30 December 2008

Need A Job?


See more like this on kontraband.com

Mama Mia!

I got a surprise present from Simon for Christmas. It's a surprise present because Simon forgot that he had bought it for me, forgot to wrap it up and didn't give it to me until yesterday. But on the other hand it wasn't a surprise because Simon only remembered it while we were listening to Mark Kermode's review of the films of the year and they played an excert of Mark's review of Mama Mia!, on our way to Norwich. That was when Si pipped up, "Ohh I've got you a present."

Only problem is I'm very nervous about watching the film as I'm afraid that there is no way it is going to be as good as Mark Kermode's review of it.


Apologies to readers who are not based in the UK but you may well not be able to see the video.

I'm also nervous because you see, like the good doctor, I love Abba in a non post ironic way. The first album I ever got was Arrival, and I played it over and over again, I used to watch everything I could about them on telly, we used to play "Abba" in the playground at school. I was only 7 at the time and they made a big impression on me, I still have that LP somewhere. So I am incredibly wary of tongue in cheek "homages" to the group, or dodgy musicals with a plot created by listing Abba song titles in any old order, I still haven't really forgive Erasure for their cover versions. You don't mess with Abba.

I won't be watching the DVD with an "Oh look at me, aren't I being tremendously 'girly' and knowing in a slightly fag haggy sort of way" no, I will be watching to see if it lives up to the promise of Mark Kermode's review and with my Inner 7 year-old who always took her entertainment very seriously because that's what small children do.

26 December 2008

Keep Norfolk Local or "Don't Touch The Special Amenities"


originally uploaded by Jane Goth.



Possibly the worst campaign URL evah. Haven't they seen the League of Gentlemen

23 December 2008

Let Me Count The Ways

I think Pope Benny has a big steaming pile of poo instead of a brain.
  • Homophobia
  • Transphobia
  • Misogyny
  • Slowness to act or speak out against abusive priests
  • Flirting with creationism
  • Continuing to condemn the use of condoms to stop the spread of infection even within marriage
and those are just a few things that came to mind while I was driving to the shops this morning.

To say that transsexualism or homosexuality is a threat to the future of mankind is so completely laughable it's not funny. Comparing that "threat" to the destruction of the rainforests just goes to show just how many green shield stamps short of a teasmaid he actually is. Because even if he was in any way remotely right, which he isn't I must hasten to add, we dull old heterosexual breeders are carrying on breeding as if there was no on coming gay apocalypse. (edit: and there is quite a bit of fabulous breeding going on as well)

But just underneath his LBGT phobias lies good old fashioned misogyny and patriarchal attitudes. According to the Guardian:
"Speaking in a holiday address to the Curia, the Vatican's central administration, Benedict said yesterday the church viewed the distinction between men and women as central to human nature, and "asks that this order, set down by creation, be respected".
However the differences set out by nature aren't really that huge once you get beyond the obvious like boobies and willies. F'instance intellect and loquaciousness are the same between the genders and things like spacial awareness and what is called emotional intelligence vary more within each gender than they do between the genders. No, what he means by "this order, set down by creation" isn't what has evolved through natural selection but rather what the bible sets out. Where men are men and women are submissive, barefoot and pregnant. He's scared of the gays and lesbians and trans -men and -women because they show "this order" to be what all objectively thinking people know it to be: Bollocks.

So why is Benny coming out with this nonsense and who is he aiming it at? Well I don't think he's aiming it at us in Western Europe we are probably beyond the pale. No I think he's aiming it at Africa and South America, in both continents Fundamentalist Protestant Evangelists are making great headway by offering a simplistic black and white picture of the world and salvation which includes homophobia, transphobia and patriarchal views of the roles of men and women. Benny is just trying to out stupid the fundies. Next thing he'll be saying is that the bible is inerrant. However even taking the potential politics into account it still doesn't stop me from feeling ashamed that I was a cradle Catholic.

19 December 2008

Woohoo again

Last Day at Work Before Christmas is finally over. I now have a fortnight off along with the rest of a large chunk of the nation.

I am planning to do the Christmas food shopping early on Tuesday morning, and if possible go no where near a shop until we run out of food again, we will be catering for ourselves for Christmas I think we will be eating duck.

13 December 2008

(Not) Nice Weather For Ducks

The weather has been foul the last few days. Cold, which I don't mind too much, but with rain and now wind the weather is getting Nul points from me. This year's winter seems to be colder that last year, the gritters have been out more often and the roads appear to be much dirtier because of it. I'm not enjoying the drive as much as I did last year. I've either become much more aware of the tailgating numpties or there are more tailgating numpties on the road this year, either way they are making the drive feel much more fraught and tiring. I will be glad when the shortest day passes and the daylight hours start to increase again. I'll be even happier when I don't have to do that drive any more - 27th March isn't that far away now.

I am now running out of ordinary clothes that will fit me. I've bought a few things; maternity jeans x2 one pair for painting in as we've got painting to do and a good pair, a maternity skirt, maternity underwear and some lighter weight tops from Next. I've not seen any winter weight knitwear that I like from any of the major maternity clothing providers I've found on the net. I do have a couple of old and baggy jumpers that should see me through winter but we're not sure where they are. The problem is that we don't have much space here, so we packed up all our winter clothes last May and put them in a safe place unfortunately we can't remember which safe place it was, as we have so much packed away and stored in different places due to the lack of... yep, space. We're not panicking yet, just huddling together for warmth.

09 December 2008

Oliver Postgate

A great man, warm funny and so so creative. He and Peter Firmin made my childhood and I bet a lot of other people's a happier place to be.



And Charliemouse takes to drink

30 November 2008

WooHoo

Histon 1 - Leeds 0

It's always very nice to see Leeds lose.

29 November 2008

On The Road

On Friday I took my Mum down to Heathrow as she is going out to Australia for 2 and half months. Actually saying I took her down is probably stretching the truth - I sat in the passenger seat as she drove down to Terminal 5 and then I drove her car back up to Cambridgeshire. Travelling back was practically without a hitch except at the Black Cat Roundabout where my subconscious told me that I would much rather go the Milton Keynes Ikea than back to Buckden I was nearly at Bedford before I could turn around again. Mum has put us on her insurance so for a brief two and half months we are going to be a two car household which will be nice.

A tenant has been found for my old flat so we did some more work on it today - I say we actually I mean Simon. He headed off to start work while I pottered around Mum's house making sure that everything that should be switched off was switched off and that nothing would go nasty in the fridge in the meanwhile. I also had to do some shopping for lunch and other stuff, by the time I had finished that, Simon was almost finished with the painting so almost a perfect division of labour. We topped off the DIY day by ordering a carpet for the bedroom - green, hard wearing and cheap. It will be the first carpet in the room in over ten years.

09 November 2008

The One Where I Have An Hourglass Figure

I had my first appointment with the midwife on Wednesday - it was an hour long and very useful. She reassured me that the things I was feeling and experiencing can be a normal part of pregnancy, explained why they were happening and when I could expect them to stop. Blood was taken, urine was checked, my weight was measured. I was very relieved to see that I have only put on a kilo since I was last weighed at the doctors (in February) it doesn't stop me feeling like I've already expanded in every which way I possibly could already, but just nice to know that it's just the body redistributing itself. Right now I've almost got an hourglass figure but that won't last long, within the next month or so junior and my uterus will rise up from the pelvic region I will be able to say that the tub isn't all me.

I'm a bit of the school that you can't have too much background information so I have been buying pregnancy/baby magazines even though I know that really they are a bit shit and I have a couple of pregnancy manuals and I got Simon "the blokes guide to pregnancy" too. I guess I better join a library here, as all those "baby bibles" could turn out to be more than a bit expensive.

07 November 2008

Faust 2.0



more wonderfulness from xkcd

05 November 2008

The Next President Of The United States

I am surprised at how happy and moved I am that Barack Obama has won. That such a progressive Democrat has won, is excellent, that they weren't that impressed with Palin's "gee wizz jus' an ordinary gal" act hopefully shows that the American electorate have rejected the idea that being president is the job for an incompetent. That Barack Obama is going to be the first president whose surname ends in a vowel other than e should give heart to all "hyphenated Americans" And that Barack Obama is going to be the first black person to be President of the United States is absolutely, completely and utterly fabulous.
From Drop Box

03 November 2008

"The Daily Mail - not so much a newspaper as an idiot's guidebook issued in bite-size daily instalments"

I think Charlie Brooker may well have won teh internets with that. The rest of the article is rather spiffing too.

02 November 2008

01 November 2008

To Belgium And Back

I had two nights in Belgium with work, one of our contractors is based out there, we hadn't had a meeting with them in years, the contract's going to be extended and we needed to sort out a few niggles that had built up.

We went by train - Eurostar through to Brussels and then onto an intercity heading up towards Cologne. It was a great way to travel, yep there was waiting around but the journey felt so much more civilised.

We ended up with some spare time on the Thursday, my colleagues went for a bracing walk through the city, I went for a bracing sleep on my bed. So I can't really report on the old word charms of Belgium but my colleagues were impressed.

I got back yesterday amazed to see that there were still pockets of snow on the ground surviving from Tuesday night. It would be so nice to have a proper winter with snow, frosts, chill winds and crisp mornings but thanks to climate change I think we've seen the last of those, sadly.

27 October 2008

Too Tired To Blog

It's our wedding anniversary today but I'm too tired to blog, surfice to say we had a nice time.

25 October 2008

So Far

So far I have not been sick and long may this continue. However I have felt queasy most of the time especially when in food shops or trying to choose a sandwich at work.

No the worst effect of the hormones so far has been to make me feel absolutely shattered a lot of the time. Just driving to work has been enough to wipe me out for most of the morning which isn't really an idea situation as they do expect me to do stuff when I get there. However I have very considerate bosses and they have allowed me to work from home on occasion, which helped increase my output no end on those days.

The other effect of the hormones is that almost anything and everything can make me cry at the moment: sad looking puppies, ads for Russell Brand programmes (that man is a right royal bastard), just the mention of Two Little Boys. The inner me knows that it's a bit silly to be crying at such things but the outer me is sobbing her heart out and it's all a bit embarrassing.

21 October 2008

When...

When I saw the blue/purple line emerge on the little white sick it was probably one of the life changing moments in my life ever. But we didn't trust that test so we got the more expensive one and yes the crossed blue lines appeared.

My doctor is very good but he is a bit of a glass half empty sort of chap so when I rocked up saying I was pregnant but had a bit of spotting what I would have normally described as period pain he was worried and refered me up to the Early Pregnancy Assessment Unit at the hospital.

10 days ago I had a scan that confirmed that the pregnancy was not ectopic but while we could the yolk sac (their words not mine) we couldn't see junior yet as s/he was too small.

Today I had another scan, we saw this

Baby Scan.

8weeks2days "old" 16.6 milimetres long with a strong heartbeat.

The little blue cross was a life changing moment but now I can believe that it is really real.

20 October 2008

Doing ECDL

On a week's long training course so that I can get an European Computer Driving Licence. Unfortunately I can't just swan in and take the module exams, I have to do the training either on line or in a week's tutorial. The week's tutorial method sounded like the least painful overall, for two reasons; I can do an extra exam which will give me ECDL level two which I won't get from the on line training and it's a lot harder to cancel a whole week than it is the occasional afternoon down the computer centre.

Even though 95 percent of it is completely old stuff to me I'm still learning the new, like mail merge although now I can't think of when I would ever use it.

And why am I doing ECDL? Because at some stage I'm going to be looking for a new job and the number of job ads asking for ECDL have been rapidly increasing and I have a sneeking feeling that my 'O' Level in computer studies may no longer have the kudos it should do.

18 October 2008

Where you came from

On the old blog I listed where the readers came from. I see no reason not to restart this happy habit so far you've come from

Argentina, Australia, Bolivia, Brazil, Canada, China, Colombia, Czech Republic, Denmark, Finland, France, Germany, Greece, Hong Kong, Hungary, India, Indonesia, Ireland, Israel, Italy, Japan, Jordan, Netherlands, Mexico, Norway, Philippines, Poland, Portugal, Romania, Russia, Slovakia, Sweden, Switzerland, Turkey, United Arab Emirates and USA

Updated 30 November 2008

17 October 2008

New All About Me

New Blog new all about me section, I've left the old one intact but closed to comments.

The Me Me Me Section

Age: 39

Starsign: Astrology is nonsense, a sop to the credulous but if you are interested - Leo

Live: In King's Lynn Norfolk.

Loves: My husband Simon, we got married 27 October 2007

Job: Civil Servant, but not for much longer I was lucky enough to be picked for an Early Release Scheme so I will be leaving the Civil Service in March 2009.

Money: Not enough I refer you to the Job entry.

TV: Mainly BBC2 or Channel4Doctor Who, Horizon, Grand Designs, The Fast Show, The Mighty Boosh although I fear that they may well have jumped the shark - the last series was very poor compared to the first two. I have also become slightly addicted to MASH reruns and Star Trek (all series) repeats

Radio: There is only one radio station Radio 4. I've been listening to it for years, I listen to it in the car on my way to and from work, having said that I am getting fonder of Radio 5 Live. Particular favourites on R4 are; The News Quiz, From Our Own Correspondent, The Now Show, I'm Sorry I Haven't A Clue Coming back in June 09, The Archers (there is no script you know!) PM, Today, Broadcasting House. On Radio Five Live - I really enjoy Simon Mayo's show when I catch it and I'm a subscriber to the Kermode Mayo film reviews.

Favourite Comedians: Bill Bailey, Eddie Izzard, Marcus Brigstocke, Jeremy Hardy, Jenny Eclair they are always worth watching or listening to whatever they are in.  We are going to see Frankie Boyle at the end of the month.

Drink: Yes please

Votes: Yes but not on Big Brother

Education: Loads, studied Physics and Astronomy at Uni didn't get my degree though which is why I'm a civil servant. Has my education come in useful in my work? Yes, I'm not an engineer but I know when I'm being given engineering bullshit.

Fears: Spiders, really scared of them. Feet and the things at the end of them, my idea of torture would be a pedicure, the thought of it makes me feel poorly.

Reads: The Guardian, Private Eye, The new scientist,

Dislikes: Well, you guess.  I'm a fessed up Guardian reader, on the political compass I'm in the bottom left quadrant it should be fairly obvious which isms I'm against. Oh and I can't stand replacement Upvc double glazing in period houses ugh.

15 October 2008

Something New

I've come to the conclusion that it's time for a re-launch. The old blog name, while it never made sense, has lost its charm. Also I've started to worry that it may be discovered by the wider world at work so although I've never blogged about what I do except in the most cursory way, I don't believe that all my colleagues are as open minded about the LBGT world as you and I don't want my last six months at work to be blighted by snide or purient comments.

I will import the old blog contents in the near future.

11 October 2008

Oh The Humanity!


When will this endless slaughter end?
Huge props to Orac, where I first saw this.

01 October 2008

Still Alive

In blog terms it has been a positive age since I last posted. It turns out that it took me much longer than I expected to recover from the virus I had. What with the week of holiday I had at the top of the month I have effectively been out of the office for the whole of September, the few days I graced the place have been lost to my still feeling very tired and feeble. It has only been in the last 24 hours or so that I have properly surfaced and taken in my surroundings, Probably just in time too as I am going to be a bridesmaid on Saturday it will be my first time as one and I do not want to disgrace myself by falling asleep during the speeches.

19 September 2008

Rhodium



I meant to blog about this a couple of weeks ago.

The rest of the elements can be found at the University Of Nottingham's Website

Only When I Laugh

My virus continues.

I've spent most of my time delicately draped accross on one of the sofas like the sickly heroine of one of the more bathetic Victorian novels.

I felt decidedly better on Monday morning so it was off to work I went with, if not with a "HiHo" and a merry tune on my lips, but feeling ready for another day at work.

I walked from the car park into the office with a colleague - in that distance my voice started to sound like a teenage boy's just before it start to break and I began to feel my chest tightening up. By the time I got into the office I was beginning to squeak like a bat whisperer.

So they sent me home.

Tuesday - off work

Wednesday - off work

Thursday - off work - began to feel better

Friday - today I wake up feeling that if I don't talk too much I'll be fine. I get into work, feel awful, squeak like a bat to my boss, promptly burst into tears for no better reason than I don't feel well, get sent home again.

I seem to be ok if I do diddly squat, if I do anything for too long - talking, driving to work (remember it's an hour drive for me), trying to concentrate - it takes it out of me.

11 September 2008

Things I'm Hearting At The Moment

I'll start with the thing I'm not hearting - I've got a virus which hasn't turned into a cold but has given me a sore throat, painful blocked ears and feeling as weak as kitten. It's not done much for my cognitive skills either I could barely string a sensible sentence together yesterday at work. In fact for once I found it easier to write down my thoughts than say them. So I've been off work today and depending on how my ears and balance are tomorrow possibly tomorrow.

But back to the things I'm currently loving.

The new iTunes 8.oh.summit - the Genius feature is genius it can recommend new tracks from the iTunes store based on the track that you have highlighted and it can pull together playlists of music from you own collection that should all work together. It's not perfect, it won't work with the Beatles at all, it won't recommend you buy any of their stuff, include any of their songs in the playlist nor will it pull together a playlist from one of their songs. I know I tried it this morning.

Dark'n'Stormy
cocktails - being easily swayed by the adverts I bought some Ginger Ale so that we could have moscow mules, Simon in the spirit of experimentation decided to use rum instead of vodka and we thought we had a new taste sensation on our hands. Not surprisingly we found out that we had been beaten to the cocktail shaker but it is still rather nice.

Romantic Internet Caused Marriages - Simon and I meet through blogs, Graham and Aimee met through Flickr and they are getting married tomorrow in the States (assuming immigration hasn't been an arse) Good luck you guys, you rock.

09 September 2008

The End Of The World Is Not Scheduled For Tomorrow

But then again people love to be scared, or to be iconoclastic against the vast majority. Most don't give a monkeys about the LHC, there's not been a mention of it in the office, but then we do go in for very mundane water cooler moments where I work, football and Holby City seems to be the subjects that grip the most people.

So I'm pretty confident that I will be seeing Simon tomorrow when he gets back from St Albans where he's being educated in the ways of interfaces.

I had an offer on my flat but it was stupidly low, so I've rejected it. I doubt he'll come back with anything reasonable so the next step will be to let the place out, then this place then rent something we can live in with more than one bedroom and enough room for us to swing the proverbial cat. It will be wonderful to have a garden and a spare bedroom or two.

05 September 2008

So what have you eaten?

One of those lists that spread meme like through the "desperate for something to blog about" blogging community. It's a bit American in emphasis and I've had to look up some of the things 'cos I'd not heard of them before.

We've been busy, but nothing particularly note worthy, I've got a new camera, the weather has been shocking, finally had a viewing on my flat and possibly there will be an offer but probably not an acceptable one, still we can always let it out for the duration, people still need to live in places.

Anyways back to the meme - in bold is what I've eaten, in italics what I would never consider passing across my lips

1. Venison
2. Nettle tea
3. Huevos rancheros
4. Steak tartare
5. Crocodile
6. Black pudding
7. Cheese fondue
8. Carp
9. Borscht
10. Baba ghanoush Aubergine dip
11. Calamari
12. Pho
13. Peanut Butter and Jelly (jam) sandwich
14. Aloo gobi
15. Hot dog from a street cart
16. Epoisses - very smelly french cheese probably wouldn't consider eating but you never know
17. Black truffle
18. Fruit wine made from something other than grapes
19. Steamed pork buns - Dim Sum
20. Pistachio ice cream
21. Heirloom tomatoes
22. Fresh wild berries
23. Foie gras
24. Rice and beans
25. Brawn, or head cheese
26. Raw Scotch Bonnet pepper
27. Dulce de leche
28. Oysters
29. Baklava
30. Bagna cauda - not yet but it sounds delish
31. Wasabi peas
32. Clam chowder in a sourdough bowl
33. Salted lassi
34. Sauerkraut
35. Root beer float
36. Cognac with a fat cigar
37. Clotted cream tea
38. Vodka jelly/Jell-O
39. Gumbo
40. Oxtail
41. Curried goat - not yet but something else I want to try but goat is quite hard to get round these parts
42. Whole insects
43. Phaal
44. Goat’s milk

45. Malt whisky from a bottle worth £60/$120 or more
46. Fugu
47. Chicken tikka masala
48. Eel
49. Krispy Kreme original glazed doughnut
50. Sea urchin
51. Prickly pear
52. Umeboshi
53. Abalone
54. Paneer
55. McDonald’s Big Mac Meal
56. Spaetzle
57. Dirty gin martin - haven't tried it but only because I never knew you could do such a thing
58. Beer above 8% ABV
59. Poutine
60. Carob chips
61. S’mores
62. Sweetbreads
63. Kaolin
64. Currywurst
65. Durian
66. Frogs’ legs
67. Beignets, churros, elephant ears or funnel cake
68. Haggis
69. Fried plantain
70. Chitterlings, or andouillette
71. Gazpacho
72. Caviar and blini
73. Louche absinthe
74. Gjetost, or brunost
75. Roadkill
76. Baijiu
77. Hostess Fruit Pie
78. Snail
79. Lapsang souchong
80. Bellini
81. Tom yum
82. Eggs Benedict
83. Pocky
84. Tasting menu at a three-Michelin-star restaurant.
85. Kobe beef
86. Hare
87. Goulash
88. Flowers
89. Horse - not sure I think I may have done so in France one time
90. Criollo chocolate
91. Spam
92. Soft shell crab
93. Rose harissa - need to try this
94. Catfish
95. Mole poblano
96. Bagel and lox
97. Lobster Thermidor
98. Polenta
99. Jamaican Blue Mountain coffee
100. Snake

- I have also eaten jellyfish tenticles, kangaroo, mutton and green bagels for St Patricks Day

And the big shout going out is for Cosmic Varience where I saw this first

20 August 2008

New Toys

Flickr have upgraded the slideshow tool on their website so I'm trying it out.



right now I'm not sure that it even works satisfactorily.

19 August 2008

Arn't We Doing Well

Sometimes a picture (or screenshot) is worth a thousand words

Olympics

13 August 2008

On Board



Stanstead


Again to the seaside with work this time Newquay by plane our flight is delayed so we have hit the bar while Ryan air find our aircraft/wind up the rubber band/sacrifice small woodland creatures to the aviation gods.

12 August 2008

Thrilling

Individual Eventing on the radio is so thrilling especially when everyone on the commenting team is rooting for the final few competitors to knock over a bar or two. I started listening on my way home and found myself sat in the car still so that I wouldn't miss the climax. We weren't expecting to get a medal by all accounts ended up with a cheeky little bronze - congratulations to Tina Cook.

09 August 2008

Possibly the worst remake ever

We've just sat through the Bruce Willis version of The Jackal. What a pile of steaming crock it was shite from beginning to end. Completely untense and unthrilling just a big weapons fantasy. The original with Edward Fox was tense, exciting, thrilling - almost everything that the modern one isn't. I hear that the remake of Pyscho is bad too but I've not seen that.

So at the risk of getting no comments whatsoever what's the worst remake you've seen.

07 August 2008

T'Olympics

Which weird sport will you suddenly find yourself completely fascinated? I found myself completely involved in the weightlifting this time four years ago but this year I think the most popular spectator spectacle will be watching western politicians trying to say harsh things about the Chinese authorities trampling of human rights and reckless arms dealing without saying them so harshly that the Chinese Authorities notice and stop playing nice with our trade deficits. Bush was at it today his routine was to say the nasty things but not in China as obviously they won't notice cos it wasn't said there. It's a bit like going to a party at a neighbours house, but before you do, standing in your garden shouting loudly to all who will hear, about what a bunch of chiseling bastards they are.

China's human rights record is abysmal and I don't have the answers perhaps the Olympics should not have been awarded to them but when things cost a lot of money niceties such as free speech, justice and the right to live a life without fear of the state tend not to have as much impact.

31 July 2008

I am so boring at the moment

I can't think of anything interesting to write, when something interesting happens to me I can't blogging in an interesting way. I'm too hot, the heat and humidity just saps my brain. Work can't provide any bloggage as I won't blog about it although I may be going to Cornwall and Belgium next month - this month depending on when you read this, or the month after that or not at all. It all depends.

Right now I just want autumn to start again, for when it rains the temperature to drop properly not the humidity to rise. I really can't bear it.

28 July 2008

People Doing Good Things For Others

It's sponsorship time, I'm more than a bit late for one and going to be early for the other.

First off I have to admit I haven't got round to doing any donating yet but I will, come the end of the week when I get paid.

Firstly and currently going on is the Dales Walk in aid of the Joseph Salmon Trust. Which means Dan and chums are doing this
This July ten friends will be walking the the 78 mile long Dales Way footpath. Yes, 78 miles. In six days. And what’s more it was our own idea. Many are predicting it will be the end of us.
In aid of this
The Joseph Salmon Trust is a small charity whose aim is to offer financial assistance to people living in the Huddersfield area, whose child has died.
It's small but local and aims to help with some of the day to day stuff that really can hurt after a berevement.

The other one is my friend Dave, he's a bit of a runner, been known to do the 50 yard sprit in 3 seconds flat when last orders is sounded. Anyway someone hass attached a pint to a stick and he's running rather further now and trying to raise funds for SSAFA if you wanna donate he's got a Justgiving page http://www.justgiving.com/davidheaton

16 July 2008

Tenby


Most of the time work is pretty rubbish but just once in a while it sends me to beautiful places like this. There is a gentle breeze the warmth of the day is still lingering and i can hear the gentle sound of the waves lapping on the rocks below me. Sometimes I'm very lucky.

05 July 2008

So More Estate Agent News and other stuff

I got a letter from the new estate agents - the ones that the busted company passed the house details onto. They have taken some nice photos, got the details mostly right and arn't looking to charge any more than the last lot so I'm guessing I'll go with them.


Jesse Helms is dead, good riddence to racist, homophobic, mean spirited nasty rubbish. I'm an atheist so I don't believe in hell but I can see why so many people think it would be the right place for the loathesome bastard. Tblogg has a choice selection of Helms' quotes.

01 July 2008

Downturn

The estate agents I put my flat on the market with has gone out of business. I can't say I'm surprised as I've not heard a peep from them in ages, they've failed to get a single viewing on the flat (and it isn't that bogging) in roughly 8 weeks. Simon got a call from the company that has picked up the remaining properties on the books this afternoon, I didn't hear a thing because they failed to use the email address or the mobile number I gave them a month ago.

Actually I feel relieved, hopefully the lack of action on the flat was due to the failing company and not entirely due to the stagnating market. Anyways that's what I'm hoping, we've only had one viewer for this place in a month so it's not good out there at the moment. We will sell the properties eventually but I would like it to be sooner rather than later.

23 June 2008

Dead laptop


The laptop died on Sunday, fatal errors to the hard drive :-o. It has been hell. I can't look up actors or plot details on imdb whenever I want to. We can't play wow together which removes half the fun for me. I have got so used to having the internet as my constant, uncomplaining companion that when it's not instantly there, because I have to share the iMac with Simon, it's really annoying. So this evening I have painted my toenails that I have something to do with my hands and watched far more telly than I usually do. I haven't worked out how to blog from my phone without a picture so enjoy.

edited 24/6/08 for sense and grammar

19 June 2008

Fuel

In order to save money I've been strictly sticking to the speed limits, no drifting a little bit over any more for me. And it has made a difference, my mileage has increased by about 5%. I've also noticed that the roads are a bit quieter than they were last year and there seems to be an increase in the number of people pottling along at 50 miles a hour, I don't know if this is really so or just a bit of observation basis by me. 5% improvement in the miles I get isn't really going to cut it though I just paid for my first £50 full tank of petrol today, (our car takes about 42 litres) this time last year I was paying about £37 each time I filled up. The car is pretty good for mpg it can do about 425 on a full tank, unfortunately I drive 460 miles a week to get to work and back. It's not good, not good at all.

17 June 2008

Slowly Slowly

I'm waiting for FireFox 3.0 to down load before going to bed, I had my first annual check of my eyesight since discovering that I had glaucoma, the good news and it is very good news is that the medicine is working and there is no detiration in my vision either eye and the pressure in my eyes is good. A classic case of early detection and preventative medicine I guess.

I am "too young" to have glaucoma as it is normally seen in the over 40s I am very grateful to the staff at Boots the Optician for doing the checks when I went in for an eye test. The waiting area in the hospital backs that up as well, apart from the staff I must have been the youngest person in the waiting area by a good 25 years at least. I also have to be grateful that I don't have perfect vision because if I did I doubt that I would ever go to the opticians and it would not have been discovered until I noticed the damage, especially as there is no history of glaucoma in my family. Overall I'm lucky really.

15 June 2008

Cheese


Testing the moblog facility that comes with my new mobile. I <3 my new phone

14 June 2008

Week

I find composing blog entries directly in the Blogger create post form, saps the inspiration from me. I've had a few blog ideas this week but once I've not been able to get much further than opening up the web page before the ideas desert me. To avoid this happening again I am trying to write this blog while watching the telly not the laptop. Fortunately I can touch type, unfortunately I'm not the best typist out there so I've had to go back to correct the errors.

So this week, On Wednesday I took advantage of the new flexi scheme at work and left at 2:30 pm to go into town to see the solicitors about the information they needed from me for the HIP and other stuff, then my bank to tell them that I've changed my name and that I had moved (no need to rush these things) and then finally on to the estate agents to correct all the information that they had put in the particulars - phantom doors and missing radiators were the most glaring.

Friday saw another colleague of mine leaving for pastures new, she won't be replaced here because all our posts are relocated to the South West at some point in the future and no one wants a job with that level of insecurity. The office I work in used to have 16 people in it now there will only be 7 and most times it's emptier than that. We went to the pub to see her off there were plenty there but this is where my ears hinder me, they started to hurt and I couldn't hear people clearly enough to carry on a conversation so I ducked out early as there is no fun in not hearing peoples drunken conversations when you are sober.

Today we went into town, Simon got a new wallet and we looked at the small continental market. These markets are getting to be much of a muchness and they bear no resemblance to markets on the continent that I've seen.

I think I'll just have an egg salad

We had my version of Jambalaya, no sausages or prawns, mushrooms and saffron instead and and emergency substitution of basmati rice for american long grain but it was very nice with white wine and watching Giles Coren and Sue Perkins dice with heart disease as they eat their way through the seventies some of it was very wrong but other seventies favourites are probably still favourites today, like prawn cocktail, steak diane and black forest gateaux.

Mmmmm black forest gateaux.

08 June 2008

Haven't done one of these in ages


NerdTests.com says I'm a Cool Nerd Queen.  What are you?  Click here!


But when the result says that I'm cool how can I resist proving that really I'm not by blogging about it.

07 June 2008

Finally

Hillary Clinton has conceded defeat in the Democratic Primaries and put her support behind Barack Obama. In this race she's gone from presumptive Democratic candidate back in 2006 and early 2007 to the one who came second today. During which she's gone through about 11 million dollars of her own money and she and Bill seemed to have managed to piss away all her dignity, reputation for being fair and even handed and a hell of a lot of good will that was felt towards the couple since their days in the White House. When the Republicans went after Obama for being elitist Clinton suddenly reinvented herself as being blue collar - Pah her father may have been at the start but he was a successful business man by the time of her of her birth, she herself has had a career that is very far away from blue collar unless I missed something and lawyers are now considered as horny handed toilers.

I first heard of Obama when I was on holiday in Milan in 04, as my Italian is almost as bad as their telly I spent a bit of time watching CNN on the TV in the hotel room, it was the democratic convention, he stood out as someone who was going to go places quickly, he had charisma, looks, dignity and could give a great speech. I don't know whether he will win the presidency but he's the best candidate to run in a long long while.

03 June 2008

Birdstrike

A poor unfortunate pigeon almost certainly bought it when he collided with the passenger side window/rear view mirror of my car as I drove home this evening. I saw it out of the side of my eye and was already half tensed up when it hit the car, fortunately it seems to have done no permanent damage to the car but when I looked in the rear view mirror all I could see was a sad swirling cloud of feathers.

It was my 3rd Bloggiversary yesterday which I totally forgot about in the fun and excitement of bimbling about at home. I always need a couple of days to recover from a holiday, I've only really just got round to starting to upload photos to my flickr stream. This one is my favourite so far.

Ascension

Barcelona was great, I wish I had brought my walking boots with me though because it demands to be walked through as the buildings are spectacular. I will blog about it more as I upload more photos.

30 May 2008

Je suis dans le hotel room avec le gratis Wifi

We are now wending our way back to Blighty, so another stop in Paris this time in the 12th arrondissement, rather than almost slap bang next to Gard du Nord. The hotel has free WiFi so I'm taking advantage by trying to upload a couple of photos from Barcelona. So far on this holiday we have travelled by train, boat, metro, bus, funicular railway, cable car and plane. Tomorrow we will probably add taxi to that to get home from the station.

So far not much luck with the photos this is not the fastest wifi in the world.

27 May 2008

¡Hola from Barcelona!

Very quickly as I´m on the internets in the hotel lobby. It may well
be free but I don´t want to abuse the privilege. First full day in
Barcelona,

The metro system is lovely, clean, fast and the purple line has
stations painted the most fantastic soft greyish blue-purple I want a
wall or 4 in that colour eventually.

The Sagrada Familia is quite breathtaking in a bobbins gloriously and
happily over the top way.

We have bagged our first funicular railway of the trip need to get at
least one other and a cable car.

We´ve both caught the sun when it wasn't raining.

17 May 2008

I Apologise

For the recent lack of posts, this has mostly been because I have not been well over the last few days so I haven't felt like posting anything. Simon is taking very good care of me, trying to cater for my every need, especially those needs that include ice cream so I am being well looked after.

09 May 2008

I Can Haz A Reading List

From Notes From Evil Bender (which has to be a one of the best blog names I've seen in a while), Welcome to the “106 Books of Pretension,” meme which is really “the top 106 books most often marked as ‘unread’ by LibraryThing’s users.” I wouldn't rate a lot of these books as being pretentious some of them are very good and not at all up themselves a few are probable shite - Altas Shrugged comes to mind for one. Anyway copying Evil Bender's style, books I’ve read are in italics and books I began but didn't finished are crossed out:

* Jonathan Strange & Mr Norrell
* Anna Karenina
* Crime and Punishment
* Catch-22
* One Hundred Years of Solitude
* Wuthering Heights
* The Silmarillion
* Life of Pi : a novel
* The Name of the Rose
* Don Quixote I got it out of the school libary it was probably a bit too dense for me as a 13 yo
* Moby Dick
* Ulysses
* Madame Bovary found it dull
* The Odyssey
* Pride and Prejudice
* Jane Eyre
* The Tale of Two Cities
* The Brothers Karamazov
* Guns, Germs, and Steel: the fates of human societies
* War and Peace
* Vanity Fair
* The Time Traveler’s Wife
* The Iliad
* Emma
* The Blind Assassin I had to pack it away when I moved here.
* The Kite Runner
* Mrs. Dalloway
* Great Expectations
* American Gods
* A Heartbreaking Work of Staggering Genius
* Atlas Shrugged
* Reading Lolita in Tehran : a memoir in books
* Memoirs of a Geisha
* Middlesex
* Quicksilver
* Wicked : the life and times of the wicked witch of the West
* The Canterbury tales
* The Historian : a novel
* A Portrait of the Artist as a Young Man
* Love in the Time of Cholera
* Brave New world
* The Fountainhead
* Foucault’s Pendulum
* Middlemarch
* Frankenstein
* The Count of Monte Cristo
* Dracula
* A Clockwork Orange
*Anansi Boys not sure why I haven't finished this, I've rather enjoyed what I've read so far
* The Once and Future King
* The Grapes of Wrath
* The Poisonwood Bible : a novel
* 1984
* Angels & Demons
* The Inferno
* The Satanic Verses
* Sense and Sensibility
* The Picture of Dorian Gray
* Mansfield Park
* One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest
* To the Lighthouse
* Tess of the D’Urbervilles
* Oliver Twist
* Gulliver’s Travels
* Les Misérables
* The Corrections
* The Amazing Adventures of Kavalier and Clay
* The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time
* Dune
* The Prince
* The Sound and the Fury
* Angela’s Ashes : a memoir
* The God of Small Things
* A People’s History of the United States : 1492-present
* Cryptonomicon
* Neverwhere
* A Confederacy of Dunces
* A Short History of Nearly Everything
* Dubliners
* The Unbearable Lightness of Being
* Beloved
* Slaughterhouse-five
* The Scarlet Letter
* Eats, Shoots & Leaves
* The Mists of Avalon
* Oryx and Crake : a novel
* Collapse : how societies choose to fail or succeed
* Cloud Atlas
* The Confusion
* Lolita
* Persuasion
* Northanger Abbey
*The Catcher in the Rye to my shame
* On the Road
* The Hunchback of Notre Dame
* Freakonomics : a rogue economist explores the hidden side of everything
*Zen and the Art of Motorcycle Maintenance : an inquiry into values thought it was rubbish
* The Aeneid
* Watership Down
* Gravity’s Rainbow
* The Hobbit
* In Cold Blood : a true account of a multiple murder and its consequences
* White Teeth
* Treasure Island
* David Copperfield
* The Three Musketeers

01 May 2008

Remembering Tristram

Tristram Cary 1925 - 2008

Tristram

Tristram Cary the composer and pioneer of electronic music was married to my Aunt Jane. I first met him in the late 80s when they came over from Australia to visit. He introduced us to Australian wine (which was just up and coming in Harrogate at the time) and what to appreciate in it. I got to know him a bit better when we stayed with him and my Aunt in Adelaide over Christmas of 92. I was still a student at the time and I had work to do on an astronomy essay, Tristram volunteered to vouch for me at the University Library as I needed some more information. After I had done my digging for references amongst the bookshelves he showed me around the University Campus and the nearby radio studios where he occasionally broadcast. I remember that we also visited the staff bar for a reviving drink before lunch there we talked about beer and sculpture. Tristram was a kind and convivial host, he took as a personal affront if our glasses were not charged with a drink of our liking.

His favourite pub in London was the French House on Dean Street, they have a rather nice restaurant upstairs. Whenever he and Jane were over they tried to have at least one meal with family there, these occasions were always a bit boozy, entertaining and gossipy.

In 2004 Tristram's work was the subject of a retrospective called Integrated Circuits on the Brighton Festival Fringe. There was an evening performance, both taped and live, of his electronic works from his early work including some done at the Radiophonic Workshop to more recent compositions, finishing with a live performance of Trios which was fascinating to watch. The next day we saw a double bill of films that he composed for; The Ladykillers and Quatermass and the Pit, The Ladykillers is still a wonderful film and Tristram's music is a huge part of that, he re scored the Boccherini quartet as a quintet for the five criminal masterminds. Quatermass and the Pit is a classic Hammer Horror you think you are going to laugh at the cheapo special effects but end up being engrossed and scared, if you are me. Tristram happily answered questions after the showing and then we went to the pub.

If you are British and had a telly during the 70s you almost have certainly heard his music many times as he composed the score to a cartoon version of a Christmas Carol. It seemed to be on every year when I was a child, I loved it, it was only 28 minutes long but managed to keep all the essential parts of the story, I would love to get a copy but it doesn't seem to have been released on CD. It is strange to find out that you know let alone related to worked on something that you adored as a child, strange but very thrilling.

My mobile ring tone is Tristram's version of the Dr Who theme tune. I asked him once how come he had ended up scoring the Daleks but not the theme tune to Dr Who? He told me that it was because that was how he and Ron Grainer had been commissioned for the series, Grainer got the first series, "An Unearthly Child", so got to adapt Delia Derbyshire's theme and he had got the "Daleks", it could have easily have been the other way round and he would have worked on the opening and closing music. I've got a CD of Tristram's music, signed natch, it would be great to hear it with the pictures; the music is sparse and scary far better than what we've got at the moment on Dr Who - lush, cloying, far too forward in the mix and as obvious as a mallet.

The last time I saw him was at his surprise 80th birthday party thrown for him by one of his cousins, it was a lovely day, the sun shone, Tristram was in fine fettle, family and friends came. There was cake . It was a great day.




Some more information on Tristram.

Simonsound.co.uk
, The Times

19 April 2008

Humphrey Lyttleton Is Not Well

I'm on the Sorry I Haven't A Clue mailing list through it heard that Humph has had an aortic aneurysm.
...Humphrey Lyttelton has been detained in hospital for an operation to repair an aortic aneurysm.

We are unclear precisely how long Humph's recovery period will be, but it seems very likely that the Spring Series of "I'm Sorry I Haven't A Clue" will have to be postponed.


Hopefully he will get well soon, for his own sake and for ours we can't have put up with Quote Unquote for too long.

18 April 2008

Published Photographer

One of my many roles as a Tranny Wallah is to wield the camera when Becky is ready for her "close ups, but not too close darlink." I don't really mind as I enjoy photography and bossing Becky about. So when the Norwich Evening News asked Becky to supply some photos to illustrate the feature about her it was inevitable that at least one of my photos would get sent along. That didn't stop it being really quite freaky to look at the NEN online this lunchtime and see my picture above the fold on the front page.

Becky Enverite

Nothing I've done has ever been published before and I'm finding it odd to think that the picture what I took will be looked at by thousands of people and become landfill or wrappings for fish and chips and that's a rather weird feeling.

That and having my name changed to Lucy to "protect the innocent" has been all rather exciting. All I need now is a plain clothes policeman in a homburg to ask me for "just the facts Ma'am" and my day will be totally made!

16 April 2008

Christmas Lights FTW


Christmas lights, originally uploaded by Jane Goth.

I got a comment on this photo today it says
Hi, this is lovely why not enter our competition www.big-c.co.uk


Photography Competition
Big C' s Local Christmas Card Competition is now open for entries and it's free to take part!

We are looking for photographs that can be used on our local Christmas card for 2008 to help raise funds for complete cancer care in Norfolk & Waveney. We need 'wintery' scenes of recognisable landmarks in Norwich such as The Cathedral or Pulls Ferry, photographs do not have to have been taken this year.

The winning photograph will then be used on our Local Christmas Card which will be for sale in our Big C Shops, from Cards for Good Causes in the Forum or by mail order.

The winner will be acknowledged on the rear of the card as well as on our website and will receive a complimentary pack of 10 cards and envelopes to mail out to friends and family!
The Big C is a great charity and their shops are lovely too I got my tiara in their bridal shop but really, would you want a picture of a Norwich City Wheelie Bin adorning your mantelpiece Christmas 2008?

Cos if you don't enter some decent photos to their competition I might just take them up on the offer!

11 April 2008

I have a hangover

Went out last night on a works type do, drank a little too much had a lovely time and stayed in my old flat. I wisely took today off so I recovered this morning sitting on the sofa drinking tea watching house programmes which if you flick carefully you could just about do all day. Which has sort inspired me, we are hoping to finally get my flat on the market by the end of the month and then this place so that we can trade up and buy a house. We've not really done any house hunting yet so we've not yet got an agreed list of must haves. I know we do not want a "project" redecorating fine, knocking down walls and building extensions out of recycled Finnish mobile phones not so fine.

Oh and we need broadband, and decent broadband to boot, time to start working out where the telephone exchanges are.

07 April 2008

"Cold Dead Hands" or "Put His Vest On"?

So when you heard that Charlton Heston had finally shuffled off this mortal coil did you first think of his NRA work or did you think of this marvelous song by Stump?



Me - the song of course.

06 April 2008

So What Did You Think?

To the new series of Dr Who?

I really enjoyed it the story wasn't that special it got Donna and the Dr together nicely, they seemed to have upped the comedy element compared even to other funny episodes but it wasn't that scary. I just hope that they haven't decided to sacrifice the scary, they can't have, I can't think of many jokes to be made about the Sontarans after the no neck ones. By the by I spent a whole year doing courses with a woman who looked just like a Sontaran, she had the same personality type as well, she was poisonous. Catherine Tate proved that there is space in the Tardis for 30 something women which will keep my hopes alive that one day I'll get to see its insides.



image nicked from the bbc (they tend to take them down after a while)

30 March 2008

Sloth

Humorous Pictures
see more crazy cat pics

Sorry of the lack of blogging action over the last week, I've not done much I can write about recently and as work has been a little intense recently I've not felt like going out to look for stuff to witter on about either, I'm not sure when things will be back to their usual low standards round here but they will be.

But lookee a Sloth.

23 March 2008

Happy Easter

Happy Easter

The first proper snow all winter and it happens at Easter. We are off to my mother's this morning, I'm fairly sure that the snow won't stop us. I hope you all have a lovely day.

21 March 2008

It's Cold Outside

Seeing as it is, still, only March it would be unreasonable to expect warm, barmy days just yet. Which is good because it's bloody cold out there (comparatively) We were out on the road today, the road into and past Lynn were chocka with big cars pulling caravans, to spend Easter in Norfolk, however coming back home this afternoon the roads were quiet. Last Easter the traffic was far heavier, but it was warmer as Easter was later in the year.
But even I can tell that no matter how cold it is right now spring is definitely getting here, the hedgerows are greening up, the fields are vibrant with the young shoots of whatever is being grown in them. I drive through the countryside Monday to Friday it is a bit closer to nature than I actually would care to be, I am a townie at heart and like my nature to be well cared for botanical gardens or people friendly parks surrounded by the comfort of civilisation or failing that bricks and mortar. So although I am getting this exposure to the great outdoors on a much more frequent basis I am still almost completely blissfully ignorant of what happens in the countryside around me. Frankly if it doesn't happen in the Archers then do not expect me to know. I only found out that there was type of tree called a silver birch last month and I knowingly saw my first one today when Simon point one out to me. And to be honest I'm still not 100% sure that he's not pulling my leg.

18 March 2008

Hubris and Make Believe

Hubris and Make Believe

It couldn't have happened to more deserving people/organisations.

15 March 2008

Time Capsule

I've signed up for a web service called Photojojo's Photo Time Capsule, it sends you an email every so often showing your most interesting photos from this time last year so for me it showed.

this

tulip-macro-grainy

this

Hiding Trees

(my favourite I think)

this

Me going out

this

Delta Wing

one of the last pictures I took with my old camera - it died that day

and finally this

vase

I think getting these reminders is rather cool.

10 March 2008

Kilobyte by xkcd



Made me laugh anyways. I still remember where I was when I was told that half a byte was called a 'nibble'

05 March 2008

Brockly


Brockly, originally uploaded by Jane Goth.

When I first saw this I was stood there asking my friends "have you heard of brockly? Is it like a methi?" Turns out this is the phonetic spelling of broccoli. We were at the Spiceland restaurant off the A1(M) near Sawtry, it's an easy drive from work and at £5.95 per head for all you can eat, it's hard to go wrong. Throw in a wide variety of different curries, bhajis, rices and something and chips for those who can't stomach Indian food, it gets better. Then take into account that it almost all tastes delicious then it's a major bargain. They don't have a licence so they operate on a BYOB for booze. They do an aubergine bhaji that is crisp, light and melts in the mouth. None of the flavours in the food were bludgeoned by heat from chili you can taste the bay leaves, the cardamom, coriander and cumin. They even do all you can eat puddings though at lunch time this means fresh fruit salads, which is no bad thing. It's worth coming off the A1 for, after all what's the choice, good food here or dubious rubbish at the "Xtra" near Peterborough.

04 March 2008

Hard Sell

I am now seeing through a pristine windscreen (shield for our ex colonial friends to the west) the old one developed a crack over the weekend which required replacing rather than fixing, and seeing as the recommended company from the insurers is no where near work and it would take at least an hour to cure, it meant that I couldn't get it done during the lunch hour yesterday. So I took the day off, (I've saved leave days for the car* like others save them in case the children are ill, we are either going to need a new car or very healthy children.) it was nice to be cozily wrapped up in bed this morning watching the snow trying to make what was left of the winter count. By the time the chap came round to do the windscreen the clouds had temporarily scudded away and the sun was doing its best to shine.

We got more snow, hail and wind in the afternoon but it was far too warm for it to stick, I think that could be the last gasp of a rather pathetic winter.

Just watching a programme on BBC4 called Hard Sell - they are discussing the advertising of alcohol, quite a few of the commenters are saying that the days of advertising alcohol are numbered much like it became clear that tabbaco advertising had a slow and lingering death. But no one has really commented on whether the increasingly strict advertising rules have worked in reducing the amount of drink related deaths/accidents/arrests. The anecdotal evidence seems to suggest not, but I don't trust anecdotal evidence as it isn't evidence it's just what someone thinks. I wonder what the real evidence is.

*to be fair, the car isn't a lemon by any means. We were a bit unlucky with it been broken in to as well as the gear box linkage chain thingy seizing up. It's just any problem that needs a garage immediately or a man to come out gets amplified by a 90 mile round trip to work and a strict "no tradesmen on site" rule once there unless it's a case of towing or getting the car started.

03 March 2008

Just random stuff

Who are you gonna vote for?

Implicit Association

The mere thought of Huckabee being associated with "good" was giving me serious finger trouble.

I've been getting into Jezebel an American on line magazine for all the cool chicks and dudes

Lolvogue

I have to thank Thau for mentioning the 'zine on her blog, it's what I wanted Cosmo to be instead of the sad sack of tired cliche it is.

And that's it, I couldn't find a third thing for today

02 March 2008

Reasons to feel Mopey

Simon is off on a course this week in Reading, right now as I type he is crawling his way around the M25. I don't know what to do with myself, I can watch whatever I want on telly but by a cruel twist of fate that is often suffered on a Sunday there is bugger all on. This will be the longest we have been apart since I moved in and almost since we met each other back in August 05. There were a couple of weekends when one of us didn't go to see the other because of ill health and a couple of Wednesday we may have missed out on because of work and stuff but that is it.

I know, I know it's only a few days but I'm no longer used to being on my own and it feels definitely odd, too quiet, no one to make me tea and no one to drink all the milk without warning me.

There is an upside I can prawns, sprouts and cauliflower as much as I want but it's not much of a benefit.

It's going to be a long week.

01 March 2008

Reasons To Be Cheerful

I love to moan as much as the next under appreciated, under paid, mis understood, worker bee but I will allow little rays of sunshine into my life every now and then.

Yesterday afternoon was just the time for a faint glimmer of a smile in the face of Arctic winds and the whipped, stinging cold rain. I don't know if I have mentioned this before, but for some time now I have been having trouble with my ears, especially the left one, almost constant tinnitus, frequent ear aches, not being able to hear people properly and then having other sounds, that were no louder then the people I couldn't hear go through me like warm pneumatic drill through butter. And then there were the dizzy spells, not often, but over the course of the last year there have been times when I've not been able to keep my head up because everything felt like it was moving.

Anyway as part of the investigation into these problems I had two hearing tests last year both of which showed some hearing loss in the left ear. For the consultant's appointment on Friday I had yet another test on Tuesday. The cow of an audiologist would not let me know what the results were, so I had to wait until yesterday afternoon to get some surprising but good news.

My hearing is back to normal, there is no sign of damage to the ears and they look all OK. The consultant thought that I had probably had something called labyrinthintitus which like most viruses has over the months finally got better of its own accord. Except for I am still having earache and tinnitus which he said was probably because it can take a lot of time for the ears to get back to normal so I'm gonna have a scan to see if the wonders of modern technology can show if there is anything untoward.

It's not a complete sign off but it is such a relief that my hearing has returned to normal, even if it doesn't feel like it at the moment, as I don't think I could stand loosing the ability to enjoy music and the world about me aurally.

29 February 2008

WEEEEEEEEEEEEE

It's the 29th of February!

Really we should make more of this date, it should be a world wide public holiday

27 February 2008

No Princess Me

(OK I know that was about peas and mattresses but I think the general principle applies)

We slept right through the earthquake early this morning, the first thing I knew about it was the blethering on the radio as I drove into work. At work though I thought I was going to be the only one who missed as everyone I spoke to was convinced that it was impossible to miss and I must be strange to have slept through.

23 February 2008

With Tongues

Just a quick post as I'm up in sunny (well overcast, squally, windy and frankly dark as it's now 20 to 7) Northumberland visiting my very bestest friend Anne. I am up here sans Simon as we have been wedding dress shopping today and we needed to be focused and zen. We looking for a wedding dress for her and bridesmaid dress for me, fortunately we were very successful and had sorted out the dresses and half of Anne's accessories before the hour was out and made Anne's future mother in law cry too but in a good way.

So we had the rest of the day to fill so we went up to Alnwick to visit the hotel for the reception a bit further north again to go to the church. In the afternoon we watched John play rugby, it was so cold and windy we huddled in the small stand but couldn't get warm so we eventually took refuge in the rugby club. It is years since I've been in a club house, my little brother used to play mini rugby on a Sunday and the whole family would traipse around Yorkshire watching him play, It all came flooding back the bored little kids running around the tables, wives helping out in the kitchen and girlfriends behind the bar. It was lovely.

When we finally got to the house yesterday Milo, Anne and John's little jack russell decided to welcome me properly to the house by jumping up onto my lap and sticking his tongue in my mouth. Which is a bit forward, considering that I am married and we had only just met, it must those long dark northern nights it does something to the population.

18 February 2008

Not Fun

It was not fun driving into work this morning.
fog

It's cold outside

FrostEven after an hour and twenty odd minutes of the engine running the frost hadn't completely melted from the bonnet.

13 February 2008

New Who Bootleg Stylee



Big Shout Out has to go to Phil Plait the Bad Astronomer who even though he is a perfidious American just lurves his Doctor Who

12 February 2008

Oh Noes!

I'm not a Peggle widow I'm a Portal one!

10 February 2008

Once More With Understanding

I'm idling watching the BAFTAs at the moment and apart from the awful amount of padding that seems to be going on in between the awards and a couple of remarkably odd frocks the biggest that has hit me is that the "talent" that has come on to read out the winners of the various categories seem to be having great difficulty with the autocue and apart from Cuba Gooding Jr they've all sounded very. wooden. and. disjointed. Of course this is how Sly Stallone normally acts.

I think I may have become a Peggle widow it's worse than WoW! ;-)

08 February 2008

Doing Lunch Fenland Style

I met up with my mum for lunch yesterday and to look at tiles for my old flat so that we can get on and sell it. I've chosen my tiles but Kevin the Tile didn't ring like his boss said he would do today so I'm going to have to ring them on Monday. But anyhoo tile choosing didn't take too long as all the tiles had to do was fit in the centre of my mental Venn diagram in being cheap, not being too bogging and not emphasising any flaws in the kitchen walls.

We ended up going to Dunelm for lunch as it was close and time was short, they've got a little coffee shop and pannine place to the side, it was wasn't chocka but it was busy with women of a certain age taking their doddery mothers for a day out round the home furnishings and younger women round my age "doing lunch" It's not exactly Harvey Nicks but then again where is? The coffee was nice and the food not awful so it must be good enough to draw in the ladies of the near by business estate for lunch.

We then admired the artificial flower collection in the shop. Some of them were very good facsimiles of their flowers and some seemed to revel in their artificiality to great effect such as the over sized soft sage green poppies. Thing is I'm still 75% sure that artificial flowers are terribly naff, but there were some fab black rose buds with velvet petals my inner goth was going want now.

06 February 2008

Vote Vote Vote

Instead of sitting slack jawed trying to work out how the hell the American Primary voting system works why don't you get yourself over to the Indy Awards website and vote for those Noir Music Mavens "Deathline" It's better to win that just be nominated - help Jennie and Kaoru fulfill that dream.

Thanks

03 February 2008

Sweeney Todd

We went down for to London for the weekend, have a mooch and then see a show or have a good meal. We weren't lucky with seeing a show, mostly because the only show I was wanted to go to see was sold out and I didn't fancy any of the others so we decided to go to the cinema instead.

It wasn't cheap, mind you it never is on Leicester Square and in someways it is truly a tourist trap. But the Odeon was a very comfortable tourist trap and the view of the screen was fantastic. We went to see Sweeney Todd, the new Tim Burton film and it was very good, the acting was almost universally excellent, the set design was fabulous, and the singing was good to enough to get by with but the one thing that really let it down and would stop me from saying that it was a five star film was the music. Try as I might I can not remember one single tune from the whole of the film, I couldn't remember the tunes five minutes after leaving the cinema they were that unmemorable - I have heard it said of Steven Sondheim before that he writes clever sophisticated music for clever sophisticated musicals but not actually anything that you could hum or sing to someone to entertain them because the tunes slip out of the mind faster then last nights weather forecast.

Even while watching the film I was struck with the thought that it was a shame that Lionel Bart never got his hands on the story because we'd have had a few ditties even if they would not have been terribly clever and sophisticated.

30 January 2008

Contentment

I suppose much like in Dramas, soap operas and TV movies of the week, blogs also suffer from when the main protagonist in this case me, is gently bimbling along in a fairly contented manner. Home life is good, we are getting used to being married, we are going down to London this weekend for a night out or a show depending what we can get and both agree on, but either way it should be fun. I wanna visit a gallery or two and Si will probably want to sigh over the Macs. Speaking of which I think I will need an Ipod touch at some point this year as my nano is getting a touch flaky battery wise, we shall see what happens anyways it's not my birthday til August. But really not that much excitement is happening at the moment, I have work things to sort out and we both have to sell property and buy a house but it's not something that is blog worthy at the moment.

Simon's our laptop is a bit poorly at the moment, the fan runs hot, rough and rowdily if you throw too many apps at it and the M is a bit sticky at the mo which is of a problem so hopefully are going to get the laptop to a fixer upper this weekend before anything else more costly can go wrong, so I will have Si's undivided attention this weekend!

25 January 2008

Isn't This Possibly The Most Ghastly Thing You'll See All Year


Not all my friends have been trained in the ways of 'not forwarding every piece of shit that lands in their email box' And it's just about liveable most people don't have my email address! However sometimes some real horrors land in the in box

Like this to the left. It also came with a pile of steaming prose

"GUARDIAN ANGEL

Forward this message the same day you received it.
It may sound ridiculous, but it is right on time[.] We believe that something is about to happen. Angels exist, only sometimes they haven't got wings and we call them friends; you are one of them[.] Something wonderful is about to happen to you and your friends.
Tomorrow at 11:14 AM somebody will address you and tell you something you have been waiting to hear
Please do not break this chain. Send it to at least 7 of your friends."

Yeah right, you won't be surprised that I haven't chosen to forward it on, instead I've chosen to mock it's awfulness. It's a pile of cack designed to appeal to the woolly thinkers and the careless forwarders and that is the most crap/sinister picture of angels I've seen in a while it looks like its a screen grab from an early 1980's electropop video done by a neofascist band. It's just wrong.

24 January 2008

Squeeeee

My bridesmaid, Anne, got engaged over Christmas to John which is a very cool and groovy thing as he's a great bloke and they make a good couple. Anyway now that they've firmed up the date they want for the wedding she's asked me to be a bridesmaid. I'm dead excited I've never been a bridesmaid before and I'm really looking forward to it! Anyway hopefully she won't put me through the torture of having to make any speeches. We were chatting on the phone about colours and styles of dresses this evening, Simon was sat on the couch, laughing at me mouthing the word "Brides(maid)-zilla."

Humph, I'm allowed to be excited sometimes. ;-p

20 January 2008

Recovery Times

We went to a Burns Night Supper on Friday, I elected to drive as I didn't really want to risk having a huge hangover the next day and also, to be fair, it was my turn as Si has taken the driving duties the last few times we've been out.

We had an excellent evening and stuck to my plan of staying under the limit while Simon partook fully, he didn't get wasted but was still happily merry as I poured him into the car after the ceilegh. But oh the next day when we woke up he was a delicate and suffering Simon as the Highland Park took its revenge.

I do not mock, I have been there myself where it isn't so much the amount that you drink but rather the what, whisky and port can give very bad hangovers for not much drunk. Also as I slipped past my early thirties I have found that my powers of recovery have faded away, where once all it took was a cherry coke (full fat) and a cheese sandwich to put me almost right with the world, it now takes a whole weekend of care, attention and nothing too heavy on the stomach to put me back to sorts.

Fortunately Simon was coaxed back into the land of the not so suffering with mashed potatoes and baked beans for lunch and an afternoon nap. But its becoming increasingly clear that the days roistering and seeing the dawn come in with a glass of splishy splashy in our hands may be slowly slipping away from us.

17 January 2008

Something Terribly Wrong

Simon is trying to do something terribly wrong and ugly with our new shiny, pristine, innocent and virginal computer.

Ugly

He tried to upload XP to the Mac, it didn't work this time but he's twirling his dramatic mustaches like a Victorian villain saying "next time my pretty..... muwehahahaha"

13 January 2008

Eight Random Things in 2007

I was tagged by Stephanie to do the eight things about myself meme, Now I can't think of eight things about me that I haven't already covered in my "about me page" so I've decided to do "eight random things that happened in 07 that I want to write about"

Favourite album of the year - has to be the Foo Fighters one Echos Silence, Patience and Grace. Which rather surprises me as I never thought that I would be a fan, but on the other hand I like Dinosaur Jnr and Nirvana and a lot of noisy post punk so why shouldn't I be. This album though is just pop tastic with memorable, hummable tunes and you can't say that about a lot of albums.

Disappointing TV series of the year - the latest Mighty Boosh intermittently funny but ultimately lazy, lacking in imagination, plots or decent songs. if they do a fourth series they fewer people in it, no inviting the whole of Hoxton, a plot to hang the joke on and ditch old characters, no Cockney Hitchers or bloody Tony Harrison, funny once, possibly funny twice really annoying after that.

Event of the year - Getting married natch, it was lovely and we are so lucky in our family and friends.

Film of the year - we don't go to that many films, Si and I have differing tastes and at teh end of a long day/week there is fairly little that really tempts me so it's not a huge field to choose from so I'm going for Hot Fuzz - v funny, if a little bit daft.

Christmas decoration of the year - courtesy of Homebase - what were they thinking?

Pink And Fluffy Wreath

Beach of the year - Fuerteventura - golden sand, warm sea, turquoise seas the stuff of dreams and holiday programmes and apart from the promenading naturists the views were fantastic wherever you looked.

Playa de Sotavento de Jandia

My new favourite website - Can I has cheezeburger

funny pictures
moar funny pictures

cats, bad grammar, and captions - genius!

And finally new taste sensation of the year, it's a has to be home made curries from first principles I have lost my fear of mixing spices together and we have been really enjoying the recipes on Route 79

I'm not going to spread on this meme but if you want to have a go please feel free to .

11 January 2008

Does Benny Hill Cure Sadness?

I don't think Benny Hill was funny but there is a theory about that his theme tune when applied appropriately can stop you from feeling sad. So Dan from All That Goes With It thought he would test out this idea using the film that many have said is the most tear jerking of all.


Now I'm easily manipulated, I'll weep like a baby at a dog food commercial if they put in the right amount of pathos. So I reckon I'm a pretty good test subject and I can safely say I sat there without even the start of a bottom lip tremble, in fact I may have sniggered once or twice.