Monday, September 08, 2008


I'm not really back. Not proper like. Not for more than about five minutes.

Just thought you might be interested to know I'm getting married on Friday. As in, four days time.

Life is all good, all happy currant buns and cups of tea. This is not a proper update, but I did think it would be terribly rude to go off and get married without telling anyone....

Anyway, hope everyone is fine and dandy.

Thursday, October 18, 2007

Some Tobago views....


"Ray" the stingray...


Sunset in paradise...

And yes...that is me in a bikini. Don't expect to see it again any time soon...

So long.

NB if anyone could explain to me why one of my pictures is the size of Jupiter I'd be ever so grateful.

Tuesday, October 16, 2007

Of armadillos and pythons and rotis

I'm back from Tobago.

This in itself is quite a tragedy. I will save the purple passages for the travel feature I'm writing on it (it wasn't a freebie like Malaysia but I want to store up some credit with the travel ed for when I pitch him my plan to blag a honeymoon and do a feature on it) so I will give you the expurgated version.

Tobago rocks. You know you go on holiday to relax? But with having to worry about catching transport, getting to places, making sure no-one nicks your stuff and all that kerfuffle you have to think about you hardly ever end up actually relaxing? Well, in Tobago I rested. And relaxed. And chilled out. And slept through the night, waking up refreshed, at a reasonable hour and not tired EVERY day.

In Tobago, chilling out and doing nothing is so much a way of life, they even have a word for it - liming (begs the question, where does the word come from - are you supposed to be standing around doing nothing like a lime?)

I've never before been somewhere I have been so much in the ethnic minority - off season, and away from the resorts, there were times when we were the only white faces in a crowd. And you get a LOT of attention being a white woman - but not once did I feel threatened. They just wanted you to come lime with them. And maybe, if you're lucky, do a bit of wining too (err, erotic hip swinging dancing - also a Tobagonian way of life).

It's not like Thailand, or Egypt, or Greece, or any of the myriad destinations I've been where people are constantly trying to sell you stuff. No, when people stop to chat, or try and hitch with you (when you've got two white women at the wheel, a common occurence) it's purely friendly. We got invited to have some chicken at some guy's grandma's birthday. When the roti shop we got to had run out of food, the owner called up her sister who promptly appeared with some roti - then drove off towards the waterfall we were seeking with us following.

There were so many bizarre events I'm not going to describe them all, but here's a flavour: coming round a corner to find an entire section of road missing; screeching to a halt for a log in the road - which turned out to be a two metre python slithering lazily across the road in the rain; catching our boat driver having a not at all sneaky ENORMOUS spliff to add to the many bottles of beer he had consumed, before getting back behind the wheel; abandoning a car at a petrol station because it, and the filling station, were out of gas and there would be no delivery until the next day; being silently presented with two pieces of tissue when we walked into a restaurant dripping with monsoon rain; driving up an incredibly hairy cliff path with a sheer drop on one side in search of a beach only to have to reverse half the way back down again to a passing point and execute an 103 point turn because there was nowhere to park at the top; running into a group of men and hounds in the middle of the rainforest - when we asked what they were hunting, being told "armadillos".

I want to go back. After my ridiculous health issues before I went (I was sent home from work several times the two weeks before we left for being dizzy, light-headed and on one occasion, inappropriately tearful) it was exactly what I needed. I never imagined the Carribbean could be that good.

And now, in Oxford, it's raining and I've got a council meeting tomorrow eve. Whoop.

Pix to come (picking them up tomorrow).

So long.

Wednesday, September 26, 2007

A more imaginative way of getting out of work

So I've been having these headrushes. Nothing hugely to worry about, but as the dizziness appeared to be getting a bit more frequent, I figured it would be sensible to just have it checked out.

The doctor didn't seem overly concerned, but suggested I get some blood tests done, just to check if there was anything wrong. She also urged me to make sure I was eating regularly and drinking enough non-tea liquids (hence a mass onslaught of pie-eating).

I went for the blood tests yesterday morning. Now I may have mentioned I'm not a big fan of needles. I told the nurse this as she set about finding an appropriate vein, but blithely assured her that "I don't faint or anything, I just feel a bit funny".


Anyway, after she accidentally went all the way through the vein on my left arm (oopsy) she turned over to my right arm. At this point I may have glimpsed a few glistening vials of my blood. Big mistake. As she was searching again for those beautiful blues, I had that strange white-wash thing going on I had bene getting with the headrushes.

Next thing I know, my glasses and sandals are falling off, I'm shaking and twitching all over the place in the nurses arms and the room is full of doctor types and my ears with a weird ringing.

It turns out I am one of those people who faint. First time for everything I suppose.

It was the single-most terrifying experience of my life, not helped by the fact that when everyone was fussing over me, I was crying like a big baby.

It's hard to describe what it felt like - but I now have a lot of sympathy for people who faint at the sight of blood. It is not at all fun. Even more embarassingly, I had to call my boss to say I couldn't come in any earlier and in fact, I might not be coming in at all. That's not embarassing in itself, the fact that I was openly weeping throughout the conversation is a little more humiliating.

On the plus side, I now have trackmarks on both arms that would make a junky proud.

And some inexplicable bloodstains on the furthest possible side of my favourite, floor-length skirt to the place where the nurse was sticking me. Ace

More on that story later.

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Monday, September 24, 2007

Just plain rude

Err, that's me. It has been a dreadfully long time since I last blogged. You (that's you, Mum, and Dave, who appear to be the only people still logging in) will be pleased to know that work and life seem to have picked up somewhat.

It was my birthday yesterday (woohoo) but I overcelebrated on Friday night (and have a purple knee to show for it - don't ask) so had a rather subdued weekend - although still very nice and consisting of lots of very yummy food.

I have decided that seeing as I can no longer claim to be in my early 20s, I am going to start acting grown up. Okay, maybe not that, but I am going to wear suits to work this week, just for the hell of it. This will probably make people think I am having interviews for other jobs. Ha!

Anyway, more on that story later.

Thursday, September 06, 2007

Things that depress me

I have been on a bit of a prolonged downer at the moment. So I think it would be highly productive (read self-indulgent) to list why I am feeling generally depressed.

1. After a high of loads of shit-hot stories at work, I now seem to be writing a lot of err, shit stories. See this week for stories about post boxes and cricket teams that might have to move pitch. no really. All this after a three-page exclusive on prostitution is a bit of a come-down.
2. I keep failing to answer obvious things about my stories. So I keep getting asked questions by my various bosses.
3. I'm not sleeping very well and I keep having weird work and/or pregnancy related dreams. I can reassure anyone that is reading this that I most emphatically am NOT pregnant.
4. I keep ending up going to quite cool events on my own. Inevitably this makes me feel like a sad loner.
5. One of my best mates keeps inviting one of my other best mates to far cooler events.And then saying, oh, sorry, I thought you were working. You didn't want to go anyway, did you?
6. I am skint. And I can't afford to get my haircut.
7. It's my birthday in three weeks. But all of my Oxford friends are going to a festival that I can't go to because a)I don't have a ticket and b)I can't afford it so I won't be seeing any of them. I was going to go to a Supergrass concert (by the power of blag) but it got cancelled cos stupid Mickey Quinn went and broke his back. How selfish.
8. The front tyre on my bike really needs to be pumped up. But I keep on getting up too late to do this so end up working twice as hard to cycle to work.
9. I am still yet to start planning my wedding. There are freakin loads of decisions to be made and I have no answers.
10. My new next door neighbours appear to be having a party. It sounds a lot more fun than what I'm doing.

Okay, enough of all that nonsense. I have decided the thing to do, rather than retreat into gloom and doom, is concentrate on the good things. So. A week in Tobago in just a month's time. Here.

Mmm. That makes me feel a bit better.

More on that story later.

Tuesday, September 04, 2007


This may be the answer. I received a call from the bank today. I don't know why (it may be because they wanted me to see a man at the bank 'just to catch up' and I didn't go, having sent an e-mail a couple of hours previously) but I hedged that it was a bad time. I mean, when is it a good time to go?

Then, I got an email telling me that Tobago is going to be rather more expensive than I had bargained for.

I'm freaking broke. I mean, I can afford to live and all that - just - but like, buying stuff that isn't 100 per cent essential for food etc? Forget that.

AAArrrgh. I'm pretty sure that in the grander scheme of things, I'm actually not that badly off. Maybe I can manage to just live off cardboard for a while. And use vegetable oil to fuel the car... and feed the cat grass and bugs from the garden...

More on that story later.

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