Holiday Plans

Or rather, a lack thereof, certainly for this year is exercising this bear of little brain’s mind. It’s just as well the library work is staying part time so I can keep time for myself and the writing.


It also means that finding time to help get the Charleesi to visit upcoming university open days will be a bit easier. We’ve just started to work out the next few months’ logistics and hopefully I’ll only need a few strategically placed leave requests to handle some overnight stays.

So that’s good, if mildly terrifying, to contemplate. As with most things she contemplates, there’s a certain organised inplacability about the lists of prospectuses ordered, tickets being ordered and likely grade requirements being produced in the handouts she’s producing for us mere mortals her parents…

So, probably no Disney or wild extravaganzas to be detailed here a while, but we do have some plans for Christmas 2017 that should be pretty awesome.

So Much For A Quiet Night

wpid-wp-1441220252426.jpegYou know it’s been a good night when your planned quiet evening in ends in the early hours of the morning after the consumption of several bottles of wine and the cooking of bacon and black pudding sandwiches at midnight. Strangely I don’t feel as tired as after the usual #Tuesday shenanigans, but that’s probably because there’s been less driving involved – or possibly the wine has a different residual effect on me than the beer and diet coke that I normally switch between on any given night out.

We’d invited Sir S round, having cancelled our plans for the usual night out. We were both feeling drained and exhausted and we had his birthday present sat on a bookcase looking lonely so it seemed a gentle compromise. The problem is that Sir S is one of those people who lifts a room just by walking in. He works hard on his positivity, and it’s hard not to smile when the anecdotes and silliness begins to roll out. He’s also – like me – an incorrigible flirt, so our evening just rolled along.

And you know what? I can’t remember half of what we talked about. There were no dramas, no back-biting, no sharing of worries: just childhood stories, favoured reminiscences, random observations and geeky asides. It was lovely.

But it was still gone 2am when I tumbled in to bed (Lady M had retreated an hour or so earlier), with the knowledge that my morning held opening up the library, cashing up, Story Time, and training new staff. I (thankfully) don’t have a hangover, but I am leaning heavily on the caffeine to be productive this evening. This current cup will be my last for the next 24 hours I think.

A damn good night though. Funny how getting even more tired suddenly feels refreshing

International Rescue

There are times when my counsellor looks at me, raises an eyebrow, and struggles to sigh, grin, and stay composed all at the same time. It usually happens when I’ve been putting other people’s needs ahead of my own for an extended period of time, and I’m looking a bit ragged around the edges.


The last week or so has been one of those rollercoaster events, coupled with overtime at the library and an extra influx of articles, so suffice to say I’m enjoying a weekend of doing not much and curling up with Lady M.

The recent troubles arose out of events in Lady G’s life (she who has also been dubbed Lady M-to-be by the current and ex-Lady Ms. Pay attention, there may be a test later). Domestic life in her household has not been going smoothly, and all of us in her social circle have been increasingly concerned by the behaviours of her partner – especially those of us who have been in emotionally abusive relationships in the past.

This came to a head last Sunday when some of us were down the pub. I received a message from Lady G that her partner had accused her of being an alcoholic, and that none of her friends liked her when she was drunk.

Having supported people battling with drugs and alcohol, I can tell you categorically right now that she is not an alcoholic.

I showed the message to the assembled throng, and my favourite Valkyries (Ladies M and P) rose from our game of Cards Against Humanity, grabbed the car keys, and drove round to Lady G’s house to kidnap rescue her for the afternoon. A very pleasant afternoon and evening then followed, as we reinforced our support, love, friendship, and care for her while continuing the game.

We dropped her home later, and stayed on standby to rescue her if things turned nasty. She ended up coming over to the flat the next day and staying over. A number of in-jokes based on comments made in arguments have now gained currency in our group, and while she is back home and her partner pretending nothing has happened, she is thinking things through.

This of course is the frustration any of us feel when we see someone in a bad situation, where they are being acidicly undermined and made to lose their self confidence. The urge to leap in and rescue someone can feel overwhelming, but the only person who can resolve things is Lady G herself.

It is hard to watch, but we are all supporting her with kind words, jokes, and counter arguments to what she is being told by her partner.  How will things turn out? Well that depends on what makes Lady G happy I guess.

I Must Have A Sign On My Head

I thought I’d share something that happened today. I had to drop in to Staines earlier to pick up a pair of Doc Marten shoes that I had resoled, so decided to take the bus. This was mostly so I wouldn’t have to fight for a parking space for what would essentially be a five minute stay.

On the way, a young mum brought a push chair onboard. She got the approximately three year old toddler in it out, and ushered him to the seat beside me. The child looked at me, looked back at mum, and then at me again until I nodded. That seemed to be his cue to scramble up.

He then began to chatter away about the journey, asking questions, and generally being a fearless observer of life around him, which included who I was and what I was doing.

Well, he was so inoffensive that I couldn’t be rude and ignore him. In addition there was a thought of reassuring his mother that I wasn’t some random menace, so I mentioned the library. This led to more questions, and an impromptu selection of Rhymetime songs. Singing The Wheels On The Bus, while actually on a bus definitely counts as one of the more surreal moments of the week…

Exam Stresses Ahoy


Not mine, just to make that clear, but rather for two of my nearest and dearest. Lady M has picked up her CIPS professional studies again, which she had to put to one side when everything hit the fan at the beginning of the year. The Charleesi is fast approaching her AS levels, and is racing to beat her deadlines for her photography portfolio this week.

It’s not easy seeing the stresses induced by exam periods, and I’m proud of the dedication, discipline, and focus that they are both showing. Even when I’m not around them, I’m reminded of it by the expressions on the faces of the students who come in to the library every day.

I’m getting used to the sighs, the frantic tapping of keyboards, the slightly glazed expressions and the sometimes zombie-like thirst for cups of tea all around me. Hopefully, when they’ve finished their exams, they’ll look back on this blog entry and laugh with me rather than push me down the stairs.

If they are addicted more than usual to the healing power of tea, my own adventures in caffeine took a somewhat dark step last week. We’d cancelled our usual Monday D&D session due to people’s life and work getting in the way, but a certain Lord Danger lives about five minutes’ drive away and I had a birthday present to deliver.

“I’ll put the kettle on.” He said, and I noticed a certain Sir K in the background. I killed the Hangout session and let Lady M know I was popping out. What’s the worst that could happen, I asked?

On my arrival, I was greeted with a large jug of mocha made from the ground up souls of the damned. Sorry I mean: Fucking Strong Coffee,  which Lord Danger had been sent as a gift by his brother. I can only infer that this was in fact an assassination attempt by his brother rather than a token of filial birthday appreciation.

We collapsed on the sofa, cranked up Starsky & Hutch on Netflix, and poured a mug each. Two cups later, I was hearing colours, Lord Danger had leg spasms, and Sir K was having a panic attack. The next morning, I had what can best be described as a caffeine hangover and my reputation for being able to consume outrageous substances was intact.

So far I have resisted buying any for myself, if only because my GP is trying to get my blood pressure to stabilise and taking stupidly powerful stimulants seems a poor way of repaying their efforts.

Maybe I should invest in some Calm The Fuck Down Tea for everyone?

Fiction Fragment: Devil Horned

Loosely based around #Tuesday shenanigans, but I’m not sure if it goes anywhere:

Devil Horns

   We watched as Anna dipped the beer mat closer to the candle flame. Soaked in untold beverages, the nearest corner caught and burned reluctantly. The flame wasn’t candle-bright, but was instead dominated by a sullen green-blue hue for the duration of its brief existence. She flipped the mat around and attacked the other corner. Then she frowned in concentration and bit her lip.
She moved the mat more quickly this time, igniting the two charred corners in turn and then lifting it upright in triumph. Tiny flames curved up on each side. “Devil horns!” she proclaimed, a broad grin spreading across her features.

Drabble: Puzzle Piece

She half sang, half murmured the beginning of a poem she’d written when she was fifteen – a song of being missing a puzzle piece, or of being a piece for the wrong puzzle. It was a simple cadence with a soft lilt, bearing with it another thirty years of experience and new insight.

A pint glass sat before her, symbol of this foreign land now more familiar than her native stars and stripes. She’d seen such things, both painful and joyous, and yet right in this moment she still wasn’t sure if she was the puzzle or the piece.

Well that was embarrassing

I upgraded my phone this week. Did it transfer all the app permissions and passwords. Don’t be silly. Could I remember the password for this site? Could I, buggery…

All is now well thanks to some simple double checking in my PC Firefox client security settings.

I’d forget my head if it wasn’t nailed on… oh, the phone’s the new Samsung Galaxy S7 Edge. It’s rather good.