Sunday, December 31, 2006

Still cold pt 2

Still got no heating or hot water...for now.

But we got randomly lucky yesterday when I got home from work to find a message from my landlady on my answerphone.

When I phoned her back she'd actually called to ask me to forward a letter to her, but (obviously) I took the chance to mention to her that I was a little cold.

Five minutes later she called me back having contacted British Gas on the emergency call-out system. They should be with us tonight between 6 and 8 so fingers are crossed (as crossed as they can be when I'm trying to type anyway) that I might be able to see in the New Year in my traditional fashion - in a hot Lush-filled bath.

Alf has just come round to entertain us for the evening so I had better go and be sociable for a few minutes.

Saturday, December 30, 2006

Mean people

So we're all teasing RichieFingers. Not about anything specific (apart from his pink shirt), just because he's RichieFingers.

Richie - "You're all so mean to me."

Katie W - "We're not being THAT mean."

Richie - "Yes you are, I'm feeling really vindicated."

Kate - "Do you mean victimised?"

Richie - "Yeah, that too."

Still cold

No one phoned or came round last night so in the end I slept on the sofa having made the living room as warm as I could.

I was actually too hot in the very middle of the night so I was daring and took one of my three pairs of socks off!

Esme and Foley enjoyed me sleeping on the sofa. Esme shared the duvet with me and kept my knees warm, while Foley either slept on my pillow or entertained himself by fishing for my feet.

Now it's time for least it's warm there!

Friday, December 29, 2006

Is it Thursday?

I always have bad Thursdays...

...yesterday was quite a good one though. Should have known it couldn't last.

I went up to bed last night all snuggly and warm having had a nice long hot Lush-filled bath...

...and then woke up this morning feeling rather chilly.

My heating is not.

My hot water is also not.

My letting agents finally turned their answer phone off at 11am and told me that someone would be round this evening, after 6 when I get home from work.

As you can see, it's now nearly 7 and I haven't seen anyone or had the phone ring. I am wearing several layers of clothes and have lit numerous candles in order to try and keep the living room at a manageable temperature. I don't have any other method of heating except putting the oven on, and it's a bit far from the computer. I may resort to that later. I'm dreading going up to bed and the cats are huddled round my feet under the blankets.


Thursday, December 28, 2006

So that was Christmas...

...I had a very nice time. I shan't blog about it all now as a hot bath with some of my new Lush stuff is calling and I have a new book to read courtesy of Miss Campbelli.

Emily had a new shiny camera for Christmas (joint with her 21st birthday) and spent lots of time taking photos.

Some of the best are here...

...and my hair definately looks more blonde in person...

Wednesday, December 13, 2006

Finish the sentences:

1. I've come to realize that my ex...'s voice has vanished from my head.

2. I am listening to...BBC2.

3. I talk...too much about random things.

4. I love...reading.

5. My best friends...are people who believe in themselves.

7. I lost...a contact lens at a party and thought my vision was blurry cos I was drunk.

8. I hate it when people...ask me for a book and then tell me I'm wrong.

9. Love is love.

10. Marriage is...something I will do again.

11. Somewhere, someone is thinking...about eating chocolate.

12. I'll always father's daughter.

13. I have a crush on...Robbie Williams.

14. The last time I cried was because...I was stressed and frustrated with not being able to explain the way I was feeling.

15. My cell my second alarm clock.

16. When I wake up in the morning...I am always very sleepy.

17. Before I go to sleep at night...I turn on my CD of the sea.

18. Right now I am thinking about...going to bed early.

19. Babies are...cute and horrible in turns, just like adults.

20. I get on myspace...about once a week.

21. Today to see Anthony before he went to work.

22. Tonight I Oz and James and then go to bed.

23. Tomorrow I up at 6 for another early shift.

24. I really want...another bottle of beer.

25. The person who most likely to repost this, cos Emily has already done it.

Sunday, December 03, 2006

Christmas Tree

Tree put up - 20.00 Friday 1st December.

Tree put up again - 10.00 Saturday 2nd December.

Tree put up yet again - 23.00 Saturday 2nd December.

Tree tied to radiator and window handle with lots of string - 23.10 Saturday 2nd December.

Remains of ball of string collected from around ground floor of house - 10.00 Sunday 3rd December.


My cats LOVE Christmas.

Friday, December 01, 2006

You know it's nearly Christmas when...

...the number of people after totally obscure books increases exponentially. get a bigger list every week of titles that need stickers changing.

...everywhere you go is playing either tacky tunes or whiney carols. (Except us, who still currently have James Brown on, although I'm sure that'll change this weekend).

Speaking of Christmas "music" - I woke up this morning singing the worst festive song of all time. Not Slade, Cliff or Elton...

"Because Pookie-Doodle-Puppy's Christmas party is always so much fun, when he goes Woof Woof Tiddley-Poof you know the party's just begun"

Oh yes indeed music fans...Emily's favourite song from the age of 5 resurfaced in my subconscious this morning...OH DEAR.

In other news, Miss Campbelli is now a CRSM (Children's Regional Support Manager) so well done to the little blonde bombshell for that one.

And I'm about to be late for work...

Wednesday, November 29, 2006


It's working!

I gave Blogger a try this morning cos I've been up since 5 because I'm not organised enough to have painkillers upstairs by my bed. So instead I get up and get them, and then can't go back to sleep. Naturally it has to happen on a Wednesday when WoW is down for maintenence...

But it means I've been and read all the blogs I used to read (which is many more than those linked to on the side BTW) and had a phone call from a grumpy man just leaving Ruislip (he's on nights this week) and actually feel like I've been quite productive so far this morning.

The yawning every few seconds thing is a bit boring though, but it will pass soon before re-emerging at 16.30 and leading my colleagues to be sarcastic.

Naturally now that I've been able to pop on here and type whatever is in my has gone empty.

But Emily is getting me The Moomins for my Christmas/Birthday present!

Thursday, November 23, 2006


(written on 19/11/06)

I still can't get Blogger to work when I want it to!

I think of something to write (usually while I walk home) and then get in all eager to write it, then Blogger tells me there is an "error". I've then been too grumpy to write whatever it was in Word and so my musings either blow away on the wind or Anthony talks me through whatever it was. Not that I wouldn't talk about it with him anyway, but I wanted to write about it too.

So this one I have put into Word, after a week of trying to post nightly (well, barring Wednesday when we were in the pub) and a weekend trying to post every 3-4 hours (barring Saturday afternoon/evening when I was in Nottingham).

Things haven't been out-of-this-world exciting, but then life rarely is. Things have been important-to-me exciting, which is far more likely.

I went to see the Bonzo's with my dad way back on the 9th (I wrote a whole post for this but will add it later), and Miss Campbelli came back to work on Monday! (the 13th)

It has been very, very nice having her back. In the five days that we've had her, she's helped us rearrange the shop (seriously - the whole ground floor layout has changed), filled a whole notebook with her plans for the children's section, and entertained us all at the Xmas meeting on Wed - by NOT getting drunk! I don't think I'd realised just how much I'd missed working with her. Hearing that dirty laugh from the back of the shop, hearing her tell me or RichieFingers to focus, and even just seeing her bombing around with an armful of stock that you know will be in exactly the right place when you go to look for it later.

This weekend I went to Nottingham to meet Anthony's sister's family for the second time. We're going to theirs for lunch on Xmas Day and I'd only met them once so Anthony decided that a visit was a good idea. I had a very nice time too. Yes, there was the moment when I got there and I suddenly didn't want to get out of the car, but that's normal for me. We chatted about random things, discussed food choices for the Xmas lunch, and even played a little Guitar Hero with the boys (Jon and Matt, very much his nephews). So now I'm much more relaxed about spending the day there, which is one bit of Xmas less to worry about.

That does make it sound like I'm stressed out, but I'm not. I'm a lot less stressed than I was this time last year, when I was trying to organise buying presents for 10 people (including myself) so the fact I have three to buy for my family, all of whom have actually told me exactly what they want this year, and a few to buy for Anthony, who doesn't know what he wants at all. I have fairy lights up already (but only in my bedroom) and I'm gradually getting the high at work that enables you to serve on the till while helping two other people with enquiries!

Friday, November 10, 2006

Blogger, bowling and a slightly mad cat

Blogger is on the blink for me at the moment, but since I really felt I should be posting I am writing this in word and will publish when I can.

I had a very nice weekend last week, Anthony came round about 3ish and took me out to Merry Hill for a spot of shopping (a nice treat since I spent the morning doing my weekly house spruce-up). We went into lots of shops, but managed to stay controlled enough to not go into Lush and to only buy some of the chocolate buttons from the new Hotel Chocolat shop. We did spend a little bit of dosh in Ann Summers though…but those purchases are not for public consumption.

In the evening we went bowling with Alf and Mick (who’s just split with his fiancĂ© Sarah, so needed cheering up). The bowling alley we went to is the one where one of Anthony’s ex’s works, which worried Alf slightly, but since Sam is an ex from about 1998 I didn’t have a problem, and she’s a lovely girl.

Now I haven’t been bowling for about 5 years, I think the last time I went was with Emily and I had very long blonde hair…I think it was Easter 2001! So I wasn’t expecting to do very well so requested cider to drink. This was I would either get tipsy and my game would improve, or I’d get tipsy and not care.

The first game I got 5 pins with my first ball…and then didn’t score for five more balls. Ah well. But as you will see from the scores below, the cider did indeed affect my game.

Mick 85 107 90
Alf 93 105 95
Anthony 74 127 111
Kate 48 51 97 - I came second in the last one!!!

Anthony would have got even higher than 127 if he hadn’t saved his three strikes in a row until the last three balls of that game. We only paid for two games but got three because Alf kept breaking the machinery and we had to keep swapping between lanes 1 and 2.

After that I lost 4-7 to Anthony at air hockey as by that time I’d had too much cider and kept missing the puck. The cider consumption also meant that I sang along to Queen all the way home, although Anthony was kind enough not to cover his ears all the time.

When I felt better on Sunday morning, we went to Asda in search of Sunday lunch and bought some very nice sausages to have with mash. Once again I peeled far too many potatoes but this meant that on Monday night I could have lovely fried up left-over mash and sausages…mmmmm.

Then the rest of this week has been work and sleep really. Regional manager visit on Tuesday, phone calls from Campbelli at Sutton Coldfield to ask my advice on Crime books, Bod gave me a very nice box of Thornton’s chocs for working at the uni (I’m back there again tomorrow as Sat is an Open Day there) and RichieFingers has been generally amusing and occasionally Scottish as he tidies front of store.

Addendum: The mad cat is Foley (as usual). While I was typing this, she came hurtling in from outside and climbed up my back onto my shoulder. Then she was purring like a mad thing and rubbing her face round and round in my hair (just washed with Lush stuff, including the last of my Veganese conditioner). Then she started kneading my head with her paws and chewing my hair while still purring like a flipping train. This lasted five minutes and then off she went again. Cheaper than an Indian Head Massage I guess, although I don’t think it’ll catch on with the general public.

Thursday, November 02, 2006

Feeling old

My baby sister turned 21 today.

Since I can remember pretty much everything I did the day she was born, it's made me feel rather old.

Spending my fourth day in a row trying to make the Children's department make some kind of sense didn't help me feel any younger. Especially when I recommended the brilliant Each Peach Pear Plum to a customer and then realised that the book was published in 1978 so it's the same age as me. (It does mean I've requested the 30th anniversary edition as my 30th birthday present from Emily).

Chris was being grumpy today so I asked him which episode of Grumpy Old Men he would be appearing in so I could tape it. Much to my surprise he didn't throw anything at me and just replied that it was the episode after the one of Young, Gifted and Broke that I would be in.

I think that was quite a nice compliment really. Everyone knows I'm broke, but it was very nice to be called young and gifted too!

Saturday, October 28, 2006


I've been learning new things from Wikipedia all week.

Next years F1 rule changes.

The great Kevin Nugent is still playing.

My current favourite series of books,The Dresden Files will be on tv soon.

The connection between Torchwood and Century Falls.

FlyLady has her own Wikipedia entry too.

I love watching Veronica Mars and like the fact I can use this to unconfuse myself.

I've also been looking up places I'd like to visit, including Uluru, San Francisco and Provence.

Friday, October 27, 2006

Guilt Tripped

I've meant to post every day this week, but life has been busy - now I've been guilt-tripped into it I shall try and entertain.

I had a lovely three day weekend when I did not a whole lot. Got my hair cut by Anthony's cousin, went to Hobbycraft for thread, wandered into Boots and tried perfumes (Sui Love is yummy but Angel made me want to vomit) and watched the Brazilian Grand Prix.

Monday and Tuesday I got to go back to work! I wandered happily through fiction and put up shelf-stips in Sci-Fi and Crime. Then I got worried about Phil when he told me I shouldn't go down to the woods because the teddy bears were having a picnic. I think he's ok now, the medication had kicked in when I phoned him this afternoon.

Wednesday was a day off (since I'm at work tomorrow) and I spent the afternoon watching Torchwood and Roswell while making a New Home card for my friend Laura (who's just moved house surprisingly) after making my house all clean and shiny - which took about 45 minutes thanks to FlyLady.

I've just spent my last two days at the uni, pulling returns, doing paperwork and sighing at customers who really don't seem smart enough to be going to university (especially since they all seem to be law students!).

Other than all that stuff I've been thinking about Christmas (I know, I know) and what I can get/make people, the fact that I'm back at work tomorrow and have no more uni shifts (fingers crossed), books I want to buy, books I own that I really should read/reread, which perfumes I should sample next (since Anthony is still being obsinate about buying me Waterstone's vouchers for Christmas/my birthday), why I have to wait til Jan for the new WoW expansion pack, why I had a dream about some guy from Animal Park getting run over on the M5 and how much I'm looking forward to going to see the Bonzos with my dad in two weeks.

So you see I have actually been busy. Honest.

I am going to try to update more, if only to make Mark smile before he heads off to deal with Christmas customers.

Wednesday, October 18, 2006

One Day In History

Today was a pretty normal day for me,woken at 6 by boyfriend going to work, then I go back to sleep til 7 then up and onto the internet to check news, weather, blogs etc.
Headed off to work at 8.15, I usually work in a chain bookshop (Waterstone's) in central Wolverhampton but at the moment I'm covering a colleagues maternity leave so I'm based up at the university. This means leaving slightly earlier as I have to open up the shop.
Lovely misty morning to walk though, saw the old guy who stands outside his house most mornings and waved to him. I've created a playlist on my iPod nano for my morning walk - upbeat songs so that I walk fast and get myself going for the day ahead. Needless to say the evening playlist is nice and relaxing!
Work was the usual, serving students who seem unimpressed by the prices they have to pay for textbooks. It's hard to resist pointing out to them that they are investing in their future. I just know that they'll point out that I can't have gone to uni - I did, but found out that being good at a school subject doesn't mean it's a career for you. I miss working at my usual store, want to be selling lovely fiction books rather than law textbooks.
Home by 6, and time to fuss my two cats for a little while and to sort out my budget for the coming month. Payday is Friday and I have a 21st birthday present to buy for my baby sister, plus I have bills to pay and need to attempt so save for Christmas.
My boyfriend Anthony comes home around 7, he doesn't live here, but sometimes it feels like he does. The weeks he's on a sensible shift (lorry driver so he works nights and all sorts) he tends to stay here since other weeks I hardly see him. I cook us chinese for tea, first time I've cooked noodles but it works out well. I'm trying to do one new thing a week this year, and cooking proper chinese food with noodles was this weeks new thing.
Then we stick the footie on (Man U in the Champions League) and snuggle down on the sofa with the cats until it's time for bed at 10. Naturally I have to take a book up with me, and in honour of this blogging thing I'm reading 'Our Hidden Lives', a collection of extracts from the Mass Observation Project. This collection is post-war entries, I've already read 'We Are At War' which features entries from during WWII.
I finally get to sleep about 11, listening to a CD of the ocean to drown out the sounds of police sirens that seems to be the normal night-time melody of Wolverhampton.

Monday, October 16, 2006

Time Flies

Saturday was a day of many different things, which meant that it felt like several days rolled into one.

Anthony and Alf came round about 11 in the end and after Alf fixed my anti-virus we went shopping and then spent the afternoon talking bollocks and drinking.

We went out to Cafe Champagne for dinner and took another couple of Anthony's mates, Mick and Sarah, with us. Choosing the curries took longer than eating them in the end, with Alf going for Kangaroo and Anthony for Ostrich. Both very nice, but not as nice as my Chicken Asanak...mmmmmm.

I'd sent Miss Campbelli a text to say we were there and that it had made me think of her, and she texted back to say that she was in town if we wanted to meet up.

So after dropping off Mick and Sarah (and stopping off at home so Anthony could borrow my Wrangler boots as he only had trainers) we set off to meet Campbelli and Jamie at Walkabout.

Got in there, and spotted her at the other end of the bar so walked over.
Campbelli turns round and glances at me, then turns away again.
Jamie looks at me slightly puzzled.
I say hello...
Campbelli turns round again...

it took her a good 5 seconds to realise that I was me - and then she squealed!

Apparently I am very, very, very blonde!

Lots of giggling and chatting for an hour or so before they headed off for a curry (not at Cafe Champagne as Jamie called us "Jammy, Jammy Fuckers" for having been there) and we went home as we were all knackered.

So six months ago I was out on the town like this, and now Miss Campbelli can't recognise me, even in the same outfit!

Saturday, October 14, 2006

Grumpy People

I'm up early today cos I can't breathe properly when I'm lying down and so I thought I might as well get up.

However it means I caught the end of one of the BBC news programmes that I like the least, Newswatch. Not because of the presenter, who's a nice enough guy, but because of the people who are on it each week.

This week I caught a video from a guy who was bitching about the fact that BBc news presenters are sometimes standing, sometimes sitting. The fact they use each others names when talking to each other, the fact that they nod and smile at each other and sometimes talk directly to each other instead of at the camera (the example he showed was when Chris was showing Dermot and Kate some new hi-tech sports wear).

Now this is the very reason I watch the BBC news. The presenters come across as people, with their own personalities and interests. I like the fact they tease Declan in the morning and the fact that they mentioned when Sian had her baby. (I also love the fact that one presenter is just back from maternity, two are on it, and two more are pregnant - must be something about the programme).

I missed last weeks but the week before was I think the one where someone was saying that Richard Hammonds crash should not have been a headline as he wasn't a celebrity and the BBC were descending into tabloid television. Perhaps he was right, but when they interviewed him and he came across as a bloke who only listens to classical music (not that classical is bad but variety is the spice of life), always wears a tie, and only ever reads "worthy" novels - I realised that a headline about anybody who wasn't a politician would probably have provoked the same response from him.

I should really try to not watch it, but I do so love the stupid things that people complain about, and the reactions of the presenters when they cut back to the news after the programme. Today Bill turned straight to Louise and said "Hello Louise" and then they both started laughing. Perfect.

If you don't like watching the news people being human, put ITV on or something. But of course you can't do that...that really would be tabloid news.

Friday, October 13, 2006

Points mean prizes...

You may have guessed from the amount of posts that Anthony isn't here at the moment. All the crashes on YouTube gave his car ideas and he had to take it in to be fixed for a nice £490.

In the meantime I have been entertaining myself by trying to choose my two free audiobooks on Audible (thanks to a link on Keris' blog) and by writing bookseller reviews on Waterstone'

Find my reviews and you'll win a prize! (Well, I'll tell everyone how great and clever you are anyway).

I have caught my annual post-Christmas cold early, this year I'm doomed to a post-Academic one too I guess. This means I am drinking lots of beer and craving my mother's roast potatoes. Aunt Bessie's are a poor substitute but I can't be bothered to go out and buy more potatoes so they'll have to do.


Time for a hot toddy and my Teachers DVD.
"Mass blog" to capture UK Tuesday

One Day in History

Thursday, October 12, 2006

New Addiction

Looking on YouTube for that Albers "accident" meant that obviously I went on to spend a chunk of the evening on there looking up various things.

Anthony got in on the act and found this nice piece of footage that I can remember watching in one of the uni bars.

Another good example of why wheel tethers are a good thing, can you imagine being the poor bloke who had to go and find the two wheels his drivers car is missing?

It is a good example of a crash where every single driver walked away unhurt, but I still love this particular moment in the pit lane. Again, I can remember watching this.

Nobody hurt, apart from Jos's singed eyebrows because he had his visor up.


There are an awful lot of crashes on there that I won't watch though. Ratzenberger and Sennas fatal crashes for starters, in fact any of the fatal crashes really. I couldn't even bring myself to watch Ralf Schumachers accident in the USA Grand Prix in 2004. I can remember watching that at the time and that's enough thank you.

I did watch Nikki Laudas crash. I'd never seen it and can remember dad saying that when he saw it he couldn't believe that he got out of that car, that ever time he sees him in the pits or on the grid he can see that crash and is always so amazed.

The one I did watch that I shouldn't have done was the crash that killed Roger Williamson. It was the reaction of David Purley that was the thing that got to me. I watched that one because I'd never heard of the guy, and I felt I should. As with many of the other crashes, it's one that changed the setup of F1, changed the safety rules so that others would survive, including Nikki Lauda and Gerhardt Berger.

Tuesday, October 10, 2006

A Masterpiece of Modern Engineering

Two weeks ago I was watching the Chinese Grand Prix qualifying when I saw something very funny. Kimi Raikonen was zooming round doing a hot lap during the second session, and his wingmirror fell off.

Yup, there he is, 180 odd mph and his wingmirror just falls off. On the on-board camera you see it just ping off, and then hit Jensen Button which wasn't quite so funny.

However Christian Albers managed to top that at last weeks Japanese Grand Prix. I've managed to find it on YouTube for your viewing pleasure.

All he did was brake for the next corner and poof. The wheel tether failed because the bit of car it was attached to went with it. The big silver bit of metal is his drive shaft which ended up lying in the middle of the track until a marshal ran out to pick it up,

Emily was watching it too (at about 6.30am) and her text message read

"that was awesome he must've been oh um shit right um pits?"

Unfortunately I haven't been able to find the ITV interview that he did where he described it happening to him.

"Well I just braked for the corner and then my wheel and wing were going past me. But F1 is very safe"

Friday, October 06, 2006

Feeling good

I'm feeling so much better today. Last night I was exhausted and I'd really had enough. Tonight I'm feeling more confident about myself, which means I'm feeling less tired and a lot less blue.

We had a big branch visit today which we'd all been very stressed about, and it went well. It also meant that Bod was up with us for part of the day and I hadn't seen her since the day she asked me to work up at the uni. Basiclaly she told me I was doing a good job and put my mind at rest. Just the fact she said that has stopped me feeling so bloody useless and enabled me to feel proud of myself again. Plus getting texts from Campbelli reminding me to eat have been very helpful too! WE WANT HER BACK BEFORE DECEMBER 20TH THANK YOU VERY MUCH!

Another thing that happened tonight made me realise just how much I've changed in the last few months. As I was walking back across the Civic Square I saw Jo/Mab who I was quite good friends with a couple of years ago. We haven't spoken for about 18 months, and I can't remember the last time I saw her. She is the kind of person who knows if you're there when she walks into a pub, so the fact she could walk straight past me without recognising me is quite a compliment to the amount I've changed since I last saw her.

Now I have a nice couple of days off and I intend to do some relaxing and have a nice lie-in tomorrow. Sunday I'll be up early for the Japanese Grand Prix however.

The only thing I have to worry about at the moment is a stonkingly great birthday present for a lass who will be 21 soon. She likes pink, Jack Daniels, photography, reading and tea. Any ideas for presents will be gratefully received.

(You can always give me some ideas yourself Miss Emily if you don't like what the readers come up with)

Tuesday, October 03, 2006


I thought I was tired two weeks ago....

I've been meaning to post for a few days but I'd fallen into the routine of work, then home to food cooked by Anthony while I spend the evening dozing on the sofa until it's time for bed. But this week he's on nights so I have to get organised and cook for myself.

Eating in the evenings is something I really need to do this week. I don't get food during the day at the moment, none of us do. From 11 til 3 the shop is jumping and we don't get 30 secs between customers, let alone the chance for a nice hour lunch break.

So the three of us are surviving on Mars Bars and black coffee (or Lucozade for me) and all saying that we'll definitely eat something when we get home. Except then I'm too tired to eat!

I'm actually going to say: Roll on Christmas. Yup, Christmas is always hectic and stressful, but there's enough staff so you can stop and eat, there's a dedicated Goods In person booking in the stock for you to put out when you get the chance and you can rotate between the till, enquiries, stock and floor walking instead of trying to do them all at once.

I'm going to be good and go eat something other than chocolate now...

Thursday, September 21, 2006


I've got my lovely new Pratchett book!

I went down to work from the uni at lunchtime and walked straight into goods-in to see if it was there yet. I then hassled poor New Chris (our new goods-in lad) to look through the EDN's to see if it was in one of the TBS boxes that were sitting in a pile.

It was! Chris was then very lovely and unpacked me a copy and I grinned all the way back up to the uni knowing I had it to read while I ate my Thursday SubWay.

It is gonna annoy a few people though.

The other two Tiffany Aching books have been published as "children's DiscWorld". They've come out in the spring and have been slightly smaller and thinner than the usual DiscWorld novel that comes out in the autumn.

Big Chris hasn't read them for this reason. Even when he's been complaining that Pratchett hasn't done a Witches book for ages and I mention them, he's been dismissive.

Well this one has been published as one of the "adult" ones. It's the big format, it's been published in the autumn, and it's a Witches one.

I know we've had a few other customers too who've been very dismissive of the "kids" DiscWorld books, looks like they'll be buying them now!

(Oh, and I'm about a third of the way through and it's heavy on the witches, especially Granny Weatherwax).


Oh yeah, my early night on Tuesday? 3am...

Last night I went to bed at 8, woke up at 2am...

I have another sodding bladder infection so I'm very grouchy and am rather tired. This is another reason that getting Wintersmith early was A Good Thing.

Tuesday, September 19, 2006


Things here are a bit hectic this week.

I've been meaning to post about the other stuff I did during my week off, the fact that Phil got asked about the Female Booker Prize, Campbelli and her mad travelling and the fact that slugs keep appearing in my kitchen sink.

But I'm just too tired.

Partly this is due to the fact that I'm working at the university branch at the moment. Jayne had her daughter Elinor two weeks early on the 10th Sept (and she popped in today and Elinor is so adorable) and so Deb needed someone to act as a duty manager there, so Bod asked me to do it. It's not fantastically hard work there yet, the horribly busy bit starts next week, but the fact I have the extra responsibility made me very stressed last week. I've just been horribly worried that I'm going to do something horribly wrong, but so far everythings been ok so I feel like a wally for worrying so much.

Last night I was in bed before 9, that's how tired I was. Tonight I'm aiming to watch a programme about Stephen Fry and his manic depression and then toddle off to bed about 10ish, which is a sort of an early night I guess.

Anthony is working the 5-1 shift this week, which means I don't have him to snuggle up to and chill with, but the cats are trying their best to relax me. When I came in tonight I could hear Esme giving me her little "Hello" meow, but couldn't see her anywhere. I looked behind the sofa and in the dresser, but no Esme. Then all of a sudden the throw on the sofa started moving and I realised that she'd burrowed underneath it and gone to sleep all cosy and hidden. Luckily she'd been sensible enough to do it in the middle of the sofa, rather than the end where I throw my bags when I get in, or I'm sure it wouldn't have been "Hello" meows that I'd have heard!

Tomorrow is pay-day, which is always good. Also, Wintersmith should be turning up this week so I'll have a lovely new Pratchett book to read.

Oooh...the good thing about working at the uni...NO WEEKENDS!

Wednesday, September 13, 2006

Holiday week (1)

For once I only had 7 days off in a row (I'm usually clever and manage 9) but since only 4 of those counted as holiday days I'm lucky there!

We started the week with a list of things that we wanted to get done.

  • 1) Blind up in living-room.

  • 2) Curtain poles up in back bedroom and new spare bedroom (which is currently the library until that moves downstairs).

  • 3) Cut back hedge.

  • 4) Take the three unwanted mattresses to the tip.

  • 5) Move library downstairs.

  • 6) Put up curtains in dining room/new library.

  • 7) Clean all the ground floor windows.

  • 8) Collect Anthony's old bed from his house and put into new spare bedroom.

  • 9) Buy new pillows, duvet and bedlinen for spare bed.

  • 10) Choose paint colours for rooms. (These all have to be passed by the landlady too).

  • 11) Collect fish tank.

  • 12) Move all Yeti's rubbish to front room.

  • 13) Move computer boxes to spare room cupboard.

  • 14) Fix door to back hallway.

  • 15) Defrost fridgefreezer, move it to front room so the Yeti can take it away, and replace with Phil's fridge.

  • 16) Buy curtains for upstairs and front room.

  • 17) Buy blind for living room.

  • We managed 10 of those things (2,3,4,6,7,12,13,14,15,16) and managed to buy a duvet for the new bed, but no pillows yet.

    My garden feels so much bigger now. Wednesday Alf came round and between then they took about 2 foot off the height of the hedge which has increased the amount of light amazingly. They did manage to piss off my Asian neighbours though, as the old guy (the one who hit Foley) came out into the garden to watch them, and ended up throwing branches back over the fence. Don't really care if we pissed them off though, after all it's their hedge and they should have been cutting it back too. Angela noticed it straight away as it also means her garden gets lots more light which is brilliant.

    Wednesday was also the day that the mattresses went. Alf brought his trailer and they went off along with all the bits of hedge to some nice tip somewhere. We nearly cleared out a load of the wood from the garage too, but the gates in the back lane got locked after the first trip out (and I have no key) so we've left that for another time.

    The curtain poles were bought and measured up on Sunday while I was at work. Then when I was waiting for the Yeti to arrive on Tuesday to take his stuff away I spotted some nice curtains on and bought those for £9.99. We've just put up one of each in each of the rooms upstairs as we don't need more than that up there and they look gorgeous. (I really have to get a new battery pack for my camera so I can take pictures).

    The front room now seems so much bigger since the Yeti has taken his junk away. The horrible unit is still there, but I'm planning to start dismantling it this afternoon and then the bits should be easily disposed of. Then we can move the bookcases downstairs and start making that room really cosy.

    Monday, September 11, 2006

    Yes, I intended to post about my holiday week tonight, but I got caught up in my struggle to get my new paladin character to level 40 (time for a free horse) tonight.

    This also meant that after I'd had Extreme Makeover: Home Edition on, the tv got left on during part of How To Find A Husband. Now I like that Sally girl, but it's not my kind of show at all.

    I'm glad I left it on though, as she was holding a dating night in a laundrette in Notting Hill and when she mentioned Notting Hill I looked at the tv just in time to spot Mark's bookshop! This has meant that I've had to leave the programme on just in case he turns up, although I'm sure he'd have mentioned it.

    I promise to blog about my relaxing week off tomorrow...honest.

    Saturday, September 02, 2006


    I've just read the best book I've read for ages. The only bad thing about it is the fact it's not published til January so I have to wait til then to start recommending it to customers.

    It's called "Growing Up Again" by Catriona McCloud.

    Janie Lawson's life hasn't turned out quite the way she'd hoped.
    Nearly forty, she's in a marriage that's frozen over with a mother-in-law she despises. Before Janie can take the final step towards divorce, though, her fate is taken out of her hands. Janie wakes up in her old bedroom and finds it just as it was in her teens. But it isn't until Janie looks in the mirror, to be confronted by her fifteen-year-old self sporting the most diabolical 80s perm, that the reality of her situation sinks in. She's been swept back in time to 1981 and all the signs suggest that it's a one way trip. But there's an upside - Janie has the chance to make her life turn out the way she wanted it. She's determined to help her parents, make her fortune and do some good in the world, starting with saving Lady Diana Spencer from her fate. But pretty soon Janie realises that even second time around, nothing is guaranteed...

    This doesn't even begin to cover how good the book is. The fact she remembers everything is perfect, and there's no worrying about exactly what will happen when she changes things. Sure, there's a little grief at the fact that William and Harry might not get born, but other than that she's single-minded in the pursuit of her goals. I love the postcards she gets, the fact she uses her 40 year old adult self's sarcasm on her teachers and the way she spends most of the book trying to remember her hamster's name!

    I actually had to set my phone alarm so I wasn't late back off my lunch cos I was so engrossed in this.

    And no...I won't lend you the proof cos I'm worried I wouldn't get it back!

    Wednesday, August 30, 2006

    Good weekend

    I had a really lovely weekend in Essex. It was very quiet without my sister being there, she was singing her heart out at the Reading Festival.

    We went out for dinner on Sat night to the Outback Steak House in Basiland (Basildon) which was ok but very dark and noisy so won't be going there again.

    On Sunday Anthony helped my dad put up new curtain rails in the living room and dining room. The curtains that had been up were the ones my mum bought when me moved in, so new ones are very very welcome.

    We also watched the Grand Prix in Essex which was cool to watch it with my dad again.

    In the end we came back here on Sunday instead of Monday as we decided to go out with Alf on Monday. Anthony did love my directing in Essex. We came down the M11 so I managed to direct him through the edge of Brentwood on the way there (passing all the signs for the Secret Nuclear Bunker) and Chelmsford on the way back.

    Monday we were going to go to the market at Halfpenny Green (I think that's it), but it turned out not to be on so we met Alf at a car boot sale somewhere else and then went to Bridgnorth in the afternoon.

    Today I had a day off too and we did some washing and made plans for our week off next week.

    Anthony has written a list which includes things like putting up curtains in the living room, dining room and upstairs bedrooms (since the only room with curtains is my bedroom) and moving the library downstairs into the dining room so that I can sort out a proper spare bedroom and so the library will have chairs in and get used more.

    One of the things on the list is "Get the Yeti to take his festering shit away" as I've finally snapped and decided I wanted it gone. Five months ago he asked to leave some of it here and pay me £5 a month for doing so. It's now four months since I've last seen him, I've had no money (and have no hope of getting any) and I've had enough. I don't want to keep his stuff here until he decides he wants to take it away, I've already had to throw out so much rubbish that he left behind.

    So hopefully he'll come and get that nice and early in the week, in fact I'll tell him he can come Mon, Tues or Wed and that's it. Otherwise it's all going to the tip. Gas cooker, bike, hideous fake wood unit, and all the other junk.

    I'm working this weekend and then I have a nice 7 day break including a party at Pami's on the 9th (staying at my folks again) to top off the week.

    Thursday, August 24, 2006

    Attention to detail and sweating the small stuff

    I am a stickler for the small things in life.

    Misplaced apostrophes make me cringe (except for the bit in Going Postal where the greengrocer's speech is deliberately peppered with misplaced ones - which I notice every time), I won't order things from companies that misspell words in their terms and conditions (Bulldog, this means you) and I loathe and detest people who don't bother to say please or thank you.

    I try to curb my pedantic tendencies at work as I worry that they make me seem really pessimistic. Fingers will ask what I think of his window display and the first thing I point out is the fact two of the books are backwards.

    Fingers said yesterday that this was a good thing (and I'm trying to believe him).

    We had a visit from our new area manager Paul, who went round the front of store with Bod and Fingers, commenting on all the displays and sections with them while I stayed on the till. When they came back to me, Bod introduced me and said that I was just as creative as Fingers (thanks boss!) but that I was quieter about it and my projects were smaller.

    Fingers then compared it to the fact that he might decide to paint the front of store so he'd start splashing paint about, then I'm come along and point out the bits he'd missed.

    This did make me feel pedantic and fault finding until Fingers said that it was a really good thing. That it meant that he could paint front of store bright yellow (for example, I don't think he will be) and rely on me to point out to him that he'd missed a section of shelving out, or that when he shows me one of his fabulous headers he is happy that I pick up on his spelling.

    I am trying to see this as a good thing. I try to do small tasks, or at least break down the big ones so that I know that I've done them fully. On changeover days I'll happily wander off with a list to check that the right books have got the right stickers on while Fingers concocts fabulously beautiful window displays involving kits and deckchairs (part of the current summer theme).

    I just have to balance this against being too picky, against getting stressed because no-one seems to be noticing what I'm doing cos they're all looking at the windows. I talked about this with Bod a few months ago and she reassured me that they do notice, but that I don't shout about it so don't get the same reactions. (Not saying that Fingers does shout about his window displays, he just shouts when he gets stuck and needs a hand out or another book or bit of sticky tape).
    I just look about and spot the jobs that need doing and do them - just wish I could do that at home!

    I have had a slightly stressy day today (which is where this came from). Woke up on time but have just felt like I've been running slightly late all day. Even my 12" Italian BMT at lunchtime didn't help!

    Stressing the small stuff is also why I haven't posted since that 100 things post, although I have intended too. I just want my posts to be meaningful and more than just "been busy, sorry". I haven't had anything I've felt worthy of being the follow-up until today.

    I'm going to try and chill this evening. Anthony bought me/us the sweetest little DVD player from Tesco yesterday and I have a couple of films I wanna watch and some sewing I want to do so the plan for this evening is relax I think.


    Oh, BTW.

    I now have short, very blonde hair.

    But I haven't been able to take a picture of it that I really like yet which is why I haven't put one up although I have had it for nearly two weeks now.

    I shall try and get my mum to take one this weekend, since I'm going back to Essex to celebrate my dad's 60th (which was last Sat, but I was working).

    Anthony is coming too...

    Tuesday, August 15, 2006

    100 things (how long before Emily pinches this one)

    1. My favourite font is Comic Sans MS.
    2. I hate the Arial font with a passion since it's the "standard" font.
    3. That's pretty much the reason I hate writing in blue ink too.
    4. At school I had three fountain pens filled with black, turquoise and purple ink.
    5. My English teacher marked me down for writing in purple because it clashed with her red pen.
    6. I liked English at school (despite that teacher).
    7. But I hate writing essays so I didn't do it for A Level.
    8. I did Maths, Biology and Chemistry instead.
    9. Then I went to uni and did a science foundation year since my A level marks were pants.
    10. Then I did the first year of a Molecular and Cellular Biology degree...
    11. ...before dropping out after realising that although I liked it, it couldn't be my career.
    12. (oh, and partly cos I failed the first year and would have had to resit it again).
    13. Working in a library or bookshop has always been something I wanted to do.
    14. I started my own library at 8 lending out my pony books to friends.
    15. I still have some of those books...
    16. ...and they still have the little number strips on the front that I made.
    17. I feel that I don't have enough space at home...
    18. ...even though it's just me and the cats in a three-bedroomed terraced house.
    19. This is partly because the littlest bedroom is just used for drying washing...
    20. ...and has two mattresses in that I wanna throw out.
    21. The other spare bedroom is my library.
    22. I'm thinking about moving it downstairs into the dining room
    23. Anthony wants to create me a nice cosy reading space in there.
    24. But we have to get the Yeti to shift his stupid hideous cabinet first.
    25. Then I can have a proper spare room for when people come to visit, instead of making them sleep with the washing like Emily had to.
    26. I want to get this done before November when my dad comes to stay.
    27. Because we're going to see The Bonzo Dog Doo-Dah Band at the Wolves Civic.
    28. You may not recognise that band name but you'll know their most famous song, "The Urban Spaceman".
    29. My eclectic taste in music is all my parents fault.
    30. My mother got me liking Billy Joel, Elton John, Queen, Chicago and Bread.
    31. My father is responsible for The Bonzos, Flanders & Swann, and CSN&Y.
    32. They are probably about equally responsible for Joni Mitchell, and The Mama's and the Papa's.
    33. My father is also responsible for me liking The Goon's and I'm Sorry I Haven't A Clue.
    34. We used to listen to them when driving long distances on holiday.
    35. We also used to listen to I'm Sorry I'll Read That Again, which starred John Cleese and Bill Oddie among others.
    36. This means that just saying "Lady Constance" or "Shut up Spot" makes me giggle.
    37. Not to mention "He's fallen in the water!"
    38. I say gnome as g-nom and legend as leg-end.
    39. I can't spell out loud, I always have to write the word down.
    40. I don't type properly, I only use two fingers on each hand.
    41. This is because I learnt to type faster when I used to hang out in chat rooms a lot.
    42. Despite the fact I only use four fingers I still type pretty fast.
    43. But my spelling can be terrible as my head is usually two words ahead of my fingers.
    44. When I read I read two sentences at a time.
    45. This is why I read so fast...
    46. ...but also why I'm not very good at reading out loud...
    47. ...or reading non-fiction books.
    48. I do try and slow down my reading sometimes by imagining I'm reading out loud.
    49. But as soon as I stop concentrating on doing it, I speed right back up again.
    50. I learnt to read very young.
    51. I can remember mum teaching me with flashcards before I went to playgroup.
    52. This is why they tease me for saying ball-et instead of ballet and mart-ron instead of matron when I was little.
    53. Because I never heard them said, just read them.
    54. That's also why I didn't know you said Sean like Shawn until I was 11.
    55. My mother had an argument with my teacher when I was 7 cos I was reading The Hobbit in class reading time and the teacher didn't like it.
    56. She said I should be reading Hammy the Hamster as it has "some very adult concepts in it".
    57. Needless to say I carried on reading the Hobbit in class reading time.
    58. When I read Lord of The Rings I still hear the voices from the BBC Radio Four production in my head.
    59. So Ian McKellen isn't Gandalf, Michael Hordern is. (although I love the films too)
    60. I don't actually own my own copy of LOTR, or the Hobbit.
    61. But I do own all the DiscWorld books...
    62. ...and have the first 15 in leather bound editions too.
    63. They aren't for reading though, and I don't think most of them have even been opened.
    64. I still have the first Terry Pratchett book I ever read.
    65. It was Strata (not a DiscWorld book) and I bought it from the Barnardos in Billericay High Street when I was 10/11.
    66. I used to buy most of my books from that Barnardos or from the Oxfam shop in the High Street.
    67. Both shops are still there, and still in the same places.
    68. Which is more than I can say for most of the shops I remember being there as a child.
    69. I moved to Billericay in October 1984 when I was 5 (nearly 6)
    70. We moved there from Istead Rise in Kent, where we moved after living in Stroud in Gloucestershire.
    71. Before that we lived in Bahrain which is where I was born.
    72. I do think of myself as an Essex girl at heart.
    73. Even though I've never lived in East London I'm very drawn to that bit of London as that's when my parents are from.
    74. That's why I support Leyton Orient (Come on Ronnie!) like my dad does.
    75. Like Michelle I have an addictive personality.
    76. I don't know if I come from a long line of alcoholics (I know I come from one) but I think that is a factor in the addictive personality thing.
    77. This is why I try to avoid going on eBay or I just buy buy buy.
    78. It's also why I try not to keep vodka or spirits in the house...
    79. when I get blue I like to drink...
    80. ...which is one of the reasons I failed my A Levels as I pretty much spent the second year drunk.
    81. But I'm proud of myself for not going down that route this year...
    82. ...instead I got hooked on posting in this blog...
    83. ...and now I feel guilty that I don't post so much.
    84. But life is so busy now, and I have someone I can talk to so my random thoughts don't need to get posted for me to feel peaceful.
    85. I hate when the phone rings with a random sales call and interrupts my train of thought. (as it just did).
    86. I love my two cats, they make me smile all the time.
    87. Well, not when Foley chewed through the modem cable.
    88. It's crazy to think that only four months ago I hadn't met Anthony in person...
    89. ...and now I can't imagine not knowing him.
    90. I love the little glass pots that Raspberry Gu Puds come in, even though Foley just broke three all over the clean kitchen floor.
    91. I decided to do this 100 thing post because I wanted a break from cleaning on my day off...
    92. ...even though I'm proud of the way the bathroom looks after I scrubbed the floor.
    93. Now that I'm getting near the end I'm finding it really hard to pick the last few things to put.
    94. My sister bought me a My Little Pony Baby Blossom Set as a present when she was born.
    95. Even though all the stuff in my living room is mine it still doesn't feel quite like my room...
    96. ...but I am resisting rearranging the whole thing as I will get fed up halfway through and then it will just be a mess.
    97. But I am going to throw out my pentacle picture and paint a new one for my wall.
    98. Although I might do some work on my new cross stitch project, the sixth one I am working on at the moment.
    99. I really love those three little dots ...
    100. I nearly didn't do this because I didn't think I could think of 100 things and in fact there are lots of things I had to leave out.

    (101. I hate American spell checkers that want me to write cozy instead of cosy and think that Hordern should be replaced with hardwired, Gandalf with candelabra and playgroup with pleasurable). (and where the learn function seems to be switched off so it always queries the same things).

    Thursday, August 10, 2006

    I know...

    ...but life has either been boring or hectic. I had a stress headache for the whole of last week and so my evenings were spent sleeping or playing WoW. This week Anthony is here so I am understandably distracted.

    So to keep you all entertained I stole borrowed this from Michelle.

    150 Questions
    The Bold Ones Are The Ones I Have Done.

    01. Dyed your hair
    02. Been a DJ
    03. Climbed a mountain
    04. Been arrested
    05. Fired a rifle, shotgun, or pistol (only an air rifle at a summer camp, I prefer archery)
    06. Held a tarantula
    07. Taken a candlelit bath with someone
    08. Said "I love you" and meant it
    09. Taught yourself an art from scratch
    10. Done a striptease
    11. Bungee jumped
    12. Had a booth at a street fair
    13. Watched a lightning storm at sea
    14. Stayed up all night long, and watched the sun rise
    15. Seen the Northern Lights
    16. Gone to a huge sports game
    17. Walked the stairs to the top of the Leaning Tower of Pisa
    18. Grown and eaten your own vegetables
    19. Touched an iceberg
    20. Slept under the stars
    21. Changed a baby's diaper
    22. Taken a trip in a hot air balloon
    23. Watched a meteor shower
    24. Had to put someone you love into hospice care
    25. Had a body part of yours below the neck pierced
    26. Driven any land vehicle at a speed of greater than 100 mph
    27. Had an uncontrollable giggling fit at the worst possible moment
    28. Had a food fight
    29. Built your own PC from parts
    30. Taken a sick day when you're not ill (but not recently...honest boss!)
    31. Asked out a stranger
    32. Had a snowball fight
    33. Photocopied your bottom on the office photocopier
    34. Screamed as loudly as you possibly can
    35. Picked up and moved to another city to just start over (Well, it was moving back home from Canterbury, but I think it counts)
    36. Enacted a favorite fantasy
    37. Taken a midnight skinny dip
    38. Taken an ice cold bath
    39. Had a meaningful conversation with a beggar (yup, he sells the Big Issue and is a total dude)
    40. Seen a total eclipse (France, summer of 1999)
    41. Rode on a roller coaster
    42. Hit a home run
    43. Rode on a motorcycle
    44. Danced like a fool and not cared who was looking
    45. Adopted an accent for an entire day (On my 17th birthday I spoke in an Irish accent all day until my dad threatened to report me to the RSPCA)
    46. Visited the birthplace of your ancestors (Leyton counts right?)
    47. Eaten mushrooms that were gathered in the wild (Probably, I've eaten them on holiday in France in little cafes in little villages so I would think so)
    48. Rode a horse (I love horseriding, one day I shall have my own horse)
    49. Had major surgery
    50. Loved your job for all accounts
    51. Taken care of someone who was shit faced
    52. Had enough money to be truly satisfied
    53. Had amazing friends (Have got them now)
    54. Killed and prepared an animal for eating
    55. Apologized to someone years after inflicting the hurt
    56. Stolen a sign
    57. Backpacked in Europe
    58. Taken a road-trip
    59. Rock climbing
    60. Selected one "important" author who you missed in school, and read (I should probably do this...)
    61. Midnight walk on the beach
    62. Sky diving
    63. Changed your name
    64. Been heartbroken longer then you were actually in love
    65. In a restaurant, sat at a stranger's table and had a meal with them
    66. Communicated with someone without sharing a common spoken language (My French partners grandma. She spoke no English and my French was crap but I remember having a great day out with her)
    67. Benchpressed your own weight
    68. Milked a cow (years ago...)
    69. Alphabetized your records (my DVDs certainly, otherwise I group my CD's and books by how much I like the artist/author)
    70. Pretended to be a superhero (when I was two I "flew" off a top bunk onto a stone floor...I was a terrible child)
    71. Sung karaoke
    72. Lounged around in bed all day
    73. Posed nude in front of strangers
    74. Scuba diving
    75. Got it on to Let's Get It On" by Marvin Gaye
    76. Kissed in the rain
    77. Played in the mud
    78. Played in the rain
    79. Gone to a drive-in theater
    80. Done something you should regret, but don't regret it.
    81. Parasailed
    82. Discovered that someone who's not supposed to have known about your blog has discovered your blog (Well I found out that someone reads it to find out what I'm doing, although I knew that they knew about it)
    83. Skipped all your school reunions
    84. Started a business
    85. Dined in a restaurant and stolen silverware, plates, cups because your apartment needed them (I was at uni and it was the uni pizzeria)
    86. ...and gotten 86'ed from the restaurant because you did it so many times, they figured out it was you
    87. Taken a martial arts class
    88. Swordfought for the honor of a woman
    89. Written your own computer language
    90. Gotten married (yup...see no. 95)
    91. Been in a movie
    92. Crashed a party
    93. Loved someone you shouldn't have
    94. Kissed someone so passionately it made you dizzy
    95. Gotten divorced WORKING ON IT!!!
    96. Had sex at the office (back in Canterbury at H&B...)
    97. Gone without food for 5 days (does soup count? this should say solid food)
    98. Made cookies from scratch
    99. Won first prize in a costume contest
    100. Rode a gondola
    101. Gotten a tattoo (I love my hummingbird)
    102. Found that the texture of some materials can turn you on (and I love the smell of leather too)
    103. Rafted the Snake River
    104. Found out someone was going to dump you via Blogger
    105. Got flowers for no reason
    106. Masturbated in a public place
    107. Got so drunk you don't remember anything (yup...a few times...)
    108. Gone back to school
    109. Performed on stage (I went to see Jack and the Beanstalk with Jonny Ball in it and got called up. I sang Chick, Chick, Chicken and got an autographed book...I was very young)
    110. Been to Las Vegas
    111. Recorded music
    112. Eaten shark
    113. Had a one-night stand (had a few)
    114. Gotten someone fired for their actions
    115. Changed someone's mind about something you care deeply about
    116. Bought a house
    117. Been in a combat zone
    118. Buried one/both of your parents
    119. Shaved or waxed your pubic hair off
    120. Been on a cruise ship
    121. Spoken more than one language fluently
    122. Gotten into a fight while attempting to defend someone
    123. Bounced a check
    124. Had your picture in the newspaper (I won some treasure hunt thing at a local country park and won a book about old crafts)
    125. Read - and understood - your credit report (This is a recent thing, and I'm proud of myself)
    126. Raised children
    127. Recently bought and played with a favorite childhood toy (I did just buy "The Tiger Who Came To Tea", and one of those tappy pin board things at xmas)
    128. Eaten kangaroo meat
    129. Been a sperm or egg donor
    130. Eaten sushi
    131. Found out something significant that your ancestors did (My great-great grandmother (I think that's right) was a cigar maker in Leyton and her father was a Master Mariner based in Liverpool. That's significant enough for me.)
    132. Called or written your Congress person
    133. Slept through an entire flight: takeoff, flight, and landing
    134. Slept for more than 30 hours over the course of 48 hours
    135. Walked the Golden Gate Bridge
    136. Sang loudly in the car, and didn't stop when you knew someone was looking
    137. Had plastic surgery
    138. Survived an accident that you shouldn't have survived
    139. Wrote articles for a large publication
    140. Lost over 100 pounds at one time
    141. Hiked to the bottom of the Grand Canyon
    142. Piloted an airplane
    143. Petted a stingray
    144. Broken someone's heart
    145. Helped an animal give birth
    146. Been fired or laid off from a job (H&B, the manageress was a biatch)
    147. Won money on a T.V. game show
    148. Broken a bone (I've broken my left wrist twice, my left collarbone once, and my left arm once)
    149. Had sex on a moving train (a Tube train no less, but a good few years ago now)

    Tuesday, August 01, 2006

    Best flip-flops in the world

    While browsing the CSNY site I discovered these flip-flops in their store.

    I think I need to shop...


    I know there are a lot of people who can't stand Jeremy Clarkson (Mark and Keris being two), but I think he's funny. He's like a caricature of himself sometimes. So it was nice to see that the BBC have issued this statement about Top Gear.

    Other complaints come from my cats. (and Esme is showing her objection to me typing this by lying her head on my left arm so I can only type with my right hand).

    I'm chilling tonight (after stickering approx 1000 kids books with 3 for 2 stickers)by having some nice beer and sticking my Crosby, Stills and Nash (and a little Neil Young) onto media player and singing along.

    I was warbling along to Ohio (not a lyric link, but the story of the song) when Foley jumped on the desk and smacked me in the mouth with one of her front paws. Understandably I stopped singing for a second, but as soon as I started again, she did it again.

    Humph. No-one appreciates my musical "talent".

    (Aside: I love the fact that David Crosby looks pretty much the same now as he does in that picture from 69/70. His hair's got whiter but he's got the same smile. Neil Young's the same, he's just lost the sideburns. The other two look so different, except round the eyes.)

    Their songs are the songs that have shaped my life. Thanks for that dad.

    Teach Your Children

    Our House

    Carry On/Questions

    Monday, July 31, 2006

    Kate --


    Smells like teen spirit

    'How will you be defined in the dictionary?' at

    Take this quiz at

    'What will your obituary say?' at

    What crazy thing will be your demise?
    A super secure bank vault
    ... (why?)
    Because it caused a parallel universe to form
    'What crazy thing will be your demise?' at

    In the event of a lottery win, Kate should buy...

    An Escher-like mansion in which people get stuck
    'What should you buy if you win the lottery?' at

    Sunday, July 30, 2006


    Monday, July 24, 2006

    Mirror, mirror...

    ...on the floor.

    My bedroom has/had three mirror tiles on one wall that made up a full length mirror. The joins were a little annoying as they were at the wrong points - it's hard to tell if a skirt looks ok when the mirror join cuts across in just the wrong place.

    I say had for a reason...

    Last night we'd actually gone up to bed relatively early as we were both knackered. Left the fan on for a little to cool the room off and then dozed off peacefully.

    I was woken up at 1.30am by a really loud crash, didn't have a clue what it could be. Pushed the light up (it dims up and down since it's a dawn simulator), and couldn't see anything wrong, so assumed it was something outside and went back to sleep.

    2.30am I woke up with a scream when something shattered on the floor next to the bed. I was convinced someone had thrown something through the window, but when I put the light up I saw mirror glass all over the floor.

    It turns out that those tiles were just held up by sticky pads, which had obviously weakened in the hot weather. The second crash was what I thought was two of those tiles falling down and smashing everywhere.

    I was very glad that Anthony was there as he managed to calm down my fit of hysterics and get me back to sleep again, promising he'd sort it all in the morning.

    5.30am...the third tile fell off (but didn't smash).

    This morning Anthony cleared up all the bits for me (as he had shoes upstairs and I didn't) and commented that it didn't seem like enough glass for two tiles. I found the first one behind the bedstead just by my head, unshattered but cracked in two. This one was what caused the first crash.

    So I'm now without a mirror in the bedroom, I'm quite grumpy due to heat and lack of sleep, pissed off that someone could have fixed those up with just sticky pads, glad that Anthony was there, and very glad that the one that fell behind the bed didn't land on me.

    Phil doesn't think it'll count as seven years bad luck since I didn't break the mirror, it broke itself.

    Now I just need to find a nice new mirror and Anthony has promised to put it up properly so I don't get the heebie-jeebies at stupid o'clock in the morning when things start smashing.

    Tuesday, July 18, 2006

    Currently uninspired

    I'm sorry I haven't been posting much, I just haven't been able to think of much to post about!

    I haven't been having any deep thoughts (too hot), or funny conversations with Campbelli (cos I hadn't seen her for three weeks and on Monday she heads to London for some top secret Head Office thing and won't be back til November!). Even the cats haven't been doing particularly funny things.

    My mother came to visit on Saturday and she met Anthony (and thinks he's cool "he actually talks! Not like the last one who hardly said a word to me.") and we went for dinner at Cafe Champagne which she also loved.

    I have approximately 3,000,000,000 flea bites (bloody cats) on my ankles so the house is being defleaed, and all the washing I had done has to be done again.

    I've joined Spark People in an attempt to eat healthy and have started drinking lots and lots of water. This means that I am challenging Campbelli in the number of loo breaks at work, and I've also managed to lose 6 pounds so far. I know that's almost certainly just cos I'm drinking more water so my body isn't storing it, but hey, it's a start.

    Right, I'm off to eat some healthy chicken and turn the fan up higher.

    Friday, July 14, 2006

    More music

    My parents have a whole batch of old tapes that they made back in the late 70's. They were living out in Bahrain and my dad used to set up the reel-to-reel (which is still working and used most days) to record Radio Dhahran. Then they would pick out their favourite songs and they'd get put onto tapes.

    I think there are about 15 Dhahran tapes, and three or four more that are Best of's. The only problem was that they just used to broadcast the songs one after another, with no breaks apart from the hourly news and weather (one weather broadcast is immortalised on one of the tapes). This meant that the artists and song titles were never mentioned.

    Because of this there are a few songs on the tapes that have ?? as the artist and a guess at the title. One of these I remember is "The Chain" by Fleetwood Mac which was down as "Running in the Shadows" by ?? for a long long time. It's my writing on the case that changed it to Fleetwood Mac...

    One of the songs has defied all identification for a long while. Dad thought it was possibly Suzanne Vega, but it was recorded before she started performing.

    Tonight, prompted by the discovery of a Carole King concert on BBC4, I decided to google the lyrics...and I found the artist.

    Falling Star by Karla Bonoff

    Oh my heart aches
    Deep inside me
    Oh, how I miss you
    Will you come back?
    Oh, why’d you leave me?
    Oh, what can I do?

    ‘Cause every night
    I sit here by the phone
    You know it rings a lot inside my head
    I daydream you're home
    I never knew that it would go this far.
    Come pick me up
    I'm going down
    Like a falling star.

    And the clock strikes midnight
    And I'm lying here alone.
    I can't sleep, I hear my heartbeat.
    Oh, I can't stand the monotone.
    And every day I have paced the floor
    You know it rains a lot inside my heart,
    But I still ask for more.
    But now I know that love can leave a scar.
    Come pick me up, I'm going down
    Like a falling star.

    And when the birds fly south for a while,
    Oh, I wish that I could go.
    Someone there might warm this cold heart,
    Someone there might know.
    But every day I have paced the floor.
    You know it rains a lot inside my heart,
    But I still ask for more.
    But now I know that love can leave a scar.
    Come pick me up, I'm going down
    Like a falling star.


    That's another one crossed off, and I am a happy bunny. (Now I just need to get copies of all those tapes for myself...)


    The other day I was sitting peacefully at the computer watching Foley running up and down the fence in the garden.

    Then one of my neighbours came out and hit her with a broom so that she ran the length of the fence squalling and vanished.

    Unsurprisingly I shot out into the garden to give the neighbour a piece of my mind (or as Anthony put it "to stick that broom where the sun don't shine").

    But as I appeared in my garden the neighbour went inside, leaving me to fume.

    Foley didn't reappear so eventually I went next door to see if they'd seen where she'd vanished to after they assaulted her.

    Foley had apparently vanished into their garage full of junk, and after much crashing about by the lad, she reappeared and shot indoors.

    What did the neighbour have to say about the hitting her with the broom? "We didn't realise it was your cat."

    Fume, fume, fume...

    I kept the cats in the next night but let them out last night and all day today (since I'm off work due to passing out after my blood test at the doc's earlier). No sign of anyone next door, but the cats have been mostly chasing flies rather than on the fence.

    Foley is such a soft cat now. When I think of how she was in Feb, growling if you went to stroke her tummy, and now she sits on my shoulder and squeaks in my ear!

    Although there are times...

    Foley jumped on me just as I took this

    Thursday, July 06, 2006

    A short musical interlude

    I have been inspired by Keris to do this ipod meme thing.

    Well...since I don't HAVE an ipod it's going to be an MP3 player and media player meme (but that's besides the point).

    The rules (as stated by Marie) are "no repeat artists, no foreign muck, no songs where the title is in the first line, and nothing that even you with the title in front of you have no clue what it is"
    So here you go folks.

    1. Well I came upon a child of God. Woodstock by Joni Mitchell. Got by Mark.

    2. You don't know how you met me, you don't know why. Follow Me by Uncle Kracker. Got by Mark.

    3. I know it's getting late, but if you'd like to talk a little more. Sleazy Bed Track by The Bluetones. Got by Mark.

    4. She said she needed a break, a little time to think. Ohio (Come Back to Texas) by Bowling for Soup. Got by Mark.

    5. I'll light the fire, you place the flowers in the vase that you bought today. Our House by Crosby, Stills and Nash. Got by Emily (in two guesses).

    6. I got my first real six-string. Summer of '69 by Bryan Adams. Got by Mark and Emily (although she got the artist wrong).

    7. You got a reaction, you got a reaction didn't you? Blue Orchid by The White Stripes. Got by Mark.

    8. Street's like a jungle. Girls & Boys by Blur. Got by Emily.

    9. What you do speaks so loud I can't hear what you say. King of Bloke and Bird by Robbie Williams. Got by Michelle.

    10. Sell the kids for food. In Bloom by Nirvana. Got by Mark.

    11. In an upstairs room in Blackpool, by the side of a northern sea. Military Madness by Graham Nash.

    12. Friday night I'm going nowhere, all the lights are changing green to red. Babylon by David Gray. Got by Emily.

    13. Do you have the time to listen to me whine. Basket Case by Green Day. Got by Emily.

    14. Four of us were having dinner and I threw down the paper with a curse. Tracks in the Dust by David Crosby.

    15. I hate the world today, you're so good to me I know but I can't change. Bitch by Meredith Brooks. Got by Emily.

    16. Three little birds sat on my window. Put Your Records On (Let Your Hair Down) by Corinne Bailey Rae. Got by Mark and Overnight Editor (combined).

    17. I got a letter from a friend the other morning. Permanent Vacation by Aerosmith.

    18. Where is the moment we needed the most? Bad Day by Daniel Powter. Got by Emily and Michelle (combined).

    19. A wild ride, over stony ground. Animal by Def Leppard. Got by Mark.

    20. Blue jean baby, LA lady. Tiny Dancer by Elton John. Got by Mark.

    21. Got your tape and it changed my mind. Singing in my Sleep by Semisonic. Got by Emily.

    22. He came dancing across the water with his galleons and guns. Cortez the Killer by Neil Young. (Best guitar intro ever).

    23. Feeling blue, when I'm trying to forget the feeling that I miss you. Colourblind by Darius. Got by Michelle.

    24. I thought I knew you, but I did not know myself. Turn Back the Pages by Stephen Stills.

    25. Never win first place, I don't support the team. Don't Let Me Get Me by Pink. Got by Michelle

    Good luck folks, I'll be updating as you get them.

    Updated to show who guessed what and the final few answers.

    Wednesday, July 05, 2006


    I've been doing some work on my Booklist in a vague attempt to get it up to date. I was adding some Sheri S. Tepper books and needed to check the series order so made the mistake of going onto Wikipedia to check it.

    Yup, I promptly spent lots of time looking up odd things and learning interesting facts (with a small break in the middle to fetch in the laundry cos it's started raining).

    Sheri S. Tepper
    Edwin Lutyens
    Great Dixter
    I Capture the Castle
    Lucy M. Boston
    James Toseland
    Aston Martin
    James Bond
    Sean Connery
    House of Leaves
    Neil Gaiman
    International Baccalaureate

    Monday, July 03, 2006


    I'm more relaxed than I have been in such a long long time.

    Last week I had a week off work and I chilled.

    Ok, so on the Saturday night I was rather ill due to attempting to drink the same amount of wine that I would beer...but I'd stopped being sick by 2pm Sunday and I was actually feeling better by the time the Canadian Grand Prix came on.

    I've been to Merry Hill and Dudley Zoo.
    I've played varying amounts of World of Warcraft.
    I've watched some football...
    ...and some tennis too.
    I've played with the cats.
    I've done ALL the laundry (the washing up has all been done too).

    And I've spent time sitting in the sunshine, drinking champagne (only one little bottle) and reading DiscWorld without a care in the world.

    Life has been pretty damn good.

    Now I'm back at work and the man who enabled me to have such a stunning week is working 11pm til 9am shifts this week so I probably won't see him until Saturday night (and it's my weekend in at work). Guess what? I don't care. I have a heavenly week to look back on, I actually ate something healthy for lunch (chicken and salad pittas that I made myself) and the cats have stopped fighting too.

    Now that I've experienced proper chilling out, I may have to do it more often!

    Wednesday, June 21, 2006

    Lovely Wolverhampton

    They have built a £300,000 superloo just up the road from work.

    I walked past it the other day on my way back from Subway.

    "Oh, there's that superloo that was on the news...that attendant looks bored..."

    "...and there's a small boy peeing in the doorway of the shop next door while his mother tells him to hurry up..."

    Lovely, lovely Wolverhampton...

    Tuesday, June 20, 2006

    Cafe Champagne

    On Sunday night, after we had gone for a wander around the streets of Wolverhampton, Anthony decided he fancied a curry so we drove off to Cafe Champagne.

    It's an Indian Fusion restaurant that everyone at work keeps raving about so we thought we'd go along and see what all the fuss was about.

    We parked a few doors down and walked down to the restaurant passing a green Mini on the way.

    Get inside, ask for a table for two and follow the waiter into the restaurant.

    That's when it happens...


    I look round startled.

    "Kate, over here!"

    I turn round to face the long table of 10-15 people (celebrating a birthday as the banners and balloons would seem to indicate) and RichieFingers appears from behind a pillar.

    That's the thing about going to restaurants that everyone else loves, they'll probably be there too!

    Richie confirmed that it was his Mini, that it was the birthday of his girlfriend's sister, and that work had been slowish that day.

    He also asked me not to call him Richie.


    "Because whenever Nik orders takeaway she does it under her surname which is James. They've been calling me James here for the last 2/3 years".

    Sure enough, when Anthony went to pay the waiter asked him how he knew "James".

    Oh, and the food was delicious indeed. I had lovely venison and enjoyed it muchly.


    The scariest thing is that when I mentioned this to Campbelli yesterday she said "Oh! We nearly went there last night too. But we didn't cos I'd had a big roast lunch."

    I think that would have been a little freaky. An unplanned work meet-up in an Indian restaurant where RichieFingers is known as "James".

    Monday, June 19, 2006


    How miscarriage can hit very hard.

    I taped this today but I don't know when I'm going to watch/listen to it (videoed it off Sky).

    On Friday it'll be a year since my first miscarriage, feels both longer and shorter. The test results came back and there's no hormonal or blood related problems on the first batch of tests. Have to have another couple of tests done though.

    Jayne from the uni branch is working with us for the next few months and she's six months pregnant. Today wasn't too bad, have to see how the rest of this week goes. If I'm having a bad day I tend to avoid the pregnant customers, or the ones with little babies, so I'm not quite sure how it's going to happen with Jayne there. I can't exactly walk away from her. But Bod understands and told me to let her know if I need to be upstairs or something. She was the one who brought it up too. I wish everyone had a boss as understanding as mine.


    This isn't why I haven't posted all week, that was cos Anthony was working 7-4 and so he was here all week. This week he's doing 11-9 (that's 11pm...) so I shall be catching up on sleep and hopefully posting more too. And I only have 4 more days of work before I'm on holiday for a whole eight days straight!!!

    Monday, June 12, 2006

    Money, Money, Money...

    When I went to see the bank the other day I was all prepared for an argument and then no resolution.

    Instead I got my overdraft extended to £300 and a note on the system about my circumstances. To get the £35 dropped I need to phone my branch of Lloyds (Canterbury) but the lady I saw said it shouldn't be a problem.

    I didn't really want my overdraft extended so much, and I certainly don't want the loan she was saying I could now have.

    But the overdraft extension has meant I didn't have to pay my last £5 in to get my rent paid, that I could buy some proper food for my lunches, and that I could buy a bottle of pink M&S wine to drink after work yesterday.

    The first 48 hours of an overdraft are the worst for me. That's the time when I start thinking about new CD's and DVD's and books. I've got past that now and it's only a week til payday when I can buy things I have budgeted for and feel a sense of achievement rather than feeling guilty for once again spending money I don't actually have.

    Intelligent Yogurt

    I thought I'd better post about this before someone took the comment about Campbelli's intelligence and yogurt the wrong way and thought I was saying she was as intelligent as a yogurt.

    The other day I bought two Tesco's healthy living yogurts to have for lunch. It was hot and I wasn't in an eating mood but I thought I'd better have something. So I bought a peach one and a raspberry one.

    Both stated that they were only 85 calories yet the raspberry one was worth 1.5 WeightWatchers Points while the peach one was only worth one.

    This confused me so I started reading the labels carefully.

    Although they both had the same number of calories (well kilocalories if you want to be pedantic or were in Chemistry lessons with me at school), the raspberry one had 5 more kilojoules than the peach one. This is presumably due to the fact that the raspberry one had 0.4g more sugar in it than the peach one.

    What's all this rubblish got to do with Campbelli's intelligence?

    Well she did the WeightWatchers thing a couple of years ago and is still a healthy eating queen (she tells me off all the time too). I'm just so impressed that she can do the complicated maths required to work out how many points are in what so that she could stick to her points allowance and get to the weight she wanted to be.

    So here's to the fantastically intelligent Campbelli and her mathematic skills.

    Sunday, June 11, 2006


    Oh my god, it's actually working!

    I clicked out of habit, expecting the "this page cannot be found" page, and instead I actually got "create post"!!!

    I'm even more shocked than I was when I flicked on MTV to discover Paris Hilton singing a little ditty while wearing a leopard print bikini and covered in artistic dabs of sand.

    Yesterday I worked through half the England game (first half was my lunch break), serving about three people. Today I will be working through the British Grand Prix but hopefully serving a few more. After all, it's been sunny for a few days now and people must need new books to read in their gardens.

    Hopefully this thing will still be working tonight and I can post a proper post, full of exciting comments on hedges, laundry, cross-stitching and Popular Psychology (one of my jobs today is to A-Z it again).

    Thursday, June 08, 2006


    I had planned to do a few posts yesterday, but after that last one Blogger started playing up again for me.

    So my musings on yogurt and Campbelli's intelligence will have to wait til tonight.

    Emily is here, on her fast overnight stopover to go see her bloke in Birmingham tomorrow after he lands from Kos. I met her at the station yesterday and we wandered home crushing the occasional person under her pink suitcase on wheels. She made the mistake of bringing me a book I hadn't read yet (and that's not out in the UK for the foreseeable future) so I popped her onto WoW so I could do some reading.

    I think she enjoyed it, certainly she was still playing when I went to bed at 10.30 and I don't have any idea what time she went to bed. She has a body clock like mine, likes to get up late and stay up late. (she just appeared and apparently went up to bed at about 12.30, but only went to sleep a couple of hours later)

    It was so nice and sunny yesterday I managed to get three big loads of laundry washed and dried outside. The cats liked it too since I let them out in the garden for a while. Esme spent lots of time climbing in the hedge, and Foley climbed up my drying bedspead and attemped to walk along the washing-line (without success).

    Today I have to go and shout at the bank. They bounced my rent standing order because I was £3.47 short of the £390. So they've sent me a nice letter to inform me of this fact and they're going to charge me £35 for bouncing it. I really need to change banks, they're always hitting me with £30 charges for being £5-6 over and I'm never going to catch up at that rate. When I went in to see them to explain I was about to become the sole tenant etc and to ask for an overdraft extension to cover a few months to prevent me paying charges - they refused because I was "consistantly over" my current overdraft limit. In vain I tried to point out to them that this was because they keep charging me £30 a month for anything that is over my limit.

    I also spotted that my Yahoo website payment (that used to come off the Yeti's card) of £2.50 attracts an overseas transaction charge of £1...bastards.

    Better attempt to dislodge Emily from the bathroom and get myself out into the sunny world and off to work.

    Wednesday, June 07, 2006

    Molten Chocolate Babycakes

    Yesterday I was heading down to Cookery clutching a copy of How To Be A Domestic Goddess to put on the shelf.

    As I walked I flicked through it so see what yummy things I could find...

    Kate (walking to Cookery) "Oooh....Molten Chocolate Babycakes!"

    RichieFingers (Hiding behind the Film browser) "I've asked you not to call me that at work sweetie."

    Sometimes I have to remind myself that there are people who have lives that are less fun than my job.