Friday, July 28, 2006


If all the world were an apple pie
And all the seas were ink
And all the trees were bread and cheese
What would we do for drink?
(Author unknown)

Such a deep question for nursery rhymes!

You could probably read a great degree of questioning into this:

If all the world were an apple pie
(If America ruled the world)
And all the seas were ink
(The pollution we’re dumping into the oceans)
And all the trees were bread and cheese
(this is tougher – we’ve ruined our natural resources)
What would we do for drink?
(we’re killing ourselves!)

Ok, maybe not.

Thursday, July 27, 2006

General Grump

As you may have gathered, I’m feeling less good about myself recently. It’s entirely my own fault; I should not have stopped running. I didn’t really enjoy it, and now that we have no aim, it seems we’re just not going. The thing is, I REALLY don’t like running, I feel silly, I know I look silly, it jars my bad knee (my only proper excuse) and it makes me hot and sweaty in a bad way. At least on the treadmill I’m looking silly in the privacy of my own home. Do other people not feel like this? Am I the only person in the world who thinks “I look like a right pillock” when running?
Perhaps it’s because of the way I think of sport in general. It always seems like a waste of effort. And I’ve always been like this. When I was about 5 I was put in the 50m race. I stood well back from the start with my arms folded and refused to run. They asked me why I wouldn’t run, and I said “I’m not going to win, so what’s the point?” and my relationship with sport has never improved. There is only one sport I have ever been able to do for fun and that is swimming. This is because I am pretty good over long distances, and also it’s a very soothing and calming activity.
It’s not like I haven’t done loads of different kinds of sport, but if I’m not at least reasonably competent at the sport, it seems pointless. Hockey I never liked, too much standing around in the cold, and I broke fingers doing that. Netball was also a bit of a nightmare, I broke fingers doing that too. Basketball was also the same story. I hated volleyball, I don’t do anything which involves throwing yourself on the floor. I was terrible at judo! Always getting knocked out or squashed. I have always had trouble with racquet sports because I can’t judge distances and can’t see without my specs. Tennis was at least fun! But you need someone of about the same level to play against when you play tennis, so that’s out. Cricket was okay, until I got my scar from being hit with a cricket bat (there’s an almost hilarious story) I didn’t like football because the other girls were no fun, and it made me really angry when other people got the ball. I probably would have liked it better if we’d been taught ball skills. I was never into running. I dropped a discus on my ankle and had lots of problems with shot put. Javelin was a nightmare, though we did nearly spear one of the PE staff! Long/high/triple jump might as well have been spectator sports. I regularly only got to do one because I sprained something.
So, my long and unhealthy relationship with sport goes on. I tried badminton and joining a gym up here. Neither have stuck – the badminton was so frustrating! I wouldn’t mind joining a gym again, provided I can get up the motivation to go – which may mean not stopping. What I mean by that is this:
If I go home, change into running kit and then go running I am much more motivated than if I go home and sit around and have a cup of tea. Knowing this, I will have to bother Leon about it. you see, he works later than I do and so I always have to wait for him if we are exercising together. We may be driving to a gym in the near future, in which case I will have to wait for him to get home. This will mean I have to remain motivated until he gets home. Or I have to stay at work longer, which given how apathetic I feel at present, probably will not happen.

Very much looking forward to our week off work! Even if we do end up trekking up and down the country!

A New Aim (or two)

Leon and I have an “important documents” folder where we keep all of our bank statements, wage slips, insurance documents and similar. This is excellent because we need to have this information. We get much less paper because we get our bank statements online only now, but we still seem to have reams of the stuff! So, I have added a new aim to my list: sort out our filing system so that it isn’t in one overfull folder.
I don’t know how I am going to do this yet. Leon and I are not really very tidy people. I get post from various places and it all gets dumped on the table until we have a massive clear out, then the cycle begins again. Then, when the folder is full we get rid of the bits from last year, and begin again, again.
I think that a system similar to the one my mum uses might work. She has a min filing cabinet, in which there is a drawer for “house” (ie mortgage and insurance) “car” (tax, insurance, mot, paper licences) “Children” (my and my sister’s student loan docs etc, til she passes them on to us) “bank” and “other”. The system works well for mum because she is good at that sort of thing, and is also quite tidy. I think that we need somewhere to keep the more permanent things (like paper driving licences, mortgage documents etc) and somewhere else for things like bills. A proper folio with dividers and he like would be useful there, but I don’t know how well that would work either! We already have a “house” file, which is an A4 file cram packed with house related stuff, copies of the contracts etc. I know we will not dare to get rid of any of that, so we’d better find a proper home for it all!

Oh, before I forget – I’m also trying to be nicer to everyone at work because some people seem to be scared of me. It seems to stem mostly from people not being able to tell when I am joking or being sarcastic. Also it seems I can seem quite angry some of the time. So I’ve been trying to be nicer. This endeavour includes: saying “hello” in a cheerful voice, regardless of how irritated I am with the world, smiling more, keeping an eye on people’s reactions and if they seem worried, smiling and letting them know that I’m joking or teasing or whatever.

Wednesday, July 26, 2006

Not feeling fit

I have to confess, I have only been running once since the race for life. This is mostlyVictoria Beckham Looking Very Thin because of a variety of ailments on both my and Leon’s part – but my foot seems to be better now. I have, however, returned to my treadmill. As I am only about 12lb from my “goal weight” now, I should be doing toning as well as weight loss workouts. So, I have done two sessions where I have run on the treadmill on an elevation for 10mins and then gone on to do crunches/squats and other weight bearing exercises. Although 10 minutes doesn’t sound like long, I have been endeavouring to go faster on the treadmill than I do on the pavement. That said, it’s feeling like a bit of a cop-out. So, I find myself left with some choices to make. Either I join a gym again (where they can tell me what to do) or I start back up running again (so I at least feel better) or I up my regime myself (good for me!) or I do none of these and feel dissatisfied with myself. I wish we were nearer to a pool. I’m looking forward to when Leon can drive as then we can drive to a pool. It will not be any less grimy when we’re there, but we can at least go somewhere. Or I suppose we could go to a gym-based pool (less grimy). I feel we should support the local community pools and all, but I am a bit funny about swimming pools. (As well as other people’s plates, other people’s baths and similar) Anyway, this leaves me in the situation where I have to make the best of what I have for now, while I mull over whether I can afford a gym membership (which will have to include a gym membership for Leon too) and also whether I will go. It will probably be that I’ll have to make Leon drive to a gym once he can drive (they’re all a fair way away, except for the one at not-the-moat-house) Gayle and I I guess the point is that I need to be doing some exercise so I don’t get fatter instead of thinner. All I want is to be able to wear trendy shorts without looking like a horror. I don’t want to look like Victoria Beckham – too thin! However, I wouldn’t mind having legs that look good in a mini skirt. I’d like to be able to wear cropped t-shirts (and a bikini!) for my holiday in Florida next summer. In fact, I think that’s the problem I’m having. Last time I went to Florida was quite some time ago – I was 17 (I think) and had fabulous legs (if I do say so myself) and was a small size 10. I realise that I am not going to get back to that without becoming very ill. However, I’d like to be a more womanly version of that – surely that’s not too much to ask?

Monday, July 24, 2006

Hot bothered drunk

That was me on Friday night. Shocking, I know.
I know that we went to Varsity, which was busy. I tried to convince more people from our department to come to O'Neills, but that wasn’t entirely successful. After some time in O'Neills people left and the remaining people went to Orgasmic in search of the department. We didn’t find them, though we did find Nicola and Drew. Then we left (I may or may not had more to drink). 'The Black' kindly gave me a cup of tea to sober me up. He didn’t have milk so I had sugar instead. Then I left to go home. Then I bought chicken and chips. Yum. Although apparently I fed most of that to Leon coz I fell asleep on the sofa. Then Leon made me get back up and go to bed.

Tuesday, July 18, 2006

Heavy (the Answer)

There is still that word; "heavy". Why they are the heavy things therefore in happening? Are we a problem with the gravitational attraction of the earth?

is the translation from the Italian:
Ci è ancora quella parola; "pesante". Perchè sono le cose così pesanti in avvenire? È ci un problema con la attrazione gravitazionale della terra?

Which was translated from the following:
There's that word again; "heavy". Why are things so heavy in the future? Is there a problem with the earth's gravitational pull?

As said by Doc Brown in Back to the Future.

Post for people not interested in the Hamsters

The weather is really hot at the moment, so lots of people are wearing less clothes. This is sensible as it keeps one cool, however, for some reason people in England lose their sense of style and fashion when the sun comes out. Leggings and a tight vest are never acceptable, no matter what you think you look like! Really short shorts on boys – nope, it’s scary. Semi-naked fat men, your beer belly is not an asset! If you must wear socks and sandals, do it in a stylish way – statement socks, not the ones you wear to work normally that look like golfing socks. Football shorts – on boys perhaps, but girls, they do make your ar$e look huge.

Our Boys (again)

We have now begun the slow process of taming our boys. This involved spending quite a long time with one hand in their cage, waiting for them to come and investigate.
They did not seem to be at all traumatised by this, and pretty much ignored us. My guess is that the treats aren’t that great. Anyway, they didn’t seem too worried when we stroked them either. They are very fast though, so we’re going to have to be careful when we do start handling them!
I am slightly concerned that they don’t seem to have eaten (or indeed hoarded) much of their food. Though they are still quite tiny and so probably eat very little. I am also not sure whether or not they are drinking at all. Either way, we’ll be changing the water and food tonight. I aim to change the water every day, and to wash the food bowl quite regularly (depending on how much mess they make!
We’ve also ordered a new wheel for them. It’s a “silent” wheel, apparently. Who knows whether that’s true, but it is designed for Dwarf Hamsters and Mice.
I love all the little toys and things that you can get for hamsters! There are see-saws and swings, sleeping bags and camping sets (I kid not) as well as a variety of chewy things for them to gnaw on and useful things like houses to sleep in and bags of multi-coloured bedding. I don’t know whether hamsters can see colours or not, but I hope to keep the cage matching with its equipment!
I’m sure I will eventually shut up about our new boys, but probably not for a while.

Monday, July 17, 2006

Our New Babies

As promised, more about our new babies – a pair of male Dwarf Russian Hamsters.
They are so sweet! I could watch them for hours! So, we got them home and let them out of their little transit-box. They emerged together at first, but the water-bottle-clip was too loose and the white one got scared and hid in the box! The little black one scampered around the cage though, and it was decided that we would call him Aston, and that his brother would be called Martin. They seem to be too little for the wheel in their cage, so we took it out (they were getting quite cross, we thought) and instead put a little plastic house in there, a wooden strawberry and a kitchen-roll tube.
Martin has started to come out of his shell a little bit, and was being inquisitive about the tube when I went to bed. Aston is a bit of a climber, and had been climbing on and over all sorts of things in the cage! This, however, led to a bit of a mishap! When I came downstairs this morning I noticed that the water bottle was out of place – it would seem that Aston had climbed up on to the water bottle and it had fallen down into the cage. Lots of the cage litter was very damp, poor boys. So, I sneaked the top of the cage off and cleared out the wettest bits while trying not to disturb the poor lads. No doubt that some of it was still a little damp, but I think I got the worst of it. As it isn’t recommended that you disturb them too much in the first 48 hours, we were not going to clean them out this soon, but with the water-bottle issue we may have to! Bless. They have done various bits of burrowing, digging, hoarding and even a little bit of nesting in their new house. Hopefully they will tame easily and we’ll be able to clean them out often enough to make sure that they don't smell.
I'm very happy with our boys, they are so cute! Hopefully they will be the happiest pair of dwarf Russian Hamsters in the whole world!
Anyway, Leon and I are working on getting some photos of the baby boys as soon as they’re a little more tame (don’t want to scare them) so pictures to come!

Very Successful Weekend

The weekend was very successful!
On Friday night we went out for some drinks and Chinese to celebrate Helen getting older. That was an excellent laugh, and also excellent food.
On Saturday morning Gemma came over from Manchester. She has a new job in Sheffield, which is exciting! We had an entertaining lunch at Brigantes (which was surprisingly quiet despite the races). Then Gemma was kind enough to be the designated full-licence-holder for Leon. We drove our 'new' car to a nearby Tesco and put £20 of petrol in. While there we also bought a fantastic hamster cage (from Pets at Home) and some DIY Takeaway (from Tesco's Deli)
The driving was very successful – despite not being used to the new car Leon did very well, and was excellent on the roundabouts. (I hate roundabouts for my own reasons...). Leon spent the rest of the evening plying Gemma and myself with a little too much wine, but apparently we didn’t get as giggly as normal!
Gemma had to head off fairly early on Sunday morning to go meet her parents and buy a new car. So we walked up to the station with her and saw her off. Then Leon gave Tom-and-Helen a call to see if they fancied soming to buy some hamsters with us. So, with Helen as designated full-licence-holder we set off to Wyvale Garden Centre. What a fabulous place that is! I could have spent hours there, but we were there to select our new hamsters.
There were three little baby boy Russian dwarf hamsters, one was white with a grey stripe down his back, one was black and brown and one was ginger and white. I immediately wanted the black and brown one, as he was so cute! Leon liked the white one, so the poor ginger one got left in the shop. (If we’d have had space for three, I’d have taken them all!)
So, the lady boxed them up and we also selected a groovy little house and a new feeding bowl for the boys. More about them later.
So we drove home and sorted out he hamsters, then went on to cook one of the nicest joints of meat: a pork crackling joint. Yum! I have pork sandwiches for lunch today too.

Friday, July 14, 2006


I tried putting a quote I enjoyed from a film I watched recently through the translation engine at and then bringing it back to English. I chose Italian...
Can you guess the real quote and the film?

"There is still that word; "heavy". Why they are the heavy things therefore in happening? Are we a problem with the gravitational attraction of the earth?"

I might post the real quote and translation later...

Thursday, July 13, 2006

To Be or Not To Be... actually not the question. The question is:
Why do I complain about my job and then not apply for new ones?
The answer, I think, is rather multifaceted.
  1. I am good at what I do (no matter what some people might imply) and I enjoy large parts of my work.
  2. I doubt that things are better elsewhere
  3. I'd have to meet a whole new bunch of people
    • They might not like me
    • I might not like them
  4. The new office might have cubicles (this might be better…)
  5. It might take more than 15 minutes to get to work in the morning
Okay, so a lot of those are rubbish reasons not to go and get myself a better paying, more enjoyable job. However, another constraint is that I would really rather like to stay in York. If I can not stay in York, there are a limited number of other cities I would be happy to inhabit. One of these is Cambridge. The obvious drawback of Cambridge (aside from the students, and frankly at least these are intelligent students) is that it is a bit close to Leon's parents. Now don't get me wrong – I like Leon's family. My Mum would be upset though. My sister lives much closer to her boyfriend's parents too. Ah, I know I must not let that stop me…
There's also the fact that Leon already has friends down there. I do not. At least coming to York we had the same disadvantage of not knowing anyone. This said, it seems I am okay at meeting new people, but Leon is shy.
Umm – Ah – Umm.
(That was me, umming and ahing.)
Well, so now that I have surmised that there is no real reason for me not to go for another job, we’re back to the original question.
Not wanting to leave York could be quite a hurdle though. We will have to see.

Wednesday, July 12, 2006

Running Feet

I haven’t been for a run since the Race For Life. That week was quite busy, and then Leon’s friends were here, then we were busy again, then we were in Gainsborough and now I have hurt my foot.
I don’t know what I have done to my foot, but I am considering the possibility that it is sore because I have not been running.
It feels a bit better today, so I guess I’ll try to go running tonight, if Leon feels up to it, at least.

Monday, July 10, 2006

Slug Update (2)

We’ve put down some slug pellets. Leon has found two dead slugs so far. Although this is not the most humane way of dealing with the slugs, it seems to be working as we have found no further slugs.
My Dad reckons that it’s something to do with the potatoes – I’ll let you know if we find slugs in the new home of the potatoes…

Good Luck Gayle

Gayle has started her first job today. I don’t think that she reads my blog, but



Exciting Weekend!

Yes, this weekend has been action-packed and fun-filled! Well…
So, Friday night Bertie was about, so we went out for food and drinks and general merriment. Vastly entertaining. The restaurant we thought that Lint had booked were a bit confused and had gotten our party of eight mixed up with another party of ten! However, they moved a few people around (and one couple left without having desert!) to squeeze us in. it was all good.
Saturday morning, Leon and I got ourselves up, packed our stuff for a brief trip to Gainsborough and then headed off for the train.
Gainsborough now has a Subway Sandwiches, so we ate there (if you knew Gainsborough well, you’d forgive this sin!) and then headed off to explore the plethora of new shops now available. I bought four new tops for work (I’m wearing one now) and Leon bought some drill bits.
That evening Leon, my parents and I went to the evening part of a family wedding (Mum and Dad had already been to the day do) and had lots of drinks, a little bit of the buffet and a boogie.
Sunday, we had a nice cooked breakfast and then headed off back home. When we got home Leon called up about a few cars on the internet but we didn’t think we were going to have any joy. However, Mum and Dad had just left when a man called us back about an Escort. So, I got my parents to come back (requiring the expertise of my father) and we had a look at the car. They all had a drive around in it (they all being Dad and Leon) and then we decided to buy it! Woo! So we now own a car! Its MOT lasts until July next year and it had a couple of months worth of tax on it too. Leon’s going to insure it tonight! Of course he’s not officially allowed to drive it anywhere without "L" plates and a 3-year-qualified driver, so he may not get to drive it about much before his next driving test. This said, Gemma is due here this weekend and she’s been driving since she was 17. Also, we will probably need to go to Tesco (though we might not) so I might be able to convince her to be Leon’s chaperone to the petrol station there! Woo hoo!

Wednesday, July 05, 2006

Dressmaking Makes Me Happy

The first time I ever touched a sewing machine was when I was about 11. At my secondary school there was a rotation of four subjects: Cooking, Sewing, Woodwork and Computers (later to be called Home Economics, Textile Science, Craft Design Technology and Information Technology). We did roughly one term of each of these.
First up for 7R (my form, year 7, Raleigh house) was Woodwork. I really enjoyed that. I made a little car (okay, everyone made a little car…) and it had wheels everything. Great fun!
IT was next, given that I went on to do a degree in Artificial Intelligence (that’s programming, not robotics) then you’ll guess I liked IT.
Next term we did cooking. I didn’t enjoy cooking. I was rubbish at it too. My jam didn’t set, my pies were like rocks. Although my chocolate log was a success and the rum-truffles went down very well (real rum!) I barely scraped a C!
Finally we did Textiles. We had one of the scariest teachers in the world! (She did turn out to be quite nice when I hadn’t done some homework because my sister had been run over…) over three years of textiles classes, I made a wallet (which was a bit rubbish) a handbag (ditto) and a cushion. The cushion was pretty good; I only got rid of it recently!
After that, I pretty much didn’t bother with the whole sewing machine stuff. After university (about 9 years later) I hand-sewed a costume for Leon and myself for the Pub Treasure Hunt. Then, for my birthday that year, Leon’s parents bought me perhaps the most surprising gift I have ever received: a sewing machine. It’s been in its box quite a bit…
Still, since the arrival of the sewing machine, I have made three successful ball dresses, five captain scarlet costumes, and evil-vampire-willow corset, Moulin rouge outfit (and Flic/Jaq also used it) and six cushions. If we ever get a scanner, you'll be able to see these on my Flikr page. I’m thinking about setting up a page to showcase my designs on (since I don’t use patterns, I make my own) but that will probably have to wait until I have a digital camera.

Monday, July 03, 2006

Why am I the only one running?

Why am I the only one running?
Originally uploaded by Hayzee C.
As promised, here's a picture of me running in the race for life. Okay, I'm not going that fast, but at least I'm not walking like the two MUCH YOUNGER ladies also in the picture!
I'm actually complaining at the lack of cheering from Tom, Leon and my sister.
Every time I look at the pictures I am stunned how not dead I look.

Sunday, July 02, 2006


We got a digital decoder with hard drive for recording. The one we had yesterday did not work. It froze up and was not very useful at all. So we took it back.
In addition to this, although it seems that our aerial is capable of receiving the digital signal, it's flakey on some channels. So Leon insisted on getting a new aerial that could go in the loft.
He also has borrowed some steps to get to the loft with. (how worried am I now?)
His mates are still here (their steps) and are watching one of my DVDs. One I haven't watched yet, but I didn't want to join them because they were already two episodes into the series. I'm sure I'll get round to watching it some time.
I have had some interesting ideas about some clothes I might make. Leon's found a fabric supplier who might be useful.