Monday, October 31, 2011

happy halloween!

Happy Halloween! Are you doing anything spooky today? I might watch a scary film later on, but that's only if I can resist watching last night's Misfits. I'm so excited about the new series, although a little worried that it won't be so good without Nathan. Fingers crossed the writers won't have let us down. Do you see the spooky witch stamp on my train ticket from the weekend? The ticket inspector on the train seemed like a real jobsworth at first (making people sign unsigned railcards and asking to see seat reservations etc.) but he had brought in his own witchy craft punch to make all the tickets spooky and all the travellers were surprised and delighted when they spotted it, myself included. Very fun.
Elgin was good, although a weekend does always go by a bit too fast. Other than eating so much delicious food, the main activity of the week was organising and shopping for baby clothes. Here is Beyonce-Buble's new wardrobe laid out on my mum's living room table. As you can see, this baby is not going to be short on stripes. I was pleased to get so many unisex things that were not just cream or yellow and got especially excited looking at the navy outdoor suit in the top left corner there, I think because it is so thick that it actually looks like there is already a baby in there. These clothes are a mixture of hand-me-downs from my sister and her friends (things that she doesn't need for her own impending baby), things my mum and sister bought for me at a second-hand baby sale (you know what I mean and it's not a sale of second-hand babies!) in France and a few things we bought new this weekend. I will share just a couple of highlights with you.
Eeep! My mum found this at the second-hand baby sale in France and I just love it. It's so soft and snuggly and the colours are beautiful and just look at the embroidered leaves on the tree and the little bird above the pocket. I can't wait to see our baby in this. There was another lovely knitted suit amongst the second-hand baby sale items, which is plain charcoal grey with a nice cable in it, also super soft and snuggly. I don't know if French baby clothes are more lovely or if there was just someone with great taste getting rid of a lot of stuff at this sale, but either way it worked out well for us.
This is a hand-me-down from my sister that I was very excited to see. I bought this for my eldest niece Kim (now six) because it reminded me of the stripy baby Toby from Labyrinth. I remember holding Kim in this outfit when she was super-duper tiny and it was so snuggly and cute. It's made from velour. I think my other niece and nephew have also worn it, but Kerry thought I should have it back for Beyonce-Buble this time around. Aw!

It's just occurred to me that I might not have referred to the baby as Beyonce-Buble here before and you could be feeling rather confused reading this. We've been calling the baby that for quite a long time, since it seemed right to have a name to refer to it by (rather than "it" or "he/she") but I didn't like using names we might actually use in the end. The Beyonce part comes from the fact that fancy lady Beyonce is also expecting and the Buble part... Well, Graham's hairdresser was telling him that in Chinese culture, babies are named by their grandparents. We were speculating about what sort of names our parents would choose for the baby and decided that Graham's mum (a dedicated Michael Buble fan who can use the word "Buble" so many times in one sentence that it stops making any sense) would definitely go for Buble. So the name Beyonce-Buble was born and in my mind it is completely unisex so it doesn't make me imagine the baby as either a girl or a boy particularly, something I am keen to avoid doing.
Here are two more great things about being in Elgin - the real log fire and Patch the elderly three-legged cat. We were trying to work out how old he was this weekend and think he might be about 22 in human years, making him over 150 in cat years! He's been missing a leg for about 20 years and is getting very stiff, short-sighted and hard-of-hearing, but he is a lovely cat who purrs a lot. This year he has stopped wanting to go to the toilet in the garden, so has a litter tray in the bathroom. He won't use it when anyone else is in there though, so he queues up in the morning and waits for him turn. Aw.

And so completes my final post for Blogtoberfest. Although the quality certainly varied (it's probably not a good sign that my blog has less followers/members now than it did at the start of the month!) I am still very proud of myself for managing to blog every single day. I had thought I might take the whole of November off if I succeeded, but now I find I have all sorts of things I want to share here because it's become so normal to write something every day. I'm certainly not going to keep up the daily blogging, but I will definitely be back soon to share my latest crocheted creation and whatever else is on my mind.

Enjoy the rest of Halloween and don't forget that today is Day In The Life, so you can blog about every little thing you do if you fancy joining in.

Sunday, October 30, 2011

train tracks cause bad backs

089 by
089, a photo by on Flickr.

Phew! Following a six hour door to door trek, I am back in Glasgow after my weekend in Elgin. The journey was really pretty good. I finished my latest crochet project about ten minutes outside Glasgow so was entertained all the way, but I am now seriously pooped with a sore tail bone and ain't got the energy to upload the photos necessary for my planned post. But isn't this dress print lovely enough to use instead? It does have train tracks on it, so is not totally unconnected really. I'll be back tomorrow with pictures of baby clothes, a little bit of Halloween fun and my thoughts on having completed blogtoberfest (plus a giant pat on my own back). Just one day to go...

And don't forget that tomorrow is the designated Day In The Life date for October if you fancy joining in and sharing the minutiae of your day on your own blog.

Saturday, October 29, 2011

a postcard from elgin

Having a lovely time here in Elgin. The train journey to get here was very pleasant (I crocheted all the way from Stirling to Keith) and the weather has been beautiful since I arrived. I have mostly been spending my time crocheting by the fire with Patch the three-legged cat for company, but have also been eating lots (and lots) of very tasty food, admiring the wildlife and scenery, and visiting lots of charity and non-charity shops with my mother. We bought some baby clothes and it made me feel very organised.

Wish you were here!


Friday, October 28, 2011

underground resistance

Glasgow underground is being "modernised". They cancelled the plans to extend the route (which would have been amazing) and instead are replacing the orange and brown colour scheme that I love so much with...
... boring and nondescript white tiles. How depressing. Hillhead station is being changed at the moment and every day a few more of the interesting tiles are hidden by the attack of the bland. Yeuch. I will admit the underground system does look dated, but it was really just beginning to look dated in a very good way and I do think they should have tried to hold on to its identity just a bit. I know the Glasgow underground is no Prague metro, but perhaps it could have angled itself as Prague metro's cousin. Not any more. Boo.
One good thing about the work getting done has been seeing all the exposed brickwork in the roof space. I can't think of any other good things about it so far.

In other news, I just can't believe how happy I am. This morning I was looking at the mess (our mess) that surrounded me in the kitchen (our kitchen) and I couldn't stop smiling. Just thought I'd share that! Hope you managed to keep your breakfast down...

Better go and pack my bags before I hit the road. I did have an exciting guest post planned for tomorrow, but the guest blogger has been sacked after making non-committal/maybe noises about whether or not he really would blog. I am not blogging 28 days in a row just to have unreliable staff let me down on day 29! So somehow I will have to find a way to blog from Elgin without my mum and dad noticing. Yes, I like to keep my blog as secret as possible from people who actually know me. This is strange behaviour, I will admit, but I know I'm not alone in it. Most of my friends have found my blog by now, but I'd really rather they hadn't. If only I hadn't designed a logo with my real name on it, then I could have stayed anonymous for ever.

Thursday, October 27, 2011

the good news and bad news of new shoes

These are the new shoes I mentioned a few weeks back. They are very... sensible, which is just what I was after. The bad things about these shoes are 1) they are bruising my ankles because I am not used to sensible shoes that actually support things like ankles, 2) they have developed a slight squeak which makes me feel very self-conscious when making my very frequent trips across the office floor to the toilet, 3) the soles are quite bouncy and give me a funny walk a bit like Will from The Inbetweeners, 4) they are very... sensible. However, these shoes' one major good point outweighs all of these bad points, namely that they keep my feet dry! I have been out in all sorts of torrential rain, wading through puddles etc. and my feet have stayed cosy and dry as a bone. In the 13 years I have lived in Glasgow, I think this is the first time I have been able to go outside in autumn/winter and not get wet feet. Hooray!
Later on tonight I am going to have one of the cherry and cinnamon scones I made the other day. Yes, even though I blog every single day, I still manage to do all sorts of things that readers of this blog don't know nuffink about! (Not really - I just forgot to blog about them until I saw the photo on my camera tonight.) The scones turned out really delicious, but this will be the first one from the freezer that I have tried. I hope it's still nice. If so, I will take one as part of my packed lunch for my long train journey tomorrow. I am going away for the weekend to visit my parents, leaving Graham in charge of things around here. I am looking forward to being mothered (and fathered) and fed. I'm going to take some crochet for the train journey too, so I want to go and finish the cardigan for my sister's baby tonight (just half a sleeve to go!) so that I can take a new project with me tomorrow.

Wednesday, October 26, 2011

another day in the office

Well, I feel a bit lame blogging about what I have been subtitling two days in a row, but it's not just laziness. I actually had a totally different post planned for tonight (two to choose from in fact!) but I just had to blog about Frozen Planet instead. It's on BBC 1 tonight at 9pm and it is just so, so good. The animals in tonight's episode are amazing, but the little bit about snowflakes (see clip above) really tickled my fancy. I never knew that each snowflake was formed around a particle of dust. There's something about that idea that I just love. I will look at the first snow shower quite differently this year, thinking how if the world didn't have dust (current bane of my life since our neighbours are knocking down practically every wall in their flat) then we wouldn't have snowflakes at all.

Tuesday, October 25, 2011

Monday, October 24, 2011

sunday at the cinema

Yesterday afternoon we went to see We Need To Talk About Kevin. I was really in two minds about whether or not to go. I thought this could be the most ill-advised film for a pregnant person to watch (I was also worried about it putting the parenting fear into Graham) but, because it was directed by Lynne Ramsay and had such great reviews, I couldn't resist in the end. I'm glad that I did go and see it. It was a really engrossing film and gave me lots to think about without actually giving me any fears that I didn't already have. I'd be really interested (if time travel was possible and I could take a copy of this film back with me) to see what my reaction would have been before I got pregnant. I seemed to be a lot more angry with the father's character than Graham was and it reminded me of the time we watched Control (the biopic about Ian Curtis) in the early stages of pregnancy. That film left me quite furious and vowing to turn off the radio whenever a Joy Division song came on, a reaction I'm sure was down to hormones and anxiety. I've calmed down now though!

Sunday, October 23, 2011

have you seen this yet?

Have you seen this exciting new item from Asking For Trouble? It's a five year diary. Designed for people who are not very good at keeping a diary usually, it has just a small box to record a few notes for each day. You start it on January 1st 2012, fill it in all year and then go back to the next box on page one on January 1st 2013... and so on. Come the end of 2016, you can look at any page and see what you did on that specific date over the last five years. It also has some other exciting features like a personal profile you can fill in once a year to see how your tastes and fancies have changed too. I think this is such a fun idea and I might have to treat myself to one for Christmas. I have quite a lot of half used diaries lying about (I found a few when looking for that issue of Melody Maker the other week) but I think even I could jot down a couple of notes each day and hopefully not just write, "Went to work, had dinner, watched telly, went to bed," five days a week either!

Have you seen any fun items popping up on the internet lately? All Christmas present ideas would be gratefully received!

Saturday, October 22, 2011

things I saw on my travels

Yesterday afternoon Graham and I needed to go into town for some stuff. I took my camera and photographed some fun sights. I thought this bike was very lovely and the flowery shower cap keeping the seat dry added a bit of colour to a very dull, grey and rainy day.
This foxy hat made us both laugh. I think it was in the window of River Island, but I may be wrong. I was too intent on not being caught taking photos in a shopping centre to pay much attention to the name of the shop.
I'm pleased to see the bakers have all got their garish halloween cakes on display, but I don't think I'll be eating any. I'm a bit frightened of this level of food colouring.

I am in a prime grump today and have that icky, fuggy feeling that is either caused by too much sleep or not enough of it, I'm not sure which. I have a perma-scowl on and can't bring myself to do nothing or anything. Harumph. I'm quite fancying climbing back under the covers for a long afternoon nap, but I don't think that would be the most sensible thing to do in the long run. Maybe putting the heating on would help. Brrr! My plans for later are to watch the X Factor, go to bed at a reasonable hour and hopefully wake up in a better frame of mind/body tomorrow.

Friday, October 21, 2011

three little hurrahs

The view from up here - Lola worshipping at the altar of my belly.

Just a wee high-speed post today. Three good things.

1. I slept all night last night! I even stayed in bed until 10am! I feel so much better!

2. Yesterday, when I tried on my tights to see where the first incision would have to be made, I realised that they were actually OK just as they are. Seems like my bump is now robust enough to stand its ground against nylon and lycra... if that is what tights are even made of? Yippee!

3. I don't have to go back to work until Tuesday now. Hooray for a four-day weekend!

Thursday, October 20, 2011

today's challenge

Denier Nylon Tights from circa 1950s by billyrosendale
Denier Nylon Tights from circa 1950s, a photo by billyrosendale on Flickr.
Very cute vintage tights packaging, I thought, though I'm not sure what purpose the cat serves...

I mentioned yesterday that I had been in town looking for a dress to wear to a wedding reception tomorrow night. The pickings were slim - New Look had got rid of their entire maternity section (the only one in Glasgow's city centre with more than three items to choose from) and everywhere else seemed to have nothing but jeans and big woolly jumpers. In the end, I found something in Dorothy Perkins. Their maternity section was actually larger than expected and they had a whole five dresses to choose from. Unfortunately, none of them really grabbed me, so I thought the best thing to do was to try them all on. Four of them looked like flabby old flour sacks and one looked much nicer on than it did on the hanger, so I bought it. Looking at it on their website now, I think maybe I bought it a size too small, but c'est la vie. So after buying the dress, I went to get a pair of maternity tights, but the dress is decidedly navy and apparently maternity tights only come in black. Nooooo! So today's challenge is to convert a normal pair of navy tights from my drawer into a pair of maternity tights by inserting some sort of panel. While lying awake for 90 of last night (that's now three consecutive nights without sleep - zzzzzzzzzz) I spent my time thinking about how best to tackle this and came to the conclusion that I really don't know what I'm doing. Initially I had thought about using stretchy material for the panel, but I worry this will make the tights liable to fall down. The dress is quite short, so any falling down leaves me in peril of showing off my gusset - always a totally classy look! So now I'm thinking a non-stretchy panel in the hope that the stretch from the tights will do the job of providing flexibility and comfort, although it would be nice if the tights would grow with me over the coming months, something I'm not sure they'll do with a non-stretchy panel. Then there is the question of what shape and size to make the panel and whether to have one big panel at the front or maybe two V-shaped panels at the sides... Never having seen a pair of maternity tights out of their packaging, I am kind of clueless as to how they work. The most important factors (my design brief!) are that I should be comfortable and that I should have no unsightly bulges... apart from the baby bump, obviously. Oh, it's a challenge all right! I will let you know how it goes.

ps I'm not sure why Blogger won't let me change the size of this font. I hope you are not suffering from eye strain now. Sorry.

Wednesday, October 19, 2011

lucky me!

On the way back from town (where I had to find a pregnant-lady-appropriate outfit to wear to a wedding reception in two days' time and was reduced to tears by the harassment of charity workers combined with the effects of another sleepless night) something really fun happened. As I was walking along Great Western Road in the sunshine, I noticed...
... a book sitting on a table outside Roots & Fruits. I thought it belonged to someone in the shop, but a few doors on I noticed a book sitting on a table outside Felix & Oscar and then another book sitting on a table outside Cafe Alba. My suspicions aroused, I looked more closely and spotted...
... this sticker on the corner of each book and realised that all three books were free to a good home. I had a good look at them all, but ended up choosing the first one I had seen, which was...
... Smoking Ears And Screaming Teeth by Trevor Norton, a book all about people who have experimented on themselves and the consequences. I am more of a fiction reader usually, but this book sounded fun and interesting and I thought it might overcome my currently poor concentration skills with its outrageous truths.

All the books were being given away as part of the Guardian and Observer Book Swap. Apparently thousands of books are being left all over the country. I feel very lucky to have found one and it has the double bonus of giving me something (an actual thing) to blog about today too! I'm glad I happened to have my camera in my bag for once because it means I can go and add my photos to the website. Actually, I had better do that later since I need to eat before work. I hope I don't have to subtitle anything too emotional tonight - sleep deprivation is really making me weepy (even though I feel very happy with my day and life in general) and it is always embarrassing to cry in the middle of the office... as I discovered when subtitling Undercover Boss yesterday. Wish me luck!

Tuesday, October 18, 2011

cats + fire = lazy blogging

I'm really running out of Blogtoberfest momentum but, not being ready to admit defeat yet, I thought I would do yet another post about how nice it is to have an operational fire and cats to enjoy it with. I had a very productive morning yesterday (doing crafty stuff too functional/boring and too Christmassy to share here now) before crashing and burning and spending the rest of the day generally being exhausted/lazy. It was so rainy outside yesterday and the flat was absolutely freezing, so Poppy, Lola and I were all very glad to have the fire on for the evening. Graham was glad too since it meant he could dry out his soaking wet cycling shoes as seen behind the cats there.
It all got a bit too much for Lola in the end and she spent most of the night with her tummy on display.
Just look at her little face! Aw, I love her so much.

Sad as I know I sound, I am off to vegetate in front of some crap telly until bed time. I woke up at 3.45am this morning and did not get back to sleep, which is why it was such bad news when my work phoned me at 8.45am (just when I had decided to go back to bed for the morning) to tell me I would have to come in on my day off. It wasn't so bad once I got there and I spent most of the day subtitling watching a film again, but I am now shattered and a bit brain dead. I'm going to try to hold off from going to bed until 10pm for fear of waking up at stupid o'clock if I go to bed too early. I think the baby has had as little sleep as me (it kicked away all night and kicked me all day at work in its usually quiet time) but it is showing no signs of flagging yet. Oof! I love it when it has active days like this - it's just nice to know it's definitely there.

Monday, October 17, 2011

pick me up

A few years ago I was completely addicted to reading this magazine. My sister loved it too. We both loved it so much that I even got her a year's subscription to it for her first (paper) wedding anniversary. Eventually I had to go cold turkey on Pick Me Up because it was actually making me depressed.
So I don't buy Pick Me Up any more and my life is infinitely better for it, but I do still like to flick through certain features when I see it on the shelves of the supermarket. The tip-offs page is always my first port of call, full of useful and useless tips. I think the useless ones were probably my favourite. But look closely at the tip-offs page above. Do you see anything you recognise? My kitchen table perhaps?
Here it is! Yes, I went through a phase of actually submitting tips to Pick Me Up and had a few of them featured, which was great because a) Kerry and I found it absolutely hilarious to see my blurry photographs (I only had a disposable camera) and ridiculous tips appearing in the magazine and b) Pick Me Up sent me a cheque for £25 every time they used one. Woo hoo! I should confess now that I have never tried putting wine through the Sodastream to make "champagne"... but I do know someone who has!

One of my other most amazing tip-offs to be featured was my discovery that if you burn something to a pan so badly that it is completely black and will not come off, all you need to do is heat some tinned tomatoes in said pan and then the black marks will clean off easily. I had missed buying Pick Me Up the week that was featured (about the only issue I did miss back in those dark days) but, thanks to my sister's annual subscription, I did get to hear about it after the fact.
This issue of Pick Me Up also held something very exciting.
It's somewhere on this page and it gives a little nod to my tomatoes tip-off. Can you see it?
It's a poem by my sister all about the tip-offs page. If you're having trouble reading it, you should be able to click on the image to see a larger version. Believe it or not, every one of the tips she references in the poem was genuinely found in the pages of Pick Me Up, even the one about using sanitary towels as slippers. It gives you a good idea of why we found Pick Me Up so hilarious, I think. However, five years later and my sister is still waiting for her promised payment. Shame on you, Pick Me Up!

Sunday, October 16, 2011

my "working" sunday

This is my Friday night, the end of my working week. I'm pooped, but actually had a pretty nice day considering it was a Sunday and I was at work for ten hours. I kept striking it lucky with my subtitling tasks today and landed loads of versioned repeats. If you're lucky, this can sometimes mean pretty much just watching a programme with subtitles and today I was very lucky indeed.
My morning started with Jonathan Creek...

...followed by Blackadder II...

...followed by The Illusionist. This was not the film I had expected when I saw the title sitting in the list of subtitling jobs to be done, but it was very enjoyable nonetheless. I bet you are wishing you applied for that job vacancy I told you about now, right? Yes, someone actually pays me to do this! Still glad to have the day off tomorrow though!

Saturday, October 15, 2011

this post contains nudity, strong language and frightening stuff

We watched American Werewolf In London quite recently. It was Graham's suggestion one evening, though I had been thinking about it a lot. I've seen a few interviews with John Landis where he talks about his thinking behind this transformation scene and how it seemed obvious to him that it would really, really hurt for your body to change its physical shape that much, something that previous werewolf films hadn't really shown before. John Landis is a wise man. It never crossed my mind that pregnancy would work in much the same way. I swear I can hear my ribs cracking today. Ouch. Still loving it though :)

Friday, October 14, 2011

triple link whammy

Lovely mustard loggy wallpaper by Roddy & Ginger. It's right up my street.
Roddy & Ginger's online shop and etsy shop and blog.
Very lovely lighthouse print by Marcus Walters, posed alongside some equally lovely stripy glassware. Marcus Walter's online shop.

And the third link - notes to a further excuse, a lovely blog I started reading quite recently where I found both the items above this week. You should go and have a look round if you have a hankie ready for mopping up the drool. So much nice stuff in one place!

Man alive, blogging every day is hard now I'm back at work and doing the dreaded morning, noon and night shifts. The shift is only 10 hours long, but somehow leaves no time or energy at either side of it. I'm not sure how much longer I'll be able to keep up my Blogtoberfest vow... but I'll try!

Thursday, October 13, 2011

the end of my tether (an appropriately titled book?)

If I achieved one great thing in my week off (apart from making the world's greatest cardigan that I can't go a single post without mentioning) then it was to finish this book at long bleedin' last. It was a struggle. My concentration skills are not the best at the moment and maybe I would have romped through this book and enjoyed it at any other time, but then again maybe I wouldn't. Have you read it? Was it any good? I honestly don't know! I did like all the mythical folklorish stuff in it. It told me that cats born in May are guaranteed to be trouble. When were my cats born? Mm-hm! It also told me that you should spit whenever you see a white horse, something my granda always claimed, spitting in his hand whenever we passed a white horse in the car, though nobody ever knew where he got the idea from.

When I did the last Day In The Life post on September 2nd, I mentioned being relieved that one of the cats distracted me from a book I had just started because I couldn't work out who any of the characters were. Well, that was this book and 600-and-odd pages later, I still couldn't work out who was who, who was dead, who was alive or what was going on. I was tempted to stop reading this book so many times, but I find that very difficult to do so I kept going. I was still tempted to just stop reading it about 15 pages from the end, surely a bad sign! As I said, I persevered and finished it, though I'm not sure there was that much point. I haven't got a clue what I just read.

Now I am reading a book called The Adventures Of A Bed Salesman, which is not as naughty as it sounds (it's actually more about life in 1960s East Germany than it is about sex, I think) and so far I am enjoying its large type. Ah, the simple pleasures...

Wednesday, October 12, 2011

cosy cats, big bellies, special scones

For a while Poppy was a bit wary of my baby bump and Lola got my lap all to herself. Now, as you can see, the bump and my lap are both suddenly very popular. I love it when both the cats sit on me at once, especially when I have my crochet right beside me for easy entertainment within arms' reach. You can probably also tell from this photo that the glowing stage of pregnancy seems to be over. It was disappointingly short-lived!
The baby was actually investigating Poppy's purring head when this photo was being taken. I was surprised Poppy hung around as long as she did...
...but she did abandon me for Graham's lap eventually. Since I got pregnant, Graham's lap is usually Poppy's first choice. It's quite sweet really. Poppy used to go crazy and maul Graham every time he tried to stroke her. Nowadays she gazes at him all besotted instead.
And here's another cosy scene from the same night. I set my belly free for a bit (and broke my vow not to put any bare-belly shots on this blog) and Lola snuggled in. Soft cat fur on a bare belly is such a nice feeling. Mmmm! My belly looks like the moon here, but isn't it well moisturised? I got a few more stretch marks this week, but am persevering with the moisturisation anyway. That said, I've just realised I forgot to do it this morning. Oops.

So it's the last day of my holidays and I'm trying to have a productive morning before allowing myself a lazy afternoon of crocheting in front of the telly. I have made it into the mess of the craft room at last but am not sure where to start with the tidying. Hmmm. I think I'll allow myself to be satisfied with just a small dent in the mess. I was also planning to make cherry and cinnamon scones today (by adapting this basic recipe) but that would involve leaving the house to get cherries and it is dank outside. Yes, dank is definitely the word. Eugh. So I might leave the scones for another day, especially since I am making a scone-like pizza base for dinner tonight. I haven't made scones since I was a very small child, but have been fancying a cherry and cinnamon scone for weeks. (We have cinnamon shower gel at the moment, so I fancy cinnamon something most days.) When I was 17 or 18 I used to drag my long-haired motorcycling boyfriend to a little tearoom with frilly tablecloths about once a week so that I could have a cherry and cinnamon scone with a hot chocolate. He always looked a bit uncomfortable, but the scones were so good it was worth it. I'm hoping I'll strike it lucky and manage to recreate the taste of those scones on the first attempt. All scone-making tips gratefully received :)

Tuesday, October 11, 2011

fancy being a subtitler?

colour television by dropstitch
colour television, a photo by dropstitch on Flickr.

Two posts in one day? Controversial! But I keep meaning to mention (and keep forgetting) that my work are hiring at the moment, looking for subtitlers for the Glasgow office. The deadline for application is the 14th and you can find all the details here. I really like my job - lots of nice colleagues, just the right balance of challenging/not challenging, plus you get to pat yourself on the back for providing a valuable service without it taking over your non-working life. Oh yeah, and you get paid to watch telly! Best not mention that last point in your application though ;)

the 101 of glamour (not really)

I made the mistake of looking at vintage craft books on etsy the other day. Now that was an untapped vein of greatness and consumer cravings if ever I saw one! I really want this book, among others, but if there is one thing I probably don't need, it's more vintage craft books. Well, I do have room for more on my shelves and in my heart, but I don't think I should allow myself to get into buying vintage craft books online, especially not from America. Hmm. You'll notice I can't bring myself to post a link to this book just in case someone else buys it, though! If I bought this (bargain though it is) I think it would be opening the floodgates and goodness only knows where it would end. I will resist... for now.

I told myself I was going to begin sorting out the craft room today, but our new neighbours are getting lots of work done to their flat this week and the builders keep setting off their burglar alarm. It is L-O-U-D loud! In the craft room it is really unbearably loud. I think I know this is a poor excuse. After all the baby scares and stresses of last week, it was a conscious decision to cancel any hard-working/practical plans and just use my time off to put my feet up. But now I can't quite believe I have to go back to work the day after tomorrow and then won't have any proper time off until (gulp!) maternity leave. What have I achieved in my week off? Other than crocheting the world's greatest cardigan, of course.

I'm feeling a bit overwhelmed today, having been pushed over the edge by Boots (how dare they?!) sending me a parenting magazine. It was full of useful tips about what I should be doing to get organised in these final three months pre-baby, but I couldn't even look at it without having a flaky. I feel so far away from being able to tackle anything practical. I just don't know where to even begin. Sigh... Plus I was back at the doctor about my wonky ticker this morning and was hoping that would be the end of it, but my blood tests didn't provide any answers and then the doctor noticed yet another anomaly with my heartbeat that he hadn't picked up before so I am having to go and see a cardiologist. I'm not really worried about it (the doctor was very reassuring and thinks I am probably wonky within the realms of normality) but it just seems like one more thing that has to be sorted out/thought about.

I feel like I need to achieve something practical today for my peace of mind, but all I really want to do is have a nap on the sofa in front of some crappy afternoon telly. Hmmm. Do I use the last of my valuable time off to continue to relax and recharge, or do I force myself to do something, knowing that when I go back to work on Thursday I will have even less energy? Bah. It'll all be OK in the end, I'm sure, and at least the baby won't be short of cardigans!

Monday, October 10, 2011

annalise and the messiah

For most of the 1990s my friend Julia and I (pictured above in about 1997/8) were in a band together. To begin with we had a few more members and we went through a few different names, but ultimately the band was just us two and we were called Annalise And The Messiah. Before we were able to get into pubs, we spent almost all of our free time writing and recording songs, making T-shirts, writing stories about ourselves, even making a film, which I really wish I could share here, but I only have on VHS. We used to distribute our "albums" to anyone who gave us a blank tape to copy them onto. We also gave copies of our tapes to celebrities and bands that we liked. Two bands actually asked if they could cover one of our songs, though neither came to fruition. I have a postcard somewhere from Tim Wheeler (from Ash) thanking us for our "disturbing" tape and asking us if we'd mind if Ash covered Sheila The Impaler. Can you imagine finding a postcard like that on your doormat at the age of 15?! Very exciting!
Another of our band's highlights came in 1995 when we sent off a demo tape to Melody Maker. We were highly sceptical that it would ever actually be reviewed, but the very next fortnight, there was Annalise And The Messiah featured in the national music press! At the time I was 15 and Julia would have been 16. I don't think many people could understand why were so excited about such a scathing review, but to us this was the best thing ever and it still makes me laugh even now.
I was particularly proud that our lyrics were misquoted. Instead of, "You, you are the mango fruit of my bum," we actually sang, "You, you are the pamanga fruit of my bum," the pamanga fruit being a fictional fruit from an episode of Power Rangers. (Well, durr!)

I have lots of our songs stored right here on my computer and would actually love to share some of them with you in all their lo-fi greatness (you can hear Julia's mum cleaning the doorbell in the background to one of the songs) but have no idea how I would do that. Maybe one day!
Here are some pictures of how I looked back in those halcyon days. With green hair and a ridiculously flat stomach at T In The Park in 1995, sporting a rucksack I made myself out of a pair of my old school trousers and a top from the charity shop. I haven't really changed much, have I? Well, apart from the flat stomach!
And here I am in Julia's bedroom wearing a vintage top from a car boot sale and the tiniest little Union Jack mini skirt that I loved and my mum hated.

If anyone knows an easy way to share mp3s on Blogger then do let me know and I'll put up a selection of our tunes. I'll also add that postcard from Ash if I can find it.

I'll be back tomorrow with another very different press feature featuring yours truly...