A Funny Old Game

Well, it’s been a while and I would like to be able to say that it’s because my life has become correspondingly more exciting and busy. I like to, but it wouldn’t be true.

My daughter’s life, on the other hand, has become more exciting and busy than I could possibly have hoped for when she embarked on her gap year travels in March. She spent two months on a language course in Granada and after a shaky start, I would have been satisfied if she had found a couple of friendly faces to help her through and make her time there tolerable at the very least . Instead she quickly became part of a close-knit group of people, who got on so well they’ve already arranged to meet up again in Amsterdam this September. She’s grown in self-confidence to a degree I wouldn’t have thought possible in such a short period of time. The change in her is so marked that when she recently set off on the second leg of her trip (a French language course in Rouen) she coped with moving in with her host family and the chaotic administration of the language school with a maturity she simply hadn’t possessed before going to Spain.

What I hadn’t bargained on however was the hole all this growing up would leave in my life. Yes, of course I’m proud of her – tremendously so – and I always knew that some day she’d leave home. I knew I’d miss her and no, I’m not jealous. Not even I am that mean-spirited. What I’m trying and failing, sometimes spectacularly badly, to cope with is a feeling of pointlessness. I mean I still know WHO  I am and WHAT I am, it’s more a case of no longer knowing what I’m for. I feel as if I’ve been made redundant from a job I didn’t even know I had.

As Chris Stewart put it in the most recent edition of his book ‘Driving Over Lemons’:

‘This has been a tough rite of passage, and nobody tells you about it. You spend eighteen years living your life around, and for, your offspring in the most unimaginably close and intimate way…and then they’re gone. Of course, we get a lot of pleasure from Chloe’s happiness in her new life, and we’re proud of her independence and her making her way in the world. But it’s an odd stage nonetheless.’

(Apologies to those of you who have already been subjected to the above quotation via Facebook, but it sums up my feelings on this subject like nothing else).

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I’ve been tagged by GSE over at Really Quite Useful.

I have to say which character from a book I resemble most closely.  I’ve given this some thought and decided that I am an eclectic mix of the following:

1) Bryony (as a child) in Atonement by Ian McEwan;

2) Dorothea in Middlemarch by George Eliot and

3) Delia Grinstead in Ladder of Years by Anne Tyler

because I:

1) Obsess over the unimportant and am easily frustrated;

2) Tend to confuse the pretentious with the intelligent and

3) Find myself tempted to run away and start again (occasionally).

Of course, I could be wrong. Perhaps I am King John in King John’s Christmas by A.A. Milne.

I tag: Tim Footman at Cultural Snow, Lisa at My Salad Dressing Days, BiB at Broke in Berlin, Sylvia at Milena Delle Fortezze and Valerie at In the Mirror of Ultimate Wonder

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This Is Not Just A Neologism, This Is A Marks & Spencer Neologism…

What do we think about the word “vanillary”?

Is its use:

  1. Proof that the world as we know it is hurtling ever faster towards oblivion?
  2. An admission of the fact that, asked to descibe something which is vanilla-flavoured, many people would use the word ‘vanilla-y’ , which is difficult to say, not really a word and, in some accents at least, pronounced ‘vanillary’ anyway?
  3. A spelling error.

I ask because M&S have recently launched a new range of cakes, one of which is a triple layer white chocolate and raspberry cake made up of three layers of ‘moist vanillary sponge’ (poor quality photo below)


Any thoughts?

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Reading Recommendations Please

For a 13 year-old girl who likes computers, science and gadgets generally, thrillers/whodunnits/crime, fantasy and science-fiction.

Thank you.

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Dealing with stress

Listening to the Today programme yesterday, I heard something in the news bulletin which reminded me of this post of Tim’s.

 The story in question was the ‘Mandelson doused in green custard’ affair, but I reckon the press have missed the real story here.  You see, according to the Today newsreader, the low carbon summit that Mandy was attending when Plane Stupid campaigner Leila Deen threw green custard at him has been dismisssed by the shadow cabinet as nothing more than a ‘talking SHOP’

Now, I’d pay money to see that.

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Happy New Year


Happy New Year from Edinburgh!  


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Dish Of The Day

Are you still wondering, at this late hour, what to serve for Christmas dinner?  For the carnivores among you I’d suggest a bird of some sort, but which one?  Turkey can be a bit bland,  goose has more flavour but it doesn’t go very far and game isn’t to everyone’s taste.

Well, wonder no longer.  A very reputable Edinburgh butcher is apparently selling everyone’s favourite Christmas bird:dsc_0071


Have a peaceful and relaxing day.

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