e the blog o' moosh

Friday, July 28, 2006

oh and another thing...

today i wore my new skirt which cost 99p! Ninety nine of your British pence! That's less than one Great British pound!

posted by Claire @ 7/28/2006 07:16:00 pm | 0 comments | links

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That's not sushi, it's just a starfish.

And then it rained.

It started at some point in the early hours of this morn and it's not let up since. It's still warm-ish which is nice but such an alien concept in this country. Warm rain? Surely you're mistaken, Maw Nature. The rain we can take, we've had plenty of practice, but not the heat at the same time. By the looks of it, and I sit and gaze at it stoating off the balcony as I type (yes, I am one of these smug people who can type and not look at either screen or keyboard and still compose a vaguely recognisable sentence or two), it doesn't look like it's going to be stopping any time soon.

Which means that this weekend's craft fairness could go either way. We're due at a fair in the Botanics on Sunday, but I think it's a more traditional type of fair. We're going in the hope that we'll be the modern funky ones and by my logic, clean up that way. If it's sunny though, then we should get a lot of passing Botanic-sun-bather trade, but if it's raining ... well, then, I'm not too hopeful. Oh look, it's stopped. But it's still quite murky looking.

Anyway, inspired by Jo's blog and her rantings about the unjust aspects of the world - where do old people get off being so nosey? I can't even bring myself to type out the whole sorry tale, but to cut right to the chase, me and a colleague ended up having a stand up argument with a pensioner in the carpark of Marks and Spencers the other day over something that had absolutely nothing to do with said pensioner. I was so incensed! And clearly still am!

People can be so rude and unhelpful sometimes. I have been trying to be nice to people lately to combat the image that some people seem to have of me being a bit of a bitch. Being pleasant to people is really no trouble (unless they are mean and evil and smell of toads) - a kind word, a cheery wave, a jolly smile. A bit of banter to liven up an otherwise dull exchange. But some people just can't get into the spirit of it.

Take the dullard in the travel agents last night. Ok, she had terrible dark roots/peroxide hair combination and yes, she had clearly recently had a run-in with the Tango man, and right enough, perhaps that large hideous cold sore on her top lip was detracting somewhat from her usual performance, but was there any need for her to be so utterly BLAND? I'd love to be a travel agent - maybe because I like researching things and organising things - so I'd be getting excited for my customers. But she was such a dullard, I wanted to poke her in her beady eyes and tell her to cock right off.

The upshot is, we still don't have a holiday organised. Maybe tomorrow though.

I got a fan today.

Isn't it bonny! You can also see the not very sunny sky thru the blinds and my Animal Crossing keychain with Celeste and a photo from our honeymoon.

Of course, the air con seems to be working now, but it's still nice to have a breeze.

posted by Claire @ 7/28/2006 06:39:00 pm | 0 comments | links

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Wednesday, July 26, 2006

It's so hot that the walls started melting.

No, I'm not entirely sure why I keep changing fonts here either. Let's try stick to good old Verdana now.

I have been hoist by my own petard (or pet toad - i wish). There I am merrily chattering away like a gibbon on crack about Maryhill's fortunes changing now that they have started knocking down the scabby flats but little did I realise that my own personal hell was only just beginning.

Because of the unique location of our house in the court, we have had big lorries lining up outside our bedroom window from 6am every morning, engines running to cart off the rubble deposited in them by the very noisy bulldozer just yards away from where we try to slumber. 6 am!

This would not be so bad if it was winter. But it's not, it's summer. And for anyone not aware of the current situation in Scotland, it's not just summer, it's summer in hell. The temperatures are so freakishly high here that it's warmer than the surface of Mars at times. So to even think of closing the window is to encounter certain death by suffication.

The situation has gotten to boiling point (almost literally) and we have bought a rotating desk fan with which to soothe our roasty limbs as we try to sleep. It sounds like we're on a plane. So that combined with the lorries, the heat and just general fatigue, is making for a most uncomfortable moosh this weather.

That said, they have almost completed the demolishment of the flats - it took them a morning to knock down an entire block, but over a week to take away the debris. Touch wood, I've not seen a fire engine for a fair few days now, so perhaps this will make a difference after all.

What I did see the other night on my way home was what looked like an angry mob from a distance and upon closer inspection seemed to be some kind of disgruntled coffee morning in the middle of The Avenue. (We live in The Court, at the end of The Avenue).

The Avenue is also on the list for demolition. Approximately 30 people were milling around in a scence reminiscent of news pictures from the war-torn Middle East - rubble lying around the ground, half naked children wandering around, dazed and grubby seemingly without parents, and women shouting.

I am still unclear as to what exactly was going on, but 2 teenage boys staggered up the hill towards the demolition site with shouts of "junkie scum" ringing in their ears. Perhaps it was their own mothers. Who knows. The sooner they all go though, the better - at least it will be safe to walk The Avenue without being in fear of our lives.

Anyway! My trip to Edinburgh failed to materialise as Linzee was working yet again. I will have to box up her gifts and send them to her as it's almost her birthday again and we're still on Christmas presents - a very sorry state of affairs. I am so behind on my correspondence again - sorry to all the people I owe letters/cards/parcels to!

After a mild flutter of excitement about finally using my dad's timeshare thing for a holiday this autumn, I think we are just going to book something last minute for a Canary Island or perhaps a Spanish somewhere. But you've already been on holiday this year, I hear you cry! Well, shit happens my friend and you need to get over the fact that we are off on another break!

We're also in negotiations as to where we should adventure off to next year - we were watching a program about Japanese food last week when Lee piped up that maybe he'd like to go to Japan, so that is on the agenda to investigate, however, we might end up in the States again as it is really a travesty that we have not been to visit Anne et Jim in Cincinnati yet.

AC update - I have now caught a hammerhead shark, 2 ocean sunfish and moved into my new house with the hot pink roof. Today I hope to visit mar-c's town and have my hair cut as she has reached the elusive status of having Nookingtons open. Yesterday I purchased a very fetching halo from Mabel and Sable and caught a cockroach. I think that's enough now...

posted by Claire @ 7/26/2006 09:12:00 pm | 1 comments | links

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Thursday, July 20, 2006

Stop! Enough knickerbocker wisecracks!

Oh look how cute this angel bunny is!

This is now mar-c's most proud possession after we tracked it down, hiding out in France. It arrived yesterday and has yet to leave her side.
Look how cute it is in the new bunny shoes, fresh off the needles!

Today I learnt about the macro setting on our new camera. It has helped me take a picture of the elusive Mr T finger puppet which guards my pens from maurauding paws:

I took a picture of my little cactus too to practice ...

posted by Claire @ 7/20/2006 04:58:00 pm | 0 comments | links

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I would like to kill everyone. Except you. Obviously.

There comes a time when I can take no more and Tuesday evening was that time.

On Tuesday, Jo and I went swimming at North Woodside pool. It's a small pool, but kind of Victorian-y inside with it's high ceiling, balcony round the pool with changing rooms upstairs and pillars. Picturesque one might even say. But it's also very crowded on a hot day during the school holidays. For this, we really should have been more prepared and headed to Scotstoun, where the pool is of Olympic proportions and therefore has lanes set aside for plodders, mid-range and speed swimmers.

Not so Woodside - this pool is so small it can only afford to lane off one small sliver of water for the people who are there to swim and not just fanny about with foam floats or chat with their friends in the shallow end. Unforunately, most people were there to swim. This meant about 15 people trying to plough up and down a stretch of water roughly the same width as your average bath. This also lead to severe lane rage from me and probably many others present.
Firstly, there was the woman with the dreadlocks who swam up and down the middle of the lane without looking where she was going, banging into all and sundry, clearly in another zone where qualifying for the Commonwealth games is her immediate goal.

Then there was her counterpart who swam up and down in the opposite direction from her splashing as hard as he possibly could and generally veering into everyone else's paths. On top of this, there were the 2 Italians, one of whom had clearly burnt himself in the Scottish sunshine by the looks of his decidly raw nipples. They were clearly having their own personal Flipper in distress splashing contest.

Is it too much to ask for people to just swim? In a courteous fashion? Normally, I'd just say something to these morons, but there is something about being wet and half naked in public that restricts me from having it out with these people.

Anyway, that aside, we had an impromptu barbecue last nite at home. Lee had this marvellous idea as it was so damned hot yesterday that we should get some people round for a small soiree, and that is exactly what we did!
Photos are here.

Everyone had a great time I think - Aleks is truly the queen of the barbecue. We had time to squeeze in a quick round of Guitar Hero and also all us DS geeks managed to visit each others' Animal Crossing towns and exchange fruit (I have apple and coconut trees now!) before midnight struck and we all turned into pumpkins ... or went home, at least.

They have finally started knocking down the remaining houses at the back of our house, so hopefully the fire-raising neds will rack off now. Ryan told me that the fire brigade are actually patrolling the neighbourhood now, such is the frequency of fires in our area, but I did not believe him until mar-c confirmed this last nite on her way home. It really is ridiculous that they have boarded up these houses and left them for months, especially in such a deprived area as Maryhill, where the kids have nothing else to do but get hideously drunk and break things.

posted by Claire @ 7/20/2006 04:52:00 pm | 0 comments | links

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Thursday, July 13, 2006

There's no such thing as a grateful Frenchman

Here is the thing that broke our shed - prize if anyone can tell what it actually is.

We have stepped up security with several padlocks, bolts, chains and a gruff goat to stand guard (ok, maybe I made that list bit up).

On a lighter note, I bought new shoes and they are so comfortable! And green, which is a much under-utilised colour for shoes, I feel. 2 pairs for £40! Surely some pricing catastrophe! They have joined shoe mountain at the foot of the stairs.

Last nite I caught a squid, a red snapper and 2 sea bass! I was very pleased. I also paid off my mortgage and found a wide screen TV in the recycling bin. I am of course, talking about Animal Crossing again. Lee probably thinks I am crazy, but I do have fellow AC fanatics in mar-c, becca, lex and jo. I even visited mar-c's town today to exchange fruit with her (I have oranges and she has peaches) so hopefully I'll be able to grow some new stuff to sell to Tom Nook.

As Lex has been pointing out over on Diskant, I think that there is a sinister underbelly to Animal Crossing. Everyone is nicey nicey but I get the feeling that they have all been brainwashed or are acting under some sort of curse. No one can do anything without the say so of Tom Nook (who is surely the pimp daddy to my and every other characters crack whore) because he controls the sale and purchase of everything from wallpaper to fishing rods. And as Lex points out, that pelican on the night shift in the post office is the biggest bitch out.

Anyway, back in the real world... I might get a jaunt to Edinburgh on Saturday to visit Linzee, who I have not seen for so ridiculously long that I still have her Christmas present taking up space in the living room. This Saturday is the 3rd Miso Funky fair, which usually means the preceding week is taken up with blind panicking and running around, but this time round Jo and I are scarily organised, even down to new storage boxes for carrying stuff.

posted by Claire @ 7/13/2006 06:32:00 pm | 0 comments | links

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Wednesday, July 12, 2006

Meat samosa? What kind of meat? Does it say?

Yesterday was a dull and seemingly-interminable day at work. No one much was around and after Monday's unexpected bonus afternoon off, was all the more unbearable. So imagine my utter delight to get home and discover that someone had broken into our new shed! Thankfully, they had not taken anything as the sole contents comprise:
  • some roof felting (excess from building said shed)
  • 4 green garden canes (left over from aborted sunflower growing mission)
  • 1 bike rack (now detached from wall in house)
  • 2 mountain bikes (chained together so that if some dullard breaks into the shed, they can't steal them)

Strangely, they used some sort of brass boating contraption to break the hasp off the shed, ingenious these neds in Maryhill. Not quite sure where they would have found that, perhaps from a previous ambush on the canal. If I can fish it out the wheelie bin tonight, I will take a picture as it was most unusual looking.

After that exciting development, Lee made some more curry, this time chili pork with curry leaves which was frankly delicious. He also made some of his now signature samosas and some spiced onions - we are living that Indian restaurant dream.

Animal Crossing update - I caught 2 fish! And dug up a fossil! I was most impressed. Blaire came round and slagged off my house and now I want to kill them all, but I am assured by Super M that they will come round to loving me eventually...

posted by Claire @ 7/12/2006 07:48:00 am | 0 comments | links

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Monday, July 10, 2006

Without Bill Oddie, I'd be completely lost.

My top-secret project is completed and my silence can finally be broken. I know you have all been wondering what on earth could be keeping me so busy that I have blogged not a semi-colon since Nam. Well, it was of course Lee's SURPRISE 30th birthday party!

He had no idea! And I felt like the king for being able to keep my mouth shut and not blurt it out to him, although it did really come close on a few occasions.

Jo and I started planning the party months ago and it felt a bit weird to finally be putting it all into action on Saturday. We managed to get friends from as far away as Belfast and London to come up to surprise Lee and I think it's safe to say that a really rockin time was had by all. A photo diary of the day will follow shortly!

It's coming up to a very busy crafting season for us with Miso Funky, with our own market this week, and another few coming up in the weeks after, so I should really be beavering away on the needles/beads/sewing machine. That poor knitted monkey for example has been languishing in the bottom of my in progress bag for weeks now and really needs to be stuffed.

Sadly though, with the arrival of my shiny new DS Lite, the crafting has taken a bit of a knockback. I had to join the ever-growing ranks of my DS-ing friends and get myself upgraded from a GBA to a DS, complete with Animal Crossing (super cute animals!), Zoo Keeper (addictive Tetris style game with worried looking giraffes) and of course my favourite Sims 2 - in which I get to fulfill my childhood dream of running my own hotel! It's been leading to too many late nights for me - I just can't seem to put that cute little stylus down! That coupled with the fact that I got Guitar Hero for PS2 for Lee's birthday and he got Championship Manager for XBox too means we are having a bit of a gaming renaissance chez Brown.

Aside from secret party planning, I have also been reporting my neighbour's abandoned car (which the very efficient council peoples towed away less than 24 hours after I reported it) and freeing up a valuable parking space in the Court, eating out a lot (and giving our cooker it's annual rest), having a day trip to Carlisle (but not taking any photos because we bought a new camera that day) and watching a lot of World cup football (or soccer as some of you like to call it).

Photos to follow once they are prised from the many and varied cameras of our friends...

posted by Claire @ 7/10/2006 07:45:00 pm | 0 comments | links

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