Wednesday, November 30, 2005

real air guitar?

Computer scientists in Finland have created the Virtual Air Guitar Project, which adds guitar sounds to the strumming of the air guitarist! I suspect Air Guitar Competitions may get somewhat louder in the future!

Monday, November 28, 2005

shopped out

On Saturday I braved the hoardes and took on Ikea and Bluewater to do my Christmas shopping. Ikea was a breeze but by the time we got to Bluewater the car park was heaving, Carluccio's had a queue the length of a bus and I was dying of thirst. Mum and I struggled on, stocking up on funky wrapping papers and heading out into the throngs to work our way down my list. Yes, I had planned ahead, I had a list. It was surprisingly helpful as it meant that I already knew which shops I needed and so just had to find them.

We managed to stop for lunch at 3:00ish, which having made the mistake of having no breakfast, could not come soon enough. A delicious porcini lasagna and a glass of red later, and I was dashing around, picking up the final presents and finding some fabulous party poppers and indoor sparklers in The White Company.

We drove home in the dark, ranting about the inability of people to drive in the correct lane on the motorway, amongst various other bug-bears, and was back in time for dinner. Then I dashed out to meet Sam, Donovan and others to celebrate Sam's birthday at Saqqara. Unfortunately by this time I was starting to flag and by 11pm I was having difficulty keeping my eyes open and so went home to bed, to sleep. Bliss.

Yesterday was wrapping day. The cats were asleep so it was the perfect time to get out the ribbon. By lunch time I was surrounded by neatly wrapped presents with bows, gems and name cards. So far I'm feeling fabulously organised & tonight I get down the tree ready for Thursday.

Wednesday, November 23, 2005

mmmmmm Porsches

It would seem that some German Police have been given Porsches to help chase our bad-boy-racers. It's certainly one incentive to help boost recruitment! However, I don't think even a Porsche would convince me to join the police. It could work on my brother though!

Tuesday, November 22, 2005


I'm not a big fan of days with little work, (obviously this excludes holidays, weekends and all those other times when I can ligitimately fill my time with reading books, etc) being at work and being bored makes the day drag horribly.

I've planned all the work that the office has to do for the next six weeks, which leaves me feeling especially organised, and just a little sad. I mean, it's my job to be organised but six weeks seems excessive. I wonder if people will look at me strangely when I start telling them what they will be doing in January.

This completed, I went back to planning something nearer to home. After the success of last nights parsnip and blue cheese soup, I've been thinking about food and dinner specifically. Why is it that my brain, when faced with hours of emptiness, always ends up coming around to food?

Friday, November 18, 2005

the kingfisher

I have finally found The Kingfisher poem that has been running around the back of my head for the past few weeks. It wasn't a Walter De La Mare poem at all, but W H Davies. I remember reading it as a child but for no apparent reason it popped into my head and has been floating around ever since.

Glad I found it at last! Now I just need to track down that John Donne book.

The Kingfisher

IT was the Rainbow gave thee birth,
And left thee all her lovely hues;
And, as her mother's name was Tears,
So runs it in my blood to choose
For haunts the lonely pools, and keep
In company with trees that weep.

Go you and, with such glorious hues,
Live with proud peacocks in green parks;
On lawns as smooth as shining glass,
Let every feather show its marks;
Get thee on boughs and clap thy wings
Before the windows of proud kings.

Nay, lovely Bird, thou art not vain;
Thou hast no proud, ambitious mind;
I also love a quiet place
That's green, away from all mankind;
A lonely pool, and let a tree
Sigh with her bosom over me.

W.H. Davies

Thursday, November 17, 2005

things i wish i had today

  • Bratwurst with rösti
  • My book of John Donne poetry (which mysteriously went missing two weeks ago)
  • A hammock
  • A bigger jumper
  • Fingerless gloves (pointless, but I still love them)


This morning I had to de-frost my car. It's the first time I've had to de-frost this particular car, having bought it after the weather started to warm in March. Although the car is lovely, the de-frosting has not become lovelier, it is still much the same as de-frosting any car, which is a pity.

There was also a frost on the grass as I drove up to the University. Beautiful little prickles of white grass and people wrapped in scarves with gloves and coats tightly done up. It's reassuring that the weather is finally getting colder, I had visions that we'd be having Christmas in t-shirts and shorts. There's nothing quite like a cold, clear Christmas morning, with the promise of mountains of food, wine and presents to make you feel all warm and snug inside. This year, for the first time in two years, I will not have to cook the Christmas Dinner, so I'm crossing my fingers for a clear bright morning to enjoy.

Wednesday, November 16, 2005


I hate being ill. I hate the aching joints, the chesty cough, the sore and swollen throat and streaming eyes. I hate feeling as if my head is full of dense matter, and that my brain has completely disappeared. I hate the cold feeling, despite being wrapped up in many layers, under a duvet and with the heating on. I hate it when the cat sits on your knee and becomes the most uncomfortable thing in the world. I hate the not sleeping, not wanting to eat and the endless tissues.

Fortunately I feel better now. No more tissues, duvets, unhappy cats or dense brains for me!

I love being well!

Thursday, November 10, 2005

rampant villagers

I was somewhat entertained this morning whilst reading The Argus. It would seem that the village I was born in, Scaynes Hill, is having issues with swingers and a fetish club.

"Nudist days, spanking evenings, fetish swingers parties and pole dancing have all been promised by Club Liberty, the new management, much to the dismay of neighbours in the heart of conservative rural Sussex."

As one villager pointed out, you don't really expect a fetish club in a small West Sussex village. Things have changed since my day!

Wednesday, November 09, 2005


Today I'm mostly feeling nervous but excited. Heehee, shake.

Tuesday, November 08, 2005

golden leaves

I'm missing the countryside again. I suspect the leaves are not helping. When I parked the car this morning, it was parked into a pile of lovely thick golden leaves. I put on my coat and scarf and had a sudden desire to grab my wellies from the back of the car, pull them on and kick all the leaves around. Unfortunately I quelled this desire, slung my bag over my shoulder, and climbed up the steps to my office. In hindsight it was the wrong decision, at 8:00am the car park is pretty much empty and so I wouldn't have embarassed myself too much.

The beginning of this week has been lovely and quiet. Now we are over half way through term, I can expect the work to quicken, and it will do as the week goes on. But I enjoyed a relaxed Sunday reading PD James, and a Monday evening cooking chicken casserole and playing with the cats.

On Friday I've booked myself another massage. It is turning into a regular weekly appointment now and has done my back a world of good. As I leave, I feel the whole world has been lifted, each muscle stretched slightly and then relaxed, falling back into place and not tensing. On Friday I was treated to some Reiki, a little unnerving at first, but by the end of it I could feel myself pulsing with energy.

On Saturday I'm having my hair cut again. I've now got used to having it that bit shorter, and that much curlier, and am looking forward to an hours worth of pampering. I've then got to make a start on the Christmas presents, before heading out to Ben's 30th Birthday Party in the evening. I promise to try not to point and giggle, after all, thirty isn't that far off for me.

Sunday, November 06, 2005

lewes bonfire

Lewes was great fun this year. For once I was able to see all the processions that came down the High Streeet, without being trampled on and squished in the crowds! Cliffe had canon which blew rookies out down the street, there was a fabulous German band who had joined in Commercial Square's procession and the costumes were beautiful as always.

Instead of going to Waterloo we went to Commercial Square, who were celebrating their 150th year. The fireworks were beautiful and although my neck had started to ache by the end of it, the rain held off and it was surprisingly warm for the whole evening.

Friday, November 04, 2005

birthday one

Happy Birthday to Rachel! Katharine and I will be cooking a delicious dinner tonight to celebrate Rachel's birthday as I can't make her party tomorrow due to the Lewes Bonfire Night.

I'm really looking forward to it. I haven't made it to Lewes in years, mostly because getting back on the trains is such a nightmare, but I have always loved the it. I used to live in Lewes until I was about 7, and even got my photo on the front page of the Sussex Express one year when I tagged along to a procession dressed as Little Bo Beep, complete with cuddly goat under my arm. Very sweet. However, I suspect that whichever Society I hopped along with were rather unimpressed!

This year I shall be camping out in my Dad's office, with the perfect view over the High Street for the processions, so hopefully will keep dry for some of the time.