Thursday, 27 December 2012

Ponder of the day....

The good thing about wearing glasses is that no matter how horrid the things you see in the corner of your eye are, you can always blame them on a speck of dust on the lens.

Wednesday, 26 December 2012

What I got in my Yuletide Stocking....

Well Christmas was certainly a long time coming this year.  It is very bad timing that the most stressful time at the 8.30-5.00 happens to fall at the one time of year when I do not want to be stressed, in fact as far as I'm concerned 22nd December to 30th January is my reward for all the general stress that I have to deal with throughout the year.  Perhaps that is why I'm particularly angry that this normally relaxed time has been invaded by tension and anxiety.

Right rant over, let me tell you what I got in my stocking.  M's gifts to me this year were very thoughtful and somewhat insightful, he got me a Nigella Lawson cook book; Nigellissima (what the spell check have fun with that one!), chocolate, Ferrero Rocher and Black Magic, DVD of the Frozen Planet from the BBC and another book; Victorian Farm.  For those of your who don't know, Victorian Farm is a BBC programme about 3 historians who take up the challenge of living and working on a farm using ideas and techniques from the Victorian era.  
I got my first Loreena Mckennit album from my brother which includes the song The Mummers Dance.  I got cooking accessories from my parents and a fantastic satchel that will go well with my green coat. I also got various Spa 'smellies' that I shall enjoy relaxing into with the aid of a hot bath (that should help with the stress).  We have our little Christmas dinner soon, then winter soups are planned and flat sorting.....the possibilities are endless.  Such is the time of year.


Tuesday, 20 November 2012

A brave new world?

Today I read 2 articles in the Guardian. Both about women's equality.  The first article was read over my working lunch. It was about some women who fought to be allowed to stand at the bar of a Fleet Street Wine bar with their male colleagues.  The bar appeared to have a 'policy' that women should remain seated at tables so as not to be pushed and shoved when ordering drinks. However a female journalist and lawyer took the bar to court to over turn the policy.
At first I thought this must have happened in at latest the 1970's at the hight of Women's 'Lib'. But no the date was in fact 1982! Only 2 years before I was born.  Surely at this time society had moved on to the level were this type of treatment of women was completely unacceptable.  However when I consider my birth certificate issued in 1984, the section regarding father asks what occupation he has, however this same question is not asked of the mother.  Does it just assume that she has no occupation?

the lady's round

Well if I was disappointed that society wasn't that forward thinking in the 1980's, imagine how disheartened I was to read this today in 2012.

results of CoE vote to allow women to become Bishops

Sunday, 21 October 2012

Teenage Dreams....

Yesterday I achieved a dream that I've had since I was a teenager. I attended a Star Trek convention!
Based in the Excel Centre in London, it was Europe's biggest Star Trek convention to date.  All 5 captains were there plus Brent Spinner (Data), Michael Dorn (Worf) and lots of other members of the cast.
M and I only bought the standard ticket, so that was entry to the convention and access to most of the stalls and displays.
We met up with some of M's friends while there, one of whom had bought tickets to get an autograph and a picture taken with Brent Spinner and Michael Dorn.

What did I see?
Costumes! Mostly Star Fleet uniforms, but there was a couple of Seven of Nine lookalikes and of course some Klingon warriors.  Also we saw some people dressed up as Q from Encounter at Farpoint, basically he was an very over the top judge!
Here is a picture of him from the show in question, with Captain Picard:
One event was the Star Trek museum.  This included props from all the series.  Most impressive was the fact that they had Data's head from the 2 part episode Broken Arrow.
I managed to take a picture of it.
I really enjoyed the day and would definitely want to attend another one.  We did noticed that all the merchandise was very over priced.  I found a very nice Star Trek mug that I wanted to buy, however the £25 price tag put me off.  We also found some themed hoodies but they were nearing £60!  However I did manage to get a souvenir edition of Star Trek magazine, a keyring and a Com. Badge for M.
All in all it was a fantastic day out that I would recommend to any Star Trek fan.

Wednesday, 3 October 2012

A matter of perspective

There are moments when it seems that we have become allergic to life. When tasks we complete on a daily basis seem strangely alien and impossible to achieve. When situations that are dealt with easily one week seem to render you a babbling wreck the next.
It is during these moments that many questions that we would love to remain unspoken poke their head out of little holes, and say 'hello I'm back'.

Questions like 'is life really this bad or is it all just the way I see the world'.  Do our many different moods really change how we perceive things and people.
Is happiness really about what occurs or just how I deal with it. If so, if I have the power to chose how I feel then why do I feel bad when it is the last thing that I want?
Does the answer to the question change if you have to ask it?

Sunday, 30 September 2012

Today I'm listening to...

The Velvet Underground, I'm Sticking With You.

I have to confess I don't know much about this band apart from the fact Lou Reed was involved. I had a friend during my teenage years who loved this band and she was frequently talking about how good they were.  Well I think I should reserve judgement until I hear some more of their songs, but I like what I hear of this one.

I think I should point out now that not all my posts about music will have a story behind them.  Some times I will listen to music just because...... (as annoying as that expression is, it does have a habit of being true on numerous occasions).    

Saturday, 29 September 2012

Music this week

Here is a small selection of the music I have been listening to this week.

Thunderclap Newton, Something in the Air. Why: I was thinking about my late teens, when I watched the film Almost Famous. A film about a teenage boy who fools Rolling Stone Magazine into letting him accompany an 'up and coming' rock band on a tour in 1973.
I loved the film so much that I bought the soundtrack as well. Songs include Feel Flows by The Beach Boys, I'm waiting for the Man, David Bowie's version and Elton John's Tiny Dancer.  I haven't seen the film for a while as my copy was on VHS and it some how moved off my shelf and into my brother's room, as did the soundtrack.  Something that is to be expected when your younger brother is a sound and video student.

Another song tomorrow.

Saturday, 22 September 2012

October is near

It's 22nd September already.  The temperature has started to fall and the leaves are turning.  Autumn and Winter are my favourite seasons.  I'm starting to think about Halloween activities, namely pumpkin designs.  I did a quick search today and found some truly amazing ones, including ones with Frankenstein's Monster and one with that famous scene from the Shinning. However I think I will stick to a more traditional one myself.  So looks like it is going to be one of these:

This was last year's attempt. Not bad I think:
 Well happy carving.
As for music I have found a really good band called Nox Arcana, mostly instrumental music with a Gothic and slightly theatrical theme.  This one is from the Grimm Tales collections, Labyrinth of Dreams.
All I need now is to decide what I'm going to do cooking wise for Autumn, lots of stews, warming curries....

Saturday, 15 September 2012

Pass me the map

I have to confess to feeling slightly lost of late.  Recently I lost a close family member (Nana). This is the second family member that I have lost this year, the other being my aunt. I am of course sad with grief but I am also mourning a loss of identity. Recent events both personally and professionally have left me feeling that I need to get to know my self again, if in fact I ever knew my self to start with.
Life has moved so fast in recent years, elements of my life have got neglected and left behind.  The mundane  has taken over, the soul is disappearing.
So here I start out on a new journey, but does it really benefit anyone to have a map to follow or should I just walk and see where the road leads?

Tuesday, 28 August 2012

Sit up and pay attention

Recently my partner has introduced me to the world of Terry Pratchett.  I have watched all 3 of the TV adaptations and my favourite by far is Hogfather. The character that left a resounding impression on me was Susan; the grand-daughter of Death.  Being Death's grand-daughter has got to be a good reason for her to be anyone's favourite character, however for myself it has to be the fact that she is a typical Victorian teacher or governess.  Having spend 6 years working with children and in schools I find her a fascinating character.  I really admire her non-nonsense attitude to teaching and learning.

Part of her character is her image, she dresses very simply but again there is something in her presence that makes you sit up and pay attention. I don't want to say that she has a some what scary image, more commanding and reassuring. Two qualities that children need.

I would love to have her presence and sense of self.

I leave you with 2 images of Susan from the TV adaptation of Hogfather.

The first is Susan in the classroom.
The second is Susan when she is on 'official business'.

Monday, 27 August 2012

Right then, shall we get started?

This is the first story on the road of my far away look.  When you notice that I have a far away look in my eyes....this is where I go.

It is not always earth shattering or news worthy but it is revealing, in its own way.

So here's to the journey.