28 November 2008

A story I heard today...

My aunty Nigel had been dead for three days before anyone knew. Uncle Sally had been talking to her for three days before he realised. He didn't smell anything because he'd lost his nose in the war. A pigeon ate it.

28 October 2008

I know Trevor Brooking

's second cousin. But just found out today. Interesting huh?

10 October 2008

more cool work stuff

BBQ with the guys from work on a beautiful warm Friday afternoon

Results of sewing skills project at work.

9 October 2008

26 September 2008

25 September 2008

bush tucker

Today, at work, we took a bunch of the guys out to the woods with someone who leads day trips out learning survival skills. We put up shelter then started a fire. He showed us how to make fire by wood rubbing, making tinder from denim, getting sparks from batteries and steel wool and another contraption i don't remember the name of. We built up a 'fast burning' fire from tiny sticks and it grew into a real blaze. Once it had settled down, we cooked a whole chicken over the top of it. We whittled sticks to heat up our, not so survival style, sausage rolls. It was a fantastic day. The guys got on really well and I now stink of smokey wood fire. So much fun!

15 September 2008

Today I was asked...

'Have you ever, in an outrageous burst of childhood idiocy, tried to sharpen a body part?'

14 September 2008

New job: week 2

Went bowling in Milton Keynes at the end of the week. For work.

5 September 2008

New job: week 1

This afternoon I'm going up the driving range. And it's work!

4 August 2008

international man of mystery

I couldn't take enough pictures of the pack ice at the glacier. It was one of the things I really wanted to see while on Svalbard. Of course I wanted to see a lot more wildlife than could reasonably be expected but i did see a whole lot of birds that a) you wouldn't see in the uk and more importantly b) my parents haven't seen yet!!

We were really lucky to get to this glacier. It was only because the weather was good and there weren't many people in the boat that we made good time and could fit it into the schedule. It was the best moment of the holiday for both of us.

a canine theme

Huskies are very common in Svalbard and are used as working dogs. We had the opportunity to go sledging with dogs while we were there. As it was summer there wasn't enough ice so the sledging was on wheels but as excellent compensation, there were puppies!! There were five at the place we went to and it was a wrench having to leave them with their owners. Even the tour guide for the day checked the insides of my coat to see that i wasn't stowing any away!

We harnessed up 8-9 dogs at the front of the sledges and took it in turns to drive. I thought initially it was a bit harsh on them pulling us just for the pleasure of it but as soon as we got to the cages where the dogs were kept the racket of them all howling to be allowed out and work was deafening. These guys love working! They jumped at the leashes when we had to put the breaks on.

On another occassion we went for a 3 hour trek with a husky and while we were struggling to cross rivers of melt-water, the dogs just trotted through never noticing the cold (literally glacial!) or current. Awesome beasties!

One night we went to a villmarksgrilling - wilderness BBQ - and learnt more about the dogs there. The guy running the evening presented a slide show of his annual trips out to the arctic wilderness with the dogs. They snuggle down outside at night but he told us not to feel sorry for them because it doesn't affect them at all and that they would often come out in the morning and see no dogs at all because of the snow then gradually ears would appear and then the rest would follow!

31 July 2008


There will be more of these to follow but i can't wait to show you this one. It just got more and more stunning the longer we stayed.

30 July 2008

midnight sun

Here's a picture from a trip I have just come back from in Finland. This was taken at two thirty in the morning, many miles above the arctic circle on the island of Spitsbergen, Svalbard. We went on a split site visit of Norway, starting with several days in Oslo. Svalbard was by far the most exciting part of the trip as I hope my entries will show.

This may also a 2:30 am snap (there's really no telling between them!) showing where we stayed during our four days. Svalbard lies approximately 700 miles south of the north pole and is fabulously rich in wildlife. We had some incredible trips out that really made this one of the best trips of my life.

The scenery was stunning and we were really fortunate with weather. It was pretty nippy at times as you'd expect but we had a lot of clear skies and of course the sun never went down!

7 July 2008


Taking a week's holiday with my travel bud Margaret from The States. We've had a blast so far; the zoo, portrait gallery, st andrews, fishing villages of fife, oban, castles and lochs, cinema, stand up comedy lunch time and a pile of other stuff i can't remember.

All good stuff though....now just checking the temperatures in Svalbard for my holiday later in the month!

Two working days left .... new job starting September 1 .... house nearly complete .... mini-me finished exams ....

17 May 2008

Abington Pigots

Spent a fab afternoon with Borrower and Kid A in their new home and pub. Loving the 'banqueting hall' loft and hospitable kitchen table. Shall I bring the sellotape next time?!!

11 May 2008

back online!!!

Back online again after the house fire. Now working off a swish laptop loaned to me by mole. team points heading his way.

Have had a fab weekend in London.

Friday night we went to the Royal Albert Hall to see the Royal Philharmonic Orchestra play. Tres cool. It was called Filmharmonica and they played loads of scores from films. Wore posh frock and crippling heels bought last week for the annual conference. Lots of fun.

Saturday night we went to the National to see Fram - the new play by my hero Tony Harrison. It was pure brain food. Wonderful stuff. Amazing set, very clever script all in rhyming couplets, witty, thought-provoking and complex. It had so much packed in there - debate on Darwinianism, poetry as consolation, art v pragmatism, political and historical commentary. It was a stage drama but also included film, ballet and music. One particular speech blew me away where a woman (playing an actress) is defending art as a means of making the world better informed about a famine that is going on, her critics say art cannot produce results in the way action can. She then starts to play out a starving woman who speaks to the audience about her pain and self-loathing about having turned cannibal from hunger. It was played with pathos and brutality. She used her body in an amazing way to look weak and starved. It was electrifying. We talked for a long while afterwards about what the play was saying.

This afternoon we had a picnic in Crystal Palace park and sun bathing.

8 February 2008

Another few bits added...

nothing spectacular but i quite enjoyed the couple of bugs!

7 February 2008

swoosh, scoff, snooze

Another birthday.

Had an hour's recreational skiing at Xscape, MK. Dinner with friends this evening and an early night will sandwich together the day after a lie in this morning.

Was woken at 7 with candles, E and mini-me singing happy birthday and then showering me with dozens of balloons and glitter from party poppers! I got a creme brulee torch that i've been wanting for ages and lots of cards and other gifts. Did some more painting, watched an episode of one of my heroes, David Attenborough, on that thingy on the bbc website and generally had a busy-lazy time of it.

If it wasn't for that whole aging thing I could almost wish I didn't have to wait another year!

28 January 2008

27 January 2008

Just a few lines

A second coat for the circles and a few lines which begin a new pattern.

26 January 2008


Making progress on the monstrosity! The colours in the picture aren't altogether true. The red is not so crimson and the yellow is actually a really attractive gold.

25 January 2008




Weeks ago I noticed a shop with very similar POS to this and went in to ask them if I could have it after their promo was over. I was told I couldn't but on the way back to my car this evening I found that another shop had chucked out one of these amazing Klimt-esque trees by the wheelie bins. It took a bit of negotiating into the bug but I brought it home and have been working on it all this evening. Of course I've noticed a big bit I've missed with the paint now that I've put the photo up! It's pretty tall. I'm on a step in that first picture and it's still towering over my head. I'm going to use gold, red and white on the black to create some wacky designs then mount it on the wall in my hallway. The black paint is like tar (!) and I have it all over my hands now. It's going to take hours to dry but it'll give me something to do in all that copious spare time I never have!

22 January 2008


Thanks to the unspeakably fabulous Emdrum, I can now use my computer and furnish kq's blog with pictures again. Huzzah!!

Today's picture is a bit of doodlin' artwork on a folder that will tell you what I am investigating this year as a new project if you can decode the two word anagram. Last year, as you may well remember, my new year's resolution was to drink more wine. In fact, I learnt a great deal about wine and command an admirable yet wholly fatuous thrawl over my drinking friends who regularly defer to me when choosing wine. Wisest is she who knows she knows nothing and all that but it's true that as soon as you start to learn about something you realise how little you know about anything.
So here's to 2008 & a new project.