Thursday 29 April 2010

Photo - View from almost at the top (floor)

This is the view from my window at work. The People's Park resides below.

Once spring fully arrives the view will be completely hidden by the trees.

Musings - Exam

Tonight I have an exam for my Business Administration Technical Certificate... wish me luck!  :)

Wednesday 28 April 2010

Zen - 10, 9, 8, 7...

It's that time again... 10 songs brought to my ears and now my blog through the power of Zen.

1. Dixie Chicks - I'll Take Care Of You
2. Michael Jackson - Get On The Floor
3. Gavin Degraw - A Change Is Gonna Come (Live)
4. Matt Nathanson - The Weight Of It All
5. Ryan Cabrera - Shame On Me
6. The Rolling Stones - Paint It Black
7. Red Hot Chili Peppers - Right On Time
8. Tracy Chapman - Fast Car
9. United Sounds - Eye Of The Tiger
10. Elvis Presley - Surrender

Photo - Joseph 2005 RIP

How cheeky is this little guy!? :)
(P.s That isn't my usual smile... I wanted to laugh but didn't want to jiggle)

Monday 26 April 2010

Photo - Our Regiment

Halifax is the originial home of the Duke of Wellington's Regiment (Now The Yorkshire Regiment).
Here are two photographs taken of the Freedom of Halifax Parade, October 2008

Unfortunately I was situated behind the Mayor's Stage but I was too chicken to jump up onto it as I feared the man with his sword. :)

Brave lads, a lot of them from my school, let them be always safe and strong.

Question: 12

After watching the London Marathon, I am inspired to do something crazy for charity... what should I do and which charity should I do it for?

Sunday 25 April 2010

Photo - The Piece Hall, St George Fun Day

Saturday 24th of April saw Halifax and its Piece Hall holding a St George Fun Day.
Here are a couple of photos taken on my phone, they aren't very good and
sadly I missed getting the giant two-manned green paper dragon in shot.

As you can see The Piece Hall is a beautiful building.

Characters on the day -
though I over heard a couple of the younger men discussing how they had spent
their student loan on a plasma TV - hmm, not very knight of the realm!

Armour - just because I wanted a go but was too chicken to ask.

Friday 23 April 2010

Diary - April 16th to 22nd 2010

Diary – 16th to 22nd Apr

This week has been about three things…
1. Solving crimes with an over weight half Jewish librarian,
2. Setting slimming goals of a competitive nature,
3. Listening to the vain bantering of others (says the woman who dishes out her diary on a weekly basis).

Saturday again saw me in the library but as the day was absolutely beautiful I checked out my books and headed to The Piece Hall. This is a building built in the late 1700s, in central Halifax, where people would bring their items, pieces, to sell. I don’t know a great deal of its history, which is shocking considering it is a huge part of the history of a town I have lived in almost all my life. I will research. Anyway, I bought a coffee, found a bench and sat for a couple of hours until my friend came to meet me. I got a little stiff and a little sunburnt but it was worth it. For I was reading an Ian Sansom novel…

Ian Sansom is someone, I admit, I had never read before but I took a chance and took out all three of his books that were available. ‘The Mobile Library’ series is a set of novels about a fantastic character (and he is a complete and utter character!) called Israel Armstrong. A hapless librarian who finds himself in Northern Ireland and embroiled in a series of unfortunate events that literally had me laughing out loud as I sat with my coffee and my bench in my public arena. I recommend them whole heartedly as I have not been this entertained in a very long time. Israel is the type of well rounded character that you almost feel you know outside of the written page on which he exists; someone you would say ‘Howdy’ to in the street with a smile but then wonder afterwards where you knew him from. Plus with Israel being twenty nine and having mad curly hair, a dry sense of humour and a craze for books…well… he could be my ideal man.

The rest of the week has gone by in a blur of deadlines, coursework, stressing, chauffeuring (still) and trying to stay wake. I have read when I should be working, rushed when I need to be calm and wanted to punch those whom I should view with authority. Same old, same old really.

Sardonic eyebrow raisingly - I got a new boss. Previous employment included working for NASA! In the four hours I spent in his company (the entire week!) he seemed an okay chap if a little talkative… about himself… a lot. He was off sick towards the end of the week, hopefully not from overindulging on his own hype. Oh and guess what; I have also been told that Friday I will be moving offices again. This is turning into a once a month trend. Not only is it ridiculous but it is turning into a bit of a farce. If my Harry Potter figure has to move one more time I fear he will do something drastic with that little wand of his (the spell binding one; I think he is like a Ken doll in the other respect).

Next week… I intend to purchase every Sansom novel that has to offer, which is all of them as rare luck would have it. :)

Thursday 22 April 2010

Lyrics - The sheer wanting of it all...

Little James Morrison breaks my heart when he sings...

If there's nothing, nothing, nothing left to lose,
Then what is this feeling,
That keeps bringing me back to you?

Monday 19 April 2010

Question: 11

Is chocolate an acceptable cure for a week long headache or am I just feeding my pain?

Saturday 17 April 2010

Diary - April 9th to 15th 2010

Diary - 9th to 15th Apr

This week has been about three things…
1. Consenting to the next chapter in my life
2. Showering an unborn baby with books
3. Being productive on a Saturday (this is rare – usually it’s the pub and then American Idol repeats)

Saturday saw sun, shearing and supervising. While the husband and the father tried to pull out the old starter motor to install the new I supervised my mother while she weeded my garden. Don’t feel sorry for her, she loves it. Weeding my garden while I stand and watch is how it has always been and how it shall always come to pass. The sun was finally out, hinting at a little spring, which cleansed the soul somewhat. Late afternoon we took Rohan to get a hair cut, 3 hours worth, and while we waited the mother and I wandered around the garden centre where she conned me into letting her buy me a handbag. It’s beautiful, green as always.

The working week started with our visit to the Assisted Conception Unit, ACE for short. We spent over an hour and a half signing form after form, consenting to all the various stages that come with having your offspring mixed in a pot. It’s all very exciting. Not too sure about the injection induced menopause but I figure whatever they throw at me now is going to be nothing compared to actual labour. Strangely I find this comforting… remind me I said that (hopefully) in a years time. I now have a vague timetable of what will be happening when and what I need to do. I might even start another blog segment about it, if only to keep me sane.

Also, one of my close friends is due to have her baby in two weeks, if she doesn’t explode before hand as she is huge, so we had a surprise baby shower. All very American but it was nice to have a get together. The mother of the one about to be a mother had the lovely idea that we all bring our childhood favourite book as a gift. It went down a storm! Chubba, the yet to be seen addition (I do hope that name doesn’t stick), now has enough books to last 0 through to 5 years. My choice was “Where’s Spot?” as “Phoebe and the Hot Water Bottles” is out of print. I do fear that having over 900 books myself means that my children are going to inherit my reading / collecting bug. Worse things I suppose, ha ha, they could inherit the big hair and buck teeth. Thank heaven for straighteners and braces. :)

Next week… it will be all I can do not to yawn.

Thursday 15 April 2010

Musings - Third-Of-My-Life Crisis

Some day soon something in my life is going to click and I am going to have to take a step back and think… wow.

At the moment I think Blah. At the moment I am bemused with a portion of cynical and a side of whimsy.

You see I am turning thirty in September. Thirty!

And apart from the odd stint here and there I can’t really say that I have experienced life. Don’t get me wrong, I don’t have any burning need to hoist on a backpack and head to foreign climates to get mugged so I can write about it; I just... you know… wish I had done more.

I sound like I am giving up, like I am going to blow out my candles and take to my bed to wait it out. I’m not. I just wish I had thought ahead. Saved more, seen more, sexed more.

Now I sound like I am going to cash in my meagre ISA, buy a ticket and get laid somewhere. I’m not. I just… you know… wish.

Getting old seems to have got me procrastinating and dangerously on top of all this thinking I have started thinking. It is slightly revolutionary looking at my lot and questioning it. But thirty, I figure it’s time for a third-of-my-life crisis.

But what? I mean what can I do between now and September that I can remember for the rest of my life?

I am too tired for a toy boy.
Too young for a face lift.
Too poor for a Ferrari.
Too chicken to travel.
Too lazy to finish my novel(s) in that time.

Too… I’m talking myself out of it! No!

I have given myself until the 1st of May to plot and plan and produce a third-of-my-life crisis.

Watch this space!

Monday 12 April 2010

Photo - Vase that made me smile.

I spotted this vase at a local garden centre and it made me smile.

It reads:
"When I woke up this morning I realised it was a perfect day to stay in bed and drink champagne."

What a lovely gift to get someone...

Sunday 11 April 2010

Diary - April 2nd to 8th 2010

Diary – 2nd to 8th Apr

This week has been about three things...
1. Being chauffer to the family unit – should have put the meter on!
2. The next step!
3. Wearing my 3D glasses once more while stuffing (literally) my face with popcorn.

Easter weekend… and the weather was blah. We spent Friday in the Eureka. This is the well known children’s museum that just happens to be in my home town. We took a niece and a nephew and they loved it. The next three days were spent slothing, reading, blogging and film watching. We went to see Clash of the Titans which I have reviewed already in a previous post. It was nice to have some time to recharge. I even had time to go to the library. I did wait around all week for someone to get in touch but they didn’t so I am a little upset… I can’t always be the one to do the running.

Part way through the week our truck, Grace (have I mentioned her? LR Defender 90?) broke down. She is a money pit but she got me around in the three months of snow so I begrudgingly open the purse strings for repairs. A new starter motor was needed which was ordered and now awaits its installation. In the mean time I am chauffer to a sleepy husband and a giddy pup. I don’t mind; driving out of town means that I get some me time on the journey back in.

On the subject of vehicles my parents got themselves a new car, not brand new – a couple of years old, but new to them. It’s a Suzuki and the colour is Galactic Grey. It is lovely but as it’s not me mother’s choice I know she will find something or other wrong with it, ha ha. My father drove me and Rohan around the block in it. Twas fun.

I also got a letter from the hospital; this is really the big news of the week. Last August I was put on the IVF waiting list with the proviso that I / We would be waiting ten to twelve months until the procedure. This week I got notification that I will be starting treatment in May. That is only three weeks away! My excitement outweighs my trepidation, just. To think that by the end of June I might be pregnant, it’s unbelievable. I am more worried that I might hope too much but then I fear that I might hope too little. I hear good things though, people are always telling me success stories. I was told a hilarious yet frightening story about a sperm mix up but I wont go into that, lets just say if my kids come out any colour than pasty white Kieran is not gonna be pleased.

But it’s a good thing. Being infertile is a bitch but moving forward to the next step is productive and it has been such a long time since I have had anything to look forward to that I am going to jump in with both feet. Motherhood here I come! Fingers and toes crossed!

Next week… will be all about fixing things.

Tuesday 6 April 2010

Zen - An Odd Mix!

Once more my Zen deems to provide me with ten songs...

1. Daniel Bedingfield - Wrap My Arms Around You
2. Marc Cohen - Fallen Angels
3. Fergie - Clumsy
4. The Calling - Thank You
5. McFly - The Heart Never Lies
6. High School Musical - Breaking Free (Instrumental)
7. Al Green - Lets Get Married
8. Lucie Silvas - Passionate You / Stolen
9. Savage Garden - You Can Still Be Free
10. Michael Jackson - I Just Can't Stop Loving You

Monday 5 April 2010

Photo - The Two Fuzzies

Here are Kieran and Rohan playing on the Xbox on the lazy bank holiday Monday. :)

Review - Clash of the Titans (2010)

Last night I took my husband out on a date. We don’t go on dates that often but when we do I have usually dragged him to Ikea, the local Chinese Buffet place or like last night… to the flicks.

My husband, where ever I take him, requires bribes. With Ikea it’s the meat balls, Shopping means a trip to HMV and our local cinema sees him loaded with popcorn and the promise of a boys film in the near future.

Last night was the promised boys flick… last night was Clash of the Titans.

Now I vaguely remember the original, not necessarily from 1981 but from the countless reruns played throughout my twenty-nine years. I prefer Sinbad and the Eye of the Tiger or Jason and his Argonauts better but alas it was Perseus’ tale remade circa 2010.

Okay, so I admit that the advert with all those men in action… I was persuaded.

It was just after 8:30pm when we entered Screen Six with our giant salted popcorn, our giant fizzy drink, share bag of chocolate sweets and our 3D glasses. Since seeing Avatar in 3D Kieran gets all excited at the idea of an evening as Roy Orbison; me, I just get to look foolish with the big black goggles on over my prescription specs.

The film itself was to be a cast of all stars. Liam Neeson, Ralph Fiennes, Gemma Arterton, Mads Mikkelsen, good old Pete Postlethwaite and Sam Worthington completing his hat trick. A Terminator, A Blue Alien and a Demi-God – all in the space of two years is not bad going at all. He is due a Romantic Comedy now, me thinks.

Visually the next two hours were fantastic. Liam and Ralph as the brothers Zeus and Hades were compelling for their entire stint on screen. The monsters, while not as entertaining as the Harryhausen verity were seamless and worthy of their Mythology. The storyline of Perseus and his quest to decapitate the head of Medusa and wave it at the Kracken was well plotted for a modern audience; though in places it felt a little rushed with our favourite parts from the original pushed aside or left out altogether.

The costumes and make up set the scene, again it was Zeus and Hades who stole the show visually. Each character, however minor, was thought out and well rounded. Perseus, for me, needed more depth and inspiration. Other than wanting Sam Worthington’s lovely face to prevail in the end I didn’t feel as strong as a connection as I did to the other characters. Perhaps it was the face that distracted me? Perhaps I was biased to his stellar performance in Avatar?

My overall verdict of the film?

Good Points:
- Visually exciting
- All star cast
- Entertaining adaptation of a classic tale

Bad Points:
- Perseus? Oh him.
- Fast pace that little too speedy
- 3D felt a waste of the extra cash.

I recommend this film for a viewing, well worth seeing on the big screen before simply waiting for the DVD. Even if you haven’t seen the original, or maybe more because you haven’t, Clash of the Titans (2010) is an excellent instalment on the list of Blockbusters to watch this year.

The big question from last night is did Kieran like it?
7/10 was his verdict though he was most upset that the little Golden Owl only got a 10 second cameo as apposed to its previous starring role.


Sunday 4 April 2010

Photo - Honeymoon to China

For our honeymoon we took a tour around China. We stopped in Beijing, Xian and Shanghai and got to see some of the most amazing sights.

The Great Wall, The Forbiddden City, The Heavenly Palace, Tiananmen Square, The Ming Tombs, The Terracotta Warriors and many many more awe inspiring examples of a long and colourful history.

We took over 1000 photographs during our 11 day stay. Here are just a few (please click to enlarge for a better view)...

Tiananmen Square

Forbidden City

Forbidden City Roof Decoration

Great Wall of China and The Hutongs

Big Wild Goose Pagoda

Terracotta Warriors

Terracotta Warriors and The Dumpling Dinner Show

Buddist Monastery and The Shanghai Bund

Yuyung Garden

There was so much more to see... but that would require a whole new trip. :)

Saturday 3 April 2010

Question: 10

Is it a morbid fascination to mentally pick out funeral songs for other people?

Friday 2 April 2010

Diary - March 26th to April 1st 2010

Diary – Mar 26th to Apr 1st

This week has been about three things…
1. Funerals and Ten Pin Bowling (Yeah, an odd combination),
2. The long awaited return to work,
3. Feeling that overwhelming need to be anywhere else but here.

Friday dawned with an early start Taunton bound. The Redmond funeral was to take place at 3pm, 450 miles away. I never got to meet Kieran’s Nan, she had been ill for a very long time and had been unable to comprehend her soundings for a great many years. She passed away a frightened little girl in her eighties and while it is sad that she has gone at least the Redmonds can feel comforted that she had had enough of this mortal coil. The funeral was simple and fast, a hippy vicar, an English Country Garden and off to the pub afterwards. There was a pint of Guinness to be had in honour of Albert ‘Danny’ Redmond who had been sat for over 10 years in his urn waiting for his wife to join him for their scattering.

At the end of the day, far from home and with nothing to do but sit in the grotty Travel Lodge, we decided to head to the Ten Pin Bowling place that we could view from our window. Despite the overall tone of the day we had fun. Family bonding was plentiful. We had a two year old playing with us, she came second though I think having the barriers up gave her an unfair advantage. We had been playing for a while and it was her turn once more but as I turned to her she said to me in the oldest world wise voice with a sigh…

“But I just want to sit down.” For her first ever full sentence I thought it was exceedingly chuckle worthy. Ha ha.

Kieran also started his new job this week. So far he loves it but due to the Easter holidays he has ended up with a three day week and a four day next week. Talk about being eased in gently, ha ha. The relief that he is working is so immense that I don’t think I could write about it just yet. I am still digesting the idea that I might not loose my house after all.

(Other than the signs) there are a few things that caught my attention this week:
• I love you, Beth Cooper
• Realising I write my capital Bs in Buffy font
• The big crack in my car windscreen
• I am no longer afraid of the big wigs
• Toffee Apple flavoured chocolate is absolutely awful
• Richard Boehmcke is hilarious… google him!

Wednesday night yielded my first exam prep lesson. I need it! There are only three weeks to go! Even though it was the Easter break the college stayed open just for our class; it was very eerie to be the only ones in the building and get to leave through the back door. Shiver.

I was also challenged to write a poem. Which I did! I have published it further down in my blog. I was given the title ‘My Other Life’ and if you scrolled down you can read it. I would love feedback if you are willing to give it but as I am still convinced that no one ever reads my blog I won’t be waiting on it.

Next week… I intend to purchase my domain.

Photo - Latest Rohan

Just because she is so cute. :) x

Photo - Signs that caught my attention...

Here are two signs that caught my attention this week. Both made me smile and as I think smiles are something we should always pay forward I thought I would share them with you.

First, here is a sign from the wall of a Service Station somewhere along the M5.

Really? What are these watches and why haven't the 'salesmen' just been forced to clear off?

Next, here is a sign that I spotted within my place of work. The words are put so simply but they say all that it needs to say.

Something tells me that the caretakers have run out of patience. Who would have thought paper was so heavy ha ha.

From now on I intend to snap those things that erupt a chuckle. Long live the Camera Phone!

Thursday 1 April 2010

Musings - What my life could have been...

Growing up I wanted to be many things.

My parents indulged me to a certain extent, mostly I think because they wanted me to at least do something with my life. I had big dreams and little dreams, insane dreams and those that I will never list for anyone to see. (Being Mrs Mitchell took me through 12yrs – 21yrs ha ha)

Here are but a few of the professions that made it onto my “Tonight, Matthew, I’m going to be…” list.

5yrs – 6yrs: Dancer
I had lessons. I was just never any good at it.

7yrs – 9yrs: Teacher
Is it wrong to base a career move based on the need to keep others in line? Okay I admit I just loved to call the fake registers.

10yrs: Restaurant Owner
Someone gave me an old telephone and I used to take imaginary food orders. I added the owner part as working in a Take Away didn’t seem to be ambitious enough.

11yrs: Professional
I had a pencil case, a briefcase and a calculator. I was destined for Wall Street.

12yrs: Actress
I had one good drama lesson. I figured I would get to meet Ethan Hawke. I soon realised that the paralysing fear of performing did not a good thespian make.

13yrs: Musician
I can play a little Recorder, a little Guitar, a little Horn and a little Piano. I’m bad at all the littles. Calling myself a musician… like calling Paint by Numbers art (sorry Jo).

14yrs – 15yrs: Interpreter
I can’t speak any other languages. I am limited to Xie Xie, Dove il gato? and Konnichi Wa. I was bolstered by a good parents evening and although my parents forked out for an electronic translator… it was not to be.

16yrs: Librarian
I love books. Have 900 of my own. As I dislike libraries for trusting local fools with their books again I came to the conclusion that I was barking up the wrong profession tree.

17yrs – 18yrs: Artist
This was a possibility as I can actually paint and I was at an age where decisions needed to be made. But while I could paint… I didn’t love doing it.

18yrs – 22yrs: Marketer
I had a knack for marketing; for segmenting the world, knowing what they wanted and how to make them buy it. I even went to university to try and confirm that this road was for me. It didn’t work. I’m not a con artist.

So this is my list. My to do’s that didn’t. You might be wondering what happened after 22yrs? Well, I work in a college office… biding my time until my lottery win. But I do have one dream, a dream that followed me through the teaching and the drawing and ivory tinkering.

That dream was to write, to open up my creative soul and let it spill through the medium of the written word.

At 29 I’m still waiting to do that something with my life but at least I feel that writing is my calling. All I need to do now is take myself seriously and then maybe others will too.
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