Friday, 17 December 2010
I'm sick after a month of dodging the flu going around the office, sick on my day off, sick for the weekend I was meant to be in Edinburgh. Of course I am.
I am terrible at taking time to rest, so, today, I have forced myself to do it. Sofa, blanket, TV, laptop. My job is quite demanding in terms of hours and brain power, though nothing as mad the time and energy my lawyer friends put in at their offices. I'm looking forward to the Christmas break.
I have enjoyed it though, for the most part. There are days that are beyond miserable, but that's true of any job, any life. I am not a corporate girl in the long run, that much is clear, but I guess I knew that, anyway.
So much else has happened that I can't talk about yet. But the thing that has emerged more than anything in the last three months is that I need to take more time for myself; I need to write more, if I am ever going to be anything I'm proud to be. And, I need to take more time to be with my friends.
Merry Christmas. It's unlikely I'll check in before then, as we know.
Tuesday, 9 November 2010
to love life, to love it even
when you have no stomach for it
and everything you’ve held dear
crumbles like burnt paper in your hands,
your throat filled with the silt of it.
When grief sits with you, its tropical heat
thickening the air, heavy as water
more fit for gills than lungs;
when grief weights you like your own flesh
only more of it, an obesity of grief,
you think, How can a body withstand this?
Then you hold life like a face
between your palms, a plain face,
no charming smile, no violet eyes,
and you say, yes, I will take you
I will love you, again.
Tuesday, 21 September 2010
Thursday, 16 September 2010
I saw Miss McG today. South Kensington is a strange place, for me. One of my favourite weekends in London since I've lived here was spent at the Natural History museum (probably my favourite museum building), visiting the Darwin centre and skating on the ice rink. I didn't fall until we clambered out of our skates, slipping on a metal ramp. He still has the tickets pinned to his board, above his desk. I remember what I wore; checked skirt, warm jumper, furry hat.
Today we arrived too late for museums, so settled for coffee swamped with chocolate. September is a nostalgic month for me; for many, I think. It is five years since I went to university.
I am home alone, drinking red wine, remembering.
Wednesday, 25 August 2010
But! It is going to be 40 degrees in Spain on Friday, so says the BBC.
I'm so sleepy. Want to eat junk food and watch rubbish on TV under a blanket. Definitely caused by this weird weather.
Tuesday, 24 August 2010
Sunday night I drank too much on an empty stomach. This summer has been quite wine fuelled. I'm cutting back. I want to shift the five pounds I've gained, le sigh, from the increased partying and decreased gym time. This kind of happens automatically when term time rolls around again (does it ever stop feeling like "back to school"?) but I'm not often patient with weight loss.
Lots of admin to do for my new job. Glad all the necessary paperwork arrived before I go away.
Thursday, 5 August 2010
Thursday, 29 July 2010
I wrote some more of my story today. It's about being lost in a place where you should be secure. It's all too close to life to be read by anyone I think.
I think I am only able to work on it when I am feeling okay though. When I am miserable I cannot see beyond that moment, dramatic and mired. I feel better this week, like I touched the ground days ago and am now looking up, again.
Tuesday, 20 July 2010
I am worried I will not get the job I have an interview for this week. I am worried about what I will do if I do not. I want it, badly. I should stop telling people I have interviews, as the way I feel when I fail and have to pass the bad news on is becoming too much.
I am worried about the fact that I still don't feel right, even though the "bad" couple of months are now ostensibly in the past. I know this is chiefly down to my unemployment, but when all I need is a hug and it's out of reach I can't help but fret over how shit this is, sometimes.
Going home today. My sister is graduating tomorrow. I can't believe it's two years since I did.
Monday, 19 July 2010
And now I am listening to Coeur de Pirate and drinking a glass of wine and I really want to go to bed obscenely early. It's going to be a busy week, though mostly happy and with another celebration next weekend.
Sunday, 11 July 2010
We've been to Hyde Park both Saturday and Sunday. London was so, so hot yesterday, sticky and humid and brightly pulsing. We ate at the Criterion and drank at another favourite French bar (La Boheme on Old Compton Street). We talked about everything apart from work.
I love London the most in the sunshine. The heat makes the tube almost unbearable, punishment by travel, but the weather gives the city such life. I am happier now than I have been in two months.
Monday, 28 June 2010
So, wow, LA. People keep asking what it was like; was it what you expected? Kind of. I expected the writers and film guys and movie chat (which was fun). The people and the food and the things going on in the city are incredible; the place itself, a bit odd. I am used to London's busy flow of people. Everyone is in a car in LA. Public transport barely exists. I am lucky to know someone who was willing to show me around and take me to cool places. If you went on your own and without a car it would be pretty miserable.
Incredible things: watching Invasion of the Body Snatchers at the Hollywood Cemetery; Gogol Bordello at the Mayan Theatre (weird website); Anthropologie; Harold Lloyd silent shorts at the Cinefamily cinema; the Hollywood sign and the observatory building; the Korean BBQ truck (they gave us - three girls, admittedly - free food); the Cabazon Dinosaurs; the Ace Motel at Palm Springs; the iced coffee drinks at Koffi, also in Palm Springs; so much more... I'll write about some of it in more detail next time.
LA made me miss London, which was a shock. I have suddenly fallen in love with the city I live in.
Wednesday, 23 June 2010
Tuesday, 15 June 2010
When I come home I am hoping we can move away from the stress. He will have finished the piece of work that is causing so many headaches and travel always gives me perspective.
It will be very weird not to hear his voice. We talk every night. The time difference will make that impossible.
Saturday, 12 June 2010
I feel hurt, betrayed, unhappy, lost, uninspired, abandoned. There is no cure but time. Talking about it might help but I feel so utterly foolish, I cannot really bring myself to.
And this only makes it worse because spending time pretending I feel okay is exhausting.
Thursday, 3 June 2010
When I told my boyfriend what I'd done he got all pouty and wanted a CD of his own. I made him one, as one must always do with new other-halves, over a year ago, when we first got together. To my knowledge he has listened to it once, out of politeness. It is too "cool", I think. Anyway I am trying to make another but it is turning into a tour of my own musical history, rather than anything that features interesting new stuff I've bought recently. Any musical suggestions my dears?
Also - hello lawyer-person from Freshfields who found my blog through Google. That scared the life out of me until I remembered I haven't ever applied for Freshfields.
Sunday, 30 May 2010
I am tired after the joys of Eurovision last night and I am at a bit of a loss as to how to tell you about the last few weeks. Since Easter life has got progressively more stressful and it isn't going to let up until the end of June. The next month might be pretty fucking miserable in patches, actually, but I have at least come to the conclusion that it won't RUIN EVERYTHING (with wringing of apron and mad stare) and that life will continue.
Also, June is full of amazing things to anticipate, so I will cease to be grumpy about the stress and just get a decent night's sleep and look forward to the bright moments.
Wednesday, 12 May 2010
the Dove pub in Hammersmith
rugby match at Twickenham (I've done this, but he hasn't)
Portobello Market (haven't been since I was sixteen, and I live twenty minutes away)
Bea's of Bloomsbury for afternoon tea (in my head it's a bit like a British Angelina's)
Gray's Market (antiques!)
catch the first tube home in the morning
yOyO at Notting Hill Arts Club on Thursday nights
go to Ginglik more
Tower of London/Crown Jewels
buy something in Liberty's
Monday, 3 May 2010
I hesitate. "Let me finish drying my hair."
How did I forget to take that down? I run my hands through my hair, heat delaying my response, thinking through how I'll explain it.
I switch off the hairdryer. "Well?"
"Well. I put on a few pounds since Christmas" I have, hardly anything but I don't want it to be the start of an upward trend "and I know you don't notice, but it's just there to remind me. Don't sit at your desk and eat rubbish."
His eyes on me I go to him.
Later we're eating an amazing lunch and sharing a bottle of white. They clear the main course and I lean close to him and say I don't know if you meant to make me feel lovely, earlier, but you did.
Oh, and how.
Thursday, 29 April 2010
When I went to bed last night I had a headache and I couldn't sleep. I don't really know what's wrong other than of course, of couse it's linked to how difficult getting started in law is proving to be and of course I am fed up and yes, I am very dramatic about it. I am very bored of feeling like this.
I was in central London today, having left my Oyster card and ipod at home, not a good start. I wanted to cry as I walked from New Bond Street, up Regent Street, along Oxford Street, there for no real reason other than I couldn't stand the silence at home.
Wow, that's self-indulgent. I'm going to book my aeroplane tickets to LA.
Wednesday, 28 April 2010
"I hope you get it." I say, after we've discussed what answers he'll give some silly questions they're going to ask.
"So do I. But I'd happily not take it if it meant you got the job."
And then my heart exploded.
Thursday, 22 April 2010
large bunch coriander, long stalk bits cut off
half an onion, chopped
two fat garlic cloves
an inch of ginger, skinned and chopped
one mostly deseeded green chili, chopped
juice of a lime
half a tin of coconut milk
packet of cooked king prawns (160 ish g I think?)
handful mange tout
handful baby corn
noodles (for one)
first, make a big gin and tonic with a healthy squeeze of lime and lots of ice.
whizz everything on paste list in blender. heat some sesame oil in a wok. chuck lots of paste in. fry a bit. put prawns in wok. fry a bit more then add half a tin of coconut milk (or lots if you like it v saucy) and simmer while you clean up the blender and enormous mess you made by chopping stuff and opening coconut milk (if you are me).
sort out noodles however you need to (I got microwaveable ones, Sharwood I think) and boil kettle. Cook mange tout and baby corn. Strain these, get noodles out microwave. Put noodles and veg back in saucepan. add half the prawn/coconut mixture to your noodles and veg. Stir and heat a bit more. make another gin and tonic and enjoy in the setting sunshine at your kitchen table.
PS: the prawn/coconut mix will feed me for two days, but you could double the noodles/veg and mix it all together to serve.
Thursday, 15 April 2010
Monday, 12 April 2010
I started two short stories in the last week, though neither are more than a hundred words yet.
Back at college today. Seven weeks of teaching left, three exams and its all over. We went to Bristol on Friday to separate parties and I drank too much (and so did he) and as we drove up to the University I said it breaks my heart, being back here.
I am still tired from that night out because I am old and, as we agreed on waking from a long afternoon nap, very much not undergraduates any more.
Wednesday, 31 March 2010
Dad proffers a pizza cutter. It has come free with wine. We already own three.
"No, thank you."
"Also there are some of these." Two wine coolers. Also free with alcohol.
"Er. You can buy those at home."
Later; I'm packing. He brings in eight steak knives. I put them in my bag, resigned.
(They did not come free with the wine).
Thursday, 25 March 2010
The reason no-one has applied is that this is a really, really stupid idea. I'm meant to waste my time filling out a moronic form for a MOCK interview? I'm supposed to compete for a PRETEND JOB? As if making applications for real training contracts wasn't time-consuming and tiring enough.
Thursday, 18 March 2010
I'm not feeling quite with it at the moment though typically I cannot work out why.
Saw Avatar last night, which was a waste of three hours. EQ and I started sniggering uncontrollably in the last third. Terrible story, terrible script. Pretty multicoloured things, though; just had a text from AM I dreamt I was in a world of glowsticks last night.
Tuesday, 9 March 2010
reminds me of something my Dad always says nothing really matters. and, in the end, nothing matters at all.
Monday, 8 March 2010
2x chocolate almond croissants
1x other pastry with chocolate on it
1x Angelina's hot chocolate
1x Angelina's Mont Blanc
2x cheese omelettes
1x onion soup
1/2 small President camembert
2x bottles of champagne
chicken in rocket sauce with courgette and bechamel gratin
gorgeous bottle of Fleurie
and it was good.
Thursday, 4 March 2010
I forgot to post yesterday. I was packing. I have too many clothes bundled into my little suitcase. Boyfriend rang this morning while I was still in bed and I confessed to this. He fully supported the decision to take too much stuff because "it's nice to have choices" and this is why he is brilliant; even though it is clearly deranged to take eight dresses and two pairs of shoes and two jumpers and a skirt and and and etc for three days away he just says what he knows he should and everyone is happy.
Definitely not enough punctuation in that last sentence.
To revision! And making myself look chic and so on.
Tuesday, 2 March 2010
It's just gone eight but I'm going to take my make up off and go to bed. Really looking forward to a gym session tomorrow.
Monday, 1 March 2010
Sunday, 28 February 2010
Saturday, 27 February 2010
Friday, 26 February 2010
Thursday, 25 February 2010
In lawyerly news:
Some stuff got decided about assisted suicide today and now it's all supposed to make sense and so on but I'm not sure making motive the "key" helps in any way. I will write more about this but I'm really drinking too much wine in the evenings lately and it doesn't really help the clarity of writing.
Wednesday, 24 February 2010
Anyway. The last Saturday play was about Craig Murray. I didn't know who he was until I listened to the play, if I'm honest. He was a British ambassador to Uzbekistan before we invaded Iraq, where he came across some terrible abuses of human rights. He took it upon himself to help people. In the process he exposed the British government's complicity (the spell check thinks that's a word but I'm not sure) in the gathering of intelligence by torturing people. There's a lawyer in the play who actually defends this behaviour.
Now, it may be legally possible for the government to pass over their involvement. But the lawyer who allows that; how can he sleep? The law is cruel and clever, and those in a position of power can always manipulate it to avoid its devastation. But I could never do that. To support such awful illegality of anyone, let alone the group charged with leading this country, by telling them that it's okay, do what you want because the law lets you avoid morality; I couldn't do that.
This is incoherent, I realise, and I am going to attempt to work it up into something more. If nothing else it's helping me find a way to the kind of lawyer I want to be.
Saturday play here.
*I think that's a countryside thing. My Dad has always listened to it. It's more a reminder of home than anything.
Tuesday, 23 February 2010
Excuses. I also had an exam yesterday, which wasn't the best. I'm hard on myself.
I know I'm hard on others, too. I inherit this from my Dad, an expectation of sacrifice to get where you say you want to go. If you aren't willing to make the sacrifice, you don't want it enough.
To the gym! To snap out of it.
Sunday, 21 February 2010
The men who had crowded the path at the traffic lights, drinking beer, are now being arrested. One of the police cars involved is missing a side mirror; an officer holds it and watches the men in handcuffs, heads ducked into the car.
Sure there's a good short story in there somewhere.
PS: forgot to post Friday and Saturday. Sorry.
Thursday, 18 February 2010
Wednesday, 17 February 2010
"It's not a prawn."
[it was a shrimp].
"When something is put there to guide you to the incorrect answer, it's a red... come on, it's a type of fish..."
"Mullet! Red mullet"
"I don't know who this book is by... um, okay, first name of the title is the name of a guy I dated, we were talking about him earlier..."
"And the second name is... oh, you know, its famous..."
[when timer has run out] "Rachel, David Copperfield is by Dickens." (Victorian literature is something I tell people I enjoy in order to be precocious).
Okay, most of these useless things were things said by me. Grumble.
Monday, 15 February 2010
Want to sleep but not sure I'll find it so easy, tonight. Overactive imagination (burned in more ways than this).
Sunday, 14 February 2010
Today we went to the cinema in Cambridge and watched Breakfast at Tiffany's, which I've never seen but I did read, once; I'd forgotten it was Capote, it is too long ago. It was beautiful and because I woke feeling sad it was an antidote I needed, a salve to the mean reds only Holly Golightly can provide.
The day before he brings me cake and a flower and a pretty mug, and we cook and talk and finally I make a decision about what I'll do for Lent. I will write, every day, nothing much perhaps but I'll publish everything I type. I give him more words this year, my own, this time.
The train home is crowded and I spend the journey not quite sure of consciousness, hoping you realise how important words are, to me.
Sunday, 7 February 2010
He left today after a sunny weekend. The browser history I've got now reads as a map of the past few days, full of chocolate and brunch and the inevitable facebook stalk; a checking of e-mail and links to flights for August. A pleasing version of those research trails lawyers are so annoyingly fond of.
On another note - I know what's wrong with me, now. I had a wisdom tooth extracted at an emergency dentist appointment on Wednesday. I am much better already.
Tuesday, 2 February 2010
In the summer following my first year of university I caught a horrible cough. I couldn't shift it and eventually it took me over. My energy levels plummeted and I quit my waitressing job. Though I went to the doctor a few times I refused to do anything much about it. Needles in the artery at the elbow raise panic in me.
I got better.
But I still get that feeling of fatigue, sometimes. It's not a physical tiredness. It isn't depression, either. It's a disconnect from the world, a feeling of being underwater with sounds and faces blurred by the rush of liquid. Nothing seems quite solid.
I've felt like that more frequently, lately. I get dizzy when walking, a head rush whenever I stand. I struggled horribly in yoga yesterday, fighting dehydration (it is certainly a cause) and an overwhelming sense of collapse.
Everyone says its anaemia, and they're probably right. I am good at ignoring my health. I never drink enough water and I don't eat much protein, let alone red meat. I do eat, though, I promise. My bruises take an age to heal; my scars rarely do. I have an injury from 10 October that still hasn't disappeared from my shin. But that's nothing unusual.
I'm not unhappy; far from it, despite the tedium of college (and the fact I'm listening to Eels). I'm just so very tired. Maybe it's boredom? I'm trying my best to alleviate that.
I guess I may have to get over the blood test thing.
Monday, 1 February 2010
This course is not hard work. Watch a few hours of online lectures a week, read up on anything you're hazy about and make a stab at a basic prep task. Turn up to all your classes and you're in college for about ten hours a week.
If you can't cope with this, how on earth will you be a lawyer? Will you sulk when you're not allowed to go at half past five on the dot? Will you ignore the tasks your supervisor sets you in favour of the pub and then moan about what a bitch she is, how busy you are, doesn't she understand?
I know, I know, I'm arrogant. I'm struck equally by reassurance and fear; these girls aren't really competition in the job market, but then again I've met people just like them who are qualified lawyers.
Spanish class soon.
Thursday, 21 January 2010
We're not going far. The new house is a good deal and has a back garden; luxury, in London.
The only thing I'm really sad to abandon is my oversized bed. My boyfriend is much taller than me and sleeps in a star shape, limbs seeming to multiply in the night.
No internet from tomorrow until Tuesday at least. Not that I was likely to post anyway, as you well know.
Monday, 18 January 2010
We play ice-breaker games that they always make you play in semi-formal situations, only we play them in Spanish. The teacher makes us say a word we know already. The only one I can think of is manteca, so I say it, and she looks amused. It means lard.
Telling a lawyer friend about the classes earlier in the day he is confused by why I'm taking them. You must have a thirst for knowledge, man in his perfect East London accent. When Svetlana asks the same question later I answer honestly something to do in the evenings and she laughs and agrees. She also makes reference to the bars around the college and I'm pretty sure I'm going to make some friends, here.
Thursday, 14 January 2010
Woke up this morning to some news that tweaked that horrible emotional pulley that develops in your throat when you haven't slept enough. Attach any weight and the tears flood out.
Nothing more to say. Just tired and missing certain people so very much.
Wednesday, 13 January 2010
Spanish classes start on Monday night. I've joined a book group that meets every month and found a couple of free events to attend in the coming weeks. I'm just starting to like London.
I am also going to attempt to eliminate artificial sweeteners from my diet, though probably not until Lent rolls around. That sounds horribly organic and smug. It means giving up Diet Coke and sugar-free squash. I've rather lost my taste for the former.
Related: the gym is busy, even in the dead mid morning hours. Uncomfortable people in clothes meant for gardening stare warily at the machines. Just reminds me of me, aged sixteen. I've been asked two questions about the gym while mostly naked in the changing room this week. Demonstrating how a locker works without a bra on must fit into some fetish category, somewhere.
Saturday, 2 January 2010
He looks so good, stubble and a dinner jacket. After Big Ben chimes we're on the sofa, talking. We talk more when we get home, in bed, my head on his shoulder. I am not good at this, this talking, but fuelled by cheap fizz I do my best.
He looks impossibly better the next morning, dress shirt with sleeves rolled to the elbows and pyjama bottoms. We make breakfast for welcome guests and spend the day asleep.
Happy New Year. Thank you for reading.