Things I have learnt today:

1. Cabinet reports don’t take a long time to write, as long as you know what you’re talking about (which, in all fairness, you probably should if you’re going to stand up in front of Cabinet members and talk). It’s the VERY SPECIFIC formatting that means it’ll probably take you an entire day to finish.

2. Wedding cakes cost more than you’d think (more on weddings later, no doubt).

3. On the upside, you get A LOT of attention and presents when you get engaged.

4. It appears that, as I get older, I am getting increasingly grumpy with a) trick or treaters (it’s blackmail – how is that something we should be encouraging?) and b) fireworks (it’s not even Bonfire Night, ffs…).

5. “I can’t believe it’s over” by Bent is a lovely song *sigh*.

6. Whilst I have a freaky ability to remember names and dates, my short term memory is appalling.

7. I really like using the word “appalling” – in almost any circumstance.

8. I also really like writing lists of things. I’m not sure how I’ve never noticed that fact before.



Reasons for me to be cheerful and motivated:

1. A whole day in the office today with NO MEETINGS! Same again tomorrow – hurrah!
2. Finding some very relevant academic journal articles for both my travel plans project and my dissertation
3. Getting my work inbox down to fewer than 600 emails (albeit by making sub-folders but no matter)
4. My comprehensive ‘to do’ list drawn from the various scraps of paper, emails and post it notes littering my desk
5. Managing to organise a date for a whole day consultation event that everyone can attend (almost unheard of in local government)
6. A lingering feeling of well-being from a lovely evening with Kat and Nic, laughing at Sean Lock and drinking gin
7. The fact that it is Friday tomorrow and therefore the weekend the next day

Things that could quite easily threaten my general sense of well-being:
1. My mounting pile of ironing
2. My bank balance and imminent university fees payment
3. A “challenging” project timetable which leaves me two weeks to finish a whole draft Community Strategy
4. The possibility of someone phoning and telling me they can’t make the whole day consultation event after all
5. The likelihood that I will waste most of Saturday and Sunday instead of doing anything productive 

So that’s two more good things than bad, which is nice. Plus, how can you not be cheerful when this song is in your life? 

This Blog…

It’s been a long time coming. And it probably means that I’m about three (five?) years behind being zeitgeist but, the thing is, I could never really decide what my blog would be about. 

Some options: 

1. My work – I work in local government policy. You may think this is boring but you really shouldn’t because it’s pretty much what decides the things that are important where you live and how the people in charge are going to make a difference. And there is an element of public consultation, community engagement, etc. But remember that it’s us doing the consulting with you. So, yeah, we pretty much decide. And therefore it’s important. Consider yourself chastised. 

But the fact that I work in local government means that I probably won’t write about work too often – it’s tricky because I’d want to say things that were worth saying and that would often mean criticising things. I could probably get in trouble for doing that so I won’t.  

2. My degree – I’m studying Town Planning. It’s great. It’s what I’ve always wanted to do. Even when I was a kid (that was before Sim City existed, you know) I used to draw big cities and name all the roads and the schools after people I knew (admittedly, this is not quite what town planners do, but you get the idea…). Anyway, it wasn’t until I read Daniel Libeskind’s autobiography (and met him in person – wow) when I was 23 that I realised that all I wanted to do was work in the built environment. 

But to some extent, I still feel like a bit of a fraud. My first degree is in English Literature and I don’t actually work in planning. So I always feel like I’m totally unqualified to comment on the state of the UK planning system. I wonder if I’ll always feel like that? 

3. My interests – are (in no particular order) music, literature, motorbikes, visual art, design, architecture, wine, cities, and probably some other things too. The first two are dealt with on my and accounts but I might touch on the other stuff from time to time. 

The thing is, I always feel the urge to write even though I’m never happy with what I end up writing. It’s a constant disappointment to me that I’ll never be a novelist (everyone’s got a novel in them, right? Bollocks). If I was, I would write a novel about a compulsive liar. It probably wouldn’t be very good. 

So, in the absence of a theme, here are some things that I love at the moment: 

David Lynch photographing Christian Louboutin’s Fetish collection 

These bookcases – we can talk about my, fairly run-of-the-mill, dream about owning a bookshop another time. 

These songs:

Hummer by Foals 

Drop the Phone by Shy Child

My Manic & I by Laura Marling