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!