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 I think it’s a bit out of date there too, as all of the parties have changed or added to their policies, and also two have new leaders (and the other is to have a new leader soon) so… Still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.