Friday, June 29, 2007

Cleanliness is next to... impossible

I am not a fan of cleaning. I don’t like dusting, vacuuming, scrubbing or any other domestic chore. However I do like watching How Clean is Your House. Maybe I get some smug satisfaction from realising that by comparison I am positively virtuous – and yet sometimes I do think that I could wake up one day drowning in my own detritus.

It was on TV last night and at the end of the programme I felt the distinct urge to go and clean my bathroom and kitchen. I even cleaned out the microwave properly (heat a bowl of water in there for a few minutes and it works wonders in making to easy to just wipe off bits of food that has been stuck there for ages. See? I can be a domestic goddess. Or I feel that I have killed off a few bugs and might not give myself food poisoning for a few weeks yet. I did point out to G that I have a very good sickness record and put this down to having built up a really strong immunity to every bug known to man. G did suggest that as I have built up a fantastic immunity already perhaps it is time to try another tack and wipe down a kitchen surface on occasion. Humph.

Anyway, I’m glad it’s Friday and I have a busy weekend ahead, some of it fun and some of it doing things like picking up my parents from the airport. It’s an exciting life I tell you, I even ordered my new bathroom flooring last night, that’s about as exciting as it can get. For once my weekend doesn’t have many domestic activities in it, how will I survive?

Thursday, June 28, 2007

All change

Yesterday was one of *those* days. I got up and went into work at which point I realised that I didn’t have my glasses with me. I can’t read for more than a minute or two without getting a headache. This was not a good start to the day. My boss leant me some glasses temporarily but I had to go out and get some off the shelf type ones which were a bit stronger, but didn’t really match my prescription. By the end of the day I felt decidedly worn out and so left work slightly early.

I had a fairly quiet evening and has just phoned G and, as I was about to utter my first word, all the power went off where I live. Lights, TV, computer, everything… After a couple of minutes I went and spoke to my neighbour and he had the same problems. So then I phoned my electricity company and they confirmed that there was indeed a problem. I only had a small amount of power – mainly meaning very dim lights and not enough power to get anything to work properly. However after a while the lights got a bit brighter and that continued as the evening went on until all the power was restored. Then it was just a matter of reprogramming everything.

I spoke to G after I’d spoken to the electricity people and we had a bit of a catch up, although I think this was actually about the third time we’d spoken that evening. We don’t normally talk on the phone so often, but for some reason last night we did. By the end of that last conversation I actually felt a bit sad because G had said something to me that had bothered me and just made me think about some stuff. I think maybe I am just feeling a bit subdued at the moment anyway.

Anyway… in case you hadn’t noticed, Blair has finally gone. I think, regardless of my politics, it is a good thing that he has gone. I say that simply because in politics change, in some shape or form, has to enhance things because it increases accountability. Having a party in power for so long, particularly with the same leader throughout, is not good for making sure that the best and right decisions are made. So, do I think that Brown is a good replacement? Not really – not even elected by his own party, let alone anyone else, and seemingly the Prime Minister based on some deal cooked up in a restaurant in Islington over a decade ago. That doesn’t sound entirely the best way to form a government to me – and there’s something about him that I don’t entirely trust. Still, time will tell.

Wednesday, June 27, 2007

It's who you know...

So I’m back and in one piece. It was actually a very good trip and I was staying in a great hotel with amazing views. That was just lovely and an ideal place to stay for a romantic break (not that that is what I was on, this was a work trip).

Anyway, let me just rant about all the irritating things that happened. So… I got up just gone 6am on Monday morning and a taxi picked me up at 7am. I had checked in online the night before and so just had to go straight to the gate, as I try and carry everything as hand luggage when I go away with work. So I went through the search area but got stopped because they noticed there were some scissors in my wash kit (oops...). As the chap was searching my bag he took various items out and when he had finished I put them back and continued my journey.

It was only later that I wondered where my work mobile was and when I searched for it, I realised that I didn’t have it, despite knowing that I had set off with it that morning and actually seeing it when the guy searched my bag. In the end I had to conclude that my phone was still back in London and hadn’t made it back into my bag when they finished searching my bag. I tried to phone the airport to find out if they had it but couldn’t get any reply and in the end had to give up. I spoke to someone else that I was away with and a while later he said to me that he thought he knew someone who could help. A few phone calls later someone was on the case of recovering my phone and had a full description and said they’d let me know progress. By the time I flew back last night they’d found the phone and I walked off the plane and there was someone (a complete stranger, I might add) to meet me who handed my phone back to me. I did offer them a present for all their hard work but they assured me that they couldn’t possibly accept and said that they’d just been pleased that they could help and off they wandered. Amazing!

The other downsides to the trip were that I had breakfast about 6.30am on Monday morning and whoever had arranged the plans had failed to factor in lunch and so apart from a couple of biscuits at lunch time to keep me going, I didn’t eat again until gone 8pm. I felt really rough by then and ended up going to bed early because I had such a headache and generally wasn’t feeling too great. Remember people, I need to be regularly fed!

I did actually have a biscuit and a cup of tea when I got back to the hotel in the evening. BUT, I had to get them to get me some fresh biscuits as the packet that was in the room was open and one of the biscuits was half eaten. Taking into account that this was a four star hotel, I did think that was pretty poor – and I don’t think I have experienced that in *any* hotel previously. I also thought that the toilet smelt of vomit, which was not entirely pleasant and was particularly unwelcome as I was feeling ill anyway. While I was away I actually struggled to drink tea, yesterday just the thought of it made me feel sick. Folks, that is a serious matter, as I think tea is the best drink in the whole wide world.

Anyway, despite all that it was a really good couple of days and the venue and the views were actually fantastic. It’s funny how it’s always the bad things that we comment on though.

Sunday, June 24, 2007


A speedy post, as I am away with work tomorrow morning until Tuesday.

It’s been a busy weekend, but reasonably successful. I think I have found the new flooring I want for my bathroom and I just have to check what is under the carpet at the moment so that they put the right stuff under the lino and then go back and place my order. I decided on it at 5pm on Saturday afternoon just as the heavens opened and there was a torrential downpour. G and I stood outside the shop deciding where we could head to next which would mean that we got the least soaked. As we stood there the man in the carpet shop came out and gave me an umbrella and just asked me to return it later in the week. I think that man may have got himself a sale…

I also found some paint that I think is the colour I am going to paint my hall. I got a couple of different tester pots and G painted them on to the wall and even drew legs and feet on one of them *shakes head in despair*. Now the wall has got large squares on it, it does rather commit me to repainting it so I think that is the next job ahead. I just keeping realising what a large amount of work it is going to be and I think I’m also going to have to repaint the ceiling as that is very poorly done at the moment. *sigh* I loathe decorating.

This afternoon I was going to put my new desk together, but when I took it out the box I noticed it was damaged. So then I had to phone John Lewis and order a new one. They did say they would give me a discount instead if that helped but I decided that it was better to get a product in perfect condition than hope that the damage isn’t enough to mean that the whole desk might fall apart at some point. So I have to go and pick that up next weekend. Life just feels very busy at the moment and as though I don’t have enough time to get everything done. Still it makes life interesting I guess.

Anyway, I have to be up early tomorrow to hop on a plane. I’m not off anywhere exciting, but I should do some really interesting things while I am there. It’s just a shame about the early start. Back Tuesday...

Friday, June 22, 2007

Unethically ethical

Right a few medical type things to report.

First, I seem to keep having no bleeds this week. They’re not major nosebleeds but not entirely pleasant, I’m not entirely sure what that is about.

Second, while I was away on holiday I was climbing up a hill and had to put my hand on some gorse bushes at some points. Over the last couple of weeks some blemishes have appeared on my fingers and when I have inspected them I have found that it is a splinter from the gorse bush coming to the surface. I hadn’t even known they were there.

Finally, and you may wish to look away if you are squeamish, I was talking to the chap I used to work with who had an eye operation last year. I asked him how his eye was and he said “Fine, but a couple of weeks ago I removed my contact lens and noticed that the buckle they put behind my eye to hold it in place was sticking out of the side of my eyeball”. I was a little bit speechless about this. He continued “Anyway I went to the eye hospital and he just got a pair of tweezers and just yanked the buckle out”. I told him that I was glad that things were much better but that I really wished I hadn’t asked.

Anyway… at work last night (not that I was there) but they were going to be joining in on the London Light’s Outinitiative, where basically people and big organisations turned off unnecessary lights between 9 and 10pm. It was meant to achieve some phenomenal saving in electricity, which has to be a good thing. I do actually recall some celebrity saying a while back that she was going to make it her mission to get shops to turn off their lights at night. The thing is that I thought the primary reason for shops leaving their lights on was as a security measure so that if someone broke in they could easily be spotted. I wonder if there was a surge in the burglary rates last night?

I do try and do my bit for the environment, I recycle as much stuff as I can, I turn off lights, use energy saving light bulbs, use public transport over driving etc, but if I am honest I think I am far more motivated by saving money than saving the planet. I do think it’s important to do your bit for the planet and for future generations but I don’t think I am altruistic enough to have that as my primary motivation. Does that make me the Daily Mail version of an environmentalist? I can see the headlines now “Switch off your lights – and spend the money you save flying to the USA to go bear hunting” *starts to clean gun*

Thursday, June 21, 2007

Life on Mars

Yesterday I saw that the European Space Agency are looking for volunteers to spend 17 months in an isolation tank simulating a trip to Mars. They would get paid 120 Euros a day for doing this, although I guess the salary is irrelevant for the 17 months, as I don’t suppose they will have too many places that they can spend it. They would walk out about £40000 richer.

The article says “With the exception of weightlessness and radiation, the crew will experience most other aspects of long-haul space travel, such as cramped conditions, a high workload, lack of privacy, and limited supplies.”

Well I’m glad about the lack of radiation and slightly disappointed about not being able to experience weightlessness (which would have come in handy on a boring Sunday afternoon, think of the fun that could have been had) I can think of few things less appealing than spending a continued period of time locked up with five other people, with no escape - and you don’t actually even get to go to Mars.

The article makes some other, slightly alarming, points.

“In all, 12 European volunteers will be needed. They must be aged 25-50, be in good health, have "high motivation" and stand up to 185cm tall. Smokers, or those with other addictions, to alcohol or illicit drugs, for example, will be rejected.”

What is concerning is that only 6 people will take part in the experiment, so what happens to the other 6? Are they spares in case the original six get destroyed in a freak accident?

“European scientists have been asked to submit proposals for experiments in the areas of psychology, medicine, physiology and mission operations.”

So think ‘guinea pig trapped in a cage from which there is no escape’ and you may come back mentally unhinged or with slightly less limbs than you started with, but it will be for the good of science…

“Mounting a mission to Mars would face many other hurdles, not least of which would be shielding the crew against the potentially deadly dose of radiation they would receive on the journey.”

Well quite…

Anyway, I did send the article to G, who is looking for a new job at the moment, to which I received a reply “Are you trying to get rid of me for 17 months?” I said no, that I would pine the entire time and would eat Mars bars so that we could still feel close – but was likely to have put on considerable amounts of weight by the end of the mission.

Wednesday, June 20, 2007


I got home last night and switched on the TV and on channel five there was a programme called Payday. The basic idea of it is that people spend the programme trying to guess how much each other earns and if the person who gets through to the final round then manages to match the correct salary to each person you win the top-earners salary as the prize. But… but… surely that’s just not British! You’re not meant to sit around discussing salaries let alone going on national television and taking part in a game that means you broadcast it to millions of people (or a couple of old men and a whippet in the case of Five. Oh… and me last night…). The chap didn’t win because he failed to work out that the top earner (who earned £50000 a year) was a taxi driver. A taxi driver?? I’m going to think twice about giving a tip now though. Mind you taxi drivers probably spend most of that clearing up vomit from the back of their car.

I’m still on my search for a dishwasher and found a Bosch one that I like… but it seems that it has been discontinued. Pah! My search will continue - dishpan hands are going to be a thing of the past soon. Or G having dishpan hands to be more exact. I still haven’t chosen what colour to paint my hall either, which may be procrastination on my part to avoid actually having to get on and do some decorating. And I still have to find some new flooring for my bathroom. Life is so exciting.

I was talking to G yesterday because I have been wondering if the balance in our relationship is quite right. When G comes to stay we seem to spend most of the time doing things that I want to do – like tips to Ikea or the dump… By comparison I think G gets a bit of a raw deal and I’m not entirely sure that it is healthy to not at least consider if it is right and if we are equal. G said it’s fine and has been a welcome distraction from other things that have been going on and it’s nice to do things that are quite domestic. I can see that but I just want things to be fair between us and to ensure that we each get the chance to speak when necessary.

A few weeks ago G spoke to me about some stuff to do with A. I was a bit shocked by the conversation and G said a couple of things that just brought me up short and I was really upset by it. G didn’t say anything nasty and felt really bad about having upset me- it was just a bit of a kick in the guts to hear something that gave an indication of what A might think. However, it made me realise that whilst I might be concerned to do the right thing by A there is no way of knowing that would be reciprocated. I would assume that A is decidedly unimpressed with me and could have a very different reading of our relationship (and its aftermath) than me. It just made me realise that maybe I should actually be more concerned for myself than for A. Not that A is a nasty person, quite the opposite, but people’s views in the aftermath of a relationship can be somewhat scathing. Still, there’s nowt I can do about it - and I do actually trust G to be entirely reasonable. The situation with A still makes me sad though and I think it always will, but I guess that’s just one of those things.

Tuesday, June 19, 2007

No messing

While I was on holiday I went to Portmeirion which is where “The Prisoner” was filmed. A really fascinating place – a Mediterranean village in North Wales.

Anyway, I learnt some new philosophies to apply at work. A famous quote from The Prisoner, which I would love to have as my wallpaper on my work computer if I could find an image of it on the internet – of how it sums up what I would like to say:

I will not make any deals with you. […] I will not be pushed, filed, stamped, indexed, briefed, debriefed or numbered. My life is my own. I resign.

Oh yes…

However, as it isn’t actually practical to rage against the machine in that way, instead I bought two postcards. Now, I need not utter a word and can simply hold up a card should colleagues ask me things that I do not wish to comply with.

I will not be pushed

I will make no deals

Don’t mess with me.

Monday, June 18, 2007

In the family

Another tiring weekend – and an extended weekend at that what with being off work on Friday. It was a good day off and I met up with my mum and sister and we went for lunch at Giraffe on the South Bank and then went to a photo exhibition. All very pleasant. Then G came over in the evening and we ate pizza and had a nice time.

Poor old G had to put up with traipsing after me as I sorted out picking up bits of furniture and contending with lots of traffic jams. The best furniture related success this weekend was going to Ikea (again… but it’s better than going to the dump) and buying the chairs to go with my table. When I got them home I realised that Ikea’s ‘beech’ is not the same as John Lewis’s ‘beech’ and so the table and chairs I had were not going to match. I took the chairs back to Ikea and exchanged them for birch ones instead because that was much more similar to the colour I needed. These were cheaper than the beech ones anyway (two thirds of the price) BUT Ikea have something called the Ikea Family and if you swipe the Ikea Family card you get a bigger discount on some products. It just so happened that the chairs in birch were on offer for people with one of those cards. So, instead of the chairs costing me £100 I paid £50. An absolute bargain.

I then put a couple of the chairs together and G and I had a very civilised bite to eat sitting at a table rather than eating off our laps. I still have a desk to put together and will do that one night this week and things will begin to look more sorted at last.

Anyway, all in all a nice weekend. It was of course Father’s day yesterday. A day that I did not mark in anyway, which has been the case for many years now. I did have a few brief moments where I felt kind of upset by it all and g was just very sweet about it and then we just got on with some other stuff and it was fine. It prompted some thoughts in my mind though which I will mull over a bit more and then may mention here.

On other matters though, here is a strangely addictive game. Of course because it is to do with google, I in no way endorse this product - but don’t get too distracted at work playing it.

Friday, June 15, 2007

Late starts

A late start today, as I am off work. It’s my mum’s birthday tomorrow so my sister and I are meeting up with mum later and going out for lunch and to a photographic exhibition.

Last night I was trying to be industrious again and went out to sort some furniture and bought a desk and dining table. I can collect them on Saturday. Yay! I haven’t bought the dining chairs yet though and they’re not in stock at the moment so I’m not quite there yet. This morning I am going out for a browse for a dishwasher, which my mum has kindly said that she will pay for. I’m getting where I live sorted slowly but surely.

G is staying this weekend, which made me think back to last weekend. When G was here last week I felt a bit irritable at a couple of points (with myself rather than directed at G. It was mainly due to being hungry. I really need to be regularly fed) and on the Saturday evening I went a bit quiet because there was that nagging voice in my head making me question whether I really was this totally unreasonable person that my friend had accused me of being last year - and wondering what G would do if it turned out to be true. So I just withdrew a little because I felt a bit vulnerable I suppose. G was tired and went to bed earlier than me and a while later I went and lay down next to G and we didn't really speak beyond a tiny bit of small talk. After a bit G asked me what was going on inside my head and to begin with I didn't know quite what to say but then after a few minutes we talked about it and G listened and was just very kind and everything felt ok again after that. It's such a nice position to be in, that you can just be yourself and admit that sometimes you're a bit rubbish and that is alright.

Anyway, last night I went to Tesco and while I was there I bought some Lurpak. One of the things that G and I differ on is our taste in products to spread on toast. I use Diet Flora, G hates this with a passion and likes Lurpak. I had a small bit or Lurpak but as it was running out had to buy some more so I was talking to G about it – do I get the 250g, 500g or 1kg pack. We decided that 250g would suggest that we’re expecting things to be short lived between us and 1kg would seem like a big commitment so 500g it is. It shows a certain expectation but is not too presumptuous. It’s all about compromise.

Thursday, June 14, 2007

Spot the difference

I was somewhat concerned to read an article yesterday which suggests that sometimes women look for a partner who look like their father. I sent G an e-mail with an assurance that this was not the case for me. The likeness between Nigella Lawson's father, Nigel Lawson, and husband, Charles Saatchi, is uncanny, although I guess the BBC searched for a photo that particularly illustrated the point. I also saw an article in the paper about this research and they showed a photo of Zoe Ball's father, Johnny Ball, and husband, Norman Cook and again the likeness was striking.

I have to say that I would be utterly horrified to discover that my criteria in someone to go out with was in anyway connected to wanting them to emulate my father. If I was looking for someone who has a drink problem, is unreasonable and very self-absorbed then someone like my father would be ideal. Otherwise perhaps not... It's no secret that I do not get on with my father and I would hope that he would influence me to the degree of making me want to be sure that anyone I went out with was in no way similar. I think that to date we can safely say that has been the case.

I tend to like people who are very kind and gentle and are willing to talk about things and are just reasonable. I have to say that G does actually match these qualities well and is just a very decent sort, which is good.

Anyway lets look at some family resemblances.

Nigella Lawson is married to Charles Saatchi:

Her father is Nigel Lawson:

Zoe Ball is married to Norman Cook:

Her father is Johnny Ball:

I think it's the smile that must have done it.

Marge Simpson is married to Homer Simpson:

Her father is Clancy Bouvier:

Note the similar colouring, the shape of the eyes and the nose.

Katie Holmes is married to Tom Cruise:

This is her father:


Wednesday, June 13, 2007


I spent yesterday evening sorting out where I live a bit more. I am finally trying to sort out my spare room and so put together a new bookcase last night which went in the living room, then moved the book case from the living room into my bedroom and then the one that was in my bedroom into the spare room. I am being remarkably industrious at the moment and G keeps telling me that I don’t have to do everything all in one go, but I seem to have finally got some enthusiasm for trying to sort out where I live a lot more and so am making the most of it. Next on the list are deciding what colour to repaint my hall, finding some new bathroom flooring and also a new fireplace for the living room. It’s dead exciting in my world.

I do keep thinking of things that to say on my blog but then don’t seem to have time to pull my thinking together and get it down in writing. I will try harder to do so soon and then you will get more than an update on my latest DIY activities. Honest… I have also got behind on reading people's blogs but am going to try and catch up over the next few days and maybe even leave a comment or two.

I was talking to G on the phone last night. G has been off viewing a few new places to move to and hopefully has found a suitable place. We were evaluating them using a rating system and it was as tense as waiting for the election results to come in. Yes, that exciting! Anyway, I feel the magic may have gone out of relationship. While we were talking G said to me “Do you mind if I go? I really need to do a poo.” I’m not one to stand in the way of a bowel movement but I think we appear to be past the stage of feeling we really need to impress each other.

Tuesday, June 12, 2007

Weighty matters

I started off this week rather tired, not least because I woke up in the early hours of Monday morning because I could hear G eating in the kitchen (half a mars bar as it turned out – the other half is on offer if you want it). I can’t say that I generally get peckish in the night but if you’ve got to eat, you’ve got to eat. That is a philosophy that I often live by not least illustrated yesterday when I realised that I had taken lunch into work but was actually going to a meeting where it was provided. My solution? Eat them both. Although the lunch I had taken in with me was healthy, it still isn’t great for the waistline to eat two lunches.

I weighed myself last night and was not too impressed with the result, so I think I need to actually go on a bit of a health kick and eat a bit more healthily and work a bit more exercise into my life. This still doesn’t spur me on to join the gym at work, but I think I might have to fit a bit more walking into my life. They say that being in a relationship can mean that you put on weight, something to do with being contented and maybe that you decide you no longer need to make an effort with your personal appearance. However, a month in is probably a bit early to be letting it all go.

You may note that a couple of months ago I said that I need to be a bit healthier. I started well and then went away on holiday, which should have got me fitter what with it being a walking holiday but in reality all I did was eat food and look at the nice views – but still ate the hearty meals prepared each evening. Oops…

So… I need to be more diligent and not eat lots of bad things and try and eat some vaguely good things and fit in some exercise and…. This is so not going to happen. Perhaps I should just go out and buy some larger clothes.

Monday, June 11, 2007


I had a very domestic weekend and now need to go back to work for a rest. G stayed over Thursday night and then Friday night and then it turned into Saturday and Sunday night as well.

G needs to find somewhere new to live and on Friday night was looking at a place near where I live and so stayed over. I can’t quite remember what happened Saturday that meant G didn’t go home but we certainly ended up wandering round John Lewis and Ikea discussing various furniture items for my place. G had never been to Ikea before – something that I would not have thought was humanly possible, but it seems that a 34 year old could have lived a life that did not involve Ikea. I think visiting Ikea was a life changing experience for G but mainly in a slightly perplexed “this is what I waited all these years to experience?” kind of way.

Then G was going to go home early on Sunday but instead ended up searching for properties on the internet and time ticked on and it didn’t seem worth G going home - and there was also some flat packed furniture to put together. I did explain to G that spending an evening with someone putting together furniture from Ikea was a major step towards getting married, particularly if you can get through it without arguing. We each looked furtively around and edged slightly closer to the door. There were no arguments and G’s scientific brain came in very handy for working out the instructions. We did find it handy each to be armed with a screw driver or other such implement should the other get any ideas though…

Friday, June 08, 2007

With this rock...

While I was on holiday I fulfilled my duty of bringing back edible items for people in my office. This included purchasing something suitable for my colleague R who was away on holiday in the rather more exciting destination of Athens. He had said to me that he would bring me back a rock – sadly not alluding to diamonds but an *actual* rock - so I told him I would bring him back some sheep poo. True to his word on his return to work he whipped a small piece of rock out of his pocket and wove a story about all the people throughout history who may have walked across that very piece of rock that came from some famous Greek historical site. In return I handed him some sheep poo of an edible nature*.

After we had exchanged our gifts my colleagues then broke the news to me that the exchange of sheep poo and a rock mean that you are *actually* then married. It is apparently an ancient ritual that binds the two of you together in an unbreakable bond. I did protest due to being unaware of this rite, but was told that there is no escape - the deed is done. I have therefore asked them for a dishwasher as a wedding present, as I figure G might not be quite so willing to fulfil the one month anniversary gift given that I have accidentally married someone. I’m not willing to give up on the prospect of getting a dishwasher without a fight though, so am trying to make the most of my slight faux pas.

As I had not already broken the news to G of my marriage, we still went out to dinner last night to celebrate our one month anniversary. We went to a very nice Lebanese restaurant and had a good meal. The waiter was very funny and flirted with anyone and everyone and at times it felt a bit as though we were round at his house for the evening. At one point he switched off all the lights and just said “I’m bored with you all now. I don’t want to see you.” We all sat there in the dark wondering what he was going to do and then some music started and we all had to sing happy birthday to a somewhat embarrassed fellow customer. It was very amusing, although I am not sure she agreed. Anyway, a nice evening and I’m hoping it may have encouraged G to buy me the dishwasher.

*Therefore not actual sheep poo. That very amusing Welsh sense of humour means that you can purchase chocolate covered raisins under the guise of them being sheep poo. There is also a range of dragon, seagull and other such creatures’ excrement on sale. Delicious.

Thursday, June 07, 2007


You may recall that a couple of days ago I said I am totally rubbish at remembering significant dates. Well despite G having already pointed out to me that yesterday we had been going out for a month, I still managed to forget and only remembered when G sent me an e-card saying “happy monthiversary”- that well known anniversary. It did give me the opportunity to remind G that the normal gift for a one month anniversary is a dishwasher and for a two month anniversary is a dining table and chairs. By amazing coincidence these are the next items I am looking to buy – life has an amazing symmetry to it sometimes.

Anyway, tonight we are going out for dinner (assuming I remember to turn up!) and that should be a really nice evening. One of the things that G and I certainly have in common is that we like nice things but if you can get it at a bargain price, all the better! So we are going to a nice restaurant but have managed to get a really good offer on it. Being Scottish may explain G’s liking for a bargain, I have no such excuse and am therefore just tight. Mind you, if my present of a dishwasher doesn’t turn up then I may appreciate having the bit of extra cash to purchase one.

While I was in Wales last week I saw that quite a few cars had Welsh flags on their number plates. I was thinking about that and how I don’t think there’s anything weird about seeing a Scottish or Welsh flag on a car, but if I saw someone with the English flag or a Union Jack for that matter, I would recoil at it. I think an English or Union Jack just instantly makes me think of fascism and that the person driving the car must be a member of some far-right political party. I realise that is a complete generalisation and stereotype, but somehow I find people being pro-English brings out an irrational response in me.

I saw yesterday that the idea of a British Day is being discussed and this seems to have backing from some in government. If it means an extra bank holiday then I’m all for it – although when they introduced a national day in Sweden they had to give up another bank holiday in exchange, which is not so great. Of course if we did go for the idea there will then be some major argument about what day to have it on, as if it is a day for Britain it can’t be on St George’s, St Andrew’s or St David’s Day. I think there is something in me that feels a bit uncomfortable with a national day. I think it is good to celebrate who we are, but if some of the impetus is because of the rise in the number of migrants to the UK then if there is something underlying this of reasserting our ‘Britishness’ in the face of that then it could be deemed to be a bit racist. Having said that it we *did* get an extra bank holiday, all of my reservations could gout the window. It’s good to have principles.

Wednesday, June 06, 2007


Despite having been on holiday last week I still have… wait for it… 48 days leave to take. This may take some doing, but I have decided to make a bit more of a dent in it by booking a week off in July. I plan to use part of the week sorting out where I live. This will include getting a new bathroom floor fitted – no more carpet for me – sorting out furniture for my bedroom and the spare room which should then finally have a desk in it and maybe getting a new fire place fitted in the living room. I really know how to live…

I sent G an e-mail to say that I need to do something to get through all my leave and that I planned to take a week off. I also took it as an opportunity to encourage G to get a new job because being a temp means taking time off equals no pay. Anyway, regardless of that I think we are going to go away for a couple of days at the end of my week off. I don’t think it will be anywhere very exotic, maybe just a couple of days at the coast eating ice cream, but it will be really nice anyway. I think I could get used to this taking time off work malarkey. Yay!

The other day I saw that some chap was convicted of sending vast amounts of spam. “Result!” you may think, except in the last few days the amount of spam I have received to my yahoo account has increased about tenfold. It seems that justice may not have been as effective as it might have thought. Grr.

Tuesday, June 05, 2007


Judging by the comments on the BBC news website, I am not the only person to think this, but what is going on with the new Olympic logo? I saw it on the news several times during the day, in its hideous array of colours but it was only when I saw it in the newspaper that I realised that it was actually made up of the four digits 2012. It also irritated me that on the BBC they kept saying that it has been designed by “youngsters” – what actually is a youngster?? I just found the word quite patronising and generally was entirely unimpressed by the whole thing. I think a petition has been started to change the logo, but I think the chance of that happening are very low, I reckon we’re stuck with it. On the BBC news website they asked people to send in their alternative options and those were all far better. Some of them wouldn’t work in reality, but at least I could understand them. I feel like I am about 90 years old and shaking my head at the youth of today.

To once again prove how romantic I am, G asked me the other day what date we started to go out and so I said what it was (6 May) and G then said “So are we going to go out on 6 June to celebrate?” To be honest, it hadn’t even crossed my mind and I did actually have to sheepishly admit that I am actually busy that evening. It’s not that I don’t want to celebrate it, I just don’t always pay much attention to ‘significant’ dates (it’s my dad’s birthday today and I only thought of that yesterday and had to go out and buy a card and get it in the post), but am quite happy to celebrate it – when people remind me! Anyway, we are not going out for dinner on Thursday night, which G (generously!) seemed to find equally acceptable. I really need to work on my technique and do things with G other than go to the dump and letting G do all my washing up. I just can’t understand why I was single for so long.

Monday, June 04, 2007


Back at last! I actually returned on Friday and then got distracted by G staying for the weekend, who required lots of TLC due to food poisoning (contracted prior to the weekend I might add, I was not responsible for it). Apparently Billy Connolly once said something along the lines of there is no such bad thing as bad weather, only a bad choice of clothes - and those certainly were wise words while I was away, as the weather left much to be desired.

Wales was good and the house we all stayed in was lovely and much nicer than expected. It has to be said that there was not much walking by me, unless walking to my car or around a castle counts but I really enjoyed myself. Most of the people I only know because we go on holiday with each other every year, but we always have a really nice time together and new people occasionally join the group and they are made as welcome as anyone else. You have to be willing to engage in slightly obscure science type conversations on occasion – two of the people are science teachers, one is a geologist etc etc, but it is always very funny and even being as ignorant as me about science has never meant that I cannot add an ill-informed comment.

There was someone I know who came along for the first time (invited by someone else). I picked her up in Oxford on the way, which was useful as she could then navigate the last part of the journey to the obscure place we were staying. We did rather better than another friend who had not received the final part of the directions by e-mail and spent an hour and half within about a three mile radius of where we were staying but just could not locate the exact place. Fortunately she persevered and eventually located where we were staying, having asked pretty much everyone in the vicinity for directions.

Anyway, the friend I gave a lift to could be described as a bit dopey on occasion. I think she would say this herself. This was epitomised by her telling me one evening that she hadn’t noticed that the porch door was shut and only realised when she bounced off the door. Now admittedly it did have glass in the door, but it wasn’t clear glass and it also had a big wooden frame. How do you not notice a door? Anything that could be spilled, dropped, tripped over or any other possible dire circumstance my friend managed to achieve. She should have come with a health warning that she should not be left unattended at any point. She survived though, despite spilling tea on herself (twice) when we stopped at a service station on the way home.

It felt like an extended holiday coming home and knowing that G was going to be about for the weekend and we had such a nice time – even including the trip to the local dump (twice). I’m dead classy, I am. Do you think it is possible that we have already passed that point of needing to impress each other??

I’ll say a few more bits about my time away over the next few days, but now it’s back to work. Time to start planning the next holiday.