green midi skirt

Humankind is about to be wiped out, and I have two sofas in my kitchen, which is also annoying

Remember when I told you all about my lazy Saturday mornings, and how I love them?

Well, last week I got a new computer, which means that my laptop (which was previously “tethered” to my monitor, being used basically as a hard disc, and located under the desk, where it was hard to get access to it) is now free to roam around the house at will. (At MY will, I mean. It doesn’t wander around the house on its own, although it would be awesome if it did. Especially if it did some cleaning while it was at it…)

Anyway, that means my Saturday mornings now come with a dose of added blogging, and I thought I’d start a new series, which I’ll either turn into a semi-regular thing, or do once, then ditch when I realise no one’s interested. I’ve called it Morning Coffee: the idea being that it’ll be kind of like a gossipy catch-up with friends, only, er, one in which I’LL obviously be doing all the talking. (You can talk back in the comments section, though! You can even drink coffee while you’re doing it, and it’ll be like we’re ACTUALLY all having coffee together! OR, alternatively, it’ll be like I’m sitting in bed, typing frantically, and you’re all scratching your heads and going, “is she STILL going on? How much can she write about her hall floor, anyway?”)

(A LOT is the answer to that. I can write a LOT about EVERYTHING, as it turns out. I said this in the comments of one of my recent posts on blogging, but at a time when all I seem to read is posts from people complaining about how fed up they are with blogging, I’m actually loving it more than ever. If I didn’t have two other sites, a house and a life – well, maybe not that last one – I’d be posting giant, 5,000 words posts every day right now. So let’s all be grateful to those two other sites, huh?)

green midi skirt and blanket scarfAnyway, the idea is that these posts will just be a general catch-up about what’s been happening during the week, etc. Please imagine me looking like one of those Pinterest people while I’m writing them: propped up on a sea of pristine white pillows, with artfully tousled hair, typing away with perfectly manicured fingernails, and a healthy glass of freshly squeezed juice at my elbow. On no account imagine me with bleary eyes, my fringe sticking straight up in the air, and a ton of crumpled-up tissues surrounding me – even although that’s what I actually look like right now, because this week? This week I got the dreaded lurgy.

This particular lurgy was one featuring a sore throat, an alternatively blocked and runny nose, which, in its ‘blocked’ stages, resulted in me waking up with a splitting headache. During the day, I’d gradually start to feel better, which meant I had no excuse to retire to bed with a pile of books and a box of Lemsip. I still had to paint those damn walls, for instance (I HATE those walls, by the way. Did it, instantly wanted to paint them back. WHOOPS.), and then clean up the resulting mess, all of which was harder than it should have been, given that I was totally convinced I had Ebola, and…

Guys, I am seriously freaking out about Ebola. Like, I’m absolutely terrified. I mean, I’ve seen Contagion. (Pro Tip: don’t watch Contagion, if you’re at all worried about humankind being wiped out by a virus…) I know how this ends. And while I don’t think my current lurgy indicates that death is imminent, the fact that every time I look at a news site, I see a headline saying, “THE END IS NIGH! PREPARE TO DIE!”… well, it doesn’t really help, does it? Especially if you’re a hypochondriac to start with: and I think you all know by now that I AM a hypochondriac to start with. In fact, I’m fairly sure I came out of the womb going, “What’s that weird mark on my finger? Am I going to die?” Aaaaand, I’ve been repeating some variation of that ever since, basically.

But… Ebola. It’s a worry. My own worry isn’t so much about ME dying from it, it’s about everyone else dying from it first. I mean, my parents are (obviously) older than I am. Terry has a kidney transplant. I, meanwhile, am in the best of health, which means it’ll take them first, and I’ll either:

a) Survive, and find myself starring in my own personal version of The Stand.


b) Watch all of the people I love die first, before dying a particularly slow and agonizing death (and from what I understand from my frequent consultations with Dr Google, it’s ALWAYS a slow, agonizing death with this one…), on account of how there’s no one left to treat me. Because everyone’s dead.

So, THAT was a cheerful start to this little feature, wasn’t it? I bet you’re all sitting there going, “No more with the ‘Morning Coffee’, Amber! Looks like you’ve had MORE than enough coffee for one morning!” Anyway, Terry has reminded me that I also freaked out over avian flu and swine flu, neither of which killed me, so basically I should have my access to news sites removed if I’m going to keep doing this. This one seems different to me, though, so I AM going to keep doing it. Sorry.

Er, where was I? Oh yeah: this week was better than last week, ebola aside. This week, for instance, we have a hall floor again, which is awesome. Still no floor on the bathroom, but hey: baby steps! We also have a marginally cleaner home. I say “marginally”: the dirt and dust caused by the work on the pipe was the type that sticks around, clings to everything, and just keeps on re-settling, no matter how often you clean it up. It also got EVERYWHERE. Our glasswear, for instance, lives in a cabinet in the kitchen which has glass shelves, and a glass door. (Pro-tip: don’t have glass doors and shelves in your kitchen unless you really enjoy dusting… ) And I guess that glass door doesn’t fit as tightly as the wooden ones on the rest of the kitchen cabinets, because when I opened it a few days ago, every shelf was thick with dust, and every single glass had to be removed and cleaned. It’s not HARD work, obviously, but it’s pretty time consuming, and a bit disheartening to do it, and then have to do it again the next day, because MOAR DUST.

In more positive news, however, we FINALLY sold our old sofas, which had been listed on GumTree since the new one arrived, and which were taking up a large amount of space in the kitchen in the meantime. It’s a silly thing to complain about (especially given the Ebola freakout I opened this post with. You just can’t really follow that, can you? There’s no way so effortlessly segue from, “Humankind is about to be wiped out,” to “I have two sofas in my kitchen, and it’s annoying.” But I did it anyway. Yikes.), but given the general state of chaos, those two couches were really in the way, and were adding to the general feeling of claustrophobia in the house, so I was desperate to sell them, and only slightly sentimental about seeing them go. (This is very, very unusual for me, but “I Like Things Neat” obviously won out over “I Will Keep All The Things Because The Memories, So Prechus!”)

Anyway, we’d had the sofas listed for a couple of weeks, and the only interest we’d had was from people asking if we’d be interested in selling them for significantly less than the asking price. We of course, rolled our eyes at all of these requests, and confidently told each other that why, OF COURSE everyone would want our sofas… then, when absolutely no one did, we sheepishly reduced the asking price, and whaddya know, three people came along at once! (Literally. No-one for weeks, then three people, all in the same night. Figures.)

It so happened that the person who got in first turned out to be the estate agent who helped sell our last house. I had a surreal few moments when I found her in my dressing room, and thought Terry had put the place on the market without telling me, but it turns out the first thing she’d said when Terry opened the door, and she recognised him, was, “So, what did you do with all the SHOES?!”

If you were reading my blog last year – and hey, I bet you feel like you started reading THIS POST last year, don’t you? – you might recall that our estate agent had to spend a LOT of time explaining the presence of my shoe wall to prospective buyers, and, in one memorable case, trying fruitlessly to explain that they were JUST SHELVES, and that they didn’t HAVE to be used for shoes. GOD.

Anyway, I expect she’d had ample opportunities to check out our sofas during all of those viewings, and thankfully she came back and picked them up the next day… at which point, yes, I DID get quite sentimental, and started banging on about how we’d had those sofas since the day we moved in together; that they’d been with us through thick and thin, and wasn’t it weird that we’d NEVER see them again, and they’d belong so some other family now?

“No,” said Terry. “Not really.”

And that was that.

So! How was YOUR week?

P.S. I write a weekly diary which goes out every Friday to my subscribers. Sign up below to get on the list...

books by Amber Eve
  • tanya


    I like the idea of ‘Morning Coffee’ section as reading your blog is what I usually do while having MY morning coffee.

    October 18, 2014
      • tanya


        It’s interesting how blogs have replaced the traditional morning paper for some of us… First thing I do in the morning over my coffee is to check the social networks and my favourite blogs to see “what’s new” …

        October 18, 2014
  • Myra


    Glad the walls and floors no longer have holes on them. As to the sofas, we had exactly the same experience with our house, no interest until we reduced the selling price, then three viewers, and we accepted an offer below the reduced price :(. As to moving expenses – somewhere in the region of £20k – and two 16 pages of questionnaires about our house- when was that happen?

    October 18, 2014
  • Cara


    Love the morning coffee idea. I’m drinking mine right now! Although, being in the US I’m a few hours behind, but with some strange time bending logic or a wormhole or something, I could actually be drinking it at the same time.

    October 18, 2014
  • Holly


    I like this idea! So, on the theme of pretend conversations:

    1) I used to think having a portable laptop would be the death of me. I was wrong. Never buy an iPad. I am now in a permanent state of half work, half distraction all the time.
    2) if you are scared of Ebola and like to stoke your fears (what, you’re telling me there are people who don’t voluntarily do this?) there’s a book called the return of the Black Death that argues that the plague – you know, that wiped out half the population of Europe – was actually Ebola. You can buy it for kindle. You’re welcome.
    3) We also struggled to sell our sofas when we moved to Sweden and ended up giving them away. I thought I would be desperately emotional about it but actually, wasn’t. Usually I can work hysteria out of an empty coffee cup so I was quite surprised that I was able to react to this like a sane adult.
    4) Feel better! The virus (slash plague slash Ebola) doing the rounds is really nasty, I was down for about three weeks. In fact I was ill so long that my students started asking after about three weeks if I was ‘getting sick’. Given I’d been limping through their classes for that time looking like the grim reaper, I wasn’t sure how to take the fact that they had only just noticed…

    October 18, 2014
  • Well, I’m actually in a coffee shop, but I’ve got a frappucino… Hoping that counts! I’m also convinced I’m going to die from Ebola. Especially any time I’m in London aka contagion city. Which is unfortunate as I work 5 days a week in London… And end up there other times, e.g. right now… Basically I’m doomed. But hooray for small mercies like hall floors, eh? I’m hoping to acquire a sideboard this weekend. If I don’t die, that is.

    October 18, 2014
  • Ah Amber, you crack me up – in like a good way; I’m laughing with you, not at you.
    Also, is it weird that I spent about five minute staring at that first photo of the mug because it looked the handle was solid and there was no finger hole – erm, so to speak – and I couldn’t work out how it would be safe to pick it up and I just pictured me doing it – I always have hand lotion on – and it just immediately sliding to the floor and shattering, and then, of course, me repeating the process with every single mug in the set – because of course, I’d get the hang of it, and just instead managing to smash a six pack of mugs in an attempt to have my tea in the morning.

    Was most relieved to scroll down and see you holding said mug in a normal, finger-hole fashion.

    (I also did read the post – contrary to the belief of some, I can read – but honestly, so freaked out about Ebola I don’t even want to start talking about it in a comment in case, somehow, the law of attraction is like an actual thing and now me talking about has brought it into my reality. And now I have talked about it. Great.

    Also, I had swine flu – it sucked. So I’m thinking maybe I’ve taken my turn of getting terrifying illnesses… right?!?)


    October 18, 2014
  • Just steer clear of touching The Other’s blood and feces and you will be Ebola free for life 🙂 There’s really no way it’ll spread in the West, by the time people get contagious it’s obvious enough that you should keep the hell away, and they’re not even able to chase you around. And you’re in the middle of Scotland, so no worries there! The virus will freeze to death before being able to contaminate anyone!

    The flu, tho, it’s an entirely different matter. But we’ll all probably die from bacteria first, considering the lack of care we have with handling out antibiotics… (The Dallas patient was actually sent home with antibiotics because the hospital thought he had a viral infection, which is a lot more scary than the Ebola threat for me…)

    October 18, 2014
  • I’ve had the lurgy all week as well, it’s been horrible and every time I think it’s going away it’s all up in my face like , “HEY GURL I’M STILL HERE HOW’S IT GOING” I had a lazy Saturday morning too, but not with coffee as I had a horrible hangover. It was well-deserved: getting out the gin bottle at 3am was not my best plan, but still.

    October 19, 2014
  • All I can think about right now is how cool your bed looks with all those fairy lights. Like some kind of magical-Christmas-sleigh-bed! <3

    October 20, 2014
  • It makes sense to be more/ as concerned about selling the sofas because they were in the way every day, so statistically they were annoying 100% of the time. Your odds of getting ebola are much less. At least for now. I’m with Mariana on this one, it our local care that is disconcerting. Week before last I had to get a tetanus shop and found out looking a paperwork afterwards they had also given me a flu shot. The didn’t ask, didn’t tell, just injected me with the stuff.

    October 21, 2014