Monday, October 31, 2005

trickle treat

3 things you need for a happy halloween:

our pumpkin
Our pumpkin


my O in his skelington suit

Pumpkin soup a la Nigel Slater

Sunday, October 30, 2005

rainy day women

It was hard to get out of bed this morning, even with the extra hour From under my lovely warm duvet I could hear it was wet and windy outside. Cyling 35+ miles in it was not an attractive idea. I nearly rang CB to say I wasn't going, but I did go. BananaGuardWe modified our ride down to 25 (less exposed) miles and even fitted in a bit of shopping - I got a BananaGuardTM at last. No more squashed nanas, hurrah! And even tho the morning was wet and nasty, the afternoon was lovely and sunny.

Came home earlier than expected, to find R had forgotten all about the local Apple & Pumpkin Party, so I took O to the end of it and he got to carve his own pumpkin for tomorrow night. It's party party party all week next week - B is having a halloween/late birthday party tomorrow, then it's O's turn on Friday, then we're off to spend the weekend with C for her birthday.

today's 2 things:
  • went out cycling in spite of the weather
  • have eaten reasonably all day (no bingeing)

Saturday, October 29, 2005

something new(ish)

A few years ago I saw a psychologist for a course of cognitive behavioural therapy. A big part of CBT is working challenge and re-setting your automatic thoughts, the ones that tell you you're bad, rubbish, don't deserve nice things, everybody hates you, etc etc. At my last appointment, the psychologist recommended some things I should do to carry on working on my automatic thoughts. One thing was, at the end of every day, write down at least two things I had done that day that I could be pleased with, that I could praise myself for doing. I haven't done it for a while but I've been feeling a bit cr@p lately so I'm going to try and start the habit again.

today's 2 things:
  • took O out to the park for a couple of hours, rather than staying in lazying about all day
  • I did not smoke today

normal service

sorry 'bout the whisky-fuelled pity party last night, and thanks for the comments. I don't hate myself but I do hate quite a lot of bits of my body. I haven't the energy for a big push yet, I don't think, but I will try for a series of small nudges. Starting tomorrow once I've digested this curry ...

Hello Helen (your Manchester-based student librarians can learn the essential moves at these classes) and Fox (haven't been to Enniskillen for years)

I hate adverts. T-mobile, I vow to never buy anything from you ever, you Undertones defilers you. Also curses on whichever other mobile sellers are using the intro to "I fought the law" in their ads. I've just set up my phone to play that when R rings (everyone else is Barwick Green).` Now it sounds like I'm a crazy-frog-alike, to kids who don't even know what the song is or who did it. Gah.

Never mind, there's always gawping in awe at Google Earth to take my mind off it.

Thursday, October 27, 2005

I'm fat

Me and O are visiting my parents for a few days. I have been avoiding looking in their full length mirrors. I "forgot" my swimming costume so I didn't have to go swimming with O and them. I have to admit to myself, I hate the feeling of my gut sagging over my thighs. I have to admit I'm fat and I don't like and I don't like myself. I have to get back to the weight loss cr@p. I hate it but I have to. I hate this.

I think I hate myself.

Saturday, October 22, 2005

bright lights, big city

part 1 ...

mammoth crystal
Went to That London yesterday - meeting in the morning but afternoon free hurrah. So of course I went to the NHM to look at rocks. And discovered that the aces thing about having a picture phone is that you can send you friends sms-postcards of interesting things wot you have seen.
big crystal blue john

Sadly Mr Grumblemag was too busy to meet up, so I had to make my own fun after the museum closed. No problem there tho, proceed directly to Diwana and eat fab curry (well, once they had remembered about my order). It serves gorgeous south Indian vegetarian food, the bel poori and dhosas are amazing. I love the north Indian/Punjabi style of curry you get in most curry houses, but having a different style of curry is a nice change.

part 2 ...

Had to go into Mancunium today, to change my mobile phone. Again1. Spent another hour or so in the Orange Shop. 3rd time lucky, I hope. Town was pretty horrible. A new section of the Arndale Centre has opened, featuring the World's Biggest Next and an enormous Starfucks. Ick. Had to go take O to hang out with the kewl kids to get away from the hideous corporateness. Turns out the City Council don't like them hanging around making the place look untidy, tho.
ban everything

1. I love it, but both the ones I've had so far have gone weird on me

Sunday, October 16, 2005

part-time mother

Poor R and O, I have abandoned them this weekend.

Saturday was cycling day. 35 mainly flat miles, stopping for lunch at Tatton. It was a fairly sedate pace, even by our standards, as the peloton included a 76 yr old on a 3-gear shopper. And good on her, I hope when I'm 76 I'm still up to cycling that far. On the way back home after the ride I managed a fairly spectacular fall, doing minor damage to bike and self, and in the process finally laying to rest any ill-conceived thoughts of cycling to Alderley Edge.

So I drove there this morning instead, for my first OUGS field trip. It was brilliant. Meet new people, learn new things, look at rocks and crawl around in the dark 25 metres under ground, a perfect day out.

We went down the mine in the morning. I've been down mines & caves before but only on the 'school trip' kind, with big well lit tunnels. These mines weren't like that. The only light was from the lamps on our helmets, we had to crouch and crawl in some places and even go flat out SAS-stylee at one point. Lots of interesting geology and history and mine facts. Two hours of that (not long enough!), break for toasties and cakes a the Wizard tea rooms, then on to an overground geological tour of the Edge, which was also v. interesting. Came home hungry, tired, muddy, sand and mud all down my front, and very happy. Oh, and inspired to re-read Alan Garner.

Next weekend is planned already. Sunday is cycling, but Saturday O is making me take him to the visiting exhibition at the Science Museum. Bogies!

Saturday, October 15, 2005

you know you spend too much time thinking about bikes when ...

... you have a very naughty dream featuring the man from the bikeshop. I shall never be able to look him in the eye while discussing lube and nipples again.

Thursday, October 13, 2005

I love this

OK so I got it from bad Popbitch that I was slagging off the other day. But anyway, the Gallery of Bellydancing Librarians is competely wonderful. My next projec may have to be the Gallery of Bellydancing Geologists.

new friends

A geology blog. And another one. And one over there, too. I'm all 'cited about geology today (even more than usual) cos I got a place on a trip down a mine at the weekend. Hurrah. Now I'm off to play with my new toy.

Wednesday, October 12, 2005

hide the screwdrivers

Took the side off of the computer this afternoon. The drop of oil worked a treat, and I gave it a good clean whiel I was in there. Puter is lovely and quiet again, and everything seems to still be working fine. This messing around inside your computer could get addictive. Fortunately, mine lives in a cupboard under my desk so I shan't be tempted to get a clear case so I can watch it work. One of these days I'll built my own new puter, tho, and maybe incorporate an aquarium or hamster hotel.

Another thing that's addictive is buying things for my lovely new phone. Apparantly I can buy a bit of software that'll mean I can have my Outlook diary on my phone! Whooo, where did I put my credit card ...

Tuesday, October 11, 2005

teenage dirtbag babysitter

hoodiesSo, tonight we're off out to the El Salvador benefit, leaving O in the hands of a neighbouring 16 year old. J keeps his head covered at all times - the one time I saw him without a beanie or hoodie on, I didn't recognize him. He is trying manfully to grow a facial hair feature but it's a bit too bumfluff yet. He looks like the kind of youth the Daily Mail warn you about, and he is an extremely nice young man. Did well in his GCSEs1, just started college, wants to go to university. Is nice to the little kids, even plays with them sometimes. Is of course O's all time hero, who makes him want to be a dude.

So I am not worried about leaving O with him (plus I know he has babysitting experience, and his mum will be at home a few doors away). I'm just worried about what provisions to supply. My mum always laid out a tray with snacks etc for the babysitter. I'm not going that far, but as I can't get in wine like I do for grown up babysitters (much as I'm sure he'd like it!) I txt Trin for advice on what to feed teens. Apparently their staple diet is coke, dorritos and jaffa cakes, so I'm off out to Asda to stock up.

J looks like he spends his weekends hanging out with in Cathedral Gardens. I hope he does, it's goth-sk8r-mosh2 heaven (Abby needs to go there, as soon as she's finished in Afflecks [noisy link] - it's like a walking advert for Afflecks). They all dress up like freaks (or is that phreaks?2) and hang out. Yay. I would a hundred times rather O grew up like that (whatever the version is of it in 10 years time), with some spark of individuality, than some anodyne top-40-listening, topman-wearing, consumerist, trafford-centre-hanging-outer, kind of teen.

1. Showing my age there, nearly typed O-levels
2. Excuse any inappropriate use of teenage vernacular, but you get the idea

Monday, October 10, 2005

one for trin

The ChavTest1, question 38:
Have you or has anyone you know got an outdoor hot tub?

I do hate the word 'chav', it's so feckin snobby, all that popbitch laffing at the oiks crap. But then again, there are some people who are .. just ... I mean, they are shopping in Primark at 11 o'clock on a Monday morning with their kids. Madam, seriously, Chantelle, Chardonay and little Kyle should be at school, not having you screaming at them while shopping for poor-quality leisure wear.

1. my result:
You are 18 % chav
You clearly know you are not, nor will you ever be anything even closely resembling a bonafide chav but that doesn't stop you from jumping on the bling bandwagon every now and then. There's nothing wrong with a bit of pretending though you'll never be able to hold your own with the true Burberry brigade.

Sunday, October 09, 2005

close to home

Earlier in the week, I arranged to call in and see my friend A today. When I got there everyone was glued to BBC News 24 for news of the south Asian earthquake. I've never seen so many phones in one place, outside of a phone shop, as I saw there today. A's landline, her mobile, her son and daughter's mobiles, her son-in-law and daughter-in-law's mobiles, all lined up on the coffee table. A is from Kashmir, as are her son- and daughter-in-law. They have family and friends there, so many people they are so worried about. Some they've heard some and some not. So they're waiting and worrying and hoping.

Meanwhile my neighbour, who is from El Salvador, is organising a benefit night on Tuesday in aid of those affected by natural disasters there, the volcano and the hurricane. Hopefully we'll get a babysitter so R & I can both go - I can't remember the last time we went out together without O.

Techno news:
  1. communicatorfed up of my mobile's battery not staying charged for longer than 30 minutes, I went and bought a new phone. The first 'proper' (ie not off the man on the market) phone I've ever bought. Wooo. It had to be clam shell, natch. Beam me up Scotty and I'll change those laws of physics. At least I will when I've been back to the shop to sort it out cos one of the menus has stopped working and also, despite Trin's best efforts, I can't get picture messaging to work boo.

  2. feckin' ZoneAlarm. Since I installed the latest updates, neither of our puters work properly with t'interweb (Firefox cannot get online at all, so I am reduced to reverting to IE. I miss my tabs!) Turns out I am not alone in this. Happy few hours to be spend uninstalling and then installing an earlier version. Joy. And no I haven't sorted the fan business out yet. Nor have I taken my bike to have the broken spoke fixed, either.

Friday, October 07, 2005

ho ho hmmm

Only 80 days to go! FFS. Bah humbug mutter moan etc. santa-online.comHowever, for the first time in my entire life, I have actually started thinking ahead about Xmas. Oh yes, Santa's been to Ebay - so far I've won auctions for a pair of walkie-talkies, a kid's City shirt and a good-as-new Junior Monopoly set. I also have my eye on Pokemon games for his gameboy colour and some other bits and pieces. Actually, I probably need to cut down on the ebaying, I'm becoming slightly obsessed. But I have had some top bargains, incl. clothes for me. And O is growing out of his bed, so I have my eye on a couple of auctions for 'high sleepers'.

I didn't get around to fixing the puter in the end. In fact I didn't get round to doing anything much. I was struck by some kind of Lurgy and spent much of Wednesday and Thursday sleeping. Still not feeling 100% today but have to get some work done, then am looking after friend's son later. I'm a bit worried about him, I think he's a bit backward. Nearly 3, and doesn't know his Percy from his Oliver! Fortunately, O is having a mini Sodor-relapse and so will be able to give him some intenstive coaching before he goes back into rehab.

In other news: My Son, The Next Jamie Oliver:
  1. At my parents' do, O happily ate cabbage and carrots. When I suggested he have some green beans cos he usually likes them, he said no because he'd already tried them and they didn't taste of anything much. Assembled aunties and uncles were astonished! "Our grandchildren will only eat chicken nuggets!" etc etc.
  2. We went out for lunch on Saturday, O insisted on ordering the Skelington Fish (Grilled Trout) he'd seen R have before. 5 year old child eats trout shocker! Even if he did insist on playing with the poor dead fish's skeleton first.

OK, I know I'm being a bit smug here and quite a lot of it is luck. He's a generally well behaved child, and is not particularly fussy (unlike his mother *blush*). But there must be an element of "If you feed 'em chicken nuggets, that's what they'll eat" to it, too. Where did this idea come from, that children need special food of their own and can't possibly be expected to eat real, normal food?

And finally, top xmas shopping tip: TK Maxx have ace tins of ammaretti-type biscuits in now. The tins are v nice and decorative. Ideal pressies for aunties and such.

Wednesday, October 05, 2005

ooh lookie

As an engineer's daughter I should've known, you can fix anything with a drop of oil, although apparantly squirting the Sacred Spray around your puter is not recommended (Dad, put that can down right now!). *Wonders if bike chain oil will do the trick ...* Failing that, there's always the trusty Brummie Screwdriver.

I may be gone some time

Eep my puter is making horrible noises and sounds like it's about to blow up. I think it's probably the fan, so I'm gonna replace it this afternoon when I finish work. Mind you, I have no idea what kind of fan I need. Are they much of a muchness or do I need to get the right kind of fan for my CPU? Plan for today is:
  • Make backups
  • Go to puter shop
  • Find screwdriver
  • Wreck Fix my puter
S, if I fall off on t'interweb for a while, you'll know why.

Other news: Life Imitates Art: Turn it up to 11, Mick

Monday, October 03, 2005

afternoon off

My course is finished. I of course left finishing the final assignment to the last possible minute, ended up staying up most of Friday night, but got it in the post on time on Saturday morning. I think, I hope, I've done enough to pass. One year down, four more to go. My next course starts in February, so I'll have a few months off. Or at least, I will if I don't sign up to do Maths for Loonies Science over the winter.

When I came back from the Post Office on Saturday, it was a weird feeling to think I had no more studying to do. I spent the afternoon lying on the settee reading, completely guilt-free, no nagging thoughts that I should be doing something else. Sunday was bike ride day (33 miles, very flat and easy going). Today I am getting my tax return sorted out.

Once I have no study stress and no tax-return stress, I'll have no need to keep comfort eating and will be able to concentrate on getting back on the path of d**t righteousness. Won't I?