Monday, January 29, 2007

At last

Someone has finally talked about the real issues in BB.

I watched very little of it, mainly cos I can't stand the programme.

When the Jade row happened, I must confess I didn't see most of it as a racist thing, just as a Jade thing.

It's about background, not skin colour. Jade would probably have had a stinking great row with Tara P-T if she'd been in there.

The thing about it that shocked me (that shouldn't have done) is the way the media have reacted. For the last few years they've written stories about Jade and secretly loathed her, this affair gave them the chance to rip her to shreds.

Class issues run a lot deeper than anyone thinks. In the comments on the BBC article, someone says that "chavs" are working class and that it's the middle class that disparage them. I don't think of chavs as working class, to me they are the benefit scroungers, the people who could be working but can't be bothered. If you're on benefits because you need them and are entitled to them then fine. If you'd sooner claim than do any work then off to the workhouse with you!

The Yeti always used to call my parents middle class. He'd laugh at me because I was used to certain things, like proper cheese instead of cheese slices, and having salt and pepper grinders rather than using packets you've lifted from KFC. If being middle class is having a certain standard of living, then that's me. But I know for a fact that if I quit my job and had a couple of kids I could be living in a council flat free of charge and picking up more in benefits than I earn working.

Whatever I am, I'm someone who has respect for other people and for myself. Something that's lacking in a lot of places these days, especially in the media.

Monday, January 22, 2007


I admit to being paranoid.

If I read about traffic accidents in Essex I worry in case they involve someone I might know.

So when this story appeared on the BBC I had my usual few moments of panic. In fact I panicked more than usual until I remembered that my dad is actually 60 (and I had an email from him on Sat morning). I know, I know - like I wouldn't find out before it turned up on the news. (But we didn't with George (Dad saw it on Ceefax) and that's still the fear).

Then today the story has been updated. Ok, I didn't know the guy...but Grosvenor Gardens is basically the next road up from my parents. So closer to home even if I didn't know the guy.

Customer Satisfaction

A young lad walks up to the counter, can't be more than 20. Dark hair, dark eyes, looks good and knows it.

He places a copy of 'The Modern Kama Sutra' on the counter and looks up at me.

"So, your place or mine?" he says with a smirk.

In return he receives a raised eyebrow from me.

"I'd have to see if my boyfriends free" I reply.

The transaction continues as normal except he's gone a little bit red.

As he goes I say "Enjoy the book" and get a brilliant smile in return.


I'm not used to customers trying to flirt with me, last time I managed to short-change the guy cos I was so flustered. This time I'm flattered but at the same time the ultimate unanswered question pops into my head.

Why is it only guys under 20 who buy the Kama Sutra?

Tuesday, January 16, 2007

Girly jeans, proofs and the Burning Crusade

Anthony bought me some girls jeans on Sunday. I haven't had any for years. The ones I've been wearing have been blokes ones (good old M&S) as they are so much easier to size. But we went into Dorothy Perkins and I tried on 5 or 6 different pairs until I found a style I liked. Anthony loves them, apparently they give me a "proper girls bottom". (I'm not sure what type of bottom I usually have in that case).
I haven't worn them to work yet as they sit a lot lower than my other jeans and since work is mainly pulling returns at the moment (lots of bending over) I'm not quite ready to reveal quite so much of my nice new short pants to the world.

I've also had a bit of luck (although nothing compared to the jammy git who won himself £26 on a scratchcard and £100 on the Premium Bonds on Mon) in that I managed to find the proof of The Glass Books of the Dream Eaters lurking in Goods In today. I didn't think it would be something I'd be interested in from what I'd heard about it, but we've had some samplers for customers so I had a flick through one and quite liked it. GI Chris had seen a set of the proofs in Goods In but didn't know where they'd gone to. Today I found them and have them sitting on the sofa waiting to be delved into.

I shall have some time to be reading them in this week, as Anthony is working "normal" hours (7-4) and so is monopolising the computer. Since The Burning Crusade expansion pack has just come out I sense that he'll be rather preoccupied with it for a few days/weeks/months (but then again, me too!) so I shall inflict Buffy on him and perhaps actually do some of my sadly neglected cross-stitch.

It's been partly neglected because I've been having lots of baths and showers due to my rediscovered love of hot water - which I dearly missed for the week I was without it. My stash of Lush goodies (32 things) has been taking a hammering, although I've been trying bits of all the solid bubble baths rather than using up all my precious ballistics all in one go.

Right, I'm being evicted...

Tuesday, January 09, 2007

Hoicked from Keris

1. What did you do in 2006 that you’d never done before?

Quite a few things: I'm living on my own for the first time which is the big one I guess.

2. Did you keep your new years’ resolutions, and will you make more for next year?

I kept one of them which was finishing my Oranges and Lemons cross-stitch. Didn't keep any of the others.

3. Did anyone close to you give birth?


4. Did anyone close to you die?


5. What countries did you visit?

lol, Birmingham, Essex and London.

6. What would you like to have in 2007 that you lacked in 2006?

Dunno, last year was a blast in the the end. I guess a proper holiday.

7. What date from 2006 will remain etched upon your memory, and why?

There were a couple of big ones. Feb 27th when the Yeti dumped me, and April 16th, when I first met Anthony.

8. What was your biggest achievement of the year?

Picking myself up and getting on with life from the lowest point I'd been at in years. If someone had told me back then, when I was mourning a miscarriage and a broken heart that now I'd be writing about a new relationship and being so very happy, I'd have said they were lying.

9. What was your biggest failure?

Even though my life has changed for the better because of it, even though I know it wasn't my fault - the miscarriage.

10. Did you suffer illness or injury?

See above, plus a little sunburn and a couple of very nasty colds.

11. What was the best thing you bought?

I'm not sure if it counts as a thing but paying my own rent makes me feel very grown-up.

12. Whose behavior merited celebration?

My sister's - she's a brightly shining star. Plus Missy Campbelli who proved she's the best Grade 5 bookseller I know.

13. Whose behavior made you appalled and depressed?

The Yeti, but only for a couple of weeks.

14. Where did most of your money go?

Rent and bills. I hardly bought any books compared to 2005.

15. What did you get really, really, really excited about?

Leyton Orient getting promoted.

16. What song will always remind you of 2006?

Argh, tough. Probably Corrine Bailey Rae - Put Your Records On.

17. Compared to this time last year, are you:

happier or sadder?

Happier, definately.

thinner or fatter?

thinner, but only by a little

richer or poorer?

richer I think, I've got no debt left and I'm (mostly) living on my earnings.

18. What do you wish you’d done more of?


19. What do you wish you’d done less of?


20. What was your favorite TV program?

Probably Veronica Mars.

21. Do you dislike anyone now that you didn’t dislike this time last year?

See no.13

22. What was the best book you read?

Growing Up Again by Catriona McCloud

23. What was your greatest musical discovery?


24. What did you want and get?

A grown-up relationship

25. What did you want and not get?

The Unseen University Cut-Out Book (I'm gonna buy it on payday though)

26. What was your favorite film of this year?

The Lake House (which Anthony bought me on Sunday when I was hungover)

27. What did you do on your birthday, and how old were you?

I turned 28 and spent the day with my folks and Anthony and then when for a nice meal at Cafe Champagne (without Anthony who had to work).

28. What one thing would have made your year immeasurably more satisfying?

Kicking the Yeti repeatedly in the bollocks when he first told me he didn't love me anymore

29. How would you describe your personal fashion concept in 2006?

Jeans and boots.

30. What kept you sane?

Campbelli, my sister, Mark, this blog, my cats, Anthony.

31. Which celebrity/public figure did you fancy the most?

Robbie Williams...still

32. What political issue stirred you the most?

Nothing specific.

33. Who did you miss?

Campbelli while she was off converting the world.

34. Who was the best new person you met?

Anthony has to be top, but meeting Mark was bloody good too.

35. Tell us a valuable life lesson you learned in 2006?

To stick with it.

36. Quote a song lyric that sums up your year:

Corinne Bailey Rae - Put Your Records On

Three little birds, sat on my window.
And they told me I don’t need to worry.
Summer came like cinnamon
So sweet,
Little girls double-dutch on the concrete.

Maybe sometimes, we got it wrong, but it’s alright
the more things seems to change, the more they stay the same.
Oh, don’t you hesitate.

Girl, put your records on, tell me your favourite song
You go ahead, let your hair down
Sapphire and faded jeans, I hope you get your dreams,
Just go ahead, let your hair down.

You’re gonna find yourself somewhere, somehow.

Blue as the sky, sombre and lonely,
Sipping tea in the bar by the road side,
(just relax, just relax)
Don’t you let those other boys fool you,
Gotta love that afro hairdo.

Maybe sometimes, we feel afraid, but it’s alright
The more you stay the same, the more they seem to change.
Don’t you think it’s strange?

Girl, put your records on, tell me your favourite song
You go ahead, let your hair down
Sapphire and faded jeans, I hope you get your dreams,
Just go ahead, let your hair down.

You’re gonna find yourself somewhere, somehow.

Just more than I could take, pity for pity’s sake
Some nights kept me awake, I thought that I was stronger
When you gonna realise, that you don’t even have to try any longer.
Do what you want to.

Girl, put your records on, tell me your favourite song
You go ahead, let your hair down
Sapphire and faded jeans, I hope you get your dreams,
Just go ahead, let your hair down.

Girl, put your records on, tell me your favourite song
You go ahead, let your hair down
Sapphire and faded jeans, I hope you get your dreams,
Just go ahead, let your hair down.

Oh, You’re gonna find yourself somewhere, somehow.

Hoicked from Mark

1. Take five books off your bookshelf.
2. Book #1 -- first sentence
3. Book #2 -- last sentence on page fifty
4. Book #3 -- second sentence on page one hundred
5. Book #4 -- next to the last sentence on page one hundred fifty
6. Book #5 -- final sentence of the book
7. Make the five sentences into a paragraph:

Marianne had looked forward to her tenth birthday as being something special; quite different from any birthday she had yet had, for two reasons. Nearly at the top of the tree stump, which was about four feet high, a white cross had been painted on the side nearest to the water. Jeannie looked up to him. The fourth match was dry, and rasped into flame, flickering. Open your eyes.

1. Marianne Dreams - Catherine Storr
2. Swallows and Amazons - Arthur Ransome
3. A Hat Full of Sky - Terry Pratchett
4. The Dark Is Rising Sequence - Susan Cooper
5. The Probable Future - Alice Hoffman

I didn't go and grab anything particular for this one, just 5 of the last few books I've read.

Friday, January 05, 2007

Breathe out

I have hot water and heating again!

Anthony came round today after his night shift and waiting in for the gasman while I went off to work. The gasman came round, changed the valve, and now my house it starting to get warm again.

I have got all my supplies (2 books, bottle of vin rouge, box of 12 Creme Eggs) and now I'm off to spend the evening in the bath.

Thursday, January 04, 2007


So I STILL have no heating or hot water.

When he drained the boiler to fit the new parts one of the valves failed. This means that while my boiler now works, no water will stay in it. Apparently this is quite a common problem with old boilers when they get drained, but my boiler is not that old that he thought it would be a problem. He was surprised at the condition of my boiler to begin with.

So Anthony is coming here tomorrow morning when he finishes work, since there is no way in hell I can take another day off.

I'm so angry.

Angry as hell with my useless letting agents for starters. They phoned me back at last yesterday after my phoning them on Friday, and then had the cheek to ask if it was fixed! Plus, I've never had the electricity and gas safety certs that I've been after for months.


Once again today I will be washing my hair with a couple of kettles of water. I shall be doing some washing up, but not all of it, just enough so that I can cook another casserole which has the nice side effect of warming up the kitchen slightly. I shall again be confining myself to my living room and kitchen with all other doors shut and again be sleeping on the sofa in three layers of clothes.

If I had hot water, if I had the cash to buy some electric heaters like I had at the old house (where we had no central heating, but did have a very good gas fire)...the hot water is the main thing. No heating, ok I can cope with little heaters and layers of clothes, but no hot baths to ease my aching knees is hell.


Today's Horoscope

You tend to house clean like someone with attention deficit disorder, KATE. You never linger long on any one task. As a result, your bathroom mirrors and counters will get cleaned, but not the floor. Today, make an effort to do a thorough cleaning, one room at a time. Even if you don't get the entire house clean, you will at least receive some satisfaction from knowing that your bedroom and bathroom are both spotless. Now, if you could only figure out how to keep them that way!


That is indeed so true, although I don't think it's as bad a thing as it sounds. I try to do a little every day to keep on top of things. This doesn't always work so I do have cleaning blitzes, like before Christmas.

I 'm actually really antsy to get the washing up done and my kitchen tidy again. I didn't do it yesterday because I couldn't face boiling kettle after kettle of hot water to wash up and wash the floor. But the gasman is back again with a pile of bits and hopefully I shall have hot water aplenty later on.

Although I will be having a long hot bath as my hot water priority!

Wednesday, January 03, 2007

Sucker for romance

I've just watched The Lake House and gone all soppy.

I'm a sucker for romantic films, and this one has shot into my list of favourites. Yes, I know that the whole letters-through-time plot is implausible, and that people will say Keanu's acting is "wooden". But I love it. Despite the bit at the end when I nearly had a heart attack and was in floods of tears.

It's led me to put on Serendipity (another favourite) due to the fact that Nick Drake has songs on both, and in a way they're similar films - the two lovers spend most of the movie apart.

Strangely, I'm not a big fan of Sleepless In Seattle, I think cos it had sooo much hype at the time. Instead I love You've Got Mail.

I shall have to try and compile a list of my favourite romantic films...

Still cold pt 3

Well the gasman originally came on New Years Day afternoon, muttered over the boiler for a couple of hours and then had to order a microswitch for today.

Today he came back, with his manager too no less, and fitted the new microswitch.

This then caused something else to overheat.

He's had to order some more parts (at £150 and £180 each) and will be back tomorrow morning.

Now I just have to see if Bod will let me swap my Friday off for a Thursday off and if not I shall have to get Anthony to come here after his nightshift.

Time to start boiling the kettle for the washing up.

(Oh, I'm feeling slightly more human than the other day as when he couldn't fix it on Mon I went and had a long hot bath at Anthony's folks house instead.)

Edit: I don't have to pay for the parts btw. He was saying that the parts bascially equal the cost of the next two years worth of British Gas Homecare that the landlady has. So that's a good thing.
There's a gasman in my bathroom...