I was just stretching luxuriously in bed, thinking I would get up in a moment or two since I was feeling so uncommonly refreshed, when The General told me it was 1 am.

He then promptly went back to sleep.

After trying everything I could (and feeling guilty for disturbing the cat, who was cuddling with me in a perfect donut-shape) I decided to get up and try to make the best use of the time, safe in the knowledge that  I would be wrecked by lunchtime and feeling/looking like a zombie.

Creeping about an old house without making a sound is an art form and I zig-zagged my way down the hardwood stairs, with Dresden following dutifully behind (I never realized that cats do actually frown) and then, once installed on the main floor, I decided to bake the cake for my niece’s birthday this week. After a while, the cat decided it was obviously just a really, really early start to the day and demanded breakfast (kedgeree, broiled kidneys, lightly coddled eggs but settled for FancyFeast in the end) before trying to make his usual routine fit, which to be honest, is just a quick wash and then more sleep, although at least he wanted to be in the same room as me.

And I appreciate that support. Continue reading

Time’s Actually Not on my Side





It’s nearly the middle of April and I am desperate, desperate for spring. I pace around the house looking at projects I want to get going on, corners I would like to scrub out with a toothbrush (yes, it’s come to this!) and the Pantry-of-Shame which is overflowing with partially full boxes of crackers, raisins from seven years ago and an unattractive waterfall of plastic bags. Every time I open the door I am ashamed and antsy to tackle it but when the weekend unfurls and time presents itself, I become strangely busy with other things and cannot bear the thought of committing an entire day to those little screws of paper with three pieces of macaroni in each one, gack …

I’m also watching the same pattern of promising myself, really hard, oath-taking promises here to do something (exercise; eat better; clean out the effing pantry) and then I watch myself not following-up.

This is not like me to procrastinate like this (or, is it) and I’ve become extremely frustrated with myself. Continue reading

Top Ten Things I Should Not Do – But Do Anyway




1. Look at my reflection in a shiny saucepan lid as I hang over it for the full, concave-aging effect
2. Capture the image on my phone so that I can check periodically to see if it was as upsetting as I originally thought (Note: It is).
3. Try on and impulsively buy slim and sexy pumps which are marginally uncomfortable in the store. Never wear them but feel fleetingly like Carrie Bradshaw.
4. Unable to stave off a craving for thin tubular macaroni I eat the entire box complete with dreadful, white powdered cheeze [sic] and then watch in fascinated horror as my waist becomes a personal floatation device.
5. Judiciously wait for items to go on sale and then – when on sale – falter till item is sold out. Repeat.
6. Indulge in Litter-Box Roulette, hoping that I may have one more day before cleaning the box. The Siamese however, have a low tolerance for gambling.
7. Go to health food store for advice on vitamins in an attempt for better health and vitality. Spend way more than I should and then, after consulting the internet feel completely freaked out with the many cautions listed and the fact that my fish oils may be from non-Scandinavian livers.
8. Knowing that a deadline is near I distract myself with mindless internet searches such as learning how to make my own soap from violets or wondering if Airbnb has reached the Hebrides.
9. Meticulously clean out the drawer in my kitchen that contains strange, unrelated items such as lone souvenir key rings, abandoned nail polish and expired batteries. Weeks later, I slide a hammer and some loose change in just as company is coming and hate myself for both perpetuating the cycle AND noticing it.
10. We all know people who invite us out for “a quick drink” after work and we understand that accepting this invitation will mean anything but. There will be many drinks; in fact, we will not be home for dinner. Within 90 minutes of the invitation, we may well be eating a basket of something deep fried and sincerely unwholesome. The following morning, I will have many regrets and thanks to 3400 units of sodium, a face like a bath mat.