Monday, 29 October 2007
At the moment my brain is aged 64 as I am rubbish at maths, but I have discovered that I am quite good at Sudoku. Vince's brain is 29 which is only two years older than the rest of him. We have nicknamed Dr Kawashima "Kimonagi-san" in honour of our friend, James.
Vince and James work together and they were discussing cleaning tips (!) and Vince mentioned something that he had learned from Kim and Aggie. Obviously James has never seen How Clean is Your House? as he thought that Vince was talking about a wise Japanese person called Kimonagi! Perhaps he envisioned the domestic version of Confucius.
Hmmm you can tell that my boss isn't in and I haven't got a lot of work to do!
When Vince and I moved into our current house just over a year ago, it came part furnished. This included a rather large and ancient microwave. It was the size of Greater London, the countdown numbers occasionally went out and it didn't beep anymore when it had finished cooking.
There had been a couple of times when the microwave had reacted a bit and smoked when we'd tried to microwave something, even though there was no metal in it. However, on Saturday morning I was trying to make some cappucinos to take back up to bed. It was Vince's birthday and he was just about to open some presents. I tried to heat up some milk in the microwave in a Pyrex jug but again the microwave started to crackle and flicker and I could smell smoke. I stopped it and opened the door and saw something drip from the roof of the microwave. I think it was metal! I looked to see where the stuff had dripped from and there were two very small flames, each the size of a match flame just before it goes out.
I had to throw away the milk as the inside of the microwave had dripped into it. I managed to salvage the Pyrex jug and get whatever it was off it. I unplugged the microwave, made sure that the fire had gone out and that I didn't need Vince's help in putting it out, and then consigned it to the appliance graveyard. Our landlord is going to take it to the tip for us.
We could have asked our landlord to buy a new one for us but we decided that we'd like to buy our own as at least when we move we'll have one. The above pictured microwave is the one we bought from Argos. We waited about 10 million years for it as they couldn't find it as it had no catalogue number on the box.
Unfortunately all the taxi companies in Carlisle seemed to be fully booked so we had to walk home carrying it between us. It was heavy, awkward and really hurt our hands. It looks very snazzy, has a clock on it which gives the kitchen an eerie blue glow and it beeps! You can even do multi-stage cooking in it and has special programmes for certain foods which goes by weight!
Yesterday Vince and I bought a lead for our cat Marwood. We live in a built up area so we don't want to let him outside in case he gets run over. However, we also think that it's sad that he can't go out so we bought the lead.
You might think that it is very difficult to take a cat for a walk. And you'd be right!
Getting the harness on him was the easy part. He was alright on the lead in the house and walked reasonably well on it considering it's the first time he's ever been on a lead. Being outside was another story though! We took him out the back door into the little alley way that runs behind our house. He wasn't to keen on being outside and he fluffed his tail up to twice it's normal size. There were lots of new sounds and smells for him to discover and he seemed quite overwhelmed by it all.
He didn't really want to venture out much past the door but we persevered and we managed to get him to the top of the alley where it joins our road. He didn't really walk, we pulled him a bit, then he would do an acrobatic roll and then stop. We got him almost to the front door when he stopped, miaowed a lot and would not be moved again. Vince had to carry him the rest of the way which was only about six feet!
Once back inside he became his normal happy self again. We gave him some of the treats he so loves as he'd been such a good boy. We left the harness on him for a little while so that he could get used to the feeling of it, he kept trying to lick it off! Ideally you are supposed to train them from kittens so they adapt to it. He did really well though considering it was his first time!
I now feel even more justified keeping him in the house. Seeing how scared he was out there made it obvious that he couldn't do it on his own.
Thursday, 18 October 2007
The job I'm doing has come up as a permanent position so I applied for it. I can't get an interview because I don't have a certificate to say that I can type! The NHS is just shooting themselves in the foot here because they're now going to employ someone who doesn't know how to do the job, my secretarial colleagues are going to have to train them like they did with me. This takes up their valuable time. Everyone in the office is so stressed at the moment. My boss is on the verge of a nervous breakdown as it is without having to get used to a new secretary. Just because they have a piece of paper to type won't necessarily mean they can do the job.
But the NHS is like that. They have lots of red tape. If they give me an interview without having the qualification they can face litigation. I can't get the qualification in time. They can't take me on and make me getting the qualification part of my personal development. So obviously I'm not capable of doing the job even though I've been doing it for the last four fucking months!
My boss has sent a complaint to the head secretary and head of the department. She has no say in who her secretary is it seems. She was very angry when I told her that I had to leave and why. My boss has a junior doctor who I'm also secretary for and he was annoyed and sent an email of complaint too. Another doctor that I occasionally do typing for praised the fact that he doesn't have to make any changes to the letters I do for him and to keep up the good work. When I told him that I was leaving he said "Well that's red tape and bureaucratics for you" and offered to give me a reference even though I don't really work for him.
I am especially annoyed today as apparently the trust that I work for is "excellent" according to an Annual Health Check published by the Health Care Commission. Another local trust was considered "weak" so god help the poor bastards that work there.
Friday, 28 September 2007
Image from Dorling Kindersley
We took Marwood to vet last night. He was very good and didn't give us too much trouble getting into the basket. He didn't like it much and he miaowed a bit on the walk to the vets.
Once at the vets he didn't bolt out of the basket when we opened the door, he didn't come out like a wild thing all teeth and claws either. In fact he was well behaved throughout.
He hated the vet cleaning his ears out with cotton wool and he wasn't too keen on the drops going in either. He shook his head almost instantly and we had to hold his back foot so he wouldn't scratch. He had a look of ecstasy on his face when the vet was massaging the drops down his ear.
We attempted to do some more drops last night. It took us half an hour to do it and I'm not sure how effective we were at doing it! Again he didn't bite or scratch he was just a bit lively and wriggled a lot in attempts to get away.
Obviously his condition is going to get worse before it gets better as he has been scratching his ears more since the drops went in. His poor flaps were looking quite pink as he has scratched them so much. I will have to keep an eye on these to make sure they don't get worse. I'll have to make him some mittens or get a funnel put on him otherwise.
Thursday, 27 September 2007
As I am sure you all know the word lunacy is related to the moon due to the behavior displayed by animals (including humans) around the time of the full moon.
Tuesday, 11 September 2007
This is m'kitty, Marwood.
We adopted him on Saturday from Animal Concern. My mum and dad took us to a guy called Kevin's house as Vince and I don't have a car and he lives out in the sticks. It took us a while to find his house as it's down a tiny lane but we finally made it.
I had seen a cat called Matey on the website (linked above) which sounded great so we were there to check him out. In a giant shed Kevin has chinchillas, chipmunks, other various rodents and a whole load of cats. The cats are kept in big cages, some with more than one cat in so they had company. We met Matey and he was very friendly. I had a fuss with another cat who was constantly crying for attention because I felt sorry for her.
We then went to a smaller outside pen where there were three more cages with a few more cats in. We met Rocky, a black cat with a white patch on his chest. He was very friendly too and we were torn then about which cat to get. Then Rocky got over-excited and bit Vince. So Matey it was.
My mum wanted to take home big bruiser Tootsie as he was massive but a gentle giant. My dad was very taken with Kevin's own cat Marmalade, or maybe it was more the other way round! I wonder if seeing all the kitties will make them want to get another cat, but I think my mum still has heart set on a dog much to my dad's dismay - he doesn't like dogs. My mum says that he didn't like cats or children though when she first met and has managed to win him round on both!
We have renamed Matey to Marwood, a character in the file Withnail & I (he is "I"). He is settling in quite well and is getting used to house noises after time in a shed. He still likes to hide in places (I have lost him twice and been worried when I couldn't find him!) but it is only his third full day so I don't expect him to be fully settled.
He follows me around everywhere I go. He's very friendly and quite talkative but won't settle on your lap yet. He's always dashing about the house giving everything in sight a headbutt!
I'm finding having a cat a little more stressful than I'd like, and also it has made me sad for the passing of dear old Anonymous who had to be put down last year as Marwood is my first kitty since then. Vince has said that I seem a lot happier since we got Marwood and I'm sure that as soon as he settles down and adapts to his change, that I adapt to the change too, I'll feel in purrrfect domestic bliss!
Monday, 3 September 2007
These are before and after photos of a makeover I had on the Benefit counter in House of Fraser in Carlisle in April.
In the first picture I am wearing no makeup at all and I look tired and puffy I think you'll agree. In the second I have been given a subtle amount of makeup, my skin tone is more even and I have eyebrows. About 10 products are on my face if you can believe that!
I don't wear with makeup every day, I can't be bothered with the effort. Today I have some very light cover foundation and a bit of powder on. For a little while after the makeover I did make more of an effort with my appearance, but I think this was just the novelty of having some new makeup products.
As I wear makeup so infrequently the only things that I have to buy regularly are powder and mascara as these are the things I wear the most. I am a bit of a makeup magpie however and keep buying various different colour eyeshadows and am amassing quite a selection!
I think the next product I buy will be a blusher. I have never worn this, except when age 16 I was really ill and grey and needed to get a passport photo so plastered myself in makeup, and also after the makeover. I will have to go back to the makeup counter to have a discussion about the many types of blusher that are now available and how one applies it as I haven't got a clue.
Part of me enjoys the time it takes to "beautify" myself. I enjoy thinking about the colour combinations of eyeshadows and watching the transformation slowly take place. Other times I wonder why there is this tradition of plastering our faces with various creams. When did men stop wearing makeup? Long gone are the days when men made their faces white, added red cheeks, beauty spots and wore powdered wigs. There has been a bit of new romantic revival recently with some men wearing eyeliner (much more of them should in my opinion) but men in makeup hasn't been popular for hundreds of years.
And it's not just makeup of course - men may have to shave their faces and run a bit of gel through their hair but that's about all the maintenance that is required. Women have to get rid of most of their body hair to be "socially acceptable" and you are treated as some sort of freak if you don't. Look at Julia Roberts when she didn't shave her armpits. My hat goes off to Beth Ditto, lead singer of The Gossip who is big and unshaved but is still sexy.
But what I want to know is why is it that women are expected to go to such great lengths to be considered beautiful? Who started this shaving business? Your hair grows of its own occurrence, it is natural and so therefore surely it is there for a reason. Too keep you warm and to show that you have reached sexual maturity. So if it is natural then why get rid of it?
Monday, 20 August 2007
Before that though we had a grand party, ate lots of food, drank lots, had some musical enertainment on guitar, bazouki and fiddle (as long as no one was watching) and several people read some poems. I wore a dress that was much admired, bought from Monsoon sale two years ago. I'd just had my hair cut too so I was looking rather hot even if I do say so myself!
The highlight of the evening for me was my dad read a poem. It was the first poem he had ever written. He was inspired by his love of cars, his purchase of a Mini and the band Rammstein. This was an absolutely amazing thing because he kept it a total secret. My dad is a very quiet man, all friends meeting him for the first time are warned not to take it personally if he doesn't speak to them, conversation with him can be difficult. So that he wrote a poem AND then read it out in front of a room full of people was absolutely amazing. Go dad!
Vince also challenged us to write a poem one word at a time going round the room in a circle. This is the resulting poem, suggestions for a title please:
Twas angst words said despaired foresight man
but upside-down frogspawn blow job please
heron standing slithering shit arsehole rogered
salubrious kalapidgeonist* Voldemort Vince
*no idea if that's the right spelling but apparently means you like bums
The next morning we all appeared bleary eyed and ate breakfast on the terrace - croissants, veggie sausages, beans, mushrooms, scrambled egg, and for the meat eaters Ruth (Journal of a Wise Woman) did a hot trade in bacon butties from the back of her camper van Florence, who sadly died shortly afterwards requiring vehicle rescue.
I am still recovering from the lack of sleep, I'm half asleep at work today, but it was a bloody good weekend!
Friday, 17 August 2007
This is my bass guitar. It used to be my baby. I hardly play it now. I think this is because practising bass can be a bit boring as you don't play the tune. Playing with a band is more fun but I don't know many songs and need to play from the tab. I am crap at jamming and improvising. This is partly because I don't know my scales.
Things are not going well for me. I just received an email to say that the top I ordered through Bravissimo was out of stock and they couldn't order more so I hadn't been charged. If it wasn't in stock then why did it say it was on the fucking website. Arrrgh!
That means that I can pay the postage for the lovely Van Asch dress (see below). Instead I have attempted to buy a different top (above). Let's hope this one is in stock!!
Thursday, 16 August 2007
Wednesday, 15 August 2007
Friday, 10 August 2007
By 9am it was HOT in the tent. Vince and James both felt really rough with wisky heads. The gash on Vince's shin looked nasty. The nice people whose paddock we were camping in let us use a little toilet and sink that was in a little utility room and they even brought us some bread, houmous, fruit, tea, coffee, rooibos tea and some orange juice. I thought this was incredibly nice.
Vince and I sat about chatting to folk in the morning while James and Rebecca snuck off to the hotel where aunt was staying to have showers. Cheaters! We went for lunch in a nearby Harvester pub, our first proper food since lunch at KFC at Oxford services the day before.
Then we headed back for soundcheck in the church. I had my book with me to stave off boredom and also got up and wandered around frequently as my bum went numb from sitting down so long last year. Pews are not comfortable.
One set of performers from the Friday night were joined by the rest of their band Eve and the Garden. I had wondered why I recognised the drummer and realised it was the parish priest! The band were really good and hadn't really heard of Nick Drake until the vicar got involved last year (he had been in the job 10 days!) They do sort of folksy celtic rock stuff and the Paul the vicar seems to have a large array of different congas, bongos and djembes.
Vince and James performed Three Hours for the second time as it went down so well last year. Next year they're hoping to play it with Paul the vicar on drums. James played a song of his own, Closed, which went down brilliantly and he sold quite a few of the CDs he took with him. You should be able to check out James and Vince's performance on You Tube so please check it out.
Back to the campfire again but a slightly more restrained affair this evening. I think people didn't want to pack up their tents with a hangover.
Unfortunately the only pictures I have are round the camp fire on the Saturday night as I forgot my camera for the rest of the weekend!
We set off from Croydon and got stuck in a traffic jam as people had slowed down to look at an accident on the other carriageway of the M40. Boo! I think I left my cool Fossil watch that my uncle got me for my 16th birthday on the table at Oxford services. I have rung their lost property but it hasn't turned up. Ultra boo!
We get to Tanworth and have 30 minutes to put up our tent. We've never done it before. We're both hot and tired. We both get in an arse with the tent and each other. Vince accidentally hits me on the chin with a bit of the tent when he is shaking it out. I cry. We make up.
We take longer than half an hour. James and Rebecca have gone in search of supermarket for food which we don't have time to eat. We get the to the village hall and fortunately things are delayed.
James and Vince decide to go on first to perform At the Chime of a City Clock. The sound man Peter Rice was at university with Nick Drake. He doesn't have the levels right so you can only just hear Vince's bass. James then did a song of his own (sorry James I can't remember which one you did). They go down a storm.
The evening progresses nicely with lots of lovely singers. People generally do one Nick cover and a cover by someone similar (like John Martyn, Tim Buckley, Fairport Convention, Jackson C Frank etc) or a song of their own.
Back to the campfire for more singing, merriment, drinking. Vince gets very drunk on whisky and falls into chairs and takes a chunk out of his shin.
Thursday, 9 August 2007
Monday, 30 July 2007
My mum (Gill) think's that I am a weather witch.
When at Ehenside School I made it snow and we were off for a whole week! At Whitehaven School we had been off for a couple of days due to snow, I wanted to have one more day off but mum reckoned the school would be open again. We tuned into Radio Cumbria and sure enough Whitehaven School was still closed, due to the grounds being very icey.
We stayed in Tower House in March this year for a weekend. We had the place until Monday morning but Vince and I couldn't get the time of work. I wished that we got snowed in so we couldn't leave as we had plenty of food and fuel. I managed to get it to snow but unfortunately by the evening, when my parents were giving us a lift back, the snow had melted.
In my blog Flamin' June I wished for cooler weather as I couldn't stand the heat. The Bishop of Carlisle can blame the gays all he likes but unfortunately I might be to blame for all the rain.
I have tried to wish it to be better weather but it isn't working. Maybe I am just a bad weather witch. Or maybe even more specifically a precipitation witch!
I am however now worried that I have overdone it. I wasn't specific enough in my wish for it to be not as hot as it was. I can't get the rain to stop! I need it to because I want to go camping in Warwickshire (see next post)!
So calling all good weather witches - please make it sunny on 4th, 5th and 6th August in Warwickshire but not too hot please! I don't want to die in my tent or get sunburn.
Thursday, 19 July 2007
We went into Age Concern on Botchergate and there were several ladies winter coats on the rack, all in pretty decent nick. I looked at the tag of one that was a lovely gray - size M, £2.75. I couldn't believe how cheap it was, I would be perfectly willing to pay £10 or more for a winter coat in a charity shop.
I took the coat down from the hanger and it was so heavy! I didn't really want to try it on as it was so hot but the thought of a bargain spurred me on. It was only when I came to put it on that I realised how much of a bargain it was - the coat was like new and sported an Aquascutum label inside. I showed my mum with glee and we could hardly believe the good fortune.
The coat fits me like it was made for me. It is the warmest coat I have ever owned. So I did get to treat myself to an expensive winter coat that year, only it cost me just £2.75! I am not sure exactly how much it's worth but I reckon that a second hand Aquascutum coat could probably set you back about £400! So it just shows that you should always keep an eye out in your local charity shop.
The coat pictured above is almost identical to mine, except mine is not tweed, just plain grey. People have asked me if I'm going to sell it on eBay to make a profit. I have to admit that the idea is a little tempting but I love my coat too much; I may never sell it and keep it as a family heirloom.
Besides I love looking like a KGB agent.
Wednesday, 11 July 2007
Friday, 6 July 2007
I was reintroduced to Bagpuss a few years ago by Ruth of Journal of a Wise Woman as she too loved him. She had the DVD of all the episodes and one evening we had gone round for a meal and watched the episode about the small soft Hamish.
I have been collecting Bagpuss memorabilia for a number of years now - a furry pencil case, a ring binder, three pairs of socks, a hot water bottle cover/pyjama case with attached Charlie Mouse which sings the fix-it song, a cuddly Bagpuss sitting on a cushion which says "YAWN! I'm really quite a friendly old cat", a singing Charlie Mouse and some stickers which were the contents of Bagpuss crackers. Of course I have the DVD too.
Also some unnecessary Bagpuss/Radiohead anal knowledge for you: Thom Yorke (lead singer of Radiohead) is also into Bagpuss. He wanted Oliver Postgate (co-creator of Bagpuss) to direct the video of their single 'There There'. As Oliver is in his 80s and retired, he declined. Thom has tried to get his son Noah into Bagpuss with no luck. Maybe he'll have more luck with his daughter Agnes Mair.
I have even created the term "Bagposian" which means of or relating to Bagpuss, in the style of the programme Bagpuss!
Last week I saw a flyer for the Brampton Live festival that is happening locally. I saw on the front the word "Bagpuss" and wondered what it was all about. Was it a band that had called themselves after the saggy old cloth cat or was it actually something to do with the programme.
It turns out that it is the singers Sandra "Madeleine the Rag Doll" Kerr and John "Gabriel the Toad" Faulkener who will be performing songs from the show! I leapt up to tell Vince of my discovery and he said "You weren't supposed to see that it was going to be a surprise!" I told him he shouldn't have left the flyer on the coffee table in blatant view.
We're still hoping to go, I hope there are still tickets. Also how we'll get to Brampton on a Sunday I'm not sure... I don't know how good the bus timetable is. But here's hoping I'll get a slice of the music from Bagpuss.
We'll probably be the oldest people there unaccompanied by a child but I don't care!
Monday, 2 July 2007
I took a year out after my A Levels and went to university aged 19. In my first creative writing class there was a face I recognised but couldn't work out why. I asked the lad if he had gone to St Benedicts school. He said yes and asked if I had. I told him I had gone to Whitehaven but recognised him. As Whitehaven is a small place we thought we probably saw each other wandering about. Later on in the class I had a eureka moment - it was James who had been to the Juice writing sessions. How odd that we both ended up at the same university in the same year (I was in the school year above him), both studying creative writing and both in the same class (there was at least four classes).
We stayed in the same class throughout our three years at university and were fairly friendly but weren't best buddies or anything like that. After graduation we didn't keep in touch.
One evening last year Vince and I were heading to my parents' house for the weekend. I was just sitting there minding my own business when a voice said "Karen Hands!" I turned to look and there was James - it had been over a year since I had last seen him. It turned out that he too was living in Carlisle now and was also heading to Whitehaven to see family.
Another time when I was travelling back from Whitehaven a voice said "We've got to stop meeting like this!" and there was James again! OK so it's not so weird that we meet on the train to or from Whitehaven as we both have family down there.
What was the weirdest thing was what Vince said on Friday as we were walking home together on Friday. He works as a temp in the payroll department at Carlisle Infirmary and he said that they were getting another temp in starting today and his name was James G********. "You're kidding that's my friend James from uni, the one we always bump into on the train!" Vince was equally as shocked as I was.
I meant to text James about this but forgot. It got me thinking - wherever I go he has followed me or am I following him? It really is quite odd. I said to Vince to let me know if it was in fact my friend James. Sure enough it was! He even said in his email 'James says to tell you “bwa-ha-ha, there is no escaping me”'.
So what I want to know is what the fuck is going on?
Thursday, 21 June 2007
I hate it when people say "power of attorneys" when they mean "powers of attorney" i.e. more than one document.
I also hate it when people say Specific Ocean instead of Pacific Ocean. I usually try and mention the Atlantic Ocean afterwards if I can.
There is a portaloo company from Workington called Cumbrian Loo's.
So here's a chance for you to tell me all the little things that annoy you.
Saturday, 16 June 2007
However office juniors cannot be called such anymore as it is ageist. They are now called practice support assistants. I mean what sort of wanky name is that!
This is inspired by a package my mumm-ra had delivered - it had instructions for the postman on it. Can you still call them postmen? Do they not have to be called mail delivery operatives now? The line in the film Iris wouldn't have quite the same ring "It's only the mail delivery operative". Or "The mail delivery operative always rings twice". Or "Mail delivery operative Pat and his feline companion of mixed origin."
As Russell and John say on their 6Music Sunday morning shown "It's political correctness gone mad!"
My mum said she'd tagged me but I cant see any evidence on my blog... anyway I'm gonna answer the questions anyway.
What were you doing ten years ago?
Thursday, 14 June 2007
Nothing has been happening in my life really. I started a new job which is really stressful as there's lots of stuff to learn. Still a temp, still a secretary but now with NHS rather than solicitors. Well paid though and I'm sure it's just coz I'm new tha it's confusing and I'll get used to it eventually.
Some stuff did happen when I was off work and didn't have internet access but it hardly seems worth writing about now as it has happened. I'll just have to turn it into a commentary about my life rather than a "this is what I did" blog. Might investigate getting photos from home on a memory stick...
Anyhoo I'll try and comment on other peoples blogs until I get mine sorted.
Sunday, 10 June 2007
Wednesday, 23 May 2007
I was off work ill for a while, they decided they didn't want me anymore and now I'm at a new place and don't get much chance to go online.
Hopefully I'll be able to revive it and actually have something to say in the near future.
I have an interview on Friday for an admin job at Border TV (a permanent position) so please keep your fingers crossed for me.
I will try and drop by as often as I can. Hope you are all well
Friday, 4 May 2007
Tuesday, 1 May 2007
Friday, 27 April 2007
Teenagers are a total pain in the arse and seem to have no regard for their own safety. It doesn't seem to matter whether they're on foot or on a bike - but the menace is definitely worse on wheels.
As I am walking to work, so too are teenagers walking to school. They cross roads when the man is red and cross at the last possible moment before getting run over. If a motorist beeps their horn at them the kids often glare, shout abuse, make rude gestures and on one occasion I saw a lad kick a car (it was stationary at the time).
They do a similar thing on their bikes - they'll whizz round corners on the pavement nearly knocking over pedestrians and rush across roads without checking if anything's coming. There have been several times when I have seen lads flying round corners on their bikes, not looking to see what was coming and nearly crashed into a car that was approaching the junction.
It's a wonder more children don't die on the way to and from school because they behave so recklessly. There was recently an accident involving one of those mini moped things where two teenage lads collided with a school bus and were very seriously injured. But they just don't seem to care and they keep on leaping into the roads.
Thursday, 26 April 2007
Today I got an email back saying that they liked my story and did I have any photos to accompany it - such as of my new umbrella?
I had to email back and say that I'd try my best as I didn't have the internet at home, only at work. Vince will have to take a photo of me with said umbrella, I'll put it onto a floppy disk and send it to them tomorrow.
They said they would let me know in the next couple of days if I had won the competition!
WOO HOO! £100 is almost mine!
Monday, 23 April 2007
Friday, 20 April 2007
OK so in my last post I had a picture of Xerxes in the film 300. In the film he is uber-camp. I thought he must be played by a cross-dressing basketball player as he towers over everyone in the film.
To my shock and disbelief, it is not a cross-dressing basketball player that plays him but an actor called Rodrigo Santoro, pictured above. I can't believe it's the same person. I mean the man pictured above is sexy and Xerxes was hysterically funny! Also Mr Santoro is only 6'2" and Gerard Butler who played King Leonidas is also 6'2" so they must have used some computer trickery to make him tower over Butler.
Thursday, 19 April 2007
The film is based on Frank Miller's graphic novel and follows the Spartans' battle against the hordes of the King of Persia at the Battle of Thermopylae. It seems highly unlikely that 300 soldiers will win against millions but you do wonder how long they'll last.
It is very visually stunning - there is exaggerated use of colour and lighting probably to mimic the look of the original graphic novel. Sometimes the colour is almost bleached out of the shot with just a hint of red in people's lips and whatever their eye colour is to show that it is not in true black and white.
There is lots of gore - people have limbs and heads hacked off, blood sprays everywhere but it is not sickening because of the stylisation. It makes it seem quite cartoon-like, again reflecting the original graphic novel.
The only downfall with the film is the amount of cheese. The script is pretty bad but the worst thing is the narrator - he states the bloody obvious all the time, often repeating something that has only just been said by one of the characters.
Then there is Xerxes' hareem of freaks. Ephialtes was cast out by the Spartans at birth because he was deformed. He wants to fight with the Spartans but his deformities prevent him from being able to do so and King Leonidas casts him out once more. Ephialtes is a bit of a Gollum figure. He then decides to betray the Spartans as Xerxes offers him riches etc. etc. just for kneeling before him. Xerxes has a bit of a God complex you see. He then goes to the hareem of freaks and gets some kicks from other freaks.
Xerxes is camper than a row of tents and creates much of the cheese in the film but makes it an absolute hoot. He has weird cheek piercings.
Wednesday, 18 April 2007
Yesterday was my 24th birthday. I took the day off work to spend with my mum and go shopping. We had lunch out and I spent almost all of my birthday money.
I had a makeover done by the woman on the Benefit stall in House of Fraser. This was purely accidental and not booked. We were just browsing and the woman said why browse when you can try it on, would you like a makeover. Yes please, I said, it's my birthday. So I got made up using so many products (much more than I would normally wear) which had I bought everything would have cost about £150 easily. My mum bought me a purple mascara which I had been looking for for ages. I looked really nice and glowing with lovely greeny purple smokey eyes.
I then hit New Look and bought linen trousers and skirt and an organic cotton cardigan. My mum (who really shouldn't have bought me any more things having bought me a mac and the mascara) got me a lovely green and white summer dress.
We were ratching around charity shops and bric a brac stalls in the market trying to find a nice 70s milk jug but no luck. I might try ebay... We had lunch in Carlisle Cathedral's "Prior's Kitchen" which does very nice home-cooked food using local produce as much as possible.
I then got a shirt in H & M which is a cross between a shirt and a basque in that it has hook and eye fastenings up the front. I tried in vain to get some light summery tops that I could wear for work but all of them were too low cut and booby.
Good old TK Maxx came up trumps as I bought YSL Nu for £25 which full price is £60. I cannot afford this and it smell so nice. I still have plenty left of the bottle Vince got me for Valentines Day last year (also from TK Maxx) but you have to grab these things while they're there.
Then in the evening I went to the cinema to see 300 (which I might do a separate blog about) with Vince, a friend from work and her boyfriend. A nice round off to the day.
The only downside to the day was that two buttons fell off the above mentioned mac and I hate sewing buttons. Plus it's disgusting as full price it was £69 - just because you buy something in the sale for £34.50 doesn't mean the buttons should fall off.
Friday, 13 April 2007
Tomorrow is Vince and my three year anniversary. As a legal secretary that has spent some time working in the family department I know that some marriages don't last as long.
It just goes to show that even though I have toad hands, lumpy armpits, fart, am prone to bloating and a furfuraceous scalp there's still someone to love me (and as you can tell from my profile pick I'm not a hideous troll!) Maybe this is just because Vince also farts, burps, has smelly feet and snores.
I won't go into the all the sickly details but I just want to say that it is possible to find love online. Vince and I went about it in a very drawn-out way though as we met on a message board in May 1999 but didn't meet face-to-face until January 2004.
To celebrate we're going out for an Indian meal to try out our local one which looked very nice when we went in to book it. If the weather's nice we're hoping to go down the park to read in the afternoon.
Now I won't go on any longer and I'm not really sure why I blogged this but there you go. What a crap end to a romantic post. Ah well.
Thursday, 12 April 2007
Wednesday, 11 April 2007
Awful things. I don't tend to have major mood swings that make me want to hit Vince with a rolling pin. However, I do get more weepy.
The worst thing of all though is how it affects my body. Back ache, cramps (charmingly called dysmenorrhoea), severe headaches that only go away after taking powerful painkillers and sleeping (I was once off work all week with a menstrual headache that refused to go away). Sometimes the lower portion of my bottom/top of my thighs feel like I've been kicked by a donkey. My mum has a lovely expression about cramps: it feels like your womb is being pulled out with a crochet hook.
Last night was horrible as I had what I can only describe as toothache but in my legs from my hips down, the knee area being the most painful. How I longed for a bath. Thank god for hot wheat bags!
And if that isn't bad enough you get a slightly raised body temperature which means you get less sleep as you're too hot. Also, just to really piss you off, your sense of smell is heightened around this time - perfect for when having to deal with the blood-covered sanitary product of your choice. Apparently there are more choices of this than I thought.
Men - count yourself lucky you don't have to deal with all of this.
Where I work is quite an old building. At present I am working in what would have been the basement or possibly the servants quarters when the building was a house. Sometimes when I go into one of the cubicles it sounds like one of the taps has started running all by itself (I am the only person in the toilets). But by the time I come out of the cubicle the tap has stopped running...
Thursday, 5 April 2007
A dream of epic proportions. Even though I was asleep I felt like it was going on for ages, like a proper film!
It started off where my mum, dad, friends Jenny and Deborah, their parents Sue and Phil, Vince and myself were all at a train station (that doesn't exist in reality) down the side of the car showroom in Rowrah near the railway bridge (opposite this hotel). We could see a view to a small hill Steel Brow (which is impossible because of houses and another hill in the way). It was at night and there were lots of lights in the sky created by flares and the occasional missile. We could also hear the distant sound of rapid gun fire.
Then it was day and we were sat waiting for a train but we weren't sure they were still running due to the war. Apparently the Russians had invaded totally unanounced and unprovoked. A train derailed but no one was hurt.
Then mum and dad, grandma and grandad, Vince and I were at Tower House and thinking that we would probably be safe there due to the isolation and should hold out there til things had quietened down. The problem was that we were only supposed to be there for the weekend and leave on the Monday. We couldn't get hold of the caretaker to ask whether it was ok to stay on. We had plenty of logs for the fires and I think there was a power cut but it was ok because we had the AGA. In the end we decided to leave and go back home.
Vince and I were at mum and dad's house. Dad got kidnapped but we managed to trick his captors into giving him back. My next door neighbour and "big brother" Stuart came round and said that as things were so bleak and we might all die he wanted to have sex with a woman to see what it was like (he's gay). I can't remember what I said to this but I don't remember a sex bit in my dream so I must have said no!
Then there was a bit where men were coming round with a high tech machine that rolled over cars a bit like a scanner but was in fact turning it into scrap metal and storing it in a way that somehow took up no space so the whole operation was very portable. The Mini got scrapped, dad managed to hide the Morgan in the garage by somehow securing it to the ceiling so when they put a detector in under the garage door they didn't locate it. They took parts of the Rover that were useful but didn't completely scrap it because it was crap! (Influenced by this blog of my mum's).
Then there was a bit where grandma sent me a text message (in reality she doesn't have a clue) showing me a picture of some gear and an explosive device that she and grandad were being made to wear. I think the invaders were using up the old folk in this way to get rid of them because they were "useless" in their eyes. She said in the text that she better go to the toilet before she got kitted up as I think they had to put the bomb up their bottoms! So she was still joking away as usual even though the enemy was trying to blow her up.
Then there was a seemingly unrelated bit where I was at the aforementioned Sue and Phil's house and they had some relatives staying. One of Jenny's cousins was quite severely disabled and you had to pick him up in the correct way otherwise you could break his spine. (Influenced by my comment in M&M's blog).
Then there was a bit where I (not sure who was accompanying me at this point) was in a shopping centre and we all had to evacuate as quickly as possible. Can't remember exactly what was happening but it was something to do with the Russian invasion. I needed to go to the toilet so went off to find them and water was flowing over the top of the bowls of pretty much all the toilets. However there was one where the water level hadn't quite reached the top - I couldn't be picky really as I needed to go and was in danger. Also at this point Dr Who was in the shopping centre. He wasn't really helping out in anyway like you'd imagine he would, he was just there trying to get out like the rest of us. But it was definitely Dr Who rather than being David Tenant. (Influenced by this blog by M&M).
That's all I remember(!!) - it didn't sem to come to any definite end. Sorry if I've bored you to tears reading this - your own dreams are very interesting but generally other people's dreams can be quite boring as you didn't have it. I needed to write it down though before I completely forgot it as I didn't have a chance before I came into work this morning.
I had all my bills done at a reasonable time so it was quite amusing to see everyone rushing around manically. I was quite tempted to set off the fire alarm so everyone had to evacuate - everybody's stress levels would have gone up a notch and I'm sure some people might have even said that they weren't going out as they needed to get the bills done.
That really wasn't a nice thing for me to want to do.
Friday, 30 March 2007
I think this is because the job I'm doing at the moment is really boring and frustrating and the guy I'm working for at the moment is more than a little infuriating. At least it's my last day and next week I'll be in a different department, where the work will be no less boring but I shouldn't think I'll want to take my boss by the shoulders and shake them.
So if you've seen my random, my weird - please return it to me as I rather miss it.