31 October 2005


I love dressing up, I suppose it was partially why being a goth appealled to me, the clothes and the make up. It's part of why I enjoy going to the formal functions that sometimes have at work. So when Simon suggested going to a fancy dress part at Sophie's I was up for it.

However the last fancy dress do I went to was in 1986, at school.

I went as Dr Jeykll and Ms Hyde,

Dr Jeykle 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.

Jedgarhoover and Margaret

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.

J Edgar Hoover

We should have gone trick or treating before the party started I think we would have got loads of sweeties don't you?

Must. Pose. In. Corridor.

28 October 2005

I've been tagged by Jo, so here goes:

Three names I go by:

1. Jane
2. Bridget
3. Goth

Three screen names I have had:

1. Janegoth
2. Jane
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:

1. Irish
2. Welsh
3. English

Three things that scare me:

1. Spiders
2. Feet
3. loud bangs

Three of my everyday essentials:

1. housekeys
2. mobile
3. money

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:

1. Love
2. Fun
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?

Three LIES:

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:

1. sleeping
2. drinking
3. eating

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:

1. Japan
2. Rome
3. Paris

Not been to any of them really really want to go to Japan.

Three kid's names I like:

1. Edith
2. Thomas
3. Ermintrude

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!
2. er
3. thats it

Three people you want to see carry on this meme

1. Charlotte
2. Urban Chick
3. Michelle

26 October 2005

Grand Designs

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

We Like The Moon

Thank you all for your concern - I'm feeling a lot better now.

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

Poorly Me

I'm not feeling very well at the moment. I've had a nasty earache for over a week now - it feels like someone is sticking something sharp into my inner ear when I move my jaw, and there are other bits and pieces of me that don't seem to be working/falling off me. As I didn't sleep at all well, one side of my face seems to have swelled and I feel like I've been elbowed all over I'm sat at home feeling sorry for myself. I have a Doctor's appointment this afternoon will find out if there is a lot of it about.

23 October 2005

How Big?

Defence Minister John Reid was trying and failing to express exactly how big the Chinook and the C17 aircraft are, this week well he should have a blog like I do.

Chinook image from NATO

C17 and Antinov image from RAF

The Chinook fits into the C17. That's big

22 October 2005

Boys' Shopping

Went into a well known high street supplier of reasonably priced clothing for men today as Simon wanted to buy new socks.

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

We were so poor that we had to burn the telly one Christmas to keep warm.

When I was young we were poor, not grindingly poor but cash wasn't plentiful and had to be watched with a keen eye. Mend and make do was the name of the game. My mum went to jumble sales and charity shops, hand me downs were gratefully accepted.

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.

More on giving up smoking.

In the 6 and a bit weeks since I've given up smoking I hadn't really noticed any real difference except that I'd put on weight and I seemed to be hungry a lot more. But last night I did notice something for the first time I could smell ciggie smoke on Simon's clothes after we had been to the pub for a swift drink. I've also been told that I smell nicer.

It has been worthwhile and so far relatively painless.

19 October 2005

Bits and Bobs

I'm suffering from a content drought, I can't think of anything I want to share with the wider world at the moment and nothing really exciting or novel that is shareable is happening to me either. It isn't helping me with my desire to be the Dooce of East Anglia - except the being sacked from my job for blogging bit of course.

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


Captain Jack is gonna be back! Torchwood which according to the press release is going to be "dark, wild and sexy" When I read about this I immediately thought w00t, result. Will have to get BBC3. Then the cold dark dread thought struck me. What if it is shite? I don't think I could stand that.

16 October 2005


This week I have been mostly travelling - well it felt like it. On Tuesday I went up to Bolton for a factory visit and meeting. The factory visit was fascinating the meeting less so but that is the way of these things. Friday afternoon I went over to Kings Lynn to see Becky, Saturday we went to Milton Keynes to go to Angelic.

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

Just Testing - Please Talk Amongst Yourselves

Just testing the new capabilities of the new standard of Picasa. It's looking good because it has removed the need to go through Hello which was fussy. Posted by Picasa

Blogs and Ennui

Blog Bit

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.

Ennui Bit

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

Childish But....

fun, got sent these instructions by my cousin in Australia

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

Timing It Just Right.

This year's award for really missing the boat on timing should go to Knut Ahnlund of the Swedish Academy that awards the Nobel Prize for Literature. Mr Ahnlund has decided to resign in protest of the award of the prize to Austrian writer, Elfriede Jelinek in 2004, 2 days before the award for 2005 is made. Not exactly a snap decision, is it?

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.

Boat hidden in the rushes Derwentwater

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


We went to see Wallace and Gromit: Curse Of The Wererabbit, last night. It was superb, exceptionally funny, layered with jokes, the adults in the cinema were laughing more than the children. There was always the worry that Wallace and Gromit would not translate to a full length feature film but they did marvelously.

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

And They Are Off

Michael Howard has resigned as leader of the Conservative party and now it's time for a new leader to be chosen. As I would rather watch nothing but non stop Big Brother rather than vote Tory I'm not going to be in a position to help choose the new leader and to be honest I had only heard of 3 1/2 of them I say half because I was getting David Davis confused with someone else.

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.

A Joke

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

Tom Cruise To Be A Father?

No surely not? Don't know quite why, because I'm not really interested in celebrity gossip but this story disturbs me: Tom Cruise and Katie Holmes are expecting a baby. :-O

05 October 2005


Today would have been my father's 65th birthday.


He was a handsome little boy.

04 October 2005

Things That Wind Me Up # 37 - Spam Emails

Received this today

Dear All

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.


Chief Executive


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

Where Does This Rubbish Come From?

I've decided to do a bit of clearing out in the living room. I've got too much stuff it's cluttered and I can't find anything easily. For instance I've had a large cardboard box by the computer desk for at least 5 years and I've not looking in it once so I think I can safely bin whatever is inside. But in order to clear up I seem to have to create more mess right now it's chaos, there is dust everywhere and barely a clear surface to sit on. It will get better I hope.

01 October 2005

Sorry, Another Blog About Blogging

There is these things that keeps swirling round the blogosphere;


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