31 August 2007


It was my Aunt Nancy's 90th birthday this week (on Tuesday, in fact). 90 years seems impossibly old for this very active and bright woman, but I am assured that she has been rocking and rolling for 9 decades now...

Anyway, Dad has organised one of those digital picture frames for her. I'm not really sure what that means, but he asked me to find some photos she might like. I had already found loads of old photos from when mum and I tidied her room a few weeks ago, so that was quite easy. I particularly like the one below, which was taken on my first birthday:

Back row (L-R): Grandpa Groome (Dad's dad), Aunty Nancy, Uncle Harry
Front row (L-R): Grandma Groome (Dad's mum), Dad (check out the socks), Mum, me and Grandma Vera, mum's stepmum (my Australian Grandma)

Whenever I look at photos like these I am always really grateful that my parents took to recording every moment of my life from birth (pretty much). When I am old and grey (and perhaps 90 years old), I hope I still have these photos to remember things by.

30 August 2007

ok ok ok... I said I wouldn't post, but then I found out that I had been linked/mentioned/used (in a good way) on Nourishing Obscurity... A mentioned blogger is a happy blogger.

PS: the photo at the top of my page, and at the top of the post on NO, is by my dad whom I probably should have credited before now...

Please leave a message after the tone....

Clare is not available to blog right now, but will be back, after 14th September (but probably before) when dissertation hell is finished....

Due to lack of time, and rising stress levels, I seem to have neglected this blog. I am very sorry, as I still really enjoy reading everyone else’s. I may not be able to participate in the Photo Hunt this week as I am seriously stressed about work (dissertation due in oh not long enough days) and also can’t think of a suitable picture.

Instead I will leave this picture with you, for all the women who read this (again, sorry for 3 blokes who read this blog), which I received through email a few months ago. It made me chuckle, and I printed it out – it’s now on my wall. (You may have to click on it to read it better...)

Also, here is a picture of little Kieran George Hames, who was born on 29th August at 10:33, weighing 9lbs. Kieran is the son of my friend Zanna (whose purple nails you can see in the picture!), who I went to school with.

25 August 2007

For all you women...

Q: How many women going through the MENOPAUSE (or PMS) does it take to change a light bulb?

A: One! ONLY ONE!!!! And do you know WHY? Because no one else in this house knows HOW to change a light bulb! They don't even know that the bulb is BURNED OUT!! They would sit in the dark for THREE DAYS before they figured it out (as long as the TV and beer fridge still worked). And, once they figured it out, they wouldn't be able to find the stupid light bulbs despite the fact that they've been in the SAME CABINET for the past 17 YEARS!But if they did, by some miracle of God, actually find them, 4 DAYS LATER, the chair they dragged to stand on to change the STUPID light bulb would STILL BE IN THE SAME SPOT!!!!! AND UNDERNEATH IT WOULD BE THE WRAPPER THE "F&*%$£G" LIGHT BULBS CAME IN!!! BECAUSE NO ONE EVER CARRIES OUT THE RUBBISH!!!! IT'S A WONDER WE HAVEN'T ALL SUFFOCATED FROM THE PILES OF CRAP THAT ARE A FOOT DEEP THROUGHOUT THE ENTIRE HOUSE!! IT WOULD TAKE AN ARMY TO CLEAN THIS PLACE! AND DON'T EVEN GET ME STARTED ON WHO CHANGES THE TOILET ROLL !! . . .

24 August 2007

Photo Hunt - Happy

My beautiful friend Emmie has a very characteristic laugh. I am lucky enough to have caught it on camera twice, once in Hungary when we were on a GOLD (Guiding Overseas Linked with Development) Project (one of the happiest times of my life) and once at her wedding, in July 2007 (one of the happiest days of her life). I thought both fitted the theme perfectly.

Emmie in Hungary 2003

Emmie at her wedding, July 2007

22 August 2007

Old photos

I have been feeling bored and nostalgic recently. I was looking through some old photos from uni and from when I went to Hungary and I came across this photo of Phil on his graduation day. I think its a lovely one of him, and I'm quite pleased with it from a photographic point of view as well.

I think the girl to his left (right as you look at it) is thinking evil thoughts though...

18 August 2007

Photo Hunt - Two

Here is my offering for the Photo Hunt this week:

Two peas in a pod! (Except I'll let you in on a secret...they are both me!)

17 August 2007


I sent an email to my dissertation supervisor and my head of department today concerning some problems I have had with the project. The contents of the email was personal and (I considered it to be) confidential.

My supervisor emailed me back with a very supportive email but he has copied two other people in on his reply, leaving my original email at the bottom. If I had wanted them to know, I would have sent it to them...

I am furious that my confidentiality has been breached. I just assumed he wouldn't forward it on to anyone. ARGH>

A pushme-pullyou dog...

Another random phone photo of my dogs doing silly things.

Darcey on the left was quite comfortable on the beanbag, when Grace climbed on top of her and lay down. Before I moved to take the photo, you really couldn't see where one dog started and the other ended!

But now I wish I had put this up as my photo hunt photo - a two headed dog...

16 August 2007

Last week I promised photos from my shopping "spree" with the Jigsaw voucher mum gave me. We went into Guildford (your favourite place Chux!) and had a lovely time browsing in the sunshine. I was only allowed to buy new clothes for work, and so....

A new jumper:

A new skirt:

And a new cardigan:

They all look much nicer on than they do spread on my duvet!

In other exciting news, Phil's parents have given me some money for house sitting/watering the garden whilst they were away. I feel dreadful about taking it, as I really didn't do much except water the greenhouse as it was during the floods and all it did was rain. But they insisted. So I paid the cheque in today and will hopefully be shopping again soon - for work clothes again (no denim, what AM I going to do??) but probably from H&M this time - MUCH cheaper than Jigsaw!

15 August 2007

Welcome to the Twilight Zone

Having read on Pete's blog about HLYW's dream about David Bowie, it reminded me about my strange dream last night.

I dreamt we were having the first rehearsal for Treasure Island (Ottershaw's next show at the Rhoda), but two things were a little odd. First, it was held in my bedroom - not the normal place to hold a rehearsal with a cast of at least ten people. Second we were in costume. Not too weird, except that my costume was a pair of tights. Just a pair of tights. So I spent the whole rehearsal wrapped in my duvet, wearing a pair of tights. Now, Chris is doing the costumes, so I am hoping that if I am in it, I will be wearing more than just some tights...

Also weird was that I was playing a male pirate who has his leg shot off on the first page. There is no such character...I also had to sing "I'll make a man out of you" from Oh What a Lovely War as part of the rehearsal!

Does anyone have a dream diary?

13 August 2007

If at first you don't succeed...

Never mind eh... He didn't pass, but he's going to do it again in a few weeks.

All the best people fail first time...

Say a little prayer...

....If you're of a religious frame of mind: my brother has his driving test today. It would be brilliant if he passed, he needs some good news after the farce of his degree results.

I will even try not to get annoyed when he gloats at passing first time (I passed second time)...

So, fingers crossed, and all that jazz...

11 August 2007


I now have three documents open. In total I have written 1,342 words. Unfortunately it's about as dysfluent (it's a word, honestly) as some of my stammerers. I'm sort of writing things down as I find them, and then hoping I can make it hang together at some point. It's terrible, I hate it, and I cried a lot earlier. But hey.

I found this poem from Lewis Carroll (a stutterer - did you know the character of the Dodo was based on the man himself?) which amused me:

Learn well your grammar,
And never stammer,
Write well and neatly,
And sing most sweetly,
…Drink tea, not coffee;
Never eat toffy.
Eat bread with butter.
Once more, don't stutter.

-from Rules and Regulations
Now I'm trying to work out where I can slip it into my project...

Writer's Block

I was working on the proof of one of my poems all the morning, and took out a comma. In the afternoon I put it back again.


I cannot think of anything more to write. I have written about stammering. I have written a little about Conversation Analysis. I have written about why we should look at stammering in the light of Conversation Analysis techniques and theories.

I am bashing my head against a brick wall.

10 August 2007

With apologies to Helen Fielding (and Bridget Jones)

Cups of tea: 3 large (not v.good)

Cups of coffee: 1 large (not v.good)

Glasses of water: 0 (very not v.good)

Lines of Chocolate Eaten: 3 (not good, but choc is fair-trade and therefore allowed?)

Cookies eaten: 2 (ok, except that the only other thing I’ve eaten is 2 slices of toast)

Work done: minimal (very not v.good – deadline is fast approaching)

Naps: 45 mins (awful, bad, terrible)

Blogs read: numerous (very very very bad)

Blog articles written: 3

Television watched: none (very good!)

Games of Solitaire: none (very good!)

Please stop writing interesting blog articles. In the last 2 days I have found 4 more people I want to read on a regular basis. I am never going to get my thesis done.

Photo Hunt - Row

My First Official Photo Hunt!

When I first saw the theme for this week I initially thought of this:

Collingwood College Boat Club, Women's Eights Head of the River Race 2005

And then I read on tnchick's blog that she meant something more like this:

Looking out over Budapest, August 2003

Or this:
Tunisian Shoes, Sidi Bou Said (June 2007)

International Fun at the Jamboree

The uniform makes for brotherhood, since when universally adopted it covers up all differences of class and country.
Robert Baden-Powell

Unless you've been living under a rock, you probably have noticed there's been a lot of stuff in the press about Scouting recently. The Scout Association is 100 years old this year, and there has been a lot of hoo-hah about it in the papers in the last few weeks because of the Scout Jamboree in Essex.

I was lucky enough to go to visit last Saturday and it was amazing! 40,000 Scouty people in a huge field (Hylands Park, where the V Festival is held), with national dances, food, games and even a huge ferris wheel made of wood and string!

I thoroughly enjoyed myself, and immersed myself in the wonderfully Scoutiness of it all. I've got plans to take a group of girls to Iceland next year for an international camp there - how cool would that be??

PS: I know I'm a big geek, I can't help it, and make very little apology for it!

09 August 2007

Lots of little nice things

I found an old purse in my car a few weeks ago. Didn't look in it, as I thought it had been in there too long to be of any interest. Mum found it the other day - it had a £20 note in it!


I lent some books to a friend of Phil's mum as Nina is worried that her 2/3 year old son is beginning to stutter. Sergei was adopted from Russia last year, so has a lot on his plate for any toddler, so I lent these books to put Nina's mind at rest. She gave them back a few weeks ago, and again I didn't look in the envelope cos I thought they were just books. I opened the envelope yesterday and found she'd also given me a bar of fruit and nut chocolate!! Even better, it's Fairtrade, therefore guilt-free, therefore calorie free :)


Mum was given a voucher for Jigsaw for Christmas. She doesn't want it so she's given it to me, as she owes me some money. I am very excited about legitimate shopping opportunities, though looking at the prices on their website, I'm not sure how much I'll get for my money. Anyway, I'll post pictures when I've been shopping!


Last but not least I have been awarded a Power of Schmooze Award from Chris. My first Blogging Award - I'm so proud. I now have to pass it on to 5 more people... So, Pete, Chux, Liz, Becky & Anna, here you go!

What a lot of loveliness for one post. Back to Project Doom and Gloom now....

08 August 2007

More distraction, yay!

OK, scrap that. I saw this on Delmonti's blog, and thought I'd post it here:
You just have to answer the questions...

My Name is Clare, and I'm a blogger and I'm female

The Last.....

person you punched.
I once slapped someone at school - unfortunately it was in front of the head of year. I've never punched anyone though...

haircut, how much was it
£20, just before I went to Tunisia

time you thought you were gonna die
Every time I fly anywhere. But particularly when I flew home from Italy in 2000 and the turbulence was so bad we were dropping 50ft and then rising again.

Tunisia, about a month ago

flowers you sent/received
Sent, some time ago when I stayed at my Godfather's so I could do work for my dissertation.
Recieved: on 3rd July, my anniversary

album/single/song you bought (and how, store, download, bribe?)
My Fair Lady Soundtrack - bought in HMV

paid job you had
Researcher for Sacoor Medical Group, West Byfleet

alcoholic drink you had
Glass of wine at Phil's house on Sunday

bowel movement
Umm...You can tell a boy wrote this!

Last night under an umbrella in the rain

Stitch (either cosmetic, accident, or self prescribed (like Rambo))
4 on my 4th toe on my left foot, after I dropped the wheel of a trampoline on it at school when I was 14

time you cheated on a loved one
Never. I've always split up with them before I cheated!

lie you told your boss
Never I don't think...

time you felt that initial "I'm in love!" feeling
Last night....

pair of shoes you bought
A pair of black ballet-type shoes, and the same in bronze. They are the most beautifully comfortable shoes, ever.

Over to you now... you can ignore the bowel movement question!

Tunisia...a month late!

I was uploading photos on to Facebook and I remembered I haven't posted about mine and Phil's holiday in Tunisia. Anyway, it's been almost a month since we went, and there is very little that is more boring than looking at other people's holiday snaps (well looking at all of them anyway), so I thought I would post a few choice ones here and be done with it!

I may be a bit quiet on the posting front for the next few weeks - thesis is due on 13th September, and I start work at More House on 3rd...Though having work to do has never stopped me blogging before...
Phil on the Salt Lake (Chott El Jerid)

Me (L) and Phil (R) on
camels in the Sahara
(my camel was
called Alice,
Phil's was called Trevor)

One of the beautiful blue doors in Sidi Bou Said

Some very funky shoes on a
stall in Sidi Bou

03 August 2007


So there we are. Small children, old people, and others are welcome!

02 August 2007

Handsome Man

Yesterday I was a dog. Today I'm a dog. Tomorrow I'll probably still be a dog. Sigh! There's so little hope for advancement.
Charles M Schulz (1922-2000) - Snoopy

Here is a picture I found on my phone of William looking regal. It must have been taken some time ago because he hasn't looked this calm since before the puppies were born...