one step at a time.

Friday, February 29, 2008

Each Friday Kailani hosts Aloha Friday, and each Friday I forget to play. Until now!

Welcome to this week’s edition of Aloha Friday.

"In Hawaii, Aloha Friday is the day that we take it easy and look forward to the weekend. So I thought that on Fridays I would take it easy on posting, too. Therefore, I’ll ask a simple question for you to answer. Nothing heavy or too thought-provoking.

If you’d like to participate, just post your own question on your blog and leave your link below. Don’t forget to visit the other participants! It’s a great way to make new bloggy friends! "

Today MY question is:

What is your favourite body part?

For me... ON me it's quite hard as I don't like anything. Is hair a body part? Maybe not. Not on me? - thighs... rugby playing thighs. Preferably poking out of shortish rugby shorts. Mmm.

Thursday, February 28, 2008

Learning to Knit

I have been learning to knit since December.

I have so far COMPLETED a teacosy and two hats (one of which I have lost).

I have STARTED a scarf, a sock, fingerless gloves which have been REALLY difficult as the pattern doesn't work properly (not sure what I'm doing wrong) and it needs big wool which I couldn't find in John Lewis, a pretty pink and white hat - currently in Leeds with my sister after I forgot to bring it home with me.

I find it difficult to decide what to make. I want to make a scarf, but I have already tried this and got bored before the end.

I want to make socks but they're hard!

I want to make the gloves, but the first one I made was too big (I had enlarged the pattern after the guage was too small and I don't have any bigger needles). The second glove was too small. I deduce from this that I need to go somewhere in the middle but there's a bow in the pattern that I can't work out if I fiddle with the number of stitches.

I took a break from this to practise sewing stuff... and made some pincushions (including one for Kyra.. see below) but I think knitting's better as there's less mess involved.

I need suggestions (Kyra - I've got the penis warmer idea... just don't know how to make up patterns yet). Anything useful I can knit?

Monday, February 25, 2008

I love blogging because............

Blogging saves me ever having to discuss an issue directly with anyone.
Up on the blog it goes........... next thing I have is an apology.

Maybe I can take it further. Perhaps we can avoid talking altogether.

Boyf - What would you like for dinner tomorrow?
(I'll let you know if I get an answer from this)

Mo's Manic Monday theme today is EXPLOSIVE:

Today I saw my first Rambo film. I quite liked it. It has an amazing trumpet-heavy soundtrack which pleased me. I can't tell you the bit I liked the best because I know I'd offend a few of you and I might spoil it for people who haven't seen it and want to.

I should really list the explosives used here, but as I'm a novice action movie viewer I can't remember any of the names. Sorry!

Sunday, February 24, 2008

boozer... bozo... Language alert (using the F word)

Explanation for the question below....

I worked yesterday morning, then had a brownie event in the afternoon. My boyfriend was out watching Wales play rugby. I hurried to meet him because I LURVE Wales playing rugby. They won by the way. After the Wales match though the boys wanted to watch the Scotland match AND the England match. It was about half 9 when we left.

I was pissed off because my boyfriend went to sleep in the bar, which winds me up. It also concerned his friend who tried to tell him it's not normal.

We headed out to go home (pretty early but he and his pal had been out since 2pm watching WALES BEAT ITALY in the Six Nations rugby tournament). I knew we needed taxi money and he was clearly not capable of putting a card in a slot himself so I asked for his bank card (I had been unable to find mine for a few days), then headed off to the cashpoint. I had his pin number.

I entered the pin twice... sure it was correct. The cashpoint disagreed. I know he has 2 pins, so I then tried his other pin number. It didn't work either. The cash machine rejected the card... so I looked at it. HE HAD GIVEN ME MY CARD! No wonder I couldn't find it.

I then went back to get his card. He said that he had given it to me in the pub. This is true - I had used it to buy a round of drinks. I remembered giving it back.

He denied this - he repeatedly stated that I still had it. I emptied my bag. I went back into the pub and asked if anyone had handed a card in. I came back out (pretty irritated) and made him go through his pockets and wallet. Meanwhile his pal was egging him on - my favourite phrase was 'Go on ___, Prove the fucker wrong!'. So while I was turning to his friend to say 'Prove the WHAT wrong.... The FUCKER? Are you calling me a FUCKER?!' my boyfriend pulled the card out of HIS WALLET. Of all places to find a bank card...

So I went off to the cashpoint. When I got back they had both been to the takeaway shop, which sells all sorts of food. It is at the bottom of the street I stayed on for years while I was a student. I know this shop well!

They had bought food - but nothing for me. It just hadn't occurred to my boyfriend. Not overly surprising as he was hammered. He hadn't even got share-able food (like pakora). It would be more forgiveable if I hadn't met them after finishing work at 4pm having worked straight through from 9am and had whinged about being hungry when I arrived in the pub.


When I pointed out to him that I'd been hungry he said 'oh well - there are bagels in the house'. No remorse.

AAGH. GRR... I was mad.

When we got in he started to drop off on the sofa so I told him he should go to bed. I didn't feel like joining him so I slept on the sofa.

Saturday, February 23, 2008

hate him

is there anyone out here who hates their other half when he/she's wasted?

Friday, February 22, 2008

New stuff in the world of Topchamp

OK.. well firstly: Thursday was a farce!

I arrived a good 5 mins late for work, to find my boss trying to decipher a complicated account that I had been involved with last week but that another colleague had taken over. Having heard the names when I put my bag down I expected that when she looked at me as if I were a complete idiot that I had done something particularly stupid with this account.

HOWEVER - her look of incredulity was actually due to the fact that I was there. At work. At all.

I had taken the day off as a holiday. DOH!

So having arrived I worked a morning, changed my holiday to a half day and left at lunchtime!

I got home and made a pincushion (which is something I did not have). I have no pins currently (which are something that should be on the TT list below really) but I have a big pack of needles that are getting a bit loose in their needle packet. So I have filled the pincushion with needles.

I like it - but will make it cuter if I do one again. If it hadn't been just for me I think I would have taken a bit more time over it.

OH! And I finished my hat. It has a weird bobbly bit which is the result of my deciding it was not long enough so trying to unravel it to start from before I started to reduce the knitting to the top... but I got it slightly wrong.

I quite like it all the same. Though I know it looks a bit daft. I think it'll have to be reserved for hair down days with no other accessories.
I would post you a picture, however having worn it to work this morning I seem to have mislaid it somewhere. Hopefully it is at work - if not it's gone as the only other place it could be is the bus. I only spent a month working on it.... to lose it in 1 day.

Thursday, February 21, 2008

Thursday Thirteen #27

Thursday Thirteen - 13 things I would buy if I had any money 2 days before payday! (which I don't obviously)

PETROL! Going to have to cash pennies in to pay for this perhaps.

Toy stuffing for brownies. Whilst this will come out of unit funds I can't actually buy it online without a credit card. Which means I have to pay and claim it back.

A black printer ink cartridge

Tinned tomatoes

Pesto or something easy like that

SHOES (always want shoes)


Washing up liquid

New glasses - I'm not feeling young and trendy with old specs on.

A new or a replated mouthpiece for my trumpet. I keep forgetting to send my mouthpiece off for replating at the beginning of the month and then I don't have the cash to do it at the end!

umm... a CD or two for my boyfriend

If the money was endless.... more jeans.... and tops. Clothes anyway.

Multicoloured felt - we're making teddy bears at Brownies after Easter.

Does the hub still exist? My browser can't find it. Prob gone months ago as I've not played since December! If not: I'll be round to join in reading and commenting tonight. Must go to work now (or ideally 5 minutes ago).

Wednesday, February 20, 2008

Mountain Rescue


The talk was great. We got to see every bit of kit they carry in their rucksacks - the crampons, the axe, the neck brace, the first aid kit etc. The girls learnt when most rescues take place, and the number of rescues that they tend to respond to per year. They were shown how you would use the equipment to climb an ice face, or how the walking poles could be used in an avalanche.

They were hyperactive and noisy. They talked all the way through (mainly because they were being handed items to see close up) and I wanted to go nuts.... but I'm learning to restrain my natural urge to shout 'QUIIIIEEEET' in favour of the girlguiding hand in the air. Having said this there was definitely at least one 'BROWNIES - quiet!'.

They were told try to remember the names because there would be a quiz - and the winning team would get points for their sixes.

Before the quiz in an attempt to calm them down we played port/starboard. It worked a bit but whether it was a full moon last night... or there was something in the water... whatever it was, all the girls were LOUD.

Tuesday, February 19, 2008

Brownies - mountain rescue

Tonight the father of one of my Brownies is coming to tell us about being a Mountain Rescue volunteer.

I'm quite looking forward to it as I know absolutely nothing about Mountain Rescue beyond having been told to get off a mountain in Snowdonia during a silver Duke of Edinburgh expedition due to bad conditions. That was a bit of a non-event as we just followed a road to the bottom of the mountain then were picked up and driven home.

So other than directing idiot schoolgirls down mountains... what do the Mountain Rescue do?

I found this picture on flickr. It has a story attached - the short of which is that this man was rescued under extreme conditions on Table Mountain. Whether he survived or not I can't tell from 'google' - but the photo depicts perfectly mountain rescue in action.

Monday, February 18, 2008

Manic Monday - 2

Well I missed Dancing on Ice again by going out......

But this week I remembered to RECORD it. Yey! And it was amazing. Steve Backley was booted off - he was rubbish at skating so it's fair enough.

As I am a fan of Chris Fountain on this show (very important to make this distinction as I am most certainly NOT a fan of Chris Fountain actor on Hollyoaks) I will post you his dances so far starting with the most recent.

Handily (for Manic Monday easiness) Week two is my favourite dance. I think it's very pretty.

week 6

week 5

week 4

week 3

week 2

week 1

This last one isn't as clear - someone videoing their tv? Or taking a video and putting it on youtube. Not digital!

Having remembered to record this show, done the hoovering, and put a load of washing on I was feeling pretty good today... until I remembered (around midday) that I had agreed to go into the office today to help out as someone's on holiday.


I ummed and aah'd, tried to call my boyfriend to see what he thought but he didn't answer, then eventually plucked up courage and phoned my boss.

She was fine about it. PHEW.

Saturday, February 16, 2008

Fun and Games

Today at work (teaching work) I had a lot of fun.

I teach low brass on a Saturday morning. My pupils are all great, and they usually keep me fairly cheerful but today we made up a game and it made me laugh a lot.

I bring you:

Stand Up Sit Down
You need 2 players, plus a caller

the players stand up with their instruments.
the caller stands up opposite the players.

The caller shouts out a note.
The players must play the note. If they get it right, they stay standing. If they get it wrong they sit down. If they are sitting they still play, but if they get the next note right they stand back up.

Repeat til it stops being funny or the caller (ie. me) has had enough!

I played this in my second lesson today, and it cheered me up and put me in a fantastic mood. I picked notes the kids would be able to play easily at first, then moved up their range. After doing single notes I moved to three note patterns. They did really well and the warm-up worked without them noticing they had done a warm up today!

At the end of their lesson I had a few minutes left so they played 'name that tune' each picking pieces they have learnt.

These kids are doing really well - I am mightily impressed and still amused (as you can see!). I'll leave it a while but might try it again at the end of term to see how much better they are. I bet they'll impress me again.

Thursday, February 14, 2008

Valentines Day

On Valentines day my boyfriend and I take turns cooking each other a Valentines meal.

He started incredibly well some years ago cooking chicken stuffed with garlic mushrooms wrapped in bacon. Mmmm.

I followed this up the next year with roast pork with vegetables including tacky roasted red peppers cut into heart shapes.

The following years blur a little (sorry but it's true). I remember eating out at a posh restaurant serving incredible food which I was unable to taste due to a serious cold. Last year I used juniper berries he had got me as a present with some wine to make a nice sauce. I can't remember anything else about it though.

THIS year it's his turn again. Yesterday he told me the plan. Chinese food. Crispy seaweed (on its own)for starter followed by stir-fry.

I was pretty happy with this - it sounded interesting. However I did laugh at the idea of eating seaweed as a starter (although I know it's served in restaurants and from the takeaway shop).

It seems he took the laughter to heart - so he came home today with ingredients to make prawn spring rolls from scratch!

We have made them and they were SO much fun. I love this joint effort idea - one of us bringing something new and the other helping work out how to cook it.

Better still - I am now watching American Idol 2008 with a glass of sparkling wine while he cooks me a stir-fry. FAB!

Happy Valentines Day to you, my blogging friends x x x

thanks for the voting


Forgot to say before - thanks for the vote. Looks like I'll be trying out approving comments...

I'll post something for you to comment on after Valentines Day hopefully!

Tuesday, February 12, 2008

Watch this!

I watched Dancing on Ice again (because it's amazing).... but just LOOK at this - He is NOT a skater. He's an actor in a really bad teen soap.

Saturday, February 09, 2008

Sweeney Todd

I don't know if I've mentioned this before, but I am a VERY big fan of Johnny Depp. I am also a musician and a girl, so the thought of Johnny Depp in a musical was appealing to me!

It's not so appealing to boys though it seems.
I asked my boyfriend to go, and also our cinemabuddy (who signed up for the monthly pass when we did). Both were fairly keen.

The film starts with a loud, scary piece on the organ which sets the atmosphere. We're all in the cinema settling in for a good film. Then the orchestra play as a misty ship scene starts. And then the singing starts.

At which point I heard LOUD grumbling from the boy end of our seats. My friend is not a fan of musicals. He is also a big grump.

Oops - I thought. I had sort of forgotten that this was a musical in my excitement at the prospect of a Johnny Depp film. Shortly after this 'oops' thought my mind moved on to finding my friend's upset HILARIOUS. Which will of course have soothed the anger. Or not!

I loved the film. I liked most of the music. There were two big exceptions to this - a song that Sweeney's daughter sings, and the love song sung by the boy (who is in a teenage show here called 'Skins' I think). Othersies though I loved it, and thought that Johnny D & Helena Bonham Carter were fantastic. Also the very little boy was excellent.
(this is his song)

It is fair to say that I'm a scaredy-cat. It is a very gory film, and I closed my eyes for the bloody bits. I tried watching the first few but felt queasy so resorted to hiding my eyes for the rest. Even the sound though was grim... I'll wait til any of you who want to see it have seen it before I tell you what the grossest part was for me.

At the end of the film I placated my friend by taking him and my boyfriend to the pub where we consumed several pints of lager. When it was home time he was definitely happy again.

So there's my recommendation - go to see it. Then go to the pub. Perfect night!

Friday, February 08, 2008


How best to deal with spam?

I had removed the option to comment anonymously after repeated spam comments on my posts about bad internet connection.

However I like that my friends in real life (the two who remember I have a blog and the one who found it by himself!) can comment without having to sign up.

So I want to put it back.

The next options are word verification... which I hate on other people's blogs. Blog owner approving comments....

Myself - I don't like either. I don't like having to wait for comments to appear because I'm terminally forgetful and can never remember whether I already commented or not (I tend to visit fairly often). But I really hate having to type in word verification as I'm really lazy and it seems like a lot of effort to leave whatever nonsense I've written you...

Which do you prefer?

Thursday, February 07, 2008

lazy arse

I am getting a taxi to work. And I am ashamed of my laziness and wastefulness with money.

But at least I'll be on time today!

Wednesday, February 06, 2008

A little bit more info

My irritation was not lifted on collecting my parcel... because it was a large envelope full of music theory books which I had requested be sent directly to the school. Grr.

We had snow. But it was only a little bit and by the time I had finished teaching it had started to melt away.

Still - it was nice to see a little bit at least.

Oh - and Wales beat England in the rugby. Wales is the best country in the world. Rugby is the best sport to watch ever. Not much more to say about that!

At Brownies last night we held our indoor winter olympics. We did ice-skating races, had a snowball fight, did a relay race with batons (which admittedly isn't very winter olympicsy), did piggyback racing (as they had horse-riding in the 1948 olympics according to the internet) and we played ice hockey using cardboard tubes and a paper and selotape ball.

Sunday, February 03, 2008


Which is the best thing that can ever happen in sport!

Saturday, February 02, 2008

oh - and we have snow!


Yesterday I left late for work. When I was in the shower I heard the door rattle. It worried me a little as I thought someone might be trying to get in (odd time of day for burglars) but didn't happen again.

When I got out of the shower I found that Parcelforce (the post office) had stuck a card through the door saying they had tried to deliver a parcel that would not fit through the letterbox but I was not in.

I was in!

We have a doorbell. It did NOT ring.

So now I have to go and collect it from the sorting office. Which is annoying as I WAS IN! I think I might complain, although the sorting office is only round the corner as luck will have it.

Friday, February 01, 2008


I am very guilty of never taking the advice below myself. I hate doctors. However I'm lucky and haven't had any serious health concerns yet.

I went on a working holiday (they took me as they needed a trumpet player... ) with a big London medical school orchestra. 30 doctors in training..... it's enough to give anyone a phobia!


tonight I went out with friends I have not seen for a while.

Over Christmas I get busy - and therefore did not keep in touch with friends as I usually would. However I met up with some friends tonight.

Both of my friends have had serious health concerns though.

One is in remission from cancer. The other has serious concerns regarding blood pressure.

And both are amongst my favourite people in the world.

I hope that if they read the blog they are not upset that I have posted this - it is VERY anonymous!

I am pleased for the first friend that she is doing ok just now - and I very much hope that she stays well for many years!

However the second worries me. I worry that she is not taking her health as seriously - and I would be devastated if anything bad were to happen to her.

So - my message today is: PLEASE make sure that you are well. If something small has been bothering you GET IT CHECKED OUT.

Look after yourselves x x x x x