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…


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

Love, as always,
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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…..


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,
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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!


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,
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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,
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