The last of mad March Claire

Can you even begin to fathom that it’s now the end of MARCH? It’s totally freaking me out, that’s for sure….seems like only yesterday that it was Hogmanay and I was ill, ill, ill, and now we’re a quarter way through 2007. Woah.

Re: The List….stuff and things are moving, and I’m hoping to get some of the things done in the not too distant. The eyeliner challenge is progressing…unfortunately the trial and error part of this means I wind up with panda eyes an awful lot of the time…

This may well be my last post for a few days, and my last from Englandshire for a couple of weeks. I’m typing this Thursday night - Peachy arrives tomorrow (heck yes! We’ve only got a little over thirty hours but I am super excited to see her :-). Lord bless research trips!), then it’s London for the weekend, then I fly home Monday…and that will no doubt be when I update you beautiful people.

To amuse you in the interim, a meme, stolen unabashedly from the ever delightful Scott, of music loving and future couch donating fame.


1.Whats your name spelt backwards? erialc

2. What did you do last night? Watched The Apprentice (and worryingly started to concur with Rachel’s summary of Alan Sugar), sang, watched Ugly Betty, didn’t do any of the chores I meant to.

3. The last thing you downloaded onto your computer? The pics of B and I that I used in my last post.

4. Have you ever licked a 9 volt battery? No. Would you recommend?

5. Last time you swam in a pool? Last month. But now I’m back on the healthkickery wagon, that whole swimming in a pool thing should take off again. I’m looking forward to relocating those muscle groups!

6. What are you wearing? Pink plaid pyjamas. Oh yeah, Justin Timberlake is such a liar, for obviously it was I who brought sexy back!

7. How many cars have you owned? 0.

8. Type of music you dislike most? Misogynistic rap (oh man, how this pees me off – I *love* intelligent hip-hop, but when it’s all b*tches and h*s? Ticks me right off) and happy hardcore (grrrr).

9. Are you registered to vote? I am, but I’m not sure where. I think I transferred it to the shire, although Forres would have let me rock the vote there, even though I’m usually there just six weeks of the year!

10. Do you have cable? Nope. But I do have a freeview box….sweet sweet American imports and Doctor Who reruns…

11. What kind of computer do you use? An HP laptop thing (thanks, school!).

12. Ever made a prank phone call? Only freshman year, and we all know those don’t count.

13. You like anyone right now? I could, if you get what I mean? It’s all a bit transitional and intangible and high-falutin at the current time ~ I’m managing to tie myself up in knots while the other party is blissfully unaware. I think! Why is it that when it comes to my 'love life' I seem to be stuck in thirteen year old girl mode?

14. Would you go bungee jumping or sky diving? Bungee jumping scares the poop out of me (I think it’s the whole “giant elastic band” thing ;-)), and I’d love to skydive but the double whammy of not loving heights and being hugely accident prone is putting me off a little at the mo….

15. Furthest place you ever travelled? Boswell, Indiana (Midwest, represent!).

16.Do you have a garden? Not personally, but the house I’m attached to has a gorgeous garden, which I get to live in the middle of. Seriously, it’s award winning – people come from Holland and Germany to look round – and I just get to be here. I am a lucky girl!

17. What's your favorite comic strip? Calvin and Hobbes / Garfield / The Far Side.

18. Do you know all the words to the national anthem? Yes – both the English and the Scottish ones!

19. Shower, morning or night? Morning or night – I am always ready for a shower.

20. Best movie you've seen in the past month? Have I seen a movie in the past month? Nah, didn’t think so. Country life, baby!

21. Favorite pizza toppings? Pretty much any / all, so long as there are no capers or anchovies involved.

22. Chips or popcorn? At home, chips (I blame Mlle Wilson, she TOTALLY gave me that addiction! :-)); at the movies, popcorn.

23. What cell phone provider do you have? O2.

24. Have you ever smoked peanut shells? Wha…..?

25. Have you ever been in a beauty pageant? Third place Junior Princess, biatches! Hahaha, yes, I was in a pageant type thing once. And I placed. Oh man, that’s hilarious!

26. Orange Juice or apple? Apple, guava, orange, mango, whatever. I’m still smirking at the Junior Princess memories here!

27. Who were the last people you sat at lunch with? Susanna and Caroline, at our meeting Tuesday.

28. Favourite chocolate bar? Cadbury's Fudge bars! Small, but perfectly formed. If you ever have to bribe me, just factor a fudge bar into the equation :-).

29. Who is your longest friend and how long? Natalie and Nell tie – we’ve been friends for almost 15 years now!

30. Last time you ate a homegrown tomato? Last autumn – Janet and Bob grow amazing veg in their beautiful garden!

31. Have you ever won a trophy? Yep, a fair few.

32. Favorite artist? John Constable and Vincent Van Gogh….but I know far too little about art!

33. Favorite computer game? Hearts, Solitaire, Battleships….do you get that I’m not really into gaming? These are all the ones you get on Windows! Haha, dissertation fatigue memories!

34. Ever ordered from an infomercial? Almost…

35. Sprite or 7-UP? Am I meant to care?

36. Have you ever had to wear a uniform to school/work? Oh yes, multiple bad school uniforms, the ‘sexy’ park ranger outfit at Clarks (mmmm, synthetic fibres….) and the delightful blue tees at UGC.

37. Last thing you bought at the store? Dinner, soda, and a really, really crappy magazine.

38. Ever thrown up in public? Not in the last five years! Hee. And even before that only three times…including once in a minibus…gah, evil mode of transport.

39. Would you prefer being a millionaire or finding true love? Stupid question: I want to find true love with a millionaire, of course ;-)! Nah, true love will always trump money in my wee world.

40. Do you believe in love at first sight? I like the idea a lot.

41.Can exes just be friends? Yes, but it depends on the people and the situation.

42. Who was the last person you visited in the hospital? I have never visited anyone in hospital (touch wood), well not since way back in my childhood, and I can never date anything back then.

43. Did you have long hair as a young kid? Yep. At one point I could sit on my hair. Had it all lopped off when I went away to school.

44. What message is on your voicemail machine? Just me saying hi, and leave a message, please.

45. Where would you like to go right now? To bed. Oh hang on, I’m already here! And this meme is almost finished! Result!

46. What was the name of your first pet? Moshe. Originally he was Mo, but then he dropped a passle of kittens….hence, Moshe.

47. What kind of back pack do you have, and what's in it? I have a couple, right now I’m using my JanSport, in there is my wallet, some papers, lipbalm, keys…I’ve been using it to get stuff between work and home this week.

48. Last incoming/outgoing call on your phone? Susanna.

49. What is one thing you are grateful for today? Health and friends and freedom.

50. What do you think about most? The people I love.

And that would include you guys…!

And so to bed, to bed. Have a wonderful few days and I’ll catch up with guys after the weekend.

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So, I've written about my friend B before. She is such a kickass friend and I am always inspired by the amazing way she is tackling the miry mists of teenage girl/womanhood....seeing how I can struggle with being a twentysomething, her battle with teenage life is often an apt parralel.

This girl kicks ass, you guys - we are nine years apart in age, but have almost identical (dark, dry, far too sarcastic) senses of humour, a penchant for music (and muso boys), a passion for singing and photography, and way too much self doubt and self hatred...but we're working on that, right, B?

So here are some pics from a Sunday at her house a few weeks back....nacho goodness and chat and a healthy dash of geekery truly makes me smile.

Love ya B!
Expect a few odes to my friends in the months to come, I feel...this is my place to write, and I'm feeling compelled to write about blessings just now. All of my friends are truly blessings in my life ~ the things they have helped me through, the way they believe in me, the way they make me smile, the time and support they've given me through some dark dark days, the laughter and joy they have given to me and shared with me, the way they are so invested in my life....without the people I love I'm sure I wouldn't be able to be here. Full stop.
Love you guys,
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A positive pity party?

Oh man.

I had my laptop at home last night and I wrote such a post. Such a whiny, bratty, self-indulgent post....the kind that makes me really glad that I don't have the internet at home just now, because reading it back is just plain embarassing. Note to self: Overthinking crushes, no matter the size or sensibility of said crush, and ACTUALLY COMMITING YOUR THOUGHTS TO PAPER is a bad, bad, idea.


I'm a goof, that's for sure.

Luckily I awoke in a much fairer mood, full of beans and joie de other words, an awful lot more like me! Yesterday morning-afternoon I had a really productive meeting about my summer job / side project, and I'm now pretty excited about the July plans. I'm going to be working at a summer-camp-come-ladies-academy, and I really think it's going to be a blast. The girls are going to get to experience some amazing things (touring the House of Lords, visiting Bath and Stratford-Upon-Avon and Oxford, all sorts of other delights) and I get to tag along, all in the name of work! Hurrah! I've got lots to prepare (dorm lists and etiquette classes and aerobics routines, oh my) but I am looking forward to a challenge. And a challenge which should pay for my trip to Canada and my driving lessons, with a little luck.

The driving is.....going, but as is the norm I do find it hard. But I'm improving and working hard, and I guess that's the best I can hope for. All good vibes in that area greatly appreciated!

So here I am in school, attempting to make sense of the paper based chaos (I'd take a picture, but it would scare you!), getting a handle on the term to come and looking forward to the weekend and beyond....Peachy arrives Friday night, we head to London on Saturday, lunch with Hoti on Sunday (before he heads off to Yemen in fabulous is that?), flight to the north on Monday. I love Easter break - Christmas is busy and frantic and cold, summer is often too loooong (although, with my working July this year this should be much less of a problem)...Easter is just right. And involves chocolate. And whoop de doo, in a little over a week I can drink again....I'm fine off the demon drink, but I must admit the balmy sunny weather is calling to mind a chilled glass of wine or a pint of beer and some good chat. Here's hoping.

I'd better return to papercut and swearing at filing cabinets and attempting to shoot three-pointers into the recycling bin central now.

Hope this finds you all sunny and happy and generally springlike!

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“Summer” Time.

Eeeeee! The weather has turned all sorts of lovely – the sun is shining, the breeze is fresh (rather than gale force!), the bunnies are frolicking and the daffodils are out. Hurrah! The weekend was just fabulous – lots of relaxing and good times, and now a week of sorting and stuff ahead of the schlep up north. And now, for your perusal…..a colourful look at things:

RED = anger
1. Are you currently mad at someone?:
2. Which of your friends has the worst temper?:
Hmmm, that depends on why they are in a temper. Both Sian and Hannah can bring the rage, but they only do so when something major has happened and they are rightly peeved.
3. Have you ever thrown something at anyone?
Not in anger, no. On playground duty? ALL THE TIME. Why do you think we buy squidgy balls?
4. Does your face turn red when you're angry?:
Yes. And when I cry. And when I drink. And when I laugh. Rosey complexion agogo.
5. When you're mad do you prefer to stare angrily or yell and scream?:
In public I’d probably do the silent glaring, but when I got home I’d probably vent (rock music always helps).

ORANGE = excitement
1. Has anyone ever thrown you a surprise party?
I had a joint surprise party for my sixteenth, shared with my friend Alex. Our (very cunning) friends told each of us that the party was for the other, thereby meaning we were delightfully oblivious.
2. Are you easily excited?
Moi? Oh yes.
3. What event is coming up that you're most excited about?:
I am looking forward to Scotland, and Easter, and Spring Harvest, and (seven months to go!) Canada.
4. Which of your friends is most excitable?:
That depends on how many drinks they’ve had!
5. If you won a million dollars what would be your first thought?
Pay off mum and dad's house, pay student loans, give S and P ten grand each, and take an ammmmaaaaazzzzing holiday :-).
6. If you could have anything right now what would it be?
Pizza. Oprah did a special this morning, and now the cheese-fest is calling me.

YELLOW = self discovery
1. Name:
Claire (well, that's my off-duty name)
2. Where were you born?:
3. What’s your main goal in life?:
To be happy, to be kind, and to be good.
4. Do you want to have children?:
Yes, please.
5. How do you want to die?:
I really don’t think I get to choose! But I'll say...satisfied.

GREEN = opinions
1. Gay Marriage?:
Why not?
2. Capital Punishment?:
I'm conflicted on this one. But I think I’ll go with….vaguely anti.
3. Abortion:
Pro-choice, with reservations.
4. Recycling?:
It’s great, but I think the Government needs to make it easier for it to make a significant impact. We really need to follow the example of other nations ~ when I lived in Luxembourg I was so impressed with their approach to green matters.

BLUE = dreams
1. What was your latest dream:
On Thursday I woke up and all I could remember was….a doughnut. Hilariously, according to, this means: To see a doughnut in your dream, represents the Self. It suggests that you may be feeling lost and still trying to find yourself and your purpose in life.? Alternatively, it refers to growth, development and nurturance. You are not completely whole. Who knew baked good had such depth?
2. Have any of your dreams come true?:
Some of them, yes.
3. Do you usually remember your dreams?:
4. What was the weirdest dream you've ever had?:
Last weeks one, with the rain and the slums and the children and the flood, was pretty odd!

PURPLE = love
1. Straight, Gay, Bi?:
2. Do you have a bf/gf:
Not at the moment.
3. Do you have a crush?:
A little, yes. Despite the fact that I should know better!
4. Who is the best hugger that you know?: Hoti, Hannah, several of the kids in Year 3!
5. Do you believe in Love at first sight?:
Yes, I do.
6. Have you ever been in love?:


Q: how many beds did you lay in today?
A: Just mine….and I stayed in it far too long reading, writing a letter and watching Oprah.

Q: what color shirt are you wearing?
A: Grey/green Zombie Bunnies tee, rust coloured cardigan.

Q: name one thing that you do everyday?
A: Sing.

Q: what color are your walls?
A: Sunshine yellow.

Q: how much cash do you have on you right now?
A: None. In my purse, about 14 quid.

Q: hockey?
A: Thank heavens that term is over – bring on the rounders term!

Q: I can't wait till...?
A: Amber arrives – I can’t believe I’m gonna see her on Friday :-).

Q: When was the last time you saw your dad?
A: January.

Q: Who got you to join myspace?
A: I have no idea. I’ve been on it a while though!

Q: What did you have for dinner last night?
A: A sauce I made out of baby spinach, cherry tomatoes, red onions, passata and herbs, over wholewheat pasta, with a sprinkling of mature cheddar. So, so good!

Q: Is Tom on your friends list?
A: No. Well, not that one.

Q: Look to your left. What's there?
A: A tennis ball, a remote, a calendar, a water glass and a lego block.

Q: What's the last piece of clothing you borrowed from someone?
A: A scarf from Jean.

Q: What website(s) do you visit the most during the day?
A: Yahoo. I tend to keep the ‘fun’ ones for evenings, holidays and weekends.

Q: Do you have plants in your room?
A: Lots of flowers in my flat at the moment.

Q: Does anything hurt on your body right now?
A: No, thank heavens.

Q: What city was your last taxi cab ride in?
A: Um…I don’t know. Is Forres a city?

Q: Do you own a picture phone?
A: Yep.

Q: Recent time you were really upset?
A: Was down last week, but haven’t had a good cry in a while.

1. Person you saw:
2. Hugged:
3. Shopped:
properly? In Oxford earlier this month.
4. movie watched:
5. Song you listened to:
Currently on Radio 1: ‘I Wanna Have Your Babies’ by Natasha Bedingfield. Far too catchy.
6. Person you kissed:
Well that happened last year, so it’s hardly current!

1. What are you doing now:
Have been in work cleaning and clearing; now am emailing, blogging and sorting out the weekend with Amber.
2. What are you doing tonight:
I am going to make a kickass pizza, write some of my Easter cards, and I’m going to watch ‘Save The Last Dance 2’ – it’s going to be awful!
3.What are you going to eat for lunch:
I had cookies and a Crème Egg. Mmmmmm, nutritious.

1. Is:
2. Got any plans:
A business meeting late morning, some paperwork and stuff in school, maybe dinner with a friend.
3. Goal:
To take all my displays down and hoover my flat (hahahahaha, uberglamour).
4. Do you have to work:
not as much as I do during termtime!

1. Currently love someone:
Not in that way. But spring is springing everywhere and I am so in the mood for some romance….
2. Like someone:
3. Does someone like you?
Here’s hoping!

Time for me to wrap things up and head home I think – have a lovely week, all!

PS Scottish contingent, let me know if and when you’re available for visits / meals / drinks / shenanigans, please. I have missed you all!

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And with that….

…the Lent term careers to a close. Yep, we are done here and the kids have been dutifully dispatched to their parents / nannies / grandparents / siblings / grooms etc. etc. etc.. And now three glorious weeks of Easter break stretch before us like so much bliss, whispering promises of lie-ins and catching up with friends and adventures and fun. Hurrah!

The last week of term has been frenetic, as always, but this term it barely registered – after the efforts of last week to get the show done, dusted and onstage, the rigmarole of the end of term palaver felt like a break! But the reports are written, the results have been calculated, and now I don’t see my wee gang till mid April. Yeah, I am going miss them. They spoilt me once again – I have five or six eggs or little baskets of eggs and three very pretty bunches of blooms. It really isn’t necessary, but it’s always nice to feel appreciated!

Thank you so much for all the support with the list, gorgeous friends! Since the last post there have been emails and comments and texts, and I am so happy that some of the things may be being ‘crossed off’ in the coming year, let alone five. Other ones are going to take more work, but that’s what makes it a challenge! I’ve linked to it, and I have a copy up in my room, and I’m looking forward to letting you guys know how it goes :-).

But now, I have an afternoon off….mmmmm….a bubble bath, some chocolate eggs, a cheesey magazine, a face mask and a nap beckon, so please excuse me. More soon!

Love you guys,

PS Today I got a myspace friend request from one of my tutees parents. That’s a first.
PPS One of the Year 8 boys thinks I look like Rachel McAdams. He’s so wrong, but all the same, YES! Go me!
PPPS Would you judge me if I ate some more chocolate eggs for breakfast tomorrow? I can’t face the supermarket….
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The List

So….how are you all doing? Many thanks for the lovely messages after Saturdays wee episode – I think I was just very, very tired of feeling that way. I’m not good at feeling washed out and sad and blue.

However, I’m pleased to report that a big old think has been had, much sleeping and pondering has taken place, a dream was had and recalled (which I never do. It was a crazy-ass dream ~ some kids and I were hiding in a tenement and there was a box of possessions and a rainstorm and a flood. So I went onto later that day and found out that the main themes were confusion, rebirth, destructive impulses, cleansing, renewal, fortune, love, a need to nurture my inner child and let some things go, and (direct quote) “neglect of my sexual nature”. So, plenty of food for thought from my usually silent subconscious), and while I’m still here and still standing, there are some changes going on.

My priorities are shifting. I know what I want from life, I’m starting to understand what my priorities are…and now I just have to work on getting there….

And we all know how I like my targets. So here, in no order whatsoever, are the things I would like to achieve in the next 5 years. Some are hard, some are easy, some are completely mental, but for better or worse, here are the components of the 5 year plan:

I would like to be able to make good pancakes.
I would like to register myself with a doctor… DONE!
…and a dentist….
…and an optician.
I would like to take this blog to over 1,000 posts.
I would like to live abroad (whether only for a few weeks or many years, I don’t know!).
I would like to sing a solo in front of a BIG crowd. DONE!
I would like to see at least two dozen gigs.
I would like to go on the London Eye at night, and look out over the city.
I would like to learn how to ride a skateboard.
I would like to fall in love, really and truly and without any bs.
I would like to run a 5 kilometre race for life.
I would like to get back up to swimming 50 lengths in one go (I am becoming such a wuss!).
I would like to read the favourite books of all my friends.
I would like to learn how to apply liquid eyeliner.
I would like to try golf….
…and bodyboarding…
…and abseiling. DONE!
I would like to be an extra in a film or TV show.
I would like to start playing flute again.
I would like to go ice skating.
I would like to have a child, or start putting cogs in motion to adopts in my mid-thirties (haha, this so comes late in the 5 year plan – if I had a kid now I’d probably misplace him or her ;-)).
I would like to learn how to drive. DONE!
I would like to drop another two dress sizes.
I would like to visit New York…
…and Athens.
I would like to read the whole Bible.
I would like to write letters to all my heroes.
I would like to watch all of the AFIs top 100 films.
I would like to be featured on a CD (singer / handclaps / lyricist / whatever!).
I would like to get back into producing video storyboards for songs I like – then if the opportunity ever arises I can have a portfolio to show.
I would like to learn how to speak Spanish.
I would like to have a poem published.
I would like to have really long hair (past elbows)….
…and pretty short hair.
I would like to be a godmother (buddies and friends, this one’s on you!).
I would like to attend a film premiere.
I would like to design and produce a teeshirt.
I would like to sort out my finances.
I would like to watch ‘Snakes on a Plane’, even though the premise terrifies me.
I would like to join ebay.
I would like to visit the Houses of Parliament. DONE!
I would like to get into kite flying – loads of people have told me how fab it is!
I would like to take a course / read several books about web design.
I would like to learn how to play a half-decent game of tennis.
I would like to act onstage again.
I would like to learn about art.
I would like to have at least one thousand pounds saved for rainy days.
I would like to take my HNC in radio production / do work experience at a radio station.
I would like to write a children’s book….even if it’s just for my class.
I would like to learn how to make crème brulee.
I would like to see an opera. DONE!
I would like to be a bridesmaid (bring on the pouffy pastels!).
I would like to write a worship song.
I would like to have a review published.
I would like to learn how to knit.
I would like to make a photoblog where I take a picture every single day for a year.
I would like to climb Scafell Pike…
…and Ben Nevis.
I would like to beat Peter in a game of badminton. DONE!
I would like to raise some money for charity each year for the next five years.
I would like to get organised :-).

So that’s going to keep me busy, right? It’s literally everything I could think of – I’m going to link to it in my sidebar and every time I fell one (haha, I’m such a teacher – I am now setting myself targets!), I’ll let you guys know.

So yes, I’m feeling better.

I’m still crazy though ;-).

Love you guys!


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Thoughts for a Saturday morning…

Light touch my hand, in a dream of Golden Skans, from now on.
You can forget our future plans.
Night touch my hand with the turning Golden Skans,
From the night and the light, all plans are golden in your hand.

(Golden Skans – Klaxons)

I don’t think this is enough anymore. I’m not sure this is where I’m meant to be. Don’t get me wrong, I don’t hate my life or my job or any of that….I just a little grey. A little off.

I’m fed up of feeling stifled. Of feeling less than. I feel grey and unfulfilled and low for far too much of the time, and I know that’s not who I am. Reading back over the last couple of months on my blog, I can tell something’s up.

I am by nature a happy, hard-working, kind and creative wee soul; but that’s not really how I feel right now. And I want to feel that way. I want to be that way.

So I’m going to make some plans. Some different plans. I’m going to have a big think. I’m going to try and make sense of where I am, where I want to be, and how, exactly, I want to get there.

I have a feeling some changes may be afoot.

More soon,

PS 200 posts! Woo!
PPS Happy St Patrick's Day to you all!
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And I’ve been so long this way I can’t make out just where I end or begin…

It’s proving to be a busy old week here. I’m scribing this at a breakneck speed before diving once more into the pile of marking / assessing / reporting / housepoint counting I have to deal with. I’ve had a lurgy for most of the past few days (I hate not being able to breathe), as well as being super busy with yet more rehearsals (our play goes on tomorrow and Friday…the end is nigh), so as well as all the usual gubbins I have a tonne of marking to deal with for all the lessons I’ve been away for. Le sigh.

So, how am I? Let me put my thought train to you in the form of a bongo-poem. (NB bongo-poems were a major factor of my youth – John and I would grab an item to be the bongo (a chair, a box, a member of the public), then go stream-of-consciousness on everyone, punctuating each statement with a drum beat or seven). If Yoda were a poet, he’d be all about the bongo poems.

Yes I was a geek growing up, why do you ask? ;-).

Claire’s Bongo Poem for today:



Brain swimming with words and numbers.

Reports already? Bad idea. Surely only one month since last ones? How many ways to say “needs to sit on chair properly”?

Am Rudolph apparently. Thanks Jordan!

Easter holidays soon. The north beckons. Home!!!!!

Boarding tonight, tuck shop.

Not sure if this is where I want to be.

Who will triumph in the pool stakes?

I miss him. But I can’t tell him. Shut up, self.

Need more lemsip.

Mmmm, lemsip.

Is it hometime yet?

Heheheh, I am such a loser. Hope all is well with you guys, just wanted to check in. A more coherent post at the weekend (well at least I hope so) – all good vibes for the shows and for a bounce back from this flu greatly appreciated.

Back to the books!

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Singalong Saturday, 10th March...

I was thinking it had been far too long since I've done one of these, so here we go. Plus, I have all kinds of random stuff and things I need to ramble on about / process / write about, and I couldn't settle on a theme, so this helps tick those boxes also. It always amazes me how much thought I put into blogging :-).

If I had entitled this post though, I would probably have quoted a lyric; "Sometimes I feel so full of love, it just comes spilling out". It's from the track 'Wonderful World' by James Morrison, a song that just seems to be following me around. The next line of the lyric goes, "It's unconmfortable to see, I give it away so easily". And I guess that's a pretty fair call on how I lead my life (well, it must be how some people view it!). I'm a great writer of letters and emails, texter, blog commenter, hugger, maker of mix CDs, sender of packages....but then in other ways I suck at communicating the love I feel for people - I am petrified of letting anyone get closer to me than 'just friends', I can be awful at phone calls, I'm exceptional at keeping myself just busy and distant and involved enough to ensure no-one can get close enough to hurt me. But I'm working on it!

I swear, I am such a headcase some days (but then, who isn't?). But I am sure with blogging, baking and all that jazz, it will work out in the end....



1. Us ~ Regina Spektor.

I <3 this song, to go all emo kid with the symbols for a minute. It was on a mix my friend Rosco gave to me earlier this year, and this was one of the tracks on it I just couldn't get enough of. I am such a sucker for a piano, violin or guitar heavy track! Plus I love Spektor's a world of vocoder madness and productions so slick you could ice skate on them, a vocalist with a distinctive voice with an unusual timbre is a joy to cherish.

While we're on female vocalists, have you guys heard Natasha Bedingfield's new single? C'est tres, tres bizarre, and is all over the cheesey music channel that is my Achilles heel late at night. Anyways, I like Bedingfield (I think this karmically link to the fact that she is loosely connected with Hillsong London, a church I was once lossely connected with. Circuitous and residual, huh?), I think she churns out fairly unoffensive pop stuff, but her new track is odd. And catchy. Long story short, it's called 'I Wanna Have Your Babies'. Way to put that out there, Tash!

2. In The Wee Small Hours Of The Morning - Carly Simon.

Hmmmm, torch song. I love Simon's vocal line (heheheh, can you tell I watched American Idol yesterday?), and every time I watch this I just want to go and watch 'Sleepless In Seattle' again. That movie makes me cry so very, very much, but it's a firm fave chez moi...Tom Hanks, Meg Ryan, cute kid, old school soundtrack, NYC, what's not to love? Note to self, have a movie nght soon....

3. LDN - Lily Allen.

Aw, I like Lily. I love that she and La Winehouse have both stomped onto the scene, are confident and talented and all that good stuff... Go, girlfriends!

Anyways, back to the mad chickflick love...tomorrow I am so breaking out the popcorn and the ginger ale (haha, since I can't have wine I go for a beverage beloved by Enid Blyton characters...I am such a nerd) because Channel 4 are showing two of my favourites - 'My Big Fat Greek Wedding', which is so cute and sweet; and then 'Amelie', which is one of my favourite films of all time!

4. Bootylicious - Destiny's Child.

To quote my friend (now Dr.) Laura - "Dancefloor, now!" '

Amelie' just ticks so many boxes. It's sweet and French and quirky. It has a KICKASS score. It's beautifully filmed (I had such a thing for good cinematography when I was studying!). I stars Mattheiu Kassovitz, actor genius, director par excellence and my favourite piece of Gallic eyecandy ever. And it's set in Monmartre, my favourite part of Paris, my favourite city in the world. I'm sooooooo there, Monday morning tiredness be damned! And I own it on DVD, so if I do nod off, I can always catch up another time.

5. Songbird - Eva Cassidy.

Sigh. Such a beautiful song, and one of my favourites to sing, I have to say. Cassidy and I have fairly similar ranges, so I love learning songs that she did. She was such a great talent, I always think it's a shame she only found fame after her own lifetime. But her music is a true gift to the world - no matter how many times I hear her songs, I always listen.

However, American-Idol-X-factor-etc. contestants need to stop doing her version of 'Over The Rainbow'. Enough! Why not do one of her other versions?

6. Precious Things - Tori Amos.

Heh. From love and songbirds to "Just because you made me come it doesn't make you Jesus". Sometimes I fear my music collection is just a little schizophrenic!

I do love when I hear one of my quirky favourites crops up in a TV show or a movie though. Many of my friends and workmates haven't heard of anyone I'm into, so it warms my little geek heart to hear 'Such Great Heights' on an Film4 promo, or the opening bars of 'The First Day Of My Life' in a scene of 'Skins', or 'Still Fighting It' in an episode of 'Scrubs' (OK, so I appreciate Ben Folds is fairly big, certainly bigger than Bright Eyes or the Postal Service, but not round here!).

7. Hoodoo - Muse.

Muse are just so good at churning out awesome rock (as always, YMMV). I love that while everyone else is mudslinging and posing and dating supermodels and going to rehab, they're busy making kickass albums and selling out enormous shows. Plus, I love Matt Bellamy's voice - in the quiet moments of this he conveys such frailty and nuance, but then he has the power for the big stage stormers also. Man. I am a total singing geek.

I've really been trying to get back into singing now. The cold I had for near on a month really did me in, but I think I'm starting to make up ground now. Just a few practices a week and the stuff I do at church for worship band and youth, but it's good to feel I'm doing something. I just wish I could get involved in a band, even just singing backup or doing a colloboration, but I don't think that's going to happen in this neck of the woods. I need a challenge!

8. I Write Sins Not Tragedies - Panic! At The Disco.

A friend of a friend thought this band were called Picnic at the Disco. How awesome wuld that be? Heh.

This is the kind of stuff I will be listening to tomorrow - after church I am going to Brett and Rowena's for an afternoon of sweatpants, snacking and girly chat. Brett (coolest almost 17 year old ever!) has decided she's going to emo me up, because tomorrow I'm going to the big Youth Church with the youth from our church. She reckons I could pass for 19.....haha. I'll let you know how that goes!

9. Candy - Ash.

I am so excited to hear the new Ash album. They are one of those bands I loved in sixth form (see also Manic Street Preachers, Oasis, and, um, 5ive?). And they still kick so much butt. I love it.

Speaking of things I love, look what my kids drew for me while I was out at a rehearsal the other day:

Dude. It's official. Everyone needs a gang of seven-and-eight-year-olds in their world.

10. You Know I'm No Good - Amy Winehouse.

Nothing but love for this track....and nothing but love for you gorgeous people!

Hope you are having a gorgeous weekend so far,


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Barely grazing the ground....

It has certainly been one of those weeks.

Non-stop, wall-to-wall, equally tough and random, work, work, work, play, work.

I am simply exhaustimipated, but finally, I've reached a lull. Which is why I am hiding in my lovely cool classroom, scribing a quick post, supping a Diet Coke and listening to Kate Bush. Mmmmm, angsty.

Since Monday.... I've done at least 12 hours of rehearsing with the beloved Year 7s this week. I've booked trans-Atlantic flights. I have taught over twenty hours and left cover / done the marking for another fifteen. I've done a four hour parents' evening. I've had two two-hour band calls. I spent a whole day at a really cool Islamic centre (fascinating, really, fascinating. I learnt so much). I spent two hours in a debrief meeting on some random psycho-socio-whatsimajiggle testing we've all done (apparently I'm creative, inquisitive and friendly! Wait, I think I already knew that ;-)). I have barely seen my flat.

But now it's the weekend, and after the jumpy jumpy fun-ness of last weekend it's a lowkey one here....a night of pizza and 'American Idol' beckons (mmmmmm, 'American Idol'); tomorrow's work, friends and driving (and an early night, woo!); Sunday's church and friends. Love it! And tonight I'll get to sleep for more than four or five hours....

I literally cannot wait!

Hee, I am so easily pleased.

Hope you all have a lovely weekend planned!

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Short but sweet....

OK, so it's not till October/November, but last night I booked my flights over to Canada! I am really looking forward to staying with the delightful Bee and the lovely Scott (the couch donations rock my tiny planet!), and if any of the other Canadian bloggers are based in Toronto / Montreal, it'd be great to meet you too!

Yay holidays! Yay a different continent! Yayness all round!


PS Any ideas of what I really NEED to see while I'm over there....let me know!
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If a picture tells a thousand words....then here are about nine thousand...

So, here are the pictures for the weekend - some slapdash shots of Tilly and the Wall (I'm afraid I was having far too much fun dancing and singing to take more), a few shots of Jean and I post-gig (woo!), and the two of us the morning (well, midafternoon) after. Ti-red!

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And I watched the world being reborn ‘till one a.m.

So, that was quite the weekend. An action packed morning at school Saturday - Open Day (which is always a complete mindblup, with loads of questions about ratios, class sizes, subject modifications, learning support schedules etc.etc.....)! Then a driving lesson (it's going.....OK? I think?). Then.....Oxford!

I arrived mid-afternoon and was met by the superlatively beautiful Jean (I kid you not...a skinny yet curvy blond braniac with a penchant for dancing and good literature, the girl's a legend). Walking then tea then walking then dinner then walking then a gig.

And what a gig it was. I have been in love with Tilly and the Wall for about half a year now, but oh my gosh, they are totally brilliant live. What their CDs cannot capture is the sheer passion and banter and virtuosity and f**k the world attitude - they were like a spangly, beautiful, one-of-a-kind musical whirlwind. Their support band (The Little Ones) were good also, all power pop and guitars and percussion coming out the ying yang; and the lead singer is a total sweetheart. But Tilly were simply amazing - everything was even better than I was hoping, the harmonies, the tapdancing, the jumping up and down, the all. Jean and I also had amazing positions - two or three people back, right in the thick of it :-). If you want to have a great night, go to an end of tour gig by these guys and enjoy pogoing up and down for the whole of 'Nights Of The Living Dead', lingering especially on the final chorus of 'I wanna f**k it up, I wanna f**k it up'. I am officially in love with this band. I am officially back in love with gigging (how can I have stayed away so long?). And I think I have a bit of a crush on Nick from Tilly and the Wall! Hehehe.

Photos to follow!

The rest of the night was walking through a balmy Oxford, looking at the lunar eclipse, and having a long and random and deep chat, which continued till way past two. Then a Sunday of shopping and relaxing and Italian food and yet more chat. I love hanging out with old friends ~ they've always got plenty of opinions to share!

And now we're back to school ~ the play I am ADing is next week, so as well as school and reports and the whole crazy thing, I've got props and playlists and programmes a-plenty to deal with. Thank heavens Easter is just around the bend!

I hope you all had a great weekend too! And thanks again for all the bloggy love - last week kind of sucked!

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Feeling more

Aloha, beautiful people. Thanks for all the internet / bloggy love over the last post ~ I hate feeling blue, but I think I'm striding out of it now. I think sometimes you just have to go with the lows and ride it out, but they clash pretty majorly with my usual modus operandi (chirpy, smiley, warm, sunny-natured)!

Lots of good things helped me to lift my mood....the boys coming to find me to tell me they'd found two frogs 'piggybacking' (hee. Everything's a learning opportunity, right?)...a new phone to arrive next week, and a new package for more chat (I've been rationing my calls recently, and I love to chat!) Tilly and the Wall tickets arriving and the promise of a weekend with Jeeeeeeaaaan!...a bunch of texts and emails from folk who make me smile...a VISA bill arriving where I actually saw my budgeting startng to kick in... dropping three pounds (finally, the healthkick restarts!) of the Year 7s choosing me as a 'role model' because I'm "cool, and just unafraid to be yourself" (mouth of babes?)...the fact I get to go back home in a month (I swear, Scotland revives my soul!)...Brett 'picking on me' and getting me to do even more stuff with the youth at church...and the mornings beginning to lighten.

It's all good, right?

I hope the weekend proves to be fabulous and replenishing in equal measure...I'm off to get ready for our teddy bears picnic!!!

Love ya,

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