Tuesday, November 14, 2006


We have a customer at work who comes in for lunch most days. He sits by himself, and has his two course meal, and a couple of glasses of red wine. It's hard not to strike up conversations with people who become regulars, and this particular customer is amazing. He's so interesting, and always has time for which ever waitress it might be to talk to him. From what i can gather, he's had the most amazing life, and been all over the place. He has told me of this small village in Switzerland, which sounds like my ideal place. It's a real life fairy tale village apparently, especially at Christmas when all the lights come out. Sorry, I digress slightly. I guess my reason for posting this is because, although we see this man almost every day, and have incredible conversations with him, nobody knows his name. I've been quite tempted a few times to find out what he is called, but then I stop myself, because I quite like the anonymity of it all. I like the fact that we hardly know anything about this man, and yet at the same time, we know so much, and vice versa. We can have talks about anything, and it doesn't matter, because technically, we are still total strangers. I have had many an in depth conversation with people whilst on a bus or a train, where I've completely opened up and spilt my soul to a person who's name I don't know. I think those types of conversations are among the best you'll ever have.

Tuesday, October 31, 2006

Back Online...

Hey! It's been far too long since my last post, so i thought it was about time i post an update!

I've started my new job, and I absolutely love it! It's the first time in my life that I really enjoy what I'm doing, and i don't dread going into work every day. I'm working as a waitress in a French Restaurant here in Derby, and I know it's not a particularly relevant job considering my American Studies degree, but I'm happy! I love the shift wor, as supposed to the 9-5 Monday to Friday lifestyle i used to have. Office jobs just don't suit me, especially ones with little or no customer interaction. I love the fact now that i get to meet so many different people, from Derby locals to people visiting from all over the place. also, becuase the other people that work there are just amazing, it's like having a social life! I was called into work the other night, and i actually said to a colleague, "it beats sitting at home alone on my sofa!" that NEVER happens!!!!

In other news, Rich has moved out to move in with his girlfriend in Edinburgh. I drove him up there, and spent a couple of days in Bonny Scotland. it was so much fun. we went and explored the city a little bit, took some awesome pictures, that i'll hopefully manage to put up here some time. Edinburgh is such a gorgeous city, full of history and atmosphere. Daisy and i thought that we might struggle a little bit with the rent, but all is well...one of our neighbour's girlfriends has moved in. She's called Alice, and she's awesome! we have lots of fun! She is a vegan, so i'm learning all kinds of new recipes for vegan meals, it's been quite a learning curve, but an interesting one.

Anyway, that's my little update on Rach-Land. I hope everyone is well, and having a happy Halloween!!

Friday, September 22, 2006

New Paths To Take

This road is dark and never ending
No lights to follow, just forever bending
In directions I cannot control
Into places that I'll never know

I'm all alone with no one to guide
Not a hand to hold, no one by my side
But this is a road I have to take
I have to take for my sanity's sake

It will take me out to different places
Introduce me to brand new faces
Show me things I've yet to learn
This is happening to me, it's now my turn

This road is new and very scary
My days will be different and always varied
But I've never been this excited before
To do it alone and go out and explore

Although the way is new and dark
On the world I'll make my mark
I think at last I've found my place
Finally there's a smile upon my face

Thursday, September 21, 2006

Part 3 - The Final Day!

Once more we were rudely awoken at 6.30am!! and this time we had to pack all our stuff up and take it back over the main building, because we weren't coming back again. And we had a breakfast of fried eggs and porridge again. Mmmmm. Then we were once again split into two groups, and we had a talk on security, and the kinds of security measures a member of the ERU should take, and what kind of risks there would be. We watched an amazing 70's video reconstructing some of the dangers and things, and then we had to plan a risk assessment and route from the 'city' that we were in Dan, to the nearest city, Patan, to pick up a first aid kit. As we were doing this there was the most almighty bang! It scared the carp out of us!!!! It was a guy dressed in a hoodie and a beanie type hat, waving a gun around demanding money! He went straight to our team leader Scott - who is in the army - who handled the situation very well, and calmly got up and stood against the wall. Then we realised that the dude with the gun was actually Jimmy - one of the other army dude, who was team leader to another group. This kinda ruined it a little bit, in as much as he went straight for the other army trained person in the room. Even though it scared the life out of us, it too quickly became a role play. We suggested that maybe for the next group, he wear a balaclava or something to disguise himself, and maybe go for Sue (who was the main organiser lady), because that way, you'll get a totally different reaction from everyone else, because a) he was going after a woman, and b) she's not army trained to deal with it. It would seem more realistic. And also maybe to get the rest of the group involved, make the whole thing last a little longer. So I would have liked to have been in the second group for that! Anyway, having planned out our route, and listed the kind of things we would have to look out for, our team (Team 4 incidentally!!!) piled into the big LandRover thing, to 'go to Patan'. Because I didn't want to do it, they MADE me sit in the front to be the spokesperson. *shudder*, so as I was expecting, we got to a 'border' and sure enough there was Scott and Jimmy being guards!!!! We had to talk our way through them, whilst turning down their offer of an armed escort, because the Red Cross runs on the principle that is Neutral and Impartial (among other things), if they were to accept an armed escort, it would seem like they were affiliating themselves with that group...so after many nasty questions, and being put on the spot by the EVIL EVIL jimmy, we managed to get through!!! Ooh, it was horrible! Didn't like it at all! I have a real issue with authority anyway, so it was not fun! But it was all done in good humour, and when we got back to the main base bit, we were all giggling about it. I can't imagine having to do that with ACTUAL people, stood there with guns and being totally serious! It gives me Goosebumps just thinking about it!

After that we did a kind of leadership, trust exercise. We were put into pairs, with someone that you've never worked with before, and one person was blindfolded. The guys had marked out a route through the trees by tying some rope to the trees and things. The non-blindfolded one had to lead their partner around the route, without touching them, or talking to them, and with out the blindfolded one holding on to the rope. HUH???/ I hear you say! We thought the same thing! Basically you had to clap to them, and they would follow the sound of your claps. It was really hard though, because there were things to step over, and branches and twigs in the way, so you had to work out some kind of signal within your clapping to mark that there was something to step over. We managed to do this (I was clapping first), but then about ¾ of the way round, there was about a 6" drop!!! Until then the signal we had worked out meant step OVER, so it was impossible to tell the other person to step down as supposed to over. But hey ho - it was really annoying though, when it came to swapping over, we did really well, as I think most people did on the second time round because you kinda knew the route by then. My partner and I were on for a really good time - it was a bit of a competition you see - but then she led me the wrong way round a tree, so we had to go back and round the other side of this tree!! But Alison - the lady leading me, didn't know the route, and as it was just marked out by a thin piece of rope, I don't blame her at all for going wrong, it was just sooo annoying. But hey ho - that's life I guess!!! But that was really good fun - it was really interesting because the sound of the other person clapping became such a comfort after a while - it was all you had. When the other person had to turn around to make sure they were going in the right direction, the clapping stopped for a while, and I know that I for one, started to panic a little bit! "Where did they go...what's going on...." It was scary!!!!

After that was the best bit of the whole weekend...in my opinion anyway. It was the first aid section. We were led further into the training camp, walking for about 15 mins or so, and then sat on the ground outside. It was a beautiful day, so sitting outside was lovely! We had a bit of a crash course in emergency first aid, and the kind of injuries we would encounter - fractures, cuts, etc.....then we were split into two groups again, all mixed up this time, which I don't think was a good idea, and we were taken to this upside down burnt out old helicopter. From there we were given a brief - we were an ERU team coming to relieve another ERU team who had been caught in an aftershock of the earthquake. 3 of the team had made it out ok, but one of them was left injured somewhere. We had to pick up a piece of kit along the way, which had been dropped from the helicopter, and radio in for more instructions. However, there were enemy forces marching this way, and friendly forces coming from the opposite direction, and they were going to meet each other right where we were, in about 15mins. Therefore, we had 15 mins to get the kit, and find the injured person and get him out. Ooh, the adrenaline started pumping then! We delegated a communications man (who turned out to be rubbish!!!), and went off in search of this piece of kit, with 2 hefty 6 foot poles and a loooong bit of sturdy rope. We found the kit; it was a first kit, in the middle of a 'mine field'. They had marked it out with stones, twigs, cans that kind of thing. But the first aid kit was about 8 feet into this minefield, and we had to somehow get it. We couldn't put any pressure on the minefield, in case we stepped on a mine, and we couldn't use the poles to hook it, in case we dropped on and it set off the mines....so we had to use the rope kinda like a cheese wire, and get the rope on the other side of the kit, and flick it towards us - if you get me... - so we eventually managed that, but it took us about 5 mins to work out how to do that, then Tom (our communications dude) radioed in for more instructions. There was a building near us, which is where our casualty was, and also in there was a satellite phone, so we left our radio behind, because it wouldn't' have worked in the building anyway, it was more like a bunker. And then the four of us headed down there - with the guys helping to run the weekend shouting, and generally causing major distractions allll the time. Once we got inside (it was totally pitch black down there, and we just had 1 torch, although I think the guys helping to run it had a couple too) we could hear a radio bleeping, and someone screaming. Our communications guy went straight to the casualty as supposed to the radio, so we had to delegate someone else to be radio guy! Then Tom told me to hold open the casualties airway - he had a big beam across his chest, one across his thigh and then a big rock at his shin, with a really nasty open fracture...and then a cut on his arm too. I stayed with jez - the casualty - all the time, and reassured him, told him what was going on, calmed him down, while tom and another lady bandaged his leg. We then somehow had to get him out - with about 3 minutes left to go...stress - people shouting, noise, dark, heart beating in my head - aagggghhhhh.....we figured we'd build a stretcher with our two man sized poles and sturdy rope - why else would we have been given them? However, we spectacularly ran out of time, and we would have either left Jez, as he was injured anyway, or we'd all have been shot!!!! No teams managed to get him out alive! How rubbish are we!! Haha, and in hindsight we would have done so many things differently. The dude running the first aid bit said if we'd just taken the time to look around, we would have found a big board on the floor, which could have used as a stretcher - so in the end we didn't need the poles at all! They were just another distraction! That bit was soo much fun, and even though we failed miserable, everyone was soo pumped afterwards!!! The adrenaline was going I can tell you!!!!!! Phew - it gives me butterflies just thinking about it. We all wanted to do it again, now that we knew what we had to do! Haha! Apparently we were the only team to keep someone with the casualty all the time - actually caring for him etc, which again in hindsight, I'm not sure I needed to do so much, I could have been useful somewhere else, but hey...what can we do now???? It was just soooo much fun!

Then we met up with the other team of 4 who had done it before us, and compared ideas and plans, and found out that their team was just utter chaos! Then we carried on chatting away as we headed back for lunch. Again lunch was make your own sandwiches, which were delicious! As we were eating, we were given our final situation report, and also we were handed a list of 4 questions. We were told we had to come up with a presentation answering these questions. We were basically handing over the camp to the next ERU, who needed to know the key people to talk to, what to do to relax, what status the city was in that kind of thing. I hate presentations, but it was ok I guess...it's all on camera too! Eeek. It's kinda cool though, because all the press interviews we did and all the presentations are all going to be put onto a DVD along with photos that the staff were taking all weekend too. I'm going to put some up on my blog when I get them! Yey! So having done our presentations, we had a brief talk from Sue, the organiser, who thanked all the staff etc, and then it was time to go. However, we were done by about 2.45ish, and I didn't end up leaving until 4.00, I didn't want to go! Coming back to reality after such an incredible weekend was hard! I met some awesome people who I will stay in touch with, hopefully! and just had one of the most amazing experiences ever!

Wednesday, September 20, 2006

Right…Part 2

For the First Part Read Below!
Then after that little exercise we then broke up into 2 groups, and we went out to build a tent. It was a family tent, that they give out to people in the camps that they set up to house the thousands of displaced people. They’re quite large tents, if you sat someone on someone elses shoulders, there would still be a bit of room at the top. They’re oblong shaped, with 3 large poles down the middle. So they’re fairly large, but then when you think that a family of around 8 people would be living in there for anything up to a year, they’re not so big!!! It was a real eye opener. Then after that, we had to put up a Basher! Basically, we were given a piece of tarpaulin, or a poncho in our case, and some string, and told make a shelter…this is the kind of thing that is initially given out, until the tents can be set up and/or handed out. It will probably save your life. It’ll keep you protected from the elements, and although not palatial, if it can sustain your life for a few extra days, it’s all good right? However, our group failed miserable, because our communication was awful, and we didn’t have a strong enough leader to just give out instructions. Then we were shown actually how to do it properly by one of the little Army dudes, who had had to live in a hole in Macedonia for 2 MONTHS!!! It was him and another guy, seriously living in a hole covered with the tarpaulin for 2 whole months, while they shot aeroplanes out of the sky! Nice huh???

After this we had our communications section. We were taken away from the main building, and sat down for a talk about the different kinds of communication equipment the ERU will take with them. They have VHF Radios (AKA Walkie Talkies), Satellite Phones, and GPS handsets, so that you know where you are, and can give co-ordinates. In our teams (we were Red Dan and the other team of 4 were Red Patan) we were given a couple of tasks to do using the equipment. We had to find our way to given co-ordinates, radio in to another base called Red James, requesting co-ordinates of the epicentre, go to those co-ordinates, and then radio the other team Red Patan with a situation report. It was sooo much fun! Then the other task was to set up the Satellite phone and call ‘Geneva’ and let them know that our comms were working. And them some other stuff with walkie talkies again. While all this was going on, we were also being hounded by the ‘press’!!! we had cameras in faces, and people asking us questions, all while we were trying to get on with our tasks. It was great fun!!!!!!!

Then we broke for lunch, which was just make your own sandwiches, ham, turkey, cheese salady stuff, mayo, mustard, pickle, crisps, fruit – they fed us well!!!! Then after lunch we had a talk about what kind of things the Logistics team actually do, and what the job entails etc. and also the kind of things you have to think about when setting up a camp. Then in our groups we had to design our own relief camp, and present it to the rest of the group. Ours was by far the best – obviously!! Tee hee!!!!! Then after that we had a bit of a break for a while, in which we got to have our phones back!! Yey! so I called the parents, and then daisy and rich to let them know what kind of disaster I was having…..then I managed to wash my hair! Boy did I feel better after that! It was amazing!!! Then we had dinner, which was pasta bolognaise, and very yummy it was too! Then we had some more talks about the stuff the ERU actually do, and we looked at slides and things from Richard’s time in Indonesia after the Tsunami and then in Afghanistan after 9/11. it was pretty harrowing stuff, but really interesting to see all the amazing stuff that these guys do. Then as a final thing before bed we had to nominate 1 person from each team to give a live feed to the ‘BBC’ plugging the Aid Campaign. We chose Nicola, who got up and did really well, with her 1 minute. It was really heartfelt and would have made me want to donate some money!!!! Then as a reward for that, each team got a bottle of wine. Mmmm we were allowed to take them over to our accommodation. So loads of people came to hang out in our room, and we did this thing were instead of going around the room and saying something about yourself, you had to introduce someone else and say what you knew about them. And them if anyone else had anything to pitch in they could. It meant that we all got to know on another a lot better! It was great! It was sooo funny – the more wine people drank the more relaxed we all were, and so the more chatty people got. But because it was only a bottle per team, no one got really drunk, so there were no nasty hangovers in the morning!! It was just great fun.
Part 3 (which is the final part) is on it's way...Also, i'm hoping to get some photos up here soon too. When i get them through the post! Watch This Space!!

Monday, September 18, 2006

Disaster Management Weekend Part 1

Right – where do I start!

I’ll start with the journey down, that was going really well until the M1 where I was stuck in traffic for ages, and having left later than planned, I was panicking a little bit!! Eek! But it all cleared up and after a while I was back on track. I stopped off briefly at Chievely Service station to check in with the Parents and them know I was safe, and then headed back onto the M4 – but succeeded in going the wrong way down the M4!!! 20mins later, I had managed to find and exit, turn around and head back the right way. Then I managed to find my way to Bramley – where the weekend was taking place, and eventually made it to the training area.

Before I had left, I opened my secret memo which told me that I was part of an Emergency Response Team being deployed to Bukastan, to a city called Dan, where there had been an Earthquake measuring 7.9 on the Richter Scale. We were part of the logistics team, so would see relatively little of the actual crisis zone. We were in charge of organising who needed what, and getting it out to the right people. Things like tents, medical kits, sanitation kits etc….So when I arrived at the Training Area, I was greeted at the gate by a guy asking if I was there for an earthquake!!! I drove up the road to the base, and unloaded my gear. Then I had a meeting with Claire who had been organising the fundraising side of things. I handed over the £545 that people had very kindly donated. I also had to hand over my mobile phone at this stage – my lifeline!!!! I didn’t actually miss it as much as I thought I would!

After all the admin type stuff was out of the way, I was given an information pack, which gave us information about the city of Dan, and the surrounding areas, the population, and climate, and political status etc, and then also some info about the Red Cross and Red Crescent…it was all a bit much to take, and everyone just ended up chatting to each other, and getting to know one another. Then when everyone had arrived, we sat down and had some brief talks about the situation, and the red cross etc, and were introduced the various staff members. We were still not told what to expect from the weekend…then we were split into 4 teams of either 4 or 5, and introduced to our Team Leaders, who would be looking out for us over the weekend, and helping us if we were a bit stuck. We introduced ourselves to our little group, and said a bit about what we do now, and where we’ve been, and where we found about the weekend. Then we were given our first update on the situation in Dan, before our deployment later on, and we then had to write a report back to Geneva as to what the current situation was, and what supplies we would be needing, and things like that. We then had a quick talk from a guy called Richard who is a REAL LIFE member of the ERU Team. He showed us some slides and things of when he was deployed to Bam, the city in Iran that was flattened by a horrendous Earthquake on Boxing Day of 2004. You might remember the photos of their ancient citadel that had been standing for about 3000 years, that was totally ruined in about 15minutes….it was so interesting to hear about what he did, and the help he, and other ERU teams provided. Then, after that we were shown to our accommodation – hhhmmmmm. It was totally dark as it was about 10.30pm at this stage, and so all we had were our little torches. Following our Team leader Scott, we were taken to this huge empty warehouse type building. There was a large empty room, with smaller (better sized) rooms off the side. We were given air beds and pump, which is more than I was expecting. So once we had found our little room, we worked out where we would all sleep, got into our Jim Jams and sat around talking about our first update, and the kinds of things we might be doing the next day. I think we all eventually stopped talking and fell asleep around midnight ish. I managed to have a fairly decent night sleep – I think that’s where all the camping came in handy. I’m used to noisy sleeping bags, and rustling air beds. But also, because we were based on a military training ground there were apparently all kinds of strange noises all night. As I say – I didn’t hear a thing! I was shattered, having been working on Thursday night at the restaurant, and then on Friday morning too.

However, we were RUDELY awoken at 6.30 on Saturday morning. We dressed and made our way over to the main camp, where we offered delicious fried eggs to make sandwiches with, or really really good porridge. So we ate that, and then sat down in our groups to go over our second update from Dan. We then had to write another report back to Geneva with all the updated figures, and requests for more supplies and things. Then we had a talk about the ideals of the Red Cross and Red Crescent and what they mean, and what the delegates who work for them have to do to uphold the fundamental principles of the Red Cross and Red Crescent. That bit was really interesting, as we learnt about the various sections of the organisation and what each one does. We also played a bit of a game type thing. The guy giving the talk stuck two bits of paper on opposite walls of the room. One said Totally Acceptable and the other said Totally Unacceptable. We had to put ourselves into the mindset of a soldier, and then give our opinions on various statements that he read out. Things like: ~ Shooting a 12 year old boy in the rebel militia coming towards you with the rest of his group holding a gun. IE…is it acceptable to shoot a 12 year old? And then: ~ Making a Prisoner of War clear a minefield that he and his Army had laid? Knowing that he could blow himself up…..it was interesting to see how people differed in their views.

Thursday, September 14, 2006

It's Finally Here....

Tomorrow is the day! It’s time for my British Red Cross Fundraising Disaster Management weekend. I can’t believe that it’s here already. The time has just flown by so fast. It’s incredible. I’m pretty much all set and ready to do. I just need to go into town tomorrow before I set off to pick up a few last minute bits and pieces, and than at about 2.00pm tomorrow afternoon, I’ll be hitting the road to get down to a place called Bramley. I’m so excited! I just can’t wait. I have absolutely no idea what to expect, or even what is expected of me. But I think that can be the best way sometimes. I have a Top Secret memo at home that was sent to me a couple of days ago – I’m not allowed to open it until 4.00 tomorrow afternoon. I think I’ve done very well not to have opened it before hand!!!!

I’ve blasted through my £500 target with some extra money too! I’d like to say a MASSIVE thank you to all those who have sponsored me along the way, and helped me reach my target – I would not be going on this amazing weekend without all of you. Don’t worry, you can guarantee that I’ll be updating my blog with every single last detail of my weekend! You wont’ be getting away that lightly either…if I’m able to I hope to take some pictures, so you’ll all be able to see what it was like too.

So thank you again everyone, have a good weekend, and I’ll let you all know how I got on next week…

Wednesday, September 06, 2006

Joan as Passion Flower

My friend Sally, had a passion flower but when she moved house, it needed a new home, (the passion flower, not sally! - well she needed a new home too!!!) Anyway, sally's new home didn't have a garden suitable for Joan, (now there's another story as to why she's called Joan as Passion Flower), so I took her in, and put at the end of my patio. A few weeks ago, one of her many buds opened up, during a really hot sunny spell here in Derby. Passion Flowers are my favourite flowers of all time, I am fascinated by them...there is just so much to them, so many layers. I was so excited when she flowered, that I just had to go and take some pictures...so here you go!

Friday, September 01, 2006


I was walking home from work a little while ago, when the weather was still beautiful, and the sun was out. In order to get home, I have to walk through a park , which is always much nicer than I think it should be, due to the surrounding area. I just happened to have my camera with me on this sunshiney day, so I snapped a few pictures to share with you...

I love the way the trees make little tunnels to walk through...lining up on either side, like regiments. But then taken from another angle - they're in no order whatsoever, just a mess of wood and leaves....

With little pathways that just disappear into yet more trees and parkland. Doesn't it just make you want to follow the path, and find out where it goes???

We spend a lot of time in our park, as it's literally across the road from my house...I love green, especially when you're in a city. It's a little pocket of nature right there...

Friday, August 18, 2006

Take Me Away

The past few days have been some that I would rather forget forever – too much to go into really, but you know how life gets sometimes. All I’ve wanted to do for a while now is read a really good book, or watch a really good movie. Just do anything to take me out of my life, and for a short time let me live in someone else’s. Whenever I’m sat at work, I just want to be in an amazing book and have a totally different life to this one. If only it was that easy to escape all our problems eh! I’ll just have to make do with the suspended animation of watching a film, or being sucked into a book – at least until I’ve worked out a way to transport myself into another world! As I’ve said, thank goodness for my imagination.

On a side note, today is my last day in my current job (also thank goodness), and on Monday I start a new one. I will be working for the Derby Evening Telegraph – a local paper – in the advertising department, proofreading property adverts and taking calls from clients and what not. I’m terrified about starting, as I always am with new jobs, but relieved to be leaving here. I am bored of office jobs now – and I said in a post a little while ago – I will not be giving up on my dreams! The past few days have given me the drive to get on it and do something! Stuck in a rut – I WILL NO LONGER BE!

Tuesday, August 15, 2006

Scotland on a Shoestring Part 2 (without photos again for now...)

We spent the rest of the day sitting in beer gardens, watching the world and the river go by. There was a bizarre mixture of people around Callendar. There were the locals going about their daily business, groups of people from out of town, but who obviously knew the area, and then there were the tourists – like us – milling about, and taking in the sights, sounds and smells of the small town. One of the smells drifting over to us was that of the Chippy! By the time we had sat in the sunshine for a few hours, we were hungry…so we ventured over the Fish and Chip shop where we were going to indulge ourselves with another deep fried pizza. But then I read on the menu that they had deep fried Haggis instead! Mmmm, ooh, it was delicious. It has such a rich taste and texture, but with the fairly tasteless chips, it was heavenly. That set us up for the afternoon, so we ventured back to the campsite, via a supermarket on the way to pick up provisions. We were feeling very continental that night, we had Brie, with French Bread and a bottle of red wine – only we had to buy screw top wine, as we had not brought a cork-screw with us – this meant that the wine was hideous! But it’s all fun and games when you’re camping right? We sat in our chairs outside the tent enjoying what was now a beautiful day, with the sky virtually clear of any of the black clouds that had been bothering us earlier on in the day. We cracked out the wine and sat watching the world go by. It was a wonderful evening spent listening to music, and the sounds of the outdoors. We ate the bread and cheese, and felt like queens in our canvas thrones with our plastic cups of wine. We were so warm in the sunshine, but then, because it had been so clear, the evening was absolutely frozen! Sarah and I ended up sitting there with our waterproof trousers over our jeans, long sleeve t-shirts, hoodies and waterproof jackets too, just to try and keep warm. It didn’t really work too well, so we headed into the tent where it was slightly warmer. To compensate for the cold we slept in most of the clothing we had taken with us, only to wake up in the morning to the bright sunshine – I was cooking in all my layers!

It was a beautiful Thursday morning, which was going to be spent lazing around the tent, but as we were up and about, we figured we might as well ship out and initiate the penultimate stage of the trip. We shipped out and headed up north to the Trossachs. The hills, lakes and rivers that make up the Trossachs are stunning. As the road meandered through the sloping countryside, we were faced with a different picturesque view around every corner. Dotted along the road were various parking points, and so we pulled in to get snap happy with the cameras. It was breathtaking. We found our way up to the tiny village where Rob Roy is buried. I couldn’t tell you the name of village, even if I could remember it, as it was thoroughly un-pronounceable!!! But it was so pretty. There were three graves all together, for Rob Roy, his wife and his two sons. There was a small plaque at the foot of each grave, and at the head it said, “McGregor through it all”??? Having taken a few pictures and taken in the history and atmosphere of the place, we headed back South towards Dunfermline, our last port of call before heading home.

We finally made it to the city via Perth, where we had some lunch. We got totally and horrendously lost trying to find the street on which Sarah’s Aunt lives. We have this thing, where we just assume we know where we’re going because we know the name of the street! It doesn’t work like that! Haha!! Anyway, we arrived eventually and were greeted at the door with a smile, a hug and a bottle of cider! The rest of that day, and into the evening was spent chatting away in the back garden, and then the kitchen when it got too cold. Sarah’s Aunt got out all the old photographs so that Sarah could see her family, many of them for the first time. It was good for Sarah to see her roots, and find out why she is the way she is. We slept really well that night, in the most comfortable beds; it made a change from the floor again! Then early the next day, we got up, and left Dunfermline over the Forth Bridge, and headed back for England.

The week was fantastic, and holidaying on a shoestring is the way forward! It was great! We didn’t do the usual touristy things, (although I would like to go back and do that) but we ventured out and did other things instead. I love Scotland – the cold, the wind, and the flies – and I can’t wait for my next trip out!

Monday, August 14, 2006

Thank you Shane

I have just come across this post from a link from Shane Nickerson's site. I don't think he'll ever quite know just how much his answer meant to me. He is explaining the importance of a letter he wrote at the age of 23 to Kenneth Brannagh about how to play the role Hamlet.

I'm stuck in a rut at the minute, working in a job that is not my life's career - without any real reason to leave. What I need is some hope that my dream could come true if I actually put the effort in to change it. Reading Shane's post earlier on gave me that little glimmer of hope that whatever I want to do is possible and I'm going to go out and get it!

I was watching The Lord of the Rings: The Fellowship of the Ring yesterday, with the cast commentary over the top. It was so interesting to find out how they made certain sections, and what the actors were trying to convey at certain points - but more than that, it made me want to be a part of something like that. The connection that all the actors have with each other and other members of the crew - especially when undertaking such a mammoth project like LOTR. Those three films will go down in history along side Star Wars, Indiana Jones and the Godfather as some of the best Trilogies ever!

One day - one day my name will be on the credits of a movie - JUST YOU WAIT!

Tuesday, August 08, 2006

Scotland Trip Part 1 (without photos for the time being!)

I awoke on Sunday morning with a jolt of excitement…today was the day we were leaving for the camping trip! I had managed to pack most things before falling into bed the night before, so all I had to do was shower, dress and put the last minute things in my rucksack. I was prepared for anything. I had my waterproof jacket and trousers, my Wellington boots, t-shirts, a pair of shorts, jeans…you name it, and I had it. My friend Sarah came over at about 8.00am, and we packed up the car. We were on the road for no later that 8.30!

The excitement in the car was incredible. Neither of us had been to Scotland before, (unless you’re counting the two weeks I was there after I was born!) so we were ripe with anticipation. Also, Sarah had the added excitement/nerves of meeting her family for the first time. She had found out a couple of years before that her grandfather had separated from her grandmother, and had settled down with a whole new family. It was a bit of a bombshell when Sarah found, but she was eager to meet them nonetheless. As we got further and further up the M1 Motorway, we could almost smell Scotland – or at least the whiskey! About 2 hours after we had set off the hunger started to strike, so we pulled over to a service station named Scotch Corner – we never did find out why it was called that, but we had been seeing the signs for it for miles and miles so felt we had to pull in to it. Also on the way up we passed the famous/notorious sculpture The Angel of the North. I personally do not like it one bit. I think its wings are too wide, and it looks out of proportion. It’s just a hunk of rusty metal in my eyes, but there are many many people who would disagree with me.

Also on the way up, we pulled off the main road to visit Bamburgh Castle, in Northumberland. It’s about 3 miles up the road from where my Mom grew up, and my Great – Granddad helped to rebuild one of the walls. I remember going as a child, when we were there on a family holiday. My parents told my sister and I that we were going to this castle, and it was a guided tour. Now when you’re about 6 years old, the last thing you want on your vacation is a guided tour of some old building. However, when we got there, it was not a guided tour as such, there were just roped off paths and areas and you made your own way round. My Mom let my sister and I go off alone and explore. To this day it is one my most cherished childhood memories. I also think that it was this that sparked my love of castles and old houses. It was incredible to go back – the structure is awesome (in the literal sense of the word). Unfortunately we didn’t have the time or the money to go around the Castle again, but one I day I will do it. I want to live there! The history of the place seeps through the walls into the atmosphere. Even stood outside the Castle walls, looking out over the North Sea you can feel it. To give you an idea as to the age of the building, historians and archaeologists can date parts of it back to the times of the Saxons – 700’s – 800’s.

We left there in awe and amazement, and headed back for the main road. Eventually we passed the Scotland Welcomes You signpost and we knew we were nearly there! We both gave a little cheer as we left England for Scotland. Even though we managed to get ourselves lost along the way to the campsite, we were still in good spirits shouting out the strange names of the towns in our worst Scottish accents! We managed to find the Seaton Sands Caravan Park, and find somewhere to park in order for Sarah to call her Aunt and let her know we had arrived. Sarah was incredibly nervous and a little excited, as she wasn’t sure what to expect when meeting her newly found family. We found the caravan pitch and pulled up alongside. As a woman was walking towards, it was unmistakably Sarah’s Aunt…their eyes are exactly the same – it was spooky! We spent that evening getting to know one another and having a general chat. I sat back a bit at this point and watched as Sarah finally found the family she had been searching for her entire life. Much alcohol was drunk, and a great deal of talking was done. It was a wonderful evening.

Sarah and I slept in the little tent that night, and we fell asleep to the sounds of the waves crashing on the beach, and the wind whipping through the canvas. We were a bit concerned at some points during the night that the tent would actually blow away, but as it was we were safe! We woke up bright early in the morning with the sun beating down on the tent and almost baking us alive! It was a welcome change the freezer we had fallen asleep in. I thought my nose was going to fall off at one point! That Monday was spent playing on the beach with the children, collecting crabs and shells and drawing in the sand. In the afternoon Sarah and I left the family and went exploring the nearest little town, Port Seaton and Cockenzie. We found a friendly little pub, so sat outside and soaked up the local atmosphere. We met a couple of the regulars of the pub, who proceeded to talk to us with the thickest Scottish accents, that all we could do in return was smile and nod! Once we were feeling a little bit merry, we headed back to the campsite to meet up with the family once again. Things were a little easier that day, because Sarah was over the worst of her nerves, so she had calmed down a little and was more like her usual self. I can’t imagine what must have been going through her head. She found out about her Granddad, who she hardly knew – if at all – and more about her Aunt’s family. They all have the same eyes – even down to the new 12-week-old baby.
On that Monday night I experienced one of the tastiest foods…ever! Deep Fried Battered Pizza! It sounds hideous, but trust me, it’s a taste sensation! It’s full of grease, and could be considered a Heart Attack in a polystyrene box…but my goodness it tasted good. It was just the cheapest plainest cheese pizza dipped in batter and then deep-fried…a taste of Scotland right there! Everyone was worn out with all the excitement of the previous days, so we had a fairly calm even just sitting, freezing and talking! It was another incredibly windy night, but it was warmer than the night before…either that, or we just had more clothes on!

We packed everything up in super quick time in the sun-shiny morning, and hit the open road once again, aiming for Edinburgh. We have some friends who live in a suburb of the city, and we were staying with them over night. Eventually, having managed to get ourselves a little bit lost, we found their house. We were promptly fed toast and tea to set us up for the day ahead. We caught the bus into Edinburgh itself, and nothing could have prepared us for what we were about to see. We got off the bus at the Prince’s Street Stop, and had our breath completely removed from our body! The only way to describe Edinburgh is EPIC. The buildings are huge and so imposing, but not necessarily in a bad way. Again, you can feel the history and timelessness of the buildings as you wander around them. Sarah and I weren’t quite sure what to do with ourselves. The sights were in the literal sense of the word, awesome. Also at the minute scattered all around Edinburgh are decorated cows. They’re all over the place, each one as unique as a snowflake. Some designed by school children, some by office workers, some by students, some by individuals, but they are all equally as beautiful.

Edinburgh Castle is also a thing of great beauty. It is nestled on a hilltop over looking the city, with its high castle walls and towers. The strength of building is visible from almost anywhere on Prince’s Street and beyond. We didn’t go up to the Castle because unfortunately we did not have time, but the views from where we were sat in the Prince’s Street Gardens was still amazing. Having rested our minds, which were due to explode with the excitement and awe of being in such a city, we met up with Lisa, who we were staying with that night. She took us down a street called the Royal Mile, which has lots of little cool shops, and a Museum of Childhood, which had us in stitches over the style of some of the old dolls! We wandered around World’s End – so named because way back when the city had walls, that particular point was the perimeter. Out of the city walls were the beggars, the thieves and the general outcasts of society. It was considered to be the end of your world if you ventured out beyond on the safety of the city – hence World’s End. We found a tiny little street of steps called Fleshmarket Close – we never found out why it was so named, but I’d be intrigued to know – on which we found Scotland’s Smallest and Friendliest Pub. Now I can say that it was tiny, containing only about 4 tables inside and 3 outside, but as for the Friendliest…I’m not so sure. The bar tender wasn’t even going to acknowledge us on our way out, if we hadn’t have said goodbye to her. But even so, it was a cute little pub where sat, drank, chatted and soaked up that Edinburgh vibe.

We woke up fairly late the next morning, having slept in a bed for the first time in a while, and boy was it comfy! So just sauntered around for a while, getting everything packed up and ready to go once again. Then once more the road was ahead of us and we were aiming for Callendar. It’s a small little town nestled in the Trossachs – the hills of mid-Scotland – and is most famous for being in Rob Roy country. It also became favourite spot of the trip so far because it’s where we came across A HIGHLAND COW!!! He came out of nowhere, and was suddenly there, in a field right next to the road! His name was Hamish and his horns were enormous! It was the aim of my trip to see at least one Highland Cow! He was as docile as a bunny rabbit, although it must be quite hot underneath all that hair. He was just stood munching on the grass, although his huge horns restrained him from getting to the nice big pile of juicy grass just in front of the fence. He had the biggest brownest eyes – when you could see them under his floppy ginger fringe. I was so pleased to have been able to get that close to such a creature.

Monday, July 31, 2006

Faery World

I don't normally fill my blog with things like this, but I have 2 things to say about this...
1) I love the faery world, and all things connected to it. I am 23 years old and I truly belive in faeries - without shame!
2) This is actually quite true!!!!

What type of Fae are you?


Thursday, July 27, 2006

Please donate

Hi Everyone...I'm still working on that Scotland update. It'll be old news by the time it makes it up here! But I promise it's on its way!
In the mean time - I have signed up for a Disaster Management weekend to help raise money for the British Red Cross especially the Emergency Response Unit. I have until September 14th to raise £500, so I really really need your help. Visit www.justgiving.com/rach8183 It would mean sooo much to me, and a whole lot more to the British Red Cross.

Thank you so very very much...

Friday, July 21, 2006

It's coming

Just a quick note to anyone who’s wondering – I got back from Scotland last week, having had an incredible time. I am in the process of writing it up at the minute, and I’ll be putting some photos in there too. Because of this it’s taking longer than expected, but there will be a detailed description of my highland tour on a shoestring!

Watch this Space….

Thursday, July 06, 2006

Vacation Time!

I'm taking next week off work and heading North! I'm going to Scotland!! A friend and I are camping from Sunday night, until Friday! I'm so excited I can't wait! Neither of us have a great deal of money, so it's going to be a holiday on a shoestring! (ooh, if anyone knows where that saying came from, please tell me!!) I'll definately be putting some photos up when I get back! There won't be any chance for blogging, but I'll tell you all about it when I get back...Roll On Sunday!!

Tuesday, July 04, 2006

Happy Independence Day!

Hey to all those across the pond!! Happy 4th July! Hope you all have a good day!

Plus - for a real geeky side note - Happy Wedding Day to Tom Cruise and Katie Holmes!!!

Sunday, July 02, 2006

Matt the Cat (Update 2)

So, hopefully this will be the last update about Matt cat. We took him to the vets who told us we should call the Cat Protection League, as they sometimes help out with fees. So Daisy phoned them up, and they agreed to pay for all treatment that he might need now. So luckily for us, and for him hopefully, he gets to stay with us!!! YEY! All the vets told us what a happy cat he is. We hope it has something to do with us! We've all gone totally smooshy over him!

As I say, hopefully there won't need to be any more updates, as he'll be a happy healthy cat with a loving family! As I write this he is lying on the back of my chair!!!!

Wednesday, June 28, 2006

Matt the Cat (Update)

Well, Matt the Cat is doing so much better than we thought he would. When I got home from work yesterday, he was awake and purring like a lawn-mower! He came straight over to me, and wound his way through my legs until I picked him up, then he was headbutting my chin, just wanting cuddles! His eyes (yes both of them!!!) look a lot better now too, one is still slightly more bloodshot than the other one, but they're nowhere near the red they were when we found him. He's an adventurous little thing. We put him outside in our back garden for a bit of explore, and he was not afraid of anything. In fact, he was giving those dried leaves what for! Then he wore himself out a little bit, so fell asleep on my knee still purring away! All night he was like that, awake and exploring the new sights and smells of our house and garden, and then falling asleep again. My housemate Rich has become all soft and gooey over Matt the Cat! They fell asleep together on the sofa. It was one of the cutest things I've ever seen!

We did take him down to the vets, just so that they could give him a check up and make sure that it is just a cold that he's got. he keeps sneezing a lot, bless him! But because it was out of hours, they were going to charge us £85 just to have a look at him! Luckily Daisy and Rich have today off work, so they are going to take him down later on this afternoon. However, if the cost of the treatment is going to be too much, we may have to give him up as we won't be able to afford it. I'm really hoping that he's not too poorly, because we've all fallen so in love with the little thing! He's such a little character!

When I came down for breakfast this morning, he was curled up asleep on one of our dining chairs. Then when he woke up, he managed to jump over the little barriers we had made for him, and he just sat on my feet while i was making my sandwiches for lunch today. He played with my toes, and again, wound himself around my legs. It was as if he just wanted that contact all the time! I really didn't want to leave him this morning...he kept miowing at me!!! Bless!

I just hope we get to keep him for a little bit longer! I'll keep you posted though!

Tuesday, June 27, 2006

Matt the Cat

We got back from our usual Monday night out last in the small hours of the morning, and we were milling about outside as you do when you're saying good bye to people, and my house mate Rich grabbed me and exclaimed, "look Rach, down there!" On the door step of the house 2 doors down (a notoriously dodgy house at the best of times) all curled up in the rain and the cold, was the tiniest black kitten. i could hear him wheezing, and he was visibly shaking. His fur was all spiky because he was soaking wet. I was not going to leave him out in the cold all night, so I picked him up, (getting an earful and an evil look from the man in the house, who claimed the kitten was not his - although I have my suspicions) and we took him inside. We wrapped him up in a towel and just hugged him and calmed him. We tried to give him some milk, but you could tell he was a poorly cat! Eventually the wheezing got better, and the only reason he was shaking is because of the faint purring we could hear. We have fallen in love with him, and have named him Matt - as we found him on a door mat!!!! Matt the cat!

We left him curled up in a box with lots of towels in the kitchen last, thinking that he'll go one of two ways, and when we came down this morning...My goodness! When we went to stroke him it was like someone had put a mini pneumatic drill in the box. His purr was incredible! We think that he may have lost an eye, and we still couldn't get him to eat anything, but I'm going to go and check on him now, and make sure he's still ok. He's such an adorable cat, and none of us could understand how anyone could leave an animal like that out in the rain and cold? It's just pure cruelty. Well, if we can't keep Matt, then we'll find a good loving home for him to go to, but hopefully Matt will become the new House Cat!

Sunday, June 25, 2006

It all paid off

After about two and half months of planning, one of the best weekends ever happened last weekend! It was my housemate Daisy's 24th birthday party. As she is a musician, she made an off the cuff remark about how, for her birthday, it would be cool to have some people round, for a bit of jam, and a mess around with instruments. At the time, I though, "wow, how vain???" but then I thought...hhmmm, let's take this one step further. So I did some enquiries, and managed to rent the community hall just down the road from our house - without Daisy's knowledge! The next few weeks were spent organising food, PA Systems for the musicians, a compare, and trying to tell all of our friends, without Daisy finding out. Between us all, it came together! So many people helped out, and last Saturday night at about 7.00pm I led Daisy down to the hall, on the pretense that we were going to a friend's house for dinner. As we walked past the hall, all of our friends were stood outside with a Birthday banner! It took a couple of seconds for Daisy to register the fact that she knew all these people! All the lies and the stress, the organisation and the planning paid off when I saw the look on Daisy's face...It actually brought tears to my eyes! In front of everyone!!!! The whole evening was one surprise after another for her, as not only had I got the party sorted, our musician friends had all learnt some of Daisy's own songs, as well as some of her favourites. It was a whole musical evening dedicated to Daisy and her love of music. Rich, our other housemate was the first one to get up and play and he opened with a song of Daisy's called Go Away, and that too almost made me cry, when she realised that he was playing one of her songs! The goosepimples were out in abundance that night!!

Everyone had such a good time, and I couldn't have asked for it go any better. I loved it. We had friends, live music, presents, party games, food and whole lotta love in that room! It's what birthday's are all about...Having a good time, surrounded with people you love ignoring the fact you're one year older!!

Sunday, June 11, 2006

Humans vs. Robots

I received a comment on my previous post from the Street Philosopher, who you can always rely on to give some good philosophical points on the everyday workings of life. I checked out his blog for the first time in a while, and the first post really got me thinking. He talks about a new education scheme called PEBBLES (check out his post for more information), which is a form of home schooling for people who cannot attend regular schools. He then goes on to talk about human interaction, and how essential it is to our lives. I thoroughly agree with this. It still amazes me how easy it is nowadays to go through life with very limited actual human meetings...You can buy all your groceries online, you can borrow books from libraries, buy or rent movies, attend an online university with things like the Open University over here in the UK, get all your news updates on the web..One could quite easily go through life living alone with hardly ever having to talk to another human being. As Street philosopher points out however, there is nothing better than a hug when you're feeling a bit down, or sitting down to a meal with either family or friends around a table as supposed to in front of the television. Now don't get me wrong, in my house, we quite often sit in the living with our meals, but I do enjoy sitting around the table and actually talking to each other. Also, sometimes there is nothing better than curling up on the sofa watching a good movie, or even going to the movie theatre, for a bit of pure escapism from the busy hectic world that is our lives, but my favourite part about that escapism is discussing the movies afterwards with my friends.

So, what I'm trying to say is, although the modern world of technology is great for some things, I really hope the art of actual conversation, and real human interaction does not get superseded by machines and robots...I'd miss hugs too much!

Wednesday, June 07, 2006

He Wishes For the Cloths of Heaven

Had I the heavens' embroidered cloths,
Enwrought with golden and silver light,
The blue and the dim and the dark cloths
Of night and light and the half-light,
I would spread the cloths under your feet:
But I, being poor, have only my dreams;
I have spread my dreams under your feet;
Tread softly because you tread on my dreams.

William Butler Yeats (1865-1939)

This is one of my favourite poems, and I have just found it again, after years of not really thinking about it! My world at the minute is pretty rubbish...i'm in a job I don't enjoy...having man troubles - but then what girl isn't?!?! - had my cell phone stolen last night - got turned down for a job that really really wanted! But life could be worse for sure, i have my friends, a roof over my head, and as of this afternoon...food in the cupboards! YEY! But i just though i would share this little poem with you all.

Take care

Wednesday, May 24, 2006

Bring back the flow

I recently read back over my old posts from last year and when I first started, and it struck me that I write in a totally different way now. For starters the posts have become very thin on the ground in recent months, as supposed to at least one or two every week back in 'the old days'! I also came across a story I wrote, A Love Never Spoken Of, which was loosley based on a true life experience. Becuase I knew what it was based on, i was actually surprised at how honest I had been in the story. I really feel like for the past months, I have lost my creativity and passion for blogging, which upsets me. I love it, and deep down I know I can find that inspiration from somewhere. I was at work yesterday, and i wanted to just check my site, so instead of typing the address in the top, (where it can be tracked) i did a google search on it. The first result it found was one of Lorianne's student's blogs. As part of their ongoing coursework, Lorianne had her students start and keep a blog. This one guy had found mine, and written about it! i was truly touched by this, and even those his post dated back to 2005, it made me want to start posting again! So here I am!
I WILL WILL WILL be getting some photos on here soon, and i will be finding that inspiration that I've lost!

Friday, May 05, 2006

Twenty5stories + Rich

I went out last night to watch my friends play in their bands...And it was amazing. When I listen to the music charts in this country it really bothers me that there is so much RUBBISH (Trash to you Americans!!! Tee hee) around. The amount of really pointless music is incredible. That's one of the reasons I love going to watch the various local bands around Derby...There is some really awesome talent about the place. Now, I've already told you about my friend and housemate daisyb, who if you haven't checked out YOU REALLY SHOULD. So now I'm going to hound with a couple more acts to listen to!

Twenty5stories are the other band I went to see last night, and also good friends of mine! I love their stuff so much..It so totally the kind of music that I would buy! I can't wait for them to get a CD together! They're kind of indie/alternative/rock, and at gigs they do a mixture of their own songs, which you can find on their websites, and amazing covers of things like Seal - Kiss from a Rose, Tracy Chapman - Fast Car, Alanis Morisette - Right Through You. Seriously......major plugging going on here....CHECK THEM OUT!

Then the last act for you is my other housemate Rich. He has a very unique style and voice which I love, because there's no one else who sounds like that really. His songs are very haunting, and beautiful and his deep voice carries the music through you. Not being biased in anyway (I mean it's not like I live with him or anything!!!) he is really good! So, now that I've given you all a little musical education...Please go and show your support for DECENT music and lets get rid of the rubbish in the charts!


Wednesday, May 03, 2006

A little bit green

Everything about him you hate so much
Is exactly what I love
He's always there to make me smile
But to you he's talking double-dutch

You say he's childish, it gets on your nerves
Well that's perfect for me
Coz like him I don't want to grow up
But like always it's not me he loves

Maybe if I looked a little different
He'd see into the real me
And see together we're a perfect match
But it's to get to you that he's hell bent

I wonder if he'll ever be interested
To get to know me
We can always talk so easily
But it's you that's running through his head

Everything about him I like so much
Is exactly what you hate
So why do you go for him
When you're drunk and want his touch?

You asked me once if it's him I like
I told you the truth
But there's no point in hoping
As I know it's always you they like

Tuesday, April 11, 2006


I have a job! This is gonna be a real quick post, just to say that as of yesterday I have a job! It's not a very glamourous job or anything, just an admin type thing. But the people are nice, and more importantly it will pay my bills! YEY! thank you for the comments guys, it really means a lot to me!

I'll write more soon about my awesome trip to London on sunday! Hope everyone's well!

take care...

Saturday, April 08, 2006


It's been about a week now, and I still don't have a job. I was working for a couple of days at the start of the week, through a temping agency. It was actually loads of fun, because I was working at the university where I attended. It was wicked strange though as to get to where I needed to be I had to walk through doors that said, "Authorised Staff Only". I kept thinking I was going to get in trouble for going in there, as I'm still a student! (in my head at least!!!!!) I was working in the department where the students hand in their assignments, sorting through them and making sure that the correct tutor picked up the correct pile of assignments. Watching the young students panic and rush to get their slaved-over projects in on time brought back so many memories...I remember it well. It was almost like looking into a mirror. Also, at the minute it's exam time, so there were a few people worried about what room the exam was in, and what time it started and all the usual things you worry about at stressful times like that. It was really nice to be able to help them out a little bit and pass on some of my experiences, which are all too close to memory to be called experiences in my mind, I mean it was only 18 months ago! I would like to work there again, but unfortunately it was only a two-day job.

Also this week, I went into town and bought myself a power suit! haha. I figured I needed some interview clothes, and a trouser suit and £40 later I feel I'm kitted out to knock the socks off what ever company decides they need to interview me! It was kinda fun going clothes shopping, which I'm normally not that much of a fan of! (is that normal? a girl not being a clothes shopping fan?) There's just too many people around, and I'm very fussy when it comes to the clothes I wear..I know whatIi like and I like what I know. Anyway, I digress...Now that I have the suit, all I need now are the interviews!!! haha

Ooh, I'm so excited, I booked my train tickets to go home for Easter this year. I haven't been home to Cornwall since August, and I'm long overdue a trip! I'm really looking forward to it, getting to catch up with old friends, sleep in my own bed, play with the cats, eat some good home cooked food, and of course see the parents!! This Easter weekend should be great!

And on that note I think I'll leave you....
Have an awesome Easter everyone..Eggs galore!!!!

Friday, March 31, 2006

Bye Bye

Well, today is my last day in my current job. Last Friday I was made redundant, and today I leave. As I walked into work this morning for the last time, I took more notice of the nameless faces that I pass at the same time in the same places everyday. It struck me that I'll more than likely never see them again, and although I never actually met them, I would make up stories about them and their lives. Some were on their way to work, some to college. One or two were heading home after a night shift. Of course it's all fictional, but it was the little stories like those that made the 40 minute walk into work bearable in the rain and snow! Those stories will now be forgotten, but new ones will be made as I trek to a different job somewhere else.

Another thing about being made redundant that sucks is I'm going to miss all my friends from work so much. I've been here for over a year now, and I've made some incredible friends. The work itself is pretty soul-destroying, so having people around you that you can get on with and have a laugh with is really important. I keep having reality checks that it's not going to happen anymore...No more throwing stuff around the office, no more making stupid comments and jokes with my section head, no more making countless cups of tea with Laura because we're bored. I'm not even sure when or even if I'm going see most of these people again. I'm sure I will if I (and they) make the effort to meet up.

Looking on the plus side I'm sure I'll have as much fun in whatever it is that I do next, and therefore have more friends than I do now! But either way, I'm just gonna see where life takes me, and what I end up doing now...

Monday, March 27, 2006

A Walk in the Woods

Way back in October I went to stay with an old uni friend in Norwich, Norfolk. It was such a beautiful weekend, so on the Sunday we went for a walk around a very picturesque lake. The only camera I had at the time was the one on my phone, but the photos are pretty good (if i may say so myself!). I particularly liked this one of Chris walking away down the boardwalk...I love the shadows on the ground, and the way I want to follow him to see where that path leads.

Along the way, we came across a bridge over a small part of the lake. The day was so clear and still, that the water was like a perfect mirror. We stood for a while contemplating the clouds reflected in the water, and our faceless images below us. There were all sorts of fish swimming around in there too that every now and then the surface would break into all kinds of patterns.

As we were nearing the end of the walk, we came back to the University of Norwich, where I was awestruck to come face to face(?) with this amazing wall of Ivy. Unfortunately the colour doesn't come through that well here, but the red splash was enough to catch my breath. Through all the autumnal colours we had passed along the way, none were as vivid as this, especially against the grey wall. I'm not sure how long the ivy would have lasted on that building, or even how long the building lasted with the ivy, but it makes you wonder, when it gets that far spread, which one relies on which one? Does the ivy need the wall to survive, or does the building need the ivy to stay in one piece? Maybe it's one of those situations where they need each other to survive; like all good relationships should be. May the both have a long and happy life together!

Friday, March 24, 2006

Scary Tree

Hi Guys...This is my fisrt attempt at putting a picture in here, and what do you know? It worked! I called this one scary Tree. It was taken last summer when I was walking down a random road with my friend. There was such atmosphere and feeling around this tree, and with it's branches gnarled and twisted, it had a very oppressive feel to it. I just HAD to take a picture, and have been meaning to post it!
Well...Now that I can do it, I shall be posting more here! YEY!

Saturday, March 18, 2006

The Rest of my Weekend

Sorry this is a bit late...It's only been 2 weeks! haha. So the rest of my amazing weekend was spent with my sister, relaxing and doing not very much! She had subscribed to Sky Movies, so that we could stay up and watch the Oscars live! It's the first time in years that we've been able to watch them together. When we were younger we would camp out in the living room, or curl up in Liz's big double bed and try to stay awake all night. But then we both went to uni/school and they changed the channel showing it to one you had to pay for...But this year we got to do it all again! It was so much fun, we had a bowl of Cadbury's Chocolate Buttons, quilts to wrap up in, and numerous cups of coffee! The show started at 11.00pm our time and finished just before 5.00am! We made it though, we stayed awake all the way through. This year was pretty good, because I had a keen interest in the winners, for the first time in a while. I'd seen most of the Best Movie Nominee's, and was supporting Brokeback Mountain in all it's nominations! Needless to say we spent most of Monday morning sleeping! The rest of that day was spent watching TV and various movies, and again, just general chilling out. That night i was introduced to House, which is much better than i expected...And we also watched a few episodes of CSI, which is excellent! Then it was time for bed, as we all had early mornings! So it was back to work on Tuesday, and back to reality too I guess! It was a wicked weekend which I enjoyed thoroughly!

Happy Anniversary To Me!

Well, it's been 1 year exactly since I first set up these musings. So much has happened and changed in that 1 year! However, I'm ashamed to see the lack of posts here in 12 months, it really should be more, but I guess it's better than none! I would just like to take this time to thank everyone who stops by here to read and those who leave comments, it's really appreciated!
Anyway, that's pretty much all I have to say on that....So thanks, and I'll try to make this next year a better blogging one than the last!

Thursday, March 09, 2006

How Rubbish Am I?

I've just had the best weekend! I went to Hemel Hempstead to stay with my friend Beck for a couple of days. We went to a show about/starring(?) Bill Hicks. It was a 1 man show about Bill Hicks coming back from the dead to do one last show. It was incredible. The guy playing Hicks had obviously done a great deal of research, as his mannerisms, his intonation and his stage presence was scarily similar to the man himself! It was so good that at times, I actually forgot I wasn't watching Bill Hicks! Then on the Saturday, we headed into London to have a look around the famous Camden Market. It is such a wonderful place, with such atmosphere, it almost felt like I was holiday! The market has different sections to it, the first part was mostly all clothes - trendy, unusual, funky clothes. So we sauntered and meandered our way around all the stalls, taking in the colours and sights, before heading over to a different section which contained more modern, but still funky and unusual (the only word I can think of right now is...) STUFF. All kinds of things, from jewellery to homemade leather bound notebooks, to candles to crystals..Oh I could go on and on. The colours here were just breathtaking, and I did take a few pictures, but I still have to hook my laptop to the internet so that I can post them. Another thing that amazed me about this part of the market was the smells. Many of the stalls were burning incense sticks, which smelled exactly the same as the Hostel in the Forest in Georgia that I've talked about a few times. The memories came flooding back, which is always a good thing when they're good memories! At this time we made a pit stop for some fabulous Moroccan Chicken. We were stood by the river, holding a bowl full of amazing warming food, which is just what we needed in the freeing cold. It was the only thing keeping the feeling in my fingers! Then finally in Camden we found the final section of the market. This is where all the second hand clothes 'arches' are. I don't know what they were before, but it was a series of tunnels filled with so many varieties of clothes, shoes hats and pretty much anything you can think of. Also, there were furniture shops, more 'stuff' shops. Now, if I had thought the colours were amazing before, this is where they really kicked in. Every arch and shop was a different colour, a different smell, and a different sight to behold. Unfortunately I wasn't allowed to take many photos of these shops because of copyright laws etc. But luckily for me, I have all the memories!
that day was finished off perfectly with a trip to the Maple Leaf, a Canadian Bar in Covent Garden. They serve Molson and Moosehead Beer in the Maple Leaf - the only bar that we've found to serve them! We used to drink a lot, and I mean A LOT of Molson at College in Keene, and I miss it a lot! So whenever we're in London, we have to make a stop for some Beer! While there we met a Scicilian couple who were in London for a few days. They were so funny, and we spent most of the night chatting to them, and giving them ideas of where to go and what to do with their time. Eventually we rushed to the train station to catch our ride home. It was just so much fun, and I can't wait to do it again.
Then on the Sunday, I left Beck and and went to stay with my sister in Letchworth. However, on the say there, we made a sidetrip to the Asda Walmart nearby. It was almost as good at the American Walmarts, but not quite. It just didn't have the same feel to it. But even so, we spent an hour or so in there perusing the shelves. Then we were bored of shopping (is that possible??!?!?!) so we headed home. The rest of that day was spent quite lazily, we watched Batman Begins, which I had never seen before, and was totally blown away by. I think it's the best of the new Batman movies, and Christian Bale makes a very good superhero. Just as a quick sidenote, I've come to the conclusion that Batman is the best superhero. He does everything all the other heroes do, but without any super powers! Amazing!
Anyway...I have to go now....People to meet, but I shall finish the rest of my weekend soon! I promise it will be soon! ;-)

Tuesday, February 07, 2006

Shameless Plug!

Hi everyone!

This is just a quick and shameless plug for my housemate Daisy. She's an up and coming singer/songwriter here in Derby, and elsewhere in the UK. I wanted to share her websites with you fine people, so that you can enjoy the greatness that is daisy b. Here is her Myspace Website. Then there is a Moonfruit site, and I'm fairly sure there is another one, but i can't remember that one right now. Anyway...EVERYBODY must go and check out her songs. Daisy has a wicked soulful voice, which, when mixed with an accoustic guitar, sends tingles down your spine. I'm not going to go into her sound too much here, i want you to see for yourselves....please please please just check it out. then you can say that you heard it before she got wicked famous!!!
Thanks guys!

Tuesday, January 31, 2006

Same old...

Recently, I have been feeling like my life is one long routine that never changes. From the order I do stuff, like getting up in the morning, taking a shower, getting dressed, eating breakfast...It's the same thing every day. I go to work, I do the same thing all day every day at work, then I come home, and usually do the same thing week in week out after work. There's no variety in there at all. Is that just part of growing up? Or am I stuck in a rut right now? Don't get me wrong, on the whole I'm pretty happy with my life, I'm surrounded by great friends, have a good laugh and other than keeping the rent and bills paid have very little responsibility. I just yearn for a life where I can wake up in the morning and not have a clue what's going to happen that day, where I'm going to go, what I'm going to do. I'm not a planner at all, I just figure it leaves more room for disappointment when things don't out how you planned...Leave it all up to the last minute, be spontaneous! That's the way to be, but unfortunately this isn't a secure way to be. I need my job to pay my bills. So for the time being I'll survive in my unchanging routine, and wait for the day when nothing is planned!

Saturday, January 28, 2006

Shadow Of A Star

Have you ever felt so lonely
You thought your heart would implode
Upon itself, never to be remade
Never to be made whole?

That's the way you made me feel
Last night, whilst you left me there
All by myself, so small, so insignificant
Just a background noise there to fill the silences

I talk to people, they just talk to you
They do not see me, or even hear me
All they want to do is watch you play
Never have an interest in what I have to say

That's the way they made me feel
Last night whilst you left me there
All by myself, so small, so insignificant
Just a background noise there to fill the silences

What can I do to make myself heard?
I try so hard to no avail
To them I'm just a shadow
Of the one who shines so bright

I thought them nice, so open and caring
But that night I realised it was all a lie
As I sat there all alone, staring into space
They didn't even notice when I started to cry

That's the way you made me feel
Last night whilst you left me there
All by myself, so small, so insignificant
Just a background noise there to fill the silences

There I was so totally alone
I though my heart would implode
My soul was heavy I could hardly move
And still I stand among the shadows

Tuesday, January 24, 2006

Hi there!

Hi everyone, once again I'm so sorry for the delay in posting here. But I think I'll be able to post a bit more regularly now that we have a computer back in the house.

So, a quick recap on the Life of Rach, Christmas was amazing. Spent it with my family in my sister's house, it snowed which topped off the holidays. Then came back up to Derby for New Year, which was spent hanging out with friends, good food and good wine. Then the week after that was my birthday. It was a great weekend as I got to catch up with an old Uni friend who had been travelling around the world for 6 months before hand. I hadn't seen him for a year though. We just went out and about on the town for the evening, catching up, chatting, dancing and drinking. It was so much fun! Then the Sunday was spent on the sofa watching TV before heading off to the cinema to watch Brokeback Mountain. It was the most amazing film I have seen for the longest time. I don't know why, but it affected me a way that no other film has done. All the way through the movie I was trying to work out whether it really was a good film, or whether I just though it was because I like cowboys, the scenery and America in general. And I came to the conclusion that it was. Ang Lee did a great job of the direction, keeping the audiences (well my) attention all the way through the sparse script and slow story. His method of showing the passing of 20 years was pure genius, as his subtle changes of fashion and architecture say everything the script does not. But the acting was the thing that really blew me away. Both Heath Ledger and Jake Gylanhaal play characters you would not expect them to play, and they do it so well. I was totally sucked into the film and the time just flew by. I cried so much, it was untrue. I am a bit of a sap when it comes to films, and I cry at most of them, but this one was different, I could have cried all the way through the credits, all the way home and then some more at home! I immediately went about reading everything I could find about it, and even went out and bought the book it was based on. Because it was based on a short story, Ang Lee had a lot of scope with the movie and could expand on it a lot. I was so impressed when I read the story, because I hate it when I read books of movies, and it's been changed. Whereas this one was exactly the same.....Every bit of dialogue was in there, word for word.

right that's enough of that one for the time being. Lets just say I enjoyed the movie eh?!

Welcome back to Rach's blog people, I promise to update more often!

Hope everyone is well, Take Care!

Monday, January 09, 2006

Welcome to the New Year

I know, I know, I'm a little late on this one! I apologise for the lack of blogging here recently, I've been so busy at work, that when I get home, the last thing I want to do is sit in front of a computer some more! I am thinking of buying a new computer (since my laptop died!!!) so that I can blog more regularly! I'll keep you posted on that one...
But really, I just wanted to say HAPPY NEW YEAR! I hope everyone's holiday celebrations were good, and that 2006 brings you all lots of happiness and good stuff!
Hope you're all well, and I apologise once again, I'll try to be more bloggy this year!
Have fun!