Thursday, March 29, 2007

Red Shoes and Wedding Dresses

Hah! Made you blink! :-)

Seriously though, I have been scouring the shops for a dress to wear to Alix's wedding. In the House of Frasier I found one, with a matching cardigan. Perfect in every which way but one. There is quite a lot of red in the dress; which means I'm in a bit of a shoe dilemma. The dress is white with red flowers and a red sash, so obviously I have to get shoes to match. I still remember when it was fashionable to take the piss out of white stilettos, and I still think they look naff; and the more WAGs wear them, the more I think so. Which means I have to find red shoes. Not a problem, you think. Why is this worth a blog posting, you think.

Except I've realised that red shoes are a little bit naughty.

I've been going from shop to shop looking at red shoes in all their glory and I couldn't figure out why I was so reticent. Then today it gradually dawned on me why. Red shoes are temptation. They are for naughty women. This is why I have been putting off buying the fabulous dress, because I'd have to buy naughty shoes.

Think about it. The Red Shoes is a folk-tale about a girl who loved to dance and loved red shoes. That didn't have a happy ending. She ended up a footless penitent. A cautionary tale for women who like to boogy with deviant footwear, I feel.

Which made me think about life, the universe and where I am in this cosmic puzzle. I still don't have the answers to most of my questions, and that's pretty cool. The journey is ever so much fun, and I'm certainly not bored yet.

Any ideas where to get a fabulous pair of naughty shoes? Preferably with ankle breaking heels and tiny straps, sparkles always appreciated.

Tuesday, March 27, 2007

journeying

Now the spectre of the dissertation has been exorcised, all of the things that I've been putting off are jumping up and down. They can jump by themselves for a bit. I've not got the energy or the inclination to start dealing with them yet.

The dissertation dealt with one of the questions that I first posed when I started this blog...what is it about travel/journey that has the power to bring about personal change? I think I can answer it now. My suggestion if you are the kind of person who loathes academia and bullshitese or personal stuff, to click on one of the links next to this, visit one of my mates, and pop back for a coffee tomorrow.

Everyone travels in one way, shape or form. Whether commuting by car, bus, or train and then there's the planet-killing airplane. Getting into your metal transportation method enables you to switch off your job description for the moment i.e. parent, worker etc and allows you to fill your brain with something else.

When I've been travelling round on the 25 bus, it has amazed me how people make the bus their own personal space: have intimate conversations, pick their noses, cry. This is despite the 30-70 other people sitting/standing next to them. In a bus, everyone is equal. Doesn't matter if you're employed, a student, a mum, an OAP, you've still got to buy your ticket and grab a seat next to someone else. You're essentially sharing your space with 30 other peoples' daydreams.

If you walk, or use a car, the experience changes again, and I like that transient feeling of community that a bus creates. It's social, and I guess I'm a social person. Oh, I realised I left out the bullshitese. In academic speak: a bus creates a liminal space i.e. a space between states, where normal rules don't apply and as Alix said 'it's a space pregnant with possibilites'. Most people just switch off, and given the frantic pace of modern life, that's not necesarily a bad thing.

I use the bus journey to work out plots for stories, personal issues and day dream. Since June when I actively charted my journeys and started this blog, I've been able to deal with some major stuff which has been cluttering up my life. I've made some new friends, strengthened older friendships and I no longer feel like I've got to be in control of life. I'm far more relaxed and hopeful about my future.

I've got a question for you: what did you think about on today's journey? I'm just interested. Be anonymous if it helps, but I'd just like to know what other people think about while they're travelling about.

Saturday, March 24, 2007

Dissertation is Done!

Yes, you read right. I finished it and handed it in, all 8071 words of it. Friday was spent frantically writing the conclusion and the abstract and trying to sort out the fiddly bits. Of course there were the last minute hiccups which turned me into a major stress monkey. I would like to take this time to thank a few people who have been really amazing in a) putting up with me and b) providing practical hands on help.

Alix - who read drafts and provided excellent feedback, and encouragement at the drop of a hat.
My Super - who didn't nag me, despite my being so lame.
The Viking - who was calm and lovely as I fell apart at the seems, and who also proof read and pointed out my lame attempts at bullshitese.

Of course my Boy needs a real Big Up. For the past two weeks he's existed on ready-meals and takeaways and has been patient with me ignoring him. I'm beginning to suspect he's suffering from malnutrition.

And for you, my virtual community who have cheered me on. It's been good to know that in the middle of the night, you guys were about, popping in for a quick coffee and chat.

Now there is no dissertation, I still feel in shock. This weekend I need to find my dinning room table under the books and reams of paper, and a bit of tidy up. I've got a real need to do some cooking.

Wednesday, March 21, 2007

Word Count ~ 7,391

It's late and I'm so tired and hyped on caffeine that my stomach is revolting. Not only that, but I think I'm barely coherent now. The good news is that the skeleton of my dissertation is now complete. I have a meeting with my Super (who really is) in the morning, and then it'll be a case of writing my conclusion and editing. That's the bulk of the work done, but I'm not great at fiddly bits. I lose patience too quickly. But hey ho.

Yay me.

I just needed to share that before I go off to bed. How much sleep I'll get is debatable given the amount of coffee I had to drink. But any sleep will be better than none. Tomorrow is going to be a long day. Oh, I mean today.

Monday, March 19, 2007

Dan Coffrill

As you might have guessed by some of the links, I am interested in public service blogs and although I tend not to comment on them, I do pop in every day to see what's going on. A couple of weeks ago, via Random Acts of Reality, I came across this story. To say I pretty gobsmacked was an understatement. Inspector Gadget who writes The Police Inspectors Blog has been trying to raise awareness of the plight of PC Coffrill and his family.

In a nutshell: a young, off-duty PC is making his way home. A couple of lads ask him for a light for their joint. He refuses. They punch him to the ground, doing so much harm that he is left permanently brain damaged. Because he was off-duty, he and his family who are now providing 24-hour care for him, do not qualify for the usual sources of funding and support that are available to officers wounded in the line of duty. Not only that, but the Met have been woefully unsupportive of their fallen comrade. If that couldn't make things any worse, the two 'gentlemen' who attacked him have had their sentences reduced through the Appeal system. So Gadget and his readers have taken up the cause. Today, he asked this piece of information to be disseminated. Don't take my word for it, follow the links; pass it on.

Yes I do have a vested interest in all things copper, for reasons namely the Viking; but puting that to one side, I strongly feel that this is an outrage. What concerns me more is that Dan Coffrill's case is probably not unique and there are similar stories to his happening all over the country, every day. In my reality, that's just not on.

The End is Nigh

Mine, not the dissertation. After a week of eating microwave meals and take away, my stomach is on permanent nausea; probably not helped by the intravenous caffeine drip, the 5 hours sleep and working 12 hours a day on this wretched, bloody piece of work. There are two pieces of good news though. Firstly, Alix, who is a Goddess and must be worshipped at any available opportunity, has decreed that my work so far is not a huge, stinking pile of poo. Secondly, I only have a chapter and the conclusion to go. Yay!

I am actually beginning to see that there will be life at the end of dissertation; and oh boy am I going to get drunk. Coming to the pub this weekend?

Saturday, March 17, 2007

Shaggy Blog Stories

Check out the book! Better yet buy it. The red nose does give it away a bit, but it's for Comic Relief. What I quite like about it, is that I read some of the blogs in there. Oh yes, I am indeed a lovey, I am connected with high flying media types and writers. Yeah right. Anyway, buy the book.

Anyway, for those who give a shit (of which I am no longer one), my dissertation currently stands at...3,265 words. If I have any hope in getting in on Friday I have to get the first draft done by Monday. Which means that I have to write 4,000 words tomorrow.

Yeah. Right.

Lauren Cooper meets Tony Blair

I'm not a huge fan of either of these jokers, but I did find this very funny.

Thursday, March 15, 2007

Heart's a Mess

Many thanks to Ing for the Gotye track, it's now stuck in my head and is on permanent loop. Cheers. Really.

I should really start off by apologising if this is slightly incoherent. I've been working on this bloody dissertation since last week Thursday, pretty much to the exclusion of all else. My friends, if I have any left by the time this piece of shit - sorry research - is done, deserve to be bought a drink for my neglect. Meet me in the pub round the corner next Thursday. It's on me.

I hate the fact that I've done this to myself, turned this dissertation into a monster under the bed. Now I'm into it, it's great fun and although my energy levels have dipped, I'm still fascinated by my reading and my subject matter.

People keep asking me about after the degree. One thing is for certain, I won't be doing an academic MA. As for the rest of it; I haven't got a clue. I'm still enjoying the work at the department store and it suits me for the moment to be a temp with no responsibilities. I'm very wary of accepting any committments at this stage. I feel like I've lept off the edge of a cliff and I'm gliding around, looking down at the opportunities beneath me, but there's more stuff over the horizon I'd like to look at before I set down.

Not bad for a control-freak eh? I'm rather proud of myself for this new attitude. I was having a chat to Gee about this the other day, I was worrying that I'd just end up fannying about forever. Her laugh was genuine and reassurring. Apparently, I'm allowed to fanny for a bit and she says I never fanny for very long anyway. So rather than making a list of things I'm going to do in the summer and autumn, maybe a list of things I could do, if I feel so inclined.

Hmmm...I think I'll still be blogging, so you needn't worry.

Monday, March 12, 2007

More Memes for Gertie

1. What time did you get up this morning? 7ish
2. Diamonds or pearls? umm....diamonds
3. What was the last film you saw at the cinema? Hot Fuzz - fabulous
4. What’s your favorite TV show? don't have time/inclination to watch
5. What did you have for breakfast this morning? coffee
6. What’s your favorite cuisine? anything I don't have to cook

7. What foods do you dislike? fennel, liquorice, anniseed - yuckies, yuckies, yuckies, oh & turkey
8. What is your favorite chip flavor? I think you mean crisp, and it's Salt n Vinegar
9. What’s your favorite CD at the moment? Faithless, Bonobo's Days to Come
10. What kind of car do you drive? don't have one

11. What is your favorite sandwich? bacon
12. What is your favorite type of clothing? jeans
14. If you could go anywhere in the world on vacation, where would you go? The Maldives
15. What color is your bathroom? magnolia & white - dull, I'm afraid
16. Favorite brand of clothing? Marks & Spencer - oh dear

17. Where would you retire to? retire? on what?
18. Favorite time of the day? bed time
19. What was your most memorable birthday? my 30th, I had loads of fun
20. Where were you born? Port of Spain, Trinidad
21. Favorite sport to watch? none

22 Were you named after anyone? nope
23. Do you wish on stars? yes
24. Do you like your handwriting? sometimes
25. If you were another person, would YOU be friends with you? No, my neuroses would drive me nuts. That's why my friends are special, they put up with me. Some even quite like me.

26. Are you a daredevil? No
27. Do looks matter? No, because I believe in being fair
28. How do you release anger? I rant
29. Where is your second home? Trinidad

30. What were your favorite toys as a child? dolls and lego
31. What class in high school was totally useless? all of my maths classes, throughout my education
32. What are your favorite movies? 13th Warrior, Kingdom of Heaven, The Constant Gardener,
33. What are your living arrangements? I share a flat with a cat and Boy
34. What are your nicknames? My parents called me mouse, my cousins Roses
35. Do you untie your shoes when you take them off? yes
36. Do you think that you are strong? sometimes
37. What is your favorite ice cream flavor? coconut
38. What are your favorite colors? blue
39. What is your least favorite thing about yourself? procrastination
40. Who do you miss the most? my mum
41. Do you want everyone you sent this to, to send it back? I'd rather you just let me know if you posted it on your own blog, ta.
42. What color pants are you wearing? pants?
43. What are you listening to right now? To All New Arrivals by Faithless
44. Last thing you ate? rice cake with peanut butter
45. If you were a crayon, what color would you be? indigo
46. Last person you talked to on the phone? The Viking

47. What is the first thing you notice about the opposite sex? Their smile
48. Favorite drink? coffee
49. Do you wear contacts? yes
50. Favorite day of the year? Beltane
51. Scary movies or happy endings? happy endings!
52. Summer or winter? Summer
53. Hugs or kisses? hmmm...don't know, must do more research
54. What is your favorite dessert? profiteroles, drowning in chocolate sauce and cream
55. What book(s) are you reading? The Writer's Journey -C Vogler and Public Places, Private Journeys E Strain, not to mention John Urry's The Tourist Gaze. I'm writing a dissertation for fecks sake.
56. What’s on your mouse pad? a dinosaur
57. What did you watch last night on TV? nada, was dissertationing
58. Favorite smells? jasmine, roses (the flowers, truly) and puppies
59. Rolling Stones or Beatles? Beatles
60. What’s the furthest you’ve been away from home?
Singapore

Thanks for letting me bore you, I'm now off to shower and continue with dissertation. I now have an Introduction and 2 Appendices, plus 5 pages of Chapter 1 which I need to type up and send off for my Super to scoff at. Ta ta dahlings.

Saturday, March 10, 2007

Meme and Coffee

Shamelessly nicked from here. I do this with my cup of caffeine before I crack on. No need to nag. Also, this needs one word answers. Hmm....not sure if I'm able, but we'll give it a go. Actually, bugger it, I'm a creative writer. I'm so subversive.

1. Where is your cell phone?: next to me
2. Your boyfriend/girlfriend?: oop North
3. Your hair?: fashionably tousled (unbrushed)
4. Your mother?: deseased, alive
5. Your father?: ditto, well, good
6. Your favorite item?: MP3 player
7. Your dream last nite?: weird
8. Your favorite drink?: red wine
9. Your dream car?: Audi A4 Quattro with sports kit
10. The room you are in?: lounge
11. Your ex? still alive
12. Your fear?: boredom
13. What do you want to be in 10 years?: I don't know what I want to do in 6 months time!
14. Who did you hang out with last night?: my cat
15. What you're not?: a housewife
16. Muffins?: apple & raspberry crumble muffins
17. One of your wish list items?: a skip
18: Time?: running out
19. The last thing you did?: dissertation
20. What are you wearing?: baggy T and tracksuit bottoms: v sexy - not
22. Your favorite book?: To Kill a Mockingbird
23. The last thing you ate?: King Prawn Butterfly and aubergine curry
24. Your life?: good
25. Your mood?: desperate
26. Your friends?: fabulous
27. What are you thinking about right now?: must, must do dissertation
28. Your car?: nope
29. What are you doing at the moment? drinking coffee, blogging
30. Your summer?: see answer 13
31. Your relationship status?: yummy
32. What is on your tv?: The Motorcycle Diaries
33. Yesterday?: dissertation
34. Last time you cried?: watching Amelie
35. School?: haven't left

Friday, March 09, 2007

Red Nose Day

This evening in attempt to procrastinate even further (I dusted my desk for the 3rd time today) I thought I'd practice spamming.

Yes, you heard right. Tonight Matthew I am a spammer. I tripped along to my fave funny blogs and left messages willy nilly. Not just any spam. Oh no. Not for you herbal viagra or opportunity to invest in Nigerian royalty (note: I am able to spell it properly). Nope.

On Johnny B's site, I followed this call to Rednose Day. So for all you bloggers who have escaped my clutches. Here.

PS. Monkfish. Be a pet. Give me those instructions on how to make links *live* in comment boxes. Again.

Budapest

As promised...I resubmit Billy Collins' work for your delight and amusement.

Tuesday, March 06, 2007

Word Count ~ 820

Which sounds a lot better than it actually is. 510 words will need to be shifted to the appendices as they aren't relevant to the argument in hand. My Super is unimpressed, but I still can't help but think, that those are 820 more words than I had when I got up this morning and I do need them.

This morning I had a heck of a shock...my keyboard was filthy. I mean really disgusting. How could I possibly work with all that fluff in between the keys, not to mention random flaky bits that could be crisps or pastry, I hope. So I set to it with a brush and a pair of tweezers, once that was accomplished I was finally able to get stuck in. Needless to say I also had to de-gunk the mouse. As I sit here, my dining room table bows under the weight of the books I still have to read. I'm only blogging because I'm waiting for our dinner to finish cooking. Tonight, it's Thai green curry and I think I've been a bit heavy handed with the paste, Boy tells me he's ready for anything. I'd better get the milk out of the fridge.

I'm also back at the department store. I'm working with Perfumery and also doing what they call the 'mobile board', so when people don't show up for work, or a department needs extra cover, they call me. It's the post-Christmas lull which is just dull, dull, dull. Not all departments are as friendly or as well organised as Perfumery, so it's just work. I know I need the money, but with the diss stalking me like a psycho, I'd rather be at home beating it up rather than standing around re-arranging stuff so I look like I'm earning my keep.

*meh*

Sunday, March 04, 2007

Spring has Sprung

Firstly, an apology: I'm sorry I lost Budapest while attempting to add labels to it. I will try and post it on again in a bit.

Secondly, HELLO!

It's spring. The bare hedges are filled with white flowers, daffs and crocuses are peeking about. I have been slowly getting into the swing of things at college and at home. I went away for the weekend and I have to say the break has done me the world of good. I've come back home with more energy than I've had for ages and I'm beginning to feel like I'm rejoining the human race.

As for the dreaded 'd'-word. I've gone off on a bit of a tangent and have had to start again, same subject but different perspective. It's less focussed on transformation through travel and more about the power of journey to affect personal growth...confused? yeah me too...I'll tell you all about it once it's done. The important thing is that I actually start writing. It is due on the 23rd of March, which by my reckoning is 18 days. Ummm...right, don't mind me, I'm just putting on my skates.