Downsized and out in Bristol and Somerset

Tuesday, February 22, 2005

Help me, Obi-wan Kenobi

I've got quite a bit of work to do at the moment, so what better time to piss about on the internet finding a new photo for my profile (right)? I'm a bit bored of the princess cake, so I decided to go for the best princess ever: ass-kickin' robo-babe , feminist icon and an early role model for me and many other women who grew up with brothers in the late 1970s/early 1980s. Let's face it, Luke wouldn't have survived through the first reel if it wasn't for her; and then, while he's pissing about "finding himself" by waving a big shiny stick around, she's getting on with fighting evil and generally getting stuff sorted out, like women through the ages before her and plenty of women to come after her.
Plus she got to shag Han Solo and we'd all like a go on that, wouldn't we.
And while I was looking, I found this. How cool? I need one.
This is just weird though. And slightly pervy in a way I can't quite define.

Bloody London gets all the attention

Oh great. According to BBC Breakfast it's snowed more in south London than it has here. Yet another example of the London-centric attitude of this country. It's just not fair. I'm joining the Countryside Alliance.

Hunter S Thompson dies


Farewell then, Hunter S Thompson.

You never meant shit to me.

But apparently, you should have done

So maybe it's time I got round to reading one of your books.

Monday, February 21, 2005

Reasons why living here is better than living in London, #687

It's snowing!!!!!!!!!

I bet Felicity Kendal never had to put up with this sort of thing

Oh woe. My compost heap has let me down. Like an unruly teenager, it has embarrassed me in front of my family.
When my sister-in-law came round with my brother and a lovely cake (I'm enjoying a hefty chunk of it now as it happens, washed down with a nice cup of tea) I took her out to view the Green Refuse Compacto-Decomposition Unit and she was duly impressed, but I couldn't help noticing that some of the floorboards nailed together to make the front side were coming adrift. I could only lean against them to cover them up and smile winningly in the hope that SIL wouldn't see them (she said she couldn't see anything amiss but dammit, I knew it was there).

Anyhoo. I've just been to Tesco's to buy supplies for a small gathering of friends I'm hosting this weekend to celebrate my 30th birthday (it's not a party, my official birthday party is happening later in the year). We've got cherryade, cream soda, three sorts of jelly, raspberry ripple ice cream (two tubs - I toyed with the idea of getting different flavours but really, you can't improve on raspberry ripple), champagne, party rings, happy face biscuits, pink wafer biscuits, jammy dodgers, burgers, hot dogs, dandelion and burdock, processed cheese slices, coleslaw, potato salad, onion rings, assorted crisps and lashings of ginger beer! The plan is to get really high on sugar and run around breaking things. I need TV for my bumhole!

Saturday, February 19, 2005

An amusing situation with a chicken

...well, not really, but I have been Good Lifeing it up today, spending a good hour or so in the garden taking my compost heap up to the next level. I don't mean I put more scraps on it so it got taller, I mean that I have turned it from a simple heap of garden waste and kitchen scraps into a turbo-charged Bio-Waste Decomposition Zone(TM).
You may recall that I had fashioned rudimentary (but oozing with Scandinavian design flair) sides for my heap out of an old Ikea futon - actually, you may not, as my detailed description of the process was lost forever from the literary canon in an unfortunate blog-posting malfunction. Well, it had remained since then as a three-sided affair with large gaps between the slats of what was once the futon and really, although it looked cool, it wasn’t heating up properly and nature was not able to take its course. To make things worse, I’d been banging on to Nice Next Door Neighbour about how an aerobic composting system was much more efficient than his anaerobic plastic bin that he got from the council, even though I had no idea what I was talking about and was totally making it up.
Once again, though, it was the Nice Next Door Neighbours who came to the rescue. My Organic Fertiliser Production System(TM) now has a fourth side constructed from the neighbours’ floorboards – old ones, that they’re replacing, I didn’t just barge in and start ripping up their living room floor - and is covered on all sides with their old living room carpet (dog hair still attached for extra insulation). It even has – get this – a lid made of carpet, which can be folded back for convenient access and then replaced to keep the heat in. And the whole thing was achieved by some very satisfying nail-bashing which made me feel very capable and post-feminist even though most of them are well on the piss.
It’s now overtaken the woodpile as my number-one pride and joy. I’ve caught myself looking out the window admiring it twice already and I’m really looking forward to my sister-in-law coming over tomorrow afternoon so I can show it to her.

Wednesday, February 09, 2005

'Illness' behind job response delay, publisher claims

Finally got ticked off with waiting and emailed the first interview people to ask them what the hell was going on (although obviously I phrased it more arslikhan-like, but that was the jist). Apparently the publisher is off sick and no one can make a decision without him. Which I guess is fair enough, although surely the man's got a damn phone? Tsk.

Friday, February 04, 2005

Publisher in 'comes to senses' shock

No, I still haven't heard back from the people I was interviewed by before, but I have just been offered an interview by another magazine in the same company. Which is nice. I asked about the salary range and the top end of it is a whopping 70% of what I earned in London, so that's just about acceptable and I said yes. Haven't arranged a day yet though.
The downside is that it's a permanent job whereas the other one is maternity cover but hey, there's nothing to stop me leaving after eight months anyway I guess. And with mortgages and suchlike looming on the horizon, permanent employment is seeming unusually attractive.
Hmmmmn. Still, it's nice to be wanted and anyway I always make it a rule not to turn down a job before I've been offered it. In truth, though, I'm really hoping the other people offer me that job before I do this interview so I don't have to sit through it. And I don't know what the hell I'm going to wear, I don't have any smart clothes that still fit.

Tuesday, February 01, 2005

Top bird

This isn't supposed to be a "links I think you'll find interesting" kinda blog, but I've just seen this story about a parrot who can have conversations and it's so amazing I think you'll, y'know, find it interesting.
I'm not sure it isn't a hoax, it's that crazy. And I definitely don't go for the telepathy stuff. But, dammit, the thing can use past and present tenses and form sentences to talk about new experiences, it clearly isn't just repeated stuff, ahem, parrot-fashion.
I wonder if I will one day be able to teach my chickens to talk.
Perhaps the reason parrots, mynah birds and so on are the ones most commonly known to talk is that they have lives worth talking about; a chicken's conversation would probably be little more than: "Hi, how are you? Me? yeah, yeah I'm fine as it goes. I laid another egg today but it disappeared, as usual - honestly, you try to keep an eye on them, but as soon as your back's turned they just go walkies every time. God knows where they end up. Apart from that I did some grubbing around and scratching; got scared a few times and that bloody cockerel was hassling me for most of the afternoon, but all in all, nothing much to report. At least we haven't seen that fox around lately, phew, did I tell you about the time last year when he nearly got through the fence? I did? Oh. What's been happening in your life then?"


The interview guy said he'd get back to me "in the early days of next week". That was on Friday morning. It's now the early days of next week and I haven't heard a peep yet. Damn him! Damn him!
I'm trying not to care, because I know it's only a job and will probably be boring just like all the other jobs I've ever had (apart from any that have involved working for Taxloss, obviously) but failing.
Waiting to hear about a job interview is like waiting for a call from a bloke you've just met. There's the initial confidence that he will call, then the anxiety as time passes, accompanied by increasingly less-confident assuring of self that boy time is different and that just because he said he'd call on Tuesday doesn't mean he won't leave it until Thursday or even later, then the slowly dawning realisation that actually he's not going to call, followed by the eventual conclusion that you're ugly, boring, undesirable, possibly foul-breathed and should have shagged him then and there while you had the chance and not tried to make him think you were respectable by telling him to take you out for a date or two before you got ur freak on even though you knew it was a given that you'd jump into bed by 9.30 on the first date anyway.
OK, so when it comes to a job interview, maybe the last bit doesn't quite apply, but I have got increasingly niggly worries about what I should have said and how I came across. Did I seem witty and confident or needy and uptight? Will that feature that I left him to show the breadth of my experience work against me because it's a bit shit, even though I did point out twice that I wrote it a long time ago and I've got much better since then? Were there any vegetables stuck in my teeth?
And all this while Bessie is in Nicaragua and Mrs Mod is laid up in Yorkshire with a runny tummy - how is a girl expected to cope with this kind of stress without a brace of best friends easily to hand?