The usual Sunday ramblings

How is February nearly over? How?

I turn around and days have spooled by.

My moods are fragile. I’m keeping up. I’m buggering on, and I’m remembering to breathe but it all feels like a bit of a tightrope balancing act. I have always got things to say, but I’m not really capable of sorting out my deepest thoughts, or edging my way over the crevasse between the blogging equivalent of punching people/stuff/things in the face and finding rational yet pointed and useful things to say.

So I won’t. Yet.

It’s the usual melange of random stuff for now.

Firstly. Call the Midwife. Lord. Why do I do it to myself? Yes, I know it’s populist tat, but I love it, and I am knee deep in a box of tear sodden tissues every Sunday night.Also the storyline about the Cuban Missile Crisis was a bit close for comfort this week, let alone the topic of FGM.

I read the comedian Joe Lycett’s book, Parsnips Buttered after hearing him being interviewed by Sara Cox on Radio Four’s Chain Reaction last weekend. I put the book on my Amazon wishlist, because it’s still only available in hardback and I knew it would take no time at all to read it. Lo and behold I found it three days later in a charity shop for £2.75. A bargain and a manifestation. It made me laugh a lot, particularly the chapter about bringing down ISIS by registering all its members on the Grindr app. Very, very silly and a good antidote to life in general.

I got my referral letter to the gynaecologist. I go in mid March. This is amazingly soon. I suspect there are warning notes on luminous Post Its stuck all over my file. Still, if that’s what it takes, that’s what it takes. I am in the throes of PMT again. Not so bad as last month, but still noticeably messing with my head, let alone my vagina. Pass the foof glue.

Storm Doris was slightly more exciting than I anticipated, although we have all fences/trees intact. One of the huge poplars in a small area of parkland we cross on our way to school fell in its entirety across a populous footpath. Luckily nobody was harmed. There was so much damage generally I note that the council had to come and saw a hole through the middle of the trunk so people could still use the footpath, despite the fact that they didn’t have time to take the entire tree away.

I have been to depressing meetings about the state of the NHS in depressing buildings, with sub standard biscuits. I know there are hundreds of millions of pounds to save but don’t fuck with the biscuits, particularly if you’re delivering bad news. I’d rather have nothing than a cheap Rich Tea biscuit that sucks all the moisture from your mouth, frankly. I focus on the trivialities, but this is because if, as for the rest of the week I have to write about the future of health in our city again, I will cry all over the keyboard.

I took the day off on Saturday and spent it with two of my oldest and bestest, best beloveds. We went to Birmingham and despite the wind and that fine rain that wets you through, had a thoroughly lovely day. We went to the Jewellery Quarter, which despite me only living 40 minutes from the city, I have never visited before. We went to a place called The Coffin Works, which is a museum which was once the factory Newman Brothers, who made coffin fittings for none other than Winston Churchill. I love macabre things and I love social history so it was right up my street.

After a particularly decadent lunch we ventured forth again to the Museum of the Jewellery Quarter. There are two floors of regular museum offerings, and then you get to go on a tour of the factory, which is in the remaining bits of the building and which was open from the 1890’s to the 1980’s. The owners decided to give the factory up in 1981 and just locked up and walked away. Most of the factory looks much as it did in the Thirties because the owners never saw the need to update it, and it’s absolutely fascinating.

How anyone managed to survive into old age baffles me. I reckon, given the preponderance of heavy metals and toxic chemicals people handled, the amount of killer machinery and the lax attitude towards health and safety, if I hadn’t cut my own head off in the first week, I’d have died of arsenic poisoning the next. It would have been a short life, but not a merry one, given that I would undoubtedly have been some kind of industrial age guttersnipe.


7 responses to “The usual Sunday ramblings

  1. Oh Katy, you’re such an amazingly all-round good egg that I was really surprised that you have an Amazon wish list. So glad you deprived them of a sale by finding a charity shop bargain!

    • I review for Amazon’s Vine programme and have done for twelve years. It’s tricky. I do use them and I don’t feel apologetic about it given how much I use my local library, second hand book shops and independent book shops too. My house has a lot of books in it. A lot. Amazon get a little bit of my business and I share the rest around. I support independent local businesses, buy 95% of my clothes and shoes from charity shops and think very hard about where what I buy comes from. I’m not perfect, but I’m pretty comfortable about my purchasing and where my money goes for the most part.

      • That’s fair enough Katy. No, don’t apologise. I know what a good job you do in all sorts of areas, and am aware you support your independent shops too. I was just a bit surprised I guess as it didn’t seem to ‘fit’. But you score exceedingly highly in all sorts of areas and you’re a real inspiration to me to prevent any back-sliding on my part!

  2. Hi Katy, my love of reading has me heading first to Abe Books UK, second hand section, for any books I’m after. (Have a feeling they’re run by Amazon?). Cheapest, less pristine copies appear first on the listings pages and some outlets regularly offer free postage. Some of them are charities involved in literacy/education. ‘Circulating libraries’ in a true sense in that after reading, the books can be donated back if they are in your locality, or at any High St charity shop.

    • I buy a small percentage of my books from Amazon. I review for them as part of their vine programme and have done for a dozen years. On the other hand I also buy from independent book stores. I have a Foyalty card for when I visit London, I also use Daunt Books a lot and seek out independents when we go away. I buy the majority of my books from second hand and charity shops and return the ones I don’t want to keep when I’m done. I donate children’s books to local school libraries and I use my local library regularly. Indeed I also campaign to keep my library open and have helped rebuild two school libraries in the last ten years. I’m pretty cool with the way I shop, and where I put my money. It’s not perfect, but on the whole it’s pretty ethical and it’s not just books. I use independents where I can, support my local high street, recycle things I don’t want to charity and buy nearly all my clothes and shoes from charity shops. I know quite a lot about ABE Books too, because my mum is a dealer in ephemera and vintage books. x

  3. Hey Katy Have a look at this. So exciting!

  4. I love Call the Midwife, it’s the closest thing to Bake Off still on telly. The FGM storyline was difficult to watch though (and I thought the girl on the ship saying “I’ll see you after my holiday!” was a bit egregiously manipulative).

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