Bored already. I'm going out later for lunch. I always promised myself as a child that I'd never spend another Xmas day in the house of a manic depressive alcoholic - but that's exactly what I'm about to do - however, in this case, he's a great bloke and a very good friend and excellent company. I'm taking pudding, Gorgonzola, fake amaretto (it's for the pudding) and a bottle of port. Should be enough - they have kindly prepared a nut roast so I don't have to just poke vegetables around on my plate.
Went to a party in a house a couple of days ago. I loathe house parties - people like me usually do - but it was OK, much less oppressive than usual, the people were lovely and I knew quite a few of them - the house was great, big Georgian place on one of the seafront squares, it had clearly once been offices - you could tell by the lobby and the pipes everywhere, and had been converted back into a house with a flat down in the basement. Didn't stay long, partly because they had bought a huge entire leg of parma ham that had a sad little foot on the end - it was quite depressing, there was a metal torture style device to hold it in place while people hacked at it with a carving knife, like a scene from 'The Pit and the Pendulum'. Afterwards, every pub in the town was packed with revellers and quite a bit of live music, so it was an early night for me.
I pushed the boat out and bought myself a contraption for poaching eggs. It was a mistake, worst poached eggs I've ever made in my life. Gave them to the dogs.
Friend / colleague popped round yesterday with a hamper - wasn't expecting that and suitably touched.
In the end I didn't have time to get a skip to clear the garden, and there is rather more than I thought - I've moved about 30 sacks of soil to behind the kitchen so that I no longer have to look at them - I will examine my meagre finances and consider a larger skip in the new year.
I've actually had several invitations this year - despite all the effort I've put into avoiding xmas. Thrilling article in one of the papers about how to be tolerant to autistic and Aspergers children at xmas and pointing out that there are lots of reasons why they might not be quite as happy as everyone else. No kidding. Walking the dogs earlier - several of the really grumpy dog walkers said hello - that happens every year, if they can do it today - they can manage it every other day. Fuckers.
Senile Alfie greyhound is becoming increasingly grumpy and snappy at strange dogs.
A large scaffold collapsed yesterday morning and blocked the main shopping street in the Old Town of Hastings, they got it cleared - but it cost some of the small independent traders dear on their most important shopping day of the year.
Sad to hear that Billie Whitelaw had died, exceptional actress and very beautiful woman. Jane Bown also died - and she was one of the great photographers of the last century. Equally sad, but they both achieved great age and professional satisfaction.
I'm taking today and tomorrow off, then I have massive amounts to do - stuff on the house, admin, research, thinking about the future - looking back over this year and wondering where it all went wrong. Not just me - I've had the same conversation with 3 other businesses in the last week, all have worked themselves into the ground this year in the most difficult circumstances, all have just about scraped by. Can't really afford a repeat of that - some 'creative' thinking may be in order. I already know that I have to up next years income by 30% just top catch up.
I have managed to make some good decisions this year - painting the door dark grey was a triumph, even though it's already started peeing because of the damp - and I turned down a couple of bits of work that would have caused me more grief than necessary - including a piece of retail work for Taylor Swift for practically NO MONEY'!!!
The most exciting thing that's going to happen to me today is watching a film later, and tomorrow - I'm going to the sale at Robery Dyas - according to the leaflet - they have half price secateurs.