28 November 2006

Love is in the air...

Not really for me, as I am in the bad books on two counts. I have encouraged (coerced is probably fairer) Phil to help out with The Wind and the Willows, on this week at the Rhoda in Woking. He has ended up helping by climbing into the gantry, sitting there for the first act and then dropping a rope down at the end. This would be ok, except that he doesn't really like small spaces (or heights), and he had to sit through a very boring tech rehearsal last night for hours, to not really achieve much. To top it all off, I've given him my cold...

No, love is in the air in my living room. The dogs returned from their holiday to Somerset yesterday, and Darcey (mummy dog) is very much in season. Mum doesn't want her to have any more puppies, just yet, so she's currently in the dog-cage in quarantine. Grace is thoroughly confused by it all - the last time someone was in the cage it was her- and William is more than slightly overprotective. God save any burgulars who try to walk past Darcey in her cage for the next week or so. If you should dare to go anywhere near her, he growls like nothing you've ever heard a cottonwool ball growl and looks all mournful and Romeo/Juliet like.

And they call it puppy love....

27 November 2006

Computer issues

I do not have a good relationship with computers, laptops especially. I got my first computer (as in one that belonged solely to me) when I went to uni for the first time. It was a secondhand PC, a huge lumpy thing that ran on Windows 98 (remember that??). It was more than slightly peculiar: it used to turn off of its own accord, would whur and hum loudly when I wasn't anywhere near it, and frequently crash, normally just after I'd finished transcribing 6 hours of Welsh data (my lecturer had a PhD in Welsh Syntax (I think), and was quite hot on using it for homework and assignments). Out it went at the end of first year, much to the thanks of my next door neighbour who had to deal with me in tears everytime it ate my homework.

Then, in second year it was decided that a laptop might be a better suggestion, if only because it would fit in the car with the cello on the trips up and down the M1 to Durham. There is a computer shop in Woking which looks incredibly dodgy, and seems to buy/sell/fixup old computers and sell them on. So of course, this would be where we decided to get my next computer... A secondhand IMB laptop was duly perchased, and for at least a few months it worked...And then, spontaneously, it went completely crazy. It forgot everything I had taught it, uninstalled all the programmes I needed for uni, and generally had a schizophrenic moment. When I phoned Dad (who can normally fix any computer problem you can name), he admitted he didn't know what I'd done to it and said that unless I had the CDs to reformat it (which of course I didn't, as I'd bought it from a dodgy shop in Woking), it would probably be worse than useless forever more.

Year three, computer three. I splashed out and bought a new laptop with some inheritance money I had received in the holidays. My lovely Dell laptop arrived with its shiney printer, and it was a joy. That is until it decided to download ServicePack 2 from Windows, at which point it promptly died. It would work but v-e-r-y-s-l-o-w-l-y and only if you were very patient could you get anything done on it. Thankfully, my dissertation was in by this point, but I still had two 5,000 word essays to write. Sigh. I got it done, switched it off and gave it up for lost until someone could look at it for me. Phil eventually looked at (bless him), reformatted it, and told me NEVER to install ServicePack 2 again. I haven't done (well, mum did, once, but will never touch the computer again!), and we got along swimmingly until just recently.

As you know, my spacebar gave up the proverbial ghost on Friday, for no real reason we could fathom. When I brought it home, P looked at it, sighed and then asked what on earth I had done to the USB ports. One of them works. The other...doesn't. Well it sort of does, but it doesn't really look like a USB port anymore. I had also bent the dongle (where do they come up with these names?) to a point that it no longer works. Hmm.

These problems were all workable-around. I borrowed a keyboard from Phil's dad, I have a hub plugged into the remaining USB port, and bought a new wireless network card. This morning I was all set up to start the essay.

One problem: whenever I typed anything, the computer minimised the screen I was working on, spoke to me in a Stephen Hawking voice, and wouldn't do anything.

Now, being a girl, I got quite upset about this. I cried, rather a lot, stamped my foot, shouted, and then set myself up on mum's computer. (I am also still not very well, I'll just remind you.) I told Phil all this and he came over at lunch time to see "what I'd done now". The funny thing is? Stephen Hawking has stopped talking to me when I type, and the internet is working again. So maybe I'm just imagining it...I've spent rather a lot of time on the Dell website, wondering if it'd be easier just to give up...

(Why can I write a blog entry really easily but it takes me about 4 hours to write 450 words of essay?)

24 November 2006



domestic goddessry

[Note: I've been writing this post in my head for sometime, but have forgotten about it til now, here, in my sick bed (oh woe...)]

I have successfully created a meal from scratch. I am indeed, a domestic wonder. I have also eaten really off quiche, which is not something I recommend. As Kate (housemate) said, its a judgement on me not making my own quiche, something that I really can't be bothered to do...

I created (as it really was a work of art, not merely a meal) japanese/chinesey rice and vegebubbles, and it was really very yummy. Courgettes, red peppers, mushrooms, etc (could have chicken too I spose) stir fried with soy sauce and sweet chilli sauce. Yum. I even tried a variation with some mango chutney, which was gorgeous!

I have sort of forgotten the point of this post now, so I am going to go back to the essay plan.

Oh big news from home: Mum has completed her bike ride in India for Women for Women International - the same one that Fern Britton has been doing this week (if you watch This Morning!), so well done Mum! xxxxx

Uh oh...

...the ineveitable has happened. My throat seems to have spontaneously filled itself up with razor blades. This is an annual (and sometimes, if I've been really good, aroung 5 times-annual (quintannual?)) occasion, where my body says "Yay! Germs!!" and I get ill. My asthma is playing silly buggers and my glands are making me look like an obese chipmunk.
The thing with ME is that your immune system is, not broken as such, more just really really welcoming. It positively invites all sorts of germs to come and habitate your body, to breed, to settle down, and to be happy. The thing about my ME is that it started with undiagnosed glandular fever, and so any sort of throat thing is welcomed back into the fold, like a long lost friend.
One of my housemates has been ill for a few days, and I have been studiously avoiding him, in an attempt to not catch it. Obviously, I've not helped myself by working "extremely hard" (heh) in the library most nights this week, but needs must.
On I must battle with the essay plan, but today, from the comfort of my own bed with a mug of hot lemon and honey...
wrap up warm!

23 November 2006

Ok, so cancel that

Yay for Liz, I've been tagged and don't have to get on with the essay (please ignore the profoundly stupid logic in this statement!)
Liz wants to know 6 things that are weird about me ("only six", says Phil (if he were here), "I can think of so many more!").
These are the rules:
1. Write six weird things about yourself.
2. Post this confession of the absurd on your blog.
3. Tag six other bloggers to do the same challenge.
4. Leave a comment on each of their blogs to inform them they have been chosen.

1. I am scared of wrists. No, I take that back. I am TERRIFIED of wrists. Just the underside of them, where the veins are. I can't look at other peoples, and I can barely look at my own. They make me feel physically sick, and I have been known to react quite violently to a purposeful showing of them "Oh you're scared of wrists? Like this...? (Shows wrists)". I can, however, touch mine, and touch Phil's, which must been there is an incredibly level of trust there. Oh I could do a whole blog about about wrists. Urgh.

2. I almost always sit on my feet or cross legged. In fact, I'm doing it now. It's possibly something to do with the dyspraxia that is rife in my family, but it also caused me great problems during "dissertation term" in Durham, as my knees would frequently seize up.

3. I am allergic to rain. No joke, it makes me itch if I get caught in a downpour and am not wearing enough clothing (i.e. shorts and t-shirt).

4. I make chewing/sucking noises in my sleep, loud enough to wake people up. I also frequently sleepwalk and talk.

5. I have a birthmark on my forehead (in the middle, quite large) which looks like a faint bruise. Apparently when I was little my parents thought I would always have to have a fringe. Now it's faded to such an extent that people don't normally notice it, unless I am tired (therefore pale) and stressed.

6. One of my eyes is green, the other is brown. It's subtle enough that people who have known me years haven't noticed it (until I've pointed it out). The green eye gets greener when I am upset/angry/hyper.

I could go on...That was worryingly easy to do!

Now I tag: Hannah, Amy, Shirl, Chux, Pete, Anna. (That list was harder to think up than the list of weird things!)

Oh help.

I'm still in the library. Obviously, I'm still blogging, so I can't expect much sympathy, but hey. I've been here for about 3 hours, having already sat in on a speech therapy session today with my friend Liz from the MSc. Really interesting, but I guess what I'm trying to say is that I'm justified in being tired! Anyway, the essay plan is at 600 words. The essay itself is only 2500, so it seems a little ridiculous, but there we go. Anyway, I'm boooored. (small child on long car journey voice).

I am having a good old panic about getting this work done, though I can't really complain, as I am wasting some time each day reading other people's blogs (**random thought: does anyone else have a "system" or order in which they read other people's blogs? I know that I do - I tend to go to Liz's first (most likely to have written something), then click on the ones down her list that I normally read (Shirl, Anna, Shirleen, Chris, MaryB) and then from there (depending on how much time I'm wasting) I read other people's from those blogs.**), but anyway, I'm worrying about it, because I'm home all next week and the house is in CHAOS. Last time I was there the washing machine was in the living room (not because it had danced there like Liz's though...), so I'm highly unlikely to get much done. I can live at Phil's, I suppose, but don't want his parents to feel obliged to look after me. (Oh to have a flat of our own...Sigh)

And now I'm worrying about Christmas. Not that whether I'll get it done or not (I have a "feeling" that Christmas is just one of those things that happens... and Starbucks were playing Christmas music today, so it's definitely on!), but what on earth I should buy people. I know its not about presents, but I do so like buying people things. I have seriously thought about buying everyone a donkey in Ethiopia (or something), which would be novel, but I can just imagine my brothers' faces..."Thanks Clare, a donkey... Just what I always, um, wanted?". Mum is easy, her handbag is falling apart. Dad, I'm sure there's a book out there somewhere, or tickets to the theatre. Phil on the other hand??? I have no money this year (damn studentdom), but still want to buy him something nice. I bought him cufflinks last year, albeit not as nice as some of the ones you can get (when I say nice, I mean expensive). I don't know what to get him this year! Boys are rubbish to buy for aren't they? Any help, as ever, gratefully recieved.

Maybe he'd like a donkey. Or a sneezing elephant.

5pm...must get on!

What colour Green are you??

Blame Anna! I should be writing an essay plan (I am in the library!), I'm not, I'm finding out what colour green I am....

You Are Emerald Green

Deep and mysterious, it often seems like no one truly gets you.
Inside, you are very emotional and moody - though you don't let it show.
People usually have a strong reaction to you... profound love or deep hate.
But you can even get those who hate you to come around. There's something naturally harmonious about you.

Quote of the day

Just in case you don't read this today (Thursday 23rd Nov), I thought I'd post the quote of the day, as it amused me:

Quote of the Day:
I'm not a genius. I'm just a tremendous bundle of experience.
R. Buckminster Fuller

That's me... well, that's what I'm going to say the next time I'm asked!

21 November 2006

Two quizzes

for those of you that need some distraction at work/the library etc...

What American accent do you have?
Your Result: The Northeast

Judging by how you talk you are probably from north Jersey, New York City, Connecticut or Rhode Island. Chances are, if you are from New York City (and not those other places) people would probably be able to tell if they actually heard you speak.


The Inland North

The Midland

The South


The West

North Central

What American accent do you have?
Take More Quizzes

Your Vocabulary Score: A-

Congratulations on your multifarious vocabulary!
You must be quite an erudite person.

17 November 2006


Ok, I really have nothing to complain about. But, I'm going to moan anyway. If you lose any respect for me after I've had this moan then I apologise, but hey.

Its cold, it's wet and it's miserable. We still have mice, and the heating, after a brief spell of working, isn't anymore. I got SOAKED coming home from the library at 7pm, where I had been since 1pm, without seeming to get much done. Because of the impending holiday to South Africa (which I am really excited about, don't get me wrong), I have to write 3/4 essays before Christmas. I am not at home, or even at Phil's house, being fed lovely warm food, but in my house in London, freezing cold. I won't see Phil much this weekend because I am working tomorrow, and at a rehearsal all day on Sunday. I can't cook anything because my housemates have left the washing up for 4 DAYS. I am being resilient and not washing up, because it's not mine, but it's really beginning to get to me.

Rant over.

Good things - leaves are turning exciting colours, I have found a new blogging friend (Shirl), and I have one interesting essay to write, out of the 4 (effects of reading on children with cochlear implants). I am loved, fairly healthy, and there is food in the fridge (though I can't cook it). Will stop moaning now...

14 November 2006


I have been rather a lax blogger of late. I would love to say that this is because my life has suddenly become really exciting. It's not. It's because my life has suddenly become quite stressful with lots of essays. So, I have been spending rather a lot of time in the library, which doesn't really inspire my creative blogging juices.
On a rather more exciting note, or rather one that doesn't revolve around the library I have joined a choir, and am now doing three dance classes a week :) The choir is really hard work, but good fun, and we're doing a concert in a few weeks. Dancing is also great, nice to do something relaxing (ish) after a day in the library. And beginner's tap is hugely entertaining, if slightly frustrating because I can't get my feet to do what I want them to do!!!
Anyway, I'm still here, commenting and reading other people's blogs, so I just thought I'd drop you a line :)

05 November 2006


Originally uploaded by clareybella.
Photo from the Godalming Bonfire Night display. They were pretty spectacular, and I managed to get some quite good photos, which can be found on my flickr (button on the right). very enjoyable, though very cold as it was extremely boggy and I got wet feet. All the better reason to buy some funky wellies...!

03 November 2006

Quite the domestic goddess...

Or not, as the case turned out to be. Oh, and it started so well...

I went shopping this week and bought lots of things I could eat for dinner and lunch that weren't pasta. As a student, I do seem to eat an inordinate amount of the stuff and even I was beginning to get bored.

Lo and behold, I still ended up with two pasta-related dishes this week, if you count noodles. Hmm, must try harder. And last night I thought I would cook an omlette. How hard can it be? All was going well and it was looking rather nice, and then I added the eggs...

I ended up with what can only be described as "fried egg mess". Nonetheless, with a bit of Coleman's mustard, it was actually quite appetising. I considered taking a photo of it (as I was writing the blog entry in my head), but didn't want to put you off your dinner. I should, however, have taken a photo of the Thai green curry I made on Monday...mmmm.