Sunday, 18 September 2011


This is basically the full extent of my intellectual capacity right now. Must... sleep...

Friday, 16 September 2011


If you zoom in and enhance this picture, you might be able to tell that I have had some extra holes added to my head today. I finally got round to having my ears pierced!

Now is the winter of my disinfecting. . . 

I also met up with Percy and Whizzkid today (neither of them noticed my slightly-throbbing ears, which they later put down to "being men", like that's some sort of excuse). We had delicious burgers at the delicious burger place (jerk chicken burgers are my new favourite food) and Percy and I popped in at the Hummingbird bakery for a pumpkin whoopie pie (I really wish they'd rename them something less embarrassing to type). 

Probably the most exciting thing today, however, was having a chance to shop! (Sorry, boys.) Uniqlo featured heavily, of course, although I think I would have gone knitwear-mad in M&S if it hadn't been so warm today. There is a checked cape for £69 that I am seriously tempted by. . . I don't think any of my new purchases are wildly exciting, but they are all going to make getting dressed to go to work in the mornings much easier, so I'm excited.

I should probably go to bed now, as I want to get up to watch Ireland play Australia tomorrow morning.


Wednesday, 14 September 2011


They were giving these out free outside work today (at least, so I'm told - I completely failed to notice!). They're special gluten-free biscuits and they come in chocolate, cranberry and coconut (not sure why they have the last one, as they all contain a fair whack of coconut. Maybe they're for real coconut enthusiasts?). The brand is Mrs Crimble's and they have a website here in case you know anyone gluten intolerant who needs a treat. Personally, I quite like gluten, as I learned when I tried one. 

I am a complete blogging failure at the moment, mostly because work is getting ever more stressful as everyone is working on lots of things at once (including me). As a result, I am very tired all the time, and not even up to typing nonsense on the internet. Apologies, I will get right on that. More nonsense coming up!


Saturday, 10 September 2011

Carrot cake!

The most exciting thing I did today was to make this carrot cake! My mother was kind enough to send me the recipe, and I am also following her protip of keeping the icing separately in the fridge so it keeps longer. The hardest part of making carrot cake is grating all the carrots, but it's always worth it in the end.

This morning I actually managed to get out of bed to watch the first match of the rugby world cup. I'm very  proud of myself (and it was an exciting game) but I am now quite sleepy, having had almost a full day, so I'm going to go to bed.


Wednesday, 7 September 2011

Weekend adventures

I've had a slightly exhausting few days at work, but of course that isn't a proper excuse for not having posted about my weekend yet!

I met up with Whizzkid and Giovanni this weekend, for awesome adventure times and lots and lots of food (may have discovered a burger place that will satisfy even Percy). We did some more sophisticated stuff too!

Imperial War Museum:

This was more one for the boys, really, but it was interesting and I hadn't been, so I didn't mind. Also, it's free! There is an amazing array of stuff on display, and there's a bit designed to let you experience life in the trenches (but with health and safety, obviously). 

It's well worth a visit, especially if you're a war fan.

In our wanderings, we also found a fence covered in ribbons and tokens. It's next to a carpark, but apparently the area was a graveyard for prostitutes and other destitute people in medieval times.

It was great being able to catch up with the boys again, and I'm hoping we'll all be able to have a giant reunion at some stage (with pizza).

We're big bridge fans

That is all for now, as work is not very interesting at the moment (lots of spreadsheets!), although I did learn today that my brother shares a birthday with Edwina Currie.


Friday, 2 September 2011

Free time!

I am lucky enough to be in the middle of a four-day weekend at the moment, because I worked over the Bank Holiday weekend. And while the last few days have been pretty miserable, today was really hot!

I met Whizzkid and his girlfriend (who I was meeting for the first time) today in London and we had ice cream and Korean food and did a little bit of shopping. I really want to buy a whole new winter wardrobe from Uniqlo!

I completely forgot to bring my camera today, but I had it to hand while knocking around the house yesterday (I can try to pretend that I was recovering from a hectic few weeks, but really I was just being lazy). I got quite a lot done, and also made some more earrings:

Slightly blurry picture, but you get the idea. The Godmother bought these pretend pearls as part of a slightly hideous necklace for me to make her earrings from, so she gets the long dangly ones. I am having fun coming up with different designs using them!

It wasn't nearly as warm yesterday and loafing around doesn't keep you warm, so I wrapped up a bit:

Sometimes it's nice to just be cozy and comfortable. Ignore my wrinkly knees!

More excitement is in store this weekend as Giovanni is coming to town, so Whizzkid, Percy and I will be spending some quality time with him (whatever that means). Who knows what adventures we will have?


Monday, 29 August 2011

London Underground

Apologies for the extremely lame title. I have spent today trying to create as much text as I could as fast as possible. If you look at the DUR page tomorrow, it is all by me. And probably riddled with errors, but there you go.

Thanks to the resulting brain crash (much like pushing it with physical exercise, I find too much stress on my brain creates a massive slump later on) I do not have much to share today, so I will let off steam about something which is on my mind every day, twice a day, because I commute.

Tips for Tube travellers: 

  • Your journey is the most important. Anyone who gets in your way or is trying to get past you is merely unaware of this. Let them know as often as it takes. 

  • It's really boring sitting on a train speeding through a tunnel. Liven things up for everyone by having a loud, inane conversation with a friend, or any random stranger foolish enough to make eye contact.

  • Don't bother working out your journey before you go through the barriers. There are lots of maps and signs on the walls and it is customary to congregate in front of them in large groups. 

  • Bringing a pushchair on the Underground is a great way to help beleaguered commuters relax by exposing them to your charming children. They will also enjoy the obstacle course you create for them by parking it right in front of the doors.

  • The right side of the escalator is reserved solely for you to stand on. Enjoy!

  • If you can't be bothered to work out a route, don't worry - grab a member of staff and demand that they give you directions. Better yet, ask a fellow traveller, especially anyone who looks in a hurry. Bonus points for changing your mind about where you want to go and refusing to take the Bakerloo line because you don't like the colour brown. 

  • There are two approaches to getting off a Tube train. The first is to wait until after all the other passengers have disembarked and then dashing after them, stepping on as many feet as possible and pushing past anyone trying to get on. The second is to hover in front of the doors for several stops before yours, just in case the announcer is lying. 

  • When getting off a Tube train, be sure to stop right in front of the doors and look around you slowly. 

  • When boarding a train, try to stand directly in front of the doors before they open. As soon as they do, push your way inside through all the people trying to get off, ignoring all signs, announcements and protests that suggest the opposite. You want to get a seat, after all. 

  • Repeating "Mind the gap" after every announcement is a joke that never gets old. Ever. 

  • If you are travelling with small children, let them take turns in pulling the emergency alarm. 

  • Wait until you are positioned right in front of the ticket barrier before fishing in your bag for your ticket or Oyster card. 

  • If you have a large bag or backpack, make sure you board the most crowded carriage you can find. Give yourself a bit of a rest by leaning on other people. 

  • The Tube is basically one big book club. If you see anyone reading anything, ask them what they think of it. If they don't answer, it must be really good - press them for information. 

  • Newspapers are strictly rationed, so it is customary to read over other people's shoulders. Feel free to let them know if they are turning the pages too fast for you. 

  • A crowded Tube train is the perfect place to try out all those new ringtones you downloaded. 

  • When leaving a Tube station, bear in mind the sad fact that there is never enough London for everyone. Push, shove and step on people. 

I'm sure there are more, but that's enough helpful advice to be getting on with for now. Bitter, moi?


P.S.: If the song is still stuck in your head, you are probably a destined commuter. My commiserations. 

Wednesday, 24 August 2011

10 things

I am trying not to be lazy about blogging,  even when I am knackered and nothing interesting happened all day unless you happen to be an obituary fan, so:

Today I bring you 10 things which have been on my mind at the moment.

  • I am so not ready to turn 23 in two months

  • I'm not sure what to get Whizzkid for his birthday, which was yesterday. Happy birthday! 

  • I am looking forward to my day off on Friday so much it hurts

  • I still need to wash the soup off my umbrella (don't ask)

  • If I don't wear wellies to work tomorrow, it will bucket down and my shoes will be soaked. If I do, however, it will be a lovely day and I will look a right lemon carrying wellies around

  • How do I turn the five cold new potatoes in the fridge into a delicious lunch for tomorrow?

  • Current trends demand that I dress like a Hitchcock heroine this Autumn, but my budget is more Shaun of the Dead

  • I need another cup of tea

  • It's getting past my (new! Revised!) bedtime

  • One of the old men at work said that when you get older, you don't catch colds as often because you've had them all. Is this true?

That's it for now.


Sunday, 21 August 2011

Meet my little friend

He's been reading over my shoulder for a while. This is B.J. Vorster, former hardman of South African politics. He creeps my parents out when they skype me. 

This weekend (I say weekend, I mean yesterday), I ate a lot of strawberries. 

A lot. And plenty of cream. 

I also did a wee bit of shopping, of which more anon. I don't wish to alarm anyone, but I may have solved the world's skirt problems. 

This evening I have also been eating lots! Almost all of it from the garden. The Godmother's vegetables all seem to be ripening at once, and I feel like I'm living on a farm. We've had corn from the garden"

(The remains)

Also broad beans and French beans and probably other kinds of beans I've forgotten about. My favourite way of eating them is straight off the vine, so I can pretend I'm some sort of garden-raiding outlaw. Also they make a wonderful squeaking sound when you eat them raw.

Also diverse other produce. I think she should set up a farm stall!

The potatoes and raspberries are particularly sublime. 

Right, I'm going to have to go to bed now, as I have had a long day at work and seem to be coming down with something. Not convenient!


Thursday, 18 August 2011

Almost Autumn

Today was properly chilly. I went out wearing a cardigan, a jacket and a scarf! Goodbye summer, we hardly knew ye. 

There is one upside to colder weather, though. I may actually get to wear my new coat:

I bought it in some sort of sale last month for £20, so I'm feeling smug already. 

In some ways, cooler weather is a lot easier to dress for, as you just assemble disparate elements, rather than trying to find one clean item of clothing that will cover all the necessary areas without adding to your body temperature too much. I will have changed my mind by October, though! 

I'm going to bed now, as tomorrow will be my sixth day in a row at work, and I need all the sleep I can get!


Monday, 15 August 2011

Here, fishy fishy

I made these earrings last week, with extremely awesome fish beads that my parents brought me back from South Africa. Making jewellery is a surprisingly relaxing hobby, apart from the mental strain of coming up with designs. I like these, though - they're the kind of jewellery that cheers you up! 

Although it was Monday today, it felt like Tuesday as I was working yesterday. The upside of this is that I didn't have the same Monday bad mood as everyone else and was positively cheerful by comparison! We had to fill another whole page at rather short notice. In some ways, it's quite good fun to race against the clock, but only when people don't want you to do other things at the same time! All was well in the end, though, and I even got to work in a topical fragment of news from 1819, about the aftermath of the Peterloo massacre. Today's rioters should be glad that the police aren't allowed to bayonet them. 

I have also been given sole charge of a work experience person, as I am going to be the only person in the office who will be in all week! Very nerve-wracking - I think I need to get used to being in charge of people or I will never make it to editor!

I'm off to bed now, another exciting day tomorrow!


Sunday, 14 August 2011

The best bit

Look familiar? 
I am going to get back into blogging properly, I promise. Just as soon as things are a bit less hectic at work and I actually get to do fun stuff to tell you about. Until then, I'm afraid snippets are going to have to do.

Tonight I want to mention something incredibly important in my life, as illustrated by the delicious, sadly 2D carrot cake above. Without getting too oversentimental, my family is awesome. My little brother is somewhere in the Pyrenees at the moment, eating horrible blue cheese. And I have just gotten off skype to my parents who, despite the recent swamp-ifying of the sitting room, are just the most incredibly cheerful, cheering people I know. So, even though my vision is starting to go a little bit fuzzy through lack of sleep, I am going to go to bed in a good mood.


Thursday, 11 August 2011

Tickets, please

It feels like Autumn is already drawing in. I have mixed feelings about this. On the one hand, I'm not going to be on holiday again for a good while, so a change of seasons would at least be something of a diversion. On the other hand, I'm not that keen for it to rain all the time.

Today's picture is a handy visual demonstration of something I complain about a lot:


This picture also represents a few thousand pounds. Those are some expensive little pieces of card. 

I have been taking steps to make my commute more bearable. Most recently, I have started reading on trains again. I got through Ian Rankin's Tooth & Nail in two days, and will be starting another one tomorrow. I think the trick is to pick the lightest books possible. 

I am going to have to go to bed now, as I am back at work and back to not getting enough sleep. 


Tuesday, 2 August 2011


All I want to do this evening is listen to the Corries!

I had another busy day at work (full page again, so lots to come up with), but I did manage to put Superchef's blog in the paper, and fully legitimately. It's here, in case you want to check it out. Lots of recipes with very few calories!

I am hopefully also meeting Normandy for lunch tomorrow, if all goes to plan. I haven't seen her in ages, so it is quite exciting!

That's about as much as I can type for now, so listen to the song!


Sunday, 31 July 2011

Milkshake mania

OK, so maybe not that much mania. But it did take us ages to find it!

To start making sense, yesterday Percy and I went on a magical mystery tour to try to find this place:

Picture from here, where there are also reviews
Personally, I blame Percy's smartphone. 

We had just seen Arietty (the new Ghibli film, which was really good. Although Percy complained that there was barely any flying in it) and decided we wanted milkshakes. As we were in Soho (the Curzon cinema is another recommendation, if you happen to be in those parts and fancy watching a film with drink in hand, and maybe a meringue or two), we had to go to the aforementioned diner. The milkshakes are good (and huge), and if you're sitting in the jukeboxes are hours of fun. 

Earlier in the day we had met Whizzkid (actually, Whizzkid and I met up first, and then Percy rucked up an hour or so later, with some lame, just-got-back-to-England excuse) and sat in a park while under aerial attack from a squirrel. If you want to eat conkers, that's fine, but don't drop the skins on people! 

Whizzkid had earlier helped me on a Secret Shopping Mission near Waterloo, where he met a dog that behaved like a cat. There was also a baby in its own backpack tent. 

I'm going to go to bed soon, as being at work all day has made me slightly crazy.


Saturday, 30 July 2011


This post is mainly for Jumanji, as she has a special affinity with penguins. Also, I was very excited to see them at Dublin Zoo because there weren't any at London Zoo, which was probably the only disappointment of that trip.

The penguin in the middle with his wings out had just emerged from the water, where he had been putting on a synchronised swimming display. I think he liked the attention. 

Not much else to say for today. I went to work, I worked, at some point I had lunch. Journalism is an exciting business, I promise! It should be quite exciting on Sunday, actually, as we have a surprise full page again and I am also supposed to be learning to put things on the internet (you know, in an official way). I am sure I will be spending plenty of time distractedly searching for interesting internet things (actually part of my job! Along with checking betting websites and looking up saints on Catholic Online) while trying to find good, cut-out-able pictures. 

Both my godmothers are in Woking at the moment and we have spent quite a long time this evening eating crepes and discussing music, men, young people today and so forth. Consequently, I am quite worn out!


Thursday, 28 July 2011

Ireland again

I think this blog might have been pronounced dead already, but with a little help from the twin witchdoctors Caffeine and Procrastination, I'm hoping to have it up and lurching about in no time!

I have returned from Ireland, where I was on holiday with the boyf (although he was slightly less on holiday as he lives there, and we spent quite a lot of time in his house). He has a shiny new netbook, which I am not allowed to play with, so I'm going to go ahead and blame that and forgetting my camera cable for the lack of blogging. Have you noticed how it's never my fault? That's because I'm a paragon of virtue, and don't let anyone tell you otherwise.

So now we will have a few pictures of our exploits, to get this holiday thing well and truly out of my system (not really - I'm going home to Scotland next week, to see my family (and especially my mother, as it will be her birthday (any anonymous suggestions of what might make a good present very much appreciated))):

First up, cake! We did a proper sightseeing day in Dublin, and one of the stops on our itinerary (OK, vague list of things to do) was the Queen of Tarts, a very charming little cake shop near Dublin Castle. I recommend the carrot cake, if you ever visit it.  I can vouch for Irish carrot cake in general, actually!

And tea, of course
We also visited Dublin Zoo! It was extremely exciting, although as pretty much the only two adults in the entire zoo without any children in tow, we drew a little envy from the other punters.

You can just about make out the flamingoes in the background
These pigs were really cool, although the big version looked like the inspiration behind most of the puppet monstrosities that made children's films and television terrifying in the olden days (Labyrinth, I'm looking at you).

They also have very long tufty ears
I don't normally get overly gooey over animals (I try not to, anyway), but this kid was just so adorable and pathetic. He has a tiny cast on one of his legs where he must have broken it or something, and all the bigger goats kept chasing him away from the food.

What hope is there for a goat outcast?
We also went on a trip to Cork, which was pretty cool (I particularly enjoyed the Butter Museum (not joking - actually fascinating) and the Cork City Gaol. We found some coupons to go to attractions for much reduced prices, which was very handy. 

We also made a quick trip to Blarney Castle. It's absolutely beautiful, so well worth a visit even if you are too afraid of heights to kiss the stone (we both did, so any increase in eloquence can be attributed to that).

All that's missing is the dragon
We made the (very) long climb up the (very) narrow spiral staircase to the battlements, which were pretty windy. The view was amazing, though.

The boyf, contemplating
I'm quite sad to be back - I want to go off and have more adventures! 

On which note, I should probably go to bed.


Sunday, 17 July 2011

Quick update

So… that didn’t go very well. I know I said I was going to try to blog more and better, but then life happened.
The boyf is in town, back from his tour of Vietnam, Cambodia, Laos and Thailand (possibly not in that order), and we are staying in the flat, without internet.
I spent most of Friday being as efficient as possible in the face of my imminent holiday, visiting the doctor (I’m officially unusually bendy. That is, I have hypermobility, which apparently boils down to a few party tricks and no high heels for me ever again), getting my hair cut (my fringe was more intensely negotiated than my actual holiday plans) and trying to spend money on only sensible things. Guess how well that went!
On Friday evening, I met up with the boyf (who was shattered, having flown halfway round the world and lugged a giant backpack into central London) and we went for supper at somewhere called a Spaghetti House or something. The meal was a bit of a blur due to mutual tiredness, but I did manage to break a glass and cover my handbag in cranberry juice.
Yesterday we met up with Percy for highjinks, more shopping (I am now the proud owner of a new coat! Don’t start about it being July, the weather this weekend has made me very glad of it) and general hanging out. It rained pretty heavily, which had the helpful side effect of washing all the juice off my bag! Percy came back to the flat with us for carbonara and standing on the balcony.
Today, I have been at work, watching torrential rain on the windows and Rebekha Brooks’ arrest on the TVs. I am going to meet the boyf to go and meet Whizzkid quite soon. This has been a bit of a busy week!
We’ll be back in Woking tomorrow, so hopefully there will be time for a bit more blogging then before we head off to Dublin!

Tuesday, 12 July 2011

Back with a bang

OK, not too much of a bang. Sorry I've been neglecting blogging recently, I'm sure you must have been bereft. There has been a lot going on in my life recently (not least the exciting scandal that is keeping my workplace surrounded by television crews) and I have been pretty busy. 

However, there is no point in having a blog if it is just for when you want to boast about your life, as that would get pretty dull after a while. I'll try harder, although I should say now that I like having a job too much to make a good 'inside source' on the current hysteria embracing journalism. 

I had a spontaneous Nando's session with Lady Zorro this evening, which was awesome! I'd missed that chicken-y goodness. The couple on the table next to us spent most of their meal ignoring each other to tap away on their phones, which was a little odd. They broke off for a ten minute conversation, then got back down to business. And neither of us could remember actually seeing them eat anything, either... 

I got home this evening to find a parcel waiting for me. Always exciting, but this one was from Jelly Button Jewellery. I placed an order ages ago, and promptly forgot about it. They might have done too, but they evidently remembered as I am now the proud owner of some of their quirky trinkets. 

I loved the packaging: 

A free Wham bar is a sure way to my heart. Also, confetti!

The website is here, in case you want to check it out. 

I would take pictures of the jewellery, but my camera seems to have taken against small objects, with an Inigo Montoya-like singlemindedness, so I'll leave it for now. 

On that characteristically lazy note, goodnight! 

Tuesday, 5 July 2011

This is a post about beer

... and other good things, in honour of a very wonderful man.

I've been to the Guinness storehouse in Dublin and drunk the free samples. I am not a beer person, but a lot of my favourite people are, so I am glad it exists for them!

From here

If anybody ever asks me what team I support, it will always be the Natal Sharks.

From here
(It helps that they're good!)

I have never been an avid follower of Formula 1, but sometimes there are crashes which makes it interesting. Also it is impressive how much money people are prepared to spend on cars that don't have passenger seats. 

From here

Time for one of my own pictures, I think!

It doesn't get much better than a braai. 

Let's finish with a little opera:


Monday, 4 July 2011


I bought this necklace for the beads, which are both colourful and wooden and will thus be very useful in making all sorts of other things, but I haven't been able to bring myself to unthread it yet. It's just so colourful. It's impossible to be anything less than cheerful while wearing it!

Today we go free cupcakes at work, and I went to a big meeting about the online edition. It was on the 13th floor of the building, and the views were amazing! Wish I'd known in advance so I could have snuck my camera in. You could look down onto Tower Bridge, and the Shard looked like a modest development in comparison.  Very cool. 

It's happened. Summer is here and so are the tourists. I'm really starting to hate using Tower Hill station, as it is now Mecca for idiots in backpacks. Yesterday, an American family with six children (mormons?) crammed themselves into the same carriage as me, and one of their kids promptly pulled the passenger emergency alarm. Violence against children is wrong. Shame. 

That's it from me as it is now officially Late and I am shattered. Why must the weekend be so far away?


Saturday, 2 July 2011

Smoky Saturday

I am the tongmaster
I'm mostly including this picture to make my father proud. We had a braai this evening. Or rather, I braaied while the Godmother watched tennis on TV and W tried to save some raspberries from bindweed. I am very full now, and quite sleepy, so apologies if I ramble! 

I did a bit of shopping today, and got some exciting bargains! Ever since I tidied my wardrobe, I've been alarmed by just how few clothes I have. It seems that way when I'm trying to get ready for work, anyway!

Speaking of work, I'm back in tomorrow and next free on Friday. I must remember to check to see if those babies made it into today's paper. I was under some internal pressure to get one of them in for today (and ended up talking to some fairly impressive journalists in the process), so I will be dismayed if the page has been eaten by adverts. 

I'm going to keep it short and sweet for now, as I am having trouble typing. My brain is unimpressed by the amount of sleep in order!


Thursday, 30 June 2011

Minty fresh

Mint green is officially my Colour of the Summer, I've decided. Last year's was bright yellow, rather against my wishes (curse you, Snappy Snaps!), so this is a big improvement! I'm quite excited that it is officially summer now, too. Let's hope there's another heat wave, despite what it does to the tubes. (Also: mmm, spearmint lip balm)

I had a surprise day off today, as I have agreed to work this Sunday, and two 6-day weeks separated by just one day is against my human rights, or something. Lots of fresh fruit and vegetables have been purchased. Warm weather makes me want to eat fresh things.

It will be weird going in tomorrow and finding no work experience people. Just when I was starting to get used to them! Having them has been pretty useful, actually, especially the girl (not sure if I should name someone who is unlikely to become a recurring character - could get confusing) who forged ahead with the dreaded spreadsheet for me. Which was lucky, as I have been obsessing about babies recently. Don't worry, I'm not broody. I have to get together all these interviews with readers who have recently had babies, which has proved slightly stressful. I did two phone interviews yesterday, though, so I feel better. It was quite interesting, as one was with a mum and one with a dad. The dad had to look up his son's weight at birth, while the mum could recite how big hers was. Also, I spoke to the mum with the actual baby gurgling away in the background, while the dad had scheduled me into his busy workday.

A man tried to befriend me on the District line yesterday. He was a tourist, of course. Cue much silent contempt from the Londoners in the carriage and awkward coughing from his friends. It seems ten minutes stuck in an unmoving train in a tunnel is the cut-off point between fellow commuters and friends you haven't met yet in the Netherlands. In London, I think it's more like ten days.

Right, must go to bed now, as I sadly have to get up tomorrow.


Monday, 27 June 2011

33 degrees!

Not bad, for the UK

This is a picture of the view from my window taken about ten minutes ago. It's still light! (ish) Summer is so much better than winter.

Speaking of, how was the hottest day of the year for you, UK people? I resorted to the maxi dress so comfortable I don't usually let it out of the house, and very little else. I had a cardigan for the office air conditioning, but thankfully there were enough people to absorb the Arctic gusts, so I only needed it in the morning.

I love being able to walk around outside feeling like you're in a fan oven. Warm breezes are most excellent. 

Work today was pretty hectic. By some sort of comedic miscommunication, we had not one but two work experience people! I was feeling a bit jealous as we gave them all the fun jobs, but they were very sweet. We've got a boy and a girl (I know they're technically adults, but I feel so old!), and they had a wonderful time opening the letters. As I said, slightly jealous. 

There was also some sort of technical fault about 15 minutes before I left, which made the automated 'alarm situation' announcements repeat for rather a long time. Although it's comforting to know that "The alarm situation has been canceled," I didn't really need to hear it 46 times. It started off funny, but quickly became reminiscent of the train journey I spent a few months ago with the auto-announcer listing every station on the route over and over and over. Slightly brain-frying. 

My lunch was excellent, by the way. I just wish I could have spent more of the day sitting in the sun eating pineapple!

Going to crawl into bed soon, as I am completely exhausted, for some reason!


Sunday, 26 June 2011

Bullet points again!

So convenient when you should be in bed already!

  • It was hot today. My room is still roasting. And tomorrow will be hotter! However:
  • The air con at work was on so high I had to wear a scarf (ninja-style).
  • I got some very odd looks walking out of the office bundled up in a scarf and cardigan
  • I've made a superior packed lunch for tomorrow! Including pineapple...
  • 1 day down, 5 to go!

Saturday, 25 June 2011

Last taste of freedom

OK, I'm being melodramatic. But I can't help but remember that my next day off is next Saturday, which is a whole week away! Whinge, wine, complain, as my mother would say. 

I have been using my time productively to make up for this, though! Firstly, I had a bit of a tidy of my wardrobe:

Please don't judge me for my folding skills
In theory, I should now be able to easily access all my most frequently-worn clothes when I'm in a hurry in the morning. Whether this will make deciding what to wear any easier remains to be seen.

I've become slightly obsessed with knitwear recently, which was the weather's cue to turn tropical. The last couple of days have been really warm and muggy, and apparently it's going to get to 32 degrees in London on Monday. Makes me want to sit in a paddling pool eating ice cream. Sitting in an office doing spreadsheets is a poor alternative.

On the work front, I am considering a career change. Don't you think I'd make an awesome lumberjack?

Excuse the unbrushed hair and lack of makeup. Let's pretend it's intentional and I'm going for a grunge vibe

I got this awesome shirt from H&M for £5, and the necklace (which, you might just be able to make out, has an owl dangling from a branch) from Claire's for £1. They're both having sales of pretty cool stuff for pretty stupid prices, but I'm not complaining!

In other news, I need a haircut.

Also productively, I stocked up on toiletries today:

In all their shiny glory
Trying out a new shampoo because it smelled nice. This is pretty much my rational for every toiletry I buy. The spearmint lip balm keeps making me want softmints, though. 

And speaking of spearmint:

Look at all that sun outside! No wonder the camera didn't want to focus on my hand
An exciting nail polish. I think it's Miss Sporty, I got it ages ago and it's been sitting there staring at me while I've been waiting for my nails to recover. I'm going to be more circumspect with the nail-polishing this time.

Right, that's about enough babbling from me. I will try to blog in reaction to all the busyness this week, let's see how it goes!


Thursday, 23 June 2011

It's the weekend!

It is for me, anyway. I'm working Sunday-Friday next week, so my weekend starts here and will be very much appreciated! 

Things got a bit crazy at work today. Everyone was very busy doing extra things for Saturday's paper and competitions and so forth, so things got a bit behind. Even I was desperately multitasking, as I had to do a couple if New reader interviews (for we had none. There was also a bit of a drama trying to get a picture for a Family day out piece on tomorrow's DUR. Thankfully, I prevailed and now have lots of awesome pictures of Romans in my inbox, but it was a bit touch-and-go when I was on the phone to the photographer at 5.20. 

Anyway, a long day necessitates an awesome supper:

This, ladies and gentlemen, is creamy pork chicken with garlic mushrooms, which was probably the best meal I've had all week (although some of that may have been down to hunger...). I adapted the recipe from here, using chicken as that was what I had. I used to make this when I was at university and had time for such things, as it takes a bit of effort. Very worth it, though! 

With that, I will sign off, as I have at least another half an hour of relaxing to do!


Tuesday, 21 June 2011


...As I have been enjoying the thrill of setting up yet more online banking:

  • There was sunshine this evening! I am pleased
  • I have eaten far too many strawberries, but they count for at least one of the five-a-day so I don't feel guilty
  • Whizzkid is probably in Sweden by now
  • It's the solstice, so I am disappointed not to have seen any pagans out and about
  • We're getting a work experience person next week!
  • My new polka-dot skirt is ineffective in windy situations
  • Four days on, my Topshop silver ('Starlight', no less) nail polish from the beauty sample sale is still going strong: 
Excuse blurriness - way too shiny for flash

That's it for now.


Sunday, 19 June 2011

Sun! Sort of

There was about 10 minutes of proper, hot sunlight today. I had almost forgotten that it's technically summer, and how hot it was before all this rubbish weather moved in. 

Today I met up with Whizzkid in London! We had delicious Turkish food for lunch (worth it for the bread and turkish delight alone) and did some serious shopping for his imminent Swedish trip. I didn't buy anything! I'm very proud. 

The most impressive purchase of the day (for me), was this pair of sunglasses:

Whizzkid: from the future
I really quite want some for myself, but then we'd have to text each other every time we wanted to meet up to avoid embarrassment, and that's just too much hassle. Also I already have two pairs. 

Back to work tomorrow, and I've just realised I haven't had supper yet, so I will cut this short for now.


Father's Day

It's technically now Father's Day, so remember to give your dad a card or something! Most of the ones in the shops seem to be sport-themed (especially golf, for some reason), which I consider pretty narrow-minded. It's the thought that counts, I suppose.

I'm having a very relaxing weekend, for once (although I'm going to be meeting up with Whizzkid tomorrow, so hopefully there will be highjinks galore!), and got some important shopping done. I'm feeling quite thrifty, though - more on that anon, perhaps.

More miserable weather, which is apparently going to continue on and off this week. I wore my wellies about town yesterday (very stylish, I know, but I came home with dry feet despite further downpours, so there!) and am doubly paranoid about always having my umbrella with me. Apparently it still counts as a drought...

In other news, I have found the best hat ever:

Check this page out for more weird hats!
On that note, I think I'll go to bed!


P.S.: Happy Father's Day to my own father! He's extremely awesome, and there should be more than one day a year to commemorate this!

Friday, 17 June 2011

Ducks and roundabouts

Yesterday we got free ice cream at work. Today I worked a 12-hour shift. Such is the journalistic life, I suppose! (I have to admit, I could have gone home at the normal time, but I decided to stay and help The Godmother on production because it was quite manically busy and, as ever, I had a lot of fun!)

Today it rained. A lot. So much so that my (leather) boots got soaked (sadly the seams are only waterproof up to a point (that point being 'monsoon')) and I had to pop into Accesorize in Waterloo to buy a dry pair. 

The cheapest option was a 2-pack for £5, so I am now the proud owner of two extra pairs. They are pictured below, along with the original, damp socks: 

I see it as less of a frivolous expense and more as a precaution against trench foot. I spent most of today with my boots drying under my desk, padding around the office in bird-y socks. Much more comfortable! Given that a lot of people were going barefoot, I didn't feel too unprofessional!

I am going to have to go to bed soon, as we came home via a bagel shop in Brick Lane, which will make for an awesome breakfast tomorrow, but diverted us via a traffic jam. Quite tired.


Tuesday, 14 June 2011

Moving swiftly on...

... I'll try to resist the temptation to duck-ify things tonight. Never fear, the legend lives on.

Today I joined the News International choir! They (we now, I guess) rehearse at lunchtime on Tuesdays and sing lots of random different things. Today we sang some choral-y lullaby thing, and a madrigal version of Can't Buy Me Love. The two things I've missed most from my long-ago school days (apart from some very awesome friends, of course) are singing in the choir and badminton. And long holidays, I miss those too.

In other news, it was actually pretty warm today! Which means I get to go from being annoyed at the miserable weather to being annoyed at how hot it now is on the tube. I am not what you'd call a cheerful commuter!

I am trying my best to be responsible with money at the moment (Go Go Savings Account!), which is a shame because I really want some new shoes. And summer dresses. And shirts! So not much, then.

This morning when I got off the train at Waterloo, the train on the platform next to mine was bound for Ascot. Cue lots of morning suits and fabulous hats. Apparently you have to wear a hat to get in or something.

There would have been more but the internet is dying on me. Stupid Sky!


Monday, 13 June 2011

Shakespeare unmasked!

The rain seems to have stopped! Although I've probably jinxed it now...

It was quite a quiet day at work, so I got lots of spreadsheeting done. Not very interesting! Thankfully, I wasn't on one of the hotline telephones (the ones they give readers and other deplorable people the numbers for), so it was really quite a quiet day.

The most exciting part of today, in fact, was the letter we got presenting the startling theory that Shakespeare's plays were in fact written by Elizabeth I. Even the ones after her death. Because she had lots of free time, not having a husband, and plenty of stationary. Also her initials (ER) can be found in at least word in the last line of almost every play! You heard it here first.

Some slightly more exciting news is that we might be getting a work experience person of our very own in a couple of weeks! It will be while Cat is on holiday, so I'm sure we can find something for them to do. (Like spreadsheets...)

Going to bed now, as I slightly overslept this morning and am currently sleepy and full of pasta.

Oh, and:

Duck from here

In Search of a Midnight Duck
10 Things I Hate About Ducks
Four Ducks and a Funeral
Rabbit-Proof Duck
Duck Narcissus
Ducks of Endearment
Eyes Wide Duck
The Time Traveler's Duck
(500) Ducks of Summer
The Ducks of Navarone

...I'll stop.


Sunday, 12 June 2011


I'm dashing this off before bed, as we have been entertaining this evening and it has all gone on rather late. The Godmother and W's friends have been round, and we went to two village fairs today, went for a walk, got rained on, and came home for a braai cooked by me! I'm quite impressed with myself, as no one has yet died of food poisoning and I cooked lamb for the first time, and simultaneously made roast potatoes. 

Aaaanyway, today I have a couple of quite cool pictures because the first fair we went to was in fact the Pirbright Scarecrow Festival. There were scarecrows all over the village, including a scarecrow royal wedding:

Also some sort of famous scarecrow cricketer. I have no idea who that woman is.

While we were out walking, The Godmother taught me the Duck Game, which is so excellent I have to share it. Basically, you take a song or film title or band or whatever, and replace one of the words in it with "duck", and vie to come up with the best one. Eg:

  • Far From the Madding Duck
  • Duck and Prejudice
  • A Duck Too Far
  • Captain Corelli's Duck
  • A Man's A Duck For All That
  • And I Will Arise and Duck Now
  • There's No Duck Like Show Business
  • Gorillas in the Duck
  • I Heard The Duck Call My Name
  • To His Coy Duck
  • Shall I Compare Thee To A Summer's Duck?
  • The Duck of Venice (Including the much-quoted line: "If you prick us, do we not duck?")
  • The Green Green Duck of Home
  • Home, Home on the Duck
  • I Vow To Thee, My Duck
  • A Duck For All Seasons
  • Another Duck in the Wall (and, of course, Dark Side of the Duck)
  • Last Year's Duck
  • Duck Falling on Cedars
  • I Was A Male Duck Bride
  • Singing in the Duck
  • My Fair Duck
  • Duck of a Salesman
  • Seasons Of My Duck
  • A Short Walk in the Hindu Duck
  • Seven Ducks in Tibet
  • The English Duck
I seem to have gotten a bit carried away... Please do leave any you can come up with in the comments, though!


Thursday, 9 June 2011

Market failure

Sorry about the lack of post last night, my internet petered out about 15 minutes after I turned on my computer. Alas!

I was going to tell you all about the cheap beauty products I got at the random beauty sample sale at work, but then this happened: NEWS! (Couldn't find a more impressive news source, as all good journalists are in bed by now)

Yes, the dreaded signal failures return.

My train was slowed to a crawl on the way into Waterloo this morning because of what seemed to be the same signal problems that they had on Monday, and when I tried to get home this evening, they were still trying to sort it out. Lots of trains cancelled, no intelligible statement of what was going on at Waterloo, delayed trains crawling between signals. I got off the train at Woking an hour and a half after I got on one at Waterloo (I had to change at Guildford which, incidentally, is about 15 minutes past Woking, essentially adding an extra half hour of pointless back-tracking to my journey).

I'm very sick of South West Trains. They have a monopoly on services in the area, and short of finding the money for driving lessons, insurance, petrol and, of course, a car, I've got no other options besides walking or learning to fly. Neither is going to get me to work on time.

Given that I pay over £80 a week for the privilege of travelling with them, I would really like to actually get an apology when something like this happens, and be offered better options than "Well, a train should be going back in that direction at some point..." This is the second time this week this has happened, and given how often they reduce services on weekends for engineering works, I don't think it's unreasonable to expect signalling problems to improve.

So, South West Trains: either improve your service or reduce your prices.

Rant over. Hopefully I will be less grumpy tomorrow! Sometimes I hate this commuting life.


Tuesday, 7 June 2011

Tuesday times

I had another weekday day off today, hence early blogging. I'm also trying to make sure I actually get to blog tonight, as my broadband has been getting absolutely throttled these past couple of evenings. Stupid Sky. Stupid working for the evil media tsar who is denying me internet. 

I managed to get all of my washing done today, which is no mean feat, and also strolled into town for banking fun and groceries. While I was there, I had what the boyf would call a 'shopccident'...

It was reduced from £55 and it isn't black, so Jumanji will be pleased. I regret nothing!

The sun has come back (for today at least...) which is a relief as yesterday was a continuation of the monsoon theme. I also had all sorts of commuting fun last night, as there was some massive signal failure problem outside Waterloo when I was trying to get the train home. Every single train was delayed, and none of the screens that tell you which train is leaving from which platform were working. I eventually got on one after interrogating a couple of station employees, managed to get a seat (although next to an American man who was chain-banana-eating, sadly) and half an hour later the train left! It took about 50 minutes to get back to Woking, because the driver had to be talked past every signal. I was one of the lucky ones - shortly afterwards, they just cancelled all trains.

That's it for now, as I'm off to make an early supper!

Good evening!

Sunday, 5 June 2011


Apparently June is the month for the European Monsoon, which explains why it was raining so hard today and why the weathermen have suddenly become so doom-and-gloom.

I should probably have started with an explanation for why I haven't posted in a while. I've been in Scotland, staying with my family and eating too much. I got back last night, but was far too tired (and distracted by Doctor Who) to blog. 

Tonight I'm also exhausted, but this time it's because I was almost one of the only two people in the Register at work today. This wouldn't have been such a big deal if one of us was a production person, but alas, we weren't (although I did have to break out MS Paint again. I get the job done, one pixel at a time) and mild panic ensued. It turns out that the calendar has been somehow messed up, which explains why I was working two Sundays in a row. Thankfully, we were able to radio for backup, and the day was saved.

I am, however, utterly paranoid that Thatcher is going to die any minute. Journalistic sources say she's on her last legs. We have everything (mostly) ready to commemorate her milk-snatching career, but I'd rather we got to deal with it when plenty of us are in!

Therefore, for now I am going to boil my Scottish adventures down to a single picture so I can go to bed. Carrot cake: 

Probably the best cake in the world