Sunday, July 26, 2009


Dartmoor is a landscape that makes sense in grey, windy conditions.

Dartmoor with a mother in a wheelchair in grey, windy conditions makes less sense.

Ah well the hotel was fabulous as ever and the staff are so friendly and accommodating that despite the vagaries of the British summer we manage to have a good time and hopefully it gave the folks a bit of a break, which is after all the main point of the exercise.

Saturday, July 18, 2009

Shoe-shaped and Bristol Fashion

Spending a weekend in Bristol with the lovely C, en route to Dartmoor has become an annual event.

It may have started as a break in the long drive south of a Friday night, but just because this year I’m adopting the more environmentally responsible option of train travel, is no reason to mess with tradition.

Obviously something in the universal planning scheme of things screwed up somewhere as clearly we’re supposed to live in the same city. Snatched weekends like this are a small step in righting that wrong.

Other traditions have crept in over the years: sitting up far too late gossiping, eating out at fab restaurants and, well, shopping.

This year we find Cribbs in excellent sales mode and snag numerous bargains.

C buys the most gorgeous pair of shoes I’ve seen in a long time (pink with a flash of grey on the heel - total loveliness) and I snag a seriously reduced pair of grey heels that will be fab for wearing with shift dress at work and best of all...a pair of my favouritest shoes in the world ever, in another colour, half-price.

But all this is by-the-by (or even buy-the-buy), the main highlight of the weekend is spending time together.

Saturday, July 11, 2009

Hair today

Eldest adopted niece will shortly be turning 18. Where does the time go? I can date the time when I first properly got to know her as it was her last year before starting high school.

The reason I know this is because of the following (by now apocryphal) tale:

Over that year or so I’d become increasingly good friends with her parents (and now count my blessings regularly to consider them some of the best sorts of friends one could ever hope for). At some point in this year they decided it would be hilarious to get their three girls to start referring to me as “Aunty 1iz who we love lots and lots”, in the mistaken belief that my lack of desire to have my own children, combined with my vocal dislike of kids squawking in public, signified a general dislike of children and therefore the opportunity on their part, for good sport.

In reality, the former condition is a dislike of the 24/7 thing – I quite like other people’s kids as long as I can give them back after a few hours, and the latter is I believe a crime that should be levelled at the parents not the brats, sorry I mean children, in question.

Sure I may from time to time ponder about whether "Children Farms" are the way forward...but I'm only partly serious.

Being “Aunty 1iz”, who they love lots and lots, let’s not forget) is actually good fun and my three adopted nieces each delight me in their own uniquely different ways.

Come the summer of that fateful year, the eldest, K, was allowed to come to Greenbelt and in the course of the week spent a degree of time with her Aunty 1iz (WSLLaL). We got on great – she’s ace to spend time with.

On the final day I get her enraged father on the phone, demanding to know “what have you done?”.

I, entirely genuinely, explain that I know not of what he speaks.

His response: “K has dyed her hair red to be like Aunty 1iz. It won’t wash out and she starts high school this week!”.

I can only reaffirm my innocence in the matter and suggest that this might be what is called “having the last laugh”.

So that dates it I guess. Seven years down the line and K is turning 18.

Aunty 1iz (who has come to love all three of them lots and lots) is now at a loss as to what to buy K for a birthday present.

In passing conversation, her mother relates that K wants to “go blonde” for her 18th party. I suck my teeth and observe that given she’s been dying it darker of late she needs to be careful and to make sure she doesn’t go for a cheap salon.

Her mother replies that what K would ideally like would be to use Aunty 1iz’s colourist, but this of course comes with a decidedly “working adult” price tag.

An idea was born and two birds were slain with one stone this afternoon as K joined me in enjoying the artistic mastery of my colourist S.

It feels like an appropriate present, a coming full circle, a coming of age ritual. Grown up hair care for a young woman who has grown up so beautifully.

Still we’re both also still young at heart…as can be witnessed by our giggling as we go for a few post-hair cocktails in Zinc (well her ID says she’s 26 after all ;-) ).

Shopping, hair, K texts to her boy - living the dream.

Friday, July 10, 2009


Sometimes it's easy to forget about the hidden treasures that exist on your doorstep; or in this case, my office doorstep.

Thursday, July 09, 2009

Olive Kitteridge - Elizabeth Strout

I suppose it took me a while to get used to the fact that the title of this book is a bit misleading. Olive is little more than a bit-player in many of the stories that make up the chapters of this book.

Whether it’s a film or a book or whatever, our expectations going in often play a large part in determining how we receive a piece of art.

Go to see a film with high expectations and you’re often disappointed; whereas go with little or no preconceptions and films can surprise you and seem to extend far beyond their expected levels of achievement.

At first, the novel’s failure to match the expectations raised in me by the title, were a frustration, but by the end it had beguiled me.

Friday, June 26, 2009

Wallabee Crop Circles

This rather wonderful story on the BBC, recounts how Tasmanian Wallabies are eating opium poppies and creating crop circles as they hop around "as high as a kite".

The story is made all the more fabulous by the assortment of comments people have left.

My favourite is probably "I have seen a stoned wallaby but I don't know about them making crop circles. The one I saw was slurring his words and asking me for a dollar as he was trying to get the boat to see his brother in New Zealand - he looked in no mood to be formulating a series of complex agricultural design patterns. I could be wrong - they might have masterminded the twin tower attacks, who really knows?".


Thursday, June 25, 2009

Persepolis - Marjane Satrapi

Last week was Refugee Week and having been approached by the Red Cross, this week's Book Group is a little out of the ordinary.

Firstly we've selected a book from the list of novels by or about refugees (you leave the guys unattended for a second and they chose a graphic novel...) and secondly two representatives from the Red Cross join us for the evening.

I have to confess that graphic novels speak to me of geekdom, but I endeavour to keep an open mind.

I am utterly rewarded. It comes as a blessed relief that there are no superheroes; instead it's the charming and insightful autobiographical tale of the author as she grew up and eventually left Iran.

I thoroughly enjoyed it.

I may need to reframe my prejudices about graphic novels. Which is perhaps not quite the point of the evening from the Red Cross' point of view, but then I guess I was pretty refugee friendly anyway.

Friday, June 19, 2009


J recently turned 40. Not for her the big party or formal bash; instead seven of us headed to a small villa in Brittany for a week of sunshine and relaxation.

Wine, BBQs, swimming pool, beer, sightseeing, farmhouse, wine, langoustine, hypermarkets, fly infestations, sunshine, wine, fresh salad, baguettes, tarte citron, wine, girlie chats, aftersun squealing, local dogs, novels, games, siestas, sat navs, William the horse.......memories.

Thursday, May 28, 2009

CS Lewis - A Grief Observed

I didn't expect to like this week's Book Group selection, but I'm won over.

The relative honesty and the analysis of his grief is deeply moving. His questioning of God and faith more nuanced than I had expected.

I may need to reasses my thoughts on the man a little.

Sunday, May 24, 2009


I'm starting to think I really like G's lifestyle.

Captain Pugwash is into yachts. He has his own racing yacht and has taken full advantage of the Cardiff Bay Barrage's maritime revolution.

When the barrage was being constructed, my then employers (who shall not be named, because it's entirely possible that if you say their name 3 times they come back and take over your company again...) were involved in the construction management and I did a site visit of the part constructed earthworks.

It being another fabulously sunny day, Captain P and Aunty G suggest we head up to the barrage and take a walk. A chance for me to see the finished article close to .

No sooner have we parked and walked up to the locks to see the yachts coming in, then the Cap'n spots his friends bringing in their yacht after a night over in Bristol.

They call up that they're going for a drink on the other side of the bay and would we like to join them. Dismissing our plans to drive round they direct us to a hidden pontoon and the next thing I know we're sailing across the bay.

A couple of drinks on the balcony of a cafe bar and they taxi us back.

Now that's what I call a Sunday morning.

Saturday, May 23, 2009


Saturday, G treats me to a day out at Barry Island (and buys me a Gavin and Stacey inspired fridge magnet to remember it by). Barry is...well...Barry. Often with seaside towns, phrasing like "faded former glory" spring to mind, but that doesn't quite work here..."faded former tackiness" is perhaps a little unkind but closer to the truth.

What remains of the pleasure park is possibly in want of condemnation by the relevant authorities. It feels like everyone has just given up. Rides stand abandoned, those still open are run down and tatty, with rubbish and mess characterising the spaces inbetween. It's like it woke up one morning, looked in the mirror and just decided to give up making any effort and has ever since kicked around the house, unwashed, in a dated, dirty velour leisure suit, eating left over food from discarded take-away containers.

Of course none of this prevents G and I from acting like teenagers and going on the log-flume and the dodgems.

The beach itself is actually rather fine and if (inlike the masses) you can be bothered to walk even a couple of minutes along it, you can enjoy plenty of space even on this a Bank Holiday weekend. Getting into the spirit we do of course go for a paddle. It's the law you know.

Back in Penarth we decide to take advantage of the continuing fine weather and have a BBQ. G's new man Captain Pugwash joins us and very lovely he is too.

One of those days that make you just smile at the memory.

Friday, May 22, 2009

Cardiff Weekend

After a last minute cancellation of plans, I find myself with a free weekend.

Originally my plans for the weekend involved an Ops Social (in Alsager - don't ask!) organised by myself S and N. It was very eleventh hour, but we hadn't really expected that none of the 13 "yes we'll probably come" respondees would actually follow through.

The instruction to those wanting to come was to make their booking and let us know. In the week leading up to the weekend we hadn't heard from anyone, so we cut our losses and cancelled our own bookings. Maybe next year.

So, with a last minute cancellation of weekend plans and a training course that found me in Cardiff on a Friday afternoon it seemed like too good an opportunity to miss and I phoned the lovely G in Penarth.


We kick things off in fine style with a night out at Cardiff Bay with the lovely S (who G and I continue to try and tempt to the dark side). Chinese banquet, drinks in an old port building bar and exploring around the Welsh Assembly Building and the Millenium Centre (no sign of the Torchwood crowd though). S's husband M even comes and picks us up at the end of the night, rescuing us from the very amusing rantings of a drunken Kiwi lass...let's just say that the phrase going at it like Billy-O took on a whole new dimension...

A text did land early in the evening from wonderful R.

"We're in the bar".

Hmmmm, now why would R be sending me such a text? Oh bugger...

I respond "Please tell me you're not in Alsager?"

The rest of the tail can be found here. Whoops!

Cardiff Training

I've been delaying posting blogs because of being behind with downloading photos from my camera. Given I'm clearly not finding time to get that sorted, I figure I'll just go ahead and post the drafted entries regardless. Sorry.

So, Cardiff:

Things you don't want to hear from your training department regading training courses they want you to run:

a) the trainers and half the delegates are having to travel some considerable distance and they've schedules the course for Thursday and Friday; and
b) last minute confirmation that several of the original delegates won't now be attending as they have just been made redundant.

I mention my concerns re the latter to my co-trainer. The remaining delegates worked in the same offices as those made redundant - it could make for some fairly low morale.

His view is somewhat contrary - perhaps the recent events will focus those remaining on training and development. Hmmm and I thought I was cynical.

As it turns out they are a fantastic bunch and I think we ran one of our best ever courses. It felt really positive and productive and the feedback sheets bear this out - we rocked ;-)

Saturday, May 16, 2009

Eurovision 2009

Annual Eurovision party time. I think it went better than last year...well being in the correct country was a good start (always helps when throwing a party at your house).

Little bit of a blip when the impressive efforts of a friend to get the BBQ really blasting courtesy of a hairdryer, proved to be a bit more than the extension lead with all the outside lights on,had left to give. Still we managed to restore power just as Mr Norton kicked off proceedings, so all was well.

Food was consumed, cocktails were downed, flags were waved, bonkers entries were enjoyed and sweepstakes were won.

Thursday, May 14, 2009

The Manchester Man

This week for Book Group we read The Manchester Man by Mrs G Linnaeus Banks.

Is it wrong that the main reason for accepting the suggestion was that it promised to provide the answers regarding the source of the name of two well-known Manchester pubs: Jabez Clegg and Joshua Brookes?

It's not the best written novel of its time, but it's not bad. Its at times preachy, morallistic tone can be forgiven for the absolute gold-mine of social history contained between its covers. I found myself constantly referring to the maps and navigating around the Manchester of the time (just pre-industrial revolution) and comparing to the modern day metropolis I know and love.

This is what's best about a Book Group - I'd never have come across this book on my own.

Saturday, May 09, 2009

Leek - Biddulph

Call me a food snob, but generally I find pub attempts at Asian cuisine to be generally disappointing and a particularly sort of bland westernised beige approximation of the real deal.

Accordingly my expectations last night were rather low, as S and I condescend to partake in the bargain ‘wok’ menu deal at the Three Horseshoes.

I have to say I was pleasantly impressed; not entirely convinced of the sight of a chef wokifying in a staged glass ‘fish-tank’ style view into the kitchen, but the results were pretty darn good.

By the time P arrives to meet us, S and I were well sated.

Today we explored the area and found a walk around the Roaches and Hen Cloud.

Again the weather starts to change and we decide to drive to Biddulph Grange Gardens (National Trust) to explore the gardens and get a bite to eat - I've been promised something called a Staffordshire oatcake.

The gardens are full of hidden nooks and surprise areas, each one tucked out of view of the other. Eccentric English garden design at its extravagent moneyed best.

As for the Staffordshire Oatcake...well imagine a sort of oatmeal and flour cross between a French galette and a scotch pancake. Then smother in melted cheese.

So, so wrong and yet so right.

Friday, May 08, 2009

Strid Wood-Chatsworth-Leek

All around Burnsall lies the Duke of Devonshire’s territory. Place after place displays the tell-tale colour code and crest of the Cavendish clan, a family well adept at charming the money from your pocket.

To be fair (if one really must given it's such aristocratic nonsense), when it comes to dealing with the public, they do it well and have been ahead of the curve in areas like disabled access which wins many a brownie point with daughters of MS sufferers like S and myself.

That said we weren’t too impressed on our last visit at the amount of entry fee we were charged to enter the Strid Wood near Bolton Abbey, particularly given half the exhibits in the advertised sculpture trail had been temporarily removed due to vandalism and other reasons (we did debate trying to ask for a pro-rataed rebate, but...).

Accordingly with only a few hours to spare we try a different approach and find a small free car parking area upstream of the Strid. From here you can follow the Dales Way and lo and behold we find ourselves pecuniarily unencumbered in Strid Wood.

The walk along the river is fantastic and as we depart we are rather satisfied to have evened out the financial equation from our last visit.

As we head south (en route to Leek to meet P) however, the weather starts to deteriorate and the long and the short of it is we find ourselves exploring the grounds (and tea shops) at Chatsworth.

They got us after all.

All roads eventually lead to your pockets being emptied.

Thursday, May 07, 2009


With no firm plans in mind, armed with S's trusty OS map we walk along the river from Burnsall to Grassington where we weigh up weather forecasts, potential walks and bus timetables and decide to get the bus to Kettlewell and then walk back along the Dales Way.

Arriving in Kettlewell we consider the various options for an early lunch. We should have listened to our gut instincts rgarding the Cottage Tearooms. Or at least having failed to do so, we should have been less British and been prepared to leave, despite being the only customers in.

Dirty tables are fairly unforgiveable at the best of times, but when the cafe is empty of customers and three staff are milling around?

Having to ask to have a table cleaned is not good and when the party concerned jokes about how everything is stuck to the tablecloth, you have to wonder when it was last cleaned. Last season perhaps?

The food is at least in keeping with the menu and distinctly underwhelming, ok but very basic which is not reflected in the prices.

I think the realisation that we were being too polite was when S suggests we use the public toilets in preference to those in the cafe, because "I know they're clean". I do point out the irony of having been prepared to eat in a place where we don't trust the toilets...

With lunch and sticky plastic table cloths happily fading into memory, we join the Dales Way and enjoy a fabulous walk above the valley, back to Grassington. The sunshine and wind are the perfect antidote to urban living.

Life is good.

Tired and happy we enjoy a well earned drink before heading home to Burnsall.

Wednesday, May 06, 2009


My Christmas present from P&S was a night away at a 'lovely place' and so with P at work conference, S and I take the chance for one of our traditional few days away, meeting up with P for the weekend.

Whilst often it's nice to explore new destinations, cometimes it's nice to go with what you know to be good, so we head back to the Red Lion at Burnsall.

Excellent location - check.

Lovely character-filled accomodation - check.

Superb food and drink - check.

Mind you, some of the finishing touches seem to be slipping on the service front, but as S observes that's the trouble when you set a high bench-mark.

Thursday, April 30, 2009

Duke Special

First support tonight was provided by a Swedish lass performing under the moniker Foreign Slippers.

K and I leave the others at the back and push forward for the better view/atmosphere.

Maybe it was because of the increased proximity, or maybe it was a predisposition to like anyone who walks on stage with a hat of twigs and birds, but whilst those at the back seemed distinctly unmoved, K and I were rather impressed.

I purchased her EP in the foyer after the gig and it's not at all bad; sure she needs a bit more confidence/polish as a live performer, but I'd happily see her again.

The second support is less than impressive (mad percusionist as counterpoint to the Duke's haunting melodies - good, as a counterpoint to prog rock guitarist - hmmmm...). But it provides a chance to chat and drink before the main event.

Duke Special commands the stage and weaves his magic, catching you up into his unique world; as ever an utter pleasure and an examplar of what is good about live gigs in small venues.

Wednesday, April 29, 2009

Lead Astray

This afternoon a phone call from my neighbour brings the news that she's interrupted three young lads (she reckons all of about 12 year's old) relieving my porch roof of its remaining lead.

Just when I thought it had quietened down and it was worth getting the already missing strip replaced...


Still my neighbour should be honoured for her ongoing vigilance and intervention. Verily a septuagenarian one-woman crime-fighting machine.


A conversation from this evening, between myself and Stuart:

S: "It's amazing what people put on Facebook isn't it?"

L: "I don't know I don't use Facebook."

S: "Apparently Quentin* can't decide whether to have a glass of water or go to the loo."

L: "And there we have the reason I don't do Facebook"

And yes the irony of such intellectual snobbery on a blog full of waffle is not lost on me.

Hey I find the writing cathartic, what's your excuse for being here?

* name changed to protect the inane (and I'm fairly sure neither Stuart nor myself are likely to really know anyone called Quentin...)

Monday, April 27, 2009


Today Google is commemorating someone's birthday in a very appropriate manner.

Saturday, April 25, 2009

Black Books

Geek Night redux: this time joined by G and L to watch selected highlight episodes from the three series of Black Books.

And a fine evening it was too (though I think I put too much apricot and honey in the tagine and it was a bit over-sweet).

Somehow it seemed wrong to watch this pinnacle of British sit-com genius without at least a little bit of red wine. Risking a migraine I succumbed - man I miss that stuff.

Maybe I've grown-out of the problem...hmmm rather high risk odds and definitely only one to try out when you have nothing planned the next day.

Happily and happily...

Friday, April 24, 2009

Red Chilli

K Snr from the Dog Collars and Rabbit Corpses household has been working far too hard on her uni work. Final year pressures have brought dissertation deadlines, assignments and final exam preparations. Together with the usual busy nature of diaries, it's been far too long since the three of us caught up.

A birthday day meal seems like an excellent excuse.

Chinese transpires to be the intersection of our various culinary desires and recalling the recommendation from the excellent Cal, we decide to try out Red Chilli.

And pretty good it was too. The Beijing dumplings were divine and a chicken dish comprising sun dried chillis was delicious (and fiery hot if you bit on a chunk of chilli).

Definitely up for a return visit to discover more of the menu. Say the word Cal ;-)

Back to mine and it's time to try the Chinese liqueur recently procured. Hmmm maybe this is a cheaper, substandard brand, or maybe I was just more sauced last time?

Tuesday, April 21, 2009


I’m not quite sure whether it was wise to say yes, but this afternoon finds me in London for a meeting to try and pull ideas together for the Greenbelt communion.

I think M and I are closing in on something like a plan, if anything the challenge is to whittle down the bounty of ideas to something solid and coherent, but the very prospect of trying to come up with something that at least some of the potential 20,000 festival goers will appreciate is rather daunting.

Of course tradition dictates that whatever we go with, at least 50% of people complain vehemently. Whilst my head tells me to brace myself for that inevitability, I know deep down that my skin can be far too thin most of the time and I will doubtless take it personally.

And then there’s the challenge of appealing to a very broad church of tastes and a wide range of ages. Can you avoid the all-age horrors whilst still keeping the kids involved or at the very least occupied? Will the budget stretch to a few thousand iPhones?

Straight from that meeting and into the next, a good Table session, with some excellent new voices around the table.

Bless the lovely B, she knew it was my birthday (hey what a way to spend it, meetings that I don’t even get paid for!) and had arranged for a tray of amazing cup cakes (sparkly bits the lot) with candles a top. A nice balance between being embarrassed and feeling loved.

The train home is delayed and it’s all the more aggravating as I can start to feel a migraine attack starting to take hold. Not good.


In an out of character moment of spontaneity, my father suddenly suggests a morning excursion to a section of the North Downs Way, which is potentially mobility scooter friendly.

My mother loves bluebells and the woods are resplendent in their spring finery. The views out towards the south downs are magnificent against blue skies and bright sunshine.

It's a wonderful and pleasantly argument free and companionable way to spend my birthday morning. The thought of "I ought to be in the office right now" making the day off ever sweeter.

We're not the only ones out to enjoy the sunshine, adjacent to one gateway onto the open downsland, an adder lies coiled, soaking up the rays.

It's not clear who is most alarmed, my mother or the reptile.

To be fair, I think mum had the advantage with the mass of metal and pneumatic tyres at her disposal.

Monday, April 20, 2009


To balance out taking Dad walking last year it’s time for a mother and daughter long weekend.

Mum felt that a west end show was more than her energy levels could handle, so we’ve settled for going through wardrobes, painting nails, decanting perfume, shopping, being ladies that lunch, looking at clothes catalogues, giggling, chatting and generally just loving being in each other’s company.

My brother, sister-in-law and the kids met us at a country pub on Saturday and we toasted my birthday in style (comments of “well the kids quite like a Harvester” were purposefully ignored)..

As the food took a while to appear the kids were starting to get restless and the downside of the lack of Harvester style kiddie entertainment was becoming apparent.

A veteran of adult curries accompanied by the youngest Radlet, I had the solution in my pocket, “R? J? Do you want to play with my iPhone?”.

Problem solved.

Friday, April 17, 2009


I don’t like early mornings. My brain just doesn’t function well first thing.

So if you absolutely insist on having meetings at remote locations at 8am, could you like actually have the meeting? Only it’s bad enough to have forced my self out of bed at an unearthly hour, but to discover it was done unnecessarily can really take the shine off my whole day.

Thursday, April 16, 2009

Rabbit Run

John Updike is one of those authors that you feel you should probably have read something by. So a few months ago, before he died as it turned out, we put him on our book group reading list.

I didn’t totally dislike Rabbit Run, but ploughing through it was at times slightly more of a chore than a pleasure.

It took a while for me to feel engaged and even by the end I found the eponymous Rabbit’s lack of motivation or conscious decision making process difficult to really relate with.

I also felt there was more to be made of the hangover of waking up to find that your days of high school basketball stardom have given way to a second-rate life.

I can see that Updike seemingly captures a particular slice of north American life at a certain point of the twentieth century and part of me is intrigued as to how the character’s life develops in the various sequels. Maybe one day...

Wednesday, April 15, 2009

2009 Year of the Weasel?

Why do some people find it so hard to be honest and straight-down-the-line?

Of late I’ve seemed to have instance after instance of people deliberately saying one thing and doing another and boy does deception and devious manipulation push my buttons.

I just don’t know what enables someone to do that. I think maybe I was born without that capacity. In my world, working as part of a team means that if you don’t like a decision you state your case, but if you don’t persuade others around to your way of thinking you suck it up and get on with making the team decision work.

Likewise if you have bad news, well sometimes being a manager means you have to step-up and do the deed. To hide behind half-truths and outright deception is weasel like and sooner or later the weasel, like my respect for you, goes pop.

Tuesday, April 14, 2009

Wafer thin

I woke up at 5am this morning with the first symptoms of a migraine.

On auto-pilot I reach for the migraine meds, swallow one tablet and place a special super-wafer in my mouth to dissolve.

I reset the alarm to allow the maximum possible sleep that will still see me make my 8.30am meeting and turn over and try to relax.

Happily sleep comes, until 90 minutes later, when I wake suddenly, in that half-world between sleep and awake, between logical and insensible, I have the urge to attempt to spit out a dissolved substance from my mouth, convinced I’ve poisoned myself. As realisation encroaches and its fingers wrap themselves around my woozy brain, I start to laugh.

The part of the story which is missing, and the reason for my laughter despite the early hour and my complete muppethood, is the dream that was underway as my alarm sounded:

Ok, so I was putting on a new top and for some reason it came with one of those little sachets of silica gel. Even more bizarrely, this sachet was for some reason stitched into the side seam with the washing label.

As I pulled it free, the sachet opened and without thinking I emptied the contents into my mouth (look it’s a dream, when do things ever make sense in a dream?).

As quickly as I’d done that, I realised it was a stupid thing to have done and tried to spit it out, but struggled as it appeared to have dissolved almost instantly, leaving only the merest residue and taste in my mouth...

On the plus side, the meds had done their job , and the migraine attack had been halted in its tracks.

On the downside, can’t even blame mad migraine brainstorm activity for crazy woman behaviour.

Sunday, April 12, 2009


I had pondered about maybe going to church this morning (well it is Easter and it has been a while since I darkened the step of an ecclesiastical enterprise…and when I say a while I mean years); but whilst Christ may have risen this glorious morning, 1iz didn’t quite manage it.

Which is rather pathetic isn’t it?

On the compensatory side I won’t be eating any chocolate eggs either.

Also, on the urging of others, I have started reading The Shack, but I’m not really sure which bit of it is supposed to be revelatory let alone revolutionary.

So far gone I can't even spot what things some might suppose heretical.

Ho hum.

Saturday, April 11, 2009


I like a drink as much as the next person (possibly a little more if it's rose flavoured liquer), but whilst I can get "quite pissed", I never seem to cross that boundary into utterly drunk.

I can only recall two occasions when alcohol has been the likely cause of being sick, only one occasion when I had a hangover (hideous experience - I mean really why would you drink if that happened everytime?), never committed grand misdemeanours whilst under the influence (snogging unsuitable blokes doesn't count right?) and I don't think I've ever lost time or been unable to remember parts of the night before (though admittedly by definition one can never be totally sure...let's just say I've never been surprised by the recollections of friends, been unaccountably sacked after a work do or been surprised by unexpected photos on the internet, that kind of thing...).

I partly suspect this is because the control freak in my recoils in horror at the very prospect, but whatever the reason, the only thing I find beyond "quite pissed" is sleep.

There are advantages (continued employment) and disadvantages (never can truly drink to forget) to this.

For my drinking compadres there are also advantages (someone who can function sufficiently to hail a cab) and disadvantages (total recall of what *you* did as well).

So should you ever go drinking with me (say to a little pub in Didsbury) and buy me doubles that were in fact triples (maybe vodka) whilst simultaneously downing copious amounts of booze yourself (maybe beer), best to remember that whilst I may get quite pissed, you may get even worse and come the next time me meet only one of us may remember what was disclosed.

And then you'll be left trying to decide is 1iz:

a) open minded and forgiving, but still evil enough to keep alluding to the latest shameful disclosure from your mispent life,
b) just plain evil and happy to allude to some disclosure that may never have actually happened.

In this pantomime we call life, you may never know...

Saturday, April 04, 2009

Driving headaches

I used to not mind driving long distances. I can recall making plans with friends for holidays to far flung parts of the UK and quite happily offering to drive.

These days it's a chore and just an extra reason to prefer public transport wherever feasible.

Of course some likes and dislikes remain unaltered by the passing years; I have never been what one might call a morning person and I strongly suspect I never will be. Need someone to stay up all night and I'm your gal, but expect me to rise bright eyed and bushy tailed even after copious amounts of sleep - not a chance.

At the end of a particularly stressful week I'm therefore not exactly reveling at the prospect of a 5am start to get down to today's Greenbelt Festival Operations meeting.

Waking at 4am the intense stabbing pains behind my right eye are the unmistakable first signs of a migraine. I take my meds, offer up a plea and try and sleep it off. Happily it seems to work and as H and R arrive at my place I'm feeling ok to drive.

That said, the relief I feel when H offers to drive is immense. I feel bad, she drove last week, so it was my turn, but every fibre of my body is grateful to be let off the hook.

Sometimes the knights that come to our rescue in times of distress take unexpected form; friends in small Citreons is but one such disguise.

Thursday, April 02, 2009

And Then There Were None

Tonight at Book Group we discussed And Then There Were None. I think it's the first Agatha Christie that I've ever read and I have to say I enjoyed it more than I expected to.

I'm not entirely sure that it merits being the seventh most popular book of all time, but lets put it this way, if I was stuck in a hotel and out of reading material I might now look a little more favourably on the Agatha Christie offerings that enivatably seem to form part of ever "feel free to borrow" collection.

Tuesday, March 31, 2009


I know, I'm not the most reliable blogger of late and maybe my powers of observation aren't what they once were, but how long has the "Monetise" tab been a standard addition to the Blogger editing page?

Now I've never been too convinced that blogs contain much of value to justify the addition of advertising (in fact you could probably stop that sentence part way through), but more than that, it's the word.


I think the people at Blogger need to go and sit on the naughty step and think about what it is they've done...

Monday, March 30, 2009

Just a Formality

On Friday I worked with Tony, Jon, Chris, Debbie, Oli, Ronnie, Matt, Mike and Andy.

This morning I find I'm working with Anthony, Jonathan, Christopher, Deborah, Oliver, Ronald, Matthew, Michael and Andrew.

A rather unforeseen side effect of our company's switch of email systems, has been the reformalisation of our names in the address book.

One of my colleagues, Dave (or David as of today), is delighted that he has been vindicated in his long standing habit of calling me E1iz@beth.

Suddenly, it's not just him and "my mother when I'm in trouble".

Whilst this has introduced a humourous formality to our day, it's caused more of a problem with the suprisingly high number of my colleagues who use their middle names instead of their first names.

To email those folks you have to remember that D@n is really Edw@rd, Deni_s is really Jo_hn, Alu_n is really Willi@m, Gl@dwin is really John, and so forth.

It's a weirdly common practice in this office, which bears little correlation with common sense or expectation. A former colleague, just a few years older than myself, went by his middle name of Granv1lle in preference to his first name of Rich@rd. Whilst, Ronnie you would think had more cause than most to put distance between his first and last name; his surname being M@cDonald...

Mind you, you have to have some sympathy, for the first 30 years of his life it wouldn't have had the burger selling clown connoctations, which some have opined removes his parents from blame. I'm not so sure; after all, it was always a rhyming name and that's never a good idea is it?