Monday, May 17, 2004

The Birthday Girl

So I get home early cause I left work at 4.40pm managing to beat rush hour traffic. I had a little layabout time which is always nice before a night out. I like being able to put some time between rushing home and rushing to get ready. Like a sorbet between course really.

Gosh I can be a ponce.

Anyway, I got ready in record time which shocked Ian considerably. My new dress looked lovely! I didn't mentioned that did I. Well, I bought a dress!! Something I never do unless I have an event I have to tart up for. A digression. My company's Summer Ball was last weekend and we didn't go. Why? I could not be doing with rushing around Manchester looking for an expensive outfit I know I will only wear once. That was only part of the reason albeit a big part but nonetheless, only part. The other reason was that good friends of ours were not going and Ian doesn't like anyone else that I work with. Well, that is not entirely true but if James, Ian's partner in crime, wasn't going to be there, Ian was not fussed about missing out on the big night out.

So the day before my birthday I'm wandering aimlessly around the shops and just as I am about to head back to the office I walk into Monsoon. I spot this dress, try it on and buy it. Just like that. Given I never buy dresses just like that I knew it was a choice purchase. It would have been quite adequate for the ball but by that stage I had pretty much convinced myself I did not want to go so I told Ian I'd bought it for my birthday 'outing'.

Where was I? Oh, yes. I get ready, Ian is trying very hard to pretend he was 'panicking' for PJ had left a message on the answering machine (that I was supposed to have checked when I got home) asking us to drop by with a camera before we went out as they needed it. So between Ian's pretend panic at not being quite sure how to get to where we were going from James & PJ's place and PJ's a-bit-too-sincere message I had them sussed. But the giveaway was the HAPPY BIRTHDAY sign hanging on their front door when we pulled up. Bless them. It was a great night. PJ is a brilliant cook and THE Hostess with the Mostess at the best of times but to lay on a gorgeous spread while taking care of a 4mth old is exceptional.

We had a lovely night with James, PJ, Chad & Christine and lots of great food and wine. I got a pair of these which I just LOVE, so much in fact that I put them on there and then and wore them all night! Didn't quite go with the dress but they did go with the gorgeous necklace that Trinity bought me. Apparently being 4 months old does not preclude her from picking pretty gifts. Just as well.

I have some lovely friends here in the UK which makes being here so much easier. Actually, that came out wrong, what I mean is being so far from family and friends in Australia is much easier to bear when you have the most wonderful, caring people I have around me here in England!

Back to the sofa cause me ankles are poorly.

I still call Australia home...

... but I won't be heading there in June as previously planned.

Stuff has come up which has meant I must relegate plans to spend 2 weeks in Melbourne to the back burner for now. Actually, it is better this way. Yes, I will be missing my Mum's 60th birthday party but it makes better sense to leave the trip for later in the year for my brother's baby 4 months old by then, Ian can get more time off and we can stay for longer. So, as hard a decision as it was to make, I think it will be better if we stay with the original plan of flying out on Boxing Day. The biggest perk to that little delay is that it will be the height of summer in Melbourne - one of my favorite and most missed Australian seasons!

My ankles are coming along nicely. As is the delightful bruise on the inside of my left foot ... it is a lovely shade of violet outlined in jaundice yellow. Gorgeous. I've decided to do as the Doctor advised and take the whole week off and sit down as much as possible. Something I dream of being ordered to do but once its enforced I just long to run around the block. Sad really.

Next post will definitely be a report on my birthday night celebrations!

Listening to: The wind rushing through my poplar in the back yard.
Reading: Kim, Rudyard Kipling

Saturday, May 15, 2004

A finely turned Ankle

I've been out of action for 24 hours for a rather embarassing reason.

I've sprained both my ankles.



On Friday morning I was standing on the sofa reaching for a book from the top shelf in the lounge. So far so good. I grabbed the book I wanted, turned and stepped off the sofa with my right foot however as soon as I put weight onto it, it folded over leaving my left foot to suddenly take weight but it was not quite straight so it too folded leaving me in a crumpled heap on the floor. I heard a crack which I now know was a video falling over on the table beside me. As I sat there in the floor with my legs out in front of me I was certain I'd finally broken a bone. I went into mild shock for I was cold for ages and could not stop shaking. Ian packed them in ice and tried very hard not to laugh. Not hard enough.

I've been twisting my ankles off an on since I could walk. My parents actually kept a pair of crutches we got from the hospital once for a whole 18 months as it seemed that I was spraining one or the other ankle every few months. So now, at 37 my ankles are not in the best shape. Did you know that if you damage your ankles like this you lose 'feeling' in the part of your foot that helps you to know where you are if you close your eyes and try and balance on one leg? Try it. Stand on one foot, hold your arms out to the left and right at shoulder length and close your eyes. Apparently, if your other senses are closed off, there are nerves in your feet that help you to locate where you are in space (not outer) and you are able then to balance. Obviously mine are shot cause I can't even balance with my eyes open. Sober.

Anyway, Ian's been a star and has been waiting on me hand and foot (where does that expression come from) without complaint. Without sarcasm no, with complaint, yes. Bless.

Just as well we had nothing planned this weekend for that is all I'm good for at the moment. Nothing.

Will post later about my birthday night treat!

Listening to: Scissor Sisters, Scissor Sisters
Reading: Kim, Rudyard Kipling

Thursday, May 13, 2004

(Almost) Famous faces

Check this out.

My brother has posted a photo of Ian taken at Sheffield Wednesday last Saturday (eh?) which was the day QPR went up!

Today's my birthday na na na na na!

Every birthday my Dad says to me 'Happy Birthday Sweet Sixteen!' Which is cute really given I'm more than twice sixteen however I think this has more to do with his disbelief that he is pushing 60 than with his nostalgic affection about his little girl...

Still, Dad doesn't like talking to me on the phone from Australia cause it makes him sad. Somewhere in there is an irony but I suspect he's missing it.

So, I am 37 today and life is good. Ian and I are happy, we have a good life, we are still wanting to have a baby and so far there is nothing terminal in our way so I am feeling good today.

Ian woke me up at 6.45am with a kiss and a tray holding a mug of coffee, a glass of apple juice, 3 birthday cards and a package. The birthday cards were from Ian, my Grandmother and my Mother-in-Law. My Grandparents on my Mum's side have always had a calendar by the phone where all the family member's birthdays were noted. Each year my Grandfather would transpose them all onto the new year's calendar which ensured that on the morning of every birthday you were greeted by a phone call from my Grandmother. Not bad going considering they had 8 children, 8 children-in-law and some 40 grandkids!

My Grandfather passed away 11 years ago and the first year after he died Nana called me to calendar duty. It was hard seeing my Grandfather's handwriting on the prior year's calendar knowing it would never be again. Anyway, Nana still calls (at odd hours now cause she's rubbish at time differences!) but this year a card was just as nice. Note to self: Leave phone by the bed tonight.

I digress. Contained within said package were 3 books. One about Michaelangelo (I love him), one about Mongolia (have wanted to go since I saw Marco Polo years ago) and one on Greenwich, you know the beginning of time etc which fascinates me. Does my man know me or what?

Apparently there is more coming. That doesn't surprise me.

I have orders to leave work at 5pm, (not a nanosecond later) and be ready to go out by 7pm. I know not where and I know not who with. Given that my friends have been decidedly cagey all week I'm guessing it won't just be Ian and I tonight. Yay!

Better go ... I spent too much time jumping between Space Hardware and the internet in general yesterday and I have a load of work to do!

Happy Birthday to ME!!!

Still Reading: Moll Flanders, Daniel Defoe
Listening to: Kitchen Music
Expressions I've heard lately that I like*:
Serial Love Pig
Bitch Slap

* A new feature to HomeSouth as I find the ever evolving English language, particularly in the realm of insults and expletives, endlessly fascinating!

Tuesday, May 11, 2004

Birthdays and holidays

Its my birthday tomorrow.

I don't particularly relish the slowly diminishing stock of my years but I do like people, parties & presents. In that order.

I don't know what Ian has planned for tomorrow. Last week he all but convinced me he had not organised anything so after I cried he admitted that he had planned something and it would not be just he and I. I stopped crying. Poor bloke.

As far as a present goes, rather than buy me something he is taking me away. Whisking is the word I think. Anyway, it works out cheaper to spend a week in say, Greece than a weekend anywhere in the UK so we're off to Greece. Needless to say. The term Summer Sun takes on a whole new meaning here doesn't it?

I've just come back from a restaurant opening here in Manchester and the 2 glasses of champagne I drank and the 3 canap├ęs I ate have done nothing for my ability to concentrate this afternoon. Couple that with the fact that all the Partners in the building are in Marbella on a conference for the next 3 days means I won't be doing a whole lot today. However I still have so much to do.


Listening to: Triple J
Reading: Moll Flanders, Daniel Defoe (I promise I'll finish it soon!!)

Monday, May 10, 2004

A new Shirley Template!

I think I've done it!

I've changed the template without so much as an 'Oh my God what have I done?!'

It took a while for I could not decide which template I wanted.

I liked minimia but it was a little to white and clean. Possibly because it was minimilist.

In the end I went for this one cause it has an orange star in the corner. And so combining 2 of my favorite things... the colour orange and stars.

No, I don't know why.

I just do OK!

Off to tweak my blog some more!

Creepy Blogspot ads

You know that ad at the top of my blog?

Can it read my mind?

Or does it read my blog?

Today it is asking me if I want to search for Shakespeare related stuff. Which is spooky cause last week I did.

Am I being watched?

Is this the end of my blogging from work as I know it?

Have I been discovered??



Oh no!

Blogger have sleeked up and made everything look sexier!

New templates, new colours, new everything!!

How ever will I decide what to doooooo!!

I'm leaning towards a minimal looking site but I'm not going to rush into anything just yet.


Listening to: A bit of everything
Reading: Moll Flanders, Daniel Defoe

Saturday, May 08, 2004

Promotions, pizza and friends!


QPR won against Sheffield Wednesday 3-1 which gives them automatic promotion from the Second to the First division!!

I am sooooo excited for Ian and every QPR fan who have been faithfully following the team through this Second Division Pergatory. God, I'm glad it is over.

Howard, Georgie and Oscar were so late we decided to stay in, eat pizza and just catch up. I worked with H in Melbourne nearly 4 years ago after he moved there from London. We worked, played and laughed for 18 months then I moved to London, a fact which H could not understand for after 10 years there he had developed a rather serious hatred of the place!

In my absence he married the gorgeous George, had Oscar and made it to Partner. However they have grown tired of being so far away from family and H has gone about as far as he can career wise. And to be honest, I've missed them terribly so a move to Europe is fine by me! It was fantastic to see them again after all this time. I am also really pleased to say they are not going back to Australia as Howard is looking for work somewhere in Europe as London no longer holds the allure it once did. This of course means more mates of ours will be living close by and that is a great thing! There is the possiblity of H working in Switzerland which is not exactly close by but still less than a 3 hour trip away.

I've been listening to the Scissor Sisters all afternoon and I have to say I LOVE THEM!! Which I assure you means Ian will most likely hate them...

Off to buy some bubbly!

Listen to: Scissor Sisters, Scissor Sisters (Loudly)

Normal transmission resumed


Not being very HTML savvy I was worried that my blog was going to have to stay salmon pink for ever. However, after 15 minutes of flicking between a colour chart, my blog preview and my template I've managed to figure out what code represents each element of the front page and sort it out.

Like I said earlier, phew!

It is a bloody miserating day in Manchester today. And there will be no 'How is that different from normal?' comments thanks. It is particularly miserable for me cause friends of mine from London, who have been living in Melbourne for 5 years are making their first journey north of Watford today. Of all days. Manchester looks wretched in the rain and today is no exception. Well, at least the trees are green. Everything else is one of 2 shades of gray. Bollocks.

I'm going to try and convince them to drive into town for lunch at the Restaurant Bar & Grill but I can't remember how kid-friendly that place is. Probably not I'd say. We could always go to Pizza Express as dire at that sounds. I guess the important thing is that we catch up and I get to experience Oscar at 18 months cause the last time I saw him he was only 8 months. It could go either way really.

I'd better post, publish and piss off.

Have a lovely Saturday folks and say a prayer for QPR today for they REALLY, REALLY NEED to beat Sheffield today to get promoted to the First Division. I can not bear to think what a state Ian will be in when he gets home tonight if they lose. Perish the thought!

Listening to: Patience, George Michael
Reading: Moll Flanders, Daniel Defoe & Romeo & Juliet, William Shakespeare

Friday, May 07, 2004

Momentary lapses of taste abound

I've messed around with the colours on my Blog (stating the obvious is a hobby) and I don't like it!

What was I THINKING??

But it is too late and I'm too tired to figure out what colour goes with what at this time of night.


I'll have to change it tomorrow.

God it looks henious.

Good night.

Friday on my mind...

I'm having a Shakespearian renaissance in my head.

My bed head that is.

A pile of plays I've either not read for ages or not read at all sits there being all delicious and enticing. See, that's how I get around Shakespeare. The anticipation as I turn the next page and read more alluring wordage that William's brilliant mind strings together so masterfully. Gosh, I almost waxed lyrical!

I have started with Romeo & Juliet cause that was my first foray into the Bard's mind and the wonderful, exultant moment that I realised that I actually understood what I was reading!!

Oh Happy Day!

I suggested to Ian that he take me to Stratford-upon-Avon for my birthday next weekend to go the the Royal Shakespeare Company to see the aforesaid Romeo & Ethel the Pirate's Daughter but he says he has other plans. Lovely. We can do Stratford any weekend I guess...

I've been so busy today its blissful. For some insane reason I work far more productively when I have 15 things on the go and the need to juggle becomes acute. I don't seem to forget things as I can keep each task in my minds eye and as I work through one I see the next one roll along the conveyor belt. Strange but true, even my boss knows that when I'm bored or things are quiet he has to remind me to do things he's already asked me to do.

I so want this new Ops Manager Job as that will be a full-time juggling act. And around ten grand more which adds to the lustre. It is still not on our intranet but I'm checking every day and I have my spies on the lookout too.

Speaking of work, some has landed on my desk.

Will post more over the weekend.

Listening to: Triple J
Reading: Moll Flanders, Daniel Defoe

Wednesday, May 05, 2004

A birthday passed...

Today is the day our baby was due to be born had we not miscarried.

We lit a candle, opened a bottle of red wine and cried a little for the life Jordi will not ever have.

I guess life has to go on...

Too much time on my hands

One of the more stupid on-line quizzes...

This is me ...

And Ian is ...

Royal Mail, we deliver

I received the most wonderful package in the post this morning.

My gorgeous friends Shauna & Davey, sent me an envelope full of drawings, paintings (that lime green one is getting a frame I tell you!) by their gorgeous children Dakoda, Beauie, Kushla and Zanek . And the photos!

I can't belive it has been 4 years since I last saw them. It is not right. Beauie, their second child and my Goddaughter, is possibly almost 6 years old. She is beautiful. She drew a picture of me (I am beautiful!) beside which she drew a picture of what I know must be a handbag and the words I still have this! I felt so bad for I know it is most likely something I gave her years ago and I just don't remember doing so. I put down the pictures and the photos and I cried a little for I miss these guys terribly.

My nephew Dante is growing up quickly too. My sister sent me photos of his 3rd birthday party and when they appeared on the computer screen I was so surprised for he does not look at all like a baby anymore. I am amazed that until I see updated photos I expect him to be suspended in time and be the 4 month old he was when I first met him or the 9 month old and then the toddler. He is now is a proper little boy and I was not there to see any of the in between stuff happen.

I love my life here in Manchester but there are lives in Australia that I no longer touch on a daily basis and I can never get that back. I try hard to rationalise this i.e. the kid won't remember before he's 3 that I wasn't there or, I wouldn't see them that often anyway even if I did live in Melbourne but that is not the point. I'd have a closer connection to friends and family. I'd hear more stories of day to day life which seems to get missed from long distance phone calls or even emails.

I don't want to go back to Melbourne for good just now. I still feel we need to be here in the UK for some time yet but I do miss the little sunbeams who I love oceans and can not wait to see ...

Dante ... Sarah ... Breeana ... Mitchell ... Dakoda ... Beauie ... Kushla ... Zanek ... Maya ... Millie ... Darcy ... Georgia ... Emily ... Jessica ... Toby ... Andre ... Julian ... Ryan ... Oscar


Geordies and meat pies...

The May Bank holiday weekend has come and gone and I seem to have emerged from it even more tired than I was on Friday night. Blast and botheration.

I'm starting to seriously worry that my recall facility is broken. My concern about my inability to remember what I ate for tea the night before is being rapidly superseded by my alarm that I call a colleague, say Hi and promptly forget what the hell I was going to ask her. Surely that's a bit wrong isn't it?

So, in light of my new found mental deficiency I have to work backwards in an effort to document what I did this May Bank holiday weekend.

Monday Ian and I spent the afternoon trawing around Manchester city centre. I went on a bit of a Shakespeare binge and found I could not leave Waterstones before I bought myself a copy of Richard III, King Lear and The Complete Sonnets, just to name a few. I've made myself a promise that I am only going to read classic literature or things written prior to 1899 this year and I'm well on my way to fulfilling my quota. I guess watching Shakespeare in Love reminded me again just how clever the man was (Shakespeare that is) and how much I love his language. In fact I think he would be the first person on my list of 'fantasy' dinner party guests.

I digress.

After we loaded the car with our other purchases (Ian just can't resist a book sale) we headed to the cinema to see Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind. You must see it. I loved it.

Sunday we went to breakfast at Fuel in the hope of bumping into Dave & Catherine but I guess most people have breakfast before midday and seeing that I only dragged myself out of bed at 11.00 am we just called it brunch. It was very nice by the way... Chippy popped over later just as I was trying to self-assemble the 'tent-without-sides'* we got for a wedding present some three and a half years ago. It was a lovely sunny day and I dragged out the banana lounges as well fully expecting to spend the afternoon in the garden with a large gin & tonic, the papers and the boys. I'm still pondering the logic of assembling our 'TWS' which exists solely to keep the sun away from fair flesh when I constantly moan of the lack of said sun in this country for six months of the year. But there you go, we are now the proud owners of a green canvas tent-without-sides which I have to say is much, much bigger than the picture on the side of the box suggests!

Saturday Ian went down to London to watch his beloved QPR soundly beat Swindon at Loftus Road and Christine and I went to the City of Manchester Stadium to watch our beloved Newcastle play something that should have been football which resulted in them getting thumped by Manchester City. There are only 2 upsides to the day and they were (a) the weather was fantastic and (b) we had seats behind the goal, 4 rows from the pitch at the away end. So we lasses found ourselves elbow deep in NUFC fans who are mostly, blokes, big, loud and unfortunately this time, very, very pissed. Apparently one is not allowed to smoke at the new Stadium so I have to assume that some of these blokes either can't read or don't care. Methinks the latter frankly although some of the behaviour had me leaning to the former. Still, these blokes are my fellow fans and for the most part they were good company and quite entertaining. With the exception of the bloke who, at the beginning of the second half, tried to get past me with a pie in one hand. What he succeeded in doing was dropping half his pie down the leg of the woman sitting behind us the rest he smeared over his face. Not nice.

All in all it was a frustrating game which drove us both to dementia cause for all the screaming we did the game went south. I just want to be at a Newcastle game where they win. Just once. Still, it was nice to be so close to Alan...

Saturday night I babysat my sweetie Trinity Mack and caught up on my weekly does of Kath & Kim. Always a laugh.

I don't remember what we did on Friday night. So this backwards thing doesn't work after all. Shit.

Reading: Moll Flanders, Daniel Defoe (My reading of Twelfth Night ended sharply when it fell off the bedhead and I could not be bothered looking for it) Also reading Romeo & Juliet, William Shakespeare
Listening to: Triple J

* We can't decide if our TWS is actually called a Pergola or a Gazebo so if anyone knows, leave me a comment.