30 December 2005
27 December 2005
Today, we again had a blowout meal as it was Simon's Grandfather's Birthday.
It snowed a little as well but I won't make my American and Canadian readers laugh by pinging up a photo of it as it had to be measured in millimetres rather than in centimetres.
25 December 2005
24 December 2005
23 December 2005
Becky went on to have a wee rant about these sad losers, saying that she always blocks them.
I commented that she should report them to Flickr as they are doing the cyber equivalent of flashing. Not all commenters agreed there seemed to be a feeling from some that it had to accepted because some people don't like pictures of trannies and its one of those things that happen to trannies. A view I disagree with strongly, no one should have to put up with shite like this.
Well, I have started to get spammed this way. The first time it happened I just blocked them. The second time was Tuesday, I was at work looking at Flickr during lunch, I saw I had mail looked at that saw I had been added clicked through to the profile, then to the photos where I was confronted with full on hardcore p0rn.
I was so lucky that no one was standing behind me because it could have been very embarrassing or in the worst case could have got me in to serious trouble, work has a strict no p0rn policy. I'm sure that I would have been able to convince my bosses that I had been spammed not deliberately looking for the stuff. But I don't relish the possibility that in doing so I would have to show them my Flickr stream, not because I'm ashamed at all of any of my photos it's just I don't think I could take the patronising "concern" I would get from some quarters and the purience from others.
Being spammed made me angry, how dare someone assume that I want to see their cock or their porn collection. So I emailed Flickr straight away reported what had happened gave them a link to the offending person and then I blocked him.
That evening I had an email from Flickr saying that they were investigating, yesterday out of curiosity I checked the perv's profile and they had removed him.
No fuss no problems - Thanks Flickr
22 December 2005
I got a Christmas card from one of my contractors yesterday, it looked for all the world like the sort of card you get gift vouchers in. I said this to my boss, then I spotted the two slots for holding a gift voucher or cheque in. Wow, how cheap - spare Christmas bonus cards. My boss got a calender from them, I didn't, such are the privilages of rank.
Tomorrow is my last day in work until the 3rd, tomorrow afternoon I have to get myself, with clothes and presents up to Kings Lynn by the joys of public transport, it's not that bad a journey but I am not looking forward to doing it this time because I will be laden down as will probably everyone else travelling tomorrow.
I'm staying with Simon for the holiday we are having Christmas dinner at his parents and then just bimbling we are going to meet up with a friend and his wife in Wells, seeing my Mum at some point and then up to Derby for a new years party. It should all be exceptionally nice.
20 December 2005
I can't understand why this right should be denied to same sex couples. OK so most religious groups claim that marriage should be only be between a man and a woman but no one will be forcing the churches to hold or bless the civil partnerships or host gay marriages. But in a country that is now almost completely secular why should the religous right seek to ensure that the gay couples are denied any access to marriage. Marriage has not been the sole preserve of the churches for a long time now with the option of civil weddings being there.
The bigots claim that allowing gays to marry will damage the institute of marriage. How? I for one, am not going to suddenly change my mind about being hetrosexual just because civil partnerships are now legal and I don't think many other people are either. If marriage is about two people who want to make a public commitment to each other then surely the more people who can marry the stronger the concept will be.
16 December 2005
If I see one more badly made yorkshire pudding I may cry.
13 December 2005
Just got my copy of the Christmas edition of the Radio Times. Ten page special on Doctor who, so far it has revealed that the baddies are called Sycorax (after a moon of Uranus). Dr Who will be swishing about in pajamas for some of the episode and it may do the take up of trombone lessons no good whatsoever.
My uncle Lawrence plays the trombone when I was little he would ring up to play happy birthday to me on it, he didn't have a phone, he had to use a public phone box.
You can also win a real Dalek, I think it will look really nice in my living room. :-D
11 December 2005
10 December 2005
We have had a very quiet day I purchased another Christmas present, we bimbled through town and dozed mainly.
This evening we watched the film version of Hitchhikers Guide To The Galaxy this evening, the first time either of us had seen it. Perhaps it's because I'm so familiar with the previous versions but this one left me feeling a little flat. It was, in parts, visually stunning but although I tried to stop myself, I could not help noticing where it did not stick to the original storyline. They would start a piece of dialogue in line with the original then lose the punchline because they would not finish it. I know that things must give when trying to condense a 3 hour series into a film but there was a fairly pointless love story stuck into the plot which didn't really add anything. Sam Rockwell was good as Zaphod Beeblebrox however I didn't feel that there was any chemistry whatsoever between the cast members. It meant I couldn't believe in their relationships to each other, which even treating the film as if the previous versions didn't exist weakened its attraction.
08 December 2005
07 December 2005
Sent: 12 July 2005 11:21
Could I ask all staff to refrain from putting anything down the toilets that should, by rights, go in the bins. I have just fished an empty Quavers packet from a toilet that refused to flush and, no doubt, would have caused a blockage if left and subsequently soiled. Could I also remind staff that eating and drinking in the toilets could pose a risk to health. Whilst I admire the person's in question attempt to kill two birds with one stone, a rest room by the front lobby, is provided for personnel to get away from their desks for a few minutes if they feel the need to eat a potato based snack.
Dep Building Custodian
06 December 2005
I'm entertaining tomorrow, Simon and a couple of friends Dave and Anne. I'm going to do my poorman's version of coq au vin with rice. With olives as nibbles and something or other as pudding, not sure what yet, probably ice cream.
Fanny Craddock would not approve but who cares. For me the point of entertaining is talking to people and having fun not slaving over a hot stove cooking food that has to be served with military precision for it to be at its best. I know I am a good cook I'm just not interested in cooking very fancy food. Keep it simple and simple presentation works for me and I haven't had any complaints yet.
05 December 2005
Why are men so hard to buy for? Yes there are loads of present ideas out there but they are either laddish, beer games and footy related or they are so dull, hankies, socks, undies that I feel grim contiplating buying them. Lord knows how the poor bloke feels receiving them. What also makes it harder is that many blokes tend to go from would-like-to-have through must-have to just-bought in 5 seconds flat so they've got everything. Case in point Simon spotted a copy of Grand Theft Auto he had been after, instead of pointing and hinting heavily, he just went ahead and bought it.
Having said that it's not just men, my Mum is pretty hard to buy for as well, when asked she said how about some chopping boards? :-s. I want to be able to wrap a present up thinking, I've done well I've bought a present that I'm happy to give because I know that they will like it, that I like as well. Chopping Boards don't really have that pazazz.
I feel happy with the presents I've got so far, they "sang to me" I would like to recieve them. But don't worry any family that are reading this I've not got you a DVD of Sheffield Wednesday's greatest goals.
02 December 2005
This was also the period of when we were so poor... so work got done as and when it could be afforded. When I was about 7 or 8 it was time for the pantry to be sorted out, my father decided to put down a new floor down in it. Chipboard was purchased, cut to size then the family decided that were coming to us for Christmas, all of them; my Grandma, my father's brothers and family and my Granddad. My father also had a PhD student who would not be able to go home for Christmas, so my parents had invited him over as well. This would be a sit down for dinner of 12 maybe even more.
We did not have a table big enough, we couldn't afford to buy such a table. It was at this point the chipboard was looked at with narrowed eyes, the words "legs" "coat of varnish" were tersely muttered and low and behold we had a new dining room table. Practically all the chairs in the house were pressed into service and a make shift bench was constructed
To me the table was huge, it was certainly big enough to play shove ha'penny football on. Then from somewhere (I suspect a skip) two slightly tatty ping pong bats appeared and a ping pong ball, no net unfortunately but in the spirit of make do that we had. empty beer cans were used instead. They were about the right height and we had enough of them because it was Christmas.
So equipped I learnt to play table tennis. A few weeks later we, my mum, my brother and I were walking back home when Patrick spied an old table tennis set lying on top of some bins along with other old toys. It wasn’t complete but there were a couple of bats and a table tennis net. It fitted perfectly on the table, the cans could be thrown away.
We'd have become expert table tennis players, if Dad hadn't eventually decided that our table should really be put to it's intended use, pantry flooring!
01 December 2005
So I really enjoyed the article by Dinos Chapman, where he poo poo'd this research with a few facts and inside knowledge in the G2 section of the Guardian today - Artists are not sexy
29 November 2005
When we hit the bar next door to the hotel, Milano's at 6:35 I heard a disheartened wail from Becky, "We are the only one's here"
"Sit down, don't worry, I'll get us a drink, they are just being fashionably late"
For a wee while Becky was "the only tranny in Milano's" but eventually the rest started to arrive.
All in all only staggering over to the Chinese restaurant 20 minutes later than we said we would was pretty impressive. The larger the group the higher the cat herding properties are, tranny or non tranny.
I've seen office does fall through because it is impossible to get 10 people organised enough to go out on the same night and we all live in the same area. That Becky managed to get a group of about 20 people from all across the country into the restaurant less than an hour late is stunning.
There isn't much more to say really that hasn't been said by now, it was great to meet people who I've only seen as pixels on a monitor. And it was especially nice to meet Steph Angel's partner Tracy, it's women like her and mini Sophie who remind me that I'm not mad or weird or wrong for enjoying going out with a tranny.
27 November 2005
I'm still sorting out the photos which can be found here I will try to write out a fuller report on Monday once my head has finally stopped pounding.
Becky should be congratulated on organising such a splendid do, but just one thing Bex, please next time choose a name that I can spell ;-)
25 November 2005
It snowing - well it's trying to. The office is trying to decide whether a couple of small flakes make a flurry.
I say no.
It is bitterly cold though, my plans for what am going to wear tomorrow night in Birmingham are rapidly changing, from a skimpy top to thermal undies from Damart and a more Nanook of the North look.
24 November 2005
like my 5,000th visitor it was a brief look see and off again, never mind.
However my 9,999th visitor was my friend Charlotte I recognised her work's ISP.
Today's Should Have Been Working came from:-
The Constuction Industry Training Board they were looking for the phone number of the newly opened King's Lynn branch of Frankie and Benny's. I am the number one result in the world for "frankie and bennies - kings lynn - telephone number" it's things like that that makes being a blogger worthwhile. Anyway being an obliging person here is the number:- 01553 666 300 please don't all book at once apparently it has been chocka since it opened.
22 November 2005
Flock is the new pre beta web browser that there has been a bit of a buzz about recently, it hopes to reinvent how we use the web by integrating common tools together. I am already thinking that I could get very used to their approach to blogging. Instead of having to go through several screens on blogger you can press a button in the top bar of the browser screen and a window pops up which you can compose and edit from. The link creation is not as easy as it is in blogger but I'm sure they are working on that. The really neat thing is that I can view all the public photos in my flickr stream and drag and drop it into the body of this post so that it can be seen after publishing. There seems to be a lack of formatting tools for the pictures, the spell check doesn't work yet and I can't find how to preview but I'm loving the drag and drop facility so far. But the test is in the posting so here goes.
The reason for this shopping splurge?
Well the Christmas season is on us and I have a do each weekend up to the Christmas and while I have more than enough clothes to cover all the dos. All the clothes I have have been to parties more than once. I am not royalty I do not have to worry about wearing a new outfit everytime. But is nice to vary the outfits a bit and the golden rule of dressing on the cheap is have a few basics and accessorise accessorise accessorise; be it with handbags, scarves/shawls, venues and if necessary and you're really ruthless - boyfriends.
This weekend we have Transpocalypse the blogging event of the year. A get together of Tranny Bloggers, tranny friendly bloggers (that will be me) and partners (oooh that will be me again then.) Birmingham will not know what has hit it. For this event I do not have to worry too much about what I'm going to wear because I'm not going to be the one who gets all the attraction. I've noticed this before when I met Becky at the Cambridge Pink Picnic back in August.
People would come up to talk to Bex but almost totally ignore me I could have been wearing a burka. It was a bit like that when we went out in Nottingham. I don't mind, it is natural I suppose after all to most people trannies are exotic, glamorous, strange creatures often heard about but rarely knowingly met. 30 something women are ten a penny. It was different at Angelic it was much more like a "normal" evening out but that's for another blog post I think.
21 November 2005
One for all you Fall Fans out there, follow the link to see the video of Mark E Smith reading the football results out.
Wednesday lost that's all you need to know.
Spotted by Derby Blogger and good bloke Gaz.
30/10/06 - Update
The original site that was on has gone.
20 November 2005
18 November 2005
"Ray, when someone asks if you're a God, you say "Yes"!"
17 November 2005
The lap top has been designed with the world's poorest children in mind. It will "let children interact with each other while learning." Very laudable however on a list of priorities for expenditure it must be towards the bottom.
When whole swathes of the poor do not have access to running clean water, enough food, adequate sanitation, healthcare let alone education to teach the children to read, a skill required to make these machines useful. Which family is going to spend money on these lap tops? What use are they to communities who are not able to meet the most basic needs except as something to barter for food. What about internet access? The software licenses? Who will pay for those, who will ensure the educational material will be available on line in the local languages.
Don't get me wrong I think that they are a nifty idea but I do not believe that they will directly help the very poorest in the world (and I have doubts about indirectly as well). If they ever go into full scale production the machines will probably end up being used in the schools and universities across the developing world and as toys for us in the first world.
*will insert a link when I get home for some reason the system at work doesn't like blogger very much, I will also spell check! Mind you could turn this into a form of interaction with the bloggisphere. If anyone spots a spelling mistake they could tell me. British spelling only please.
15 November 2005
13 November 2005
As I didn't have to worry about graduating from high school I didn't have to bother about taking English or any other subject, I could study what I liked.
Because I hadn't studied any humanities at O level, it was decided by my parents and the school, that it would be a good idea if I studied American History and because I would only be doing one year of it I should do AP American History a college level course - from a standing start of no knowledge except what I had picked up here and there.
It didn't help that the teacher and I immediately took a scunner to each other because we disagreed on almost everything. He used to talk about "socialized medicine" with disdain and a sneer, I said that the NHS made me feel proud to be British.
We spent most of our time talking about current affairs rather than history and when I did read my history book I tended to miss out the battles because I found the descriptions too confusing to follow.
I had done better than everyone expected in the mock exam so we paid for me to sit the exam. However I still wasn't really the best prepared for the exam or the most motivated either. But in the exam itself I was gifted the most unexpected banker of a question.
"Discuss the rise of feminism in the 20th Century."
The couple we were renting our house from, had loads of feminist books which I had read avidly, I didn't know much about American anti discrimatory laws but I did know about the British Acts and about woman's suffrage here. My essay on the subject was a masterly bit of comparing and contrasting the development of feminism in both the UK and the USA.
I was rather pleased with it. But I didn't think I had done that well in the other parts of the exam imagine my pleasure when the results came through shortly before we were due to go home.
I had got a 4 (5 being the highest mark)
11 November 2005
10 November 2005
So instead of a proper blog tonight where I could tell you about the too-soft-bed and why it is like that I'm going to be mostly hunting for spelling mistakes and broken links.
08 November 2005
I discovered two rather wonderful new things, well they were mentioned on plasticbag.org and I paid attention this time. last.fm and Audioscrobbler
last.fm is an online radio station or I should say multiple radio stations as you can choose from what seems to be many thousands of music streams. The streams can be by tag, based on the collective taste of a group you might be in or your own personal radio based on what you listen to on last.fm or, and this is the clever bit through audioscrobbler a plug in that monitors what music you're playing on your PC it can build up a database of your taste. In a similar way, but I believe a tad more sophisticated, to how Amazon makes recommendations for purchasing. As the list of music that you listen to on your computer or one of the radio streams builds up it starts to make recommendations, through listing "musical neighbours" who will have similar tastes to you and what it plays on your radio station.
I'm still getting my head round how it all works, the FAQs and Help could do with a bit of expansion to cover every button that can be pushed and even though I'm viewing in Firefox the site sometimes looks awful as the google ads sometimes bleed over into a neighbouring section of the page. These are minor quibbles though, so far I think it is a lovely lovely thing. I've listened to the alternative, indie, trance and techno streams and joined a couple of groups. I can see last.fm seriously challenging Radios 4 and 5 for my listening time.
I like particularly like the radio stream by tag. Like flickr the tagging is done by the general public so occasionally get a weird one. I've been listening to the new wave stream and just had Outkast - Rosa Parks because someone has tagged it as new wave. Kewl!
If you want to mock my musical tastes here is a link to me. The other really cool thing about last.fm is that it's British and doesn't belong to either Google or Yahoo (yet). Oh and it's free.
06 November 2005
Can't argue with the results either.
You fit in with:
Your ideals mostly resemble those of an Atheist. You have very little faith and you are very focused on intellectual endeavors. You value objective proof over intuition or subjective thoughts. You enjoy talking about ideas and tend to have a lot of in depth conversations with people.
Take this quiz at QuizGalaxy.com
04 November 2005
It all feels very forced. The "Blogs" don't feel like blogs they feel like a cross between a newspaper column that has been put on line and the spam blogs you find if you click through "next blog" for any length of time on Blogger.
The Today on the Web section is irksome because any fule can do a search on a phrase and come up with 3 to 4 coherent snatches of writing on a subject. It is money for old rope, I could do that and I haven't got a degree in journalism.
They seemed to have missed a trick although I will stand by my argument that blogging is not the new journalism it does have a role whether that be social commentary, in creating an online community such as the trannisphere or communicating with far flung family. In fact I can see the Christmas blog entry will be the round robin letter of 2005 and they are not capturing that.
However I do have to say it isn't all bad as they did mention Becky's Hamster Flickr Sudoku the other day in the online News Blog.
I will put the necessary links in later, I can't right now as I haven't worked out how to copy URLs on this tablet I'm blogging on. The Tablet is Jessica's. Becky and I and Jess of course are staying at Sophie's for the weekend.
Postscript 6 November 2005 have inserted the links.
03 November 2005
When I heard this on the news I went "Oooh couldn't have happened to a nicer person" Wade not Kemp, sarcasm being my first reaction. I also wanted to snigger what with Ross Kemp's supposed hard man image. But we wouldn't have done so if it had been the other way round, if Ross Kemp had been held for alleged assault against his wife. No one should have to put up with domestic violence and remember it can happen to men as well.
BBC NEWS | Entertainment | Editor free after Kemp 'assault'
Other News - The Doctor Who Christmas Special will be shown on Christmas Day.
02 November 2005
The Royal British Legion was founded to support ex service men and women who need that support. Their main fund raising and awareness drive is the sale of poppies in the days up to 11th November - Remembrance Day, the day marked in Britain as the day to remember the war dead.
The British Legion provides help and assistance in many ways these are some of the stats I
Some 11 million people in the UK are eligible to ask for its help.I have a very personal and good reason to wear a poppy. My Grandmother's father was gassed in the first world war he survived but his health was never the same, he and his family were helped by the British Legion. My Grandmother met my Grandfather because he was helped by the legion as he caught TB whilst in the Army and was sent to Preston Hall in Kent where my Grandmother and her family lived in the British Legion Village.
You don't have to be a Legion member to receive assistance but you must be an ex-Serviceperson or a dependent.
Anyone who has been in the British Armed Forced for seven days or more (and their dependents) is eligible for help.
People as young as 17.5 years can be sent on active service, so veterans are often much younger than people realise.
Each year the Legion answers 300,000 calls for help to its helpline, Legionline.
It helps with a huge range of issues, including counselling, job retraining, skills assessment, getting the right pensions and benefits, advice and interest free loans for setting up small businesses, welfare grants, Remembrance Travel to war graves, convalescent and nursing care, and home and hospital visits.
In 2004 the Legion spent over £59 million on its work.
Unfortunately the need for the British Legion has not gone away, so please consider getting a poppy this year.
01 November 2005
I know they are angels not saints.
All Saints Day is a Holy Day of Obligation within the Catholic Church when I was at school we would troop into the Assembly Hall for Mass with singing, guitars and bad poems read with lisps. The head of RE would gurn madly as he tried to encourage us to join in and "really worship" It was pitiful, he had a bad beard and wore worse sweaters, the hymns we had to sing were mostly in the "modern pop style" (think bad 50s folk). Communion would take for ever as almost all the 750 pupils at my school were able to take communion and not doing so just because you didn't feel like it or didn't believe in god was frowned upon if you had been baptised Catholic that is, those who were not couldn't take communion even if they wanted to.
It was awful I loathed it, it helped me to come to the conclusion that I didn't believe in a god.
Once in Sixth form we had to suffer through a Christian "Rock Band" at least it was ecumenical suffering as the sixth form was a joint one with the C of E school up the road.
The 1st of January used to be a Holy Day of Obligation in the United Kingdom as well it was probably one of the least well kept days, it struck a lot of people as the Church being killjoys about New Years Eve, a secular celebration.
31 October 2005
However the last fancy dress do I went to was in 1986, at school.
I went as Dr Jeykll and Ms Hyde,
The theme was "dead famous"- my mission to do get a costume together with the minimum of expenditure.
I have posh frocks, I have glittery bling, I have dark hair so Lady Di was out but Princess Margaret was in. One cheap tiara from Derby Market later I had a costume.
Simon went as J Edgar Hoover. J Edgar Hoover died of a heart attach there is no reason to believe that he had blood tricking from his mouth but the lure of fake blood was too much for many to resist.
We should have gone trick or treating before the party started I think we would have got loads of sweeties don't you?
28 October 2005
Three names I go by:
Three screen names I have had:
3. Edie Minogue
Three physical things I like about myself:
1. My hair
2. My eyebrows
3. My hands
These are silly it doesn't tell you much about me apart from where my vanities might lie
Three physical things I don't like about myself:
1. My weight
2. my feet
3. being shortsighted.
Also I can normally think of one or two things then start to run out I'm not that fussed about my physical appearance.
Three parts of my heritage:
Three things that scare me:
3. loud bangs
Three of my everyday essentials:
Three of my favourite musical artists:
1. White Stripes
2. The Pixies
3. Jesus And Mary Chain
Three of my favourite songs:
1. Venus In Furs - Velvet Underground
2. A Forest - The Cure
3. Temple of Love - The Sisters Of Mercy (Original Version not the one with Ofra Haza wailing in the background like a air raid siren on heat)
Three things I want in a relationship:
3. All of the bed
And the duvet too. There are loads of things I want in a relationship but I'm not going to share the really meaningful ones with yous am I?
1. I like pedicures
2. I own a car
3. I am exceptionally tidy
1. I lived in the USA
2. I took the controls of an aircraft while flying through the Alps
3. I can't stand Lord Of The Rings
re number two, see number 2 of "I want to do before I die".
Three physical things about the opposite sex that appeal to me:
1. Erm apart from the obvious?
2. ooh ok - strength
3. nice hands - long fingers
Oh this is so reductionist, men are not lumps of meat to be oggled at. How can they be reduced down to three things and physical ones as well, this is vaguely sexist?
Three of my favourite hobbies:
Like I'm going to tell you what my hobbies are for you all to laugh at me? But I do enjoy all of the above .
Three things I want to do really badly now:
1. nothing really
2. that I'm willing to share with you
3. but a cup of coffee would be nice
Three careers I've considered:
1. Army Officer
2. Civil Engineer
3. Worker in a sweetie factory
Was a combination of the two wanted to join REME and build bridges in Germany. Decided that physics was more interesting than civil engineering. I was 4 when I wanted to do number 3
Three places I want to go on holiday:
Not been to any of them really really want to go to Japan.
Three kid's names I like:
I'm lying about one of these, can you guess which one boys and girls?
Three things I want to do before I die:
1. Go to Japan
2. Learn to fly
3. Own a Car
love flying wanna do it.
Three ways that I am stereotypically a boy:
1. I like beer
2. I drink pints
3. I score highly for spacial awareness
This is sexist
Three ways that I am stereotypically a girl:
1. I have very long hair
2. I have very small hands
3. I have small feet.
as is this. Any way at my age I think woman or man would be a more appropriate world. Also been highly interesting reading some of the answers to those two questions on other blogs.
Personally I say reject the stereotype.
Three celebrity crushes
1. Becky EnVérité - well at least she told me she was a celebrity!
3. thats it
Three people you want to see carry on this meme
2. Urban Chick
26 October 2005
I watched Grand Designs on Channel 4 tonight.
The programme featured Ben Law who until he built his house in 2002, had lived, for the previous ten years under canvas, in broken down old trailers and in benders amid the woods he owns, works and tends in deepest stockbroker land. He fought a long battle with the local council to get planning permission to build his cottage.
Using traditional methods and as much natural, local material as he could, he and a band of volunteers built the cottage in the most sustainable way possible, the walls are straw bales covered with lime plaster on the inside, clad with planks externally. The insulation in the roof shredded newspaper. Solar panels and miniature windmills to generate electricity, a composting lavatory and an old rayburn cooker to provide hot water and to cook on.
When the programme was first shown I was really taken with the house, the whole way of life even. But I couldn't live like that, not for more than a week. Having to stoke the rayburn to have hot water, hoping that there has been enough sun and wind to recharge the old batteries so that there will be light in the evening. No telly or really energy hungry appliances. I just couldn't do it.
One thing that struck me when I watched the programme before was how thin he was and ever so slightly unkempt, with this revised repeat we saw him in his cottage garden, a riot of colour and cottagey type flowers that would bring a tear of joy to Alan Titmarsh's eye. Ben looked more rounded less haunted more comfortable and better dressed.
This is where the tear came to my eye because I'm an old softie and I love a happy ending, in the intervening years he had met the woman of his dreams married and when the cameras had turned up in June this year was the proud father of a 19 day old son.
25 October 2005
Some silliness Simon showed me the last night. We Like The Moon. He came over to make sure I was alright and rub my chest better, I did point out it was earache he said better to be safe than sorry. ;-)
24 October 2005
23 October 2005
Chinook image from NATO
C17 and Antinov image from RAF
The Chinook fits into the C17. That's big
22 October 2005
As Christmas is approaching, they had the stocking filler knick-knacks and gizits on prominently on display - boob centric, wanna be military toys and stuff for men who have seen Lock, Stock and Two Smoking Barrels once too often and think it is the last word in sophistication. I have never felt comfortable in this shop as it seems to be aiming itself at the more laddish end of the market than sentient males but today it was like being inside a copy of Loaded Magazine. Unpleasant but also very juvenile, it felt very much like the old adage "If you've actually done it, you don't talk about it that much." There was too much talking... so to speak.
Ooh and their clothes were shite as well.
BTW Simon would like to make it clear that he does not normally shop at this store and only did so because of the paucity of decent shops where I live.
21 October 2005
However that is not how we (my brother and I) usually put it...
Eee we were so poor that we had to burn the telly one Christmas to keep warm. Well a slight exaggeration but until about 1978 we had a succession of black and white televisions that predated transistors. So they were stuffed full of thermonic valves. We had to turn the telly on 5 minutes before the programme we wanted to watch started to allow the valves to warm up. They also were constantly failing so Dad amassed a collection of old tellies which he stripped for working valves. Eventually this source dried up and my parents were forced to buy a new telly.
It was a Ferguson. It was in colour It didn't have to be laid on it's side to make the vertical hold work.
We loved it.
Because the old tellies had solid wood cases Dad chopped them up for firewood. He also took an axe to one of the cathode ray tubes because, as he said, he had always wanted to see an implosion. It was very impressive.
Image from The University of Aberdeen
20 October 2005
Browsing through my stats this lunch time I saw that I had had my very first visitor from Cuba. Well the machine was in Cuba could well be that the visitor was a tourist using one the internet machines that are found in hotel lobbies.
I've been to Cuba - Twice
Also like to say a big hello to the Lebanon a country making it's first appearance on my stats today.
It has been worthwhile and so far relatively painless.
19 October 2005
This is the point where the easily nauseated may wish to look away: Recently I've been sitting staring into space like a love struck 16 year old, sighing deeply and giggling to myself instead of thinking up insightful, cutting, witty, intelligent blog posts to present to you the reader.
I've not stopped wearing mostly black but inside I'm being very pink and fluffy at the moment which isn't very like me at all normally.
The easily nauseated can look back now.
So as a bit of easyish blogging here are some links
Google are changing the name of their email service in the UK from Gmail to googlemail.
Ever wondered what happened to dead whales? This is a bit gruesome but absolutely fascinating as well.
In space no-one can hear you scream Stupidly bad physics in the movies. Read, learn and really annoy people by picking apart their favourite films from a physics points of view.
17 October 2005
16 October 2005
My first "proper" organised tranny event apparently, rather than just mooching about at Cambridge's Premier Pride Event - Pink Picnic, or just going out clubbing in Nottingham. I forgot to take my camera with me so rather than have a very samey looking blog as Bex's I'll just refer you to her pictures from the event. Here and Here. It was an enjoyable night at points it turned into a mini blogging meet as I met fellow bloggers Joanna Nicholls and Connie for the first time.
14 October 2005
I had wanted visible comments for a while. So when Becky was over this Wednesday, seeing as she is a technical-wizardress type person, I got her to show me what I needed to do to my template to get the comments to be in the main part of the blog. Well show me, is perhaps the wrong phrase. The mouse was gently removed from my grasp and she did it herself. I think she must have spotted the fear and confusion in my eyes as she tried to explain it to me.
I have wanted them because I think that if a blog is to be more than a voice wittering out into the ether, then the comments section is hugely important to the blog. It is where we interact with each other and stops this from being one woman ranting or mere vanity web publishing it's where the "conversation" part happens.
I went to a works social last night, one of the more formal ones, while it was ok; the food was very good and the wine was flowing. I found myself feeling rather disengaged from it all, I've done this too often, I've seen the people too frequently and the conversation is getting old. Normally these things don't end until the last person falls over, no doubt it did last night but I was on my way home by shortly past 1 am. Considering we didn't leave the dining room til midnight due to the speeches that is early indeed. So instead of feeling very fragile this morning I feel tickity boo and tip top, but rather cheated and wondering why I bother going to these things.
What I'm Doing Tonight
Going to Kings Lynn
12 October 2005
1- Go to www.google.com
2- Type in "Failure", without the quotes
3- Instead of hitting "Search" hit "I'm feeling Lucky"
4- See what comes up!
5- Tell your friends before the people at Google fix it
It worked when I checked it this evening at 17:45
11 October 2005
The other timing that doesn't work is that my Flickr Pro account has only just come through but because I'm going to busy with other things I won't be able to do any serious uploading until after the weekend.
Here is one I prepared earlier
(see that, that was seamless bit of blogging that was)
I apologise for the poor spelling but the blogger spellcheck doesn't work on the machines we have at work.
09 October 2005
Other news - the grand tidy of the living room is almost completed, much junk has gone to the tip and I now have more usable floor space and seating.
As a side note - apparently my Aunt in Australia read my post the other day about doing a tidy up and was moved to ring my Mum to check that I was feeling ok... Hmmmm
07 October 2005
However I am going to guess at who is going to win. Liam Fox - he will sneak through by not being David Cameron who is too young, or David Davis the vote will be split with Cameron and he won't get through. Not Ken Clarke obviously... Ken is known by the general public, is a superb performer even if you don't like what he says but is hated by many many Tories because he is pro Europe and Sir Malcolm Rifkind is too Scottish and doesn't have a chance.
Now maybe I will be proved totally wrong, especially after blogging about it but I've guessed right about the last 3 Tory leadership battles.
During a visit to the mental hospital a visitor asked the Director, "What is the criterion that defines a patient to be institutionalized?"
"Well," said the Director, "we fill up a bathtub, we offer a teaspoon, a teacup, and a bucket to the patient and ask the patient to empty the bathtub."
1. Would you use the spoon?
2. Would you use the teacup?
3. Would you use the bucket?"
"Oh, I understand," said the visitor. "A normal person would choose the bucket as it is larger than the spoon or the teacup."
"Noooooo," answered the Director. "A normal person would pull the plug."
This joke has been doing the rounds at work, it has created a lot of discussion. One colleague forwarded it to her friend who rang up to say "mmmm I thought I'd outsmart them and went for the teacup as the spoon and the bucket were too obvious."
06 October 2005
05 October 2005
04 October 2005
Please see attached public information notice circulated by Cheshire RFU.
I have been asked to ensure that all XXXXX employees are aware of the risk and take appropriate precautions.
This message is serious and has been passed to us from Cheshire RFU.
Could you please cascade as quickly as possible as this came through our NHS web page.
For your information, a couple of weeks ago, in the odeon cinema, Festival Park, a person sat on something sharp in one of the seats. When she stood up to see what it was, a needle was found poking through the seat with an attached note saying, "you have been infected with HIV".
The Centres for Disease Control in Birmingham, reports similar events have taken place in several other cities recently.
ALL of the needles tested HAVE been found positive for HIV. The CDC also reports that needles have been found in the coin return areas of pay phones and coke machines. Everyone is asked to use extreme caution when confronted with these types of situations. All public chairs should be thoroughly but safely inspected prior to any use. A thorough visual inspection is considered the bare minimum. Further more, they ask that everyone notify their family members and friends of the potential dangers, as well.
The previous information was sent from hanley police station to all of the local councils in the Staffs area and was interdepartmentally dispersed.
We were all asked to pass this to as many people as possible."
It's spam. Why? because if this was true, don't you think it would have been in the local papers if not the national ones. Another reason there are loads of references to public institutes but no links and also there is no "Centres for Disease Control" in Birmingham. But mainly because it just smells of rubbish the language sounded wrong for Britain. Anyway being a billy-no-mates- geekette-killjoy I googled on "HIV needle cinema" and got this.
I know that I am probably hurtling towards grumpy old womanhood with this statement but I do wish that people would stop to think and consider before forwarding emails like this, the ones that say if you email to 5 people you will have good luck something amazing will happen to your copy to the email, and my least favourite ones - the really misandric emails that go around. 50 reasons why men are shit and chocolate is better than sex (must have had really really crap sex) with loads of "wacky gifs" and at the end they always say "forward to all the strong sassy women you know and all the men who have a sense of humor."
03 October 2005
01 October 2005
1. That blogging is the new journalism,
2. It's a democratisation of speech.
3. It will change the way we interact, relate and converse with each other.
1. Nonsense it isn't if there are 1,000,000 bloggers in the UK the number of people in Britain reading blogs will be 1,000,500. We are talking to ourselves, we haven't broken big stories, if our opinions are noted it will be one or two bloggers or blog sites and they are noted by an incredibly small number of people compared to traditional mass media. I could go into work on Monday and list the winners of the 2005 bloggies, Dooce, Wonkette, Boing Boing, Tom Coates to members of the group I work in (~ 140 members) and I would be very surprised if more than 2 or 3 of them would recognise the names if any of them. If I was to list Richard Norton Taylor, Robert Fisk, Boris Johnson I would get a far better recognition rate. What we bloggers are is a resource to journalists who are too lazy to leave the office or don't have the expense account to fund the bus ticket. A few journalists do look at what is floating about in the ether but we bloggers do not break stories.
Don't get me started on bias and fact checking, newspapers are bad enough and they run the risk of being taken to court and need to keep some resemblance of being honest brokers. Most bloggers do not have the resources to fact check properly most of us, me included, are not trained journalists I have never been formally taught the difference between reporting information and commentary.
I would put at best we are the comment pieces, the columnists of the internet, though probably we are really the Polly Fillers and Dave Sparts.
2. Democratisation of Speech - Yeah I'll go with that but who is listening, "if no one reads your blog does it exist?"
3. Changing the way we relate - Now this is true but blogging is a niche activity although it has a profound effect on my life :-D we are the exception not the norm. Most people though will still use the internet for less permanent "conversations" messenging, using chat rooms, forums.
I think the blog is a wonderful thing but its impact is overstated it is important to those of us who blog and enjoy it but to those who don't they are not missing out.
Becky summed it up very neatly here
30 September 2005
Here is a list of links for your entertainment while I attempt to think of something I want to blog about.
Comfort Breakdown from Eclectech
Santa's New Reindeer spotted by Charlotte, but it's only September for goodness sake and already we are getting fluffy Christmas Stories.
Interview with Chiwetel Ejiofor who is starring in Kinky Boots from today's Guardian
Another brilliant thing I saw in the Guardian today was photos of art work in New York, artist Ji Lee sticks speech bubbles on adverts and posters then leaves them for people to fill in he then takes photos. Wyndham found the link to Ji Lee's site though.
29 September 2005
Normally Frankie and Benny's is packed to the rafters when I've been before I've have always ended up waiting in the bar area so I suggested that we went early. We were lucky and were shown to a table straight away but I had not been expecting this which meant after an ok but not brilliant meal* we had about an hour to kill. So to the bar we went to have another drink. Sitting down looking round I noticed that there were a lot of women in there, eating and at the bar. Some of that could be put down to "going to see a chick flick with my friends" thing but as Si said as he came back from the bar with our drinks it was fairly obvious that Wednesday night is "lesbian night"! at F&B. Which, of course is fab and groovy, just it increased the number of lesbian couples I'd seen in my not particularly fab and groovy or hip corner of Cambridgeshire from nil to 5.
*Please note that we only went there because the other choices were KFC and MacDonalds
27 September 2005
first 5 random articles on Wikipedia you can be bothered to write something about.
1. 3-D Tic-Tac-Toe (Atari 2600) according to Wikipedia article this was 4 by 4 grids stacked 4 high version of the game we call naughts and crosses, never played it we didn't have an Atari.
2. Greyhound I occasionally go to the dogs with my colleagues from work it's a fun evening out if you can take the bad beer and food.
3. Castellón de la Plana apparently the capital city of the provence of Castellón in Spain. I've only ever been to Spain once for a long weekend, it was nice but very tiring.
4. Cytopathy - 'Cytopathy is the disease or disorder of a cell, or of the structures contained within a cell. Cytopathy comes from the Greek word "kytos" meaning "a hollow cell," and the Greek word "pathos" meaning "suffering." The two words combined thus mean "suffering (of) a hollow cell."' I never knew that.
5. List of state leaders in 1070 - Does what it says on the tin.
26 September 2005
There's not much else I want to say at this point except I'm grinning like a maniac writing this, I'm very very happy.
25 September 2005
Professor Yaffle and Madeline got by with a bit of supply teaching when they could pick it up. Nobody remembered what happened to the frog or was it a toad?
Eventually the mouse couldn't get through the day without a glass of wine at his side. He was often found huddled in bars next to Major Clanger loudly complaining about his agent and drinking the not very good wine they had bought because they had mugged Tobermory Womble the night before. Last seen the mouse had fallen into a cup of coffee and was heard to be mornfully singing "We will fix it, we will mend it..."
24 September 2005
To me the Ouse that that runs through York is the iconic river of that name. The Great Ouse may reach the sea but it lacks the oomph and presence of the Yorkshire river to my mind.
23 September 2005
Well I got home
I'm upright, I've eaten, I'm drinking an alkaseltzer and squash concoction. I've taken my makeup off (at about 12:30) but I'm not dressed which is not good cos I've got to get a train in about an hour and I've not even packed.
22 September 2005
20 September 2005
Up until Sunday I was using patches but during the day I began to develop nasty side effects, the instructions said stop using patches if this happened so I did. The contraindications have almost totally died away now. Not using the patches hasn't been too bad I'm a bit more irritable but that will die away and again I haven't really felt my will power being tested.
So why did I give up? Not because I was being nagged by anyone, in fact nagging is guaranteed to make me do the exact opposite. No it was because I decided I needed to for my health (I'm sick of having a 365 day cough and I'm sure others were too) and because it is getting so expensive to be anti social.
I just hope that this time it sticks properly I've given up before only to crumble. I also hope that I never turn into one of those awful anti smoking ex smokers.
I'm not going to do one of those slide bars that tell you how long with out a ciggie but if you ask nicely I might let you know how its going from time to time.
19 September 2005
The excuse for the night out was the birthday of Tigg, a friend of a neighbour of Sophie's who we stayed with in Derby. We got there early Saturday afternoon so after a cup of tea we; Sophie, Jessica, Becky and I wandered into town where we stopped at a bar for lunch. When we ordered our drinks the waitress double checked that I really wanted a pint of lager! Then Shannon met up with us because together we were going to find Tigg a birthday present. The cards didn't take long nor did the cake but the present itself took much discussion and thinking about in Top Man. We bimbled into TK Maxx where Becky demonstrated "spotting a good buy at 100 m" combined with "not wincing when wielding the credit card" skills that I have not seen in real life for a while.
I learnt a lot over this weekend as well, for instance according to Becky all tranny photos must include the feet, so this one is wrong.
But this one is correct
However when some of your subjects are tall it can be difficult
I had to do this!
But enough of Tranny Photography for beginners
It was a cracking evening, it was so nice to meet people about whom I had heard so much from Becky, seen mentioned on her blog and elsewhere so to finally meet them in the flesh was cool. Armed with glowsticks we headed off to Nottingham. After a quick drink in the bar next to the club we went in.
I'd had never been to a Gay Club before, I had never had the excuse before. It was great, the music good to dance to without slipping into cheesy, enough places to to sit and enough bar space that it didn't take hours to get served.
I like people watching I always have done, it had been fascinating that afternoon mooching around Derby with the others watching the general public to see if they clocked Sophie who was in Sophie mode. I don't think that many did and those that did do didn't point or gesticulate well not in our hearing. At the bar and the club in the evening we did get more overt stares but it wasn't unfriendly at all. A young lad came up to speak to Sophie in the bar next to the club, he was the one who told us to get in there quickly before the entry price went up.
It was a fabulous weekend and for me different from the stuff I had done before, but hopefully I will get the chance to go out on many more nights like it and different too.
* Note only need to see one of my feet.
18 September 2005
Apparently tomorrow is supposed to be talk like a pirate day, in honour of this eclectech have produced a pirate messenger.
Normal service will be resumed once I've got my photos and ideas sorted from the rather groovy weekend I had with Becky in Derby/Nottingham.
15 September 2005
Apart from that the course was the usual management nonsense except we did an exercise where I was the leader, on the feedback the trainer said that I was a powerful leader with presence! Cool just call me La Presidenta