Wednesday, 23 December 2009

Has it really...

...been three months?!

Doesn't feel like it.

Anyways, I am here and I am fine (but since most of you follow me on Twitter anyway you all knew that...) I've just been busy and had nothing to blog about.

Well nothing to blog about is a bit of a fib, after all I have bought my first home and moved into it in the past few weeks, but I just had no urge to blog about anything, so I didn't.

About the only thing I did fancy blogging about were the AMAZING cupcakes that I baked a couple of weeks back. Since the last time I made a cupcake or anything that wasn't a packet mix was back before Miss Emily started school (19 years ago) it was a little scary.

Here are my beautiful tasty cupcakes:



Nom, nom, nom, nom...

Otherwise, the boxes are gradually getting unpacked, work is crazy (but will settle down after tomorrow), Esme has been not very well but is getting much better, Foley is a cute little Terror, Anthony is grumpy cos I keep coughing all night (stupid winter colds) but looks very nice in a tux...


...and I'm getting bookshelves for my birthday.

Have a truly lovely Christmas folks, I'm not going to promise to post more in the New Year, let's just see what happens.

xxx

Wednesday, 23 September 2009

This day...

...two years ago was crap.

This day last year was pretty cool.

This day this year was bloody brilliant.

Firstly my Anthony's visor finally arrived (it got lost in the post and bounced back to Monaco)



Then a bit later on Jane came up to me and said "A lady's just walked in who looks exactly like Michaela Strachan, but it can't be her, can it?"

But it was.

And she was lovely.

And we all ended up so totally giggly and star-struck that it's almost unimaginable. (we nearly had to send Richie-Fingers upstairs to have a little lie down).

Then when it was time to go home my very lovely man came and picked me up so I didn't have to walk the mean streets of Wolverhampton with his precious visor.

At home there was a large parcel under the doormat that turned out to be my prize from Lovely Caroline. I won a signed limited edition copy of The Equivoque Principle by Darren Craske that I am really really looking forward to reading.

So today was a very very good day and I enjoyed myself very very much.

Thank you universe for lovely friends and lovely people and meeting childhood idols and discovering they're just as lovely as you thought they were.

(apologies for the overuse of the word lovely in this post. But it is lovely and I do love it)

Wednesday, 16 September 2009

Well, I'm back...

...from Milan, but only for about 10 minutes.

As much as I want to write a fabulous series of posts about the great time we had in Milan and at Monza, about the lovely tweeple that we met there (twice, once planned, once unplanned) and about the crazy man who thought I was Finnish...

These gems will all have to wait until Saturday, since today I am jumping on a train and heading off Darn Saff to visit my (recovering from an operation) mother (she's alright, just can't move her arm much) for a few days.

So you'll have to wait until Saturday (afternoon as my train home gets in at 23.57 on Friday) to hear about it.

Unless you follow me on Twitter in which case you've got some idea.

Ciao!

Wednesday, 2 September 2009

I don't really have...

...a defined personal belief system.

I don't buy into "heaven and hell" but equally I would like there to be something more than nothing.

It changes from time to time, some days the knowledge that the atoms that made up my dad (and grandparents, and great-grandparents, and Julius Caesar / Cleopatra / Champion the Wonder Horse) are all still floating about out there in other things is enough, other days it is comforting to think of Dad on a cloud buying a heavenly pint for Humphrey Lyttelton / Spike Milligan / his best mate Brian.

Today I need something a little more than atoms.

Today I need to know that the man (not gentleman as will become very clear) that I encountered on my way home will burn in a fiery hell. Or possibly drown in a wet one. I'm leaning towards drowning.

Imagine that you are driving down a road in the rain (in your flashy Mercedes, probably bought with proceeds from drugs/guns/prostitutes) and you see that the car ahead of you has just driven through a very large puddle, forcing a woman approaching the edge of the road (in fact on the pavement about 2 metres from the kerb) to jump backwards to avoid being splashed.

Do you:

a) Slow down and flash your lights to indicate that she can cross in front of your car and wait for her to get out of splashing range before driving on.

b) Slow down and flash your lights to indicate that she can cross in front of your car but then as she approaches the edge of the kerb slam your foot on the accelerator and speed through the puddle soaking her to the skin while honking your horn.

I suppose I should think myself lucky for being wary and not getting run over.

As it is that man has a nice little eternity being dreamt up for him.

Twunt.

Wednesday, 26 August 2009

Reasons that my iPhone is fabulous...

...number 34598613947259735872048205345018. (no, seriously, IT IS THAT DAMN GOOD)

Ahem.

Today has been a pretty crappy day.

There's been a few of those recently and to be honest it's been an issue for a while.

But I've been avoiding it, naturally.

Today I cracked slightly and went into Tesco after work and filled a basket with stuff, paid for it and then started walking home - in the pouring rain.

Because of the rain and the shopping I could not shake my iPhone when it started playing me music I did not want to hear. I had to pick the first track and then just put up with whatever came next.

My iPhone obviously loves me.

Playlist for Kate's walk home in the pouring rain 26/08/09.

Screamager - Therapy? (I picked this)
The Dark Is Rising - Mercury Rev
Do I Have To Come Right Out And Say It - Buffalo Springfield
For What It's Worth - Buffalo Springfield
Disco 2000 - Pulp
Beautiful Day - U2

The last track started just as I got to the doorstep and then had to hunt through 3 bags for my keys.

Fabulous, fabulous iPhone.

***************************************

Now that I have taken off my soaking jeans, stuffed my trainers full of newspaper and prevented Foley from running under a bus while I checked the gas meter (£19.64) I can actually look at what I bought in Tesco.


I didn't just buy chocolate?????? *faints with shock*

(and with discounts it actually came to under £20 - my cracked brain has turned out sensible somehow).

So tonight I shall be googling how to cook pork belly slices, drinking Bucks Fizz and eating caramel shortcake, nom.

Oh, and being hyper about the fact I've had some visor related news.

Oh, and being proud of myself for finally booking that (long) overdue doctors appointment.

Wednesday, 19 August 2009

Today...

...would have been my Dad's 63rd birthday.

Happy Birthday Dad.



Miss you lots.

----------------------------

In other news.

Me and this daft man here...



...went to the bank today and got ourselves a mortgage.

I iz a grown-up.

I iz a HOT grown-up due to the air con at work not working.

Here is a picture of me looking hot:


In fact not just hot, hot AND sarcastic.

To celebrate both of today's events - beer. (in one of my Dad's glasses)




Cheers.

Tuesday, 11 August 2009

While I have...

...been spending my days off on the sofa with my new shiny iPhone I have been sewing.

Here is the progress so far.


3rd and 5th of July








21st of July and 6th of August









I did take a whole lot of photos in between the last two, but my camera is having a tantrum and won't let me download them. The last picture was therefore taken with the shiny iPhone (hence no flash).

Saturday, 8 August 2009

What's that...

...you say?

You think I'm trying to distract you from my lack of posting with the cute?



Possibly...

Friday, 7 August 2009

At 12.34:56 today...

...I fully intended to stop somewhere and take a picture to capture the moment.

But since at 12.34:56 on the 07/08/09 I was attempting to cross the Wolverhampton Ring Road...I did not stop and take a picture.

But I did blog this rather than tweet it!

I'm sorry...

...that I have not been blogging.

I haven't really been doing much to blog about.

We've gone and seen a few more houses, found a couple that we'd quite like to live in and we're in the process of putting in an offer on one/both of them to see where we get to.

I also bought myself an iPhone last week. This means that I spent the whole of last weekend lying on the sofa cross-stitching, tweeting and listening to audio books. It was lovely. However over the course of the two days Anthony went from "hurrah I've got the computer!" to "but I want to doze on the sofa!".

Now I can tweet (faster) from work and I'm going to try out blogging from it too. I might try doing mini-blogs from it, the equivalent of a tweet perhaps.

I'm also going to try doing more timed posts, that way when I do think of something/do something to blog about I can spread it out a little.

Partly it's cos I'm trying to do more things away from the computer and my blogging is the first thing that suffers. I still try and empty my Google Reader every day though!

So apologies, yet again, for me being a bad blogger. I shall just have to attempt to spread my organisation skills back to the computer without getting sidetracked.

Thursday, 6 August 2009

Did you ever do finger painting...

...when you were a child?


Did you dip your hands in paint and do hand prints?



Did you ever do footprint painting?




Were you a messy child who used to get carried away?





I did and was and my mother has just found some photographic proof.









Look at my lovely blonde curls!

(The gentleman on the left is Andrew, he was my partner in crime)

Tuesday, 7 July 2009

Once again...

...Richie Fingers made me laugh today.

There I am reserving a copy of The Magical Adventures of the Wishing Chair for a customer and vaguely aware that there is a lady waiting behind him.

The lady waiting was holding a gorgeous bouquet of flowers.

Flowers for me.



Flowers with a card...



...and what did Richie say?

"Does your Anthony know that you're getting flowers from a bloke called Nelson?"

When I stopped going scarlet and gasping for air I explained a little.

Then Richie took over the book reservation for me, explaining to the customer "she just got flowers from a F1 driver, yeah."

Monday, 6 July 2009

There is a fundamental...

...difference between love and romance that often gets confused.

Romance is things like buying flowers/chocolates for your loved one, love is buying them Marmite when you loathe the stuff.


***

Romance is cooking them a nice meal or taking them out for dinner, love is regularly doing the washing-up because they hate it.


***

Romance is presents at unexpected times, love is completely unexpected presents at expected times.


(love is also cropping huge cheesy grins out of pictures)

***

Today I smiled all day, a big twinkly smile that became infectious. I smiled because of something I was given yesterday, a gesture of love laced with a hearty dose of romance.

But when I came home tonight and the kitchen was tidy and the litter tray had been changed - then I smiled with love love LOVE.

***

Here's to clean litter trays, to washing-up, to Marmite, to Michael Schumacher 7-star caps...

...and here's to a rather perfect symbol of romance and love.


(and to a cat that must be in every single photograph ever taken while sat at this desk)

Saturday, 4 July 2009

As you all know...

...I'm a big fan of Twitter. (When used responsibly that is, anyone who just tweets rubbish at me will be blocked, k thanx bai).

Recently, as well as the collection of FakeF1 Drivers a few real ones have joined in the fun.

Nelson Piquet Jr joined back on the 5th of June and started quite a few people learning Portuguese (although he dual tweets in English too) and made a lot of people smile with his photographs.

Then Rubens Barrichello turned up on the 23rd of June (possibly converted by Nelson?) and also posted amusing photographs (especially this one).

Recently Nelson decided to give away a signed visor to one of his followers if he reached 20,000 followers before the German GP.

On Friday he hit that target and asked people to tweet him what they would do with the visor if they won it.

So I sent him a message that said:

@NelsonPiquet I'll give the visor to my fiance, in exchange for the engagement ring he's been promising me for the last 6 months.

(Quite a few of my Twitter buddies loved it, but I didn't mention it to Anthony...)

The competition closed tonight, and then I got this tweet...

@Petronella won the visor! @pedrorq and @D_Broka, the other 2 prizes!

OH. MY. GOD!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

*ahem*

So I'm shaking like crazy and then Anthony wanders in.

Me "So guess what, I won @NelsonPiquet's visor!" Him "Brilliant!" Me "But you should see what won it for me" Him *reads screen* silence...!

(He still hasn't said anything, he's gone out for a smoke...) He's come back in...
Him: "Well then. I guess we're going to the Jewellery Quarter tomorrow then?" Me: "If that's ok?" Him: "Silly girl, I love you!"

************************************

He's a happy bunny, I'm a happy bunny.

Life is good and Twitter rocks!

Friday, 26 June 2009

I finished...

...my current cross-stitch last night. I really couldn't remember how long I'd been working on it, and I couldn't seem to find any pictures of it in progress. After a little digging about in the depths of my computer I found some work-in-progress photos too (and Flickr has helpfully dated them for me).







These were taken on the 11th of October, the 22nd of December and last night respectively.

It's really not that big a design and shouldn't have taken so long but with Anthony working nights I've been on the computer rather than stitching.

Now I just have to choose what I want to stitch next. It's either going to be the Moonlight Cats or the Morning Rooster.




I've got all the threads for the rooster and I'm fairly sure I've got all the ones for the cats, but I'm lacking fabric for both. I shall probably buy the fabric and then decide.

Thursday, 25 June 2009

Alton Towers...

...(where I went on Wednesday) was rather good fun.

For your viewing pleasure, here is my fabulous sister and her equally fabulous boyfriend Brychan getting on down to the Austin Powers theme tune.

You won't be able to hear the music, because my camera is stupid and cannot record sound.

But it's pretty damn funny soundless nonetheless.

video

Monday, 15 June 2009

I have always loved...

...mucking about with spreadsheets. That is until recently.

The changes at work resulted in two redundancies, we lost a full-time position and a part-time one. Another colleague had her hours reduced. She opted to leave and so Don has stayed, although he now only does 16 hours a week rather than full time. The three part timers that we used to have were all working overtime to do full time hours anyway since we are a full time member of management short. These changes mean that we have gone from having 4 full timers to 2 part timers and since we still have that vacancy...it's all a bit of a nightmare.

In order to free up some of Richie's valuable time I volunteered to take over doing the rotas.

I now loathe spreadsheets!

Here are some lovely photographs of what I have gotten myself into.




(sorry about the quality, had to use my phone camera - and they're not worth looking at in detail anyway as THEY MAKE NO SENSE!)

Once we have filled that vacancy the rotas will work well, in fact I have already worked out the base daily rotas. The problem at the moment is that because of the vacancy we can't use the base rotas as it would result in there being nobody there to open the shop...hence all the crossings-out and bizarre extra shifts.

Apart from me now being not so keen on spreadsheets it is also making me want to stay as far away from any type of typing as possible (and putting me behind with my OU work, but that's another (eventual) post).

So many apologies (yet again) for being a crap CRAP blogger.

I will be back with you at some point, probably once I have started sleeping properly rather than lying awake worrying about only having 4 staff on a Saturday.

(and I also spent most of this afternoon being convinced it was Wednesday...)

Thursday, 4 June 2009

As a citizen...

...of the United Kingdom (being over 18, not a member of the House of Lords, not in prison, and not an idiot) I went and voted today. In fact I went and voted about 10 minutes ago.

And I was amazed.

I handed my small white polling card to the man at the desk and he ticked my name off a list and then handed me a folded yellow piece of paper.

I walked to the little wooden booth and unfolded the paper. And unfolded it again. And again. And again.

There were twelve parties listed on my yellow piece of wallpaper roll. I considered each one carefully.

1) The British National Party - not a hope in hell of getting my vote, racist hate-mongering bastards.

2) The Conservative Party - hmmmm, that Dave is rather convincing but I still don't think a lot of them.

3) Christian Party-Christian Peoples Alliance - see party no.1.

4) English Democrat - Never heard of them, never even sent me a leaflet.

5) Green Party - Ahhh, heard of them, they like hugging trees and saving whales. According to the note on the paper they are "A Vote Against Racism".

6) Jury Team - People who were once on a jury? (see no.4)

7) The Labour Party - Don't even go there, and especially don't take your travel expenses out of my taxes.

8) Liberal Democrats - Well...Vince Cable's book is selling quite well.

9) Libertas - Aren't they something to do with that awful orange Kilroy-Silk man? (Nope, having checked, he set up Veritas)

10) No2EU - well yes, but do you stand for anything else? And can you spk prpr engsh?

11) Socialist Labour Party - underneath this it said "Leader - Arthur Scargill". *silence*

12) UK Independence Party - Ah yes, the OTHER party associated with the orange racist.

------------------------

So, 12 parties...who could I possibly choose?

In the end I decided to vote for Mrs Swinburne because, "We are on the brink of a new era, if only..."

and if you know what that means, not only do you know who I voted for, but you have very good taste in television comedy.

Thursday, 28 May 2009

In honour of the fact...

...that when I just came on my blog the statcounter read 888, here is an 8 related meme that I aquired from Keris

Eight Things I Like:

1. Sunshine, even when I'm stuck at work, but especially when I am sitting in it.
2. Chocolate.
3. Anthony (should I have put him at No.1?)
4. Formula One.
5. Poking holes in the foil on the top of new jars of hot chocolate.
6. Kettle Chips.
7. Reading a new book in the bath.
8. Getting tweets from lovely people.

Eight things I did yesterday:

1. Played World of Warcraft.
2. OU study - wrote notes on various things including relative age/absolute age and geological time.
3. Twittered, lots.
4. Ate pate on bagels.
5. Listened to Anthony swearing at the football.
6. Watched a couple of episodes of The No.1 Ladies' Detective Agency (which I've had saved on the V+ box for months now).
7. Painted my toenails pink.
8. Obsessively looked up the weather forecast for Oulton Park on Sunday.

Eight things I wish I could do:

1. Carry a pregnancy to term. (see No.1 two sections down)
2. Stop being an emotional eater.
3. Save money for longer than a couple of months.
4. Turn a cartwheel.
5. Own a horse.
6. Be debt free.
7. Drive a Bugatti Veyron.
8. Declutter.

Eight things I don't like:

1. Washing up.
2. People who think they have every right to be rude to me because I work in a shop and they work in an office.
3. Coffee.
4. Turkish Delight.
5. BNP leaflets - I've had one through the door every day for the last two weeks.
6. The week before payday.
7. People who tell me ridiculously stupid things and then say "Well it was in the Daily Mail..."
8. Lewis Hamiltwunt.

Eight things I look forward to:

1. Carrying a pregnancy to term.
2. I'M GOING TO MONZA BABY!!! *ahem*
3. Going to Milan in September (what do you mean that's the same as No.2...)
4. Spending a few days in Essex in June.
5. Weekends off. (in general)
6. Leyton Orient winning League One next season.
7. Going to Oulton Park for the BTCC this Sunday.
8. Buying a house with Anthony.

Eight TV shows I watch:

1. Ashes to Ashes.
2. Numb3rs.
3. CSI:NY
4. Charlie and Lola (I love Lola).
5. Eleventh Hour - Rufus Sewell mmmm...
6. BBC Formula One coverage - soooooooooooooooooooooooo much better than ITV.
7. Dollhouse - giving it a go anyways.
8. Buffy - yup, still.

Wednesday, 27 May 2009

Five months ago...

...it was my birthday (and I became old).

At the time I posted about my plans to put together a playlist of 150 songs for my 30th birthday, the 150for30.

It's still a work in progress.

I'm 37 songs short of the full 150. I've got 34 songs that I need to download (I'm doing 10 a month on payday) and I'm still missing 3 songs for the 0-10 section.

Below is the list of the 37 songs I've found for that time, can anyone help me think of three more?

I'm after the big songs from between 1978 and 1988, I'm sure there must be a few more key songs from that time that I just haven't thought of. Songs that were played everywhere and that have just slipped my mind.

So here's the list, any more ideas? (Keris...I'm looking at you here...)

All Around My Hat - Steeleye Span
American Pie - Don McLean
Babooshka - Kate Bush (TDL)
Bicycle Race - Queen
Blinded By The Light - Manfred Mann
Both Sides Now - Joni Mitchell
Buffalo Stance - Neneh Cherry
Cathedral - CSNY
Christmas Must Be Tonight - The Band
Dancing in the City - Marshall Hain (TDL)
Eye of the Tiger - Survivor
Gaudete - Steeleye Span
Guess The Lord Must Be In New York City - Harry Nilsson
Guitar Man - Bread
Hotel California - Eagles
House At Pooh Corner - Livingstone Taylor
In The Summertime - Mungo Jerry
Karma Chameleon - Culture Club (TDL)
Layla - Derek and the Dominoes
Love The One You're With - Stephen Stills
Making Your Mind Up - Bucks Fizz (TDL)
Only The Good Die Young - Billy Joel
Orinoco Flow - Enya (TDL)
Our House - CSNY
Photographs and Memories - Jim Crace (TDL)
Shaddap You Face - Joe Dolce (TDL)
Sledgehammer - Peter Gabriel
Spirit in the Sky - Doctor and the Medics (TDL)
Stand and Deliver - Adam Ant (TDL)
Stuck In The Middle With You - Steeler's Wheel
Sunshine On My Shoulders - John Denver
Take On Me - A-Ha
Teach Your Children - CSN
The Chain - Fleetwood Mac
The Weight - The Band
Wake Me Up Before You Go-Go - Wham
We Will Rock You - Queen

(TDL)= To DownLoad.

For bonus points, can you guess any of the 14 songs from that list that have made it onto my work playlist...

Tuesday, 19 May 2009

A recipe...

...for creating a grey Tuesday.

  1. Write a long To-Do list

  2. Look outside at heavy rain

  3. Read back through long To-Do list

  4. Sigh


...for cheering up a grey Tuesday.

  1. Ignore list in favour of reading all 73 posts in Google Reader

  2. Discover a fabulous new (to me) blog

  3. Cry at fabulous new blog and remember that I am still allowed to grieve

  4. Open up iTunes and put on crazy music

  5. Get changed into:

    1. swishy black wrap dress

    2. leopard print tights

    3. lovely warm stripy jumper (dress is thin fabric)

    4. ridiculously high heeled (for me) red shoes


  6. Do first item on To-Do list (put on dark load of washing)

  7. Take pictures of feet

  8. Write recipe on blog while leaning over awkward cat









  9. SMILE!

Thursday, 14 May 2009

Sorry...

...for the lack of posting.

The main thing going on in my life at the moment is work-related and I'm not really in the mood to blog about it. Since it's occupying most of my brain...blogging inspiration is vanished (pronounced vani-shed).

I shall try and kick start it by tracking down some memes that I haven't done yet, but in the meantime there are my (occasional) amusing comments on Twitter that can tide you over.
You should be able to see them
over there,
(down a bit/up a bit maybe)
<-----------
somewhere.

Tuesday, 5 May 2009

My OU course materials...

...arrived last week.

I have to confess I had a couple of problems getting into the box at first.

Problem 1 on the left, Problem 2 on the right.







I like to think they were just excited for me.

But the real problem started when I opened the box up and started looking through the books and paperwork.
I felt stupid.

When I was growing up I was a smart kid. I read like a demon and school was easy, and therefore boring. Senior school was pretty much the same at first. Easy - therefore I didn't really have to put much effort in.

The first time I noticed it was with essays in English lessons. Friends would do draft after draft, I'd write one. Then when it was marked for the first time and handed back with suggestions for changes I couldn't do it. I'd written it and it was done. If I tried to rewrite the sections the teacher wanted changing they'd stick out like a sore thumb and wouldn't flow like the rest of it. So I'd get the same suggestions on the second draft, except that this time the lack of structure would get mentioned.

It ended up being that I'd just write the thing and then leave it. I'd hand in the exact same essay the second time unless I'd thought of anything I could add to it, in which case the whole thing would have been written again. Not rewritten - written from scratch. Because these essays were getting me A's and B's the teacher never seemed to worry that I didn't seem to be able to rewrite and edit my work. I can remember getting so frustrated with her and with myself. This was one of the main reasons I didn't do English for A Level and why I didn't do the IB.

I got 9 B's in my GCSEs. 9 B's with hardly any revision.

I'd try to revise. I'd read over the work and know it. So I stopped bothering. I knew the stuff, why should I waste my time going over and over it for a better grade - I was getting the good grades anyway.

The problem really started when I started my A levels. I didn't know how to work on the stuff that I didn't get the first time round. I had too many other things to worry about rather than the fact that the Chi-square distribution method I used in Statistics was different to the one I used in Biology. The Biology way made more sense, so that was the one I stuck with despite the worried notes on my Maths work.

I went from being a smart child, to passing 1 A level and dropping out of uni.

I didn't feel stupid, most of the time I still don't. I can remember ridiculous amounts of facts and figures about all sorts of things. Mike (our Sunday lad at work) is always saying to me that he doesn't know how I know so much stuff.

I don't know either.

What I do know is that after years of being the smart kid - my sister has a university degree and I don't. I'm not jealous of her, I'm fantastically proud. And I'm not saying that she's stupid, she's a smart cookie! I just can't quite work out why I haven't got one - where did the last 12 years go?

It's taken me two years to decide to do another OU course. After I dropped out of uni I signed up for one, and then bailed out part way through when I split up with Jon. Then I started it again the next year but bailed before the course started because I split up with James and then moved back home.

This time I am starting small. I'm going with something that will seem more like fun than work, partly because I'm worried that if I don't I'll just quit again.

I am doing Fossils and the history of life which is one of their short courses.

I have already read the reference book that comes with the course. (and that Amazon.com review has made me feel stupider - "the text reads like something intended for intelligent junior-high students").

I would like some advice on this, the course actually starts on the 16th of May but I am resisting starting it now. Should I be? Should I just jump straight in? I've got myself the study skills book so that I can learn how to study as I study.

What do you think?

------------------

Oh, and you may have noticed the lack of structure to this post. Well it does have some sort of structure, just a very random one cos that's how my mind works. I have about 50 posts saved that I've typed and then decided not to publish cos they aren't coherent enough, but then they never get published because I don't know how to edit them...

Oh. Piffle. Stop explaining Kate, the folks get it already.

Wednesday, 29 April 2009

Blog Fail...

...Epic.

Since I'm on holiday there is absolutely no excuse for not posting. Well, apart from the WoW playing and book reading and naps on the sofa with the cats and trying to get the V+ box down to under 40 hours of recordings...

Sorry

Here is the meal I made two weeks ago (after the Chinese GP)

Chicken with Chorizo
It was ok but I won't be cooking it again. Partly because we discovered that Anthony is not a huge fan of chorizo, and partly because all the prep for it took bloody ages. (Which is not good when you are overtired and very hungry). Watching Anthony waving a red pepper over the gas rings in an attempt to char the skin so we could peel it was mediumly humorous, but since the unpeeled yellow pepper ended up fine, that step can definitely be missed out. So it was nice, but far too much faff for me.

Last Saturday I cooked the Chicken in Garlic Sauce for Angie, Paul and Joe and they were all very impressed. I was also impressed as after the pepper charring incident I had forgotten how straightforward the recipe was and was expecting lots of faff. No faff, just lovely food and lovely sauce and lovely people to eat it with.

Next Sunday I shall not be cooking as I shall be at work, but for the Sunday after that I think I'm going to go for something basic - possibly a nice Cottage Pie.

Thursday, 23 April 2009

I have been utterly...

...neglectful in not blogging about the Chinese Grand Prix sooner. This is partly due to the fact that Anthony has been here every evening (and distracting me) and partly due to the fact that I'm having a bitch of a time at work at the moment (and unable to vent/blog about why).

Anyhoo.

So on Saturday morning I got to watch Sebastian Vettel sticking his Red Bull on pole and being rather happy about it. Then I went to work and had a rather better day than usual due to the God that is RichieFingers and the comic talents of Donal, our resident Irishman.

Sunday morning I got myself up to watch all the pre-race chatter and saw something come up on the screen that I wasn't sure if I'd seen correctly. Nothing about it popped up on Twitter, and although Martin Brundle mentioned it in his grid interview of Vettel, Sebastian didn't expand that much on it and they didn't repeat the shot.

Then after the race I found this on the red bullog.



I did see it. I wasn't imagining it.

Sebastian Vettel has a sticker reading "Kate's Dirty Sister" stuck inside his cockpit, just above the steering wheel.

But who, or what, was Kate? And why exactly was his car named after her sister? Her dirty sister...

The man himself explained later:
"Like a ship, a car should be named after a girl as it’s sexy.

My original car was called Kate. But then it got smashed at the opening race in Australia. So we called this one Kate’s Dirty Sister because it is more aggressive and faster"

So there we have it. I got smashed in Australia...and Emily has won a Grand Prix. I'm so proud of her.

Kate's Dirty Sister Google Search.

Today is the second...

...of three anniversaries.

Three years ago today a very nice man came to my house to watch a Grand Prix race, and got sucked into the World of Warcraft too.

Tuesday, 21 April 2009

This week I was supposed to have...

...four days at work before then having nine days off.

Then I got a letter from the hospital informing me that my appointment time had been changed AGAIN!

So I phoned them up and ranted a bit (and cried quite a lot) and the end result was that I could either take the new appointment time or wait until July for a new one.

So I then had long confabs with Anthony and with RichieFingers (who is a Rota God, seriously) and the end result is that Anthony and I will be at the hospital for our appointment time of 10.55.

I am stupidly scared and nervous. Although I know that it is very unlikely, my mind is already running through all of the worst-case scenarios that it can think of. The stupid thing is, even if one of them happens it won't have prepared me for it.

But we are prepared.

Anthony has Series 6 of Pokemon, I have Ashes to Ashes, Numb3rs, CSI:NY and Eleventh Hour (which I haven't seen any of yet, but it's got Rufus Sewell in it!) on the V+ box. Of course, we both have WoW for when the other one is watching TV.

I also have this:


It was in the Thornton's sale for £10 (from £30) and I couldn't just leave it sitting there...

Update: Home now. Got to see consultant a mere hour and 15 minutes after appointment time. Then she made me cry when she demanded to know why I wasn't currently taking folic acid.
Her - "But if you're trying to get pregnant you need to be taking it."
Me - "I'm not trying bloody anything til I know what went wrong last time, and that's what this appointment is for!"

The blood tests were all fine, the chromosome tests were also all fine. The only one that was slightly iffy was the blood protein one and so off I trooped to have some blood taken.

So basically, no idea what went wrong. But at the same time it's not a case of "give up, there's no chance".

Now I am going for chocolate egg and beer (the sun's past the yardarm) and since it's sunny I shall probably sit in the garden too.

Thursday, 16 April 2009

Wednesday, 15 April 2009

I have had...

...a very relaxing five days off. Well, four so far and then rest of today which will be the only one of those days sans Anthony. Which has been lovely too.

We have both had haircuts, we've driven round various areas of Wolverhampton trying to find bits that we'd like to live in, we've been to Waitrose three times and Hobbycraft once and we've got the V+ Box down to 40 hours of free space (rather than 5).

Anthony showed amazing patience when helping me choose a new pair of trainers:
K - Not those ones
A - Why not?
They've got too much white on them
What about these ones?
Too grey
How about these?!?
Yuck!
These ones? (said through gritted teeth)
Hmmm....
Eventually I decided on a pair of the Hmmm... ones (what do you mean you can't tell the difference?)

(pictures (in order) for those who did not want to link click)




They also ended up being men's ones rather than women's, partly due to the fact that all the men's ones were out for people to try while you had to ask for the women's ones (and I couldn't put the poor shop guy through it).

That's the first pair of trainers I've owned in 15 years...my last pair were for PE at school and they lasted through my gym moments at uni too. Since then I've not really worn trainers, and the pair of Anthony's that I "borrow" are a size too big and so unrunnable in. Not that I'm about to take up running. Definitely not.

On Sunday I cooked up some Veal Scaloppine. Or at least I would have done had Waitrose had any veal left. They did not, so instead we had Pork Scaloppine.


I very slightly over salted it (due to not being used to using salt when cooking but following instructions in the book to the letter) but Anthony said it was "Bloody lovely". So that was a success.

In two weeks time I have promised to cook Chicken in Garlic Sauce for Angie, Paul and Joe - eeek! Cooking for real people! People who won't be afraid to tell me if it is actually inedible (Joe), but who will also pour me more wine if it is (Angie and Paul). Angie also hit the nail on the head when she called me a 'dinner party cook'. It's true, cooking is such a big event for me at the moment. One of the reasons she therefore decided I should have a dinner party!

Back to work tomorrow...I have three days in, then one off, then four in, then NINE off! (Then my next break is June, then Monza!)

Monday, 13 April 2009

Over at...

...the beautiful Tollipop, Kirsten is having a giveaway to mark her one year blogiversary.

She is giving away these three beautiful young ladies


as well as three Tollipop lockets (made by Polarity)



Go see, go see! (and fall as much in love with Tollipop as I have)

Friday, 10 April 2009

Your rainbow is intensely shaded white, pink, and yellow.

 
 
 
 
 
 
 

What is says about you: You are a joyful person. You appreciate quiet moments. People depend on you to make them feel secure. You are a good listener and your friends are glad to have you around in difficult times.

Find the colors of your rainbow at spacefem.com.

Wednesday, 8 April 2009

Twitter is suddenly...

...the in thing, which is a little bit scary for me since I first signed up to it back in March 2007. I never usually discover the cool things early on, I'm always late to the party.

I started tweeting again back in December when I was after a new thing to take my mind off other things. It certainly helped...

Tweetdeck is my interface of choice, if I ever get a phone I can tweet from then that might change but at the moment it works perfectly for me.

I have all sorts of people filtered off into groups...

There is the Perfect group, consisting of lovely lovely people like Caroline_S, Keris, emmaj1983, threeleggedcat, antoniajane and of course Miss EmLah.

There is my Groupie group which features stephenfry, neilhimself, bobbyllew and alandavies1 (he's a secret Leyton Orient supporter y'know), among others.

Other contacts are split into book/blog/F1/randomly interesting related groups.

Then I have a new group that I added just today.

This one makes me giggle.

******************

Please put your hands together for the Fake F1 Drivers!!!

* fakejenson * FakeAlonso * fakefelipemassa * FakeKazNakajima * fakemarkwebber * FakeSebVettel * fakehamilton *

All bossed about by fakemaxmosley and all bitched about by fakejuanmontoya.

Now we just need a FakeKimi to turn up and it'll all be good. (Not that I expect a FakeKimi to turn up, we all know he's too busy drinking/sleeping/eating icecreams to Tweet).

Basically...Twitter rocks.

Friday, 3 April 2009

I completely intended...

...to blog yesterday, and then suddenly it was bedtime and I realised I hadn't. Bad me.

Right then.

On Sunday (after the Grand Prix) I cooked Chicken in Garlic Sauce, which was flipping gorgeous!

It looked like this:


The recipe suggests serving it with boiled new potatoes and green beans, but since I did my usual thing of forgetting to do anything to go with it until five minutes before it was ready to serve, so we had lots of peas and sweetcorn instead.

Apart from the fact there seemed to be gallons of sauce left (the recipe is for 4 and I didn't cut any quantities down) it was absolutely perfect. It's definitely going to be made again, although next time I think I shall try reducing the sauce a lot more!

Lovely Twitter is not only keeping me informed about all the latest F1 shenanigans (Lewis, Lewis, Lewis...cheats never prosper!) but it also won me a prize!
The folks at the Naxos Music Library had run a Twitter competition to win a free months subscription as part of their 30th birthday celebrations. All you had had to do was DM @naxosrecords for a chance to win.

They contacted me on Wednesday to say I'd won it but then Anthony promptly brought me back down to earth by asking me if I'd noticed the date...
Luckily he was very wrong and so I now have a whole month of picking myself some music to listen to. I don't know much about classical music so if anyone has any suggestions, please let me know!

*Anthony has just phoned me so I have completely lost my train of thought*

Um.

Erm.

Here, have a cat picture.



In fact, have two.


(I love the fact Foley seems to have too many legs in this one)

Sunday, 29 March 2009

...and the lights go out...

...no, not for Earth Hour.

The race is on!

What happened to Barrichello?

Button in front by miles...

Heidfeld with a puncture.

Barichello caused a little bit of fuss at the first corner - carbon fibre all over the place and poor old Mark Webber lost his front wing.

Kovalainen is out with a very broken looking car.

Button is already 4.4 secs ahead on Lap 3.

**time for me to have a look at the onboard camera screens on the BBC**

Onboard camera is sticking with Hamiltwunt at the moment so I'll pass on that.

Not as many retirements as I thought there'd be by this point! (Certainly not as many as last year!)

Rosberg just scampered past Kimi, then Barrichello tried it and clipped him.

Kimi in the pits - puncture?

Rosberg now menacing Kubica who is all over the back of Massa.

Pit stops have started - Ferrari and MacLaren have both now used their soft tires - hopefully this will give Ferrari an advantage at the end.

Rosberg had a pitstop problem that held the poor boy up. But it meant we got to watch a lovely pass on him by Kimi.

Button is miles in front!

Nakajima into the wall - safety car.... poor Button!

That whole thing with the safety car was a bit of a screw up, they let it go after Button so the whole field had to go past it! Now Button will be stuck behind it for ages... and the debris/car seems to have been shifted already!

The safety car has been out for ages with the track clear, very frustrating!

Massa keeps locking up. Brundle - "His tyres will look like a 50p piece soon"

Piquet takes the first corner sideways and slides right to the back of the very wide gravel trap!

Hamilton passes Glock very easily...again!

33 laps to go BTW.

Have got the perfect setup now - TV showing main feed, PC showing the onboard streams. Lovely jubbly.

20 laps to go, things have quietened down for the moment, but the last pit stops are all starting...

Hamilton comes out of the pits and decides to try and squeeze Massa off the track straight away. Kimi bumps into the wall...but keeps going.

Fisichella up to 8th!

Eeep!

Button had a pit stop problem, can't tell if he got enough fuel, but he got out in front of Vettel.

Drat it, Massa is out. His car was sounding very very ill.

Barrichello pits and comes out behind Rosberg, then a couple of laps later sticks in a fabulous pass.

Glock is trying to take people out as he tries to pass them - apart from Hamilton of course.

Hamilton is up to 7th. Anthony says - "It pains me to say it, but he's driven a good race."

Holy crap.

Kubica and Vettel duking it out.

Kubica takes Vettel out then hits the wall himself.

Poor Vettel.

Hurrah for Button! Hurrah for Barrichello! (unless anything breaks)

*********************

So just as last year, it's the British national anthem. But this time it's for a driver who has really earned it.

w00t!!!

No chance of going back to bed as I did last year, partly cos the race was later, partly cos I'm too fucking hyper!

*chequered flag*

Good morning...

...Australia.

Yup, I'm awake again. But this morning doesn't seem so bad since the clocks changed this morning. Instead of getting up at 5am, it was 6am!

I am going to blog this just like last year, well, not just like last year, I'm going to put the whole lot in one post and update as I go - that way nobody reads the last bit first!

Once again the clever buggers at the BBC are doing text updates, and the fact that Twitter has taken off this year means that I've also got Tweetag to keep an eye on (and find some new tweeps through).

It's now 40 minutes to race start...time to get everything organised - no ad breaks to get extra drinks in!

Saturday, 28 March 2009

I got up at...

...4.45am this morning.

Ok, so the qualifying didn't actually start until 6am, but the first showing of the new titles was at 5am and I couldn't miss them.

I am very, very glad that ITV aren't doing the coverage this season.

Partly because this mornings results would have completely stumped James Allen.

Yes, there is a British driver on pole.














But it's not the Hamiltwunt...he's 15th on the grid after a terrible Q1 and then his gearbox giving out.













Thank you Jenson.

You've had so much crap over the last two years with people saying you were a has-been. Even real F1 fans were starting to worry.

Now just get rid of that manky beard!

Monday, 23 March 2009

I didn't cook...

...Cheese and Corn Pudding or Ragout of Venison with Wild Mushrooms or Creamy Tarragon Chicken this weekend. I didn't cook Beef Wellington either.

Instead we had roast pork with roast potatoes and parsnips. Lovely. Not photogenic though, sorry.

As well as that we also broke a world record - "Shortest Amount of Time Spent in Ikea and Actually Managing to Buy What You Wanted".

This is a picture of my old desk back when I'd just moved into this house (note hideous rental curtains and the evil pinkness of my uncovered armchair).



This was OK back when I first got it, but now it was just annoying. The top was all warped, the whole thing wobbled like hell whenever you typed and the chair wouldn't fit under it properly meaning that you couldn't actually get close in.

So I have been hunting for desks and failing to find one that I liked. Then some clever person posted a link to Ikea Hacker on Twitter and there I got a few ideas.

Then I went on the Ikea website and plotted and planned. I had to do lots of this so that Anthony would think a trip to Ikea was actually a good idea.

We went on Sunday morning and got there about 10.30...we left an hour later. (They open for browsing at 10 and for sales at 11, there were only about 20 cars in the car park when we got there and no dawdling people AT ALL).

That hour saw us locate the table top, table legs, shelf and kitchen cabinet legs that we needed. It also included the obligatory hot dog and trip to the food shop for pink mushrooms and a bag of Daim bars.

Sunday afternoon was spent creating a masterpiece (hence the no faff roast for dinner).

May I present for your viewing pleasure, my new desk.



(Note lovely cream curtains, throw disguised armchair and also new blue rug to try and protect the hideously cheap carpet from dying under the chair castors).

All solid pine which has made the living room smell absolutely lovely.

It's also made me much more confident about creating the desk space I will have one day when we actually own a place and can build proper fixed-to-the-wall things.