Thursday, 14 January 2010


The month-long seclusion in a friend’s parents house would be ideal for writing, were it not for the following things:

1. Work
2. Extra hour /faff time added to commute either way to allow for strangely snowy vista
3. Stupidly signing up for another month of Bikram Yoga torture
4. Looming Tax Return
5. Preoccupation with making soup


I am fortunate enough to have a job I enjoy, for a company I like, alongside folk who are nice to work with. I do realise how extraordinary that is! I do hug the nice job (metaphorically speaking) every opportunity I can. This week saw the successful launch of something I have designed/been working on pretty much ever since I arrived here eight months ago, so as you can imagine it has been a busy start to 2010. Not much time and energy left over in the evenings to write, but the balance should go back to normal now.

Extra hour / faff time

What is it with overground trains in this country, and weather? Do they build trains with nervous dispositions? Signal failures, unannounced delays, and cancellations – the slightest hint of white in the sky seems to guarantee commuter mayhem. Stoically we stand on the platforms and wait, and wait, scalding tongues on too-hot station coffee, and breathing mist into the cold morning air. Several rammed, steamy train rides later and people emerge in offices like survivors who have braved a dangerous journey - red-nosed and grinning, unwinding scarves and stamping Wellingtons.

Bendy torture

I do love Bikram Yoga. I do, honest. It’s just that Bikram Yoga doesn’t especially like me. Maybe I am just not cut out to be one of the zen-like people that sit in calm contemplation in class. This is no doubt due to the way I arrive, a whirl-wind of scarves and bags, fresh from spending forty minutes cursing the slow Metropolitan line. I then have to throw everything off, hurry into my shorts and top, fling everything into one of the only lockers left (either the very top row or very bottom), and then dash into the sauna to grab a mat and throw it on the ground. Then class begins! No wonder I don’t feel very zen. I am beginning to suspect those calm contemplative folk don’t actually work for a living.

Tax Hades

This has to be done as I was still self-employed for some of the last tax year, but I hate doing this with a complete passion. I am just really thick with maths. No matter how much I stare, tap calculators, pencil figures and frown at forms I inevitably end up in a mess. Hence doing the worse thing possible and leaving it to the last few weeks… but those official brown envelope reminders are starting to scare me, so it has to be done.


Leave me alone and unaided in a kitchen, and something strange happens to me. I start to imagine I am the new Delia Smith of soup-making. Saucepans will clatter down from on high, knives will be wielded, vegetables will be sliced and diced. Sometimes a commentary will be given to the sink, or the cat. I will not follow recipes – pah to recipes! And hence I will create a splat. Tasty splats granted, but still not the sort of thing you’d serve someone else if you want them to come back. More work needed, I feel.

Despite such diversions, I’ve made it to chapter 13 of the redraft. Whoo! And hello to new followers - thank you for investing time in this blog! You are very welcome.


KarenG said...

Enjoyed reading this post! You breezing into yoga class, the making of the splat splat soup-- good stuff here lol.

wannabe a writer said...

Oh Jayne, I so know what you mean by the dreaded tax return. I've just completed mine but only because I've been waking up in the night having panick attacks about it. All those adverts on TV saying, remember to complete your tax return by 31 Jan, and you know that you need to do it but its so horrible, you just can't face it. I'm sure they invent questions which are so ambigious just to terrify the average non-account bod and make themselves feel superior. And then when its done, there's also the fear of, "Did I answer the questions right?". Sends shivers down my spine.

Anonymous said...

Re: Splat-a-soup, it's the only way.


Jayne said...

Hello Karen! Thank you so much, glad you enjoyed reading it.

Jayne said...

Hi Linda! It really is a headache isn't it? I managed to get it all done on Sunday in the end, and felt such a relief that it was out of the way, but took so long... I tie myself in knots about it! The feeling of when it is done reminds me of when the school-bell used to ring and we would all go charging out into the Juinor school playground. :)

Jayne said...

Hello AV - and thanks for the vote of confidence in Splat-a-Soup!

Fran Hill @ Being Miss said...

I'm following. You use the word 'faff' and it's one of my favourites.

Jayne said...

Hello Fran, and warm welcome to you! 'Faff' is one of my favourite words as well, good job considering how much time I seem to invest in faffing.