Thursday, 30 December 2010


Work on Wednesday - one lone day in the middle of the week to meet a 31/12/2010 deadline. After the work was done I took the bus over to seething mass that Oxford Street has been for weeks. I've been looking for a new pair of glasses, popped into the Alain Mikli shop at the bottom of Regent Street.

Shoppers are hitting the shops, as are the tourists. Swarming along the pavements, packed into buses,  jostling around the stock searching for a bargain - shoes, clothes, electricals. Where people find the cash... The desperation of it all makes shopping an agony. I still haven't found a frame I am keen enough on to spend the arm and leg they cost - I like a slightly quirky frame. My favourite ones are from a couple of years ago and I still like them the best but I've had them reglazed 3 times now and they are terribly scratched again. I've found good shapes but the wrong colours, or good colours but the wrong shape.

Tuesday, 28 December 2010

Season to be Jolly

On the eve of Christmas Eve we were shopping in Edmonton Tescos. They had run out of brussel sprouts and I was told if I had wanted them I should have been shopping two days ago (not so much of a bad thing for me but terrible for some of my Christmas guests - they were texted and told of the situation, five minutes later they called to say they had some). Shortly after this a fight broke out between some customers. Lots of shouting and a massive crowd. Eventually someone came on the tannoy and asked customers and staff to move away from the entrance.

Two geese cooked for dinner, stuffed with a highland stuffing with the addition of two chopped bramley apples and a chopped quince. Apparently delicious (being a vegetarian I didn't eat any of it). Two full jars of goose fat drained off and given to the meat eaters for roasting other things later. Dinner was great, company was great. Played games.

Hoping you all had a great time, whatever you did.

Tuesday, 21 December 2010


Snow reflecting moonlight bright like day. The clouds are white, one section of blueish light towards the horizon. Moonshadows fall across the sparkling ground. The sound of melting - water slowly dripping, ice losing its grip and falling, crunching. Tomorrow much of the precarious balancing stacks will have fallen from the branches and shrubbery will be green and brown again. Spells the end of the magic.

Monday, 20 December 2010

Winter draws in

I've been to Beckton to pick up a parcel - 1. its far away (all the way to Stratford and beyond, bus to Asda, across the street to a shopping arena and round the back of some factories to the depot of the postal carrier), 2. its a dump, 3. when I got the parcel back the goods were damaged and I had to send them back.

Someone at Bruce Grove tried a cashpoint scam on me that didn't work. Beware the helpful passer by telling you the machine is swallowing cards while pressing cancel button (without you noticing) - you leave to go into the bank to complain, he draws out the money. It didn't work but it left a bad taste in my mouth. Hate it when people try to rip me off.

Its been snowing - the streets are lined with exactly the right snow to muffle the sound of the world around us and heighten the crunch under foot. Snowmen appearing on every street corner and all over the parks. Sis in Dundee has been trying to get a snow shovel for a couple of weeks now - they are all sold out...

Got a tree, half decorated it, its the last few days before getting a break and I can't wait. Made mince pies, and marzipan for the cake. Sent the gifts to Scotland, maybe not in time to get there for christmas itself.

Monday, 6 December 2010

December evenings

It's 530 but feels later. Misty. Like fireworks night is supposed to be. Sort of frosty mist - great for eating potatoes baked around a bonfire in tinfoil and being warm on one side (hot face) and freezing on the back. Someone came back from a trip to America and brought mini hershie bars (not sure of the spelling, is it 'y', 'ey', dunno) and bitesized peanut butter cups. Blast from the past. Nanny used to send us parcels with these and hershies kisses and red hot gum. Quite unlike anything we had here at the time. I remember these space fillers more than the actual gifts - I think there were nighties with yolks and high necks made of highly electrostatic material or t-shirts for the Oklahoma 49ers. The parcel always came a bit before Christmas and we would open when it arrived rather than waiting. Treat.

Friday, 3 December 2010

Snowy Scene

London snow - not like the Dundee snow (sis says its sometimes up to their knees, theres a foot of snow sitting on top of her outside bin, she has had to knock the icicles off their roof before they injure someone, push and dig a car out of her road along with 5 neighbours, and push an ikea delivery van out of the road - they live at the top of a steep hill and have been snowed in for a week now) - its a sprinkling in comparison and while we haven't been snowed in it has caused some travel chaos.

Wednesday, 1 December 2010

Court Room Drama

We had to go to court this week for reasons I'm not going to explain. I had to do a witness statement and therefore was called to be available to the court in case I had to answer questions on it. I imagined being cross examined by a rabid counsel for the defence and cracking under the questionning. Glad to say life is not like in the movies.

There were barristers in cloaks with funny bits hanging off the back (apparently for attracting their attention from behind by tugging on it... not sure I believed this explanation except it was given by a person with a humour by-pass) and wigs that looked like they were slightly balding. There was a judge sitting high up on a red leather chair, wearing purple, not making much eye contact. There was verbal ping pong between the barristers (my learned friend) and the judge (your honor). And a listings manager or clerk or something who was like a bouncer who liked talking in a booming voice (top of the stairs announcing the court number to the waiting room), All Rise when the judge went in and out of the room. Eventually when the barristers were conflabbing and the judge was out for a while he came through the court and said we all looked like we were waiting for the film to start, next time through he called out ice creams ice creams.

And the outcome wasn't exactly favourable and will be drawn out for potentially another year.