Thursday, July 26, 2007

Strapless, you say?

I loved that film Muriel's Wedding, where kooky, likeable Muriel spends years planning her wedding day, long before she meets any potential boyfriends. She goes into bridal shops and tries on the merch. Once, I wandered into a bridal shop in Princess Square (a posh shopping mall in Glasgow). I was single, in my mid twenties, and thought I'd just look at the dresses. The shop assistant approached and asked if I'd set a date yet. I ran away.

I saw a poster yesterday for a bride's night out. Que? It showed a photo of a bride laughing raucously, clutching her waist. I moved closer to read the text. Something like - Want to wear your wedding dress again? Never been a bride and always wanted to wear the dress? Fancy a great night out with the girls? £55 per bride or £550 a table of ten.

I paused to let my brain adjust. So it was a night out at a hotel, knocking back champagne with a few hundred women, all dressed in strapless, ivory, diamonte-encrusted gowns?

At last, I read in the small print that it was for a women's charity. Ahh, Char-it-y. Phew! And relax. Good for them. Them to their fancy and me to my Nancy. I must be getting older as - no matter how much I admire a decent bit of bridal couture - my Nancy wouldn't include wearing it without getting married - just to see what it feels like.

Better get up now and put on my Cat Woman outfit to clean the bathroom.

PS. Here's a recent photo of my brother, John and his lovely bride, Sarah. Not just dressy-up. The real McCoy.


Monday, July 23, 2007

Four Firemen

Four firemen came out to fix my beeping smoke detector. It had beeped all through the night - I put in earplugs and struggled to sleep, telling myself to think of the piercing beeps as mere bird tweeps.

Today, in attempts to fix it, Nice Man had gone up ladders in a valiant, Nice-Manly way. To no avail.

I was about to phone an electrician and then my mum phoned the local fire station for advice. Out they came, in their fire truck! They didn't wear fire uniform, but their black trousers and tight, black t-shirts weren't too hard on the eye (sorry, Nice Man).

The firemen diagnosed the beeping as emanating from the carbon monoxide detector linked to the central heating and not, in fact, the nearby smoke detector. Anyway, they took it away to smash it and recommended I buy a new one. I was embarrassed not to have figured this out myself but they couldn't have been nicer. All praise be to firemen everywhere.

They'll need all the firemen they can get for the floods in England (global warming surely?). I feel so sorry for the people in flooded homes. Newsreader, Peter Sissons, was interviewing a woman over the phone as the flood waters rose in her street. He was running out of questions, and asked if any livestock in the area were affected. Well, my cat's sleeping on the bed upstairs, she said.


Friday, July 20, 2007

There it's there

Photo Link

Readers, I am back online. And while you pop the champagne corks for me, let me tell you of today's small adventures in the in-between land of trying-to-get-better.

For this, I must improvise a new word: Schadenschade - the opposite of Schadenfreude. Let Schadenschade denote the feeling experienced when you are involved in a situation or event that is worthy and well-meant, and you start out with enthusiasm, and yes, definite aspiration....until gradually this va-va-voom morphs into deflation, as you start to feel compromised by the very situation you had such generous hope for.

I started a short journalism course run by an international charity and in the first lesson on grammar and proof reading, many minutes were spent making sure everyone understood the difference between There, They're and Their.

I know. There were foreign students with limited English in the class. The teacher seemed a very decent guy and naturally didn't want to exclude anyone. Everyone was smiley and warm. The charity is life-affirming and ultra-worthy. But I ended up feeling comatose with drowsiness, as I had grasped the difference between There, They're and Their in Primary 5, and learning it again, several times over, made me want to leap out of the window just to alleviate the passing boredom. I felt weak with ennui.

Trying-to-get-better is littered with heart-buckling, Schadenschade schemes. I am not well enough to start a job on a newspaper. I can write the odd thing at home alone, but ultimately I'd love to move towards infrastructure and other people and chatty lunch breaks. Beggars can't be choosers - and no matter how uppity my frustration sounds - I know I am indeed a beggar in terms of work-life experience. I would be streets ahead if I had been able to finish my honours degree and train in a profession - psychologist, teacher, journalist, whatever... All of these would have built layers of confidence and expertise, where now there is only a great blank in my CV. Having said that, I used to think that dealing with serious illness was/is the hardest of jobs, so surely there is strength in that.

So where to next? I will keep thinking. We wore name badges today and people (understandably) pronounced Ciara as Key-ara. I scored it out and wrote 'Kira'. What else needs a line through it and a new piece of paper?

Have I been too moany? Do I need to practise the art of patience?


Thursday, July 12, 2007

Hung out to dry

Five to ten working days was the last estimate for when I might receive my new modem. Throw in two postal strikes and the fact that Talk Talk promised me my modem two weeks ago, and who knows when it'll arrive. My 'Sweex' (?) wireless router is still failing to open websites and the helpful folk at Sweex (who hell they?) have no helpline. You can email them and they'll respond three days of the week. They recommend I log on to websites with long lists of numbers in the title. Hey, I can't get on to any websites from home, let alone obscure techie portals that magically reset wireless frequencies.

I am still using other people's computers every couple of days, which is a bit like using other people's bathrooms. You never quite relax. You miss your own shampoo.

Anyway, friends, I have finally recovered the lost ground from the bug. I am back to my batting average, always hoping I can uncover new avenues of progress, while accepting that things can be frustratingly slow at times too. I fancy going to the cinema again soon. We saw Paris Je t'aime earlier in the week and generally J'aimed it.

Until next time, (I hate to let go of your hand, oh t'internet readers)...

Saturday, July 07, 2007

Whisking the cake mixture of Life

Wow - have I slumped this week or what? I was over-hasty in trying to get passed my sick bug horriblus. I actually feel worse 5 days after it, as opposed to 2 days after it. My progress chart has nose-dived. I am trying not to get alarmed, yet the deja vu isn't pretty - the feeling of 'poison' in the veins, the gasping-to-lie-down waves of weakness. My deepest fear in these situations is that the Mickel progress was some sort of random fluke that may have run it's course. I can't let myself believe that, so far, but those are the darkest thoughts. Okay, wheesht, calm, - vent over. There, I've said it, in the hope of exorcising doubt. If you are still here, readers, you are with me on the ups and downs. Now I shall refocus on the blackboard as best I can.

Still no Internet and I am writing this post from the spare bedroom as I baby-sit for the kids of a dear friend. This dear friend is a very busy doctor and she hasn't ever managed to read my blog - I tease her about it. She didn't know what a blog was. I can tease her again that I wrote mine from her spare bedroom and she still won't get round to reading it. The kids are sleeping now. They were watching a DVD she bought - some adventure story about huskies and swarthy explorers in the Arctic. The kids asked me about frost bite and I had to tell them gently it could make you lose your fingers.' That's not very good for whisking cake mixture, said the wee girl. No. That and other things.

This non-weather is getting beyond a joke. I keep wondering if a sustained blast of sunshine would pep me up.


Wednesday, July 04, 2007

I sorely miss my internet!

Readers, Readers, I feel so cut off from you! My home Internet drought stretches on and today my new ISP will send a second modem in the post, the first having gone missing, (why does so much stuff seems to disappear in the post these days?)

Due to circumstance, my blog posts are reduced to brisk bulletins from other people's computers, rather than leisurely ponderings with occasional photos. So for today's bulletin -

We all enjoyed my brother's wedding in the gardens of a Scottish country house at the weekend. The rain plashed heavily on the B+Q Gazebos but the romance and good feeling was more than enough to make up for weather mishaps. Just a great day all round.

Yesterday I woke up with some kind of acute sickness bug and spent all day leaning over a bucket at the side of my bed. It was truly torturous. I'd forgotten how awful it can be, how hard to put into words.

Today I have been able to eat again and make it to my parent's computer. Praise Be.