Monday, 24 September 2007


Ah, the British Autumn. As I type this, it is bright and breezy and blue outside, but with rain lashing down, silvered by the sun that is darting defiantly in and out of the gathering clouds. It rained torrentially yesterday afternoon, cutting short my blackberry picking expedition, and this morning the fallen leaves from the horse chestnuts, and the keys from the sycamores, and the acorns from the oaks were smeared along the streets like so much glittering roadkill.

My weekend was so so. Too fast as usual. But not a whole lot going on of interest to anyone really. :-) Yesterday, which I spent alone, was actually a fairly good CR day, give or take the couple of pieces of spelt bread and 2 glasses of poor Rioja. I ate mostly cooked food for a change, and mostly as I cooked it, over the course of the afternoon. Butternut squash, zucchini baked with lemon, rosemary and thyme, carrots baked with rosemary, savoy cabbage, broccoli, leeks. A huge field mushroom. Tomato. Cottage cheese with LLBY and flax oil. Fat free Greek yoghurt with plums and berries. As I say, not all at once. I'm trying to wean myself off the big salads where possible, even if it means munching away all day on veggies; the thoughts of all that volume at the moment just makes me want cheese and crackers.

I also indulged in watching several episodes of an eighties TV series that I used to adore - Robin of Sherwood. It probably never made it to the US. I had a huge teenage crush on the lead actor, Jason Connery. (And another one on Ray Winstone - I always did have contrary tastes). Yesterday I was somewhat amazed to find that the crush on JC, which seemed to last forever at the time (and did, in its own way, inspire me to take up drama and writing and so I think of as slightly pivotal in my life), could only have lasted six weeks or so - because I only have a memory of watching six episodes - Saturday night, on ITV, at 5.30pm. The rest of them were new to me. And since I have a very good memory, I don't think I have just forgotten them. I still have a shamefully soft spot for RW, in all his grubby east-end glory.

Why does life spin by so fast now? I remember those six weeks stretching out like six months. *sigh*

But back to today. This morning's gym session was torturous. Not due to the exercise - I achieved my modest goal of running to the tune of burning off 300 calories which is the amount I took in at breakfast - a pleasing symmetry, if a fallacy. And I did my weights. But oh... the music. In excruciating succession we were treated to Cliff Richard's Mistletoe and Wine, Unchained Melody, Rick Astley's Never Going To Let You Down, Bryan Adam's Everything I Do, I Do It For You, and Whitney Houston's I Will Always Love You. I wanted to beat myself over the head with both my 3kg weights at the end of that. Added to that horror was the chattering of the ladies who I am sure are very nice and lovely, but treat the gym as an early morning social venue - they are very vocal, very loud, and they do not save their breath for the cross-trainer. If Arturo shares his bus to yoga with three chirping birds, this morning the gym was occupied by myself, and an entire quarrel. Or maybe even a murder. Depending on how uncharitable a comparison I am in the mood to draw between the genus of feathered friends and the chatter that was going on around me today.

Right. Work, coffee, on with the day. I hope everyone else had good weekends.


artifex said...

Sycamores .. in the UK, sycamores are the trees with key shaped seeds, or spinners, as we used to call them. In California, there are trees with very similar leaves, but their seeds are balls with a prickly case, about 1" in diameter. In England, I'd call those plane trees. In California, I'm told they are sycamores. Is that consistent with what you know from Colorado ?

(not at all a CR comment .. just another of these "it's not quite the same language, just sounds like it" quirks)


Sara said...

By sycamore, I meant the trees with the keys, or helicopters, as you describe them. I might have the wrong word entirely! :-) Must google.

JD said...

Thanks for your comment on grains. Unfortunately I'm so addicted to carbs that anything sets me off now... *sigh*. I'm so much happier without them though.

I know what you mean about veggies vs salads. I baked butternut squash with red onion and rosemary last night. It was delicious.

A bad gym experience for me too: someone stole my socks out of the drying cupboard. :-( who on earth would do a thing like that?

Lin said...

IMO Michael Praed was a better Robin of Sherwood, and yes I do have all the episodes (rather sadly!)

Ah those big brown eyes....

Am enjoying your blog greatly. Keep up the good writing!)


Nenette said...

Oh, Sara, I do love your blog! Your writing always makes me smile.

Sounds like you had a nice peaceful weekend. I remember my childhood crush on Donny Osmond lasted what felt like forever. And my current crush on Gerry Butler seems to have just started yesterday. Weird.

Oh my, that song list would've had me running off the treadmill and right out the door to the nearest pastry shop to drown my horror in eclairs and pavlovas! Why do they choose those songs to play at a gym? Who finds them particularly motivating? I don't understand!


HkGrace said...

I *so* identify with the Cheese and Cracker as means of Big Salad Avoidance. Baked veggies are a great alternative, though I haven't quite embraced the idea of autumn (or rather its inevitable successor, winter) enough to eat the squash quite yet.

Arturo said...

Hi Sara
How funny that the birds in your athletic club were into a full fight. Mine speak a foreign language, so I've adapted to sleeping over the noise. Yours seems a bit too aggressive. Maybe the trainer needs to comment something to them.

IT is a good field. I have known several people that feel they need to transition out of it. It seems that an advantage of it is that you can become a consultant rather than a full time employee. Then you could make the hours more flexible and go take some courses that might give you other skills in order to transition to something else that might interest you more. If project management peaks your curiosity, it's not difficult to take management courses part time. It doesn't sound like London is close to your home, but you have great education there. Education is always a door opener if you don't have experience in the field.

If education is not a possibility, then you have to reflect on how your current skill set applies to other industries. Taking cues from my field, when work in architecture was scarce 20 years ago, many graduates had to redefine their careers in order to survive. So they went into related creative fields, or fields that needed their expertise. Maybe you could do some of the same reflection with respect to IT. How do those skills transfer to other fields? One person I know who works in it and is studying to transition out of it is studying linguistics.