Tuesday, January 31, 2006

Decisions, decisions...

Well a little like Pab, I’ve having one of those Red Pill, Blue Pill moments professionally.

Not to the same scale. More a question of stay put or move to working direct for the Client.

My company have found out and offers and counter-offers are being made.

Who knows what the right decision is, but this ‘fighting over me’ thing doesn’t harm the ego overly does it?

I think I should enjoy this rarest of situations whilst it lasts eh?

Of course in reality I’m actually more stressed about making the right decision, but there we go…

Sunday, January 29, 2006


Look I don’t want to write publicly about this stuff, so in lieu of a more descriptive blog entry can we make do with the mental image of me rolling my eyes to heaven and exasperatedly mouthing “Men!”?

Saturday, January 28, 2006

Local walking

A stunning day and the opportunity to introduce IM to the local wild space.

I did feel a bit like a tour guide showing him around and explaining the history.

It’s a bizarre piece of land to find in inner city Manchester. Knowing that it’s a capped landfill tip explains a great deal.

Friday, January 27, 2006

Brokeback Mountain

Brokeback Mountain is a fantastic and moving film. All the good things you’ve heard about it are pretty much correct.

There is one annoying problem though – the ageing make-up is appalling.

It’s so annoying to be brought up short from an engaging drama, because you can see the join on Heath Ledger’s sideburns. The insatiable urge to reach up and stick them down better, was a bit like being faced with a badly hung picture in a posh restaurant that you dying to straighten up. An itch you just can’t scratch (well ok maybe it’s just me that hates wonky pictures, but you know what I mean).

Worse still though was the ‘transformation’ treatment given to Jake Gyllenhall. It just didn’t work and you’re left woefully aware that there is a ‘younger man inside trying to get out’.

Other than the poor decision on behalf of the producers not to fire the make-up artist, it’s a great film.

But hey, gay cowboys…what’s not to like?

Post film we head to Rusholme for a curry. I automatically head for the Punjab, forgetting that IM isn’t quite a member of the “why go anywhere else” school just yet.

But hey, great food, pseudo abuse from the staff, Punky penguin desserts…what’s not to like?

Thursday, January 26, 2006


The subject of Book Group tonight is Pygmalion.

A full turn-out with six of us huddled round a pub table discussing GBS’s take on class, gender and social manners.

On the phone later IM fuels my already well-formed suspicion, that anyone in the pub over-hearing us must think “what a bunch of pompous arses”.

Wednesday, January 25, 2006

An Old Nag

Mum and I have made a pact. In return for untold years of her nagging me, I am to become her motivational coach (aka nagging conscience) to help ensure she does all the exercises she’s supposed to be doing.

We’re hatching plans re tick sheets and reward systems – anything to make us a) remember and b) motivate us.

Personally I feel rewards balanced with withering stares for non-compliance should do the trick.

Mum’s view is that she’d much rather have me on her tail than Dad – which just goes to show “if you think I’m scarey – you should meet my father”.

Tuesday, January 24, 2006

A better day

A good day all in all. Mum is at long last out of hospital.

We couldn’t get her into the rehab place we wanted to, but she’s just about doing ok for Dad to feel he can cope with her back home.

Well at least that’s what he says – I will of course continue to worry.

On a plus side things seem to be coming together with Mum’s name at long last making it to the top of various lists, so she should be getting some physiotherapy, OT support, nursing care etc soon.

We can but hope.

Monday, January 23, 2006

Not a good day

Oh dear not a good day.

And not good to take out one’s frustrations on the ‘wrong party’.

Well that is to say not good to take out all of one’s frustrations on a party only responsible for one element of such.

Early night I think.

Sunday, January 22, 2006

1000 Names

After a busy day achieving, well I’m not sure what really, I head to the wonderful Rob and Myn’s for a rather excellent roast dinner.

So nice to have finally found time to meet up and catch up like this.

Once the plates had been cleared, we...now you might want to sit down for this...went to church.

Yes folks, for the first time in over a year, I crossed the threshold of a God-bothering emporium on a Sunday. Ok Sanctus1 isn’t your average church, but even so.

Now don’t get me wrong, I love a bit of truly contemporary worship; stuff that chimes with my culture rather than forcing me to inhabit the world of bearded 70’s folk singers, sub-standard generic pop or whatever (I’d go with old-style tradition over those hells any day), but something about tonight’s affair didn’t gel.

Using sublime music videos as part of your worship is a grand thing, but it needs to make sense. Whilst the Unkle/Ian Brown video for Reign is mesmerising, the only connection it appeared to have with 1000 Names of God was that it has the two words “I am” in it. Maybe I was missing something...

Music Video Codes By HotGet.com

But similarly, whilst I applaud almost any use of clips from Pulp Fiction, a 3 second bit of ‘swearing’ clumsily tacked onto a remark that we sometimes misuse God’s names…well really what did it add?

I feel reluctant to be even slightly knocking it though – the Sanctus crowd are good, good people and in my limited experience, usually far more ‘on-it’ than tonight would suggest. Elements of the service worked (meditative moments such as thinking up our own names for God were excellent), but others didn’t and tacking any old bit of media onto a theme is no more alternative, successful or culturally congruent than singing a Wesley hymn with a disco beat, or your stereotypical vicar recounting some banile experience and forcing a disconnected conclusion through with the words “and that’s a bit like God isn’t it?’.

Still it’s easy to sit on the sidelines and make such observations. The time and effort that had gone into the service was very evident and I really don’t want to disrespect that. But maybe more time thinking through what the worship is and how to engage everyone with it and less time on the flashy stuff for flashiness sake…?

It also occurs to me that perhaps the service had more meaning for those who had prepared it, than for the ‘audience’ (and the disengagement did make it feel less corporate and more performance than I think was intended). Maybe it was the translation of the concepts that was the problem. It’s common enough that the process of creation is more resonant than the end product. Maybe as the outsider I shouldn’t expect to understand? Maybe the real question is whether or not this is really an act of public worship?

Still as I say, there was good stuff too and most things can be forgiven by the playing of Rufus Wainwright’s haunting Agnus Dei (now that’s an example of secular culture well used).

And to be honest I probably wasn’t in the best of moods…which would possible also explain why the person who approached me (that’s me who has never before been to a Sunday Sanctus1 affair, been to mid-week Sanctus1 a mere handful of times and not for months now) and tried to coerce me onto a tea rota didn’t get an entirely positive reaction. Definitely a sign that I needed to escape to the pub…

But then as we all know...I am a bad person.

Saturday, January 21, 2006


Weekends should be made of days like this.

Mid-morning meeting with P and S for coffee (or a huge frothy choc with marshmallows in my case). Then a spot of shopping with S followed by lunch and then I leave her and head to my hairdressers to catch up on all the gossip (oh and have my hair cut and coloured).

Home in time to dump the shopping, get the car and head to the Northern Quarter for a Greenbelt Escape to Safety (and hangers-on such as myself) reunion over a fab Lebanese banquet in The Cedar Tree.

The only downside to the day was the absence of Radc1iffes. Firstly my hair takes too long so I’m unable to make the offer of a meet-up for coffee with my eldest ‘favourite niece’ and friend and secondly despite last minute hope due to changes in other plans, the possibility of the clan joining us in the evening comes to nought.

Wednesday, January 18, 2006


Apologies for the uncharacteristically long break in my blogging. Life has been a bit busy and stressful and somehow sitting down and writing about it just didn’t seem like a priority.

I did start a few posts, but just didn’t quite finish them…

In fact if I’m honest the chances of this one making it to print are 50-50 at best.

I suppose I really should do a proper catch up, but I just can’t muster the energy. Why don’t we all pretend that I’ve spent the last few weeks living a glamorous lifestyle of non-stop parties, tropical islands and mind-blowing gigs.

Those who know me better will however know that the truth lies rather closer to stressful work issues, non-stop phone calls to hospitals in the south, struggling to find the patience to continue with trans-Pennine support giving, dealing with utter f***muppets behind the scenes of an email group, a roofer that is very lovely, but has the practical skills of a rhubarb crumble (you end up paying him and one or two trips to the Punjab.

Oh I did read a great novel for bookgroup, Ian McEwan’s Atonement. Possibly the best novel I’ve read in years. Absolutely loved it, but even so I can’t persuade my fingers to be arsed telling you why.

I think my creative writing skills have deserted me for a better owner.

I can’t say I blame them.

Still, despite the stress and the worry, life isn’t all bad. Not least because my phone keeps peeping with wonderful messages from some very lovely people. You’re all completely mad mind...but I love you none the less.

Wednesday, January 04, 2006

The Miracle Lady

Dad spoke to the consultant today, who says Mum’s amazing change causes him a problem – he can’t work out how to write it up. He says he’s never seen anything like it before.

Apparently the ward staff are referring to my Mum as “The Miracle Lady”.

Dad is in no doubt that this is a miraculous answer to all the praying that people have been doing.

I envy him his simple trust. Part of me believes this too, but the voice of the cynic still remains.

Whatever the explanation I’m thankful to have Mum 'back'. We have a long road yet to travel, but for now I’m doing a jig of thanks and praise.

Tuesday, January 03, 2006

Update from the South

Mum has not been good at all. Diagnosis is serious and we’re looking at a long journey to recovery.

Yesterday Dad beside her hospital bed for hours and she managed to vaguely mouth a few random words, opened her eyes very occasionally, but didn’t react or focus.

This morning Dad rings me to say “I popped out for a paper and came back to find an answer phone message from your mother!”.

She’s talking (albeit a little slurred and slowly), she’s awake, she can move.

This afternoon I spent 2 minutes on the phone to her.

Better news than any of us could possibly have dared dream.

Monday, January 02, 2006


At last I have the house to myself.

It’s not that I don’t like company – I'm mainly very gregarious, but I also need space. My space. Head space. Slob out in your pyjamas and don’t wash your hair space.

Do I really have to go back to work tomorrow?

Sunday, January 01, 2006

New Year's Day - Wagamama and Wheel

After a good lie-in we head over to the Radcliffes to pick up my car and then head on for a pub lunch followed by a walk somewhere.

Well that was the plan, unfortunately almost every pub we try is closed or has given the chef the day off.

We end up eating in Wagamamas, walking round the shops and taking a trip on the big wheel.

The contrast with the night time views of last time is massive. It’s a clear day and we can see for miles, right across to the Penines, bathed in sun and capped with snow.