Friday, 5 September 2008

a little story!

Some time ago I mentioned a contest that entailed writing a short romance scene in order to win a book or two! I have deliberately not read any of the other submissions as I find that I tend to absorb what I am reading and use them in my own stories and I didn't want to end up being accused of copying anyone!! Anyway, I am not entirely certain that what I have written is a romance scene if a romance scene is defined as lots of mushy kissing or all sugar and sweetness! Nevertheless I think that what I have could be defined as romance! I shall now let you all judge for youselves! (It is my first ever attempt at a story since I was about 13, so please be gentle!)

She glanced at him, wondering what he was thinking. Alex reached for the coffee whilst continuing to read, took a sip and grimaced when he realised that it was cold. Sara couldn’t bear it any longer and slipped out to the kitchen, and stood looking out over the garden and pressed a hand to her stomach and breathed deeply

As Sara leant on the kitchen counter to steady herself, her mind wandered......
The sun sparkled off Sara’s white wine as she listened to the Australian twang that filled the air and she smiled at the turn of fate that meant that she was having barbecues in January instead of battling the cold rain of a British winter.

After four months in Australia, she still felt a bit nervous about meeting new people but was glad that she’d accepted Mandy’s invitation to the barbecue. She listened carefully as Mandy introduced her to those nearest – “Emma, Simon, Alex, Ian, Natalie, Phil, Jo, and that’s my Ben is over at the barbecue”.

“uh, Hi...I hope I can remember all your names by the end of the evening!” They all laughed while Simon began to talk about ways of remembering who was who and Sara’s gaze swung back to Alex as Simon showed no sign of stopping “...and so if they have a large nose it puts me in mind of...”

Alex stared straight back at her and rolled his eyes making Sara smile and look away for fear of laughing. The shout “Grub’s up” came from the direction of the barbecue and everybody turned and made their way down the garden. Alex waited for Sara to come alongside him and said “So, what it is about me that you’re going to use to remember my name?!”

“oooh, I don’t know yet, I will have to--
Sara startled as she heard Alex walk through the kitchen door, but she didn’t turn round. She sighed as Alex wrapped his arms around her and rested his chin on her head “Sara, those vows are amazing and I wouldn’t change a thing, I’m so glad you’re marrying me”.

Monday, 1 September 2008

Looking Fine for 2009

As mentioned yesterday, Looking Fine by 2009 is a bloggy challenge as set up by Daily Mish Mash - you can see the funky picture (complete with url) in the column on the right!

That lovely little rhyming sentence, Looking Fine by 2009, was catchy enough to get my attention as I like little sentences like that seeing as they are easy to remember! As you may have already gathered by the photograph and the words in challenge sentence, this is all about looking a little better in 2009 than we did in 2008!

As Jen from Daily Mish Mash says, this is not about faddy diets or starving ourselves, but simply treating ourselves a little better. There's a new acronym that I've been seeing in the last few months - HAES - Health At Every Size, which although the proponents of HAES would say does not fit with weight loss, I think that it suits me here because I am simply NOT healthy at the size that I am and by that I mean that I am not vastly overweight, but I AM overweight and not even healthy with it.

I doubt that I am actually making any sense here, but what HAES means is that you can be larger than the perceived norm and still healthy because you eat the right things and do the right exercise, just that due to a combination of factors, you are not the "normal" size 8 that "everyone" thinks that we should be.

My personal problem is that I am a lazy bum! On top of which, I eat far too much fatty foods - biscuits, ice cream, chocolate!! Therefore, any changes I do make are bound to have an effect on my waistline, so, while I have absolutely no plans to post a pic of me in my undies or bore you all by posting my daily food habits (fastest way to lose readers I reckon!!) I will be using Looking Fine by 2009 to give myself some much needed incentive and will be blogging alone with all the other Finers once a week.

And so, along with the Daily Mish Mash blogger, I say that I will eat more sensibly, exercise more, drink more fluids (I would say water, but I am NOT a fan of plain water, so this includes herbal teas and water with a drop of squash in it) and basically start taking more care of myself.

The first weekly weigh-in/measurements is actually today and so, I hereby begin with a scale busting weight of 11 stone, 10 pounds and 6 ounces. Which converts to 155 pounds for those that don't use the British scale of stones.

Sunday, 31 August 2008


This the moment where I start to beat myself up because I haven't blogged in ages and I'm getting to the point where it begins to feel like it's too much bother to blog at all, which is a shame because I do enjoy blogging...I just have a serious inspiration problem, as I think that I may have said before!

After all, who wants to read about a not particularly interesting moment that happened or the things that I think about. Ugh, I sound like a maudlin, whinging female that thinks that you want to listen to a bunch of whining!

I do apologise, and hereby vow to pull my socks up and blog a heck of a lot more, starting with tomorrow's post all about Looking Fine by 2009 as hosted by Daily Mish Mash! More about that tomorrow.

Tuesday, 12 August 2008

A freudian slip perhaps?!?

I simply do not watch television if there are no subtitles, even if it is a film or programme that I know well as I do not get the same level of understanding that I would if it did have subtitles.

There are very few programmes or films that do not have subtitles these days, but they do crop up every now and then and that does annoy me rather. So, despite the fact that my oldest brother says that live subtitles are crap and the providers could do better, I am very appreciative of the fact that there are indeed live subtitles as I realise that they must difficult to provide.

A rather good side benefit of live subtitles is that they go wrong sometimes, usually in a very funny way, and the example that I am about to give you is no exception!

I was watching the 7pm coverage of the Olympic opening ceremony, it wasn't actually live because this was seven hours after the event, but the commentators were live at that point telling us about it although the ceremony itself wasn't - did that make any sense to you!!?

Anyway, I was very impressed with the ceremony, the drums were fabulous, I loved the way they lit up when hit, the fireworks were good too (but that's apt seeing as China is the birthplace of fireworks). The commentators were telling us all about the ceremony and the subtitles were having a bit of a job to keep up and there was a point where they should have said "One world, one dream" only it came out...."One world, one Downing Street".

That still makes me laugh even now, was the subtitler trying to tell us that our government are intent on taking over the world?!

Sunday, 10 August 2008

Lifestyle dreams

Hmmm, don't tell my parents, but I've been rummaging around the property websites of Australia, Melbourne in particular! You get so much more for money when compared to the United Kingdom as the Australians clearly know how to design a house - open plan living with formal spaces tucked away, large master bedrooms with walk in wardrobes and fabulous ensuites (not to mention lovely things like laundry rooms and walk in pantries and covered outdoor spaces)

For the same amount of money you get so much less on this side of the world, clearly we don't have the same amount of space to play with and neither can we really have dedicated outdoor space as it rains far too much here, not to mention that we have far less sunshine (or at least pleasant weather) year round.

At this present point in time I have no plans to go to Australia as I have plenty to do in the UK (like get a Masters - paid for by work hopefully!), but I have been thinking about it, particularly as the outdoor lifestyle does rather appeal. I will continue to ponder on this issue, but I am thinking that when I get to 40 (erk!) and if I still don't have a partner or family and am more or less doing the same job, then I will think more seriously about possibly popping over to the other side of the world, even if just for a few years.

Of course, why not do this now....well, despite the fabulous houses, I don't think that I am quite ready to make such a dramatic move now and in any case I think that I'd get a better chance of finding a job with this Masters that I am thinking of doing. I am thinking that if I just go about my life and putting some savings away at the same time, then I can see what might happen in a few years time? Naturally anything could happen between now and then as I am still only 33!!

Friday, 8 August 2008

Spelling rite or rong?!

I found this rather interesting article today on the Times newspaper website. It's all about spelling.

Now, you would assume, wouldn't you, that in this day and age the article is all about the poor spelling skills that students have these days and how even graduates don't seem able to spell the simplest words.

Well, you'd be wrong, this article discusses Ken Smith (lecturer at Bucks New University) and this idea that we should accept certain basic spelling mistakes as variants on the word and not correct them.

I have to say that any university that can't be more imaginative than calling itself New University deserves to have lecturers that thinks like this! Now, I can appreciate that there are people with dyslexia who will always have trouble spelling particular words, but allowances should be made in this case just as allowances are made for the fact that I don't use the telephone and can only use the television with subtitles.

However, to suggest that we accept variant spellings such as opertunity for opportunity, speach for speech, thier for their and so on, just doesn't make sense to me. I know that in times past there were umpteen variants of the same word, heck, Shakespeare couldn't decide how to spell his own name! Today however, there is no excuse for poor spelling; I mean, if the people of my generation and my parents generation could be taught how to spell correctly why on earth aren't today's graduates being taught how to spell properly, or at least how to use a dictionary?

I would assume that very very few essays these days are being handed in handwritten, so there is even less excuse for not having correct spelling if you are using a computer, unless of course you have the spellchecker set to the American language instead of British!

Wednesday, 6 August 2008

That's amore!

How do you fancy winning a romantic book or two!? Memarie Lane is holding a contest with a difference...write a short romantic scene and enter it in the contest and you just might win!

Of course, you'd have to want to read these books! I don't mind admitting that my preferred reading 'drug' of choice are romance novels, I love reading about the complexity of relationships, I love the happy endings, not to mention the odd sexy page or two!!

I am always keen to add to my stash of reading, so watch out for my romantic story to appear on these pages, whether it will be any good I have absolutely no idea, but it's good to stretch my thinking muscles and perhaps even win a book or two out of it!

Are you up to the challenge? Go visit Memarie Lane!

Tuesday, 5 August 2008

Free evenings!

As of last week I finished my evening job (5:30pm to 10:00pm) which fortunately means no more getting home at 10:30pm with just enough time to feed the cat before falling into bed!!

As this is my first evening at home when I should be working, I am taking advantage of the time to do......nothing! I am just sat here with my laptop doing nothing more exciting than reading my fellow bloggers blogs whilst watching television and snacking on hot buttered toast.

Which is all very nice, although I get the vague feeling that I should be do something rather more productive. But I have decided that I need enjoy being at home first before I regain that utterly bored feeling again, by which time I will be more inclined to do other things like sorting out the spare bedroom, making greeting cards, and other such fascinating things!!

I am so used to having something to do in the evenings, even if it's 'just' paid work, that I need to rediscover my own imagination and inspiration for things to keep me occupied without resorting to that childhood cry "but Mummy, I'm booooooored"!! (p.s. having great fun with Ihasahotdog!!)

Saturday, 2 August 2008

We have a winner!

The very lucky winner of my book giveaway was.....

Random Integer Generator

Here are your random numbers:


Timestamp: 2008-08-02 07:57:05 UTC

and this particular blogger is...

Who is a very funny blogger, I have only just found her blog through this brilliant Giveaway Carnival, but anyone who can blog about being an expendable character in Star Trek is worth a read! Of course, that's not all she talks about, but let me tell you's not often that I giggle/laugh/snort out loud when reading blog posts, but nearly every post of Memarie Lane so far has made me do so!! She's so going in my blog reader!

Tuesday, 29 July 2008

ICLW and Bloggie Giveaways!!

Yesterday was the last day of ICLW and I very very nearly didn't manage to do my last day of commenting, and do you know why?

It was all because of the Bloggy Giveaway Carnival, it's huge, so big that I spent most of the evening rummaging around it and entering here there and everywhere!

As my other bloggy persona (the one that's been entering the giveaways!) has very recently had a giveaway, I didn't want to do another one on that website, but neither do I feel that I should be entering giveaways without offering something in return, especially for something as big as this.

So.....this bloggy persona is going to offer a book, it's a rather silly story actually...I'd read this book a few years ago and thoroughly enjoyed it, so much so that I accidentally bought a second copy late last year because the blurb on the back sounded so very good and I couldn't remember whether I'd already got it (admittedly I did take ages trying to remember whether I'd already got it and decided that it wouldn't hurt to buy it anyway as I could always make a present of it!!)

Anyway, without further ado, I offer up London: a social history by Roy Porter - a fabulous book, one that I am willing to post anywhere in the world. It looks a bit dense, but trust me, it is a great book and if you love history and London and social commentaries then this is the book for you, and even if you aren't that much into history then I would still recommend this book as it is quite fascinating.

So, if you would like to win this book, please comment here telling me something about London, whether you've been there and what your favourite place is, or whether you'd love to visit and where you'd like to visit first! (or you can tell me anything you like about London, a quirky fact or story that you know!!)

Oops, nearly forgot, the deadline for this giveaway is midnight (GMT) on the 1st August!

And don't forget that for more giveaways (literally hundreds!) just go and visit the carnival at Bloggy Giveaways!!

Yesterday's (final!) ICLW comments:

And one returned comment to:

My Family and Other Animals

Monday, 28 July 2008

Monday mornings

Monday mornings usually suck because I know that I've got to get up and go to work after having two mornings of no alarm clocks ringing and just waking up at my leisure!! Admittedly I usually wake up at more or less the same time because my body clock is set that way, but at least I don't have to get up!

This Monday morning is slightly different because it's the first day of my last week at my evening job and I am rather glad to be getting my evenings back as from next week! I originally took the evening job on top of my main job because I wanted to save some money to pay off a small debt that I have with the bank. Two years later, I have had the garden designed, taken a trip to Australia and somehow....I still have that small debt!!

I can live with the debt, it's not that big in monthly payments, but I feel a bit daft having taken on the extra job to pay that off, and to alleviate some of the evening boredom I was having, and I still haven't paid of that debt!! I fully expect to be bored every now and then in the evenings, but at least I will have my evenings back as I wasn't getting home until 10:30pm and getting tired by the end of the week.

When I get my evenings back, I will do things like start making greeting cards again, spending more time curled up with the cat, taking the time to read the books that I want to read, keeping the house as it should be, getting some exercise in, and possibly taking a Masters in management. So, I am not expecting too much in the way of boredom!!

Sunday, 27 July 2008


You know you're addicted to your laptop when you bring it outside so that you can enjoy blogging whilst getting some long awaited sunshine! Of course, the glare of the sun off the laptop screen does make it rather difficult to see what you are doing, but I can still see the screen.

Having said that, it's far more tempting to just sit back and close my eyes and soak up the sun's rays. It's hot and it's gorgeous and I really should go and put some suncream on or at least a hat, which I think that I will definitely go and do.

That's better, I don't feel as though I am squinting quite so much and can actually see the screen better! The washing is hanging about a metre and a half in front of me, gently drying in the sun and with my hat on, I can't actually see the washing so it doesn't feel as though I am sitting in a laundry room!

I gave up with the laptop, slathered on some sunscreen and read a book instead, but an hour later I am now indoors as it is actually too hot, yes, I said too hot - here in Britain it is actually too hot to sit out in the full sunshine!! I could go and get the large sun umbrella but I can't be bothered! ha ha

And then later on, I went to soak up some more sunshine only to find this.....

Fortunately she didn't stay there long, so I was able to get a bit more sunshine before the shadow covered all the garden at 7pm.

Yesterday's ICLW comments: (although I am actually writing this on Saturday afternoon!)

Saturday, 26 July 2008


Saturdays are always full of promise and today is no exception, but I usually make a great mess of my weekends by lying in bed far far too long and by the time Saturday (and Sunday) evenings roll around, I usually feel pretty morose because I have wasted the weekend and it is something that I just cannot seem to stop myself from doing.

Today, however, shows a bit more promise because I have an eye appointment at 11am, which means that I have to get up and get going and perhaps I will actually have a Saturday that lives up to it's promise.

The promise that I talk of isn't one of a fun-filled day, although would be just as good; no, the promise is one of a satisfying day, I get things done and feel productive, whether it's tidying my bedroom, making greeting cards, doing household stuff or whatever takes my fancy, if I have had a productive day then I feel satisfied.

The only trouble is that my bed is usually far too comfortable first thing in the morning (actually that should read most of the morning!) and so I end up feeling that I've wasted the day, but today....I have an appointment!

Friday, 25 July 2008

Regular bloggie posts

As some of you may know...I have three blogs, this one (!) that my real life friends and family don't know about, and two others that I am not going to tell you the URL of, not unless you sign the Official Secrets Act!!

Anyway, all three of my blogs (should) have regular posts, you know the kind I mean - Word Filled Wednesday, Show and Tell, Movie Madness, and many many more. Which is great as it gives me much needed bloggie inspiration, however, and it's rather a big however, I never seem to remember which 'event' I am supposed to be doing on which day and I usually don't remember until the day is almost over and I have already decided to write about something else, not to mention that it is too late to put up because everyone else has already posted there and looked at the others leaving lots of lovely comments!! (I don't want to be the latecomer to the party!)

How on earth am I supposed to remember which post to do on which day, never mind which post to do on which blog - ha ha! Clearly I don't always want to do them every time cos I may have other things on my mind, but if you "sign up" for one of them does it mean that you are obligated to do each and every one that follows or do people not mind if you pop in and out as the whim strikes?

Whether I decide to do them or not, I think that I am going to have to set up e-reminders to myself so that I can at least remember when one is coming up! I simply don't even have the ability to remember that Thankful Thursday happens on a Thursday - Duh! Clearly I have other things on my mind, but I should at least go and be thankful!

Yesterday's ICLW comments:

And a returned comment to:

Thursday, 24 July 2008

Drinking at work

Hmmm, following yesterday's post and calling myself a SOT, I don't think that I should be admitting to drinking at work! Only I did have an excuse, there was someones retirement do going on just as I came into work, so I said Goodbye to the leaver, who is so very keen to begin not being at work!

Then I had a few nibbles and a glass of sparkling white wine, and the glass was still on my desk a few hours a later (and no, I hadn't refilled it) I just wasn't drinking it that fast! I have to say that it wasn't particularly nice wine, but I couldn't bring myself to throw it away. I also had my little can of Pepsi that I took ages to open, instead of my other option - lemon iced tea.

I should explain - there is a drinks machine here but a little (not very tasty) cup of tea costs about 30p or I could use the kitchen but then I'd have to pay into the kitchen kitty and as I only work part time I didn't feel that it was fair to pay the same as everyone else just for milk and tea for three nights a week, so I bring my own drinks in and it usually works out quite well!

(I am finding it very difficult to write a post-dated post - I have to imagine myself as writing this tomorrow and having to change everything into past tense - it is quite difficult to do, but good exercise for the brain!)

Yesterday's ICLW Comments:


And a returned comment to:

Wednesday, 23 July 2008


I didn't actually mean to post twice in one day yesterday, I was all set up to post-date the laughter post, but forgot and by the time I remembered, someone had already left a comment (you're just too darn quick!) and so it was too late to fiddle about with it!

Oh well, you got two for the price of one! A BOGOF as the supermarkets like to call it - Buy One Get One Free - how on earth do people manage to come up with the wackiest acronyms, do they come up with a suitable 'word' and then try and fit the phrase into it, or do they just happen to have created the right set of words that make a rather nifty (or silly!) acronym?

Ha, I have just realised that Soliloquies Of Tash makes me a SOT - no, I don't drink to excess, although my family do like to tease me about my love of wine - which isn't so unusual except that you need to understand that my family are not wine drinkers at all. Mum likes the odd glass, but usually only when I am around cos then we can share the bottle, as otherwise Mum drinks one glass and then the rest of the wine tends to go to waste!

There also the acronyms that are just plain ridiculous like NIMBY - which is Not In My Back Yard, which simply means those that protest against developments in their area, usually some new chemical plant or something, which is fair enough I suppose.

Anyway, do you have a favourite acronym or one that drives you mad every time you see it?

Today's ICLW comments:

Haven't visited anyone yet...
you'll get the list tomorrow!!

Tuesday, 22 July 2008

Sensitive to Laughter

As much as I will happily laugh at myself and the silly things that I do or say, there does come a point when I feel as though I am being laughed AT rather than WITH. I do say and do the funniest things sometimes and even now I am smiling at how I said something funny over the weekend and perhaps I am being a bit too sensitive sometimes.

My skin just gets thinner and thinner during the weekends when all my family are together and I get just a little bit touchy when I manage to say something unintentionally funny yet again and everyone falls about laughing! In the main I do manage to laugh along with them, but I don't always have the fortitude to keep laughing.

But do you know what really grates sometimes? Being told that "we are laughing with you not at you", how the heck do you know that I am not really insulted by this particular round of laughter? Unfortunately (or perhaps fortunately) I do manage to laugh along with them most of the time, which is why I suppose it must seem rather a change of attitude to occasionally (and rather suddenly) turn grumpy, but I just can't take it allll the time!

Anyway, either I have to regrow that thicker skin or stop saying such silly things! And do you know, I can't even think of anything silly that I recently said so that you can all laugh at with me too!!

Today's ICLW comments:

And a returned comment to:


Kicked off yesterday and my comment tally is already increasing as are the number of people leaving comments on this relatively 'young' blog! If you don't know anything about ICLW then do go and find out so that you can join in next time if you want to increase your blog readership and discover some of those great blogs out there!

If you are newly reading my blog, you will discover that there aren't that many posts at the moment and that is because this one of my three blogs and this one is the newest one, as well as being the most anonymous one! My main blog has been going for about a year, but my real life friends and family read that one, so I set this one up so that I could say what I wanted without worrying or upsetting friends and family. (incidentally, my Dad admitted to me on Saturday that he hadn't read a particular post on my main blog because Mum said that it was very powerful and moving - about a particular part of my life - and he knew that it would upset him and so did not read it - but you see what I mean?)

Of course, I have to point out that I wouldn't say anything hurtful about them, but sometimes I need to let off a bit of steam or perhaps talk about things that may cause them to worry and so this is my place for that and with that, I welcome you all and hope that you will (eventually) find some interesting things to read, just that at the moment it isn't all that interesting as my life is so very normal as to be boring!! ha ha.

Monday, 21 July 2008


Although it has been said that you "can never go home", weekends at the old family home are so relaxing that I feel as though I have had a weeks holiday!

Mum and Dad have been there for over thirty years and so I am quite familiar with the house and all it's quirks! Even though we have all moved out now, there is still room for us to visit for the weekend. It was just me this weekend (no brothers or wives or girlfriends!) and it was just nice to chill out and drink lots of tea and enjoy Mum and Dad's company - not to mention the two cats and one dog.

So, despite the still dismal summer, I had a great weekend and feel quite thoroughly rested!

Saturday, 19 July 2008

Strange conversations

Families are funny things, actually to be accurate - parents are funny things!

Mum told me about a conversation she had with Dad the other day and all I could say was "Bless 'im!" It goes like this... (not verbatim of course as I wasn't there and Mum can't remember it all word for word!)

Dad: don't take this the wrong way, you think that you are good looking?

Mum: errrrr.....

Dad: put it this way, do you think that I am good looking?

Mum: well, we are both in our fifties and are beginning to show wear and tear, but neither are we ugly, we are both just average people...why do you ask?

Dad: I was having a conversation the other day with someone and they said "it's alright for you, your wife is attractive", and my (Dad's) first thought was "is she?!"

Naturally this will make more sense to me than it does to you, but it shows that Dad does not see things the way we do and neither does he have the social grace not to say things like that, as much as I love him, he does have his moments. Mum and I were laughing as she told me about this conversation as we thought about how Dad talks about the strangest things and has to think about whether his wife is attractive or not. Although I suppose after you've lived with someone for over thirty years you no longer see them as other people might.

Wednesday, 16 July 2008


Hmmm, you know that your organisation has really reached breaking point when it comes to asking staff to....

squash all envelopes as flat as possible as any letters thicker
than 5mm now get classed as large letters and attract extra cost

I knew finances were difficult, but I didn't realise they were that difficult! Fortunately as a manager I deal with very little actual stuffing of envelopes so I don't have to deal with that sort of thing.

Instead I have to annoy the accountants when I discover that they've put an amount in my budget (spent!) that actually belongs to another department! Fortunately that hasn't happened in a while, but I think that if we are down to squashing envelopes then there may be more creative accounting going on that I need to keep an eye out for.

Sunday, 13 July 2008

two hundred and seventy four!

That's the number of feeds in my Bloglines reader at the moment!! Some mornings I wake up to over a hundred new posts to read!!

Maybe, just maybe, I need to scale it back a bit because the more blogs I read the less I comment unless the subject matter really grabs my attention! Fortunately I am a very fast reader, but then I begin to feel that I am just dashing my way through several blogs without really stopping to reflect on what people are saying.

Okay, some posts are meant to short and snappy, but there are others that demand that you read and absorb each word just in case you miss the meaning of what they trying to say. Neither type of blog/post is right or wrong, just that they each ask different things of me.

At present I am still making the effort to read them all even if I don't comment on more than a few, but am certainly beginning to wonder whether I should jettison a few, but then I start feeling guilty about which blogs I should stop reading, particularly because I seem to adding a few more each week as I stumble across them!!

Does anyone else have the same problem!!!?

P.S. WOW - have just seen the most incredible sight on television - a Labrador dog that swims with the resident dolphin of Tory Island just off Ireland!! Apparently as soon as the dolphin turns up the dog jumps into the harbour and goes to play with the dolphin!! :-)

Friday, 11 July 2008


It's Friday!! And what a Friday it has been!! Nothing earth shaking, just a lot of frustration at work and depressing rain outside!!

I find that the more tired I get the less patience I have and this morning from 11am to 12noon, this was clearly quite evident!! You may have gathered by now that I work in library, well, in order to do my duty on the issue desk I needed access to the library catalogue so that I could let people borrow books and get my stamping books fix!!

Well...was this catalogue willing!? No. The database is on a server hosted outside my organisation and I need to access it via the net and it kept giving me lots of lovely messages like server not available or software caused connection abort. It only took fifteen minutes for me to start clenching my teeth, thirty before I was hanging my head in my hands, forty-five before I was valiantly holding back that scream that would cause a coronary in my quietly studying library users!! I did eventually get in, but oh boy, the frustration!!!

Anyway, that's all over now, I even decided to leave work at 4pm as I was owed half an hour from yesterday. I say owed, but that extra time yesterday was a pleasure because I had to attend an AGM (boring!) which was followed by a tour of the library that was hosting the AGM and wow - we saw some incredible books and archives, I saw a book with Marie Curie's name on the flyleaf, a copy of one of the flight plans for Apollo 11 signed by Buzz Aldrin and Neil Armstrong!!! But the best bit was a book about astronomy written in 1519 by Copernicus - I had to hold my hands behind my back to restrain myself from touching!!

They did say that they had a couple of jobs due to be advertised fairly soon so I will be keeping my eye out for those so that I can get the chance of looking more closely at those books!! However, the chances are that they are looking for assistant staff at half my current salary, so I am going to have to remain satisfied with that one look! Mind you, I am now arranging for my staff to have a visit themselves, surely I have to tag along to keep them in line!!! ;-)

Tuesday, 8 July 2008


I foolishly have two jobs! My evening job is to keep a local library open until 10pm, which is a good thing for the students of the college as that means that they can come and study right up until bedtime!! ;-)

However, having been here for nearly two years, I can say with some certainty that most students of this particular college do not study much after 7pm!! Which leaves me and a fellow library colleague on our own quite a lot, especially now that the end of term is approaching and levels of activity are beginning to wind down.

I was originally appointed to do this particular job of keeping the library open - they got given pots of money in order to extend the library opening hours - and I can say that it is a waste of money! Not because I spend all my time blogging, but because it is a service that is not required by those who are deemed to need it.

At the end of July I am actually leaving because I can't hack the long hours anymore and would rather appreciate getting my evenings back even if it means losing lovely extra lolly I get each month! So, I no longer care whether or not the library stays open until 10pm, but I am pretty confident that with two years worth of horrible looking statistics....they wont open quite so long when the new academic year starts up again in September.

It does make me wonder many services are established or extended because the powers that be have decided that someone else needs it? By the same token, how many services are cut because they are thought unnecessary or too expensive for what is being provided? This is a research topic that could easily fill a few books, so I think that I will stop there and let you all ponder on the topic! ;-)

Sunday, 6 July 2008

Depressing summer!

All this rain and wind we've been having here in the UK (with more forecast this week) is not making for a very pleasant summer! All it makes me want to do is hole up at home with the laptop and investigate property in Australia!

I spent three weeks in Australia back in March, and despite the horrendously cramped flight over, I had a great time - Sydney was warm, Adelaide was hotter than believed (heatwave of 40 degree weather!), Melbourne was just as hot, the Whitsunday Islands were wet but warm.

Now, I know that Australia are in their winter now, but they've still got 16 degrees and sunshine! When I was visiting Australia, I looked inside my thoughts and decided that I didn't want to live here as it was too far away from my family. The reason I did that was because I hear of so many people going on holiday to Australia and then deciding that this is the place for them! I was quite pleased that I didn't feel that pull because I don't think that I could bear seeing my family just once a year.

But's grey outside, the cat is still a bit damp from being outside earlier today, I haven't been out all weekend (although I am just about to pop to the shops to get some chocolate or something!) and it is thoroughly depressing!

If I didn't have family in the UK I truly think that I would live anywhere else but here, the States perhaps or Canada (I loved Vancouver when I visited some time ago), but Australia, with the beach and sports lifestyle, not to mention large houses (compared to those here!) and more sunshine that we could cope with, makes me think that I'd rather like to live there.

Hmmmm, perhaps I need to sleep on that thought! In the meantime, I leave you with a photograph of some incredible coastline near Melbourne!

Friday, 4 July 2008

Independence Day

Well, I should be saying Happy Independence Day to all you American bloggers out there, but how can I when we lost that particular war!!

If we celebrated it on this side of the pond, what do you think we'd call it? My imagination is not doing justice to my very own question.....umm...."no more tea parties day" (rather lame!), "Reduced taxes day" (i.e. we're not going to get any more from the colonies!!).

I am clearly not very good at thinking up catchy slogans for the anti independence day!! Is anyone feeling up to the challenge of coming up with something tongue-in-cheek?

Of course, I do actually mean Happy Independence Day!!
Enjoy all those barbecues and fireworks and weekends with friends and family!!

Wednesday, 2 July 2008

Homely memories!

I found this great meme over at Dirt and Rocks. It's all about those memories that you have of all the places that you've ever lived! The aim is to write down five of those memories for each place and then go and tag a bunch of others to do the same! (warning, this blog post is longer than you might expect - grab a cup of tea and put your feet up!!)

Mum and Dad's place
  • The gorgeous white flowers on the magnolia in the garden.
  • Escaping into the woods at the back of house to swing across the stream hanging on to the oldest bit of rope you ever saw!
  • Getting spooked whilst upstairs in this hundreds of years old house and being convinced that if I looked behind me at that moment I would see something I'd rather not (and then hastily running downstairs without daring to look!)
  • Having an indoor firework party with my friends when I was about ten, of course, being indoor fireworks, they weren't really very much to look at!
  • And there's all those Christmases that we had over the years!
Boarding School
  • Racing to be first in the showers in the morning as there were never enough to go around!
  • Flipping pancakes with classmates at our tutors house.
  • Tugging off the school tie just as soon as 4pm rolled around! (And then going to enjoy tea and cakes before settling down to homework, or prep as it's called at boarding schools!)
  • Being a Jet in the school production of West Side Story (even if I was a boy as there weren't enough of those to go around!! So I couldn't wear any of those great floaty dresses :-(
  • Going on a 'date' and wearing rollerskates so that he couldn't possibly do anything I didn't want him to!!
University Halls
  • That stupid fire alarm that insisted on going off in the wee hours of the morning, of course, it was usually someone trying to do cheese on toast having just come back from the nightclub!
  • Trying to write a draft of my dissertation overnight and feeling very ill in the morning with tiredness.
  • My brother once came over from his University to spend the weekend with me and he brought nothing (!) with him, and I mean nothing useful - no clean clothes, no toothbrush, no nothing!! I don't think that his wife would allow him to do anything remotely like that now!
  • Going to London on a charity fundraising jaunt (Yes, I was a chugger - sorry!) and standing there looking like a lemon trying to get people to put money in my charity pot!! (did you know that it was, probably still is, illegal to actually shake the money pot as that constitutes asking for money which you're not allowed to do!)
  • And then of course there is Graduation Day, which was a bit of an embarrassment in itself cos the guy we all had shake hands with insisted on stopping me half way across the stage and having a bit of a conversation with me!! (something to do about how well I did on my course in spite of my disability - urgh how patronising!)
University Halls on Erasumus exchange programme (Denmark)
  • Getting almost weekly post from Mum and Dad full of news from home.
  • Celebrating my birthday with fellow students at a surprise party!! (I was the only student having a birthday during this particular exchange programme)
  • Not being able to go shopping because the shops always closed early on Saturdays in this country and I never quite got used to it!
  • I remember being quite staggered that the guy in the room next door had a piano in his dorm room - I don't think that anyone in the UK would ever bring a piano to University unless they were music students, still, I suppose that did show just how different the Danish are!
  • Seeing the Little Mermaid in Copenhagen and being quite surprised at how small she is!
Shared House at First Ever Job Location
  • Rather unfriendly housemates.
  • Watching said housemates Karma Sutra video when they were away!! Teehee - it was rather educational!
  • Being locked out one Sunday evening after a weekend away, fortunately a very kindly colleague who lived locally put me up for the night.
  • Trying not to get hosed by the local garage engineer as he said that the engine in my car was clapped out and I need a whole new one! Fortunately I had the intelligence to go and speak to Mum and Dad's local garage bloke who we trusted and he said that the engine was just fine! (tch - trying to pick on a young woman who doesn't know the first thing about cars!!)
  • I remember that it was here that I very first hung washing outside on the line and getting that feeling of a good job done and how nice it was see all those clothes flapping about in the sunshine!
Studio (okay, Granny flat) still at Location of First Job
  • It had the tiniest kitchen you've ever seen, but more than compensated for with an enormous sitting room.
  • The landlords had the craziest dog - all bark but very definitely no bite!
  • Getting "caught out" half way between home and work and making the split-second decision to go back home and dash for the loo instead of attempting to carry on to work!!
  • I attempted to stencil wisteria on my bedroom walls but got rather bored with it and left it looking a bit straggly and in need of some good fertiliser!
  • I remember that I was nearly always late for work because I could never quite work out what time to get up in order to catch the traffic just right for the half hour journey to work!!
Bedsit near Second Job
  • A very strange landlady who spent most of the year in hospital with some fictitious ailment.
  • The same landlady wouldn't change the lightbulb over the stairs and was very impressed that I did so without flinching!
  • Landlady grew stranger still and told me to tidy my bedroom! WTF - you're not my mother!
  • Going to a party hosted by the landlady, this wouldn't normally be a striking memory, but said landlady and her friends were all black and I was the only white person in the room - it was quite an eye opener as to how it felt to be the odd person out.
  • Oh.....the heating in the house!? Even in the height of summer, she had to have the heating on full blast - it drove me crazy and I wonder just how expensive her bills were!
Shared House near Third Job
  • Painting my bedroom purple and sleeping on a mattress until I could afford a proper bed!
  • Getting my bed - a flat-pack jobbie and then putting it together all by myself!! I seem to have a knack for putting together flatpack stuff without too much hassle!
  • Getting all annoyed with a housemate for doing things like leaving the fridge door open, or leaving the milk on the side - that kind of thing still bugs me!!
  • Volunteering with the local Brownie pack and being ever so nervous on my first evening with them as I had no idea what the girls would be like or whether they'd even like me! ;-)
  • Putting in an offer on a house nearby and then ever so gently withdrawing my offer when I discovered that the house was quite rotten and didn't have planning permission for the extension! And it's a good job too as I think that I would have had quite the albatross on my hands even now, about six years later!
First House near Third Job
  • The sheer pleasure of owning my very own house, even though the bank actually owns most of it!! ;-)
  • Watching a horror film (can't even remember the title now) on my own and having to stop the video about three times so that I could get my equilibrium back before watching the rest of it!!
  • Struggling to mow the lawn as I'd left it to grow far too long because I hate mowing the lawn! (which why I got rid of the lawn in my present house and now have a gorgeous patio!)
  • Enjoying evenings at home with my bestest friend M, whilst eating pizza, drinking wine and watching chick films! (no, not that kind - I mean stuff like "How to lose a guy in ten days")
  •'s one...I remember sitting on the floor surrounded by piles of money as I tried to work out the Brownie subs and expenses and which bit should get put where in the accounting book - it was a nightmare!! (especially as I could never keep the receipts all neat and tidy like accountants would!)
Second (and present) Home near Fourth Job
  • Practically deciding to buy the house about five minutes after walking in the door and wondering what the hell I'd just done!!
  • Loving the feel of a brand new house that no-one else has ever lived in before and knowing that there are no surprises behind the cooker or anywhere else!
  • Getting a cat and then when she disappears overnight a few weeks later, I remember I was so distraught and worried that she'd been run over!! (of course, she just sauntered in in the morning meowing for some food!)
  • Staying in bed on Saturdays when there's no earthly reason to have to get up before midday.
  • And then there's the time that Dad shut the door early and locked us out (I don't think that he'd ever heard me say those particular words before!) and it took a van and a ladder and a torn t-shirt to get us back into the house through a window that was open (luckily!) upstairs.

And that's is - a potted history of the places that I've lived and what memories I can manage to dredge up about them all! (and it took rather longer than I expected!) I don't know who to tag for this, but if you fancy doing it, just let me know so that I can be incredibly nosy and see what you have to say!


I found this the other day and thought that it was rather a good idea! How many of you wished you either left more comments or (even better) GOT more comments!?

Well, the woman who runs Stirrup Queens and Sperm Palace Jesters (it's not what you think as it's more to do with the issues of infertility, along with the usual random posts, rather than anything raunchy!!) thinks that we need to do more commenting as this is just as important as making sure that we all write regular posts!

Anyway, IComLeavWe stands for International Comment Leaving Week and at the start of a rather lengthy post setting out the rules and regulations she says...
Welcome to IComLeavWe. It stands for International Comment Leaving Week, but if you say it aloud, doesn't it sound like "I come; [but] leave [as a] we"? And that's sort of the point. Blogging is a conversation and comments should be honoured and encouraged. I like to say that comments are the new hug--a way of saying hello, giving comfort, leaving congratulations.

It's a good way of getting to know other blogs and making sure that you leave a few comments dotted about the internet! After all, how many of us read a million or two blogs and don't actually leave any comments. I certainly read far too many blogs and I know that I don't leave enough comments lying around, but then again, I haven't the time to leave them on every single blog I read.

At least this way I feel as though I have signed up to do something that will hopefully become a habit and encourage me to leave a comment, even if it's just a short note to let bloggers know that someone is actually reading their posts!!

Do head over to IComLeavWe and see what it's all about, you just never might end up increasing your comment count! Either that or wearing your fingers to stubs as you try to keep up with your daily quota!!

Tuesday, 1 July 2008

Movie Madness!

The Daily Mishmash hosts a regular Movie Madness Carnival (although I have to say that this July's carnival is only the second one!) and so I thought that I'd join in with this one while I get this blog up and running properly!

The idea is to post on the subject of Movies, or Films if I wish to be properly British as we don't call them movies on this side of the pond! ;-)

I think that now is the time to come clean and admit that there are some films that I just will not watch; and that's not because of any moral or righteous reason but because there are some films that I find embarrassing!!

And not embarrassing in a sexy way cos I like those films! But embarrassing in a cringeworthy "oh my god why is he doing that" way, particularly in a film like American Pie! Or embarrassing because the character is being made to look a total fool or are being embarrassed themselves. I started to watch The Break-up a few weeks ago and just couldn't get past the first half hour, I can't even remember why I eventually turned it off but I kept wincing and cringing and then had to turn it off!

For the same reason I wont watch films like Austin Powers or other films of a similar humour - I just can't do it! That's not to say that I don't like funny films, I do, but it has to be of a particular humour, which is anything funny as long as it's not puerile. And you'd think that the British sense of humour is supposed to be on the slightly smutty side, well not this girl, although I have to say that I am quick to see the double entendre!

And so I ask you guys - are there any kinds of films (sorry, movies) that you just can't bring yourself to watch!?

Sunday, 29 June 2008

Bloglines is going crazy!!

I had to laugh just now when I saw my Bloglines account refresh itself and leap from about 50 posts to read to 2685!!!! Something very strange is going on with Bloglines as it keeps thinking that I want to reread the last 200 posts of a random blog that I have in my lists, it even thinks that I want to read the last hundred odd posts of several blogs that I subscribe to, but there is no earthly way that I would be able (or want) to read 2685 posts!!

I certainly hope that I am never away from my laptop long enough for my unread blog posts to get that high!! As it is, I subscribe to 239 blogs, which is probably too many anyway, but I like reading them as I am a very naturally nosy person! And it's a good job that I can read fast too, otherwise I'd be on the computer all day long, which isn't to say that I don't do that already!! (I really need to get a life!! ;-))

Updated to add that my Bloglines reader tally now stands at 6560 - there is definitely a bug in the system somwhere! I hope they fix it soon, before we all go crazy!

P.S. Bloglines is now officially down! There is a very pretty page full of colourful circles and a little sentence that goes "Bloglines is down temporarily. We will be back shortly" - the sad thing is that I am already getting withdrawal symptoms!!

Friday, 27 June 2008


Hmmm, this anonymous blogging is going to be quite the challenge! Not because I haven't got anything to say, but because I already have a blog elsewhere and I am trying not to get the two blogs confused or at least not to out this one on my 'public' blog. Which I have to say is unlikely although I could mention my other blog on this one as long as I don't cross reference it back.

But do I want to do that, I mean - how much do I want to ensure that there is absolutely no chance that IRL friends and family don't get to read this one - I don't plan on saying anything damaging, not that there is anything damaging to talk about - it's just that here I can speak more freely about my personal thoughts and feelings without worrying that Mum and Dad (and others) are going to worry that I am upset or angry or whatever!

At the same time though I wouldn't mind if my present bloggie friends read this one because they are highly unlikely to meet my friends and family, so just how careful do I intend to be? You see, the more careful I want to be the more difficult this gets!! Particularly as I could very well comment using either name on any blog and no-one would be any the wiser, unless you have a statistics counter that looks as IP addresses and can work out where I come from and spot that two of your commenters share the same IP address - hmmmmm!

Perhaps I am making far too much an issue of this and should just simply enjoy blogging for friends and family as well as my more private self! Perhaps this is your opportunity to see me crash and burn as I get so tangled up between my blogs that I don't know whether I am coming or going!!

Thursday, 26 June 2008

All Mediocre!

There are many many ways to get your blog noticed and AllMediocre is a great one - I just found it today and it's a list of blogs about anything, so you never quite know what you'll get when you click on something!

There are other websites like this, but as far as I can tell they all tend to focus on particular topics or types like Mom-blogs (I tried to put Mum-blogs, but it works better in Americanese!) or fertility blogs or...well you see where I am going with this!

AllMediocre is the alternative to Alltop where the best of the best gets picked up, which is a good way of finding out good blogs. But, we all know that not everyone can be a brilliant blogger as there simply has to be an average and everyone falls above or below that line, so this is an opportunity to get yourself noticed in a humorous mediocre (but not really!) way.

I look forward to begin reading some of those blogs on that list and adding yet more blogs to my already groaning bloglines account!

Wednesday, 25 June 2008

The boss is leaving!

It would appear that the Boss is leaving at the end of July. It wasn't such a surprise because the rumours were flying fast and furious and some of us were getting a bit miffed because she was pulling out of seminars that we'd specifically been asked to attend!

The Boss is meant to be going on a secondment, so she will be back, but the powers that be have said that they wont hold her present job open, merely that there will be a job at her grade when she returns in six months time. Which is rather irritating because it shows a rather short-sightedness in our present management as the Boss will be able to bring back a lot of useful information that is directly related to her present job; but I reckon that they didn't want her to go so they made as difficult as possible for her to accept the other offer, which naturally meant that she was put in such a position as to accept the offer rather than continue to work in a department so short-sighted!

As she is my direct line manager I do wonder what will happen now, will the department be restructured slightly? Who will I report to in August, will I still get to the management course that she said would be good for me, who can I whinge to about various problems instead! Perhaps it's no surprise that she want to leave! ;-) It just goes to show that while some people can just slide out the door and have no effect on the staff left behind, there are some that because of the level of management they they are at their leaving will definitely have an impact on the remaining staff.

Tuesday, 24 June 2008


Welcome one and all to my blog!

I should state up front that no-one will be identified in this blog....I just needed a place where I didn't have to think about every word that flew off my fingers, where I didn't have to worry that someone I knew wouldn't like what I said! (or would be shocked that I even said it in the first place!)

Of course, it is my own fault for broadcasting my first blog (which is still out there!) to all and sundry, I was quite happy to do that and am still very pleased to know that there are friends and family that do read my blog, but it does mean that I can't really say what I think! Besides, I might want to say something about someone that reads my blog and how can I when I know that they read it!

So, this is my place for me to say what I think, naturally I hope that I wont offend anyone, but I can't say that I wont because we all know that everybody has different offence triggers!! ;-)