Sunday, September 30, 2007

Imogen's Hen Night among other things

Apologies for the lack of posts over the last couple of days, despite our internet being fixed. I've been away for the weekend staying with Imogen and a bunch of catapillars, sorry, friends for her hen night. We had a great girly night in - pizza, icecream, a film, and a sleepover. It was a lovely way to spend an evening, having great fun and catching up with old friends.

This morning I went to City Church, Cambridge (as Imogen lives near Cambridge) and got to catch up with some more friends, including Kat and Laurence who got married over the summer (one of the many weddings I've been to this year).
This afternoon I got to spend some time with Bex, another friend from university.

Sleepovers and chances to catch up with friends are great, just very tiring.

(The sofa you can see a little bit of is where I got to sleep, in case anyone is wondering how we got another person fitted in!)

Friday, September 28, 2007

Doing two things at once is not always a good thing

It can slow your computer down to a crawl and drastically increases the likelihood of totally forgetting what you were doing in mid-sentence, especially if

Wednesday, September 26, 2007

The funny way my brain works

It’s funny how little things can spark off memories. I just opened Microsoft Word for the first time in ages and the little paperclip ‘office assistant’ popped up as he is wont to do. I wanted to get rid of him because he was in the way of where I wanted to type so I right clicked on him. That made me notice the animate option, so just for fun I clicked on it and watched him do a few tricks. I was somehow whisked through time and space to be back in the room I lived in during my first year at university. I was sitting using Laurence’s laptop writing an assignment at the very last minute, so last minute, in fact that I was writing it through the night on a borrowed computer! (Laurence had pity on my and lent me his laptop so I could work in my room and not have to sit in the computer room in the middle of the night).

I clicked through the different assistants you can pick from – it starts up with the paperclip, but you can chose from a cat, dog, robot, or little old man. Actually on this version there are a couple of other options as well, but those were the ones I remember. I used to like having the dog one and would spent happy minutes distracting myself from the work I was meant to be doing. The robot definitely reminds me of Imogen, who also kindly let me use her computer to do an assignment, and I’m sure that’s the assistant she had (that’s right isn’t it, Imogen, if you’re reading this?) Actually, the song that’s just started playing also fits with that season of life. It sounds a bit like some of the songs on a CD I listened to over and over - If I ever find a copy of the CD ‘Hot Pop’, that I borrowed from Imogen on a long term basis, I will snap it up in a second.

[Talking of CDs, I really will try to bring the one I need to return to you this weekend, Imogen. I’m really sorry I’ve had it so long.] I’m looking forward to this weekend because I’m going to see some great uni people and have a lovely chilled out time.

Tuesday, September 25, 2007

why? why? why?

Why on the day the engineer comes does our internet work properly all morning?

Why on the next day does the internet not work all morning?

Why can I write perfect fantastic posts in my head, but when it comes to having a keyboard under my fingers, my brain freezes?

Why don't people ever go to the toilet in books?
Ok, so that's just one that's bugged me forever and I was going to write a whole post about it, but then figured that people didn't really want to read a post about people going (or rather not going) to the toilet. A bit like they didn't really want to read all that stuff about lorries when I had a lorry fixation. Well, fixation is putting it a bit strongly, I just spent a lot of time in close proximity to them, and there's not a lot else to think aboutvwhen you're driving along the M11. Well, apart from the cool pylons and the ....

Why does the internet always stop working just as soon as I get to the point where I want to publish my post?

Saturday, September 22, 2007


I just spoke to a real-life blogger (who is not a member of my family or church) on the phone.
Yes, I spoke to Blest. It was so cool. And my internet is working long enough to let me write this post, which is also cool, but not as cool as talking to Blest.
Yay yay yay.
Ok, really need to calm down so that I will sleep when I go to bed, but it's so exciting.

(Oh, and Blest, 'Sweet Home Alabama' was the film\movie (see what I did there?!) I couldn't remember the name of until straight after I put the phone down)


I'm going to talk to Blest today (assuming all goes according to plan), yay-yippee-yay!

Our internet is still off more than it is on, but we have an engineer coming on Monday.

HP and my Mum have arrived safely in Exeter.

We performed a packing miracle in the Micra this morning. I will be taking the bits we had to leave behind when I head for the West Country in a couple of weeks. I'm going for a hen weekend in Bristol, so I shall drive down to Exeter on the Friday and stay with HP overnight, and then drive back to Bristol for the weekend. I'm also pondering stopping off to visit my Grandparents in Cheltenham for a couple of days on the way home.

No pictures today because in the time it takes to upload one I might lose the internet connection!

Friday, September 21, 2007

One of those days

Today has been one of those days. The sort where the car (well, my Mum's car) has been making funny noises so you take it in to the garage and the guy says you have to leave it there at least until Monday and there's no way you can drive it over the weekend even though he's not going to be able to fix it until Monday at the earliest.

The kind of day where HP and I pack up all of HP's stuff because she is meant to be going back to Exeter tomorrow. And then because the car is out of action we have to think about how HP is going to get back to Exeter, and the idea of hiring a car is discussed, but eventually discarded in favour of them taking my Micra, which will be interesting since there is absolutely no way that all of HP's stuff will fit in my car.

The sort of day where you eat roast lamb for dinner and then have Christmas pudding for dessert.And then later on in the evening as I try to write this post the internet dies again so I have no idea whether I will even be able to post the post I am writing. Nope it's dead. My only hope is that it will come back soon and in the meantime it won't get deleted by accident.

Yay, internet. Quick quick...

Wednesday, September 19, 2007

I'm back, but who knows for how long

Our internet at home is still playing up, so this is being written during the wonderful moment of the day known as naptime. We've had a lovely if tiring day so far, so although I could quite happily curl up and you to sleep myself, I'm making the most of J having a rest to type a quick post.

Yesterday afternoon HP and I had a wander down Walthamstow market and found a great new purple rucksack for me (which we weren't exactly looking for, but just jumped out at us saying 'buy me, buy me now'), and a whole bunch of ribbon. We found a market stall which had little bundles, which are about 3metres long, which were 40p a go. We spent ages looking at all the different colours and widths and making our choice, finally settling on 10. I gave them to the guy running the stall to put them in a bag, and he told us for the same amount of money he'd let us have another 3, so we had to make all our decisions all over again!

In the evening I went to Little One's house to have dinner with his parents. We had a lovely meal and then him Mum and I popped out round the corner to the house of some friends of ours who had invited us round to have a go in the hot tub in their garden. It was a great way to spend an evening, just chilling out together. I think at one point we actually got 11 of us in there at once! If you ever get a chance to spend an evening in a hot tub, take it I'd say! HP (who was also there) took a couple of photos, so I might be able to put some up at some point, we'll see!

Tuesday, September 18, 2007


I will write a proper post. Our internet has been down most of the week (it was coming on for about a minute at a time and then would die again for another 3 hours). But my Dad rang up and apparently is has been recognised that there is a problem in this area and should hopefully be sorted out properly by tomorrow.

Sunday, September 16, 2007

Lord of the Rings

Is it just me, or does anyone else get confused between Perry and Mippen in the film version?

Saturday, September 15, 2007


not dead. That's me, I am.
Wow, that week went quick. It was good, just busy, and that combined with intermittent internet (grr modem grr) (that was me growling at the modem, not the modem growling, which would be weird) meant that many posts did not written. Will try harder this week.

Monday, September 10, 2007

The big done list

* Brought in the dry washing and hung the next load out on the line.
* Paid money in at the bank.
* Posted 2 'large letters'
* Bought a purple diary at the 99p store for, you've guessed it, 99p. Bargain I'd say.
* Didn't start looking for clothes, but did go into the newly renovated library (well, it was done a while back, but it was my first time in there) and learnt how to use the self issuing machines.
* Arranged to meet up with a long standing friend Joy-banana who is in London for one week only (makes her sound like some West End show!) before moving to Derby. We're meeting up tomorrow.
* Filed the packing slips. I'd been keeping them out becasue I need to put the amounts into a spreadsheet that can't currently be accessed because it's on the computer that is away being fixed. But then I realised I could put them in the folder so they don't get lost and are all in the same palce, and then input the data later!

The big to-do list

I'm sure as I lay in bed last night before I fell asleep that I thought of man ythings that needed to be done this week. Since already I can't remember half of those things I decided I needed a list, and since I ought to have written the list and got out already, I thought I might as well make it a blog post too! That was I can have the fun of ticking it off later, although I don't think you can do that crossed out writing trick on blogger like you can on other types of blog.
Anyway, it's my tackle it Tuesday, but on Monday.

* Pay money in at the bank
* Post two parcels. Actually they're large letters - it pays to know your classifications in the UK postal system, as large letters cost less than parcels.
* Buy a diary
* Start looking for clothes to spend my tokens on (leaving present from school people)
* Buy petrol
* Do my tax return
* Go plum picking (possibly on Wednesday with HP)
* File packing slips from books sold
* Washing line (bringing in dry stuff, hanging out wet stuff..)

Hmm, sure there was more stuff, but that's certainly enough to be getting on with.

Sunday, September 09, 2007

In which I scream like a girl

[WARNING, probably not a post to read if you've just eaten. Or are squeamish. Or don't like the thought of something nasty in the woodshed]

I sell books on amazon. Not many books, and not for huge amounts of money. But every once in a while an email comes through from amazon telling me a book has sold, and I get to search on my 'books for sale' bookshelves and find the book, print the packing slip, stick it in a padded envelope, stamp on my 'white elephant' return address (that's my amazon seller name) and take it to the post office.

All well and good, especially since we have lots of padded envelopes and brown paper which have been collected over the years my parents have been married. For example, yesterday I wrapped up a book with some wrapping foam and brown paper (we didn't have an envelope that was quite the right size, and I hate using ones that are too big because that feels like a waste of materials!).

The brown paper was obviously from a large parcel, and on it was the original address label. It was addressed to my Mum, at the house they lived at before this one. The house they moved out of when Bekki was 9 months old. That's when I was minus two. That's a long time ago. We have lots of padded envelopes and brown paper (although not as many as we have before I started selling books. I've sold at least 100 books. In that time I think I've bought two packets of padded envelopes and haven't actually used any of the ones I bought, just got them because I couldn't resist buying 6 for 99p in the '99p store')

I have a number of envelopes in my office (well, the front room, where the computer is and one of the bookcases of books for sale) but I couldn't find one that was the right size for the book that I needed to pack up (remember my need to use envelopes that are the right size to avoid wasting materials). So I headed for the understairs cupboard where the rest are kept.

Having started to rummage I began to smell a certain smell. It sort of smells a little bit like a gas leak, but not quite. I had a feeling that I recognised that smell after experience I'd had already this week (which I won't go into because it wasn't at my house and I don't want to embarrass the people whose house it was). I said to my Mum "That smells like... . If I find ... I warn you I will scream".

I finally got all the junk\stuff\boxes\vacuum cleaner\plastic bags\rags (yeah, the next job is to tidy the cupboard and put all the stuff back neatly) and pulled out the box with the envelopes. The smell got even stronger. I looked in the box. I screamed very very loudly. I dropped the box. I was shaking. I had to go wake up my Dad to come and move the box (Since I'd screamed and dropped the box my Mum wasn't too keen to just dive in there and look, she preferred to wait for him to come and sort things out).

It was a dead mouse. Dead enough for there to be maggots. Lots of maggots. We decided that perhaps we don't need to keep that box anymore. Or those envelopes. We have plenty elsewhere.

I think in the time it's taken me to type this I have now stopped shaking. I'm really sure that I want to go back and finish tidying the cupboard, but on the up side my Mum said it doesn't really smell in the cupboard, which logically suggests that there aren't any more dead mice in there. I guess once I'm totally calm I'll probably cope with that sort of logic. After all, I was the one that started pulling all the stuff out of the cupboard. And on another note, does anyone have any good ideas for storage that work in under stairs cupboards?

(The picture was taken one day on holiday. HP and I was sitting in the car and decided to take pictures of us making various different faces. This one was meant to be worried or shocked, I can't really remember. But I thought it fitted the post!)

Saturday, September 08, 2007


Is 'bactericidal' even a word?(As seen in a service station toilet, somewhere between Cheltenham and Rumford, Cornwall)

Friday, September 07, 2007

Me on the beach

I took this of myself while sitting on the beach on one of our two beach days on holiday. I like it.

Thursday, September 06, 2007

Do you know the way to San Jose?

No, but I do know that someone from San Jose read my blog, or at least surfed in whilst search for the words of a particular song. With reference to that post, it has quite a comment following (I think we're up to 10 now, with countless others checking in and not commenting. You may not comment, but the sitemeter tells me people, so next time you come over from Google be courteous and say hi.) I think I'm providing a service to the whole world wide web by leaving that post up. Every so often I get freaked out by sheer numbers of visitors to my blog (well, that post) and consider taking it down, but what would the people do then, huh? Anyway, the point I was trying to make when I distracted myself, was that some kind person has left a comment telling everyone what the chords are. So go check out the post if you always wanted to pay that song but never quite knew how. Better still, if you wanted to play that song. You could always pay me instead.

Still not totally sure why or what I'm blogging, just know that I want to do it. Hey, maybe this post will beat my record for self-referring links, not that I know what that record is, or that I particularly want to beat a record that I may or may not own already, I just thought that would be something to say.

I don't like how big the font is on this blog. Maybe I should investigate learning how to fiddle with things like that, although it took me several weeks to adjust my mental picture of how different blogs fit together in the jigsaw that is bloggyville when both Bekki and Kathleen moved their sidebars over to the other side of their templates. So maybe I am best sticking with what I've got. Does anyone else have that sort of mental picture about where blogs are and how you get to them? For me it's like doors I suppose, so if the door is moved from the right hand side of the screen to the left it makes the location of that blog move. Ok, so it's probably just me then. I think it's to do with the way I think. I'm good at remembering where something is if I've seen it, or just where in the box\boot of the car I've packed something. In the same way I remembered a certain blog to be in a particular place relative to other blogs, so if it's moved it confuses me. (No worries Bekki and Kathleen, I've got used to it now, but just took me a while! Maybe give me some warning if you're gonna do something like that again!)

Hmm, this post was going to be about the cool things I get to do when I walk B to and from school, but other things came out of my fingertips instead. Must get the connection between brain, fingers and keyboard checked again because I think there's a malfunction.
Maybe I'll post those thoughts tomorrow.
Oh also, will put up holiday pictures soon, just am posting this while J naps (at his house not mine, therefore my holiday pictures not available).

Tuesday, September 04, 2007

What is the point of having a blog?

Bear with me on this one. I just wrote a very long and rambling post in my head while washing up, the problem is I can't actually remember any of it.

I'm having a blog crisis. I don't really know what my blog is for. As a result I haven't really blogged anything much lately. My blog is called It's my Life, but it clearly isn't (about my life).
Let me just throw out a little reader poll. If you blog, what do you blog about and why? Don't feel obliged to answer, but if you do it might help me in trying to figure out the function of my blog.

Once I'm in Texas I can see that blogging will be my way to let all the folks back home know that I'm alive and that the crazy blogging woman and her family haven't killed me (All due love and respect to you Blest, I mean crazy in the kindest possible way!). In the meantime I've stopped working at school, a job that I wasn't enjoying a huge amount, but at least it was a job. I'll still be looking after B and J on a Wednesday, at least for the next little while, but that is all that's fixed on my calender.

While I was still at school the thought of having some time off was a great one, it just turns out I'm not very good at motivating myself if I'm on my own. A fact I think I did really know, but had pushed to the back of my mind. If there's something to do, then I will do it, but if there's nothing that's immediate, then I can have a tendency to flick through the channels on TV and see how many episodes of Scrubs it's possible to watch in one day. Actually that wasn't necessarily my intention from the start, it's just the way it turned out. I need to take myself in hand and have a big plan about what needs doing or can be done, and when I'm going to do it.

On our old old (been replaced twice) computer there was a way to create a layout of each month on an A4 sheet. Basically a calender, but because the month took up the whole page the boxes for each day were big. I need to generate myself a couple of those for September and October and then put stuff on them and stick to it. Otherwise all my vague visit people, go on a plane for the very first time (don't get me started on that one), pick plums, tidy my room, lose 10lbs stuff isn't going to happen. And the months will go by and I'll wonder just what I was that I did with my time.

I don't really know where I'm going with this post. Does anyone have a clue? I try to be me, and write me stuff, but is that actually what comes across? To me it seems like all I've written lately is trivial stupid stuff, and not really me at all. Except, of course, the whole telling everyone I'm going to Texas. And that is scary. There are so many things that need to be done before I go (visa, flights, insurance to name a few big ones) and I'm not even sure I've even thought of what they all are, let alone done them. I really really really want to do this, and I'm not really worried about being there, it's just all the stuff to do before I get there.

I'm not scared of going on a plane, I'm scared because I've never been on a plane, and therefore have never been in an airport (apart from picking up or dropping off someone). I don't know how it all works, how you know where you have to be when, what you can and can't take in your hand luggage, and all those kinds of things. The whole being in a plane hanging in the sky is actually pretty cool! Think of the pictures you could take, if you're actually allowed to have a camera on a plane, which I doubt.

Likewise, living in a country I don't really know much about and with people that I have never met before doesn't scare me, or at least not yet. It's all the millions of things I have to do before I can get that far. Like something I thought of today - how does driving in the US work so far as driving licences? Can I use my licence, or will I have to do a test in the US. Come the that, how do you drive if your car is the other way round? Is the gear stick on the other side? Will I have to totally retrain my hands to do things the other way round? Or do they mostly have automatics? How how do you drive one of them?

Ok, too many questions, and no where near enough answers. I think I'd better stop there. If you know any of the answers that would save me a ton of time trying to pick the right phrases to feed into Google, especially since our modem is very temperamental at the moment.

Edited to add: I googled and found a thing to generate calanders with one page a month just like I described, and I'm printed off the next three months, including September, and am about to start filling in the stuff I do know about.

Monday, September 03, 2007

What's the point of having a blog..

...if you can't use it to embarrass people?

For example this is the first time Edwin (centre) has ever played twister. He made quite a good job of it actually.

Also featured we have [L-R] Maria (with no head), Fran, and Jo in pink.
Who could ever say that mid-week church meetings were boring?!