Friday, May 28, 2004

Parents, gardening and fun

Looking forward to the weekend ahead – I am off now until Wednesday and hope to have at least one day just pottering around, tending the plants and chilling out.

My partner’s parents and sister are coming up to stay with us this weekend. It is his father’s 65th Birthday – so we are taking them out for a meal. Looking forward to it apart from not being at all ready. I think they won’t mind the bare plaster walls – as we need to let them dry out fully before painting – but we still haven’t finished cleaning, making up the beds etc. We are out for a friend’s birthday this evening so we won’t get a lot done. I also wanted all the plants to be in full bloom and in spite of the glorious sunshine they are still a few days off flowering. I have remedied this by rushing out at lunchtime to the local garden centre to buy bedding plants that are flowering, which I’ll quickly pot up tonight. I know that this must be a sign of madness but I can’t help myself. Gardening has become a bit of an obsession since we have had some good results with herbs, saplings and vegetables. Pottering round each evening with the watering can has become a good way to relax and I get excited when the sweet peas follow the trellis as planned or the thyme suddenly throws out some purple flowers. Not long before I quit my job to go to horticultural college.

Tuesday, May 25, 2004

Celebs get it on for politics

An item on the BBC news site today highlighting the celebrity support for the forthcoming local and European elections. This is where the parties wheel out the great and the good to encourage us to tick the appropriate box on June 10. I live in one of the postal-only ballot areas and it will be interesting to see if this increases the percentage of people voting.

Labour has managed to secure Patrick Stewart and Ross Kemp. Strange pair – but maybe Patrick will get the sci-fi buffs voting.





The Conservatives haven’t announced anyone new – recent supports include the author Frederick Forsythe and “comedian” Jim Davidson. Not really a rousing endorsement.

The Lib Dems have done better with film critic Barry Norman, Avengers' star Honor Blackman, actor Edward Woodward, writer and comedian Barry Cryer and broadcaster Sandi Toksvig.

The highest profile support has to go to the UK Independence Party who have managed to secure Joan Collins (another chance to display a photo of Joan!) Joan will be declaring her membership of the party and her support for Robert Kilroy-Silk, who is standing as a Euro MP candidate (She recently told the Sunday times that “she was violently against adopting the European constitution”. I am worried about Joan’s endorsement – if only she had invited me back stage last week we could have had a proper discussion about it all – especially as I was with a MEP at the time.




More worrying, is the large number of BNP candidates standing in these elections – they already have a high level of representation in Burnley and have set their sights on areas of the north-east. We had a delightful BNP newsletter through the door the other day – full of prejudice and racism masquerading as “common sense”. It is important to encourage everyone you know to vote so as to ensure the BNP don’t get in. Apathy is their greatest asset as it means their supporters have a better chance and electing their favoured candidates.

Monday, May 24, 2004

Why work gets in the way of my life

The last couple of weeks have been a bit of renovation frenzy at the house. We have finally got the main bedroom re-plastered. I posted in January about the bedroom ceiling falling in. After removing a lot of the old plaster right back to the laths and stripping the old paper of the walls, (all mainly done by my boyfriend with my excellent project management and supervisory skills!), we were left with a bare shell and the plasterers have done an excellent job. The plaster is so smooth it seems a shame to paint over it. Of course, it makes the rest of the walls in the house look worse now, so a gradual programme of re-plastering the rest of the house will take place.



We also took the opportunity to put back a ceiling rose in the original style and will be re-fitting a picture rail to highlight the proportions of the room. It looks great and the big problem now is choosing some colours for the walls – we must have a hundred tester pots – ‘bone’ and ‘burnt verdigris’ are looking the best at the moment.

This weekend we spent some time with friends enjoying the sun and having the first barbeque of the year. We had a relaxing time after the crappy week at work. Our friends have recently moved into a similar house so we spent about 2 hours comparing notes and discussing plans – I hadn’t realised what a seriously all-consuming process the house would become. On Sunday we started repointing the exterior walls (again, I say we but the boyfriend did most of it while I tidied up the plants and supervised from a distance). He got half the wall done and he has done a brilliant job. We want the rest done before his parents arrive this weekend and then we can move onto some of the electrical work, which is were I come into my forte.



Next week the joiner arrives to rebuild the wall between the dining room and hallway (which we ripped out in November to remove the hideous built-in cabinet and panelled windows that were installed circa nineteen-seventy-yuk). He is also fitting new spindles into the staircase. For some bizarre reason a previous owner removed the original Victorian spindles to replace them with a delightfully ornate set of metal scrollwork panels. Thanks!

It is another glorious day today. I have piles of work to get through – but all I can think about is getting back to the house and getting on with the outstanding jobs. Work is always getting in the way of real priorities – perhaps that is why my boss thinks my attitude sucks?!

Friday, May 21, 2004

Darius uncovered

I loved this picture of Darius from Pop Idol. Apparently he did a performance for his old school and wore his traditional kilt with no pants outfit. Unfortunately, he called a girl from the audience up on stage and while kneeling to talk to her he revealed more than he had bargained for.

I am sure most people wouldn't be complaining at a quick flash of his cock, but not sure that the school was expecting such a guest appearance!




Courtesy of Popbitch and Smackedface

close up

Thursday, May 20, 2004

Personality Type

I have taken the personality test (courtesy of popdizzy) and have come out as ESTP. Not that different from when I did all these tests years ago during management training. I think the results are a pretty fair reflection. I tend to focus on realism and facts rather than emotions and feelings. I am not saying this is right but it does reflect my emotional stuntedness!

As for ideal careers this seems to be a bit off the mark - pilot? fire fighter? mechanic? - The only link I can find with these is my porn fantasies.

Extroverted (E) 51.35% Introverted (I) 48.65%
Realistic (S) 55.88% Imaginative (N) 44.12%
Intellectual (T) 72.73% Emotional (F) 27.27%
Easygoing (P) 61.11% Organized (J) 38.89%
Your type is: ESTP
You are a Promoter, possible professions include - real estate broker , chef, land developer, physical therapist, stock broker, news reporter, fire fighter, promoter, entrepreneur, pilot, budget analyst, insurance agent, management consultant, franchise owner, electrical engineer, aircraft mechanic, technical trainer, EEG technologist, radiological technician, emergency medical tech., corrections officer, flight attendant.
Take Free Career Inventory Personality Test
personality tests by similarminds.com

Wednesday, May 19, 2004

Crazy time

Apart from yesterday’s tribute to Joan I haven’t has a lot of time for blogging. My MSC has taken me away for two weeks with assignment deadlines looming left right and centre. Work has hit another frenzied period with annual business plans being signed off and new people to train. Home life has been manic as we are in the midst of re-plastering with the accompanying plumbing and electrical work that goes with that. A weekend of sun also meant time in the garden and re-pointing brickwork -

I have made a recent stab and exploiting the new Blogger templates and, in the process, losing the links and personalisations I had originally made. I’ll be remedying this over the next few weeks as I brush up on my html.

I also haven’t had a lot of time to keep up to date with my favourite bloggers. A cursory look this morning has revealed that I am not the only one whose posts have dipped – are we all in the middle of a crazy month?

Tuesday, May 18, 2004

Ms. Collins

My life is now complete! Last night we went to the opening night of Full Circle starring Joan Collins. Joan looked exquisite and the audience "ooed and aahhed" each time she came on – especially in the last scene where she was dripping in diamonds and sparkly detailing on her frock.

The play was a pretty pedestrian tale in the French farce genre. Called Full Circle it was written by Alan Melville and was previously made as a b&w film. The brochure describes it as: “Best-selling novelist Denise Darvel (Joan Collins) unexpectedly confesses to her children that the handsome man in the portrait above the fireplace is not, after all, their father. The truth is revealed... Denise is not a widow, has never been married and all three children have different fathers. In the interests of speedy respectability, all three fathers are summoned for matrimonial inspection but alas, none retain the allure of their youth...

With elegant sets, gorgeous costumes and a chance to witness Miss Collins’ outstanding skills and charismatic beauty, Full Circle promises an evening of wit, comedy and sophistication in the company of a much-loved icon.”

It was fantastic to see Joan on stage – we were in the fourth row, so she was less than 10 feet away and I am sure she winked directly at me!

Colleagues at work have been either very impressed (women, young people and the vaguely queeny boy in IT) or derisory (most of the men). Joan doesn’t do much stage work so this was a real treat – go and see her of she is heading your way.




Thursday, May 13, 2004

New Template

I have taken advantage of the new templates at Blogger, but now have to transfer all my old links, comments etc. Bear with me while I get it all sorted.

Back home now but 2 assignments needed before the weekend - so I best get on with it!

Thursday, May 06, 2004

Popdizzy

Looking through my usual daily blogs (rather than tackle the teetering pile of work on my desk) and popdizzy seems to have vanished! I saw a post from Nixon yesterday saying his web host was near expiration and soliciting contributions to maintain his excellent blog - hadn't realised it was so imminent. His domain name has now been hijacked by one of the domain registration companies. Hope he is up and running again soon.

Wednesday, May 05, 2004

Flattered and confused

Sorry that recent posts have been obsessed with not applying for new jobs – promise this will be the last one (for a while!). After making my decision not to apply I received a call today from the Chief Executive of the organisation advertising the job. He wanted to know why I hadn’t submitted an application. I explained that there were some elements of the job that I felt to be a little unmanageable and that had unclear outcomes. We discussed various aspects of the job and he said that even though he had a reasonable shortlist for interview he would be willing to accept a late application.

What does this mean? Does he actually have a pretty poor selection of candidates and is inviting me to apply? Is he just a nice guy who wants me to look again at a development opportunity? Or has everyone made the same assessment and me and no-one has applied? I think my original reasons for not applying still stand and I have to be careful that I don’t just feel flattered into applying. I have 24 hours to make a decision – so some serious discussion needed tonight. I’ll post an update tomorrow and then no more on the subject!!

Tuesday, May 04, 2004

What I did at camp this year

So, I meant to spend a block of time over the bank holiday weekend transferring over to typepad and finally getting some of web space up and running but the weather was too good to be stuck inside. We managed to cram a lot in over the three days which has meant coming back to work even harder.

Work on the house has played a part again. We visited an architectural salvage yard to look for new doors, spindles, architraves etc. It sounded promising with 13 acres of salvaged goods. Unfortunately, it turned out to be a shed of a few old fireplaces and 13 acres of crap. We did find some old fireplaces at another dealer that will look excellent in the front room (once we have a spare couple of thousand pounds). Then it was on to the garden centre to add more stock to the yard. I had to stamp my feet to stop my boyfriend from buying a dozen trees. He is very impetuous and wants to buy loads of plants, whereas I am much meaner and limited myself to a couple of plants with cuttings from others surreptitiously hidden to try and grow on. I suppose this a bit naughty really, but I thought I’d see how they take before investing in more. We are still waiting for the quote for the decking and seating and I would rather get this sorted before we spend loads of money on more plants.

On Friday night we went to see a friends band playing at a local pub. We had a great night and caught up with loads of people we hadn’t seen for ages. I haven’t been to see any bands for ages and forgotten how enjoyable live music is. Saturday was a quieter night at home with some friends. We finally got a round to watching Peter Kay at the Blackpool Tower – really funny and now all the cryptic references from my brother finally begin to make sense. Sunday was the 18th birthday celebration of a friend’s daughter. A lazy afternoon in the garden with plenty of champagne and a meal afterwards. Another excellent evening and really good to chill out. On Monday I went to visit a friend who is back in Newcastle after 2 years travelling. As well as the usual souvenirs she came back with a baby! She was beautiful and we went to the park to see peacocks, pigs and rabbits – which were more entertaining for us than the baby.

Yesterday we also watched Camp – out in 2003 I think – but the first time we had seen it. I really enjoyed it and will now be enrolling for a summer camp in the performing arts (although it may clash with cheerleading camp which is another priority!). Summer camps in general seem weird to a non-Amercian. I always assumed they were a way for parents to have a childfree summer, but I think they must shape young people in a massive way. First love, new experiences and no parental control must be a dangerous cocktail. Camp had some excellent casting and some great voices, worth watching. Also starred the very cute Daniel Letterle, who started off as a prick-teasing skater dude and didn’t change much by the end.