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Tuesday, 28 December 2010

slothing apace

christmas is over, whats left of the turkey is tucked into small bags in the freezer, and the left-over veggies have all been eaten in bubble and squeak (topped with a fried duck egg - leftover luxury at its finest). i hope your christmas was as satisfying and as filled with laughter and fun as ours was.

now is the week of unplanned laying around. that is - the laying around is planned, just not the particular make-up. i've been playing with my laptop, and n has successfully figured out why ubuntu wouldn't load properly and has saved the day. i added flashy progress bars from ravelry onto the blog - i'm not sure if i like them though. what do you think? i finished n's hat and it is blocking as we speak. i made a mitten! although, to really pull that one off i need to make another mitten and now that i know how it works it's not as interesting. otherwise i have been reading in bed, snuggling with the humph, eating cheese and pate, and having long baths. bliss.

last night hamish stuart and his band were playing at the anchor - which isn't as odd as it sounds as he owns the anchor, and under his management, bands play most weeks. this was considerably more special though. the band were really tight, some great funk-jazz jamming, the pub packed and dancing - from kids to grannies - literally! there was one couple who had to be 70 if they were a day (though admittedly i am not familiar with their procreational choices so whether they were actually grandparents remains a mystery) and they danced up a storm. i love seeing people dancing - almost as much as i love dancing myself :) to have such quality of music in such an intimate setting with lovely people - for free - well, merry christmas to you too!

today i think i need a walk. even sloths need fresh air. unfortunately it is raining, but i suppose it shouldn't matter. it also looks very cold, for although it's been raining for hours, the ice in the park still hasn't melted. that can't be a good sign. a walk to a pub with a good fireplace will be essential. i may even start my new hat.

happy holidays!

Thursday, 23 December 2010

i'm free!

happy holidays everyone!

in this lovely adopted land of mine, christmas is a serious business which requires buildings to close down, and all of their employees forced - FORCED! to take time off. hallelujah.

as a result, i am now on holiday until 4 january 2011. miles away.

and no papers to write.

when people ask me what i'm going to do, i say "absolutly nothing", but really, between you and me, what i'm really going to do is:

1. eat. check this out - the amazing sight that met my eyes when i stopped in at h&j's on my way home this evening:

that's tomorrow's lunch! (and j can COOK, oh yes)
xmas day is at ours, traditional turkey, ours collected from the farm shop parking lot this morning, direct from the farm where up until about a week ago it was one of these:

technically i suppose it still is one of those, but it does look a little different now.

2. drink (starting tonight at the last folk music session at the bear)

3. knit:
the rowan plaid is for n's hat and mittens, the malabrigo is my new hat, the madeline tosh is for my very first pair of socks. you cannot believe how excited i am about this. all of this.

4. cook - of course!

5. read. i have a stack of books including (but not limited to!) the new le carre, several new cookbooks and all the wired magazines i haven't had time for since september.

6. walk. weather dependent.

and that's just for starters!

happy holidays!

(I can't get this smaller to fit - you'll just have to click...)


Sunday, 19 December 2010

and to top it all off - i sense a working-from home day tomorrow...

start message:

Southeastern Alert Service
to me

show details 12:31 PM (3 hours ago)

Southeastern has been advised by Network Rail, who has responsibility for keeping the track clear of ice and snow, that we can run our normal timetable service for Monday 20 December.

The weather forecast remains for freezing temperatures overnight with more snow possible across Kent and East Sussex. So despite Network Rail's best efforts to clear the snow and ice, it's inevitable that services tomorrow will be disrupted, with cancellations, delays and short formations to trains as a result of damage caused by the snow and ice.

end message

inevitable????

christmas cheer

i've been having wayyy to much fun lately - even for a grapecat, this pace is too blistering to continue. christmas in a small english town is really perfectly fabulous and i wouldn't trade for anything. except having my family here too - that would be better.

first off - it's still snowing!!!!!

in england!!!
in december!!!!!!

ok - enough with the exclamation marks, i know

friday was my work christmas lunch - and the weather played along beautifully, snowing all afternoon. i'm afraid i drank a rather lot of wine and - well there's no delicate way to put this really, but - by 4pm i could be found dancing on a studio-54-esque lighted-square dance floor to what can only be described as substandard 80's rock/pop. as you do.

yesterday, we popped out to see our friend s model in a charity fashion show in the town hall, then for a quick pint - which turned into another - and another - and we met old friends and made new friends and it was really lovely. roaring fire, big comfy sofas, good ale, and lots of snow outside. there may have been drunken piano playing (ahem). we didn't get home till 6, and humph, who's dinnertime is 330, was not amused.

today was decorating the tree in the town centre - the faversham christmas lights society puts up the tree, but it isn't decorated. local artists have taken it upon themselves to decorate it and people bring baubles and garlands.



then up to the railway pub where the oyster morris side were hosting a christmas carol sing-along and we met up with h & j and young felix, among others. and it's not just me - is it - this is a beautiful little baby:

(and a rather smashing baby blanket if i do say so myself)

now home, n and s are jamming away and there's a chicken roasting in the oven. cheers everyone (one more exclamation mark? just one more? oh all right - no you're right - i know).

Wednesday, 15 December 2010

tiger goes to the pub

this was after the snow walk the other day...



Monday, 13 December 2010

welcome


welcome to the world, felix charles dalton copland.

you've landed well - i can vouch for your parents. it's a scary place, but there's lots of good stuff and we'll all be keeping an eye out for you :)

snow

this is late - we had snow! in november! (ok well - the 30th, and i am normally against pedantry, but for the sake of emphasis - )

and it was beautiful. and lo, all the trains did cease. and the spectre of being one of the several hundred southeastern passengers stuck overnight on a broken-down train without heat nor light made firm one's resolution that fortitude would be, in this case, misplaced.

so instead we had this:

and this:

and this:


and then this:






oh come on. if one of your friends pulled out a tiger mask you'd have done the same thing.

Sunday, 12 December 2010

sunday morning

it's sunday morning and i have nothing i need to do today. no papers to write, no classes to read for, no projects to oversee, no attendance-required social engagements -

bliss

with a nagging feeling of guilt. am i missing something? two years of master's studying plus working equals a highly developed inner voice that runs a constant, murmuring background loop of "shouldn't you be ...". shouldn't you be reading? shouldn't you be starting to research your paper? shouldn't you be looking for material? shouldn't you be....

i need to re-train it. right now it would be useful for it to be prodding me to get off my arse and make omelets for breakfast while there is decent radio listening - that so-easily-missed hour between sunday service and the dreaded archers omnibus. if missed, it is radio exile until quarter past eleven.

and yes i know there are other radio stations than radio 4, but i've always considered this to be extraneous information, because, really, cooking and radio 4 are inseparable at molecular level. unless the archers are on.

Saturday, 4 December 2010

arrrggghhh - oranges

i'm allergic to oranges. how stupid is that? i think it's so stupid that i constantly test it, or at least i test it every two or three years or however long it takes me to forget the discomfort and low-level pain not to mention the appearance-disfiguring effects that accompany my attempts to sample this particular citrus.

so last night, in lovely company, i partook of a mug of yummy mulled cider. with oranges as it turns out. o well i thought. tastes very nice. awfully nice actually. i only had the one glass with the orange bit - the rest i made do with brandy and warm cider (deprived, i'm sure you'll agree).

but lo,

i'm still allergic to oranges.

24 hours later, i am the proud bearer of bee-stung (ouch) lips, and a rapidly spreading rash.

at least i didn't throw up this time.

maybe i'm growing out of it.

Friday, 26 November 2010

oh - did i mention?

library fine paid.
results received last week.

(drum roll please)

76 on the dissertation (thunk)

a degree average of 69.33%. just under the 70% average needed for a distinction.

am i grateful? well, yes, but still - there is a part of me (squeaking due to being heavily sat on) that is gutted to miss it by so little. even though i figured i wasn't any where near a distinction before, and never dreamed i'd come so close.

in other news i have just made n sit through the entire song of "summer holiday" by dj miker g and dj sven on the off chance that they may have mentioned more place names than london, new york city and amsterdam. they don't. it was awful, granted. i don't know if n was more appalled at the music or by the fact that i knew far more of the lyrics then mere coincidence would suggest.

the quest for place names is an ongoing obsession of mine to find songs that list multiple places. the above atrocity does not count as three places do not qualify for list status. so far i have 11 songs - any more for me?

Thursday, 18 November 2010

it was a tie

i am mostly shorn. with side bits. it looks lovely, and who am i to argue with d? she obviously has knowledge not available to us mortals least of all me who considers blow-drying to be a major time investment and who has never mastered any usage whatsoever of "product".

i like it. i think, anyways.

the exam board met on tuesday which means results should be imminent. i've been checking regularly - ok, obsessively these past days but no joy. then, this afternoon, a screen flicker, followed by a bright red notice saying - "you are not authorised to view this page because you owe the university money". gulp - you mean it wasn't a scholarship? was my first thought. but no, further reading elicited the information that i owed money to the library. it turns out that i had a £9 library fine that i had only vaguely recollected. (i almost typed "relocated". they are deliciously similar, no?) anyways i rang the library, paid the fine over the phone, and the lovely librarian, who, i imagine is taking lot of these calls, asked if i was waiting for results, and if so, it would be at least 24 hours as she had to fill out some paper or other and forward it to registry. argghhh. i suppose at least i didn;t find out i still had a book on loan that had been collecting overdue fees for the last 6 months, but still. my curiosity/dread is becoming unbearable.

(note to self - return knitting book by bed that is collecting overdue fees...)

speaking of knitting, i have been knitting delightful little baby mittens (sans thumbs) for darling a, they are teensy tiny, and knit on four double point needles. they have a cable running up the front to match the hat, and when i'm knitting with the cable needle as well i look like i am wrestling a small oddly coloured porcupine.

and i wonder why people give me funny looks on the train

Wednesday, 17 November 2010

random onions

somehow time has run away with me lately. i was super crazy busy at work all through october, and then then the week or so of recovery time i gave myself morphed into - well, another half month. oops. i'm slowly getting it back together though - by it, i mean my life outside work.

i've been knitting throughout - oh yes, even finishing (finally) the latest baby blanket - the one i would have finished last week if i had bloody known how to count. (see previous posts). anyways, the rest was easier, and it does look ok i think. it's washed, wrapped and ready to go.

n's hat appears to be doomed. the first hat project i gave up because i'd ordered the wrong type of yarn, (and couldn't really knit yet - details details). then we picked a new one which i started yesterday but alas, it is not to be. he will just have to wait. maybe it is a mythical thing - like the boyfriend jumper - and it is better not to disturb the curse.

humph has taken to staring quizzically into the middle distance which is giving n and i the creeps - it looks like he can plainly see something we cannot, and he stares so intently it freaks us out. "what do you see? who's there?" we implore, but he just sighs, shakes himself slightly and goes back to licking the couch or whatever he was doing. creepy. the licking the couch thing is not at all creepy, just disgusting. dog tongue on leather. bleh.

and it is winter. winter-coat winter. i know i know - it is not the canadian prairies and i have nothing to complain about and anyways being canadian i should really be used to this sort of thing (oh if i had a pound for every time i heard that). but it is dark, and even my love of pub fireplaces and oxtail stew cannot take that away. cozy is only as cozy does, and it does not help in getting out of bed on cold dark wet mornings.

so tomorrow i shall cheer myself up by chopping off all of my hair. or rather, delegating the task to my hairdresser, d. whether or not she will approve of the endeavor remains to be seen - i am fully prepared to argue if needs be. i have never yet won a battle with her so it should be interesting to see how it pans out. but it's either swimming or hair, and anyways it's time for a change.

wish me luck

Wednesday, 3 November 2010

autumnal



Sunday, 31 October 2010

interview with leonard cohen

(from the guardian, don't have a date)

g: what do you consider your darkest hour?
lc: well i wouldn't tell you about it if i knew. even to talk about oneself in a time like this is a kind of unwholesome luxury. i don't think i've had a darkest hour compared to the dark hours that so many people are involved in right now. large numbers of people are dodging bombs, having their nails pulled out in dungeons, facing starvation, disease. i mean large numbers of people. so i think that we've really got to be circumspect about how seriously we take our own anxieties today.

Saturday, 30 October 2010

remiss

i know.
i've been working.
alot.
and having quality time:



be back soon

Monday, 11 October 2010

this is (part of) what i do for a living

before:


after:

Saturday, 9 October 2010

songs loved purely due to particular lines

"i get the news i need from the weather report
oh i get all the news i need from the weather report"
simon and garfunkel, the only living boy in new york

"wearing smells from laboratories..."
hair, let the sunshine in

"i asked hank williams how lonely does it get, but hank williams hasn't answered yet"
leonard cohen, tower of song

"then i'll join in matrimony with the girl who serves spumoni"
louis prima, angelina
(closely followed by an earlier line - "i eat antipasti twice just because she is so nice"

you?

Saturday, 2 October 2010

pork chops

i realise equating food with higher philosophical ideals can be problematic - freedom fries or mecca cola, anyone?

but to me, pork chops = freedom.

i mean, OBVIOUSLY (*eye roll*) in a sardonic/ironic white middle class woolly liberal sense.

but also no. also in an uncool un-intelligent-freedom-fries sort of way.

when i went back to university, i'd been sometimes traveling but mostly working for 12 years, and the opportunity to cook food at home, during the day, was intoxicating. when i had the time, i would often cook myself a pork chop - rubbed in a sluice of garlic, rosemary, salt, pepper and olive oil, with a side of sautéed spinach (in butter of course) and new potatoes, crushed with the back of a fork and swathed in butter and lashings of pork-juices.

i would sit at the table and carefully cut up my chop into 3 parts - fat, heart meat, and bone. then i'd settle in, open the newspaper, and munch my way through first the heart meat - tea towel at the ready to swipe fingers and reduce grease marks on the edges of the paper - alternated by scoops of mashed potatoes and spinach - and then, paper down out of respect at this point, full attention to the bone, slurping out all the best bits. the fat cut up for the birds.

i loved those lunches - the first i'd cooked alone, just for me, in years and years. to eat at the table with my fingers, reading a paper - delicious.

tonight n & s are playing at a pub down the road. i'm getting over a cold and i'm working all this weekend and next as well - a 21 day stretch. i've begged off. instead i've spent the evening talking to my mom in canada, and getting to bed early.

and cooking and eating a fat pork chop with a side of spinach and crushed potatoes.

freedom chops

Friday, 24 September 2010

the knitting idiot

the knitting idiot copies the pattern from the net and does not copy the picture. "who needs the picture?" the knitting idiot asks."i know what it looks like."

the knitting idiot feels something may not be quite right. "i will just keep knitting," the knitting idiot says. "it will work out as the pattern progresses."

this knitting idiot did both the above, not noticing the MASSIVE difference between what was coming off the needles and the 281 pictures of the blanket in ravelry until 38 rows of 125 stitches were completed when finally, unable to quell that nascent knitting gut instinct that had been alternating between screaming and whimpering for the past week, finally looked closely at some of those 281 pictures and had to admit that my blanket looked nothing like them.

not that mine looks bad. no. perhaps, i thought, i can just call this a pattern alteration and keep going. but alas, my knitting gut is having none of it. "knit a swatch" it growled. "knit a PROPER swatch."

the proper swatch is much much better.

and now i have to rip it all out and start again. for the second time.

and i have no one to blame but myself.

knitting. isn't it soothing and relaxing!

excuse me while i retrieve my needles from the windowsill where i've violently hurled them in disgust...

Tuesday, 21 September 2010

almost autumn

it was such a nice afternoon (viewed, from my perspective, longingly, mostly through office and train windows) that upon my return home, we decided to go for a bike ride after we walked sir humph.

we biked up to the shipright arms, and it was glorious.

can you see me?


it's almost-autumn. i'm sure i learned in school that autumn starts on september 21 and spring starts on march 21. they were quite firm on that. wikipedia however insists it is not until the 23rd.

so, technically, this is the almost equinox moon rising



while the sun, nearly exactly opposite, is setting



the light was beautiful - the tide was still going out - near the bottom though. an egret was fishing, mirrored on the wet sand.

the sun set, we suddenly noticed the mosquitoes, and the cold, and biked back into town.

happy (almost) autumn

Thursday, 16 September 2010

frogging update

a good decision (for once)

frogged the lot, cast on again (did i mention 125 stitches?!) made a few alterations (improvements) to the pattern, 3 rows in and looking healthy.

and i have a new but very enthusiastic appreciation for stitch markers.

Wednesday, 15 September 2010

frogging

frog:
v. to unravel a knitted garment. Also frog stitch v., to intentionally rip out a seam, and n., an intentionally ripped seam.

Etymological Note: While it is possible that, as frequently stated, frog does come from the admonishment of “rip it, rip it” that might be given when seams are imperfect, which is similar to an imitation of a croaking frog, it is also possible that an unraveled or undone garment has loops of thread or yarn resembling frogging, which is a looped ornamental braid, or coat fastenings made of cylindrical buttons that go into fabric loops.


i was having a perfectly lovely day (well - apart from the getting up at 20 past 6 in the morning, having to wear a suit, strange woman on the train on the way in clicking gum (how annoying!) new box of muesli that is just odd, and meetings galore) and, on my way home, i knitted, as is my wont.

i messed up. i messed up 8 stitches into a 125-stitch row and did not notice till the end when i had a surprising 8 stitches left instead of 7. argghhhhh.

i tried to fix it by working back, my knitting got tighter and tighter. it was actively fighting me. i missed a stitch. cue bad language (in my head - i am a polite train passenger).

i put it to one side and fumed the rest of the way home, it's one thing to make mistakes. it's another thing entirely to dig oneself into a quagmire trying to remedy the situation. my knitting guru k would have to be called in. she has been relaxing of late, knowing that i have finished the first blanket and not yet aware of the impending doom.

"hmmmmm" she said.

this is k - "don't worry it will block out" - "don't worry no one will be able to tell" - "don't worry little mistakes are what makes hand knits precious"

i'm so glad i have someone to give a second opinion though, because deep in my heart, i knew that baby was going to have to be frogged, but if i'd frogged it on my own, i always would have wondered - couldn't it have been saved?

i sound melodramatic - it was only an inch of knitting (over 125 stitches though!!)

so i shall be frogging this evening.

rip-it

Friday, 10 September 2010

phew

well, reader, i finished it.

last friday, i handed that baby in and washed my hands of it. it will fly, or it will sink. it should definitely earn me an llm (that's a law masters. i know, i didn't know either). i have no faith in it. i have full faith in it. i am not sure i actually care anymore.

when i came home, a big bouquet of flowers was on the table - a beautiful and thoughtful gesture from my parents, with n's collusion.

last weekend was the hop festival in faversham and i partook with gusto. the weather was great, i saw everyone i know in faversham, the music was excellent - especially n's band which played sunday morning. needless to say, i also drank alot of ale.

monday i was so knackered i wasn't sure i was going to make it to work (i did). tuesday too. even wednesday. thursday, after 3 days of not drinking and going to bed at 9pm, slightly better. today - i may live. i think the combination of 2 week-ends of weddings, the relief of finally handing in, and the indulgence of the hop fest nearly put me over the edge! we are not (ahem) as young as we used to be.

do i miss the dissertation? hell no.

it hasn't really hit that it's all done though.

Saturday, 28 August 2010

omg

i just spent 50 quid on shampoo. well shampoos and a conditioning styling spray whatever that is when it's at home. i think my hairdresser must have hypnotised me. she did have her dog with her - a small terrier-type thing that sat in my lap like a mini-hot-water bottle the whole time. hard to believe tallulah (the terrier) and humphrey are both the same species. tallulah is white with a shock of bright pink on her head, courtesy of the younger stylists at the salon. she looked like like a furry flannel. perhaps she is also a subliminal marketing genius.

for that price, they better last for a year. i never can tell if i'm being hoodwinked by the pernicious beauty industry and might as well use my own homemade soap to wash my hair, or if it really does make a difference to use 'proper' stuff. at this price, i am, frankly, expecting miracles.

one of them will, i am assured, at least get the chlorine out of my hair. blonde/whites and chlorine do a dowdy shade of khaki make if not diligently guarded against.

50 quid. good lord.

Thursday, 26 August 2010

thank you for your well-wishes. i believe i have regained my sanity (well, i can hear you chortle - that will be a first! ungracious indeed! i have always generally been sane - undoubtedly one of my greatest obstacles to happiness.) but i digress.

i did have a beer (and some yummy ginger wine) and watched the show on the normans, and ate my dinner, and went to bed, and got up and went to work this morning, all still in a funk. i left early, just missed the train i left early to catch, considered sitting down and having a good old cry right in the middle of st pancras station, decided against it (a close call though), caught the next train, girded my loins and read the paper.

it wasn't that bad.

parts of it are actually quite good.

i could express the last section more eloquently, but all in all, not the catastrophe i was convinced of yesterday.

i came home and went for a swim. i did not feel like it, but i am learning that, unless you are actually ill, those are the times you need to swim the most. i had a nice enough swim, then, in the changing rooms, eureka!

well, a mini-eureka, anyways. i could finally put my finger on one of the points i've been dancing around for weeks.

luckily i had a pen and an old receipt and i was able to write it down.

then on the way home i saw a puppy in the park. a 17 week old golden lab named alfie. the cutest thing.

i feel much better now.

Wednesday, 25 August 2010

arggghhhh! my dissertation sucks!!!!!

i have officially lost all perspective.

you might have picked up on that.

it's even more obvious in person, believe me.

i wrote an abstract this afternoon and it was so much better than the dissertation it was abstracting - it was so depressing. how can that even be possible?

i'm sick of it. international law can go fragment itself to the moon for all i care.

i'm going to drown my sorrows in a pint of ruby red ale and watch a programme on those murderous despicable bastards the normans in an effort to cheer myself up.

*whimper*

Sunday, 22 August 2010

last swimming lesson

i had my last swimming lesson today. although a very reasonable cost, they were starting to add up. i've also learned enough to be getting along on my own, but i'm still sad the lessons will end! i've sure learned alot - some things i anticipated, some i didn't. i knew i'd get over the nervousness of new places with new rules (spoken and unspoken as with most self-contained environments) and that i'd figure out what to bring and when it would be less busy. i knew i'd get stronger and it would probably be tough some days.

i didn't know how tough! i spent the first months clinging, limpet-like, to the edge trying desperately to get some air into my lungs and feeling the bright-red burn of my cheeks, huffing and puffing. not my most elegant.

but elegance, to some degree, has come. sometimes, i get a tumble turn just right and i glide, fast and flowing through the water before emerging into just the right place in the stroke. sometimes, the feel is just there and i feel like i could swim for hours. sometimes, of course, i misjudge entirely and nearly choke to death, coughing and spluttering and trying to get the water out of my nose.

what i'm most surprised about is how much more confident i am in my body. i suppose spending a significant amount of time in a small and fitted piece of nylon/lycra is going to desensitise you to self-consciousness eventually, but it's more than that. i think of my legs as legs that can kick strong, and i know my arms can pull me through the water fast. it's a new feeling for me - i just don't feel as self-conscious. note the 'as'. obviously i am still racked with fear and loathing as are most modern women left exposed to overwhelming societal messages about what we are supposed to look like and all the effort we are required to do so. (honestly, who has that much time?!)

i will keep swimming - on the first of september i'll be buying my first season pass for the pool - first of many i hope. i wouldn't have stuck it out if it wasn't for the lessons though. dragging my hungover ass to the pool on a sunday morning - it took a lot of repetition before the message that this actually made me feel better really sunk in.

and, no, i'm still not any slimmer! but, somehow, that doesn't matter so much anymore either.

Thursday, 12 August 2010

summer 2

it's pouring. really really pouring. it is tempting to think this is because i have booked the week off, but i fear it is my fellow canadian's fault, geo, who is visiting with her husband from saskatoon where apparently it has rained ALL SUMMER.

i rest my case

we are tucked up inside, happy as bivalves, marvelling, just now, at how larry graham bloody funked that bass. sly and the family stone. make that FUNKY FACE.

that is a command, btw.

those boys and girls could funk. oh yes.

...

what - you were looking for a point?

theme perhaps?

how's this - larry graham shows how talent and soul - heart - feeling - transcend musical phases and trends and make their point - days, years, decades later as emphatically as they did the day they were laid down.

now MAKE that funky face!

summer





Friday, 30 July 2010

culture jamming

saw this fab picture of london's new hire bikes :)

Just met a culture jammer rebranding London's new bikes with ... on Twitpic

the bikes are heavily branded by barclays, who are funding some of the scheme. the stickers, under the barclays logo, read:

"£20 million investment in bikes, £7300 million investment in bombs"

and

"funding depleted uranium birth defects in iraq"

i love it when people talk back.

Thursday, 29 July 2010

evensong

of a different sort, admittedly. s and n are practicing their pub duo act. at the moment it's the doobie brothers long train running. i'm sitting at the table, drinking a glass of wine and wondering if i should go to bed.

they are playing as the analogue twins and they had their first gig as a duo last week (or the week before - yikes). it was as at a lovely country pub in chilham, which was holding a beer and music festival. as we walked in, another band was playing a song that s&n cover as well. catastrophe, or so i thought at the time. i really thought i had covered all possible ground in worrying about their gigs but this was a new one. luckily it was only one song. the gig started slow - there were p a problems and the pub seemed indifferent, but s&n talked to the crowd, won them over, and blew them away. by the end of the first set everyone was dancing.

they've been invited back to that pub, and they have another gig this month at a pub in faversham, so if this continues, they hope to be getting regular work throughout the autumn. n is so much happier to be playing, which makes me happy. i have to admit, though, my ironing is just not getting done as promptly as before. sigh. as i can hear my mother saying, "well if that's your biggest problem...."

it isn't of course, it's just refreshing to worry about small things for a change. the big ones aren't going anywhere.

Saturday, 24 July 2010

beer festival!

first off, humph is absolutely fine - no ill effects whatsoever. phew.

last night we volunteered at the kent beer festival - what a blast! what a lot of hard work! here's a picture from their website of the barn the festival is held in:

we signed in and were allocated to a section of the "bar". the entire back of the barn and about half of each side make up the bar - it is huge - our section was one length of the barn. we were told to get a glass and encouraged to sample all the ales so we'd have a clue when people asked about them. oh well, if i have to..... you know me, i'm a believer in research :)

the evening session opened, and what looked like a small tsunami of thirsty people streamed across the barn towards the kegs. that bit was a little nerve-wracking. however, we found our stride and were soon pulling pints with verve, "half-pint or pint?" "hogs back hog or a over t?" "a hoppy bitter? how about the surrey hills sheer drop - won beer of the year i believe!"

people came in waves - but there was almost always someone there. sometimes several rows of someones. we just did our best - people were lovely for the most part and pretty patient. the only bad part really was that the beer kegs are on two rows of scaffolding, and you have to bend down to reach the taps on the bottom row. that's fine for the first hour, but by the end my thighs were screaming. this morning they are a muted howl. i didn't realise that 4 hours of squats were involved.

i did get comments on my accent - mostly compliments, but one guy said, only partially joking, "what, an american telling me about beer?" "no," i retorted, "a canadian is telling you about beer" and flashed him my 100-watt you-know-i'm-right grin. his mates gave him a bit of a hard time over that. i received my year's quota of darlings, beautifuls and babes, which increased with the inebriation of our clientèle, and, as an unexpected side benefit, we saw pretty much everyone we know in canterbury.

we staggered out before the bar closed so we could catch the last train home to faversham, feeling guilty about leaving our fellow volunteers to handle the last half hour without us, but with legs all-to-ready to plonk down on the festival bus seat. it was a blast - and we'll do it again - that is if my legs recover by this time next year!

Sunday, 18 July 2010

uh oh

through a combination of laziness and not-thinking, n and i managed to leave a bin unattended and humph in the house. humph, being an enterprising and opportunistic young hound, took full advantage and ate (at a minimum - god knows what else) an entire cob of corn (sans kernels) and a rack worth of baby back rib bones. (oh man were they good - best recipe ever)

so far he seems fine, although his stomach has been making explosive noises. in the last hour or so he has been letting off room-clearing farts. i just hope those bones digest ok. they were slow-cooked for 2 1/2 hours so i hope that helps. oh god - we're bad dog-owners......

humph has eaten a cob of corn before - last summer i had this crazy idea (you tube videos - misleading - that's all i can say) that if i held a cob of corn, humph would eat it like we do. i know - i wasn't thinking then, either. humph took one sniff, grabbed the corn, and made me immediately remember that he is stronger than i am and he also cared a lot more. he latched on with his jaws and looked me straight in the eye as he backed up - there was no way i was getting that cob back. n would have helped but he was too busy busting a gut laughing. humph ate the whole cob and was fine except for scary poop the next day.

please let this be the same.

damn i love that dog.

Thursday, 15 July 2010

chapter heading

in which we contemplate the vagaries of human nature that make procrastination so alluring and the creative shenanigans achievable when one is trying not to do that which they know damn well they should be doing.

aka crap isn't this dissertation done yet?

i realise wailing about it won't help (well it may help me but even humphrey is looking askance at this behavior and you should see some of the maneuvers he gets up to) but oh man oh man. it's a struggle sometimes.

so i console myself with the fact that i have got really organised today - i have a good chunk of material digested and noted, and i know where the next block is, but the horribleness of actually writing is starting to impede my progress as part of my brain knows that this is the next inevitable step and is frantically scurrying around trying to avoid it. i don't understand why my own brain can't at least agree - it seems unfair. it will get written - there is no other option. we all know this (brain - i am talking to you). just quit fighting and go quietly. please.

Saturday, 10 July 2010

Alela Diane - Oh! My Mama

Thursday, 1 July 2010

it's true!

funny pictures of cats with captions
see more Lolcats and funny pictures

i worked from home today - no - stop laughing - i really did. i mean not ALL day - obviously, but i got through about 3 office days worth of project documentation. you write a proposal report, you give presentations, you answer questions, they finally say yes, then you're faced with about 6 core documents that have to be done immediately and that you will live and die by for the next 4 months. no pressure.

and i send drafts to the rest of the team i'm slowly putting together saying things like, "how does this look for you" and "from an hr perspective does this work?" and they all go "yeah yeah yeah" thinking, thank god i don't have to write this shit, let alone read it.

and there will be some small or not so small error that i have made through sheer mind-numbing boredom of ms project, or the telephone ringing, or thinking days and inputing weeks, and no one will notice until the end of august when it becomes apparent that the project plan has us holding 15 team meetings in a day and a half. and everyone will say, "who wrote this? what an idiot" and i will say "well you ok'd the hr timeline". and we will squabble unbecomingly.

so i have spent the day quantifying that which cannot be quantified (risk likelihood: likely; risk level: moderate), and covering my ass with management speak and project mumbo-jumbo. it was quite fun, actually.

now we're sitting in the garden, drinking (illicit - it's only thursday) beer - and - frankly- being smoked out. what the hell does he have on that thing? is he calling for help?

brined porkchops with grilled nectarines for dinner :)

i do love a pork chop...

Saturday, 26 June 2010

solitude

n's gone off to a stag do in brighton today (i know!) and i have had a rare day all to myself. well, myself and humph, who grew increasingly concerned as my telephone conversation with my mom grew near to, then exceeded established evening walk time. he thinks i'm inept, i swear. the huffing and puffing and long e.s.p-inducing stares toward the door - he's like an old man insisting that this modern stuff isn't music and it was all better when he was a pup and good grief, that's not how to dance - don't you know anything? anyways he got his walk, another lap for good measure at which point, arriving home, he promptly flopped over and has been asleep ever since. who knew altering routines would be so tiring?

i did not feel like swimming this morning despite the lovely weather (will i jinx it by writing about it?) being rather hung over (ahem) but i went anyways and had a fabulous swim. go figure. and then - wait for it - i worked on my dissertation - and even wrote something . will wonders never cease.

then i biked up to the farm - and - i biked up all the hills!! i mean, slowly, but hey. swimming has provided musculature! i'm still not thin (obviously) but my body is working better for sure. so much unexpected joy in this whole swimming lark. on the way back i detoured up to the shipright and had a yummy pint sitting on the creek bank watching the boats. a swan flew right past me - i could feel the wind from its feathers. magic.

when i got home i settled in for a good long catch up with my mom - i'm so grateful that long distance telephone rates are so reasonable - i don't think i could manage living so far away if it wasn't for the weekly connections with my mom. we dispense with the update section of our calls quickly and progress rapidly to the important topics of family gossip, yarn, politics, feminism, how crap i am at writing my dissertation, work, and bemoaning the hereditary apple body shape.

post call and walk, i cooked myself a fat farm porkchop for dinner - and i'm happily quaffing a very lovely rioja. bliss. n will arrive back in a little more than an hour - i've enjoyed my day of solitude.

although i did catch myself talking to myself sitting on the creek bank at the pub. i then proceeded to tell myself off (out loud). there's no hope.

Sunday, 20 June 2010

gooseberries!



(you know, i never realise how awful our kitchen tiles are, despite spending, oh, say 60% of my domestic waking hours there, until i see a picture. i must have learned to block them out or something. and no, of course i didn't choose them. yeesh.)

Thursday, 17 June 2010

in world cup news

switzerland beat spain (!!!) and today, greece beat nigeria. go figure. my colleagues eye my progression on the scoreboard with, if not awe, certainly respect.

i just tell em - i knows how to pick em

(yeah yeah i know its a random draw - irrelevant. this is world cup. we are wayyyyy beyond logic)

Sunday, 13 June 2010

another year older...

no wiser, just older. it's 20 to 11 on a sunday and not only am i not in bed, i've just poured another slug of ginger wine. tomorrow real life will crash in - i want to milk this lazy feeling.

i am officially 36 - i do love birthdays but as soon as they're over it's all - well, that wasn't so momentous, was it? 36. seems fake. 29 was like that too, but it seems the entire late 30's share the same unbelievability.

sooooooo.project approved at work so now i finally have something to be getting on with. and i was called late last week by an honest to goodness headhunter (all i could think about were cannibals which did somewhat leak sophistication out of the whole conversation) and we are talking later this week even though i already know i'm going to turn him down. but still. feather fluffing.

knitting: 6 squares and counting
swimming: missed today,but on thursday managed my first length-turn-length. it was inelegant, but it existed.
dissertation: oh god. *whimper* (RALLIES) it will be fine. yes, fine.

Friday, 11 June 2010

new mural




we finally put it up! (with a little help from our friends - thanks katie and guy!)

i love it.

Thursday, 10 June 2010

if you can't beat them join them

world cup fever has officially hit our office. the uk loses its collective head at world cup time - it really has to be seen to be believed. we have done the obligatory draw at work and it is unlikely that i will be recouping my fiver as i've drawn switzerland and greece (both with current odds of 125/1).

my cake turned out well :)

and my coworkers bought me lovely wine and chocolate for my birthday :)

go greece!

Tuesday, 8 June 2010

snazzy new swimming costumes


i love how the british say swimming costume. it makes me envision fully outfitted clowns or something in the pool.

anyways, turns out there are "pool suits" for regular swimmers which are suited to the chlorine in pools. the alternative, as i have discovered, is a swimsuit that rapidly thins, even during wearing. quite a startling feeling, i can assure you. i am now the proper owner of 3 snazzy "pool suits" - the one above is my favourite. i tried it out tonight and i positively swished through the water. then i messed up my breathing on the turn and nearly choked to death. i'm a very stylish and debonair swimmer as you can tell.

in other news i am baking a cake that had the temerity to call for 2 8 inch pans when all i have are 9 inch, so i winged it, and the result is mixed. I will have my work cut out for me frosting it tomorrow. may the goddess of straight cutting smile upon me. the cake is for me - it's my birthday on friday :) at work, we bring in goodies for our birthdays, or, in one man's case, when the spurs win a game.

and so to bed

Friday, 4 June 2010

wine tastings

1. nettle wine
making: argh. nettles. how exactly do you define a nettle tip? ouch. ouch. ouch.
bottling: hmmmm. maybe this will improve with age.
aging: OMG what was that noise? did something crash through a window? uh oh, another nettle wine bottle exploded....
tasting: first taste - this tastes like medicine. fifth taste - *hic* very strong medicine
verdict: probably good for vikings. hippy vikings.

2. cranberry wine
making: i am going to channel martha stewart and have the best thanksgiving evah.
bottling: go go go. i know, 2 weeks short, but thanksgiving waits for no one. i'm sure you won't be able to tell.
aging: unimpaired as was disgusting at thanksgiving. forgotten about for 8 months.
tasting: wow - this is drinkable
verdict: probably an accident

3. peach wine
making: peaches, yum. what could possibly go wrong?
bottling: is it just me or is this a little syrupy?
aging: you open it. no you open it. no you open it. isn't there some nettle wine we could have instead?
tasting: bland syrup. how is this possible? very alcoholic bland syrup.
verdict: stick it under the stairs maybe it will turn into schnapps.

4. elderflower wine
making: are we done yet? no - you will never be done. there are still 3 million teeny tiny flower heads to pull off of recalcitrant stems.
bottling: yum. juice.
aging: it's winter. elderflower is wrong. easy to age until the first sign of spring, then, - save it for summer! but - but - but
tasting: yummy. perfect for summer, but you'll never know because you have drunk all 5 gallons of it before the end of may.
verdict: *hic* hail hail the elder tree

elderflowers are out. tomorrow is our first picking day. the race is on.

Thursday, 27 May 2010

the best laid plans...

Monday, 24 May 2010

i want out!



it's monday. i'm at work. it's beautiful. i want to go outside! i want to be swimming! it's too nice to be in here.

on the otherhand i also want to be paid...

Saturday, 22 May 2010

funny pictures of cats with captions
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Friday, 21 May 2010

it's friday!!!!!

oh yes. a very friday sort of friday, the best kind.

i snuck out of work at 215 this afternoon (ok i didn't sneak - one of the advantages of being a contractor is that, on friday, at any time, you get to say, "see you monday" and no one is allowed to say anything but "have a good weekend". we don't get holiday or sick pay but we do get that). unfortunately "due to signaling problems in the gravesend area" my train sat at st pancras for 45 minutes, but i remained stoic, resolutely watching mad men episodes until my laptop ran out of battery.

the wool i'd ordered was waiting for me when i (finally) arrived home - and it is wonderful lovely strings of candy-like potential that i will doubtless fail to draw out, but it will be my first proper project, one that i am making up myself, and i don't care. i'm just excited and can't wait to have a go. or two or three or four.... i'll keep you posted until it gets monotonous. (just don't mention the hat)

two happy pints at the elephant in the late afternoon sunshine, and now out in our garden, admiring the frankly spectacular show of leaves the trees have put on this year. spring has been so late here - last year we were doing this in april, but now that it's here (please be here) it is worth the wait.

this weekend the forecast is sun sun sun. i don't have to work (get thee behind me, dissertation) and i plan on soaking up every last ray of it.

yay friday!

yay weekend!

yay exclamation marks! i know i use them too much but - hey!

!!

!

Wednesday, 12 May 2010

george osborne is the new chancellor

well sod that for a game of soldiers.

Tuesday, 11 May 2010

sigh

so we're under a conservative government for the first time in 13 years. i am ideologically opposed to most of what the tories stand for, and i really can't stand this lot. the only saving grace (maybe) is which way the coalition with the lib dems lines up, if it goes through. please, please do not let george osborne be chancellor. ideally, not in the cabinet at all. that would go some way to the soothing of my soul. it should be interesting to hear how the lib dem party reacts when nick takes it to them tonight - and maybe this is churlish, but i always suspected the lib dems to swing rightward when given the opportunity. that whole orange book business was the canary in the coal mine.

at the moment though i'm going to go to bed. i need to be up early tomorrow - i snooze-alarmed past two trains on monday morning and one train this morning and tomorrow i must get up or i won't make my early meeting. the temptation to open a (large) bottle of wine is nearly overwhelming but it is only tuesday and i'll be damned if i'm going to waste my weeknight abstaining on the bloody tories. anyways i'm going to the pub tomorrow for lunch (a "brainstorming working lunch"!) so i'll save my transgressions until then.

in nicer news, i finally got around to getting a reader's pass for the british library - it was easy, and they were very nice. i'm still intimidated to the point of squeeking but i assume this will pass. i do not think, though, that i will ever be cavalier about it.

i also have a swish new hair cut, first in 5 months. my hairdresser is a fantastic no-nonsense londoner, an island of sanity in an ocean of trendy london hair fashion. she held up one lank of hair, eyed me in the mirror and said, "it's been awhile." "yes" i agreed meekly. she eyed up the tress, did some internal calculations and said accusingly, "5 months". "really?" i tried to sound surprised. she gave me a look, but no more was said. and it does look lovely now. yay to good hairdressers. i love her especially because a) she doesn't talk much, and b) has never said i should think about getting highlights. so my hair is going white. big deal. i like it this way.

that was longer than intended. i am now going to bed.

Saturday, 8 May 2010

i know i should go to bed, but

- this is fun
- this is saturday
- i'll have to go to bed early for the rest of the week so i should take advantage of the opportunity to stay up
- there's still wine left
- it's nice to have time on my own

*yawn*

- i feel creative - maybe i'll have a fantastic idea that will give my life meaning for ages
- i need time to digest the events of the week
- i love this song
- i love this song even better
- i'm making plans
- i totally love this song

*air guitar*

*yawn*

WAAAA!!! I DON'T WANT TO GO TO BED !!!

*yawn*

and when, exactly, does the wisdom with age turn up?

Thursday, 6 May 2010

swimming tonight was
very.
hard.
work.
indeed.
i swear the only thing pulling me through the water was the vision of a juicy pork chop, new season asparagus and a glass of rioja waiting for me at home. this probably explains why i am not getting any thinner. well cry me a river. perhaps i will just embrace my belly fat although technically i suppose my belly fat is embracing me.

if the polls are correct then by tomorrow i will really have something to cry about. i will know if the tories get in by the wailing and gnashing of teeth from the flat above ours and if that sound reaches my ears i will turn off my alarm and snuggle into the duvet and possibly not bother getting up at all. for 4 years. (belly fat: "cool - that sounds good - endless breakfast in bed!" me: "no catering - you'd just waste (waist?) away" belly fat: "sod that. did you say there were pork chops?" )

sigh

on the up side, we're going to see gogol bordello tomorrow night at the hammersmith apollo - stall tickets. i'm going to dance like the fool that i am and abandon all decorum. or at least such decorum that remains after my 35 years on this planet (not alot in case you were wondering). and i found a library i'm allowed to join (post grads only! can't be me, but apparently is) that has all the books i could ever dream about for my dissertation. and it's asparagus season. (belly fat: "now we're talking")

here's what we'll be dancing to tomorrow:

Friday, 30 April 2010

she said yes!

after months and months of procrastinating ("i'll just get through this term..." "i'll wait to get this paper back..." "well this is the last term i'll just get this out of the way...") i finally got around to trying to disinvest myself of my assigned dissertation supervisor and getting the one i wanted. and she said yes!

thank you thank you thank you!

now i have alot of work to do as we are meeting on tuesday and i have no idea what the hell i'm writing about and i am supposed to have been thinking about this for the last 2 years.

details details

Sunday, 25 April 2010

spring



Sunday, 18 April 2010

amazing volcanic properties

Sunday, 4 April 2010

hoppy easter*

* favourite ale at margate beer festival last friday

after having cooked, then squaffed a (may i say so myself) really really good lunch, our friends having gone home to nap ("nap"?!), we are now outside in the garden for the first time this year, fire raging, humph all tucked up in a fleece blanket, listening to odd music (neal's player - mine ran out of battery). there's wine left over from lunch (oh happy days) and contentment runs high.

this easter weekend has been cold, rainy and windy. not at all what we had envisioned but probably what we should have expected, y'know, living in england and all. it was, however, perfectly conducive to staying in, napping, and getting all comfort food-y. risottos and carbonaras, curies and natchos. yum.

and today, i finally made a successful caramel (on the 2nd try). this was almost a disaster as i only had enough double cream for one batch of caramel and one batch of ganache (dark chocolate tart with salty-peanut caramel base - and yes, it was as good as it sounds). and, yes, i burned the first batch of caramel beyond belief. and then i STILL poured the cream in, thinking, (not believing) maybe it's SUPPOSED to be that way. there really is such a thing as being too open-minded.

so, no cream, no problem, this being 2010 and all, we'll just nip to the shops and pick up some more. except that due to some historic (hysteric) law, stores with more than a gnat's crotchet of floor space are not allowed to open on easter sunday in the uk, which knocked out the 2 main supermarkets. This left the small co-op ("smaller than a gnat's crotchet" - you heard it here first). we rushed (literally) to the shop, only to gaze upon an empty shelf bearing the sign "two for one double cream".

"maybe" we said to ourselves, "tesco won't really be closed and we can still buy double cream." neither of us believed this for one second but desperate times, desperate measures, and lo, our faith was rewarded . the tesco garage was open, and had two cartons of long-life double cream, which we snapped up with unseeming (and, undoubtedly to the cashier, inexplicable) haste. i will never understand the workings of uk supermarkets.

anyways 2nd time lucky, tart a triumph, and if anyone has further recipe suggestions for the pint of single cream (bought at the co-op just in case) or the pint of double cream (just in case i needed multiple caramel attempts) please let me know.

insurance cream. good grief.

Thursday, 1 April 2010

more for your childish amusement


Sunday, 28 March 2010

adopt a greyhound!

you know you want to...

Friday, 26 March 2010

and an unfortunate author name...


well of course it is!

"the sales boost that will now inevitably occur..." !!

Wednesday, 24 March 2010

Should you have kids?




Wednesday, 17 March 2010

funny pictures of cats with captions
see more Lolcats and funny pictures

i actually did this once. ok - not exactly, but with eerily similar overtones. and of course, i'm not a cat (i really shouldn't have to be drawing attention to this sort of detail).

the "well crap" moment i am referring to took place many years ago in my parents' house in vancouver. i still lived there so i must have been around 15. the house had an entrance on the ground floor, but the living area was on the first floor - reached by a rather steep staircase with one 90 degree turn about one-third up. there was a ceiling light above the bend, which had burned out.

my family is not the sort of family that have ladders. we don't really do diy, or gardening per se. i do, now sometimes, but growing up - these things were things that "dads in garages" did. we didn't have a garage, and if we did, my dad would have used it as ancillary book storage.

so the ceiling light had burned out, and it stayed burned out for lack of said ladder. one day, i decided that i could fix this without a ladder. i was home alone (a simple fact that would later have frightening and humiliating consequences) and bored. this was a fairly constant state of mind for me as a teenager which, looking back, would have been completely alleviated by the internet - but alas, it was 1989.

the reasoning behind my confidence lay in a thin dado rail that ran around the stairwell walls at the level of the top stair landing. i found that, in sock feet, i could balance one foot on each side of the dado railing and edge out over the stairs towards the light, crab-style. i held the replacement light bulb - gently - between my teeth, and edged out over the stairwell towards the light fitting, until i could grab it for balance. I unscrewed the defunct bulb and screwed in the new one.

"i must switch it on" i thought, and then realised to my horror that effecting the same maneuverer backwards was going to be rather more difficult - nay, impossible. i couldn't turn around on the narrow rail, and without something to grab for balance, i couldn't move without risking falling fifteen feet onto the steep staircase.

my parents, as i remember, were not as surprised as one might expect to return to their home and find their daughter balanced precariously 15 feet above the stairwell, spread-eagled, clutching the light-fitting and, it must be admitted, pretty pleased to see them. i don't remember them laughing at the time but i may have been too busy trying to get the circulation back into my numb feet.

i would love to say that's the only time i completely mis-judged spatial ratios but unfortunately that was only the beginning...

Sunday, 14 March 2010

swimming swimming

...in the swimming pool
hot days cold days in the swimming pool
front stroke back stroke fancy diving too
don't you wish that you could have
nothing else to do but...

a very good swimming lesson this morning - 15 minutes of uncoordinated humiliation followed by - eureka - by jove i think i've got it! my back stroke is now passable. needs practice but passable.

i feel euphoric after these lessons - it may be just be endorphin rush but i think the joy of the pool is part of it. i've always loved swimming - i was constantly being hauled protesting out of the water swearing blind through blue lips and chattering teeth that i was not cold and should be permitted to continue.

anyways this week i shall go after work and do the grown up lane thing and we'll see how that goes. until then, back to happy aching. (oh yes, muscles i didn't know i had - that would be pretty much all of them)

Wednesday, 10 March 2010

arggggghh

i'm disgruntled and i have no real right nor reason to be which is not helping. an almost sore throat that won't quite go away and days of carrot sticks and apples do not a gruntle make. or something. go ask aesop.

work - still boring. even though i have a bit more to do i am so used to being bored it's hard to snap out of it. the moment has passed. i'm so over it.

new exercise regime - see sore throat above. although i did walk for ages yesterday which should count.

new resolution to eat only carrot sticks or apples for snacks instead of the calorie festival of carbs i've been entertaining every (boring) afternoon at work - what was i thinking?? no wonder i'm bloody cranky. and i'm still fat and it's been 3 whole days. gruntle gruntle gruntle.

and i can't even drown my sorrows cause it's only wednesday and i will never never get thin(er) if i keep knocking back wine at this rate. you know how long you have to run to burn off a glass of wine? don't - it'll make you cry. srsly. both the knowledge and the running.

and it's still bloody freezing out.

phooeey. ptttttbbbbttt.

that is all.

Sunday, 7 March 2010

swimming lessons

literally. i just got back from my first lesson with jackie, a very patient woman who is endeavoring to teach me to swim properly. i can swim, like a fish - an ungainly fish with a propensity to cavort and do handstands. i thought i would just need a refresher on basic strokes that i learned as a kid, but it quickly became apparent that i have no idea what i'm doing. i have swallowed gallons of chlorinated water and i am already starting to ache in muscles that haven't been used for quite same time. i can certainly see why swimming is such good exercise - i'm exhausted!

i will now tuck into a marvelous full english breakfast that my beloved is cooking and undo all that hard work!

Sunday, 21 February 2010

not just genocide

this term i'm doing an intensive class instead of a weekly class. it's the last class of the degree requirement (!!!) so once it's done there's just the small matter of a dissertation to research and write (*cough*) and i will be done. the class is in international criminal law and comprises 3 hours last friday evening, 7 hours yesterday and 7 hours next saturday.

"that's a long time focusing on genocide" my partner sympathised.

"oh it's not just genocide", i chirped back brightly, without thinking, "there's rape and torture too"

these are the sort of conversations that give the wrong impression when overheard in the pub.

today was spent doing not a lot. i did exit the house to walk the dog and get a paper but other than that it was all about reading, bathing, vegging and snacking, and i'm thinking longingly about bed already (time 8:35pm). ahh bed. i keep up this pretense that i will be going up early "to read" but we both know this is optimistic at best unless i can read by osmosis through the book that's fallen on my face. if we slow down as we age i'll be stationary by 50.

it's a busy week ahead filled with activities that virtually ensure i'll be drinking good wine most evenings, thus finalising my thud off of the "no alcohol from mon - thurs" wagon. but it's february for gods sake. you do what you need to survive. can't all be genocide and torture you know.

Friday, 12 February 2010

p.o.v.

via feministing.com

the original ad (i know - ads - i'm sorry. trust me though :) )



and a great response:

Thursday, 28 January 2010

adbusters


this made me laugh.

sorry for the light postings - lazy, busy, lazy - hard to tell the difference sometimes.

i'm in the middle of a 19-day stretch doing moves on one of the floors in the main council building where i work - they're going amazingly well and i'm pleased but there's so much to keep in my head - i'm afraid it's leaking out all over the place. this morning i woke up at 630 am - wide-awake and slightly shivery, filled with the dread conviction that i had ordered one set of lockers too few for the property team. when i got to work i discovered that i had ordered the right amount. lockers. hardly life or death, and certainly not worth losing sleep over. like i said, my head's too full.

there's lots of fun in it too though. nothing that would translate to a page but moments all the time where you just have to laugh at what we humans can get up too. nothing like change to bring out our inner qualities!

Friday, 1 January 2010

blue moon and happy new year

it was a blue moon yesterday - that's gotta be an auspicious start to the new year and new decade. blue moons, in case you didn't know, happen when there are two full moons in one calendar month. here in the uk, last night's moon was hidden under angry clouds of sleet and obscured by howling winds, but tonight it is luminous (well of course it would be!) and huge. reminds me of a bruce cockburn lyric when he writes that "the moon was hanging so low in the sky it looked like it was trying to hatch us..."

makes me think of the singing mice in babe as well, they sang "blue moon". i am such a sucker for talking animals.

we had a good new year - we went to a dinner party at friends of ours in town. they cooked an amazing feast and we then proceeded to dance the old year out and the new one in beside a roaring fire. we're somewhat subdued today. i slept in shockingly late, then when i finally did get up i padded downstairs to get some melon slices and a cup of coffee and promptly crawled back into bed with a good book. ahh bliss.

it feels like sunday - complete with the back to school feeling that never quite leaves even though the original cause is long forgotten. i keep telling myself it's friday night but self isn't convinced by paltry calendar evidence. self will undoubtedly be elated tomorrow morning to wake up to saturday and not monday.

happy new year

may all your wishes come true (but only if they're good for you or at least really, really fun).