marjorie73: (Default)

Hi. Sorry, it's been a while. Mostly because 2017 so far has not been great, personally or in the wider world. 

I came down with the Cold-From-Hell-with-added-Sinus-and-Chest-Infection  to coincide with returning to work at the start of January, and have been coughing, wheezing, sneezing and mainlining on Lemsip and honey ever since.

I am, at long last, starting to feel a little more human, but still not 100%, and it is soooo very frustrating,not least because it is so exhausting. Fortunately I haven't had anything much planned outside work so the fact that I've been too exhausted to do anything outside work hadn't been a major issue, although I had planned to see the RSC 'Tempest' at the cinema and wasn't able to go, which was annoying (and expensive, as I had pre-booked!)

Work is somewhat stressful - one of my Partners is in hospital and I've taken on some of his  tasks, which is tricky, and involves some fairly steep learning curves, and of course as he is a friend as well as a colleague I'm also  worried about him.

So January is not winning any friends in this household.

I'm hoping next month will be better.

My colleague is, we are told, starting to improve, I can almost breathe normally again and live in hope of being able to sleep lying down soon, and I do have some things to look forward to.

On 15th February I'm going to see Chris Riddell at the Southbank centre, then meeting up with a friend before going to Neil Gaiman's event (for his new Norse Mythology book) that evening.

The previous weekend I am seeing The Miserwhich is going to be presented locally before going to the West End, so with any luck, there should be some high points to the month! 

Meanwhile, it is marmalade season - I have about 7lbs of Seville oranges so plan to make a start on my marmalade this weekend.

Oh, and I did manage to get tickets for 'Hamilton' in London, so next June I'll be seeing that, with a friend.Which should be fun. (although the ticket prices are insane. More than seeing Cumberbatch's Hamlet, even though I didn't go for the top price tickets!. Top price are £200 a pop, which is just nuts. )

marjorie73: (Default)
How was everyone's Christmas? (Or non-Christmassy holiday celebrations)

I had a quiet time, with my parents and siblings (and a brother in law and sister's partner) - it was consistently wet, with alternating rain and snow,so we didn't end up going for any walks, or indeed leaving the house except briefly to visit other relatives on Boxing Day, but despite, or perhaps because of, the lack of other activities, we had an enjoyable time.

A small cohort of us rang for the local church service on Christmas morning, we all (including Tybalt) watched the goldfinches and tits on the birdfeeders outside, Tybalt met [one of] the cats who live next door, and also had a lot of fun playing 'wrong side of the door' (my parents house has a *lot* more doors than mine does, AND they have carpets, which means that he cannot be left to scrabble at the door, as this leads rapidly to  scratched carpets, which is Not On.

He didn't succeed in getting to the turkey, despite his many attempts.

I returned home yesterday, and have today and tomorrow at home before I go back to work. I've come home with a nasty cold, so I'm not planning to stay up late tonight - I think I shall have an early (and solitary!) celebratory glass of cava and then go to bed early to help fight off this cold!

2012 has been a very mixed year, with a lot of personal and work-related stress, and family-related happiness. I'm hoping 2013 will be more even, and better, on a personal level.

And I hope it will prove to be a happy and successful year for all my friends out there in the internets!

marjorie73: (Default)
spent New year's Eve with both my sisters, and my soon-to-be brother-in-law, and one of C's friends from Uni, at K and C's flat. K and C spent Christmas with his parents, so we hadn't seen them, which meant that the first order of business, (after hugs and tea, of course) was a degree of gift exchangage)
K, E and I went out during the afternoon for a very brief and bracing walk along the beach at Southsea. It was rather chilly, so we didn't go far.

We stayed in for the evening - K and C cooked - canapes, spicy butternut squash soup, and duck breast with plum sauce. I think its possible that there was a cheese course planned, but what with mojito fizz, and red wine, and nuts and nibbles we didn't get that far!

As New Years go, it was fairly quiet, with chat, and card games, and eating and drinking. I think I ended up going to bed at around 1 a.m., before the Quality Street fight started (it turns out that a carelessly aimed toffee finger can cause a nasty bruise...)

On New Year's Day we were, surprisingly, feeling a little languid. Some of us got up, at the crack of noon, and started the year with bacon butties and copious quantities of tea and coffee. We didn't go out for a bracing walk, or an even more bracing sail, as it was pouring with rain, and the idea was wholly unappealing.

C cooked a roast chicken for supper, and I then came home, for an early-ish night. Today is a bank holiday, which is nice, as I've been able to catch up on some sleep, and do a few chores, and it also means that this will be a short week at work, so we should be able to ease back to the daily grind.

2011 wasn't the best of years, I really hope that 2012 will be better.
marjorie73: (Default)

So, we're nearly a week into 2011, and so far, it feels pretty much like 2010 did.

Except for the Mystery book. My Volume 1 of the Absolute Sandman. It was waiting for me on the door step when I got home on Sunday - a brown paper parcel, tied up with string, addressed to me correctly, but in  unfamiliar handwriting. Postmarked from Deal in Kent. (and I don't know anyone in Deal, in Kent) No return address.

Inside, no card, no letter, no order slip, nothing.

I wondered, at first, whether my bother had sent it, or one of my sisters, as part of my Christmas present I mean, I'dd have been surprised, because they ech  already gave me a present, and I would have expected any of them to have said something when I saw them at Christmas, but it was all I could think of. The only other person I would suspect of sending me luscious books also already sent me a christmas gift (of books, natch)

So. Mystery. VERY odd.

Other than that, the year seems to have started with outbreaks of my office, people are dropping like flies - in my department, 3/6 people are off sick. Since Wednesday,  I'm the only fee-earner who has been in,  so I have been a little busy, and aso feeling rather crappy myself. I have been very firmly telling myself I am NOT ill, I am NOT coming down with anything, and I do NOT have an incipient chest infectiopn, but I don't find myself very convincing. *sigh*

Still, at least there is a weekend now. I was planning to make marmalade. It is marmalade season, but I may have to leave that and just collapse, I  think.

And it is that rather depressing time of year. My car insurance is due - my existing provider wants £365, so they just lost my custom. Thats a 40% increase on last year! And given I have been driving nicely, and haven't done anything expensive in the past year. I can't believe that insurance costts have gone up quite that much. So now I need to faff about getting other quotes, which is boring and time consuming. and I shall have to do it all over again for the hosue insurance soon.

Oh well. At least I still have left over Christmas chocolate.
marjorie73: (Default)
I'm back home again, back to work on Tuesday, so I've a day at home to straighten things out, then a short week at work.

The social side of things started to quieten down a little after Tuesday, as family members had to leave. On wednsday I did some experimenatal cooking - I thought it might be nice to make a pie from some of the left over ham & turkey - and was a little surprised, on checking my mum's supply of cookbooks to find no recipes for ham and turkey (or even ham and chicken) pie. So I made one up. And also made a pie with a hot-water patry crust, which I've never made before. it turned out very well, to my pleasure and surprise! I may have to try a real pork-pie soon, to see whether I can do that.

By Friday I was the only one of the 'children' still at my parent's house. On New Year's Eve we went to the sea side around mid-day; first to a little bay where one can sometimes find cowrie shells. We weren't expecting to find many, as the tide was coming up, but to our surprise there were 100s. - and not just in the rock-pools and the nooks and crannies att the bottom of the cliffs, where they usually are, but right at the water line. Between us, my mum and I found over 200, in less than half an hour. This made me happy. The shells are, of course, completely useless, but they are pretty, and they remind me of my grandmother, who liked them.

We then went for a short walk along Woolacombe beach, which was bleak and breezy, with lots of dog-walkers and one or two hopeful surfers, despite the total lack of surf!

Later, we used up the last of the christmas turkey in a rather tasty curry, and, havung no parties to go to declared Midnight and the new year at 11 p.m. and shared a bottle of (rather nice) prosecco to celebrate the past year and toast the new one. Not the most exciting New Year's Eve ever, but nice, in it's own quiet way

I spent most of New Year's day curled up with cramps and a selections of books-of-my-childhood. I hope that this is not sn Omen for the year ahead. I'm chosing to belive it isn't. (and I suppose that if one has to put up with such things, doing so at a time and place where you don't actually have to do anything, and where other people bring you occasional cups of tea, and make meals, is not a bad plan...)

I decided not to make any New Year resolutions, as it is just depressing when they get broken, and this time of year, and cold weather, are not conducive to new stuff, at least for me. I could perhaps stick to a resolution to snooze more, or something similar, but that doesn't seem very worth while!

I was a little jumpy this morning, preparing to drive home, seeing it start to snow again, but fortunately none of it settled, and the drive home was uneventful. And waiting for me were two parvcels - one containing my copy of Rigor Amortis (direct from one of the authors!) and the other containing Vol 1 of The Absolute Sandman (which was totally anonymous, but which I suspect is part II of my Christmas present from my brother, much as the idea of a secret admirer may appeal, don't think that's a likely explanation....)

I like parcels containing books. They make coming home after Christmas much less dreary! So does finding a box of chocolates that I apparently didn't send to anyone for christmas, and will now tragically be forced to eat, myself :-)
marjorie73: (Default)



I hope 2011 brings everything you hope for.

I have not done a proper "review of the year" post, but wish for all my friends that the good things of 2010 continue into 2011, and the bad are left behind.

Love & hope,

Marjorie x

Happy 2010

Jan. 3rd, 2010 08:51 pm
marjorie73: (Default)
(Originally posted at

First of all, Happy New Year to you all!
I've just returned home, to a cat who seems pleased to see me, (although he will no doubt find a way to punish him for leaving him to the tender mercies of my excellent cat-sitter for the past 4 days)

My sister, K, had suggested that it would be fun to spend New Year together, and as a result we rented a small Tower in a village on the edge of Cheltenham, chosen on the basis that 
(a) the Cotswolds are pretty, and equally reachable for all of us
(b) Who wouldn't want to stay in a tower, if they had the opportunity?
(c) It was available for New Year
(d) it was affordable.

We had originally hoped that the party would consist of me, both sisters, K's partner C , my brother and his girlfriend and K&C's friend, B. However, my brother wasn't able to join us so there ended up being the five of us.

All of us except B, who couldn't make it until New Year's Eve, arrived on Wednesday - K, C & I turned up in the afternoon, and busied ourselves with the essentials, such as bagsy-ing the different rooms, taking a delivery of groceries, unpacking and, perhaps most important of all, locating the nearest pub, which was about 5 minutes walk away, and had a wonderful fire and some rather good beer (Butcombe)...

It was a bit of a wrench to leave the pub and walk back in what turned out to be a bitterly cold evening in time to met E, and start cooking supper.

On New Year's Eve we went out for a cold but bracing walk to the next village along, through some frosty and muddy fields, with a view of Cheltenham racecourse, and the somewhat unexpected sight of a steamtrain in the distance, then back via the second of 'our' village's pubs (The Plough) which had no fire, but *did* have some truly magnificent beer (Adnam's Broadside).

We had decided that we would have a proper formal meal for New Year, and would all dress accordingly, and had also decided to push the boat out when it came to the menu - I was in charge of the main course and the timeing, but happily had several sous-chefs to whom I was able to delagate tasks such as mushroom-choppage... And of course the Peach Bellinis helped, too ... Once all the preparation was done, and the first course in the oven, we all went to get scrubbed up in order to see out the year in stlye.  
Then, pausing only for a quick photo-call, and a glass of fizz, we sat down to dine.


Home made Tomato Soup
Baked Camembert
Smoked Salmon & Cream Cheese Terrine
with green salad
Beef Wellington
Roast Potatoes and Seasonal Vegetables
Coffee Pudding
with whipped cream & toasted almonds

We had planned for a cheese course, too, but none of us were hungry by that time! In order not to take things *too* seriously, the gentlemen of the party had carefully accessorized their dinner jackets and black ties with a number of silly seasonal hats; not quite enough for one with each course, but almost!

The rest of the evening passed with further games, then prosecco to toast the New Year, followed, for reasons which now escape me, by a viewing of Hot Fuzz. 
We did very little on New Year's Day, but on 2nd January, which was a gloriously bright, sunny day, we decided upon another walk.

This time we went to another nearby town - Winchcombe, where we took a circular walk, up the hill behind the town, through fields of sheep (and, a little later, some fine Gloucester Old Spot pigs), then back past Sudeley castle.


Although it was very sunny, there had been hard frosts and in a lot of places there was still frost and ice on the ground, only occasionally breaking through to thick mud, in the most unexpected places!
As attentive readers may have guessed, we finished our walk in the local pub - The White Hart.
Sadly, that brought to a close our stay, and this morning we had no time to do anything except pack up and go our separate ways, but it was, I think, a thoroughly succesful New Year celebration.

I hope all of you had an equally enjoyable time.


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