Monthly Archives: April 2011

No Messing About

I may be one of the world’s chief procrastinators, but when action mode is activated, stuff gets done and leaves me wondering why I can’t be like that more often…. (I know full why why I’m not, I need a week to recover from these overly energetic phases, and if they last too long, those who know me well are prone to lectures on doing too much, learning to say “No” etc.)

All I did was go to book an appointment and an hour later came out having had my eyes tested, and new glasses purchased. This is a epoch making moment in the world of Japes’ eyesight, as varifocal lenses have been prescribed, as opposed to the usual single vision lenses.  Whilst I’m not entirely convinced by the idea of varifocals, given that I’m accustomed to wearing glasses all the time, it seemed worth trying rather than the different glasses for distance/reading glasses. I’m aware it make take time to adjust, but like the kind man said, “Go into it with a positive attitude, and that makes all the difference.”.

I was fascinated by the digital machine used to check which prescriptions I would need. This was a first. Ever since corrective surgery, aged 6, I have been well accustomed to the world of sight checks, and co-operating with the requests of opticians peering into my eyes. I am still occasionally disappointed that I no longer have to put birds in cages ( a visual exercise) and continue to warn opticians I might memorise lines of letters ( I liked getting the right answers. Aged 6/7, it seemed to me very sensible to memorise the letters when I could see them, then I’d be right when I couldn’t, and the very nice person playing this game with me would be pleased…..oh, the telling off I got when that little game was discovered!).

I  am sure the adventures of Japes and her new glasses will be recorded, in due course.

This bit of No Messing About extremely successfully achieved, this focused my mind on the next bit of No Messing About.  Birthday money – and not spending all of it useful items. As I’d seen trailers for the last of the Harry Potter films, it occurred to me seeing that seeing the one I’d not seen in the cinema would be a good idea. Indeed it was a good idea. I did purchase some more work T-shirts as well, this will be most useful as ironing them can then take place on a fortnightly, rather than every 8 working days, basis.

Then, as a result of Wedding Watching, and taking careful note of the music therein, I have purchased “Crown Imperial” for learning purposes. I have no doubt this will feature in potential upcoming nuptials at which I am required to play the organ.

The final bit of No Messing About involves the laundry. Both lots for the day out on the line, Ironing will take place later…

Now, in honour of the Real Wedding of the Year as well as ceasing all this activity, I am going to have the most enormous slice of cake, and cream scones.

Project Front Door

Having spent yesterday sanding the front door, today is varnishing day. And, so far, so good… One minor incident with a small splodge on the carpet, which has been removed successfully.

So, as  I am currently waiting out the requisite 4 hours between coats, and not wishing to move out of the front room whilst the front door is open, (no hallway in this house, just straight into the front room!) a little quiet catch up on writing tasks seems in order. I had been hoping to get away with not doing the inside of the door, but having inspected it closely, that’s not a goer. Most of the inside is OK, but some parts are definitely in need of re-varnishing. However, I refuse to spend the whole of my break on DIY, and will save that for the next one, or a sunny Saturday. It’s certainly less important than doing the outside, which has been on the To-Do list ever since I moved in.

The whole house does feel most thoroughly aired now!!

In other thoughts – it was a good Holy Week and Easter. Much more joyful on Easter Day this year, and a definite feeling of having moved on from the almost permanent doldrums of the last 18 months or so. Still not wanting to be “involved” in anything, other than to be there… but, this is how it needs to be for now, and with that I am content. When the time to do anything comes, it’ll be fine.

I’m slowly getting to grips with other stuff of life as well, and that’s good too. I was invited out for lunch on Easter Day, accepted, and went. That may not sound a big deal, but at the moment , to me, socialising is not at all easy, and extremely hard work. This has been the case  for quite some time now and, I am hoping, something that will begin to ease more as time goes on. For most of my life, I’ve enjoyed time with friends, and this very solitary period has not been in character, at all.

And… the four hours are up!


I’ve been most traditional these last few days.

In that Saturday was spent spring cleaning the house from top to bottom, today has mostly been spent on a DIY task (which might have made a bit of a mockery of the spring clean, apart from the fact I realised this was going to happen, and only gave the sitting room a quick lick and a promise, so to speak! It will get it’s end of term mammoth clean another day this week, when the varnishing is finished.)  and listening to the Classic FM annual count down of the nations favourite pieces.

Then, I had a moment of wondering about those pieces… and did a quick analysis.

  • Can play (on piano, clarinet or organ) 17 of them! In the case of the two organ pieces, I’d need a bit of time to get back into practice again, and I’d not want to play some of them without a bit of notice.. but play them I can or could!
  • Have sung, as part of a choir, 9 of them.
  • Have played in the orchestra for 7 of them.
  • Have played arrangements of parts of an awful lot of them on piano, clarinet and in orchestras. (I lost count at 30.)
  • Have studied 10 of them for O or A Level or first degree level.
  • Squinted at 5 of them and thought “Never heard of that one!”
  • Muttered darkly at the few pieces I dislike. Surprisingly few, even Beethoven’s Violin Concerto seems to have grown on me over the years. Though, sadly Mozart’s Clarinet Concerto has to be turned off these days if it’s the slow movement. not because I hate it, but because it’s so overplayed and I don’t want to hate it.
  • Would love to be able to play a good number of the concerti. (If I ever learn another instrument, it would be the cello, for the Dvorak Cello Concerto.)

I was traditional about a few other things since Maundy Thursday as well, but that’s for another day.

All good things

come, eventually, to those who wait!

So, it has finally come to pass that the holidays are upon me. No need to get up at silly-thirty o’clock tomorrow, no need to do battle with the railways for a whole twelve days. No need to think about being organised, or lunches, or anything other than my own life for a few days.

Mind you, the commute home was really rather ridiculous! I arrived at the station to find the train I was hoping to catch home had been cancelled, as had trains in the opposite direction, and the ominous sight of coaches sitting outside the station. The nice station staff (who know me) looked sorrowful, and pronounced my fate, without me even having to ask… the two sides of a triangle route home for me, the one that involves the only once an hour train  with only one carriage. “You might as well go and have a cup of coffee whilst you’re waiting” the nicest of them advised.

Luckily, a large supermarket is next to the station, so I toddled off there to get some bits and pieces, and arrived back to the miracle of A Train going on the direct route. It had obviously been a bad afternoon, as this was a Special Service, to get passengers from The City Where I Live, to The Town Where I Work. The plan being to get those passengers onto the buses, to The City Where I Used to Live, and to collect passengers to take them back to The City Where I Live. So, Hooray… I did not have to do the two sides of a triangle route after all, and actually got the whole of the Quiet Carriage to myself all the way home to The City Where I Live.

I am so looking forwards to a few lazy days…

An Awkward, In-between Weekend.

In that term has ended, but I still have to go in for three days before my holidays start….

So, I’m sort of demob happy, but not quite.

It’s been One Of Those Weeks. Partly due to me being really, really tired, and not up for being the calm, patient, cope with anything persona who normally inhabits my working world. Still, we have all reached the end of the term in one piece, more or less. Some good work has been done, as well, along with some steep learning curves.

All in one piece apart from my knee, which is currently causing me angst, and pain. I’ll do the exercises that help, and see how it is after a couple of weeks of not lugging around a heavy work bag, and standing on concrete floors for hours…. I think the battle for space to keep stuff at work is about to begin again. I need to have my boots and overalls available at work all the time, (I may not need them according to my timetable for the day, but I may be asked to cover sessions where I do need them) my paper work load is huge, I’m a walking stationery store (according to groups PVE3,  MC, BP and VRM!) and I need my lunch and snacks. Oh, and the travel mug and coffee. There just is nowhere to keep any of it, except with me. Those with cars store most of their extraneous stuff in their vehicles, I travel to work by train and walking!!

Then there has been the Sibling Situation, which accounted for a fair amount of the extra tiredness. I’m getting quite exasperated at the deeply mixed messages, and the “I’m only joking, you should know that” response, when I challenge her on some inappropriate remarks. Ah well, that’s unlikely to change, so I’ve had my say, reminded her we have different senses of humour, and hopefully that’ll be that until the next time. For, there will be a next time!

Still, I have some lovely books to read, no need to venture out to shops today, the sun is shining, and the chores are done. I think I shall just gently ease into holiday mode now, even though I’m not really officially there, yet.


My brain seems to be well and truly scattered at the moment, along with possessions, (all retrieved now).

I am in desperate need of the twelve days holiday, but I do not finish work until 20th April. Which is a long, long, long time away. OK, it’s not. It’s 8 working days, but in what feels like a monumentally long term that should have finished by now, 8 days is a long, long, long time.

Still, washing is about to go on the line for the first time this year, there are no urgent chores to be done, the necessary ones have been done, (apart from a little light shopping) and All Is Basically Well.

“Now is the acceptable time…”

For it would seem God peeked out at me from behind the city centre evangelist, and made me take notice.

The poor lad – he was on his soap box, proclaiming in the dullest tone of voice “Now is the acceptable time, now is the day of our salvation” . I was so tempted to go and say , “Put a bit of life into it! If Jesus means so much to you, can’t you sound like you really mean it, not as if you’re reciting a shopping list?” when I giggled, and then  realised everything God and church related within me was really just dormant, waiting for me to be ready.

Definitely not dead and definitely not to be given up on.

That back corner is definitely due to be vacated! Here’s hoping I make it out this time….