Leave a comment

Getting away from it all

Sun, sea, sand and … writing?

I’m on holiday. Well, I’m away from home and work, eating salad and fruit and beer comes in two sizes – large and small – so I guess that means I’m on holiday. I’m also away from my ‘other half’ as this is a holiday with my Mum.

It’s now about a year since me and himself got back off our last sunny holiday (free use of a flat in Sitges courtesy of one of his brothers – do I always sound skint when it comes to holidays?) to find that my Dad had been referred to hospital for chest x-rays. You know, just routine … Three months later and my Mum has to get used to being a widow.

This is Mum’s first holiday away since then. She’s had her downs and started back up on the up-slide again a couple of months ago, the urge to go away again being a part of that. But how to go away on your own? Answer – don’t. So, here I am, in Tenerife. I steered Mum through the changes at Manchester Airport, reminded her that in case of sudden loss of oxygen in the airplane cabin she was to see to her own oxygen mask before her child’s (she thought that was funny), explained that, no, airline seats hadn’t got wider, her bum was 2 sizes smaller than the last time she was on a plane.

Some compromises are being made. I wasn’t allowed to shave my head for the holiday … I now have 9mm blue hair instead. She wanted me to wear a dress, no jeans allowed at night … not sure what the genteel folk in this ’boutique’ hotel are going to make of the skull dress that joined a couple of others from Affleck’s Palace. Can’t quite believe it and at 45 I’m finally buying from Afflek’s. Still, we are in an adult only hotel so I’ve not confused/frightened any small children yet with my tattoos and no parents have had to explain that I am not a man in a vaguely embarrassed mutter (I know it’s sad, but it was always funny at the gym).

Going on holiday now is a little different to the way it used to be. Years ago I would decide which books to take and then dole out the reading time in the hope that I wouldn’t finish everything before the flight back. Now I have my netbook with me, masses of music, films and books on my e-reader and my first concern on getting anywhere new is finding out how good the wifi signal is in the rooms.

I also promised myself to make the most of the opportunity and to get over the current ‘hump’ with writing up this bloody albatross that is taking up a lot of the spare capacity in my head. Obviously, I’ve done nothing of the kind. First full day and all that, I thought I might try and sidle up to it and take it unawares.


So I’ve just bought @girlonthenet’s book from Amazon – http://www.amazon.co.uk/Girl-Net-Not-So-Shameful-Secrets-ebook/ Not just yet another distraction but a completely impractical one as I will have to read in on the Kindle reader downloaded to my netbook because my e-reader of choice is a Sony and not a Kindle.


One day done. I hope to come home:

  • with something useful written
  • with a tan
  • still fitting into my clothes
  • and still be talking to mother

It would also be nice to get a full sleep in but after last night I’m not sure that’s possible. Wish me luck.

Leave a comment

Do I really need a 3D TV?

Obviously the answer is no. No one really needs a 3D TV (and associated new 3D blu-ray player, reorganising the living room, recabling the surround sound etc etc).

Obviously I have bought one (and all the associated other stuff above).

I now have a perfectly reasonable 37″ HD TV and blu-ray player gathering dust in a room waiting for the glorious day when our loft conversion is eventually finished. As everything is in working order there was no need at all to go out and spend/waste money on such an expensive and unnecessary item.

What does this show us?

It shows that I live in a house that is already too big as I have enough rooms that I don’t use to be able to ‘lose’ a TV, stand and blu-ray player without tripping over them.

It shows that we have still not finished the eternal loft conversion. Actually, I moved something yesterday so I could paint a door and I found that the newspaper I was using to rest my paint pot on was from 2006. One day, I promise, the house will be finished. You’ll be able to tell when it happens when all the Mayan end of the world prophecies start to kick in.

It shows that I have a husband who really doesn’t like the idea of saying “no”, he just trusts me that the credit cards are not going to implode.

It also shows – and this is the serious bit – my self esteem issues and my odd relationship with money.

Low self esteem? Surely not?

Hey, I sit here typing to myself and feel unable to ask people to give up their time to listen to me. You betcha I have self esteem issues.
But as you’re already here …

Shopping is a function of comfort, like eating and drinking. When I feel ok I don’t need to spend, I also drink less and can even be trusted with butter in the house. I’m old enough to know that no amount of wine, or chocolate or Anchor (binge butter of choice) that goes into my mouth will make me happy beyond the moment of consumption. Shopping, at least, has the advantage of being low fat, low calorie and sugar free.

I go into a shop, I make it clear I want to buy a high value item. For however brief a period I have someone’s attention. For the time it takes to check the goods, pay for them, argue about the extended warranty and decline whatever else they try to sell me I am vaguely important and my opinion matters. (Obviously I know it’s not ‘me’ that’s important but the credit card I invariably use to pay for things but this my fantasy so I’m going with it.)

I take shit all day at work. I know, it’s my job. I have hopeless managers and no structure and little respect from other teams whose aim often seems to be to screw things up for me and the users I look after.

I have an illness that often means I can’t do things when I want to do and I don’t trust that my body will always be able to do what I want it to do. My memory is often shot, I’m tired and I ache most of the time.

But I go into a shop and we all pretend that I actually have control and that I matter and (ready for this) I don’t have to invest anything emotionally in pleasing the shop assistant.

So. I know I didn’t need to go out and spend £700+ on something that is little more than a new gadget, but in the build up to doing so it felt imperative that I did.

In conclusion

I do have to say though, Tintin in 3D is just about one of the most magical things I have ever seen.