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