You might not have noticed, but it’s Christmas. Again. I have tried to ignore it but as lovely Jean Luc Picard in Star Trek once said ‘resistance is futile’ so here is my Christmas post. First my two favourite Christmas cartoons.
Yes, I know they are both essentially carrot jokes but I like them anyway.
I’m off up to London tomorrow to meet up with my boys and we are going to see my most favourite of comedians, Eddie Izzard. I am SO excited. I have wanted to see him for years and I thought I had missed my chance as he seemed to be concentrating on his film career at the expense of his stand up comedy. However, he is back! And I am going to see him! Yay!
However, as I’m going to be away for a few days and as it’s Christmas and it’s a busy time and as we are going to be spending Christmas with friends and as I have been very bad at keeping my blog up to date and am feeling a bit jaded, I have decided to take a break from blogging for a week or so and will resume in the New Year.
So, have a wonderfully jolly time with lots of love and merriness and plumptious Christmas good things. I wish you all an especially excellent New Year, may everything be as you would wish it to be. In the meantime, here’s a little Christmas fun, courtesy of my hero, Eddie Izzard.
Took the pooch to the beach yesterday and arrived just as the sky turned black and it started to rain. The upside was there was a beautiful rainbow – well two actually and I managed to get some photographs.
I came home looking like a drowned rat with the added bonus of a sandy wet dog to deal with, so poor Milo had to have another bath and is now back to his fluffy white self. Until he goes digging in the garden again – his new favourite thing.
You may have noticed that I have a Facebook page. (There is a Facebook widget in my sidebar) Lately, I have been getting really hacked off at the ads running down the side of my page. They are presumably targeted at me because of answers I have given in filling in my profile. Yesterday, I was attracted by a photo of Javier Bardem (who wouldn’t be?) but over the image it said “Could I be your husband?” Well, yes please, I thought but then I went on to read further and it was an ad for an internet dating service. In fact all the ads along my Facebook page are for dating services – eHarmony, Fun at 50 Dating (OK rub it in, why don’t you), Kissing gates, (for people who live in the countryside), Toyboy Warehouse (what!!!!), Dating Direct, Telegraph Dating and so on. The other ads were for organic wrinkle reducer and from someone offering me a double eye lift. Christmas is a bad enough time of year for us singletons – so DO NOT RUB IT IN! To cheer me up, here is a gratuitous Javier Bardem photo.
I was invited to a New Years Eve dinner party the other week. My friend said ‘Could you possibly bring someone along? Otherwise we are 13 at the table’. I presume he meant it was inauspicious to see the New Year in with 13 people. Marvellous. So now I’m not just a gooseberry, I’m an unlucky gooseberry. It strikes me that I am only number 13 if you count me last. If you count me first, then I am number 1 and someone else is number 13 and they should bring another friend. And, if I knew a single man to bring, then I wouldn’t be single!! I know my friend was only joking (probably) but it isn’t beyond the bounds of possibility that he could invite a few more people so we wouldn’t be 13…. some single men would be nice…
I’ve been busy. Yes, me. Holiday Queen. I designed a website for a friend and she mentioned this to her friend who happened to need a website and her brother, who happened to need a website and Lo! and Behold! I have been working. All a bit of a shock to the system really especially to poor Milo who can’t understand why I won’t play with him every minute of the day.
The other down side is that it has dramatically curtailed my blog visits – sorry! But after a day of coding html and css and wrestling with the vagaries of Internet Explorer (Please, World – buy a Mac!) I haven’t had time to visit or post here either.
I have come up against a very thorny, perennial problem working for friends – and friends of friends – how much to charge for my services. I’m obviously not a professional but I would like to think that I do a good professional job – basic with few ‘bells and whistles’ and that is what a lot of people seem to want. ( Check out Duck House) However, given the time it takes to code a website ‘properly’, if I charged a reasonable amount an hour, the costs would be huge, so I charge a fairly low fixed fee. Compared to a ‘professional’ web designer, I am cheap as chips. So my dilemma is, do I pretend to be a ‘professional’ or admit I am a beginner. I would like to make some money doing this. My #2 son who is a newly graduated graphic designer is going to send me a ‘rate card’ which he has taken to using, having suffered the problem of agreeing a fixed fee and then ending up with the job taking much longer than anticipated. It’s a minefield!
I am rubbish at negotiating. Or standing up for myself. I have been attempting to sell my books at an art sale in the town where I live. I don’t want to undervalue them yet I don’t want to over charge for them and I would like to sell some. I put them at a lowish price (bearing in mind I’m not in the West End of London) and haven’t sold one. Do I lower my prices even more and almost give them away? They are getting lots of positive comments so I think that it’s just not the right marketplace for them but it is disheartening. I’d be interested to hear your thoughts on all this. Sorry this has been such a serious post but it has been bothering me.
So to cheer things up, here is a clip from ‘Outnumbered’ which is quite my favourite thing on TV. The second series is fabulous. Last week Karen, the little girl held a funeral for a mouse caught in a trap in their kitchen. It was priceless.
Her teddy bear stood in for the Pope and she said ‘ Dust to dust. For richer for poorer. In sickness and in health. May the force be with you. Because you’re worth it. Amen and out’.
She also asked why Gordon Ramsey swore so much. ‘Shouldn’t it be people like doctors and soldiers and artists that swear? Not cooks. All they are doing is making salad.’ I love her.
And finally, that time of year which I prefer to ignore is looming fast. It’s a minefield and now the boys are grown up and I’m single, I dread it. I don’t want the boys to feel they have to come home but of course, I hope they do! The first time they both had other plans, I went to stay with friends in Vancouver. I had a great time but it was so weird not being with my boys. Last year they both came home and as I had just broken up with my partner and was not in the best of moods, my ex joined us – which was weird but OK. At least he was a welcome distraction! This year, one son has said he is home, the other is negotiating where to spend Christmas, with his girlfriend and I am waiting to hear his plans. Thankfully, a dear friend has invited us to spend Christmas day with them. #2 son is thrilled as she does cook THE BEST Christmas dinner. Yes, even better than mine….
I’m determined to be organized this year. I’ve already ordered my Christmas tree from Crocus, I am going to buy my cards soon so I don’t end up with the horrible leftovers and if I write and post them early, I won’t be stuck in the horrendous queue in the Post Office for hours on end on the last day of posting and maybe the cards I send overseas might actually arrive before Christmas this year.
It’s a bit early for cherry blossoms but I really like this paper, so fresh and girlie. Now that the Christmas decorations are coming down it seemed right to think ahead to Spring – even though it is grey and rainy outside and was blowing a hooley outside last night.
The house looks very bare without the decorations, my kitchen is spookily tidy without decorations or mess from my bookmaking, (which has all transferred upstairs to the top floor bedroom.) I have so much to do that I end up doing nothing as I don’t know quite where to begin, I got distracted from the organizing and the sorting out and decided to make a book instead – hence this book!
I have also been wasting time playing around with Hairmixer. I am yet again going through the agonising decision making that revolves around my hairstyle, I feel that I am in need of a radical makeover. New Year, new hairstyle and all that. I have a theory that women do reach an age where long hair starts to look a bit ‘mutton dressed as lamb-ish’ and there doesn’t seem to be a definitive answer as to when this transition occurs, I thought I would experiment with Hairmixer and see if I could come up with any solutions. You upload a photograph of yourself and then you can see what you look like with various celebrity hairstyles. (Very silly is the answer to that one!)
First, here are a series of photos of me with the many varied hairstyles I have had over the years. They are pretty much in the right order with the last one being the most recent. As you can see some are pretty ghastly and never to be repeated!
And now here are my experiments with Hairmixer, featuring me with the hair of Catherine Zeta-Jones (first two) then Angelina Jolie, Meg Ryan and finally, Lulu.
I’m actually starting to think that my hair isn’t so bad after all and I shan’t be going blonde any time in the near future!
Well, here we are, 2008 already. I haven’t written here for ages – a combination of a hectic Christmas and a severe ‘stuck in the doldrums’ mood. Just haven’t felt like blogging but I have decided that as it is a new year I am going to throw myself back into making my books and blogging, it’s good therapy.
Christmas was – well, Christmas was unusual to say the least. I was feeling very depressed following the unexpected break up of my current relationship and not looking forward to the festivities one bit. So my ex-husband volunteered to stay over Christmas and we all ended up having a really nice time. It was good to have someone with me to go the the various parties I had been invited to, and I’m sure we caused a stir. Half the people were wondering if we had got back together (we haven’t) and the other half weren’t even aware we had split up (it was six years ago!) and so were very puzzled by what was going on. I have always wanted a big brother (I have three sisters) and oddly, that is what my ex seems to have become – a great friend. My sons loved having him around and it took the pressure off me having to be jolly when I felt anything but.
The boys are both away after celebrating New Year with their friends so the house is quiet. I cooked dinner for some friends last night and we walked into town to see the New Year in. Today, for the first time I felt like writing. Another year begins and I am going to get on with it, stop moping and make a fresh start. I just read that I have won a year’s worth of flowers over at Go! Smell the Flowers which was a lovely start to the year and maybe an omen that this year is going to be better. Hurrah for me!
So have a very happy 2008 everyone. thanks for all your wonderful good wishes, encouragement and support. You are all fab. This is to make you smile.