Step back in time…


Ok, so I should admit that I’ve just googled myself. It’s not big, it’s not clever, it’s not something I’m proud of but I’d just seen a facebook post from my cousin Iona who had cut her own fringe and it reminded me of something I’d once written about cutting my own hair with kitchen scissors.

I can remember doing it, sat in my bedroom, 39 Curtis Road, Newcastle, with its rag rolled golden walls with one brown striped wallpapered room before one wall of wallpaper was cool. I’d propped the mirror up on my desk and started cutting in some layers and hoping for the best. I did a similar thing about 2 weeks ago – my graduated bob grew out about 3 months ago and the African sun combined with bleach and repeated coverings of red hair dye had left the ends frazzled. I had wanted a professional hairdresser to fix it but couldn’t get hold of her so one Saturday afternoon, whilst avoiding doing some actual work I switched on the bathroom light, took the kitchen scissors in my hand and started to hack away. The result wasn’t that bad.

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A weekend in the country.


So where was I?  Oh yes, a bit hung over.  Not intentionally but it happened.  And I dealt with it.  Just about. Mainly by sitting inside watching stuff, avoiding excessive movement and the sun.  Then by writing things for this.

It’s been a busy week by and large.  I finished school at 2.15 on Friday, got home picked up my suitcases and by 5.15 I was on a plane for Dar es Salaam and the beginning of my half term birthday holiday adventure.

“Beep de be beep, beep de be beep…”  The alarm wouldn’t stop when I hit the button, even though I was pressing very, very hard and willing with all of my might for it to stop.  It was 7 o’clock on Saturday morning and we needed to get up to get ferry tickets because that was the day we were going to Zanzibar.

I had been sharing a hot, humid room with a partially functioning air conditioning unit at Mongolia’s house with Vicki.  As she went off to clean up in the bathroom, I closed my eyes and tried to go back to sleep, but failed miserably.  Mongolia (An American, real name Joyce, but forever to be known as Mongolia because she lived there and that was what she was introduced as) stumbled into the room to say hello.  It was clear that she was still a little hung over if not still drunk.  And just wearing a towel.  She pointed out that we needed to wake the boys and head across the compound to Emma’s house where the others would be waiting for us.  I said I would do it, but Mongolia got there first, scrambling upstairs on all fours and announcing that she knew where at least one of them was.  Luckily nothing was flashed during that scramble.  I suspected that Phil had perhaps managed to find himself a lady so went into the room to wake James…  But instead of finding James it was Phil, his face bleeding, passed out on the bed.

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Red, red wine


Actually, that’s misleading from the start, sorry. Today’s moderate level of suffering was solely the responsibility of white wine, but I don’t know a song about that, or a film and I’ve got to stick to my theme.  Even if rather loosely.  I’ll cook prawns in a red wine sauce for dinner in a bit if that makes you feel better.  Actually, that’s not true either because it’s nine o’clock and I should be going back to bed soon.  I will be eating a blueberry swirl ice cream as I type.  Just to keep you updated.

Shall I start again?

Probably best.

Today I think I’ve had my first hangover in about 9 years.  I got in from the bar at about 3, woke up at 6 needing the loo (like you need to know) had some water and – probably a mistake – a chocolate orange brownie.  I tried to have the sensible bacon sandwiches but that didn’t happen for a good six hours.  I’ve been tired, a little bit shaky from too much of a sugar rush and have spent the day very productively in bed watching Elementary and Southland.  For those of you who don’t know, Elementary is a modern-day Sherlock Holmes tv series set in New York with Johnny Lee Miller as Holmes and Lucy Liu as Joan Watson his sober companion.  It’s not as good as Sherlock but I like it.  Southland is a tv series about police in South Central LA.  It has Ben McKenzie (AKA Ryan ‘Fists of Fury’ Attwood from the OC) in it and is a better show, but harder to watch when feeling delicate.  Another show that has graced my computer screen today is Hart of Dixie, with Rachel Bilson (also OC) but by far the best is Grey’s Anatomy.  I love it, it’s trashy, it’s melodramatic, they keep killing off my favourite characters, but I can watch it over and over again whenever I am feeling like crap and it cheers me up.  When I run out of new episodes I go back to series 1 and start again…

Sorry, tangent, that happens when I’m eating ice cream.

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Four Chords


I was going to write something very different for this post, I had it roughly planned, half written, but just couldn’t work out how to finish it. But then I started working on the lyric sheets for the secondary/staff choir I have started and the four chord intro from ‘Don’t Stop Believing’ has been going around my head for half an hour.
The first piece the choir is learning is the Four Chord Song – complied by an Australian group called the Axis of Awesome it layers around 40 different songs over the same four chords. In this case: E B C#min A. The main section of the group repeats these chords whilst soloists or small groups sing a line of a song over the top. It’s going to sound brilliant, but there is an element of being stuck in a rut.
Four seems to be a number that pops all over the place – 4 nieces and nephews, 4 brothers and sisters, 4 months since Dad died, 4 rooms in my flat that I wander around, 4 men I’ve loved and have been dissapointed by, 4 year degree, 4 suitcases piled on top of my wardrobe, 4 websites that I check almost daily, 4 terms in this job before I decide if I want to stay an extra year, 4 companies that I worked for in Newcastle, 4 seasons, 4 horsemen of the apocalypse, 4 people I know would help me hide the body if I killed someone (don’t worry, that is only ever going to be a theoretical one!) 4 birds currently sat on my window… Obviously you can find patterns anywhere, I could probably do the same for 7 or 3 or 12, but four is the one jumping out at me right now. Continue reading

A Simple Tale of Brioche and Goat’s Cheese Salads…


The first tasting

My first experience of brioche was on a ferry to Normandy with my Mum and her friend Linda about 6 years ago.  We were travelling down to stay with Richard, Sue and Hannah who had moved there from East Anglia, we were going for a Morris Dancing holiday.  Mum was driving us and Linda had been put in charge of the picnic for the journey.  She had nipped into some shop I’d never heard of – Aldi – and picked up some apples, fruit juice, a big bag of cooked prawns that we would have to peel, a freshly baked baguette, an avocado and a bag of chocolate chip brioche.