Thursday, September 30, 2004

 

Christmas Card

I used some of the stamps I bought on Tuesday to make this Christmas card. The photo isn't particularly good (I need a better digital camera) but I am pleased with how this card turned out. I have a few ideas for others. Hopefully this means I will soon catch up with all the Christmas cards I have to make. Just in case I don't I am going to buy a pack of cards. It feels like cheating somehow since I made all the ones I sent out last year.

Wednesday, September 29, 2004

 

Shopping

I managed to do some shopping yesterday even though I was working. I bought a whole bunch of books. One for the boyfriend, one for my mum and a DVD to put away for my sister's Christmas (which I almost just gave to her). I also bought five books for myself (yes I know, I'm very good to myself). Four of them are the next quartet by Tamora Pierce and the last one is the new book by Douglas Coupland called "Eleanor Rigby".

I also bought some craft things. I bought a pad of different papers which I thought might come in handy for my card making and scrapbook. I also bought some Christmas stamps which I plan to try out on some cards tomorrow. And then I bought what I actually went in for white threat and cards to finish the Halloween cards.

I attached the Halloween designs to the cards last night and I'm pleased with the end results. I hope the little ones like them.

I am still reading the Eric Van Lustbader book but I am finding it difficult to get into. I don't have any notes on the first one after all. At the time I was starting a new job so I neglected writing up these things. I do remember quite a lot I'm just finding the story a little dull and slow paced. That and I want to get into the Douglas Coupland book. I'll keep going with it though, it might improve.



Tuesday, September 28, 2004

 

Actually got some stuff done.

Yesterday I actually got some of the things done that I planned to do. I even typed up chapter three of the Dr Who story and am ready to begin work on it. It will still be a while before I post this chapter as I want to make changes to chapters one and two. I will post them all at the same time just to make life a little easier and then I can begin work on chapter four.

What else did I do? Well, I updated my CV and filled in an application form for a promotion that I am going for. Don't think that I will get it but I am going to try anyway. I also registered for the French Open University course. I am only going to start with French. The reason for this is that the beginners Spanish starts in November and it is a little late to register. Instead I am going to leave that one until next November. It just means that I will be doing the course a little slower than I expected but there isn't a time frame in which you have to complete a degree.

I finished a Christmas card yesterday too. It is only a freebie from one of the magazines and so not worth photographing (a cute card though). I then started the next round robin design. I have left this one a little later than the others because of my holiday but I still have time to get it finished and then pass it on. This one has an angel theme. I chose a design from one of my books. The angel is flying through the air carrying a basket of animals. It's sweeter than it sounds. Later today I will fill out the little journal that we pass along with them and I should have the design finished by the end of the week.

Lastly I made a start on catching up with my penpals. Hopefully I will get another one today and then that's me more or less caught up with everything. Oh, I forgot to mention that I picked up my books again. I'm just studying the stuff I went over before the holiday and next week I will move onto the next part.

Monday, September 27, 2004

 

Round Robin

I started this round robin a bout 8 months ago now and began the organising before Christmas. The next round is at the end of October and it will be the last time we will pass it on. At the end of December we will each receive the one we started with and all we have to do is fill one last square. I have to admit that I am very excited about seeing the end result. One of the members came up with the idea to get her friend to fill in the last square. I thought it was a good idea and so have passed it on to all the others. I would pass it on to my best friend but she will be out on placement and have uni stuff to do as well as exams so I don't want to bother her with it. I think that I'll get my mum to do it instead. I'm sure she won't mind. When that is done I'm going to stitch a border round it and then turn it into a wall hanging. I'm also going to start up an album on the group site for everyone to save pictures of them to. It will be good to see everyone else's too.

 

Anchorman

The boyfriend and I went to see this last night (initially it was supposed to be Hellboy but the times were weird). If you want to see something lighthearted and funny then go and see this. I thought it was hilarious and it had lots of cameo appearances from people like Jack Black and Luke Wilson (those are just two). I'm not usually into daft films but this one is good. I wasn't laughing quite as much as the others around me though. It also wasn't quite what I expected. I had thought that the plot of the film revolved around the competition between two news rooms but that was only a side plot. I don't think I would buy it on DVD but it would be something I would make a point of watching if it was being shown on TV.

Sunday, September 26, 2004

 

Day Out

Going out for the day with the boyfriend. We planned this at the last minute last night. We are just taking a trip out to Edinburgh for the day and then going out for dinner and then the cinema. I know I had a lot of stuff planned for today and I will get some of it done before I go but I will do most of it tomorrow instead. The boyfriend and I haven't had a day out together in a long time (well, unless you want to include the holiday).

One of the things I have to do is look up notes I may have taken on book one of the Pearl saga by Eric Van Lustbader. It was almost a year ago I read it and I am now reading book two. I think I have remembered most of it but I would still like to read any notes I might have on it in case there is something important I have forgotten. Haven't read much of book two so all I can tell you is that it looks promising.

I think I am coming down with a cold. My nose has been all yucky this morning and I've been sneezing all morning too. I hate colds.

Saturday, September 25, 2004

 

Filofax

One thing I have always loved is my filofax. The one I had was a mini and far too small. I think I bought it because it was cute. The last two years though I have been using diaries because I have wanted a new one but haven't seen one that I like. I finally saw one! A pink personal sized filofax. It was just a nice size and it was a nice shade of pink. I then saw the price and any thoughts of buying it completely left my head. Yesterday I was in WH Smiths and saw a nice black one. It's A5 and was half the price of the other one so I bought it. It's just plane black which makes it a little dull. I had thoughts of decorating the cover to brighten it up but changed my mind. Instead I bought a punch so that I can put my own note paper inside. I'm going to find some nice paper to decorate the inside. It's a sad life when you get excited over things like that but I'm happy.

 

Ghost Light and Survivor

I watched this Doctor Who story yesterday. It's the latest DVD release and was the last story before it was cancelled. I thought it had a lot of potential if only it hadn't been so short. It was a darker storyline and I think could have been the beginning of some very good ones had it not been cancelled. I might just be biased though as I really like Sylvester McCoy even though a lot of people don't. I liked his style of playing the Doctor and I like Ace as his companion.

While I was watching it I finished stitching those Halloween cards. I got the day glow thread yesterday and it really does glow in the dark. Yes, I was sad enough to test it out! Next week I will get some nice brightly colour cards to attach the stitching to. Somehow I don't think that the pink ones I bought for the charity stitch would be a good choice for them. Next I am going to do some Christmas cards.

After watching the DVD I finished reading "Survivor" by Chuck Palahniuk. A friend recommended this one to me. Most of the way through it I couldn't decide whether or not I liked it. It was a good book and I found that the more I read on the more difficult it was to put down. I still don't think it is one of my favourites but I would consider reading more by this author. I think what partly put me off was that I didn't like the film "Fight Club" based on his movie of the same name. I must be the only person in the world who didn't like it. I did get the ending and from that I can see why everyone does like it but the rest of the film just didn't appeal to me in the slightest.

Again I haven't done any writing or studying this week. I have nothing planned for my days off this week so I will be doing some then. Last Sunday I was still jet lagged and then on Monday I was visiting my best friend. I have lots of ideas so hopefully I will get the chance to work on them.

Friday, September 24, 2004

 

Finished Song of Susannah

I actually finished the book a few days ago. I did enjoy it although it wasn't as good as the others but to be honest it was so strange that it didn't have to be. The ending was just so surreal. I should warn you that if you don't want to have any of it spoiled don't read any further. I just couldn't get my head round that I was reading about Stephen King in a Stephen King. It was almost autobiographical. The last part had diary extracts by King and I had to wonder, are they real or are they just part of the story? I mean part of it like his books being published is obviously real but how true was the rest? You really have to read it I think to get what I am talking about.

Wednesday, September 22, 2004

 

Stephen King

Yes, I'm a little obsessed right now but he was one of my first favourite authors in high school and one of the first authors I could actually talk about with my friends. Since I like browsing the net I thought surely there must be an official Stephen King website and sure enough there is. I decided to look up if it was true that the Dark Tower is his last book and discovered that it isn't. First of all he isn't going blind. He is more vulnerable to a disease which can cause blindness but has no symptoms so far. He may actually never lose his sight. So, he hasn't given up writing but is just writing more slowly.

I feel bad actually. I've told more than a few people that he is going blind and so the Dark Tower is going to be his last book. Oops! Glad he's not. I'm glad he isn't giving up writing either. I have enjoyed the Dark Tower series and would say that it is his best work yet. I am looking forward to see what else he produces.

 

The Darks Tower

This is the seventh and last book in the series by Stephen King. Actually I think that this one is his last book ever as he is going blind. It was out yesterday and this time I didn't flick through it. No, this time I decided to do something so much more dumber. I decided to read the blurb on the inside jacket. Normally this wouldn't spoil things unless like me you have only just passed the halfway point of the sixth book. I'm an idiot I know! So I now know that a few of the things that I thought was going to happen in Song of Susannah doesn't. This is actually quite anoying because it makes the sixth book almost pointless. Don't get me wrong, so far it has been a great read but I think it is just being used as a bridge to the last one. Nothing truly important is going to happen in it because it is all being saved for the last book. I spoke to a friend in work and he said basically the same thing. He said though that it does get very strange and finishes at a huge cliffhanger. I hate waiting when it comes to those so I'm glad I waited until the seventh book was coming out before I began reading it (it wasn't intentional believe it or not).

Tuesday, September 21, 2004

 

Halloween

I started stitching those Halloween cards for my nieces yesterday. They really are cute! I have to order some lime green day glow thread by Krennik. I didn't notice until I had began stitching them that the green used a special thread. Not to worry I will order it tomorrow rather than just replace it with normal thread. The day glow will make them more fun. I'm going to change the colours slightly so that I'm not giving my nieces the exact same card.

I love Halloween. I love the costumes and all the stuff you can buy at the shops. I love the Halloween cross stitch kits. I just wish that a bigger deal was made of it here. When we were in America there was actually a Halloween store filled with every kind of costume and all the bits and bobs to decorate your house. In the Disney store there was a huge Halloween selection. I bought my sister back a beanie Mickey dressed as a pumpkin but there was so much more. I could have went nuts and bought everything. My best friend mentioned yesterday that a few years ago the Disney store here had a villains line for Halloween. They had a selection of good with the Disney villains especially for Halloween. I'm sorry I missed it. Apparently though it sold very well but they still haven't brought it back in again since. I may take a gander nearer the time to see if they have anything.

Still, I think it is a shame that although we celebrate it we don't really go all out the way the Americans do. Maybe when I get my own place I can have Halloween parties and use it as an excuse to decorate the house, lol.

Monday, September 20, 2004

 

Still tired and Stephen King

Well, I think I am okay now but yesterday I didn't do much except sit around the house in my pjs and watch tv and DVD's. Just couldn't sum up the energy. I think this week I will be back to normal though.

I also did some reading. I finished reading "A Coyotes in the House" by Elmore Leonard. Another children's book and quite a good one. In this a dog has decided that he is fed up with being a Hollywood star and a pet and wants to live on the wild side. So he asks a Coyote if he would swap places with him. It is a funny story and very sweet. However, everyone I spoke to claimed that it was amazing and I wouldn't go that far. I would recommend it though to kids who want to read something light and a little bit different.

I am now reading the sixth book in Stephen Kings Gunslinger series, "The Song of Susannah". I started it last night and already I am a third of the way through it. The last book was a brilliant one and I think that this one is going to be in the same league. It took me just reading the first chapter to remember all the strange occurrences throughout the story and all the questions we were left with at the end of the last one. So far none of those questions have been answered but more information is being given as I go along. It think this one is going to be just as strange as the last one too. I love the illustrations too. I don't have books one to four in hardback so I don't know what they are like. However, the illustrations in books 5 and six are very different in style. Both are very dark but the illustrations in book six seem to be as though from a dream. That's the best way I can describe it. Anyway, I think this series is Kings best work. Can't wait to get onto book seven which is out this month.

As yet I still haven't done any crafts either. I have got some inspiration though after looking through my magazines today. I am thinking of making some Halloween cards for my nieces. I just spotted them in the mag today and they are very cute. I'll post a picture when I do them. I also plan to make some more Christmas cards soon.

Both my writing and my French have been left behind a bit. That is something I am going to make a point of working on next week. I will have to register for my French course soon and I don't want to get too far behind on all the work I put in before my holiday. Also I still have that doctor who story niggling at the back of my head. So I haven't ran out of inspiration or ideas I just haven't had the time to work on it. I will finish it.

Saturday, September 18, 2004

 

Paralympics and West Wing

It was the opening ceremony of the paralympics (yes, I have finally learned how to spell it) and I missed it. The reason for this is that I watched the West Wing and then fell asleep.

West Wing Season 4 is finally being shown on terrestrial tv. The box set on DVD is out next month but never mind. Actually I found it difficult to pay attention to it. It was good to finally see an episode that I hadn't seen before with all my favourite characters but I was basically just trying my hardest to keep my eyes open. I can't even tell you if it is a good episode or not. It is part one though and part two is next week (unless of course good old channel four decides to play havock with the schedule like they usually do).

I will try to keep up with the paralympics though because I am interested in it. Britain did well in Sydney and came in second on the league table. From what I have been reading we are expecting to do just as well this time round.

 

So Tired

I've been so tired of late that I have been able to do very little after work except read. Even then I've been falling asleep whilst reading. I guess I am just catching up on my sleep now. After those first few days of waking to early I am now oversleeping. I would try to read for a while but instead I would fall asleep at ridiculous times and then wake only long enough to get ready for bed and then go back to sleep again. Hopefully I will be back to normal tonight. I don't want to waste my two days off by sleeping all the time.

There was a lot I had wanted to do too. I wanted to get back into my usual routine of some study, writing and then doing some crafts but obviously I haven't been able to do that. I will tomorrow though.

 

Eyre Affair

I just finished reading this book by jasper Fforde and it was such a brilliant book. It was clever and funny. I loved all the literary connections. It was fun recognising characters and pieces from other books that I had read. This book is the first in a series. It is about Thursday Next who is investigating a criminal who has begun to kidnap characters from books and thus changing the books forever. The latest character to be kidnapped is Jane Eyre and it is up to Thursday to return her to the book unharmed otherwise it would finish without her. We learn that the world between fiction and reality is thinner than we thought and some are capable of moving in and out of it. If you want an intelligent book to read with some humour then this is it. I would recommend that Jane Eyre fans give it a go.

Wednesday, September 15, 2004

 

Crafts & Writing Update

I haven't touched the Castle since I came back. I have added finishing touches to a Christmas card but will need to get batteries for my camera before I can post a picture. I also have plans to try my hand at scrapbooking over the next month or so. Will start with a scrapbook for my holiday memories.

To be honest I haven't even thought about my writing. Will take a look at it at the weekend.

 

Shadowmancer, The Divide and Absolution Gap

Over the last few days I finished off Shadowmancer by GP Taylor and Absolution Gap by Alastair Reynold. I did not enjoy Shadowmancer at all. I found it very preachy and dull. As someone mentioned to me, the ideas themselves were good and had promise but too much importance was placed on religion. I guess it is to be expected from an ex Reverend but he said that his books wouldn't be like that. He tries to be quirky by saying in the blurb that he lives in a graveyard but it just doesn't work. I've heard that Wormwood by the same author is good but Shadowmancer has put me off reading it.

I finally finished Absolution Gap this morning and I loved it. In the beginning it was a little confusing because there were two timelines. One involved the characters we knew from the previous books and the other involving different characters. I couldn't see how these two timelines were at all linked. It became obvious near the end though and I thought it was well done. I was a little disappointed with the ending though. It just didn't feel as though the enough time was spent on it. It felt as though it linked the two together and then it was a little rushed. I would still highly recommend it however. It is a great trilogy for most sci fi fans.

Over my holiday I read another children's book called The Divide by Elizabeth Kay. This was a great book and a quick read. I think that any kid who likes the Harry Potter books will like this simply because it has magic and lots of mythical creatures. I would also recommend it to others as it is both moving and funny.

 

I'm an idiot and sports stuff

I saw an advert yesterday for the para olympics. I thought they had started a few weeks ago but it turns out it starts this week.

Since being in San Fran have expanded my recent interest in sports. When on a tour of the SF Giants baseball park I took a huge interest in that. It is nearing the end of the season but I am going to try to keep up with it. I have to admit that I have always liked the look of baseball and would love to go to a match someday.

Also watched some of the American Football and some of the tennis US Open. Can't say that I followed the football too closely but I do like the tennis. Again something I have always wanted to follow but never have. A young guy from Dumblane won the Jr US Open which impressed me. I also heard that he did very well in Wimbledon too.

Tuesday, September 14, 2004

 

Holiday

I have had lots of sleep and have caught up with everyone. My holiday was amazing! I loved every minute I was in San Francisco. I would recommend it to anyone who is thinking of going. We were there for almost two weeks and not a day went by when we didn't do something. So many people were surprised that we weren't touring California but how can you truly get to know a city if you only spend one or two days there? I suppose we could have taken those tram tours which would have covered everything but it wouldn't be the same as walking through it yourself. I don't understand this need to fit as many countries as possible in a short space of time. I like time to explore.

Anyway, as I said there wasn't a day we didn't do anything and we visited most of the normal tourist places. We toured alcatraz, we walked across the Golden Gate Bridge, we took a tour of the Ball Park, we walked through China town, we walked around Golden Gate Park and we went shopping in union square. We also visited the zoo but didn't have time for the Castro or High-Ashbury. I regret not seeing those places. Of course that just gives us an excuse to go back again. When we walked over the Golden Gate Bridge we walked down to Sosalito which is a beautiful place. We also did a trip to Yosemite. That is another regret. Because there was so much traveling involved we were lucky if we spent more than 3 hours in the park. I think that next time we will make a point of bringing the right footwear and spend a few days so that we can go hiking and really see it properly.

We also sat in Versuvio which was the bar of choice by both Jack Kerouac and Ernst Hemingway. We then went next door to the famous "City Lights" book store which is a lovely place to browse (and of course we bought a few things).

I can't for a minute decide which was my favourite. I think if we had been able to spend more time in Yosemite it would have been that.

Monday, September 13, 2004

 

One last Olympics Update

I'm too far behind the paraolympics to keep up with it but I only missed the last few days of the Olympics before I left. To conclude then the US was first with a total of 103 medals, 35 of which were gold (mind boggling). China was second with 63 medals, 32 of which were gold. Actually Russia had more medals than China with a total of 92 but had less gold medals with 27.

Britain came 10th. We won 30 gold medals, 9 of which were gold. Kelly Holmes won a second gold meal and this time for the women's 1500m race. She did so well that on the closing ceremony she was chosen as the flag carrier.

 

I'm Back

I flew in this morning and all I can say right now is that San Francisco is an amazing place. I'm still eight hours behind and I have to force myself to stay awake until tonight so that I am okay for work on Wednesday. As much as I enjoyed myself though I am very much looking forward to sleeping in my own bed.

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