Tag: Australia

Happy New Year (almost)

It’s snowing. Again. It’s the middle of March and I’m getting really bored of this weather.

That said, as ever, there are worse things that could be happening. Given the recent events in New Zealand and Japan it does feel somewhat churlish to complain about some snow.

That said, life continues. Mum is doing really well, and has definitely entered the final stages which will result in her getting home. She can stand, walk with a cane, and the movement in her right arm is slowly coming back. She’s getting stronger and stronger (you can hear that in her speech) and is her usually, bubbly, giggly, cheeky self for the most part. The house has had extra handrails installed and tomorrow she will be visiting the house, alongwith the Physio and Occupational Therapist, to see how she gets on.

My own little flat is getting there as well. Just waiting on my new sofa to be delivered and it’ll be as complete as it can get (it’s rented). Alas my car is a different story…

About 5 weeks ago (7th of February) I drove through a puddle that was deeper than I expected and managed to flood the engine. It was a stupid thing to do, and entirely avoidable if I’d been paying full attention. But I wasn’t.

So the car got towed off to the repairs garage my insurance firm use. After a couple of weeks with no updates I phoned them and was told that the garage had been ordered to strip the engine to check for damage and they were waiting on the results of their investigation. A further week passes and I end up speaking direct to the garage who, apparently, didn’t receive the instruction to strip the engine until about 8 days after the ‘incident’. He said that they’d stripped the engine and recommended a replacment engine be ordered.

A further week passes and, again when I phone them, the insurance company tell me that they’ve ordered the engine to be further stripped down so they can see if the water made it all the way to the sump. The findings of that were passed back to the insurance company on Friday last week. I am awaiting a final decision today.

Nicely, the terms of my insurance state that I get a courtesy car. For two weeks.

So I’ll take a moment to thank my mate Stuart who kindly offered me the run of his car for a couple of weeks as he was on holiday in Australia (and hadn’t been able to drive it as he broke his arm), and to my mate Ian who has now kindly let me use his car for the next few weeks (he’s got a hire car from his company for the next few months). It’s been a weird few weeks of driving, from my car, to a base model Toyota Aygo (courtesy car) to Stuart’s car (Mini Cooper S convertible) to Ian’s car (Jaguar XJ6). I’d really really like my own car back though (Ford Fiesta batmobile).

Mind you, there was a period where I thought my car might be written off and, as it’s less than a year old, it would actually find me ‘up’ in monetary terms. I had a nice wee second hand Audi TT all picked out too… oh well.

So, all in all, the next few weeks should see the ‘beginning’ of this year. My Mum will be home, my car returned, my sofa delivered and a raft of gigs (music and comedy) are lined up, oh yeah, and I’ll be getting divorced (amicably).

Maybe THEN, 2011 will start to behave and be the year I was expecting it to be!

Currently..

What a lovely start to the day. Stepped out of the station onto a pavement strewn with litter, foodstuffs, bottles, wrappers, newpapers all trampled and matted underfoot. Very much like the aftermath of a big concert which, as it happens, was apt because the rubbish had been generated by a large queue of people all of whom I presume are desperate to get their hands on tickets for this years T in the Park. They could’ve used the bins though. Young people today. *tut tut*

Apparently some of them had been queueing since 8pm last night. I didn’t realise The Who were that popular (you’d better you bet!).

Back at work today, having spent the last couple of days at home shovelling antibiotics down my throat. Nice big 500mg ones too, not the namby-pamby 200mg ones we get prescribed here, brought back from Spain where you can buy them over the counter. It’s nice to visit a country where you are treated like an adult capable of making responsible decisions. A couple of days (and only a couple of tablets) of those and my scratchy throat and ‘lively’ tonsils were back to normal. Unfortunately I seem to have swapped those symptoms for a runny nose. Win some, lose some.

Silver and gold are all the rage at the moment and little Britain have managed to secure one of the former in an event named “Skeleton” (no I have no idea why either). Apparently throwing yourself, on little more than a baking tray, headfirst down a curved ice track, will be the next big thing. After all, tennis gains popularity during Wimbledon, so why not… um… Skeletoning.

I just wish I could stop my brain conjuring up images of Peter Skellern.

The Metro (the internet, printed) offered a handy little medals table this morning, showing the lofty position the United Kingdom now holds. What I still don’t quite get is how Australia have managed a Gold medal. What in?

Postcards and Bankers appear to be the new spam. I no longer get requests from Nigeria, promises of a longer, more erect, schlong, or even a good piece of complete nonsense. No my email spam is no largely of the “You have a postcard!” or “[Insert Name of Bank] Security Update”. It’s both depressing and downright insulting.

Time flies

Met up with an ex-colleague last night for some drinks and can’t believe it’s been over a year since she headed off to Australia. In fact it turned into a bit of a re-union with Kirsten, Lesley Lindsay and Lelly all showing up as well. Half of last night’s company used to work for “the company”. Odd that, but in a very very good way.

I’m terrible at keeping in touch with people. Awful. I often think of phoning or emailing or txting someone but decide against it lest I bother them or, ohh the horror, they don’t respond (they hate me, they really really hate me!!). But that’s my neurosis to deal with, not yours. So it was great to catch up with people and it’s like they’d never been away, all that was missing was the appearance of Laura’s notorious laugh. It doesn’t happen often but if you REALLY catch her off-guard you can get a fantastic pig impersonation…

Happy Anniversary

35 years ago my parents stood before friends and family and said “I do”.

35 years on and if you ask either one if they still love each other, they’ll say the same thing.

Now, apparently:

traditional 35th wedding anniversary gifts have a theme of Coral, whereas a contemporary or modern 35th anniversary gift has a theme of Jade. This Wedding Anniversary does not have any Flowers or Gemstones associated with it.
via anniversary.co.uk

So, the reason it’s been so quiet here is because I’ve had to nip off to the Great Barrier Reef in Australia to get some coral…

Still, it’s a thought ain’t it. 35 years. I only lasted 20 or so at my parents house, not sure how they’ve put up with each other for that long… guess they must love each other or something… 😉

Pears

Is it bad that, whilst I do commiserate with my mate and feel sorry for him, I’m still quietly gloating that the hard drive on his shiny widescreen iBook has gone phut?

Anyway, if you do have an iBook, then watch out for some very obvious screen glitches/artefacts. Having seen it on Saturday I agreed with my mate that the video card was shafted, but seems that it was the hard drive. Luckily he’s got stuff backed up, but he’ll be flying to Australia tomorrow without his laptop. Should be fixed by the time he gets back though.

This nicely segues into a little application I discovered the other day called Top Desk. It replicates the functionality offered by Expose on the Mac, and I’m already smitten. Funny how some things just seem to fit with the way you work/operate your PC. Basically, and you can change the settings, all I do is move my mouse to the bottom right corner of the screen – a nice big area to hit as the mouse can’t miss it – and all the currently open windows “fall back” into a grid like display and I can click on the one I want to work on. Handy when you have four Word documents open as you can see what is open in each window. The screenshot on the page linked above explains it better.

Just had to go back and correct some spelling there, so just to confirm that’s Top Desk not Top Deck. Ohh I’m thirsty now.

~

This just in – I’ve just broken through the 7000 comment mark (7017 at present count). Blimey.

Sometimes…

… I feel like just stopping.

Ohh the temptation to leave that first sentence, sitting there alone, and hit that PUBLISH button is almost enough for me.

But what then? A cry for help? A blogger in trouble? Apathy? Stress? Breakdown? Why? Why? Why? Or is it validation that is required. Please love me, please want me, please need me.

Or is it neither. Is it just a pause. Prompted by many things, result of none.

Or will it, like my cold, pass?

And why so many questions, why can’t the answers be found, dredged up from the memory. Maybe I should follow the lead of others and blog about other people instead of myself. But who?

The one who fell and bumped her head? The one currently having to stop over at Cambodia on his way back from Australia? Family? Co-workers?! (Definitely NOT starting that last one!).

Static. Staid. Still. Momentum sought.

UPDATE: I think some of you might be right. So I’ll forewarn. If I do take a break, I wouldn’t imagine it would be for long. But who knows, right? It’ll be obvious when I have. Don’t worry.

Collision

Da Vinci Code – Mona Lisa ~ Munch stolen.

And I’ve just had the following books delivered:
London Fields – Martin Amis ~ Murders in Twickenham (friends live there).
Leaving Home – Garrison Keillor ~ Laura flies out to Australia today.
Labyrinths – Jorge Luis Borges ~ Emmmm… not sure yet, but it must mean something…

Funny old world. Ain’t it.

Coming up

Well the new boiler installation is almost done. New radiator is in the spare room (office), new valves on all the radiators, hot water tank gone from back bedroom, back boiler and ghastly fireplace gone from living room.

Which has left a big hole in the wall.

Now, I should point out that I’m not the best D.I.Y. person, although generally is a confidence thing. Once I get into it I’m usually OK. However this will be the biggest job I’ll have done (I think) so I’m a bit apprehensive.

We’ve decided to use the idea of an inset gas fire, but without the gas fire bit. So it’ll be an inset, a thin, small surround and will probably be filled with candles. So I’ve been checking out things like flame retardant MDF and the like, and getting all excited about the thought of using my power tools again (hope they still work…).

My Dad will be drafted in to help, and it’ll probably be a one day job. Ohh and then there’s the decorating afterwards. I’m leaning towards a nice stone coloured finish (currently is a bit too magnolia – but that’s because it IS magnolia and it was all we could afford at the time, it was that or put up with pink walls…).

So tonight will probably involve a wander round B&Q to get some ideas, and possibly even a wander round IKEA as well. What a fun way to spend a Friday night..

Then on Saturday I’ve got two nights out. One to say cheerio to Laura how is jetting off to start a new life in Australia. Best of luck to her and her husband. I’ll spend a couple of hours there (Tiger, Tiger I think) then head down the road to Dumbarton for the ‘family’ night.

As my in-laws are only here for a couple more weeks, the cousins have decided to have a night in at their place. Always a good laugh, and I doubt we’ll get home much before sunrise.

And Sunday? Well nothing planned yet, probably more “fireplace” thoughts. But I’m thinking coffee and papers should about do it.

Note to self: MUST remember to take camera on Saturday night!

PUB TIME

It’s Friday, it’s 5 o’clock, what other excuse do you need?

Well for us it’s the imminent departure of a colleague to the sunshine land of Australia. All the best Laura. Yes, I’ll repeat this when you officially finish on Tuesday (cocktails that night?) and of course on the 21st at your official leaving do… but hey, it’s Friday, and there’s a pint of alcohol with my name on it.