Thursday, August 31, 2006

One long sentence after another

Oh my gosh you guys I am so tired and I'm not even sure why I'm still here at past seven when term is still a fair few days away my brain hurts my back hurts my soul hurts....

Hahahaha, I'm such a wuss! Nah, it's good to be back in a weird way, nice to be catching up with everyone and sort of hitting my stride workwise. After being the new kid all last year I think it's gonna be nice to sort of know what I'm doing all the time this year. My classroom is looking spandy nice and I am even managing to be disgustingly organised, pretty groovy, huh?

The healthkick is sort of kicking back off, and I'm debating whether or not to join the gym - any thoughts? I need to shrink my butt-ocks, y'all.

I'm back on the moped which is awesome, but also means I keep on flashing random pedestrians when I'm wearing a skirt and forget to tuck it round just right. What a mental image, huh?

Tomorrow is the Inset day of doom - I've been in tidying and organising all week, but a day of meetings is going to knock me out entirely :-).

So I'm off now to make some cous cous and then veg out with a DVD, last years reports and a glass of wine. Yay for the start of term!

Cxx

Tuesday, August 29, 2006

Guess who's back? Back again?

Y'all, I have not turned on my laptop for a week...this is a strange and befuddling occurence! But now I am safely back in the middle of nowhere (in my classroom, to be geographically precise) and even though I have seveleventy gadzillion thinsg to do, I thought I'd pop in and do a quick entry before disappearing off to attack the filing / display making / book sorting. Viva la glamour.

Flew out of Inverness last Tuesday, the Old Crustacean, Midimus and Minimus came also to see me off. Within the hour I was in Bristol, a gorgeous city by all accounts. The South-West is awesome, really quirky and offbeat (a little like me, non?). Spent a glorious couple of days down there with the other two members of the Gilesgate Three, Mlle Wilson and Jean. Brilliant times - shopping and watching really, really trashy TV and being ladies who lunch in John Lewis and drinking Pimms and going dancing and brutally rebuffing the randoms who attempted to pull us and chatting, chatting, chatting! I love those two girls so much - I was not expecting to bump into two such amazing kindred spirits smack bang in my midtwenties. Stay gold, ladies!

On Saturday, it was back home. The gorgeous Fi picked me up and whisked me home, and bought me super yummy pizzas to have for tea. What a gal! Saturday and Sunday was a cleaning fest - the spiders had all but colonised my rooms in my absence! And then yesterday it was the village Fayre and dog show. I took my landlords' dogs, Emma and Fred. Emma and I not only won 3rd place prettiest bitch (woo!) but also 2nd place overall champion of champions. Yeahahahahahah! Good times.

And now it's back to school, and primary colours agogo. How are you all?

Cxx

Wednesday, August 23, 2006

Superman Theme Song

Well, I'm off down south and thought I'd leave something funny for you guys to enjoy. How awesome is this?

Have a great few days!

Cxx

Tuesday, August 22, 2006

P.A.C.K.I.N.G.

I’ve got, the packing day blues,
Oh-oh-oh, the packing day blues,
My bedroom is a tip and it’s littered with shoes,
The cat’s in there somewhere and my sister’s confused,
Who knew I had so much stuff to lose,
It’s like a round of treasure hunt without any clues.

Gah. You all already know how I feel about packing, right? You would think after years as a military brat, five years at boarding school and living away from home in various locations since age eighteen I’d be reconciled to it now. But no.

I hate the whole idea of it – getting all my pretty, fun, loved things and cramming them into cases and boxes and bags. Plus, as I don’t drive, I have to get it all neatly packed enough to take on commercial flights – nightmare. Socks are crammed into crannies, CDs are pondered over (even though I have all of them on my laptop, I still need some actual, tangible CDs. I’m not sure why!), shoes and makeup and pyjamas and the almighty Jockey Bear fight for suitcase space.

Added to this, I’ve been in a bit of a funk recently. Nothing life-threatening, just the sad old pile – I’m stressed a bit about back to school, I’ve put on weight (this always happens when I come home), and I’ve had a bit too much time to think recently. I’m quite looking forward to getting back to my ‘real’ life!

This will be my last ‘live’ blog for a few days I think (unless the packing stresses me still more and I drop in later) – tomorrow I am flying down to Bristol (woo!) to stay with the gorgeous Mlle Wilson for a few days. Even more excitingly, on the Friday Jean is coming down also – it will be the first reunion of the Gilesgate 3 since we left Durham. I’m predicting awesomeness! I’ll have my laptop with me, and will be writing blog entries, so when I get back to the middle of nowhere I’ll upload them all – it’ll be a post bonanza!!! As I won’t have internet at home anymore (looooong story involving money, budgeting and a small ferret called Nigel. OK, I lied about the Nigel part), ths will probably be what I do during term-time – write blog at night at home, upload the next morning. Hey, it makes sense in my head.

I had my hair cut today and it’s all curly and quirky and sticking out and random angles. Note to self: Fix that.

OK, I’ve procrastinated enough for this hour – back to packing…

Enjoy your day!

Cxx

How did summer go by so fast?

Sunday, August 20, 2006

Singalong Saturday 19/8

So, here goes another adventure through Claire’s mp3 collection.

Where will the random function take us?

1. ‘Overture’ – from ‘The Witches of Eastwick’.

This show is absolutely awesome. I never got the chance to see it on the stage because it didn’t do one of those mammoth, eleventy million performance runs that mean every schmuk from the sticks gets to see it. Before I moved to nearer London, dahling, cause now I can go and see shows whenever. Well, I could if funds allowed, right?

2. ‘Right For Me’ – Justin Timberlake.

Justin Timberlake, or as many of us now refer to him, the PAB. He’s a funny little man, but I do own ‘Justified’ and I stand by the purchase. ‘Like I Love You’ and ‘Rock Your Body’ totally remind me of senior year at Aberdeen – a year of hopes and dissertations and film music lectures and poledancing around Amy in the union and dreams and worries and reading lists and choices and highs and lows and pain and scars and hate and having crushes and kissing boys and dancing, dancing, danicng and living in a proper town flat and singing and growing and sitting on the couch with sweet, sweet Bekah slouched on you and reading and crying and laughing and smiling and feeling you were really, finally, breathtakingly on the brink of something. Amazing days.

3. ‘Street Map’ – Athlete.

Tourist is a good album, yes. But when you move away from the singles some of their tracks kind of blend into one another (some artists have a knack for doing this – see also Gray, David and Orton, Beth). And at 11.35 at night when you’re tired? Athlete makes you sleeeeepy.

Skip to:

4. ‘Holiday’ – Madonna

Woo! Sing it with me kids! Strike a pose! Wear a pointy bra, if that’s what charms your cobra! We’ve already touched on my love of early era Madonna in this blog, but it bears repeating – how awesome is this stuff? If they had played this at the club last night, everyone would have hit the floor, hard. Instead we got some lowrent DJ poncemonkey playing the same four bars of Xtina’s latest over and over. Now, I like that song, but hearing the intro 32 times it a row? Suuuucks.

5. ‘Some of Your Lovin’’ – Dusty Springfield.

There are some vocalists I love, but will never be able to sing like (Aretha. Mariah. Beverley Knight). Then there are the famous five – the ones who I have, at one point or another, been told I sound like – Carole King, Mama Cass, Judy Garland, Karen Carpenter and Dusty Springfield. I don’t know if the comparison works for any of those artists, but heck it’s good for the ego, even if its deluded.
6. ‘Home Again’ – Carole King

And here’s Carole. I love her voice, I love her arrangements, I love her lyrics. Tapestry is one of the few albums I own which have made it onto the sacred CD rack. Perhaps I should explain. The immortal Jean, my good friend, has a sacred bookshelf, a place where the best books she encounters may be consigned to. I have a similar (yet imaginary, as I have all my CDs on my computer anyhow…) concept with CDs, where the albums that just make me effusive with praise get to go.

The others that would make it? Ah, go on then:

‘Whatever and Ever, Amen’ – Ben Folds Five.
‘1977’ – Ash.
‘Rabbit Fur Coat’ – Jenny Lewis with the Watson Twins
‘Rocking The Suburbs’ – Ben Folds.
‘Gold’ – Ryan Adams
‘Whatever’ – Aimee Mann
‘The Miseducation of Lauryn Hill’ – Lauryn Hill.
‘Automatic for the People’ - REM
‘Jagged Little Pill’ – Alanis Morrisette
‘What’s Going On’ – Marvin Gaye

‘The Immaculate Collection’ could also make it… but is it an album or a greatest hits compilation?

7. ‘Walk Away’ – Kelly Clarkson

How fabulous is Kelly Clarkson? I didn’t really register her first album (anything that Cowell involved might actually bite so much as to cause me pain), but ‘Breakway’ rocks. It’s a really proficient, enjoyable, poppy, character-filled album, ticks loads of boxes.

And lest we forget? The girl can saaaaaaang. Love her voice.

She needs a new stylist though! Call me, KC!

8. ‘Somehow, Someday’ – Ryan Adams

“I want to tell you somethingThat I should've, long agoI wish that you and I had those kidsMaybe bought us that home…

… I wish that we were still in your roomIn your bed and you were holding me'Cause there ain't no way I'll ever stop from lovin' you nowThere ain't no way I'll ever stop from lovin' you nowNo there ain't no way and I'm gonna try and show you somehowSomehow, and I'm gonna someday”

It’s lyrics like this that just…get me. Plus this song is amazing. Makes me want to learn guitar and drums, immediately!

9. ‘Game On’ – Catatonia

Cerys Matthews is such an idol of mine. As an NME reading teen, she and Shirley Manson were major figures for me, and when she crashed so blatantly it really affected me – I was overjoyed when she came back a couple of years back happy, content, and kicking all kinds of ass. I’m such a fan!

10. ‘Window Shopper’ – 50 Cent.

Dudes. I am not a Fiddy fan, but this is a track on a mix from the awesome mamabraxas. My favourite version of this song is actually the cover of this done by Lily Allen – the line ‘You’ve got a leak in your colostomy bag, yeah it’s got a hole in, hole in, hole in” more or less means I’ll never be able to take this song seriously ever again.

Singalong Saturday….which will probably post as Sunday as it’s past midnight. And I? Am beat.

Sweet dreams everyone!

Cxx

Saturday, August 19, 2006

Blast from the past

Wow. I am absolutely exhausted. Last night was the first time in a long time that I went out with some friends who I hung out with for a huge portion of my sophomore and junior years at Aberdeen. Je is now married with a wee one and resides in Texas with her hubby O, Ja is all setting up his own company and jetting here and there, G is all settled and buying a Citreon Xsara. And y’all know how grown up I am now, huh?

Anyways, we went out and had a pretty good night. The liquor and chat both flowed freely and the topics were many and varied – it was very like rewinding the clock back four or five years, just for a night. After a couple of bars we ventured to a club, which was absolutely AWFUL. Dire DJing, packed dancefloor, iffy smell. After half an hour, we bolted. When I don’t enjoy a club, you know you’re kind of screwed. I love to dance and mingle and have pretty varied music tastes (I’ll dance to more or less anything – Xtina, Nirvana, The Nolans – if it’s playing loud and the club is pumping I will get my dance on). So, anyway, at about 2 we all headed for taxis – Ja very kindly put me up for the evening so I didn’t have to drag my butt all the way back north.

Ja and I got back, got a couple of glasses of wine, had some good chat (baby names and religion, woo!), and about 3ish he gets a call from his lady friend in the US. He goes to take the call…

…I wake up, still sat up in the armchair in my clothes, at 6.15am. I go into the office, where Ja informs me that yeah, I dropped off about 4, and yes I had been snoring lightly (this is a new development. Perhaps I only snore when asleep sitting up). Anyways, I bid him goodnight and hit the hay.

Woke up (again) a little after 11. Went into the living room as the TV was on and it meant I could watch the big brother final repeat. Ja was conked out on the sofa – and snoring, hahaha!

An hour or so later he woke up, and it was an early afternoon of chats, showers, and bacon’n’eggs. I’d forgotten what those Saturdays were like a little. Then it was train home and an evening of reading and telly – both the shows I auditioned for (and didn’t get through…..this time!) are now playing, so when I am in on a Saturday, it’s golden now.

And now I’m blogging before bed! The whole not being able to drive thing has changed my plans for next week also, so things are gonna be a little busy at times. But for now I shall post this, get my ‘singalong Saturday’ post written…and then sleeeeeeeeeep.

Hurrah.

Cxx

Friday, August 18, 2006

Failure. A four letter word?

So, I blew it. This morning I failed my driving test. The crazy scheme of learning to drive over a couple of weeks ran aground. And the irony is, I actually drove really well for 95% of the test - great clutch control, awesome roundabouts, good control and preparation. But one flop of a reverse around a corner, one speedy approach on a bend (as I went to change the gears down while braking the examiner pointed out that I needed to slow down - i.e. to do what I was doing - this error would have failed me) and the cherry on top - a minor scrape on a wall as I pulled into the centre at the end (by this point my nerves were utterly scrambled, it's a wonder I didn't crash completely) meant it was a flunk.

I'm so bummed.

However, lots of good on the test also, and much has been learnt this summer. Next test? Late October. Bring it!

Cxx

Wednesday, August 16, 2006

Home is where the heart is...

Ain’t that the truth? Apparently it’s also where Claire goes when she wants to revert to some kind of pit dwelling mammal in hibernation mode. Now, there are many good things about my return to the familial home for most of the summer – seeing family and friends has been awesome. I’ve been able to catch up on books and movies and TV shows that had otherwise passed me by. The driving lessons have been a real experience, and whatever the results of Friday’s test I can say without reservation that I am a far better driver than I was a month ago (I couldn’t do stop. Or go). My sleep patterns are finally in line with your average human, rather than a dark-phobic nocturnal being, running on coffee and stress. The whites of my eyes are…white!!

However, there are downsides to this. I’ve put on at least 10lbs (my family are great fans of the late night snack…I managed to resist for a fortnight but I got swept in). My beauty habits are down the tubes for the moment (straighteners? Lip gloss? Stockings? Toner? Hairbrush? OK I kid about the last one, but you get the drift, huh?). And while tracky bottoms are comfy as all getout, when they become your go-to outfit you know it’s time to plot your return to normality.

It’s like when I’m here I become the reverse of regular Claire – instead of looking forward to a spare couple of hours, almost all my hours (bar a couple) are spare! Today was a banner day of laziness – come with me, won’t you? I swear, I’m living like a teenage boy at the moment…

5.10: Alarm goes off. Open eyes, blink, grunt in a girly style. Roll over and hit snooze.

5.15: Alarm goes off again. Claire remembers why the loud noises are being emitted by the shiny silver device and propels self out of bed (this athleticism takes three attempts). Grope in darkness for lightswitch, find it, squint eyes at the yellowy, harsh light. Inform sister that “Need…get…up…exam?” or something along those lines. To the bathroom! [You see, that’s the kind of mug I am….I set my alarm for just past 5 am just so I can make sure Midimus makes her exam…. Feel free to mock].

5.17: Trot merrily downstairs. Seriously, it takes me a max of two minutes to wake up, and then my Claireostat is set to perky and cheerful. I make a hot drink for Marmee and Midimus, and sit around and chat to them as they have breakfast and prepare for the two hour-plus journey to Aberdeen. Hence the early start.

5.55: Wave Marmee and Midimus off. Toy with idea of getting on with the day, but think better of it!

6.00: Back to sleep. I <3 sleep J. During term I get up any time between 5.30 and 7, so the extra sleep the vacay has been awesome.

8.30: Minimus comes in to say goodbye and dump the cat on my bed.

8.35 – 10.00: Stay in bed reading chicklit. Mmmm, trashy books.

10.00 : Get up, put laundry on, wash dishes, eat breakfast, drink coffee. (See, I do chores! Yes, I’m not completely lazy!)

10.25: Oprah! Woo!

11.20: Write a letter. Fill in a form. Write some emails. Mess with hair. Read some more.

12.00: Bathtime! Woo!

12.30: Play with cat. Put more laundry on. Phone bank. Chat with Midimus. Hoover hallway.

1.30: Cook lunch and devour. Wash down sides and do more dishes (how can one five person household = so much housework?).

2.00: Watch ‘Commander In Chief’. I kind of in love with this show, but then I am a sucker for anything set in DC. It’s an awesome city; I can’t wait to visit again!

3.00: Email-a-rama. Make some phone calls. Do lots of stuff on myspace and the forums I check (yes, am a geek, thanks for noticing!).

5.00: Everyone’s back. Make cups of tea for all. Play Rummikub with Midimus, whilst watching ‘Made’ and ‘Room Raiders’. We are such suckers for crappy MTV sanctioned programmes!

6.30: Make self beans on toast for dinner – the glamour!

7.00: Yet. More. Reading.

8.00: Get ready for…

8.15: Driving lesson. OMG, this was the worst lesson I’ve had so far! I forgot really simple things! I stalled twice! I had a mini-internal-tantrum over reversing around a corner! My instructor says it’s cool, everyone has a bad lesson close to the test but eek, it was scary. I hope tomorrow’s final lesson goes much, much better.

9.30: Home. Cuppa. Write this….and it looks like then it will be more reading, myspace and catching up on other peoples blogs.

I’m great at being lazy(ish), huh? Fear not, gentle reader, chaos is just around the corner!

Night all,

Cxx

Tuesday, August 15, 2006

Christmas...In August...

Oh, the weather outside is frightful,
But the fire is so delightful,
So since we’ve no place to go,
Let it snow, let it snow, let it snow…

Yes, I’m aware that Christmas is still 132 days away (and yes, I’m counting). But that doesn’t mean I can’t love it from afar, right? What brings me to this topic? a) I am a sucker for Christmas, and b) the fact that I’m on break means I have more time to watch TV.

Ergo, I watch far too many sitcoms and bad teen dramas.

And every so often, there’s a Christmas episode. So this morning I sat through one of the ‘Christmukkah’ episodes of ‘The O.C.’. Now, I stopped watching this show after the first season, but so great is my weakness for the Christmas episode that I sat through the whole hour, (w)rapt.

I am, in short, a Christmas nut. I love shopping for gifts and writing cards and rehearsing songs and writing lists. I love church services and work drinks and friends coming over and family functions. I have a bag of decorations for my classroom that shoot up on the evening of Advent Sunday. I co-ordinate the Christmas tree decorating and Christmas card delivering for my building at school. I bake cookies, make decorations, lovingly send of secret sister packages. This year I’m gonna make cards also (Banana always does and they are awesome). I love the season of giving and sharing. I love the hope Christmas gives for the rest of the year.

I love the shopping malls with their tinny renditions of Christmas pop hits; I get teary at a chorister singing the first verse of ‘Once In Royal David’s City’ (that used to be me, haha!); I sing along whilst marking to ‘Fairytale of New York’; I dance with my munchkins to ‘Christmas Rapping’; I listen to Nat ‘King’ Cole crooning ‘O Holy Night’ as I drink hot chocolate in my PJs, look out at the frosty garden, and think of Christmases past, and dream of those still to come.

It really is the most wonderful time of the year, and I’m looking forward to it already!

*geek*

Have a great day!

Cxx

Movie Fest Hangover

So my sister and I have been watching lots of DVDs together, one of which was 'Anchorman'. The movie I can more or less take or leave, but this guy is just about inappropriate enough to make us laugh...

Saturday, August 12, 2006

Singalong Saturday Number 1

Get comfy y’all. It’s gonna be one of those posts – fragmented, stream of conciousness and knowing me, no doubt a little random. I’d love to say “Fasten your seatbelts, we’re in for a bumpy night” but I’m stranded in deepest darkest Scotland. What are the chances?

I’m listening to music…I’ll share what’s playing as we go on, shall I? Perhaps it will inspire my writing…

(Song 1: ‘Wind Beneath My Wings’ – Bette Midler)

Wow, what a cheesey song. As you all know, a cheesey song is one of my Achilles heels, and the fact that this is from a cheesey chickflick also only serves to recommend it more highly, IMHO. It’s also the song I fully intend to dedicate to my mother at some point (concert, wedding, whatever…) and as luck would have it, it’s her birthday. If you’re reading this Marmee, first and foremost HOW DID YOU FIND ME??? And secondly, happy birthday! We’re having a ‘potter-y’ day at home in celebration of Marmee’s naissance. The woman’s favourite thing in the world is a day of getting wee jobs done, tea and reading. Cheap date, huh?

Speaking of chickflicks, Midimus and I deciding to re-cement our commitment to watching as many bad films as ever…last night we sat through “The Cutting Edge 2”. Are you proud?

(Song 2: ‘I Will Always Love You’ – Dolly Parton)

I have a big soft spot for this song. I actually heard the Whitney Houston version first, as a preteen when ‘The Bodyguard’ came out. I like both versions of th song, I have to say. Whitney’s is showy and polished, and reminds me of doing karaoke after several vodka shooters and actual getting a standing ovation. In a packed bar. Good times. This version, however, is the one that makes me cry! The lyrics are just so poignant. So sad. So loving….

(Song 3: ‘King of the Rodeo’ – Kings of Leon)

Like much of my music, this band was introduced to me by one of my online friends. Isn’t the internet crazy? If you’d told me ten years ago that I’d swap CDs with friends on different continents who I’d never met, that I’d do ‘secret sister’ assignments with people thousands of miles away, that I’d meet up with people I’d spoken with hundreds of time online before meeting them properly…I don’t think I would have believed you!

(Song 4: ‘Every Ghetto, Every City – Lauryn Hill)

What happened to Lauryn Hill? She was so smart and talented and politicised and beautiful and such a great role model. Now? Seems like girl is crazy. How does that happen?

Still love this track though. And the whole of ‘The Miseducation of Lauryn Hill’ (awesome, awesome, amazing album). And ‘Sister Act 2’.

(Song 5: ‘Central Reservation’ – Beth Orton)

I only have one Beth Orton album. I’m not sure why I bought this, or why I haven’t bought more. It just seems to have crept into my music collection and remained there. I love this whole album, yet I’ve never felt compelled to seek out other albums, or see her live, or anything. I can’t even remember where I bought this. Or why. Or when.

Selective memory? Bimboness? Early onset dementia? You decide!

(Song 6: ‘I Lift’ – Hillsong London)

Ah, I wondered when some praise music might make an appearance. I have some friends who listen to nothing but praise and worship, or CCM. I have others who would view sitting through a whole Hillsong or Michael W. Smith album as a sort of bizarre torture.

Me, I’m on the fence. Some CCM and p&w I love to pieces (we do a lot of music like this at church and some of the songs are beautiful. I adore the song ‘Here I Am To Worship’, for example).

(Song 7: ‘Turn Your Eyes Upon Jesus’ – Michael W. Smith)

Aha, more Christian stuff. Isn’t the random function odd? Michael W. Smith’s album ‘Worship’ is probably my favourite of the p&w I’ve heard / I own. Plus this has a kickass ‘cello solo and I adore the cello. This song is great when you just want to pray, or focus, or have a good old think.

For dinner parties or dancing? It’s not so good, hahaha….

(Song 8: ‘Cherish’ – Madonna)

80s era Madonna! Yay! This song is such a cheesefest, and just reminds me of being ten and kind of obsessed with Madonna and my girlfriends and I trying to master side ponytails a la Madonna and making up dance routines to ‘Into The Groove’ and reading ‘Smash Hits’ passionately and deciding that ‘Crazy For You’ was going to be our wedding song.

When we married Jason Donovan, natch!

(Song 9: ‘(I Don’t Know Why) But I Do’ – Clarence ‘Frogman’ Henry)

This song is very cute, and very old school, with the horns and the piano driven bassline. It kind of makes me want to wear a teadress and go to a record hop…which I guess is one of the desired effects!

(Song 10: ‘Way Over Yonder’ – Carole King)

This is just bliss. I lovvvvve this woman’s voice. White girl soul rules!

I think I’ll do another post like this next Saturday. Let’s make it a regular thing! I guess this is the first…singalong Saturday.

Hope your weekend is going brilliantly so far,

Cxx

Friday, August 11, 2006

(You Drive Me) Crazy

So, I had a really bad nights sleep yesterday. Why? Because I was stressing about my drivers test. It's next Friday, and I think it just hit me last night, eager as I was to fall asleep and dream of dinner dates with Jake Gyllenhaal in Hawaii (*sigh*). I've been trying really hard in my lessons and working my socks off, but the pressure is on. I really wnat to be able to drive, to have a car, to visit my friends more....

There's a lot riding on 45 minutes of my life.

For those of you who don't know me personally (well, in person), I am not the best with nerves. As often as I sing / act / speak in public, no matter how many exams and tests I've taken, when it comes right down to the wire I still get nervous. When I did a run of Anything Goes during my junior year at uni it was a running joke that at the five minute call you could always find me cowering in a stall in the Ladies - nauseous, pale and frightened. As soon as I'd step onto the stage, not a problem...but before, ugh?

I was the same with exams at uni - I'd be the one in the queue outside either deathly silent (which is veeeery odd for me) or on full autowitter. And when we'd get in there I was always the candidate with about 17 pens and 13 pencils...just in case they ran out / broke. But once the exam itself started, I'd calm down.

So next week, think of me, probably with my head in the toilet, trying to summon up the courage to get through the evvvvvviiiiillllll driving test. I'd love to pass!

Have a great day,

Cxx

Thursday, August 10, 2006

My first proper meme...aw, the country mouse is growing up!

O.k. I was tagged by Britmum.

I’m thinking about: Lots of stuff…whether I want another cup of tea, why it’s pouring down rain in a Biblical stylee mid-August, what’s going on with my career, why The Bank (as in a boy, not the actual bank) hasn’t written me back, and how on earth I can improve my reverse parking. My brain is a veritable bouncy castle of thought.

I said: Many, many things. Most of them random.

I want to: Get back on the healthkick – do you think I can lose 30 lbs by Christmas? Or am I loca?

I wish: I was in Hawaii, on the beach, sipping a long, cool drink and looking forward to a dinner date with Jake Gyllenhaal.

I hear: The cheesey-pop sounds of Take That, my cat purring, and my sister rustling papers and sighing as she revises.

I wonder: How did I get here? Where am I going?

I regret: Being afraid.

I am: The only one of me (and the world breathes a huge sigh of relief!).

I dance: Crazily…and with gusto!

I sing: Quite a lot!

I cry: At soppy movies, sad songs, cheesey books, adverts… I’m a leaker!

I’m not always: Sure I know what I’m doing!

I make with my hands: Cakes, cards, Christmas decorations and classroom displays.

I write: To relax and share.

I confuse: 99.5% of the population.

I need: People. “People who need people…are the luckiest people…”

And finally: I am me. I am odd. I am happy.

Now I wave my magic wand (borrowed from Britmum) and tag the following lucky individuals who are brilliany, awesome and super!

Tag, and love to:~ Pixie, Shannon, Angieoh! and Heart of Darkness.Can't wait to read what you all say (I'm still working on how to link, but their fabulous blogs are all in my sidebar ---->).

Have a fabulous day!

Cxx

Wednesday, August 09, 2006

Scrubs - Payback is a bitch

Wow. Just wow. I want to arrange some payback just so I can get Laverne's choir involved!

Unimpressed



That more or less sums up the mood of Sam the cat after he was beseiged by a beanie baby kitten. Hey, it's rainy, and I've got a cameraphone!

Cxx


Tuesday, August 08, 2006

The Luckiest...

I got two albums through the post today, one of which was 'Rocking The Suburbs' by Ben Folds. The album is awesome, and one of the songs is so gorgeous, I feel compelled to share it with you all. It's called 'The Luckiest', and I can't wait till I have someone I can sing it to...

I don't get many things right the first time
In fact, I am told that a lot
Now I know all the wrong turns, the stumbles and falls
Brought me here
And where was I before the day
That I first saw your lovely face?
Now I see it everyday
And I know
That I am
I am
I am
The luckiest
What if I'd been born fifty years before you
In a house on a street where you lived?
Maybe I'd be outside as you passed on your bike
Would I know?
And in a wide sea of eyes
I see one pair that I recognize
And I know
That I am
I am
I am
The luckiest
I love you more than I have ever found a way to say to you
Next door there's an old man who lived to his nineties
And one day passed away in his sleep
And his wife; she stayed for a couple of days
And passed away
I'm sorry, I know thats a strange way to tell you that
I know we belong
That I know
That I am
I am
I am
The luckiest
Isn't that just beautiful? It makes me want to cry, and sigh, and fall in love, all at once. Out of nowhere, we have a brand new top contender for 'potential first dances at Claire's wedding', if and when the country mouse meets her match...

I adore this song. Have a brilliant evening / day / morning!

Cxx

Autowitter!

So, after the confusing nature of yesterday’s post (hey, it even pickled my brain, thought I’d do a more vegetative post today….). Yep, another survey. So thank you to Brebsy for sharing….allegedly the longest survey ever.

I’m going to go make a cup of tea, I’m chucking on a couple of new CDs (Ben Folds, and er, Ben Folds Five), and let the autowitter begin!

(I actually think these surveys can be kind of useful…I mean, once you get beyond the obvious and banal you can sometimes find out some interesting tidbits. Honest!)

Time started: 11.21

Full Name: Claire Rachael T******* (I’m not gonna put my full name, cos I’m scared of the google fairies!)

Nickname (s): Thorners, Bouncer, Sunshine. Optimistic, moi?

Single or taken? Single, at the moment.

Gender: Female. Wait….yep, female!

Birthday: 10th December. All ecards, gifts, poems written in my honour gratefully received!

Sign: Sagittarius (Western). Monkey (Chinese).

Siblings: 1 sister, 1 brother.

Eye colour: Blue-grey. How normal, right?

Shoe size: 7! Yep, I have big feet – all the better for salsa dancing and rock hopping, baby.

Height: 5 foot 5…the small side of average.

What are you wearing right now: grey joggers and a green ‘Australia’ soccer tee. I usually dress more smartly, but it’s a day of chores and badminton today!

Where do you live: Little Village, the Middle of Nowhere, Near Enough To London to Not Be Much of a Chore To Get There, England. But I’m currently at my family home in Forres, Scotland.

Righty or lefty: Righty for writing. Strangely untalented with both in other areas!

--------------------Relationships-------------------

Who are your closest friends: Good question! Probably Princess Shona, Banana, Em, Mlle Wilson, Peachy, Hoti and Jean. Others zoom up and down the chart, but these? Are GOLD!

Do you have a bf or gf?: Not at the moment. At least, I don’t think so!

Did you send this to your crush?: No, because a) I’m blogging this; and b) I don’t have a RL crush at the moment (cue violins!), due to the fact that I am living through the mandrought. There are a few online cuties / celebs, but that’s not reality, is it?

--------------------Fashion Stuff--------------------

Your fave place to shop: Amazon. I’m dead serious! Any place where you can shop in your PJs and buy loads of books, CDs and DVDs is my idea of retail heaven. For clothes, I’m going through that post-college-short-on-funds-work-with-kids-so-it’s-gonna-get-stained-anyway phase. Viva Primark, Asda and Tesco!

Do you have any tattoos or piercings: No. I had earring for about a month when I was seven and they completely squicked me out! I’d kind of like a tattoo, but would fear it looking silly when I’m a forty-something!

------------favs------------

Colour: I pretty much like the whole rainbow. I think my fave colour changes with my mood!

Number: 4, or 7.

Boys Names that u like: Moray, Jack, James, Philip, Iain, Micah, Ben, I could go on…

Girls Names that u like: Emily, Mackenzie, Katherine, Eleanor, Olivia, Bethany, Felicity, shall I continue? I’m a names fiend!

Subject in school: While still a pupil? Drama, Modern Studies, and Religious Studies.

Animal: I love cats, dogs, guinea pigs, hedgehogs, rabbits, iguanas…Drink: Tea, coffee, diet coke, (sweet) iced tea (best drunk in NC, I always think), Irn Bru, banana milkshake, orange juice (with bits), prune juice, red wine, Pimms, whiskey, champagne (the last two on special occasions only), but mainly WATER!

Alcoholic drink: Sometimes. I like a glass of wine now and again, and every so often I will hit the pub for a few drinks to celebrate someones birthday or similar.

Sport: I like playing tennis and badminton, love to dance, swim and do aerobics, can get my hillwalk on, am learning to horseride and like to shoot a few hoops now and then. I coach wee people for rounders and netball – two sports I was pretty awful at at schools level!

Food: Mmmmmm. I could write a whole post (and probably will one day!). I love to cook – my fave types of food are Italian, Mexican and Chinese and I looooove veggies!

Months: December.

Song at the moment!: ‘Perfect’ by Eliza Carthy; ‘Moodswings’ by Charlotte Church; ‘Still Fighting It’ by Ben Folds; ‘Trouble’ by Ray LaMontagne; ‘You Are Loved’ by Rebecca St. James.

Juice: any and all, except tomato!

Finger: I’m meant to have a favourite?

Breakfast: If it’s warm, fruit with yoghurt and honey; if it’s cool, porridge; if I have guests pain au chocolat or bacon sarnies; if I’m in the ‘Deen after a big night out, a full Scottish from the Illicit Still!

Aftershave/Perfume: I love L’Occitane’s Magnolia, Ralph Lauren’s Romance, L’Eau D’Issey and CK one. I don’t know which aftershaves I like!

Cartoon character: Eeyore, Spongebob, Little Miss Chatterbox, Mrs Tiggiwinkle, Taz.

-------------------EVER:--------------------

Given anyone a bath: Yep. I used to work in special needs care, y’all! And was a day nanny / au pair… bathing is part of the job…

Smoked: Never. Yeurgh.

Bungee Jumped: Nope. I am one of the most accident prone people I know…why would I take that sort of risk?

Made yourself throw-up: No. I’m kind of phobic about vomiting at the best of times!

Been skinny dipping: No. Did go swimming in my undies while on D of E expedition though – a fine idea till we all noticed the group of German tourists on the other side of the alpine loch!

Been in the opposite sex's washroom: Yep. Was shocked to discover they tend to be much cleaner!

Eaten a dog biscuit: I ate the corner of one for a dare once…I played dares hard when I ws younger!

Put your tongue on a frozen pole: No. Did put a mammoth icicle down the back of my shirt once though (see above point on dares!).

Loved someone so much it made you cry?: I no doubt thought so at the time!

Broken a bone: No. *crosses fingers and touches wood*

Been in a physical fight: Not that I can remember.

Been in a police car: RMP car, yep. They were giving me a lift home. Oh, and the Forres coppers once gave me a lift home after my teachers car broke down after a field trip.

Came close to dying: No, praise Jesus.

Been in a sauna: Yes. Mmmm, toastie.

Been in a hot tub: Does the Jacuzzi at the leisure centre count? Ooooh, glamour!

Been in the ocean: I love to swim in the Moray Firth. I do have occasional panic attacks about fish / jellyfish / basking sharks though, much to the amusement of my siblings!

Fallen asleep in school: While at school, only on breaks/in library etc. At uni? Yep, once in class and a couple of times in film screenings.

Ran away?: Not anymore.

Broken someone's heart: I don’t think so. I hope not.

Cried when someone died: Oh yes. One of the worst times of my life so far.

Fell off your chair: Innumerable times!

Sat by the phone all night?: Not recently.

Saved MSN conversations: If only I knew how…

Saved e-mails?: Yes, always. The ‘sent’ folder is my friend. So is Mr Inbox.

Fallen for your best friend?: Sort of. Really, really, reeeeeaaaalllly stupid idea.

Been cheated on?: No.

---------------------------------------First thing that comes to mind---------------------------

Red: sky at night, shepherd’s delight.

Blue: tit! (My sister’s been doing ornithology all morning and trying to make me snicker at rude / innuendo-worthy birds names). Sigh.

Autumn: Yay, back to school! (Geek!)

Greenland: Isn’t actually green?

What is....Your good luck charm: Jockey Bear / the faith of others.

What’s your room like: as I’m currently sharing with Midimus, it’s a bit of a mess – two twenty-something girls who hoard and like ‘stuff’…

What's the last thing you said: "Here’s some tea, sweetheart” – I took Midimus a cuppa to help her through the resit revision.

What is beside you: CD case, mug, sheaves of paperwork which I will get back to after posting this!

Last thing you ate: toast and chocolate spread. So bad yet so good.

What kind of shampoo do you use? Brilliant Brunette.

Something that has happened to you this year: I climbed Snowdon! Yay!

--------------------have you ever--------------------

Had Chicken pox: once. My mum used to make us play with kids that had it so we’d catch it also. Cue us wearing socks on our hands to stop us itching, and discovering that pouring scalding hot soup onto pox stopped the itching for a while…

Had a Sore Throat: At least once a year!

Believed in love at first sight?: Yep.

Liked picnics: Yay! Last one was with Hoti in Regent’s Park during the heatwave…we had crisps and ├ęclairs and wine and sat shooting the breeze before going on the pedallo boats and having ice cream. I <3 picnics!

Liked school: Yep. I liked primary a lot more than high school though – at high school I still liked the classes, but the drama could get far too much!

What schools have you gone to: Applegrove, Hayfield Lane, St. Clement’s, Barnes Wallis, Cheshire, Griffon, R.A.A.S. and Forres Academy. Oh, and 2 weeks at the village school on Rhum!

Loved anyone: I love like it’s going out of fashion. People are just amazing, and deserve so much love and support.

----------------Would you:----------------

Eat a live hamster for £1,000,000??: Ewwwwwwwwwwww. No.

Go to a Hanson concert if you had a free ticket: Yes! Yes! Yes! Hanson!!1!!!!111!!

If I was stuck on an island I would: make myself comfy. Pray. Find a volleyball to befriend.

Who Was the last person you sexually touched?: Believe me, I’m not that kind of girl.

Who was the last person you massaged: A toddler with a cold, a few years back (some childcare practitioners recommended massage to help the wee ones with fever and muscle pain).

Who Was the last person you Kissed? It’s far too long ago to drag up.

Who Was the last person you yelled at?: I yelled in the playground last month to stop the kids throwing a shoe around…does that count?

Who Was the last person who broke your heart: The last person? Hee, no-ones managed to the job properly – for someone to properly break my heart they’d have to win it completely first!

Who was the last person who told you they loved you: probably one of my friends in a text, email or letter.

Who is your loudest friend? Depends on the situation!

---------------------Do you/Are You:---------------------

Do you like filling these out: sometimes. So long as there are a few original questions!

Do you like yourself: Yes. Whatever I may think from day to day, I believe that God’s put me for a reason, so I must be special and good and worthy in some way.

Do you get along with your family: I love my immediate family to bits. My extended family are a funny kettle of fish.

Do you do drugs: only Ibuprofen when in pain!

Stolen anything over $50: No!

Obsessive?: Not anymore.

Depressed?: Not anymore. I used to be good at that when I was younger, but now I tend to get myself out of funks before they develop. Depression is an awful, cancerous thing. I was lucky to escape it relatively unharmed, I think.

---------------------Final questions---------------------

How many ppl are you sending this to: None – it’s going on my blog!

What are you listening to right now: ‘Rocking The Suburbs’ by Ben Folds.

How many buddies are on your list: A fair few.

What did you do yesterday?: Paperwork, coffee with a friend, shopping, cooking and chores, emailing, blogging, manicure, forums, reading, watched the season finale of ‘Big Love’.

Have you ever hated someone in your family?: Previously, yes. I’ve forgiven them now.

Do you wanna get married?: Oh, so very, very much.

If you could change anything about yourself: I’d be me, but better!

How many remote controls are in your house?: At home…2. Here…9!

Are you double jointed: No. *shudder*

What do you dream about?: I very rarely remember…

Last time you showered: Last night. I then went to sleep with wet hair and woke up with uber-fluffy hair – it’s a little 80s, I have to say!

Last time you took a bath: Sunday.

The last movie you saw at the theatres: X-men 3. On my own. With loads of snacks.

Milk or white chocolate: Milk, please.

Root beer or Dr.Pepper: Dr Pepper. It’s so misunderstood.

Vanilla or chocolate Ice cream: Neither really – I prefer the more bizarre flavours!

Summer or winter: Both, for different reasons.

Silver or Gold: Silver.

Diamond or pearl: Diamond.

Sunset or Sunrise: I love sunrises. Earlier this year, I was camping in a valley in Wales and was away from the rest of the group as the sun rose. It was beautiful. As I looked up at the cliffs I could see the light refracting back, a million different hues. I love sunsets too….especially over the ocean.

Phone or in person: In person.

Oldest, middle, youngest or only child!: I’m a textbook oldest! Protective, motherly, and a little bossy at times!

Fed up of quizzes like this yes/no: at times – they help me to write blogs sometimes though!

Time Finished: 12.23. Ahahahaha, this took me an hour (I was doing other stuff too, fear not!). See what thought I put into this?

Have a great day!

Cxx

Monday, August 07, 2006

A cast of thousands!!

OK, more like dozens, but you know what I mean, right? Well I was thinking today, in between my hectic schedule of dishes, nailpainting, reading and avoiding geography planning (it’s that pre-exam feeling again!), that I should really firm up some of the characters you may encounter while perusing my blog. Some people (co-workers, exes, whatever) just get an initial or their ‘government name’, but others tend to get a nickname. Some of these nicknames make no sense, are completely random, or have very little to do with anything current, but have stuck. So, without further ado, here goes….

***The Supporting Cast***

Marmee, Midimus, Midimus, The Old Crustacean…. Or my family, if you prefer. Marmee is the boss of the bunch, and slogs her guts out “for mire duckets, in a thankless job”, which she happens to be awesome at. She’s opinionated, charming, brash and completely nuts, and I love her to pieces. The Old Crustacean (a.k.a. Dad) fixes computers and counts down the days till he’s off the clock. He’s completely introverted and would rather talk to computers than humans, but he also possesses quite the sense of humour and a healthy stock of ‘Monty Python’ quotes. Midimus is now 21, and a student. She studies Zoology, which I am sometimes convinced is just a fabulously convoluted excuse to allow her to still climb trees, collect animals she finds in rock pools at the beach, and mimic animal calls. She’s got a vicious sense of humour, but she deploys it wisely…most of the time. Minimus is my wee brother, and he is currently unemployed and grappling with the sheer horror of 19. He is a really kind and loving soul, but he has worked hard to hide this beneath a veneer of sullen gruntiness. Part of my mission this summer has been to help him reclaim the awesome person he actually is….I think it may be working (fingers crossed!).

Next, the layers of friends….

School era friends: Nat-nat, Nellums, Toaly, The Bav, Maz, VicS, Jenga. Nat and Nellums went to the same boarding school as me, and somehow we have stayed friends. We’re really just Christmas card acquaintances now, but it’s nice sometimes to grab a coffee with someone who remembers you as a quirky fourteen-year-old with a mushroomy haircut. Toaly, The Bav and Maz are the three friends from my high school in Scotland, where I went for sixth form. Other friends drift in and off the scene (VicS is currently a fixture after and absence, ditto Jenga), but these three have lasted. Maz is a librarian, Toaly is a bingo caller / manageress (fabulous, huh?), and The Bav is a stay-at-home-mum-come-music-teacher (her son, Cheeri-O, is adorable!).

Friends from uni, take 1: Peachy, VixandRho, Marog, Dr. G, The Bank, Banana, Bex, Jess, Brebsy, OMW, Princess Shona. I lived with Peachy, VixandRho and Marog in halls and beyond. Peachy is truly one of my favourite people in the cosmos….she’s studying for a Ph.D at UNC, and as well as being amazingly brainy and smart, she’s also a kind, loyal and caring friend. Who’s brutally hot. Top girl. VixandRho are still living it up in the city where we all first met. Marog is currently a research scientist of some sort (I’m a bit of a bimbo, it kind of goes over my head!) and is happily married to the lovely Scoot. Dr.G and The Bank are friends from choir (I know, how much like the geeky guy from ‘Mean Girls’ do I seem right now? “I’ve just been really busy with choir!”). Dr. G is, somewhat inspiringly, a doctor, and The Bank is at law school in London. How did I wind up befriending so many smart people? (It gets even worse further on!). Bex, Jess, Brebsy, OMW and Princess Shona are all friends from theatre groups. They all crop up on this blog from time to time for vastly different reasons, but the one who I count as a good friend in Princess Shona – she’s a trainee pharmacist and erstwhile choreographer of shows big and small.

Friends from “in-between”: Rach, Cat, Daphne and Val. I worked at a boarding school. Val and Daphne were two of my bosses (and still work there), Rach was another B.A. who interviewed on the same day as me (she’s now a student and I think she’s in Mexico right now….) and Cat was our gap student (she’s back in Sydney now, studying up a storm).

Friends from uni, take 2: Friends and flatmates from my year studying to be a teacher….Mlle Wilson, Jean, Hoti, Hils, Clare, Kat, Em, Stu, Irish, Charcoal, Danny S. Mlle Wilson (currently living between Bristol and Paris) and Jean (currently in Siberia!) lived with me; Hoti (Harding of that ilk) was, and is, a good friend and dinner partner; Hils (currently teaching at a prep school in Hampshire), Clare (currently teaching in Bristol and attending the Big Chill), Kat (currently doing ‘something’ in York!), Em (currently about to start a new teaching job in London, and moving in with…), Stu (teaching in London), and Irish (about to head off to Uganda on a mission – good luck!) are all fellow PGCE survivors; Charcoal was a good (and cute!) friend and mentor on all things musical; and Danny S was my choir director (and sometimes, the bane of my life – a feeling I know was sometimes mutual. He still invites me along to choirs though because he’s a kind soul who appreciates that some people (please read – me) just cannot sight sing. He’s now all set to go into the priesthood – good luck, Daniel!).

And that’s more or less that. Everyone else is more or less current – gappers and teachers and colleagues and landlords, oh my. They will all crop up in due time! There are also a few glorious randoms who will no doubt merit a mention before long.

Wow, this post even confuses me J!!

Love,
Cxx

Sunday, August 06, 2006

Keeping busy...

You know when you were younger (or, for many of us, at the age we are right now), and you would procrastinate rather than do a piece of work? Well that’s been me with this blog post all evening! Seriously, I’ve emailed, browsed forums, doodles, clocked up a solid couple of hours over on YouTube. But now I’m actually gonna write something.

It’s been a busy few days for the country mouse. Friday saw some more badminton antics for Minimus and I – we are getting quite sadly into it now! We’re playing a 3 set game, and he’s taken the first set 6-5! Doooooom. Then again, he’s 19 and pretty fit – he should be able to beat his curvetastic older sister, right.

Friday night was out at the pub (Beastie, haunt of my senior year!) for a few drinks with the girls. Good fun, after an initial hold up of two hours waiting for a friend to get her stuff together. Don’t you hate it when that happens? It annoys me when someone just assumes your time is less important than theirs! But after that nonsense, it was a laugh, plenty of banter.

Yesterday I took a road trip down to Aberdeen with Toaly and Jen. We went to the genius that is Primark and revelled in the sheer number of tops available for 4 pounds! I didn’t buy much though, just a couple of sets of funky beads. Then, we went to the bingo. I know, I know, we’re total OAPs!! However, I did win 20 pounds….thank you, Manish!

Today has been church, the beach, adventures in Carbonara (in a word….salty) and chillaxing to the max. How has your weekend been?

Cxx

Thursday, August 03, 2006

Cheating...

So I'm trying to get at least one blog entry done a day. But sometimes, the muse, she doesn't want to play. So this evenings missive is going to be a ramble aided and abetted by....a random myspace survey.... I also thought this would be a nice way for some of my newer readers and commenters to catch up on things country mouse also - it's great to see you guys and I'm loving reading your blogs too!

Let's get comfy and get our ramble on, shall we? Oh, and if you fancy nicking the questions to use as a survey / meme / email / ritual sacrifice, you go on right ahead, honey!

"The Best Myspace Survey"

* . . About You . . *

Eye Color:: Blue-grey. They change colour a little with my mood and were once compared in colour to the Moray Firth (as it's one of the rare bodies of water in the UK that isn't a funky grey-yellow, I'll take that compliment!).

Hair Color:: Brown. Just....brown.

Height:: 5'5"

Favorite Color:: I don't have just one. I like any colour, so long as it's pretty! It's also all about the phases in my little world.

Screen Name:: linaire / countrymouse / nudgewinkgirl

Favorite Band:: Nickel Creek, Dixie Chicks, Muse, Honeybug, Foo Fighters

Favorite Movie:: There are far, far too many....for starters there's Gone With The Wind, Moulin Rouge, Sleepless It Seattle, It's a Wonderful Life, La Vita e Bella, La Regle du Jeu, Singin In The Rain, Cabaret, Sister Act, Amadeus, Bring It On, The Shawshank Redemption, Pulp Fiction, Romeo + Juliet, Muriel's Wedding, Wayne's World, Mean Girls, Zoolander, Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind... I could go on forever!

Favorite Show:: Scrubs, The Simpsons, Grey's Anatomy, House, Big Love, ER, My Name Is Earl...

Your Car:: For now, a yellow moped. If I pass my test later this month, who knows?

Your Hometown:: Forres

Your Present Town:: Back home for just over a month, baby!

Your Crushes First Name:: Um, I don't have a crush right now. But my first crushes name was Michael?

Your Grade:: A! Hahaha.

Your Style:: Eclectic, thrown together, and definitely me.

* . . Have You Ever . . *

Sat on your rooftop?: Nope - slopey roof can make this problematic!

Kissed someone in the rain?: Not yet.

Danced in a public place?: Constantly. I am the freak who dances in stores when she likes the song.

Smiled for no reason?: Almost all the time - I was a happy baby, now I'm a happy adult!

Laughed so hard you cried?: Yep.

Peed your pants after age 8?: Heck no!

Written a song?: A few. All excreble! My lyrics are pretty good but my musical efforts kinda sucked!

Sang to someone for no reason?: Yes. I LOVE to sing!

Performed on a stage?: Many, many times!

Talked to someone you don't know?: Yes. I like to make new friends.

Gone out of your way to befriend someone?: Yes. See above!

Made out in a theatre?: Not yet - that's another one on the list!

Gone roller skating since 8th grade?: No.

Been in love?: Not yet - but I'm told it's awesome!

* . . Who was the last person to . . *

Say HI to you? : Peter (a.k.a. Minimus).

Tell you, I love you?: Cat, in a letter.

Kiss you?: Properly? It's been way too long to blame the person responsible ;-).

Hug you?: Sian (a.k.a. Midimus).

Tell you BYE?: Probably Peter.

Write you a note?: Mum.

Take your photo?: Sam.

Call your cell phone?: Ruth? Erin? Shona? Who knows?

Buy you something?: Cat - tee and CD (thanks hon, they are awesome!)

Go with you to the movies?: Henry, way back in January.

Sing to you?: My class of anklebiters in one of our singalongs.

Write a poem about you?: No one has...yet. Brebsy and Jonathan once wrote a song about me - the jist was pretty much that I'm...nice.

Text message you?: Stacey.

Touch you?: Sam the cat!

* . . What's the last . . *

Time you laughed?: Just now, at a really goofy thing on myspace!

Time you cried?: It's been a while - I'm overdue. Did get a bit teary at Oprah yesterday though - it was one of those darn 'Dreams Come True' episodes!

Movie you watched?: Never Been Kissed

Joke you told?: I dont tell jokes - I laugh appreciatively at the jokes of others!

Song you've sang?: 'You've Got A Friend' - Carole King

Time you've looked at the clock?: Er, now. It's 9.58.

Drink you've had?: Hot chocolate.

Number you've dialed?: The bank, eek!

Book you've read?: Chicken Soup For The Soul. I am such a sap, right?

Food you've eaten?: Tortilla chips and cheese!

Flavor of gum chewed?: Blue Extra.

Shoes you've worn?: Trainers - I blame the healthkick!

Store you've been in?: Tescos (Grocery store!)

Thing you've said?: 'Yay! Cribs is on tonight! I love Cribs!'

* . . Can You . . *

Write with both hands?: No.

Whistle?: A little. "You know how to whistle, don'tcha? You just put your lips together and blow...."

Blow a bubble?: Yes

Roll your tounge in a circle?: Yes.

Cross your eyes?: Yes.

Touch your tounge to your nose?: No

Dance?: What I lack in talent I make up for with passion!

Gleek?: What?

Stay up a whole night without sleep?: If necessary or because I'm having fun, yep.

Speak a different language?: Not fluently. I speak a wodge of French and a little German.

Impersonate someone?: No.

Prank call people?: I can't. My conscience always gets the better of me!

Make a card pyramid?: No.

Cook anything?: Yes. I love to cook!

* . . Finish The Line . . *

If i were a ...: cat, I think I'd be really good at it.

I wish ...: for all my friends and family to be happy, fulfilled, safe and loved. And for them to always know how much I love and treasure them.

So many people don't know that ...: they are incredible and special.

I am ...: wearing pink pyjamas.

My heart is ...: always ready to give, but not quite sure how to take sometimes.

Ta-da! What a marathon. Thoughts?

Night all,

Cxx

PS Lovely commentors whose blogs I adore - can I please link to you? I'd like to make a web of fabulosity, and y'all are invited! Let me know.

Wednesday, August 02, 2006

My butt hurts

Seriously. You know when you haven't been cycling for a while, but you think "hey, it's summer, I'm young and fairly healthy, I'll cycle to the store." And it's no biggie, no problem.

Next day you go to sit on the saddle again , and you find bruises you didn't know you could get. So yeah, oww.

Don't I always bring the classy?

Today has been another busy one. This morning was a whirlwind of housewifery (a couthy old lady once instructed me that the time we spent single before marriage should be used to get a grounding in the 'housewifely skills'. If that's the case, I am aceing some of the disciplines now!). I washed, I laundered, I ironed, I made chilli and thank you cards, I watched 'Oprah'. Then I escaped for another session of badminton.

I'm actually quite good at it. Don't ask me how, but I seem to be grasping it fairly quickly. Although every so often I pull out some crappy Claire shots, just to keep it real!

This evening Midimus and I played board games, in a continuation of our rock and roll lifestyle. Turns out she's better at 'Rummikub', I rule the 'Scrabble' stakes, and 'Trivial Pursuit' is proving more and more interesting as time wears on (our set is almost twenty years old, so for a lot of questions we resort to shouting "who???" "what??"). We also watched a lot of bad music TV, which leads me neatly to my next point.

The Pussycat Dolls worry me. Now, they are very bendy and what have you, but the more I see of their work, the more worried I become. Y'see, I know they're acting like ho(e)s for a wide variety of reasons - sex sells, Maxim readers like it, it titillates and it distracts from the things they are so charmingly referring to as 'harmonies'. But. I'm 25. I get it. Younger girls don't. It worries me that these women are some sort of role models. Teenagers, tweenagers and the girls and boys I teach will be watching their videos. And something inside of me is starting to think it just...ain't...right.

When I was 7 or 8, the main role model for my age group of girls in the UK was Kylie Minogue. And yes, she bounced around enthusiastically and certainly possessed a certain 'je ne sais pas pourqoui' (do you see what I did there?). She played a part onscreen in her videos, but when I see the Pussycat Dolls writhing around oiled up / straddling chairs / groping themselves I do worry that we are sending some dangerous messages. I would rather have Kylie in her bubble bath, dancing with an umbrella, whatever - why do we have to have bedroom antics so front-and-centre. Do children need to see this? I'm not a prude. If I was in a club and some girls danced as the Pussycat Dolls do I wouldn't really have an opinion one way or another....but it does raise my hackles a bit to see it on daytime TV.

Anyone else have thoughts on this? Am I being an old fuddyduddy? Am I taking crazy pills?

Hehehe, I came here to tell y'all my tush hurts, and it's wound up being a rant against a manufactured pack of video ho(e)s. I love blogging!

Night all,

Cxx

Tuesday, August 01, 2006

Je me couche

I am so very, very tired. The pathetic reasons I think I can blame for this:

a. I actually got up at 7 a.m. and, like did stuff.
b. I exercised (a bit of a shock to the system after the month of laziness that was July) - an hour of badminton, three or four miles on the bike, and 20-or-so lengths in the pool. Nothing too hardcore, but a shock after all the time off.
c. Driving lesson was hard today. Full on manouvers and driving 60 on bendy, bendy, windy roads. In pouring, sheetlike rain. Egads.

So it's been a day of doing things (including the always exciting and never-ending chores...I have some dishes waiting for me right now) and getting things done. I also gave myself a mani-pedi and managed to smudge it to high heaven - don't you just hate it when that happens? I also mailed packages to three of my best girls, which is always good for the soul, if not for the bank balance.

Can you believe that August is here already? The Michaelmas term is just around the bend - how exciting and terrifying in equal measure!

This evening has been very chilled. Midimus and I watched the genius that was 'The Top 50 Boyband Hits' which was as awesome as the title suggests. I totally disagree with the number one spot (Backstreet Boys 'I Want It That Way'? Puh-leaze!), but the countdown provided many comedy moments and asides - the fact that I can still name all of New Kids On The Block (oh-oh-oh-oh-oh, oh-oh-oh-oh), that I had a bit of a crush on one half of Savage Garden, that Aha's video for 'Take On Me' inspired a series of recurring dreams for me in the mid-90s, and that I was a major Hanson fan. I wrote fan letters, y'all (call me, Isaac!).

It has been lovely hanging out with Midimus so much this break - we share a room so we don't really have a choice, haha. We also have a similar sense of humour and the same taste in trash TV (although I'm having to convert her to 'Oprah'!), with the net result that we can now speak more-or-less in code. Mum finds it confusing, to say the least, as more-or-less every exchange is peppered with "Mnaherer" / "You don't even know" / "Choose, choose, choose, choose" / "Where are the hos?" / "Let's go to ho school" / "He /she/ one/ its just not that into you....

Good times. She makes me laugh!

Night all. Time for dishes and bed. I swear, my life is soooo cool.

Cxx

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