringing my sweet new team-member, Louise, a tower to attach to her monitor - and what do you know - she's trailing tinsel everywhere!!! The stylish red ascending-sized baubles have been replaced by trashy purple and silver foil snakes all over the mantel-piece, the desks, the door-frame - I came over all Marley as I prevented them going around the filing cabinets. I will not stretch forth over tinsel for anyone!

I hastily beat a retreat to Bar Humbug fromst whence I could be heard shrieking down the phone to our elusive Pimpernel of an excuse for an office manager to bring her something upon which to work, and quick, before I strangled her with Christmas Tinsel!

It worked - within minutes he was setting her up and I was enjoying a camomile tea in my stark stylish office with only a few scented candles, glossy bushy plants and a rather lovely family group of ornate indian silver elephants to distract me from the busy office next door.

I used the time well and completed all my tasks within a remarkably short period, even allowingmyself the opportunity to check my bank statement and work out a budget for the coming season. I now have a number of options.

1. Buy presents and cancel all the invites that I've rashly accepted and forego a washing machine until next Summer

2. Buy presents, accept all the invites, live like a recluse between Christmas and New Year and get a Washing machine next Autumn

3. Buy presents, cancel invites, buy washing machine and starve until the end of January.

4. Fuck the presents,cancel all social engagements between now and Easter 2005, buy washing machine and start New Year on an even keel.

5. Fuck the presents, fuck the washing machine and party like there was no tomorrow.

Answers on a postcard..........................

Tuesday, December 07, 2004

My secretaries had taken advantage of the fact that I was away on Friday and spent the time trimming their office up for Christmas. I have to say it was far more tastefully done than any of the other secretaries' rooms, with stylish baubles on the chimney breast, a rather nice swag down one pillar, and new gold decorations and lights on a not-too-large-or-straggly tree. They had sensibly steered clear of putting anything in my room - henceforth known as Bar Humbug!

I might reward their taste by taking in my Playmobil Advent Calendar - well Jack no longer appreciates it as it has no chocolate in it. And it's the only thing about Christmas that I like.

It's actually quite a shame that I'm not looking forward to the holidays this year, because my night out with the girls last week would have started it off just perfectly. Roger played Christmas Tunes when we got back, Chatsworth did look rather nice , as much as I hate to admit it, and then as I pulled up outside the house, after a long day or so, Father Christmas was driving past in his Bleaktown Lions' sponsored caravan, singing "ho! ho! ho!" and wishing goodwill on all children and sad single 30-somethings. For the first time in years the Christmas spirit is threatening to enter me, just as my son departs for climates warm. Perhaps there is a correlation.

Monday, December 06, 2004

Wow! Ain't nature brilliant! I have spent the entire afternoon in the company of hundreds of grey seal pups. I'm furious with my father for having deprived me of this amazing spectacle in my youth. I resolved not to make the same mistake with Jack and forced him to accompany me on a trip to Donna Nook.

How on earth I have lived to the great old age of 33 and not know that this miraculous breeding colony is thriving on my very doorstep, I do not know. It was just fantastic. Real live seals right next to us. Suckling, moulting, calling for dinner,one pair was even shagging. And everywhere the eye could see were more - hundreds upon hundreds of the cute furry things. 902 have been born on this beach since the end of October - and we saw most of them today.

I shall now consider it an annual event in my calendar. And recommend anyone to go. The Pork and Stuffing rolls in the car park afterwards are particularly worth the trip!

Saturday, December 04, 2004

Breakfast meeting went well. I was on time, my guest beat me, he seemed to fit in to the group and is coming back next week. Work was all completed punctually and with ease. And I was only half an hour later than my ETA for my dinner date with the girls - although I was still in my work suit and hadn't showered since 5.30am.

We had a lovely meal in a trendy restaurant, not sure what the staff made of our rather unusual topics of conversation but they seemed very pleased to have met us as we finally departed. Roger arrived home much earlier than expected and we then proceeded to put the world and the CSA to rights, only admiting defeat at about 5.30 this morning - that made it a 24 hour marathon for me.

That didn't prevent me from enjoying a very pleasant pilgrimage to Chatsworth with Lol today. It's a sure sign that I'm really not looking forward to Christmas as I didn't buy a single tree decoration. I did however have a bit of a splurge in the Farm Shop and treated myself to a biog of the Mitford girls.

I was shattered on the drive home and didn't accelerate above 60mph, but I did find enough fuel left in the tank to sit and have a cup of tea with Pat & Ron, Lol's parents. They always make me feel as if I've just had a really good massage. But now I will be sleeping for England for the rest of the weekend. Match is cancelled so it's just training on Sunday, and Kathryn left a message on my answerphone to say that she's moving in January so I might not have to spend Christmas all alone after all.

Thursday, December 02, 2004

Newton discovered the Principles of Gravity, Einstein the Law of Relativity, and I, too have stumbled upon another eternal truth - much akin to the rule that a woman's handbag will always have far too much in it, no matter what the size, and whatever she wants is always at the bottom - you will always achieve what needs to be achieved in a days work, no matter how long you have to do it in - we shall call it the Lawyer's Law for now.

I got to work at 10am - not that I'm taking advantage of the fact that I no longer work for a Time Nazi, just that I was enjoying a particularly good bit on Wogan and had to dance around the bedroom in my underwear rather than prepare for the day - that comes tomorrow. So the morning started off pretty good.

I then completed my entire day's post and answered all my calls and emails, took some new instructions from some old clients that popped in(old as in they have been with me for a long time - nothing to do with their retirement), saw a new client and cleared my desk by a little after 1.30pm - all manouevred around 2 power cuts in that time, when I could neither access my computer or dictate rapidly into my machine, and oversaw the installation of my latest assistant's new desk and paraphenalia, confirmed my guest for tomorrow, cancelled my bereavement client for tomorrow night ( forgot about the clash with the girls when I booked him), firmed up the date with the girls - and still got home in time to clean the kitchen, have a shower and wash my hair, cook pasta for Jack ( I ate some too - must keep up the energy levels), sort out the washing and ironing, pick Sunday's papers off the floor and put them (sans Crossword) in the paper bin and still leave on time to pick up Nemesis Nick.

I took the long route round to the venue due to an overturned lorry and arrived early, had coffee, and then enjoyed a couple of games of rugby - Jack had a few cracking tackles and now sports yet another scar in the head where he was stamped - he stupidly refuses my suggestions that he should wear a crash-helmet in the future but rather bemoans the fact that the scars are hidden underneath his hair and not where he'll get sympathy from the girls and the opportunity to bask in the glory from the boys!

Bully brought his very attractive and extremely personable new lady friend. I didn't have the opportunity to chat as much as I would have liked - to Bully's relief. But that does just leave me with the option of risking life and limb trying to get a spare bed at my old Biology teacher's house when we go out for our Christmas shindig- or driving! Neither are very appealling - but driving has the edge.