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.