Thursday, 18 February 2010

Pregnant Pause

Thursday 18th Feb.

Sorry for my silence lately, I realise that I am now at least 25 days behind in the 100 Day Project, and I am soon to add several more days to that number. This has been a hectic couple of months, finishing off Ember's 5th album, planning and organising our 10 Year Celebration concerts, and generally trying to tie up loose ends before we take a long break from playing together at the end of the month. We're excited about moving on to other projects, but I expect we'll be doing some grieving too, once the reality sinks in.

This morning I am preparing to leave home for our last UK tourette - taking in Burnham-on-Sea, Camden, Cambridge and Hitchin over this weekend, and then we have two final gigs in Holland on the 27th and 28th. It's impossible find time and internet access to update the blog when we are away, so I am resigning myself to catching up in March, hope that's OK with you! :)

There is another exciting development which has been partially responsible for the pregnant pause, which is just that - Phil and I are 14 weeks pregnant and have been given a due date of 16th August. So a new life beckons, in more ways than one! :) I've been thinking (and worrying!) about the blogging (and all of the catching up I might have to do!) and have realised that this 100 Day Project has fitted almost exactly with my pregnancy - no wonder I quickly developed an obsession with de-cluttering - isn't it all about nesting, somehow? The early exhaustion makes sense too, no wonder Christmas was so draining... We are both really happy (and nervous!), and hoping that it all goes smoothly.

Well, I shall be back at home next week, but won't promise anything, but you never know, I may surprise myself. Early March (once I return from Holland) will see me with more time, and that's when I hope to catch up properly.

Bye for now.

Thursday, 4 February 2010

Lovely Surprise, and A Helpful List

Day Sixty Three.

Ooh, what a lovely surprise! This morning I received an envelope packed with loveliness from the Heartful Blogger - featuring two of her handpainted luggage tags (great bookmarks) and one of her very own postcards, which depicted some more beautiful converse boots! It made me so happy! :D It was strange too, strange to go from following a blog online and enjoying Tammy's drawings and paintings on the screen of my laptop - to having said artworks in my hands! I found that the pieces were even more impressive when I could study them in closer detail... It was very much an inspiring experience. Thanks, Tammy, I love them!

Bec and I spent the afternoon sorting out the logistics for our '10 Years of Ember' Celebration concert in the Plas, Machynlleth, on 12th February. It's amazing how much organisation is involved in one little night of music, and doing the organising has helped us to appreciate the work of all of the people who arrange gigs for us all over the country. I suppose that the more often you do it, the less stressing and planning you need to do, but still - it's a lot of work!

We made a great big list of what we'd need to do in advance, and what we'd need to do (and when) on the day. Thank goodness we have some kind friends to help out - it would be a nightmare if it were down to the pair of us! The master list was divided up between us, so now neither of us needs to worry, we just need to get OUR stuff done! Even though there is still a lot of work to do, mostly it's been broken into bite-sized pieces, so there's no need to panic.


Wednesday, 3 February 2010

My Beautiful Laundrette

Day Sixty Two.

Yes, since the washing machine broke down sometime in October last year, I've been a regular at the laundrette. When I say regular, I mean I've been twice, before that I was able to use my mum's machine. So this was my second visit, and even though it's literally around the corner from the house, there's something retro and exotic about the experience. You take one look at those rows of sleek, stainless steel, regimented machines, and you know they mean business. Accepting loads of 7kg, 10kg, and 16kg, these are the hardcore washing machines you've only dreamed of... until now.

I carry two giant bags full of dirty things - from sheets to socks, jackets to jock-straps. No, not really, that wouldn't be right. I'm just getting caught up in the retro-tastic nostalgia induced by those soapy smells and swishing sounds. I squeeze everything into two machines - two 16kg machines would have been perfect, but only one is working, so I have to make do with one 16kg and one 10kg. Being inexperienced, I must study the instructions fully in order to be sure that all will go to plan. I feed in the pound coins: £4 and £3, and the churning begins. The display tells me that the cycle will be over in 27 minutes - that seems rather brief! - so I return home until the job is done, wishing I could just sit in the laundrette reading a book or writing a short story...

Yes, I almost start to wish that I lived further away, so that I would have the excuse to sit and soak up this atmosphere of cleanliness and pure function...

Later I retrieve the stupidly heavy bags of wet clothes, and hang them EVERYWHERE about the house. Phil lights the fire so that our bathroom radiators will also become warm, and he hangs socks and pants on the rails.

The house is now filled with the smell of clean clothes, and the promise of presentability, and the assurance of an essential job completed...

Tuesday, 2 February 2010

Tea and Coffee and Cake

Day Sixty One.

Spent the day NOT thinking about smoking! Horray! And if I DID find myself thinking about it, I made sure I distracted myself. It's not being too much of a problem.

Our tenant and good friend Christian moved out yesterday, so we now have the house to ourselves. Our plan is to up the gear in terms of getting the house ready for market, but first we needed to reclaim the space a bit, and make it our own again. I had been itching for some time to sort out the wooden shelves on top of the work-surface, and today I was able to clean and organise them. Before:

The shelves house the teas and coffees, as well as the bread and cakes (!) - and are conveniently located next to the kettle and toaster. After:

I've got this idea though, whereby I'd like to start putting out some of the jars we need to use up - and the top shelf would be ideal. Realistically though, are we really going to go to the shelf first (to see if we want to use anything up) before going to the cupboard to get the specific thing we have in mind to eat? I'm not sure. I might try it, even if it doesn't work, it might at least remind Phil of some of the contents of the darker corners of the cupboards...

Properly Stopping Smoking

Day Sixty.

The CBT book didn't work for me, mostly because it relied upon you smoking at least twenty fags a day, and reducing that number by half or two-thirds on each consecutive day. I was smoking about three rollies daily, and managed to double that to six on that first day as the book kept on insisting that I smoked whenever I wanted to. So if (for example) you smoke six cigarettes on day one, four on day two, three on day three, two on the fourth day and one on the fifth, you've really had hardly any chance to learn the first programme, let alone the second and third, etc.! So I ended up feeling rather like I was going through the motions, but without really achieving anything. After the third day it tailed off, and I carried on smoking about three rollies a day.

Well, I've given up many times before, as I explained in that earlier post, so I spoke with Phil and we agreed Monday 1st Feb - today - would be the day we would both just stopped smoking.

So that's what we've done. It's easier for me, I'm sure, as I'm used to NOT smoking most of the day, whereas Phil starts as soon as he wakes up and has his last cigarette just before going to sleep. The day passed fairly smoothly with no major upsets. We're planning on having a very early night. The longer you sleep, the quicker time passes. We'll be over it before you know it.