30 September, 2007

Lisey's Story...

..was still really about Scott.

Some reviews of the book have criticised the personal use of language. I liked that, it made it feel truer. people do have their own secret language, phrases and nicknames and I don't think that is reflected enough in books.

I've just read Tess Gerritsen's Mephisto Club. I read in one sitting, I don't think you can get a better recommendation than that. I literally could not read it quick enough.

Last day of the holidays

Back to work tomorrow. I don't mind the work bit but the getting up early bit..Still I've really enjoyed the time off.
it is Radio One's 40th anniversary today. being a radio ham Steve is beside himself with excitement. I think the radio will be on all day. As I'm writing this he is singing "true" by Spandau ballet. He knows all the words.

28 September, 2007


We've spent the last couple of days in Thursford Norfolk. We stayed in a converted barn with Steve's parents and his "little" brother Dave. Yes I have 2 brother-in -laws called Dave. The barn was in a farm and there were lots of good sniffy walks for Tom to go on. It rained a lot but it was cozy warm in the barn.
Steve's uncle Brian and his girlfriend Jeanie popped by. Jeanie still can't get over my accent and Brian is surprised that I work full time. It weirds me out when people are surprised that I work. At Mum and Dad's party one of my cousins was surprised that I work. I don't understand why. I didn't realise working was an option. It is just something you do. If you are able to, and want a nice standard of living - you work. Perhaps the question gets to me because in theory I would love to work part time - although I suspect you ended up doing all the work you would normally do but in less time. Also I have a sinking feeling that instead of working on my writing in this new found spare time - I'd do the house work and drink tea and watch afternoon telly. Not exactly fair to Mr Robbo.

24 September, 2007


The Robbos are on the train. Steve is jealous because I can update my blog on my phone and he cant. HA HA!

23 September, 2007

300th Blog

I'm amazed that this is my 300th entry. When I started my blog I hadn't realised how addictive it is.My blog is coming up to its 1st birthday. How time flies.

We spent the yesterday evening over Angela's. It was nice because Dave wasn't working, for a change, so we got to see him. Barry - from -across- the - road popped over. Barry is involved in the Spiritualist Church, he doesn't accept any money for readings but does charity nights for cancer. I think Barry must be in his seventies. I've never met him before, but Angela has told me about him. He can read auras. Barry has freaked out Dave a few times, telling him that he is stressed and he need to be careful of his knees. He has told Angela a few things that has struck a cord as well. Anyway I met Barry last night. I'm standing in the porch with Angela.We thought the knock on the door was the Chinese delivery and I was going to help her. Instead of a take away I get an impromptu reading. it was weird because a, I wasn't expecting it and b, I had had 2 glasses of wine.

Barry: You've got a good aura. Purple -that's positive.
Gina (not sure how to respond):Thank you.
Barry: You're thinking of moving aren't you?
Gina:Well i was, but we're going to stay put.
When I was looking to work in London, we did think about moving closer to London but decided against it.
Barry: You're very hard on yourself
Angela: OH MY GOD SHE IS!!!YOU ARE GINA - you are hard on yourself!
Barry: And you're impatient
Angela:OH MY GOD SHE IS IMPATIENT!!!!!Barry I get nervous if I'm out with her and she has to wait. She is so impatient. (turns to me) You are impatient.
Gina is laughing by this point.
Barry: You're well thought of at work I can seeing you getting a promotion.
I don't see myself being promoted, but I am trying to sort my pay at work- I think Barry may be referring to this.
Barry: I can see you studying. Something to do with work.
I think this refers to the Creative writing courses I do.
Barry: have you got children?
Gina: No.
Barry: There's children in spirit. They're drawn to you. There is something about you ..that draws them to you.
Gina: Oh.
Barry; I'd love to spend an hour with you- well I'd better go. Nice to meet you.
Gina and Angela : Bye Barry.
Angela What did he mean by that?
Gina:I have no idea.

22 September, 2007


Mum rang up and I was telling her about Aaron wanting to be called DJ. She didn't understand why her name may pose a problem.

Me and High Heels.

Since I have been off work I have been staying up to watch Sex and the City. I like it for many reasons - its funny, its glamourous and (unlike Desperate Housewives) I believe in the friendship. I don't care that Sarah Jessica Parker and Kim Cattrall are supposed to hate each other. To me they are Carrie and Sammantha. I'm not interested in fashion, I tend to skip the fashion pages in magazines, but I think the fashion in the programme really works. It adds to the escapism of it - Carrie never did casual did she? And they always wore high heels.
Angela, my sister, wears heels at all times. I would buy high heels as "going out shoes"and sometimes even as work shoes. They were great shoes to look at and some were even comfortable but I could never get on with them. Last year it hit me. I don't like wearing high heels. They slow me down. I don't feel myself in them. So now I buy flatties or shoes with a slight heel. In fact shoes that Angela would describe as flat. I've heard that to give up high heels is to let yourself go. Buttocks to that, I say.

21 September, 2007

My name is..

Went to Pizza Hut last night with the Little Dudes and their Mum. Aaron announced that he wants to be known as DJ.The initials standing for Dave Junior, his Dad being called Dave. I asked him if he had a son would he call him AJ. Aaron said, no, the boy would be called DJ. I suggested DJJ would be better, but Aaron thought that was silly. Steve said if he was named after his Dad Pete, he would be called PJ. Angela and I kept quiet as our Mum's name is Barbara.

20 September, 2007


All the grey has gone - I'm a brunette again. I think I could pass for 35-ish. Which is what I am. pretty much.

I've never really thought about getting old. I started going grey when I was 19 which is so young I never saw it as a sign of aging. What are the seven signs of aging anyway? I've noticed that I find it a bit disorienting walking upstairs - its hard to judge the stair - I fear that I might be starting the rocky road to being long sighted. That means I'll have to wear varifocals glasses. Just like my Mum does. I've started to like things with a pattern.

19 September, 2007


Robboworld is having a flea holocaust. Bearing in mind Robboworld is meat free- we are pretty pleased about it.
Angela is dying my hair tomorrow. I'm going back in the grey closet. When I look in the mirror I see that I'm looking old and I'm blaming the grey. One of the benefits of having a chubster face is that the fat fills out the wrinkles. Its true- that's where the saying about fat people having good skin comes from.

18 September, 2007

Itchy and Scratchy*

Robboworld - flea world more like. Tom has had loads and I've been bitten (it looks like my legs have got some sort of pox.) Because greyhounds have a weird body size/fat ratio you have to be really careful what flea treatments you give them otherwise they can get really ill. The Greyhound vet recommended some stuff that we ordered on the Internet, it finally came through today. hurray!!!We gave Tom his treatment and then has a industrial strength flea spray for the house. Keep your fingers crossed because none of the other stuff we have tried has worked. it is pretty disgusting, as we're finding lots of dead fleas, which I suppose proves it is working - but makes me feel itchy.

We're saw the Bourne Ultimatum. Really good although I sniggered when they say to Bourne "You really don't remember do you?" Duh- that is the whole point of the films!

*The best thing about this blog entry is the title.

16 September, 2007

Rings Part 2.

Woke up, got ready , put my jewelry on. Ring still fitted. Took rings of whilst cleaning the loo (the glamour , the glamour.) Went to put rings on, couldn't get ring past my knuckle. WHY? Is it even possible to put weight on that quickly? I'd only had a cup of tea.

The bells , the bells.

My parents live near a church. A church with bells. Mum and I are sitting out in the conservatory chatting. The bells start to ring.
Mum: It must be a late wedding.
Gina: No one gets married this late, perhaps they're practising.
Mum: No they practise Wednesdays.
As it is about 6pm, I can't believe it would be a wedding, but as I'm not one to go on I let the subject drop. The bells stop and we carry on chatting.
The bells start ringing again.
Mum: Perhaps they are practising.
Gina: This is very olde England isn't it, listening to the church bells.
Mum: Mmnn.
The bells stop ringing. We carrying on chatting....bells start ringing again.
Gina: This is like being in Midsummer Murders. It's so quaint.
Mum laughs and we carrying on chatting. The bells stop ringing. Then they start again.

You can take the girl out of Hackney, but it seems you can't take Hackney out of the girl.

15 September, 2007


I had a pleasant surprise today. Since I've been working in London I have been making pack lunches. its not too bad once you get into the swing of it and it is surprising the lack of choice you have if you don't eat fish. Readers will be aware after the "fish pie" incident I have finally become a "proper" vegetarian - even though it is because I am scared of the fish. Also I have a stomping 15-20 minute walk to and from work. Although Ben can walk it in 11 minutes. But then I suspect he was wearing heelies at the time. Anyhow the point of this rambling is that I was going through my jewelry box. When I was about 22 (23?) Angela and Dave bought me a gold ring for my birthday or was it Christmas? It is a gold band about half an inch thick with a overlapping circle engraved on it. It is lovely and I used to wear it on my middle finger. It had always been a snug fit fit and when I took it to a jewellers to get it made a bit bigger, he said, no it was the right size. He was adamant so I accepted it. Over the years I got chubbier and I haven't been able to wear it. I couldn't get it on my middle finger and it was too loose for my ring finger and anyway my ring fingers are already spoken for. Yes reader - you have guessed what I'm going to say, I tried it on today and it fits! I cleaned it and it sparkles.

13 September, 2007


I have been shown a quiet cut through to work. It is bliss, no more walking against the tide of commuters. I actually get a chance to admire the buildings. I do love London especially by the river. I think of the blitz and the bombings and am so glad she is still here. I like the way the city has new buildings nestling alongside ancient churches and pubs.

12 September, 2007

Eight things I like

1. Reading -as in books,not the town.
2. Red wine
3. Kung Po vegetables and noodles
4. Walking Tommy on a quiet beach.
5. My clever phone.
6. Writing my blog.
7. Having a lie in
8. Watching a film with the Little Dudes - they give you a running commentary:

11 September, 2007

8 Things that get on my nerves

1. Jim Davidson on Hell's Kitchen.
2. Sniffers. That is people who sniff, not sniffer dogs.
3. People who say "That's my personality."
4. People who say "I don't care what you say."
5. Alex Lester - how has he managed to get a regular radio gig and not Richard Allinson?
6. Shopping on Saturdays.
7. Getting up in the mornings for work.
8. Getting a ladder in my tights.

Modern Technology

I am sitting at the works canteen, updating my blog on my phone. how cool is that?

09 September, 2007

8 useless things

Well Mrs M I've considered myself tagged.

1. I've no idea how much I weigh because I'm too scared to weigh myself. I think it is a lot.
2. I can watch telly and read at the same time.
3. I don't watch the soaps.
4. I laugh at my own jokes.
5. I've just found out three and free are supposed to be pronounced differently.
6. My underwear never matches.
7. I sing songs in my head most of the time.
8. I think it would be cool to be a werewolf.

and as a bonus - I think Agas are over rated.

Childfree to childless to childfree-ish

When I was little - I think I must have been about 8, Dad was talking about when Angela and I grew up. If we'd get married, what sort of jobs we'd have; that sort of thing. I remember shocking him by saying; " I suppose marriage is ok if you don't have kids." And to be honest that was my view point for the next 25 years.
I think there were a number of reasons I felt that way. Both Mum and Dad come from large families and as a new cousin seem to pop up annually. From a young age I saw what hard work babies are. I never had a romanticised view of what having a baby meant, and reader, this was before the days of the disposable nappy. The smell- yuk! Also my parents were big babies themselves when they had me and I remember Dad storming out a few times and thinking he could only do that because he knew Mum wouldn't. She would stay and look after us. That left a big impression on me.(Poor dad he probably only did it the once and was probably gone for about an hour - but I'm remembering this from a child's point of view.)
As I got older my feelings didn't change, I'd secretly feel a bit sorry for friends that became pregnant. Working with Mums who declared that they came to work "for a break" didn't change my mind either. When I was about 26 and in a boyfriendless state I did start to worry about being single, childless and alone for the rest of my natural life, but that feeling didn't last too long. I met Steve when I was 28 and got married at 30, still not feeling broody.
Then 2 things happened. The first was that my sister had kids and I just fell in love with the little dudes. The baby stage was still hard work and scary (they might die!) but it seemed worth it. Also as they got older it seemed ot get better and easier. Of course endless games of hide and seek are boring and I'd like to kill the person responsible for the Powder Puff Girls and a filled potty is a truly disgusting thing - but for the first time I could see myself doing this. I didn't want a baby I wanted a family.
The second thing was that we moved to a 3 bedroomed house. I think there is an urge to fill the bedrooms up.
So we decided to go for it. Unfortunately we couldn't do it the old fashioned way (well we could have done - but there is a genetic condition that meant the odds of having a diabled child was high- but there is a whole different subject for a blog.) So we entered the world of assisted conception. One day I'll write about that, but it was a very difficult thing and after 3 attempts I didn't get pregnant. For the first time in my life I'd really wanted something, did my best to get it and failed. I became depressed, which meant for me I was bawling or walking around with a dry eyed hollow stare. After a lot of resistance I finally agreed to take anti depressants. They did help in that they stopped me obesseively thinking (I smell, Steve will leave me, everyone hates me, I let the baby down) but they're weren't a magic wand. People suggested adoption, but I was scared that if we got turned down I would kill myself. I got therapy through work and that did help. Over 2 years I had three cycles of therapy. I believe that and the support I got from friends and family helped. I gradually began to see that I could have a meaningfull life without children.
Where am I now? Well seeing babies can still upset me (although not all the time, so that's an improvement)I think Steve and I are a stronger unit because of what we have been through together. I admire the way he stuck with me, as there were lots of time I couldn't bear being with me. I value what I have got rather than pining for a what I haven't. And sometimes, dear reader, I think I may have had a lucky escape.

08 September, 2007


Met my Mum today at Southend. We sat on the balcony at the Navy and Military Club and you could hear the screams from the roller coaster. The tide was in, it was a really beautiful view. Mum was telling me that Aaron thinks that alien lawn mowers make the mysterious crop circles. Well that is as good a theory as any..
Walking down the high street there was a woman at a little stall, the sign read "let the parrot pick your future".That is strange in itself, but the bird wasn't a parrot. It was a budgie. She didn't have many customers.

06 September, 2007

That boy can bear a grudge.

The Little Dudes are back at school. When Joe first started school, he didn't take very kindly to it. It was harrowing for my poor sister -Joe used to get hysterical every morning. it was explained to him that he had to go to school, it was the law. Joe took that to mean that the Queen makes him go to school. Five years later he still blames the Queen and doesn't like her at all. I'm amazed that he has carried this grudge over half his life. Note to self - do not pee off Joe.
Today in Aaron's class a WPC came in and gave a talk. The children could ask questions. here are the ones that made me chuckle:
Will there always be enough police?
If you fall down a hall and the batteries run out of your walkie talkie what will you do?
At what time of the morning do you become a Police woman?

04 September, 2007

What the...?

We're sitting weatching telly, talking about our families.

Gina: Well as you know I'm the quietest way in my family.
Steve (spluttering on his drink): Well that's a high bar!
Gina: What d'ya mean?
Steve: There's not much in it.

Gina continues to look at Steve in amazement until he gets up and mumbles he needs to sort out his computer.

I must be the quietest one. When I'm with my family its really hard to get a word in.

02 September, 2007


My Mum is really tight with eggs. When Mum makes a cake she always tells you how many eggs she used. As in "I used three eggs in that cake!No expense spared!" It just struck me that eggs are cheap - even free range organic eggs aren't expensive. Do you think it is because she can (just about) remember rationing? When I asked her why she is so tight with eggs (after she got over her initial shock. Mum denied she was but Angela backed me up.) She reckons it is because her Mum treated each egg as precious. Nan was born in 1910 and had six children, so I can understand why she was a careful housekeeper.

My Weekend

After reading "the Life in the Day" and "my weekend" features in the papers I thought I'd write about my ideal weekend. Its ok I don't expect you to read it.

I love waking up naturally in Saturday....and then rolling over and catching a few more zzzzs. When I wake up again, Steve is dozing and if this was a film there would be a shot of the breeze causing the curtain to flutter through an open window, or a steam train entering a tunnel...Then Steve staggers downstairs to make me a cup of Earl Grey and I read The Telegraph. I love having the papers delivered at the weekend, one of the many benefits of having your own front door. After a reviving cuppa I make breakfast - which is surprisingly healthy- fruit, muesli and yoghurt. We have breakfast in bed, it is lovely to mooch about after the hectic mornings during the week. Finally dressed I take Tommy for a walk over the beach while Steve gets ready. Ideally they wouldn't be any kites as they make Tommy nervous. Then when I get back we drive into Southend. I go to the library to stock up on some books and then we whizz round Sainsburys buying fruit and veg for the following week. If we're flush we'd to to TK Maxx and buy something nice that we don't need. The rest of the afternoon I'd spend gardening.When we first got the garden I assumed Mr Robbo would be interested, as my Dad loves gardening but it soon became apparent Mr Robbo had no interest and I was surprised to find out I quite enjoyed it. The garden isn't as good as it could be - not many plants can stand up to dog wee. Last week we went to a garden show and I asked a seller if he could recommend dog proof flowers and he suggested plastic!
Ideally Saturday evening we would go round my sister's or the Murphys for a takeaway and setting the world to rights. Chinese is we round Angela's , Indian if we're visiting the Murphys. Tim is brilliant at giving us the latest conspiracy theory- the Robbos love a good conspiracy. We don't get to see Tim and Sharon that much as we would like as Tim tends to work weekends.

Sunday morning involves more of the same - Sunday Times, breakfast in bed and more curtain fluttering (ugh curtain fluttering sounds really rude , as in I'd like to flutter your curtains..)Steve takes Tom for a walk and I potter about. If there is a Grand Prix Steve will watch that with his Dad and I'd go round my Mum's or Ruthie's for lunch and a chat. We tend to watch film on Sunday and not do very much at all. In fact there may be quite a bit of fluttering..

01 September, 2007

Do I know you?

I seem to have a very forgettable face. My new manager Steve (its funny that the 2 blokes who can officially boss me about have the same name) used to work at Southend. Although we worked in different departments we were there at the same time. Boss Steve kept going on about how he didn't remember me. After a while this got on my nerves.
Gina: That's funny because I remember you
Boss Steve; Really?
Gina: Yes Steve, you're the reason I applied for this job. I just had to see you again. I was heart broken when you left Southend..
Steve: Ha ha.
At least now he has stoppped going on about how he can't remember me. Actually I don't remeber him either - obviously our paths didn't cross- but I haven't told him that.
Today I bumped in to someone , when I said hello, she said she didn't recognise me...I must have a forgettable face.