I’m writing this new Notebook entry on April 1st – April Fools’ Day – having survived the onslaught of clever, and not-so-clever tricks by the offspring and the media.
It’s a beautifully sunny, breezy day. Perfect for drying the MOUNTAINS of washing which have accumulated this week due largely to 2 events:
- The arrival home for the (long) holidays of the eldest child from University (they really should encourage students to be clean by providing free access to washing machines – £5 a pop is painful)
- The smallest, most annoying dog of the house taking to weeing on family members’ beds. Yes, you read that correctly. She will soon be looking for a new home to wee in.
April 1st is many things. April Fools’ Day, the start of National Pet Month (yes really), and the heralding of a sequence of public events which always say ‘spring is here’ for me: The Boat Race, The London Marathon and the controversial Grand National.
Also, and completely unrelatedly, a new weekly roundup post by WordSmoothie.
So here goes with the very first instalment of This week I have been….
3 million emails, 2 million tweets, a zillion Facebook posts, and somehow finding time to start a great new book called ‘The Trouble with Goats and Sheep‘ by Joanna Cannon. Set in 1976, the infamous summer of blazing heat and standpipes in the street, it is so far both funny and a scarily accurate depiction of life on a suburban housing estate. I am loving it. Reminds me both of my childhood and of the similarly themed book I loved called ‘Instructions for a Heatwave’ by Maggie O’Farrell.
Apart from the usual, way too much chocolate and bad stuff for a 40-something woman rapidly gaining a spare tyre and having put on a WHOLE GODDAMN STONE over the winter, as a family we have been working our way back through the Joe Wicks ‘Lean in 15’ recipes – these are not the most amazingly culinary of eats, but they are quick, easy, family-friendly and use a good assortment of similar ingredients so the shopping bill isn’t too scary.
My youngest daughter and I have been making new things from the Hummingbird Bakery Cookbook – specifically the amazing Chocolate Cheesecake. It’s really easy to do and the results are amazing. The results, however, did not last very long at all with a family of 5 on the prowl. I was sorely disappointed on Day 2 after a particularly shitty day in the office to find that the whole lot had been scoffed when I got home, having spent the hour’s commute mentally drooling over the prospect of another slice.
3. Listening to
Mostly The Stereo MCs ‘Two Horse Town’ on loop. 1990 is alive and well again. And my love of funky hip/hop tunes is also still very much up there. Although some would say, perhaps an unusual musical choice for a 46 year old mum of 3? Anyway, I love it and it’s kept me entertained on the long drive to work each day.
I’ve also been listening to an audio book by Joanna Penn – ‘The Successful Author Mindset’, one of her many great and easy to follow books on writing. Particularly of interest to me because Joanna used to work in a very different arena – IT consultancy, having followed a traditionally academic path through school and university, and into the high-flying graduate corporate world. I can massively relate, and am inspired by her words of wisdom.
I’ve also been listening to some of her podcasts. You can follow her at The Creative Penn. Call me a fan-girl.
How to download and install a new theme on WordPress. It has been painful. I am not an IT guru, though I do consider myself fairly capable. It’s amazing how many precious hours can be wasted watching a progress bar on your screen, or getting the equivalent of road rage when the whole darn thing just crashed for no apparent reason. I am by no means where I want to be with it, so call it a ‘work-in-progress’ for now. You will have to forgive any clunky or missing links until I can find either the patience to sort it out, or the cash to pay someone who knows what they’re doing to sort it.
5. Trying new
Ways to keep calm and not let stupid, silly, inconsequential things wind me up. Which reminds me, I really should pick up the Headspace app thing again. I downloaded it, and did one measly 10- minute session whilst on a train to Wales, then have managed to not find the time (it’s only 10 sodding minutes!) to do any more of it. I definitely need to sort this out. I can find 10 minutes to stare blankly into the fridge, looking for inspiration, so I’m reasonably sure I could find the time to dedicate to my mental wellbeing.
Possibly the most rubbish film I’ve seen in a very long time. Just because it starred Scarlett Johansson and the husband has a ‘thing’ for SJ. I refer to ‘The Ghost in the Shell‘, so you can do yourself and your purse a favour and avoid it.
At one point, it had a small amount of potential, but although the SFX were pretty good, on the whole there was zero meaningful dialogue and you never got to feel anything for the characters. I came out feeling like I needed to watch ‘Pride and Prejudice’ on loop by way of an antidote. I don’t even like P&P but ‘The Ghost in the Shell’ made me feel all jangly and nervy. This may not have been helped by the Baskin’ Robbins chocolate Sundae I scoffed before the opening credits, but that is beside the point.
The upside was that me and the husband made it out of the house – together – in public. He even held my hand on the short walk from the car to the cinema. These things matter when you have kids. Big thanks to the eldest for babysitting her younger siblings and for making chocolate brownies to come home to.
So that’s my week in a nutshell. Hope you had a great week and are having a lovely weekend whatever you’re up to.
Originally posted 2017-04-01 14:25:55.