Forty – Love

28 06 2007

I just finished reading Lionel Shriver’s Double Fault last night.  Since Wimbledon has just started, it seemed perfect timing to read a tennis-related story about relationships and competition on and off the court.  I loved it!  The book follows a tennis-playing couple from their first meeting into marriage.  We see what success and failure does to a relationship; and the damage that competition can do.

I really do like Shriver’s style – well written narrative and great characters that have complexity nd are, frankly, interesting to read about, which is pretty key but unfortunately not always a given in novels.  If you haven’t read her first novel, We Need To Talk About Kevin, I urge you to do so.  It is not always comfortable reading but she has a way of getting to the heart of the most important issues and then doesn’t pussy foot around.  She gets stuck in.  I will be looking forward to reading whatever she writes next…


Feelin’ fine

22 06 2007

It’s Friday and I really am feelin’ fine.  I almost finished quilting my quilt last night.  Yes, I am still making it but progress is slow and I still have to bind the thing without ruining it – pictures will be forthcoming.

I have a couple of important meetings today at work that I want to get over and done with.  It has been very strange since handing my notice in.  No-one at work has expected anything different so I have still had to deal with an important renewal and whilst that is stressful, I have to keep reminding myself that it really doesn’t matter in the longrun.

Anyway I feel quite cheeky today as I have got Chanel Black Satin nail polish on.  In the city.  With all the toffs.  Hee!

Big Bruva

21 06 2007

I am very sorry to say that I have been watching Big Brother 8 pretty much every day since it started.  It started at a time when I was vunerable – all my TV shows had just finished and I was left searching Sky for things to record to feed my habit.

As background for those of you with a life or in the US or both, this year’s BB started with an all-girl house.  It reminded me of school (I went to an all-girl’s grammar school) except the BB house was about 100 times more bitchy.  After a few days, they chucked in a single man, Ziggy.  As the only man in the house, he had to endure endless cattiness, inane conversation (let’s just say that the BB girls did nothing to promote our gender) and jealousy.  I thought he coped remarkably well.  The highlights of the show so far have been:

  • Emily getting kicked out (rightly so, in my view) for using the n word.  Whilst I acknowledge it was not said in a hateful way and whilst I do not advocate censorship, I think that a stupid, rich, entitled, white girl has no right bandying that word about as if she is some streetwise ghetto princess.   She showed zero understanding about why that word is so inflammatory.  Silly bitch deserved to be booted.  She was a cow anyway.
  • Chanelle and Ziggy hooking up (kissing, not the other… yet) – I am sure this is going to get old any day now, I can’t help but think they are quite sweet. 
  • The addition of two gay guys to the house.  Gerry and Seany are superb!  Ziggy was momentarily mortified that he was still the only hetero guy in the house but he got over that pretty quickly.
  • Shabnam talking about quitting but asking BB first whether she would still get deals – she hadn’t even been in the house a week!
  • The eviction of Shabnam.  This was behind-the-cushion viewing as she was royally booed but ignored it and spent FAR too long blowing kisses and dancing for the hostile crowd.

Introducing the housemates:

Amanda  Amanda: As one half of Samanda (AKA the twins), Amanda is sweet, funny, girlie, and I secretly hope playing a clever game.  Amanda is apparently the more dominant of the two.

Billi  Billi: I have not seen that much of him but he seems far too involved with his hair.  Which looks shit.

Brian Brian: He is brilliant.  An Essex boy and praaaaaad of it!  He seems to be genuinely a sweet guy.  Again as he is one of the new additions, we have yet to see all his sides.

Carole  Carole: I really liked Carole to start with – as a political activist with a great sense of humour she promised to be an interesting housemate.  Shame she has ended up doing all the housework in a strangely subservient role.  Up for eviction second week running, I think the kids are bored of her moaning about wet towels.

Chanelle Chanelle – sweet and pretty.  Perhaps not as interested in Ziggy as he is in her.  Seems to have Charley pegged.  Needs to not be so girlie all the time. 

Charley Charley: Hateful, obnoxious, vile human being who probably has a vunerable side with major self confidence issues but she is too horrible for me to care.  Her greatest skill is telling other people off for doing the exact thing that makes her to annoying.  The classic ‘turn a situation around’ thing is used in the house so much it makes my eyes want to bleed.

Emily BOOTED! Emily: See my comments above.  She thinks she is so much better than anyone else.  She also thinks that she has discovered indie music.  Silly bitch.

Gerry Gerry: Adorable, Greek and very intelligent.  He might get annoying but so far so good.

Jonathan  Jonathan: A rich businessman who analyses his housemates, which is interesting and a good thing but comes across as a bit of a sleaze and openly talks about how much money he has.  British people hate that.

Laura Laura:  A favourite on entering the house, she has really gone down in my view.  Negative, bitchy and generally a pain in the arse. 

Lesley WALKED!  Lesley: I loved Leslie before she walked.  Super intelligent and wise, she was an asset to the all-girl young house.  Superb sense of humour but unable to tolerate the conditions in the house.

Liam Liam: Heartbreaker in the making, Liam seems like a nice lad who knows how good looking he is.  Nikki already seems to have taken a shine but I think she has her work cut out for him.  Need to see more of him to make a proper assessment.  That was not meant to sound lascivious.

Nicky Nicky:  As one of the older girls (she is 28) she found herself in the position of matron, telling the girls not to eat all the food and generally coming across as a bit of a bore which I suspect is far from the truth.  She tries to resolve conflict without losing her temper but sometimes strays too far into passive aggressive land.  Now the new housemates have arrived, she seems to have chilled out.  Will be interesting to see what happens with Liam, especially as she is a self-proclaimed man-hater who probably has been badly hurt by a man in the past.

Sam Sam: The weaker half of Samanda, she is also girlie, pink-loving and seemingly superficial.  Clearly has a brain and shows signs of being sensible beneath the eye-shadow.

Seány Seany:  I thought he was going to be dreadful. He did not make a good first impression but has grown on me since.  I am interested to know why he has been nominated for eviction by is housemates as he seems to be liked in the house.  Maybe he is actually really annoying.

Shabnam EVICTED! Shabnam: A desperate media whore wannabe.  Good riddance.

Tracey Tracey: A 38 year old ‘cheesy quaver’ (i.e. raver).  Works as a cleaner and thinks it is a noble job which I kinda admire.  Seems very zen and her catchphrase ‘deal with it’ shows her strength.  She seems the only hosuemate genuinely honoured to be picked to be in the house.  Everyone else seems to just accept they have been chosen.

Ziggy Ziggy: Dealt with the all-girl situation admirably but is now showing signs of insecurity as all the lads fancy his girl.  This could get old very quickly.

Mighty my arse

20 06 2007

I am in a fab mood today but there is something I simply must get off my chest that has been annoying me.

Back in March, I bought Maggie Mason’s book No One Cares What You Had for Lunch: 100 Ideas for Your Blog directly from her blog using PayPal. When I ordered it, it clearly stated that they accepted orders internationally. Other than the PayPal receipt I have heard nothing else. I have emailed Ms Mason numerous times but had no indication that the book has been sent. She hasn’t even replied to my emails. Now, I used to be a faithful reader of her blog but have now unsubscribed as I get really annoyed reading about all the crap she has been doing rather than answering a short email. She has also since stopped delivering internationally because of all the problems she has had.

If the book had gone missing in the post, I would have understood. I wouldn’t even have expected a refund if she could show she had posted it. But I heard nothing. I have contacted PayPal who informed me its is too late to do anything and anyway, only Ebay purchases are protected. I have tried one more time today to emai Mason. I do not expect to get a reply:

Dear Ms Mason

I am terribly disappointed to have heard nothing from you whatsoever since I made the below purchase. I have emailed several times (cc’ing the email address contained in the PayPal receipt) to no avail.

I can only assume that you have no interest in your readers or customers.

I do not expect to hear from you. However, should you decide to contact me, I would be grateful if you could simply confirm that you have posted the item ordered.

I do not expect a refund. I would just like a reply to my email.


I am annoyed a) because I think it is just rude to ignore someone who was trying to buy something you are selling (and for which you have pocketed the money) and b) I still want the book but cannot buy it now out of principle.

It is funny how the blogosphere changes things. If this was just a normal online purchase, I would have let it go. Because it is someone who I read about, I feel it’s personal.

Crafty people – I need you!

19 06 2007

I have got the following craft books lined up in Amazon just waiting to be bought (I am waiting to make sure I get the right ones)… has anyone got these or got any others that they can recommend?  I am not interested in making clothes, only quilts, bags, soft furnishings and crafty things…

Bend-The-Rules Sewing: The Essential Guide to a Whole New Way to Sew – Amy Karol – I love her blog so I really want this.

Amy Butler’s in Stitches: 25 Simple and Stylish Sewing Projects – Amy Butler – I hear a lot of good things about Amy Butler…

Lotta Jansdotter’s Simple Sewing – Lotta Jansdotter – am pretty sure this has been recommended elsewhere

The Crafter’s Companion – Anna Torborg – not sure about this one

I still need to do lots of research about sewing machines too as I want one for my birthday in July.  Kirsten at Two Lime Leaves has given me plenty of helpful pointers (which I will be happy to share if anyone is interested), I just need to get myself to a shop so I can have a good look around.  I want a really good but cheap one!  Is that so wrong?  They seem so expensive in the UK.  Or am I just looking in the wrong place?

I am also looking for a good fabric shop online (preferably in the UK as the postage is so hefty when ordering from the States).  Admittedly, I haven’t spent much time on this but I only seem to find quite old-fashioned fabric online and I am still clinging to my youth (I am NOT 31 in a month and 9 days, I AM NOT!!!  ok I am).

To do list hell

15 06 2007

I love my lists, I really do.  But my to-do list is completely out of hand.  I am not talking about my work to-do list (which is completely manageable and not really concerning me considering I only have 6 weeks to go).   I am talking about the preposterous number of chores, jobs, tasks, projects etc. that need doing at home.  I cannot wait to have a couple of days at home with no job so that I can crack on with some of these things.  The list is so mammoth that I even have subcategories:

Sundries – small
Sundries – big

I am so compulsive with my lists that when I do something that constitues a chore that ISN’T on the list, I write it on just so I can tick it off straight away.  So very sad. 

Exam nerves

11 06 2007

Tomorrow I have a three hour exam in which I must write three essays.  I am unprepared.  I am unmotivated.  I still have unrealistic expectations despite this.  I cannot wait for this to be over and done with.