The feeling has gone

Who said the 80s gave us nothing musically? Here’s the very fabulous Ultravox with Vienna.

And because it’s JUST that good, you’ve got the extended version. Just how lucky are you? You can keep your Sir Bobs and your Bonos. Midge Ure gets my vote for the coolest of the Band Aid brigade. I’ve almost forgiven him for the grammatical travesty of If I was. I can’t write those words without flinching. If I were, Midge dear. If I were.


I don’t even know who would say the 80s didn’t give us great music. They obviously were thinking about Wham and Pepsi and Shirley, rather than The Smiths and Echo and the Bunnymen. You shouldn’t ever have to apologise for loving the 80s. The 80s is where Indie was born.

Enough musical pontification about the music of my youth.

With the weekend out of the way and a slow run into exam marking as well as National Novel Writing Month, it’s all systems go. In all honesty, I can’t see that I’ll get past 20000 words for NaNoWriMo… too much other stuff going on. I’ve done both at the same time before, but not at the same time as the other gazillion things I’ve got going on. I was going to say I might cancel my Netflix subscription for a month, but watching one episode of something stretched out in snippets over the day hardly constitutes binge-watching and if I don’t watch something whilst I’m eating, I have a tendency to eat and type and thus get jam all over the keyboard.

What’s worse is the mini-heatwave we’ve been having. It’s criminal not to be in the garden at the moment. There’s a big difference between my garden this year and my garden last year and mostly it’s down to dogs and dads. Last year’s Rumbles in the Jungle between Amigo and Heston really did leave my garden looking like a jungle as I spent two months supervising them in the house. Both needed separate walks and it was impossible to fit mowing the grass into that equation. This year, I have Tobby who is a very active senior and likes to be outside for his daily exercise, but is not good on walks and definitely not up to the kind of walks I do with the other dogs, so I’ve been spending a good hour or so outside on the garden every day, just so he can stretch his legs. You can’t just shut him out because he wanders off to see my neighbours. For an old dog, he is nimble. I’ve seen him get through holes made for chickens.

That’s the good thing about gardens though. They are never finished. Well, big ones anyway. My Bolton garden was always finished. Everything grew so slowly on the poor soil in the damp and the cool. Here, give it a month and you’ve got enough to cut back that you need a whole new compost heap. Luckily, my dad has been on hand with an array of power tools to sort out the trees that have come down in various storms, or that need chopping back or coppicing. Team Lee have whipped that garden into control. Plus, he also has been sorting out the outdoor electrics – and we were both quite tickled to find a telephone extension in Rabbit Auschwitz, the rabbit barn. I don’t keep rabbits in there, I hasten to add. Certainly not rabbits who need a phone call to keep in touch.

This week, I’ve got a few extra lessons here and there, and a whole lot of GCSE marking to crack on with. Smaller numbers of papers than June and July and I’m hoping it won’t stretch out because I’ve got other stuff that needs doing. Like writing a novel in a month.

Nothing like putting pressure on yourself, is there?

Anyway, you’ll forgive me if I’m unusually quiet. Today, I’m celebrating the Tobbster’s seventh month with me. I really did think he’d be dead and gone after two weeks – he was so wobbly. He’s still so wobbly, but he doesn’t seem to care at all. He doesn’t fall so often and he relaxes here. Plus he has a comfy bed.

I’m off to feed him his anniversary croissant and to crack on with my epic to-do list. I don’t think I’ve ever seen it as long as it is!

tobbster rock



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