Monday, December 29, 2008

tail end of the year

Current work: Med revisions
Listening to: Sandy Denny and Oasis
Reading: (next on TBR pile)

Hope everyone had a lovely Christmas. Our day was fabulous – kids woke up around 8 (so I had time to put the turkey in the oven first) and bounced in with their Christmas stockings. They were delighted with all their pressies (as were DH and I) and I think we did the right thing in cutting Christmas spending back to a more reasonable level: it meant we all appreciated things much more. (And hey, I was happy. Books, music, nice smellies, and a couple of additions to my Pandora bracelet.) Sorted the veg and the table; then my family came over for lunch, and we spent the afternoon chatting and playing Monopoly (four that’s cool) and eating chocolate. Chilled out in the evening with Dr Who and the new Wallace and Gromit (which was very good).

Boxing Day, we all needed a walk and some fresh air, so we went out. There were sarcastic comments about my yen for the seaside and pointed remarks about the time we went to the sea on Boxing Day and it was so cold that your ears hurt within 10 seconds, so we went inland, this time. I really do like the church at Rougham: a quiet, peaceful little country church with the most wonderful, calm atmosphere. (OK, I admit it: it was a sneaky work trip. I wanted a pic of the acoustic jar at Rougham. But note that I took Christmas Day off and didn’t even TOUCH my computer.)

Saturday, thought a bit more about my revisions and slobbed out with films in the evening; firstly ‘Toy Story 2’, which is still just as good as the first time round – and this time the kids got some of the jokes aimed at an older audience. Then it was ‘Starter for Ten’; as this was set in the autumn term of 1985 (i.e. just after I met DH), I had fun reliving my own student days. I’d take issue with some of the clothing (where were the lovely, comfy bright red pixie boots, then? I miss mine. And we all wore long black coats. And lumberjack shirts were in, too) but it had more or less the right period feel. I must’ve mixed with a quieter set, though: I don’t remember big parties with tons of booze in the bath. More like lots of coffee and earnest discussions about English lit. (With Suzanne Vega in the background, or early Genesis, or Bryan Adams if we were going to have a bop round the kitchen. And, er, large bars of Galaxy chocolate.) DH was questioning it, too. ‘But you never did parties and discos, even when I came up to stay.’ (Well, no. When he came to stay, he took me to see Deep Purple at Birmingham NEC.) ‘And you spent your money on books, music, chocolate and going to the cinema.’ (Plus ├ža change, eh?)

But that whole thing about being eighteen and growing up and where you fit in once you’ve moved away from home… Lightbulbs are flickering in the back of my head; however, as I have two deadlines in January (plus my revisions), they’ll just have to stay flickering for now.

Sunday, worked on my revisions while DH braved the sales with the kids. I was making a cup of tea when I spied a visitor to our bird feeder: I think this is a Great Spotted Woodpecker, scoffing peanuts. This isn’t a good pic because it’s a zoom shot through glass, I didn’t have a good viewing angle, and he flew off before I had the chance to focus better for a second snap. But am impressed that he likes our peanuts.

Hmm. It’s somewhat appropriate to be taking pics of birds at the tail end of the year. (Appalling pun intended.)

Plans for the next couple of days: seeing my photographer friend this morning and talking books/photographs, then might take the kids to the cinema as DH is back at work and I have promised two cinema trips. Tomorrow I’m taking the kids to the stained glass museum in Ely, and meeting up with lovely Jan Jones. Wednesday, probably seeing Dad (provided none of us has a cold: particularly now, he's vulnerable to the lurgy, and I'd hate to spread it through the home). And then it's New Year. What we do will depend on the weather and when DH gets home from work. But I do need certain pics. I foresee whining to go for a wander round the Broads...


Michelle Styles said...

My youngest says that it is either a Great Spotted or a Lesser Spotted but he can't tell from the photo. Hooray though on having them in the garden.

I did wonder why they did not show the earnest peering into each other's eyes through fumes of late night coffee or cocoa. I do remember this aspect of the British courtship ritual being described to me...It was wasted on me as at the time, I prefered to drink hot ribena juice...

Diane said...

Woodpeckers do like the nuts, so as you've already had one visitor I think you'll find you'll see it more often. :o) Congratulations.

I remember people keeping bottles and cans of booze in the bath, to keep them cool. As I didn't see the show, though, that might not be what they meant.

Marilyn Shoemaker said...

Happy New Year Kate and all! Love the pic.

Kate Hardy said...

Checked my RSPB bird book and I think it's a Lesser Spotted. I'm going to keep a proper bird feeder diary in the new year.

And Hot ribena is perfect for this time of year!

Kate Hardy said...

Diane - it's been fascinating seeing the different visitors.

The beer in the bath thing was exactly as you describe... just didn't happen in Leicester.

Kate Hardy said...

Marilyn - thank you. You, too!

Jan Jones said...

Great Spotted Woodpecker, Kate. The lesser spotted is only sparrow sized and doesn't have the red underparts.

Can't see the back of your one's head, but I think it's a female. The male has a red patch.