Sigh. I really tried hard to like “Talk to Me” on TV last night – which apparently was supposed to be the next “Cold Feet”. Um, it isn’t. Unlike the glorious CF, TTM is clichéd, dull (serious yawning …) and full of characters too much up their own arses to be remotely likeable. Loveable doesn’t even come into it, to be honest. I mean, I seriously didn’t care about the totally unrealistic love triangle at the heart of it – as far as I’m concerned, they’re all as bad as each other and should simply go off and get on with it. Off camera, and so I don’t have to watch any more of their ridiculously self-obsessed lives. Heck, if anyone’s going to be self-obsessed around here, it’s going to be me. I can do without the competition. And as for the (dull! dull!) relationship between teacher and pupil, oh yawn … we’ve heard and seen it all before. So, as you can see, that was an hour of my life wasted and that I won’t get back again, and I’ll certainly be giving it a wide berth next Sunday …
Anyway, to cheer me up, Springwatch (http://www.bbc.co.uk/springwatch) has switched on the camera showing the Golden Eagle this morning – hurrah! Which is probably the closest I’m likely to get to a Golden Eagle that isn’t in a zoo. Delightful really. However, Lord H and I were puzzled as to why the chick (if you can call something that size a “chick”) was black and white, and not golden at all – he thinks that perhaps it’s not old enough to get its colour licence yet. Which makes a kind of strange sense, in its way …

However, I am devastated by the loss of the four moorhen chicks to an unknown predator. Wicked, wicked Nature indeed – it can be a nasty piece of work, you know. But said moorhen now has two extra chicks, so here’s hoping those don’t vanish too.

Ooh, and we’re thinking of joining the RSPB, as Lord H had such a fun time at the RSPB sanctuary yesterday, and is keen to do an owl hunt etc, as they have events. Ye gods, but we’re turning into twitchers for sure. This might be something which happens in one’s forties – so be warned if you haven’t got there yet …

Here at the coal-face, I’ve caught up with emails, and have even managed to persuade the University printing service to do some flyers for me. At least I hope I have. I wasn’t entirely sure that the woman I was explaining my requirements to was actually taking anything in or not. We did get a bit stuck on her apparent non-comprehension of what a bold typeface might be. Hmm. Perhaps it’s my funny Essex accent?...

I’ve also just finished a weary phonecall with the National Trust, trying to get them to send me two car stickers, so we can have free parking – now that they’ve changed the system and are charging everyone. Damn it. Never saw that flagged up in the literature, I have to say. Must have thrown the first lot of stickers away, without realising how vital they would be. Anyway, my first phone call was hopeless as the lady at the other end couldn’t hear me at all, so I had to redial. And before I could even get to what my enquiry was in my second phone call, I had to tell them my name, my NT card number, the first line and postcode of my address, how many people were on my card, how many cards the household had, my hair colour, how many pounds I put on last week and when my last dental appointment was. Okay, I admit I made up the last three, but even so!! What’s wrong with just asking me what my name is and what my query might be?? Surely the rest of it can be done afterwards. By the time they’d asked me what they could do for me, I’d actually lost the will to live. Again.

At least, I have booked a reflexology session at lunchtime – that should calm me down. And prepare me for whatever rigours the afternoon might hold. Though, actually, it’s fairly quiet at the moment – as my boss, Ruth and the Dean of Students are all away today. Hmm, suspicious, eh? I’m sure there’s a story or two there, if I can just winkle it out …

And I’m doing a lot of coughing. Must be the recovery process, don’t you know. Damn nuisance though – I keep waking myself up.

Oh, and I’ve written a flash fiction piece for the Writewords (http://www.writewords.org.uk) challenge, which this week is based on the theme of “The right shoes”:

The Right Shoes

‘What on earth are you wearing?’ Adrienne pointed one trembling hand at her daughter as Tiffany prepared as usual to make her way to the Dog & Duck that Saturday night.
‘Whaddya mean, Mum?’ Tiffany stared at her mother and continued chewing her gum. ‘It’s me usual, innit?’
Adrienne gasped and shook her head, her diamante earrings jangling. It wasn’t her daughter’s party outfit of skin-tight leopard-print leotard which upset her. Nor even the inch-thick make up, which her adorable Tiffany surely didn’t need anyway. Neither was she remotely concerned by the lack of skirt or by the fishnet stockings with “Take me now” embroidered on each thigh. After all, she’d been a teenage mother herself not that long ago …
No, what worried her – nay, shocked her, indeed – was the footwear.
‘I mean, look at them shoes!’ she shrieked.
Tiffany’s gaze dropped to her feet, and her gum-chewing ceased.
‘Oh my gawd!’ she yelped. ‘’Ere, I’m wearing two right ones, Mum. No wonder they felt so weird. What’s Darren gonna say now?’
‘I dunno, darlin’,’ Adrienne guffawed. ‘I mean, I know a gal’s gotta have the right shoes on every occasion but, babe, you’ve left me speechless this time!’


Ah, my Essex days – they haunt me, you know … You can take the girl out of Essex, but you can’t take Essex out of the girl. As they say.

And I’ve just finished A M Homes’ This Book Will Save Your Life. Hmm, it certainly tries hard, but isn't as good as it thinks it is. Which is a shame, as the characters are wonderful, but they are unfortunately lost in the desperately frenetic actions and the sometimes meaningless and certainly bizarre events. I think that about 30-40% of the events could have been cut, which would at least have allowed the characters to breathe and become more themselves - it might have been a great book if that had happened! Though I do have to say the ending is rubbish - tremendously unsatisfying. Sigh. My advice is if you want to save a life, take a First Aid course.

Tonight, Lord H is at theology class, doing the 18th century and Wesley. One of the Wesleys anyway – heck, there were so many of them, weren’t there? And I’m intending to type up the scribbles I did to The Bones of Summer yesterday and maybe do some more if I have the energy.

Today’s nice things:

1. Golden eagle chicks (well, one chick really)
2. Reflexology
3. Writing.

Anne Brooke
http://www.annebrooke.com
http://www.pinkchampagneandapplejuice.com
http://www.goldenford.co.uk

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