Christine, Wondering

Random Musings of a Human Becoming

Sunday, November 27, 2011

Where have they gone?

When I was sick last week I lost 4lb in 24 hours, and it showed - my tummy got quite flat, my neck and cheeks were a bit more sculpted and my fingers looked positively bony.

I've now gained back 3 of those 4lb, as I expected I would, but I can't for the life of me work out where I've put them. My fingers are still bony, my tummy and neck are still slimmed. My cheeks have lost the slight hollow they developed, but I can't imagine the whole 3lb has gone into them. A mystery!

Monday, November 21, 2011

Aaand we're back!

The computer is fixed, I've recovered from the consecutive attacks of a cold and stomach flu, and everything is shiny again.

I hadn't had a proper stomach flu since I was a teenager, and it was a weird experience - I found I'd forgotten what to expect from it. I was revoltingly ill for 12 hours, nauseous for another 12 after that, and spaghetti-legged weak for a further 48 hours before finally pulling myself together on Sunday morning. It wasn't fun. E promptly came down with the same thing and is just recovering, and it seems to be doing the rounds as my supply teaching consultant also has it, and she doesn't even live in the same town!

So everything is pretty much back to normal. I didn't get a chance to blog about my job offer before everything went haywire with the laptop, but about two weeks ago now I was offered a two-term contract at a local primary school, starting in January. It's to take over a year one class, and I'm hopeful that it could lead to an ongoing position or at least secure my teaching experience over here as it's directly with the school rather than through a supply agency. It's an interesting school and a complex, challenging class so it's going to be a tiring role, but I believe a rewarding one as well. Certainly it'll stretch me to the height of my abilities. I'm looking forward to it!

It's been amazingly foggy in Hertfordshire lately. Fog is something entirely outside my experience - we really don't get it in Western Australia, not in this kind of density - so I find it quite marvellous. Here's some shots from Sunday:

I went to a shop on the outskirts of town on Sunday (for the Windows 7 upgrade that eventually fixed my computer problems entirely - it really just needed a wipe & reinstall) and had a strange experience on the way back. The fog had been so thick and obscuring that, although I knew there was a moderate skyscraper on the other side of the intersection, I'd forgotten its existence. The fog started to clear off as I was walking towards the building, and I did an absurd double-take as it appeared through the mists. It then took on an amazing blaze of light as the sun finally reached it. It was quite something!

Tuesday, November 15, 2011

Computer Trouble

I'm typing this on my phone, due to the lamentable fact that my computer has been in repairs since last Wednesday. It came home briefly on Friday but had an almost immediate relapse so went back on Saturday and we're waiting to hear back on its progress. Until it's back I can't upload daily photos and will only blog in little bits and pieces. Hang in there, I'll be back soon :D

Sunday, November 6, 2011

A bit of frivolity...

T'was the night before bonfire and all through the town,
Every firework was bursting with wonderous sound,
The rockets were set in the garden with care,
In the hopes that bright starburst soon would be there;

The Munchkin was cuddled all snug in his bed,
As visions of Catherine-wheels danced in his head,
And E in her nightgown and I in long sleeves,
Had just settled down for a cool autumn's eve;

When out in the sky there arose such a light,
That we ran to the window all admiring the sight,
There 'gainst the night-sky all cloudy and grey,
Rose such glorious fire as turned night into day;

The sparks, how they glittered! And whistled and sang,
With tumultuous voice from the housetops they sprang,
Now red ones! Now blue ones! Now pink ones and green!
Now gold-swirling spirals, a sight to be seen;

We watched all a-wond'ring as they twinkled and roared,
As they shot fell and scattered we gazed as though awed,
"Such a cost they must bear for this fulsome display!"
We cried, all reliev'd we did not have to pay;

At last they were spent and the skies once more dim,
We returned to our chores, be they ever so grim,
But just as we thought that was all for the night,
There's one more explosion - and with that, "Good night!"

Tuesday, November 1, 2011


Blessed Samhain / Happy Halloween for yesterday, everyone!

I was thinking about myself this time last year, the difficult times and revelations I'd been having, my growing awareness that my self-image and lifestyle had to change, my hopes and my dreams and my fears. It's astonishing to think just how far I've come. I've realised several of my dreams and I am working towards others. I'm so much more confident and comfortable in myself, and so very happy.

Traditionally, this is the time of year when I blog about NaNoWriMo. I have attempted it most years since 2006, although using "attempt" may be stretching the definition. Most years it's involved writing a couple of paragraphs, hating them and giving up. In 2008 I managed more than 8000 words, and in 2010 I got over 14,000. With both, however, I lost the momentum to continue long before the month was over. The 2008 attempt suffered from catastrophic plot failure, while in 2010 I was unable to relax and concentrate with my volatile ex in the house - I only managed what I did because he was away for the first week of November. When he came back, writing stopped and so did my NaNo attempt.

This year I'm not doing NaNoWriMo. This is partly in recognition of my current life circumstances: it wouldn't be fair to anyone in the family, myself included, to hide away writing for a month. But equally, it's because I am reassessing my whole writing process. I'm currently fired up with ideas, the latest iteration of a long-term fantasy project, but I am approaching it carefully. I don't want to write massive swathes of text in a hurry, hate it the first time I re-read it, get discouraged, abandon it and go into a months-long non-writing funk. That's my usual pattern and it's unproductive. Since it doesn't work for me, and has never worked for me, it's time to try something else.

So, I'm taking the somewhat drastic decision that I'll be doing my writing on paper from now on. I know you're all looking at me as if I've gone mad, but there it is. One of my greatest obstacles in actually getting things written is the temptation of the internet, both in terms of social networking and in terms of 'looking things up' for my writing - usually things I don't actually need to know. It's no co-incidence that my writing output dropped dramatically when I first got internet access, and has declined further as my internet connections have got better. I'm going to take my time, write slowly, hand-craft my words away from shiny flashing distracting things. No tempting search engines, no Facebook, no I'll-just-make-avatar-portraits-for-each-character... none of that. Just me, a pen, and words. We'll see how it goes.

Thus, no NaNoWriMo for me. I can't write at that pace and transcribe fast enough to keep up with the required word count. But I will be writing, and I hope that this time they will be quality words that stand the test of December.

Wish me luck!

(NB: I am adding a new page to the blog today, as I'm starting a one-photo-every-day challenge. The page will showcase the pictures I've taken, updated daily or weekly depending on how busy I am. Look out for it!)