Category Archives: Discoveries

Cooking the books

Going to the libraryI must share with you something amazing! There is a place about a mile from where I live, and in exchange for your details you get a little plastic card, and with that card they let you walk out of the building with up to 24 books/talking CDs/DVDs for period of three weeks (or more). And you haven’t heard the best bit yet….

…it’s all for free!

I know!

Along with marmalade, Radio 2, and David Dimbleby, the library is by far one of my best re-discoveries, and I can’t believe that it has taken me so long to re-enter this magical literary emporium, albeit with a slightly misguided 70’s exterior. It brings back incredibly fond memories of being little and cuddling up with the giant crocodile in the corner of the children’s section, catching up on the latest adventures of Topsy and Tim, or finding a new ‘Judy Blume’ in my teenage years and giggling at the ‘rude bit’ which could be easily navigated by the most thumbed page.

My journey back hasn’t disappointed. The same musty smell fills the building, a combination of carpet tiles and decaying paper, and the same lady librarian with the bejewelled spectacles, and the nervous one who takes ages preparing the stamp. There are the same red edged shelves neatly marked with catalogue numbers, the same green and yellow draylon chair that we used to fight for possession of, being much comfier than any of the other plastic offerings, and I was heartened to find that even the old BBC computer still remained in the corner by the wonky blind on which to look up a required title.

This week is a slightly busy one and so I have been forced to limit my account to ‘Brilliant Business Plan’, ‘Bags, Bags, Bags’, ‘101 ways with felt’ and ‘The Grown Up Gap Year’, all of which are proving most inspirational, although I am still grappling with the notion of ‘fabric mixology’ in one of them. Liquid mixology on the other hand appears to be second nature, so I am encouraged that it will come in time.

Or maybe I could combine the two and write a book of my own…

Sweet dreams are made of this

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There is an unerring design – perhaps design fault – of my character that rejects reality on the basis that the worlds I can create in my head sometimes prove the most attractive places to be.

I did this a lot when I was younger. I used to have stacks and stacks of ‘Horse and Pony’ books by my bed and would fall asleep imagining that I had won a gymkhana on a grey pony named Strawberry. Later, when the realities of being a teenager didn’t turn out to be the ‘idealistic journey of self discovery and romance’ I had envisioned, I lived my life through programmes like Dawsons Creek (sad though that is) as a substitute to what I thought should really be going on in my life. Now, at the grand old age of 26, I still find myself escaping into fantasy land, although (apart from the odd ‘Creek’ boxset in my DVD pile) my methods of withdrawal have become a little more sophisticated, manifesting themselves currently as copies of ‘Ideal Home’ magazines and films/books about travelling.

I think it is testament to the addition of more good things to my daily itinerary that my desire to escape has progressively become reduced, and for this I am glad. There still are times though, normally as a result of some trivial personal mental crisis that I still drift off into the never never lands I can so easily create for myself – pretty much because no one can touch me there. This is my coping mechanism I guess, not a very helpful one in solving any problems I agree, but it’s a darn sight cheaper than vodka.

So where is this all leading? I think I have just realised for myself today that whereas there are dreams that you aspire to and work towards achieving, there are some that should be left untouched for the simple reason that sometimes you need a place to go when you are sad or lonely or if things just don’t seem to go your way. Even if it is just in your head.

I’m not sure why I’m telling you this to be perfectly honest, and I think it very unlikely that anyone will care about the erratic nature of my brain. For some reason though I just felt the need to share this weird realisation with someone other than the office pot plant (see below)…..

Plus with numerous tales of working and Planning and mental boredom recently, I kind of felt I owed it to you to say something a little bit different.

Pain in the tum

I woke up this morning quite uncomfortable and a little disgruntled that my body was misbehaving and stomach cramps seemed to have taken me over. It’s not often that my insides are disobedient so I always try to show some sympathy and pander to their every need as I am rendered largely useless without their proper functioning.

At 6:07 this morning I fed myself some pink gloopy syrup that promised on the bottle to sterilise, neutralise and revolutionise my digestive system, but 20 mins later I was still bent double. At 6:37 I drank a pint of water to see if that would do anything to relieve the situation, but sadly nothing came out of this apart from a brief disagreement with our tempremental Brita Water Filter , score Water Filter 1 – Amy 0. Having changed out of my newly rinsed clothing I got back into bed and tried to get comfortable. Luckily Neil is quite a heavy sleeper and after 2 accidental elbows in the chin, a kick on the knee and a minor headbutting incident, I felt the poor lad had suffered enough unconcious abuse, so I opted to drag the spare duvet out of the airing cupboard and set up camp on the sofa. Once here I switched on the TV and wriggled until the pangs of pain resonating from around my middle seemed to die down a little, and I couldn’t help but laugh at where I found myself.

Comfort for me this morning was draped over the back of the sofa, my elbows resting on the lower sofa cushions, the duvet tucked around me so I became the sausage in the roll, and my legs were suspended on a box containing the bed for our new guest room stored behind the sofa (awaiting erection). I stayed in this position for a full hour and a half until finally my midriff gave in to its conditioning and allowed me to get on with my day.

It’s funny what your body makes you do to comfort itself, and I often find myself in the most unlikely of positions in order to satisfy some part of me that is experiencing trouble. I just hope it doesn’t happen again anytime soon – the carpet has been ordered for the spare room and the bed box will be going soon. The only thing then left to prop me up on when in pain is the new tv – and where I can get away with the odd a.m. kick in the shin, I’m not sure that one would go unnoticed….

Spectacular

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I have been ‘HD ready’ for a while.

For about a year and a half in fact.

It was only until a couple of weeks ago however when I finally managed to book an appointment for an eye test that all became clear.

“Please read the letters on the board for me, right down to the lowest line you can manage”

“A….. is that an E?.. and an O?….I’m sorry that’s all I see”.

The nice optician lady handed me a card with some interesting looking numbers on it and asked me to bring in my old pair of glasses to compare prescriptions. From the look on her face when I handed back what had fondly become known as ‘my librarians’, it was clear that I was going to need to choose some new spectacles.

On Sunday I picked them up and ….wow.

It’s like opening the window for a couple of minutes to clear a misted bathroom mirror, it’s like the difference between VHS and DVD, it’s like finding the optimum focus on a zoom of a camera, like peeling back the protective layer on a pane of glass, like drawing a black line around otherwise anonymous shapes with a pencil, finally revealing their true identity.

I see the world now in HD and I like it.

Very much.

Dreaming and Rhyming

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Have you ever had a dream so real that you can pick flowers and smell them, read a letter and recognise the hand writing or even have conversations so vivid that you wake up to the hear the last words resounding in your ears?

I did…. and I do.

Regularly.

I have always been the owner of a slightly overactive imagination, but lately it appears to be working overtime and mostly during my hours asleep. Whereas this doesn’t normally bother me – especially when unconsciousness places me in an exotic location or in the arms of Jude Law – but for the past week I have been experiencing the most disturbed sleep where often it has been necessary to wake me up. Indeed, in my torpid state I appear to have experienced the whole spectrum of human emotion over the course of 4 nights, from the most blissful euphoria to the most heart shattering depths of sadness, a feeling that stayed with me for the duration of the next day.

Whereas I have never been so encapsulated by the joy I experienced in these dreams, or so frightened by something that I myself had created, now that I seem back on track with a more restful sleep pattern – I can’t help but be fascinated by what my brain managed construct without my conscious authority.

In fact it has left me feeling all the more respectful of my body in general which manages not only its day to day maintenance without any personal thought required, can repair itself when I am careless enough to injure it, but effectively co-ordinates all of its different parts so that I am able to run, jump, laugh, cry, talk and play at will.

I need to look after it. It’s only fair really.

It does such a good job of looking after me.

Anyway – on a more light hearted note, I thought I’d share with you the fruits of almost a fortnights worth of e-mail literary creativeness that myself and Paul (house mate at university and treasured friend) have produced in the duller moments of our working day. Amongst the games of eye spy (played with more than 70 miles in between us), jokes, plot lines for ’24’, great adventures to all four corners of the earth, I have chosen to post the lyrical goodness of our ‘lymeric game’. The rules were simple – take it in turns to write the beginning of a rhyme and the other person would do their best to complete it. Here are few we came up with:

There was a big penguin called Doug,

Who, if honest, was a bit of a thug,

One day with his flipper,

He caught a big kipper,

And beat it to death with a rug.

———————————————–

There once was a gerbil called Frank,

Who one day escaped from his tank,

After drinking some tea,

He was desperate to pee,

And the smell was decidedly rank.

———————————————

There was a young duck called Pete,

Who did not have webbed like feet,

Instead he had toes,

And was thus asked to pose,

As a celebrity on the cover of ‘Heat’.

————————————–

There was a young woman from Slough,

Who ate a midget but didn’t know how.

She soon came to reason,

The midget was teasin’

And was actually the size of a cow.

—————————————-

There was a young girl from Bahrain,

Who had a mishap on a train,

Her skirts got all sticky,

And as she was picky,

She didn’t sniff UHU again.

————————————–

There once was a tiger called Mike,

Who one day decided to hike,

But along the way,

He met a Tigress called Faye,

Who overtook him quite fast on her bike.

—————————————————

Anyone up for joining in? Here’s one to finish – and if you fancy dropping it in my comment box sometime – I’d love it!

There was once an elephant called Ted,

who went for a cruise round the Med,

It was somewhere in Crete,…….

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