Thursday, 30 April 2009

I haz a happy

Ah, I've been a little stressed today, what with one thing and another, but I just got made all happy again.

I came back to my office to find a little package on the floor, it was a bag of Pernigotti chocolates and a handmade card with a giraffe drawn on the front :)

I gave some zoo tickets to one of the guys at work a couple of weeks back, knowing he had little kiddies, and it was a little thankyou present, the card was drawn and written in by his 7 year-old daughter.

It's really sweet and thoughtful I think. The card is now gracing my key cabinet and the choccies are....well.....I'm sure you can guess. I'll put up a pic when I can find a digital camera that works, bloody work hardware!!!

I haz a happy :)

Tuesday, 28 April 2009

What have I been up to??

Well, blogging may be a bit sparse for the next few days, unless I do it like this, work.

I've finally started packing, and have decided to take Friday off work for the big move, dad's going to help me move my stuff Friday and Saturday which is all good.

I've taken a book off my reading list, huzzah! I have to decide which one to tackle next now...hummmmmmm.

Weight Watchers tonight, I'm fattening myself up for a weighing today, the fatter I am tonight, the easier it'll be to be lighter next time! Especially when I have a week of boozing and overeating planned. I'm going to be the worst dieter they've ever met!

Covering the London Marathon was tiring, though not as tiring as for those running it I suspect. I went home to get fed by mum and dad, I was delivered to my flat, fell into bed and slept like a log that night.

That's all for now I think, I shall update you on the hilarity that shall be WW tonight, and the hilarity that shall ensue subsequently as I'm accompanying Jobie to a gig tonight.

Blood River - Tim Butcher

I have just finished reading Tim Butchers Blood River - A Journey to Africas Broken Heart. As well as being one of the most entertaining reads I have enjoyed for a while, it has also been one of the most harrowing.

In 2004, after years of obsession and planning, Tim (journalist for The Telegraph) takes the dive and travels to the Congo with the aim of following in the footsteps of Henry Morton Stanley, the man responsible for the world famous soundbite 'Dr Livingstone, I presume?' after tracking down David Livingstone in the Congo jungle in 1871. Stanley was the first white man to charter the Congo River with his expedition in the 1870's. Unfortunately this expedition was one of the major sparks leading to the colonialism of central Africa and the increase in the slave trade.

Travelling by motorbike, pirogue, boat and helicopter, Tim makes his journey from Kalemie in the East of the Congo, through to Boma in the West, not far from where the Congo empties into the Atlantic. Along the way he discovers the true extent of the collapse of Congolese economy and society since 'independence' in the 1960's, the depth of governmental corruption that has caused this downturn, and the alarming level of violence inflicted upon villagers by pro/anti government/Rwanda/Uganda rebel groups. The most striking aspect is the evidence of regression, or 'undevelopment', one such example of this is the complete degradation of extensive transport links that were established in the Congo under colonial rule:

"Above me towered canyons of green, as layer after layer of plant life filled the void between forest floor and treetop....I took a few steps and felt my right boot clunk into something unnaturally hard and angular on the floor....I was a cast-iron railway sleeper, perfectly preserved and still connected to a piece of track....what made it so horrible was the sense that I had discovered evidence of a modern world that had tried - but failed - to establish itself in the Congo....a place where railway track had once carried trainloads of goods and people had been reclaimed by virgin forest....a place where the hands of the clock spin not forwards, but backwards".

Since Tim completed his journey in 2004 the notorious Ugandan rebel group the Lords Resistance Army (LRA) led by Joseph Kony has fled over the border from Northern Uganda and taken refuge in the Congolese bush, the violence still hasn't stopped.

Pouring money into the Congo, as well as a number of other countries on the African continent, is not going to help matters. As long as greedy, corrupt dictators are still in power and funnelling aid money into their personal coiffers, not much can be done to allieve the situation. Until law and order is introduced, and a justice system put in place that can hold these leaders accountable for their actions, the Congo will continue on it's downward spiral.

Read this if you want your eyes opened.

Friday, 24 April 2009

Bull in a Supermarket?

Haw haw haw, check this out! A bull in a supermarket in Bellinrobe, Northern Ireland. Caught on CCTV doing some shopping.

So much for a bull in a china shop, the beastie didn't even make any mess until people started harranguing him! Can't a bull just be left to grocery shop in peace anymore?? Or maybe he was trying to rob the joint.

A Fresh Start?

Ahhh, fire alarm! I just spent a few minutes standing out in the sun because the fire alarm had been set off by some workmen. Thank you Mister Water-Hygiene-Contractor. I'm in a good mood today, though it's my last day without the boss in the office, I may have to take advantage and indulge in one of those San Miguels that have been sitting in the fridge for a year! Oh, hang on, he has this URL.....Hi Bruce...I would NEVER steal your beer, promise.

*uncrosses fingers*

So, many things in my life are changing at the moment. In just over a week I'm moving all the way to the other side of London, the dreaded 'North of the River'. I've always been a 'Southerner' so I hope they don't all beat me with sticks, I've heard that's what the 'Northeners' do. I know it's not exactly far, but it'll be the furthest I've ever moved from home, so for me it'll be a little bit of an adventure...pathetic as that may sound! I have lots of mates up there though, so I'm looking forward to life from a new angle.

I'm relatively newly single, and have been single before (shocked?? I know) so it's not as exciting as the moving. I'm still in that post-relationship 'NO!! Stay away from me!' phase. I felt really bad ending it all and whenever a bloke even glances in my direction I see our whole relationship flashing before my eyes and ending in either a mad whirlwind of tears and snot, or complete overwhelming relief (for him)...neither of which is good. So I swiftly do the crab-style side-scuttle and run off in the opposite direction, while the aformentioned guy (who was about to inform me that I had toilet paper hanging out of my flies) watches in amused puzzlement.

So! As I do every time I move house, which seems to be every six months at the moment, I have resolved to turn over a new leaf on the health and fitness front. One can only wonder how long THIS leaf will take to curl up and die a miserable, chubby death. However, I am hoping that posting my intentions on here will shame me into making a real go of it this time, in a similar way to the Reading List I published a week or so ago (more than halfway through 'Blood River' now). On Tuesday evening Jo and I are attending our first session of...wait for it....


I know I know, I KNOW it's all a big money-making scheme!! The thing is, I'm unhappy with my weight...but I'm not unhappy enough to really push myself to diet properly, I need some external influence. I'm hoping the combined efforts of weekly weigh-ins, and the knowledge that I'm paying GOOD MONEY for all this piffle will inspire me to work at it. What I'm mostly looking forward to is recipe ideas etc, as I do quite enjoy cooking be creative in the kitchen, so I think this will be good for me. I'm going to kill Jo with my attempts at vegetarian cookery!

I think my main problems stem from the evils of beer and bread! Mostly beer probably, though I have been known to consume 2 garlic batons in a day....they're TOO delicious!! SHAME!! SHAME ON ME AND MY GARLIC BREATH!! Do you have any idea how awful you feel sitting, covered in crumbs, after eating a whole garlic baton to yourself? So bad! So bad in fact, that you cheer yourself up with another garlic baton...oh yes. It's a vicious, stinky circle my friends.

The beer is an evil I find hard to avoid, but I'm going to have to try my best to cut down, sob! Maybe keep it to 3 pints instead of 5? Is that good enough? Baby steps people, baby steps. I don't think I can stand the though of G&T's...shudderment

Exercise...hmmm. Gyms don't do it for me at all, there is no point me joining a gym. I prefer to exercise at home, but there are so much more interesting things at television and cake. We'll see how the 'exercise' thing goes shall we, one thing at a time :o) I'll start by walking up the stairs at work instead of taking the lift....

....prepares petition to be moved to ground floor for 'health' reasons.....

This is going so well so far isn't it! For those of you who may not want to follow my dietary trials and tribulations, my intimate conversations with a black forest gateaux, the desperate struggle against cheese and beer...I may create another blog especially for these details. Or I may just hound you all, I haven't yet decided, you lucky things you..

Sun picture kindly stolen from

Thursday, 23 April 2009

Drumroll plz.......

Todays Lolcat izzzzz:

Kitteh burrito :o)

You simply MUST check out this website, a favourite of Jo and myself

Have a great day x

Wednesday, 22 April 2009


The TV in our front room was unceremoniously blown up a couple of weeks ago now, which may explain why I've been spending SO much time on the internet recently!

I've discovered the wonders of BBC iPlayer and ITVPlayer, I've been catching up on all the delights television has to offer. I think that during the last week I've actually watched more telly per day than I did when the TV was working. This is partly due to the fact that I can pick whatever I want to watch whenever I want to watch it (assuming it's available, I couldn't believe iPlayer wasn't playing Hi De Hi, tut!), but also due to the fact that it's not an endless reiterating timetable.

I used to wander in from work, switch onto Channel 4+1 and watch the end of the Paul O'Grady show (or Come Dine With Me), then the Simpsons, after which I'd usually end up on Virgin 1 watching some kind of X-Files or Star Trek series (unless Dog Whisperer was on). This just became habit though, and mostly I'd just sit listening to it whilst surfing the net, ask me at 8pm I couldn't tell you what the episode of Simpsons at 7 had been about! It can't be good for the old brain cells.

Anyway, the thing I've become slightly obssessive about recently is Hells Kitchen. There's something about Marco Pierre White, and I'm not sure what it is, he's not classically handsome...especially with that scabby dishrag tied round his head! I think it's the sense that there's something slightly dangerous, slightly wild and very exciting just itching to burst out of him....I mean his pants......No, I mean him. He's an enigma, and a bit of mystery never did anyone any harm. I get the impression that when he looks at you, in that way that makes you wee a little bit in your undercrackers, it feels like he's looking right into the depths of your soul! I'd crack under the pressure and start to confess everything like he's some kind of demi-god, 'I give up!! I CONFESS!!!! I stole the pasta, I STOLE it ok???..... hour later, 'and then, when he wasn't looking, I trapped a fart in his lunchbox, only a little bit of poo came out. He always ignored me at school after that!!'........

No one, least of all Marco needs to know about all that, so I think it's a good thing that a) I'm not a celebrity and b) I'm not in Hells Kitchen.

Anyway *cough*

So I'm with St John covering the London Marathon on Sunday, with a tad of trepidation I must say. The marathon was my first duty ever last year, but we were at the Cutty Sark and I was really new etc etc. Now I've been there a year and we're at the finish line, no-holds-barred time. It's going to be really busy, especially if the weather keeps up, it'll be good though, it's all good experience.

Right, I've just frightened myself into swotting up in the old first aid manual for a while, not before another dose of the lovely Marco and Hells Kitchen though. Personally I'm rooting for Ade Edmondson or Naomi (Miss Dynamite-ee), come on guys!!!!
p.s. Sorreh, I couldn't find a piccy with that crappy dishrag! I think maybe he breaks the cameras of people who try and take one.

Tuesday, 21 April 2009

Some cultural and environmental rants

Wandering around the BBC website today threw up a couple of gems for me. The first was a story about a sickness in Nicaragua, the local Miskito people call it 'Grisi Siknis', it's been around since the 1850's. It manifests itself in teenagers in what they describe as a 'madness'. Giddiness followed by collapse and seizure with the sufferer seeming to have abnormal strength. Sometimes sufferers will run around and tear their clothes off. One individual described the experience: "Then, I saw something coming towards me - a kind of black man or a dragon that entered me and possessed me."

Until recently it has only afflicted the Miskito, but there has now been a case in someone of Spanish descent.

Western doctors haven't even begun to unfold the mystery of this illness, despite having taken blood tests from individuals suffering attacks, they can find nothing wrong with them clinically. Put it short, they're baffled.

The only person who isn't baffled seems to be Dona Porcela, a traditional healer. Using a combination of black magic and potions, she performs a type of ritual exorcism. After 3 or 4 days the symptoms have disappeared.

We could quibble over the nature of the disease, is it a disease at all? Is it more of a cultural 'meme' spread via some kind of religious fervour? Is it all in the head? This might explain why the ritual exorcism that the Miskito people have so much faith in solves the problem.

We don't know yet and we hate that! :o)

Personally I think it's refreshing to be reminded that there are yet things we don't understand, and hopefully even more puzzling things yet to be discovered.

Read the entire story here:

The second story that caught my eye was the following:

'Volcano Eruption Threatens the Galapagos'

The Galápagos Islands are an archipelago of VOLCANIC islands. The oldest was formed between 5 and 10 million years ago, the newest are still in the process of being formed, as is shown by this eruption on one of the youngest islands, Fernandina. The Galápagos are situated above a volcanic hotspot, or a weakening in the earth crust which allows mantle through. These eruptions help to form the new islands.

Islands formed like this take a while to become colonised (in terms of wildlife), it really depends on how close they are to the nearest landmass and in what direction the wind tends to blow, but lets make a conservative estimate that the creatures living on this archipelago have been living and evolving there for at least a million years.

Methinks they have, and can still cope with a volcanic eruption or two. Perhaps journalism should be focussing on the number one threat to diversity on the Galápagos, introduced species of flora and fauna outcompeting local species. Or overfishing leading to depletion of the marine wildlife. The most recent wave of extinction is being caused by man via deforestation, pollution, poaching, introduced species, etc etc. These species have evolved to live in the environment they inhabit, volcanos and all, but they haven't had time to evolve to live with us.

Don't get me wrong, there are many endemic species on the Galápagos, and if we were to lose them due to this eruption then it would be an awful loss to global diversity. In my view though, at least we'd have lost them to nature and not to any man-made threat...

View this video at :

Monday, 20 April 2009

My plans for South America much for spending the weekend packing :o). So far I have erected (snortle) a grand total of ONE of those cardboard boxes.....and there's nothing in it! At least I have them though, so when I've left everything till the last second in a couple of weeks time they'll be ready and waiting!

Those of you who know me well know I have wanted to go travelling for AGES!! It's only relatively recently that I've really been able to afford to save properly for it though. There are 3 main areas I want to visit, South America, Africa, and South-East Asia. I still haven't really decided whether I should do 3 mini trips (4-6 months each) or whether I should save a couple of years longer and bugger off to do the lot. Having spent a bit of time looking at what I want to do in South America, I think doing everything in one would be too much, I'd be so knackered that I wouldn't appreciate it.

I have spent most of the day (apart from the bit spent rolling around complaining of a hangover) becoming increasingly frustrated with my ineptitude for Google Earth/Maps, but I've finally come up with something, and here it is!

View South America Route in a larger map

This is REALLY simplified, in more ways than one, bear in mind I won't be going for at least a year. I'm also a great believer in not over-planning, especially on a big adventure like only leads to stress, stress and more stress. As I always say to my mates...wait and see! Zoom in a little to see the route better, I wouldn't zoon in too far though, my skill with this thing is limited, and it would soon cease to make any sense whatsoever!

I haven't got some of those big red lines figured yet, do I fly it? Expensive...but a long way to bus or train. I'd bus or train if I found something I wanted to see which would break the journey up a bit. I'll have to do some more research there.

Helpfully, Google Maps doesn't appear to want to display the labels for my here's a brief summary for you, no dates, I still don't really know my timescales:

1 ) Arrive in Cuzco, Peru. From here I can go on one of the many inca trails leading to Machu Picchu, and visit the Sacred Valley of the Incas.

2) From Cuzco, move onto Lake Titicaca, straddling the border between Peru and Bolivia

3) Move onto Salar de Uyuni, the largest salt flats in the world, in Bolivia

4) A long journey to the Parque Nacionál Lauca to watch the flamingos and walk around the snowy mountains in Chile

5) Unless I can find a fast train then probably a flight now to Iguazú Falls in Argentina, almost on the border with Brazil.

6) From here to Concepción in Paraguay, from here, hang a hammock on a riverboat and ride slooooowly up the Rio Paraguay to Puerta Esperanza, change here to catch a boat further up to Porto Murinho in Brazil (making sure I have a suitable visa first!!).

7) Bus it to Corumbá Brazil and from here explore the Pantanal and the Rio Amazonias.

8) Make my way now (another flight I expect) to Canaima in Venezuela to see the highest waterfalls in the world, Angel Falls.

9) Then onto Caracas, where I hope to time my arrival to coincide with the Dancing Devils festival that takes place for Corpus Christi, and the day before.

10) Fly home

Ooooh, it's exciting! If anyone happens across this post who has experience travelling South America and thinks I've missed out something REALLY important, do let me know, I'd welcome suggestions :D

Also, for anything I could do to maybe cut out flights between Brazil and Venezuela, and Chile to Argentina. There must be some great things to do I just haven't come across yet!! I'll get there eventually!

Couple of bits about the weekend seeing as I'm here....I'm actually dying to get my dinner in the oven now, so I won't bore you too long we hope :o)

Saturday was lovely, I had lunch with mum and then waited for Nicki to meet me in Croydon, she wanted me to watch the Arsenal vs Chelsea match in Walkabout with her. The poor lamb was VERY hungover from a heavy night the night before and so she drank coke whilst I was on the beer. We found ourselves seated next to 3 large Chelsea supporters (Nicki's an Arsenal fan), one was in fact exceptionally large...although I suspect I'd have been able to move faster had the situation necessitated it!

Not being a footie fan I must say that the highlight of the game for me was when a meleé near Arsenals goalposts in the second half led to three fully grown men rolling around on the pitch wailing like toddlers, peeking out from between their fingers to see if the ref was looking, ready to burst into a chorus of pointing and 'He started it!!' should they be chastised for their errant behaviour.

A close second was Mr Terry 'falling on the ball', crawling over it in a crab-like fashion so that a player in the opposite team couldn't get at it.

Are these men....or children that we're paying hundreds of thousands-upon millions of dollarz to kick a ball around? I can only wonder.

Yesterday was a lovely day at the zoo, warm weather, lots of visitors, but not TOO many, just how we like it. Above all, enough volunteers to cover everything comfortably! Jo, Claire and I went to the pub for a wee tipple afterwards and were joined by one of the keepers a bit later. An intended maximum of 2 drinks went up to 5!! I didn't feel too bad last night, but that only made it worse when I woke up feeling like death had taken a crap in my mouth overnight (thanks death). I'll never learn!

Today has mostly been about preparing for the first bit of this blog!! I'm back to the beginning :o)

Don't worry, I won't start again x

Friday, 17 April 2009

I 'Heart' Delivery Men

I ordered some cardboard moving boxes yesterday off a company in tinterwebs advertising 'next day delivery' bla bla bla. Ok, I've heard all the 'Why didn't you just get them free from the supermarket/work/zoo after they've been used by small furry animals as toilets?'. It's all well and good people, but that involved work on my part, and the mere thought of that exhausted me as it was, so I purchased them online :o)

Get to the nitty gritty and first off they charge me £10 for postage and packing!! If you're going to pay for your laziness you're gonna PAY for it they're telling me! Begrudgingly I pay this P&P, ironic, paying postage and packing for flatpack cardboard boxes!

THEN there's a little box saying 'excess for special delivery requirements 'Saturday before noon', 'Saturday after noon', 'guaranteed weekend delivery'. The cheapest was about £6. Bastards!! Well, I thought, I have 4 days off, chances are they'll arrive Saturday or Monday, I ain't paying no stinking excess!

They just arrived......half past 11 on Friday morning, without paying any excess. I would have been blissfully ignorant had I paid my £6 for next day delivery. I'm also convinced that had I paid £12 for a weekend delivery they'd have held back till the Sunday just to make it look more impressive, 'Look at us, we're delivering on a Sunday, the day of rest, I should be at Church you know, I did this for you'.

HOWEVER!! One cannot complain for I have recieved excellent service! I ordered them yesterday and they arrived today, fandabby doozy!

HOWEVER!! My housemate had forgotten I was in and locked the deadlock on the door, and I couldn't find my coat with my keys in (the nasty little thing was hiding under my dressing gown). So I was shouting like an utter gimp through the door at him:

'Sorreh!! I appeah to be a-locked in!! Can you leave the delivereh outside puh-leeeze??'

'You have to sign for it madam' - came the ghostly voice through the door

'Uh......oh yah, can you er....maybe.....stick the form through the letter box pleaze??'

'Yes Madam' - cue almost audible roll of eyes as the form rustles through the letter box!

So that's how it happened. I've found my keys and retrieved my delivery, lovely they are too. What he probably doesn't appreciate is how lucky he is that I didn't smoosh my face up against the glass of the front door window. That would have been all the excuse he needed to leave in a hurry, a strange face suddenly appearing, pressed up against the window, one eye rolling madly at him through obscured, fire-resistant know, the stuff with the wire in it.....that would have been bad......

Thursday, 16 April 2009

Reading List

Ok, so I bought a load of books in a knowledge-craving frenzy a month or so back, I finished 2 of them no problem, but seem to be having trouble getting through the rest!

So, in an effort to shame myself into getting my ass in gear, my brain on track and my eyes opened, I have published my reading list here. As I finish them I'll remove them from the list and maybe add a new one....maybe :o) Please do feel free to humiliate me publicly for literature-laziness!

There are some toughies on the list, but you'll lose all respect you may have gained for me because of those titles when I tell you that the volume at the top of the list was written by, wait for it, none other than a 76 year old chimpanzee named Cheeta. I assume he hired someone for the typing.

What is even sadder is that I saw this book in Waterstones with the 'authors signature' on the inside cover and called my sister to find out if mum had purchased it for me for xmas already. When I recieved a resounding 'NO' I immediately bought it.

Yes, that is Cheeta himself, at his 75th Birthday party, doesn't he look....great? Frankly I'm surprised he's lasted this long if that's what he's being fed!

So I now own what is basically a story scribed by a man pretending to be a geriatric ape, with what is in all probability a smudge from the finger of a demented toddler inside the front cover.

It's my favourite book EVER!!!!!

I'm just surprised I haven't come down with chicken pox yet

Do you like it?

My new layout? Do you? Do you like it?

Not sure if it's a bit dark myself, but I think it's more interesting than the green I had before :)

The Wiluf helped me, so if you like it it's all my work, if you hate it then it's his fault. Naturally :)

Wednesday, 15 April 2009

Story of the day

This is too cute, reading the Metro this morning. A guy has made these little robots he calls 'Tweenbots', they're about a foot tall, can only roll forwards and have big smilie faces. It's a bit of a social experiment, the little bots have flags asking for help getting to a destination.

One tweenbot took 42 minutes to traverse Washington Park, with 29 people helping him out.

Is it a social commentary on helping out those in need? We're willing to help out the cute little cardboard blighters on the street as they pose no obvious threat of attack, infection, uninteresting conversation etc, but may not be willing to help out our fellow man in a similar situtation.

Follow this link and watch the video, it's lovely :o)

Tuesday, 14 April 2009

Easter, cheese...and other stuff too

Well!! My Easter has been stupendously quiet, hence the lack of bloggage. I did spend some time sitting around thinking....I should do some blogging really, what shall I blog about? Zero......there was nothing to talk about.

I confess I'm still rather lacking in material now, but no reason for you not to suffer eh?? Tee heee heeeee.
So here's my mini summary of my Easter Break

Day 1 - Bed, Civ, Cheese, Civ, Bed

Day 2 - Train, Tube, Kittehs, Didger, lounge, Civ, remember I left raw salmon out on kitchen side and text Steve.....Bed

Day 3 - Tube, Train, Parents, Lunch, TV, Bed

Day 4 - EASTER!! TV, DVDS, TV, Garden, Civ, Sunday Roast, Beer, TV, Bed

Day 5 - TV, Civ, Lunch, Home, Found Salmon still sitting on kitchen sideboard, Mark Perry, Beer, Beer, Beer, Beer, Beer....BED
Day 6 - Hangover, Cheese, 17 Again, Horn, Hangover

Yes......tis about it really!! Note the distinct lack of 'Easter Egg Hunt' on Day 4.....I wasn't impressed either.

The cheese references regard the Port Salut and Gruyére I bought on Thursday...mmmmm....cheeeeze. Port Salut is my favourite and I fancied trying something different, the Gruyére is nice and altogether less fattening than Port Salut (though we are talking about cheese). I was rather pleased with myself for eating the cheeese with oatcakes....until I realised they were 42 calories each!! 42 BASTARD CALORIES!!! That's WITHOUT the cheese I'm slathering all over the top. My poor waist! I'm surprised I even still have one.

Civ refers to Civilisation, a PC game I occasionally become obsessed with, I've been playing mostly as Pericles this weekend....yes, Pericles, a lovely, bearded dead Greek man :o) I'm a shoot me :D

Now, the salmon....I took it out of the fridge with good intentions, I was going to chuck it away as I knew Stevie wouldn't eat it and it would go minging in the fridge. Then I forgot it. And Steve wasn't in enough to realise it was there, and had forgotten I'd text him about it (in fairness it was wrapped in a Tesco carrier bag too). The smell was the first thing that hit me when I walked in on Monday :o) Yummo.

I took a few pics in mum and dads garden on Easter Sunday, harrassing my family with a camera as they toiled in the greenhouse. I've never seen my sister gardening before, I needed photographic evidence or no one would ever have believed me!! Here are a couple of snaps I took:

I went out with Markypoos last night for a couple of drinks, we weren't out too late, but I shouldn't be too proud of our self restraint. The truth is it was bank holiday Monday and everything shut at midnight....despite our scouring there was nowhere open so we were forced to bid one another adieu. Beeer....mmmmmmmmm.

Saw 17 again today, previous to this I didn't quite understand the Zac Efron thing....I do now. Being the mature lady I now am, I'm unlikely to be plastering my walls with pictures of his delightful mug and carapace (for want of a better term), but bloody hell if I was still 16 or 17 I'd be praying to the dear boy every night. It's lucky for him I'm older and wiser now. I'll resist putting up a picture. The film itself was really good, started off on a somewhat serious note which I wasn't expecting, but it's very funny and lots of morals etc throughout, great for kids I think, especially with Mr Efron being one of the latest role models for teenagers and children.

*stalks young hottie on Facebook*

I think that just about sums it up. I must get back to my sisters strange request for a list of the special features on my Dirty Dancing 20th Anniversary edition DVD!!

Mmmmmm, Patrick Swayze.....

Come now people....everyone knows I have ZERO self restraint :D Enjoy

Thursday, 9 April 2009

Last nights dream

I was just reading National Geographic and came across a picture of a walrus that brought back a scrap of a dream I had last night. After thinking a bit harder I remember some more of the dream, which is unusual as I mostly forget what I dreamt about after roughly 5 minutes of being properly awake. I'm going to write about it now before I forget properly!!

I kinda have to tell it backwards because my dreams are sometimes so schizto that my mind wanders backwards and forwards between completely unrelated things, and then makes the connections afterwards, resulting in some strange stories.

I had escaped from somewhere, I'd gotten to this somewhere by boat...somehow, and so I had escaped and must have been on a sinking boat, or swimming or something, and some guy came along and picked me up, said he'd take me back to wherever I was going. He was really nice and we just chatted etc etc, bla bla bla.

Now we're on the shore and I'm running away towards whatever it is I'm going to, not sure where this bloke is, but I'm a running and I get to this window which is near the ground, I look in and see a bloody handprint on the window, past that are 2 or 3 people trapped in a basement. By now this is running kinda like a film, I think that I (or my character) was at one point trapped in with these guys and I've come back to help them.

They see me and look horrified, I then catch sight of my reflection in the window and my face is covered in blood....maybe that bloke wasn't so nice after all, but I don't remember that bit. All of a sudden he's behind me and he's got these claws like Wolverine lolz. I'm now seeing this as an outsider....the guy cuts me, or my character to ribbons in front of these guys in the basement. After he's finished obliterating me, he turns as if he's going through the window for the rest of them.
Now another character appears, he kind of reminds me of a borg type thing. He mullers Mr Claws and ignores the rest of the guys, standing over the remains of my character, looking bewildered and sad. As sad as a borg-man can look anyway....

Then I wake up (in my dream) alive, and in period costume of all things, we've gone back to Edwardian times or something. I'm wandering through some kind of stately home or museum when I come across a sculpture. This sculpture is one I've seen in real life, here's a pic of it. It's called 'Sphere within a Sphere' by Alfredo Pomodoro, this is the structure from which the borg man emerges, almost like the guys from Hellraiser and the cube. This is when I realise (in my dream) that the borg-bloke was the person who had locked us all in a basement, he must have been in love with my character and after I'd been killed he realised he'd done something awful and wanted to change things so that I had lived. He'd turned back and changed time so that he never emerged from the sculpture/gateway and so he never caused my death.

So....he was nicer than pinhead anyway.......

What a strange dream, a prize for the first person who can tell me what that bloody thing means! Have I taken it from a film script, or maybe 5 different film scripts Peter?? When I woke up and started thinking about it I immediately thought...'I was dreaming about that film last night'...before realising, no, it was a random dream with some characters thrown in.

Oh, and the walrus reminded me of the manatees that positively littered the water whilst I was either on my way from, or back to the basement....

.....incase you were wondering.

Wednesday, 8 April 2009


.....I had tapas again last night...just thought I'd share....

Mmmmmm, chorizo!!!

Tuesday, 7 April 2009

Volunteering, why?.....narcissism??

Ahhh, my second 'biographical' post.

Those of you who know me well will know I do quite a bit of volunteering. I'm not sure why I started volunteering in the first place, I certainly know that it wasn't through any misplaced desire to enrich my community. That little confession does tend to disappoint many people when they ask why I seem to be such a people-oriented and community-spirited individual :o) Although it didn't start off that way, I think it's become more that way as I've gotten a bit older and wiser.

I started volunteering at ZSL in Feb 2006, alongside my fellow blogger Jo Blogden ( I was still with a significant ex back then (the reason for that little comment will become clear in a bit), and I think my motivation was just needing something different. I was working in a SHITE admin job and had come back from a month on a monkey sanctuary in South Africa a couple of months previous. I felt I still wanted to do something with the animals...but unfortunately, having finished uni, needed to sustain myself too! That's Bekkie, one of my baby minkies in SA.

When I started volunteering with St John Ambulance I think it was because I wanted to fill my time up and take my mind off well as the first aid...obviously. I'd split up with the aforementioned beau at the end of 2006 and had filled my time with getting rat-arsed and seeing mates etc etc etc, but I moved to Streatham in Nov 2007 and after that I didn't have as much money, also, around that time, the ex and I had another brief little thing. I'm not entirely sure what was going on there, I think there was the possibility that we could have gotten back together, but I think it worked out best for both of us that that didn't happen!! After that I was a bit up in the air again and needed something to do, so I joined my local branch of St John on Valentines day 2008! Perfect excuse for not having a bastard date on Valentines Day eh??

Since I joined these 2 esteemed....erm......institutes, the volunteer role has evolved for me a little bit. With ZSL I feel a stong sense of obligation, to the team more than ZSL as I've taken on the role of Team Leader. When people leave it does feel like a small failure on my part, even though I know peoples lives change etc etc. I enojy it when the volunteers are having fun and chatting to visitors etc. With St John I feel like I'm contributing to the community and I do enjoy that it a bit narcissistic? I've heard someone describe volunteers as narcissistic before and I guess there's an element of it, but I don't do it to make myself feel like I'm a goody-two-shoes, I do it because I enjoy it. St John is lovely in that respect. When you go out on duty and you DO help someone, you really feel like you've made a bit of a difference and like you've made an achievement. As an aside, Jobie and I were talking about how blogging is really quite a self-indulgent pastime....maybe I'm the most wrapped-up-in-myself person I've ever met....hmmmm
What do I do?
Both volunteering positions are very people-oriented. At the zoo I chat to visitors about the animals, their behaviours, where they come from, who they are etc etc....AND I get to make badges and colour in!! :D Always an added bonus. With St John there's the prospect of getting VERY close and personal with people, why do ya think I go to the Rugby matches?? :o) Here's a pic of me and a mate having fun in the London Zoo Activity Den!

I think I may have also been volunteered to help with an allotment open day just after I move to the stow, that'll be fun, meeting new people, having some old gardeners perve over me....good times...good times!!

Anyone want to be a University Eccentric??

I Just found a rather tongue-in-cheek item on the back of a recent copy of Times Higher Education, it creased me up! It's regarding the deficiency of 'crazy professor' types in universities nowadays. Entitled 'We are all crazy now', here are some quotes lifted from the item:

'" Very shortly", he told our reporter, Keith Ponting (30), "we will be advertising a new post of University Eccentric". This will be open to all those with a proven record of intelligent craziness'.

' Targett further confirmed that the successful candidate would be housed in a purpose-built sealed office fitted with an observation gallery "so as to allow other academics to witness their eccentric behaviour".'

'"it was not operationally feasible "to have eccentrics running wild on campus" where they could readily jeopardise the university's hard-earned reputation as a "community of dullards".'

Now....anyone who has worked with and around academics for even as long as I have has met a couple of characters who would fit that bill to a 'T'. This article conjours up the best mental images in the world, of kindly, but socially vacant old men with crazy white hair puttering around in their perspex office....oblivious to world outside.

And you know what?...they'd be quite happy..

Monday, 6 April 2009

People I KNOW! and the zoo

I've just found some more people I know who are blogging :o)
Just had to share that excitement with the world.....ahem.....

Zoo yesterday was mucho busy, the lovely weather this weekend has brought them out in droves, DROVES I tell ya! Although, it'll get much busier once the real summer comes along :). The wallabies are having babies, lots of little joey heads sticking out of pockets, and the squirrel monkey babies are doing well too :D

The new Animal Adventure has opened, I went to see it briefly yesterday, what a haven for children!! The animals in there are soooo cute too. I loved the pigs and the prarie dogs and the white-tailed coatis (red pandas to you and I) and the aardvarks are the funniest looking things ever, they spend most of their day laying around sleeping on their backs with their legs in the air. The aardvarks and the meerkats live together and apparently sometimes the meerkats come and curl up on the aardvarks belly and go to sleep too.........awwwwwww, I HAVE to try and get a picture of that for you guys. (Cue random aardvark picture)

There are tunnels and climby things and stuffz. The tunnels come out into a dome where you're at eyeball level with the meerkats running around. I would have gone in, but there were lots and lots of kiddies around. I also eyeballed the tunnel and thought that maybe, MAYBE it wouldn't be the best image for the zoo if Estates were called out to free someone from the tunnel, and then turn up to find a volunteer in full uniform wedged in there. I'll go back and try that one morning when no one is around :)

Friday, 3 April 2009

The Posse

I'm feeling better now, avid follower :o) Friday evenings do a lot for the chill factor!!

I thought I'd do some little blogs about me, on the offchance that someone stumbles across this and might be interested, you never know, I might become famous!!!

I'll start off with work, much as we try to ignore it, we do spend most of our waking hours at work. I'm lucky in that I enjoy my job and work with some fab people. Apart from the getting up in the morning bit I can't say I have much to complain about! So I work at UCL in the Division of Biosciences as it is now known, estates and buildings stuff, not academia. I've been there for about 3 years now.

Over those 3 years, four of us at work have developed a little 'Posse', I think it was Linda who started calling us that. We're a strange little group, and my facebook mates often wonder who these people are in most of my photos! We're a bit of living proof that you don't have to be similar to be really good mates.

We've got Big Boy as he is affectionately known, or Greg, he's the subject of my digestive updates :o). Big, welsh, opinonated, semi-vegetarian, real ale lover, bit of a perve and pretends to be much grumpier than he really is. He's very funny and can take it as well as dish it out. Oh, and he harbours a hatred for home-baked goods that people bring into work, a nasty, dirty hatred. With Greg every conversation ends up on sex or shit....usually not both.

Now we have Linda, Noise or Marlborough Grey, depending on who you're talking to. She's the physical opposite of our Big Boy, slim but not petite, you simply cannot miss Linda if she's in the room, she's a natterer!! We discovered in Dublin that if you walk her all day, then feed her a big meal and get a couple of drinks down her then she goes all quiet....but how much time, money and energy would that take?? She's recently discovered a passion for unpaid leave and the electric cinema :o), not quite as mad a drinker, but matches Greg with halves.

Both those guys are in their 40's and going 'translucent' as Greg would argue

Then we have the Wiluf, just turned 60 and proud of it, you'd never know. If you've heard of the place Wilf has probably been there, having travelled round the world on various ships in his navy career. He's also a photographer and a foodie, and an eternal batchelor. Brandy is his drink of choice on a pub crawl. Wilfie lives quite a healthy lifestyle (apart from the drinking we thrust upon him...apparently....I got the blame the last time :o)), but then he's had more time to come around. Convo's with Wilf usually come around to food or a funny story about a friend in another country!

Then there's me......I'm not sure if I have a nickname, but I have been informed that Greg has taken to calling me 'slaaaaaaaaaaaag' behind my back........which is nice. 25, I like a bloody good drink and do my best to keep up with Greg, to my detriment! Like my food too much, I'm pretty liberal, love travelling when I have the dough, a beer drinker and talk quite a bit, though not as much as our Linda.

Both Wilf and I have 'drunk hair', the more pissed we get the scruffier our hair gets. Wilf may kill me for that picture...enjoy as I may have to change it!!

So we have much fun and laughs together, various pub crawls, day trips and weekends abroad. We do get some funny looks sometimes....especially when we're wandering along the Thames pissed as farts at about 8pm when everyone else is just going out.....

Out of interest I looked up a little bit of info on the psychology of friendship, and apparently one of the main criteria is the 'breadth and depth of self-disclosure' and the reciprocation of it.

.....So there we go, basically, we all like talking bollocks about ourselves...and listening to each others bollocks too :o). The recipe for a perfect Posse......

An angry day

I'm having an angry day today...I'm not sure why, I'm sure everyone has days when everything seems to piss them right off, and before you say it, no...I don't think it's PMT!

I'm angry that one mate is being pissed around, I'm angry that another mate moans incessantly and yet seems unwilling to do anything to change the circumstances, I'm angry that certain people at work feel they can just offload everything onto me instead of getting off their arses to do it themselves....

I'm having a bad day...

But I always keep my sense of humour.....

.....Because life is just too damn short to quibble over crap.

This is my kinda kitteh :D

Wednesday, 1 April 2009

An April Pizza Fool!!

Jo and I got an email from Pizza Hut today, advertising their new grilling technique which allows them to grill your face onto a!!

It's April 1st

So for a laugh I went through the process:

It's a rather striking resemblance :o)

Didger - He's MINE!!

Cos I are officially moving to the Stow :o)

The girl who's moving out is taking her cat :o(, I've heard the landlord might be considering getting one though, that would be sooooo cool!! Didger and the kitty could be playmates...that would be nice.

I'm also taking fern, I shall post a picture of him when I get one!

In fact, it seems I'm taking almost everything, including a bed, wardrobe and chest of drawers. It's nice as I'll be surrounded by familiar stuff, and sleeping on a familiar bed, but getting it all up there is a fag, I'll be borrowing a mates van, or hiring one for the day. I thought the room was much smaller than it is, but after seeing it the other night I'm pretty sure all my stuff will fit, yayyy!!!

My shsister says I may have her old telly. The new landlord says no telleh in the lounge, so I'll have one in my bedroom instead.

Woo hoo! Moving is exciting!

It's VERY quiet round here today, I work up in town and all the streets are quite empty, I don't think the protests are coming near here for once, so people have wandered off to find them. I've just moticed the Virginia Creeper opposite is coming up again, I just tried to take a picture, but everyone sitting outside the Café below looked up and gave me strange looks when I opened the window. I fear they may call the Terrorist Hotline if I start taking pictures.

Here's something more to make you laugh :o)