Friday, 21 December 2012


My plan:

Gone with the Wind; The Snowman Part II: the Revenge; Skellig (nice kid’s story, starring Tim Roth and John Simm, yes please); Singin’ in the Rain; Toy Story; Ice Age;  Stardust;

and then the crowing glory at 9.00 – 11.00 pm on Film 4 - Trading Places.

(There is an intriguing programme that I would love to watch called ‘My Small Breasts and I’ at the same time on a channel called Really, but sadly I don't have access to Really. Nor the Syfy channel, or I would be watching wall-to-wall Buffy all Christmas day.)

I love Christmas this year. 

Saturday, 15 December 2012


Why can' t things ever just be alright? Why does something always come along to arse things up?

My weekend job, which has been fine thus far, is the latest storm cloud on the horizon.One of the staff there,  so far we've got on like a house on fire, asked for my number. Sure, why not, we can meet up for a coffee in the week, he goes to UEL near me, ... but then he seems to be taking it all a bit seriously... asked what's the latest he can call me to sort out a time. I don't know why, when we are going to meet tomorrow at work.  When he calls I let it ring, so he texts "Hey u okay..."

I feel uncomfortable with this. He is married with a little girl. I don't fancy him and apart from getting on as colleagues, we don't really have anything in common. I phone my sister to ask what she reckons. "Ask to see pictures of his wife and little girl - say you're too busy in the week but would be delighted to come over after work to meet them all..."

In a way it's harder to knock someone back when they're not being direct. If someone asks if you want to sit on their willy, it's pretty easy to give a direct no and everyone knows where they stand. This 'friends' business makes it far more tricky. I like him and I don't want things to be awkward. We've got to see each other and work together every weekend.

Wednesday, 12 December 2012

Lying to the kids

All the lights and decorations are up in our street. I passed my friends' door, and wondered what they are telling little Mimi this year, now she's big enough to notice Christmas.

Is this when you have to make the decision whether you're going to start lying to your kid, along with everyone else? Or be a bah humbug Scrooge character, and tell them there's no such person as Santa, it's all a con, and risk your child upsetting all the others at nursery? (Because what your parents say is the Truth, and only when you come to mix with other children does their all-wise, all powerful godlike stature get challenged. You should've overheard the conversations I used to hear about this in class.)

Without wishing to sound especially precocious, I never remember believing in Father Christmas.* I remember sleepily seeing my mum slip into my bedroom with the presents. I didn't ever bring it up or challenge them on it, I understood without ever really questioning it that it was a story that grownups told you, a fun, nice one that everyone joined in with. It came as a surprise later that other people took it seriously. Just like the Jesus stories we were told at our C of E primary school.  I didn't realise that other people took them very very seriously.

Anyway, in some ways I'm glad I don't have to make those choices.

* And while we're on the subject of Papá Noel, check out Tim's post on the underrated Raymond Briggs.

Sunday, 9 December 2012

the other C word

Cancer has claimed my grandparents, my aunt, my two uncles, one of my friends. It's grappling with my other aunt. And now it's got its hooks into my dad. I'm scared.

I wish cancer would fuck right off.

Thursday, 6 December 2012

In which I find out I am wonky

For a year I've been limping uselessly on one painful knackered ankle. My shoes are all languishing in the wardrobe, shunned in favour of trainers, and my days get cut short when I have to limp home early to rest.

Finally I got to see a doctor in the foot clinic (the first appointment was hilarious, I walked into a waiting room full of eighty year olds in wheelchairs, all giving me evils like I was some kind of imposter. I felt like I'd invaded their social club.)
Today I saw the doctor in the biomechanics department, she was young and Spanish and nice. She made me lie down, yanked my feet around, made me stand on a slope... wrote furiously on a pad... looked up and said
"You know you have one leg longer than the other?"

No, I didn't know. I'd never measured. Apparently I've been doing some weird slouchy walk to compensate and it has tightened the muscle in my calf which makes my achilles tendon want to cry. 

She looks delighted. I'm pretty delighted. Something so simple. Something explainable and fixable. Not for the first time I want to say 'HURRAH FOR THE NHS!' And throw my arms around her, but I resist. 

I text my sister about it and about the exciting new inserts in my shoes. 'Do you have to wear one of those big boots?' She's just jealous.