Friday, April 30, 2004

Now I'm over the shite that is returning to work after three weeks off, I am happy to be pottering at home on my day off. Have uploaded a selection of Kosova photos on Textamerica, The Boyfriend has put all of the photos on Yahoo, but for some reason the link's not working when I link to it from here.
Rather disturbingly, I have been sent the details of where and when my exam is for the Open University course that actualy starts tomorrow... talk about organised. I'm planning a night of telly and wine, in preparation for the onslaught that is working all bloody weekend. Hhmph. More updates later perhaps.

Tuesday, April 27, 2004

I'm BACK!

Had a fab time in Kosova... not sure where to start really... I am planning to write a longer piece about the trip generally, but I will just put the main bits here. Lots of meeting relatives and friends of The Boyfriend, had a fantastic day trip to the mountains (I kept on wanting to sing "High on the Hills was a Lonely Goat Herd") and a lovely old town called Prizren (very old, very clean and the day was hot so we really felt like we were on holiday!). Most days started with going out for a coffee in town with The Boyfriend and his sister (in her Yugo - v.authentic!) - most places have seats outside, and waitress service. Eating out and coffees out etc are much cheaper than in London - about 1 Euro a coffee (approx. 70p). Ate lots of home-cooking, cheesy pies, cakes and salads... The Boyfriend has put on 4kgs in 2 weeks... mysteriously (thankfully) I have not put on any weight...

Took loads of photos (err about 230!) and will put them on some sort of webpage (?Yahoo type thing) very soon... trying to put some in Textamerica but for some reason it's down. Anyway.. I'm back to work tomorrow, and am doing four 13hr shifts in five days... so not a happy bunny... will post more about Kosova etc probably on Friday... any questions abot the trip can go in the comments bit and I will try to answer them!

Saturday, April 10, 2004

Grammar God!
You are a GRAMMAR GOD!


If your mission in life is not already to
preserve the English tongue, it should be.
Congratulations and thank you!


How grammatically sound are you?
brought to you by Quizilla

P.S. Just added a Textamerica photo page to the site!

Well, it's only two days to go until The Holiday... we have now obtained the suitcases we are borrowing from The Boyfriend's brother, and have sorted out a pile of stuff we want to take.. just a matter of getting organised now. I have never really been on a "proper" holiday before - as a child we didn't go on holidays (day trips around Northumbria and North Yorkshire... and my mum has never even been abroad). I went on a couple of school trips to France, which I suppose could be counted as holidays. Then visited Ireland for a weekend, but as it's kind of similar to here and we only went for a couple of days that doesn't really count either. I also lived in Germany briefly, but I don't count that either as it was our own house and it was not relaxing (at all), and hence not a holiday as such. So this is it... my first "proper" holiday, suitcases, passport and all. And I'm quite nervous about it all - we are staying with The Boyfriend's family, who speak little (some none) English, and my Albanian is rather limited (ahem).

Not sure if I will be able to blog much from hereon in... The Boyfriend is giving the computer to his brother while we are away (maybe tonight), and I'm not even sure I'll be able to get to a computer while we're over there... so until the next time, Farewell!

Friday, April 09, 2004

Watched a really good film from the video shop last night - The Life of David Gale... a really good thriller with lots of twists and turns. Best film I've seen in a long time (but then I do like Kevin Spacey).

Thursday, April 08, 2004

Have just discovered a writer's section on the BBC website... plus a short-story competition [courtesy of Fat Buddha]

Everyone else seems to be doing this, so hey why not... here's my 23 questions:

1: Grab the book nearest to you, turn to page 18, find line 4. Write down what it says:
" and Peter stood by my side, arranging the blossoms. I closed my eyes to feel"

2: Stretch your left arm out as far as you can. What do you touch first?
The wall.

3: What is the last thing you watched on TV?
That "Real Crime" programme last night.

4: WITHOUT LOOKING, guess what the time is:
9.55am

5: Now look at the clock; what is the actual time?
9.46am

6: With the exception of the computer, what can you hear?
The distant sound of "Trisha"...

7: When did you last step outside? What were you doing?
Yesterday - I had a haircut in the morning (Vidal Sassoon), and in the afternoon me and The Boyfriend went shopping in town, bought more presents for t'family abroad, plus a few other bits + pieces we need for the holiday.

8: Before you came to this website, what did you look at?
Typing an e-mail to a girl I went to nursing college with.

9: What are you wearing?
My pyjamas and a sweatshirt.

10: Did you dream last night?
Might have done, but I can't recall any of it.

11: When did you last laugh?
Yesterday afternoon, all afternoon with The Boyfriend. Especially when he took a camera-phone photo of me trying on a big red hat for a laugh in Zara.

12: What is on the walls of the room you are in?
Err... horrible woodchip wallpaper, plus a small framed Matisse print and a Picasso one.

13: Seen anything weird lately?
Not weird exactly, but when we were in JD Sports trying to buy a present for a 14-yr old basketball-loving teenager, we saw some "finger supports" for basketball players - sort of thin stretchy tubes you wear on your fingers... so we just had to buy them!

14: What do you think of this quiz?
Might have to have a little food-break soon...

15: What is the last film you saw?
Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon

16: If you became a multi-millionaire overnight, what would you buy first?
A fab pad in St John's Wood or Hampstead.

17: Tell me something about you that I don't know
I qualified as a personal fitness trainer a few years ago.

18: If you could change one thing about the world, regardless of guilt or politics, what would you do?
I'd make people more considerate.

19: Do you like to dance?
Not in public.

20: George Bush: is he a power-crazy nutcase or some one who is finally doing something that has needed to be done for years?
The former.

21: Imagine your first child is a girl, what do you call her?
Mena, or Lila (but The Boyfriend says no to this one) or Miranda.

22: Imagine your first child is a boy, what do you call him?
Not too sure.. I am not overly keen on any boy's names yet...

23: Would you ever consider living abroad?
Well, I kind of have lived in Germany (briefly, with the E.A.B. - evil army bloke)... might do again, it would probably be Kosova if anywhere.

Right! time for breakfast now!

Tuesday, April 06, 2004

Oops. In a re-dowsing of my aching parts in fumes of Deep Heat, I have now applied a tad too much to the back of the neck region, and it burns like hell. Just thought you might like to share my pain! AARGH!

Exercise is bad for you, it's official. Sunday I did a Pilates class at the gym, quite tough, quite enjoyed it, thought no more about it. Yesterday I was a little bit stiff but decided to do the whole hour and a half Tae Bo DVD... and about an hour later I seized up. All the lower back exercises the Pilates guy did with us on Sunday have now kicked in, giving me some sort of lower-back strain... my hamstrings hurt, my lats are killing... the only things that don't hurt are my face and my feet. My body is a Deep Heat-infused mess. So as you go about your daily business today, spare a thought for me hobbling round the flat like a 90yr old woman!!

Sunday, April 04, 2004

Well, I've started. Studying, that is. It feels weird, I must say, but strangely satisfying. As the rain lashed down from the dull, grey sky, I took my notes, under the glare of the desk-lamp. The necessary Diet Coke on the side. It's quite heavy-going, all about the philosophy of social science, and it's quite some time since I had to read anything quite like it. The nursing course I did, whilst postgraduate, wasn't quite the mental challenge I'd hoped for. So it's a good six years since I have read anything along these lines. All very interesting tho. I must say, I only lasted 1hr 20mins... and I am supposed to be doing 15hrs a week. Oh well... maybe it'll just take me a while to get back into the swing of things. Funny how I can read peoples' blogs for ages, but when it comes to really reading something, it's more difficult!

Plus I need to finish that Sylvia Plath book by the end of the week... it's massive, and I don't really want to cart it halfway around the world just to read the last twenty pages if I can help it. I have about 200pgs to go, so its manageable... no wonder my brain's mashed up, what with all this studying, reading and Albanian words to boot... I need to have a lie-down in a darkened room! I was watching "Airline" earlier, and after seeing all those people stranded in the airport for days on end, the great holiday reading debate is beginning to make my brain hurt! I see Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon is on later.. that ought to sort me out.

Today's Albanian word is darsem which means wedding [which we are going to in Kosova on the 18th!]

Saturday, April 03, 2004

More on the great holiday reading dilemma at Bookslut... hmm. I am going on holiday for 2 weeks, the flight is 3-4 hours... that means I reckon I should take 3 books (medium-sized)... The definite is Star of the Sea... the maybes are In Cold Blood (Truman Capote - a story based on true events of a murder), For Whom The Bell Tolls (Hemingway.. looks interesting, but too heavy for holiday reading??), Mrs Dalloway, Autograph Man, The Trial, Life of Pi, a Graham Greene.... or something else?? aaah why am I so indecisive?!

OK... writing this post has helped me choose: The top 3 holiday reads for 2004 will be:
1. Star of The Sea
2. In Cold Blood
3. Life of Pi

Phew!

Aah... I have just finished a shift at work - my last until the 28th of April... woo hoo! It feels bloody good, I can tell you! Started the life of luxury with (ahem) a nice meal from M+S (a Malaysian curry no less) for lunch, and now I'm all full up, I'm going to relax on the sofa with Sylvia Plath and have a good read... aah!

Today's Albanian word is ushqim which means food.

Friday, April 02, 2004

Well, we ended up going into town yesterday, and bought some presents for the family for when we go to Kosova in !! 10days !! (where is the time going?!)... also found myself a fab new outfit for the wedding we'll have to go to (one of The Boyfriend's friends from school) - all from Jigsaw, got a long red silky skirt, a black vest top and a little black cardi with a frill on and THE fabbest shoes: they are red velvet, pointy toe sling backs, with hand-embroidered flowers on them... totally gorgeous, and will also look fab with jeans. I'm one happy bunny! We topped the day off by coming home to watch Black Books and eat a rather yummy (if I say so myself) risotto, and The Boyfriend had some lemony salmon I did for him (in the griddle pan!).

Am contemplating the gym, but have had a headache for 2 days now, with no response from painkillers whatsoever. Hhmph. On the plus side, tomorrow is my last shift at work before I am on annual leave until the 28th of April, and it feels good! What's even better is tomorrow's shift is an early, so if the weather's nice, I might even have a stroll along the south bank after work in the afternoon (could even go to the Tate Modern). Am trying to think of nice (and after yesterday's big spend, cheap) things I can do next week when I am off work pre-holiday... Monday I have a lunch date with two old friends I used to share a flat with in West Hampstead many moons ago, but apart from that who knows. Thought I might try to go to a museum, explore a nice park... but it'll probably rain knowing my luck!

Still reading The Journals of Sylvia Plath - quite interesting, although sometimes hard to get into, as being a journal there's not always a clear story to follow. I am thinking which books I should take on holiday with me... I know that in Kosova they don't receive any English TV channels, so when everyone's sat round the telly of an evening, I thought it'd be nice if I had something good to read. My thoughts so far are Star of the Sea, as everyone seems to think it's really rather good. Apart from that, I'm stuck: I have tons of unread books, maybe a Hemingway (but haven't ever read him before, and what if I don't like it?!), maybe something I've read before (like the Secret History) and love... aah decisions, decisions...

Today's Albanian word is me perzi which means to stir.

Thursday, April 01, 2004

I see there is a London Blogmeet on the 8th of May... might even go!

Have had a hectic past two days from work, went out after work last night to Finchley Road - finally had some vegetarian sushi in Yo Sushi - very nice! You feel a bit of a pig when you see your little plates piled up, but then I looked around and saw that everyone else had four little plates piled up so I didn't feel so bad then!

The Boyfriend is off today as well - who knows, we might even get to go out somewhere!