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I have an enormously terrifying day at work today. Presentation to give to the Executive Directors on my areas of work where I get to talk for 30 minutes then get grilled for an hour. I'm crapping my pants.

However, things are made a little better by the fact that I have hidden command power lurking beneath my black boots.

Mr G bought them for me yesterday and today I am wearing the command gold ones to give me Kirk strength. I love that he saw them and thought of me, and I love that I'm such a nerd that even in a high-flying meeting I can take strength from knowing I have the essence of Kirk wrapped around my ankles.

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My workplace is very active in charity fundraising and donation, and I'm actually really proud to be working here for that reason. We are a branch office and while the main office has nearly 1,000 staff working there, we have about 40 people working here. In October we had two fundraising drives across the organisation for Mind, the mental health charity, and Mary's Meals, which is an organisation that provides school meals for children in schools in Africa. In the main office, they raised about £1,200 which is great for the charities, but really showcases the £550 we raised here with 4% of the staff they have in the main office.

This is why I'm proud. I work with such kind, caring and generous-spirited people. Whatever shit I have to wade through on a daily basis it does really help to know that the people I share my office with are all kinds of awesome.

The next project is Pocketful of Presents, where we are all allocated the age of a child in the care of Social Services who would otherwise receive little or nothing for Christmas and we get gifts and wrap them up for them to have a Christmas party. I've done this every year for the last four years. This year I've been allocated a girl of nine and the suggested gift was a game.

Help! What kind of games do nine year old girls like? Are we talking board game or puzzles here? I know there are mothers, Godmothers and aunties out there reading this, and any advice you can give me would be very helpful. I have no contact with any children, so no idea what is age appropriate or what is currently "in". I'm going to go do my shopping tomorrow, so if you have any suggestions I would be very, very grateful.

*group hugs f-list*

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As I was walking into the centre of Cardiff on Saturday, I stepped off the curb outside St Andrew's church and almost trod right on this little guy...

He was lying in the gutter, wet from the standing rainwater and half-matted with leaves shaken down by the previous night's blustering storm. I couldn't leave him there, so I picked him up and popped him in my bag, thinking I'd consider later what I could do with him.

Then I went about my weekend and forgot about the little guy until I just pulled him out of my bag.

A colleague of mine said I should send him to the local newspaper, see if they'll print it so he can find his family again. I think I might scan him and send him to the Lost Photo Gallery but he's unlikely to find his way home from there.

Maybe I was just meant to find him and look after him. Who knows? I'm starting to imagine where he is now and how come an old photo of him in his school uniform against a very seventies backdrop of cork-tiled walls came to end up in a gutter in the suburbs of Cardiff. Did the adult him own the photograph and decide he didn't want this picture of his young self any more? What if something awful happened to him and this piece of his childhood fluttered out of a box carried by someone clearing out his house? Maybe he did live in someone's wallet and somehow he slipped out and ended up being trampled by shoppers on their way to town on a brisk Hallow'een day.

For now, I'll just keep him in my wallet. Which is kind of odd. I don't even have a picture of my nearest and dearest in my wallet, so to be carrying round a photo that looks some thirty years old of a person I don't know is probably strange. I just feel kind of compelled to look after him. I dunno.

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Travel plans move on apace, and Mr G says visa applications are sent. I have a list of things to do in preparation for the trip as long as my arm. Dull stuff, including sorting insurance, telling the bank withdrawals will be made from exotic locations and booking airport parking. We picked up the tickets on Saturday and await the arrival of the tour itinerary to I can go through the travel books we have and annotate them like the crazy control freak I am.

The fun part, which I have yet to sort, is what reading matter I will take with me. I like to take series books. Last year I made my way through all four Twilight books (not so good) in Mexico (also not so good) whereas the year before I read all of His Dark Materials (unbelievably awesome) in Thailand (best holiday ever).

With that in mind I'm seeking recommendations for books to take. Grown-up books or young adult is fine. Ask me any questions on what I like to read you think might help and I would love to hear what you suggest.

Halp!

Oct. 13th, 2009 03:21 pm
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I have a cold. My head throbs and intermittently I can't breathe through my nose. Apparently I was snoring last night, probably on account of being compelled to be a mouthbreather due to full-up sinuses. I also didn't sleep all that well, so my eyes are sore.

It's making me miserable, and I'm done with miserable. I've given it up for the foreseeable future. I was cheered by watching the STVI gag reel about three times this morning but that has worn off now, much like the pseudoephydrine *goes to top up mug of Lemsip*

So if anyone has anything that might cheer me up - macros, fluff fic [NOT Torchwood; Torchwood and I have fallen out], videos, pictures of puppies or kittens or pygmy hedgehogs, feel free to send 'em my way.

Help me, F-list Wan Kenobi. You're my only hope...

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The perfectly fabulous [livejournal.com profile] licklepickle finds that due to certain band stalking activities cultural enrichment commitments she will be in Oslo for her birthday later this month.

Does anyone know of places to go out in that fair city? Or know someone who might?

Moar Quinto

Sep. 4th, 2009 11:16 am
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With all this Funny or Die action, Mr Quinto is really spoiling us...

Rachael Harris has a Christian Bale moment; ZQ unbuttons shirt

As you were.

Oh well

Jul. 20th, 2009 12:30 am
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This weekend didn't really turn out as I expected. We had plans for Saturday that fell through for health and other more enigmatic reasons. But it's been nice. Mr G and I went to Cardiff yesterday for lunch and a wander and spent the evening at home. Today I've been domestically productive and managed to make two hone-cooked meals (including a fucking gorgeous lasagne, even if I do say so myself), do some cleaning and put away the groceries. Not earth-shattering but I feel I've not wasted the day. Then topped off the night by watching Shaun of the Dead, which made me grin very broadly indeed.

I took 15 mins or so whilst Mr G was in the bath this evening to progress a WIP I want to finish. I was pleased that I managed to get 700+ words out in that time, which is a good workrate, I reckon. I've promised myself I won't look back over it til I think it's done and then I'll edit it. If I can get another 500 or so words a day into it over the next couple of mornings I'll be feeling pretty satisfied with myself.

Preview

Jul. 15th, 2009 11:14 pm
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Still no internet at home, which is irritating. The pain was somewhat alleviated tonight by having secured tickets to a free BAFTA screening of Szm Rockwell's new movie Milk through Chapter Arts Centre's Twitter earlier on. I knew Twitter would turn out to be useful eventually ;)

There's not much I can say about the film without totally giving the game away. All I can say is that it's set on a moonbase in the near future, is very thought provoking, fantastic to look at and I squeaked like a little girl who'd been promised a pony when I saw Matt Berry's name roll in the credits at the start. I really do fangasm over the most random people.

After the film we went to get Lebanese food, which was yummy, and chatted a bit. It was nice to be out of the house and able to talk properly over dinner. I sometimes worry that most of our communication is through monosyllabic grunts and shared links on MSN. Even when we're in the same room.

Seems like things are shaping up for the weekend. Hoping to catch up with[livejournal.com profile] minlliw finally and give her some love. Preferably the kind that's slightly inappropriate for two married women to share ;)

Input

Jul. 14th, 2009 11:24 pm
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Our home phone line, and therefore the broadband, is broken due to a "serious exchange fault". It makes me realise how much I rely on the 'net when I let out a frustrated howl upon the realisation that I couldn't Google for the fault reporting number. Roll on the day I can get a connection straight into my head.

This evening Mr G and I went to our local bookshop, Borders, which announced today it is to close down and that there was 50% off all stock. By the time we got there it was like the scene of a middle-class ram-raid. Large sections were already decimated and under the pressure of time and constant tannoy announcements that the store would be closing very soon and that the queues were very long I found it hard to choose anything. Mr G, however, suffered none of my paralysis and as a result we came away with a massive haul including three travel books on Vietnam for our travels in November and December, two books on the Vietnam War, a complete set of Wainwright walking guides to the Lake District (probably for gifts as we already have a set), four of the seven West Wing season box sets, the film Hunger, Andrew Marr's History of Modern Britain, Iain Banks' The Wasp Factory and Teach Yourself books on NLP and creative writing, the last three of these being my only choices. Oh, and the Taschen Big Book of Breasts. Not my choice, but I do approve.

I bought the creative writing book to see if it can kick-start me. I had a very defeatist conversation with [livejournal.com profile] terraswrath a few days ago about my inability to write and how I could never write anything novel-length. I'm still dubious, but also annoyed with myself for writing myself off without even thinking about it seriously, let alone trying. I'm not promising myself anything but keeping a journal is coming more easily to me now than it used to so maybe that's a sign there's something to develop.

In the absence of an Internet connection, we sat down tonight and watched Hunger. It's an unrelentingly grim film, all long shots with little action and no soundtrack interspersed with brutal naked violence. It was somehow compelling, though, and Michael Fassbender put in a stunning performance.

Anyway, iPhone keyboard is making my eyes go screwy and it's not as early a night as it was. Time to retire, methinks.

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Seriously. I hurt from the ribs downwards. I am walking with a very pronounced limp. I am finding it very difficult to ascend and descend stairs and, without wishing to give you mental pictures you don't need, I'm finding getting on the loo to pee harder than I did after knee surgery. If this is how shit I am at exercise, I'm not sure I want any part of it. What a fucking mess.

In other news, I had my inaugural trip to the Hay Literary Festival tonight. I don't know what I was expecting, but what I got was triple-distilled middle classes in a tiny field. I know that I really am middle class, but that didn't feel like me at all.

The reason for going, though, was to see Dylan Moran. He was excellent, very funny and so good with the crowd. My favourite line of the night was "I love it when she says 'I know what you're thinking'. Of course she knows what I'm thinking. Everyone knows what I'm thinking. I want to be face-down in a cushion, with my mouth full of chocolate, and something lovely happening to my lower half..."

Amen to that, Dylan :D

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I am really feeling the therapeutic benefits of fire these past two days. We had [livejournal.com profile] after8mink over for a barbeque tonight followed by another fire in the garden. We sat outside until 11pm before retiring to the lounge where all three of us indulged in a glass of port and a Habano. I quit smoking in November, but somehow smoking a cigar is totally different. It was mellow and soothing to roll the liquorice smoke around my mouth and blow it out in rings. I won't make a habit of it but it was nice.

The boys (Mr G and [livejournal.com profile] after8mink) are downstairs watching a badly dubbed Chinese movie but I needed my bed. Replete, seasoned and sleepy.

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Yeah, it's been a stressful day. Hell, it's been a pretty hardcore week. But there's something about being outside with a fire that makes it all seem so far away somehow.

This evening Mr G and I took a drink to the deck and watched the fire. We took turns to stoke it and stared into its heart for about for hours, talking sometime, mostly not.

We set it before it was dark and watched til long after the sun had gone down.

Now I have warm feet, rosy cheeks and smell faintly of woodsmoke. I'm going to lie down, close my pink rimmed, smokey eyes and sleep whilst orange flames dance behind my lids.

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