Wednesday, 30 December 2009

It's a toss up between when Santa burned his bum coming down the chimney or when we dared to diss Delia...

Greetings blog readers! Hope you all had merry merry times over the festive period. I'm not quite sure how it happens but there is of course, a tale to tell from Dizzland. And here it beginneth...

It should probably begin with a quick point that Wavey and I have become roomies. Yep, on Christmas Eve I began the (still ongoing) move from my house to his. It's not far. About 3 minutes walk so the moving is not really a great hardship. But it is hugely exciting! We're having a lovely old time, 6 days in and all is rosy (insert big wide grin/barf in sick bucket here at loved up bliss)

Christmas day rolls around. This is a big day. The Dizz parentals are coming to the Dizz/Wavey house for the festive dinner. Proceedings are expected to kick off around 12.30pm. Except that proceedings kicked off around 6am when the heating very loudly announced itself with the biggest loudest GURGLE you have ever heard. Of course it woke us up and we did that thing where you look quizzically at each other, shrug your shoulders and go back to sleep. Perhaps we should have paid more attention.

I'd watched about a gazillion cookery programmes so had all these exciting plans afoot for the big meal. And not a lot of them involved Delia. I'm sure you'll remember a couple of years ago the gruelling Delia schedule that involved getting up at stupid-o-clock and doing untold things to the turkey and its backside. So this year I was going rebel. Not following Delia. This was a bad bad thing to do.

Around 9am we noticed that the house had started to become rather chilly. Oh no bother we say, we'll just boost the heat up. Presses button. Not a lot happens. Let's not worry too much, we'll just carry on opening presents and drinking tea. About an hour later Wavey was off visiting his family peeps when the scariest noise I have ever heard shrieked its way out of the utility room. And I exaggerate not when I say shrieked. The boiler was literally squealing. I was, to put it politely, shit scared. I ran in there and just looked at it hoping for some divine intervention. As none was forthcoming (perhaps it was the repetition of the words shit shit shit that put them off...?) I did what seemed the best option, hit the off button and ran away from the boiler eeping and eeeking and grabbing for my phone to text Wavey telling him to come home RIGHT NOW as the boiler was having a meltdown.

So summing up. Christmas Day. Parentals coming for lovely dinner. Boiler broken. Snow on the ground outside. Temperatures below zero. Boiler broken. No heating. Hmmmm. But would we be beaten? Would we heckers! I texted my ma alerting her to the loss of heat, told her to pack her extra vest and slippers and valiantly carried on! Much to the delight of us all the dinner went perfectly, the soup rocked, the turkey was possibly the best looking bird at the party, my chuck it all in and see what happens trifle was deeelish, the mince pies were cooked to perfection, the coffee was good (cheers Pops!) and the port was, erm, very warming! My dad had about 3 helpings of everything and proffered the rarely given 7 out of 10 mark, wow-sers! My ma claimed the best seat in the house, right in front of the roaring fire, and a jolly good day was had by all!


Due to the many Bank Holidays that mean we get lots of yummy holidays from work, we had to wait until today for the boiler man to arrive. In the meantime we spent a lot of time snuggled up by the fire (grin/barf...you know the drill) I've cooked up some cracking warming food, including my curried turkey broth on Boxing Day which was blooming deelish - the pan was almost licked dry!

And we've just got on. To be fair, I wasn't really expecting to move into an igloo. But it's been lots of fun. Our nearest and dearest have enjoyed lots of our company as we've popped round saying ooooh warm house everytime we've walked in a door. But you know what? It's been absolutely deeeelicious having the heating on today. All day. Oh yes! I was even, oh wow, sat in just a vest top this evening after dinner as was experiencing a rather rosy glow! Amen to that boiler man, he might just have been the best Christmas present ever. Then again, no, greatest thanks be to my kind friends the Cullens, who bought me the things that have truly kept me toasty roasty warm - the funkay bootie slippers that are all the colours of the rainbow in spots and stripes. I would insert a photo but Wavey's pc just crashed at the attempt so perhaps not eh?

And thus endeth the tale. It all worked out just dandy in the end. But just in case, we're very sorry Delia. We will always ALWAYS follow your Christmas dinner schedule from now on. Without fail. Please don't steal the heating anymore...

Happy New Year everyone!

Thursday, 24 December 2009

Merry Christmas

I'm so lucky! I just had to boast about how gorgeously cute my new puppies are. Dizz and Tizz met them yesterday, as did Wavey, and there was lots of girly squealing, although not from Wavey of course. Words don't do their cuteness justice so here are more photos.

This is Basil playing tug-of-war
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This is Chewbacca just being cute
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and this is both of them killing a toy cow.
Basil and Chewy


I'm in serious danger of becoming a puppy-bore, which is like a baby-bore, but without the agonising hours of labour to justify it. Basil does this really adorable thing when he forgets to put his tongue back in, and just leaves a little bit sticking out. He's really fiesty and inquisitive, where Chewy is totally chilled and laid back. They had their first injections yesterday and neither of them cried at all. I was so proud! Ridiculous really, but just take another look at Chewy's photo and tell me you wouldn't just love them to bits too!

Anyway. Ahem. So it's Christmas eve, and I've got a most excellent day planned for tomorrow. I bought a lobster and some crusty bread and I'm going to have a lobster butty for lunch. And probably another one for tea. Call me a heathen, I don't care, none of your turkey and trimmings or Christmas pud for me. I intend to enjoy the decadent simplicity to the max. I'll watch all the corny old films on telly, play with the pups till they're falling down tired, then do the pressie thing later on.

A merry, merry, safe and happy Christmas to all you lovely peeps in blog land.

Tuesday, 22 December 2009

12 days of Christmas

That would be 12 days holiday. Beginning at 4.30 this evening, I will be literally running out the door, possibly woooooping with joy at the prospect of 12 whole days off from libraryland - truly, is there anything better? And in that time there are BIG plans afoot (but more about that in another post) First and foremost I'll be spending lots of time with my loved ones. I'll be going to Fizz's to meet the new pups (so excited and trying to contain the squeals of SO CUTE that will inevitably escape), Tizz is coming home for a whole week - woooooop! There are exciting films coming out at the cinema (Sherlock Holmes anyone - Robert Downey Jnr, oh so dirty yet oh! so! gorgeous!), there'll be presents (if I've been a good girl - snicker snicker) and too much food and lots of being drunk...ain't holidays grand!

In case I don't get a chance to blog again here's wishing all you lovely readers the most Happiest of Holidays, have fun relaxing times, mwah! X

Tuesday, 15 December 2009

Oh woe is me

Today is really sucky. In fact that doesn't even begin to cover it. It's beyond sucky. Uber-sucky. Think about the suckiest ever and multiply it. I woke up with a slight tummy ache, didn't think too much about it as that often happens, usually because I've slept a whole 8 hours and am so starving I could eat everything in my cupboards. But today it didn't go away. I carried on my normal day though as today was my team Christmas lunch at work and I was so looking forward to it. Bangers'n'mash followed by apple crumble and custard, an alcoholic beverage bought by the boss, sitting with my lovely team peeps chitting the festive chat...until I had to get off the bus and throw up in the street. Yep, you read that exactly right. HUMILIATED!

I'm sat on the bus in this giant queue of traffic, bored, staring out the window, listening to my ipod as usual. Until I went really hot. Then really cold. Then I knew I was going to be sick. Except the bus was stuck in the traffic light hell that is the new system. So I'm pressing the bell, doing deep breathing trying to calm myself down. As we approach the bus stop I'm feeling really green, the bus is packed so I'm squeezing my way past all these people who aren't moving when my ipod buds are ripped out of my ears as they get stuck round some random man's jacket buttons...and all the while I'm silently saying don't throw up yet, don't throw up yet. I finally managed to get myself off the bus in sufficient time to do said up-chucking. As if the act itself is not traumatising enough, to have no choice but to do it in the street is just beyond hideous.

Shaken and nearly crying cos I really really hate being sick , it dawned on me that I wasn't going into work today. Which meant missing my much anticipated Christmas festive fun. Bum-mer. And as if that wasn't bad enough, my kindly ma, ringing me up to see how I am, has just managed to frustrate me to the point where I snapped so now I've upset my mam. This is just not acceptable. Today is awful. Can I send it back and get a refund please cos it doesn't fit very nicely at all.

Before I do any further damage I'm switching off from the world. Here's to a better tomorrow. Please. With a cherry on the top.

Thursday, 10 December 2009

Teeny Dalek

Lookee what I made. It's teeny, only about an inch and a half high. I love it! And so easy to make, it's just felted wool. Just had to share it with blogger-land.

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Sunday, 6 December 2009

Puppy Update

So many things to blog about! I followed Dizz's lead and made some things for Upcycle Christmas, nothing as gorgeous as Dizz's creation so I won't shame myself by blogging them. If you're interested my Folksy shop is called NothingNew.

Anyway, the reason for the blog is I went (by train via Newcastle) to visit my brother yesterday and of course saw the soon-to-be-mine puppies. While I was there my sister-in-law's friend Tina came round. Bear in mind I had never met this woman before. She gave me the cutest little house for Basil and Chewy! I couldn't believe it! Apparently she had been thinking about taking one of their sisters, and had bought the little house for her, then decided against it. Bless!

So here they are trying it out...


Note to self: never travel by train through Newcastle on a Saturday night again.

Saturday, 5 December 2009

Christmas busy-ness

This year it's all about the Christmas baking and cooking. I don't know what it is but I'm so into it, I'm making as many yummy treats as I can find. The first one had to be the Christmas cake as it's the one that needs to be "fed" the brandy to make it taste extra yummy. I made it in the middle of November and this week saw the icing of it. Luckily I had the lovely T to help me come and do it. First up was the unwrapping of the cake:



The next thing we had to do was patch up the cake with the marzipan. It was sheer coincidence that we had bits left at the end that just had to be eaten!



Here's the cake fully covered in its marzipan coat:



The most fun of all was colouring the white icing. During the red I really wanted someone to take a photo and text it to Wavey saying nooooo Dizz has been cut! But no-one would. I still think it looks like blood though:



To make the icing stick to the cake you have to melt apricot jam and paint it on:





Several hours of concentration later, we had one sparkle mountain, two ski-ing penguins, one drunk snowman, one fabby Christmas tree, several presents and boootiful snowflakes all round the edges - ta dah!



Upcycle Christmas

A few weeks ago I blogged about the Upcycle Competition. The concept behind the idea was that you collected 5 items from your local Sue Ryder store for free, upcycle them into something fabulous, sell it on Folksy and all the proceeds go to the Sue Ryder charity. I thought that was a truly great idea so set about getting my stuff and making it fabulous. The end result is now ready and is awaiting the start of the auction to see if anyone else will think it is. I would describe it as a bit out there, but it's along the lines of the kind of things I love to wear so I'm hoping that there's someone out there just like me (except they're a size 10 cos that's what size the skirt is!) But enough chit chat, here come the visuals!






So there you go! Please be kind should you be inspired to comment...
Italic

Sunday, 22 November 2009

Crafty!

Fizz and I had our crafty afternoon today. Started off by deciding what to make - flowers and rosettes were the order of the day and Fizz had just the book for it. Having never done anything like that before we supposedly started off small - the first thing took me nearly 2 hours to make!! But look-ee at the end result:


Proof that it was actually me who did it and not Fizz, who is, as we know, the most craftiest of us all:



The best thing about this is that it's especially for Christmas as the flower says Merry Christmas and it's all red and green and festive-tastic and will look simply sooper against a black dress that I now need to buy for Christmas Day!




The other one that I attempted was supposed to be a corsage but ended up being a bobble instead - oh pretty! I'm thinking that this is definitely going to be in my hair at work tomorrow so please feel free to pass on compliments, hehe:



That was as much as we got done due to the first Christmas flower taking so long but I had so much fun! And now I'm feeling all inspired for my Upcycle so will do some work on that this week. Will keep you posted.
Over and out x


Friday, 20 November 2009

9 weeks

Ha! Bet you thought this was going to be some pervy post that is just half a week less than the infamous 9 and a half Weeks fillum...but you would be wrong. It is in actual fact the amount of time I have spent at my secondment. And today is the last day!

It's been a weird old time. Initially there was excitement. It was something new! I had escaped from libraryland, which was so badly needed it was untrue, and exciting times were ahead. One week in and boredom hit. Big style. The sad fact is that there's been nothing to do here. And so I've done what many people believe librarians get paid to do: read lots of books. And perfected my hand-eye co-ordination by playing lots of online games. But it's not all been bad. I've had a chance to schmooooooze with lots of people from the university that I would never have met should I have stayed in libraryland. And I've used new systems and I've met new people. All these things are very positive. Plus we've been working in a huge office with actual windows that you can see out of! And natural light flooding in, so much so, that we often have to close the blinds against the glare of the sun. It's been truly fabby to be here in Autumn when we've watched the trees turn red and gold before starting to drop their leaves and show their nekkid branches (naughty) ready for Winter. So today we depart.

Packed our desks up today and our side of the office looks all sad and bare. Well it would if we hadn't have come in to some wonderful gifts this morning. A beautiful orchid plant each (no mention of the b-word allowed Fizz!) and a card saying thank you, and bestest of all, a GIANT FRENCH FANCY cake - oh oh oh! And of course we had to have a tale for the last day and what a surprise, it involved travel. I was running late as had slept in, texted T to let her know I'd be on the next train, she texts me back, train not turned up, she's in car so she'll come pick me up. Then hit the armageddon rain which was only seemingly in far-off T-land as where Dizz lives was a beautiful day! Then we get closer to work and there were 3 horses running backwards and forwards across a very busy road, clearly escaped from a field somewhere and very very frightened. Slowing down to practically crawling speed we managed to get past them without incident and only arrived in work 15 minutes late, not too bad at all!

And so endeth the secondment. Mixed feelings abound. I'm really going to miss the windows, libraryland is oh so dark with its forced lighting and no visible windows near my desk. And I'm going to miss our colleague J too, as she's really rather lovely and we've had lots of fun in the past few weeks...but it will be nice to return to a place where work happens - what a novelty! I definitely won't miss the walk to the bus stop, the early bus, the walk from the bus stop down to the station (often a trot or all out run if late), or the train that sometimes doesn't turn up due to vandalism or leaves, and the looooooong walk from the station to the campus that in rotten weather (which we've been having a lot of) is simply hideous.

So fare ye well secondment. Thanks for having me. Of all the things that I could say about it, I will end on this: it provided rescue when I was sinking, in a libraryland that is descending, and for that I shall always be grateful.

Wednesday, 18 November 2009

Bounce!

I was sat on the train this morning, and rather than have my nose buried in my book which is the usual thing, I decided I'd enjoy some choons and gaze out of the window. I spotted a big trampoline and thought, oh look, there's one like my grotbags have but without any sides...oh and there's another one...and another one...and then I couldn't help myself, I was counting. And do you know how many I saw? 11. Yep, on that short 20 minute journey I went past 11 giant trampolines! Some of them had the netting covers, some of them were just open, 3 were right next door to each other - I had visions of the kids playing on them and chatting over the garden fence - up down bounce up down chat up down bounce up down gossip...but I think the oddest one of all had to be the one that was seemingly abandonned right in the middle of a giant field. The only other occupant of the field was a horse. Now I know horses are intelligent beings, and I'm sure they require lots of exercise, but trampolining? How? Why? What??

Sunday, 15 November 2009

Wanna see my puppies?

A long long time ago I blogged about my dream of having one or two little dogs, I even got as far as working out names for them: they were to be called Basil and Chewbacca. About two weeks ago two tiny little furballs came into the world, already saddled with these cute but probably inappropriate names. And this weekend I went to visit them for the first time. They still haven't opened their eyes and they can't walk yet but they already have definite characters - Chewbacca is a bit of a boisterous boy but Basil is just chilled and laid back, totally unlike his namesake (Basil Fawlty).

So, here they are... introducing Basil and Chewy!



They look like teeny tiny rottweilers at the moment, but they are actually yorkshire terriers, this is their mum, Sian.

Sian is pretty small and so is their dad, so it's likely that Basil and Chewy will be fairly dinky too. I can't believe how small they are at the moment, but apparently they're already twice the size they were when they were born. Incredible.

I don't want to sicken you blog readers with gooey loviness, but aren't they adorable! Their favourite thing is to crawl inside my top and compete for a spot just above my heart. They also love having their tummies rubbed. Their paws are so soft and velvety, and you should see how cute they are when they yawn! I can't wait to have them with me all the time.

Tuesday, 10 November 2009

Heeeeeerrrrreeee's winter!

Just last weekend, Wavey and I were doing outdoor jobs in a teeshirt and vest-top respectively and today? Well today it was -1c on the car. Say what? Did we miss Autumn out? I know I remember watching the leaves on the trees outside turn from green to golden orange and red and now nothing, but I didn't suspect Winter would come upon us so quickly. It's such an essentially British thing, to complain about the weather. So I'm not going to do that. I'm simply reporting that chuff me, it's COLD! And I had to get out my winter coat, my pashmina scarves and my new pink gloves, armed and ready to face it head on!

For all, sheesh it's cold statements though, I have to say I love Winter. I truly do. You can see some beautiful scenery as you're driving/walking/public transporting to work. Yesterday as I was driving I was spending more time admiring the frosty fields and gorgeous orange and pink hued sky than I was watching the cars in front (note to self: not good plan). And I love all the clothing paraphernalia that comes with cold weather, cosy scarves, funky hats, gloves in every colour of the rainbow, thick socks, chunky boots...

Because I love it so I'm going to do a list of what I love best and then I'd like you dear readers to add your comments below of what you love/loathe about the coldest season of all. Okay? Here we go then:

1. Cooking up soup every Sunday to enjoy with crusty bread
2. Sitting by the roaring open fire snuggled up with Wavey
3. Sunday afternoons curled up on the sofa with a mug of hot choc and a good book
4. Weekend walks that turn your cheeks rosy
5. Room temperature red wine to give you that cosy glow
6. Christmas!
7. Sparkley frosty fields
8. Snow! Well you never know...
9. Winter food like casseroles and mash and gravy and all things carbohydrate-tastic
10. Snuggling up in a warm duvet when it's freezing outside

And now for the things I don't like:
1. Public transport woes - happens every winter, this morning I waited 20 minutes for a bus, missed my train so had to wait a further 15 minutes for the next one in a freezing cold waiting room and then the 15 minute walk from the station to work in a freezing drizzly rain, nasty!
2. Being cold at work - every year the same. Layers are the key to surviving
3. Sleet - the very thought of it chills me to the bone

That's as many as I can think of for now. I'm sure there's more in both categories. Over to you...

Thursday, 5 November 2009

Pretty in Pink

We've come over all crafty on the blog at the moment as both Fizz and I are entering the Upcycle Christmas competition. Fizz being the more genius with the crafty stuff has already made about 3 things whereas I'm just evolving my idea for my items.

Quick rundown of the competition is that you got a voucher to go to a Sue Ryder shop, pick out any 5 items, and upcycle them for auction. These are the 5 items I picked:

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When I was looking around choosing what to pick I knew that the denim skirt would be the basis and the various other items that I got would be added to it in order to make it upcycled and funkay (always a requirement!) This is my jotted down plan so far:

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And my inspiration? Well it has to be the character of Andie in Pretty in Pink:

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Hideous prom dress aside, all my items are shades of pink, the skirt is so 80s in its bleached out loveliness, the handbag is so going to turn into a detachable bum bag...it would be a dream come true for Andie. I'll blog my progress as it's going to be most amusing to see if I can actually make my idea happen all by myself. Wish me luck!

Monday, 2 November 2009

The weekend in pictures

First things first, yummy treats from our local bakery to celebrate Hallowe'en:

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Continuing on with the yummy treats, I made my very first meal in my brand new tagine, introducing Adventures in Moroccan cookery:

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We made spicy meatballs in a tomato sauce and they were absolutely bloomin' delicious!

For once Wavey actually found himself in the correct pair of socks on the first day:

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And because it was November 1st yesterday we were allowed to have the first fire of the cold dark nights. I built my very first fire:

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And look how it burned!

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And more:

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Ain't the weekend grand?

Friday, 30 October 2009

Cirque du Freak-ing Awful

I'm going to stop suggesting film choices. Last night we went to see Cirque du Freak - The Vampire's Assistant. Possibly an odd choice, I admit, but it's all about the vampires at the moment so we thought why the heck not. Turns out, big why not. It was awful! And because it was so bad, it felt like it was never going to end. My body started doing that thing where everything just aches cos really all you want to do is get up out of the cinema seat and leave the utterly awful film (which several people did might I add) I wouldn't have felt so bad except that it was me who suggested we watch it and both Fizz and Wavey came along as well.

When I read the premise on the cinema guide it sounded fun, dark and fantastical with special effects and the most important element, vampires. Perhaps I should have guessed when I read a review of it saying that it was a bit too grotesque for children and a bit not enough for adults...I should have been put off, but I foolishly carried on and paid for my ticket. Oh talking of tickets, most excellent. I'm still awaiting my student discount card, that as an employee in a higher education institute I'm fully entitled to, which means cheaper cinema nights. I was outraged when I got closer to find that a full price ticket is £6.80! Nearly £7 people to go to the cinema! That is at 2 and 3/4 pints if a night of drinking was being done instead of cinema. Anyways, I said to the nice cinema desk guy, I've got a dead student card if that counts for anything, and he gave me the much more friendly student rate of £5.20. As I walked towards Fizz and Wavey triumphant they were just shaking their heads asking the always asked question: how did you do that...? I don't know my lovelies, that's the charm of me I guess.

And so back to the film. Awkward teenagers, Salma Hayek growing a beard (!), evil little Gollum-like creatures who seemed to pop from evaporated vamps, comedy spiders, all in all it was freaking awful. Lesson learned: don't go to the cinema in half-term holidays as clearly all films are aimed at grotty teenagers/snotty children. Is it wrong that I still want to go and see The Fantastic Mr Fox...? Any takers? Anyone...

Monday, 26 October 2009

A day of observations

Travelling by public transport is one of my favourite things to do, which is lucky as in my current commute I get a bus, a train, and a hop-skip-jump 15 minute walk. When it's cold and wet and you've been standing waiting for a bus for half an hour and then 4 turn up at once it can be slightly annoying, but for the most part, you truly do get to see life and all its glories. Today was just one of those days.

It started off on the bus. It's half term so all the grotty teenagers are heading into town to do whatever it is that grotty teenagers do these days (my, I sound old there!) This particular group were all around 14-15 years old and all of the male persuasion. They had in their sweaty hands one of the many male magazines that are on offer from the stand. This particular one seemed to be a bonanza issue of big boobies. I find it particularly odd, this idea of group gazing. Is this the thing to do now? It was always furtive glances at page 3 when I was at school, but obviously that was a gazillion years ago and times have changed. Much sniggering and fwoargh-ing later they reached their stop and headed off into the grotty teenagedom distance.

It continued on the train. I was stood at the platform waiting for the train to arrive and next to me were a family of 2 adults + 2 children, boy and girl, your perfect nuclear family...until the boy (who I would say was about 7) started going off on one when his sister (about 4) kept straying over the yellow safety line. At first I didn't pay too much attention but when he started screaming and stamping his feet my eyes strayed a little over their way. She looked to me like she was of a cheeky demeanour (we can spot each other a mile away, us cheeky peeps) so of course she did it again. Which prompted this massive outburst from him of hysterics, clutching at his mother he shouted "but she might die!" (imagine said in loud long wailing tone) Sheesh. It even made me take a step back away from the line; needless to say she stayed firmly by her mother's side after that. His little outbursts continued on the journey, especially when she nipped him - cue more screaming and foot stamping. Blimey.

I get off the train to begin my walk when I had to do a double take as walking right by me with his suitcase was Ian Botham! Looking very tanned (I know he didn't get that from round these parts!) But I was baffled. Why would a cricketing legend be here? Was he doing his latest Shredded Wheat advert? But I was (sadly) so excited at spotting a famous person that I had to immediately text my peeps! Ha!

Thus endeth the Monday observations.

Friday, 16 October 2009

Always me!

I don't know how I manage it, I truly don't. I seem to attract mad happenings at a bonkers pace. If it's not tales of public transport woes, it's tales from reception, and now I have another one to tell you.

I'm quite happily logged onto the PC trying to find a deal for my home insurance which is coming up (we know how to use our time effectively here you know...) when I hear cries of school children. They did used to occupy the place so I'm surprised they haven't turned up before now. This was a trio of Year 7s which would make them approximately 11 I think. All slightly out of breath and bordering on hysterical they tell me that one of them has managed to get her shoe stuck in a bush. Trying not to laugh too much I get a little bit more information out of them about where exactly it is. Oh we know the place, they say, we can run and get it...no way, thinks I, am I letting crazy school children run riot round the building, our boss would kill me! So I calmly point them to the reception waiting area and ask them to sit there whilst I phone back to the office requesting assistance.

Over in the corner the Breathless Trio start flapping about one of their friends being left behind and immediately whip out 3 mobile phones and start texting. A competition possibly, to see who could contact their errant pal first? Then they start taking shoes off and getting trainers out of bags and trying on each other's shoes, all to the constant stream of: don'tworrythey'llfinditandifnotyoucanusemytrainersyou'reasize5aren'tyou...and so on. A jingley alert later, one of them proudly informs the other 2 that errant pal has found safety in another's company, big relief eh?

One tramping around in the bushes later the flying shoe is retrieved from the bush and passed back to the Breathless Shoeless One. And off they trot into the sunset with the leader of the pack telling them all about how when she was on holiday in Turkey they let you drink when you're 11 and obviously they have a different culture...I missed the last few words as they'd gone too far. One of them did think to stop and yell through the door Thank You!

And that was today's adventure. Tune in for more next week.

Thursday, 15 October 2009

Cry baby

So Fizz and I went to see Time Traveler's Wife last night. We went to our favourite cinema, where you can take a drink if you like, in a nice civilized glass rather than an oversized giant cup packed full of ice with a straw hole. We also discovered that they have an icecream machine now so we put in our pennies and watched our icecreams appear in the little window, very exciting! I got my trusty Ben and Jerry's Caramel ChewChew, but Fizz went all retro and got herself a Feast, still good apparently. It was a nice surprise to see a theatre bud there too so we chitted the chat with him until the film started.

As I said in a previous post I had anxiety about seeing this film. But all for nothing dear readers. It was a very lovely adaptation of a gorgeous book. Of course, there were huge chunks missing but it's impossible to be entirely true to the original. And what they did miss out didn't make the film version any less lovely. I felt it was very well cast as well, Fizz was particularly impressed with the idea that she would get to see Eric Bana in the buff, and in the library stacks as well, how rude!

I knew from the get-go that I would end up in tears by the end. I'm not afraid to say that I am a total and utter puff when it comes to sad films/television/books/music. At a particularly emotional point in the film, when I was indeed snuffling a bit, Fizz leaned over and said to me, are you crying yet? Which she thought was just hi-larious (grrrr) By the end, I was of course all welled up and snuffling, but it truly did merit such tears (in my puff-dom opinion) If I'd been watching it at home and on my own I would have probably been all out bawling (ahem) So to sum up, I'd recommend the film. But pack your tissues if you're off the puff-dom persuasion as you will need them.

Wednesday, 14 October 2009

Passing the time...

I was reading my magazine at lunchtime and there was an article about positive thinking which recommended you take a test to find your Signature Strengths. 240 questions later, here's the results...

VIA Survey of Character Strengths
Here are your scores on the VIA Survey of Character Strengths. For how to interpret and use your scores, see the book Authentic Happiness. The ranking of the strengths reflects your overall ratings of yourself on the 24 strengths in the survey, how much of each strength you possess. Your top five, especially those marked as Signature Strengths, are the ones to pay attention to and find ways to use more often.

Your Top Strength
Capacity to love and be loved
You value close relations with others, in particular those in which sharing and caring are reciprocated. The people to whom you feel most close are the same people who feel most close to you.

Your Second Strength
Humor and playfulness
You like to laugh and tease. Bringing smiles to other people is important to you. You try to see the light side of all situations.

Your Third Strength
Curiosity and interest in the world
You are curious about everything. You are always asking questions, and you find all subjects and topics fascinating. You like exploration and discovery.

Your Fourth Strength
Fairness, equity, and justice
Treating all people fairly is one of your abiding principles. You do not let your personal feelings bias your decisions about other people. You give everyone a chance.

Your Fifth Strength
Honesty, authenticity, and genuineness
You are an honest person, not only by speaking the truth but by living your life in a genuine and authentic way. You are down to earth and without pretense; you are a "real" person.

I'm not always a great believer in these things but if I'd had to list off the top of my head what my strengths were I would have said just those things. I might have used different words and phrases but essentially, as a summing up of Dizz, pretty accurate methinks.

Tuesday, 13 October 2009

You have 116 unique titles queued

Such was the message that greeted me today when I logged onto my lovefilm account. I tend to watch 1 dvd per week so if I don't add any more it should only take me, oooh about 2 years and 3 months to watch them all! What am I thinking? I may never ever catch up. Mind you, is that truly the objective? I wonder if anyone ever completely empties their list and then starts again. It could take years to build it again, trawling through all the hot new releases, the coming soons, the top 50 per week...it's endless. But I don't want to remove any of them either cos they're on there for a reason. We just watched Assault on Precinct 13 on Sunday night which was a great film, edge of your seat type stuff, but it was from 2004, sheesh! What about all the 2009s that are just coming out? Too much availability, this is the trouble here.

Speaking of cinema, Fizz and I are going to see The Time Traveller's Wife tomorrow. I'm actually feeling a little anxious about it. The first time I read the book I didn't really like it, for some reason, it just didn't gel for me. But then so many people kept telling me how wonderful it was so I gave it another go. On the second reading I was utterly mesmerised by it. What happens if the film is a total washout? I will truly be devestated. Has anyone seen it? Do we know how faithful it is to the book? I shall report back on Thursday.

Monday, 12 October 2009

Staring

It's my late night til 9. I've done my reception stint and am now sat in the office, but it's warm and I'm ever so sleepy and hungry so I'm doing a lot of staring off into space and fighting the urge to put my head down on my desk and have a quick nappette. I'm not really sure that anyone would really notice as I've been sat here for 1 hour and 20 minutes and no-one has come in to ask for my assistance. Bad form do we think? To sleep on the job?

Where did the weekend go? You know it's bad when even your 7 year old nephew is commenting on how quickly time is flying by! It truly is ever so whooshy. Probably not helping in the whole sleepy thing either as I was kinda busy busy. Did some housey jobs, did lots of shopping (which is always exhausting...), met Fizz for a late lunch but as she's poorly sick with some horrible cold that's flying round, proved to be a shortlived meeting up sesh. Stumbled across a continental market and bought some yummy tomato bread from a French stall and bought not one but two Christmas presents (wow! I impress myself with my organisation thus far!) Did some wizzy card shopping too, I think Wavey was very impressed by my see it and grab it selection method, no lingering around to read the pukey verse for me. We found a soooper card for our beloved Stormin' which is just hi-larious and much chuckling will occur upon opening. And that was the end of that folks. Sunday evening rolled around and it was time to start the work week again.

We have a new person joining us tomorrow making 4 people with nothing to do. Interesting *strokes chin* but first we have inducting and showing around to do, which is always an effective time filler.

It's dicky-dark outside now, not helping with the whole wanting to snooze thing. But! Only 59 minutes to go and I am outta here! Woooo! You'll give me a nudge won't you...

Friday, 9 October 2009

New shops!

One of the bestest things about being in new areas is finding new shops. And this evening is the night for discovery detail. I'm outta the door at 4 (oooh rhymey) and heading into the town to lookee round the new shops. I'm not getting too excited as they don't have an H&M or a Peacocks, which are my most favourite, but they do have a TopShop, New Look and Primark which should hopefully prove somewhat fruitful in my search for ever more funky hosiery. And! Everywhere has mid-season sales on. And! Because of my new work location and not having to walk through town to get home, I've not spent any money at all really, apart from on train fares and milk. I've got from 4-6, it's a challenge. But it's one I relish with delight. I shall post purchases with glee.

On a work related note, today was very exciting. We got to play with the fire alarms! Not many people can say that about their workplace, but as we're such a small staff we'll be responsible for the weekly testing. We all have a key and the power to press buttons to reset the system, wowie zowie! Just another rock and roll Friday here then...

Thursday, 8 October 2009

Music!

For the longest time it's been under discussion in libraryland about how we should be allowed to have a radio or to listen to our ipods whilst at work. Obviously it doesn't happen as libraries are generally quiet places and it'd be the staff getting shushed (not that I have ever shushed anyone in my life!) and being told to turn that offensive thing off. Not so in other-libraryland. The group of students that were supposed to turn up didn't (what a surprise) So I started singing in the office. I suspect this wasn't really very well received as it was suggested that the radio be put on...and now I'm sat here listening to Fearne Cotton on Radio 1! Which is simply super.

What isn't super is of course the ongoing snoozefest that is other-libraryland. Has anyone else seriously ever known a university campus to have absolutely no students on it? A big fat zero? I really cannot get my head wrapped around it at all. It's the most bizarre "job" I've ever had. The worst thing about it is that everyone told me it would be like this and, me being me, I refused to listen and believed it would be different. Of course it's not and I can't bear the thought of having to go back with my tail between my legs and say you told me so and you were so right. Silverlining? I needed to get out of normal-libraryland to get some perspective. Being here has allowed for that. And I now know that no matter how frustrating it is back there, I will be ever so grateful to go back to all the madness in 6 weeks...

Wednesday, 7 October 2009

People!

Wow! I'm sat at the Enquiry Point in our informal library and there are actual students here! Admittedly the majority of them are eating their lunch as this is also where the cafeteria is, but there are 2 actual people using library PCs. It's amazing! And actually feels like a proper university campus once more. Wooooo! Tis tragic but I'm actually sat with a dopey grin on my face at the sight of all these lovely people.

And I've only been sat here for 24 minutes and I've had 2 queries. This is amazing!

Are you reading a change in tone? I had a bit of a revelation last night. I was sat on the sofa whingeing to Wavey about work, when I actually stopped and heard myself and thought, wooooah chickie, this is not you, you are the upbeat girl who always finds the silver lining. And with that I've woken up with a different attitude. For one, I'm grateful that I've got a job at all. The same cannot be said for a lot of people in my region so amen to that. And let's face it, every job is up and down, the best thing to do is just go with the flow and see what happens. Don't get me wrong, I will always be frustrated by lack of work but hopefully it will pick up as more people become aware that we're here to help.

But I do have to say that we really need a sign that says push on the door to get of the library. The number of people that stand there pulling at the door and it doesn't open is just comical! Push people, push!

Tuesday, 6 October 2009

Snoozefest

It's 2pm on a grey damp day and I'm sat in a very overheated reception area struggling to stay awake. The secondment is only into its third week and I'm already beginning to think that it wasn't such a great idea to come here after all. You'll understand how much time I have to think about stuff when I tell you that I've already drawn up a mental list of the pros and cons.

On the plus side, the first week was excellent fun. Running around and exploring a huge school, including spooky block is not exactly what I would call work. Everyone was in good spirits, we were united in our cause and we seriously couldn't believe the amount of stuff that has been left behind here. It's also been fun getting to know new managers, especially ones that like to talk and gossip as much as we do. You wouldn't believe the stuff I've heard this past couple of weeks about high up peeps at work! I've also enjoyed being able to drive to work 2 days a week as it's doing wonders for my ever ailing flexi; in fact there's a serious danger that I might actually return with positive flexi! This is something I have never known, wonders will surely never cease!

However, the cons far outweigh such nice things. For starters, we've hardly got any students. On Fridays we have none at all. Can you believe that? A university campus with absolutely no students on it. It's too much to comprehend. And we've also got absolutely nothing to do. Again, this is a very alien concept. I'm used to being surrounded by paperwork and telephone queries and emails demanding information. Here, nothing. And next week we get a permanent member of staff to join us so there'll be four of us twiddling our thumbs. It's one of those strange situations in that we have areas that need covering hence the need for staff, but with nothing to do those staff are just struggling to stay awake. It's completely and utterly bonkers. I have honestly never known anything like it my whole working life. Don't get me wrong, I've had boring jobs, but I've never worked anywhere where there is absolutely nothing to do. Last week, the heating was broken and it suddenly turned autumnal so we were really rather chilly. They fixed the heating last Friday and now the place is like a sauna! But they don't know how to control it so it's just switched on. Permanently. Are you getting the bonkers here? Am I conveying it accurately enough for you?

To top it off, last night was our first late night of opening, and also my night to work late. It started off just grand as I didn't have to start until 1, a nice sleep in on Monday mornings is always welcome. By the time the other staff left at 6 I'd had one woman in reception shrieking and screaming and crying hysterically and a very confused old man looking for the school children who used to occupy the building! Add to that the fact that it's very very dark outside with very few lights and it's a huge old building with lots of squeaks and groans, I was thoroughly creeped out by the time I left just after half 8.

The biggest thing of all is that I'm so disappointed. I wanted it to be something really good. Something for me to get my teeth into. Everyone kept telling me what a great opportunity it was going to be. So far, I've probably excelled myself in manual handling having spent a few days lugging furniture around, and it turns out I may excel myself with blogging and email catching up due to excessive availability of time. RAH peeps, a big RAH!

Monday, 5 October 2009

An elegant affair

I went to a family wedding yesterday. And it was an absolutely delightful experience. I'm sure I'm not the only one who doesn't always look forward to weddings. I get the whole concept behind them, they're supposed to be lovely days and drunken evenings, fun and frolics, dancing and big smiles. But more often than not they're quite stressful and not always enjoyable. But this was one lovely day.

I should have guessed it would be really by the engagement story. On a trip to New York to celebrate a special birthday, groomie proposed to bridie at the top of the Rockefeller Centre and then took her to Tiffanys to buy an engagement ring! Now that's classy, with maybe a hint of cheesey, but every girl that I've ever told that story too always says "awwwwww" at the end of it.

So to the wedding. It was at a most lovely venue, up in Jesmond in Newcastle. Everyone was in their finest and we all looked super dandy. I had my favourite new dress on, bright bright pink with ruffled sleeves and my favourite new shoes, shiny patent leather with a high block heel and a heart on the front, very wedding appropriate; a purple flower in my hair and red accessories topped the clashing with style ensemble. Wavey was looking super handsome in his suit and my ma had the finest fascinator in her hair, it was feathers and net and flowers and jaunty angle-d, looked fabulous! My dad, in typical Dizz-dad mode pretended to be blinded by my bright pink dress but I knew that secretly he was very pleased that I wouldn't be letting the side down as we say in our family, and had scrubbed up well.

It was a small wedding, only 47 guests, but it was lovely to catch up with family and meet new family members. Everyone was ever so lovely to Wavey. I was given full approval by one auntie whilst in the powder room, and at the end of the night when everyone had consumed much alcohol, we were both told that he is a very welcome addition to the family and must stick around! Yay! Cos my family are tough cookies and very protective of me, so this is a very good sign for Wavey.

The room for the wedding was lush. Big high ceilings and dimmed lighting, all adding to the elegance of the day. My cousin was bridesmaid in a gorgeous Karen Millen dress in gunmetal grey and the groom and best man/bride give away-er were dressed in dark grey suits with peacock blue ties. The bride wore a beautiful dress in peacock blue with a bolero, that was simply stunning. I know I keep saying it but it truly was all so damned elegant. It was simply gorgeous. It takes real effort to do this at a wedding, in my humble opinion.

The food was really rather tasty. For starters we had smoked haddock with baby potatoes, green beans and broccoli and a creamy mustard sauce, and hot little rolls so that the butter melted right through. The main course was corn fed chicken with roasted beetroot and carrots and potatoes and then for pudding we had cinnamon donut balls with apple flavoured icecream! YUMNESS! And the wedding cake was made up of little cupcakes of all varieties and they came round shortly after, along with some other petit fours that were chocolate truffle type things and jelly, wow sugar, treats.

Lovely. It must be hard to know how to plan a wedding when the bride and groom are both 60, but this one was a true success. Tasteful. Elegant. Simple yet rather lovely. The happy couple have gone on their honeymoon to Marrakech, so here's to them. I hope they continue to live as happily as they have done for the past 22 years...for the next 22 years...and beyond. Ain't love grand x

Thursday, 24 September 2009

If your name's not Paul...you'll have to change it

Greetings! We are still alive dear readers, it's just that everyone seems to have gone awol whilst I've been away in France. Wavey and I had a simply super holiday but that post will come later when I have time to put piccies up too. For now, I just wanted to reassure you that we're all still here. But, as it turns out, at slightly different work places.

Yep, I finally got me a new job! Well, I say new job. It's officially a secondment but it certainly feels like a new job. As it's not libraryland. And for that it deserves a very large WOOOOOOO! So this new job is for only 8 weeks, well so they say, but our new boss is already talking about keeping us until Christmas and we don't actually have our new contracts yet so who can really know. We officially started on Monday but they were still re-wiring the place so we had to wait until Wednesday to start, which is probably a good job as I had rather a lot of work to catch up on when I came back from my jollies.

But time to start at the beginning. And introduce you to all the Pauls. First up, we got an email from libraryland Paul asking for volunteers to head to our new campus at Darlington. Ah, thinks T and I, this will be a good opportunity to get lots of experience. So we applied. And we got an interview. I had to have mine early as I was going on holiday 2 days after the deadline (yay!). And on the panel was libraryland Paul. And new boss Paul. And IT guy Paul. Safe to say, if you added the name Paul on the end of any comment, it was a winner. And I got the job. I actually got the phone call about getting the job in the middle of our tent pitch in France which was a truly bizarre experience, and then of course we were obliged to drink mucho vino in celebration that night, and maybe eat a celebratory tart or two, but as I said earlier, more about that when I can actually post some photos along with the tales.

We arrived on Wednesday with new boss Paul. And IT guy Paul was there too. And it's so exciting! Our office, when we first went in, only had 3 chairs and 4 desks. The property is basically an old school which has shut down and it's huge. And when I say huge, I mean HUGE. You have to walk miles to get anywhere. The new library is quite close to our offices, but the classrooms are at opposite ends of very long corridors. It's bloody ace! We've had the run of the place and free access to whatever we wanted. Yesterday was such a fun work day! We spent literally the entire day exploring this huge school, including the haunted block (eeeek!) and scavenging stuff to put in our office. Which looks super homely and has a comfy seat area where we now have all our meetings. And a mini-kitchenette with all our heating up and keeping cool requirements. And the best thing of all is that the office has these huge windows which let in tonnes of lovely delicious natural light. This is such a novelty to us, as we work under all false light in libraryland. I've spent several enjoyable meetings basking in the sunlight now, deeelicious.

Today we went into full work mode. We had loads of visitors and rushing around and making contact with main site again, it was great! I know that new jobs are always novelty and it's exciting at the moment as there's lots to be done, but it feels good you know. It's been a long time since I've been miserable at work and feeling like they weren't using me to my best potential. I don't think anything else will come of this other than the short secondment, but so far so happy. Tomorrow brings more visitors, more informal meetings in our lovely sunny corner of the world, and it's Friday, most brilliant.

And don't forget my new name, from now on you must call me Paul...

Saturday, 22 August 2009

Naughty party

Maybe this is going to be weird to other people but until last night I had never attended an Ann Summer's party. And quite an experience it was too! First up was me thinking that the woman at the back of the room putting all those fancy knickers and bras on that stand looked vaguely familiar, but more of that later. I wasn't drinking as it was quite far away from the Dizz abode so I was Des for the evening. Great for everyone else but thinks I, how am I going to do these really embarrassing games when all that has passed my lips is fizzy pop?

The first game we had to do was to close our eyes and out of a sheet of A4 paper construct 1 x willy and 2 x balls to make a complete set. There were some very interesting creations as I'm sure you can well imagine. Mine wasn't that bad but was slightly out of proportion, chuckle. Next up was the pass the parcel which started out okay until the party woman stopped proceedings in order to say my full name and remind me that we used to go to secondary school together. Noooo! This could only happen to me. Anyhoo, bit of blushing later we were ready to proceed. Poor R was the first to open the parcel and get the challenge: she had to fake an orgasm. This was very early on in the proceedings, only about 4 sips of wine had passed her lips, so we agreed that we'd all do it with her. Mad! Lots of moaning, groaning and a couple of woo-ooooos later the parcel rolled around again. This time S had to simulate a blow job on a vibrator. The one problem I could see with this challenge was that her mam was sat 2 chairs down from her. Oh. My. God.

The next bit was quite nice as there were lots of fancy knickers and bras and babydoll chemises rolled out, and a couple of fancy dress outfits which had like 6 parts to them, complicated! Then the tone changed slightly as we started to look at the toys. I have to admit that I've been into Ann Summer's shops before and mainly just stared googly-eyed at the array of toys that were available - it's fascinating! I'd been told that at these parties you have to try vibrators on your nose as it's the most sensitive part of your body that you're allowed to display to the general public, but this was a myth. In actual fact it's the part between your thumb and your forefinger that gets the testing. Of many many different kinds. Small ones, big ones, ones with ears on them, ones with tiny vibrating balls in them, ones with 10 settings on (oh my word), ones that did like 3 different things at once, there was even one with a ruler available in the catalogue for measuring, um, yeah...

The next game was dirty word bingo. She flashed up cards and the person with the rudest word won the card. We weren't allowed to say the evil c-word, which I think is fair enough as that is a particularly horrible word but everything else was a free for all. The card J flashed up. And I couldn't help it. Out of my mouth popped the word "jiz" (I have no idea how to spell this correctly but I'm not going to google it but I'm sure you all know what I mean) Someone else had said something else so she made us repeat our words. It wasn't bad enough that I'd said it once but she made me say it twice. In front of S's mam! Oh the shame. Safe to say I won the card.

The final game involved 3 plastic bags and a roll of sellotape. With this we had to create the sluttiest outfit we possibly could, get someone to model it for us and then describe it to all the other party people. We made our model wear a black binbag corset with white detachable nipple tassles, pink suspenders and a whip and matching necklace. And she went home in that. Nice.

All in all, mucho fun was had. And I have somehow found myself being a hostess to my own party, so when you all get your invites, make sure you leave your blushes at the door and come and join in the fun!

Wednesday, 19 August 2009

17 days

The countdown has begun. In 17 days Wavey and I pack up the popemobile and begin our journey to France. Yep, our holiday will begin, oh happy days! The first day we're driving down to Folkestone and staying in a hotel as the following day we get on a very early tunnel (7.57 in the a.m peeps) to go under the water and arrive in Calais. Then we begin to meander (good word) our way down France until we reach Sarlat in the Dordogne region, where we're camping for a week and then meandering our way back up again. 2 whole weeks! I seriously cannot wait!

Especially as this has been a pretty crappy work week. Odd how being told your job is a "waste of time" can have such an impact on your day...okay then, cheers very much, I'll just get me coat will I? Libraryland is not a very happy place at the moment. Mucho uncertainty and anxiety about where we'll all be and what we might be doing.

But! Holiday! We haven't actually made any agenda for the holiday, it truly is a let's drive along and see what happens kind of trip. We've booked the campsite but that's only cos you have to ensure you get a pitch (with electricity no less, and a petite bush apparently to separate you from your fellow happy campers). I have visions of us wandering, nay meandering, through tiny villages that lie along the river, in summer shorts and flipflops, eating the required daily icecream that is the holiday rule, and of course the pain au chocolat for breakfast and the wine in the evening...let's hope it lives up to my expectations!

Come on 17 days! Hurry hurry hurry!

And to end, on a totally non-holiday related topic. I just let a small boy stamp his daddy's library book with the library date stamp and you would have thought it was the best toy in the world ever! Aw bless.

Wednesday, 12 August 2009

Dicing with death

So this week finds us halfway through a 6 week stay of the Wavey-sister. She spends 46 weeks of the year living in the US of A, and 6 weeks visiting here with Wavey. Last year, as Wavey and I weren't coupled I did a pretty good job of hiding from her, obviously that isn't allowed now so we've been spending lots of time together. The thing with Wavey-sis is, she has allergies. And we're not just talking little allergies that might make you go a bit red (though she has those too) but she has a severe allergy, as in DEATH WILL OCCUR if she encounters any dairy.

Yikes!

So now the background is over I can commence with the post. As we know, in the Wavey/Dizz life, I'm the chef the majority of the time. And I'm very happy about this. I love to cook. The kitchen is one of my most favouritest places in the world. Until the dairy death became a possibility. Now I'm like flappy chef. At some point I'm going to cook in my kitchen for her so I've been obsessively avoiding dairy going anywhere near any chopping surface, just in case a tiny bit lingers and it leads to the very last breath of Wavey-sis...

*...cue Dizz running to the hills in fear of Wavey family...*

...I tells ya, it's tough! We made dinner last night at Wavey's and we had fish (kind of safe but not if it's of the salmon variety), couscous "did you read the box, Wavey-sis, is this safe?" and salad (phew, safe, oh wait, except for tomatoes) Sheesh folks!

Obviously I'm still cooking cos it's what I love to do. But I'm sure you can imagine the scene at the table as we eat, as Dizz tries not to obessively watch every mouthful Wavey-sis eats wondering if this will be the one...I don't even know how the allergy itself manifests, I imagine some hideous throat clutching, gurgling, rolling around on the floor in agony type incident (drama queen anyone?) But you know what? Funnily enough, I'd really rather not find out for real. Maybe I should just ask so that I'm prepared? Or maybe not cos that seems a smidge rude. How to phrase it, one wonders. "So, when you do get this death allergy, what actually happens...other than the death part I mean..." hmmm methinks not. Best just to keep schtum and continue the intense scrutiny of all packets and labels until she returns safely (fingers crossed!) to her home. But I'll just go and wash that food preparation area in the kitchen again, just in case...

Wednesday, 5 August 2009

Feeling the (vampire) love

You might not remember me blogging way back in December last year about going to see Twilight, the movie. And how much I really didn't like it? Well, a couple of weeks ago I decided that I would read the book and see how different it is. I know, I know. It seems like an odd decision when you really didn't like the film but I often find that book adaptations are usually not that great in comparison to the book itself. Whatever right? It's a woman's right to change her mind!

And so the book reading began. And it's proved highly entertaining! More so because of the crazy lines that are used - Holy Crow! What? Did we suddenly move out of vampire-land and into Batman-land? And descriptions of Edward as being this perfect angel who was just too glorious to resist...it's just so funny!

I reached the chapter this morning when Bella and Edward (spoiler alert if you've neither seen the film or read the book here) headed off into the woods so that they could see how much Edward sparkles (look! the vampire sparkles in the sun!) and also do a bit of flying and running very fast (look! the vampire runs really really fast!) but mostly they did a lot of lusting. So much so that Bella nearly passed out with the lust. Or was that with the running too fast? I was a little confused by this time. And I tells ya, by the time I'd read this chapter I was feeling a little faint hearted myself.

I'm beginning to understand now why 14 year olds are so obsessed with these books. But I'm also a little worried as well. Cos if you're 14 and you're reading about all this lust that's so intense you're going to pass out, it's very likely that you're going to be disappointed by real life. For starters, I don't think you're going to come across many vampires (unless they're on some freaky "I drink blood" website - oh come on, they're bound to exist!) and a romantic entanglement with your average 14 year old boy is not going to result in passing out with lust, unless you've drunk too much to get through said entanglement and have passed out for this reason. Either way, disappointment lies ahead. I was told today that apparently they have a whole facebook page about how no man will ever be good enough cos everyone is in love with Edward Cullen...truly, this is a frightening thing.

And you know what else I found out? The author is apparently a Mormon so how come she's writing about all this vampire lust and using such lines as "holy crow"? It's so bizarre, the whole thing. I'm baffled.com about it all.

But putting all of the above aside, I'm enjoying reading the book. And looking forward to borrowing the other 3 in the series so that I can find out what happens to the lustful teenagers, although strictly speaking one of them is about 400 years old. Safe to say that the only way to enjoy these books is to put aside all sense of reality and embrace your inner teenage angst. I didn't actually have any inner teenage angst when I was a teenager, never mind now as a 34 year old, but hey, I'm going with the (lustful) flow...

Wednesday, 29 July 2009

How terribly English...

...but you know what? I don't care. I'm going to complain about the weather.

Way back in April, May time, the weather peeps began to lie to us. They promised us a glorious summer that would be barbecue-tastic and sun sun sun! And what have we had? Erm, a few odd days of sunshine and bucketfuls of rain! And it totally sucks. I love the sun. I do, I'm a total sun ho. I don't go golden brown or anything nice like that but I just love that feeling of the hot hot sun beating down on bare skin. I love wearing flipflops and pretty summer cotton skirts that are all colourful and flowery. And tiny strappy vest tops and tube tops. And hair all piled up to keep it off your hot neck...

Okay so admittedly I have still worn those things as it's been warm. Just not the sun sun sun we were promised. I've given up checking the 5 day forecast now as I'm sure the weather peeps just predict us heavy rain and that way, if we do have one day of sunshine, they can go, ha! Look! You have beautiful weather now so stop whining. But it's not good enough weather peeps! Dammit I WANT SUN!

If we were a true British institution there would be someone for us to complain to. Like an official in the sky who controls the sun. An actual person we could complain to in a ranting, out of control manner. But sadly there is only blogland for me to whinge and whine (sorry folks). And today we received news (yes it actually made the BBC news) that the August weather is going to continue to be unpredictable (in other words, wet and November-like) for the whole of the month. Frankly, it's utter shite. Yah-boo to the rubbishy rain!

Finally, in a totally random subject change, there was a man on my bus this morning carrying a bag of golf clubs in his arms and a guitar on his back. Is he going to serenade his fellow players at each hole? I was so incredibly fascinated by this odd mixture of baggage. Any thoughts anyone?

Thursday, 16 July 2009

Mud, music and mayhem

Greetings blog readers! We're back! Yep we've returned from the wilds of Wales and we survived the festival experience. There's so many hi-larious stories to tell from the weekend but methinks some choice anecdotes will prove much more reader friendly. So here goes:


Roundabouts

Being a very organised navigator, I printed off the destructions on how to get from London town where Tizz resides to the wilds of Wales where the festival was. There were 4 pages of directions and it all seemed pretty straightforward. Until we got on the actual roads in Wales. Turns out there can often be at least 25 miles between each roundabout, who knew? It took many many twisty turny roads before we went from one instruction to the next. Who ever would have thought that reaching a roundabout would deserve a cheer...hooray!


Tents

Somehow, we managed to arrive within 10 minutes of our other happy festival campers, T&G, so we could set off and choose a place to camp together. It was pretty tricky finding a space big enough for our 3-man tent and their 4-man tent plus mini windbreak, but of course we succeeded and we had a pretty good spot as we were on the edge, thus allowing for an early escape come Monday morning, but more of that later.


Sleeping

I'm one of those people who never really sleeps properly the first night that they arrive anywhere. This is always a major bummer as I'm also someone who seriously needs their sleep. Tizz on the other hand, due to her ever changing shifts, can sleep anywhere at any time, lucky thing! The sleeping throughout the weekend was kinda hit and miss. Some nights I slept like the dead, often we snoozed away the afternoon, but more often than not we were kept awake by horrible grotty teenagers, grrrr. The purchase of the earplugs helped somewhat. But safe to say, festivals are not your destination of choice should you be hoping for restful nights sleeps!


Red Arrows

They're a British institution. And they opened the festival. And they were AWESOME! I lost count of the number of times we gasped...oooh-ed....ahhh-ed...our way through their display. Amazing. And look what pretty pictures they make in the sky:


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Music

At such a wee little festival as Wakestock was there were still some pretty big name bands there, but for me, the smaller unknown bands were the ones I enjoyed the most. Flamboyant Bella followed by KissySellOut were my highlights for Friday, especially when KissySellOut did a cover version of EMF's 'Unbelievable'. We went totally mental at the back jumping up and down and singing our lungs out. Whilst the teenagers around us looked on in amazement at how we knew all the words and 'who are those mad oldies dancing like loons' look on their faces. Nyeh. Saturday's highlights were Eliot Minor and The Twang and Sunday were The Mission District and the Cuban Brothers; quite simply the dirtiest band of the weekend, dirty dirty dirty things kept coming out of their mouths but they were absolutely wicked and the atmosphere in the tent was pretty special. The Zutons had a few technical problems but managed to grab it together at the end, all in all, some damn fine bands were seen.


Weather

Always a concern for any festival go-er, the 5 day forecast didn't exactly look promising so it was pleasant to arrive on Thursday in glorious sunshine and for it to stay dry for Friday too. Sadly the same couldn't be said for Saturday. We opened the tent flaps to rain and rather a lot of it, plus wind, oh happy happy joy joy. By the time we eventually got to bed on Saturday night we were absolutely sodden. And cold. And a bit miserable. By Sunday and a long night of rain and wind, the ground was an absolute mud-mire, you basically sunk if you stood around for too long so constant motion was advised at all times:


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By Sunday the sun had come out again and it was a beautiful day! The mud-mire was absolutely comical by then as we squelched and sklerrrrrped and suckered our way from one place to the next. I think it's probably safe to say that it doesn't feel like a real festival unless you've had to get your wellies out and tramped around with lots of mud attached to them.


Jagermeister

I'm not quite sure what is actually in this drink, it tastes a bit like cough syrup and comes in the form of shots. Tizz and I opened proceedings by downing a couple ourselves:

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I managed to dribble some of mine all down my face (sexy!) but there was definitely something in it as it made us totally hyper! On Sunday when we did 2 shots each we spent about 30 minutes making up many different outfit combinations with the free bandanas. Here's a series for you to enjoy:


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What time?

Monday morning rolled around and our festival outing was over. T&G decided that getting away early was the best option. I didn't realise this getting up early meant shouting over to us at 5.15 in the AM that it was time for us to get up. I was actually asleep then and was a very confused Dizz by the shouting, say what? G kindly took a photo of me packing up the tent (cheers matey) to which I might have growled at him to eff and jeff off as I wasn't even human yet, grrrr.


Highlights

*Rain dancing to Eliot Minor. In the mud. By the time we'd finished we had a crowd of us, jumping up and down like red indians, a quality moment!

*Tizz getting chatted up by some random welsh bloke who told her she had nice eyelashes (!) and showed her photos of his bike. The 3 of us started to sneak away to leave them to have some time, chuckle, and Tizz grabbed me and hauled me back muttering "don't leave me"

*"Unbelievable" woo woo woo!

*Tizz and I blowing up our airbed that had sadly decided to deflate by the last night. We were in the darkness of the tent and all that could be heard was the squeak squeak squeak of the foot pump. All this was being done by torchlight so must have cast some pretty odd shadows as I was up and down on the footpump and Tizz was kneeling over me holding the torch...of course we got the giggles and then just had to go there..."oh yeah baby"...squeak squeak squeak..."like that yeah"...squeak squeak squeak...you get the drift. We're so mature...

*As I set off to the toilets one night I realised I'd left the torch and couldn't actually find the tent on the way back. At the time I was pretty worried and starting to panic but afterwards it was really funny. All tents look the same in the dark you know!

*The breakfast that we had on Sunday morning after the rain. I've never had a better breakfast in my life. Fact.

*The hot chocolate and toast that we got from the man on the stall. He might have saved our lives. We were cold and miserable and hot choc and toast was just what we needed. They were even offering hugs should you have wanted to take advantage!


Low points

*Waiting for the Super Furry Animals. Who were 25 minutes late despite the horizontal rain and winds. And then were pretty shite once they did come on. Pah I say!

*The high-pitched whine of the Liverpudlian girls behind us. Shut. The. Eff and Jeff. Up. Now. Please. Hideous. Is it really that surprising that you're cold when you've knifed the door off your tent? Stupid girls.

*Someone nicked our windbreak! Seriously. It was there when we went to bed and gone by morning. It is shocking what people will steal...(ahem, it was only a couple of tent pegs m'lud)

*Missing the Pigeon Detectives due to sheer exhaustion and misery from the relentless rain and wind. Gutted. But I did enjoy hearing their finale from the warmth of my sleeping bag. All together now, "Sweet Caroline...ba-ba-bahhhhhh"


Summing up

A mighty fine weekend. With my most favourite-est peeps. Roll on next year!


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Wednesday, 8 July 2009

Wellies and waterproofs

Greetings one and all. Tizz and I are off on our festival jaunt tomorrow. We're heading to Wakestock in Wales. For those of you who don't know what this is, it's a festival of music and wakeboarding...still clueless? Yep, me too and I'm attending! But the wakeboarding thingie looks like it'll be great fun to watch. And the Red Arrows are opening the festival! And the army are going to be their with tanks! Which you can have a go in! Now THAT is cool!

I've got my wellies ready, which just happen to be black with multi-coloured spots all over them and furry inside, yay. And my festival hat to hide my festival hair. And my very long very old green waterproof which might be ugly but covers most of me which is definitely required at festivals. Especially as when I checked the 5 day forecast it's not looking so good. It's sunny today...when we're not there...but the rest of the week looks cloudy and a bit gloomy. But! Never fear! We will not let that stop us having a rockin' old time. Piccies will surely follow.

But spare a thought for poor Fizz whose suffering with a summer cold at the moment - get well soonest chickie! And Wavey who I'm leaving behind for 4 whole days (soppy moment alert) which is to be truthful a wee bit upsetting as we've only actually been apart 1 day since September...ahem, moving swiftly on...

So! Hope you all have a fabby weekend. And I'll blog about the festival upon our return. Who knows, Tizz might be able to do some live festival blogging from her very jazzy phone. If the battery doesn't die as soon as we get there. Ta-ta lovelies x

Saturday, 4 July 2009

The whooshy week

I believe it would be fair to say that this has been an extremely busy week for me. But I'll let you make up your own minds as I blog about the events of each day.

Monday
The day itself was not really worth writing home about, a usual working Monday. But on the evening I was due to start my summer university course: Introduction to Painting. The course is for 4 weeks and it's free and it runs from 6-9pm. I'm not quite sure what I thought the first week would be but I certainly didn't expect to be sat down and told to paint what was in front of me, which was essentially 4 statue torsos, 3 of which were in boxes, there was another box with a jug sticking out of it, and all of this was on a yellow tablecloth. I haven't actually picked up a paintbrush in any kind of education type thing since I dropped art class at 14 in order to take Craft, Design and Technology where I could build stuff with wood. I was, it's safe to say, quite clueless. But I did my best. The man let us paint for an hour before he stopped us all and said that we'd basically done what he was expected which was draw with a paintbrush. He proceeded to shut all the blinds and switch on the lights to cast shadows and shapes on each torso and then told us to pick out the shapes we could see and paint them in block colours. By the time I'd finished my very first art piece looked like this:

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Claire, age 3. Surprisingly, he told me it was a very "interesting" painting and compared my work to both Matisse and Tanguy! I know it looks freaky but hey, it's not too shabby to be compared to Matisse!

Tuesday
The day of schmoozing. I had been given permission to go on a work event that was to be held in Leeds. This meant leaving work at 11.30 in order to get on the noon train to Leeds and reach the event by 2pm. Train was no problem. I know Leeds a bit from past shopping experiences so headed off to walk to the venue. I got lost. Not my fault I hasten to add, the directions were not correct. I stopped one lady in the street and asked her the name of the street, her answer was not very clear so I headed onwards. I saw a guy in a white shirt standing outside a bank, ha thinks Dizz, I'll ask him. What a brilliant choice. Turns out he was a bus driver. He got on the phone to his bus driver mate and asked him to wait for me, told him where I was going and where I needed dropping off! How bloody brilliant is that? I crossed over the road to my waiting bus and headed in the correct direction to the venue, what a lucky Dizz. The afternoon was kinda nice. I chatted to other librarians, found out that our libraryland is not at all far behind - in fact we're racing ahead - I drank wine, I ate cake, I schmoozed my ass off. All this was done whilst wilting in the extreme heat of Leeds. I was so glad to get on the train as it was icy cold with the air-con, oh happy days. I didn't return home to the Dizz house until 9pm, I was very sch-leepy by then!

Wednesday
Just a normal day, except I worked overtime til 7pm. That's 3 days totting up late nights...

Thursday
The impending first library social event meant that Thursday was supermarket shopping. We had £50 to spend on things that would make up a buffet for 28 people. The experience was not as bad as I'd anticipated and we only went £4 over budget. Wahey! I got home at a very respectable 5.30 so headed off to Wavey's garden to enjoy the last of the sun...and fell asleep on the bench snuggling against Wavey. Woke up a few nappette moments later and headed back home to make some tasty dins before Fizz headed round to mine to view the artwork from Monday. We sat chatting and laughing until just after 9 when everyone left and a very tired Dizz went to bed at 9.30pm.

Friday
The day of the first library social event. I was leaving work at noon to head to J's house to make the buffet for 28. The rain was hammering down so hard at this point that the short walk from her car to the garage meant a drowned Dizz! I was literally dripping wet. Yikes! The next 3 hours flew by as I made 3 loaves of bread worth of sandwiches, managed to grate my knuckle into the cheese which wouldn't stop bleeding, heated up sausage rolls and quiches and sliced bread; all this in a relative stranger's kitchen. Most odd. Reached the venue by 4pm where we set up the food and awaited the peeps. Thankfully the event was a resounding success and I think everyone had fun. We'd made way too much food. And bought way too much booze, but that will keep for the next event. People played the games. People ate the food. People mixed in circles other than their usual. Can't ask for much more than that.

By 8pm J-bn and I were ready to explode with excitement as we were heading off to see The Fratellis at the Empire. Ooooh! We met up with Fizz and Wavey and went in to enjoy the band. And they were very very fine. They didn't stop, song after song after song, I bounced and danced and sang and woooo-ed until I was hoarse, a mighty fine show! By the time we got home I was actually asleep on my feet I think, I managed to drag myself to bed where I zonked out on the pillow until the alarm went off today...

Saturday
...cos I'm working overtime at work today until 5pm. Then I'm heading out for dinner with D followed by The Hangover at the cinema. Phewee! Plans for Sunday? ZERO! Absolutely bupkiss. I intend to lay my ass down on either the sofa or the sun lounger (weather dependent) and chill the mutha out. What a week!

Oh, and during this oh so busy week, look what's happened to the peppers:

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The chilli one is a bit blurred but you get the idea of the size:

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Woooo!

If you've stayed reading this far, well done, a long post! So long my friends...

Monday, 29 June 2009

Saturday shopping

When I was but a young teenager and slowly finding my fashion feet, me and my friends would head to the town on a Saturday afternoon. It was like a ritual. Each week we'd get ourselves smartened up to hit the shops and we'd spend hours trawling round, trying stuff on that we could never afford to buy and generally making a nuisance of ourselves in all the shops. These days it tends to be charity shops that I hit on a Saturday and all other shopping is reserved for the last hour after work. Until this weekend that has just passed.

Saturday found me, R and T hitting the shops. Obviously the first thing we did was arrange to meet up and eat lunch cos you can't think about shopping until you're all fuelled up! After lunch we ventured in...and within minutes of the first shop/changing room situation I was shaking my head at the sheer AWFULNESS that was the Saturday afternoon shopping experience.

First up: the fashion. I'm kind of loathe to call it that at all as there is nothing remotely stylish about what is out there at the moment. Hideous neons are just the beginning. Shapeless sacks that are supposedly tops are another. Way way too many leggings, and whoever thought that wet look and leggings was something that should be combined seriously needs to be exterminated, preferably whilst wearing their wet look leggings and slowly being tortured by visions of people in said leggings who should not be. The growing trend of wearing leggings as trousers is just beyond wrong - hello camel toe! I am shaking my head in vain at the unnecessary nastiness of this. Put. It. Away.

Next up: the changing room fun. I know you're not supposed to gawp at the sights but wow, it's hard not to. The sizing is amazing these days, there doesn't seem to be an "average josephine" anymore, instead people are either really really teeny or really really big. I actually saw one teeny teeny girl in Top Shop changing room who had a belt holding up her leggings as they were falling down off her skeleton frame...yes you read that right, a belt to hold up clothing that is essentially lycra and therefore clingy. What the heck is going on, dear readers? Having said that we did have hilarious changing room moments with R as she emerged in various sack shape dresses that were so awfully bad all we could do was fall about laughing.

Third up: Bikinis. I'm not a bikini person anyhoo, being a bit shy about exposing so much of my pale flesh to be burned on holidays, but even if I were, I would not be wearing some of the creations that were available. They were neon. And shiny. And studded and beaded and surely not designed to be worn in water? I picked up one in Top Shop and thinking that it was a size 10 showed it to T. When we actually looked at the label we found out that the 2 very small triangles on both the top and the bottom were designed for size 14 girlies such as myself. When I stretched the small triangle posing as a top over my size 14 boob, the coverage was not exactly ample shall we say. Are there actually people who wear such things???

Fourthly: I am aware that I'm sounding like a grump about the fashion but that's so not the case. I love my fashion, readers. Everyone knows this. I especially love cheap, wear for one season and throw-away fashion. But I do not like this current trend for 80s hideousness. Do we think it will go soon? But even worse, what's going to come next...?