Saturday, 20 December 2008

first cut of books for holiday - suggestions please

Prince2 Revealed - Colin Bentley

The Lean Six Sigma Pocket Toolbook - George, Rowlands, Price, Maxey

The Girl Who Played Go - Shan Sa

Letter from America - Alistair Cooke

Brecht on Theatre

Our Country's Good - Timberlake Wertenbaker

The Day of the Triffids - John Wyndham

Curious and Interesting Numbers - David Wells

Cryptanalysis - Helen Fouche Gaines

The Glass Bead Game - Hermann Hesse

Small Is The New Big - Seth Godin

The Edge of Conflagration - S.J. Goldsmith

Does God Play Dice - Ian Stewart

The Way by Swann's - Marcel Proust

Capitalism At The Crossroads - Stuart L. Hart

Change Management - Paton & McCalman

User - Blake Nelson

Surfacing - Margaret Atwood

Thinking Visually - Malcolm Craig

Understanding Organisations - Charles Handy

The Wee Free Men - Terry Pratchett

there will obviously be holiday trash added to this, bought at the airport.

(apologies - too hung over to actually link to each book on Amazon so you'll have to look them up yourselves..!)

Friday, 19 December 2008

last day of contract...

... and I'm feeling really good.

I've spent 8 months working for this client over the past year and I've delivered two really high-profile and complex projects. Both have been incredibly well received and I'm leaving here with a CV that will allow me to carry on doing exactly what I want to do.

I've got a couple of days milling around London, a trip to Stortford for Christmas, to Swirral's on the 27th, back to London for New Year, and then off to St Lucia for two weeks on Jan 4th. Life couldn't really be that much better.

Christmas shopping is happening on Saturday and Sunday and I'm also going to try and track down a couple of summer dresses as well.

all in all - pretty damn lovely!

Monday, 1 December 2008


went Ice-skating this evening at Somerset House and it was the most amazing and best thing ever... I forgot quite how much I love it and I do really need to learn properly. The only way I can describe it is being the nearest thing possible to flying. Gliding over the ice you have such a sense of freedom (or at least I know I will when I get good - really need to learn where the centre needs to be placed and which part of the blade to use!).

now all I need to do is find classes - am thinking of Queensway which has classes on a Wednesday evening! If anyone else fancies - let me know!

Saturday, 29 November 2008

evil combination = how did it get so late?

I got my old lappy back from Swiral at the weekend (where it had lived whilst I was away). I found the DVD that Tara had given me with all 12 episodes of The Middleman*. I installed DivX.

the inevitable happened... I really should go to bed now.

*I was very excited to discover that this is the original source for Made Of Awesome, amongst other fab things

Friday, 28 November 2008

all cosumer electronics need a little love...

... since I got back from the States, my router hasn't been working. I knew that it was my fault for going away for so long without explaining things so I've been turning it off and on for the last few weeks, hoping that the attention would be enough. I was wrong.

today I thought it was actually time to plug my lappy directly to the router and see what was going on (had it forgotten its password etc.). I connected it up and before I could even open up the browser, it started working! Just like that. If I go away again I may leave a gosling with it to make sure that it understands that I do appreciate it!

in other news, I'm still ill but I think I'm getting better which is good.

the weekend should be lovely - dinner with Dunc tomorrow evening and then ice-skating and dinner on Sunday!

now I have the interweb back again, I'm going to spend the rest of the evening looking at random things on wikipedia...

Monday, 17 November 2008

VAT - a bit like money laundering - who knew?

after a bit of procrastination, I finally got around to thinking about VAT and whether I've hit the threshold - answer? Yes. In August... oh dear. I got into a bit of a panic and rang the VAT office - they were quite nice and said that they'd send me stuff. I then realised that I could register online and so have done - I just need to work out now how much of a penalty I have to pay (it really is a tax on being lazy - something I wholly approve of as I have a stupid thought process that thinks if this happens enough then I'll start getting around to doing things on time...).

I then looked into VAT a bit more, and as far as I can see - I'm going to make money out of it...

first things first - we're in a bit of a silly situation as the Government will give money to the NHS Trust for whom I'm working, who will then give it to me, so I can give it back to the Government (and rinse and repeat - oh hang on, this isn't a shampoo ad...)

second thing - I'm going to bill my client for the VAT and then I don't have to give all of that money to the VAT man?! Evidently I take the money, off-set any VAT I've paid for things like stationery and phone billage and then give the remaining to HMRC. It doesn't seem to matter that I'll have already off-set these things against my income tax. It feels a bit like stealing, and more like money laundering (in the sense that it's quite complicated and then I end up with money that I seem to have got for free).

I'm generally confused about all this, but it appears that it's not only legal, but expected... mmm... I shall wait for the nasty men in black shades to turn up.

in other news, I'm home now and properly back into the swing of things here. I'm missing everyone in the States massively, particularly Jessey, but I've seen so many great friends over the past few days that I've really felt glad to be back.

I can definitely recommend Fortnum & Mason's Classic Tea - they do a dairy free version - so on Saturday to celebrate Jude's 30th, I ate copious amounts of scones and clotted cream (have no idea how they do this, but I'm not complaining) which was wonderful!

and talking of 30th birthdays, I'm really looking forward to my party now (it's on Sat - tee hee!). I have a gorgeous dress courtesy of my folks, and I can't wait to see everyone. Now all I need to do is get around to telling everyone when it is... Drop me an email if you've missed messages about it and want to come along!

Monday, 27 October 2008

the long days really begin...

... got home at 4am this morning and back at work by 8.30. We're pretty much going to be here now until at least midnight every night now and pillows and a duvet have been brought into the office.

Wednesday, 22 October 2008

words fail me - this is so amazing!

"I Didn't Vote For Obama" by kentuckyscott
Monday, October 20, 2008

I'm a middle-class white guy living in Jacksonville , Florida . I've got a wife and two kids. Because the kids had no school today, I took a vacation day from work, and took the kids downtown to vote early. Fifty-nine inutes later, two smiling children and I proudly sported "I Voted" stickers.
But I didn't vote for Obama.

I voted for my ancestors, who believed in the promise of this country and came with with nothing as immigrants. I voted for my parents, who taught in the public schools for decades. I voted for Steve, an acquaintance of mine from Kentucky . (Killed by an IED two years ago in Iraq ). I voted for Shawn, another who's been to Iraq twice, and Afghanistan once, and who'll be going back to Afghanistan again soon -- and whose family earned eleven bucks a month too much to qualify for food stamps when the war started. I voted for April, the only African-American girl in my high school -- it was years before it occurred to me how different her experience of our school must have been. I voted for my college friends who are Christian, Jewish, Mormon, and y es -- Muslim.

I voted for my grandfathers, who worked hard in factories and died too young. I voted for the plumber who worked on my house, because I want him to get a REAL tax break. I voted for four little angels from Birmingham . I voted for a bunch of dead white men who, although personally flawed, were willing to pledge their lives, fortunes, and sacred honor, and used a time of great crisis to expand freedom rather than suspend it. I voted for all those people and more, and I voted for all of you, too.

But mostly, I voted selfishly: I voted for two little kids, one who has ballet in an hour, and one who has baseball practice at the same time. I voted for a world where they can be confident that their government will represent the best that is in this country, and that will in turn demand the best of them.
I voted for a government that will be respected in the world. I voted for an economy that will reward work above guile. I voted for everything I believe in. Sure, I filled in the circle next to the name Obama, but it wasn't him I was voting for -- it was every single one of us, and those I love most of all."

Monday, 20 October 2008

turning 30, reflexions and what's next...

... my 20s were amazing. I've had a great 10 years - it's been hard in places, but I've got to a point where I not only like who I am, but feel like I have the ability to do anything to which I set my mind. I have some amazing friends and my relationship with my family is better than it's ever been. This is all good.

this year in particular has been better than I could have wished but, after the last couple of years, I've really just been getting through each day at a time and haven't had the ability to think about the future and make plans.

being here in Chicago and working on the campaign has made me remember how much I love politics, and turning 30 has led me to think about my long-term career goals. These things are linked. I've been saying for a few years that my dream job would be Communications Director for the Labour Party, and I now feel like I'm at a point where I can start planning how to get the experience to get there. Living out here, even for such a short time, has also solidified a thought I've had for years about working and living in America at some-point properly.

so - here are some of my goals, in no particular order, for the next 10 years:

  • study for a degree - probably in Politics and Communication
  • network more at home, both business-wise and politically
  • get my EMBA, hopefully at LBS
  • live and work in America for at least a year
  • get more involved in the Labour Party
  • see more of my friends, keep the ones I have and meet more
  • build on my career successes this year
  • spend time on me and keep myself healthy

it's funny - because having written the above list, I've noticed that meeting the right guy and having a family are not there. I do want to do these things, but feel that if I spend my time focusing on the things I can affect, then these things will fall into place. This reminds me of the Serenity Prayer:
Grant me the serenity to accept the things I cannot change, the courage to change the things I can, and the wisdom to know the difference.

that's me right now. Life is good, it will continue to get better and I'm looking forward to the future in way that I never have before.

Sunday, 19 October 2008


... the Sunday rush has slowed down a bit now (we had 90 people show up in the first 2 hours!). It's still busy and hopefully we'll break our record from last Sunday of 10500 calls. Yesterday was amazing - 243 people making over 18000 calls (and nearly all the data was entered as well, which is even more amazing.

My birthday was fab - we didn't end up going out - at 9.30 it became apparent that we didn't have all the data we needed for Saturday (which meant that we needed to wait for it to arrive and then packet it all up) so Jessey and I popped down to White Hen, bought lots of beer, wine and vodka and had my celebrations in the office whilst paper-clipping things together! When I got back to the apartment there were flowers from Swirral and family and after speaking to her, I got to bed at about 2.30am. Yesterday, my body reminded me that I am, in fact 30, and not 16 as I may have acted on Friday night - the hang over was not pretty. (the day ended on a lovely note though as my present from M&D had arrived!).

In much finer fettle today and ready for the crazy which is happening around me (you want proof of the crazy? I started writing this post at 2pm and it's now 3.50pm...).

thanks to everyone for the messages, texts and calls from everyone - it was so lovely that so many people were thinking of me.

Friday, 17 October 2008

happy birthday me!

(well, in the UK time - it's a couple more hours here!)

first of all - apologies to everyone to whom I haven't replied in the last couple of days - it's been pretty crazy and I've been crap at responding to emails... will try and be better from now on.

the plan for tomorrow is that we close down the office on time, get out by 9.30pm and then go for some food and some drinks (not too many though as I think I'm running one of the phonebanks on Saturday which will mean an 8.30 start). I'm also going out for lunch with Reem which will be lovely!

I have to say - I'm loving Chicago and am looking forward to coming back here often (although I've been told by Jessey that I'm not allowed to move here any time soon or she won't have anywhere to stay when she comes to London!).

can't quite believe that we now only have 18 days left (as of tomorrow) - I'm getting flash backs to 1992... It's great that we're ahead in the polls, but my fear is that people are getting complacent and we need to make sure that people actually turn out to vote... all the work we're doing now though is focused on GOTV and getting our supporters in Illinois out to the battle-grounds for November 1st - 4th.

Sunday, 12 October 2008

it's been a long day...

...left the office at 10.30 last night and then worked the whole today from 8.30am till 9pm. My brain crashed so much that I only got around to ordering take-away about 20 mins ago.

tomorrow should be easier - I have a lie-in as the office doesn't open till midday and then going to Tara's in the evening to chill with lamb stew, good sci-fi and some beer!

Thursday, 9 October 2008

a night of Chicago blues and David Owen...

...well, not together, but within a day!

yesterday was a crazy day - was in the office from 9am till 10pm - it stayed pretty busy all day and lots of running around happened. Afterwards went out with Melissa to see a great brass blues band (the tuba is the new double bass), had beers and was home at about 2am!

today came into the office in the afternoon (after lots of sleep) and it seemed like a normal day. Then David Owen walked into the office to get things for his wife (who is American). He's completely lovely, very polite and I've given him the details of the Obama campaign in London and I think that his wife is going to be going along to the rally on Saturday in London. I got very star-struck and am still a little dazed by the whole thing. People here didn't really get it, but I tried to explain that whatever you think of his politics, he is an elder statesman of British politics and it was a BIG deal!

Wednesday, 8 October 2008


... really interesting - whenever Obama mentions change in Washington, the lines (green for men, red for women - undecided voters in Ohio who are sitting, watching the debates with dials) go up, when McCain mentions it, they go down... good? We'll see in the polls afterwards. Interesting? Definitely.

btw - am also following on BBC, CNN and FiveThirtyEight - all worth looking at.

UPDATE: The only phone calls into the office in the last 40 mins have been press - I've given them our Comms Director's details and they've gone away!

UPDATE 2: Sorry was that McCain just saying that we need less money coming in from lobbyists? I think I must have mis-heard him. Fortunately the dials seem to respond pretty badly to that.

UPDATE 3: Really interesting - McCain has just had his best dials of the evening and that was talking about Russia and preventing another cold war. When talking about actual war in Iraq, Afghanistan, Pakistan and even Dafur, Obama's dials were so much better than McCains. Wonder if this is people connecting the cold-war to times-past and seeing McCain in the same vein?

UPDATE 4: Nearly over now, and I think it's pretty much a draw. The good thing to take away from it is mainly that Obama's dials on foreign policy and military action have been better than McCain's across the board. This is one issue where you would expect McCain to do better.

UPDATE 5: Final question - What don't you know and how will you learn it? Great question by the way. Obama makes a joke about asking Michelle, then goes to his family history and makes the point that the American Dream and the ability of people to be provided for so they can succeed is the thing that enables you make decisions in situations you haven't been in before. His final point is about change and our need for it right now.
McCain talks about the things that no-one knows - the unforeseen challenges in the world, he also focuses on his family history. He mentions that he knows how to succeed through hard times and have to rely on others for support in tough times. He talks of the honour he's had in serving so far. He finishes with the "needing a steady hand at the till" line.

Debate over and I think it will come out a draw which is good for us, but watch the polls!

Tuesday, 7 October 2008

oh my God, I am so unfit...

... just taken my first pilates class over here and it was hard! My classes at home are about 1 hour 20 long and the pace is relaxed, even though we work hard. Here, it's pushed down into 55 minutes, with almost no rest! I'm looking forward to taking more classes and building up my stamina, but I think I'm going to have to deal with feeling like a beginner for a few weeks. It also didn't help that almost all of the choreography was completely new to me as well, so I was having to focus on learning the exercises as well... At least I can only get better!

the office has been manic for the last couple of days, and general anxiety has increased - 29 days left feels really scarey. The polls are looking good, but on Friday our numbers were the same as Bush's lead over Gore in 2000 the week before the election so nothing can be taken for granted. There are some really great statistics on fivethirtyeight that I'd recommend looking at.

as for all the negative stuff that the McCain campaign have been throwing - I was scared most by Sarah Palin's inability to distingish the singluar from the plural - she used the word terrorists to refer to a single person! Also - if you haven't yet seen the SNL VP debate - find it on youtube or somewhere - Tina Fey has Palin down so amazingly - it's on a par with Rory Bremner's Bush!

anyway - I'm going to spend a couple more hours feeling completely physically pathetic and then go to bed!

Saturday, 4 October 2008

chinese take-away, let me count the ways I love thee...

... well - arriving would be a good start...

today has been mixed. Went out the suburbs again this morning to pick up a boxing thingy for Melissa, for Edgar, which was cool as I had time to finish The Graveyard Book (it's very good - I recommend that everyone reads it. Now). Went into the office to get shouted at by another volunteer (she's normally like this to everyone which I can handle, but she did it in front of other people today and my blood boiled), came back to the apartment and then met Scott for a beer which was nice. We pretty much talked politics and religion all evening, so the normal conversation!

am now back at the apartment and, as the blog entry title may suggest, am waiting for my Chinese to arrive (note to self - drinks are generally doubles here so going out without eating - not so smart). Current delivery estimate is 11.34pm - what I would pay for it to arrive sooner? Probably my first-born at this point.

Friday, 3 October 2008

happy fangirl, going to bed!

well - today has been fun - went into the office for a few hours this afternoon (working on work work stuff this morning) and then headed down to the 'burbs to watch Neil Gaiman do an amazing reading of Chapter 3 of The Graveyard Book. It was followed with a new trailer from Coraline (and also some never-before-seen shots from the film - it look so cool and creepy), a Q&A with Neil and then Stardust!

met a fab new person, ljconstantine, just before going in, and met her again at Union Station on the way back - we then wandered for a while, stood in the street talking for quite a bit more and then came back here for coffee. She just left as we suddenly realised that it had gotten to 2am! I've been invited to hers though to see her flat - where she has many books (I've told her about PirateGrrl's library and she'd very jealous!

will now watch the VP debate, but from what's been reported it looks like Palin had a better than expected evening (nothing surpising there - I don't think she could actually have met expectations, what with them being so low and all), but that Biden won overall. I've got a feeling that this might be the way that the debates go this year - pretty much draws all round. I don't think that this would be a terrible thing as Obama is considered the front runner at this point and any draw normally counts in the favour of the person in front. I'll post more though when I've had time to watch them, think about it and some such.

tomorrow I'm doing more trekking out of Chicago - have to go and pick up something for the office from a place called Geneva - about an hour on the Metra out of Ogilvy. Should give me plenty of time to think about work work and finish reading the Graveyard book!

anyway- bed now (after debate watching) as I have to get up in about 7 hours... a late night, but a great evening.

Thursday, 2 October 2008

first proper day...

... well, at least the first day where I actually set an alarm clock for 7am and had to get up! It's been pretty crazy today - we got more chum in (otherwise known as loot, but I like chum - it's the stuff that they throw to sharks to get them into a frenzie, which in an acurate description of what happens when buttons and t-shirts appear in the office!). We've actually had to shut the main office door to stop people just coming in and grabbing stuff!

there's also been a fair amount of crazies in - one guy was convinced he was from the CIA - Scott stepped in front of that crazy-bullet - I had the Canadian on the phone who was certain that Obama's policies where all drawn up because he'd rung in 3 months ago and told us to do things!

In other news, I've discovered (which is just like urbanbite) so I can now order sushi online - yay!

gonna stay here for a couple more hours and then head home for some food. Tomorrow I'm here and then going to see Neil Gaiman at a reading in Downers Grove. I know that it's the VP debate, but I figure that I'm going to be watching it online about a dozen times anyway, and this is my one chance to see Neil on this book tour (plus, I have tickets so it would be a bit churlish not to go). Am really looking forward to seeing Sarah Pailin "debate" though - her ability to sting cohesive sentences together is not her strong suit!

right - lull seems to be over, so going to get back to work now. also must remember to call my relatives and let them know I've arrived at some point!

Monday, 29 September 2008

37 days till the election...

... not quite sure how that happened - isn't it still August?

today was good, and very productive. Woke up at about 6am and realised my good fortune of the fact that this was the start time of the Singapore GP - a foolish thought though as this, being America, is a country where they don't show coverage on standard cable! Had food and went back to bed before getting up again at about 7.30 and going for a swim.

after much coffee and general milling about in the apartment, I headed down to the IL headquarters for midday. It was lovely to see people again - Sean, Scott and Melissa are all here and I had a lovely welcome! The main work being done from the office is phonebanking to supporters in IL and trying to get them to go out to volunteer in the many swing-states next door (Iowa, Ohio, Missouri, Wisconsin and Indiana). I was working in the front desk, for Jessie and now officially hold a position as one of her minions (I'm on the rota and everything!). The front desk work is predominantly answering the phones, getting volunteers set up on the phones and generally making sure that everyone has everything they need. I also did a few bits and pieces for some of the Field Directors who are looking after those swing states, of which I think I'll be doing more (and I should be more useful tomorrow when I bring in my laptop!).

after the office closed at about 7.30, some of the staffers went out for food and a couple of drinks to a place quite near where I live and it was a lovely chilled out evening. It also helped me stay awake which was good, as I hope that tomorrow I'll be able to sleep in a bit later (jet lag - if you're listening - I'm here trying to do some good in the world so if you could try and stay out of my way so that my brain doesn't turn to jam mid-afternoon, it would be greatly appreciated).

talking of which - I think now is time for bed again - I'm less knackered, more actual zombie right now!

Sunday, 28 September 2008

view from apartment in Chicago!

I arrived (eventually - got onto plane on time, but then sat on the ground for 3 hours)!

got to apartment, checked in, went to T-mobile where I got a prepay phone (email me if you want the number), went to Whole Foods (lots of shiny), phoned the Obama office and discovered that I need to be in at midday tomorrow (how civilized), and am now back at apartment with food and TV! Will go to bed soon (as it's 8.35pm here and I've been up since the equivalent of midnight..)

night night!

Friday, 26 September 2008

packing laptop...

... will prob now not be online again until I get to the States (unless there's a delay on the flight, at which point I may have to, for the sake of my sanity!).

this time tomorrow...

... I'll be on an aeroplane heading to Chicago (or, more likely, sitting in Heathrow T3 waiting for news of when my plane will be taking off)!

I've pretty much packed now, with just a small pile of things on my suitcase still to go in. I've got to sort out my handbag and remember to pack my chargers etc. Last day at work and although I'll be finishing off a project early next week, it feels good.

tonight I'm meeting friends for drinks at Kettners (6.30 if anyone else fancies coming) before going to the cinema and should be home by about 10.30ish to finish the above!

I can't wait to be working on the campaign full-time. We had a rally yesterday where Paul Tewes (DNC GE Director) spoke and then we headed out catch those pesky Americans who have yet to request their absentee ballots. Paul's thoughts were very interesting and inspiring and I can't wait to tell people in Chicago all the work that's going on here. The canvassing was also really successful and I spoke to lots of people who didn't think that they could vote as they'd lived here so long - one even went straight to an internet cafe to go and register there and then! ( is the place to go people!)

got to go now as lots of work to do (meetings all afternoon...), but will try and keep up the blogging whilst I'm away. Will be on email at the usual address, will be taking my UK phone with me (I'll be buying a pay-as-you-go when I get out there), and will also have my work blackberry, so completely contactable!

Monday, 22 September 2008

John Stewart... thank you for the information

OMG... one further reason for Sarah Palin not to be VP - whilst she was Mayor, she supported measures to CHARGE rape victims for their rape kits...

however rubbish I'm feeling right now physically, I can't wait to be spending all the time that I have working for Obama.

full story here.

Aaron Sorkin is a wonderful writer, lest we forget...

BARACK OBAMA knocks on the front door of a 300-year-old New Hampshire farmhouse while his Secret Service detail waits in the driveway. The door opens and OBAMA is standing face to face with former President JED BARTLET.

BARTLET Senator.

OBAMA Mr. President.

BARTLET You seem startled.

OBAMA I didn’t expect you to answer the door yourself.

BARTLET I didn’t expect you to be getting beat by John McCain and a Lancôme rep who thinks “The Flintstones” was based on a true story, so let’s call it even.

OBAMA Yes, sir.

It gets better - read the full article here.

I sometimes forget how Sorkin is able to perfectly articulate my views in the most eloquent of ways. Think I may have to watch a bit more West Wing before I go out to the States!

Hat-tip to Adam for find it!

Sunday, 21 September 2008

how amazing does Bette Midler look..?

am watching the Sunday night show of Strictly Come Dancing (which I'm hoping that the BBC iPlayer is going to let me watch from America - otherwise I'll be coming back to it at week 8!). Bette Midler is the guest and she looks completely amazing... and I love her voice so much - she's singing My Hero, but not making saccharine like most versions of it.

had a lovely weekend looking after Ulrick and am back at the packing - I think I've managed to work out what I'm taking in my carry-on - which is good as I now have no time to do any more until Friday evening, whilst Nic and I eat take-away. As this will be my last evening in the country, I don't want to have too much to do!

anyway - the dance-off is about to begin so I shall resume my focused watching of Strictly!

Thursday, 18 September 2008

Yay for cabin baggage allowance!

am happy - I've done my preliminary packing this evening and it wasn't looking good (you have to understand this is not the first cut of clothes - I consider preliminary packing to be about the third cut, but when I first attempt to put it all into/onto the suitcase!). I'd realised that my normal carry-on was going to be too small to fit in everything so I was going to have to buy something else (in the no time that I have to go shopping).

I then checked the Virgin cabin allowance, and my MASSIVE floral bag is within the size restrictions - Woo!

this now means I'm not as stressed as I was, and will not have to compromise on shoes: my New Rock to wear to travel, knee-high boots, 2 pairs of Cons, black heels, 2 pairs of pumps and some flip-flops (no idea what the weather is going to be like - could be warm, could be cold, could be both!).

Tuesday, 16 September 2008

ugghhh... I've had an icky throat for a while now and it's been getting progressively worse with the addition of pain and a bit of a temperature. I made an appointment with the doctor for yesterday and the plan was that I was going to ask for some anti-biotics (although I probably didn't actually need them) in a hope that I could get it cleared up before I go away.

didn't quite go to plan - she took one look and said that I have some kind of nasty infection and I now have 2 types of anti-biotics, saltwater to gargle twice a day and aspirin to gargle three-times a day. I am also on strict instructions to go back to her if it hasn't cleared up before I go away.

I've also got loads of work to do before I go and am generally feeling a bit rubbish. It would be great if I could just pause life right now, have a month-long holiday somewhere warm, and then resume life as usual tomorrow - not sure how to do that though, not having a TARDIS or some-such.

oh well - to bed now, work tomorrow and Charlie should be coming over in the eve whilst I tidy, so that I can actually see her before I go. I'm also planning on doing a whole lot of nothing at the weekend (whilst dog-sitting) which should help things.

hopefully the drugs will kick in soon and I'll feel shiny again one day.

in other news - I rang Virgin Atlantic today and spoke to their legal affairs department. The travel insurance I have with them for Chicago is underwritten by AIG and I wanted to know what would happen if they went bust. A spoke to a lovely women, but she sounded a bit shell-shocked at the thought of it! The latest news from them was that they'd passed it up to their assurance department who were going to look at the contracts - I wait with none-baited breath...

Sunday, 14 September 2008

Project Tidy Flat - Day 3

well, I haven't managed to get the momentum really going today but I have done the office (or what used to be called the office but it can't really be anymore, because of this photo!). This won't look that impressive to anyone who didn't know what the room used to look like, but believe me when I say, it's a big change!

think I'm going to crash for a bit now and watch some rubbish telly. I still have all of Wednesday evening and will try and do an hour each night this week apart from that. The bedroom and spare room are far more cosmetic than major, and once I've thrown out the stuff from the hallway, that will be done as well - my God, I might actually finish!

Saturday, 13 September 2008

Project Tidy Flat - Day 2

well, TG has just left but we've had a really productive day! We started at about 9 this morning and worked pretty much straight through, with only a couple of small breaks for food etc.

the kitchen is done (even the inside of the oven and the floors and everything!), and so is the balcony and the lounge! Doesn't it look pretty?

Friday, 12 September 2008

Project Tidy Flat - Day 1

well, so far the lovely TG has arrived, we've done lots of chatting and catching up. We've had noodles and are now watching Love Actually (we'll get to the tidying soon - promise!).

also - the interweb is actually magic - I have proof: At 1.15am this morning I ordered a new laptop on Amazon (an Acer Aspire One, 8.9", it's so small and cute I've named it Willow) and it arrived at 7.30pm this evening! How is that possible? I have no idea, but I'm very happy it is! I also have a lovely slimline portable DVD drive coming from Dabs in the next couple of days!

Thursday, 11 September 2008

poetry and science - what a lovely mix!

just been pointed to Digital Cuttlefish and seen the following posted in a comment:

What is it about calendars
That sets us all to think
That our fine Earth will wash away
Like water down a sink?

It seems to me quite ludicrous
To treat as set in stone
These lines we draw in sand - a trait
To which we all are prone.

This planet's seen four million
Millennia go past.
We'd really be unlucky folks
If our one were the last!

Here's the link to the full post, and hat-tippery to wonderful Science after Sunclipse.

In other news, this weekend is Project Tidy Flat (all welcome!) and I've almost finished the packing list for Chicago (and yes, I am taking too many shoes...).

Also saw The Duchess last night, thanks to PirateGrrl's great ticketing ability. Highly recommend for the dresses alone (very, very puurrdy) and I now feel like I really should know more about the women and feel a Wikiwalk on its way.

Sunday, 7 September 2008

congratulations to PirateGrrl for completing her run today...

...and not having her original time stripped from her for supposedly illegally overtaking one of her fellow competitors.

Saturday, 6 September 2008

discomgoogleated -verb

to be confused or disconcerted with lack of ability to go online; upset; frustrate: The girl was completely discomgoogleated when her internet connection went down.

have just discovered this word and love it - thanks to EMB via Swiral for discovering it!

Friday, 5 September 2008

LHC and fantastic radio!

well, Wednesday is going to be very exciting and Radio4 is celebrating with a day of special programmes. It includes serious science, commentary, satire and even a special Torchwood afternoon play! Here is the link to the programmes.

(and I've just realised that I've inadvertently booked to work at home that day - Yay for serendipity!)

also - countdown to Chicago starts - 22 days to go!

Thursday, 4 September 2008

tv shows merging...

...just turned on to More4 to watch The Daily Show but was a bit early and so the More4 News was still on. This shouldn't have made my brain melt, apart from the fact that they had an interview with John Oliver... he was making sense and not sounding over-the-top - then I remembered that TDS hadn't started yet! M4N was interviewing him about politics in the US and TDS... AHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhh

oh well - TDS is about to start now, so normality [eh?] is returned!

I've also gotten around to finally answering Paul B's 20-Qs-to-a-fellow-blogger - if you're interested, it's here.

Wednesday, 3 September 2008

good side-tracked... honest.

I'm sure there was plenty I was going to do this evening - put washing on, tidy bedroom etc. Instead, I've stolen PirateGrrl's idea for a filing system for DVDs and also filed my tax return online!

and whilst clearing out the filing cabinet (again, not one of my scheduled tasks), I found the cable for the camera, so here it is people - I bring you the Yes We Can Opener!

Tuesday, 2 September 2008

in typical me fashion...

... I can't find the cable that connects my camera to my computer so I can't show you a picture of the best-est thing ever.

I am now the proud owner of a (wait for it) Yes We Can Opener!*

will update with photo when I've done some tidying (which may take some time!).

in other cool news, Andrew and Mary are gonna be in Chicago in October so I will get to see them which will be fab!

*I must point out that this was a personal gift from a friend who is volunteering on the campaign, not something that I bought.

Monday, 1 September 2008

today is officially part of 2007...

... it's the only logical excuse for the fact that everything has gone wrong today. Bad things happened in 2007, only good things can happen in 2008, therefore today must be a throw-back from last year...

my boss came in today and was really ill with some kind of flu-type-thingy. I am one of 3 people who spent time with her this morning and we all feel like crap... head-achey etc.

then I got a text from Virgin saying that my flight home from the States has been cancelled and they've booked me to come home the following day. I rang them and they basically said that I have to take this flight or cancel the whole thing. They wouldn't book me with anther carrier (like, for instance, BA, who have a flight on the right day). They were rude and unhelpful - couldn't tell my why it was cancelled and when I said that this wasn't good enough, I was told "this is all that we're legally obliged to do". Not good.

then I got an email from my landlord asking what had happened with the flat and I had to call him - he hadn't got the 2 voicemails I'd left him last week and the week before, so I've had to explain the whole thing, including the fact that I still have no lights in the flat, and my expectation that it will be fixed whilst I'm away. I now also need to work out where to put all my valuables whilst I'm away as there will be workmen in the flat. I was thinking of locking them in the filing cabinet, but now I'm thinking that if people are coming in and out, they could just take the whole cabinet, so I'm probably going to leave some stuff in Brum with Swirral when I go up and stay the weekend before I leave...

everyone else at work seems to be having a mare, the sun is not shining, Russian police have shot dead an anti-government webmaster, there is a hurricane about to hit New Orleans, and I want to be in bed.

oh well - I have a couple more hours of work, then PT, then Obama work, and then I can crawl into bed and pretend today didn't happen. (I'm not feeling low or anything - it would just be better if today had been slept through. By everyone.)

Sunday, 31 August 2008

brain in order...

... am up in Liverpool and have just had a great chat for a couple of hours with my sister. Am feeling much calmer about life, much more accepting of my current situation and generally much more chilled.

all good, and now to bed.

Wednesday, 27 August 2008


oh dear...

went to see Hellboy2 last night which was shiny (not sure about good, but definitely shiny!), but it ended very late and it was gone 1am before I got to bed.

then I had an 8.30 meeting this morning (I don't do meetings before 10am - everyone knows this), and I have another at 9am tomorrow... oh dear.

I think that after PT this afternoon I'm going to go a quick steam and then head home. To sleep.

I'd def recommend going to see Hellboy2 though - it is extremely pretty and doesn't take itself seriously in any way (always good!). I'd also recommend going to Electric Cinema - think arm chairs, footstools and a bar. It almost feels like a private viewing room. Only downside is that after lolling in a comfy chair for a couple of hours you have to put your shoes back on and go outside...

Monday, 25 August 2008

I have thrown things away!

I now have a floor in the office that I can actually see (and walk in and everything!) and more importantly, it should now not be called an office as I have gotten rid of the desktop computer, monitor, desk, pedestal and computer chair (and 6 full garbage bags to boot).

next stage of the plan is to sort out all the clothes, bags and shoes in there and put some of it into storage. Then I'll be able to put the bookshelf from the spare room in there, along with my pilates mat and exercise bike - lovely!

after that, I'm gonna need to buy some new bookshelves and then it will all be done!

In other news, the next few weeks are going to be lovely, but crazy busy. Next weekend I'm going up to Liverpool to see Jules, then Swiral comes to stay the following weekend. The one after that is September 13th/14th and I'm hosting a cleaning part to get the flat immaculate. I'm then dog-sitting in Brum and then go away the week after.

I'm going to try and fit in as much pilates, swimming and training as possible before I go away and also see everyone as well (if anyone wants to join the cleaning party - let me know!).

all in all - a busy 5 weeks!

Tuesday, 19 August 2008

back to the land of the not-so-sunny!

well, am back from hols and reality is starting to kick-in - got home to no lighting in the flat and lots of water falling through the bathroom ceiling - grrr... Hopefully gonna be getting that sorted today, but as yet the council haven't called back (no surprise there).

can't quite believe that I've now only got 39 days before I go to the States - really need to start planning that properly!

I think this weekend is going to be chilled - just seeing
PirateGrrl and her boy for some food and have a friend crashing in the flat, but don't think he'll be around much (some kind of film horror festival in town), and then another 4 day week - yay!

UPDATE: Ok, maybe not quite so chilled, but still lovely - TiggerAffect's birthday drinks, so could get a bit messy!

Sunday, 13 July 2008

another nice weekend, but more chilled than last.

stayed in on Friday evening, after a crazy week at work. Although I handed over the project to the PM on Thursday, there is still much to do, so it will be a few more weeks before I can get back to doing work that I enjoy and know that I can do (less of the feeling that I've been given enough project to hang myself with would be nice).

spent yesterday mostly doing nothing apart from watching Season 4 of DW - it's even better after you know what happens to everyone and very sad.

today went to Regent's Park with Gourou and his lady which was lovely - and I learnt to knit! May even start going to Stitch and Bitch! Gourou also advised me about which new lappy I should get - Although my main one is good, it's big and heavy and I'd like something lighter that I can actually carry around with me - I'm probably going to get an 11.5 inch Toshiba of some kind - very light. It will also mean that I can take it to Chicago easily (although I'm still pondering whether to encrypt everything on it, or send a USB key ahead with my data on it, following the court ruling that US customs can copy everything on it without a warrant when I enter the country...).

this week is going to be busy, with lots of personal training, pilates, seeing friends, and the Free Summer Screening of Marriage of Figaro on Wed which should be great. I was trying to work out the last time I actually saw it all the way through and I think it was more than a few years ago!

Sunday, 6 July 2008

lovely weekend...

... but need sleep now.

Friday and Saturday I was a judge at the National Finals of Debating Matters - an amazing debating competition for sixth-formers. All the debates were interesting and thought provoking, especially the final one, about presumed consent for organ donation - Do we have civil liberties after death? Does the State own our body or does our family? How do we increase public faith in doctors, and do we need to?

I seriously urge anyone interesting in raising the level of intelligent debate in the country to get involved next year - either as a judge or how about entering a team from your school if you're a teacher?

today was also great - a pilates intensive. Four hours of tuition, a reflexology massage and a delightful lunch - couldn't have been better (well, actually, a sunny day would have been nice!).

back to work tomorrow, but now I just need sleep!

UPDATE (22.48): ok now I need to go to sleep - stupid interweb!

Thursday, 3 July 2008

I knew there were many reason why I love Neal Stephenson...

... and this is one of them - a fab Q&A he did for Slashdot back in 2004.

and a hat-tip to Neil Gaiman for pointing the way!

Wednesday, 2 July 2008

I may have mentioned this a few times before...

... but I hate tonsillitis - grrr...

even more upsetting is that I haven't been able to wear new shoes yet, as am having enough trouble staying upright in flip-flops right now. This is not helped by the fact that I've had to be in work every day as the rec project goes live next week and there is no-one else who can sign-off on all the creative and print stuff...

in other news, have booked my apartment in Chicago - yay!

Sunday, 29 June 2008

goth porn shoes...

... got the most amazing shoes today when out with PirateGrrl.

as the day was quite overcast we decided to change plans and, as she had some Harrods vouchers from about 6 years ago left to spend, we decided that lunch at the Oyster and Champagne Bar was the way forward! After a lovely glass of bubbly rose and some smoked salmon and crab, we spent the rest of the afternoon wandering round and not buying things (including the most lovely Mulberry bag and an amazing Hermes watch), we found the shoe area. We found these and I just had to buy them!

am now working out when I can wear them (I'm thinking to work, with a great skirt suit)!

Saturday, 28 June 2008

mmm... lovely chilledness

am at Dunc's watching Quincy ME on ITV3 having spent last night watching films and eating take-away - lovely! And even better - he has a new sofa, so crashing here is not as painful as it used to be!

we're now having a discussion about the word (or non-word) chilledness - Dunc has suggested chillity, I was considering leaving out the first e to make it chill'dness.

week at work was good - managed to get £700k signed-off to spend in the next 4 months on the rec project and will be handing it over to the new PM on July 10th (he's started already but is now on hols until then). That will leave me to do lots of other interesting projects which have nothing to do with implementation - yay!

the rest of this weekend should be similarly lovely - nothing to do today apart from watch Dr Who this evening, and tomorrow seeing girls for a lazy Sunday (that may, or may not include a visit to the Hobbs sale).

Wednesday, 25 June 2008

how so many would agree...

... there is a fab competition to win and advanced reading copy of The Graveyard Book by Neil Gaiman. All you have to do is write your own epitaph. I was looking through the current submissions and came across the following:

In death, he has been given the chance to do what he never
could in life: shut up.

I'm now trying to work out if there is anything that I can possibly write that would be more appropriate for me?!

Monday, 23 June 2008

the dangers of the interweb

so - this morning. Got into work, turned on computer. Opened up my google home page. Went to Neil Gaiman's blog. Read about Wordle. Went to Wordle. Had fun playing with Obama speeches and came up with this one (very pretty). Then started playing with Neil Gaiman short stories and came up with this (again, very pretty). Then thought of a nice Bartlet quote from the West Wing. Then saw this page of West Wing quotes. Now planning on when I can go home to watch West Wing.

If there was an exam in procrastination and getting side-tracked, I'd get and A.
With maybe a gold star.

Also drinking the most marvelous tea, one of the many that PirateGrrl and myself got at Taste on Saturday.

Saturday, 21 June 2008

lots happening...

well, not right now as I'm sat on sofa and Aish and I have been drinking Kahlua and Rice Milk all eve, watching vampire films and trying on clothes!

had a lovely couple of weekends, first staying with Jules and playing with my nephews, and then dog-sitting for Sian and Matt (well, Ulrich really, as Sian and Matt are not actually canine!).

went on holiday which was fab - lay on a rock in the sun and did nothing for a week - I highly recommend this to anyone and everyone, and particularly the Corinthia Palace Hotel in Malta - lovely, and it has a spa!

whilst I was there, Obama officially got the nomination, so work on that has started which is fab - I've found a great London campaigning group and everyone is welcome - the big work at the moment is registering voters, so if anyone knows of any American's who live abroad and aren't registered, let me know and I can give them all the right forms and stuff.

I've also now booked by flights to go to the States to work on the campaign - I'll be in Chicago for the whole time, working with Ops and I'm going to be there from September 27th through to November 8th - this does mean that my 30th celebrations are being moved back, so November 22nd is now the date for my party - all welcome!

work is going on a pace - last project is kind of wrapped up now, apart from some Consultation but that should be done and dusted in the next couple of weeks. The main new project is a biggie though - need to recruit 477 people to start in post this year (yeah - I know what you're thinking, but it should be almost possible - particularly now that I've got a PM working for me who starts on Tuesday - yay!). The other projects are much smaller, but I think they're going to keep me busy through to about March next year!

also now trying to think about holiday (I know I've only just got back, but with the trip to the States, I won't have any other time to actually chill out). This one for the first two weeks of August. At the moment, I'm thinking about Cuba, but since the last time I had a 2 week holiday (that didn't involve seeing some relatives) was before I did my GCSEs, I really have no idea where to go and what to do - again, and suggestions would be lovely!

and in other news, I had a measuring session with my personal trainer this morning, and since I started, about a month ago, I've lost 4cm off my waist and 2cm from my thighs - yay!

tomorrow (or today, just after sleep) am going to the Taste festival in the afternoon and then seeing Frankie Boyle in the eve. I think it will then be some beers, back to the boy's and a chill out. Sunday will be spent watching some of the GP, going to see my Grandma in the residential home she's staying in whilst my folks are away, and then relaxing - before it all goes crazy again on Monday with work!

all in all, am having a fab time at the mo and life is good!

Tuesday, 13 May 2008

Project done - well almost...

... had the meeting with CEO this morning to go over my report and recommendations. Roller-coaster of a meeting and I said 'No - I'm not willing to change that for x reason' a lot, and 'If you want to do that, then you have changed the entire rule set by which I built the new structures, the clinical needs will not be met, and the project needs to be re-done and I this is why I disagree with you' a few times.

upshot is 3 and a half hours later, everything was accepted with only one cosmetic change to a job title! He's even been telling everyone that the project is excellent!

it now goes to the Board on May 22nd (where I'll present the report), then for consultation, and then back to the Board for final approval.

adrenaline is now at an all time low - I've kind of crashed this afternoon and now I'm going to boy's for a relaxing evening. Lots more work to do over the next couple of months, but nothing with this kind of deadline - yay - and no more weekends full of work!

Saturday, 10 May 2008

get up early, get things done - who'd have thunk it?

very early morning today - boy had to get an 8.30 flight to Ireland and as he'd been on a residential course all week with work, I stayed over. This meant leaving the flat at 5.45 (well - 6am anyway) and after making my way home, it was about 6.40... what to do?

well - this weekend is the big push on the project as I'm presenting to the CEO and Deputy on Monday/Tuesday, so there is lots of work to do (but this does mean that from mid-next week, I should be doing things like - oh, I don't know - responding to emails, seeing friends and generally having slightly more of a social life). Plan was to start work at about 9.30 so I had just under 3 hours to spare - should I go to back to bed, or do something productive? decisions, decisions...

... amazingly, I chose the latter! I've done all the washing up, tidied the kitchen and put the rubbish out, hard boiled some eggs (for new eating plan that requires lots more protein than I'm used to), put towels into washing machine (and actually turn it on and everything!), and made some lovely veg soup! All that and it's only just gone 9am... I may even try to make a habit of this - lots of things done and still a whole weekend of work ahead of me!

anyhoo - work now - I've got everything done, I just actually have to write the damn document - what fun... I may even try and spend some of tomorrow in a park enjoying the sunshine if I get everything done (or take some work to the park if not...).

tonight I think that Aish is coming over for a girly night of drunkenness and chick-flicks which will be nice.

also - a lovely smile for you - here is a fab post written by nanila all about the idiosyncrasies of living in England... very Stephen Fry in tone - enjoy!

Saturday, 26 April 2008

sad news...

... Humphrey Lyttelton has died.

am very sad - he's been there all my life and I've always kind of thought of him as being like a grandfather or sorts.

he will be missed, but most of all he will be remembered.

Monday, 21 April 2008

yay - I love xkcd!


... that is too long without a blog post, so here is one now! have just been reading friends' blogs and feel properly ashamed.

will do better.

when the project is finished.

ok - maybe before then - I think that's what got me into this mess in the first place!

Tuesday, 4 March 2008

Chicago day 2.5

well, it's getting really exciting now - polls close in Ohio in an hour! We're now calling people to let them know that that can take there absentee ballots to the polls.

OK - that was what I was doing an hour ago! Then came the urgent calls to get people out to canvass in Shaker Heights, OH, followed by calling people in Texas to GOTV for the caucus! Things getting crazy here and I've just been given a vegan cupcake and some chilli!

gotta go now, some more last minute calls and then we get to hope and cheer and hope some more!

Chicago, days 1-2

well, arrived in Chicago safe and sound. Yesterday was a bit of a blurr - 22 hours awake, 3000 miles travelled and 3 hours of campaigning!

we're staying at the house of a volunteer in Highland Park, north of Chicago, about a 40 minute ride on the train into town (and the trains have an upstairs!).

back phone-banking today - calling people in Ohio who requested absentee ballots to make sure that they've voted (or telling them where to vote today if they haven't!). Tonight there's a big party for the results, with chilli provided!

must get back to the phones now, and am going to a diner shortly to eat some corn beef hash!

more updates as they come, and photos to follow when I work out how my new digital camera works!

Sunday, 2 March 2008

and some things never change...

... am at work, listening to Virgin Radio. It's between 3pm and 4pm, so what's on? "Sweet Child O' Mine" of course!

and there was me thinking that this only happened on a week day.

(reason this is worth a post is that it's been about 2 years since I last listened to Virgin Radio regularly, and this was one of the reasons I loved it so much!).

update: Ok, now Primal Scream is on - it's like being back at Alchemis!

my god - it looks like the plan came together!

managed to have a lovely evening on Friday (albeit slightly more subdued than I would have liked), met up with cousins from the US for coffee yesterday, am in work at the moment which is going well, am feeling much better, am going home soon to pack and then to meet up with Charlie and Paul for a non-alcoholic drinklet before going home for an early night, ready to get up tomorrow at 6.15 to fly to Chicago!

(well ok - it's not like I had a plan, but if I had, it would have all come together...)

plus, amazing serendipitous moment - I've been trying to find out where Robert Levin is performing as I'd dearly love to see him. I hadn't had any luck and then thought "I wonder what the Chicago Symphony Orchestra are up to whilst I'm there?" and 'lo an behold, Robert Levin is performing Beethoven's Piano Concerto No.4! With tickets at $35, I'm going to Thursday - yay!

btw - I am aware that I'm not completely well yet, so there is a chance that the grammar in this entry has gone a little skew-iff!

also - I'm going to try and find an internet cafe so that I can blog updates of the whole Obama experience!

Wednesday, 27 February 2008

what you don't want two days before a hot date and five days before flying to another country...

... tonsillitis.

Oh well - am on antibiotics now so should feel better soonish. Think I may work from home for at least part of the day tomorrow as well, so that should help (it's like normal work, but with a duvet and unlimited peppermint and ginger tea!).

Still very excited about the trip next week, and if anyone hasn't seen it yet - check out this very cool guardian article about Obama and the West Wing. It's going to be cold though - about -6 as a maximum daytime temperature! I'm going to try and not be a wimp, but I think I may fail completely.

Well, home soon and then I think straight to bed - am not even going to my ballroom class tonight (which is a shame as it's the first one of the course, but I think for once, my priorities are right!).

Saturday, 23 February 2008

lots of excitement...

... on March 3rd I'm flying out to Chicago to spend a week campaigning for Obama at the campaign headquarters - am very excited!

In other news, work is going very well and I've had the most lovely day - a series of lectures by Robert Levin about Mozart and a sushi lunch - what could be better!

Tuesday, 19 February 2008

what not to do when your migrains are induced by sound and light...

... go to the IMAX.

Oh dear - I managed the trailers (including the Batman prologue which was fab) and the first 5 mins of the main feature before needing to go home and lye in a darkened room.

Lesson learnt.

Wednesday, 6 February 2008

Super Tuesday

... ok, good night, happy with results so far, amazing speech by Obama.

bed now.

Monday, 28 January 2008

one of the many reasons I love the beeb...

I just turned on my TV and before I switched my freeview box on, ITV came up. On was "Women in Fear: Tonight" - I only heard about 30 seconds of it, but it was basically the Daily Mail on TV. In horror, I turned freeview on and there, in all its wonderful glory, was the end of University Challenge on BBC2. I went from angry and rilled to soothed and interested in a split second!

Also - I've failed in my 'blog at least every other day' challenge (or new year's resolution - whatever you want to call it...) so far - my reason - work! Finally after a complete age of not being able to work properly, I'm now rushed off my feet. I've just started a really exciting (albeit very big and scary) project which is for the next 3 months or so, and I've had to turn down 2 clients already this week! At least one of them has now been referred to Dunc, so hopefully it will still work out well for all.

Have also done lots of lovely things recently, including seeing Sweeney Todd twice (once in preview and once opening night). I can't recommend it enough - a fantastic combination of Stephen Sondheim and Tim Burton, as dark and wonderful as it is possible to be!

Anyway, going to eat now and then to bed before continuing to learn and live in the weird and wonderful world of the NHS!

Wednesday, 9 January 2008

an evening of politics - some more bloody than the rest...

went to see the RSC production of King Lear this eve which was amazing. Ian McKellen was phenomenal as Lear, as were Frances Barber (Goneril) and Jonathan Hyde (Kent), among others. Edumnd could have been stronger, but hey, I've fancied him since I first read the play so it's difficult for anyone to live up to that!

now at home watching News24 for the less bloody section of the evening - the New Hampshire primary. I'm trying not to get too excited, but 2 polls giving a 10 point lead is fantastic! More good news is that this week, Obama drew level with Clinton in a national poll - the first time that's happened...

fingers crossed and I'm now going to carry on reading the 37-odd political blogs that I've become addicted to in the past few days - no idea how I'm going to last until November!

Saturday, 5 January 2008

damn - it's tomorrow already - that wasn't the plan....

... urgth - have the horrid head cold that's going around at the moment. The plan was that I would have a very early night, take some NightNurse and be all sparkely again tomorrow.

oh well, will do that now and just write-off tomorrow, m'thinks!

also - very happy about the Iowa result yesterday eve - bring on New Hampshire!

Wednesday, 2 January 2008

winter veg soup...

... is the most wonderful thing to eat on a cold January evening. I've just made some and it was delicious (if I do say so myself). Butternut Squash, Parsnips, Leeks, Onions and Garlic - simple and lovely!

the domesticity continues now as I've got to defrost my freezer (I know, I'm really starting the year off in a completely rock 'n' roll way...) as I'm getting a new one tomorrow, which will be fab!

I think the rest of this week is going to be quite chilled, and then I'm doing some lovely things next week - seeing Ian McKellen in King Lear and going to a preview of Sweeney Todd.

Also - finally got around to starting The Secret History of Moscow by Ekaterina Sedia and it is as wonderful as I was hoping!

Tuesday, 1 January 2008

Happy New Year!

what a nice start to the new year (well, the party last night, rather than the hang-over today)!

will do a proper post tomorrow, when I have a semblance of a brain - today has been spent tidying Charlie's flat (where the party was), buying and eat crap food from the garage, and watching rubbish telly.

need to go now - Charlie can't get her new phone to open and I am going to try and help!