Sunday, 19 September 2010

Time is closing in now...

Pretty soon, there'll be no point in going to have a peak out the window from the show flat... as the walls of my flat will be all that can be seen.

Some of the fencing has been removed, and you can see that the builders are preparing to provide access to the properties that are due for imminent completion (IE mine - and my parents'). Funny looking down on it, and seeing that what was a matter of weeks ago just some buildings seemingly dropped into the middle of a muddy field. Now.. well, now it starts to look like a street is actually under construction.

As far as I know, we're still on schedule for the 'end of November' move-in date. This means two months till I'm living in, what at the moment still resembles..well.. something that you'd make out of lego.

Getting nervous ? You bet.

Went for a bit of a wander round the local area on today's visit up to the site. Discovered a cut through path, and a park that I never knew existed. 

Amazing how the provision of monkey-bars can cause such excitement in my daughter.

I really do have a good feeling about the area, that it will be quieter than here. I know there will be some noise from the nearby A27, but I will not, I hope, be subjected to the regular noise from the cars with music blaring at insanely loud levels that I am here.

Definitely something to look forward to in the colder, darker winter days and nights to come.
Once I'm all settled, (probably in the new year) I'd like to get a couple of cats. Although I do like peace and quiet, sometimes it's too silent, and perhaps the companionship suits me. Sad old git with two cats.

Whilst my daughter was supposedly working on her homework today, I managed to grab some time reading more of 'New Moon', in the Twilight saga. Actually finished the book today. Had I been able to read the whole Harry Potter series in such a condensed time-line I probably would have done so. Twilight, although a similar subject matter deals so much more with the interactions and relationships between the characters, all seen as it is through the late teen eyes of Bella. This contrasts to the action and mystery/adventure driven nature of the Potter books, and their viewpoint being firmly from the pre and into teen eyes of Harry.

There's a definite difference in the target audience for both series. A difference of about 5 years I'd think, in their ages. I do see mostly women raving about the Twilight saga. It seems that it hasn't transcended the gender/age & shame barriers YET in the way Potter did.

Bella's need to be loved, wanted, desired by Edward (or Jake) and her decision to give herself to him fully, and him not wanting to - turn her into a vampire does seem to speak of other things that every teenage girl goes through, although normally in a much more mundane way. It's well written though. I have longed for ages to find a book that I can't put down. It's the 'stickiness' of the book that generates its survival, or in my case, the likelihood that I will actually finish it.

Saturday, 18 September 2010

The sky is clear, the sun is missing. I've broken up with my kebab shop.

Definitely got that autumnal feel today. Such a lovely word, Autumnal. It's just the way it rolls off the tongue.

Saturday's really do feel strange without a list of chores to do. Oh well. I'm sure I can get over it.

Have managed to lose a fair bit of weight lately. I'm now down to 14 and a half stone, which I think still classifies me as obese according to that chart thingy the doctor has. When I came back from holiday, despite all the outdoorsy activity, the walking, kayaking etc, etc, etc I'd still managed to nearly reach the 15 stone mark.

I've hovered around the 14 & 3/4 - 15 stone mark (see-saw-ing back and forth, as you do) for quite some time, so was pleasantly surprised when the scales told me the new result. When I say they told me, they didn't actually speak. I don't have those sort of posh scales that people who are smug about their weight and want anyone in earshot to hear what their weight is. 

I've actually managed to keep the 14 1/2 figure for the week. No fluctuation. So what is the weightloss programme that I've been following ? Atkins ? Weightwatchers ? Have I been counting the calories ? Do I have a chart of book that makes me feel awful for so much as looking at a snickers bar ?


I have the fantastic new 'I don't have any money to buy shit food anymore' diet. Quite simply, because I am watching every penny, (the pounds look after themselves apparently) I'm not wasting funds on buying take-away foods. I don't just mean Chinese or Fish and Chips, or McDonald's. I mean the food from the restaurant at work. They do have a cheap option dinner, which is £2. But £2 a day is much more than I can afford to spend. Certainly not the £3-£4 (or more) meals. Once a week I may get either the cheapy meal, or treat myself to the more expensive one, but by and large, I am taking in something to eat. That's right people, I'm packing lunch. Oh yeah.

Instead of buying food and then throwing half it away a week later when it's given up on looking anywhere near tempting, I am now thinking about buying things that will get me through the week.

Snack foods ? Snack foods around here these days are raw carrots or a bowl of Weetos. I do still indulge in the odd chocolate bar. But certainly not one every day. I've made more of an effort to eat breakfast before I go to work. I used to justify to myself that if I didn't have breakfast, and didn't really have lunch it would be okay for me to have a bacon roll mid morning at work. Bacon is my enemy. Bad bad bacon.

I'm also, freakishly getting excited (I don't know if that's really the word to use, but we'll go for it, until another, more suitable, comes along) at the idea of not spending money.

Last night on the train home, I really wanted a kebab. Not an elephant leg kebab. One of the ones made from chunks of real meat, and salad and stuff. Stuff that staple foodstuff. By the time I'd pulled into Cosham station, I'd reasoned with myself that I had some burgers in the fridge, and some chips in the freezer so I could have burgers and cheesy chips, (I added petit pois cos I felt there was way too much protein going on there). Saved myself the £6 odd cost of the kebab. Sorry Marmaris, Cosham. What you do is lovely. But I can't see you any more. We're going to have to break up....

Anyway, bugger off, I've got 'New Moon' to finish reading.

Monday, 13 September 2010

... and there are walls now...

Paid another visit to site today, to see how work was going on the flat. As you can see, care of Mr Snap-Happy, the inside walls are going up pronto. Chloe is getting rather excited now, as am I.

I really can't wait. No news yet though on exchange of contracts.... surely it must be soon.

Writing for the play on hold whilst Helen is on holiday. Means that I have time to do some work on the Stephen Brown story I am next up to write. It's hard to get motivated about it, when previous enthusiasm turns to such disappointment. The story in question isn't due to be shown to the rest of the group until late 2011, if not later.

Kelly came round tonight, the last time I'm going to be seeing her before she goes off to Australia for 6 months. Hard to think that the next possible time I will see her, such a fantastically wonderful opportunity for her though. Amazingly scary though. But I guess that's the whole point. Do one thing every day that scares you, right  ?

I often wonder about going off abroad somewhere, but also wonder if I would shyly remain in my hotel room the whole time, cursing the lack of internet.  There are so many places to see 'at home' that I don't know that there's a need to go overseas. Then again, the fact that you do it in the absence of need is rather the whole damn point.

Cracking on reading 'New Moon', the second book in the Twilight saga. Finding them very, very, very good page turners... so it would follow, that without further ado, I bugger off to bed and read for a bit before turning to sleep to pass the few hours until I have to get up again and head off for work.

Saturday, 11 September 2010

Write on...

This week has seen Helen come round twice, in order to get some writing done before she jets off on another holiday. We'd started to beat ourselves up a bit about our perceived lack of progress. What we've ended up with, so far, is 25 pages, 4 scenes of the script.

We took some time to have a look at some of the things that other people had suggested they would like to see in characters, and worked on incorporating them. We were hardly deluged with suggestions, but the ones that we got from Liz and Rob we were able to weave into existing characters.

As much as the first scene, in Reception, is mad, daft and utterly inspired by stupidity and farce, scene three provides a return (as if we ever really left) that medium. Trina, the Australian staff trainer, is constantly holding the training session as if she has a room full of students, rather than just the one, rather tested Jamie Blunt. We had allocated 4 pages for this scene, but we ended up with 5 and a quarter, principally because the dialogue just went off in an entirely inspired direction exploring the madness of the situation.

Knowing that our shows are rather pacey, and we direct the lines to be right on top of one another, we're banking that will mean the show doesn't become the behemoth of content that 'What On Earth Is Happening' was. As it was we had to strip about ten pages out of that script no more than three days before the show opened, even then it was too long, and could have done with being about 20% shorter over all.

I am fairly certain (98.7%) that we now have a date for the week of the show, with our get-in being Sunday May 8th, and the show running May 11th-14th. I am awaiting final confirmation of the booking, but we'd provisionally agreed on that week, and were really just waiting on me to make sure that I could get the time off work that week. There's nothing worse than trying to have to organise a show, and having to go to work as well. This date does put us back about a month on our original schedule, giving us, if we decide to use it, another month of rehearsal time.

It may be that we decide the use the extra time in workshops, but I was rather hoping that we would be able to workship prior to Christmas, and then cast just as we break up. Allowing people some time off, in which - we hope - they would learn their lines, and then return refreshed, and ready in the new year to rehearse for the show.

That was the theory. That may all now be blown out of the water by the new date, but these things cannot be helped. The week we had originally asked for, was already taken, and the week prior to the one we have settled for wouldn't be suitable as there is a Salvation Army Concert on the Saturday evening in the church next door.

Not sure our audience will be able to follow the show if there's a brass band playing 20 feet away.

The work we've done so far, I have sent to one of our friends, and he has made some very favourable comments about the script. (Thank you Rob). I still need to figure out how to get properly formatted script onto my blog. It has also been suggested that Helen and I do a Video-Blog (Vlog) about the evolution of the play. DVD extras, if you like, before the play is even finished. It sounds like a fantastic idea, and something I'd really like us to do. The question is, can it be done without hassle and faff. Because I really hate faff. 

Sunday, 5 September 2010

Wooooo September..

It was the 5th of September, a day I'll always remember.....cos that was the day...

After last weekend's disaster on the transport front, (I ended up having to buy my train ticket twice, having left the original at home), I opted for the much more sensible ticket of the rover variety on the bus. This did mean that I saved myself a hell of a lot of money, as I didn't need to get ticket down, ticket back, ticket down, ticket back (effectively 2 returns) as I would on the train. Yipee.

Anyway, entirely without my permission, it turned into September mid week. I've had some early starts this week, so three times, after work, I've come straight home and gone over the park for a read.... (as I said last time). I'd started reading the first in the Twilight Saga and I have to say.. I can't put the book down. This is good thing in a book, well to me it is. Thankfully I live alone, so my immersion doesn't annoy anyone trying to communicate with me. I have, in such a space of time got to page 380.

Worry not, I'm not going to exhaustively blog my progress with the book(s).
My week has seen otherwise empty after the initial excitement of completing the first scene of The Fatcat & The Grafter, with Helen.

My presence was requested at four different events, Friday and Saturday nights. Such demand is by no means the norm for me, but coming as they did at a point when all I wanted to do was go home and spend some more time with Bella and Edward, they actually all got ignored.

A 70/80s party with Beacon, which I reasoned myself out of with the argument that the cost of getting there, buying some alcohol and then wasting half of Saturday to sleep and recovery, as well as the expense of coming back from the ever distant Locks Heath.

One of the managers at work was leaving Friday, she is making a change from a career in a call centre, to being a police officer. I was very torn, she is a much loved and appreciated person, but again, the adding up of the inevitable cost of a journey into town and back, bookending as they would the purchasing of drinks. One or two, never, it seems being enough.

Saturday, was a choice between another leaving do, for Kelly, my exflatmate. Who is bravely disappearing off to Australia for a year, and the house warming party for another colleague.

I don't want to create the impression that everyone at my workplace is a pisshead... but having looked at the facts.. I'd have to agree that there is a worrying culture of alcoholic consumption there.

I don't know why, but I'm just not that into alcohol at the moment. Tea seems to be the only thing I really require. These things go in phases I know, well they do with me.

It all adds up to me trying to save money, as well as look after my body a bit better. Why am I saving money ?...

There is progress from last week... ? Right ?
Well, of course, that would be the all consuming fear that I won't have enough money come completion time for the flat.

There is an article in news recently about how millions of people have been charged incorrectly for their tax. Some will end up owing the government up to £1500, others may actually be due a rebate of £400. What's the betting I'd be in the first category rather than the second. An additional £400 could come in really handy about now, or in about three months time. Could go towards something nice for the flat, or indeed towards the stamp duty. Dammit. (give with one hand, take with the other).

I took Chloe up to see the work in progress that will be my new home today. I had a little collie wobble about the idea of changing the colour of the kitchen cabinets. In the end, I've decided to stick with my original choice. I wish I could afford to have the brushed metal sockets and switches, but alas, this is not to be. I can always get them done at a later date, and for considerably less than the £20 a pop that the developer wants to charge for them.

I'm trying to figure out how I can be really tight by not putting the heating on in my current flat this winter, so that I have such a credit on my energy accounts that I will... well, have some money when I move.