A blog full of randomness; about anything and everything.

Tuesday, 21 December 2010

Snowed In

Ok so maybe snowed in is a bit of OTT but we did have quite a few inches of the white stuff yesterday. Enough to put a halt to all public transport going anywhere near the homestead and for both my mum and my sister to be sent home. However my dad's boss decided that the office should clearly stay open as the buses were still going passed the office window (he works in the city centre) and she didn't see what everyone was worrying about which meant we had to launch a rescue mission to fetch him.

The snow stopped yesterday evening and public transport seems to have got itself going to an extent. So, fingers crossed, I will make it to the jobcentre in a bit.

On a happier note - the prospect of being snowed in led too much baking. We stocked up by making food supplies including ginger cupcakes, welsh cakes and strudel. So we're in no danger of having a low food supply.

Wednesday, 15 December 2010

Just Hanging Around

So after illness put a stop to my productivity for a day (unless watching Real Rescues and eating cake counts as productive) I have doubled my productivity today and finished my commission for some fabric wall art.

My parents recently decorated our living room so I made them something to hang on the walls and jolly the place up.

(I apologise for the awful pictures - the lights not the best plus they were hanging on the wall and I wasn't feeling up to fussing around to get better shots)

Anywho, back to the point. My grandparents have also decorated their hall recently in and have asked me to make some for them and they'll pay me. They are my grandparents but selling something is selling something.

So now my fingers are covered in glue (which reminds me I need yet more fabric glue!) but my 'to do' list is steadily growing smaller although not to worry there is plenty of things on the 'things to go on my to do list' list! 

Tuesday, 14 December 2010

Deck the Halls

It's nearly Christmas!!! And yes I'm getting a little bit excited. Three more presents finished yesterday, cakes need to be decorated and delivered and my wall hangings need to be finished and delivered.

And now to get you in the Christmas Spirit: A Christmas Tree!

Monday, 13 December 2010

Snowed Under

This blog was not running for a while because of the snow. Ok, Ok so we didn't really have that much snow. Not even enough to justify a snow day unless you are First Bus that is. The lack of snow seemed to be sufficient reasoning for me to be left stood at the side of a busy road in the middle of the countryside where there is no pavement for over an hour and a half.

We did have snow though so I took the opportunity to take a few snaps.

It was very pretty but actually only lasted a couple of days and even when it was at its worst the roads were clear 

Regrettably I am still unemployed and attempting to decide what to do with my life after the rise in uni fees have put a stop to any plans to further my education and get the job I actually want. However this has meant that I have been incredibly productive in the crafting business. This year I have made 80% of my Xmas pressies and now only have a couple more to finish. Pictures will be put up after Xmas so as not to spoil the surprise for the receivers of my crafty creations. 

But I do have some craftyness to show off. First off my best friend, Maddy, got me this for my birthday and it came free with all the bits and bobs to make a bag: 

So way back here I was making a bag that looked a bit like a Chinese boat (or at least I thought it did). Well a couple of months ago I finally finished it and it still holds the award for being the most labour intensive thing I have ever made. I used four and a half reels of thread as there were so many bits of stitching! 

Friday, 15 October 2010

Bags of Stuff

So I haven't updated in a while. Job hunting is a very time consuming activity. So is being ill. And both have meant that there has been very little sleep from me - I spend hours jumping between worrying about not having a job and contemplating by imminent death. Then when I finally settle down enough to try some relaxing breathing exercises I take one breath and am reminded of how I could die of this illness at any moment!!

Enough of that. I have actually managed to be vaguely productive in between my fits of hypochondria. I've finally caught up with the backlog of sewing bits and bobs I was doing for other people. Finishing nicely with the bag I was stitching for my best friends birthday present (I would like to take this opportunity to remind you all that her birthday was in January - thank god she is patient!). So without further ado here it is:

I also added in a little something else to make up for the lateness. This hat to keep her brains warm on the way to work and ridiculously early times of the morning!

The finishing of all these projects means that I now have time to finish off the bag I have been making for myself for ages (as seen in this post). All I have to do is sew on the bias binding to make the edges look neat and it's done! And then I have more stuff I have to start: 1 firm order of some fabric wall art (I haven't posted about them yet - I'll put it on my to do list) and a possible order for a bag. And even better they are both paid orders. I also have to get cracking on all the stuff I'm making for Xmas presents.

Speaking of Xmas; thanks to a special offer a local garden and leisure centre we now have all our xmas decorations for this year. There was free mulled wine and mince pies, 20% of xmas stuff and 10% of everything else.

But before we can have Xmas there is November to get through: and November is National Novel Writing Month which I'm having a go at for the first time so wish me luck!

Thursday, 16 September 2010

Sewing is dangerous

First of all some pictures of the bibs I made for a baby shower.

Although during the making of these bibs I discovered that sewing is actually in fact one of the more dangerous of my occupations. I have been Gorge Walking (walking in a river, up waterfalls that kind of thing),  climbing, caving, abseiling and other related activities and come to no harm whatsoever so I thought I'd be pretty save doing a bit  of sewing.

But I was wrong. All I did was drop my pin tin on the floor. So of course Sods Law dictated that, as I stood up to retrieve the scattered pins and needles, I should stand on the biggest, longest, fattest needle I own which just had to land pointing upwards.

Great. So I had just a few hours to finish the bibs and now I had a pin stuck in my foot. And just to make things a little better my nose, who along with my ears, likes to take centre stage as far as medical issues are concerned, decided to get involved by pouring blood everywhere. It's very hard to call for assistance when you have a giant pin stuck in your foot and blood pouring out of your nose.

Thankfully by the time my mum arrived my nose had decided it had done enough bleeding but it did mean that arrived at the Health Centre covered in blood, looking a bit like I'd had some kind of terrible accident. This, however, did mean that the old ladies didn't complain when I skipped the queue for the Treatment Room! I'm guessing they didn't appreciate my zombie costume.

(You will, I'm sure, be glad to here that the bibs were finished in time oh and my foot has now recovered!)

Wednesday, 25 August 2010

Drowned Rat

So you have an interview. You pull on your smartest outfit, attempt to brush your hair into some semblance of neatness, give up and opt for sticking it all up and out of the way and generally try and make yourself nice. Since you've put all that effort in for the interview you kind of hope you remain in that state until the end of the interview.

Well not if you're me. It all started off well - all the usual preparations ran smoothly and I dashed out the door at 7.45 and hurried along to get to the stop in time for the 8.15 bus. I huddled in my waterproof coat at the bus stop, the rain pounding down on the brolly but only had to wait 15 minutes for the bus. Because of course in bus timetable speak 8.15 means 8.30 unless you're running late then it means 8.10.

I thought the late bus would be the only problem I had to face but I was wrong. The bus was crowded and I perched on the edge of a seat as the old lady next to me was for some reason sat in the middle of the two seats with her bag next to her. So after a tour of the county turning what is a fifteen minute driver by car into an hour and fifteen minute trip.

The crowded bus on its convoluted route combined with interview nerves were gradually making me more and more annoyed so it didn't help that the bus was one of those buses that they've for some strange reason painted completely as an advert; this one was for the RAF and a plane had been painted across the windows making it impossible to see out. Helpful considering I wasn't familiar with the bus route or the area I was going so I had to try and guess when it was time for me to get off.

Eventually the bus arrived at my destination and I managed to find the right stop. My celebrations were short lived. The bus doors swung open to reveal a grassy verge. No pavement just a muddy swamp. Realising I had no choice I reluctantly stepped off the bus and was met by a large squelch. As I trudged through the marsh as quickly as possible towards some civilised tarmac I mourned my lovely shoes. For they were no longer black, they were brown with mud and soaking wet to boot. They will probably never be the same.

Thinking that there could be no more horrors other than another drenching as there was now only a twenty minute walk up a straight road separating me from the interview. Eighteen minutes later I was pretty confident of making it there in not too bad a state. Yes I was wet but the raincoat had mostly protected the coat and smart outfit underneath, the umbrella had stopped my hair from getting too wet and the rain had washed off a vast majority of the mud. What could possibly go wrong in two minutes?

It was then that I heard a car zooming up the road at about 60 miles an hour and before I could react it was shooting past me it's tyres causing the contents of a large puddle to fly up from the road and splash down over me like a waterfall. If my mouth hadn't of been full of dirty puddle water a yell of 'asshole' or similar would have been sent in the direction of the retreating BMW.

So I arrived at the interview sopping wet, for my raincoat and umbrella had been no match for the BMW induced tidal wave so I sort of just dripped over the floor as if I was melting, wanting to do nothing more than just burst into tears. I probably could of done; I was wet so wet no one would have noticed.

Thursday, 19 August 2010

The Best Dinosaur Story Ever Told

Yes, the eagerly awaited epic is finally here. So sit back, relax and enjoy!

All the dinosaurs are Dino Land lived in families. They ate together, slept together and played together. In fact they did everything together.

However Little-O-Raptor didn't have a family. There were no other dinosaurs in Dino Land that looked anything like him. He ate alone, slept alone and played alone. In fact he did everything alone. And he was lonely. 

So one day Little-O-Raptor went in search of a family. 

First he approached the Brontosaurus family. 

"Excuse me," Little-O-Raptor said in a loud clear voice so that he would be heard by Mr Brontosaurus. Mr Brontosaurus was awfully tall. 

"Is that you down there?" Mr Brontosaurus replied.

"Yes it is Mr Brontosaurus. I have no family and I am all alone. Can I join your family please?"

"Join our family?! Why of course not. Your are too small Little-O-Raptor."

"But I could grow," Little-O-Raptor protested.

"I don't think so," Mr Brontosaurus chuckled, "Your legs are too short to keep up with us and your neck is not long enough to reach our food. You cannot be a member of the Brontosaurus family."

With a sigh Little-O-Raptor waved goodbye to the Brontosaurus family and continued on his journey.

Next he met the Velociraptor family.

"Excuse me," Little-O-Raptor said approaching Mrs Velociraptor.

"Oh hello Little-O-Raptor, can I help you?" Mrs Velociraptor said with a smile.

"Hello Mrs Velociraptor. I have no family and am all alone. Can I join your family?"

"Join our family?! Why of course not! You are too slow Little-O-Raptor."

"But I could learn to run fast!" Little-O-Raptor protested.

"I don't think so," Mrs Velociraptor chucked, "You're legs are too stumpy you would not be able to run as fast as us. You cannot be a member of the Velociraptor family." 

With a glum look Little-O-Raptor waved goodbye to the Velociraptor family and continued on his journey. 

Next he met the Pterodactyl family. 

"Excuse me," Little-O-Raptor yelled up into the sky.

"Hello down there Little-O-Raptor!" called Grandfather Pterodactyl. 

"Hello Grandfather Pterodactyl. I have no family and am all alone. Can I join your family?"

"Join our family?! Why of course not! You have no wings Little-O-Raptor," 

"But I could grow some!" Protested Little-O-Raptor.

"I don't think so," Grandfather Pterodactyl chuckled. "You would not be able to fly here and there with us. You cannot be a member of the Pterodactyl family."

Feeling very sorry for himself Little-O-Raptor waved goodbye to the Pterodactyl family and carried on his journey.

Next he came across the Tryannosaurus Rex Family.

"Excuse me," Little-O-Raptor said rather nervously from behind a bush.

"Little-O-Raptor is that you behind that bush?" Grandmother Tyrannosaurus Rex said peering through the leaves.

"Yes it is Grandmother Tyrannosaurus Rex. I have no family and I'm all alone. Can I join your family?"

"Join our family?! Why of course not! You are not scary enough Little-O-Raptor."

"I can be scary!" protested Little-O-Raptor, demonstrating his scariest roar.

"I don't think so," chuckled Grandmother Tyrannosaurus Rex, "Your are not tall and scary with big sharp teeth. You cannot be a member of the Tyrannosaurus Rex family!"

Wiping a tear from his eye Little-O-Raptor waved goodbye to the Tyrannosaurs Rex family and continued on his journey.

He had been walking for ages and had not seen another dinosaur. He was beginning to despair when he found himself looking upon an island he had never seen before.

The island was full of bright plants and palm trees.

"Perhaps my real family are on that island!" Little-O-Raptor said excitedly to himself.

Carefully he made his way across the stepping stones. It was very hard as Little-O-Raptor is awfully small and the stepping stones were very slippy.

The sea rushed past the stones and waves crashed against them. Little-O-Raptor was very scared but he was also very brave.

Eventually he made it to the other side safely.

With a smile he waved goodbye to Dino Land and continued on his journey.

It wasn't long before he met another dinosaur. He had never seen this dinosaur before.

"Excuse me," said Mystery-O-Raptor.

"Hello I'm Little-O-Raptor,"

"Hello Little-O-Raptor, I'm Mystery-O-Raptor. I have no family and am all alone. Can I join your family?"

"Join my family?! Why of course! I'm looking for a family as well."

"I can be your family!" cried Mystery-O-Raptor.

"I think so," chuckled Little-O-Raptor, "Together we can be a family."

So, each with a smile on their faces they waved hello to each other and continued into the sunset together.

They lived happily ever after as a family. They ate together, they slept together and the played together. In fact they did everything together. 

Wednesday, 18 August 2010

The trouble with being short

So my local Tesco have finally seen fit to start stocking SFX, which is possibly the best magazine in the world so why they didn't stock it beforehand is beyond me. The only problem is they have decided that the best for it is on the very top shelf at the very back. Brilliant.

I spent a whole fifteen minutes whilst slurping my Iced Caramel Latte in Costa trying to work out how I could get it down. My plan mainly involved stacking the chairs from Costa on top of an upturned trolley.
Thankfully I had discarded this plan by the time I had finished my refreshment and so instead set off in search of a member of staff. Luckily my first encounter with the this rare species was a lanky six foot spotty youth, perfect for retrieving my prize from the top shelf for me.

"Excuse me," I said, startling the creature from deep in his own thoughts, "Can you get SFX magazine down from the top shelf please?"

He grunted a reply that I translated as "What?". 

"SFX. It's a magazine. And it's on the top shelf where I can't reach it." I even pointed to back up what I was saying. 

"The top shelf?" 

"Yes the top shelf."

He eyed me suspiciously, "Ok then, if you're sure."

I resisted the temptation to inform him I had never been so sure about wanting a magazine in my life. For Torchwhood, Scott Pilgrim, Batman and a host of other geek pleasures lay within it's pages. 

He easily reached the top shelf but my prize was not won yet. 

"Any particular copy you want?" 

"Well considering there is only one SFX magazine up there I think I'll have that one please."

He scooped it up and peered at the cover with a smirk. Unfortunately my patience with the spotty oink had run out and I snatched the magazine from his grubby mitts and headed for the till before anything else could get in my way. 

Now I'm just wondering why Tesco thinks that all geeks are very tall. For I saw no other reason for it's top shelf position. There was no explicit content on the front not that that seemed an issue as the copious amounts of men's magazines like Nuts and Zoo as well as magazines filled with scantily clad males were all at my eye height and therefore clearly visible to any passing children. Although I suppose I should not complain as now I can at least buy SFX and read it on time instead of waiting for it to be passed on to me because I can't afford to buy it after I've paid to get into Bristol to purchase it. 

Thursday, 22 July 2010

The Graduate

So after three years of working my butt of and having an awesome time I have finally graduated. I managed to stay on my feet the whole time - no falling over in sight! However I swear my robe was longer than everyone else's. Most came down to the calves yet mine seemed to be dragging on the floor!

We (me and my family) travelled up to Swansea first thing in the morning stopping off in Bridgend Designer Outlet for some shoe shopping before continuing to the rainy city just in time for a yummy tapas meal before it was time to go and robe up. The day was nicely rounded off with a trip to one of my favourite places - Verde's in the Mumbles.

Lots of pictures were taken on the day yet no one has uploaded them yet so for now you shall have to be content with a picture; drawn by your resident 'artist' me!

Please don't ask why my face is very pale and my legs and hands are very pink!

Friday, 16 July 2010

You find them in the strangest of places

Friends that is.

I haven't blogged in ages. A combination of not really feeling like it and not having enough time. I'm not really sure what to blog about to day. I had some vague idea about finding friends in the strangest of places but I'm not sure I have enough to say but lets give it a go anyway and then there might be cake!

They say that friends can be found in the strangest of places (actually I think they say love can be found in the strangest of places but close enough (and no I have no idea who 'they' are. I did a bit of googling and found nothing.)) Friends really do pop up where you least expect them to. Take my best friend for example. We met on our first day of uni and have been inseparable ever since. Nothing odd about that is there? Well let me tell you we met in a queue. An epic queue. You see we had to sign up for our modules on the first day and get a bunch of things signed. Not so easy when you're doing a joint honours degree where the subjects aren't even in the same school! Added to that is that History and English are two of the biggest courses in terms of people at the university. First there was a queue to pick up registration packs before joining another queue for module selection. That's where I first met Maddy. We didn't talk at first; we were both too shy. But after several hours in that queue and another few hours spent hopping between departments and standing in various queues we were soon talking. And the rest is history.

So watch out behind the next tree or boulder you never know who may pop out from behind it to befriend you!

Now I believe I promised you cake. You remember here where I made some muffins from left over coconut milk. A curry made for last weeks camping trip left me with half a tin of coconut milk and I decided to try to actual recipe those muffins were adapted from so here I present to you Coconut Lime Muffins. Yumm.

Monday, 5 July 2010

This is why I will never get to the bottom of my reading list...

I have a large pile of books that are to be read and a large list of books to read after I've made my way through the pile. But neither ever seem to go down and not only because I keep adding to them but because I keep going back and rereading books.

You see when I'm reading a book I get attached to the books; the story, the people, the places. They become part of my world: I care about them and I know my way around their world as if I have lived there all my life. So when the book ends I miss the characters and the places. I miss the authors writing style, the little quirks and everything.

Sometimes, after having not read a book for a while, I find myself longing to immerse myself back into the world. To hang out with the characters, see the sights, feel the excitement, travel on the journey. So then I have to go and reread the book, or in the case of series', books. My biggest weak point is Garth Nix's 'Old Kingdom' trilogy. I consider Sabriel, Lirael and Sam to be friends, I feel like I know Mogget and the Dog personally.

I try to always wait until all the books in a series are out before I start reading as I'm to impatient to be left hanging! There have been two exceptions: Harry Potter and Pamela Freeman's 'Castings' trilogy. The latter because I did not realise it was a trilogy! I'm still sitting on the edge of my seat to read the third book and find out what happens to Bramble, Ash and Saker because the book is somewhere among my 'to read' list.

Perhaps that's why I enjoy Terry Pratchett's  'Discworld' books because I can dip in and out of the world that I love so much and meet new people each time.

Thursday, 24 June 2010

Me, in pictures

At the beginning of this month it was my 21st birthday and on Saturday my sister gave me my birthday present; a rather awesome canvas printed with pictures from my life. It really made me smile and got me thinking about pictures of me as a child so I turned to our stacks of photo albums.

Ok I'm not one of those people who gets embarrassed about their baby photos mostly because I was damn cute! (Shame that didn't last...). And so I've decided to give you the opportunity to laugh at me by showing you some of these pictures. So here is a guided tour of my life in pictures with your tour guide, me:

 Wasn't I adorable? Come on give me an aww...

However not everyone thought I was adorable:

Please note the terrified expression on my sisters face. (I'm the baby, my sister is the three year old). 

Speaking of my family. There is some things you should know. In our family it is perfectly normal to have a giraffe come to dinner:

Or to find yourself reading a story to a pink elephant: 

There is a good chance I could be under that pink elephant in that picture. It was very unlike me to miss out on story time. 

However this is not perfectly normal:

And I don't mean my sister getting starring role as Mary in the nativity scene! I mean the police officer that can be seen just in front of Mary and Joseph. Since when was there a police officer present at the birth of Jesus? And what is he doing? Looks like he could be arresting baby Jesus. For crimes of being plastic perhaps? 

Now to continue with the tour. Firstly I've always been stylish: 

Just look at that hat. Even as a baby I dressed impeccably!

And are those not the most amazing dungarees that you've ever seen?

Sporting the Yorkshire terrier hair do!
 However at certain age I lost my style and all pictures were better taken at this distance: 

It's ok, don't worry, I got my style back: 

Such up to date fashion!

Not only am I stylish, but I'm an awesome dancer:

I also did more classical styles:

(I'm on the right in the ballet kit)
Now I love to boogie: 

Just look at those moves... 
(I'm the one in the dark purple dress that looks like it has a leafy pattern on it)

I also had other hobbies. I've been in guiding all my life:

Wonder if anyone told Rainbow me that my trefoil is all squiffy...

You can even hire Brownies out for weddings (well Guiders need to make their money somehow!) I'm the one on the far left of the picture. 

I've always been rather adventurous and brave:


I'm the kid who's head has been lopped off by the plant pot. And if you look closely you will note that I am managing to walk around the very high, and narrow, almost Bridge of Khazad Dum like wall without holding my mums hand whereas the boy just behind my sister is having to hold his fathers hand. And I was a whole month younger! 

From Khazad Dum my adventurous exploits progressed to jungle rope bridges:


I even rode wild animals:

There seems to be a bit of a giraffe theme.
I also trained for the Winter Olympics:

I also did a fair bit of extreme boating:

No I do not have my eyes closed in fear, the sun was shining in them. Clearly. 

Look at my feet - I'm even peddling despite my legs being miles from the peddles! 

Anyone for a bit of gorge walking

Aren't wetsuits flattering! (I'm on the right!) 

There was only one thing I was scared of:

Well not SuperTed but people dressed up in animal/ bear suits like that. It's just not natural. You see I'm not in that picture because I'd run 20 miles. Ok I am in that picture. I'm the kid on the right in turquoise who looks like the only reason they haven't fled for their life is the fact that their older sister is holding their hand in a vice like grip. 

I also had a few career options. I could have been a baker:

Unfortunately it's not a brilliant picture but they were biscuits decorated to represent the four seasons using mainly dessicated coconut, food colouring and playmobil figures. And look I won first prize!! And there were clearly other entries because I can see a plate in front of it! 

Or perhaps I could have been a nurse:

Every nurse needs a pair of fluffy blue slippers! Admit it, you'd want to be treated by that cute little thing, wouldn't you?! 
But my main ambition was to be a pirate:

I still think I'd be an awesome pirate:

So for a bit of a summery: I was an absolute doll when I was small!

And just a little bit crazy: I liked boxes.

But at least I wasn't as crazy as my sister. 

Ok everyone lets just point and laugh. 

Now it's time for me, your ultra cute tour guide, to bid you farewell. Until next time!