Saturday, September 22, 2007


One of our tango friends, Julian, is a poet and I recently asked whether I could read some of his poems. Charles duly came home from tango last night and presented me with a shiny, unread copy of one of Julian’s books that he had been asked to pass on to me.

As a result, this morning I found myself curled up on Charles hall carpet, opening up the book and wondering what I might find. I was a bit wary. Poetry, for me, is usually love or hate and I was so worried that I might not like any of Julian’s work. What on earth would I say to him then?! I opened at a random page and started reading. I needn’t have worried – the poem was lusciously wonderful, full of colours and shapes and imagery… all orange and swirly. I decided orange and swirly was good. So I turned back to page one and read through the entire book in one sitting, devouring the poems one after the other like a bag lady let loose at a feast. Each poem made me want to hurry on and taste the next and the next and the next.

I wish I could copy some of the poems out for you here but I’m not sure how appropriate it would be to display such wonderful poems surrounded by the Barbie-doll pink fripperiness of my blog! So I shall leave them where they are in Julian’s book.

The nice thing is that I feel awakened to poetry again. Back in my teens and early twenties I read a lot of poetry, and attempted to write some (rather bad) poetry myself. I discovered poets I loved (Byron, whose poetry when read aloud rolls richly around, massaging your ears with sound; and Milton, whose Paradise Lost gives you every single thing that a poem should have); and also poems I hated (Coleridge’s This Limetree Bower My Prison, which has more exclamation marks in it than the whole of Foyles book shop). But I realised that, in order to write poetry myself, my head had to be in a rather weird place some several miles above Cloud Cuckoo Land, and I decided that I didn’t want to be weird any more I wanted to have friends and be normal! So poetry died away. But now I want to discover it again, read all my old favourites and find some new ones. Maybe I won’t write anything because I’d quite like to keep my brain on Planet Earth, but that doesn’t stop me enjoying a good read!

Tuesday, September 18, 2007

You are Gorgeous!

Two years ago today, Charles and I met at a tango workshop. I arrived a few minutes late and, as I walked into the room, about 10 or 12 people were stood in a circle introducing themselves. I quickly slipped into a space and glanced around the circle to see whether I knew anyone who was there.

As I looked to my left my eyes alighted on Charles… and my jaw clanged to the floor. “Phwor, you are GORGEOUS!” were the first words I ever spoke to him (albeit silently, in my head!).

Happy anniversary Charlie-boy!

Monday, September 17, 2007

The Most Embarrassing Moment Ever in the Whole History of the World

After a good couple of months of decorating, sorting out and ‘house-doctoring’ I put my flat on the market last Friday. There are a few more things that I could still do to make the flat more saleable but I’ve had enough now, I just want to sell the thing and get on with finding somewhere nice to live with Charles.

As part of a final push, yesterday evening I cut back my forsythia bush which has lately started doing beanstalk impressions, trying to conquer the garden with its long, sneaky branches. Tempting fate, but not seriously expecting any flat viewers just yet, I left all the cut branches in a pile on the patio ready to pick up and throw away tonight. Also a large pile of clothes in the bedroom, and a toppling mountain of ‘to do pile’ junk on one of the dining chairs… again, to pick up tonight. I should have expected it I suppose, but dang it if the estate agent didn’t ring me with a viewer for 4.30pm – the exact time I get home from work, so no time for tidying up my crap before their arrival. Aargh!

In desperation I snuck away from work 15 minutes early. I will have to grovel an apology to Boss Number 1 tomorrow, as she was watching me leave through the glass wall of her office, powerless to say anything to me due to being in a meeting with someone at the time! At least it meant she couldn’t say no!

I zoomed down the motorway, screeching to a halt outside my flat at 4.10pm. Phew, 20 minutes to go. Slam the car door – run indoors – throw bags in a heap on the floor – oh no, that’s not good, pick them up again and throw them into the wardrobe – throw pile of clothes willynilly on top of the bags – jam the wardrobe door shut to stop everything falling out – put away washed dishes, crish crash – heave forsythia branches over the wall – stuff several piles of junk into the drawer under the bed. OK, ready now? – whoops, the flat smells of cleaning fluid and paint, not very welcoming – run around spraying perfume, then again with the coffee grinder, grinding it in every room and trying to waft the nice coffee smell about.

All finished, just in time. Bzzzzt! The door buzzer sounded.

The estate agent ushered in a very sweet and slightly effeminate man with glasses and a shiny bald head. We all shook hands and I took both men outside to see the garden. I went into raptures about how the sun shines right into the garden in the afternoons, how it is a Summer haven, blah blah, buy the damn flat, and then I sat myself down on the settee to let the estate agent do his job around the rest of the flat.

I listened as they walked around each room.

In the kitchen I could hear them opening cupboards. Oh god no, I didn’t think to tidy up inside the cupboards, that’s not good!

It got worse. In the bedroom the estate agent, not content with just pointing out the fitted wardrobes, slid open the wardrobe door to show Viewing Man the pile of crap I had just thrown in there. At least it didn’t all fall out on top of him, but why on earth do estate agents have to open cupboards? Do they not realise that’s where people store their junk?!

They moved into the bathroom.

“Here we have the airing cupboard,” said smoothie estate agent man, creaking open the door to show Viewing Man inside. Oh nooo! I cringed, picturing my blow up man (a Secret Santa Christmas present from work last year) waving up at them from the floor of the airing cupboard. Not quite what you want a potential buyer to see in your home!

And then…

“… and you can see there’s good storage under the sink with a cupboard here too…”


Oh the horror of it! Oh the total, cringing shame of an estate agent showing someone your used sanitary products!

Tuesday, September 11, 2007

Paris With Mickey Mouse

I’ve been planning a holiday to Disneyland Paris with my friend Sarah for a while now. It took us ages – months in fact – to sort out dates, and then days on the internet comparing all the options and prices for hotels and trains on various websites before I finally booked everything. But today Sarah’s cheque for her half of the costs arrived in the post, accompanied by a letter written on Mickey Mouse paper, and it suddenly all seems official now!

I feel I should point out that neither me nor Sarah are 7 years old, nor are we taking any children with us to legitimise our visit. But for some reason we have both always wanted to go to Disneyland, so off we are going!