Saturday, 31 July 2010

Diary - July 23rd to 29th 2010

Diary – 23rd to 29th July

This week has been about three things…
1. Bizarre conversations that have left me shrugging,
2. Pondering over the fact that every dream or aspiration I have is getting further and further away,
3. Loving a film… up until the last ten minutes when it was ruined.

Friday was the first of many days over the summer when I will be the only staff member who is manning the office. It will happen within both the departments that I work for but strangely I am looking for to the quiet and lack of drama. I found I was able to concentrate on the jobs I had that needed no distraction, though by the afternoon I must admit that I was getting a little sick of the silence. So I logged on to and listened to some back albums of Jason Mraz, Lady Antebellum and the latest from Plan B. I now have some definite ideas for my birthday. :)

The weekend saw me searching in the town centre for an 18th birthday present for our niece. It took me a while and a lot of different shops but I finally decided to get a variety of amusingly random gifts rather than a typical traditional piece of jewellery or what not. She’ll love them and if she doesn’t I’ll have them back because I do! I can’t tell you what they are in case she happens upon this blog but once Monday is over I will fill you all in.

The 25th was my friend’s birthday so we had a girl’s day. We had Sunday lunch in the Toby Pub and Carvery where we were provided with Yorkshire Puddings the size of a child’s head. It was a delicious lunch and she liked the presents that I had gotten her. We then took the Leeds Road and headed to the Showcase Cinema to watch the newly released ‘The Rebound’ starring Catherine Zeta-Jones and Justin Bartha. It was extremely funny and flowed really well… up until the last ten minutes when it seemed to have no where to go so decided to baffled the audience with a montage of travel clips, to show time passing, before ending with a stilted awkward conversation in a restaurant supposedly five years later. We left disappointed when for most of the film we were enjoying ourselves. Tut.

Monday was my day off, another random day to use up my holiday hours, and I spent it at home doing more painting with my Mother. We were doing the white gloss which ended up everywhere courtesy of the lovely Rohan, ha ha. She does love to help out. The day, as expected, went very fast but knowing that I had accomplished something during the day rather than just sitting on my ass meant that I didn’t mind. Enough time for relaxing when I am off for the entire week; which will be happening in five working days time. I can’t wait. I am starting a list of stuff that I want to do which involves the sofa and a giant bag of Minstrels.

The rest of the week, as usual, was spent going to work and coming home wiped out. Everything drains me at the moment but I know that it is more psychological than physical. I did manage to stay awake long enough to watch ‘The Book of Eli’ and ‘Alice in Wonderland’. Both were surprisingly entertaining in completely opposite ways. I would definitely recommend either, though Johnny Depp is once again a little too sinister for a children’s adaptation.

Next week… I’ll be ‘loving it when a plan comes together’.

Friday, 30 July 2010

Musings - Hard Times

While this is not an actual video the song is so amazing I just wanted to share it.

Thursday, 29 July 2010

Musings - IMDb (The Internet Movie Database)

Sadly, hopeless rather than boohoo, I am one of those people who loves nothing more than Trivia.

I soak it up, I am a foundation of useless factoids and lists; I would be your 'phone a friend', with my chosen subjects being... Film, TV & Literature.

I can tell you who starred in what, with whom, where and when. Name me an actor and I will most likely be able to list you their movie accomplishments, as well as twenty other useless personal facts that will bore the non-trivia lover to death.

And when I don't know something... I am also a hapless researcher; which brings me to the point and title of this blog post... IMDb - The Internet Movie Database. Here is a website that is an endless, remarkable and tireless bible of all things entertainment. What I don't know I find on here and most of what I do know I found on these pages too. It's my oracle. I recommend it whole heartily for your trivia needs.

Check it out... improve your chances at the pub quiz. :)

Question: 19

What does one purchase their husband for his 30th birthday?

Wednesday, 28 July 2010

MOTW - Ashton Kutcher

I might have mentioned before, but for the past ten years I have nominated a Man Of The Week. It is a silly pointless game but one that has provided entertainment and, well, is now a tradition.

I have decided that as well as listing my MOTW I am now going to do a feature post on each.

This week, as you can see, my MOTW is the lovely Ashton Kutcher. After watching 'Valentine's Day' and finding his to be the best character, I did a little digging in my box of DVDs and came up with three excellent examples of AK on screen.

- A Lot Like Love - along side Amanda Peet.
- What Happens In Vegas - with Cameron Diaz
- The Guardian - taking advice from Kevin Costner

Now that he has passed his days of trying to locate is car, Dude, he has blossomed and become quite a good watch. 'Personal Effects' is one of his latest which I will report on asap.

So... what do you think, is he worthy of the MOTW status? Who would be your choice?

Monday, 26 July 2010

Zen - Drowning out the sounds of Snipers...

10 songs to mask that Xbox gun fire drone...

1. The Jam - The Dreams Of Children
2. Matchbox Twenty - The Burn
3. The Rolling Stones - Get Off Of My Cloud
4. Aerosmith - Cryin'
5. The Zutons - Long Time Coming
6. Daniel Bedingfield - All The Little Children
7. Red Hot Chili Peppers - Universally Speaking
8. Sister Hazel - Just Remember
9. Beverley Knight - Under The Same Sun
10. Matt Nathanson - Sad Songs

Friday, 23 July 2010

Diary - July 16th to 22nd 2010

Diary – 16th to 22nd July

This week has been about three things…
1. Painting layer upon layer before realising it was the light, not the paint that was tricking me into seeing patches!
2. Digging out some old Romantic Comedies in a renewed DVD fest,
3. Cutting out carbs but sneaking my CoCo Moons and Stars. Sshh!

If you have seen the lovely photographs that I posted earlier in the week, then you will know that this weekend, for me, consisted of painting my kitchen and getting giddy on the fumes. Kieran as predicted avoided the paint like it was the plague and hid outside, come rain or shine, with my father and Grace. That left me and the Matriarch with our rollers and tin of Berry Brulee. For the first couple of layers I hated it. It just seemed so dark compared to the previous Lilac which on closer inspection was more white wallpaper peeping through than emulsion wash. Seven years ago when we first did it, well, we were rubbish!

Once the Berry Brulee started to dry and after we realised we were not going to need twelve layers, I decided it could stay. All we, I, need to do now is finish off the paintwork in a bright white gloss and make sure that the room stays tidy. I managed to have a bit of a sort out of the cupboards meaning I can hide a lot of things which always help. Just need to educate the husband into keeping it tidy too. Ha ha never gonna happen! :)

Monday I had my appraisal at work which was bizarre but it would appear I am at least good at my job. I need however not to be so focused on what I am doing, you know, I need to do other peoples jobs too. :) Which is what I did in the afternoon and ordered around £2000 worth of stationery and furniture. If it was up to me the tutors would get a whiteboard pen and a pack of Blu-Tac. But its not up to me, so I ordered everything on the requested list then rejoiced in the managers somewhat strangled expression at the forthcoming dent in her budget.

I have also being doing the low carbs diet which has been hard due to my love of rice and cake. But I lost two pounds in half a week so something about it must be working. My ally at work who has been trying to lose wait with me is now off on a cruise for the summer. We have made a pact to see who can lose the most weight before August 20th. I am quite competitive so I am going to give it my best shot (forgetting the Thursday night Chinese Buffet) and see if I can do it. I need to lose weight anyway, those hormones bloated me up something rotten. Grrrr.

A couple of years ago when Kieran had to leave the house and house and a half before I did I used to watch a film or a TV programme episode. While he was off work I didn’t get the chance and now he is working we leave at the same time. So this week while he was out on his Rohan walks I dug out one of my favourite Romantic Comedies. I watched ‘A Lot Like Love’ which is a fantastic movie with Ashton Kutcher and Amanda Peet. Ashton is surprisingly endearing and by the time the credits scroll every female watching can’t help but be in love with him. He has rightly won his place as Man of the Week.

Next week… I am going to try and be inspired with my camera in one pocket and notebook in the other.

Lyrics - Country just can't go wrong...

Lady Antebellum get my feet a tapping and my heart a swelling when they sing...

Seems like I was walking in the wrong direction
I barely recognize my own reflection, no
Scared of love but scared of life alone

Seems I've been playing on the safe side baby
Building walls around my heart to save me, oh
But it's time for me to let it go

Yeah, I'm ready to feel now
No longer am I afraid of the fall down
It must be time to move on now
Without the fear of how it might end
I guess I'm ready to love again

Thursday, 22 July 2010

Question: 18

Decisions, decisions... you are given the opportunity to change your accent for 1 month; what accent would you choose?

Snippets - My Novel: An Extract...

I am currently working on a project about a Fallen Angel. He is given a reprieve from hell to do the Arc Angels a favour but all it not what it seems. Here is a small extract detailing his fall... please let me know what you think; be truthful but gentle. :) And I suppose I should say please don't plagiarise.


Adriel’s fall had been swift. There had been no ‘one phone call’ or final meal. He had questioned and Gabriel as the right hand had judged, sentenced and opened the gateway between the top and the bottom of existence. It had pained him to do it, had pained Heaven to watch and ultimately Adriel had paid with an eternity of his own hurts. Unlike some others of his kind Adriel had never been mortal and while not an excuse it was a valid reason for his somewhat misguided nature.

The swiftness of his departure had in part been due to his calling; to instil Hope there must be no doubt. Hope as an entity or emotion had not been born with Adriel, more the other way around. Optimism and trust had produced a spark which had glistened and formed just outside of Heaven’s realm. Like a star on a clear night or a flash that the sun creates upon the ripple of water’s motion; it had captured the conscious of all who saw it. And Bright Side with its butterfly net of golden promise had scooped it up and thus Hope had existed. When an ambassador had been called for, God had breathed his wisdom. Out of the blinding light had come forth Adriel. Fresh as a daisy, un-jaded, ready for action; with only a little guidance he had been a credit to his peers. Yet, with only a little uncertainty he had become a vast disappointment.

A conversation. That had been all that had stood between fiery damnation and the weight of an angel’s wings. All he had needed to do was keep his mouth shut and ponder in private but something, conscience perhaps, had compelled Adriel Angel of Hope to speak out loud. Bright side, Angels are neither old or young; they just are. They exist almost on a plane of always being. In mortal terms Adriel was young in the sense that he was naive. His faith in his abilities and those tasks employed by God had in essence been what had caused his doubts. The realisation that on occasion he was doomed to fail is his heavenly quest to give hope to the people had formed the question… why bother? Angels serve yet Man in his ignorance is favourite? Once his mind had been open to the littlest of doubts a cavern had formed, deep and dark, enticing more questions. Adriel might have fallen from Grace but Grace fell first in its inability to stay on the pedestal which an Angel born of heaven had placed it upon.

     “What is heaven when Man gets to feel?” When Adriel spoke out loud Micah froze in place.
     “We have God’s presence.” Adriel missed his friend’s pleading expression to silence himself. Micah felt the prickle of awareness on the back of his neck; the Arcs were listening.
     “Do we? Really? They have everything, his love, his Earth, his forgiveness.”
     “We have immortality.”
     “He gave them paradise and they betrayed him yet he sent his only son to perish at their hand in an attempt to redeem them. Why are they so worthy?” This time the Angel of Hope also felt that prickle, that warning against his skin to halt his words and keep silent. Yet he was unable.
     “Man is created in his image…”
     “Then what is the point of being an Angel when our divine presence, our teachings can be ignored but with a little repentance at the end Man can make it Bright Side anyway?”
     “Talk like that is what gets an Angel fallen.” Gabriel, blinding with awe and steel, suddenly stood before them his expression grim.
     “I’m voicing an opinion not starting a war.” Adriel was unable to meet his brother’s harsh expression.
     “You are an Angel. You don’t get an opinion.”
     “In that case what is the point of having wings? To exist in a half life, for eternity?”
     “You were given Heaven!” Awe and steel thundered.
     “So were you but don’t you ever wonder if it would have been better to earn it!?” Adriel’s anger erupted; an answering lightning flash to the warning rumble.
     “Enough!” This time Adriel knew that he had pushed too far. He felt suddenly hot; not from mortification but from something else, something infernal.
     “With Lucifer’s example, you should have known better.”
     “Are you threatening me?” The waver in the young Angel’s voice betrayed his bravado, his wings suddenly heavy with consequence.
     “I don’t need to, it has already been taken care of.”
     “What has?” Micah finally spoke, a fear in his tone.
     “He questioned.”
     “Micah? You have got to be kidding me, Micah!” Lightning flashed once more only this time the fork found its victim and Adriel perished before them.

Some had understood his important questions but as faithful servants they had shown their feathery backs to their fallen friend on his judgement day. Back in the day when Lucifer had questioned there had been war. The righteous and the newly impious had battled, forging the original feud between good and evil. For Adriel there had been no time for the building of notoriety, he was merely there one moment and gone the next with only the whisperings of his departure causing the pale down of wings to ruffle. The Arcs had been determined to avoid another scandal. Hasty in their actions they had not considered the consequences. Now, an eternity later, a game had been set in motion; a game with two rule books, one public and one hidden. Bright Side was rife with secrets.

So.... what do you think???

Wednesday, 21 July 2010

Musings - Me? Like Him?

I came across this blog... which had a link to a fun little tool that decides which famous writer your style is most like.

Here is what I found...

I write like
James Joyce
I Write Like by Mémoires, Mac journal software. Analyze your writing!

I love 'The Dubliners' too. :) x ha ha

Tuesday, 20 July 2010

Photo - Berry Brulee on the kitchen walls...

When we first moved into our house, nearly eight years ago, we did the decorating quickly and cheaply. Everything has lasted very well but is starting to look a little tired. We decided to give the kitchen a little bit of a face lift this week. Here are the before and after photographs...

As you can see blue and pale lilac looking tired with paint missing where I had removed the border the day before.

The fireplace... we can't get rid of the fire as it is part of the boiler but we can at least try and make it look presentable.

The (almost) finished product with the beautiful Berry Brulee on the far wall.

A little dressing and... voila.
What do you think? :)

Sunday, 18 July 2010

Diary - July 9th to 15th 2010

Diary – 9th to 15th July

This week has been about three things…
1. Picking a team and knowing without a doubt that I love the furry over the undead,
2. Realising ‘The World’s mine Oyster’ when it comes to culture,
3. Smiling through it all, breathing through it all, living through it all.

I am gradually feeling better about life’s, my life’s, recent turn of events. I can’t change it so there is no choice but to keep going and try again. I will not be on top form for a long time but at least this week I am willing to want to get there. I am not cut out for drama! Ha ha.

What I am cut out for, however, is sitting in the dark lusting, even though I know I shouldn’t, for a teenage werewolf who should always be filmed standing half naked in the rain (fans self with sweaty palm). GO TEAM JACOB! Yup, I went to see the new instalment of the Twilight Saga, ‘Eclipse’. Finally these films get a sense of humour; all they need to do now is kill off Bella and Edward and all will be well. Though I am guessing that whoever directs the next film will not be willing to deviate that far from the novels original intentions. Alas. Good film though. It was good to see the love triangle between mortal, werewolf and vampire explored further. I am a sucker for the supernatural, I’ve probably told you that before? For this instalment I managed to get a work colleague, an apprentice and a husband involved so it was quite a good outing. We will have to do it again sometime.

Saturday saw an early start Stafford Castle bound. For the past five years we have taken a July trip down to Stafford to see Open Air Shakespeare in the grounds of the ruined Stafford Castle. We have previously been the audience of ‘A Midsummer Nights Dream’, ‘Much Ado About Nothing’, ‘Twelfth Night’, ‘Hamlet’ and this year we were to watch ‘The Merry Wives of Windsor’. As always it was an excellent three hours spent. The set was fantastic, the last night antics hilarious, the cast well cast and the weather perfect. The director is a genius, getting all the cast to learn instruments to play as an off centre stage orchestra whenever they were not in the scene. It cheered me up a treat and while this was the first play out of the five years that I had not previously been privy to, I was still able to follow it with ease and excitement. Who doesn’t love Shakespeare set in the 1950s?

The rest of the weekend was not quite so easy. A family gathering meant children. Children who aren’t mine but who love their Auntie Stacy in law. Playing with them was hard but, if I hadn’t, explaining why not would have been harder. I hope everyone understood why I wasn’t my usual cheery self but if not… well to be honest… frankly my dears, I don’t give a damn. I am going through too much to be worrying what others think, especially others who see me twice a year and don’t really bother about me for the rest of it. Tut.

The working section of my week was, sadly, back at work feeling dull and trying to be enthusiastic. The highlight was getting home to find that my portable 250 GB hard drive had arrived. It’s tiny! It’s shiny! I love it! All my ‘stuff’ is now safely on it. Phew. As much as I trust City and Guilds with our students, I am not going to put all my faith into their free memory stick.

Next week… I am going to be decorating the kitchen. Ooh, Berry Brulee here I come. (that’s the colour by the way, I haven’t suddenly gone dessert mad).

Saturday, 17 July 2010

Photo - Daisies through the flowers.

This isn't a great picture, inspiring, enticing in any way... but something about the daisies peeping through the iron decoration of my Mother's garden bench caught my attention.

I, even if no one else does, think its a lovely view. x

Friday, 16 July 2010

Photo - My Mr.

This is one of my favourite photos of my husband, you know, Kieran, I might have mentioned him? :)

This was take during all the snow at the beginning of 2009, I do love a good beard.
He usually hates having his picture taken so I dont have that many but even if I had hundreds this would still be one of most precious. xx

Thursday, 15 July 2010

Musings - Here I come, ready or not...

When we got married we spent an age deciding on what songs to have for the walking up and down the aisle, the signing of the register and then for our first dance. For me the most important was my initial walk down the aisle; as we had a civil ceremony we were limited to the songs / tunes we could use.

So we listened to so many suggestions, so many downloads and then we came across this...

Gaelic Morn

We chopped a little of the beginning and a little from the end but from around the 14 second mark the music started with me, my father and my bridesmaids hidden behind the curtain. Then at the 35 second mark they opened the curtain and revealed us... then I walked down the aisle to meet Kieran as he stood dressed in his Irish national tartan kilt. He looked amazing and the music could not have been more fitting.

Have a listen... :)

Lyrics - Learning how to move on...

3 Doors Down have taken my hand and pulled me to my feet as they sing...

You hide behind your walls,
Of maybe nevers
Forgetting that there's something more,
Than just knowing better
Your mistakes do not define you now,
They tell you who you're not
You've got to live this life you're given,
Like it's the only one you've got....

Wednesday, 14 July 2010

Poem - No Breath, No Baby

I never expected this? I’m aching, on my knees,

Cant you see it? I’m drowning, dying inside my skin,
All I hoped; shattered? I’m hapless, forsaken of dreams,
Nobody hears it? I’m screaming, so loud I make no sound,
Tiny pieces, too small? I’m broken; no glue can fix this,

Barren? Barren? I’m lost, my direction faded; unchartered,
Rage gnaws, never relenting? I’m angry, it crawls like ink through veins,
Empty? I’m filled with nothing; nothing creeps in every corner,
Alone with grief? I’m so alone with this grief, I greave,
Treachery in my smile? I’m masking it, look deeper; see my awful truth,
Help me, please? I’m asking, out loud, please; I’m never going to get over this,
Even now… even now? I can’t breathe…

Tuesday, 13 July 2010

Photo - World Cup Flag

I forgot to mention...
When I was little my Dad was given a Mexican Flag complete with rigging rope for a pole. We have no connection at all to Mexico so the flag spent the next 20 years in a box in the shed.
Then England were knocked out of the world cup, so Me and my Dad decided that we were picking a new team to support... and we remembered his flag.


For fun we pegged it to my mother's washing line, as you can see, and the neighbours loved it. Shame it wasnt for Spain... :)

Question 17:

Why am I jinxed when it comes to saving and backing up my work? Why must I always lose it? ARGH!

Sunday, 11 July 2010

Diary - July 2nd to 8th 2010

Diary – 2nd to 8th July

This week has been about one thing…
1. Figuring out how to breathe through a broken heart.

My IVF treatment didn’t work and I am devastated. I spent the entire month trying, pretending, hoping, to be pragmatic.

“If it doesn’t work, we’ll just have another go.”
“The first try is always more of a fact finding mission to find out what is going wrong.”
“We can always adopt, there are so many children out there needing love.”
“This IVF business wasn’t so hard, I can go through it again.”

What a load of, dare I say it, yes I dare, f'ing crap!

No one prepares you for the complete and utter searing pain of finding out that you have failed again. Failed yourself, you husband, your family, your friends, nature! And failed the embryos that were counting on you to give them life. For the 42nd month in a row since we started trying to conceive I got my period and it has broken me. That is how I feel, broken. Like my entire happiness was resting on one thing and now that it is no longer a possibility I have ceased to function on a normal level.

The week has been a pity party from start to finish with me flipping between forcing myself to blink and remember to inhale and exhale or me shutting down completely on the inside and behaving like all is right with the world and I have never had a care in it.

It is frightening. There is still a slightly rational part of me that is preparing for a complete melt down. Its coming, it will be epic, it will destroy me completely.

Being around people I seem somehow able to rationalise what I am going through but not for me, for them. I have a mask I wear to convince them that I am not in fact dying on the inside but prevailing through it all. It’s bullshit; when I am alone I crumple. I shrivel. I cry like I will never ever recover.

And I curse myself for being so pathetic. It was my first attempt! People try so hard over and over again, yet here I am feeling like it’s the end. It DOES feels like the end though, and no matter how much I try and put myself together I only get so far before I shatter. Reading and Rohan have been my only real distraction, and I love them for it.

My best friend is still no where in sight; I feel her lack of support like an additional hole growing grotesquely within in my chest. I fear I will never forgive her for it.

Next week… I will be arranging my consultation for acupuncture and trying to rebuild before the rain comes.

Tuesday, 6 July 2010

Photo - Grace and her make over...

Here are some before and after shots of our Little 90, Grace.

Click for a larger look at how beautiful she is... now... :)

So shiny...

Saturday, 3 July 2010

Diary - June 25th to July 1st 2010

Diary – 25th June to 1st July

This week has been about three things…
1. In with the Embryos
2. Waiting, waiting!, WAITING!!!
3. Wondering if my best friend ever cared at all?

I genuinely have no idea what I have done this week. IVF does that to you I think.

Friday we went to Seacroft for our Embryo Transfer. I was to have a full bladder and this was to be my downfall ha ha. We had to be there at 11am and I decided to drink half my 2 litre bottle on the way there. Big mistake. By the time be arrived in Leeds at an early 10.30 I literally had to run for the loo too panicked about wetting myself to think about keeping my bladder full! Urinating never felt so special. Then I panicked about the full bladder thing so set to downing half of the remaining litre. By 11am I was ready, I couldn’t sit down, I was dancing around the waiting room but not from excitement… I needed to pee again. So after a quick word with the nurse I went but then nervously finished my bottle of Buxton. Unfortunately I didn’t go down to theatre until 11.40 so for the third time that morning I thought I was going to burst!

The procedure itself, performed by the lovely Mr Tang, was like a slightly finicky smear test. On my back, legs in the air (strapped in) and in the two little fellas went; meaning my embryos and not Mr T and his assistant. When it was all over I sped to the bathroom under the assurance that I would not be able to dislodge my new nestling (hopefully) friends with my rapid flow. All done. Now the waiting begins.

The waiting has been the worst part! I have no idea where my mind has been other than in a nervous state of insanity waiting to see if my period appeared before my pregnancy test. I don’t think I am mentally equipped to deal with it not working. Alas. Will this break me?

Thursday another one of my friends informed me that they were pregnant and due in January. This means they were trying for a very short period of time before they got lucky. Now ,I love that my friends are getting pregnant and having babies, its fantastic… but the ease with which they do… the lack of effort it takes when I have spent the last three and a half years dealing with no luck… it breaks my heart. I can’t help it, I can’t help the sobbing that comes forth uncontrolled. Not because they are happy, I would never begrudge them that; I just can’t help but feel that there will never me any babies left for me. Pathetic, huh? Soul destroying? Yes.

Next week… more waiting and possibly some painting.
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