Tuesday 27 November 2012

I Have Been Awarded an Award.

by Melanie at The Folly Bird
Actually it's the 3rd one I have been awarded in the last 6 months and I'm ashamed to say I never got around to writing a blog post in answer to the other two. I feel that I must put that right now and so I will do my best with this one.

write eleven things about yourself
- answer eleven questions from the blogger who nominated you
- write eleven questions of your own for eleven nominees of your own
- All nominees should have less than 200 followers
1. In the same vein as Melanie's first question I was not born early but I was born a girl rather than the boy that had been expected! My parents had no girl's names picked out and argued about what to call me for 2 whole weeks. Apparently my Dad spotted my name in the paper one morning liked it and registered me then presented it as a fait accompli to my Ma and that was that. 
2. I have all my books and CDs filed in alphabetical order it is one of the few things I am quite anul about. Once a librarian always a librarian I guess.
3. I am a Holby City addict. I watch it religiously and refuse to answer the door or the phone when it is on. My brother makes a point of trying to disturb me when it is on he's nice like that.
4.Right from the moment I could read on my own I have loved books and reading. I always have at least 5 books on the go at once and it fills me with sadness that I never seem to find enough time to spend engrossed in a book these days (I blame the internets and having to keep my house clean!) 
5. When I was little I was clearly into the idea of breakfast in bed. On Father's Day I made my Dad jam sandwiches for breakfast, only I made them the day before and put them under his pillow so they would be there for him in the morning. You can only imagine the jammy mess! On Mother's Day I made my Mum bread & butter with tea but as I wasn't allowed to boil the kettle on my own yet I used the water from my hot water bottle instead. My poor parents.
6. Himself thinks it's hysterical that I absolutely hate horror films and yet I love scary ghost stories and true crimes scenes, the gorier the better. 
*I am really struggling to think of more facts so Himself says I should make up 10 fake things and then give a prize away to the person who guesses which one is correct!*

7.I learnt to drive when I was 21 and despite driving straight into a ditch during my first lesson and having to be towed out, I was the only person in my family to pass their driving test first time. I haven't owned a car or driven for over 20 years now, I had an accident and lost my bottle. Maybe I will again one day....
8. I am more than slightly addicted to dairy products and eat yoghurt every day without fail. I am trying to curb my cheese addiction but it's a hard battle.

9. On the subject of food I am not a huge bread fan and wouldn't be bothered if I never ate it again however I can not imagine my life without potatoes. Mmmm potatoes.
10.I would love to be able to wear high heels but I have a crap sense of balance and can fall over when walking barefooted so heels are an impossibility, you can only imagine how hilarious it is to watch me walk in anything higher than 1 inch.
11. When I lived at home and had spare cash (oh for those days!) I amassed a fairly large collection of black and white movie stills from the 1930s and 1940s. I keep meaning to share some of them on this blog but never seem to get around to it......
 I will now endeavour to answer Melanie's questions in a more lively fashion 
1. What would your ideal fancy dress costume be.  
Absolutely no idea, I rather liked being a drowned person at the last Halloween party I went too. I'm not really one for dressing up.
2.  Who is your favourite Bond.
Oooh that's hard. Sean Connery is the classic one of course but I do like Daniel Craig and will confess to having a soft spot for Pierce Brosnan......
3. What is your earliest memory.
A lady with long blonde hair leaning over my cot and yet as long as I can remember my Mum had short hair. I later found out she had it all cut off because I used to twist it around my hands and pull and pull on it! Clearly I always had a thing for long hair lol.
4.What is the most exotic place you have ever visited.
The tropical house at the botanical gardens! I don't do heat so exotic holidays are a no no really.
5. Who was your first crush.
Luke Skywalker.
6. What is your favourite film.
I honestly couldn't narrow it down to just one.
7. Can you play a musical instrument and if not would you like to and what would it be.
Nope absolutely not at all musical, I would love to be able to sing and play the guitar.
8. What is your favourite scent? Not perfume, just smell.
Fresh air, orange blossom or freesias.

9. Do you believe in ghosts? Have you ever seen one.
Yes I do and yes I have.
10. What did you want to be when you grew up and did you fulfill that dream.
I wanted to paint pub signs ( I was a strange child!) or work in a shoe shop. I have done neither but have no regrets!
11. What is the most adventurous thing you have ever done.
Gone backpacking around America for 2 months. I learnt a hell of a lot about myself and had a blast. 




Sunday 25 November 2012

Burgers, Shopping and Ross Noble.


It's been another mad week and I think physically I am starting to pay the price. I have spent two days with a terrible sick headache that tablets have barely touched. Finally tonight I am feeling more human again just in time to go back to work tomorrow for the chaos that is an interview day *sigh*

So Monday I went out with some girlfriends to Byron Burger - FINALLY!
It has been a long time coming and it was well worth the wait. I was actually in pain I ate so much! but it was sooooo good. I have to say the burger was lovely and everything, but it was all about the accompaniments for me. The cream soda float, the courgette fries and peanut butter ice cream well they stole the show as far as I am concerned and we got 40% off with our staff cards! Now that is what you call a result.
Sadly I got to spend nearly an hour kicking my heels at the train station afterwards due to a car hitting a bridge somewhere along the line. That seemed to be the theme for the week with my train home being delayed for one reason or another every night.*Oy Vey*

and then there has been the rain, and the fog and then more rain followed by yet more rain. Not that it stopped Soo and I going Christmas shopping in Witney and a very successful day we had too, despite the rain.
 I bought myself a few bits (opps) and got a few great pressies we also talked non stop and laughed a lot, just what the doctor ordered.
I remembered my camera this time and took some pictures of some of the amazing knitted lampshades in Wetherspoons when we stopped for some very welcome lunch and a well earned glass of wine.

Himself and I also went to see Ross Noble again, I hadn't realised we were in the front row!

 Thankfully we were to the side and other than telling me I looked agonised when he was discussing the possibility of getting a My Little Pony stuck up his arse, he left us be. He was brilliant as ever and showed no mercy to a couple of dumb hecklers.

I have decided to just take some pictures of the frocks I have been wittering on about for various posts, me looking like death warmed up is not going to show them at their best!
Maybe later I will take some of me actually in them, especially the blue 1980's does 1950's one, seeing it on a hanger does not do it justice.

 The middle one is the one I'm not sure about, the one that might just look hideous on.....

Sunday 18 November 2012

Hens Go Ape and the Harvest Festival Dress.

I know you are all going to think the frocks I keep blethering on about do not even exist at this rate, I can assure you they do and I will post pictures, I will!
I haven't had a chance to do so as yet because I have been on a Hen Weekend.

I was a little anxious about what the weekend would involve as Katy (The Bride) is very, very sporty. She rows, she surfs, she snowboards she is generally outward bound and action packed. I on the other hand, as anyone who knows me or reads my blog would know, am about as sporty as a snail on sleeping pills.
The email came through, we would be going to Woburn Safari Park (huzzah!) we would be doing Go Ape at said Safari Park (monkeys? double huzzah!) a meal out (always good) and snowboarding at the snowdome in Milton Keynes (ah shit)
As it turned out the Oxford contingent of the hen party all decided against the snowdome for various reasons so I breathed easily.

                Words cannot begin to tell you how much I want this statue for my garden

I then actually bothered to look up what Go Ape was, it wasn't as I had thought a fun time going round the monkey house of the safari park, no it was actually a fun time climbing,swinging and zip wiring through the forest canopy.

 This was bad, this was very bad, not because I have anything against climbing and swinging per se but because I can't do heights.
Every once in a while I try to do heights just to see if the overwhelming dizzying panic has gone but usually it ends with me having a panic attack stuck rigid unable to go up or down and I accept that the vertigo is still very much there!

Thankfully I was able to drop out of the experience

but still participate by walking round the course and taking lots and lots of pictures of the rest of the girls in action.

It was a bit chilly but great fun and as it was within the safari park I got to see, buffalo, zebras, giraffes, monkeys, sea lions and ELEPHANTS!!!!!

I was very excited about the elephants.

Afterwards we headed into Milton Keynes for a meal which on the one hand was a bit of a disaster, (it took an hour and 15 minutes to just to get our starters!?!) but on the other was a brilliant (good company, good conversation and when it eventually arrived the food wasn't bad either.) A Brucey bonus was due to the ridiculous time delay we also got a 50% reduction on the bill. Result!

I have got one frock to share with you. I finally got a couple of pictures of my harvest festival dress, not the greatest shots, I got caught out by the timer but it was by far the most flattering picture so that is why I have used it, vain creature that I am!

I love the pleated skirt.

 The good news is due to being a bit more well behaved with my diet it is now a bit too big, thankfully not enough for me to stop wearing it though!!

Saturday 10 November 2012

This Week is all About Frocks, Frocks and more Frocks.

I'm knackered man and I don't mind admitting it. The last couple of weeks have been non-stop and I see no end in sight.
This is what happens when you make a new year's resolution to accept more invitations!

Monday night I had my first 'Learn how to use your sewing machine' class. It went well, (my new machine that has been un-opened in it's box for most of the year worked) I learnt how to clean it and use it while not abusing it, I sewed backwards, and forwards, slightly lopsidedly it must be said, but I did make a kick-ass button hole!

So Frocks, firstly you win some, you lose some.

As I suspected that red floral dress looked seriously, seriously HIDEOUS on me, dear god. Every now and then I do have these aberrations in taste! 
Anyway I have already sold it on via the bay of E.
The lovely green brocade 50's style one didn't quite fit, *but* as I am on the health kick I have held on to it for the time being in the hopes that it will.....
I bought 2 new dresses on Ebay but I haven't tried them on yet so pics laters. They are both 50's style and one might just be another hideous, hideous mistake....

Oh and I also still need to share a picture with you of my gifted (and very gorgeous) 80's does 50's dress. It is currently waiting to be ironed as it does fit and has already been worn to work, hence the need for ironing!      

Wednesday I had a welcome day away from all the madness that is work at the moment. Soo and I went to Londinium to the V&A (which as I may have said just once or twice before is one of my favourite places in the world to go) for the 'Hollywood Costumes' exhibition. We were going to do the 'British Ballgowns' too but we completely ran out of time and stamina so we ended up just browsing the exhibition book in the shop instead!  

Anyway we kicked off in the newly reopened Costume Gallery and ended off getting completely engrossed to the point where we only had half an hour to grab a quick drink and cake before our timed tickets for the Hollywood exhibition.
 Here's a wee taster.....

Utter Bliss!

So on to the Hollywood Costumes exhibition, as expected no photos allowed inside but


 how good it was!

 I love that even though you are on timed entry you can take as long as you like to go round. We ended up taking two and a half hours. There was a bad bottleneck at the beginning but after we got past that we were able to take our time, and if you waited a moment or two you were usually able to  see things. I don't know if that was the same for Soo who is a wee bit smaller than me, being tall I usually just look over people!

So where do I start? I loved the fact that eras where mixed in together, so a gorgeous beaded 1920's cobweb dream was next to a sharp outfit from a film that came out this year. They did group together film genres like Sci Fi, Costume Drama, Action etc but otherwise it was a delicious cinematic smorgasbord.
I have to say, and I am actually almost ashamed of this fact, I was taken aback that huge movie and clothing fan that I am, I have never really considered the fact that an outfit can affect the way you feel about a character, and not least how a character fits into a scene. It was fascinating to read and hear, via video clips, how carefully thought out even the most basic outfits could be.

We were both particularly taken with how much detail went into early costumes. In a silent movie the clothes have to speak where the actor doesn't or how a red dress looks different to a black dress even though in theory it is all black and white. Proving as with life, it is the all important many varying  shades of grey that are important..

Hand on heart I'm not boasting, (more demonstrating a misspent youth!) but there weren't many films represented there that I hadn't seen.
It does make me lament the fact they never seem to show old films on T.V any more!

 I developed my love of 1930's/40's cinema via BBC2 showing black and white films pretty much every afternoon. Over the years I watched them avidly when I got in from school, when I should have been at college and when I was unemployed.
 When my Nan came to stay we would drink oceans of tea and often weep buckets glued to the screen. I discovered the fact that my Dad had pretty much LIVED in the cinema when he was a boy, he knew all the actors including the lesser known supporting cast such was his passion for films, a fact I would never have thought of of my Pa. I clearly inherited my passion for film from that side of the family.  

So yes, this exhibition touched me on many levels, not least the 'My god how tiny was Judy Garland/Carole Lombard?' or 'well I never knew Errol Flynn was that tall!' level.

Anyway all I can say is if you get the chance GO!!!!!! you won't regret it.

Oh and we both refuse to believe Bruce Willis wore olive brown corduroy high waisted, as in Simon Cowell high waisted, trousers with his white vest in 'Die Hard'. No, nah, don't accept that.       

Sunday 4 November 2012

I Saw a Mouse and Other Anniversary Excitements.

Thank you for all your kind comments I can report I did survive the evening chaperoning those teenage girls!

I have to say in some ways it was a bit weird because one thing I can safely say I have NEVER been in my whole life is hip, happening or cool, not ever, not even slightly. Yet there I was with 3 teenagers hanging off my every word telling me ' OMG  you are soooo cool!!' when we were talking about various bands and some that I had seen.  It was a strange but not unpleasant feeling.

Thankfully the first support band were excellent because the second one was as god awful as I remembered. It wasn't the best Bowling for Soup show as they had various technical difficulties and I guess I was a little on edge keeping an eye out all evening. However Nephew Number One was on cracking form and had me in stitches and at least I did manage to buy him a beer.

Sunday we had a lie-in and then Himself went off for a lads night out with his old band mates. As it was in Folkstone of all places he stayed overnight so we arranged to meet in London the next day for our anniversary day out.
Unbeknown to him I had got us tickets for 'The Mousetrap' which I have never seen despite being a huge Agatha Christie fan!
We had a wonderful day and I got to people watch for a couple of hours (one of my favourite pastimes) in a ram packed Wetherspoons.
This advert cracked me up
and I loved the Halloween bats.

Then it was theatre time. Sadly I couldn't afford the best of seats at the theatre so we were wedged in in the most unladylike fashion. Clearly back in the day theatre goers did not have very long legs.

                                                       Dignity always dignity.

Actually I felt like Verity Treacle! (another television reference that shows my age).

The theatre is very beautiful though.

The play was terribly hammy but we both loved it. Himself told me afterwards he had cheated and looked up who done it on the internets. I however had no clue and shall not tell a soul in the true spirit of the play.

                                                A lovely night despite the rain.

We both took the next day off work on account of getting home at 1am. That meant I got to have a lovely long trawl around the charity shops. I bought a some great bits and pieces which I will share another time as they are waiting to be ironed and a couple of things for my Etsy shop.

I also got a little something for one of you lovely ladies....... I shall not give away who!

You know how it is when you just spot something and it screams someone's name at you. It shall be winging it's way to said lovely lady in the next week and I hope to god I haven't got it badly wrong!!!!!

Wednesday was our actual anniversary, I know we do drag it out don't we!
Anyway we went out for a meal (diet what diet?) and to the cinema.

I shall now digress to tell you a little tale of karma.

We arrived at the restaurant with time before our table booking and it was absolutely heaving. There were quite a few people waiting in front of us so we had to stand near the door, two women came in behind us and one of them had a right go at me because where I was standing meant she couldn't close the door and it was cold! I obligingly wedged myself between the coat stand and a plant so she could close the door. The other lady she was with knew the one in front of us so they started chatting about how busy it was the rude lady was being loud and arsey about how they shouldn't have to wait like this because 'we do have a table booked you know!' The lady in front of us said that yes they had a table booked too and I had to stop myself from saying 'actually so do we!' from behind my plant.
Anyway when the girl came to check names the rude lady barged past me and gave her name first and demanded to be seated, her friend looked very embarrassed and said 'I think these people where here first' but she ignored her and us.
The waitress was very polite and said there will be about a 10 minute wait and would she like to take a seat by the bar while she waited so she huffed off to a corner and Himself was able to confirm our table.
When the waitress had seated all the people in front of us she came back and said 'right who is next?' the rude lady leapt forward but I stepped neatly in front of her and said firmly 'We are' she went mental again huffing and 'well really-ing' but the waitress knew the score just lead us to our table.
They were seated shortly after us but you know what was beautiful? They got served their drinks and then forgotten. I know from friends who have waited tables that it can happen when you are manic busy and you have smaller tables placed out of clear sight.
We had actually finished eating by the time the rude lady managed to collar a waiter. All the time we were eating she kept glowering and glaring at us so I'm afraid we did make a bit of a show of thoroughly enjoying our meal!

Anyway stuffed full of lovely Italian food we made our way through the torrential rain to the cinema. We were going to go and see 'Frankenweenie' but as there had been such a demand for 'Skyfall' tickets they cancelled it to put on two showings of James Bond. Oh well, I happen to love James Bond so I didn't mind at all.

I don't agree with those who say it is the best Bond film ever but I thoroughly enjoyed it and did find myself grinning like a loon at a couple of the action sequences. It did mean going to bed at 1am again as by the time they had shown all the adverts and trailers and then the film it was 12.30 by the time we got back in the house!

Oh and I did finally get to see Frankenweenie tonight and I will confess I did shed a tear or two in the dark.