Category: Motivation

Xmas 2017

Christmas Day came at last.

Here are my Xmas flowers.

xmas flowers 2017

Harry made an amazing Xmas breakfast with lemon goujons and salmon.

xmas tableware 2017

As you can see, I have my longed-for Holly & Ivy tableware – there was a 50% off sale at Portmeirion before Xmas, so I bought just enough china for two place settings. It looks so pretty and makes me so happy.

xmas tableware 2

Then Harry cooked again and made Xmas dinner with roast chicken, Yorkshire puddings, vegetables, pigs in blankets and the best cauliflower cheese I’ve ever tasted. He made the cheese sauce from scratch and it had loads of cheese in it.

xmas cauli cheese

xmas dinner 2017

I made cocktails. The ingredients are white rum, Baileys, coffee, ice cream (vanilla or chocolate), whipped cream, fudge sauce and raspberries. You can also include chocolate milk if you have any.

xmas cocktail 2017

Harry had a chess set for Xmas – actually, he bought the pieces himself and I supplied the board, which is made of inlaid wood and is very large and heavy. The pieces are models of the Lewis Chessmen which were probably made in the 12th century and which are in the British Museum.

lewis chess

My breath was taken away by Harry’s present to me, he got me a glockenspiel. I love xylophones, vibraphones and all that family of instruments, yet have never owned so much as a chime bar, so I was bowled over to receive an actual glockenspiel. I love it and I don’t think it will be too hard to learn how to play.

glockenspiel

The glockenspiel has a rather magical sound, like tinkling bells, and plays a part in Mozart’s Magic Flute, which is ‘our’ opera because we went to it on our second date. Here’s the glockenspiel scene, it is an excerpt from a 1971 production of The Magic Flute by the Hamburg State Opera.

So that was Christmas chez Gloria. We had Boxing Day today and tonight’s dinner is slices of turkey with broccoli and roast potatoes, cooked (okay, heated up) by me. I feel like we are now caught up with the rest of the world and are all ready for New Year’s Eve tomorrow. We are planning to make a cheese fondue and I cannot wait.

Merry Christmas, readers. I hope you had or are having a wonderful break.

Xmas Eve

I just want to sit around and do nothing but Xmas is tomorrow and Xmas Eve is this evening, so I have a to-do list which I had better get on with.

  • Clean the smaller bathroom and give the larger bathroom a once-over.
  • Give the kitchen a quick clean and put the rest of the groceries away.
  • Reboot the laundry.
  • Superficial tidying in the bedroom and living room.
  • Clean the hall, this will mean disposing of some junk as well as mopping the floor.
  • Take the rubbish out.

At this point, all my rooms are clean at the same time, this always requires several days of housework and basically only happens once a year when I am on holiday from work.

  • Finish knitting that scarf, quick. There are only 22 rows left to go and I have to weave in the ends, then we’re done.
  • Find out what time Harry is expected. Have a shower, put on some clean clothes and make-up. Put a bottle of something fizzy in the fridge.

I’d better start on the hall. Hopefully it won’t take too long.

Maybe we can have a Xmas tune to help ourselves get in the mood. Check out this upbeat medley from the 1930s and 1940s. ‘In my Christmas letter, I asked Santa Claus to bring me you’.

 

It is the eve of Christmas Eve

Xmas is finally approaching. Santa is finally coming to my house. I’ve waited months and months.

I am home, having discharged all my responsibilities. Groceries are coming this evening. Tomorrow during the day I will finish cleaning the house, then Harry will come home and we will have Christmas Eve tomorrow evening. Then it is Actual Christmas Day on the 29th.

I would like to finish the cleaning this evening but I am too exhausted so here is my alternative to-do list for tonight (it is already 4pm and starting to get dark).

  • Make coffee, I have cream in the fridge.
  • Log on to World of Warcraft and collect my in-game Xmas presents (the first Xmas presents of this year, there will be more from Harry on Xmas Day, which is of course Friday).
  • Take delivery of the groceries.
  • Pour a drink, put on a Xmas movie and attempt to finish a hat and scarf that I’ve been knitting for Harry so I can wrap it up and put it under the tree before he comes home.

I want to quickly say thanks to everyone who has worked over Xmas. Thank you for that. Your efforts are appreciated. I hope you have a restful new year.

Xmas is not here yet.

I don’t care what it says on your calendar, it is wrong. Xmas has arrived when the following things have happened.

– My house is clean. It is not there yet despite my valiant efforts. I still have to do the bathroom and hall. I missed the last day of cleaning because I was in bed with a tension headache.

– Family members have been visited. Spending time with family can be challenging and effortful, esp when you are already tired from work. I expect you don’t need to listen to me going on about it.

– I am making dinner in my own kitchen.

Today I am going to eat leftover curry while looking after Mom.

So that’s why it’s not Xmas yet, no matter what you may have been told. I will let you know when it happens. It is still a few days away.

My heart is pounding.

Business is the busiest it has been in five years. I keep forgetting to breathe and my heart feels like it is going to burst out of my chest.

There is no video gaming. Year of the Console is on hold.

I have been to the Netherlands again and have now returned.

I have two more countries to visit, immediately.

Harry is looking after me and my flat as best he can. He is cooking and taking care of household repairs.

I am making reasonably good money and that is the most important thing, out of anything.

I am desperate for Christmas to come so I can have some time off.

I have been at my desk since 4am. An influential client emailed me at 8am, singing my praises.

That’s all for now. I need to get back to work. There will be a lot of nice travel photos in due course. Thanks for your patience.

 

In which I waver and have dark moods.

I have been in a funny mood the last couple of days, since about Saturday evening. Irritable, pensive and gloomy. To what shall I attribute it?

  • Could be hormones. I am the right age for swinging hormones, or it could be a time of the month thing or it could be exercise-induced testosterone surges or whatever.
  • Eurgh, I have faulty lights in my house and I have to engage an electrician. If the whole place needs rewiring, it will be very, very expensive, running to thousands of pounds. This is enough to make anyone annoyed and depressed.
  • I went on a carb binge over the weekend because I was just so tired of constantly eating raw vegetables and watching my weight waver within a range of the same two pounds for the last two weeks. I am back on the healthy eating wagon as of this morning. I wrote that sentence and then ate several pieces of Mint Aero with my breakfast smoothie.
  • I want to do demanding exercise classes at my gym but at the same time I am plagued by various allergies and itchy skin right now and I know this is a sign that I’ve run down my immune system instead of boosting it. I need to rest and preserve myself and get my energy up, clear my skin, then resume doing insane classes at the gym where you heave weights around until you pass out.
  • There are certain aspects of work that I find annoying, which I guess is true for everyone. I’m not very patient with bureaucracy.
  • Being in an actual relationship for the first time since 2010 brings its own rewards and challenges. On the rewards side, it is a warm and mutually beneficial social exchange, we are genuinely fond of each other and my house is clean all the time. On the challenges side, I picked someone highly intelligent and observant who notices everything and is very interested in getting to know me. This is unnerving because it is something I haven’t experienced for a long time. Usually, my relationships involve making sure the other person is kept at a distance. We don’t discuss deep, personal topics. I discourage personal remarks and they don’t ask penetrating questions. We keep things light and cheerful. I now realise that I haven’t let anyone get to know me well for several years. I just don’t let people get that close. Also, it’s conceivable that I might be a bit crazy. You don’t notice this as much if you don’t let people in.

So that’s why I’m grumpy today. When I’m in a better mood, I actually have some nice photos to show you, but they will have to wait. Let’s have a tune instead. This is 90s rap artist, Da Brat. In this beautiful video, many famous singers and rappers of the era come together for a party and to see her perform. The vibe is gentle and everyone is happy. For me, the most special and poignant moment is at 1:26, where the late Biggie Smalls, arguably the greatest rapper of all time, arrives with four of his honeys, affectionately holding two of them by the hand. He was always a ladies’ man. Precious moments in rap history. Biggie died of fatal gunshot wounds three years later, in 1997, aged 24. If I could choose between having Princess Diana come back from the dead or Biggie Smalls, I would choose Biggie.

Da Brat: Give It 2 You (1994)