Tuesday, December 08, 2009

Guisachan album

How on Earth is it December?!

Right. Still haven't written all the comments for that last Japan album (sorry!) but I have knocked together a collection of snaps from mine and Joe's little holiday in the highlands last month, you can find it linked on the pictures page, but be warned: there are a few gratuitous happy couple photos in there.

Sunday, December 06, 2009


Up until now I've held off blogging about this. Mostly I think because I've been busy but also in part because it's kinda personal, and because I didn't want to sound daft... but thinking about it today I realised that one of the main purposes of this page (if it can be said to have one) is for me to be able to read about past points in my life. I really enjoy dipping into the archives now and then and I'm certain that in years to come I'll want to revisit this point in my life often.

So enough with the sidelong references and coyness. Here's a little post about my fella.

Two months ago (on my birthday) a man I didn't know sent me a message on the internet. At the time that wasn't in itself unusual, but the message was. Straight away I got a sense of someone different, and interested in getting to know me, and who I was very interested in getting to know... Hindsight is 20/20 but I'd like to think I recognised something special even in those few lines of text. We chatted online for a little while, then spoke on the phone, all the while with this exciting sense of having met someone... well, exciting.

A few days later we met in person, we'd arranged to meet for a pint at my local in the evening, after I'd got back from a few days away with work... meetings ran over and I wound up having to catch a later train, the journey North felt the longest it ever has even though I've spent more time travelling it on plenty of occasions. We rescheduled from an optimistic 6pm to a more realistic 7, giving me time to drop my bags at home, shower, change ...and breathe.

I reached the pub first, ordered a pint of Trade Winds, and had just taken a mouthful when Joe walked in. He says that's his enduring first impression of me: man supping a pint. I reckon it's a fairly accurate one. I'm not describing for you lot my first impression of Joe because it's private and I won't need reminding. It always makes me smile thinking about that moment.

We spent a wonderful evening together, both with a growing sense of having stumbled into something special and unlike anything that had come before... That same feeling keeps growing as we get to know each other better... One of my Dad's many wise -isms has been echoing in my head a lot lately: love isn't something you fall in, it's something you make. The feeling I have around Joe is that we're making something amazing together.

So two months in, we've each met the other's families, and each felt welcomed and at ease. We've begun introducing each others' friends to each other and so far they all seem a very compatible bunch which is fun since (for both of us) they're very important. I like the idea of his friends and my friends gradually just becoming our friends...

Speaking of friends they've all been really lovely with Joe so far too... in fact a few of them were invited along to his birthday last weekend and Hamish (who by dint of being my flatmate as well as my friend has seen more of Joe than anyone else in my life so far) made him a card:


Inside the card Hame thanks Joe and calls him "heaven sent" for making me so happy. So no pressure then :D ...but seriously it's wonderful to me that all the other important people in my life (who've met him so far*) seem to enjoy this man's company almost as much as I do.

This Friday Joe and I are going on holiday together. We're off up into the highlands for a few days. I'm giddily excited about it, even though I fully expect constant rain. With luck we'll manage to take some photos and if we do I'll post an album** so those of you who live far away can see this man I'm talking about... In the meantime there's a new reason for my long lapses between posts (not that I needed one). Sorry about that, but if it makes it any better it is a very happy one.

*I'm acutely aware of the important people in my life who - due to geography - might not get to meet Joe for months or even years... I'm not forgetting you guys, and I'm looking forward to you meeting him too
**along with the long delayed last Japanese album, promise!

Monday, November 09, 2009

Is it that time already?

Winter it seems. Well late autumn certainly. Frost greeted me for the first time in months when I opened the blinds this morning. I smiled. Last night I'd finally got round to taking down the hanging baskets from either side of our front door (they've been giving a good show all summer in spite of suffering with some nasty root eating bugs early on) and rescued the four (of six) surviving fuchsia, potting them up as houseplants to over-winter. Fingers crossed they'll do well, but I'm dead chuffed I got them in before the first frost.

In other news I'm eagerly anticipating a short holiday with my man at the end of the month. We went walking boot shopping together on Saturday to get his first pair of proper hillwalking boots. Exciting stuff. It is November so we're unlikely to do anything too challenging but being properly shod matters.

Oh yeah, did I mention I'm in love? ;) I'm not going to go on about it at length partly because I've already bored most of you about it in person/via email/on the phone quite enough, and partly 'cus there's not much to say beyond that he's called Joe, he makes me happier than I ever imagined possible, and he tells me the feeling is mutual.

Monday, October 05, 2009

with a hey ho the wind and the rain...

Had another fantastic weekend, totally indolent on Friday night and all day Sunday but Saturday was spent walking in the rolling hills of the Borders while the weather tried alternately to bake, drown or ... damn I can't think of a metaphorical way of saying blown off the hill by gale force winds :D

We knew it was going to be windy before we set out but there kept being these tantalising sunny spells and it just felt like a day to be outside. Happily we didn't go anywhere with a lot of high ground or I think I really would have been blown away, but we battled through the teeth of the gale and into a brilliantly lit wooded valley with a grand house and a ruin hidden away in it. It rained on us at intervals but they were short ones and we didn't mind.

I've been meaning to explore the Borders more for years - it's a very pretty part of the world, and right on my doorstep, but left to my own devices I've always gravitated north in the past so it's good to have an excuse to discover some new ground...

Sunday, September 27, 2009


I've been having an unutterably wonderful time the past few days... I'm struggling to put anything into words that even begins to express just how good I'm feeling, but the title is a start.

I want to mark this point in my life somehow and at the same time there are details that I'm not ready to share here yet. Since my blog is - in ways - a selfish exercise (written as much for my future self as for any present reader) I'm conscious that this means some people will find this (and possibly a few more) entries frustratingly cryptic. Some of you will know what I'm on about and perhaps read this and smile knowingly (or shake your heads wryly, depending on how much of my optimism you share) others will be totally mystified! To anyone in that second group, I'm sorry, bear with me. I'll explain myself in time... If you like guessing then conjectures can be drawn from certain changes to the links and about me pages that I made this morning... if you don't like guessing of course you can phone up and ask me what on earth I'm blethering about... or (if you don't have my number) you can just wait and see ;)

I'm supposed to be working (yes, on a Sunday, damnit! This is not the source of my joy...) I'll get back to it in a second but I needed to put something down about this even though I'm not really saying anything, otherwise I'll just spend all day staring into space with a mad grin on my face.

[laughs at self]

It's ridiculous, but I don't care. I'm very happy

Monday, September 21, 2009

swingin' the world by the tail

Edinburgh is run through with a warm wind, this time of year it often fills the city. It sweeps through the city in waves and makes me restless... but in a good way!

I know it would be arrogant to assume a connection but every year around this time, the city does this - a kind of autumnal seasonal change that resonates really well with my mood after my birthday. It feels similar to the air moving past you at sea - oceanic transport has that enlivening sense of change and adventure and the autumn winds in Edinburgh create a similar mood... of course it's just coincidence that this happens after my birthday (which again this year has been a real source of joy) but it feels like the beginning of an adventure... and I like that

Thursday, September 17, 2009

25 baby!

Happy birthday to me!

Today I am 32, which is a fun number.

Feeling very loved this morning - I've already had lots of texts and emails from around the world, even a (brief) phone call from Australia, all wishing me a happy birthday. The sun is shining too and I have a big grin on my face. There's even a big stack of parcels and envelopes at home which have been arriving over the past few days and which I'm giddily looking forward to sitting down with and opening this evening.

Yep. Happy is the word.

edit just noticed that the RSS feed (and presumably the LJ feed too) doesn't see formatting in the title so it looks like 25 not 25 - serves me right for trying to be all clever

Wednesday, September 16, 2009


At home I'm all environmentally responsible with my detergents, largely I'll admit because I like the smell of the ecover stuff most. There is also that warm fuzzy feeling you get from making a small change that might help slow the damage we're doing to the world around us though. Anyway on the side of the washing up liquid bottle is this little drawing:

...and it bothers me. At work we have standard Fairy for washing up and (because I'm still 5 on some levels) it pleases me when I put the bottle down, accidentally-on-purpose squeezing it and a little cloud of bubbles fill the tiny office kitchen. I restrain myself from giggling but I will stand and watch them for a moment and it makes me happy. So I have a hard time reconciling this simple joy with the evil little cartoons on the side of my washing up bottle at home. How can bubbles ever be bad?

Sunday, September 13, 2009

Japan 3

I know I said I wasn't going to announce each album, but I'm announcing this one. Partly that's because Dad mentioned he mostly only checks my blog and doesn't often look at the rest of the site (which is probably true for several people). Mostly though I'm announcing it because I took what I think were some of the best photos of the whole trip on the two days covered by this album, and because I took lots of multiple photo panorama shots which I've spent a sizeable chunk of today merging (easier than it used to be but still takes work)


In truth one particular merge (the front of the Peace Memorial Museum in Hiroshima) took most of the time, for some reason the top right corner just wouldn't behave itself. Anyway it's done now and I'm really happy with it. Let me know what you think?

Monday, September 07, 2009

That's what it was!

Saturday lunchtime I thought a plane was going to crash on my house. We're nowhere near the flight path for Edinburgh airport, but the sound of a jet engine roar filled the house at around half one and grew steadily until eventually I hopped up onto the sofa to peer out of the velux... right into the undercarriage of this!

At the time I thought it must be a smaller aircraft, just implausibly low (Edinburgh doesn't get many long haul landings) but asking at the office over my morning coffee (it turns out I wasn't the only one spooked by it) I find out it was an "approach and go" fly past of Edinburgh by one of the first of these behemoths to enter service. Knowing that, I was able to turn up all kinds of coverage, but none of it quite captures the mix of fascination and mild terror I felt watching it out of the window on Saturday afternoon.

Don't get me wrong: Big machines are cool! I like them. I'm not sure I want them unexpectedly visiting my house though...

Sunday, September 06, 2009

Japan pics

OK. It only took me a little under four months, but I've finally started posting photos from my visit to Japan earlier this year. I'm not going to announce every update I make to the [tiny fanfare] newly revamped pictures section, you can check in periodically yourselves and see when I upload albums. if they're related to current blog posts I might mention them but otherwise just occasionally looking at the grid will tell you if there's anything new to see. However since I've been being nagged (quite justifiably) to post these for months (and since it's the last noteworthy stage of the "grand version 4 overhaul") I figured a post was in order.

So. Japan Album 1. There you go. :)

*For anyone who's interested, I'm still troubleshooting a minor bug in the iPhoto plug-in that builds the smart bit of the albums, it's breaking on certain descriptions which took me ages to work out (it doesn't tell you that's what happening, it just fails to write the code) but new albums should be a relatively quick (and therefore more regular) process once I get that licked.

splateagle.com v4.0.1

Right. Everything except the new photos section is now up. Yes I realise the photos section is the one you've all been patiently waiting for me to update since May, but it's not ready yet so there. The new links page is up though so when my attention drifts again* you'll all be able to find other things to go and look at - isn't that lovely?

There are still some jumpy page-width issues happening between the different sections which bothers me... but otherwise I'm happy with how smoothly things have gone considering I rebuilt every page using a totally different (and new to me) markup. Of course now one of you Windows users will email and tell me you can't see the site at all anymore or some such...

OK. Lunch. Then, lightbox album time! woo yeah!

*not before I've fixed the photos page, I promise!

*takes deep breath, crosses fingers*

I just wiped my entire site and uploaded a shiny sleek new version... the easy bits at least, I'm still grappling with Javascript and CSS for a couple of the sections but I've (hopefully) managed to wrestle the blogger code into the new page template (still a few rough edges but I think it should work.


so here goes

Thursday, September 03, 2009

Someone else's wise words

Depending how clued in you are, you may have read this years ago when it was written, but I hadn't until today. The great information stream deposited me in that particular stored eddy of Adams' (sadly lost) consciousness just now while I was (uncharacteristically) lunching at my desk* and it swirled around me in that magical way that something obvious articulated clearly for the first time does.

So I thought I'd share it in case anyone else had missed out too.

*Because it's tipping down and I had stuff to do in town, but still it's an activity that makes me more-than-usually wilful about not doing any work for the hour I'm allocated as my own time each workday

Sunday, August 16, 2009

it's what one hippopotamus sings to another hippopotamus

I have been doing The Festival. 's good.

For some reason all the stuff I've made plans to see so far wound up being within a densely packed six day block (from Thursday to Tuesday) and I'm about half way* most of the way through now. So far I have seen (presented for your perusal in hrefs and parentheses) Janeane Garafalo (who was far funnier than that review sounds when I saw her three days later, if just as unfocussed and rambling), The Penny Dreadfuls (surreally hilarious as ever), Castle Rocks Breakdance Championships (link goes to a long-ish youtube-grade video of the final which does not do it justice and which has such dreadful sound I'd recommend muting it, but is the best thing I could find. Not the kind of event that gets reviews it seems... utterly spectacular anyhow), Words with A L Kennedy (link is a pleasing counterpoint to the previous, being Ms Kennedy writing about it herself in the Independent, show was excellent but could have been ten minutes shorter: you spoiled it a little by grafting on a "point" at the end of your engaging musings on language Alison, it didn't need one. I'd still recommend it though), Tom Tom Crew (linked is the same show reviewed when they were warming up earlier this summer down in London. The reviewer's po-faced dismissal of the acrobats makes me think she either doesn't like acrobatics, or wasn't sitting in the front row. I do and was, they're astounding, and it hasn't "all been done before". It's a mind blowing show. I'm going again), and last to date Stephen K Amos: The Feel Good Factor (which I just got home from seeing, and do indeed feel very good after).

So there that's my Festival so far. I'm thoroughly enjoying it - as witnessed by my urge to spend the last hour** scouring up links and writing about it all, rather than going to bed as I should have, what with having work to go to in the morning - and it's only been slightly marred by having a bug of some sort. I'm hoping I haven't either passed that on to anyone, or turned any stomachs with coughs and/or blowings of nose.

No theatre as yet this year which I'd like to rectify. Anyone with a suggestion for that let me know? Monday and Tuesday I have radio recordings to go to (never done that before, quite excited about being in the audience for Just a Minute.) Also several of the shows have engendered desires to either see them again (see above re Tom Tom Crew) or to see other shows that cameoed in them... so there'll be more happening and I might write about that too. Now though I must sleep.

*I started thinking about this post yesterday when that was true, but it isn't now
**I realise that since most of these links take you to articles from the Independent it may not look like I took great pains to find reviews and stuff, but I did, it's just the Indie articles kept being the ones I wanted to link. Even when I disagreed with bits of them.

Tuesday, July 28, 2009

Picture show

I'm not often excited about the cinema. I like films a lot, but I'm usually just as happy watching them at home without all those Other People one has to deal with at the cinema. At home I usually get to chose my company and I like that. All the same there's something quite special about seeing a film at the cinema and when I do go I generally enjoy myself.

Tonight I went to meet some friends and see a screening of The Blues Brothers which I was excited about. It's one of those films I've been meaning to see for years and somehow never have. I remember my friend Kris back at school enthusing about it often in classes, at least as far back as 1991 I can distinctly remember listening to him talk about it, and thinking then that I should really see it. He talked about it the way I sometimes talk about The Yellow Submarine and, I suspect, had a similarly verbatim mental recording of it to mine of Submarine*. Somehow 18 years later I still haven't seen it in full, so I was quite excited about seeing it "properly" at the cinema with a good crowd of friends.

When I arrived Anita was already there, and the boards listed the showing we planned to see in the colour that means limited tickets are left. By the time Dave and Doug** arrived it had been sold out so long that they were announcing the fact over the tannoy so that people would stop queuing for it and getting disappointed. A minor difficulty of seeing films with my friends you see is that some of them go to the movies an awful lot, and so they have those unlimited cinema pass thingies, which are great except that you can't book in advance with them.

Happily another of the (rare) films I was actually excited about seeing was (unexpectedly) on, and that wasn't sold out so while everyone else went home to sulk (mostly lightheartedly) Liz and I went to see Moon and it was brilliant.

Afterward I walked back home through a largely empty and slightly damp city. Light drizzle happened just enough to be refreshing and picturesque without ever reaching the point where it made me irritated about getting wet. Instead it just added a sheen to everything so that lights and colours reflected in very engaging ways. I startled a small shrew or vole or something on the corner of Canning Street and slowed to watch the tiny shape bounce off ahead of me in springy leaps along the edge of a building for a few meters before it found a hole to dive into. I like that the nights are getting properly dark again...

I love walking through the city on nights like that when everything looks like the set of a really well shot car commercial: reflective and moody and suggestive of adventure in a way that feels like there should perhaps be a saxophone involved, certainly a well scored soundtrack (I was borrowing Solaris' this evening because it was that sort of night and because, unsurprisingly, it fit well with my post-Moon mood.)

I'm not sure if it's the being intensely visually stimulated for two hours and then tipped out into the night but I often find I'm more-than-usually aware of my surroundings after a good film, and to be fair, I'm pretty aware of them most of the time while I'm walking around***, I think that's one of the reasons Edinburgh's home: it's just so damned pretty all the time.

Bed time for happy Patricks.

*Lost original edit that is, not the DVD release which unsettles me enormously
**Doug having even dressed up for the occasion!
***Except for the parts that are people I know, which I more often than not miss completely

Thursday, July 09, 2009

structure appeals to me

As does good photography. Which is why this makes me happy. Worth a look through them all, there are some really cool ones.

Monday, July 06, 2009

No fair teasing!

There keep being offstage thunderstorms. The sort where you can hear the heavy rain outside and occasional thunder but no real theatrics. It's very irritating: I love a good thunderstorm but you need to be able to enjoy them and these glancing edges we keep getting just aren't the thing.

c'mon universe, proper storm please! One I can go outside in and watch big bolts of lightning while I get soaked.


Sunday, July 05, 2009


... are somehow never long enough even when they last all week.

Tuesday, June 23, 2009

A confession (or a realisation)

So I've been watching The Wonder Years... For nostalgia's sake (not the intended nostalgia of course, I don't remember the 60s, but the 80s I remember very well and watching The Wonder Years when it was new I also remember... in the 80s)

That's not the confession.

The confession/realisation is that I have a huge crush on Kevin Arnold's Dad.

I know. I should hang my head in shame, but it's true! Not to mention a little bit disturbing.

Wednesday, June 17, 2009


(with apologies to one very close friend who is most emphatically the exception proving this rule)

Good grief Oasis fans are an unpleasant bunch!

The mediocre Beatles impersonators are playing a concert at Murrayfield tonight and as a consequence the West End was heaving with loud, loutish, rude and unpleasant oiks as I came home from work. I mean I know I'm a bit of a snob and all but even so...

Happily though where I live is unaffected by the infestation... and speaking of infestations, anyone who's heard me utter the words Fungus Gnat recently (or encountered one of the little nostril-diving, plant-damaging horrors while visiting) might be interested to know that I caved in last week and rained down chemical-ey-death on the little buggers. The insecticide says I need to do a follow up dose 10-14 days on so I'm not counting my chickens yet but they seem to be gone. *crosses fingers*

What? a proper update? OK maybe this weekend.

Monday, June 08, 2009

Cake for Breakfast

We won at the pub quiz. Again. (3rd week in a row now) Go team! Pleasingly decisive this week too (a nine point lead if memory serves).

I like my new Monday night routine (even if I sometimes forget it's happening until after I leave the office). Since I moved from the west end the regular Thursday nights at the pub have kinda dried up - there are plenty of nice pubs near my new place but most of the people I'd want to go and hang out there with live a bit further away, so a regular night is less feasible than it used to be.

The Judge (where we quiz) is a bit of a hike for me (all uphill! though happily that means home is downhill after) but it's among my favourite of the city's pubs and the quiz is really fun (even when we're not on a winning streak).




As if this weren't worrying enough, this happens, which is frankly terrifying. I've never been more glad to have left Yorkshire behind for good, and I'm ashamed to think my birth place will now be represented in the European parliament by nazis.

Happily the electorate in my adopted home are much saner it seems... well except for those kooky Western Islanders who refuse to count their votes on the Sabbath, meaning the rest of us have to wait... initial results are heartening though for the (paltry*) six seats which represent Scotland. We're looking set to return Nationalists too but ours are not the crazy bigot variety.

I'm genuinely saddened and bewildered at the English results. Roll on independence if that's the way England is headed.

*For comparison, Denmark and Finland get thirteen each, and yet people use "our voice in Europe" as an argument against independence...

Wednesday, May 27, 2009



Yes I know I've been shockingly absent (again) of late. Blame the displacement around my trip to Japan (which I will get round to telling you about). Or blame my having lots of other things to do. Or shrug and smile, shake your heads at Patrick's inconsistent blogging habits, and email me if you feel you've missed me. I promise I'll reply.

I will write about Japan later this week. Not now though, now I'm busy. I did read something I liked and wanted to share though so if you've a spare minute have a look at this

Sunday, April 26, 2009

"...cos I'm not much cop at punching other peoples' Dads"


So this weekend I did almost none of the things I'd planned to. I tried, but I was (very pleasantly) interrupted at every turn. Ah well. This week is chocka too and at the end of it I go to Japan for two weeks. What a busy life I lead!

I did get one thing done this weekend that I've been meaning to for ages though. Trivial to anyone else but I managed to reconstruct a mix tape* my brother made for my birthday years ago. I'd missed it, and forgotten how good he is at doing compilations (if you feel like taking that back up bro' I'd be delighted!)

Not very productive I'll admit but it's funny how much context has to do with appreciation of music. For example even though I've had it handy all the while this compilation was missing I don't think I've really listened to Massive Attack's Better Things in years.

So yes. Japan. Soon I go and visit Iain as promised. Looking forward to the adventure and I promise there will be pictures** of Japan in spring time when I get back... unless something distracts me.

*Yes. By most peoples' standards this task would have been sensibly sacrificed in favour of one of the more pressing other things I had to do, but I was seized with a desire to get it done... or it's a plus side to chronic task avoidance. You pick
**might prod me into finishing that photo section overhaul!

Wednesday, April 08, 2009

Greetings, programs!

Today we moved offices. Just down stairs, or from Madrid to Auckland*, depending on how you look at it. I'm hoping it's a good sign that we're now in a bigger office but whatever else, it makes for a nicer working environment. The old office was getting pretty cramped.

Tomorrow I'll be finishing work at lunch and not going back until Wednesday. Man I love long weekends! I really need this one.

End of line**

* The managed office complex I work in is called CBC House. CBC stands for "Capital Business Centres" and all the suites are supposed to be named after capital cities (needless to say, the best suite in the building is called Edinburgh) ... I've not had the heart to tell them that our new office should really be called Wellington...

** Why yes, I have been watching Tron this evening :D

Monday, March 30, 2009

time travel: part two

Better late than never.

So the other Friday while the gang were all sitting around catching up, Karen and I found ourselves both somewhat wistfully talking about being outside. Each of us was missing having a garden a little* and feeling the need for some time in the air, with plants, and probably getting our hands mucky. I'd been playing with the idea of making hanging baskets for the new flat and suggested a trip to a garden centre which Karen seized on and expanded into a day out visiting some place I'd never heard of called Dalkeith Country Park after which we'd find a big garden centre and splurge on plants to play with.

Saturday came, and with it some cracking early spring weather. By early afternoon we'd got our collective acts together and were in the car, roof open to enjoy the sunshine (in spite of the chill) and were headed to the outskirts of the city. The next few hours were spent ambling through an ever changing sequence of landscapes that makes up the old grounds of Dalkeith House.

There's something very odd about the place, which I think comes from it being largely a giant landscape gardening project that is now centuries old. Everything has long since mellowed out and settled and yet none of the various woodlands or pastures feels entirely as if it belongs where (and when) it is. On a sunny day with the right company it makes for a glee inducing afternoon.

I took some pictures and (since I've been threatening for about a year now to overhaul the pics section) uploaded a small selection of them as a trial of the new format photo albums I'm hoping to make a great many more of soon... though the fact that it's taken me over a week to have the time and energy to post this should give you an idea of what to expect in terms of realistic timeframe for that. Anyway here they are, the new album format is still a little rough around the edges but a huge improvement I think. And the photos are nice too :D

* Karen more lastingly than me - I like the idea of a garden but the reality is that I never really devote enough time to it when I have one

Tuesday, March 24, 2009

time travel: part one

Another proper post coming soon (funnily enough with images) but if you've a few minutes spare in the meantime go and have a look at this excellent Flickr set - I don't know the photographer and only encountered the images via ffffound (Thanks again for putting me on to that Duncan) but they're amazing! My personal favourite is this one


Friday, March 20, 2009

Must. Not. Click.

I don't know why I want to, but I really really do!

I suspect it just appeals to my sense of the absurd


Here's a thought: if you don't want to be seen doing something then don't do it in a public place.

You wouldn't think that would need spelling out, but apparently it does.


I'm also really enjoying the fact that by complaining about the images on Google, the people concerned have made their (very minor, and already completely public) indiscretions national news. Would anyone have noticed (or cared?) if they hadn't? other than the people themselves of course.

Thursday, March 19, 2009


So there have been grumblings from various quarters about the lack of content here of late. I didn't think I'd been all that remiss until I popped onto the page and noticed I'd managed three whole posts in the last quarter. oops. There was at least content in those three though right? um... <hangs head in shame>.

So time for a real post then?



Spring seems to be here... or to at least have sent an advance guard. I like the seasonal nature of my adoptive home (one of the reasons I choose to live here) so I've been enjoying winter and before that I was enjoying autumn and so on back through the years, but one of the things that really fires me up about living somewhere where the seasons properly change is seeing them... change. Consequently I'm walking to and from work with a big grin on my face of late. Overheating quietly from my superstitious refusal to abandon the winter coat just yet. :D

What else is news? The new flat is all settled and feels like home now... Hame and I will have a housewarming soon, we just have to both be in at the same time (and notice that fact, which isn't a given in our sizeable new empire!) and remember to compare iCals*. Any of you reading this nearby will probably get an invite (unless you're people I don't know I suppose, or reading it after the fact...) but for those of you far away who've not yet been to visit and have been waiting patiently for me to upload photos... I still haven't taken them. Sorry. Google can keep you amused in the meantime though by allowing you to have a virtual wander round my neighbourhood (starting off from outside my front door looking back at the flat) - neat eh? I recommend navigating with the arrow keys... and not clicking that link if you have anything you want to get done in the next few hours: it's very compelling for some reason.

Hobbes news (for those who are interested) is that he's still tucked up sleeping in the garage and awaiting attention from experts but while I was procrastinating the excellent fellows at FCCUK have found a much closer garage to recommend, so instead of Essex I only have to get my poorly car to East Kilbride once I decide to actually do something about his oil habit.

There. That's what's going on with me just now - apologies to all the people who've been checking in and going away disappointed over the past few months. Assuming you're still reading. I was a bit surprised (and gratified) by the number of people who grumbled but I promise not to leave it so long next time.

* confession: he is actually sitting across the room from me as I type but a) we're both busy and b) that is a genuinely rare occurrence

Thursday, March 12, 2009

Chris Moyles must die.

That is all.

Proper post to follow soon (promise) when I'm not at work being tormented by this moronic DJ.

Monday, February 09, 2009


Nothing new from me today but go look at these! This man is a genius.

Thursday, January 29, 2009

Bob bless Top Gear

... and Dave for running endless repeats thereof. Watching the "Italian supercar for under £10,000" episode and it's making me feel so much better about Hobbes.


Tuesday, January 27, 2009

random ramblings

No specific theme today, just some musings.

I bought a bog brush today - first I've ever bought in my 31 years, all my other bathrooms came with one one way or another, and while I view them as essential items, I kinda resent having to spend money on something to stick down the toilet, so wouldn't buy one just to have a nicer one. I certainly wouldn't buy this one and am staggered that anyone would!* I bought a perfectly nice (ceramic and chrome) one from M&S for a tenner which is as much as I think anyone should spend on one. Personally...

... dammit! I should have posted a card today. I'm bad at birthdays :( I bought the dratted thing weeks ago too...

... ooh and sneaky BBC making The Announcement on the weekend when I was all busy moving house. Seems like a nice enough chap, and hopefully we'll get to see lots more of mister Moffat's genius when he takes the reins...

... oop, my spaghetti is ready!

* sorry to everyone I've already told about that for going on about it but OMG! Who?! Who spends that on that

Wednesday, January 21, 2009

smoke and misery

Well that's overstating it (considerably) but I can't resist a good bit of word play. I'm sad but not miserable by any stretch.

Hobbes is still unwell after two months away at the garage having his turbo problem diagnosed and addressed (new turbo fitted). I've decided that I should have learned my lesson about complex, non-standard turbocharged engines with Frank* and that I have to bite the bullet and travel to get Hobbes looked after by a specialist. I was lucky with the SAAB that there was a great specialist in Edinburgh. With the Coupe I'll either be travelling to Essex or Oxford.


Not this month. For the time being Hobbes and his smoky engine can sleep in a cosy garage while I wait for my bank balance to recover and the weather to get warm enough to merit having a car to go and play in the countryside in.

* after an incident I could have sworn I blogged but don't seem to have. Short version: a well meaning, perfectly competent garage cost me an expensive repair by not understanding the specific needs of a 9000's quirky engine and servicing it wrong. I don't know that the garage who've been servicing Hobbes have done a similar trick, they're certainly competent as generalists... but they've repeatedly failed to sort this and are baffled by it. Time to call in the experts and probably stick with them.

Thursday, January 08, 2009


No brain-wattage for new posts. Am tired from all the moving house.

Look at this though

Monday, January 05, 2009


Most of my belongings are still in bags and boxes but all of them* are now in my new flat. Huge thanks to Justin, Karen, Liz and Craig for helping out on Saturday - it was hard work but you guys made it both possible and fun. Thank you again.

I love my new flat, it's gigantic, like big enough that we've started referring to parts of it as the North and South wings, but without irony, and (even better) has no screaming babies through the walls anywhere (we've checked thoroughly). In fact there's almost no noise of any sort from the outside world, very occasionally if you listen very carefully (or aren't asleep in the dead of night because you're all giddy about having moved) there's a distant swoosh of a car passing on a nearby road, but otherwise you wouldn't think you could possibly be less than ten minutes' walk from the city centre. I love it!

Sadly (for everyone who's been enjoying the fact it was a distinct possibility) my sofa is not permanently wedged in the stairwell Dirk Gently style. Sadly (for me) it didn't fit up the stairs so isn't in the livingroom where I usually like to keep my sofa. It's in the (ENORMOUS) garage instead. Haven't decided yet whether to sell it or keep it there and make a little den. Either way though it means I'm now buying two sofas for upstairs instead of one. Meh.

I'm not posting my new address on the blog but if you haven't got it and think you should, let me know. Also I'll be slow responding to splateagle.com emails until we get the new flat all broadbanded up. Also there have been requests for pictures from various quarters. It'll be a while folks: I'm not taking pictures until I've unpacked/furnished rooms and then I won't be able to send them until the broadband fairies have worked their magic at the exchange (which is an inscrutable arcane process and "takes as long as it takes") but I will sort something out once those things are done.

* Except my vacuum cleaner and a load of cleaning stuff which are all at the old place waiting for me to go back and clean it before handing the keys back... *sigh* that'll be a fun evening.

Thursday, January 01, 2009

"up to no good...

... with no place to go but down"

The thing I like... well one of the things I like about the holidays is all the catching up with people that goes on. Of course there's always a bunch you don't get to too. (if that's you, I'll most likely be in touch soon about catching up in the New Year)

New! A shiny brand new year stretches ahead... fun n'est pas?

No there wasn't a point to this post