Good morning! I'm back in Glasgow this weekend. It being Easter holiday (I actually have a holiday! hurrah) it seemed only fair I make the effort to drive up for a few days; especially since I did miss CA's birthday in March and otherwise haven't been here since Christmas.
And it's hot here; too hot. The central heating is pretty darned impressive but I have been warned by CA, who was warned by mum before that, not to turn it off. So instead I have been opening windows and doors everywhere I go, in an attempt to get some *fresh air* into the place.
I'm an airy person; mornings and fresh air and the sound of rain outside the window; and sometimes this house, big and warm though it is, feels airless and stuffy and uncomfortable.
The end result of course is that I've had a bad night's sleep,not helped by lumpy pillows.
The weather on the drive up was lovely. Sunshine and few British-summertime showers, but good for driving in. And there was some pretty spectacular clouds over Edinburgh - blue on one side of the river, great black rainclouds on the other, and you could actually see the rain falling, a really clear band as it moved downriver. I'd have stopped for longer to marvel at it if I wasn't so concerned about causing a pile-up on the A1. The Holy Island was looking beautiful as well, but it almost always does. I never cease to be amazed by how far out it looks and how far the castle is from the village; it only seemed a short walk when we visited but from the mainland road it looks quite far off.
And there were red sheep on the pyramids. I'll try and find a picture later (the Pyramids are built along the side of the M8, about eight of them, Pyramids of grass and a good size. I had heard that as part of the artwork they were supposed to be grazed with red painted sheep but hadn't actually seen any until yesterday, it was a bit surreal but I liked it)
Mum and Dad are due back from their Leeds MCC bike rally today/tonight, and I hope they've had a good time; although in the days they've been away (since Friday afternoon) there has been a lot of rain which I imagine does have a tendency to make camping a less than pleasant experience (it might be likely though that the addition of a hpynotist and a beer tent outweigh the wet weather).
It's too early, and I'm tired.
One day it's October and you're looking after a new baby rat and considering starting saving up for Christmas... and then suddenly it's the middle of March, you're looking after two new baby rats and consider starting saving up for a holiday/wedding (whichever happens to come first).
The new rats in question are only about 7-8 weeks old, Blondie and Little Stripe. There was a third sister, but she was ill from the first and died after we had her for 5 days. She was called Snubs (or Big Stripe), on account of her snubby nose.
The other two are doing well though, if maybe still a little cowardly and anti-social but I guess that's allowable since they really are tiny.
Peri, October's baby, has settled in nicely with Tegan, and they get on really well. She is nearly full grown now and quite brave, although far more polite and quiet tempered than her big greedy sister.
We lost Nyssa around Christmas to a bad case of pneumonia which she just couldn't shake and in the end it was the most humane thing to put her down; when her breathing got so bad she couldn't eat or sleep there wasn't much other option.
I'm still working at the same place, which is really a rare thing for me, that makes it over two years now in the same company and still enjoying it (as far as you can enjoy accounting and bank reconciliations in any case).
We had full and good intentions of getting married this May (I really wanted to be a spring bride becuase I want everything to be green and lovely and don't want to be cold in my dress), but being poor has meant that it's not going to happen then.
But I have seen a dress (make that two dreses!) that I really like on eBay and I have it on good word from a friend who bought her dress from China on eBay that they are really good. Have also decided on honeymoon (York, probably, unless we become rich and then maybe Brighton), cake (from Asda, buy a few and pile 'em high!) and have narrowed down list of venues to a couple of registry offices nearby.
That all sounds rather cheap and nasty; but actually I'm determined it will be light-hearted, fun and a good day. Will go for it when the money's right and when I can finally decide on a reception venue (dinner afterwards with the guests is the plan and then maybe going on somewhere for a party, or partying in the same place if there is somewhere that does it).
We've finished the X-Files marathon; two weeks ago saw the end of nine years of X-Files, two films, and all the seasons of Millenium and The Lone Gunmen that went with it. Took a little short of two years to complete, and I enjoyed it more than I thought I would. Shame it's ended really; I will miss Fox Mulder (and Doggett too, he was better than I thought and not a bad replacement for Mr Duchovny after all).
Started on Buffy this week. Already have watched the first three episodes and surprisingly isn't as bad as I thought it might seem on a second watch 16 years later. Angel is pretty wooden and not a great actor at all, but I'm not sure he ever was; I've seen him in Bones recently and wasn't impressed.
Going to see The Smiths Indeed with Kerry and Barry and maybe Roy next Saturday, which will be a good night. At £10 a ticket, who could refuse?!
I may start a new journal soon. A journal which has the name spelled correctly and that I can use for something useful... I don't know what yet. Reviews, maybe, or some proper more interesting journalistic blogging...?
Much like most other things I start though, I almost definately won't keep it up for long and will fall by the wayside as another great idea lost.
Yesterday we finally found a new friend for Tegan, the rat!
I'd bought Nyssa first, and she was the only rat in the pet shop so not very good at being in company with other rats or people. To keep her company, we bought Tegan not long after, but Nyssa was by then so anti-social that she kept picking fights and poor Tegan was a nervous wreck after 15 mins in her company. So Tegan was put in a separate cage. Deciding this wasn't very fair - after all, why should Tegan be lonely and miserable becuase of Nyssa's bad character - we went on a hunt for a friend.
Peri is really a baby still, but so far has been getting along fine with her new big sister, so both have company. Hopefully all will continue to go well, and the only lonely animal will be Nyssa, which can't be helped (and to be honest I sometimes get the feeling she doesn't want company anyway).
Reg had his second vaccination on Thursday, so now he's all dosed up, we can let him play out in the garden with no fear of him falling ill. He'll probably not be out much now the weather is colder, but its nice to know he's safe and also make himself useful as a mini-gardener when the weather and his appetite allows.
I've been back to the gym twice (three times?) since I last posted, and am definitely in the swing of things now. It's usually quiet when I get there, so I have my first 10 mins or so on the bike to warm up, and then set away on the treadmill. I'm still not running on it, but have found out that speedwalking is actually as good, if not better for you, than jogging anyway. I'm doing around 4-4.5 mph, which I think is good, just need to keep practising so I can keep it up for longer each time. Didn't bother in the end with new gym clothes (all the machines have pockets I can put my phone and water in), but might do soon - baggy shorts just aren't the thing, and I may as well look the part since I'm putting so much other effort in.
Mum's birthday is coming up fast (as I'm constantly reminded by all the other things which happen afterwards (Halloween, Guy Fawkes, Christmas) being splashed all over everywhere) and I have not the faintest idea what to do. Since no-one from that side of the border has made much effort to contact me, or answer any message I might leave, I'm out on my own on this one. As yet, I don't even know whether I'll see her, because I haven't had an answer on what plans are for the weekend after and if she'll actually be at home or not.
Was back to work on Wednesday, after a week and a half long holiday. That's the longest time I've ever taken a holiday from work, and it felt really strange going back. Not helped of course by the change of hours - I'm now working 7am-3pm - I was worried that while I was away they'd realise some horrible mistake(s) I might have made, or that the temp who was covering me was better at my job, and there'd be a P45 on my desk.
As it happened, neither of those things happened, and my first three days have been ok, besides a few annoyances from a nameless person, which I won't detail too much for their sake or mine.
While I was off, I had a moment of realisation that my insistance on never going to a gym wasn't a good decision, especially as my muffin-style stomach is something I am becoming more aware of and annoyed by. I'm not terribly fat or unfit, but seeing my figure in comparison with Maggie Gyllenhaal on my birthday was enough to make me do the unthinkable and get myself to a gym after all.
And I enjoyed it! My first visit proper (after the induction) was last night, and I did an hour on treadmill and bike. Admittedly, I didn't run on the treadmill, but instead I speedwalked on an incline, which I guess does the same job. For my next visit, I've downloaded some music to my mobile, and will either have to buy shorts with pockets or a clip of some description so I can carry my phone with me handsfree. Felt really good afterward, which I'm told is adrenaline. £3 a go is a good price, and if I can keep it up to 2-3 visits a week for a month or so, I'll make the next big leap and actually join as a proper member.
Yesterday, me and B had our long-awaiting and much-anticipated (by me, anyhow) day-trip to Blackpool. And I don't plan on doing it again - not for a very long time.
The time we spent in Blackpool was ok; just ok, because the crowds and shops were busier, noisier and tackier than I ever remembered, and most of my energy was sapped in just trying to get from one place to another. We didn't get into the Pleasure Beach, because the queue to buy entry tickets took at least half an hour, and that's *before* they move you on to a security checkpoint, not unlike an international airport. We jumped back out of the queue early on (only 5 1/2 hours to spend really does make you more aware of time and priorities), and plumped for just seeing Ripley's Believe It Or Not, eating hot donuts, a walk on the prom and the Doctor Who Exhibition. The walk along the prom took the longest time, but we didn't bother with a horse and cart ride along, because the only price the man would offer was £20 to the tower. "Ok, we'll just take the ride to halfway, then, and walk the rest." "Still £20, mate." How does that work?!
At 6.30pm, we headed back to the coach - plan was to drive down and see the Illuminations before we left, since that same road heads out of town anyway, in the direction the coach would have to drive. We head around to the starting point for the Illuminations drive, at the far South Shore - the whole run is roughly a 6 mile stretch to the far North Shore and beyond - and park up until the show begins.
At 7.30pm, the people in charge of Blackpool finally remembered to turn the lights on.
By 9.30pm, the coach had moved roughly 1 mile from our starting point, most of us had fallen asleep and pretty much all interest in seeing the remaining several miles of pretty lights along the seafront had gone.
11.30pm. We're finally out of Blackpool (having given up and turned off the seafront and light show at the next possible opportunity), and are now stuck in a service station somewhere on the M6, another 2 1/2 hours of travel ahead of us. The driver has run out of time and can't legally drive us any further, so we have to wait for a replacement driver to rescue us.
2.30am we finally get home. Cold, tired, and with little good feeling left for day-trips and coaches.
Reg has his vaccination at the vet today, the first of two, which have to be given at least two weeks apart. Today is VHD. I'm glad they're giving that one first, because I've been reading up a bit, and it is by far the worst. Kills quickly and horribly, and really not something I'm going to risk him catching. Trying to make transporting him easier this time, and because he is now a good bit bigger and heavier than he was on his first visits, I've bought him a travel box, which he has taken to well (left it in his run yesterday to let him sniff it, and he spent most of the night hiding in it!).
He's running in the hallway/kitchen right now, burning off excess energy in hopes it will help him behave later; although it'll still not be easy, since he is definately *not* a cuddly-bunny. Stubborn, determined, curious, clever and very indepedent. But not one for a cuddle, and will throw (and has thrown) himself with abandon from our shoulders/tables/etc in order to avoid being held.
Second day of my holidays too, and already I'm searching for things to keep me occupied. Today, I might bake. Mint-chocolate-crispie cakes, maybe, and something else with mixed peel that I bought last night. Fruit cake? Raisin shortbread?
Macaroni cheese was the experimental dinner last night, since I've never made it before. And it was ok, not as cheesy as I'd like, and maybe could have done with bacon or ham sprinkled in it. Still, edible, which is half the battle.
Do you think men or women are more likely to cheat if they know they won't get caught? Do you believe in marriage?
I think people are more likely to cheat if they know they won’t get caught. I don’t believe there’s anything inherent in either men or women that make them more likely to cheat; if the opportunity is there and the person is the right sort of character, then they’ll take that chance.
You hear more of women being cheated on, but maybe that’s because women are far more prone to chat and gossip than men, who have a tendency not to discuss these sorts of things. Equally likely, that in ye olde dayes, men would probably have had far more opportunity to cheat, working and being out of the house; and the only people the wife would have a chance to cheat with were the milkman and postman (I’m not saying that didn’t happen a lot either).
Do you believe in marriage?
“It’s only a piece of paper, but it says I Love You.” Marriage is as good a sign of love and commitment as you can get; but that is all it is. Marriage – despite what people say – does not change people. It doesn’t make you a better person, or more/less loving./trusting, or more possessive; if these things happen, its because they are in your character, and would in all probability have happened eventually anyway.
It’s always a pretty good excuse for an expensive dress, good food, plenty of drink, and a few family fueds.
As far as God has anything to do with marriage, I have no opinion whatsoever. If being married makes you feel better in his eyes, and you believe that you’re doing his bidding, good luck to you. I personally can’t see what my love (and sex) life has to do with anyone else, never mind any sort of supreme being, and certainly have never, and will never, feel any sort of need for his omnipotent approval.
If a magic genie told you your calories wouldn't count for 24 hours, would it change what and how much you ate that day?
No. What’s a calorie? I have a vague awareness of how much fat/sugar/unhealthy stuff might be in food that I eat, although for the sake of actually enjoying my food, I don’t think about it very often. And even when I do, why bother spending time worrying about it when there are far better things to be dwelling on and making myself potentially miserable about.
Most people, so far as I can see, are pretty much the right size. Not thin, but we’re not all built to be thin – only to be in proportion, and that’s entirely down the individual.
So yesterday was my birthday - again, already! How time flies...
Friday was also my last day at work for a week and a half, so it was excitement and jammy dodgers all round. Came home Friday afternoon to the biggest pile of post I've had in a while (Ok, 3 letters and a parcel) - but managed to restrain myself and only opened the cards so I could set them up on the coffee table. The parcel was from CA, which I finally got to open yesterday and had a snazzy duck t-shirt in and an unfortunatly smashed up chocolate penguin. Despite being wrapped in a thick layer of tissue, t-shirt and padded envelope, he still arrive here with his chocolatey insides crumbling out. AJ put some money on an HMV-gifty-credit-card, which I failed to spend in town yesterday because there was too much to choose from.
B spent a fair bit of time on me this year, which is lovely and everything was great - especially the wrapping paper, which was entirely homemade in an afternoon.
And my birthday card from the kids:
(Underneath the delicious paper was the next series of House, which I'm getting through quite quickly, and is the first series I haven't seen any of, since they moved it to Sky)
So we spent yesterday afternoon in town, not spending any birthday money whatsoever, eating far too much lunch in Frankie&Benny's, and sleeping it off afterwards.
And despite now having hit my mid-twenties-ish, I don't really feel any more mature or grown-up than I did on Friday.
I have a vague idea that I might use some of my mum's gift to buy new glasses, which are now much-needed. The ones I'm wearing now are the only pair I've ever had, and have already lasted out three years. Last month, the optician told me my eyesight had gotten worse, and gave me a new prescription, but I've never got around to filling it yet, since I didn't have the money and wasn't too blind that I couldn't still get on with the old prescription.
Alternatively, I could buy the last two degus in the pet shop. Or the whole cage of hamsters.
Had a lovely day out to the Holy Island of Lindisfarne yesterday. (http://www.holy-island.info/
) Not that we saw much of the Holy bit, sticking to the amazing views back to the mainland and the castle at the far end of the island. We could see the old Priory from a distance, but wasn't of any great interest to any of us (and the castle was free entry all day, unlike the Priory). Weather was fantastic; so good, I am today a lovely sunburnt shade of red, which I am rather impressed by given the time of year. B's mam and aunt came too, and despite the fact his mam walks with a stick and both found some of it hard-going, they seemed to have enjoyed the day trip too.
We didn't get any pictures, because silly me left the camera in the car, but in any case, it was nicer just to be enjoying it.
The castle was lived in until fairly recently, but from what I gather has been perched on the cliff at the end of the island since about the 1700's. Mostly you could only see in the bedrooms, and they all had furniture in from a different time - in the oldest room, they had to nail the curtains shut because the daylight would destroy the old fabrics on the bed and hangings.
Apparantly they hold weddings there, and we went into the room where they do that - lovely, but full of couches and tables so I couldn't work out where the ceremony would take place.
Probably costs a fortune, but if you had that kind of money, I imagine it would be wonderful to have a ceremony there, and have the run of a castle (assuming they close it off for you) in beautiful clothes and weather like we had yesterday.
Things are good at work right now, but I'm still really looking forward to my holiday; a whole week off! I haven't had a holiday really since the beginning of June, and that was so I could sit my AAT exams. Best I can hope is that the weather holds out enough to stay dry, especially on the weekend before I go back, because that is when we've got a day trip to Blackpool. Last time I went, it was a bit wet, and CA took me on the Big Dipper in the rain; not an experience I ever want to repeat, too cold and wet, although it made me appreciate what sunshine we did get a lot more!