one step at a time.

Wednesday, January 31, 2007

For Travis

You liked the rubber ducks so much that when I was e-mailed this today I thought of you.... It's almost wordless and Wednesday. So this is closer than I've come before to joining the meme.

Sunday, January 28, 2007

Blogging Ban

I had to impose a blogging ban on myself this week to prevent me from browsing when I should have been working out my tax.

It was my first year self-employed so hopefully won't be as big a deal next time round.

Friday night we went to watch Glasgow Warriors play Cardiff Blues in the rugby. It's within walking distance of home and involves Heineken. Glasgow won convincingly, and we stopped for a pint and a play of the quiz machine in the pub (where we won too) on they way home.

And with my tax done, and work for the week finished (til tomorrow), this evening I've relaxed! Had some wine.... watched Waking the Dead (tv prog.)... blog hopped... phoned home.

And I feel good. Happy again.

And for no reason at all other than I feel like I've been off the blog for a while (all of about 2 days) :

The Couch - check in tomorrow for the Monday Matinee.
Words that Flow - Annelisa's been learning to make movies.
My Marakesh - vote for Maryam in the Bloggies!
I'd link others but I need sleep now... I'll work on it soon x

I DID IT!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!


(no great surprise that they say I owe them money....)

Wednesday, January 24, 2007

End of the story

Hello - a few of you have wondered what happened next...?

It was a bit of an anticlimax, so I hadn't already posted it. The man was either drunk or high on something and he just seemed to stagger away. I haven't heard since of anything bad happening - no stabbings that I know of. I don't even know whether anyone called the police!

I did see the cops though round the corner when I was on the way to the shops, talking to a man at the side of the road, so I know they weren't too far away.

Otherwise I've just been working again. Yesterday I started at 9 and finished at half 6 at which point I had to go straight out to a Brownie leaders' meeting (which you can imagine I'm sure is not exactly enthralling). Last night was actual Brownies - we made song books and did lots of 'which side can sing the best' split in two style songs.

My list of Things To Do is just getting longer and longer... so I am going to have to start doing them. I may as well confess now that I didn't do my tax on my allocated Tax Day. It is now frighteningly close to official Tax Day after which I'll be fined £100 for not completing a return. So there's a job for this evening.

I need to tattoo it to my hand or something.

Sunday, January 21, 2007

Big Posting Day

Today I went to the shops to buy food after work. There's nothing much to eat here but pasta and as you can see I've failed miserably with that today.

I wasn't up for the big Morrisons supermarket as I loathe it when it's empty, let alone when it's packed on a Sunday afternoon! I instead headed for a local set of shops where there is a Somerfield. As I was driving up I was thinking to myself 'what a snob my boyfriend is for turning his nose up at this shop. It'll be perfectly ok to buy a bit of meat and a few vegetables and bread'.

I parked the car, and was walking to the entrance when I heard a woman say 'he's got a blade!'. I looked up and saw that indeed the man in front of me was wielding a 6 inch knife.

I turned round swiftly and returned to my car. Morrisons it is from now on!

Recipe for Burekaboy

Take a single person serving of dry pasta.

Add boiling water and put on the stove at simmer (because you can't keep an eye on it and are only cooking it as you have no bread or salad, or anything you could fashion a light lunch with).

Walk away and leave it.

Go for a shower approx 1 hour later. Sniff. Smell something funny.....

I'll see if I can get you a picture - it's a beauty!

Curry story

The takeaway episode: (continuation from last night's post which I actually posted technically in the early hours of today)

At about half 7 my friends were all at my house so we started to decide on food. By quarter past eight we'd managed to make decisions and get a list of stuff (7 people) so phoned through the order for delivery. They told us it would be about 45 minutes.

1 hour later we phoned back. They said that a lot of people had just come into the shop so it would be another 20 minutes. This didn't go down well with the starving masses.

Half an hour later the food had not arrived, but they assured us that the delivery person was on the way, and they had included some freebies for us.

The food arrived around 10 minutes after this call - we unpacked: 3 starters to share (all the same one...), 4 naan breads, 4 rices, some free popadoms and onions, 6 curries.....

6 curries? One missing. So we phoned them back again. They did not apologise and said that they would send the last curry round in 10 minutes.

Under some circumstances we may even not have argued - but the friend who had no curry is pregnant and was unable to share with any of us! I had prawns, her husband had really spicy, one person had tandoori... etc.

By this time I had decided that we would not be using them again as I was finding this quite embarassing. Whilst I'm sure everyone will know it's not actually my fault, they will also remember the night as the one where the curries took 2 hours to arrive!

When the remaining curry came the delivery man told us that he had been asked to say we were getting this curry for free. We had already calculated the bill and paid over a pound more than estimated so knew this was rubbish.

We argued a little but it wasn't a message from the delivery man. So my friend phoned the restaurant again. By this time we were on our fourth phone call!

The restaurant said that this happens all the time - people trying to get a free curry. We were very angry and my friend explained to the restaurant that this was not the case in this situation.

Eventually he got an apology. And the food was great with the exception of the late curry (which I suspect they threw together in a hurry using a korma sauce they had with a few raisins chucked in, as they were certain we hadn't paid for it & were trying it on).

Altogether I'm still a bit annoyed about the whole episode. So if you're in Glasgow - avoid them if you want good service. Head for Papa Gills if you're in no hurry as you're not overly hungry but want a tasty curry.

This evening

Well overall today has been great.

This morning I taught trumpet... which is my main instrument & therefore my favourite!

I then went for lunch with my friends who were up to visit today. They are married & due to have their first child in 3months or so... So it was great to see them.

After lunch we moved all the way across the road and round the corner to a pub where we met some more friends.

After a couple of shandies I headed home with a pal, and we later met up with my pregnant friend & her husband, and some more friends.

We had curry... there's a story there for posting tomorrow.

The last few folk have just left and I'm shattered. Bed time.

Thursday, January 18, 2007

Thursday Thirteen #10


Today it is snowing again! And I'm very excited because I love the snow even though it will make my journey to work very difficult and a bit dangerous.

The flash on my camera meant I could only get pictures of snow falling this morning (dark still outside) so I've taken the flash off for this third picture. Please do not think that we have some strange sunrise.... we don't have sunrise yet at all!

Yesterday my route to work was a little windy.... not exactly direct. But I travelled through some beautiful mountains all topped with snow. I tried to get a picture for you but my camera batteries were nearly dead. I hope you get some idea from this.

TopChamp's Thursday Thirteen - things I couldn't live without (IN NO ORDER!)

1. Trumpet

2. Friends & Family.

I wouldn't cope well without people to talk to. I don't shut up much during the day and on days when I spend a lot of time travelling I get home and launch into a stream of waffly nonsense until my need to chatter is spent. I obviously like my friends so would hate to be without them!

3. Internet.

I'd also miss all of my blog friends - Over the last few weeks I've been a slack blogger and there's just SO much you've been up to to catch up on that I'm not sure when I'll have time! Given that I've taken teaching on Saturdays for the next two weeks so have no days off until 03 Feb.

4. Curl cream defining stuff or hair straighteners....

Has to go one way or the other.

5. Glasses or contact lenses

6. Music - listening to as well as playing

7. Computer.

I'm actually angling for a laptop but my boyfriend isn't convinced yet. As I'd be buying it on credit and he earns more than me generally I think he has a say in this.

8. Mobile phone.

Need this for work mainly but I'm terrible when I forget it - and find it irritating when I can't contact people because they've forgotten theirs!

9. Spaghetti Bolognaise.

I probably could live without this if there were other foods available. But I love it and would miss it.

10. AA routefinder.

Very often I have to go to play at a gig somewhere I am unfamiliar with. AA routefinder is a website that gives you pretty clear directions to ANYWHERE in the UK. I think it also covers other parts of Europe.

11. Books.

I've read that google is trying to get every book written put onto the internet. If this were the case I think I could live without books if there was internet and I had a laptop because I'd find plenty to read on the web. But what if there was no connection? I'd still need a book then...

12. Shower.

Can you imagine living without a shower?! I don't think it would be nice. For anyone.

13. Piano

Get the Thursday Thirteen code 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!

Wednesday, January 17, 2007


It snowed last night! And my first thought was to get some photos, but we'd left the camera in the car and it was after midnight... and snowing.

So we tried my boyfriend's mobile phone. If I can get the pictures onto the computer I'll post them anyway as they were so bad it'll make me laugh. Perhaps we can even make it a competition: guess what this is meant to be? Only I think I've given the game away already!

Monday, January 15, 2007


Another rubbish short post! Sorry.

New pupil started today (brand new never played a note before). He was very good - and the lesson was fun to teach.

School again tomorrow followed by Brownies.. then more school on Wednesday before office day Thurs, rehearsals Thurs night then a Brownie leader district meeting, office day Friday, NO TEACHING THIS SATURDAY! and teaching on Sunday.

So my plan is to whack out a TT this week and save posting mostly for Saturday.

I'll hopefully have more time to think about it and find some pictures etc. if I do it this way.

Hope everyone is well & I get a chance to catch up with you all soon x

Sunday, January 14, 2007

Tax Day Today!

Hip hip hooray....

I'm putting it off for now though as I also have hundreds of programmes for trombone pupils to organise. Coming up to exam time here.


How do you keep post links in the sidebar forever?


This one's just for me:

If I am covering French Horn teaching for N - I DO NOT HAVE TO BE THERE AT 9AM AS THE FIRST PERIOD IS FREE!

I must therefore stop offering lifts to people for whom this is not the case.

Saturday, January 13, 2007

Cold Update

I'm not sure whether it is getting better or not. This morning it is very difficult to swallow drinks or food... trying to eat porridge as I won't get through a morning of french horn teaching if my tummy is rumbling!

I was ill before Christmas - think it was a chest infection as I had a horrible cough that lasted... well is still not quite away. As I was home over New Year Mum and Dad came up with a herbal cold-blasting remedy and sent me back to Glasgow with 'Echinaboost' which are echinacea in tablets you chew that taste great - sort of licorice and fennel flavour which is a bit like a weak Fisherman's Friend and Vitamin C & Zinc tablets.

Needless to say when I got back to Glasgow, to work and tax returns, I stopped taking any of these..... Next thing I know my cough is worse and it's topped with a sore throat.

So I'm going back to the herbs & I'll see if they help more this time!

It's nearly 8am now so I should really get ready for work. I like that for the Saturday morning school I'm allowed to wear jeans as it makes this process loads easier. I have to remember not just to pick up last night's clothes though as I spilt my first pint of lager down my front in a grand show of grace and poise.

Friday, January 12, 2007

4.30 AM!

It's half four in the morning and the alarm across the road has been going off for about half an hour. We are in the middle of a VERY windy night so my guess is it's blown something open over there. I have been neighbourly and checked the road in case they were being broken into but there is NO sign of anything - no cars and no people.

So now I'm just holding my head thinking 'please shut up so I can get some sleep'! I have a really really sore throat at the moment and am prone to throat infections so need to give my immune system a chance to kick in.

Thursday, January 11, 2007

Thursday Thirteen #9

TopChamp's Top Thirteen Recipes

(I forgot to mention earlier that I hardly ever weigh anything out and most of my recipes are made from whatever I have in the house at the time.....)

1) Spaghetti Bolognaise (sort of)
minced beef or pork
tinned tomatoes
stock cube
herbs of choice (can't choose what you don't have...)
rinsed & drained flageolet beans

Cook off all the dry ingredients, whack in the stock cube and tinned tomatoes. Possibly add some more wet things depending on whether I have drunk all the wine in the house already or not...

Serve with spaghetti.

2) Potato Bake- goes nicely with gammon

Potatoes and white sauce - with any additions you fancy eg. garlic, ham, cheese, herbs.

I used to work in a tearoom whose white sauce recipe goes along the lines of:

Put 1pt milk in a saucepan on a lowish heat. Have a whisk handy then add 1 heaped tablespoon of flour & whisk it in. Bring to the boil. Boil ferociously for 1 minute then turn down and simmer for 3 minutes. Don't add anything to the sauce prior to boiling. After you've boiled it for a minute you can add salt, pepper etc.

Thinly slice potatoes and layer in a greased baking dish. Pour over the white sauce. Bake for an hour & a half. Some people top this with cheese but I prefer it without. I have possibly been conditioned by living with a cheesophobe for the last 4ish years.

3) Thai Green Curry

Chicken/beef and/or vegetables of choice
Thai Green Curry paste

Coconut Milk (half fat is fine)
Dark muscavado sugar (not loads - level tablespoon maybe)
Fish sauce & juice of 1 lime.

I just follow the instructions on the back of the tin of coconut milk - it's GREAT! Don't have one in the cupboard or I'd copy it out for you.

4) Generic Indianesque Curry

Meat (any)
Fresh chopped garlic
Fresh chopped ginger
Ground cumin seeds
Chili - ideally fresh but if not cayene pepper or chilli powder
garam marsala (don't know how to spell it - too lazy to go look)
tinned tomatoes OR stock & half fat creme fraiche

I fry off the spices & chilli (not garam marsala) in a little oil then fry off the meat & any vegetables. I then add the tomatoes or stock and cook it off for as long as I have (which usually isn't long enough). I add the garam marsala near the end & if I'm doing a creamy one I add the creme fraiche right at the end.

5) Lemon Sole

This is in here as it's one of my fella's favourites & I'm pretty keen.

Mix flour with pepper and a little salt. Flour the fish with this mixture & fry for a few minutes each side.

6) Cornish Pasties

Recipe link

7) Sunday Roast

8) Fish Pie

Recipe link - this has cheese on top though which I still don't like.

9) Pancakes (boyfriend's favourite)

4oz plain flour
pinch of salt
2 eggs
200ml milk & 75ml water
2oz butter

Whisk it all up with a food mixer then ladle into hot frying pan and play the fun 'who can toss the best (no smut please!)' game!

10) Pineapple Upsidedown Cake

I use a basic sponge recipe but with a tiny bit less butter and I add in some of the juice from a can of pineapple rings, then just lay the pineapple out, pour over the sponge & bake.

11) Gingerbread. This one's a favourite coz I had never made it before Christmas and was very excited to find how EASY it was.

Recipe link

12) Marble Cake

Check out Burekaboy's blog this week (see sidebar). My boyfriend and I last made this for my birthday together. It was great fun.

13) Apple & Blackberry Crumble

Use cooking apples & blackberries. Cook them on the hob with a little sugar if they're too tart (which they might be if you've picked them early) til the mixture is soft but not mush.

Cheat and buy ready made topping from the shops... top and bake in the oven for 20 mins or so til it's brown.

Get the Thursday Thirteen code 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!

Wednesday, January 10, 2007


Not much to say - been working. Had Brownies last night which was nice. Bumped into one of them in the supermarket this evening too which made me hastily check my trolly to see how much alcohol and junk there was in it! Not much so was ok.

Off t't pub now.

Monday, January 08, 2007

Is it personal?

It was my first day at this new school today. The kids are great (really cheeky) and they've been well taught til now so it's pretty much a case of finding them some decent music and letting them play. Many of them I already know from teaching at weekends as they play in the bands.

I was late as I got stuck in traffic that I hadn't anticipated, and thought I'd get away with a sneaky 10 minutes. Unfortunately my boss had come in to see me at five past 9. Busted!

I escaped a wee bit early as I had a no show at the end of the day and sped across back to Glasgow for my private piano pupils. Reading back this sounds awful - in late & away early!

This is the bit that the title refers to: I taught the first lesson and it was fine - the boy is very good actually. He always seems unsure about his ability to do things but once encouraged to give it a go pretty much plays perfectly first time. Then his brother was called for his lesson (he's only 5/6 yrs old). He flat out refused to come in and threw a big tantrum.

Now today was the first day of school so it may just be that he was tired out after a good 2 week fun break.

Then again - it could be me!

Never mind. I have the last pupil tonight (trumpet) due at half past five so it gives me an hour off.

Sunday, January 07, 2007


I'm such a lazybones you wouldn't believe it. After moaning at Annelisa for making me feel I should tidy I did as little as possible yesterday.

Today I did the bathroom, then went to do the spare room as it's my teaching room and I have pupils tomorrow evening.... and got as far as picking up the stuff that doesn't live in that room before phoning my boyfriend to moan that 'we need more storage'!

Our phone is situated right by the computer. So I automatically turned the computer on and started blog browsing.

I reached
Burekaboy's blog and stopped there. He had an entry up about ketchup. I love ketchup. I've now had a good rifle through his recipes until my stomach rumblings became so loud that I had to stop. I'm now sat here debating whether to get some lunch or to just save myself for dinner as it's half two already and I did have toast at breakfast time.

Either way I am still not tidying. I have a new pupil starting next week so my house will have to be spotless for the first lesson at least! Much to do... Need someone with a cattlestick to prod me into doing it though.

Anyone know of a link to a blog that electric shocks you or something? They used that I think on dogs to train them.

Update (half five now):
Did the washing, tidied the spare room then remembered I had to do my tax return.

It's supposed to be easy but I can't even bl''dy well log on to the service. This is the second time it's failed and it's getting really close to the deadline now. My password (WHICH I WROTE DOWN WHEN I ENTERED IT) isn't working. It says either my username (copied from sheet) or my password is wrong.

Saturday, January 06, 2007

Take a deep breath

Given that I had hoped to use this as a diary that I would be able to look back on I probably ought to get on with diarising (is that a word? Blogger thinks not).

Since New Year:

Tuesday morning I got into my car to drive round to my boyfriend's mum and dad's to pick him up so we could go home. We were also giving my friend who had come down for New Year a lift back to Glasgow.

The car chugged and clicked and stalled. So I tried again and it chugged and clicked and stalled. From past experience we have been told that flooring the accelerator can fix this so I did that. And the car chugged and clicked and stalled.

This happened last year and I tried to drive the car, only to have it grind to a halt in the centre of town on a zigzag no parking line. In the hour that it took the RAC to come three sets of police tried to move me on. Three times I explained that if they wanted me to move they'd have to push me.

I was not prepared to try this again... Solution? I phoned my boyfriend and made him drive the car instead! He headed straight for the bypass and drove quite fast. He found that the car was happy at high speeds but the engine warning light was on. A quick trip to the garage to confirm it was ok to drive so far with the light on (which it was) and we could finally head off.

I've already blogged about Wednesday.

Thursday I went to my office job. I'd had nearly 2 weeks off (3 days but I only work 2 days there a week) and came back to HUNDREDS of e-mails, a trayfull of work and lots of sicknesses and absence. So it was busy. I didn't get to the intray work as there was enough normal stuff to do catching up on e-mail and processing all the repurchases etc.

Friday I was in VERY early as I had to do my intray (I'm not in again til next Thursday). There was a LOT in there that my colleague had left me to do as she has quit. She heads off to Oz fairly shortly which sounds exciting. However working out what I was to do with random documents in a big pile took me AGES. Topped with the fact that it was a busy day riddled with problems I wasn't a happy bunny. Still - did it all and don' t have to go back for nearly a week.

When I got home I found an answerphone message from my boss for weekend teaching. I called back and have been offered 4-6 weeks of cover brass teaching on Mondays and Tuesdays. The benefits of this rather than overtime at my office job are that the pay is better and the hours are better. So I jumped at the chance!

So financially I think I'm ok now until March. It's weird I suppose not to be able to predict what your income will be from month to month, but I love this way of living.

Finally - some pictures.

Christmas Dinner: There were only two of us! The glass is my Bucks Fizz which I hadn't finished so wasn't pissed despite what my coaster says. This was the second time I've cooked for Christmas so we wanted to record it. Wasted too much food here though, sorry.

New boot/shoes which veer towards tarty (they're higher than they look in the photo) & new boots.

Thursday, January 04, 2007

Thursday Thirteen #8

TopChamp's Top Thirteen Books
(list changes constantly which is one reason I've been avoiding this topic)

1) Diary of Samuel Pepys (one day I will finish it)

2) Terry Jones' Medieval Lives

3) Round Ireland With A Fridge (Tony Hawks)

4) Flanimals (Ricky Gervais)

5) The Missing (Andrew O'Hagan)

6) The Golden Door (Kerry Jamieson)

7) Dave Gorman's Googlewhack Adventure

8) Rhapsody (Elizabeth Haydon)

9) The Righteous Men (Sam Bourne)

10) The Shoes of Salvation (Edward Monkton)

11) Far From the Madding Crowd (Thomas Hardy)

12) The Snow Spider (Jenny Nimmo)

13) Animal Farm (George Orwell)

Get the Thursday Thirteen code 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!

Wednesday, January 03, 2007

Happy New Year!

We're home. It's weird - we keep expecting the cat to do things that she can't do as she isn't here. I suppose it just takes time to get used to not having her around.

New Year was certainly as good as I had hoped. We went to the Mitre at 9pm and left at half 3 having consumed food from the buffet and drinks from the bar, played a quiz (and lost), pulled crackers party poppers and blown whistles, sung Auld Lang Syne at midnight and played with jigsaws and other assorted cracker toys.

What more could you want?

On the way home I irritated my friends by having to stop and fiddle with my new boots every few steps until I gave up and walked up the hill in soggy socks. I should really know better than to wear brand new shoes to do a 2 mile round trip....

When we finally got home we tucked into Mum's cooked ham then went to bed. (thanks Mum)

Now we're back this is our last day off so we're duty-bound to enjoy it! My boyfriend wants to go to the cinema. I fancy tidying up here a bit more and playing Star Wars Monopoly (tragic but true).

I hope everyone else had a great new year and wish you all the best for 2007! New Years Resolutions anyone?