Monthly Archives: June 2012

Tiny Win

Three minutes run,
three minutes walked,
times three.

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Mother Anxiety – Noisy Accomplishment

My Mother is driving me bananas.

I think the next time we see each other, I need to talk to her about how frequently she calls. Once a week is too frequent for me to do anything to talk about, so I end up getting short with her as she asks EVERY time, “Any other news?” No, Mum. I do generally fuck all. Work pisses me off. What do you expect me to say…?

[teenage] OMG LEAVE ME ALOOOONE!![/teenage]

When I get short, I don’t tell her about the things I *do* get up to; then she gets misinformed about things and I get more pissed off with her lack of understanding. FAIL.

I appreciate that she calls, and I know it’s not all about me. I know she cares about me, and is concerned at my living conditions, life not hugely filled with fun and my general well-being post-Coppell. She has always been quite an anxious person, which I find hard to deal with, instinctively trying to avoid what I see as smothering.

She likes talking with me, and I think at times she gets lonely. If we spoke less, I would get less angry, and perhaps I would have something to talk about with her. Having a non-blame discussion about this is going to be “interesting”.

In other news, I couldn’t hear the beep of my Gymboss when out running today, so I ended up doing a set of three and a half minutes. Hurrah. Still going to stick with two minute run/ three minute walk sets this week, so that I can get more comfortable.
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Running FAIL (or at least temporary setback)

Tried running for three minutes today and just about made it to two before being unable to continue; did a set of run two/walk three instead. So, I think a week of staying at two is perhaps what’s called for, along with proper sleep and eating a bit better. It’s no biggie; it’ll just take me a bit longer.
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Excellent night marking A-Hunting We Will Go‘s leaving for pastures new and promising; there was dinner and much lovely conversation with McCy followed with mucho drinking, dancing and watching the rain pitter-patter onto the street I was very happy not to be stood in.

Today I went to see what turned out to be quite a large exhibition of artworks by local artists, craftspeople and students. It was full of the usual clichéd art school stuff, as well as the expected selection of twee and/or creepy stuff by independent artists. There was some interesting, appealing stuff here and there amongst the dross; I particularly liked the colourful, highly textural work created by adults with disabilities- much more joyful than overworked oil paintings of mystic foxes in mysterious forests… Yes, really.

The experiments I was doing at work in my free time have long since ended as my workdays seem to be very full at the moment. The exhibition served as a reminder that what I was doing was not exactly refined nor as worthwhile as some people’s, but my work could hold its own if I put my mind to it.

Seriously tired, and i’ve a very busy week ahead: tomorrow brings the Year 13 Leaver’s Ball, Tuesday is an after-school meeting, the kids’ work is being moderated by the external examiner, seeing Flambé Thursday before the Year 11 Prom at the end of the week. I also have to try to keep going with the running and occasionally teach.
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That “running” thing

You may or may not have noticed that in my harassment complaint email previously posted, I used the words
“…today whilst out running…”
in a sentence.

Yes, I am attempting to learn to run. I’ve not even got through seven days yet and the three sets of two minutes running and four minutes walking that I did today were pretty hard going. You’ve read that right- I find running for TWO minutes a challenge.

I’ve always been a swimmer and not a runner; my body has always been happier pulling itself through denser yet more supportive liquid than pounding pavements. I saw a flyer somewhere advertising “Couch To 5K” and was intrigued; the internet told me that lots of people had started small and worked up to half-hour runs, and that it was totally feasible.

I’ve decided to give the 30-Day Quick Start Guide for Beginners plan a try; it involves small increments each week, working towards a goal of being able to run for thirty minutes non-stop.

It gets me out the house, stops me falling asleep post-work and takes my head somewhere different; even when I walk it’s exercise I wouldn’t ordinarily get. I’m taking care not to buy loads of running stuff (just a sports bra and a Gymboss) as I know that it’s fairly likely I’ll fail, and then money will have been spent for owt. I don’t want to fail though, so i’m going to give it my best and am forcing myself to get out the door.

I have studied videos of running form and try to remind myself as I run to stay tall, stop my arms crossing and land on the mid-point of my sole, but find even picking my feet up tough going. I know i’m shuffling, but I don’t really care as i’m trying to focus on completing the minutes and keeping form. Running, shuffling, the occasional stagger…

I’m a bit worried about the three minutes run/ three minutes walk that’s next on the plan; I didn’t exactly sail through the two minutes with ease…
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Fuck You Guys

“Good Afternoon

Today whilst out running in [redacted] town centre I was verbally harassed by two Vennsys employees riding along in their van. I understand Vennsys is contracted by your company to install water meters, but I have been unable to find a contact email address for them, hence this email.

As well as shouting at me, they were doing the same to other street users; a few minutes later at the end of my run I found them working outside of my house and asked the one of the two men why he shouted at me. Both of them denied doing so, and both seemed to think my displeasure very amusing. They didn’t have very much to say for themselves when confronted by the person they’d been abusing, which was strange given how verbal they’d been a few minutes before.

I was able to see that they were Vennsys employees due to the large red logos on their t-shirt and hi-vis vests; they were working on piping outside of number 6 [redacted] Road. The number plate of their van was BU52 LFT.

Can I suggest that verbally abusing and harassing people whilst representing their company is not the smartest route to take? They bring their company into disrepute. Any sort of harassment is completely unacceptable behaviour. I would hope that your contractors have policies in place with regards harassment.

I would greatly appreciate it if this email could be passed on to Vennsys (sans personal details please).

Email I sent to Thames Water when I got back from my run. Fuckers.
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Project Unbreakble

The poster reads: “I can tell you’ve been sexually frustrated for a while.” link

Astounding series depicting people who have been raped and sexually assaulted displaying the last things their aggressors said to them.

Project Unbreakable
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Palm House

The Palm House, Kew. Photos by me.

Passion Flowers



Spiky like a giant mutant dandelion

Pollinate me O birds


Banana leaf

Red V flower


Princess Second

Weeping flowers

Weeping flowers; there was an entire fence covered with these bizarre things.




Weird small orchid where the flower poked out of the leaf.

Titan Arum

The enfolded spathe of the impressive Titan Arum. I was a bit disappointed it didn’t smell worse.


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Princess First

Plants in the Princess of Wales Conservatory, one of my favourite glasshouses at Kew. It’s divided into different climactic areas and has an extra exciting variety of plants that are often strange and always wonderful.

Photos by me.

Giant leaves

Giant leaves

Leaf bumps


Orchid death



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Waterlily House

The Waterlily House, Kew. Photos by me.

Victoria cruziana

Victoria lily.





Sacred Lotus. Loved the leaves on this.


Sacred Lotus reflected.




Ipomoea (Morning Glory)
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Fantin-LatourHenri Fantin-Latour
Unknown title
Unknown date

Fantin-Latour Henri Fantin-Latour
Pink and Yellow Roses

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Day out to Kew Gardens with sixty-one Year 10 pupils; first trip organised by me, all seemed to go well. Nice weather, no disasters, as far as I’m aware.

The rose garden next to the Palm House could be smelt from 100m away, well before you could see it; the scent of so many roses in bloom together was *delicious*. I greatly enjoyed wandering from bush to bush and nestling my nose deep in the petals; the roses had different scents, some fruity, some spicy, some thin and watery, some robust.

There were all sorts, single-flowering, doubles, non-scented, striped… bees buzzed everywhere, and I encouraged (read told) the kids drawing the flowers to put their pencils down and smell what they were neglecting. It was great to hear the teens shouting at their friends “Oh My Gawwd! Come smell this one!” as they wandered in packs amongst the flowerbeds :)

Photos by me…

Palm House








The weekend, photos by me:

FishbourneMosaic floor at Fishbourne

Fishbourne“Cupid riding a dolphin”

East Wittering
The windsurfers at East Wittering

East Wittering
Caversham Princess solo

East Wittering

East Wittering

Weald and DownlandView across from the Weald and Downland museum

Weald and Downland
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Everyone – Say it with me: “Mini-break”

Weald and Downland
Weald and Downland Open Air Museum by me

This weekend I went with Caversham Princess and M to the South Coast and the Hampshire town of Havant; the Princess’s parentals were on holiday, so we had the run of a rather lovely house for the weekend. Power showers, white walls and parquet flooring and a remotely-controlled fire. Fancy pants.

I escaped ASAP from work on Friday and hotfooted it to the train, thoughtfully equipped with wellies, rainwear and multiple bottles of wine. Upon arrival at Havant I noticed that most people waiting outside the station to be picked up were smoking; I was particularly taken with the trio of barely teenage boys shouting sweet nothings along the line of “Youu cuhhhnnt!” in between deep, manly draws on their cigarettes. Deeelightful. Havant itself was pretty, but the empty, boarded-up shops on repeat in the town were not a good sign.

Anyway, we went to see Fishbourne Roman Palace which was rather cool as it had stunning floor mosaics, and we got to handle Roman pottery during a show-and-tell session run by the museum. I love the idea that hundreds or thousands of years ago another thirty-one-year-old was wondering what to wear that day or combing her hair or doing the washing; the sense of continuity is comforting.

All of us went wild in the obligatory gift shop: we spent under three pounds on a variety of replica Roman rings. Ooooo. I was most pleased with my “Emperor’s” and “Serpent” rings in all their “gold” plated finery, which were extra amusing to wear when ordering the fish and chips we had later on that day. We headed home via the beach at East Wittering which turned out to be a wonderful experience; it was very grey, rainy and extremely windy, and the sight of windsurfers cutting along the waves and kitesurfters far out in the roiling surf was excellent.

Experiencing a natural onslaught whilst safely ensconced in Wellingtons and waterproofs is fabulous; I love environments where the power of nature seems to seep into your bones. Your very being is sort of recharged, lit up, boosted- it’s wonderful. I feel better when i’m exposed to such elemental forces; I suppose all my other day-to-day woes are pushed aside.

Back to the house and Euro 2012 with a lot of wine accompanying our fried goodness in order to help England seem an actually able team, followed up with Ghostbusters II and Patriot Games. “How’s the family Ryan?” etcetera etcetera.

It was great to spend some time away from my usual hole with two of my closest friends; the countryside and ocean were very beautiful, and getting away from my regular sad thoughts about Coppell, work and my home was very much appreciated. To begin with, my usual woes didn’t intrude at all, but as time passed and departure time loomed it was back to square one… :(

That night I dreamt I was at an opening of Jayson Musson AKA Hennessy Youngman’s work; I spent the evening talking to a party goer about how I knew Kanye West before he was famous, back when he was a struggling art student. I explained that I was his muse, that he was clearly attracted to me but felt that to make a move on me would be wrong somehow, and so I inspired his poetry.

All of this explanation was accompanied by flashbacks to when me and Kanye were together; he was shorter than I expected, and actually nice. I told the party goer that I had not seen him in many years, but that we’d arranged to meet tomorrow for brunch; I said that I thought Kanye was fragile and not as confident as he appeared, and that I was concerned about him.

Yes, really. Makes a change from my usual dreams of late about going to the supermarket with Coppell or taking Meathead for a walk. Again, yes, really. All I can say is that i’ve been having Trouble Sleeping

Sunday was brunch, better weather and a few hours at the Weald and Downland Open Air Museum. This was again an enjoyable experience; wandering around the various buildings of different ages was very interesting, and the animals in situ and the museum people baking and brewing on site were cool too.

Unfortunately, this is where the sadness started to creep back into my day; as I walked through the verdant woods and peered into gloomy medieval buildings, I thought how lovely it would be to share this with a significant other, to curl up in the meadows and be hidden by the long grass, to look up at the clouds passing by and listen to the buzz of bees and the song of the birds around us. To disappear, with a giggle.

From then on, I felt rather detached from everything and down, and the many friendly dogs I encountered out walking with their owners only served to remind me of Meathead. When I got on the train home I was very glad that the warm weather gave me an excuse to hide my tears behind my sunglasses. Ugh.

Although the weekend ended on a downer, I did enjoy getting away and seeing such good friends and new places. A good weekend.
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Meathead’s Bowl Post Glaze Disaster

Posted Meathead’s fiiinally finished bowl yesterday; I sent it to Coppell’s Mum for safekeeping, after having to fire it again after the glazing went wrong. I did not want to run the risk that Meathead would injure her precious tongue on any sharp bubbles of glaze, so I had to re-do it.

It’s pleasingly “special” looking (read: wonky!) and although it didn’t turn out quite how I wanted, i’m pleased i’ve finally sent it off. I included an explanatory note with the bowl and a request that if possible I be notified that the bowl has arrived. It was rather weird to write and ask something of a woman I never got to meet yet heard so much about.

Oh Meathead… I miss curling up with you.
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Good: Nightmare Brunette

A fascinating, very well-written account of the life, loves and clientèle of a higher-end sex worker:

Nightmare Brunette

It’s an often painful life, but not due to her job, more the emotional side of things; both the writer and the men she has sex with are flawed, and the explorations of these issues (or the lack of exploration) makes for a good read.
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“Bah! Are you not a man? You are a clown!”

Vesti la giubba from Ruggero Leoncavallo’s Pagliacci, sung by Franco Corelli.

I fucking LOVE this piece, and was delighted to hear X.Ray Burns play it amongst the punk and Elton John tracks. Marvellous.

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Seeing not-quite-stars

Exiting new development on the nasal shenanigans front; something sinus-related that i’ve actually not experienced before: Alongside the pain in my teeth and jaw, floaters decorate my field of vision. They’re like tiny waterbugs whizzing around, dark confetti that pops up around the edges. A small glass of wine and some ibuprofen sound just what the doctor didn’t order.
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Nine!Nopoke is NINE!

Nine Between Eight and Ten
by CaptPiper [cc]
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After a tiring day at work where I felt sad, frustrated and increasingly fed up, what I reeeeeaally look forward to is spending hours being forced to listen to someone else’s party.

A party being held by Evangelical Christians.

Two metres outside my room.


What I am huuuuuugely delighted to achieve this evening is a headache, tears and an acute sense of desperation as I listen to hours of babies crying, men shouting sermons, adults shrieking with laughter and bored children banging toys into the wall alongside my room.

I have nowhere else to go.

I went out and spoke to an adult and the kids, who stopped bashing. If only the fucking adults would follow the lead of the small humans thirty years their junior and consider others.

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Sandwiches for tea. It’s not quite breakfast for dinner, but there’s something I enjoy about a good sandwich (or two) in place of a hot meal.

I was very pleased today to see half price smoked salmon on offer when I was having a wander around the supermarket, so I delighted in smoked salmon sandwiches for dinner.

Fresh baguette, squirt of lemon. Simple. Delicious.
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Outlook: Mixed

Managed to have myself a combination box of a weekend; instead of surf ‘n’ turf, or peaches and cream, it was depths of despair and lovely. Yummy.

Not so great: Much weeping and a sense of sadness that filled most of the weekend; sad where your pores seem to brim with it, just waiting for the wind to change direction.

Great: Today I visited Leia Ewok Village in her tiny-yet-perfect new flat; I hope one day I manage to get something similar as it was lovely- Leia’s made it colourful and very cosy, and it was super peaceful. Small but perfectly formed and all that.

It was nice to go somewhere different (i’ve never been to Woolwich) and spend a few hours in her excellent company. We talked about Coppell, relationships, work, “kids today”, epigenetics, aging and Leia’s imminent trip to the Maldives, which is very exciting. Good times.

Back to the whiteboardface tomorrow. NOT looking forward to it.

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Last day with my brother before I travel back to one room living. As the week has passed i’ve found it more difficult to keep my mind off Coppell; it’s very true that you can have access to five-hundred channels and there really isn’t anything on. I’ve finished Jane Fonda and haven’t been able to get into the next book in my pile, Backwards In High Heels; the weather’s been shocking so i’ve had a lot more time to think than i’d usually have during a working week.

Went to see The Avengers and found it a good diversion that actually wasn’t shit despite my having to sit through the 3-d; I usually opt to see regular “no flying objects piercing my eyeball” films if given the option (I wasn’t). Not seen Jeremy Renner in anything other than The Town and he was much more appealing in this; his character was shite but he’s got an interesting face to stare at.

Anyway, the French Open is keeping me company this afternoon and I am glad to be inside out of the now torrential rain. Feeling rather sad today so curled up under a quilt in front of the TV is a good place to be.

In a few days it’ll be two months since Coppell ended things.



Heavy Rain

Spending some time visiting the Parents and brother Ooop North, hence the (temporary) stem in the flow of inane chatter here. Re-arranged all of my Parents’ cutlery and utensil drawers to make them more user-friendly, as I got pissed off with the four tin openers, seemingly millions of bag clips and general overflow of “stuff” getting in the way of actual cooking.

My Dad was horrified by this as I am messy in my personal space; I explained that I get frustrated when I see things that could be improved so that life is made easier for people and that this is why I like helping people. He still didn’t understand.

Playing lots of PS3 (Heavy Rain) is proving a good distraction from work issues and Coppell (though holy fuck- what horrors i’ve had to do in that game!); aside from this i’m taking advantage of the peace and quiet, freezer and Sky connection and generally doing not very much at all.

I have a mope now and then and tear up in the shower as is usual, but nothing too bad. I’m reading a lot and thoroughly enjoying multiple episodes of Star Trek The Original Series and The Next Generation. WIN.
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