Monthly Archives: February 2013

Giving myself a pat on the back.


Something I don’t do nearly often enough, I think.  But I am going to pat myself on the back for all I achieved yesterday.  By the time our visitor arrived, I had cleaned the kitchen, made a clementine cake and a beef and orange casserole, and the veg were ready to cook too, and I had tidied the front room and vacuumed through the whole of the downstairs.  Then I went on to enjoy an evening I had been a bit nervous about, and admitted (to myself and to friends) that I had been a bit of a nit to be worried about meeting this person.

Then this morning, I got up much earlier than usual (not as early as my alarm was set, but still before 8am), in order to make tea and toast for our guest, before dropping her to the airport.

There is a small voice inside me saying, ‘I can do stuff.  I’m worth while and people like me’.  It is still a very small voice, just a tiny spark of self belief, but I hope I can cherish it and let it grow into a flame of confidence in myself.  It is a slow process, and the voices that tell me that people only want to be my friend because they are so nice and are sorry for me, and that I am failing at so many things in my life etc etc, are loud and convincing.  But loud and convincing isn’t always right – and definitely isn’t right in this case.  So I am working towards learning to ignore the loud voices that say harmful things.

Disclaimer – these aren’t real voices, but are the thoughts that have dogged me all these years.


Busy morning – well, -ish!


N’s cousin, who I haven’t seen for years, is coming to stay tonight – she’s up here on business, and N thought it would be lovely to see her, and nicer for her than a night in a hotel – though looking at the amount of dog hair on the floor, I am not sure that is entirely true.

Anyway, I am going to be busy today, giving downstairs a bit of a spruce-up, and making beef and orange casserole, and Nigella’s clementine cake for supper.  Oh – and I have decided that having a visitor counts as a special occasion, and special occasions mean a bit of a relaxing of the Small Changes rules – so I will be able to have some of the cake for my pudding.  Anyhow – it has fruit in it, so it counts as one of my five a day, right?

I am a bit nervous about tonight – I am not good with new situations, and far prefer staying safely within my comfort zone.  But I am going to try to think positively about this, and I know I will enjoy myself once she is here, and we will have a good time.  Anticipation is a bitch, though.

Sunny but cold.


I would far rather the weather was like this than grey, miserable but not too cold.  The sunshine lifts my spirits and I think it is better for me.

Thinking positively worked well for me yesterday – I was feeling positive about going to choir rehearsal last night – I know that I will usually enjoy it once I am there, but often find it quite hard to look forward to it, because by the evening, I am tired and a bit negative, and find it hard to motivate myself or to feel positive.  But last night, I looked forward to rehearsal, and it went really well – we did a couple of new pieces, which I enjoyed, and we also did some work on pieces we have already learned – and I particularly enjoyed the Messaien, even though we did struggle with it towards the end of the rehearsal, as we were all pretty tired.

One of the best bits of choir last night was finding out that L, who sits next to me, likes me and considers me a friend!  She is a lovely person, – bright, funny and a good singer and good fun to sit with.  I am a lucky person to have such good friends.

Another sunny Monday.


And another morning of knitting at Lochwinnoch Golf Club – looking out of the club house at the sunshine bathing the course and the hills.  And I managed to get out of bed a bit earlier today (not as much use of the snooze button), so I am feeling positive about actually being able to make changes in my life.  I am taking control of the little things, and may be able to move on and take control of some of the bigger things.

Unfortunately I have a headache now, but I am going to take some ibuprofen and have a quiet afternoon, so that I will be fresh and clear-headed for choir tonight.  I can’t say that I love the Stravinsky Symphony of Psalms, but I am enjoying it more than I thought I would (I thought it was going to be Too Modern for me), and whilst it is challenging to sing, it is not utterly impossible, so I can see that I am getting a better handle on it each time we rehearse it.  It can be very disheartening to know that you are never getting on top of a piece, and if you can’t manage the mechanics of a song with relative ease – if not almost without thinking – then it is so much harder to focus on interpretation and musicality.

Reasonably positive today.


I enjoyed a long lie-in, listening to the Archers Omnibus on the radio, this morning.  What could be better?  Then, just as I was about to get up, N brought two mugs of coffee and the dogs upstairs, so I came back to bed for canine cuddles and caffeine – and it turns out that that was better.

And the good times just keep on coming – Scotland beat Ireland in the Six Nations Rugby – only by a whisker, and despite Ireland having the vast majority of the possession – and I sat watching a wet, muddy Murrayfield, and looking out at sunshine and blue skies here.  Oh – and listening to N mucking out cleaning No1 son’s room – N’s cousin is coming to stay this week, so we thought that it would be only right and proper to provide her with a hygienic bedroom in which to sleep!  N has even mended No1 son’s bedroom door, which has never shut properly, and has vacuumed the hall, stairs and landing, as well as making a number of spiders homeless.

This means that I will have to dust, polish and vacuum through the downstairs before L comes, which even I should be able to do!

I feel peaceful today, not too black inside, and reasonably positive – though tired and headache-y – maybe because of the lie-in this morning, or maybe because I took a sleeping tablet last night – it might be a bit of a hang-over effect from that.  But, as I had a good night’s sleep, without too many wakenings, I think it was worth it, on balance.

I forgot Friday – but welcome to the weekend anyway!


Ooops – I seem to have missed yesterday’s post!  But it was a positive day – good things happened, and I felt a sense of achievement.  Firstly, despite N having the day off, I didn’t take this as implicit permission for a long lie-in, but instead was up by 9am as per resolution.  And then we had a good day – we went for brunch at a local cafe, where we found out that a friend is expecting her first baby in 8 weeks, which is lovely news, and then we went and toiled round Tesco, doing the weekly shop – not a joyful or fun experience, but it needed doing, and it got done.

After that, I confess I had a fairly lazy afternoon – a bit of knitting, watching tv, and playing with the iPad.  So, in all, a nice, relaxing day.

Today, being the weekend, I have allowed myself a lie-in, but only an extra hour – and I got up when the alarm went off – there was no use of the snooze button, so I feel positive about that.  The rest of the day will involve laziness, and cheering on the Six Nations Rugby – France v Italy, and then England v Wales today, and then Scotland v Ireland tomorrow.  I shall be joining in with the national anthems – I enjoy learning new ones, even if only phonetically, and, sad individual that I am, I have them bookmarked, so I can turn to them quickly when the players start singing.

The Italian anthem is a bouncy, rococo piece, full of bravura and bravado.  The Marseillaise is amazing, if you read the translation – belligerant and warlike, full of triumph, glory, despots, and ending with a special children’s verse where they pledge to take up the arms of their parents and fight on to death if necessary. My favourites are Flower of Scotland, and the welsh national anthem.