Sunday, 28 March 2010


A lot of you will know that my dearest darling sister organised surprise leaving drinkies for me this Friday. A lot of you will know because you probably recieved the message that she sent around to almost everybody in my phonebook! Raped and pillaged my mobile she did.

Apparently it was also all over Facebook, how I managed to miss it I have NO idea, clearly I'm not nosy enough!

Friday was excellent, I arrived at the pub under the impression that I was meeting a 6ft 4 policeman and his mates for a pub crawl (care of Wilf Porkie Enterprises) and found two tables full of a completely random assortment of lovely lovely people.

Caroline, Choy, Uma and Viv were there from the zoo, Bruce and Chris from work, my old housemate Steve, Wilfy and Jo who had got me to the pub in the first place, and of course the lovely Nicki were all waiting to surprise me! There were balloons and there was cake and nibbles and lots and lots of booze. There was also an exceptionally excellent white vest being passed around that people were writing messages on. I'm taking it with me and using it as a sleeping top....should be a bit of an ice breaker in the good ole dorm rooms.

After a while, Nicki recieved a phone call from someone who was coming, but neither of us recognised his number. He was described as having an indian accent and for the life of me I could not think of who it might be, until I saw Julio wandering through the pub. That would explain why I couldn't think who it was, he speaks with a very strong Spanish accent! Julio is a painter decorator that we've had in a couple of times to do some jobbies at work. He's absolutely lovely and proceeded to plonk himself at the bar with his mate, from this position he held court with all the ladies and purchased tequilas with wild abandon.

And later on the lovely Kayleigh and Tom turned up, by which point most of us were pleasantly pickled....apart from Steve who was driving...poor Steve.

The whole evening was excellent, Viv was totally on form. She gives the impression of being a very kindly, sweet and benign lady, which she totally is.......and then she gets her hands on the wine. She came out with some absolute gems and took a bit of a shine to our Steve ;), grabby grabby, NORTY Viv!! She certainly helped make the evening, I think I'm a little bit in love.

There were a couple of persistent themes of the evening, the first being spillage of wine! I don't think anyone got away without being splashed by wine at some point in the evening. I was sporting a particularly spectacular purple stain...very chic.

The second theme was JENGA! Perhaps contrary to expectations, as the evening wore on and we became slightly the more worse for wear...we actually got better at Jenga, check this baby out! WIN!

Cake was lovely and booze was lovely and company was excellently lovely lovely. When we got chucked out of the Castle, Kayleigh, Tom, Jo and I moved onto somewhere in Angel for a drinky....but being CONSIDERABLY inebriated by this point, it didn't last too long and soon Jo and I were headed for the nightbus.

We were woken up halfway home by a kindly man who took pity on us and let us know we were being booted off and onto another bus. We must have been a picture of beauty and gorgeousness. Faces squished up against the windows, snoring (probably not gently). I'm impressed he had the guts to approach.

Home for CHIKIN.......and the next thing I know I woke up on the sofa at about 5am.

All the signs of an excellent night I think! Thank you Nicki for organising such a lovely evening, thank you to Jo and Wilf for propelling me in the right direction and thank you to all those who came along to wish me well on my travels. I haz a big love for all of you :o)

Please....take a peek at the photies, these are in order....more evidence for why drinking is bad. There's distinct deterioration!

Nicki fails at Jenga!

Such concentration


Mmm, sexah Jenga pose

The lovely Julio

Tastes good

Hee hee, fab evening guys xxx

Thursday, 25 March 2010

In The Spirit of Equilibrium

and also...I confess...partially to remove that hideous photo from No.1 position, I'd like to post this article I just came across:

You may remember that a couple of week ago I posted an article about a Mississippi school board that had cancelled a senior prom, they'd cancelled it because a lesbian student had requested that she be able to take her girlfriend as her date.

#167 Dad quite rightly highlighted the fact that this shouldn't be taken as a stereotype for the whole of the US, or even as a stereotype for all of the more conservative US states. This article proves that point.

Derrick Martin has been given permission to attend his senior prom with his boyfriend as his date. He lives in Georgia conservative Republican state, and in a town comprising of roughly 5200 residents.

Initially he was turned down by the principal of Bleckley County School, but after deliberation it was decided that there was nothing against it in the rules, and as such they could not say no.

If this can be achieved in these circumstances then there's hope for Mississippi yet....right??!


Tuesday, 23 March 2010

Hey Kayleigh....Remember This?

Why I shouldn't drink - exhibit A

That's me licking wood....apparently. Kayleigh, she's such an artist she is. She's the sculptor of the magnificent hairstyle I'm sporting here.


Equally magnificent is the gift Kayleigh bestowed upon me, from her trip to Falmouth.


My wonderful new plastic dolphin is now gracing the office along with all my other office tat.

Kayleigh also showed me how to use macro on my camera last night....I can't tell you how excited I am about that. I can't believe I didn't know I could do it, but now I do and I haz a happy.

Well.....I can only apologise for this post. I'll do better soon. I promise!

Sunday, 21 March 2010

Meditating on Meditation

Meditation is HARD!!

I went to a meditation class yesterday at the Croydon Buddhist Centre, it was very lovely, though they cleverly and subtly subscribe to that consumerist ploy, you enter and leave through the shop. I'm weak and easily influenced, so I'm now the proud owner of a new bag (with bells on...literally) and a book about meditating on the breath.

Well done me.

I was greeted by Clive and Jane, Clive made me a cuppa and offered me a biscuit, at which point I immediately fell in love. However, in my infinite strength, I managed to decline the offer of a biscuit and opted for green tea....I'm cleansing myself, cleansing...yes.

That was until the halfway teabreak when someone broke out the jammy dodgers. DAMN THEM!! Give me caffeine too!

Myself and another noob were taken into the meditation room (I hesitate to say 'shrine' room as I associate that word with nasty religion, but was a shrine room). There was a lovely golden buddha statue dressed in his saffron robe, and flowers in vases all around him. There was incense burning, and apart from that the room was very plain. A far cry from most Catholic churches you might wander into.

The teacher told us that today we'd be meditating on the mindfulness of breathing. There are different kinds of meditation, some more difficult or less accessible than others. Meditation on breathing is highly accessible because we always have our breath (fingers crossed) and it doesn't require a deep understanding of any buddhist principles. It's a good one for Westerners to use in our hectic and very un-asian lifestyles.

Then she explained to us that there are various ways you can position yourself. They've got these cushions, rectangle ones and squishy round ones, and they have lots of blankets and chairs. Basically you can use any array and combination of these things to arrange yourself in a comfy sitting/kneeling position. As a noob, everyone wanted to help me find my comfy position, I opted for kneeling (I'm a floor-sitter anyway...people in meetings at work find it most disconcerting), and I ended up perched ontop of 2 rectangular cushions, with another in front of me to rest my hands on. All this was ontop of a blanket to protect my feet, and another blanket round my shoulders incase I got cold.

I understood the emphasis on comfort after about half an hour of being sat there!

And so it started, we closed our eyes and started with a body scan, where we directed our attention to various parts of our bodies, starting at the feet and moving to the head, and concentrated on how they felt, the sensation of our clothes/the blanket/the cushions against them. Being a beginner this was difficult, and I found that I had to twitch every body part she was talking about to remind myself where it was and what it felt like. I can see how after a lot of practice you can become aware enough of yourself to (for a start, not have to twitch) feel whether maybe there's something going wrong somewhere. Does this part of me feel normal? No? What's wrong there then?

Then we began the breathing, 4 stages. In all stages you concentrate on the breath and try to tune everything else out. At first, you count after you exhale a breath, one to ten. In the next stage, you count before you inhale. I know I know...surely, counting after you exhale and counting before you inhale is the same thing?? In a way, but there's a subtle difference. By consciously counting before you inhale you're anticipating the next breath, you're not doing that by consciously counting after the exhalation. In the latter, you're finishing, in the former you're beginning.

After that you stop counting altogether and just concentrate on the breathing, then you focus even more specifically on the sensation of the breath as it passes into your body, on the lips, in the mouth and nostrils.

Again, being a first timer I had some trouble. At various points I stopped being able to feel my body and had to stretch my back and or twitch my legs to remind myself what position I was in.

Also, slightly worryingly perhaps, I found myself perpetually leaning to the left! Having to straighten myself up every so often (thank gawd everyone had their eyes closed). Every now again I felt like I was about to wobble forward. Had such a thing occurred, I'm pretty sure that I was so relaxed that my body wouldn't have woken up to respond in time and I'd just have slowly tipped forward, off of my perch onto my face and laid there for a minute...not making a sound. Rather like the felling of a tall solemn oak. If I'd have been lucky it wouldn't have been too noisy and no-one would have noticed.

I also had trouble keeping my brain on one thing, especially with all the madness running around in there at the moment. When I first closed my eyes I felt my eyeballs darting around as if to say 'Whit?? Whit?? What are you dooing?? There are PEOPLE here! Don't close your eyes, that's SOO embarrassing!' Eventually they settled down, but the brain did keep wandering slightly.

I take the piss out of myself and the situation, but I did actually really enjoy the experience. Most people living in the west have hectic lifestyles. Even those of us who like to be a couch potato usually have to get up and go to work/school/university, in order that we earn the right to be a couch potato when we get home. Even perpetual couch potatoes tend to watch telly or read, or play computer games, surf the internet. The point is that even when we're sitting and being quiet, we're not being still and letting our brains be still......ever! That's what was unusual about meditation, being SO still for an hour, letting everything else get on with it and concentrating on yourself for a little while.

It was very nice and I felt relaxed and serene afterwards, perhaps that's why I spent £15 in the shop, it's all that incense, gets to your brain.

By the by, I met someone during the break who's on the comedy course that Oggers went on, and the one that she tends bar for during the showcases. His showcase is next weekend. It's a small world. He said to me 'Did you enjoy it? You didn't find it too scary?'

That struck me. It's true, many people in London would probably walk into a room of people meditating, with their cushions and blankets, dead silence, dead stillness, and they'd think they'd walked in on a cult. They'd turn tail and run for fear of being brainwashed. It's too different, it's not normal.

Let me tell ya something!

Different is ok.

Saturday, 20 March 2010

One Year of Blogging!

Happy Birthday Blog!

My blog is one year old today, a happy bouncing baby blog. Awwwww :o)

180 posts, that's more than 2 per week, and what on earth have I found to talk about in that time? Mostly a pile of rubbish I suspect, but I thought it would be nice to put together a little photo record of a year(ish) in the life of a Sproglet:

March 2009 - The one with Oggers and the farm

April 2009 - The one with Mini and Mother Sprogs in the greenhouse *gasp*

May 2009 - The one where I moved to Walthamstow (pwiddy gerbera moving in gift from Oggers)

July 2009 - The one where I went to Italy

August 2009 - The one where Mini Sprogs and I went horse riding

August 2009 - The one with a (one of many) pubcrawl

September 2009 - The one at Notting Hill

October 2009 - The one where Mini Sprogs and I went to Barcelona

November 2009 - The one with birthday food and gerbilz! (If you really wanna see those drunk bday pictures, clickerise here.

December 2009 - The one with the Christmas Pubcrawl (#167 Dad...I have an attention-seeking ketchup bottle!!)

January 2010 - The Baking one

February 2010 - The one with Chinese New Year

March 2010 - The one where I inherited a human skull :o)

Here's looking forward to another fun and weirdness-packed year :o) xx