one step at a time.

Tuesday, August 28, 2007

Partick Thistle!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Tonight I went to see Partick Thistle play St Johnstone in the CIS Insurance Cup.

It was VERY exciting. In the first half Thistle played brilliantly - and I was sure that they would score...... but they didn't.

In the second half St Johnstone seemed stronger - and Partick Thistle were weakening. I worried that St Johnstone might score..... but they didn't.

It went to extra time. Nobody scored.

So the next step is the penalty shoot out. Now this bit was most exciting of all. It went to the 7th penalty when Thistle won in the end. Phew!

And as for hospitality: How does a champagne reception, followed by a four course dinner and free bar sound? Mmm... Perfect night.

Saturday, August 25, 2007

Final (hopefully) installment of the Orange Internet Saga

What I love about blogging is visiting fellow bloggers and seeing what they have to say every few days, building up friendships online. I also love to have a diary that I can look back on easily to reflect on what I have been getting up to.

Since the advent of Broadband Internet, blogging has evolved so that many of the sites I visit are highly decorated, often with pictures, videos and music as part of the template. On top of this there are often posts about music, or posts involving You Tube videos etc.

This makes for a great variety in content, and therefore an interesting read for the blog-hopper.

Until you lose your broadband access.

When you have no broadband Blogging becomes much less of a joy. You hang around internet cafes drinking coffee as slowly as possible to allow you more access. You write a post then return later to see whether anyone has left a comment, only to find that you cannot view your own comments due to your continued lack of connection.

You return to the internet cafe every couple of days until you call your internet provider again and point out that you are having to pay £2.50 every two days whilst signed up for internet that only actually costs £5 per month. Therefore this is going to become very expensive for you very quickly.

You are offered free dial-up internet while your broadband access is down. This does not really improve your opinion of the company, but removes the urgency of your calls to them and allows you to access information you NEED.

You use your free dial-up to visit friends and fellow bloggers (because blogging is an addiction). Each visit takes longer as you need to wait for each blog to load. Once loaded if something tickles you and you want to let the owner know you attempt to leave a comment. You cannot do this due to your slow internet connection. You try again. No luck. Eventually you either succeed in leaving a throwaway remark that seems entirely unnecessary when you have spent 10 minutes trying to leave it. Or you fail and give up altogether.

Consequently blogging becomes a chore. Perhaps even an irritation.

Each day your blogger’s instinct (which is now to jot a few notes down in your online diary) acts as a reminder of the lack of service you are receiving from your internet provider. If you are of an irritable disposition you are riled by this and attempt to fix the problem with phone calls to customer services or technical support.

It is possible that each phone call may well last at least half an hour. These calls may not always be free.

Imagine then that the company - without any notification - removes your free dial-up access. You call them to find out why. The person who has removed your access has not left ANY comments or indication as to why they have done this. You ask to have your access returned. You are directed to 11 different people in an attempt to do this. Some of these people may well work on a 50p per minute 'narrowband' (thought it was called dial-up) helpline. After 1 & 1/2 hours of phone calls you fail to have free dial-up set back up on your account. (you are given a variety of reasons for this)

So it's back to the internet cafe with a greater sense of urgency, to find a new service provider.

Rest assured that a blogger of an irritable disposition who has been paying for broadband access that she has not been receiving for a month will most certainly be checking her mobile phone and landline bills for any call charges, and writing to the internet provider (and OFFCOM if necessary) to have all her call charges and internet fees returned.

She will also make sure that she points out that she is currently on a £35 per month mobile phone contract with them which she took on the basis that she could get broadband for £5 per month on it. She will mention this, as she would prefer not to have this contract as the broadband contract has been broken. She will let you know the outcome once she is able to access the web again!

Thursday, August 23, 2007

Thursday Thirteen #20/21

Thirteen films we own but I have never watched (on dvd/vid.. may have seen them at cinema)

  1. Star Wars old episodes (dvd.. have seen them on video yrs ago)

  2. The Ninth Gate

  3. The Office

  4. Transformers cartoons

  5. Flash Gordon

  6. Hitchikers Guide to the Galaxy

  7. Fight Club

  8. Blow

  9. Sweet Charity all the way through.... like the songs but the film's a bit boring.

  10. Zulu

  11. Carol Vordeman's 28 Day Detox all the way through.... I'd be kidding myself.

  12. Cherry Falls

  13. Johnny English

The purpose of the meme is to get to know everyone who participates a little bit better every Thursday. Visiting fellow Thirteeners is encouraged! If you participate, leave the link to your Thirteen in others comments. It’s easy, and fun!

Wednesday, August 22, 2007

Internet Connection

Ok - it is now nearly one month since my broadband broke down.

Orange (my internet provider) have a clause that says you can cancel after 1 month without broadband. This will pass tomorrow.

Do I cancel and switch provider?

Pros: Orange only cost £5 per month.
Cons: They have not been providing the service for the last month and have been completely unable to come up with an explanation as to what's wrong.. or what they're actually doing. All they can tell me is that 'engineers are working on it'. Obviously not hard enough.

Pros for switching: I will have broadband again.
Cons for switching: I took my mobile phone contract partly because I could get broadband cheaply if I had a contract of £35 a month....... I would have shopped around if this had not been the case.

What to do???

Monday, August 20, 2007

Sunday, August 19, 2007

Walk it off

My Mum is up visiting this weekend. The consequence is that we are eating a LOT. Last night Mum made us garlic&rosemary roast lamb with courgette (remember what it looks like?), onion, carrot, cabbage, kale, potatoes and parsnips. Mmmmmm...............

This morning I still feel stuffed to the gills, so I will be take a pictoral theoretical walk. This is sure to make me feel better, especially if some of you would care to accompany me?


Birnam is a village on the opposite side of the river Tay to Dunkeld. It is very pretty, quiet and relaxing. From Birnam woods you get a great view of Dunkeld, which almost looks like a German castle in this picture I think.

The river Tay is said to be clear and clean enough to drink here. I am not convinced, though it was certainly crystal clear, so did not test this theory. It seems silly to me.

Birnam shares the Big Tree tendancies of Dunkeld. I don't know what it is that makes the trees grow so well here. Perhaps it is the proximity and quality of the River Tay.... Perhaps it is the soil quality. Who knows? Perthshire is home to Britain's tallest hedge, and to our tallest trees.

Shakespeare used Birnam woods in his story Macbeth.

"Macbeth shall never vanquish’d be until Great Birnam wood to high Dunsinane hill Shall come against him."

Macbeth, Act 4 Sc. 1 Shakespeare

In the story the three sisters (witches) prophesize that the wood will kill Macbeth. As his sounds like nonsense, this prophecy was disregarded.

Unfortunately for Macbeth, branches cut from Birnam wood are used to camouflage the army's attack leading to his demise.

There is only one oak tree remaining from this wood. It is 1ooo years old.

What would you do if you saw a hole like this in a big tree??

Thursday, August 16, 2007

What is going on in the USA?!

What're you doing with the stockmarket!? Leave it alone... It's gonna make work a total nightmare!!


Yesterday I went to Perth with a trumpet player friend who needed to get his trumpet repaired. As we had a day to kill (repair took a while!) we headed off to Dunkeld for some sightseeing. It's a GORGEOUS village with a medieval cathedral (part of which is still intact and used) on the river Tay. The cathedral even has some paintings remaining in the tower on the ceiling and tops of walls which I found very exciting.

It is also known as 'Big Tree Country'... I will show you for why.

Tuesday, August 14, 2007

Look at this Hunter!


Such a big brave cat finishing off the camera cord....

Saturday, August 11, 2007

Meme for Saturday

Hello: Coco and Julie tagged me for a meme. I had thought that I would rattle through it now, but when I started I got stuck for facts. Firstly though I would like to tell you: I hate the name Mary.

The rules seem straightforward:

1. You have to post these rules before you give the facts.
2. Players, you must list one fact that is somehow relevant to your life for each letter of their middle name. If you don’t have a middle name, use the middle name you would have liked to have had.
3. When you are tagged you need to write your own blog post containing your own middle name game facts.
4. At the end of your blog post, you need to choose one person for each letter of your middle name to tag. Don’t forget to leave them a comment telling them they’re tagged, and to read your blog. (I'll tell you straight away - I'm breaking this rule).

M - I am a Musician.
I love music to play and to listen to, but I hate music as an academic subject. This is the main reason I went to a music school (conservatoire in Glasgow) instead of University.

A - I live in a flat/Apartment...
My sister introduced me some years ago to 'Apartment Pants'. My Mum's a bit weird and would not permit us to come downstairs in pyjamas even on weekends. This didn't really bother me as I am usually up early, but my sister hated it. The solution was joggers that she would put on instead of PJ's in the morning. These morphed over the years, and are known in our family nowadays as 'Party Pants'. Party Pants are comfy!

R - Reading...
I am about to go and finish the book that I am Reading now. It's not great... It's called Getting Rid of Matthew and is (shockingly) about a woman trying to get rid of a bloke called Matthew.

Y - For lunch I had a Yoghurt-coated Apricot and Almond bar.
It was delicious.
Please let me know if you play: I've had a quick browse and have seen this on most blogs today so I am not tagging.

Tuesday, August 07, 2007

Edinburgh Fringe

This week the Edinburgh Fringe has started.... and I'm in Edinburgh now until Monday.

I'll pop in for updates as often as poss but won't be home for a while so internet access may be difficult.

Concert-wise: Tomorrow & Thurs - Bach B minor Mass Cannongate Kirk
Sunday - Glasgow Chamber Choir gig... don't know where or what I'm playing.
Sunday 19th August at 8pm St Cuthberts Church - Trumpet trio recital with organ in St Cuthbert's church.
It's all fun. Though Edinburgh is completely mental during August - there are people everywhere. I try to be tolerant, but it can be difficult when you are running late for a rehearsal and have to try to get a path through the crowds of tourists standing looking around... I have to resist the temptation to use my trumpet as a battering ram to force my way through!

So: If you're about in Edinburgh on the 19th we would very much appreciate your support! It's free entry & unticketed (although we will need donations or we won't get paid...).

Monday, August 06, 2007


I've been out again. Tonight I met my friends for some beers and a curry. My friend has been telling me about a fantastic curry place on the South of the city for ages so we decided to go to see if he was right.

We had more than a couple of beers so didn't move over for a curry til pretty late. I had spinach & mushroom puri followed by fish curry. I love spinach and mushroom. And fish. But there was far too much to attempt to get through it all! My boyfriend stuck to a more standard meal of onion bajis (or onion rings actually) and a chicken curry. I tried a bit of everything and can confirm that it is indeed a lovely curry shop. Unfortunately I have forgotten the name already.

Since coming home my boyfriend has put himself to bed. I had intended to join him until I tried to get the layers of eye make-up I had plastered on - off. The eyeliner is called 'long lasting effects'. Says it all!

So the plan now is to give up, go to bed and check the damage in the morning. If it still doesn't want to shift... I'll just reapply it to tidy it up!

Sunday, August 05, 2007


For the last month or so weekends have actually felt like weekends. I am not teaching as schools are off on holiday, and most of my concerts have been during the week.

The result has been: I have weekends again!

And I love them. Yesterday I did the usual practise... that has to happen anyway. But other than that I blogged (with my snail-slow internet), went to the shops, played with the cat, watched some tv and went to a party. Fab! Today I have been up for an hour or so and I am once more online. I am also watching telly. Soon I will go and make a cup of tea before starting practise again. I also have to do some crafty things and arrange an organ part out of a string section part for the telemann concerto no3 in D (for 2 oboes, tpt and strings... or in this case for 3 trumpets and organ. I've done the trumpet parts already - so only the organ to go. It's much harder to do though). I plan to save this job for the evening as it doesn't make as much noise!

It's been a quiet couple of weeks, so there wouldn't have been too much to tell you about anyway. I've mainly been in the office doing overtime. I had an office party at which I was not very drunk... don't know how that happened.

We did go to see the Transformers film - and I loved it. I do remember Transformers well though from childhood. They were amazing. My wee brother had them but never had Optimus Prime. I think our cousin Alex had him though.

Anway - enough rambling. If anything exciting happens I'll let you know...

P.S. I am having trouble leaving comments - think it's just this connection. Sorry chaps.

Saturday, August 04, 2007

back...sort of

hello.... I now have a basic internet connection (wired... dial-up non-broadband). It's really slow and is quite frustrating. I really want to see what everyone has been up to but have much work to do today too so I'll do my best. I'll post again when I have time to write properly later on (though I have an important party to go to tonight so it might be tomorrow!)

So pleased to be online...