Friday, December 14, 2007

So Sincere

Me: Wow, I can't believe this time next week she'll be a mother! I'm so excited for her
Dr D: Yeah. Woo hoo. Excited. Yup
Me: God you're so sincere aren't you?
Dr D: Yeah. Course I am. You look nice today. See. Sincere me.

Wednesday, December 12, 2007

So, where'd you get those from?

Last Friday was our work Christmas party. You know that it's been one of those sorts of nights when 2 days later someone emails you from work saying "Ok, next time we all go out, we're gonna have that dance off. Get ready", and your thinking "Dance off? What dance off? Was there some sort of West Side Story moment at this party? Am I a Jet?"

I won't bore you with the details of how I went through the usual malaise of the "what the fuck am I going to wear? Why does everything I try on in the shops look like shite?", but suficite to say I knew it's bad when I get sent a care package of clothes thanks to Li, with all her lovely party frocks in it. Unfortunately for me, I don't have the breasts to carry off any of her tops (chicken fillets wouldn't have filled been enough for my puppies. In fact, whole chickens stuffed down my top would not have helped at all). Surprisingly, help came in the form of a dress that my mother had bought for me when I saw her earlier this year.

Now I love my mum, honestly I do. And her clothes are fantastic. On her. Unfortunately her dress sense, when extended to me, is not a winning combination that's going to get me in on the cover of Vogue anytime this century. So you can imagine my shock when she told me she had bought me a dress and the smile I had prepared myself to wear when she showed it to me was genuine and not a hard, plastered on grimace. It's a green patterned maxi empire cut dress, with a sort of plunging neck line, that I had planned to keep covered behind a pashmina, a bolero, and whatever pillars happened to be at the venue. 3 glasses of champagne later and that plan flew out the window. So after the whole chicken fillet/borrowed clothes debacle, I was shocked to find out that my breasts were in fact topics of conversation with my bosses wife. I practically chocked on one of my never ending glasses of champgane when she asked me where I got my cleavage from? (No, they were not a christmas present, I've had these my whole life).

So relatively sucessful Christmas party? So-so. No raging hangover the next day (thanks to The Ex-Flatmate and a friend of ours going off to Tesco's at 3am to buy pizzas (yum)). Bruises all over my legs from being flung around the dance floor (oh wait.. I remember this "Dance Off" thing now... The massive bruise on my knee is proof that I am, in fact a Jet, from my first cigarette to my last dying day), and a hole in the top of my foot where someone has decided to try to crucify one of my feet by smashing their stilleto heel into it. This is Christmas people, not Easter. And I'm not the massiah, I'm a very drunken girl. Now with added boobs.

Monday, December 10, 2007

Finland Photos


I've not had time to do a proper write up yet (Christmas, Christmas Parties, Babies, Ex-Flatmates. All taking toll on time!). check out the collection of sets here:



This is one of my favorite two pics from night sky watching.
Check out the set here: Aurora Borealis Watching.

Monday, December 03, 2007

The holiday is Finnish

I'm back.

Going on holidays is always a really weird time for me because there is always all this anticipation and excitement and brouhaha about trying to get organised and remember to book hotels and flights and pack the right number of socks, and then all of a sudden you're on holiday, and you're having a great time, it's all fun and holiday like, and then, BAM, it's over. Finished.

I have this strange sort of love/hate relationship with time. The old adage for when bad things happen of "this too shall pass" unfortunately also extends to the good times... I find the worst parts are when one minute you're on a plane, waiting to take off because it's delayed thinking "argh come one lets go, I hate these crowded seats" and then you stop and realise "in a few seconds this very moment will be over and in the past and when it's long gone and it's all just bits of electricity going on in my brain, it's this moment I'll remember" and before you know it, you're back in your bedroom, laptop on, writing about it. Fleeting, intangible moments, all in the past, all gone.... And the more you think like this, the harder and yet the easier it is to live in the moment, not wanting time to keep passing by without you at least trying to have a stab at it and wondering if you could be doing a better job of it...

Hmmm, I really know how to suck the fun out of holidays eh?

Ok enough midnight philosophising about how time seems to slip through my fingers and I can't stop it.

So how was the holiday? Bloody fantastic and bloody cold!

I will post many, many pictures soon along with highlights of:
  • Dr D almost getting mauled by our over eager reindeer
  • When a woman who drives huskies for a living puts a poncho on you, you do not say no
  • Believing that my last moments on this mortal coil were to be spent in the dungeon of a Finnish shack in god knows where butt fuck Finland in the middle of the night
  • Northern lights!!!
  • I LOVE TOBOGGANING AND I DON'T CARE
  • Webcams
  • Tex-Mex. Why is all of Finland bloody obsessed with tex-mex?
Right now I'm off to bedfordshire, as we got in at 2.30 am this morning, and I've had a grand total of 4 hours sleep. And when you've used to afternoon naps on holiday, a whole full day of work seems too bloody long.

Friday, November 23, 2007

The night before is always the worst.

We've just spent the night in our favorite East End Boozer, having amazing food, good booze and great conversation.

Though honestly, you know you might have had a bit too much to drink when your facial toner smells like whisky.

Argh.

Tuesday, November 20, 2007

Finland, Finland, Finland, The Country Where I Want To Be

In the next installment of random, random holiday destinations that I am going to this year, tomorrow we're (Dr D, Calv, Magic, C, (drum roll please) The Ex-Flatmate and myself) are all off to Lapland in Finland to visit Santa, watch the northern lights, get eaten by huskies, and listen to Heavy Metal Music.

Right now, to get ready for the fact that it seems the only thing they listen to in Finland is heavy metal (see Lordi) Dr D and I have spent much of the week listening to 90's band Rage Against the Machine's "Killing in the Name Of". Ahhh, the memories of my very non rebellious teenage years are coming flooding back, when we'd listen to this in the summer, not getting tattoos, not being drunk, not doing drugs or generally not doing anything else exciting. Unfortunately for RATM, their version of angry hard metal is not making me think "YEAH bring on the policical activisim and hate for the corporate man controlling our lives", but just makes me giggle... not what they were aiming for I guess.

I'm very excited about going on holiday again, and Dr D has spent much of this week looking up the aurora borealis activity in Rovaniemi (where we are spending 6 days). We're also taking over night sleeper trains to and from Lapland (which I have booked and fucked up so many times that now Finnish Rail has 900 of my euros and they are not giving them back until sometime mid December 2045. My helpful hint is to not stress out about things and then fuck up the booking. As The Magic (or his dad I suppose) always says "Measure Twice, Cut Once" (ok so it's more of a building saying)

So the itinerary for the next 9 days:
  • Husky Sleigh (without the superman technique fondly loved by Dr D or the boffin falling over technique fondly loved by The Magic)
  • Ice Fishing - to freaze our bollocks off with. Why we want to catch Ice I have no idea.
  • Night time Snowmobile sleding with Night Sky Watching - We're paying money to go look at the night sky. Is nothign free in Finland?
  • Saunas - Scandanavian countries speciality
  • Heavy Metal Head Banging - Finnish Speciality


This is the country where Lordi comes from after all. And in honour of the band that dressed up like Klingons and won Eurovision, there is actually a square in Rovaniemi named after the band. This is where we choose to holiday. We ROCK! (or We WILL ROCK!)

So I may or may not bring my laptop with me tomorrow, but in all likely hood I will be back until the first week of December. Unless I get mauled by Santa's reindeer...

A-voting, a-voting, a-voting we will go

C and I are off to Australia House, the Australian High Commission in London, to vote in Australia's general election, held back home this Saturday.

As opposed to Britain, voting in Australia is compulsory, and to be honest I believe it should be. Everyone should have their say in how their country is run, even if it is misinformed, self-helping, or wrong, rather than the slack arse apathetic way that causes only 32% of Londoners to have voted in the last local elections.

So why are we going? 3 reasons:

1) I truly believe that everyone should vote. Don't get me started, I've had many a screaming, stand up, finger in face pointing argument about this point. I don't care. It's my point, so just deal with it.

2) To vote against Little Johnny Brown Nose, and get his team of cronies out of office. Voted into everlasting power in 1996, Australia has been in the grip of a coalition government for the last 11 sodding years. Holy Sweet Baby Jesus I don't think I can articulate just how much I hate him.
It's John Howards racist, lap dog following, lack of spine, knee jerk reactions and frankly childish attitude that have caused me many an embarrassing and angry moment. The most memorable no doubted being when Australia lost to England in the 2003 Rugby World Cup, and Little Johnny Brown Nose had to hand the English team the trophy. Now don't get me wrong I was pretty annoyed when England won, but honest to god if I was the Prime Minister, I would NOT have had a face like a smacked arse whilst handing the winning team their trophy. I mean he's the Prime Sodding Minister. He's supposed to be representing our nation on the world stage. How did he act? Like a spoilt 5 year old that was ready to throw his toys out of the pram, fall on his face, start screaming, kicking and punching the ground. It was his frankly embarrassing and pathetic behaviour which was the direct cause for me screaming at the tele "JOHN HOWARD YOU'RE A FUCKING C*NT" at the exact same moment The Ex-Flatmate came up the stairs whilst on the phone with his Dad, who said "umm.. yes, John Howard is quite bad isn't he".

3) I'm hoping they'll be dishing out free lamingtons in the voting queue.

In other news: The Ex-Flatmate is coming back to London tomorrow morning!! I have to get up at 5.30 am to get him from the airport. No he's not had enough of Australia, he's just here for a holiday. More to follow...

Friday, November 16, 2007

When you need to find a new sushi place



Whilst at the register at Yo Sushi! paying for the bill:

Waitress: "That'll be £30."
Me: "Ok"
Waitress: "Excuse me, but do you work for Shell?"
Me: "Um.. no?"
Waitress: "Oh ok. But you do live around here don't you?"
Me: "Um.. no?"
Waitress: "Oh ok. (Pause) So why have I seen you so many times in here?"
Me: "Um... I like sushi? (mumbles) I'll probably be back here next Tuesday..."

So is it time to find a new Yo Sushi!? Or is it cool that my sushi restaurant is becoming like Cheers, where they all know my name and my order of Hairy Prawns and Ikura Gunkan? I'm not sure yet...

Friday, November 09, 2007

Your Friday Moment of Zen: Where the Wings Have No Shame

This is so random. Why? Why is there the need to have a dish that holds wings? Why? I love wings as much as the next girl (well, only if the next girl is possibly Colonel Sanders daughter, then it's possible I love wings more than the next girl) but I have no shame in putting them on a plate.

get your own SnacDaddy right here:

Thursday, November 08, 2007

Drugging children. But how else are they gonna get their rocks off?

Oh dear god. Sometimes I wonder if I will ever go back, especially when this is the level of absolute fuck up occurs back in Oz.. I shake my head in dispair.

News just in from Australia. Bindeez, 2007 Toy of the Year, has just been recalled after it was found out that beads that come with the toy, when swallowed, contain a chemical that converts into the drug GHB.

A kids toy. When INGESTED turns into Gammahydroxybutrate. Liquid Ecstasy. GBH, Fantasy. Where do we get our drug free, dirty, little mits on these??!! I want one for Christmas!!

On a more serious note, it turns out they only found out when a bunch of kids swallowed these beads and ended up in critical condition. The company is set to lose millions in refunds and recalls because as Toy of the Year, it was apparently very popular.

Here's the rub: I honestly don't know which is more incredulous: The fact that a kids toy turns out to be covered with the drug of choice on the gay clubbing scene, or the fact that THIS is seriously the Toy of the Year? TOY OF THE YEAR???! This is what it takes to be toy of the year?? A plastic mat which you stick beads onto with water? Beads? Toy of the YEAR? No bloody wonder they had to cover it in Liquid Ecstasy.

The kids on the box look so bloody happy probably because they've already popped a load of the beads and are high of their nuts. You'd have to be to enjoy this toy..

Wednesday, November 07, 2007

On the way to and from work

This is why I love cycling to work.


On the way to work in the morning:

and back again at night:

Lovely

Tuesday, November 06, 2007

Remember, remember the fifth of November

"Remember, remember the fifth of November,
The gunpowder, treason and plot"

I think that when Guy Fawkes and his mates from the Gunpowder Plot went to blow up the Houses of Parliament in 1605, they could have only dreamed of having a fire as big as the bonfire a mate of ours had in his backyard.


Yes, that's a house next to the fire.

And this was Sandra, our Guy Fawkes doll.. and her nike gear melting..

To see more pyromaniac pics of our bonfire night (complete with margaritas!) check it out here.

This fire was so hot, that it melted glass, it melted metal. It melted the dehumidifier that got thrown on there... ah so environmentally friendly.

Wednesday, October 31, 2007

How Many Spots Do You See On The Jumper? I Count 13

Unfortunately I can't get blogger to post this picture in the right size, so you will need to open it in a new window: right click on pic, then select "Open Link in New Window", so that the pic opens in, yup you guessed it, a new window. I know, I know, it's crap but it's blogger. In it's normal size, it does make counting the dots easier though.

Happy Hallowe'en

Monday, October 29, 2007

A pack of dolphins

I truly love the randomness that is London.

Last Friday night a few of us started the evening at the Victoria and Albert (V&A) museum for a hollowween inspired night of gouls, ghost stories and exhibitions. The big draw card was the ghost tour and the booze. Unfortunately, tickets for all the good things disapeared in like 2 minutes flat, and we never made it to the bar.. That's how we started the night.

Here is how we ended the night aka my tale of how we met some NFL football players from the Miami Dolphins. In London. In a Hard Rock Cafe. No where near the V&A:

Calv, C and I decided that we would walk to Green Park tube station about 10 minutes from Kensington.. Meandering along, yabbering to ourselves we passed the Intercontinental and a massive tour bus chuckablock full of Americans, all with Miami Dolphin tags on their necks... Calv is a massive NFL fan, and a Dolphins fan to boot. And that's when we noticed the 5 massive blokes who got off the bus and were walking the same direction we were headed. So doing what all good, law abiding, live and let live people like us do, naturally we followed them. Right into a Hard Rock Cafe..

Calv, C and I went to the bar and scoped out what the 6 foot whatever, really broad shouldered footballers were doing. Drinking down some dutch courage, Calv and I got up the nerve to go speak to them. Ok so when I say speak, what I really mean is I said nothing other than "hi how are you doing?", whilst Calv swaggered over to them like a man, and then gushed at them like a schoolgirl. We introduced ourselves. Calv told them he was seeing them on Sunday, that they were his favorite team, and he was so excited about seeing them, and did he mention they were his favorite team? And he was really excited? Did he? Uh-huh? Then one of the guys, (Michael Lehan according to the Miami website) introduced himself to me. That is a perfect oppurtunity to show how cool you can be, and let me tell you, I really did fail 100%. I couldn't do the chit chat. I couldn't do the witty banter. I couldn't even do the awe struck fan (ok that's cause I'm not one). All I could do was say "I'm great thanks, how are you?". No witty repartee. No "wow, so how are you enjoying London?" or "Are you excited about playing here?" or "what the fuck are you guys doing in a Hard Rock Cafe?" or "so.. groupies eh?".

Anyway, to prove to all and sundry that this event took place, here is the pic I took of them...


You know what impressed me the most? Professional atheletes, top of their game, have a big match in less than 48 hours. How were they preparing? By scoffing as many nachos and ribs in as they could possibly fit into their mouths. Classic.

Friday, October 26, 2007

Self Induced Strangilation

Ah, late night, 1am postings after drinking rosé all night and chatting about the various pubs nearby that are infamous because East End gansters like the Krays* murdered members of other gangs. Gotta love it (obviously the drinking and chatting and posting, rather than the murder. Which is not nice and shouldn’t be loved.)

Anyhoo. The problem with late night, drunk postings is that you don’t really recollect what you wrote… When I checked my post today, I was flabbergasted as to why the hell did I feel the need at 1 am to type out most of the lyrics of a Queen song?

I woke up this morning with the inevitable hangover, sprawled on the bed, my headphones still in my ears, and the cable wrapped round and round my neck, half strangling me. That’s when I had a flashback of me listening to my ipod, in my pj’s, dancing around the room, hairbrush in hand, silently singing to “Under Pressure”…

I am such a classy bird.

* Ok this is completely unrelated BUT I just realised that Ronnie and Roxie Mitchell from “East Enders” are based on Ronnie and Reggie Kray! It makes sense now. Plus they all have Peggy Mitchell (Barbra Windsor) in common. (She's plays the girls aunt in East Enders, and she used to be a girlfriend of one of the Kray brothers.. If you go to the Blind Beggar, there are loads of pics of her and gangsters all over the walls...)

seriously. I love this song

yes. I have had a few.

"it's the teror of knowing what this world is about
its watching some good friend sccream let me out
pray that tomorrow get me higher
pressure on the people
people on the streets"..

and further on..



" Turned away from it all
Like a blind man
Sat on a fence but it don't work
Keep coming up with love
But it's so slashed and torn
Why why why?

love love love love love love love love
Insantiy laughs under pressure we crack
Why give ourselves one more chance
why can't we give love that one more chance?
Why can't we give love, give love, give love,?
Give love, give love, give love, give love, give love, give love?
Cause love's such an old fashioned word
And love dares you to care for
The people on the edge of the night
And love dares you to change our way
Of caring about ourselves
This is our last dance
this is ourselves

Under Pressure
Under Pressure
Pressure"

- Queen & David Bowe

If you haven't listened to it in years, get it, get a pair of headphones, sit on a chair, have a few, and love this song again.

Want all the words? Look here

I have had a few. So yes, I am on my bed, headphones on, ipod on, pyjamas on, loving this song. Ok, it's by Keane (who I normally hate) but wow, what a great song. Listen to it. Love it. LOVE it. Yes I've had a few.

Wednesday, October 24, 2007

Never say "and get yourself something nice" to me

Last week Dr D asked me to get him his lunch, and with his best "East End" geezer, I'm a cockney lad I am, voice, the threw me a tenner and said "er' you go luv treat yourself to something nice".

So I did. I bought myself some £99.50 per kilo, still on the bone, hand carved in front of me, Jamon. Aka ultra expensive, cured, beautiful, would eat this every day if I could afford it, ham from Brindisa.

And it was dead tasty. I love how it says on the label "Eat Within 3 days". I scoffed my 5 paper thin slices within 3 minutes. Flat.

Proof I eat things other than nutella and white bread!

Monday, October 22, 2007

32.5

Dr D and I went to the Magic's house to watch movies and eat pizza on his ma-hussive hi def projector on Friday night. Magic and I went to shops so I could get some coke, and other high calorie food, like Strawberry Cheesecake hagen daaz ice cream, 3 packs of chips, and 5 cans of assorted pop. The man at the cash register gave us this look of "this is what you're eating?", so I felt the need to tell him "oh don't worry, this isn't the only thing we're having for dinner tonight. We're having a salad as well". (By salad I obviously mean thin crust pepperoni pizzas..)

After we'd scoffed our "salad", drinks and crisps, I went to the bathroom (not to throw up) and was riveted by a weird looking set of scales. Now, The Magic is a man of many gadgets, and when it comes to bathroom scales, it is no different. When I questioned the weirdness of his bathroom paraphernalia, Magic told me they calculated a persons body fat percentage. So naturally being geeks, we all bundled in the loo, socks off, to see how fat we were.

Holy sweet baby jesus, these scales are harsh. Their ratings go underweight, normal weight, over fat, and obese. That's it. You're either normal or fat. And the difference between normal and obese minuscule. So when Dr D and the Mag found out their percentage was their 20s, it came as a bit of a shock to all concernted that this translates to "obese". When I got on the scales, I thought "well, it'll be high, but hopefully, maybe...". I nearly fell off when it said 32.5%!

Naturally being the sensitive and caring creatures we are, we're all now taking the piss out of each other, with comments like:

"Is that a chocolate spread sandwich you're eating?"
"No. It's marmite"
"Really? "
"Yes"
"Marmite?"
"Yes"
"Notice how I've said marmite with my tone going up? Much like that 32.5%..."
"Shurrup"

Thursday, October 18, 2007

It's nasty but I love it

On Monday, a very stressful day forced me to go the local shops near work so I could get my chocolate fix. In the store, whilst meandering around, trying to take as long as I possibly could, I noticed the holy grail of sugar fixes: a jar of nutella. Oh god how I love nutella. But it's the sort of thing I try to steer well away from, because it's a dirty, bad, nasty, in motel rooms kind of love, not a wholesome, meet your parents, sing you sonnets from afar sort of affair. Unfortunately, this day was bad, and like a junkie I found myself unable to walk away. I threw my £1.98 on the counter, before scurrying quickly away back.

Now, a jar of nutella at my work would not go down so well.. Why? Because everyone at work eats responsibly like an adult. I'm the one who owns the Kellogs Crunchy Nut. Everyone else has organic muesli, shredded wheat, cardboard cut into little squares with added fiber.
It's all salads and bags of fruit, wholemeal, locally sourced, organic, with added nuts, ultra low fat. Naughty things like nutella have no right to an existent in our work kitchen.

Worse still, I only like my nutella, thickly spread, to the very edges, and folded in half, on nutrionally neglibable white bread. Oh yes - no wholemeal, whole wheat, whole boring brown bread with my ultra high in sugar, low in anything else, nutella. Like a criminal I have to sneak off to the kitchen, get my jar of sugar and cocoa out from the back of the top shelf of the cabinet (where I've hidden it behind all the jars of green tea that no one drinks), sneak my white bread out of the fridge (out from behind the salads and couscous). And I'm off: quickly and silently make myself up a sandwich that only 5 years old these days are eating. Once it's all put together, I only have to try to avoid any disaproving stares, appologise for the lack of fibre in the bread, and pass it off as an ultra thickly spread, zero fat marmite. Hurah! Am practically a resistence fighter. Though resistence to responsible eating doesn't quite have the same tone as covertly fighting an invading regime from taking over your country...

And you know what: my dirty, nasty love is even tastier knowing that everyone would shun me like a scarlet woman and disapprove.

Wednesday, October 17, 2007

Bag Envy

I have bag envy. It's not very often that it happens, and I'm not really a big "clutch" handbag girl. But I lurve this one.


It's not Dior or Chanel or Prada. It's not Louis Vitton or even Hermès.

It's The Gap. Yup. I have bag envy from that mass produced, made practically by slave trade, every 3rd person in the world can buy it, Gap. Though I feel slight shame in wanting something from The Gap so badly, I do hope it comes to London... cause I really want it. And I don't even often want girly girl things either.

Tuesday, October 16, 2007

What is that smell?

A friend of mine in Sydney has this theory about the laws that attract men and women. She thinks it has little to do with people having having things in common, or people enjoying each others company. She's not even that convinced it's about fancying the way someone looks, and no, it has nothing to do with someones subconscious knowing that someone elses subconscious is a perfect match. Subconsciously.

No, my friends theorem is that attraction to the opposite sex is all based on their smell. She thus sees a correlation of the rate of divorce and the number of perfumes and aftershaves sold in the world: someone smells different to what they really do, you may inadvertently fall for them because they smell like CKOne (or Christine Aguilera, hey who am I to judge?), have a whirlwind romance, get married, then the inevitable day arrives when your partner gives up making an effort for you and stops wearing that scent that made you see them as the future father of your child, and you realise you have in fact nothing in common at all with this beer swilling, TV watching, Ed Bundy, belching lout.

Now don't get me wrong. I don't actually endorse this at all. In fact, I actually think her theorem is a load of bullshit. However, what I do believe in smelling nice and I do fully endorse people wearing perfume, aftershave, what have you. I also fully endorse people wearing deodorant. Especially if you are stuck on an crowded Hammersmith and City Line train, so squashed you are practically in a strangers armpit. It's at that moment that I am a card carrying member of the "Don't Stink" party. If you think you could end up on a train this full, I implore you, for the good of the nation WEAR DEODORANT. Failing that AT THE VERY LEAST WASH AND USE SOAP. Because when a girl is squashed up against you, turning blue because she's clearly NOT breathing anymore, giving you evils, holding her hand in front of her nose, it has nothing to do with you invading her personal space and has everything to do with you giving off the odor of something akin to a small rodent crawling into a your smelly, rancid armpit, dying, and rotting. How can a healthy person make that sort of smell?

Good citizens of London: This isn't the 16th century. WASH. PLEASE. Average height and shorter women all over this big town will thank you for it.

Friday, October 12, 2007

The Four Day Thrilla in Manila

Cause that's how long I was there for. About 4 days. How uber decedent is that? It's not really answering Al-I-Just-Won-A-Nobel-Prize-For-Making-A-DVD-And-Putting-On-A-Rock-Concert Gores Call is it?

I did have a really good time. To not bore you or me with the tiny little details, such as realising I'd eaten pork in one form or another in every single meal (bar one) for the entire 4 days (and I was on holiday remember, so I did actually eat breakfast), here is my holiday, cliff notes style:

Fancy Dress
As I said, I was there to watch my mum get an award, so there were award ceremony dress issues going on. I ended up bringing with me about 3 different outfits for her to choose which she preferred. She said she liked what I'd worn to new years eve (that's me in it in my profile pic). Good news: When I got to Manila, I tried it on again, and I don't know how it happened, perhaps it expanded on the flight over, perhaps we'd flown through some weird time/space portal, perhaps trying dresses on right after I've just eaten a big meal is never a good idea, but it fit! Bad news: Her dress was almost identical, except in a different colour. No way in hell was I turning up in matching outfits. So I ended up going in a skirt C lent me, and a red satin lace up corset that I usually wear to Hollowween parties when I'm dressing up as a dominatrix. It's funny how the lack of a leather choker, short skirt, leather boots and a whip will turn a slutty top into nice formal evening wear.

Shopping
We went to Mall of Asia, which is apparently the largest shopping mall in, yup you guessed it, Asia. This place is massive, chockablock full of shops, restaurants, departments stores, an ice rink! Unfortunately they had all the same shops we get here in London, an in some of the stores they even had the exact same merchandise. I saw a dress in Zara I had bought only a month ago there. I saw winter trousers I had tried on just 2 weeks ago here. Winter trousers. In a country that doesn't get temperatures lower than their mid 20s. Why? Even more bizarely the prices where the same! I can't understand who could possibly afford those things?

So what did I end up buying after 2 hours in The Mall of Asia? Any exciting clothes or shoes or accessories? Nope. Asian Trinkets? Nope. Stationary even? (I have a love affair with stationary). Nope.

No, I went to the Mall of Asia and all I bought was a bag of pork scratchings. Uh-huh. That's it. I really am a crap specimen of a girl.

Pampering Time
I went to get a massage at the hotel health spa, which for a 75 minute Swedish shiatsu mix was only about £15. I love getting massages, and always make a bee line for the hotel massage service whenever I go away, but this. I've never had one like this. The dull ache I was feeling in my shoulders turned into a blinding, sharp, mind numbing pain afterwards. This woman was so painful, that I actually lay there squirming to try to get her to stop. But she didn't even notice! She just kept prodding, kneading, and pinching my skin with her nails. And just when it could get any worse, the woman shocked basic masseuse/client decency by farting. Twice. Loudly. Oh god no.


Top 3 most embarrassing holiday moments
Which brings me delightfully to my top 3 most embarrassing holiday moments. Hey, I was only away in Manila for 4 days. You couldn't have expected me to make a total dick of myself more than that? Right?

Number 3
Being asked to dance at the awards shindig. Why I was asked I have no idea, since I clearly looked much more interested in talking to my mum, her friends, and seeing how much free wine I could score. Not quite knowing how to say no, I got up and danced, only to be rejected one song later after I was asked if I was from San Francisco, and I said no. So much fun having the guy grab his boss or someone old, and say "here you guys should dance", and then watch him run away and grab some other poor girl. Annoyingly, I then got stuck dancing with this other guy for a bit, which did not go well because he tried to do partners dancing, but he did such a piss poor job of leading I had no idea what he was trying to do. He then proceeded to count in a really patronizing way "1 and 2 and 1 and 2 and.." with me grinning like an embarrassed fool, trying not to step on his feet or fall all on my arse. We were both extremely relieved as the song ended, cause we both dropped each others hands, turned and walked away, pretending we had never actually seen each other before..

Number 2
After the awards ceremony, in an effort to not have to dance with anyone else or in fact make contact with anyone else at all, mum and I went to the roof top bar for a drink. Embarrassing moment number 2 comes when the lounge singer, this big bloke with obligatory pony tail singing old time hits, sang a song that my mum requested. That's fine, no problems there. Unfortantely as Time Goes By is a ridiculously romantic song, and right after the "woman needs man, and man must have his mate" he stop, turns and asks mum, her friend and me "So, you have no mates here?". Mum and her friend make their excuses, so he then turns to me and asks (into the microphone no less) "No man eh. So why is that?". Great. Now I'm trying to desperately come up with an excuse that doesn't make me look like a loser as to why I'm single, drinking hard liquor, on my own. I mean, I hear that in your 30s everyone, even perfect strangers, feels that it's perfectly acceptable to openly ask you if you're single and why, but come on I've still got 4 months to go! As everyone in the bar turns to take a look at me, all thinking the same thing "oh poor girl. She's going to be an old maid. I wonder what wrong with her?", I just sit there, praying for the floor to open up so I can crawl inside, away from their pitying, acusational eyes.

Number 1
After the Lounge Singer has finished his song and interrogation of my love life, he then sits next to us (mic still in hand) and demands that I request a song. In my head I'm screaming "NOTHING, NOTHING, PLEASE GO AWAY! THE DAMAGE HAS BEEN DONE AND ALL I WANT TO DO IS SKULL MY MARTINI", but seeing as my mum's next to me, I decide that perhaps that little know trait of tact would be better employed. Now don't get me wrong. I love old time, Bing Crosby, Nat King Cole, Ol Blue eyes style big band songs. Heck, I even love musicals. But in a spot, with a mic pressed against my head like a gun, my mind goes completely blank. So being all witty like, I say "well, I can't think of anything right now, so maybe you could suggest a song?" to which he goes "Um, are you British or something? You sound like James Bond?". He then goes on to do his James Bond Sean Connery Mixed with Roger Moore impersonations. Oh god. He then proceeds to sing a song I can't understand because it's in Tagalog. I had to physically crush my middle finger so I could look him in the face (and he was being really quite sincere and sweet), but without the pain of my nail digging into my finger, I don't think I could have sat there without laughing my arse off, out of sheer embarrassment.

So that's pretty much it. That best describes the sum total of my little jaunt. 2 20 hour journeys, 4 days, 1 painful massage and loads of pork products. A successful little trip then!

Saturday, October 06, 2007

3 hours and waiting

Am at Hong Kong airport, waiting for my return trip back to ol' Blighty, after a fantastic 4 days in Manila! I had such a good time, most of which I'm going to blog about when I get home.

I'm not really looking forward to my flight back. England was playing us Aussies at the Rugby World cup. I walked passed the packed sports bar and we were winning. I went to get myself a little snack, came back, and saw the last 5 minutes. In which time we'd managed to lose. I now have to get on a British Airways flight back to London with a bunch of smug pomps, all pleased that they beat us. By 2 points. I however will not be beaten down by these smug, beer swilling, aussie bashing, one trick ponies. I'll hold my head high on the plane, and will no reneg on my Australianism, by saying I'mBritish. I'll take the grief. Mostly by keeping my big gob shut.

This is the 3rd hour of my 4 1/2 hour wait in Hong Kong Airport. Normally I don't mind waiting that long on stop overs. It gives me a chance to look around, grab some food, check out the local oddities. Only problem is that I've already spent 5 hours in Hong Kong Aiport on my way out to Manila, so I've done everything: I've looked every single shop over. Twice. I've checked out all the restaurants and bars. I've eaten some food (some delicious, some not so good). I've flipped through all the magazines in the news agents. I've even taken a little trip on the train between terminals. Only then did I discover the joy that is free internet access!

Anyway all in all I've had such a bloody fanstastic time on my little stint away. Only problem is that since I wasn't there long enough to get my body clock in check, I've not really slept much in the last 4 days, and right now it's definitly showing. My eyes are blurry, I'm absolutely knackered, and I think I'm doing a little sleep deprivied window shopping. I've just caught myself in a jewellery shop looking at engagement rings. By myself. And believe me, I am as far away from getting married as you can possibly be. The shop assistant must have known that I was single, since the look gave me as I caught myself mesmerized by the big sparkly solitaire diamonds was so filled with distain that I might as well have been flinging myself on the counter, pulling my hair and wailing: "You're RIGHT, you're right, I know you're right!! No one is every going to marry me. I'm so loooonnneeeellllly".

Oh dear. I blame this totally on the sort of torturous sleep deprivation that drives prisoners of war insane.

Ok, only an hour left to go.. I'm off to see if I can blag my way into an executive lounge, and on this flight I am dose up on G&T's and go to sleep, so that hopefully I don't arrive in London, well frankly, pathetic.

Tuesday, October 02, 2007

Oh No

Calv lent me his Radio One: Established 1967 cd, which I'm listening to gràce à Li. It's a cd produced by Radio 1, with number one's from every year since 1967, covered by bands like the Foo Fighters, Stereophonics, Groove Armada, etc.

So picture this: here I was at my desk listening to "A Town Called Malice" by The Jam, covered by I had no idea, my feet are going all akimbo and me literally chair dancing at my desk and then I realise I'm bopping to Mc-Bloody-FLY!!!! McFly!! The "we're a real band, even though Mummy and Daddy have probably paid to produce our album". The "we're a real band, even though we're as fake as the Spice Girls". A band which morally I despise for everything they stand for. NOOOOOOOOO!!!!!! The shame. The head in my hand, painful, ugly shame!

Damnit!!

Ok, now i am off on my hols.

Impulse

We've released our software! It's all done, and this is how we celebrated:


Yup: Bollinger. 5 bottles of Bollinger. And sweet lord was it delicious. I'm a pretty big fan of champagne, but this champagne is possibly the best I've ever tasted. It could have something to do with the fact it was mixed with the sweet taste of knowing 2 years of work was finally finished. It could have something to do with the fact it cost £52 a bottle. Who knows? All I know is that between about 4 of us we had almost 5 bottles of the stuff, and I did not have a hangover the next day. Not sure if I can keep sticking to the expensive stuff but for that one night it sure was worth ti.

Saturday a bunch of us trundled off to Oxford for the weekend for the Great British Cheese Festival, where we ate lots of free cheese (yum), drank lots of cider (yum!) and sat around on the grass having a good natter. The wierdest thing there was a guy in the cider tent on stage singing in his purple one piece jump suit. I think he might have been singing to the wrong demographic since everyone just sat there trying not to make any eye contact with him whilst he wailed about how much he missed Sebastian, his perfect guy. Then he sang about how much he hated cheese. Then he wafted on about some guy on the telly and how he wanted to go out with him, but he was on the telly. It was really, really, really random..

Speaking of random, everyone here is taking a few days off post release. Dr D is at home today and tomorrow, I presume sitting on his couch, replaying Halo 3. I on the other hand, am off to Manila tonight! My mum, who is a travel agent, has won an award with Phillipine Airlines, so has got an awards ceremony on Friday night. I've managed to wangle my way along as well, so I'm having an incredibly short holiday in the Phillipines, staring from today! Hurrah!! Warm weather! Hurrah! 5 star hotel! Hurrah! Flying 13 hours to get there! CRAP DAMNIT!

Unfortunately, the ceremony dress code is "formal", so I've had to go and find my New Years Eve dress. Which naturally doesn't quite fit me anymore (that's an exageration. It really doesn't fit me anymore. WAAHHH!). So when she called me last night to ask how my packing is coming along I casually quizzed her on what I should wear on Friday night "oh you know, nothing fancy" (Phew) "just a cocktail dress or something" (Crap. Cause I have loads of those lying about. In fact, I mopped the floors in one just last weekend) "Oh I know, the one you wore to new years eve!" (Ah. Fuck). So C and I spent about an hour going through all my clothes, many of which were inappropriate, and some which didn't fit. Damn it. Stupid body getting fat. I have to learn to STOP EATING (she says tucking into her turkey bagel).

So I probably won't be around for the next week. This holiday will either be loads of fun or just painful, with me and mum trying not to annoy each other, and me feeling like a massive heffer in Manila. Hmmm.. not sure now..

Friday, September 28, 2007

I'm helping like a good un'

We're trying to cut a release of our software tonight. Well, to be fair, we've been trying to cut a release all day, and we're just trying to get CVS to stop fucking about.

Whilst everyone has gone to the pub for our celebratory "we've not quite released, but we're getting pissed anyway, even though this was supposed to be a proper release party" drinks, P & Dr D are trying to sort all our problems. I'm here for moral support and my occasional unix skills. So whilst waiting to be useful I'm reading every page in my new Jamie Oliver "Jamie At Home" cookbook, and serenading my team with Maria Mckee's "Show Me Heaven" (If you know what it's like, to dream a dream. Baby hold me tight and let this beeeeee ooooooohhhhh). THIS I know is helpful, and not at all annoying!

At this point in time, we might not be making our "Not releasing today" Release drinks.

Tomorrow though, we're all off to Oxford to go to the Great British Cheese Festival. Not because we all love cheese or anything but because they are supposed to have a massive cider tent, and nothing tastes better with cider from plastic milk bottles than free, smelly cheese. Yum.

Wednesday, September 26, 2007

SATC and sleeplessness

It's now 2.06 am. I have just spent the last 2 hours watching every single tiny non-episode video about Sex and The City on YouTube. And I entirely blame Li and Superscout. If she hadn't sent me a link to the new S&TC movie, I wouldn't have turned on my laptop in bed at midnight to quickly watch it (since I can't watch it from my work pc), to then find not only all the deleted scenes, but documentaries, people's vidoes of them filming the movie, and yes, ( and I watched it), the Oprah Winfrey Sex and the City special.

So Li, this post is for you. When I am at work yawning tomorrow, you can bet your skinny, cosmo drinking arse I'm blaming you!!

Friday, September 21, 2007

Your Friday Moment of Zen: Well it's going to be a long long time

Today, Dr D and I have got an Elton John song stuck in our heads. I know, it's hard to believe but it's not the Diana version of "Candle in the Wind", but is in fact "Rocket Man". I never really appreciated it until someone did it at one of our parties on Singstar, and now I think it's really a cool 80s song, which I think is quite under appreciated (ok, mostly by me).

Looking at wikipedia today for interesting facts about this, I found out that the Stewie parody on Family Guy is based on a version that The Shat did (that's William to his friends at home). But possibly the funniest version I've seen is this one by Steven Hawkins. My god the internet is full of crap, and a video clip of Steven Hawkins "singing" Rocket Man is definitely up there.

Electronic voice singing "And you know it's gonna be a long long tiiiiiiimmmee" is hilarious. Watch out for the picture of his wife with "Mrs Hawkins" underneath it whizzing past too. Enjoy! (I hope this link still works, cause I tried it his afternoon and have been super scouted again. Grrr)

BTW: As of today, in fact, as of the last hour, I believe we have no gone into our code freeze. So that means a little bit of testing time, and it's our release party!! HOORRAH!!! Any guesses as to what our next release codename is??

Monday, September 17, 2007

Alpacas and cello strings

Argh. It’s been a bit insane at the moment. So where the bloody hell have I been for the last 10 days?

Let me start with saying that for the last 2 years we’ve been writing the new version of our software, which we'd code named "Alpaca". Why? Well, unlike Java, which codenames all it's latest versions cool sounding names like "Kestral", "Tiger", "Mustang" and other fast and interesting things, we decided that, not being anywhere near that cool, should start with the letter A, and name it the stupidest looking animal we could think of. Look at this thing:

Frankly, it's fucking pathetic.

So right this very minute, we’re now on the hairy edge of releasing Alpaca, and have got a code freeze in place for this Wednesday. So we’ve been frantically trying to bug fix for the last few months, which means I've not really been around to blog. Despite having done cool things like stay at the Hotel Li, for a fun weekend of re-aquainting myself with booze (yes, at the dinner table at a very lovely restaurant, whilst Li and C were chatting, I actually turned to the bottle of wine, looked at it sitting in it's silver wine bucked, chilling in icy water, stroked it lovingly over it's white napkin and whispered "oh Alcohol, you crazy thing. I've mised you too. You know I couldn't stay mad at you for too long"), getting my arse slightly kicked at the Sex and the City board game... (which turned from a proper game to a quiz show style affair, with C being the quiz master, and Li and I having to slam the table in lieu of a buzzer everytime we knew the answer. By this stage we'd had a few cosmos, so it was all loud, blustery, and painful for my poor hands), lots of shopping, and saving babies from death.

Tonight, C and I went to the Magic's house to play beautiful music. Well, to play some music. ELLSO starts again this Saturday, and obviously I've not picked up the cello for the last 3 months. I've been the cricket that sung for the summer and has nothing to show for it in the winter, or something random like that. So tonight we decided it would be a good idea to get together, having a drink, and a good bash at our instruments. Would have been lovely if, whilst trying to tune my cello, I hadn't thought "Oh i'll just turn the peg a bit", causing the peg to slip, the string to never get back in tune, and eventually, after much fucking about with the peg, for my A string to SNAP. So much for the practise. Instead C and I alternated between playing cello and playing the piano, and Mag held the treble end up by playing violin. It definitely was a nice way to end my day, since it had all been a bit shite up to that point.

So that's really all i've been up to. An even faster, cliff notes special:

Book I'm currently reading
: "The Colditz Story" by P. R. Reid. I've been up to the bit where they attempt to escape at the end for 2 days now. You'd think I'd have finished it, but I keep falling asleep. It really is a great book, but it just makes me sleepy.

Game Currently Playing: Halo 2 on my xbox. "Arbiter, you don't know who you're shooting at cause all the grunts look the same? Arbiter, stop shooting at our ship. It's supposed to have a hull you know. Arbiter, stop fucking about in general"

Last historical thing I toured: The Royal Albert Hall, where we did a private tour, going backstage and underground, for free grâce à the London Open House festival this weekend. Ok this was a bit of a brag, rather than a cliff notes special

Thing I'm most looking forward to right now: Hmm.. sleep? Pie and Mash for lunch tomorrow? Sleep right now? Tricky..

Thing I'm least looking forward to right now: Hmmm... not being able to sleep?

If you have a cliff notes special on your life, then please by all means, post it and let me know, or just leave me a comment. I'm especially interested in the last 2 categories. Whilst I clearly dodged the answers, please leave me proper ones!

So that's it really. A fair bit on, but when our software is out the door, there will hopefully be more imputus and time to blog. Busy, busy, busy.

Friday, September 07, 2007

7 Long Days

If I get through the rest of tonight, I will have not have touched a drink in the last 7 days. 168 hours with no booze. Thats 10,080 minutes, sans alcohols. That will be the longest period in the last six years that I have been on the wagon. Eek.

Why? Last Friday night a big group of us went to my all time favorite East End pub ("knees up mother brown, knees up mother brown") for a night of chat, dinner and drinks. The night started with pints of Bombadier, and then went on huge amounts of Almangacs, and finished with barrels of whiskey.

I should have realised it was going to be quite messy when were were still there at midnight, and the landlord came over to our table and said "well, you might as well have the rest of this" and gave us 1/2 a bottle of Jamesons. One minute I'm pouring more whiskey into the Magic's glass, talking about god knows what, then it's scene missing, then it's 11am, the sun is streaming through my window, I'm in bed with most of my clothes still on, wondering how the hell I got home, with the start of one of the worst hangovers of my life. Children: Heed this lesson: Armagnac is evil. I should have remembered from all the other nights out, or perhaps the infamous champagne-cognac cocktails I had in St Maarten with the Ex-Flatmate. This hangover was quite similar, in that all I could do was lie on the couch, and alternate between drinking water, watching mindless, mindless, mindless Girls Aloud music videos, and clutching onto the bathroom floor, begging the room to stop spinning and throwing up. My hangover did not clear up until Sunday, and even then on and off I have been having headaches, mixed with painful joints, limbs and all over tiredness for the rest of the week, that culminated in me taking this Thursday off, because sitting at my desk with my head in my hands is not fun.

So to mark this momentus occasion, I'm going to watch a Bond flick at The Mag's (where I have to drive, so I can't drink) and tomorrow night I intend to have a glass of champagne. Just to see if I can still leap off the wagon with gusto, because whilst I'm not an alcho, the fact that I'm not missing having a drink is starting to worry me... I'd better not be becoming sensible. That simply will not do.

Tuesday, September 04, 2007

Which would you do?

Oh lord. Ever since seeing The Bourne Ultimatum last week, I've been a tiny bit Matt Damon obsessed. And popsugar has loads of red carpet pics of him (yes and of his wife) that have been keeping me quite entertained.

However, I found this today on geeksugar and gizmodo and holy crap, I can't stop laughing:

So my question to you is: Which would you do? Answers on a postcard. (Or comment). I defy to you look at either Bill Gates or Steve Jobs, lounging 'seductively' on their desks, nerd style, and not piss yourself laughing... Ooh baby, let me turn you on with my nerd talk. Oohh la la la.

Friday, August 31, 2007

You're Friday Momen to Zen: Because it's funny

Whether you believe in it or not, star signs can be very random, and in turn, very funny.

We were talking about astrology today, and this was the first site I found. I've never seen anything before that mentions what ailments a star sign suffers from or what their "beneficial foods" are, so I thought I'd share them today as my moment of random zen.

As I was born on the 19th of Feb which is on the cusp between Aquarius and Pisces, I get to double dip and cherry pick all the best bits of both star signs as I like (oooh! my ailments of choice: Alchoholism, Drug addiction, lack of sleep and insanity! cool)

Some mindless fortune telling for Friday. Enjoy:

Aries
Ailments
Arthritis, rheumatism, skin complaints, knee injuries, bone diseases, depression, eczema.

Beneficial Foods
Cabbage and kale.

Taurus
Ailments
Earache, goitres, gout, laryngitis, obesity, tonsillitis, swollen neck glands, throat inflammations, constipation.

Beneficial Foods
Beans and celery.

Gemini
Ailments
accidents (usually small, but frequent), bronchitis, pneumonia, nervous exhaustion.

Beneficial Foods
Lettuce and cauliflower.

Cancer
Ailments
Gastric disorders, heartburn, indigestion, obesity, ulcers.

Beneficial Foods
Watercress and milk.

Leo
Ailments
Backache, palpitations, fainting, blood disorders, fevers, dizziness heart problems, pill-popping.

Beneficial Foods
Oranges and peas.


Virgo
Ailments
Anorexia, bowel problems, indigestion, intestinal infections, appendicitis, malnutrition, hernia.

Beneficial Foods
Lemons and caraway seeds.

Libra
Ailments
Eczema, skin diseases, kidney and bladder infections, diabetes, abcesses, lumbago, vein disorders.

Beneficial Foods
Strawberries and plums.

Scorpio
Ailments
Bladder disorders, cystitis, genito-urinary diseases, piles, prostate trouble, PMT.

Beneficial Foods
Prunes and hops.

Sagittarius
Ailments
Injuries to hip and thigh, falls, obesity, baldness.

Beneficial Foods
Asparagus and cucumber.


Capricon
Ailments
Arthritis, rheumatism, skin complaints, knee injuries, bone diseases, depression, eczema.

Beneficial Foods
Cabbage and kale.

Aquarius
Ailments
Injuries to lower legs, ankle problems, poor circulation, varicose veins, blood disorders, nervous disorders, sheer lack of sleep.

Beneficial Foods
Pomegranates and pineapples.

Pisces
Ailments
Bunions, chilblains, alcoholism, drug addiction, lymphatic and glandular disorders, forgetfulness, insanity.

Beneficial Foods
Raisins, dates and cereals.

The point of the blog

I can't sleep. It's not that I've been tossing and turning, and have just deciede I can't sleep. No, it's 1am now, and I've only just gotten into bed. I've stayed up and watched crap tv for ages, knowing full well I'm not interested in what I was seeing, but just dreading having to go to my bed. And I have no idea why. Why is it that I have this nervous, uneasy, twitch, that is making me feel, well, scared? And the wierd things is that I have no idea what I'm scared of. It's like having the Mean Reds. I know it's not the usual fear I get before I nod off, which makes me get up and check all the doors and windows are locked at night. No, this fear is just dense, heavy, and stodgy, like a wool blanket that's too thick and oppressive and holds you down and suffocates you. And the worse thing is that I know that writing things down is supposed to help you relax and make you feel like you're surrendering your problems, but it's almost as if typing these words out gives breath and life and substantiates this fear into existence.

What's wrong with me? There is nothing to be frightened of. Nothing is going on. So why is my heart racing? Why can't I relax and sleep?

This is why I own a blog. So that I can write all these things down, and later on, much later, when this fear goes away, or the feelings that I have day to day, or little events that go to make up a life, are forgotten and surrendered to the past, I know that by writing these things, these crappy, little, stupid events and thoughts, means that I will always have some record of it. Albeit, if only in the digital universe, to be made up of 1's and 0's and little bits of electricity.

Now all I have to do is be able to sleep, to start another day.

Argh it's late and I appologise for this post. I'm going to try to get some sleep.

Thursday, August 30, 2007

The most productive thing I've been in years

I love this site from instructables.com! It gives you instructions for how to make your own ipod or mobile phone stand out of your business cards. With clear instructions and pictures, this site is cool! (Seriously it rocks)

Honestly, I really LOVE this. I've made a few loads of them now for peoples phones, ipods and business card holders. I've even worked out how to make one for an ipod with cable attached (since we all keep ours plugged in at work) using postcards from our local Benugos. I really do think it's the most productive thing I've done in months. Seeing as I'm a bit just fed up with everything at the moment, this has certainly soothed my savage need to create and build something useful.

Finally I've found a second use for all my business cards! The first use obviously being for those "win a free lunch" draws at pubs and restaurants.

Friday, August 24, 2007

Hoorah for the long weekend

It's T-Minus 2 hours until the start of the last bank holiday weekend in Britain. HOORAH!! I can't get out of here quick enough, since I've spent all week swearing at the bugs I'm trying to fix. I think if we are nice enough to give our clients NPE's then they should happily take these little gifts and live with it. Stupid software.

Anyway, I'm obsessed today with 2 things:


1. Thinking with my belly first
I stumbled across this from 101cookbooks (fabulous site) and I am seriously in love with these madelines. I love madelines in general, with their softness and their delicous buttery fattening goodness. The idea of a plate full of these delicious little cakes straight out of the oven is definitely making me want to rush home right now and make them. Unfortunately I first have to buy myself a proper madeline tin first, which is something I intend to do this weekend. YUM. For the recipe check it out here


2) Not getting fired at work
They've taken away our YouTube privaleges!!! It's a freaking disaster! How am I going to listen to "If I Could Turn Back Time" by Cher now? Where will I get my Roxette fix? WHERE?? This, my friends, is why god created the internet (well, not himself personally but you know what I mean), so when we get cravings for crap 80's music, we can go to one site, one search and 2 seconds later, be teleported back to days of bangs and scrunchies and bad, bad, rock ballads with guitars!! So now my account has been "super scouted" which means that management have been flagged to the fact I've looked at a website that I should be looking at. Unfortunately, I was super scouted the second time today when Calv sent us all a link to blacks.co.uk for hiking and outdoor gear for our next trip to the Artic circle. Unfortunately, he thought he sent us there, but instead sent us to another blacks site, which is not a camping store at all, but a site with explicit material, of a sexual nature. Super scout smacks me again. For inadvertedly looking up porn at work. Damn it.

Have a good long weekend if you're in Britain. Otherwise, see you on the otherside!

Thursday, August 23, 2007

So how did it go?

How did our summer party go?

I was well nervous on Friday afternoon. On the tube to the venue we were talking about how we thought it would end up in a big fight between our group and the group from downstairs (where the women are from). Not being a violent bunch though, instead of knives and guns, the whole fight would be played out in interpretative dance and song, like some sort of grand West Side Story production, with high kicks, singing and some chorus line work.... Obviously after laughing, joking and talking about people from our company for 30 mins, we only noticed another group of people from work on the same carraige as us as we were getting off the train....

If you're in London I'd definitely head up to the Roof Gardens for a night out! The gardens are on the top floor of the a large building in Kensington, and looked amazing. Our dining tables where under a big marquee with little lights dotted everywhere, and there was a classical guitarist playing for our pleasure. The food was really, really good too.. BBQ's sea bass, prawns, squid, chicken, lamb and ribs.. Grilled veges and proper, nice, salads. And some really yummy puds for afters (the boys apparently where trying to decide which desert was more manly: the cheesecake or tiramisu... I don't think there's a clear winner in any of those options). But I'll spare you the details of how cool the venue was and skip right on to the bitchy bits.

We were all standing in one of the gardens before dinner, drinking our extremely expensive beers and wine, and I nervously waited for the group in question to turn up. 1 1/2 hours later, and we were seated for dinner (because I told the Maitr'd that I wasn't their mother and if they couldn't turn up on time, that was just too bad, but the rest of us where eating now!). When they finally did turn up the two women made their grand entrance through the middle of everyone. Having never really seen them before but only hearing lots about them, I was not in the least bit surprised that they looked like Samantha wannabes from Sex and the City. Our entire table watched them walk in and sit down, and their entire table watched us walk past them to get food. Evil stares from the two blondes I was used to by the time desert came round!

Though other than that, nothing really happened. No fisty cuffs, not arguments, nothing. The only real incident with them happened when one of the women were in the toilets and apparently asked her friend for some lipstick. One of the girls I knew was in the toilets as well, and she told me she said to her "yeah, you look like you need it"..

After dinner our group just sat around the table chatting. We then went and danced to the live band in the gardens, and finally made it to the dance floor where at one stage I found myself half moshing to Jump Around by House Of Pain. In high heels. My feet were well and truly fucked by the end of the night (I'm a flats girl myself).

The only other incident occured when we were all leaving, and one of the girls we were with was calling for a cab home. Not realising this, we hailed her a black cab and told her we had a cab for her. Only after hanging up on the cab firm did she notice it was a black cab, and she then yelled at me "YOU KNOW I CAN'T AFFORD ONE OF THOSE, NOW YOU'VE MADE ME HANG UP ON THE CAB FIRM. THANKS A LOT". To which I got really pissed off at (come on by this stage I was well quite soused) so on the way home I got myself more and more angry about it, so when I got home I called her to give her a piece of my mind... when she didn't answer I thought "oh well that's mature", so I called again... No answer. So I thought "I'll text her what I think", but thought better of it.. then called again... and again.. and again.. no answer, no answer, no answer. So I left her this text "can you call me or I'm calling the cops". No reply. No call.

I woke up on Saturday morning with a horrendous hangover. Still no call back. So I called her again. No answer. (You're getting the general gist of this at this stage right?). Eventually I get through a recorded message: "This number is not connected". So then my over active imagination starts to work quick smart, double time: What if we put her in the wrong car? What if it wasn't a mini cab at all? What if the mini cab was one of those dodgy ones with a serial killer or rapist driving it? What if she's in hospital, or worse: lying dead, naked in a ditch? What would I say to her cousins? What would I wear at her funeral? Do people still hats for a funeral these days? Hmm.. where would I get one of those from? I imagined her family crying and accusing me "why didn't she just get in the black cab? Why didn't you make sure she was ok?", and me sitting there saying "If only we'd given her money so she wouldn't have had to get into that cab of death."

In the end, like a pyscho bitch stalker, I'm ashamed to say I called her 21 times in the space of 16 hours.
When someone suggested we call another friend of ours who might know, again, I still got no answer. After he didn't return my call for 2 hours I thought "oh my god. He's at the morgue identifying the body isn't he??". When he did eventually call me back, he said all casually, whilst I was on the other end of the line all frantic on the inside, trying not to let people see the crazy come out: "Oh her? Oh yeah, she lost her phone in that cab we put her in last night". Oh.


In the end, like a pyscho bitch stalker, I'm ashamed to say I called her 21 times in the space of 16 hours. And let me tell you something: when people hear you've called somone 21 times like that, no matter, how good your intentions are, people just sees you as a crazy freak. A stupid, stalkering, overly paranoid, dotty, crazy freak.

To draw to a close this saga of woe that has been our company's Summer Party from hell, the only thing that is left to retell is this: what happened to the two wicked witches? Did they get their comupance?

Our head of HR dragged one of them into this office on Monday and gave her a bit of a 'talk'. He called me up to tell me what had happened, and what he'd said and he told me "she was extremely contrite about the whole situation". I would have given him the sort of response he was looking for, but I was desperately trying to find out the meaning of the word 'contrite' on the internet (I did do 2 unit related English at school... it is my first language,... you'd think my vocabulary would be a bit better wouldn't you?). When I found out it was "remorseful" I became all benevolant. However, when she called me to appologise, and say how she didn't mean to make me feel so bad, instead of feeling victorious, I just felt, well, embarrased. I couldn't wait for the phone call to be over quick enough. When she asked me if there was anything I'd like to say to her, so I could make myself feel better, my mouth dried up and I just said I wanted the whole thing to be done now, and just start again. I'm not sure if that's what she was hoping for, but I guess it was what I was hoping for. And the second woman? The one who called me up all those times, and yelled and bitched? I've not heard from her at all. Not that I'm going to hold my breath on that either.

So there you are. Hopefully another drama finished and done. I'll probably keep organising events for our company. But I'll be damned if I organise a nice one any time soon. All parties from now on will be upstairs in the crappy pub down the road, with beer nuts, sausage rolls and deep fried everything. No glam parties, no celebrities, no dressing up, nada. Lager and crisps only. You know, I'm not half sure if that isn't what people really want anyway...

Wednesday, August 22, 2007

What NOT to say at a vegan festival

When working at a vegan festival (remember, no animal products of any kind. No meat, no dairy, no eggs, no leather, no honey) here are some things you shouldn't say to customers. Definitely don't say any of these, then fall over yourselves laughing about it. (Oh I'll never be asked to work the stall again!)

1) Hmmm hammy
"This lady wants to know what are these shoes called?"
"Parma"
"Oh, you mean like the ham?"
"Um... more like the city...."

2) More baby seal skin

"So can you tell what the differences are between these two pairs of boots?"
"Well they are very similar, both water proof, both very sturdy, great for walking, so they're almost exactly the same. Well, except this pair is fur lined.... "
(me thinking: "oh shit!")
"Um, not mink though!"
(Me getting stern look)
"Um.. not fur of any kind... You're absolutely right sir, that wasn't funny at all..."

3) Beeatch
"So being a vegan means they don't believe in cruelty towards animals right? But cruelty towards humans is totally fine? So like that old bat being a bitch just now? That's completely within her ethos huh?"

4) The Colonel
"So what are you protesting about today?"
"The terrible things that KFC have done. It's an outrage and an abomination"
"You know you're right! It is an outrage they stopped doing hot and spicy chicken. I love that stuff, it was the best. All crunchy on the outside and spicy inside... And it's never quite been the same since. But still, an abominations a bit heavy going don't you think??"


Friday, August 17, 2007

10 mins and countdown

10 mins before we leave for our summer party. I have a dress on (which I'm not sure I like), as well as 2 pairs of shoes (1 pair of high heals, 1 pair of sparkly flats in case I can't walk anymore in high heals) plus a pair of black trousers to go under the dress (it looks alot better than it sounds...)

C said I should go and meet a celebrity and make the women who have been bitchy to me jealous. I said he would have to be a blind one for me to have any chance.... Is Stevie Wonder in London tonight??

I hope tonight goes well. I hope I don't end up fighting with anyone.. I hope my minders remember they are my minders....... I hope it doesn't rain...

God I'm nervous.

Thursday, August 16, 2007

Another day, another party, another rant.

Here are my top 5 reasons why I am sick to the gut with this fucking summer party. If you're a bit sensitive to swearing you might want to look away. Oh fuck! I've already said 'fuck' haven't I? Sweet damnation.


1) Ticket Stress:
Having gone through trying to make sure that everyone who says they are coming is in fact coming, I had, over the last 4 days, 4 cancellations. You'd think that with a guest list of 20 odd people that wouldn't be a problem right? Wrong. I've spent the last 2 days emailing and emailing and emailing people. I give them deadlines for when they have to tell me if they want to come. They ignore me. Like some sort of self flagillating, 'just abuse me' idiot I extend those deadlines. I even call them up to find out if they want to come.. I get lots of "yes I'm coming" then "oh, um, sorry, no can't make it". You'd think after all the "why can't I get a ticket" bullshit I had, I wouldn't have had any problem shifting those ticket eh? 30 emails, tons of phone calls and 3 days of the run around and only at 5pm today did I finally manage to do it. Yes

2) Inevitable "I have nothing to wear" Stress:
Girl from work: "so what are you wearing Friday night?"
Me: "I'm not sure why? What are you wearing?"
Girl From Work: "Well... i bought a black pencil skirt, and I'm wearing a satin black top. E is wearing a black skirt with a fish tail, and sequined satin top too. We'll both probably wear stilletos I guess"
Me: "Oh. Bugger".

Now I have 36 hours to find something to wear. And because recently it's been raining heaps (hey, we've had floods here, full on "God want's to smite thee" floods), I've not been cycling to work as much cause I am truly a baby when it comes to skidding on slippery areterial roads in London and dying horribly by having my brains smashed in by a lorry. So I've obviously chubbed up a bit. And now I think nothing I own looks good enough to me. Fuck Fuck Fuck. I complained to Li, who, like some sort of fashionista fairy god mother sent me what seemed like hundreds of links to different clothes and shops I could go to. Fabulous. Problem solved? Well.... haven't managed to make it to any shops yet... Hey I've got 1 shopping night left.... How hard can it be to come up with the perfect "I look cool, but I'm not trying to hard" outfit?

Yeah I know. I'm screwed.


3) Body Stress:
Number 2 obviously leads me straight to number 3. So in the next 36 hours I have to make sure I've exfoliated, body brushed, plucked, pruned, conditioned, moisturised and done whatever sort of agricultural cultivation I need to do. Obviously I had big plans to do some serious exercise this week. Ok Ok, ok so that didn't quite materialise. Still, it's great eyebrows that you get remembered for. Not being a size 0 model lookalike with perfect hair, makeup, and skin, who looks amazing in the skin tight, Posh Spice type clothes, who can attract every man they see. At least that's what all those fashion magazines with their size 0 models splashed across them keep telling us. Of course I know it's not what you look like, it's who you are. But who I am would be greatly enhanced with gravity defying breasts, toned abs, killer legs, and the latest Dior whathaveyou outfit. Personlity. That's what I'm going to keep telling myself I have. And hopefully great eyebrows.... Who the fuck am I kidding?

4) Guest List Stress
Grrrr. I have said over and over and over again that this venue works on a guest list system. I give out tickets, but their nothing more than a piece of cardboard with the address and time on them. Guest list: simple concept: you're not on it, you don't go in. Do people listen to me? Fuck no! I've heard in round about ways loads of people who have swapped their tickets with other people. Have they told me? Hell no. If they can't follow simple, easy, a CHILD would get it, instructions, then to hell with them.

5) Bitch Stress
The killer. The reasons why it is all so bleak.

I had yet another phone call from the woman from downstairs saying she heard people on the waiting list are getting tickets, and where did they come from? When I pointed out that these were the ones that had been returned (see point 1), she came back with "why was I not asked if I wanted a ticket?" - well, that's because she'd already bought one from the venue (that I had to fucking organise it for her myself), and did I mention that organising her social life isn't actually my job, with java developer as a neat side line? When I said this she told me "well you know I wanted to go, and I would have cancelled my own ticket". When I said I was working through the waiting list, and she wasn't on it and I had specifically asked her friend if they wanted to go on, she said "well you still should have asked us first. I demand that I should have been asked first" WOAAAH there woman. You're not on the list. You already had a ticket. YOU WEREN'T ON THE LIST. I went through the people who patiently waited for a ticket. Was I supposed to jump all those people and ask her? Is she supposed to be the Messiah or something? After a 5 minute conversation where I told her I was flabergasted at what else I could possibly have done for her, and besides she couldn't have cancelled because she wouldn't have got her money back, she screamed at me like a child, and she hung up on me like an adult. Oh yes, this is what I have to contend with.

She might think I'm some sort of push over that she can try to bully, who will just roll over and do what she wants because she seems to try to do this with everyone else, but that's going to hell change come Monday, when I put in a complaint about her behaviour. Oh yes my friends. Complaint. I am going to tattle on her to teacher like a kid in primary school whose being bullied by kids for lunch money. And I'm going to do this because I know on Friday night she's going to say something bitchy to me and you know what I say? "BRING IT ON". Come and fucking get me girl. Just. Do. It. I know it sounds childish, but one word, one wrong look, so much as a huff or sigh in my direction from these middle aged, high maitenance women and I am SO up for the fight come Monday.

Now my only problem is that I may need to get me some minders. Not to protect me from them, but to protect me from myself. A few drinks, and I am angry and upset enough (I was physically shaking this afternoon after that phone call), that I sincerly hope I do not say something stupid.

God I am sick of this fucking party. I do not want to go anymore. Staying at home, curled up on the couch with East Enders and a bucket of KFC sounds intensely more appealing right now. Fucking volunteering. Stupid people. Calv says he hates "people who blame everyone else for things that are their own fault" and with these people from work, I utterly agree.

Friday, August 10, 2007

Friday Moment of Zen: One for the boys, one for the girls

Upon my happy adventures on the interweb today, I have watched the following two things on YouTube, which though being so vastly different, both I watched with disbelief, and I submit them to you as the Friday Moment of Zen:


  1. Battle of Kruger: A deadly battle b'twixt lions, crocodiles and water buffalos (oh my!) over the life over a water buffalo calf.

    I watched in amazment how these lions dragged this baby buffalo to the ground! I watched in amazement as the lions where forced into a tug of war with a crocodile! I watched in amazement as the lions were finally beaten off by a herd of water buffalo. I also watched in amazement that this wasn't filmed by a nature program like Planet Earth, but simply by a dude with his video recorder, who says he barely knows how to use it. There is hope for me yet as an enthusiastic but lazy photographer, that maybe, by sheer dumb luck, I too might be ahble to take a photo of something remarkable one day.

  2. The GHD guide to curling your hair with your hair straighteners.

    I watched in amazment that you have to use 5 different hair products to make your hair curly. I watched in amazement that this video even exists. I watched in amazment that I think I've watched this before......


I will not submit which I think is the more interesting, nor which one I've categorised is for 'boys' or 'girls' as I think they hold equal value for both sexes. Especially for Mr Vigo Mortensen from 'A Perfect Murder' era, which I stayed up until 1am to watch last night.....

Possibly the lack of sleep is an explanation for why I am capable of watching utter garbage on the Tinterweb.

Leave me a comment which you find more a) intersting b) useful in life. Enjoy!

Wednesday, August 08, 2007

They just don't make them like this anymore

Currently my playlist contains lots of French, German and Spanish dance/rap music. So that means lots of MC Solaar, Kate Ryan, Run Lola Run, and some crap Jennifer Lopez spanish stuff she made before she got herself almost arrested for being with someone who carried guns to nightclubs, and called herself JLo... Basically at the moment, if it's in a language I can just understand, it's made the playlist.

Having listened to Désenchantée by Kate Ryan for about 20 times now, to work out all the words (and secretly to see if I can sing along correctly so if I ever end up in a Francophone kareoke bar again I can wow the crowds with out singing songs from Grease, or Africa by Toto), I decided to google the song, and found the original version of this, sung in the 90's by the French singer Mylene Farmer. A grace à (thanks to) YouTube, i found the video clip, and you know, they just don't make them like this anymore, though I'm trying to recall any english (I mean english speaking, not english british) video clips that are like this - set in a concentration camp, it features kids smoking, women eating bugs, people beating up the lead singer, a riot, death, fire, soldiers beating up an old man and a kid who can't be much past 10 killing some soldiers with a semi automatic rifle. Kinda puts all the video clips with the singer wrything around in skimpies, all lathered, trying to whore themselves for single sales to shame.

It's a brilliant song, but the video is a bit like watching Schindlers List crossed with Saving Private Ryan crossed with French pop.... Check it out...



If you're interested in the Kate Ryan version, that I am currently listening to on repeat check her out here. Filmed all around Brussels, it's kinda nice watching my spiritual home with eurotrash pop (sorry Kate, you're not eurotrash. You're not any kind of garbage. You rock you old thing! Even if you didn't make it to the last 12 at eurovision this year).

Si tu est intéresté, les paroles pour la chanson suive. Tellement, je l'adore, et je pense, finalement, que je peux le chanter sauf les petites erreurs:

Désenchantée:
Nager dans les eaux troubles
Des lendemains
Attendre ici la fin
Flotter dans l'air trop lourd
Du presque rien
A qui tendre la main

Si je dois tomber de haut
Que ma chute soit lente
Je n'ai trouvé de repos
Que dans l'indifférence
Pourtant, je voudrais retrouver l'innocence
Mais rien n'a de sens, et rien ne va

Tout est chaos
A côté
Tous mes idéaux : des mots Abimés...
Je cherche une âme, qui
Pourra m'aider
Je suis
D'une géneration désenchantée, désenchantée

Qui pourrait m'empêcher
De tout entendre
Quand la raison s'effondre
A quel sein se vouer
Qui peut prétendre
Nous bercer dans son ventre

Si la mort est un mystère
La vie n'a rien de tendre
Si le ciel a un enfer
Le ciel peut bien m'attendre
Dis moi,
Dans ces vents contraires comment s'y prendre
Plus rien n'a de sens, plus rien ne va.