Sunday, January 04, 2009

Sign O' The Times 

I received a new wallet for Christmas because the old one had burst at the seams.
Either it was my enormous personal wealth what done for it – unlikely - or it was the vast accumulation of bits of paper I've been carrying with me everywhere for the last decade which took it beyond bulging point.
Old shopping lists, dentist appointment cards, half used books of stamps, notes and observations on the human condition which now make no sense to me and probably never did, set lists for concerts I've never performed, gift ideas, all manner of autobiographical detritus in scrap paper form, forgotten but not gone, and all of it covered in fluff.

This morning I had a bit of a clear out and transferred all items worth keeping from the old wallet to the new one.
This included a To Do list which I must have written sometime in May or early June. Twenty one tasks in total, just four of them crossed out and accomplished.
It's a touch cringeworthy, reading as it does like a mid-year version of a New Year's resolution list, not to say potentially embarrassing should it fall into enemy hands.
Any glimmer of ambition that's committed to writing, no matter how small or modest, is going to look a bit daft in the cold light of day. Especially if read out in a silly voice. It's the British disease. Anyway, I've appraised the situation and reckon I can tick five more items off the list. That's not too bad, no?

'This shouldn't take long' tasks:
Arrange phone line for upstairs room – done.
Make DVD shelves – done.
Make and send out party invites -Yay! Done! Party been and gone. Boo!
Clean and oil bikes,etc. – yeah well, it was a wet summer, we didn't actually get out on our bikes, so, erm, I'll do that when it warms up a bit.
Remove stains from hall floor tiles – erm, well... Er, it's a job that requires care and attention and strong chemicals, you don't want to be hasty. I'll do it when, erm, it's a bit warmer, honest.

Others tasks are more long term, and shall we say, Artsy Fartsy. Stop sniggering at the back:
Get into HDR photography – not yet, but keep meaning to. Hmm.
Do more recording – done, but only a bit, and not well enough yet. That said, I did have a tune played on local radio last week - three times! - so you know, that's progress of sorts.
Do more performing – again, have done a little bit. My thumb piano version of I Still Haven't Found What I'm Looking For is still discussed in polite circles. Have really enjoyed it but can't help thinking I should be doing more and better.
Get to grips with the garden – nope, not at all, really, other than mowing the lawn. I've been thinking a lot recently about rhubarb and potatoes and runner beans – if the magazine racks and bookshelves of WHSmiths are anything to go by, who hasn't? 'What Carrot Variety Weekly' indeed. It's a sign of the times. I'm determined to board that bandwagon though, yes sir. “Have potting shed, will be smug about fruit 'n' veg.” That's our battle cry.
Make book and CD shelves out of old shed – I'm getting round to it, honestly. Nothing goes to waste, etc.
Take piano lessons – onto it. I'm going to make some calls tomorrow, honest.

And so it goes. The one which reads “Join Athletics Club??” I'm putting down to youthful exuberance. Honestly, what was I thinking?
So to conclude this report, I guess the main thing to say is that nine months into our “Let's Try Living in Lancaster” experiment, last year's biggest undertaking by some way, bigger even than "Learn To Eat With Chopsticks" (still a miserable failure on my account), me and Girlfriend are both liking it a lot.
I won't presume to speak for her, but as for me, I feel much better in myself, thank you Nurse. It's still just like being on your holidays and I feel very positive and encouraged, somehow, just by being here, which may sound daft, but there you go. I never promised not to sound daft.
Here are some recent snaps.

Christmas Lights in Dalton Square.
Lancaster Canal, Frozen, With Bridges and That.
Lancaster at Dusk from Williamson Park.
Castle Hill.
View of Aldcliffe Road and Canal, From Train Leaving For Preston.
Weird Garden Centre Christmas Lights, Viewed From Speeding Train.
Frost in Fairfield Orchard.
Sunlight on Frozen Allotments.
Ducks on Frozen Canal, With Walkers and Pleasant Lighting.
Snow On Distant Mountains, From Williamson Park. You Could Almost Mistake Lancaster For, I Dunno, Vancouver Sometimes.

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