Friday, June 09, 2006


Don't worry, I'm not going to go on and on about the World Cup for the next month. I know that quite a large proportion of my small but loyal readership don't like the game. Plus I have readers from the USA, who won't know what the rest of the world is talking about for the next several weeks, so I'd hate to add to their confusion. But just for tonight, football fever hits even this determinedly-different section of the blogosphere. I love the World Cup.

What's more, this is the first World Cup for years and years and years that hasn't been disturbed by having to study for exams! In 2002 I was taking my CIMA accountancy qualification round about now. In 1998 it was the AAT (the inferior accountancy qualification), while in 1994 I was dedicated to not revising for my A Levels. Back in 1990 I was in the third year and just had normal exams that didn't count for anything (I distinctly remember blaming the World Cup for me doing so badly in them), so you have to go back a whole twenty years to those halcyon days of 1986, when I was a few months shy of ten years old, to remember the happy combination of a World Cup and no revision. And it was in Mexico that year and half the games were after my bedtime. I don't remember paying any attention to the 1982 tournament, and back in 1978 I was distracted by my parents having another baby right in the middle of it. I told them at the time that it was a bad idea, but they wouldn't listen.

I'm currently cheering Ecuador on against Poland. You never know, with enough positive vibes coming from me, they might surprise everyone and win!

Thursday, June 08, 2006

Tight schedule

I’ve noticed that my plans for the weekend involve eight hours of memory training, six full football matches, hunting for a birthday present for my brother and buying the raw materials I need to make a really cool 7-Zark-7 costume. I know I said I was thinking of taking the easy route to this fancy dress party, but I’ve got the idea in my head of being Zark now, with flashing face-lights and deelyboppers and everything. I’m weird like that. So I'm obviously going to have to cut down on non-essentials like sleeping, eating proper meals and talking to people.

And hey, isn’t it hot? Except in our office, where it’s arctic because the air conditioning is working and (as seems to be the case with every office air conditioning system in the world) nobody can get it to keep the place at a comfortable temperature. I worry about getting sunburnt on top of my head on the way to and from work, though. I could wear my hat, but it’s kind of sweaty and uncomfortable in this weather. Or I could get a baseball cap or something, but that might make the hat jealous. Maybe I’ll just wear a knotted hanky.

Write it on a pound note pound note

Is it completely illegal and treasonous to draw glasses and a moustache on the Queen on a five-pound note? Because I have a strange urge to do that tonight. I don’t know why, but I just thought it would brighten up a succession of people’s days as the note circulated the country and found its way into different people’s pockets. I think there should be more of that kind of thing, and I’m quite prepared to risk the death penalty over it.

Anyway, on rather more sane matters, you may recall that a couple of weeks ago I mentioned that I’m a big fan of Antonia Forest’s Marlow family books. There’s one of the series that I’ve never read, and have been vaguely looking for for ages and ages – “The Marlows and the Traitor”, the second book in the series. I realised tonight that my ‘looking’ for the last few years hasn’t involved noticing that it’s back in print again, courtesy of ‘Girls Gone By Publishers’, which is a fabulous name for a publishing company by the way.

And when I say I realised, that kind of implies that I did some active detective work, but actually all I had to do was open the mysterious parcel I got in the post today – my mum sent me her newly-acquired copy! So I officially take back 93% of the bad things I’ve said about her on this blog thing. This is unprecedented niceness on my mother’s part, and I’m going to have to think of something nice I can do for her in return. What an inconvenience…

Actually, that’s the second nice surprise I’ve had in the post this week – Jenny sent me a wonderful home-made card just to say hi, which brightened up my day no end. It’s like the old days when I used to get little presents for my brother’s birthday (next Wednesday) so I wouldn’t feel left out. Why don’t people do that any more? I still feel left out, darn it. I’m going to throw a tantrum if you’re not careful.

Tuesday, June 06, 2006


The title to be sung in the style of that dance record from a few years ago. I've got Ecuador in the office World Cup sweepstake, which probably isn't a good one to get. Although I'll be all the more pleasantly surprised if they do win, of course. But before the draw I was thinking of spending the winnings on a new pair of work shoes. It struck me today that my foot coverings were strictly decorative - with the holes in the soles and in my socks, my right heel was actually touching the floor. This is the point where even I think about buying some new ones.

Incidentally, if you were wondering why my last blog post didn't show up on the internet until this morning, it's because my broadband connection is continuing to be dodgy and it wasn't working last night. And if you weren't wondering, well, don't let me keep you. You just go back to whatever you were doing that was so much more important than cataloguing every minute detail of my life. I don't mind. Hmmph.

Anyway, from past experience it will sort itself out in the long run whether I call Ntl out or not - it's done this two or three times before, going all intermittent and random on me, and then it fixes itself or gets fixed and it's fine for months on end. It might possibly get fixed quicker if I call them and they send someone out to poke it, or maybe it won't. I don't really remember how conclusive it was the one time they did send a man round. And it does mean taking a day off work to wait for him to turn up.

On the other hand, it does mean taking a day off work to wait for him to turn up. And I have been feeling like I could do with a day off work. Maybe I will call them. And I notice now that the connection's died again. So this might get posted in the morning again. Or next week, or next month. We'll see.


Some people have a ‘current music’ bit on their livejournal entry every day. That seems kind of strange to me, since I have the telly on more than half the time while I’m writing my blog. Still, tonight it’s music, and I thought I should record that I’m listening to ‘More Abba Gold’, one of my favourites from my limited CD collection. I like it much more than the original Abba Gold, strangely enough – I’ve got that one too, but I hardly ever listen to it. The ‘Abba songs that aren’t quite good enough for their greatest hits’ album, though, I really adore. So many really beautiful tunes on it. Maybe I’m just weird.

Anyway, I need to sit down and work on memory things. Names and faces, and abstract images, specifically. That is, not the ones I like doing and am quite happy to practice all the time, but the one I have a mental block with and the brand new one that I haven’t worked out a technique for yet. Since they’re insisting on keeping the patterns (which as I mentioned before is colossally stupid), I need to identify how many of them there are, codify them and work out the best way to go about memorising them. Then maybe I can get a big score and persuade the Powers That Be to do a proper images discipline where you actually need to look at the images.

See, I’m still all worked up about this thing. I worry that I’m taking things much too seriously sometimes. But as a bit of light relief, it’s only three weeks to the Speed Cards Challenge! That’s going to be a lot of fun, and I’ve got the flights and hotel booked, I’m in good form with the cards so no need to work hard on the training, I can just enjoy the whole thing and hopefully blow everyone away on the day.

Still need to get a costume for the party in two weeks’ time, though. I’m not sure when I’m going to fit that into my busy schedule, but I’m sure I’ll manage.

Sunday, June 04, 2006

A snip at only 299

Because I always fail to notice when the mileometer of this blog clicks over, I think I should celebrate the fact that tonight's entry is number 299. Woohoo! It really is coming up to a year since I started properly writing something here, every night that I haven't got a good excuse not to. You've got to admit that's pretty impressive.

Although I can't really think of anything worth writing about today, so it's a good thing this isn't a real round-numbered post. I'll just have to make sure to say something thrilling and noteworthy tomorrow. I hope something more exciting than a usual Monday at the office happens. Maybe I'll arrange for an aeroplane to crash on the building, or aliens to make contact during my lunch break, or my bag of crisps in my briefcase to come open on the way to work making them all soggy when I come to eat them. You know, something thrilling like that.