i'm a crazy welsh person (who grew up and lives in switzerland)

Sunday, October 29, 2006

got a flickr account

all stuart's fault! i don't really need one. ah well. have uploaded most of my pictures now. but am wondering whether i need to upgrade (i'm just awful, i don't need the whole thing!!!!) you can only have three sets on the free version, i didn't realise now i've used them up and can't delete them again...

lassie's just moved in. dinner time now. or maybe marion and i will got for a run. marion saw this dark skin on my neck, i've had it for a couple of weeks now. the problem of living with a doctor: she says it could be i've got (i'm getting?) diabetes. so i wanna eat lots of chocolate and icecream before i can't anymore (cause i'm dead...?). but then she says it might just be a tumor... yeay!! of the pancreas, so it's the same thing, sugar causes it...

so now the running thing has become more urgent ;-) i really hope she's wrong about this! oh yes she said we should put some steroid cream (or something) on it and hope it goes away. i'm hoping! haven't put the stuff on yet but i'm still hoping ;-)

dublin - the final post (i hope...)

so done saturday. the pictures are no longer online by the way, so no point looking for them. my favourite (most people's favourite) one was the one where i'm undertaking a microscopic investigation of the pavement (dave's description of it).

sunday... stuart was rather shocked at me being up before him ;-) (everyone was shocked at me being up at all in fact...). when we'd managed to get dia and paul up we went off to dun laoghaire (or some such, it's pronounced dun leery). Pawel had got up at the crack of dawn and gone off by himself, so tino phoned him and we were going to meet him there.

took the train and got there not long after pawel, however his description of the cafe he was having lunch in was... bad. we're not sure whether he did it on purpose to avoid us, cause he said he'd see us walking past. maybe he ducked.

we had a carvery at some pub and then went for a walk along the sea. dia kept lying down for a sleep, i was all for it too. there were a bunch of french teenagers obviously there with a school. one of them was going 'don't worry, these people don't understand french' to his friends. i laughed so hard! now tino thinks i speak french, so he's careful what he says to jean louis in front of me :-)

i really love it when people say stuff like that, it's soooo naive. swiss people often think that, with my family. one time we were on a skiing holiday. mum, dad, tim (my brother) and i were in a cable car with two swiss guys. we were just talking about random stuff, we didn't care that they could understand us. of course we knew they could understand us more or less cause they were around tim's or my age and we've both had to go through 'learning english' (or rather correcting the english teacher's english..). but one of them says to the other, quite randomly, in swiss german 'they don't even realise we can understand them'. we were all too shocked to think of a clever retort, just looked at each other... we were surprisingly successful at not bursting out laughing ;-) but you should have seen their faces when as we were getting out of the lift i turned to them and said, in the same dialect as they were speaking, 'it was you who didn't realise we could understand you...' ooh, that was hilarious :-D

when we got back from dun leery (can't e bothered to try and spell it correctly again) we all had a snooze before dinner. found a nice pub for dinner, managed to squeeze five of us round a table. Pawel turned up half way through dinner and we said we'd meet up when we were done. drank coke with dinner, and befroe dinner when we were waiting for a table. the memory was still very fresh in my mind...

oh dear, i think marion needs help, so i'll have to finish this some other time. not the final dublin post after all then...


Saturday, October 28, 2006

obviously still drunk this morning...

hmm, i've just reread that last post and i think i might still have been a little bit drunk. some of the places i started a new paragraph seem just slightly random... ah well!

realised i forgot the last bit: dia dropped me off in town this morning. it was something parade or some such i think. so i start off walking in the direction of westbury-on-trym, looking for bus stops. found one, bus 20, goes to westbury but just missed one. next one not due for another 10 minutes and i felt like walking some more so i carried on.

walked for a little while and then things started looking slightly familiar: i somehow ended up wandering right past stuart's flat. so that was clearly wrong, up some random hill, not a clue how i got there... but i know the way back from there, crashed at his place the first time i went out with the guys from infineon (i slept in a flatmate's room, she wasn't there...)

so i wandered back down the hill (i really hadn't realised i'd gone up it) and found the bus stop, deciding that walking all the way back to westbury probably wasn't a good idea after all. the bus was standing there waiting for the driver to arrive (???) so that was perfect timing.

but the best bit was when after a stop or two the bus suddenly drives into the square where dia dropped me off! i hadn't even realised i was going that far wrong!!! oopsy!

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very fun friday night :-))

didn't actually feel like going out cause i had the worst back ache and a stomach ache and my head hurt... (just to clarify things: i was not hung over, no clue why everything hurt) but went down the pub anyway, just for a beer or two.

after the first beer (which i drank incredibly slowly, i am capable of learning from my mistakes) dia asked how all my aches were and i found they'd gone! hurray! had another pint and a half before we left. paul had had 4 by then. he kept urging me to get on with it, wasn't pleased when he finished his third pint to find i was only just half way though my second (yay! well done me!!)

took a taxi to town. paul told me neil said i was bright. he said neil said you could give me a problem and i'd go away and solve it! yay!!! so i was ecstatic (oop, took me a while to get that word right, but got there in the end, no x's after all...) needed to do the happy dance, but not the sitting down one (that's just for blocks that synopsys made fast enough and generally code that works). couldn't stand up to do it in the taxi (it was high enough but i refused to take my seatbelt off), so when we stopped at a red light the taxi driver did one for me... it wasn't very good he completely neglectd the arm movements :(

but when we got to town i danced down the street. would have done cartwheels but it was on a hill and might have hurt myself so didn't. (did do them later on the way to the third pub. wow we went to three pubs... but the beaufort doesn't really count so it was only two really)

serrie and alistair met us in the second pub (not a clue what it was called). was good fun. just before we left they played bat ot of hell. i just love meatloaf's music. it's so great. dave'll groan if he reads this. he doesn't like meatlof, he doesn't like springsteen... but he does like some very good stuff, just not all the good stuff ;-)

paul tried on serrie's hat (at least i think it was serrie's not alistair's, bit who knows...):

then serrie wore it

cause of the whole dublin pictures thing i went round asking everyone's permission, whether it was ok to put the pictures on my blog. serrie said the hat one was blurry enough so ok. but i've got another one of her without the hat that's not blurry and i can't remember asking permission for that one. think it was before i realised that might be a good idea. so can't put it on :(

the third pub was fun. had long chat with serrie and alistair. turns out serrie's really nice ;-) she just comes across as scary cause she's assertive (and she like to pretend to be nasty). told alistair about jonesy dying. poor cat. i had my phone out and jonesy's my background and alistair saw it so he got the tale...

serrie also said neil was impressed with me. she's quite surprised at how impressed neil and paul n are. i'm so chuffed. i think they're wrong, somehow i haven't been really thick yet (or rather they never noticed when i was) but i'm still very very pleased. serrie says if i want to be able to come back i need to make sure neil and paul n stay impressed, they're the important ones. oh, and paul h (not sure about how impressed with my cleverness he is. probably shouldn't have beaten him 3 times at arm wrestling. didn't realise :-) ah well) and glenn (to whom i sent a mail saying what an idiot i am, cause i thought i heard the sandwich van, went and stood outside and found nope, i'm hearing things... obviously, the mail wasn't meant for him ;-) meant to send it to stuart)

dia and paul suddenly decided to go get a kebab just after i'd got another round :( i downed my beer (ok, so i am not capable of remembering lessons learnt after i've had five or six beers...) and rushed after them. paul kept saying i'm gonna be sick. i felt it would only be fair punishment if he puked on me, so i carted him to wherever we went.

propped him up against the wall for this picture. it's a bit blurry but we did i fact meet chewy's little brother :-D he was very nice

found some place, dia went in to get the food, paul sat down at the curb and i rushed of to find a loo. failed miserably, rushed into this supermarket...? there was asolutely nowhere and i was desperate...

so i went and sat down with paul till dia got back. she was more sccessful at getting a taxi than in dublin, although the first driver took one look at us and sped off. i think paul and i were wobbling a bit too much for his liking...

got back to dia's and had the food. paul's stuff was so hot it burnt layers of skin off your tongue. i tried some and got hiccups. remember telling some long story with hiccups, don't remember what it was though. probably woudn't have been that long if i hadn't had to stop every couple of words to hiccup.

dia's got really lovely cats. they say one of them is nasty, and it did swipe at me once (mostly missed) but in the morning it was really nice and it purred :-) i love cats. the poor other cat that doesn't swipe got cuddled till it ran off in horror :-)

seems dia cannot deal with slugs. she can do spiders and other horrible things, but slugs make her freak out completely. there was a slug on the ceiling in the wash room and dia screamed. paul had already gone off upstairs to get ready for bed and dia was showing me some work that security guard stuart had done for her (he's only a part time security guard, has his own company i think).

anyway, we found the slug and dia ran off yelling for paul. i was going 'no, no, we can deal with this, leave paul alone, it's fine' and she was going 'we can't we can't! it's a slug! paul, PAUL! he-e-elp!!!' was quite funny. i was going 'what am i allowed to use can i use this?' and dia was moaning noooooo :-) it was so funny.

i was going 'i'll use this, i'll use this, i promise i'll wash it really well' but she wouldn't have it. she was so scared i was going to contaminate something that she forgot about getting paul to come save her and found me some paper to use. then she went back to yelling for paul. once i'd got the slug down she couldn't open the back door.

so we went to the front door which she'd locked and it took her ages to get the key off the ring (don't ask me why it was necessary to take it off the ring to open the door, it just was) all the time yelling for paul... finally got the door open so i went out and took the slug to visit the neighbours :-)

then dia couldn't get the key back onto the ring (surprise surprise) and she wouldn't let me put it on, she squealed. by this time paul had come down and was just laughing at us. in the end i stuck the key back in the door so that it wouldn't get lost. it had taken me about five minuted (ok not quite) to get the key out of the lock, it was really stuck and i didn't want to break the key...

in the morning i'm going downstairs and dia's there going 'oh nooo, i've lost the key, i can't find it'. it was still in the door... *pats self on back*

we got out the door to go get dia's car with my bag in it which we'd left at work and i think dia's phone beeped or something. so i realised i didn't have my phone in my pocket... rushed back inside, looked everywhere i'd been, not there! i remembered getting it out at the last pub and leaving it on the table for a while. must have left it there then... so dia says we'll ring it. but she couldn't get her phone to work properly.

got to paul's car just as i'm ringing my phone from paul's phone and i start ringing... ummm, i had put it in a very safe place... do not remember that at all. and i slept on it and didn't even feel it. glad no-one phoned me...

ah well, very fun night out :-D

got to go do some washing now and have a bath. i smell...

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Friday, October 27, 2006

more mayhem at marion's

short post cause i'm at work...

i forgot to mention this before: lassie (aka paul ip) is moving in on sunday... got home on wednesday to find marion and dave tidying up the kids room like mad. strange, as that's not the room he's getting... the playroom is still and awful mess. and marion and dave are gone till saturday. what fun!

Thursday, October 26, 2006

guitar music

just practising on my guitar quickly so my figertips don't go soft again...
remembered two songs i really want to learn on the guitar. mustn't forget them. heard them both on sunday night in dublin:
  • stairway to heaven, some guy was playing live in the first bar we went to, he was really good

  • summer of '69, that's just a fun song, it came on in the club (the viper room)


too tired to think of a title

it's not even eight and i'm knackered. good thing i don't have to babysit after all. marion and dave have gone to see dave's grandmother (and taken the kids with them!). they're back on saturday.

then i'll have to make the chicken fajitas i've been promising for ages. but somerfields in westbury hasn't got the guacamole spices :-( i'll probably have to go to asda or something...

just watched the first two episodes of garth merenghi's dark place. can't work out whether i like it or not :-S some of it makes me laugh. i'd probably have laughed harder if i weren't so tired. on the other hand i might not have laughed at all...

stupid phone: i connected it to the pc to download my new photos, but the pc can't see the ones on the phone. and the ones the pc can see i can't seem to find on the phone... :-S i checked, i really am looking at the phone and not some random folder on the pc!

i've got a picture of dia's leg from today, which is what, four days after it happened (i'll write about sunday some other time, too tired to bother now and tomorrow night we're going out again straight from work, i think, so probably won't be then). dia's foot has now joined in with the leg: the whole thing is just purple, it's really scary! marion (Dr Marion R...) said at the start, it sounded like she might have chipped the bone but dia refuses to go see a doctor :-(

had some more stuff i wanted to say, but my tired brain is even more sieve-like than usual...

oh yes, dia's quite cross with stuart cause of the pictures. it's sweet cause it's the ones of me she minds there aren't any awful ones of her... but she came by and had a chat with me today, but refused to go see stuart cause she's pissed off at him...

and a friend from uni told me today (email) that she'd bumped into another friend who told her his wife (he's jewish, married some random girl, the sister of a friend of his, in february or march) is having a baby in december. hmm, december minus 9 months... that was quick! glad it's not me, what a nightmare that would be... and he's still at uni... ah well.

think i'm done now. to tired to carry on. who knows what i'll say when i'm in this state. have a rule: musn't blog when drunk, cause i might say something i can't take back. think i'm heading into a similar state of tiredness... so stopping now. oh look, it's after eight now :-)

Wednesday, October 25, 2006

hurray for dublin!!! - take two

so anyway, we went round the christ church cathedral. was fun. after that we wandered onwards toward the guiness factory. the tour busses were going past quite regularly so we were able to follow them in the right direction (they go in a circle, so there aren't any going in the other direction. good thing or we'd probably have been in trouble...)

took a while but we did find st. james' gate without going wrong again. queued for at least half an hour to get in, but then we spent two and a half hours or so wandering round it so that was ok. at the end you get a pint of guinness. by this time it was three in the afternoon and we hadn't eaten since breakfast. the pint was quite horrible and i was starving :-( it took me absolutely ages to finish it. the bar was right at the top of the building and had a panoramic view of the city. so we took some panorama pictures on our phones. stuart's turned out quite well, but of course i'm to thick for that and took the segments in the wrong order so the picture looks... odd is the best word, i guess ;-)

the others took a long time to arrive and when they did finally get there dia and paul were completely knackered. so we said we'd meet in our room (it was huge, three beds, one was a double) in half an hour. tino and pawel arrived, but dia and paul were late and when they did arrive they turned up carrying cups of tea. pawel was very cross: it seems tino was in a hurry to get out to dinner and wouldn't allow him to have any tea... awww. we ushered dia and paul back upstairs to get dressed and offered pawel tea, but he refused. he'd somehow missed the window of tea time or something ;-)

had dinner at a pizza place that only had tables for two or four, so tino and pawel ended up having a romantic dinner together ;-)
having wine with dinner was my first big mistake...

here are the pics i took after dinner:

i'd rather not talk about the night, i had fun, but i got completely drunk. i blame that on the wine, on a pint of brain blasta beer (7%!!!) and the fact that i dropped my earring, pawel put it in his ear (there's a picture...) and then dia said i couldn't put it in mine without disinfecting it with alcohol. so i dropped it in my brand new pint (and was surprised when it sank straight to the bottom instead of floating down gently (this wass already after the wine and the brain blasta) so to get it back out i drank the pint rather faster than is sensible (didn't hear dia's suggestion that i pour the beer into a different glass...)

stuart took a lot of pictures of me on the way home (i was plastered, totally legless) and he put them all online. his wonderful office mates serrie and darren have been showing them to everyone. so i got to work this morning and there was some guy i'd never seen before standing outside smoking. he says to me 'i know you, you're on the internet'. i'm confused what??? so he says 'there are pictures of you on the internet'... oh no!!! even this random guy has seen the picture of me face down on the pavement? eeek!

but everyone was impressed with the story of how i beat paul at arm wrestling three times before he managed to get me once after i'd beaten stuart once as well, then been beaten by stuart and tino had almost broken my wrist. but it makes paul feel better that he did beat me in the end... :-) serrie's taking great joy in pointing out to him that he was beaten three times by a girl..
all this was sometime after the brain busta, cause i don't arm wrestle unless i'm drunk. when i'm sober i know better than to challenge fragile male egos... (although i really expected to lose to paul, and instead stuart was a lot harder to beat than you would guess from looking at him...)

here are the pics i took at the pub, some of them are quite blurred but i'll put them on anyway.

this is tino

a blurry weird picture of stuart

this one could be stuart or paul, it's a little bit difficult to tell...

cute one of dia and paul

stuart and tino playing with phones/cameras

paul taking a picture

dia and stuart looking at some picture on the camera, looks like it's funny

well that's it for tonight. i'll try to post the rest tomorrow when i'm babysitting.

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Tuesday, October 24, 2006

Hurray for Dublin!!!

that was a great weekend!! which is a good thing, because i am going to get soo much stick at work for saturday night... but it was worth it... :-)

saturday stuart and i went exploring (the others didn't arrive till around six). we got a day pass for the tour busses and went round the city. the weather was absolutely beautiful once we were on the bus. before it was horrible, we had to dry the seats before we sat down.

we decided to get off the bus at st. patricks cathedral have a look round that and the walk to the guinness storehouse and do the tour there. but when we got to the cathedral it was closed for a graduation ceremony :-( so off we went towards the guinness factory. or so we thought... luckily for us the tour bus passed us on its way back (it goes round a loop by st patricks) and drove away in the opposite direction to where we were going...

we worked out that the bus had it right (doh!) and turned round. christ church cathedral was on the way to the guinness factory so we stopped and had a look round in there. my favourite bit was the cat and the rat:

Too tired to carry on now, going to bed. Short version: i got completely wasted on saturday, horribly embarrassing stuff, but nothing actually awful (except vomiting on some poor unsuspecting girl...), beat paul and stuart at arm wrestling, had great time on sunday, managed not to get drunk in the evening (or during the day...). dia got drunk, really hurt her leg :-(
monday was ok, saw some stuff...

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Thursday, October 19, 2006

dublin minus 24 hours

hurray!!! this time tomorrow i'll be in dublin!! yeay!!!

have just extracted the balloons from inside the papier mache 'pinatas' for tom's birthday party tomorrow. surprisingly they didn't collapse (although marion's did seem to be going, but it held up in the end). so now they're drying out inside over night (we only did them tuesday evening, so they aren't completely dry, marion had the kids paint them with wallpaper paint to make them colourful and more solid)

just spent almost two hours putting new music on my phone cause i'm bored with the old stuff. david has convinced me that pink floyd aren't horrible. my dad's been trying for years. why does he only ever play horrible noise by them? strange. never knew they also did nice music (apart from the wall cause even i know that...)

haven't packed yet. not very cunning, i know. just couldn't be bothered. got some new jeans :-) packing's easier with new clothes :-) and i've finally coloured my hair again. that's been over due for months. i meant to do it before coming to the uk cause my roots were showing and that was a month and a half ago! i haven't seen this much of my natural hair colour for years... but it's gone now :-)

my fingers hardly hurt at all now when i play the guitar (i use the term 'play' very loosely). except for the chord f. that is just a nightmare, it's torture! but i'm getting there, i can actually make it sound good (without any horrible twanging because i'm not holding the string down properly) it just takes me a couple of minutes to get there ;-)

but i should go and pack now so i can go to work early tomorrow. haha, that's probably a little optimistic, oh well...

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Wednesday, October 18, 2006

second alpha evening

tonight was sooo much better than the first evening. i'm ever so glad i decided to do alpha. i feel that some of the things that were said tonight make it worth the whole 6 evenings, even if it's rubbish from now on...

i would like to add a disclaimer here:
(a) people might have actually said something completely different to what i heard and have written here. if so, sorry ;-)
(b) i am not very good at expressing serious thoughts, so this might sound like a load of rubbish. i've actually written this post so that i can come back to it and see what i thought of tonight because i would hate to forget the stuff i realised tonight...

i never realised that the story of job is not meant to be taken literally. i feel like a right idiot, now that it's been pointed out to me it's pretty much obvious ;-) that gets rid of some horrible questions...

as a child job used to be my favourite story. every time we visited grandma and grandpa, that would be the story i asked grandpa for. i just loved the way job was so faithful and trusting, no matter what happened to him he always trusted god. it was kind of an ideal (i meant to put that 'l' there, i'm not turning into a bristolian...), that was how much we should put our faith in god.

marion told me how when i was about three or so, grandma was putting me to bed and praying with me. she prayed that one day i might come to know jesus. when she was done, i turned to her and said 'but grandma, i already know jesus!'... it really makes me think. a child's faith is so absolute, there's none of this intellectual confusion added. it gave me a warm fuzzy feeling to know that i really did believe in god at that age, cause i can't remember that. it's nice to know. i'll have to ask grandma about it some time...

another thing i feel like a right idiot about, and for the same reason, is genesis. i always wondered how it could have been written as late as it was, or at all for that matter, and be actual history. of course this is another example of not taking the bible too literally. dave quoted someone: 'we take the bible seriously, not literally' or something to that effect. it was definitely an evening of 'duh' moments for me :-) this is what i was hoping for from alpha.

it's really helpful to have marion in our small group, because she can say what the leader can't say for fear of seeming to pushy (and stuff) but really does need to be said. cause i can't say it, i don't know it and the stuff i do know i tend to express so badly it's rather less than helpful. so i just sit there nodding a lot of the time.

of course today i had an excuse for not talking much: during dinner i nearly bit my tongue off... it was a bad bite, there was a lot of blood involved, so my beef tasted very salty ;-)

we were also discussing how jesus said 'i am the way [..] no-one comes to the father but through me' (please look it up before quoting me!!). i have always had difficulty with that, like a lot of people do, because it seems to be saying 'unless you know what i have done for you and accept that and follow after me, you will not be going to heaven' which seems very harsh and very much at odds with his message of compassion and that love is the first and main issue.

marion has shown me a different way of looking at it (she doesn't say it's the way or looking at it or anything, just a way it might have been meant). she says that when he says 'follow me' he means follow my teachings, follow my way... so someone who doesn't know about jesus or does not believe in him, but lives in a way that is loving and compassionate and in fact does follow jesus' teaching will come to the father, because he has followed jesus.

i'm not sure whether this next bit was actually what marion meant because she looked a bit surprised when i took it up, but i found this thought incredibly helpful. jesus is the way to god, him coming to earth and living his human life as he did and then dying to pay for our debt paved the way for us to come to god through faith and love alone, instead of the old testament/jewish way, which is to actually have to follow the law to the letter and never sin against it or else...

i'd just like to repeat: don't go and beat marion up cause you don't agree with this stuff. it's entirely possible that i've got the wrong end of the stick or maybe even the wrong stick... but it all makes sense to me (what i've written, not generally everything...)


Monday, October 16, 2006

dublin minus four days!!!

yeay!!! going to dublin in four days!!! woohoo!!! :-D

we went for another walk at lunch time. followed the purple path today. i cleverly decided it wasn't going to rain (because i felt it was nice without the rain, so of course it wouldn't rain...) and left my rain coat at my desk. half way round it started pouring down :-( we got quite wet...

saw a funny sign about it being 'not nice and dangerous to hit golf balls in this park' or something. of course stuart took a picture, it'll appear on his blog at some point.

it seems i missed a great night out on saturday. stuart can't even remember half the stuff he did, but he texted me about them, so i can remind him ;-)

stuart took some funny pictures (of course he can't remember taking them). this is my new boss paul :-)

for the rest of the photos look here

my fingers are killing me! they've been bright red all day from practising last night, and now i've had another go... but my index finger is sabotaging me: it started to peel before i even started developing calluses... nasty finger, it's out to ruin my guitar playing. from now on i'm going to blame my very bad playing on the fact that my index finger is sabotaging me.. :-D


sore fingers!

i am well on the way to killing my poor fingertips. i've just spent two hours or so torturing them into submission. two of them have actually gone black, though marion and i agreed it was too early for them to have rotted... it must be from the strings or something.

have decided to torture david :-D he's been complaining about me always playing 'you win again' by the beegees on the piano, but the problem is that there is only the 'hits of the 80s' book and queen greatest hits (he doesn't complain when i play them). so i've now tought myself to play you win again' on the guitar. so far i've been doing it without the amp (marion and i were watching the wedding planner), but once i've got it down, i'll do it nice and loud. david is not pleased... :-D

spent the weekend in cardiff at nanny and bampy's. was good. nanny talked a lot, but i think it could have been worse... she seems to be doing quite well mostly. just had a partial knee replacement. she's not pleased at the thought of having some metal thingy inside her...

tom (g) gave me some tips for the guitar. i want to learn to play 'sweet child o mine' :-D maybe in ten years or so... that is such a great piece of guitar music!

marion finally had a go on my guitar. was scary: she just sat down and played 'crazy little thing called love', the top gun theme and some others from memory. she hasn't played for ten years or so!!! and it sounded really (REALLY) good. cool, it means my guitar really can sound wonderful, i just need to learn to play :-)

typing is rather painful at the moment... david keeps calling me a wuss, but i'd like to see him practise for two hours with his fingers feeling like this!

oh yeah, marion ran in the cardiff [half] marathon today. mad, completely mad... she was really hoping to do it in under two hours and she made it in 1 hour 57... not bad!! but now i'll have to go running with her, like i said, cause she's not training for anything anymore... oh dear, what have i got myself into. if i don't post anymore, it's probably because i've collapsed after running a hundred yards... or maybe because my fingertips have run off and i just can't type anymore

Friday, October 13, 2006

grumpy today

wow i'm really grumpy today. not a successful day at work. been grumpy since about two o'clock or so. bla. and i've got absolutely nothing on tonight, i'm completely bored. blech. i finallt found something funny on tv, the two ronnies, and it was cheering me up, but there was only a minute or so left and now it's finished, so i'm crosser than when i found it :(

managed to find a good website learn some guitar chords, so my fingers are really sore now. would have practised some more, but it hurts. don't want to actually break the skin, just toughen it up, cause if it breaks i won't be able to bear practising tomorrow and it'll take longer to develop the calluses i need.

marion and dave went out to a mexican restaurant for dinner but the table was reserved again for nine or so, so they're on the way back now. i'll have to try not to be quite as grumpy as i feel, cause that's just nasty... they're bringing me some fish and chips. yum yum. i love fish and chips, can't get them in switzerland. but i'm still grumpy. oh, here they are...

another walk with stuart

forgot to mention that in my earlier post. which was yesterday now, huh.

it was good fun. we decided to plan the route in advance using the map just outside infineon which i've pinched from stuart's blog and stuck in here:

today we decided we'd follow the red signs up to the fifth roundabout or so and then follow the pink signs back (stuart really didn't want to get lost this time...).
somehow we must have missed a pink sign or two, cause we ended up back on the red path earlier than we expected, so most of the way back was the way we came :-(

to make up for it we crossed the bridge over the road. i tried to make stuart scramble up the hill and through some bushes to get to the top of the bridge, so that serrie'd be entertained by him covered in grass stains and with leaves in his hair :-D but he refused. what a shame. i told serrie i'd tried, just couldn't resist. stuart says he's gonna get me for that... it was worth it :-D

didn't let him take the path down the other side, was still hoping he'd fall over and get dirty, but he didn't. and i had to run down the steep hill right behind him so he couldn't get to the bottom and film me coming down...

was good fun even if we did nearly get run over, crossing the road without even thinking of looking where we were going... stuart's reaction when we realised (cause a car only just missed us) was 'ah, well, we're nearly back now anyway' which i thought was a bit of a non sequitur...

Thursday, October 12, 2006

the departed

wow! that is one great film! went to see it last night! it had me on the edge of my seat for the whole of the second half, had me chewing on my nails at one point and i chucked that bad habit years ago... it's really awful being that tense for that long ;-) if you don't mind a bit of blood and brain flying (ok, a lot..) it's a totally incredible film. i could rave on and on about it, but i'd just be repeating myself (as i refuse to say anything else about it for fear of spoiling it for anyone who happens to be bored enough to read my blog)

had a carvery at the parkway first with stuart and his friend simon. that's a lot of food for £3.99. and then at the cinema i got a medium coke cause i didn't want a big one, i was too full... the medium one's 75dl!!! but it was a great evening. wonderful film... :-)

i'm being reassigned at work. i've finished the analysis of the TLB (the translation lookaside buffer, have i mentioned it before?), and now there are these finished chips (i.e. actual silicon) that have a problem in the MMU (memory management unit...) and i'm supposed to test them and try to find out what's wrong with them. or under what conditions they go wrong, or something like that. i'm not quite sure exactly...

anyway neil says they need someone who understands how the MMU works (i.e. me, cause that's what i've been working on this last month) to test it cause the verification engineers haven't got a clue about MMUs. somehow i find that a bit hard to believe but if he says so... :-)

so i've been getting into writing assembler test programs today. i love assembler. i don't think my code is very efficient ;-) but it's fun writing it. it's so much closer to the hardware i just love it :-D

i'm babysitting and people keep phoning up. so this is me taking notes now:

- paul stewart (or some such) phoned, said it's not very important, he'll try again tomorrow night
- grandma phoned, shes going away tomorrow, would like to talk to marion before then
- paul ip phoned (was on the phone to him for half an hour, they've started calling him skippy at work :-) i'm now calling him lassie) wanted to sort out who's doing what when for the devotion christmas video (or something)

i think that's it at the moment... at least that's all i can remember

Wednesday, October 11, 2006

first alpha evening

hmm. not what i expected. BUT, i have no idea what i was actually expecting... just that it wasn't what i got.

the talk was pretty much like a sunday service, i thought that was a bit weird. dinner was quite nice. didn't really get anything out of the small group discussion, but hopefully that'll get better as it goes on.

interesting, but also quite scary discussion with marion and dave afterwards. they've just realised what time it is so they're moving whichever kid is in their bed :-) i find marion quite difficult to follow, her mind works very differently from mine. the beer probably didn't help ;-) (that was after alpha, we went to the pub quickly)

of course we got there late, marion had to go get the babysitter. she was a bit late setting off and then he faffed around, i do believe that wasn't actually her fault. so we left at about 7.35 or 7.40. the whole thing was meant to start at half past...

marion was a bit worried about the babysitter so she told the kids 'he's not used to children, so i think you'd better just STAY ASLEEP'... i didn't know about this and was rather surprised when josh asked quite accusingly 'what are you doing tonight vicky?' (i.e. 'why can't you mind us, you're not so scary (mostly)?') cause usually the thought of me in charge is not something they like (josh's scared i'll eat the mint ice cream. he's right)

back to alpha. when we got to church andy (a neighbour) and i were ahead of the others and as we passed the back door of the church i jokingly said 'shall we creep in the back and pretend we were there all along' (it's what we tend to do on sunday mornings, so we end up without the handout and don't know what's going on...) we laughed and carried on. the others called us back, what were we doing, going the wrong way, so we went in the back door. came through the room where coffee is served after church (it's got a name i think, i just don't know it) where a load of people from church were queueing up for food. of course our instinct was to just join the queue, but we got chucked out into the main hall, where we had to go to the main entrance anyway to sign in and get our name tags and booklets...

anyway, it was interesting, but i do hope it gets better. will have to digest it a bit...


Tuesday, October 10, 2006

it's arrived it's arrived!!!

my guitar's here my guitar's here!!! hurray! wahoo! yippee!!! yeay!!!
this morning at ten past seven the door bell rang, very surprising, and my guitar appeared!!! that's the weirdest thing, the postman coming at 7.10 am. don't think they do that in switzerland ;-)

anyway, sometime in i got a text from marion saying the amp'd arrived too :-D yeay! wahoo! yeay! yeay!!! turns out now i really need a book, cause there's not much can do on my own (i can do the dum-dum-dumm dum-dum-dum-dummm dum-dum-dumm dum-dummm from smoke on the water, although i'm not very fast, maybe i should just practise that in some random key... hmm). i can polish it, cause you can see where the bubble wrap was, but dave says it's not an ornament, the next step is not polishing it but learning to play it....

it was really well wrapped, took me about ten minutes to rip my way in. caleb waited patiently to see what it was and then scuttled off to get joshy's plastic version :-). we've all had a bit of a play with it now (good thing i didn't listen to my friend pij, or i'd have a guitar and an amp but no way to connnect them, he said there'd definitely be a cable with the guitar cause it's new...), the boys were fiddling with the nobs on the amp making cool effects, caleb whacking at the guitar trying to strum (i started hopping about at that point going 'ooh ooh he's hitting it he's hitting it' cause david had it, not me) but now i've packed it away in the bag and hidden it safely in my room... :-)

went for a stroll with stuart at lunch time. was great fun, we just randomly followed these yellow signs to see where they went. after about 25 minutes we turned back but we didn't want to go back the same way (that'd be boring) so it ended up taking us 45 minutes to get back... stuart took some pictures of the house we discovered the trail of yellow signs lead to, the dead ends we ended up in and the moment we found our way back to a yellow sign. i'm sure he'll stick them on his blog, he blogs everything even his new clothes ;-), and then i'll put in a link to them*

of course serrie (one of stuart's supervisors) didn't believe we'd been for a 70 minute walk. her take on it was that we'd been just round the corner, had some 'fun' and then just said we'd been for a walk... she managed to incorporate the fact that stuart managed to brush his arm through some nettles just as we got back to infineon into her theory: the nettles are at ground level... lol... i just love working down my end, no-one goes on at me like that and when dia comes, we just laugh about the stick stuart's getting :-)

so we're off to the alpha supper this evening. i've wanted to do alpha for a while now, should be interesting and fun... will probably post again later or tomorrow

* so here it is: stuart's take on the walk
i have to admit the getting lost was my fault, but i still blame stuart cause he said getting back was my responsibility and i couldn't be worse than him :-) serves him right, that'll teach him :-D


Monday, October 09, 2006

nice weekend

played scrabble with marion last night. got a good start, as xor (exclusive or, a logical operator) was in the dictionary we'd chosen. marion lost a few goes, ire is not a verb so ires didn't count ('it ires me' was her example), and ya is an abbreviation, means young adult and maybe some other things, but not 'posh people say ya instead of yes', the dictionary didn't count it as a separate word...

but marion went to bed around ten thirty or so, and i'd only got up at twelve. so i stayed up chatting on msn and playing games online. was falling asleep at quarter past one, but somehow i ended up carrying on until i got so hungry i went to get myself some bread. there was a horrible moment when i couldn't find the bread and my sleeping brain translated that into 'NO FOOD! I'M GOING TO STARVE!!!' but the bread was actually on the table, so that was ok. and i realised afterwards that there is always cereal... eating woke me up, and i carried on until two thirty...

for the first time since i've been here we got to church on time, cause david was in charge as marion had to go earlier for some breakfast thing. i got up slightly earlier in anticipation of this, marion was not pleased as i'm usually ready only slightly before the kids. so today i got to church feeling quite relaxed instead of wanted to murder someone (which does tend to be my usual state, but church is the ideal place to calm me down). the service was really nice and the songs were beautiful, made me cry. only a tear or two, very discreet :-)

grandma and grandpa came for lunch. was a bit scary: grandpa said he had a bit of an upset tummy. he managed some chicken and vegetables, but afterwards when the icecream came out he refused! that is so not like grandpa, he jumps for joy when it's icecream time!

after lunch we went for a walk around blaise. it was really nice and relaxing. we almost managed to loose tom and josh, but it turned out they had gone the right way in spite of no-one having seen them...

went to the pub quiz, did miserably, couldn't have been much worse if we'd let a random word generator answer the questions for us... still fun though. on the way back marion and david suddenly realised that there's no child care lined up for tomorrow, cause his parents think they're supposed to be doing wednesdays now instead of mondays... what a palaver! they seem to have sorted something out, not sure who has to stay home now. as long as it's not me...


Saturday, October 07, 2006

guitar accessories

i really hope my guitar arrives soon. i have now ordered an amp, a cable (my cousin tom (not the nightmare 8 year old, the teenaged version who lives in cardiff) says they're called jack-leads or something...), a bag, a strap, a set of plectrums... was there anything else? i don't think so. that was pretty much the whole of the paycheck i got yesterday... oh well, i get paid again on friday ;-)

i could still do with a stand, but that's not urgent. the bag wasn't really urgent, but it was so cheap i thought i might as well get it with the rest of the stuff so that postage would be cheaper. it was £10 for the lot. postage i mean :-) that was including the amp, so it was definitely cheaper than getting the stuff seperately

what i do need desperately (or will, once everything arrives) is a book 'electric guitars for idiots' or something similar, so that i can get started on torturing my fingertips till they fall off... tom says there are some good music shops in cardiff, i'm going to make him help me pick a book when i go down next weekend.

we just watched the first episode of robin hood on bbc. not good. and it could have been so great :-( i guess it could have been a lot worse. i was just hoping it would be really good. that always leads to disappointment... the boys loved it. they actually behaved themselves for the full 45 minutes. except for the incident where caleb (almost 2) turned the television off halfway through.. there was a lot of yelling then, but i can't blame them for that :-D


Thursday, October 05, 2006

my volleyball team...

my volleyball team mates are missing me. look at the photo they sent!

isn't that sweet!!! it says vicky! :-D

feel a bit guilty, i'm enjoying it so much here i wouldn't mind staying (in spite of the nightmare kids and the toilet and bathroom doors without locks). but i have been faithfully updating our website www.volleyfeldmeilen.ch (it's in german) every week. there's no need for them to worry, i have to go back, i've got another year left at university. not looking forward to having to referee though. i passed the exam in june and haven't refereed a single match since. doubt i'll be a particularly good ref... but tough, that's someone else's problem ;-)


huh, i've got an electric guitar...

umm, i'm a bit shaky, haven't fully realised it yet, but i did just buy an electric guitar on ebay. haven't paid for it yet, as the seller only wants a bank draft or a postal order. i guess that means i'm going to the post office tomorrow ;-) i really hope this guy doesn't back out just because i haven't got any points yet. only set up the account on tuesday... sent him a email to reassure him that i'm not just having a laugh, i really do want the guitar. probably thinks i'm mental. oh well, as long as he sends me the guitar :-)

so here's a picture of my new guitar:

isn't it beautiful? it's an ibanez sa120 (i think) and it sounds great (i mean from what i can find on the internet, it looks like it's a great guitar). of course i've got absolutely no clue about guitars...

i'm so excited! now i just need an amp ;-)

must go to bed, got work in the morning. hope i can sleep what with all the excitement :-)

oh dear, now i have to learn to play the guitar ;-)

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not good with eBay

excitable people such as myself should avoid buying stuff on ebay. i had a most horrendous day. didn't bid on anything, just sat there getting more and more freaked out about the whole thing. was meant to be working, but my brain wouldn't work properly, too busy trying to find a way to deal with ebay. the only solution it could come up with was to just ignore the whole thing, pretend it wasn't there...
because i just minimised the browser window, every now and then i'd accidentally click on it and end up back on ebay. at one point i got as far as actually getting my card out and typing the information in, going for the 'buy now' option. can't remember why i stopped...

so stuart suggested a guitar shop in the centre that's supposed to be good, rikkaxe or something. googled it and it sounds good, just a shame it hasn't got a website. am still looking on ebay, but there's nothing due for another day or so, hopefully i can forget about it at work tomorrow.

went to see pirates of the carribean 2 tonight, finally. meant to go ages ago in switzerland, but didn't have any time cause i had so much to do before coming here. i wasn't sure it would work out, since i was going with marion. she's late to pretty much everthing. certainly to the cinema. so i wasn't really surprised when she got home at 7.40, the film was meant to start at 7.50. we got in line for tickets at 7.50, got the front of the queue at 8.05... i was surprised when we not only got tickets to pirates, but also got in before the film started. missed the trailers which i love watching (how else are you going to know wat film you want to see next), but i knew all along there was no way marion was going to get to the cinema in time to watch the trailers

loved the film, mostly. elizabeth and jack sparrow is not a pretty twist, and the end is just nasty. i would have gone to see the next one anyway, there was no need to do that to me!
very funny film though. got to get it on dvd

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Wednesday, October 04, 2006

electric guitars on eBay

somehow, marion (my aunt) has managed to more or less convince me to get an electric guitar. enough at least for me to have set up an ebay account and now have 13 different fenders and copies of fenders in my My eBay thingy. i have thought it would be cool* to learn to play electric guitar. and i guess if i've spent my hard-earned money on it i'll feel i have to put some effort into it ;-) instead of just letting it stand around in a corner.

but this eBay stuff is scary. it's good that none of the guitars are up now, cause i can see myself getting quite worked up over the whole thing. the first one comes up tomorrow at two p.m. i'm at work then, so it might be best to forget about that one ;-) i do enough embarassing squeaking at work as it is without extra squeaks as the price of a guitar goes up... plus i'd have to get an amp to go with it. the one after that has an amp with it, and a load of music. but it doesn't look quite as nice, and i'm not sure it's a real fender. the advantage is that it's up at 6.45p.m, by which time i can be home where squeaking blends in with all the other noise.
another disadvantage of the first one is that it's red like my brother's base, so it would just look like a short necked copy of that. i do like the long necks bases have, wish you could get a normal electric guitar like that ;-)

i'm not sure though, the thought of all that excitement freaks me out, maybe i should just forget about the whole thing. but it would be very cool* to have an electric guitar. i'm just too nervous. note to self: never ever go to a live auction!

* when i say cool, i mean fun

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Tuesday, October 03, 2006

useless at shopping

why can i never get the things i went to buy when i go shopping? last week i went shopping. i desperately needed socks. really desperately: i was down to my last two pairs that i didn't dare put in the washing for fear the sock monster would get them too. so, anyway, the main aim was to get socks. i was also hoping to find some jeans, and maybe a top or two. i got home with some underwear (that was also on the list, just quite a bit further down) and four books (definitely not on the list!)... no socks!!! How can you fail at buying socks?!

so i went shopping again... the plan was, not to go home without socks no matter what! apart from socks the main aim were trousers, cause i'm really short of them, too. i didn't bring loads of clothes from switzerland with me cause i wanted to go shopping here, it's cheaper and there's more choice. i did manage to get socks that time (or i'd still be at the mall). i also found one top i can wear to work, and one top i'll probably wear at new year and never again... and two cds... and a jacket (i'm pleased with that, actually)... but no trousers. failed again.

it's my sister's birthday on the 21st of october and i need to get her a present, so that was my aim for today. gave up on the idea of getting trousers, i have got just enough to get by. but i set out to buy my sister the wallace and gromit dvd (curse of the wear-rabbit), and a card and maybe a necklace or something. i also need headphones, cause the ones i've got are rubbish. i've now got pink's new album, two new pairs of trousers (wouldn't you know it!), two new tops,... oh yes and a card for my sister. no presents... man i suck at shopping!!! i did try to find the dvd, but the shop didn't have it, i looked for ages (that's how i ended up with the cd, i couldn't bear to leave with nothing..) and i also looked round for some clothes for her, but that was just as bad, i couldn't find any clothes for 14 year olds (she'll be 12 but she's very tall)

but thank goodness for the internet. i've ordered the dvd, it should be here by friday (and it was cheaper than it would have been in the shops). i should probably just shop online from now on. but it's just so much fun to go shopping ;-)

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Sunday, October 01, 2006

nightmare kids

my cousin tom is an absolute nightmare! he's 8 in three weeks but he behaves like a teenager, sulky, oversensitive, screaming at his parents, yelling 'how dare you do this' 'how dare you do that' and these explosions happen every day... i'm sure i wasn't ever that bad, even at my worst i was mostly just horribly sulky ;-) (i say mostly, i did explode, but not daily!!!) and he's only 8, what'll he be like at 15?! ideally he's getting it over with now and he'll be a really nice kid by then, but somehow i doubt it...

i've survived a whole month in this crazy house with three small boys and my crazy (but lovely) aunt (and my uncle of course, but he doesn't need to be survived, he's laid back AND normal ;-) ). not sure i can take much more though. the kids are driving me up the wall. i didn't want kids before, but now i really can't see how anyone could decide to have kids after thinking about it carefully: sure babies are really cute (when they're not puking on you or screaming at you) and toddlers are very cute (especially when they're saying sorry for trying to break all the bones in your foot with a serving spoon 'sowy kiki, sowy kiki, sowy kiki...' ad infinitum) but after that all the cuteness in the world can't make up for the monsters... anyway, no kids, thanks!!

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