Friday, November 30, 2007

The End

Well, I did it, it's the 30th of November and I've blogged every day for 30 days.

I've learnt from it that my life repeats an awful lot, that most evenings I'm not in the mood to write about anything, and that trying to blog every day and read all the other blogs I want to read is difficult. (I have discovered quite a few new favourite bloggers too!)
I have perfectionist issues about my writing, blog posts have to either be written and rewritten over and over, or written fast and published straight off. As for my whole pretty notebook obsession...

It's all been fun though.

As for today at work...RichieFingers did not need teaching anything about the English language, although he does think that anyone born in the 40's is a pygmy because of rationing.

Thursday, November 29, 2007

Advent Calendar

Last year I didn't have a chocolate advent calendar, this year I have two!

Anthony bought me one last week (Dairy Milk) and today we both managed to tread on the one that mum sent as the postman and put it safely under the doormat...

It's the BEST advent calendar in the world! A picture of it is here at SheepWorld. (If you zoom you get a nice big picture).

Ohne Dich ist Weihnachten doof = Without you Christmas is stupid.

I need to buy lots and lots of SheepWorld things...

(work today was just as full of stupid, rude people so I am just as grumpy)

Wednesday, November 28, 2007


I am a very tired bunny after a long day at work featuring various amounts of abuse from various bitchy middle-aged women.

So I am going to bed and may be more intelligent tomorrow...although that won't be hard.

(but I have got Beef Bourguignon for dinner!)

Tuesday, November 27, 2007

'n' chips

Anthony always asks if I want fish 'n' chips even though I always have a sausage and never fish. I think it's one of those things. He usually has a pie so I don't think we've ever actually bought fish 'n' chips.

I am rambling cos I am tired sorry.

I am going to go and curl up on the sofa and do some sewing and also probably read some of the fantastic book that I finally got the proof of (although it was published in September). The Name of the Wind by Patrick Rothfuss, if you like proper fantasy, you'll love it.

Tomorrow I am working the late shift (12.30-9) so get to have a lie in, I shall also attempt to go to the library before work.

Monday, November 26, 2007

Day Off

I had a nice relaxing day off today. I did a few productive things in the morning, then spent the afternoon playing on Neopets which was fun and earned me 23,846 Neopoints.

I had another culinary success tonight, I know! Two in less than a week!
I adapted my spicy chicken thing that I've made a couple of times.* This time I left the chicken breasts whole and didn't defrost them, just sat them in little dishes of tin foil, splashed them with lime juice, sprinkled the spice mix over the top, wrapped them up and stuck them in the oven.

It worked really well, I thought I might have used a little too much lime juice but the roast potatoes soaked it all up off the plates and it was all scrummy.
I'm not sure if it quite counts as a separate recipe though.

*Just had a look through the archives to discover that I haven't written about it so can't link. Basically it's a mix of garlic powder, onion powder, paprika and cayenne pepper (and sometimes a little thyme) that I sprinkle over/rub into chunks of chicken breast and then fry up. When it's done you add a slosh of lime juice to the pan and throw on some spinach. When that's wilted, it's done! We've had it with noodles, mash, rice and on its own and I really like it. Easy cooking, but PROPER!

Sunday, November 25, 2007

One more Sunday before Christmas... really, only one more to go. One more at work for me anyway, and it'll be the 23rd...

...I will be a gibbering wreck before then.

To be fair, we didn't have any customers today like yesterdays. Thank God. There would have been blood up the walls.

I was a lot more relaxed today than I thought I would be after yesterday. This was partly due to the romantic film-fest last night (While You Were Sleeping and Practical Magic - I was in a Sandra Bullock mood) and partly due to the fact that when left alone yesterday Anthony went out and spent money. Some of this money was spent on secret Christmas things, but some was spent on a storage unit for the bathroom (so the cardboard box that's been in there since we moved in here in May can go) and some was spent on an electric blanket.

It was soooooooooooooo nice getting into a warm bed last night, it's impossible to describe the amount of tension that eased out of my body when it didn't have to deal with icy bedding. The hot water bottles are now redundant and I shall not have to buy so much Deep Heat (think Withnail).

I have a day off tomorrow and shall spend it doing nice domestic things like arranging things in my bathroom, and emptying the litter trays...

Mum's cross-stitch is coming along.

I've had to shift it all about in the frame as it's too big for it to fit on all in one go. I could have stitched it sideways but figured that would drive me barmy! All of the green bits on the right were done during the films last night.

Saturday, November 24, 2007


I love working Saturdays, no really, I do. After all, where else apart from in retail can someone repeatedly call you a liar and you can't do a thing about it.

Not to mention...

the scene - harassed bookshop employee talking to a customer
Customer 1 - I need a copy of The Quest by Wilbur Smith.
HBE - Certainly, I'll just grab one for you.
HBE steps around the customer and manages a grand total of three steps before...
Customer 2 - I'm after a book.
HBE - Ok, I'm just getting a book for this lady but...
C2 - *heavily sarcastic* Sure you are.
HBE - *speechless*
C2 - Why don't you just get me the book I want. It's Foreign Fields by Dan Collins. It's a war book.
HBE - *puts on big bright smile to cover up the fact that she would like to tear C2's throat out with her teeth* That's just upstairs in Military History. When I've finished with the customer that I'm serving I'll be happy to help you find the book.
HBE finds book for C1 and hands it over, then goes upstairs, finds the other book and hands it to C2 who is standing in front of the Computing section and looking puzzled.
HBE then goes back downstairs and into the storeroom behind the counter where she bangs her head on the wall until she feels better.

Then there was the girl who paid by cheque - "Forteen pounds and 73p only".


Luckily I have an Anthony. I get a lift home, wine and cider bought for me, and pizza delivered.

I am also permitted to watch two soppy films tonight as we watched Mad Max yesterday.

Friday, November 23, 2007

Friday again

It doesn't seem like a week since I was running round at work trying to explain the English language (more better? betterest?) to RichieFingers...oh yeah, that's cos I had to do it again today.

He's stripping off (wait for it) the front hardback table (see, not rude) and then started putting the books back on from right to left rather than left to right.

RF - "Oh god. I'm doing this table backwards. What's it called when you can do things equally well with both hands? Ambivilent?"

Kate & Faye - "Erm, ambidextorous."

RF - "What's ambivilent then"

K & F - "Not really bothered"

RF - "No I am, what's it mean?"


I'm at work both days this weekend so you won't get intelligent posts from me. You might get funny ones, it depends on how many daft customers we get in.

Thursday, November 22, 2007

Nom Nom Nom Nom

Tonight I did some actual proper cooking.

and it tasted flipping gorgeous!

So I can add Toad in the Hole (or Sausage Toad as my mother calls it) to my very short list of things that I can cook.

I am so very proud of myself I am going for a very hot Lush-filled bath! (and Anthony is going to do the washing-up while I'm in it)

Wednesday, November 21, 2007

Happy Thoughts

fatboyfat has posted some Reasons to be Cheerful today. Since I was thinking about writing about the Men's Shed Movement it ties in quite well, also the fact I have had a nice relaxing happy day off is good too.

Ignoring the England football result this evening (and if they had won they wouldn't have deserved it, maybe now we'll get a decent manager and the overpaid little tossers will put some effort in) here are some happy thoughts.

Today it is 100 days until I can start divorce proceedings!

My mother has bought a Nintendo DS...this is more a shocking thought than a happy one but she did offer to get me one for Christmas which is the happy bit (although I am probably going to be sensible and have the coat).

I have finally got fed up with waiting for Emily to post me this first disc of Scrubs Season Four and have booked it on Lovefilm. So the Scrubs obsession will be back shortly.

I managed to complete a very tough quest on WoW today and got thoroughly overexcited about it.

I cleared out two bin bags full of junk!

It might have got very dark in my house at about 14.30 (2.30pm) but I had fairy lights to put on.

When tidying up the living room I found one last solitary Wispa...and saved it for after tea!

Jane Brocket is writing a perfectly delicious book that I can't wait to read.

Tuesday, November 20, 2007


I both love and hate payday.

I love the fact I've just been paid and the fact I have money to do things with, but I hate the fact that I go into my bank account and pay my bills and then have about £100 left for heating, food and general living.

I don't pay for food, Anthony buys that which is good as it means I can eat!

It does mean that paydays are more depressing than they should be.

But today I went on a shopping spree, the only sad thing was that none of it was stuff for myself.

HMV got a nice chunk of my wages today, and Anthony has most of his Christmas presents, as does my mother. (and I didn't even buy myself one nice Anime DVD...)

One day I will have more than a ninth of my wages left over after paying all my bills (and I don't have any debt I'm paying off either!). One day...

Monday, November 19, 2007


1. Do you like chinese food?
Yup, I like having it as a buffet type meal so I can try lots of different dishes.

2. How big is your bed?
King-size, feels too big for just me, but too small for me, Anthony and the cats.

3. Is your room clean?
Fairly clean, but it has lots of stuff in it.

4. Laptop or Desktop computer?

5. Favorite comedian?

6. Do you smoke?

7. Does anyone like you?
There's a few people out there who think I'm alright.

8. Whats the sexiest thing about Condoleeza Rice?
This is a very strange question.

10. Sleep with or without clothes on?
Usually without, depends how cold it is.

11. Who sleeps with you every night?
Nobody *sniff*, silly shift-working boyfriend.

12. Do long distance relationships work?

13. How many times have you been pulled over by the police?
Never ever.

14. Pancakes or French Toast?
Normal toast please.

15. Do you like coffee?

16. How do you like your eggs?
Don't eat them very I guess.

17. Do you believe in God?
Not the God that seems to be implied by this question.

18. Last person you talked to on the phone?

19. Last person on your missed call list?

20. What was the last text message you received?
Anthony calling me his “sexy Essex Bahrainian goddess”

21. McDonalds or Burger King?
McDonalds, but very rarely.

22. Number of pillows on your bed?

23. Last thing you ate?
Sweet Chilli Chicken wrap from Boots.

24. Last thing you bought?
Far too many DVD’s from HMV

25. What are you hearing right now?
Doctor Who on BBC3

26. Pick a lyric
"When I am sad and weary, when all my hope is gone, I walk around my house and think of you with nothing on"

27. What kind of jelly do you like on your PB & J sandwich?
I have never eaten one and do not intend to.

28. Can you play pool?
Not as well as I think I can.

29. Do you know how to swim?
Yes, although I'm not keen on it due to being so very short-sighted and therefore unable to see without lenses/specs.

30. Favourite ice cream?
Phish Food or Bohemian Raspberry.

31. Do you like maps?
Yes, discovering places is always cool.

32. Tell me a random fact:
I currently love drinking fizzy water with a few drops of lime juice in.

33. Ever had a teacher tell you to stop talking?
Almost certainly.

34. Ever attend a theme party?

35. Ever do a keg stand?

36. Craziest place you've slept?
On the floor at a Korn concert.

37. What is your favourite season?

38. What is the first music video you ever saw?
First one I can remember seeing is 'Sledge Hammer' by Peter Gabriel. I loved the plasticine train.

39. Pick a movie quote:
"There's a little witch in every woman" - Practical Magic.

40. Favourite quote:
"I can tell I've been drinking, I keep forgetting to blink!" - Campbelli.

41. What is your favourite hangout?
Anywhere with good people.

42. Do you have a best friend?
I have a few.

43. How long have you known them?
Between 22 years and 18 months.

44. Last time you laughed at something stupid?
Foley conked out in front of the halogen heater

45. What time did you wake up this morning?
1am, 1.30am, 3am, 3.30am, 4am, 4.30am 6.30am and 7am.

46. Wake up next to anyone?
Anthony, apart from at 7 as he'd gone to work then.

47. Best thing about winter?
Those proper frosty mornings.

48. Name a couple of favourite colors:
Teal, red, white.

49. How old were you when you found out santa wasn't real?
Don't remember.

50. What month is your birthday in?

51. What are you doing this weekend
Working, meh.

Sunday, November 18, 2007

Snowy Sunday

It's snowing!!! What's's settling!!!


I had a little too much wine last night. Well the wine was fine, it was the couple of bottles of beer I had after the wine that did the damage. We ate the lovely French Moroccan Lamb Tomato thing and played Trivial Pursuit (an edition from 1983). It was girls (me, Angie and Jo) against boys (Anthony, Paul, Joe and Dave). The boys won but since they had an extra player we may have to have a fairer rematch.

We nattered about all sorts of things including Nick Drake, Neil Young and romantic films (like French Kiss, Practical Magic and Love Actually). It was a very good evening. I'm gonna have to practice my cooking so I can have them round here and not poison anybody.

In my fragile state I managed to sleep through Anthony doing all the washing-up, he's a star that man. I also got to watch Order of the Phoenix which was rather good, I liked the way it was condensed in just the right way.

Now it's time for bed, and vast quantities of hot water bottles as this house just won't get warm. The thermostat is set at 21, sometimes it actually reaches 18, thank heavens for the beautiful halogen heater that Foley insists on sleeping in front of.

Saturday, November 17, 2007

Another busy day

Very quick post in the 5 minutes I have before going out again.

Went to the Flair Festive Fair at the Lighthouse today which was rather good. Had intended on going and then found out that Paul (my ex-neighbour Angela's man) would be having a stall there for his glassware. So Anthony and me went up with Angie and Joe (Paul's son) and bought some nice shiny goodies. I will post pictures when I have time.

Now we're going back round to Angie's for dinner - a "French Moroccan Lamb Tomato kind of a thing"

I intend to drink wine and relax.

Friday, November 16, 2007


...and I've got the weekend off!

Today contained all of the elements that make a Friday at work so much fun:

A customer complaining that our shop was too cold - after walking past the guys replacing our front window (broken after some drunk attempted to dive through it two weeks ago). We can't work out how she didn't realise that the lack of a window would result in a very cold shop.

RichieFingers rearranging the Humour table and then saying "There, that looks...Kate? is it more better or betterest?"

Looking everywhere for The Girl's Like Spaghetti which we got on Wednesday and nobody can find. Supposedly in Children's Reference (I'm sorry, the "Discover" section - stupid rebranding) but not to be found anywhere, even in Cookery.

Putting millions of stickers onto millions of books, Christmas in retail is SO much stickering, I mean fun.


Ok, my brain has frozen up after a cold day at work (even Chris H was cold and that's NEVER happened before) and since my boiler is having hissy fits I'm going to snuggle on the sofa with one hot man and two cute cats.

Thursday, November 15, 2007

Wednesday, November 14, 2007

Short Post

This will be a very short post as I've just got in from work (did a 10.30-7 shift today) and there's a fabulous new WoW patch which means I HAVE to go on nd check out all the new niceness.

Plus Anthony is cooking...mmmm...

Tuesday, November 13, 2007

London Town

When I was on the phone to mum the other day we were talking about how much holiday I had left and she suggested that if Anthony and I came to stay we could go into London on a couple of day trips. When I mentioned this to Anthony I said it would be quite cool as he's never been to London to visit (only driving with work) and that I "haven't done a real trip to London for ages".

Except...I've never lived in London so really all my trips there have been as a visitor/tourist.

Now I probably used to go into London at least once a month when growing up. We'd visit my grandparents (mothers side) who lived in Leyton (where both my parents are from) every few months, there would be visits to Frank and Teresa (parents friends from Libya) who lived in Battersea and to Ceri (mums old flatmate) and her family in Harrow, and pretty much every school holiday mum would take us in to visit a museum with friends - usually Ceri and her daughter Emily when we'd do swap visits (her to us, me to them).

With all of this I never really felt like a tourist. I've always felt Tube-savvy, checking out my route before hand and knowing alternate routes in case of problems and I always carry a little A-Z with me in case I have to walk somewhere (rather than meandering around shops). I've never really got the hang of the buses, mum never used to take us on them but on the times I went into London with dad (just me and him as a treat for me and break for mum) we would catch them as he always knew exactly which ones went where.
The only time I ever really felt touristy and like a visitor was the time I went in with a boyfriend and he really acted like a tourist, all gawpyness and asking loudly which station we needed for Downing Street or Buckingham Palace. In vain did I point out that it was pretty damn easy to walk from one t'other, we had to go to the tube station mentioned in his guidebook. Never again.

I can remember clearly the three times I went into London with friends from school. (I know, only three)
  • Carmen, after we got our GCSE results and we walked between Bank and St Pauls rather than get the tube. We wandered round various shops and parks and she managed to get sand in her shoes when we walked across Rotten Row.
  • Jo, when she met me at Liverpool Street and we went shopping in Covent Garden avoiding all the trendy shops and wandering through the back streets and nattering.
  • Laura, after our last 'A' Level Biology exam when she went to a very posh hairdressers, we had lunch out and bought perfume in Harrods.

They were all times when I felt grown-up and in control of my own trip into the city, probably why I hated being dictated to by guidebook. My last trip into London was when I saw the lovely Mark, a very nice day of wandering round and spending no money.

Even though I feel a bit like a fraud, I can't wait to "show" Anthony around. Silly but true. I want to go and see all the museums and galleries again, I want to go round the conservatory at the Barbican, I want to wander round the shops with someone who won't act like a tourist and will hopefully feel relatively at home there, even if he does think that Birmingham should be the capital city instead.

Monday, November 12, 2007

Black dog on my shoulder

So no chat today. Have a picture of Foley instead.

Sunday, November 11, 2007

Insightful post?

Not gonna happen today.

I've been quite productive though, bought a nice halogen heater today to stop the house being so bloody cold. It's great. Neither of us are cold and Foley has collapsed in front of it purring like a mad thing. Takes after her mother that one.

Otherwise today started with a long lie-in, then had the blip of going shopping and doing housework before settling down to an afternoon of stitching, WoW and some good TV. Top Gear, as usual, rocked.

My life is deep thought free at the moment, partly due to the fact that I'm still doing things like bursting into tears in Sainsbury's because I saw a Dundee cake. (Which dad had sometimes at Christmas, although the last time was at least 15 years ago...)

Anthony is here all this week and I'll try to get RichieFingers to be more humorous at work - although he's not getting royalties no matter how much he complains.

Saturday, November 10, 2007


My sister has only just noticed that I'm blogging every day.

Apparently my writing is more intelligent than I thought.

Today I ordered in some copies of 84 Charing Cross Road to go on our reviews dumpbin - 15 minutes later someone came in and asked for it.

If you say (in a snarky fashion) to my manager (while he is having a bad day) that you want him to bring our stock of cloth baby books to the counter so that you do not have to walk 20 yards, do not then be surprised when he brings you the whole stand. (and then goes outside for a fag).

When Anthony tells me that I'm not allowed to buy any more Wispas, he should not be shocked at the fact that I come home with a giant tub of Maltesers, ok, a giant tub and another box of Maltesers, and three Chocolate Oranges, although one of those is his. (TMI: it's THAT time of the month).

And I bought him an apple pie!

I also bought a huge snuggly soft red fleece throw from Woollies, this is because the two blanket throws I have already are very thin and this house is very cold. So cold that Anthony is looking at electric blankets!

I have a day off tomorrow, so may attempt a sensible and coherent post. Although probably not.

Friday, November 09, 2007

Thursday, November 08, 2007

Very random stuff

I have been trying to work out what to post about all day but with very little success. So I shall just do some rambling.

I got to spend today with Anthony which was unexpected and lovely. He was supposed to be on nights (11pm-7am) all week but managed to do 3pm-11pm instead on Tues and Wed which meant he came round last night and I got to spend the day with him. We watched Top Gear from Sunday (for the third time, cos it was so damn good) and then I watched Joe's Palace which was just brilliant as Poliakoff's stuff always is.

I did some work on mum's cross-stitch while I watched all that. It now looks like this:

That was spooky, as I typed "mum's", the phone rang and there she was.

I keep being asked what I want for Christmas and my birthday and I really don't know. My birthday present from mum is sorted, she's paying my initial divorce costs (as agreed with dad back in August) but she wants to know about Christmas. We were just discussing this coat and I also mentioned this clock to her. That's all sort-out-able later anyway.

I do know one of my presents. I will be getting this wonderful jigsaw for Christmas/birthday from Anthony's folks (or possibly from Anthony). I know this because it's been bought already as they were in short supply - in fact when he bought it there were 22 in stock, now there are only 5!

Wednesday, November 07, 2007


I may have moved house three times in the five years that I've lived in Wolverhampton, but I haven't moved very far. The second house was four roads up from the first one, and this one is only one road up from it. All the houses have felt very different (certainly this one cos it's all mine and the Yeti has never been here). It feels like I lived in that horrible first house a hundred years ago, so it shocks me every time when I walk to the end of this road and look left and see it. It's also very weird nipping into the local shop, as it's the one practically opposite the first house and walking round there brings back memories that are not always good. (There are about 15 small supermarkets here so it wasn't the closest one to the second house).

Anyway, as usual I digress.

The fact I haven't moved very far means that my walk to and from work has been essentially the same route for five years. When heading home I cross the ring road and walk down Merridale Street which is one long straight road. I pass the posh car sales room, the dodgy pub next to a concrete blocky church, the garage where they've covered all the windows so the police can't see what stolen cars they're working on. Past a playground, the fire station and the old pub that became a funeral home last spring. Then comes the only bit of my route that has changed. For the first house I'd go straight on, for the other two I cut left through the park (ok in summer, a little scary in winter) and catch a whiff of the *interesting* smoke from the group of boys by the basketball court. Then I used to go left again but now I go straight on down the road to reach home.

Having had the same route for such a long time means that often I don't notice most of it. I reach home having immersed myself in my headphones (but never so loud that I can't hear what's happening around me) and having walked it on autopilot.
Tonight the world made me look at it.

As I came to the top of Merridale Street I looked along down it and was amazed by the sunset. The whole sky was dark and cloudy apart from a strip at the end of it that was orange and gold and pink and crimson in lovely hazy stripes. The buildings either side meant that the only bit of the sunset I could see was the bit at the end of the road, with trees (in the cemetery at the end) standing black outlined against it.

I wished and wished that I'd had my camera, although I know I wouldn't have been able to capture it.
I wished that my sister was visiting as I know that she would have been able to photograph it and do it justice.
But most of all I wished that I could have phoned my dad and described it to him, instead I spoke to Anthony and have blogged it in an attempt to keep that glowing band of colour in my minds eye.

Tuesday, November 06, 2007

Music to my ears

Well, not music, books.

You know that I'm a big fan of Audible thanks to Keris who introduced me to the site. Today I found out that they've teamed up with our Waterstone's site to offer downloads through there (or Waterstone's link to them or something). This is quite cool as it will now be much easier for me to recommend the site to customers who want something obscure and out of print.

(The fact that I just got the free Dracula download helps too of course)

So as I wandered home tonight I treated myself to an audiobook I've been saving for ages, and I wasn't disappointed.

84 Charing Cross Road is another one of those books that I spotted on my parents shelves because of its cover. I loved it. I could almost hear the voices in my head when I read it, so I was worried that the audio would spoil this. Nope, it's just perfect.
When I'm not listening to this I have been listening to bits of This Sceptred Isle: Twentieth Century. I am trying to learn a bit more modern history and I figured this would be a good way. So far I have learnt about suffragettes blowing up post boxes, the fact that the Daily Mirror was started as the first newspaper for women and the fact the Government were more worried about civil war in Ireland than war in Europe, plus many other things that have of course gone from my head since I listened to it (I've been asleep since then) but that amazed me at the time.

I love the fact that my twenty minute walk twice a day is an opportunity to learn things as well as get some exercise. (Helps distract me from the cold too!)

Monday, November 05, 2007

Never judge a book by its cover

The other day I had a customer ask me for a few children's books that had won prizes.

The first one I thought of was Saffy's Angel (which won the Whitbread Children's Award). I enthused about it to the lady and she had a read of the back and decided to take it (and the first sequel, Indigo's Star). But she did say that she wouldn't have picked it up because the cover was so horrible. "It looks like one of those cheap trashy chick-lit girlie books, you know" - I didn't know. I LOVE all the Casson Family covers. All I could say was "I suppose it is a bit..." and then trail off. I wanted to finish that sentence with "...beautiful" but couldn't.

Then today I was putting some books out and spotted a copy of The Darling Buds of May with a completely hideous cover. If my parents had had these editions there's no way on earth I'd have read them! They have the editions with cartoony covers, like their copy of Animal Farm had - which is why I picked it off the shelf at age 9. 1984 didn't have such a nice cover, but I read that next because I'd enjoyed Animal Farm so much.

Covers can indeed make or break a book. There are certain types of cover that I wouldn't pick up in a million years, and I may possibly be missing some good books because of it. We actually have a display at work that I set up called "Books that make you go mmm..." It's not a display of porn, it's books with beautiful covers.

These are some beautiful books.

Sunday, November 04, 2007

Soothing Sunday

I did intend to post about my dad's funeral today. It's a month since the funeral and I've written most of what I want to say about it, but it's still not quite right. So that will appear at some point I'm sure.

In the mean time I have been having what Anthony called "a proper Sunday". Since I've worked three out of the last four (and that one I was at Center Parcs) it's actually the first Sunday that we've had together at home since the beginning of September.

Last week I was longing for a Sunday at home, I spent the day at work looking forward to this week and it didn't disappoint.

We had a nice long lie-in and then Anthony went to the shop for the makings of bacon sarnies while I did some washing-up. This afternoon was spent watching V for Vendetta (which I watched on Wed but wanted Anthony to see) and stitching (me), WoWing (him) and generally chilling out.

This evening we are going out to the best curry place in town, the fabulous Cafe Champagne. We are also going to be enjoying the company of the lovely Miss Campbelli and her Jamie. It'll be great to see her, can't believe I haven't seen her for nearly two months!

Anthony will be on nights next week so I shall have lots of PC time and mum's stitching may get sadly neglected.

Saturday, November 03, 2007

A very short post...

After a day of rushing around getting haircuts and seeing Anthonys folks, and before an evening spent at a friends party, the 15 minute gap in the middle is best filled with food.

Battered sausage and chips for me, the same plus a chicken balti pie for Anthony.


Now, off to the party!

Friday, November 02, 2007

Essential Bookselling Traits

(inspired partly by a very strange conversation that I had with Faye).

A booksellers job is harder than you think. Not only do you have to sell books to people, you also have to decorate things with bits of cardboard, lift heavy weights, have the kind of brain that can solve complex crossword puzzles when all the clues are missing and also read minds.

You must not react angrily when a customer calls you a liar because the book they want to buy is only in hardback but they've seen it in paperback somewhere else, oh yes they have! Or they read in the paper that the new Anthony Horowitz book is out today and the fact that you only have it in hardback is obviously some kind of a con. I really thought that this particular customer was going to explode with indignation. In the end she just stormed out of the shop - and then came back today and bought it, from me, pretending that she didn't know who I was... "I saw this yesterday but didn't think your colleague could be right when she said it was only in hardback" - MY COLLEAGUE??? That would be the OTHER tall blonde girl we have on the staff, the one that is also me...

As well as the thick skin needed to deal with those people you also need actual thick skin. This is because the biggest enemy of the bookseller is papercuts - on my worst day I had a total of 15, that's including the one just above my right eye where a shelf strip whipped up and caught me. All those nice bright pieces of cardboard that you see, actually covered in blood smears on the back. (but we make a point never to bleed on the actual books).

The genius mind is needed to help out all the people who come in asking for that new book "about tractors", "the blue one that was on tv last night", "those bikers, the hunky ones", "that one about him off the telly, you know, the tall man" (answers at the end). This does often give a sense of achievement as you've been able to work out exactly what these people are talking about.

Heavy lifting comes in not only with lugging piles of books about the shop attempting to make neat piles on tables. The tables and browsers have to get there somehow after all. That 7ft tall dumpbin in the kids section? Dragged up the stairs by me and Faye (she pulled, I pushed) and then dragged into place by Chris as our arms had turned to jelly.

Heavy lifting is also needed when you are carrying one of those big armfuls of books and then a little voice says "Do you work here?" One day I will answer "No, I'm a shoplifter", but until then I will say yes and listen to their enquiry and then find them the book they want, all without putting the armful of books down because if you dare to do this the customer will look at you with disgust and decide that you are being rude.

Rude is something you cannot be when working in a shop. When customers walk past the big obvious pile of the new Ewan McGregor/Jeremy Clarkson/Wilbur Smith/Martina Cole and say "Do you have the new Ewan McGregor/Jeremy Clarkson/Wilbur Smith/Martina Cole book?", and you point and they say "Where?" and you walk over to the big pile of books and get one for them and they don't bother to say thank you and just sigh because it took you all of 10 seconds to walk over to the pile next to the customer and hand it to them, but you took too long....

Yes I have had one of those days...

So, to recap. Hide like a rhino, genius brain, very strong, ability to keep a smile on your face while you're wishing that they'd never been born.

Then you smile and say "Next please. Can I help anyone?"

"about tractors" - A Short History of Tractors in Ukrainian.
"the blue one that was on TV last night" - Planet Earth.
"those bikers, the hunky ones" - Hairy Bikers (not Ewan McGregor, lose five points).
"that one about him off the telly, you know, the tall man" - Paul O'Grady.

Thursday, November 01, 2007


Well I thought I'd give it a shot. After all, there's enough random crap going on in my head to fill a million posts!

(and then Anthony phones and everything that was in my head that I could write about has gone)

I also decided to do this cos there's lots of things that I decide not to blog about as they're just little incidental thoughts that don't seem to connect up, and then a few days later when they do connect, I don't feel like I can write about them without backtracking.
Backtracking is something that I am trying not to do at the moment. I am thinking about past things, but not trying to go back to them. Partly I have been thinking about all the witchy stuff I used to do and the way I used to worship in my own way before it all got swamped under WitchGrove and the moot and other people saying that I wasn't doing things properly. Trying to start again with this is difficult as I do still hear those critical voices. I am getting better at ignoring them though.

So I am definitely rambling now! Going to play Warcraft instead, and tonight I might even cook myself something vaguely nutritious for dinner (my appetite is terrible at the moment, almost as bad as my short term memory) Now what was I going to do again?...