Friday, September 29, 2006

Your Friday Moment of Zen: Cheese Dreams

I've given up for the day, and am looking forward to a weekend at the Great British Cheese Festival in Cheltenham. Cheese, cheese, cider, pork scratchings, cheese, oh and more cheese. There'll be cheeses tasting, cheese recipes, cheese workshops, cheese competitions, oh and eating some cheese.

Saturday night will be fantastic: too much cider + too much cheese = a night of horrendous cheese dreams.

So just for you, a picture of a recent trip to france, and their cheese. It's Friday. Forget that more than a matchbox size piece of cheese would make a dieter run into the hills screaming. Have a big block tonight and enjoy the ride in your psyche.

Why do all hospitals smell the same?

Last night was supposed to be a regular Thursday night, involving pints of beer and probably some very unhealthy food (of the fast variety I'm sure). It started normal enough, a bunch of us chatting and laughing and trying to make our dull lives seem interesting to our friends, when we got a call from Calvin saying during the course of his football match, he managed to really badly mangle his ankle (so bad he thought he'd broken it at first).

So in our slightly drunk state, we rushed ourselves off to St Thomas' hospital, nervous and excited because it was the most interesting thing to have happend in a while. Whilst waiting for him to be transferred from St Guys' we decided to have some food at the hospital canteen. My lord was I glad I was in the hopsital when I had dinner there, because I wouldn't want to be too far away from emergency medical treatment after having such a culinary feast. Dr D (or little k as he likes to sign himself as) sure does know how to treat a girl well, offering to buy me a chicken pie that was old and dry, looked like it was filled with glue, and tasted like old horse. Mmmm I'm lovin' it.

When we did finally get to see Calvin, the poor thing looked like he was in so much pain and his ankle had swollen up so badly it was like he had a baseball on each side of his leg. I have to admit, if I were in hospital with a fucked ankle/leg whatever, the last thing I'd want is two slightly pissed friends turning up going "OH MY GOD! Look at the size of your foot! Can I touch it? Can I touch it? Let's see if we can get it to move the other way! Wow that this is HUGE! Is it broken? Is it broken? Does this hurt?"

So that was my Thursday night. Spending 2 hours in the hospital waiting room, waiting for my friend to get x-rayed, watching all the people come into A&E, some of which were very scary - like the girls who looked like they'd been drinking too much and one of them had fallen over and broken a rib, or the two old drunk guys who didn't know each other when they came in, but started to bond with converstaions like "And a nuver fing, aaahhrrrggghh", or the guy who'd mangled his hand up so well he was dripping blood all over himself and his fingers had gone a really attractive shade of dark purple.

Ahh we sure do know how to have fun in London huh.

Thursday, September 28, 2006

Come here little piggy

Yes yes yes!!! has so made my day! Having spent practically decades loathing myself for loving pork scratchings (or pork rinds if you like), slashfood has posted about an article from mens health praising them for their nutritional value, and proclaiming them to not be nearly as unhealthy as we were all led to believe. It also goes on to say explain why you should include them in your diet, even if you are trying to not end up the size of a house. And heck, who am I to argue with a man when he's right (or when he says what I wanna hear, and this my friend, I want to hear)

Note: look away if your squeamish, vegetarian or a health nut.


Why you think they're bad: These puffy snacks are literally cut from pigskin. Then they're deep-fried.

Why they're not: A 1-ounce serving contains zero carbohydrates, 17 grams (g) of protein, and 9 g fat. That's nine times the protein and less fat than you'll find in a serving of carb-packed potato chips. Even better, 43 percent of a pork rind's fat is unsaturated, and most of that is oleic acid -- the same healthy fat found in olive oil. Another 13 percent of its fat content is stearic acid, a type of saturated fat that's considered harmless, because it doesn't raise cholesterol levels.

You hear that people!! Less fat that you'll find in a serving of carb-packed potato chips! WOOHOO!!

oh yeah :) This weekend I'm going to the Gloucester International Cheese festival, where I will drink barrels of cider, and eat bags of pork scratchings.

Bring. It. On.

My first review!

Yay! I've had my first review from and it was good! Really good! Basically it's a blog which, yup you guessed it, reads your blog, then criques it. I feel so chuffed and proud :) Kinda what I'd imagie it feels like when your kids take their first steps, or learn how to say "it's not my fault"!

Read the review here. Yay!

Tuesday, September 26, 2006

Football and Chick Flicks

Our first ever offical Champions-League-Take-Away-Curry-And-Cider Tuesday went off to a fantastic start, especially after Arsenal won 2-0! After the game, and the highlights, and the interviews with the beautiful Thierry Henry, I got hold of the remote control, and started switching between chanels, going from "40 Days & 40 Nights" to "Stepmom". This, of course, led to the following conversation:

Flatmate: You've gone from one chick flick to another chick flick and gone right passed Total Recall twice now!! What are you doing?!
Me: Yeah but look! Susan Sharadon is packing her bags.
Flatmate: Yeah but she's not packing a gun is she!
Me: Yeah, but now it's snowing outside!
Flatmate: Pffft. It's not snowing ash from a nuclear explosion though is it?
Me: taking big gulp of cider, laugh, cough, choke, choke, cider starts to come out my nose


Back popping, and hip throbbing

For the last few months I've started having the worst pain in my hip, which I attribute to having a pc and a laptop on my desk, having to sit with my legs crossed, and leaning to the left, for the last 9 months so I can use them both almost simulataneously (whatageek!).

So after much deliberation, I finally got my lazy arse to an osteopath near my house, who prodded, pushed, massaged, and popped my back until my hip felt hot and inflammed which I was assured was how it was supposed to be. After the 1 1/2 hour session, my osteo taught me the following things:
  1. One of my legs is longer than the other one. Not so much so that I have to use crazy sized shoes, but enough to mention.
  2. One of the many multitude of reasons why my back has been hurting for the past, oh I don't know, forever, is because I'm hyperflexible, so my ligaments are too stretchy, and my muscles aren't doing enough work... I've already been asked and in case you're wondering, no, this does not mean I can put my legs behind my ears like my friend had seen on tv. The sort of tv program that was being watched was not specified but I'm certain it wouldn't be the type of show that could be shown before the 11pm watershed.
  3. My cheque writing leaves allot to be desired. As I was standing there at the end of the session, my hip throbbing and my head spinning from the pain, I got a 5 minute lecture about how I'd be a classic victim of cheque fraud because I forget to put the word ONLY after the amounts, and draw a line on the empty bits of the cheque. To be honest, I so rarely write cheques to anyone I actually have on the cover of my book the words: "TO goes on top line, AMOUNT goes on bottom", because I've managed to fuck up more cheques than not.
All in all, a pretty successful visit. The pain is actually in my back (the DS region?), and not in my hip (well, I was told the bit I was pointing to was not my hip at all, because dur, I should know human anatomy by now, cause that's what other computing science students would have been taught. What the hell was I doing during those classes at uni?). My lower back is in pain today but is not hurting so bad that I have to clutch it as I walk up and down stairs like the old woman I'm clearly becoming. Yay!

Friday, September 22, 2006

Your Friday Moment of Zen: And therein lies the rub

I'm not going to listen to any more depressing music today because I'm sick of making myself sad.

So to help you enjoy your friday, here is the beautiful Clive Owens in the beginning scenes from Spike Lee's Inside Man. The real zen-ness comes from the realy cool song Chaiyya Chaiyya, used in the opening and closing scenes from this film. I've been listening to this almost non stop all day now! I have no idea what they are singing, and I really couldn't care less because a) it's a cool song and b) Clive Owens is cute.

If you want the original version, from the Bollywood movie Dil Se you can find it here. It's a quite cool video clip too, what with all the dancing on trains.

There you go, your Bollywood/Hollywood/Clive Owens inspired moment of Friday zen. Enjoy!

Thursday, September 21, 2006

Fast tracking career progression

I spent some time looking through my review forms for last year, to gauge how my progress has been at work (non-existent it seems) for this years review. I have a feeling that my job satisfaction is probably not the best:

a) Please list for discussion what you think have been your key activities and main accomplishments during the last year:
  • Started the year with mappers & some bug fixing.
  • Concentrated this year on the Project Life Cycle: from early development, unbuilding run time & design time structures in most of classes
  • Tried not to hang myself

I'm pretty sure this is not the review form I handed in, but if it was, that'll probably explain why I'm going nowhere, and fast.

Wednesday, September 20, 2006

Tosh Tosh

FINALLY! After 5 years, countless National Insurance payments, rounds of beer at the pub, and football matches, I am now officially a legal copy of my Aussie passport, £300 & a high tea at the Ritz away from being British! I passed my Life In Britain test this morning! This involves reading a massive book about all things British where you learn:
  • What is a QANGO (Quasi-Autonomous Non-Governmental Organisation).
  • What to do when you spill a strangers drink in a pub
  • What to do when you don't get on with your neighbours
  • The percentage of women to men in Britain (51%-49%)
  • That if you're pregnant, you get loads of free stuff and you're fast tracked for things like housing, benefits and dental care (I guess to make for the fact that you have to have a screaming child break free from your body in what I can only assume is the most painful thing a woman will ever experience in her life).
  • You can't get divorced in the first year of marriage.
I'm pretty certain I got almost all the questions right, bar 1 (which 2 organisations charted the Human Rights Act). The funniest thing that happened during the test is that the old man sitting next to me got caught cheating. He kept looking at the questions, then his hands, then started rubbing them, at which point the supervisor noticed him doing something suspicious, and said "Is that writing on your hands?". When the old guy protested and said no, the supervisor said "I'm sorry, either I'm blind or you've got the answers written down. You'll have to leave please". Lordy what a fuss the old man made when he had to be physically removed from the exam room, screaming the whole time. Whilst I did feel sorry for him, that didn't stop me from having a little giggle about it...

Right-o old chaps! I'd better start drinking tea by the bucket, wanting to shoot foxes, and complain about all these foreigners coming into Britain! Tally-ho!

Tuesday, September 19, 2006

Ahoy me hearty!

Shiver me timbers you scurvy dogs! I be a scallywag wench knowin' it's a wee bit late, but mind you me hearty to not forget it's International Talk Like a Pirate Day!

If you be desirin' 'elp wid your talkin' you be findin' it here
  • Double up on all your adjectives and you'll be bountifully bombastic with your phrasing. Pirates never speak of "a big ship", they call it a "great, grand ship!" They never say never, they say "No nay ne'er!"
  • Drop all your "g"'s when you speak and you'll get words like "rowin'", "sailin'" and "fightin'". Dropping all of your "v"'s will get you words like "ne'er", "e'er" and "o'er".
  • Instead of saying "I am", sailors say, "I be". Instead of saying "You are", sailors say, "You be". Instead of saying, "They are", sailors say, "They be". Ne'er speak in anythin' but the present tense!

Monday, September 18, 2006

Money talks and so do posh boys

I'm plugging my mate Calv's podcasts today, which you can get from his site calvstar. I listened to it today (sorry Calv!) and I have to say, these are the poshest sounding boys. So if you're into betting/losing money on sports, and want a tip to turn your luck around, check out his site. At the very least you can listen to Calv, Mappy and Busen all bicker about random sports events, giggle like school girls, and learn how to sound like you were born into the money you're about to lose on betfair.

Saturday, September 16, 2006


Having finally got back from my annual jaunt home to Sydney, and getting over my jetlag (which has left me fine in the day times, but as soon as 10pm hits, I turn into the biggest grizzly bear, growling about how I want to go home now, and swiping with my claws out at anyone who won't let me do that).

I'll go into the highlights of my trip in a few days, after I work them out, but one of the most exciting things that's happening at the moment has to be me getting Charlie. My cello.

I have been obsessed with learning the cello ever since I saw The Living Daylights (Timothy Dalton's first Bond film), where the main girl in peril was a cello player, and Bond used it to steer their way to saftey to Switzerland.

So in about 30 mins, 3 of us are about to start our first day at the ELLSO, the East London Late Starters Orchestra, where if you've never played a string instrument, this is the Orchestra for you! The Magic is about to learn the violin, my friend from Oz and I are about to embark on our orchestra careers as celloists!

I am very very very excited about this. Watch this space for how our rendition of Twinkle Twinkle Little Star went!

Saturday, September 09, 2006

High Heeled Skank

I'm getting ready to go out clubbing for the first time in ages, mostly to watch my baby cousin dj at a night club I used to go to about a decade ago.. (god that sentence has made me feel old). So talking to his fiance, I casually asked "so what are you wearing?" and I got the run down of what I can wear:

Skanky - which is a shirt worn as a dress, and high heels
Bling (hmmm i dont think so)
tight jeans and sloppy boots

hmmm..... nothing in my repetoir of clothes really fits this bill... it's like being in High School again and going to the dance, where the boys school would come to our girls school and all the cool girls would dress up in the latest cool fashion, and I would turn up in jeans and a flannel shirt, (remember the days when flannel was cool? no? cause it never really was), and stand against the wall with some of my friends like sados, lauging and pointing as girls would have their faces sucked off by over enthusiastic 15 year old boys.

Tonight could end up being a disaster... but at the very least I'm going to check out my good friend Al's pad, and drink copious amounts of wine before I go and make a complete tit of myself...

Tuesday, September 05, 2006

Holiday Productivity

So as you might have noticed, I've started to (finally!) play around with the layout of the blog. First thing has been a new banner, though it would have been nice to get my arse into gear and do a total layout redesign, but even I, with nothing to do on holiday, don't have that much time on my hands!

Drop me a line, or leave a comment, and let me know what you think, about anything at all... the blog, new banner, how crap the posts are... (actually, don't crush me too much... my ego couldn't take it!).

Monday, September 04, 2006

Supermarket Shopping Oz Style

I went to the local supermarket today to get all the junk food I have to take back for people in London (don't worry Dr D, I've got a mountain of Cheezels). Included on my pile were:

  • 2 packets of Tim Tams
  • 2 packets of Mint Slices
  • 1 Giant Bag of Milo Bars
  • 1 Giant Bag of Voilet Crumbles
  • 1 Giant Bag of Fantales
  • 1 Giant Bag of Cherry Ripes
  • 4 Kit Kat Chunky Bars
  • 1 Small bag of Burger Rings (for me)

As I was putting all this junk on the converyor belt, the old woman and her husband next to me gave me this look of "You irresponsible girl. What the hell are you doing? How could you eat that much chocolate? Have some respect" and I reallywish I'd had the balls to have said "Ah you know darl', somtimes you just can't be arsed to drive the kids to Maccas, so I thought I'd just give 'em chochie biccies for dinner instead". It would have made the old biddy just keel over in shock.


I can't believe that Steve Irwin's, aka The Crocodile Hunter, is dead. And I also can't believe that I heard about second hand from someone in the UK. I've just flicked on the tele and as you'd expect, the Chanel 9 news and A Current Affair (the Aussie tele news of the Sun and News of the World, without the page 3 boobs) have just dedicated 30 mins to the Crocodile Hunter (cause obviously nothing else has happened in the world) and there are millions of superlatives about the Steve being "larger of life, a passionate bloke - the Real Deal, and a true blue Aussie Icon".

Despite the irony of how it happend, it really is sad that he's gone. I guess I'd never really thought he'd die. It's just a bit of a pity that the Aussie news has turned this story into a 30 minute episode of sloppy mush.

Sunday, September 03, 2006

Time Passing Me By

I thought I didn't like coming home to Australia before, but now I know, I really hate it.

In my world, I live in London, and nothing has really changed too much. I have a really, really good bunch of friends, I have a nice place to live, and a decent job. And, most of the time I can't even really tell what year we're in, as one year just melds into the next. And that's not because I don't do things, it's just that when you're living your life, you don't notice the little changes, so it seems nothing does change.

However, whenever I come back to Sydney, it always hits me that this is really not the case. Things change all the time and in big ways, and when you only come home once a year, these things really hit hard. In my head, I've not really changed that much, but when I come home, everyone here has. It's like I've been cryogenically frozen, and every time I come home I'm being thawed out to see how the entire world has moved on, with me not in it.

I've just come back from my cousins first child's baptism. The last time I saw my cousin I was a bridesmaid at his wedding. Today I held their baby girl in my arms. All my cousins seem to have had babies or are getting married. The fact we're all getting older really hit me today, when my 6ft "baby" cousin, who in my head is still only 8, but in reality is 23, introduced me to his girlfriend, then showed me the big rock on her finger because they are now engaged. ENGAGED. At first I couldn't believe it (I was desperately trying to work out if that was her left hand or not), and because I didn't jump up and down, I think they they think I don't approve. And I think his fiance thinks I'm standoffish. Which isn't the case. In actual fact, when I'm around people I don't know, I'm incredibly shy. I don't know what to say, I get tongue tied, and my fear of saying really stupid things is completely valid, because I always say really stupid things. Unfortunately, I have a feeling this comes across as snobbery or something.

So I sat there today, as my "baby" cousin canoodled with his girl. I've seen him do this with other girls, but never with the sort of sincerity that comes with doing it to someone you've asked to spend the rest of your life with. And this has really hit me hard. He no longer is my baby cousin. He's someone else's baby now. Of course, me being 5 years older and soon to be the only unmarried cousin left (and I have alot of cousins) I also had the overwealming joy of having all my aunts, relatives, and relatives of relatives come up and say "so you're not married yet eh? Well don't put it off too much longer, you don't want to end up alone, and you should think about having a baby. Look your cousin's baby. Don't you want one for yourself?" (well no, because everytime I go to hold her she screams her head off).

The worst thing is that everyone seems to have moved on just fine without me here. And if I never came back, it wouldn't matter. I'm slowly starting to feel like a stranger in my own country, and with my own friends and family. I've heard the cliche that going back home is hard, but I guess it's a cliche for a reason. It is fucking hard, and I fucking hate it.

Observations from a flight

Painful Bills
At Heathrow airport, there is a seafood/champagne bar, in which I decided to blow some hard cash on because my thinking was if the plane goes down, at the very least the last meal I'd have had would be oak smoked salmon and champange.

Sitting there, calmly scoffing my possibly last meal, I found it incredibly funny when the two Australian women next to me, a mother and her adult daughter ate their meals, and ordered champagne after I seeing me do it, then look like they were about to pass a kidney stone when they converted their £44 bill for 2 plates of salmon, 2 glasses of champagne and some fizzy water to $110 Aussie dollars. It is so mean to have to hold back a giggle as they walked of saying in the broadest Aussie accents "oh my gawd darl, that was SOO expensive, next time we should just go to Maccas."

Spelling Bees
My lack of sleep was certainly catching up with me, as I found myself seriously overtired, making me too fidgety to sleep, and too emotional for rational thought. This is what I'm blaming the fact that I got a bit emotional whilst watching a stereotypical film called Akeelah and the Bee about a poor black girl from the Ghettos, whose mother doesn't notice her and whose father has died, and who uses spelling as her way to see that there could be a better life. The girl, Akeelah, goes from a girl who can spell the word "bee" to spelling words like "xanthosis" with the not so subtle usage of montages (recall the lyrics from Team America: "And anything that we want to know, from just a beginner to a pro, you want a montage (montage!), even rocky had a montage (montage!!)"). She inevitably makes it all the way in her first year to the Scripts National Spelling Bee. This film made me blubbing like a baby. That's right people. I cried whilst watching a film about a girl who liked to spell. How uncool am I? Very.