My Shop (work in progress!)

Friday, 30 March 2007

Recycling Rant

At present we have a fortnightly recycling collection using a green box as seen above. This is for paper, glass and metal. We have received two letters from the Council telling us that we will be getting a green bag system for plastic and cardboard. As we live in a terrace house we will not be getting a massive wheelie bin for fortnightly rubbish collection but will still have a collection once a week but they would only remove a maximum of two bags per week - as obviously we will be recycling more.
Green bags have been sighted all over town but they have yet to arrive at our house. Before Vince got his job with the Council he gave them a ring to ask why people round the corner had theirs but we didn't have them.
It turns out that even though we were told that we were getting the bags it now turns out that we're not. This is because they're expanding the scheme to so many more houses and our street fell on the wrong side of the line - literally as I said people round the corner have them.
To make matters worse we're still only allowed 2 bags of rubbish per week even though we're not recycling more. Plastic probably makes up the majority of our waste. There are no plans for our street to get plastic and cardboard recycling this year.
Vince and I feel very strongly about recycling and were looking forward to being able to recycle more. I had even started putting aside some plastic things for recycling. We are now both quite pissed off.


I've lost my weird! My ability to waffle about random crap and make strange connections between things that don't seem connected is missing. My vivid imagination has dwindled.

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.

Weird Observation

Since Vince started his new job we have been able to walk into work together which has been really nice. He even hangs around for half an hour after he's finished so he can meet me from work and walk home together - the sweetie!

On the past two mornings I have seen a strange sight - a man riding a bicycle but only holding the handlebars with one hand, the other hand was resting palm-up on top of his thigh. This morning he was doing the same thing only his hand was inside his hoodie front pouch so his hand must have been cold.

Vince and I both had the idea that he was perhaps meditating - perhaps his hand was held in such a way to carry a little ball of chi to work with him...

Tuesday, 27 March 2007

One less decision

I have had feedback from the telephone interview I did a couple of hours ago and I haven't got the job.

I can't say I'm that gutted as it sounds like it was a bit above my level of experience and had I managed to blag my way to being offered the job I would have struggled with it and found it stressful I think.

OK, so it's between staying where I am, arts admin to cover maternity leave or working for the executives of a building society.

Dead Bees

Over the past few days I have seen two dead bees on the pavement walking to and from work.

I hope that this is because they have woken up too early and they are cold. I used to be terrified of bees and wasps after I was stung aged around 10. I can now cope with bees as they generally don't bother you if you don't bother them - but wasps are the spawn of Satan and still terrify me.

I have heard that there is a disease that is a threat to our bees so I hope they didn't die from that - I like honey too much!

Decisions Decisions

I work as a temp secretary at a solicitors in Carlisle. I don't really want to be a legal secretary forever.

I have had TWO interviews for a PA job at an accountants. I still have one more to go if I make it to the next round. This seems excessive to me for a PA job. It also seems like a bit of a scary job where the expect you to work wonders from the first day and be superwoman and not need any guidance at all and work on your own initiative rather than having your boss tell you what to do all the time. Maybe I'm just young and under confident but I think I need more experience.

I also had another interview last week for a job at a building society, to work in their executive office rather than in the branch dealing with customers. This is less money than the PA job but that's because you're part of a team working for a team rather than a one-to-one scenario.

I am in the process of applying for an admin job at the local museum. The money is good and the job description looks fantastic. However I have not even sent off the application form yet.

A position has become available at the firm I am working at. The work is VERY dull but the other secretaries in the room and I get on really well with. For example I went down to use the colour copier for one sheet of paper and was down there for half an hour and was offered a second hand sofa if one of them bought a new suite. We could've talked for much longer and said we should go for coffee some time. I've also made another friend who might be my yoga buddy if we can find a suitable class. So there are some nice people here.

I've always been a procrastinator and crap at making big decisions so please help me!

Telephone Interviews

... are evil. Where I would normally be able to come across quite well I felt like I was ummming and ahhhing more than usual and didn't things in perhaps the right way.

Why is it that having an interview on the phone is so much harder than in person? You'd think that you'd find it easier as you don't actually see them but I think it's because you can't see them you don't know their reactions to what you've said and that puts you on the back foot.

They should be banned!

Monday, 26 March 2007


I shouldn't think that many readers of my blog watched Skins as most of them seem to be over 30. Hell, even I'm over the target age of this programme (as I'm not a teenager) but nonetheless I never missed an episode of this compelling drama, shown on e4.
But it's got me thinking - do teenagers do the stuff they are portrayed doing in Skins or is it highly fictionalised. I would guess at the latter. As as teenager I didn't: shag lots of different people, be evil to my other half because I wanted to shag someone else, take lots of drugs, shag a teacher, owe lots of money to a drug dealer, get beaten up on a fairly regular basis, go to or throw massive parties, steal a relative's car, have an eating disorder, take some more drugs and shag more people.
Was this because I lived in rural Cumbria and not a city, or was it because I'm really boring? I don't even do any of that stuff now. I think it's probably a bit of both.
Even though I am nothing like them I enjoyed the programme very much - it was funny, moving, sexy, daft, full of drama and tackled some serious issues. Plus it didn't talk down to the teenagers the programme was aimed at. I think they would probably have enjoyed the programme as much as I did. Roll on series two!

Friday, 23 March 2007

Pigeon Sex/Word Play

I have a thing about pigeons. No, this is not the post where I admit to having a penchant for bestiality - it's more about finding them a bit cute, a nuisance and amusing (although the idea of pigeon isn't as inherently funny as the idea of monkey. Why are monkeys so funny?)
Vince, some friends and I used to walk up behind pigeons, raise our arms and shout "PIGEON!" at them. Terrified at suddenly becoming aware of their being they would fly away. We were also able to do this psychicly - we just mentally shouted at them and didn't raise our arms and they still flew away.
Then we read the word serpiginous in a book and wondered what it meant. Because of the way the word is pronounced we invented the characters Sir and Lady Pigeonous. They were rulers of their kind - they lived on a ledge opposite our flat in the centre of Stirling. We used to make out that they were plotting against us (yes we were adults at the time!)
Now at work the view out of my window isn't very exciting - an ancient fire escape, some walls and the back of another building. However there's a roof made of corrugated plastic just outside my window, some moss and quite a few pigeons. It breaks up the monotony of writing boring letters watching the pigeons - especially when they walk up right by the window and look in with their beady orange eyes. They look just as puzzled at what I'm doing as I must be about them.
Recently though, they've started shagging. Poor pigeons don't have a great sex life. The ladies get chased round by bullying males all fluffed up to look impressive (not too dissimilar to what happens with some humans), they peck beaks a bit, the woman sits down, the guy hops on top and flaps his wings for a few seconds and then hops off again. Short sex sessions seem to be the norm for wild animals though as they have to make sure they don't let their guard down and get eaten on the job. Pigeons it seems go for quantity over quality.
Please don't think I'm some sort of pervy pigeon voyeur as this isn't the case - spring is in the air and it seems almost every time I look out the window they're at it!

Thursday, 22 March 2007

The Strangeness of the Internet (and advertising)

In my fruitless search (because of time constraints due to blogging at work) for an image of a dog biting a postman I found an interesting blog. I put "dog biting postman" into Google image search and the above image came up. As the thumbnail was so small I wanted to get a closer look.

This led me to the blog Project Me! Distractions by Kristina Garcia. I haven't had a good look at it all yet (as there's loads) but it looks very varied and interesting. What caught my attention was the topmost post "Is There an M&M Inside of You?" As I was blogging at the time my first thought was of mutterings & meanderings, fellow bloggee, who is frequently referred to as M&M. Of course the author of this blog was referring to the chocolate confection.

Now I'm not really sure what this Kristina's beef with M&Ms is. They chocolatey and tasty. All adverts are annoying if you ask me, not just ones for M&Ms. In fact Vince and I were discussing just last night how beauty products and home cleaning/scenting product adverts are the most annoying. I could quite happily kill Andy MacDowell, Jane Fonda and BARRY SCOTT WHO SELLS CILLIT BANG AND SHOUTS ALL THE TIME. The Vanish Oxy Action Multi woman has obviously been taking notes.

So, I decided to follow the M&M link to see where it led. Well you can make your own M&M, which is quite fun and timewasting if you like that sort of thing. I would show you a picture of the one I created but you had to sign up to save it and there was no way I was going to get all sorts of crap marketing emails from them. I made mine purple, a bit of a temptress with red curly hair. Nothing at all like me then...

Wednesday, 21 March 2007


Like solicitors, they are funny creatures. I have never had a dog but above are my two favourite breeds - weimaraner and basenji.
I walk past a house which contains a dog every morning. To be more precise I walk past a house that contains a specific dog every morning, as I'm sure I walk past more than one house which contains dogs.
This dog is fairly old and is nosey. It sticks its head out between the closed curtains and people watches. The only person I have seen it bark at is the postman.
Now it is a cliche that dogs bark and bite at post deliverers but in this case it is certainly true. I have walked past the dog several times and it just looks at me. I wondered how it could distinguish between the average passerby and the postman. At first I thought it must be because he was wearing a bright orange visibility jacket. But no, dogs are colourblind aren't they So what can it be that this dog can separate the postman from everyone else?

Image of basenji taken from Image of weimaraner taken from

Tuesday, 20 March 2007

The North

How far north do you have to go before you stop seeing road signs for "The NORTH"?

I live in northern England and there are still signs referring to "The NORTH". Obviously this refers to the fact that if you travel north you will reach Scotland.

Scotland has these signs too. Obviously these refer to northern Scotland.

Surely when you reach John O'Groats, or more properly Dunet Head, these signs stop? Or is it only when you get to the Shetland islands?

Image taken from:

Blogger throws hissy fit

Not sure why the layout of my last post "Carlisle" is so odd - sorry it's not so easy on the eye.


"Stand in the place where you live

Now face North

Think about direction

Wonder why you haven’t before

Stand in the place where you work

Now face West

Think about the place where you live

Wonder why you haven’t before."

The above is taken from REM's song "Stand" on their Green album. Now I don't know about you but I find this song incredibly irritating. Not only because it is incredibly catchy and sticks in my head all day long if I hear it, but also because of the sentiment. OK, maybe the average person is unobservant and doesn't notice the world around them, BUT I DO!
For example today it's bloody cold and windy which is fairly typical for Carlisle. John Watts cafe was pumping out the usual smell of burning teacakes but is in fact the delightful (if slightly overpowering) scent of roasting coffee. Marks and Spencers fire alarm was going off (I don't know if there was actually a fire) so there were huge crowds of people milling around outside and it meant I couldn't buy a salad there for my lunch. There were quite a few books about freemasonry in the window of Oxfam which made me curious as to who had donated these.
However, there was no sign of either of the mad women that wander around town - Scary Mary, an alcoholic with mental probelms who is rather threatening and looks like a troll, and the one who is rather more refined, have seen her wear a dead fox scarf thingy round her neck and keeps her money in an old metal OXO tin.
Scary Mary has threatened a friend of mine with a metal nail file, has caused a ruckus in Scope charity shop (while I tried not to laugh at her) as she threatened to go to the police about one of the volunteers making a gesture behind her back, which her "friend" saw (the volunteer had made a wafting motion in front of her nose to indicate that Scary Mary stank of drink) and, has sprayed an aerosol in the eyes of a bus driver when he refused to let her on the bus as he knew what she was like. Apparently she is also known for "aggrevated begging" - blocking peoples way and not letting them pass until they give her money.
I'm sure that there must be other strange people in Carlisle that I have yet to meet and I look forward to observing them, I just hope that they leave me alone!

Monday, 19 March 2007

A Fabulous Weekend in the Country

Stayed with my boyfriend Vince, mum and dad and grandparents at Tower House, near Kirkby Stephen in Cumbria. You can see photos of Vince and I cooking on the AGA at my mum's blog The Dark Blonde. I don't have any photos of my own to put up at the moment but will try and do so soon.

As you can see the place is rather fantastic. The bedroom Vince and I had isn't in any of the pictures but it had a wardrobe that looked like you could've got to Narnia through it. It felt like a really nice room during the day but at night it was really creepy at night. It kind of felt like someone was in the room, and there was something weird about the mirror on the dressing table. The child's room and play room also had a weird vibe. The huge bath was amazing - I had a good long soak in it as we only have a shower at home :(

It was very sad to leave and we didn't get snowed in as I hoped which meant Vince and I had to come back on Sunday night when we had the place until Monday morning as we couldn't get the day off work. We only spent two nights there but it already felt like home. I thoroughly recommend staying there But get in quick before my family clubs together and buys the place as we have all fallen in love with it!

Friday, 16 March 2007

The Perfect Me

Evil, evil song!!

I have had the guitar intro to the song The Perfect Me by Deerhoof (taken from their latest album Friend Opportunity) going round and round in my head since Wednesday!!
Billy Collins, the American poet wrote a poem about such a phenomenon about having More Than A Woman by the Bee Gees stuck in his head. "A mad fan belt of a tune" he called it. I wanted to quote the poem here in its entirety but would you believe it I couldn't find it on the whole of the bloody internet!! So you'll just have to go out and buy the book it's in - Nine Horses (or you could wait for me to bring my copy of the book and blog it next week if I remember).
If you also want to be so inflicted by a plague of Deerhoof then you can listen to it on my My Space page.
Also if anyone can tell me what time signature(s) its in I'd be very grateful. It's been a few years since I did my Music A Level and I'm a bit out of practice.
I thoroughly recommend Deerhoof though, especially live. I saw them supporting Beck and Radiohead at the Edinburgh Fringe Festival last year. They're totally bonkers but very energetic performers.

Tuesday, 13 March 2007


Solicitors are a strange breed of people aren't they. I have worked for many different ones and they're all a bit strange in their own way. Usually worst in the males of the species

The worst one I ever worked for found out I had read and liked Lord of the Rings. I had read it once. He then used to quote passages and look hopefully at me. I'd look blank. He'd then enthuse that it was a quote from LOTR. It seemed his favourite quote was "Ai! A Balrog!" which he'd exclaim when things weren't going his way.

Also he used to go on about rock climbing and use all the terminology and expect you to now what he meant and didn't explain it to you.

He used to chat with the secretaries and be jolly and tell jokes and then he'd suddenly turn and become a 'higher being' i.e. a solicitor, when he wanted you to do something for him. He couldn't take it if you made jokes at his expense.

In fact he was very like David Brent, and I told him this to his face, rather stupidly. Fortunately for me he hadn't seen it as this was around the time The Office had just started and not many people had seen it. I find The Office very realistic and too painful to watch as my boss was so like David Brent.

I'm sure he's not the only one.

Monday, 12 March 2007

Diet Schmiet

What's the harm in apples and carrots for fucks sake!?

As mentioned in a comment to my previous post, I think you're right about it being a bit weird to totally cut out one food group. For example for breakfast I had 1 Weetabix biscuit (where I would normally have 2) and two boiled eggs. I'm still going to try and be as 'good' as possible according to the diet and avoid carbs as much as possible. This is so I can be a bit lax at the weekend as I'm going on holiday.

It seems to be working though as I have lost 2 pounds and this is day 6 of the diet. I'm not getting obsessed and weighing myself everyday. I was just curious to see if it had actually done anything as I would be inclined to jack it in if it wasn't.

No, this is not the Atkins diet, although it does seem similar. I am following the diet from "Neris and India's Idiot-proof Diet" details of which can be found at

Friday, 9 March 2007

Oh for a scone!

I am in day 3 of a new diet. I cannot eat carbs for 2 weeks. Carbs are contained in most of my favourite foodstuffs :( Also it means I miss out on the work ritual of a daily scone.

Luckily I can still eat cheese.

I'm bored already and all I can think about is lovely bread, crisps and cake. But I'm overweight so I've to get rid of the flab somehow.

I'll probably never want to see another egg again at the end of all this. I doubt it will put me off cheese.

Image nicked from

Thursday, 8 March 2007


Neither Vince or I have got the job as library assistant at St Martins :(

I hope the person they pick is totally crap and incompetant. I nearly put incontinent there instead so I hope they're that too!!

Pink, Pink, Pink Moon

I've been a bit poorly so this is the first time I've managed to blog since the weekend due to having not net access at home.

Had a great meal on Saturday night even though I was sent out of the restaurant several times by my family to check on the progress of the lunar eclipse.

When we got home from the meal, the moon was almost fully eclipsed and we watched it reach totality. It was great as Vince and I were staying at my parents' house for the weekend and they live where there are very little street lights. Had we been at home in Carlisle I doubt we would have had such a good view.

The night was so still and clear - there were thousands of stars and some of the planets in view, the misty bands of the Milky Way were visible and Vince even saw a shooting star.

All in all it was a magical night, and strangely warm considering it was March and it was nearly midnight when we were stood outside.