Sunday, October 30, 2005

hot potato

Soundtrack: Love - Four Sail

I went to an engagement party last night, and this afternoon I'm feeling a little fragile. And looking at the wrong time isn't doing much for sorting my head out either. Still, it's been a nice relaxing recovery day, and bar the LOUD band practice we have at 6 it's worked wonders.

Seeing as I'm at home I'll upload a few photos. Last night I took a picture of Thom and I dressed as Bonnie and Clyde for the 'dead celebrity' themed party last night, but my camera is even more RUBBISH than I thought possible that it makes Thom have no eyes. So I've just deleted the picture straight off. What I will upload is a picture of the amazing hat I bought for the costume.

It is so beautiful, but it was bought in haste. It had got to Friday lunchtime, and I still didn't have a costume sorted, so I popped to Radio Days, a vintage emporium near work. I love that shop; they have loads of old wirelesses for sale. They also sell very expensive hats, and I had to pay £35 for mine. But then again, it's gorgeous. I walked around the shop with it in my hand for half an hour, consciously fighting it out within about whether it was worth spending so much. I eventually decided it was, and the sympathetic shop assistant said 'promise you will wear it again?' as he wrapped it in tissue.

I saw a great ad in between Hollyoaks today. It was for cheese, and involved one person eating amazing looking cheese and toast (it does look amazing when you're craving carbs and grease). Someone sees them eating cheese and toast, and has to make some themselves. Then that gets seen, and the next person needs cheese and toast. The tagline was 'Cathedral City - once you see it, you want it', which was pretty spot on as I was licking the TV screen at the time.

Well we have no cheese or bread. We did have a potato, so I made myself a jacket spud inspired by saz's technique. Microwave first, and then before putting it in the oven, cover it in oil, salt and pepper. I've never done the oil thing, so I covered the skin in olive oil and it's quite possibly the best jacket potato I've ever had. Oh my. Words cannot describe the scrumptiousness of the potato skin. And here's photo evidence - you can actually see how yummy it is:

The rest of my recovery is involving knitting a hat that I ordered from Kim Hargreaves. My attempts looks nowt like it:

I've ripped it up about 6 times, because I'll knit a complicated row and then realise I've been knitting the stitches completely wrong. Bah. Still, it's only me who know how the pattern should be, and the hat is shaping nicely so I'm not over worried. And at least now I've figured out what I was doing wrong, so I'll knit it proper from now on.

This week I received my high-technology bluetooth USB dewberry. Technology, eh? It's the first time I've used Bluetooth an'all, but now I've managed to transfer my cameraphone pictures onto my computer - they are INFINITELY better than the ones my normal camera takes, and here's a couple that I particularly liked.

This is Thom enjoying the Autumn leaves on our walk into Windsor the other week. The colours around Windsor are amazing at the moment.

This was a sunset outside work last week.

I was on a training course next to Chinatown the other week, and I couldn't believe it when I saw that they'd hung a phonecard banner over this beautiful gateway!

And then during the London bombs I discovered Tooting train station, and this inspiring shop.

Thursday, October 27, 2005

what a tool

Soundtrack: Buffalo Springfield - Last Time Around

You may, or may not, know that I am in a band called The Gresham Flyers. I might've mentioned it a couple of times.

Last week Thom found this amazing auction on ebay!

An original gresham flyer spanner! Well, we had to get it... I don't know why, I don't know what for, but we just had to have it. Desperately. So Thom starts the bid. £1.45. A week passes.

I was online last night and noticed the spanner had 15minutes left to go.
'Thom, do you want me to keep an eye on it?'
'No, I don't think so - it's only a spanner.'

Thom was outbid.

The winner was made-in-hull. We have a bandmate called Martin Hall; could it be him with an amusing pseudonym? We check made-in-hull's previous wins. Spanners. Nuts and bolts. We lost the spanner to a TOOL.

Wednesday, October 26, 2005

you knit what??

Ok, my day has got better. I've found another great knitting blog: You Knit What??

This is what you can expect:

rainy days and wednesdays

Soundtrack: The Beatles - Past Masters Vol 2

It's 10am and it's officially the Worst. Day. Ever.

Last night (ok, that was yesterday) there was a powercut. So instead of going home, because we couldn't cook, we went to Thom's mum's and ordered pizza. Ok, so that wasn't so bad, just an inconvenience.

Because I hadn't been home I'd forgotten all about the power cut, so as I went to bed I just switched the alarm on not thinking. The alarm went off. Obviously my body new something was wrong; I couldn't speak, I couldn't make sense of the world, it was extremely dark. I was running around like a chicken with it's head cut off [/Stephin Merritt]. I looked at the clock - it was just gone midnight. I reset the alarm and go back to bed.

It's morning, and it's light. Thom wakes me up - it hasn't even been light walking to work, so something's obviously wrong. The clock flashes 3:30. Great, another powercut. My train is due in 5minutes. I have to forego a shower and go to work feeling greasy and dirty and horrid. Inexplicably, I decide to wear a top I bought two months ago but haven't worn yet due to Thom exclaiming 'That's DISgusting'. So today I feel just great. I get to work an hour late.

Well, I deserve a cafe latte after all this rigmarole, so I buy my coffee, go to make toast, and then go to collect my coffee. In the meantime the coffee machine has broken down.

And then I get to my desk and discover that two members of one of my favourite bands, De Novo Dahl, are leaving the band.

I want to go back to bed. :(

Friday, October 21, 2005

these boots weren't made for walking

Soundtrack: The Gresham Flyers - Bush Studio Demo

I love autumn and winter. It means it's time to get my knee-high boots out, get my denim skirt on, nice thick tights just poking through. It also means by the time I get to work and the balls of my feet are aching, I take them off. Then I get warm, and my legs (a little on the chunky side to begin with) decide to expand, and before I know it I can't get my bloody boots back on. My hands are an absolute wreck, what with the cold, bad soap, knitting, playing bass (they still haven't recovered from last month) and now trying to pull the zip up my boots. They're red raw and peeling like mad. Gah.

Or perhaps it was my boots way of telling me I didn't really want to go downstairs to get a bag of crisps.

Thursday, October 20, 2005

a ship called liberty's

Soundtrack: Jackie Wilson - The Sweetest Feeling

Not much to report this week. I've been mad busy at work, had the (minor) celebrity spot of Jimmy Carr, worked with a lot of Welsh people who were probably in Pobl y Cwm. Nowt much going on really. After my recording session yesterday I couldn't just walk back to Oxford Circus and not go into Liberty's, so in I trundled, lift to floor 3...

There's something about that damn haberdashery display and the antique wooden displays that just just gets my blood pumping. Is it wrong to get so excited about all the pretty colour yarn in their little cubby holes? Well of course it is. But I do really need a winter hat (it's gone bloody freezing) and I've had to admit defeat with the mini-hat I knitted out of the my scarf dregs. I managed to find a ball of Rowan Big Wool white with flecks of red and black in, so it'll go perfectly with my scarf.

Price of yarn: £6.75
Price of shop-bought woolly hat: £7
Price of knitting my own hat up: Priceless.

Not that I need much persuading anyway.

I've nearly finished already after starting it on the train to work this morning, although I'm not following a pattern so it could all go wrong yet. I've been a bit slack with pictures recently because I can't find my camera anywhere, but when I'm finished I'll take one on my mobile and post it when I get my bluetooth USB from Amazon. :D

Monday, October 17, 2005

warning: may contain traces of domesticity

Soundtrack: Folk is not a four letter word

I've so got into cooking since moving in with Thom. It's a bit nuts really. When I lived with my sister, I'd usually just stock up on veg and eat with a meat-free garlic kiev. Every night. You'd buy a pack of veg, and it'd last 3 days. If I was feeling extravagant I'd break out a quiche. If Thom was staying over, I'd crack open a Knorr Sizzle 'n' Stir.

That's all changed now. This week saw our first ever delivery of ORGANIC VEG. Well, I was quite taken aback to come home to a box on the door step and to find it all covered in DIRT. There was none of that 'rinse under the tap' malarky. Hoh no. This is a proper scrubbing-brush -in-every-nook-and-cranny job. And everything's a weird shape. The cauliflower had taken on the shape of an alien life-form. Then the sign of pukka authenticity - delving my hand into the box - a slug sandwiched between my hand and the cabbage. Said item got thrown across the room with fright.

And if all that isn't exhausting enough, I had to figure out what I was meant to do with a pak choi.

Anyway, I've managed to survive the experience; stir fry (I never cook that), chilli chinese soup, macaroni cheese with true spinach and alien cauliflower - and I can't wait to order the next box! Sad, I know. Gone are the days of getting home and being too tired to cook. Now I can't wait to see what I concoct next! I'm sure it won't last. For a start, there's a couple of Sizzle 'n' Stirs in the cupboard that need using up...

Thursday, October 13, 2005

from Scotland, with love

Soundtrack: Love - De Capo

Oh, our Scottish tour was so much fun. Bloody knackered now though. Highlight of the weekend was Saturday's aftershow party in a Glasweigan castle drinking vodka banana smoothies. Lowlight was not being allowed to knit. We must have been in the van at least 20hours. And that's not to mention at least 4hours of waiting around at soundchecks. But the first time I got my knitting bag out was greeted with amusement. It didn't feel very rock'n'roll either, so I left the knitting in my bag. There's more about the Scottish tour in The Gresham Flyers blog.

Well, I finished my right-hand 'glitten', finally. I'm going to take a photo tonight. It's a wee bit on the tight side, and I accidentally started two fingers the wrong way round, so they're showing wrong-sided stockinette stitch, but after getting it out in the pub (to lots of cooing, I hasten to add), I'm spurred on to finish the other glove. It is tight, but I can probably get away with it. They were only being knit to try something adventurous and to warm my hands up in the cold office. In the meantime, here's the scarf I finished, modelled by myself and my funny face in the tour van on Friday:

Thursday, October 06, 2005


It's going to be a good weekend.

It's my last day at work this week, so it's off to band practice, and then back home to pack for our Scottish tour this weekend! Thom's been a bit daft and named it the 'Rock the Highlands' tour, much to the offence of the Scots because we're going nowhere near the highlands. Oops! I hope they forgive us and turn up.

So tomorrow it's in the minibus (with a table!) up to Edinburgh. We're supporting the fab Lucky Luke, and hopefully I'll get to squeeze in a quick cointreau hot chocolate in The Elephant House. I reckon this'll be a good night because we're playing a Student's Union during Fresher's Week!

Then Saturday it's the Winchester Club in Glasgow supporting Speedmarket Avenue, hopefully via some spicy chips in Mono and fruit beer in Nice'n'Sleazys. I love Glasgow. It might be a quiet one though. Belle & Sebastian had the foresight to announce a gig that clashes with us. They did that the other week too - suddenly announcing an anti-war demo performance against our all-dayer. They obviously hate us.

If you're around, pop along to see us. You might get an exclusive present...

Wednesday, October 05, 2005


Soundtrack: Agincourt - Fly Away

Oh I'm so happy! The glittens I've been knitting for the last month, and had to restart twice, well I hit such a brick wall with them. It was basically inexperience more than anything. Anyway, after about a week of contemplating exactly how I was meant to go from the thumb back to the main body (or should that be hand?), the penny just dropped. And now I'm knitting away to my heart's content.

When I hit this rut I just went back to complete my scarf and knit an (almost too) small hat in the meantime. I just wanted to prove that I could actually complete something, as the glittens just weren't happening. But now I feel like I could knit anything! And I'm here looking at knitting websites getting excited about my next project! Weeee!

Now to just get these fingerless gloves ready before Christmas. It's getting cold in the office, and a girl needs to type...

I got home late last night, after a bit of gyming. Cooked a quick curry listening to my latest ebay purchases (Agincourt and Icatha, thanks to the wonderful introduction on Freak Zone), and then Thom and I settled into one of our night-time routines - he goes online, and I get the knitting out. I joked 'it's a good job I've got a hobby with the amount of time you spend online', but then I realised how good it did actually feel to have a hobby.

I've always been one to read, do puzzles and go online in my spare time, but they're just things you do. I never thought of it as something I looked forward to doing. But now I have the band, and I have my knitting. And I look forward to finishing work, and consuming myself in these activities. And I like planning how to further develop my hobbies, from looking at patterns and tabs, to wool and MicroKorgs on ebay. I can't believe I've never really felt this level of satisfaction with my personal interests, I've always just 'done' rather than commited myself to and enjoyed.

Tuesday, October 04, 2005

I had too much to dream last night

Soundtrack: Erin McKeown - Grand

My dream last night:

I dreamt about Hugh Fearnley-Whittingstall. You know the one. The mad carnivore who likes to eat things that no one else would dream about.

Well in a shock move, he appeared in my dream last night to cook me a vegetarian feast. Basically he cooked lots of veg and nuts that he found whilst foraging, in goose fat. He insisted that I was ok to eat goose fat as a vegetarian, as it was only for flavour and I wasn't really eating meat. And the platter tasted magnificent. The carrots were a little grainy, but the wild mushrooms were to die for. And the swede... well, it was certainly enhanced by the goose fat.

Everything was going just yummily, until I bit into a roast chestnut and found it was a bit squidgy. I turned to Hugh and said 'I'm not sure, it's more squidgy than the last time I ate a roast chestnut'. He took the chestnut from me and laughed. 'That's because it's infested with maggots my dear. But don't worry - that's good! If maggots are eating it, that means it's ripe and tasy!'.