Sunday, 31 December 2006

Make love, not war

I just had to post a link to this article that I found linked from another blog. Anybody with an opinion about the war in Iraq should read it.
It's basically a letter home from an American Marine summing up his past year,

My favourite bits
Most Surreal Moment — Watching Marines arrive at my detention facility and unload a truck load of flex-cuffed midgets. 26 to be exact. We had put the word out earlier in the day to the Marines in Fallujah that we were looking for Bad Guy X, who was described as a midget. Little did I know that Fallujah was home to a small community of midgets, who banded together for support since they were considered as social outcasts. The Marines were anxious to get back to the midget colony to bring in the rest of the midget suspects, but I called off the search, figuring Bad Guy X was long gone on his short legs after seeing his companions rounded up by the giant infidels.

Biggest Surprise — Iraqi Police. All local guys. I never figured that we'd get a police force established in the cities in al-Anbar. I estimated that insurgents would kill the first few, scaring off the rest. Well, insurgents did kill the first few, but the cops kept on coming. The insurgents continue to target the police, killing them in their homes and on the streets, but the cops won't give up. Absolutely incredible tenacity. The insurgents know that the police are far better at finding them than we are — and they are finding them. Now, if we could just get them out of the habit of beating prisoners to a pulp...

I had better stop readingvery worthwhile articles, actually get dressed and head back to Sheffield, I promised Lex I'd pick him up from the station, which isn't going to happen if I'm still at home in my pyjamas!

Saturday, 30 December 2006

Cristmas is over, Long live Christmas.

Well the annual torture is over, I like some elements of Christmas, but I am finding myself becoming more scrooge like the older I get! Watching other people open their carefully chosen presents and seeing the delight on their faces is wonderful, opening my own is agonising, I do sometimes wonder if these people actually know me?
I also love the food that goes with it, but I do wish I could be left to cook it, I wouldn't say I'm fussy, rather a perfectionist, and I think this is where christmas falls down as you get older, as a child you don't really care about the fine details, and don't even notice them, but I do, and need to have them or somehow Christmas isn't perfect.
However this year was an improvement on previous years, we weren't at home we instead spent the week in a holiday cottage in North Wales. I have avoided strangling every member of my family though at times the temptation to do so was very very strong. This years preents on the whole were better than previous efforts. I only received one thing that went on to the pile for instant recycling! This I feel is a record, considering last year I finished the day in tears with a cry of I don't want any presents next year, I'd rather people gave the money to charity than see all this stupid waste!
Christmas was also helped by being somewhere where we could do things, walks nd bike rides meant that I could stomp in to the distance pretendig that what had just been said hadn't upset me. The week was also helped by Lex coming and rescuing me just before I was ready to start screaming at my normally wonderful family members. We can normally get along but a week of forced proximity by a small cottage was just too much. I even took him for a bike ride so he could actually test his new bike.

So all in all not a bad Christmas, but I'll still be campaigning for changes next year! I no have the joy of work to look forward to!

Hours spent wanting to be violent to people- countless
Actual outbursts of violence- none
Hours spent walking- 25
Hours spent biking- 6
Hours spent playing Trivial Pursuits- 8
Hours spent eating- too many
Hours spent Climbing- None!!!!!
Hours untill I can go back to Sheffield- 18
Number of root canal fillings-1
Number of Dental appointment remaining to complete root canal filling- 2
Hours of work done- 0
Hours of work that must be done if I am to pass the exams- too many

Bah Humbug, Merry Christmas, and a Happy New Year

Wednesday, 20 December 2006

I have regained my life!

It's so nice to have actually finished for christmas. Don't get me wrong, I love my degree, but 12 solid weeks of it with no break is enough to sap anyones enthusiasm!
I'm spending a week in Sheffield for several reasons really, I get to spend more time with Lex, I get to actually socialise with my friends, I had an interview for my teacher tarining course, and there was no way I was organise enough to go home right at the end of term!
It's been so nice over the last few days to have time to actually interact with people, for the past few weeks my life has been taken over by coursework, I'd forgotten what some people actually looked like. But over the past few days I've been out for Lex's work Christmas do, which was very nice, been to the climbing works with some friends and had a really good time. I'm also going to get all my Christmas presents from Lex tomorrow. On Wednesday we're having a take away social gathering, and then on Thursday I'm going climbing again.
Wow what a busy social life, and then I get to go home and see family.
I had my PGCE interview today and I think it went really well. They can't actually say they're offfering you a place, but he did say he was very impressed with my interview, and kind of said as near to "you've got a place" as he could! All thisis very good news as it means I'll be staying in sheffield for at least another year and I'll be doing something I really enjoy.

Friday, 15 December 2006

all dressed up

That's me with my mouth open! btw.
Well last night was the annual climbing club Christmas meal. Yet again the girls revealed that they owned legs and dresses and shoes with heels. The boys meanwhile showed that you can put a man in a tux but you can't take the climber/biker/walker out of him, there were far too many approach shoes going on for my liking!
It was a very good night though, highlights included paying £12 for a bottle of wine that bore a closer relationship to vinegar than any wine I've drank! The panto (I think, I'm sure it was very good guys, but I have no idea what happened!) and the DJ who thought he was the coolest guy going, but he at least payed cheese for a long time. the transition to dance music was the cue to take Lex home however!
Leaving early did mean that I missed out on the final dance and seeing who ended up snogging who, any gossip then just send me an email! Did Tatts manage to pull the delightful fresher that apparently Si had a thing for? after all it's not the xmas meal if someone didn't indulge in a little tonsil tickling, and I should know!

Sunday, 10 December 2006

Well as promised I'm back to write all about my horrendous work load, why are all my modules due in at the same time, there's no justice!
However thing sare looking brighter, after spending the last 2 months in the lab collecting the data, I have finally written my 5000 word report, my poster for parasitism is finished, and even better my Biology and Ethics poster is done. All I have too do now is edit and check them all, now that is going to be hard. My brain works in an odd way, and as a result my brain works even more oddly, so all my writing is very odd! If that makes sense. so as a result there is lots of editing to be done.
Anyway by Wednesday all this will be over, and in the evening I have the fun of the climbing clubchristmas meal to look forward to. I'm actually going to go and get my hair cut and for one I get to dress up, pictures to follow!
In preparation for my PGCE interview next Tuesday I went and spent yesterday in a secondary school, and I actually really enjoyed it. I miss being with that age groups of kids on a regular basis! I was in one lesson which is made up of those with learning disabilities and behavioural problem when someone decided to set off a firework! Well at least it's given me something to talk about in the interview!

Saturday, 2 December 2006

I've been ............ bouldering, must wash out mouth!

Well since my last post I've been on yet another weekend away. (I'm really rubbish at writing regulary, I'm very sorry!)
Yet again we were in North Wales, though this time the weather wasn't quite as good. Lots and lots and lots of rain!
Saturday was spent driving to Llandudno. We had planned to spend the morning in teh Salte Museum in Llanberis, but only the Welsh would decide that the one day a tourist attraction closed would be a Saturday!
Anyway we had a go on a toboggan run, and then went bouldering (for those of you that know me you'll know what a sacrifice that was!) However I did actually quite enjoy it.

The Sunday I decided to be nice and go and play with some freshers on some multi pitch on Little Tryfan. We had a very nice day and I actually managed to get more than 1 route done in a whole weekend! All that was left to look forward to was the drive home in a minibus, with only me driving. For all you 3rd years with too much work you missed out. We had a great weekend despite the weather. And anyway I always judge a weekend away by the level of bruising sustained. Our exploits kitchen bouldering on friday night can still be seen on my legs!

The Christmas dinner was also fab, and a welcome start to my estimated 3 christmas dinners this year. Speaking of which, it's now December, I really had better get the last of my shopping sorted, I started off so well, and did loads part way through November, since then it's all gone a bit wrong!
Anyway I'm off to go and cook some tea, my belly's rumbling and then I really need to do some work. A post about my mountains of work may follow in a few days, as the amount I have to do is unbelievable!

Wednesday, 22 November 2006

All hail Welsh slate

Ok so I'm not in so much of a hating mood as I was when I wrote my last post! Anyway since then I've been away again (last weekend in fact, but hey I'm slow!). Far more successful weekend, only got one route done this time but it was on some lovely slate, however I then fell over in the car park and resprained my ankle (it's along story I'll tell it if I get bored one day.) So that put pay to any climbing for the rest of the weekend. I therefore spent the next day driving about North Wales in a minibus, mostly dropping off bikers, the picture is of my lovely boyfriend on the bike he has spent a small fortune fixing for this weekend!

The slate was surprising good fun, I'd never climbed on it before and I really enjoyed it. My humble acheivemnets wereput in to perspective by watching Aly climb some ridiculous nails looking E4 called Poetry Pink. the guy seriously needs his head examining, I'll add a photo as soon as I get sent any, unfortunately I forgot my camera so I had to borrow one.

If you were followed by a large red minibus then you really need to speed up your driving, as for those I overtook you need to hand in your license! Oh yeah I also passed my minibus test with all of 3 minors, so I'm very pleased with that. And I also quite enjoy driving the, in fact it's my main reason for going on the nest weekend away!

Well that with the fact that we seem to be collecting annoying kids at work, we have the attention seeker who refuses to come down the wall just so she gets all your time, the kids who are obnoxious brats who don't seem to think they have to listen to you, and the kids who spend their whole time fighting. I swear I feel like a boxing referee and UN peace keeper all rolled into one! All made worse by the fact that I can do very little about their dreadful behavior, some kids are however on their last warning before we say we don't want them, as even the liberal Terry has had enough of sorting out the aftermath from their fights!

Sunday, 22 October 2006

All hail the grit!

After getting back from the clubs freshers weekend away to the Lakes I have come to the conclusion I don't like multi pitch! Controversial I know, but hey it's my climbing, I'll enjoy what the hell I like! Reasons for not liking multi pitch-
1) The walk in is nearly always up a big hill miles from the car park, if I liked walking I'd go on walks, I don't. nuff said!
2) You have to carry all your kit on said walk in! I only have short legs so trying to keep up with all the lanky men damn near killed me!
3) The route may be 80m long, but actually contains 5 or 6m of real quality climbing. So you can spend 3 hours for 2 minutes good climbing!
4) Other peoples ineptitude, catching someone up part way through a route and then being stuck behind them is just bloody annoying and cold!
5) Mountain routes are nearly always a pile of crumbling stuff, small chunks I can cope with, after all I wear a helmet, but blocks bigger than my head, er no thanks!
6) Absolute arseholes who seem determined to moan about everything. I wasn't there but on Sunday someone actually had the cheek to email the union safety officer about us "chucking rocks down the crag". We only let people go climbing on weekends who can lead and second multi pitch, so in theory could go by themselves. The crag was loose, no one chucked any rocks anywhere, someone dislodged some stuff as they led a route, It's a hazard of multi pitch. If I ever find the person who decided to cause such a huge amount of hassle for our committee then I will take huge pleasure in inserting my largest hex where the sun doesn't shine, after I have shoved a large cam in his mouth to muffle the screaming.

Anyway lesson learnt, I will be avoiding multi pitch stuff unless it's road side! At least it gave me a break from work, only 1 more weekend till I can go away again!
the photo btw is of me at the top, finally at 6.15, it was 7.40 by the time we got back to the minibus, and yes we did have the keys, yes everyone else had been down for ages (sorry guys!), and yes it was very very dark!

Monday, 25 September 2006

Well after a long boring summer university is about to start again... or is it?
For the first 6 weeks I have 1 lecture a week, even after that it rises to a maximum of 7; 7 contact hours a week and that's it. Considering I have just gained another £1200 of debt to pay my tuition fees I am kind of wondering what I'm getting for my money?
So as a result I'm just going to have to work really hard at my project for the first bit of term to prevent insanity. Speaking of projects, I have discovered my project supervisor, I got sent an email on friday, officially I go to a meeting today to find out, but hey at least I now know. Anyway I'm really pleased with who I got, my 2 housemates spent the sumer working in her lab and say she's really nice. I think it's safe to say I will be doing something to do with flies though!

Freshers week is al over, I have handed out hundreds of fliers for the university climbing club, and spent lots of Friday dangling from a harness in front of university house. Freshers climb on sunday was very uneventful, no one needed taking to hospital, no one turned up in wildly unsuitable clothing, so all in all rather boring really. The midge bites I have from the trip to the pub though are driving me crazy.

Tuesday, 5 September 2006

Mud, mud, glorious mud

I just spent the weekend at Chatsworth Country show helping Buxton Mountain rescue team fundraise. It wasn't the most successful weekend ever! Constant rain on Saturday meant the show was deathly quiet, but at least it stopped for the barbecue in the evening. Sunday was at least nearly dry but by that time the show ground was a giant mud bath. What was most amusing was seeing people turn up on Sunday not realising that it had rained all of the previous day!
I basically spent the weekend trying to persuade people to buy ducks for the duck race we were running. This wasn't as successful as last year, partly due to the weather! However having the race down the actual river on the estate was great fun, even if the ducks did go through the holes in the netting!
I was very good and didn't even spend that much money, though I do now have a very posh looking leather hat, and a bargainous joules jacket!

Wednesday, 23 August 2006


I've spent all day making some delicous looking rosemary foccacia, which I found on my new favourite website,
Unfortunately I mucked up, my hand slipped while adding the salt, I thought I'd persevere and see if it was edible, but I have to report that it really wasn't! I thought I was going to have a lovely tea with my favourite tomato salad, just tomato slices, salt, pepper, and my secret ingredient sugar! All mixed up and left to stew in the lovely juice.
It looked fab though, I'll definitely try again, maybe tomorrow in fact as I still have a mountain of rosemary left thanks to Just Naturals generously sized packs!
I seem to be in a culinary mood at the momment, I made an apparently delicous plum tart the other day with some over ripe plums, I got 1 slice and Lex promptly demolished the rest despite informing me it looked yuk!
I also seem to be on a banoffe pie streak at the momment! However I never have any digestive biscuits in so mine have a twist, the base is made of lovely coconuty nice biscuits, apparently they add a lovely twist according to my willing tasters!

Saturday, 19 August 2006

It's raining

Well so far I am a bit unimpressed with the weather. When I was working loads the weather was boiling hot, now I don't have much work it's decided to rain. Me and Lex went on holiday to my parents to get some climbing done and actually did quite well, one very good day at the Roaches, one ok day at Castle Naze, and then a day of being ill! Yay! Anyway the past week Lex and I have tried to get out climbing lots, and the weather has been wet, or looking like it was going to be wet, so we went indoors.
Today I really want to go in to town, but it's absolutely pissing it down, maybe it's going to stop, or I could be getting very wet! However as I threw away all of Lex's holey socks I'd better buy him some new ones and some Lush bath bubbles to make up for it!

Wednesday, 2 August 2006

All homely

Yet again I'm at home. The parents have gone away for the week leaving me to look after the climbing wall and the house. As a result of being at home I've become all grown up. Wandering round the garden watering things and picking my own fruit and veg is making me desperate for my own garden. Tonights tea is all home grown, peas, french beans, and roasted courgette! Together with fresh strawberries and Rasberries, they taste so much better than ones from the shops.
I keep wanting to do all sorts of nice things, on the ukc forums someone was talking about making their own cheese and yoghurt, I woudl love to do things like that but living in a crummy student house means I have no garden and I don't think my housemates would like having fermenting cheese around. At least I can cook cakes though, I found this blog called a spoonful of sugar, just thinking about it is making me want cakes!

The picture at the top is a flower arrnagement by my Mum, very talented lady I think! Yet another thing I woudl love to do, at least I know who can do my flowers for any future wedding! (sorry about the crappy photo, had to take it with the iSight on my Macbook)

Friday, 21 July 2006

I'm never living at home again!

For this week I'm staying back with my parents while I do some work for my Dad at the climbing wall. The work part is fine, in fact better than it used to be, I think I've got more chilled out as I've got more experienced. However living at home is a nightmare, don't get me wrong I love my parents dearly but living with them, you have got to be kidding me!
Anyway I get to go home at the end of tomorrow, and get to see Lex again.
I'm guessing he's still alive but as the silly boy left his mobile phone charger at mine I have no idea. He also didn't text me his new flat phone number so I have no way of getting in touch with him. He does have my home number stored on his pda, but knowing him the battery has died on that to, either that or he hasn't thought of that! Anyway I have sent him an email, and we'll see if I get a call tonight! Would be lovely to hear his voice today.

Tuesday, 18 July 2006

Queens Guide

Well I am now a Queens Guide. I had my presentation at Upper Limits on Saturday afternoon. It was a lovely day, and was really nice to see all the people who ment so much to me back in Leek. My Mum even wanted to know if I'd paid them to say nice things about me!
The badge it self is really lovely, solid silver and a really pretty design.
I'm now back in Sheffield for 1 day only, then back home for a few days to work at Upper Limits, will be nice to have my Mum looking after me for a few days!
Anyway all means Lex and I won't be seeing very much of it other for a while, I'm going home until Friday then on Tuesday he's going home for 3 days to remind his poor Mum he's still alive (still haven't met his parents!)
Oh well at least I get a few days peace and my room won't look quite such a mess from all his stuff.

Wednesday, 12 July 2006

Buckingham Palace

Well yesterday I got to see what a Buckingham Palace Garden Party is really like. Unfortunately I wasn't a guest I was only there as a steward, but I did have a great day, got to have a cucumber sandwich and can say I've been to the loo in the palace!
The only down side was dressing as a piece of rock, because I was representing Girlguiding UK I had to wear the lovely new formal stripy blouse, and it is hideous!
I saw the Queen, Prince Phillip, Prince Charles and Camilla, and quite a few other minor royals. I also got to see the chaos behind the food tent, there are people running about like crazy, huge boilers heating all the water for tea and more plates of sandwiches than you can believe!
I just have a few days to recover before I have my Queens Guide award presented, but tonight I'm taking my Rainbows out for a picnic, then on Thursday promised my housemates I'd go out for a drink with them.

Oh and I nearly forgot (test for my parents to see if they read this!) I have passed this year of my degree, all my results average out at a 2.1 which I'm very happy with, my result of 74 in evolution of terestrial ecosystems has left me very amazed with myself!

Monday, 10 July 2006

Its been a while since I last wrote anything for here, it seems like I've been really busy but I actually can't think I've done very much. I have worked quite a bit, which is rather good on the money front! I also got to see my parents for the first time since Easter (bad daughter!) and I also got the last of my Birthday presents!
I even got to go climbing yesterday afternoon with my family, after I finished work, at Birchens. I think I may actually be getting better, I redid some of the routes I had done with Lex before Christmas and found them all alot easier.
I also took my Rainbows out with one of the other Rainbows units on a Scavenger hunt, which they really enjoyed, we're off out for a picnic this week.
However first I have my trip to Buckingham Palace, but more about that when I've been. Also quite scarily I get my exams results tomorrow! Lex already has his and has passed them all (why they can't release them all together I have no idea).
Anyway I had best get up and make a start to the day!

Friday, 30 June 2006


Well since my last entry I have had a birthday! I am now the grand old age of 21! I had a lovely day. I got woken up by Lex who was hugely excited about giving me my presents, which were very lovely. I'm particularly excited about my ant works ( ) All I need now is some ants! I spent most of the day scrubbing carpets and carrying boxes to help Lex move. But I did get to go out for the evening. We met up with some people from the climbing club in the Little John in Hathersage for a meal.
Since then I've been to a park to watch everyone have a go at Mountain Boarding. (I like all my limbs in one place so didn't have a go). I have discovered I'm not to bad on a slack line as well! Finally I have something I'm better at than Lex. Apparently I look a bit like a demented clown with limbs poking out in all sorts of directions, but at least I can take a couple of steps without falling off!
I'm currently sorting out a load of stuff for Rainbows in September, and wondering how to spend the rest of the day!

Tuesday, 27 June 2006

busy couple of days

Well having worked all weekend I had a very nice treat at the end of Sunday. Chris who I worked with all day invited me out climbing with him and some friends that evening. As it's been ages since I went climbing I couldn't really say no could I! Anyway considering it's been 5 months since I led on grit, and a couple of months since I led anything at all I think I did alright. Led a S4a with only small amounts of difficulty, top roped an E2 5b that didn't actually feel too hard, and backed off a VS 5b because I was a bit pumped and had a traverse which I remembered I don't like while part way up the climb!
My hands are now a right mess with fabulous grit rash, cuts and bruises all over them! But it was a highly enjoyable afternoon; possibly more so because I left Lex at work! Was very nice to leave him behind while I went out climbing for a change!

Spent all of today helping Lex move house. We finally have all his stuff in the new flat. I've managed to ruin a pair of jeans, carrying his bike up 3 flights of stairs, by smearing oil on the thigh! Typical.
All that's left now is to clean the house from top to bottom. As it was a house of 8 boys it's not exactly immaculate! To be fair they have all cleaned as they left but they tend not to notice really obvious things!

My achievement for tonight has to be doing my accounts for my Rainbow unit. It's only taken me 6 hours! For the past 2 hours I have been desperately trying to find a missing 50p between my end of year statement, and the accounts for the whole year!
I can now go to bed happy and get all excited about my birthday tomorrow! Yay!

Friday, 23 June 2006

I'm getting all excited!

I've spent a lot of today sorting out things for my Queens Guide award presentation. I'm really quite excited about it because it is the highest award anyone can get in Guiding. Less than 100 people complete it each year. It takes 3 years to complete, and is hard! So I think I'm a little justified in being quite excited.

I've just written the invites and the wonderful Louise is going to distribute them at the county training day on Saturday. I've also been busy working on the power point presentation that's going to be running to tell people what I did.

I'm really hoping it will be an enjoyable evening for everyone who comes. We're having a bring your own food barbecue, at Upper Limits climbing wall. Everyone is going to get a chance to try out all the activities which should make the evening more fun.
Lex is at work this evening so I've spent far too much time on the computer doing all of the above, and deciding which car insurance company I'm going to give a small fortune to! The joys of being 20. Though I will be 21 in 5 days time! Presents and cards would be nice, money would be even better!

Tuesday, 20 June 2006

everyone has to start somewhere

I was very purposefully avoiding getting a blog, as my boyfriend will simply claim I'm copying him!
But this is far too good a way to avoid being bored this summer. I am working this summer, but it is mainly at the weekends so I can end up being very bored!
Biggest exciting thing has to be the arrival of my new macbook. It's very shiny and gorgeous, I've sat writing my report from my field course that I did last week on it today and already love it far too much.
Anyway I think that this can be my little acorn from which a great oak grows. I will no doubt post more when I actually escape from my room to do something!

Monday, 12 June 2006

Ants are little people!

Spent today doing part of the write up for a field course I was on last week. I basically spent a few days feeding ants bits of Bernard Matthews turkey ham. Turns out they quite like the stuff, though after spending that many days chopping it up in to little pieces I now hate the stuff more than I did before!
Anyway my report has to be super scientific, so I was very good and went to the library to find some references and books! I swear the place gets scarier everything I visit it. I did get some books though including a really good one from the 1930's! Basically it describes ants as people all the way through, including that they love each other! Very sweet!

Am now at Lexs for the last time until he moves! It's quite upsetting as I had grown quite fond of this house. And I have to downsize in beds! May not sound too bad but when your boyfriend is 6"6' he can take up a lot of space without even trying.
The new flat is nice though, and my feet will no longer stick to the kitchen floor, which has to be a plus.