Wednesday, November 26, 2008

Apology (of sorts)

I have been neglecting my poor blog this past month.  There’s been multiple reasons for this.  My life has had a lot of changes lately, and I’ve been taking some time to let the dust settle and get back into my groove.  The past couple of weeks I’ve had the opportunity to meet up with some friends that I haven’t seen in a couple of years.  These meetings have really opened my eyes to how much I’ve “grown” over the last two/three years.  3 years ago I had no self-esteem, there were long periods of time were I even hated myself.  Such a different person from who I am now.  I surrounded myself with people who were not really good for me.  We were all struggling together, but rather than trying to give each other emotional support we beat each other down more.

I have always been a relatively strong person, I just didn’t know it.  I’ve had depression for a large chunk of my life, I first became aware of it when I was 12.  I’ve never taken any medication to combat this but instead I realized that we do have some control over our emotions, we can influence the way that we react and deal with the things that life throws at us.

These days I am happy with my life and the path that I have chosen to take, even with the recent changes in it.  I am extremely happy that I moved to Portland, as it is now home to me, and has really helped me to finally feel somewhat settled.  Before moving here, I was looking for something new every year, be it my job, the country I lived in or any number of things.

I will be back to this blog soon, in the meantime check back occasionally, I’ll be posting here and there.

Monday, November 24, 2008


 While I am doing my writing class, I am sorry, but you are stuck with reading some of my assignments :)

I have a candle lit near my computer, this one was a birthday gift from a friend, called tense lady formula, I must have been stressed out that time of year, for he must have felt I needed some help to unwind, there's not much of it left. Its warm flickering light distracts my eye from the screen, grabbing my attention. There must be a draft in my room as it bounces around casting shadows on the white walls and curtains, sharing its warm yellow glow with them. As the wax starts to melt I can smell the gentle lavender fragrance, it's subtle, but if I breathe in I notice it. Lavender reminds me of my mother's garden back home, there is so much lavender growing there, it almost takes over. In a while the wax will start to drip down the sides of the candle, as if it's trying to escape, each droplet running over the previous in an attempt to get away, but there is no where for it to go other than to the base of the votive holder, where the flame will catch up to it eventually.

Wednesday, November 19, 2008

The room where I write

I have been lost for things to write on my blog lately. Partly due to the fact that I just began a writing class and it would seem I have an internal quota on the number of words I can write in a day or week. Kind of like the theory that women need to speak 'x' number of words within a day to be 'happy'. I am pretty confident it was a man that came up with that theory... but whatever.

So in the lack of things to write about, you get to see one of my writing class assignments... its not supposed to be good... its free writing...

The room where I write

It’s always dark in this room. I have no ceiling lights, just lamps spread out around the room, which give off a warm yellow glow. I like to light candles this time of year as they make the room seem warmer, and add to the glow of the artificial light. My white couches are starting to look really sad, they need new cushions, or to be restuffed. They’ve been used a lot over the past 8 years. I got them from a friend when I first moved into my own apartment. One of them even has a petrol stain on the cover from one of my moves when it was dropped in a puddle. They are well used, but unfortunately not well loved.

The TV takes up far too much of the room, left over from a broken relationship. I’d wanted a flat screen, but he won out in the discussion, no I have a ridiculous TV eating up the space of my room. The carpet is a mess, my cats leave fluff all over it as they run around playing tag, jumping over each other and anything else that gets in the way.

Tuesday, November 11, 2008

Gay Marriage - What's the big deal?

This Saturday, November 15th 10:30am PST/1:30pm EST a Protest is being held across the USA against Prop 8.

I have to admit, I was excited last week when Obama was elected. This was closely followed by disappointment as the ballot results came in:

Arizona: Ban on Gay Marriage
Arkansas: Ban on Gay Couple adopting children
California: Ban on Gay Marriage
Florida: Ban on Gay Marriage

Each on of these bans went through.

I really struggle to understand why the majority of people believe that gay marriage and gay adoption is wrong. Some of the arguments that I have heard in support of the bans include how marriage is sacred (then why do we allow divorce?), children have the right to a loving mother and father (yet many children are abused by straight parents).

Really, want impact does it have on a person if a gay couple, who love each other get married. Does it really matter? Why shouldn’t two people that love each other be able to be together, and be able to commit to each other in the same way that a straight person can. Why should your sexual orientation affect your rights as a human?

It is a common misconception is that GLBT folks choose “the gay lifestyle”. The only choice involved is the choice to be honest with yourself, and open with others, and to come to terms with all that you are, and to integrate that into your life. Just as straight people do not choose who they fall in love with, neither do gay people. Sure there’s a choice on whether you spend your life with that person, but you don’t choose who you are in love with.

Please take time on Saturday and attend the protest in your area, see here for more information about the Protest Prop 8, I’ll be at the Portland one.

Monday, November 10, 2008

Refugees Unite

Bloggers Unite
I haven’t written for a couple of weeks. I’ve had some things going on in my personal life, and I need to focus on myself for a bit. However my past 2 weeks pale to insignificance compared to what has happened in the lives of some many other people. Of course, experiences are relative, but still I count myself lucky for the relatively easy life I have been given.

Today is November 10th, today many bloggers are uniting to write about refugees, with the hoping of increasing awareness. The Bloggers Unite initiative was designed to harness expression in support of human rights and issues in need of highlight. Refugees United is the only online, highly secure and anonymous possibility of refugees to reconnect with family.

Today I got up out of bed, after hitting the alarm clocks snooze button 3 times, I just wasn’t quite ready to crawl out of my nice warm bed. I took a hot shower, got dressed, fed my cats and headed out the door to work. Once at work I said my cheery good mornings to the people at the desks I pass on the way to my own. I had a short banter with my co-worker then sat down to do my work. I received a short message from my mum. Today was a “normal” day.

I can’t even begin to imagine how I would react if I was suddenly picked up from my home in the early hours of the morning and taken captive. I can’t imagine what it would be like to have to leave my life behind because of my safety. I have moved several times not only to new cities but to new countries, but it was always a choice. I never had to make the move. I have left my family behind in Europe, but I know they are safe and well. I talk to them multiple times a week. I can not even begin to imagine living a life where I have no idea where my brother is. I may not see him often, but I know he’s well, and safe. We chat a couple of times a week. If I was unable to reach him, I would not sleep or rest until I knew he was safe.

To have to run to a country, with no job, no friends, unable to speak the language and make myself understood would be hard enough, and then to add to that the knowledge that I may never see family and friends again would be so much to bear.

I can not even begin to imagine life as a refugee. Yet, many people live this life. They leave family behind, they are taken captive, they end up in countries and cultures they know nothing about and have to try and make a life for themselves. They are often met with prejudice and distrust from the locals in the areas they move to.

“The ongoing problem of people torn from their homes is something that should, and must, concern us all, in order to find a common solution and bring back life and dignity to the millions suffering.” Bloggers Unite

I read several refugees stories this morning, I didn't want to just copy and paste, but if you'd like to find out more you can go to:
Red Cross
Refugees International

Tuesday, November 4, 2008

White House Breakfast

Dick Cheney and George W. Bush were having breakfast at the White House.

The attractive young waitress asked Mr. Cheney what he would like, and he replied, 'I'd like a bowl of oatmeal and some fruit.'

'And what can I get for you, Mr. President?' George W. looked up from his menu and replied with his trademark wink and slight grin, 'How about a quickie this morning?'

'Why, Mr. President!' the waitress exclaimed 'How rude! You're starting to act like President Clinton,' and then she stormed away.

Cheney leaned over to Bush and whispered . . . 'It's pronounced 'quiche'.'

Friday, October 24, 2008

This is all I got...

Two bits of tarmac sitting in a bar.
A green bit of tarmac comes in.
One says, don't go near him, he a cyclepath.

Tuesday, October 21, 2008

I am feeling quite lousy today. I had my hair dyed a couple of shades more red on Friday, and I love it. I therefore bought some new shampoo, so that the colour might last a little longer, and guess what... the sensitive little flower that I am, is allergic to it. I felt all cute with my new hair... and now... now my face and neck is all blotchy and itchy.

Due to the fact that I already have other allergies, my medication is not sufficient to cover it all and I am sneezing and coughing a lot again. Needless to say I am feeling a little sorry for myself, in fact so much so that after lunch I am probably going to head home as I have left my inhaler there anyway. Stupid allergies. I don't know when I became so sensitive to stuff. Its Dove too, so you'd think it would be more gentle... I guess not.

Well, that does mean that I may actually be able to decorate the bra today... I'll post pictures when I do.

Monday, October 20, 2008

Fumbling is Bad

So most of this past weekend was spent with the wbf. Friday night we went out and had a scrumptious dinner with some friends. Saturday, we spent the day being lazy and watching college football. The wbf is a college football junkie. Me, well not so much, for one thing it doesn’t count as football to me. But been as I love him, I am trying to get more into it, and he is also encouraging me to do so. One way that I am getting into it is through the ESPN College Pick’em thingie. I did pretty good last week, but this week not so much, I think I may start to actually have to read a little bit about the teams. I did however watch more of the games with him this weekend than I have done for a while.

This may have been because I was too tired to be doing much of anything else, but we won’t be telling the wbf that, as far as he knows, I just wanted to watch it …

I actually had fun watching the games, which might actually be the strangest thing of all. We watched the Ohio State game, and I actually learnt some things, I already knew that fumbling is bad, but now I know a little bit more about being down… knees and elbows…and footballs, I did say a little bit… I also learnt where brutus stands throughout most of the game, so was able to spot him a couple of times before the wbf did (that is how he keeps me interested, we play spot the mascot)

Well between now and next Saturday I am going to try to learn some more.

Thursday, October 16, 2008

Decorate a Bra - For the Cure

I was on my EC dropping route this morning and came across this interesting post.

"I could not let this month go by without bringing to light that it is breast cancer awareness month. There is a wealth of information on the National Breat Cancer Awareness they can guide you to treatment centers near you, calendar of events, and new studies and findings. I encourage every one to seek knowledge and pass this knowledge on. Susan G Komen for the cure is now committed to immediate patient help with an unprecedented $100 Million. Did you know that breast cancer is one of the top 5 leading causes of death in women?

In light of the Halloween spirit, I'd like to invite every one to participate in decorating bra-athon. I'd like each of you to grab a bra and decorate it, it can reflect your personality, your feelings about breast cancer, your creative side, heck it can reflect anything. After you've decorated the heck out of that bra, I'd like you to post it in your site, blog about it and link back to me." for more head over to Mommying On The Fly.

So can you guess what I am going to be doing this evening? I am going to be decorating a bra... obviously, I mean how else would you spend a Thursday evening. To participate please head over to Mommying On The Fly and sign up.

So you can look forward to seeing my decorated bra here soon.

Tuesday, October 14, 2008

A few of my favourite things.

Today is the wbf’s birthday. I find it quite amusing that his birthday falls on a full moon. Perhaps he’ll turn into a werewolf or something. Now that would give me something to write about – should I survive it of course. Actually, I don’t think it would surprise me all that much, he does appear to be quite grumpy as I would imagine a werewolf would be sometimes.

Well, anyway, as its his birthday today, the two of us celebrated last night. He has to work late today. I baked him some scrummy chocolate chip cookies (his favourite), made dinner, hung some balloons up around the apartment and got us a bottle of champagne to share. We then watched a silly movie – Kenucky Fried Movie. He was adamant that I wouldn’t like it, as he is with all of his “favourite” movies. We he was wrong, I thought it was actually quite funny – although perhaps the champagne helped. Well anyway, I think I made a break through last night. I realized that perhaps he doesn’t want me to like his “favourite” movies, perhaps that somehow taints them. Sort of like when you find out your parents like your “favourite” band, or “favourite” shirt, somehow it’s no longer your “favourite”, in fact somehow you never listen to that band, or wear that shirt again.

Friday, October 10, 2008

Connecticut judges allow same-sex marriage

I had to write 2 posts today now that I know this.

This is great news, I am so happy that this is a possibibilty in one more state :)

Read more here

As I've mentioned in previous posted, I take the Portland light rail to work (a.k.a the MAX). Most of the time it is a fairly uneventful trip, I generally nap, read or knit and zone out for the 20 mins it takes. Normally the other passengers are doing the same thing.

I was riding at a different time one day this week, so it wasn't the usual commuter crowd.

There was a small group, obviously friends, talking about there jobs and what they wanted to do. At least that is how the conversation began. One was talking about working in retail and the upsides and downsides. Another then piped up to say "I'd like to get paid for getting laid" hmmm. Interesting. Now please note, this is a conversation they are having in public, and not quietly either. I honestly was trying not to listen, but I was about as successful in that as a fish surviving in a desert.

They then went on to talk about how many crappy movies and parts he'd have to take part in before he'd actually be able to get laid as a porn star. Then they continued to talk about how nasty the female porn stars are, how it would be like "hot dog in the grand canyon".

I mean seriously, do they not care who was around them listening. I mean there could have been small children in the vincinity...

I mean I know we all have the right to say what we want when we want, but perhaps there should be some kind of volume control. I mean, I didn't really want to hear about all this in the graphic detail they were sharing.

Although, it did give me something to write about.

Wednesday, October 8, 2008

Ah Choo

I am quite happy today. I finally got my new laptop battery, so I am back being friends with my laptop, at least I will be once I re image it. And then I hope to be back to my normal rate of blogging.

I've been off work today. I have really bad allergies, in fact over the past year, the only time I have not had allergy symptoms was during July and August. So today I went back to the docs, to try and figure something out. So now I am off Zyrtec and now taking Allegra. I've been using Zyrtec since I was about 10. So I am curious if Allegra is any different. I also have a couple of lovely nasal sprays to check out. One which is only an antihistamine the other has steroids, but also is supposed to help my eyes. Going to try the antihistamine one first, hopefully it works.

You wouldn't believe how many tissues I have been going through. I have been known to go through a whole large box in a day. I have to get the lotion ones otherwise my nose is super sore.

I am going to be so happy if this works. If not, I am going to try the shots. I am not really a huge fan of shots, and its quite a time commitment to be begin with, but I am willing to give everything a shot (no pun intended).

So that pretty much has been the excitement of the day. Fun life I have isn't it.

So tomorrow I am back at work, sneezing or no sneezing.

Tuesday, October 7, 2008


While trying to do anything but work today, I came across this Mail Goggles

Seriously… what else is google going to start doing for us. Does it realize that it’s a corporation and not our best friend. Friends are there to prevent us from drunk dialing our ex’s or latest crush, they are there to advise us not to send that message, to confiscate our phones when needed. I realize that friends are not always right there when we write that drunken email. But you know what, they are there the next day when we realize what we’ve done, they are there to give us support to deal with the repercussions and to laugh with us about the whole thing.

I think it’s a little silly that google provides us with “Mail Goggles”. I mean don’t get me wrong, if you really have no will power when inebriated or otherwise and need a piece of technology to prevent you from doing something you’d later regret, and you aren’t able to cope with the consequences of making a mistake, then well, I guess this is the thing for you, but what are you going to do when google isn’t there for you…?

Thursday, October 2, 2008

This Love

Due to my laptop frustrations I have been less motivated to write. But here I am, again with very little clue what to write. It might have been an idea for me to write down some ideas on paper even when I was not inclined to be typing, but since when did I do what was useful.

Also, since getting back with the wbf, my mind has been quite busy. Things are going really well, and I think we can make it work. It is hard however to put July behind me. I know in order to make this relationship work (which I really want to do), I have to move on from the heartbreak he caused me in July. It is of course easier said than done. But talk through it, and when I start to have some doubts, he listens and reassures me.

We'll see what the future brings, right now, I am just trying to enjoy each day and not worry too much what the future may bring.

I am a hopeless romantic, and I know I won't be giving up on it any time soon. He makes me a very happy lady (most of the time). I also know that things worth having are worth working for.b

Wednesday, October 1, 2008

100th Post

Well, I did have another post written for today, but I have just realised that this is my 100th post, so I am changing it.

You know I never really thought of myself as a personal blogger, but that is just what I am - thanks to Relax Max, who encouraged me to start this blog.

I would never have thought that I would like writting about myself and my life as much as I do. I am pretty sure that I enjoy writing about me, more than people enjoy reading about me, but there could be more oddballs out there than I would care to believe.

I have met some great people through blogging, and I'm sure I am going to meet many more.

Woo hoo - I made it to 100!

Monday, September 29, 2008


So I am now more than half way through my Monday. I had quite a pleasant weekend, I got some me time (always important), and saw quite a few friends too. However, now its Monday, and my laptop is on the blink again.

Looks like I am going to have to get a re-image. Apparently I am not authorised to shut my own laptop down. Seems quite odd to me, doesn't it realise i can just remove it's power. Which is quite easy, been as I am still waiting on its new battery. Back in May my laptop battery went dead. I ordered a new one. However, would you believe that the factory had a fire, and there was a huge wait list for batteries. One, aparently was shipped out, but I never received it, so I am still waiting on the second ordered one to get to me.

In the meantime, my laptop is not so portable as it could be as everywhere I go, I need to carry around the power cable thing. It's all quite anoying. Then to top it off, I can no longer shut it off, and I get a series of messages that things can not be found everytime I log on.

So if it is truely dead, and there's nothing that can be done, where does it end up? I know that parts can be recycled and put to other uses, but I imagine that unfortunately most of it probably ends up in a landfill, which I find quite frustrating. I found this website that had some good ideas, Ideal bite, including laptop recycling companies.

Friday, September 26, 2008

National Park(ing) Day

Last friday was National Park(ing) Day. The premise of this is promote more parking within cities. Portland has more than 34 acres of space dedicated to metered parking, the opportunity last Friday was taken to claim back some of this space for the day and turn it into parks.

I went to go check some of it out. It was fun.

Thursday, September 25, 2008

Seasons are a changing

I was waiting for the shuttle at work and took this picture, I can hardly believe its autumn already.

Autumn here is really pretty, its much nicer when the sky is blue though, unlike today.

Wednesday, September 24, 2008

The Sticky Note Experiment

I saw this over at freakyfrugalite and I just had to share it.

I love sticky note, I have so many of them, I just can't help it, there's something about the bright colours, and they way they just, well stick... that makes me happy.

Tuesday, September 23, 2008

Weather With You

I am much happier today, my laptop is now functioning as it should be. Yippeee! Although I am happier, I am not feeling well today. I feel as if I have a hangover, but I haven't had anything to drink since Saturday, so it can't be that, and I had plenty of sleep last night, so its not lack of sleep either.

I have been reading a couple of blogs the past few days from people who have either been impacted by Hurricane Ike. This is the first hurricane that I've really been anywhere close too. As mentioned in an earlier post I was in Austin Texas the week that Ike was making its way inland. I left of course before Ike hit Texas. As I was checking out of my hotel, there were several families trying to get checked into the hotel. Austin was an evacuation point, so many people were leaving there homes in Houston to go to Austin. I was pleased to be giving my room up to someone who needed it.

Well since then I have been paying attention to what has happened since. Normally I don't really follow the news, I find it too depressing and normally too biased. This really is no exception, as I don't get my information from the news, but through real people (journalists in my mind are not real people). I understand that there is still some bias there, as we all tell stories from our own point of view, but to me its a different type of bias, its not as pre-calculated and not meant to manipulate the publics opinion on a mass scale.

Growing up in the UK we don't really worry about severe weather such as hurricanes or tornados nor do we worry about earthquakes. Even flooding normally happens over long periods of time, we have occasionally had flash floods in certain areas, but nothing the extent that you see in other parts of the world. Even in Oregon, there's not really that much to be worried about, well other than the volcano's exploding of course, that would give me cause for concern.

When I was back in the UK last month there was very little sunshine. There was lots of grey clouds however. In fact there's been so much rain that the local resivor was overflowing. I haven't seen the resivor overflow like that before, and seemingly the weekend after I left, it rained even more, and instead of trickling over the side, it was gushing. My mum also took me to another spot, and the water level had risen about 6ft in 2 months. In fact the water had risen so much that a sign warning about deep water, and staying off the wall was surrounded by water, and the said wall, was 6 ft under.

The opposite weather has been showing itself in Oregon with forest fires here there and everywhere, also while I was gone, 2 houses in my neighbourhood had fires.
It's all a bit of a mess.

Monday, September 22, 2008


I didn't post anything this weekend as my laptop is acting up. It's going so slow, and most of the time won't even load the page I want. I am feeling very frustrated. Oh well...

My weekend was fun, had a get together with some friends on Saturday, so saturday morning was spent getting the house cleaned up. People started showing up at my place at about 6:30, and we hung out there for a while, before heading out into Portland. We did a mini pub-crawl, it was fun, but I drank a little too much.

I have this thing when I am drunk, and I get the urge to take either a bath or shower. It's a sure sign that I've had too much. Well, this saturday fit the bill. I get home, and while brushing my teeth I can't help but think about how nice a shower would be. So I take a drunken shower. I have no clue what causes this urge, but it happens.

Sunday, was very lazy, laid in bed most of the day, watched a couple of movies, and that was about it.

Unfortunately, with this being a Monday I am back at work, and being driven crazy by my slow and horrid laptop. I'd throw it out of the window except then I wouldn't even be able to pretend to do any work. I had one of the IT guys out to take a look at it, he changed a few settings, but of course that hasn't made much difference, other than now I can't even check my bank balance via online banking. Facebook won't function at all - much to my dismay, as I am a facebook addict. I am sure in the grand scheme of things, non of this really matters, but it does matter to me right now.
... and now I have just seen what my "quote of the day" is... how appropriate, even if it is from one of my least favourite people.

Friday, September 19, 2008

Foto Friday

I love butterflies, I saw many on my trip back home, but my mums dog scared most of them away before I was able to get a shot. I finally manged to get one.

Thursday, September 18, 2008


I often find it odd that no matter how long a person is gone on vacation, it really takes no time at all to get back in the “swing” of things. I was out of the office for a month, between vacation and the attempted conference in Austin. Today is now my 4th day in the office, and my vacation feels like a long long time ago. It’s not that work is horrible. It really isn’t, I love what I do.

In addition, I am hyper today, I woke up this way. Of course I am sure the coffee I enjoyed this morning hasn’t helped much, I think I need to go work out or something. I haven’t actually worked out in forever though, so I’m sure after 5 mins I’d be beat – which I guess would achieve my goal.

Have I mentioned yet that I am going to New Zealand for Christmas? I am very excited, I haven’t been there since I was backpacking in 2001. My cousin had a baby last year, and another this year, so myself, mum, dad and brother are going to be out there for Chrimbo. I have yet to book my flights though, they are so darn expensive, it costs twice as much to fly from Portland to New Zealand as it does to fly from Portland to England, and it only takes 2 hours more… it make no sense to me what so ever, and it very frustrating, but I am just going to have to suck it up and pay a ridiculous amount of money to be cramped up and tired. However, it will be worth it, I haven’t seen that part of the family in such a long time, and it will be nice to see the first of our new generation.
New Zealand is such a beautiful country, and I am very excited to be going back there.  The last time I was there, I did and saw so much... sky dived, bungy jumped, white water rafted, kayaked, glacier hiked.  This time I don't think it will be quite as busy, for one thing I won't be there for as long, and for another I won't be touring around as much.

Thats the other thing, as soon as I get back from one vacation, I seem to be looking forward to the next.  :)

Wednesday, September 17, 2008

Kindred Spirits

So I admit, I wasn’t too great at posting much about my trip back to England while I was gone. I believe I did get one or two posts up but that was it. To be honest, there wasn’t really a whole lot to write about, lots of time was spent with family and friends reminiscing. However some great stories were recounted.

My friend Mary and I, who’ve been friends since I was 9, had a great time retelling stories from our childhood. Mary and I were introduced by one of the teachers at school. Mary was a year below me, we were both sort of misfits. I would wander around the school yard looking at the flowers etc and daydreaming. Mary would time herself running back and forth across the playground with her new digital watch. The teacher was right to introduce us, we hit it off right away and have been really good friends ever since. Due to her parents jobs Mary moved around a lot. So after a few years of us being inseparable she moved to another town, not that far away, but far enough (by English standards), for us to only see each other every couple of months. Then of course she moved again, and we saw each other less. In fact in the past 10 years, we’ve seen each other twice. But each time we get together, its like we just saw each other the day before.

Some of the things we did and believed as kids is hilarious now looking back. We had so much hope and determination, we believed that we could save all the animals in the world, we even wrote a book (at the age of 10) on how to save the environment. We developed our own code and wrote “secret” letters to each other. We wrote plays and made up silly games, all the stuff that kids are supposed to do, right. We got up to so much mischief too, and are still amazed that my mum was always aware of what we were up to, and what trouble we’d caused.

For some reason we got to talking about us wearing swimming costumes under our school uniform on the days we had swim class. I remember it always being a right pain, as I had to take off all my clothes when I needed to go pee, Mary made the same comment. Then my other friend, who was also there having dinner with us, asked why we did that… we looked at her as if to say, well what else were we supposed to do. April then said… well you could just push the gusset to one side… so at 29 years of age, I have now learnt that you don’t have to remove a swim suit to go pee. You have no idea how often I have thought to myself, while wearing a wet swim suit that there has to be an easier way, seemingly Mary was the same way... kindred spririts!

Tuesday, September 16, 2008

Love Update

I wrote back in July about Ryan breaking up with me. Since then Ryan and I continued to live together with the plan of moving out once I was back from my UK trip. Over the course of the past few weeks, beginning 2 weeks before I left for the UK, Ryan and I have been having conversations about getting back together. There were many things to be discussed, and I didn’t want to make a decision right away, after all, this was not the first time that we’d been on this bridge.

Well, after many conversations, and deep discussion, and after almost a month apart, we have decided to give it another shot. I am very happy about this. He is a great guy, and I think we are great together. I am of course going back into this with caution however, just in case he gets spooked again. We’ve dug deep into the reason that caused his flight, and have agreed that if we reach that point again, we’ll fight to stay together before we just give up. Of course only time will tell. In the meantime, we are just enjoying our relationship day by day, and we’ll see where it goes.

I just figured I owed you all an update.

Monday, September 15, 2008

One Night in Austin

Hello and good morning!

I am now as far as I know back to my normal routine. Today is my first day in the office at work in a month… I am not sure how I’ll get through the day, it's going to be a little rough.

The past month I have been back home to the North East of England visiting my family and friends. I had such a great trip, normally when I go back I only really see my family, this time I got to see friends too, some of whom I haven’t seen in about 10 years or more. I also was able to see some of the UK I haven’t seen before, as well as some of my old haunts.

Last week, I was supposed to be at a conference in Austin. The conference is called Out and Equal Workplace Summit. The purpose of this conference is to bring together people from different companies, to share best practices for creating a safe and equal work environment, with the focus on gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgender. Unfortunately as Hurricane Ike was headed to Texas, I was only there for one night. The company I work for made a decision to send us all back home to our families and far away from the path of Hurricane Ike.

I’d caught the early flight from Portland to Austin, which had required me getting out of bed at 12:30am Austin time. By the time we knew we were going home it was about 10:30pm. We were to call emergency travel to get our flights changed. I suggested, been as we only had one night left, that we meet at the bar in the hotel then head out to Austin for one night, and see the city. So, by 11:30 we were headed to 6th Street. We picked a pub, went in, had a drink and a dance, then headed to the next bar, this time down on 4th Street. It was a really cool place, of course I don’t know what it was called. The dance floor was outside, and the band was fantastic. We were then getting a little peckish, so headed to a pizza stand, grabbed a slice of pizza and headed to our final bar of the night. It was a whirlwind pub crawl, but at least we got to see some of Austin. By the time I got to bed, it was about 3am, my alarm was set for 6am, as there was an employee meeting at 7am. I was sharing a room, so we both needed time to get ready.

Normally, I am quite a morning person, Thursday was an exception, the alarm went off, and I felt like throwing it across the room, I didn’t even feel like I’d been asleep. I however dragged myself up out of bed, took a shower, brushed my teeth, dried my hair and got dressed, all with my eyes still closed. Once ready we headed to the meeting, and received our instructions for the day and shared our flight info. It was then, thankfully breakfast time, and then we headed off to our company booth. I normally attend workshops at this summit, but I couldn’t face sitting down, paying attention for 90mins, I most likely would have fallen asleep. Instead I worked the booth, chatting, mingling and networking with people. It was actually quite fun.

Our flight left in the afternoon, so around 3pm we made our way to the airport, and our way home to Portland. Our connection, was via Phoenix… where apparently there were some cross winds, so the airport was closed for 1hour… this of course happened as we were scheduled to land, so instead of landing, we circled around for an hour or so, finally snagging a landing time once the airport was re-opened. We then had a 5 min dash across the airport to make our connection, which thankfully we did. By the time I got home it was about 2:30am Austin time… it was sleep deprived couple of days and I was thankful to be able to go to sleep in my own bed, and not have to get up early in the morning. I slept like a baby.

Tuesday, September 9, 2008


I just wanted to say a quick thanks to my guest bloggers:

You all did a great job, I certainly enjoyed reading the posts.

To my readers... I'll be posting a more lengthy post soon, but I am heading out of town again tomorrow and need to get prepared.

Tuesday, September 2, 2008

Across the miles

Caroline has been back in England now for about two weeks, making contact with people she knew years ago. I myself wrote recently about moving around from place to place, and the effect that had on keeping in touch with friends. It made me wonder about how we do make friends and then keep in touch.

Childhood friends, if you don't live nearby, for the most part seem to change as we all do and then lose touch. Does that happen if you don't move? Do you then change in similar ways? I've heard of people whose friends date back to the first day at school, but in my experience, moving means that we change in different directions. I've made friends, good friends, as an adult, but even when keeping in touch, they move off in different directions. Not all, it must be said. I do have friends dating back many years but often not the people I thought were "best friends". Then again there are others who barely keep in touch, but when you do meet up it's as though you had never been apart.

I knew as soon as I met one person that, in spite of quite an age gap, we would like each other and 15 years later we are still great friends. Now that we only occasionally see each other face to face, we chat online or make Skype calls every few days. What is that connection? Will we be able to keep that bond even after I move away from the area, as I will no doubt. She won't move, she never has - we are so very different in many ways and yet such good friends. Would we have made that connection if we had first met online?

And what is exercising my mind today is whether we can keep friends via the internet just as easily as if we were close by. Even more, can we make real friends over the internet? I know of at least one couple who have successfully developed a lasting relationship after they first met on a forum. But how? I've always believed in a sort of "chemistry" that occurs when you meet as it did when I met that colleague. Is there an equivalent chemistry that can be sensed online in a different way? Do we even have the same persona online as we do in real life?

I don't know the answers but I have found that, after a time, I do feel I have formed an idea of what people are like through chat, emails, blogs. Or am I being totally naive?

Thursday, August 28, 2008

Tales of the Northeast: There be Geordies here!

No, not the Northeast USA. No Geordies there. Only New Yorkers. Vermonters. Kennedys.

The Northeast of England, thank you very much. A very special lot, actually.

In my vast studies of the species, I have discovered that not everyone in England pines to be called a Geordie. While I myself would consider it an honor, some take offense when mistaken for a Geordie, especially by the London Bobbies when one is intoxicated. Here is a story I read (but didn't understand a word - perhaps YOU will):

Many years ago, a Boro-lad I know, got involved in a fracas with the local constabulary whilst visiting London. Safe at home in the Boro with some decent beer betwaddling his faculties, the story may well have been embellished somewhat but he reckons the Cockney Bobbies addressed him rather unkindly along the lines of 'you expletive Geordie expletive', 'you expletive Geordie expletive', and, even, 'You expletive Geordie expletive!'. (That last one was a bit much I think!) Finally he could stand it no more and he screamed at his tormentors. “Get me a expletive map and I’ll show you I’m not a expletive Geordie!”

I'm guessing that means Geordies only come from a very particular part of England. So that story may be funny if you happen to be English. I'm not.

The name Geordie is a diminutive of George (referring to "George" as used in Scotland, North Durham and Northumberland.) Something to do with the 1715 Jacobite rebellion, in which the residents of Newcastle remained loyal to George I and were thenceforth known as Geordies. ::Yawn::

Here I get into the history much deeper than even Caroline would care to know, and so I will stop. I only wrote this to give me a chance to say that there is one particular Geordie whom I think is really cool. So.

Monday, August 25, 2008

The Weekend

Since I last wrote I have been down to Wolverhampton to visit on of my friends and her boyfriend. They are so happy and in love together it is lovely. We had a lot of fun. I arrived there on Friday and stayed till Sunday lunchtime. I took the train down. Of course typical Caroline fashion, it didn't go quite as planned. I was planning on listening to some tunes while reading a book all the way down.

As I waited at Durham train station, a guy came and sat next to me, and of course wanted to converse. He kept asking questions to keep the conversation going. as the train pulled in, he suggested if there were two seats together that we should sit next to each other. It seems I was never taught how to say the word with 2 letters, beginning with N and ending in O. So the first part of the trip was not quite as planned. It wasn't horrible either though, although it seems since I have left the NE, that there's a lot of mumbling geordie that I don't understand, and it seems to be every word that he said... oh well. He got off at York and I was able to enjoy the rest of the journey in peace.

Saturday, we headed to a place called Ludlow, I was unable to take photos as I'd forgotten to charge my camera battery, but my friend's boyfriend's nephew took lots of photos for us, mostly of Ludlow's bins, but oh well. Ludlow is lovely. There's a castle there, which I need to find out more about. Seems that Mary was kept there once King Henry was married to Ann and Elizabeth was born, but I don't know that for sure.

I just went the castle website, and I wish I had gone into the castle now, as it would seem some of my anscestors, once lived there - the De Lacys.... I really need to find out more now. Well not right now, but at some point.

Sunday I took the train back up North, and to my parents house. My dad and I watched Criminal Justice - all 5 episodes, I really enjoyed it. I wonder if I can get the DVD back in the US.

Today, was a low key day. We headed into Corbridge to watch a Roman Gladiator fight. It was fun. Hadrians wall is at Corbridge, so there's a lot of roman stuff in the area. There's nothing quite like watching scantally clad men hitting each other with swords on a wet and windy day :)

Friday, August 22, 2008

Intelligence tests

Guest post by Relax Max

In my travels around the blogosphere it seems to be the thing to do lately to post little tests. Some of them are fun. Some of them are insulting. To me, at least. They are ALWAYS too hard for me and I end up being humiliated. For example, a few days ago I was visiting this blog and they had a link to an intelligence test. I won't embarrass the lady who runs the blog, but I will tell you her initials: A.N.G.E.L.I.K.A.

Anyway, after I took the test, it said the results showed that I was 94% dumb. C'mon! There has to be a more humane way of telling you your score on these things, right?

Little b to the rescue. Little b is a very cute (but verrrry cold - to me at least) South African blogger. But her redeeming quality is that when she posts tests, they are almost always easy. Of course I always steal her stuff, partly because I am a really lazy blogger and partly to simply pay her back for being so cold to me. Also, she rarely visits my own blogs, and doesn't even KNOW Caroline, I don't think, so stealing her stuff is never discovered.

So I am posting a copy of the test that was so easy I only got one wrong. Cool.

(Hit the road, little b, you know you stole this from someone else anyway.)
The one I got wrong was the second from the bottom. Don't tell me that thing on the right doesn't look exactly like a clown.

Here are the obligatory suck-up blog links:
1. My idol Angelika's blog
2. Stern, cold, never comes around to my blog anymore little b's blog
3. Caroline's home phone number

I'm kidding little b. Put that knife down! :)

Wednesday, August 20, 2008

Home Sweet Home (well sort of)

I just got back to my parents house, well I say just, it was about an hour ago but that's just enough by my book.

It's been a fun few days. I arrived on Friday without a hitch, flights we all on time, and although I didn't get any sleep, it was ok. I manged to get a good nights sleep on Friday night, which seems to have kept at bay any jet lag.

I've uploaded the few photo's I've taken so far, its not so many, but its a few.

Saturday, of course I slept in, and missed most of the day, but as its raining lots, I don't think I missed too much. Saturday afternoon, I headed to the first Sunderland game of the season, they were playing Liverpool. I was in the stands with my brother, I enjoyed a beer and a pie (Scrummy), then we watched the game. It was a great match, other than Sunderland losing 1-0 in the 84th min. I took a few photos, so you Americans can see what proper football looks like.

Sunday, myself and my family caught the train down to London. It only takes about 3 hours, I am sure it used to take so much longer when I was a kid, but I am not sure if that is true or not, or if its just my memory playing tricks on me. Once in London, and checked into the hotel, the four of us headed out for lunch before going to the Hay Market to see a show - Brief Encounter. It was great. It was based on the movie from 1945. I would really recommend seeing it, the cast were extremely talented, but I don't want to give too much away.

Monday morning was spent at the embassy sorting out my visa stuff, it also like my flight went without much effort, which was nice. Monday afternoon we went to a pub for lunch (hmmm, I had another pie... and chips), then had a quick wander around the British Museum. In the evening we went to go see We Will Rock You, it was fun.

Tuesday, one of my good friends that I know from Holland flew into London and we met up and shopped. We walked so much. Had lunch in a different pub, this time I went for scampi and chips. I went to Harrods for the first time, the food hall was incredible, I didn't want to leave, but we finally did. In the evening I had plans to meet up with a friend of mine who I've known since I was 6 or 7. We used to get up to so much mischief (but that's another story). I haven't seen her in years, since we were both at university, but as soon as we saw each other it was just like old times, we were giggling and reminissing in no time. The 3 of us went to Soho for dinner, we had very tasty Korean food.

Today wasn't as eventful, I took the train back to my parents, and that's where I am now.

Saturday, August 16, 2008

Straight from the Angry Clown (because I'm lazy)

Go get em tiger!

I'm scared of jealousy and at the moment I'm jealous of all the other great blogs out there but I'm even more scared of failure, failure of blogging I know it doesn't seem important but I have a saying that if you can't be the best why bother? This belief has seen me have a lot of great non-failures in the area of non-success due to non-trying or something like that.

Failure is also very funny and we all can't be the best at what we do (except me).

Some dictionary on the nets describes failure as...

Failure Fail"ure\, n. [From Fail.]1. Cessation of supply, or total defect; a failing; deficiency; as, failure of rain; failure of crops. 2. Omission; nonperformance; as, the failure to keep a promise. 3. Want of success; the state of having failed. 4. Decay, or defect from decay; deterioration; as, the failure of memory or of sight. 5. A becoming insolvent; bankruptcy; suspension of payment; as, failure in business. 6. A failing; a slight fault. [Obs.] --Johnson. Webster's Revised Unabridged Dictionary, © 1996, 1998 MICRA, Inc.

Hmmm interesting somehow I don't think that explains these guys!

Thanks to the sites that I stole these pics from (I'm lazy whatever)

Thursday, August 14, 2008

See you soon

I was hoping to get a chance to write more today, but things are not going and smoothly as I had planned.

So, I am leaving you in the hands of Max, Damian and A. I hope they take good care of you.

I'll be posting pictures, twittering, and hopefully will write the odd post.

Have fun while I am away - I'll miss you.


OK, things are a bit more settled now.

I decided to take a cab to the airport instead of the MAX, been as they are doing work on the tracks, and I have no idea how long it will take.

My stupid blackberry wasn't working this morning, but that seems to have fixed itself now, so that makes me happy.

I am all packed, and am now just tidying up the house before I leave. Its really hot here today, but raining in the UK. The heat is the other reason I decided to take a cab. I didn't really feel like carrying my bags half a mile in this weather, I'd get all hot and sticky.
So watch out Shotley, I'll be there soon :)

Wednesday, August 13, 2008

Still Here

I have not gone yet. You get me for today and tomorrow, and then I leave you in the (capable) hands of Max and Damian. I must be crazy.

Last night we had a team building happy hour. My boss had prepared a few questions and we played a round of 2 truths and lie. I am curious if you can figure mine out:

  1. My Dad has met Nelson Mandela.
  2. I lived in 4 continents over a 3 year period.
  3. I have sky dived.

Do you know which is the lie? No one that I worked with got it right.

One of the questions she asked was, when did you have your first taste of an alcoholic beverage?

One of the guys I work with grew up in the Philippines, when he was 11 he sold cigarettes at the cock fighting ring. After the fight was over, he tasted some beer for the first time. Its always interesting to hear stories like this about people you work with, I would never have guessed that he did that as a child.

I don't really remember the first time I tasted alcohol, but I do remember the first time I was drunk. I was up in Scotland with my friend from high school, we were 15 or 16 at the time. I was drinking Scrumpy Jack. I didn't have that many, 1 or 2 I think (but I could be wrong), but gosh I was trolleyed. We were crossing the street, and I looked down, my legs were going so fast. I thought to myself "this is sweet, when you're drink you don't have to think about anything, your body just takes care of itself". Well the next thing I knew I was lying on the ground, I had well and truely bombed it to the floor. My friend kindly helped me up and guided me to her aunts house. Some creepy guy came up to us at some point in this process, and asked if we needed some help. My friend gave a sharp "NO", I of course was trying to chatter away to this helpful man...

Once in the door, up the stairs and into bed, the room started to spin... and I started to feel a little ill... as I chunted away, my friend became more and more impatient with me, and finally got tired of telling me that the room was not spinning but I was in fact just drunk, so she told me just to shut up and go to sleep... nice friends I have :)

Is she gone yet?

Well shall we begin? Go grab a coffee and get ready for midget wrestling fun, kidding although that would be super cool and all! First I have to thank Caroline for this amazing opportunity to further my career in guest posting, I plan on becoming the best in the world well my street at least yeah take that next door neighbors ... so thanks!

All these memories about my first kiss have flooded back into my head causing a slight headache but all is still good. Don't you miss being a kid? I wish I was a kid again because then I could experience all of that fun and not so fun stuff for the first time again.

The first time you were thrown into a pool and told to swim, the first time you rode a bike without training wheels, the first time you fell off your bike and mom or dad had to kiss it better and it always fixed it! If only life now was that simple and a kiss from someone you loved could fix anything that was wrong.

You may think that they were the best times in your life but the best is yet to come. Everyday you can discover something new and try something new and be a child all over again, travel and eat new things, get married and have kids and just one kiss can still fix all your problems. These are the best things in life and it doesn't get much better then that...except for maybe winning the lottery and midget wrestling !

Tuesday, August 12, 2008

Kiss Me

Do you remember your first kiss?

I remember mine, although I was only about 7 at the time (I was an early starter). My dad’s cousin was getting married, and I was a bridesmaid. I had a peach dress – of course, it was the 80’s you know, and white lace gloves. I got through the day carrying my bouquet with me where ever I went. Smiling for the camera, trying to hide the gap in my teeth.

There was a cute boy there, although of course I don’t remember his name, I think it was Darren or Damen or something like that. He was a couple of years older, but I thought he was the best thing since sliced bread. Darren (that’s what we’ll call him), was/is my dad’s cousin’s cousin.
The two of us were stood outside in the small back yard waiting for the festivities to be over. Eventually my mum came to get me as they were leaving. Darren asked me if he could give me a kiss goodbye. I bashfully said yes and leaned forward. He gave me a quick kiss on the lips. What I remember is the taste of Kia-Ora. Kia-Ora was a popular orange concentrate when I was a kid, not sure if its still around or not, but that is for sure what he had been drinking that day.
So, he kissed me goodbye and I never saw him again. Which is probably a good thing considering he was a relative.
My next kiss happened many years later, I think I was 14 the next time I kissed a boy.

Monday, August 11, 2008

Row row row your boat

I finally had a low key weekend, and am able to begin the week feeling rested, instead of worn out. I've only got 3 days till I leave for the UK. While I am gone I'll be writing a few posts and posting some pictures, but I was wondering if anyone might be interested in writing a guest post or two while I gone. If you are interested in making an apearance, submit your blog below.

I debated giving Max control of my blog while I am gone, but realized that could be disasterous, he may throw another of his crazy parties, and I'd spend forever trying to get the whipped cream off my blog.

This is going to be a real short post, as I should really be working right now, I have a lot to get through before I go, I just want to be on vacation already...

Well with the olympics underway, I got to thinking about a guy in my class at high school - Matthew Wells. Right now he is in Beijing. He rows, he has done since high school. He came in first on Saturday, with a time of 6:26, therefore he has progressed to the semi final, and he's rowing again today. I wish him the best of luck, and hope that he takes home a medal for Britain.

Thursday, August 7, 2008


Last night after work, we stopped by the Hotel Monaco to see a friends photographic art exhibition. His photo's are incredible, and if you are in the area you should go and check it out, his work will be on display I believe until August 31.

Once home I made a scrumy lamb dinner. A person at work raises lambs, and I bought half a lamb from him, last night we ate scrumptious lamb steak and a vegetable medley. The vegetable dish that I make in one of my favourites, as it's so easy and tastes so good. I chop up a variety of vegetables (carrots, onion, mushrooms, potatoes, celery, bell pepper), place them in an over dish, cover them with olive oil, white wine, herbs and garlic, then stick them in the oven for over an hour. They taste so good.

For some reason I am very tired this week. I am not sure if its due to the busy weekend, work, emotional roller coaster or what. Realistically, its more than likely a combination of all the above, and some other things that I just can't think of right now. I am fueling myself with coffee, and hoping that helps. I think the excitement of going to the UK is also adding to things.
I spoke with my mum this morning, we are trying to get plans all worked out, so that I actually get the best out of my time there. I want to see my friends, but I also want to be able to spend some quality time with my mum, dad, brother and granddad. Its my brothers birthday while I am back too, and I have no idea what to get him, I mean what do you buy a 17 year old that has everything?

Wednesday, August 6, 2008

Make New Friends

I saw a friend of mine last night. She is such a fantastic person.

Have you ever met someone and after 5 minutes, you feel like you've known the person forever. I had that with this friend. I met her when I moved into a new job last year.

It wasn't my favourite job, it was a large department, with many talented individuals, but not a lot of team spirit. As I moved into the group, I was pretty much on my own. My manager at the time was too busy to introduce me to anyone, so I did that myself. In that process I met her.

She was/is my rock. She is so positive, smart, together and fun. We bonded right away, and helped each other navigate the challenges of this department. She also was there for me as I got out of my engagement.

Although she has had many of her own challenges over the past year, she keeps on smiling, and keeps a positive outlook. Ensuring that she makes the best of the situation. Well, in a month or 2 she is going to be moving away to the mid-west. I am excited for her and her husband for the opportunities. But I am going to miss her so much.

My Nana had a embrodery stitch thing in her house, which said:
"Make new friends
but keep the old
the new are silver
the old are gold"

I believe this is also a song, which I vaguely remember singing at camp. I brought this up with my friend as we were discussing her move, and she remembered singing it at camp too.

Tuesday, August 5, 2008


Wow, seriously, its been almost a week since I posted… I can’t believe it. It really doesn’t feel like that long. The past week has zoomed by. Thursday was a hectic day at work, Friday, well I am not sure what happened to Friday – it just seemed to come and go.

Saturday, was a great day. I ended up at the Flugtag here in Portland. Oh my gosh, it was packed. We ended up just watching it on the big screen, there was far to many people for me to be comfortable and relaxed in a place I’d be able to see it proper. But, even by the big screen there was about 5 thousand people. The people that make those plane (things), and then run and jump into that stinky river, have to be crazy. I am however, pleased they do it, as it is so much fun to watch. I didn’t get many photos, but I did get a couple, and when I get home I’ll get them posted (although that may not be until tomorrow).

After Flugtag, we headed to one of my favourite Portland bars, Kelly’s Olympian for a few bevies and to meet up with the rest of our friends. Kelly’s is a great place to people watch. Every type of person ends up here at some point, and its not just the people watching I like. The owner of the bar, has a motorcycle collection, and there are bikes and other bits of memorabilia hanging from the ceiling and walls.

Later in the evening we went to go see a couple of lasses singing at a local bar, we’ve seen these girls before, and I think they are brilliant, Beth has a great voice. Then, at some point it was time to leave the bar, we watched some Flight of the Concords, at our friends house, then headed home.

Sunday was the normal routine, breakfast, groceries, Sapronos with dinner, however, there was a slight variation when we left the house to head for the Clark County Fair, to see Queensryche – not the music I normally listen to, but it was a whole lot of fun. The people watching was great!

Monday, like Friday is lost in a blur, which takes me to today, which is a relatively normal Tuesday… so that’s the high level account of what happened while I was gone, it went extremely fast.