tinyjo: (charlie)
It is *freezing* in my office today. I am wearing my fingerless gloves and sitting cross legged to try to warm up my feet, which are distinctly icy! I haven't been drinking my water because I can't at the moment contemplate actually drinking something that's not warmed up, I'm so chilly. We do have a little space heater in our office, but it's really not doing much.

Mum and Dad came over for a birthday visit this weekend, the highlight of which was that Dad took one of the floorboards up for me and we found my ring! I left it on my bedside table one night and Charlie decided to conduct one of her gravity experiments by pushing it onto the floor where it then slipped down the gap in one of the floorboards (we deduced this by it's complete disappearance and the presence of my lipsalve under the dressing table whence it had also been moved). As you can imagine, this was quite distressing. I was 99% certain it was there but getting at it was another matter. I would have been gutted to lose it altogether as it's so completely my style of jewellery - it's my favourite ring, as well as being a gift from Alex. I remember buying it - we were looking for some jewellery for his mothers birthday and I saw it in the shop window and ooh'd and aah'd about how beautiful it was, not particularly intending to hint and he took me inside and bought it for me on the spot. He's lovely, really.

In terms of actual birthday pressies, I got some grow your own mushrooms, which I'm really excited about - I don't know why, but I absolutely love the idea. It looks like they take a bit of looking after so we'll have to see how I get on, but fingers crossed - I could be making mushroom sauce with my own mushrooms later in the year. I also got Guitar Hero II, which is fun. I think the medium mode is a bit easier than III - I am 5 starring songs first time around about half the time - but hopefully that means that the hard mode will be good training for the hard mode of III, which I'm finding a bit of a strain at the moment! The multiplayer is not quite as fun as on III, as there's no concept of a "co-op career" - you just can play any song you've unlocked in single player as a multiplayer song. Other than that, a couple of RHCP CDs (must remmeber to rip them to MP3 some time in the week) and a book round off the list so far, although I've got some things I haven't openned yet - I tend to like to open things in the presence of the giver but these are special Amazon delivery so I'm saving them for the day.
tinyjo: (:p kittie)
Alex introduced me to the blue eyes puzzle - The Hardest Logic Puzzle in the World, according to xkcd. At 11pm after we'd just finished the Prestige (we showed my parents - they agreed it was great!). Cue 30-40 minutes or so of intense thinking and talking it over but we figured it out. Then we went to bed and I ended up turning it over and over in my head - the solution is really hard to get your head around. It was way worse than caffine for getting my head all fizzing but it was good to know I still have my chops as a logician :) (solution here if you want)

The rest of the weekend was much more relaxing - visit from my folks, which is always good, and the tennis at Queens. I suddenly realised that actually Wimbledon doesn't clash with Glastonbury at all this year because it's not for another week and was far too pleased with this realisation - 2 weeks of tennis to come! That should help me recover from the mud I fear we are doomed to :)

I've got the Brownies stuff all sorted out, I think but I'm way behind with my history study for this unit :( I really need to get my butt in gear as I have an essay due a week after I get back and no clue what to write for it so far. I'll have to try to get some of that done tonight - I don't think that a muddy field is the best place for my course books!
tinyjo: (who's a rock star?)
I haven't actually written a proper what I've been up to entry since ... looks back ... last Monday, by the look of things, so for the benefit of posterity, here are the highlights in +/- form

the details )

So, on balance, I make that +2. So that's OK :)
tinyjo: (cat don't care)
So it was going to have been a really nice weekend. My parents arrived on Friday evening as planned, we headed into town and had a very pleasant dinner in the resturant at QI. We did fail to watch QI though as the TV didn't record it - did anyone watch it on BBC4, and if so, what was the topic as I'm assuming the machine thought it was a repeat. Then Saturday, we got down to it and started work on painting our bedroom in white (ceiling and down to picture rail) and lilac/purple below. Which looks very nice, despite Mum's initial reservations.

It also took much less time than we anticipated so we were able to make a fairly leisurly weekend of it. I introduced Dad to Dinnerladies (which I love to bits) and we got out my old I'm Sorry, I'll Read That Again tapes. All jolly nice. On Sunday, I did roast chicken for the first time ever, which came out very nicely although I'm always worried about whether I carve enough meat for people. Still, all seemed to be enjoyed.

A pall, however, was cast over the weekend when I realised just as Mum and Dad were heading off that I hadn't seen Cassie at all on Sunday. That is very unlike her - normally she is very vocal and attentive for at least one meal per day, although she may turn up late for others and so to see not a sign was rather unnerving. I spent the rest of the evening trying not to worry and watching TV as well as checking all our cupboards, shed, other possible and impossible cat hiding places but still no sign, even this morning :( Hopefully she's just been minouing about out there and has perhaps managed to provide her own dinner with hunting prowess (she does at least have a track record of having caught things before, after all) but still I fuss because she is only little. Keep your fingers crossed for her turning up tonight...
tinyjo: (Default)
Well! Last night, the traffic out of work was utterly appalling and so I didn't get home til 10 to 8. I don't know what the problem is with the traffic at the minute - it's been terrible all week. I hope that now the train strikes are off next week it won't be so bad. Anyway, I finally got home and Alex, Ian and Ruth came round. We role-played for a while (another fight with kobolds and a great big weasel - I shot 2 but the weasel had attached itself to Ruth in the meantime :( - and then attacked by rats) and then my parents arrived for their visit. Tea and then bed and hugs :)

Then today, we lounged around in the morning and then made the trip to B&Q where I bought paint to cover the institutional yellow on my walls with much more tasteful lilac. Then, in the way of these things, Mum and I got rather enthused about the whole thing and decided to get started with the painting. We've done the whole first coat and about 2/3 of the second and it looks really nice which is a relief. It actually goes much better with the carpet than the yellow did and I'm really pleased with it but now I'm zonked :)

Off to the Ashmolean tomorrow and then the Petit Blanc (Raymond Blanc's Oxford brassiere) for birthday dinner :)
tinyjo: (Default)
Now that I've finally had my credit card bill and got back to my computer again I have been able to do something that I've been meaning to do for a while - I've paid for this account :) I actually probably won't use most of the extra features for paid users but I just think that I use it so much and get so much pleasure out of it, especially when I'm bored at work that I want to support it.

I have decided to get on with all the things I have been putting off "til next year" - I've done LJ so this is what I have got left

Finish MCSE. I'm nearly there with this - I only need to do 2 more exams now. I'm hoping to have this done by the end of the month.

Get cats. As soon as I've finished this entry I'm ringing up the Cats Protection League to start the adoption process :)

Get NTL. As soon as I've done the above I'll be surfing over to the NTL website to decide what exactly I want.

Lose weight. I know I can do this - I just have to train myself to maintain my willpower through stressful situations cos that's when I put it all back on. Actually, also when drunk (witness my crisp demolition at [livejournal.com profile] cleanskies Saturday night) So, from now on, I'm on a diet. Stop me from eating crisps in the pub, OK.

My other good thing that I'm doing today is of course my fast. Not going too badly so far although I am starting to get a bit peckish. Alex has promised to try to pick up some kind of frozen pizza to take to the party to break my fast with as I doubt even Cowley Road will have takeouts still open at midnight on NYE.

And finally, the rest of Christmas - I did mean to make entries on my palm but utterly forgot so you'll have to have it in one big chunk )
tinyjo: (Default)
Well, its been an uncharacteristically long time since I updated my journal but when you've read all this you'll see why :(

my weekend. Strong language herin )
tinyjo: (Default)
Have discovered that I have learned something on all those Microsoft courses after all - who would have thought it! This afternoon, I earn the respect of my peers by fiddling with the registry (under strict guidelines I hasten to add!) and creating services via bat files provided by the software company. Basically it was a fly by night install of a piece of software which was on a machine which fell over and died. So in order to transfer it over we find ourselves doing manually all the things which normally you'd have a nice little install shield to do for you and I discover that I'm the only person on my table who knows how to edit the registry. And its a table of techies. Sad isn't it. In fact I was quite surprised by this as even before I was a proper techie I knew what regedit was for and how to work it in a basic sense as well as being well aware that it was something that you steered well clear of if at all possible! Still, as I say, I have earned the respect of my peers and in the current climate anything which makes me look good/competent/useful is a Good Thing.

My parents have once again headed homewards via a diversion of a visit to my Nan in London. Once again both she and my granddad have managed to go from being in a really bad patch a couple of months ago when Granddad had broken his hip and Nan was quite depressed to being really perky again. I think they may be secretly indestructible. You can always tell when Nan's feeling good because she starts decorating the house. Its become a bit of a mania really - every time shes up she gets the nice chap to come over and re-do some room which was only done a couple of months ago. Much to his credit, last time she called him over he tried to talk her out of it himself! I guess that having done it only 18 months ago he felt it was a bit of a waste. But she insisted - shes ever so stubborn is my Nan. I have to say that I think he was right - it was better before - but never mind. One of the only downers about not living in London is that its tricky to get to see Nan and Granddad again because they live on the outskirts of London just nicely positioned so that to get there from Oxford you have to come all the way in to the centre and then out again - not ideal as you can imagine. It ends up being about 3 hours. Its the only time I wish I had a car as it wouldn't be too tricky at all then (ok not quite the only time but pretty close).

We're going to see another free play tonight - the Carpenter by Harold Pinter. I had a sudden urge when I looked through the program to go and see something by Pinter and this seems like as good an opportunity as any. That's one of the good things about this reviewing gig - I wouldn't go to something like this speculatively if I was going to have to pay £15 for it but if its free I can indulge my whims. I doubt it'll be as good as the Stoppard but then Stoppard is particularly attuned to the sort of thing I like. It'll be nice to go together as well. Alex has been very affectionate over the last week or so - just little things like the occasional extra hug or snuggle or something. Its really nice - it's a shame we've been so busy the past couple of weekends. I think we're going to try and have a weekend all to ourselves some time soon if we can just manage to fit it in around all the other people who want to see us! Fingers crossed. He seemed to have fun with my parents as well - they get on really well which is good. His sarcastic sense of humour really suits them and of course he and Dad are both into music so they're never short of conversation. I still haven't written to his Mum to say thanks for the housewarming pressie actually which is very bad of me. I'll have to put it in my Visor otherwise it'll never get done...

--
'Do you remember when we made love in the roses
And you took my picture in all sorts of poses'
--
tinyjo: (Default)
Ah, what a lovely weekend. Nice quiet Friday evening pottering round the house tidying things up, followed by hugs from Alex. Lovely lay in on Saturday morning listening to Saturday morning Radio 4 through a haze of semi consciousness. Then up and dressed in time for my parents to come round at lunchtime for their stay.

Its a funny thing, but everyone I know seems to think that my relationship with my parents is slightly freakish (except the rest of my family). Basically I had a very happy childhood and because I was fairly bright my parents treated me like an adult from quite a young age both in terms of what I was allowed to do and the sort of things that we talked about. This has resulted in my having a very close friendship with both of them where we chat and exchange work gossip and things like that. It also helps I suppose that I get on quite well with several of their friends so we can goss about them too. I have a special deal on my pay and go mobile phone where I get free calls to a land line of my choice so I get free calls home. I make use of these almost every day (often on the bus on the way home) to give them a call and have a chat to find out what's going on. Its also very rarely more than a couple of months before one of us will visit the other. When I describe this to other people though they all give me a *look* as if to say "Wow, what a freak!" and I'm always vaguely surprised that other people don't really seem to like their parents very much or want to keep in touch but force themselves to ring every couple of months or so out of a vague sense of duty. I know that I'm pretty lucky to have had it as idyllic as I have but I still find it surprising that I'm pretty much the only person I know who has this kind of relationship with their parents.

Anyway, back to my weekend! Alex having escaped to Dawns (ex-girlfriends) in London after the second hand record shopping phase of the day had finished we headed for B&Q. I know - I've turned into a middle class person! You can't say you didn't suspect after my R4 habit though. I bought myself curtain pole and gardening tools and we went back to get started - after a cup of tea of course. I now actually have a lawn mower of my very own which is kinda cool in a way and once we'd raked the worst of the leaves off and mowed the grass it actually looked quite tidy although it did show up the fact that really it needs replanting. Then yesterday we turned to the business of taking down the annoying blind in the front room and replacing it with curtains. Eventually - after a bit of hacksawing to get the net tracks to fit in the windows - we got the curtain and the voile up so now no-one can look in and watch me in my living room - or my bedroom come to that cos we put some up there too. After we'd finished all that we downed tools for tea, the Observer and R4 and then went out for dinner...

I'd decided that it would be nice to make my parents visit really special by booking us a table for Sunday evening at Le Petit Blanc - Raymond Blancs Oxford brassierie - for a really good meal. Dad and I are both really enjoy eating out and Dads quite keen on Raymond so it seemed like it would be perfect and I have to say that it pretty much was. We spent ages deliberating over the menu while we sipped our apperatifs (Alex recommends the Electric Margarita) before finally choosing. I had snails, celery, cucumber and misc in a very garlicy and spinach sauce which was absolutely fab and I believe everyone else similarly enjoyed thier starters. We then had a really nice bottle of Cab Sauv with the main. Dad and I both plumped for the confit of rabbit with haricot blanc and green mustard which was georgeous. It was very rich and you got a huge portion too so amazing value. Rounded off with cheese and port it really was a great meal and ended up costing only about £30-35 a head for the whole thing including drinks so amazing value too. I can't really recommend it highly enough.
tinyjo: (Default)
Feeling tired this morning. I guess it is the end of the week so that's fair enough. I'm really looking forward to having all night hugs and then a lie in tomorrow morning. I am not going to the beer festival tonight so I should be able to get all the tidying up done this evening for my parents visit and then pop over to see Damian - the other person who's not going to the festival. Quiet and soothing - that's what I need. And an early night.

Should be quite fun with my parents though. They're coming on Saturday morning and then we're going to do lots of DIY (curtains and things!) and a bit of site seeing for them and then we're going to the Petit Blanc on Sunday evening - I'll let you know if its any good. Should be a laugh although I do feel vaguely guilty about getting Dad to do my DIY on his holiday.
tinyjo: (Default)
Well practically. They've rebuilt my PC while I've been away and so now I've got win2000 running on it. I've just had an interesting morning setting up all my applications up on it and customizing the settings to be as I like them. Almost restful really. We're *still* having problems with the proxy settings in my building - they haven't put the proper exceptions into the new scripts apparently so I'm still bypassing them to specify it directly. The only problem with that is that I have to re-set that every time I log on... One of these days it'll work!

Had a lovely weekend down with my parents. We went into the city (Norwich) for a serious explore of the home ware departments (Next, Habitat, John Lewis, etc) to look for stuff for my new house. I'm already really settled there and I've got ideas for it. I want a couple of rugs, one for the kitchen and one for the dining room cos they've got lino floors which are a bit chilly in the morning (I have to walk through to get to the bathroom) and I'd like to paint my bedroom (its very yellow at the mo) but I can't decide what colour would go with the carpet. By lucky chance the annual French market was in town - stall holders from our twin town come and set up for the day - which is always great. I've replenished my stock of French honey and managed to get hold of some tarragon mustard at last - fab for the salad dressing. All in all, a great weekend. I always feel vaguely sad that a lot of people I know don't seem to get on with their parents. I've got a very close family - I even get on well with my bro (he's lovely even if he is tall) and I call my parents most days just for a goss and catch-up. And I love Christmas - it's exciting and fun so there. Again, I don't know many people who feel the same, which is a shame. I'm really looking forward to starting my present buying for this year when my new credit card month starts.

Everyone's very tense at work at the mo - someone Claire knows just got made redundant so we're not sure if this is going to signify another whole round of redundancies or what. I think I'm OK for the moment - they haven't assigned someone else to learn how to do my job for "disaster recovery purposes" or anything but still, it's not fun.

Music

August 24th, 2001 03:18 pm
tinyjo: (Default)
Now that I have finally moved my computer so that its on my desk instead of tucked behind my drawer unit I need to think about some music. I reallly fancy some Vivaldi at the minute - or maybe Beethoven Violin concertos and now my headphone socket is close enough to stick some headphones in. The only thing is that it might seem anti social. Maybe I'll just have it in one ear or something.

I have actually got quite a lot done today. We're changing the look of all the websites (again!) and so I have been switching my second one over to the new format. It'll look kinda pretty when I'm done which is cool. Am on a high because Bernadette (one of the VPs in my dept) came over to ask me a question and then afterwards was telling me what a lovely dress I had on and asking where I got it! I'm gorgeous! The dress is my smart blue/green monsoon dress - they manage to cut their hips properly so that their dresses actually fit so I do look quite good it it. Not bad eh?

I'm not going to write in this for the next few days (til Thursday actually) cos my parents are arriving tonight and staying over in London for the weekend then we're going over to France on Tues and Weds to stock up on wine and good dinners. Should be a really good time (although probably not the best idea to stock up on bottles of wine just before I move!) so aurevoir....

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tinyjo: (Default)
Emptied of expectation. Relax.

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