I had a haircut this morning – it’s quite a bit shorter than before!
I nearly didn’t make it, I am still using my Glasgow hairdresser as I like and trust him (I find having a haircut quite traumatic which is why I don’t do it very often, but when I find a hairdresser I like I stick with them) so came over to Glasgow as usual this morning to the flat. HD went off to work, and it was only then I discovered I had left my purse in Stirling (at least I hope I did!). So I had to call him at work and get him to come back here and bail me out – I didn’t even have enough money to get the train to the city centre. However as the hairdresser said it was a good way of getting HD to pay for my haircut, perhaps I should try this again next time.
I had no idea HD has a little mini-collection of these beautiful old typewriters, as they have been living in storage the last few years. I have found more than one in the unpacking!
One of my least favourite aspects of the new house is that all the ceilings are artexed. Oh well, there are plenty of worse things. At least the carpets aren’t swirly, even if the ceilings are.
This collection has built up over a number of years, in a big glass thing. I have contributed to it in the past, but last touched a drop on 16th March (viva day). Next year I shall probably contribute a bit more 🙂
Some people may have noticed a bit of a dulling around here. There hasn’t really been anything earth-shattering to write about. The study day yesterday went well – the bit I co-facilitated generated plenty of interesting discussion, the second half was a bit over my head but OK, and we had lots of cake provided. Which isn’t ideal from the losing-weight perspective, but hopefully just one day won’t have too much of a negative impact on my (already large) waistline.
I’ve been seeing lots of photos and hearing about lots of people in the UK having snow, and it all looking lovely and fluffy. Here a few days ago I counted two whole flakes, but that is all we have seen up here. Today it is chucking it down with rain and howling a gale, and the most exciting thing we have done is get some stuff out of storage (without entirely planning where in the Stately Pile we would actually put it). I’m now trying to ignore HD’s tidying spurt, as eventually this means I shall have to tidy up some of the piles of random crappage of my stuff, that I’ve been putting off for ever.
So anyway, nothing to worry about if you don’t see me blogging for a bit – I just don’t want to bore either of my readers to death!
[By the way, my baptism of the keyboard did unfortunately turn out to have been a drowning. Fortunately my department is rubbish at throwing old stuff away, and I was able to swipe the keyboard from the PC of a student who finished her PhD nearly 2 years ago. I’m slightly put out that it doesn’t match the PC now, but I suppose I can’t really complain after my clumsiness!]
I thought you might like to see the alpaca and Miss Lisa’s kookaburra now that we’ve put up our little tree:
Now that the tree’s up I’m (finally) starting to feel like it’s nearly Christmas, and allowing myself to feel like that’s a good thing 🙂
I surely can’t be the only person with a very attractive paper cut to the top lip from licking envelopes? It happens every single year. Ow.
The window has been fixed today. I know I’ve said this before, but I can’t believe the difference between this time and the last time I tried (and, for ages, failed) to get a smashed window fixed after my last London burglary* – then it took I don’t know how many phone calls and rejections and whathaveyou to even get people to quote to replace it, whereas this guy in Glasgow sorted out everything in just a few days. Note to Glasgow people: if you ever need a glazier, I have someone I’d be glad to recommend.
HD has a job interview tomorrow. Prayers appreciated.
I’m getting stupidly anxious about stuff again. Work and money-related, mainly. I’m sure if I wasn’t so tired all the time I’d handle it better. I’d blog more interestingly as well.
* I mean, that my place in London was burgled, not that I was a burglar in London.
I was going to put lots of photos up, of the barge trip and of Helsinki (which was fab, I really liked it), but have been rather distracted this afternoon by the pain in the neck of coming home from church to find that someone had chucked something through one of my front windows. It only broke the outer pane (hooray for double glazing) but I had to get an emergency repair and organise a replacement, not helped by the insurance company being shut and loads of glaziers in the Yellow Pages having out of date or unobtainable numbers but being very helped by the Bank of Dad and by a very helpful glazier who came very promptly when I eventually found one who actually answered the phone. I’m sure it was just a passing vandal rather than a targeted attempt to break into our flat, so I don’t feel really unsafe or anything, but it has reminded me of when I was burgled a few years ago in London and those memories really aren’t very nice so I’d rather not be remembering them (and especially the hassle of getting the window fixed, which took nearly 2 months). So I’ve been having a bit of a Daily Mail hang’em and flog’em rant to myself and am v.cheesed off. Bah.
In other news, HD didn’t get the Aberdeen job, but has another interview (not in Scotland) this coming Friday so hopefully something will come of that. And in other other news, my mum had an operation on Friday (it was meant to be at the end of this month but there was a cancellation so they phoned her up on Thursday and in she went), she seems to be recovering well though and I’ll try to get to see her this week sometime. In other other other news, I’m trying not to think about the essays that were handed in a few days ago while I was away. Just the thing to cheer me up (not).
One of the joys of living in a tenement flat is that we have to use a company of factors (I guess the south of the border equivalent would be a management company – they (allegedly) sort out things like repairs to common areas). Ours is rubbish (as, I suspect, is everyone else’s – I have had no end of “how rubbish is your factor” conversations with various people since being up here), but they are very very cheap, so we’re getting what we’re not paying for, I guess.
Anyway, one of the reasons our particular factor is so cheap is because we don’t pay for a cleaner for the communal areas but do it ourselves – supposedly the two flats on each floor are responsible for their landing and the stairs down to the next landing, and as I’m on the ground floor my responsibility is the close from the front door to the back door, including the front steps. Although it’s technically a shared responsibility, the flat over the close from me is rented so I’ve never bothered asking the tenants to do it – the requirement is for the close to be washed each week, and as it only takes 5 minutes I just think it’s easier to do it myself. Unfortunately, as I’ve been travelling up and down the country each week I haven’t always had the chance to do it, and so it was that it got to this morning and I realised it hadn’t been done for about 3 weeks so I couldn’t leave it any longer. So out came the mop and bucket, and a-cleaning I did go.
Those of you north of the border will be well aware of just how flippin’ COLD it is at the moment. As I mentioned yesterday, the road and pavements are covered in black ice, and of course as soon as I started mopping the close I realised the flaw in my plan. Even though the water was quite hot, it seemed to start icing up as soon as it hit the floor, and I was terrified that one of my neighbours would end up breaking their neck as they left the building by skidding down the steps. So – salt, I thought. I’d put some salt on the steps up to the front door to stop the water from freezing. I thought I had some common or garden cheapo table salt, but it turns out I hadn’t, so I ended up having to sprinkle my steps with posh cracked sea salt! I was just glad I didn’t have to use the twisty salt cellar, as I would have been SO embarrassed!
But, I got back this evening and it seems to have worked, so there we are. If you’re slipping and sliding around your neighbourhood, get out the poncey sea salt. 🙂
I’ve just waved HD off to drive himself back down south after a lovely lazy weekend in Glasgow. Yesterday we were dirty stop-ins 😉 and didn’t get up till 2.30pm! I haven’t done that for years and years and years! I felt a bit bad that having driven all this way just for a couple of days all we did yesterday when we did eventually get up was go to the tip and then the supermarket, and watch a DVD (“Walk the Line”, very good, we liked it) in the evening, but HD said he really enjoyed just being home and relaxing. I know I moan a lot about all the travelling and commuting, but at least I get to come home pretty regularly. He’s been able to come much more sporadically, but I was reminded this weekend how, although it’s not necessarily the most comfortable or luxurious or gorgeous flat in the world, it is somewhere where we can relax and just *be*, and that’s really important.
Today after church we went to lunch at the home of another couple from church. It is kind of ironic, in a church with an average age of about 85, that one of the only other couples our age there are a guy who’s a geeky beardy maths type, and his wife has degrees in Russian and Czech and started (although didn’t complete) a PhD in something to do with central/eastern Europe. So not like us at all then!!!! She also happens to be an amazing cook, and we didn’t take much persuading to take a couple of huge slabs of her ginger cake home (well it would have been rude not to. I do hate being rude).
The last few mornings I’ve been waking up and been so hot I’ve had to toss off the duvet, chuck the hot water bottle out of the bed and (worst of all) actually get up because it’s been too hot. But, when we go to bed it is usually quite cold here, hence the duvet and hot water bottle and whatnot.
This evening I decided (against HD’s better judgment) to turn off the heating. It hadn’t been cold all day, and when I got in this evening (at about the time the heating usually comes on) the flat still felt really warm. Then we started cooking, and messing around on the internet (like you do) and now I’ve just noticed that actually I’m freezing. Too late for the heating now – bring on the bedsocks.
Scotland – all four seasons in one day. Even indoors. Brrrr.
Someone (of this here virtual parish actually, though I won’t out her here) made a comment on my facebook profile about remembering the stresses and suchlike of planning weddings, changing jobs, and combining lives – and there was something about that phrase “combining lives” which has kept bugging me in a must-remember-to-blog-about-that kind of way. On Saturday night, as we were sitting surrounded by boxes and thinking about ordering pizza (in my defence, I didn’t have much in the way of vegetables and, more importantly, there were so many boxes on the kitchen floor it was a bit awkward getting to the cooker) HD’s brother-in-law remarked that he couldn’t imagine what it must be like having someone move into your living space (he’d always had flatshares and whatnot before he got married, so has never lived on his own, unlike HD and me who have both lived on our own for ages). I thought about this for a bit, and I think that given that our relationship has always been a bit odd in that we’ve always been living at different ends of the country, or even further away for much of this year while I was away doing my fieldwork, that the thought of him moving in has been something I’ve been looking forward to much much much more than I’ve been angsting about sharing my space. The long-distance thing has meant that at times it’s really been such an effort, for both of us, that the being-in-an-enclosed-space thing feels like a luxury rather than a source of stress. What has stressed me more (or maybe not stressed so much as been on my mind more) is the fact that, because of my job and my funding I’ve not been able to be at all flexible about which bit of the country we live in, so it’s he who’s had to give up home, job, and all the other familiar stuff, in order to move up here and fit round me. So that has made me feel quite responsible (especially with his job here going tits-up), but also aware again how lucky I am to have him – I know not many guys would have been happy about me disappearing for 5 months and may not have waited, but not only that, to give up so much more to come here is something I don’t want to take lightly or for granted. Here is someone I’m proud to combine my life with.
The only bit of combination that’s really not going to happen (yet anyway) is that of our CD collections. We have completely incompatible systems (mine’s the right one, obviously!) and to fit in with his would be more stress than I can be doing with 🙂
I have been away the last few days helping HD to pack up his stuff in readiness for moving it all into the Stately Pile. Well, I say moving it all – some is now in the Stately Pile, and much of the rest (along with some of my stuff too) is now in storage. HD is a man of very many talents, but it transpires that timely packing isn’t one of them. Fortunately his brother-in-law was also on hand to help, and he drove us up to Scotland yesterday in a very big truck (and sang Flower of Scotland (or at least the first phrase as that’s the only bit he knew) very loudly as we crossed the border).
Anyway – no more trips to Newport for me! It felt a bit weird leaving the old house for the last time. I won’t miss Newport on a Saturday night though (although Glasgow is more than capable of providing all the white stiletto drunkenness you can imagine, Newport certainly doesn’t have the monopoly).
I have alluded to some not very good news this week – basically the new job that HD was due to start tomorrow in Scotland has fallen through. He did say that a number of interesting jobs in his field are being advertised (over the summer when he was looking there were virtually none), so this coming week is going to see lots of CV-sending and agency-contacting activity. It’s really stressful, not to mention very crap indeed [some details edited – probably all Too Much Information].
What isn’t crap though is that in 5 weeks and 6 days’ time we will be in the middle of our wedding 😀