scribbles tagged ‘new year’

washing away the cobwebs

Tuesday, January 1st, 2013 | tags: ,  |

lamp in the riverStarting the new year with a hike through the flooded Thames valley.

It’s busy

paddlingChildren in brightly coloured wellies, paddling, and seniors feeding the swans.

Many people are taking advantage of the low bright sunshine and beautiful scenery to make a fresh new start to the year.

Let’s make this year a good one


washing away the cobwebs
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short termism

Tuesday, February 14th, 2012 | tags: , , , , ,  |

A sharply frosty new year’s morning. Glowing from a sociable celebration in my local pub, stumbling homeward bound along Love Lane with my first, second and third boyfriend. One boy, a ringer for James Dean:

James Dean Ringer (JDR): will you marry me?

17 yr wendy: Oh! Yes! after I’ve finished my A levels and got my degree

JDR: Why? Why can’t we get married this summer?

wendy: marriage is for life – we’ve got a lifetime to get married. Waiting 4 years is nothing as part of a whole life time. We’ll be able to save up for a home together and I’ll be able to get a job to help out financially

JDR: If you don’t want to marry me this summer, then it’s over

wendy: Huh? Are you serious? I’ll love you whether we’re married or not. I’m not going to marry you as a way to stop you from leaving! If you’re going to leave, you’ll leave, if you want to stay, you’ll stay

I never saw him again. It broke my heart because I didn’t understand how he could propose a lifetime together one moment then leave in the next. Most baffling. In the following years he sent valentines cards from four different continents. I remember him fondly

short termism
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keeping a roof on it

Sunday, January 1st, 2012 | tags: , , ,  |

I enjoy reflecting on the last year, remembering all the fun things that happened and then weighing those up against the things that have caused pain. So this is an uncharacteristically long scribble. You’ll see from the bullet points below, this year has been a good year ūüôā

Highlights of 2011:

Fun with friends – Including a

  • Porthminster BeachSolstice celebration with some Berkshire locals
  • Barcelona holidaywith friends from University, Seattle, and work
  • Loughborough get together with some Doctors and an Italian from my University days
  • St. Ives meeting with a real lumberjack and an exceptionally engaging blogger
  • Bunch of local Reading town house parties – Reading town people have a wonderful community spirit
  • Wrote, illustrated, got feedback on, revised then submitted a short story to a competition (unplaced). Thoroughly enjpyed my friends generous feedback on their experiences of the story. Listening to their interpretations was fun and inspiring
  • Regular blog readers, some of you have been dropping by for all of the 6 years that I’ve been blogging! You deserve long-term service awards ūüôā thank you for all the encouragement

Fun with family – several family trips including:

  • Christmas pantomime – seeing ‘The Hoff’ play captain Hooke at the Bristol Hippodrome. The man can sing!
  • Birthday outing to see ‘We will rock you’ lots of audience participation!
  • Holiday in Hull uncovering family history from my favourite Aunt then meeting her daughter in Barcelona…
  • Wandering around the ‘See no evil’ graffiti in Bristol with my brother was fascinating – more public art please!

Fun on my own – included

  • Hat #20: English FoxyLong weekend in Dungeness – Derek Jarmans garden, light houses, power stations, bleak beaches and fabulous locals
  • Studying for and getting a PRINCE2 practioners Project Managers qualification
  • The fabulous funky barnet giving me a new Bob which appears to be a crowd pleaser!
  • Writing an article that was selected for publication in an international, professional, magazine
  • Fabulous new Miele washing machine and HTC Desire¬† phone!
  • Successfully completing all last year‚Äôs resolutions! Writing ink-pen letters, completing another painting, producing an illustrated story for a competition, home grown edible crops of¬† raddishes, spring onions and courgettes
  • finding a fabulous foxy hat – for me!
  • A pay rise and a bonus that funded my trip to Barcelona

Lowlights of 2011

  • No new roof – Waiting 7 months and making many phone calls to get the results of a pre-application for planning permission to install solar tiles on the wendy house roof. The pre-application resulted in advice to use different tiles and the builder recommended not bothering to install alternative tiles. A builder turning down work?! I took the builders advice
  • Taking a break from working as a Samaritans in favour of supporting the emotions of people nearer to home

Resolutions for 2012

Healthier lifestyle – including things like

  • Proactively use Reading’s True food co-operative more often
  • Continue using my garden to grow plants that I subsequently eat. Yummy – fresh from the garden
  • Reduce my alcohol consumption and shift to drinking wine rather than ale
  • More regular exercise of some kind built into my daily activities.
  • Get out some more. I’m still a bit of a hermit, enjoying my home and the company of Sampo

Something ‘Housey’ – maybe one of the following…

  • Paint some rooms to change their ‘mood’
  • Replace the bath – its gradually falling apart but works ok
  • Replace the fitted mdf cupboards with fitted tongue and groove cupboards
  • Get a furniture maker to design and build Edwardian style fitted cupboards around the fireplace
  • Replace the ceilings in the bedroom by opening-up the space to see the rafters and adding modern insulation to the roof from the inside

Step back up to make more socially valuable contributions – this could be

  • Re-joining the Samaritans
  • Finding, engaging in, or setting-up, a mentoring scheme for women in the IT industry
  • Investigating ways to encourage the British Psychological Society to systematically contribute to the IT industry
  • Changing the focus, content, of this blog to be more effectively supportive of a wendy-worthy cause


I hope your 2011¬† bought you some heart-felt smiles and 2012 will bring you more. I’d love to hear your suggestions for ways I could make this blog more valuable, relevant, to you…

keeping a roof on it
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6 bits of fabulous banter »

best parts of a part tea

Sunday, January 2nd, 2011 | tags: , , , , ,  |

StarThere were lots of best parts at the New Year’s eve PART-tea at the Lilypad.

For example, the kitchen was full of vegetarian Tapas dishes that included Potato. Potatos in cheese, Potatos in Tomatoes, Potatos in garlic, Potatoes in Omelette. A veritable council of potatos. Eventually I escaped from the kitchen… and discovered even more of the best parts including

  • local, Loddon, beers
  • a walk-in drinks cabinate
  • a¬† gently heated stairless wine cellar
  • star guests
  • a plethora of tingy lead crystal champagne glasses

The bestest best bit is unpublishable, though I’m reliably informed it smells lovely within a 6 inch range

PS This is a 100 word post, before the PS
best parts of a part tea
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Nappy Yew Hear

Friday, December 31st, 2010 | tags: , ,  |

highlights of 2010 included

  • Suprise snow – getting snow-stranded in Pangbourne and meeting the other people stranded by the snow and the excellent Hotel staff who turned no-one away and made sure we were all warm, safe and fed
  • Fun with friends – Highlights included a winter solstice and Lunar eclipse on a snow covered Streatly hill drinking some hot non-alcoholic glug, mead, some simple pagan ritual and then sledding fun followed by cooked vegetarian breakfast.¬† A Dr. Who and Torchwood tour of film sites in Cardiff with a quiz on the coach and lots of lovely people.
  • Travel – discovering Turin with spottydog and meeting with US friends in Paris, several fund and inspiring weekends at the writers retreat in Sheepwash
  • Positive departures – I left the Bank I’d been with since 1983, my home insurance company, and my internet service provider. Replacing them with potentially superior services. Saved a decent amount on my monthly bills. Hoorah!
  • New arrivals – a Stovax woodburning stove that Matrix enjoyed before leaving, a woodshed, log store and stove-top kettle
  • Kitty healthSampo’s diet is having a slow, sure effect. She’s more of a melon than a pumpkin at the moment
  • Creativity – completing my first portrait painting for over 3 years
  • Family – the 3rd Annual ‘House’ family trip to the Bath Theatre Royal Christmas pantomime where 3 generations gather to produce dangerous decibels of laughter at dangerously poor quality jokes
  • Focus. Successfully completing all last year’s resolutions – though one was tweaked slightly from a Llloyd Loom Sofa to a garden set where some of the chairs are also indoor chairs. Achieving some stuff at work that was not easy, feeling good about how I’m contributing to my employers business.

lowlights of 2010 included

  • Kitty health – Matrix’s old cat wobbliness from 2009 was the beginning of a trend. She suffered several fits, numerous visits to the vet and eventually I decided to let her go before she suffered too much. After 15 years together it was heartbreaking to lose such a beautiful friend.
  • Creativity – spending the best part of my evenings in May troubeshooting upgrading my SQL 4 to SQL 5 database for wordpress 3.1 compatibility. 3 different organisiations (database service, hosting service, wordpress communities) failed to help, each pointing me to another. Eventually I tracked the problem down to the WordPress default labelling of their tables. Once diagnosed only took 5 minutes to fix – all three organisations should have known this was a likely problem and been able to provide quick easy problem diagnoisis feedback. Disappointing.
  • Austerity. Friends loosing jobs, homes, looking for work and all the stress and sadness that comes with such things.

Resolutions for 2011

  • Creativity. Write more using an ink pen, and other antique writting implements, to regularly write and post hand-written letters to friends, family, and occassionally an odd organisation. I’ve been practicing. Paint more, I’m already planning my next painting and it will be of people rather than pets.¬† Painting the Hallway Bathroom and Kitchen is a distinct possibility…
  • Self sufficiency. Attempt to grow some tasty plants in the garden – Beetroot, potatoes and raddishes
  • Get out more. Travelling ‘oop Norf’ to visit friends and family who live above the Watf0rd Gap. Hull and Helsinki are possibilities. Locally, visit people more, I have a tendancy to be a bit of a home-bod, happily sat infront of the fire with Sampo for company.

Basildon Bond

Nappy Yew Hear
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from 09 to 10

Thursday, December 31st, 2009 | tags: , ,  |

List-i-ness abounds.

Highlights of 09:

Lowlights of 09:

  • Just a bit ¬†Brrrrrr in the house on cold days
  • Some of ¬†my guests have to sit on stools at parties…
  • Someone broke into the Wendy House!
  • Matrix starting to get extreme ¬†old-cat wobbliness
  • Sampo’s new nickname is ‘the pumpkin’
  • Never got around to blogging on the books I’d read

New year resolutions for 2010:

  • replace the wendy house front room ¬†gas fire with ¬†a wood (pellet) burning stove ¬†that will reduce my carbon footprint and increase the wendy house warmth and energy efficiency
  • buy a Lloyd Loom sofa
  • arrange a diet for Sampo
  • do more ¬†health related ¬†non-profit work

These are possibilities rather than commitments…

  • replace wendy house original 1840’s slate roof with felt-lined, insulated slate roof
  • tile the kitchen and refit the kitchen worksurfaces
  • design a garden mosaic based on the tree of life
  • enroll as a student on a counselling course
from 09 to 10
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arrivals & departures

Thursday, January 1st, 2009 | tags:  |

2008 was a story of arrivals at the Wendy House:

  • myself promptly followed by a small vibration of power tools.
  • a new kitchen roof of old Welsh slate accompanied by a small butt-cheek of builders.
  • fluffballs fly-in from the NW US.
  • crowds of family, old friends, new friends, ¬† neighbours, ¬† builders, roofers, the occassional plumber and a garden hare.
  • garden borders from underneath the ¬†patio laid upon a patio, ¬† laid upon a patio…

and some departures:

  • books, crockery, shelves, clothes, bedding, hair, ¬†and an old kitchen roof…
arrivals & departures
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Cabaret artiste

Tuesday, January 1st, 2008 | tags: , ,  |

I’m ¬†currently somewhere in Cambridgeshire dressed as a 1940’s French Cabaret artiste pretending to be at a dinner party in Casablanca while trying to work out which of the other guests, ¬† or me, ¬† ¬† murdered someone. ¬† ¬†

I’ll probably need some character witnesses so vouch for me, ¬† if you see me.

Cabaret artiste
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2007 expiration countdown: 364 days

Sunday, December 31st, 2006 | tags: , , ,  |

performance appraisal: ¬†2006, ¬† age 42 & 43, ¬† ¬†is recommended to pass with a Wendy rating of ūüôā ūüôā

ratings explained

Things that caused outsized ego,  multiple bounces, hand-clapping and chair-falling-off-ness:

Exploring the US:   crossing the US in a 1976 red Chevrolet truck,  visiting  Spokane, Columbia gorge on the Lewis and Clarke trail, Charlotte, NC.

Family & friends: parental pleasure at the Tacoma glass Museum, Elton John live ¬†and the ¬†Seattle Symphony; Concert highlights that warranted blog posts ¬†included: ¬† Paul Simon, Jamie Callum, The Mountain Goats; Writing a ‘Will and Testament’; ¬†Being invited to comment on a draft of AF Harrold’s next ¬†Poetry book;

Technology:  setting up, then maintaining  this blog;  Replacing  cantakerous Tinkerbell with  whizzy sleek pink Darling; buying and using a  back-pocket camera;

Things that deepened wrinkle-lines,   temporarily increased the protusion-portion of my bottom-lip or disrupted my sleeping and eating habits:

Family and friends: Not visiting the UK, even after my Uncle died;  

Exploring the US: ¬† Errr…. ¬† …..I lost ¬†my passport. ¬†TWICE!; ¬† No sniff of greencard; ¬† unacceptably low local-occcurence of like-minded ¬†vocal feminists (female or male);

Technology: Paying LooSea’s ransome ¬†to the bodyshop; Tinkerbell’s premortal pernickety-ness.

If the following thingys are not on the 2007 highlights list there will be a public inquiry,  a hearing, with tables,  chairs, microphones, pews,  and silly wigs or hats:

Family and friends: UK March Tour;    

Exploring the US: Sequim farm on Olympic peninsula; Rhode Island May party;

Technology: blog refinement, less drivel, more focus with a dash of wit; Handbag skills mastered;

This message will not self-destruct in one year it will merely become more insignificant and highly forgettable.

2007 expiration countdown: 364 days
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Happy New Year. An(nu)al review

Sunday, January 1st, 2006 | tags:  |
Thisyear’s highs were perfectly sized, superbly-slippy, synchronously timed, tantalisingly touched, tasty and earth-movingly YEAAARRSSSSssss ¬†GOOOoood…. ¬† I ¬†lurrrrve them, ¬† want to internationally patent them. Again PLEASE.
The lows were menstruatingly, face-in-a-guano-filled-muddy-puddle, rape-seed-pollen-soaked-worm up your nostril, posionous tree-frog down your throat, pukingly SHITE, SHITE, SHITE. I hate them,  want to bury them honey-covered in a fire-ants nest.   OUCH, OUCH, no more PLEASE.
Not ¬†a ‘typical’ year. ¬†
Roller Coaster.
#1 fixthegoddamspacebaronthiscomputerbeforeIdevelopRSI.
#2 learn somemore colourful insults toavoid slipping into mediocre-insult-skills.
#3 arrangemore sleepoverpyjammatypethangs
#4 more patentable highs
#5 atleast 5more unpublishable resolutions in fermentation
gott nytt år


Happy New Year. An(nu)al review
rate wendys scribble

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