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While it's true that your time is your own when you don't work, and you can set your timetable to suit yourself, get up when you want to, eat when you feel like it etc, especially if you live on your own, it is amazing how you still have to fit in with other people, even if it is only catching a bus, visiting your local stores or meeting a friend for lunch.

i never have any trouble filling in my time and frequently feel there's not enough hours in the day.  In winter, with it's shortened daylight hours, i delight in getting up when it's light and not having to get up in the dark, something that i always hated.  For a large part of my young life, i lived in countries that didn't really have twilight or a really short one, the closer you lived to the Equator, the shorter it was.  Full daylight to pitch black in less than half an hour.  Moving to New Zealand changed all that.  In the middle of summer, i could go to the pictures at 5pm and it was still full daylight when i came out at 7.30pm, and beyond, not getting full dark until about  10.00-10.30pm.  i never did get fully used to that but it was nice; i just hated the reverse times, with those short daylight hours.
England is the same but not quite as long.  In the middle of December though, it is full dark at 4.00pm and i hate that.  i compensate by turning on ALL the lights, pretty much from when i get up to when i go to bed, unless it is a really sunny day.  Having said all that, i do love the cold weather as much as i hate the hot and it wouldn't worry me if i never had a hot, sweaty day again.  Nothing wrong with an equitable climate with chilly winters; it's really nice & cosy to chuck an extra layer on the bed or cuddle up with a blanket or comforter to watch some TV.  And i have to say, i sleep really well on cold winter nights, all tucked up nice and warm.

i don't go out as much in winter, it's also true to say and really does depend on what kind of day it is.  If it's nice and sunny, i might go out simply for the pleasure of it and take a gander into town, do a little shopping and have lunch out for a change.  But if it's been raining and then frozen, with the state of our footpaths and the Council's refusal to do much in the way of gritting, even on main roads, i can be housebound for days at a time.  Oh, i don't suffer much, what with being able to have my shopping done online and delivered whenever i want.  i can have pretty much anything delivered if i can wait a few days 
[money permitting!] and my computer and the servers don't play up.  Even though it may be days before i actually speak to another human face to face, i'm online daily, catching up with emails, twitters and the various websites i visit on a regular basis, like here and Facebook [not that i like them all that much but a lot of people i know go there frequently and it's a quick way to catch up with their 'doings'].   Luckily i do have an extensive book collection and have enough DVDs to cover when Sky TV doesn't have anything i want to watch - which inspite of having lots of channels, happens frequently.  i'm not a soap watcher and i hate this nasty trend of 'reality' TV that America and now us, seem to love so much.  i suspect it's the desire or wish that it could be them one day, on some titillating 'talk' show of the Jerry Springer, Oprah variety and all those late night and talk show programmes. 
i do like the house shows, restoration etc like Grand Designs [a favourite], Holmes on Homes, This Old House & New Yankee Workshop [which was the first one i watched many years ago and adore Norm Abrams and that quaint accent!] and the Homes Under the Hammer and Location, Location, Location types.  There are lots more, like Restoration Man and the incredible Le Salvager, Rico with his equally incredible moustaches!   i guess i like the Cinderella quality of things restored and made beautiful.
i also love the Barefoot Contessa, Ina Garten, Nigella Lawson and Rick Stein, whilst equally hating Cake Boss [horrible little man!] and the Market Kitchen with it's smug self-satisfied presenter cooks.  Used to like Jamie Oliver when he was still the Naked Chef and the Italian Trip when he turned 30, but i think he was over-exposed and i simply got bored with him, especially when he got food religion and was on TV so much.  Not that he is doing a bad thing but all zealots get boring when they keep banging on, and on, and on about the same thing.  i think trying to convert America kinda put him in his place, which upset him greatly i believe - one step at a time, Jamie, you're not that famous over there yet to make a difference.

On the home front, i've put a hold on my packing as i have just under two weeks to go before our scheduled departure date of 1st December.  It already looks like a disheveled warehouse in here and i have to live in it until then.  i can't do a huge lot more until a few days before i move anyway, as most of what's left is the kitchen.  Sue Fitz is a very experienced 'mover' and is always surprised when i'm as organised as she is, or more occasionally!  Well, i have been doing it longer....and even with doing so many latterly in her work, she still has a way to go before she's done it as much as i have i'll bet.  We make quite a good team actually and get along very well; she is such a sweetie.

i've got toothache again... same side, top left.  Dunno exactly which tooth/teeth it is, it's a large area and it REALLY hurts!  i think having that tooth refilled didn't help [my dentist's idea] and could just be taking a while to settle properly, though it was a few weeks back.  It/they are reacting to heat and cold, but more to - no, i can't say more one than the other, they both set off the pain.  It's excruciating... i rub Bonjela on the area and that helps, but i'm in agony just when i drink, never mind eat and it's only Saturday!  i have all day to suffer tomorrow.  Joy.  i'm not sure what the dentist could do really.  It's possible part of a tooth has broken off [such a common occurrence i don't go in, unless it really is a mess, like i've cracked it in two or something equally as horrible], and it's increased the sensitivity in the tooth or gum.  i'll get some of that numbing toothpaste tomorrow, see if that helps.

The weather is all over the place, not surprising at this time of year, the autumn/winter flux, and it's grey, grey, grey again and quite nippy.  That's fine, i hadn't really planned on going out if it wasn't nice, although i want to play with the new camera before next weekend and the Vampire Ball.   Christian Kane, mmmmmm......

i'm going to do this new meme now, thanks to Kazzy Cee.

A — Age:  coming up on 63, next month
B — Birthplace:  Otley, West Yorkshire
C — Colour of Hair:  An odd shade of darkest blonde/light brown, well streaked with silver white
D — Dream Job:  i would have like to work in the Special Effects Dept of any major film studio
E — Eye Color:  Hazel brown
F — Father:  Jack [seriously!]
G — Gender:  Female, nothing's changed
H — Height:  5'7"-ish, i'm starting to shrink with age!
I — Ice Cream Flavour:  Tesco's Colombian Coffee, it's the bomb!
J — Job Title:  oooh, had lots - Secretary/PA, Receptionist, Telephonist, Accounts Clerk, Credit Controller, Care Assistant, Shop Department Manager and Band Roadie!
K — Kids?:  Not on your life!
L — Living Arrangements:  soon to be one bedroom Council flat, leaving this bedsit
M — Mother:  Joan
N — Neuroses:  Hypodermics and all medical needles
O — Overnight Hospital Stays:  Not many just overnight, many of the several-days-to-a-week variety
P — Pets:  Not at present but seriously considering having cats again...  *kitties!
Q — Quests:  Not even for the Questing Beast! [Loved Kazzy Cee's comment 'I don't even have a sword']
R — Religious beliefs:  Too few to mention, except a strong connection with the Feminine Deity idea
S — Siblings:  Older sister - do we even have to mention her?
T — Talents:  i've been told i'm a natural teacher and i'm patient, also that i'd make a good judge!  i like thinking in the Big Picture but can pay attention to details
U — University Educated:  Was accepted for Auckland University, but thought better of it
V — Vegetable You Hate to Eat:  Quite a few sadly; don't like dark green ones or green beans [unless you curry them - then i'll eat it all, pretty much]
W — Worst Habit:  Distraction, veering off topic and getting side-tracked
X — X-Rays You’ve Had:  Oh heavens!  Lots; all over body, from head to foot
Y — Yummy Foods You Love:  yes, dark over 70% chocolate, good curry, good Chinese & good Italian - and pork crackling!
Z — Zoo Animal You Like:  Don't like any animals in zoos, unless for conservation reasons.  Love all the cats, except lions, and giraffes


That was fun!  Have a good day, people, and look after you