31 October 2006

One of those days

I've had one of those days where you wake up feeling like it's going to be a productive day, only to be sadly mistaken.
I was woken up at 7.15 by the postman, who had lots of post, none of which was for me. I thought about going back to sleep (remembering that I am a student after all), but decided to get up and do some work. I managed to finish two research papers and was feeling pretty good about it all. Then had a phonecall from the landlord to say that my rent hasn't gone in yet, which is odd as it left my account on the 27th. Anyway, off I went to the bank to sort that out, which is now at least done.
I had dancing at 6pm, so I got all my stuff together about 4.15 and toddled off into town, with the thought of getting some more work done. Remembered it was a friend's birthday on Thursday so I bought her a card and sat down in the Union cafe to write it. Surprisingly no work was done. At 5.30 ish I decided I would go and get changed for jazz, as I'm normally late. Went up to the gym, got changed and went to the studio. There was a class on, which I started to watch, before realising what it was. Yes readers, you guessed it. I was an hour late. I can't even blame it on the clocks going back, as I was convinced it was at 6. I don't know why, as it's not been at 6 before now...I was thoroughly annoyed with myself, and feeling really rubbish by this point, so stropped home.
Got home, checked email and guess what... I have a meeting on Thursday with my dissertation supervisor. He wants me to be able to use a computer program I HAVE NEVER USED fairly fluently, by then. His suggestion was "read the manual". I am fairly computer literate, in that when they're working they're fine, if they break I phone Phil. But I'm rubbish at learning new programmes, I just don't understand them. What's that saying? Oh yes, you can't teach an old dog new tricks. So now I've got a computer thing to learn about by Thurs...
Phoned Phil and ended up getting really upset over nothing, had a big cry and a rant and felt better. Just been downstairs to make myself a hot chocolate and had a chat with Alex and now have a hot water bottle warming my bed, which will be nice when I eventually get into it...
ARGH. I'll get over it, I'm just being stupid. Sorry.

Oh, and whilst I don't always like the Royal Family, I do agree with Prince Charles statement in India today:
The world is in desperate need of people who have moral courage, who are not afraid of standing up for truth and fairness and civilised values.
It was said in reference to Muslimism (if that's not a word it should be), and is worth a read here.

Exciting Day in London

Yes, this weekend I had an "exciting day in London" with Phil and Steve. Steve had come up from Southampton for a mutual friend's birthday, so Phil and I decided we would take him round all the London sights... These included: The Houses of Parliament, Westminster Abbey and The Science Museum, including the Space Exhibition and the Flight exhibition, where Steve showed off his geeky side by telling me the names of all the different types of planes, and identifying their engines...
All good fun, though very tiring (for me anyway). This weekend I have exciting fireworks to look forward to... I'm such a small child!

29 October 2006

New Shooooes!

There is nothing I like more than new shoes. And I thought that after the heaviness of some of my recent posts, I should post with something vacuous, which is more like my normal self.
Here they are, in all their glory...

Aren't they gorgeous?? Sadly, if I click my heels together three times I don't quite get home, but I'm working on it...!

27 October 2006

Amnesty Campaign

I've just seen this on Newsnight (how cool am I, by the way, watching Newsnight on a Friday? I amaze myself with my coolness sometimes...). I thought, as a blogger, and as part of what might be called in geekiness terms an "online community", I should post about it. There is a link here from Amnesty International who are heading up a campaign to free imprisoned bloggers and journalists.

Just thought I'd post! xx

And another thing...

This is the third race related thought I've had in a week. Maybe I should go in to politics...

I was listening to the news last night, and they were talking about faith schools. Apparently there is some government initiative to do with opening schools of different faiths, the proviso being that they must admit 25% "non faith" (i.e. 25% must be Christian, Jewish, Buddhist, in a Muslim school). All very well, though it does seem that we are becoming a "faithless" country, in that we have no national faith, and so the debate rages about the separation of church and state (as far as I understand it, in my hazy knowledge).

However, a Muslim school in Leicester (I think) is opening up soon, following the 25% rule, but is insisting that the non-Muslim girls also wear the hijab. I think this is ridiculous, but the man who was arguing this said it was uniform policy and therefore there was nothing the government could do about it. I'm sorry, but if the sight of 25% (or even smaller as the rule only applies to girls) of the school population with their head bared is going to cause mass uproar in the classroom then we are living in a very strange country indeed.

I went to a "faith school", I suppose, in that it was a Catholic comprehensive. We didn't make non Catholics wear crucifixes, although everyone was expected to attend Mass. It was up to you if you accepted the Eucharist though, it wasn't forced upon you. I agree with believing what you want to believe, and showing your faith in the way you feel appropriate. I don't think that children should have religion forced on them, any more than I don't want to be preached to by the man on Oxford Street who tells me not to shop because Jesus loves me. I know He does, it just doesn't mean that I don't need a new pair of shoes....(I'm not being flippant, I'm just trying to make a point)

If I wanted to send my children to the best school in the area, and this school was going to force my daughters to wear the hijab I wouldn't send them there. Maybe I'm wrong, but that's how I feel.

I really must do some work and stop having prejudice discussions on the internet...

25 October 2006

Is it 'cos I'm white?

This started as a comment on Elsie's blog, and then became a bit of an essay, so now it's here! Elsie's post was about people being racist in this day and age, for those who've not read it...

I've recently moved to North London, and as a white, female, middle class-ish person, I am finding it hard to get used to being a minority where I live.

Weirdly at the bus stop the other day a guy came up to me and started a polemic about "where have all the white people gone" and "Muslims don't integrate with society". He was quick to point out that he wasn't being racist, it was just a "respect" thing (when did "respect" lose it's original meaning?). The thing is he was, (as Elsie's acquaintance would put it) well, black.

Obviously, there is no problem with him mouthing off at me, as he obviously needed someone to rant at, but it lead me to the realisation that I had been singled out for my colour - he thought he'd get empathy from me. Whislt I didn't entirely emphathise, I nodded politely and breathed a sigh of relief when the bus came.

What made it worse was, because I was nodding at him, I looked like I was wholeheartedly agreeing with him (instead of nodding in a "scary person, nod and smile" kinda way) at a bus stop full of Muslims. So now I was the only white girl in the area, agreeing with a man who was basically saying "get rid of the Muslims". A very very strange situation...

24 October 2006


Originally uploaded by clareybella.
Better photo of Phil flying... The photos of me are rubbish (I mean, I look rubbish, not that the photo is rubbish), so I'm not going to post them!

Phil in action

Phil in action
Originally uploaded by clareybella.
some kite flying pictures from a couple of weekends ago... Butser Hill again, but with the new kite :)
Off to try it in London hopefully this weekend!!

18 October 2006

All creatures great and small...

I've just had my first confrontation with the small, brown and furry... Yes, in my house we have an infestation of mice. I always thought mice were sort of cute and fluffy and I would never ever want to kill them....

However, now that I am sharing my house with small furry vermin, I am less inclined to be friendly. One has just run across the kitchen floor as I walked to have a shower (we have a strange set up in our house), and I screamed like a little girl. I refrained from jumping up on a chair brandishing a broom, but, yes, I did scream like the female stereotype that I am...

Its not the mice, so much, as the "mice mess". If they were toilet trained (and had clean feet), then I'd be happy to accommodate them (so long as they didn't eat my food). But they're really, really, really, not. And we've tried humane mousetraps (cos, really, who wants to deal with a dead mouse?), but they're just not playing ball. So tomorrow the landlord is bringing over some slow acting poison...

Let's just hope that the Buddhists don't have it right, and I'm not going to end up coming back as a stagbeetle because of crimes against rodents...

17 October 2006

Fluff plague

In an attempt to distract myself from reading (there's a theme here, can you spot it?), I have, this morning, put some washing on. This was mainly so I can wear jeans that fit tomorrow, but also for something to do. I have just rescued the washing only to discover that I am being plagued by fluff.

Pink fluff.
Blue fluff.
Fluff coloured fluff.

Forget your locusts and flying frogs. The fluff is everywhere. All my clothes are covered in it, and I can't get rid of it. It all comes from buying cheap towels at Tescos, in bright colours, and then washing them. It's the washing that does it.

A fluffy plague on both our houses...


Grace again
Originally uploaded by clareybella.
Gracey looking cute and fluffy...If only she'd stay this small!

16 October 2006

Happy Harold

My weekly dose of Harold's Planet made me smile and I thought I'd share it :)
Happy Monday!

10 October 2006

from tiny eggcorns...

I read an interesting article in the Guardian magazine this weekend. It suggests that "eggcorn" is a common misnomer for "acorn" (that which an oak tree grows from). This is actually fairly logical - they are, after all, egg shaped, and large things (oak trees) grow out of them.

After a quick google/wikipedia/blogger search, I have found a number of interesting articles along the same vein, which, as a geeky linguist, appealed to me.

And it leads me to wonder...what words do you use that you think are real words, but actually aren't?...

09 October 2006

Blogger survey

In my recent perusal of blogs, mainly found through links off other people's blogs (for example, Chris's from Pete's, Liz's from Chris's), I have decided that there is a definite trend in the interests of bloggers. Of course, this is probably rubbish, and I have probably just read people's I like because they have similar interests to me, and to each other.But nonetheless, I am going to publish my theory...

"Bloggers are often people who are involved in creative works, either aspiring writers, or avid film/theatre goers, etc..."

I am doing a small survey on the amount of people involved in blogging (not just on Blogger), who are writers (in particular). I think I can name about 5 blogs of people who are aspiring authors, or indeed, involved in writing for a career already. Similarly, I know people who are actors/directors (amateur or otherwise), who blog.

I'm just nosey really, and it's more interesting than reading about neurons!

06 October 2006

Good game - Updated!

I borrowed this from Anna, and it proved a pleasing distraction from the pouring rain and the building pile of cognitive neuroscience books I have to read...

What to do:
Type the answers to the following question into Google Images and link what it comes up with... This obviously relies on Blogger letting you upload photos! Some of them a obvious, some less so...

1. Place you grew up

2. Place you live now:

3. Your own name:

4. Your grandmother's name:

5. Your favourite food:

6. Your favourite drink:

7. Your favourite song:

8. Your favourite smell:

9. Your age on your next birthday:

10. Your favourite colour:

05 October 2006

Does any one know...

why my profile has slid all the way to the bottom of my blogging page?

Granny Wars

I was just waiting in the Post Office to send a parcel to Hannah, and was witness to a moment too amusing to not blog....
There was a considerable queue at the Post Office (I don't know why this always is, can anyone shed any light on it?), and there was, in front of me, a small old lady, with a wheely trolley. In front of her were two younger women, chatting, and just genrally waiting for the queue to move. Slowly, but surely, I watched the old lady push her trolley subtly in front of the women in front of her... She was very subtle, and the women didn't notice it happening, so it was just me, left in my indignation.

In fact, she was so subtle that by the time the next number was called (which should have be the women), she was in front of them, and drawing her pension as quick as a flash! The women either didn't notice or were too gobsmacked to say anything!
It amused me at the time, mainly because she got away with it by looking like a little old lady who wouldn't hurt a fly. So, be warned, watch out for old people with trollies... Lethal in the "queue jumping stakes" !!

04 October 2006

Am I being petty?

Sorry, this is a completely self indulgent moan...

My housemates went out clubbing on Monday night, leaving a fair amount of washing up from dinner. I left it, as they said they'd do it when they got back, or the next day. I left the house yesterday (Tues, confused yet?) at 4pm. Still no movement of the mountain of dishes, but, I assumed this was due to the hungover state of housemate A and would be rectified

Now, on my way home tonight I got a message from housemate. "Sorry about the washing up, I've not been feeling well since Trash [the club]". This is a good 24 hours after I was last in the house, and not only have the dishes still not been done, but even more have been added. In fact, the sink is full of dishes, in cold minging water. So someone has filled up the bowl, and put the dishes in, but has not actually washed them. Which, frankly, is unhygenic.

I am currently sulking in my room (the house is empty, so I can't moan at anyone but you, my poor readers), quite hungry, but aware that cooking would involve washing up someone else's dishes (we're low on cooking equip in our house!). I would also like to point out that I have not cooked anything in the house since before they went out clubbing, so none of it (well, maybe a mug) is mine.

Now, I know I am probably being petty, and please feel free to tell me so. But, it really annoys me, and I've only been in the house about a week and a half.....

Rant over!

PS: Stress/ranting/sulkiness levels maybe higher than normal due to stressing about The Play. It'll all be over soon!

PPS: Ironically the picture has been borrowed from a BBC Health article about ME...