Pretty pink rose

Today I was in Slough for a meeting with the rest of the QA marketing team. I love it when we all get together but Slough is a total ball ache to get to. I can be in London in 2 hours and 15 minutes, but Slough means being stuck in what is essentially a tin box with changes between Leeds, Kings Cross, Paddington, Slough and it takes over an hour to get from Kings Cross to Slough, then at least 15 minutes for me to power walk from the station to our office so I never make it to meetings before 10am unless I get a train around 6:30 which, despite me being a morning person, does tend to turn my brain to sponge and makes my calves burn.

It's not the early morning it's the train. And Slough which is a miserable horrible place.

Slough does have one advantage over Leeds though (and truly, only one) and that's Krispy Kreme.

I treated the team to a serious sugar injection today. I don't even like doughnuts but fudge Krispy Kreme are a religious experience. Oh baby.

I was completely entranced by the Glamour pink shimmer doughnut (not the taste, it was literally like eating lipgloss) but it looked the part and like Kay Thompson in Funny Face I was singing "Think Pink" to myself all afternoon.

I made beetroot and ginger soup (view my recipe here) and a pink grapefruit sea breeze.

and then I curled up in pink pyjamas, pink socks and burned Cherry Blossom Yankee candles to watch Legally Blonde. Thoroughly pink indeed.

The Boy is away again so tomorrow my friend Rach and I will be crossing chopsticks in Little Tokyo for a girlie night.

Ziggy played guitarrrrrraaaaarrrrraaaarrrrrr.

Title: Pretty Pink Rose by David Bowie

Don't forget your date with me

I met The Boy at Speed dating in January 2009 and I knew straight away that I'd met someone special. I remember writing on my date card "29, works for Boxing Orange in IT, Geordie, funny, talked about TV - likes Lost!"

When I got home I wrote in my paper diary that he had starlingly green eyes, freckles and a fantastic smile. I didn't even mind him being a Geordie. His voice manages to be all at once deep and softened by his accent. For our first date we met in Baby Jupiter (my official date bar) and I remember I walked straight past him on the street outside because he was wearing The Ugly Coat Of Evil and I just didn't recognise him in it.

We had dinner at Brown's which was lovely, I introduced him to Sailor Jerry's (back when it was lovely and not the almond flavoured crap that it is now) and then he kissed me on the cheek before putting me in a taxi home.

Sadly we never went on the second date because he is a total berk. He had also arranged a date with the lady who organised the Speed Dating and called to tell me that he didn't like the idea of dating two women at once and wanted to see what happened with her first.
I wasn't heartbroken because I told myself he was an idiot, but I couldn't help admiring his honesty (a big thing with me) and remembered how much I'd liked him.

We had made Facebook friends after our Speed date and in June of the same year I commented on a post he made complaining about a hangover and was thrilled when he Inboxed me to ask me if I'd be offended if he asked me out again.
So we had a second first date on June 17th and been together ever since. On our date we met again at Baby Jupiter, then went on to Piccolinos for dinner, to the cinema to watch The Hangover (which was so godawful that not even smuggling in a bottle of wine improved it - but we were brought back together over a hangover so it seemed fitting) and then out to Wardrobe for drinks. Far too many drinks. Oh the hangover. Oh dear me.

I was thinking about our Second first date this morning when I saw in Shortlist Magazine that they're making a sequel.

Commence texting.

Our hero: They've made The Hangover Part II set in Bangkok!!
The Boy: That will be shit as well. Did you use my printer? xxx
Our hero: No love, how could I?
The Boy: Hmmmmmm it is sensibly plugged into the back USB port, I didn't think to do that! Confuzzled x
Our hero: Wasn't me my love. I wouldn't touch your computer. You printed some docs off for me recently, are you sure you didn't do it then? xxx
The Boy: No I am stoopid and use the front USB
Our hero: You ARE stoopid. Maybe I was using my spideysense and tidying up in my sleep again. or maybe it was the spider in the bathroom. He had the air of a workplace assessment junkie.

It's nice to have The Boy home. I can leave the living room windows open all day to air out the smell of stale smoke and I can ask him to put laundry in for me whilst he's working from home.

There are other reasons of course. I can't think of any but I'm sure I liked having him as a boyfriend when he was around all the time.

Onto more important things. Yes, stale smoke. Last night I was applying warm water and vinegar until 10PM last night (worked until about 6:30 or 7:00pm so it was only 2 and a half hours but that's a lot of time to spend rubbing a sofa) and I genuinely thought that the smell of smoke was fading. I applied the dry baking powder to the top of the cushions and also set a heavily salted grapefruit half to the top of each cushion (I didn't have any lemons or oranges!). When the Boy got home at 10 he agreed that there was no trace of smoke in the living room. It was definitely neutralised so I went to bed happy.

This morning when I woke up I couldn't smell smoke which made me extremely happy so I went downstairs to see what it was like in the room. By the time I got to the bottom of the stairs I could smell stale smoke from there. It's definitely lessened - but it's not gone.
I'm not quite sure how it could have gone last night and be back now but I dutifully opened all the windows and will buy more vinegar today and have another go. This time with latex gloves on because my hands are peeling!

Last night I had cleaned the house before The Boy got home and was on my usual OCD knife edge in case he left aTrail of Destruction in his wake upon getting home.
I walked past his office to go to bed and my Spidey Sense told me he had some article of clothing draped over his chair instead of in the laundry basket or in the wardrobe - why do my superpowers only extend to instinctively knowing that somewhere is messy?

I'd be chucked out of the X-Men for that one. Gah.

Mmmmmm Wolverine.

I am going to avoid reading Sylist (DAMN YOU STYLIST!) because it makes me want to buy things I cannot afford and go sell some DVDs and CDs to Computer Exchange now.

Ziggy played guitarrrrrraaaaarrrrraaaarrrrrr.

Title: When I Live My Dream by David Bowie

When the smoke had blown away

As I may have mentioned once or twice *rolls eyes* I have been working my not inconsiderable arse off to get our house redecorated before The Australians move in on 7th April.

I've done well - what will be their bedroom has been completely stripped, insulated, plastered, painted with new carpets and nice furniture. The same goes for the living room which now has shelving units and a lovely sofa which I got for the bargainous price of £112 when the seller paid £2,500 for it originally.

There is only one problem with the sofa which looks exactly as I wanted it to and goes wonderfully in our new living room...

... it stinks. And I mean REALLY stinks. No it's not the leather smell, the seller on ebay inconsiderately failed to mention that her partner smoked so the sofa was installed in my freshly painted living room with 1-day old brand new carpet and it FUCKING STINKS.

The smell of stale smoke is completely impregnated in the sofa and worse - it's not just in the living room. THE ENTIRE HOUSE NOW STINKS.

I wake up in the morning and I smell stale smoke. I walk past the living room and gag. I am completely repulsed and it's so unfair.

When the sofa arrived I took some Lavender flash with febreeze to it. No impact.
I took some febreeze to it. No impact.

I washed it thoroughly with hot water and washing up liquid. No impact.
I washed it with hot water and a paste made of washing powder and fabric softner. No impact.
I've left a sliced apple in the room to "absorb" the smell, and a potato.
I have burned Yankee candles day and night. No impact.

NOTHING works. The smell isn't even fading. I don't want to have to get rid of this sofa - for one I don't have the time or money to replace it and two I don't give up that easily.

I was advised to try baking soda but didn't have any and don't have any money until payday. I've just borrowed a little to pick up some baking soda and any other remedies that I can find today.

Please please please share with me anything that works. I am not just being overly sensitive here, it genuinely stinks. It's some sick kind of irony that the most vehement anti-smoker in the world gets a sofa which stinks of smoke. Needless to say the seller on ebay didn't get the glowing feedback which I was intending to give her. It's a shame - aside from the stink the sofa is truly perfect.

So hit me with it - what can I do!?

Ziggy played guitarrrrrraaaaarrrrraaaarrrrrr.

Title: Bombers by David Bowie

I'm changing trains, angels like them

I am writing this in Microsoft Word on my HTC Windows 7 Phone with the intention of emailing it to myself and posting it on Blogger afterwards using the 15 minutes of free internet that those STINGY BASTARDS on the train allow me. I am on a train you see from Leeds to London and whilst my phone has ace t'internet access I don't want to loose all my carefully crafted words whenever we go through a tunnel.

Carefully crafted - ha - you're lucky you're getting formed sentences baby because I am SO tired that I can barely think straight. Good day to have a meeting scheduled, what?

I didn't know that The Clocks Changed this weekend until my dear sexpot Kate wrote this hilarious Blog Post about that very subject. The train just pulled out of the station at Leeds and I thought "OH FUCK I'M ON THE WRONG TRAIN", then remembered that I'd be early not late, then remembered that would make it on peak not off peak and I had an off peak ticket and I have no money until payday on THURSDAY and I'd have to offer to bribe the ticket collector with a gobjob (sorry Daddy) or some raisins or something because otherwise I'd be jailed for having the wrong ticket, but then I could also risk jail for soliciting ticket inspectors who keep track of what the time is.

Wow long sentence.

Luckily my phone knows how rubbish I am and changed the time for me. I asked the ticket collector and he told me I had the right time. So all that worrying for nothing. I settled down to read Kate's post and then almost got chucked out of the quiet carriage for laughing uproariously.

I am absolutely rubbish at trains. I always have music, books, snacks etc with me and sometimes DVDs too so the journey would be nice but I have bad train karma. I get stuck next to the smelly, loud people (train people smell of soup - they do!!) who sit there spraying me with half masticated chunks of McDonald's or shed dandruff on my skirt.

Or those people who misread the "fuck off, I'm listening to Bowie on my big Skull Candy headphones and reading this book" situation and try to talk to me in an attempt to lure me into the toilets or whatever. "What are you reading?" will earn them a slap across the face with my book so that they can read the reverse imprint of the title across their forehead when they go to the toilet alone.

Trains also make me itch. I thinks its the seats made of carpet or the knowledge that varying people have buried their flatulent, sweating buttocks into where I am sat, clenched and wishing I could open a window to let fresh air inside.
I inevitably scratch my leg, forgetting that I am wearing tights, rip a hole right down my leg and have to go change my tights in the toilet (I always carry spares) which I inevitably forget to lock once once I've hit the "close" button and am revealed to a fleet of passing people as balancing with one foot in the sink whilst I pull new tights on and try not to fall into the toilet.

I do not care for trains.

The Boy is away all week again, I'm just away today and Thursday and I've spent all weekend filling my new living room with furniture. Much carting of books, DVDs and CDs up and down 2 flights of stairs. I could crack walnuts with my ass right now.

The Boy was bemused by my method of organising books - taking into account for example that I will need a space for my exceptionally talented friend Lisa's third book. Alphabetising with foresight rocks. Bring it OCD!

We also went to hang out with The Boy's best friend and his sister for wine, pizza, olives, hummus and finger chillis (on nom nom) in front of Skyline. I am told the film was rubbish which I assume is true because I fell asleep literally 4 minutes into it, curled up next to The Boy on a huge purple beanbag. It could possibly also be because two of the guests passed a joint around whilst I looked in panic at The Boy. I am as anti-drugs as I am anti-smoking so smoking drugs in my presence is not something I will thank you for. I was trying to work out how to politely extract myself from the situation without embarrassing The Boy or looking judgmental to those guests who were smoking when I fell asleep and solved that problem. I woke up just in time for cheesecake. Good times.

Ziggy played guitarrrrrraaaaarrrrraaaarrrrrr.

Title: 5.15 The Angels Have Gone by David Bowie

Pale blinds drawn on day

Good morning blogsphere,

It's another beautiful day here in Leeds, cool but bright and I am filled with joyous anticipation for this weekend.

I have been busting my butt (which incidentally is practically hanging out of the back of this minidress. Damnit, I knew it was too short for work!) to get our top room and living room ready by the completely set in stone deadline of this weekend and now that it's here and I've done it I can barely remember how stressful it's been.

I can visualise the completed living room - rich red carpet, warm ivory walls, icy white skirting boards, black shelving untils full of DVDs and books and CDs, a black glass entertainment unit with a huge television, black leather corner sofas, red cushions, a rollerblind at the window (red or cream?) with long red voile curtains, puddling down to the ground to soften the window and cunningly hide the myriad of cables coming out of the back of the entertainment centre.
I have selected 75 pictures of The Boy and I and our cherished friends which will be sent to Boots to be put into 3 photo collages of 25 pictures each (hang on does 2 x 25 = 75? *frets*) and will be put up on the wall by the door above my end table which has The Keydish, post pile and Yankee candles on it.

It's going to be warm and inviting and better yet everything will match and look great - no horrible sofas and carpets to hide or holes in the wall to distract the eye from.
I constantly have people round for dinner or drinks or movie nights or to stay the weekend so it's been absolutely horrible not to have an environment that I can feel myself in. No sooner do people come through the door than I am saying "god I'm so sorry this place is a TOTAL MESS and it's horrible and we're sorting it out I promise!!!" - not once have I felt like I can say "welcome to our home."

The top room is painted in a colour I have loved my whole life - a Gustavian grey which represents pure elegance and peace to me, I even listed to nothing but peaceful, elegant music whilst painting it as if I was painting the mood into the very walls.

The colour contrasts gorgeously with the same icy white floorboards and will be enhanced by the pale grey carpet, geometric black, grey and white bedsheets, a soft white bedthrow, silver bedframe and white bedside tables which I'm going to tuck a pretty box of Bon Bon chocolates into as a "welcome" to the Australians which are coming to stay. I have a silver framed full length mirror to put up in there, a beautiful French painting, and will buy some white and grey towels for them too.

It's going to look glorious. Next step will be to do up the kitchen and the bathroom but now the whole idea has changed - it was going to be done up quickly and cheaply so that we could rent out the house to other people and move into A Dream House of our own. Now we're going to stay here for a few more years, have starchildren and move into A Dream House when they're older.

I'm so looking forward to planning The Fantasy Bathroom and Wonderful Kitchen to do later in the year.

For now though I'm looking forward to having some chronic me-time.

I'm going to upgrade my look - new hair, lose some of my dangerous curves and then go for some new clothes. I need to buy 2 new outfits - once for my brother's wedding and one for the hen do - and I need new pyjamas NOW to demonstrate my commitment to some serious chilling.

Pyjamas = love.

My next project is to do up the front and back gardens which are small terraced house sized plots of land. Now that we're not moving I absolutely HAVE to have lavender here, I can't imagine living another day without it so I'm planning for the front garden - a lavender border around the tiny lawn and the back garden (which is being paved as we speak) will have pots of herbs and funky bright perennials.

I used to grow herbs in the back garden of my house in Cleckheaton (which I will soon be ploughing a metric fuckton of money into *winces*) and 5 species of lavender and it was WONDERFUL to sit out there in summer. A real suntrap where my friends and I would play music and chill out on lounge chairs and drink jugs of Long Island Iced Tea and read magazines.

I miss having that space - somewhere to hang out, hang out laundry and sit surrounded by pretty things and pretty smells.

I can easily create a small urban paradise here so I'll be straight down to B&Q on payday!

Ziggy played guitarrrrrraaaaarrrrraaaarrrrrr.

Title: SoundAnd Vision by David Bowie

The power of voodoo

Being the completely ordinary person that I am, I never experience such phenomena as the "duelling manifestations of ambivilent poles of ones personality suggestive of schizophrenic tendencies". Oh no, sir.

OK so I do. My name is Lianne Marie and I might as well live in a cartoon.

I woke this morning at stupid O'clock because The Boy was off on the road AGAIN (hate his stupid impressive job sometimes, why must he always be away?) and he was banging around his office whilst packing.

"Could you BE making any more noise?" I remember grumbling at him whilst burying my face in my pillow. I must have fallen back asleep because the next thing I remember he was gone and I was getting up to fill skirting boards, cut off surplus bubbles of expandifoam (expaaaannnddiiiifoooooaaaam) and make a list of things to paint this evening.

Top room: Wall paint up to ceiling. Ceiling paint up to wall. Coving paint and door frame.
Living room: New skirting boards, coving paint

Just final coats/tiny touch ups that won't take long, I hope but have to be done tonight and tomorrow night before The carpet comes on Friday. 2 days. 2 days until the room is almost finished and the furniture can be put back/assembled. Oh JOY!

Before I started doing that though I did suffer a little from the duelling manifestations of ambivilent poles of ones personality suggestive of schizophrenic tendencies.
I experience my two tiny selves not as an angel and a devil, but as a grown up me and a childlike me.

Childlike me has pigtails, dungarees, a rainbow bandana and wrist bands and often roller skates.

Grown up me has a twinset and pears under my rainbow apron - suggestive I suppose of my domestic, responsible self.

The conversation went a little like this.

*alarm rings*
Me: Mmmmmppphhhh, time to get up. Oooh look it's sunny
CLM: NO! We don't want to get up. We want to stay in bed and read The Hobbit. And have pancakes, let's have pancakes later.
Me: I do like pancakes... but I have to go to work in 4 hours
GUM: Yes, she has to go to work.
CLM: Work sucks. PANCAKES!
GUM: So? She still has to go.
Me: Actually it doesn't suck!!! I love my job. Getting up now...

And so I get up. I go into The Boy's office and tidy it up (I had to! There were 4 dirty cups in there) before cracking on with some work on the house, taking a quick shower and running out of the door to go to work.

CLM: Why are you going to work? Go back and get your rollerskates! We could skate down this big hill here wheeeeeeee
GUM: What, this big hill with a dual carriageway at the bottom of it???

CLM: What of it? There's a wicked good patch of grass that she could dive to safety onto if she had to
Me: That does sound pretty cool. Maybe I could rollerskate to work...?
CLM: Yay!

GUM: What if you break an ankle? Your coccyx is already sore from your randomly replaced chair, what if you fall down? You'll have to take time off work.
Me: I hate time off work. You're right

And then I walk to work - it's glorious sunshine, the birds of singing. Ok... so the pidgeons are eating cigarette butts and pieces of chewing gum from the pavement but you get the picture.

Me: Oooooh look at those pretty shoes. I am sooooo needing those

GUM: Would you rather have the new shoes or buy a wardrobe for your new tenants?
Me: *thinks for 0.02 of a second* SHOES!!!
GUM: How much money will it leave you for important things if you buy them?
Me: Erm... erm... I'm not so good with maths... erm... help me out here
CLM: *sings* I like my new bunny suit... when I wear it I feel cute
Me: Erm... some?
Me: Yes'm.

I think I need a prescription of cake.

Ziggy played guitarrrrrraaaaarrrrraaaarrrrrr.

Title: Dance Magic by David Bowie

An invitation across the nation

Today whilst tweeting some tips from one of our fabulous instructors I noticed that Richard Littlejohn's name was trending.

Being one of many people who cannot stand this poor excuse for a bag of flesh I clicked the link to see what he'd said this time. Because of course I do not read The Daily Mail or The Sun because I have a brain and a conscience and I'm allergic to the idiots they employ to write for them (like Richard Littlejohn) - I read The Guardian instead.
After reading his latest article I felt it necessary to do a little retweeting from other readers

and chuck in my own twopennorth.

And then after my darling American friend Amanda (whose blog you should read, she is amazeballs) asked me who the ratfuck was, we had the following exchange:

From me
To Amanda
Subject: Richard Littlejohn

Ohhhhh even just saying his name makes me want to punch something.

Over here on our little island we have some newspapers written by journalists with integrity and talent and... you know... brains like The Guardian.
Then there are the piece of shit tabloids like The Daily Mail and The Sun which employ evil right-wing BNP columnists like Richard Littlejohn who is an absolutely disgusting excuse for a human being.
People like Charlie Brooker (who wrote Screenburn and now presents Screenwipe – he’s right up your street!) and Jeremy Clarkson (who writes for The Times and is the longest standing presenter of Top Gear) are both also grumpy, opinionated and often total vicious arseholes but by god do I love them.

Richard Littlejohn wants to be either Charlie Brooker or Jeremy Clarkson but he doesn’t understand that whereas they are also controversial when expressing both their humour and opinions, he is just a sick, racist, offensive, insensitive bastard.

His latest abomination: he wrote a column today about the disaster in Japan basically summing up that we shouldn’t be sympathetic towards them, or pray for them, or offer them support during this time of tragedy because they’re “far away”, “wealthier than us” and “were once at war with us”. He cited the example of his grandfather in law once being in a PoW camp!

I found this on Twitter which sums him up perfectly.

From Amanda
To Me
Subject Richard Littlejohn

While I'm not entirely familiar with this Richard Littlejohn character apart from what you've told me, I'm certain we have many similar characters here in the U.S.  I'm thinking of reactionaries like Sean Hannity, Rush Limbaugh, Glenn Beck, and Ann Coulter.  They're all right-wing conservative types, but for the purpose of this conversation they fit, since Littlejohn seems to be of their ilk.  The BNP seems similar to the Tea Party, very nationalist, subtly-to-overtly racist depending on who you talk to, and more concerned with "taking the country back" than moving anything forward.

The reaction Littlejohn had to the disaster in Japan is unfortunately shared by some here in the U.S., who are still bringing up the attack on Pear Harbor as a justifiable reason to ignore the many Japanese who find themselves in crisis.  Barring the fact that this was seventy damn years ago, you'd think people who are keeping score would put one tally on the side of the Japanese simply because the U.S. government shipped so many Japanese-Americans off to internment camps after the attack on Hawaii.  Of course those of us who aren't keeping score think this whole conversation is distasteful and unnecessary, and we're glad that our government seems to have based its response on compassion rather than paranoid grudges.

From Me
To Amanda
Subject Richard Littlejohn

Rush Limbaugh has definitely made it over here – as has Ann Coulter. I think you summed it up perfectly with “distasteful” and “unnecessary”

I think that we should learn from history but it’s in the past, it’s happened, we can’t change it, so let’s move on! Let’s forgive past mistakes and look to the future. Pay it forward and for god’s sake don’t judge the kids for the sins of the parents.

If everyone in a position to show compassion or to offer support to someone in need was all “no, I won’t help you because once upon a time someone in your country did something to someone in my country that was completely unrelated to either of us or this situation but... fuck you anyway”  then conflict would never be resolved.

I can understand having an issue with one specific person for a specific offense but tarring their peers with the same brush? NO! And holding grudges for ever? NO!

I wish that people were less ignorant, more tolerant and far more open minded as a species.
It shouldn’t be relevant what race, gender, age or sexual orientation someone is and it shouldn’t matter what their history is or politics are. If there is a tragedy, there is a tragedy and they deserve our compassion and support. I am not one to seek wisdom from religion and I know that you’re not either but one phrase is  echoing around my mind right now.

Let he who is without sin cast the first stone

There’s a great scene in A Few Good Men where Keiffer Sutherland’s character says “I believe in God and his son Jesus Christ and because I do, I can say this: Private Santiago is dead, and that is a tragedy. But he is dead because he had no code. He is dead because he had no honour, and God was listening”. It makes me want to punch him in the face – that sentence should have ended with “Private Santiago is dead, and that is a tragedy.”

Why should people like Richard Littlejohn feel the need to trample on a man’s grave?

From Amanda
To Me
Subject Richard Littlejohn

It's hardly a new thing to separate Us from Them. It seems to be a thing humans are very good at doing, picking out what makes others different from us. But I also think we have the capacity to recognize that even if somebody believes in a different god (or no gods), comes from a different place, has a different set of reproductive organs, has a different skin color, or loves somebody of the same gender as themselves, we all want the same things: health, safety, happiness, and the chance to prosper. We want these things for ourselves, for our families, and for our friends.

The problem arises when we're convinced that our differences are more important than our common interests. To say that Republicans and Democrats can't get along, that men and women can't communicate, that black people are fundamentally different from white people, that Christians and atheists might as well be from different planets, that gay people and straight people have nothing in common... All of these notions are insulting, harmful, dishonest, and EVERYWHERE. It's how guys like Littlejohn can make such atrocious statements, and despite public outcry, convince some people that he has a point. Because to some people the victims of the earthquakes, tsunami, and possible radiation sickness are Japanese first and human beings second. And that is offensive to me on more levels than any words a reactionary media whore could come up with in an attempt to shock me.

From Me
To Amanda
Subject Richard Littlejohn

You’re so wise Baxter, like a miniature Buddha all covered with fur
I do so love you, Mandamoo for PRESIDENT!

From Amanda
To Me
Subject Richard Littlejohn

You know quoting Anchorman at me makes me want to hump your leg! You're so unfair, Leem!

So thank you for guestblogging today my darling. If only you and I both represented more people in our respective countries.

Ziggy played guitarrrrrraaaaarrrrraaaarrrrrr.

Title: Dancing In The Street by David Bowie

If we can sparkle he may land tonight

Once upon a time in a land that seems oh so far away I used to have different priorities.
I used to spend time pampering myself, I used to go out a lot, I used to buy new clothes and shoes and wear accessories. For months now I have barely had time to dye my hair, cut my hair (and yes I'm terrified of the hairdresser), paint my toenails, moisturise, breathe... I walk around looking like god know's what but I do my job, I finish all my projects and one day I will find time to exfoliate again. Probably in a week when the living room is finished.

I see beauty in hard work, I take pleasure in knowing that I didn't spend Sunday lazing in my pyjamas - I spent it making our house beautiful - when it's done, the time I spend lazing in my pyjamas will be all the sweeter for having beautiful surroundings.

I am still peachy keen on spending vast sums of money on pretentious tea, cooking everything from scratch (including ketchup occasionally, for serious) and scowling every time I walk past a vending machine, McDonalds or ASDA.
I see no beauty in a world with these things - they're not for me. That doesn't make me better than you, it has no relevance to you whatsoever. I grew up with Alice singing about a world of her own, with Madonna saying "I have the same goal I've had ever since I was a girl. I want to rule the world" and that shaped me.

I don't care what other people do or think when it comes to them and their worlds, but when it comes to me... I might not rule your world but I sure as hell rule mine.
I want to be allowed to take pleasure in the things that make me happy without it threatening people who don't think the way that I do or do the things that I do. You go ahead, you do your thing, you make you happy.

When will you understand that it's not about what you do, it's about what I do? Leave me to hate smoking, ready-meals, slobs, tabloids, daytime television, saturday night entertainment, soap operas, caffeine, laziness, bad manners... whatever it is that I offend you by not getting down with.

By expressing a strong opinion I do not seek to illustrate the differences between us, I celebrate the differences between people because it brings colour and variety to the world.
It's about having pride and self respect but understanding that the definition of "normal" or "happy" or "acceptable" or "achievable" varies with every single person.

I sometimes work 12-14 hours a day and I love my job. If you do not, this does not mean that I have less respect for you. Whether you live for work or work to live or don't work at all, I don't actually have an opinion about this as long as you're happy.

I love to cook because I take pleasure in food.
To me eating is a purely sensory experience and I am very passionate about the process of shopping, cooking, presenting my food and eating it. I have absolutely no issue with those who can buy a "meal" from a petrol station or a vending machine. I might have a strong opinion of it not being something that I could ever take pleasure in doing but that doesn't invalidate your right to take pleasure in it. If delicious to you is a Ginsters pasty then you eat your Ginsters pasty. If I come round to your house for dinner and you give me a takeaway pizza served from the box and wine out of a chipped mug I see no difference in that from you coming round to mine for a meal I have cooked from scratch and painstakingly matched the wine to. You do things your way, I do things my way and I will love you and your cosy, muss-free approach because it's who you are.

Entertainment is another thing. I absolutely loathe shows like for example The X-Factor, I would rather dig out my eyes with a spoon, swallow them whole, shit them out and put them back in the sockets than ever watch it... but if you enjoy watching it and find it entertaining then good for you! I absolutely loathe DVD piracy but I have politely watched pirate films at people's houses on I think 3 occasions because I don't have any interest in forcing my principles on other people. Why should I? Lyndsey and I used to get together and watch Lost every week - before Lost she would watch 90210 and Eastenders - shows I would never watch in a million years, but I sat my ass down and kept her company whilst she watched them.

I have OCD. I need my own surroundings to reflect what makes sense to me. Things have to be in certain places, in certain orders, be certain colours, textures, scents.
I clean our bathroom 3 times a week, I sometimes get up at 3am to scrub the tile grouting with an old toothbrush because I can't sleep... I am aware that my insistence on my own house meeting the standards that I set myself are not "normal" to you. Yes if you don't have a clean and tidy house I will find it hard to identify with how you can walk around on that sticky, dirty kitchen floor, or sleep between those dirty sheets or bathe in that scummy bath with pubic hairs stuck to the sides... but it has nothing to do with me. That's the way you want your life to be and I respect that.

I don't care how you get your kicks - gay, straight, bi, fit, lazy, fascist, slut, prude, religious, atheist... whatever bloody label you give yourself I GET IT. Even if I don't get it - I accept it.

If you are happy, I am happy. Do not apologise for being different to me. I expect you to be, and I want you to be. I won't judge you and I won't discriminate against you.

Ziggy played guitarrrrrraaaaarrrrraaaarrrrrr.

Title: Starman by David Bowie

Oh honey watch that man

So the last you heard from me was:

Ladies and gentlemen I'm here to tell you (thank you Prince) that this is called "Tempting Fate"

Tempt fate
1. to do something which involves a risk and may cause something unpleasant to happen
I always feel it's tempting fate to leave the house without an umbrella
2. to cause bad luck for yourself by talking too confidently about a situation
It's probably tempting fate to say so, but I haven't had a cold all year
3. to take a foolish risk because you are depending too much on luck
She didn't want to tempt fate by turning down the job and hoping something better would be offered

On the way home from Slough, The Boy got into a car accident near Nottingham. Thankfully (and even now, nearly 3 days later I still keep catching my breath and saying "oh thank you" to whoever might have a hand in these things for this) he's ok.  He was only going 15mph, the car wasn't damaged and if he didn't sit so far forward in his seat like an old lady then the airbag might not have knocked him out and burst his hand like it did. He's ok. (I have to keep telling myself this because I am a gimp and it hasn't sunk in yet.)

My amazing Daddy was round profiling the skirting boards so that he could get an extra length of matching ones cut for the wall that used to have a fireplace on it (actually it turns out this couldn't happen in the timescales (KNEW IT!) and I now have mismatched ones but you know what, fuck it, no one will even notice and in the grand scheme of things are skirting boards even that important? Don't ask me that) and so he could drive me down to Nottingham to pick The Boy up from the hospital and bring him home again, about a 3 hour round-trip which is amazeballs of him. But then he is amazeballs.

This weekend was a blur of sand, paint, take up carpet, sweep, saw, hammer and clean.
We hired a van today for Saturday so that we can collect The New Sofa and today I was scouting pretty red accessories like cushions and throw rugs (EVERYONE needs them to snuggle under, they're absolutely necessary. SHUT IT BARCLAYS WHY ARE YOU TUTTING AT ME DAMNIT!?) and Yankee candle lamps to procure on payday.

I will share pictures of the finished rooms this weekend but for now - check out the work in progress!

I also procured a new teacup and saucer today because my saucer has gone missing AGAIN.
Very upsetting. When I redecorated my desk (what? I do that! It keeps me motivated) last and went for the them of black accessories (Goth Desk I called it) I had a fabulous black cup and saucer. The cleaners broke it (wankspanners) so I bought a lovely white cup and saucer. The cleaners broke it (wankspanners) so I bought a lovely white cup and saucer. The cleaners broke it (wankspanners) so I bought a lovely white cup and saucer. My saucer went missing so I now have ANOTHER lovely white cup and saucer. Phew.

I am seeing a pattern develop here.

This my new baby. She pretty. There is nothing quite so lovely as a new bone china cup and saucer without any horrible patterns and shit all over it.

And it goes well with the scone I was provided with today in order to celebrate a colleague's birthday.

Yes I use post it notes as plates, what of it?

My desk today has been quite the source of attention. You see I ordered some Lavender Honey recently and it arrived just before lunch. I opened the box, turned it on its side slid in my hand and pulled this out...

 That, my friends, is a bubble wrapped jar of honey. Or should I say half of one because the bottom half oozed the fuck out all over my desk like a river of honey and glass.
The other jar, thankfully, looked like this.

Which means I get to have greek yoghurt with lavender honey for supper. Thank you Wolds Way for agreeing to send me a second jar! Buy their stuffs here - tis lovely.

And this rambling nonsense is getting far too long now so I am going to shut up and continue with my sales data of awesome.

Ziggy played guitarrrrrraaaaarrrrraaaarrrrrr.

Title: Watch That Man by David Bowie

Help hold the belt tight

Things that have irritated me today:

1) Asking someone for help, them not delivering and then having the audacity to lecture me on being stressed when they are CAUSING the stress.

I don't like asking people for help. I'm not proud, I'm just very capable and independent and like to be in control.

I would be the first person to move heaven and earth to help someone who needed it and whilst I don't expect the same from other people, I do expect that when someone does agree to help me - that they at least HELP ME. And you know it's not always convenient and it doesn't always go to plan but if it doesn't go to plan then I reserve the right to be upset or stressed or apoplectic with rage.

I won the sofa on ebay. We are collecting it in 8 days.
Before the sofa can go in the living room (and the living room is the ONLY place it will go, believe me) the carpet needs to be fitted. Before the carpet can be fitted the wall where the fireplace used to be needs skirting board that matches the other walls, and it all needs to be glossed.

Let me break this down into a timescale: I need 3 days to gloss because I work full time and will only have the evenings to put the 3 coats on that the skirting boards require. It needs to dry between coats so that's 3 days. Say the carpet goes in at the last possible time on Friday - 3 days back from that is Tuesday, that means that the skirting board needs to be fitted on Monday or Tuesday so that I can get it glossed before the carpet goes in.

Today is Friday. Within the next 3 days the skirting boards need to be profiled (a mould made of the existing ones) and matching ones need to be cut. My darling adored father hasn't managed to even profile the skirting boards yet let alone arrange for them to be made.

Is it likely that he will come and profile them and have them made before then? No.
Does he understand why I am extremely stressed and upset? No.

But I am. I need to get this room finished. I need everything to go according to plan.

To make it even worse, the construction dudes who have finished everything but the front flat roof which is being converted to a sloping one... well they now need to get into the living room and put in an AKRO. If there is ONE CRACK in the plaster or paint of the walls or ceiling I will not be responsible for my actions.

And they need to get into our bedroom - THE ONE ROOM IN THE HOUSE WHICH IS FINISHED AND PERFECT - to remove a radiator on the wall above the roof, drill into the wall and deal with a rogue wooden beam.

So now that wall will have to be replastered and painted and the carpet is £600 of cream wool. It will not like workmen tramping all over it and drilling rubble out of the frigging wall.

If there is ONE MARK on that carpet I will not be responsible for my actions.

And this is why I have been the female version of the Incredible Hulk today. LEE MEE SMASH.

I'm on my way home shortly to clean the house and cook dinner before The Boy gets home from his latest week away. He's in a bad mood too because the NEW car is being hinky and he's already got lost and hit traffic.

Something tells me this evening is not going to be the joyful reunion I had anticipated.

Ziggy played guitarrrrrraaaaarrrrraaaarrrrrr.

Title: Heroes by David Bowie

All you've got to do is win

Charlie Sheen... love him or hate him you've got to admit that the man knows how to grab a headline and how to spin a soundbite. #winning is without a doubt the hottest trend on Twitter, and the catchphrase of March 2011. Whether they're using it ironically or in loving homage to The Sheen the point is... they're using it.

And that's what makes this 45 year old demented man-child successful. Despite my agreeing with the Guardian readers poll that he's tragic rather than comedic - you've got to grudgingly admire the method to the dude's madness. In my opinion he's the next Britney Spears in terms of "oh he's so crazy... ha ha... no, wait, this isn't funny it's serious".

I can't stand Britney Spears, that's a well known fact, but I knew she was an insane future cautionary tale since she first smashed onto our screens with her irritating attempts to bring out the pedophile in every man. I see the same demented "LOOK AT MEEE PLEEEAASE" expression in Charlie Sheen's eyes. The guy is headed for tragedy and all the laughing at his antics on the way down won't change that. But we will laugh.

It makes me feel bad to perpetuate "winning" as the word du jour but this morning I was alerted that I had won The Perfect Sofa on ebay... a huge, curved corner black leather sofa worth £2.5K for £112.

I rule at shopping.

The first thing I did? Tweet about it complete with triplicate use of #winning.

And then I ate a winning breakfast bagel - peanut butter, banana and honey - with a winning cup of Chocolate Assam Teapigs.

I was also winning last night at celebrating my return to winning at work with a watermelon and strawberry cocktail... and a strawberry donut.

Yes, I sugared the rim of the glass and everything. it's all in the details.

Ziggy played guitarrrrrraaaaarrrrraaaarrrrrr.

Title: Win by David Bowie

lend us a book we can read up alone

You would have thought by now that I would have run out of David Bowie lyrics for my titles but thankfully I have a back catalogue of 40 albums to run through. *bows down to Bowie*

It always amuses me too when people tweet or text me to guess which song my titles came from. Perhaps one day I will launch some sort of competition to win a pair of my socks or something.

I returned to the office today after being off for the past 3 working days with gastric flu of death - cue triumphant fanfare of trumpets. I always find it distressing being off work because I am one of those mutant weirdos who genuinely loves their job but I had a few projects on the go that I am gutted to be behind on now. My Outlook calendar is a ruthlessly organised schedule of work and my OCD hates it when I have to go off the beaten track. I spent most of the last 3 days off thinking "I should be doing this right now" and wished I'd had my work laptop at home with me.

Another thing I was unable to do was return my library books by the allotted date which was Friday last week. I lugged them to the library in my lunch hour prepared to cough up a pretty penny and cursing myself for not thinking to renew them online.

I was in luck though - when I got to the desk and sheepishly announced "these are a bit late, I'm afraid I've been rather ill since last week" the man smiled at me, said "oh don't worry, it will be our little secret" and then proceeded to ask me if I'd care to go for a walk along the canal with him this evening.

Walk along the canal in the dark? With a stranger? No thank you, he might rape me and leave me in a bin. Besides I don't think I'm allowed to go out with generous maverick librarians - The Boy would probably have something to say about it.

Ziggy played guitarrrrrraaaaarrrrraaaarrrrrr.

Title: Drive In Saturday by David Bowie

So sick and dirty more dead than alive

I apologise in advance to anyone reading this with a weak constitution. Ladies and gentlemen put down your cake and cover your eyes because we're going to get graphic.

My GOD I'm in such a state. I have gastroenteritis which is basically a stomach flu and hoo boy it ain't pretty! Since Friday, everything that I have eaten or drunk has come rocketing out of my poor tattered arse at 265 mph. The only thing faster than my bowels is a Bugatti Veyron.

And to make it worse? It seems that gravity rules over my bowel control because at one point on Friday I stood up and immediately shat my pants. Literally. My stomach is a constant, churning mass which emits impressive gurgling sounds and hurts like fuck. Oh and I'm so dehydrated because literally every sip of water hurtles back out before I can count to 10.

If that's not visual enough for you, please enjoy discovering what I look like right now...

I'm so glad that The Boy is in Slough because otherwise it would be difficult to maintain the facade that I do not poo. Like Baby Spice. (Thank you Kevin and Perry)

But on the plus side I have had over 4,000 hits on this bitch so far. That's just freakish!

Speaking of blogs have y'all enjoyed my new recipe blog Everything Goes With Toast? Since I've been off sick the only productive thing I've been able to do is update it. Ironic since I can't frigging eat anything, huh?

Ziggy played guitarrrrrraaaaarrrrraaaarrrrrr.

Title: I'm Waiting For The Man by David Bowie

And the food is on the table

I have just launched a second blog -

If you love to cook or indeed just love to eat then check it out and please share it!

Thank you

Ziggy played guitarrrrrraaaaarrrrraaaarrrrrr.

Title: Repetition by David Bowie

All my idiot questions #1

Question 1) What's the weirdest thing that has happened to you lately?
I burned the back of my head on a lightbulb whilst painting a ceiling. That was pretty weird.

Question 2) Do you find vampires sexy?
I'm not sure they're real. Do you know something that I don't know? In movies; Brad Pitt, Antonio Banderas, Jason Patrick... yes. But if you are asking me whether I've joined the leagues of idiotic moist knickered Robert Pattinson fans then no. Twilight is gash.

Question 3) What can you smell right now?
Success. This entire office smells of bitchtitsweat and winning.

Question 4) What was the first thing you did this morning?
I and The Boy forced 2 sofas and an armchair of the ugly persuasion out of the living room and into the street. They were picked up 20 minutes later by the council whilst I waved out of the window and took pictures like a demented Japanese tourist.

Question 5) What are you enjoying about today?
I've enjoyed tweeting from @QAApprentices to those getting their GCSE and A-Level results today. I also enjoyed the Bowiefest in The Guardian

Question 6) What are you thinking about?
I'm tired of this now. Is there any cake?

Question 7) Shhhh! I'm asking the questions here.
That wasn't a question now was it?

Question 8) The question was implied.
Your inflection suggests otherwise.

Question 9) Ahem. As I was saying. What was the last song you heard?
Such Great Heights by The Postal Service. WAIT! No that was the first song I heard this morning - the last one was Edith Piaf - Milord.

Question 10) Why do you love David Bowie so much?
How can you even ask that question? Are you mental? What's not to love?
I love him because he's fabulous, because he writes wonderful music, because he has amazing style and presence and is truly, magnificently iconic. He has rocked every era of British music since the 1960s and his music will stand the test of time, forever. If you disagree I will cut you slags up.

Question 11) What are you wearing?
A deeply unimpressed scowl, it's loaded and dangerous and it's pointed at your balls.
A red dress, a black shrug, black lace tights, black suede dance heels with bows on the t-bar.

Question 12) What are you doing this weekend?
Are you asking me out? Sorry I don't have time.
I'm going to be painting the house, cleaning the house, sorting out storage, ordering a new sofa and carpets, taking tea with my MIL, celebrating The Stepsister's birthday, making The Boy take more things to the tip, being visited by a friend and if I'm really lucky - dyeing my hair because I resemble Lily Savage on an off-day.

Question 13) You're mental do you know that?
The best people are. Except you. After all - juste parce que vous etes un caractere ne signifie pas que vous avez le caractere.

Ziggy played guitarrrrrraaaaarrrrraaaarrrrrr.

Title: New Killer Star by David Bowie