Archive for January, 2007


I awoke today to a strange light glaring through my window. What the ….? Then I realised it was sunlight — something which has absent here in Edinburgh for many long and dreary months.  It may be a coincidence, but I think this (short-lived) burst of sunlight has lifted my mood a little; I’ve been kind of down recently, in a sort of fug, edging towards depression but not descending all the way down into the abyss. And I’ve been thinking about my parents again, both now long dead. Not any intentional contemplation but sudden out-of-the-blue thoughts, hitting me unaware at odd times in the day or sneaking into my sleep when I’ve no protection and can’t escape. It’s been years now since they died and I know my ‘thought-avoidance’ behaviour is probably unhealthy, but I’m not ready yet and I don’t like my subconscious paying its crafty tricks on me.

Anyway, to celebrate the return of our smidgen of sunlight, I put on Life is a Flower by Ace of Base.  I usually reserve the playing of this song for occasions when housemates have begged me to get them out of their bed for an early-morning wedding/job interview/court appearance.  Only the dead can sleep through Life is a Flower and it appears to bring out a barely-controlled fury in even the most sweet-natured of people — especially if it is put on repeat and played at full volume. It’s is particularly effective if I sing along. People love that.  You can see why I am the very best housemate ever.

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Gillian McKeith is too thin

Well, that’s my opinion anyway and probably tinged with bitterness, because I think I’ve reached my all time fattest. If you don’t know who Gillian McKeith is – she’s best known as a television ‘nutrition expert’, who puts tubby victims volunteers  on her on a strict ‘healthy’ diet, forces them to exercise a bit and then they emerge after about 10 weeks or so, looking skinnier (but still fattish). Admittedly, post-Gillian, the former junk-food fanatics usually look way better than they did when first presented to the viewing public – partly due to the efforts of a team of hairdressers, make-up artists, etc.

But Gillian always looks, to me, like a tiny, wizened, startled bird. I mean, if she’s eating the very best of food, in terms of its nutritional value, shouldn’t she be glowing with health, instead of looking so washed-out and haggard? She just doesn’t set a good example, that’s all.

Maybe it’s nothing to do with the fact that she looks like she weighs around two stones – perhaps  she’d look like that, fat or thin – but if I had to live off seaweed  smoothies and sunflower seeds etc, I’d  expect some kind of positive pay-back in terms of how I looked.  I feel bad about writing this – especially as I’ve rambled on in another post about how we should be free to make up our own mind with regard to our optimum weight — but every time I hear her lecture someone about their dodgy diet and how terrible they look, I can’t help thinking that (almost without exception) they all look way more healthy than her.


I’ve been watching quite a bit of television recently – usually I’m glued to my computer (working) in a room at the top of my house — but it is Baltic here and the only heating we have is the open fire in the living room. There’s probably about a million things I could be doing there but I’ve just got in the habit of switching on the TV, whilst standing with my backside stuck halfway up the chimney. Of course, I could be exercising — thus warming and toning the body at the same time – but I’m the queen of procrastination just now; full of good intentions but lacking the willpower. So, I drink tea, eat toast, and wallow in make-believe.

shiwa.jpgAnyway, the reason I mentioned my current television addiction was to tell you about a rather good programme I watched recently. The Africa House told the story of the English aristocrat, Stewart Gore-Browne and Shiwa Ngandu, the estate he created in (the then) Northern Rhodesia. Not the kind of thing I would have imagined watching, but it was fascinating on so many levels, and beautifully sad in some ways. Unfortunately, I missed the start of the programme, but I think the programme was based on a book by Christina Lamb – so I’ll get a copy of that in the next week or so.

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sisinlaw.jpg    I watched the absolutely brilliant, award-winning Sisters in Law documentary on Channel 4 tonight. The firm follows the work of a two-woman law team in the town of Kumba, Cameroon, as they dispense justice and fight against long-held prejudices held by the male population. The cases are heart-breaking but the much-quoted phrase ‘life-affirming’ in relation to this film is absolutely spot-on.

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Best Blogs: DrWhose

Mark Freeland (if that really is his name) is one of the best ever undiscovered bloggers.  I know I’ve mentioned him before but I’m so taken up by his writing style and wit that I have to draw world attention to him. No, I’m not obsessed. Anyway, you can find him at DrWhose.

This is only to be my new little ‘theme’ here: listing all my favourite bloggers (in addition to some non-blog sites that I like).

And how are you all? Nice start to the year? Mine stank, big style. But I’ll tell you about that some other time, when I’m less traumatised. That’s all for now. Over and out.

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