Monday, December 24, 2007

The Christmas Run-Around

Thursday: Lunchtime: Buy turkey. Finish work: Head home, do and check a few bits before dashing out to town to pick up a few bits and bobs.

Friday: Day off. Hoped to have time to blog, but didn't have the time between making some things and wrapping others. Well, and some of the things that I made. Friday evening: Off with Quna to her place, about 2.5 hours away, where she had wanted to hop once more before Christmas.

Saturday: Head another couple of hours north to see Quna's grandad, parents, and sister. On our way home, a policecar sped past us - as it was roughly Ing's patch, we wondered if it could have been him :) It was then roughly four hours back down south to see my parents, where we stopped for the night.

Sunday: We were in the car for 10:05 so that Quna would be able to listen to The Archers (She's so Radio 4! :) ) - myself, Quna, my sister, and a big pile of pressies. For I am having all of those at my home for Christmas :) The drive back to mine to slightly longer than usual - 3.5 hours, rather than the more usual 1.5 hours.
My sister and I hopped out to Tesco while Quna went up to Waitrose. She didn't want to have to worry about me taking my time, or screaming children running around. As it happens, we actually did encounter a screaming child - she'd lost her mummy. Awhhhhh :( I asked if she was ok and looked up a couple of aisles to see if I could see anyone dashing around but not looking at food, but the girl was more content at running around shouting, and seemed to meet up with some other children after a short time. We managed to pick up what we wanted though, as well as a couple of ingredients that Quna couldn't find in Waitrose - she wanted to bake ginger muffins, phwoooar :)

Then it was back to mine, via a Majestic Wine Warehouse that is just around the corner from me. Quna walked over to meet us there. We had a good wander around and chose eleven bottles of wine between us (you have to buy it in twelves, but I figure it's nice to be 'forced' to buy so many as it means I don't keep buying the same things or something :) )
The twelth bottle was a bottle of champagne that Quna had wanted. She found Waitrose didn't do it, so had then phoned the wine place to check that they had one, and what price it was - £17, they told her.

It turns out that £17 is the price for two (or more) bottles. So, how much would you think for just the one? £20? Perhaps £25? Keep going - £30.

Quna was not impressed, to put it lightly - it was now late enough that we now couldn't go anywhere else to look. Had they have told her that in the first place on the phone, we could have continued looking elsewhere first. Quna explained her frustration to the bloke behind the till, who then went and got his manager. Quna again explained her frustration to him (I think she didn't - quite - call them "cretins!"). The shop staff refused to help, so we chose a twelth bottle of wine instead and left, with Quna vowing never to use them again (it's a shame too - the last time [which was also the first time] we were in there, they were actually quite helpful), and complaining about the smug assistant as we walked out the door.

Fortunately, none of this prevented Quna from making a deliiiiicious chicken lasagne, or from baking yummy ginger muffins.

After we'd eaten, Quna and my sister shut themselves in my living room to complete something related to a Christmas present for me, while I shut myself in my spare room and tried to finish some things related to Christmas presents for both of them. Ok, so I didn't finish, but I did make good progress :) We stopped after a while to eat profiteroles, complete with generous lashings of chocolate :)

And today, Monday, Christmas Eve, my sister has my flat to herself, whilst Quna and I are both at work. Oh, speaking of which...

Sunday, December 16, 2007

70.2

Ok ok, so I didn't quite manage it by Saturday :) But it's the thought that counts! ;)

So, that was the Thursday daytime. Which I spent longer talking about than I'd intended, because the more significant part was the Thursday evening.

This was the Birthday "do" back at my boss' home - us lot from work and our spouses ("or girlfriends, but not both please" *cough* ;) ) were all invited to dinner. Quna left college a couple of hours early so that she could get over here on time. Yay! :)

Now, Quna has met some of the people that I work with before - one Friday lunchtime when she was over, I invited her over to the pub with us - however, this was the first time that she had met some of m' colleagues, and her first time for meeting any of their "other halves".

Obviously, Quna was a little apprehensive about such an occasion - especially when almost everyone there had known old Mrs M for several years.

She did superbly.

Whilst the majority of the talk afterwards concerned one chap's partner (she was also, apparently, really nervous about meeting everyone for the first time) who had ended up being seated next to me. Now, I don't know when she started drinking, but her partner (with whom I work) said he'd be surprised if she'd drunk anything beforehand. Well. That's certainly the first time I've had pepper ground into my lap by someone using an electric pepper mill whilst claiming, "It's a bit like a vibrator! Did you get that? I said, IT'S A BIT LIKE A VIBRATOR!"

This was at the point that we had only just sat down to the starter. From someone whom I have met, briefly, once before.

Oooookaaaaay... ;) Personally, I just tried not to encourage her ;)

So, the real question left hanging in the air after that night... How would things with everyone go come the company's Christmas dinner (paid for by the company, for all employees and their other halves) on Saturday the 15th?

Wednesday, December 05, 2007

70

The 'least young' of my two bosses had his 70th birthday yesterday.

Well, I say yesterday, I mean last week.

Well. I say last week, I mean two weeks ago.

Still, that was when I *thought* about blogging about it, and they say it's the thought that counts... No? Bugger. ;) I was going to try writing this last night, but ended up getting distracted buying some kitchen knives from Amazon. And making my Christmas list. And eating. And doing some washing up. And reading mobile phone reviews (I think I've got it down to a choice of two...). And talking to Quna. And talking to my parents.

...

Bloody hell, I did quite a lot last night after all :)

It's tradition at my company that you have to buy cream cakes on your birthday. A tradition that m' boss upheld in his usual manner - by not buying cream cakes (in fairness, I doubt he knows what a "soo-per-marr-kit" actually is). Instead, we had some of his birthday cake and some doughnuts. Personally, I didn't think the birthday cake was too bad (it was one of those with an old picture on the top that his family had bought when they had a big get-together in honour of his birthday two weeks ago), and had one-and-a-half helpings.

A couple of days before his birthday, I'd suddenly been hit one evening with "ARGH! What happened about all of us putting our money together to buy him a present?"
Apparently, I was on holiday when my other boss had found out that he didn't want anything from us, as he had things on his 60th and 65th, and it seemed wrong (he felt) to get something every five years.

Still, I decided we really ought to at least get him a card from all of us (hey, we're all men here now - the women used to think about that sort of thing ;) ), so I hopped out at lunch to get one.

Eeeeven better than that, I ended up buying two cards (one for all of us to sign, one from me), and, AND... Some balloons! :)

As there were eight of us and eight balloons, I gave each person a balloon to blow up as I had them sign the card. You'd be surprised (well, I was) at how many spoil sports there were :) Still, my other boss had fun blowing up the ones that other people didn't want to :)

And then we all had a good laugh at my piss-poor attempt at blowing up my balloon :) Crikey, it's been a while since I've done that :) Whilst some of it was down to technique, there was one other tiny problem, as it transpired... There was a hole in the damn thing! I can't believe I bought eight balloons and I never got to properly blow one up in the end! :)

(More to follow...)

Monday, November 19, 2007

60

"Right then," I thought, "I've got the present ordered. That's sorted. Hmm, I'll get a card while I'm thinking about it and in advance."

I found a birthday card quite quickly. I do seem to be getting better at that. Come Christmas, I can spend HOURS literally just umming and arring over cards. It doesn't help that there are too many card shops ;)

So, I had my card. Within due course, still with loads of time to go, the present arrived through my door too.

Excellent. It was Dad's birthday in a couple of weeks time, and I'd got everything sorted.

The Sunday a handful of days before his birthday, I was on Messenger in the evening. At around 10:30pm, I get a message from my Mum.

Mum says
Don't forget it's dads 60th on thursday


60th. See, she has this habit of reminding me things like that just after I can realistically do anything about it. I work about 15 minutes from town, so I can't realistically pop in for lunch. I work from 9-5:30. There were no weekends between then and me. If I'd actually completely forgotten, I'm not entirely sure what she'd expect me to do about it. "Look Dad, I got you some... Apples! And... a turnip! AND! AND! Some 'sports for schools' vouchers! Hoh yeah. Isn't this just the best birthday ever?"

Well, Tesco's selection of "60" cards isn't great. Certainly not with both "60" and "Dad". Hmmmmmmmm.

So, my little connundrum was solved by posting the (non-60) birthday card that I did have, and making a second card - that way it said both "60" AND "Dad". Hah! I went down that weekend and took him his card and pressie.

But the thing that gets me...

I can't believe my Dad is 60!

I mean... 60? I must have looked up the history of the Messenger conversation at least twice to make sure that my Mum actually did say 60. 60's like ten years older than one of my bosses! And only ten years younger than the other! And I'm only 27 (well, only just... oh! it's a month today until a new number ;) )! He can't be 60.

Can he?

Apparently he can ;)

Wednesday, November 14, 2007

It was a good little house

I always liked it, anyway.

Ok, so it was "cosy", or as less diplomatic people would say, "quite small", but I liked it none-the-less :)

And ok, so it had more of a steep (almost vertical) few feet of grassy bank instead of a garden... But still. I liked it :)

It was our home. It had four rooms, two up, two down. But it was home.

I saw Mrs M several weeks ago. She was moving the last of the things from it, and they'd hired a van for the day. I almost had the impression I may not see her again. I asked whether she'd be back over this way at any point, and she said "I've not got any reason to."
I asked if she wanted to see me when I was over her way, "Well, there doesn't really seem any point."

Oh well. It's kind of a shame, but I'm not unduly bothered. Whatever helps her get through it, I guess.

Anyway, the sale was completed on Friday.

They've just received the cheque, and she'll be zapping across the amount upon which we agreed to my account once it has cleared. (Without going through official-dom, we agreed a split which equated to roughly 50/50 of major assets that I'm happy with).

And that, as they say, is that :)

Sunday, November 11, 2007

Jedi by Night

So, Quna and I were out last night when all of a sudden, much to our astonishment, we witnessed a Battle of the Jedi:


Well, ok, I thought it looked a bit like that anyway :) It was actually fireworks, of course :)



I was pleased that I managed to find a display that was on last night. I'd assumed that they would be fairly well balanced between the 3rd and 10th in terms of proper displays, but actually it was a real struggle to find one - fortunately, my boss knew I'd been looking for a display, and happened to speak to someone else who was attending one on the Saturday, and then txt'd me with details :D

So anyway. I'd wanted to go to one because a few weeks ago Quna had asked if she could come to a fireworks display with me. Unfortunately, we were both busy last week (remind me to to blog about that if I don't do it within a couple of days...), hence the reason for looking for one this week.

So, Quna's been over this weekend. Meanwhile, I've been so busy at work recently. I just seem to be running around all day on a hundred different things. It's kind of nice ;) On the other hand though, I have been there until 7/8pm a lot recently, which makes the evenings very short (Again, contributing to my silence).

My most sincere thanks goes out to all of you who have kept checking for updates and giving me a poke in the comments ;)

Thank you for sticking with me :) Sorry I'm not all caught up on reading other blogs yet, but I do try to at least read them if not comment on them.

-Me :)

Thursday, October 25, 2007

That Still and Settled Place

After she had gone, I found a card that Quna had left hidden for me.

Regarding it, when I spoke to her about it afterwards, she said "I've always quite liked Edward Monkton cards, and he says it far better than what I ever could."

But still, I think that what she wrote inside, and what she told me, was also very beautiful.

Tuesday, October 23, 2007

Weekend Rainbows



I notice this on weekends when the sun comes in above my curtains. How cool is that? :)

And also: Welcome to Cognidubnus who has (I assume) found his way here from Roses' blog :)

Should get back to normal reading/writing soon. Quna's here for a few days, at the moment... :)

Thursday, October 18, 2007

I'm Not Dead

Hello! :)

Yes, I am back, and am not dead or anything :)

I have a couple of ideas for blog posts I'd like to do re. my holiday, but haven't quite got around to creating them yet.

Been busy recently. Part work, part pleasure... Over the last few, erm, months, I've been slowly watching 24 Season 2. It hadn't grabbed me much, but now, towards the end, it did, so the last several nights I've watched an episode or two (erm, or on one occasion, four) in a night ;)

Meanwhile, while I was on holiday, our office got completely done over, and all our PCs nicked.

They even took the Crunchies from my desk drawer (ripped off of its runners). Heartless bastards.

So, work has been a bit busy recently too ;)

On top of that, I'm still cooking (properly) a decent proportion of the time too, which eats another hour (hey, it takes me a li'l while, but I get there) of the evening.

Oh, and I'm back into reading again, too.

Partly though, I've just felt so knackered by the time I get home recently, that I've not really had the time - or energy - to work out what I'm saying. And then it all sort of tumbles out a bit randomly ;)

Fancy that ;)

I feel happy... ;)

Thursday, October 04, 2007

Holiday

I shall be off tomorrow, on holiday, to darkest Wales :)

My parents & sister are coming to the end of a week there, and have another week there yet.

I shall be joining them... Although I haven't actually told them this :D

I'm off tomorrow, and all of next week :)

I shall be packing this evening (until about 3am) and leaving early tomorrow morning (say, about 3pm ;) )

My rough plan is to stay there until Thursday next week, when I'll head over to Quna's and bring her back to my gaff for the weekend.

Actually, I really like my flat, you know :) It's not just my flat, it is my home :) Quna says she likes it too, which is cool :) She says it's very relaxing :) I'm quite proud of my little place :)
Once we get our house sold, it would be cool if I had the opportunity to buy this one, but I doubt that'll be possible (Even if the opportunity arose, I don't know that I could afford it).

Anyway, sorry, that was just something unrelated that I'd been thinking about for a while, that just sort of... leaked out :)

So, take care of the place while I'm gone, for me :)

Thank yoooou :)

Wednesday, October 03, 2007

Leftovers

Made from a few random bits and bobs I had around that I wanted to use up.



(Couple of chicken breasts, end of a packet of mediterranean roasting veg or something, chilli/tomato sauce I made yesterday to go with chicken&rice. Chicken dusted with olive oil, salt, pepper, chicken stock stuff, paprika)

Monday, October 01, 2007

Old Romantic

A cunning combination of crafty considerations culminated this weekend.

Sorry, I seem to have been fancying the odd spot of alliteration recently :)

The second present I bought Quna finally came into its own this weekend, to turn into one really, really exciting amazing present.

Well. Ish. ;)

Back on the second time I met her (hmm, which was after our first date, but had been unsure of how it had gone, so the next time I met her after that wasn't an official "date), I bought Quna a rather special little present.

Then, I knew one thing she'd have liked recently (as a practical li'l present), that I'd bought a few days before she came over this weekend.

AND, while she was over here, I then spotted something else that I said "Ooh! Can I buy that for you?" over.

And so, that second time I met Quna, that gift I gave her then came in useful. And some people may have thought I was mad to buy her a lightbulb ;)

Oh yes, a light bulb, two four-way extension leads, and a small lamp. It doesn't get better than that ;)

Tuesday, September 25, 2007

Alright Then

Which one of you li'l bastards has been stealing my pillow cases and replacing each one with one of a slightly different shade?

I'm sure I've bought at least a few sets of white ones, and yet I only appear to have two. The rest are all cream, or natural, or beige-ish, or "something that looks mostly white until you put it next to white when you realise it isn't".

All I want is a couple of cheap cases each for my bottom pillows, and a cheap one again to go underneath the top pillow's "outer" case. Is that really so much to ask? And yet despite the hundred I seem to have, they don't appear to match. And no, I haven't buggered their colours up in the wash ;)

Note to self: Buy more cheap simple white pillow cases.

Note to self: Hang on a minute... Didn't Prince George always run out of socks because Blackadder was selling them on? Hmm, probably a ridiculous notion...

Monday, September 24, 2007

Warped Time-Space Continuum

As agreed, "if you're very nice, maybe I'll even post some pictures when I get back!"

Well, unfortunately, there was clearly a twisty warpy thingy in the time-space continuum (thingy) since then, which meant that somehow it bizarrely appears as though I am posting these pictures a week later. Pfsskch! Which clearly I'm not. Clearly.

Ok, so, maybe I do get juuuuust a little distracted and other things overtake me and I don't get around to blogging ;) I thought I might have got around to doing something this weekend, but then decided to hop over to Quna's on the Saturday :) (and, to answer SandDancer's question, yes, she does know I call her Quna online - why? it doesn't have connotations of which I am unaware, does it?)

My to-do list for this evening includes:
- Take short network cable back to work
- Submit support tickets for both my router and my wireless card, because they're both big piles of smelly smelly poo.
- Change bed linen (hopped home at lunch, stripped it, and stuck it in the machine already, so that's half-way done)
- Read book
- Play Oblivion
- Tidy
- *mumblepayparkingticket*
- Oh bollocks! I meant to go bloody shopping! I plain forgot. Right, that's something to do when I finish this then.

Got my first parking ticket last week. Whoo. Hoo. ;) I was five minutes late back to the car, and found the bloke printing it as I got there. Apparently they give you four minutes grace. D'OH!
"Don't let it spoil your day," said the traffic warden, "because it spoils mine when we have to do it to a nice person." (I'd been pretty much "Ok, well, fair enough, it's your job, not the end of the world" about it)

I took Quna here last week:

Which is such a cool place over that side of the country :) I used to love running around there when I was little :) And... I still do ;) We spent an hour or two having a slow meander around (well, relatively speaking, there were short dashes and such things within it :) ) After we'd had the picnic that I'd prepared (French baton, bread rolls, butter, cheese, sausage rolls, set of cutlery, couple of beers [she chose beer over wine for that occasion], quiche, nice thick ham, kettle chips, flask of tea, jam doughnuts, fruity slicey latticey thingy, fresh strawberries & black grapes), we split up for a bit - she wandered around with her camera, whilst I ran around with mine ;) AND, AND, she let me get my walkie talkies out, so we could each say random things at the other as we were around and about.



It was a lovely sunny day :)

The next day, I'd planned on going to the beech, but due to other arrangements that then popped up, we didn't. Instead, Quna took us to this park near to where she lives.



Of course, with the amount of food I'd bought, I still went home with a load too! But, as I went home via my parents, most of the remainder got eaten for tea there :)

Oh, and here's a pic, which I took on our first date, that I quite like. I only took it on my camera phone, but I printed it out to put in a frame recently :)



That was somewhere near to Quna before she moved. Glorious day, it was. Everyone at work took the piss out of me for getting sunburnt ;)

I saw advent calendars in the shops again, in about the first week of September. I was thinking about this recently, when I realised it's quite cool to be able to look back and see what I was doing "at this time last year", and how some things are different and some things are the same. I should try to blog more, and on time ;), so that I continue to keep such a record :)

Wednesday, September 19, 2007

Office Humour

So, I'd been talking to One Of Them Downstairs about the fact that when generating a new e-mail via a certain method, it didn't include the signature.

OOTD decided to try a couple of things and sent me an e-mail test - I'd mentioned that one problem could arise with images, and their looking ok on the original PC, but not working on the recipient's PC.

The following chain of e-mails ensued...

1:

2:

3:

4:

5:

6:

At this point, I decided to walk downstairs again. I decided to try to remain serious as I entered the room. I'm never very good at that.

But, as I went downstairs, I thought I was going to manage it. As I walked in, I began to smile, as did OOTD when he looked up at me. Within about half a second, we both creased up laughing.

Ho hum ;)

Thursday, September 13, 2007

Whilst I Want to Write More...

...At least this is something until it gets fleshed out a little more :)

I'm honestly not sure where the time goes in general these days! Hmm, I think I seem to spend quite a lot of time on the phone... :)

I want to keep you all updated as to just... erm... whatever, really :)

...Bu-uuuuut..

I have Friday off work and am heading away Thursday evening t' Quna's. I have stuff ready for a picnic on Friday, and possibly again on Saturday :D But shhh, because I'm refusing to tell her where we'll be going ;) (Well, ok, she knows "beach" or "not beach" ;) )
It's nowhere like super-exciting, just a couple of places I remember from over that way :)

Maybe if you're nice to me, I shall post some pics upon my return... :)

Sunday, September 09, 2007

Good Film, Good Wine, Good Pasta



Yum, that was rather delicious :)

Nice glass of wine, good film to enjoy (Crimson Tide, not watched it for several years, enjoyed watching it again :D ), and delicious pasta :)

And, and, AND...



I even made it ALL myself, even the sauce! (And it's a proper sauce :) ) How cool is that? :)

Ok, I had a little help, but not much. No, really! I don't mean "a little help" as in "someone else made it and I stirred it when they asked me, while I put a film on" ;)

I was wandering around the supermarket and thinking about what to have for tea, and what I already had in my cupboards, when I decided I'd have tuna and pasta :)
I've attempted this before, but the "sauce" has been a bit, uh, "jazz" ;)

Well, this time I thought back to the rather delicious cheese sauce that I had observed Quna (thought about a name for her, decided to invent one, came up with that, I'm thinking it's pronounced Koo-na) make the other day. So I gave her a quick ring and confirmed what it was and how it "worked", and then got it all under way, with a couple of extra tips ("You've got some whole-grain mustard, haven't you? Put a couple of tea spoons of that in.") along the way.

And, I've still got enough left in the fridge for another couple of meals :)

Yum yum yummy yum yum :)

Thursday, September 06, 2007

Hello Hello

Hello!

How are you? I hope you're keeping well.

Phew. I'm pretty good, thank you, just seem to have been so busy recently!

I think I have two draft posts I started over the last few weeks but didn't finish. One about when I met Mrs M a few weeks ago, and one about my Nan.

One reason I've been quieter than average recently is that I'm trying to concentrate more at work. I had got into the bad habit of spending a little time pissing about online from work ;) Made an effort over the last few weeks to not do that so much. Maybe that's good, as I got a payrise on Tuesday :D

Good job I am working hard at the moment, as things are quite busy. Trying to write a specification whilst simultaneously assigning work from it to two other people, support the existing system, handle on-going random support issues, and all the other things that get thrown at me. Busy busy! Still. Good fun though :)

Probably for the best that I got a rise the other day, as I spent about £500 within about a week the other day.

Bought an XBox 360 Elite :D So, that's where I've lost some more time ;) Also managed to spend two hours and £115 in a big Tesco, but I got some nice new bits and bobs for me gaff :) Speaking of which, I had a flat inspection yesterday, but all went well :)
(In spite of mentioning that two heaters have got the arse with me, and I also had some peaches die in a bin [Tesco bag] on my kitchen floor, that managed to transfer the writing on the bottom of the bag onto the floor :S Attacked that with all manner of substances but failed to shift it)

Have also been getting around the country a bit recently. On top of having seen my parents a few times...

Wait for it...

The girl that I'm dating* has been in the process of moving from living about an hour west of me to about three hours east of me, so I've been helping her out with various odds and sods (whilst also being a bit odd, and a bit of a sod), as well as just randomly having time occuppied on related matters ;)

* Official Vocab Guide: The terms "dating" and "seeing" have been approved for use by me at this time ;)

Friday, August 17, 2007

It's Only Bloody Friday

Thank goodness, I think I need a Friday :)

I was just absolutely exhausted yesterday. Bizarrely, it felt like the first day this week where I didn't feel tired and sleepy... I just felt exhausted.

I got my hair cut at lunch. Was a little slow so didn't get time to have any proper food, which meant that when I got back to work lunch consisted of a packet of crisps and a Mars bar :) When I got home, I just went into "It's time to chill out!" mood, which I really, really needed. I started with a beer and biscuits. Went for a lovely warm shower (fortunately, I was just finishing as the hot water began to run out...). Ordered from Dominos. Sat and watched Spiderman with a glass of wine and chickeny things and potato wedges... I never got around to even opening the pizza box, so at least I know what I can eat tonight :)

Just a couple more hours left, and then it's the weekend...

In fact... Iii can't wait for the weekend to begin... :)

Tuesday, August 14, 2007

Periscopes

Things seeem very bizarre now. As one thing seems to resolve itself, another seems to break. It's like something's trying to maintain balance, but someone forgot to take off a heavy item from one end of the scale.

There are a lot of things all going up and down.

A number of things also seem to be getting booked:
- Tuesday Evening: Mrs M is coming over
- Wednesday unknown: New desk gets delivered (they failed to call last week prior to delivery, so I wasn't in to receive it)
- Wednesday lunchtime: I have a meeting with a solicitor to discuss divorce-related-stuff for the first time.
- Next Tuesday: Funeral.

Friday, August 10, 2007

All Good Things

I've had Nelly in my head today. I have her on loop for a bit now :)

It really is quite strange, though. The various threads of my life seem inexplicably intertwined.

Several weeks ago, new threads appeared and old threads began to come undone. Each thread unrelated to its neighbour. And yet, they all became apparent at once, within days of one-another.

Now, weeks later, each one of those threads seems to have wound its course, its change apparent. And, as each thread appeared at the same time, they all seem to have reached their ends at the same time.

I know that this is hardly the first time a number of things all seemed to have happened at once. But it is strange, you know?

I guess fate really does wield a tangled skein.

Thursday, August 09, 2007

Release

I know a lot of you have offered your thoughts and prayers with regards to my Nan, and I thank you all for them.

Mum phoned me about 10 minutes ago to let me know we've lost her now.

I decided not to crack, "Have you tried looking in a different ward?"

It would have been six weeks tomorrow since she first went in, so this really is a release, both for her, and my Mum in particular.

Mum said she wondered whether to tell my sister yet, as she finishes work at 7 anyway (it was 6:35). I said that I'd have preferred that they told me about Grandad sooner (they waited until I finished work) when he died, but on the other hand, it wasn't much time.
Mum said she wasn't sure about my sister driving home, etc. I said "Well, you can just sort of go into auto and that's not really an issue. Would you like me to phone her?"

"No, no, it's ok, I just wasn't sure about her getting home and so on. I don't mind phoning her. ... Have you got her number?"

"No... Uh, would you like me to phone her?"

"Ok then"

My sister answered the phone, and I was pleasantly surprised to realise I actually recognised her through the worky voice.

I phoned Mrs M to let her know too, as I knew she had been concerned.

And then I thought I'd let you guys know :)

Thank you, take care. I think I'll be heading around the M25 now...

Wednesday, August 08, 2007

Self-Righting

Whilst my post on Monday was somewhat reflective, and definitely do feel an overall "Gosh, look how far I've come" feeling about these things, I was also feeling a little stressed by a few things.

I "pulled a sicky" yesterday to give myself some space, and was able to use the time constructively to arrive at some worthy conclusions.

There have been a number of things going on my life recently that I decided not to blog about for a small multitude of reasons (I like that word, "multitude", it's a good word :) ).

Some of these things have been going on for months, some for weeks.

Some of them were really great, others really sucked. More often than not, they managed to be both really great AND really suck. Niiice. ;) There were a couple of times I began to blog about these things, but then they actually changed so fast the post would no longer have been relevant. Oh, what fun. :)

I apologise for cryptically teasing y'all with information, but this was something I felt I wanted to say. It is time for me to put all of these things behind me and move on, because all of the great bits have gone, and only the sucky bits are left.

I shall stand up again, and I shall stand taller and firmer.

I find that these lyrics keep drifting through my head:
Knock me down I'll get right back up again
I'll come back stronger than a powered up Pac-Man


It's time to eat some ghosts.

Monday, August 06, 2007

It is interesting to note

Around this time last year was actually one of the most difficult times.

Sleeping was near impossible.

I could barely eat - I rarely nibbled more than a corner of a sandwich for lunch.

It was mostly just... feeling so emotional, constantly. That state where you just feel slightly dazed, your stomach knotted.

I remember making this random post, or even this one about dunking biccies :) From its style, I think you would not really know it, but I remember I felt absolutely terrible at the time. Filled with sadness.

I think I was starting to realise that it was all going to be over and could not be fixed that led me to feeling blue and thinking of random metaphors that seemed to describe how I felt.

Hmm, I guess if I were creative enough, I should have written some poems, then I could have given them to Roses to review! :)

Was feeling a little contemplative and reflective today. And, as I try to finish munching on my little sausage roll, I realise it's time I headed back to work...

=========

PS. No real change with my Nan still. Mum thinks that she is getting weaker. The consultant is surprised that she has held on this long. My sister said it is getting harder for them (particularly my Mum, of course) now.

Friday, July 27, 2007

And Then I Happened to Mention...

There were only four of us for Friday pub lunch today. One had to pop out somewhere, a couple are on holiday, and another is trying to save his money. (Although no doubt he really will just use the "I didn't have lunch today, so I'll leave early" excuse)

We were into the second pint when I happened to mention that I needed to go see a lawyer or something about getting divorced at some point.

Reasons for divorce were mentioned, including the fact that "Unreasonable behaviour" these days probably included things down to squeezing the tooth paste from the wrong end.

I gasped. "She ALWAYS squeezed the toothpaste from the wrong end!"

And then I happened to mention, "And we also hadn't actually had sex in the time we'd been married..."

M'colleague with whom I used to share my office asked, as we walked back to work (the other two had popped to the loo first), "So... Not even on the honeymoon, then? I thought that was a given."

"Yes," I said, "You would, wouldn't you."

I have no need to share this information. I do not "need" to talk to people about this anymore. But I think that becoming more comfortable in talking to "real" people - people whom I have known for many years - about these things, is probably good for me.

Wednesday, July 25, 2007

Ing Needs a Slap

Honestly Ing, you do make me laugh :)

It must be the long hard hours, leave your mind a-whirling each night, perhaps :)

Congratulations on now having used my real name THREE times in comments ;) lol :)

Honestly, here I am, Mr. "Anonymous-enough-such-that-I-at-least-couldn't-be-Googled" and you go name-dropping ;)

Thank you for your concern though :)

Life just seems to be busy at the moment, and I'm feeling a little out of the blogging loop.

Meanwhile, my Nan, no real change, basically. Sorry, I had been meaning to write a quick update on this for you all who have been concerned.

I found out a while back that the doctor "in charge" of her had been swapped, as one had too many patients, blah blah, and the new doctor put her back on saline solution, if not nowt else really.

Mum was saying today that she has switched ward now. She was in the stroke ward, but now is in a ward that my Mum described as "seems like people are just waiting there either to go to a home or to die".

She thought the ward seemed very nice though and the nurses very nice and friendly.

Mm, what else? Had a fairly busy weekend. Saturday was an interesting mix of things - Mrs M was over in the afternoon (she's not over here [this part of the country] often at the moment, as she has no need to be), and I gave her a drive with all our honeymoon vids and all our pics and some other stuff on that she has been waiting for me to sort out for a while. She said she probably won't be back this way for about a month. She seemed a little distant in general. Meh, whatever. I'd have liked to remain more as friends or something than to drift apart, but, in the grand scheme of things I'm not really bothered.

My boss' anniversary do was great fun Saturday evening. Although he said that technically their anniversary was actually a few weeks ago and they had really just fancied an excuse for a barbeque ;)

Right, and I think it's time I was off to bed :)

Friday, July 20, 2007

Euch

So, realising the number of things I still wanted to try to do this weekend, I decided to take this afternoon off to create a little extra time.

It was around about then that it started absolutely pissing it down ;)

Fortunately, I mostly wanted to do things inside rather than out, so, ok, shame it's so terribly miserable, but not the end of the world :)

I drove home, and just got out of my car when I heard a house alarm at the other end of the area go off. All of a sudden, the one behind me as I got out my car (which is immediately under my window) went off too.

I get in to discover it looks like there's been a brief powercut, which explains the alarms.

I look at my phone and have a txt message from Virgin. "You have exceeded your credit limit and your service has been suspended."

Oh. My. Goodness. I give them a ring, it turns out, I've only spent 105 quid on there this month! Eek! £105!!

OH YES! Now, look at that! Someone up there likes me! :)

So... It's now stopped raining, and literally while I was writing that sentence about the alarm, it stopped making noise! :)

How cool is that? :)

All I need to do now is win the lottery. And presumably buying a ticket would help with that, but still ;) Hmm, "go to supermarket" and "get petrol" are things on my "to do" list this afternoon, so maybe I'll chance it ;)

Right. And now, it's time to get on with whatever it is I need to get on with :)

Thursday, July 19, 2007

Busy Busy

It seems to have been a busy week! And it's only Thursday! :) Well, I suppose I should be glad I'm not saying that on Monday ;)

We had several large projects go live this week at work (I seemed to be involved in all of them), and as well as that, a few majorish unexpected problems (I seemed to be involved in all of them - no I didn't CAUSE them! :) ) also reared their ugly heads.

Today was a good day, as I successfully beat the crap out of a few of them :) Had the theme from He-Man going through my head as I quoshed one particularly nasty little brute :)

Got home today by about 6:30. Feels strangely early given that most days this week I've not left until around 8. Was thinking about all the things I wanted to do this evening when I got in... Until I sat down for five minutes and realised how tired I was and just sat flopped on my sofa for 30mins ;) Eventually managed to stand up and pull myself back to my computer to try to wake my brain up. For some reason, I ended up reading about the flux capacitor from Back to the Future. Which was interesting, after I then spoke to my friend who said she was about to watch Back to the Future.

But still, after that, I managed to find the time to get a bin put out (oh bugger, I just realised I forgot to clear out the fridge), hang some sheets on the dryer (I nipped home at lunch to start the machine), agree to help a friend move, put another load of washing in the machine, agree not to help a friend move, eat some 'food', wrap a present, watch the first episode of 24 Series 2, vacuum up a load of grass that came off my shoes following a random walk yesterday, blog, ermmmm... And hopefully I'll find time to squeeze a few more things in yet :)

I am also slightly curious as to whether this coming Saturday has some sort of spooky cosmic significance, as since last month, it was a date that began shouting at me.

- There's some sort of book or something coming out, about which a few of my friends are quite excited
- Another couple of my friends have their birthdays (*wave* happy birthday)
- It is my boss' 25th Wedding Anniversary. Well, not just his, it's his wife's too. See, more coincidences! ;)
- I think I need to go to Tesco's.

See. Exciting stuff, eh? ;)

Now then. Right. I need to get on and do something useful :)

Oh oh! I know... I decided (Possibly ;) )... Ok, sod it. I have ended up not looking at desks recently. I'm just going to say "sod it" and order that one I looked at before from the possibly dodgy company. If it takes a while to arrive, meh, I probably wouldn't have found another in that time, and if it doesn't arrive, I'll contact credit card company and get cash back that way.

Tuesday, July 17, 2007

*click*

Sometimes, when I'm working on a problem, it takes a long time for the answer to hit me. It often hits me when I don't expect it. The number of times I've been having a pee when a great idea's hit me, I can't tell you ;) (Yes yes ladies, I can already hear the "Oh, that explains why you miss the bowl" comments, thank you very much)

Maybe because work has been busy today (I just got home 10 mins ago) it gave me some space to think about something else, without thinking about it, as it were.

Because I've had all the pieces. They've been sitting there staring at me. But I couldn't manage to assemble them. And they've just clicked straight into place all of a sudden, and it makes sense now.

I still don't know for sure what it is I'm looking at ;) But I think I've got a good idea. :) Hah! :) Ok, right, sorry, I'm being vague and obscure. Yes. Tough ;)

Forgiven

Was talking about something vaguely related to this earlier, and thought I'd share some of my random thoughts that I have had on this subject.

It's a part of what I perceived as a tangible benefit to many of Christianity. Forgiving someone for something seems to me to be A Good Thing. Now, I know that some people like to hold on to these things, but, each to his own.

I remember someone telling me once that it frustrated them that they found it difficult to forgive some stuff, when her hubby would just be like... fine, ok... nice and chilled. Which I think is potentially good, dependent upon your reasons - I think some stuff actually should be difficult to forgive, it shouldn't be a simple click of the fingers, everything's fine sort of job. You need to appreciate really what it is you're forgiving, and I suspected that perhaps it was more a case of one cared about it more than the other. But that's just me being a suspicious bugger ;)

Hmm. Having said that :) I have always found it fairly easy to forgive things - often to the point where it's so easy that it barely even occurs to me that there is anything to forgive.

I mean there is stuff that hurt, but, I don't hold it against her. It is a little odd to be around her now not because of that, but simply because of how close things were, versus how close things now aren't. Which is more just a little weird than anything else in particular :)

I was aware that it was last July that I began making really significant posts to my blog. It is amazing to think... One year and one week today, since I made what felt the most significant.

That was so hard, so hard at the time to write.

It is much easier now. Ok, still kind of embarassing, but easier. Indeed, I even ended up summarising the whole thing to someone "out loud" the other day, like, properly talking to them and everything ;)

Hey, I even mentioned it off-hand when they said something about honesty - "Hey, you don't need to drink to be honest - I told you I haven't had sex in five years, remember!"

At which point it was pointed out that actually I'm 27 (and-a-half), which makes it six-and-a-half years. Ah. Well. Yes. Thanks for that ;) Nah, I didn't even mind that :)

It is so much less important to me now, in the Grand Scheme of Things. Ah, I've lost my thread now. I've ended up going at tangents, combining multiple blog ideas into one. That's what happens when you have too many vague ideas ;)

Forgiveness. So. I can only really remember one thing I chose not to forgive. It was about ten years ago, regarding an online incident that I can't be bothered to detail, but it hurt me at the time, and I wanted to be angry about it.
To be honest... A part of me almost enjoyed it... To actually focus my efforts and humour and be mean to someone... I don't recall having done that before (or since), and it was interesting to realise how much of a bastard I could be if I really wanted to be ;)
But, again, to be honest... After a short while I actually felt quite guilty about it and I almost had to struggle NOT to get over it ;) (This wasn't like a BIG thing, as I said, it was only online, and only went on for, I don't know, a couple of months or something)

I think the time I struggle most to be able to forgive something is when I can't understand it. Then it's normally more difficult. Fortunately, I can manage to understand most things after a while ;) Especially once they're explained. To the best of my recollection, I have been lucky enough that I think anything that's ever happened to me that has hurt, I have been able to understand, or to at least come up with potential explanations for. And if I can understand it, I'm probably over half-way there...

And in the end, I can find reasons for a lot of things that did (or didn't) happen, and I can understand them, and I can forgive them. I mean the most recent 'big' thing was a few months back when I realised she'd been reading my blog. And once she'd explained why... I could see why she'd done it - I just wish she'd have told me. Certainly, I learnt enough times over the last few months that there just is never a good time to say some things, but that doesn't mean you can leave them left unsaid. Just have to grit 'yr teeth and get on with it :)

Oh, I could go on to 100 more tangents from here... And I have completely lost my original thread, I'm sure I was headed somewhere but I got too distracted both by myself (as I wrote) and the things around me (one of those days, phew!), so I think I'll just hit the Publish button and let this unstructured mess go ;)

Monday, July 16, 2007

No News

In case anyone wondered, I have no news on my Nan.

They say, of course, that no news is good news. Which at these times is debatable, but still...

I think I am a little sheltered from it all, to be honest, being a drive away. I was thinking about hopping over for a bit the other day, but, err, didn't :)

I may, *may*, if you're very lucky, post some other interesting news later on though. Where I choose not to define "later" ;)

Thursday, July 12, 2007

Waiting

I am not very good at "waiting". I don't like it. It's one reason I love to upgrade my computer - make it faster, less waiting ;)

Waiting is always difficult, but sometimes, we have no choice but to wait.

My sister told me yesterday that she had made a joke out of one phrase, as apparently I used it almost every time I talked to someone about it - "Unfortunately, you just don't know which way it's going to go."

As every day brought different news and she yo-yo'd between states, I was aware that I have heard other people talk of similar circumstances. Better, worse. Up, down.

The decision was made yesterday to withdraw most artificial support from my Nan. No food, no medicine, only painkillers.

The phrase of the day seemed to be "Let nature run its course".

Ducks

Here is a pic I took last week when my sis was over :)



Whilst I decided to let her go a bit out of focus, ain't she pretty? :)

Those li'l quacky things go a bit crazy when you have a slice of bread ;)

Maybe there's a bit of advice for us all there? :) Don't be a pickle head, live life like a duck...

Quack! :)

Quack quack quack quack quack quack quack quack quack quack quack quack :)

Haha... I feel better for quack. :)

Wednesday, July 11, 2007

Eek! Run Poor Li'l Squizzel!

Well, there I was on my way in to work, doing something incredibly, incredibly embarassing* at the time, had just accelerated through the traffic lights and up the steep hill, now following the car in front of me, travelling at 30...

When, all of a sudden, a li'l squizzel runned out from the edge of the road! :-O

Straight under the car in front of me, he went!

I tell you, I don't know how many lives squirrels have, but he was one lucky little chap!

He must actually have passed just in front of the right-hand front wheel, but kept running at a constant pace and came out from behind the left-hand front wheel.

He appeared slightly confuzzled :)

-----------------------------------

Squizzel: The correct and official word for referring to a "squirrel". Anything else is just stupid.
Runned: "Ran", only cuter.
Confuzzled: "Confused", only cuter.



* It had just gone 9 (I was late. Shock!) - I had Radio 1 on. Their random song at 9 o'clock today? Atomic Kitten, Whole Again. I feel dirty to admit... I was singing along... "Looking back on when we first met, Iiiiii cannot escape and I cannot forget..."

Friday, July 06, 2007

Get the F**k off my Arse

Well... It's a more original post title than "Road Rage" ;)

I'm pretty relaxed driving most of the time - I certainly don't tend to get too stressed by other people the majority of the time. I mean I cock things up enough myself and tend to rarely have any idea where I'm going, that it's only fair I cut other people the same slack as I would appreciate ;)

But I think the regular thing that tends to get to me most is when someone sits right on my arse. I do not like that. (Hmm, possibly because I've been in a car twice that's gone into the back of someone - um, 'only' driving one of those times ;) )

I've only been driving a few years (for less time than you'd normally expect these days), and I was quite good at keeping to the speed limits for a while, but I struggle more these days. I blame them lowering some of the limits on my way to work... and my always being late, but not actually wanting to be ;)

Someone sat right on my arse driving home though. Think I was doing about 35 in a 30 at the time. Turned the corner up to the 40 bit with good visibility, decided I wasn't in the mood for this and left him weeeell behind ;) (I may have been doing a smidgeon over 40. Sort of. Ish)

...Until I got back to the downhill bendy 30 bit, when I stuck to the speed limit (or under) the rest of the way (I try to at least drive safely), with him back on my arse.

Didn't mind then though, I'd made my point - if I wanted to, I could have gone faster. But I chose not to, thank you very much ;)

Good job Lily Allen wasn't on the radio too, or who knows WHAT would have happened ;)

(Note: Normally, I would be very boring and keep to the speed I was comfortable with, ensuring that I had a larger-than-average gap ahead of me to allow greater time to maneuver to any difficulties)

Thursday, July 05, 2007

3. Trainee

Interviewed another trainee today. Was supposed to interview him on Tuesday but ended up not at the time :)

Seemed quite promising. Little hard to tell as he hadn't actually done any programming in the main language we use, but seemed to know what he was talking about and was able to answer questions.

Apparently, one of my questions overlapped with one my boss had asked the other day (I didn't know this)... The other day he had failed to answer it so my boss explained, then he told me what it was today. Mentioned this to my boss and he's like, "Well... He's remembered what I told him then! That's it almost word-for-word!" :) lol :)

The only thing that concerned me just a little was that he seemed perhaps a notch over-confident. Which, fair enough to be confident in your ability, but just seemed a bit too certain, I thought. So long as he's not too stubborn and is able to learn and pay attention, he should be ok though ;)

We need to check his references, but other than that, will probably be hired.

I'll keep you informed, and blame me if he turns out not to be up to it after all ;)

Oh... And he's even younger than me! :) lol, not so amazing now I'm getting old (eee, 27 and-a-half, getting old, me ;) ), but I was only 19 when I started, and I think he's still only 18.

lol, what a range of ages we will have ;) I have been the baby of the office for so long ;) So we will (probably) have him in his teens, me a twenty-something, one thirty-something, two forty-somethings, two fifties, and a sixty-niner :) (seventy this year)

So. There you go :)

2. Update on My Furniture

Need to go vacuum up the bits of loose packaging and woody bits, then I'll start sorting out clothes :) Yay! :)

(Oh... I mentioned in a comment yesterday... The bedside cabinets and the chest of drawers were pre-assembled. I paid for them to assemble the wardrobe for me)

I shall post pics or video at some point :) At some point ;)

They came back to pick up the spare chest of drawers too :)

1. Update on My Nan

The appointment with the consultant came around yesterday (the one I booked with them last Friday - it was the earliest available). They had to try again to get a pipe put into her to feed her. Otherwise, they said, her stomach was in danger of not accepting any more food.

So, they got the tube put up her nose and into her stomach.

Well, maybe it was that that helped, but apparently today she's responding a bit more again. Mum said when they were talking today there was a point when Nanny opened her eyes again and was trying to pay attention.

My sister asked them yesterday, "Didn't you run out of things to say?" "We [Mum and Dad] were playing I-Spy" said Mum ;)

When we were there the other day, I had also figured (like Dianne mentioned) that talking would be a good thing. I mentioned what had happened over tea-time the night before...
My sister asked, "Shall I go and get the chocolate cake?" (It was her birthday)
Mum looked at her quizically, "What did you say?"
"Shall I go and get the chocolate cake?"
"Oh! I thought you said you'd like some more potato."

My mum's daft ;)

I almost wondered after mentioning that whether she smiled for a moment, but to be honest, I suspect it was my imagination.

Still. I've heard of people go up and down at these times before, so we'll just have to wait and see what happens. Can't really guess beyond that.

Wednesday, July 04, 2007

(4 + 2) * 2

Yay! My furniture has been delivered.

My sister was at home to receive it.

Me: "Right, so there should be two bedside cabinets, one chest of drawers, and one wardrobe."

Her: "Yes... yes.. ye-wait, did you say one chest of drawers?"

So I phoned the company up. "Ok, Mr. Monkfish, I'll just bring up your delivery note... Two bedsides, two 4+2s, one Imp-wait, no... one 4+2."

"Yes, that's right, *one* 4+2."

"It looks like it had '1' then someone wrote '2' over the top then scribbled that out and put '1' again" (or something)
"Oh, we're very sorry, Mr. Monkfish..."

"Well, it's no skin off my nose, I just thought you might like your chest of drawers back ;)"

(I'd checked - I hadn't paid for them ;) )

Tuesday, July 03, 2007

Side

I used to have a CB for a while. We tried normal radios at first, but their range didn't reach from one side of the park to the other, and CBs (just handheld ones, I mean) had a better range.

We were naughty, didn't have a licence for them :-O

For the first few days we were just using the channel that you get when you turn it on... turned out that was the emergency channel (9). Oops. ;)

Normally I just used it with me mate, but sometimes looked at the random chatter. If you wanted to join a conversation you'd say "Side", as in "Breaker on the side" - basically, "Oi! New person wants to join the conversation", I think :)

I thought of this earlier when my Mum said my Nan's been moved into a side-room now. Private.

She was apparently looking a little yellow yesterday. More normal colour today... but no response to anything.

Probably just been moved in to some peace and quiet...

Sunday, July 01, 2007

It's All Relative

So my sister made it home eventually at 6:25pm yesterday, having been travelling since 9:30am. Eugh.

I didn't see my Nan yesterday. There were two sets of visiting times (3:30-4:30 and 6-8). The first time I waited here in case my sister arrived home. She had arrived just before they were about to set off the 2nd time (it's about a 30-45minute journey from here, and they had also gone to the care home to pick up her things, so by the time they'd done that and got home it was time to go out again, let alone to get something to eat too), so I chose to stay here with her, rather than go out.

I'm not sure what my sister's plans are for today. My Dad has a headache at the moment so is just trying to rest.

As my sister already has the week booked off, I've offered to her that she can come over and stay with me for a bit (although I am back at work tomorrow).

Right... Taking Mum and sister up there now (3pm), actually. More later.

** Update 17:15.

Just got back. My Dad's still not well, but I think we're hopeful that he'll be feeling better to take my Mum back up there soon so that my sister and I can head off to mine.

Nanny didn't open her eyes at all today, but she could tell that there were people there, and she tried to listen to us when we talked. Whether she could understand, or whether she knew it was us, I have no idea. She didn't look as agitated today.
My sister cried a bit; saying goodbye for the day.

Mum will probably not go back again today as Dad is in bed. My sister and I are getting ready for the journey back 'round the M25 to my home.

** Update 02/07, 11:10

My sister came over last night, and we watched the last two eps of Dr. Who, and then I went to bed, leaving her tucked up in bed on my futon, watching Father Ted. When I left for work this morning, she was tucked up in bed on my futon watching TV.

Cow ;)

Rubbing it in like that. Humph. ;)

I have not heard any news about Nanny yet today.

Saturday, June 30, 2007

Hospital

First, another quick update:
- I am still at my parents. They are out shopping at the moment, given that there was no food in the house as they had been on holiday.
- My sister is on her way back. I spoke to her about 20mins ago and she said she was in Grantham and expected to arrive home at about 3pm (I answered the phone as Mum and Dad were out - "Hello?" I answered, "Hello?" she said. "Hello!" I said a little more cheerfully recognising who it was. "Oh," she said, "Sorry, I wasn't sure if it was you or not." "Yes, it is me!" I exclaimed, "I couldn't tell if it was you or Monkfish" she said. "It IS Monkfish!!" I said! (Ok, real names were being used ;) ) Strangely enough, Mrs M also mis-took me for my Dad on the phone yesterday too. Apparently, we sound alike ;)
- Visiting time at the hospital begins at 3, so I said I expect Mum and Dad will want to go ASAP, but I'll wait here for her to get home.
- She phoned a short while later to say that there has been a big accident on the A1, so it may take a fair bit longer. Will have to wait and see what happens.

Right, that's the brief update I think :)

Now. Here's another easy bit, before I start on a hard bit. I seem to have a lot I want to blog:
- Hospitals and very ill people (I want to get onto that now)
- London Bombings (Summary: Piss poor attempt, incompetent bombers, stop making such a fuss)
- Lily Allen (Summary: She didn't annoy me too much, until I heard the version of Kaiser Chiefs' "Oh My God" that she has done. I've heard this three times on the radio now [Radio 1, I guess it may have been a Live Lounge thing] that makes me swear a lot at her every time, and fills me with a desire to RIP OFF MY OWN EARS! *cough* Aaanyway... The summary will do, cross one thing off my "To Do" list)
- Wednesday and Thursday, which I really want to talk about, as I had a great time.
- Load sharing.

Right. I need to actually think about what I'm saying now, so I'm going to have to slow down a bit ;)

I want to talk about hospitals and ill people and dead people and all manners of other such cheery things. Or not, as the case may be. Well. "Want" may not be quite the right word, but I feel that I sort of would like to do so.

...Actually, my parents just got back, I shall return to this post later ;) Sorry ;)

** Continued, 17:07
Well, my poor sister has now pissed over all my recent grumblings about motorways. She was just north of Peterborough when I spoke to her a short while ago - her ETA is now 6:30pm.

I phoned Mrs M to see how she was doing, to discover that she had just made it home to her parents when I phoned. She said that from where her and my sister went their separate ways, it took her about 1.5 hours to make it to the next junction, where she then slipped off in a different direction. My sister, unfortunately, remained mostly stuck in it, despite her attempts to go a different route.

My parents have just seen my Nan and been kicked out as soon as visiting hour was over. Mum thought that when she tried speaking to her today, she appeared to show a bit more of a reaction to yesterday - perhaps one of actual recognition.

I found some of that quite difficult yesterday.

It was my first time for being with someone who was in a state like that.

Most of the time I tried to just sit next to her, in view if she opened her eyes, sometimes with my hand on her hand or her arm, depending upon which seemed to agitate her least at that time.
Most of the time she seemed to be in a kind of disturbed sleep. Hospital blankets up to just above her waist, a hospital gown above that. Some slight foam around her mouth. Most of the time, her eyes were closed. Sometimes, there seemed to be a slight tear in them.

When she opened her eyes, she tended to look almost in my direction. Almost. More often than not, she looked somewhere past me.

** Continued, 18:02.

At the times she did look roughly in my direction, I'd try to catch her eye and lean in a bit.

"It's me, Nanny, [Monkfish], your grandson. Mum and Dad - [Monkfish's Mum] and [Monkfish's Dad] - your daughter is on her way down. [Mum's Cousin] has gone for a cup of tea."

There were times that she would seem agitated.

"It's ok, just relax, you're in hospital. It's me, Monkfish. Mum and Dad are coming, they'll be here soon."

She went through a period of trying to do something to her face. I couldn't tell whether she had an itch, or whether it was something else. After a few goes, I wondered if she felt irritated by the oxygen tube in her nose. Apparently she had been bothered by the oxygen mask that she had on earlier (before I got there).
This called for an intense leap of imagination for me to make it up to...

"You're in hospital, Nanny. You've got a tube in your nose, it's ok."

Her attempts at doing something with her face were about finalised with some movement of her hand near to (but not against) her face. I wondered if she thought she was putting on makeup.

Some of the times that I spoke to her, she would show a definite awareness that she knew someone was speaking to her. She appeared to try to look at me a couple of times, to try to concentrate on what I was saying. I do not have the faintest idea whether she recognised me. Once or twice she managed to make a noise, perhaps half a sylabelle in length.

Other times, she just seemed more agitated by the fact that there were people around her. I imagine that if I had no idea where I was, or who was around me, or what they were doing, that I would feel pretty agitated too.

Later she seemed more bothered about being in bed. She kept trying to push the blankets off of herself. Sometimes she tried to push herself forwards. With her right-side paralyzed, she never made it very far.

My parents just got back from the first visiting hour a short while ago and are about to grab some food very quickly before heading back for the next (they are very strict with their times). I waited here in case my sister arrived home (that was before she had phoned in with the update).

My Mum said she thought she seemed to recognise her more, but Dad said that she didn't open her eyes at all.

And my sister has just arrived home (18:25).

Some Details For You

Right, I'll start with some details.

My Nan
- Has remained "stable" overnight
- I am not sure what the plan for going up there today is
- A consultant's appointment regarding her is booked with my Mum for Wednesday at 2pm. My initial thought regarding this was that this could be a good sign. The swift follow-up thought was that actually this was probably very simply the earliest appointment available.

Yorkshire and The Girls
- This is my sister and Mrs M who are still up in Yorkshire (they have, by the way, managed to avoid any sign of flooding)
- The original holiday plan had been for two weeks in total. This consisted of staying in two separate cottages, the second of which they were scheduled to go to today.
- Mrs M had joined them on around Monday/Tuesday (it's not like she even needed to book time off work now, and she enjoys spending time with the rest of my family)
- I had thought originally that my parents+sister had all gone up in just my Dad's car and now had the option to stay because Mrs M was there in her car. Apparently my sister had taken her car too though.
- My sister has decided that she doesn't really want to stay on holiday because, even if nothing else, it's not going to be the same without my parents around too. So, they'll be driving back today. It's a shame it's a long drive that she'll have no company with her in the car for.
- Apparently they did pay for cancellation insurance, so even although it's "quite late" to cancel, they ought to be able to get something back.
- Today is my sister's 25th birthday.

Me
- I am at my parents at the moment.
- I imagine that I will stay here today and tonight, especially if my sister is now heading back.
- I guess that I will make my way back home some time tomorrow to be back at work on Monday.

Right, I think I'll take this opportunity to get dressed and find some food, before attempting to return to write some less "bullet-pointy" stuff ;)

Friday, June 29, 2007

So what will the next two days hold?

So, I had literally just made it out of bed (I'd set an alarm for 9, but it seems to be 10 - why on Earth do they put the "Off" button like 2mm away from the "Snooze" button? Do they really think you have 100% accuracy when you're half asleep?) and into my dressing gown.

First thing to do before anything else: Call furniture place, find out whether I can arrange delivery for today.

My phone started making noise.

I figured I must have set an alarm, or left one turned on that I'd forgotten about, but it turned out it was actually ringing.

It was Mrs M, who is now on holiday with my parents in the Yorkshire Dales.

A few years ago, my Nan moved into a house just around the corner from my parents. If you walk along to the end of my parents' garden, then through the end of their neighbour's garden (the neighbour doesn't use that end of the garden, so was happy to take a couple of fence panels down to allow this), you arrive in my Nan's back garden. My Dad has run cables along all this route so that there are those motion sensing lights all the way along, so when you walk along at night, all the lights come on as you need them. He has also set up an intercom between the two houses so that they can talk to each other without using the phone. How cool is that?

My Nan has carers who come for a couple of hours most days a week that help her get dressed in the morning, etc. but most of the looking after of her is done by my Mum. Because of this, while they are on holiday (Nanny did not want to go), they had found a home to put her into for a couple of weeks.

My apologies if you have read this far and have had that sinking feeling building - as I often do when reading other posts similar to this - as it may not be quite as bad as you fear. She has had a stroke, and cannot use one side of her body. So far, this is all I know - the home had called my parents to tell them, but had rattled the phone number of the hospital off quite quickly, so my Mum hadn't written it down right, so they had phoned me to look up the correct number.

So, my Mum has already asked her cousin & husband to go over to the hospital (who live over that side of the country, so it's a little closer for them). I'm a bit further away (not 'far' in the grand scheme of things, about 1.5 hours) offered to go too, but they said "Let's wait until we know what's happening."

So it's now (10:55) about an hour since they called, and I still haven't heard anything new yet.

My Nan had a fairly big stroke a few years ago, from which she had mostly recovered, but there was still a bit of a disconnection between seeing something or someone and being able to actually recognise what or who it was. So, I've no idea what'll happen now.

If you were wondering (thank you), I'm feeling mostly ok at the moment, although I wish I knew what was happening, so I think it's time to chase someone...

** Update: 11:17. Apparently she can't use her right-hand side or speak. She is booked in for a CT scan. Off I go...

** Update: 11:20. My sister. It sounds windy. She is probably hanging out of the upstairs cottage window to get reception again. "By the way, if you were thinking of going home, Dad's double-bolted the door, so you won't be able to get in. And we don't have a spare key for Nanny's either."

Thursday, June 28, 2007

Home Already

I am home, already!

And it feels like AGES since I was last here! I really cannot believe it has only been two days. I think it has been two very very long days ;)

So, I am compltely knackered, and decided to come home already because:
1. I just felt I wanted to *FLOP* in my own bed.
2. I had a message today from the people with my bedroom furniture to say that it has arrived, so I will see if I can get it delivered tomorrow.

I have had a really really great time, and it was brilliant to meet Roses and Ing and Hottie and Boy.

It is really good to come back and see my little home still here too :) I like it here :) As I said, it really does feel much longer than two days! Possibly because I was probably up until 12am Tuesday, woke 6am Wednesday (got out of bed 6:45)... Not sure what I did (other than have a cup of tea) after that, as it was 8am when I set off. Rush hour M25. Whoo. ;)

I'll skip the details for now (I want to chiiiiill :) ), but Weds night didn't sleep much (aimed for sleep about 1:30am, woke up around... 4am I think... no wonder it feels a long day ;) )

*yaaaaaaaaaaaaaawwwwwnnnnnnn*

Summary: Fantastic time, but now compleeeeetely cream crackered :)

Tuesday, June 26, 2007

Mrs M...

...Would not be at all surprised.

For by the time I was ready and the car packed, it would have been awful late by the time I got to the other end. Tomorrow morning it is ;)

I bet sometimes she didn't know whether to laugh or cry. Probably both :)

Hmm, I've had that "banging head on wall but smiling" feeling before a few times too... :)

Schedule

As usual, I am behind schedule.

I thought, "I'll aim to leave at 7."

Well, I did leave at 7. Work, that is.

So I'm hurriedly yomping down some food while typing this.

As I said last week, I've booked a few days off. Heading over to Norwich for no particular reason this evening, and my plans beyond that are a little vague ;) I may just figure it out as I go along :)

But to be honest, I'm quite looking forward to just figuring it out as I go, ending up wherever the inkling takes me. :)

What is an inkling, anyway? Like a baby inclination? Hmm :)

Right, must dash (he says, still trying to chomp through cheap fast microwavable burger - try beating that, Northern Monkey ;) ), I should have left over an hour ago. ;)

What a Boad of Lollocks

Non-root Destination Directories

The Directory value for a non-root directory is also interpreted as the name of a property defining the location of the destination. If the property is defined, the destination directory is resolved to the property's value. If the property is not defined, the destination directory is resolved to a subdirectory beneath the resolved destination directory for the Directory_Parent entry. The DefaultDir value defines the name of the subdirectory.

Non-root Source Directories

The source directory for a non-root directory is resolved to a subdirectory of the resolved source directory for the Directory_Parent entry. Again, the DefaultDir value defines the name of the subdirectory.


Well. It went without saying really, didn't it.

Friday, June 22, 2007

Barge Poles

Argh!

So I have been looking at desks over the last few weeks. A desk is the last item on my "Furniture I'd like..." list - after that, there's vague ideas but nothing tangible.

Googled for random sellers of desks this evening.

Found one company that seemed to have a decent selection... Saw one I liked, more expensive than I'd have liked (just under £200), and a bit bigger than I'd been thinking... But looked good. Primarily, I want my computer and all its bits to be able to sit neatly on it. After that, is the storage issue. I don't want bloody shelves all over the place. My desk is untidy enough as it is, without having extra surfaces to be all untidy over. But the desk that caught my eye had drawers on one side, and a cupboard (including space for computer - nice and tidy in there) on the right, and a slidey drawer thing for the printer and for the keyboard.
Ok, so, it was a bit bigger... But more storage will be useful... Thought about it, Googled some more, continued to be tempted... Realised that £200 price didn't include delivery. Add ten percent. Oh... and then add the VAT. Another 17.5%. Ok, much less sure now. Much more Googling and looking around.

Much repeated measuring of random directions in my room and hmmming and looking thoughtful.

Realise that I keep coming back to it, and I'm clearly probably (hmm, clearly probably? :) ) keen on it, so, I eventually decide to go get my wallet.

"Oh," I think, "I'll just Google the company, see what comes up."

Bollocks. That was a mistake ;) Ok, well, it probably wasn't, but still :)

"This company," writes one reviewer, "is what barge poles were invented for."

Another: "I am extremely disappointed..."

Another: "I ordered a desk... after three weeks, e-mailed them... they said I had already received the desk two weeks ago... funny that, as I don't remember taking it."

Another: "Really bad at customer care, shoddy communications, and delivery times don't tally with what they promised."

Bugger it! :)

Now, normally I know that with random web reviews you can expect bad things... But "Average ratings from 41 reviews" - "Quality of service 0/10".

GAAAAAAAH! :)

Wednesday, June 20, 2007

Some Random Bits 'n' Bobs

1. I must hurry, as I looked at the clock earlier and it was 10:40. It now seems to have hit 12:40 all of a sudden. Whoops.

2. I've provisionally booked some of next week off, and I think I'll make a mini-holiday from it :)

3. Some random pictures that I've taken over the last week.

The Moon. What, you want more of an explanation than that? That big thing that hangs up in the sky, you see it at night.


A random pic that I thought might be interesting, looking out from my living room, past the plant on my windowsill, and out to the moon and (to what we now know to be ;) ) Venus.


Sometimes, even I fear I may end up believing I may actually be able to use the K... use the Ki... usethekitchen... When I only fancied "something quick" the other day, and yet still managed to come up with this. Ok ok, it's probably not all that impressive, but clearly I'm easily pleased ;)
Oh, and whilst I suppose it should probably be white wine with fish, I probably open about a bottle a month on average, and I'll be buggered if I'm opening a fresh bottle just for that ;)

Tuesday, June 19, 2007

Something to be Proud of

Well. Isn't that something.

I notice from my stats that I am the top link on Google for a new phrase.

Well. Lucky me. Lucky lucky luck luck cluck cluck cluuuck-sorry, went a bit Prince George there.

Certainly, this is going to be one to tell the grandchildren about.

Or perhaps not ;)

Sunday, June 17, 2007

The Value in Not Understanding

I can be quite good at understanding things. I can manage to forget my own thoughts and think about how and why someone else would do something. I can see their point of view, explain it to others, or help them with where they are.

On the other hand, it also means that even if I don't know or like someone, or something, I can still consider why they might have done something and argue their side. Of course, that's still based on my assumptions about people in general, and it's also still quite annoying to the other people I'm talking to when I'm defending someone I don't know, but I don't think it's *JUST* because I'm argumentative ;)

I think in general it's because I like to understand. I don't like it when I don't understand something. It's... Frustrating.

Or at least, that was how I used to feel. There is some sick and twisted stuff that I just cannot fathom one iota.

So I used to think, "How... Why... How could someone do this!? Why would they do that!?"

One day I realised the value in not understanding.

Why would I want to understand those things? Who would I be if I did? I would not be me. I would be someone else. And quite frankly, I'm a whole lot better off being left dumb-founded and confused by some people and their actions.

I'd like to think that perhaps I'm capable of some actions that those people can't understand either.

The only police-related blog that I regularly read is Ing's, but it's still obvious that some complete and total tit has been trying to cause trouble recently, bad-mouthing police menofficers who have left tributes to Pc Jon Henry.

Now, I don't know if these idiots really do hate every officer who puts on The Uniform, or whether they're simply out to cause trouble. Either way, I don't understand it.

But I'll tell you what I do understand about it. I understand the good that has come from it.

These idiots, they wanted to cause hurt and anger and offence. Maybe they did a little of that. But oh, they did so, so much more.

They have caused oh so very many people to come out of the woodwork, stand up, and say, "Hey, I like the police forceservice! You guys do a damn good job!"

They have caused people to come together, to stand as one, to say in unison, "Thank you!"

I would like to think that they do not understand why that has happened. Only that they are remarkable for causing so many people to stand up and rally around their officers.

Our officers.

Our police.

Jumped in a Puddle

...Got splashed in the face.

lol :)

Played on the swings. There was also a puddle under them :) At least I did not get rained on ;)

Yum :) And I just finished a Tarte au Chocolat, to which I added some strawberries and cream :D

One li'l thing that also happened today... I had hopped via Staples as I recalled when I bought a shredder a few weeks ago that they had some office furniture. When I left, I decided to cheekily sneak into town (leaving my car in their carpark) to have a quick hop around. Noticed a pretty girl sitting on the wall outside Staples. Came back about 30mins later. She was still there. Commented, "Weren't you here earlier? :)" She said something I didn't quite catch. "Are you waiting for something? :)" "Yeah, I'm waiting for someone..."

I think she seemed more nervous than I ;) Well, I didn't feel nervous really. Ok, it wasn't exactly the most exciting of conversations, but, I am slowly building my own self-confidence up, I think :)

Off to bed now :) zzzzzzz :)

Saturday, June 16, 2007

Fuzzy

I only really had one thing on my "To Do" list today: Buy a desk.

I looked at a few, but I didn't buy one.

Saw Mrs M. She's had one (poor) offer on the house, several viewings.

Got home. My sister had asked on Messenger whether Hot Fuzz had arrived yet.

Phoned them. I said it arrived Thursday :) (She had ordered for me :) ) Which, I said, was funny, as I also bought five other DVDs from Tesco that day :)

Made her incredibly jealous - "I have pizza ordered and on the way, and some big chips in the oven. And a bottle of wine chilling."

Well. I didn't get a desk. But I did enjoy watching Hot Fuzz, along with pizza, chickeny things, big chips, and half a bottle of red :) (Well... half so far ;) )

Which was nice. :)

*hic*

Friday, June 15, 2007

I came to regret...

...Parking here this morning, as I watched them unload the dirty great big lumps of concrete, and then pile them two high. Fortunately, there was still a skip next to my car, but it was still a bit nerve-wracking none-the-less ;)

Thursday, June 14, 2007

Inspector Inspected

I had another flat inspection today.

I was going to link to where I mentioned the first one, but I discovered that I never actually got around to mentioning it. Oops.

I think it was back in March, after our anniversary, and something that led me to thinking about how my lease was (at that time) coming to an end.
The inspection came at the mid-point of the lease (three months in), but the lease also had two months notice - so, if I wished to renew it or forget it, I had to make that decision at the four-month-marker.

It was when I thought about this that I realised - I couldn't imagine NOT renewing the lease, which ultimately led to some heavy conversations and random blog posts.

Whilst the place was pretty tidy already at the moment, I did have a bit too much washing up, and the kitchen needed a bit of a clean. Cue not heading to bed until gone 2am, with a few odds and sods left to do this morning. I also needed to at least quickly hit my 2nd bedroom, as you could barely get in ;) (I had my suitcase in there from when I'd been figuring out bedroom furniture, and clothes hanging on the airer)... So all those bits led to my being 30 minutes late for work this morning. Oops :) (Ah well, Monday I worked 8am-6:30pm I think, and every other day this week I've left at around 6pm or later [officially finish 5:30], so it all balances out, I figure ;) )

Anyway. It was worth it! :)

As before, I left the girl from the letting agency a note to say hope everything's ok and feel free to have a drink if you want one (I don't know how long they 'poke around' for, but it seems fair :) )

I had this note back:
Everything is fine, as always! You make my job very easy, as I never hear from you. Thanks for the offer of the drink, but I would get too comfy and you would come home home from work to find me on your sofa watching the TV!

Hope you are well + see you soon.


See, I am doing well! :) Clean and tidy AND cosy now! :)

I definitely didn't have a TV or shelves or DVD cabinets last time... I can't remember whether I'd got the sofa by then. Didn't have a coffee table either then :)

Ahhh see, I am doing well here :) I am pleased :) Wonder when my bedroom furniture will get delivered! :)

Tea

Why? I don't know really :) Just thought I'd mention peoples' preferences at various times of day :)
I wonder, can anyone guess (does anyone care? ;) ) which ones are mine? :)

I'm quite happy to make the tea in general, but I don't make it half as often these days as I used to. Subject to many complaints ;) I happen to have made it twice today, although it is common for me to sort of, umm, reach the end of the day and have missed an opportunity these days ;) Subject to many, many complaints ;) (It just seems to be the way it goes - busy beavering away on something, and at the point you think "I might make the tea", someone else comes around, and then after that you'll be busy beavering away again, too busy to stop beavering even when you want one :) )
One person, who's also very often busy, tends to make it mid-morning almost every day - the most varied round. But it's not "his round" specifically, and if he doesn't make it then, or someone else makes it, he'll make it some other time.

One person flat out refuses to make it in the morning, which is very frustrating sometimes. If I'm not on the critical path (It's been known to happen), but other people are working like crazy, I'm always happy to make the tea, whilst this person will just refuse. He also tends to not make tea if anyone's in the Conference Room. "I didn't want to interrupt them."
I, on the other hand, tend to make sure to do a round if there's people in the Conference Room, whether it's a prospect or an interviewee. They don't want to die of thirst.

The two company directors are excused from rarely making the tea ;)

The First One
> 1 x Coffee (white, milky if there's spare milk)
> 1 x Tea (with as little as milk as is physically possible without actually putting in no milk)
> 1 x Tea (little milk)
> 1 x Tea (doesn't really mind, but I think he prefers over-average milk)
> 1 x Tea (average milk)
> 1 x Tea (roughly average to over-average milk) (1 sugar)

Morning to Lunch
> 2 x Coffee (white, milky if there's spare milk)
> 1 x Coffee (decaf) (white, not too much milk)
> 1 x Tea (with as little as milk as is physically possible without actually putting in no milk)
> 1 x Tea (little milk)
> 1 x Tea (doesn't really mind, but I think he prefers over-average milk)
> 1 x Tea (roughly average to over-average milk) (1 sugar)
> 1 x Tea (roughly average to under-average milk) (2 sugars)

Afternoon
> 1 x Tea (with as little as milk as is physically possible without actually putting in no milk)
> 1 x Tea (little milk)
> 1 x Tea (doesn't really mind, but I think he prefers over-average milk)
> 3 x Tea (average milk)
> 1 x Tea (roughly average to over-average milk) (1 sugar)
> 1 x Tea (roughly average to under-average milk) (2 sugars)