Sunday, 31 August 2008

A rainy Sunday in Milton Keynes

I spent a few good hours at the Milton Keynes museum today. It's been a grey and rainy sort of day today, and a walk around a museum seemed like the appropriate sort of thing to do, and so, armed with my stripey and colourful umbrella I headed off along the red way to the museum.
An old switch board I am very grateful I don't have to operate. I must remember not to complain about switchboards ever again.
The old toy display :) They had wooden rocking horses, working miniture carnivals and a possessed-looking doll due the paint on the eyes wearing off.
The inside of one of the old shops along the old Victorian street.
The recreation of a Victorian street was the best. The street contains the original shopfronts and you can walk into the stores and look around. The street has recordings of music coming from the pub, hammering, talking and general street sort of noises you would expect to hear. I was walking around grinning like a loon and more than one old person stopped me to see if I was ok, wandering around the museum by myself smiling. It was done so well that I really felt apart of the time and the place.

Just pictures I liked that hung on the walls inside the house. The one of the boy is used in a Pears soap advert. I have the fridge magnet.
The butchery on the old street.

A school room. There was a lovely notice to pupils on the wall about guarding oneself from evil, been truthful at all costs, obeying ones parents and teachers...always been grateful and mindful of how patient and kind they are to you, and how school should be attended regularly and punctually. Sigh.
I'm not sure what it is about Bisto and Oxo tins that I like so much or why I am inclined to photograph them. I think it's lovely how they positioned them so close together so as I could get them together in one shot.
In the kitchen. The fire was going and if I had wanted to, I could have made myself some toast over the flame. I wasn't particularly hungry at that point though. But the option was there.

There was a little tea room where I had a cup of tea and a chocolate, served by a chatty elderly lady in a lacy hat and apron. I'd have really liked the potato and leek soup with a crusty scone, but I didn't have the required £3. The lacy hat lady spoke to me while I drank my tea and filled in a survey. She'd started travelling in the last 13 years and has been all over the bottom of South America, Peru, China, Morrocco and um, a whole lot of other places too. I liked her hat.

It's been a restful weekend. Highlights include todays visit to the museum (obviously) and an outing to The Cricketers with Mrs Norton and Karl for a nice pint of beer.

Saturday, 30 August 2008


I not so long ago viewed the whole bus system as scary...I now find I’m rather ok with hopping on and off buses across Milton Keynes, and until last night, I’ve not had any troubles whatsoever. They always seem on time, the drivers are always pleasant, and I like to stare out the window and watch everything and everyone going by. I also enjoy listening to peoples conversations, the sound of the engine and feel the rocking sort of motion of the bus. You could even go so far as to say that I like the time I spend on the buses every day, and its just as well as I get four of them.

Work seems to be going well. By three o’ clock yesterday all the work was finished and I got a chance to chat with Hayley for a while. She said that all the other temps they’ve had come in have been slow and have taken at least a week to grasp what I managed to do in an hour and she was very surprised that within a couple of hours I was already dealing with customers. So yay me for not been a complete dumb-ass. It’s always nice to get verification on that. I wouldn’t say I enjoy the job, but I am happy that I am working again and it’s just wonderful to be around people, office noises and be earning some Pounds (opposed to putting on some).

I got out of work ten minutes earlier and I ran up to the bus stop to see if I could get an earlier bus home. I didn’t get there fast enough and I had to wait for the usual 20:24 bus that I’ve been getting. The bus arrived, pulled up to the stop and broke down. Hmph. I sat myself back down and waited for the 20:52 bus. A Polish girl, round my age sat herself down next to me and grumbled something about the busses and we started chatting. Turns out she works in the office block next to me and is working the same hours. When the next 8 bus arrived we sat down at the back of the bus together and carried on our chat and she showed me pictures of her husband and of some castles she’d visited. She hurriedly gave me her number as she was getting off at her stop and introduced herself as Aga.

Yay, I’m not a dumb-ass and I made a new friend…and all in one day…aren’t I clevah?

Monday, 25 August 2008

So so silly.

It’s silly how I try and make myself feel almost ok by manufacturing plans in my head. I thought about just accepting what was on offer and making the best of it…and thinking that nearly helped. I thought about weekends, castles…trips…dinners…and I still held on to a shred of false hope…but I wasn’t ok, and I wasn’t going to be either.

But I’m tired of waiting for my phone to light up, I’m tired of waiting for a knock on the door, and I’m tired of waiting for what will never happen. I want too much. I want it all…and how stupid of me.

Such a hopeless case, and so doomed to failure. Wow, but I expected more. I’m exhausted; I’m all used up and finished. There is just nothing left. It was too big of an ask…and all that is left is this…A shitty situation with no solution.

My dignity is shot, my words are meaningless, and on a ladder of significance I sit a few rungs below algae. I’ve never been so shameful.

Yet I keep wanting to fight, but I don’t know what for. All that I could have said…is said. And said. And there is no more. So what then?

I did expect more of a fight. But that was just it really…there wasn’t enough. Just not enough to fight for. So my answer is clear and obvious.

Hmph! I wanted an assurance that it was going to be ok, but love is not enough and I wont be so foolish again to suppose that it is.

Sunday, 24 August 2008

A lot of photo opportunities in Oxford

Leanne drove us to Oxford this morning. We left the house at 10 o' clock and got to the Pear Tree Park and Ride an hour later. We got the bus to the city centre and began exploring. Our first stop was the University Museum, or the Museum of Natural History. It's a lovely building and has high decorative ceilings. Leanne and I spent more time admiring and discussing the actual building than we did the exhibits.
I liked the stuffed Dodo, that was pretty cool.
The museum had a really interesting collection of casts of whole dinosaurs, bird and sea life as well as fossils, bugs with pins stuck through them, shells etc. Mostly, I found I was having to disregard too many 'MILLIONS OF YEARS AGO' and 'TENS OF BILLIONS OF YEARS AGO' and general 'THIS BIRD PROVES THAT ALL BIRDS TODAY WERE ONCE DINOSAURS' kind of twaddle (there's a good word)

A T-Rex, or a cast of what is left of him.
A triceratops skull cast.

Keble College just down the road from the Natural History Museum. Leanne goes here once a year and has to wear a ball gown and eat in the dining halls and have champagne. It's hard I'm sure having to walk across those cobblestones in heels and sit on a hard bench in a ball gown and eat supper. I can totally understand why she would moan...
Oooh...this be 'The last remnant of the RMS Titanic'

The Martyrs memorial on Magdalen Street. Erected in 1843 for the three Protestants who were burnt at the stake back in 1555 / 6 for heresy. "To the Glory of God, and in grateful commemoration of His servants, Thomas Cranmer, Nicholas Ridley, Hugh Latimer, Prelates of the Church of England, who near this spot yielded their bodies to be burned, bearing witness to the sacred truths which they had affirmed and maintained against the errors of the Church of Rome, and rejoicing that to them it was given not only to believe in Christ, but also to suffer for His sake; this monument was erected by public subscription in the year of our Lord God, MDCCCXLI". (Love Wikipedia)A cobbled stone cross on the road in Broad Street just outside of The Buttery where Leanne and I had some lovely spicy carrot soup for lunch. The cross marks the spot where above men died in nasty ways.Broad Street...I think...if not, just a colourful street in Oxford.

The Bridge of Sighs, Catte Street Oxford. A pretty bridge which is supposed to look the same as a bridge in Venice. I've not been to Venice, but I'll take their word for it.
On the other side of the road from the Bridge of Sighs.
Christ Church...Very green, very pretty. We didn't go in as they make you pay if you want to go past a certain point...the bastards.
Outside of Christ Church. Entrance to The Museum of the History of Science. The ground and upper floor was filled with mathematical equipment, globes, and calculating devices in silver and bronze, all very pretty and engraved and just lovely really. The lower floor had all old chemistry equipment, electrical and mechanical artifacts which were a lot more interesting, though somewhat less decorated.

This is an old post mortem kit. I like the little saw and chisel...actually, it's a little creepy.

Friday, 22 August 2008

A day and a half.

'tis the second Friday in Milton Keynes. What started off totally ugh, ended with a wonderful feeling of self achievement and overall awe with myself.

And here…a list of my positives for the day:

The glowy red numbers on the scale are steadily decreasing every time I stand on it. I must have lost almost 3kgs in a week and a half period. I think it’s the hour long walks to the city centre that I have been undertaking rather vigorously and religiously.

This morning I rode Leannes bike for 20 minutes around the red ways and didn’t fall off, veer off onto the road or ride into any prickly hedges. It was a wonderful feeling of freedom speeding along (though I probably wasn’t really going that fast). I have regained the confidence to ride a bike!
- a little birdie in a park in central Milton Keynes outside 'Christ the Cornerstone' church. Above is a lovely patch of pink and purple flowers -

I walked to the city centre and only got a little bit lost right at the end of the trip but found myself pretty quickly again. Registered with Queensway Personnel and signed all the necessary papers. - The red way from Bradville bus stop back to the Norton / Quayle home -

I got onto all the right busses the whole day, the number 8 from the point to Kingston centre…got off at the right place, walked 10 minutes and found the company. I worked for 2 hours – my first job in the UK – walked back to the bus stop, got back on to the number 8 to the point, got the number 5 to Bradville and ran back to the Norton / Quayle home along the red way! All without getting out of breath!! I ran partly because it was dark and I was all alone in what might as well be the middle of nowhere…although I didn’t feel particularly terrified. - Walking back to the bus stop at the large Tescos in Kingston after my first 'day' of work -

So, work itself is pretty dull, but it’s not forever and the times are such that I can still go for interviews while I’m working.

Milton Keynes looks different in the dark and it was strange getting busses by myself in the dark.

But right now, it is goodnight. My thoughts and sentences are all over the place and I'm barely coherent at all.


Tuesday, 19 August 2008

Berrys on the way home

The weekend went by quickly enough. Sunday was lazy and the part that stands out most was getting on a bicycle again after fifteen years. The last time I was on a bike I rode it into a wall, landed on the bar in the middle and did myself some damage. Thankfully there was no such repeat. I tried to teach Leanne to ride too; we took the bike around a small circle where we couldn’t be seen and I held on to the handle bars while she pedalled.

Yesterday I walked an hour to the city centre to save myself £1.60 in bus fair. By the time I got there, however, I wished I had caught the bus and was convinced that I’d need a hip replacement later in the day. At least I felt more justified in eating the Twix. I registered with some agencies and it took me the whole day to fill in forms, complete tests and be interviewed. Today it was much of the same thing. I rushed home earlier though because I was eager to finish watching Gregory Peck in the 1962 ‘To Kill a Mockingbird’ film. What a wonderful black and white version of Harper Lees book!

Every night has been filled with the most dramatic and crazy dreams. I don’t know where they are coming from. I’m trying to be content in the small things that usually make me happy – flowers along the red way, people out walking their dogs, young pretty people, e-mails from home, remembering the farm and childhood, good-looking and cheap clothing, Disney movies and songs…but nothing really means anything when you’re looking at things with a broken heart. And I can’t trust myself.

Saturday, 16 August 2008

One week in Milton Keynes

It's gone by quickly, quicker than I would have expected. It's been alright...I've been alright. I'm not expecting that things will be any better from here on, all I am hoping for is a steady sort of plodding along-ness where I don’t need to actually feel anything. I guess that numbness is what I should look forward to. I can deal with that.

I’ve been busying myself with daily trips to the city centre, I say city, but it is in actual fact, a town. Leanne and John came back from Paris late on Thursday night, and it was a happy sight to see their suitcases in the entrance hall when I went downstairs on Friday morning. Lea and I spent some time catching up and we watched ‘The Office’ Christmas special in the afternoon. I had managed to get through the first and second season while they were away.

I finally watched the Keira Knightly version of Pride and Prejudice and wasn’t terribly disappointed as the reviews I’ve had of it have been just terrible. I expected worse. Colin Firth will always be the real Mr Darcy, but the new bloke did a good enough job of it to be passable. Besides, I like Keira, she’s pretty and has very little in the way of boobs…and she laughs a lot.

The oak tree in the Milton Keynes shopping centre. They had some of the lovely concrete cows on display that day. Saint Peters church is what it said on the sign board. It's been there for a thousand years it said too, but it was all fenced off because vandalism had made it unsafe. A lovely ruin in the middle of some large field.
The wall along the canal back towards Blue Bridge. Very clever of them to paint a long train all along would have been very dull otherwise.
'Tis me in a dingy tunnel.

The Bradwell windmill in Milton Keynes. It's been there since 1805.

A swan on the canal.

We must have walked for 3 hours and by the time we got back to the house I was rather tired. I've been wearing my new UG boots today, it felt like I was going out in my slippers. Still, really nice feeling, very comforting and much more suitable than flip flops. I'm also losing weight and if I keep this walking business up I shall be a stick insect in no time. Well I can hope anyway.

And...tomorrow I'm attempting to teach Leanne how to ride a bicycle.