e the blog o' moosh

Saturday, September 30, 2006

Sawasdee ka!

Well, I'm here, and I'm eating Meiji panda biscuits, so it can't be all bad.

I am so tired though that I have an expression of permanent cheesed-off-ness etched onto my features. And actually, if truth be told, it's not so far off the mark.

My flight from Glasgow to Dubai was ok, not too busy, so I got to spread out, watch some movies, eat some lovely curry thing and scowl at the man across the aisle who was reading out loud to himself, alternately from the bible and a medical text book. Then he started playing a DS and so I didn't feel I could get mine out as it were, in case he tried to strike up a conversation. Bah.

Dubai airport was not as scary this time either, I got to the gate with no hassle and when the time came, hopped on the plane - with 95% of eastern Asia. The plane was dropping us off (not literally) at Bangkok and then going on to Hong Kong, so it was packed to the gunnels. The woman sat next to me had the same idea as me - to sleep for most of the journey, however, she also was in possession of the pointiest elbows this side of Shanghai and therefore I did not sleep much.

Which led me to wandering around, dazed and confused, in the new enormo-airport at Bangkok, waiting for an entire ice age for my bag and then missing the person who was supposed to be picking me up. I followed their instructions to the letter, however, they probably got fed up waiting and thus I had to negotiate with many scary people to get a ride into town.

After beating them down from some astronomical prices, I was safely ensconsed in a hideously over-priced taxi and heading to Oakwood, which is as lovely as ever (after I had shown the driver where to go on my map). I unpacked a bit, had a shower and ate some Arabic crisps and then tried to snooze for a bit before my date with Ammie, however, I was somehow TOO tired to sleep.

At Oakwood they have an ingenious system of taxi procuring - you tell the nice man at the hotel where you want to go, he whistles and shouts at taxis until one stops and then he tells the driver where you want to go. They also seem to write down the taxi number you get into, I'd like to think, in case you get ripped off.

Well, my friends, I have been ripped off (or almost ripped off) no less than 3 times today. I told myself I would be tough and not let it happen, but frankly I was too tired to argue over what is essentially about 45p at the end of the day. My top taxi tip is always make them use the meter - and if they refuse, just get out. I didn't have the energy to get out and ended up paying 50% more than I should have to get home this evening (but it was still less than £1.50 to go the distance of say Glasgow City Centre to Milngavie or so and it was CHUCKING it down).

So, anyway, I met up with Ammie after some false starts over which set of fountains and which picture of the king we were supposed to meet by. We had a wander around the shopping centre Paragon which was being built the last time I was here and then had some food. The Thai way of food courts really floats my boat, I must say. Here's how tonight's dinner worked:
  • Approach nice smiling lady, who gives you a credit swipey card thing and takes you to a table
  • Puts reserved sign on your numbered table (your card and table have same numbers on)
  • You wander round and pick what you want from a choice of about a dozen different cuisines - Vietnamese, Italian, Japanese, Thai, etc
  • Once you've ordered your dish, your card is swiped and you toddle off and get a drink and then go back and sit down
  • The waiter brings your dish once it's ready to you
  • And then when you've finished, you take your card to the cashier, who tells you how much you owe and you settle up

What a bonzer idea! It means you can go and have a look and a smell and that you're not having to stick to one type of food, or if you're a trougher (I did not trough this time!), you can try a few different things. I am most enamoured. I know you're wondering - I had fried duck and rice, it was lovely.

I am bleedin knackered and looking forwards to bed. I have to be up at 5.30am tomorrow morning (BKK time) as Ammie is taking Jamie and I to the floating market. Our trip starts at 6.45am and I have to make my way across town (hopefully in a metered taxi!) to meet them beforehand.
So now, I am off to bed under a big duvet - the air conditioning is up full. It's raining! Thunder and lightning and the hotel staff have towels out the front so we don't fall over - bless em.

posted by Claire @ 9/30/2006 03:01:00 pm | 0 comments | links

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Wednesday, September 27, 2006

Don't act like you're doing me a favour.

Why, WHY is it only Wednesday? It should be at least November by now. This week has been taken up with work (obviously) and also:

  • Making a pair of duck slippers for a beautiful little Thai baby
  • Not sewing on the beaks of said slippers as they looked a bit hard
  • Trying to sew one on but when it looked like it had beak rot, giving up and asking Jo for a second opinion
  • Eating Ichiban noodles until mine eyes bulged with Jo
  • Eating a sneaky mini trifle
  • Getting a case of FREE wine delivered to work
  • Not getting the stuff I ordered online yet
  • Reading about Bangkok and near swooning with the possibilities
  • Tending to Lee's work-induced wounds
  • Saying happy birthday to ryball
  • Buying chocolate digestives to take to Jamie
  • Watching films (yes, I know, so not me!)
  • Congratulating Rebecca on passing her citizenship test
  • Listening to Virgin Groove and bopping in my chair (and annoying mar-c with my random humming probably)
  • Sloshing around in the rain
  • Booking a last minute hair appointment to get shorn

and ...

not packing. I must do that TONIGHT.

posted by Claire @ 9/27/2006 07:09:00 pm | 0 comments | links

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Sunday, September 24, 2006

There are various types of ocelots

Jings, crivvens and indeed help ma boab!

What a weekend of monumental, frustrating boredom it has been! I had great plans for Saturday. Lee is working all weekend so I had great plans for a day to myself, pottering around, cleaning the flat, taking a jaunt into town to look at trousers and maybe even go have a wee sit down in a cafe or something and read a book.

Sadly, that was scuppered by the fact that the demon bunny slippers were still not finished. Due to some crossed wires over first sizes of slippers needed to fulfil the order and then over the number of stitches in the constituent parts of said slippers, I was still knitting them on Friday evening. And as I didn't finish on Friday evening, this activity carried on to Saturday.

Not to worry, I thought to mineself at 11.30, as I stumbled from my slumber into the shower. It'll take 2 hours max and I can still be in town for around 3-ish. After nibbling on a bagel, I settled down for a couple of hours hardcore knitting in front of a bumper run of The Brittas Empire on Bravo.

Fast forwards in a Scooby Doo stylee to 12 hours later - and I am still on the sofa, still knitting ears and, frankly, wanting to stick the knitting needles (or instruments of torture as I now know them) into my eyes, ears and any other handy orifices, mine or anyone else's. I had an hour off for dinner (good behaviour?) but it was almost midnight before they were done. I would like to go to sleep for a very long time.

Of course, you'd think that knitting the same thing for what felt like 4 weeks solid would have a soporific effect on the old noggin - but no, I was wide awak and so had to read an exciting book about Bangkok for a few hours before I could nod off.

Despite my late night, I decided to get up at 830 this morning to make the most of the day I missed out on yesterday. I had a good old sesh on Animal Crossing and paid off my mortgage so expecting another room tomorrow - very exciting. It was tipping it down in AC - and in real life, but I still headed off into town in the rain to get some bhat and to continue with yesterday's aborted trouser-viewing mission.

After collecting the bhat, I looked at many trousers, but sadly none of them liked the look of me. As I stalked down Buchanan Street, the rain bouncing off the pavement, I thought St Enoch might be a good bet.

As I waited to cross Argyle Street, it suddenly struck me why no one was standing on the edge of the pavement - just as the number 204 bus engulfed me in a tidal wave of epic proportions. I was literally soaked from toe to crotch, and let me tell you, it was not fun at all. It would have been bad enough in just ordinary trousers, but in jeans - well, it was like dragging around 2 obese badgers clinging to my ankles.

I still lurched onwards to St Enoch's, but by this time the staring and pointing at my unfortunate appearance proved too much and I gave up and came home instead, whereupon I came in and blew a fuse switching on the lights. It is REALLY not my day today. I did manage to see the trousers and a few other things online which they did have in the right size, so I have placed mine order - here's hoping that they will be ok and the day will not have been entirely wasted.

I am off now to tidy up a bit, deliver the demon bunnies to Jo for facial construction surgery and then come home and lie on the floor for the rest of the day so no other ill can befall me.

p.s does anyone else's satellite TV go funny in the rain?

posted by Claire @ 9/24/2006 03:07:00 pm | 0 comments | links

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Thursday, September 21, 2006

I know a few women who could do with wearing a burkha.

Now Lee's mum's card details have been stolen. That's just too freaky. There's no common link.

Where is Inspector Gadget when you need him?

posted by Claire @ 9/21/2006 05:07:00 pm | 0 comments | links

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Wednesday, September 20, 2006

What do slugs and snails actually eat?

What a week of contrasts it has been! And it's only Wednesday!

Yesterday I finally had confirmed what I hoped was going to happen - I am off to Bangkok next week! I had not blogged about it for fear of tempting fate, but my lovely bosses are sending me off to train some staff at our office there. Regular readers will know that I went out there last year for a week for the same purpose and L-O-V-E-D it.

This time though, I am going it alone. I'll be left to my own devices and able to explore what I want to explore! Due to the relatively short notice and the timing, neither my potential travelling partners could make it - Lee can't get time off work and Jo will be on holiday in Mexico then (lucky swine). Applicants, apply here to be my Sherpa!

I have managed to get flights booked which will give me a couple of free days over the weekends to explore a bit more this time too, so I am really quite excited about it.

Of course, no sooner than the flights were booked, than I came back upstairs to my desk and discovered Sky news alerts flashing away to tell me that there was a coup and that tanks were taking up position around town. I am assured by my Thai colleagues on the ground, as it were, that it's perfectly safe to travel though, although my mother is taking some convincing. It will certainly be an adventure!

I am also told that I will be one of the very first people to fly into Bangkok's new international airport, the largest single terminal airport in the world. Something else to add to the adventure!

It's been a real day of highs and lows today. This morning I received a call from my credit card company to ask me if I ever played poker online. Sadly it was not just them taking an interest in my leisure pursuits - some dullard had stolen my card details and been merrily playing poker with them, unbeknownst to me.

This would have been slightly easier to believe had Lee not received a similar call from his bank yesterday, alerting him to the same problem with his bank account. In Lee's case though, they had made off with more than double the amount of money and bizarrely donated some of it to Christian Aid. Maybe they had a guilty conscience! Although we will get our money refunded, it does mean a whole heap of inconvenience for us, especially now I am heading off next week.

To counter such dull news and a crap day at work to boot, I received an email this afternoon from my bank - giving me a free case of wine! How lovely! I can't recommend smile enough - it's like banking with a friend. Switch now!

In other news, I scanned my entire life into flickr, go see. Nothing crafty to report as I am STILL knitting this order of rabbit slippers, but hopefully should finish that by tomorrow when I can then knit a hat for mar-c.

posted by Claire @ 9/20/2006 07:41:00 pm | 0 comments | links

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Tuesday, September 19, 2006

You should add some tabasco and just ignore the smell.

Last nite, I finally got the scanner to work, albeit on Lee's computer.

Consequently, I began scanning my entire life and have uploaded it to Flickr.

Go forth and marvel at bad hair, bad outfits and bad photography.

posted by Claire @ 9/19/2006 11:51:00 am | 0 comments | links

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Sunday, September 17, 2006

And he says... "I wiped my hands on the curtains"!

Here be the finished Mr Dangly Monkey. Sadly, at the party on Saturday evening I jokingly said that some guy could have him. Even more sadly, he took me at my jokey word and made off into the night with him. Distraught am I! This is the only picture I have of him in his finished state. I guess I will just have to start on a brother or sister for him this evening! I'm thinking a disco monkey might be good ...

If you see this monkey please call 0898 MONK-EEEY to report the sighting.

posted by Claire @ 9/17/2006 01:00:00 pm | 4 comments | links

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Friendly bacteria can fuck right off.

Jo's annual fancy dress party was HOT! Here are the photos. I had a lovely time, drank a lot of cider, met a lot of lovely people, extolled the virtues of internet dating (for that is how I and Lee-san met, fact lovers) and generally had a blast. Lee sadly started chucking up his dinner shortly after arrival and went home to bed.

I started and finished a whole new scarf this weekend:

I think you'll agree the colours are fab. It's also 100% cotton which is good for all those weirdy beardy allergy sufferers out there and the anti-acrylic league.

As part of the party shenanigans, Jo and I had to go to every charity shop in the West end looking for costume pieces. We also found this:

All that wool for £3! What a bargain! The gods of the charity shops really were smiling upon us! We also found this job lot of vintage buttons, again only £2! What a day it was! The third picture is a lovely retro glass plate I found for just 25 British pence! I had to go home for a lie down after that. Also, for the cake buffet we bought a huge amount of cakes from the Pantry on Byres Road - they do a mean bridie. The lovely baker woman gave us 8 free scones! What a find! It more than made up for the surly bitch in Ichiban where we had lunch who had the personality of a used johnny.

What a great weekend! And now ... back to work :(

posted by Claire @ 9/17/2006 11:56:00 am | 0 comments | links

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Thursday, September 14, 2006

How can you confuse an acronym with an ecosystem?

(Back in verdana)

The crafting continued again last nite:

The phone cosy looks wonky, but it's not. I love the way the wool has made it look like I spent ages getting those stripes right - I didn't, it just happened. I can't get blogger to behave itself with uploading photos, so they are all higgeldy.

Crafting was interrupted by me having to lie down from laughing so much, Muttley-style at Lee's costume for Saturday nite's party - all will be revealed!

posted by Claire @ 9/14/2006 07:38:00 am | 1 comments | links

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Wednesday, September 13, 2006

Have you still got my sachet of salad cream?

Last nite, as a break from knitting the rabbits , I had a bit of a winter knitting jump-start session.

I made:

A sludgy green coloured mp3/phone-cosy.

A "sea thistle" coloured mp3/phone-cosy. (The colours are washed out here, see below for close up)

I also made this grey hat, which is made from such soft wool, I could have fell asleep on it face first. However, it turned out to be a child's hat, as it was on quite small needles. I haven't had such a productive evening since Noah was a boy!

I also had dinner made by Lee which was quite the most delightful thing I've had ... well, since the last time he cooked. Rosemary lamb meatballs with lemon, red pepper and chickpea rice with grilled aubergines. Mmmmm.

Lex also informed me that I did have an RSS feed on my blog all along, I just didn't know it. And neither would you dear readers, unless you were a Level 5 geek like he clearly is (only joking!). But he has revolutionalised my life with his insider knowledge, and I hope to revolutionalise yours with this. Enjoy!

posted by Claire @ 9/13/2006 07:39:00 am | 2 comments | links

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Tuesday, September 12, 2006

I can't stand it when people treat books badly.

Can't talk, I'm being chased by giant mushrooms!

I have put an RSS feed on my blog because I am so cheesed off with there not being one on the blogs that I want to keep up with.

posted by Claire @ 9/12/2006 04:52:00 pm | 1 comments | links

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Thursday, September 07, 2006

Why would you wear a hat just to talk to God?

Consider the pants.

I have had 2 alarming encounters with big knickers today. Thankfully (?), neither were pertaining to my own underwear (which is safely tucked away and, of course, black).

I was tapping away conscientiously at my keyboard this very morn when I happened to glance up and spotted 2 severe fashion faux pas trundling past, side by side. Both of said blunders involved pants.

The first one to catch my beady eye was a girl who was clearly in for an interview for something or other. She had clearly gone to some considerable effort with her appearance - make up, hair, nice jacket, etc. However,
she had squeezed her Mozambique-sized ass into a pair of very tight trousers and to cap it all, decided upon the biggest pair of knickers in the Western world as her undergarments. You could launch a sailing boat with these babies. I don't know how the interview went, but I hope that she backed out of the room at the end as they would certainly have put me off.

The second blunder belonged to someone I really didn't think would be capable of such escapades. Clearly a fan of the black skirt, and generally well turned out, this was unexpected. However, the skirt today was sadly a little more sheer than any of us thought and the decision to wear big white pants beneath said skirt was not a good one.

All this pant action lead me to ponder on my own pant situation. I have a plethora of said undercrackers that I really need to weed out (rather than wee on, arf arf). Buying underwear is one of those vices that I have like someone people like buying shoes or buying handbags. Oh, wait, that's me too. Although I have not been too bad of late (take note Lee).

In crafting news - well, there is not too much of that to report. I finished the dangly monkey when I got back and once he's sewn up and stuffed, I will post a picture. His limbs are all orange as is his tail and his ears, and it does go very well with the green, thank you all who assured me it would turn out ok. I must start a pair of bunny slippers this evening after my trip to Ichiban with Jo and Mar-c though, as they are proving to be our best seller just now. Why don't people want to buy the things that are quick to make?!

posted by Claire @ 9/07/2006 07:20:00 am | 2 comments | links

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Monday, September 04, 2006

Unexpected death

Last week's holiday was a little overshadowed by the death of an old friend of mine, Scott. Sadly, Scott hung himself last week which was, to those who knew him, somewhat unexpected.

Whilst I had not seen him for some time and we had lost touch, he remained good friends with friends of mine, who had been out with him only the weekend before. They reported that he seemed his usual happy self which makes his untimely death all the sadder.

I will always remember his milky bar kid-esque blonde hair, his crap tippexed on leather jacket (that was cool in the mid 90s grunge wardrobe) and the time that another friend accidentally punched him in the face and knocked his tooth out. Really, you couldn't make this up. Always good for a laugh and never with a bad word to say about anyone. Truly very sad.

RIP Scott.

posted by Claire @ 9/04/2006 08:46:00 pm | 1 comments | links

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Sunday, September 03, 2006

I simply cannot believe that you've never seen an opera.

well, what a week it's been. Let's break it down.

Saturday, we got all the packing finished, we tidied up, posted the wodge of things I sold on Ebay and then kind of hung about until it was time to leave for the airport. Then we did all the exciting airport things like eating onion rings, drinking alcohol, playing air hockey. It was a lot of fun.

Once we finally got to Kos, it was organised chaos. News of the security situation at British airports has clearly not made it as far afield as Greece where it is very much a free for all. 5 flights from the UK arrived at once and after a fight to reclaim our strangely moist baggage, we had to then sit on a coach for 1.5 hours waiting for everyone else. We finally made it to our apartments, tired, grubby and grumpy at about 5.30am.

However, we awoke late on Sunday morning to glorious sunshine and sweltering heat. We quickly got ready to face the elements and went exploring. Highlights were some free range cows in a field with no fences at the end of the road, what seemed to be an archaeological dig a bit further down and a moped hire place called Moto Steve. We took in the marina, the harbour and the castle, before finding what is allegedly the oldest tree in Europe where Hippocrates invented medicine and then wending our way back to our apartments to have a dunk in the pool.

On Monday, after more tanning/dunking action, we went on a jaunt to the south west of the island to indulge the pensioners within on a short cruise to see the sunset. It was beautiful if a bit rough and once we had all taken pictures of the sun disappearing, we docked at a little bay and had a barbeque and got bitten by some mosquitoes. Lee tried to teach me how to skim stones, but I was hopelessly inept at it and settled for getting my trousers wet in the sea instead.

On Tuesday we got up very early to go to Bodrum in Turkey for the day. After a false start, we eventually made it to the boat and we arrived about 45 minutes later. Turkey is right up there with Tijuana for me in places where you think oh that might be good and it turns out to be a bit of a hole. Albeit a pretty hole. We had a short tour round to see some windmills and then some jewellery that we had no interest in buying before having a good look round the town and then going back to the relative sanity of Kos.

On Tuesday night, we went to a traditional Greek taverna in a mountain village called Zia which was very beautiful (see photos). The evening itself was pretty entertaining, although the fact that we were stuck on a table with an extremely dull couple (that we dubbed Lou and Cheryl as in Neighbours) did hamper the evening's jolity somewhat. The wine was free and free flowing though, which meant that come the end of the evening when it was time to stand up, we made somewhat unsteady progress homewards.

The rest of the week we did pretty much bugger all, which was much needed. As a result of that and the p20, we got fabulous tans, read lots of books and generally had a very relaxing time. Kos is beautiful and the people so friendly and I'd heartily recommend where we stayed for a relaxing holiday.

But alas, now I am back and the relaxed pose of my shoulders is slowly but surely being replaced by the hunched over look of before. Coming back on a Monday was probably a bad idea, especially as Lee doesn't need to go back until Thursday. It's a busy week ahead as we have the Miso Funky market on Saturday, so back to reality with a bump. Ho hum.

posted by Claire @ 9/03/2006 04:11:00 pm | 1 comments | links

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