Wednesday, January 31, 2007

Another Day Another Drive

Sunday morning, more driving. Pretty much just driving around (though I did Reverse round a corner) trying to improve my forward planning. Basically my new instructor wants me to anticipate things happening, like approaching lights which are red slowly in second gear in case they change to green. How exciting. It’s a good way of doing it though, and should make me a better driver when I finally get it through my thick skull!

Work is being its usual self. I still don’t have a job description. I do know that I’ll get some management practice one day, but when? Who knows.

Tuesday, January 23, 2007


Driving Lesson No. 8
I had another driving lesson on Sunday - my first one during daylight. The sun was in my eyes some of the time which I didn't enjoy. However the lesson went better than the previous one, and I got on better with the new instructor.
We did parallel park and bay park with new techniques to those I have been taught. Still, they did seem easier to remember.

New Phone
Yes, I finally got a new phone. I was worried, after all the faffing about previously, that it would be an issue again. However, I happily walked away from the Orange Shop with my shiny new Sony Ericsson Z610i and a whole new contract package which is actually cheaper than the one I was on, but with more minutes and texts. Woo!

Snow. I'm not impressed - I dislike most sorts of weather. Leon claimed that the only sort of weather I like is when there isn't any. I argue that it's not possible not to have any weather. Either way, I prefer it when it is not windy and it is very hot and sunny. Not snow. Ice too, is pretty horrible. It could be worse though, as the snow has stopped and the sun has come out.

While at university, I was introduced by a fellow geek to The Daily Static at User Friendly which is a comic along the lines of Dilbert but based in a slightly different environment - more geeky, and with Linux references. I read the back issues from about mid-2005 though I think the last time I read was probably 2003 at the latest! I was quite pleased to be able to remember the url.

Wednesday, January 17, 2007

Blog Worries

I got an email from blogger today. This is what it said:

This email is a response to your request for information about your Blogger account. To regain access to your account, please click on the following link:
(I’ve removed the link, just in case)
Clicking on this link will take you to a web page that will let you choose a new password. Once you've submitted your new password, you'll be able to log in to your Blogger account.
If in the process of recovering your password you see the log into Blogger page, please see this Blogger Help article for information on how to fix your browsers cookie settings:
(I’ve removed the link, just in case)
You could also try logging in/recovering your password from a different web browser - we recommend Mozilla Firefox:
The Blogger Team

This is all fine, except that I have not had any problems logging on to blogger, nor have I requested a new password. Looks a bit fishy, hmm?
Anyway, I didn’t click the link.

Monday, January 15, 2007


I have sort-of learned a new skill.
At the weekend my "teach yourself knitting" book arrived. My mum happened to be around to laugh at me and to show me how to cast on (not that hard) and I've knitted a patch in some multi coloured DK (double knit) wool. I cast-off from that now so that I can teach myself some of the other techniques.
I also picked up some thicker yarn and some fatter needles so that I could begin project one in the book: a scarf. I also had a look online and found myself a pattern for some mittens. My Nanna used to make mittens (among other things) for me and my sister when we were little. The sound of the needles brings back some nice memories, which adds to the experience of knitting, which I am enjoying.
I do feel a bit of an old bid though, as I've got a cross-stitch and a knitting project on the go!

Driving too fast?

I had another driving lesson today. Woo.
I also met my new instructor. No, before you say it, I didn't scare away the last one.
His name is Tony. He has a Corsa too, which is good. I haven't decided whether I like him yet, but he seemed to know what he was talking about. Well, you'd hope so, being a driving instructor.
I was being overconfident this time. Which is pants. The trouble is that I was being too cautious last week (so I was told) and now I'm being the opposite. I dunno, but I've recently been getting flashbacks to some of the horrible and scary moments in past tests.
I'm doing my best to stay positive, and the guy did say that my driving was reasonable.
Ho hum. I'm trying anyway - I'd love to be able to drive when we go to America.

Thursday, January 11, 2007

Gym'll fix it

So, we’ve joined a gym. Excellent, well done, and all that. We’re now fully fledged members of the gym near to the out-of-town office where Leon works. It’s a pretty good gym, the facilities are excellent. I was impressed, though I still have to inspect the shower area more carefully.
Last night we went for our induction session. This involved being shown how to use three of the cardiovascular training machines, and three of the weight machines (not the best name, but I can’t think of the right word!) having been shown how to use them, I proceeded to spend just over half an hour having a ten-minute go on each of them. They were the bike, treadmill and cross-trainer. I probably looked a bit of a berk, but I actually quite enjoyed myself. Since the pool was being used for swimming lessons we went to the health suite for a steam and Jacuzzi. I was disappointed with the changing room there; it was filthy (used sticking plasters, orange peel and the stickers which say not to remove them until you’re happy with your purchased underwear/swimsuit, plus lots of mucky water). However, the steam room was good, and the Jacuzzi was comfortable, if a little crowded. If I get chance to use the facilities during the day I will do!
Overall though, it was a good evening. We’re off again on Friday to have a personal plan drawn up with our goals on, and what we’re going to do to achieve them.
My goals are:
  • lose a stone in weight before the end of June (for Florida)
  • firm up the flabby bits on my arms, belly and bottom (like almost all women!)
  • feel better in myself

Sunday, January 07, 2007

Political grumble

This is quite interesting. To paraphrase:
Lots of mundane stuff like falling down stairs and allergic reactions kill more people than terrorism. Although obviously not at the same time. If everyone who was going to die from anafalactyc shock did so in the same instant, for example, that would be more people than in your terrorist attacks.
(See also This more eloquent article)
Now, at no point do I condone terrorism. I think it's despicable. However, despite our government's "War on Terror", I think that the terrorists might be winning. Why? Because everyone is afraid and we're letting the government slowly take away our freedoms to "fight terror".
“Any society that would give up a little liberty to gain a little security will deserve neither and lose both.”
-Benjamin Franklin

Thursday, January 04, 2007

More Driving

I did some more bay-parking today. It took a bit of getting used to, but I managed 5 sucessful bay-parks out of 5. (I had to do some pretty major corrections though!)
I did find out today, though, that my instructor (who has been very good, and patient!) is going off travelling round America. Starting in 6 days. For three months. I wish her lots of luck and fun - I'd love to do that! Trouble is having the whole job thing is a drag. And not much money - except for my savings which are taking Leon and I to Florida for my Dad's 50th.

So, I'll be waiting to hear from another instructor, and in the meantime getting put onto the insurance for the Escort - volunteers to be taken to Tesco or for random weekend driving welcome. Though I suspect that the volunteers will be fewer than for Leon, people assume that I'll be equally scary behind the wheel (and I might be - who am I to know?) and also Leon's a nicer person to be stuck in a small metal box for hours driving around York. :) I know my limits and I'm not a glass-half-full kind of person. If I expect the worst then I'm rarely dissapointed but often pleasantly surprised.

Anyway, it's late. Leon's playing GTA San Andreas (my game...but he's enjoying himself so much) and I'm off to bed so that I can try not to be any more grumpy about work.

Chip will be glad to hear that his "replacement" has sent me some rubbish to look at that I'm not sure is any more wrong than usual, just they've noticed it now. Fab. :) Though it was suggested I could stay at work until the evening in order to call Chip in his new office...

Mysterious Ways

Well, today I was really in need of a pick-me-up. Work is rubbish at the moment, on top of the usual, it's one of the busy times. Yey.
Anyway, I walk in and there's a card from Australia on the mat (it's 226, Chip) which was undeliverable until they read the name (!) Anyway, it's really cheered me up, despite being a bit cheeky about me being old.
So, thanks Chip! It didn't make it for my birthday, but it did turn up when I really needed something happy.

Without my friends, as widely scattered as they are now, I would not remember to laugh at myself and the stupid things in my life that I sometimes take too seriously.

Wednesday, January 03, 2007

Quite Excited!

I've just sent off a cheque to book myself onto a coach-trip to London. I guess most people will go on this for sight-seeing etc. However, the hotel that is in the package happens to be in Harrow, where Leon and I used to go to university! So, we've emailed our old uni friends in the hope that they’ll meet us somewhere for drinks and a catch up! I've already had responses from the people from my course, which is nice! Hopefully so has Leon. I was a bit worried with the various emails as they were about three years old in most cases!
So anyway, I have marked the event on my calendar(s) and will try to put aside some money for it too!
It's going to be really great to see everyone again! I would post some pics but they're all hard copies (the horror!) and my scanner broke ages ago. I should look in the sale and see if I can afford a new one.

And on the way back, we get to stop in Oxford for lunch. Nice.

Tuesday, January 02, 2007

25 Years Old!

I would have back dated this post to near-enough the time I was actually 25 (I doubt that the time is exact, you know) but it will not let me. :(
If you care, it was 08:25 31/12/2006

Anyway, as discussed a bit in the pub:
25 things of note that happened in my 25th year (roughly chronological)
  1. Discovered MSE
  2. Painted an oil painting for Leon for his birthday
  3. Saw The Feeling before they were famous
  4. Opened an ISA - my first savings in a long time!
  5. War of the Worlds LIVE
  6. Discovered that I like butternut squash and aubergine (the food and the colour!)
  7. Got on a bike again after 10 years of being an avid pedestrian
  8. Bought a car!
  9. Bought new sofas
  10. Made cushions for the sofas
  11. Saw Dylan Moran live
  12. Ran in the Race For Life
  13. and raised money for Cancer Research
  14. Lost a stone in weight
  15. Got Aston and Martin, our hamsters
  16. Watched Elvington air show from a field in the rain!
  17. Discovered MySpace and got back in touch with my cousins
  18. Got a promotion at work
  19. York Maize Maze - Star Trek theme!
  20. Got back in a car after 6 years to take driving lessons
  21. Came third in the PTH!
  22. Made another ball dress to match my fab shoes
  23. Spent a day at the seaside in winter (near enough) and ate fish and chips
  24. did Christmas dinner for SIX people!
  25. Redecorated the bathroom