Thursday, 30 April 2009
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
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.
Friday, 24 April 2009
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.
Sun picture kindly stolen from www.bradfitzpatrick.com
Thursday, 23 April 2009
Wednesday, 22 April 2009
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???.....
Tuesday, 21 April 2009
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 : http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/world/americas/7997290.stm
Monday, 20 April 2009
Well......so 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 this...it 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 locations...so 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
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!
Thursday, 16 April 2009
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
Wednesday, 15 April 2009
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
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.
Come now people....everyone knows I have ZERO self restraint :D Enjoy
Thursday, 9 April 2009
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....
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.
.....incase you were wondering.
Wednesday, 8 April 2009
Tuesday, 7 April 2009
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 stuff....as 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??
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!!
'" 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
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)
Friday, 3 April 2009
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.
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.
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
It's April 1st
So for a laugh I went through the process:
It's a rather striking resemblance :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 Tarquin...my 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)