Monday, 30 March 2009


Already, this turning up to practise thing is not going well. I managed to stay late on Wednesday evening, and that was all the extra practice I managed.

Of course, I have some excuses. On Thursday I was doing joinery until 9.30, then I had to put up shelves in my room, but ended up talking to my parents for an hour. On Friday, there was somebody already there, practising. On Saturday I spent too long talking, then too long at The Field preparing the potato bed for being dug over, and had to prepare dinner on my return; after dinner, I was a little too drunk to be driving to church. On Sunday, I went out for lunch with Brian, and when I arrived at church after that, Mr P, my organ teacher, was already there. As he had a recital that evening, I thought that it would be better not to bother him; I went to sleep in the car instead. No point in driving home and back again when I have a comfy car. I don't think that anyone noticed - the car park was nice and quiet, and I didn't have any car seat marks on my face (yes, I checked).

Naturally, this week will be different. I shall go there and get an hour in before Postgrad Group, and Wednesday will also be fruitful. I may actually manage to go there on Thursday after joinery (the threat of very little extra practice before my next lesson will, no doubt, give me a little extra inspiration).

Yesterday, I played for the first time before the service in the Motherchurch. It went well, considering. I think that I got faster as the piece went on; this is because I was told that I had 2 1/2 minutes, and had better get a move on. I was told to relax, as there was no hurry, towards the end, adding credence to my theory. I think it ended up a better speed than it started, though. Most of the notes were correct...

I was a lot less nervous than I expected. It helped that it is hard to see the congregation from the organ console. It also helped that I am getting to know that particular piece of music quite well now. I think that it will be harder next time, though - I shall not be playing a piece selected specifically because it looked easier than the other pieces, and was by somebody famous; I shall be playing a piece selected because I thought it sounded very pretty, and I could download the score for free.

This morning, I played for my first funeral. The St Isidore's organ is getting sicker and sicker, and it was certainly a challenge making it sound passable. I didn't quite manage to rise to the challenge (because I am not made of magic), but it was a reasonably good attempt. Because of the cracks in the soundboards (the wood containing the channels which take air to individual pipes), when enthusiastic chords are played some extra notes creep in intermittently. This makes the player sound really bad. There are also some notes missing - I couldn't play one of the pieces I wanted to play because there weren't enough notes. One of the stops is profoundly out of tune, too. I was really lucky that there were a lot of people there, as the loud stops were more in tune than the quiet ones. Of course, playing the loud ones with the quiet ones sounded dreadful both times (no, I do not learn especially quickly. Thank you for asking), but the second time round I came up with a back-up plan. All in all, I was happy with how it went. I need to get in touch with the guy who built the organ, though, and see if he is up for spending several hours poking it over Easter. It may be a lost cause, but if it were a lost cause which played in tune at least fewer people would notice.

And it has just occurred to me that I still have not prepared anything for Palm Sunday, nor for Easter Sunday. I shall have Anne in tow for part of that practice time - I haven't worked out what I will be doing with her while I practice. I might just leave her alone in the house with Red Dwarf and my phone number. If HWSNBN is there also, they can watch it together. It really is essential viewing, especially as some actual, real, new episodes of Red Dwarf will be showing over the Easter weekend - it's important to refresh the memory about what went on before.* The downside to this is that it means that my DVD collection is no longer complete.

*It is not even slightly important to refresh the memory. This isn't Harry Potter, or anything. But it is nice to refresh the memory. Red Dwarf is, at least, more child-friendly than some of what resides within the DVD collection.

Thursday, 26 March 2009


Apparently, I am to be given keys at the Motherchurch, which will enable me to practice whenever the church is open. I am to receive them this evening, so perhaps this is when the extended practice sessions are to commence...

Actually, now that the prospect of actually doing extended practice sessions is very nearly upon me I am feeling slightly less enthusiastic. I think that this is only natural - I am about to take away the various assorted bits of free time I keep handy in case I want to sit on my bum doing nothing, and put them into a large, possibly cold building in a situation which will involve lots of work.

Also, now if I fail it will be my fault. So far, I have been able to blame my bad playing on lack of access to the instrument, but that will not be an option from now on. If I do not make the effort to turn up frequently and put in good work (I am very prone to putting in some good work, then getting distracted and starting to play any old nonsense) then I shall not improve. I think that this is what the problem is - it's not a problem with being unhappy about devoting time to practice, really

Given that failure is not an option, I am sure that it will all be fine. The MSc worked out in the end, and this has got to be easier than that! I should at least avoid the issue of writer's block - it's never hard for me to find something that needs practising.

This evening, of course, is choir practice. I spent quite a while working on one of the pieces yesterday evening, but when I played through it at the end of the session it was almost as though I hadn't bothered. I hope that it will have consolidated itself overnight (it very frequently does, and I wonder when, exactly, I managed to learn a particular bit of music); I have another 15 minutes to play with this evening and then I must be off to collect my keys, and face the music (as it were) with respect to my lack of practice.

Additionally, I must remember to push the "publish" button, to ensure that I don't end up posting a day later, and getting all sorts of error messages. Duh.

Friday, 20 March 2009

The weekend is here!

Hooray! A chance to drop items off at charity shops, and refill fabric conditioner bottles; to play the organ in a small variety of different contexts; to feel bad about not having the time to visit Mother on Mothers' Day; to get up late on Saturday.

Only two more weeks before the Easter break. I get nearly two weeks off at that point, which will be a relief. I shall kidnap Anne and force her to make Easter eggs for my family, and attempt to achieve large amounts of organ practice while the church is open, thus heartily annoying anyone who wants to actually go to church to sit quietly and peacefully. If one is doing it correctly, the majority of organ practice should probably be quite boring to listen to.

I shall also hopefully get a chance to recharge my batteries, and may be able to write better afterwards. How I wish that I could stop feeling so tired! I might write something less deeply unsatisfactory than this post. That would be a novelty.

Thursday, 19 March 2009

Itchy again

Ooh - over a week since my last post. How time flies!

We are making progress on the settling in front - we have a wardrobe in the bedroom, and I have a) realised that I have far more hangers than could be considered to be reasonable, and b) started to hang up some of my clothes. Today, for the first time since moving, I was able to locate and wear a skirt. This is excellent news, as my legs are amazingly itchy at the moment. They woke me up this morning at about 2.30, and are not really playing nicely at the moment. I kind of want to do something drastic and make the itching go away, but mostly I think that I should let it do its thing until I see a doctor on Monday (for something completely different) so that he can perhaps give me some insight into why they are so horrible. When I scratch them, they look like bad teenage boy pimple-face, but without the really nasty bits. But I think I just crossed some sort of boundary there, so I shall return to the subject about which I was trying to talk.

The other bit of progress we have made is that we have the other bed-settee. It is a bit too big for the room in which it is currently residing (the front room), but I don't think that it can go anywhere else, so it will just have to deal with that. It's a bit of a joke, really - as settees go, this one is quite tiny. I am in awe at how much stuff we actually managed to fit into the previous, smaller house. Of course, when everything is settled here it will seem a lot more spacious than the previous house. There will hopefully be an occasional bit of wall without furniture against it (although I shall be honest - so far I have always seen that as an excellent opportunity to acquire more furniture to help to store the crap which invariably covers my house. I aim to stop doing that now, and possibly even look at getting rid of a piece of furniture).

Yesterday evening I gave the bread maker to Serena, who will pass it on to her mother. I am glad to be rid of that! I only used it once, and have never had a space to allocate to it in the kitchen. The next step is to get rid of all of the rest of the crap that is earmarked for disposal. I foresee a couple of arduous charity shop trips this Saturday (arduous because what I shall be carrying will be bloody heavy, and possibly also quite unwieldy), followed by a fresh sense of awe at how much crap remains.

This evening, I shall have the evening off! No places to be, just a house to tidy and dinner to cook. Sounds relaxing, does it not? HWSNBN's mum and sister are coming round tomorrow evening, and so I feel that I should make the effort to make the house look like the sort of place where it might be nice to live. Yes, this will be a challenge, but just think how much fun it would be to have a house with usable rooms! I can't even remember the last time this really happened.

Actually, I can. Yesterday, while I was attempting to make my room look a bit better, I stumbled across a box full of old photos. Flicking through, I found loads of photos of my old student room. Ah - those were the days! It was a very large room, and had to serve a variety of purposes: bedroom, kitchen, dressing room, office, living room and menagerie. It had a load of guinea pig hutches and cages set up in the corner, with the occasional guinea pig allowed to run round the floor. I had forgotten how shiny the guinea pigs used to be! I would make an effort to scan in some photos and post them up except that a) I am too lazy, and b) the floor had a lot of sawdust on it, and I wouldn't want you to know about that. You would be able to see how slack I am capable of being around the house.

There were also photos of my baby sister when she was still tiny - they were very cute indeed. She really did look like my little sister then. Alas, with all of the looking at photos I got distracted and never did manage to finish sorting out the bookcase in my room, so that I could put some actual books on it. I did, however, manage to get some skirts and a dress put into my wardrobe, meaning that I got to wear a skirt today. A full-length one, of course; it's rare that I wear any other sort (if I am being honest, this is because they are all slightly smaller than I am thin at the moment - I'll get to wear them again one day, I am sure). This is great - it hides my hideous, itchy legs. Except when I hitch it up because the fabric is making my legs itch. Thinking about it is making my legs itch at the moment, though, so that's not really much of an achievement.

I am so tired. Apologies if none of this makes sense. Right now, I'd like to sleep for a long time.

Wednesday, 11 March 2009


It's a bit of an uphill struggle this week. I have no free time (I know - who could possibly have predicted that?) and even if I fill all of my time with things I need to do, I still don't have time to get everything that needs doing, done.

For example, last week I managed about four hours of organ practice. I knew that this wasn't really enough, but what I was playing seemed to be coming together quite well. At the lesson, it became apparent that I ought to be looking at doing twice as much practice to see if that would get me up to a suitable standard. This week, I have managed 20 minutes so far. I should manage another 30 minutes this lunchtime, if the church keys are handed to me this evening I should get another 30 minutes to 2 hours (30 minutes looks more likely - I am tired and need to get to bed on time) after choir practice, and there is a good chance I will manage 30 minutes tomorrow lunchtime, also. After that, there will be no other opportunity to practice before my lesson. Therefore the best-case scenario is that I manage 3 hours 20 minutes, and the likely scenario (I am SO not going to get the keys this evening) is up to 1 hour 20 minutes. Really not enough time. I now need to cancel my lesson for next week. However, after that I should hopefully have the church keys, and I also will not be going to London for a while, so I can really start to get into it.

Where does this leave HWSNBN, though? Does he want me to be unavailable every waking moment? Did he get into a relationship with me so that he had someone to share a house and a bed with? I think that he did not. Especially not this house.

Ah well; time to soldier on, I suppose. It will probably not get much worse than it is today (choir practice this evening and I still cannot play the pieces properly), and it may even get better at some point. I can't help but feel that I am neglecting a lot of important stuff at the moment. This is, of course, because I am neglecting a lot of important stuff at the moment.

Friday, 6 March 2009

Moving, part 4, plus beer and tiredness

The boring non-saga of settling into our new house continues. The settee is in its rightful position and orientation in the living room, and more floorspace has been unearthed. Yesterday evening we moved a desk, a bookcase and a cupboard; a good evening's work. If there had only been five minutes available, anyway. We are slowly getting rid of small amounts of crap (you would be amazed at how popular guinea pig cages are on Freecycle around here!), and HWSNBN has initiated a campaign to get rid of some of the out-of-date food we have lying around. It would be the out-of-date food we have in our cupboards, except that we don't have any cupboards for food. Perhaps we will reduce the scale of this problem over the weekend by putting up a large ugly metal shelf in our shambles of a kitchen, and putting the food on this, within boxes. I imagine that its top shelf would be an excellent place to store HWSNBN's large pasta container, which usually lives far too high-up for me to reach.

Tomorrow evening there will be a beer festival. Of course, as I can't really consume gluten, I shall not be drinking any beer. It's a pity that the day after the beer festival is a Sunday, really; I might be tempted to go for it anyway and justify any illness I end up with as being the price one pays for drinking beer. Nobody gets off scot-free.* As I shall be being a good girl, I can only hope that they have good cider.

It is excessively cruel** taking me to a beer festival and not allowing me to sample the wares. I love good beer, and the beer at a festival should often be better than most, although the cider at the cider festival I attended was not all the best (nor was HWSNBN's feeling of wellness afterwards, for that matter).

Before the beer festival, we are to have dinner at our favourite local Indian restaurant (our favourite Indian restaurant is a Bangladeshi one (did I just contradict myself? Alas, I have the geography knowledge of a successful beauty pageant entrant) near the previous house, but this one does sherbet!). Anyway, it promises to be a tasty meal. There will be severe penalties for those who do a reverse performance of dinner, so I am hoping that everyone is nice and moderate.

Last week, when I opined to HWSNBN that he should be careful not to get too drunk at this beer festival, I was treated to the information that beer festivals are fine; one does not really get drunk at them. Cider festivals, are the problem, apparently. I asked him if he had ever met himself, but he remained steadfast; one does not get drunk at a beer festival. We shall see whether or not this anti-logic is true. I mean, we already know that it is not, but we will be able to see this for ourselves tomorrow. By "we", I do not include you, of course. I will not be blogging on Saturday after the beer festival. I mean me, HWSNBN, Serena, and HWSNBN's friend and his girlfriend, should they decide to come with us.

Now I am tired. I want the house to be set up neatly, and for me to be able to go to sleep for a long time, but instead I must go home, tidy up, then go off to do more organ practice for a couple of hours, return home and re-arrange some more furniture. We may have guests staying on Saturday evening, so we have to have both space in which to put them, and bedding to keep them warm. A challenge indeed!

*Does anybody know the origin of that expression? Would they care to enlighten me? I am too lazy to look in Wikipedia, apparently.

**Crueler, even, than taking me to a chocolate eclair factory.

Wednesday, 4 March 2009

Moving, part 3, felt and choir practice

That previous post was very dull indeed. Sorry about that. Now it has been said, and hopefully I won't be moving again for a long, long time. I want to be here for a year!

Yesterday evening I managed to excavate my piano. There is also a space in the middle of the living room floor: my re-arranging skills are resulting in a great tessellation of furniture. You would no doubt be amazed (or perhaps bemused) at some of the corners I have created.

Paniceth not.* The landlord will be coming this evening to remove all of the furniture that belongs to him (with the exception of the Lovely Chest of Drawers, which is taking up too much place in our bedroom and may be evicted, should we be unable to find a suitable home for it. This may, however, simply end up in another room within the house), thus leaving space for us to arrange our own furniture in a more advantageous manner. Once this has happened I can move my piano into the front room and move the settee from its precarious position upright next to the bed and into the living room. There might then be space in the bedroom for a wardrobe, and I can then start to unpack my suitcases full of dresses.

On Saturday, I should be going into Town. I am teaching a feltmaking workshop on Monday and need to try to obtain enough foam pads to ensure that people are at a substantially reduced risk of stabbing their own legs repeatedly (although only the really stupid ones** are likely to stab themselves repeatedly, and they probably deserve it. Who doesn't learn from being stabbed and take steps to avoid it in future?) by inserting a big thick thing in between the needle and their legs, and I should also be able to take a load of old clothes to the charity shop which will also help the mess in the bedroom (or perhaps we will have moved the charity shop box to a different room by this point). *** While I am in town I shall, of course, have to obtain more stuff. Other than the foam pads, I also want wire so that people can make frames for their felt creatures. I think that I have enough wool to go round (I just ordered some in varying shades of brown, in case they want to make conventional animals. It has just occurred to me that I have no black and should probably try to get hold of some black wool and also some beads for eyes. Thank you, blog, for making me think), and I have also purchased enough needles for up to 20 people to make their own felt creations. I am a bit low on scissors, but that should be easy enough to sort out.

I am dreading letting the marauding hordes get their hands on my wool selection, though. Although I am generally a very untidy person indeed, I am ever so slightly obsessive about making sure that every single wool is back in the appropriate bag as soon as I have finished my felting session (unless I am working in a single colour - it is acceptable to have one small piece of one colour left out). I think that I will end up with lots of bitty pieces of wool put back in bags containing very similar shades, which just will not do. Having said that, hopefully most people will not be using very many different colours, and will be able to keep track of where their bag goes. I think that I have about 40 different colours now, and there are only about four sets of two colours which are very hard to tell apart from each other. Unless, of course, there are colour-blind people present.

Tonight is the first choir practice in which I am required to play the piano. The pieces I am learning are not ready. One of them cannot be ready in time, but I may be able to force the other one into shape between the end of work and the practice. I do hope so; otherwise it will be very embarrassing.

*Not really a smooth flow from one paragraph to another here. Also, is that the correct form of panic for a plural?

**I include myself in this number.

***Was that the worst and most confusing sentence I ever wrote? I do hope so, insofar as I hope that I have never written anything worse than that.

Tuesday, 3 March 2009

Moving, part 2

We are installed in our new house. The move went very well, considering. I sort of want to write a big long post containing everything that happened (I know that if this were a blog I read, I would feel cheated if the writer were to fail to do so for me; one day I expect I shall read this, and may be disappointed with the omission) but I am too tired. I shall write and see what comes out. The whole story may well do so... Additionally, I have told the story so many times that it bores me. But you have not heard it yet, and so you might not be bored by it.

So, the move started on Friday evening. Actually, it started on Friday lunchtime. I went round to the house and covered a couple of carpets with Shake & Vac (Neutradol edition) and hoovered (well, dysoned) one of them, before running out of time and getting stuck in the supermarket when somebody with many items beat me to the checkout and didn't offer to let me go first (which I totally would have done for her as I am perfect in every way, of course; my slight indignation is therefore perfectly well justified).

After work I went back to the house and covered all of the remaining carpets with Shake & Vac, and dysoned all but two of them. I then swept the kitchen and was working on finishing dysoning the living room (the penultimate carpet) when the parents, Robert and Anne arrived (HWSNBN was staying at the old house and packing, which was very kind of him). Mother put the dinner on, Anne and I went to Serena's house to acquire some chairs (it's so much fun having neighbours with chairs!), and then we had a tour of the house and started assigning curtains to rooms. Then, having failed to get any curtains up, we ate dinner. This was a beef casserole, with peas, fried new potatoes, peas, peas and peas, and was very tasty. As were the peas. I have learned that one bag of frozen peas is more than sufficient for feeding five people.

After dinner, the work really started. People started cleaning cupboards and walls, Mother did an amazing job of cleaning the grill, and I slunk upstairs to clean the bathroom. The magic vacuum cleaner came out and started vacuuming under the sink, and new and amazing discoveries were made in the kitchen cupboards. One of the back boards has rotted through completely, which is very yummy. HWSNBN has put the pans in that one now.

By 10.30 we were fed up. Robert and Father went back to the old house, and Mother, Anne and I went to pick up the van (I collected the keys for the van at 5.30, but didn't want to drive it any further than necessary, nor to park it on my new street). It was much better than the last van we hired from that place: it liked to go in straight lines.

When we got back HWSNBN and I loaded up boxes from the front room into the van, found bedspace for everyone and went to his mum's house to sleep in our bed settee, which currently resides in her spare room.

Wow. I have no idea whether or not this is boring you, but it is not exciting me. If you give up at this point, you are forgiven. If you gave up earlier you are forgiven, but you may never know without reading this bit...

Saturday morning happened next, as is its wont. We got up really early (for me for a Saturday morning, at least; not early by most non-students' standards), and were ready to start the move by 9. By 10 we had a vanload of stuff ready to go, so HWSNBN and I set off together in the van. We picked up German 1 on the way (although we had to leave behind his wife and baby due to lack of space), and had a quick run round the house to pick up curtains and move the landlord's furniture into one room for easy collection by him, before starting to bring the boxes into the appropriate rooms (we started off so well!). When that was done we returned home and started to load the van again. We were starting to get hungry and Mother was making lunch (bacon and mushroom butties) and cups of tea, so this took a long time. German Wife was wanting to walk to the new house with Baby, so I felt really bad about the time it was taking, especially as I had given an unrealistically optimistic estimate about how long we would be taking. We finally got the van loaded and put German 1, Robert and HWSNBN in it, then I went with Father to HWSNBN's mum's garage to collect a load of boxes in his estate car.

Now it occurs to me that this is getting extremely boring. Suffice to say it carried on a bit like this until 7.30, with Mother doing an excellent job of cleaning the old house and packing the occasional box while I tried to be useful and mostly just managed to be inefficient. At 7.30 we gave up for a bit and all went to the new house. Serena and I went out looking for dinner. The Chinese take-away we both adore was closed, so we had to go to the one we used to frequent the year after I graduated, when I lived in the centre of Town. I think that they eventually understood about making two of the dishes gluten-free (I had no gluten-type repercussions), and dinner was received enthusiastically. Mine was very hot. I don't think that I will have that exact dish again.

After dinner, the parents worked to make the new house ready for the night and HWSNBN, Robert and I went to move heavy things (such as the washing machine) from the old house to HWSNBN's mum's garage. By 11.30 we had finished this and loaded the van with a lot of the rest of the contents of the old house, including the fridge. By 12.30 we had returned the van and got to Serena's house - we stayed there overnight as she has a spare bed and we did not have enough space for beds for six people. Serena's mattress is very nice indeed; I want one like that!

On Sunday I did not have to go to church, so we went round to the old house and cleaned/emptied it. Mother and Father were amazing, and cleaned/moved massive amounts of stuff between them. I could only marvel at their efficiency (really, helping would have been more useful). After a while of ineffective helping, I went outside to get the garden ready. I emptied plant pots and planted bulbs, then sorted plant pots (well, delegated the task to Anne in the form of the "stack the plant pots in size order" game, with which she was not delighted), then swept the path repeatedly.

We also had lunch. Mother was delighted with her discovery that a pan lid makes a great emergency plate. Anne tried to spread butter with a fork. Much merriment was had by all. HWSNBN finished the ice cream, except for the really dodgy-looking bit at the bottom.

When that was mostly over, the parents, Robert and Anne went home. It was sad waving goodbye to them from the last time from that doorway. We loaded the car, then went ourselves; we were due at Serena's for dinner.

(Running out of steam here, you will be glad to hear.)

Serena cooked a lovely diner for us. We only had 30 minutes for dinner, as I had to be at Motherchurch for evensong and an organ lesson; it was very generous of Serena to cook for us under those circumstances.

Evensong was confusing. I didn't know what was going on, I lined up wrong, and I had to sight-sing some pieces during the service. Not really very easy! It will get better, though. One of the men in the choir was saying that he had just been thinking that the choir should get some female altos, so apparently my timing was good.

After that, I had my first organ lesson for nearly a decade. I have picked up some bad habits. The lesson went well, considering, but hopefully next week's will go better. I think that the main thing that I established was that I have to work on using my toes effectively and appropriately (the insides of the toes are fine to use, but the outsides are not), and on being able to find the pedal notes by feel, rather than relying on just knowing where they are. Being able to do that will improve my playing a lot, and should also make it a lot easier.

We started to look at a piece I got close to OK a few months ago. Apparently it is a hard piece. This made me feel a bit better - I thought that it was an easy piece but that I just wasn't very good. It turns out that the hardest bit is yet to come: I have to use the swell pedal!

Let me tell you about the swell pedal. Many organs are built with one section of pipes in a large box. This box is called the swell box, and the pipes are linked to one manual (normally the top one if the organ has three or fewer manuals); this is known as the swell organ. Shutters on the side of the box can be opened and closed to make the music louder or quieter by means of a large pedal in the middle of the piece of wood - it pivots, and when the top is closer to you the box is closed; when the top is away from you, the box is open.

Anyway, I have to be able to use one foot on the pedals, and one on the swell pedal: I have to operate the swell pedal while also moving the other foot around to play different notes. This is hard. Two hands and one foot each doing a unique thing involving much pressing is one thing, but when the second foot (and it varies which the second foot is, according to the music) has to do a different thing in a different place while the first foot carries on as normal that is a whole new matter. My co-ordination is terrible (although it is improving!), and so far I have not been able to do both actions at the same time. I think that I shall have to practise with just the pedals first. I need to be OK at this by Sunday, at which point I have another lesson. Hmm.

After my lesson I went home and worked on getting the house looking better. When I got back I saw that HWSNBN had made an excellent job of tidying the kitchen: some of the equipment had been put away and there was space down the middle of it. I was impressed. I worked on getting the bed ready (and failed at this - I got too cold in the night and nearly pushed HWSNBN out of bed by moving towards him to get the heat. Alas, he moved away from me, repeatedly, and then there was no bed left for him) and some clothes put away.

We got to bed late. I was very tired the next day and am still very tired now. It is hard to think, and I do not know when I will next be capable of doing anything useful other than unpacking. I'm not even doing well at that now - I need the landlord to come and get rid of all of his furniture so that I have an extra half-room with which to play.

So at the moment the house is a complete tip. The main settee frame is leaning against the wall next to the bed, there is no wardrobe to hang things so my dresses are still in suitcases around the bedroom, my room has a clearing, HWSNBN's room has a desk and a computer network (what can I say? He works fast), the living room is slowly being unearthed and the front room is full of unwanted furniture AND wanted furniture, books, DVDs, coats and other as yet unidentified boxes, plus a few plants thrown in for good measure. The curtains are closed today because there is no way I am making my way over that assault course before breakfast.

On the positive side, the bed is good and I have my underwear. I will soon have clean trousers in sizes that fit me, and bits of the kitchen are well-organised. The bathroom is not terrible (depending on where you look), and the bath fills up very quickly. Also, the house feels like home. I think that I will like living here. The bedroom feels like my sort of space, and the kitchen is growing on me (probably in the literal sense). I am happy to be here. Terrified about the playing I must do tomorrow evening (must unearth the piano to practise!), but pleased with how things are going. Yay!