Saturday, December 23, 2006

Five things...

I am very excited about being tagged by Fat Roland - it makes me feel very important. Thinking of five things which people are unlikely to know about me but likely to want to know is a bit difficult but I'll give it a go...

1. Marmite may have saved my life: I did a gap year in Uganda in 1997-98 and was not very happy or very well. I had malaria twice and dysentry for the best part of 10 months and screaming nightmares most nights. We spent three months living in little villages in north Uganda where people don't always wear clothes. But I was quite ill - I spent a lot of the time lying on my 'bed' except for when I had to crawl to the pit latrine. So they sent me back to civilisation where I felt ill and didn't want to eat anything but Marmite on toast. An expat very kindly made the necessary sacrifices and voila, I am still alive.

2. I haven't played original Monopoly for 5 or 6 years: I realised that I was too competetive and only nejoyed playing if I was winning and even then felt very tense because I might stop winning, so it was no fun for me or for anyone else. I made a New Year's resolution not to play any more and am much happier. I have played Muppet monopoly and I believe I might even have won - but if you aren't fighting for Mayfair and Park Lane, it just isn't the same...

3. I have recently learnt to enjoy shopping: I used to hate it but now, finally, we have enough money that it doesn't have to be the perfect jumper, beacuse I can buy another one if I want to. And it's not a choice between clothes and food any more so I don't feel guilty. I still hate the crowds but the decision-making is much less stressful.

4. I don't like buttons. I don't know why. But I don't like clothes with them on, I don't like seeing them on other people's clothes and I don't like reading or saying the word. I do have two shirts which have them on, which I'm not particularly happy about, but I won't buy anything which has decorative ones or fancy or oversized ones. I also don't buy cardigans or big winter coats due to nearly always having them on. I don't remember anything traumatic in my childhood which could cause this dislike. It's just a bit weird.

5. I passed my driving theory test yesterday so am now theoretically safe to drive. Next week - three point turns!

So, I tag Rexor, Tony, Jolan, Em and Sheepy. Go go go!

Edit: I changed no. 4 from something about my family to something a bit more interesting.

Monday, December 18, 2006

Feeling less than human...

There are some things which irritate me about blogs.

1. Being asked to prove I'm human by trying to decipher illegible, slanty words in a wiggly blurry font. Ben's blog puts it like this:

"Not a spammer? You can post your comment by proving that you're a human below."

I know spam is bad. I've had spam on my blog. I just can't always tell the difference between the letters...

2. People referring to other people by just their initial. Again, I know there are good reasons for this. And I have been picked up on my blog before for using people's names when they'd rather I didn't. But names are nice. And if I know who you are, and I know who you're referring to, I would like it if you used their whole name.

What do you mean, you don't actually blog entirely for my benefit? How does that work, eh?

Maybe I'm just a bit irritable today.

Is blogging about bloggin a bit like reading the media supplement in the Guardian?

Friday, December 15, 2006

Baby, it's cold outside

We have bought a big new fridge with a whole freezer compartment, to use rather than the under-the-counter fridge with icebox we've used up til now. This is much better but not as wildly exciting as I had imagined it would be. Maybe I'm just not one of life's natural consumers.

Because of this (the new fridge, not the state of being a consumer - or not) I cleaned out the old one. I really like doing this every once in a while. Not as much as having a lie in, for example, but it involved spilling water across the whole floor and putting bowls of hot water in the freezer to defrost it. It's just a bit messy.

I have another driving lesson tomorrow and my theory test next Friday. I'm fairly confident as I can answer most of the questions i the book of questions and one of the ones I can't usually answer is about towing caravans, which doesn't feel like vital knowledge to non-caravan-towing me. Last week I did driving in the dark at rush hour and, as I survived (despite the best effort of driver-turning-right-in-front-of-me-without-indicating), I feel quite competent and it did push me, so it was quite good. Think I'll be doing roundabouts tomorrow.

Also tomorrow is Sanctus's Christmas Ceilidh which I have helped to organise. I have a lovely new skirt for this (there's some words my mother probably would never have expected to hear from me when I was growing up) but I'm not expecting to do too much dancing. After a wedding and a christmas do involving dancing, both with ankle-pain afterwards, I think I'll be semi-sensible.

Blogger are offering a new Beta Blogger system. Doesn't look too different except you sign in with a googlemail address (which I have) and can have a private blog. Anyone have any thoughts on this?

Here ends the world's longest blog post ever...

Monday, December 04, 2006

Well, it IS Christmas

1. Wrapping paper or gift bags? Always wrapping paper. I love wrapping presents! Sometimes more successfully than others, but I really enjoy doing it.

2. Real tree or artificial? I love real Christmas trees. The smell is the thing. When I was younger I used to make my Mum buy ones which were quite clearly too big for the living room. Sadly, Matt isn't game for cutting the top off the tree. So we just get one that fits.

3. When do you put up the tree? Once it's December and we have an opportunity to get one.

4. When do you take the tree down? As late as I can get away with. Preferable before it's really dead.

5. Do you like eggnog? No. My favourite Christmas drink is spiced hot apple juice. It's apple juice with cloves and cinnamon in, heated up. I'm always happy to drink vodka and coke as well...

6. Do you have a nativity scene? No.

7. Mail or email Christmas cards? Post every time. I have actually written all of them. They're waiting for Matt to sign them so they can be posted next weekend. Last year we left it so late that they probably arrived after Christmas, if at all. Sorry about that!

8. Favorite Christmas Movie? I used to love Digby the Biggest Dog in the World. But they don't show it any more. I always cry at ET too. Not really Christmassy but I do like them.

9. Favorite thing to eat at Christmas? Chocolate. Especially Christmas tree chocolates earlier than Christmas Day because we were never allowed to at home.

10. Clear lights or coloured on the tree? Clear

11. Favorite Christmas song? I don't really have one.

12. Travel at Christmas or stay home? I like having Christmas at home. This year most of my family are coming for Christmas Day and I'm excited/nervous. Matt was asked to swap his Christmas night shift for someone else's Christmas Eve shift so I am very happy to have my husband at home for the whole of Christmas day. Though he'll be asleep in the morning.

13. Angel on the tree top or a star? We don't actually have either but I'd like a star.

14. Open the presents Christmas Eve or morning? Opening stockings on Christmas morning and then the rest of the presents after lunch.

15. Most annoying thing about this time of year? It's so cold and dark...

16. Favourite for Christmas dinner? Turkey is traditional. One year I helped at a lunch for lonely old people and had my Christmas dinner later than everyone else, and I had a turkey sandwich, which I liked very much. Christmassy without the fuss.

Thanks to Mary Beth for this...

Saturday, December 02, 2006

Christmas doings

Last night was the work Christmas do, which I was really quite nervous about. I've never been to proper one before due to not having worked anywhere that had them. It was a nearly entirely enjoyable evening - a couple of people snogging people who weren't the people they were going out with and a few of those 'who can I find to talk to so I don't look like I have no friends?' moments. It was my first time in footwear other than steal-toe-capped safety boots since my leg came out of plaster, which was brilliant but now launches me back into the world of havig to make decisions about shoes. I danced a lot and re-discovered that I just can't dance with other people. It involves too much co-ordination and working out what the other person is goig to do and what they expect you to do. But I had a lot of fun dancing with people anyway. And I only fell over once.

Managed to resist the pressure to drink too much ("I have a driving lesson tomorrow") and go out in Staly Vega afterwards ("I have a drinving lesson tomorrow") and it was very nice to come home to my lovely husband and my nice warm bed.