Monday, January 31, 2011

One down, eleven to go?

January over and not a Christmas tree lying in the back garden disposed of. Only today did I finally remember to put out the green bin containing empty Christmas cracker boxes, wrapping paper inserts and various other seasonal recyclables. 

The month saw the end of the longest cold / flu type thing I’ve ever had and the start of a month working solo while a replacement is found to sit at the other desk. 

Weekends were taken up with a half birthday party for the why-the-hell-not of it, visiting friends London, wandering around Kilkenny and holding a baking class for my friend's 12-year-old’s birthday party.

In between the weekends my moleskine filled up with lunches and dinners, a little bit of culture and plenty of sitting on the couch commentating on the ads and falling asleep during the programmes.

I have slipped on the ironing, but not on the fruit and veg. Alcohol has kept itself to the weekends, chocolate has not. Fish and red meat need some work, but I've read plenty to make up for it.

I've had my first creme egg of the season, I've paid far too much attention to the future of Fernando Torres and far less on the future of our government.

All in all not a bad month, not a bad start. There's a grand stretch in the evenings and the promise of a summer is teasing. 

Thursday, January 20, 2011

A little guest

For my friend's daughter's 12th birthday I am bringing her to a concert. Not one the cool kids would go to, but I don't think either of us would claim to be one of those. We're going to a piano recital in the National Concert Hall. 

I loved the National Concert Hall when I was her age. I loved it, even though I fell asleep every time. I have no doubt I will do the same this time.

So I booked the tickets and we started to plan.

She can come to my house after school on Thursday evening, have dinner here and get changed. If it's ok with you, and with her, she can stay over and I'll drop her to school on Friday morning?
 
Thursday evening is choir after school. Her Dad will drop her over afterwards. Unless she has a rehearsal for a performance. She can't remember. She'll check. They have a rehearsal but she can't go to the performance, so no rehearsal for her.

Grand so,  sorted, easy.
 
Realising that I will have to send her off to school with a packed lunch I ring my friend to check. "Does she eat ham? I know she eats cheese and tuna, but does she eat ham?". She'll eat ham.

Knowing my house usually has boring grown up cereal my friend advises me: "She'll eat Special K for breakfast". However, she is in luck, I have Cheerios.

Back to lunch and it's confirmed that she'll have a ham sandwich, and some fruit, and a yoghurt. No junk food, and that includes popcorn. 

I am momentarily puzzled by my friend's suggestion that she will take "a cup of water", wondering how she will balance the cup of water in her school bag, before realising she means a sealed cup that belongs to her lunchbox.

For dinner I know she'll eat pasta, with my homemade tomato sauce. Either with chicken or made into a bolognaise of sorts. She'd eat a bit of green salad, but makes faces at rocket. Must remember to get green salad with rocket. Chicken or mince? Which would she prefer? Do I have spaghetti? Is penne easier?

Tidy the spare room. Return bed to bed-like state instead of usual horizontal wardrobe. Change the sheets. Have words with the duvet and its cover. Climb in, get a little panicked, come out alive. Turn on radiator. Leave out guest towels.

I want her to eat well and sleep well. I want her to enjoy her evening. I want her to feel comfortable in my home.

Somewhere between babysitting and having a house guest.

Thursday, January 13, 2011

And relax..

Monday

Got up, had porridge, went to work, grabbed a coffee, work work work, maybe lunch, maybe not, work work work. 
 
After work, went to class, busy busy, January, resolutions, packed up, went home.
 
Arrived home, chop chop, one butternut squash, two onions, two sticks of celery, one carrot, one red pepper, four cloves of garlic, two chillies, roasting tin, oven on, 45 minutes, big pot, stock, simmer, season, blitz.  Next, one broccoli, one onion, two sticks of celery, stock, simmer, cream cheese, season, blitz. Next, pasta, boil, sauce, lunchbox.

9.45pm. What? How? Dinner, CSI, bed.
 
Tuesday

Got up, went to work, grabbed a coffee, had porridge, work work work, pasta lunch, work work work. 
 
After work, went to my parents, delivered soup, had dinner, read Herald, laughed at crackly TV reception during Rice Krispies ad, asked questions about Home and Away, flamin' gallah.

Back home, undecorated the Christmas tree, took out Henry for a vacuum and a chat, washing to dryer, washing to washer, dishwasher to empty.

9.15pm. What? How? CSI, bed.
 
Wednesday

Got up, went to work, grabbed a coffee, had porridge, work work work, pasta lunch, work work work. 
 
After work, er… em… huh?

No soup to make, house to clean or anyone to play with, so I wandered. In and out of my favourite shops, invisible in my head. Maybe a DVD, maybe a book, a bad day, something nice? 

In the big doors, past the fish tank, dodging ladies dressed in black trying to squirt me. To the Chanel counter! “One bottle of your finest Coco Mademoiselle please”. Emptying envelopes, pooling vouchers. Only €7.50 you say, a bargain.

Out I go, swinging my designer paper bag, feeling important, knowing I’m not and being happier for it. 
 
Off I go, bus home, stop in the shop, milk, a banana, a roll for dinner, back to reality.

And then it was Thursday, my Friday, the 13th.

Tuesday, January 4, 2011

Good intentions.

“And so this is Christmas and what have you done”. No.
 
“Simply having a wonderful Christmas time”. No.
 
“Back to life, back to reality”. More appropriate, sure, but certainly not better. 
 
Today was the longest working day of my life. Well, since at least the 5th  of January 2010. Getting up to an alarm, putting on a suit that only shrunk slightly over the Christmas. Porridge with mixed berries, natural yoghurt and honey for breakfast. Packed lunch of chicken, green salad and brown bread. A healthy start to the year. 

Tap tap tap... bored. 
 
Luckily I have lots of good plans (if not good money) to see me through the month. A party of sorts for no reason, a weekend in London, a night away in somewhere. Hopefully these plans will give me something to write about around these parts. 

As per everyone else my Christmas involved some sort of cold / flu thing, having nightmares about eating yet more turkey and ham, eating more chocolate than I’d eaten in the previous 11 months, watching 13 or 14 episodes of The Inbetweeners and lots and lots of sitting and sleeping. Not very exciting. Enjoyable though.

Thank goodness for a short week this week. And next week and the week after. Oh yes, I very cleverly (and by cleverly I mean totally unintentionally) booked Friday of next week and Monday of the week after, to go to London for the weekend and use up some carry over days. 

By the last week of January, and my first full week of the year, I will have forgotten what it’s like to be in a constant state of fullness and sleepiness, forgotten what it’s like to forget about work, so the whole five days in a row thing will be a breeze, right?

I’ll also have eaten five portions of fruit and veg per day, one or two of fish per week, ditto red meat, only drunk alcohol at weekends, only eaten chocolate as a treat (not as a food group!), read more and ironed my clothes the night before.

Ah January.