Monday, 30 May 2011

It's that time again

Sorry (again) for the lack of posting. Here is an apology kitten, because you must have missed them:

It's been really hectic at work, partially because people keep dying and it was a bak holiday weekend so there were only four of us in to deal with them on Sunday (which was really crazy - we were told we had an extra page for extra obituaries at about 6pm, which is usually when people start getting ready to leave on Sundays!) and partly because both today and yesterday the DUR page has had no advert, so we've had a whole page to fill. When I was a mere reader of the page I used to much prefer a full spread of whimsical little snippets. Now I know better. 

Also there have been issues with the computer system (more bank holiday fun) which resulted in me whiting out the background in an old photograph of Queen Victoria on MS Paint. I am now intimately aquatinted with the pixels on the periphery of Queen Victoria, which is not something I ever thought I would say. Nor did I think that a hastily Paint-shopped image by me would ever appear in a national newspaper. Who says I wasted my youth playing with the spray-paint tool? 

The upshot of this all is the above kitten and this quick sign-off.


Saturday, 28 May 2011

Jumanji is a goat wizard

I spontaneously met up with Juamanji in London Town this afternoon, on the grounds that today was my only day off in 10 days so I should do something fun! And indeed we did.

We started with a Targeted Trouser Search in Uniqlo (I rather alarmed Jumanji when I told her I currently only own one pair of trousers, having rid myself of all the pairs that don't fit. I wear a lot of skirts and dresses, what can I say...), which was eventually successful, although I had to leave them behind to be altered as my legs aren't 33 inches long.

For lunch, Jumanji introduced me to Korean food. I'd eaten her mum's cooking before and enjoyed it, but apparently Korean restaurant food is a whole different kettle of fish. We went to Korea corner (near the Hallowed Shopping District) and ate in the Korean Bakery (not really a bakery, but I wasn't complaining). Sadly, I didn't have my camera to show you this crazy cuisine, so here is the internet's best shot:

Image from here

This is something called bibimbap, which is apparently a Korean speciality. It's 'rice and loads of other things', as Jumanji put it, and apparently the correct way to eat it is to mix it all together and cover it in chilli sauce. I love spicy food, so I wasn't about to argue!

I also tried Korean sushi, which is less fish-heavy than the Japanese kind (we had vegetable sushi, which might account for it!) but still very delicious. Jumanji also let me try some of her meal, so I also got to taste some sort of chilli-sauce-covered ricecake and some sort of chilli-sauce-covered fish. It was all very delicious, I have to say!

Afterwards we went to a nearby Korean supermarket where Jumanji bought all sorts of exotic produce. I still can't get over buying mayonnaise in little bags. 

Having made myself hungry again, I'm going to go to bed as I have work in the morning. 


P.S.: The term 'goat wizard' is trademarked to pandas, so use with caution or fear their furry wrath

Thursday, 26 May 2011

Storm front

Image from here
Did anyone else see the storms today? They were pretty awesome - rain sluicing down the windows, sudden darkness, angry giant noises. Our office block was right in the centre for a while, it was very cool! I didn't get any pictures, sadly, but this one will have to do, since we can see Tower Bridge from the office. 

I'm going to have to accept blogging a little less frequently for now, sadly. I've agreed to work every day but one until Thursday, at which point I will be in Scotland visiting my family. I'll do my best, though!

Today was another day of helping people over the phone. It was surprisingly frantically busy, despite the fact we weren't actually putting out any more pages than normal. I think it might have had something to do with Olivia being on holiday and Cat having to write obits all day. You can leave things to me, but there might be occasional mild panic!

I did a couple of New Reader interviews on Tuesday and typed them up yesterday so they'll be in Saturday's paper. They can be the best part of my job (apart from the free chocolate we're occasionally sent) because people are always so excited to talk about their babies. Although I'm not sure why they keep asking if I have children... maybe I sound more grown-up than I think.

That's it for now otherwise I will be breaking my strict new bedtime regulations (OK, 'Be in bed before 23:30').


Tuesday, 24 May 2011

Dial R for Register

I'm rushing to bed again, so I bring you my day in the form of the three stand-out phonecalls that rather defined it:

1. The lovely Jamaican-sounding Irishman who wanted my help writing his speech for his daughter's wedding. He was a DUR fan! Surprisingly, I did manage to help. Nicest reader of the day!

2. The woman who phoned to 'give a comment' about Ryan Giggs (as she was apparently too busy to write  a letter/email, despite then talking to me for 20 minutes). Rather surreal - I was trying to eat a gingerbread man and type up an article about the Falklands one-handed while she vented her feelings about sperm banks.

3. The man who I interviewed about his baby daughter. He told me his wife had given birth 'practically painlessly' via hypnobirthing, which seemed to rather irritate her for some reason...

Right, that's it! I did actually spend most of the day on the phone to various people, so I don't have much else to tell you!


Sunday, 22 May 2011

Saturday Spree

Sooo... I said there would be exposition tonight but then I cooked supper and had to skype my parents and finish watching Doctor Who, and now it is past my bedtime. Therefore, a quick projectile-word-vomit (as Normandy would say), and I will be hitting the hay like a horse that just lost at blackjack. (That made much more sense in my head.) 

It was Jumanji all along! And a lot of Japanese food. I didn't realise the set lunch would be quite so generous...

I met Jumanji yesterday after I'd already been to the Oliver Bonas/Mint sample sale in Wandsworth (I know! Get me! (Although I was very restrained and ended up being trapped in the changing room with some extras from Made in Chelsea)) and we went to Sakura (near Regent Street) for an early but delicious lunch before doing some serious shopping. I don't feel too bad about the things I bought, though - all count as appropriate Summer workwear. 

After a lot of shopping, there was pizza! I really, really love vegetables on pizza, I may have mentioned. This one was delicious!

Jumanji snuck me into the the music common room at King's College to eat carrot cake, and I met one of her music-y friends. Then it was a bus to Waterloo for me!

This is me, still alive. I was wearing a pink dress, which proved a surprising hit with various people (and prompted a very generous waiter to 'reduce' a coke to £2 for me). I love Summer and being able to wear dresses without layers!

Right, must collapse now or I won't enjoy work tomorrow! I'm in without Cat or Olivia for support, so I'm going to be answering the phone a lot!


Saturday, 21 May 2011

Dun dun dun!

I had a very busy, very fun day out today. However, I am subsequently good only for curling up and yawning so for now we have a teaser trailer of a blog post - a picture from today. Where was it taken? Who is that in the background? Could I really eat that much food? Tune in tomorrow for another exciting instalment!

Friday, 20 May 2011

In the Summertime

Hello! Remember me? I've been getting quite bad at this blogging lark of late. I blame constantly poking myself in the eye (it makes them want to stay closed!) and general busyness-induced exhaustion, but since when is tiredness an excuse in this day and age? I'm hopefully going to have quite an exciting day tomorrow, so I'll take my camera and brighten up my poor blog!

For now, you'll have to make do with a list of Summer Resolutions. I don't really see the point in making resolutions in January when it's so cold you can't do anything. May is a much better time!

1. Try Pimms. I've never managed to get round to it, and apparently you get fruit in it and stuff! Sounds exciting.

2. Go to the beach. I envisage myself working most of the way through the Summer months, but I really want to make time to chase waves and feel the sand between my toes.

3. Meet up with everyone from Journalism School. I miss them!

4. Go back to Ireland. Maybe I can combine this with 2.

5. Find some comfy Summer shoes

6. More canoeing

7. Take better care of my feet. The poor things are suffering from all the walking!

8. Have lots of picnics

9. Bake more

10. (By special request from Percy!) Get a hat

That's it from me for now. Do you have any Summer Resolutions?


Wednesday, 18 May 2011


This evening, I have received possibly the best-titled junk email ever: 99 Ways To Not Kill Your Horse. Sadly, the contents were not in fact a handy guide, but an animal rights campaign. Oh well.

In other news, today was another midweek day off. I spent most of the morning poking myself in the eye, and the afternoon trying to find useful clothes; basics, an accessory or two, a skirt that isn't black or grey... I should have gone to Uniqlo! For all that it's in central London and I couldn't be bothered, I have a suspicion it has more of what I want in stock than any of the Woking shops. I know I shouldn't moan, but I dream of a wardrobe I could grab respectable-looking outfits from in the mornings without a second thought. Is this even possible? I suspect I will never know.

I'm really, really tired today (I stayed up stupidly late last night and got up stupidly early this morning) but weirdly enough I'm looking forward to work tomorrow. I was on the phone to my brother today and I found myself describing to him the surprising satisfaction in having a routine every morning and work to do all day. I know, it's too late for me, I've been assimilated.

Going to bed now. Sorry I can't be more interesting, but typing with my eyes closed is unlikely to be worth reading. SEe I'm teying ir hust fir tiy. See?


Monday, 16 May 2011

More adventures in Journaland

Not much to update you on today other than that I am very tired! I kept thinking it was Tuesday, because I was working yesterday. It's sad, but weekdays are pretty much just numbers to me now, it's too hard keeping track otherwise!

Cat wasn't in work today because she's hurt her foot doing some sort of exercise. Just goes to show. I hope she's better soon, though! (And not just for selfish, not-wanting-to-deal-with-so-many-readers'-phonecalls reasons!)

Today I have a journalistic tip! (Well, more a gripe, really.) The Fashion Museum in Bath has literally the rudest press office I've ever spoken to (and I've had to call people up as 'a freelancer'). So yeah, don't call them. I don't expect people to be ecstatic when I ring them up and ask for pictures or whatever, but I've never experienced 'This is for a national, isn't it? Otherwise I won't bother.' It's a local museum, for crying out loud! I don't know, Helmut Lang donates some clothes and suddenly you're the new Tate.

Moaning aside, today was pretty OK, other than exhaustion! One of our super futuristic printer-photocopier-scanner machines got jammed and there was much wringing of hands and phoning of tech support, but other than that it was pretty uneventful.

Off to bed now, another exciting day in the morning!


Sunday, 15 May 2011

Do Not Adjust Your Screen

I'm (hopefully) back to full service, and bright-eyed and bushy-tailed after another exciting day at work! OK, so I'm knackered as per usual, and today was really very slow, but still!

Today we have a picture of me on some stairs, mostly so I can show off my dress. It doesn't really show in the picture, but it's really bouncy (insofar as a dress can be bouncy, anyway), although I do have to be careful on windy days (such as today! Thank goodness for tights). I also really love polka dots, so it's doubly awesome!


Ignore my slightly quizzical expression, The Godmother took the picture for me and kept making me laugh.

I'm typing this while gulping down my first cup of tea of the day. I'm never leaving it this late again! I admit I've got an addiction (although judging by my mother's average of 14 cups a day I probably acquired it in the womb), but having to rush out of the door in the mornings is definitely worth the five minutes of glorious relaxed contemplation a cup of tea provides.

In other news, I'm in a bit of a shopping conundrum: I keep seeing (and, in extreme cases, buying) lots of lovely little dresses, but awesome as dresses are, they're not ideal if you're trying to avoid outfit repetition and suggest a much larger wardrobe than you actually have (I'd blame leaving most of my clothes in Scotland, but since I went back and did that Clear-up Of Doom, I think I actually have more down here).  Most of all, I want little tops and blouses to dress up (or sideways) jeans, skirts, pyjamas etc. But these are the one thing I'm having trouble finding! Clearly I need more shopping time.

Right, off to do other things. My brain is in danger of liquidating today, so I'll have to sign off while I'm still lucid.


Saturday, 14 May 2011

Blog blarg

Well, it seems blogger's almost up and working as good as new again. I've missed it these past couple of days, but I didn't want to bother posting anything that would just get eaten. Oh well, hopefully I'll be back on form again now!

Today was W's birthday, so best wishes to him! It's also my only day off until Wednesday. I'm on a very weird schedule at the moment, but I like to think that I'm just not letting myself be defined by something as arbitrary as the days of the week!

Speaking of which, I'm going to have to keep this short and sweet, as I'm shattered and I have to get up in the morning and battle Sunday trains! So treat this as an 'I'm alive!' for now.


Wednesday, 11 May 2011


I'm going to give fair warning to any boy unfortunate enough to be reading this: I'm about to go on about clothes.

You may be wondering where I've been. Having an epiphany, that's where! I realised the other day that when I go clothes shopping, I immediately disregard a large proportion of the clothes that initially catch my eye because they go against my 'rules'. For anyone who doesn't use the rules system or something similar, here are a few examples of features that break my rules (meaning I assume they won't suit me/are unacceptable in modern society/aren't suitable for my age/figure/height/political orientation):

  • Anything overly baggy (swamping)
  • Anything backless/strapless/plunging (require complicated bras/sellotape)
  • Anything skintight
  • Playsuits/jumpsuits/unitards/anything you have to completely take off to go to the loo
  • Corsets or anything push-up-y (I'm not that desperate for attention)
  • Anything see-through 
  • Animal print
  • Slogans likely to offend my mother
  • Shorts
  • Any skirt/dress that falls past my knees (I'm short, OK?)
  • Stripper shoes
There are many more, but you get the idea. It's exhausting! So now I have a new rule: try it on. This might not sound groundbreaking, but it's a surprisingly difficult concept to get used to. I usually only want to make a trip to the changing rooms for clothes I have a good idea will suit me, mostly to get a good idea of size and a second opinion from the mirror. Trying on masses of stuff would be exhausting! Also, my rules are tied up in my identity, shallow as that sounds. I go for clothes that are much like my other clothes, because they're 'me', I can see them fitting in to my wardrobe and will feel like myself when I wear them. 

There's also the issue of insecurity. I like to think I have a fairly balanced idea of how I look, and tend to blame the style of clothes rather than my own body when I try something on and look horrendous, but I know a fair few girls whose day can be ruined if they try on something unflattering. Taking the plunge with no rules to protect me, there's a chance that a losing streak on the clothes-choice front could get wearing (pun not intended). 

Still, I have decided to be brave. Since my resolution I have been shopping far too much, and here is some of the fruit of my new fearlessness: 

OK, so I'm mostly excited about prints now. 

Right, off to bed now. I had an alarmingly productive day today, and am absolutely knackered as a result.


Sunday, 8 May 2011


Yes indeed. Today I bought some new socks. Aren't they pretty?

I also went to see Submarine with Lady Zorro this evening, followed by a much-anticipated trip to Nandos! It was delicious although the restaurant was rather noisy, and we had an excellent time. The film was quite funny, but in a mildly horrifying sort of way. It also featured the most impressive on-screen mullet I've seen this year!

It's been raining very hard this evening, although it was still very warm in London when I left. Being able to wander around with only a cardigan for warmth is still very odd.

Going to sleep now. I've been catching up on Doctor Who, but hopefully I won't have nightmares!


Saturday, 7 May 2011

Trafalgar Day

You may be aware that there is currently a high-stakes, hotly contested debate going on in the UK. I am referring, of course, to the Autumn Bank Holiday. Should we have one? Do we have enough? When should it be? What should it be called? Should there be special celebrations?

I am a staunch supporter of Trafalgar Day, not because of any particular patriotism or respect for Nelson, but because it's my birthday. Just think, a free day off on my birthday every year! It would be like everyone was celebrating me!

In other news, it is currently raining heavily. This bodes well on the not-getting-crisped-by-a-wildfire front (apparently a new danger in Broken Britain), and is also making the air smell amazing. It's also excellent timing - I got to walk home and enjoy a very pleasant evening, with warm breezes and twilight and the like, and now it's conveniently raining when I no longer wish to go outside. Maybe it will even stop before the morning...

My parents also get a mention tonight, as I had a very lovely phone conversation with them earlier. I am sure they expected me to go to bed earlier... They finally have a weekend off, and are apparently going to be filling it with things. I've started doing this - no sooner do I have time off than I start coming up with useful or fun things to do with it. Whatever happened to lazing about? Must be a sign of adulthood or something...

Actually going to bed now, so I can do things with my weekend! (I feel so old!)


Thursday, 5 May 2011


'Gah' pretty much sums up my mood this evening. Still tired, and even thinking is getting to be too much effort! I did manage to get to bed quite early, but apparently all my hard work sleeping is quite easily undone by general business in the daytime.

I also have a headache, which I am putting down to The Chair. I should probably explain how a seat can hurt my head.

I don't have a set desk at work, as there are lots of temporary people who come in only on certain days so there is quite a lot of desk-jumping. More senior people who are in every day and get their own desks, complete with their own furniture, should they wish it. One of the Eds (editors! There aren't a lot of Edwards at work, although it would be cool if there were) is away this week, so today I was relocated to his desk. I've sat their before, and it is not comfortable, and this is all down to The Chair. My problems with it are manifold:

1. My feet don't touch the ground. Not only is this embarrassing, it does funny things to my legs after a while, but apparently The Chair was designed for tall people only, because I can't find a way to adjust the height.

2. The swivel is just a bit too effective, which can be an issue if you are a habitual fidget like me and there are sharp-edged filing cabinets at knee height.

3. The headrest. None of the other chairs have headrests! This one is exactly the right height for my head to almost fit under it, so every time I lean back it catches the top of my head. This leads to a lot of neckstrain, which is what I am blaming my headache on!

4. The armrests. Like the rest of The Chair, they are designed for a much bigger person than me and thus closer to armpit height. Not comfy!

Yes, I have been reduced to complaining about a piece of furniture. More riveting tales from the journalistic frontline tomorrow!


Wednesday, 4 May 2011

Unexpected day off

Yesterday I got to pick whether I would have today or tomorrow off, having worked on bank holiday Monday. I picked today for reasons mostly involving tiredness. I was able to get quite a lot done, including (finally!) my hair. (Which is the reason I am smiling beatifically down on my post today. Like it?) I went to the same hairdressers as last time (I consider £25 to be a reasonable price, and they seem to have a policy of not even washing your hair until you and the hairdresser have reached a mutual understanding of what is going to happen to your hair, which is very comforting!) and had a different hairdresser but am still quite pleased. I didn't want anything earth-shattering, and I thankfully didn't get it (although apparently my preference in fringes is decidedly avant-garde).

I also made an effort to get some boring bank stuff done (they were busy, but I succeeded in acquiring the direct telephone number of one of the suited advisor guys for future appointment booking purposes), stocked up on toiletries and did a small amount of clothes shopping. Small in terms of prices, that is! I am definitely going to be doing more shopping in Woking in the middle of a workday - so much less crowded! I had a few nice chats with random people, barely had to stand in any queues and was able to peruse bargains at my leisure. All in all, very satisfactory!

I'm going to bed now as I promised myself an early night. Hope everyone else had a surprisingly pleasant Wednesday!


Monday, 2 May 2011

The Late Late Show

... is a TV programme in Ireland. I saw Tony Blair on it once, but that's another story.

Some news happened today. For anyone currently under a rock, Osama bin Laden is dead. Living in newspaperland as I do, this has taken up quite a lot of my thought processes today. For example, we threw out all the other obits for several pages of official obituary and retrospectives. Doesn't that kind of count as an honour? What if fundamentalists cut it out for their scrapbooks?

The one thing I'm definitely not OK with is the celebrations. Not so much over here as in America. Every time there's a flag-burning or an anti-west rally or suchlike, people over here are scandalised. Everyone was very uneasy about the Lockerbie Bomber's joyful reception in Libya. If you're going to take that kind of moral highground, I'm afraid you can't then have massive parties outside the White House because someone's died. It's just not on.

Anyway, it's pretty late (clever title reference!) so I'm going to bed on a disapproving note tonight.


Sunday, 1 May 2011

Wild times

This weekend will be remembered around the world as the weekend my gang from university got back together and formed a crime-fighting team! OK, so not much crime was actually fought, but Whizzkid cracked down on litter.

Yes, today we see the reappearance of Whizzkid and Percy, and the first appearance of Giovanni (whose nickname isn't miles from his real name, really), who is from the same era, and just as awesome except Italian. Whizzkid and Percy were both back in London Town for the Easter holidays, being pampered students who actually get holidays, and Percy nagged Giovanni (who does Science for a living, and so does not get weeks and weeks of his life back either) into joining us all for food and fun times. 

I'm mostly just going to bombard you with pictures now.

Us! In Trafalgar Square, though you can't tell from the picture
We met up yesterday evening and went to Ed's Easy Diner near Leicester square for dinner. It was pretty tasty, and we were all impressed by the milkshakes. There was also an oldfashioned jukebox, which was awesome. 

After dinner, we went to Trocadero for arcade games, where we discovered Elevator Death Parade, which is a shoot-y type game where you play as people taking a lift through a building filled with mooks and mutants. The game has actual sliding doors on the front, which are integral to gameplay. I can't explain it in a way that will fully express how awesome it was, so you'll just have to take my word for it.

Frozen yoghurt is serious business
I persuaded Whizzkid to use his 'omnitool' (smartphone to you and me) to lead us to SNOG for frozen yoghurt. It was excellent, with the yoghurt and the colour-changing ceiling surpassing expectations as usual. 

Then today we went to Regent's Park for a picnic, and then London Zoo!
Power walking. Don't ask

Some of the animals

This is the craziest butterfly I have ever seen. That guy thinks so too

A well-earned break

Toucan! Something something... Guinness

Llamas, alpacas and donkeys
All in all, an excellent weekend!