Reflections and Ambitions.

Happy New Year’s Eve Eve, everyone! 2006 is about to zip out of the door, and 2007 is about to waltz in from stage left (or stage right, you can decide, you’re directing the scene). Isn’t it crazy to think it’s almost 2007? I can still remember getting ready for the millennium, when the 1990s crashed into the 21st century, and now we’re in the thick of it. Some good times, some great friends, some bad times, some amazing opportunities, some challenges. And if you’d sat me down those 7 years ago and told me I’d be where I am, I’m not sure I would have believed you. But I sure am glad I’m here.

Most of the time, anyway!

So this is my ‘end of 2006’ post. The end of a year. The year I became a fully qualified teacher. The year I got rejected from the ‘X-factor’ (and ‘How Do You Solve A Problem Like Maria?’) (and ‘Castaway’) . The year I renewed my love affair with Paris – the awesome city, not the awful person! The year I returned to full music geekery. The year I learnt how to horseride. The year I took (and failed, twice!) my driving test. The year I took up blogging with a passion. The year I shrank quite a bit. The year I did an awful lot of forgiving, a healthy whack of failing, a tonne of changing my mind and plenty of baking.

I set myself four targets for 2006, and I’ve done fair-to-good on them (certainly far better than I tend to do with such things!)…I wanted to qualify (Done! Whee! NQT no more!). I wanted to climb Snowdon (awesome fun – Ben Nevis, my sights are upon you!). I wanted to learn how to drive (this is the one I fudged up on….I mean, I learnt. I just can’t pass the test!). And I wanted to lose weight (roughly 30 pounds…pretty good, huh?). So all in all, I think the year’s gone pretty well.

But now we need to look to the future, wouldn’t you agree? So, without further ado and in no particular order, here are my ‘ambitions’ for 2007. Feel free to mock, laugh, and plagiarise at will!

1. I would like to pass my driving test. I find driving really, really hard, but much like Cher from Clueless, I am determined to master this skill!
2. I would like to lose more weight. The hardest part this year was not the actually weight losing (I love veg and water more than any sane person should, enjoy exercising, and have bags of nervous energy), but dealing with why I had gotten fat in the first place. Hiding behind yourself is a very cunning ploy, don’t you think? I was very secure in my role as the “fat and ugly” girl, and dragging myself out of this role will continue to be the hard part!
3. I would like to learn a musical instrument. The obvious option would be vocal training or going back to flute, but I’m feeling more and more drawn to bass or drums or piano or guitar at the moment.
4. I would like to become a better teacher. I love my job and I think I’m doing fairly pretty well at it, but I am aware that the better I get, the more the kids are going to benefit. I’d also like to start getting a grasp on what I want to do in the next few years – move up a rank or two? Try London? Try Scotland? Try going abroad? Stay private? Go primary?
5. I would like to get into running – I enjoyed it in high school, so come March/April, when it’s not so Baltic out there, I want to get my trainers on! I’m going to do the “Couch-to-5k plan” – it seems around my level ;-).
6. I would like to go to more gigs, and read more, and see more shows, and go to the cinema more, and take some dance classes.
7. I would like to do more kissing in 2007 (c’mon, the fates might be listening!).
8. I would like to see more of my friends in 2007 – the farflung thing makes it hard for many of us, but I intend to go vis’tin’ as much as I can, and am already looking forward to visits from Jess, Amber, Rachel and Jane, all in the first three months of the year. I anticipate much red wine and good chat! If anyone is ever in the south of England, I have a very comfy spare room for you and an award-winning garden for you to explore!
9. I want to stop buying chickflick DVDs. I like them, yes, but they are dominating my collection unfairly – I actually have pretty damn good taste in films, but you wouldn’t know it to look at my shelves. This year I want my dramas, thrillers, comedies and musicals to start fighting back because I love them too!
10. I want to get my finances in order. Dull, but necessary. I’ve been working on them for a year, and according to my budget, if I’m fairly good (no unexpected jaunts to America, Claire!) I should be looking OK financially by May, good by October and just gorgeous by the dawn of 2008. What a grown up ambition!
11. I want to make and swap even more mixes than I did this year! Viva music!
12. I want to keep up with the blogging – I have met so many cool people through my proper blog (and made a fair few people giggle on myspace!), and it has really helped my ‘real’ writing move up a level too.

So, there you have it, twelve (count ‘em!) ambitions. Will I succeed in any of them? Only one way to find out…..and it involves checking back next year.

But for 2006, this is me signing off. I am full of cold, but hoping against hope that I can make it out for my first Scottish Hogmanay in a while tomorrow! Thank you so much for reading and all the comments and emails this year. All that remains is for me to wish you and yours a very happy, healthy and prosperous New Year. Have an absolutely awesome one!

Love, as always,
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My day as a born-again teenager.

So, the cold meds have thrown up quite an odd wee side effect. One I wasn’t envisaging. With all due respect to my teen friends (y’all know you’re fabulous, so don’t even play), today I have been, for lack of a better descriptor, adjective or string of words, exceptionally teenage in my habits.

Now, of course, to simply describe behaviour as teenage would just be silly. Like any slice of the populace, the lovely teens as a wide and varied in their colours as can be. But you know that stereotypical teen, so beloved of screenwriters? Well, that’s been me for the duration of today. I don’t usually get the time to devote to vegging out, but today I just seem to have regressed ten years.

(apologies in advance for typos, errors, omissions and just plain randomness. The crazily sexy cough-fits, expeditions for tissues and other assorted ‘La Boheme’ ripping off behaviours keep sweeping me off task. Plus, as part of my homage to teenagedom, I am of course blogging sprawled out on bed, pulling faces at my sister and wearing ‘emo’ gloves. Long story.)

So yes, a teenage day. I spent most of the morning myspacing, emailing, IM-ing with Cat, reading (I’m reading a really cool book called ‘Watching The English’ – I do love a good bit of cultural anthropology), picking things up and putting them down. Trust me, I’m not even joking :-).

Then I built up the gargantuan stocks of energy to…have a bath. And get dressed. I’m so glad this cold is on the wane, I am so shocking at being subpar. Plus I can’t sing properly, which is awful. I just feel bereft when I can’t sing, and now the sore throats gone I think “ooooh, hang on I can sing again”, then try and hit a glory note and remember the whole chesty-and-hard-to-breathe part. Oh dear.

This afternoon I watched a shameful, shameful, shhhhammmmmeful amount of tv. Including not one, not two, but three old eps of ‘Newlyweds’. I feel really dirty now, but watching Jessica Simpson panic about sausages, hair, and snowboarding (trust me, you had to be there) really worked for my soul this afternoon. As did lots of orange juice. Mmmmm. OJ.

And now it’s blogging and youtube. And in traditional Claire fashion I feel so! much! better! now, cos it’s evening and my brain is back in the vaguely ‘on’ position. But not far enough to write a deep and meaningful post, huh? ;-)

Have a great evening, all!


PS Ooooh, I also made a mix CD and ate crackers. Seriously, pray I wake up tomorrow feeling normal!
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Part of the joy of being on break has to be the time it affords me to listen to CDs I haven't heard in a while. And today I rediscovered 'Bleed American' by Jimmy Eat World.

It's a pretty good album, but one of the songs is just beautiful, and when I saw it made into a 'Doctor Who' tribute vid on youtube (you guys know how I love my youtube!), I thought I'd share. And for those of you who like all the gen, here are the lyrics also:

there's no one in town i know
you gave us someplace to go
i never said thank you for that
thought i might get one more chance

what would you think of me now?
so lucky
so strong
so proud
never said thank you for that
now i'll never have a chance

may angels lead you in
hear you me my friends
on sleepless roads the sleepless go
may angels lead you in

what would you think of me now?
so lucky
so strong
so proud
never said thank you for that
now i'll never have a chance

may angels lead you in
hear you me my friends
on sleepless roads the sleepless go
may angels lead you in

if you were with me tonight
i'd sing to you just one more time
a song for a heart so big
God wouldn't let it live

may angels lead you in
hear you me my friends
on sleepless roads the sleepless go
may angels lead you in

may angels lead you in
hear you me my friends
on sleepless roads the sleepless go
may angels lead you in

Love you guys,
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Dear open letter

FAO: Santa Claus

CC: My friends and family, all my buddies on myspace, bebo, the otz, CW and, and the kind and wonderful readers of my blog.

Dear Santa,

First and foremost, good luck for tonight! I know you always get it all done with room to spare, but good wishes are always welcome where I come from.

Well, I just thought I’d send you a quick message with my Christmas wish for this year. And I have to say, it’s the same one I always send at this time each year. I wish for all of my wonderful friends and lovely family to get exactly what it is that they wish for. My friends are all so amazing, so giving, so talented, and so darn funny…so for me, part of the joy of Christmas is sending my sincerest wishes for a fulfilling and joy-laden Christmas and a year ahead full of all the good things they deserve.

Give them health and happiness. Give them wealth enough to feel secure and unworried. Give them times of peace and rest, and the courage and wherewithal to follow their dreams. Help them to make the most of their lives, and help them to achieve all that you and I know they can! Please, Santa, give them what they want – whether it is a place at uni, a new car, a baby, peace in their marriage, a return to health, a person to love, a record deal, a new start, an answer to a question…. You will know better than I do!

Please also make sure that they all know how much I love them, and how much I value their friendship, love, banter and time, this Christmas and always. I appreciate that being friends with someone as cheesey as me can take a lot of work! Make sure they know that I am always thinking of them, praying for them, and wishing them well.

Once again, best of luck with the big drop-off!

Merry Christmas,


PS Yes, I know I’m a geek ;-). Love you guys, have a wonderful, blessed and joyous Christmas!
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"Semi - Festive” Singalong, Saturday 23rd December.

Compliments of the season, you guys. This is semi-festive only because I’m not going to limit myself to Christmas songs only….even a Christmas nut such as I am may be heading for saturation point as far as some festive ‘classics’ are concerned.

Ah, spank it, I’m gonna do wall to wall Christmas tunes. I swear, I am half elf!

Once more into the breach, dear friends!

1. We Wish You The Merriest – Frank Sinatra and Bing Crosby.

My gosh y’all, this is soooooo 1950s. Imagine Frankie and Bing both leaning on a fireplace, clutching a punch glass of eggnog, with a veritable chorus of cheesey girl dancers behind / in front of them, twirling incessantly and you have pretty much got it. I feel the need for a drink just to listen to it!

2. Christmas Wrapping – The Waitresses.

Yes!!! One of my fave Christmas songs, so fun to sing and dance along to.

So, what are you guys up to for Christmas? As I mentioned a couple of posts ago, I am up in the wild wild of Scotland, avec la famille. And so far, it’s been fun. As it’s the season, most of my friends (such as have been retained from high school) are up too, so it’s all quite relaxed and just busy enough to give me hobbies and activities apart from snacking, drinking, squabbling with my siblings and checking my myspace far too often. Not that there’s anything wrong with those hobbies, but it’s good to have other stuff on the schedule.

Wednesday was the first day back, and I barely left the house – just hung out with the sibs and reconvened the ‘laptop club’. Three young adults (can I still give myself that tag ;-)?), three laptops, a dining room table, bad TV on in the background. So lazy, so fabulous. But after a while, you do kind of want to leave the house!

3. Jingle Bells – Sammy Davis Jr.

Are you hip to what he’s jingling, pally?

Thursday I met the ever gorgeous Babev and Mr D for lunch (she reads my blog, so hello, sweetie) and then accompanied them to go and see her nephew. So cute, you guys. One of those nice meetings that slid from lunch to a donder to a visit to cocktails. I love being on break sometimes.

4. Happy Xmas (War I Over) – The Polyphonic Spree

Usually, I tend to detest reworks of classics, but this is fairly good. All together now: “War is over, if you want it….”. If only.

Thursday night was a venture to the pub. The lovely Maz passed her driving test last month (congratumalations, hon!), so I was allowed to travel in her car, the bubbleatron. Friday was yet more pub visitation. Is it any wonder Scotland is a nation of alcoholics and borderline alcoholics? All in good fun though, so it’s banter wall-to-wall.

5. Maybe At Christmas – Drugstore.

Low-fi, baby. Low-fi.

Today’s venture was to meet the gorgeous and talented Jenga for lunch in town. Jenga and I were mates at high school and recently renewed our friendship via that most noughties of methods….myspace. She’s uber-cool. We were two of the girls at school who didn’t quite fit in, weren’t quite sure we belonged, and were generally a little angsty about it – nothing much has changed but we’re just both OK with it now! I love the chats we have though – any conversation which can swing from emigration to high school crushes to musical aspirations to kissing gay men to psychohosebeasts in the space of a few minutes is worth keeping in your world, I feel. She’s mad talented also, and I realllly want to go see her band play sometime next year.

6. Christmas In New Orleans – Louis Armstrong.

It is genre-leap-tastic ce soir, non?

Tonight, I am finally going to see another friend’s band play. If you’re interested they are called Dan Against The World (and naturally, they have a myspace!) and from what I’ve heard they are pretty cool – powerpop in an Ash – Fratellis style. Review to follow, no doubt!

I haven’t been to an honest to goodness, bring-your-own-beer, crowds of local youth, small hall gig in a while.

Should be fun!

7. Winter – Tori Amos
8. The Most Wonderful Time Of The Year – Andy Williams
9. Santa Baby – Kylie Minogue

Sorry – phone call! Woo! Tomorrow, of course, is Christmas Eve, or as we like to say around here, the start of hibernation. Church in the morning, lunch and movies all afternoon, then I cook dinner and we all chill pre-midnight mass. Then one more sleep till Christmas!!!!!

10. Santa Baby – The Pussycat Dolls.

This is actually better than you’d think. Brass, brass, everywhere!

So I must sign off now, and go regress to my teens. All that remains is to wish you all (if Christmas is your thing) a merry, blessed and truly amazing Christmas – I hope it brings all you could wish for!

Me, I’m hoping for candy, hair I can understand, and George Clooney / Dave Grohl / a cute, kind, music nut boy.

Happy, happy Christmas!


PS Two days!
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All About Meme

A quiztacular blog for you all....well, it is almost Christmas!

Lifted without apology (but I did ask!) from the great and powerful Sars (do check out her site Tomato Nation, it’s all kinds of awesome. I’ve been reading since 2000, and the lady can spin one heck of a yarn!)

Quiz #1: My Favorite Things

Boy singer: This is a close run thing…in my little world it’s a tie between Ben Folds and Rufus Wainwright. Both are amazing in their own right, but I can’t really figure out who I like more….

Girl singer: Aimee Mann. No, Tori Amos. Hang on, Aimee Mann. No, definitely Tori Amos. Yes, Tori. Absolutely Tori. I think!

Band: So very, very tough. I’d say it’s a kind of Dixie Chicks, ABBA, Ash, Nickel Creek, Muse deathmatch, depending on the day!

Song that brings back memories of high school: For R.A.A.S. – ‘Heaven (Is A Place On Earth)’ by Belinda Carlyle. It just reminds me of bouncing around the dorm with Jo and Linda and Alex, singing and bopping along, so young, so happy, so unaware of the sucker punches lying just around the corner…. For Forres, it’d have to be ‘500 Miles’ or, rather cringe-inducingly, ‘(Slam Dunk) Da Funk’. Man, I miss 5ive.

Song/band that reminds you of your first sexual experience: You cannot actually be asking that, right? Oh well, OK, I’ll go ‘My Favourite Game’ by The Cardigans. Great song, great band, and…I have nothing else to say about that!

Author: Only one? Haha, hardly likely! I’m going through an Alice Munro, Jane Austen, Cecelia Ahern and Bronte phase at the moment. But the favourites change all too often!

Last book read: Pride and Prejudice. Yes, again! I got into Austen late (I was 22!), but now I am a confirmed fan!

Kind of cuisine: Oh, I am far too much of a foodie to commit. I am a big fan of both Italian and Mexican – penne and chillies and fajitas and parmigano, oh my.

Place on earth: It’s a three way tie between Primrose Bay, Paris, and Main Street, Chapel Hill.

Thing to do on a vacation: Mooch around with my friends. Dance. Read. Talk for hours and hours and hours with the wine flowing and the candles flickering and the topics changing. Swim. Plan. See sights. Eat fabulous food.

Leisure activity: So many choices – reading, baking, watching movies, kissing, collaging, writing letters…. To relax is to truly be.

Work activity: I love most of the teaching I do, but the tops has to be teaching maths (please don’t judge me :-)), teaching dance, or just kicking back with my awesome kids – often the most fun is when I just get to spend time getting to know them and find out all about their little lives.

Best live concert ever witnessed: The cool answer: Oasis, Murrayfield, August 2000. The uncool answer: Take That, MEN Arena, June 2006. The real answer: A bit of both :-).

Stupidest thing done while drunk: Oh man. I could probably write an entire post detailing all the silly things I did after a few drinks. The joys of being a lightweight and studying in Aberdeen. Let’s just say I fell over a few times, told a…few guys I liked them, kissed some frogs, sang some karaoke, did some dares. That’s university, right? I am so, like, mature now, I never have more than a glass.

Hey, I just realised that’s often true. Hmmmm.

Soup: Heinz Cream of Tomato. With grilled cheese to dunk.

Artist: I am so thick when it comes to artists….could I have a pass please? I tend to prefer photos anyway, but can’t profess to know too much about that either. It’s something I want to learn more about…I am always in awe of my friends who know their art.

Sport to watch on TV: Rugby. And ice skating!

Breakfast: Mmmmm. Breakfast. Most important meal of the day! Bagels and porridge and bacon sarnies and muesli and fruit salad and coffee and eggs and pain au chocolat from the village store…but not all at once, don’t worry!

Favorite getting-ready music: Anything poppy and fun with a good bassline – I tend to listen to a mix of Outkast, Christina Aguilera, Madonna, Take That, Abba, Muse and pure local radio station level cheese …woo, getting ready music!

Most nostalgic situation: Being seventeen, mainly the summer of 1998. I’m not sure I’d want to be there again, but it was a cool time and one that makes me smile.

Heroine: So many. My mum, for starters. Maya Angelou, Tori Amos, Rosa Parks, Margaret Thatcher (not the biggest fan of her politics, but she is certainly an impressive lady), Shirley Manson, Emma Thompson, Fiona Apple, Emily Dickinson, Mary Magdalene, Emily Pankhurst, Helen Keller, Maria Von Trapp, Ruthie Henshall, Teresa of Avila….all for vastly different reasons.

Popular misconception about yourself: That’s a tough one! I guess it would be the common thought that I’m confident – it’s pretty much a sophisticated façade, but I am more confident now than I ever was before, so it's a work in progress!

Quiz #2: About Me

Living arrangement: I live in an annex flat, attached to a pretty darn huuuuuge house. I have all the little things that make life go smoothly, a few precious things, and tonnes of CDs and girly tat!

Favorite TV show: I really like TV, which is uncool to admit I know, but there’s something awesome about having something you look forward to being on. Perennial favourites are Never Mind The Buzzcocks, House, Scrubs and The Simpsons. Sarcasm is obviously a big part of my viewing culture!

What's on your mousepad? Nowt. I <3>Garden State versus William Shakespeare’s Romeo + Juliet. Needle dropping rules my tiny musical planet.

What is the first thing you think of when you wake up in the morning? Turn off my mobile, fumble for the light, shuggle my head, and stride to the kitchen to put the kettle on.

Do you get motion sickness? Only on coaches, generally.

Roller coasters - scary or exciting? More scary than exciting. I hated them while I was growing up, but I’ve got a little braver now. Still not the biggest fan of the rickety looking ones or those that go upside down!

Pen or pencil? Pen, for permanency. I do love the feel of writing in pencil though, it’s so relaxing.

How many rings before you answer? I pick up the house phone ASAP. My mobile is usually on silent, so I often miss the call entirely. Sorry, you guys! But I always call back! Hee.

Favorite food: Pizza. Or broccoli cheese. Or turkey salad. Or carrot sticks and hummus.

Do you get along with your parents? Thank heavens…YES!

Chocolate or vanilla? Either / neither.

Favorite ice-cream flavor: Phish Food, Mint Choc Chip or Apple Pie.

Croutons or bacon bits? I’m not really huge on either, but I can enjoy them from time to time…

Do you like to drive? I hope to one day!

Do you sleep with stuffed animals? Just the one – Jockey Bear! I have grown up enough now to not take him everywhere though!

Storms - cool or scary? Scarily cool.

What type was your first car? A little yellow moped, qui s’appelle the Bumblebee.

If you could meet one person, dead or alive, who would it be? My mum’s dad. He sounds like he was a really amazing human being.

Favorite alcoholic drink: Red wine, ale, or G&T.

What is your zodiac sign? Sagittarius. And I’m a textbook Sage.

Who's your favorite poet? Emily Dickinson. I think it’s the shared birthday that does it!

Do you eat the stems of broccoli? Yep. I lurve broccoli so much, I don’t like any to go to waste!

If you could have any job you wanted, what would it be? Graveyard shift DJ – just getting to play good music and chat, how awesome would that be?

If you could dye your hair, what color would it be? Purpley-red.

Have you ever been in love? Not yet!

What is on the walls in your room? Collages of cards and tickets, a mirror, some cute bits of tat, another mirror, pictures of my gorgeous friends.

Is the glass half full or half empty? Half-full, if not more than half-full.

Favorite Snapple? I only drink Snapple when in the US…and that’s only been a month of my life so far. Ask me again if I ever emigrate!

Favorite movie? Right now it’s either ‘It’s A Wonderful Life’, ‘Magnolia’, or ‘Grease’. Ask me again tomorrow and that will change!

Are you a lefty, a righty, or ambidextrous? Righty. I am not at all ambidextrous either…sometimes I struggle with a fork!

Do you type with your fingers on the right keys? Not at all. But I’m doing a touch typing course next term!

If you could be any gardening tool, what would it be? That is one crazy question. I’m going to go with…a watering can.

What's under your bed? I have a couchbed! So other than my ‘groovy and fabulous’ slippers, nothing!

What's your favorite number? Anything that is not a multiple of seven plus one. Long and boring story, trust me!

What is your dream automobile? A VW Beetle.

What a marathon - hope you liked!

Love to you all, as always,

PS 4 days!
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En Ecosse

Back to life. Back to reality. Back, in fact, to the here and now-ooh-yeah.

So, term is done, loose ends are tied up and the holidays have begun. Woo! Usual craziness and fun at the end of term, highlights included a section supper (lots of red wine plus a room of thirteen year olds plus me and other staff plus party games equals fun, y’all), carols aplenty, and English department meal that was positively laden with good chat, and the traditional parties, crafts and gifts that signify the end of a term in Year 3. I also made myself a kickass hat-cum-crown with the emblem “Princess Claire”. It was awesome!

So term ended and I pretty much collapsed (teachers are so hardcore, right?). And emerged, ready for the festive season. Well, as ready as one can ever be!

Got to the airport today, purchased my copy of Hello and Time (turns out we are all Time magazines’ Person of the Year….man, that punctuation just there was shocking…can I blame travel-lag this one time?). Was just mooching along to the security check when who do I bump into but Mr Grey? Yep, one of my friends I haven’t seen anywhere near enough this year, and he winds up on my flight to Inverness. What were the chances? Really good chat and nice to catch up, a fine start to the holiday.

Tomorrow, hanging with the sibs, present shopping and more bloggy fun. Hurrah for holidays!

Love to you all,

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The CRT awards 2006

A fun myspace meme:

1) Drinking Buddy of The Year? I'm not the biggest drinker, but when I do, good times tend to abound with my sister in red wine drinkage....Miss Fi!
2) Lifetime service award? This award has to go to the siblings - how they cope with having an ever so slightly nutty and occasionally bossy big sister never fails to amaze me!
3) High Point of the year? Probably Snowdon with my Year 7s, then watching them all grow up so much over this past half year. They are insanely cool. Other high points would be Paris in the Feb halfterm, getting back into writing and singing (even if it's just babysteps for now) and dropping two dress sizes (forgive the shallowness of that last one!).
4) Low point of the year? Failing my driving test. Twice.
5) Holiday? Paris, February. Awesome. The brief sojourn to Lincoln in the summer was pretty groovy also!
6) Anthem for 2006? Can I have three, please? It's a tie between 'Smile' by Lily Allen, 'Pull Shapes' by The Pipettes, and 'Supermassive Black Hole' by Muse.
7) Regret of the year? January.
8) Best Night out? Any night where I got to hang out with any or all of the gorgeous members of the "dirty dozen" - friends as cool as that make any night awesome. Love you guys! Honourable mention to the big night out with Jess and co in August, amazing to see you guys after so long, and the banter was wicked. 9) Worst Night out? Can't recall any just now - I tend to stay in if I'm not in the mood and listen to music! Haha, I'm such a geek!
10) Drink of 2006? Water! As my Snowdon crew can tell you, a dehydrated Miss T gets ill quickly (sunshine + extreme heat + not enough water + walking for seven miles with a 50l rucksack in aforementioned heat + low blood pressure + odd blood sugar to start with = me, on knees, retching, blacking out, blinding headache and shakes. Sexy! And that was day one - aren't y'all impressed I made it to day 5....and all I needed was extra water!). So yes, H2O wins!
11) Best gig of the year? *small voice* Take That, June, Manchester. Their first ever stadium and they ripped it up. Amazing, and yes, I screamed like a teenybopper!
12) Game of the year?? Tennis, played badly. Rummikub, played frequently.
13) Most embarrassing moment? I prefer to look at my years as embarassing moments woven into one long chain, personally!
14) Movie of the year? I don't think I have one! Loved the hype for Snakes On A Plane though - mainly because of the awesome banter on the OTZ!
15) Book of the year? For me, 'Captivating'. It truly made me think, and most Christian prose fails to do that!
16) Food of the year? I'm going to have to extend this to foods - cheese, broccoli, turkey salad mega pittas (weight loss tastic, almost looking forward to getting back to the healthkick in January), Zizzi's crabmeat salad, Tesco value tortillas, Lindor, broccolli and the WHS dinner genius that is boiled ham, baked tatties and cauliflower cheese. Mmmmmmm (can you tell I haven't had lunch and it's 3?).
17) Girl of the year? All my fabulous girls - those I love, those I teach, those that make me laugh, those who pray for me, those who call me...
18) Colour of the year? The award for colour of the year 2006 goes to…Blue. Well done. (I'm with Ewen on this one!).

With love to you all,


PS 9 days!
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Singalong Sunday, 10th December.

1. Somebody to Love – Boogie Pimps.

You guys, I am 26 years old! Yep, today is my birthday, and it has been a nice one – very chilled today, dinner and fun with some friends last night, lots of fun gifts and big plans for the year to come. And now it’s 9.30, I’m writing a blog, chilling before the last week of term. And then Christmas. Heck to the yes, people.

So it’s been a wee while. I’m glad so many of you appreciated the sheer cheesey goodness of the pics in the last post – I was so thrilled to have some classics which were a) taken by my always fabulous seven year olds, and b) actually examples of my looking human!

2. Purified – Michael W. Smith

Mmmm, CCM tune ahoy. Some CCM bites the big one, but I do like Mikey W!

So yes, it has been a chilled weekend, after a busy couple of weeks – reports and exams and school plays and kissing boys and lunch with the Gilesgate girls (what up, my sistas?) and stress and karaoke, oh my. It has certainly been a time of upheaval, but now we are staring down the barrel of the final week of term – lessons kind of get thrown to the wall, but we will all have an awesome time.

Claire’s Christmas frenzy is in full tilt now. All the international cards are out, last two international packages (of the ten or so that go!) go tomorrow, kids cards are done, UK cards a quarter done (am working on those and the UK packages after this!), colleagues gifts done, those and church cards to do.

Christmas is fun!

3. Alternative Girlfriend – Barenaked Ladies.

When are BNL next in the UK? I really need to find out.

So yes, Christmas continues apace, it is the most wonderful time of the year, after all. I am due for a busy week (out 5 or 6 nights of the next week, with a more chilled outlook when I return to the frozen north!). But that’s OK. It does mean that I don’t have to do much cooking or washing of dishes, so that’s fabulous! Hahaha, I’m such a lazy moo.

Am looking forward to the return to the homestead for Christmas – as well as hanging with the fam I’ve got sorties to Aberdeen, Elgin, Stonehaven and St Andrew’s planned, so I should be just busy enough. Apart from that it’ll be napping, reading, board games, walks and snacking – a typical Christmas with the fam.

4. People Get Ready – Aretha Franklin

Speaking of getting ready, what are you guys doing for New Year’s? Or, as we say in the homeland, Hogmanay?

New Year’s is famously not my favourite festival…in Scotland it is very much the be all and end all…so it tends to wind up a bit of a dud!

5. Break On Through (To The Other Side) – The Doors

Oh, tenuous link…this is on the OST to ‘Forrest Gump’ – the movie I am going to resume watching after this….I watched ‘Apollo 13’ earlier so it’s a bit of a Hanks fest here :-).

Anyway, this year my friend the Bav is having a New Year’s party, so that should be fun. She and her hubby Peter are sweethearts, and Hogmanay is always more fun when your with a good crowd. In my teens and early twenties I would really go all out….by contrast I saw 2006 in by watching ‘The Lizzie Maguire Movie’ and doing karaoke!!!

6. I’m Waiting For The Day – The Beach Boys

Waiting is a funny thing. At church today we were talking about waiting. It’s not something I’m particularly good at. Well, that needs qualifying. Waiting for a bus I can do. Waiting for a fun event I kind of love – that whole ‘feeling like you’re tied up in knots’ thing evidently does it for me! Waiting for other things…not so much.

7. Everybody Knows You Cried Last Night – The Fratellis

Have you heard these guys yet? If not, do so immediately [/Mugatu]. I’m loving the whole album right now.

So, this kissing of boys I alluded to…I’m not sure where that’s going to go, but it was random and enjoyable, and there may be a rematch on the cards (we were both keen but both so inept we forgot to swap numbers). Say it with me – durrrrr, Claire! I’ll keep you guys posted though – I am growing faint with the idea of actually having some gossip [/clutches pearls]. Heehee.

Ow. My tummy hurts (and to think, with blogging of this calibre I want more gossip to contribute!).

8. Someone Watching Over Me – The Zutons

What do you guys want for Christmas? I’ve decided I want a digital camera (egads, this blog is going to go crazy), some towels (sorry, that was a typo earlier, I’m actually ninety-six!), some spangles and glitz, George Clooney and Colin Hanks. I’ll be sure to let you know what Santa comes up with!!!

I am excited with the gifts I am giving this year. I have spent ages choosing and wrapping, so I hope people like. And it’s just killing me not being able to write about it here, because some of the recipients may look at my blog.

Must. Not. Divulge.

9. I’m Daisy, I’m Violet – from ‘Side Show’

This track is about twenty seconds long, fact fans!

10. Frosty the Snowman – Man or Astroman?

What a festive note to go out on! I will close and conclude my birthday with cake, wine, and writing of Christmas cards.

Have a great week everyone!


PS 15 days to go!
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