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!