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I've spent the last twenty days with ccooke and ruthi, who are the most warmhearted, kind and generous people I know. They've looked out for my comfort and allowed me to help sort out a few things for them, and the experience has been amazing and positive. Hard work, too, but quite honestly I've enjoyed just about every minute of my stay.

I'm now back in Nottingham, and suddenly very, very tired. Today I'm alternating between sleeping and reading. Tomorrow is Sunday, when I sort out my schedule for the week and listen to Radio 4 nearly all day, so damnit, today is a Day Off to just snooze as much as I like. Next week, I may be looking into volunteering again.

My garden has sprouted every weed since I was away, though sadly too few actual desired flowers. I'll go out there and give things a trim when I have the energy. Gardening nearly always makes me feel better about things. If I need another way to feel better about things, I have this Squirrel of Comfort to look at.

I've ordered a fairly cheap breadmaker, since all I really want to make is sandwich loaves. Lidl sell bread flour for about 60p for 2 kilos, while a loaf is £1. The breadmaker pays for itself in about six months, I think. I've ordered green coffee beans to roast myself, though that doesn't save me money really. It's just that I had really fresh coffee at the Federation Café in Brixton Village and now I want to be able to have it again.

I think it's time for a nap.
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(NB: at the moment my dongle is content-locked, so I may not be able to view comments to reply on Livejournal. I can reply on Dreamwidth, so please consider posting there using OpenID or just signing an anonymous comment with your LJ handle).

So, I'm in a bedsit in Nottingham.

I've been getting better for a while now - able to cross the road, then able to get a bus, then able to go and study in Wigan every week. I wasn't very happy in Wigan for various reasons, so I went to stay with my mum over Yule, and found Nottingham to be full of things to do, close to her home. Part time jobs and voluntary positions abound.

I started volunteering at a charity shop, and I'm doing three days a week, six hours a day. If this was paid work, it would be just enough to live on. I'm hoping that one day this year it will be paid, if my health doesn't give out yet again. So far so good: it's been two weeks and I'm less ill and tired now, at the end of a shift of hard work, than I was after my first 6-hour stint. Mostly I steam clothes, which is mindless physical work that I really enjoy. Today though, I seem somehow to have ended up creating a system to log when various items are going to need to be culled, and thus when 'new' items will have to be priced up ready to go out, and how many.

I came home to slow cooked beans in a spicy tomato sauce. The bedsits are in a converted house - you have a room with a kitchenette in it, the bathrooms are shared but the landlord cleans them weekly, and water, heating, electricity and council tax are all included in the £65-a-week rent. I did have some issues with things being broken when I moved in. They were all but one fixed on the same working day as my complaining email, and the one that isn't fixed needs a spare part ordered.

Last night, I went out for a social with Kincaid in what seems to be the nicest pub I've yet seen in Nottingham. The only reason I didn't eat there was because I'd managed to get hold of a whole fresh trout for £1.60, so I cooked and ate that with some buttery carrots before going out. Well, wouldn't you? Kincaid seems very happy with his life just now, and it was a great evening.

Pol and I continue to communicate, in fact rather more than we had been doing. We're still firmly an item, I've just buggered off for probably about six months. I'll have to go back now and then to sort out the garden.
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Nottingham is built half on clay, half on sandstone. One of the things about sandstone is that if you want to tunnel into it, then you can do so by taking, say, a dessert spoon and going for it. I've dug out a small depression before now using a pencil. As a result of this, the underground of the city resembles a series of giant rabbit warrens dug into swiss cheese.

One of the places I grew up was Dryden Street, in a flat backing onto Peel Street. The flat was part of a modern block of six, the estate being dotted with such blocks. There was a lawn around the block, then bushes, then a brick wall around the lawn. Just outside this brick wall was a very small brick hut with a steel door, almost next to our flat, which we assumed the estate manager used to store chemicals, although we did wonder why it was only the size of a telephone booth.

It turned out that the door leads to stairs down to an extensive area of sand mines, which were opened up *once* to visitors and I was lucky enough to go and see them. I've just been reminded of this oddity today. The sand mines might not be especially large, as sand mines go, but it was very strange to have this whole network of tunnels right underneath our very ordinary brick houses, and especially to have them reached by a simple steel door set into a tiny brick hut.

Busy day.

Jan. 17th, 2011 03:41 pm
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I went over to Nottingham at the weekend and saw my family, in stages, then Cwol. I came back to find a book I'd meant to give Cwol, sitting there looking at me. I might ask Pol nicely to take it with him when he drops off my sibling's books. It wasn't the best of visits: everyone was tired and I had the most thumping headache all day, I think because of the extremely wet weather.

Today has been bright and fine, and I've been able to do loads. I tidied the sitting room up. When it's tidy, I want to spend time there, and if I am sitting downstairs, then all the housework tends to get done in the ad breaks. I also cleaned the kitchen, folded Pol's laundry, sorted out the blue sofa as much as it can be sorted out and planted out bulbs. I need more compost.

Now I am upstairs. I discovered Moth still sitting quietly alert in exactly the same place I left her hours before. Even with the strong painkillers, she's clearly reluctant to move much. She's also having trouble scratching herself and walking around on the duvet - her claws catch in the fabric as if she can't quite keep them retracted any more. I put her on the bed and spent a while scratching her head, which made her very happy. She just wandered off for a while and limped painfully back for more head-scratching. I suppose that's me here for the interim then.
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I'm visiting my mum and sibling, and my other sibling and my nibling are coming over tomorrow. At some point, I'll visit cwol. My family liked seeing my house on street view.

On the way to my mum's, we popped in to see Kira and family, which was good fun. I'm going to buy Dominion and drag it down there at some point, I think. We talked chainmail, politics and ooglies and there was bat-and-ball.

Before I packed to go, Pol brought me coffee in bed. Random was being her usual sweet self, although wobbling occasionally from side to side. The cat was in the cattery and I miss her. She's had a vitamin-and-steroid injection to give her some bounce. It worked.

Every so often, I looked at or listened to the news to see if we have a government yet - or, as some have been saying, whether Whitehall has sorted out its PR department. The answer is no. I'm hoping that there will be an effective Tory/Lib Dem coalition. I *really* don't like the Tories, but it's the best option in the current situation. Lab/Lib *right now* would be terrible.

The BBC's agenda has been showing rather obviously, this election. Bad BBC, no bikkit.
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Keeping accountable (There is no part of me that does not bear) )


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