Category Archives: Getting away from it all


I know…I have neglected featherduster…I also have neglected my need for introspection and general self-indulgence.

I have been busy but honestly not too busy to blog. I’ve just lost the connection with being able to express myself which is sad because I’ve had so much interesting stuff going on.

I’ve been on holiday:

– Hong Kong/Vietnam – wow! Amazing holiday discovering amazing things and having a completely wonderful time.

– Marrakech – dry long weekend, beer at the airport as our flight home was delayed almost wiped me out (worrying effect of four days without booze, am I really such a lush?). Good fun exploring.

– Portugal – first trip back to hubby’s motherland since we were in the middle of marriage meltdown. Parts of it felt odd. But much sun and seafood saw off most problems!

I’ve seen films – loads of films. Mostly all good.

Read tons of books – I love my e-reader. Really enjoyed the Stieg Larsson trilogy. Much more than I thought I would. Tried to read something Twilight-ish. I just don’t get it which left me feeling rather old.

Watched Lost including getting up at 4.30 to catch the last episode. I was – on the whole – satisfied.

Had a dismal World Cup – England’s performance rather mirrored the success of my supporting record. However lots of Spanish people are happy and they’re generally a nation given to over-exuberance which is joyful when you come across them as I did last night. Waiting outside Tate Modern for my date and a group of Spanish students just sang for about half an hour. It really was fun (luckily they left before date turned up as he of the other Iberian persuasion and no love is lost).

Was mugged. At gun point. About 50 feet from my house. Not entirely pleasant. However, the police have been fantastic and I’ve met a whole new lot of neighbours which has been brilliant.

I have been tweeting and Facebooking but this is the thing: Twitter is for work, Facebook is for friends, Featherduster is for…well me largely, and – generally – I don’t like to mix my online presences.

Every single paragraph has started with “I” or a verb where I’ve just decided to omit the “I” because if I was proofreading this copy, I’d be attacking it with a red pen for starting all the paragraphs in the same way. Hmmm…am I just on the biggest ego trip known to the blogosphere? My busy-ness has been partly borne out of the usual problem of not being able to say “no” and partly self-induced. Friday nights are usually my home alone time (I am obviously officially old) but have veered towards an Ocado order and cooking enough for a small village (or enough food for a fortnight and then some in my case) whilst polishing off rather too much wine (see Marrakech…Houston we may have a problem). Why have I been avoiding myself or my blog? In blog terms, probably because I thought I ought to come back with something really interesting or important but didn’t feel I could muster anything sufficiently worthy. In terms of myself – just neglect.

Part of the reason I’ve been feeling proper feelings and stuck with my own thoughts recently is that I’ve had laryngitis for nearly six weeks. 40 days of virtually no voice. No speaking on the phone, ridiculous amounts of time off work, no meetings, no presentations, attempted conversations only to have to give up after a couple of minutes in pain and exasperation. Increasing frustration of everyone around me (but, I’m fairly convinced, nothing compared to my own frustration). Hospital next week – who knows?


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Filed under Africa, Books, Films, Football fever, Getting away from it all, Health, TV World

There’s nothing like a deadline…

…to spur you into action. After a couple of weeks of whingeing and whining that I can’t get into work, I’ve suddenly got an enormous deadline (going on holiday on Friday – the excitement) so today I have written two and half presentations and two budgets – on fire!

I am quite beside myself with the anticipation of my holiday. I love it when the anticipation is so great that it actually extends your holiday because every time you thin about it you get a shiver of excitement. I am going further east than I have ever been (actually it’s probably so far east that you can’t get much more east without being west); I am also going to stay with lovely lovely friends who I (obviously) don’t see very often because they live so very far away. My smile is as far east and as far west as it can be on my face.

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Filed under Getting away from it all, Matters work related

3BT – 8th January

1. Getting my visa through for Vietnam and realising it’s only three weeks to wait. Time to make lists and enjoy the anticipation.

2. Playing a guessing game as to what all the little footprints are in the snow in the garden. One set looks like a mutant bunny has moved into the neighbourhood.

3. My eBook. I love it. I love the fact it’s so small and cute (and pink) but I’m not going to run out of things to read for AGES.

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Filed under 3BT, Getting away from it all

Hail me a cab!

Yes, I am off to New York tomorrow – hurrah! A girlish trip involving shoes and eating a lot. How marvellous.

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Things what I did on holiday

Read books:

  • Generation X (I think I must be getting old because I just wanted to tell them to pull themselves together most of the time!)
  • The Golden Notebook which I really enjoyed except the book literally came apart at the seams which was really really irritating because pages kept falling out. I suspect I may be investigating amazon’s returns policy. I say I enjoyed this book, I did find the whole male/female relationship thing very depressing, the whole class thing overly-conscious and I also wanted to tell quite a lot of them to pull themselves together quite a lot of the time (obviously tolerance has yet to break out in the land of Featherduster).
  • Book three was Valley of the Dolls which is a perfectly trashy, marvellous holiday read. It actually went quite well with The Golden Notebook in terms of period and the really rather depressing cavalier attitude towards the sanctity of marriage (okay, now I’m beginning to sound like a Daily Mail reader…did the deep blue of the Aegean Sea turn me into a tory or something?Bloody hell)
  • I also read some freebie-with-a-magazine type books which were largely rubbish.

Sadly, I did not find the perfect Greek Salad. I found a couple of reasonable ones but still nothing compares to those I ate on Naxos six years ago. I did however eat the most delicious octopus which came on a plate in the shape of a boat and I may try to work out how to upload a pic of it because it looked (and tasted) SO good.

I also snuck in a gyros – why do all the naughty things taste so delicious?

Ouzo – successfully avoided. A couple of slightly iffy Greek wines not quite so neatly dodged. Found some really decent Lefkada red though and have brought a bottle home although I suspect it may be like some Italian wines where you literally take them out of their local village and they turn to rancid horror.

I sat very still quite a lot of the time but I also:

  • swam – IN THE SEA – very impressed with myself
  • went on a boat trip and didn’t get sea sick
  • walked up a waterfall – although my plan to swim in the waterfall was scuppered by a rather nubile Greek girl posing energetically for photos on a rock in some sort of Little Mermaid stylee and the fear of wrath from her boyfriend?/photographer? for my rather lardy arse form getting in the way

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Filed under Books, Getting away from it all

Things I will do on holiday

Read books – I have a very large pile and can’t decide what will make the shortlist but Generation X will definitely be there as it’s my book club read.

Seek the perfect Greek salad.

Indulge in a cheeky gyros if no one’s looking.

Avoid ouzo.

Sit very still and do absolutely nothing. FOR. A. WHOLE. WEEK!

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3BT – 29th August

Where does the time go? End of August? It cannot be!

I have decided to force myself to be positive about things because (as you’ll see) it’s been a bit of grim week. But sunshine and jolliness are just on the horizon – hurrah!

1. The National Health Service. Once again in the middle of the night, I called upon its powers of rescue and it delivered. Luckily I was not the poorly person but the night of drama meant I only got 45 minutes sleep which has left me slightly shot to pieces. I am hopeful the weekend will help sort out my slightly random sleep patterns (although based on the evidence of last night and being wide awake at 5.15, I’m not so sure).

2. My early morning wanderings around the garden (yes, I know I’m weird) meant I saw the morning star which is one of those exciting things you forget about on a day to day basis.

3. Going to Boots and stocking up on goodies for my holiday fills me with excitement. Eight more (uninterrupted hopefully) sleeps until I am overdosing on feta and slapping on the suncream.

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Filed under Getting away from it all, Life