Friday, December 14, 2007


I'm reading a book at the moment which is making me want to cry with relief. Books are magical - some can be fusty and dusty and you never quite connect, some are like those magic books in Dungeons and Dragons which you open and beams of light shine forth, and ideas and knowledge rain down on you.

This book is called What do I do when I want to do Everything? and it talks about people who really can't just settle down to do one thing, but are enthralled about learning and doing everything. The author Barbara Sher calls these people Scanners, and the more I read the more I think That's me! And it's such a relief to know that I'm not just lazy and unable to finish things, or unable to find a career that I want to do until I retire because I lack passion. It's just because I want to learn about everything, and once I've learnt one thing to a reasonable level, or planned and implemented a project, then that's enough for me, and I want something new to do.

How many people do you know that's always starting something new? That flits between jobs and never settles? That has dozens of unfinished projects littering the house? And how many of these people feel guilty about that? I know I used to. But in the past couple of years I've actually felt good about that, it makes me feel accomplished and rounded as a person that I shoot, I knit, I poledance, and I've set up a small business. OK, I do none of these things to an exemplary level, but I do them all pretty well. I love to learn, I love to facilitate, I love to know that nothing is impossible. And when I'm doing these things I am the happiest person I know.

What do you guys think?

Monday, November 05, 2007


I had to go to the Arsenal vs Man U match with work. Anyone who knows me also knows I can't stand football. I'd rather stick forks in my hand than watch a game. So going to the temple of men who run around, swear, and fall over at the slightest tap - well, frankly, you can keep it.

So the actual match was OK. The food was excellent. And here are three amusing things from the day:

1. The crowd. As someone goes in for a strike they all take a gasp, and stand up. As the player misses, they sigh and groan and sit down. Forty thousand people doing the same thing made it seem like a giant crowd creature breathing in and breathing out.

2. Sagna's ridiculous haircut. It looks like a rooster and flicks into his face when he takes a header.

3. Considering how much Wayne Rooney does actually look like Shrek. (Although even I could admit he is a little bit of a football wizard.)

But the most exciting thing was getting Shayne Ritchie's autograph and getting called darlin' twice by him in one sentence. *:)

Friday, October 26, 2007


Something startling happened last night. I was at the station, late, hungry, and *I did not go and buy a Burger King*. I went into M&S and got a healthy looking sandwich. What??? Has turning 30 finally caught up with me? It was most unnerving. I also bought a bag of salad because we needed it for home and *I nearly opened that too*. Huh?

Anyway, on less inane matters, the burlesque workshop nobly led by Miss Glory Pearl last weekend went very well. I think the girls were a little apprehensive, as only Clare and I had ever done any stripping before (and that was only a couple of 15mins sessions at the end of our pole classes in the spring), so they were rather quiet to start with. But a few rehearsals of removing undergarments and ending up in nipple tassles and bowler hats soon wore down the embarrassment and we all started to get into things. We learnt the most delicious way to remove long evening gloves (to be repeated in the bedroom only!) and also how to twirl said tassels. There is nothing more ridiculous than four girls standing in a row in stockings and suspenders, watching their bouncing boobs with grins of glee.

We were discussing about stripping, pole dancing, lap dancing, and other darker sides of using one's femininity after the class, while sipping glasses of pink champagne. One of the ladies said that a few years ago she wouldn't have touched a class like we'd just done with a bargepole as she was a subscriber to the 'stripping takes advantage of women' school of thought. I'm not sure exactly what her thoughts are now, but it was something along the lines of exploring her feminine side more, and feeling more liberated to be herself. And showing off the amazing corset she got in the states. *;) I find stripping, particularly burlesque stripping, quite empowering (men go all wobbly when you tell them about it), as well as being confidence boosting - you have to appreciate your body to get it out in public, even a little bit, and there was not a murmer of 'oo, your boobs are bigger than mine!' or anything of the sort on the day, but just mutual appreciation. Confidence is by far the sexiest thing a woman can wear.

Well, confidence, and perhaps this corset.

*corset from

Thursday, October 18, 2007

Big Stix

Quote du jour, discussing new size 50 Speed Stix:

I want knitting needles that double as vibrators. And light up. ... Now those, I'd buy.

The Knitting Curmudgeon pulls no punches. Quite right. There's enough tat coming out in the knitting world for unsuspecting newbies. Someone needs to say something!

Aragon Yarns had a stand at the Knitting and Stitching Show at Alexandra Palace and it went really well. We had loads of interest and hopefully it will keep snowballing. Also several requests from wholesalers to stock it! Yay!

Just off to tango now. We're trying a new place out just off St Martin's Lane. Glide glide, flick flick. Should be fun!

Tuesday, October 02, 2007

Men's pants - update

Clare has found a link to the following website which sells interesting men's pants:

Please, gentle reader, be sitting down and not too close to the screen when you view. (My first reaction was a loud Argh!! followed by Eww!!)

Good luck!

And many thanks to B T Bear for linking.

Friday, September 21, 2007

Men's Pants

What can be done about men's pants? I find them indescribably dull. The best you're going to get are jersey shorts with stuff written around the waistband. Ladies, in comparison, have a chocolate box of choice: lace, silk, satin, velvet, ribbons, ruffles, pin tucks and polka-dots, embroidery, sequins and a rainbow of colours. And that's just the knickers - what about all the bras (push-up, plunge, half cup) and bewildering arrays of corsetry?

Seriously though, what can you do with men's pants to make them more fun and sexy without also making them look camp and/or Village People bondage? Any sort of embellishment bar a brand label (scratchy)? Leather, rivets? No. Prints? I think not - may well cause sniggers when trousers are removed. (Any men out there with cartoon characters on their boxers, please ceremonially burn them now.) Obviously all the frills and furbelows listed above are out. So what, what, what?

Another problem with pants is that the area of the body they cover, unlike the female form, is not the most aesthetically pleasing. Men's pecs and shoulders - Mmm. Men's bottoms, often hairy and pale. What can be done to enhance?

Perhaps we can borrow from ladies' corsets and look at some interesting tailoring, with some seamage which follows the contours to refine, slim and enperken. Or enperten, depending on the view. *:)

What about the tease, a vital part of ladies' ware? Is there a way of getting that 'look but don't touch' into men's grundies? Perhaps the tease won't work with men, they're not usually known for being coy. We should be looking for something more butch - 'come and get it, laydees' pants.

Another big problem with all this is men themselves. They like to wear their pants for comfort. Not for them enduring being poked by underwires, scratched by lace or flossed all day by a thong. Would sexy pants with enperkening tailoring actually get worn? Something is telling me not.

Please, leave comments and suggestions. I lay down the challenge. There must be something out there for our poor men!

Tuesday, September 04, 2007

Smoke, fire and roses

We have had skate for supper. To get rid of the fish smell Clare suggests burning some incense. Our fire alarm is set to Sensitive And Then Some. I foresee some Bells and people running up and down the stairwell again...

We have closed the door to the hall and opened the windows. It looks like a smoky bordello in here. Clare drifts through the haze on the other side of the room. We need some high heels and feather boas. Fancy a good time, sir?*;)

So anyway, I have reached a career impasse. I need a change. IT is just dull and stressful, which is not a good combination. So, I could:

1. Look at getting into IT sales. This will use my IT experience but also mean that I could earn some proper money and not have to work in the same office Every Day. Argh.
2. Look at resurrecting my psychology degree. I'm quite interested in training as a life coach at the moment.
3. Find a job that pays the bills in T Wells and devote the time saved from commuting to doing something less boring instead. Like sleeping in and being home in time for Neighbours.
4. Go on the dole.

I should also be devoting a lot more time and energy to the wool business, as that's currently languishing for wont of effort. We have a couple of shows coming up and it's going to be a last minute scramble as usual. I have made the following resolutions in the past week:

1. Stop any unnecessary spending
2. Carry a notebook at all times to write things in like Wool - To Dos and ideas and 3BTs.

I can't believe that I still have an overdraft. I mean, I'm 30 years old, have a reasonable job, don't go out boozing every night, nor do I have a Jimmy Choo habit, and yet there it still is, nasty minus numbers. I have about three days every month when it's in the black, then the mortgage goes out, the few hundred goes out to my monthly pocket money allowance, the cheque goes out to the parents as repayment for the house deposit, and suddenly it's all well back in the red. Well, enough. Perhaps it's my stars - apparantly Saturn is somewhere to do with responsibilities at the moment. Huh. Perhaps I am just growing up finally. I'll be telling everyone to make do and mend soon, and darning socks.

On a brighter note, my man met me at the station on Friday armed with flowers. Well, actually, he had to chase me up the hill because when I get off the train I'm on a mission to get home, man. But I am hugely smug that I have such a wonderful man (and flowers). They do exist! (Wonderful men. We knew flowers exist.) There is still a little part of me that's questioning if it will all last, he's surely going to let on that in fact he spends 5 nights a week in the pub scratching his arse and farting like the rest of them, but we are ignoring that evil little pipsqueak voice at the moment. Get back in your box.

Tuesday, August 14, 2007

Molly, Rory and Agnes

We went back to the farm on Friday for Pete's birthday, and we got to see the new sheepdog puppy. Originally christened Spot, we have all decided that's waaay to boring, so currently she's called Molly.

Molly and Sam the kitten have a love/hate relationship.

I failed to get a shot of the well-aimed paw swipe from Sam.

Cute one of Sam hiding in the roses.

Molly terrorising the inmates. Poor doggies.

And little sleeping Rory! He was a little angel (misleading), he was passed around about nine people and apart from a little grizzle about being moved he slept and looked angelic for everyone. I expect that meant he was up half the night for his poor parents. It's now the official time he was supposed to be born, but he's actually just over a month old.

Clare cuddling Rory:

And, on Sunday night, Clare went off to her adventures looking like Agnes from Labyrinth:

Can you spot the difference? Only by lack of broadswords I think.

Pride 07

I know, this was two weeks ago, but you just have to see this new police car:

Yes, that is indeed a Lotus. Anyone want to sign up for The Force suddenly?

I followed these dudes into the park, and was v impressed by the chap's a) height, b) corset and c) inch long purple feather false eyelashes. They most kindly let me take their pic:

Paul V and pal:

Me with my face painted! Finally! No one ever lets me get my face painted. Paul didn't care. Also note the hippy balloons the police were giving out. They were also giving out pink whistles with logos on them.

I did like Paul's T shirt with Maggie Thatcher in stockings and suspenders.

Anyway, it was v hot, and as predicted there were lots of burnt gay bottoms by the end of the day. (Flashing flesh is not an issue at these events.) But a gay old time was had by all and it was extremely entertaining, good fun, and very friendly. Recommended for anyone if you're down in Brighton at the right time of year. Just be careful which shops you stray into... We were just window shopping and ended up in the burley man's BDSM rubber implement shop. Mon dieu. I don't even want to know what they do with some of that stuff. It looks distinctly painful.

Monday, August 06, 2007

Garden delights

Look how well our tubs are doing! Two tubs, two bean plants, two tomato plants, one squash plant, and a satellite dish.

These are runner beans Red Rum:

This is a butternut squash in embryonic stages (it's only just over an inch long):

This is cherry tomato Sungold which only goes orange, not red, and is sweet and tasty (and more beans and the satellite dish):

I think we're helped because the plants are on a balcony so we don't get the slugs, and we get more sun. And of course the tubs are full of well rotted farmyard manure. Arhhhhh.

Friday, August 03, 2007

Lists and legumes

Just a question before we start - does anyone else get that thing when you're dozing and having this very very long and involved Think, and thinking some really good thoughts, and then you are roused from the doze and cannot remember a single thing you have thunk? Although it's all just a gnat's whisker away from your memory? What's with that?

Anyway, our bean vines and our tomato plant are looking amazing. We've had seven beans off the bean vine (one seven different days), and it's draping very prettily over the satelite dish at the moment. However there are suddenly lots of baby beans on it so perhaps after the weekend we might actually get a full serving from it! How exciting! There are also loads of clusters of tomatoes. They are the little cherry tomatoes Sungold. We will have to make chutney or something at this rate.

It all goes to prove the wonders of a lot of good sheepshit. *:)

So the bloke's best buddy got me pissed the other weekend and we had a long and involved conversation about what we look for in a partner. (The bloke was driving and therefore sober, and I expect was getting rather concerned about what I might say, at drunken volume, in a pub full of his mates.) Best Buddy got me to confess that not so long ago I wrote a list of all the things that I wanted from a man, and worse, got me to promise to send it to him. I think it was more an effort on my part to make him think more about what he wanted from a girl, other than she's breathing and not swearing every other word. Such high standards. Whereas I had a list of 30 criteria. He was intrigued.

So, the next day, with a hangover, the list was duly sent. Best Buddy sent back an email starting OH MY GOD!! I hope all girls don't think like that or I'm ****ed! Hee hee. Bloke, at this point, was also dying of curiosity, wanting to know how he measured up. But also perhaps a little cross about it. He's right though, it can be viewed a bit nastily to have a tick-list for a future potential partner.

Best Buddy (with permission - well done) sent the list on. Bloke read it. Bloke's mum read it, and raised an eyebrow. (Yikes!!) Bloke, thank Christ, was not cross. Bloke gets loads of extra points.

He already scored 28/30 anyway. *:)

Monday, July 09, 2007


Clare at 3BT has tagged me with this:

Thank you Clare! I'd tag her back but I can't. So I'm going to nominate my mum at Pauline's Garden, and hope she has time to post the button before the end of the summer.


I am an auntie!

Rory Peter Skinner was born a month early by emergency caesarian section yesterday morning, 8 July. All doing well now. Peter and Claire have had so many problems with the pregnancy, it's lovely to see them now with their little boy, shattered but extremely happy.

It's also very strange seeing my little brother being a daddy!

I went to visit last night and Pete grabbed my hand and pulled me over to see Rory, turned to me and said, 'Look! Isn't he so cool?!' Aw!

It was a pretty frenetic weekend all round. Elliot and Jo came down from Nottingham with their new little long-haired Jack Russell puppy Archie (who is super cute), we went to visit another uni friend Titch and his 8m old baby Alex, then all was prep work for the Tour de France which came through the village on Sunday. Sissinghurst put on a big fete and we were selling cherries, strawberries and cream, and had a wool stand. The sun shone and there were thousands of people there. The baby news was announced over the tannoy to the village. The cyclists and convoy of beeping floats and gendarmarie whizzed through at top speed. People queued for ages for burgers. Small children got their faces painted. Large adults threatened to abduct Archie. Finally the roads were reopened and we managed to escape: home for tea, and then to the hospital to see the new arrival.
Guess what? I'm knitting baby clothes already. *:)

Tuesday, June 26, 2007

Nerd, Geek or Dork

Found this test through someone else's knitting site!

My Score: Pure Nerd

52 % Nerd, 8% Geek, 8% Dork

For The Record:
A Nerd is someone who is passionate about learning/being smart/academia.
A Geek is someone who is passionate about some particular area or subject, often an obscure or difficult one.
A Dork is someone who has difficulty with common social expectations/interactions.

You scored better than half in Nerd, earning you the title of: Pure Nerd.

The times, they are a-changing. It used to be that being exceptionally smart led to being unpopular, which would ultimately lead to picking up all of the traits and tendences associated with the "dork." No-longer. Being smart isn't as socially crippling as it once was, and even more so as you get older: eventually being a Pure Nerd will likely be replaced with the following label: Purely Successful.

Yay, I am a nerd! I wonder how I would have scored if I could speak Klingon or went to sci fi conventions or owned comics or had the whole set of Buffy DVDs?

How did you score?

Thursday, May 31, 2007

Mon dieu - Garden Delights

I just went to visit our Postie Barry, and on the inside front cover of his Amateur Gardener is the following ad:

'Create an interesting talking point'? You bet they will! What's with the crazy starey eyes? And the bandana? And the concept as a whole? Wobbly merecats??
Barry has ordered some to go with his Bill and Ben pot people and solar powered glowing ladybird and frog. I am hoping that he is being postmodern and ironic, but fear it is not the case...

Friday, May 25, 2007

Mystique and glamour

I'm really getting into Glamourpuss' no holds barred blog, but she's really hit a chord with her latest entry. Here is a little extract:

The truth is, there is nothing mundane about being a woman. And that’s all that men need to know about us. Glamour is everything, and everything should be glamour. Men aren’t all that good at the details, they prefer the overall impression; when they get on the carousel, they want the ride of their life, and in truth, I think most women want that, too. So, shut yourself in the bathroom and lock the door when you pull out the stray hair on your chin. Never pee in front of him unless urolagnia is your bag. And apart from touch-ups, keep the maquillage application to yourself. Never let a man think he possesses you, for while we love the things that have been ours for years, they rarely excite us, and most of the time, we barely see them, taking them for granted instead. These things, these everyday things are mundane, but the rare jewel that may slip from one’s grasp at any moment is a treasure to be jealously, zealously guarded. Such diamonds can be a man’s best friend, as well as his lover, and they are always, always valued.

This is exactly, precisely, why I became single the last time around. I'd become totally taken for granted. So now I'm asking myself, was it, to any extent, my own fault? Apart from letting him pee with the door open, and getting him to pull out my granny whiskers (so charming, non, to be so easy with each other?), I know that I almost totally gave up doing all the things that make me Me, make me happy, to be there for him. Instead, because I loved him, I made a big effort and sacrifices to take an interest in his world, which ended up with me being always available. And like Glamourpuss says, things that are always there become mundane. No wonder in the end I felt totally unappreciated.

I love the way you learn from each relationship and develop yourself as a person, honing your relationship skills, and finding out who the real you is - what makes you happy, and what you are not willing to put up with. But you need the time out in between to reflect and understand. It must be a very difficult process to do when you're in a relationship. It's taken me a year to get back to being the person I enjoy being. I've learnt to guard my individuality and independence. I'm more confident, happier, I've lost weight without thinking about it, and I'm rediscovering my inner minx. In being true to myself, I'm discovering that there is nothing mundane about being me.

Saturday, May 19, 2007

Test drive!

This was us today! Sands drove too but the pics are sun bleached.

Nice motor, non?

Raks posing

Me posing. On my drive the heavens opened. Joys.

Raks again.

That's all I have to say for now, I'm too tired.

Thursday, May 17, 2007

Grumpy Old Woman

I love Clare's 3BT very much, but sometimes you just have to grump, so here goes. This will be an anti-3BT, if you like.

1. Bad grammar. Your and you're are not interchangeable, neither are there, their and they're.

2. Commuting is dull. I'd been pepping it up for the past few months by travelling illegally - my season ticket was London to Staplehurst, when it should have been London to T Wells. (This is only a different route for the last 10mins of the journey, and I really couldn'd be bothered to change it. The price was the same for both.) But it expired and my new ticket is for the right route. My flicker of excitement as I approach the station is rapidly dulled these days by the realisation that I don't have to be scared of the conductor any more. Rats.

3. Bloody numpties. Why am I surrounded by them??

Special bonus addition:

4. Cover versions of pop songs. About half of the music they play in the gym is a cover of stuff I remember from when I was at school. Write something new, you bubblegum pop mannequins!!

Sunday, May 06, 2007

Long weekend in Scotland

Ivan and Helen organised an amazing weekend in Gargunnock in Scotland. It's near Stirling, and the house belongs to the Landmark Trust. I recommend it for large houseparties, possibly with an Agatha Christie theme. BYOButler!

On Saturday we walked up nearby Ben Ledi (at 800m or so). A good way to work up an appetite! This is us having lunch and contemplating the climb.

Well, some of us contemplating the climb, others just discovering the Best Skimming Stones In The World Ever.

Nearly at the top...

There were sixteen of us and we had a great black tie dinner on the Saturday night. Check out those oryx heads on the walls- there were four of them, and in a normal house you'd have to negotiate them through the door and then share the room with this massive stuffed head with scary beady eyes. In that dining room you hardly noticed them!

Other great things about the weekend:

The weather was amazing

The drawing room with a grand piano which Chopin may have played (along with all the other grand pianos in that part of Scotland, in the space of two week's holiday or something.)

The smoking room and the library

Having an open fire and an old boy in the gatehouse who just waved us at the log pile and told us to help ourselves

The row of bells in the servants quarters, and the bell pulls in all the big rooms

Ria and Jake cooked up this amazing array of curries on Sunday afternoon for an inpromtu feast in the evening

Visiting Doune Castle which is just down the road, which is where they filmed most of the castle scenes from Monty Python and the Holy Grail

Chatting to lots of new people about what they do. Mainly they have PhDs in molecular biology, and play a mean Dirty Word Scrabble

Elliot let me drive his Lotus Elise. *:)

Thanks Ivan and Helen for a great weekend!

Sunday, April 22, 2007


Sorry these are a bit late, but better than never.

Pics from birthday, excuse the long shots from the evening - across the club in the dark, I thought the camera didn't do too badly!

Champagne tea at the Savoy.

Madame JoJo's...

Trannies singing Abba, Miss Terry doing an excellent Kylie, lots of backchat - all hilarious!

Friday, April 20, 2007

Hilarious and worrying

My flatmate has a large collection is fascinating, brilliant, hilarious and intriguing books, pamphlets, instructions on life and other paper-based products. She's just dug one out called Moonflower - A Manual of Menstrual Mysteries. This is a fantastic home-produced manual which has had us in tears of mirth for about an hour. Here is a small extract:

Circle Dance
Red flood
Tidal blood
Heartbeat of fertility!
Circle dance
Lunar trance
Invoke the new reality!
Drumming sound
Awake the inner power!
Lady Earth
The lotus is in flower!
Vein throb
Breath sob
Vesuvius outpouring!
Don't fail
Sunder veil!
The ocean ever roaring!

How many exclamation marks does one need?? And Vesuvius outpouring???? What is this, the Exorcist?

Another rather disturbing rhyme:

The Wine of Life
Monthly brewed
Claret wine, securely lapped
Unique vintage of a single earth.
Drink deep of scarlet
From the sacred chalice.

Good grief. Is it me or is this rather sexually dubious?

Monday, April 09, 2007

Samwise Kitten

We got a new kitten on Easter Sunday. Following the farm theme where all the pets are named after characters from LOTR, he is called Sam, or Samwise when he is naughty (which looks like being quite often). He is from a family of hunting cats so watch out rats and rabbits!

He likes to ride on your shoulders like a parrot. He sits there and purrs.

In the space of three hours, and despite being only six inches high, he has also stared down the Cat and two of the dogs. God help us all.

Thursday, April 05, 2007

Les Francaises

I had a business trip to Paris.
1. Paris is lovely
2. I got to travel business class
1. I had a meeting
2. I had to stay in a 'business' hotel - faceless and dull
3. I had no time for sightseeing and shopping
4. I had to have dinner with the managers, rather than my friend in Paris who I'd not seen for ages.

Cons win. Although travelling business class was great.

Also, I have a date. *:) Via tinternet. In fact, tonight will be date five and I am very much looking forward to it.

And thirdly, next week will be my last week of being twenty-something. I am terrified.

Sunday, March 11, 2007

Baby knitting 2 - The Bear

In between redecorating the sitting room (tedium...), I've done the bear from the Erika Knight book. Can't decide on an outfit for him yet though, what do you think?

Outfit 1:

Outfit 2:

Monday, March 05, 2007


Aaaawww aaawwwdadadaaaawwww!

Sorry. First baby item (for friends, I hasten to add) that I have made, and they are super cute!

Pattern adapted from Erika Knight's book Simple Knits for Cherished Babies. I added some eyelets (first time yo) and then had a go at knitting an i-cord for the laces (another first effort).

Not bad, non?

Also, welcome to anyone browsing in from the article about Tunbridge Wells bloggers in the Courier.

Monday, February 19, 2007

Cocktail demons

Lou and her mother have cracked the recipe for some hot cocktail that they have when they're skiing, made with advocat, rum and whipped cream. Clare and Lou were making a batch at the weekend. I think they were enjoying it - Lou was telling me the story and that they 'put too much rum in so we had to dilute it with advocat'.

Dilute it? With Advocat???

Sunday, February 11, 2007

Machines are evil

This is the message that our boiler gives us if we expect it to heat the house for more than three hours at a time:

That is seriously taking the piss.

Thursday, February 08, 2007

It snowed again! Twice in one year - very unusual. Here are some pics:

Out of my window. There is a quite fit bloke who lives in one of the houses opposite and also a fat loony bloke who was hanging out of his window naked this morning directing the cars trying to get out of the lane. Nice.

Quite a groovy snowman in the park. I think if he was real and alive and stuff he would be a snowboarder. What do you think?

The Grove looking rather pretty.

More snowmen outside the Assembly Halls. Quite ingenious use of grass I thought. Is it hair? A wig? A tam o' shanter? A sophisticated Phillip Treacy hat??

Well done children of T Wells who made the most of school (mainly) being cancelled. And for me for making it to my first aid course. And for all the other people who made it too, including one girl who had to extract her car from a bush when she slid off the road on the way. Impressive.

Thursday, February 01, 2007

What is it with men?

I'm sure someone once told me that if you show a man any interest they will immediately think that they will likely be getting some action at some point.

At what point in the Feminism cycle did this situation reverse?

Both Dear Flatmate and I have been sort of seeing blokes recently and thinking that perhaps, after quite some time, this would be the start of Something. But no. Apparently blokes are now supposed to do the leading on.

Well, dammit, NO! That is not the way it is, you men out there. Emancipated woman is now allowed to speak her mind, but she does not want to have to do the club-bashing and dragging back to cave routine herself these days. I for one am very pleased to be looked after and ushered through doors and so on.

So instead of spending hours agonising about what not to do in case one appears clingy / desperate / stalkerish, how best to write carefully drafted light, unpressured but definite texts etc, DF and I have decided that these men are not worthy of our emotional efforts, and they can, quite frankly, stuff it. If they want us now they are going to have to work at it. Which is quite the way it should be.

More tea while we wait, darling?

Monday, January 22, 2007

Our non-PC Office Mouth

The office football team arrived back just now and announced that they have actually won a game! Our Office Mouth (aka The Gobby One) promptly demands 'Who were you playing? Ray Charles and Stevie Wonder??'

Too funny.

Friday, January 19, 2007

A Brave New World

This is the funniest thing I've read for ages - check out the comments.

I am crying here. Seriously, you guys.

Train nightmares

It was a bit windy and the British transport network ground to a halt. Plus ca change. I left work at 3.20pm and got home at 7pm. Schedule ran thus:

3pm - check the web and see that there are two hour delays on trains.
3.20pm - leave work
3.30pm - arrive at London Bridge and discover it's closed. The whole station. No reason being given. (Later we discover that part of the roof has blown off.) However trains are still running *through* London Bridge from Waterloo East and Charing Cross.
3.35pm - get tube to Southwark and walk through to Waterloo East.
4pm - sign boards covered in Delayed notices. Decide to get a train in to Charing Cross, and there is usually more info at the terminuses (termini?). Plus possibly more chance of getting a seat.
4.10pm - the gods were smiling! The train I went into Ch X on turns out to be the one going back to Tonbridge. Get a big whole seat all to myself. *:)
4.30pm - go through London Bridge again (one hour later)
5pm - train hits a large branch (aka 'a tree' - I think there would have been a larger clunk) the other side of Sevenoaks. Train stops quickly and driver gets out to inspect the damage.
5.30pm - train OK and we get going again.
5.40pm - arrive in Tonbridge
6pm - the next train to T Wells also hits a branch outside Sevenoaks.
6.05pm - I call Paul V and enquire as to whether he is near Tonbridge and/or bored.
6.30pm - Paul V aka The Cavalry aka Archangel Paul, having extracted himself from HMV, arrives and picks me up ('I'm parked opposite Lidl and opposite the sex shop.' Wha?? And this is supposed to help me, who never goes to Tonbridge?)
7pm - arrive home.
7.30pm - feed PaulV dinner as a thank you.

Actually, all this was not that gruesome. I left work early, so it didn't get stupidly late, and us commuters are learning to be very pragmatic at delays, so people just take it easy and after about two hours Actually Start Chatting. (Commuters deviating from the Norm of Silence only happens in extreme circumstances.)

Also, my half hour wait in Tonbridge station was the funniest people-watching session I've done in ages. People rocked up and looked at the board which basically said Delayed in long lists and went 'Oooooh... that doesn't look good.' Other people were asking the ticket people, 'Can I get to London?' and they were replying, 'Well, there are serious delays', which means 'No! Don't try it!' 'But I've got tickets to The Sound of Music!' they wail. I should have told them it had just taken me three hours to get there. Some builders arrived and asked, 'What are the chances of getting to Essex?'. The ticket man refrained from laughing at them, just. Some lady's husband dropped her off and you could see he was trying to telegraph to her not to go, but couldn't say it, as she was all dressed up and clearly looking forward to her night out. I hope she didn't have to sleep in a station in her posh velvet trousers.

Tuesday, January 16, 2007


Having a good housemate is a great thing. I love coming back from work and finding that the dead flowers have been thrown away and the vase washed up, or the washing hung out, or the dinner started. I hope I do similarly nice things like tidying up and taking the bins out. It's great sharing with a girl! Sharing with a bloke means coming home either to find him lounging on the sofa in a cloud of crisp crumbs, watching football while scratching his nuts, or not back at all because he's still 'networking' in the pub after work. Yeah right. Does anyone know a bloke who does not conform to these trends??

Other good thing about female housemates:

1. They can approve completely unnecessary shopping purchases like shoes, because the shoes were beautiful and they were also about two-thirds off in the sale.

2. You can discuss knitting with them.

3. You can have a giggle with them.

4. They will never look at you disapprovingly for eating lots of dinner, because they will be naughtily eating lots of dinner with you.

5. Between you, you can source helpful men to help put shelves up.

6. They look suitably impressed by the other managing to successfully use the power drill.

Monday, January 08, 2007

What a tangled web we weave

Two options on this post:

1. Double pointed needles are a nightmare, but just try using them with doubled yarn (mixing two yarns) on the train with no elbow room. Argh. I thought knitting was supposed to be therapeutic??

2. Is it just me whose life is not like an episode of Eastenders? I met someone recently who turns out to be a bisexual pagan. Someone else at work has the Family Life from Hell, with his sons alternatively coming home to sleep on the sofa when they are kicked out of their various girlfriends' council flats. One got married, had a daughter, his wife had an affair and kicked him out / he left, she took up with the other man and got very difficult about letting him see the kid, then she broke up with the other guy and wanted her husband back, but turns out she's pregnant by the other guy. Meanwhile the mothers (in-law) are alternately falling ill and making large demands on time, while the rest of the family (in-law) causes other untold grief. Good God. I think I'll just stay in my sleepy village and keep my head down.

Saturday, January 06, 2007

Up, Up and Away

It's all systems go here at the moment! Broadband is up, the cleaned curtains are up, and the new hook on the door for my dressing gown is also up (with successful use of power drill - no one was maimed, all is good). And, best yet, our first proper order on the wool from Someone We Don't Know! Hurrah!

Has everyone done New Year resolutions? I never normally do, but this year I think I should set myself some goals. Something along the lines of:

1. Start dancing again regularly
2. Join a choir
3. Not have a nervous breakdown at work, and to be more assertive with colleagues when they are pissing me off
4. Pay off my visa bill every month
5. Go on some fun dates
6. Sit down and write a plan for Aragon Yarns for this year. Should we go to farmers markets? Should we go to the stitch show at Ally Pally? Should we start stocking other people's yarns?
7. Proactively call my friends instead of them always calling me.
8. Schedule time to relax. Preferably a day a month - a Sunday specifically in which to do nothing. Ah, bliss.

I think that's enough to be going on with! Hope January is going well for you guys.

Tuesday, January 02, 2007

Happy New 2007!

Happy New Year! I hope you all had a good night, whether it was staying up getting horrendously drunk, or watching Jules Holland's Hootenanny, or going to bed early with a cocoa. I have a good feeling about 2007. It's going to be a great year!

I went out with some friends of friends on Friday night - we went to a gig at the Forum. I have not felt so ancient for quite some time. All the kids were about 17! Including the bands. Some of the F of Fs were parents of the band that was headlining. They were pretty good - Seven Story Down - also playing on 6 Jan. Keep an eye out for them.

I'd not been to the Forum for at least 12 years, not since I saw my very mild and well-spoken uncle sing with his band - I walked in to be confronted with him wearing leather trousers screaming Ace of Spades while several guitars were thrashed. Surprising, to say the least. The decor in there is pretty much exactly as it was last time I was in there, although they did make a token effort at some Xmas decs - there were white house lights around the stage, and a white camo net was suspended from the ceiling. It seems the vogue with the kids at the moment is big hair - definitely long, and if you want to backcomb it into a birdsnest and stick it up with goop, then all the better. There were a lot of boys there, all at the age when they are still waiting to grow into their noses. Grungy preppy seems to be in. (I'm only telling you this in case you are thinking of going at some point - don't want you to stick out like we all did - who are that group at the back? Oh that will be the mums and dad and over-30 hangers-on!) After getting our ears mangled for a couple of hours, I had a five minute walk home. I think I am going to like this living in T Wells thing.