Saturday, December 31, 2005
I started this year with no job. I end the year having just left one job and about to start another which I'm excited about.
I started the year with a red bug, I end the year with a turquoise one.
I started the year as a Londoner, I end the year soon to be a Cantabrian (by residence only, I'm still an Oxonian (and a Londoner) at heart.)
I started the year single, I end the year still single.
I started the year in a wonderful church that met in a school, I end the year in a growing and still wonderful church that meets in a cinema.
I started the year having not knit for years. I end the year a very keen and possibly obsessed kntter.
I started the year with one camera, I end the year with three (if you count the phone.)
I started the year trusting God for the next step. I end the year thankful for what He's done this year and trusting Him again to take me into the next exciting installment.
Friday, December 30, 2005
An interesting snippet from our local paper - a village in Pakistan is to be named Walthamstow in gratitude for the help given to that community by this one after the earthquake. I think that's quite cool.
Friday, December 23, 2005
This photo was taken last year after my church's carols and nativity service. The baby in the manger has grown up a bit since then and has more hair, although he often still looks as worried.I'm off for a few days to the land of pork pies and blue cheese. (I don't like either, but I know some people who do.)
Have a wonderful Christmas.
Thursday, December 22, 2005
I've been stressed about it all week. In the end, I decided to turn down beautiful-old-house and go for house-3-miles-out-of-town-but-only-for-6-months. I rang up Z who lives there (I'm sure she's going to feature in the blog in the next few months, so she might as well have an initial now) wondering whether the room would still be available and discovered not only that it is, but that she's now decorated the second spare room which is about twice the size of the one I originally looked out. (It's lavender, very me!) So all is well and all has worked out. God's good!
I won't be able to move in until 7th January, but given that I'm away over the New Year weekend, that makes life a bit less hectic.
It's such a relief to get a place to live sorted. Perhaps I'll be able to stop biting people's heads off now and enjoy Christmas.
Wednesday, December 21, 2005
1 lb demerara sugar
8 oz golden granulated sugar
1 tin evaporated milk
Put all the ingredients in a heavy saucepan. (I use an old pressure cooker.)
Heat on a low to medium heat until the sugar is dissolved and the butter is melted.
Turn the heat down slightly. Boil the mixture for 10-12 minutes to the softball stage (when a small amount of mixture dropped into cold water will stick together to form a ball.) STIR CONSTANTLY!
Take the pan off the heat, add 1/2 teaspoon of vanilla essence and beat until it thickens slightly. The mixture begins to feel fudgy and makes sticky noises. Sort of. This is one of the bits you have to practise.
Pour the fudge into a greased and lined tin and leave to cool.
Once cool, cut into pieces and eat.
For chocolate fudge, add 3 tablespoons of cocoa at the beginning.
The basic recipe is easy, but you might need to practise a few times to get it right.
Monday, December 19, 2005
I don't really know what to do now. Hang on and see what happens, keep trying anything I can and pray. I start my new job two weeks tomorrow and so far I've got nowhere definite to move to. I'm trying not to be depressed about it. I've been here before. When I moved to Bath, the house I ended up living in got sorted very quickly. I had about 10 days to sort it out before I went on holiday. In a matter of days I went from having no-one to live with and nowhere to live to having three housemates and a gorgeous house. I'm trying to hang onto that and trust God.
Friday, December 16, 2005
This bunch of flowers was a present when I left my previous job just before Christmas last year. It's nearly Christmas and once again, I'm leaving my job. This time last year, I didn't know what I was going to do next. I'd applied for my current job but the deadline was ages away and it was a couple of months before they interviewed me. This time, I know where I'm going next and it's exciting.
I've known I'm going to leave this job at the end of the year for the majority of the time I'd been here. I started just after Easter, I was offered my new job at the end of July. That's 4 months not planning to leave and then 5 months knowing I'm leaving. Knowing I was leaving soon made doing this job bearable. It's not all been terrible, but my heart's never really been in it. I'm more excited about where I'm going next. It's a new thing for everyone involved. I'm moving to a new town, new church, to meet new people, learn new things, moving on to the next stage in my life.
As far as I know, this time next year I won't be about to leave my job. And that will be a very good thing.
Thursday, December 15, 2005
About 4pm, the sky outside my East-facing office window started turning pink. I kept watching and waiting and going to the other side of the building to see whether this sunset was going to be a good one, and it was. The moon is beautiful tonight too, high and full and misty with cloud cover, but I couldn't get it to photograph well.
Tuesday, December 13, 2005
On Saturday I went to Cambridge to look at a couple more places I could live. The first house I looked at, I fell in love with. It's a mid terrace Victorian house, beautifully decorated, lots of light paint and wood, stripped wood doors, odd cupboards and nooks and crannies. It's not far from the centre of town, there's a small garden, a passage way through to the garden in which I could keep my bike. The room I'd have is unfurnished so I'd get to buy my own furniture. It's got big wooden framed sash windows. It's all very me. The two girls living there have only just moved in. I've spoken to one on the phone and met the other. We got on fine.
The other house was good in lots of different ways. It's further out of town, has a huge garden with a back gate and is full of lovely people who I got on with really well. My main reservation is that I feel too old for it. Most of the people in the house have only just graduated. I'd be the oldest. If I were a few years younger, I'd probably go for it, but I just feel a bit too grown-up. It's is if the two houses are two possibilities for people to be. Centre of town sophisicate or edge of town only-just-not-a-student. That's a little more extreme than it actually is. I think if I hadn't already seen and loved the first house, I'd be happy to live in the second.
So, I came home on Saturday feeling sure I'd found my new home. All I needed to do to be sure was to meet the girl I'd only spoken to. I envisaged doing that one evening this week and then sorting things out quickly so I could move in before Christmas. Unfortunately she's very busy all this week and we can't meet until next week. That's pretty close to Christmas, so there isn't going to be time to sort contracts etc in time for me to move before Christmas. Perhaps that means I won't move in until after I've started my job and I'll have to sleep on my sister's floor for a few days. But then I haven't met her yet and we may not get on (I think this is unlikely, but you never know.) So now I'm feeling a bit thrown. I've rung and turned down one place I looked at, but there are still two others I haven't rung (including the second hosue from Saturday) I don't really want to keep them hanging on, but I don't want to turn everything down just in case this one doesn't work out. Basically I wanted it all to get sorted and it isn't (yet) and I don't deal well with uncertainty, it tends to make me assume the worst (hmm, perhaps Puddleglum is right after all). So there. That's what's happening.
And I've got three days left with nothing much to do at work except fidget and worry, so that's not helping either.
"As Puddleglum the marshwiggle, you are very much pessimistic and paranoid! However, you're respected and trusted, and have a heart of gold."
I'm not sure what to make of that. I suspect it might be true, a bit.
Thursday, December 08, 2005
Monday, December 05, 2005
The music fades out and the announcer is back. Is order about to be restored? No, the fault is still ongoing. An orchestral piece starts. Will the ensembles get bigger as time passes? If this goes on, will you end up listening to Mahler's symphony of a thousand, or the music of a giant gamelan comprising every musician on earth?
The orchestra plays on, soporificly. You are being lulled into sleepiness, you don't need the news, never mind what's happening in the world, here is calm and peaceful.
Suddenly, the music ends abruptly. We're rejoining PM, the quotidian order is restored.
Sunday, December 04, 2005
Good film. I like it. My sister says it was always the film we'd watch at school at the end of term, but inevitably there wouldn't be time to watch it all, so it really was a never-ending story. I read the book a year or two ago and discovered that the film ends about halfway through the book. Apparently there are two sequels. I've never seen either.
The scene where Atreyu's horse sinks into the swamp gets me every time. It was always the most memorable scene when I hadn't seen the film for years, probably because it's a horse dying (I was a horse-mad child), but also because the acting is so good. The child actors playing Bastian and Atreyu are both brilliant, totally believable in their distress and anguish. Atreyu in particular spends a lot of time crawling in the mud, climbing things and getting sneezed on by a giant tortoise. It can't have been much fun to film.
The other memorable thing is Falkor, the luck dragon. Mostly because he's large and pink and slightly fluffy and yet manages to look dragonly and not like something dreamed up for a Disney princess. Doesn't everyone want a dragon?
Not very coherent, obviously still ill. Bed.