Saturday, 28 November 2009
I've played Civ, read some Prince2 Project Management training stuff.....oh the jargon, and now I'm back on the interwebz faffing like a faffer.
I've been on ICHC and I just have to ask you Jo...is this Mornington???!!
Now we know what that yowling was last week...keep her away from those goats.
Friday, 27 November 2009
It's alright for him....the electrodes had been put away by now!! He couldn't resist a little whirl in the chair though :D
Thank you Wiki
Thursday, 26 November 2009
I hadn't, for I am blind, but when we came back down into the pub proper I saw him with his mates, chilling with some drinks. No one was bothering him, but you could see people clocking him and doing a double take. We perched on a table nearby and stole glances every now and again, trying to be cool and subtle like everyone knows we are.
Tuesday, 24 November 2009
Jo and I made it in one piece, without any knitting needles embedded anywhere upon our person, and only slightly late, to Waxy O'Conners where I'd booked a little area to fill with all my favourite people on my birthday.
As we bimbled down the stairs we met the Steve who had been hanging around for at least half an hour already, and we made our way over to the little booked area where a couple of guys I didn't know sat looking sheepish.
I'd been quite anxious to get there on time, when you book an area you never know how long the establishment will wait for the first guest to turn up before they lose faith and open it up to the 'ugh' general public. You KNOW that as the person who booked it, you have to be there somewhat on time because your guests don't want to be the first people to arrive.
Turn up 20 minutes late and what you'll find is clusters of your friends hovering around the periphery of the 'booked zone', as if there's some kind of inpenetrable forcefield surrounding it.
So Jo and I dragged Stevie through the forcefield and plonked ourselves down, the two interlopers left pretty soon, they could probably feel the force radiating off of me as I prepared to ask them to scarper. The next people to turn up were Wilf and his mate Beck, and Norm.
I tell a wee lie, we knew that Kyle was somewhere in the building, he had been deflected even further by the aforementioned forcefield...to the point where we couldn't actually locate him! Not entirely our fault, this place is labyrinthine and when I went looking I soon lost all faith in my meagre sense of direction and returned, tail between legs, to wait for him to find us. Find us he did and we had a little crowd forming.
Vicky and her blokie Dan turned up next. As you probably guessed, the buying of drinks had started immediately upon arrival, and from the word go I was never without a pint in hand and another ready on the table! So when Dan asked if I'd like another drink and I indicated my next pint ready to go, he asked if I'd like a short. I didn't want to be rude now did I?? I asked for a sambuca....one shot....I can deal with that. Fine.
By the end of the evening I'd had 5 sambuca (3 care of Dan and 2 care of some lovely ladies I'll mention in a minute) and one shot of tequila...care of Clara). How am I still alive?
Then Kayleigh and Tom arrived, gagging for some foodage, they both ordered chicken burgers. They took a while to arrive, but when they did! I don't think I've seen a burger that huge in my entire life!!
Wilf and Beck sidled off after one drink, I can't say I blame them, they'd been out wandering in the rain and had come from a nice quiet restaurant into a loud blaring bar full of loud blaring people. Thank you guys very much for coming if you're reading this, it was great to see you there :)
The music in the place I must say was excellent, very poppy/rocky and very easy to dance to, just my thing!! Just as well, if I hadn't been dancing I think those shots would have knocked me right out. Everyone else turned up at almost the same time at about ten o'clock or maybe a bit later. I'd just said hi to Mark, Clara and Leney when Nicki tapped me on the shoulder, she'd arrived with Helen and Harry...and most importantly....my BIRTHDAY CAKE! There was a stir of excitement as she placed it on the table and went to remove the cover:
Oh yes...just what we need in an Irish pub :D. I managed to mutilate it before we did the whole candle-blowing-out thing, much to Nicki's disgust.....it was blimmin delicious! Sponge and jam, nom nom nom!!!! What a fab icing job though eh people?
Of course, you always get your characters on a night out. We had the 2 drunken Irish 'Party Police' as they called themselves, who harrassed us at various points in the evening. I threw them out when one came onto Nicki, but they came back later after I'd invited a gaggle of girlies into the area. They'd been standing and dancing outside of the forcefield and they seemed a laugh so I invited them in. By this point in the evening the rest of the bar was packed and my mates and I were enjoying an oasis of relative peace and calm in the centre, so I thought they'd benefit too. These were the lovely ladies who bought me 2 sambucas in thanks for letting them in. Bless! I invited them to join in the blowing out of candles and singing happy birthday seeing as they were also celebrating 2 birthdays.
The picture takers of the evening were Steevie, and the 'official' photographer Norman :). I've yet to see Norms pics, and I'll add some here when I do, but as you can see from Steves pics.....they witnessed some fun and games as the evening wore on!
When we got thrown out of the place at midnight most people went home, Jo and I carried on briefly to a bar somewhere (I canny remember the name) where we had a few more drinks and talked to innocent victims about knitting. We then proceeded to sleep all the way home on the nightbus and then attack Western Fried Chicken at about 4am......it was a good night, oh yes.
Monday, 23 November 2009
Learning casting on from a man on tinterwebz
The scarf was begun successfully the following morning after the 'casting on' method was carefully processed within the intoxicated minds of drunks overnight. I'm reliably informed that it's about a foot long already, huzzah!!
Jo and my scarf are clearly made of WIN.
Saturday, 21 November 2009
As you can see, the sardines didn't last very long!! They were bloody delicious, if a little bony! Bony little bastards. Om nom nom. I shall be barbecuing sardines this summer.
Wilfred had steamed seabass, and Linda had roasted salmon. By all accounts, all food was delicious! One curious little thing they has was anchovy butter in the breadbasket, I quite enjoyed that, very salty, but gooood :)
As you can see, satisfaction was had all round.
Check out the beard...he can't deny it's him!
Thank you Linda and Wilfy for a fabulous pre-birthday day, and thank you so much for a delicious meal Wilfy :D Hopefully see you both tonight for a wee drinky or two xxx
Friday, 20 November 2009
Ogger's made us dinner rather than us ordering Domino's
We're practically athletes......and yet, the fact that we felt the need to point these facts out suggests that we may be falling short of our potential.
Tinny in a brown paper bag.......oh yes.....oh yes. All we need is a coupla fags, velour tracksuits, gold hoop earrings and a buggy pushed by a small child wearing a grubby vest.
'2 straws and 2 cigarettes please....no....not a whole packet....how much for 2?
60p??!!.......How about one? We'll share.'
Wednesday, 18 November 2009
Graham in his sand bath!
Keep tuned for more friends-pets-related posts!! I'm off to attack Mr Neelix and Lillie soon, their human is called Vicky.
In other news, my Jo is back from Rome!! Welcome home Jobie xxx
Anyway, drunk uncle Ken leaves eventually and we're left talking to Mark. He turns out not to be so bad. One of those high-earning guys who lacks the ability to really talk to women and resorts to talking about his business and his property etc etc etc. After our pints we bid him adieu and headed off to bed.
Monday, 16 November 2009
The weekend started with Gerbilarium and Toms housewarming party in Wood Green. I was staying over and had forgotten to fetch my small sleeping bag from my parents house, so I had to trek over with this MONSTER sleeping bag. I can quite describe how large this thing is and I got more than a few strange glances. The strangest being when I wandered into Costcutters to get beer, I tied the sleeping bag to my other bag and carried the beer around the shop.
I think I resembled some kind of odd, alcoholic gypsy.
The party was wicked, the guys had been worried that the weather would prevent them being able to use their roof terrace, but for most of the evening the rain held off, though it was a tad blustery I must say! The next day when we went for a brekkie we walked past all the blown-down building detritus from the roadworks, it was like a scene from 28 days later. Despite never having met any of their guests, everyone got on really well, much beer was drunk, much wine was spilt by Kayleigh and many snacks were eaten.
People began to leave at about midnight at which point Kayles and I found anything we could to dip in the remaining....dips. There were 2 slice of bread...they went first. Then peanuts....how do you dip peanuts in dips you may ask. Very messily I would answer.
At about 1am Kayles, Hayley and I went out for FRICKEN!! The things you witness in Fricken shops. We're pretty sure a bird dragged some guy into the bathroom to pleasure him in certain ways...and Kayles woke up a bloke who was quite clearly dead drunk, only to then be propositioned by him. At this point we made our exit whilst he staggered up the road after us. Luckily, he seemed to come to his sense and stopped at the bus stop.
I fell in love with their flat, it's small, but perfectly formed with dark wood beams, their own bathroom with a corner bath, a little walk in cupboard and a ROOF TERRACE! Did I mention that before? It's a personal roof terrace too! They share a kitchen, but that's doable, it's the bathroom that's a faff to share. Gorgeous!
The next morning involved mainly playing with the gerbils in the bath and BREAKFAST!! Oh yum, oh yum yum yum!!
Once I got home...started with a 2 hour nap and then the zoo rota...hardly thrilling!
Linda and I have been trying to see Kylie (Del) and his band Bricktop play for AGES, and we finally managed to get a date out of him that both of us could get to, we weren't gonna miss it!
I got to Linda's at about 6:30pm and we sat down for a couple of beers and ordered some Dominos pizza!! NOM!!
We hit The Standard just after 8pm and immediately ran into Kylie who was kind enough to buy us a drink...so now I was on the Guinness...oh dear!
Bricktop were supporting the main act of the night, Bootleg Blondie, a Blondie Tribute band. The great thing about Bricktop is that, as well as slinging in a couple of sing-along crowd pleasers, they write and perform their own stuff, not constrained in the way tribute bands are. For a 3-piece they were bastard loud and had everyone bouncing along, it was fantabulous. I had forgotten how much I enjoyed seeing live music. It ended too soon for my liking, here's a taste!
Bootleg Blondie were cool, the lead singer looked remarkably like Debbie Harry with the cat-like eyes. There were 3 costumes, each top/dress getting slightly, slightly shorter. The last one was basically a long t-shirt and there was a massive flash of ass every time she turned around!
At one point whilst we were outside a guy came up...clearly pissed off his tits! He started chatting to us and asked us where we lived..
'REALLY?'.....looking at Linda 'I'm from Walthamstow! We should swap numbers and hook up'
'Cos I'm leaving, for Australia. No offence, it's been planned for a while, I didn't just decide!'
At which point another dude came over, having heard the word Australia, he was half Ozzie half South African...interesting accent.
The drunk guy now came into his own by exposing possibly the only redeeming things about him, a couple of awesome tattoos. On his left upper arm he had an amazingly intricate tattoo of a monster from the Alien movies. On his right shoulder he had the Predator, again, fantastic quality! Everyone seemed to be oohing over the Alien, but I liked the Predator better....but then I've always had a thing for guys with dreds.
I had 3 pints of Guinness whilst there and they didn't even seem to touch the sides. After an excellent night out listening to music and bopping at the back of the bar, I made it home relatively sober and before midnight.
What a bloody excellent evening, check out Bricktop!!
Thursday, 12 November 2009
I'm pretty happy with how the old bloggage is going so far, I'm sure the Crap Blog Detective will be along at some point to correct me and reduce me to a jibbering idiot in the corner, but ho hum, I won't be the first and I surely shan't be the last.
Since I added the StatCounter a few weeks ago I've been hooked, hooked and intrigued. I was most excited when I got my first non-UK hit, now I've had hits from every continent except the Arctic and Antarctica.....which, of course, I fully intend to visit purely so I can log in and get the full set. Ok ok, only one from both South America and Africa, but I'm working on it, ok? And, just because I'm that sad...here it is, my recent visitors map:If you've ever visited before then one of those little pins is you. I know it's tiny, but this is the best I can do, sorry!
There are lots of you out there, do feel free to leave a comment every now and again, it's not polite to lurk you know! :D Maybe you can tell me which dot belongs to you....unless you live in London...I doubt you could decipher which is yours!
I'm off to have a cup of dodgy Spanish Earl Grey in celebration. You didn't expect an epic for my 100th did you? All this blog posting has knackered me right out.
I know how to do it in style.....Rock and Roll
This humungous lorry was parked at the end of my road outside the allotments, for seemingly no reason whatsoever. There were 2 guys just sat in the cab, no evidence of off-loading. Evene if they WERE delivering...to where? I'm pretty sure I've never seen 'HORNY!' in the Co-op. Maybe one of the small newspaper shops is trying out the 'sex-sells' angle? After all it does 'Macht lust auf mehr', which BabelFish reliably informs me translates roughly to 'makes more desire'.
What's next? Sexy girls washing the windows in their bikinis?
I guess anything is worth a shot in todays economic climate.
The second funny thing that I.....and 3/4 of London saw is this.
For those of you who don't fancy following the link, basically, an ex-astronaut drove 1000 miles across the US from Houston to Orlando to launch an attack on a love rival.
Feasible...however, the part that this link doesn't mention, is that she was dressed in a wig and a nappy at the time. It seems she had the sense to cover up with a trenchcoat though.
Ah, all pre 8am....I wonder what other treats the day has in store for me?!
Wednesday, 11 November 2009
I witnessed something that made my heart sink a little bit yesterday.
Jo and I were on our way to Party Piece when we stopped across the road for some money outside Morrisons. As we approached the cash machines there was a guy with a pram and a coupla littluns drawing out some money. His daughter, who I guess was about 4 years old was faffing around on the other machine pretending to draw money out. Cute.
The guy finished his transaction and removed the little girl for us so that we could use the machine. He then handed the kid a ten pound note.
She held it in the air to check the watermark, waved it around a bit like it was some kind of 'golden ticket', and then she kissed it.
She KISSED the money.
It wasn't just the kiss, it was the way she did it...almost as if she worshipped the stuff.
What are kids being taught to value nowadays? Does she know you have to work for money, or does she think she can just take it from a machine, in the same way that so many kids from 'superpower' nations believe that milk comes from a cardboard cow? Super in what way exactly?
I think I'm going to go home tonight and try for a proper clearout, that really sickened me and I know I have an attachment to far too many material things.
Let's cleanse the soul and get rid! Although in all liklihood I'll get in tonight, decide I'm too tired, faff around on my computer and fall asleep in my comfy bed surrounded by the 26 years worth of detritus that I hold so dear...
Tuesday, 10 November 2009
I wasn't too beetrooty or flustered because I'd done so much preparation and I pretty much knew what I wanted to say. I lost my track in the middle when a cleaner wandered into the room and faffed around at the back retrieving a phone he had left to charge....dinkus, however, I used my mindmap and recovered from that. In general it went ok. I was still bricking it, but not in as obvious a way as normal!
I tried to escape to my seat as soon as I'd finished the presentation and was duly reprimanded for seeking sanctuary, so I stood and answered some questions.
Then it was time for feedback...oh dear god!
I was asked, 'so, how do you think that went?'. My babbling answer was basically along the lines of 'I know it was far from perfect, but by my standards it went rather well thank you!'
Apparently....and I breathed a small sigh of relief at this...I'm not as bad at presenting as I think I am. I have good mastery of deciding what I should talk about, marshalling ideas and corralling concepts. I'd clearly prepared thoroughly given my visual aid.
Then he pointed out that this should all mean that I'm confident talking in front of people...and given that I'm not, the only reason can be is that I'm worried about how I come across. Thinking about it, it's very true. I had little self-confidence whilst I was growing up, and I definitely have more now.
However, how much of that is real self confidence, and how much is an act I put on to mask the lack of self confidence?
I think all the vestiges of insecurity I still have are manifest in my fear of public speaking. If I can overcome this and move forward to become confident talking in front of a crowd, I think it'll be a huge achievement for me. I'm quite looking forward to seeing if I can do it.
One thing I've learnt is that preparation is key! The 7 P's:
Previous Proper Planning Prevents Piss Poor Performance
Ok...I'm off to talk to myself in a mirror
Monday, 9 November 2009
It's pathetic really, it's 5 minutes...to one person...and I'm doing it specifically because he knows I have a problem with public speaking, so I'm guessing he's not expecting me to be any good.
I'm not sure what this problem is that I have with public speaking. When I was a kid I was terminally shy. I mean REALLY shy, not that you'd know it now. These days I can approach strangers and start conversations, I can even go up to people in the fish and chip shop and order something (never would have as a kid). Yet I have this massive public speaking hangover
Red, flustered and stuttery. A flustered, stuttery beetroot. Reduced to a vegetable.
So....I've been running through what I'll say, I inflicted a stunted version upon my mother yesterday and Wilfy helped me by printing my garish visual aid out in A2 today. I'm hoping the bright colours will distract him from the piss-poor content of my presentation.
I'm going to get an early night and get up early tomorrow morning, trudge into work and run through a couple more times before I meet him at 9am.....
Wish me luck guys, I'll report back on my progress.
One thing is for sure, I'll be needing Party Piece tomorrow night!
Saturday, 7 November 2009
I say plan because although I've booked the time off work, I haven't yet organised my flights and have just lost my passport!! I fully intend on getting there, but one doesn't want to tempt fate.
So, I've been thinking about what to pack and I've been looking at a number of websites that purport to advise you on what to take. It seems that the rule of thumb is as follows:
Make a list of the minimum you're happy to take and decide how much money you think you'll need. Then...when it comes to packing, halve the amount of stuff you intended on taking and double the amount of money.
I'm planning on taking a relatively small bag, 35 litre maximum. Apart from the fact that it's been recommended by most people I've spoken to, I KNOW how grumpy I get when I have to hump luggage around everywhere with me, and it's best to avoid that. This means I'll have to pack savvy. A large amount of stuff I could pick up when I arrive in Bangkok, and much cheaper than I could buy it here, but there are things I must have before I leave.
Here's a list of stuff I have in mind to take with me, it needs honing and if any world travellers come across this somehow I'd really value your input!
2 long sleeved shirts (pick uppable in Bangkok?)
One long skirt and one pair of convertible lightweight trousers
2 pairs of lightweight trousers
4 pairs of undies
3 or 4 pairs of socks
TEVA shoes (I'm getting for xmas....wew hew)
Silk sleeping bag liner
Notebook and pen (prittstick?)
Sandwich bags/ziplock bags
First Aid Kit:
And also all the necessary paperwork of course! Passport, tickets, insurance and vaccination details, cash and bank card. Photocopies of everything.
People always say take a travel belt, but I'm umming and ahhing about this. First off, unless you get a super-swishy one they're likely to be hot and annoying against your skin in warm weather. Secondly, if you're targeted by a thief, chances are they'll know you're likely to have one and will take or slash it. My plan is to take a daysack and sew pockets into either that or the rucksack and put my passport etcinto those. So even if someone comes along and slashes the bottom of your bag, they don't fall out.
It may seem quite a bit, but a lot of the items are very small and others pack down quite small.
Optional extras would include:
I'm also CONSIDERING buying a netbook to take with me, but it adds weight...and there's also the risk of theft. I'd make sure it was insured!! The benefits are that I can take advantage of the wi-fi I know is prevalent (except in the very remote places), keep in touch with people, and blog my heart out!
There are things I'm bound to have forgotten, as well as stuff I haven't even thought about. Any suggestions/advice/criticism (of the constructive variety) would be very welcome. Also, any suggestions for brand/model of backpack!
Thank you very muchness ladies and gents.
Friday, 6 November 2009
Yesterday we indulged in 'Becki's back from holiday and I fancy a doughnut' Krispy Kremes, bought by the lovely Greggle. Or rather....paid for by the lovely Greggle who sent me out to get them along with his Ploughmans lunch Meal Deal for £2 from Tesco. I've been meaning to get back on the dieting wagon for some time, and I'd thought I could be good today after yesterdays Krispy Kreme based excesses.
Thursday, 5 November 2009
Most of the janitors that work here are South American and so speak Spanish and Portugese. We've had a couple of instances in the past where they've had trouble understanding stupid wordy signs that people have left up for them (I may have been a culprit...you can tell which ones are mine by the silly smily faces I put all over them).
When I emailed the helpdesk I put in a line saying 'they're planning on putting warning signs up on the very sensitive equipment. Would English suffice or would your operatives prefer Spanish/Portugese?' Then I deleted it...then I put it back in again....then I deleted it.
First off, I was worried that I was somehow insinuating that the janitors wouldn't be clever enough to just be careful having been told by their manager that they should be careful, that we must also put up signs to remind them.
Secondly, I was worried that I was somehow insinuating that, just because they choose to chat to each other in their native tongue, they don't have a firm enough grasp on the english language to understand a warning sign.
When really, all I'm trying to do is make sure the users equipment doesn't get damaged, and that the janitors know where they're at in terms of what they need to avoid.
Political, social and cultural correctness makes my brain turn to mush....I'll just carry on being nice.
Wednesday, 4 November 2009
La Seu Cathedral in Barcelonas Gothic region
The 'Cascada' in Parc de la Ciutadella
Arc de Triomf - yes, Barcelona has one too!
Amazing sculptures on the roof terrace of Gaudi's 'La Pedrera'
Gaudi's La Sagrada Familia - and cranes
Parc de Montjuic at dusk
Gaudi's Parc Guell - reminds me of the gingerbread house!