Wednesday, 26 March 2008


to those of you reading the last post in Bloglines. For some reason it has decided to strip the venue of my boozy lunch in London out, though you can still see it in the original post. Very bizarre - reminds me of old Victorian novels where they say 'Mr. Twombley of _____shire' all over the place. It was Covent Garden, by the way. Should you be bothered.

Well, well, well…

…Three holes in the ground. (as my dad used to say)

It’s been exactly a year since my first post. Who’d have thought it? Given that any previous attempts at diarising my life and random thoughts had been limited to a half-filled in notebook at the age of 13, invariably detailing the angst and tribulations of crushes on random schoolboys from the boys’ school up the road from ours, and abandoned after a few weeks, I think I’ve done jolly well to keep it up for a year.

I’ve come to enjoy posting up odd thoughts here and there, and it’s certainly good to flick back over the months and remind myself of what we’ve been up to. It’s also made me more appreciative of other friends’ blogs. On the Saturday before Easter I met up with some ex-Virgin friends for a long boozy lunch in Covent Garden, most of whom I’ve not actually seen in the flesh (so to speak) since I left Virgin last May/June. But, for Dan and Mark in particular, it was as though no formal ‘catching up’ was necessary, as I knew what they’ve been doing with their lives through their blogs.

My good intentions remain, though others have fallen by the wayside over the past year. I still promise to post more pictures, especially as I have seedlings germinating in the kitchen as we speak and with any luck and everything crossed, the garden will be a veritable riot of colour this summer. If the bloody weather starts playing ball, that is. And I will go back to Body Balance, eventually, I'm sure...

Sunday, 16 March 2008

Green fingered bug

Now we have our new fence up and sternly defending our borders against intruders (it doesn't seem to have done a very good job so far of keeping next door's cats or the blasted pigeons away though) it's made the garden look very bare. I hadn't quite realised exactly how much foliage, ivy, overhanging buddleia and general greenery was spilling over into our garden from next door, or quite how little we actually had in our own right hand border. But when the 6 foot fence went up a few weeks ago, it made it pretty obvious that re-stocking was in order, preferably with fast growing climbers.

Eventually we want to re-landscape a bit, put in a pond, get a replacement greenhouse, increase the size of the borders and get a raised bed or two for some veg. This, I think, is a job for winter when everything's died back and you can see what you're working with - but now, with the crocuses, daffodils, tulips, and bluebells either blooming or shooting up, is not the right time.

So last Sunday we went to the local garden centre and splurged. After all, as Ali said, if we've spent £hurgherhermmmmHOWMUCH?? on a new fence, we may as well invest in some decent plants to grow alongside it. This is what we got:

Clematis 'Niobe'
Lupins 'My Castle' and 'The Chatelaine'
Hebe 'Purple Shamrock'
Blackcurrant 'Ben Sarek' and 'Baldwin'
Redcurrant 'Red Lake'
Raspberry canes 'Autumn Bliss'

plus some stinky manure to spread around everywhere and nourish the new growth. This stuff is fab, actually not that stinky at all, and really really cheap, so I can see us getting some more bags as and when we need mulch. The single compost bin we have is good for making compost for planting and general nourishment but if you're digging it into a whole border it doesn't go far.

Of course having spent an enjoyable Sunday afternoon planting all this stuff out, it had to go and storm on Sunday night - but luckily the gods were on our side and nothing got uprooted, knocked over or even slightly battered. This weekend it has mostly been raining dismally, so I'm banking on a sunny Easter so I can get out there and get my hands dirty again next week.

Wednesday, 5 March 2008

Peep show

Thank you domesticali's blog chum Di (whose knitting blog I will be subscribing to forthwith) for this fantastic and great big grin-inducing link. I've never come across Peeps before but when Ali and I are in New York in May I'll definitely be trying to find some. In the meantime this slideshow is ruddy wonderful. Enjoy...

Tuesday, 4 March 2008

Willpower; or, Why Do I Always Succumb To Peer Pressure?

So yesterday morning I updated my Facebook status to 'Kathryn is resolved to have a booze-free fortnight'. Partly as a result of a wine-fuelled Saturday night at my parents along with my godparents and some family friends, where, while I didn't have a hangover the next day, totalling up the number of glasses drunk nevertheless made for sobering reading. At least I didn't finish the night on whisky, unlike Ali and my Dad, who were both very worse for wear on Sunday morning. So much so that Mum even emailed me yesterday to ask if Ali had recovered (and knowing the infrequency with which she checks her yahoo account, this was concern indeed).

Actually I've been relatively abstemious this year so far, mostly because of the various bugs and viruses which laid me low until about mid February, but also out of a desire to live a little healthier. So a booze free fortnight wasn't presenting me with many qualms, after all, only one real weekend to get through and no major nights out planned.

Except last night, after a meeting with our agency in an office right in the middle of heavingly busy Oxford Street (are there ever any days of the year when it isn't teaming with people?) I was about to take my leave at 5.30 and fight my way onto a tube at Oxford Circus. It took me almost 5 seconds to decide in favour of the suggestion of a quick drink, and even less time to agree to the champagne ordered in the bar. Yet a mere 9 hours earlier I was convinced a couple of weeks of orange juice and fizzy water were the right way forward and determined to stick to it. I could have declined the after-work social and gone home (boring and anti-social as well as possibly missing out on any juicy gossip or even just interesting general chit chat). Or I could have chosen a mineral water as my drink of choice (the sensible thing to do but nowhere near as tasty as a couple of glasses of cold champagne). Instead it didn't even present me with a moral dilemma - I just changed my mind in favour of the easy and more enjoyable route.

I wouldn't even be blogging about this normally, except a similar cop out occurred last Tuesday, when I just decided not to go to Body Balance. I was home in plenty of time, wasn't feeling ill, knew I could do with going and also knew I would enjoy it when I got there. I didn't even make a feeble excuse to myself like I normally do ("oh I'm so shattered/run down" "oh it will be too busy and I won't get a decent spot" " oh I don't have enough cash on me"). I just didn't want to go. My good intentions appear to be being sabotaged by a lazy little devil on my shoulder, whispering words of apathy in my ear whenever it looks like I'm about to make a decent decision. I'm not sure I like it - somehow I need to find the willpower to close my ears when those thoughts insinuate themselves into my head.

But that champagne *was* nice...