Monthly Archives: December 2010

Beams with pride and satisfaction

For, after a serious attack of sleeplessness, the main mission of the day has been accomplished.

With the aid of the Sale, some Christmas money, and a bit of willingness to be unfussed about the colour I got, (midnight blue for the curious!) I am now the content owner of a new laptop which has what I wanted, and cost less than I’d budgeted.  And, I have set it up all by myself.  Though, I think the change over of internet browser may be happening soon, I’m not liking the one that’s come with the computer (and it’s not IE!).

Now about those 5000 or so words….?


No, not a finally moment for this blog. Blogging is not about to cease! You may rejoice or groan, as the moment takes you.

A “Finally I’ve stopped feeling totally exhausted, wiped out, tearful, cross-patchety, anti-social and might enjoy the last few days of the holidays now” moment… in which I am rejoicing.

Except – I’ve got to be very brave and go and buy a new computer tomorrow, and write 5,000 or so words before Tuesday. I’m far more confident about the latter than the former, as I’ve got most of the words in draft form, and know my subject, so it won’t take long once the motivation kicks in. If it hasn’t kicked in by tomorrow afternoon, I’m just going to have to kick it instead. Very, very hard – with the steel toe cap boots.

I’m marginally (well, OK – extremely) annoyed at the demise of my former computer, as it was not that old, and I had other plans for my Christmas and holiday pay money – and until I know the answers to the questions raised by work just before Christmas, it might have been more prudent to hang on to this money. Especially since my utilities provider has announced their price increases, and the train fares are going up by a shocking amount.  (Also, if the answer to my Very Important Question is the one I suspect it will be, then I won’t be accepting the suggested change at work, as I won’t be able to afford to.)

But, I do use the computer a lot for loads of different reasons, and it certainly is not a luxury item in my world. I’ve managed for the last few weeks, but not well!! (And the 5000 words would’ve been in better shape if I’d been able to work at home.)

On a different “Finally” – I was able to get out of the house today wearing my trainers, and not my boots, as the snow has all vanished.


Nothing like a good  cleaning session and clear out to sooth the Japes’ soul when all around is seemingly about to implode! I think it’s something to do with the fact I can’t do anything about that for another fortnight, so rather than worry, taking my mind off it with an early spring clean seems to be the way out of the despondency that had settled in for the duration.

Though, I am noting that a really thorough sort out and cleaning of the Japes’ domain is taking nowhere near as long as it used to – yet I am sure I am spending far less time on matters domestic than I have previously done in the past. I am doing very little work from home now, so whilst I still have some, the paraphernalia surrounding that work has all gone. Well, apart from a couple of boxes of bits and pieces – and it’s easily contained, unlike times of yore when hours could be spent puzzling over just how it was all going to fit in my room out of other people’s way.

This, of course, could be part of it! It’s all less of a burden than it used to be for lots of other reasons, now I think about it.  No more fitting in around other people’s ideas of how cleaning (or other matters domestic) should be done, when it should be done, and what should be done. I tend to do a job when I see it needs doing now,  and seem to keep on top of the day to day stuff without too much stress.

I’m also no longer hoarding things on a “This will come in handy,  for someone, one day” basis.  The last two pairs of jeans I’ve been keeping for years on the grounds I will fit into them one day have just been brought into use, as has the last lot of toiletries. (You have no idea how chuffed I am about the jeans!!) A large bag of bits and pieces for the charity shop is sitting awaiting my next wander up to the shops. As is a bag of clothes for recycling. (Yep, all too big!!)

Mind you, I do still have to be brave, sometime, and ditch the cassettes and videos….

Pascal’s Law, problems and ponderings

If I didn’t understand Pascal’s Law before, I most certainly do now.  From nursing frozen pipes, I’ve now turned into a mopper up of water from, until now, unsuspected leaks in the utility room/lean-to roof. Still, the condensate pipe did not freeze up over Christmas, and the one pipe that did freeze unfroze pretty quickly and wasn’t an essential pipe. I was going to have a grand housework day, but I’ll wait until things are less soggy! It’s still all far less soggy than last year’s dramatic terminal explosion of the boiler, though. And, I am cautiously checking the state of the (now becoming less numerous) icicles at regular intervals!

Looking back over this blog, my journal, and other blogging endeavours, I don’t think I’ve had trouble-free Christmas for more years than I want to think about. For the last two years have had

  • serious work related issues rumbling in the background
  • house maintenance issues, (um, me reaping the results of minimal maintenance for far too long prior to me living here – I am, apparently, a tolerant and model tenant, but I’m not entirely sure how much longer my tolerance is going to last!)
  • an on-going church related issue (can’t live with it, but can’t live without it either, it would seem.)

Included in the last few years have been

  • illness
  • sheer exhaustion from overwork on the church front, (though this year was the first time for many I’ve not been playing for church services or carol singing/playing)
  • this year – sheer exhaustion, full-stop!
  • life changing stuff

I’m not someone with huge expectations of Christmas, either. I have lived with others with such expectations, and as a result have enjoyed the lack of them these last two years on my own. Certainly, I’ve enjoyed eating food I’ve wanted to eat, not that which has been forced on me because it’s traditional. Explaining to one of my students, who has been very worried about what a vegetarian who is also allergic to alcohol does in the way of having a “proper” Christmas, food and drink-wise, has been one of the mini-themes of life for a few weeks. I’ve also enjoyed the solitude, even if it seems to have worried a good number of people that I’m isolating myself unnecessarily. (Actually, folks, if you want me to be functioning in my main job from 4th January, I desperately need the mental and emotional space. Plus more sleep.)

Thing is, this big life changing stuff has taken it all out of me far, far more than I’ve been prepared to admit until now, and my capacity for many things just isn’t what it once was, mostly because almost all my emotional energy is spent in ways I wasn’t expecting. Annoying really, because in many ways, until the summer, it looked as if I was managing the changes remarkably smoothly. So, no, I don’t have the energy to maintain relationships and friendships that have long been dependent on me being the lively, cheerful, reliably supportive person others have come to know – that side of me is still there, just in hibernation for most of the time.  I haven’t the energy to establish new friendships, either.

And, um, actually, the least helpful folk are those who all have suggestions for how I could be regaining that energy –

  • “You need Christian fellowship” yes, I’m aware of that. Unfortunately, I’m a bit emotionally battered by the experiences of living in a Christian environment over the last 20 or so years, and am adjusting to living differently. As a result I am deeply wary and suspicious of it all at the moment. I’m not really up for being someone’s pet rehabilitation project, or being gossiped about (all for prayer, of course) or being made to feel guilty that I’m not using all my gifts and talents to their fullest extent in the service of the church at the moment.  Or being made to feel guilty that my ability to be sociable seems to have shrunk to virtually nil. The best I can manage is getting myself to church for the service, hoping I don’t spend it in floods of tears, and escaping rapidly.  God understands, I hope.
  • “You need friends”. I do. Oh, I do. However, the aforementioned ability to cry easily, a hitherto unsuspected gift and talent, has been blossoming of late, and I see no reason to inflict it all on people I don’t really know and unfortunately my best friends all live too far away.
  • “You need to…. “Well, there’s a never ending list of all the things various well-meaning people seem to think I need to do. Some of which I agree with, and others, quite frankly, I do not. I do need to live closer to my work place, or change my job. (After the shocker of just before Christmas, that may well be on the cards sooner rather than later.) I do need to finish this qualification I’m working on, despite my suspicions it’s not really worth doing. I do need a better balance of work/social life.

Somewhere, somehow, just taking tiny baby steps, it will work out – in God’s time.

Panic mostly subsided.

I’m now in possession of almost all the facts.  The rest will be vouchsafed to me when everyone else returns from holiday, a whole week after me!!

It’s mostly good, but I need clarity before I can declare it will really work without me having to seek alternative/additional employment.

So, I’m declaring that the only thing I will worry about for the next ten days is the state of my outside pipes.  Oh, and a new computer.

Trying not to panic

and failing miserably.

Today’s phone call has left me stuck between several rocks and numerous hard places.

Which, I really and truly wasn’t expecting.

Time for yet another re-think.

And there were no Pringles left in the supermarket.

Blinks – yes, it’s still here!!


Well, what with the computer crisis (have a borrowed one for the holidays) and the continuing saga of the frozen pipes (though not a patch on the dramas of JtL’s burst pipe crisis) and the impending Assignments Deadline Crisis (again, nothing on a thesis crisis, but still it’s been a long time since I’ve had to write 5000 words for assessing…) and the Weather, and the Season, this poor little blog has been sorely neglected.

Here’s hoping that once I’ve slept, written the Christmas Cards, glared at the Weather, and done the laundry, a writing muse will descend again. For much has happened, and there may be more to tell…