Saturday, March 29, 2008

Lanty's Tarn & Keldas

I've had a busy, busy week seeing lots of lovely people. Husbink has had a busy, busy week being at work! (Which is going well, he has joined the cricket team :) )

Today, we decided to start on our plan for the next few months and visit every lake in the Lake District. We haven't made any particular rules about this except that driving past in the car doesn't count, we have to do something...

We had been planning a proper big(ish) walk to try out various new bits and pieces but the weather forecast didn't look too promising so we didn't leap out of bed at the crack of dawn to get underway. Instead, we ambled out around 10.30 (when it was still not raining) and drove to Glenridding on the edge of Ullswater (tick number one!).

The walk itself was a good 'un, not too long or too hard but interesting enough and we certainly are feeling the effects of the fresh air (even if we did away all the good effects of the walk with the HUGE hot choc we had when we got down again, it had been raining...)

There were beautiful views of Ullswater and Helvellyn - still with snow above about 500m. We saw a red squirrel just as we were approaching Keldas and on Lanty's tarn there were three goosander (brilliant for the name if nothing else!) and a comedy heron (perching in a pine tree). (Aside: I went with Mrs SD to the RSPB place at Leighton Moss on Thursday (great day, the place but of course more seeing Mrs SD) and saw a spoonbill, lots of shovellers and a crested grebe. You'll all be very relieved to know I didn't have the camera then!)

There were two beautiful becks on the walk, clear bubbling water bouncing its way down to the lake. The deep greens of the mosses along the walk was glorious too, especially against the dull mist of the day.

We did get a little soggy on the second half of the walk as the clouds finally gave way and the weatherman got what he'd predicted but it wasn't so unpleasant as to be a problem - and justified the aforementioned hot choc!

Wednesday, March 26, 2008

I can't think of many things worse...

The best thing about being on a plane? Especially a long haul flight? All that time in which you can just be - watch films, read a book, listen to music, comedy, do puzzles...whatever! The time is yours and yours alone (okay, alone with lots of other people...but they can't steal the time!)
And now? Mobile phone use has been approved by for use on planes in Europe. Yeah, it is a still a long way off and it will take airlines a wee while to get sorted and blah blah blah blah blah and of course I can (and will) continue to switch my phone off on the plane but that isn't going to stop all the other eejits is it?
Why couldn't they just lie (like large sections of hospitals) and say it was all too dangerous and don't do it?!

(Note: It *may* be the case that actually something else really pissed me off before I read the article on this. It *may* be the case that venting over mobile phones on planes is easier than on what has actually bothered me.)

Monday, March 24, 2008

We Wish You A Merry Easter

Once again I find myself having written plenty of blogs in my head but none actually on the compooper. Ah well, I fear such is life.

It has been a lovely snowy Easter up here in the wild northern reaches of the UK (and I gather probably a lot more snowy in many other areas). We've woken to a beautifully icing-sugared lawn two out of the last three mornings and the hills (for no longer do any of the peaks in the lake district count as mountains - cue Hugh Grant film...) are lovely and white - some are WHITE others are patchy white, lovely and mottled.

My parents visited over the weekend which was good but tiring.

Today we went out with the ever delightful Snoo and Hub, sampling the delights of Cockermouth, a marvellous tea room (cake, cake, CAKE) and a very bank holiday Keswick. I'd never been to Cockermouth before (though it had always appealed). It is a very pretty little town, in quite a rural, working sort of way. We wandered the main street for a while (enjoying a very good toy shop...I always want lego...and playmobil...stunted childhood?!) before heading out of town to a tea room at a working farm. Fantastic. I was very giddy to be seeing Snoo and Hub and then to see so much cake too...I was a little silly...

We headed to Keswick to achieve a few things but also to go down to the lake and enjoy the snow-topped hills and the sparkling water. Sadly it turns out I wasn't getting on so well with the camera so the pictures really don't do it justice.

Tomorrow, Husbink starts work. Maybe I will hear from the agency too. How much do I not want to!? But doing something would be good...

Thursday, March 13, 2008

Supreme Silliness

My dad alerted me to the joys of this particular site and its silliness...enjoy!

There's plenty more where that came from if you click here

Wednesday, March 12, 2008

Tidings of Comfort and Joy

Husbink has a job! No, not one of those big proper jobs with the training and everything that we came back to the UK for but a fourth month, see us through kind of job. A job that is perhaps rather further up the ladder than he'd expected (he applied for one job, got interviewed for a different one, all a bit crazy) so he's chuffed, scared and confused in probably equal measures.
It does not solve many of our current concerns in one sense but it is very good to feel like something is happening and we may not be trapped in the vortex forever.
I may also have a job. I've seen a recruitment agency, they were very positive, but because I don't want to start work until after Easter they currently don't have anything. They expect though that next week they will have something for me to start when I want. Which is all rather good. I think. Much as I may not want to work in an office ever, ever again, doing something will definitely be good for me. Oooh, and I had an hour and a half in an empty house today. It was so good!
So now we can enjoy our weekend in Leeds and our few days in Cambridge without needing to feel any great guilt at being so slack and all. Hurrah!
(Oh and the title? Well, a little unseasonal but so is my FIL's tendency to go around whistling Good King Wenceslas at the moment...)

Thursday, March 06, 2008

It's all about me!

One of the things which was marvellous about our time in New Zealand (amongst a long list of things) was the amount of time I got to myself on a routine basis.

I am an introvert in the sense that my energy comes from time on my own. I like to be with people. I love meeting new people, sitting down with old friends for big chin wags, the occasional big party... I am very happy standing up in front of large numbers of people and speaking, leading, whatever... But if I don't get time on my own I break.
Husbink's work pattern in NZ meant that I had a lot of time to myself. I knitted. I baked. I read. I prayed. I cleaned. I thought. I wrote. I walked. I pottered. I cycled. I achieved.

I'm now at about the two month mark since we moved out of our house, started that last adventure and found ourselves back in the UK. In those two months, I've snatched an hour here, an hour there...but the cracks are more than beginning to show. Combine the lack of alone time with all the unknowns about the future and the like and I'm beginning to look like one hell of a crazy lady.

I don't like that this is the case. I don't mean I don't like that I'm going slightly mad, that should be obvious enough. What I mean is, I don't like that I have to be this "demanding". Husbink often makes jokes about me being high maintenance. The jokes relate to the whole preening aspect (my last hair cut was 9 months ago...I haven't bought shoes in about a skincare routine is slapdash...) but in this respect, the alone time, the introversion, it is a very true statement. I really, really need it and if I don't get it, all kinds of hysterics ensue.

A few nights ago, we returned to Husbink's parent's after a few days in Scotland for Husbink's interview (we will not hear anything until March 26th at the earliest but it could be mid-end April). I thought the few days away would have boosted my coping ability a bit - I even had an hour and a half to myself while Husbink was at his interview. Instead it seems that that little taster of what I need was too much and I really shut down on return to a house with five people in it...the panic attack was barely below the surface and I really wasn't sure that my body could actually handle it. All I wanted to do, on a cold, wet, windy night, was sit in the garden by myself for hours and hours and hours. I've come out of it a little over the past few days and can hold conversations again. Just.

I feel desperately self-centred for being like this and it feels feeble to realise that one of the reasons I was so happy (and more to the point increasingly healthy (though clearly there were other things at play their too)) in NZ was all this time for me. How selfish can you get?!

I have managed to veer away from the impulse to run home to my mum (who I could then in no uncertain terms tell to leave me alone and only speak to me once a day) but it does feel like a very thin line I'm walking just now.