Current work: French duo book 2 (deadline approaching, arrgh)
Listening to: Norah Jones
Reading: CJ Sansom, Revelation
I’m going to do the looking back/forward thing on the year tomorrow. But we have a new decade coming up, so I want to look back on the Noughties as a whole (we were talking about it last night over dinner, so this list includes what the kids said...)
Overall, the Noughties were pretty good to me. We became a four-person family with the birth of Madam; Byron joined us; I got my hearing back (which I hadn't thought possible) and went back to music lessons; and careerwise I had my two biggest dreams come true – becoming a Mills & Boon author in 2001 (first book out 2002) and winning a literary award (RNA Romance Prize 2008). We made some really good friends, through work and school. We also extended the house quite a bit, so now we have a living space that really suits us. Yes, there was some dark stuff (mainly close family deaths and serious illnesses – some of which is still ongoing – and losing our first two spaniels), but on the whole it was a good decade. I feel grounded and settled, and that’s a good place to be.
I hope the next decade will be as happy, overall. I know we have some more dark stuff coming, this decade, with our remaining parents getting elderly, but we’re going to make some good memories to help counterbalance that (i.e. going to Italy in 2010, and I am SO looking forward to that). Our littlies will hit their teens, and be spreading their wings at uni towards the end of the decade (though they’ll always have a home with us, if they need it). And we should also be paying off the mortgage this decade (cough, cough, depending on endowment performance, but I lost trust in that a while back and switched a tranche of our mortgage over to repayment, which will hopefully cover the shortfall). I guess we’ll be heading for a new life stage. I hope the ride’s as nice as the last ten years have been.
Yesterday was an ‘interesting’ day. Had to queue for ages in the post office (kids were wonderful and didn't moan at all, despite our ticket saying that there were 54 people in the queue ahead of us – our first experience of the new queuing system). ‘You queued all this time just for passport forms?’ the cashier asked in seeming disbelief. Cue saccharine smile from me. Yup. You didn’t have any forms out in the rack, so the only way to get them was to queue up and ask you for them, was it not?
After all that, I was in the mood for spending money, and we have two domestic appliances that we bought in the millennium year and are on their last legs. First up was the tumble dryer – that’s arriving next week. Had a look at the cookers in John Lewis, but there isn’t much choice in the actual shop, and I’d like the up-to-date equivalent of my current cooker. Had a look online, and the one I’d like is substantially cheaper in House of Fraser (the difference will practically cover the costs of all four passports, so I do mean substantially), AND they do it in the colour I want. (Having seen the fingerprints on display models, no way are we having stainless steel; and this is a hard water area, so a quick wipe across a black cooker will leave noticeable streaks, whereas grey looks fine without having to be dried and buffed after wiping.) Just need to get a date from DH when his electrician friend can fit it, and then I can order it and arrange delivery.
As the kids had been so utterly brilliant during said tedious things, I caved in to daughter’s polite request and took them to lunch at Giraffe. (I was good and opted for chicken salad. Mainly because the scales on… when was Monday? What day is it, again?? Anyway, the weigh-in wasn’t good. And I’m so much fatter now than I was in 1994 that I look completely different and will need my passport renewal application and photographs countersigned. That’s a bit distressing. Actually, it's really upset me. So the diet is back on, as of now. Probably the kick up the backside that I needed for sliding back, the last six weeks.)
Plan for today: sort out passports, then son’s best friend is coming for a sleepover. Methinks they’re going to be messing about with models, and I will be baking with daughter. And in between… the deadline loometh.