Wednesday, June 28, 2006

Chicken Butt...

A few things have me wondering this morning.

While making breakfast with a recipe I got from Doug's Thursday Thirteen for Bull's eye toast (Sassy loved it - Thanks Doug!!) but I can't find the post because I'm speed blogging...I'm supposed to be getting everyone ready for school, work, gym and creche. Anyways - While making my breakfast; a four eggwhite one whole egg omlette, I cracked open a fertilized egg. At first I was quite grossed out, it was all bloody looking and starting to get veins. But I thought...commercial eggs were all unfertilized because they don't keep cockerels around to do the business. But...will a chicken lay eggs if there's no cockerel around? Yeah of course they should, I mean, technically I lay an egg every month and I imagine if I was left on a deserted island I'd still ovulate. Why did I think the male had to present to make such a thing happen?

So then I'm thinking, these free range chickens are obviously getting some action somewhere on this farm. How far does "free range" actually go? Are they hooking up with some woodland locals? Are there rogue cockerels out there, like chicken rape gangs? How is it my egg got hit...I want to know, because after that icky incident, I cracked open ANOTHER fertilized egg. Well, that certainly put me off my breakfast, and I'll make a phone call to the shop to complain. I did know country folks who would still have eaten them, but not me.

So the other thing I want to know about, which Meagan (click her link on the right to see what I mean) made me consider with her post yesterday, is about the new Transformers. optimusThe new ones are Space defenders. They fly about in spaceships, but they're the same Transformers from my these space defenders still turn into Mack Trucks, motorcycles and cars. How can that be effective in space? Why didn't they create a whole new gang of Transformers that turn into space gliders, speeders and rockets? It makes perfect sense to me. I mean, how many generations of Mighty Morphin Power Rangers have there been, and they're still just as popular. I think someone out there has too much of a love interest in Optimus Prime to let him be upgraded.

I really hate cheap cartoons. I hated a lot of those Hanna Barbera ones as a kid, you just knew they were crap: crap quality, crap story, crap characters. arkiv_hannaybarbera Nothing like the awe inspiring Looney Toons. The old Tom and Jerry cartoons are super too - they went through a decline in the 60's but then, really, that was the decade of fashion crime - not the 80's, but the 60's. Although, I did love the Flintstones as a kid, but they jumped the shark (I never knew the origin of that expression - neat! I found a whole Jump the Shark website, it's neat too!) when they brought babies into the mix. Pebbles and Bam-Bam indeed...and they let then grow up to be teenagers. Makes me want to shake my head in pity. Same again for when Scooby Doo introduced Scrappy doo...I don't like Scrappy. Mediocre cartoons are a crime.

one last thing...why do kids have to talk back about things that really don't warrant the sass? I mean - I got lip this morning for asking where Sassy's bus money was. She lost it, again, and she yells at me like it was my fault! The cheek. She got an earful this morning, let me tell you. There's only one more week of school, and next year I'm getting her a bus pass; she can't be trusted to keep her coins. I looked into the bullying possibility and the buying candy one too, but it's genuinely just her being a goof and losing her money. The teacher even collects the coins to give back to them at the end of the day so no one goes treasure hunting in the coatroom. But to make it out like it was my fault...that kid has a lot of things to learn and it looks like she's wanting to learn them the hard way.

Tuesday, June 27, 2006

Meet my new renter!

Ok, now I've done this for two weeks and you folks haven't been too interested in meeting new friends - I don't know why - it's nice to meet new people. No, really it is! That's what blogging is all about, right? So I've been extra particular to pick a tenet who I know will appeal to you guys. Her name is Meagan, and she's from Illinois. Go and click the picture of her blog on the right side. She's a former Pampered Chef sales person, and a burnt out cook - but I think she still has the soul of a chef, so we need to love up her foodie spirit.

She loves books, and writing; just check out that nightstand pile! She's also got an awesome template - I'm dead jealous; I love Wonder Woman. She's also a HNT participant. Meagan plays golf - but she's not got as nice a hubs as Corinna's man - because Adam at least takes pictures of her playing golf - Greeper, give this woman some advice on how to get the man in line!

Seriously folks, I'm really keen on this one - she feels like family already. And, just so you know - I get nothing for you guys visiting her, and it costs you nothing - it's just a fun way to meet new people. So go and meet someone new today! I am. I'm whoring around her blogroll because it looks pretty cool.

Monday, June 26, 2006

SBD: Moms and daughters.

I think it's very important to read to children, and choosing the right sorts of books is important. I have daughters, so I prefer to find stories that have strong female leads. These should be good people, moral people and fun people. I know it's important for kids to have heroes and role models, and ultimately the parents fill that position until the child is old enough to look outside their peers and into the big world for inspirations.

It's been hard work finding stories I think fit into this modern world for a modern girl. One where the Mom isn't dead, horrible or cruel. Go on, you try and find one, no, one may be easy, try and find five such books. It becomes more of a challenge then. Okay, I know there's plenty, but I'm sure in all your searches you stumbled over at least two dead parents. Why do I want there to be a mother? Well, that's because I'm a mother, and I find it really annoying that so many children's stories have evil mothers or dead ones. Perhaps it's to satisfy my own ego, or fears of my own mortality - you be Freud for a while and let me know what you come up with. Just looking at Disney, how many motherless children can you name? Ariel the little mermaid, nemo the clown fish, Bambi, Snow White, Cinderella, Belle...just to same a few. All of them lost their mothers or had seriously nasty step-moms. What's with all the Mom hate, huh? What's Disney got against us?

I'm not saying that those are all bad stories because there's no mother, but why are there so many? Is it because through history so many children did lose their mothers young because of childbirth? So what's the excuse for the modern versions of these stories? I don't mind if the mom has no real part in the story at all, I just like to know she's there. This is probably one reason I've fallen in love with the Studio Ghibli films - and yes I believe films count as stories - without these films I would never had heard the stories. I love Spirited Away, Howl's Moving Castle, My Neighbor Totoro, The Cat Returns and Kiki's Delivery Service. All of them have wonderful girl-leads, girls who solve their troubles using smarts and hearts. The moms are all bit parts; in Spirited Away the mom and dad are turned into pigs at the beginning and we don't see them again until the end. But I like knowing they're included and not just killed off to force empathy for the character. They're used as motivation; Got to save my parents before they're turned into bacon!

As a child, I thought that, to be a hero you had to be motherless. I would obsess over and worry that as much I wanted to be a hero, I would have to lose my Mom. Not an easy choice. That spurned me on to have vivid thoughts and daydreams about my Mom dying and leaving me alone. I would often think myself to tears. Oddly enough, I stopped when I had kids of my own, but I've not wanted them to do this to themselves, I mean, I'm not even sure why I did it. I wanted to find stories where they didn't have to worry about the mom or dad for that matter, just enjoy the story without the added worry that one day, they could be parentless. No kid needs that.

other favorites we've found are Judy Moody books. Sassy laughs so hard at most of these stories. The writing is very easy to read and it's very modern. Judy and Sassy have a lot in common; they both have bad moods and tempers, they both have boys as best friends and they both have an slight inferiority complex over schoolwork. There needs to be more of these written, and soon. Also, I'm thinking she's getting old enough to enjoy Harriet the Spy which ticks all the boxes - and perhaps can teach Sassy to be a bit nicer. The only exception I like is Pippi Longstocking - that kid is amazing, and I loved her stories as a kid so I share them with my kids. You couldn't get a stronger more self-assured heroine anywhere.

Then, there's Judy Blume. There's so much to chose from there, how can I list them. But the girls are too young for most of that yet. Perhaps I should stockpile a mini-library for them in preparation. Oh, and Nancy Drew!!

Sorry. I just can't settle for a dead mom book when I don't have to.

Smart Bitches Day is hosted by the gorgeous and talented Beth and she has a large cast of friends who also like to bitch about books. Have an opinion on something regarding books - then join us every Join us today!! Go see Beth and let her know you have something to share.

Thanks for not telling me I forgot to spellcheck the first time around...

Sunday, June 25, 2006

Friday, June 23, 2006

Here's the skinny...

I've had a couple of e-mails from folks asking me about what I'm doing to get fit and lose weight. It seems once I came out of the closet about trying to get fit, people started being interested. I didn't say a word for ages because I wanted to wait and see how long it would take before someone noticed and made a comment. I waited almost four months. I'd lost over thirty pounds before anyone noticed. That was a major kick in the teeth, I mean, I know I'm not the center of the universe and everything but I figured someone would've noticed before that. My ego was bruised a bit, I'll admit.

Now, I find it something of a dull topic - too self-absorbed, and I never want to bore people with me talking about me. I avoid that most costs...well except here because it's kind of my diary so it's allowed here. Yet in the real world, I'm somewhat reserved, in a silly way though. I'll laugh and make jokes to make folks stop asking about me, I don't like talking about myself. I don't like sharing passionate opinions, I like to toe the line and be nice, pleasant, entertaining company. I want to have fun - not get into deep discussions, if i can avoid it. I'll listen to everything you want to say, but not big on the giving back.

So. The diet stuff. Well, it's changed over the five months, and I've discovered it's got a life of its own. I let my body be the trainer now. I'm a slave to beat, the beat of my heart. I let it tell me when to slow down, and when to speed up. My maximum heart rate should be 140-156 beats per minute. That's me in a cardio zone, and it's not too fast that I'm sucking wind and getting side pains...what are those called? I forget, but I don't push so hard that I get them. An example being, on the treadmill; I'll set the machine to a 20 minute routine on hill climbing at 4 mph. I'll start off on a light jog until I get my heart rate up to 150 bpm, and then speed walk until it drops down to 139, then jog it back up again. That'll have me nicely tired and have burned about 250 calories. I'll similar on all the cardio machines, I get bored easily so I tend to hop around to different ones and I don't stick to a set routine. So long as I get 40 minutes total, I don't care.

I've started following this routine for weights, though. I think with weight training you have to have a routine or you can forget what you were doing and end up overworking a muscle and risk injury. I'll do three sets of 15-20 repetitions. When using handweights I'll use 10kg/22lbs for most exercises. For a leg press or bench press I'll double that. Now, that's what I do currently, I didn't start out like that. When I started I could manage 10 minutes on any one machine before I got uncomfortable, sore or tired. So I'd swap around on four different machines until I got the 40 minute goal, and weights were optional - if I had time. I was afraid of them, I'll be honest, but I started out with a few easy looking ones, and as I got used them, I got more confident. More confidence got me asking questions about the scarier looking machines, which turned out not to be scary in the slightest. In fact I only started using the bench press this week, because it's been in the weights corner, and that's a man zone, I didn't think I had a right to be in the man zone where I was pumping my little weights. But, I figure I pay the same membership fee they do, and I have the same determination, so why the hell not.

That's the key for me: determination. It's not willpower, it's having the determination to make a change. Be it quitting smoking, giving up sweets or starting a workout, if you aren't determined to make this a lifetime habit then you will fail. I was thinking today about Nike, and their brilliant ad campaign "Just Do It." it sums it all up, it's perfection, the best damned slogan ever. Don't think for a minute I don't wake up every morning and think, "Fuck it I'm not going today", or think about putting on jeans instead of sweats, or think about going for a coffee instead of up the hill to the gym, or think about sitting down and reading a book instead of going into the gym, or thinking about doing a half-assed workout. I just do it, and I do it hard. I am completely soaked in sweat by the end of every workout, that's how I know I've done a good job. I'm really proud of myself at the end of it. I prefer being proud of myself over being disappointed for being a puss who gave up.

In the end, I don't expect to look like this woman although you have to respect the amount of work she's put in (let's be honest, ahem, steroids.) But I don't know how I'll end up, I guess that's the mystery, the surprise. My diet isn't extreme enough to get those kind of results. I've read lots on what body builders eat - please pity these poor poor souls - they are hungry, and bored. It's all egg whites, chicken breast, white fish and tuna out of the tin. A few vegetables but that's about it. I know it's food for fuel not fun, but come one - there's got to be something tasty once in a while. I tend to have bowls of beans with low fat curry sauce, or brown rice and vegetables. Lots of salads with tomatoes and cucumber but I don't really like salad dressing so I just put a couple dashes of soy sauce on it. I do like the occasional egg white omelet and I'll have maybe three a week. I don't like eggs too much, or rather, they don't like me.

So, today I've done:

20 minutes on the treadmill with heart rate sprints.
15 minutes on the recumbent bike level five.
5 minutes on the rower machine (I'd do longer but it makes this awful squeak noise for every pull that drives me nuts)

As I just started using a higher weight, I've cut my reps to 10.

30 rope pulldowns
30 pulldowns
30 dumb bell lifts
30 straight arm lat pull down
30 French curl
30 lateral rise
30 triceps dips
30 preacher curls
and I was knackered today. Tomorrow is an off day, and I'll need it because I'm a bit sore. I'm still sore from leg day when I did 40 weighted lunges. I have to hold onto something to sit because my backside aches. But it's a good pain, I earned that pain. It'll make me stronger. I'm not afraid of a little discomfort, and it goes away in a day or so.

So, there it is. That's what I do for an hour and a half, five days a week. Now, someone mentioned pictures. Well, I'm not so keen on the idea just yet. I don't think the differences are that noticeable that it would look all that dramatic. I'm not slim, I still have bodyfat covering all this muscle. You could give me a squeeze and feel the changes, but not really see them. I have worries about being left with saggy skin on my belly - side effects of pregnancy. I worry I'll end up with dirty pillows (I can thank Stephen King for that image of saggy breasts) although the bra fitter (who is the closest breast expert I know after the tit squisher at the mamogram clinic.) says that the breast tissue shouldn't shrink, just the back and rib fat. Fingers crossed, eh folks.

Having said that, I got four compliments from four different people who have noticed I've made changes to my body. Five months on, most people notice the change. This is definitely not an exercise in instant gratification.

And, on that note, go see Newfiegirl. She's been making cheesecake. Talk about instant gratification - MMMMmmmooore!

Thursday, June 22, 2006

I'm still smiling, I tell ya!

I'm going to keep on smiling regardless of the fact I can smell a big pile of shit coming around the corner. I just know I'm heading into bad luck. We all have bouts of bad luck and good and I've been riding the wave of neutral luck - nothing bad nothing good just life - for a while but, the bad is on it's way. Like a tornado in the distance, and I've lost the key to the safety zone.

Money is very tight at the moment. We're saving, we're paying off debt (not much left, but any debt drives us nuts) we're just trying to be good. Very very good. But things are starting to let me know that we're going to have dish out big cash soon, and it's really going to be depressing.

The washing machine has an electrical fault. Just a gremlin at the moment. It occasionally bleeps out an error message but fixes itself, it's not draining as well it used to and yesterday it stopped bleeping completely. Now, honestly it was a really annoying bleeping machine and it's current silence is quite nice. But it does tell of immanent demise. It's only three years old. It still washes and spins, and for now - I'll just pray and hope the gremlin doesn't get any big ideas.

There's a gremlin in our television too. It's a sore spot for us. When we moved to this house three years ago, the movers broke our TV, an wouldn't pay for it. We didn't want to claim it on the home insurance and have a higher payment, so we just bought a new one. It was a thompson, and it was awful! It let out this high pitched frequency sound that made watching anything impossible - it gave us headaches. The shop took it back no questions asked - it's a fault with the brand. Thanks for telling us when we were buying it you dickheads. So we thought, fuck it, we'll splash out for a proper TV and got a Sony Trinitron. It was great for about a year, and just as the shop warranty expired, it started making the same frequency noise. After many visits from an engineer, who was in his 60s and said he couldn't hear it, and lots of letter of complaint, the shop said the last option was to send it to Sony. Sony would keep the TV for 4-6 weeks.

4-6 weeks.

So, we went to a cash generator and bought an old stock but new in 1996 - lived in a warehouse all it's life - Panasonic for 140 pounds. Not a bad deal and it was great. We got a call two weeks later, the Sony was fixed and on it's way home. Big sigh. Now we had two 28inch TVs and nowhere to put the panasonic. We found a place it's now in our bedroom closet where it's hooked up to the other gamecube. We are dorks. Two years later, and the sony is starting to make that noise again. Not all the time, but every so often and we figure it'll only get worse. We aren't buying another TV. We'll probably swap the ones we have; that means we spent 400 pounds on a gamecube screen. Could be worse.

I'm doing awesome on the workouts, I'm getting really toned and I notice my lower back pain is gone, and I no longer get these awful muscle pulls on my lower bs, I used to pull a muscle just rolling over in bed, but it's not happened for three months now, so I'm quite psyched about it. I've been putting a lot of work and attention on my abs and back and it's finally paying off. When I started five months ago, the ab crunch machine was the worst, I hated it. I could barely do 10 repetitions with no weights. Today I did 100 reps on setting five. I have no clue what setting five is in weight, I keep meaning to ask. I do everything on setting five. When that gets easy, I'll move up again, I figure that will give me symmetry because some exercises on five are really easy, like triceps dips, but preachers curls are a killer....I'm boring you now. I'm sorry. I'm turning into a fitness pest.

I need new bras again. I think two would be ok, because I have two that fit well right now, and a couple that are now too big. I used to have three but the underwire just poked out on one so I'll sew it up until I can replace it, but that never lasts for long. I know which one's I want, I want the same one I bought last summer, you remember...the really ugly one that keeps the bouncing to almost nil. I love that bra. Two more will cost 40 pounds. I keep thinking, one this month one next month, but something keeps coming up. Lately it's been kid's birthdays. Not all of them my kids either. I need new gymwear too as my current ones are hanging off me. I can wait until the fall when I'll need sweatpants, but for now, shorts will suffice. Such a pain to know the charity shops don't tend to have sportswear.

The last thing that showed me that my luck was on the turn was yesterday when the kids knocked my glass of water onto the keyboard while I was on the phone in our kitchen. My fault for leaving it there. It now has no space bar, l, c or arrow keys. The Hubs was pissed. So that's another 40 pounds down. We're trying to dry it off and see if it'll come back to life, but hopes are slim. I'll try and use the hair dryer on it later. Until then, I'm on the laptop. I despise the laptop. We don't get along. It's known to erase whole pages of text for no reason at all. I'm not going to get into it right now, just know; we have issues the laptop and I.

I'm trying to keep positive, hoping it'll all work out. Perhaps I'll win enough in the lottery to cover everything. That would be great. Sorry for the downer post.

Tuesday, June 20, 2006

It's Tuesday?

I don't know why, but I feel like it's still Monday, like Monday never ended midnight, it just rolled over into a long continuous Monday. Not that that is bad. I love Mondays.

I'm in a trawl the internet mood today. Random Googling. Flickr flicking. Blog hopping. Talk about being a computer whore. Here's a few things that have amused me today.

This picture made me laugh.

You can help Save Screech's House And when did Screech start looking like that guy, in that show that was in Alaska - you know the show where Dr. Green from ER was on and he was a guy who lived in a know the one. Well, he look like the guy who played the Dr. Joel. Was it Joel? I don't know, and Googling "Alaska show" doesn't help. This is my brain people - it stops dead the second I want to recall something, and it's usually something trivial like this. But have been known to completely blank people out of my memory - like I forget I ever met them, knew them, worked with them, got drunk with them - everything. It's incredibly embarrassing. I once told my Hubs about going to the movies to see a film, as you do, and it was great and I had fun and I went with so and so and we laughed and he told jokes etc. Hubs got in a huff "I was 'so and so' you twit." it happens a lot. I live with it. Wonders of blogging is I can research through my blackouts, but right now, I'm rather stumped. Oh, and don't Google "Dr. Joel" because you'll get nothing but penis pump links. WAIT! "Dr. Joel Alaska" brought me to Northern Exposure!! That was it - you knew that didn't you. Anyways, do you see the resemblance? No? Ok on reflection neither do I...not really.


Ok, I still kind of do.

I saw this

And had a wee giggle.

Ah well.

Monday, June 19, 2006

Stuff and SBD!

What a busy weekend! Sassy turned seven on Saturday, and she was full of the birthday spirit. She loved her presents and we took her to the Gap to get a couple of new outfits. She chose a sequined gypsy skirt in pink with a matching shirt, and a green and yellow flowered dress - where has my tomboy gone?? She got tons of money from the grandmothers; I've never known a person to attract money like she does, everyone throws money at her, even as a baby old ladies would see her and slip 50 pence pieces into her pram. One day I got her home and found £3.00 worth of coins underneath her. I know it's an old tradition to give silver to a new baby, but this was bizarre.

With her money she got an Unazukin; a small toy that nods yes and no when asked a question - far better than 8-ball! She's really sweet. She also got Paper Mario and the Thousand-Year Door which has had excellent reviews and from the small amount of play we've had already - it's so cool! It's more like a role play game so battles are easier for a seven year old to manage without arm-flapping throw down the remote controller panics.

Sunday she went to her best friend's birthday party (even though her birthday was way back in April, but her folks couldn't have a party then because they were having a new deck put in.) where she got to wear her new dress. We picked her up and drove straight over to the in-laws house for father's day presents. I'd promised to clip/groom their two cocker spaniels. The dogs are so well behaved it's easy, the male falls asleep on the table spread-eagled while I trim the knots off his privates. Not the most glamorous job I've ever had, but it's a skill I can take with me anywhere and pick up again at anytime if money got short. I will need to buy new clippers soon - mine get so hot now I gave myself a second degree burn on my finger - hurts like hell! That'll cost me about £100 to replace, so I'll save up over the next few months. It is ten years old, so it's about time it got retired.

Hubs and I were watching Brazil vs Australia last night and at one point they showed a Brazil player take a mouthful of drink and then laugh with mouth open so it all spilled down his front. This wasn't a "you're so funny!" spewing drink kind of thing, it was a "Oh, I forgot to swallow, duh!" thing.

Hubs: Why do they show us that? I don't want to see that. TV should know by now that you shouldn't do close-ups on players, they're all disgusting.
Me: I know, if they aren't spitting they're shifting their balls or shooting snot out their noses.
Hubs: Farmer's blow.
Me: Yeah.
Hubs: It's like when they show the winning stallion from Ascot - beautiful animal an all but it's having a five minute piss on camera. We don't want to see that.

So I got to wondering about heroes again (here's my segue into SBD - did you see it?) but more, who inspires the male hero's image in the writer's mind? I know Julie talks about her inspirations very openly and they change from book to book - there's a different character, so she gets a new icon. Diana Gabaldon says she based Jamie on her husband - don't know I should gag or smack her and shout "lucky bitch!". When reading anything by Sherrilyn Kenyon I have this man in my mind. And who has Jilly Cooper got in her mind when she writes about jockeys? As a normal height to tallish woman, there's not much that's attractive to me in a five foot tall almost 100lbs man. My Mother in law, who is barely five foot tall, has every J.C. book every put in print. She also likes horses. I don't like horses, so those stories don't do a thing for me. But that's horses for courses as they say snarff snarff.

When we are reading novels do we imagine a completely new person, or do we take our favourite person and make them the hero? Is there, somewhere out there, a woman who makes every hero in every romance into Keanu Reeves (and if she does, I ask you; what are you thinking)? Myself, when reading, I create a new person from the description given by the author - and as little info as possible makes it easier for me. Just the basics please, my imagination does it's own perfect job making heros who give me goosebumps. When I write, I always have a particular someone in mind as the hero/ine but I leave personal description to a complete minimum, or leave it out all together. I think the reader should make them into their ideal man, not my idea if an ideal man. I love asking people "What did S/He look like to you?" because it's amazing what people will create in their own minds.

I get disappointed when books are turned into movies and the character I had in mind doesn't match the one the cast directors thought would be best. Of course, at the time of writing this I can't think of any off hand, but I can think of a few amazingly perfectly (ew double adverbs! slap my wrist.) placed characters; John Cusak in High Fidelity - I love hearing him say fuck, and he actually made the character better for me than when I read the book. Gregory Peck as Atticus Finch in To Kill a Mockingbird - as if the role was made for him alone and let's not forget, Colin Firth as Mr. Darcy in Pride and Prejudice and as Mark Darcy in Brigette Jones's Diary, he was perfect in each. Having said that, Renee Zelwegger was the perfect Brigette. Vivien Leigh was the perfect Scarlett O'Hara, but I think Clark Gable was too old for Rhett - but Holywood popularity being what it is. But I still wonder, is this the person the authors had in their minds while writing the manuscripts?

Ok, to tidy up, please take a moment to go and click over to my new tenent, NewfieGirl! She loves cooking, her dog - but not cooking her dog as that's totally bad. She's a slushie flavor mixer - so am I, so we are kindred. Go and see some of the great pictures she's taken, You'll like her. You will. Go click her. Go now.

Hope you have a super Monday.

Thursday, June 15, 2006

Birkenstocken HNT!

As I mentioned in a previous post, I bought my first ever pair of Birkenstocks. It must be a milestone that attests to my sincere lack of fashion and choices for comfort instead. But they aren't so bad, eh?


and some lazy toes in the flower bed.


If you want to know more about HNT follow me!

Also, this is my last day with Scooter! Go and click on his link and tell him he's a super-cool dude! I think he's a super-cool dude that makes it true. And he still has some unanswered questions on his music quiz - some are even ungoogleable, I know I tried. When you are slightly deaf like me, who listens to lyrics? So long as it has a beat to move to, I'm too busy dancing to listen. But you would far better then me, oh and his taste in music is kissable in that slip of the tongue way. Go see Scooter - tell him we'll miss him soon. (Aw don't worry Scooter McHooter, I'm blogrolling you, Ok? Great!)

Wednesday, June 14, 2006

Balls and Walnuts, a Gypsy's party treat bowl.

Lydia waited for Durril. To her frustration, he's accustomed to living here near the small town of Sapanta; and yet she feels the need to move on. When the people who once feared and scorned you now nod their heads in acknowledgement, it's time to go. Durril likes to drink and sing with the local men in the bars, he doesn't realise he's still considered an outsider, he never considers himself as an outsider. Others have sounded their opinions that we should move south to warmer regions, and she agrees. She craves the sun against her skin, and to come out of the shade of these heavy, cold forests. Durril struggles between the love of what's familiar and the need to seek the new. She needs something new.

She had spent most of the day in the caravan. She packed her belongings and tied the bundles down tight with leather. She salted the corners of the room and lit candles to dispel the ill feelings that have lingered around them for weeks.

She heard Durril come in long after nightfall. He stumbled about the kitchen and then pulled back the curtain that separated the bed from the rest of the room. He leaned against the wall and looked at her in that hungry way that always stirred her. There was a hint of a smile on his lips almost hidden by his moustache and a glimmer of lust in his eyes.

"I have been waiting for you," she said as she turned her face away from his gaze.

He said nothing but his smile grew wide. He kneeled onto the bed and put his hands on her shoulders; she relaxed under the heat of his palms. He bent down and smelled her hair, lifting the heavy tendrils and peppered her neck with small kisses. Her skin quivered from the brush of his lips. He knew she was angry with him for being out so long, but he always knew how to make her body sing with forgiveness.

"You are my beautiful love," he whispered in her ear.

"I belong to no man," she said, and leaned back against his chest. She slid her arms up behind her and wound her fingers into his hair pulling him closer to her. He reached down and cupped her breasts, brushing her nipples with his thumbs until they stood hard against his palms.

"You belong to me," he said again softly, pulling her around to face him. He could see the need in her eyes as he bent down to kiss her, gentle and soft, but she returned with a hard urgency which excited him. He felt her reach for his belt and pull his shirt free. She moved her hands under his shirt and over his back. "You see, you are my woman, you belong to me,"

"I belong to no man," she said again, breathing heavily. He didn't like this, they have been bonded for years, and she was his. He would show her the truth of this.

He deepened their kisses and put his hand under her skirt, sliding his hand up until he found her hot center. She was already wet for him, and he slipped his thumb against her tender spot until she moaned sweetly to him. He knew her body well, knew how to play her until she cried for him. And he didn't have to wait long. She never begged, but her body always betrayed her desire for him and he answered her by lifting her up onto his lap and sliding hotly into her.

Lydia wrapped her legs around his waist and matched his hard rhythm. "You are mine," he whispered into her ear, "You are mine," and he grasped her hips and ground himself hard against her until he could feel her body grip him, her nails digging into his shoulders as she cried out. He crushed her against his chest holding her as close as possible until he felt his own rush of pleasure.

She pulled away from his embrace and he didn't fight her. He layed back on the bed and watched her get up and straighten her clothes. "Come back," he said lazily.

"No," she said as she brushed her hair and kept her back to him.

"My darling..." he started sleepily, but she interrupted "I am not yours. I belong to no man." and she took her brush and put it into her bag. She picked up her satchels and turned to look at him at last, "I'm going."

"Fine. Go. You will be back to keep me warm later, I'm sure." he slurred and fell off to sleep without hearing her shut the door.

Lydia walked down the path past the owl's pine up to the green caravan with it's lamps still lit. She didn't knock on the door. She opened it and walked in, dropping her bags on the chair. "You've come at last, I've been waiting forever." said a handsome young man from the back of the caravan. He walked up to her and lifted her chin to his lips and kissed her "Are we ready to leave?"

"Yes. We leave tonight." He bent down and picked her up into his arms and carried her over to his bed. "Now, you are mine," he said as he put her upon the bed, parting her legs with his knee.

"I belong to no man."

(and yes I wrote this in three hours, not really paying attention to edits and I feel a wee bit pukey at the thought of publishing it, but I should just get over myself and stop being so prudish. Mom if you read it, So sorry!! To the rest of the world, Fucking EEK and be kind eh? And, I was watching The 10th Kingdom recently so that may've had an impact. I going to annoy the Hubs now by saying "My Name is Inigo Montoya, you killed my father, prepare to die." until he roughs me up a bit. Tomorrow: Birkenstocks and tootsies for HNT.)

I'm starting a hand-flapping panic.

I really want to take part in Doug's Gypsy writing contest! And I've had many ideas, and trying to write them all down is getting my head in a muddle. Stop fighting for supremacy, all these idea whores, orderly line-up and behave!

You, stop giving me too much dialogue.
You, stop making me focus too much on the senses - we don't need to smell everything ok!
You, stop adding too many characters - we need three and that's it.
You, work on keeping it under 1000 words if possible you blathering fool - you talk too fucking much!
You, stop making me spellcheck every sentence, that's what the "check whole document" button is for.

Right, now all of you better get your shit together, because I want to win and I want to win big. I have a budget to stick to and when someone as amazing, bright and downright sexy as Doug says they're going to give away a free CD as a prize, we have to be ship shape and attentive to the details!

Now, the rest of you, those of you reading this who may be getting the idea you want to enter Doug's contest - just forget it. The prize is mine, and I don't share glory with anyone. Don't even click his link...just don't. Stop it. Come back!

See what you've done now...all of You Yous, especially You who makes me talk too much, you're in the naughty corner - off with you, and don't take your nose off the wall.

Right, now.

Think Gypsies!

***I may have to try a new idea, because what I've written so far is way too racy for this place. I mean, my Mother reads this blog! Oh worry, Oh bother, Oh no I'm going to bite my nails, and make coffee and clean the kitchen...and Fuck me and this procrastination!

Tuesday, June 13, 2006

I'm not fighting anymore.

I've had battles against Mother Nature on many levels, ranging from her sending rain just as i hang out the laundry to dry to sending mist and fog to ruin my just straightened hair. So, that's it, I'm not fighting anymore. I'm letting the hair have its curl. I'm going to stop trying so hard to be fashionable. Well, not too much, just not going to waste any more time on fruitless adventures in vanity.

I'm not going to bother to re-dye my scarlet streaks because I'm tired of dripping pink sweat down my shirt in the gym. They've lightened up into this kind of orange, which I'm actually not too bothered by. I'm not going to darken the brown - let the silver show, let's see what the Mother Nature Bitch has actually done to me over the years. I know that one of the lightened sections on my left temple is completely silver, and my stylist says (and I say stylist but don't think it's anything posh, ok - she's just a hairdresser, but we love our titles don't we.) I have no silver at the back. I say silver because, it is silver. Not grey, not white. Silver. When it all comes in silver, I'll probably dye it blonde, just to see how it'd look. So this is me: Au natural (ok I added a little mousse - gimme a break)


Give us a kiss!


Now, here's a couple pictures of Shortie. In my house, I don't allow guns, even water pistols. The other types of guns that shoot bullets are illegal so we don't have any of those either. Sassy has been pouting furiously because her pal has a super soaker and they have chase-me soaker fights every day after school, only Sassy has to borrow a soaker. Because I'm mean and don't allow guns. Ok, so for her birthday, I've allowed (to the complete elation of the Hubs) her to get two soakers. But in the meantime, I let her have the dishwashing liquid bottle to play with - it was great! It shot almost as far as the soaker. She was over the moon with the idea. But Shortie got hold of it and thought...hey I can scrub the patio tiles with this! Talk about having kids that are night and day in personality. Here she is, cleaning.


She fights with me over the broom and vacuum cleaner too. I can't wait until she's older...oh the joys of bleaching the toilet!!

The other thing I did over the weekend I thought I'd never do was buy a pair of Birkenstocks. I know - who'd have thought?! But I did, and they're silver. And yesterday I wore them around the house while wearing socks, because it was kind of cold. I'm turning into a hippie, and not just any hippie, but a silver shoe wearing aged hippie. But I like them, even if they did give me a sore spot on top of my foot. (Perhaps I should post a pic of that - might get me off the foot fetishist's blogroll.)

I should go and get a copy of Scooter's playlist and force feed my ears on it until I can at least feel some shame over my Birks. But seriously Scooter - Boston and Kelly Clarkson?? They can't mix well...I can't belive it.

Monday, June 12, 2006

Smart Bitches Day

True Love

The Impressive Clergyman: Mawage. Mawage is wot bwings us togeder tooday. Mawage, that bwessed awangment, that dweam wifin a dweam... The Princess Bride.

The pursuit of love, true love has been a story told for centuries. The trials, tribulations and shining glory that comes from true love. Centuries ago, stories of true love were usually the couple fighting against all odds to come together, satisfy their emotions and suffer a very heavy penalty in doing so. They were sad stories of how love was a power that ripped their hearts to pieces, left them mad and vulnerable. Passions always paid a high price on the soul.

Today it's about passion and sex without all the wrenching pain, social isolation and ultimate madness. Love is a good thing, a positive experience with a happy ending, where the power of love itself transforms us, not the suffering pain left by love.

The romantic angle for most romances is the union of soulmates, but are soulmates fated to be together, or do you become soulmates over time? Is it an instant, intuitive, knowing love or is it the person you've gotten to really know over the years and you still love regardless; that's your soulmate?

How many true loves have broken your heart? What people seek is the wonderful emotions of falling in love that comes from a well paced romance. We want to relive those feelings, re-experience them without fear of hurting the feelings of our partners. No one wants to feel like, now they're in a relationship, they'll never get to fall in love again even though it's the expectation. You fell in love once and now you are “in” love. Falling in love is more fun, where being in love has responsibilities.

We should never use romance novels as a way to gauge our own relationships on the passion scale. By enjoying these stories for what they are, a celebration of Firsts: the first contact, the first furtive looks, the first embraces, the first kiss, the first sex. The firsts of falling in love as opposed to being in love are soul-drunken wonders. (and don't get me wrong. Being in love is great too. I think the point where a couple crosses over from falling in love to being in love is when they feel comfortable enough that they can pass wind in front of each other. A woman who is falling in love with a man will never unclench those cheeks, and that is why women go the bathroom in groups, they're all passing sneakies and airing out the nylons.)

The love at first sight stuff is probably appreciated more by the younger readers, those who haven't had their hearts broken a few times by their true loves. We older, more experienced souls who've learned to be cautious and lack the golden luster of naivete, are more inclined to enjoy a good struggle with a couple who don't always get along, but have the love there to hold them together.

Relationships are tough. Couples have issues and they're hard work to maintain. In my relationship, there are no more break-ups after a big fight. We have to work through our differences, or simply agree to disagree because I still have to share a bed with this person at he end of the day. It was easy to run away from former partners when the arguments got to heavy, I could hop in the car and drive away with my finger waving out the window. Now, I can still wave my finger but then I have to carry on trying to fix the problems; in which finger waggling doesn't really help even if it does make me feel better for a little bit.

In fiction, true love conquers all, but in reality it's much more layered. Real love is compassion, patience and forgiveness. Modern romances don't show the real challenges to a relationship: boredom, anger and grudging tolerance, because let's be honest that's not the fantasy. It's not the romantic love we daydream about. Too much reality and the fun goes out of it.

Falling in love is easy. Staying in love; that's the hard work but it brings the biggest rewards.

Smart Bitches Day is hosted by Beth, and anyone who has an opinion on romance, and romance novels of any sort are welcome to join in. Just go to Beth's site, and leave a comment on the SBD post letting everyone know you've got something to say. You can even be a smart Bastard if you wish. We do this in celebration of Smart Bitches Who Love Trashy Novels.

Saturday, June 10, 2006

Oh the randomness...

A couple things...

The Hubs is something of an aggressive driver, I'm a door clinging hand twitcher who stomps her imaginary brakes. I have control issues. While tailgating a small car who admittedly was hogging the fast lane, he shouted "Get your act together you tedious scrotum!" which had me tearing with laughter, while stomping on the imaginary brake.
(or what I heard which was: "Gie yerackt tehgether ye tEdious scrrOTum!")

Sassy is torturing me with repeat play of Aqua's Barbie Girl. Sassy won't even play with the Barbies she has - they're lame, but will hit playback over and over and over and over...

While singing and dancing to Barbie Girl, Shortie will say "Ah ah ah" over and over sounding like the Count from Sesame Street.

It's been hot today - HOT! Fantastic, gorgeous glorious day and in celebration of this, my left breast has begun to lactate (just a little) again. I haven't breast fed for 15 months...what the hell is that all about? Stop it you stupid leaky boob!

Sassy turns seven next weekend. Current gift round up includes:

We hope she'll enjoy all of it. We're also may get a pop-up play tent for the kids to play in the garden with. A den of sorts.

And, because of Doug, I can't stop speaking like an eastern block refugee. My husband finds it very...nice in that raw sultry way. My fake Scots accent with all that rolling "R" practice has been paying off! Must get my bit written up...four days left to enter the contest. But first: We Dance!

Oh I have this running in my head... like Raul? Here's more. (BTW, he's currently touring your local Scottish Sainsbury's so keep an eye out for him.)

Friday, June 09, 2006

Lookie Lookie!!

Hey look over there! No no on your right...over there! See that, that's my rental space. I can rent out blog space! How cool is that?! And that there...that's my first ever tenant - His name's Scooter McGavin! Isn't he cute! in that "fuck off you can't know me but love my hairy arms and know I am all man, baby." way! He's all sporty and fresh and full of the talk - go and see him! He has two blogs - double your pleasure!

Who may like him, well Corinna, he's a golfer guy so you two can be friends. And NWJR, he has TV stuff on his photo blog from visiting some show on site...something not shown here in the UK but good I'm sure. So the rest of you better go over there and find out what you have in common with my man Scooter.

And Scooter: I'm currently watching Poland VS Ecuador and doing my bit to enjoy the World Cup (even though I had a mini tantrum at the gym and made them put the music back on instead of the game highlights - I am a bitch), even though it's Big Brother eviction night...I'm doing a bit of channel hopping but Go Ecuador - even though they keep falling over and rolling about in fake pain - Come on be men for fuck's sake!!

Welcome Scooter!!

Nothing like breaking a mother's heart!

Shortie has been a crankpuss all morning. Moan this, whine that, want to go outside, want to go inside, too hot, too cold. She wants fed but then sits and stares at her plate. She asks for movies but then buggers off and won't watch it. She's doing my head in!

Finally after an hour-long argument over "More appo jush!" and I said "No, no more apple juice." because she's wee'd through three nappies this morning (I mean the pants were so full she had to hold her trousers up by the waistband or nappy and trousers would fall to the floor. It was funny trying to see her walk. Defintely drinking too much juice.), I don't think she's thirsty, I think she's bored. I finally got fed up, got her a cup of milk and said "Naptime."

Carried her up the stairs, where she was silent save for the heavy sucking on her milkcup right in my ear, and put her in her bed, closed the blind and pulled up her blankets for her. She was still sucking down that milk in a concerning manner as I was scared her face would cave in if she didn't release the vacuum and I bent down to give her a kiss. I expected her to cry. I expected her to give me shit for putting her down for a nap.

"I love you sweetie." I said to her in a very soft, lovely mommy voice.

"Go!" she says.

So I went.

I'm a bit annoyed about the whole thing and yet, I should be happy my kid actually wanted to take a nap - but really! The manners!

There's just no satisfying some people.

Thursday, June 08, 2006

"Big Brother exploiting the mentally ill?"

That's been a headline on a few rag mags and newspapers lately. Big Brother aka Endemol may be selecting housemates who exhibit mental illnesses so that they make better television with their reactions to BB manipulations. I 'm on the fence on this issue but leaning in favor of Endemol.

Big Brother is now in it's seventh year. If you go and audition for a place, you will have watched at least one of the previous series, or read a headline or two. No one ever comes out of BB saying it was a cake walk (an expression I don't understand because walking on cake would be difficult.) It's high stress, close confinement and you are cut off from the world and everyone you love and who loves you. You become a victim of your own paranoia. Your personality traits, your own insecurities are magnified to an extreme - you're bored senseless what else is there to do besides think obsessively about yourself and the thirteen other poor sods you're stuck with?

But are they targeting the mentally ill? Well, in that question is the question: what categorizes a person mentally ill? That's not an easy question to answer, I know, I've been looking into it for the past three days. (I don't recommend you do this - you'll soon be thinking you have a mental illness. When you start breaking down the definition, everyone is mental.) Wikipedia says "The most popular explanations for mental illness, currently, are biological explanations; that is, a person with a mental illness may have a difference in brain structure or function, in neurochemistry, or in genetics."

The thing that I asked when I read the article in 10-16th June issue of Closer (it was only a quid and I wanted to know about the footie wives' flat tum diets) are they really mentally ill? They report Lea has body dismorphia because she's had plastic surgery to increase her breast size to MM, possibly the largest fake boobs in the UK, Nikki once was sectioned for anorexia, Shahbaz was suicidal and Pete has Tourette's Syndrome. This is a large amount of "mentally ill" people to be selected for the BB project. Is it deliberate? And should Endemol not take advantage of them when they are obviously willing to go into the house for the three months?

Well, I don't think they're being irresponsible in their selections. They are choosing big personas, people we as viewers are going to be fascinated by either in revulsion or admiration. To say that they were "targeted "is extreme. They volunteered. They went through the interview processes and were informed what the BB experience was going to be like. They were assessed for mental stability, because as one former BB housemate said "It wouldn't be good for them (Endemol) to have someone kill themselves on TV." But I think it's a matter of exhibition - people are upset at having to see someone who has a mental illness, on TV. They'll become bad role models. Nikki could encourage some girl to not eat, Lea could give someone the idea it's ok to have gigantic breasts, people without Tourette's may think it's ok to shout "wankers" whenever they feel like it. It's ignorance of what is really out there - people who have problems.

We all have problems. We all have issues, it's what makes us human. It keeps us real. No one seems to think Grace's obsessive jealousy is a mental illness, and yet it's an exhibited trait I certainly wouldn't want anyone to think was acceptable. She's unbearably vicious and racist...but that's acceptable compared to Shahbaz's histrionics. There's nothing wrong with his brain, nor is there anything wrong with Lea's or Nikki's. The only one who has a genuine "mental illness" is Pete - and It kills me to say that because by saying someone is mentally ill stigmatizes them, and he is by far the nicest, sweetest most genuine individual you could ever see! The guy is is pure gold, he's dispelling a lot of stereotype and prejudice.

Now, everyone's going on about Sam being paranoid. She thinks people are talking about her behind her back. Well, they are talking about her behind her back - a lot. She's not paranoid, she's intuitive! It's society's incessant need to tag people. We all must have a name, title and index for us to be accepted. There are people who find complete comfort and satisfaction in having the title "depressive" because it validates them, when in all of reality - they are normal. Normal people get depressed too. Normal people often pick up on it when someone is slagging them off behind their backs. Just because you may have had a depressive episode doesn't mean you are mentally ill. If it were like that, everyone in the world would be mentally ill.

There ya go. In summation, BB aren't exploiting the mentally ill, because by definition we are all human and all humans are mentally ill. I'm paranoid this post hasn't come out right...better call the clinic! Prepare the padded room and a syringe of haldol! Strap her down, she bites!

Wednesday, June 07, 2006

Hey, did you know...

Did you know about Project Gutenberg?? It's a website that has a huge catalogue of 18,000 out of copywrite books that you can download for free!! Hooray, free ebooks!! I'm about to scrub up on my classics...

Tuesday, June 06, 2006

Why do they puke when I hold them?

Why do these kids keep throwing up? I don't understand it. I don't throw up. I just tolerate nausea until it goes away, but no, not my kids. They have to throw up. And not only that, they have to wait until nestled comfortably on my lap and barf all down my front. I hate that feeling of, okay wave one is over and I'm covered in sick and here comes heave two and I'll never get her to the toilet in time so I'll just sit here and let her be sick all over me some more. Nice. Helplessness in the stream of sick.

This time Shortie has hand, foot and mouth. I took her and Sassy up to the creche yesterday so I could be in the gym (Sassy was off school for a local holiday - what holiday? I have no idea) and they were fine and dandy. Shortie was a bit tired. I went to the shop, bought some sweethearts candies and when I handed one to Shortie I noticed this huge blister on her finger. Brakes on the stroller and began a complete inspection and I found a few more on her hands, stripped off her shoes and socks and she has a few whoppers on her big toes and one right at the top of her butt crack. She began to gag on the sweetheart because they're quite tart and I had her spit it into my hand where I saw a couple of blisters on her tongue. They all came up in a matter of an hour and a half. The creche staff must not have noticed them, because they never said anything to me about them.

Now, most folks when I tell them (and I've had to tell a fair few now because it's quite contagious) they immediately look horrified and I know they have the image of huge flaming pyres of cows in their heads. But it's not like that - that's foot and mouth disease! What Shortie has is just an annoying thing that happens to kids, like chicken pox. No need to set the kids alight - it's not a new outbreak. Sassy had it when she was about two years old as well, and it was two weeks of being kicked out of nursery - where she caught it in the first place - and there's no scars, no trouble. A mild fever and a sore throat are the worst the symptoms ever get. I wasn't aware that this could affect adults too until I did a bit a of research (to settle an argument because Husband said it was the same as what the animals get - but it's not so there). It is rare in adults, but like all viruses, they're not fussy. So we are very keen on our handwashing right now, everyone and all the time. It'll not help my dishpan hands, but I'll stop it spreading to the whole family.

So, she's a bit listless with intermittent hyperactivity and she barfed up her cornflakes in my lap this morning, but she then wanted a banana right after and was happy to run about and play, so go figure. She'll not be allowed up to the gym until all of her blisters are healed. This put me into a minor panic attack because what am I going to do? I just got my routine set with going to the gym, it's habit now - what if this throws that all to shit? Well, I'm just going to have get used to going at night for the next couple weeks, and have the Hubs watch the girls for me. I'll have to come up with some fun things for Shortie to do around the house so she's not too bored, because she loves going to the creche; they let her make messes. I'm not the kid of Mum who likes kids who makes messes. I know it's wrong and terribly intolerant of me, I should let them be kids and be messy, but it bugs me. I suppose I could let her do some painting in the garden and then I can hose off any mess into the flower beds, and I could let her play with dough...not that we'll cook with any of it, of course. And there's always the sand box and paddling pool with her wee wooden sailboats. Aw heck, it'll be will. Won't it?

*** My favourite summer sandals just broke! I've had them for nine years and I love them and they dammit broke! Now i have to buy new sandals and there's no Filene's Basement here for me to buy excellent quality at a cheap price shoes! I could go to TK Maxx (Yeah, I know, TJ in the USA why change it for the UK?? Stupid I think.) (wow, that all rhymed) but it's so hit or miss there.

*** Now that I've gone all green and recycle all of our paper, I never have a newspaper to hand to kill wasps that fly in the house. I'll have to buy a plastic bug swatter and how green is that?

Thursday, June 01, 2006

What do you mean it's bedtime?

It's starting already. The summertime insomnia. I just can't get my body to understand and accept that this place is different from home. Back on Cape Cod, I was used to the morning starting about half five in the morning and sunset was around eight at night. We were told to be home when the streetlights came on.

Cape Cod is on a parallel with Spain, where Scotland is with Alaska. So, although we have official sunset at about quarter to ten at night, it's a very long dusk, and it's only dark for a few hours, before the dawn starts to show and sunrise comes again at half four. Back home it's sunset just after eight and sunrise after five. My body clock is still set to Cape Cod time. I look out the window and think, oh it's still early. Husband is off to bed and wondering why I'm so awake - because to me it's not time for sleep, I've not had the sunset yet to trigger me to wind down for sleep. Same goes that I'm waking up at three in the morning, seeing bright morning light and thinking, great, time to get up! The birds start their dawn chorus from three in the morning. Let me just say, although I love most animals, I really dislike those birds. They used to tell me it was time to wake up, now they're waking me up four hours early. I've always been a morning person, but not that much .

I've lived here for almost 11 years, and it's the one thing I can't adjust to. I've got the culture aspects down, the manners and even gotten used to the food*, but my body just cannot understand and accept the difference of night and day. It screws me up every summer, I sleep far too much in the winter, can't understand why I go to work (when I was working) in the dark and get out and it's still dark - no one should suffer with only five hours of daylight in wintertime, it's cruel. It goes someway to explain why folks here have such a dour outlook sometimes. Excellent expression "their faces are tripping them up," is quite applicable.

I keep thinking it should be an easy matter, that the body will adjust to the hours, as opposed to the amount of sunlight available. That if I wake up at seven in the morning, after fifteen hours, I should be sleepy and think about going to bed, but I don't work that way. I imagine if I ever moved further north, where it's daylight all summer, I'd never sleep. Last summer, through parts of July and August I was up until two in the morning just wasting time in chat rooms because I couldn't sleep and didn't want to have the TV on and risk wake everyone else.

I'm not looking forward to this happening again, and yet it already has. I'm forcing myself to bed at about eleven but not falling asleep easily, and I wake several times a night. I thought all this exercise was supposed to help me sleep better, but no amount of exercise can overcome my internal clock; or as i now call it, the infernal clock.

I think it needs a better name. Like Stan.

*(which is mostly pork and chicken. It's the least expensive of the meats available and highly promoted. Vegetables are not as plentiful and are very expensive as compared to the USA - a healthy diet is hard to attain due to it's cost. The UK needs to get it's farming under it's own control and out of Europe. Most produce is imported. For a country that has miles and miles of farmland, most of it used as subsidized land for European crop, and around here it's rapeseed which is turned into canola oil. I dare you try and find one bottle of canola oil anywhere in the grocery stores here. Sometimes they seem to take five steps backwards and complain about how they're never going anywhere.)