Archive for the 'day-to-day' Category
Just got home from the last match of the softball season. It’s dark outside now, it rained today, and I’m beginning to wonder if summer is over already.
We didn’t win this evening, but it was close. 37-35. I didn’t intend to play when I left home this morning, but I’m glad that I did. I got out a couple of times; got home a couple of times. Overall, I still suck, but perhaps I sucked slightly less than usual. Continue to have issues with things like catching and not running into people.
We played in Hyde Park, Knightsbridge-side, in a strip of softball matches. Brightly coloured charity t-shirts. The Albert Memorial in the background. Plastic bags as bases, and calls that could’ve gone either way. Perhaps we should’ve won. Perhaps it doesn’t matter that much.
Caught the tube home. Stopped for a pasty. This is living in London, and yet I’m a tourist observing it still.No comments
We moved into a furnished flat here in London. It has couches, a small television, fridge and stove, pots, pans and a mug which commemorates the Royal Wedding in 1981. On one wall, there’s four-ledge bookshelf. One ledge was full when we moved in. Those books are in storage now, and the entire unit is full, two deep in places, with books we’ve accumulated over the past two and a half years.
It’s easier to collect books in Britain. They’re less expensive for a start. You quickly forget things like exchange rates, and £7.99 just seems so much cheaper than $27.99 as the average price for a book. Then there’s the fact that there’s more Bookcrossers in the UK, more books available locally on BookMooch. Friends leave the country and leave books. We travel more too, and it’s hard to resist a new book for the plane or train.
And, then my lovely husband sends me an email at work, saying that the Borders on Oxford Street is closing down. I think he knew what would happen. I hope he did.
The West End is not my favourite part of London after work. Up around the ‘Silicon Roundabout’, I can sometimes forget the number of people in this city. Meanwhile in Oxford Street, the pavements are swarming. But, I’ll brave the West End for books, especially if they’re ‘at least 50%’ off. I’ll even stay till 8pm, rummaging through the racks, moving down the floors as they’re closed off, joining the long queue for final purchases. And as a result, I’ve come home with:
- A computer programme called ‘Start Writing Your New Novel’ (£1) because, you know I should really do that sometime soon;
- The Life of Riley, Joanna Nadin (£1);
- Black Boxes, Caroline Smailes (£1);
- The Spare Room, Helen Garner (£1);
- Take Off Your Party Dress, Dina Rabinovitch (£1);
- Millions of Women are Waiting to Meet You, Sean Thomas (£1);
- Everything is Sinister, David Llewellyn (£1);
- An Atlas of Impossible Longing, Anuradha Roy (£1);
- The Great Lover, Jill Dawson (okay, this was £4, but it’s one I’ve been wanting to read for a while).
There’s quite a lot of British fiction there. And okay, it’s easier to read British fiction than New Zealand fiction because of the relative abundancy of it. And to some extent, I’ve always read books set in the UK – but whereas I once read them for their ‘other-worldness’, I now read them for their familiarity. The Great Lover is about Rupert Brooke and the Orchard Tea Gardens in Cambridge. Matt and I have been there. I read Dina’s blog, sometimes I read her columns about breast cancer in the Guardian, and yes, I do feel bad about only buying the book now, when it was on sale even though I did donate to the CTRT appeal at one point last year.
Tonight, the new books are sitting in three randomly assigned piles on our dining room table, alongside a couple of letters which I need to respond to and a stack of leaflets from work. There’s no space in the bookshelf. The Borders on Oxford Street will close soon. There are more words in the world than I can possibly imagine.No comments
So, we went to the football again yesterday. That’s twice in one year – and for me, that’s true sporting commitment.
Yesterday’s game was on a far more local scale than the Reading vs Ipswich Town match we went to earlier in the year. It was a bus ride away rather than several hours on the train, it was standing under an umbrella rather than having a seat in the away stand, it was AFC Wimbledon vs Hampton and Richmond, in the Blue Square South league (apparently about six ranks down from the Premiere League).
But Wimbledon still had it’s mascot – a uniformed Womble, who banged rubbish bin lids to stir up the crowds. And for supporters of both teams, there were hats and scarfs in club colours, and chants, and stewards and programmes and security guards. And there were hundreds of people there, watching teams that I’d never heard about before, in a league that I wouldn’t have previously considered worth following, and a sense of local suport, of dedication to watching, even in rain and cold, that I couldn’t help but admire.
It hasn’t been a good week for my finger and it hasn’t been a good week for my laptop either. On Wednesday morning, I dropped a glass of water on it; this evening it won’t connect to the internet. It’s as if the fates are conspiring to prevent a successful NaBloPoMo.
Luckily Matt’s laptop, which has travelled with us from Australia to New Zealand to the UK, continues to work and I’m using it to post this entry now. Will add more from my computer later, should the internet issues resolve.
Winter definitely arrived in London over the weekend. On Sunday morning, when I woke up, there it was snowing. Snowing! Okay, so it was only a light dusting and it’d all melted by midday, but there’s nothing like getting back under the duvet and watching snowflakes drift down outside the window. It gives me hope that we will get our white Christmas in Scotland next month.
Anyway, I wrapped up warm, with a coat and scarf, and headed out to Sainsburys for food. I wasn’t really intending on buying a smoothie, but when I saw this one, wearning it’s very own woollen hat, I couldn’t resist. Apparently, it’s all part of Innocent’s Big Knit campaign. People round the country knit hats for the smoothie bottles, and 50p from each one sold goes to Age Concern – with the aim of keeping older people warm over the winter months.
Not quite sure what I’m going to do with the hat now I’m done with the smoothie. Though it is about the right size to keep my injured fingers warm. Knowing how many gloves and scarves I lost on tubes and trains last winter, I’m going to keep it as a back up, just in case.
My silly wife has crushed her fingers under a TV stand and is now looking over my shoulders helplessly as I “type” for her.
When will she learn.
Signed, Mat the Husband of Doom
PS – this blogjack has been censored. Censored! I was meaner before I got beat up by her good hand.
I feel it deserves its own blog entry for two reasons. The first relates to the round thing at the top of this not-so-carefully taken photograph. That’s our doorbell. Our landlord described it as a green doorbell, which basically means that we have to wind it up by hand. If it loses its internal tension, it also loses its sound.
The second, is that flap halfway down. That’s how our mail arrives. I don’t think I’ve seen a letter box over here. The mail comes through the flap in the door, and usually it’s bills or junk mail (as seen here).
While it’s quite nice to come home in the evening to a pile of letters on the doormat, the obvious disadvantage of this system is that the flap is too small for large book-shaped parcels from various internet retailers. Sometimes these get left outside, sometimes they get left at the nearest post office, and sometimes – depending on the depot – they’re returned to the head office halfway across the city.
At Christmas we tie ribbon around our doorbell, but since it is November, it is not Christmas just yet.
Matt and I just watched the last three episodes of The Tudors, Season II: right up to the death of Anne Boleyn (and I hope that doesn’t spoil it for anyone). It’s a story I’ve heard many times – while studying Tudor and Stuart history at high school, in the novels of Philippa Gregory and Alison Weir, Jean Plaidy and Suzannah Dunn, the Elizabeth and Other Boleyn Girl movies and now in this series.
Living in the UK has only increased my fascination. It still seems surreal that I can visit places where this all happened: Hampton Court Palace and Hever Castle (we haven’t quite made it to the latter just yet, but it’s on the hit list). I used to walk past the Tower of London every day on the way to work. Inside, there’s a memorial to Queen Anne and the others who were executed at the site. A glass pillow.
Anne’s just lost her head again on my laptop tonight. I’m not sure that I can wait till next year for another Tudor TV season. Unfortunately there’s little point reading online spoilers because I’ve already got a good idea what will happen.
Here in London, we’re getting ready for the elections. Unfortunately, this week’s elections are all being held overseas. In the first instance, we don’t even get to vote.
But, as the words on the postcards suggest, ‘yes, we care‘ about the voting that’s going on in the United States of America as I type this. The BBC 1 coverage doesn’t even start till after 11pm, but we’ll be staying up late to watch.
And of course, equally important (for me at least), is the New Zealand election this weekend. Apparently votes can be cast by downloading ballot papers and faxing them back to the Electoral Office. However, that doesn’t have quite the same romance as voting at New Zealand House in Haymarket – so I’ll be heading over that way sometime later in the week, before the polls close at 4pm on Friday.
And then I’ll be keeping my fingers crossed.
Halloween’s over and we didn’t have a single trick-or-treater.
It’s November again.
I’ve decided not to attempt NaNoWriMo this year. Hopefully sometime in the future, I will be able to complete the ultimate goal of writing a 50,000 word novel in one month. But, right now, the hours I’m spending at work and the fact that my November weekends are already filling up makes that amount of novel impossible.
Instead, this post should be counted as my first entry for NaBloPoMo: National Blog Posting Month. While November’s going to be a busy month, we’re not going away at this stage, so I should be able to find an internet connection and the time to post a daily blog entry till the 30th.
Or that’s what I say now at least…