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Thursday, August 31, 2006

Culture Vulture #2 and other happenings

Firstly, thanks everyone for your kind comments. It took me a while to respond to some as blogger didn't email me about them, and they didn't show up on the main blog page. They are all very, very appreciated.

OK, cultural happenings...

Thanks Sam for this. I'm ridiculously excited about this - believe it or not, I have often cursed the fact that he didn't have a British website. And I'm loving his new book. It's the perfect thing for curling up with when it's bucketing outside. Add in a cake and you've got perfection.

Secondly, I was thrilled to read this:
"Rufus is presently working feverishly on his new album for release in 2007. Sessions have taken place in N.Y., Berlin and London. Contrary to published reports, there is no specific release date set, the album has not been titled nor has a first single been chosen. You'll be the first to know if you're a regular visitor to this site."
Taken from his website. I've seen him live twice and would happily part with ridiculous sums of cash to see him again. Admittedly, his act isn't for everyone (and it's probably best to stay away if you're the easily offended sort) but I love him.

As soon as I get some cash, I plan on purchasing The Bullet Trick, by Louise Welsh. I sat in the bookshop and read an obscene amount before I thought that I really should stop before I reached the end. I've already read The Cutting Room, but not her novella, Tambourlaine Must Die, and really enjoyed that one, so hopefully this will prove the same.

Other news: well, lots of things are still up in the air, but my big bro got a well deserved promotion today. I really am rather proud of him. (Not, of course, that I would tell him that. I mean, we couldn't have him getting a big head. I jest!)

Think that's about it for now, fellow bloggers. Stay tuned for more gripping career developments :-D

PS - I made chocolate espresso muffins. For the love of God, someone stop me!!!

Wednesday, August 30, 2006

I am about to throw a *major* hissy fit.

So I got yet another rejection letter through. What is the matter with me? I'm competent, a hard worker - if they would just even give me an interview, I'd feel better, that I at least have a chance to sell myself. Have another few applications to do today.

Oh, and I noticed some small print about my contact lense trial. Now, firstly, I only got given the leaflet about the trial after I was fitted with them and the whole thing. It told me the trial price was £30, which is frankly rather bloody steep. My own fault, I should've checked. But they didn't volunteer the information either. Now I find out that apparently, I'm obligated to sign up for and pay for three months worth of kit. Again, they didn't mention this either. I am fecked off.

God, this year started so well, and seems to have severly gone tits up. It's just a bad patch is all. I'll get there. Today I feel I should try and come up with something creative to do to cheer myself up. Being fed up is getting me nowhere. Positivity just takes up so much energy.

Stay tuned, as I'm determined to come up with something creative to post here in an effort to hoist myself out of this pit of despair.

All in all, today's been a bit of a bummer.

Tuesday, August 29, 2006

I'm cheerier now!

In the end, I made choc chip and banana muffins. Well, I say muffins, they turned out more like buns. Not nearly floofy enough. I want my muffins big, damn it! (No rude jokes here, please!) But, hey ho, they tasted good, which is the important bit all things considered.

I spoke to G,which cheered me up hugely. Hopefully, I'll get to see her this weekend - maybe a girly evening of vodka, food and DVDs filled with attractive semi-clad people - seeing as I have my bros flat to myself. The joys of flat-sitting, eh? And the new boy seems to be treating her well, which I'm bloody pleased about. (If he hadn't, he would have had me to answer to. And, believe me, where my friends are involved I'm rather strident with wrong-doers.)

Now, I'm going to take my contact lenses out, (should only take an hour - two at the max) then I'm going to bed with the new Bill Bryson. Naughty, I know, but I changed some money at the bank and thought bugger it - I'll be reckless and buy a book. I'm that sort of carefree, daredevil, rock 'n' roll gal.
Night all.

Oh buggery bollocks.

Well, I got another two job rejections today. One was from Beanscene. I don't think it's to big-headed to say that I hoped I might at least have got an interview for a part-time barista job. The other one was for an office job that I could maybe have fancied, but it's all moot now.

Also, now my dad's Internet Explorer is doing whacky and unusual things. (Apologies for the multiple comments, IM!!) The dude is coming tomorrow to have a look at my PC, though it doesn't look hopeful, according to my big bro. I wish they would just give me the money back, now.

What else? Well, I got sent this video, which is interesting and definitely speaks to me. Although at the moment all it's saying is "look at that guy's hair!!" But I know there's someting deeper and more profound to be had there too.

Today I plan on putting a big jumper on (is anyone else freezing, or is it just me?) and - can you guess? - yup, I'm going to make a cake. Either chocolate espresso cake or banana choc chip muffins. Haven't decided yet.

OK. That's it for now. Unless anyone wants me to recap all the expletives and various other obscentities I've shouted at the computer this morning...

Monday, August 28, 2006

The Big List

Stolen from Jen’s blog.

Let me start by saying that I am going to be completely honest on this list. I am ashamed of nothing. (No – not even Harry Potter.)

Favourite bands/singers
Rufus Wainwright

Tori Amos

Franz Ferdinand

Goldfrapp

Fiona Apple

Martha Wainwright

Restricted to absolute favourites. It would be a long list if I didn’t.

Favourite films
Shrek

Bound

Wallace and Gromit

Secretary

Before Sunset

After Sunset

Gia

All Over Me

Lost in Translation

Ooh, I could go on. But I’ll stop.

Favourite books
Anything by Bill Bryson

Anything by Sarah Waters

Anything by Chris Brookmyre

The Harry Potter series

As with music, lots and lots of others – but I’m restricting myself to my absolute favourites.

Favourite television shows
Frasier

Tipping the Velvet

CSI: Crime Scene Investigation

Friends

The Simpsons

Family Guy

The L Word

Sugar Rush

Sex and the City (though Carrie bugged me a lot)

Dr Who

Favourite food/drink
Pasta (Any kind – I’m not fussed.)

Salmon .

Any kind of veggie.

Chocolate cake.

Coffee. (Black.)

Chai tea.

Violet tea.

Peppermint tea. (see a theme developing here?)

Cheese. (though I haven’t learned to love blue cheese.)

Pomegranate juice

Favourite designers
I love fashion, but I don’t have a favourite designer. Too expensive. Makes me weep.

Favourite high street stores
H&M. Love ‘em – so cheap and a huge choice.

Non-clothes stores
Fopp

Delizique

Kember and Jones

Plaisir du Chocolat

Borders

Boots

Which leads me nicely onto: Favourite Cosmetic Brands:
Bourjois – not too expensive, great packaging and amazing eye colours.

The Sanctuary. I love, love, love that smell.

I Intensely Dislike (because ‘hate’ is too strong a word, dont’cha know?):
Cold callers. You should be able to get peace in your own house, for crying out loud.

People who walk through doors you’ve held open and don’t say thanks.

Noise when I’m trying to sleep.

Doors left have open.

Olives. I’ve tried, I really have. Just can’t seem to learn to love them.

The government. Is it just me, or do they not have a clue?

George W. Bush. I don’t need to explain this one, do I?

People who talk about celebrities like they know them.

People who try and foist their opinions on others.

And people who can’t seem to grasp when others have differing opinions to theirs.

Dance music. It all sounds the same!

People who are crude. I’m in no way a prude, but I believe there are times and places for all language.

People who wander about, in there own wee world and they're at the centre.

PC pish gone nuts. I mean, banning Tom and Jerry from smoking? What the hell is that?

On the other hand, I absolutely love:
Peace.

Pianos. The sound they make, the way they look. Can’t play yet, though, and that makes me a bit sad. One of my life goals.

Fresh flowers. I like anything that isn’t too fussy. Sunflowers, roses, birds of paradise. Lilllies might be my fav, though.

Anything that tastes or smells like violet.

That man smell. You know - clean, musky, a hint of nice aftershave.

Georgia O’Keeffe’s work.

Photography.

Music. Good music makes me a bit emotional. Gentle weeping at a concert is never a good look.

Someone cooking for me.

Pattern. Love anything retro inspired.

Glossy American TV, that in no way reflects reality.

Words, language. To hear someone express themselves eloquently is a beautiful thing.

Scented candles. But posh ones. Not into these cheapo fake-smelling ones, though.

Chilling out with my friends, doing nothing in particular.

Curling up in comfy and utterly non-sexy PJs watching the TV and eating copious amount of food.

Anything banana flavoured.

Going out for dinner.

Log fires.

Candlelight.

Watching it snowing through the window.

Rain. I mean when it really, really rains, and I’m tucked up inside.

The westend of Glasgow. It’s a bit hippy, a bit bohemian and I would love to live there. Great cafes, independent shops. Fabulous.

People who are skilled. Doesn’t matter what in – they could be a musician, a great cook, a wonderful singer, a skilled barista, good at DIY. Anything – I love watching someone work at something and you can see their skill.

There we go. Phew. Long list, and it doesn't cover even a teeny weeny bit I don't think!


I am not a happy bunny.

Well, I sat and filled out an application for front of house and box office staff the other day. The closing date was the 25th at 12noon. I emailed the completed information off around 10ish in the morning. And today I get a jaunty little email in my inbox telling me what a super response they had, and they will no doubt find people for the post, oh and by the way, they won't be processing my application any further because it arrived after the closing date.

Why, oh, why is life such a big pile of manure sometimes?

Anyone think it's worth bothering with an email asking them to check this?

Saturday, August 26, 2006

Yup. That's me.

Finally! That's the first time I've got a picture on my blog without having to go through Flickr. I wonder if it's something to do with the file extension?

I love Garfield with a passion. He is quite possibly one of my heroes. (I'm joking, of course. You know, just in case anyone was wondering.) And this cartoon is very appropriate at the moment. I tell you, it's time to worry when you start empathising with a fat, lazy, fictious cat with a lasagne fetish.

Friday, August 25, 2006

Blast from the past

I was just on a message board and a poster had the screen name 'Flossie Teacake', which is a blast from the past. I used to get the books on tape from the library and play them on constant loop, which drove my family nuts. Aaw, I feel all nostalgic now, for Flossie and her fur coat.

Boooooorrrreeedddddd.

Yes - I'm bored. Very, very bored. There are only so many ingenious ways of wasting time you can come up with when you're unemployed. I could tidy up a bit, I suppose, but that's hardly thrilling is it? And I could watch a DVD, but that isn't right either. I need - and I almost hate to admit this - work. Being a lady of leisure clearly wouldn't suit me. Although I suppose if I had a rich husband his money would provide more opportunities for entertainment. Aha! That's what I need! Not a job - I need a sugar daddy. What a pity I don't have one. You see, I get bored easily. I whinge when I'm really busy, but in actual fact, I would happily trade this for busyness.

It's funny how when you're busy, you think of all the many things you wish you had time to do, and as soon as you have the time, you have no money or enthusiasm to do anything much. You know, I can't even really remember what I wanted to do. Maybe if I stood on my head that would work. After all, it's a technique employed by Winnie the Pooh.

*Sigh*

Oh, for the love of God - someone hire me before I go completely crackers!

Thursday, August 24, 2006

Seeing as Quinn...

was a successful recommendation, I thought I'd try two more.

Laki Mera, another Glasgow-based band. - Go on, click this - you know you want to!

And finally, Dead City Riots. A third Glaswegian band whose debut album will be hitting the shops shortly. And, hey, I know the guitarist. Just thought I'd show off.

Quinn

I know - I'm horribly behind the times. Well, I had heard of them before, but only just got around to listening to them. Bad me.

Go on - have a listen...

Wednesday, August 23, 2006

Brownie Recipe

Apologies for tardiness and all that.

OK, here we go, a recipe for some truly delicious brownies. The recipe is originally from that arbiter of hip, Prima:

2zo/50g plain choccie
4oz/125g butter
3 eggs, separated
7oz/200g caster sugar
2oz/50g plain flour
1tsp/5ml baking powder
Pinch of salt
2oz/5og pecan pieces
7in/18cm square cake tine, greased and lined

Preheat the oven to Mark 4/350f/180c.

Melt choccie and butter in pan, then leave to cool slightly

Place the egg yolks and sugar in a bowl and mix well.

Stir in the melted choccie mixture.

Fold in the flour, baking powder, salt and pecans.

Whisk the egg whites until stiff, and then fold them into the mixture.

Pour into cake tin and bake for 30-40 minutes.

Leave to cool, and then turn out of tin.

Cut up. (It says you get 16 brownies out the mixture. Ha! I get ten reasonably sized ones.)

----------------------------------------------------------------------------------

In the photo that accompanies the recipe, there are only ten brownies. So either they were talking out their hat about how many the mixture makes, or the cameraman had been scoffing them. I vote the former. Why do recipe writers do that?

Oh, and originally, the recipe called for walnuts, but I prefer pecans. Each to their own.

Tuesday, August 22, 2006

Bits 'n' bobs

Another post that is a collection of random things:
  • My computer is broken again. Can you believe it?
  • I've finally got my new contact lenses. Now I just have to master putting the damn things in. Seriously - not as easy peasy as it looks!
  • Applied for yet more jobs. Sigh. This being unemployed malarkey is getting old now.
  • Apologies for the lack of brownie recipe. I shall remedy this tomorrow! Then I expect you all to baking away merrily :-)
  • Had lunch with my mum today. She rather fancies the hunky manager guy too.
  • Have been thinking about doing some self-portrait of the photographic variety. Not sure why, I was always dead against it.
  • In the process of giving myself a bit of a mini-makeover. I'm tired of having no confidence. Where's the fun in that?

That's it for now. My head is all over the place, which explains the structure of this post.

Monday, August 21, 2006

Here you go...



Here are the poems. The photo is the proof copy of one of them. Here is the other, that I don't have a proof copy for yet:

Memories
A dense fog
has descended
And there is darkness
where there should only be light

A callous violation
of memories so precious
For they have been stolen
and can never be regained

But I cannot impart
forgiveness
And I cannot make peace with those
whose pleasure is formed from others pain

OK people, be gentle - I feel strange putting these on the internet. I know, they're being published, but still, it feels weird!

Oh, My Words!

A big cheer for me, please, for am having two - count 'em, two - poems published! I'm so chuffed! I got a letter in this morning saying that one of my poems had been chosen for an anthology, and they had been so impressed they'd like to include another (I sent three in) in a further book they are publishing. I'm just so surprised - I didn't think they were that good.

Yay!

Sunday, August 20, 2006

Culture Vulture

Yes, yes - the title is shamelessly stolen from the Guardian, but as I have mentioned, titles are not my strong point. Anyway, thought I'd write about a few cultural happenings of one variety or another that have taken my attention recently:

A Scanner Darkly
Looking forward to this one. I'm a Robert Downey Jr fan, and I've liked what Linklater work I've seen, so that's added to my curiosity. All this 'interpolated rotoscoping' sounds interesting as well - I'm a sucker for anything animated, so this blend of live action and animating after-the-fact looks up my street. Might go and see this tomorrow in this dinky little cinema that has big leather chairs and non-sticky floors. You can take your beer in as well. And they do Ben and Jerry's. These things are important, you know. Bliss.

The L Word - Season Two
I'm a sucker for glossy American dramas. It's the clothes, you see. And the hair-dos. Oh, and Leisha Hailey cracks me up as Alice. Total escapism. Although I am irked by the fact that we're only getting season 2 on DVD now, while America are at season 4, and we don't even get this on terrestrial. Instead we get Big Brother and The X Factor. Yuck.

The Life and Times of the Thunderbolt Kid
One of my all-time favourite writers. In fact, probably my favourite ever. And I've met him. Looking forward to this book about his childhood in 50s America - he should get plenty of comic anecdotes out of that one. Oh, and I don't know if I've mentioned this, but I've met him.

Saturday, August 19, 2006

Brownies!



Here are the brownies I made earlier. Rather delicious, if I do say so myself. Sadly, I'll have to share them with my brother and SIL tomorrow, so I can't eat them all myself. Bums.

I think I need a hug

Blergh. I've been trying so, so hard with this positivity schtick recently, but you know, sometimes I run out of energy. There has been, and still is, so much shit to deal with and I'm exhausted. And, right now, I just want a hug.

I made brownies today, which is lovely, and then I started to make a big pot of butternut squash soup for dinner. But I slipped on the squash and cut my finger. Then, two seconds later, I did it again. And it bloody hurts. And it's difficult to type. And I dread to think how much it's going to sting when I wash my hair later.

The lesson here? Sometimes life gets you down, and even brownies can't make it alright. Oh, and look what the fuck you're doing when weilding a big sharp knife.

Friday, August 18, 2006

Call me shallow...

but I want to buy things. All the lovely autumn clothes are coming out and I haven't a penny to spend. Well, not a penny of my own - I was rather naughty and bought some (very) cheap shoes from Asda yesterday, which my overdraft kindly took care of. Actually, Asda had some lovely bits in. Thankfully, I'm no sartorial snob - supermarket, shmoopermarket, they come up with some nice stuff. Right now, I'm off to Primarni or Pradamark, or whatever you want to call that cut-price mecca Primark. Sure, it's like a jumble sale and there's plenty of tat, but if you search you can find some gems. Cheap gems as well. Oh, how I love that place. Fingers crossed that I find something nice and within my budget (though technically, if it isn't free, it isn't in budget) to sate my shopping desire.

Wednesday, August 16, 2006

Writing

After reading Jen's blog it got me thinking about the practice of writing, and why I do it. Maybe I should start with a bit of background....

Why I started writing
I was forced. That's it basically. I'd always loved books and reading, but had a bit of a mental block about writing - I just thought I couldn't do it. When I had essays to write at school, I always struggled to fulfill the word count. It wasn't that I didn't know anything about the subject (well, sometimes it was) but more that as soon as I had to commit words to a page my mind went totally blank. Ironically, I seem to have developed the opposite problem - my last essays for college were all too long, and I had to edit furiously. Anyway, when I went to college I had no choice - we had Creative Writing class and I had just had to get on with it. In my first year at college, the lecturer I had didn't really inspire me. She is a good lecturer, but our writing styles and the topics we like were so different it made things difficult. I don't think my writing was, for want of a better word, flowery enough for her. I did the bare minimum. I can't even remember what I wrote - there was one haiku and a rubbish short story, but there must have been more than that. I used to dread the classes, because we had to read out what we had written, and I'm a private person at the best of times and I bloody hated it. So I scraped through the unit and thanked God that was done with.

Or it was, until the next college year, anyway. This time though, I had a different lecturer. He had a different style of teaching and I actually started to enjoy it more. I won't lie - a skipped his class a few times at the beginning. I used to hang about in the computing room and ducked behind the PC if he came in. Pathetic, I know, but the thought of having to write creatively brought me out in a cold sweat. I think this was largely to do with what I though 'creative writing' was. Lots of flowery poetry. This time, we had a completely different class style, with more varied excercises. One of the ones I enjoyed best, and which I actually liked the result of, was a sort of "ten steps to..." Mine was "how to become a west-end hippy in ten steps." I might post it later if I feel brave. This kind of non-fiction creative writing is much more my bag, perhaps because, in a sense, it's less personal? I remember I wrote a short story, and went to pick it up after it had been corrected, and when he fished it out of the pile it was covered in notes. I let out a squeak because I though he'd ripped it to shreds, but actually there were a few compliments on it. I still have that piece because I was so chuffed it had been so well received.

Last year, though, I didn't have creative writing, just journalism. I haven't written any poetry or shorts stories for a long while, but I have kept up the non-fiction stuff.

I look back at some of the stuff I handed in as course work and I cringe. In fact, I like to block some of it from my memory and pretend I only handed in certain pieces. I don't know why I bother, though - I'm sure it's all been forgotten about now.

Where I am now
I felt my enthusiasm was really running short after completing my main project last year - six pieces, including all research and interviews - but it seems to have returned with a vengeance. Hence the blog. It comes and goes, though - recently I haven't been able to commit what I want to say to the page, or post in this case, but it'll come back again, I'm sure. I want to branch out and start writing more varied things, perhaps having a bash at reviewing or trying short stories again.

What I get from writing
Interesting one, this. I don't know - maybe it's sort of like therapy? Although I'm not sure how therapeutic it is, as there is so much I don't write about. Perhaps you really need to lay everything down for it to work like that? Maybe this is something to ponder. But then again, maybe that would be pointless and suck all the enjoyment out of it. I think it's probably to easy to get caught up thinking about why you write, or desperately wanting to get published.

You see? Right now I feel there is more I want to say about this, but I don't know quite what.

Well, I'll leave it here for now. Other things to be getting on with anyway.

Tuesday, August 15, 2006

Another party. Even more tired now.

This time it was G's flatwarming barbecue in Edinburgh. There were lots of people there, but I counted a grand total of four Scots. Every other nation was well represented, though. Tom, being an Aussie man, took charge of the barbie. There was food aplenty and I ate too much. Men lots of fantastic people, including Aussie brothers Dash and Eddie, who earned a permanant place in our good books because they helped us to tidy up, G's flatmates and one of her castmates and plenty of other rather nice people. Didn't get to bed till 4.30am and back up at 9.30am so feeling a bit sleepy and not very alert now.

Tomorrow, I shall attempt to write up a decent, entertaining post as the last few have been a bit pants, I fear.

Now, it's time for food, and then me bed!

Sunday, August 13, 2006

Party. Tired Now.

OK, this isn't going to be a long post, because I'm still knackered. Last night was AF's welcome back party, and as I suspected it was quite a hoolie. I eventually rolled in around 6ish and went to bed around 8am. Although, good for me, I'm not hungover as not a single sip of alcohol passed my lips all night. A good night was had by all, and it was lovely to catch up with people. Although, with all the booze and dancing and other shenanigans of varying degrees of (un)wholesomeness, there wasn't much chance to really blether.

Anyway, I have some things I want to blog about, but right now my head isn't working so I'll leave it here.

Saturday, August 12, 2006

The Butler Did It!?

Well, I won't ruin it and say whether or not Shuffles did in fact do anything. But I will say that the play was excellent. I was surprised at the end when G burst into song, though - she hadn't told me about that! It's always a bit bizarre seeing G act - how her tone, accent and mannerisms all change. In this case, she became Gertie Moneysworth, girlfriend of American movie star and damned scoundrel Chip Boardman. Thinking I'll probably see it again on Monday, when I go through for the flatwarming barbecue (no jokes about setting the place on fire here, please). Sounds like it'll be an interesting party - it seems like half the fringe have been invited.

Before the play, I went back to Plaisir du Chocolate, and bought two identical boxes of choccies - one for my mum, and one for me - and some violet tea. They have all the loose teas stored in beautiful big canisters, and you get to smell before you buy. This is the kind of place I have dreams about.

Tea



There was a very bizarre coincidence yesterday, though. My sense of direction is not the best, and, as usual, I was bumbling about on the Cowgate trying to find the Grassmarket where the venue was (it turns out I was quite far in the wrong direction). I eventually reaslised that I had to give in and ask somebody, so I saw a girl wearing what looked like a festival-related t-shirt, so asked her. She said she was walking in that direction anyway, so would walk with me. The comversation from then on went like this:

Girl So, where is it are you're heading?
Me The Lot.
Girl Ah, The Butler Did It!?
Me Yes.
Girl Susan?
Me *stunned look*
Girl I'm L, G's flatmate!

So, that was a strange but lovely coincidence. I tried to convince her to come in and see the play as well, but she had to go back to work. Isn't life strange sometimes?

Anyway, after the play, G, her sister M and her friend P (God - I really need to come up with some better pseudonyms, don't I?) went for some food and beer in the restaurant. After this, we went into another pub - an Irish pub in Edinburgh and we were served by an American. Then P and M's other friend, also called Suzie, showed up and we shared a plate of nachos. My diet was just so healthy yesterday, I tell you.

Anyhoo, they all headed off to see the Black Watch play, which I would love to have seen, but it was sold out. Back at the flat, I saw L again and met another flatmate, R. There was much excitement because they'd just had a phone line and broadband installed.

I headed home around 9ish and got back about 11pm. I am tired now, but tonight is AF's welcome back party, which I having a sneaking suspision might turn into a "welcome back Rach/ happy birthday Nik/ it's Saturday!" type affair.

Right - must go and get food.

Thursday, August 10, 2006

More Randomness

Don't have time to write up a full post, have many things to get ready for tomorrow's trip to Edinburgh (it's play time!) but shall do a few wee bullet points of things that have crossed my radar over the last day or two:
  • On my way to the opticians yesterday, two young guys drove past in a car, honking the horn, while one leant out the window and shouted "show us your tits". I declined.
  • At the opticians, I managed to get one contact lens in, but the other one ended up the bin. By accident, obviously.
  • I made a hummingbird cake - that is a cake flavoured with vanilla, cinammon, crushed pineapple, banana and pecans. By the time the cake was cold enough to frost, most of it had been eaten!
  • I've found another seven jobs to apply for.
  • Thankfully, as I got another rejection letter this morning.
  • I've been worried about my friends - two are due to fly back from London and Uganda anytime now.
  • I plan on going to Plaisir du Chocolat again tomorrow (it's rapidly turning into my favourite place on the planet) and buying some tea for myself. Maybe violet. The menu is extensive to say the least.
  • Edited to add: I watched Topcat this morning. Not seen that cartoon in years!

Right, better go and charge camera batteries and get a bit organised. What on earth am I going to wear? After all, you never know when there might be hunky actors about...

Wednesday, August 09, 2006

Life Overhaul

Life has been such recently that I've been thinking seriously about what I want from it all.

At the moment, the plan is to get a job for office experience and some cash - I want to save up as much possible over the next year. This would give me options: I could use the money in the near future for a flat deposit if I keep working, I could go to uni and leave the money to gather interest, I could go to uni in Edinburgh and it would pay my rent for the year. At the moment, I really don't know how things will go, but moving through to Edinburgh is appealing. I have friends and family through there already, and like the city. I've got plenty of things I want to achieve in life - oodles of them. But we shall see what the future holds.

Anyway, looking back over my blog, it seems I've gone a bit miserable. Sure, some things haven't been great lately, but I've suffered with depression in the past and got through it, and in comprison this is but a mere tenny weeny blip.

So it's time to pick myself up, slap on some lippie and get out there. Wish me luck!

Tuesday, August 08, 2006

Aaargh.

Just have to let off some steam and have a bit of a whinge. Sorry.
  • My new computer is gubbed. Can't remember if I mentioned this or not, but I'm very pissed off. It's brand new, for crying out loud.
  • I have no money. Call me shallow, but I'd like to, you know, be able to buy things.
  • People are annoying. (Disclaimer: not all of them obviously.)
  • The house is a tip with all the work going on, and as it isn't actually mine, I have no control over this.
  • My neighbour is a gardener and his crew come over to his around 8am before heading off to their job. And they sit in the garden and talk. Loudly.
  • I'm applying for job after job after job and not even getting interviews. I've got three more admin jobs to apply for, so cross your fingers for me bloggers!
  • I should be getting my SQA certificate soon. If they've seen fit to give me my HND anyway. But seriously, if I start on college I won't shut up. And I'll run the risk of having an embolism over it.

Sigh.

Soup!

This afternoon, I made a kick-ass (God, I don't why I'm using that phrase - I don't even like it) butternut squash and ginger soup. Was rather delicious, even if I do say so myself.

And that's about it for today, so far. Rock 'n' roll, eh?

Monday, August 07, 2006

Eye eye

I doubt todays will be a very interesting post. Hm. I probably shouldn't say that at the start, huh? Everybody will have left now. Well, for those of you who are still here, this was my day...

This morning, I went to the opticians for a contact lense fitting. I've been wearing glasses since I was about four, and yet I've never had contact lenses. It's funny, it sort of feels like some sort of right of passage - you know like the first time you wax your legs or scurrying past bouncers before they check your fake ID. Er, not that I ever did that, you understand. Anyway, it went ok. It was a bit weird having someone poke me in the eye, but then, generally speaking, people tend not to do that for fear of being thumped. I have to go back on Wednesday till they show me how to put them in myself and such. Think that'll probably go better - I'm sure it's easier to poke myself in the eye. After all, I have done that before.

Then I went to Tesco till my parents bought a few bits and pieces. Can I say, I am most excited by Tesco's new range of herbs, spices and condiments. The packaging is quite snazzy, too. I mean they have anchovy paste and vanilla pods, and and and....I'll move on now. I spend to much talking about food, I think. We went for a bite of lunch afterwards to this nice wee independant book store/cafe near us. I tell you, it's a dangerous thing to have a bookstore within walking distance. Thankfully, I literally have no money to spend, or I'll have lost a fortune.

In the afternoon, I tidied a lot. Sorted through three years worth of college notes, which a weird experience on many levels. Oh, and I dug out the receipt for my PC, which, to use a technical term, is gubbed. Sigh. Brand bloody new as well. I also ventured into the graden for a spot of photography...

Crocosmia

This evening will be spent making food (there I go again...) watching trashy TV and then perhaps a spot of pampering.

Tomorrow? Who knows what thrills await...

Sunday, August 06, 2006

Yahoo! Radio is screwing with my head.

Yahoo! radio, is mucking about with my head. It goes swiftly from the sublime to the ridiculous. One minute it's inflicting me with Paris Hilton's new single, then on to some Tori Amos, then back to misery with some crappy rapper dude saying 'hey' and 'yo' a lot, and now we're back to good with Chris Isaac's Wicked Game - might not be the height of cool, but I like it.

It's a good idea in concept, this intelligent radio player, but I seem to be spending a lot of time skipping tracks and blocking artists. I mean Paris Hilton. Who actually wants to listen to her? How Yahoo! got to her from Fiona Apple and Tori Amos is beyond me.

Mish Mash

I think post is going to be a mish mash of various things again.

Right, first off, dinner last night was a bit strange. I made myself a salad, but forgot the salad leaves. So, really it was just a collection of random ingredients. Then I sat down and started eating it, and realised I hadn't put any salad dressing on. I made a pud as it was my parents 23rd wedding anniversary and I made a strawberry tart, without the tart. I had the strawberrys, I made the creme patisserie, but ran out of time and energy and didn't make the pastry.


Then today, I was trying to print out a job description and it refused to print. I got a bit shirty at this point and shouted 'Dad! Why is this printer not working!?" He came up to look at it, and the thought dawned on me that it might work better if I plugged it in.

Sigh. All this not-using-my-brain time is obviously having a detrimental effect. On the upside, I have found three posts to apply for with the city council. Only admin work, but the pay is good and it would get me office experience.

On to other things now, though they are family-related too. My Grandad was in on Friday to have a pace-maker fitted, and the operation was a success. He was only notified of the appointment on the Wednesday, and I was amazed to learn that he would get in and out on the same day, but he did. As well as his heart condition, my Grandad is 81 now and suffering from Senile Dementia. He's started to deteriote very noticably recently and has started to become aggressive. I'd managed to distance myself from it, but it really hit home at my Nana's birthday party a couple of months ago when he didn't know who me or my brother were, and had to ask my Nana. Even though his memory had been very bad for some time, he had always recognised us before, so it was a bit of a blow. The situation is difficult for everyone, but my aunt J seems to really be bearing the brunt of it. Perhaps it's because she is the oldest of the seven children and is a trained nurse, but it must be very difficult for her to deal with. I have great respect for my aunt, not only because of the way she is handling this, and certainly taking a huge amount of resposibilty for the situation, but also because she is a strong, independant woman and is hugely intelligent. She is one of those people who really are an expert in their field and her knowledge has no doubt helped in this situation immensly. Apparently, my Grandad is in many ways a walking miracle, as he has a very serious heart condition, and it's amazing that he's surviving with it. Not only that, but statistics say that once a person is diagnosed with Senile Demenia, only 5% will survive the next two years. So far, Grandad has made 18 months. I love him to bits, but I must say that the situation is very draining on my Nana. She is 80 now, and had a triple-bypass a couple of years ago. She was doing so well, but she's finding it difficult to cope with Grandad. She also seems to find it difficult to ask for help, or to tell their case workers how difficult she's finding it, so my aunt has to step in for her. Of course, this provokes and aggressive response from her father.

I'm not sure how articulate that post is, but I just wanted to write something down about it.

Saturday, August 05, 2006

A Poem

This is an untitled poem, again written as part of my course. Thinking up titles is not my strong point - as shown by my crap post titles. Anyway, here it is:

Biting her lip,
the distraction of pain
to stop the tears from falling
Drawing blood,
a finger brushed against
a pure red droplet, her nails
carving crescent moons
into the alabaster flesh
A manifestation,
the pain made real
visible to others eyes

Friday, August 04, 2006

Creative Writing

Inspired by Jen, I though I'd be brave too and post some of my old creative writing. Here are some haiku, which were written as part of my course work a couple of years ago. Now, strictly speaking I suppose these aren't haiku, as they have no kigo (season word), but they are set in the structure of 5-7-5 syllables. Oh, and these are in English, which obviously isn't traditional. I hope what I just wrote is right because, believe me, I'll feel like a fud if it isn't.

Anyway, here they are:

Melting chocolate
Chunky gooey transcendence
Heavenly foodstuff

Crappy Dictaphone
Batteries ran out slyly
No interview now

Raining heavily
Teardrops all around today
Damp trouser bottoms

Clunking lifts breakdown
Claustrophobic terror soon
Hunky firemen rescue

Computer class 6.1
PC malfunctions again
Thrown out of window

Morag’s rain-soaked hair
Drying after the downpour
Blonde highlights curling

Grotty keyboard yuck
Nobody wash their hands now?
Blackness obscures letters

Thumping beat blares out
Bass line shaking the windows
MC Hammer raps

Bad parachute pants
Encourage laughter all around

Fashion tragedy

I seem to have a vague recollection of my CW lecturer showing these to other students as examples of haiku, but I'm not sure if he did or not. Still, they seemed to make him laugh at the time. Strange - I hadn't thought about this stuff for a long time. Haven't written a haiku in donkeys, either.

Waving not Drowning - Part 2

Day Two - Thursday
I got up, had some breakfast and went for a wander around North Berwick with my mum and dad. Then we stopped in for a coffee and some cake. The carrot cake was rather disappointing - it had raisins in it. Now, I have an irrational hatred of raisins. I can just about stand them on muesli or in chocolate but that's it. Why on earth would anyone want to spoil a good carrot cake with the retched little chewy things? Oh, and the cake was also cream-cheese frostingless. It was all so very, very wrong. Anyway, here are some selected photos:









After my cake-related rant, I said farewell to parents and boarded a train back to Edinburgh. I was meeting Gemma around 1pm and fancied another wander beforehand, as the weather was drier and sunnier and therefore more conducive to photography. After all, holding a bag, brolly and trying to take a decent photo at the same time is a bit of a challenge. So, now for some Edinburgh photos:





I was just heading down the Canongate when I gt a call from G to say she could meet now, but had to dash off again at 2.50pm to see a Fringe preview for work. We met outside Starbucks, but headed for (can you guess?) Plaisir du Chocolat to sit in the sunshine and eat copious amounts of sweet stuff. I must say, she was looking fabulous - tanned and blonde, fresh from Spain. We each had a "Thé glacé aux épices" which was just perfect for the hot sunny weather. We had a fantastic blether and I must say, it reinforced how much I miss being able to see her more often. She had to head back to her flat to let her parents in, so we went for a wander back to her place. However, the whole thing went a bit pear-shaped time-wise and by the time it got organised she' d missed the 2.50pm show, so we just flumped about admiring her new flat. Around 4pm her parents came by and dropped some stuff off and we all had a cup of tea and a natter. Her mum and dad gave us a lift to the show, which I didn't fancy, so I said my goodbyes and headed off to Waverly. It might not sound hugely exciting, but it was one of the best days I've had in a long time. The weather was great, the city was buzzing with Fringe preperations and the company was fanastic.

Speaking to Gemma and getting away from Glasgow has done me a lot of good. It gave me the chance to clear my head, and talk things through with someone who I trust and respect. I'm feeling a lot better about a lot of things than when I left. When I originally got off the train in Edinburgh Waverly, I honestly could've wept - just being somewhere that wasn't Glasgow.

Right now, I'm tired and badly need to give the house a clean. I'm sure later on I'll post more about my mini-mini-hodilay, but not right now. Though I can't wait to get back there next week and see this. Oh, and probably buy some more chocolate. Oh, and visit here, too.

Thursday, August 03, 2006

Waving not Drowing - Part One

Are you sitting comfortably, fellow bloggers? Because this one is going to be long. In fact, no, I think I'll split it into two sections...

Day One (Wednesday)
I got up in the morning and faffed around, changing an opticians appointment, washing my hair, so on and so forth. Then I headed to the train station. My open return to Edinburgh clutched in my hand, I navigated myself across the country. Upon arriving in Edinburgh, I mooched about the shops a bit, and then headed to the Canongate and the delights of Plaisir Du Chocolat, where I bought myself a box of exquisitly wrapped choclates, or 'bonbons' as they call them, being owned by a French dude. Now, these aren't your ordinary run-of-the-mill choclates. Oh no, these are works of art.




See? They're almost too good to eat. Almost, but not quite. The guys at Plaisir Du Chocolat are pretty damn smart. Who else has a chocolate menu that quotes Baudelaire in the introduction?

I was hoping to meet G before I headed off to the coast, but she was still in rehearsals for her play, so we arranged to meet the next day. After this, it was on to the coast, to see my Maw and Paw, who are holidaying through there. So, we had a chat about how their week was going, and in the evening my aunt and uncle came over for a drink and a blether. You see, again I have things to say about that, but think I'll do it in a seperate post.

That was about it for day one, day two was a lot more hectic/ thought-provoking and should hopefully make for a more interesting post.

Tuesday, August 01, 2006

Smile

As part of my "haul myself out of a pit of despair" offensive, I decided today smile more. So, here is a list of the things I found to smile at:

  • The man bobbing his head to his iPod in a ridiculously over the top manner, oblivious to all the other people at the traffic lights staring at him.
  • Pete, the Hunky Manager Guy. Although, technically, he didn't make me smile so much as glaze over and grin like I'd had a lobotomy. He really shouldn't smile at me, you know, it has a funny effect on my knees.
  • The blue-tacked sign hung upside down in the window of a deli. No idea how they managed that one.
  • The toy shop. I went into to this little independant toy shop that I used to go in when I was a kid. It made me remember how I used to buy marbles in there for my collection. That was before I lost them, of course.

That's just a few. The hunt continues.

PS - The one thing that didn't make me smile? My brand new computer going tits up.