one step at a time.

Tuesday, December 30, 2008

Back to the Buzz

I have avoided my laptop and my mobile for the last day. I have another week off before I go back to teaching and nearly a week before the office job starts again so I thought I'd rather keep my head down for a day and chill out a little bit longer.

Today I picked my phone up to see three missed calls, three text messages and two voice mails. Great!

One of the messages was a lady looking for a brass instructor for her school, so that one was welcome!

One was my sister asking if I know someone who I played in youth orchestra with. Does that count as knowing them? Probably.

The last one was a friend asking if I want a curry tonight. My initial reaction is that I don't want to go out and see anyone again ever again (still in hibernate mode) but I know I'd love it if we went really. My boyfriend is very busy before New Year at work and I think is working late tonight so we can't. I do love curry but would rather cook him some food because he's going to be tired and I was very grumpy yesterday night (when he told me he had to work late).

Voice mails: One hang-up. Great! (nothing to do with that one), One gig lady who I am avoiding because I haven't organised another trumpet player for her yet.

Missed calls: Don't matter because if it was important they'd have left a message.

EMAIL: haven't got there yet. Next job!

Friday, December 26, 2008

Boxing Day Plans

I haven't seen my boyfriend's family yet so I need to meet up with them today to thank them for the gifts of a harmonica (which is a brilliant present - can't wait to try it... resisting til later on or my siblings might murder me) and a diary/organiser (as if I need organising!!).

Boxing Day food is my favourite for Christmas, because we get to have ham for breakfast. If I'm really lucky I might get an egg with my ham. Mmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmm...

I need the others to WAKE UP though first.

Thursday, December 25, 2008

MERRY CHRISTMAS!


Apologies for yesterday's whine. I was in a mood and vented here. It was helpful to get me out of the mood in real life.

I hope you are having the best Christmas ever. Ours is going pretty well! The dinner was delicious and nobody has fought yet, which is a real anomaly for a Champ Christmas.


Wednesday, December 24, 2008

Bah Humbug (nearly)

One more hour Christmas shopping and I'd have done something very bad and very un-festive!!

Fortunately I'm still excited as we curtailed the two days of hellish trips just in time.

*****************************************

This morning I am really angry with my stupid thoughtless boyfriend who announced to me that he was starting work at 6.30 today when he got home last night. Why should this bother me? I have to drop him there at that time, because I need the car today (going to England).

Not content with making sure that I have to drive 200 miles minimum on 4 hours sleep, he set his alarm 1 hour early and snored during the night. Loud enough for my sister and I to hear him from the living room over the sound of the telly. I woke him up and made him take a decongestant spray thing as he has a cold again. It worked for a while.

Then to top the sleep, early morning thing off.... he was the last one out of the house this morning. He locked my sister in the house without realising. He should have left her a key if he wanted to do that. He did not. I was REALLY angry about that as in case of a fire she'd have been in trouble. He has done it to me in the past too. I'm still angry - can you tell?

Anyway, until I see him there's no point in stewing over this so I'll leave you with a very sincere wish that you all have a very


MERRY CHRISMAS!

Sunday, December 21, 2008

Happy Holidays!

My wee sister arrives for a short visit today. I love Christmas!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Saturday, December 20, 2008

Wigwams in December

My grand (hastily thought up, not thought out) plan was to take Mum up to the wigwams near Tyndrum, for a night out of town. The wigwams are on a farm.

She (somewhat surprisingly) was up for the idea!

Off we went to the wigwam, leaving Glasgow in chilly winter sunshine. We drove off and headed deeper and deeper into grey clouds. As the weather closed in our hopes of a walk in the hills dwindled. We arrived at the farm in howling winds and driving rain!

(This is a photobucket picture I've lifted... must be what it looks like in summer.)



We checked in then fairly swiftly left to go to the Green Welly Stop for some shopping and to the pub for a bite to eat.



It was fun, we bought some things in the shops and the food in the pub was delicious. We both had spicy parsnip soup followed by Christmas roast dinner. Mmmmm.



We then drove back to the wigwam and shut ourselves in there with a few bottles of wine and some games. We played scrabble. I won. We played Yahtzee. I won! Kept me happy. We had some sandwichy bread things for dinner, played some more games, drank some more wine before bed.

The rain didn't let up at all so we woke up and had to walk to the toilet block in the same heavy rain we had walked through all evening.

The wigwam however was completely dry and very cosy. They are heated and lit, so it's a really nice place to stay. There are bench beds and a small table gives you something to play games on. I love it.

Wednesday, December 17, 2008

have been at work (LONG hours) doing this piece



Tomorrow I'm taking Mum to stay in a wigwam. I'll let you know how that goes!!

Saturday, December 13, 2008

CHRISTMAS!

I have a tree! It's all sparkly and pretty with it's angel on the top. I love it.

I have finished presents for: Mum, Boyf's mum, Boyf's sisters, Boyf's sister's boyfriend, friend's girlfriend.

The sloe gin is ready - I tried it and it's very nice.

On Monday my Mum arrives so I'll let her have a taste of the gin and tell me what she thinks. That means I have 1 day left to finish her pressie (as she'll be here and I can't be making it with her here!).

I have one more teaching thing left to do and then that's me for the term. Yey!

Overall I think we're sorted. I have to get something for my sister but the other gifts are done and dusted. I'm quite happy!

Thursday, December 11, 2008

Thursday Thirteen #36

Thirteen things (A fair few of which are Strictly Come Dancing videos)

1. Show dance - argentine tango. AMAZING. If you only have time to watch one, make it this one.



2. My Christmas tree is up! I'll hoover tonight then put the pressies round and post a picture.

3. I love Vincent. And I want Rachel to win.



4. I have finished the scarf my friend asked me to make for his girlfriend. However he now says he might give it to his mum. Is it bad that that annoyed me? I put MY mum's scarf on hold to do this one for him.

5. There's a good couple of minutes of bumph before the dance, but this shows that Rachel can do all the dances - in case you thought her tango was only good because Vincent is so good.



6. My boyfriend bought a bottle of port as a thank you gift for me to give to my friend who doesn't really drink. Ha ha - nice bottle of port for TC then.... I bought her something else.

7. This is a waltz which I think is dull but others might like.


8. My work has announced redundancies. I don't know if I'll be one of them but I think that finding a 2 day a week job might be tricky so I hope I'm not.

9. As my boss was off sick last week, I might have my appraisal today.

10. I've run out of toilet roll. Probably a fact you didn't want to know!

11. I've also run out of washing powder. Think it's time to go shopping.

12. It's now five past 8 so I need to get the bus to work.

13. I'd show you more dances but you've got my favourite there already. Hope Rachel wins. I'm off this weekend so I'll get to watch! Mum comes to visit on Monday.

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! If you participate, leave the link to your Thirteen in others comments. It’s easy, and fun! Trackbacks, pings, comment links accepted!





Wednesday, December 10, 2008

Allsorts

Firstly: I hate licorice allsorts. Just so you know.

The car is back and working properly again.

Last night we had the West Division Carol concert thing with all the Rainbows, Brownies, Guides, Rangers & Leaders. I'd offered last year to play the music for the carols - and they took me up on it this year.

I am lucky enough to have good friends who I've played with for years and they agreed to join me for a trumpet trio. They weren't so keen on the idea of the 12 Days of Xmas, so I agreed to play that on the piano instead.

I then discovered that a Ranger in our division plays the trumpet, so I phoned and invited her to join us. She did a pretty good job and seemed happy enough.

The bit AFTER the concert where the kids go through for juice and biscuits was the bit I didn't enjoy so much. There were so many kids and keeping track of mine with only 2 of us there was difficult. On one hand I knew they were safe anyway as they were surrounded by guiders but on the other hand I worried that parents would come and collect them and I wouldn't know.

It didn't last long - I rounded them all up (by spreading the news that I had xmas pressies for them) and kept them together til they were collected. They said they enjoyed the concert so that makes it worthwhile.

So that's us until the 13th January. Plenty of time to plan a great 2nd term!

Monday, December 08, 2008

stupid car stupid christmas time

My car has broken. It has now been mended and I am going to collect it. It is going to cost £380. Ouch.

Thursday, December 04, 2008

Thursday Thirteen #35

  1. I was in York on Friday night last week. We drove all the way just for the wedding party.
  2. I was in Uddingston (other side of Glasgow) on Saturday night for a Christmas party.
  3. I really enjoy playing old music. Like Bach.
  4. I still have a bit of a cold but it's MUCH better.
  5. I am loving the run-up to Christmas. This year is quieter... or more organised. I'm not sure which. It's allowing me to enjoy it when usually I'm all muddled up at this time of year.
  6. I have got most of my Christmas shopping done.
  7. I am debating whether it is more important that my boyfriend has a coat than that I stick to my principles. He should buy it himself - he left his coat in a bar, but I know he won't ever get round to it and he's walking round without a coat in freezing weather.
  8. I am not going out tonight because I still have Christmas knitting to do.
  9. I was out last night - It was fun!
  10. I am out tomorrow night. Fingers crossed for fun again!
  11. I haven't got dressed for work yet and it's ten past eight.
  12. I have my appraisal today at work.
  13. I want to get a real tree and decorate it with my biscuit decorations right now.

I hope that you have a great day - see you all later (night in means night reading and catching up!).



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! If you participate, leave the link to your Thirteen in others' comments. It’s easy, and fun! Trackbacks, pings, comment links accepted!



Wednesday, December 03, 2008

Guiders Warrant

As my Brownie pack has grown, THANKFULLY so has the leadership team.

We are now:


Me,

Guider-in-training (I think she has probably done everything she needs to for the qualification, she just needs to write the book up)

Young Leader.

I got my Leaders warrant a few years ago. You have to complete a workbook - it has several modules that are intended to teach you what you need to know to run a unit.

You are asked to:
- chart development of kids who are making their promise to see how they change through Brownies.
- to show how you've used the Programme in planning.
- to turn up to something outside the meetings in the hall. You have to do something that involves different Units, or different aged kids. So you could do a joint night with 2 packs, or you could invite the Rainbows for a party.... Does that make sense?
- do First Aid. This bit works well.
- assess the safety of your meeting place. This bit is very important as it isn't something you would know to do unless you had run a group before.
- do accounts and you need to keep records.

That's all I can remember.

The part I think that fails is in the fundamentals of Guiding. Who teaches you what Brownies is? Who talks through the programme, or the Adventure? There are packs for Guiders - a manual and an Adventure File, so you can read and teach yourself.



When I did my license there was a Guider sort of running my pack. There was no routine, there was no weekly plan. There was no singing of Taps. There were few girls in the unit.

There is no reason to assume that a trainee Guider has any experience of Guiding in her past. The Adventure File tells you about opening and closing meetings and is actually a really useful resource, but it can't teach you songs (unless you read music.. and if you do you'll notice that the Brownie song is printed in a minor key... which is just weird).


The answer, presumably, to this is that you should have a Mentor. And the Mentor should not be a Guider from your own Unit.


I had no Mentor and nobody to teach me in the Unit. I knew that I didn't like the way it was there, so when she eventually quit I changed everything.


My trainee has no Mentor. I want to do it properly and make sure that she really knows what she's meant to do, but I don't have much time and I am not entirely sure that I know enough about it myself - I'm fairly new to all this!

Genius

yey!
My laptop cable was at my morning school. Where I left it last week.

I'm very daft. It's a fact.

Monday, December 01, 2008

thicko

I've lost my laptop charger cable thing. It is now completely dead. I'm on an old fossil computer that groans when you turn it on and allows you onto the internet about 1 in 5 times.

Grr..

Friday, November 28, 2008

busy busy busy

I'm feeling a bit better - not great. Today a busy weekend (fun one too hopefully!) begins.

Today - office then wedding
Tomorrow - party
Sunday - gig

Hope you all have a great weekend. See you on the other side!

Monday, November 24, 2008

Still haven't shifted this stupid cold... but I have finished the scarf for my boyfriend's mum.

Saturday, November 22, 2008

Dinner night

I have so far:

Made the tart (photo to follow).

Sliced the potatoes and layered them with onions and mushroom (coz I had a few left over) plus herbs (parsley and thyme). I poured over vegetable stock and dabbed some butter on the top. That is in the oven now as it takes an hour and a half. I'll take it out soon and put it back in once our friend is here.

I have de-stalked the field mushrooms and toasted the pine nuts. I have changed the plan a little here: I am going to put a dollop of cranberry and caramelised onion chutney on top of the cooked mushroom, then put goats cheese and/or herby breadcrumb crust on top of that and then sprinkle on pine nuts before serving. I have rocket and some little tomatoes to go at the side.


I have boiled the ham (coz that's how I like it best - soft texture) and scored the fat. I have now rubbed on some honey and have just put it in the oven, as I think it needs about an hour to get a nice shiny crust.


I might go and dress the rocket with some lemon juice and olive oil.... as I've got a few minutes to kill. Our friend is ALWAYS late so I'm not expecting him to arrive in the next half hour really.


P.S. After a promising start Wales just lost to New Zealand 9-29. Boo hoo.

Result: (Picture taken of my extra just-in-case mushroom which is in the fridge now.) The mushrooms looked really pretty on the white plate (see the meat picture) with the salad etc. I forgot the pine nuts - so ended up with mushroom grilled with goats cheese and herby breadcrumb topping. It was really tasty. I tested putting the chutney on but it made the mushroom go slimy during cooking, so I served it on the side with the salad.



Result... this is what's left of the meat!


Result: Pudding. Slice served with vanilla icecream.

Friday, November 21, 2008

Self-Employed and Confused

Today I woke up feeling pretty rotten. My body is aching and I have little voice. I am shattered, even though I have slept for 8 hours.

I would really like to take a sick day, which would give me a chance to shift this before teaching on Saturday. However because I am self employed with 4 different employers and only work in my office job on Thursday and Friday I would feel too guilty phoning in sick today.

Anyway: Thank you very much for your votes yesterday.

The menu for Saturday:
Field Mushrooms stuffed with.... not quite sure yet but goats cheese and pine nuts are a constituant part.
I am delighted that we ended up with this one for starter. I like mushrooms a LOT.

Honey-roast ham with this potato bake thing and veg.
I am also chuffed about this choice. The potato thing is made by baking sliced potatoes in stock. The top goes nicely crispy with a soft juicy potato bottom bit. Mmm.... Veg to accompany: Will depend on what I see in the supermarket.

Maple syrup and pecan tart
This came up because I allowed my boyfriend access to the cookery book. In fact I asked for his suggestions. He spotted this and wanted it immediately - so I know he will be over the moon about this choice. I don't really like desserts that much so either would have done for me.

I would post you photos - but I think I'd look like a weirdo. Instead I'll tell you about how it goes on Sunday.

Thursday, November 20, 2008

Thursday Thirteen (I need your help!)

Thirteen random things (because I need your advice):

1) I am cooking dinner on Saturday and can't make a decision on what to cook.

2) Please help me choose the menu - Starter:


3) Main:


4) Pudding:


5) I am a competent cook.

6) I enjoy cooking so am looking forward to this weekend.

7) I haven't been participating in TT for a while because I am having some problems getting up for the office job on a Thursday and really haven't had the time before leaving.

8) I have been working most nights.

9) Yesterday I played in Oliver for a friend who couldn't do the matinee.

10) My friend who couldn't do the matinee phoned me to ask me if I could leave my trumpet as he'd forgotten his.

11) Because I am a good friend and a nice person I found the grottiest trumpet I could and modified it a little to make it slightly worse, then left it out for him. I did leave my real trumpet too - but he used the dodgy one which has tuning problems (I hear).

12) I went to the cinema last night and saw Burn After Reading.

13) I didn't like it.

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! If you participate, leave the link to your Thirteen in others comments. It’s easy, and fun! Trackbacks, pings, comment links accepted!



Wednesday, November 19, 2008

Circus Night

OMG - A circus indeed it was!

I had a mum helping because her daughter was making a promise tonight. My planning at the moment is totally crap. I will improve for next term. We're getting away with it by using my experience and talent for winging it. But I suspect it's finite.

I'll need to organise a planning meeting for next term (hopefully in the pub... that'd be my ideal).

Tonight we: Made juggling balls out of balloons filled with bulgar wheat. It's quite cool - makes a sort of beanbag/stress ball thing. You use a funnel to fill a balloon with the wheat then twist up the neck. Cut the top off another balloon and stretch it over the neck of the filled balloon, to make a two-tone juggling ball.

This bit would have worked FINE except that I couldn't get a funnel anywhere (no time to try a DIY shop but I did do the Guide shop, hobby shop and supermarkets). In the supermarket by the balloons they had party hats. "Hmmm, they look a lot like funnels" I think.

Party hats are funnel shaped, but they do not make the greatest of funnels. We got by - and each girl went home with one juggling ball. But you can't really do much juggling with one ball! Also the Young Leader I think was trying to suggest they look like bollocks. I just ignored it - she was annoying me tonight anyway - totally unhelpful all evening. (I told her off for it even though I hate doing that).

We also had hula hoops and a tightrope with blindfold. We had a ball and they played some fairground style games with the hoops and the ball. I think the kids enjoyed the night actually - so the mess and stress was definitely worth it. Promise ceremony went well (with my Assistant making her promise too).

I'm shattered though now so it's bedtime for me.

HORLICKS - FYI

Horlicks - (click for link to their website) - is a malty milky drink that is amazing. It is so soothing. Mmmm. Hadn't had it for years til the other day.

Monday, November 17, 2008

roll on Christmas!

For some reason today I feel christmassy. I want to decorate the house and sit in PJ's with a fire, drinking cocoa.

Maybe it's because I had a cup of Horlicks.

Thursday, November 13, 2008

Peach Tart


They didn't have any peaches in the shop so I used nectarines... And the recipe (Burekaboy) said I could put booze in if I wanted... so I did. Only I drank the remainder and ended up getting the recipe all wrong. I put it in the oven and then had to dig it out again to add a load of ingredients I had forgotten, which I suspect is why it didn't come out quite like the image on his blog (see my links section if you want to find the recipe - it was posted in September).
It looks a touch burnt and the whiteish bit's weird... but it's just coz I got drunk and mucked it up.... Go and see the real one on Burekaboy's site.

Add a bit of low fat creme fraiche - mmmmmm.




So in the meantime I bring you: Other works in progress... Christmas here we come!!!









I knitted myself a cornetto case last night... I am just SO cool. No really.



Monday, November 10, 2008

Early Music

I love early music. It gets me going.

Next weekend I'm playing cornett - I've mentioned it on my blog before so I'll just link it for you to find out more yourselves. (changed my mind and stuck up a photo)


I love to play this instrument. On graduating college I acquired a resin cornett but last year I bought a wooden one. I have been trying to learn it since, and am getting to grips with it now.

So this weekend was to be the virgin outing for this instrument. Until today I discovered that the pitch of the piece is a fourth higher than I had expected. That's a lot higher!

A week of mental practising is what is called for.

Sunday, November 09, 2008

all done

That's the show finished so I'm off again til next weekend (apart from daytime work). This is a good thing and I am now coming to read blogs.... for 5 minutes before I take my boyfriend to work as I need the car for my work this afternoon.

Thursday, November 06, 2008

blogblast for peace


I am so short of time... getting in at midnight or later and leaving for work at least five minutes ago each morning... (the time on blogger's still an hour ahead I think). But I want to support this idea, so have done my best this morning. Now I must go and get a bus (haha.... taxi).


Wednesday, November 05, 2008

CONGRATULATIONS AMERICA!

Exciting news this morning.

late night grub

I have just eaten chinese food at midnight. I've had to turn the telly off now because I can't find anything much to watch other than America's election coverage - and nothing has happened yet so it's just filler chat at the moment.

p.s. I am not drunk.... and I am regretting eating chinese already.

Monday, November 03, 2008

Nice weekend. Work starts now!

This weekend some friends of mine came to stay. They have a daughter who's very little.

I haven't spent much time around very little kids, as I only have 2 friends with babies, and don't really get the whole baby thing. She was very cute, and it was interesting to see what they're like in real life. I do think she'll be more fun in a couple of years or so.

Am I actually allowed to say that out loud? I hope she doesn't know about the blog.

Saturday, November 01, 2008

yawn

Post-Halloween Hangover. Working in an hour.

Wednesday, October 29, 2008

Dilemma

My boyfriend and I rarely have timeoff together. Today we are both off work.

He wants to do something fun today - and I really don't.
He wants to go out for lunch, to head into town... to GO somewhere to do something.
I want to knit my slippers, to practise the cornetto, to teach later, to do some journalling.
He wants me to come out with him.
I want him to do something here - like finish painting, or play his new computer game, or garden. Or to go OUT without dragging me into it too.

I am busy working for the next few weeks almost all the time, so we won't have much time again for a while.

By rights we should be trying to spend this day together - but I am finding him really annoying as he's pottering around the house when I know he wants to go out and do something. I wish he would just go and do what he wants to do and leave me alone!

Tuesday, October 28, 2008

Happy Halloween!

We had a halloween party at Brownies tonight - it was fun. I dressed as a witch - and quite enjoyed it to be honest. I got to wear more eyeliner than I've worn in my life and it was good practise for a real grown-up halloween party I'm thinking about turning up to next week (or the end of this week... whichever halloween is).

We played some games - like wink murder and musical scary statues.

We sang some songs (the Pink Panther - because one of them turned up dressed like the pink panther).

We ate some party food.

And then I cleaned up a LOT of mess. We ran out of time for apple bobbing, so next week they are making chocolate dipped apples with hundreds and thousands. They'll love that. I'm off - working - so I'll miss it. Good luck assistant - I'll find a parent to help.

Monday, October 27, 2008

yey - apology received

and accepted.
It just came to a head.... I told him he was pathetic. Always a good idea, right? He told me that 'the one thing I was enjoying...' which was going to end "about the party was my music" or something along those lines - as that's what he told me on the night.

However the sentence was not finished because I went nuts. "Seriously? The only thing about YOUR party, full of YOUR friends, that your FAMILY came up for, that I spent a day cooking YOUR choices of buffet for... the ONLY thing that you were enjoying about that was your music?".

He's been quiet since then. As have I.

I am terrible at leaving things that annoy me alone. I can't be annoyed about stuff silently. And I can't talk about you behind your back - so feel very safe in the knowledge that I'll tell you exactly what I think.

Anyway - now it's all out there in the open I'll be able to forget all about it. So the confrontation is entirely selfish, and is possibly something I should stop doing. I don't know.

Friday, October 24, 2008

Hello!

Well that's the visit over. It was good fun - but I don't think I'll ever be comfortable around his mother.

On his actual birthday we took a trip to Callander to go to the Rob Roy exhibition (which was amusingly bad when we visited in the past), but it had closed. So we took a scenic drive home. We then went out to dinner (after I had finished Brownies, of course).

On the next day I spent the morning preparing a buffet for 30 people, played a gig in the afternoon, came home to teach and we then went out to his birthday party in a local pub. He was in his element as he could plug his own MP3 player into the sound system. The other guests (in particular his Mum) seemed less enthralled after a few hours of it, so I asked her if we should put on the 'party mix' (from his sister's boyfriend's ipod). Her reply was 'Yes, might liven it up a bit'. So I plugged it in.... and he chucked a wobbly. I wanted to smack him and am still annoyed about it now actually. There's nothing he can do to change it but from that moment on I did not enjoy his party, and had it been anyone else's I would have left. Rude arsehole. Honestly - thinking about his petulant reaction makes me genuinely angry. I have never wanted to walk out of anywhere as much. But I didn't - I stuck it out and smiled. I tried (and failed) to talk to his mum. I bought drinks, drank drinks, ate buffet, chatted to my friends and to some of his colleagues.

He enjoyed himself - which is the main thing. He was clearly very happy to have his sister, mum dad and sister's boyfriend here. His sis is fantastic and her boyfriend is very funny. I like them a lot.

And now he's officially old. Ha! Lucky for me that I'm not planning to turn 30 ever.

I am having a nice time tonight doing nothing - it's pleasing me greatly. However by writing the above I've wound myself up again so I think it's time for me to go and get a(nother) glass of wine!

Tuesday, October 21, 2008

Happy Birthday to my Boyfriend!


It's the big 30 today!

(so far so good with the visit too btw)




Monday, October 20, 2008

descent of the in-laws (not technically in-laws but you get the drift)

My boyfriend's parents are coming to visit this week. They are due to arrive this afternoon.

It will mean I either blog lots and lots through the stress of it. Or blog little because of the fun we're having.

Hope all is well with you all. I'll let you know how it goes!

Saturday, October 18, 2008

happy birthday to my blog!

It's two years old the day before yesterday, and I'm surprised to discover I've been going for so long!!

Thursday, October 16, 2008

Seaside

Did you know that from Broughty Ferry beach you can see a family of dolphins?

We went for a morning visit to the beach. After a quick whizz round the museum we headed for the sand. Then my friend pointed at the sea and claimed to have seen a dolphin.

Ever the sceptic, I dubiously looked over to find that she was right! The dolphins swam back and forth getting closer and closer to us, until from the shore we could see them coming out of the water and diving back in.

It was an amazing end to a fun holiday.

Wednesday, October 15, 2008

Holiday

Today I'm going to the seaside and I am very excited. At the moment I am sat in my PJ's playing on my friend's computer while she's out getting fags and cheese for cheese and ham toasties. She doesn't put cigarettes in the cheese and ham toasties - they're just for her!

Saturday, October 11, 2008

I feel mean

I am thinking bad things about people completely unfairly. I am usually more inclined to think good things. It's making me feel guilty - Maybe a conscious effort to snap out of the grump is required.


Tomorrow I have a hard gig, then on Monday I am going away on a short holiday break to see my friend. Only to Dundee, but it's out of Glasgow and not work-related so I am excited. It's definitely time to get away for a break. Recharge the batteries and all that.


Thursday, October 09, 2008

bloody amateurs

Imagine this:

You are a self-employed musician. You are asked to do a gig 6 months in the future for really bad money.

You take the gig because you have nothing else booked for that week and there is no reason not to.

At the end of the phone call, the amateur booker says 'OK great. So you won't drop out now before the gig will you? I mean we really want to get this sorted out firmly right now.. etc'.

What do you reply?

I reply something like 'oh yeah of course sure...' (bearing in mind I'm a good 1/2 bottle of peach schnapps down by the time of this conversation)...

I am THINKING though: "Who the hell do you think you are? The money for this is sh't so if I'm offered something for a decent fee what do you think I'm gonna do??".

Amateurs.

Tuesday, October 07, 2008

Normal Life

Brownies: We have some kids making their promise tonight so it's the old Hostess badge while they do it with parents there nightmare evening that I am expecting.

Other stuff: Gig-wise there's a fair bit going on and I am nervous about a gig this weekend but generally all is good. There's a video on youtube if you're interested in seeing me in action... with my trio friends.

Sorry I haven't been a very good blogger this week - I'm just very busy but I do appreciate your comments and will be round properly soon. First I must get this Brownie night over with!!

Sunday, October 05, 2008

American Politics

As we have previously established, I really don't understand American politics. Seriously - how is there even still an election race here? Surely that side with nutjob Palin on can't be an option really? SURELY nobody with a brain would actually elect McCain. So based on that logic with the reported closeness in the polls, I'm not getting an particularly rosy view of American intellect from our press.

Or am I missing something?

Thursday, October 02, 2008

ho ho ho!

Today was my first Christmas gig of the year. Seriously.

It's the 2nd October!

Wednesday, October 01, 2008

Sloe Gin Making

OK:


Well according to the many recipes, all of which were similar, take 1lb sloes, 1litre gin, 1 wineglass of sugar.



Prick the skins of the sloes and drop them in the gin (obviously you have to remove some gin first or they won't fit.


I went for putting half in an old vodka bottle).

Add the sugar and shake.






Shake daily for a week then weekly for two months.

In my wisdom I decided to make this sat in the front room watching telly. This was due to the number of berries I would have to prick. It seemed daunting without other entertainment, but I can't remember what was on the box so it must have entertained me more than I expected.



This is the colour it is at the moment.



Monday, September 29, 2008

booze!


I love booze.

This weekend I went for a walk with my boyfriend as we stayed in Cumbria after some concerts in England and Wales.

We stumbled across some sloe bushes so collected as many berries as we could in the hope that we could go home to make us some sloe gin.


Yey!


Anyhow - now I have to Google me a recipe, and get going. I bought the gin last night so am all set. I'll post about it when I know what I'm doing! (I'm quite excited.)

Sunday, September 28, 2008

I really really hate blogger

But I just can't work out Wordpress at all.

I might just sack blogging altogether. I can't read anyone on Blogspot's blogs most of the time, and I can't get into my own blog.

It's too random - you have to be able to blog when you have the time. I don't have the time to check back every couple of hours on the offchance that it might be working now.

Assuming this holds for more than 10 minutes, I'll be round to see you shortly.

Wednesday, September 24, 2008

ill again

I'm gonna start posting with this title when I have a cold, as I feel like I've been ill all year. I suspect that is not true - but with a big gig coming up the last thing I need is a chesty cough. If I do this I'll be able to tell for sure. Or maybe I should tag the posts.

Anyway - back to normal stuff.

At Brownies last night we made chocolate truffles using cream cheese, icing sugar and melted chocolate. It looked disgusting!!!!!!!!!! But tasted surprisingly alright. It didn't set properly so they went home with brown blobs on greaseproof paper, rather than rolled up truffle balls as I'd expected. I tried not to get too involved in this as I'm not well.

They seemed quite happy despite my lecturing them on good behaviour and brownie points (I'm really not feeling good and they weren't watching for the hand in the air thing - for any non-Brownies, when the Guider puts her hand up it means stop where you are right now and shut it). We also had a game of practising what you do when the hand goes up. One of them talked all 4 times we tried it so I made her sit at the side while we did songs. That was actually annoying as she's one of the best singers.

Anyway - it felt very hard work. I think they had fun though. Next week they're preparing for their promise and starting hostess badge as we normally get them through this one as part of their promise ceremony.

Tuesday, September 23, 2008

Concert in Swansea 25th September - Scottish Trumpet Ensemble

If any of you are round and about in Swansea this Thursday the Scottish Trumpet Ensemble are playing in St Mary's Church at 7.30pm.
It promises to be a varied programme and definitely worth a look if you free.
As to me - I'm snivelling over the sad death of Marco on Neighbours. Think it's time for Brownies!!

Sunday, September 21, 2008

Sunday Morning

What do you spend your Sunday morning doing?

Today I have to be at a rehearsal at half 10am. It finishes at half 11, and is taking place in a room above a brewery bar. The bar would open at 12.

Do I...

a) Go for a half hour walk then head into the bar at opening time?
b) Go for a half hour walk then go home and chill out (or finish all the other things I have to do actually)?

Thursday, September 18, 2008

I hate Blogger (today at least)

This stupid thing won't let me on at any reasonable time of the day or night.... but apparently at 6am when I HAVE to go back to sleep as I've been up for 2 hours and have a really long scary day ahead it's available to use.

Useless stupid Blogger.

I have started a wordpress blog which I am quite confused by at the moment as you have to do layout stuff yourself. Much more of this and I'm gonna switch though.

Monday, September 15, 2008

aagh

I want more hours in the day. I am not tired much at the moment but you can't practise the trumpet at 9pm in a flat in a city. So I want more daytime hours. Or a house in the middle of nowhere.

If I could do it my way I would practise on and off mixed in with all the other household things that need doing all day and all night.

I have a practise mute which I can use. It muffles me right down to under the level of the TV even but it isn't rewarding to play with. I suppose it will have to do.

Plan for Brownies tomorow: Jewellery making. I saw a craft somewhere where you rip paper into long thin triangles and wrap it round knitting needles to make beads. I'll let you know how it goes!

Sunday, September 14, 2008

Best gig ever!

I was absolutely 100% flawless.

I arrived at the park for the wind band gig, waded through the mud, found the marquee... and the band had already finished and packed up.

Ha!

Friday, September 12, 2008

Blogger issues

I have been unable to get onto blogger - even to read your blogs - for a few days.

To make up for it I'll tell you everything in one go:

Tomorrow I have work then am playing with a Wind Band which I haven't done (other than kids ones) for a few years. Should be fun.

I am a tragic geek who stayed up late last night playing My Sims on the Wii. Sad. I am sorry. It was new - won't happen again.

For tea today we had pasta with a delicious sauce made from carrots, peppers, tomatoes and pork. Yum.

As you can see not much has happened!

Wednesday, September 10, 2008

Juggling

I feel like I have so many balls in the air at the moment one of them has to drop.

I have Brownie stuff, gig stuff, teaching stuff. I always feel like this at the start of the year though - it'll calm down. Think it might be time to make myself a list.

Brownies last night was fun. We did an evening on friendship as I'm still trying to get used to all the new ones. (We had another sign up last night - overfull now). We put their names on each envelope and everyone has to write something nice about each person and put it in the envelope. They get to take the envelopes home full of nice things.

Note to anyone who does this: VET the comments. We didn't. I never imagined that anyone would put anything mean in the envelopes, but we got a couple of 'she is annoying's. We did it in sixes rather than as a whole group because I didn't want it to last all evening.

I printed teddy bear colouring in templates for the girls then gave them instructions for the colouring in like 'For the ears: If you have brothers (only) colour red, sisters only colour blue, both colour yellow, neither colour pink' etc. The idea of this is that at the end they will see how alike they are. We didn't quite finish this so we'll do that bit next week. We'll make a display out of them too.

Other than that we planned this term and played port/starboard. The old Brownies knew about it already and have always enjoyed it, and the new ones thought it was great.

Sunday, September 07, 2008

Guess why I like this advert....

go on - it's funny (to me at least)



Oh My God - I looked further and found another ten or so versions people have made in response to this advert. People are nuts!!!

Anndi you're an inspiration!


Raven - I am really really really sorry!

This was so much fun! I know it's shocking - I am sorry to all those of you who can actually write properly but this made me laugh a LOT.

The words: toad stool, liquid lunch, Jurassic Park, counting sheep, manacles,
Nonsense... Clearly, By TC (I'm no poet, thought I'd show it!!!)

The Animals in manacles,
perch on toadstools next to whirlpools,
Drinking liquid lunch made from melon chunks,
Painting modern Art, in Jurassic Park,
Before counting sheep as they try to sleep.

Saturday, September 06, 2008

AND THE FUN STOPS

We were planning to spend this weekend with friends down South. However they're ill - so we're in Glasgow still... and I have a mountain of work to do.

The first job is to copy and post some accompaniments for some gigs we have coming up in Wales & England. It's taken me most of the day to get our new scanner sorted out and to get the music scanned in. I can't post originals as I have 3 different organists to post the stuff to and only 1 set of originals (obviously).

I suppose I had better get on with it.

Friday, September 05, 2008

Good Gig

We went to see The Dodos supported by Euros Childs and Beerjacket on Wednesday.

It was very good - You'd have liked it. So I've youtubed it and here you can see a bit of what we saw:

The Dodos

Thursday, September 04, 2008

My mouth hurts

I have been drinking too much lately.

It's good - it's been fun.

and

It's bad - my mouth hurts now after I brushed my teeth vigorously a few days ago - it always mucks my gums up.

Tuesday, September 02, 2008

Brownies is back!

We started today and we had 20 kids. That's LOADS. We had 16 before and I thought that was plenty. 20? Wow. And I only made 1 of them cry.

They are a mixed bunch. One of them is tiny - and very cute! One is a fighter - she broke a guide's hand kicking last year whilst at Rainbows. Tonight she kicked another Brownie (who kicked her back). I told her that it was not acceptable behaviour and that if it happened again I would speak to her parents (hence the tears). The majority of them are VERY confident little girls, which is good.. but very noisy, which could be good or bad.

We had fun. We made name badges (coz I have so many new ones) with stickers and felt tips. We had a pow wow (they sit in a circle and we discuss anything that needs to be said). We appointed sixers and told the girls their sixes. We played some games. Then Brownie Bells and home time. It went quite quickly. It wasn't the smoothest evening ever, but it was ok and I'm sure we'll get the hang of the bigger group soon enough.

First Day At School

In Edinburgh.

I was looking forward to it yesterday. Today, not so much.

Monday, September 01, 2008

Manic Monday - Iron (see below!!)

For the originator, head over to see Mo. For my post, scroll down a wee bit please.

Oops

Can you guess what happened?



Friday, August 29, 2008

Judge Me

How bad is this?

To set the scene: We have one car between us. I have the car on Saturday as I teach in an awkward place for public transport. My boyfriend doesn't work in a great place for public transport either really but he has the car every other day of the week.

TC "Do you really need a lift home from work on Saturday?"
Boy "Um... well I could get the train."
TC "Would that be ok?" *batting eyelashes giving a winning smile*
Boy "Yes, I'll get someone to drop me at the train station. How come?"
TC "Well Jenny is coming round for dinner."

My real reason for asking? I want to watch the final of Last Choir Standing on tv.

Thursday, August 28, 2008

Dodgy geezer

Last night I had fish and chips before going out.

At the chippy a man came in asking for a carrier bag because his plastic bag had split outside just up the road. He was not a chip shop customer.

The owner of the shop told him that there was a 5p charge for a plastic bag. The guy thought for a second then left.

The owner then told us dodgy guys come into the chippy quite often asking for a carrier bag that they can use to hide the item they've just stolen from a car up the road.

The dodgy guy came back into the shop and this time I noticed he had a big square/rectangular object hidden underneath his jumper. He asked to see the plastic bag. The shopkeeper showed him but he didn't buy it and left for good this time.

I want to know what you could nick from a car that's about the size of a box of tissues (maybe slightly bigger)?

Wednesday, August 27, 2008

Tuesday, August 26, 2008

Routine

I like my routine of the last two weeks....


I sit around getting up slowly, making tea, playing the computer, practising a bit, playing the piano........ then I teach a bit...... then I can go back to the earlier stuff before bed.

However I know it's not good. I am - as of tomorrow - going to make an effort to sort out my room to make myself get back into hard work again. I had a crazy few weeks and reacted by just flopping for a few days. Time to stop that.

Monday, August 25, 2008

Broonies

I am just realising that my Brownie pack starts back next week.

A week or two ago a nice Guider from Ireland gave me a newsletter she uses... which I edited for my pack (deleted the name of her and her unit and replaced it with my unit and my name).

I thought last night that I ought post it. So I printed 20 copies, and took the envelopes, addresses and letters to the pub to put it together somewhere with beer. HOWEVER on the bus there I spotted an error...



Can you spot it? In the first big heading (the layout's gone a bit nuts when I've changed it into a JPEG) - "SEPTMEBER".

As this will be the first thing I send to my new Brownies I decided to print them out again. I ripped up the misspelt copies. I printed page 1, then stuck all the paper in to print page 2.

The stupid ink ran out on the reverse of ALL the copies.

So that's 40 copies ruined. On the up-side, I spotted another mistake (it instead of is) which I can now fix too.

Saturday, August 23, 2008

Cool Brass Music



Their website.

I had to do a gig once walking in singing a song in parts. We were.. umm... not as good as this. Nuff said!

Friday, August 22, 2008

Back to teaching

Tomorrow I have the staff meeting child protection training etc etc day for my Saturday teaching.

I can't remember what time it is meant to be at.

Oops.

Update:
My friend texted at half 3 this morning to tel me it's at 9.30. She'll be feeling good for it!!

On the one hand......

I like to watch the sports I enjoy most at Olympic level.

On the OTHER hand it is annoying me that I'm having to watch GMTV (dodgy breakfast tv news and gossip show) if I've been up late as BBC in the morning show the sports I've already seen.

Perhaps blaming the Olympics isn't fair. Perhaps I should pinpoint the real culprit for unwatchable telly:

Big Brother. It is terrible!!!!!!!!

Usually if I don't want to watch BBC Breakfast (good breakfast tv news show) I can always watch some old Frasier re-runs, but when Big Brother is on the channel (Channel 4) seems to show it at all hours and the channel is a no-go. The last two series's of the show have bombed though I think so hopefully they'll give up after this one.

Thursday, August 21, 2008

Thursday Thirteen #30

Thursday Thirteen
13 Things I have to do today:
  1. Take the first wash from last night out to dry
  2. Put on a wash
  3. Go to work in my office job
  4. Buy shoes
  5. Meet a friend
  6. Put on a wash
  7. Put clothes out to dry
  8. Put on a wash
  9. Put clothes out to dry
  10. Put on a wash
  11. Put clothes out to dry
  12. PUT ON A WASH!
  13. Go to bed.
To explain - we got our new washing machine after a week without one. Bear in mind that I broke the washing machine when it was definitely due a couple of cycles already.
It promises to be a barrel of fun today.

Wednesday, August 20, 2008

Tea Cozy revisited




I love tea. Particularly real tea in a teapot made with tealeaves.






My friend has just discovered real fresh proper tea too.




I am making him a tea cozy. He's making tea at the moment in a cafetiere so I'll get him a cheap teapot too. I'm halfway through - will post you another picture when I'm finished. *done - see top! Apologies for the mobile phone camera snaps*




The Pattern



Monday, August 18, 2008

Reviving 1980's hair accessories


Why do female gymnasts still wear scrunchies in their hair.


I understand wanting to keep the hair back - that just makes sense. However the sparkles, gel and SCRUNCHIES in particular bemuse me.


Having said this - I am completely in awe of their skills and love watching this sport.


Sunday, August 17, 2008

Mmmmmmmmmm

I have bought a washing machine from Argos coz they can deliver at a more convenient time than John Lewis.

Now I'm thinking of having a catch-up daytime snooze, as I can't put a wash on (shame!).

Finished!

After a really long day - Edinburgh gig then Glasgow gig with a pipe band championship in the middle (selling programmes for Guides) - I'm done. And can now RELAX.

Friday, August 15, 2008

I am so tired!

It's been a busy period. But tomorrow marks the end - and I am excited at the prospect of a whole day off.

Hope you have a fine weekend too.

Wednesday, August 13, 2008

FUN

We've been to the science centre today. It's a very cool place but it was the busiest I've seen and the queue to get in was enormous. This affected MY enjoyment of it but not the five year old boy's or my boyfriend's.

We then came home and played bubble blowing. FYI - a trumpet is not the most effective method of bubble blowing, but when it works the bubbles are mightily impressive.

Tuesday, August 12, 2008

AAAAAAAAAAAAGH my stupid washing machine has broken on the day I have guests coming to stay.




When we bought a flat, like many first time buyers, we had no 'stuff'. We moved in with a side table, a black wooden chair and a computer table and computer.

We bought the basics to get going - a bed, some drawers, a sofa (really cheap - really rubbish). Then a friend offered a deal on a washing machine, tumble dryer and fridge freezer which were in her great Aunt's house. Her aunt was going into a home so we bought the items from her at a bargain price, for which we were VERY grateful!

However the fridge freezer and tumble dryer have since been replaced. It was gutting to have to throw them away but we couldn't find anybody to take the tumble dryer (which worked) and the fridge was finished.

Finally this is the washing machine giving up the ghost. It must be pretty old. It's a Hoover Classica Autowasher 1000- can't find a date using the magic of the internet.

RIP washing machine.

Monday, August 11, 2008

More weirdness

Hit play before you read - this takes a minute to get going.



The other day I turned the radio on (BBC Radio 2 - thought it might have been Jonathan Ross) and this what was playing.

"Bow, Bow Bow.... Bow, Bow Bow...."

NO WAY - it can't be?

I thought I was going mad for a minute. But it was really there - The Frog Chorus was genuinely coming from my car stereo!

It is much longer than I remembered. Alan Titchmarsh played it on his show. I had to turn over straight after this because the next thing was a Mozart piano piece (yawn). Later I tried again to find it a pop song played on Euphonium. Nope - not for me.

Anyway - Hope you enjoy the video... or enjoy the reminder of 198_ .

Saturday, August 09, 2008

Friday, August 08, 2008

War

Sh!t - there's a war. Again. Now it's Georgia and Russia. And I was moaning about my stomach. Sh!t.

Cure for a dodgy tum

3 hours trumpet playing
bread
water



Hopefully once cured it'll be fine then to have a drink or two.

Don't worry - I'll have a day off on Monday.

Recipe for continued dodginess

2 cans lager
2 pints cider
4 pints lager
1 bottle of vino verde
1 pizza
1 chinese buffet
1 packet cheese and onion crisps
steak and mushroom dinner (tasty)
16 more hours trumpet playing

Recipe for a dodgy tum

1 Chocolate Brownie
2.5 pints of lager
7 hours trumpet playing.

Wednesday, August 06, 2008

Mimi's Tag - The 'needs' meme

As I understand it the meme rules are simple: Google 'your first name' and 'needs' as a search.

I have an unusual real name. And a blog name that isn't a name. So my results on this meme weren't great. My real name just brought up articles or websites really about me, so I'm going with Top.

Top needs a bottom for daytime sex. There were two or three like this... Top needs a young boy.... Top needs a slutty bottom... and so on.

Top needs refinishing.

Top needs the time.

Anyway I must go as I have lots of work to do. As the meme says 'Top needs the time'. I have a pupil due this morning any time now and rehearsals after that all day.


See Mimi's for the meme proper.

Tuesday, August 05, 2008

Teachers. Bah.

OK so I teach quite a lot myself.

Maybe more accurately the title of my post should be: Musicians. Bah.

I don't know.

What I do know is that it annoys me when musicians dump a gig for a better paid one. I understand it. I have done it.... although never without finding a suitable replacement for myself - sometimes paying them more than the gig would have paid me because I'm earning more anyway.

It also irritates me when people who are music teachers as well as performers assume that everyone else is having a huge long restful holiday when in fact some of us have taken work to fill the gaps teaching left.

And I want to do a rehearsal at eleven o'clock tomorrow morning because I have another rehearsal in another city at half past six that night. However a colleague can't be bothered to get there in time for that so is making us have the rehearsal later. Which annoys me because I know that he's not doing anything at 11am. He just has to travel for an hour and a half so would need to leave at half past nine - which is obviously too early in school holidays.

Now that's off my chest I feel a lot better!

Monday, August 04, 2008

Manic Monday - Big

Mo's Manic Monday (- click to link to Mo's blog)




This is my very BIG cat Dixie. He's a real cuddle-monster.

If I continue to eat all the left-over cake I have from this weekend I will be very BIG indeed!

Friday, August 01, 2008

The Topchamp Bakery is now Open

I have just spent a couple of hours baking cakes. I made a vanilla 6oz sponge using golden caster sugar - just tasted a crumb and it is REALLY tasty. I have just wrecked it though by cutting it in half to ice the middle, but not paying proper attention and cutting it wonky. I may well have to start that one again.

I have also begun baking a chocolate sponge. This one's in the oven. It smells nice!

I will let you know how this one turns out.

The last cake I have to make is a toffee sponge - I've nicked a recipe off the web so will paste the link here.

Sunday, July 27, 2008

The American Dream

Do you guys really have FREE internet?

(p.s. I'm disabling comments coz I want an answer to the cake question too - you'll have to reply under that post!)

Saturday, July 26, 2008

Cake!

As Mrs S is on a diet I'll tell her now : STOP READING.

Anyone else: I have to make a cake for a friend's birthday next weekend. Does anyone have experience of cake-making? I want to know if you can freeze cake and not spoil it?

I suspect she's really after a chocolate cake - probably with more chocolate. My birthday cake was DELICIOUS though as vanilla with chocolate covering and filling.

She also will expect something impressive - so a novelty or giant cake I think.

I have scratched my head for ideas. So far I'm thinking the classic pile of presents would be quite cool. Or maybe a handbag shape. OR a multi-tiered patterned cake with a crown on top which I saw on a website.

So back to the question - can you freeze cake without spoiling it?

Friday, July 25, 2008

Politics UK

Labour (current ruling party) have just lost a very safe seat in Glasgow.

It was won by the SNP. Maybe it's time for me to find out more about them - I've avoided it because of the name Scottish NATIONAL party. Reminds me of the ultra-evil British National Party.

Thursday, July 24, 2008

Pests

This morning I looked out of the back window at the lawn and found myself gazing into Homer Simpson's eyes.

What on earth could a big cuddly Simpson head be doing on the grass out there?

My best guess - foxes. There was also a big black fox poo on the grass next to the head (which had actually turned out to be a slipper), to assist in my identification of the culprit.

This weekend I'm off out the back with a strimmer and spade to clear the undergrowth at the bottom of the garden - hopefully I'll destroy their habitat.

spelling

I REALLY need to read through my posts before I put them up! Spelling error just found - plumbs instead of plums. Dumbo.

p.s. If you find more - let me know!

Wednesday, July 23, 2008

Food

We have just got back from a couple of weeks wandering.

While my boyfriend was in Italy I went to Leeds, Cardiff and Carlisle.

A great time was had by all. I went to the pub, ate out, did a bit of sightseeing and went for walks in the countryside.

I particularly want to tell you about the food – which was outstanding!

Leeds: We ate out at a restaurant called Citrus. The downside was that they brought me a cheese soufflé when I ordered a fig and blue cheese chart. The UPSIDE was that the food was great and my starter was free.

Cardiff: We ate out at the Brasserie. You could choose your meat/fish etc from a cold counter and they cooked it. We chose bbq ribs and roast duckling, and muscles in white wine and lemon sole. It was delicious, but the fish was my absolute favourite. My little sister is moving to Cardiff soon and I am most certainly going to visit her often!

Carlisle: My friend’s mother is an amazing cook – Dinner started with salt & pepper squid which I learnt to do myself. The preparation involved hilarious moments where my friend’s mum commented that the squid when washed looked a bit like a condom, but she didn’t think it would taste like a condom… although she didn’t actually know what a condom tasted like. Meanwhile her son went red at each mention of the word ‘condom’ and squirmed openly at the final comment while I could only crease up laughing at the pair of them! They barbecued a joint of lamb marinated in yoghurt mint and brown sugar and while it cooked we took a trip to the local pub. And then after all that there was even dessert! Plums and cream. Mmmmmmmmmmmm.



Now my boyfriend tells me that the food in Italy was wonderful. He tried octopus and other seafood which previously he has refused to eat and I am most pleased with this step forward. However I do not believe for a second that his meals could possibly have surpassed the menu which the UK provided that week.

Friday, July 18, 2008

brief quiet period

I'm really not a very quiet person. But I've been away on holiday this week and am playing for a wedding in England this weekend so haven't had a chance to blog or use the internet until today. And now my time is up, but I am looking forward to being back online properly on Monday!

Friday, July 11, 2008

Brownie Camp

We arrived on Friday night, they heard the programme and discovered they'd have chores (groans all round) then had some sandwiches and biscuits with juice. They went outside for a torchlight wordsearch, which wasn't in torchlight because we only had a couple of hours of darkness this weekend, then came in for story and bedtime stuff.

They giggled and chatted and giggled in their dorm until one of the guiders moved in and settled on the lower bunk making them sleep.

On Saturday morning I awoke to more giggles and squeals. I checked my phone: 5am!

The other guiders were seemed able to sleep but I can't do that - I'm a wake up get up person. So I went through.

"Hands up who knows what time it is?" No hands.
"twenty past........... FIVE"

Their faces dropped! They knew they were in trouble... but still giggled when I left the room.

So I got my sleeping bag and told them a couple of stories: one about good brownies who go to sleep and do lots of fun things with their refreshed cheerful guiders... and one about bad brownies who stay up all night and spend the day doing chores and cleaning, becuase their guiders are too crabbit to go out and play.

They all just giggled at me, and a Brownie from another pack responded "you should've brought those other Brownies then". Somehow I don't think they take me very seriously! It worked though, and they dropped off again very quickly.

I went back to sleep and woke up again around half 6, which is fine as they were to be woken at half 7.

On Saturday our Harry Potter theme meant we could fit in a visit from a man with owls. Real live owls. IT WAS COOL!!!!!!!



In the afternoon they had a trip to the loch. A treasure hunt. I may have taken them slightly the wrong way as I had no idea how to get there, and neither did the guider who took a group 2 mins after me. We weren't lost though.



Otherwise, we did some crafts... sang a few songs... had a party where they entertained us with a fashion show and some comedy sketches then we entertained them with a Harry Potter magic show.

On the last day the grown-ups have to clean the house so the Brownies spent a fair bit of time playing outside.

What impressed me most over the weekend was the way the kids from 3 different packs all mucked in together and made new friends quickly. They all behaved really well and made the weekend enjoyable for all of us. They got their Brownie Holiday badge and some goodies and I am pretty sure they all went home very happy.

Thursday, July 10, 2008

Sad

I am on my own in the flat.

I went away on Friday to Brownie camp. I got home on Sunday but drove straight down to England to stay with my sister before heading to Wales for the night.

We then came back to Leeds. Meanwhile my boyfriend jetted off to Tuscany (grr).

I then went to Carlisle to visit a friend and his family.

Now I am home. Most of my pals are on holiday, and I only arrived here at 7pm so there hasn't been time to organise an outing.

So I'm getting a bit bored. Might need to get a knitting project going. At 10pm it's too late to practise the trumpet!

Wednesday, July 09, 2008

Jet Setters


My boyfriend is away just now on a work trip to Italy. I think he is here. Wish I was!!

Sunday, July 06, 2008

Brownie camp finished today. It went incredibly smoothly and the kids had a great time. I'll tell you about it when I'm back - just heading off again now so no time.

Friday, July 04, 2008

Last night I had planned to go out with a couple of friends.

However when I got home my boyfriend had still not found the passport he began looking for the previous day.

So I started to help. I looked through all of the sensible places. I searched the filing cabinet file by file.

I looked through the less sensible places, such as the kitchen drawers and recipe book shelf.

The previous night I watched him check the passport drawer, so knew it could not be there. In case though I asked 'did you check the drawer again'? The reply: About 4 times.

So we kept searching into the evening.

EVENTUALLY when it was far too late to meet people who'd been out since six o'clock I was on the verge of announcing that he was just going to have to queue for an emergency passport application today when I checked the passport drawer. I had no expectation of finding anything, but guess what?

HIS PASSPORT WAS EXACTLY WHERE IT SHOULD HAVE BEEN IN THE FIRST PLACE! Idiot x

Wednesday, July 02, 2008

HOLIDAYS A COMIN!

I'm out an about for the next 2-3 weeks. I'll be home but am not sure how much. Ideally I'd love to float about away from the city for the whole time but finances and pet care will mean that's not possible.

I'm excited though.

The first thing coming up is Brownie camp. Wish us luck.

Tuesday, July 01, 2008

The morning after

I feel OK!

Today I have a pupil coming round in the morning. She's a really nice kid so it'll be fun. After that the day is my own.

Wimbledon: Anyone watch it? Andy Murray won his match yesterday - it was confusing to me as I really don't understand tennis scoring - but he's a Scot so I'm pleased he won.

I think that was the quarter final.... or the qualifier for the quarter final. Does anyone else know?

This is the first week off school and already I'm wondering what to do with the days off. I think this is the only week I have completely free though so I'm just going to enjoy it.

friends

My Pals cheered me up.

A couple of chaps phoned after 4pm to say 'we are heading to the pub where shall we meet you'?


Cheered me right up............. I love them x x x x x x x x x x x x x x

(yup, I have been in the pub since just after 5pm)

Monday, June 30, 2008

So far this birthday sucks.

We hung around this morning because my boyfriend thought we should wait for the postman. However I have had messages from my brother, sister, boyfriends sister and my mother (who has stuff from an aunt) ALL of whom haven't actually posted anything yet. The postman hasn't been and it's 12.30. I gave up and went to the bank. Wish now that I hadn't.

I went to withdraw camp money from the brownie account, only to discover that the form the bank in the city centre gave me last week is not sufficient unless the signatory is present with ID. Which they won't be as they are now in France on Guide camp. I have signed completed forms to add me as a signatory, but the bank now tell me this takes 2 weeks. Not something they chose to mention two weeks ago when I asked about it!

I leave for Brownie camp on Friday. Without the money?? I need to fix this one fast!

Update: I did get mail from my parents..... to clear up any confusion. It arrived after I posted this - they did not forget.

Sunday, June 29, 2008

cake!



I forgot to photograph the cake til this morning. And the super-tasty one I made later has gone. But the very tasty one that my boyfriend made is left and I've photographed that for you instead.

Mine was a vanilla victoria sponge with vanilla creamy icing filling and chocolate fudge icing all round the top and sides, decorated with white chocolate chips and chocolate vermicelli. Mmmmm.

I tried to get my pals to vote on which cake they preferred but they just refused to say that mine was better. I'm taking this verdict from the 'pie chart test'. (approximation of cake quantities eaten half-way through party). Cake 1 is mine.




We had fun. I am feeling really full... and thirsty (can't think why I'd have that symptom this morning!).

Saturday, June 28, 2008

Today - Party! (birthday not actually til monday)

I got some cards today - woo hoo! (exciting) Thank you if you are reading.

So far we have:

Tidied
Hoovered
Baked cake
Washed up
Cleaned up
Mowed lawn
Strimmed weedy bit
Been to supermarket
Been to DIY store (for replacement gazebo, as it is very likely we'll get rain although it's holding off just now)
Played some Super Mario Galaxy
Listened to the radio
Decorated cake

It's now 1pm. 2 hours til kick off. I might just clear the washing up if it's dried and then pour myself a glass of wine.

Then I'll decorate the other cake - we burnt the first one so I made a replacement - and post you some pictures x

Friday, June 27, 2008

Tomorrow - Birthday Barbie

Since I first lived in a flat with a garden (3rd year in uni) I have had a bbq party for my birthday. This year the weather has been great until this weekend.

So I'm expecting this: (just got the pic from photobucket. It isn't me!)


Monday, June 23, 2008

Construction!

I have begun construction of Phone Socks.

My boyfriend recently got a new phone. I mentioned previously on my blog that I was planning to make him a cover for it as it has an enormous screen and he'll scratch it all up at work carrying it round.

So I invented (not claiming it's an original idea... just that I didn't steal it from anyone) the Phone Sock.

This is the prototype. As such I have offered to make my boyfriend a new and improved version but he is resisting. He is a bit sentimental.




This is the first commission. Allan (a colleague) requested the colour scheme. The rest of the design, including a home made button added after the photo, are my creation. I am quite proud of this one.


And the third (and the one I resent making a bit as I hate Celtic and Rangers) - a blue, white and red cover. This is a work in progress. I expect to have it finished today providing I stop reading your blogs for a while. (FINISHED!!)