Tuesday, 31 May 2016

So many thoughts

So many thoughts, so little time to put them down, but I'm starting to think that I need to do that again to clear out my brain periodically ...... spring cleaning the mind seems to be important.  I cleaned out the bathroom and bedroom at the weekend, found all the places that dust goes to hide (I'm so middle class that I have a cleaner, of which I'm sure my mother disapproves, but it's a saviour for my sanity and relationship - but as wonderful as she is, she doesn't pull out all the furniture to clean behind it, who would, so I still have to do these things).  Cleaning was cathartic so I thought I should probably sweep into some of the places I don't like to go in my mind too .....

But before it all gets too deep and dark, I'm going to rant about the EU referendum campaign.  I'm a pretty politically-engaged person, my job is front-line politics and I enjoy it (mostly - another rant).  But it makes me so cross to hear the ill-informed "debate" going on (I use debate loosely, most of it's just ill-informed nonsense).  I understand that not everyone shares my views, and that's ok.  But with over three weeks left to go, I'm sick of it all and really, really worried that the vote might go the wrong way.  Do I want to live in a country that doesn't think as I do?  But what are the options if it goes wrong?  Where to go - that'll take us (it's not just me any more, must think of my very lovely man) and were I to go, what would I do??

I've turned off the radio and a referendum campaign broadcast to write this.  It costs around £50m to run a referendum.  A happy thought to end on - happy Tuesday.

Monday, 9 June 2014

Trying again

It's been a million years. Once you stop doing the blogging thing, it becomes quite hard to start again. I got lazy and also tried to decide whether I was being self indulgent or not. But that's like trying to work out if you're being paranoid (or if they really are all out to get you!) - you can just self-analyse to death and you get nowhere. So stopped doing that, took a break and I'm back. I think.

I'm mostly feeling v happy. I feel blessed in my life, most of the time. There are, of course, crap moments. There are days when I'm tired and grumpy, there are days when my otherwise v lovely man is tired and grumpy. But I mainly enjoy my job and I have some fabulous friends and can generally have a good life.

I've been demonstrating this by going on a wonderful holiday to New Zealand, three weeks and I could have stayed double that. How have I not been before?! It was not a cheap holiday but really good fun and everywhere so beautiful. I also caught up with some old dear friends in Austria in the summer, we should do that more often but I'm sure it will be another five years before I see a few of them again. And I'm planning some nice trips this year to see friends in the UK and overseas. It's all a count down to the big four-oh next year but there's a while to go before that and that's when life begins, right?

A dear, dear friend has had a rough few months (probably a year) of it and it does make you think how lucky you are. She's done nothing to deserve it but she's doing so well to still be standing after all the mud that's been slung in her direction.  Makes you think.

Of course, I could be moaning again soon! Not-step-daughter is back from uni and whilst she was vile when back at Christmas and in January, she has arrived back a different person. I was somewhat dreading it but am willing to let bygones lie and get on well enough if this carries on. Fingers crossed. And I'm going to try to share again if you'll have me!!

Friday, 12 July 2013

It's a marathon not a sprint

Wow, where is this year going?  And how hard are we working to get through it?  Not just at the 9-5 (oh and I wish, 9-5 would be bliss, even with the 15 hours commuting) but at just staying ahead of everything that needs to be done in life. This week has ended in the ludicrous position that I've got a quote for a cleaner, finally, and I've not had time to make the final arrangements. So when I get home tonight (on my way back from work now at half 8) I'm going to have to clean the bathroom because I've been noticing the dust for days but there is no prospect of someone else doing it for ages.

So must get my priorities in order although I am doing that equally badly at work now. As evidenced by my leaving so late tonight and several other nights.

The sun is shining which makes life easier. Although weather has also been somewhat muggy which means I've woken many mornings with a headache and I've had many "glasses days" in recent weeks.

It's not all gloom. A mate from Australia was over visiting family and friends for a few days. He was in this hemisphere for longer but just had a few days around here. So we were able to have a couple of hours catch up which was nice. I've finally reclaimed my diary a little to do things I've been meaning to for ages - seen a friend for dinner and oodles of red wine, go to the cinema and even spend some evenings on the sofa just doing nothing.

I'm hoping for a quiet summer. Well it would be nice. My nice man is away for a week so I will have some me time and space. Hopefully post cleaner!!

Tuesday, 18 June 2013

How is it only Tuesday??

I'm suffering from long days and weeks but at the same time, my life flying by so quickly. My very lovely man and I looked at each other at the weekend and said "how is it June already", but apparently it is. There are some long days in the office, but that's ok cos there are only some and I'm loving the job still. There are evenings with lots of stuff but that's also ok cos I enjoy things I do and I've made some careful choices so I am doing things where I'm treated properly and doing things I'm enjoying. (In that, sometimes as a volunteer, you can be taken advantage of in a way you wouldn't put up with at work.)

But the year is hurtling by. There are still diary clashes and confusions which mean his ex and the kids still manage to screw up our lives but as I'm being a bit more in control of what I do, the direct impact on me is less. Selfish maybe but a necessary survival technique.  I've also met some new friends and got closer to some friends who were previously probably just acquaintences. That feels nice, meeting new people is less frequent as a "grown up".

I want to make some plans. Including Christmas, we are hoping to go to New Zealand in January. That'll be wonderful. But even doing that just takes more time.

So if I could have a few extra hours in the days, occasionally for sleeping not doing anything else. That'd be nice. Pretty please. !!

Friday, 31 May 2013

Grrr teenagers!!

Suddenly getting teenagers is confusing. Fortunately I don't have much responsibility for them but they have enough impact on my life that I have to engage and I often don't get it.

My very lovely man tells me that I must have been an odd child. I don't think so and indeed as many of my friends were as odd as me when they were younger, it makes me feel less sure. His kids are generally nice. Generally well natured and polite (although none have an internal filter so they can say anything and often do). However, they have no sense of money, no value of anything and are very materialistic but nothing ever lasts. They can't keep a penny in their pocket - their savings accounts from their grandparents were long ago spent by their mother and they've never been encouraged to save at all - and having the new thing is so very important to them.

The money thing I find tiring. The eldest is off to uni in September - if she gets her grades but that's another story - and despite knowing for a few months that her loan won't even cover her accommodation, she hasn't saved anything. She has most recently taken to buying clothes from a second-hand site on Facebook - which she justifies as being cheaper than buying the same things brand new. We could afford to give her money each month (and indeed will give her a small amount) but that will mean cutting back on holidays and things I enjoy for her to squander our hard-earned cash.

But actually that just irritates me rather than making me cross. What makes me cross is the disposable nature of everything.  Most of what I own has been built up over the last 15 years. I started with second-hand, hand-me-down furniture and bought new when I could afford it and actually have never had to replace anything. The sofa is 14 years old, the fridge is 15, my plates and bowls were bought over 2 years, something new when I could afford it. And it's been looked after. So to see them disregard my things is really annoying. The response to any challenge is "I'll buy a new one if I break it" is also annoying because, of course, that's not the point. Firstly some of these things aren't available any more - my inexpensive BHS china collection for example - and I don't want to take money from them. I want something that is above monetary value - respect, for me and my property.

On most days it doesn't make me very cross but when I've got home from work late to cook dinner for a sick boyfriend and am greeted with spillages that haven't been mopped up, dishes not washed up and not even in the dishwasher, floors that need sweeping hours after I last swept ..... It does make me say "grr, teenagers".

Saturday, 18 May 2013

Blogger app, yay!!

Ok, I might be back properly now. I've got an app for blogger which allows me to type whereas I couldn't from the webpage.

So, what've I been up to. Living together continues to have its ups and downs. Ups are being together, waking up together, eating together, knowing there's nowhere else to be or to be thinking about ..... Downs include teenagers! And anything that involves organisation, partly because my very lovely man doesn't do advance planning but also because the kids, coupled with the ex, manage to screw up my life and plans regularly without trying too hard.

But I've got control of my diary and I am trying to exploit this for my own good. I've been living week to week but around others' plans which really isn't me. I used to be someone who knew what I was doing weeks in advance and I need that sometimes. It feels like I've not been making the moat of life, the cleaning needs to be done but not always at weekends, I've got lots of dear friends who also have busy lives and catching up involves effort.

So I've tracked what's supposed to be happening and planned around it, dinner with friends, nights out, trying to strike a balance between fun and too busy. Lets see if I've got it right!!

Sunday, 31 March 2013

Catching up again

Once again I've been away for a while.  I don't understand why I can't update other than being on a "real" computer.  But enough moans.

The living together thing has had its ups and downs in the last few weeks.  Many downs and many adjustments - and fortunately we seem to have come out the other side.  None of the issues with my lovely man but his eighteen-year-old daughter.  Who is fine - I mean, the Daily Mail would not find anything to write about her, she's not terrorising the neighbourhood and isn't getting pregnant to claim benefits.  But there are lots of things that are just niggles, which mount up to become bigger and bigger if one's not careful.

For example, she's incredibly thoughtless, as I understand all teenagers are.  And doesn't see things.  So will just leave dirty dishes around and expect the fairies to move them.  And not think it's ever her turn to do the washing up or to load the dishwasher.  Her room is an absolute bombsite, which I can live with because I don't see it, but she doesn't do any washing, cleaning, and in being lazy, there is damage caused, such as leaving towels to ruin the surface of the furniture.  That is what annoys me.  Oh and leaving on lights, appliances (including her electric blanket - and I could have crowned her grandparents when she opened that present on Christmas day!) and not putting food back into the fridge or covering things, not considering wastage, the usual!

At the same time, she wants to go to uni in September - although with a D and an E in her last round of modular exams, that might not be a forgone conclusion.  But that does at least mean just a couple more months.  She drives her father just as far up the wall as she does me.  And of course, on a good day, she can be fine and pleasant and nice.  

Having lived on my own for over a decade, I knew that moving in with other people would be an adjustment.  I am incredibly messy by nature and I'm making a huge effort to keep the place tidy - I want it to be tidy and my very lovely man does too, and I do think it's worth it.  But when she then has no regard or respect, it really makes me see red!

But as I say, it's getting better.  Partly because we're both finding our balance.  Partly because she's learning what she can and can't get away with when living with me (her father likes an easy life but it can't be like that, we need to be fair to each other).  It's all a but challenging but we're getting there.

Otherwise, I've realised I've not got any exciting holidays planned this year.  Next year, we're going to go to New Zealand in January so it's a while and an expensive one.  But this year, I only have a short trip planned so far (weekend away for friend's 40th birthday in Germany, where he lives).  So ......