Saturday, 4 January 2014

Challenging Times

2014 seems to be taking up where 2013 left off and I'm busy, busy, busy.

Work, as can be expected over the holiday period has been a bit frantic and I can't even relax much at home. Thankfully today is going to be a 'do nothing' day so I can recharge my batteries a bit before next week's onslaught.

I spent Monday to Friday in work and made the mistake of staying up to see the fireworks on New Year's Eve. This meant I got a maximum of four and  half hours sleep before heading into work. Surprisingly I felt fine and it was only late in the afternoon I began to feel a bit weary. Of course I couldn't go to bed early the following night because the programme I'd waited all year to see was on. Sherlock and the explanation about his death. Not that there was much of an explanation, we still don't really know how he did it. So Thursday I was shattered and more or less floated through the working day in a sleepy haze.

Thank God for Friday, or so I thought. At least it was eight when I woke up and not six but from there it was non stop. After I'd showered and read the papers we headed to Tesco's. I haven't done any shopping for a fortnight so was desperate for fresh fruit and vegetables and very little else. As usual I bought too much food for the Christmas period, we haven't even opened the Quality Street yet,  so we don't actually need anything else. The shop was manic, much worse than before Christmas, and we were glad we didn't have to get much. It was home for lunch and then off we went to Rushden.

For Christmas we'd bought Laurence one of those fake flame fires. The old fire place in his house had remained bare and empty since he moved in around two years ago. We've often talked about putting dried flowers or some sort of ornament in there just to fill the gap but nothing seemed to fit. We were a bit surprised and delighted when Laurence mentioned wanting a fire so we rushed out and got one. Of course the gift didn't come by itself and included fitting and the earliest date we could all manage was yesterday.

As usual I sat on the settee and watched as the wall was measured, drilled, spirit leveled, drilled again and finally the fire was hung. It still didn't look quiet right but that's probably because it is the only thing in the entire house that is straight and level. Being a Victoria terrace, and Victorian builders not being too bothered with straight lines, the walls are a bit wonky, as we found when Laurence moved in and we tried to put shelves up.

From Rushden it was on to Milton Keynes to pick up a few bits and pieces and then home. I changed into my old joggers and t shirt and sank onto the settee where I stayed until bedtime.

Today I woke up to a wet, windy but surprisingly mild morning. I wandered downstairs and made some tea and as Peter was still asleep turned on the news to see if there was any update on Michael Schumacher after his dreadful skiing accident. There wasn't but instead there were pictures of Aberystwyth, my home town, and the damage Friday's storm had caused. I stared with my mouth open. The prom is almost completely destroyed. The mosaic tiles are covered in sand, the metal railings are bent and twisted, ripped from their housings and great slabs of concrete and paving stones litter the road we drove along only a few months ago. In some places there is very little prom left to walk along. I have never seen such damage done by any storm, and believe me I've seen a few. On the plus side my family and friends all appear to be safe.

Here in the Bedfordshire triangle we seem to have escaped the worst of it yet again. I don't know what it is with living here but complete mayhem can be going on all around us and we get the odd tree or fence panel down. How weird is that?

The 365 challenge is going well, though as it is only the fourth day of the year it would be pretty poor if I'd already messed things up. This is going to be more challenging than I thought though, at least until I start driving too or from work in daylight. How can I put this? Subject matter is a little bit, umm, limited. Doing the challenge is going to be really easy in good weather, when I'm out and about. Even just sitting in the garden I can find something to take a picture of but in the dark or at work, well there isn't much to photograph to be honest. I've also found I need a phone with a better camera or I need to take my Nikon everywhere with me. Again easier to do out of work than in. So at the moment there is a fuzzy photo of my lunch in my locker and my mug.Things will get better I promise.