Thursday, December 30, 2004


Unthinkable, unimaginable. Don't know what to say but can't let it go unsaid.

  • SEA-EAT blog - The South-East Asia Earthquake and Tsunami blog: News and information about resources, aid, donations and volunteer efforts.

  • Scenes from a disaster - blog entries from some of the worst hit areas

  • how to help - links to aid agencies, to make donations

Friday, December 24, 2004

Happy Christmas


I've gone from being all bah humbug to being all excited about Christmas. We've done all the present shopping and all the food shopping and now it all feels much less stressful. Have masses of stuff to do today, so it's probably a good job I woke up at 5.30 am and couldn't get back to sleep. I think I'm going to be like my mum, lying awake from the early hours on Christmas morning, waiting for O to get up.

D**t news: survey says Exercise 'can't end obesity risk'
Exercise is not enough to offset the increased death risk associated with being obese, research suggests. ...
Excess weight and physical inactivity together could account for about a third of all premature deaths, two-thirds of deaths from cardiovascular disease, and a fifth of deaths from cancer among non-smoking women, they estimate.

Back to the calorie counting and the regular exercise in January, I fear (I haven't done much exercise all this month, cos of being ill).

Wednesday, December 22, 2004

Getting There

I have the answer to my question in my last post. yes my friends are the most disorganised people ever. I arrived at their house at 6.30 am, they were still packing. I mean, still doing major packing, not just faffing about with the last bits and pieces. Finally got them out of the house after 7 am, luckily the roads were clear and we got to the airport in time for them to make their flight.

Came home, had breakfast, went out again and threw debit card around in John Lewis. Got pressies for mum and sis. Not totally happy with them but wtf, they'll do. They can always change 'em later. Also went to £-Stretcher for quality Seekrit Santa gift. I'm invited to tag along on my ex-office's Christmas outing hurrah. We're going to a Turkish restaurant - I wonder if I should take my belly dancing scarf along, just in case ....

I have to work this afternoon booo

Belated acknowledgement: thanks to Ann's Place for the Christmas tree gifs

Tuesday, December 21, 2004

ho ho ho

Contrary to the impression given in this blog lately, our house has started getting into the seasonal spirit. We have a tree ...

our tree

We have the obligatory singing Xmas novelty ie that evul looking very loud rubber tree (thank you so much to the person who sent this to O. If you had kids, we'd send them a drum for their next birthday). We have tatty but much loved decorations made by small child at nursery eg the nativity scene (now with added plastic farm animals) ...

tissue box nativity

We even decorated the cat ...

not a happy cat

OK that last bit's not true. But only because I couldn't get them to stay still long enough. Luckily someone did, tho, and made Xmas cards out of it hurrah. We even had a Christmas party. We invited some of O's school friends round for seasonal fare (pizza and jelly & ice-cream) and a few games of musical statues to the sounds of Trojan Reggae Christmas. It made up for him missing out on so much of the big Christmas build up at school (he was even off sick for the class Xmas party awww), I hope.

Car news: it was the alternator. It has a lovely new one now, the bill was quite a lot of UKP but not nearly as bad as it could've been hurrah. We might have to eat beans on toast every night but at least it won't be beans on toast for Christmas dinner [1]. So now I can fulfil the offer I made to take some friends to the airport tomorrow.

Question: are my friends the most disorgnasied people in the world ever? When they told me they were going to visit family Abroad, I happily offered mine or R's services to get them to the airport [2]. They said they were flying out sometime on Wednesday evening. OK no problem, I'm out then but R will take them, we'll finalise departure time the day before. Spoke to them today, oh actually the flight's first thing in the morning. Don't get me wrong, I have no problem with getting up to take them - it'd be even more of a pain trying to get there at that time. I'm just flabbergasted that you can be out by 12 hours on the time of your plane journey. Ah well. At least it will get me up and at it early. Also the airport is near a branch of my mum's favourite shop. I have no idea what to get her, but something that comes in a John Lewis box is likely to make her happy.

Ah feck, I just noticed on their website that John Lewis doesn't open till 10am! Aaargh.

[1] Christmas Dinner chez Clazza is, in time honoured vegetarian tradition, a nut roast. Specifically Cashew Nut & Mushroom loaf with Mushroom and Sherry sauce. In case you were wondering.

[2] I know what it's like trying to get kids, luggage, gifts, etc etc to the aiport on time esp. by public transport, and I also know they haven't got much money for taxis (their family got together and bought them the plane tickets for Christmas, so they and the kids could all go 'home' awww).

happy birthday to me!

I now know exactly what I want for my birthday and how I will be spending it. Just make sure to publish on time this time, woman!

Monday, December 20, 2004


Still no news about how sick the car is. This morning's post bought a stack of nasty brown envelopes that threaten to push our ever precarious finances over the edge. But (after a good cry) I feel better. Because in the end, it's only money. We will manage, one way or another. And we will enjoy our Christmas and we will be with people we love and we will be happy and well and safe.

Other news: I have bad taste in music. So I have joined the I have bad taste in music forum on audio scrobbler. The Music Police can feck off.

Sunday, December 19, 2004

starting to panic now

omg it's less than a week till Xmas. Aaaaaaaaaaaaargh. Today I braved shopping hell (only because I had to cos I have to buy something that can only be bought there bah). It was so horrid I left without half the stuff I needed. Starting to worry that the remaining time and money will not stretch far enough. Plus my car died today. Will Not Start. Can everyone please keep their fingers crossed that it doesn't need much work doing to it, cos if it does all those pressies are going to have to go back.

Oh and O's ill again. And so is R. And my throat still hurts. Feck. Proper little ray of seasonal joy ain't I?

Saturday, December 18, 2004

International Migrant's Day

18 December - International Migrants' Day -

More women than ever, about 90 million, are living outside their countries of origin, where most of them are at risk of gender-based violence and sexual exploitation, says the United Nations in a report marking International Migrants Day.

''Whether they are labour migrants, family migrants, trafficked persons or refugees, they face the triple burden of being female, foreign and, often, working in dangerous occupations,'' says the 89-page 'World Survey on the Role of Women in Development'.
Noeleen Heyzer, executive director of the U.N. Development Fund for Women (UNIFEM) says women and girls dominate in many of these migrant labour flows, going into domestic service, low-paid sweatshop industries, street begging and commercial sex work.
The study says migrant women boost economic development in both their country of destination and at home, through financial contributions from remittances, improving their own skills or helping to improve the education skills of the next generation.

I usually confine this kind of thing to my other blog, but as today is World Migrant's Day, I'm flagging it up here, too.

Friday, December 17, 2004

today I saw

In town today, I saw a woman not much older than me (maybe 10 years or so) getting out of a taxi. She was very, very fat, and had those really painful looking swollen legs and ankles. Her mobility was obviously really restricted. And I don't want that to be me in 10 years time, or even 20 or 30 or 40 years. I'm getting part of the equation right with getting more exercise into my life. I need to start working back on the other part, the eating, too. I haven't forgotten about it. I'm working on working up to working on it again, if you see what I mean.

Other news: I was in town getting some Christmas shopping. Every year I tell myself to be organised and get my shopping done well in advance. Never happens. This year, tho, it's not entirely my fault. It's a combination of being ill and the fact that my wages payments for this month got fecked up, so we haven't had the time or the money until now. Ah well. At least I got nearly all of O's presents. Look away now if you are not completely fascinated by what small boy is getting from Santa ....

Mighty Movers Crane & Bulldozer setMighty Movers - remote controlled crane and bulldozer thingummy. Major panic when Argos was sold out of them, forced to go to the posh and expensive toy shop and buy one that cost more (and I was lucky there, cos they only had 2 left)

Buzz LightyearTo infinity and beyond. I got this weeks ago, after last year's Woody traumas. (All he wanted for Xmas was a Woody doll, couldn't get one anywhere, luckily my mum tracked one down in Scotland).

RobodocRobodoc. I think it's like Operation but with a robot. or something.

how much? for a piece of wood? wtf?brio part no. 33370. Will enable trains to go under the swing bridge. Hurrah.

Sparks Racera sparks racer. it makes sparks when it races. it's cheap in asda. yay

tube of sea creatures Ocean Toob. Featuring 3 different kinds of sharks and several species of whale, plus assorted other denizens of the deep.

colouring pencilssome colouring pencils

still to get

Thomas the Tank Engine Thomas or James. James or Thomas. James the Red Engine Who knows? Decisions decisions. He has a Thomas, but it's broked and its face fell off awww.

chocolate orange The chocolate orange. V. important, he mentions it every day.

Thomas AnnualPower Rangers Annualan annual. Opinion is divided on whether this should be Thomas annual, Power Rangers Ninja Storm annual, or Other annual

omg my child is spoilt. look at all this stuff.

back on the ribena

boo we is poorly again. My sore throat has come back, tho not as bad as before (not yet anyways touch wood fingers crossed) and poor O is poorly again, too. He missed his school Christmas party yesterday, awwww.

Wednesday, December 15, 2004

white christmas?

I remember reading, years ago, an article by a Black British woman recalling how in the school nativity play she was never chosen to play Mary. Mary was never played by anyone who looked like her. The part always went to the blondest girl, the part of the angels to other blonde girls, and so on.

Today was O's school nativity play, and it was a joyously diverse production. Mary Black Madonna & Childwas played by a Black African girl, and Joseph by a white boy, and yes the Baby Jesus was played by a suitably mixed race baby doll. The choir of angels were an adorable line of girls of every colour, dressed in the traditional tinsel, and the three kings came from England, Korea and Somalia. The shepherds, their sheep, and the supporting cast reflected the diversity of our local communities. Poor O didn't have a costume part (he was off ill during casting and rehersals) and was in the 'choir' with the other non-actors, and they all sang their hearts out.

If you believe the Daily Mail, white, 'educated' parents like us are meant to fight tooth and nail so our kids don't have to go to inner-city primary schools like ours, where white kids are in a minority. Me, I'm pleased my son is growing up surrounded by all sorts of different people, from different countries and cultures.

Tuesday, December 14, 2004

for Sarah

Thinking of you & Lorraine.

Irises are my favourite flowers, I think.

new motto

Read in The Calorie, Carb and Fat Bible of all places, but still a good theme for how I want things to go:

Never give up on a goal because of the time it will take to achieve it -
the time will pass anyway

Weight loss is proving to be a longer and more difficult process than I expected. And my efforts are kind of 'on hold' right now. But, I haven't forgotten about it, it is still important for me and I will start back at it. Keeping this blog going, even when I'm not actively dieting, is part of reminding myself to keep working at it.

I've also started down the long route to achieve two of my other ambitions - get a university degree and become a teacher. I'm start my course in February. In the past, studying has always been accompanied by cigarettes and chocolate. I'm over the cigs, but can I do it without the chocolate? Maybe it will take my mind of biscuits ...

Monday, December 13, 2004

I nearly forgot

what with being poorly and all, I forgot to mention that R has had his viva and so he is, more or less, now a Doctor! Yay! He has to rewrite a couple of sections but that's not a problem. So he'll be donning the red gown and special bonnet in the summer. And then for his graduation ceremony, he'll really dress up. Ho Ho.

Academic dress-related asides: I was trying to find a picture of the robes to show you, and came across The Burgon Society "Founded to promote the study of Academical Dress". I know that some academics go in for twitcher-like robe-spotting at graduation ceremonies, but I didn't know they'd formed a society.

The most impressive robes I ever saw were worn by the Dean of Something-or-Other at R's MA degree ceremony. He had an honorary degree from the University of Ulan Bator, which entitled him to wear Mongolian-style bright red and blue felt robes with gold trim and a fantastic pointed conical hat. It wasn't exactly like the men pictured on this page, but it gives you an idea. If I was entitled to wear Mongolian robes, I'd wear them every day even to pop to Asda (although apparently, being made for Mongolian conditions, one does get rather hot in them).

I think I'll try for a set of these first, before aiming for the Ulan Batorean look. I've registered for science 101 with the OU, starting in February. So between now and then I have to become super organized and efficient, and learn how to spend less time on line and more time in productive pursuits. No problems there, then :hollow laffter:


eep my blogg has gone all grey. Is it sulking because I have been ignoring it? awwww :gives blog cuddles: I've been pretty icky, getting over nasty bug. Apparantly, I had tonsilitis. But I didn't get my jelly and ice-cream boo. Anyways I have of course put back on all the weight that came off when I didn't eat for several days. And I haven't felt up to excercising yet, I still have some residual bugginess hanging around.

I have ignored my poor blog and every one elses blogs for the last couple of weeks. I am going to try and make up for it now. Hope everyone is good and I'll catch up on your blogs soon.


Monday, December 06, 2004

how to lose 10 lb in a long weekend

Thursday: contract new and interesting virus (could be an addition to, or mutation of, pre-existing cold virus)

Thursday night: throw up repeatedly

Friday: glands swell to ludicrous size, throat constricts in protest and stops working. Ingest nothing but co-codamol and occasional sips of ribena light, and even getting them down hurts like hell. Stay in bed all day.

Saturday: as Friday. Also, do not attend wedding you have been looking forward to for weeks and so do not consume masses of food & drink calories.

Sunday: manage to nibble on a piece of toast and drink warm tea, feeling like a Victorian consumptive (no lacey nightgown, but plenty of coughing up crap).

Monday: feel hungry for first time in 4 days, eat piece of toast, feel full. Worry that I am addicted to warm ribena. I might go mad and have another whole piece of toast later. With peanut butter. Wooo. Seen doctor and got some antibiotics, so now I have thrush to look foward to too, wooo.

Wednesday, December 01, 2004

Dear Santa

MP3 gogglesO wrote his letter to Santa today [1]. I haven't written mine yet but when I do, these are defintely going to be on it. MP3 swimming goggles. Must. Have. Now.

[1] it's here if you really wanna see it .... page 1 page 2