2 Weeks ‘til Christmas!


Where does the time go? It's 2 weeks until Christmas and I still haven't finished my Christmas shopping yet!! Normally, I'm well organised and it's all finished in October. I remember why I like to finish early – it's to avoid the madness, rushing, pressure and stress.

As well as presents to buy, I have decorating to finish. The shower room and bathroom are mostly finished, but the big rooms are still to be done. I'm hoping to have it all finished by the end of the weekend.

Then of course there's the trip to Orkney organise.

On top of all this I have cold. I think I'm over the worst now, thankfully. It's never a good time to get a cold, but at this time of year when there is so much to do, it's impossible to stop and be ill for a few days. It's unsurprising that the TV is all ads for cold and flu remedies. There hasn't been many ads for indigestion tablets yet, perhaps that's still to come.

Well Santa, if your reading this and want to give me my gift early, I would really appreciate it if you slowed time down a bit or sent me a few helping hands!

Push the button?

There's a button on the microwave at work that says CHAOS. I'm often tempted to press it, but I'm concerned as to what effect this will have on me on as the IT support person.


I really enjoyed my long weekend last week. It was very chilled out and relaxed. My Mum and sister visited and we all had a long boozy lunch and talked and laughed. My sister-in-law and her boyf came round for dinner which was nice and we had a good ol' natter with them. Didn't achieve much Christmas shopping, but I'm happy that a few ideas are now formulating.

The rest of this week has been busy but quite good. I had a good drum lesson, I actually went to the gym, we narrowly lost out in the pub quiz, and I finished season 2 of Alias.

I must admit that I'm finding it hard to stop eating cakes and start going to the gym. Going by the various conversations I have with my work colleagues, it would seem everyone thinks they're fat. Even the size 10s. I overheard one colleague, who is tall and very slim, covet the figure of another tall and slim colleague. There's hardly any difference between them, they're both size 8s. My problem is that I don't think I'm that bad. I guess I'm just deluded! I think of myself as a podgier version of Anna from Chuck:



Yup, definately deluded!! The reality is I now have a BMI of 30.5 which puts me into the obese section.

So you would think that I would be more willing to go to the gym, however, I feel the excuses mounting up in my head already! Christmas shopping is exercise though, right?

Have you seen my mirth?


I have of late—but wherefore I know not--lost all my mirth, forgone all custom of exercises; and indeed it goes so heavily with my disposition that this goodly frame, the earth, seems to me a sterile promontory, this most excellent canopy, the air, look you, this brave o'erhanging firmament, this majestical roof fretted with golden fire, why, it appears no other thing to me than a foul and pestilent congregation of vapours. What a piece of work is a man! how noble in reason! how infinite in faculty! in form and moving how express and admirable! in action how like an angel! in apprehension how like a god! the beauty of the world! the paragon of animals! And yet, to me, what is this quintessence of dust? man delights not me: no, nor woman neither

But, at least I have a long weekend – woohoo!

We like to rock the party


What a fun weekend! The Hallowe'en party was good with plenty of people in costumes. I've put a few of the photos on Picasa. Kudos goes to Ross in his mankini!! Although, I preferred the scary jester outfit as I didn't need to avert my eyes as often!!

I felt it was important to get into character as nameless ensign and therefore drank synthehol all night. There would never be enough booze to blot out the image of Ross in his mankini anyway.

From 2008 Hallowe'en Party

Then on Sunday we rocked the pub quiz and came away £100 better off. Of course I've since spent my £20 share paying for my works Christmas lunch and I've spent DH's share putting petrol in the car. I don't think he knows about that – sorry dear.

Happy Hallowe’en


Happy Hallowe'en All! (I think there's only about 2 people that read this blog, but linking it to facebook means that my musings\rantings may reach a slightly wider audience so that justifies using the "All" J)

After being ill last week, this week has been fairly busy playing catch up with a small number of things at work and at home. And it feels like I've hardly been at home this week! I was at the spooky class on Monday, had a longer drum lesson on Tuesday, had some downtime and watched In Bruges on Wednesday and then had an early night, meal out and pub quiz on Thursday. There's a demonstration of mediumship tonight, tomorrow there's a Hallowe'en party and on Sunday is the monthly Blue Blazer pub quiz. If DH's costume hasn't arrived today then early tomorrow will be spent trying to create something else. And I have to get a new chest of drawers. Sunday night will definitely be spent snuggling up with DH and cats.

My work is an interesting place. They seem to consult staff on almost everything. When they were interviewing for a new CEO, all staff got little forms on which to write any comments about the candidates and a check box to indicate whether we thought they would be a good choice for the job or not. Lately, there has been a notice on the staff intranet for staff to put forward suggestions for a new door security code number. I think this may be staff consultation gone too far.

Having just had a quick look on the work intranet, it appears we have a policy on blogging and I must put the following disclaimer:

"these are my personal views and not necessarily those of my employer".

Although, I don't remember being consulted about this.



I'm pretty sure I'm the only person on my floor that drinks decaf – so I've hidden the teaspoon in the coffee. Let's see them steal it now.

Yup, I'm back with a vengeance after being laid up with some kinda flu bug for the past 3 days. I'm still feeling weird, but I'm pretty sure most people will discount my weirdness on account of it being me.

Round Up


It's been a fairly good week since I last posted. Last Saturday I hung out with my sister Jacqueline, we ate cake and chatted, it was really nice. I made the ginger cake again, this time in a loaf tin instead of a cake tin. It was deliciously moist, however I'll know for next time to use grease proof paper to line the tin since it was totally stuck to bottom and sides!

I attended a psychic development class this week, which was interesting. We were working in pairs and had to think of 3 colours that applied to other person and then try to tell them a bit about themselves from those 3 colours. I'm assured that I'll get better with practise!!

My drum lesson this week went well. I'm learning Minority by Green Day. For those who remember record players and what would happen if you put a 45 on the 33 setting – that's sort of how my version goes at the moment! Again, I'm assured I'll get better with practise!

Friday, I was out with friends and colleagues for a leaving do and Saturday was date night with my DH where we went to the cinema to see How to Lose Friends and Alienate People. The movie was really funny and much better than we had both expected.

I also finally finished knitting my Kitschy Kerchief. So now I can successfully increase stitches.

From Craft Projects

I've also ordered tickets for the New Zealand v Scotland autumn test – Let's go Kiwis Let's Go!

The star of the weekend has to be my new boots though. An inspired find! I went into Office to buy a pair of black converse boots, and there they were, at the window, a single golden ray shone down upon them as a heavenly choir sang something ethereal. They are vegan calf length biker boots by Sugar and they're all mine! Y

What Would Napoleon Dynamite Do?


Last night was pub quiz night. We did alright. I went to the loo just as the scores were being called and when I came back out my team were waving me to go down to see the quiz mistress – I thought we had won and I was to collect the prize; a £50 bar tab. Instead, as 7 teams had tied scores, my team had volunteered me for the tie breaker Dance Off. This came as a bit of a surprise! Anyway, there was nothing else to do but showcase my crazy mad "skills". I'm not sure if it was the brush offs, my impression of space invaders or the broken robot that sealed the deal, but we won!

Oh, and also – it's less than 11 weeks until Chrimbo!


Well it's been a busy few days, but mostly of mundane things: Grocery shopping, rearranging furniture etc. The most exciting part was when we got new bedroom furniture, however, until the old furniture is sold on eBay we have a fairly cluttered house!

The laptop case that I was knitting had so many mistakes in it and I ran out yarn before it was done, so it is now a cat blanket. My cat seems to really like it. Mind you, he's chewed so much of that yarn it already has his scent on it (smelly fishy breath!)

My new project is the Kitchy Kerchief from the Stitch n' Bitch book. There are a lot of nice patterns in the book to work through, I'm not sure what to make next. Although I have just bought a whole bunch of cross stitch christmas projects. I think I'm going to be very busy!!

Last Night

The in-laws came round for dinner last night. For hors d'oeuvres, I served olives, and pitta bread with a selection of hummous. For the main course I made simple roasted vegetable pies, made with aubergine, courgette, kumara, carrot, red onion and garlic and served these with potatoes and garden peas. For dessert I made a ginger cake from this recipe on the Parsley Soup website

Cats like Yarn!

As much as I love staged, 'posed for' photographs, I also like to take snap shots of a moment in time when people are just doing something ordinary. I have a pretty poor memory (probably due to alcohol abuse in my teens!) and I wish I had more photographs to help me fill in some of the blanks. If you look at my photographs from events, like a family barbeque or a party, you're likely to see as many pictures of people talking and laughing as you are of them posing. Although some people automatically pose when they catch a glimpse of the camera!

Anyway, here is a snap shot of me knitting and battling with my cat!

Warning: These pictures are not particular glamorous nor are they at all flattering to me!

The worst part is when you reach the bit of yarn that he's been chewing and it's still wet and smells of cat food!

Going to Plan

I went shopping at the weekend and ordered a couple of new wardrobes and a new bed. DH has to get the bedroom painted before they arrive - I wonder if thats why he has such a bad cold now? hmm... I've also been bidding away for things on eBay. I'm pleased to have won the drum book I was after, but annoyed at missing out on another book after someone bid 1p more than me. Also missed out on a cross stitch kit, but someone else was willing to pay way more than I was. I've got bids on a couple more kits but will have to see how they go.

At the moment I'm enjoying not being at work and I'm finally getting a chance to finish uploading all my music CDs on to my NAS box.

I wish I could report more interesting things, but so far everything is going to plan - knitting, drumming and uploading music.

Fingerless Mitts

I decided to finish up the mitts using a crochet hook and it worked a treat. I think I'll be sporting my mitts and scarf at work tomorrow!

Needles and Pins


I had my drum lesson on Tuesday night which was excellent. I have some tricky beats to practise but once I get into the flow they seem easy, then I start to relax and lose concentration and it all falls apart. I've put in a bid for a drum book on eBay that my drum teacher recommended. It's still got a few days to go, but hopefully I'll win and get it while I'm off work next week.

So far, I'm planning on spending my time away from work drumming and running. I haven't been able to find any races that really appeal to me although I have found 2 possibilities; the Strathaven 10k in November and the Inverclyde 5k in December. I suppose I ought to just get started and see how I go from there.

I went bowling last night which was great fun. I don't think of it as exercise, but the muscles in my bowling arm are feeling a bit tender today! I met some fun people who were good company and I think everyone had a good time. No danger of me becoming a professional bowler though.

I'm afraid I haven't done much more work on my knitting and crochet projects. I need to get a wool needle so I can stitch up my first knitted fingerless mitt – until then it's just a square. Perhaps that's something else to add to list of things to do next week.

That’s not how you spell dummening

Firstly, I keep meaning to thank my sister again for the moisturiser she gave me for my birthday. It's from Bewitching Beauty and it's amazing stuff. So Jacqueline, if you read this – Thank you!
Secondly, I hate video conferencing – it means my boss can give me a bollocking no matter where he is! Part of the attraction of this job was that my boss was absent for most of the week if I'd known about the phone calls and video conferencing maybe I would have thought twice. Anyway, I suppose I deserved the bollocking. It has taken me an unusually long time to install an OS and standard software on a PC and then at the end of it all when I was cloning the image to an external hard drive I accidentally cloned the empty external hard drive on to the PC I had spent so long preparing. This means in a matter of seconds, I wiped everything off the PC. So now I have to start again from scratch. Not smart.
On a happier note, at least I'm on annual leave next week. I plan to start jogging again next week too. It's going to be hard work starting again, especially at this time of year when there aren't as many 5k and 10k races to train for. I'll need to have a look at Jog Scotland, Runners World and maybe Fetch Everyone too, for some inspiration and something to work towards.

Further Adventures in Cat Sitting

Those pair of kittens never stop! They run around and around; chew cables; scratch the table; pull fridge magnets off the fridge; climb the clothes horse; chew the rug; climb the curtains; attack the tie backs; crawl behind the book case; jump behind the TV cabinet; stand on top of their litter tray and chew the poop scoop; attack each other; climb the cat sitters! All at break-neck speed! It is truly exhausting being in their company for any length of time, I don't know how Ali does it. Here is the cat-sitting montage:

Another energetic pair is my bro-in-law and nephew. They both ran the Stirling 10k today and got personal bests. I'm very proud of them. My nephew, Billy certainly has the running bug now so I'm going to investigate some races they may be interested in next. It's also got me thinking about running too - maybe I'll go for a wee jog tomorrow morning ...

Adventures in Cat Sitting

We've been cat-sitting for my SIL. She has 2 very cute kittens, they must be about 12 weeks old now and they do everything at high speed and are into everything! I videoed them last night, take a look on youtube.

I also watched the first episode of Alias, which I have borrowed from a friend. It was quite good so I'm going to try and watch more of the first season over the weekend.

I ended up having a snooze this afternoon after being woken up at 2am by a fire alarm at the "massage parlour" near my flat. It was somewhat amusing watching all the prostitutes huddling in the doorway to keep out of the rain. It's not something that I don't normally see, despite the proximity to the premises. It reminded my of a blog I came across a while ago call My Neighbours are Hoors! which amused me and kinda makes me miss Aberdeen.


I got my hair cut and coloured at Medusa last night. It cost a small fortune, but Ryan did a great job. I was in the hair dressers for about 3 hours and was almost falling asleep by the end.
At least I had lovely hair for pub quiz night. I was chatting to my hairdresser about the pub quiz and he told me that oology is the study of eggs – I was really hoping that would come up but it didn't. Instead we had a weird question about the collective noun for a group of sea cucumbers – I can tell you that the answer is not a salad as we suggested but in fact a pickle!
After a few dodgy rounds we picked up momentum and finished in a respectable second place (or first losers).
I was so tired by the time I got home, I made a bee-line for bed and nearly slept in this morning. That is to say, I tried to sleep in this morning but my DH wouldn't let me.
I'm doing some knitting at lunch time so I might get those fingerless mitts to match my scarf done by the end of the weekend.

Diets, Slugs and Drums

Amazingly I'm still on my diet! Normally by day 3 I've caved and eaten a dozen chocolate bars and a large pizza. I'm trying to eat more vegetables - I know that sounds weird coming from a vegan, but I feel like I've been living on chips, bread and sweets lately.

Anyway, I bought a cauliflower the other day and when I chopped into it, out popped a slug. At first I thought I had accidently chopped it in half but I was pleased when it unfurled and was unharmed. I put it some of the leaves I had removed from the cauliflower and considered keeping it, but I thought that might be cruel so I put it outside with the other slugs and snails.

I had my first drum lesson as well. My teacher is pretty cool, she's in a band called Little Green Machine. I learned some basic beats a couple of fills and the rudiments which I have to practise at home. It was great fun and I'm looking forward to my next lesson.

Louis Vuitton - The Cat

My sisters cat Louis Vuitton has settled into his new home quite nicely:


I've been somewhat stressed and lazy for longer than I care to admit. Many mornings I find myself rushing about at the last minute and leaving for work without having breakfast or preparing a lunch. Of course, I'm just making excuses for what I'm about to tell you.
Where I work, there's a chap that pulls up about 11.30 selling rolls, sandwiches, crisps etc. He is affectionately known as "The Roll Man". I have been a good customer of his over the years and more recently a frequent visitor. As I'm a vegan the only options for me are many of the crisps and a few of the flapjacks. I usually opt for 2 packets of crisps and a flapjack and that does me until I get home in the evening where I gorge on everything I can lay my hands on.
Last week, I was slightly more organised – I think it was because my DH has been on annual leave and has been looking after me. I didn't visit the Roll Man until Friday and even then I only had 1 packet of crisps. The Roll Man looked at me and asked ... "You on a diet?"
I am now.

Road Trip

Went on a road trip to Brechin today with my sis and neice to pick up their new cat.

They've decided since he is a pedigree to give him a designer name so they are liking Louis Vuitton.

Louis is a 7 year old rescue cat who has been abused by his previous owner. Poor baby had to have a few operations and get cleaned up and unfortunately is blind from a blow to the head. I don't understand how people can be so evil, it makes me so mad.

I'm really happy that he's going to live with my sister and her family because they love cats and will really spoil him. They spent a small fortune in Pets at Home buying him little luxuries. I'm looking forward to seeing him next weekend.

I made it back home in time for the Blue Blazer pub quiz. Alas, we didn't win the £100 cash prize or the bottle of vodka this time, but we did get some prizes and I claimed the Malibu shopper for myself :D


I have wasted a huge amount of time today on facebook. I have discovered the iLike application have gone mad adding in all my favourite songs and artists, and then I came across Catbook.

I love my cats vey much. I fully expect to become a crazy old cat lady one day - although I suspect that day might be closer than I would like. Anyway, I've created facebook pages for my cats, Pyewacket and Magus.

I've even recorded Magus drinking tea from a cup and posted it on youtube and facebook.



Yay! I finally finished my scarf! I'm very pleased with my efforts. I'm not sure if I have enough yarn left over to knit some fingerless mitts but I think I'll give it a try.

Chocolate Heaven


After reading about this vegan chocolate on Parsley Soup.com I decided to order some and I noticed they also sell vegan white chocolate. OMG so tasty! I think I might be in chocolate heaven!


Yesterday was truly a well organised and productive working day. I wish I could say the same about today! The more I tried to get my head into work, the more there seemed to be to distract me from it. I ended up spending a large amount of time trying to figure out the best use of my time! I think I might have to read Stephen Covey’s book The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People again or perhaps I will buy the workbook.

I’ve tried to create some kind of routine to help me move from where I am at the moment (overweight slob!) to where I really want to be (energetic goddess!). Hopefully this time I can actually progress beyond the planning stage and take some action.

The thought of doing any kind of physical exercise is a bit off putting though, I’d really rather stay at home on the sofa eating chocolate and playing computer games. Energy is one of those rare things in life that when you spend some you get more back.

I’m still trying to finish off some craft projects that I’ve started and left half done. Yesterday and today I’ve been working on the last in a series of 3 cross stitch projects. I should finish this one tonight and then I need to find some nice picture frames. I also have to finish off a scarf and some fingerless mitts I’m working on.

A friend at work gave me a nice bead kit for my birthday so I’ve also made a nice colourful bead bracelet.

Tonight is pub quiz night. We won the £50 bar tab last week and we still haven’t used one from the last time!

My Birthday

I had a great birthday yesterday. I got lots of nice things and ate lots of nice food and just had a really chilled out, brilliant day.

The day started out well with birthday pancakes and maple syrup and my DH singing happy birthday to me and playing his guitar.

Then we watched Star Trek: TNG and went out for lunch.

I got the Sims 2 Appartment Life which I have been playing and it's pretty good. This means that I will probably be even more anti-social than usual!

After DH made me a fantastic dinner, I fell asleep with a belly full of yummy food and feeling pretty happy.

A great day indeed!


I love lazy Sundays! Even though I tend to get up early, it's great just pottering about drinking tea without stressing about anything. Ahhh, the possibilities ...