Wednesday, 28 October 2009

Hola Espana!

I'd have done the little upside downy exclamation mark at the beginning too...but I've just spent 2 minutes looking for how to do it on Google. If I haven't found it within 2 minutes it'll take me weeks...forgive my laziness.

Today is Friday! For me at least.

Tomorrow Nicki and I jet (I say jet...I mean RyanAir *spit*) off to Barcelona for the best part of a week. I'm very much looking forward to it for a number of reasons:

- I have never been to Barcelona before. In fact, I've never been anywhere in Spain that wasn't on a horrendous schooltrip, being forced into all kinds of 'fun' activities and having to share a room with vacant bimbettes that went on to become Page 3 WAGS.

- That last bit was a minor Majorca officially part of Spain? And only one of the bimbettes climbed the heady slopes to Page 3 stardom.

- It'll be the first time Nicki and I have been on a holiday of substance together. I mean sure, there wwere all the camping holidays with mum and dad growing up, but this is our first holiday as young laydeez. It could be an exercise in sibling psychology, but I'm confident that we will get on famously :o)

- Spanish men!!!! Did I just say that out loud?

- Spanish food. I have the feeling that I will be indulging my love of seafood at any and all opportunities. I wonder if they do robster in Barcelona, I've yet to try it....robster with garlic butters...nom nom nom. Tapas may be the downfall for Nicki and I, it tends to be quite oily and Nicki especially (seeing as she's still on Slimming World...not wallowing in the misapprehension that she's still doing things me) is looking out for the figure. Spanish food means Spanish drink, but I doubt there will be much binge drinking going on. I think Nicki will be a calming influence in that respect.......WON'T YOU NICKI!!

- It's a holiday, and at the end of the day, holidays are good. It gives me the opportunity to inflict (I use that word specifically) my pigeon spanish upon unwitting victims. When I say pigeon Spanish I don't mean glorious fat and majestic wood-pigeon Spanish, I mean tatty, disease-ridden Trafalgar Square pigeon Spanish. I don't even care much what the weather will be like, though I'd appreciate if it didn't rain, I only straightened my hair last night.

Those are the things I'm looking forward to..the only thing I'm slightly worried about is the fact that Barcelona is the pickpocket central for Europe. I've heard many first-hand accounts of just how brazen they are. You can't let yourself get too wrapped up in that though or you won't enjoy yourself :o)

Not sure if I'll have the time or opprtunity to blog much whilst I'm out there, but I shall keep a travel journal and bloggarise it when I get home. I promised to do the same with my Italy journal and it became such a mammoth task that I've rather stagnated on it! Seeing as I'm not alone this time hopefully I won't have as much time on my hands to write such rambling crap and it'll be much easier to blog over on Fly Away With Me.

At the very least I'm sure I'll have some beautiful pictures to display for your delight upon my return!

Have a wonderful week and weekend one and all x

Tuesday, 27 October 2009

Welcome Kylie

I would like you all to welcome my newest reader...well, of those I know about anyway. Everybody say hello to Kylie :)

Actually, his name is Del, but we don't tell many people that. This wonderful picture was taken on his birthday after he had been presented with his birthday 'cake'. He works in the mechanical workshop with Duncan, Alan and James (I believe Duncan lurks about on here too sometimes, though he's never admitted it).

Kylie is named Kylie because at one drunken physiology cocktail party we found out that he is the same age as Kylie Minogue...yes...that's ALL it took. Plus, he's a Pint-sized Pop Princess. Well...he plays in a band. It's all close enough by our reckoning.

We're off to see Kylie playing with his band Brick Top at The Standard in Walthamstow on Saturday 14th November for those of you in the area. They're supporting Bootleg Blondie (Blondie tribute band) should be a good evening :D

Tarrah lovers!

Sprogs Guide to finding and keeping a man

My god I feel like a right mingerling this morning, I know why I drink beer not wine :(

Anyway, enough of that whinging, my own fault after all.

Last night, whilst consuming a mediocre (by our standards) quantity of wine, Jo and I got to we often do...on our state of singleness. It's a constant source of confusion to us, I mean....why? Lovely young ladies such as ourselves! I thought I'd jot down a few thoughts.

Here is a list of things we think will make men love us:

- Stalking them through every technological medium possible. It's not enough unless you're friends with them on facebook, Myspace, Bebo and Hi5. You must be following them on Twitter and have managed to convince THEM to follow YOU on Twitter. Their webpage/blog must be in your internet history, their mobile number on your phone...for those ill-advised late night embarrassments. Their call history MUST evidence a series of 'missed calls', and they must have at least one text you sent them 'accidentally'. On MSN you must contact them within 5 seconds of their logging on.

- You must at all times be displaying an inordinate amount of cat-fuzz upon your person. It shows you are an animal lover and that your immune system is STRONG thereby making you a favourable bearer of children.

- You must at every opportunity demonstrate your magnificent capacity for beer. There is nothing a man likes more than a woman who can sink 5 pints without blinking and then stagger to the toilet, rebounding off the walls less than four times in total.

- Every conversation must have a reference to sex in it, just so that the men-folk know you're a little bit desperate and well up for it. Men are slightly dim and so if they don't get the hint, start accompanying said references with seductive winks. This works up until about pint No.4 when you lose your sense of coordination and start to resemble a horny mole, emerging, blinking into the sunlight.

- You must eat Domino's at least once a week so there's always that intriguing fug of garlic around you. Plus it keeps the vampires away.

Once we have said man, these are the things we must do to keep him:

- Text, call, msn and email constantly. Start a fun poking war on Facebook.

- Go through his phone and delete all his female friends phone numbers. You must be stealthy, start with the ones you don't think he'll miss and work from there. Make sure you get the ones he's slept with....which is clearly all of them.

- Introduce yourself to his mother, eventually you'll be such firm friends that you can go round and have tea together and wait for him to come home from work. Men love this.

- Get him to make friends with your cat, even if he doesn't love you, he'll be heart-broken at having to leave the animal.

- Start taking things from his house and bringing them to yours. It's not thieving, it's nesting, and it'll make him feel wonderfully at home in YOUR home. And then you'll get married.

I could go on, but I shan't, I don't want to give away all my tricks now do I??!!

Can anyone hazard a guess as to why Becki and Jo are still single? I'm not sure what we're doing wrong.

Now.....where's that cat?

Monday, 26 October 2009

Happy Happy Joy Joy

I'm in a fantastic mood this morning...I don't know whether it's a by-product of spending 2 days in the parental home being drip-fed tea, or whether it's the lovely bright sunshiney view of the virginia creeper turning from green to red outside my office window.

Whatever it is, I'm enjoying it, I'm in a singsongy mood and Bruce is going to hate me within an hour :D

As Mark Twain said:

'Sing like no ones listening, love like you've never been hurt, dance like nobody is watching, and live like it's heaven on earth'

Kitteh has the right idea

Friday, 23 October 2009

The dead guy in the cloisters? Yeah, I know him

Jeremy Bentham is his name.

All the wonderful things University College London is known for, being recently ranked 4th in the world according to the Times Higher Education QS rankings (that's above Imperial and Oxford Universities), notoriously secular, only accepting the creme de la creme of studentia (I went here..snigger). All the wonderful things UCL could be, and is, known for, but in the end it all boils down to one thing.....

....we have a dead man living in the cloisters
This is a fact, and his name is/was Jeremy Bentham.

Stay tuned for the fun bit, but a little bit of info about Jezza first, the man deserves some respect!

Jeremy was is considered the 'Godfather' of UCL. Although he didn't have a direct hand in the establishment of the university in 1826, it was his lifes work and his principles that UCL stood on. As well as a number of other social issues (which I'll mention further in a bit), he believed that education should be available to a far greater number of people. UCL was the first university to allow entry to students regardless of race or religion, it also soon caught up with itself and was the first to allow female students through its doors.

Bentham was a revolutionary social reformer, during his lifetime he attempted to tackle, and at least made a lot of noise over the following issues:

The right for individual and economic freedom

Need for separation of the Church and State

Freedom of expression

Equal rights for women

The end of slavery

Abolition of physical punishment

The right to divorce

Free Trade

Decriminalisation of homosexual acts

Abolition of the death penalty

He was way ahead of his time!

Now for the fun bit! In Benthams will he asked that his body be preserved as an auto-icon, and his students and 'disciples' (ironic) honoured his wish. His body was embalmed and placed in a glass and wooden case. Until 1850 this was kept by one of his followers, until it came to UCL in 1850. See a picture below. I was going to take my own picture, I literally went down there just now to take one, and some inconsiderate dudes in suits have set up some kind of table right in front of him.....sigh.

The head is a wax replica of Jezza's likeness, his real head was damaged quite badly during the embalming process. The real head was originally placed on the floor in the case between his feet, but after it had been stolen a few times by students and found being used as a football in the front quad, they decided to keep it in storage. This pic was taken before the real head was removed.

I've heard rumours...and I know for a fact this has happened at least once, that Jezza is wheeled in for meetings of the college council. His head is taken out of cold storage so that he is entirely present. Tradition holds that he is listed as 'present but not voting', unless the vote is 50/50, under which circumstances, Jezza break the vote by voting in favour of whatever motion is being passed.

Tis true, tis all true. Well done UCL :)

Our local pub is named after this fine chap, I've had many too many a beer in the Jeremy Bentham. When I get back to my old faithful laptop at home I shall put up some pictures of the best local in the world.

Thursday, 22 October 2009

Flatmates to Be

Anyone who follows this blog with any regularity will know that I'm planning on moving in with my mate Jo, or Oggers, however you know the lovely creature.

What you may not realise is that this means I'm moving in with not one person, but ten people!

Well...I guess that depends how loosely you use the term 'people'. Let me explain by introducing my new flatmates, in order of increasing superiority (according to Jean-Baptiste Lamarck...evolution FTW).

First, let me introduce you to Roger, Didger and company.

Roger is the magnificent specimen with a split tail in the foreground. I believe Jo has owned him for roughly seven years, I'm sure I'll be corrected if I'm wrong. Roger seems to have a recurrent problem with his tail. We are unsure whether it's to do with furtive bullying by his tankmates, or whether it's fin-rot, but every now and again, his tail seems to fall off! I'm sure you're aware that this isn't a good thing for a fishy. Nonetheless, he's the crowning glory, beautiful fish, lovely lovely.

Didger is a relatively new arrival, and the main suspect in the case of the disappearing tail. He was originally meant to be called Dodger, as in Roger the Dodger (for those Beano nerds amongst us), but I so insisted on referring to him as Didger that eventually it stuck. Jo gifted me with Didger, but looks after him for me. It's almost like adopting an animal at the zoo, except I don't give her any money for him, and only come to visit when I'm drunk. I did offer to take him home, but she decided that carrying him around on my person in a Didger-Shaped case wasn't the best life for a fishy, and besides...she never gave me enough time with her back turned to fish him out (get it??). Didger is the orange, black and silver beastie behind Rog.

Who knows what a gaggle of danio's can do to a glorious tail? We don't know, but we're keeping an eye out. The 6 zebra danios don't have names I'm afraid, mayhap I should name them now! Wilbur, Chester, Fanny, Matilda, Cuthbert and Bob. Nicely done.

Five of these guys were introduced with Didger. Previous to that there had been the 3 Amigo's. One time when I was looking after Jo's flat, cats and fish I looked over to notice something suspicious floating on the top of the tank. I looked back at the telly 'Please no' I thought, 'let it be having a rest'. However, on approaching the tank, my hopes that I was witnessing a rare fish-nap evaporated, the reason being that half of his head and tail appeared to have been feasted upon by his treacherous tankmates. Whether this had occurred pre or postmortem I cannot be sure, but I hope for amigo 1's sake that it was the latter. So, I unceremoniously fished his tiny corpse out of the tank, wrapped him lovingly in bog roll....and threw him in the bin. It was the second time looking after my mates pets, and he died on my watch....typical! One of the amigo's is still going strong I believe, hurrah amigo 3!!

Next, Felis cattus.

After Jo, the next people I'm looking forward to moving in with most are Mornington and Lucy.

Mornington is Lucy's daughter, I do believe that the dirty little Lucy was with child when Jo gave her a home, I forget whether Jo was aware of this fact at the time. Mornington was one of 3, the other 2 were named Leicester and Marble, can you guess what they were named after?

They have two very differing personalities, Mornington is.....sweet, silly (stupid), and slightly overweight. She likes her cuddles and noms, she'll lick your fingers to death if you give her half a chance, and in the morning she'll sit on you with her massive arse until you relent and get up to feed her. Sometimes though, she'll come to you just for love, just a little bit of a cuddle and some love. Whilst she's laying there, getting her belly scratched, you'll gaze lovingly into her eyes.....there's nothing there, nothing. You almost expect to see tropical fishes...or the windows logo flying around there...screensaver mode.

Bless. Here's a piccy of her looking particularly astute.

Lucy on the other hand is more of a typical kitty. I have been known to describe her as 'standoffish'. It's either a case of you have to get to know her, or the fact that she's mellowing a tad in her old age, but recently she's been coming around to me. Granted, when she wants love it's ALWAYS when you're on your way out of the door to go to work, but at least she wants some. She's a beautiful kitty with marbled black, orange and white fur. When you get love from Lucy you feel like you've earned does THAT work?? Only cats, only cats. Here's a piccy of the lovely Lucy.

And lastly, but by no means leastly, Oggers! At least I hope so...she's the one buying the house after all. It was only looking through my photos and those on facebook that I realised there are hardly any decent pictures of Ogs and Sprogs together, this needs to be remedied! I met Oggers neraly 4 years ago now at London Zoo, I began volunteering the week after her...I think. Initially there was a big crowd of us girlies who would hit the Albert after a long, hard (mmm) zoo day. One by one they dropped out until it was just Jo and I left, we're a dying breed! Committed volunteers is what we are!! We kept at the pub even when the rest deserted us, we're bloody good at it! After a year or two I took on the Team Leader role, yes, that makes me Jo's boss, at least for one day a fortnight. I'm soon those particular tables will turn when she becomes my landlord...eek! Jo does comedy and so I get to go to lots of funz comedy nights and meet lots of very cool people :o) We like this.

Here is a lovely picture of Oggers with a sad-looking donkey in the background. He lives in Hackney, what can I say?

Once moved in we (I), we intend to create a small menagerie, and will begin smuggling animals home from the zoo, one by one, in our oversized red zoo jumpers. We'll start with pygmy marmosets, move onto red pandas, and one day we might be good enough for almost-grown lion cubs.

Or maybe we'll just have chicken wearing pants.

Hit Counter, I haz one!

Oh yes!

Now I can see how many people are reading my little bloggage. However, I may have to reconfigure it slightly, I have 7 hits so far...and I'm pretty sure that at least 5 of those are me. You can see me visiting 20 times a day just to help my hit tally!

Anywhoo, I got the little widget from for FREE, in case you were wondering.

I should probably go and do some work now. I if!

Some big lolcats of the day!

Tee hee!

Wednesday, 21 October 2009

Sometimes I'm genuinely concerned for my sanity

I just spent half an hour hiding in the loft like some kind of crazy person, a crazy loft-dwelling hermit lady.

Whilst I was up there I was reflecting on the slight insanity of my current predicament and began texting friends, giving them loft-related updates. The most exciting of these being the compressor kicking into life, it makes a hell of a racket and I jumped so hard that I almost fell off my trolley. The trolley was my perch of choice having considered and rejected the possibility of an upturned crate, a chest of drawers and the floor. I figured that the trolley would be good, because if I got bored I could grab a handy plank of wood and push myself around, pretending I was at sea in shark-infested waters.

I should probably explain why I found myself hiding in the loft in the first place, it's not a habit of mine, though it may be like Pringles, once you pop you can't stop.

It's the time of year when we get certain lab equipment serviced, and at the moment the balance servicing man is in. It's the two or three days a year that I absolutely dread. This guy is one of the creepiest blokes you'll ever meet. He starts up uncomfortable conversations about topics you only really broach with your mates, he nags you to have coffee until you finally give in. Last year I was given the pleasure of taking him round to all the labs and letting him in. This year I told Bruce I wasn't doing it! Anyway....this creepy behaviour of his lead to someone making a complaint about him today, and so Brucie had to have a word with him. As soon as I found out he was on his way to the office I was out like a bullet. You've never seen me move so fast! I scuttled up to the loft and sat tight, texting Brucie to let me know when the coast was clear!

Anyway....I enjoyed my time reflecting in the loft, it was almost spiritual. I thought you might like to see my new found Shangri-la, so here we go....

A fine location for meditation

My trolley, mine

My good friend the compressor

Tuesday, 20 October 2009

Aw......aren't they CUTE!!

NO!! They are NOT cute!

One of my favourite things to say to people when I'm standing in Squirrel Monkeys on a cold Sunday afternoon is 'Yes, they might look cute and cuddly, but they're bitey and sharp', something some visitors find out on their own, to their detriment, and ALWAYS due to their own stupidity.

I sometimes find myself panicking slightly in Squirrels when it's a nice day and there are hundreds of visitors, the monkeys are all out and Bounty is throwing his weight around like a steroid junkie. I have first hand experience of how nasty minkies can be, I have scars!! SCARS!! So when silly people are wandering around poking their hands and cameras directly into the face of our testosterone-fuelled alpha-male, something inside me snaps.

Those of you who know me well will know that I once spent a month in the South African bush at the Vervet Monkey Foundation. Many of my mates at uni had had the sense to wander off to a far flung destination to gather data for their dissertations. Don't get me wrong, I had plenty of fun sat in the library reading about the sex life of eels....but I felt I'd missed out just a tad. So in October 2005 after I had graduated, I set off on an epic adventure to play with monkeys, my dream...and my did it come true!

For those of you who may never have come across a Vervet monkey, they are intriguing little creatures. They're quite closely related to baboons, but smaller. They do, however, possess the characteristic canines...nasty weapons. They're a light grey colour, with dark detail around their faces. One of the most striking things about them is their bright blue bellies, and for the boys, bright blue balls. I have no idea what evolutionary function this could possibly serve....but they have it! When vervets are angry with you they raise their eyebrows to stretch the skin across their forehead so you get this flash if evil eyes and white's a bit freaky and I lost count of the times I broke off eye contact and put my hand in front of a baby monkeys face to distract it!

Vervet monkeys are persecuted as pests in South Africa, the Foundation are working hard to try and turn this around. They take in orphan monkeys whose mothers have been shot by farmers etc. The idea in the long term is to create a Vervet Forest, to buy a section of land that they can protect and let the monkeys roam freely. At the moment the emphasis is on protecting those they already there.

The Foundation was a very cool place to work, we lived in 'Tent Village' where there was no electricity and half the tent doors were done up with velcro to stop the nasties getting in, the zips had broken along time ago. One night I must have failed in my anxious fumblings to hermetically seal my tent, as I woke up with a rather large Wolfie laying next to me. There was no need to panic, Wolfie was just a rather large and over-excitable dog. Though he was a horny little bastard, one can only wonder what he'd been up to before I awoke *suspicious*. Showers were 1 per day, and cold. We had no water supply, so once or twice a day, some guys from the Foundation had to drive down to a local farm and fill a massive tank with water for our daily showers.

You ALWAYS showered in the afternoon....once you were nicely covered in monkey poop.

So, my role at the Foundation was one of the 'Monkey-Mums'. I was allocated to the Goliath Troop, a little group of 11 one-year old orphan vervet monkeys. I've never been the maternal type, but these guys did bring it out of me a little bit I must least at first. I don't remember all their names now sadly, but there are some characters that stood out whom I DO remember:

Omajie (Omakie) - the biggest female and the leader of the troop. Heirarchy is embedded in these animals, they naturally organise themselves and Omajie was definitely on top. I found this out a few days into my motherhood when one naughty monkey jumped on my hand, making me hit Omajie on the head. The next thing I knew she was waving her eyebrows at me and 11 sets of tiny monkey teeth were ripping at my arms and legs. OW!! That was the first time...clearly Becki wasn't in charge.

Tjopie (Choppy) - was a mischief maker. She had figured out that if she climbed up the front of my trousers and grabbed my zip with her teeth...then let trousers fell down. I had a popper at the top too, but most times that was undone...the trousers didn't fit quite as well as I'd hoped.

Stinky - I don't actually remember this little guys name, but I know it was something like that! He was rather thrust upon me after my first week there, he had been in a sick bay and noone had thought to warn me of his existence. 'Oh Great', I thought, a new one....a boy, and here I am a stranger, will he kick off? I had no need to worry, he was the sweetest little thing and spent most of his day sat on my shoulder, tightly gripping myhair or my neck. He did, actually, give me the nastiest bite I recieved whilst there, a 'scared' bite...I walked a bit too close to a big male in a neighbouring cage and he freaked out!

Bekkie - :D She was lovely and gentle. She'd stuff her face like a pig, and one day I realised why. The more dominant individuals would grab her head and pull it back, then fish out anything she had stored in her cheek pouches! Rudeness!

Here are some of my favourite memories of the VMF:

  • Being out in the main enclosure when a dust storm whipped through and all of a sudden I had 11 baby's sitting on my lap staring at me in abject terror.

  • Zorro (slightly mad adolescent vervet) sticking an ice cream tub on his head and running around the chicken wire making a hell of a racket, just to grab my attention and make me laugh.

  • Being in with the uber-babies and noticing a funny sensation around my feet. I looked down to find one of them contentedly sucking on my toe. It was the cleanest it had been in a couple of weeks.

  • Katie (my tent-mate) and I pissing ourselves laughing after she'd sent the dogs in to join me on the Eco-Toilet. It was pitch dark and I heard some strange scuffling sounds coming from the corner, I switched my torch on to find 4 dogs sitting round me in a semicircle whist I was squatted on this damn toilet with my knees around my ears.

  • Bekkie falling asleep on my lap and sleepily rubbing her eyes when she woke up..then getting hiccups from drinking her milk too fast.

  • Being in Goliath when Vic walked past, he was a big guy, and the babies didn't like men for some reason. He shouted 'BOO!!' through the bars, and 2 babies simultaneously shat down my shoulders. Worse...they'd been eating beetroot.

Now I've started thinking of them there are so many, I won't share them all, you'll be completely bored.

Suffice to say, my experience at the Foundation was an amazing one, it was my first real time away from home completely by myself, I met some incredible people, including Arthur Hunt, one of the founders, a true eccentric, and the monkeys, despite being vicious little toe-rags, were fabulous. I'd like to go back one day and see how the little fellas are doing.

If you want to know more about the foundation and how you can volunteer then check out the VMF website :)

RIP Arthur, no one wore a tie quite like you did, you're sorely missed xx

Monday, 19 October 2009

Burning the candle at both ends

The past week has been a manic flurry of social activities, and this week will be no different. I have every faith that by Friday night I shall be dead.

The highlights of this past week include:

Seeing old friends who I haven't seen for years
Leicester Square New Comedian of the Year Final
St John Ambulance Presentation Evening

The jewel in the crown was definitely seeing Wacky, Pap and Biles again. You know you're talking about people you grew up with when you refer to them by derivatives of their surnames. James (Biles) in particular I haven't seen for certainly a few years, I may have seen Wacky and Pap more recently, but it was awesome to be hanging out and chatting with them again, like old times. It's clear they've all become much closer over the years too, which is lovely, there's some proper brotherly love going on there.

This was all at Lorraines birthday party, she invited me on Thursday having suddenly realised was a Northernite. I met Lol through some friends in college. It was a rather lovely cocktail bar called the Albert and Pearl in Islington. Jo and I turned up just before 9pm and it was strange....and be surrounded by people who were pretty blotto (not Lol's mates I hasten to add)...I don't know what time they'd started, and whether the A&P has a happy hour, but if they do then these guys had been taking full advantage. One young lady got up from outside to go back in and just staggered around and fell to her knees. There was a distinct thudding sound, she seemed relatively ok, but I bet she had some nasty bruises and some trouble walking when the alcohol-induced anaesthetic-fug wore off the next day. Her mate made a gallant attempt at preserving her integrity by yelling 'that's what you get for waering stupid shoes!' can't hold herself upright my dear.

We supped a couple of lovely cocktails, Summer Breeze and Long Island Iced Tea, supped them slowly, I find most cocktail bars to be a rip off! But we wanted to have some cocktails instead of the normal pints we're downing. After a couple we decided we'd wander off and look for somewhere slightly cheaper, and with seats! Yes, we're old ladies, all we wanted was a nice comfy chair!

Eventually we found ourselves in The Library, a quaint little We peered through the window to check out the seating situation, and the bouncer kindly identified a small empty table by the bar for us. Back on the lager-beer! Now Jo and I had, uncharacteristically, made a little bit of effort that night. Whilst I'd replaced the printed tee with a nice white asymmetrical top and swapped the St John issue boots for ballet type shoes, Jo had dusted off the heels, put a necklace on, and donned a nice 'boobies out' bra. It might not sound like much, but if you know us, you'll know it's extravagance. We might even have had some nice chappies come up and talk to us.....had we not been slumped grumpily over our beers. Posture is important, it really is, but the temptation to lean on the convenient table was all too much.

As it was, a couple of blokes did come over, one clearly off his tits...and he wasn't a nice drunk, he was an obnoxious one! At one point he grabbed a hairband of mine and yelled 'Stick your finger out!' When I hesitated he yelled again 'stick your fucking finger out!!!'. At which point I told him just how lovely and charming he was. I eventually relented and stuck my finger out, whereupon he proceeded to try some kind of trick where the hairband flicks from my finger to his. It was less than impressive. The other bloke was nicer, and didn't seem quite so drunk, until he suddenly turned white as a sheet and started gulping and looking down in the manner of someone who expects to vomit in the immediate future.

After a trip to the toilet and a very bad joke told by our intoxicated friend, and very possibly disgusted by our lack of overt interest, they bimbled off.

Jo and I had one more pint and headed for the nightbus, it being too late to catch the last tube. It was at this point that we realised what the fabled 'beer-jacket' is for, we were FREEZING our tits off, this would never have happened had we been drunk! In a feeble attempt to warm ourselves up we grabbed some chips and started the walk to the N38 stop. The N38 is not something to be experienced unless you're a little bit merry that's just some advice from me to you dear people.

In other fab nights out, well done to Rob Beckett who won Leicester Squares London Comedian of the Year. It was a tough competition, I'd seen about half of the finalists before, and the ones I hadn't seen before were equally excellent. I did very much like Tanya and Sarah's sets, and of course, George Ryegold was as hilarious as ever. The whole atmosphere was really supportive and feel-good, anyone who was anyone was there dahling!

The aftermath included staying in Waxy's Little Sister until it closed, and then onto the good old Royal George afterwards. Jo and I got a little overexcited at one point when I mistook the time and thought we could make it home in time to call Mr Domino's. I'm a little concerned at just HOW excited we were, and Jo was very upset when she realised my mistake and that our dreams had been shattered. It turned out to be Western Fried Chicken for the FTW!! They do a mean chicken burger. fun. Another week of joy lays ahead. I'm seeing lovely Kayleigh tonight, things are looking up for her which is fantastic, new home, soon-to-be-healed foot! Tomorrow is Party Piece, Jo is on and Linda is coming by to scope it out, after all the fuss we've made. Wednesday Nicki and I are seeing The Imaginarium of Doctor Parnassuss at the Electric. It's all go go go, and I would like some sleep please. Dragging myself out of bed is bad enough at this time of year when it's still dark.

Hope you all have simply wonderful weeks :o) xx

Thursday, 15 October 2009

Worky work work

People are always telling me day I'll get away with it.

An ex boyfriend of mine once reliably informed me that if you are stuck out in the cold and need to share body heat to get warm then you fact...need to be completely naked for it to work efficiently. This was after he'd taken me to the country park at midnight and stolen my bus pass.....I'm not sure what he was hoping to achieve, we'd only been seeing each other a week.

Minor catch-up in the life of Becki....everything is going simply swimmingly at the moment! Close friends will know that things at work are picking up! I've been in my role of 'Operations Officer/Estates and Laboratory Management Team Member' for about 3 years now. When I asked about the chance of progression at my interview (having reassured Bruce that I wasn't after his job) I was faced with much umming and ahhing and told that there are no definite lines of progression. I didn't really mind this too much at the time, I wasn't sure what I wanted to do or how long I would stay, so I was just happy to take the job and figure it out from there.

Turns out that UCL sucks you in, it sucks you in and never spits you out. There are people I work with who studied for their BSc's here and never left, they've been a round for nigh on 40 years! I admire that kind of dedication, and if you're enjoying your job then it's fantastic, but after a while you do tend to fall into one of 3 categories:

1) Happy but stagnating

2) Stagnating and institutionalised

3) Flexible and happy

Some people are happy to continue doing the job they're doing forever and that's cool. Some people are resigned to the fact that they have been and will be doing the same job forever, but have been here so long that the thought of getting a job elsewhere is too much effort, or far too scary. And (I know, never start a sentence with an 'and', I'm a rule breaker, get over it), some people have the balance, a place like UCL changes over time, you've gotta move with the times instead of standing stubbornly in the past. UCL is proud of it's past, but as Darwin knew, evolution is inevitable, evolve or die. Some people (the minority and usually the ones who don't take themselves too seriously) can do this. My lovely Lindar is one of them...technician/reasearch assistant.....admin/estates...immunohistochemist, and she's still very happy, will be happier soon, but I'll leave that there for now.

I was in danger of becoming a number 1) *snort*, I think. I very much enjoy my job, the people around me make it for me, I was happy pootling along doing my thang. I like to think that at some point I'd have woken up and thought 'hang on, where did the last ten years go?' but this place sings you a lullaby and it can be 30 years before you know it!

Anyway, recently things have been changing a bit, I've been taken under a wing so to speak, there is exciting training coming up which will adorn me with a qualification that I can take anywhere I like, I'm being mentored and all of a sudden there are 'meetings'. What are they, pray tell?

Climbing the greasy pole is a bit of a mixed blessing I think I'll find, the higher up you get, the less friends you can afford to have. I had a meeting with a gentleman quite high up in Estates recently and he asked me where I want to take my career, and I was quite honest when I said, 'I didn't know what I wanted to do when I was 15 and they sat me down to fill in a silly quiz which promised to tell me excatly what I should do when I grew up, and I don't really know now, but at the moment this feels right to me and we'll see where it takes me'. I'm still young, and if I find that this isn't for me then that's fine, there will be plenty of other opportunities.

In case you were wondering, that quiz told me I was best suited to being a Fish Farmer.

Wednesday, 14 October 2009

Stop reading if you have a weak stomach

I just found this fantastic poem,

My Friend

When you are sad,
I will get you drunk and help you plot revenge against the evil bastard who made you sad.

When you are blue...,
I'll try and dislodge whatever is choking you.

When you smile....,
I'll know you finally got laid.

When you are scared,....
I'll take the piss about it every chance I get.

When you are worried,....
I'll tell you horrible stories about how much worse it could be and to quit whining

When you are confused,....
I will use little words to explain it to your dumb ass

When you are sick,...
Stay the hell away from me until you're well again.
I don't want whatever you have.

When you fall,...
I will point and laugh at you

This reminds me of you Jo! And the choking bit, St John apt!

I love that we spew each others advice right back at each other when the tables of our lives turn, we're both as psycho as each other at the end of the day. I'm glad I've found my partner in crime!! You're my favourite and I loves loves loves you!

One day we'll listen to each other, that day can't be too far off....can it??

Thanks for being the best :o) xxx

'A friend is one who knows us, but loves us anyway' Jerome Cummings

Too bloody true!

Friday, 9 October 2009

Text of the Day

I'm out with my wonderful mate Mark tonight, I was texting him this morning to find out if others were joining us or not. After telling him I was muchly looking forward to the evening and that I loved him and would see him later he sent me this:

'Me too! Enjoy the rest of your day at work, I shall be building a fort and masturbating for most of the morning! See you later xx'

I offered him anonymity, but he declined, 'there is no shame in building a fort'

Thursday, 8 October 2009

Sandwich HELL!!

After a particularly bad day in the office where everything had been going wrong and my boss was almost teraing his hair out....he decided to go and treat himself to an Upper Crust baguette to fill his tum and soothe his nerves.

The next thing I knew he was swearing and ranting at his savoury meal, where was the butter?? Where was it? It's a spiel I've heard a few times, but this time, oh.....this time he was writing a strongly worded email, oh yes. The Columbus group who own the Upper Crust chain were getting the brunt of pent-up sandwich frustration:

Dear Compass Group,

I am moved to contact you having just bought a cheddar and tomato baguette from the Upper Crust outlet in the UCL (University College London) canteen. The statement on your webpage says it all: "No additional butter or spread is added - just fresh....". My question is: Why is no butter or spread added? This seems to be something of a commonplace approach to sandwich making in some of the "cheaper" outlets around. Why on earth would anyone other than serial dieters want a sandwich without a bit of butter?

As a complete amateur who has made himself a sandwich or two in his time, let me explain. A bit of butter spread on the bread serves at least two important functions: 1) It provides a bit of lubrication to help the otherwise dry, rough bread down. 2) It helps prevent the water in the tomato soaking into the bread turning it into a doughy mush. 3) (yes, I though of another!) It adds a bit of welcome extra flavour. If I could let every sandwich bar know how I feel I would, but I have to start somewhere. There, rant over!

Actually, the baguette wasn't that bad. But for the sake of a pen'orth of butter and a few seconds effort, it could have been so much better. Thanks for your time.


Loving it....take that Columbus Group!

Wednesday, 7 October 2009

Oh My Lol

Jo.........this is just for you dahling, you're my brain holder-inner!!

Image cred: ICHC


I find myself physically and mentally exhausted after a tough evening yesterday, for full details (and photographic evidence) of the 'Big Clean' you must visit Ogs Blog....for a laugh if nothing else. Yes, Ogs and I spent nigh on 3 hours last night performing a thorough deep clean of her flat. Housework not being a favoured pastime of the masses, let alone for Jo and I, I feel I now need to explain our twisted actions.

Jobie has been in her flat in the Stow for seven or eight years now and I think she's got to the point where she wants to upgrade, move onto something new and a bit exciting. I'm in a situation where, as I'm travelling for 3 months next year, I'll be moving back in with the folks before I leave and living there for as long as necessary when I get back. As I'm sure I've said before in a previous post, I love my parents to bits, but this won't last long if I have to move in for an extended period of time.

As such, Ogs and Sprogs find themselves in something which could turn out to be a win win situation! If Jobie finds a nice little 2-bed place (lovenest-place-lovenest) then I can rent the second bedroom and Jobie cuts her costs! Jo has more money, I don't have to harrass my mother and father to within an inch of their sanity.....and we both get to live with our best mate!

Of course there are the obvious hurdles. I turned to Jo the other day with a concerned look on my face and asked:

'But Jo.....what about when one of us gets married??'

At which point we creased up in laughter......ok, maybe that's not such a massive hurdle after all.

We have already agreed on a few House Rules:

1) In order to maintain friendship, Ogs and Sprogs need a dishwasher. One loads ones own washing up into the dishwasher and when it is full, dishwasher goes on. Under NO circumstances must one put dirty washing up into a dishwasher full of clean crockery due to laziness.

2) When we get chikinz, they will look like this:

Soz Ogs, I know it's not the same one...I couldn't find the pikture!

3) Becki's shit stays in Becki's room. I'm not referring to actual, you know, faeces, there is a time and a place for that. I shall be living in Og's house, no matter how I might like to dress it up to potential man-shapes, and therefore I shall do my utmost to refrain from creating a front-room reminiscent of a Becki-themed psychotic episode. I shall not soil my own room, nor set fire to anything....but there is a chance it shall be a tad.....unkempt. I shall sleep naked and without bedcovers, sans routine, in order to prevent Jo peeking in on the untidyness too frequently. It's for her own good.

4) Men......we haven't quite decided what will happen here, though I suspect that if I think he is no good for her I shall glare at him over breakfast and then accidentally spear his face with a screwdriver whilst doing some 'DIY'. I'm sure Jo is not as cruel and would simply cover him in jam and let Mornington love him to death.

Whatever happens, I'm sure we won't remain single for long...............*cough*

5) No farting if we're expecting company within the hour, no missing the toilet.

I shall post up new rules as and when we come up with them.

Criteria for our lovenest originally included a pony paddock and underground dungeon, however, we were disappointed that most properties seemed only to offer one or the other....or neither.....never both. You can't have a pony paddock without the dungeon, it's just not right.

So, we decided to settle for a garden and a shed, where we shall hold captive unsuspecting victims. Feeding them up until they're too obese to move unaided, at which point we'll take them out for a roll around the garden. Yes, we HAVE actually discussed all this, it's a plan Batpeople.

SO, to take us back to the beginning, the reason Jo and I were scrubbing our hands raw last night is because an Estate Agent was coming to value the flat tonight.....


I frigging hate estate agents.....what tossers

Now I've got that out of my system I need to rush off and do my hair.....make the bed and get an early night ready for a horrendously early morning with Toast Masters (more about that tomorrow I expect)

Image cred: