Thursday, August 31, 2006

Bathroom Ahoy!

After what has seemed like an interminable time, the bathroom renovations have finally been started today! (we've had the bathroom cleared for over a week now though as bathroom man said he was coming last Tuesday) Good job I washed my hair and shaved my legs today - means I don't have to worry about it tomorrow and then we're off the Lake District for a week so I can use the facilities there. Lucky old L has showers at work he can use - tomorrow my choice appears to be standing on a muddy floor in the bathroom trying to have a strip wash (not an elegant experience at the best of times) or "managing" without a shower tomorrow at work. Hmmmm not sure I can manage without some kind of washing and not sure my clients would want me to either! (not that I'm that dirty...honest)

also had a books down rehearsal tonight which was...interesting. I'm not sure any of the chorus felt particularly ready for that little treat - usually it feels like we've sung everything to death by this time so everything's really familiar. We're doing 2 shows this year though so I don't know whether that's got anything to do with it - some bits we really only have done once together. But still it didn't go too badly - I've got to find my own costume for Trial though. L suggested hotpants, fishnet tights and a low-cut frilly blouse (yes, you can guess the theme) - hmmm, apart from the ample thighage which will be on display (and may not be appreciated by those of a delicate disposition), not sure whether that's a genuine suggestion or something else....

Wednesday, August 30, 2006


Have finally updated my reading list here after a it of a Eurostar marathon at the weekend. Finished the Big Over Easy and then strolled through the Murderous Marriage (an Agatha Raisin mystery) and Giotto's Hand ( by Iain Pears - completely different in style to the only other one I've read of his - The Instance of the Fingerpost). I've now started Until I Find You by John Irving - it's about a man who is the product of a union between a tattoo artist and an organist. The tattooist apparently does a very special Rose of Jericho which is apparently a rose with a secret... So...thinking I was being clever I tried to look for a picture of one on the internet - didn't really get anywhere, only found a website which had a review of the book and proclaimed that most of the people reaching their site managed it because they were looking up Rose of Jericho on Google! I'm so unoriginal.

Got started on John Irving while I was at uni - was going through an Alan Davies phase (at the height of Jonathan Creek) and there was some book thing on BBC where various stars said what their favourite books were - his was (apparently) "A Prayer for Owen Meaney" by John Irving which I promptly then went out and read! But it was good and I've really enjoyed others of Irving's as well. Yet to read The World According to Garp however and that appears to be one of his major works - whoooops! It's in my pile!

Monday, August 28, 2006


Hit song the day I was born

Number one on the day I was born appears to have been "Don't Give Up on Us" by David Soul, and album was "Red River Valley," by Slim Whitman. Oh well, at least I share my birthday with Mark Owen of Take That fame...

August in Paris

Had a truly lovely weekend in Paris - this is the view from our hotel window of Saint Severin church and the room itself was pretty good to. We were a stone's throw away from Petit Pont and so very close to Notre Dame as well. Arrive in Paris on the Eurostar - all went very smoothly and fortunately I escaped having my bag searched at customs as appears to be my wont. But strangely, there was a metal detector and bag x-ray machine at the left luggage place at Gare du Nord which I had no problems with when we dropped the bags off, but when we returned to collect them, I had to empty my pockets, remove belt and all jewellery before it would let me in! The machine seemed to be going off for virtually everyone though - L thought perhaps the guard was a bit bored and needed something to do!!

First evening we went and had a gawp at Notre Dame and a wander inside. It really is an amazing building although we missed going up to the towers. Thought we'd go back on Saturday, but in the end didn't have enough energy! Had proper fondue for the first time ever - we went for the "meat" fondue trying to be a bit brave and it was not at all what I was expecting. I guess I've only ever thought of fondue in the cheese or chocolate sense - for the meat version there was a pot of sizzling oil which we dunked big chunks of raw beef into and left to cook!! (you could never see that in England somehow). Yum.

Had a few drinks out on the main road to end the evening and a gorgeous whisky coffee.

Had a busy day on Saturday - thought we'd go the the Eiffel Tower, but found the metro line we wanted had been closed off. so we decided, what the heck, we'll have a stroll along there....hmmm. Started off at our hotel and walked along the river to the Louvre. Crossed the river so we could walk through the Louvre grounds (although we didn't go in) and marvelled at the sheer size of the place. Noted the pyramids and continued through the Jardin des Tuileries which were really peaceful at that time in the morning. We weren't tremendously early, but it was still quiet. Through Place de la Concorde and the up the entire length of the Champs Elysees to the Arc de Triumph. Strolled down Avenue Marceau to the riverside again and crossed over to the Eiffel Tower. Absolutely incredible structure. We went up to the first stage and had a good gawp at the cityscape laid out around us, trying to pinpoint the landmarks we'd already been to that morning. Climbing down again, realised getting up Notre Dame may be a no-no!!

Caught the Batobus back to the Musee d'Orsay and then walked back through the Place de la Concorde up to Place de la Madeleine to Fauchon, a magnificent food shop. Absolutely amazing creations in the windows, and sadly we were too stingy to try any. The mint eclairs did look heavenly though! Back to the hotel for a quick rest and securing the services of a porter to unlock the safe (which L had somehow managed to break earlier...), dinner (steak and chips!) and then a ride on one of the boat trips along the Seine. Excellent and I'm so glad we went in the evening - everything looks so different at night and lit up.

On Sunday we popped up to Montmatre and the Sacre Coeur, found some quiet gardens in the backstreets there and finally headed back to have a look round the Orsay museum - lots of Impressionist work. Great - you realise how poor reproductions of some of those works are - can never really quite convey the richness of the original's true colours. Then a quick crepe in the Tuileries (and see the happy duck after I fed him some baguette!) and back to Gare du Nord for the train home. Whew! We've already started a list of what we want to do next time we go...

Tuesday, August 22, 2006

Look after your muffin top

And if you don't know what one of those is, listen to those Sheilas Speak!

Monday, August 21, 2006


Went to Yarmo at the weekend to see Mum. after the compulsory lunch t the Boating Lake and whippy ice cream at the harbour's mouth we headed back in a massive cloud burst. I'm not sre you can really see it very well in this picture, but all the pavements disappeared

Sunday, August 20, 2006

Typical me

This is my life.

I went to a well known supermarket recently (slap pert bottom twice) and had learned from L that they now have some self-service tills. So, ever eager to try something new (and fulfil my childhood fantasy of working a till), I thought I'd give them a go. why i thought I could manage this I'll never know.

First mistake - I bought alcohol. One bottle of cider in a total shopping basket of around 5 things. Had to wait for ages for someone to come and confirm that I was in fact over 18. Second mistake - while waiting for the age-confirmation, I put my keys into the shopping bag waiting on the counter for the bottle of cider. Queue flashing sign on screen telling me something unauthorised was in my bag. I had no idea what this meant, so flapped for a bit until a kindly assistant pointed out that my keys in the bag were telling the system that I had tried to take something I hadn't paid for...remove keys, everything fine.

I didn't know the counters were weight-sensitive!! No sympathy from L who thought it was obvious to everyone they would be weight-sensitive. Sometimes I wonder why I leave the house!

(but at least we finlly have a date for the bathroom man to come and fit our new suite! Hurrah!)

Decisions, decisions

Had a rehearsal of Suffolk Strings this afternoon - was asked whether I'd like to play in a concert in October with another orchestra. I was going to go to that concert anyway because they're playing The Planets. Now I can't decide whether I would rather sit and listen and enjoy the music (which would be great - I've only ever heard it on a recording) or whether I should grab the opportunity because it may be the only chance I get to play this work? (and apparently there are some cracking viola lines in it as well....)


Tuesday, August 15, 2006

The slugs advance

We have a bit of a slug issue in the front room - I've mentioned it before. we get up in the morning to find lovely slug/snail trail across the room in random places, but they're getting more starting to find papers which had been left on the floor with bits of them eaten/dissolved away by the creatures. Leigh's Trial by Jury score has been attacked. What next???!!!

That reminds me, I had a dream about the slugs - dreamt that I'd seen where they were getting into the room - I noticed the hole in the wall when i saw a cat get through it from outside. But when I went to check it with a man who'd come to fill it up, in some kind of alice in wonderland weirdness, the hole turned out to be a whole door which had been left open, which is how the slugs were getting in. Yes, I have freaky dreams.

Rehearsal tonight went well although I'm thinking of boycotting part of Pinafore - the entrance of the ladies (all 2 pages of it) has been cut! I fully realise that HMS Pinafore and Trial by Jury don't quite fit into our usual time slot, so some bits are going to have to be cut, but why one of the few ladies' bits? They haven't cut bogging Fair Moon - I'm sure that song cannot ever be sung well and not remind me of our university show?? Oh Dave where are you now.

Other than that, been trying to think of some interesting way for the ladies to arrive - I think aerial slide would work a treat. 'Specially if we have hooped skirts.

Monday, August 14, 2006

How is a raven like a writing desk?

Came across this in Jasper Fforde's "The Eyre Affair," which I'm reading avidly at the moment. Two replies are given in the book - "because Poe wrote on both", and "becausethere's a 'b' in 'both." Hilarious - but I then couldn't remember where I'd seen the riddle before - felt convinced it was Alice in Wonderland and of course it was. In fact, there seems to be a wide variety of possible answers, but I prefer the thought that there wasn't intended to be an answer at all, it was just some of Carroll's nonsense.

The Eyre Affair is great though - it reminds me of the Aberystwyth books I've read recently as well - the worlds they're sent in are close enough to reality to seem familiar and recognisable, but there are strange quirks which make them something else entirely, like magic being real, or a glut of cloned dodos. Just enough unreality.


Have received my refund from the Post Office!!!!

Moving day

I'm all moved to Bury now. Still have a lot of unpacking to do for my new desk, but at least everything's over there. Spent most of Thursday packing up my room so on Friday just had the last few things to do - although I arrived at work at half 8 to find my computer had already been removed! That was a bit quick. The guys arrived to move me about 11 and although they initially reeled at the sight of the number of crates I'd managed to fill, they used their spacial awareness talents and managed to get everything into the transit.

Had what must have been the most ridiculous set of conversations with Capita and Computershare whilst waiting for the boys to arrive. You my know that BAA shares are the subject of a takeover bid which is going ahead soon and the acceptance forms also have to be in soon. We are dealing with an estate where there are BAA shares. The document confirming who the executors are* has been sent to Capita (the registrars) although when the letter of acceptance arrived from Computershare (who are handling the ins and outs) it still had the deceased name on it. I rang to ask if I needed to amend the form by hand.

Computershare - we haven't got the executors on our system. we can't process the acceptance until Capita have updated our records.

Me - can't I just send in the *Grant of Probate which shows who they are?

Computershare - you could but we still wouldn't be able to update the records. Capita has to do that

Rang Capita

Capita - we sent Computershare an updated record on 4th july. They've obviously got updates sitting there for the past month they haven't update. we can't help - you need to speak to Computershare again.

Rang Computershare and spoke to someone else.

Me - Capita say they've updated your system.

Computershare - well we still hven't got the records here which might mean we can't update the system. I'll check with my supervisor......oh yes, they say you can just send in the Grant of Probate and we can deal with it from there.

Grrrr - not helpful.

It was strangely emotional leaving Watton for the last time - as I'm now at Bury, the chances of me having to come back that way to see clients is pretty slim and I've had a great 4 years there. I can't imagine what is was like for thoe who had been there 20 years.

So got to Bury to find it appeared noone knew where my spare files were to go. These are now still in boxes in a pile in the basement. I have also gone from having 8 shelves and 3 full filing cabinets to 2 shelves and hangers which take just less than a filing cabinet's worth of files.... This did not make me feel good - there are, sorry were, 2 free desks in the room (open plan) which are now full of my files and the careful alphabetical system I employed in packing the crates has gone up the swanny! Oh well, at least I have put away A to F and I have a plan to comandeer part of another cupboard in the room. Otherwise noone seems particularly bothered that I am in a complete mess! Never mind, I'm sure next week will be better and looking on the bright side, I might even be able to watch LazyTown before i leave on Monday...

Tuesday, August 08, 2006

Sunday, August 06, 2006


Went to my aunt's house in Somersham (Cambs, not Suffolk) yesterday. I love going to her house because it brings back lots of lovely childhood memories. She was holding a kind of yardsale, coffee morning type thing for her local church and the mother's union. The weather was great, and we won a tremendous amount of tat on the tombola! Hurrah!

Got to admire mum's engagement/eternity ring and marvel again at her story of how she saved money on both that and her fiancee's engagement present - a reclining chair. sadly the story took a lot longer that it needed to have done because L and my uncle were ribbing her ceaselessly throughout about the money saving... Oh, and my aunt kept interrupting with random comments that had not much to do with anything else (this is not unusual - L is usually astounded by the way when all the family are together we can seemingly be carrying on 4 or 5 different conversations at the same time with the same people...) But, the joy of it was that we had the usual lovely spread at lunchtime - no need to eat for a week now!

I am a pen hoarder

It's true - I think I've always known it, but it was brought home to me today. one of the straps on my main handbag broke on friday so I emptied it to start using another oldish one. I also emptied my weekend handbag (much smaller). Out of the three bags, I've thrown one pen away, put 2 in my weekend bag and 6 of varyinf colours and types into my main bag. Guess how many were left over?

And we're talking pens I took out of the bags - no new additions.


Call me Pauline.

Saturday, August 05, 2006

And continues...

Not that I want to labour this or anything...had a nice call from a very helpful lady at the PO helpline a few days ago - asked me to fax over any receipts I had and also took my debit card number. Spoke to her a few days later and the records had confirmed my debit card payment. Now they need to confirm my credit card payment and can then issue a refund. Gave the details.

Phone call (sorry, message left at home - why? all other calls have been to work) saying they can't trace my credit card payment (the one I have a receipt for...) and I need to ring them with further details on Monday. I now need to print off a credit card statement (just done!) to prove the payment was taken twice.

Oh dear.

Thursday, August 03, 2006

Leigh's going to regret showing me YouTube...

Thank you YouTube!!!

Wedding Belles

After a paucity of wedding this year, we've got 2 next year - my sister in August and Mum in October. I'll be seeing a lot of my family then!! Going wedding dress shopping with my sister in a couple of weeks - according to Mum, Becks has seen "the" dress, but is still taking a bit of persuading over the price tag. Why!!?? Mum's paying!!

Mum's was a bit of a surprise announcement but she's been stepping out with the chap for a few years now and they seem really settled together. I'm very happy for her.

Little Britain...

Listening to mix CD "3" on the way home tonight - I think I made a bit of a mstake with it because I tried to mix genres (pop, rock, theatre, spoken word...) so it's a bit of a mish mash. does include my favourite 3 LB sketches from the radio show - Paul and the ghost (the door slammed..I thank you), Alan the Amnesiac (I don't really have any memory of fruit salad or just a banana and if they were served up it would probably quite unnerve me) and Ray McCooney (?)(I'm hard yet soft, I'm coloured yet clear, I'm fruity and sweet, I'm jelly. what am I?) ah...just the thing after a hard day's work.

One take!!! One take!!!

Wednesday, August 02, 2006

Proper blog

Had a good G&S rehearsal last night - i feel like some of the new stuff's actually starting to stick and we're tromping through it all. Sadly it seems that whenever there isn't a separate alto line written in and I'm getting excited thinking we're going to be able to sing the tune, someone pipes up from behind me "well last time we did it, the altos sang...(some really boring line that consists of one or two different notes. only)" Grrrrr to "last time."

The MD had even written a special line in for us in one bit - just consisted of alternating between 2 notes. only.

I'm starting to get some favourtie bits though - the piano line between verses in Mrs Cripps' legend towards the end of Pinafore is great couple of bars, and I love the harmony and melancholy of "alas, of life his leave he's taking..." from the act one finale. But I cannot sing "trial-la-law" to save my life!

MD's having a bit of trouble getting people to be surprised and shocked when singing - I did consider drawing a little penis by the appropriate songs (to shock me into sounding shocked..) but knew that it would more than likely end badly....

Heard on the radio (so don't blame me)

Who's the patron saint of carpet fitters?

St Neots

That wasn't planned well..

We've run out of mouthwash and bin bags - only went shopping at the weekend!

And...did I remember that it's the 1st today? Did I bogroll. Damn you Leigh with your hyper-efficient pinch-punching!!