Monday, 29 December 2008

I Need More Time!!

It's raining and people here are so happy to the weather has returned to normal from the snow that blanketed the city before I arrived.

Since I last wrote....

- My flight from Tucson to Phoenix was delayed by 3 hours, which means I had to be re-booked out of Phoenix to Seattle and arrived 4 hours later than what was planned. Steve met me at the airport and took me to Todd and Raechelle's. Finally, I met Todd and his kids. It felt like I already knew him as we've be virtual friends for a long time. Despite being weary from travel and lingering jet-lag, I had loads of fun. They are all lovely people. You can read a bit more about that here.

- Rae dropped me off along with her cat, Ruby, which I get to use while I'm here (Thank you Rae!) at Steph's and Steve, Steph and I caught up. I slumped off to bed and had my first full night's sleep. When I woke, I no longer felt hazy. The Jet-lag had gone. Hooray!

-Yesterday I went shopping with Steph and it was very successful. We both don't like shopping and discovered that when you put two women who don't like shopping together, it end up being enjoyable, fast and yielding fruitful results. Then in the evening we went to dinner at West 5 Lounge and Julia and Chris came down to meet us. There was much laughter and my face hurt by the end of the eve.

- Today I'm off to meet Sandra and eat and shop some more. I still have things I would like to get over here. Calls and plans also need to be made.

There are a load of people I would like to see, but I'm not certain how to make this happen. A week just isn't enough time. :-(

Friday, 26 December 2008

Sunday, 21 December 2008

Happy Solstice! Happy Happy!

So today on my side of the pond the sun rose at 8:05 and set tonight at 15:55. It is the shortest day of the year, and this year I hardly noticed. Normally the lack of sunlight really weighs on me, but not this year!

Things continue to go well aside from the fact that my personal laptop has gone all buggy. The jack where the power chord connects finally went kaput. So, no power gets to my laptop. This means no promised pictures.

Other than that all is going well (touch wood, touch wood). And, now the sun returns.

Oh and here is a funny anecdote from work:

One of my students came into homeroom the other day and announced loudly, "Miss Martin, my dad went to a Christmas Party last night and got so drunk that he accidentally pushed his contact to the back of his eye. He got it out eventually, but it was difficult." I informed my student that while I appreciated the story, I didn't think that his father would appreciate him telling it to me and the rest of the class. His response, "Oh my dad won't care. It was funny." This is one of the many reasons why I love my job, but I still need these next two weeks off.

I'm off on Tuesday to the US. I'm going to Tucson to my grandma and my parents will be there. Then I'm off to Seattle where I will be seeing many fabulous friends, among them Raechelle and her fiance Todd, who I've yet to actually meet face to face. Can't wait!

So, hooray and yay and Happy Solstice to all. Now, I need to break out some candels and give a little thanks before heading off to meet the boy.

Tuesday, 9 December 2008

Why Worry?

I just spent the last four days (more or less) with J-. :-) All weird worries, feelings, etc. have dissipated. He got quite ill, however, which is why he stayed as long as he did, and I had to deal with a bit of 'man-flu'. I'll be seeing him Thursday and I've Friday off.

Oh deary me, I do like this man.

And I used the b-word and he used the g-word. Well, no I didn't actually say the word 'boyfriend'. To be honest I have a difficult time saying it, but I copped to it. On Friday, the bouncers of the club we were at jokingly pushed him outside the ropes because he supports Arsenal. One of the bouncers turned to me and in front of J- asked, "Is this your boyfriend?"

"Yes," I replied.

He pointed to the club. "Then you should go in there and find yourself a new one."

On Sunday, J- convinced me to upgrade my cable package (he's paying for it) so he could watch sports as well as other channels I didn't have since he is here so much. On the phone to my provider he said, "Actually, it's my girlfriend's cable."

We spoke a bit of things between us, clarified things, and I'm back to feeling happy with this whole thing once again. It's the distance that drives me nuts. Literally, it drives me nuts. My imagination goes a bit haywire. I just think too much. Something I've been told a myriad of times.

I think I'm going to return to keeping quiet about my feelings surrounding this again. It has been good for me to virtually vent, but he has no idea that I blog. I think it's just best if I return to writing about abstract things that strike me funny or entertaining occurrences in my life.

Again thank you for reading.

One more thing (as Columbo would say), I went to a Georgian masquerade ball this weekend for Khrisslyn's hen-do. I'll post some pics when I get a chance.

Friday, 5 December 2008

Spoke Too Soon

Of course as soon as I put down in words my frustration, J- contacts me and asks me to join him in town tonight and go clubbing with him.

While this makes me feel better, it doesn't solve some of the issues I'm having with this relationship. However, I do really enjoy his company and fancy him quite a bit too. I will have fun this evening and take it as it comes, which is what I really should be doing anyway I know. Vamos a ver (we'll see)

And tomorrow is Khrisslyn's hen-do. Good times to be had. I just wish I wasn't still sick.

Thursday, 4 December 2008

Higland Happiness, London Lonliness

Again, it's been a while- usual excuses.

This last weekend was James and Dawn's wedding. It was absolutely lovely and a spectacular time.

Stupidly, I left my camera at home, so these pictures were ll taken with my phone. Here are a few snaps from the wedding.


The Ben Wyvis Hotel in Strathpeffer, where it all took place:

A bit of Strathpeffer:

Me in my dress with the cape on:

Me in my dress with the cape off:
(I had this picture taken to send to J-, who replied with 'Stunning')

A young kilted lad. His kilt was 22 years older than he was:

The happy couple cutting cake:

Dawn and Em and some lovely gentlemen:
(They were quite a fun lot. It was by far the best singles table that I have ever sat at.)

The beautiful single gals:
(From left to right Em, Sarah, me, and Holy)

The happy couple's first dance as a married couple:Holly had hired a car and she was quite familiar with the area we were having spent some time there. So while we were at the reception, she offered to take us on a bit of a Highland tour the next day. Our flight back to London wasn't until 3:50, so we all agreed. Here are some pics from that drive.

I don't remember the name of these two lochs, but they were quite beautiful:



This is Eilean Donan castle located on Loch Duich

And this is certainly a loch whose name you've heard before, Loch Ness.
Unfortunately, by the time we arrived at Loch Ness we were short on time and just barely made it to Inverness to get our flight home. Thus, I was only able to grab a quick picture and didn't get any quality time for Nessie watching.

And so home in cold, dreary London where I subsequently became ill and had to take two days off work. Back also to my love life. After the entire disappearing incident where all was explained things seemed to be progressing well between us. However, in the last four days the distance, barely having a chance to see each other, and other factors which are private have begun to weigh heavily upon me. Part of me thinks that once I see J- again, I'll have a better idea of my feelings. The other part of me wants to cancel next week's plans with him (We're not going to see each other this weekend either-that will make three weeks in a row without seeing each other!) and just get over it and move on with my life. However, I know that's just my frustration with all the previous mentioned factors talking and has nothing whatsoever to do with how much I like him. After all if I didn't enjoy his company so much, it wouldn't upset me that I won't see him for a while.

Friday, 28 November 2008

I'm a Loser, Baby part 2

You'll remember a while back that I mentioned how a group of us at work were entering a 'Biggest Loser' contest at work. Well, today was the last weigh in.

I was doing quite well. I was in the lead for almost the entire contest. Pounds were flying off my body. I was cycling daily and running on the weekends and I paid strict attention to everything that went into my body.

People made comments on how my skin had improved. As more weight came off people noticed changes in my face and saw it on my body. My jeans, which were once too tight, were too big. It was such a thrill and I was feeling great.

Then I met J-

J- loves to cook. Loves to make me big roast dinners. Our mutual friend, Dave, described J- as a 'feeder.' J- fed me well and I ate it all up.

Plus, I eat as an emotional release sometimes. For example I ordered a large stuffed crust Pizza and jalapeño poppers after I discovered J- was okay last weekend, and I ate it all that night. Why even today I've devoured a large Galaxy chocolate bar.

I stopped cycling to work because it got too cold and therefore possibly icy. Aside from walking into Kingston to do some shopping Thursday night, I did no exercise this week.

So, I knew I had probably blown it. It had been a month since I had weighed in. I stepped on the scale and...

I lost 6 more pounds bringing the percentage of my initial weight lost to %14.2!

I was the biggest loser! And, now I am £360 richer. I just need to keep it off while dating this feeder.

For your listening pleasure. I'm off to Scotland for James and Dawn's wedding.

Tuesday, 25 November 2008

Barry Scary

All was explained and J-'s disappearing was explained. There was nothing he could have done and it was also not his fault. Trust me. I'm just relieved that he's okay and things have reverted to normal.

In other news, apparently Barry Manilow is considered to be a punishment by a judge in Colorado along with Dolly Parton, Karen Carpenter and Barney the Dinosaur.

Click here to read all about it.

Sunday, 23 November 2008

I'm in Hell

I'm in hell.

Hell is when someone vanishes and you don't know what happened to them, where they could be, or if they are okay.

J- was meant to meet me tonight (well at this point last night) at Arsenal tube stop. He was already in a foul mood as he was coming from Manchester (Man City Stadium) into London and Arsenal (ironically his football team) had lost pretty badly. Then, his train was delayed so we decided to meet at the party. He knew the area where the party was, as Arsenal's home stadium is there. I sent him a text with the address. At 9:45 I received this text.

"Still not in. Am getting really pissed off. Should be there in 20 minutes."

I responded that he deserved some serious pampering due to the day he was having, which I would give him. And, time passed. I rang him at 10:45 and it went straight to voice mail. Thus, I assumed he was in the tube. I continued to ring and text as it became 11:15, 11:30, etc. It always went straight to voice mail and I never received a response to my texts. My friend, Bambos, rang National Rail Enquires at midnight, and I rang May. May rang, David, who knew friends that had gone to the same football game. Both David's friend and National Rail Enquiry informed us that there were severe delays on that line. The woman David had spoken to hadn't even gotten into London until 11:30. May told me that the train this woman had been on would seem like it was almost there and then would back track. I could picture J- getting really angry and getting off the train at a stop to get a train back to Norfolk where he currently lives. But if that was the case, he'd tell me right?

He never showed up. I was in tears at 12:30. I left him a long message urging him to call me as soon as he could to let me know he was okay and left the party with a friend at 1AM.

Once home, I finally was able to fall asleep at 3AM but I woke up at 5:30. I just rang him again, and it still goes to voice mail.

At the beginning of the evening before the trains had even begun to have problems, J- said that he was so annoyed with the game he almost went home instead of coming to meet me and come to this party, but that he had calmed down a bit and was better. I responded that I was glad he didn't go home because I would have been really annoyed if he had. Therefore, I am wondering if he decided to go home once the trains had problems and turned his phone off so as not to deal with my annoyance and would speak to me later when this had all blown over. If that's the case, I will have a difficult time continuing to date him. Turning off his phone so as not to deal with letting me down would show that he only thinks of himself and has little to no regard for my feelings. I would not have been happy, but I would have understood had he just told me. Plus, I would have been able to enjoy the rest of my evening without worry.

Or, maybe his phone died and he had no way to charge it and no way to let me know what had happened. So he went home, arrived insanely late, went to bed, and plans on ringing me later to tell me what happened.

Really hope it is one of those previously mentioned situations or that whatever happened, he is safe. Am sick with worry, unable to sleep, don't know what happened and there is nothing I can do about it. This is my hell.

Saturday, 22 November 2008

Shopping Success!

I had to buy a dress for James and Dawn's wedding. Shopping is not something I enjoy especially at this time of year. People tend to annoy me and I find myself thinking horrid things like, 'Out of my way, you skanky wench,' and 'Shut up, you little bit--,' or 'Walk a little slower why don'tchya, you old crow' at the innocent people who are just doing the same thing I am doing. I can stomach shopping a bit better when I'm with my friends, but in reality the only person I'm able to actually enjoy shopping with is my mother-believe it or not. She's great to shop with when you need something. Somehow she makes the experience fun.

Last summer when I needed a dress for Mike and Anna's wedding, she and I went all over Asheville in search of one. After 3 days we found one. It was more than what I wanted to pay originally, but it was lovely and I got loads of compliments on it.

But, now I'm back in London with James and Dawn's wedding looming on the horizon and not a decent frock in my closet. I put this off as long as possible, but I knew that today would have to be the day. So I dragged myself out.

At Mark's and Spencer's a dress practically jumped out at me and said , 'Me me me!!! I'm perfect for you!!'

It was the first and last dress I tried on. I loved it so much that I took pictures of it in the dressing room and sent it to friends. It is actually two pieces. Here is the main dress.


And here it is with the little top jacket thingy.


YAY!!!! Hoping my luck continues. Have a house to tidy and then am meant to meet J- and we're off to a party.

Oh and I have 3 stalkers now! Hooray. Come stalk me, please!

Thursday, 20 November 2008

Who am I? Facebook Will Tell You.

When I first signed on to Facebook, I tried every application that came along. I had a ball, but now it all seems a bit too much. I have far too many applications now. They all seem a bit silly, so I've decided to delete most of them. Many of the applications I'm binning are little silly quizzes that supposedly tell you what you're like.

So in case you're curious here is what/which (fill in the blank) I am:

Fruit- I'm a pomegranate.
Drugs- I'm mushrooms.
Sex and the City character- I'm Carrie.
Dictator- I'm Theodora.
Friends character- I'm Monica.
Harry Potter character- I'm Hermione.
Jane Austen heroine- I'm Elizabeth Bennet.
Star Wars character-I'm Princess Leah.
Heroes character- I'm Peter Petrelli

Other interesting tid bits I found out about myself via Facebook:

I'm right brained and thus one of those creative types. My IQ according to Facebook is apparently 134. I'm not a genius, but I'm no dumb bunny either. My actual age is 34. (woo hoo!) Oh and my life is 70% perfect, so remind me of that the next time I'm moaning.

And, that's me...according to Facebook. All those silly applications are now no longer on my profile. Only the really important ones (Superpoke, My Little Green Patch, My City, etc.) remain.

Changing subject slightly-I'd be honoured if you'd 'stalk me'. Wondering what that means? Well look to the right side of my blog. I have only one stalker, Mrs. B, so far. (If you are reading this via Facebook notes. You can still stalk me. Simply go to my original blog here and stalk away.)

Wednesday, 19 November 2008

Holy Sh--!

OH MY GOD! (hyperventilate, breathe, gasp choke) Holy Shmolly! This isn't happening!

I think I'm in a...re..re...rel...relationship.

F*@k!

I'm not certain how I let this happen. I did do my best to sabotage this, I swear. I spent all last week convincing myself that J- didn't like me, was seeing someone else, was wanting to see someone else. I obsessed and my friends here were on the verge of throwing stuff at me and smacking me around to get me to stop. Eventually I calmed down.... a bit.

Then, he invited me up to stay at his parents' place up north as his parents were on holiday this last weekend.

I relaxed a bit more.

And, I had a lovely weekend. It was very mellow, very nice and just the two of us. He picked up on my paranoia a bit and told me I had no reason to worry. J- told me that he wants to take it slowly. (I have to admit that it doesn't feel slow to me somehow.) He said that if he were living in London he'd be seeing me 2 to 3 times a week. However since he doesn't, once a week for a few days would have to do. He also said that the reason why he wants to take this slow is that his 'fingers were burnt badly in the divorce'. Oh, and his parents know about me!! Gulp! My parents don't know about him. I have no intention of telling them until Christmas-if we're still together that is.

It was a lovely time- did I mention that? Oh yeah, I did. I watched him feed cows. I helped him feed chickens. (His parents have cows and chickens obviously). He took me to his local and introduced me to a few mates of his, but mostly we just chilled out with each other for 3 days. It was very, very comfortable-kinda like a little old couple (his words).

I hope writing this doesn't jinx me. My brother was on-line last night, so I told him. Hope that doesn't jinx me. I asked my brother not to tell my parents as that always seems to jinx me. I think I'll stick to my Christmas plan. And oh no....

I'm going to have to get J- a Christmas pressie aren't I? That is if we're still together then.

Wednesday, 5 November 2008

Wow!!!!

I'm so happy! So very, very happy! I'm also so damn proud to be an American, especially an American living abroad. As of January 20, 2009 I will no longer have to cringe when the president of my country speaks. I'm proud, proud, proud today to be an American-prouder than I have ever been!

Yay!!!

I've been up since 3AM and now I have to go to work. It's going to be a bleary/tiring day for me, but quite a joyful one.

Tuesday, 4 November 2008

History

I'm excited. My fingers are crossed. I've not slept well in the past few days and it doesn't look like I will sleep well tonight either. Back in Feb 2007, I posted this blog and now it's the day we find out the answer to that question.

I'm going to go to bed about 8 and will set my alarm for 2AM. I will then wake up and watch the results of this historic vote.

My ballot was cast 2 weeks ago, and my hats are off for those back in the US who are queuing up for hours and hours. It's amazing. The sheer voter turn-out alone is inspirational.


I hope that I can sleep tonight.

Thursday, 30 October 2008

Disgraceful Desk

My desk at home was a disgrace. I could put nothing on it and papers were sliding off. So I took a picture of it and started at it.

So I started pulling things off the desk and out of the drawers and things just got worse.

(Raechelle, is your heart beating fast? Do you want to come here and sort this for me? Too bad!) I went to work and made a list. I love making lists. Lists make me feel grounded. In order to organise all my papers and things in the following manner:

1. Citizenship Papers- Anything I think I would need when I apply for Permanent Leave to Remain and then UK Citizenship went in this pile.
2. Finances UK- All my UK bank statements, etc. went in this pile.
3. Finances US-All bank statements, etc. from the US went here
4. Health- Anything having to do with my health insurance, the ultra-sound from when I had that pain, etc.
5. Living-This was a bit more general. My leases, recent bills, and documents pertaining to my current living situation.
6. Manuals- for all my electrical appliances. You know, just in case I forget how to use my stereo.
7. Memorabilia- Pictures, cards, and various crap that means nothing to anyone but me.
8. Menus- All my take out menus with Joy, the restaurant we ordered from this weekend on the top.
9. Pension- As if that's worth anything right now.
10. School- All paperwork I need for work. Not papers to mark but contracts and such.

Then I had degrees, certificates, visa stuff from Mexico, and various other important things I didn't know how to categorise, but I knew I would need one day. They went into another pile.

In my drawer I put the stuff I needed to grab quickly: post-it notes, paper clips, passport, checking books, stamps, usb cables, usb stick, etc.

But then there was stuff I needed for recording podcasts and voiceovers-headphones, microphone, etc. I put these things in a box. Oh and all this stationary and 3 random clipboards. What the hell was I going to do with them?

Then I took another look at the piles. I combined piles 1 and 3 into a big accordion file. The Memorabilia went into two boxes which I marked. I put all the Manuals in the top drawer of the little wooden drawer organiser thingy next to my desk. My printer paper was in the 2nd and the rest of my stationary went the bottom drawer. The three clipboards and a box of stationary I put on top of the little wooden drawer organiser thingy. Everything else went into separate large envelope files. I labelled everything.

Then I started to put it all back together. I had some random little decorative things which I placed in the appropriate places. The files that I would need to grab with more frequency I put in the bottom part of my desk. And after about 6 hours, I was done.


And this is how I spent my day. I had every intention of sorting my kitchen and bathroom as well, but lost my steam. I will be cleaning a bit more tomorrow. I've made a list a list of what needs to get done.

Tuesday, 28 October 2008

Don't Worry!



I didn't forget. I mailed in my absentee ballot last week. What about you? Did you vote early? If not will you remember on November 4?

Monday, 27 October 2008

A Blog to Procrastinate By

Ahhhh what to do what to do. It is my October break and I have made no plans to travel. I have a stack of papers to mark, a desk to organise, a flat to clean, and it is a beautiful day so I probably should go for a run. However, I think I will blog a little instead of all of those.

Procrastination at its finest.

I had a lovely weekend. On Friday I went to see Aimee Mann at Indigo in the O2 with my friend Jason. I'm not a big fan, but she put on a great show.

On Sat. I went out to SO, a Japanese restaurant in Soho to celebrate Dave, May's fiancée's, birthday. It was through Dave that I met J- , the man I mentioned in a previous post, thus I first met up with him and we went together. It was a fun dinner with drinks afterwards and then J- came back to mine for the rest of the weekend more or less. :-) He did leave to go to a football game on Sunday, but returned later that eve and we ordered an outrageous amount of Indian food from my favourite Indian restaurant in Surbiton, Joy. I just realised that both SO and Joy promote themselves as 'contemporary' food. So is this as opposed to traditional or ancient??? Does this mean that the food is fresh and not made a week ago? Or was it made with modern means as opposed to being over a wood fire? Well whatever 'contemporary' means when it comes to Japanese and Indian food, both were very yummy!

J- and I stayed up to an ungodly hour Sat eve/ Sun morn watching YouTube videos of Bill Bailey. This one is one of my favourites. I encourage you to go to YouTube and find some more.



So, J- left this morning. And, here I am blogging about my weekend to avoid doing work. I've also been hanging out on Facebook and chatting with friends. Later this eve I'm headed off to having a drink with a friend in London. Thus, I think I'm best to go and get some work done especially as it is almost 4-oops.

Wednesday, 22 October 2008

Getting Back in the Groove...Slowly...Kinda

Surprise! A post!

I know I haven't been blogging as I was before. I've not even been a faithful reader to those on my blogroll. Sorry about that. I will endeavour to be a more avid reader, as it is something I greatly enjoy.

I'm trying to overcome whatever this is that has kept me from writing furiously. I know that within these last two months I have thought about blogging and then thought, "Naah...I don't really have anything to say." As if that has ever stopped me from blogging before.

I've also thought, "I'm just too tired to write," on more than one occasion when I thought about blogging. It's almost like I just shoved all thoughts and feelings within me and kind of became a virtual hermit. In a way my creativity just shrivelled up. The well went dry.

I am not writing to say, 'Hey look, I'm back!' I don't know if I am really. However, I do think that if maybe I sit and force myself to write things, post here that maybe...just maybe this block or what ever it is that keeps me from sitting and writing will go. Hell maybe I'll actually get back up to snuff with 'My Luck with Cars and Boys'

Items of note...

* Still in the lead, but just barely, in this biggest loser competition. I've lost 11% off my initial weight so far. I stopped dieting this week just to see what would happen. I'll bet that I end up gaining weight.

* Bought my plane tickets back to the US for the holidays. It turns out that my parents are on the same leg of the flight from Atlanta to Tucson that I am, although they bought their tickets months before me. Serendipitous, no?

* My ballot has been mailed, and I'm anxiously awaiting the election.

* I met Stephen Fry and had him sign my copy of Stephen Fry in America. He wrote, 'Heather, loved your country and your state,' and he chatted with me for a few seconds as well. I was like a giddy teenager all gah-gah about meeting a pop star.

* Went Ceilidh dancing in prep for James and Dawn's wedding last weekend. It was a great time. Their wedding isn't for a couple of weeks, so I hope I remember what I've learned then.

* Went to Festival of Sins, which some friends of mine put on every other month. Not something I normally do, but always a good time. Ended up meeting a friend of some friends. (FoS is not something he normally does either) It's very early days, so I am keeping mum about details and might be for some time. Let's just say that things seem to be going well thus far (touch wood, touch wood). He made me a roast dinner last weekend-you gotta love that. :-D Not saying much else. I'm not feeling very comfortable about broadcasting my personal details all over the internet, which maybe is why I've not been blogging much.

Suddenly I want to keep my life to myself. Well, not suddenly really. But, I have or the last few months. I still like blogging, but I guess I feel that unless I have something really funny or interesting to say, it's best not to say anything. When I lost my internet connection, I got used to not having my blog as my outlet. My job has also been keeping me busy. Now that I'm a HoD there seems to be a lot of writing and thinking involved. It rather takes away the urge to do so on one's personal time (good God, that sounded really English!)

And so thank you my dear readers, who faithfully check in on me only to be disappointed lately, for being patient. I can't promise that I will be blogging with as much fury as I have in the past, but I will still be here and I will still write...from time to time at least. Oh and I'll be reading my blog roll more. That I do promise.

Monday, 29 September 2008

I'm Voting Republican

I'm actually going through writer's block, but came across this on YouTube and thought I'd post it. I'm sure most of you have probably seen it before.


Bet you can't guess how I'm really gonna vote, huh?

In case you're confused allow me to clarify.



Not that I've been a lifelong Republican or even one for 10 seconds.

The internet is up and running at Chez H. So hopefully this bout will go and I'll be my witty ol' writing-too-much for my own self soon.

As an aside, I've lost 16 pounds (granted I probably put 5 or 6 on before this competition began, but I'm pleased nonetheless)

I'll get back to that Cars and Boys Blog soon too as soon as this writer's block rash clears.

Friday, 12 September 2008

Monday, 1 September 2008

Oh For F's Sake!

This is ridiculous. All these people do is go around teaching others about sustainability, but now that the Republican Convention is coming to the Twin Cities (my birthplace, by the way) , they are suddenly grouped in as being Anarchists and have had their home taken away.

Another reason why I won't be voting for McCain.

I'm a Loser, Baby

About 16 of us at work all put in £20 to enter our own "Biggest Loser" contest. For those of you not familiar with this it is from the US television show "The Biggest Loser" in the US. We all weighed in this morning and after 12 weeks the person who loses the highest percentage of body weight wins the pot (that's £320!)

So, I've been eating and eating and eating for the last week knowing my weigh-in was today. I was eating to the point of being sick practically. And it worked. Holy shmolly!! I'm the heaviest I have ever been. Now it's time to lose.

Today, I begin a smart healthy diet and I am now back on my bike. I will be cycling to Esher, where the shuttle gets us, 3 days this week and hopefully more next week. This is a total of 6 miles a day on those days. On at least two other days I will complete long (5k and above) run/walks. There will be one day

Part of the reason I am only cycling for only 3 days this week is that I am preparing Friday Treats. I plan on continuing to making my ever so delicious brownies and banana bread, but I may label them as 'low fat' as a bit of a joke. I will be brining in healthy stuff as well and labelling it 'high fat' so people get it.

I'm actually quite relieved to be eating correctly again. It was getting to be a chore to pig out everyday, and that is something I never thought I would say.

----------------
Now playing: Beck - 01 - Loser
via FoxyTunes

Friday, 29 August 2008

The Picture That Won't Be Used

Every year one of our fabulous art teachers, Marjorie, puts together this lovely bulletin board just outside the office with pictures of the middle school faculty and what they teach. This is for parents to see who their children's teachers are on Open House eve. The one Marjorie took of me my first year has been used every year, but this year it had to be changed? Why? Well, about 6 inches came off my hair in December. That's why. (As an aside one of my students at the time asked, "Miss, did you cut your hair? To which I responded, "No, I washed it with really hot water and it shrunk." It took him a minute to get it.)

Anyway, last Friday the new staff and I all sat outside to have our picture taken. Marjorie took mine first and then looked at the digital image and shook her head. "Oh we can't use this one."

Gee, I wonder why?


I think this one is being used instead.



Feel free to pass the post along to your single male friends in their mid-thirties to mid forties, who happen to live in the great London area. ;-)

Wednesday, 27 August 2008

Flying Spaghetti Monster

Thank you very much to Steve for reminding me of the Church of the FSM.

Of course for you to really understand my reason for loving it as much as I do, please read the Open Letter to the Kansas School Board.

And, I'm jetted right back to when I was working at an unnamed school district just outside the Seattle area. A group of VERY right wing parents were trying to ban Harry Potter from the district because it was "Pagan". As if 1. that is a bad thing and 2. the books espouse actual pagan beliefs. The Multicultural Education Director in our district wanted me to defend Harry Potter in front of the school board against this group proving 1. Harry Potter is not a Pagan book and 2. there is nothing wrong with Paganism-after all I (a fairly well respected teacher in that district) was one.

My principal put the kibosh on that, however. As he put it, "These people have more power than you realise. I don't want to lose one of my best teachers." In the end I gave our Multicultural Education Director enough evidence to make the Right Wingers look idiotic and the school board didn't ban our dear friend, Harry. I left the US shortly thereafter.

Thus, I admire the followers of the FSM. And applaud them for speaking out in their own individual way for Freedom of Religion or Freedom to not have any religion. May my home country see that Freedom of Religion (or lack thereof) stays that way. It's been dangerously close to abandoning that freedom before.

As a bit of a post scrip to this story, I told my friend Michael about my experience as it was unfolding and he was inspired to draw this portrait of me as an angry goddess. I'd like for you to notice 2 things. 1. The 'H' in my head-piece and 2. the fact that I'm holding a copy of Harry Potter.

Tuesday, 26 August 2008

And here...

I thought I would have all this time tonight to blog and post pics on Facebook. So I decided to upload pics to Facebook covering my entire summer first. Big mistake! There were many problems and it took me about 2 hours to get them all up.

So, my long blog is now a quick few paragraphs and some pics. My Bank Holiday weekend was quite self-indulgent and fun. Back to normality now.

I went to Notting Hill Carnival. Here are pictures I was able to get from the parade.












Apparently, there was a stand-off between the police and carnival goers. I saw nothing. It was crowded and quite loud....and fun.

And now I'm off to bed after sitting most of the night in front of the computer accomplishing very little.

Tuesday, 19 August 2008

Ethical Dilemmas of the Monetary Sort

I am not really certain what to do about these two things.

1. Before I went on my holiday I rang my cable company to cancel my television but keep my internet. I was talked into a package that was cheaper than just keeping broadband and phone and in fact combined the three: cable, broadband and phone. It did mean that I would have less channels, but that was what I wanted in the end really-to watch less television. While I was gone they phoned me and left a message saying they couldn't complete the change as there wasn't a phone line in my area. I came home wondering if my cable and broadband would still be working. They are. However, I haven't received a bill for the last 2 months. I looked on-line at my bank details today and their direct debit has been cancelled. I didn't cancel it. They did, but I still have the service. Should I tell them?

2. This next one is a doozy. One of my US Credit Cards (I have 2 US ones and no UK ones-avoiding that at all costs, and trying to pay off the US ones) was near its limit at the end of my holiday. I was a bit worried that it would go over the limit once the interest and periodic rate went through, so I made an extra payment online. I checked today to see what the status is. My balance is $0.00 and I have the full amount of my credit available to me. It's as if someone paid off my balance, but when you look through the transactions it's not there anywhere. Apparently it has been $0.00 for the last 4 days. Should I tell them?

When I tell people about these recent pitfalls of fortune for me, the general response has been to not say anything. The justification for this is that both companies make more than enough money (especially the credit card) so I should just relax and enjoy this windfall.

What do you think?

Oh and, let me take a moment to apologise for not posting in a while. It's been a bit crazy since V Fest what with school starting up and me finishing up my course. Our welcome Pizza party is tomorrow, and I get to meet all my new little ones. They will be walking in like deer-in-headlights since they are the youngest in the middle school. The first full day of school is Thursday.

Thursday, 14 August 2008

Plays Well With Others But Has Trouble Sharing

I just had a quick email exchange with someone (she knows who she is) and a little light bulb went bing.

And it all made sense.

I'm quite selfish.

Now, I know I'm nice and giving when it comes to my friends. And, I've been accused of being too giving to (and sometimes by) my ex's. But oh no, that's all a façade. It's a ruse to make you think..."Awww H is so lovely. She's so sweet and nice and giving and funny. I wish she would meet someone as great as she is."

Well, don't you worry. I do meet men as great as I am. They are all selfish too.

Fact is I don't really want to share. I don't really want to give up my time, my space, my travel, my right to leave dirty dishes in the sink and bras on the floor. I want to keep my precious time to myself. I'm greedy.

Let's take a look at my 3 most pressing concerns currently. 1. Will I have enough money to go to Malta to celebrate Mark and Marissa's Wedding, Scotland for Dawn and James's wedding, the US for Christmas and New Year, and New Zealand to visit Laura and Bryce and meet little Mica? 2. I need to lose weight and get fit again, and 3. Is my jet lag finally gone and will I be asleep in an hour?

I'm not worried about my partner or my kids. I'm not being affected by anyone else's problems on a deep intimate and daily level (touch wood that my family remains in good health-that is the only area where at this point I would be affected quite deeply). I read about other peoples problems and feel for them, but at the end of the day the only person I really worry about is me.

I like playing with my friends' kids or babysitting and giving the kids back. I like going to other people's weddings and being touched by the amount of love and sharing between them and celebrating their love with the rest of our mutual friends and acquaintances. Thank goodness someone can share like that.

I went to a psychic once who said to me, 'It's hard to learn how to stand with someone else when you have been standing alone for so long.' With a few exceptions where I had a taste of a serious relationship here and there, I have been standing alone for a very long time. You know it's funny. I can't smoke whole cigarettes any more. I will on rare occasions light them for people and take a few puffs before handing them back. Maybe that's how I am with relationships too. I just want a drag, not the whole cigar.

When I was 35 my biggest fear was that I would get to be 40 and not be married and not have kids and not (gasp) even have a boyfriend. And guess what? I'm 40. I'm not married. I don't have kids. I don't even (gasp) have a boyfriend. But, I'm having a pretty damn good time.

So, when Mr Poopy Pants, as I now call him, asked me, "Why aren't you married?" I should have simply said.

"I'm a selfish bitch."

If I were 3 my preschool anecdotal record would read, "Plays well with other but has difficulty sharing."

So if you'll excuse me now I need to pack for the weekend as I'm off to V-Fest.

Blog Tag

Mrs. B from Confessions of Pagan Soccer Mom tagged me. So, I will now be spreading the love.

Here are the directions:

1. Link back to the person who tagged you
2. Mention the rules on your blog
3. Tell about 6 unspectacular quirks of yours
4. Tag 6 following bloggers by linking them
5. Leave a comment on each of the tagged blogger’s blogs letting them know they’ve been tagged.

Here are my 6 unspectacular quirks.

1. I do this little thing when I'm excited or happy about something. I say, "Yay!" or something similar clap my hands three times and then shake my fists a little in the air as if I have little flags in them. Steve noticed this when he was visiting for my birthday.

2. I'm terrified of dark enclosed places like closets or basements. I have been ever since my Aunt Julie locked me in the basement when I was like 3 after letting me watch 'Night Gallery'. She was sixteen and babysitting me at the time.

3. I hate Brussels sprouts. Detest them. I think they are dirt tasting minions of Satan. You can not cover them in enough sauce to make me like them ever. Yuch! When I was 9 my father refused to let me leave the table until I had eaten my Brussels sprouts. I sat there for 2 1/2 hours and then my mother sent me to my room Brussles sprouts untouched on my plate.

4. I set alarms on my mobile to remind of things. Everyday I am reminded when it's near time to leave for work and near time to leave for home. I don't really need those reminders, but they're comforting somehow. I also have them set to take out my rubbish or recycling or water my plants, etc. (I do need those ones at times)

5. I tend to be distracted by my reflection. It's not a vanity thing but more like I need to make sure that's really me or that I'm really here. I annoy myself with this so I can only imagine how others feel.

6. I fall down or knock things over everyday. Yes, everyday. Today I knocked papers off my desk while talking to a colleague. Yesterday I dumped a plate of strawberries to the floor (there were only 3 strawberries really, but the loss of 3 strawberries is a sad, sad thing).

Ok, so now I will tag Raechelle, Todd, China Blue, Brandon, Ratchick, and (although I'm feeling kinda shy about doing this cus I just read his blog, laugh out loud but don't think I've ever made a comment) Johnny Virgil from 15 Minute Lunch

Wednesday, 13 August 2008

Home or I have Loads of Work to Do But This Is More Fun

First to satisfy Todd and Raechelle. Here is a pic of my rental.

So, I drove this lovely car to northern New Hampshire on Friday for Anna and Mike's wedding. Look how well we all wash up.


Look how lovely the place was where Mike and Anna got married.
And one more lovely picture of the beautiful bride in a beautiful setting.
Those last two pics were stitches from my digital camera. They are best viewed by clicking on them to see them full sized.

The reception was fun and fabulous and perhaps a little crazy at parts. Those pictures will not be posted here, and maybe I might come into some money for not posting them. Muah hahahaaaa...

On Saturday I went to Salem. This was my third visit. The first time was about 8 years ago. I felt kind of a 'homecoming' feeling during my first visit to Salem-a feeling I couldn't explain. Now, on the sceptic side of this I will admit that I was obsessed with the Salem Witch Trials when I was younger (about 11). So maybe I just knew things about Salem on a subconscious level that were residual from what I had read. On this trip I made certain to visit Laurie Cabot's The Cat, The Crow and The Crown. It's my favourite store in Salem. I've got loads of respect for Laurie Cabot, mainly because of this. I got a few things I needed before the store closed, had dinner and then went off to Haunted Footsteps.

I HIGHLY recommend this tour. Not only do you learn very interesting facts about Salem, but you also hear some very creepy stories as well. I had yet another experience as we approached the site of the old Salem jail. Now, I didn't know what the building was and didn't realise that the area we were approaching was a cemetery with quite the unique history behind it. All I knew is that I suddenly felt cold and didn't want to go anywhere near this area. Now, on the sceptic side of this sudden odd feeling I got before discovering the gruesome facts of the area (facts, by the way, that you will have to uncover on your own), one could say that I again was experiencing a subconscious memory of details I already knew having read about them and/or having been to Salem before. Still that doesn't explain the sudden drop in temperature I felt or the gut trepidation of not wanting to go near that place. It wasn't pleasant or thrilling in anyway-just really really awful.

And that wraps it up for me for now. I'm quite pleased to announce that it is now 11:35pm and I am sleepy! Yay!!! Last night it took me until 2:30AM to fall asleep. Maybe I will fall asleep earlier tonight. :-)

Home or It's 1AM and I Can't Sleep

Oh how I hate the jet lag coming back here! Going to the US is soooooo much easier. It's 1am and there are no signs that I will be asleep any time soon. My first day back is tomorrow, so I'm going to blog and then try to sleep. If I can't sleep then I'm going to do some work.

Got to Charlotte with plenty of time to board my flight to La Guardia. When we boarded all this steam came boarding out of the vents inside. It looked quite creepy, but no one else seemed bothered by it. It was really hot outside, so I figured (hoped) that this was normal. However, there was a delay...I don't remember why, but there was. We landed giving me 25 minutes before my next flight departed to Boston. It took me 12 minutes to get off the plan and I legged it to the gate where my next flight was boarding. I made it on time and out of breath and then waited...and waited...and waited. We were delayed due to weather at Logan airport. Then as we were the second in line to take off, our pilot informed us that Logan wasn't accepting any more flights and had shut down. The pilot said he wasn't certain why since the weather had cleared up. But we sat and sat and sat on the tarmac. After about an hour we took off.

I ended up getting a PT Cruiser instead of the economy car I had reserved because they were out of economy cars. I got it at the economy car price, however. Woo hoo. Then, went straight to Amy and Jeff's. Jeff, however, was visiting his parents in MI so I didn't get to see him.

I did spend some great quality time with Amy and Nick, who is now almost 6. On Thursday we went to the Quaboag area for hike. The weather was great when we started, but it looked ominous when we left. We went to a place called The Country Store for sandwiches afterwards. While we were there one of the customers who had come in asked if they had heard that there was a tornado warning for that area. The woman, who ended up being the owner or manager, said she had not. Then, a policeman came in and told the owner to close and head to the basement as a tornado had been reported touching down in New Salem. We got our sandwiches and left after being told it was probably ok as Amy lived in the opposite direction. It turned out to be a smaller funnel cloud, but until we found that out we had visions of the movie Twister in our heads. The weather became more and more severe in the evening. We were privy to quite the spectacular thunderstorm.

Ok, it's now 2:11 and I'm starting to feel sleepy. I'll admit that I was multitasking a bit and chatting while writing this so didn't get as far as I wanted. I'll write more tomorrow, but for now I'm gonna try to sleep.

Sunday, 10 August 2008

Almost Home or Why Twitter is Cool

I'm here in a hotel room alone after going on a historic haunting walk through Salem. It was fantastic actually-more of a history lesson than a ghost walk. However, I'm wide awake and slightly creeped out. Thus, the blogging.

Of course now that I've started typing this I'm overcome with exhaustion, so I'm afraid I'll leave you hanging and tell you about my trip when I get home. You can, however, get a bit of a preview of my trip from looking at my Twitter updates to the right of this post under "What's H doing right now?" (as an aside if you are reading this through Facebook you will have to go to the original posting on "H in London" on Blogger-you should go there anyway, bookmark it and read it regularly ;) ) I've been updating Twitter via text while I've been here and I now have a page element which allows anyone who comes to my blog to see my updates. If you want to follow me on Twitter (and have the option to send a receive updates via text or on line) you can click the link underneath the page element and join Twitter then add me.

Yes, I'm a great big cyber-social dork. I'll admit it.

Wednesday, 6 August 2008

On the Road Again

I'm going to be off line for a bit as I'm off in about 10 minutes to Charlotte where I will hop a plane to Boston. Then, I will rent (as they say over here) a car and drive to Jeff, Amy, and Nick's. Unfortunately, Jeff is in Michigan, so I'll be hanging with Amy and (not so little any more) Nick. From there I will drive to northern New Hampshire where Anna and Mike are getting married (yay!!) The day after I will drive back to MA and stay just outside of Salem for a night. Oh don't worry, I will be going into Salem. I love that place. Then, I will head down to Boston Airport on Sunday night and fly back to London. Thus, the next time you will read me will be from London. I will have stories to share I'm sure.

So, ciao for now! xxx

Tuesday, 5 August 2008

Tattoo Time

I'm doing this for the benefit of Mrs. B, who posted a blog about her breathtaking tattoo. Mine is nothing in comparison, but she was curious to see other people's tattoos so here we go...

My tattoo is an ankle tattoo and it always and forever will remind me of 2 very blessed and sacred elements in my life.

1. My Seattle friends. They all chipped in money as a birthday/good-bye present. I moved to Mexico a few months later, and as you all know I now live in London. Every time I look at it I think of them.

2. My spirituality. As a Celtic knot circling my ankle it binds me to the earth and therefore the universe. As the energy that runs through the earth, the universe and each of us ties us all together, it's my belief that we are duty bound to care for ourselves and the world and people around us. My tattoo is a reminder of this. I could go on and on for hours about my spiritual beliefs and how I came to be at the place I am, but I won't.


It's not the best pic of my tattoo, as I had to use my phone. My other camera ran out of juice and I've not gotten around to recharging batteries on it.

Oh, and here is a picture from the last party I had at my Seattle apartment where I'm showing off my tattoo. My friend, Michael, photo-shopped it and made it hilarious. Erin's face makes the pic and the comment Michael added. She's not against tattoos by the way. Her face was just in that expression.
So there you go. I have many friends with tattoos that are much more impressive than mine. I am thinking about getting another Celtic knot tattoo on my lower back, but I have a goal (a personal one) that I need to reach first.

MY FIRST SOLO PODCAST!!

This is my first solo podcast from the course I'm taking. I figured out how to upload it to blogger, so here it is. You can hear it by clicking that little arrow next to the title of this blog. You can also go to my original posting here at the Podbean site. Oh it's on iTunes as "Writing Wizards"

It isn't very exciting and I stumble over my words at times. It's a grammar exercise I do with my students called "The Magic Conversation". The story is written without the correct punctuation and then the students listen to the story and edit it. Just for fun, I'll include the story below and you can edit it correctly...you know if you're bored.

I plan on doing more of these both in an educational and non educational way. (I have 2 accounts on Podbean now)

The Magic Conversation

Once Upon a time there was a Fifth Grade class who was confused about writing dialogue. They asked their fairy godteacher, Ms. Martin, to help them. Don’t worry. It’s very easy, she assured them. No it’s not! exclaimed Martin, the student. Yes it is, the stunningly beautiful teacher continued. All you need to do is remember that every time you change speakers, you indent as if you are beginning a new paragraph. But then I will have 40 paragraphs, said Stefan. Won’t that look weird? asked Nicole. No it won’t, and it is ok if you think you are going to have a million paragraphs, the fairy godteacher continued in her soothing voice, which was as sweet as the chocolate her students gave her everyday. If you look in your independent reading book you will find that when there is a dialogue between characters the new speaker always begins on the next line. Oh, I get it, said Jacob. This is easy! Sarah cried out with glee. Don’t forget to use commas, question marks, and exclamation points in the correct way, the lovely teacher added. Please just read the examples in this conversation we just had. Or, you can look in Write Source on pg. 116 for help. Thank you, the entire class chimed at the same time. They all returned to busily and joyfully writing their stories and continued to learn happily ever after.

The End

Sunday, 3 August 2008

Missing Anniversaries Can Be a Good Thing

Ahhh the joys of technology. I'm writing this while sitting in the back seat of my parents' car on our way to Myrtle Beach. I've reverted to being a teenager just as I was on our road trips of old. I'm plugged in and tuned out. Only this time I'm not tuned out to my walkman and variety of tapes. I'm tuned out to my laptop and iTunes. I'm adding songs to my Nano from my laptop. Ok, I'll be honest. This is my work's lap top and work's Nano. I have them because of my course. Might as well use them for my own enjoyment on my holiday, since I have to work as well.

And here it is August 1. It hit me today that I skipped right past the end of July without my usual despondent depression that usually hits. The end of July has not been a happy time for the last 13 years, but this year for some reason I hardly gave it a thought. I'm feeling a little guilty about that.

But not too guilty. Thirteen years ago when my life went to hell, I cursed the summer and the bright sun that was beating down on Seattle at the time. And now a few days ago the anniversary of Scott's death passed and the day after, what would have been his birthday passed, and I didn't realise it. This is the first time in 13 years that the dates didn't ring in my ears like a really hurtful high pitch noise. I would like to think Scott's pleased about that.

Last night I wrote an email to a friend, who went through her personal hell this year. And when I awoke today I realised the dates had passed of the beginning of my personal hell 13 years ago without me noting their significance-thus this blog. Ahh but my battery is dying and of course I have no internet connection so I'll continue this later.
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

It's much later now. I'm typing away in our hotel room. My brother and I are watching Bill Cosby on The Tonight Show and almost peeing ourselves from laughing. We've had lovely day. All four of us were in the ocean, in the pool, eating and drinking too much, and enjoying ourselves overall.

I just read what I typed previously and do I have something deep to add? No, not really. We all go through our own personal hells. Sometimes some of us, quite unfairly, go through more than our fair share of hells. Some of us bring hell upon ourselves, but more often than not hell is created by a circumstance that we can't control. There is no rhyme or reason to it. There is no magic formula that says that one person will get so much and someone else will get more or less. Don't get me wrong. Ideally I'm a believer in karma. In fact, I subscribe to the belief that everything you do will eventually come back to you three-fold. But, that doesn't mean I'm correct. It certainly doesn't seem like the universe distributes our hells evenly or fairly. Hell is what it is.

So, I'd like to think that where ever Scott is he is pleased that for the first time since he passed over that the days of his death and birth went by without my notice. Maybe the ritual I did last year helped, who knows. (The blog about said ritual is here) I still think about him. I still miss him, and as I said I do feel a bit guilty that these days went by without my notice. However, I think it says a lot for my state of mind and being that it took me two days to acknowledge that this happened. Yay me!

Thursday, 31 July 2008

Yummmmmmm!!!

I've been in Asheville a week as of today and we've eaten at the same restaurant twice, Bouchon. I'm looking forward to the next time I come to visit so that I may go yet again. Monday through Wednesday is all you can eat Mussels and boy-oh-boy are they good! There are five different preparation s of them to boot. We started out with a baked brie appetizer, Le Brie en Croute Chaud. Then, my father ordered the Parisienne Mussles, I got the Bayou and my mother got the South of the French Border. We had seconds of course. Both my parents had the Bayou and I got the French South of the Border. Yummmmmy!! My tastebuds did little dances in my mouth. In my humble opinion, I believe that they Bayou for all their spiciness and andouille sausage was the best. For dessert my mother ordered the Creme Brulee Flight; four mini crem brulees rosemary, espresso, saffron, lavender. She was her usual giving self and shared with my father and me. They were all amazing. My father and I, on the other hand, had liquid desserts. My father had a Milky Way, and I had a White Chocolate Raspberry Truffle. We shared sips of out liquid desserts with my mother, of course. The Raspberry Truffle came VERY close to replacing the Espresso Martini as my favourite drink, but it didn't.

So, if ever you find yourself in Asheville, NC I HIGHLY recommend that you go to Bouchon. It's lovely, affordable (especially on Monday, Tuesday, and Wednesdays) and absolutely delectable. Yummmmmmm!!!

Tuesday, 29 July 2008

It's Official!

I'm going to be spending Christmas in Tucson and New Year's in Seattle!! My grandmother lives in Tucson, is 88 and is sharp as a whip. She hates to travel partially due to her limited eyesight. When she last came to visit my parents in Asheville she told my mother she couldn't stand it. Her exact words were, "Everyone's butt was in my face. I can not stand all these butts in my face." So, my parents found tickets that were insanely cheap to Tucson at the end of December. Thus, when I am back in the UK I will look into buying a 3 pronged ticket as I have done for the last 4 years. I will be emailing dates, etc. once I know them for certain.

Yay!!!

Away in Asheville

Sunday, 20 July 2008

Not Suffering Fools...Really Really part 2

Ahhh but there's more...

Remember Poopy Pants who blew me out from our first date on Friday? If you will recall, we made a date for Sunday (today), but I decided to cancel as I frankly just didn't want to deal with a first date 3 days before leaving for 2 and 1/2 weeks. So, I rang him yesterday afternoon. I asked him how he was feeling. He said he was feeling a bit better, but still a bit ill. I told him that I didn't think I could meet up Sunday as I might possibly be staying up in North London where my friend's party was. This wasn't entirely true, but he understood. He asked me if he had ruined his chances by cancelling our first date. I said no, and at that point I did mean it. I figured that perhaps I would give him another chance when I got back from the US. After all he is tall, cute, and funny. Plus, his illness did seem quite genuine even if very vulgarly stated. Then he asked me if I had a moment and could he ask me a question. I told him he could, but I was in a bit of a hurry.

"Okay," he said, "Why aren't you married?" At that point I could hear the gun go off as he had just shot himself in the foot.

What I really wish I had said was this:

"I'm not married because I keep dating idiots like you."

Of course I didn't say that. I gave him the answer of not meeting the right people blah blah blah. I asked him why he wasn't married and he gave me a similar answer. We exchanged pleasantries and I bid him good-bye. I have no intention now of giving him that second chance.

Onwards and upwards. I'm done wasting my time with fools.

Monday, 14 July 2008

I swear I live in a big city, but

...there definitely seems to be plenty of nature around. I cycled from my house to Richmond Park today. It's a rather large park and when you are there you would have no idea of the urban area that surrounds it. It's known for his deer and they are not afraid of you as I found out when I was cycling through it today.

These guys were rather young. I'm willing to bed this guy is either daddy or distant uncle.

I love that although I'm in one of the most vibrant cities in the world and yet I can get this close to nature. Granted it's not the same as being able to drive an hour out of town and go hiking up a mountain in the summer or skiing down it in the winter as I could have done in Seattle, but this is also lovely.

Speaking of urban nature, I'm a little worried about Foxy. I've not seen him/her since his appearances last April. I miss our staring contests as he curled up in the ivy on the wall just outside my kitchen window. I hope he's ok.

The weekend was quite eventful. Interesting cabaret-type show on Friday with May and a few of her friends. Ended it with the most recent one on Sat afternoon and got confirmation that I did the right thing as I sat through a few patronizing comments before springing the news. I went from there to a festival in St. Margaret's with Nana, Mel, and Pat. Then on Sunday Carolina had a wonderful brunch at her place and we went for a walk in the woods just by her house on Sunday. Then we went to see some music in a park, which was part of the Leytonstone Festival.

I'm shattered after today's bike ride (18 miles or so in total) and this weekend's festivities, so I'm off to bed.

Thursday, 10 July 2008

The Weather Gods Are Toying with Me

I now remember why I always retreat back to the US at this time of year. You can count on the weather being like summer. When I lived in Seattle, I always travelled during my summer holidays. People always thought I was nuts. Why leave a lovely area with such natural wonder, like Seattle, during the part of the year where the chances are high that it won't be raining constantly? Then when I moved to Mexico and subsequently here, I always returned to Seattle (via New Jersey where my parents used to live on Lake Hopatcong-weather seemed to always be nice there too) in the summer. Every time I did the weather in the US was fantastic. I did stay in England my first summer here, however, and my parents came to visit me. The weather was lovely here then. Thus, I thought that perhaps I was making the same mistake I used to make when I lived in Seattle. After all, there's meant to be nothing like the English Summer.

So, I decided due to money and a course I'm taking to stay here this summer (with the exception of two weeks where I will be in Asheville, NC where my parents now live). Up until Tuesday the weather was pretty good. It has, however, not been so great since then. Yesterday it rained so hard that I wondered if I should start building an ark. Today I woke up and it was SUNNY!!! Hoorah!!! I got ready to go for a bike ride and the temperature dropped and it began to rain, Boo! I waited for a bit in the vain hope that it would clear up. But, it did not. So I took a bath, got dressed, sat down to do some coursework and guess what??? Yes, it's sunny-ish and warm.

Ok, why are the four elements toying with me like this???? It could be I'm looking at this the wrong way. Maybe I'm being protected. Perhaps going out riding to day would have ended badly for me. I've not had the best luck lately (almost took a finger nail off trying to peel a celeriac yesterday and I did have a nasty fall last week) Then again this could be nature's way of telling me to just get to work.

Tuesday, 8 July 2008

Happy Birthday to My Mom

She's 21 years and 10 months older than me. (I'll let you do the maths) Hallmark has these cute little slide show cards you can create and I just created one. Thought I would share.

Click to play HAPPY BIRTHDAY
Create your own free ecard - Powered by Smilebox
Make a Smilebox free ecard


My mother doesn't know about this blog (unless my brother told her and he better not-hint hint) because I sometimes post that I'm feeling down and my mother tends to worry. I don't like making her worry. I did enough of that as a teenager.

She deserves to have a very happy birthday. I wish I was there to celebrate with her.

Monday, 7 July 2008

Emotional Clearinghouse- Everything Must Go!!

I need to make way for a new stock of emotions so I'm getting rid of some old ones. They are in pretty good condition and available at extremely reduced prices.

So come on down to the emotional bargain bin, but hurry before they are all gone.

Yeah, I'm feeling a bit dark. Had a a pretty good weekend until Sunday when I got ill. Then, I sunk into a depression and didn't leave my sofa. I'm feeling better now and am able to eat, but I'm still feeling dark and realised there are some things in my life I need to be rid of so I figured I'd have a sale.

And, it's never fun when you realise that the person you are seeing is not the person you want to be seeing. Not that you want to be seeing anyone else in particular, but just not this person. I have a difficult talk coming my way.

On the upside the weather held for the medieval party, and here are some pics from that day.






I decided the rat best lived at the Lamb so I gave it to Adam, but then Roland the Rat attacked him.

Friday, 4 July 2008

Happy Freakin' Fourth of July

So, this happens to me every time I am not in the US on The Fourth. I forget about its significance. My hairstylist reminded me this morning. Oops. I made certain to wish all my American friends a Happy Fourth on Facebook. There will of course be no fireworks here.

And, because I was getting my haircut this morning I missed a delivery from an overnight courier. The package is my medieval costume for Adam's (owner of The Lamb where I had my 40th) fancy dress birthday party. The guy dropped by minutes before I got home. I was expecting that I would be able to pick it up from the local post-office but no. Since I ordered this costume and had it expressed delivered, I would have to go all the way into Guilford to get it and not just to the town part of Guilford. I would have to go about 3 miles away from the station to the warehouse area. Living in the London area and not out in the country, I don't own a car because there is no reason for me to do so (also have an ethical issues with needless waste of fossil fuels). However, this is a time when I would need a car. So, I rang the company and asked if there would be anyway for them to come back and was told that they would try, but no promises. As I type this, it is 4:59PM. No one has come by. I was told the delivery time would be until 5.

It has been a beautiful sunny day and I spent all of it inside waiting for this costume. The weather is beginning to turn. It's getting colder and cloudy. I checked the forecast and it will be raining by tomorrow morning. So, it looks like I wasted a beautiful day inside and will be going to Guilford with my bike to head to this delivery place in the rain. Poo!

But in honour of The Fourth of July I have been watching episodes of Commander in Chief, which in all honesty has been distracting me, and it is now 6:09.

So, I'm off to join my friends at The Lamb and then up early tomorrow to go into stupid Guilford.

But before you stop reading this, look how short my hair is now!


My neck will be nice and cool when I'm in North Carolina.

Thursday, 3 July 2008

Nasty, Bad Pagans take 2

This is Kathy Lee's ignorant hateful comment on national television.


And this is her supposed apology:



What a stupid, bigoted woman! I'm never watching the Today Show again. Still waiting to hear back from the Today Show.

Nasty, Bad Kathy Lee Gifford!

Tuesday, 1 July 2008

Running Is Dangerous

I went on a bit of a fruit diet yesterday and went for a run. Not having run for a month I did not go nearly as far as I had intended. This new health kick was spurred my my shock when I got on the scale. Apparently 2 weeks of no exercise, BBQ's, leaving-do's, and dates with a man who will buy you pricey drinks puts the pounds on much faster when you are 40. Shit.

Thus, yesterday I began this diet and exercise plan. It went fairly well. I'm even logging what I eat on this website to track my calories. My running could be better, however. Plus, starting last week my hip starting acting up from that ski spill I took in Feb. It now has decided that since the weather is nice it would make its presence known. I personally think it's begun to hurt because I haven't been exercising lately. So, running again seemed to be the perfect solution.

Today while I was running, I was thinking about how to best improve my speed and stamina, and then made the fatal decision to run along the gravel path next to the Thames. On one side of this path is the river and on the other side is a retaining wall about 2 feet high, which separates the lawn and the proper foot path from this gravel one. I should have been running along the lawn, but I wasn't. Right when I was mapping out a training plan in my mind I stumbled and wiped out quite dramatically. I fell against the wall and sprawled out along the gravel. My hand and elbow are both bruised and scraped but they do not compare to my knee. If you're squeamish, best to avoid these next two pictures.

As you can see my knee is quite bruised as well as scraped. This pic was taken after I cleaned it up when I got home. I walked home with blood streaming down my knee...nice. Oh and I can still walk, but it is a bit painful.

I'm still going to exercise, but tomorrow I'll be on my bike. Yeah I know, I've fallen off that too. With my brand of clutziness you just can't win when it comes to exercise.

At least I didn't fall into the Thames.