one step at a time.

Monday, December 31, 2007

this is how I avoided tidying up today....

I learnt how to do a hat! And I like it. I used the cheapest rubbish wool as I was practising so it's really thin and a bit floppy. And the pom-pom is enormous...

Sunday, December 30, 2007

Much better now!

I posted a couple of days ago about our horrible journey home from my parents' house. Thank you for all your comments wishing us luck with the journey and offering sympathy! It was a long way home, but has all turned out well in the end.

OK so my boyfriend is currently having to leave at 6.20am to get a bus then walk to his work because they have cancelled trains this week.

OK so the cat had to come home from the cattery in a taxi. Which he didn't seem to like much. He probably preferred it to his journey TO the cattery, on which we took a detour to the car wash. He was scared and fairly wild-eyed during the experience, so if you are a cat owner please take it from me that you should NOT take a cat through an automatic car wash machine.

I think he's quite pleased to be home though!

The repairs were covered by the warranty on the car so are FREE. And the tow back to Glasgow on a lorry was FREE (especially as the RAC cover was paid for by my boyfriend's mother). The garage called yesterday to say they have fixed the car and we can collect it any time from 8am on Monday.

So all in all, though it may have taken a long time, it probably ended up saving us about £60 in petrol minus taxis and bus trips. I think about £30 saved overall.

Thursday, December 27, 2007

Car Troubles!

Today we got in the car for a LONG drive (400 miles home).

HOWEVER the car wouldn't start properly. We got it going and headed off to the other side of town, however after only 2 miles dark smoke that smells pretty bad is pouring from the engine.

We got the car back to my folks' house and called the RAC who said that they could be here within the next 3 hours.

The RAC man has been - he checked the car for ages on the drive. The oil was low but I filled it before leaving Glasgow so that shouldn't be the case. That was all he could find wrong. Because we were adamant that SMOKE couldn't be ok he got in for a drive. They made it to the end of the street... then came back because our car is gubbed.

So now we are waiting for the lorry to tow the car 400 miles back home!! I think it works as a relay so we'll tag team our way up North and dump the car at the garage. We will then need to get a taxi home with all our presents (and all the food my mother ALWAYS packs us off with).

Tomorrow we will work out how to pick the cat up from kennels while we are both at work and we have no car.

Update (next day): We got home at 23:20 after 15 hrs trying to get home. Traffic was bad and the weather was horrible but the pick-up truck driver was fab and didn't moan at all.

Wednesday, December 26, 2007

Wordless (woolly) Wednesday

Christmas Shopping

On Saturday I went out to buy presents for my family. Really I knew it was a bit late to be doing this but thought I'd better go for it anyway (can't imagine my Sister if I'd turned up here without goodies).

My first port of call was the cheese shop. I wanted to buy Stilton for my Dad and knew he'd like it if it were fancy special Stilton. When I arrived at the shop (which is fairly small!) there was a queue stretching down the street. I joined it at the back.

I waited in the queue as we moved forwards slowly. After 40 minutes or so I had my foot in the door. Only to find that the queue wound round the inside of the shop too.
This cheese shop is full of exciting foodstuffs. There are French delicacies in jars, Spanish saffron which I bought for my boyfriend's mum and of course SCOTTISH foods (oatcakes to go with the cheeses).

The queueing became less arduous inside the shop, as it was dry and warm and there were things to look at. However the smell in a cheesemonger shop is indescribable. You smell cheese, but unlike normally strong smells which you stop smelling after you are enveloped for a few minutes, the cheese smell changed as I moved around the store. So I could still smell cheesiness until I left.

The queueing lasted a further 40 minutes before I was served. By this time I was bored, and had spotted a whole Scottish blue cheese for £8 (which meant I didn't have to get it weighed and wrapped too) so just handed over the cash for the cheese and saffron and squeezed my way back to the door past the other eager Glasgow cheesies.

During the queueing process I joined in one interesting conversations... about parking in the city. It seems that EVERYBODY in Glasgow has a parking story. Mainly they have had parking tickets. I can go one up on this. My car was towed away after my boyfriend parked it in a no parking zone. I'd advise against this - it becomes very expensive when you go to get the car back.

So it wasn't an altogether unpleasant experience despite the 1hr 20 mins duration. I learnt that there are people in Glasgow who do this queue for cheese EVERY CHRISTMAS. It is part of the festive tradition for them. I am not planning to join them in this, but the cheese (Strathdon Blue) is delicious. It's creamy and rich - with the blue cheese tang you expect. Mmmm. And Dad's happy with it too. Success... Surely worth it?

Monday, December 24, 2007


It's so close now!!!!!!!!!!!!!! And the fighting in the Champ household is well and truly under way!

But it wouldn't be Christmas without family conflict... for us anyway!

I understand that there are some people who get along for the entire festive season. I can't see how.

All the same - it's nice to be home with the folks and siblings.

Hope you all have a fine Christmas. I'll try to pop round but this computer is about 100 years old and is somewhat creaky!


Saturday, December 22, 2007


I think this is it - time to brave the horrible streets of a mobbed city centre. It's so cold in the house now that my fingers barely type so I will leave before I have to put the heating on.


TODAY is present buying day. The word on the street is that sales have started already... so there should be bargains aplenty.

OR the shops may have run out of all their good stuff leaving only the tat that nobody wanted. One way or the other..........

Tuesday, December 18, 2007

Strictly Come Dancing

My favourite (Alesha) is still in! And despite my missing the show every week due to work the BBC have put clips on you tube. Sadly you can't embed them.

So if you have a spare minute please watch this clip as it was beautiful.

found one that does embed... it's not the same dance though.

Friday, December 14, 2007


it's definitely bed time (nearly 2am) but I thought I'd pop in to wish everyone a good weekend and to explain that my self-imposed target completion date for the recently learnt scarf-knitting is Christmas day. So I'll need to spend all spare time on it for now.

Of course my addiction to your blogs will mean that I do squeeze visits in anyway.

Last night on the train I got the knitting out (I'd been playing in Edinburgh) and started doing it. It got everyone chatting at my table. The bloke next to me couldn't resist asking what I was making. I explained that I'd only learnt how to knit on Tues so was making a scarf. He said that he can knit too. Cool, eh? Next the woman opposite told me that she used to knit and once made a mohair sweater for herself. She also said that watching me was making her want to take it up again.

A wee bit later on the lady opposite pointed out that there was another girl in the bank of seats opposite who was also knitting! She was knitting a very delicate beautiful scarf-shaped knit with one big needle and one little one. Very pretty.

I will tell you now: My knitting is gonna look horrible as my boyfriend picked the colours. I am not sure if it was revenge for taking him to the new hobbycraft shop or not but they're HIDEOUS. I'll show you on Weds anyway.

Wednesday, December 12, 2007

new project

I have decided to learn to knit. It's been easy til now... but after the GG division carol concert I started on a bottle of rose wine.... Now knitting is HARD!!!

Monday, December 10, 2007

feeling festive

I was feeling very festive earlier on today....

but after an hour of writing out christmas tunes for beginner brass and keyboards I HATE IT ALL!

One more dodgy rendition of rudolph might just send me over the edge and I still have two pupils left this evening.


Saturday, December 08, 2007

on the fly

hi - I will be round to see you all asap - working til tomorrow more or less now and have been posting quickly for the last couple of days in spare minutes.  Hopefully see you tomorrow!!

The next generation of MSN Hotmail has arrived - Windows Live Hotmail

christmas decorating!

look what I made! Ok - so I bought the wreath but it was plain fir... so I put mad curly ribbon on it and added berries. It looks a bit messy but I like it.

And the tree is up!!!!

Thursday, December 06, 2007

Thursday Thirteen #26

I've not done one of these for a while.

The 1st 13 videos we own from left to right. Can you guess which are mine and which belong to my boyfriend?

1 Elizabeth - me
2 As Good As It Gets - me
3 Batman - me
4 Get Carter - him
5 Second Chorus (black and white film... with a trumpet in) - me
6 Black Cauldron - me
7 Shall We Dance - me
8 Simpsons Backstage - him
9 Austin Powers - me but I hate it.
10 4 Weddings and a Funeral - me but again I hate it
11 Michael Cain Box set - The Italian Job, Zulu & Alfie - him
12 Double Jeopardy - me
13 Star Wars... an older one - him

Please leave me a comment if you are signing in the linky box!

Wednesday, December 05, 2007


I forgot to take any photos despite packing the camera and spare batteries, so had to take a photo of the orange I brought home... none of the cards or oranges by kids.

I also forgot to give the new Brownies invitations to complete so when they make their promise they can start doing their hostess badges.

The other leader forgot to write letters telling them we're finishing next week.

We did:

Make Christmas Cards with robins on. The robins were made out of brown paper with red glitter tummies and wrapping paper bobble hats and wings.

Made clove oranges with festive bows as table decorations.

Had 3 pow-wows. (Overkill!?)

We had one at the beginning to get them organised and plan for next term.

They had a lecture in the middle from the Guide leader about the carol thing next week that I'd already told them about in the pow wow at the beginning...

And a short pow-wow at the end so they could give out their Christmas cards and get their presents from us.

It takes time organising and clearing up and for once there was not loads to do at the end. We had help from a Mum who was great!

Today I am going through to Edinburgh to do my teaching. I really don't want to go. The kids are great - but it's a long way to go for 2 hours actual work. When I get home I have an hour or so before the next job which is in Paisley (and is a new one).

Sure it'll all be great & will turn out to be the most fun ever.

Update - I realised on arriving at school having driven through appaling weather arriving 1/2 hr late that I had reports to write today too. This was not the most fun ever... and the drive home was pretty bad too. I have been home now for about 20 mins and am about to head back out to tutor an orchestra trumpet section for 3 hours this evening. Lucky I like music.

Tuesday, December 04, 2007



Tonight we're doing christmas crafts at Brownies. We're not going for anything earth-shattering but I think the crafts will look good. I have 3 planned... I'm gonna try to remember my camera so I'll have some photos for once!


Monday, December 03, 2007

Manic Monday - Ship

I had a laugh on 'International Talk Like a Pirate Day' and made my Brownie pack play too...

Ship-related songs we sang:
My ship sailed from China with a cargo of tea
All laden with presents for you and for me
They brought me a fan.. just imagine my bliss
when I found myself going like this, like this, like this, like this (mime fanning)

When I was 1 me life begun the day I went to sea
I jumped aboard a pirate ship & the cap'n said to me
we're goin' this way that way forwards & backwards over the Irish Sea
A bottle of rum to fill me tum and that's the life for me... etc

Oh the fun we had.... I am shattered now and it's bedtime. Think the port-fueled high I have been on is about over so I will bid you adieu. See ya termorra.

Sunday, December 02, 2007


So far this winter I feel as though I have had a constant bug.

For the last week I have had a cold which hasn't really been painful - no sore head or runny nose. The only cold symptom has been a chesty cough and even that hasn't been TOO bad. However I have been exhausted all week long. Yesterday I got up, went to teaching... but could have dropped back off to sleep during any one of my lessons. It's so hard to not be a snappy b'tch to the kids when you feel grotty. I think that made me even more tired.

Last night I went to bed early (11pm) and today I did not get up until 10am! That is 11 hours of sleep!! And do I feel better for it? NO! The chesty cough today is worse and my head is hurting too.

I love winter - I like the cold and the colours of winter. But I hate feeling continually under the weather.

Oh well - pretty soon I'll have had all the colds in the world and once you've had them once you don't get them again. Immunity ahoy!

Tuesday, November 27, 2007

guide dogs for the blind

Tonight at Brownies we had a man in to talk to us who looks after a retired Guide Dog . He brought the dog and the kids learnt about how guide dogs are trained etc.

They start off their training as puppies. Some dogs are bred specifically to be Guide Dogs but not all. When they are 18 months old they are allocated to a blind person. The blind person gives a donation of 50p to Guide Dogs for the Blind - not sure why... The dogs work for 10 years after which they go to someone to be looked after for the rest of their lives. The person who gets the retired Guide Dog does not pay for the dog, but must be in during the day to look after him/her.

The girls were told it takes £10 per day to keep a Guide Dog. They managed the maths to work out how much it would cost then over 10 years.... and they learnt that we can collect money by bringing in old mobile phones, or by recycling printer ink cartridges or toner.

They were told what types of dog are usually used as Guide Dogs. They got to pet the dog (who was GORGEOUS!).

We then did some Brownie stuff - points collation etc and then played a quick game before home time.

All in all - I thought it was good. If anyone wants to sponsor a puppy the Guide Dogs for the Blind website is:

Friday, November 23, 2007

That is it for me and the wink game. Tomorrow I am away so I'll catch up soon. Queenie I think had posted this link and today I am going to join in. Sorry - it was Akelamalu!

David's (Authorblog) question this week is:
When did you last write or receive a real snail-mail letter (you know, in an addressed envelope)?

If you want to join in here's what David would like you to do:Please answer today's question on your own blog, any time until next weekend. Just link to this blog (or to this post) so I can follow the progress of the discussion

Receipt of Letters:
I can't remember when I received a proper letter last. I am taking part in a blog project sending journals around the world and these come with a note but a not a whole letter. Although it could be suggested that 6 pages of journalling might in fact be more information than you would usually enclose in a letter so in fact it may well be better even.

When I started university for a year or so I kept in touch with friends from school. Several of us wrote back and forth a couple of times during this year. I keep all of these letters still in a folder which I came across when tidying out the music room this weekend. It is lovely to have them and is very funny to read them back now seeing how excited and nervous we were and how we changed after we started 'studying'!

I often received letters from my 'Aunty' Betty, who has now passed away. Again I keep these letters in a file. The last ones of these are three or four years old I suppose.

My mum sends me short letters fairly often. They don't really tell me much and are usually a bit of an excuse for Ma to post a fiver, or a small gift. They are always well received though, and definitely appreciated!

I complain... I'll admit to you now - I'm a complainer. If I feel service has been poor I will write to a company to tell them. The most recent of these was in relation to bank charges imposed on my account when the bank decided to reject a direct debit of £6 (as I would have gone slightly overdrawn) then charge me £30 for rejecting it, then charge me £30 for going overdrawn and then charge me £30 again for going overdrawn again. I have received a full refund of charges.

I have not sent a real letter to a friend or relative for at least two years. I have posted thank you letters now and then to relatives after Christmas or birthdays, but beyond that I can't remember a single occasion! It's the age of technology though and I think that letters are probably dying out.

I've been thinking about this all week - and it just isn't necessary to write down news or stories on paper any more, as all my friends and relatives probably know them already from my blog... or from my phone call.. or my text messages.

I will be interested to read some other posts about this to see whether anyone else is keeping letter-writing alive. I certainly am not, for no better reason than it's easier and quicker to send an email.

Wednesday, November 21, 2007

Thursday Thirteen #25

For this weeks TT I am going to stick with the theme of my previous post;

In the musical 'hello dolly' this week the brass section (ie. me) are playing 'wink' games. It's a simple premise... We have to catch the eye of a cast member and wink at them. Bonus points are awarded if the cast member winks back!

I have decided to use my tt as a checklist - I will cross off names as we manage to get them to smile, chuckle or best of all WINK BACK! Tonight I had to stifle laughter into my trumpet as I was finding it amusing.

1 Dolly! (she's the big challenge - never looks down at us)
2 Horace Vandergelder - got him! Wink 1 - he looked away. Wink 2 - he smiled broadly.
Wink 3 - HE WINKED BACK! Champion.
3 The girl from the hat shop - GOT HER!
4 The older woman from the shop
5 The chief shop clerk
6 The 17 year old shop boy - GOT HIM
7 The Judge
8 Chorus - Girl in pink (this one'll be easy)
9 Chorus - Older woman (any)
10 Chorus - A young person
11 Dancer (the one who looks like he's stuffed socks down his incredibly tight trousers!)
12 Dancer (the other male one)
13 Any of the female dancers

The only thing I need now is for someone to tell me how I do a score-through thing on words in blogger?????

The Code: Find it here
The purpose of the meme is to get to know everyone who participates a little bit better every Thursday. Visiting fellow Thirteeners is encouraged!

Where I would like to be

I'm working a lot this week........ so this lochside shoreline looks so appealing to me. It's always the way when I know I CAN'T get out of the city that I want to get out the most.

Don't get me wrong - I'm not unhappy. I just want to be able to do everything all the time. And it isn't possible.

Tonight in the show I'm doing a colleague set off a game of winking at the cast to see if they'd wink back. It was fun. I caught the eye of a girl on the stage so winked at her, and the speed at which she looked away was FANTASTIC! Made me want to laugh out loud (but the audience might have found that offputting during the dialogue). I quite fancy winking at her every night as the reaction was so good! Maybe I'll stick to winking at the guys though.

Monday, November 19, 2007

Early Starts

Today I got up REALLY early and had planned to go straight through to school after dropping my boyfriend off at 7am this morning. HOWEVER - When I actually worked out that i'd probably be at school by 8am and would then have nearly 3 hours before I could start work I thought better of this idea.

So instead I have come back home and am watching breakfast tv... I'm getting dozy but am trying NOT to drop off again as I think this will make me feel bad. Today is really long though as I'm working from whenever I start teaching until about half 10 tonight. And will therefore be sleepy tomorrow so would LOVE to catch up on some kip now.

NO! Going off now to do some washing up etc to keep lively!

Sunday, November 18, 2007

In on a Saturday!

Today Scotland played Italy at football. And I tested the Glasgow water by driving through after work today and town was MOBBED.

So I turned down my invitations to the pub and stayed in watching telly. Until I dropped off that is.

I tell you - 30 is approaching rapidly! Dropping off in the middle of the afternoon...

It is POSSIBLE that it may also be due to the wedding reception party I went to last night and the early morning today to teach at 9 o'clock.

Or it could be old age.

I did watch the dancing today though - near perfect score for Alesha. Results tomorrow.

There isn't a vid embedded allowed up on you tube yet but here's a link:

Wednesday, November 14, 2007

Strictly Come Dancing

I love the dancing... Unlike Travis I am sadly blessed with 2 left feet, but I still LOVE watching dancing.

So I bring you my favourite dancer - Alesha. This is the only version with embedded allowed that I could find so wait for it to load if poss and skip to 3 mins 20ish:

And sex-bomb Kelly Brook. This is a really annoying cut up version but she's still beautiful.

Finally the person who left - Penny Lancaster-Stewart who had a bit of a disadvantage in that her partner had never made it this far himself and had never done this dance before either.... oops. 2mins14 again for the dancing. Bye Penny!

I should probably mention that I've missed the Saturday show several weeks (including this one) so a fair bit of my Strictly watching has been from the results show and You Tube.

Tuesday, November 13, 2007

Fire Station Trip

Tonight my Brownies and I will be visiting our local fire station.
I am quite excited.
More Mums offered to help out at this evening than on ANY previous outing.....
I'm hoping for:

But I have to say I'm not convinced the local firemen will look QUITE like this.... especially in the baltic temperatures in Scotland just now.

UPDATE - It was FANTASTIC! The firemen were brilliant with the girls (- and were in no way a disappointment to the adults!). We had a great time exploring the station, looking at the fire engines and boat and firing the hoses. Definitely a highlight of my Brownie days so far.

Happy Birthday!

Happy Birthday to my wee sister!

Monday, November 12, 2007


I've caught a bug right when I'm at my busiest so I'm having an early night........ will be round to visit as soon as poss.

I had the flu jab as well - so was hoping to avoid being ill this winter. Oh well - colds shift fairly quickly usually so I'll dose up with vitamin C and sleep it off!

Hope everyone else is well.

Sunday, November 11, 2007


They shall not grow old as we who are left grow old.
Age shall not weary them, nor the years condemn.
At the going down of the sun and in the morning,

Friday, November 09, 2007

kicking the WINTER blues

and acquiring a new blues in its stead.

I think the winter thing has passed - I feel quite excited at the moment and fairly motivated. Long days are back on the cards and trumpet is getting the attention it deserves.

However - my head is now buzzing with ideas instead. So I need to get them in order so I can actually get on with some of them!

I want to look after my career - individually, confirming gigs and there is a competition I am thinking about entering.

But also have a flailing ensemble which I have been clinging onto in an attempt to save it. I now realise I can't save it alone so have elected to forget about it until I can work out a resuscitation strategy for it or speak to the others and see whether they are actually going to do anything.

And I am in a rising ensemble - which I am excited about - and want to promote with full energy.

I think this has helped! I wondered if blogging it might help clarify what I need to do and it has. I worked with Brownie planning before - and blogging does it again.

I love blogs.

Tuesday, November 06, 2007


Wednesday 7th November is the day designated by Mimi as the 'blogblast' for peace.

My globe is up.

I'm having a very peaceful evening as I had to cancel Brownies tonight. We couldn't get into the hall because the person who normally opens up had given us the wrong keypad code for the front door. After 10 minutes waiting in the cold dark rainy Glasgow gloom I sent the kids home. About 5 minutes after they left the Guide leaders managed to get the correct code and let their girls in - but it was too late for us.

Never mind!

Please click on this link for more information: Peace Globes.

Monday, November 05, 2007

It's bonfire night!

And Glasgow is resounding with crashes and flashes from the fireworks.

Hope you're all having fun. I love fireworks displays but I HATE the kids with fireworks - and the STUPID parents across the road who have been letting fireworks off all night in their FRONT garden. Too close to other houses - Idiots. Grr.

Sunday, November 04, 2007


I'm in a weird place at the moment - I can't really be bothered to do anything much and am avoiding people and jobs.

It CANNOT continue. I've been like this for a week now and I need to snap out of it.

So far I have not turned up for a hen night and a party, and have started a project I'm doing but not finished it off and have started doing about four trumpet-related promotion jobs but have ended up giving up on them and marking where I was/saving what I've done. I have missed TT and haven't been to visit any of your blogs for a week.

I really want to feel refreshed and get some 'zing' back - but can't think what to do. I'd say I need a holiday but we've only just got back to Glasgow a couple of weeks ago after a visit with our parents.

I think it might be due to the weather and season a bit. It is really dark now - and evenings feel so long. I remember how excited I felt when in Spring/summer I came out of a gig into daylight and could go out til 3 as it felt light enough. Now on an office day in Glasgow we have to go to work in gloom, and leave work in darkness.

I would kill for some sunshine on a weekend at least.

(a snap from sunnier times)

Tuesday, October 30, 2007

Last night we went to a pub quiz and came 1st! WOO HOO.
Last Tuesday we went to a pub quiz and came 3rd! woo hoo.
Last Sunday we went to a pub quiz and came 1st! WOO HOO.
I'm rubbish with general knowledge. The two times we have won recently have been when we have combined with other people with MUCH knowledge. Last night it was a friend, the Sunday quiz was with my boyfriend's mum and sister who it seems share my boyfriend's ability to soak up random facts and RETAIN them- the part I fail in.
So I'm riding high anyway - flushed with success. It was fun!
Tonight is our Brownie halloween party. I am planning it right now (miles in advance...)
The plan so far:
Costume contest.
I have my halloween music tracks ready for musical scary statues. They like this as they get to join in even after they're knocked out by trying to make the others laugh or twitch.
Of course there must be apple bobbing.
Pin the wart on the witch (picture to be drawn when I get to Brownies as I don't have huge bits of paper here).
Halloween Corners Game
Stick up large pictures in the four corners of a room. Play some music and when it stops, each child runs to a corner . The music operator without looking then calls out one corner. Anyone in that corner are out. The last person left is the winner.
and that's as far as I have got..... need a couple more methinks. I'm debating possibly a halloween-themed chocolate game. (that's the one where you roll the dice and if you get a six you can run into the middle and put all the items of clothes on, then you get a knife and fork and chop up chocolate - anything you have time to cut off you can eat but the others are still dice rolling while you do this and if anyone else rolls a six they usurp you and take over).

Strictly Come Dancing

I missed the show this week - so had to watch it from the clips on the bbc website. By the time I saw it I had already seen the result, so it was just a case of see if they were right to have put the person out who went. Prompted by reading Trav's review I want to show you what happened.

This week was half American Smooth, half Samba. I don't really like American Smooth - it's a bit slow and schmaltzy for me but I'll post you Kelly Brook's as she's gorgeous and did a good one (although the Judges chucked a wobbly over the number of lifts).

warning: the videos are the long ones with all the background in too...

It was Gabby Logan who was knocked out this week, and I didn't think she was too bad overall. Having said this I didn't really like her routine either.

She was in the bottom two along with Penny Lancaster whose routine I liked.

I'm gonna miss this for the next two weeks too so will be catching up from clips after the event. Hopefully I won't see something so ridiculous next week.

Monday, October 29, 2007

daytime TV! (and manic monday)

I have just got in after going to the instrument repair shop and having treated myself to a hair cut. This is quite a big treat for me. I'm a bit hair obsessed as I have really thick curly hair (not as curly as Kyra's - it's a wavier curl) and it's quite difficult to control. As I am self-employed I tend to need to spend money on extras when I have it - as I can't plan when it'll come in that easily. I have grabbed the opportunity this morning to have a well overdue cut. And I love it although it is really quite short for me. I'd post you a picture only I don't like photos of me.

The WORST music I have everheard has just come on the telly (I'm having a lunch break and am in the habit of switching the tv on even if I'm on the internet at the same time). It's amazing what you get on daytime TV. David Jordan is the singer. I have never heard him before - and this sounds such a load of cr'p I hope I don't hear him again. Still - he moves well.

Anyway - I have a job application to do (teaching) and start work at half 3 today so I had best go and get on with it.

Saturday, October 27, 2007

my head's nipping

It's been a funny few weeks:

I've been working... but in between working I have been home to see my parents. They have a new kitten who is TINY. I stayed at my parent's house for 5 days or so and was woken by this kitten alarm at half past five daily. This is weirdly endearing despite the ridiculous time of morning - as she only wanted to play really.
Luckily enough my Dad was unwilling to part with her, so I have not smuggled her back to Glasgow and can now enjoy a lie in til half 7.
I am a little hungover today and thought I just saw Johnhny Depp singing on tv.... is it in my head? I will go and find out more and come to see how everyone is doing a wee bit later on.

Thursday, October 25, 2007


makes the heart grow fonder. With any luck.

I have been away and would love to blog all about it but I have to go out tonight so will have to wait to catch up in a few more days.

Thursday, October 18, 2007

Thursday Thirteen #24

Thirteen reasons why I'm TTing so late on a Thursday this week

1. I didn't prepare yesterday.

2. I got up too late to do it before work.

3. School is off this week so I'm in the office every day.

4. It has so far been a lousy week at work.

5. I really want to tell you why it's such a lousy week but I
can't blog this in case I get the sack.

6. I met my boyfriend and a boy friend for a drink after work tonight.

7. I got home very late.

8. It was my bloggoversary on the 16th, and I just wanted the fun to keep on coming.

9. The light bulb went in the kitchen. It was the last one still working - we have spotlight things that I hate.

10. This meant that I had to try to chop carrots, potatoes, swede and onions in the dark.
11. I then had to add the carrots and onions to the remaining ingredients which make up shepherd's pie in the dark.

12. I was hungry - so had to eat the shepherd's pie.

13. I have been/am very tired.
Update: I am a bit more cheerful today thanks to waking up to lots of comments from you guys - many thanks x

Tuesday, October 16, 2007

it's my party!!!!

It's my bloggoversary! Ignoring my boyfriend (something which I am very comfortable doing) who does not think that a year of blogging is something to celebrate, I am taking suggestions from Bond and Travis who both seem up for a party!

Bond suggested a party. Trav volunteered to jump out of the cake (tossing walnuts?). Thanks guys!

I have party hats for you to wear if you stay and read. I'll have a cake ready too for those who make it to the end!
For a party these days it's usually a barbecue and some beers, but as the blog's a bit young....

How about party games? (The blog's only 1).

Meanwhile I have some entertainment for the grown ups. Whilst the ladies are lucky enough to have Travis and his walnut tossing, the gentlemen might like something too. (avert your eyes if you're a little person).

Just time now for MY cake!

Sunday, October 14, 2007

I can't count.. OK more accurately- I can't work out the counter at the top of the blog!

From checking posts it's actually the 16th October that is the blog's birthday. So I have a couple of days to prepare yet.

Having said this - I spent the later part of yesterday evening baking cakes for it. I suppose the photos can't go stale!

Today I am having a day off (morning off at least) and am reading 'The Lost Art of Keeping Secrets' - Eva Rice. It's chick lit.

Friday, October 12, 2007

It's only a game

Following from my most recent TT (see no. 8) I have been quite seriously pondering the question 'if you only had 1 bullet, who would you shoot'. You have to bear in mind for the purposes of the game that it's not a real case of planning murder... in fact you probably avoid thinking about any reality of shooting or the game stops being fun.

SO: Cerys Matthews or Aled Jones....? I should give you more information about them perhaps.

Cerys M
Aled Jones

Cerys Matthews: She is the Welsh ex-singer in ex-pop group Catatonia. Which is a group that I can imagine I might have liked a lot - except that her voice annoys me more than I can explain. She also has had some serious mental health issues.

I'm not putting a video up as I really don't like her voice... but I'll give you a LINK in case you can be bothered to find out if you like it for yourself.

Aled Jones: He's a good Christian Welshman. Please don't be offended those of you who are religious... but I have to say that this doesn't immediately win me over. The Welshman bit does actually a little.

Quite honestly I have no real problem with his voice - it's inoffensive. He does VERY little solo it seems - so it's hard to give you an idea. But try this LINK (which I actually quite like for the cute choirboy).

My problem with him is that he comes across as dull. And is only famous because he did Walking in the Air as a child. And even then it wasn't in the film - only in the CD release.

So in conclusion, for me I think it is Cerys who gets the bullet. I'm not sure how much it would hurt her though, as I'm lining up the violinists of the world in front of her.

If you only had 1 bullet who would you shoot?

Thursday, October 11, 2007

New Blog to Read

Just realised Sunday is my bloggoversary.
Any ideas for how to celebrate?

I have been introduced by a friend from work to a new blog and would like to draw your attention to it.

Easy Peasy Lemon Squeezy

If you ever wondered about the Scottish Clootie Dumpling, or maybe fancy a time waster game then Mrs Moanaminute is the lady for you.

If you have a minute to pop over I think it would be well worth the visit!

Thursday Thirteen #24

Good morning - I started to feel better last night around 1opm and by bedtime was shattered. This morning I feel great.

So I'm trying to think of a positive TT for today.

13 Things that make me Smile

1. A sunny day (need to remember what these are like as we head into winter).
2. A day off.
3. Good trumpet playing - whether I'm doing it myself or listening to it.
4. Laughter.
5. Jokes from pupils (particularly one called Ryan).
6. Leaving the office early.
7. The bus turning up just after I reach the bus stop (reminder to self - LEAVE ON TIME OR YOU'LL BE LATE AGAIN).
8. The thought of getting rid of the music I hate (just saw an advert for a Cerys Matthews, Aled Jones duet... the prospect alone is enough to make me think 'if I only had 1 bullet').
9. Dancing shows.
10. Long walks combining hills, woods and water. Got to do one of these last week and LOVED it. Smiled a lot.
11. Good nights at Brownies.
12. Nice blog comments.
13. Speaking to friends.

If you want to leave a link in my Mr Linky box PLEASE leave a comment. It irritates me otherwise.... If I could work out how to do it I'd remove your links without comments, however I have not cracked it yet.

Wednesday, October 10, 2007

beurgh... not well today

Today I got up and went to Edinburgh to teach. I was hungry but didn't have time to get breakfast so had a naughty bag of hula hoop crisps on the road, with a petrol station cup of coffee (which is a bit grim generally). I felt a bit clammy but put it down to slightly damp hair.

I got there pretty early so did a bit of piano practise before my first pupil turned up. She came in just to say that she had forgotten her trumpet and as I have just had a tiny cold-sore I was not about to offer mine (no spare mouthpiece).

I went to get my second pupil early... to find that she was off ill today.

I then went to get my third pupil instead - and taught a lesson but came over with waves of nausea during the lesson (which I ignored as far as possible as I was teaching).

During the forth pupil's lesson I felt sick again - not massively but definitely not good. Fortunately this was the last one today so I could go home.

On the way to the car the feeling got worse. I had been feeling a bit sweaty too during teaching but hadn't really thought anything of it. On my journey home I had to stop for more petrol - and got cold sweats in the petrol station.

I have cancelled my evening plans today - as when I arrived home I nearly fell over with dizziness getting out of the car.

Now I'm sat watching telly still feeling weird. I feel hot but the hairs on my arms are standing up as if it's cold. I'm still dizzy/spaced out. And I am hungry again - which is not good as I'm not risking eating. Much as I hope that I'm just suffering from having such crap for breakfast I'm not entirely convinced. Might have a kip and see if that cures it.

Tuesday, October 09, 2007

First Aid

Tonight is Brownie night again.

This means I have jobs to do today. Fortunately I have a fab friend who is coming to teach my Brownie pack first aid tonight which gets me off the hook fairly successfully I hope!

I must: Buy bandages & bring squares of fabric with which to make slings.
Buy First Aid badges from the Guide Shop.

Think that's about it - how easy is that!!!

I also have some accounting to do so I'll get that done first.

Update: I have done all the stupid accounting and banking etc... only to e-mail Girlguiding SCOTLAND and find that they don't use the same forms as the rest of the UK now. So I have to do it again on the form they kindly e-mailed me. BAH.

Update a bit later still (nearly 10 o'clock): It went really well! We have a slightly reluctant Brownie - she's often really naughty - and she loved the night too even so far as to volunteer answers when we did the test bit at the end to give them their badges.

They got to bandage each other up and to stop bleeding, learnt to do CPR (although they were not really strong enough to push the breast bone down), learnt how to check for danger in an incident, to call for help etc and to keep someone calm.

It was great fun - and many thanks are due to my friend for her help!

I now have 2 weeks off Brownies - 1 week is school holiday week, the next week I have someone else covering the pack and my trainee guider is running the night. I am pretty sure she'll be fine!

Strictly Come Dancing 2007 : Girls Group : 06/10/2007

Monday, October 08, 2007


I have had such a lazy day! I had nothing to do today - having worked all weekend - and decided it would be my Sunday.

So I have blog-hopped, played a game or two, done a wee bit of housework, read a bit..... and then started work from 3.30 teaching a bit. I only have 3 pupils on a Monday though so that passed quite quickly and I could go back to slobbery.

Yawn... it's tiring.

I plan to have a big walk tomorrow to make up for it.

I haven't mentioned our cat for a while - so I ought to give a quick update. He is fine- but he is winking today after my boyfriend opened the front door and gave him a whack on the head. He is quite happy though. He has had some chicken as a treat (to say sorry!) and also lots of stroking. I'd post you a picture but in the spirit of the day I really can't be bothered!

Saturday, October 06, 2007

sore neck!

I have been working today & have cricked my neck. Nothing much more to tell you about that other than it's sore. On Saturdays I teach in the mornings, and tutor at a junior band in the afternoon.

Teaching was quite a lot of fun. The kids are all doing good (particularly the ones who have managed to get the music they were meant to get) and I can see definite improvement.

At band though I had less fun. The first part is taken up by sectional rehearsals. This means that we split off into instruments(: 1st cornets, 2nd & 3rd cornets, horns, baritones & euphoniums, tubas, trombones, percussion) and work through the pieces for 45 minutes by ourselves before coming back into the main band to play together.

I had a couple of new kids in the section (I do 2nd & 3rd cornets) and so thought we'd go over the easiest piece first and I'd just let them get used to how it works. I didn't criticise any mistakes from them OR mention any time they were in the wrong place. I DID pick up mistakes from the kids who had been there 3 weeks and who I had said the same things to 3 weeks running. But I did NOT shout at ANYONE. I pointed out mistakes to the kids who had been there a while who all responded with giggles - we have fun at band.

Can you guess what's coming? Sure enough - one of the new kids started to snivel. It started as a snivel so I said 'don't worry - just follow along and play what you can. We've been practising this for 3 weeks so you aren't expected to be able to do everything straight away'.

We carried on rehearsing - I was ignoring the sniffles... until they turned into full blown crying with big sighs sniffs and shuddering.

I checked she was ok -I think she was just a bit overwhelmed by the whole experience so I took her out, found the conductor and asked her to sit with him to calm down a bit HOPING that he would let her know she'd get lots of help from me in the full band rehearsal. I'm sure he was overjoyed by this - but I couldn't really see what else I was meant to do, with another 8 kids in the room who were finding the crying fascinating.

We carried on with our sectional MUCH more successfully as the other kids didn't keep looking around to see whether she was still crying, then went to the full band rehearsal.

Fortunately the kid had calmed down by now, and I sat with her pointing at the music as we played, tanking out the 3rd cornet part to cover up any mistakes so she would feel ok about it.


I'm just naturally not a sympathetic person. I can cope with stuff like kids crying for a while, but after too long I just want to tell them to get a grip. Which obviously I can't do.

I like kids. I teach and volunteer at a Brownie pack, but my tolerance is only SO good and the things that tip me over the edge are:

Moaning or whining without doing anything to help yourself. Particularly if it descends into snivelling.
Playing stupid tunes on the piano at my Brownie pack when they've been told NOT TO TOUCH IT!

I'm sure there are load more. I'll store this post up and add to the list as I think of them.


All of the above leads me to the firm conclusion that kids aren't for me. I'll teach them, and do fun things on a Tuesday night for an hour or so. I'll go and see kids belonging to friends and find them cute. But I really don't want one of my own - couldn't be doing with it 24/7.

Thursday, October 04, 2007

Thursday Thirteen #21

I'm very much losing count of the number of these I have done. DEFINITELY over 20 now.

Anyway - I have been busy for a couple of weeks with work, but also because my boyfriend's sister and her fella have visited us, and afterwards we have been to stay with two of our friends who were renting a cottage not far from here.
And that has been fantastic - It has fitted around my work. My boyfriend has had time off.

Here are 13 pictures from our trip to a cottage near Inveraray yesterday.

the cottage

the banks of Loch Fyne


plantlife.... my boyfriend's a botanist.

studying a mushroom...

Saturday, September 29, 2007


hi - sorry I haven't been here much. I have been pretty busy working and sleeping and visiting blogs for a quick catch-up and working and sleeping.

I will have time again next week. Honest.
P.S. Wales were knocked out of the Rugby World Cup yesterday. I am sad.
P.P.S. (and this will sound weird)... I read a blog post about toilet etiquette the other day but can't remember whose blog it was. Does anyone know?

Wednesday, September 26, 2007


Congratulations to my wee brother who has just got himself a REAL writing job starting in the Big Smoke next week!

Thursday, September 20, 2007

Wales 72 - 18 Japan

final score.

Wales v Japan!

Come on Wales!! (we're doing ok at the moment)

There's a player on at the moment who shares my name. My real name when shortened is a boy's name in Wales. I'm (he's) doing pretty bloody well.

Thursday Thirteen #22

Thirteen things we did at Brownies on Tuesday to prepare for Talk Like A Pirate day.

(in the order of the evening)

1. Practised Pirate Speak (with this to continue all night)

2. Made Eye Patches

3. Made a Jolly Roger flag each (red paper, black skull and crossbones)

4. Stuck the flags around the hall to make our 'pirate ship' really scary.

5. Asked them to sit quietly (ha ha ha... as if they've EVER managed that. And when they're all excited about getting to pretend to be pirates and make stuff then there really was NO chance) to get instructions for the TREASURE HUNT.

6. Started the treasure hunt. Instructions had been to tick off each picture as they found it and to sit on the floor as soon as they had found them all. I had stuck a picture under a table so knew that they would have a bit of trouble and I should be able to tell if they were cheating. Unfortunately they didn't TICK the pictures off on their sheet, but ripped the pictures off the wall as they found them. So as soon as one person found a picture, the hunt was made impossible for any of the others. I stopped the treasure hunt.

7. I explained that I had to stop the quiz because they hadn't listened to me as they had been shouting out. I explained that nobody could win - so there would be no treasure.

8. We played chinese whispers with Pirate phrases to try to calm them down a bit.

9. It seemed to work. So we gave Port/Starboard a go. This is a great game.

10. We sat down and learnt the song off the US Pirate day website.

11. We stood up to sing another song about pirates that some of them knew already and is great as it has actions including jumping, swaying, rubbing your tum and miming rum drinking... mmm... rum. It goes: When I was 1, my life begun, the day I went to sea, I jumped aboard a pirate ship and the captain said to me, we're going this way that way forwards and backwards over the Irish Sea, a bottle of Rum to fill my tum and that's the life for me! and so on up to 10.

12. They sat back down and I gave them some pieces of eight (chocolate coins) and a gold-wrapped sweet each.

13. Parents collected them. Phew!

Monday, September 17, 2007

Manic Monday - Crisp

LINK - blog was getting too slow with all the pirate pics

This is Haken Hardenberger... MANY years ago but already an amazing player with the purest sound and crispest articulation that a trumpeter could dream of.

I have had a masterclass from him - which I don't remember at all but I'm told didn't react well to... I think he criticised me (which was fair enough as I was playing a piece that a friend had dared me to play but didn't really know that well) and I presume I didn't like it... but I can't remember what he said at all.

Sunday, September 16, 2007

Social Whirl

Well in Glasgow it seems that everyone is going out all of a sudden.

The summer lull (of holidays and lack of cash) is over and all my friends are shaking off their reverie.

And I'm loving it! As it goes - the lack of cash for me is not QUITE over, but school's back and gig money is starting to come in, so it's easing.

Next weekend is my Dad's 60th birthday party. We're having a day at the races. I've never been but my boyfriend is quite excited and is dying to have a flutter on the gee gee's (first time I've ever used that phrase!!).

Blackberries are ready, and the apple tree in the garden below mine has started to throw down some fruit over the fence for us too.

All in all it's quite nice at this time of year.

Thursday, September 13, 2007


My blog-hopping was interrupted last night by some friends inviting me round for some drinks.

I remember coming home, eating, watching some telly and checking my e-mail. I imagined that I was in bed fairly quickly.

My boyfriend just rang - he was at work early this morning and was ringing in case I had overslept. He said 'how are you feeling?'.

Now this phrase immediately sets off alarm bells in my head. Why is he asking that? Did I say something really stupid? Did I do something really embarassing? Or is he just asking because I was evidently too drunk having gone out without eating any breakfast, much lunch or any dinner?

It seems it was the latter although he also says I was online for AGES and he left me to it, putting himself to bed long before I'd finished... which I don't remember quite the same way.

So it'll be a day of long juice drinks and paracetamol. Woo hoo.

Thursday Thirteen #21

Thirteen first places I visited when I got my broadband back!!!
  1. hotmail
  2. facebook
After e-mail checking I pretty much went through my blogroll from the top (and it's alphabetically sorted) visiting all the blogs I have had trouble with since I lost broadband. These are mainly ones with video, music, photos or radio content that I haven't been able to see.
This is not the whole list of places I visited by any means.

Wednesday, September 12, 2007

wooo hoooo!

I have broadband!!!!!!!!! so i'm coming to visit x

Sunday, September 09, 2007

Wales v Canada!

Today is the rugby world cup round 1 (group stage) Wales v Canada match.


I love rugby... I love the Welsh team.

As to the Canadians - I note that there are a few mullets and quite a lot of long hair. Why is this? Is it fashionable in Canada?
42 - 17 to Wales of course!