Wednesday, January 24, 2007

The terrors of snow … and clingfilm

Yikes! Is it just me or does the sight of snow fill other people with fear and oppression? Oh. Right. It is just me then. Ah well. I did think it was more than ridiculously cold last night – so much so that Lord H took pity on me, as I grabbed my bedsocks, dressing gown and hot water bottle, and finally condescended to get the winter duvet out. At last! At last! Not that he actually put it inside the duvet cover though. No, he simply laid it on top of the one we were already in. So I can see there may well be more struggles ahead in terms of personal heat maintenance …

This morning, I had my usual fight with the clingfilm we currently have whilst trying to wrap Lord H’s sandwiches. I don’t know what’s wrong with this batch, but each time I try to tear a slice off, it rips, divides itself into two and starts to fight back. It ends up in my hair, on my neck or wrapped round my sleeves – anywhere but the ruddy sandwich. What’s wrong with it? Does it have issues? Does it really want to be kitchen foil or a Tupperware box, and therefore feels trapped in its actual status? It’s a mystery, but I’m beginning to talk to it to try to soothe its wounded feelings. And I fear that it’s only a matter of time before it talks back. The only way of getting it to play ball is to get Lord H to do it. When he hears the screaming (mine) from the kitchen, he rushes in, wrestles the clingfilm holder to the floor, somehow manages to find a slice that hasn’t been ripped to shreds by my efforts, tears me off a decent amount and sticks the top of it to the shelf so I can simply pull it off (as it were) when needed. A couple of weeks ago, he even stuck five pieces along the shelf during one weekend for ease of use as the following week went by. Which meant my mornings were relatively calm and lovely. Unfortunately, he hasn’t had the time since then, but I live in hope. And I’m looking forward to starting a new batch of the darn stuff, which might be more amenable. Ye gods, I really do need to get out more.

None of this excitement stopped the snow that came upon us in the night of course. Very pretty of course, but not if you have to go out in the darn stuff. Though actually it wasn’t that slippery – more like thick layers of fluffy sugar on the car. And by the time I’d got to work, the boys with the brooms had already been out, clearing the paths and adding grit, so the Estates & Facilities department win the Superhero Medal of the week. So far. Not that Lord H is that far behind though – especially as he did brush the snow off the outside stairs this morning, to save the pain of struggling up them tonight.

Ooh, and Clayton ( has asked me how last night’s Guildford Writers ( meeting went. I enjoyed it actually. Thanks for asking, Clayton. There were a fair number there, but they all had good stuff to read – all novels, except me with my flash fiction pieces. It was nice to get back into the swing of it again and, even though I still hate reading my stuff out – it makes me feel so darn vulnerable and not even half as good as everyone else – it was as always very useful to get comments, especially on the second piece, which needed to be cut down to below 100 words. They managed this, with words to spare, so many thanks for that, GWs. I also think it was good for me to get out and do something else, apart from worrying about personal stuff. And I do so love hearing what everyone else is writing and making what I hope are useful comments on it. We also have a laugh, which is nice. I need that too. Perhaps next time, I’ll try and be brave and take some of “The Gifting” along, if I can bear the thought. You never know … Funny how the novels always feel so intensely personal, whereas the shorter pieces and the poetry don’t – and that in spite of the poetry talking about subjects and feelings far more supposedly “personal” to me. Maybe I’m just a dab hand at displacement.

Today, I’ve been proactive in terms of sorting myself out and ordered a SAD light from Britebox ( in the hope that it might help these winter glooms. Goodness, that makes me feel in control of things – almost! It’s supposed to arrive within the next couple of days, so I hope the instructions are easy and that it doesn’t fuse the flat. And if you hear that I’ve been dancing in the streets of Godalming, you’ll know it works.

Oh, and Lord H’s artwork to show a happy rabbit under a SAD light is this:



One day, I swear, I’ll produce a booklet of Lord H’s computer art. It’ll be a wow. And especially meaningful now in what is National Rabbit Week ( How I wish we could have an office rabbit, like we used to have a school hen when I was young. That would be soooo good. Still, not to be, I suspect. Perhaps Wayne ( will give us more photos of his rabbits sometime soon, and I can slake my thirst on that. Over to you, Wayne …

At lunch, I went to the first of my back strengthening courses at the Sports Centre. I shall find my inner core if it kills me. Actually I thoroughly enjoyed it, though I’m very achy right now. Lots of very useful floor exercises and also with using one of those large exercise balls. I was terrified of mine at first (I’m sure it was glaring at me) but I ended up loving it. The trainer is going to give us homework to do while we’re on the course (it’s five weeks), so I am aiming for the perfect back. Which might be a dream too far for a writer? I was rather amused though at the beginning when we had to stand next to a wall and see how far we could put our hands between our backs and the wall itself. M’dears, I could have got an elephant through. And its accompanying relatives. But sadly you’re only supposed to be able to put your fingers through the gap. Ah well. At least I give the trainer a lot to work with.

This evening, I have been shopping and then, tonight, I’m hoping to look at the edits for those flash fiction pieces and get the first draft down of that poem I started on yesterday. I do have this sneaking suspicion though that the “poem” might well turn out to be more fictional in form. I’ll have to see. Perhaps a writing thought for later? You never know.

Today’s nice things:

1. Clingfilm teamwork with Lord H
2. Ordering a SAD light
3. Planning some writing for tonight.

Anne Brooke

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