Open Fire

fire, flames, burning, heat

Image via Wikipedia

There’s something about an open fire,
sitting aside the open flames,
letting the heat soak into your body.
Watching the flames eat into the fuel,
charring wood, burning coal down to ash.

Though the heat comes from one central point,
it seems to fill the whole room with warmth,
giving the room that homely touch,
devoid in a centrally heated room.
A focal point away from the modern one.

Chairs are pulled closer together,
Occupants discuss their lives,
Drinks seem more warming,
Animals relax alongside their keepers.
Life feels good with an open fire to sit beside.

(c) 2012 Trevor Litchfield

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Oh well!

Me 05/02/11

Me trying out my new webcam 05/02/11

Wouldn’t you just know it. I’m just a couple of days away from getting a hard line internet connection and my dongle decides that it will start receiving a steady G3 signal after it has been very erratic in the signal it receives! Such is life. At least it gives me the chance to enter something a bit more meaningful than my quick entries via my Blackberry.
So:
The new flat now looks like a home (don’t look at the mess, we have no storage for anything yet).
I’m still jobhunting.
I’ve not written anything creative 😦
I read several great books.
I finally went out on my cycle the other day after a long layoff (lazy).

I have a webcam 🙂 (in anticipation of chatting with my sister regularly via Skype).
I was at my old neighbours house one afternoon last week. She had baked a cake and we were sat chatting, munching her wonderful baking and drinking Earl Grey tea. I’ve had Earl Grey tea many times (not a real favourite) but her tea was really enjoyable so I decided that I would treat myself to a small box in my weekly shop. Yesterday I decided I’d make a pot of the tea and it was not as I had hoped and was more like the dishwater I remember of old.

So I’m thinking to myself what was it about her making of the tea that made it so nice. Of course her company helped, she became a good friend in the year we were neighbours. Then there was her baking, she is a great cook and just loves to bake. Then the penny dropped, she is vegetarian and doesn’t use cows milk, instead she uses soya milk which is much sweeter and obviously helped with the flavour of the tea. Now I know many of you will be thinking “milk in Earl Grey!” but that’s just me.

The other thing that has dominated in the past is public transport and I’m really happy to report that over the last month my experiences on it have been pretty good though I did see that ticket prices are due to rise this weekend. I’m not going to complain about that though as fuel and wages are bound to have increased along with our local council making cuts in funding public transport along with plans to lay off over a thousand staff. This final news didn’t fill me with much confidence when it comes to my job hunting.

One final thing for today, after sleeping in a single bed (more of a bunk really) for the last year or so, I finally have a lovely big double bed to sleep in once again. This wondrous piece of furniture arrived last week and already I find I’m spread out on this wonderful expanse of mattress and get interestingly tangled in the  tent of a quilt overnight. Oh the joys of sleeping in a real bed :)

Retail Therapy

B and Q

Image by Joseph Tame via Flickr

Anyone that suffers from depression will know exactly how it comes upon you. For instance I was happily blog surfing last evening, enjoying everyone’s latest entries (or at least those I subscribe to) when it (depression) descended on me without warning or reason. I’d had a reasonable day, no moans or anything. I’d enjoyed a couple of trashy Sc-Fi films on TV (Iron Man and Catwoman) and all in all I was feeling pretty good, then wham! I couldn’t even find a reason to read further or write anything. In fact I even tweeted the question as to why I was bothering with anything, that includes living! On that happy note I went to bed and slept very soundly.

I awoke this morning feeling pretty crap but at least I had lost that overpowering desire to question my existence, all I had to do now was survive the day and maybe, just maybe my thought processes might improve. I decided the best thing for me to do was get out of the flat and go into the city. I showered and hit town.

I decided that a good place to start would be the DIY warehouse that my new landlord (Norwich City Council) had kindly given me some vouchers for to decorate my new home. Without even thinking what decorating really means I hit the curtains and curtain rails aisle and picked up £50 worth of curtains. On arriving at the till I was politely informed that City Council don’t consider the items I had chosen as decorating items. I guess in truth I should have read the list they gave me along with the vouchers but who reads lists?

Empty handed I walk out of the DIY warehouse and considered what I could do next. On the bus out to the DIY warehouse I had noticed that one of my favourite charity furniture shops was open, so I decided to go and browse in there. I need to get a bed for my daughter and I had spotted one in there the other week so I thought that maybe that bed was still in the shop or perhaps they might have something similar.

I arrived at the charity furniture shop after another bus journey and found that although they had sold the bed I had been looking at, they had got four other single beds more than suitable for my daughter all at exceptionally reasonable prices. I already have a mattress for her bed so I only needed the bed frame itself and picked up a lovely wooden bed frame for £25. As I hadn’t spent as much as I thought I would I decided to look around the rest of their bedroom furniture and ended up buying a lovely wardrobe for my daughters bedroom as well. This also cost £25, so with a £5 delivery charge I’ve pretty much furnished my daughters bedroom for £50! I also saw some gorgeous dressing tables with mirrors but my daughter will have to wait a bit longer for one of those.

Feeling a lot happier with myself (retail therapy works 🙂 ) I thought it best to head homewards. Whilst waiting for my bus to arrive I witnessed one of the funniest accidents I’ve ever seen! Two buses were in a bay close to me and people were getting on both when all of a sudden the rear bus jumped forward and hit the forward bus. The rear bus had barely moved two feet yet it was wrecked with all front windows smashed and quite a bit of metalwork hanging loose. The forward bus also had a lovely imprint of the bus that hit it in it’s rear, though from what I could see nothing was smashed or hanging off. Happily no one was injured but the damage to the two buses was considerable when you consider the distance the rear bus had travelled!

So here I sit typing these few words for you to read after cooking myself one of my favourite comfort meals, baked potatoes with baked beans with grated cheese over the top, drinking a mug of tea and feeling a bit better. I still have that lingering depressed feeling but nothing like I had last night. I’ve found through living with depression that one of the best ways for me to tackle it is to simply get out of the flat and although perhaps not interact with people, do some people watching or simply be around people.

Back In The Saddle

Snow outside my sisters cottage

Over a week since I last sat and did this! I have to admit it felt odd not writing daily, now it feels odd to be sat here writing again. I would like to thank everyone that stopped by and had a read, seems I have more readers than comment leavers but that’s fine, I’m just pleased you drop by and have a read of the stuff I write.

The holidays were a real mix of emotions and illness, it was great to see my sister once again but we all got colds or other viruses that left the actual day pretty lame. I had a cold when we travelled last Wednesday, my sister warned me she also had a cold. On the coach journey over to Pembrokeshire it seemed as if everyone else had colds as well so by the time we arrived in Carmarthen it felt like we were covered in germs, not nice!

The final thirty miles or so soon became arduous as there was deep lying snow everywhere with the taxi we were travelling in finally giving up on getting us to my sisters two miles short of her cottage. My daughter and I had to walk those last couple of miles. It was a beautiful star laden moonlit night as we walked through drift filled country lanes but it was a walk I could have done without. I don’t blame the taxi driver, only farm vehicles and the odd Land Rover could actually drive up these lanes, my sisters Land Rover was one of those unable to get out onto the road due to the position of her cottage. Still we arrived in reasonable time and we all sat warming ourselves around her Rayburn.

More snow and view of the forest

The rest of the holidays were as already described, much of a non event though as always it was great to just sit and chat even if we were warming ourselves with cold remedies rather than whiskey or other much preferable drinks.

We arrived back in Norwich late Wednesday evening heading straight to bed after the long coach journey home. Thursday was also a long day as I had loads of paperwork to sort in readiness for our move to our new flat. I also measured up the bedrooms to get some prices on carpets plus did a bit of window shopping in charity furniture shops whilst thinking how expensive washing machines really are!

On to today then! I had already written something in readiness for today but decided it was time to hit the keys once again, below is part of what I had written and I’m pleased to say that I can already put a line through one of my resolutions as I already have the keys to our new flat which I hope to start decorating in the very near future.

Like the rest of the world I guess I will be making a few New Year Resolutions. I’m not going to be promising myself anything that I cannot or have no wish to do like quit smoking or drinking but here are some ‘dreams’ that I have for the coming 365 days.

  • To have a better year than the one just departed, though to be honest 2010 was a much better year than I ever expected it to be
  • Find somewhere bigger to live. I really do need a bigger flat or house, somewhere near the coast would be nice
  • Find permanent employment
  • Make some new friends. Since I moved to Norwich I’ve met a few people that I think will remain good friends, I’d just like to meet a few more.

Not much to ask for and I think the only one I will struggle with is the one about finding employment, after all it’s over two years since I last had a job and nothing looks to be changing in a hurry.

Have a peaceful 2011 and enjoy any party you might attend this evening

Viruses and a cold (or is it man flu?)

Airplanes Skidding In A Snow Storm

Image by Anirudh Koul via Flickr

Yesterday (Monday) was a day full of viruses along with some excellent news and maybe a cancelled holiday due to the weather.

To start with, I’ve finally succumbed to the dreaded lurgy that is doing the rounds. I’m hardly surprised as everyone I meet either has it or is getting over it. I could sense it hunting me down all day yesterday with my first sneeze arriving around mid afternoon quickly followed by the usual blocked and yucky nose.

After a somewhat sleepless and sweaty night, I seem to be over the worst of it already! I guess those flu jabs do work 🙂

Then there was my PC, I had been listening to some music and connected to the net around 7:3o last night when all of a sudden my beloved PC came to a grinding halt, anti virus blaring away (it has a klaxon sound effect when it catches something) along all my programs being shut down or prevented from working, this is a feature of my anti-virus. I followed the instructions my anti-virus recommended and after doing a few other checks my PC was once again virus free at around 11:00pm (I was napping between the different pieces of software doing their thing). It was too late to do my usual evening surf and read so I tried to get some more sleep.

Yesterday morning we viewed and accepted a lovely flat which we hope to be able to move into just after the holidays. At last somewhere sensible to live 🙂

Finally, the weather and the forecast weather could put our holiday plans in check. Like so many other travellers we could end up spending the holidays at home, which although not the end of the world would be a bit of a bummer! I guess I will just have to wait and see what tomorrow brings.

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