Thursday, December 28, 2006

Until Next Year...

So Christmas is gone again. It’s been a good one for me. My sister and her boyfriend and my parents all came to my house for Christmas day. Everyone received thoughtful gifts which they should enjoy (or in the case of Dad’s chocolates, already have enjoyed) and we had an entertaining day!

Highlights (in roughly chronological order)
A quiet half-hour before breakfast with Leon
Duran Duran!
Gayle’s impatience while Leon took ages getting dressed
Leon’s face when he opened his new bass amp
Guitar Hero!
The Turkey! (Well done Leon)
“It must be Norman Lamont or Mike Tyson!”
Wearing new pyjamas to bed

Anyway, we went on to my parents’ house on Boxing Day for a nice Boxing Day tea. We watched Over the Hedge which was quite entertaining, but not a patch on Monsters Inc. We also played cards and watched the docu-drama United 93 which was quite interesting, but a little on the long side considering that they don’t really know what happened up there.

Then on the day after Boxing Day we all trekked off to the sales in Lincoln. This was actually a last-minute decision, but turned out to be an entertaining day. I like shopping. I got bargains in Top Shop (half price boob-tube) and New Look (boots, tops, shirts and the jacket I’ve been after for ages which Leon got me as an early birthday prezzie). Then we hit Primark. They don’t have a sale on, but it’s almost the same with their prices! I mostly got underwear. Leon got some fab new t-shirts and a new hoodie.
Of course that will not stop me from hitting the New Look sale in York too – at some point. Probably on a lunchtime since I’m working the weekend this weekend coming up.

Friday, December 22, 2006

Last Working Day

It's the last working day before Christmas. It doesn't feel like we're winding down though! Things keep going wrong. Still, my manager is not in the office today, his manager is on his way home too. Only us skivvies still stuck in the office, providing cover in case someone has a problem that that want to talk to us about; which we would probably tell them we would fix next week.

My lunch was disappointing today too. I opted to try something different from my usual sandwich place, and they didn’t have either of the soups that I like. So I tried an all day breakfast sandwich and mushroom soup. I didn't enjoy either, though I did enjoy the curly wurly that I brought from the secret Santa gift I got.

We have a busy day tomorrow, getting the remaining few bits from the shops for Christmas, including the pre-ordered turkey. We've also got a teeny bit of decorating that we have to do, though that will not take long at all. I'm looking forward to having curtains up in the bathroom at long last! I’m not looking forward to taking up the hem on the shower curtain, but it shouldn’t take more than about 10 minutes to do. It is likely to take longer to get out the sewing machine, plug it in and sort out my cotton than it will to actually sew the shower curtain!

When we've put up the new curtains I will also remove the old towels from the bathroom and replace them with the new aubergine coloured towels which we ordered. Then we're just waiting for the bath-mats and we need to pick up some face-cloths.

Of course, I'm not working so hard that I couldn't find two minutes to post this, so maybe it is winding down a bit.

Thursday, December 21, 2006

A Little More Festive

Stockings I have made stockings for Leon and Myself (as I mentioned in an earlier post), which helps on the old festive feeling. Also the cute little stockings I made for Aston and Martin are very festive looking (unlike our pink ones)

We've also had all of the work-based Christmas festivities now, and there is only one day left to work. We did the Secret Santa for our team, which as usual was not very secret! Still... I hope that the four people who were not at the pub enjoy their gifts too.
Mini Stockings Of course the new foggier weather has helped to make the weather feel more wintery, which is good I suppose - except for that now I am cold! Still, fog is one of my favourite types of weather. Okay, it's not so good for driving in, or flying! It's so calm and slightly eerie which is pleasant in a weird way. Fog at Work As you can see (or not) the fog was pretty thick. Of course, unlike in the horror novel "The Fog" this fog isn't sending people mad or killing anyone! That's good.
I did see a man rowing in the fog today. On the river too, the fog is not that thick. Anyway, my only thought about this was not "I bet he's cold" or even "crazy" but rather "He should have lights on that boat or he might get run over by a bigger boat." Hmm.

Lunch today was... entertaining.
Blakey, Blakey's Dad (not really), MW, Tom and myself visited Varsity (why??) and had lunch there, whilst doing the Secret Santa - or half of it. General chit chat and merriment, despite the short numbers.
Most entertaining moment: Blakey's Dad (not really) lost his Razr mobile phone down the side of the seat and we had to get a barman to help dismantle the seat to get it back. Hilarious - if you were there. I pretty much just watched and ate my chips. Curly fries, Yum!

Tuesday, December 19, 2006

It's always going backwards

I went driving again last night. I did parallel park which used to be my least favourite manoeuvre. It wasn’t so bad, though whether I’ll remember it next time is another question. I also had a second go at left reverse (AKA reverse round a corner) which after a shaky start also went okay. I am starting to think that there is a hope in Hell of me passing! Just not yet.
Also, my theory test can now be booked as my provisional licence has arrived. Now I just have to make sure not to lose any of the bits of it!

Monday, December 18, 2006

A Good Weekend

This weekend was a good one. I got lots done!
I suppose the weekend really started with the department Christmas lunch, which was at a local hotel. The food was good, there was wine, and it was all free! Woo! After this we moved on to a dodgy club for two more free drinks, and then (as I was drunk) I offered a friend a lift home. Leon picked us up and we went across town for a while. We had tasty pizza and chips and had a nosey at our friends' extension. (For the pedants among you, I have correctly used the apostrophe, as by this point I am referring to two friends.)
We had quite an early night and I was almost ready for the world by the following morning! My parents arrived quite early, but this was planned so I was dressed and everything! Anyway, we got ourselves organised and went to a farmers' market (I forget where exactly) which was very exciting! We bought a variety of vegetables (parsnip, Swede, Brussels on a big stick-thing, streaky bacon for the turkey and some posh sausages for Christmas Breakfast, and a jar of honey-peanut butter [I tried the garlic, but that was not to my taste!]) Once we'd done browsing and buying we decided to stop in the café area for lunch. We originally expected this to be pork-in-a-bun or similar, but we ended up with a massive plate of meat and vegetables! Though the man did want us to have mashed potatoes and chips!
Then while Leon and Dad finished insulating the loft, Mum and I went into town. We were going to Beer-Ritz (as I mentioned previously) but it's gone! It’s been turned into a trendy wine bar – no shadow of a lie! Rubbish! So, that was not a success.
I did manage to book a table for my birthday (though I'll probably call to confirm that before the event).
We also ordered a turkey. I have since discovered that it is probably twice the size we actually need but hey – it’s Christmas! So, we’ve got a 12lb turkey for the 6 of us. It’s going to take about 6.5 hours to cook (25-30 mins per pound at 170 degrees, plus 25 mins) though – so Leon's getting up early to pre-heat the oven. I'll make sure that it is prepped and ready though.
I got some chocolate coins for the stockings too, more on stockings later.
Then, in the evening, JJ and his fiancée came round. This was mostly because of the Muppet issues of last weekend. Leon showed them the bathroom (now almost complete – only a few minor bits to go!) and we played with the hamsters for ages. JJ's fiancée would like to get a pet but JJ is not so keen. It is a big commitment, even with something as small as hamsters!
Then Sunday Leon went out to the shops, so once I'd had a bath and made myself feel human (I got to exfoliate for the first time in ages!) I set to work making some Christmas stockings for both of us. I had some left over pink-and-black striped fur (from the two-face costume) and some black velour, so I decided to use that. I got fluff everywhere, but we now have some not-very-festive-but-very-pink stockings! Yey! So I put the stocking filler prezzies I have so far in there. I only have three for Leon, and a handful for my sister and her fella, but I am hoping to pick up some other bits – I can't say what yet because my sister reads this blog too!

Wednesday, December 13, 2006

It doesn't feel like Christmas.

I don't know why, but this year Christmas seems to be taking its time. I've been out Christmas shopping, and even played the Girls Aloud Christmas CD (which came with Chemistry) last year while I wrapped the prezzies. It doesn't feel like Christmas.
Leon and I tidied the entire downstairs and put up the tree. But it doesn't feel like Christmas.
Even though it's only 12 days away now (11 if you don't count Christmas day itself, or today) and there are decorations up at work, it still doesn't feel like it's that close.
I really don’t know what it will take for it to feel more Christmas-y!
We've bought beer (though Leon's working on us needing more) and wine, we have sparkling wine too. We've bought bread sauce mix (!) and a jar of chocolates, some cranberry sauce (though we’re not totally sure we’re having turkey) and even extra gravy mix!
I wonder whether it will feel more like Christmas when we finally get around to buying the bird for Christmas dinner. We're off to a farm shop at the weekend, if we can figure out which is nearest. That will be fun. And to Beer Ritz, a local beer shop which sells speciality beer. My mum wants some fruit flavoured beer, and we're hoping to find some low-cal, low-carb, alcohol free (!) beer too. Hahahahahahahaha!
Maybe then it will feel like Christmas.
We'll see.

Brum Brum

Another driving lesson on Monday just gone. Left Reverse into a parking space at Tesco. Didn't go too badly. I'm still not liking roundabouts though.

Monday, December 11, 2006


So, I've now painted the ceiling and the final wall. I've also put together the under-the-sink unit, but not the other ones yet.
It's cool.

And I posted all my non-York Christmas cards today, only cost me just over £2 in international postage. The rest I already had stamps for. Woo!

Now I'm at home, bored a bit. Driving this evening at 6pm. Looking forward to it! I wonder what manoeuvre we'll do this time. Probably the scary and hard one, that I call Reversing behind a car Though I think it might be parallel park. We'll see.

And thinking about what to cook for tea.

Sunday, December 10, 2006


  1. I am a muppet. When I read my train tickets to go to JJ's house warming engegement thingy, I read the return journey time. Unfortunately, that was 20 minutes after the outward train left. The tickets are non-transferable, and replacing them would have cost a great deal more than I have in my bank account.
  2. The rash thingy appears to be coming back. That really sucks. I'll be off back to the doctors then.
  3. On a more positive note, I did 95% of my Christmas shopping (gift wise) on Friday, and although my arms are now significantly longer than they were before I shopped, I feel very happy that I am now organised for Christmas, gift wise.
  4. Today we put up the Christmas tree, after I tidies the whole lounge. Those of you who have seen my lounge when I'm not throwing a party will know how much of a mission this is, especially as it was probably worse than it has ever been.
  5. Leon's near enough finished the skirting, which means I can paint the remaining bathroom wall, and the ceiling. Then all we have to do is fit the light, curtain rail (and curtains), put up the shower curtain and build the storage. Oh - and fit the new loo-seat and paint the old cabinet white. Easy!
  6. I have now written (and got L to write) all of my Christmas cards for this year. I'll be posting them tomorrow. This is good because it beats the deadline for international post. (which reminds me...)
All in all, the good bits seem to outweigh the bad.
I'm still a muppet though.

Tuesday, December 05, 2006

Work based grumble

Sometimes I wonder what exactly my job is. It seems to change from day to day. I don’t know whether I am allowed to make decisions, so I always end up asking my boss. It’s frustrating to have to ask whether it is okay to use your initiative. I knew what my old job was, three years of doing a job usually means that you know. I feel like I’m in some sort of no-man’s land, I'm neither just a programmer nor a manager. The worst thing is not knowing, really, what is wanted from me. Even when I ask, I don’t really get a clear answer – perhaps I am not asking the right questions.
But still I stay at the company, still I go on complaining. Why? Because I don’t think that it will be any better anywhere else. The only reason to move is if it improves the quality of life outside of work. There are three factors which could contribute to that:
  1. Better weather – do as some of our friends have and move to a country with a better climate
  2. Nicer area – I don’t know that there are many cities which could compare with York though
  3. Significantly better pay – which would pay for the better living outside of work
In the current windy, rainy, horrible weather we’re having in the UK, the first of those reasons has to be the one with the most draw. I don’t really know where I would go, though. Australia is a favourite, it seems, and there would be benefits to going to Australia – like they are in the region 2/4 bracket for DVDs and PlayStation etc. That means that you can have your stuff shipped out (preferably successfully, eh Chip?) and not have to replace it all. That said, I haven’t been to Australia. I don’t know if I’d like it. The preferred option, for me, would be Florida. I have family there, which would mean someone to call if I needed help desperately! (Though I have enough friends in Oz now, provided I was in a nearby place to them) The flight is shorter from the UK to the US as well.
Of course, it would be difficult to get back to visit family for Christmas, and that would be sad. I’d feel bad taking Leon away from his family too. It’s not like I can just up-sticks and leave like single people can. If I want to go somewhere else, I have to consider Leon getting work and two lots of family. Also I’m quite close to my family, and Leon is quite close to his family. The funny thing is, three years ago I probably wouldn’t have given the family situation a second thought!
Oh, this has turned into a very long post. I’ll stop now.


Last night was my third (successful) driving lesson. Last week I only got down the road, but then I went really dizzy and decided I was too ill to continue. So I was a little nervous this week. However, except for stalling it at the first junction (in my defence it is on a hill) my driving was okay. I even had to do the scary roundabout by Tesco and Flying Legends! Anyway, this week’s lesson was bay parking (I’ve already done turn in the road and left reverse which used to be called reverse round a corner.) Anyway, bay parking was not in the test back in the late 90s when I was learning last time. So this was my first ever go at bay parking. After much amusement where people kept parking in the spaces we were going to use (and us deciding that the guy in the Corsa would just have to put up with me reversing into the bay behind him) I managed to have three or four attempts at the manoeuvre. It wasn’t too bad – I only went over the line once! Anyway, the roads are safe for another week – next Monday I have another lesson.

Monday, December 04, 2006

Quarter of a Century

I'm thinking more, these days, about what it is I want from life. For the most part, I've achieved the things I set out to achieve by now. You see, I'm 25 years old at the end of this month, which may not be a "big" birthday, is still a milestone. When I think back to the various times that I have looked forwards to now I have almost always had the same goals, and I have achieved many of them – if not in fact all.

I wanted to have a good job, a good man and own a house. My job could be better – and it certainly isn't what I intended as a ten-year-old. (I think I wanted to be an astronaut then) I wanted to have moved away from Gainsborough. I wanted to have the chance to be myself, rather than the person whom those I was 'friends' with wanted me to be. I think I have managed that. I've lived in London and York now, and though I still want to travel around more, I'm not sure whether I want to move away from York yet. Of course, whether my next move would be in England still – I guess it probably would. Unless I find a job in Florida while we're out there next summer! Really though, I think that I have done most of the big things I wanted to have done by this point in my life.

Of course, this leads me to look into the future – what do I hope to achieve in the next 25 years? Now that is a long time – and I suspect that my goals will change over the 25 years as much as (if not more than) they have in the last 25 years. Perhaps the next 5 years is a more realistic timeframe. But still, although I have some vague aspirations, I have no real plans. I must sort that out and have some proper goals to work towards. With timescales! Hahaha.

It's all very well setting myself a list of things to do next year – no doubt I will still do so. What that list may contain this time is anybody's guess. Some things have already come to mind. Some of the things which will be on next year's list will be carried over from this year's list – of course. But I intend to make them more measurable. I suppose that some of the goals will, as this year, be easy enough. Of course this year I added new goals part way through the year – that was a mistake from the point of view of feeling like I have achieved things. Perhaps, as I am 25, I should give myself 25 things to achieve? I do like that idea… And I have a whole month to think of what the 25 things could be!

Sunday, December 03, 2006

I'm a sinner

I took a quiz to find out whether I'm a sinner...
Wrath:Very High

Take the Seven Deadly Sins Quiz

Oh dear - I'm going straight to hell.

Feeling Better

So, despite not feeling so hot at the Christmas Party, I am feeling better now.
My dress was successful, and I may get around to getting a photo of it to post on here.
I'm even getting around to doing some Christmassy things now, like buying gifts and writing cards. Woo!

Saturday, November 25, 2006

Itching for it to be over

Yes, last night I slept much more than I have been doing. There may be many reasons for this, here's what I did differently:
  • Leon wasn't here, so I spent a couple of hours asleep in front of the telly waiting for the dryer to finish.
  • The dryer failed to dry my clean bedding, so I slept in a minimally bedded bed.
  • I drank lots of water, resulting in me getting up to pee, not to itch.
  • I ordered a half-and-half hot chick and pepperoni pizza, which I ate half of.
  • I ordered ice cream too, which I forgot to eat.
  • I smothered myself in moisturising jelly stuff (don't ask) twice before bed.
  • I drank some tea (OK, I normally do this)
  • I took non-non-drowsy anti-histamine, paracetamol and ibuprofen.
But which of those is applicable... I think the less-is-more style bed may be the answer. I was blinking frozen all night, thus the rash didn't get hotter.
I did still wake up twice, but that's not bad in the scheme of an 8 hour sleep. And I've slept for a lot of today too. The only trouble is that the bit of rash on my face has turned out to also react badly to the super-jelly-moisturiser. So I look like I did ten rounds with Mike Tyson. Not just my eye anymore, but my whole face is swollen up on one side. The ibuprofen has had some effect, as have the cold compresses and the copious amounts of water I have drunk (compared to normal, when I don't drink water if I can avoid it!)
So I am feeling a bit better.

I've also watched an episode of Star Trek (TOS) and two of Star Trek: TNG. Fantastic! I had forgotten how much I love those shows. I know it's supposedly sad, boring or whatever but I don't care. I love it. I love the movies - I cried at the end of several of them, most recently at the end of the last one when Data dies. It was even a pretty good episode of TOS (that's The Original Series for you non-Trekkies) where a child version of a being a bit like Q from TNG (The Next Generation) kept provoking them. And the scenery wasn't too cardboardy. Also, Captain Kirk didn't get his shirt ripped off in the fight!!
Another great thing about the more recent Star Treks (TNG, DS9, Voyager) have been the totty! Voyager had the luscious Paris (male) and the brooding Chakotay. DS9 had the lovely Bashir and TNG had Picard (oddly sexy) Riker and Worf. Okay, so Worf isn't really that attractive, but his actor, Michael Dorn, is. :)

Thursday, November 23, 2006


I don’t really like being ill – who does? Thus, I don’t really like going to the doctors. That said, I prefer to be cured and the quicker the better. Now the stuff that the nice doctor gave me yesterday is mostly moisturising stuff – I think that they are hoping that the rash will go away on its own. I hope so, but I am not convinced. However, the posh shower gel and moisturiser were effective, if not for vast periods of time.
I suppose that I don’t drink enough water (or indeed any fluids) – I generally have a couple of cups of tea and possibly a hot chocolate at work. This may be part of the problem, I suppose. For this reason, I am going to try to drink more liquids. As I don’t like the way that tap water tastes, I may consider spending some money on some bottled water, which although expensive (considering it is just water) I will at least drink it. We will see.

Leon is going away this evening to attend a funeral. He’s spending some six hours on a train to do so. This means (from a purely selfish point of view) that I'm all on my little lonesome. Though I can survive without him in the house I do get quite paranoid at night when the lights are out and the doors are locked. I mean, nobody can get in – the doors are locked. But you know they might try to. Or they might kick in our gate like they did next door’s. but don’t worry for me – I’ll just take a hammer to bed with me. in fairness, even if someone did break in, they’d just fall over the mess and kill themselves!

Anyway, I intend to try the NHSDirect recommendation of 2 tbsp bicarbonate of soda in my bath tonight. It apparently could help with the itching.

Wednesday, November 22, 2006

Itching for a change

Yes, I have some kind of random itch-rash based illness. Lovely. It's probably, according to the doctor who saw me but isn't my doctor, a viral rash. However, it could be eczema which would be irritating (excuse the pun) though not impossible. I have been told that people with hay fever are more likely to develop eczema or asthma too. (as if one of those isn't enough!)

Anyway, I am hoping that it will clear up before the 1st December for our Christmas party. Although the redness will match the dress, it's not really ideal.

Anyway, the doctor I saw was very nice - he even discussed other options and called me back this afternoon (my appointment was this morning) to let me know that I could also try some other remedies, but that the prescription he gave me should cover it. How nice.

So, I have some swanky new shower gel, and some very expensive moisturiser.

Sunday, November 19, 2006

Almost time to go back

Yes, this is the last day of my holiday, I'm back at work tomorrow.
I've actually had a reasonably productive week, all things considered, though I know I'm not going to enjoy going back to work! I will have a lot of stuff to catch up on, and email to read, delete or respond to. AND preparation for the week ahead.
Anyway, what has been achieved?
  1. Got Leon to fit skirting to two walls in bathroom
  2. Painted one coat of bright white on all walls in bathroom
  3. bought cabinet, towel rail and sink tidy
  4. bought new curtain rails for downstairs
  5. bought material for ball dress
  6. made ball dress (still needs hemming and underskirts)
How's that?

Wednesday, November 15, 2006

Ahh, that's beta

So, yes - after only about half an hour of faffing about, I'm happy with the new blogger beta. It is better.
I'll see if I get on with it okay. I'm sure it'll be fine, though I feel slightly wrong not having to use code to make it do stuff.
Web 2.0 is growing on me though, slowly.


So, I have finally taken the plunge and gone "beta" - but is it?
Well, the only thing I've noticed different so far is that I can add a label to my posts. I guess that's so that I can categorise them. At best, this post will fall under "Blogging" but not much else. Oh well.
I suppose to add labels to old posts I'll have to edit them all individually, which frankly sucks. If there's a better way, I'll let you know - if I ever find it!

I'm touched

I've finally got around to reading some blogs today, and found a link on The World Of Lint for Chip, who has gone away.
While there I was reading Chip's Memories of the York Era and was quite touched to see that my 22nd birthday was in the list! Woo!
Generally my birthdays are so pants even I don't enjoy them (see 31/12/2005) but I agree with Chip that was an excellent evening.

Thursday, November 09, 2006

Door Update #3

"Neil Webster PVC Doctor" came to my house today. He fixed the back door. I can go outside into the back yard without going via the street and backs. Good. I'm very pleased, and he was very nice and quick too. And he had a quick look at the front door too. I'd recommend him.

Monday, November 06, 2006

PTH Piccies!

Guy So, last Thursday was the 13th Actuarial Pub Treasure Hunt. The theme was Pubs, and my team (Bad Data) was Flares (the chain of pubs) which was nice. Anyway, we all dressed up in varying levels of taste and dragged ourselves around York. Some of us dressed up in clothes already owned by others, like The Black who borrowed his outfit from Clegg. Others of us hired costumes, like Guy and Tim (with the really scary shirts) Bad Data You can’t really see the amazingness of my flares in these pictures, but you can see the makeup! I am dressed in Ziggy Stardust stylee. Ziggy Dancing Tim Also while in the actual “pub” Flares, one of our team purchased a rather scary afro, which can be seen here on Leon. Dapper. Nice. Leon 'fro

Friday, November 03, 2006

Door Update

So, update on the back-door issue:

  • The door would have broken at some point as it was not adjusted properly - therefore it's not Jonny's fault (phew)
  • The door is still locked shut, but the repair man can take it off via the hinges (inside) to mend it
  • The Coldseal company used silly locks that although really secure, are very expensive to replace
  • The man is coming to fix the door next Thursday
  • It's going to cost us about £200 - one has to ask how much a new door costs??
So yes, all blame is absolved from Jonny (though as I said, I was only teasing) and indeed from men in general - as regards the back door at least. I hope to get the repair man to also tweak the front door (or show me how to) so that that door doesn't break any time soon. This has also reinforced my hatred of PVC windows and doors. Can't afford to replace them in the current house though, so it's something we'll be looking out for in future houses. We like wooden windows - and they can still be double glazed and draught proofed...
Rant over.


So, last night was the PTH. We dressed up, we wandered (aimlessly in some cases) around some pubs on our list (and one or two not on the list – whoops) and answered questions on various subjects. We found a very large pork scratching but our balloon got burst (don’t ask)

Generally a good night, although I was shattered by the time we got in, and my feet hurt since I was wearing my platform boots which aren’t the most comfortable shoes for trekking all over town in. I could have socialised more too, but everyone was too drunk by the last pub (even some of the organisers) for that.

Not really much else to write about at the moment. Life is ticking over, but not that exciting.

I am looking forwards to my next driving lesson – my first one to be during the daytime. I was hoping to get my provisional licence sorted out too, but my local Post Office doesn’t do the “checking service” for the forms and so I either have to send off my passport in the post (not ideal in any circumstances) or I have to go to the Post Office in town to get my form and photo verified. Then I will have my first photo-card licence. I’m presently still on the paper version, but as I haven’t changed my address on it, I get to get the photo-card one for free. Woo! It will cost me £4 to get the form checked by a person in the Post Office, but I then get to keep my passport. I don’t trust the postal system enough to send it off, and the DVLA would probably keep it for ages. I’d rather pay the £4.

I have to make a dress over the next few weeks for my Christmas ball. I have a basic design for what I intend to do. I need to buy some material – I'm probably making the dress in black with red trim. I have to take a shoe into town with me to make sure that the trim and accessories are the right colours. Then that’s it – I can’t afford to spend any more money this month. Except for the back door. And possibly our holiday coming up.

Thursday, November 02, 2006


Today is the PTH – usually one of my favourite events of the calendar. The quality of the event varies depending on the organisers, and also on the time of year. That said, I have generally enjoyed the autumn ones more than the spring ones. I don’t know whether that is fluke… I did really enjoy the cult TV one where we were Captain Scarlet (and co) and also the one where we were Wacky Races (was that Cartoons?) In fact, I’ve really liked almost all of them. The one where there was no dressing up wasn’t as entertaining. This one is likely to be okay, but our fancy dress isn’t to our usual high standard (that’ll be two in a row with only small amounts of effort) but the costumes will be pretty good. I do have platform boots and flares. Properly big flares too! Woo! I’ll try to get some pictures to put online of this one, and as I have said before if I ever get a scanner I’ll spend some time putting my old photos from my albums online too.

Wednesday, November 01, 2006

tum te too

We were away for a long weekend, last weekend. We went to Leon’s parents’ house. I had a nice time doing all sorts of things ranging from wandering around B&Q to having a horrible curry, to entertaining some under 7s.

While we were in Cambridge we managed to get some jeans for conversion to flares, which means that we do at least have costumes for the up coming PTH. I’m not sure what top to wear, though I’ll probably wear my heart-shaped sunglasses briefly. I’d like to wear a short jacket but I think it might be a little cold

Work has been absolutely hectic today! I had the world’s shortest lunch break! Oh well, at least I’ve had stuff to do, I hate being bored.

Leon’s cooking tonight – we’re having pie. Then I have a driving lesson in the dark again! Sadly I have to go and get some money to pay for said driving lesson. Sadly, they’re not free. Oh well.

Lastly, great night last night. Curry with the soon-leaving Chip. Brilliant.

Thursday, October 26, 2006


Yes, my first driving lesson in ages was last Monday. My instructor, Fiona, picked me up from a street near my house and took me to ‘a safe place to start and stop and turn a bit’. That was fun. Then when she was happy that I had been able to turn left, right and stop and start successfully enough times, we moved to an industrial estate. Once there (having stalled on a roundabout due to my inability to remember which way is left - hmm) we did some three point turns. Only they’re not called three point turns any more, they’re called turn in the road. I guess this makes more sense because on a narrow road it might take more than three points to turn fully around so that you are facing the other way. That was quite good though, and I felt like I’d done okay. I really quite enjoyed it and so I’ve booked another lesson. Stay off the roads between 7:05 and 8:35 next Wednesday to be on the safe side!

Leon is driving me (and more importantly him) to the Cambridge area this weekend to visit his family and friends. I do like several of Leon’s friends, which is good. I also like his family, they are nice people.

Monday, October 23, 2006

Two People, Three Parties

Last week I spent three evenings at parties to “celebrate” the departure of friends of mine. Thursday and Saturday were Flic’s leaving parties. Friday was JimBobJo’s.

Thursday was a pretty good night, but Orgasmic tends to turn the music up between 8 and 8:30 which usually means that you can’t talk to the people that you’re with. While this is good if you don’t know/like the people you’re with, it’s pretty annoying if you actually fancy talking to people. Unless you like conversations which go: “what?” “Sorry?” “WHAT?” “I CAN’T HEAR YOU!” “SHALL WE LEAVE?” “WHAT?” “I SAID…” gesticulating works best.

Friday was also a good night, in the Corner Pin. They don’t do good wine there, so I spent my second evening on G&T. when JimBobJo went onto shots, Leon and I left and went to Helen & James’s (a different one) for a Chinese. Yum.

Then, on Saturday Jackie and Johnny were down (staying at mine) and we all went to Flic’s flat for a gathering. More drinking was had here. Two Drinks That was a good party though, and we had lots of fun. I spent most of Sunday feeling particularly pants, though we did venture out some time after four to collect random stuff we’re taking off another soon-to-be-leaving friend, Chip.

An interesting side-effect of Jackie/Johnny’s visit to our house: the back door doesn’t open any more! The handle is dead. In fairness, though, I don’t think it was their fault (nor was it mindless vandalism, I hope) as the handle was already pretty broken. Leon thinks he might be able to fix it.
The problem is that when men approach a problem (like the broken door handle) using as much force as possible always seems to be the solution. I always found that consistent pressure worked better (and does in so many situations!)
Well, I guess that’s just another thing to add to the list of things we need to fix/replace/change/do around the house. Maybe if I’m really lucky we’ll have no doors that work soon! (1)

1. the back door, as mentioned above doesn’t open. The kitchen door requires a bit of a kick to open. The cupboard door doesn’t shut. The lounge door only has a handle on one side, and doesn’t stay shut. The bathroom door has a huge crack in it, and a hole which is plugged by a cork. The second bedroom door doesn’t have a catch, nor does the bedroom door. The cupboard in the bedroom doesn’t have a catch either. Only the front door works as it should (mostly, touch wood)

Thursday, October 19, 2006


The boss’s wife had a baby this morning. It’s a healthy baby boy weighing in at just over 7lbs. Smashing.

To clarify – I do NOT intend to have a baby of my own any time soon.

Wednesday, October 18, 2006


Yes, last night I went swimming for the first time in ages. I was very pleased with myself; I managed 24 lengths in about 20 minutes. That’s approximately 600 metres, or 0.5m/s! haha.

well anyway, it was quite pleasant really – the pool wasn’t as busy as I had expected it to be, though we went reasonably early (it was about 6:30 when we got into the pool) which meant that it wasn’t adults only which we used to go to. The only down side of this was that I had to queue for the showers, once I had done swimming, behind several small boys (all about 7-8 years old, I’d say)
Now, I do know that it is common practice for small children to be supervised in the changing rooms – otherwise they run around and cause havoc. I also know that if a small boy is accompanied only by his mother, then he pretty much has to go in the ladies changing room. This is fine, I’d rather that than them running amuck.
When I am showering after swimming I find myself always concerned about being nude in the showers. The changing rooms are very open plan. While I am not ashamed of my body, I’d really rather not be confronted with other people’s bums and boobs in the shower, it’s distracting. Also, when there are small boys in the changing room, I find myself unable to bring myself to strip – I feel uncomfortable. If I were to be naked in front of small boys in any other situation I would probably be arrested!

Other than that, I had a lovely swim, and hope to go again soon. It will certainly be good for me! hopefully Leon and I will also get the chance to go running some evenings – though it’s miserable weather and we still haven’t bought Leon some sensible jogging bottoms. Perhaps we can have a look for some when I go looking at swimming costumes (yes, a one-piece.)

Tuesday, October 17, 2006

How Things Change

I begin to wonder whether I may be taking work a little too seriously. Looking back at previous work based posts; I can see that I used to just take the Mickey a lot!

Well, I guess it’s true – partly because of my promotion, of course. Even so, I have mentioned before that I don’t live to work but instead, I Work to Live which is a much more sensible way of being. What I mean by that is that I don’t want to spend all of my time working because that is not why I live, but I will spend enough time working in order to be able to have the life that I want.

Well, we’ll see! Things may or may not improve over the next few days, weeks and months. As always, I will keep one eye on the appointments page in the Computing magazine. Everyone else is sodding off to all over the place! Mum reminded us that we wanted to live where we are now for ease of going out and visitng/being visited by friends. Three of them will not be around very soon, but the remaining ones are still living close by, pretty much. I’m not saying that in future I will not consider where the people I know well live as part of the equation. I am sure I still will, not least because if your friends all live in a given area, it is probably a reasonably nice area (especially if they’re reasonably well off.)

It does leave me to wonder, though, how many more of the people we know will be gone in the next year, three years, five years? Or more to the point, will we still be here? The longer I do work like this the longer I’m out of the industry I trained in. I honestly don’t know whether that would be something I want to do now, but I probably should have given myself the chance to find out. Maybe I should update my CV on some websites and see what work I get tracked down for? They claim here that they want me to progress; they want me to be good at things. I will “tick the boxes” – well, I don’t know what the boxes are representing since nobody seems to want to tell me, so I have no idea how I'm meant to go about ticking them! Anyway, I don’t expect that anywhere else will be any better (or worse) but who knows. I have heard that if you work for BT you don’t have to work on your birthday – in fact it’s automatically a holiday! How good is that? I guess it’s just bad timing, but that’s not an excuse for anything. My boss’s boss’s boss had a chat to me yesterday about my new role, and not being too cocky. I think that it was supposed to make me feel better, but it didn’t. I felt a bit lost before the talk, I felt very lost after.

More Exciting News, my boss is having a baby (well, his wife is) and they are planning to have a Caesarean on Thursday. Very exciting. I wish them (all three) the best and hope that it all goes smoothly.


I surfed on in today to have a look at the blogs I link to (rather than remember each one, I link to them from my blog and remember that, cunning huh?) – what has happened? My sidebar is all screwy! So, it’s now been replaced and “fixed” hopefully. I suspect that things will be missing. I’ve missed out the completed goals in my To Do as well as the “be nicer” one.

Still, could be worse…

Monday, October 16, 2006


My good friend Gemma is off to Australia soon. She called round to my parents last night to see me and say hello for one more time before she goes abroad. It’s all very exciting for her. I don’t see her as often as I should (we’ve been friends since we were six) and Austrailia is one heck of a way to travel. Sheffield I could have managed much easier. Still, if she’s still out there after we’ve paid for Florida and saved up again, then we’ll go and see her, along with Chip, who’ll be there too.


I went to see the nice man in the Orange shop. He was actually a nice man, and was very helpful. I said that I wanted to get a new phone, a new plan and free broadband. He said okay and took my mobile number. Then he said, that I couldn’t get the new plan until next month, although I could do the rest now. I said I might as well wait until next month and then do everything at once, especially since I don’t have my MAC number for transferring the broadband. So, I now have a date for my diary: 10th November. As it’s a Friday I may arrange to sod off from work early and go phone shopping. Woo.

[Edit - changed the date to the correct one, I'm a muppet!]

Friday, October 13, 2006

Sewing is fun!

I’ve got some exciting sewing to do now! Our Christmas ball is booked, so I need to sort out my design for my dress and decide whether it’s going to be red or black (the other colour will be trim) – if I had a scanner I’d scan in one of my sketches, but I don’t. I’m thinking 50s, to go with my 50s peep-toe sandals in patent red (shiny shiny) Fabulous New Shoes and also because that’s been a popular look this year (think Lily Allen and Corrine Bailey-Rae). I’m probably going to go for an on-or-just-below-the-knee length of dress, with probably two layers of netted underskirting. I may have a slip underneath that to stop it from scratching, depending on the netting. Depending on the fabric, I may also build in a sort-of corset. It wouldn’t be a corset because I have no whale bones (or substitute) but some good firm cotton under the shiny poly-cotton I’m hoping to get should be fine. I also haven’t decided whether I’ll be going for halter-neck (which prevents the issue of revealing all) or strapless (which can be iffy, especially home made) or shoestring straps, which can be nice on certain dresses. The halter-neck is a very 1950s look. The only worry then is that my hair is never going to look 50s! hahaha! But really, I don’t intend to do the whole 50s thing, just the dress is inspired by the shoes. Must get a bag too.

Thursday, October 12, 2006

I want to go somewhere else

Indeed, I have some time booked off work in November, and I’d really like to go somewhere warm. After our disaster holiday to the Canaries (okay, it’s funny now – it wasn’t then!) I think we deserve to go somewhere which will not be freezing and snowing! I also hope we can afford a last minute getaway before we go to Florida to get ourselves ready for the heat out there!
Anyway, if we can’t go somewhere warm, we’ll have to decide if we can go somewhere abroad at all, or whether we should have another UK based break. That was a lot of fun last time, we spent four days in Scarborough in a fantastic little B&B. We had fish and chips one night, and ate in a posh restaurant one night. It was brilliant (though it owed a lot to my companion!) The only bad bit of the holiday was that my ankle was strapped up, which prevented lots of walking. (That was from when I fell down the stairs at our housewarming in the old house! – two years ago!!)
Anyway, we could do something like that, although it can be more expensive to go away in the UK than it is to go abroad! Especially if you’re willing to eat in the apartment once in a while (or lots of the time, and only eat out one or two times) – especially breakfast which is vastly expensive usually, when it’s quite cheap to take some cereal and UHT milk with you (yes I do that) and also teabags (as you know, no other nation can make a cuppa like the English can)
So, I’ve been having a look on MSE to see whether the flight checker can find me anything. The best I’ve found so far is Paris for less than £10 (plus taxes) for both of us. Nice. Other good deals are to Rome and Amsterdam. We’re probably going to do a mid-week break of some sort, if I don’t find a 4* all inclusive holiday to Mexico for 7 nights for the exact time we need for £300, of course. Cancun is lovely this time of year. (that’s just a mad example, what I mean is that if I find a good deal for somewhere hot then that’s more likely to get my vote!)
I don’t like the cold, but more than that I dislike this time of year when it’s not cold enough for cold-weather clothes, but too cold for warm-weather clothes. I do not have appropriate clothes for this weather, so I’d like to go away.
Anywhere warm.
But I can’t afford many of the places which are warm at this time of year.

Tuesday, October 10, 2006

So Hard...

Running is really quite hard.
It was difficult when the weather was good and I was training for the Race for Life. Now the weather is not so good and I am not training for anything.
I want to lose another stone before next August when we go away. I think that because that’s a fairly long time away, that might be part of the motivational problem. Maybe I could make it a bit more challenging – after all there are 14lbs in a stone, so in 10 months I want to lose 14 pounds. So that’s 0.7 pounds a month, or less than 0.2 pounds a week. Frankly, it’s possible to poo 0.2 pounds. So that’s not a sustainable goal. I could aim to lose the weight sooner – losing a pound a week (as I was when I first started running) I would need only 14 weeks (just over 3 months) to lose the weight. That brings us past Christmas too!
Providing it isn’t snowing, though, I don’t really have an excuse not to be out running. Okay, it’s a little cold and miserable. I have my IPod and some long jogging bottoms (which fall down because they’re too big now) so I can’t complain on that front. The issue of it being dark is a bit more of a problem. It gets dark quite early now, and so we’re soon going to be at a point where I can’t go out by myself, and where we (Leon and I) should be wearing something reflective if we’re out running. How depressing.
I have some groovy food that I am going to make, so the running thing is getting pretty important!

That time of the year again

Yes, it is that time of the year again where I have to decide what type of phone I want to upgrade to. I am in a similar situation to last time, in that I have a phone that I like now and don’t really need to ‘upgrade’ but I know that within the next three-to-six months my phone will be so far out of date I will be getting phone envy of other people. I was very envious of Leon’s new phone last January (that I got him) which was a nice shiny Sony Ericsson K750i. It was a very groovy phone, until I washed it.
So, one of the options is the most up to date version of the Sony Ericsson, the drunk w810i. It’s a nice looking phone, mostly. It’s a bit orange. It does have all of the features that I want from a phone (it can make and receive phonecalls, it can send and receive texts, it can have a doody ringtone and will [probably] work abroad) However, I am not sure. I do like the look of the e900 from Samsung drunk which is lovely. It is a Samsung, like my last two phones, so I have the benefit of being used to the Samsung operating system, and T9 predictive text. I didn’t really find it that hard to switch from my Nokia to my first Samsung though. I did consider getting a Nokia, but they’re all a bit ugly. Or they look just like the Nokia I had three years ago! Nokia did a good job of making their phones backwards compatible though, all of their newer phones had (I don’t know if it’s still true) the same connections for chargers etc. I remember it was always great that everyone I knew had a Nokia because it meant that we could borrow one another’s charger when we were visiting.
My first phone was a BTCellnet of some sort, and the one after was equally pants (an NEC – very slinky but not much cop) but my first phone, properly, was my Nokia 8210. What a stunning little phone – it had everything I needed, it was small enough to fit into all of my handbags, and even into my jeans! it could vibrate and play the ringtones together, which Samsungs appear not to be able to do, which is pants. It was virtually indestructible! It had interchangeable fascias, which meant that I could change my phone to match my outfit! I loved that phone so much. And that is really what has set the standard for me, in terms of phones. I upgraded to some other Nokia when I got my first contract phone with O2. It was as good in almost all respects, except for the size – it was about 2cm taller. This was too big for my jeans. That was when I was lured away to a Samsung – a classy little phone with the new slide action. I can’t remember the number though! Then I upgraded again to the E530, which was fantastic (even though Orange only stocked the blue one, not the pink one.) and has been great. It’s got a little chip out of it but it’s still pretty and it still works. I have some trouble with the call quality, which I gather is an issue with that phone. So anyway, I have to decide which new phone I want.
The actual aim around the whole phone situation is not actually for me getting a new phone. It’s actually for us to get free broadband at home, thus saving us £15 a month. That all depends on whether they’ll do it or not – I reckon that I should be able to get the broadband and a new phone but stay on my current contract. I might have to have an 18 month contract then though. I guess we’ll see.

Monday, October 09, 2006

Geek Chic

I love that concept. My cousin left a comment on one of the photos on
MySpace that the look I had was “Geek Chic” which is a fantastic concept! Then, when googling the phrase “Geek Chic” I discovered something beautiful. It was Fantastic! They even have a section where they interview geeks! They asked Linus Torvalds what his favourite operating system was!! (for you non-Computer-Geeks out there, Linus Torvalds is the man who invented Linux – a non Windows operating system which now comes in many varieties and the users can write for themselves!).

This got me thinking. This website is pretty restrictive in the terms of what a Geek is. So, I looked up Geek Chic on
Wikipedia. Apparently, Geek chic refers to the popularity of people who are considered to be geeks - in other words, when a Geek is considered to be cool, that’s Geek Chic. It involves wearing thick rimmed specs which are stylish rather than dorky, for example. I’ve been shouting about Geek being Chic for some time – I’ve got some pretty thick rimmed specs myself (in fact, they’re my “going out” pair, as opposed to my “work pair”!). So, we know that Geek Chic is when it’s cool to be a Geek. Think plasma TVs and super-fast computers. Shiny gadgets which mean you can open the curtains with a remote control or play the same music in any room in the house. Geek Chic is embracing your geekiness and making it cool.

So, what exactly is a Geek? Well, there is (once again in Wikipedia) a definition of
Geeks which goes some way to explaning being a Geek. If you care to read down, you will find that a sub-type of Geek is a Blogger which figures. Anyway, I guess that means that my Geek Code needs updating!

Of course, Geek Code is almost certainly not chic. Having a Blog and MySpace is more chic, but still not 100% mainstream. Wearing funky specs and the like… Geek chic.

Friday, October 06, 2006

The Way We Dress

In the news this morning was Jack Straw’s comment about Muslim women wearing a veil. (See the BBC News Story)
There has, of course, been much discussion on the topic this morning, which is excellent. The trouble I have with it is this:
”The reason we wear veils is because the Quran says to cover our selves in order to avoid attraction from the opposite sex. Men should also lower their gaze. Women who wear a veil are the women who choose to keep their respect and cover their beauty.”
Oh dear.
Cover up so that men don’t find you attractive ladies. This, to me, is an indirect agreement that girls who wear mini-skirts are “asking for it” when they do so. I have no problem with women (or men) choosing to cover themselves up – it’s a practice which has been common in many religions, not just Islam.
[1 Corin. 11:5]
But any woman who prays and prophecies with her head unveiled dishonors her head - it is the same as if her head were shaven, for if a woman will not veil herself then she should cut off her hair. But if it is disgraceful for a woman to be shorn or shaven, let her wear a veil.
That’s what the Bible has to say about women.
It is also true that is used to be considered rude to be seen in public without a hat of some sort, covering the crown of a woman’s head.

I have quite mixed feelings about this. Of course women should be able to wear whatever they like, be it to cover themselves head-to-toe or to wear a bikini in February – that’s the choice of the woman. However, if she feels that she must cover up to stop men from finding her attractive then I don’t think I can agree.
Especially as men are excluded from the extremes of this, only needing to cover their “private parts”.
I can’t help but think that women are required to cover up so that men don’t find them attractive (as it is always the woman’s fault if a man fancies her, not his!) and that only a man could have made up that rule. Men don’t have to cover up so that us women don’t find them attractive (and in some cases it would be preferable!)
My other thought on this is that many young women will only be dressing like this because everyone else does and while I wouldn’t condone them wearing bikinis in February, I don’t like the crowd following which so many young people do.
I don’t think that this is an issue of faith, perhaps just one of understanding. Providing that the women wearing the veil understand why they are doing so, and agree with the reasons, then that is their choice.

Selling Out

I’ve been watching Extras. I'm not a big fan of Ricky Gervais, but I have quite enjoyed almost all of the bits that he’s not in.
This morning, however, I have realised something quite sad. Like Andy in Extras, I’ve sold out. I don’t believe in the integrity of the code I’m writing any more – in fact I know that most of it is nasty hacky code. I used to really enjoy making my code as efficient as possible. We’d compete to see who could make their program work and be legible in the shortest amount of lines (often with a lot of comments!)
It’s a sad thought that the efficiency of the code is almost never thought of. Everything is slapped in as a nasty hack. In a way it makes me glad that I am slowly moving towards management – at least that way someone else has the soul destroying task of putting nasty hacks into the code, I never need to know.

Wednesday, October 04, 2006

To Upgrade or not To Upgrade

I am faced with the chance to upgrade to Blogger Beta. There are probably some good things about this, and almost certainly some bad. I don’t know. One of the things which is an interesting side-effect of the new Blogger is that I will have to have a Google account. This would not be that bad – though I would still have to keep checking my Hotmail account as I have lots of important email that goes there and I bet it would take ages to fix that. So I might get no benefit to having my own Google account.
Of course, there is also the point that any of you non-beta users can no longer comment – though I don’t get many comments anyway, so that’s probably no issue.

I am also harbouring a desire to upgrade my PC to one which works. Leon is quite keen to have an Apple of some sort – especially as work have cut a deal to get us money off at Apple. I’m not sure – I’d quite like to get a nice shiny laptop and go wireless with our broadband. In an ideal world I would buy us each a laptop and then I wouldn’t get Leon’s email on my google homepage. Ho hum. This said, we’ll probably wait until after the Xmas madness and get our laptop/pc/Apple(s) at much reduced expense. Maybe. It also depends on how the savings go (which reminds me…)

Woo Hoo!

Yes indeed, yesterday we had cause for celebration! Leon has passed his driving test! He was very very happy about it and even picked me up from work last night. We promptly had problems with the one-way system, but he’s driving with even more confidence now that they’ve told him that he officially can! I’m really proud of him, especially that he didn’t give up (as I did). He still hasn’t stopped smiling, and has taken a big heap of cakes in to work as a celebration.

Anyway, this is my WELL DONE post for Leon.

Sunday, October 01, 2006

School's Out

Last Thursday was the School Disco in aid of the Romanian House Building Project. I dressed myself up in my school uniform(1) and took Leon with me for a bit of a boogie. The band on was the Cosmic Spiders who were pretty good, although they played Robbie Williams songs, which I wasn't so sure about. When they started playing Love Shack we had to leave - I can't stand that song!
Anyway, it was a good laugh and was for a good cause. And that's a terrible picture!! So, that was good fun. The band did play some classics, including a bit of T-Rex. I was hoping for some Suzi Quattro too, but no.

(1)Okay, not my actual school uniform, there's no way I'd fit into that these days, and also I threw it away. I did wear my school tie, a white shirt and a short denim skirt...

Thursday, September 28, 2006


Tony is going! Okay, not yet, but he is going. I wish I had the foggiest idea whether this is good or not, all I have is probably a media-fuelled view that he’s only out for his own glory. It brings me back to the question I had to ask myself only 18 months ago – what exactly are my political views? I know where I stand on most things, but despite being one of the few people (40%) in this country who bothers to go and vote (use it or lose it – women died to give me the right to vote…) I still don’t actually know which of the parties I am closest to. I have always had fairly strong views, though I never understood the whole right/left wing thing. So, today, I looked it up online. Sadly, all I could find on the three main parties’ homepages were ‘funny’ pictures of the current leader, and of the leader of the opposition. Lots of “they’re worse than us” type things but no real help for me. After much searching, however, I managed to find the election manifesto for the conservatives from 2005. I couldn’t open it to have a look at it though – could be the PCs at work don’t have the right stuff. Then I found Who Should You Vote For? so I went there. I think it’s a bit out of date there too, as all of the parties have changed or added to their policies, and also two have new leaders (and the other is to have a new leader soon) so… Still I did the quiz.

Who should I vote for? v2

Your expected outcome:


Your actual outcome:

Labour 1
Conservative -2
Liberal Democrat 35
Green 60
You should vote: Green

The Green Party, which is of course strong on environmental issues, takes a strong position on welfare issues, but was firmly against the war in Iraq. Other key concerns are cannabis, where the party takes a liberal line, and foxhunting, which unsurprisingly the Greens are firmly against. The Greens are also anti-Europe. So, there you go – I'm Green, apparently. The trouble is, the two parties I seem to share the most views with are not likely to get power. What I would prefer would be a way of saying "okay, I think that old people deserve free buses, but that's not the most important policy to me, I'm much more interested in the tax and employment policies and the parties' stances on unmarried couples." And then do the quiz. I suspect that my result would be different…

Please Note

I'd like to take this opportunity to point out that my sister does not have debts from gambling or from illegal persuits, she bought a car which she has to have for her job.
Also, for those who visit my MySpace, she is not an alcoholic.
Just thought I'd make that clear.

Monday, September 25, 2006

Debt Free Wannabe

I thought I was debt free, I really did. I was, briefly. But then we bought a car. It all went a bit pear shaped! So, I'm getting myself a bit of a plan together to get back to being debt free. I spend too much, so I just need to cut back. I guess I'll have to try not to go out much over the next couple of months, while I try to save up some money for Christmas. Isn't that always a pull? I will invariably spend more than I can afford at Christmas, I usually do. I also have my sister's and mother's birthdays coming up over the next few months.
On the other hand, there are a lot of people in a lot more debt than me (my sister for example)
If only I had thought about being a bit more money savvy while I was at university. It shocked me that some banks are now offering over £3000 to new students – that's hardly a good idea! I know that the loan is a pittance, but it covers your accommodation and food, and if you need anything more then you can work, at least during your first and second years. (Even I did) They still will spend up until the max, and then some.

Are you a debt free wannabe? – try Money Saving Expert for forums, tips, advice and general money savings that you wouldn’t have thought possible.

Thursday, September 21, 2006

If I had a hammer…

No, I don't need a hammer, Leon has at least three. But that's not the point I'm trying to make. Why spend life wishing you had a hammer? If you want a hammer then go get one! If you can't afford a hammer then you should save up for one. If having a hammer is a state of mind then you should find other people who also want a hammer. If having a hammer is so that you can be better at your job (eg if you’re a builder) then get the training you need to get a hammer!
Okay, this analogy is way out of hand.

You can be whatever you want to be. My parents told me this all the time. Though I do know that it may not be entirely true, that helped me to have faith in myself and to feel that I am worth it (a la L'Oreal) and so I want to pass on that message, because you’re worth it too. Never let yourself be told that you’re not worth it.

Here's a tale to help with my moral:
There were two girls who went to school together, but they were not friends. Lets call them Annie and Clarabelle (I loved Thomas the Tank Engine). One day, Annie came in to school, and she was not having a good day. Her mother had given her egg sandwiches, her good socks were in the wash so she was wearing nasty socks and she’d just failed her biology test. Clarabelle, on the other hand, always looked perfect. Her hair was always beautiful, her mother gave her fancy lunches and she wore tights, but she too had failed biology. As Annie sat in the cloakroom, wishing that her lunch didn't smell so badly she saw Clarabelle crying. Swallowing her envy, Annie sat beside Clarabelle. She asked her what was wrong. Clarabelle looked at Annie and sobbed some more. After a moment she wiped her eyes. "you're so lucky!" Clarabelle exclaimed. Annie was taken aback. Clarabelle continued, "You don't have to wear makeup to look pretty. You don't have to take your mum's tights because she won't buy you socks. You get real home made lunches." Annie was shocked. "but Clarabelle," she explained, "I have always wanted to be more like you, with your perfect hair and fancy lunch!" and Clarabelle giggled. Because Clarabelle’s fancy lunch was leftovers from dinner parties. She had always wished that her mother had spent the time making smelly egg sandwiches.
So, the moral here is that you may wish you were more like someone else, but the chances are that they are no happier than you. They may even look at you and wish they were more like you.

What is happiness?

Happiness is the feeling you get when you make someone else smile.

Saturday, September 16, 2006

Remember When...

I've been on MySpace a bit recently.

My cousins are also on myspace, as are some of their friends. It's pretty cool to be able to catch up on what's happening in their lives.

The oldest of my cousins is the same age as my sister (21) and the rest are younger.

What is amazing is remembering the time in my life when the most important thing wasn't whether we could afford the mortgage or decorating the bathroom. The most important thing was so-and-so fancying such-and-such and thingy has fallen out with whosit because they both fancy doodah.

How important those things seemed then. I tend not to think back to when I was sixteen much. That's me on the right there at sixteen. I was pretty goofy at 16, all told. I only wore a little makeup, I had bad hair. I wore fairly trendy clothes, but because I was slim and the trend was towards baggy, I look - well like that ->

It's Funny, really. I remember spending some of my summer at Becca's house writing stories about these amazing girls (we reversed our initials to get the initials of the heroines!) who always pulled the boys they wanted and did other cool stuff. Sleepover talk was invariably about who fancied who and how far they'd been. Not that there was ever much to say there! Some of the girls who were my "friends" then were much cooler than me. I'm not sure what it was about me that made me not cool.
Probably that I worked a little bit but was also reasonably bright. Or maybe that I wasn't worried that I didn't have a pair of adidas trousers, trainers, coat... Maybe it was because I didn't know why I wasn't cool.
In part I believe that it was because I wasn't well off, and it was a pretty posh school.
Anyway, remembering how important all that stuff felt then has helped me to realise that in another eight years things which seem important now may not seem so. It's also made me remember that the way things feel is not always as they are - some of my peers thought I was really popular, when I thought that hardly anyone liked me.

I still have only the vaguest grip on what's actually important, silly little things often seem more important than they are. I often read too much into what people say. I still overreact - I bet I still will in 8 years.

I hope that I haven't become to jaded though. I learnt some things the hard way, things like some people are only out for what they can get or don't get drunk the night before an exam. I hope I don't expect the worst too often though.

Friday, September 15, 2006


If you have a moment, please go to Cancer 2020 and add your name to the petition.

The IPod has landed...

Me and my IPod It's pink It's shiny It's here It's updating It's charging It's MINE!

So it begins...

Yes, Leon left this morning and I will not see him again until Monday...
Okay, four days is not long, but I'm used to having him here.
On the other hand, he doesn't get to see his friends often, and there are those among their number that I don't get on with. I'm glad he'll get to see them. And, of course, the main reason he's down there is to see his parents and help them to settle in to their new house.

I have things to keep me busy this weekend too. I have to sort out my geneaology stuff which is in a big mess. I have to sand down one last bit of plaster in the bathroom, clean the windowsil and the floor of plaster dust, paint the windowsil, let that dry and then begin wallpapering. I have all of the equipment I need, including some degree of enthusiasm for doing it. I also have some good music to put on my CD Player. My only worry is that my IPod may arrive before I finish the bathroom (It was shipped yesterday) and in that case I am likely to spend too much time playing with my IPod and not enough time doing things in the bathroom.
As it is, I'm blogging over breakfast to try to ensure that I get something done today!

Wednesday, September 13, 2006


So, I've corrected my faulty MySpace link, which should now actually point to my MySpace.

Thanks for spotting this - you know who you are, but your sig. other doesn't know your screen name! lol

Waiting Over

At last! My ‘promotion’ has been officially announced! So I am allowed to mention it elsewhere too! I’m happy with the situation at present, I have the additional responsibilities that I was looking for as well as the recognition of the work I have been doing. It will probably be extra work – in fact it will certainly be extra work from now on. However, I will have more opportunities in the future. I’m very excited about it anyway.


As most people know, I love the colour pink. I like other colours too, my next favourite probably being red. Now, I have recently been investigating the possibility of buying an IPod Mini™. As they are no longer on general sale (Apple have stopped making them) I would have to buy either a refurbished or second hand one. There are two reasons that I have been after the mini rather than the nano:
  1. The mini is just that, a mini version of the original. It looks good.
  2. I would be worried about sitting on the nano and breaking it
So, you may ask, what has changed? Well, I’ll tell you; Apple have just recently launched a new IPod range. These are IPod Nano™ but they are in c o l o u r . Wow. The pink one (seen here as taken from the Apple page, all rights for the pic are theirs) looks fabulous, and none of the namby pamby baby pink, oh no, this is hot pink. Wicked! I am very tempted to buy one. So much so that I may consider forgoing my haircut (which is well overdue) to be able to afford one! Perhaps not the best plan. We’ll see.

Tuesday, September 12, 2006

How Cool

I recently read This Article on Computing website about the student bar at my old University. Sadly it's not the Undercroft at Harrow campus (the Computer Science campus!) but the Marylebone campus. Still, it's a cool system, which will no doubt result in my buying many more drinks when it gets rolled out nation wide!
That said, it might not be that easy if you need a special card to buy the drink with.

Sunday, September 10, 2006

Hold me, hurt me, say you love me...

Sorry, Listening to Girls Aloud...
I have had a pretty good (if expensive) weekend.
We're back running again, though it didn't go well today. We've bought Leon some new trainers at great expense, but at least he's not going to be damaging his legs any more.

And I'm boogying to Girls Aloud and other random pop while also playing on myspace, doing some family tree stuff and generally messing about online.


I've set up a quiz all about me...

Have a go Here

Saturday, September 09, 2006

Bathrooms and Boardrooms

So, we're continuing with the bathroom today. I put on some suitably hideous clothes for painting the skirting. Leon's taken over and he won't let me use another brush. Poo. So, again, I am relegated to not doing DIY. I make the tea. At least I'll get to do something as I have some time off later in the week to do some wallpaper hanging. Lovely.

Also, word has finally come through about the promotion I went for. It's not quite what I was after, but it is good enough for now. As it's not officially announced yet, I'll post more when it is.

Wednesday, September 06, 2006

Work Me Harder – Please!

We’re coming up to an important period at work, and as such we have a lot of critical code fixes. We’re being pressured from left and right to get more work done in one month than we ever have before. On top of this, a project that we’re doing some work for doesn’t seem to know when it’s delivering half of the stuff it should be delivering. Fortunately we have good people on the team, and though we will all have to work very hard over the next three weeks, we might have a chance of getting some, or even all, of the work in place on time. That said, as I have some holiday booked, I have approximately 10 working days (if I’m lucky; 7 if not) to change 10 programs, run them all twice (different time periods) and check that the changes have done what they should have. Some of the programs take 8 hours to run, one of them takes 24 hours to run. I’m not sure that this is possible.
I guess I’d better have a word with my manager and see what we can do.
Though I still find time to blog...

Who Do You Think You Are

There’s a new series of Who Do You Think You Are starting tonight on telly. I’m looking forward to watching it. Although I only managed to catch a couple of episodes from the earlier series, now that I am tracing my own family tree they seem a little more interesting. Of course, it will almost certainly mean that the record office is flooded with certificate requests and so I must remember to get the ones I want off tonight before the show!

I’ve been enjoying tracing my family tree, finding out what my ancestors did for a living, how and where they lived. Although my background hasn’t turned up any rich land owners, or even any middle class gentlemen, it’s great to see the lengths some of them went to for work, or that they lived next door to their siblings or parents! Can you imagine that?

I have also, I hope, helped out some other people online who have been looking for general information about Gainsborough. I have even managed to find a couple of distant cousins. There’s mystery and intrigue on one of the branches, and there are some enormous families – sometimes ten or more children! I’m looking forward to getting to the archives in Lincoln and seeing all of the information there too, in the actual script of the day.

It has also made me think about the things I am leaving for future generations of genealogists in my family. I wonder how they will put together the information on me. I’m registered born in a different year to my birth (for an obvious reason: the register office would be closed on December 31st) and I was born in a different town to where my first census appearance would be (Gainsborough) then, for the 2001 census I’m away at university. That will make some sense, when the searcher finds me. They will probably be entertained by my religion (Jedi) and they may even be able to visit the university halls I lived in (if they’re still there in 96 years’ time) perhaps they will be able to view the alumni lists for the university and deduce that I met Leon there. Who knows.

If I could travel back in time and talk to one of my ancestors, I think I would go back and see my great grandma (my mum’s dad’s mum) Isabella. I’d like to find out why she was in York for the birth, and why she lived in a caravan in Hull! I’d like to know who the father was, and why she gave up the baby only a month after he was born. Perhaps while I was there I could meet the people that adopted him.

Tuesday, September 05, 2006

Double Sarcasm

Would you call this double sarcasm:

"I love it when these packs are easy to open"

Actually, they aren't easy to open, so I don't love it.
Would you count this as double sarcasm, or just standard sarcasm?


The weekend at my sister's was good. We over-ate (as usual) and drank wine, watched telly and went shopping. Fantastic!
Highlight of the Ikea experience: I bought a garlic crusher
Pants part of the Ikea experience: they had run out of breakfasts, and hot chocolate.

We also went shopping in Liverpool which was exciting. We got chatted to by some drunks on the train, one of whom was from Knowlesley (near Liverpool) and had a hilarious Scouse accent. In fact, I spent most of the day trying not to laugh at people talking Scouse. Don't get me wrong, I love the accent, it's just funny too. The best bit was getting my sister to say "dirty Maccam" in a Scouse accent! Brilliant! I love accents of all shapes and sizes. Perhaps that's because I don't have a lot of an accent (except when I’m drunk) and Leon has a middle-England accent (BBC Newsreader style)
I've had much chance to hear both Geordie and Scouse (almost) through watching the Girls Aloud documentary which is being repeated on one of the "4" channels. Brilliant! It's really cool because they’re not quite as odd as some celebs – in fact they worry about their flab (!) and their outfits and hair just as much as anyone else (well...) which is nice.

I've also joined the My Space community. I'm to be found under the not-very pseudonym of hayzee_c. I've already discovered a random American band whom I might want to go see at Fibbers when they come. How cool is that!?! I did also get asked to be friends with an R&B/Soul/Rock group (I don't know how that works) but I didn't enjoy any of the four songs they had, and all of their single covers featured semi-naked ladies rather than the band. Not for me.
It's a cool idea though, although I haven’t really played with it much, so my site is pretty pants – for now.

Thursday, August 31, 2006

Genetically speaking…

I’ve been doing some more of my family research recently. I’ve been chasing down some of the more elusive of my ancestors. I won’t go into detail about the issues I have encountered! I am a little irked, however. I have not yet found an ancestor from outside of the area I grew up in. Some of them come from the next town, which happens to be in the next county…
You see, Gainsborough is on the border of Lincolnshire and Nottinghamshire. It’s also only a small distance away from South Yorkshire. That means that even though my findings seem to span three counties, I'm still pretty much 100% from the same place. I got quite excited when one of the family was born in Wales, only to find out that his family had moved there (from Retford, which is near to Gainsborough) for work, and then moved back to Gainsborough. Darn.
So, I have lots of generations back to the 1700s, but still not really straying from the general area. Still, I have some small problems in that I have bits of the tree which are difficult to trace, like the adoptions and illegitimate births.
I do enjoy getting the certificates in the post though, I ordered my Granny’s birth certificate and my great great grandfather’s marriage certificate to see which of the two girls called Fanny he married. Some of the things that you find out on the marriage certificate are amazing! I am preparing to order another one soon. This one will hopefully provide the break I need to track down my rather elusive great grandfather’s side of the family.
In between doing the bathroom, looking after our hamsters and visiting people!

On a lighter note (?) I’m off to Manchester tomorrow to see my friend Gemma who’s off to Oz soon. Then I’m spending the weekend with my sister in her new flat in Warrington. So we’ll not get much of the bathroom done!
Don’t worry though, we have planned for this with the hamsters! We’re cleaning them out tonight and we’ll top up their food and water before we go. We’re leaving them two water bottles and an extra bowl, though they’ll just hoard all of their food anyway! they should be fine then.

Monday, August 28, 2006

DIY Weekend

Now I feel like a proper grown-up! We've spent this weekend (and will spend several more) doing the bathroom. This is mainly because of the not-very-nice state the bathroom was in. The main issue was that the toilet was wonky and so had to be moved. It also turned out that the outside pipes were also on a kilter. Dad, Leon and some of the time Paul had a go at sorting out these problems. We also had to replace the flooring in the bathroom as the lino was cut around the toilet. I am not sure that I have helped all that much… Mum, Gayle and I went shopping while the boys did some of the DIY. We went into New Look, Little Betty’s and Lakeland. And we’ve spent a small fortune.

Thursday, August 24, 2006

Air Water Fire

Last weekend Leon and I went to Elvington Air Show, sort of.
Because we’re stingy, and because one of Leon’s work colleagues lives near to the airbase (ish) we decided to go sit in a field and watch from there.
What we saw of the show was brilliant. Loud planes etc. I have no idea what all the planes were called. There was a big one with four engines, a smaller jet-like thing and some bi-planes among others. We had a little radio to listen in to air traffic control, which was excellent. We also had a kind of picnic, which was good too. Thermos of tea was an excellent choice!
My first complaint about the day was the cycle ride to Leon’s colleague’s house. We had to go down a busy road, which I didn’t like.
My second complaint was that the field we were in had cows in it. I don’t like cows. They followed us and stood near me.
Then it rained on us. The first time was okay, but the second time it was really heavy and was lightening and we were standing in a field with umbrellas. And my bike seat was then wet.
So we cycled back to Leon’s colleague’s to have a barbeque (!) and to dry off before cycling home.
I haven’t cycled much in the last 8-10 years – the last time I did any notable cycling was when I used to cycle to school during my GCSEs back in 1996-1998. I ached in places I didn’t know I had places.
That all said, I thoroughly enjoyed myself and would do it again, in slightly better weather if I have the choice!

Monday, August 21, 2006

Interview with a...

So, I had my interview for the job I sort of want.
You see, I find my current job not very challenging. I do way more than the minimum. However, though I want to do more and I want more responsibility and bigger challenges, I don’t want these things at the expense of my non-work-life. I don’t want to have so much on that I can’t do the things I like to outside of work. That said, I would like to be paid enough to do the things I want to do outside of work.
Anyway, there will probably be a post regarding my getting or not getting the job.

Wednesday, August 16, 2006


I want gadgets. I’m tired of not being able to afford stuff. I know that I don’t need the stuff that I want, which is why I haven’t bought it. Why did apple have to stop making the only nice Ipod? It’s really not on. I don’t like ebay. I wish I had the determination to continue running with no aim. I need to buy wallpaper or plaster for the bathroom. Leon still hasn’t taken the radiator off for me to get rid of that paper. I can’t walk around naked tonight as we have a guest for dinner. We got wine delieverd, and I signed for it in my dressing gown and pink fluffy slippers – the man commented on my nice slippers. I need a hug. I am wearing sexy boots. I have a job interview, but we’ll see how that goes. I like muffins but not when they’re dry. I have got used to tea without sugar. Sometimes I wonder what I did to deserve this, sometimes I wonder what I did right. I’m roasting a pork joint, probably with honey mustard coating of some sort. Yum. Can I be bothered to work out tonight before I prepare dinner? Or should I do it in between? Do I have time to bathe? I have the most gorgeous shoes.

Thursday, August 10, 2006

Been a While

Yes, I've not posted for a while.
This is mainly because I have been on holiday from work and so I have been busy doing other things.
I have mostly been stripping...
Stripped Bathroom (1) Stripped Bathroom (2)
...the wallpaper from the bathroom walls.
It's actually been quite fun, although I ache a bit in places like my shoulders. We also got to use my parents' steam making gadget to remove the wallpaper, which was fun!
We've also been taming the hamsters, Aston has almost learnt to come out when I call his name. It helps if you have a "fruity bite" for him though! He also likes sunflower seeds, but he's not keen on the chocolate drops. He chews on my nails when I have used my almond nail oil, so I might buy some almonds...
We've also done some shopping. We've bought some bits for the car for when Leon passes his test. We've also bought a travel case for the hamsters (which has been useful for when cleaning them out when there's only one of us in).
The plan with the bathroom is as follows:
  1. remove all wallpaper (almost done)
  2. remove toilet
  3. remove lino
  4. move toilet pipes an inch towards the bath
  5. fill in the big hole
  6. paper the back wall
  7. replace toilet
  8. paper the remaining bare walls
  9. (possibly) paint the paper
  10. put up curtain rail, loo roll holder etc
It's going to take a while!