Tuesday, 30 April 2013

Please don't read if you disapprove of rants

I haven’t been near the computer for a day or so. I felt I needed to do some thinking and lay some groundwork for where I want to go next.
My relationship with my ex is not going well. If I start to try and explain why here, people may not understand so forgive me if I don’t go into details. At the end of the day it’s how I feel that matters and right now, I feel that distancing myself from him would be the best thing to do and as soon as possible.  The simple fact is this – he hasn’t changed in all the years I’ve known him. I can’t make him change, only he can do that. As far as I can tell, he has no wish to change. End of story.
I feel bad about this. I feel I’m using him. He’s coming round later to take me to Armley to look at used office furniture. I need a new desk. I’m currently using the one that I bought to do my painting on as the other one I had fell apart after having been dismantled and reassembled too many times.  I was thinking of getting a new one from Ikea but at the end of the day, all I need is a desk. Whether it’s new or old doesn’t matter, or what it looks like as it will soon be covered in paper (I’m a messy worker). Saving £100 plus feels like a good plan.
So  I feel bad about getting him to do things for me. I forget all the times I’ve done things for him.  The money I’ve spent. The innumerable times he’s disrupted, interrupted, and ignored me.  The way he ALWAYS (I use that word with great care) has to criticise, not just my writing, but my cleaning, my taste, my food, so many things. I didn’t want this to be a rant, but sometimes it’s better just to get things down. I wrote a novel years ago, finally giving it away to a publisher just to get rid of it. John took years to get round to reading it (he reads a lot so it wasn’t that). Then he pretended he hadn’t got round to it when actually he had read it. He didn’t want to have to say that he didn’t like it.
It’s not a great book. It’s not aimed at men in their sixties. I would have hoped, knowing how fragile I was feeling at the time that he could have said SOMETHING nice about it. He’s great at telling lies at other times.
I feel better now I’ve got that out of the way!
After Armley, it’s back to the flat to get on with the decorating. I’m going to ask somebody to paint the ceilings as I draw the line at that these days. Now I’m going to  try to book a place on a poetry course.  Just for fun.

Saturday, 27 April 2013

The Right to Write and a trip to the eye clinic

Yesterday was a day of two halves. The first part I spent working for the Writers Bureau, then I had to go to the eye clinic. My mother suffered from glaucoma. As the pressure in my eyes was higher than it should be, I’ve been going to the clinic every year so that they can monitor this. Going there is always a bit worrying. Sight is such a vital sense, I have no idea what I’d do without it. The experience had a plus side though. I’ve been seeing the same doctor each time and he is completely and absolutely adorable. He’s not tall but he’s perfectly formed and his manner is just right.  This time he had good news for me. The pressure has gone down. To be honest, I’ve long thought it had some connection to the stress I’ve been under these past few years so in a way, I’m not surprised. The lovely doctor has now discharged me so I won’t have to go back again.
As part of the visit, I had to have drops put in my eyes to dilate the pupils so that the doctor could do his examinations. That meant everything went badly out of focus and I was seeing double.  It was so bad, I had no choice but to do my couch potato act. That would have been fine if I hadn’t also been tempted to raid the fridge, not just once but three times.
Today I’m having a me day. That means a trip to the local Hospice’s Spring Fair to see if I can get some more plants, then, weather permitting, some work in the garden, followed by a meal out. The meal is to celebrate having bought the flat. I’d intended to go on Wednesday which is when it all went through but after getting soaked and plunging into ‘what have I done, get me out of this’ mode, it would have been a waste of money.
Next week, I have lots to do regarding the flat. I need to get most of the painting done before the tenant moves in, plus a carpet’s being laid and I really need to think about getting the other carpets thoroughly cleaned. That will make a huge difference.
I’m working my way through Julia Cameron’s The Right to Write and it’s proving so helpful, I can’t say. If you haven’t read it, beg or borrow a copy. It’s one of the best books about writing I have ever come across. Highly recommended.

Thursday, 25 April 2013

Running round after Npower (fume fume)

It’s been another one of those days.
I seemed to spend most of it trying to sort out the gas and electricity supply to the flat (hours on the phone, numerous trips to Paypoint outlets) as the previous occupants were on prepayment meters.Npower want £60 if I want to go to Direct Debit which seems a bit heavy to me.
My builder also had a look round the flat. I’d called him urgently as I couldn’t figure out the waterworks there. Some work needs to be done – fixing the split pipe that gave me a shower yesterday, putting in new valves and replacing a tap, but nothing terrible. 
At the same time, the electrician came to quote for a consumer unit and for doing a general check on the wiring. He had several hours free so ended up doing the work today so that was great – one thing out of the way.
I also gave some thought to paints as the whole flat needs a face lift. I decided to order a new carpet for the second bedroom as the one in there is in a bad way. I’ve gone slightly o.t.t. with a lovely bright blue one so at least that room will be cheerful. Any thoughts on colours for the walls gratefully received. That’s being fitted on Monday so with any luck, I can get some painting done over the weekend before it arrives.
I had to miss my crossword class. I hate having to do that as it’s such a great group and we always have a good time, but I wanted to make sure the flat had power.
It’s funny but I find days like this more tiring than ones when I walk miles or wallpaper a whole room. It’s the frustration that gets to me, like having to call Npower several times……..
Now I’ve managed to top up the gas (the previous incumbents left me none whatsoever) I was able to check the oven works . It seems to be fine apart from needing to be lit by a match so next week I might ask the gas safety man to call, then it will be time to think about the tenant’s moving in date.
Tomorrow, I’ll be spending the morning catching up with Writers Bureau work. After that I have to go the eye clinic where they will give me drops that mean I won’t be able to see clearly for hours so no work tomorrow afternoon/evening.
I remember a time,  not so long ago, I used to be a writer.

Wednesday, 24 April 2013

Best laid plans and all that

The flat I’m buying as an investment completed today. I collected the keys and went round there but then couldn’t figure out how to turn the water on. Long story short, the one I did turn on was for the outside tap. The pipe leading down to it has a leak so guess who got drenched? I couldn’t turn the other stopcock on so there’s no water in the flat.
Luckily I had somebody I could call and he’s going to meet me there early tomorrow morning. While he’s there, I’ll  ask him to quote to repair the roof, replace the fascias and gutters and mend the garage (which needs a new roof ).
I’ve also arranged for an electrician to call too as I want the flat checked over and would also probably want a consumer unit fitted. Talking of electrics, I hadn’t realised the electric is paid for with some kind of key and there’s a card for the gas meter.  I phoned Npower  when I got home but they said I had to call from the flat and they would talk me through what I needed to do. It’s all very complicated.  
Sadly, my plan for a day of celebration didn’t work out as expected but the flat is still big and light and airy with a better bathroom than the one I have here so I’m sure it will be all right once everything’s fixed.
I tend to go into a state of collapse and catastrophise (is that even  a word? If it is, is that how it’s spelt? No idea) when things go wrong, however minor they turn out to be in the end.  I get to the point when I want to curl up into a ball and cry. I was feeling like that just now when a friend called for a chat, then another lady phoned to ask me if I was available to speak to her group next year.  I couldn’t be upset and miserable talking to either of them so that helped to lift my mood. 
This morning as I waited for the phone call to say the flat was mine, I managed to take some time to draft another story. It’s true what they say, if you want to write you will find a way, whatever’s going on in your life. All I need now is to find the time to type it up and start the editing process.
I’d been thinking about a meal out tonight but I’m not in the mood so it will be some kind of curry thing from the store cupboard followed by some alcohol and a large dose of ice cream.