30 December 2005


so mole, what time are we expected to your low key, sober little get together on saturday evening?

mini me will not be with us as he has gone bunburying.

a bientot

29 December 2005

Buy the lil' blighter a tree and give him a tenner to decorate it, thinking, you're not messing with my decorations mate and what does he go and do?

outclass us with subtlty.

a tree full of nothing but white lights and birds.

festive grub

can't believe i didn't get round to telling you about the mince pies.

the centre were giving out mince pies all christmas eve and ended up with a box full that they couldn't distribute by the time they had to leave. for some reason they decided they'd dump them in our staff room. at the end of the day no-one else was prepared to take more than 1 or 2 individual mince pies so i took them all home. waste not want not etc etc. now i have 100 frozen mince pies. anyone hungry??

28 December 2005


Monty meets cousin Buddy for Christmas and
belts round a field like a loopy lurcher.

26 December 2005

prior chaos

It's very weird having random strangers come in and rip out your windows then throw them onto your front garden. Grr. Thankfully I had Mr K there to remind me that my jungle of dearly tended flora might look like waste ground to the untrained eye. hmph.

They caused mayhem of course when they installed but it's suddenly warm. The motorbike that runs for half an hour every morning from 6 a.m doesn't wake us anymore and we have window sills which we didn't have before! Of course it's a bit of a drag that the dog bust the 50 quid cat flap in the new back door and now we have a door with a great big hole in it. Hey ho!


new windows

23 December 2005

the day before the day before

i love work at this time of year. i keep telling myself. it's crazy busy and there's so much to be done and big goals to reach. where would peace on earth be without someone setting impossible budgets? the atmosphere at work is livlier i scare everyone; lots of stress and rush because i'm constantly telling everyone to work harder of the volume of work but so much more joking and teasing going on. i'm ruthless. it's a real buzz. the team seems to pull together more. they don't dare not do as i tell them because i look ready to explode. tomorrow should be great fun the place will be heaving and everyone will be irritable by 1st tea break keeping the motivation high their new year party rides on how well they perform and everyone happy false smiles work, the customer can't distinguish and glad relieved to close up shop and get home for Christmas day.

19 December 2005

sod it

Actually I'm just going to use my blog for news about Mr K.Lots of people check in here to catch up on news so here goes. I know this is the world's crappiest way of doing it but please bear with me. I cannot face saying the same bits of news over and over again to different people, as much as I love you all. I know this is probably the equivalent of text dumping but I hope you can understand and will let me off the social faux pas!

We just got back from seeing the consultant for the 2nd time and I was armed with a mountain of questions. The main news from today is that the tumour has been there for a long time. At least months, possibly years. He thinks it is stable because the symptoms are stable but changes can occur of course and there can be abnormal developments. It can be known to trigger blackouts but so far that hasn't happened. If it does we'd have to look at restricting activities such as obvious stuff like driving.

In terms of processes, this tumour cannot be operated on. It is on too many important parts of the brain to be cut out so we're looking at medical solutions. Chemo and wotnot. We will be getting a date for a biopsy with 'a small number of weeks'. The tumour is non urgent because there are no signs that it is going to significantly change in a matter of days or weeks. Of course there's no proven diagnosis yet so he was unable to commit to a prognosis. I asked blunt questions and got blunt answers. It was just what we needed.

So, we won't know if it's malignant or benign until after the biopsy and we can't be sure of what treatment will be needed until biopsy results are back in.

He was rather more human than when Mr K went in last time. He did say that he'd find things out for us and contact us. Also he said he understood that the waiting must be really difficult.

Now don't get me wrong. I haven't blogged this because I don't want calls or visits. I just don't wanna have to say all this a million times over. Yes, because I have at least a million regular viewers!

Don't let this spoil Christmas, even Mr K came out and said; 'You know how much I want this biopsy? Like a hole in the head!'

16 December 2005

blogger's block

done nothing, can't think what to write.

I assume no-one apart from me is going to be pleased that we beat WTD figures yesterday and that one of our really good temps is working full time next week but these are the things that make me happy at work. who else is going to understand my frustration that HO thinks we're not zero model stocking when I do that every day and it must be a problem with IT? Or why does HH keep getting left off the company voucher tables? And I'm not even getting onto the OFT referral!!

I read 'Gaza Blues' recently and it wasn't bad. Thought it was going to be a lot better though. Short stories by a Jew and a Palestinian. Cute cover and nifty thinking but didn't blow my socks off.

Now I'm reading 'Ask the Dust' by Fante which I'm enjoying. I need lots of short novels for a while as my reading has been non existent recently. (it's the drive for uplift on LFL figures, you know...)

As soon as Mr K can find the lead for the digital camera I promise to give you pretty photos of Christmassy things and no more talk of missing POS headers and poor automatch results (also not our fault)!

12 December 2005


Could be fun getting in to work tomorrow.

Work has not suffered any damage but shops in the same area have big cracks in the walls. Seems we were protected by the car park which stood between us and the blast. My colleagues who live locally told me that things were flying off their shelves during the explosion and that town had a bit of a smoggy atmosphere all day.The motorway is shut down and everyone is going to be taking the back roads to wrok tomorrow morning!

10 December 2005


Shamelessly nicked this from the mighty Palimp but it had me howling so wanted to share it with you all. True story of a friend of a friend...

A man is drinking in the pub, and drinking, and drinking, when suddenly he realizes he is about to be ill. He heads for the Gents' toilets. He walks in the door and finds the door to the only stall locked. "Great time for the toilet to be out of order," he thinks. He's reaching the emergency stage now, so he assesses his remaining options in a panic...sink? Too small. The 'urinal' was one of those clever floor-based narrow trough thingies you Brits do so well (or not) in your public toilets. Not a proper receptacle for massive amounts of vomit, either.Finally, he has reached a crucial point, and he has no other options, so he lowers his shoulder and charges through the door of the stall and vomits all over...the stunned man sitting on the toilet.Our hero suddenly sobers up for a moment, as one often will do immediately after drunk-vomiting, and he carefully considers the situation: "This bloke's going to be angry...""...I'd better get the first punch in."So he punches the man, who is still sitting on the toilet, before quickly collecting his friends and leaving.

7 December 2005

le dog

Seems Monty learnt a bit of continental cooking while he was away.

He has developed a taste for KOURAPIEDES, that I made this evening from the Falling Cloudberries recipe book. Essentially, they are lots and lots of butter with icing sugar, flour and egg yolk. They taste amazing but next time I make them I'm only going to taste 2 or 3 at a time.

They may be small but I feel rather er...'full' now so I'm going to bed.

day off

what a splendid day off. went to see mrs mole and new offsprogs who are delightful and funny and smiley and generally (and specifically) loveable. I look forward to watching them grow up and play their parents up horribly so I can sit back and chuckle!!

Bought my christmas present from Mr K (pair of growed up girls boots) and then accidentally found myself buying a skirt to go with it.

5 December 2005


We are all beyond ecstatic. Monty is home. He was found the same evening he ran away and has been safely looked after by some people not far from us. (Just off Ampthill Road for those of you who know where that is) They found him hoofing it across the St John's roundabout, dodging traffic. They found us through the website where we'd put up Monty's picture and details which amazes me that they discovered that website.
Anyway he's back and we are all delighted. Panic over.

4 December 2005



anyone in the Bedford area. please would you consider clicking on 'view poster' and printing off a copy or two to put up in your window or local shop?

thank you


May I recommend 'Ricotta tart with a chocolate crust'?

3 December 2005

and then...

...the dog ran away from home. this will be his second night missing.

i thought the last last straw was the last straw.

30 November 2005

startlingly awful

that pretty much sums up today

29 November 2005

the sublime

as promised.

went from rocking and playing pool in one of Bedford's earthier clubs to singing in the Royal Albert Hall on Sunday evening.
Quite a big ole do. The choir must have been 5,000 strong. Believe it or not, it has been a lifelong ambition of mine to sing Handel's Messiah (without a hairbrush in front of the mirror) though I never expected it to be in the Albert Hall. hey ho, life throws you some crazy ones occassionally.
It was amazing, of course. I sang alto and
had a superb time. It's an annual thing called 'Handel from Scratch'. You literally book your ticket, turn up and sing. No rehearsals. I went with a group of friends who go every year and borrowed a score when I got there. Thankfully, I've (charitably) blasted it out to the rowdy neighbours to get my own back often enough to pretty much know all the words anyway. Who knows, I might go next year unless I get the chance to fulfil any different lifelong ambitions. So if you're reading this Johnny....

26 November 2005

Mud Shark

Last night was fun and only curtailed by having to wake up at half 6 for work this morning. Went to see a friend of a friends, now almost a friend if he can remember me (!), band Mud Shark. I have yet to find out why. They were really very good. They played Esquires which, before I knew about the place, I took to be some salacious joint that had a side line in escorting agency work - the sort I'm lead to believe advertise in the back of free newspapers. Au contraire. It's a gritty little den for the weird and wonderful. Last night we constituted the weird. I played pool like a girl. Yes, I played on the team that comprehensively outclassed the opposition for 99% of the game then I fluffed on the black ball every time to the delight of the ever so slightly competitive males.
The stamp on the back of my hand seems to be indelible.
Hung out with the ever lovely and interesting J&A and the ever lovely D.
And yes Mole I did hear you say "she always needs you". ha ha ha ha! He doesn't know about this blog does he?? yikes.
Tomorrow's blog entry will swing from the ridiculous to the sublime. Watch this space.

25 November 2005

overheard at work

"Oh yeah, keep the receipt then you can prove you bought something for her and didn't just nick it."

20 November 2005

ooh doggeh!

just cos he's canine doesn't mean he can't enjoy a film with the quilt downstairs like the rest of us!

here's 'monteh' showing how he's feeling part of the furniture now. (those pieces he hasn't chewed)

19 November 2005

seems i stole my own thunder

have practically no recollection of having blogged last night. to be honest i thought i'd dreampt that or it feels like something i wrote months ago and only partially remember doing. YIKES! That's a new experience for me!

So anyway, it was a splendid evening. Hope I didn't spoil an otherwise all male evening of intoxicated ribaldry.

Remind me Mole when the gig is next weekend. Friday or Saturday? Also, remind me for the nth time what your mate is called. The one who always thinks he's never met me and has the welded together dog you hate. He was very sweet last night talking to me about his family.

Also, remember the 27th January or whichever Thursday is closest to that. No pressure to let me know, just a reminder in case the mention of it last night got washed away by our starry friend, Stella.

All good fun.

18 November 2005


lovely evening mole. am very drunk. dil beautiful. hee hee. fun fun. you and jj very good mates. see you and the smalls soon. xxx

12 November 2005


best mate happy and pretty at party. nice.
work. good.
flicks with Mr K. fun.
Another piercing. cool.

11 November 2005


day off and desperate for sleep so what do i do? jam pack it full of stuff so my feet don't touch the ground.
Looking through the latest Jamie to find a new recipe for lunch. Taking the MIL for her birthday treat today - manicure and nails. Having a friend over for said lunch. Going to my bestest mates birthday party this evening which involves me 'finishing' her present sometime today as well.

8 November 2005


(a reference for the eagle eyed palimpers only)

uh huh today was fun again. something weird is going on with the time/space thingy round my way. i leave 15 minutes earlier for work every day but i still arrive at the same time. ie...5 minutes after the cleaner has left in a huff cos i'm still not there to open the door for her.

wore my rocket dogs and discovered one foot is wider than the other. i'm sure there was an easier way to find out. i will trust in the forgiving quality of leather until i'm crippled.

had a hoot sifting through cv's which i can't possibly divulge but 12 spelling mistakes on a page and a half is going some right? and whenever was tearing out a page of spiral bound paper from a playboy pad a great way to impress a prospective employer? i have a real soft spot for the applicants who tell me how competent they are on the computer but clearly haven't located spellcheck.

7 November 2005

delayed photos from oxford

retail therapy

new shoes!! good ole tkmaxx sold me a pair of shoes for £33 less than the normal price. what nice folks.

Take the orange words and the laces from the shoe above and combine it with the round toes of the shoe below and you pretty much have what I bought. Someone out there is going to be as interested in this as me.... or not.

6 November 2005


planned to have a beautiful clean and tidy house by the end of the day but all good intentions went awry.

today i did church as per usual then took MIL out for dinner. was heartily disappointed by my 'smash' potatoes and MIL's lamb and mushroom pie that had no lamb in it. also am turning into an old woman who gets riled by loud mouthed crass idiots shouting, f-ing and blinding about people getting smacked in and throwing up with all the sound effects to go with it. rahhhh.

talked to MIL about how I plan to put aside some extra money for emergencies such as the washing machine breaking down.

Got home. the washing machine broke down. spooky.

Spent two hours round MIL's with our washing.

Cocktails to walking up and down castle road in my pyjamas (oh did i not mention that?!) ... really quite a weekend. See? THIS is why work is such a pleasure!


Worked all day and had a great one. Roberta Taylor did a signing which was modest but fun. Did exciting-to-me and dull-to-you things like whooping budget ass and working with new team members.
Got home at half seven to be upbraided by Mr K for leaving my mobile at work and told to hurry up we had to leave in 5 minutes.
Off to fireworks at Smudgers. Really amazing generosity. Fireworks went on and on and on, enough beef and pork for 200 (?) people to get right royally stuffed and my mate Flow's band playing. Marvelloush. Took our own drink, as requested, and I nursed a bottle of chianti all night. I was outrageously drunk by the end but I only had to get up once in the night to throw up...! (eek)


had a crazy fun hilarious day with digger. essentially wandered round oxford drinking, eating and giggling. mighty good fun. actually had some cool deep mind food discussions as well which is always a good thing. learnt some interesting stuff about that thar digga. in brief, she's as bright as my shoes. she learnt a lot about me. in brief, i have 364 sensible days a year where i am mostly normal, coherant, professional and organised and 1 day when i become the antithesis of all things logical. guess which day she got?
so, i get onto the oxford park and ride and text that i'm arriving. only i don't have her mobile number in my phone. no problem, she emailed it to me so i'll find an internet cafe and get it. only, i seem to have deleted it when i get there. no problem, i'll just panic. always a good back up plan. i know, i'll post notes highlighting my stupidity on every website i know she visits. someone else will have her number and get back to me. only, they don't. but life saver Mr Self has her work number. no problem. I'll just ring her work place and ask them to disclose personal contact details of one of their colleagues with absolutely no reference point as to who I might be. So, that worked! Eventually met up at midday, though I should say I got lost trying to find her even once we had made phone contact.
I didn't stop there though. oh no. i came out with a volley of stupidity all day long. "oh i want one of those, what are they?" ... "wow, what's this unmarked book, oh, it's actually a divider on the shelf" ... "oh, i forgot i was meant to tell my son he's sleeping over at a friends house tonight and i'm two counties away" ...
I'm sure there were more. Feel free to chip in Digger, it's open season here today!
But what a fantastic fun day. It would appear that, with the exception of my idiocy, Digger and I are in fact the same person. Too many times we both talked about quirky stuff we both do or think or love to hate etc.
Wonderful mezze at Jericho Cafe, incredible cocktails at the QI bar, extravagant sausages and stories at The Big Bang.
This was a must repeat day.... unless Digger has decided I'm a full time loon.

(this post had to be red, obviously)

3 November 2005

) wanna meet up some time?
( yeah sure, where d'you fancy?
] oxford?
[ sounds good to me.

tomorrow i'm going to be shown round some of the coolest locations in oxford by a girl who boasts the epithet of being as bright as her shoes.

today was surprisingly good considering I went to a funeral. don't take me for an entirely heartless wench but even though the day was solemn, it was really good to see people and chat about allsorts.

This evening we watched a very odd film. Kung Fu Hustle, I think it was called. Some very random stuffing going on there but funny as well.

2 November 2005

1 November 2005

against my better judgment

this is how it begins:

"The circle of black paving slabs lay at his feet, flat and glossy after the recent shock of rain. His rough blonde hair still held the painstaking look of careless coiffure. In his left hand dangled a cocktail glass and spilling out of his pockets were Imogen’s tights and the damp contents of a discharged party popper."

30 October 2005

Gruffalo at work!!

following instructions on keeping posts cheerful;

2 days to nano.

the cat that left came back again.

i'm making jamie oliver meatballs for dinner.

the house smells of garlic.

i have a new jumper and necklace.

we kicked budget ass over the weekend.

i have new pillows.

i'm meeting 'digger' in oggsford this week. (small BDO)

28 October 2005

what possessed me?

So, with 3 days to go, I decide my NANO idea is unworkable and boring. I'm back to having one character and I know precious little about him but he's kinda cute and *I'd* follow him home so that's alright isn't it?

22 October 2005

jack o'lantern

Had a lovely evening with friends eating pumpkin soup and other yumminess.

Mixed bag

I try to keep things on this blog fairly light hearted (thinks back to dog knitting, hang man, cat buckaroo etc). So bear with me if I use this space today to splurge out what a rubbish day yesterday was.
My new boss rang to tell me that two of my colleagues were involved in a nasty car crash. One guy, who has moved from the MK branch with me to be our cash office lovely, is in hospital with a fractured collar bone and the other, his mother, who was the cash office lovely at MK, died. It is truly shocking and I find myself lapsing straight into those ridiculously irrational sentiments that you can only understand when you've experienced it first hand; I don't want it to be true, I'm sure I'll see her next time I go into the branch, perhaps if I wish hard enough and sincerely enough it won't be true after all, maybe someone got the wrong message. She was good fun to work with, excellent at her job and will be badly missed. The whole language of death is a cliche but it's all I can say at the moment.
But this is called a mixed bag and some fun stuff has happened too.
I've had my first week at the new job and it's going well. If it had a time lapse camera on it the shopfloor would have gone something like this; dark with black empty shelves, some people wandering about pointing at things, 1000 crates arriving, a bit of lighting here and there, an explosion of stock over tables and zipping across shelves, general mess, lots of people waving their arms or huddled into groups scratching and shaking heads, stock disappearing from the floor, crates leaving and people moving stock from one shelf to another and pushing tables about. That's how I left it Thursday night. By Monday we should be putting up POS and putting in the Christmas campaign. It's beginning to look like a bookshop now but outside is still a hard hat site. We're due to open Thursday!! Anyone in the area??
Other news. Sorry if this is sounding like a family Christmas newsletter. Ick, I have a horror of them!
Mini-me has his girlfriend staying down this weekend which is a new experience for me and Mr K. It's very sweet to see how Mr K responds to them. Hee hee. Trying his best to embarrass them by threatening to go out to the pictures with them in my hi-vi. (high visibility vest that I have to wear when crossing the building site! Must include a picture some time!)
Last night our errant mog returned home. We hadn't seen her for 2-3 weeks and we thought she had shuffled off her mortal coil. She is a tiny scrap of a cat and last night you could almost put your hand round her back bone and meet in the middle she was so skinny :( We fed her and fussed her as you can imagine. This morning she's nowhere to be seen again.
And now I'm going off to meet the kids in town and buy them lunch.

20 October 2005


If you were to follow the link from one of the spammers on a previous thread, and why would you when the only temptation is a link called 'private road constuction'(?), you would find yourself at the home of The Interim Monetary System of Heaven on Earth. Scrolling past the offer of 100,000,000.00 Credon Barter Dollars (hmm, that sounds like real currency), you would find another link. This time to Normism and the Declaration of Heaven on Earth. I suspect this is an example of someone trying to start their own religion. The logic goes something like this: there are lots of religions and that proves that god will give us whatever we want. Maybe I'm being overly critical but something doesn't ring true there. Apparantly the ideal age for asking for, well, anything, is 40 but this is not a religion without generosity:

After some brief discussion with Norm and Jesus we reached the conclusion (upon my request) that it is ok for anyone who accepts this declaration to receive immortality and peace in life right away.

So don't tell me I never give you anything!!!!!!

15 October 2005

induction day

I got to meet my new team today at an induction day in London. Interesting, fun, enlightening, encouraging. Looking forward to Monday now.

14 October 2005

i hope...

...i've made the right decision.

Of course I have but I am seriously going to miss the bods at MK. They're all great and some of them are particularly yumptious. It's been tough saying goodbye to them this evening.

11 October 2005

guess what?

Guess what I've just signed up to again? Am I a complete

numbskull? NANO time again. Another November where

likeminded idiots around the globe attempt to write 50,000

words in 30 days. This year, because of other commitments, I'm aiming for

30,000 words instead. If I get to 30K I'll be delighted, anything beyond that is

a miracle.

10 October 2005

Who would have thought?

My money was on Ishiguro but John Banville it was and didn't he look a sweetie?
I thought K.I would grab it because the theme has such a current feel but after the reviews this evening I have to say I'm drawn to JB (not Julian!)
I thought Ali Smith looked far too self confident looking to camera all the time and smirking pretend shyly.
Anyone read any of the short listers? Anyone going to buy the winner after this evening? I'm tempted but I have about half a dozen on the go or waiting in my urgent pile.

'Birdy', I got about 20 pages into then had to pause because of a billion things going on at work but I'll get back to it ASAP. I picked up Guillani's 'Leadership' and think it's brilliant so far. Also reading a book whose title eludes me...(enchanting? enthralling?) and plodding through Ackryod's 'Albion (fantastic). Vonnegut and Murakami sit on the shelf up here, looking delicious and tempting. I have an interesting one co-written by a Palestinian and a Jew downstairs. And don't even get me started on the proofs I have!

8 October 2005

fit of the giggles

It's been a long week, feeling torn between two jobs & two bosses. Maybe I've had more than my average dose of stress recently but all it took was this one enquiry at work today and tears of near hysterical laughter were pouring down my face as I try and keep up a semblance of professionalism.
First my customer asks for 'Knitting for Dogs'. This is enough. My face is contorted in an effort to stifle my laughter as I regrettably tell them that this gem is not in store:

So after they have left I call upstairs to our resident knitting knut and tell her I have an ISBN she needs to check out. We have a laugh but then comes the clincher. She outdoes the unspeakable horror of pet dressing:
Yes indeed folks, this book will teach you how to take dog hair, weave it and then knit it into snug items to keep you warm during the long winter months. Just think! Spaniel scarves, Golden Retriever gloves, Jack Russell jeans and Poodle pants. Contact your local dog groomer to start up your own business!

7 October 2005



This has to be the most amazing link I've ever seen! It's a webcam onto a pond in Botswana. Don't forget to turn up the volume. I sit for 15 minutes every night watching this before I go to bed. Things at the pond are livlier during the day but I've seen an elephant washing itself and some kind of deer creatures walking around in the evening. In the day I've seen these massive birds chasing each other about. I wish I knew what they all were. It's compulsive viewing! Hope you enjoy it as much as I am.

3 October 2005

At last!

The news is finally official and out in the open. I have a new job. (yeah, another one, i know!) I've only been at MK for 4 months but I've been offered an assistant managership that I'd be stupid to turn down. So I didn't. Two more weeks at MK before heading south to HH.
Recruitment for two branches simultaneously is a challenge! Arriving at 7 a.m after an hour's drive to let the cleaning lady in is something I just can't wait for either. But it's a brand new store so I get to be Book Fuhrer from the word go. It's all good.
One of guys at work responded with 'Good, I never liked you anyway', which was momentarily unnerving. I manoeuvred that one then he came back with 'how soon are you leaving?' Touching.

27 September 2005

nothing dramatic

...just to say i'm back. work is frenetic and brilliant. the animals are crazy. the humans are competing on that front. interesting work news that i can't divulge to the world for perhaps another week but it's good. had my hair cut. bought new red shoes. went to the peak district for a weekend. that *is* about all that's happened in the last fortnight.

26 September 2005

back online!

Monty chewed through the cable. I'm back online now though! (rolls eyes)

Thanks for your contributions.

Computer is still doing odd things. Must be some remnants of doggy saliva somewhere.

15 September 2005

crazy day

without giving step by step instructions to the universe at large about how to break into my house, i had to do just that this morning after i locked myself out. the break in process involved climbing a wall, lying full length in mud and climbing down a ramshackle piece of trellis. i had to buy a loaf of bread so i had change to use the phone to ring mr K to find out he was miles away and couldn't help. which reminds me, that loaf of bread is still in a plastic bag in someone else's back garden where i left it as i hacked my way through nettles to get to the crumbling brick wall i was to scale. (i just ate the last slice tonight so maybe i could get minime to go fetch for breakfast!!)
then i get to work, amazingly only 10 minutes late, to be faced with news that some wacko has gone straight to the MD because he didn't have staff bow to his every whim when he last came in.
then at the end of the day i realise i can't shut the back door at work so have to call out security to do a bit of man handling of the locks to get the place secure.
i get home after nine from a late shift, eat a bowl of beans for tea and now i'm going to bed.

11 September 2005

good job the coffee was strong

yesterday i took a 70 mile round trip for a cup of coffee. or so it felt. decided to drop in to the Hemel branch of a certain bookshop unnamed for legal reasons (!) It's a new shop in which I might be having some kind of involvement in the future. What I discovered...after timing the journey, noting the miles, researching the parking facilities and getting my bearings...was that the shop was so new it hadn't yet been built.
Thought I'd give you all a laugh at my expense on a Sunday afternoon.

8 September 2005

is it just me

or does it seem less than satisfactory when a hospital consultant tells you to go home and find out how to get better by surfing the internet?

5 September 2005

first day back...

...at work after 2 weeks off.

A pleasant evening with rocket dog shoe-wearing friend round to see greyhound wannabe rocket dog, Monty.

Minime has first day at upper school tomorrow which pretty much freaks me out as it doesn't seem that long since it was my first day at upper school. My form room was the metal work room so it was smelly and there was nowhere to sit. I'm sure minime will get a better deal tomorrow!

2 September 2005

Beautiful south

A couple of pleasant days in Bournemouth,
trying to get a weeks worth of sea & sun into
a couple of afternoons!

Got to swim in the sea,
run crazy round on the sandy with loopy lurcher here
& write embarrassing messages in the sand about mini me
liking barbie dolls. Ha ha ha. Such an easy wind up!!!
Had an amusing moment in a shop where i picked up the vilest looking
hair accessory, stuck it in my hair and went up to my sister in law to make her laugh. 'It really suits you' she says. 'Oh thanks a lot!' I reply, bothered that the pinkest, featheryest, ribboniest thing in the shop "suits me". Then I look in the mirror. The damn thing looks great. I end up buying it!

29 August 2005

Don't mention the (war) garden.

Still nothing done and the place looks like a WWI reenactment. The mortar was runny (day 1), runny (day 2) and a 2 tonne brick (day 3). Patience an increasingly rare commodity round these parts.

27 August 2005

It's a dog-eat-chocolate-drop world

today I took Monty out for a long walk and watched him outrace every other hound at the marina. I also spent a long time lavishing him with attention. Chocolate drops seems to be the way forward for housetraining purposes.

After the horrifying discovery that our son had never heard of the A-team, despite our repeated and frankly tiresome prompts with the theme music, we borrowed some old editions from a mate and gave the boy an education.

The building work in the garden did not take place as planned today because the mortar was too runny and will have to wait til tomorrow.

25 August 2005


Monty went a.w.o.l this morning after *someone* accidentally left the front door open. 2 hours later we got him back. grief! live and learn eh?

24 August 2005

New family member!

Introducing MONTY!!
We picked up this beautiful lurcher X from a rescue home
today. With more bounce than the average hound, Monty is
part of our family now :)
His foster home thought he may be crossed with Pharaoh's Hound -->
but he definitely has lurcher lines to him -->
So far he seems very friendly, very quiet but very bouncy!

23 August 2005

Had a fun trip out to a local maze. Small but still very
easy to get completely lost in!

Of course, smarty pants here gets to the middle first
and has to give me directions!

In the afternoon I loitered round the Reclamation Yard in
the hope of happening across a lost national treasure. This
monstrosity made for an interesting second best.

Am now sated on the fruits of someone else's hard work; rhubarb
crumble from the allotment. Cheers JJ.

22 August 2005

Yah boo

This is where we ain't going...

...cos Mr K is too ill to travel.


Due to go away the day after tomorrow but another
sudden hospital trip last night meant I had to cancel.

20 August 2005

not to mention

...drinking til the smlal hours and cylcing hoem ina perambulatryo fashion. hee hee hee

what are friends for...

...if not to dig trenches in your back garden for wall footings, painting brickwork and mixing up concrete?

hurrah to the nice people i know. whenever you want the favour returning be sure to ring. there are a number of excellent building companies in this town. calls here are to be restricted to demands for dinners, drinks, nights out and heart to hearts. anything manual or technical is someone else's domain. which is why we asked you round today, duh!

So thanks for making my garden looks like a bomb site. Give it a month and I'll have a grin like the proverbial Cheshire Cat.

16 August 2005

awol in norfolk

this week, mini-me is away with grandparents. i miss the lil blighter.

15 August 2005

twisted fire starter

should have posted this a few days ago.
just as impressive now though!

bright city lights

There's something loveable about these cranky old lights in
the storm porch of a Fleet Street shop.

Had a day in London for my fast track course so it seemed
reasonable to take a picture of tracks.

14 August 2005

fresh raspberries

my parents are pretty cool folks. they sent me home with fresh raspberries, apples and rhubarb.
Not a show stopping entry tonight but a kind of online knowing smile, nod and happy sigh.

11 August 2005


What do all these words have in common?


Big, big prizes not up for grabs!!

10 August 2005

london evening

After a day of no natural light and hours of meetings it was time to step out into loveable London. Man, I love this place. Drinks at The Cock where the bar has these groovy little swinging windows that you speak through to place your order and tables outside just made for booksellers to sit round and word process the day. Then a short step down to Soho Square, arriving just as the bells struck six to meet my good friend Joe. Drinks in the George Orwell bar and more discussions of Swedish playwrights and personal attempts at creativity and tardiness. Dinner and more drinks at the I.C.A with many fascinating questions each way about our characters, fictional and otherwise. Midnight came too quickly.

8 August 2005

hang man

" A / L I T T L E / L E A R N I N G / I S / A / D A N G E R O U S / T H I N G;

D R I N K / D E E P / O R / T A S T E / N O T / T H E / P I E R I A N / S P R I N G:

T H E R E / S H A L L O W / D R A U G H T S / I N T O X I C A T E / T H E / B R A I N

A N D / D R I N K I N G / L A R G E L Y / S O B E R S / U S / A G A I N . "

ying yang

In contrast to yesterday, today I did not have a man breathing fire in my back garden. In fact, I sat in an office all day typing numbers into a computer and spending virtual money on thousands of books. Not a bad way to spend a day but somewhat less memorable than swirling firebrands.

I did have very good African Peanut Soup for lunch though.

And I'm spending tomorrow night swinging round Soho.

Mustn't grumble.

Is that ying yang or karma? Or swings and roundabouts?

7 August 2005

dragonian measures

Today I had a man eating fire in my back garden. Weird huh? What's more, he kept doing it over and over, drinking white spirits, fire breathing and generally being my mate P, all round crazy man who jumps out of planes and takes impromptu trips to venezuela and the arctic circle when he isn't dicing with death. Or a burnt face at least.

The best we could offer in return was an afternoon kiting. With no wind. And too many glasses of wine and hunks of home made carrot cake.

As soon as this stupid thing allows me to put photos up again, I'll show you the type of insanity that visits me from time to time.

2 August 2005

thspeeking funny

...my dentist.

Just had my head excavated and didn't feel a thing. The echoing has stopped at last. Have had more pain from getting my nails done or going to the hairdressers than I did having a drill in my head spitting out enamel across the surgery floor.

29 July 2005

and then there were 3

whittled our dinner party down to three and had fun at the pub after writing beer mat postcards. Something I initiated and hadn't done since the olden days when i were a lass.

Can't beat an evening that starts discussing slug psychology and ends with promises of more fine dining with best mates.

this blog entry comes with uncharacteristic sentimental hugs for all the people i know who are the stuff of happily anticipated evenings and days out.

24 July 2005

very full...cant'move....must....stop

It was a modest little 6 course affair and my guests actually turned down the 4th . Can you believe that?

First course - avocado crisps, chilli crisps, olives, hummus and cucumber dip.

Second course - Stuffed vine leaves with hot tomato sauce and falafels.

Third course - Spanakopita, tabbouleh and mixed bean salad.

Fourth course - Marrakesh vegetable curry, filo tarts with pine nuts and Iranian rice.

Fifth course - Strawberries, raspberries, vanilla bean Green & Blacks ice-cream with single cream and creme fraiche.

Sixth course - tea, coffee and a slab of white and milk chocolate swirl with dried raspberries from Hotel Chocolat.

Various wines.

Celebrating nothing other than having good friends we want to spoil with good food and punish with our company.

21 July 2005


i stood on a slug in only my socks. brrrrr

18 July 2005

reading again

after spending weeks on, the promising yet ultimately unfulfilling not to mention downright dull, dante club, i am 2/3 of the way through something i only picked up today. 'Strangers' by Yamada. Spooky as hell, jittery and unnerving. What fun!

17 July 2005

So I made it!! 30 degrees out and further than i've run before.
I made £266 pounds for Cancer Research so it's well worth the effort.
The first 4k were easy enough but the last kilometre was a killer. Felt
pretty nauseous and done in by then. I just kept thinking I could never
face having to say 'I ran most of the way' so I kept going. The picture is
of me at 3.5k feeling pretty confident...by the end of the road I was wondering
where I was and what would happen if I collapsed. Quite a day!

16 July 2005


back in from a 6:30 a.m start at work having comprehensively out reserved the competitors and refused to drop to their levels of (unsuccessful) queue pinching at midnight. made lots of kiddos and i'll-have-read-it-by-tomorrow adults happy.

i think i'm going to curl up in the corner for the rest of the weekend and sleep. on second thoughts, i think i'll do a 5k run.

11 July 2005

i got it :)

10 July 2005

well that was fun

Nice evening out with friends, new and new but seem like old.

Drinks at nice pub, chat, laugh, drink, slur, giggle, drink, interesting urinals, drink, strange foam tandoori pigeon poo on the wall, laugh, drink, not nice pub, rude people, swig, stagger, lurch, laugh, drunken heart to hearts, drink, slump, laugh, pizza, talk, where did dil go, taxi, noyoucantwalkmehome, slate very late, roundandroundaroundabout, dizzy, nothisroadnotthatone, hereyeshere, thank you, hello, dirty stop out, giggle, yeah well, all black, mmmm.

7 July 2005


What can anyone say after a day like today?

I'm glad to report that both of my brothers who were on duty in London today are well. One of them was very close to the scene and heard some pretty grim things from colleagues who had been down in the tunnel.

I hope everyone you know in London was safe.

6 July 2005


why are all my friends veggie when i start discovering amazing dishes with meat in and i can't share them?!

chorizo soup with chick peas and spinach, garlic, tomatoes, onions etc. spicy and tasty. three cheers for jamie oliver and tupperware boxes.

5 July 2005


feeling grouchy that i can't make saturday 16th festivities with mates in london because of running the next day but it's all for a good cause and i'd only be drinking, laughing, flirting and having an absolute blast if i was out in the capital for the night. who would choose london night life when you can stay in the provinces and torture yourself by running with several thousand other people in front of half the town who'll be out to point and laugh. just at me.

3 July 2005


2 weeks til my 'race for life', i keep running and yet....i weigh more than i did when i started. no-one gimme that stuff about muscle weighing more. yadda yadda yadda. it's marks and sparks cheese scones but i can't live without them.

30 June 2005


Am having quite a week with the emergency services.

On Sunday I had a phone conversation with my son that went something like this.

'Hi Mum, can you come and pick me up?'
'Well no, you're on your bike. You can cycle home.'
'Well, you're going to have to really.'
'I have to go down to the police station to make a statement.'

Of course it was a conversation milked for it's last drop of drama by mini-me, so full points there. Actually some brattish thug had pushed him off his bike, ridden off with it, jumped up and down on it for a bit then noticed a police car hurtling across the grass and wondered if there might be a connection. Anyway, he was arrested and we have the bike back. Two buckled wheels and a knackered derailleur.

Tonight, it was hospital for Mr Kumquat. Heavy duty painkillers and a dose of anit-emetics later and he's sleeping off a nightmare migrane. You know the sort where you spend most of the evening making sypathetic noises and emptying buckets of puke.

Don't anyone let me near matches tomorrow.

28 June 2005

leaving. again.

another leaving 'do' back with the old branch chums. yes, the leaving do that they had that was a joint one with mine but ... they get another one. hmmm. sounds good to me! lovely chinese meal out and driving home in the incredible thunder and lightning.
coffee back chez nous with all the lights out and the french windows open watching the spectacle.

26 June 2005

You've been blogged!

Last night we had a splendid nosh up chez Jamie Oliver's restaurant "15". Fabulous food, very good service and reasonably priced considering it was central London and has a big name attached to the place. Jamie failed to put in an appearance but the wine was so good we might not have noticed if he'd been the girl serving extra bread!

After the meal we staggered out, feeling excessively full, and headed into Islington to add decandence to indulgence. We sat for a long time at the organic bar putting the world to rights.

Heading back down into the underground we watched, with bemused horror, a young man lose his step on the escalator, twist 90 degrees, fall down several unforgiving metal steps and grind to a halt, legs showing ten to two. He said 'Ouch' in a overly controlled manner which made the whole episode absolutely hilarious. Gallant Mr Kumquat ran to see if he was ok but once he had dusted himself off and scuttled round the corner to hide his embarrassment, we all fell about.

Got home some time after 2. Great evening out. Must do more of this kind of thing.

24 June 2005


a good mate wandered past work today which was a complete surprise now i'm 20 miles away from home. as usual i was standing with a furrowed brow and a piece of paper.

still ploughing through 'the dante club'. the writing is not great and the characters are rather dull and 2d but a couple of people have been murdered so i'll keep reading it just to find out whodunnit.

bought up a stack of penguin 70's yesterday and lined them up on a kitchen shelf so i can read while i cook. i anticipate the quality of our meals plummeting.

and now i'm off for two days in a row (gasp) with exciting plans for tomorrow evening, two friends, a large amount of money and the vain hope of seeing a celebrity with only the hope of copious amounts of alcohol to keep our spirits up.

join us, after the break.

under the stars

So hot last night I camped out under the stars in the back garden in a sleeping bag on a bed chair. Brilliant!

18 June 2005


it's hot.
i've discovered t'chai latte.
i have an interview on monday.
it's very hot.
i watched batman begins this evening.
i have a party to go to tomorrow.
que calor!

15 June 2005

kumquat's blog

not a great deal to report. working at the new job and liking it enormously.

running whenever i can to train for my 5K. can regularly run about 2/3 of that so shouldn't be tooo much trouble on the day to keep going a bit further.

12 June 2005

rip van winkle

last night i slept for 11 1/2 hours, woke up exhausted, dragged myself through the day only to collapse asleep on the sofa for at least an hour this afternoon.

11 June 2005

phone call

i have just had the weirdest call ever!

we get inundated with calls from people trying to sell us new kitchens and double glazing but today was a call unlike any other.

the girl said what sounded like 'hello is that miss ***?',
'do you love me? i'd like to let you know that your house has been selected as a possible trial home for a new kitchen. can i ask you how old your kitchen is?'

i thought i MUST have heard wrong so i gave my usual line;

'thank you but i don't want to pursue this.'

to which she replied;

'yes but do you love me?'

i asked who was calling and she said something like never mind and hung up.

has anyone else had this???? does this person know me do you think? she sounded really quiet and upset, not like someone doing it for a dare. weird huh?

9 June 2005

this week

new job fab.

hayfever reducing me to a self pitying wreck outside of air-conditioned rooms.

4 June 2005

day 5

Visited the Secession building which is about 2 minutes from our apartment. Really beautiful place done in what the non art student would recognise as art nouveau but is in fact, Secession! There was a pile of tat on the first floor that made me feel middle aged and grouchy. Call this art? There was a muddy puddle, for instance. How many puddles do you think they created before the artist cried out with relief 'yes, YES, this is the definitive muddy puddle, my life has been building to this moment of clarity'? There was also a video of a girl riding a bike backwards and a squashed ant on top of a Conan Doyle novel. Thankfully, the Beethoven Frieze was downstairs to make up for the fraudulent trash upstairs. Klimt is my favourite artist and Ive wanted to see his stuff for a long time. I got to see some in Venice last year but Vienna has the bulk of it because he was based here and it was from here that the whole fin de siecle thing began and ended. So I was blown away by the Beethoven Freize and felt awful knowing that as I left I may never get to see it again.
After that we went to the Leopold Museum where we saw lots more Klimt and Scheiler too. Some of the Scheiler was great but generally you could see why the police busted his house and chucked him in prison for having young girls visiting. Who knows the truth.
In the afternoon we wandered round and happened across the Town Hall and got escorted off the premises of the Leichenstein Palace. Long story.
After eating, we went to the cinema at 10:55pm to see The Third Man. It was superb. A first for me and it was so interesting to see Vienna at war and of course anything taken from a Greene novel is a delight.

2 June 2005

day 4

another 'what a day' day.

took the 930 train back from budapest and met up with a really interesting retired guy living in lichenstein. talked about a load of cool things hes got up to in the past... herding cattle in wyoming on horseback, skiing marathons in st moritz etc... Got off the train in vienna and had a drink with him for half an hour or so while he waited for a train to switzerland.
in the afternoon we made good from having spent a night without toothbrushes and deodorant!
Shopped again in the afternoon at the huge food market for our dinner.
This evening we went to the Vienna opera to see Verdi`s Don Carlos! Stunning. Of course it was wonderful quality but the coolest thing happened in the middle. We went for the first interval and there was a woman wandering round with a microphone so wherever you were in the building you could hear her. There were cameramen following her and projecting what she was saying onto a huge screen in the foyer. She was announcing the arrival of King Phillip and other members of the cast due to appear in the second half. The camera also scoured the audience having their drinks and watching the screen and chatting among themselves so we looked like extras in the opera waiting for the king to arrive! Then I noticed on the screen that the cast was back on stage so I ran over to look out of one of the boxes (not our seats!!) to see what was going on. Half of the act 2 scene I was taking place on stage and the rest was taking place in different places over the building. Wherever you were you could follow the story. Suddenly a gang of policemen were storming through the bar with a group of prisoners in chains! I was running from the box to the bar and back to try and work it all out!! If you didnt see it first hand it was on the screens. Finally the king and his entourage walked through everybody slowly gathering in the main auditorium surrounded by journalists with flashes going off everwhere. It was a real spectacle.
We came home on a real high, ate my seared tuna steaks in mustard marinade with avocado and lemongrass salad and drank coffee.

day 3 cont'd/...

As you will have gathered, we took a train to Hungary yesterday. Budapest is a really beautiful city. Its made up of two parts. Buda, and yes you guessed it, Pest, with the Danube flowing through the middle. We spent most of our time on the Buda half seeing the Fishermans Bastion, the Church of our Lady (which was like no other church i have ever seen. breathtaking) and the national art gallery.
Dinner was in Pest and I think I would have travelled to Hungary just for this restaurant. We were given free starters of bread with apple pickle, dijon wholegrain mustard and piquant tomato sauce for starters. I had a beef tagine with vegetables in an amazing sauce. The meat was perfectly tender and the sauce was rich with a touch of sweetness. The couscous was amazingly light. Margaret had smoked chicken with honied pineapple and it was really tasty too. I had chocolate soup for dessert which I had never tried before and I could taste cinnamon and cardamon in there. Plus it came with fresh strawberries. Margaret had dark chocolate souffle with candied orange, morello cherry compote and ice cream. The souffle was so light really, you could hardly feel it in your mouth.
As you can see, Budapest is a city to visit!
We missed our return train by ten minutes so had to find accommodation. We stayed in a nice little apartment 15 minutes from the station rented by this older guy who told us about his daughter in Florida and showed us pictures of her winning tennis competitions! Quite an adventure.
Before bed we drank at a jazz bar and decided we were glad to have missed our train back to Western Europe!

1 June 2005

day 3

all i am saying at this stage is that i missed the last train back into austria so i am staying overnight in budapest!!

check in tomorrow for further details!!!!!!!!!!!!!

31 May 2005

day 2

This morning we went to the Albertina gallery in the hope of catching some Klimt. There were three very simple pieces of his there but a host of other interesting artists including Bonnard, Picasso, Rembrandt, Monet, Mondriaan and Fuselli. My favourite piece was the Fuselli called something like A Shepherds Dream (?). Very much like some of Blakes illustrations. Interestingly there was also a painting by Victor Hugo. It wasnt so great but I never knew he painted.
Schnitzel for dinner set us going for an afternoon of walking around the Hofburg complex. After half an hour of looking at case after case of King someone or others cutlery, I was beginning to wonder why Id paid E9.50 to admire his silverware. Thankfully we moved on and saw some very cool art in the Imperial Apartments next to the Spanish Riding School.
After a foray into the cultural experience that is apfelstrudel, we took the ´scenic route´to the main train station to buy tickets for our trip tomorrow. Youll have to check in tomorrow to see what we have planned!
This evening I made a pretty good salad to go with our pizza and an unidentified baking object is in the oven. It looks like it might have chocolate in the middle but we may yet be eating minced beef patties for pudding.

30 May 2005


so my apartment has free internet access. life is sweet.

sat on the tarmac at heathrow for an hour which was a delight as you can imagine. of course, the air con had failed at that point and its been pretty much the hottest spell of the year so far. eventually took off and enjoyed turbulence a lot of the way there, but whats hurtling through the air if you dont notice how close you are to death every few minutes, right?

the apartment looked liked a dive from the outside and as finding accomodation was entirely my remit, i was nervous. inside, the place is lovely. really modern and clean, lots of beech wood and with free internet access!

i should say im here with my travel bud, margaret, that i met about 18 months ago on a trip to the states. off the cuff we thought it might be a crack to travel together so last may we spent a week in venice and now here we are in vienna. so although ive only known her for about 2 weeks in total face to face contact time, we will be travelling like this most years i think.

excuse the lack of punctuation, this keyboard is unfathomable.

ä ö ü § ß

so for the first time in weeks, my blog actually has something to say! watch this space for more kumquat adventures!!!

29 May 2005

how far?

something distinctly odd happened to me this morning. I woke up early and felt like running. I got up. I ran. Two miles! I didn't feel like tagging on another 24 just to keep up with my marathon running pals but this is the furthest I've run before. Try not to laugh! Here starteth the training for my Race for Life sponsored run.

27 May 2005


So I left.

I got book vouchers and a miniature bottle of champagne. The champagne is still unopened but the vouchers went straight away! I bought Persepolis and Persepolis 2. Graphic novels about Iran. They look great.

The heat is ridiculous and I've promised to make moussaka for two friends to celebrate the new job.
Off to find the cinnamon and turn up Carmen on the c.d player....

24 May 2005

Race for Life

I did a silly thing. Agreed to run 5k. Anway, I took the plunge so perhaps you'd like to do the same, only into your wallets! Please sponsor me online to raise money for Cancer Research or I'll flood your email with sob stories about sick children. ha ha ha ha.....


21 May 2005

Leaving do was fun. Mini me was down one end of the table entertaining the troops with full scale inter-planetary war complete with horrific bloodshed, staggering casualties and personal tragedies enacted with only his hands and an impressive repetoire of sound effects.
One place round was my best friend (ex colleague) doing her best to encourage him in aforementioned military endeavour whilst getting him to try anchovies and bruschetta.
Three of us are leaving within a month of each other so we had a joint knees up eating far too much, drinking far too much and attempting to scale trees on the way home. Two of our number ended up in the gutter, one had to leave early they were so hammered and for once neither of them were in my immediate family!!
It was great. I should leave work more often.

fool of a touk!

slight oversight on my part re: impending vienna trip. seems i'm a night short at the hotel. and just as i was thinking i was omnipotent.

18 May 2005


looking forward to my joint leaving do at work tomorrow evening. still can't properly compute that i'm moving to another branch and leaving everyone behind. i'm sure they'll negotiate the change effortlessly!!


On the champs elysees, this guy was offering to cut out your silhouette for 2 euros in one minute. We watched for a while, very impressed that all he had was a piece of black paper and a pair of scissors. Then of course we parted with our cash and enjoyed being tourists.

In the Sacre Coeur we sat watching the constant stream of visitors pouring in to stress out the attendant at the door. He made more noise telling everyone to shush and move along than the visitors themselves. Just as we were beginning to be irritated, eight nuns appeared at the front and sang the most amazing, haunting piece. It was a special moment.

At the bar, a German couple couldn't get the waiter to understand that they wanted him to make a recommendation from the menu. Eventually I couldn't stand it any longer and offered to help. They were all smiles and thank yous. It was most gratifying until the waiter, whose linguistic problem clearly wasn't limited to foreign languages, proceeded to translate the menu instead of recommend.

16 May 2005

back home

...but only two weeks til Vienna!

the obligatory snap of the eiffel tower.