A Christmas Meme...

A post about the roadtrip to follow, but for this evening, a meme created by WIGSF, stolen with love from Miss Ash....

1.What do you really want for Christmas but you know nobody will get it for you? I want an iPod! But I know that won't happen...in the realms of reality, I'd really like some cute slouch-around-the-house pyjamas, but I don't think anyone will think of that!

2.What do you not want for Christmas but you know that somebody will get it for you? I'm grateful for all my gifts - I'm lucky enough to have friends with great taste!

3.When do you open your gifts (Christmas Eve or Christmas morning)?We open our gifts on Christmas morning! And as this will be the first year sans stockings (*sniff*), we're going to get up and have breakfast and get dressed and everything. I might make mimosas!

4.Do you prefer gifts wrapped or in gift bags?I just like gifts!

5.Did you regift anything this year? Nope, but I have brought a lot of foodie gifts that my generous pupils gave to me to share with the fam.

6.What’s your favourite Christmas movie? It's a tie between 'It's A Wonderful Life' and 'The Muppet Christmas Carol' for me.

7.What’s your favourite Christmas TV special? Father Ted!

8.Do you like egg nog? I have never tried it! Is that wrong?

9.Real tree or fake tree, which do you prefer? Fake at the moment - because I don't spend the big day chez moi, a real tree would be a tad cumbersome!

10.Would you actually use one of those fireplace DVDs if you don’t have a fireplace? Er....no. I do love that (apparently) there's a channel in NY that plays that log burning thang 24 hours a day though!

11.Are you sick of Christmas music yet? Nope. Love it!

12.Are you getting up early to wait in line to do some Boxing Day shopping? We're going en famille to the beautiful city of Inverness - we usually go later, but because my sis's boyfriend is flying in (to the airport at Inverness) on Boxing Day and I'm scarpering earlier than usual after the festivities, we've moved it up.

13.When was the last time you sat on Santa’s lap? Hehehehehehehehe.

Of course I've been a good girl this year!

Cxx
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2007...the Review.

I’m early for something…are you impressed? Well that was the year that was…

1. What did you do in 2007 that you'd never done before?
Let's see...I passed my driving test! And I went to Canada! And I survived a could-have-been-nasty road collision! And I enrolled as a Joinee! And I worked at a finishing school!

2. Did you keep your New Years' resolutions and will you make more for next year?
Well this year I started my infamous list…and now I’m continuing to work on it, so yes, I guess. Update on the list soon, btw.

3. Did anyone close to you give birth?
Kathryn dropped her number 2 (hello, gorgeous Xander! See you on Saturday!), as did Erin (hello. lovely Zach! See you soon too!), and the magnificent Tracey and Andrew greeted the cutie pie that is Isobel (who I made cry on Saturday, tsk, tsk). There were new babies at church too, but this trio were my special ones. My life gets more and more babytcular as the years go by!

4. Did anyone close to you die?
No, thank heavens.

5. What countries did you visit?
England, Scotland, Wales, Canada. Gosh, I love Canada.

6. What would you like to have in 2008 that you lacked in 2007?
More kisses, please. Seriously.

7. What date from 2007 will remain etched upon your memory, and why?
The weekend that was 30.6.07/1.7.07 – survive horrible accident on the Saturday….pass driving test the morning after. High five!

8. What was your biggest achievement of the year?
It has to be the driving test (again) – what can I say, I’m quite proud of that one!

9. What was your biggest failure?
Not too sure. There were no doubt myriad failings along the way, but none I’ll dwell on. Oh, hang on, I know now – missing the Biffy Clyro gig (for very noble reasons!) where U2 made a cameo! D’oh!

10. Did you suffer illness or injury?
Magnificent bruises from the crash – they didn’t go down till early August, and I still get twinges from time to time.

11. What was the best thing you bought?
That would have to be my gorgeous JessiKa…followed by my plane tickets to Canada…followed by my copy of ‘Join Me’.

12. Whose behaviour merited celebration?
That would be my lovely friends and pupils, as always.

13. Whose behaviour made you appalled and depressed?
The two people I ejected from my life in August. Ta-ra boys! And the behaviour of some so-called friends at church way back at the start of the year was more than a little shocking.

14. Where did most of your money go?
Rent and bills and fun and stuff. The usual!

15. What did you get really, really, really excited about?
Canada! Babies! Driving! Lists! Exclamation points!

16. What song will always remind you of 2007?

Top 5?

Umbrella (ella, ella) by Rihanna (whether I like it or not! This song just took over this year)
Folding Stars by Biffy Clyro (just stunning, and reminds of driving around in the sunshine, blaring this as loud as poss)
The Great Escape by Patrick Watson (heartrending)
Sweet Escape by Gwen Stefani (poptacular!)
Heartless by Frank Turner (best swearalong song ever, I think!)
And lots of Beach Boys and Brian Wilson stuff. And Fergie’s ‘Glamorous’ (aka ‘Dangerous’ for a Wales based in-joke). And ‘She’s So Lovely’ (because you CANNOT escape that blimmin' song). And ‘Such Great Heights’ (I was late to the Postal Service party, but boy am I glad I made it!).

17. Compared to this time last year, are you: Happier or sadder? Thinner or fatter? Richer or poorer?
A little happier, about the same size, and a teeny bit richer, I guess. Getting there slowly but steadily, I like to think.

18. What do you wish you'd done more of?
Hanging out with my friends. I’ve done a lot of it, but there’s always room for more! Oh, and kissing! There’s always room for more of that, too!

19. What do you wish you'd done less of?
Worrying and worrying!

20. How will you be spending Christmas?
I will be making to pilgrimage north to Forres to chill with the family, drink in the Beastie and the Brookie, watch far too much bad TV and eat my own body weight in junk food. It’s traditional!

21. Did you fall in love in 2007?
Not yet. I have had a couple of crushes though, and spent a good few months hung up on a certain someone. But that was way back now, so I’m ready to fall once more. Bring it!

23. How many one-night stands?
I would say no comment, but that means yes, so I’ll just out and say no.

24. What was your favourite TV program?
I go through phases of watching loads of telly, and times when I watch none…when I do I watch I like ‘Ugly Betty’, ‘Scrubs’, ‘Spooks’, ‘Strictly Come Dancing’, ‘Skins’, ‘Doctor Who’, ‘The Mighty Boosh’, 'Never Mind The Buzzcocks’ and ‘House’.

25. Do you hate anyone now that you didn't hate this time last year?
I don’t believe in hate.

26. What was the best book you read? I’ve read some awesome books – Join Me converted me, Under The Banner of Heaven astounded me, Love Is A Mixtape moved me…it’s been a good year for reading!

27. What was your greatest musical discovery?
There are so many! I’ve had a great old time, musically…only one request – more gig-going next year!

28. What did you want and get?
A car, and the ability to drive it!

29. What did you want and not get?
Sigh… I’m still waiting on the universe for this one!

30. What was your favourite film of this year?
Probably the two featuring the delightful Mr Pegg – I’m all about Hot Fuzz and Run Fatboy Run!

31. What did you do on your birthday, and how old were you?
27. And I hosted a Christmas drinks thing for a dozen of the ladies from school. Fun – and I’m still finishing the leftovers a week or so on!

32. What one thing would have made your year immeasurably more satisfying?
It’s been satisfying, but there are a few things I’d like more of next year, God willing. And less of, now I think of it!

33. How would you describe your personal fashion concept in 2007?
Just me, really.

34. What kept you sane?
My gorgeous friends!

35. Which celebrity/public figure did you fancy the most?
George Clooney, David Tennant, and Dave Grohl.

36. What political issue stirred you the most?
War (what is it good for?), human rights and global climate change.

38. Who was the best new person you met?
There are so many…the Joinees, the Forres contingent, my Canadian buddies. I am truly a blessed young lady.

39. Tell us a valuable life lesson you learned in 2007.
Um, just to enjoy the ride and be grateful for what I have, I guess.

40. Quote a song lyric that sums up your year.
Pick any song that reflects on the awesomeness of friends, the bittersweetness of unrequited love, or the strange twists and turns of life, and you've more or less got my year!

Thoughts? Comments? Stealage?

Cxx

PS 5 days until Christmas!
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"I'm a little older, I'm a little wiser, I've started to get hair in really weird places"

Heh. I love the Wayne's World movies. So all is (relatively) calm here, as term has wrapped up. me being me I still have eleventy million things to do, but the pace has slowed considerably. I also appear to have traded in all of my food groups for chocolate, pringles, and wine...awesome. Holidays are for many things, including blogging catch up, so do join me in a meme (feel free to borrow) as I settle back in:

Drama! There was no number 1!

2. When was the last time you threw up? What a charming first question. I honestly don't recall!

3. What's your favorite curse word? I don't really have favourites...but I do like some of my invented ones quite a lot ("Oh, FISHsticks!").

4. Name one person that made you smile today? Um...Vixie, for one, with her love of Rick Witter. Oh, and Rory, for a really sweet message!

5. What were you doing at 8 am this morning? I was fast, fast asleep.

6. What were you doing 30 minutes ago? Emailing my insurers. Good Lord, I'm grown-up, eh?

8. Have you ever been to a strip club? Nope.

9. What is the last thing you said aloud? "Ah, making room for his entourage?"

10. What is the best ice cream flavor? I'm a Ben and Jerry's slave. Flavour's not the issue!

11. What was the last thing you had to drink? H2O. I think I've convinced myself that drinking lots of water will somehow counter the tonnes of junk food.

12. What are you wearing right now? Chucks, jeans, blue top, black jacket.

13. What was the last thing you ate? In the spirit of festivity...Maltesers.

14. Have you bought any new clothing items this week? Yep, two cute tops for the party season and a vest top.

15. When was the last time you ran? I try not to. Swim, walk, dance, fine. Running? Oh, actually, I have - I did warm ups with my team the other week - a gentle 400m jog, rather than a run, mind!

16. What's the last sporting event you watched? Is singing a sport? If so, X-factor.

18. Who is the last person you sent a comment/message on myspace?I haven't commented on myspace for ages! On facebook, it was Cameron..on Bebo - Nadine?

19. Ever go camping? At least once a year, it seems! This year was Wales and the long weekend of sly sly doggery, eh, Quirky?

22. Do you have a tan? December. England. No.

24. Do you drink your soda from a straw? Sometimes

.25. What did the last text message you sent say? BV banter? Will pick u up soon! Cxx

26. Are you someone's best friend? I try to be the best friend I can be to many people.

27. What are you doing tomorrow? Working, tidying, eating, drinking, being merry.

29. Look to your left, what do you see? Whiteboard adorned with tat.

30.What color is your watch? Silver.

31. What do you think of when you think of Australia? Cat!

33. What is your birthstone? Turquoise.

34. Do you go in at a fast food place or just hit the drive thru?Depends.

35. What is your favorite number? Any that's being credited to my account!

36. Do you have a dog? I have a timeshare in two.

37. Last person you talked to on the phone? Insurance blokie.

38. Have you met anyone famous?Yeppers.

39. Any plans today? Finish this, go to Bicester Village, drop something off to the ill one, write thank yous in front of Spooks, call Hannah and Nai.

40. How many states have you lived in? Nary a one.

41.Ever go to college? Yes. Twice.

43. Biggest annoyance in your life right now? Nothing really. It's almost Christmas!

44. Last song listened to? 'Yesterday Threw Everything At Me' by Athlete.

45. Are you allergic to anything? Rudeness, and "good" bacteria.

47. Favorite pair of shoes you wear all the time? Do my new leopard print slippers count?

49. Are you jealous of anyone?Nope.

50. Is anyone jealous of you? Good Lordm I hope not!

51. Do you love anyone? Dude, are you new here? I love everyone!

52. Do any of your friends have children? More and more as the years roll on!

53. Do you eat healthy? Usually...but not recently.

54. What do you usually do during the day? Teach, sing, and dance around like a muppet.

55. Do you hate anyone right now? No. It's bad for you!

56. Do you use the word 'hello' daily? Sure do.

59. Have you ever been to Six Flags? Not yet.

60. How did you get one of your scars? Scratching a chicken pox - I did convince my Y8 pals that I'd been hit by an arrow though....

Love and good things,
Cxx
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Breathless...

So much to tell. Literally two minutes to do so. Work good but frantic; play went amazingly; first Join Meet resulted in me hugging approximately five hundred strangers (some of them cute); Christmas is on its way; social life tiptop; I have a rather big crush (for 'tis the only word to describe it!) on a guy who is, frankly, lovely; Mlle Wilson is arriving for the weekend in thress hours, and I'm 27 on Monday.

It's all good in my hood. How the devil are you?

Cxx
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What makes you purr?

It's been a funny old week here. Tiring and a little sad in places, but I'm sure it's nothing more than a simple case of Novemberitis (I do like November, but heaven knows the grey and damp thing can wear one out from time to time...). But anyways, things have been piling on, so I thought I'd make a list of the things that currently make me purr.

And yes, things do make humans purr, if that's your next question. We all have things that cheer us up, that make us smile, that light us up a little inside...and here are some of my current faves:

The things that make me purr...

Getting postcards, especially from people I haven't heard from in a while...
Warm cosey evenings with a glass of wine and some cheap-as-chips preChristmas candy...
Patrick Watson...
Looking at pics from Canada and remembering all the fun and banter, and looking forward to Spain...
Good books...
Jimmy Eat World...
Hugs, whether from friends or kids...
Daydreams (sigh)...
Regina Spektor...
Singing (both the school band and worship band are busy in the run up to Christmas :-))...
Buying Christmas gifts...
Wrapping Christmas gifts...
Writing Christmas cards...
Having people over, whether it's for coffee, or dinner, or drinks, or a sleepover...
My penguin pyjamas (Thanks again Christy!) which you could fit two of me in...
My Christmas tree...
My crazy family, who sent my birthday cards FOUR WEEKS early...
Long hot baths with far too many bubbles...
Those extra 5 minutes you steal in bed after the alarm goes off in the morning...
Text messages of randomness...

So yes, life's a little stressful at the mo, and pretty upsetting at times, but I'm going to roll with the punches once more...because that's what it's all about :-). I hope there are plenty of things that make you purr this murky grey November day...

Love, as always,
Cxx
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Absent…

I haven’t posted in a week or so (maybe two…)…and for that I apologise. There has been so much going on, I really haven’t had more than a spare half hour here or there…

Canada was truly amazing, the ideal kind of holiday – great experiences, great people, top banter, and memories to cherish. Then it was back to work with a bang (nae jetlag though, are you impressed?), and all the usual whirl. Lots of fun social stuff too – girlie drinks. McDs runs with Quirky Kirky, and plans aplenty for the upcoming season of fun. The play I’m co-directing here is looming also, and if you’re of a theatrical bent, you will be all too aware of what that entails!

November and December really are my favourite months – they are manic, but in such a cool way! The kiddies are poised for all the Christmas mania, as am I. The music collection has been sorted, gifts are being bought and wrapped, the decorations have been plucked from the cupboard of doom. I’m also looking forward to the birthday gauntlet at the start of December (in ten days there’s Hils, Rachel, Naomi, Nadine, and me…awesome) and lots of entertaining. Every weekend now has something in it – a party, a dinner, a pub crawl, Karmageddon….it’s all awesome.

So I’m good, but busy. More soon (Hannah Banana will be here at the weekend, so banter will ensue, no doubt), I just wanted to prove I was still here!

Love & good things!

Cxx
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Don't Stop Me Now...

Because I really am having such a good time. You could even say I'm having a ball ;-).

Canada is wonderful, y'all, and my blog buddies have been such fun to hang out with, whether it's Hallowe'ening with Christy; pranking calling with Christy, Scott and Alex (hehe, sorry Wes! We love ya really!); going 'Behind the Falls' with Ashley (and demonstrating what a true wuss I am by running out of a 'haunted house' after thirty seconds); doing the Montreal thang with Bee. They have all been so generous with their time and banter, adding yet more fun to an already fun visit! Merci beaucoup!

Toronto is amazing. Big, urban, and the easiest city in the world to navigate (once I got the hang of the whole streetcar thing, eh?). Niagara is one-part staggering natural beauty, one-part tack-o-rama (it was like they were playing my song). Montreal is the most European of the places I've seen, and has kick ass shopping and dining - I've managed to double in size *and* double my overdraft in my three days there.

Only a couple of days left now - today it's the CN Tower and a Hippo tour (no, I haven't got that lardy, it's a tour like the Duck tours in London!), tomorrow I might go out to the islands (in a boat! Wee!) and I'm hitting the town with the lovely Christy (and Becca T! OMG, Becca T!), and then Saturday ? Shopping and then booking it back to the delights of the UK...

Man, the come-down is going to suck. But with Christmas and a jaunt to Forres next month (oh yeah, happy November, all!) I should stay reasonably perky. And if not, hey, work's going to be so manic for the next six weeks, I plain won't have time to be blue!

Love, as always,
Cxx
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Arrival

Just a very quick post.

It's just past nine here, and I am about to start my first full day in Toronto. Yesterday was as full on as international travle tends to be (although for once, I didn't get picked for every security check. Brilliant!), but I got here in one piece.

Toronto, so far, is living up to its rep - friendly, busy, beautiful. The friendliness is awesome (I swear, it's like I've found my people!) - on the bus from the airport I didn't have the right change, so the bus driver asked if anyone had change, and then a lady paid my fare for me - a lovely intro. I repaid them by doing my weekly RAoK a day early - shortbread for them! On the subway also, people were so kind, even though I was pooped and being my general bimboish self!

Comedy moment: Outside on of the posher hotels round here, I stopped to check my map...and a limo driver popped up to be and said "Hi Miss, are you waiting for your limo?" Hahahahahaha. Fabulous. I looked a fright I'm sure after travelling all day, but evidently I was still working a look!

Checked in, lovely meal, managed to last until 9.30 before conking out.

But I woke up at 6.30, so hopefully the acclimatising is alomost done.

Today, I'm hitting the streets (no, not it that way!) this morning, catching a service at a really cute little church that's right smack in the middle of the enertainment district, then I'm meeting Christy (Hey Christy!) for baked goods, then we're getting together with Alex and maybe Scott. It's gone be busy, to quote Mlle Wilson and I.

Bye for now - more soon!

Love,
Cxx
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Woo!

This time in twenty-four hours, all things being well, I will be flying west towards the beautiful nation of Canada.

This trip has been planned for a while, but it doesn't seem quite 'real' yet. I've got my tickets and currency and passport and all...but it doesn't really feel like it's arrived. Now, however, it is literally just around the corner and apart from the fact I haven't packed (and I have to buy several things at the airport because I've just had NO TIME to sort it here - guidebook, purse, sleepmask...) I am ready for an adventure!

Christy, Bee, Scott and Ash (plus any of the other blogbuddies I have in Quebec and Ontario who I may end up seeing) - so looking forward to some real life adventures and banter with you.

And Canada itself? Damn, I think I'm ready to fall in love.

I've just pinged the kids out the door...the classroom will do...time to go pack and get excited :-). Won't know about 'net access till I'm there, but I'll check in when I can!

Love and good things,
Cxx
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You are my sweetest downfall...

Don't you just love Regina Spektor?

Things are a little crazy round here (Parents' Afternoons! Assemblies! Flights! Police! Curry!), so I'm taking time out for a meme (snaffled from Scott) before launching back into the melee!

WRITE EXACTLY WHAT'S ON YOUR MIND, AND DON'T CHANGE IT.

1. My last relationship = Um...over?
2. I am listening to = Modest Mouse.
3. Maybe I should = Call Air Canada. Get a haircut. Change my blog layout. Hmmm. Who knows?
5. Chocolate is = Good. But nowhere near as good as cheese.
6. I don't understand = Backstabbing and cattiness. What's the point? Break out the positive, people!
7. I have lost my respect for = Labour.
8. I last ate = A reeeallly good cookie.
9. The meaning of my display name = Well, my name's Claire, I live in the country, and I like fairytales...
11. Someday= Somehow.
12. I will always remember = that kiss. Still the best ever.
13. Love = a mystery. And ecerything, according to Common and Lily Allen.
14. My MySpace is = there. And fun, for the main part.
15. Today = Work, chores, phone calls, X-factor and rugby. Come on England!
16. Tomorrow = Church, lunch with Ro and Brettalicious, work and packing.
17. I get annoyed = about ineptitude - there was some MAJOR doorslamming and footstamping about this on Thursday...I believe in getting anger out.
18. Parties = totally depends on who's there! Good mates + good banter = good times.
20. Simple kisses = Oooh, yes please. BTW, what's a complicated kiss?
21. Today was = off to a good start with an awesome almost 9 hour sleep. Good Lord I needed that!
22. I wish = I had something which I don't. Who doesn't?
23. is your hair wet? No, but it's looking a little blondey today.
24. is your cell phone right near you? Non.
25. Do you miss someone? No more than usual!
26. Are you wearing chap stick? Vaseline baby, keeping it old school.
27. Are you tired? Not really - see answer 21.
28. Are you wearing pajamas? No. But that would be hilarious.
29. Are you mad? Angry...no. Crazy...a little.
30. Are you upset? No.
31. Is there a person who is on your mind right now? There are lots of em!
32. Do you have any siblings? 1 sis, 1 bro...Lucky me!
33. Do you want children? Yes, please. Quite a few, if I have time.
34. Do you smile often? I smile lots and lots. My natural resting face? A smile. I've been told I smile in my sleep. And I often wake up smiling.
35. Do you untie your shoes every time you take them off? Nope.
36. Do you like your handwriting? It's OK. It's clear, which I like, but sometimes I long for proper curly writing.
37. Are your toenails painted?: Yep. I need to do them again today though.
38. Are you a friendly person? I like to think so!
39. Whose bed other than yours do you sleep in? At the moment... the couch bed at the 'rents place. And Fi's couch / Rachel's spare bed from time to time.
40. What color shirt are you wearing? Grey.
41. What were you doing at 2pm yesterday? Beginning four hours straight of parent-tutor meetings...felt like a press call!
42. What can you not wait for? The rugby / meeting baby Isobel (finally!) / Canada / meeting some of the lovely Canadian bloggers / my two fave months (November and December) / Christmas.
43. What's bothering you right now? The nail on my right ring finger. It needs a trim and my clippers ain't here.
44. Will you kiss the last person you kissed again? I think I have to give a no to this one (All together now Quirky, best dating quote EVAH -> "I have to warn you...")
45. Next time you will kiss someone? God only knows. Sooner rather than later would be nice though.
46. What do you wear to bed? Now it's getting colder, PJs or sleepshirts.
47. Do you remember your dreams? Not very often.
48. What was the last text message you received? Some random awesomeness from Quirky. She cracks my stuff up.
49. What are you listening too at the moment? Now Elliott Smith.
50. What have you learned recently? That Scott thinks humanity is a blip ;-).

Happy weekend everyone!

Cxx
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Autumn days and the grass is jewelled...

What is it about autumn? I swear, in a past life I must have been a hedgehog, or a squirrel, or a bear, such is my propensity to hibernate! It gets cold and suddenly I am all about the cosiness, the cups of tea (ah, sweet nourishing tea), the soup and crusty bread. I actively struggle to stir my stumps in the morning also – as much as I like getting up and at ‘em, there’s something about a snuggly bed on a cold morning – who wants to move?

We had ice for the first time this year this morning (ice on my windshield! New experience!). I cannot tell you how fun it was to travel in by car rather than moped (wearing the prerequisite eleven million layers of clothing!). The more I drive, the less I can believe I got on for two years without four wheels. I do miss my wee yellow bumblebee though – it’s a real shame she got smashed to smithereens. The nightmares come back at the oddest times, but in the main…

So the end of half-term is galloping towards us here – thank heavens! The children are unbelievably tired at the moment, we are having ‘bubbles and blubs’ left, right, and centre! They are full of beans for our assembly next week though – I hope they do well, wee bunch of stars that they are.

In between prepping for parents’ evening and the assembly, I am cobbling together stuff for Canada. I am so excited to see Montreal and Toronto, and I’ll even get to meet some of you good folk :-D. Good times, j’espere!

In other news, the present accruing (is that even a word?) continues – my little stockpile of Christmas gifts is growing and growing, huzzah! I love giving gifts, and having a look around to find something that will really make someone smile…my favourite advert on telly at the mo (apart from the drumming gorilla/monkey!) is the Argos one though – a woman is leafing through a catalogue looking for gifts and her neighbour is practising Christmas songs next door. She bangs on the door and declares “It’s only October!”. Hahahahahahaha.

So, parents evening tomorrow (mmm, five hours of fun), London on Saturday, assembly on Wednesday, Canada on Thursday (one week! Yay!). Then a break before the utter MANIA of November and December.

Love it.

Have a wonderful day etc., all!

Cxx
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Taking ten minutes out...

I looked at my calendar this morning (after waking, and realising I’d set the alarm for ‘Sunday’ time, not ‘Saturday’ time – a move which would have meant I had oodles of time to get to worship band practice on a Sunday…but meant quite a rush for a Saturday morning to get to school. Man, that was hurried. Yet another reason not to like Saturday morning school, right?) and could not believe it was October 13th! Where has this year gone? Seems like yesterday I was looking out at a dark and dreary January morning from my desk, and now its all autumnal mists and new winter coats round here!

School is as hectic as ever – as I take ten minutes out to write this I am surrounded by the hustle and bustle of children, children everywhere. I don’t usually write posts at school, but after an hour or two of proofreading and tweaking reports (yep, we’re onto reports already) I figured my soul needed a little calming. Then I’m going to go mail a package (one or two of my friends may receive a surprise…some time in November, if the mail strike continues!), make some tea for Sarah, Soph, Fi, Rach and I, and then get back to the books. I am determined to finish all my marking and planning before lunchtime today, so I can actually enjoy my weekend!

What have you got planned for the weekend? This afternoon Fi, Rach and I are going to take a road trip to the Cotswolds for afternoon tea and lazy country shopping…it’s really been frenetic here, so cosy is a watchword. We’re also going to get our diaries out to plan a jaunt to London – Fi ‘won’ a photoshoot in a raffle and she’s very kindly invited me along. Should be banterfilled, so we’re going to make a weekend of it. Also in November I’ve got Hannah to come visit, and the Gilesgate girlies are coming at the start of December to help me put up my tree and swap gifts – the month is so busy we thought we’d be quick off the mark.

My Christmas preparations are a little underway already – because I’m in Canada for ALL of my half-term break, I tried to get some things sorted early. I also like to get started early so I can actually enjoy my favourite month of December! Between friends, family, school and church, it’s always busy…but in such a good way.

This time in two weeks I’ll be fast asleep…in Toronto! I am so looking forward to my visit. Meeting some of the Canadian contingent will be fabulous, as will spending time in two amazing cities! I’m also looking forward to dialling it down a notch – lots of walking, big cups of coffee and reading on the agenda. And nary a seven-year-old in sight!

Love to all, as always,
Cxx
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An actual post :-)

Man oh man oh man, I’m tired. I’m not complaining…but I am tired!

Things here are busy, the plate is full (as ever), but on the whole, life’s pretty good. Work is as hectic as ever (in the next ten days alone I’ve got an open morning, reports due, a parents’ evening and a whole school assembly), the friends are keeping me busy, journeys and travels are afoot, the gym is proving hilarious, and church is a sprinkling of hundreds and thousands on top…

As I type it’s half ten Tuesday, and I am curled up and cosy in front of the telly, watching ‘Bringing Up Baby’ (OMG, I like shows like this far too much. They are genius for picking up tips and anecdotes) and enjoying an icy Corona. Mmm, limey beer. It’s been another busy day at work (8 – 7, the usual Tuesday hilarity), then I had a ladies group meeting. Can’t complain about that though – good chat and cake I always a good thing! Got in at nine fifty, took a good look at the marking pile, thought better of it, and decided to chill instead. This term I am determined to make time to relax this term…no matter what!

In two weeks…I’ll be a couple of sleeps away from Canada. Oh man, I’m excited! After the everyday mania of life here, having time to relax, sightsee and experience an amazing new country will be amazing! I’m also very excited to meet Bee, Scott, Christy, Alexandra and Ash…if anyone else is from Toronto or Montreal, please do drop me a line – I’m looking to get a natives eye view!

Isn’t it funny how music can make you react and look at you view a band or act? Hard-Fi’s latest single is really just confirming for me why I dislike that band – it’s trite, smug and dull (hmmm, rather like their lead singer’s persona – he may be a lovely bloke in reality, but in interviews? Gah). Whereas Mika’s new song…I kind of love. He’s growing on me, in his quirky pop style (rather than growing on me in any other way!).

I’m watching the season finale of ‘Skins’ as I wrap this up. I enjoyed it the first time round too…it’s a bit out there, but I liked this show. Random ending though, but as it ended well for my fave characters, I’m content. Quote of the show though? Nothing racey, just the comedy gold that is: “I’m moving to Elgin. It’s in Scotland and everyone’s happy.”

Love it.

How are you guys?
Cxx
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Marathon....

...survey.

Oh man. I am SO glad it’s the weekend. In a rare break from form, it’s been another busy and ever so slightly (?) stressful week…so it’s good to kick back and relax. It’s a babysitting night here (am faithfully saving pennies for Canada, Spain, and other adventures to come), so I am chilled in front of E! with a big cup of coffee and time to write (and catch up on marking, natch…). There are loads of surveys doing the rounds, so this post will be a meme – I’m low on sleep and inspiration tonight, so this is the lazy girls blogging at work :-).

100. WHAT’S YOUR MYSPACE PROFILE SONG & WHY?
Hometown Glory by Adele. She has the most amazing voice, and Zane Lowe has been dropping this for weeks – total earworm!

99. DO YOU HAVE A JOB?
Yes, I do. I kind of have a job, plus a vacation job, plus a sideline, actually. Man… is it any wonder I’m thinking of going back to school? Haha, like I could ever be not busy…I guess I’d just like to be busy in a different way!

98. MIDDLE NAME?
Rachael.

97. DO YOU HAVE A CRUSH ON SOMEONE?
Nope. Not really – I’ve been weaning myself off of one (because I’m a grown up and all), and the job is just about done. Hurray!

96. LIED IN THE LAST 24 HOURS?
No. Had to do the PR thang for a solid two hours at open morning, but there was no lying!

94. WHERE WAS THE LAST PLACE YOU TOOK A PLANE TO?
Scotland, place of my birth. Lord bless Easyjet.

93. WHAT IS THE LAST MOVIE YOU WATCHED?
Hot Fuzz. That film is AMAZING! And Michael, you are sooooo right. The town in that is very very like Forres at times.

92. WHAT MAKES YOU ANNOYED?
Rudeness. Unkindness. When things don’t work (freeview box, I’m looking at you from over here right now…).

91. WHAT WOULD YOU LIKE TO BE WHEN YOU GROW UP?
Good question….a writer, a deejay, a mother, a pub quiz winner, a singer, but most of all? I’d like to be happy. And a good person (whatever that means).

90. WHAT'S YOUR NAME?
Claire. Well, that’s my name when I’m not teaching!

88. DO YOU HAVE A FRIEND OF THE OPPOSITE SEX YOU CAN TALK TO?
Yep, I have a few. Darn, I’m a lucky wee quine.

87. DO YOU HAVE ANY SIBLINGS?
Uh-huh, I have one of both. One of them is probably currently in Forres, on his laptop….the other is either in Bristol, or in Wales visiting her fella.

86. WHERE ARE YOU NOW?
In the very cosy drawing room of someone else’s beautiful home. I’m not grown up enough for a drawing room of my own yet!

84. WHAT DOES THE 10TH MESSAGE IN YOUR INBOX SAY ON YOUR PHONE?
”I know, it totally got me too. Dammit! Wookie” My friends are oddballs!

83. ARE YOU TAKEN? If SO, ARE YOU HAPPY?
No, I’m not taken at the mo.

82. DID YOU LIKE YOUR HIGH SCHOOL?
Both my schools had moments of genius…and moments that were utter balls. C’est la vie, non?

81. WHERE IS YOUR MOM RIGHT NOW?
Probably in the utility room of our house in Forres, reading either Terry Pratchett or a murder mystery.

80. DO YOU HAVE ANY KIDS?
Of my own, no. But my life is fairly riddled with other peoples’…. Haha, I love it.

79. WHO IS THE 5TH PERSON YOU GOT A MISSED CALL FROM YOUR CELL PHONE?Hayley, because I was late en route to the pub the other night!

76. WHAT SONG ARE YOU LISTENING TO?
’4 in the morning’ by Gwen Stefani – an ad for her album just came on.

75. DO YOU SING IN THE SHOWER?
I used to all the time – I still do, but less frequently. I sing more or less everywhere though, so that would not be that unusual, right?

74. DO YOU OWN ANY PETS?
No. But I still want a guinea pig. And when I get one, he or she will have a RIDICULOUS name.

72. LAST TIME YOU LISTENED TO COUNTRY MUSIC?
Earlier today. I loves a bit of cheesey old school country, I does.

69. WHAT ARE YOUR FEARS?
Marmite, neds & chavs, bad weaves, pissing off Kimora Lee Simmons.

68. WHAT CAN YOU HEAR NOW?
Tupac and Biggie swearing at one another on TV (the rappers, natch. But those would be cool-as names for guinea pigs, now I come to think of it….).

65. WHAT ARE YOU WEARING?
Raspberry pink long top, black cardi, jeans.

64. LAST PERSON TO COMMENT YOU?
I’m not sure…let me check….Alexandra on myspace, Michael on bebo, Mathilda on facebook. Ta-da!

63. DO YOU SING?
As I mentioned above, ALL the freaking time. It is my absolute, tiptop, most favourite thing to do. Ever. For life.

62. SCREAMO OR COUNTRY?
Country, to the death.

61. ROCK OR RAP?
Both, please.

60. DO YOU LIKE CHEESE?
Brie and stilton and cheddar and parmesan and….oh, I love cheese – there’s a reason why I joined a gym!

59. WHO DID YOU LAST CALL?
The gym to book a class.

58. WHO LAST CALLED YOU?
Ruth.

56. WHAT ARE YOU DOING RIGHT NOW?
Babysitting, typing this, and half watching a ‘True Hollywood Story’.

55. WHO WAS THE LAST PERSON YOU HUGGED?
Probably one of my Year 5 class earlier today. They are a cuddly wee bunch!

54. WOULD YOU DIE FOR SOMEONE?
I hope I never have to make that kind of choice.

53. LATEST THING YOU’VE RECENTLY LEARNED?
That a handbrake is not a gearstick. I had a bimbo moment in the parking lot earlier :-S

52. ARE YOU COLD NOW?
No, like the third bowl of porridge, I am juuuuust right.

51. WHAT DO YOU SMELL?
Nothing much…a little polish, a little coffee, a little lotion.

50. IS ANYTHING BOTHERING YOU RIGHT NOW?
Not particularly…there are a few worries here and there, but this evening I’m feeling wonderfully chilled. And sleepy.

48. WHAT ARE YOU DOING TOMORROW?
Church, work, chores, and something fun with Fiona.

47. IF 1 OF YOUR EX'S WANTED YOU BACK, WOULD YOU TAKE THEM?
1 or 2 of them, maybe. The others – that would be a bad idea, I think. You always split up / never move beyond flinging for a reason, no?

44. BED SHEET COLOR?
White (duvet cover has pink rosebuds) or pale blue (navy gingham duvet covers). Man, that last sentence was a little housewifely of me.

43. DO YOU LOVE SOMEONE NOW?
I love loads of people right now. But romantically, I’m out. I’ll just save all that sort of love up for now.

42. CAN YOU SWIM?
Yes, slowly and steadily. I really enjoy it, but I’ll never win a race.

35. UNITED STATES OR CANADA?
Canada, for no other reason than I’M GOING THERE IN 19 DAYS!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! I love North America in general :-).

34. WHAT TIME IS IT?
10.26 p.m.

32. JEANS OR SWEATPANTS?
Jeans or sweatpants. Both are fabulous…

31. WHAT SHOULD YOU BE DOING?
This. My main job right now is checking on a baby and staying awake!

30. ARE YOU GONNA DO IT?
Oh yes, I am.

29. DO YOU HAVE SOCKS ON?
Yup.

28. DO YOU OWN BIG SUNGLASSES?
Yes. I love big sunglasses!

27. HAVE YOU CRIED SO HARD YOU MADE YOURSELF SICK?
Yes. How emo.

26. DO YOU LIKE TECHNO?
Not particularly. Occasionally a techno track will impress me, but most of it drives me slightly insane with boredom.

23. HAVE YOU RECENTLY TALKED TO YOUR MOST RECENT EX?
Nope.

19. FAVORITE TV SHOW?
Ugly Betty, Scrubs, House, Doctor Who, Grey’s Anatomy, Heroes, and Hollyoaks.

18. DO YOU LIKE 80’S MOVIES?
Yeah, I do! Top fun.

17. DO YOU LIKE -POUR SOME SUGAR ON ME- BY -DEF LEPPARD-?
Yes, I do. That is a very bizarre question!

16. DO YOU DANCE TO IT?
I’ve moshed to it in the past! I've also danced to it ironically.

15. WHAT KINDA MUSIC DO YOU LIKE?
Allsorts. Really.

13. BEST CITY YOU’VE VISTED?
Paris. Man, I love that city. It’s just beautiful, and so inspiring! I have high hopes for Toronto and Montreal though – will they steal the crown?

12. BEEN TO LONDON?
Yes, many times.

11. CAN YOU LICK YOUR TOE?
If I want to, yes. I used to suck my big toe when I was a baby.

10. FAVORITE SUBJECT AT SCHOOL?
Modern Studies, Drama, English, Music or Maths.

9. BEEN TO COLLEGE?
Yes. And I may go again. Am I addicted?

7. FAVORITE TIME OF DAY?
I like most of them, for different reasons.

6. LICKED SOMEONE'S CHEEK?
A few times, yep.

5. SEEN ALL THE SPIDERMAN MOVIES?
Two out of three ain't bad (man, I love that song).

4. WHAT IS YOUR FAVORITE SEASON?
Autumn and early Winter.

3. WHAT ARE YOU LOOKING FORWARD TO?
Canada, and Christmas!

2. EVER GOTTEN LOST IN THE DARK?
Yes. Scary biscuits.

1. WHERE IS YOUR NUMBER 1 AT?
Your guess is as good as mine! Somewhere in Texas, and looking forward to Canada almost as much as I am...

Man. That took FOREVER. Thanks Rhian!

Cxx
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To the west, to the west...

It’s early Tuesday morning, I’ve just written the bulk of an assembly, and now I’m writing a blog post.

I’ve decided this week had better be productive!

I had a lovely weekend – it was our exeat, which means we finished on Friday afternoon, rather than Saturday afternoon! Friday afternoon was reading and crumpets and tea, and then I drove off west to Bristol.

Where I had a delightful break, catching up with my wee sister, who’s studying there now, and with Mlle Wilson, who always keeps it west country. It was all pretty lowkey – movies (have you seen ‘Run Fatboy Run’ yet? If not, you need it in your life! Soooo funny, and just right for a romcom – heavy on the ‘com’ part!), chatting, cakes, watching bad music TV and ‘QI’ and reruns of ‘Girls of the Playboy Mansion’. A decent break – just what I needed!

Sunday night I came back, and yesterday, because of a (blessed) clerical error we had a day off. Love it. Chores and work and shopping…and the bottom kind of fell off my car. But now she has a new exhaust, and it was ‘ouch’ expensive as opposed to ‘oh my life, they just severed a limb’ pricey. Thank heavens for very, very small (and now, more like tiny) savings accounts.

And now, 6.30, and as I have my coffee I’m blogging before I head off for a swim before school…. Just time for a quick quiz!

1. Where were you at 3:02 AM this morning?
Fast asleep. I love sleep!

2. What was the first thing you thought this morning?
Wow. That’s early (5.15 wake up call!).

3. Is the person you have a crush on older or younger than you?
I’ve almost cured myself of this particular crush, so this question isn’t really relevant at this time…

4. What did you do last night?
Watched ‘Hollyoaks’, called home, sang, went to a salsa fit class, did laundry, watched ‘One Tree Hill’.

5. What do you hope to do this weekend?
Lots and lots and lots of work – reports are looming, again. I’d also like to do some planning for Canada.

6. Do you think you will be in a relationship 3 months from now?
I have absolutely no idea! If the right person came along, that would be lovely…but it’s not like you can put it in an action plan!

7. Do you own a stereo that cost more than $100?
No.

8. Have you ever told someone of the opposite sex you loved them and meant it?
Nope. Well, not in a romantic sense. Friends and family? All the time.

9. How's your heart lately?
Remarkably healthy and resilient, ta. Long may it continue!

10. What were you doing this morning at 7 am this morning?
In twenty five minutes I will be arriving at the pool and getting changed ready to swim.

11. What were you doing this afternoon at 12 p.m.?
Yesterday at noon I was writing thank you notes.

12. Are there any previous relationships you wish could have lasted longer?
Maybe one or two, yes.

13. When was the last time you saw the last person you kissed?
Months ago.

14. What was the reason you last cried?
A TV show! Oh, I know, it was ‘Scrubs’ the other night.

15. What are you listening to right now?
Sour Times by Portishead.

16. How did you meet the 1st and 3rd person in your phone?
Work and church.

17. How old are they?
Both in their thirties.

18. Have you ever driven without a license?
Once, in Ohio. Back in the day – thanks Amanda!

19. Have you ever talked to someone when they were high?
Yep.

20. How many red lights have you ran?A few. Never as a car driver though.

21. Have you ever cried while taking a shower?
I don’t think so. I kind of love showers.

22. What was your favorite grade?
A+!

23. What were you doing at 12 A.M. last night?
Zzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzz.

24. Whats a surefire way to catch your attention?
Make me laugh, or surprise me. Or both!

25. Have you ever, in any way, been betrayed by someone you trusted?
Of course.

26. When was the last time you were given something?
Sunday. Mlle Wilson gave me a DVD and loaned me a book.

27. Is there anything that you are craving for right now?
To go back to bed? For it to be half-term? For a personal assistant? For Forres to be as close as Bristol?

28. Where did your last hug take place?
Sunday. Hugs R Cool.

29. Do people ever make stupid mistakes when spelling or saying your name?
Yep, in spelling both ones. They’re not hard, they just have variations. As does my middle name, now I think of it! Cheers, parentals!

31. Do you drink tea?
Oh yes. Mlle Wilson was spoiling me with Mariage Freres this weekend – the schizzle.

32. When was the last time you saw a cop?
Yesterday.

33. Did you ride in someone else's car today?
No.

34. Would it be weird if a person's real name was Cheeto?
I’m sure Britney had it on her list.

Have a great day, everyone!

Cxx
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Thursday night babysitting fun...

So when I realised I was going to be babysitting quite late tonight (the next doors are off to Stratford-Upon-Avon for the RSC), I got me geek on and cut and paste a couple of quizzes to do. What can I say, it’s ten o’clock and I want to stay awake…but am too tired to do anything too taxing!

Tea? Check! Music TV? Check! Dogs briefed not to sit on laptop? Check!

Ten Things People Won't Guess By Just Looking At You:
1. I can’t burp
2. Despite the fact that I’m a Scots-English half-breed, my accent is more like a Canadian crossed with an Aussie reading an American script in a posh English accent…
3. Singing is my favourite thing to do
4. I was voted weirdest girl in my class, amongst other things. I rigged the vote by campaigning for it because I knew the girl who was going to place first would have been pretty hurt by it. As it was, I topped the chart, and the crisis was averted :-).
5. If I had my way, naptime would be mandatory for all after lunch.
6. There is a huge seam of darkness in my past. I believe in surviving, if at all possible.
7. I’m a happy clappy liberal hippie type, but when I do form an opinion, I’ll back that up.
8. I love to dance.
9. I was a vegetarian for three years.
10. I swear a little too much sometimes. I know it’s not ladylike… but sometimes it’s just so fitting…

Score! The next doors got back a little after eleven so I’m finishing this up in my cosy bed. In my ridiculously messy flat, because I have literally only been here for about one and a half waking hours a day this week. Take away washing and changing and getting ready for bed…that’s not much time left for owt else!

Nine Things You Want To Do Before You Die:

(Only nine?)

1. Fall in love.
2. Be the best friend, sister, daughter, etc. I can be.
3. Take enough risks to keep things interesting.
4. Have a family.
5. Write a book.
6. Be in a band.
7. Stop teaching (with the possibility of going back, of course. I like my job, but I’m not sure I’m ready for 40 plus years straight!).
8. Perform either Sir Mixalot’s ‘Baby Got Back’ or MC Hammer’s ‘U Can’t Touch This’ in their entirety at a karaoke.
9. Hang out with you!

Eight Words/Phrases You Say Everyday:

1. Random
2. Fabulous!
3. Banter
4. Sorry
5. Awesome
6. High Five!
7. Muppet
8. Numpty

Seven Things You Hate/Dislike:

(With the proviso that I don’t hate, but I do dislike)

1. Spitting
2. Rudeness
3. Boredom
4. People spelling my name incorrectly
5. People chewing food with their mouths open
6. Thong underwear
7. Unkindness

Six Things You Love:

1. My family
2. My wonderful friends – I genuinely don’t know what I’d do without you guys!
3. Singing.
4. Dancing, oh and music! And books!
5. Doing nice things for people
6. Pop culture

Five People You Look Up To:

1. Mum and Dad.
2. Sian and Peter.
3, 4, and 5 would be a tie of all my friends – all so amazing in such radically different ways, and always there to chat, challenge and cheer :-).

Four Places You Want To Visit:

1. Canada
2. Spain
3. The Caribbean
4. Right now, Forres! Via Ballinluig!

Three Things You Could Do Without:

1. The current BS fest I’m dealing with in one area of my life.
2. Money worries
3. Razorlight.

Two Things You Never Want To Do:

1. Hurt someone majorly.
2. Give up.

One Person Who Has Changed Your Life For The Better:

1. You, probably.

Night, all.

Cxx
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Singalong Sunday, 16th September (yes, it has been a while...)

Oh man, I’m beat.

. Baby Got Back – Sir Mix-A-Lot

“They only talk to her because she looks like a total prostitute”. What a way to begin the singalong…

So here we are. It’s 10.30 Sunday and I’m sat here in my PJs, hair still damp from the shower, brain tired, feet sore, mind busy after a funfilled weekend where I felt like I barely stopped for 30 hours or so. Awesome, and pics to follow. Pics, that is, of Mlle Wilson and I. Nary a one of the Forres lads – I’d love to tell you it’s because they were being all enigmatic, but I think it’s more to do with me chatting too much rather than turning photographer!

2. E-Bow The Letter – R.E.M

What are REM doing now? I miss them. Are they still together? Touring? Producing? I need to find out.

So after my post yesterday I zoomed down to London at met the divine Mlle Wilson. She’s the most amazing girl –witty, stylish, clever, kind, beautiful. She’s my girl, fo’ sure. Across the city we zoomed to our abode for the evening, a charming, um, bijou (?) room in a hotel right next door to Kings X (high five! There are few things that irk me more than having to find digs in the middle of nowhere when it’s late and you just want to sleep). Our room certainly had a lot of character, but we had no time to appreciate before we were out the door and heading for the South Bank.

3. The Leanover – Life Without Buildings.

This song is so delightfully quirky and shoegazy and alternative. It always makes me smile.

Tube, tapas, trying to navigate a river bank festival to get to the gig…finally we’re by festival pier and someone shouts my name – Michael - and then we zoomed up and greeted him and Ewen (Ross being somewhere else having adventures. Or getting cash out. Make your own story, people!). Then it was time to get in and take our seats because Brian Wilson was about to begin. The boys were three rows back from the front, whereas Mlle Wilson and I kept it real in the balcony…

4. Good Morning Baltimore – Nikki Blonsky and chorus

Have you guys seen Hairspray yet? I loves it. I love the original too (I had to buy the DVD after wearing out my video, oh my life), but this is from the OST to the new version. Guess who’s learning the songs?

Brian came on stage and the first act was just sublime. Every time you thought he’d break out a more obscure pick, maybe something you didn’t rate, he pulled out another amazing classic. ‘Good Vibrations’ rocked so hard, ‘Wouldn’t It Be Nice’ was such a moment, and as for ‘God Only Knows’? Just beautiful. My inner romantic went very gooey at that moment!

5. Everybody’s Free (To Feel Good) – Quindon Tarver (and Chorus)

This song is so clever. Who would have reimagined Rozalla’ Europop dance hit as spiritual gospel genius but Baz Luhrmann’s team?

Interval, loos, gin. Act two began with a preview of Brian’s new work, ‘That Lucky Old Sun’. Very mellow, chilled, lowkey…but as awesome as you’d think. Then he came back and with his (amazing) band rocked out some more. A historic gig.

6. Riptide – Willy Mason.

I love Willy Mason’s voice in a very sad fangirly fashion.

After the gig, there was much sqeeuing and excitement from us all. Then over the Thames and to Leicester Square, where we learnt that London inner city pubs close early. And promptly. So we found a restaurant for chips and pizza and pie and drinks. And took a wander around the West End.

7. Shake Some Action – David Lowery

‘Clueless’. Woo!

And I learnt that chatting with Mlle Wilson and the Forres boys is just as fun in London as it is in any other venue. Lots of chat and plans and banter (come on, there would have to be banter!) – music chat, job chat, future flat chat, girl chat, life chat. Awesome. And one very odd moment where we were walking through theatreland and as I strode on with my friends made in Forres and at Durham, I saw a girl I used to dance with in Aberdeen….it was like a life pile up!

8. House of Tom Bombadil – Nickel Creek.

Is it wrong to be in awe of a mandolin player?

The night ended, and Naomi and I pointed the guys in the direction of their hotel. Then all we had to do was find our nightbus. I had a vague remembrance that they all sort of went from Trafalgar Square. Miraculously, working on this vague assumption we found a bus in record time (wow, London nightbuses get lairy) and were home safe by 2. Sleep is always a good thing, but not before we had used the loo. Which was in an actual cupboard. Hee.

9. Hungry Eyes – Eric Carmen.

Oh heck yes. I almost bought a ‘Dirty Dancing’ keyring today. Who doesn’t want the chance to have Patrick Swayze declare “Nobody puts Baby in the corner” at their slightest whim? Think of the potential to liven up journeys, staff meetings, bad dates….

Today we met the boys for snackables and then they headed back north. Naomi and I got our shop on, and the next post will be lousy with us trying on Supremes style dresses, heinous sunglasses and pimp coats. It was fun!

10. Evaporated – Ben Folds Five.

Chilled. Which is good as it’s bedtime now…

So now I’m home, but I had a lovely weekend. Thanks Ewen, Ross, Michael and my girl Mlle Wilson for making what would have been a good weekend a really amazing one. I love you guys! And thanks to Brian Wilson for just being fabulous - I not only shouted “Brian Wilson is a god!” at one point, I also declared my love for him, and christened him my musical grandfather. Yeah, the gig was that good….

Have an amazing week, you guys.

Cxx
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Hello!

I have really been beyond crap this time. There are many reasons - work is crazy, social life is healthy, stress levels are up, internet access is less easy to come by - but the long and short of it is less time to blog.

Take this weekend. I've just finished teaching, and am about to clear up my classroom, dash out the door, go home, sling some stuff in a bag and grab some lunch, drive to the station, catch the train down to London, meet Mlle Wilson, check into our hotel, meet the Forres boys, and go see BRIAN "godlike status" WILSON in concert. Life is busy, and I certainly can't complain, but my posts have been sporadic, to say the least!

So I'm going to try and blog at least three times a week, and make sure I check your blogs also. I love reading about your lives and getting your comments and emails...I don't want to lose it because real life is going a little mental.

On Monday, I'll post some pics of my London adventure, all things being well.

Have a wonderful weekend, all!

Cxx
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Migration

And so, the three weeks at home have flown by, and I find myself staring at piles of stuff I have to attempt to fit into my wee car, and trying to refine the route back down south (currently “head south” is the plan, I might need to get some maps sorted if I want to make my visits in Edinburgh, York and Leicester!).

I’m so looking forward to seeing Jenna, Kathryn and Jean on my trip home. I’m looking forward to getting home to my little flat, to JnB, to Emmadog and Freddie, to my idyllic village in the rolling green hills. I’m looking forward to CJs with Quirky, to red wine with Fi, to giggles with Rach, to catching up with Hayley and Tom and Beverley and Sarah and Miranda and Sally and Emma… I’m looking forward to hearing all of Sophie’s wedding plans. I’m looking forward to seeing Millillie and introducing her to The X-factor (hey, she loved Doctor Who!), I’m looking forward to going back to BBC and seeing how everyone’s summers have been, seeing how much the babies have grown, hearing everyone’s news. I’m looking forward to congratulating Andrew and Tracey in person and meeting Isobel. But oh my gosh, I’m sad to leave Forres.

I have had such a nice visit. Lots of fun, lots of banter, plenty of time to regroup and chill, exactly what I needed after a tough summer term, and precisely what I needed before the two straight terms of mental I’m about to embark upon. I’ve been so lucky this time, and managed to catch up with most of the people I meant to. Not all, but most.

I’ve loved watching my friends play two great gigs, making ‘hard cake’, meeting some great new folk, introducing people to the wonder of Hairspray, inventing board games, hanging out with the sibs, clocking up plenty of online time (ah, good for the soul), having the time to plan stuff for Canada, Christmas, and the list.

So thank you, Scottish contingent, for an awesome three weeks. Thank you mum, dad, S and P for good chat and cups of tea and the laptop club. And as for my friends? Man, I love you guys. At the risk of going horrifically happy clappy smiley sunny Claire, I am so blessed to have amazing people like you to hang out with and come home to. So, Mr Ewen ‘Love Lifts Us Up…’ W, Mr. Ross ‘I love my friends!’ W, Miss Harriet ‘Rock Out With Your Glock Out’ G, Mr. Andrew ‘Claire can beat me at both pool and bowling;-) S, Mr Eddy ‘Good Morning Baltimore’ G, Bruce the bowling shark, Jeremy ‘Livin’ On A Prayer’ J, Caroline ‘90% Jack Daniels, right now!’ W, Erin ‘The Mummy’ C, Michael ‘Mixtape’ P, Dave ‘Impresario’ B, Sam ‘Toaly’ T, Maria ‘Velociraptor Bubbleatron’ T, Shona ‘I could have gone to dance school too!’ K, and everyone else who has just made this trip home a blast, thank you thank you thank you! I won’t be back until Christmas, but I’m looking forward to hearing of all your successes, triumphs, and comedy moments via text and email and social networking sites and the old-fashioned wonder of the mail. Even though I’m not up here doing my cheesey whirlwind of good vibes and cheeriness in person, rest assured that somewhere down in the very middle of middle England, someone is thinking of you guys and hoping for all the very best for you!

Right, quite enough of this. I have to go pack and start getting excited about the stuff that’s just around the corner, and if I write anymore, I’ll probably start thinking about how much I’m going to miss you all, and that would be a bad path to take. So I’ll leave on a high instead…

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=acGRPi4kkl4

Have a great day / week / month all…normal blogging will be resumed once I’m back in little village.

Love, as always,
Cxx
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WARNING: “Stupid Girl Project” (SGP).

It always amazes, amuses and astounds me how much I enjoy the works of Danny Wallace. If you haven’t already, do give ‘Join Me’ or ‘The Yes Man’ a read (I read the former earlier this year and more-or-less pressed a copy onto half of my acquaintance straight after finishing. I think I even mailed a copy to Nai!). But it should tally that I like his work…he has his “Stupid Boy Projects”, and as many of you will know and appreciate, I often have some “Stupid Girl Projects” of my own going on.

One of which would be my list. You remember my list, right? Concocted late at night, full of thinky stuff, a list of 70 (yes, that’s seven zero. Not a typo) things I would like to do in the next five years (or so). Well, that was in March. It’s now August. And those of you who like your maths will recognise that with 70 things to complete….I need to get 14 done a year. So how many have I done up to now?


Drum roll, please…..












SEVEN!

Yes, ladies and germs, so far I am ahead of schedule. And the ones I’ve done weren’t all just easy options either! Well, some of them were….but not all! Here are the dragons I have slain thus far!

1. I would like to register myself with a doctor…

And I have! OK, it took a midnight dash to casualty in the bumpiest cab ever, but the pain made me register!

2. I would like to sing a solo in front of a BIG crowd.

Does belting out an Aretha standard in front of all my pupils and colleagues count? Yes, I thought so.

3. I would like to try abseiling.

Terrifying, yet fabulous.

4. I would like to learn how to drive.

I love driving now. Bring on the uber-roadtrip, say I (and that’s a whole other SGP on its own, trust me. Details to follow).


5. I would like to visit the Houses of Parliament.

Amazing fun. And I saw John Prescott! And didn’t throw any diary products!

6. I would like to see an opera.

It was good. And beautiful. And involved me getting sung to and hugged by the romantic lead no less than twice – quite embarrassing, actually!

7. I would like to beat Peter in a game of badminton.

Lord knows how…but I did.

So seven are down.

63 to go.

Some, like visiting Toronto and Montreal, I imagine will happen in the course of time (bring on Canada, say I!). Others, like reading all of my friends’ favourite books, will take a while – not least because if you add all my friends together there are some scary numbers involved (not least because great sites like facebook etc. mean you can have more acquaintances and friends than ever before). And my friends are smart. You can all expect an email / comment about favourite books soon, because I need to get my list on, stat.

But hey, you all know how I love making lists!

I also need to watch a tonne of films. I’m ashamed to say that this ex-film student has only seen about 40 of the AFI top 100 films…

But it’ll keep me out of trouble, right? The original list is in my sidebar as a link ---> feel free to click and giggle at all I need to do. Next update….oh, shall we say December?

Love, as always,
Claire
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Getting busy living

So, I have been a bad blogger recently, and for that I can only apologise. The whole getting-hit-by-BMWs-passing-driving-tests-finishing-up-the-school-year-working-at-a-finishing-school-coming-home-to-Scotland-and-being-really-super-busy thing has meant that jaunts on facebook / myspace / bebo have had to stand in for any kind of real blogginess. But thanks to all who are checking here despite the post drought, and rest assured I am checking up on you guys, even if it is briefly at 1.30 am, when I can rarely muster a decent comment.


So, how are you? How am I?


Well, I'm doing OK. You guys know me, complaining isn't really my thing, and as usual most things are sunny and good in my sunny and good little Claire world. It's lovely to be back in Scotland, and I adore my new wee car (she's called JessiKa and she's little and fun and cute and mine). I'm also enjoying lots of time with friends and family, which is one of my fave things to do. I'm suffering from a little, minor, glancing heartbump at the moment (Nai, if you were here I'd be rollwalling), but these things are par for the course for me, and I always get through it, so whatever, right? I'm sure it'll yeild a poem / some lyrics / a new haircut at some point, as these things tend to!
Otherwise all is well, all is good. I am feeling blessed and happy for the most part, and enjoying the chance to recharge and spend time with lots of lovely people. I hope this finds you happy, well and fabulous :-).


Love to you all!


Cxx


PS And a comedy photo to close.
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All good vibes appreciated :-).

Haha, I'm about to drive down to Aberdeen in my tiny wee car with redonkulous bouncy suspension. Expect comedy tales on my return!

Caroline and Jeremy got here safely (finally!) and spent a funfilled evening at the legendary Carisbrooke pub quiz (and failed to be "affinded" by Stepcoe, much to his horror) - they are now on the train to Ab'deen and I'm following on. Tonight we are staying at Hillhead Halls - blast from the past, much? - the going drinking on Belmont St and possibly attending "Rock Kareoke". Oh my.

Tomorrow I dispatch them on the glorious megabus to Glasgow (they then do -> Dublin, -> Chicago, -> Bloomington), and I return to Forres.

I love summer. And my wee car. And friends. And Forres banter.

The sun is shining now :-).

Love, as always,
Cxx
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Late night post extravaganza!

Hello all,

It's been too long, I know. I am writing this in the weird no-mans-land that is post-LASA, pre-Scotland, the week in between. As I write I am sat atop cushions in Fi's front room, tired yet sated, full of red wine and good chat and tea and fish'n' chips, coerced into tootight yet comfy pyjamas, teeth fresh and smooth after a clean with a new brush (don't you just love that feeling?).

It's been a good evening, where a drink turns into two, turns into dinner, turns into a bottle , turns into looking up clips of Weezer on Youtube and playing tunes by Frank Turner and Tilly and the Wall and Dan Against the World to people who've never heard them before... Good times.

And now it's time for bed!

How are you?

Love, as always,
Cxx
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Jolly Pants Association.

I’m sorry, I’m sorry, I’m sorry.

I know it’s been too long.

But they are working me pretty darn hard here (should be worth it though – this month will hopefully be funding my autumn jaunt to Canada and helping to pay for a car, so I mustn’t grumble!). Here at LASA we are 12 days down, 8 to go, and the pace is quite frenetic, but we’re having a lot of fun also :-).

We’ve done so much over the last (almost) two weeks. We’ve been to the Palace of Westminster (I saw John Prescott! And Neil Kinnock!) and the House of Lords for luncheon, seen ‘Macbeth’ in Stratford-Upon-Avon, been to a proper polo match, visited so many stately homes and castles, met Earl Spencer… The girls (and me, huzzah!) have tried fencing, deportment, cookery; and had seminars on etiquette, makeup, manners…. It’s pretty packed.

And the girls are nice. It takes some adapting to get used to having a dozen teenagers to get here and there and fed and showered and rested, but they are a sweet group – very funny, very lively, very keen to enjoy their time over here. I think I’ll miss them when they go – but the late finishes, early starts and lack of free time I’m more than ready to say farewell to!

Away from LASA, I’ve been looking at dozens of cars online (v. exciting!), trying to get my moped sorted (both the police and my insurers have been pretty darn useless), trying to sort out my ‘free’ month next month, and getting all geared up for Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows – I got my copy at a half after midnight and even in the midst of the craziness I’ve managed to get 130 pages in (so tired this morning, but so worth it).

Gotta go now – duty calls! More soon, I promise, and next month I’ll probably be posting every day because I’ll have time! How are you guys?

Love, as always,
Cxx

PS Why ‘Jolly Pants Association’? Well, our LASA shirts have JPA on the labels…we’ve since found out those initials stand for something to do with polo, but I prefer my acronym!
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Wowee, what a marathon!

I am just bushed. But glad to be here :-).

Term is over, and after 4 days of shindigs (whole school assembly, the enticingly entitled 'Extravaganza', section supper, final assembly, swimming gala, Year 3 leaving meet, prizegiving AND our leavers service) we are now on summer break. The last week was manic, but had some major high points - section supper was top, top banter, final assembly saw the first performance of our staff band (I had to sing lead on 'I Say A Little Prayer' in front of the whole Upper School AND all my colleagues - nerves aplenty, believe me!), and a really moving day yesterday as the Year 8s said farewell and headed off to their public schools (*sniff, blub*). They are going to do SO well. The Year 3s spoilt us with lovely pressies and adorable cards too, as is their wont, so we've had a wonderful time all round.

Last night was the staff 'Curry and Far Too Much Booze' get-together, which was top fun, and included an impromptu sing-/drum-/strum-/play-along. I have to say, dancing with two small people, singing 'Dancing Queen' with gusto and occasionally hitting a bongo was a strangely fitting end to this year!

This morning, I had a meeting for LASA, my summer job (www.lasauk.com if you fancy a peek!), and am now sat in school emailing and preparing to take the last bunch of gifts home. The rest of the weekend will be phone calls, laundry, relaxing in the sun and packing - the first girls arrive Monday morning, so my LASA stint kicks off at 9 a.m....three manic weeks ahead, but some great experiences on the agenda.

How art thee, lovely folk?

Love, as always,
Cxx

PS This time in a month I'll be in Scotland! :-)
PPS And I might have a car!! :-)
PPPS And I'll be about to go meet Caroline and Jeremy in Inverschneckie!!! :-)

Huzzah for the summer months!
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Scott's meme....

...the other day, was kind of awesome, so here's my take on it:

God doesn't care about your petty hatred for your fellow man. He's more interested in seeing what goodness and love you can put out there. God cares very little about who I've snogged - he's more into the big picture, I think!

I adore so many people, I could bore you for days. I think it's amazing how we're all here, now, doing what we do, so full of potential, faced with eleven million choices a day, each one taking us in a different direction. I also love the sound of rain on the roof waking me up at 5.30 a.m., and just lying there cozy and warm, smelling the earth in the garden (that lovely rain smell) and waiting for the day to begin...

They always say far too much, I think. Who on earth are 'they'?

Yeah, it's true I screw up. Regularly. With gusto.

At one point I truly thought it was all over. I'm so glad I was wrong!

Why should I care about the planet? Is a comment that confuses me. Excuse me, where else where you intending to live?

Real men are brave enough to be themselves.

I always return to being down on myself and low self-esteemy come a grey day...

The music I love is a really eclectic mix, but it always makes me happy!

I've never really had a place to call home. Sure, I love Forres, but I'm not as attached to it as I'd love to be... dang service child upbringing!

Someone told me this is it. They may or may not be right!

I can sit and pretend many things... several of them completely off the wall.

The funny thing is most days, I'm kind of enjoying the journey!

Love and good things to you all,
Cxx
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Hello! I’m still here…

So, I’ve been feeling more than a little guilty – life here is hectic as can be, and so I find myself with very little time to post, and still less time to comment on the blogs of others (but I’m reading, never fear)…When I do find myself with a spare few minutes I’m tending to be on facebook or myspace (hello there to all of those who read this and chat to me on there…), because what with MTP, reports and parent-teacher conferences out the yin-yang, I’ve been somewhat loathe to sit down and write something of substance for here.

Yet here I am.

It’s a little after ten, and I am scrubbed and tubbed and tucked in bed, smelling vaguely of cocoa butter and spices, trying not to smudge my nail varnish as I type. I’m propped up in bed, fighting against the sleep fairies as my eyelids grow heavier and heavier with each passing minute. I’ve got one eye on Sense and Sensibility – truly a great film (my life is so Austen at the current moment, so I’m going with the vibe). I had promised myself this evening of pampering and filmic bliss (oooh, and cheese and onion flavoured baked snacks and cabernet sauvignon – we know how to live round here!) after another big effort on the dreaded reports, so I am now feeling very relaxed and happy to be approaching the end of the endeavour. Today I wrote my tutor reports, which are at exactly the same time the easiest and the hardest to write.

Our tutees are a pretty big deal at my school. They are our gang, our responsibility, the little folk whose every move we watch and help with. My fourteen this year are lovely, but it’s very hard to do credit to a year in the life of a wee person in 250 words or so. But we try.

Today was my bizarre Monday off. Why did I have a Monday off in the middle of June? Well, my school, in its prep. school awesomeness, does Sports Day in a big way (6 hours long, anyone?). So that was Saturday all day lost to school banter…so in return we get Monday off. Tada! Sports Day was good fun – I was one of the track recorders which was stressful as can be, but also hilarious. Lots of good chat, a lovely lunch and some wine in the marquee, good chat with the yummie mummies and power fathers…And Fi bought me some Irn Bru, so life was good in general.

The rest of the weekend has passed in work and chores and lunches and letters and all those things. School is still on for another three weeks, in which time we have two paperwork deadlines, a ‘move up day’, a school play, a performance in front of everyone by the staff band (singing in front of the kids, eek!), a ball, a concert, and oh-so-many evening events…oh, and all those pesky, day-to-day, normal things….

More soon, I promise!

Love and a great big hug,
Cxx
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Sunkissed, in pain, exhausted and all that good stuff….

Just back from an awesome time in Wales, a weekend of hillwalking, rock climbing, high quality banter, playfighting, teamwork, camping, ticklefights, scandal, good chat, yet more banter…. Really good fun, but now I have the bruises, blisters and bumps to prove I’ve been busy! And I’ve have an average of a little under three hours sleep each night, so I am looking hot and feeling fabulous, as you might imagine!

Somewhat hilariously, my moped broke down Thursday evening….so guess who’s now about to head off and walk the two miles home?

Hahahahahahahahahahaha.

Love,
Cxx
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If you can keep your head when all about you are losing theirs...

Not to go all Kipling on you, but even for this school it is crazy at the moment. It's 7.20, I've just finished work and am quickly posting this and grabbing a coffee before doing another hour. Then I get to go home and pack for the expedition, which leaves tomorrow. At 8 a.m..

To quote my mother on the phone last night: "You'd only be bored if there was less to do."

Bored/sane, potato/patata.

I just want to put my fingers to the keys and apologise for not blogging as regularly as I have been doing for the last couple of months, and for breaking out quite so many memes etc….I guess in place of actually turning my brain on, I was plugging the gap a little with the surveys.

Life’s a little manic here right now, what with school, babysitting, friends, driving, meetings, reports, prep. for the summer, social craziness, home stuff, tutoring, embracing the healthkick once more…I feel like I’m trying to keep lots of balls aloft at the current time, and this state of affairs often means that blogging comes fairly low on the list of priorities! Rest assured that as soon as there’s a lull I will no doubt be back pondering things in a typical Claire style, and I hope you’ll be here to read when I do.

I am just shattered and really want to have time to kick back and just relax for a day or three. And I can.

In August.

Sigh.

Tomorrow I head to Wales for four days with fifty children…that’s got to be good for some blogworthy anecdotes, right?

With love and best wishes as always,
Cxx

PS How are you guys, anyways?

PPS How great was the Season 1 finale of Ugly Betty? I was literally in tears whilst on the edge of my seat. And I am altogether, entirely, beyond-help-ability invested in the whole Henry and Betty relationship. Can’t wait for Season 2 to air here!

PPPS I’ve booked my flights for summer! And I will returning to the country that kicked the Faroe Islands butts in the qualifiers last night (woo!!??) on August 6th. Will hope to do lots of catching up with you lovely peeps then.

PPPPS Many thanks to all involved in the current postal bonanza – there is something delightful about schlepping home from work and finding a package or a postcard or a letter, just for little old me :-). If you’d like something sent your way, in a circle of life style, let me know at linaire@googlemail.com, particularly as over the next few weekends I have sitting in tent time and babysitting time booking up quite nicely – perfect postcard writing time!

PPPPPS I think that’s called irony – I write a post apologising for having nothing to post about….and write my longest post in an age!

Wishing you a weekend full of good things – now I have to go leave stuff for Monday's classes, pack my bags, attempt to have dinner at some point, and get a clue.

Hey, it’s never dull!

Have a great weekend!
Cxx
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Like being hit by a metaphorical ten tonne truck...

....and the first day back is done. At last.

I tend to forget how incessant and nonstop teaching little people is - I am simultaneously thirsty, exhausted and starving right now! But it's nice to have them back...the two meetings thrown in for good measure I could have done without. Plus oodles of people wanted to chat about exam results. Cue me reciting my mantra ("They are seven and eight year olds, people; they are seven and eight year olds, people.").

Had the nicest tutor time with my little gang last thing though - by 4.30 they are pretty much beat, so it was time for a story, some light RS, and Haribo sweeties (we had a birthday today). Then it was off with the kids, and I've just spent two hours looking for resources for my new and spangly Smart Board (it is like, the most fun). Loads of awesome stuff...can't wait to show the kids!

Apart from that, the big focus is the impending expedition to Wales...where did I put my waterproofs?

Hope your weeks have started splendiferously!

Cxx
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Now doing a small victory dance

Yeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeesssssssssssssssss!

112 of the reports written, which means I've met my own target and may, just may, make it through this month alive :-).

I've also cleaned my classroom good and proper, and am now wishing I'd had my digital camera so I could show y'all a before and after. It was a TIP!

Yay! I can go home and make mix CDs and write letters and make up packages and watch Doctor Who!

How's everyone's weekends been? Any fun planned for this week?

Love,
Cxx
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Keeping busy...




It's been a productive day here - with the flat cleaned pretty darn comprehensively and another 43 reports out the way (woo!). And now I'm going to go do some ironing...
One of those days, to be sure!

Check the ensemble out, if you please:




I swear, Bree Van De Kamp has nothing on my housewifery skills and style ;-).

Haha. What have you guys got planned for the weekend?

Love, as always,
Cxx




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Oh what a lovely weekend...

Things I’ve discovered recently…

I still don’t like Big Brother. I watched half an hour of the intro show last night and I just…don’t get it. Bizarrely, I quite enjoyed the ‘looking at the new house’ section, but as soon as they started putting the “housemates” in, I started getting (simultaneously, which is quite a feat) annoyed and bored. So I switched off, read my magazine, and watched the 10 p.m. edition of Ugly Betty instead. Much better.

Other things I’ve discovered (or re-discovered) recently? That belief is a changeable, personal thing. That pyjamas are worth obsessing about. That you’re never too old for a mild crush, no matter how random, or how unattainable the guy may be. That sometimes you need to re-assess things and look at them from a different perspective. That letters are fun. That having time to rest is one of the best things in the world :-).

This is a post of three parts. That was the thinky part….next is the meme part (thank you, Brettaliscious!)…and to conclude we will have some photos from the weekend’s debaucheries. Three-prong attack, three-line whip, a trio of delights, if you will.

1. Your ‘ex’ and You = so done, it’s not worth getting into.
2. I am listening to = Golden Smog’s version of ‘Starman’. It’s not half bad!
3. Maybe I should = get ready for the day….my summer boss (the one with the title, haha) is picking me up in an hour and a half and I am so not ready it’s untrue. Or maybe I should write some more reports. Or hoover. I always need to hoover.
4. I love = the people who inspire me and make me laugh.
6. I don’t understand = many, many things, including calculus, gears, and how to wire a plug.
7. I have lost my respect for = uber-fundamentalist religion.
8. I last ate = 10 seconds ago. It’s breakfast time!
9. The meaning of my display name is = Um…I live in the country and I’m called Claire?
10. God = up there somewhere, not really fussed by which name we call him (of course, YMMV).
11. Someday = I’ll get my wish. And all the wishes I wish for others will come true also.
12. I will always = sing. Sorry, guys ;-)
13. Love seems to be = elusive.
14. I never ever want to lose = my marbles.
15. My myspace is = a lovely way to keep in touch with people, a way to check out new bands / follow bands I like, pretty darn amusing.
17. I get annoyed when = I screw things up.
18. Parties = are fun with the right crowd.
20. Simple Kisses = oh, yes please.
21. Today I = want to do well at the meeting, and finish at least 50 of my reports.(Note - posting this (finally) at 8 p.m., I'm 43 down!)
22. I wish = I was braver and more confident.

IS YOUR/ARE YOU
01. is your hair wet?: Not yet. Give me ten minutes.
02. is your cell phone right by you?: No.
03. do you miss someone? Too early to miss people!
04. are you wearing chapstick? No
05. are you tired? Nope, had an awesome sleep :-).
06. are you wearing pajamas? Yes! How did you know?
08. are you mad? Angry? Only a little. Crazy? Like a fox, baby!
09. are you upset? No.

HAVE YOU
01. recently done anything you regret? Watched half-an-hour of Big Brother.
02. ever lied? Yep.
03. ever stuck gum under a desk? Ew, no.
04. ever kicked someone? Only in a play fight. We were all about the ninjas in Y10.
05. ever smashed someones face in? Nope. Can you really see me doing that?

TODAY HAVE YOU:
01. have you cursed? No.
02. have you gotten mad at someone? No.

RANDOM-
Q: is there a person who is on your mind right now? More so, since you asked me if I was missing someone a few questions back!
Q: do you have any siblings? Little sister and brother. They are the coolness.
Q: do you want children? One day, sure. The comedy would be worth the pain and stress, I’m sure.
Q: do you smile often? Oh yes.
Q: do you untie your shoes every time you take them off? Nope.
Q: do you like your handwriting? It’s….odd.
Q: are your toenails painted? Pretty much always.
Q: are you a friendly person? Yes, I think so.
Q: who’s bed other than yours do you sleep in? Anyone’s! I will sleep anywhere, haha.
Q: what color shirt are you wearing? Pink and white.
Q: what were you doing at 7pm yesterday? Walking home from school, through a field full of bulls. “Fun”.
Q: I can’t wait to: finish my reports / be able to drive / go home for summer / go to see Brian Wilson / go to Canada.

Ta-dah!

And now, the weekend pics:


OK, Saturday daytime, not the evening, but I loved this restaurants name!
A plastic bottle of Merlot? Hey, Banana's excited! As was I! Hey, it had been a long half term...

The adorable Li and Banana. Lovely laydeez!


Number 151 in the book of cheesey Saturday poses, anyone?



I like wine. And have the rosiest cheeks in Christendom, oh my.
Banana may, just may, be out for your soul...

Even after a few glasses of wine (hic!), I'm loving how my posture is still kicking butt! Hahaha, books on the head!

The red wine, he is all gone. Fare thee well, old friend!



Mmmmmmm. Snackables. Very few of which were eaten, but they sure were fun to pose with!


Would the skankiest club EVAH deserve it's name without flyers for strippers? Dude. With my accent and general poshness, I'm amazed I survived the evening in there!


Et voila, j'ai fini! What a post...what a weekend! Thanks again girls!
Love and wonderfulness to you all,
Cxx



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Back with a bump...

So the weekend was a vvveeeerrrryyyy long one, but it was great fun. Awesome to catch up with Banana and have some good times, even better to get the hell out of Dodge for a few. You know that Postal Service song 'This Place Is A Prison'? Well, up until the escape, the title had been becoming far, far too apt.

But a change is as good as a rest, right?

Friday night we schlepped into London, and I proceeded to play one of my favourite games - scare people by being nice to them. Always a giggle...I give money to buskers (except those who play the harmonica for some weird personal reason), buy the Big Issue, donate to charity collectors (but not evil Chuggers), give up my seat on the Tube for old ladies, let people go up the escalator first, smile at baristas...it's such a simple yet amusing game! Then I took Banana to see Wicked as her birthday treat.

Oh. My. Gosh.

It is AMAZING! The music, the story, the sets, the acting, the awfully dishy male lead, everything. It was so good that Banana bought the soundtrack and I had to spend most of Saturday learning the score to sing it for her (wow, it's a tough old score. And Banana is one heck of a taskmaster). Just brilliant.

Train home, pizza, lie-in.

Saturday we trawled round the shops of Harlow and tried on eleventy million outfits...then didn't buy any. Saturday night was wine. Lots of wine (photos to follow next post!), and japery involving my throwing crisps everywhere (no-one told me the bag was open...), me spilling red wine everywhere, then Banana spilling wine in the exact same place, then the sugar sniffing thing, and lots of delightfully cheesey music. Don't you just love girls nights? And then we went to the skankiest club I've ever frequented (and believe me, I've been to some tacky clubs!). By this point I was on the diet Cokes, but the girls continued with the bevvies, so naturally we wound up dancing on stage. 1.30 a.m., chippy run, cab home, sleeeeeep.

A Sunday in PJs watching The Devil Wears Prada, Buffy The Vampire Slayer and Legally Blonde. Then round to Banana's family for Sunday roast and off to the movies for a viewing of The Painted Veil. Beautiful, sad, probably worth waiting for the DVD. Rounded off the weekend with QI and chat.

Monday, home and stuff. Tuesday, chores, letters and paperwork. Today lunch with the adorable DW, and about time to make a fresh start on the reports and all that jazz.

I had written a much more down post than this, but this is the one I'm going with.

How are you guys?

Love, as always,
Cxx
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Whoo! Alright-Yeah….Uh Huh

It’s half-term! And even though next week is pretty much wall to wall reporting, this weekend it is all about the fun (so naturally, the rain is now minutes away….)! I’m going to see Wicked, and I’m going to catch up with Banana, and I get to go to London, and there will be drinking and dancing and FUN!

I’m so ready for it! :-)

Have a lovely weekend, all!

Love you bunches, and rather geekily, you know I mean that!

Cxx
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Sultry summer evenings…

…are made for singing Gershwin. It’s, like, a rule. Or something.

So the warm weather has returned, and my freckles have started to kick in (I think it’s the Scots blood in me!), probably because yesterday I spent two and a half hours in glorious May sunshine watching my kiddies compete and attempt to qualify for next months sports day. Sorry, that should be ‘Sports Day’. Believe me, it is a huge deal here (as it is at most prep. schools) and the yummy mummies were out in force. Nice afternoon though, then a reasonably chilled boarding duty, then a swift drink with Quirky (she’s been a little blue, so it was good to touch base with her).

And then it was time to go home to grade, mark and moderate 43 Geography exams. By this morning!

The ride home was lovely, it was so balmy and warm, and I timed it exactly at twilight. It’s such fun zipping along the country roads in the half light, with the bats swooping playfully overhead (although I sometimes get worried they may hit me – our local bats are a little dim sometimes!). When I got home I was on dog duty ~ our eldest dog Freddie is blind (as a bat, now I conveniently think of it!) and can’t really hear all that well, so like the elderly gent he is, he must be taken for a turn about the garden.

And it was just lovely, standing there in the moonlight-half-light-twilight, watching as the stars started to pinprick through on the midnight blue canvas of the sky. And the garden looks lovely just now. It was so warm, it reminded me of evenings in Carolina, the humidity hanging like a blanket over everything. And I stood there, making sure Freddie had his exercise, I sang a few standards…I enjoyed ‘Someone to Watch Over Me’ particularly, I haven’t sung that in ages! There’s something to be said for singing in the open air when there’s no-one about…the timbre is so different. Lovely.

One day till break…this term has felt pretty long so far, but respite of a sort is just over the hill.

Hope you are all enjoying the last burst of May!

Cxx
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