Monday, December 31

So, Christmas has been and gone, and now it seems to be new years eve. Christmas was, as it always is with my family, full of fun and laughter and many many children and Nuts.

There were two broken fingers, both on different people, during one game of Nuts. James was the champion for the second year running! We also held the first ever Junior Nuts, won by Yasmin. Chloe came second, and screamed for at least 15 minutes so we all knew how devastated she was!

Not as many photos as last year because my camera battery died, but I assure you it was lots of fun. There will be a separate blog entry soon (as requested) all about the most wonderful coffee ever.

So, now it's new years eve. I've never been a great fan of new years eve, to me it's always been parties full of people I don't know that well and don't particularly like that always come and hug me just because it's midnight. Last year was spent with Jonathan, watching chavs have a fight in the alley way. This year will be spent watching TV and eating popcorn. I was going to have an evening with Jack Bauer, but Mum and Dad had the same idea and I need to steal their DVD.
Also, I just ordered a 32" Sony Bravia, so it's not a completely wasted evening. I also get tomorrow off work. Now if you'll excuse me, I'm going to look up how cheap I can get a PS3 to go with my new TV!

Saturday, December 22

Todays entry was brought to you thanks to a whole day watching Grand Designs on TV...

Today I printed some photos to go in the IKEA frames I got a couple of weeks ago. I now have three framed photos on the walls in my study, at last. There are few things more bland and uninspiring as bare walls, in my opinion. The fact the majority of my flat is beige is bad enough, but until I find the time and money to paint it all, covering the walls in nice things to look at will do.

I was on a bit of a roll really. The printer was behaving, all the colours and sizes were dead on. That almost never happens. That should've made me suspicious really. I should've known to quit while I was ahead. I'd printed three sheets of photos to go in a panoramic frame with a mount with 5 windows. The idea was to use one panoramic photos across the five windows. All was going well, the photos printed fine, I got the wire across the back to hang it on all sorted. Slotting it in to place...crack! The glass breaks. Fuck shit bollocks cock. I now have a pretty much useless £15 frame. Oh joy.

So, I did what any normal person would do. I got in a huff and spent the rest of the day watching back to back episodes of Grand Designs on TV and painted my toe nails.

I was looking through my photo folder entitled "flat" after I'd taken those photos, and it's amazing how much this place has changed over the last year. I still have photos of it completely empty. I have photos of the first cup of tea I made here. Photos of Dad putting up the blinds in the living room. Photos of piles of boxes. Photos of empty bookcases and a half built bed. Photos of that tiny horrible green sofa I endured for about 3 months. Photos of all the different places the Rats have been since I moved in. I'm glad it's finally all coming together now, everything is pretty much exactly how I want. And not one single bit of it is at all how I imagined it would be when I came to look round the place in June 2006.

Now I just need to get some money so I can re-do the bathroom. It's the one room I really don't like. Especially the horrible horrible floor. I dream of under floor heating!

Friday, December 21

My lack of blogging lately seems to have given at least one person the impression I've developed a social life. I can assure you all this isn't true. In fact it's the opposite, my life has been if anything more boring than usual of late!
Ok, that's not entirely true. I have been doing things, just not very exciting things. Going out for lunch with the work lot mostly.
One exciting thing (for me, anyway) is the fact I am the proud owner of a table and chairs! This makes me a proper grown up apparently, but it doesn't seem to be working!

I made an attempt and Christmas-ifying my flat. I was going to buy a tree. I even got decorations from IKEA. But all the trees were rubbish/too tall/too real/too expensive for my liking, so I've stuck to fairy lights and a bit pile of presents on the floor.

I have also - shock horror - been knitting! The bright pink socks got finished, and I started on a new pair in some Posh Yarn. I'm rather pleased with them so far, considering I've just been kind've making it up as I go along, or taking certain bits from certain patterns.

They're going to end up being quite tall socks I think. I need some longer socks to keep my legs warm!

I have a very lazy weekend this weekend. Tomorrow I might actually be tempted to sleep the day away. Sunday is more sleeping and the excitement of the Harrison/Hawker Christmas! I have half a day of work on Monday morning, then the rest of the week off. It'll be great!

Sunday, December 2

Another fabulous day out in Londinium with Vicky yesterday. Being the first Saturday of December it was, of course, ridiculously over crowded with Christmas shoppers. We coped though. We wondered around the new St Pancras International station. It sounded very swish when they said that on the train.

We then headed off for one of our favourite places in the world - Belgo Centraal - for mussels, chips and coconut beer (if anyone feels the need to buy me a Christmas present, Mongozo Coconut Beer would be the best present in the world).

The rest of the day was spent wondering around, spending money, laughing, and generally having a fantastic time.

Today I have put away the Sainsburys delivery, finished wrapping Christmas presents, and am currently printing out a photo to go in my new frame to add to the collection on the wall in the living room.

I have also done something I didn't think I'd do again - I plugged in the NTL box (I'm sorry, but saying Virgin box still is and always will be wrong) and turned on the TV. I don't know what I was expecting, but it's still as shit as it was over 6 months ago when I stopped watching it. Top Gear and Long Way Down are on tonight though! Woo!

Friday, November 23

Things that are good:

+ Posh Yarn. Amazing, fantastic, wonderful yarn.
+ The fact it is now the weekend.
+ The mushroom and potato gratin I made for dinner last night.
+ Listening to old CDs and the memories that came flooding back.
+ Buying a top two sizes smaller than the ones I was buying two months ago!
+ It's the weekend.
+ Only having three Christmas presents left to buy.
+ Pay day next Friday, including bonus!

Monday, November 19

At 5:55pm last night I was sitting in front of my computer (as I am a lot of the time) clicking refresh waiting to spend all my money on Posh Yarn. My obsessive-ness paid off and I have two skeins of the most amazing looking yarn ever coming to me soon.

65% supermerino, 20% bamboo, 15% silk in a colourway that I've been dreaming of for ages. I may keep it as a pet. It won't make a nest behind my DVD player like Beans did!

Shortly after my mini spending spree, and just after I'd eaten the wonderful parsnip and cashew nut roast I'd made for dinner, I went over to Mum and Dad's for my weekly Top Gear and Long Way Down fix. I had to do a double take as I opened the front door, because it was snowing. Yes, snowing, in Northampton, in November. It was snowing quite a lot as well. About 1cm had settled on my car. It was still snowing when I came home 3 hours later. It was all gone when I woke up this morning though, which I was quite thankful about because I hate driving to work in the snow ever since last year when my car wouldn't stop and if I hadn't steered into the curb I would've hit the parked car. And then 200m further down the road it wouldn't stop again and I went skidding across the crossroads. And then when I decided to go to Mum and Dad's instead of attempting to get to work my car got stuck on the driveway. Yeah, that was a fun day.

Anyway. Not much else to report. Fat club tomorrow night, and hopefully my next Amazon DVD (Long Way Round disc two) will have arrived so I can sit and watch Ewan McGregor all evening. I really do have a slight obsession with that man at the moment. In fact, I think it may be Scottish men in general. Quite worrying really.

Sunday, November 18

I went to Sainsburys this morning to buy ingredients for dinner (parsnip and cashew nut roast, which I am very much looking forward to making because it sounds so yummy and wintery). They were giving away free "bags for life". It's amazing how easy it is to carry my shopping upstairs when I only have two bags instead of 5. Well done Sainsburys. However, it's not quite as good as the co-op, who gave me a free bar of (fair trade) chocolate and a free magnetic shopping list note pad thing. I like free stuff!

Nothing much has been happening today apart from the trip to Sainsburys. I've officially started sock number two, which I am immensely happy about. Hurrah for overcoming SSS!

Even more of a hurrah for the fact I must've started these socks about two years ago! You just wait, after this I'll frog the blue cashmere one and make that into a pair!

I have my alarm set for today's Posh Yarn sale. I always mean to go there and buy stuff, but am either out or forget. I will not forget! There is the most delicious of colours there today which I intend to nab a couple of skeins of.

Now, I'm going to turn the heating on and make a cup of tea.

Saturday, November 17

I am posting this in the hope my mother doesn't read this blog. I don't think she does, so it should be ok! Mum asked for a pair of socks for Christmas (of the hand knit variety). I had two options; knit a pair of socks in time for Christmas without succumbing to Second Sock Syndrome, or wait until after Christmas so she could chose the colour and pattern, and I could make them exactly the right size. I've gone for the second option, and have knitted a teeny tiny pair of socks to actually give to her on Christmas day.

I am most amused by them, and they only took me about half an hour to knit. I'm all for instant gratification when it comes to knitting!

I have overcome SSS with the full sized pair of socks in the same colour. It took me three attempts to find a stretchy enough bind off, but I'm very happy now I've discovered EZ's sewn bind off!

The entrelac scarf is progressing very very slowly. It was an amusing idea at first, now It's just a bit boring to be honest. I'll get there eventually (I hope).

This weekend is fairly uneventful. I went to have my eyes tested today and still don't need glasses (my bank account is relieved at this news!). A trip to Sainsburys is planned for tomorrow to stock up the fridge again, and I intend to make a parsnip and cashew nut roast that I found in Mum's weight watchers recipe book that I've borrowed. I really should clean the bathroom at some point as well, but we all know how much I hate cleaning the bathroom.

I signed up for Amazon DVD rental last weekend, so could do with a few suggestions of things to rent. Tell me what your favourite film is, or something that you think I should watch!

Sunday, November 11

Remember not so long ago I mentioned I had finally finished the Big Bad Baby Blanket of Doom? Well, yesterday it finally went to its intended recipient. It seems to have been a hit, and it's great for playing peek-a-boo with!

Yesterday was a day of scanning in photos. I had to scan in baby photos of my work colleagues for a Guess The Baby Photo competition we're doing for Children In Need. So, while I had the scanner out, I scanned in all the fisheye and supersampler photos I took whilst in Spain. I love these cameras!

Yesterday Josh decided my name is Leaves. Actually, it's more like "'Eeeaves!". It seems Holly sounds too much Like Hello (which is one of his favourite words, I think!). He definitely associates me with leaves, in one of his book there's a picture of five leaves that look similar to my tattoos, and when we were in Spain if you said to him "wheres Holly's leaves?" he'd come up to me and point at them.
Ah well, if my cousin survived all those years of me and Oli calling her LaLoo (which my Dad still does occasionally!) I'm sure I can cope with Leaves. At least leaves makes sense!

Saturday, November 10

My computer mouse broke while I was in Spain. I'm surprised it didn't happen sooner, it got pulled about quite a lot, and the wire finally snapped away from the USB connector. So, I ordered myself a new on from eBuyer, a nice shiny red one. Wireless, too! It arrive earlier this week, with possibly the most excessive packaging I have ever seen...

To give some context, those are AAA batteries, and it's a mini mouse - half the size of a normal computer mouse. A massive box, just for that.
Ah well, the cardboard box fits perfectly in my cupboard so is now my recycling stuff box.

I've spent all morning scanning in baby photos of people I work with. We're having a guess the baby photo competition at work. It's quite amusing. I'll be surprised if anyone guesses them all!

The rest of today will be spent scanning in fisheye photos from when I was in Spain. There's some very funny ones!

Friday, November 9

Work is quiet. Very quiet. I am sitting and knitting socks. This is a sock I had finished about a month ago, but the bind off was too tight and I had a fair amount of yarn left over, so I've ripped back the ribbing and am making it longer, and will experiment with stretchy bind off.

Thank god it's friday. I can spend my weekend DVD watching and knitting and the like. And maybe going to Mum and Dad's to play with Dad's new PS3 :-)

Sunday, November 4

Have I gushed about how great Ravelry is yet? Well, it is. It's fantastic and wonderful, too. I've found patterns for yarn I've had sitting around for god knows how long. I've found patterns I don't have yarn for but am definitely going to knit. I took photos of all my yarn and found stuff I'd completely forgotten about. It's just brilliant! And so, my latest project is yet another scarf.

The pattern is from Freckles and Purls and is so far amazingly easy. I've gone three tiers and it looks great.

Yesterday, whilst shopping in Milton Keynes, I saw a scarf I liked in Accessorize. So I took a photo of it on my phone so I can work it out and knit it myself. Muhaha.

Thursday, November 1

I'm home. Reluctantly. The fridge is restocked, the suitcase is unpacked, the washing is done. I keep wishing I could open my bedroom window and see waves crashing over rocks, and am horribly disappointed when all I ever see out of all my seventeen windows is other peoples houses, far too close for comfort.
If I had my way I'd live in a small house at least 5 miles from anything. But we all know I'm antisocial.

Thankfully I don't have to go back to work until Monday, so I can spend a lot of time sleeping and watching DVDs - recovering from 3+ hours on a plane with Chloe and Josh. I think I may need to seek therapy after that!

By the way - that's me snorkeling in the second photo down. There were lots of fish, and quite a few plastic bags - which was a bit depressing. Thankfully the jellyfish weren't about on that day.

Wednesday, October 24

I am currently sitting in Karen´s Cafe in Villaricos. Having a fantastic time, never want to come home. Thankfully I still have a week here!
If you keep checking up on my Flickr account, you might see some photos throughout the week.
Not a long entry - this is the worlds stickiest keyboard and its very hard to type!

Tuesday, October 16

So long, farewell..

It's time for me to turn off the laptop and pack it away now, and hope to god my suitcase doesn't weigh more than 15kg!
Last minute flat check, make sure all the lights are off and the windows closed. Bins are empty, Rats are fed and watered. Hopefully, I've not forgotten anything. I don't remember the last time my flat was this clean and tidy - and I'm not even going to be here to enjoy it! Haha.
I shall be back on October 31st with huge amounts of photos and tales of The Chicken Shack. Don't miss me too much!

Monday, October 15

I went to the dentist today, for the first time in about 3 years. When the dentist in the village went private I was highly unemployed, like fuck was I going to pay that much after free dental care my whole life! Buuut, last weekend I got tooth ache. So I thought I better go and get it looked at. I went to Floss in Northampton, where Mum and Dad go.

I need five fillings.

I signed up to Denplan so I didn't have to pay the £90ish consulatation fee, and the cost of the Xrays, but the fillings will cost me £212.50 in total. Thank god I'm getting my annual bonus soon, otherwise I'd be pretty much fucked on that one. It does mean that my hopes of buying a 400D before Christmas have probably gone out the window though. Sigh.

So I've just eaten my lunch, and everything tasted slightly of fake bananas from the desensitizing paste she put on my teeth. Lovely. Now I have a list of things as long as my arm to do in preparation for going to Spain tomorrow!

- Wash up.
- Clean bathroom.
- Wash towels.
- Finsih packing.
- Charge camera batteries.
- Clean out Rats.
- Sort out fridge.
- Empty bins.
- Give keys and garage remote to Fiona.
- Shower.
- Back up photos onto external hard drive in case of laptop failure whilst in Spain.

I think that's it. Pretty much. Suppose I should get on with it really!

Sunday, October 14

I can't remember a single thing I was supposed to be doing today. I got distracted by putting my books in colour order. It's a rainbow!

And have a photo of Beans and Toast, just because it's been a while since they were featured on here.

Saturday, October 13

Just in time for my holiday to Spain, where is about 27C at the moment, I've finished Dashing. At least I'll have nice warm hands when I come back!

Knit in Rowan Summer Tweed, about a ball and a half I think. So I have yet another small amount of yarn to add to the pile. God knows what I'm going to do with it all! I was originally going to knit it using some hand dyed Peruvian wool that I bought at the Knitting and Stitching show, probably three years ago now. But the moths have got at it. Just as I was about to start winding it in to a ball, I realise half of it has been eaten right through, so that's gone in the bin. Mum is bringing home some ceader rings for me to put in the knitting basket, and tomorrow i'll be going through it all and hoovering it out.

I am preparing myself for my holiday at the moment. I've started getting summer clothes out the wardrobes, I've found my passport and EHIC card, and printed off my flight confirmation. I've got a pile of cameras at the ready, and I'm still contemplating whether or not to take my tripod. I just need a suitcase now! Haha. I've also been preparing the flat, because Ellie is coming to stay for the two weeks I'm away. I can't remember the last time it was this clean and tidy!
I've also put the first two series of Black Books, and Dogma onto my iPod. Tomorrow the third series of Black Books and a couple more DVDs will be going on there I think.

So excited!

Tuesday, October 9

All play and no work...

...makes Holly very bored. Postal strikes mean no work. There is literally nothing to do. I've answered four phone calls today, that's it.
I might go and jump off the roof, just for something to do.

In much more uplifting news, this time next week I will be at Luton airport on my way to Spain! Hurrah!

Sitting here doing nothing is frustrating. We can't be seen to be doing nothing, or we get told to do the most mundane and completely pointless tasks that aren't part of our job and wouldn't even mentally challenge a 2 year old. Read a book? No, not allowed. Browse the internet? Only for work purposes. Saying that, I don't think I've ever read the BBC website in as much detail as I have done today. There was a rahter interesting article on how it's now "the norm" to see women with tattoos, and questioning why peoples perceptions of tattooed people has changed. But then I read the readers comments and end up wanting to punch 90% of them in the face for being such idiots. I really do hate the general public. I'd be quite happy living in the middle of nowhere without any contact from strangers. People I know and like can visit whenever they like, but the general public can all go step in front of a bus.

Well, isn't this cheerful?

I have to go to the dentist on Monday next week. I had toothache at the weekend and ended up driving over to steal ibuprofen from Mum at midnight because I didn't have any in the flat. So I thought getting it checked out before I head to Spain for two weeks would be a good idea. I've not been to the dentist since the one in the village went private about 3 years ago. I resented paying about £30 to go there every six months (because I had to go every 6 months instead of every 12 months once I no longer qualified for free dental care. Funny that...) just to be told my teeth are perfect and nothing needs doing, which is basically what happened at every single dentist appointment I've ever had. So yes, new dentist, scary etc.

Gah. I feel useless sitting here twiddling my thumbs when there's 101 (well, about 5) things I could be doing at home. I need to put clothes away, I need to put away the washing up, I need to hoover, I need to clean the bathroom (as always), and I need to sort out a big pile of paperwork. Oh, and I need to phone the bank as well, but we can't phone 0870 numbers from work - despite the fact we are an 0870 number.

I'll stop ranting now. If you read this far you deserve a virtual cookie. A post without photos must be very dull.

Sunday, October 7

Single figures people! Single figures!

Today I went to Olney Farmers Market. I purchased some Wobbly Bottom Farm cheese, giant mushrooms, and smoked salmon. I say "I purchased", I mean my Mum purchased, because I'm a cheap skate and my Mum is wonderful.

I then came home, ate said smoked salmon (hmm, I could eat smoked salmon forever), watched Hitchhikers Guide to the Galaxy, and learnt how to make teeny tiny paper cranes.

I also made a teeny tiny box, and a teeny tiny lily. The cranes are my favourite though.

Tonight I'm going to eat home made thai curry and watch Top Gear with Mum, because Dad and Oli have just gone off for a weeks sailing around Greece.

Saturday, October 6

On Wednesday last week I went for my annual haircut. I strongly dislike having my haircut, but I've been getting better at having it done. I once went for 6 years without having it cut. Then it was two years, and for the last couple of times it's been a year between each one.
Normally I just have all the dead ends chopped off and leave it as my usual "style". If washing it every other day and not even brushing it in between can be considered a style. This time I went short though. Not too short, shoulder length. And layered, so I've got some crazy curls going on at the moment. I love it. I dyed it on Thursday night so no more roots as well. Shorter hair is definitely the way forward!

In other news, whilst I was in London with Vicky (she finally has a public blog! Go read!) last Sunday, we decided (over the most amazing ice cream in the world) to start a food blog. Generally our get togethers mainly revolve around food in some way. Going out for lunch, trying out new restaurants, amusing food gadgety things, making a mess whilst trying out bizarre recipes. So, the blog FoodEat was born! Add it to your favourites people.

Now, I am going to sit here and twiddle my thumbs whilst waiting for my freshly mopped floor to dry.

Saturday, September 29

It's the weekend. Hurrah! And look what I got in the post this week...

Yes, I won myself a Wootie and £200 vouchers for my photo of Beans and the Eggling. Thank you to whoever voted for me!

I went shopping on Thursday with Mother. My seven year old pair of Vans have now been offically replaced. I've tried to replace them many times, with converse and a different style of Vans, but they just weren't the same. Nothing was quite as comfortable. But on Thursday I found The Ones. They amuse me.

My first sock is almost completed. I just need to do a bit more ribbing and then bind off. Then I have to resist the Second Sock Syndrome and get on with the next one!