Tuesday, 29 May 2012

Deja Vu Day!

Pizza and Pavlova again!

Here's the pavlova, this one was for the 'team' - I'd promised Boss a pavlova and this visit seemed the perfect opportunity, I took it to a meeting with us where it was pretty much demolished - we didn't even manage to save a slice for Pete!

Then it was Pizza Express in the evening for a team tea with Boss and Pete, happy days!

Speaking of deja vu though...I had a conversation with Bernie about all the different vu's.  When I asked her if she was aware of other vu's she came up with voo - doo (not quite what I had in mind!)!

Deja vu -  (literally "already seen") is the feeling of certainty that one has already witnessed or experienced a current situation, even though the exact circumstances of the prior encounter are unclear and were perhaps imagined.

Jamais vu - (from French, meaning "never seen") is a term in psychology which is used to describe any familiar situation which is not recognized by the observer.  Often described as the opposite of déjà vu, jamais vu involves a sense of eeriness and the observer's impression of seeing the situation for the first time, despite rationally knowing that he or she has been in the situation before. Jamais vu is more commonly explained as when a person momentarily does not recognize a word, person, or place that they already know.

Presque vu -  (from French, meaning "almost seen") is the sensation of being on the brink of an epiphany, very disorienting and distracting, presque vu rarely leads to an actual breakthrough.  Frequently, one experiencing presque vu will say that they have something "on the tip of my tongue".

Reja vu - The feeling something that has happened or is happening will happen again, possibly in the near future, possibly in the distant future.

Deja entendue -  (literally "already heard") is the experience of feeling sure that one has already heard something, even though the exact details are uncertain and were perhaps imagined.

And for Bernie..

Voodoo - A black religious cult practiced in the Caribbean and the southern US, combining elements of Roman Catholic ritual with traditional African magical and religious rites, and characterized by sorcery and spirit possession

Monday, 28 May 2012

Cheesy (or just plain odd) Euro Pop Day!

It was a fantastic night at the annual Matthews/Clare Eurovision shindig - the food, wine, company and entertainment were all excellent!

Of course the evening necessitated another pavlova - which Bernie noticed was kind of like a flag, totally unintentional though!

The least said about our entry the better I think - other than that if Ireland hadn't given us points I'd have won £10 for us coming last!

My favourite was Lithuania - I loved this one (despite the fact that we were howling with laughter when it started!)!

I was torn between Albania and Turkey for the most appalling acts (how on earth did they get any points at all never mind doing as well as they did?!). At least Turkey's was hilarious, there was nothing whatsoever redeeming about Albania's efforts!

After the 'voting' etc was over we got down to a spot of dancing - I'd been asked to teach belly dancing this year but didn't have time to learn how to do it so we stuck to the old favourites of achy breaky heart, the conga, Superman, YMCA and Ooops upside your head (which was done admirably badly by Denis, Debbie and myself - it got better when Bernie took charge but, to be fair, not much!)

I have belly danced (kind of, in a fashion) before - on a boat in Turkey, it was a fantastic holiday and I'd definitely do a gulet cruise again!

I have to admit that, as a result of the bizarre 'dancing' and the vast amount of laughter, I have muscles hurting today which I didn't even know I had!

So, my mission for the next 12 months (amongst several others!) is to learn how to belly dance!

Saturday, 26 May 2012

No Pants Day!

Don't get excited, I think doing this once a year (and getting my photo taken) is more than enough (and I'm also claiming 'Flaunt It Day' for that little experience!).

Instead I'm going to share Improv Everywhere's 2012 No Pants Subway Ride - enjoy!

Friday, 25 May 2012

Stroke a Kitten Day (Puppies Also Acceptable)!

Ok, what about a 2 fully grown kittens and a fully grown puppy?

I had the day off so I spent the morning with Rosie and Jim at home before heading into town to meet up with Nikki and the adorable Niamh!

(These are Rosie and Jim - not Nikki and Niamh!)

Then I had the pleasure of dog sitting Bella again :-)  It was an overnighter this time and she was soooo good, we had lots of cuddles and ball throwing and tummy rubbing (Bella's not mine)!

And Bella had got me a lovely 'thank you for looking after me' card and gifts!

This fabulous bag which will get much use (and spot the pandas!)!

A panda noodle dish :-)

And 'russian doll' type storage tubs (which are already in use!)

I've been home an hour or so now and Rosie and Jim are only just starting to show signs of forgiveness for my treachery in abandoning them to spend the night with a dog (come on, I managed to restrain myself from making any suggestive/rude comments - you could at least try and do the same ;-)

Wednesday, 23 May 2012

What Dreams May Come...

This is nothing to do with the film (great film though) - I'll include the trailer though before I get on with telling you about the latest in a long, long list of bizarre dreams.

I had weird dreams most of the week last week (they stopped on Friday!) but most noticeably I had two bizarre dreams straight after each other on the Tuesday.

In the first one the main bit I can remember was that Bernie and I were running through a shopping place (like the white rose or something) making our way down the levels (it was perfectly round like a helter skelter).  We were in a hurry (I don't know why) but seemed perfectly happy.

(oddly the above scene regularly appears in my dreams).

We got outside and split up (we were supposed to be meeting up later), as I was running away (I don't know why we were running all the time) I thought I heard Bernie call my name and then someone else was calling it from the street I'd left her on.  I turned around and went back up the street where I encountered a large blind man (kind of like a very fat Fagin with milky white eyes) in shabby clothes with two birds (like mini falcons) perched on one of his hands.

He was calling my name in a kind of sinister way, then Bernie came out of a shop doorway and came towards me, there were loads of other people around but all of a sudden they all turned towards us and two of them came really close and leaned over us, one was an old woman with a very white face and white hair (crone like) and the other was a shadowy big dark man.

Bernie looked at me (I must have been a little bit taller than her because she was looking up at me slightly) and she looked absolutely terrified, then she said 'we need to get away from here' and I woke up instantly.

I daren't go back to sleep for ages, you know when you get that heart racing, irrational fear in the middle of the night after a nightmare!  I was so tired and fought to keep my eyes open partly because I was afraid and partly because everytime I closed my eyes I landed right back where I'd left off in the dream.

I made myself sit up in bed and think about nice things (not raindrops on roses etc - that song scares me for some reason) then when I did eventually go back to sleep I had another bizarre dream!

This time the dream was centered around a hospital, I was a patient and I'd had some sort of bizarre partial leg amputation.  Warning - it gets a little gruesome here...they'd cut through most of my right leg just above the knee (from the back towards the front) but not cut through the skin etc at the front, then they'd bent the leg (basically the wrong way) so the inside of my leg was open and exposed (like an open tin), done what they needed to do, bent the leg back and sewn it back on!!

For some reason I was then outside on a lovely sunny day stood at the top of a hill with a group of people, next thing we were all scared and running away from something (and now I've got Brotherhood of Man's Angelo stuck in my head!).  Debbie grabbed hold of my jeans just above my amputated and sewn back on leg and was trying to pull me faster down the hill because I couldn't run and I was in danger.

I somehow made it back to the hospital and suddenly had crutches, I was making my way back into my room and I noticed Bernie was in the room.  Suddenly John came up behind me, pushed me out of the way (I fell over with my crutches) and he and Bernie started arguing.  I got up, went over to John, got right in his face and shouted at him to never, ever do that again.

Then the alarm went off.

I think I need to reintroduce more cheese into my life - my dreams have got increasingly bizarre since I cut down!

Having discussed my dreams with various people it was agreed that I was trying to/wanting to run away/avoid something in real life (both dreams featured running) but that there must be some constraint preventing me avoiding the thing I wanted to avoid (leg amputation).  Not that I was trying to avoid leg amputation (which is something I do naturally as part of my daily routine) but the amputation signifying the constraint in real life.

Anyway, I'm pretty certain that I know exactly what inspired my dreams but this is neither the time nor the place ( I hate it when people do that!).

I'm sorry it's been another epic post - but to finish I just had to include this!

Monday, 21 May 2012

Most Busy Thing This Week!

That would be me then!

On the plus side I've discovered that I can actually line dance and read a book (research for future 'day') at the same time! 

Unfortunately this was short lived - not because I fell over my own feet (I don't have to dance and read at the same time to do this) or forgot what my feet should be doing (I've said it before...muscle memory is a wonderful thing!) but because I was reading a book whose subject matter covered nothing but sitting down and having a nice cup of tea and a biscuit.  Ah, the power of suggestion - when I realised I'd slowed down somewhat and was contemplating packing it in in favour of an early cup of tea and cheese and crackers supper I firmly put the book down and got on with the task in hand, or to be more precise...feet.

I've tried to discover other methods of saving time but have encountered various issues.

You certainly can't save time by trying to do a little bit of a few quite large and ongoing tasks each day - best off to tackle one at a time (and when all else fails and deadlines are rapidly approaching...speak to Uncle Al!).  Also, remember that a little task (taskette if you will) is more than capable of mushrooming into something more time-consuming and frustrating than you had planned - you can never account for the idiocy of other people who are far too intent on making themselves look superior to you to actually GET THE POINT!!

Trying to carry a step ladder, a load of washing, a rucksack and a bag of rubbish down the stairs all at the same time is only likely to result in a few heart stopping moments of anticipation and adrenalin (take it where you can get it) and a questionable belief that you may be able to get away with this type of lunacy on a more frequent basis.

Even my fabled 'To Do List' has failed me this last week or so - I haven't even had time to update that, which probably accounts for why I appear more forgetful than usual.  I'm usually bad enough at remembering what I've done at the weekend when someone asks the inevitable question on a Monday morning - if I haven't got it written down somewhere forget it (no pun intended)!

For someone so supposedly busy I've written a surprisingly long post, must get back to doing whatever it was I was supposed to be doing next.  I'm sure that cup of tea, cheese and crackers supper (with an episode of NYPD Blue - we're up to season 10 of 12) is on the list somewhere!

Tuesday, 15 May 2012

A Walk on the Mildly Wild Side!

Usually the closest I get to a wild animal is when I'm with Kevin and Ray and Ray's snoring!

Not that I got any closer to an actual 'wild' animal this time - but I did come across lots of animals on my way to work this morning.

I've mentioned the nice chap with the lovely dogs before and I finally thought to take a photo - this is Leo (and his very cute tiny tennis ball!), unfortunately his other dog passed away some months ago :-(

I took a photo of this tree because I want to know what it is - it looks like suspended snow and if I'm ever in a position where I have a garden again... I Want One!  I also caught a bird in the tree which seemed totally oblivious to my presence!

And lastly I came across this gorgeous cat which I rarely see but it's very friendly when I do!

Not exactly Lions and Tigers and Bears (oh my!)!

Monday, 14 May 2012

Exceed Your Calorie Allowance Day!

What? Again? ;-)

Potato and Roasted Garlic Broth

Roast Cod Wrapped in Prosciutto with Baked on the Vine Sweet Aromatico Tomatoes, Braised Lettuce, Peas and Spring Onions and Parmentier Potatoes

Orange and Lemon Layer Cake

It was all well worth the effort, to be honest the only thing that gave me any bother was the broth - considering I'd never made any of it before (except the layer cake) I think that's not too bad!

Messieurs Matthews and Claire were suitably impressed, as was I when they arrived with these beautiful roses for me!

Of course the leftovers also mean I'll probably be exceeding my calorie allowance again on Sunday!

Sunday, 13 May 2012

Feel the Fear and do it Anyway!

Or 'Feel the Fear and Eat the Cheese' as Bernie likes to say!

I actually did this a week ago when I posed for some photos, a la Gok Wan, for my incredibly talented friend Nikki but I got to see the results today which was actually even more scary!

Well worth it though, she's done a fabulous job and I'm really chuffed that we're both pleased with the results.

Here are the ones I'm comfortable sharing!

(I confess I cropped this one before putting it on here!)

(and this one!)

Saturday, 12 May 2012

Think of Someone Else First!

I did this when I went to donate blood today (Monday).

Unfortunately they didn't want it!

(probably a good thing as I'd walked there (50 mins!) and realised I'd forgotten my bus fare and my phone (where me bus fare, where me phone!) so had no choice but to walk back too - not a good idea after donating blood!)

My rare condition and fairly recent hospital stay caused some concern (largely because no one had ever heard of Crowned Dens Syndrome!) so they sent me home and will investigate further re whether I can donate in future.

It's the only New Year's resolution I've ever kept - please don't take it away from me!

Friday, 11 May 2012

Draw on Steamy Windows Day!

I had great fun doing this a couple of weeks ago but didn't have my camera with me - I'll never make a good Jimmy Olsen!

It made me giggle though as it was the first time the windows had steamed up (while I've been there to witness it) since the Halloween decorations were up (and hastily removed on hearing I'd been hospitalised!) and I'd forgotten we'd stuck red gel type scary elongated hands to the windows.

The imprints showed when the windows steamed and created a bit of a Titanic moment - if Kate Winslet had had weird hands!

(hahaha - and for the first time I feel as though my blog needs a classification for parental guidance, although I'm sure others would argue that it's not the first time!)

Tuesday, 8 May 2012

Space Cadet Friday!

Hahahaha - this was supposed to be Space Cadet Tuesday but I was doing something else so I moved it to Friday.

Which was also Star Wars Day (May the 4th...be with you) - this was entirely unintentional I promise!

I hung the stars and planets again...

...and provided the Flying Saucers (I called the home planet) - had to use the Ferrero easter rabbit to put them in though!

Broadie sent me these fabulous stickers in the internal post so I put most of them on the wall and stuck a couple of stars and lightening streaks on my hands...

...to go with my 'uniform'.

Boss got in on the act with 'Watch this space' (also unintentional I suspect) and Ray with 'It's life Jim but not as we know it' (referring to the possible results of my follow up bloods at the hospital on Tuesday - charming!).

And finally, the glass of wine I had with Debbie after work (yes, I was still wearing the 'uniform') made me feel 'Lost in Space'!

The only thing I forgot was the theme music - I'll remember next year (although I confess that I did send myself an email to remember this year - the system has failed me!)!

Monday, 7 May 2012

Pavlova Appreciation Day!

After posting my most recent pavlova (for Easter at Kevin and Ray's) on facebook...

(here it is)

...I received a telling off from Mr Webb that I keep posting photos of my pavlova but he's never tried it - surely an oversight on my part ;-)

(previous efforts)

So, I thought I'd better remedy the situation at the earliest opportunity!

(Webby's pavlova)

Feedback indicates it was 'yum'!
(I still can't make them as good as Pops can though)

Pretend to be a Secret Agent Day!

Can't possibly beat last year (it's STILL the most read post on my little blog) so I'm not even going to try!

I did find this amusing little quiz - I'm actually a little disappointed that I'm just a 'General Agent'...
'You're not into flashy equipment or daring plots. But while your teammates are making complicated plans, you're getting the job done. As a general agent, you feel most at home out in the field, but you like to still be in communication with headquarters. You aren't good at specialized work, but your allies value you for your reliability and sensible nature.'
Or am I just hiding my highly specialized skills with a subterfuge of mediocrity...

Sunday, 6 May 2012

Mint Chocolate Appreciation Day!

Plain chocolate all the way - milk mint chocolate is so wrong, it's like eating kittens, yes, it's that wrong!

I realised I was going to have to do something about my hoard of Twilight, Elizabeth Shaw and After Eight (the only thing missing is Matchmakers - blended plain and milk) mint chocolates when they all kept falling out of the cupboard everytime I opened it!

 (and disrupting my 'Sleeping With The Enemy' cupboard organisation)

So I raided each box and took a load to work where I knew they'd be consumed (and appreciated!) quick sharpish!

This was much more popular then Broccoli Appreciation Day the previous years (2011 and 2010)!

Saturday, 5 May 2012

Play Tiddlywinks!

Oh dear.

It appears that no-one amongst us can play tiddlywinks for toffee!!

Looks easy doesn't it?

You don't have to watch this all the way through (it gets a but boring after a while) - the first few seconds should give an idication of just how bad it was. 

SPOILER ALERT: At the end of the movie all the tiddlywinks were used and not one of them landed in the tray!

There were an awful lot on the floor though!

Thursday, 3 May 2012

Plant Something and Watch it Grow!

I've been watching something grow for over a year now - Pops and Olive brought me a little chilli plant some time ago.  It  flowered heavily last year but unfortunately only produced 5 chillis (one of which Webby just took off the plant and ate whole), it's a two year plant and has been flowering well again, most of the flowers are dying off now but there's still loads more budding :-) 

So far it looks like I have 1 chilli - woo hoo (the ones you can see on the plant are dried out from last year!)!

I felt I really should plant something but I did cheat a little...

I've somehow managed to kill off one of my extremely hardy peace lilly plants (let's not talk about Bob, ok?) and was left with this...

So I took a piece of this (with a bread knife)...

And made this (see, I planted something)...

I'm sure no-one will notice this (if I turn the plant round so the gap is at the back)...


And finally, the end result is this (it'll look better once the plant grows in - assuming it survives the surgery)...

Update:  I checked the chilli plant more carefully - there's actually about 8 little chillies growing :-D