31/01/2007

Ireland

We are heading over to Ireland for a few days. My husband is from Galway, which means he has a large and lovely family up and down the west coast of Ireland. Lucky for me as we get to visit often and always have a place to stay. Though I prefer to stay with Nanny (E's maternal Grandmother) because with Nanny your guaranteed a good time and probably the best baking I've ever tasted. Her Apple Tart is divine and I'm sure people would kill for a morsel of toffee shortcake.

I really feel at home in Ireland, I suppose that it has something to do with how green it is. I don't mean a few fields or trees, I mean such a lush vibrant colour that you really can't imagine nature being more perfect.

I suppose when you grow up in a city or even the suburbs and don't drive getting out into the countryside isn't that easy. As much as I like the British countryside, thanks to my Dad endless excursions to where ever takes his fancy, the Irish country side feels different, almost magical. I don't know if its just me but there are places that are filled with memory, history or something unaccountable. When I was walking through the Fort of Agra in India, for a few seconds I could swear when I could hear the voices of history telling me the story of this incredible place. In Ireland you half expect to turn around and catch a glimpse of some myth walking in life. I get a similar feeling in Scotland, but different again. I can't explain it, perhaps its my crazy Romanticisms running away with me.

29/01/2007

Animal Lover

As it turns out, Dog owners live longer and healthier lives.

So that will give me an extra argument to get a cat and a dog when we eventually get a place of our own.

Yup I've said it before and I'll say it again I love Animals, all types, shapes and sizes. Give me an animal and I get ga-ga eyes. I even have a thing for sharks, I'm not saying I'd jump into a tank with one but they are incredible. Take the fact that they haven't needed to evolve for 100 million years, now thats impressive.

What baffles me is that there are people out there who don't adore animals, you know the ones, the people that scream if a dog comes near them. The ones the freak if your holding your pet gerbil.

I don't get it, I mean look at these cute faces how can you not adore them?

Someone please explain this to me...

In another turn of even, if you work for certain companies you can take time off if you pet is ill, I kid you not!

24/01/2007

Let it Snow Let it Snow Let it Snow....

As I opened my eyes the pale grey light of morning illuminate the room. After rummaging around in semi-darkness I eventually managed to haul my aching sleepy body over to the bathroom. Every breath appeared like mist before me and my hands shook with the cold. This was going to be a cold January.

After making my ablutions and somehow changing into clean clothes I made my way down to the street. The frosty wind hit me the moment I opened the heavy door and dim twilight greeted me. The sun would not show her face for some time yet and even then it is nothing more then a cruel rouse.

After crawling a few steps my vision cleared, the hazy breath had kept me from noticing it. I stopped mid step and looked around, the world had been blanket in beautiful snow.

I could hardly believe it, there had been nothing, not even frost in over a year but here it was shimmering under street light.

Hyde Park resembled a country estate or an Adam Ansel photo of winter perfection. Even though my fingers and toes felt like lead weights I didn't mind. The world was enchanting once more.

(p.s Thank you all for being so nice, its appreciated)

22/01/2007

letter to the world

THIS is my letter to the world,
That never wrote to me, —
The simple news that Nature told,
With tender majesty.

Her message is committed
To hands I cannot see;
For love of her, sweet countrymen,
Judge tenderly of me!

by Emily Dickinson

The Ataris (a band I'm rather fond of) have their own version of this sort of letter that starts...

If I die tomorrow, Will this song live on forever?
Here is my...unopened letter to a world that never shall reply
(You can find the rest of the lyrics here)

I've always thought of a blog as a sort of letter to the world, it doesn't really matter if anyone reads it, its the writing that really counts for something.

Thanks to changes to our interweb usage at work I'm going to be blogging less so before I'm gone here is my unopened letter to the world...

So I wrote these words with my pen,
before my will is spent,
In a letter to a world,
Where lives are broken and bent.

Though free, here I sever lesser men,
to live in days content,
I write a letter left unread,
Laden with all my sorrows and lament.

19/01/2007

Bleak House

Back not too long ago when I was doing my M.A I began to love Dickens. Before this I'd always found him a but dull with the exception of Great Expectations. He always had far too many characters and sub-plots to my liking. I felt the same about Jane Austen for a number of years until something in me clicked and I suddenly loved it. I seem to go through this with most of the rather long winded classics until they managed to win me over and I wonder how I could ever have been bored. (Though I'm not budging on Tolstoy!). The only person I adored straight away was Edith Wharton, who seems terribly underrated in my humble opinion.

Anyway, a year ago or two, the BBC did a new version of Bleak House, which thanks to my Professor in Victorian Literature I came to appreciate every page. But when it was first aired I was working and ended up missing it. Repeats have been on, but I've only seen glimpses of it until yesterday, when I watched 5 hours in a row. (I don't really watch that much TV but when I do I tend to be addicted).

So I was thrilled watching this version, I'm on the edge of my seat and Gillian Anderson continues to surprise me (she did this first in House of Mirth, which I thought I'd hate but ended up buy on DVD as soon as I could).

Now some of you might be put off by the length and the language but think of it like a soap opera with a little Dickens magic. Go on you'll not be disappointed, plus there is always the book.

18/01/2007

Laundry Day

I never minded doing the laundry until we moved flat. Our new place is just too small for a washing machine. This means that we have to drag our stuff over to the laundrette sit there for hours watching the machines spin and do their thing. This is fine in summer but when its pouring outside the last thing you want to do is haul a few kilograms of clothing to be washed. These places never have heating either so all you can do is snuggle up to the dryers for warmth. I try and read to distract myself but there are always weirdos in these places and I never feel very comfortable. At university it was never that bad you either took your dirty washing home, or even if you did venture down to the washroom, you'd go with a few other people and spend the time gossiping and catching up.

So until we move to a place that can fit a washing machine in, how do the rest of you amuse yourself when doing the washing?


(Cartoon from http://www.inkymess.com )

17/01/2007

Thai

After having a terrible day in general both me and E needed something to cheer us up. We settled for having a lovely dinner out at a fantastic Thai restaurant.

I've been to Thailand twice and absolutely loved it. Well I love Asia in general, it has its own atmosphere that is totally other worldly. I've heard people moan about Bangkok, but I've no idea what they are on about. Its a incredible city, bursting with life and character. The place is full of history, incredible palaces, intricate markets and genuinely friendly people. Not to mention the wonderful little islands that are so peaceful, like a slice of heaven.

One of the Highlights had to be the cuisine. I have a thing for seafood and Thailand has no shortage. The cuisine is to die for and most of it is incredibly health. I developed an addiction to their chili sauce (each cafe/restaurant etc made their own fresh chili sauce and I couldn't get enough).

Just knowing that at every meal you can watch the chef/cook make everything for you totally fresh, no compromising on quality or taste. All the fish, massive prawns, broth, rice, curries and tamarind was sumptuous. OK I could yap about this all day but I better stop cos I'm getting hungry.

If you get the chance to go there, don't pass it up.

(All the photo's are scanned from our trip last year)

16/01/2007

I'm talking but they just ain't getting it....

Do you ever feel misunderstood?

I'm having one of those days were I'm talking but no one seems to understand me.

I'll explain something simple but they still have that vacant look on their face....

In short someone told a temp here they would have a few more weeks work for them. The temp (who is very nice) works for my boss and myself and was due to leave at the end of the week.

We didn't want to tell him anything without confirmation in case the work never came through (cos the source isn't great with timing). Guess what, the work never materialised and someone has to tell the poor guy he won't be employed as of Friday.

I'm tempted to shout at a certain person "Think before you speak!" but I can't they are much higher up then lowly little me...

The lack of commonsense in people shocks me.

The ironic thing about commonsense is it is anything but common.


***News of the Day***

- Beer to make your boobs bigger (no tested on Man boobs...yet)

- How to catch a thief? Easy, follow the breadcrumbs...

- Healthy Doughnuts?

- How do you "misplace" a baby? You misplace keys, you LOSE a baby!

15/01/2007

Nightmares?

Its Monday. I can't say that I'm a fan.

I woke up this morning at 2am, then 3:35 then 4:29 once again at 5:05 and finally at 6:40am for work. It turns out that my brain hates me (yes Steve just like yours hates you).

I had one of those nights filled with short nightmares, yes I know I thought I was too old for them as well. Anyone who has ever had one of these night will understand. You are horrifically tired but can't sleep, as soon as you do you have a horrid nightmare and wake up. Your glad it wasn't real even though you were semi aware of the fact you were dreaming and eventually nod off again to wake up sweating and twice as tired.

Dreams are apparently the subconscious mind trying to process stuff so what on earth happened to make my mind freak out so much?

I had a pretty nice weekend, all relaxed and stuff so what made my brain go, yes now we will deal with the bad stuff!

I mean I was aware the ants crawling all over me weren't real and I know I don't have a fear of bugs (though I'm convinced Cockroaches are not of this earth), This was followed by someone being killed by vampires and me ignoring it cos I wanted to go to a concert, where the Vamps turned on me so what the hell was that about? I don't remember the others but I was pretty freaked out.

I'm sure Freud would have some bizarre explanations but personally I just want some decent sleep.

So I ask you all, whats the weirdest dream you remember having?

12/01/2007

Touchy

The clock is ticking down, I'm about to be moved from my desk.

To normal people this doesn't mean anything, to me it is like someone tearing out my kidney and showing it to me. I'm a little neurotic about my desk and my stuff. I'm married which means I have to share my home, I accept that E is not as tidy as me, nor is he bothered by mess (how he's managed this is a mystery to me). So I take out all my neatness at work. My desk and the area around it are super clean and everything has its correct place. E tells me he loves the fact that he can leave his desk at work in a mess and I won't come along and tidy it up. I guess we all cope in different ways.

It takes me ages to settle in to a new house, flat, workspace etc and I really can't function until I'm comfortable. You see I get edgy when people I don't like or know touch things on my desk or worse MOVE things on my desk. Its like when people look at my books (which I don't mind in principle) and then instead of returning it to the bookcase, discard it on a sofa, floor, kitchen....OK I'm going to hyperventilate just thinking about it. A little vein in my brain starts throbbing and I want to find the culprit and scream at them. Of course I refrain from this behaviour and just grind my teeth. One day I'll have no teeth and then beware.

When I move am going to be in the middle of an open plan office all Exposed. I can tell you now, I'm already freaking out. What makes it all even more unbearable is Touchy Touherson will be sitting behind me.

This person likes to read over your shoulder, even though its none their business and randomly pick things up off your desk, for NO REASON. This is usually followed by some banal comment. They are my worst nightmare, other people have monsters and phobias I have Touchy Touchersons. The voice in my head starts screaming WHY WHY WHY!!!

Why does she keep touching TomCat (my teddy bear), why does she keep commenting on my lunch, why does she keep talking! How can they expect me to sit next to her and not kill myself.

Moving desks and dealing with annoying people might be a part of life but it doesn't mean I have to like it. If they lock me away, please point out that they drove me to it?













***News of the Day***

As it turns out the Urinal thief has turned himself in, claiming he wanted a "souvenir". Thanks to K for the update.

- Is this a Sci-fi movie? frozen Warriors found

- Not sure what country you in? These people don't know either

- Stalkers upgrade to email

11/01/2007

Tagged for randomness...

The lovely Lizza has tagged me, so here it goes...

1.When you looked at yourself in the mirror today, what was the first thing you thought?
urgggggggg goooo (translation: Oh dear God!)

2.How much cash do you have on you?
£0.01p

3.What’s a word that rhymes with DOOR?
Lore, I love that word makes you think of magic and the days of Yore.

4.Do you label yourself?
huh? no I already know who I belong to and I don't think I'll be getting lost anytime soon.

5.Bright or Dark Room?
Dark "bright light bright light! ahhh"

6.Why is there always a missing question?
This is getting surreal, surely it should be "what is the missing question" unfortunately no one can be told what the question is they have to see it for them self.

7.What does your watch look like?
Fossil girls watch, Um plain sliver solid band, a bit like a art-deco bracelet.

8.What were you doing at midnight last night?
Sleeping and dreaming about seeing a murder while I was working for Ultraviolet undercover with a Samurai as my backup

9.Where is your nearest 7-11?
No idea, do we still have 7-11s in the UK?

10.What’s a word that you say a lot?
Greetings...( some reason people find this odd)

11.Who told you he/she loved you last?
E

12.Last furry thing you touched?
Jay our Gerbil, unfortunately we lost Silent Bob.

13.How many rolls of film do you need developed?
None right now but they are bound to build up...as I still prefer my normal SLR to digital...

14.Favorite age you have been so far?
ummm 20 I was still at uni and had way less responsibility.

15.Your worst enemy?
urh...My sister, cos I love her but she makes me so angry sometimes

16.What is your current desktop picture?
A wallpaper from Spider-man 3 cos spidey rocks

17.What was the last thing you said to someone?
I need a cup of tea...

18.The last song you listened to?
New Coat of Paint by Tom Waits. Tom rocks.

19.What time of day were you born?
Exactly 11.17am GMT

20.What do you do when vending machines steal your money?
Contemplate cracking the damn thing open and taking all the chocolate then get the person in charge and demand my money back, but in a quiet and nice voice so they are more inclined to help me.

21.Do you consider yourself kind?
lol hell no, I'm the devil remember...

22.What’s your life motto?
Oh dear, I don't think I really have one...lets go with the Klingon's "Today is a Good day to die!"....ok a bit morbid...how about this "Per Ardua Ad Astra" which is the RAF motto which means..."Through adversity to the stars" I really like that...

23.Name three things you have on you at all times.
- My glasses/contact lenses otherwise I'm useless
- The wedding ring and Locket E gave me.
- A book of some description.

24.Can you change the oil on a car?
Yup I can change to oil in a car but I can't guarantee I'll close the can of engine oil properly and that it won't spill all over the boot and cover everything....at least the car kept working...

25.When was the last time you wrote a letter to someone on paper and mailed it?
Um just before x-mas. I like paper, I like letters and I love post. Gives me an excuse to use my quill and wax seal.

I'm tagging...I don't know! Ok I'll leave it open your all tagged!

10/01/2007

Me a Bookworm?

Thanks to Michelle, it turns out I'm an Obsessive Compulsive bookworm...

Frankly I would have been dissapointed with anything less!









What Kind of Reader Are You?
Your Result: Obsessive-Compulsive Bookworm

You're probably in the final stages of a Ph.D. or otherwise finding a way to make your living out of reading. You are one of the literati. Other people's grammatical mistakes make you insane.

What Kind of Reader Are You?
Create Your Own Quiz

Give it a go and be sure to tell me the results :-)

***News of the Day***
- The Batphone has been hacked!

09/01/2007

More Pizza anyone?

I was stumbling through the interweb and read an old article on the BBC that claimed eating veggie pizza can prevent cancer.

Let us all rejoice!

This is because of the antioxidants in fruit/veg like tomatoes. Which in my opinion is a super food as it can do so many good things for your body. Now I can't stand raw tomatoes but give me cooked ones any day.

I would explain the whole science as to why is works but I'm still trying to learn what it all means.

What I do know is I might be having pizza for lunch!

***News of the Day***
- When Pigs Attack!

08/01/2007

Wanted!

There is a man out there on the run.

His crime, stealing a pub urinal.

His motivation, nobody knows.

I mean what on earth? He can keep the toilet I just want to know why...

05/01/2007

Diversity

I was watching the news last night and saw a rather interesting piece on Londoners who had immigrated to Cyprus. According to this report, the main reason so many of these people had moved to Cyprus was to get away from all the immigrants in Britain. Some of them even saying, "I'm not being racist but I don't like all these foreign people".

When the reported pointed out the irony that they too were now immigrants to another land, it was claimed "oh but we have money we contribute to the society here and pay for our own stuff, those people don't".

This is where I started to get angry. My parents are both immigrants and I've lived in London my whole life, my husband moved here from Ireland when he was a child. So both of us in way don't "belong" here but London is so multicultural its never mattered to me. In fact I love it here, nowhere else could ever be home. In fact I love this crazy Island for all its little quirks. Yes, I have been subject to racisim but hasn't everyone at some point? So it really upsets me to think about people leaving this country becasue they don't want to live near people like me.

Now my parents have worked from the day they got here, as have my husbands and the thousand of other immigrants who have come to this country and many others. I personally think the claim "but we have money thus we are better" is total crap. I don't personally know a single person in my Asian community who is unemployed (and that’s a few hundred people). So how exactly are we the immigrants or the children of immigrants not contributing to society?

Last time I checked there were just as many white people claiming benefits and being a drain on the state as there are non-white. The right wing media would have you believe that Britain is far too full and can't possible take any more people. It's just not true, it’s a scare mongering myth. You see article quoting X numbers of immigrants were let in to Britain this year but they never say X number of people left Britain to immigrate to other countries. I bet those same Londoners who moved to Cyprus would have a problem with the Cypriots moving to Britain.

Lets take America as a model, here is a country that’s only approximately 500 years old, still rather new. Everyone there bar the Native Americans had to immigrated there over the past few centuries and look what happened. A nation of immigrants where the economy is thriving. America has become the world's super power.

Even if we look at Britain*, does anyone know what "British" is? This is an island that’s been invaded so many times over the past 2000 years or more that it is impossible to know for sure how many different bloodlines each "British" person has. It seems its ok for Britain to sail around the world stealing resources from Africa, Asia, and America and so on declaring Empire as they went. But it's not ok for those same people to live in Britain, earn a living and raise a family.

Its ignorant people and attitudes like this that stops peace being a reality. If we spend all our timing fighting over the things that make us different we'll never be able to move forward.

*Note that in the Report all of the people who were complaining and leaving were in fact English, isn't that telling?

04/01/2007

Life would be dull without Human Error

My Calendar likes to give little words of advice, most of it is cryptic double talk the rest is just obvious e.g "You can see far just my looking".

But today I quite liked the phrase it offered up "Life would be dull without Human error"

I know I'm guilty of sitting back and thinking "oh I really wish I hadn't done X three years ago" and thinking about all those mistakes you make through the course of existence. I am certain everyone has had that realisation that they shouldn't have done what they just did. The important thing is not to beat yourself up about it, or spend to long thinking. Otherwise it could drive you mad. I thinking you should acknowledge mistakes and do your best to learn from them.

The world keeps spinning and living in the past will mean you end up missing the present.

There is an old Chinese story about a child and a Monk, the Child turns to the Monk and says
"Oh Master you are so wise, one day I want to be as wise as you"
and the Monk looks mournful and replies "I may seem wise but for every time I am right, there was once a time I was wrong and there is still so much I do not know".

***News of the Day***
- Proof that hating your job can make you ill
- Evidence of a 6000 year old battle field found
- Diet yes, if you must. Starve, why if you don't have to?
- Super Gran!
- Amazon leading the space age?

03/01/2007

The Queen and I

You know what I hate, Siblings who treat you like rubbish and expect you to help them with every single stupid mess they and their stupid husbands conjure up.

My parents have flown away for a few weeks; this means my sister (who we shall call the Queen) is stuck in the country with me as her only support.

The Queen and I have the same relationship I think most people do with siblings they don't get along with. I try and sometimes she tries but at the end of the day we just get on each other's nerves. Because of this I find it hard to spend long amounts of time with her, though as we've grown up, I've become better at dealing with her. Until she got married…

Now I've tired with my brother in law, I really have but there is nothing there. The guy is idiot. In fact I really can't stand him. It would take days to type all the stupid things he does to wind me up so just take my word for it and he treats my sister like crap.

Now I know I should all take the idyllic "everyone one is special in their own way" road but I've reached the end of my rope and it really isn't true, some people are just a total waste of good atoms.

She's called me practically everyday since my folks left (for favours or advice), these usually end in an argument. I'm about to explode. I love my sister, I really do but she is driving me insane.

I'm making a vow that whenever my parents leave the country, I'm leaving to.

02/01/2007

Another Day Another Dawn

Greetings to you all! I trust that everyone had a nice Winter Solstice, Christmas, New Year, Eid and Hanukkah. (If I missed one, I'm sorry). My sofa and I had a wonderful week of bonding. Thank goodness January is here, we can now start the long crawl out of winter.

What I don't understand is the huge love of New Year. I personally never do anything, I don't really see the point. After all you wake up on January 1st and everything is the same as December 31st. For a few hours you might kid yourself about making a "fresh" start and keeping some promises to yourself but we all know by lunch time your reaching for the chocolate bar and wishing you didn't have to go back to work tomorrow.

***On this Day*** 1920 Science Fiction Author Issac Asimov was born

***New of the Day***
- Green Eggs and Ham? Yuk!
- Lost in Montana....
- Ever had the weird feeling you've left the gas on...