27 12 2006

On Christmas Eve, Ricardo and I popped into Leamington to pick up some last minute presents and also to check out some mobile phones so that Rich could choose which he wanted when he changes contract.  Having found our last present, a picture in the window of a new gallery in town caught our eye. 


This little pic doesn’t really do it justice but it is fab.  So we bought it.  It complements our other NYC-style picture which is already in out newly-decorated lounge:


It really wasn’t the sort of thing we should be buying on Christmas Eve but hey, these things happen.


Christmas past and present

24 12 2006

When my brother and I were little, we used to place my dad’s old football socks at the end of our bunks.  We would try desperately to fall asleep because we really did believe the threat inferred by our parents that if we were not asleep before Father Christmas arrived, we would not get any presents.  I don’t remember them ever saying it outright, but we both knew what they meant.  We would talk in our beds about everything from presents to quizzing each other about geography (an interest of my brother rather than me but I liked to like whatever he liked so I played along).  It seemed that we were awake for hours although I never remember my parents going to bed and certainly never heard them enter the room, take the orange and white stripy socks and return them stuffed with goodies.  I can still remember the thrill of waking to feel the heavy weight of full Christmas stocking on my feet.  “He’s been” one of us would whisper.  The deal with our parents was that we were not to wake them before a set time (which probably started pretty early but got later as we got older) but we were allowed to open and enjoy our stocking presents in the meantime.

Usual stocking fare was the following:

  • A satsuma
  • Chocolate money
  • Some kind of puzzle toy (probably aimed at occupying us for as long as possible)
  • A Sindy doll or Action Man
  • Nuts

When it was time, we would argue about who had to knock on our parents door to see if we were allowed to get up.  When we were a older, we would make tea to part-bribe, part-guilt our parents out of bed.  We would then go downstairs to the tree to open the big presents.

Fast forward a few years and then you get a slightly more sedate but no less fun Christmas morning experience.  The post-Santa, post-adolescent Christmas in my parent’s house was a refined affair.  I usually still woke pretty early compared to usual but now my parents would definitely be up first.  Mum would be preparing things for dinner in the kitchen, Dad would be doing jobs and mooching about.  Both of them would be dressed and waiting for breakfast.  One of them would hand me a mug of tea: the bribe now needed for my brother, who has lost the excitement of Christmas somewhere between age 10 and adulthood.  I would tentatively coax him from sleep and from bed so that we could all have breakfast before getting to the opening of the presents.  By the time we were all around the tree, it was about 11am.  The Ceremony of Carols would be playing in the background and Mum would emerge from the kitchen with a tray of canapes and Dad would bring glasses of champagne.  I would then kneel by the tree and give out the presents so that we each have something to open.  It has been five Christmases since I have been at my parent’s house on Christmas Day and tomorrow we will be there to experience my family’s Christmas.

Over the past couple of years,  I have grown to love the Christmas that my husband knows and loves.  I am so excited to be able to share ours with him for the first time.

I hope you all have a very merry Christmas, however you celebrate it.

Four pints of wallop

21 12 2006

We just got back (its 5pm) from our Christmas lunch.  I am in no shape to work, type (you should see the typing errors I have had to sort out getting this typed!) or do anything other than tidy my desk a bit, have a free can of Diet Coke and then get the fuck out of here.  We have a champagne lunch tomorrow to say goodbye to our offices as we are moving to a new office on Thursday night (due to the fact that they are ripping this building down on 8th Jan to build a fancy new one) so I better rest up tonight.

Lazy post

19 12 2006

I have been trying to post for days and things keep getting in the way; work, life, TV… you know the drill.  I would like to find just a little bit of time so that I can start to do some creative things like make soft trees, or yummy food, or take some lovely pictures… I also want to get my wedding scrapbook done which I have been meaning to do since we got married three and a half years ago.  I am a little worried that if I actually purchase some scrapbooking goodies I will become a scrapbook geek.  It looks so appealing.  Where is my nearest Hobbycraft??

Anyway, so make up for not posting for an age, please enjoy these analogies courtesy of my OU Creative Writing bud, Jen.

Every year, English teachers from across the USA submit their collections of actual analogies and metaphors found in high school essays. These excerpts are published each year to the amusement of teachers across the country. Here are last year’s winners.

1. Her face was a perfect oval, like a circle that had its two sides gently compressed by a Thigh Master.

2. His thoughts tumbled in his head, making and breaking alliances like underpants in a dryer without Cling Free.

3. He spoke with the wisdom that can only come from experience, like a guy who went blind because he looked at a solar eclipse without one of those boxes with a pinhole in it and now goes around the country speaking at high schools about the dangers of looking at a solar eclipse without one of those boxes with a pinhole in it.

4. She had a deep, throaty, genuine laugh, like that sound a dog makes just before it throws up.

5. Her vocabulary was as bad as, like, whatever.

6. He was as tall as a six-foot, three-inch tree.

7. The revelation that his marriage of 30 years had disintegrated because of his wife’s infidelity came as a rude shock, like a surcharge at a formerly surcharge-free ATM machine.

8. The little boat gently drifted across the pond exactly the way a bowling ball wouldn’t.

9. McBride fell 12 stories, hitting the pavement like a Hefty bag filled with vegetable soup.

10. From the attic came an unearthly howl. The whole scene had an eerie, surreal quality, like when you’re on vacation in another city and Jeopardy comes on at 7:00 p.m. Instead of 7:30.

11. Her hair glistened in the rain like a nose hair after a sneeze.

12. The hailstones leaped from the pavement, just like maggots when you fry them in hot grease.

13. Long separated by cruel fate, the star-crossed lovers raced across the grassy field toward each other like two freight trains, one having left Cleveland at 6:36 p.m. traveling at 55 mph, the other from Topeka at 4:19 p.m. at a speed of 35 mph.

14. They lived in a typical suburban neighborhood with picket fences that resembled Nancy Kerrigan’s teeth.

15. John and Mary had never met. They were like two hummingbirds who had also never met.

16. He fell for her like his heart was a mob informant, and she was the East River.

17. Even in his last years, Granddad had a mind like a steel trap, only one that had been left out so long, it had rusted shut.

18. Shots rang out, as shots are wont to do.

19. The plan was simple, like my brother-in-law Phil. But unlike Phil, this plan just might work.

20. The young fighter had a hungry look, the kind you get from not eating for a while.

21. He was as lame as a duck. Not the metaphorical lame duck, either, but a real duck that was actually lame, maybe from stepping on a land mine or something.

22. The ballerina rose gracefully en Pointe and extended one slender leg behind her, like a dog at a fire hydrant.

23. It was an American tradition, like fathers chasing kids around with power tools.

24. He was deeply in love. When she spoke, he thought he heard bells, as if she were a garbage truck backing up.

The importance of good English

11 12 2006

I know this is not that current but the essay that I recently submitted which discusses judgements people make about examples of good and bad English would have greatly benefitted from the example that has been posted around the internet and also printed in newspapers. The example I am talking about is Lindsay Lohan’s inane email rant to her lawyers about who knows what… If you are living in a cave and haven’t read it, I suggest you do so here so that you can see the hilarious red-pen treatment given by the Go Fug Yourself girls.  Her English sure is fugly.

Remote update…

6 12 2006

FOUND IT!!!! In my bedroom… no idea why…

Another one bites the dust

6 12 2006

I have just finished my second essay for my new course.   In typical me-fashion, I had not started to write this until today.  By the time I came home, I had written 300 words (work was unnaturally busy today which stopped my from writing much at all during the day) and so I managed to bash out another 1300 words this evening.   Now the essay just needs to be delivered by my lovely hubs when he finishes his overtime (which means technically it will be late in but lets hope my tutor goes to bed before midnight meaning he will not know for sure that the essay was late in)!

I have just poured myself a can of the amber nectar, and was about to enjoy some That 70s Show but I cannot find our Sky remote control.  I don’t know if the cleaner has ‘tidied’ it or if Ricardo purposely hid it so that I would not get distracted by the TV whilst trying to write my essay.  If its the former, I have looked in all the obvious places.  If its the latter, I commend the idea but I HAVE FINISHED NOW AND I WANNA WATCH ME SOME TEEVEE!!!!!