Friday, 24 September 2010

Bad Manners Strike Again

I wrote a while ago about a friend of mine with bad manners. Well, tonight she's gone and done it again. I can't wait to see you! Let's catch up! I've had to take loads of painkillers today, and was feeling pretty rough. I mentioned my dilemma to my father, I wanted to see her but would only end up sat in her house while she sat texting people and ignoring me.

Dad suggested I should text, explain I'm not feeling great and ask her to come up. Done. Ignored. Didn't want to see me that much then? And I still feel guilty. It's so stupid. At least I had a pretty good idea how things would go so actually have arranged to my sister tonight. She's picking me up in 15 mins.

I've been having a hectic social life because of work recently (so ironic, since the last job actually killed it!) but have managed to put up some new reviews on The Book and Biscuit recently, so please check it out if you fancy reading them.

Wednesday, 15 September 2010


I don't know if you've heard about Someone mentioned it to me in work and I thought I would pop on and have a look after finishing a rather bleak memoir of caring for an eldery Alzheimer's sufferer, to cheer me up a bit before I wrote a review.

I ended up getting hooked (that old addictive personality again) and writing a really weak review of a complex and unusual book. But really, Sporcle is great fun, and if you have a lifetime to waste you should definitely check it out!

Tuesday, 14 September 2010

Saying Goodbye

There was a lot I meant to get around to this weekend but didn't manage to. This weekend was somewhat miserable. Well, late Saturday night onwards was completely miserable, right out of the blue.

It started off with Saturday night, my (slightly tipsy) boyfriend going off on a rant about the state of our relationship, which genuinely shocked me because I'd thought things had been going better. I told him I would talk to him in the morning, as you can't really have a sensible conversation about life, the universe and everything when one or both of you is intoxicated. And I thought it might just be the drink talking.

Sunday morning, transpires that it wasn't just the drink talking, but there are things he's not happy about. The short version of this ends in me being very upset all Sunday, trying to plan what I will do if we break up and worrying that I will have to give my guinea pig and rabbit away. Late Sunday afternoon we had a chat and it turns out that things aren't at the breaking up stage, but we need to work on stuff.

Sunday evening I go to give rabbit and piggy their afternoon feeds. They'd been fine that morning when I'd been confiding all of my problems in them. The rabbit hadn't cared at all being a flipperty gibbet, but the pig being old and wise had looked at me sagely while having his back scratched. However, while the rabbit was straight in to her food, little piggy didn't want to know about his, which was unheard of. Food is his life and all he cares about. His favourite noise is the sound of a rustly bag because it means dinner time.

Poor piggy was very tired though, and rapidly went down hill. He was very old and passed away this morning. He was pig headed and stubborn to the end, hanging on furiously for no particular reason, lying with his eyes open and refusing to sleep. I sat with him all afternoon yesterday holding him and stroking him to keep him warm, and before bed I explained to him that it was time to go to sleep and dream nice dreams. He seemed to listen to me and close his eyes a little. I always think they can understand much more than they're given credit for. We've a little funeral this afternoon to say goodbye.

So all in all, a horrible few days. I hope things get better soon.

Saturday, 11 September 2010

Charity Shops

Charity shopping is viewed with disdain by the elite of society, they are happy to pay extortionate amounts of money for someone's old clothes, but only on the proviso that you tag the word vintage on before it. My friends and I managed quite well out of ebay etc when we were in university in a town with about three generic shops and we didn't want to wear the same as everyone else. But I digress, I didn't come here to talk about buying clothes in charity shops today.

I've often heard that the best charity shops to browse are those in affluent areas, so Kensington is probably a good bet if you're looking for clothes. I was looking for books however, and this is a reasonably well off area surrounded by universities. I picked up not one, not two, but TEN books I had been meaning to read but hadn't gotten around to for a grand total of £6. I am so pleased. Made my walk to the bank and post office in the rain worth it.

Thursday, 9 September 2010


Thanks to those of you who have already popped round to check out The Book and Biscuit. Things are in the very early stages there, but I have a few more reviews that I will pop up over the weekend and maybe some more book related fun stuff.

I've been cooking a lot lately. Now I have so much more time, I've been thinking of ways to fill it, so the last two nights have been a full on cooking extravaganza. Last night was Beef and Blackbean Sauce with fried noodles- that of the chilli nose disaster. I may or may not have mentioned that being unfamiliar with cooking with chillis I made the mistake of deseeding it with my thumb nail. I had a very sore thumb last night.

Tonight I went for a safer (not involving chillis) cripsy pork with stir fried green veg, salad and egg friend rice. I forgot to put the soy sauce in the rice which might have been a disaster, but fortunately the sauce was pretty flavoursome (maple syrup, pineapple juice and toasted sesame oil... sounds disgusting but was nice).

We're going to see Tamara Drewe at the cinema tomorrow night, but I have pancakes with smokey bacon and maple syrup planned for Saturday morning breakfast. We're seeing a university friend who is a semi pro photographer and is going to give me some help in that respect, so Sat night dinner is taken care of, but I have either a lamb stew or an old fashioned Lancashire Hot Pot planned for Sunday dinner....

How long do you reckon it will take me to put on my target 7lbs at this rate? ;-)

Thursday Morning

I have everything ready that I need to take to work... bar any kind of energy or motivation. Still. I'm not sure how much of those I will need to send a zillion emails, and by then it will be lunch and I may experience an energy spike in the afternoon. Argh!

Wednesday, 8 September 2010

Cooked Beef and Black Bean Sauce :-)

Somehow got chilli up my nose :-(

Tuesday, 7 September 2010

The Book and Biscuit

The Book and Biscuit is open and I have stuck up three reviews, so please to go and check them out. They are a little awkward as I get back into writing again, hopefully they will get a little more fluid and natural as I continue writing. They also could have done with better editing, but I am tired. And on that note I will go and read my magazine in bed.

Fame At Last

I've made it on to youtube as a vlog entry.

I was sat talking to my boyfriend on the phone, and the conductor was trying to sell this guy a ticket, but he wouldn't the man wouldn't speak English to the conductor. I felt sorry for the guy, so stepped in. Then pointed out to the guy in Welsh that I didn't think making people feel inadequate was a very positive way of motivating them to learn the language, even though I feel strongly about it.

Anyway, we ended up talking for about an hour, because it's unusual for someone from our hometown to speak Welsh fluently and we had this much in common. We were talking about our blogs and video logs and he wrote the link to his down for me. I just came across the address while cleaning for my boyfriend to watch football, and found myself mentioned here. I am the someone he spoke to if you are wondering.He's quite funny, if you like that type of humour, so check it out.

I'm Queen of The Nerds!
So, we didn't go swimming in the end because boyfriend didn't want to either, we stayed at home eating delicious foods instead though we still got soaked going to buy them. It was like late Autumn here yesterday.

I did manage to bash out a review for the proposed blog, though I haven't posted it yet. This means I have three reviews, admittedly in need of heavy editing, but I will get it up and running soon. I've done the hello world post so I have to now really!

Monday, 6 September 2010

Monday Night Dilemma

To swim, or not to swim; that is the question. Whether 'tis nobler and more kind to take tea and biscuits by the radiator, or wear my costume into a sea of chavlings, and by submerging drown them...

I told the boyfriend I would go swimming with him tonight. I haven't been in about four years. He hasn't in ten. I tried my swimming costume on last night and it still fits well. I was rather enthusiastic about swimming last night while lying in a too warm bedroom.

Today is cold and grey though, and I am very reluctant. I don't know what to do...

Wednesday, 1 September 2010


Oh, I am tired today! I slept late this morning. I meant to catch the 8 am bus, but I slept on meaning to get the 8:45 bus. At 9:06 I rolled over thinking how nice my lie in had been... Damn! I still made it into work by 9:35 which must be some kind of record. Turns out I can still sprint when I need to. And I needed to! £13 taxi instead of the free bus... nice :-(

And yet despite the extra sleep, I'm still really, really tired!

Tuesday, 31 August 2010

The Mysterious Powers of Fruit

This probably won't come as a surprise to most if you but fruit has magic energising powers. I note this because when I started the new job, I went dutifully to the supermarket and bought lots of fruit and vegetables to eat in my packed lunch. After chowing down on a protein rich sandwich and several portions of fruit every lunchtime I was energised.

Poor organisation/laziness has lead to me sticking a prepacked sausage roll and a chocolate bar in my bag recently and I've not been feeling so perky. Admittedly I have a cold, but I'm seeing a correlation here. I might even take a ride out in my soon to be sold car to buy some more.

Monday, 30 August 2010

I'm Back!

It's been a while since I've posted on here in earnest. You've had the odd note from me now and then, but otherwise it's been fairly quiet in the land of Faineant Fancies. Here's what I've been up to:

  1. My new job- its pretty good fun. The people are pleasant, quirky, funny, friendly... I think I will enjoy working there. I spent my days contacting writers, drinking tea and submitting manuscripts to production. I write up the odd contract too. Not to mention the crossword that we do at lunchtime. I've been there a fortnight and we've been for social dinners twice... not bad going. Oh and I have so much more time! No marking, planning or after work meetings.
  2. Reading-I've been feeling so much better recently that I've gone onto a huge reading binge. I know I normally have a little mention of what I've been reading, but I'm actually thinking of setting up a separate blog. I've read about ten books this month.
  3. Visiting friends and relations- Now I'm feeling more like my old self again, I've been catching up with people. Going out dancing. Drinking cocktails. Visiting the cinema. Shopping. Going for tea and cake. Festivals. Museums. Oh and I've talked to the ones I couldn't meet up with yet on the phone and facebook lots. Anti social me is a thing of the past.
  4. Shopping- the shopping really deserves an entire category to itself. When I began to feel more like my old self, I looked in the mirror and thought, urgh, who are you?! I've had my hair chopped, which on reflection may have been more drastic than planned, and I have been buying a new wardrobe. Not just any random things, but I have cleaned out my closet thoroughly. Anything I didn't love or wear lots was washed and donated to charity. I've been on a clothes hunt ever since. I don't think I'd bought any nice clothes in two years (while I was teaching then).
  5. Housework- I'm going to turn this place into a cosy little home one day. I'm currently supervising the boyfriend in constructing some flat pack furniture to this end. When I have more storage, my clothes will have a nice distinct home and I will have a cleaner environment. 
  6. On a slightly bitter note, I've been at the hospital a lot about my foot. They have suggested amputating it if it continues to cause me pain. My feeling is that I've put up with it this long, I can keep going if I make sensible adjustments like I have with work. I know how bad my foot can get, I don't know how bad it would be to have it off, but can imagine having to learn to walk again and the host of other problems which will crop up. I'm going to wait it out until they can grow me a new one in a lab.
Here's some things I've been meaning to do but haven't gotten round to:

  1. Actually starting a blog to document the reading. I've registered an address, typed a few notes and a review. Lots to do still.
  2. Writing. Apart from the one review I've been totally off it for a while now. I will get back on it soon. Maybe something new. It might be a winter pursuit when the bad weather sets in.
  3. Signing up to college classes. I want to study a language. I'm fluent in Welsh and English (obviously). I can't decide whether to pick up French again (I studied it until I was 16 and got an A at GCSE) at an advanced level, or to start something relatively new like Spanish, Italian or something...
  4. Joining a yoga or pilates class. Genuine reason there. I'm waiting for my latest set of orthotics before I start. They should be ready on Sept 7th.
  5. Cooking nice food. I've been too busy to plan ahead! I'll wait (the waiting is where it all goes wrong) until I have a quiet day to trawl through a recipe book for inspiration and do a big grocery shop.
Hope you are all keeping well!

What's the sense in waiting?

You've got wits, you've got looks, you've got passion but are you brave enough to leave with me tonight?

Revisiting my teenage years co. Spotify. Marvellous. Also having an Autumnal spring clean across the bank holiday weekend. The calendar might say it's summer, but trust me, we're moving into Autumn.

Saturday, 21 August 2010

Ancestry Research

I've recently gotten back into tracing my family history. I use and given that my family seems to have fairly common British names, I've managed to get pretty far back, to about the 1770s in some parts.

I'm thinking of ordering DNA swabs to trance ancient ancestry that way. Has anyone ever tried this? Thoughts on it?

Sunday, 8 August 2010

Bad Manners

I've been trying to catch up with friends and family while I'm back visiting and a few people have been annoying me somewhat.

Some old school friends have been sending me text messages saying how much they want to catch up with me because they've heard I was back, and could we meet up. So you arrange to go to someone's house for snacks and gossip, but when you call to confirm no answer. This happened two days in a row. I don't mind that they've made other plans or changed their minds, but when they were the ones chasing me, surely it is good manners to let me know that plans are off so I can catch up with people who do want to see me?

Then one of them visited me today with her puppy. It was cute. I didn't mind that it vomited on my carpet and I had to clean up after it (that much). What did annoy me was that she sat there the whole time we were talking texting people from her mobile phone.

Why??? If you have somewhere you would rather be, please be there! I could have visited my sister!!!

Saturday, 7 August 2010


I'm home at the moment and went to visit an old friend for lunch. Afterwards we went to a pet store and there was one little rabbit in an open top pen all on her own. I started chatting to her and she came and started to sniff and nibble my hand.... she's now in my bedroom upstairs. My Dad and sister are going to take me back to the city tomorrow so I can get her back...

Not too long til I start the new job now!

Monday, 2 August 2010

New Job!

So against all odds I've got the job! I had a second interview last week and heard today. I am so pleased. Entry level publishing here I come :-)

Sunday, 25 July 2010


The interview went well and I have been shortlisted. I'm still waiting to find out more though.

I'm home at the moment for a funeral, which is really sad. I've never actually been to a funeral before. We lost my great grandparents when I was younger, but my parents felt I was too young to attend the funeral.

I was hoping that was a first that I wouldn't have to face for a long time.

Thursday, 22 July 2010

Here Goes Nothing...

Saw me get up at half seven this morning and start frantically preparing for my interview at 3:30 pm. I've styled my hair which I had chopped into a bob yesterday from hanging to my shoulder blades, make up, buffed my nails, dressed.... I even went shopping. Oh and spent a few hours researching the company. So... now I'm sat around twiddling my thumbs.

After the interview I have to travel back to the homeland for a really sad event. That doesn't seem real yet. Focus on getting a job first....

Wish me luck!

Thursday, 15 July 2010

Job Interview

I have a job interview soon. I don't think I'll get it. It's in an industry I've been wanting to get into for a while now, but I'm not really massively qualified... though I have skills they need, I don't have specific knowledge...

It's all experience though, right?

Thursday, 8 July 2010

Two days later...

So after two days of groaning, typing, cursing, moaning.... I've gotten my new CV sorted out. It's looking much better, if I do say so myself. Here's to a successful application to be Queen of the World!

Wednesday, 7 July 2010

How Not To Impress Potential Employers

Use a  Microsoft word template in open office to write your CV and fail to spot that because the headings are automatically in block capitals that if the employer happens to click default formatting (so many ask for email submissions now) that you have a heading which looks something like wORK eXPERIENCE. No. I wouldn't ask me to interview either. I suppose they did warn me that some formatting would get messed up if I saved different file types in different programmes...

I've also realised after further research that my CV is probably not concise enough and doesn't really highlight my skills effectively. Annoying, but you live, you learn, and I'm in the sort of two week notice period now (school is out in two weeks, though my contract runs til August) so I can really throw myself into applying for jobs I want. Hopefully with more success.

A website I have found quite useful today is Give Your Resume a Face lift. It tells you how to improve the graphology of your CV in word so that it stands out. I say I found it quite useful, this is because I was trying to translate the instructions for open office. They aren't 100% compatible because the measurements are different.

I've thrown a hissy fit at the computer and emailed boyfriend demanding access to his copy of Microsoft word. I'm currently taking deep breaths and eating biscuits to calm myself. I have every hope that the instructions will prove very useful later.

Friday, 2 July 2010

Ghana v Uruguay

Dirty cheats! Ghana deserved to win that...


Curriculum Vitae/Application Forms

Sometimes I am tempted to make up a CV. A bad, wicked CV and send it out to people when I apply for jobs. A CV so full of those heinous errors they told us not to make in school that it becomes a comedy genius. How could I fail to look good in comparison?

And how do you look good? I've read so much, heck I've even taught CV writing as functional English. Everyone's opinion seems to differ. Of course they agree on some basics, but there's huge divergence. Is there ever a comfortable answer to reasons for leaving job beyond "returning to education" (eg. I'm more qualified than other applicants) or "promoted to head of..." (the universe, I'm amazing)?

Current salary is an annoyance. Yes, I'm currently paid more than you're offering, but I want to change jobs!

So I want to write a mock CV and see if I get any response other than. Dear Just, Thank you for your interest in the position of Dr Who's assistant. While we were very impressed with your CV, the field of candidates was very strong blah blah blah.

It would have to be subtle though or it would obviously be a joke, wouldn't it? So maybe I could write one like these snippets.

Hmmm.... I might just start doing this you know.

Disclaimer: The job hunt isn't going that badly. I've had another offer of a teaching job, though I'm trying to avoid that given that I stand corrected, am officially disabled and need to rest. I've got an interview for another job, but I'm not keen as it involves a two and a half hour round trip driving one day a week and my left foot is an issue. Which is an issue on the clutch in traffic jams. This CV thing would just be... a hobby.

I stand corrected

Because I now have specialy orthotics to wear in my shoes and help me walk. These are temporary and will help with the disparity between my leg lengths and the compensatory over pronation of the right foot and the fact there is nothing very much left of the other foot to... pronate... there's nothing on the inside of my left foot so it supinates excessively.

Apparently, this is why I am really clumsy and walk like a penguin. Albeit a sexy penguin.

I have to build up my use an hour a day, because apparently if my muscles don't have a chance to adapt I will be in agony (nothing new there then) but I've done my hour today and I'm feeling ok. Two hours tomorrow!

I've got to go back and have special casts taken to repair the truly mangled foot, but not a bad day's foot work.

Thursday, 1 July 2010

The Acceptable Face of Bullying and Harrassment

I like to read celebrity gossip. I'm always a bit put off telling people that because I know that my assumptions about people who admit to it can be... negative. I think people will think I'm really vapid and trivial. I could make up some excuse about how I read it to be down with the kids in school... but that would be a lie.

I don't read it all the time, but I do read it. I read it for upcoming film news, to see what my favourite actresses are wearing, and I need to know if my favourite actors are in relationships just in case I see them on the street one day (need to know if I'm stepping on another ladies toes by rugby tackling them and begging them to marry me). It's like one of my dirty little secret(s).

What I really don't like though is the nasty stuff. Speculating about illness or just anything nasty. I know it's kind of hypocritical because... well it's all intrusive and I'm only reading it because I'm small minded and nosey on some level. But... Perez Hilton... I am honestly not going on there again.

This probably will not be news to anyone but...He is so horrible. Like really mean. Offensively so. About so many people. Does he know these people? Why does he think it's ok to abuse them in this way?

I would like to say that I've never been mean about someone. But that would make me a liar. I can honestly say that I have never been that cruel though. It's like he can't report that someone is linked with a film or engaged or anything without writing the most horrrendous, truly awful character assassinations.

How pathetic that this guy is actually making millions (possibly an exaggeration but I doubt it) by ripping other people's lives to shred for the amusement of the masses. It shouldn't make a difference, but so many of the people he seems to slate are practically children. I'm pretty sure he's awful about Miley Cyrus and she actually is a minor in law (in the UK at least).

I might not agree with all the choices these people make, but hell, it'll be a sad day if I ever allow Perez Hilton to be my moral compass.

Wednesday, 30 June 2010

Home Made Spider Repellent

This maybe of little interest to people who are comfortable with a house full of eight legged creeps, but I am becoming sick of being under siege by spiders. And I mean under siege. Every single night there are at least three new spiders who have sought me out and are creeping around above my head in bed. They have to be caught and released before I can sleep.

There's a book where a character is a rain god and doesn't realise, just thinks that he's being plagued by rain clouds but actually they are drawn to him because they love him and want to give him their all. I suspect the spiders and I have a similar thing going on. They are certainly efficient and creative in their web building. Has to stop.

So, by the powers of google, I have learned that French lavender oil repels them, and I am going to anoint my home as if preparing for some Pagan ceremony. I will let you know how that works. Does anyone else have any tried and tested remedies? I don't want to kill them, just keep them out.

Saturday, 26 June 2010

An Uncelebrated Anniversary

Today is the fifteenth anniversary of my being run over and having my foot crushed and I got a letter through from the Occupational Health Dr who my employer referred me to because my absence due to surgery exceeded the council's ten day target. It's a copy of the letter sent to my employer about the referral they made, and it says that under the 2005 Disability Discrimination Act an employment tribunal would consider me disabled, and therefore I have a case for constructive dismissal, as I've been so unsupported I've resigned.

I'm not going to go through the courts or anything like that. The school have been cr-p but ultimately I think it will only make me feel worse about myself if I do take action. I have really mixed emotions about this label. On the one hand it helps me accept that I struggle with these things because my leg is a genuine disability, but on the whole I just wish it would all go away and that I could get on with my life.

I intend to get on with my life. I want to be able to walk, exercise, shop etc. without the pain. I've got a follow up email from a job application for a less physical job. I'm hoping that being able to sit down all day in work will leave me physically able to walk about a little bit in the evenings, maybe go to the cinema and things. Here's to hope.

The boyfriend has been a big help today in getting the flat sorted out. It's beginning to look more like a home at last. He even bought me some roses and peonies, which are lovely. I'm mostly too tired to lift my own arms at the moment, and that's not been helping my mood much. I spent most of yesterday asleep because I am so exhausted.

The room decoration is something of a mood boost. I'll put some pictures up soon.

Saturday, 19 June 2010

World Cup Football

 So I was watching USA vs Slovenia the other day and noticed what I think is an uncanny resemblence between the little USA player Francisco Torres and Amanda Bynes in She's The Man.

Could this be why she has decided to retire from acting at the ripe old age of 24? And since she's the same age as me (probably a few months younger- successful people always do that to bug me) does that mean I can retire now too?

In an attempt to increase my retirement fund, I have been placing small bets on the outcome of the group stages of the football- with favourable odds. Knowing my luck I won't win, but you don't try and you never know.

Anyway, my bets are perfectly sensible, they just rely on England maintaining their current form (or lack of). All I need is for USA and Slovenia to keep playing their little socks off in their next matches.

Go on Bocanegra! I'm sure you'll swing it for me. You had crazy intense eyes last match, and I know you want the victory as much as I do!!!


My house is full of them. Where do they come from and why? There are no other insects in the house for them to prey on, so what do they eat? I'm convinced lots of them starve, and I find their dried up little corpses when I'm dusting.

I don't like them. I don't like the way they move. These are especially long legged and frail; they move more ponderously than your more athletic, strong-legged spider- though we've had those too. They creep me out.

Wednesday, 16 June 2010

By Lamplight

In the hush before dawn I sit and type by the dim glow of an ancient lamp. The sounds of the day have been silenced, and the low hum of an electrical choir- fridge, fan and router takes their place. From the bedroom, I can hear my boyfriend reaching for me in his sleep. He murmurs, waking briefly to find me gone from the bed, but used to my late night wanderings returns to his sleep.Translucent spiders crawl eerily in the lamplight, moving as if in slow motion as they prowl the dusty floor boards.

The sky has already begun to soften from a midnight blue to a dilute ink; silhouettes of trees and church yard begin to free themselves from the night which consumes them.

A solitary bird throbs summons the chorus to wake and greet the first rays of the sun

Tuesday, 15 June 2010

Glee Fashion Genius

If anyone else loves loves LOVES Emma Pilsbury in Glee you have to visit this blog.

One day, when I get around to sorting out my closet and coordinating my outfits, instead of just throwing on jeans and a tshirt, I will look like this titan haired wonder. She's even more beautiful in real life.

I'm going to have to dye my hair too. But apparently Christina Hendricks is a natural blonde and it works for her.

Monday, 14 June 2010

Do you concur?

I've had a sore throat and been generally really tired for a few days now. Last night things came to a head though- I couldn't swallow, headache, crawly skin and constantly hot and cold. This morning I had a temperature of 38 Celsius.

Diagnosis? I'm hoping it's not tonsillitis though my throat does look like it's closing up- no blisters yet though. Either way I'm pretty sure I have a whopping "winter bug" in June. Who gets that? Oh yes, me. Great.

In the winter you know what to do with these things. Wrap up warm, climb into bed with a hot water bottle and sleep. Maybe fall asleep on the sofa watching a film. Plenty of hot drinks. What do you do in the summer though? I was burning up so much last night that I wanted to cry every time my boyfriend tried to cuddle me.

6am this morning caught me practising mindfulness in the kitchen, as I gave thanks to the powers that be for lemsip max strength. They've brought my temperature down a bit, but boy do I feel rough.

My advice? Keep your medicine cabinet stocked up all year round. You never know when germs will attack. And take care of yourselves!

Saturday, 12 June 2010

Love, Carol Ann Duffy Style

Christopher Plummer said that working with Julie Andrews was like being hit on the head with a Valentine's Card. Now, that's not even a back handed compliment is it?

Anyway, I was reading some Carol Ann Duffy earlier, and I thought I would share her poem Valentine. Julie Andrews could ne'er hope to be so complex...

I might have it read at my wedding.

Valentine by Carol Ann Duffy
Not a red rose or a satin heart.

I give you an onion.
It is a moon wrapped in brown paper.
It promises light
like the careful undressing of love.

It will blind you with tears
like a lover.
It will make your reflection
a wobbling photo of grief.

I am trying to be truthful.

Not a cute card or a kissogram.

I give you an onion.
Its fierce kiss will stay on your lips,
possessive and faithful
as we are,
for as long as we are.

Take it.
Its platinum loops shrink to a wedding-ring,
if you like.

Its scent will cling to your fingers,
cling to your knife.

Tuesday, 8 June 2010

Sign Errors :-)

Something which always amused me when learning Welsh at a higher level was the mistranslation of road signs. They tend to arise from auto response emails, overly literal translations of idiomatic English or people just not paying attention. Here are a few examples which have amused me. With the translation of the Welsh in red for you to compare.


I am not in the office at present. Send any work for translation. 

A basic grasp of Welsh would have been an advantage for this council. Or maybe they should have bilingual autoresponses. This isn't the first time I've seen this type of error.

Bladder disease upset.
Someone clearly couldn't speak Welsh OR read English, and pulled cystitis out of the dictionary instead of cyclist. Ouch.

Pupils and wooden stakes to... gibberish. Berlewyg isn't even a word.
Parents were very upset about this sign for some reason. Maybe because their children are vampires?

Pedestrians look to the left.
Now depending on which way they should have looked, there are two possible conspiracy theories here. Either attempting to kill of native Welsh speakers or the English... either way. Dangerous.

My favourite one, which I don't have a picture of, is one I found on campus in University about a raised manhole cover. This is where the literal translation comes in. They had translated manhole literally to twll dyn... they got the raised bit right. However in Welsh, twll dyn isn't man hole but arsehole. I was wandering about all afternoon at the idea the university warning us that someone had their bum in the air... ah, little things and little minds.

What's the funniest sign you've seen?

Monday, 7 June 2010

Lottery Win Investment

On Saturday I won £10 on the lottery. I decided to use it to buy How to Write and Sell Short Stories by Della Galton, which I've heard great things about.

If I actually managed to write and sell a short story, then I would , in theory, make more than the cost of the book. However, we're still a long way off that point so I will consider my win a lottery investment in the arts.

It would be wrong to say every thing's going wrong here, but things are very confusing. I feel like I'm walking about in soup some days. The clumsiness continues, and I hit my head again yesterday. This time standing up into an open window.

Last night I had another panic attack. Hyperventilating. Boyfriend got very scared and upset. I thought my ribs were going to break. I'm still not feeling right, and my head hurts from crying. I'm going to see the doctor today. Not because I think they can solve the various concerns that I have in one appointment but I'm hoping maybe for some guidance.

Some reassurance that things are getting on top of me now, but will sort themselves out slowly.

Sunday, 6 June 2010

Aros/Waiting a Translation

Aros is one of my favourite modern Welsh poems, and I decided to translate it so that others could enjoy it. I hope the poet doesn't mind, but I think it's important that more people appreciate the great literature which is still coming from Wales in our language. It was written by Mererid Puw Davies in 1996. Translation by moi :-)


aros am rywun
mewn cafe min-nosol
mwg yn wlith ar blanhigion gwyrddion
oriau'n llwenwi'r panediau coffi
a'r munudau'n siwgr arian

dal i aros am rywun
mewn cornel wlithog
sy'n lliferio o amser

aros am rywun
(na chyrhaeddith bellach)
tynnaf sgwrs a'r planhigion

aros am rywun
(dibwys beth bynnag)
tête à tête a planhigyn

a phwy a wyr alle
fod y planhigyn siriol
yn gryn dipyn mwy annwyl
gryn dipyn mwy rhywiol

na rhywun ddyfeisiais i?


waiting for someone
in an late night cafe
smoke like dew on the green plants
hours filling the coffee cups
and silver sugar minutes

still waiting for someone
in a liquid corner
which flows from time

waiting for someone
(who won't come anymore)
I make conversation with the plants

waiting for someone
(it's not important anyway)
tête à tête with the plant

and who knows, it could
be this cheerful plant
is quite a bit more dear
quite a bit sexier

than someone I devised.

Thursday, 3 June 2010


It's been a pretty bad day today all told, first with my head injury which left me woozy and sore for most of the day, then nearly falling to my death in my grandparents garden... a leg tangled in a tricksy rhubarb leaf, a five foot drop onto concrete... my grandfather's superior balance and reflexes saving the day.

You can imagine then that I was not particularly impressed when little sister decided to "facebook rape" me when I leant her my laptop to watch a YouTube video. For those not familiar with this process, it involves posting an outrageous status on someone else's account. My rape involved details of a sex act. People from work are contacts on there.... At least I'm leaving soon.

So, I got my sister back. Though I reckon her age category are much harder to embarrass. And I decided to go a step further. She has a morbid fear of spiders and there are some whoppers about at the moment. I don't really like them either, but I can handle them with sufficient mental preparation and she knows this.

So, while she was relaxing with a book in the bath, I burst into the bathroom shouting, "I'm not looking!!!" and threw a handful of.... tomato tops at her. You know the crinkly green leaves which at first glance look like huge spiders? As soon as they hit her there was a flurry of curses and squeals. She was not impressed but is having a joke about it now.

I don't expect much comeback either... she knows I can be more inventive in terms of nasty shocking pranks when I need to be...just in case though. I've set her up to think there is another, more unpleasant surprise waiting for her tonight if she disturbs me. Psychological deterrents work very well on her.

Head Banging

I managed to knock myself out this morning. I was walking through the garden and didn't realise a beam had sagged down since I'd last been home. I was also reading a book and not looking where I was going. Bang.

I now have a huge egg on my head and a really bad headache.

Tuesday, 1 June 2010

Almost Forgotten Birthday :S

I remembered today that my little sister's birthday is in five days time. This means that I had almost forgotten. I won't forget again now, but it does limit the time, thought and preparation that I can put into her present.

So what do you give the girl who is about to turn twenty?

Her interests currently revolve around facebooking... partying... a bit of film, a bit of reading... fashion in so far as she has money... she's about to move into a house with her friends for her second year of university. My grandmother has already called cleaning products and an apron.

Any suggestions? Money or a gift voucher seem a bit boring....

Friday, 28 May 2010

Jason Derulo: Ladies, don't go there.

Okay, it's a bit of a posting frenzy tonight, but I've got to hone those writing skills- my CV made it past the first rounds of the journalism dogsbody position :-)

Anyway. Jason Derulo is currently rubbing himself and some young lady who is working tight black leather. Now this isn't about his obsession with singing his own name or synthing Jay jay jay Arrrrr. It's not even about this Beluga Heights thing; that's been mentioned before.

My issue (it's fair to call it that) is his song lyrics. Oops I slept with someone else, but don't worry, because when I'm in a position to I will attempt to buy your affection. And as for that "In My Head" song...

Ladies, picture the scene. You're at the club, maybe he's right. Maybe you are looking for love and that's the whole reason for you attending. Across the dance floor, a handsome stranger catches your eye. Your eyes meet. Could it be destiny? He dances over, bends down and says, "In my head I see you all over me, in my head you fulfil my fantasy, I can see you going down..."

How do you respond? Maybe you're the kind of girl who goes in for being sexually objectified for the way she looks and you are won over by his attempts at seduction. In that case I suggest you seek counselling for some major self esteem issues. Me? I'm afraid it would be a case of punch first, ask questions later.

What a little creep.

Funny/Clever Youtube Video

Check this youtube video out. Genius. I may over use that word... but it is really good.

Home Alone: Not the Film

I've never been afraid of being in the house or flat by myself- except maybe one time when I lived in a bedsit in a rough area of Reading and there was an earthquake AND a giant punch up outside my not too stable flat door, but those were exceptional circumstances.

Lots of my friends are terrified of being in their homes by themselves, and will go to stay with their parents if their boyfriend is out for the evening. I think it's quite a sad situation. I've always kind of enjoyed my own time in the house, even from when my parents started leaving me alone at fourteen or fifteen. Though I guess we did have a pretty big dog.

Anyway, tonight I've spooked myself a bit. The boyfriend has gone out, and I'm at home because my leg is awful again. I just went to the bathroom, and our shower curtain was pulled across the bath and fluttering in the breeze. It was like a scene from Psycho or something. I guess he put it like that to dry it, but for a moment I couldn't bring myself to pull it back. Spooked.

Then I had to go and check the house for intruders.

Now I've established that everything is safe, I have my pizza in the oven and Julia and Julia ready to play. I decided to go for something warm and light hearted as opposed to the thriller I was planning on. My imagination is clearly already running riot down a dark path. Let the voyage of self discovery via French cuisine begin.

Thursday, 27 May 2010

Snark Hunting

In the midst of the word he was trying to say
In the midst of his laughter and glee
He had softly and suddenly vanished away
For the Snark was a Boojum, you see.*
So, just bear that in mind, and be cautious when you go hunting your own Snark. The thing is... the thing is... Can you be over cautious?

* from Lewis Carroll's Hunting of The Snark

Wednesday, 26 May 2010

Donkey Spotting

I've been immobilized again today. I made the mistake of thinking that my leg was up to walking about 30 metres yesterday, and had to run around loads for work. The result? My leg feels like it's been broken, the achey pain you get when they've numbed you with painkillers but not quite enough...

Work has become even more of a joke recently. Management is getting worse and worse. Having failed Ofsted we're meant to be working towards improving, but communication is getting worse and people seem to assume that if they say things will be done, they will get done without anyone taking any actions. There was the most disastrous example of this the other morning, but I can't give examples just yet as I am paranoid someone from work will come across this and recognise me.

I've spent the whole day applying for jobs.

Teachers Season 1-3 [Region 2 Import-Non USA Format] [Region 2]The whole thing makes me think of this Sitcom that used to be on TV here called Teachers. It was about a raggle taggle bag of unprofessional teachers who did the bare minimum to get by while the incompetent fools in management only made things worse. Totally unrealistic (I thought at the time) and totally hilarious.There were always insane things going on, and one Christmas episode a donkey was walking through the corridor bedecked with fairy lights etc. In my memory after this, the donkey would always show up whenever something crackers happened. I find myself looking around  expecting to see the donkey everywhere... 

This cannot be real, surely? I must be living in the age of reality TV through some version of The Truman Show...

Tuesday, 25 May 2010

Extreme Heat Affecting Writing

I like to look at the map of my site visits and see where all the different people are visiting from. There have been people in Malaysia, India, Egypt, Texas, LA, Florida... incredible. But I think visitors in these locations share an important trait I lack. They know how to handle heat. And will have little sympathy with me here!

We've just had a scorching weekend in the UK. By scorching, I'm not entirely sure of the top temperatures reached, but I had heard night temperatures of 17 Celsius and day temperatures of 27 banded around for where I live. This will be a joke to many, but I cannot cope with the heat.

I have strawberry blonde hair, incredibly pale skin and if I go outside without suncream on an average summer's day I burn. I have to wear factor 50 plus designed for small children. I tend to find a cool spot to lie in with a book, then flop away from the heat. I get headaches and cranky.

I've been trying to rewrite a short story I submitted to a magazine, using some of their feedback. I want to write a frame to develop the main character further, so that readers will sympathise with their actions more. I know exactly what I want to write too. It is just far too hot.

Monday, 24 May 2010

Driveway Violation

Someone who I do not know is parked on my drive. Not in a space I like to claim as my space. On my bloody driveway blocking my bloody garage. How rude is that? So I had to park a few streets over. And hobble back to my flat with my sore foot. I am so angry.

If I could safely park to block them in for the rest of the night without annoying other road users I really really would. ARgggh. It's just so rude! Who does that? Who pulls up on a total strangers drive and leaves their car there for the day without permission? It is 6:30 pm!!! Rant rant rant.

Sunday, 23 May 2010

Summer Days

Summer is finally upon us in the UK, so I haven't been posting much this weekend. I went to a barbecue with the in-laws yesterday, and a picnic with some friends today.

I have to give my notice in this week if I'm going to be able to leave my job by August 31st. I didn't get the first one as they needed someone before the date I can start, which was disappointing, but there will be others out there. I need to talk to the boyfriend about it, but I'm sure it will all work out. I just know I can't keep on in the current position.

I've applied for a job which would involve some article writing etc. which is quite exciting. Haven't heard anything yet, but fingers crossed.

Friday, 21 May 2010

Local Free Ads

Do you read your local free ads? I do. I found someone looking for books for a charity sale who was willing to collect, so I gave her a pile and wrote the address in for Project Serendipity.

I guess for me the ads have the same appeal as The Leila Texts; I always wonder about the back story. Who are these people and what is going on in their lives that they are posting these adverts? It's become something of a fascination of late, especially since I'm on the look out for a career move.

Here are some of my current favourites, either for humour, intrigue or both:

Lift to Stonehenge needed for 3 people on Sunday
STUDY PSYCHO Reimbursed short computer task
Need help. If you got a ladder, contact ASAP
Male, 17, Hardworking, Can Do Anything
Personal Training, Anticellulite Massage. For girls only.

I think the one with the ladder has to be my favourite.

Tuesday, 18 May 2010


So, I sent my CV to a job agency about a vacancy for a secretary in business. Nice regular hours away from teaching... An hour later, the job agency called me back saying a school had seen my CV and wanted to offer me the same role there at a higher wage...

Nice to be head hunted or whatever, I'm sure, but I applied for the other job because I wanted a change. Money is important to live nowadays, obviously, I think it's slightly offensive to pretend it isn't, but I really need time to rest and recover from all my surgery. I don't think I can do that and devote the energy and enthusiasm which is required to be a good teacher...

Monday, 17 May 2010

My Teeny Garden

I don't have much of a garden to speak of, and yet I dream of growing delicious edibles... my attempts so far are photographed below. I also have tomato and courgette (zuchinni?) plants which aren't worth photographing yet because they are doing even less than these guys:
Chives complete with flowers.
Basil, oregano and thyme. 
Strawberry plant in flower.
 French beans needing to be staked.

Saturday, 15 May 2010

Best Movie Opening Lines

The Breakfast Club
"Saturday, March 24,1984. Shermer High School, Shermer, Illinois, 60062. Dear Mr. Vernon, We accept the fact that we had to sacrifice a whole Saturday in detention for whatever it was we did wrong. What we did was wrong. But we think you're crazy to make us write an essay telling you who we think we are. What do you care? You see us as you want to see us - in the simplest terms, in the most convenient definitions. You see us as a brain, an athlete, a basket case, a princess and a criminal. Correct? That's the way we saw each other at 7:00 this morning. We were brainwashed" The Breakfast Club (1985)
Just been watching this on BBC2. I was addicted to this when I was 15. I had it on VHS... is that antique yet? Even as an adult (I guess I am one now) I still think that it's one of the best stories of friendship and appreciating each other's differences. I think it probably has the best film opening lines that I can think of in the English language. Anyone got any other suggestions?

Friday, 14 May 2010

How To Cook Duck and Raspberry Sauce

I am not a good cook by any stretch of the imagination- I do cakes and biscuits well, but not savoury. But as a part of the bonding with boyfriend/making more effort thing, I decided to make dinner tonight. I adapted a recipe for pan fried duck that I got from the BBC website as follows.

If you feel the need to emulate my culinary prowess (if I can do it so can you) you will need: two duck breasts, vegetables of your choice for roasting, salt, garlic, thyme, rosemary, balsamic vinegar, orange juice, 50 g raspberries.

Cut the skin of the duck in a diamond pattern and rub salt into it, and prep your vegetables. So I peeled potatoes and put them on to parboil, parboiled carrots, cut squash into chunks and squashed my garlic.

The prep work is important, because it means that you're free to whack everything into pans etc all at once. And yes, whack in is a technical cooking term in my house.

Fry the duck skin side down in a hot pan for 6 mins, then turn and do it for about 6 mins on the other side. The beeb says 4-5 mins on each, but I found it was a little underdone. Parboil any veg that need it, and fry your squash, garlic and herbs for 3 mins to soften the squash.

When the duck is done, put it on a plate to "rest" and keep the juices in the pan. No one really knows what this means. Well, chefs and people who can cook probably do, but I think it has something to do with the meat relaxing, re-juicing itself and becoming tender. While the duck is resting (I assume it's meant to be fairly cold when you serve it) you roast your veg and make the sauce. Veg roasting takes place in the oven at 180 Celsius. Don't ask me what that is in gas marks. Tough things like potato take longer than squash, which takes about 20mins.

The sauce is the fun bit, you take the ducky juices, whack them in a pan with 2 tablespoons of balsamic vinegar and simmer it to reduce it by half. Whack in the juice of an orange, 50g of raspberries and boil until the fruit is all pulpy and delicious. The the BBC says you should strain and blend it. I just pushed it through a metal sieve, and it had a similar effect. It's really tasty, and the boyfriend couldn't believe I've made it.

Slice the duck up into thick slices, pour some sauce over and arrange the veg in a pleasing fashion. Really easy. And it got me the nice iced lollipop from the fridge....

Thursday, 13 May 2010

Secret Keeper

Do you have someone you can share secrets and discuss important matters with? I'm onto June in Gretchen's happiness project (see my earlier post), and apparently if you have five or more friends with whom you can discuss an important matter, then you are more likely to describe yourself as being very happy.

Now the friendship section is of great interest to me, because since I uprooted from my homeland to England, the aforementioned 70 hour working weeks have made it difficult to make true true friends. Don't get me wrong I have them, but they are mostly back home and work commitments make visits tricky to schedule. I've made friends here, but they tend to be through work and there's always a point where you'll worry about being perceived as unprofessional if you allow yourself to "speak plain".

I am friends with my boyfriend, but expecting too much emotional support from one relationship can put a drain on it. I'm friends with his friends, but apparently, contact with women is more effective than contact with men for abating feelings of loneliness for either gender.

So, who do I turn to when I need someone to talk to?

First and foremost has to be family. I'm counting my boyfriend here, even though we're not married. I'm really close to my father and grandmother, I call one of them every day just to chat. If I've ever got something that's annoying me I will turn to my Dad first of all. I'm also one of four children, so there's usually a sibling to turn to when I need a chat.

Next, I'd probably turn to my two best girlfriends from university. We lived together for two years until the housing dept made a mess up in our third year, but I've known them for six years come September and they usually have good advice. These are the classic example of friends in the homeland. We've all moved from our uni town, but they live in the same city as one another, and I'm a three hour train ride away.

At work I've got a good female friend in a different department. We started at the same time and do things outside of work together. She's the one person I can really trust not to make professional judgements about me if we're just chilling out. I guess there could be others but I'm a little paranoid. People in my department are nice, but I sometimes worry that they have their own agenda.

I have a really good guy friend, part Austin Powers, part Oscar Wilde, who is like another brother to me. We've been friends for about eleven years now, but I think that we might be growing apart. He's busy taking over the world in his sector and has a new girlfriend. I'm not so great at keeping in touch. He's moved nearer to me now though, so maybe I will see more of him soon.

There are more than these. But those are the ones who I would instantly trust who spring to mind. The family unit is a fairly solid base, but I guess the other relationships are suffering a bit of rust which will have to be put right. The book is good in that respect, it's got me thinking more about these things than I otherwise would.

Wednesday, 12 May 2010

The Happiness Project

The Happiness Project: Or, Why I Spent a Year Trying to Sing in the Morning, Clean My Closets, Fight Right, Read Aristotle, and Generally Have More Fun I've been reading everywhere about a book called The Happiness Project I'd be surprised if you haven't heard of it, the marketing machine means that it's everywhere in the UK at the moment and probably is in the US too.

Since everyone would like to be happier (any sane person anyway, even if you're happy, who doesn't want to be the happiest they could possibly be) and I too suffer from this sensation that life is often passing me by I decided to buy it. I ordered free delivery from amazon, and it arrived today- which is great. Free delivery is 3-5 days, and today was day too, so that in itself boosted my happiness. She has a blog too, though I haven't spent any time checking it out yet.

Since I am still unable to walk (post operative infection, so many tablets I rattle when I move) I've been reading it on the sofa which has become my world. I've gotten through the energy section (tips sound good, I can't exercise so can't try many out atm) and was interested to see that she noticed that decluttering was important (see earlier post on my desk) it has inspired me to see what other areas I can declutter from a seated position and I've moved onto my closet and drawers of miscellaneous paper around the house.

I'm feeling much sicker than yesterday, which is an unfortunate effect of the medication, but I'm also feeling less despondent. I will keep you up to date on my progress through the project.

Monday, 10 May 2010

On the Edge...

I've had a busy weekend, since I spent the whole damn thing working. Since I spent the whole week working too, it occurred to me- I don't actually have much of a life. I work a seventy hour week. So when you factor in sleep time. Barely time to eat and wash let alone live.

So, I've decided. Time for a career change. I've notified my employer. I'm applying for jobs. It's a little bit scary.

Thursday, 6 May 2010

Election Day- Conservative Rant

I haven't really wanted to blog about British politics, because the whole outlook at the moment is so depressing. But I saw this and I really had to post it.

I couldn't agree more. David Cameron has no more experience than Nick Clegg, so those who discount the Lib Dems as an untested party don't have a leg to stand on. I am (just) old enough to remember the Thatcher years and how she ripped the heart out of the South Wales valleys. I remember Major and the problems on going.

The country is bad now, but when the Conservatives were last in power and promised to create jobs they cut 3,000,000. They've already promised public sector cut backs. That and Cameron has decided (in his ever so informed opinion) that working class families are damaging to children and that schools should open for ten hour days Monday to Sat to prevent them spending time with their families.

As a child from a working class family I find that offensive. My family worked hard to encourage me to achieve in a range of areas, and I got the grades to go to Oxbridge if I'd wanted to. I didn't want to. There's more to life than being a member of an old boy's club.

As a teacher I find it worrying. I often work a seventy hour week as it is, when you take parents' evenings, extracurricular activities, marking and planning into account. Class sizes are so large that I work most of my weekends trying to give the children the individual attention they need. I had burn out at Christmas and now have to force myself to stop marking and do other things. It doesn't mean I can ever switch off. If they are cutting public sector spending, how are they going to manage these new systems when British teachers are all ready on the brink of burn out?

I also have a personal problem with David Cameron. It isn't even about him being an out of touch, private school brat whose lifestyle and upbringing couldn't be further from that of the majority of people he wants to represent. Though that is obviously a factor. What's gotten to me is the televised debated. Loads of people seem really impressed at his charisma (remember that you were as impressed with Tony Blair, and look where that got us) but he has really annoyed me. Not once did he answer a direct question, but would side step it and produce a load of clever sounding sound bites which didn't actually answer the question.

This raises two issues for me. Is he genuinely incapable of comprehending what he is being asked? Shouldn't this be an important clue that he is not capable of understanding the needs of the people? If not, is he really arrogant enough to think that we are all stupid enough not to notice that he's doing it. Another good reason not to trust him.

Yes things need to change, but the dictionary definition of a Conservative is: resistant to change; a person who is reluctant to accept changes and new ideas.

Wednesday, 5 May 2010

Life, Lemons and Seated Activities

So. I still can't walk properly after the surgery so I'm trying to be as productive as possible while not in school (that thing about life dealing lemons and making lemonade.... I love lemonade). I've graded loads of papers and gone through books and marked them. I have a set of class reports to write but I won't be able to do that until later as I need to log onto the school system remotely and I'm having trouble doing that so I need boyfriend to help out when he returns from work.

I took a break from teacher stuff at what would have been my lunchtime (to preserve my sanity) and made a cup of tea and bashed out 930 words (yes! in less than an hour!) for a small circulation women's magazine. I've submitted it today, but I probably won't hear anything for ages. I've submitted to them before and they took a while to reply.

I've taken some (procrastinating?) measures towards getting the house clutter free so that I will be able to spend more time writing freely. We got new bathroom shelving the other day so I've been sat on the bath sorting various items of clutter into who belongs to who piles on the shelves and that looks pretty neat. In addition to that I should have my new shoe rack and under bed storage boxes arrive tomorrow evening (never let it be said that my life isn't fantastically exciting) and I think that will be a great place to store bedding and towels etc that we just don't
So until BF returns from work to fix my computer (oh got a new external hard drive to keep my writing backed up on as well!) I'm trying to think about tasks I can complete while seated so as not to anger the offending limb before dressing changes. I think that sorting out my desk will be a good step- I will be able to writhave space for else where.e my reports there then. Look out for before and after pictures.

Before, it's a disgrace, I know. Though much of that is because boyfriend piled clothes on the chair which therein started a clothes mountain... you know the drill...

I'm not sure why that picture is upside down...
the file isn't. It's obviously trying to reflect
the higgledy piggledy nature of my desk...

After, much better. I've got a way to go... maybe find some way of fixing the hinges so my laptop isn't on a downward slope, but still. I'm pleased with my initial efforts. I have further makeover plans so watch this space or something.

Tuesday, 4 May 2010

Erasing David

I've been watching Erasing David on TV tonight. Its about a British man who puts himself under surveillance and then attempts to disappear because apparently Britain is one of the most intrusive surveillance states in the world. I would never have thought of it that way, but it is scary how much information can be pulled up so easily.

What was really worrying was the examples of corrupt data that were shown on the programme, people whose lives had been destroyed by glitches in the system which produced criminal records for them as a result of having a similar name and date of birth to other people.

There was a case where 39 people committed suicide as a result of being falsely accused of sex offences as a result of some data corruption. They were fully cleared, but years later it kept showing up on their records and no one knew where from.

The man in question is becoming extremely paranoid. I don't blame him either. He's gone to hide in the Welsh mountains, and I would too. Historically its been a pretty safe bet if you're trying to keep a low profile.

Writing by Numbers

So after grading a huge pile of exam papers (sorted into legible and illegible handwriting for efficiency/procrastination purposes) I decided to take a break from school work and try some writing. I'm almost tempted to go back to school work.

It took me a good hour (give or take some online distraction) to bash out a passable 250 words. That is after about six deleted attempts of 100-200 words each which were just diabolical. So maybe it was productive in a way? Hmm.

Either way, it's not the greatest output. Call it 250 words an hour, and I'd have about an hour's grace each week day to write... and the least you're looking at for a novel(la) is 50,000 words... maybe I should leave my revisions until I've actually finished writing. The whole thing. In the hope I won't be able to bring myself to delete it and start again even if it is odious drivel.

Monday, 3 May 2010

Highs and Lows

I woke late this morning after going to see a 10pm showing of Iron Man 2 last night and I had a message on my answer machine.

When I called back it was the local allotment manager to offer me a place on their allotment list. These places are like gold dust and I applied in October. I was so excited but then I realised that with all the recent surgery I'm probably not going to be able to put in the physical work required, so I've had to ask him to put me back on the list with a note about why I can't accept.

I was so disappointed. But maybe one day I will have my own house with my own garden which I can take my time to develop and nurture. Is this displaced broodiness? Probably.

The dream would be to live in this quiet little village near us with these Victorian redbrick cottages which look out over the village green. I go through there on the bus and think it would be such a lovely place to live. However. I'm unlikely to ever be able to afford these. Lottery win please!

On a more positive note, I spent the other day bashing out a plot on index cards. There are still gaps (gaping holes?) in places and I have yet to do anything in terms of "proper" writing, but it is a start.

I've decided I need to sort out a defined writing space so that I don't get distracted by my other half (its mostly been football noise this weekend seeping into my brain) and I've already started operation declutter to help get my desk fit to use for writing. I've got storage being delivered from Lakeland and Argos next week which will hopefully create a more zen environment for me to write in.

I need to get some giant poster frames to get my Mucha prints put in to display. This will make me happier.

Saturday, 1 May 2010

Procrastination: Thief of Time

I've procrastinated a lot this morning since I woke up nine with the intention of actually doing some "proper" writing today. I've always wanted to spend more time writing, the extent of the creative writing I do at the moment being completing the tasks I set the kids in school which always lead to me being asked what books I read and being told, "It's really good, but you have a messed up mind!" Thanks... I think.

I love reading other people's blogs and I'm always struck by the creativity I find there. I check daily for new Picklesworth poetry and I like stumbling across arts and crafts blogs. Recently however, I've come across loads of writers who are doing it for fun and I've felt inspired to get down to writing. Once I finish procrastinating.

So this morning I have danced around to Paramore, The Veronicas, Thirty Seconds From Mars and The Wombats while cleaning. I have taken my French beans outside and re-potted them (note to self, buy bamboo canes... these guys need height) and now... now I must do some planning for my writing.

Here's wishing me luck in my endeavours, and you in yours.

Friday, 30 April 2010

Outdone by a Robot

My dearest love has fallen for an android. This apparently is the name of some new-fangled gadget masquerading as a phone.

He's spent the whole afternoon caressing its casing, exploring settings, getting to know it better. He ooohs and aaahs at its clever tricks. He has been excitedly sending pictures of his new lady to his friends. He takes her everywhere with him, photographing brand logos which she summons on the Internet while he laughs at her wit and intelligence.

Its been a long time since he treated me like that.

I waited until he went in the shower and then hid her under a pillow.

Thursday, 29 April 2010

It's Quite The Life

Being a pigeon on a sunny day in a pretty little city in England.