Saturday, 3 December 2011

Trip to the Woods

Last Saturday M and I took a walk in Belfair's Wood.  The reason for the walk was to collect leaves and twigs to make into decorations.  I didn't collect as much as I hoped but I took some great photos.  It was a very relaxing walk and the day was rounded off with a very unexpected and pleasant surprise.  The little cafe (as I remember it) has turned into a very popular restaurant and much to M's delight they did a carvery.  So a walk in the fresh air was followed by a hearty lunch.

I haven't managed to start making the decorations yet (as I have been busy with making cards and wrapping paper) but I'm including the best of the photos that I took.

Sunday, 6 November 2011

London Trip

About 3 weeks ago M and I went to London.  We left the flat at 8.50 am (far too early for a Sunday in my opinion!) and walked down to the station.  We are fortunate to live so near a main line service to London.  When we got to Tower Hill we discovered that the underground service from there wasn’t working, however this wasn’t a disaster as we just jumped on a bus.  One good thing about a capital city is the frequency of the public transport, none of this one bus an hour nonsense that we have to put up with on a Sunday in Southend.
Our next stop was St Pauls, so out came the camera.  I should point out that we didn’t see any thing of the protesters (I was a little disappointed at this), this we found out later, was due to the fact that we were on the wrong side of St Pauls! (this sort of thing happens to me on a frequent basis).

We then crossed the Millennium Bridge to the Tate Modern.  This was my third visit to the gallery and I have to confess I don’t always get much out of some of the exhibits.  But overall it was enjoyable visit.  We then met up with some of M’s friends from his Uni days.  We then walked along the South Bank to have lunch at Doggett’s Coat & Badge, which is on the water front.  I had a very nice warm haloumi salad.

There then followed a walk alone the river bank to the London Film Museum.  However when we eventually found the entrance, we discovered that we had to pay to see the exhibits.  So as money isn’t in abundance of late we decided to carry on walking.
So on our journey along the river we saw the London Eye, Westminster Bridge, Big Ben and the Houses of Parliament. We then crossed the river and began the journey back to St Pauls.  Stopping for Costa Coffee and a complex chat about how economies work (I have to confess I didn’t understand some of the conversation), we then carried on walking.
We reached St Pauls and waited for the bus to take us back to Tower Hill, my feet were sore but my soul was fed.  

Here are some of the pictures that I took. 

Tuesday, 25 October 2011

Interesting Article

I found this article during my lunch break today.  The article it self is not that interesting but the comments after are well worth the read.  The subject ‘Growing up for Goths’ is something that is close to my heart.
Another entry for the ‘Enlightenment Period’.

Sunday, 23 October 2011

Enlightenment here I come

Last night I put the ‘Enlightenment Period’ into action.  As you may recall from one of my previous posts I had booked tickets to see my favourite music artist Kate Rusby.  The concert was last night and it was brilliant.  Most of the songs I hadn’t heard before but that added to the experience and she finished off the set with my favourite song ‘Underneath the Stars’.  I even bought something from the merchandise shop, 2 little canvas bags and a tee-towel.  I have an idea to pin them on the walls in our flat. 
That means of course another goal from the ‘Enlightenment Period’ will be to actually put up all those fabrics!

Here is a picture of Kate Rusby

Saturday, 15 October 2011

Image of the week

I’m going to start an image of the week post.  There may be more than one post a week.

The image that I have chosen to start this off is a music artist that I discovered about a year ago. I don’t particularly like having to put music into a ‘genre’, as in my experience these are very subjective and they mean different things to different people.  So I won’t describe Loreena McKennitt in any other way apart from the fact I like her music.

Monday, 10 October 2011

Slight Halt

Unfortunately the Enlightenment period has experienced some difficulties of late.  Without going into too much detail I’m a bit run down and feeling ‘blue’. 

However far from that stopping the Enlightenment period it means it’s all the more necessary.  Things in my life need to change and there is no time like the present.

Friday, 7 October 2011

Grasping the Nettle

As I waited at the bus stop last week, my eye was taken to the advertisement boards for the town’s local theatres.  I couldn’t believe it when I saw a poster advertising none other than Katie Rusby.  After being my usual indecisive self, at last I gave myself a good mental slap around the face and reminded myself that I was in the ‘12 days to enlightenment’ period, and booked myself a ticket.

So here’s to the first live performance of a music artist that I have ever been to.

Sunday, 2 October 2011

Strong female characters in a science fiction based drama (Kick Ass women in Star Trek) Part 1

This is my first attempt at writing a post about modern feminist issues in the 21st century......don’t expect too much (I’m sure as hell not going to).
I have been a fan of Star Trek since I was 15; I make no apologies for this what so ever and yes I am aware that the Star Trek fan base is made up mostly of guys.  When I first became aware of Star Trek I was at an all girls’ high school and I naturally gravitated towards girls with similar tastes.  It wasn’t until I went to college (again I gravitated towards all the other geeks!) that I realised that I was about the only girl that could quote First Contact (the line has to be drawn here....), the Borg greeting (We are the Borg, you will be assimilated.......) and when someone made a joke about a ‘Red Shirt’, one of the only girls to laugh.
This has never bothered me, I have never felt any less of a girl because I like a show that is mostly liked by guys. The fact that I can point out an outfit from Star Trek and not what Sarah Jessica Parker was wearing in last weeks episode of Sex and the City (yes I watch that too, I have eclectic tastes) has never made me feel any less feminine. Why should it, after all Star Trek has always been a pioneer in addressing stereotypes and modern issues in a way that shows that claim to be set in the reality of the here and now offer don’t address.

The earliest example and probably the most famous is the fact that the Original series of Star Trek (made let’s remind our selves in the mid 60’s) had an African American woman as one of the main characters, responsible for not the typing but all communications with other ships, other species.  This may not seem like it was revolutionary but this was at a time when the civil rights movement in America was fighting to get the massive inequalities between white and black addressed.  Also there were not many TV shows that had women in important positions within a career based role, there were plenty of them playing wives, mothers, sisters, secretaries etc but being part of a crew exploring the far most reaches of the galaxy.... well it didn’t happen.  Ohara didn’t just spend the length of the series with her hand to her ear saying ‘he says no Captain, what is your response?’ She rolled up her sleeves and got to work fixing the communication relay when it needed it.  

The second example is Beverly Crusher.  Yes I admit as a character there were times when she was slightly annoying (I know that some of you reading this will be saying ‘slightly?’) but when you get passed that she was after all the chef physician on the Galaxy Classed Star Ship.  This series was made and aired in the late 80’s early 90’s. 

The third example is not a main character but a reoccurring guest star, Guinan.  Guinan is in many ways the classic bar tender, she knows how to mix drinks, listen to customers woes and worries and provide them with very wise advice and she knows how to keep order in ‘her place’.
She is a very strong female character but unlike some of the others in the line up she is very understated.  She also has the added bonus of being Picard’s unofficial advisor, lets face it; if Picard is going to do as she says, she must be good!

We then come to Deep Space Nine, a show that was made entirely in the 90’s.  Our first contender here is Major Kira Nerys, the highest ranking female character in Star Trek at the time; second in command of a deep space station.  Kira is perhaps one of the strongest women in Star Trek; a survivor of the Cardassian occupation of Bajor, she became a member of the resistance, fighting for the survival of a deeply spiritual but sadly helpless race.  Kira is anything but helpless, she is tough, no nonsense and willing to lead.  Although part of her clearly feels the Cardassians should pay for the atrocities that they committed against the Bajoran race (Star Trek’s version of the Nazi in my opinion) she also has a very spiritual side which often means she is determined that Bajor should grow and be part of a new peace and understanding between the two races.

Our second contender from DS9 is Jadzia Dax.  Her position on the station is a science officer, this is a very important part of the Star Trek Universe and up until DS9 there haven’t been many women who were given this role. So Jadzia’s first point comes from having a very challenging job.  Her second comes from the fact that she is a joined life form, giving her about 8 past lives before Jadzia.  This means that she is a very ‘old soul’ and she is also very comfortable with who she is, so she is pretty confident.  She may have been both men and women over her 8 lifetimes but she is very comfortable with being a woman in her present incarnation.

Saturday, 1 October 2011

12 days to enlightenment......

I have the next 12 days to do whatever I want.  I have a shopping trip planned, a visit to the Tate Modern and the museum of Moving Image. A big sort out of the flat, might actually get those fabrics put up.  I’m also hoping to get an exercise bike and M would like a rowing machine.

Day of the week: Saturday
Time of day: 3.31 pm
Weather: Blue skies and lots of Sun
Mood: Best feeling in about 2 months
Current activity: Chilling out after a little housework and have just finished watching Star Trek Insurrection.  

Sunday, 25 September 2011


Now that FB has changed its layout yet again, I have decided to make this blog the focus of my internet attention.  So prepare for regular updates, stories, serious articles, pictures and videos and links.  However don’t prepare for any of it to make sense. 

Day of the week: Sunday
Time of day: 1.16 pm
Weather: Grey skies with a sneaky bit of sun
Mood: Sunday chilling
Current activity: Cleaning the flat, doing as much washing as possible. Looking forward to and planning my 8 days leave starting next Monday. 

Sunday, 11 September 2011


Here is a selection of my favourite Pulp tracks. 

1 Common People
2 Hardcore
3 Disco 2000

Pulp is easily my favourite band.  Surprisingly they were first formed in 1978 but didn’t become commercially successful until the 90s.  This really makes the over night manufactured pop music of today look truly pathetic.  If ever I see a band live it will have to be this one.
Common People


Disco 2000

Sunday, 4 September 2011

A statement is released

Apologies for my silence recently.  I’m blaming this on being very preoccupied with work (eurgh) and spending time with my relatives from Canada (yay).

I’m ashamed to say I haven’t been very successful in making a determined effort to read.  Having started a Red Dwarf book about 3 weeks ago, I haven’t got passed the second chapter!
For several nights in a row I have picked up the book and not read more than 2 paragraphs before melancholy feelings come over me and I just have to put it down.

The summer not only is nearly over, it quite possibly didn't arrive at all (is this sentence possible? don’t care, using it anyway to put a point across).  The good thing about this is that I get to wear my favourite clothes, that being coats, boots and leggings (or tights if I’m feeling daring) and a skirt.  This year I’m making it my goal to find a suitable hat.  Hats sadly have eluded me for most of my adult life.  I’m still convinced that a beret would be the best course of action.

Only time will tell if I’m successful, well that and the photos.

Signing off now.

Day of the week: Sunday
Time of day: 1.43 pm
Weather: Grey skies and intermittent rain
Mood: Enjoying relaxing on Sunday afternoon

Saturday, 27 August 2011

Is really enjoying watching......

Pulp performing live at the Reading & Leeds festival on BBC 3.  Yes I am singing along.

Day of the week: Saturday
Time of day: 9.33 pm
Weather: Raining, not raining, raining........ and so on
Mood: Desperately trying to keep those weekday thoughts out of my head

Monday, 25 July 2011

The passing of the years

Well today’s post is a short one.

Yesterday was M’s birthday.  We had a great night out at ‘The Alex’, various visits from his family during the day, lunch with his dad, step mum and step sister and a shopping trip.  I got him a Kindle which he loves (he loves reading and gadgets, so the perfect combination).
During the shopping trip I had a very spontaneous moment and bought a huge canvas print of 5 women sitting on a pool side, with Pink Floyd album covers painted on their backs.  A picture entitled Pink Floyd * Back Catalogue.  Happy Birthday M, hope you enjoyed your day.

Of course being involved in a birthday celebration means you end up pondering the passing of time and the speed in which it passes.  During my pondering I found myself transported back to my teenage years, school, college and of the most fondly remembered Guides.  It is most apt that a very good friend from that period in my life is celebrating her birthday today.  Sadly I lost contact with her some years ago, something I deeply regret. 

So here’s to you old friend, Happy 27th Birthday.

Wednesday, 20 July 2011


M and I have made the decision to start selling items on a certain buy & sell website and to attend some car boot sales (not that we have a car or boot).  I have to confess to being inspired by a pagan forum I contribute to, they had a thread on lost crafts and it would transpire that quite a lot of people have craft skills.  The list is long, going from; jam making to being able to make fences.  I’m ashamed to say I didn’t posses any of the skills (apart from cooking from scratch).  So I have been researching tie dyeing, wood burning, buying and selling clothes and possibly card making. 

It will be a long process but hopefully not only we will be able to develop skills or a craft we will also be able to increase our income.

Friday, 8 July 2011

To curl up with a good book........

I’m settled down on the sofa, coffee poured and waiting to be drunk, book in hand..... open the cover, start the first sentence...... and then it starts.

What I hear you say?  Well the thing that has been blighting my reading for about 18 months.  Basically every time I settle down to have a good read, my mind; instead of picturing the scenes being described on the page starts to race through a long list of things that I ‘should’ be doing.  Better uses of my time, tasks that need completing. 
Dinner could be prepared early for a better taste, that washing sitting in the basket could be done now instead of tomorrow, hoovering should be done everyday not every other day....... a whole list of tasks screaming at me;
“What are you doing being so lazy, how dare you sit and do nothing?”

And that you in bold is very important, because it does feel like it’s personal.  Someone doesn’t think I deserve to read, to further my knowledge, hell even to just get totally absorbed into a bloody good story.

Of course that someone is me! (the mask is removed, the music builds and the audience gasps).  The question is why am I stopping my self from taking time out to read, write and generally discover new things?
As I see it there are 2 roads that could be taken here:
The first being that some part of me doesn’t want me to read, for fear of what I might discover (possibly) but lets face it I’m not reading secret files!
The second is that it could be a result of living in a culture that places a high emphasis on what people have achieved; saying well today I read a really good book doesn’t really compare to saying: the front room was decorated, a four course meal was prepared, the curtains went to the dry cleaners, 3 hours of working from home (unpaid)........

But why should I feel guilty about feeding the soul, what’s wrong with getting home from a long day at work and spending some time focusing on doing some thing I want to do? Ok so when I have finished a book, you can’t see a result of what has been achieved but does that really matter?

Well from now on I’ll say: “listen here me, I’m going to sit down and take time out to feed my soul and there’s nothing you can do about it!”
That will undoubtedly be a conversation worth hearing (and seeing).

Saturday, 2 July 2011


As I sit watching our second Muppet movie of the week I come to the conclusion that I owe it to the world to list me favourite Muppet characters. As to why the world would want to know what my favourite Muppets are, I don’t know but just in case it suddenly becomes very important........

My favourite favourite characters are of course The Great Gonzo and Rizzo the Rat. They are a double act in most of the movies (Christmas Carol, Treasure Island and Muppets in Space). Rizzo spends most of the time thinking and talking about food and Gonzo spends just as much time attempting to narrate the story with of course interruptions from Rizzo.

Then off course we have my secondary favourite characters Bunsen and Beaker (Beaker being M’s favourite). Two mad scientists....who wouldn’t love them.

Then we have.....well all of them really.  Let face it; it’s the Muppets.


Tuesday, 28 June 2011

As promised........

So as promised here are the pictures.......

 Boxes, Boxes and ......
 Surely I don't really have that many clothes.
 Front room set (temp of course), yes it's Spaced.
 Our first home cooked meal.
M's first teddy.......playing X-box.

Tune in next time folks for more adventures.

Tuesday, 21 June 2011

Boxes, shelves and other oblong things

I apologise for my silence over the last 3 weeks.  This has not been out of rudeness or laziness just a lack of access. Today we have at last got the internet set up for our flat.

Well that gives away the big announcement of this post: I've moved!
M and I now reside in a one bed room flat complete with garden (be it a very over grown garden that we have to go down an alleyway and unlock a gate to get to, and even then the second gate is broken and can’t be opened.... so we haven’t actually been able to get into the garden but we can see it from the bedroom!)

At the moment we have 1 book shelf, it isn't enough by any means.  We still have quite a few boxes that can’t be unpacked until we have storage.  We are now at the stage where we have the essentials and now we are starting to make it look like a home.  M has done extremely well in finding some brilliant pictures, I have found some fabrics (which have not put them selves up yet, very disappointed at their lack of co-operation).

The move it self was quite straight forward but it was very hard work.  Getting all our furniture up to the first floor was tiring and I am looking forward to having a weekend just to chill out and not have to be collecting some piece of furniture or shampooing the carpet.  No we have the internet I’m really starting to feel comfortable, there is still work that needs doing to the place and yes there are going to be evenings when I come home from work and think right lets get to work, when what I would love to do is just eat dinner and relax for the evening.  But right now I’m enjoying writing this, M cooked a nice dinner and is now playing online games, after his friend helped fix his computer (he really doesn't like being without a PC).

I will conclude this post with the promise of photos in the next instalment.

Monday, 23 May 2011

Home, Sweet Home

In 6 days my life is about change forever.  I’m leaving my home of 27 years to set up a new home with my boyfriend.  Most of my belongings are packed into boxes.  I can’t believe how many clothes I have; 5 bags and there is still a big pile to sort out!  Over the past 3 months I have been in and out of home ware stores, noting prices, getting excited about bargains on cleaning products and trying but not finding a dinner set that looks remotely interesting.  I know....why does a plate have to be interesting?  Well it doesn’t but I do think a design should say something, something a bit more interesting than “I’m a plate”.
I’ve only seen one design that gets my juices going (as it were).

I am very keen to set up our home, plan the layout, shop for items etc.  I would love for the atmosphere to be inspiring yet relaxing – well hey I’ll just say it... a new age/hippie kind of vibe.  In fact I have been wanting to set up a “new age/hippie” style home for some years now but this is the first opportunity I’ve had.  My room at the moment is what my Mum calls a real “me” type of room but I have never felt that I could go completely wild with it.

Whatever it turns out like my boy friend and I are 100% agreed on the fact that there will be lots of books, book shelves and books on them!  Douglas Adams taking pride of place along side my boy friend’s Terry Pratchett (I’ve try to read these with no luck so far, sorry I fail spectacularly).  Then of course there are all 7 Harry Potter books, the Anne Rice (although some what unread on my part for some years now), my Robert Harris (a very grown up series of books – surely I’m too young to be reading this kind of thing?) and lots more.

Then there’s the DVD collection: well done HMV for reducing the price of the season box sets of Next Generation and Buffy and Fraiser and.... Good God what geek lives here?  But the truth is yes hopefully our home will be just that; a “geeky, new age/hippie sort of house.

Friday, 20 May 2011

High on a hill

Well I am going to start this blog with a music review.

I have recently discovered an artist called Kate Rusby, a folk singer.  I came across her while watching the BBC series Jam & Jerusalem.  I first watched this series when it was on TV (2007) and I have to confess I wasn’t impressed.  I didn’t find it funny, in fact there were moments when it was embarrassing not funny.

However when my Mum unwrapped a parcel from Amazon and revealed a DVD of the first series I stayed in the lounge to watch a couple of episodes.  I’m so glad I did, it was like I remembered it, I even knew some of the lines but this time I did find it not only funny but also inspiring. 
I’m not too sure why the same show has had a completely different affect on me but I can guess that it is because a lot has happened in 3 years.

Enough of the soul searching, back to the review!  Kate Rusby performs the title song to Jam & Jerusalem, ‘The Village Green Preservation Society’.  Her songs are also featured throughout the series and she even makes a quest appearance as a performer at a wedding in the second series. 
After some research on a well known video website that shall remain nameless, I have chosen a few songs that are my personal favourites.  Some of them are covers.

1. Underneath the Stars
2. You belong to me
3. Our Town

Kate Rusby’s music and Jam & Jerusalem’s Cornish countryside are the perfect combination (in my opinion).  Listening to the music I can try to forget that I live in an urban concrete jungle and sadly no where near any heather.