Sunday, February 26, 2006

Word Cloud

I got this from Rachel from North London's blog and thought it was a funky idea.

It's gone a little grainy because I made it bigger in a vain attempt to make some of the tiny words more visible.

It's odd to see that my mothers name doesn't turn up at all and that the only friends name to turn up is that of Mab, who I haven't really been friends with for 18 months or so now.

I'm also shocked that Pagan, Witch and Magic didn't show at all! I guess that although they are things that are always in my mind, they just never get into the blog.

(Can you tell I've been off work for another week and I'm having a day of finding stuff to post?)

Those resolutions...

I haven't really had any resolutions for Febuary, and January's ones did mostly go to pot with everything that was going on.



Book to read:
Great Expectations - Nope, still stuck about a quarter through. I am going to finish it though.

Habit to keep:
Clean contact lenses nightly - out of 31 nights, I managed 20.

Book to write review on:
Swallows and Amazons - Not done.

Cross-stitch project to do:
Oranges and Lemons - FINISHED!!! Now I just need to find out how much framing will cost.


For February I had intended to read Catcher in the Rye (which I haven't started), eat one extra piece of fruit a day (I know I managed a few days but lost track), write a review on Swallowdale (nope) and to start work on the footstool.

The footstool is going well though:

So I shall not get mad at myself for not doing the things I meant to - I did other things instead, some of them not nice, but things that needed to be done.

I shall put March into the sidebar and carry on from today.

Flat Hair

I had my hair cut on Monday and I'm just recovering. I don't get it cut very often, prefer to spend money on books - but since I hadn't had it cut since the day before my wedding, I figured it was time.

So I took along the photo from my profile to show the girl what I wanted, and she did this:

All I can say is ergh!

Saturday, February 25, 2006

Books and Insomnia

I put a post up on the Abebooks Book Sleuth forum the other day to find a book that I've been looking for for years and years. A genius person found the title for me and I managed to buy it for the grand total of 57p! (& postage).

This then inspired me to pop onto Green Metropolis to see what I could find on there and I had enough funds to order myself three books on there! The book I had been looking for originally had two stories in it and I managed to get the second one from GM and the other two books are two Mary Stewart books that I've been half-heartedly looking for. They were ones that I wasn't going out of my way to track down, but that I'd buy when I saw them if you know what I mean.

So 'The Sixth Seal' arrived yesterday (from Abebooks) and I demolished it in one sitting and this morning 'Madam, will you Talk?' arrived and is my planned book for this afternoon.


I haven't been sleeping well recently for various reasons and so have been keeping very odd hours. The last couple of days I have been sleeping in 4-5 hour segments about 10 hours apart which means that I've been watching very bad tv at 4 in the morning quite a lot. I've also been watching LOTR-FOTR in bits as I've been putting it on and falling asleep then going back to the last bit I saw when I wake up.

I read Books, Baguettes & Bedbugs yesterday and then popped onto Wikipedia to read a bit about the shop. Going onto Wiki was a mistake....

Between 1am and 4am this morning, these are a few of the subjects that I read about, pretty much in the order that they somehow linked together:

Shakespeare & Co.
Rive Gauche
Museum of Modern Art
Starry Night (I'm wearing my Starry Night shirt today because of it)
Don McLean
David Crosby
Neil Young
Terry Pratchett (don't ask how he links to Neil Young, I can't explain it)
Carnegie Medal (It's nice to see how many of these I have read - makes up for not reading any Booker ones!)
Lucy M. Boston
The Manor
Paranormal Television
My So-Called Life
Joan of Arcadia
Veronica Mars

At this point I started going round in circles and ended the night by reading all sorts of odd things about diegesis, Icelandic language, and monophthongs.

Friday, February 24, 2006

Happy Things

Just found the list of happy things that my mum sent me in the summer. Can't remember if I posted it then, but it's worth reposting.

Chocolate cake



Harry Potter book 15

Barry's teeth


French lunches




an even bigger chocolate cake

Magic books

Ahhhhh...happy things.


I've just seen a British Gas advert where they're saying that you can get your gas bill frozen so that you pay the same price for the next however many years. There are probably people thinking "Great, this way I can avoid their 22% price rise".

The price rise starts on March 1st....the offer applies to the March 1st prices.

How many people have noticed this I wonder? They're certainly not making it obvious (although I didn't expect them too).

I'm not with British Gas, in fact I don't know who our gas supplier is (I'll have to find out). I know that it is someone who is eco-friendly(ish) though.

We're with Good Energy for our electricity though and I haven't noticed paying the extra £2 a month compared to nPower, plus I feel better for being with them - it gives me a small eco-friendly glow.

One day I want to have a house that has its own solar panels, mini turbine and anything else that will help it to be self sufficient in terms of energy.

It's a slightly more attainable house wish than that for the giant old fashioned library room complete with studded leather sofas, book ladders and antique globes.

Thursday, February 23, 2006


I rented Matinee from ScreenSelect a few weeks ago as it was a film I used to love (cos I fancied Simon Fenton) and because it never turned up on Sky Movies.

It's on Sky right now!!!!


Quickie: Don't test your stamina now. Eat well, get plenty of rest and treat yourself right.
Overview: There are certain qualities about you that are incandescent, but you're too stuck dwelling on your so-called negatives that you can't see them. Discover what it is that makes you special and worthwhile.

If the doorknob doesn't want to turn today, KATE, don't force it. You will only succeed in breaking the key in half. Perhaps you just need to try another door. If things don't flow smoothly into place, then they probably weren't meant to be. Life shouldn't have to be a struggle. Our job is to be happy. Remember that the next time you find yourself in a long line, view the situation as a relaxing period of rest.

Friday, February 10, 2006

Library Borrowing

They've announced the most borrowed authors from libraries and shock horror, Catherine Cookson has dropped out of the Top Ten list.
There's a lovely bit at the bottom when they say that peoples tastes must be changing. I don't think it's all about the tastes changing, more about the people using the libraries.

I mean, how many of the little old ladies that were reading Catherine Cookson five years ago are still going to be reading her. Partly because she died in 1998 and hence a lack of new books. Partly because...well they're little old ladies and there will be a certain decrease in that generations use of libraries as that generation dies.

Library bosses should be looking to the Baby Boomers to see what reading material will be requested. May I suggest consulting John, a part-time library assistant at Basildon Library in Essex to see what borrowers of the future will be after.
Recently recommended titles include Maisie Dobbs by Jacqueline Winspear and
The Athenian Murders by Jose Carlos Somoza plus anything by
Boris Akunin, Carl Hiaasen and Tess Gerritsen.

Wednesday, February 08, 2006

Stolen from my sister because it's all sooooo true!

How you know you're a child of the 90s:
1) 10p Mr Frosty Ice Pops on long summer days!
2) Gordon the Gopher!
3) You could do or tried to do the Prodigy step. 'You're no good 4me....'
4) You owned or longed for an Adidas three stripe tracksuit
5) You owned a compilation tape with TOP TUNES such as "Mr Vain","What is love" and "Rhythm is a dancer" and 'How Bizarre, How Bizarre"
6) Girls thought Blue Mascara was cool!
7) Girls actually fancied Gary Barlow more than Robbie Williams
8) The Racoons!(nuff said)
9) You owned a pair of Nike Air Max, and wore them to death
10) Mr Motivator (What ever happened to him?)
11) Running on the spot dancing!
12) You wore leggings/cycling shorts with long t-shirts
13) You owned a Bennetton, NafNaf, sweater shop jumper or waistcoat
14) Girls owned scrunchies in an array of colours and tacky headbands with their names written on in thick glitter
16) You bought Smash Hits for the song lyrics and the immense amount of stickers that you would stick everywhere!
17) You had a pen pal
18) You could only watch the Simpson's on sky
19) On a Saturday afternoon you watched Catchphrase, Gladiators,Generation Game, Noels House Partyand then Casualty
20) You taped the Pepsi Chartshow on radio one and tired in vain to pause the tape before the annoying guy talked and ruined the whole thing.
21) Cans of Coke were 25p
22) 10p Space Raiders Crisps
23) A grey Fruit of the Loom jumper was a must have
24) Sharkie & George were the crimebusters of the sea
25) Puffa jackets
26) You used the line "it's a free country" every day
27) The Sky Sports Blimp!
28) Impulse body spray for girls
29) Hooch Alcoholic Lemonade (where's it gone?!)
30) 'Don't forget your toothbrush', 'TFI' and Big Breakfast
31) You had at least one troll
32) You know the dance to Macarena and Saturday Night. You also tried to scat like Scatman John! Bi bat ba ba da bo...
33) You watched Baywatch and longed for the day that Eddie & Sharni got together!
34) You watched Byker Grove 'ha ha ha whatcha laughin at!' the themesong ending :) and saw PJ get shot in the eye with a paintball!
35) PJ and Duncan not Ant and Dec! Dodgy Pop Not Dodgy Presenting!
36) Shellsuits & bumbags!
37) You longed to live in Beverley Hills 90210
38) Home and Away was a prime time ITV programe watched by millions
39) You owned a Spice Girls album
40) Fruit salads and black jacks!
41) Strike it lucky on a sunday night with Michael Barrymore when he was straight & married
42) Chain letters
43) You had fake ID
44) You remember Todd Landers in Neighbours
45) You religiously watched Saved by the Bell on a Saturday morning!
46) You more than likely lost/nearly lost a wobbly tooth on a wham bar!!
47) CK one (probably the fake one from the market)
48) Going Live, then Live and Kicking was the place to be on a Saturday Morning - you know you remember the number 0181 811 8181
49) You knew every word to the theme tune from Fresh Prince of Bel Air
50) You collected Premier League Stickers and did swops at playtime
51) Girls wore crappy lipstick such as - coffee shimmer, heather shimmer and birthday suit!
52) You wore kickers and wallaby's with the tags hanging from them
53) You thought saying - "I know you are, you said you are but what am I" to every cuss that that came your way!
54) "Your mum!!!!"
55) girls thought black tights and white ankle socks looked kool!

You loved the 90's!!

Apart from the designer label ones (like the Air Max and Kicker's things) I do have to admit to most of those. My favourite Rimmel lipstick was indeed Heather Shimmer, I used to tape the Radio One chart show (no adverts) and not only did I wear long t-shirts with leggings - I had a particularly natty combo of purple leggings, and purple check shirt to be worn with green socks and a green t-shirt (and naturally the same combo with the colours reversed). I'm sure my mother has a picture somewhere as I know I wore the green and purple combo on a trip to the Science Museum once....

Hey, I was happy at the time! You should ask my sister about the hair scrunchies made of sweets that she used to wear....

Sunday, February 05, 2006

Freedom of speech...without threats.

I've been reading about the Muhammad cartoons row for a while now. It's a difficult situation really. I do think the paper should have respected the fact that depictions of Muhammad are considered disrespectful, but then setting fire to the Danish and Norwegian embassies in Syria is acceptable? Waving banners threatening murder is acceptable too?

Ok, I think the paper should have published those cartoons. Denmark is not a Muslim country and (I think) it has quite a low Muslim population compared to other European countries. I'm not so keen on the republication of the cartoons in other papers and I'm glad that they have not yet been published in the UK.

But protesters waving placards saying they will set off more bombs to show that they are upset about the cartoons showing Muhammad as a terrorist? Excuse me? Surely the best way to say "Muhammad was not a terrorist" is not to say "We will bomb you for showing this".

I am disgusted that no arrests were made at that protest, and the fact that on the Saturday two people were arrested for trying to cause a breach of the peace because they had copies of the pictures, why not arrest the people with the banners threatening more death and violence to innocent people? That to me denotes a lot more of a breach of the peace - and it certainly would have been a breach of the peace if I'd been there to get at them. (Although I'd probably have been arrested for inciting religious hatred).

As for the "inciting religious hatred" thing. Surely waving banners like that counts? They are inciting hatred against people in general - white, black, brown, Christian, Muslim, Jew, Sikh, Pagan or Atheist. The bombers in the summer did not discriminate about who they killed. The next lot of bombers probably won't either.

I believe in Freedom of Speech and I'm aware that this means freedom of ALL speech. But there's a difference between freedom of speech and publicly stating that innocent people should be murdered to prove that the founder of your religion was not a murderer.

(P.S. I understand that the Met police were in a very difficult situation during the protests and I'm not accusing them of being bad at their jobs or anything. I'm also aware of how much worse the protests would possibly have gotten if people had started being arrested. But I would like to see better planning in future.)