Monthly Archives: October 2008

OCD about Books?

I have a very peculiar twitch about bookcases. And the way books, DVDs, etc, generally are arranged. My books have to be arranged in a certain way. They have to be sorted according to author, category and size. When I moved house and bought a big bookcase, I was contented for the majority of a day, finding the best order for my books to be in. You may remember an old blog post about spending several days rearranging my ex’s bookcase, because it’s cluttered, unorderly form was bugging me too much! And I recently also got in trouble for trying to rearrange a DVD collection… How did that get there?! (A)

I don’t quite know why I have this fanatical thing about how books are arranged. The rest of my room can be a mess and it doesn’t overly bother me, but if my bookcase is shuffled up then I *have* to sort it out. I just have to. I recently warned Mr B about this habit of mine. He’s since decided he’s going to shuffle up my bookcase. Sigh. The strange thing is, I will actually enjoy sorting it out again. It’ll just bug me, whilst it’s shuffled up.

Now, am I completely bonkers, or do other people have similar obsessions?

Driving Again

4 years ago, on the very day that I moved to uni, I passed my driving test. Prior to last weekend, I haven’t driven since then (unless you count an illegal 5 minutes). But recently, Mr B put me on his car insurance. So on Saturday, he took me out in his car.

The first thing I had to do, was reserve out of his drive, onto a reasonably busy road. Eek. I just about managed it, and set off around the residential streets nearby (straight past where a friend’s parents live). During the first ten minutes I was pretty bad. I stalled about 3 times, mostly because I wasn’t used to the biting point, and I was trying to get back into the pattern of driving. So, when at the end of the first 10 minutes, Mr B said we were going to go down slightly bigger roads, I was dreading it. But actually, I’d got used to where the biting point was and was beginning to get used to it all again, and I was much better. Mr B no longer had to remind me to do basic things (like change gear), I got across a big motorway roundabout and even drove down a dual carriageway.

Overall, I was quite impressed with myself. I was surprised that in that half an hour of driving, I was able to feel like I mostly knew what I was doing. Mr B said he’d never seen me concentrate so hard, but that he could see me beginning to relax slightly by the end – as I was showing myself that I could still drive. I was however, pretty relieved to stop, and Mr B kindly drove me home. I am though, going to have a couple more sessions this weekend. I just need to practice. I’m going to see how I go, but I might take a couple of proper lessons to go through motorway driving, because that’s all completely new to me.

A couple of people have asked how I’m justifying it ethically, as I don’t really need to drive at the moment – I can cycle or walk most places, and I rely on Mr B or my housemates, when I do need a car. But at some point in my life, making use of my driving licence is going to be beneficial. And the sooner I get some practice in, the easier it will be. So given Mr B offered to put me on his insurance, then it seemed like a good opportunity. I’m not going to stop cycling, and start driving everywhere. I’m just going to drive enough to get back into it, so that I can make use of the skill when/if I need to.

Homemade Wine

So back in June, when Mr B went on holiday for 2 weeks, a friend and I decided to engage in a girlie project – making elderflower wine. On our allotment there is an elderflower tree hanging over the wall, so we picked all the flowers we could reach (double the amount the recipe required), bought all the other required ingredients (doubling everything), and made elderflower and raisin wine. Just before Greenbelt we bottled 10 bottles of it, at Greenbelt we discovered how strong it was when we shared a bottle at a BBQ, and after Greenbelt I was given my half of the remaining wine bottles. We had a social event at our house a week or so ago, when the majority of one of these bottles was consumed – with everyone having about the amount you’d have if you were drinking neat spirits, because it had that much of a kick to it. I’ve just spent a lovely, quiet evening in: watching a film, eating fairly traded chocolate and drinking the rest of this bottle of wine. I had one glass over 2 hours. Which for a normal glass of wine wouldn’t really affect me. And yet it feels like I’ve drunk a least half a bottle. The worrying thing is, I have no idea how much percentage it actually is. Mr B bought a hydrometer recently, but when you place it inside one of our bottles, you can’t see the reading because it’s too cloudy. If anyone knows of a container that we could put some wine into, so that we could get the hydrometer close enough to the edge of the glass to read it – it would be much appreciated! For now though, I’m going to find some water and head to bed! I’ve got a study day tomorrow that I’d prefer not to be hungover during!