Wednesday, 24 December 2008

Twisted Barbie becomes a sop

I usually have a pretty tough exterior that only the chosen few really get past, but today I'm worried that I'm... becoming...a soppy woman! I am making desserts for family meals over the festive period, which take some time and effort but are the best contribution I can make (if I say so myself I'm pretty good with sweet stuff) I had some extra time to wait for things to cool and chill etc so I lumped down in front of the TV. Finding nothing much on I turned on a modern adaptation of A Christmas Carol (I can be a sucker for classic adaptations) Being totally honest it was pretty good, even with a made for TV cast of ex-soap stars, and I actually found myself shedding a tear at the end. Oh dear! last year I cried at Peter Pan! Its a downhill slope I tell ya!

Free manners anyone?

I don't like to come across all proper and old-lady-like but I do have a liking for good manners. I was always taught the "basics" like please and thankyou, not talking with my mouth full, and keeping my mouth shut whilst eating. Don't get me wrong I'm no proper lady - in fact lots of people will say I'm a little rough around the edges :)

It does seem that these are a long forgotten trait though, even old ladies no longer say thankyou if you give up your seat or hold a door open. The prompt for this rant was my journey home today where a young family, mother and two kids of about 9ish got on my bus and sat in the seats directly behind me. The mother then handed out a packet of crisps and the kids munched in. Not unusual, but it was the actions from there...all three of them then proceeded to enjoy their crisps, carrying on their conversation during mouthfuls so it sounded like this...

smack munch nom (mouths open like a guppy gasping for air)
munch nom munch
nom munch
munch nom nom
munch & swallow
"whats that?
each sentence took about a minute because none of them could understand the other with their mouths full.

I know I can be a little sensitive about eating noises, so the whole thing may have been impacted by the female child leaning on the back of my chair whilst crunching but I was pleased when I got to my stop!
I'll give them some credit though as they made a big point of putting their empty packets in a bag...but thats for another days rant

Tuesday, 16 December 2008

And I have the audacity to compain about what kids listen to these days?...

Partially sparked by a conversation with Gurn, I took a wander down memory lane last night and dug up some of my favourite songs from my early teens. I'm almost surprised that I'm not really that embarrassed by any of them either (OK so theres possibly a couple of bands I'm still not owning up to...) But I thought it might be nice to share some of my favourites here, after all your past makes you who you are so here are the songs that helped me be, well, me.

WARNING: the items below contains a mixture of jangly guitar solos, dodgy lyrics, and some thumping drums. These all were my favourites circa 1993 when I was plenty of teen angst lies herein.

Freak of Nature - Rescue Me.
I love these drums. I still do.

Extreme - More than words
OK, Its very teen girly and a bit sappy but I was 14 and desperately in love with the guitarist to boot. I still know ALL the words...but maybe I shouldn't admit that bit?

Nirvana - Lithium
Anyone with an opinion on alternative music has one on Nirvana, but I loved them.

Terrorvision - Oblivion
I understand if you don't get all the way through this one...

Spin Doctors - Two Princes
I found the receipt for this CD recently, inside the sleeve. The shop I got it from doesn't exist any more. I felt old. This song still makes me want to jump around like a loon though.

Alice in Chains - Angry Chair (not their video)
This video looks like someones media studies project but it was the best version of the song I could find that wasn't live. Pure unadulterated teen angst.

Wildhearts - Greetings from Shitsville
I've always had this odd pop-punk streak...

Therapy - Screamager
More teen angst, but I do still love this song!

Type O Negative - Black No.1
The goth front moves in...I've loved Type O from the moment I heard them, I've always enjoyed that fact they just take the piss. Although I'd suggest not trying their previous incarnation, Carnivore, that was just a bit much or my young ears!

So there we go. Now any musical psychotherapists out there will have a great understanding of the person I am ;)

Thursday, 4 December 2008

The answer to cold gaming hands?

I live in Scotland so needless to say its bloody freezing in winter. I've found myself having a problem lately with my hands getting very cold while I'm playing games on my PC (I do quite a lot of this) so I have a great new product to help me...I'm thinking of launching them as a new line soon....Hobo Gaming Gloves!

The key to good Xmas shopping

Last Saturday, as BMan was away for the weekend, I took advantage and did my Xmas shopping. BMan isn't a "typical" bloke when it comes to shopping but in the pre Xmas rushes in its not his favourite pastime. When I first got into town my brain instantly went blank. I couldn't think what I had planned on buying for everyone and I totally wasn't in the mood so I worked my way down Princes St, hardly looking in any shops (and being driven away from ones I did want to visit by the ever growing hordes of shoppers) I finally stopped about three quarters of the way and got myself some breakfast and a coffee. Whilst waiting for my toastie I sat in the window of BHS and saw a guy setting up in the street right outside, laying out paintings for sale and then producing tins of spray paint and other odds from several bags. The artwork he had on show was pretty impressive in itself, unusual space and landscape scenes in high gloss. Then he started to paint some more and I was mesmerised, he was using car paints and objects usually found in a car garage.

I watched him for about 20 minutes until he finished the one he was working on.

I thought it was pretty impressive, and very unique and watching certainly brightened my mood enough to allow me to get on with a good days shopping (6 hours by the way - I was knackered by the end!)

Tuesday, 25 November 2008

Zombie plans?

Mainly sparked by a conversation at Witchfest, and mainly by my current addiction - Left 4 Dead - Myself and BMan figured that we should have a zombie plan as everyone else seems to think its unusual NOT to have one already...So after much deliberation we have one! :) ...I'm not sure I should disclose it here though in case there are potential zombies reading....... *looks around nervously*

Thursday, 13 November 2008

Wherever I lay my hat....

Some one sent me this on Facebook...I had to share. Put the sound on and enjoy.

Monday, 10 November 2008


I had breakfast in a Coffee Republic last Friday and noticed one of their adverts...I'm still wondering what it has to do with Coffee...Any ideas?

Witchfest and back again...

Last weekend was the infamous Witchfest. I love it but its held in Croydon which is a pretty long way away from here. After the Barcelona holiday got doomed I figured that I should still use the bus tickets down to London that I had booked so I changed the dates and used them for the Witchfest trip. This was not the best idea I have ever had. For the first leg of the journey I was the only person on the bus to have someone sitting next to them - obviously I didn't look scary enough - the lady who sat down fell asleep about 30 seconds after the bus started to move and stayed that way until Newcastle. Great I hear you She ended up dropping her head on my shoulder for half the way. At least it was quiet I suppose. The journey really was pretty uneventful, which just added to the boredom of 9 hours on a bus. Anyway I finally got to Croydon and found my hotel with ease. I struggled a little to find the reception desk, as it was on the first floor and there was no sign to tell you that but I got there.

After dumping my stuff in my room and headed out to find my friends . I knew that there were two places to track people down and Jurys was closest (being the next hotel along the same road) I headed into the bar and after grabbing a highly priced pint found myself a seat on a sofa, I spotted lots of people I knew but they were all engrossed in conversations so I waited a while. This obviously got boring after about 3 minutes and I spotted Drew, one of the very first people I ever met at Witchfest in 2003, whose whole group took me in when I didn't know anyone. I tapped him in the shoulder and was nearly deafened by the high pitched scream he gave before he hugged me like I was an old family member. After some frantic chat someone else did something similar and he ran off to the bar so I went back to my seat and started chatting to someone else. Halfway through that conversation however drew arrived back by launching himself across the room at me and throwing me backwards over the sofa, much to the surprise and amusement of the table opposite. (At this point I should state that Drew is both in a relationship and gay so this isn't an unusual thing for him to do to a woman) lots of chatting and a couple of pints later I decided that my bed was calling me and retired.

Saturday morning I was up bright and early (a bit too early really) I got myself dressed and ready for the day in my big purple dress which is a staple outfit for Witchfest and went to get breakfast and supplies for the day. Sorry for the lack of smile but taking photos in a mirror isn't my forte.
I have a running joke with another friend that I have to carry cakes in my basket so I popped into the newsagent to buy some, this really shouldn't have been anything of note but when I went to the till to pay the man running the shop asked me if I was going to Fairfield and what it was all about. Someone from one of the hotels had commented to him that he might get some odd people in over the next few days because the witches were in town! We had a really good chat, he told me some of his background of being brought up in a Hindu mystic family and converting to Catholicism, and how he believes in miracles and magic powers and was genuinely interested in the subject. About 30 mins before the doors were due to open I walked through the drizzle to get in the cue for the day. Through the day I went to several talks and workshops and was quite literally buzzing by the end of it. I met lots of new people and learned a lot of interesting stuff but by the time dinnertime came at 7:30 it was a much needed break before heading back to party for the rest of the night.

Somehow when I got back to Fairfield I could see no one that I knew very well so I sat with a couple that I had met on Friday night chatting and drinking mead.

Theres no photos allowed in Witchfest which is always a shame as there would be some fantastic ones to show of everyone otherwise.

Thankfully the journey home on Sunday was much better, I had lots of legroom and there was only 4 people on the bus! I still got bored though so next time I'll stick to the train.

Tuesday, 4 November 2008


As I mentioned earlier we were invited to a Halloween party this year. Fancy dress of course. It took a while to find and finally order costumes but they arrived on the day *phew* BMan opted for The Mask and I went for Dorothy from The Wizard of Oz...(theres no pics of me yet though)

BMan (The Mask), Katherine (Woodland Fairy), Sarah(Bad Fairy), Annabelle(Princess Fiona from Shrek) and Katie(Zombie)

Maria(Crazy danish lady...oh no, Nun)


Its so cold! Winter has only just started but it feels far colder than normal...what happened to autumn?? I'm confused. and cold. maybe I should consider hibernation as a new life choice?

Friday, 24 October 2008

Fancy dress♦

I like Halloween, not just from the religious aspect for me but I like the silly fun of it all, dressing up and parties and giving kids sweets, you know the expensive tacky fun bit. This year we have been invited to a Halloween party by one of my workmates. I'm looking forward to it and both BMan and I had chosen our outfits which I was planning to make (they weren't available to buy in the required sizes) With me being ill this week though I have yet to put anything together and time is chasing forward so we are possibly having to rethink our costumes so we can buy them or put them together from stuff we already own.

The problem I am having is finding some inspiration, I am very aware that many peoples ideas of a Halloween costume is the stuff I might choose to go clubbing in so I don't want to look like its just another night out for me. I've been looking at the standard fancy dress on some of the sites and so far I am drawn towards these:

Snow White
Red Riding Hood

Alice in Wonderland

Greek Princess
Dorothy(wizard of oz)
Of course I am under no pretence that I am not a size 10 like these models and the costumes will look different but theyre the best looking ones available. I'll choose one eventually!


I've not been well this week, I had a sore throat last Friday and then spent almost the whole weekend in bed to try and get rid of the emerging cold. It didn't work. I went to work on Monday, due to be running an exam, only to be sent back to my desk unfit for that duty. I should have gone home then but I persevered and stayed for the rest of the day. I even pushed myself to attend an hour of training Monday night but come Tuesday morning I was in no fit state to got to work.

So I've spent the rest of this week sitting about the flat, generally miserable and feeling sorry for myself getting frustrated that every time I even open the front door I cough myself into oblivion and struggle to breathe. I tried to go to the shops today to get some supplies for the weekend but still only managed to get to the corner before giving up. The crazy thing is that when I'm inside in the warm I'm hardly coughing at all, just a little tight chested so I feel like a big fraud until I try to go out!

Tuesday, 14 October 2008

Dancing to the music in my head

A while back I got a new Mp3 player remember?

I use it mainly for the gym and the odd bus trip when I'm alone, over the last few days I have used it quite a bit and I have been amused to notice how other people around you sometimes seem to dance to the music only I can hear. The best example was watching two older ladies talking on the bus, one was nodding to her friend completely in time with the song for probably about 30 seconds.

Maybe I should stop staring at strangers on the bus?..

Saturday, 4 October 2008


I've taken on a new project at work recently and part of that is to set up an html newsletter for our participants. I've done a little research, and people have sent me some samples, one of which came in today from the evangelical alliance. (obviously not a newsletter I would normally receive) but I was highly amused by one of the articles on their recent addition of GodBlogs. I couldn't help myself but take a peek. They weren't quite as interesting as I had imagined however and simply had posts on the ten modern commandments being online etc.

What a disappointment! I was half hoping to find blogs on what its like to be a god...

Jack of all trades

I'm not academic.

At all.

I rarely even think about it, I'm a naturally clever person with an above average amount of "smarts". No one ever really questions my abilities so it never comes up and if it does its because they are usually surprised that I don't have a great education. If you really want to know how bad it is, I have 2 gcses above a C (and one of those is an arts subject). I've never really felt the need to get the bits of paper that back up my usual claims of genius :)

Tonight I did though, BMan and Gurn were talking about computer stuff, which is a subject that I'm usually very comfortable with, but on this occasion they were talking about the stuff kids learn in computing at school - a subject they both studied and my school barely even offered - (we learned about tractors and crop rotation instead) I'm completely self taught when it comes to anything technical and being as I am considered the IT expert in my workplace thats probably somewhat of an achievement but there was a lot of stuff that I had to admit not having the foggiest about which made me feel like a total novice.

It wasn't a nice feeling, and certainly not one I'm used to (although probably penance for knowing what a quince was earlier in the evening). Its something that I'm going to have to get used to, especially as I'm not going to go back to school anytime soon. I guess I'll just have to get my reading head on a study up on another random subject to make myself feel better ;)

Thursday, 25 September 2008

Witchfest 2008

I know its not something I mention here often, but I am pagan, a hedgewitch to be a bit more precise. I don't really feel the need to harp on about it much though, its my belief and I don't expect anyone to agree with me or anything. Anyhow, now thats straight, an organisation that I have been a member of for some years host an event each year in London amusingly (or not) entitled Witchfest. Its a fun weekend and I usually try my hardest to go along. I wasn't planning to this year due to the holiday in October but with that cancelled I figure that I can :) I've even managed to book a hotel far cheaper than I normally get too so I'm extra happy!

Tuesday, 23 September 2008


After the cancellation of our holiday BMan and I went for a little retail therapy to make ourselves feel better. We stopped into Game and both got ourselves a copy of Spore...and I love it! I was a big fan of the Sims but I always complained that it wasn't driven enough - your only aim was really to keep your little people happy and alive - but Spore has that and sets of challenges to complete. I'm totally addicted already and have already got to the final stage (which is so much harder than all the others were!) which for me is an achievement in itself as I very rarely ever play a game long enough to actually get near completion!

Tuesday, 16 September 2008

Grrr Ryanair strike again!

I mentioned back in June that I had booked a holiday to Barcelona for B Mans birthday. An extravagant gift I know, but I had managed to get it all for a pretty cheap price, £98 for the flights from Stansted, £380 for the hotel, and £40 for a coach to the airport and back. Everything has been booked and mostly paid for, and today I got an email from Ryanair telling me of a change to our flight times...they have moved it forward from 12:15 to 06:50!! This wouldn't be too much of a problem if we were flying from a local airport, but the overnight coach to London (which we are booked onto) doesn't even arrive in Victoria until 07:30. Hmmm...that just doesn't work.

Ryanair have offered a full refund and to be honest we are considering taking it. We don't really want to cancel our holiday but getting to catch the flight is now going to be a major (and costly) problem so the temptation is there to scrap the whole thing and book/plan a bigger better holiday in the early part of next year instead.

I'm pretty pissed off with them right now as you can imagine.

Sunday, 7 September 2008

Tell the world but not the family

This dawned on me yesterday. I don't speak much to my family, we're not normally what many people would consider a normal functional family at all really and to me thats normal - after all its all I have ever had. I tried the close knit family thing in my marriage and to be honest it totally grated on me, I hated all these people feeling that they had a right to know every intimacy of what was going on in my life!

Yesterday though I got a call from my sister (trust me its unusual - she has phoned me maybe three times since I moved to Scotland, thats once every year!!) it was to tell me some family news that I won't bother to include here as its really not important to this post. What it made me realise however as we chatted was that I have such a tendency to tell the world my news on here before I tell my family. Especially when I told her about my trip to Barcelona and getting my dan grade etc. and I realised that those things happened or had been organised quite a while ago now.

It was an odd realisation.

Of course its not something that's going to change. My family would think I had been kidnapped and replaced with an alien if I suddenly became the "ideal" daughter/sister/granddaughter who phones every few days to tell them of every tiny thing that happened (including what I had for breakfast and how many times I peed yesterday) I don't think its a bad relationship that we have, I know it's certainly not what is considered "normal" but who dictates what normal is anyway? but it does sometimes strike me as just a little odd.

Saturday, 6 September 2008

Actors Studio Questions

Gurn stole this from someone else so I'm just passing it forward ;) I have watched a couple of my favourite actors on the actual programme but they tend to be about 3 hours long and I just can't hold my attention for that long! (If they were this short I'd be happy!)

What is your favorite word?

Parallelogram - just say it, isn't it lovely?

What is your least favorite word?
I'm not sure I have one, but it might be "NO"

What turns you on (creatively, spiritually or emotionally)?
Feeling the power in something (not like electricity but a blustery wind that takes your breath away, the potential energy stored in a muscle, stuff like that...)

What turns you off (creatively, spiritually or emotionally)?

What sound or noise do you love?
The sea/waves crashing

What sound or noise do you hate?
Dentists drills

What is your favorite curse word?
FUCK!!!! (usually said very loudly and with expression!)

What profession other than your own would you like to attempt?
Police? Lawyer? something that went totally against my hatred of authority just to see how I'd cope.

What profession would you not like to do?
Turkey wanker, or bull wanker, either way not nice.

If Heaven exists, what would you like to hear God say when you arrive at the Pearly Gates?
Hahahahahahahaa if heaven exists I am so not going there!!!

Thursday, 28 August 2008

Top 5 covers

Ok, I recently read Gurns post of his Top 5 covers and whilst I figure his choice weren't bad, I didn't necessarily agree. Soooo, here are my choices....although I'm not one for decisions so they are in no particular order...

Disturbed - Shout 2000

Type O Negative - Summer Breeze

Marilyn Manson - Personal Jesus

Jefferson Airplane - White Rabbit (I know its not strictly a cover but I'm including it here as it was first performed by composer Grace Slick with her band The Great Society in 1966 before she joined Airplane so I say it counts!)

Gary Jules - Mad World

So there we have it. I finally made a top 5 of, well, anything! Theres others I would include if I had more room but then I'd be back to not really making decisions again wouldn't I?

Tuesday, 19 August 2008

Ninja cake anyone?

Yes Ninjas.. y'know those guys in black who run around silently in the movies... I really enjoy Ninjutsu (or for those who wish to be picky, Bujinkan Budo Taijutsu) Its something I took up when I was younger (about 17) and studied for a few years but the class I was attending had a change in its dynamics so I stopped training. I took it up again about 18 months ago when I finally found a club here in Edinburgh. I was lucky enough to be allowed to keep my old grade and progress from there... sooo last night at the end of my class my sensei announced that I have now been awarded my 1st dan and I am finally a blackbelt.

I'm chuffed to bits! I kept my cool when he announced it and managed only to blush a little when really I wanted to jump up and down clapping my hands and squealing! (as a true barbie girl would of course!!)

Friday, 15 August 2008

May I suggest curtains??

Talking to a colleague at work today in her office on the second floor I glanced out the window to spot a naked man....After a few seconds I realised that he did actually have boxers on but he was wandering about in a building opposite ours in front of a very uncovered window. I'm not someone to be shocked easily but I did have to do a double take. (Oh and alert all the other people in the office to my new found view...) Apparently its not a new phenomena though, some of the guys in the front office used to schedule their lunch breaks around the time a young lady over the road was flitting about semi naked too.

Thursday, 7 August 2008

The passport trial

I need a passport to go to Barcelona in October. I've never had one before (last time I travelled overseas I was 11 and on my mums) Everyone knows that passports are pretty pricey to buy, but what lots of people don't seem to realise (myself included until now) just how much information they want on the application form. I would expect that my birth certificate is pretty good to prove my nationality, but the form also asks for all my parents full details including passport numbers and marriage details (these are proving a little hard to actually get out of my parents at the moment) I am glad that both of my parents were born in the UK as otherwise I'd also have to give my grandparents details too. Next I have to have someone who has known me long enough but I'm not related to, or in a relationship with to countersign (thankfully I have a Boss who's happy to do stuff like that) then I'm going to have to take time off work to attend an interview.

phew. I think after all that I am going to really need the holiday.

One man band

As a surprise a couple of weeks ago I was given a present....
(it looks a darker wine red in the flesh though) I have been drooling over these in the music shop window for a few months now so it was a very nice surprise - I'm now having to learn to play all over again - although it shouldn't be hard as I never really got past 4 chords :s

Wednesday, 6 August 2008

Haircut part 2... I mentioned I had further plans for my latest haircut. I had to go to a family party over the weekend so I figured best to do it before then. Here are the results of my creativity. (the lights not great in here so these aren't the best pictures though)

If its not that visible, I have dyed about a quarter of my hair red and left the rest black. I'm pretty chuffed with it and work haven't complained ...yet...

Saturday, 26 July 2008

Suddenley I have no hair left

Well, its been 6 months since I last had a haircut and the style had grown out so I decided to book an appointment. BMan came along as his recent growth spurt had stopped so a trim was required on his part too.

The salon looked a bit empty when we arrived as only the owner and one assistant was in (theres normally 3 or 4) Lee (The hairdresser) explained that he had stupidly allowed them to go off on holiday at the same time, and one was sick so the poor guy was up to his ears in appointments that he was struggling to keep up with! We had to wait a while to actually get seen, but he was really good about it (I got a free deep conditioning hair mask and BMan got a free box of colour for his next image change)

Once i got into the chair I had looked through a magazine that was in the rack and seen some cuts I quite liked, so I decided to get a bit of a we have before...

which you may remember from my glasses post... and an after...

I'm pretty chuffed with it and now ready for the next step - It needs re-dyed - and I have plans for that too but more photos will be forthcoming.

Wednesday, 23 July 2008

Old contacts

I swear my day gets worse...I think I'll just go to bed. I've just got an email from an old acquaintance, someone who I had a bit of a fling with when I was about 16/17 (nothing serious, we were friends and kissed but I'm pretty sure that's not how he tells it). He's found me on friends reunited and sent me a message. I'm obviously unforgettable as he is begging me to add him to my hotmail contacts and hopes I remember him blah blah blah. The actual email comes across as totally slimy and well ewwww.... in fact here it is... read it and remind yourself that this man is now about 34 and has 2 kids...

Hey babe.....Its m******? from norwich? Mate of richards.......hope you remember me as I remember u very well........would like to get in touch sometime. We were kinda close many moons ago. lol..............add me......*********** do....peace babe x

Theres two things wrong with this...

1. "Richard" he refers to hated him with a passion and was my boyfriend at the time who M desperately tried to steal me away from.

2. "we were kinda close" ... whilst I can't deny we were supposed to be friends once this is a man who forced his way into my flat when I was 17, stole a steak knife from my kitchen to slash his own wrists with, and then had the audacity to come back when it didn't work swearing at me because I wouldn't let him die!! (that was the very last I heard of him) Its probably also worth explaining here that he obviously didn't try hard enough as I have a deep scar on my finger from a pizza incident a few years later with those exact knives...

Needless to say I'm not going to respond and I'm definitely not going to add him. This is someone who is going to stay firmly in my past.

Not a good start

Following from the post below...Virgin media came and fitted our new line and broadband today.

As you may have guessed the broadband is working...but not quite how we would like...

First thing the engineer does is fit the phone line, simply plugs into the old Telewest line and hey presto! magic.

Next we wanders off to fit the broadband. (He has been asking some odd questions up to this point and seems to not understand the concept of a network with cables...)

Whist he is banging on the wall outside extending the line or something I got proactive and plugged in the phone. On testing the line all I could hear was a terrible connection and constant crackle which I promptly pointed out to him (I'm getting better at complaining it seems) he went away again but came back to inform me that there seems to be a problem with the network and he wouldn't be surprised if the whole street has the same problem as the box is damp, but he will have to report it as a fault and send a service engineer round.

So off he toddles "my work here is done" (or that's what he would have said if he had any form of eloquence or could even string a decent sentence together...) I venture out into the hall where the modem is...and its just a router. Bugger.

I hastily plug my network cable into the modem and hit the net to check that we were supposed to get a free router...yup. Ok not a good start then eh? faulty line and no router on day one, so I phoned Virgin media and explain the problems. I have a service engineer coming over Tuesday (almost another week) and I am informed that the router doesn't get fitted by the engineer, but has been posted out to us today...well at least its on its way, but its really no use that its not already here.

I thought this was ok...but I called BMan up to tell him how its all gone and he promptly called Virgin again to get it sorted. That was about 4:30. its now 6:30 and I've just had a text to tell me that he is still on the phone. I can't wait to find out what on earth has been going on but so far its BT -1, Virgin -1.

Sounds like its going to be an ongoing saga...

BT = Bloody Terrible or "Why I have had no internet for a week"

Oh dear here I go again....Another regretful business deal with a "service provider" When myself and B Man moved into our flat he already had a contract for Sky broadband so to keep it going we had to have a BT line. Neither of us were very happy about this as we had both had previous bad experiences with the notorious BT, but it had to be done (Its the only way you can have sky broadband for those who are blissfully unaware) So we had the line fitted and from day one have had constant hassles and problems, including a fault that took about a month to fix and again ended with us having no net connection for a week.

This time however the problem was dire, BMan got a call from his sister who had tried to call the home line but couldn't connect to it. This lead to us testing the phone and finding out that whilst we had a dialling tone we couldn't call out. So on the mobile I hop to BT "Customer services" I am initially told by the first advisor that I had a type of account that she couldn't deal with so I was transferred. A nice man in the billing department looked at my account and informed me that my line has been terminated..."Oh? I haven't had a bill" "hmm well the system is showing that you did not pay your last bill and you have been cut off. " Oddly he asked me when I noticed and was surprised when I said "about a day ago" so it sounds like it was cut off a good while before.
He checked the account and agreed that there was no outstanding amount (I had just made a payment for the month after the apparent "fault" prompted BMan to check the account online)
The nice man in billing then says - "well I can put you through to services and they will be able to reconnect you, just explain our conversation to them." Ok cool...easy to sort.


I was then transferred to another man who instantly said "I'm sorry but I can't help you right now, our system is down so I cannot see your account." ok...but the last guy could...why can't you? "Its a different system, I can't see your account please call back tomorrow."

ok.. I'm baffled but I'll do that.

They were unfortunate, I didn't call them back...BMan did.... the end result was that they had disconnected our line for non payment (even though the bill was paid before it was actually due) the problem arose from a credit that was put onto our account that the highly sophisticated computer system had listed as unpaid (even though that amount had been credited...) and in order to reconnect us they wanted to credit check BMan again and sign us into another 12 month contract. He told them in no short order where they could stick that plan. They then had the audacity to inform him that a final bill with a disconnection charge would be heading our way, they were also told where to stick that and exactly how far... We should now be expecting a credit for the bill paid.

But this left us with no BT line...oddly the broadband was still working however so neither of us were very fussed.

The next day BMan gets home to find out that the broadband has also ceased to exist. So as an act of desperation we are now Virginmedia customers...

Monday, 14 July 2008

Punky Pigeon

Why when I really really need it do I not have my phone on me for blog worthy photos??

I nipped out to the chemist during work today only to spot a pigeon with a mohawk on the way back to the office. I so nearly ran back in got my phone and went back out to get a photo but that would probably be pushing my need to go out in the first place.... So I have an artists impression....
I had to use a little artistic licence (mainly because the mohawk was white and because that really doesn't look much like a pigeon) but you get the idea...

Parents requests...

As mentioned in my last post I'm seeing the parents in a couple of weeks for the first time in about 2 years. I got an email yesterday from dad...

"an you please bring something down for us ??
IKEA... 2 x Round laundry bins / Plastic Made to look a bit like sacking / White / With Lid / Collapsible / Handles on two sides
Not dear (about a fiver each) - we'll pay you on arrival."

OK, so I have about an hour bus ride to IKEA from my flat, then an hour back again, not a big problem, but I could do with a better description of what they re after, so I replied asking if they had seen them on the IKEA website...the answer came today...

No, Not on Website but we brought two whilst in Scotland."

Yeah because no shops in Scotland ever change their stock eh?

Wednesday, 9 July 2008

Another trip down south and yet more apprehension

The last trip I took down to Norwich in March went well, I didn't kill anyone, my friends loved BMan, and my family started asking leading questions about him by the time we got home (which means they approved). Soooo... its my grandparents 60th wedding anniversary in August so I'm expected to turn up to their party. I booked train tickets a while back and now the trip is looming in the near future like a train coming through a tunnel towards me...and its making me nervous already! I can't believe it! The only difference from the last trip is that my parents are going to be there too (as well as several other random family members who I hardly know). My parents are probably the scariest thing I ever have to deal with because I just don't seem to be able to stand up to them, they nag and criticise me and treat me like a child and I seem to be helpless to their power.

I'm on an assertiveness course a few days before we leave (for work really) but I'm hoping I can improve on my coping skills...either that or I'm just going to let BMan have at 'em!

Monday, 30 June 2008

Making something from nothing...

I have a bit of a "thing" for craft work. I love making things, and being practical, so when BMan and myself were discussing jackets on the bus this morning I was prompted to get crafty again...I went on a charity shop ramble during my lunch hour (Thankfully where I work is completely surrounded by tons of charity shops) and came home with two men's suit jackets - which set me back a whopping £1 each - and I intend to deconstruct them and end up with at least one cool jacket for myself. (One of them fits me perfectly and the other is a tad big)

I've already made a bit of a start on the one that fits, by taking apart a PVC dress I was given (that never fitted me and I wasn't keen on the style, but was free) and covering the collar and lapels (OK I haven't got any further than taking apart the dress and cutting pieces to fit the collar and lapels but you get my drift) I had a dog through the huge craft box hidden under my bed and have all manner of bits in there to tart the coat up with so I'll have to see what comes out. I might hate it, but meh if I do, I'm sure I'll have fun playing anyway and I could always sell it on eBay as a one off....

Mounted Police?

Its something I associate far more with places like California, but last Thursday I was more than amused by two police cycling past my work on mountain bikes...shorts and all...Probably not the best option for Edinburgh's "summer" (i.e. constant drizzle interjected with the odd patch of cold sunshine ;) )

Tuesday, 24 June 2008

Thrill of the camp...Part 3...

Day 3
I slept far better the second night and actually felt awake. We had spotted the Landmark Forest Adventure Park on our initial trek to find a campsite so decided to go and check it out. The place is primarily designed for kid but hey were not THAT old...Gurn made use of his student status to get a discount and I think the older lady manning the reception desk took a shine to BMan as we didn't seem to pay the full price either.

Some of the areas really didn't interest us (mainly the shows about cutting down trees and turning them into logs...) but there was a big water slide at one end which kept us amused for a while and there was plenty else to do too..

A big walk round feature about Microthings, mainly it involved looking at things through microscopes...including Gurn and BMan..

The Flumes...
Tractors!(They haunt me!!)...

A cool tree walk assault course thing which made me face my fear of heights
There was Lex, who pulled logs about all day, but seemed quite contented when I scratched his nose. BMan pointed out that only a bumpkin like me would wander straight up to a horse and rub its nose without hesitation..
I liked his sign though.

There was an odd area of some woodcutter huts..
Including the most important outhouse, complete with crapping man...

There was a Fire watch tower, which provided a better workout to climb it than a gym visit...

The boys declared themselves World Class Loggers...
BMan didn't want to go home...
We left in the afternoon when it decided to rain. Heavy. It was so bad that we knew there was no chance of getting a fire going so drove into Aviemore and had dinner in what seemed to be one of only two pubs there. The food was good and I ate too much but after the drenching it was nice to stop somewhere warm to dry out. We headed back to camp once the rain stopped and played cards for the rest of the night.

I realised that I am crap at remembering the rules to card games!

The Thrill of the Camp...Part 2..

Day 2
After an extremely fitful night of sleep, our little campsite all got up at a pretty early time, and were well frankly, Knackered. We decided not to do a huge amount but had breakfast,
and went for a walk around the woods that we were camping in. Lots of areas had cool looking gnarly trees, although further up there were areas being harvested with huge tracks running through the woods of cut down trees.
We didn't walk too far before spotted two deers just up the hill from the path. They were just as interested in watching us as we were of it though I think. It stood for what seemed like ages staring back before running off. Further up Gurn found some kind of seemingly man made shelter where logs had been lent up against a tree which had an animal jawbone in it...No odd axe-murdering forest people though thankfully! although there was Gurn of course....(In his Brokeback Gurn outfit)

The walk became a little more odd as we walked further and spotted masses of orange fencing round large areas of the wood. Its not all that odd, but out there are heads quickly filled with scenes from Jurassic Park and half expected a goat to rise from the ground at any moment...

The road petered out at a cottage overlooking some cow fields and several run down outbuildings. Me and BMan wandered over to see the cows leaving Gurn standing back insisting that cows are funny animals that he didn't want to go that close to.

Back at camp we relaxed for the rest of the day, had a very tasty chicken madras for dinner (although it was at that point we realised that maybe bringing two pots would have been an idea...) and went to bed pretty early to catch up on some sleep.

Saturday, 21 June 2008

The thrill of the camp part 1...

A few weeks back Gurn decided that to celebrate the end of his Uni course he wanted to go camping. Myself and BMan agreed that it would be fun and booked appropriate time off work and got ourselves organised. (This mainly involved realising exactly what camping equipment we didn't own and going out to buy it) After a whole day of shopping we became fully kitted campers... On Monday we met up with Gurn and got food shopping for the week, I planned meals out for the days we were going to be away and made sure we took everything, well nearly everything, that we needed (We did have to improvise on a colander on day 1 & 2 for both pasta and rice but I think we did well)

Tuesday morning came and we piled everything into the car - eventually - The boys packed the car and told me it was finished and full, only for me to wander into BMans room and realise that my sleeping bag and our tent were still lying on his bed...I spotted a problem at that point and suggested that we really should take the tent...otherwise we were all going to be very cosy in Gurns 3 man :s

We arrived 2 and a bit hours later in Aviemore, and decided to grab a couple of things in the town before finding a site (especially as I realised we had forgotten to bring cutlery). We grabbed lunch and plastic forks in Tesco, Gurn bought a local map in the Tourist Information shop and BMan and I headed to Blackwells to grab a couple of books. We eventually bought some books and found a games section in the shop which also lead to us buying Boggle and a deck of playing cards.

After a long hard stare at the map, I pointed out an area that I thought looked good to camp in, Gurn had other ideas so we agreed finally to drive up the road and if we spotted any of the turn offs marked on the map as tracks we would take them. About 20 miles later we realised that we had driven off the edge of the map and turned round, heading for the area that Gurn fancied. We stopped and got out the car for a bit of a wander but after 20 mins of walking realised that the path we were on really wasn't offering many good places to camp.
Somehow after driving around a bit more we found ourselves driving up a road that stopped and crossed the A9 and led to another opening on the other side so after a very quick nip across we found ourselves on a dodgy track leading into the woods. BMan spotted a good camp site pretty quickly and after a little more of an explore in the car (much to Gurns dismay) we went back to the spot and finally camped...

Dinner ensued and we settled...I tried to hold off taking too many photos and I wanted to save them for the sunrise

Saturday, 14 June 2008

Camping for solstice

We are trying to get organised for a camping trip next week. We are heading north to Aviemore(ish) area for 4 days of wild camping. Gurn originally only wanted to go away for 3 days and stay on a campsite but I managed to be a bit selfish and convince him to opt for wild camping instead so we could elongate the trip. I have a yearly ritual of camping out (often without a tent...) overnight on the eve of the summer solstice so I can get up stupidly early and watch the sunrise. It really is a fantastic sight and I tend to feel very connected for a good while afterwards, kinda like filling the faith glass every year :)

Last year I went to Castle Hill Fort, It's not far from Edinburgh but was high enough to ensure some great views...I never got to post my photos so here are some...
My Little tent...Predawn, you can see the mist stretching halfway up the hill, I was so glad to be up so high, else I would have missed everything...
The beginning, just a sliver of the sun peeking over the horizon...A few minutes later and the suns nearly up, the beams shooting out over the mist
A few minutes more and shes finally up, I took about 20 photos in total over the whole sunrise but I wholly understand that lots of them look very similar.
I'm hoping that this year will be just as spectacular, I'll be leaving the campsite at about 3:45am and walking up a hill to get a good viewpoint armed as always with strawberries and mead :) I'm happy not to be driving this year, last year I had to take apple juice instead of mead as I needed to get home afterwards!

I'm far more organised this year, mainly due to B-Man and the fact that we are going to be away for more than just a single night. We've been shopping today to get all our supplies ready, including a new utility knife thingy, a cool box, a rubber mallet, and snap lights, torches, compass, the list goes on...tons of stuff but all pretty necessary (ish - we probably could so without the snap lights but they re fun and B really wanted a couple) all we really have to get now is food and charcoal for the fire and we're good to go!

Viva La'Spania

I admit I am officially overexcited about it far too early but I have a damn good reason!

This week I finally booked a holiday. I am taking B-Man to Barcelona for his birthday in October. I know it seems like a lot, but I am getting (or trying to get) the flights and accommodation as cheaply as possible and I figure that I would normally spend £150-£200 on his birthday presents anyway (I'm no good at buying one gift and stopping there, I tend to buy everything that I see that he would like) so, spending the same money on his half of a holiday for the two of us is equivalent. I've only booked flights so far, but I got a bargain of two return flights for £96.97 seven nights in Barcelona to find accommodation for now. I'm sure I can manage to sort that over the next 5 months!

Why am I so excited about it? well, I have only been on one overseas holiday that I can remember and I was 11. No holidays abroad for 18 years. In fact, I've only been on about 4 holidays in the UK in those 18 years so I really think I've waited long enough! better get a passport now eh?

Thursday, 5 June 2008

Attack of the parents

My Parents escaped to Turkey three years ago now and they love it, they never want to come back, and seem to have really taken to the people and culture there.

They sent me some photos from a national newspaper today, heres one..It made me laugh, not only because of my Mums awful taste in headscarf, but the fact that my Dad resembles some odd, retired, mob boss, he just needs a hat and a tommy gun!

Cheap as chips

I have been invited to a party. Sounds good eh? well, it would be better if it wasn't 400 miles away and being held to celebrate my grandparents 60th wedding anniversary. I have to go whether I like it or not simply because my parents are travelling over from Turkey for it and if they can, I get no choice. On the plus side though I have found the bargain of the century to get down there the train ticket is costing me a whopping £30.30!

Of course I'm dragging poor B-Man down with me again, He's not complained about it yet so I think I'm safe :) I have yet to work out where we're staying, but at a push I'll just turn up on one of my friends doorsteps and demand refuge!

Monday, 2 June 2008

New training room and a protest

My martial arts class has moved and I'm gutted. The new place (Commonwealth Pool) is far better and bigger than Meadowbank, but ITS ON A SUNDAY! evil evil people making me get up and do stuff on a Sunday. That's a day for not getting dressed and suffering hangovers isn't it???

Oh well, Up I got on Sunday and trundled off to training, I always enjoy it once I'm there even though I bitched and moaned about getting out of bed and wasting my day. It was a good session, especially as I was referred to as "Truly Terrifying" (That's a massive compliment and I have told everyone since!) The only downside of the new location was the heat - We were under a swimming pool so it was almost unbearably humid, I even took my T shirt off from under my Gi to stop myself turning into a puddle of sweat (ewww...I know!)

2 hours and 10 pints of water later I found myself on my way home, On the way down south bridge I noticed some guys handing out leaflets (Not that unusual as its coming up on the festival and theres lots of weirdos!) then I spotted some more just a bit further on, with placards and I realised that they were protesting opposite the Scientology building (Hubbards Academy) The Placard amusingly read "BEWARE Scientology wants your mind (and your money)"

It struck me as funny simply because all of the protesters were wearing masks and dancing about. I wasn't fast enough to take a photo though as the bus moved on! If they re there again next Sunday I might have to get off the bus and get them to pose for one though! this space...

Saturday, 24 May 2008

Barbie gets speccy

I hate how I look in glasses. I also hate the fact that everything I look at has slightly fuzzy edges to it...hmmmm theres a problem there then eh? I have been supposed to wear glasses for the last 6 years but as my eyesights not really that bad I've just never bothered. I did recently get my eyes tested though and its no longer safe for me to drive a car without some sort of eye adjustment so its been time to take the plunge. Today has been the last of what seems like millions of appointments at the opticians and I have finally come away with contacts and a pair of glasses. I don't need to wear them all the time, but it is nice for everything not to look furry. I have to build up my contact wearing ability over the next few days but at least I have managed to get them in and out of my eyes without blinding myself.

The glasses are *Surprise* purple...but I still think I look like a secretary in them and I can manage the proper schoolmarm look too...

Thursday, 22 May 2008

30 club

Ok, so I admit this is a little sad, but meh, I'm getting old so most things I do probably are really. At work we have realised that between this June and Next June there are at least 5 of us turning 30 so I have established THE 30 CLUB! We have decided to organise extra nights out around each of the birthdays and have an extra little collection between the others for that particular birthday girl in order to get her a special little pampering treat (like a mini facial or a trip to the nail bar etc) Its certainly entertained us all for a while and it means that we are all going to be getting a lot more social for a bit too which is nice. (maybe next year we will have to have the over 30 club?)

Sardine cans, oh no sorry Buses..

Why do the bus drivers here in Edinburgh seem to think that their buses are like the tardis? I've never seen so many people herded into small metal boxes before and only once in three years have I seen a driver turn anyone away from the bus because it was full. never mind the outrage against factory farming of chickens...maybe we should be outraged at how we are squeezed on public transport ...grr

Nerves and semi naked people..

I've been helping run exams at work this week. I secretly enjoy them, I would possibly take the opportunity to work in that department if a good enough job came up (It won't because I'm just too damn expensive for them and they'd have to deal with me reorganising their whole schedule) The only down side is the travelling (fancy a month in India followed by two weeks in Singapore and a week in Hong Kong?) and the early starts (even as a helper this week I've had to be in an hour earlier than normal)

Anyway, I had been "Volunteered" by my boss to do two days this week. Tuesday was the best as I got to order the candidates around which I great fun as they all have god complexes. I walked in to find my co worker for the day with the biggest grin. I found out what the big deal was when I went through to the main room to find a young man (student age) laying on a bed wearing nothing but a pair of skimpy boxers at one end of the room and a young lady at the other end of the room in a vest and shorts. These were our actors for the day. I being my usual self totally ignored their virtual nakedness and chatted away quite happily to them both, telling them what was for lunch, how many more candidates they still had left the prod at them, and checking if they needed blankets - it was very cold in there because they were in the same room as other medical specimens.

Today I was registering the candidates so I had lots of fun confiscating mobile phones (and promising to sell them on eBay) and generally winding the candidates up (In the nicest way, I was trying to take their minds off the nerve wrecking 2 hours they had ahead of them and making them relax a little) Some of them seemed to appreciate it anyway :) and I had fun. My Colleagues were certainly amused by the rapport I had with the previously mentioned male model...As he walked in the door and said Hi, I very loudly greeted him with "What time do you call this?? Get down those stairs and get those clothes off!" He came back up for a chat at Lunchtime (Fully clothed I must add) and commented on how nice it was to be spoken to like a human rather than just a limb to be prodded at by trainee doctors.

So maybe I do have a way with people... dressed or not!

Saturday, 10 May 2008

Tiny toys

B-Man bought himself an iPhone back in April. A short time later the price of them dropped by £100, so this week he got a nice credit note from Carphone Warehouse for £100. I didn't know this but they price check and if you bought something at a higher price the month before they will send you back the difference... sweet :) I accompanied him to the store to spend his cash (it expires in June) Needless to say theres not that much you can buy in carphone warehouse past phones and accessories. So B Man piled himself up with extras for his phone and still had some money left. My Mp3 player had given up the ghost when I joined the gym so he treated me to a new one... an Ipod shuffle. I was a little gutted that they didn't have any purple ones in stock...but its rather funky silver instead and soooo tiny... (see below, although its worth noting that I don't have giant hands either!)
Now all I have to do is put some tunes on it!