Monday, May 30, 2011

Late May observations

Just a few quick observations on what tickles me these days.

1. Family: our little family continues to give us so much pleasure - both Harri and Mimi are so beautiful, entertaining and clever, developing at such a fast pace. We had a lovely day yesterday celebrating Toni's birthday, and when life is pleasant you have to soak it up and enjoy it with relish, as we did. (This I need to remind myself about whenever Little Miss Amelia Alice wakes us either during the evening (as she did last night) or in the middle of the night! After all, when else will I have time to catch up on some of my favourite shows than at 2am in the middle of the night?)

2. The allotment looks so much better these days, thanks in no small part to mum and dad's hard work. Mum in particular has grown the plants that make it look like it's actually being used: potatoes, onions, chard, pumpkins, butternut squash, beans and curly kale.

3. The garden - front and back - looks in good nick too, in no small part thanks to Toni and her folks. Our apple tree is finally growing apples this year, and while the blueberries look a little worse for wear (I don't know what to blame, but I suspect some pruning will be required come autumn time), we've got raspberries, courgettes, herbs, pears and - touch wood - peppers to enjoy this year too.

4. Despite the blow of relegation, it hasn't soured the fact Blues won the Carling Cup. If anything, it's made it all the sweeter - instead of looking at the clubs that consistently win trophies, I've remembered that the vast majority don't win anything at all. And when the time came for the underdog to finally topple one of the big four in a Cup final, it was us who delivered the knock-out blow. We will always be a club yo-yo'ing between divisions; this was truly special, and we'll live off it for decades.

5. Doctor Who is delivering in spades week after week. Having been worried about Matt Smith filling David Tennant's shoes, now I keep forgetting who the previous incumbent of the TARDIS was. And with next week's cliffhanger set up perfectly I'm actually revelling in the anticipation of the event, my inner child excitedly waiting to see what happens.

6. Work, believe it or not. It frustrates me that I don't work consistent hours, that I get distracted and sidelined, but the end result is that - eight months down the line - I've proved I have a professional future post-PC Answers. And a healthier one too - I reckon I've got five new regular or semi-regular strands of work going that I didn't have before, and we continue to live within our means in a comfortable way. And the end result is work spread across more publications with a greater variety of material being produced by yours truly.

7. Music. I've been reconnecting with some of my old favourites (no, I won't embarrass the artists by revealing them!), and letting the memories - happy and sad - wash over me with relish. I could live without many things, but music isn't one of them.

8. Local beer. We are so lucky having so many talented local breweries close by. I don't drink that much, but when I do, I savour each and every bottle. Last night Nethergate's Umbel Ale proved it's as perfect an accompaniment for Thai food as it is Indian and Chinese. Looking forward to Friday evening when we go out for a few halves at the latest Colchester Real Ale Festival.

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