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October 2013


Well, it is fortunate my natural mode is obscurity, because it would seem feedly is not too keen on the way of the Twangy Pearl. This is fine, I propose. I'll continue to write here in my backwater, freed from the need to be in any way interesting by the knowledge that at least no one has to wade through it all.

So, some nuggets of news:

The cat has taken to patrolling the countertops at night, hoping to nibble an apple crumble, lick a pound of butter* or lap a bowl of cornflakes left there to "soften". (I know. Shudder. Not even food to start off with! But what is this fresh hell, also mushy? No-ness.) in protest at the diet the vet has imposed on her. Her whole life thus revolves with intense focus around mealtimes. Last week, I spied her from the upstairs bathroom window, three gardens away, perched on a wall. "Kitty!" I cried and the little lardbag lept instantly into action, racing urgently along the wall, nimbly hurdling the three garden fences - one, two, three -  in her very own private action sequence, spurred on by the desperate hope of food.

Ah yes, my familiar.


Here is another photo from our letter - this time our local park. Behold! Pretty colours. I have put my finger on the uncomfortable feeling I have about it: my fear it is BROCHUREY. Maybe that is hard not to fall into when you do this sort of thing for a living, "Ooh, I know how to make this attractive! Oh, no, wait. We are not a product, are we." There is also the necessarily brief nature of it and what you must leave out. How to sum up a life without being dishonest? However. Must. Redirect. Thoughts. Must. Not. Overthink.

In a few weeks, it'll be sent off, and I can forget about it.

Have good weekends, (one each, you understand), everyone.

*And, what to do with possibly licked butter? Say 50/50 was the possibility of having been assaulted with a feline tongue? Advice welcome.


Well. I think the letter is done. Like many embarrassing things, it was in fact Useful to push through it, in an amateur Aversion Therapy kind of way.

The expression on Brother's face in this one never fails to make me smile. Doesn't he look hilariously resentful? And I, pure smug? Ah, sibling rivalry.

Hombre, I have been up to my [insert appropriate upper part of anatomy] with work this week, but am feeling strangely optimistic, nonetheless. I accept fully that this makes me weird, but I like this time of year. Ooh, chill in the air, melancholic last gasp of summer, how I love thee.

I have a couple of  minor stories on the subject of: How easily I am influenced, one involving Spike (nephew), the other a previous Head of State. But now, I must go back to work. I am working on a well-known Christmas tale by Dickens. Yes, that one. And the Very Small Timothy character keeps coming out deranged-looking. Why this should be, I cannot say. I was going for delighted. Perhaps the full moon?

Till soon


in which I fulfil my threat make the posts shorter and more frequent.

I've been spending hours today digging through hundreds of photographs - the nine years the JB and I have been an item, as they say -  for our letter to birth mother. I am finding it a hard to find the exact balance where I can feel comfortable - not too salesy, not too smug, not too slick, not too confident, but respectful, warm, and reassuring. But then trawling through the tens of CDs - (Quite a few are banjaxed, by means, I presume, of tiny scratches, micro-scuffs, and, I dunno, invisible dust? Is nothing made to last anymore? Modern world, I despair of you.) I realise that we are just genuinely steeped in luck.We have had a life rich in adventures, friends and experiences. Maybe that's what I need to concentrate on: just that we are fortunate to have all this to share with a child.

The young Twangy and Brother, before Health and Safety was invented.

And this summer, with more hair.

The JB in California, with glued on baseball hat

Emerald fields of Kerry.

Madrid and a letter

I have decided that it suits me better to write less more often. When too much time passes, my news items seem both far too many and far too dull, like climbing a featureless mountain. Far better the short and frequent blow by blow, perhaps. A more quotidian approach might be less daunting for both reader and writer. I hope.
We'll see.

Quick drawing of Goya in Central Madrid

  •  ┬íMadrid! was satisfyingly foreign for so short a flight: a bright, lively place, in an aftershavey, self-confident way. My friend and colleague Maria lives in a crooked triangle of narrow streets between broader tree-lined avenues. Lovely fruit and vegetable shops. Tapas bars. Comic shops. Open squares. All Very Nice. I even managed to dust off to some degree the now spidery, dessicated part of my memory labelled Spanish Vocab and Grammar. It is surprising what comes back through the gloom when the pressure is on:
    Una lata di Coca, por favor, and Dos paginas di carta adesiva. And you know that obnoxious, mock-patient way teens have of saying: Hellloooooo? That translates precisely to Holaaaa, te estoy hablandoooo. (Maria has a nine year old son. On the whole being with the two of them at close quarters for the week in that warm apartment made me appreciate my life enormously. They are utterly charming, but it is No Joke being a single parent with no support from the other parent, financial or otherwise.)

  • Back in the dear ould durty town, we've been doing some adoption stuff. We did our medicals, always an Interesting Experience. (The JB was asked for dating advice by the doctor at his. Doctors are human too, it seems. He advised joining the walking club that facilitated our meeting. Apparently he and a friend googled Meet women and it, the walking club, you understand, came up. It is fortunate he did not Get Led Astray with this method.) Nearly all our dossier documents are thusly prepared, save the letter to birth mother which is proving to be something of a stumbling block for me. Our agency has quite bluntly advised us to fill it with photos of us looking young and having fun with our happy, healthy extended family. It is deely unsurprising that I feel weird about this, I suppose, (the person who has caused hilarity recently by saying: Well, I'm going upstairs to read my introvert book*.) I understand why it must be so - of course the birth mother would want to see us - but am so uncomfortable with the idea of showing us in a flattering light. Bleargh. Must rethink. I have promised I will look at some samples today. (Advice welcome.)

I will return next week with further bulletins from the edge of the fair city.
Till then, hasta luego, so to speak.


 *Quiet by Susan Cain. Highly recommended for introverts such as me. Made me feel normal!
YAY, normal.