Monday, December 24, 2012


I'm in a much better mood now, lest you were concerned. I've prepared Christmas dinner, I've bought all my presents, I've fought for a parking space in Waitrose carpark at 8am, I've sat outside in the car while Nye collected presents from the post office and I'm almost over the fact that we are quarantined to our kitchen and dining room because the whole damn house is infested with cat fleas. Yup, that's right, our lovely new house is hoaching with fleas and my ankles wrists and right butt cheek look like the worse pictures that come up when you google 'flea bites'. Needless to say I'm not too keen on the previous owners. And their cat is pretty high up on my list too.

Anyway, like I said, I'm getting over it, even if I now have to pee in a bucket in the corner of the bedroom because the bathroom is the worst affected area and the most likely place where my ass (literally) is being mauled and I just can't face going in there any more.

I'm even starting to feel a little festive, tentatively. And aside from the fleas, I love our new house. But more about that after the holidays. For now; merry Christmas to you all, I'll see you in the 2013. xx

Friday, December 21, 2012


This is pretty much how I feel about Christmas and life in general at the moment. 
I'll be back when I can muster some cheeriness. If that takes longer than four days then have a wonderful Christmas, if you go in for that sort of thing. 

Friday, December 14, 2012


Guys, did you know that moving house is FUCKING STRESSFUL? I'd kind of forgotten.

But we did it, we got here. And now I'm sitting in our new dining room, at the knackered old desk we're using as a dining table, listening to W&P 'napping' (rioting) in their new bedroom with our new tiny fireplace in it, overlooking our new (very wet) garden.

And one of my favourite 'cheer up, it might be stressful but a wee dance would help' songs just played on the radio. Nye left at 6 this morning, he gets back tomorrow night sometime. W&P are completely unhinged (turns out toddlers find moving kind of stressful too) but I think I might survive.

Thank you for all your well wishes and congratulations and new home cards (seriously, THANK YOU). You're the best.

*print by Colorbee on etsy. I really want this for above my desk, to go with my housewarming present to myself.

Wednesday, December 12, 2012

In Siberia.

'...accelerated urbanisation over the past century has distanced humanity from the very animal and plant sources of life itself. We are living in disharmony with the elements that comprise the universe, as if we too were not similarly formed, as if we were purely rational beings. We are disregarding the spiritual and instinctive qualities that until now have ensured our survival. We assume grave risks when we distance ourselves from our natural roots, roots which in the past always made us feel part of the whole.' Sebastião Salgado 
These photos from Sebastião Salgado's Genesis project (a huge project spanning 6 years) took my breath away when I was flicking through last weekend's Guardian magazine. Salgado spent 40 days living with the Netets, nomadic reindeer herders of northern Siberia. The pictures he took are epic and yet intimate, painterly and yet distinctly documentary photography.  It's the first time in a long time that I've felt inspired by contemporary photography and the first time in as long as I can remember that I've eagerly awaited a gallery exhibition. Which I'll be able to go to, because I live in London now. 

Photographs: Photograph: Sebastião Salgado/Amazonas/nbpictures, via The Guardian. 

Monday, December 10, 2012


I forgot to allocate time for the most fun part of moving house in The Plan: arguing over what makes the cut if it doesn't all fit in the van. Every time.

Sample conversation:

N: We have too much stuff. Can we throw out our pans? I hate them, I want ones with smaller handles.
C: You want us to move into a new house with no pans?
N: we'll get new ones.
C: No. You don't throw out pans UNTIL you have new ones. 

Conversation we haven't had yet but I know is coming:

N: can I throw out that huge pink lampshade?
C: no, I love it.
N: But it takes up loads of room, doesn't fit in any boxes and is too big for the new house.

Every time.

*Ghose house, by Jin Otagiri. I have a sneaking suspicion that this is what our house would look like if Nye was in charge. Except there would be a mountain bike and some really big speakers. 

Sunday, December 09, 2012

The Plan.

The Plan: 

Today: pack all the things, say goodbye to all the family. 

Tomorrow: clean the whole house

Tuesday: Widdle and Puke and I get on a plane to London, Nye's brother gets off a plane from London. He and Nye pack the house into a hire van, hoping it all fits. Nye's brother's girlfriend (my sister-not-in-law? Maybe we'll just call her 'Mary'), meets us at the airport. We go and pick up the keys for OUR NEW HOUSE then go and stay the night with Mary. Nye and his brother drive for more or less 12 hours through the night with all of the things in the van that may or may not be big enough.

Wednesday: we move all of the things into OUR NEW HOUSE.

Thursday: cry a lot because a) there's all the mess, b) I can't find the coffee pot, c) we finally live in OUR NEW HOUSE. 

Friday: Nye gets on a plane back to Inverness, picks up our car and comes back to The Bat Cave Cottage to get all of the plants and other things that wouldn't fit in the hire van. Then he drives to Glasgow to stay the night with Sophie.

Saturday: Nye drives from Glasgow to London with the plants. 

Sunday: we all live in OUR NEW HOUSE. IN LONDON. 

The end. 

image by Gemma Correll

Monday, December 03, 2012


Next week I'm getting on a plane, with toddlers, two toddlers. Just me and two toddlers. I don't like getting on planes at the best of times (I'm not scared of them, they just smell bad and they're uncomfortable and the whole thing takes sooooooooo looooooooooong and I can't afford the good seats.) me, alone with two toddlers is not the best of times.

How do I entertain two toddlers for 2 hours? Two toddlers who do not like sitting still unless there's awful tv to watch and I don't have any devices for watching awful tv on the move so please don't suggest awful tv. 

The wise Christine suggested sticky plasters (band aids) to unwrap and stick. And Celia is all about the snacks which I think might be a goer, seeing as they're not allowed unscheduled snacks the rest of the time (we're very French/mean like that.) Between snacks and sticky plasters I think we've got about 15 minutes covered. What else have you got? 

Also, do I sit between them so they don't fight, on the aisle so they can't escape? Or do I sit by the window and order a glass of wine, trusting that the doors are locked and they can't go anywhere? Dilemmas. 

*I'm sorry, I don't have a credit but the picture was too good not to use. I imagine it's from a shiny fashion magazine, the kind I won't get to read on the plane. 
UPDATE: image is by Helmut Newton, thanks Mr T