Thursday, June 29, 2006

Big foot

I have not been sleeping well this past week or so. I won't name names but someone is keeping me up with their snoring. Not just snoring but SNORING. This unnamed person is keeping me up all night with unceasing nasal disquietude. We have another bedroom and I think if this cacophony continues I may have to use it. This person claims to have a deviated septum which can cause snoring and it is for certain that other people in this person's family snore as well. What is even worse is that I used to be able to wake this person up with a combination of decisive pokes and name saying. This does not work any more.

We have a multitude of pink poppies flowering in our back yard at the moment. They self seed and have returned every year that I've lived here. Out on the sides of the roads and fields in the surrounding area are a profusion of red poppies. The red poppy is kind of a symbol for peace here. People wear paper ones on their lapels in November to signify the end of the first World War. It has been explained to me that the fields that were once red with blood grew red with poppies after the end of the war. From what I have studied about WWI it was a pointless, brutal war with no justification. No wonder people still remember it, still commemorate the end of it.

I'm slowly making my way through decluttering my house. It's amazing how much junk there is. Some things are necessary in life. And some things aren't. I'm trying to separate the necessities from the trivialities.

Thursday, June 22, 2006


It feels good to sit down after standing up for seven hours at work. Today I made some fresh strawberry tarts which turned out super yummy and I also made some little chocolate eclairs and a chocolate cake. Sometimes I think I get carried away. I think I am a fairly good baker and actually I have considered the possibility of opening my own bakery in the future. Before I do I need to take a business class or something and learn about the legal and financial stuff.

The past two weeks I've been watching a lot of soccer/football games on tv, seeing as it's the World Cup. I'm supporting England though I like Argentina a lot. Partner thinks I am a traitor but to me, the Argentinians are a really good team and I like to see their fancy footwork. He thinks they are cheaters and have bad sportsmanship. I think they just play to win, like all the teams do. I think the real reason he dislikes them is because they are what he calls "swarthy" in his most disparaging voice. Technically that means they have dark skin, but actually to him it means (though he won't admit is) that women think they are more handsome than he is.

I'm feeling a little calmer about the dog's death now and not given to outbursts of crying so much. I miss her. She had a cute little pink bare chin and a funny way of talking with her eyebrows. When I came home from work I would say, "Where's my dog?" and she would come running.

Wednesday, June 14, 2006


Our dog Lucy died last week. I'm upset. Partner is upset. I don't want to talk about it.

And my sister left for home yesterday and I'm even more upset now. The house feels so lonely and I don't want to do anything. I go outside and I'm reminded of our lovely little puppy. I can see her little rope and chewy toy. The neighbor's dog barks at us and I'm reminded of her. I couldn't bring it up with anyone at work. We got a sympathy card from Partner's godmother. I try to play my video games and I think of my sister. I found a pair of socks she left behind. I miss her and I miss my dog.

Friday, June 02, 2006

Once gained never lost

We've done a lot of things since my sister has been here. The most dramatic was a visit to Hadrian's wall which is about a two hour drive from us. For those who don't remember their ancient history lessons, Hadrian was a Roman emperor who built his wall to define his territory. It was the furthest north the Romans ever conquered.

It was a rainy windy day and made worse by the fact that the wall itself is set on the highest ground around. At one point we literally had to get down because the wind would throw us off if we didn't. I had kind of hoped for the Great Wall of Britain, but it wasn't quite that big. In a lot of places the stone had been pillaged over the years (about two thousand to be exact) to build locals' houses so there were big stretches of just earthen mound. We toured two Roman forts, each still quite well-defined, and a small Roman temple to Mithras. We saw that the Romans had discovered underfloor heating and flush toilets (of a sort). Their floors were built over their hot water pipes and we found the evidence of a sewer system. They also had complex bathing facilities with all kinds of ways to get clean. I felt sorry for the Romans stationed there though. They came from hot sunny Italy and then had to live in miserable windy northern England.

Partner keeps promising me that it does in fact get quite hot in England in the summer and I just need to wait, but I've been here three summers so far and all of them have been rainy and cool. I'm beginning to lose faith.