Blog Links Just some of the great blogs I keep stumbling on. Go for an explore, and if you see any really good ones, let me know...
- the hottest blogger I know. - I hate knitting. However, I love this blog. Who'd have thought? - If you ask me, it's perpetual brilliance! - 'nuff said. Inspired - inspiring.
- ...into light. Xenouveau - Her from Sadisticland. All Geek To Me - Fun from Scout Finch.
Elven Sarah - Witty and weird, a bit like me (but witty). Sedgefield - A nice blog, which may have died from meme deficiency... - A great lady had a great blog. Hopefully it returns...
superphase - A stick hero for the masses...
Sadly, we have been given the cold Shoulder. - a great blog from the continent, nice and warm there. - Not indulgent any more.
She Speaks - The star-crossed lover is now silent.
Organic Feminism - A tremendous blog. Even though she calls me Scoots *shudder*
You can no longer get your soup fix from souplover.
I'd forgotten what it was like, sitting in the back of the car, whilst mum and dad argued over every little thing.
"You should have gone that way." "Well, why didn't you say so?" I've been listening to a constant stream of disagreement, exacerbated, no doubt, by my father's insistence that I need a replacement tube of rubber cement (for bike punctures), and me asking them whether we could stop somewhere to get a cat scratching post.
I have decided to give this cat-training one last ditch attempt. When I move to my sister's I'll have to part with my beloved Spartacus, unless he can be rehabilitated as safe for furniture, stair carpets and wooden doorframes.
I chose an intriguingly entitled "carpet scratch post" from the plethora of Feline Entertainment Centres, eschewing the dubious delights of the £100 Feline Pioneer and the £80 Feline Ranger for something I could carry to the car. Mind you, I am wondering whether I might have been better buying the cat Pyramid, wherein he could have slumbered for a thousand years without ageing, and continuing the tradition between cats and the egyptians.
I have some training spray from the last abortive attempt at taming the wild beast, which I like to call "Cat B Gone". It smells of lemon, but it's very bitter to the taste, which can be annoying if you've just sprayed everywhere, and then forgotten to scrub your hands several times with caustic soda or the like. With luck (a lot of it), I'll persuade Spartacus to mend his scratching ways in a month, or kill us both trying!
I need to speak to my father. he forgets that motorway sliproads are not pitlanes. Sadly, both he and my mother are from racedriving stock, my dad used to do the Liverpool Fleetwood challenge - 50 miles in 50 minutes, bearing in mind that this was before the advent of motorways, not to mention ABS. Oh well, you may think. Your mum must be more sedate. No, She learnt to drive in a Healey Sprite, a tiny little sportscar with a great big engine. So naturally, I am a crazy driver, except I seem to crash more...
I'd best stop now. The car is weaving like a thing possessed, and it's making me quite ill...
Welcome to my fortress of solitude, my inner sanctum.
It is here, languishing between satin sheets, clad only in exotic oils and incense, that I write my posts.
Well, not exactly.
I'm in my pyjamas, sitting in my parents' house, in my old bedroom. Laptop in hand, lulled by snoring from the next room, and farting mightily.
There's something unworldly about visiting your parents, it's akin to travelling back through time, to a simpler age, when all you had to worry about was homework and bullying. It is the closest some of us will ever get to returning to the warmth and safety of the womb.
It is strange, though. Once you leave, although you feel comfortable when you visit, there's a nagging feeling inside, telling you that you're precisely that. Visiting. My home is elsewhere. In fact, as the eagerly FANTASTIC blog will tell you, I am psychologically homeless.
So, I'm here for Easter. This made me wonder something, as an outside observer. Which event should christians celebrate more; Jesus's birth, bringing the saviour into the world, or his death, sacrificing himself that we (excluding heathens like myself) might be saved?
It's something to ponder as you munch on your chocolate egg. I got a toblerone one this year, so I'm happy.
(since writing this, it's now daytime, and I'm still not dressed yet. I love holidays!)
Well, It's Friday, and hopefully enough time has passed for me to remember this weeks cycling events without major post traumatic stress disorder...
Monday. I arrived at Manchester Piccadilly, bike in hand, pretty late. I missed my usual train, so I tool the one after. Got on, went to work.
Tuesday. I arrived at Piccadilly on time, went to get on the right train. "You can't bring that bike on here!" The Virgin Trains Gestapo announced. "But that's nonsense!" I said, quite calmly, for me. "Do you have a reservation for it?" They asked. "You have to have a reservation to get a bike on any Virgin Train." Hmmm. Except when there's no-one standing around with nothing to do, evidently.
So I took the bull by the horns, and decided to book the space. I queued up, and by the time I reached the counter, I was pretty annoyed, so I said, "I'd like to book a space for my bike on that train. For the next 6 months." You should have seen her face! It was a picture of shock, and helped me get through the rest of the week. So she starts writing out, by hand, 180 bike reservations. I think to myself, this has to be the stupidest system in rail history, and say, "OK, stop at the end of the month." And then she gets stroppy because I haven't got a ticket past the end of the week! "And you can only book 3 days in advance," she adds. "So you're saying I have to be late for work twice a week?" I ask. She cannot reply. I take my 22 tickets and leave for the platform. The train pulls out, so I return to the queue for another bike reservation, for the train after. I get to work 15 minutes later than normal, upon which everyone asks if my scooter broke down. On the way back, I go to the ticket office and reserve the space. I ask where the bike section is. "Ask the platform staff, they'll be happy to help."
I ask the platform staff, and they say, "You put a bike on. Do you have a reservation?" I nod, and they say, "Well you won't get it on without a reservation." I'm getting mightily annoyed now, and start getting abrupt. The platform staff have to run with me through the pouring rain to open the guards van so I can stow the bike, and then I run across the platform to the regular carriage to sit down. All in a hurry to stop the train being late! As if I care about their timekeeping, whatever time a train comes, it makes me late for something...
Things went well. I got to the platform and asked where the bike section was. "You can't put your bike on here!" they said. "Have you reserved a space?" "Yes I have. Now where's the bike section?" I reply. "At the back." I get the bike in, telling pretty much everyone from Virgin where I'm getting off. I sit down, and tell the ticket inspector where I'm getting off.
We slow down for the station, and I get my bike ready for disembarkation. There is no handle on the door, someone will have to let me out. The doors don't open. I run through the train to the next open door and wave at the staff. Eventually, as they see they're not gonna leave with me hanging out of the door, someone comes to see what I want. "Can you open the door so I can get my bike out?" I ask. "Oh, of course. Sorry, no one told me about it," he lied, as I had told him earlier.
I carry the bike over the bridge, and get on outside the station. Excellent, I think. I'll get to work before 8 for the first time since the crash. I'm wrong. The tyre is monumentally flat, and I have to push it to work. I have no pump to check if it's a flat, and no repair kit if it is.
Thursday. I push the bike home, no trouble on the trains.
Hmmm..Hope I don't get in trouble for being late handing this in ;)
1. Week 11 you were asked to list four things about you using the letters B-L-O-G. This week do the same thing but use the letters H-U-M-P. Just use one word or feel free to get gabby about it. H - Hair. My hair is unruly and badly behaved. It tries to escape in the night. U - Underwear. I have no Y-fronts in my burgeoning underpants drawer. M - Mince. I use 250g of mince when I make chilli con carne for one. It takes a long time to eat! P - Pickled onions. I can half a jar of these, but I prefer olives. I can eat a whole jar of them.
2. If you were a dessert, what would you be and why? Creme Brulee (too lazy to find the circumflexes) Difficult to duplicate, crusty on the outside, with a soft centre.
3. Imagine if you will that you are being held hostage by a pompous, self-grandizing, BORING person on your IM. You're trying to be polite but really want to brush this person off. Being crazy and creative, list three things that you could tell that person to excuse yourself now AND discourage them from contacting you ever again. a: Be right back, run out of kleenex. You don't mind if I have a little *extra* fun while you type? b: I have to go for a bit. The warden's coming. c: I just need some more paper. I'm printing every word you say, you know. The voices think it's a good idea.
4. You are a work of art. What are you? Explain why. Yesterday I was The Scream by Munch. Today, could be Sunflowers... Fairly obvious I would have thought :p
5. Do you have an talent that is interesting but totally useless? (Example: being able to touch your nose with our tongue, tear a phone book in half ... ) Tell us about it. I can do that ballet thing where your left heel is by your right toes and vice versa.
Well, I nearly fell off the site bus trying to navigate the door with a trolley. Through stifled laughter, one of my colleagues reminded me of a similar incident.
I was working in London, commuting by train on Mondays and Fridays. I needed to get the tube between Euston and Liverpool Street, with my luggage, before returning to Tottenham Court Road (for some reason, I was told I couldn't take my bags straight to the hotel). One Friday, I was heading back to Euston, first on the Central Line. It was extremely busy, so I was stuck by the door with my enormous wheeled case. The train arrived at Banks, and I had to step off to let other travellers out, lugging this beast of a case with me. There was a larger gap than normal, and when I lifted the case back onto the train, my foot slipped, and I plunged between the train and the platform.
Luckily I was wearing a rucksack, which stopped me reaching the live rail and becoming a barbeque. Everyone in the train leapt forward to my aid, which surprised me, it being London and all, and in moments I was back on my feet and on the train. Just in time, because the door closed right behind me, and the iron behemoth began to rumble forwards. I was none the worse for my adventures, except for a couple of nasty bruises on my legs.
I thought you'd want me to share this event. I don't know, the number of times I've had exciting stuff like this happen, you'd be forgiven for thinking that I'm doomed to gamble on the craps table of death until I lose...
Today I have taken my first step back towards the mainstream of society.
I'm still an outsider, a freak, only now I'm one of "those bike freaks". The ostracised community who wear tight lycra shorts and waterproof jackets, and spend a whole train journey in the guards van, talking about gears and stuff.
Of course, I don't have lycra shorts. Yet. I'm using an old pair of nylon trousers, and changing when I arrive at work. Unfortunately, I've lost quite a bit of weight since I last wore these trousers (more on that in the FANTASTIC blog), and they hang off me in an odd way. I suspect they'll drop off altogether whilst I'm maneuvring the bike up one of the many flights of stairs, leaving my undergarments (or lack thereof, depending on my mood) on display for the whole commuting world.
Photos of this event will no doubt grace the cover of every newspaper in the civilized world, so keep a look out.
So, I went for a test ride yesterday, down to the station and back. Just to make sure I could actually do it. There wouldn't be much point pushing the bike the whole way. The chain only came off necessitating five minutes of jiggling, swearing and lifting to get it back on. By and large though, all went well. I might even get a lie in tomorrow, if 6am can be counted as such.
Of course the train was delayed this morning. I spent the first half of the journey talking to a "bike freak", a friendly chap, who was telling me about his cycling adventures. I'll no doubt see him tomorrow, although he only gets the same train when it's raining. The second half was spent worrying about someone stealing the rusty contraption, when I left it in the guards van to sit down.
The legacy of the scooter lives on. Someone at work said to me: "such and such saw you on your scooter on friday." FREE ME FROM THIS HELL!!!
WARNING! THIS BLOG CONTAINS DUBIOUS IMAGERY! IF YOU ARE OF A SENSITIVE DISPOSITON, PLEASE LOOK AWAY NOW!
Still here? Thought so...
A couple of things in this one. Firstly, I went with my dad to get a bike yesterday. I thought a folding bike would be the best option, so it's easier to get on and off trains, so we visited the nearest bike chain (lol). They told us "We can get folding bikes in, but we have none in stock, sorry." Of course, this was quite a problem, as I need it for tomorrow. I asked where I might get one, and it was like asking how much a plumbing job would cost. Lots of inverted whistling, followed by "There's a place 30 miles away, but don't hold your breath"... We returned to the house, and I decided to look through the yellow pages. Lo and behold, a local bike shop just around the corner. I called them, and it was a J.R.Hartley moment;"Yes we've got some folding bikes in." So we walked down there, tried them out, and decided they were too expensive, and no good for what I need. So, the fall-back plan was initiated - A half hour drive to my sisters to get her bike. On the way, sat in the passenger seat of my Dad's saloon, as we drove under the treecover, I was inexplicably gripped by an intense feeling of melancholy. I haven't had the feeling in a while, and it surprised me. It relented after a while, but I can feel it in the background, teasing at the loose thread of my mind, threatening to unravel the whole thing. It's effectively stopped me from doing anything I was supposed to this weekend. Unfortunately, I can't put my finger on what's causing it. There are plenty to choose from, some of which I'll go into in my FANTASTIC blog, so I suppose it could be a combination of things.
Which brings me to thongs, and if you followed that link, you should probably seek counselling, because there wasn't one!
I was toying with the idea of a thong entry, but xaos' blog tipped me over the edge, and here it is...
Women in Thongs I've heard different opinions on this, that women feel sexier in them, that men find women sexier in them, only sluts wear them, and so on. I must admit I do get a certain buzz seeing a thong peep over a woman's legwear, although I do tend to get excited at the drop of a hat! It's more the awareness of what's going on beneath the fabric that enthralls me. Having said that, I've seen a couple of women in thongs recently who really should have avoided them, not to mention the thin white leggings stretched over their gargantuan backsides...
Men in Thongs Now this is a different matter. A lot of people I've spoken to regard men wearing thongs as a big mistake. Women particularly seem to find the whole idea quite humourous. Now I don't understand what the difference is, except for the man's posterior being slightly larger. It smacks to me of sexism, like the wearing of dresses, and getting cheap car insurance. I personally quite like thongs. I tried my first one a couple of months ago, and I really liked it. It kept things under control, if you catch my meaning. They can be uncomfortable if you're sat for long periods, particularly when driving, but that doesn't really refer to me any more! I wonder if it's a subconscious reason for my car smash?
So, in the interests of science, I'm after some opinions on this. Can women wear thongs? Can men wear thongs? What are they like if they do?
I need to lie down now, all this talk of underwear has left me woozy...
There. That feels better. Of course, that's not my real name (only a select few will ever find that out), and "blogaholic" isn't a real word (keep checking the dictionaries), but it's a fair point nonetheless.
I've been spending a lot of time on the tagboard since I arrived at Blog Drive, to the extent that I've had conversations with myself, and noone thinks I sleep.
I do sleep. No, really, I do. I snooze on the train to and from work (6:45 to 7:55 and 17:00 to 18:30), and I lie in bed from 12:30am to 5:40am, during which time I'm fairly sure some snoring goes on (yes, sadly I snore, a gentle purr, like a big cat who's just settled down for a nap after guzzling antelope burgers. I know I do this because I was awake once when it happened).
I do spend too much time online. I now say "lol" in conversation, and most of my keyboard keys have gone shiny from overuse. It's easy to explain. I have some baggage, which I'll go into in my FANTASTIC blog, but the upshot is that I don't live near any of my friends, so I don't really go out, except with my Dad when I go to stay. The internet is pretty much my only social contact at the moment, and I can see how easy it is to get hooked. I speak to people online who use it even more than me, and that worries me dreadfully...
btw, if you want me to keep my baggage to myself, best let me know, cause the FANTASTIC blog is nearing completion...
I don't just blog when I'm online;
There's a cracking chat program called Worlds, where you have an articulated avatar in a 3D environment.
I'm in a gaming clan, and although I pretty much never play the game in question any more, I've got lots of MSN contacts who like to be silly in my general direction.
I play other games online, like Yahoo Pool.
And of course I'm a loyal fan of Strong Bad, the tiny, pot-bellied, shirtless, boxing-gloved, mexican wrestling mask wearer!
I actually met a good friend online. We met in a pub halfway between our homes, each with escape plans worked out, in case the other was a psycho murderer. Now we get along like a house on fire. No murders or anything.
The thing is, I do know I use it too much. Self-awareness is the first step to cure...
I should really wean myself off it. When certain baggage items are resolved, I may have limited access anyway. In the mean time, I'll carry on as I am, until my eyes shrivel up and drop out.
That's both of my eyes. Just one doesn't count. (that way I can soak it and pop it back in before the other one falls out too.)
And you get to watch my brain liquefy from the comfort of your own home!
My ankles hurt./ All the time.
Forget the near misses with lorries.
Forget the people re-living their youth vicariously through me with their playground taunts (I was going to put "tauntery" here, but it's not strictly a word lol).
Forget that a kerb edge of half an inch, or a gap between flagstones will send me hurtling over the handlebar.
Forget that the Ticket inspector on the train thought it was discarded tat.
It's my ankles.
For that reason alone, I am determined that today will be my last on the scooter.
I won't deny it's had its advantages. For a start, it's a lot quicker than walking. I'm getting as much exercise as a run of half the distance. There's a huge rush when you roll downhill at immense speed, wind howling around your face, wondering if the teeny brake will stop you before you reach the road below.
Although I hate it, I have become rather attached to it (especially when I'm wearing loose clothing lol), and it seems fitting that I mark the end of our love-hate-drop-fall relationship.
I've been considering the options:
I could hurl it from a bridge into the murky depths of the river below. Obviously very symbolic.
I could place it on a cermonial viking longboat, set it on fire, and push it out to sea.
I could cut it into tiny pieces and eat it, like that crazy french guy from the 80s who ate a plane. Probably with some fava beans and a nice chianti fuhfuhfuhfuhfuhfuhf
I could sell it or give it away to someone who really wants a scooter.
I could return it to my parents' shed, muddied and battleweary, ready to be called upon again if I crash my bike.
Hmmm. I quite like the idea of 2, but I can't decide. Any suggestions?