Monday, 31 March 2008

The Sun'll Come Out...


And yesterday in fact. It's a bit gorgeous out there. I even went so far yesterday as to open the sun roof.
It's a Summer milestone. The next one to be achieved is flip flops. That's a sure sign Summer is close by. It's also a sign I need to remember to keep my toenails painted and find all my toe-rings.
Which are less trouble than toe-rags.

I think I'm going to compile a list of Summer songs and make a new CD for the car, just to help with the advent of more and more sun.
Submissions welcome!

Sunday, 30 March 2008

On The Tiles

"not a man returned from the distance without his tale of wonders - violent whirlwinds, mysterious birds, enigmatic shapes half man and half beast: things seen or things believed in a moment of terror." - Tactitus: Annals.

Whilst that actually describes the feelings of the Romans on invading the wonderful British Isles, after a night out in town on Saturday I came to realise that it still describes us very well. There are certainly still mysterious birds to be seen and as for "half man and half beast" well I'm sure that applies to Saturday nights in many cities!

Went to a 70's & 80's music club, which was superb, filled with women dancing away to songs that we all knew the lyrics to. Although there were also four young men (far too young to know the words in my humble opinion) who had some serious dance moves going on. I ought to have been faintly disturbed by the fact that three of them had a routine to Rick Astley's fabulous track - Never Gonna Give You Up, but actually it was great, I found myself wanting to join in.

Whilst I'm a folky by nature, you can't help but get caught up in the music that your childhood was spent loving. I remember religiously buying Smash Hits magazine and I'd sit on a Sunday evening next to the radio listening to the top 40. The last page of the magazine had 40 slots where you could write along with the chart rundown, which I did. Because I'm sad like that. I also loved that the lyrics to lots of the songs were in the magazine too, so I could sing (read: caterwaul) along with the songs as they played on the radio.

Before getting to the club, my sister Gin and I frequented
The Tap & Spile which is possibly my favourite pub in town. I think the fact that it has such a mix of folk, which I've mentioned before, but it's just so relaxed. When you go in the High Street pubs the atmosphere is so very different and I certainly would never expect to be tapped on the shoulder to be told that there were two seats available if we wanted to sit down. Friendly folks round here you know.We then went over to the club, but were a smidgen early and were refused entry, at least they said they weren't open yet, we looked good so it can't have been any other reason! We skipped to the pub opposite. Not literally. I'm not born to skip. Or run. The last time I ran was such a preposterous disaster that I haven't run since. I'm sure all the people on the bus that saw me fall in a spectacular manner still remember it too.

Anyway, we went into The Still which was very quiet. Both barmen asked for my number. But not in a good way. They frowned when I ordered a soft drink, asked if I was driving and I said that although I was driving that I'm also teetotal, at this point they asked for my number. Teetotal = taxi.

Anyway, we sat in the pub and a short while later were introduced to Walter, who is a local magician. He must be in his 80's, if not 90's and is so very tiny and absolutely lovely. He entertained us with numerous tricks, none of which I can understand how he did. From cards changing in front of my eyes to traditional rope tricks that I still don't quite understand. It was very, very cool! I want to be a magician! Or a little bit magic.
I danced and danced and then I danced some more. I had quite the splendid time. I shall be going back, many times!

On a totally unrelated note: they have announced the line-up for the
Cambridge Folk Festival. After last years debacle I had pretty much decided that I wasn't going to attend and instead put my efforts into trying to get to the Grand Braderie in Lille, because, hello? 200km of flea market? OH MY GOD! Seriously, if I believed in heaven, that is what it would be like. Except I'd have a big van in which to stow all the bargains.

However, the aforementioned line-up has caused me great pain. It's almost perfect. The Waifs! Levellers! Martha Wainwright! Peatbog Faeries! Laura Marling! Joan Armatrading! 3 Daft Monkeys! Eric Bibb! Eliza Carthy! Altan! Karine Polwart! Seth Lakeman! Oh my good god, it pains me. I have to start playing the lottery. There's nothing for it!

Mum sent me an IM on AOL this morning to ask if I'd remembered to put my clocks forward. I had no idea they were supposed to change! I failed totally to notice that when I turned on my PC that an extra hour appeared to have miraculously elapsed. Damn I hate it when the clocks go forward. An hour of my life, gone. It's like an alien abduction without the cool story. Or implanted microchip.

I saw a UFO once you know.
And one of our ABC's. Alien Big Cats that is. It was a black leopard.On neither occasion had I imbibed liquor.

Anyway, I shall babble more about that another time, for now I have an hour to make up!

Saturday, 29 March 2008

Song Of The Week XVI

I can't remember when I first heard this, but it must have been several years ago. I do remember that I loved it from the very first time I heard it and was desperate to be able to have my own copy of it.

I'd seen Martha Wainwright supporting Loudon some years ago and not enjoyed her set at all, so when I heard this and loved it I was surprised. I've seen her live since then and she's just excellent. I don't know what happened or what changed but it's definitely for the better and she's starting to get the recognition she deserves.

It was hard to find a good video of this, but I probably just didn't look properly, so this has two of her songs on. How lucky we are!

Martha Wainwright - Bloody Mother Fucking Asshole:

Thursday, 27 March 2008

Premature Ageing

I got a letter a day or two ago which began thus:

"Dear Miss T.
As you were born before 1958...."

I was born in 1975.
Even the junk mail people think I'm looking old.
I knew I should have bought some night-time anti wrinkle cream.

Poorliness update. I feel rough. The heating is off and I am distinctly warm to the touch and also distinctly pink of face. Now it hurts both sides when I swallow. And, my chest hurts. I also have my trademark walrus cough, which is even more unattractive than it sounds.
Feel free to send pity, empathy or sympathy in my general direction.
I'll take anything. Including excessive amounts of chocolate.

Wednesday, 26 March 2008

A Little Of This...

and a little of that...

I keep waking up with this sore throat, which hurts my left ear when I swallow. By mid-morning it's ok but then I hear my voice start to fail me. Then it's ok again around lunchtime but starting to go again in the afternoon and evening. It's a little sore right now. Poor me.

I feel as though I've got a cold, but without actually having a cold. It's quite odd. But then I'm quite odd.

So, it snowed the other day. I laid in bed and wondered why there were squealing children in the street. It's a quiet village I live in and you don't normally hear the kids in the street. I eventually hauled myself from bed and pulled the curtain back a little to see what the day had in store for me.
The view from my window was this:
A lovely scattering of snow for my viewing pleasure. I toyed with the idea of throwing on some clothes and running to the garden to make a snowman, but then wondered on the exact kind of snow that had fallen, because there are two types of snow. I decided that I would believe it to be the kind that doesn't cling and roll easily, that way I could imagine making a snowman whilst remaining in my warm cottage, just taking pictures of the snow outside my window.
I love the views from my windows. Look at all those lovely trees. And, is it just me or does snow just make everything look so pretty and fresh?

I drove past the fire station on Easter Monday and the firemen had clearly had no fires to contend with judging by the size of the snowman outside the station, which is still partially in existence today. Although not recognisable as much more than a pile of snow. He was wearing quite a jaunty bandanna on Monday though and looked justly dapper.

Went to The Collection on Monday and really enjoyed it. Was suitably fascinated by it and lost quite some time in there. I had no idea that so many artefacts had been found locally. Rachael reliably informed me that the only place more has been found is at the Thames, which I find incredible. There was a great map showing all the old settlements that ended in 'by' or 'thorpe' and there are very few near me. It obviously wasn't the place to be back then. I was enormously restrained and resisted the purchase of an Art Nouveau book in the gift shop, but it was a really very lovely book.
Is it me, or is restraint just no fun at all?

I'm not sure how I found this next video, it must have just popped up whilst I was browsing the wilds of youtube, but I think it's very cool, I also found the British one which was inspired by this one. I'd love to be a part of something like this:

I have a hint of sadism running through my veins. I didn't feel very good at the weekend and decided to chill out and watch some movies. It didn't help that when I got up every single TV channel appeared to be dead. I don't cope well with such deprivation. Anyway, I curled up with my blanket and a hot chocolate and watched Ray, which I really enjoyed. Then I chanced turning back on my Sky box and lo and behold, some of my channels returned. Hurrah. Once again I had Discovery and Animal Planet, because, that's where it's at I tell you. Well I do love Diva too, but that's because I'm a little addicted to Style by Jury. I need help. I know it.
Anyway, digression over, I watched The Day After Tomorrow, which I have seen before and whilst I enjoy the general plot, the fantasy and the CGI there are things that really, really bug me. Well one thing primarily, why the hell do they burn the books? Books don't burn. They really don't, the edges char and that's it. But that's what they chose to make us believe they burn. Not the huge amount of wooden furniture. No, the chairs are only good for making snow shoes. This annoys me, because although the plot is unbelievable in itself, the book burning I just can't suspend disbelief over.
I digressed away from my sadism - although it is still related to this movie. I have this really strong desire to time travel. Not just because I want to go back and forth in time, but because I want to go back a couple of hundred years and show them this movie. Tell them that this is the future. Because they'd never understand that we could make it appear New York was lost in a tidal wave, they'd never understand CGI and it would really mess with their heads.
I'd want to show them Jurassic Park, or maybe just clips, make them believe we'd recreated dinosaurs.
I have a place reserved in hell for me. It's a little funny though right?

Tuesday, 25 March 2008

Song Of The Week XV

There has been weather and I have been under it.
My song of the week is delayed, but it's a great one and worth the wait!

I always loved this track, there are so many of us that can empathise and relate to the story told within it. I've always felt it's a shame it wasn't a more well-known song, it's really well performed too, in my humble opinion!

Wednesday, 19 March 2008


I've said before that I love daisies so when I went out to the garden centre with Mum the other day I decided I'd treat myself to some of those gorgeous pink ones.
Only they didn't have any.

The following day Mum arrived with a tray of them which I've planted up outside, with one exception which I kept for inside.
Look how pretty it is. Absolutely gorgeous in its little terracotta pot.
I couldn't resist a photograph or two when I saw the drip of water hanging there.

Really put a much needed smile on my face.

Friday, 14 March 2008

Song Of The Week XIV

Some time ago I rented the movie Everything Is Illuminated and loved it. I had no idea what to expect as I tend to just click on the recommendations suggested to me and give new movies a try.

As the titles started to roll, this song started playing and I spent the rest of the credit rolling on my knees in front of the TV, determined to discover the name of both the song and the artist. Moments later I was online and trying to find the song and listen again. I still absolutely love it.
In fact, I love the album, it's just so fresh and completely surreal.
I haven't been lucky enough to be able to catch them live, but I understand them to be pretty wild on stage.

I do love my song lyrics and this has a one of my all-time favourites: "All your sanity and your wits will all vanish, I promise, it's just a matter of time"

Gogol Bordello - Start Wearing Purple:

Thursday, 13 March 2008


Leaving your bath running whilst you write random blog entries is not smart.
Caught it by a whisker.
Must remember to remember things.


Has anyone seen my blasted phone charger?
I swear Mifford hides things.
The little battery line is down to red. Which is making me panic.
What's that you say?
I'm prone to panic?
Yeah I know. But dude. It's my mobile phone. Take my limbs but damn it leave me my mobile and a stick to poke it with.

Girl Failures

I apply the face mask.
Set up my little chair next to the bath with my phones and book.
I light all the candles.
I turn on the taps.
I go to the cupboard.
I am Mother Hubbard.
Although the cupboard isn't strictly bare, there is a distinct lack of bubble bath.
I'm sure that not having bubble bath and being a girl is somehow against the rules.
Those unwritten rules.
Although I do have several dozen bottles of essential oils.
Which smell nice.
But fail to bubble.
My hot bath and early night has lost its sheen without my bubbles.
I do have some washing up liquid downstairs, but that might be going too far.

Tuesday, 11 March 2008


I know the storms were here, I heard them buffeting my conservatory yesterday. I heard the rain smashing down and saw it hitting the windows sideways. This morning the skies were clear though. It was glorious on the other side of the glass, the sun bright and the blue as wonderfully contrasted to the cotton clouds as possible.
I went out for a short walk this afternoon and the wind is all that remains of yesterdays storms. It blew sideways across my path, meaning that neither my journey out nor that of my return was spent removing my hair from my face and mouth as the wind kept it conveniently swept back.
There are different kinds of wind, whilst it blows strongly through the trees still, it's exhilarating and invigorating. A pleasure to be in. It's not so strong as to whip the air from your lungs before you've had chance to breathe it, but enough to run its fingers through your hair, over your skin to let you know you're alive. Also enough to guarantee your umbrella turning inside out if it gets a good hold.

Monday, 10 March 2008

A World Of Dreams

I have no idea what kind of chemical craziness goes on inside my brain once I close my eyes and finally hit that REM state. All I know is that I wake up regularly going "What the hell?"

For instance, a few nights ago I dreamt that I had travelled to a friends house, in which he no longer resides. For some reason I was able to let myself in as he wasn't home. Once I'd done so, I panicked that I shouldn't have done. So instead of leaving I went and took a nap. As you do. Then later, he arrived home and introduced his housemate. Who was a gnome.
What the hell?
A gnome? Where did that come from? Seriously, what is going on with my REM cycle? It's like an acid trip in my sleep.
And, by the way, in the dream my friend had unnaturally small ears. Which he doesn't have in the real world, they're perfectly nice, normal ears!

Then last night I dreamt that I was in the desert and four crocodiles were chasing me. I clearly remember thinking that they said on Mythbusters that they wouldn't chase you and that I would write and complain. And I was thinking this while four crocodiles were trying to bite me. I multitask well I guess.
The next thing I knew I was inside my house and there was a single crocodile chasing me up my stairs. He was better on the stairs than I imagined. I shut my bedroom door and it sat outside, then when I opened it a crack to see if it was still there but instead there's a small dog which jumps up and attaches itself to my hand and hangs there, biting me.
For some reason there's a sort of doorstep and Mifford is curled up fast asleep as all this is going on. So I pull her into the bedroom and shake off the dog.
Then I see bite marks in a small book and establish from this that Mifford has been bitten by a snake as she was previously living inside the book.
What the hell?

My reality is a weird enough place to exist, but my dream world, it beggars belief.

Check Me Out...

A glut of photos surfaced of my good self and despite the potential for humiliation and the nudity contained within I'm going to share them... mainly because they really make me chuckle.

It's Mum's flickr account and it's made me want to upload my own pics, or finally get round to scanning the huge collection I have in albums and boxes.

So, here I am: Wee Me.

Sunday, 9 March 2008

I Love It When...

...a huge corporation, usually responsible for taking huge amounts of money from you, accidentally gives you too much change.

Friday, 7 March 2008

Less Bleach

Vinegar was suggested as a method of removing the stench of the bleach.
I decided instead to try the limescale remover from Ecover and it worked! I now smell of limescale remover. How delicious.


I stink.
I smell like bleach.
It's not a good smell.
Does anyone like the smell of bleach?
I've washed and washed my hands but the stench will not leave.
Damn the price of cleanliness.

Song Of The Week XIII

This is Mariza, I'd never really heard of fado before I heard/saw her perform and I thought she was just superb. Such a glorious voice and such power in her performances, you really feel the emotion when she sings.
I don't understand the language, but in this one you really sense the meaning behind the words she's singing.
It doesn't hurt that the guy at about 4:20 is wonderfully easy on the eyes.

Mariza - Primavera:

And by the way, she really deserves that round of applause mid-way through, I wish I could do that and not sound like I was being slowly tortured.

Monday, 3 March 2008

Advertisements & Wallowing

Whilst I wallowed in a little self-pity when I felt crappy at the weekend I was curled on my sofa feeling my eyes slowly become square as I browsed the channels my Sky subscription has to offer. What I came to realise is that there are no adverts that I look forward to any more, with the exception of one that I saw today, which I'm going to seek out on youtube. Anyway, I digress (as usual) and it made me think about the adverts I used to love.

Looking at the comments on youtube I have discovered that I am not the only one that still remembers all the words to this:

But then of course there was also this to look forward to:

I absolutely willed the first strains of that track to come on in every advert break. But I do wonder if that wasn't the case for all of the Levi's ads in that era.
Take this:

Or this:

And then go have a cold shower.

Actually, before you do, watch this. It's the advert I mentioned at the beginning that I just discovered. Sheer genius.

Whoever came up with this at VW or their very expensive ad agency I salute you. I can't stop watching it. And it still makes me grin very widely. It's going in my mental top ten adverts of all time.
It also makes me want a VW Polo. And a singing dog. Or a singing cat. I'm not fussy.

A Gap In The Market

I'm not sure if I've said this before, but anyway...
I woke up on Saturday morning feeling like crap. A melee of frogs in my throat and my trademark sea lion cough. I also felt a little like my head might be about to catch fire. All in all, it was just splendid.

I did the chores I had to do for that day and then went home and curled up on my sofa. Once again I realised there is a huge gap in the market. You can ring for pizza, you can ring for a taxi, but what you can't call for is someone to come and make you a hot chocolate. What the world needs is an on demand butler service.

When you're sick you can call a number and a nice gentleman will come and bring you chocolate, both solid and in a cup. Then he'll go and run you a bath, put in some of your favourite bubble bath, light the candles, turn down the corner of your duvet and possibly even put a hot water bottle down at the end of the bed so when you climb in, your feet are toasty warm. He'll even ensure that a CD of your favourite relaxing music is playing too, or maybe just make sure that you're set up with a good DVD so that you don't have to make the crawl to the DVD player.
It would be worth any price.