Tuesday, December 23, 2008

the calm before christmas

Back from a festive trip up north to visit MC's family. Fortunately they are a fab clan - although manoeuvring the car in/out of the carefully landscaped driveway under the watchful eye of Mr MC is still scarier than any of my driving tests ever were.

MC and I spent what little time we had alone engaged in some hardcore heart-to-hearts, discussing that rather tedious yet hardy perennial of a bugbear: money. As with the rest of the world right now, it's a concern to say the least... And throwing a medium-sized wedding into the mix for 2009 hasn't helped our fragile peace deal when it comes to the M-word.

We have rather different financial priorities, and I have been spectacularly scathing about his, without realising how hurtful it was. It's a nasty family trait, this poisoned bluntness that seems to come all too naturally to me in recent years, generally after a drink. I have resolved to try to conquer it with immediate effect. The art of thinking before speaking urgently needs to be re-acquired chez zuzula.

As for our finances... Well, we'll see. I am going to bite my tongue and respect the decisions of MC just as he is tolerating my ever expanding wedding guest list (ahem).

One thing I will not be doing is wasting any money on thrift books. I have been charged with reading India Knight's latest offering - and by page 29 I'd lost the will to continue. Not only does 'the thrift book - live well and spend less' bear the unthrifty (thriftless?) pricetag of 15 quid, for which one gets such pearls of wisdom as 'go to a farmers market' and 'use freecycle' (well, duh) but the endless plugs for other equally expensive books and shopping websites, some openly run by friends of the author, are eye-wateringly anti-thrift (?) imho.

Further more I question the medical science behind shoving a load of ground aspirin pills on your face to kill spots: and what on earth putting cider vinegar in your hair has to do with saving money is beyond me.

It is beyond annoying that stuff like this is being peddled as people face fuel poverty in the UK. Surely the satisfaction achieved by saving a few pennies from sewing the odd button back on a designer blouse is not the sort of thing one should be crowing about in public at times like this.

I have yet to check the best-sellers lists but I sincerely hope this pile of expensively recycled advice hasn't found its way there. If you really want/need to save some cash, don't buy it!

Rant over :)

Wednesday, December 17, 2008

Late again

Apologies for yet another blog hiatus: I am working my little socks off at the moment. I can honestly say I have never worked so hard in my life and, while it seems to be paying off, it's also one big slog. I can't remember the last time I had a lunchbreak and my much coveted 9-5 shift is inevitably slipping more and more into 8-7 territory.

I am now off for two weeks over Christmas so should be able to resume normal service here at last. I can't wait to spend some quality time with my blog again - I miss it, and you, so much.

Before I ramble on any further I must also mention a rather pesky bit of housekeeping. Where I work is clamping down on all things said in the name of The Firm. So it's more important than ever that all of you lovely readers in-the-know keep quiet here about my esteemed paymasters, because if it gets out on this blog, I'll be branded, edited and airbrushed faster than you can say 'goodbye zuzula'. Seriously. So please don't out me, okay?

For those who don't know - just sit back and enjoy the ride. It's honestly a lot easier that way.

Don't have a go at me for being lazy but I am going to break my 3 week silence with a meme. It's a very good one though - Geofftech tagged me a while back and I've been busy mulling it over ever since. You know the rules... if you want to have a go please do, and let me know here so I can check you out!

The meme is: 16 random things about me

1. I'm actually having to re-write this because I forgot to save the sodding word document I was doing it on. rather hilarious given that I'm supposed to be the office techie.

2. I can swim 140 lengths an hour without stopping but I can't run for toffee.

3. Losing my dad last year changed me forever. Not a day goes by when I don't ache for him. When I was younger we talked randomly about life after death once and he said if he could, he'd give me a sign. We were both utterly sceptical about it but he's given me so many. I'm really not sure what to make of it all.

4. I am a closet hypochondriac. I am secretly terrified that there's something seriously wrong with me and always fear the worst.

5. I love hearts of palm - I very rarely buy them because they're expensive and an eco-disaster. But they're so delicious.

6. My career is taking me into all sorts of uncharted waters at the moment. I am loving the tv thing but really what I want to do is retire to the seaside to grow veg and write novels.

7. I'd do anything to be 2 dress sizes smaller (except eat/drink less, obviously). Sometimes when something doesn't work out I blame my weight, even if it is utterly unrelated.

8. Wuthering Heights is my favourite novel of all time. When I was younger I yearned for the torrid destructive passion of Heathcliff and Cathy and when I got it, it nearly killed me...

9. ... But finally I've got it right. I have never been as deeply but calmly besotted as I am with MC. He's my lover and my best friend. I never believed I would find love like this.

10. I quit smoking 6 years ago but I still think a coffee and a marlboro light is the perfect start to the day... And a glass of chilled sauvignon and a fag is the best way to wind down after work. Sob.

11. I'm naturally left-handed but when I was small my parents and school made me use my right hand instead. I am now right-handed but think this is why I can't draw and why I also have a legendarily useless sense of direction... My brain is knotted!

12. I love speech radio and sudoku... And I'm only 31.

13. I have a birthmark on my bum - it's a perfect circle of dark skin about the size of an old half penny. I love it.

14. I have no double joints or interesting party tricks. But I do have a very husky voice that I'm told is quite pornstar (prob due to the aforementioned smoking).

15. I get as excited about christmas and birthdays now as I did when I was a child. I love celebrations!

16. I have 3 tiffany necklaces. The most recent was a romantic gift from MC. The second was a birthday present from a very old friend. But the first was a present to myself: after splitting up with my first big love I fled to New York and bought it as a symbol of self-esteem. I still wear it whenever I need a confidence boost.

Merry christmas folks...

Wednesday, December 3, 2008

Free drinks are a bad idea

We had a bomb drill at work this morning. It involved a tiny flashing blue light which nobody saw, a tannoy announcement which nobody heard and then five minutes of standing in a drafty corridor outside the office. It didn't fill me with confidence.

Have the mother of all hangovers after the work Christmas party last night. We were only supposed to have a certain number of free drinks but then somebody figured out that by fluttering one's eyelids at the barman, one could get more (feminism eh?). I teetered home in the wee hours and have been desperately trying to remember what we all talked about ever since.

So the perfect moment to have to give a one hour presentation about the day job, then. I have no idea how I got through it. At least it wasn't on camera, I suppose. I really am my own worst enemy sometimes.

It's only 4.30pm. Sob.