Monday 30 September 2002

weekend update

Here's the big weekend round up, 'cos I know that you're all dying to know what I've been up to since Friday evening. Ah go on, you are.

Friday night, I was mostly sitting/lying/slumped/swearing on Paul's sofa trying to get comfy. As I mentioned on Friday, things kept cracking every so often, which was slightly disconcerting. I hate the sound of it - it's like nails on a chalkboard to me, and Paul takes great joy in cracking his joints in my ear to hear me go "Ewwwwwwwww!! Stop! Stop!". While the cracking didn't actually hurt (it was a just very, very odd sensation to feel things go *pop* in my back), my muscles were incredibly sore. In fact, my back is still sore today. This is apparently due to the fact that the osteopath has popped things back into place, and I'm used to being misaligned. My back hurt so much that I oscillated between feeling like crying and throwing up all night long. A bubble bath helped a bit, but this was a soreness I've never felt before; even worse than after going to the gym after a long absence. I'm being assured that this will get better, so we shall see.

Saturday was a quiet day (me in less pain, but still very sore) spent watching a DVD ("Blow") and making a fantastic dinner. Paul and I are really good in the kitchen together, although I admit that he's the one that comes up with the good ideas for what to make. He fancied my turkey roll-ups (a flattened turkey breast stuffed with a sauce made of chopped spinach, creme fraiche, garlic, dijon mustard, lemon juice, layered with a slice of smoked turkey breast meat and some grated cheese, rolled up and baked in the oven), and suggested side dishes of roasted veggies and roasted garlic mashed potatoes. Oh my good god, I have fallen in love with roasted garlic mash. We washed all this down with enormous glasses of red wine. I cannot tell you how wonderful it is to be with someone who can cook and who loves food as much as I do. Oh wait, I just did. Never mind.

Sunday we went to see "Road to Perdition", which was brilliant. Tom Hanks is excellent, conveying so much intensity with few words. A stellar cast, directed by Sam Mendes of "American Beauty" fame. For dinner, we went to Sakura (billed as "Northampton's only Japanese restaurant") as Paul had noticed it the other day and was interested in trying it. Being of Japanese ancestry, I am always up for a good roll of sushi and a big plate of tempura, so I was really looking forward to dinner. The staff and owner are Chinese, which is definitely not an issue with me (the place where my Mom and Dad get sushi from in Toronto is run by Koreans), but it was slightly disappointing to not see the familiar round faces of people who look like my relatives. Yeah, I am a bit homesick these days. We were seated at a little round table with big upholstered chairs while we looked through the menu and had a drink. Although not completely extensive, the menu was quite varied with choices from tempura and sushi to tempanyaki (food cooked at your table a la Benihana) and teriyaki. I really craved my "comfort food" (sushi and tempura), so Paul let me pick out some starters to share. After making our choices, we were led to a big table with an enormous grill in the centre. We tried in vain to hold on to slippery pieces of freshly-fried tempura (vegetables coated in a light egg and flour batter) with acrylic chopsticks, and then tucked into some futomaki sushi (a layer of seaweed and rice rolled around slices of crab stick, cucumber, and ginger) where Paul got into the wasabi (Japanese horseradish) paste. Our main course was tempanyaki, fried up on the table in front of us by a chef who probably hadn't really done this sort of thing much before. The chef who was cooking food for the large table next to us must have done this before, as he did the whole "show" including juggling salt and pepper shakers and catching one in his chef's hat. I had scallops, Paul had swordfish, and we watched the chef flip and fry meals for the entire table (you're seated at a large table with other people, which is actually kind of nice). Although I got splashed with a bit of hot oil at one point, and the waitress accidentally threw my rice across the table, the meal was absolutely gorgeous. After we were done our meal, we were led back to the big chairs and little table where we sipped more green tea and ruminated over our excellent dinner. The owner, who had chatted to us before the meal, came over again to make sure we enjoyed our meal. We will definitely go back.

Friday 27 September 2002


I went to an osteopath this morning for the first time, and it was cracking. Specifically, my back, shoulders, and neck were cracked by my lovely osteopath, Sally. Yowch. I've always got upper back/shoulder/neck pain (one of the consequences of working on a computer all day long and having crap posture), but this has also now migrated down to my lower back and as an added bonus, I get headaches on a semi-regular basis. My concerned boyfriend suggested that I see an osteopath, so I got a name from my mate Micky as I knew he was seeing one close to my village. I am in quite a bit of pain at the moment, but Sally assures me that I'll be feeling fantastic after a few more sessions. I'm also slightly concerned about the fact that whenever I stretch or rotate my head now, I can hear things go *crack crack crack*.

I'm sure this is all good for me. Oh how I would love a hot bubble bath right now. And a very large glass of wine. Mmmm.

Thursday 26 September 2002


Every month, I get Google hits for the search lisa sucks, which is really starting to give me a complex. Furthermore, I'm number one. Gah.
got some 'splainin to do

Right, for my non-UK readers, here's a little explanation of The Fast Show (here's a site that'll give you an idea of what it's about). It's a sketch comedy show that ran here up until a couple of years ago, similar to the "quirky" sense of humour you'd find in something like the Canadian programme Kids in the Hall (sorry, can't think of an American equivalent). This is The Fast Show's last live tour, so this is such a huge deal for me to be going. I first caught the show at a friend's house during my first visit to England in 1999 (and Harry Enfield as well - another good 'un), and fell on the floor laughing. You can walk up to almost anyone in this country and say things like "Suit you, sir" (it's even a chain of men's wear shops), "Monkfiiiiiiiiiiiiiish!", "Which was nice", "Today, I will be mostly...", "With my reputation", "I was very, very drunk", and "Scorchio!", and people will know what you're on about. In fact, a lot of these lines work their way into conversations on a regular basis - that's how popular this programme was. Johnny Depp is a big fan; he made a guest appearance on the show, and based his "Sleepy Hollow" accent on a Fast Show character called Swiss Tony.

It's hard to describe a comedy programme without being able to show you clips, but trust me. It's frickin' funny.

In other strange news, once again, I seem to be rid of that cold. What is it about me and these one day colds? Bizarre.

Wednesday 25 September 2002

suits you

May I just take this opportunity to say that I have the best boyfriend. Ever. Paul surprised me by buying tickets to see the Fast Show live in London (their very last show!). And if things couldn't get any better, we've also booked tickets to take a ride in the London Eye! We'll go up in the Eye in the afternoon, see the Fast Show in the evening, spend the night in London, then head back the next day.

Happy girl, me. :)
it's baaaaaaaaaack

I don't know if I'm just feeling this way out of sympathy for my sniffly boyfriend, but that cold I thought I had beaten seems to have returned today. I was feeling all smug that I had got rid of it before it really started and now I feel like an alien is going to burst out of my sinuses.

I'm sitting in lovely Chalfont typing this - and it is lovely today, actually. The sun is out, it's not too cold, and we're off to the pub in about 10 minutes. Hurrah! I've got to give a short presentation after lunch, and since we're not videoconferencing this time, there's no risk of getting the giggles with my workmate Andy (who's in Ft. Lauderdale at the moment). Apparently during one similar meeting, one of the authors drew a little face on an orange he was eating. Every time someone spoke (they were teleconferencing, I gather), he'd put the orange by the mic and mimic the person talking. Good thing I wasn't there for that 'cos I would have been on the floor hyperventilating. I get the giggles so easily at the most inappropriate moments, although I've yet to burst into laughter at a funeral a la Mary Tyler Moore in the "Chuckles the Clown" episode.

Rightyo, we're off! Mmm pub lunches.

Tuesday 24 September 2002

no pain, no pain

Last night marked the inevitable Return to the Gym as I trundled off to sweat for an hour after work. The gym I tried out wasn't bad - it didn't have the large screens forcing you to watch boy bands and Britney like my last gym, which is a good thing. It's a no frills place to go and exercise; no fancy equipment, the walls are painted a simple bright yellow, and there's no caf�, juice bar, or shop full of overpriced gym gear. It's a big room with equipment, plus a studio for aerobics and yoga. That's it. That's fine, though. Now I can go back to yoga classes once a week and I've got a place to burn some fat and lift heavy things. As an added bonus, I'm not in agony today.

Making my way to Northampton after work today, and heading into our Chalfont office tomorrow. I'm only really going for the pub lunch.

Work related news: the cleaners forgot us again last week but seemed to have found us last night. The air conditioning is working extremely well in this room today, which would be good news if it wasn't freezing outside. Gary's going to grow enormous sideburns. Haven't seen Pete so far this week, am getting worried. I don't know why Dave has labelled his food in the fridge 'cos it's not like anyone's gonna steal it. I mean come on, it's ham flavoured Quorn slices for goodness sake.

Monday 23 September 2002

met the parents

I had a really nice weekend with Paul's Mum and Dad, and yeah, I think they liked me. Pretty sure they did, anyway. ;) They are fantastic - very warm, funny, and Paul's Mum makes the best Sunday roast lunch ever. I also met Paul's cousin and her kids, and his oldest brother and sister in law. Honestly, and I'm not trying to score brownie points here, they were all really fabulous. I was sad to leave Kent yesterday; it was just so nice to be around a family doing family things like dinners and days out. There was something about the house that reminded me so much of being at my Grandma and Grandpa's in St. Catharines. Maybe because it was spotless, and filled with photos and the smell of roasted chicken, it just felt like home and it was lovely.

Today it's back to the old grind and off to try out a new gym (new as in new to me) tonight. Paul's on holiday all week, which means he gets to annoy me in the morning by chanting "I don't have to go into work today!" Bah.

Pictures from our weekend excursions can be seen here.
previously on Lisa's blog...

Pictures from Chris' birthday bash at Chez Gerard arrived in my inbox yesterday.

Here's Paul looking very serious (he really does love being with me, honest) and me grinning like the goob that I am.

And speaking of looking like a goob, I obviously hate having my picture taken. David is running and hiding under his coat, hoping that people don't know he was seated at my table.

Pictures and exciting tales from my Kentish weekend to come later today. Try to contain yourselves.

Thursday 19 September 2002

happy birthday and meet the parents

Happy birthday to my gorgeous Kentish man! I love you - you are the best alarm clock ever. I am a very lucky girl indeed.

The restaurant was a success - a winning combination of good food and decent service in Cambridge. No, really! I had moules mariniere (mussels) to start, while Paul had lobster bisque, followed by grilled salmon for me and halibut with pesto for Paul. We ordered mustard and leek mashed potatoes to go with the meal (yummmmmy), plus Paul had a mixed salad, and I had steamed veggies. I decided that I had to have something made of chocolate (didn't really care what), so I went for the chocolate tart for dessert (oh yes yes yes) and my more refined boyfriend had a selection of cheeses with a glass of port. Dinner was accompanied by a lovely bottle of red wine, followed by more red wine at home.

The birthday bloke got his pressies this morning, which consisted of: the latest Tom Clancy book, The Simpsons season 2 on DVD, shirts from Roots (specially imported via Canadian Mom Post), and a set of brushed chrome containers for the kitchen (not very romantic, but he did like them anyway).

Tonight, we're heading over to Kent to Meet The Parents for a long weekend. I'll be meeting Paul's parents, his brother and sister in law, his cousin and her kids, and possibly his aunt and uncle. It'll really suck if they all end up hating me. I'm looking forward to it, but I am a tad nervous. As an added bonus, I'm coming down with a cold, which is just fantastic timing. "Mum, Dad - this is my girlfriend, Lisa". ssssssssssnnnnnnnnnnerrrrrk cough hack splutter "Sorry, I hab a code. Bice to beet you". Ewww.

So, that's it from me until Monday. Wish me luck and send me some vitamin C.

Wednesday 18 September 2002

i am a woman of many talents

...none of which are useful in everyday life. I'm typing this with my left hand wrapped up in a tea towel filled with ice. Why, you ask? Because I spilled a mugful of boiling water on it. I made myself a cup of tea in the kitchen here at work and when I tried to move it, it stuck to our less than tidy counter and sloshed boiling hot water all over my hand. I know that I'm a klutz, but this actually wasn't an accident due to my clumsiness. For once.

Our BBQ was good fun and the space hopper races were a riot. We have a page of quotes on our intranet, and thanks to these bouncy space hoppers, I've now been quoted on this page:

'Wow! I can't even straddle this thing!' (Lisa MacDonald)

(quoted by nwise on 18/09/2002 13:59:36)

I'm so misunderstood. I merely meant that as an individual of lesser height, it was hard to get my feet on the ground. I didn't have time to play Chris's mini golf (he actually constructed an elaborate golf course in a room downstairs), but I'm sure everyone enjoyed it.

Tonight I'm taking Paul to a secret location for his birthday dinner. Ah, what the hell, I'll say where it is 'cos he's not going to be reading this page before 7pm. I'm taking him to the Loch Fyne Restaurant, which is a fantastic seafood restaurant in Cambridge. I've only been there once, but I thought it was great and wanted to go again. More importantly, I thought it would be the kind of place Paul would like. When asked what he wanted to do for his birthday, he said that I could pick somewhere and not to tell him. So, after much deliberation, I chose this place. It's not his birthday until tomorrow, but we'll be en route to Kent in the evening so we're going out tonight instead. Hope he likes it! I can always just ply him with a lot of wine so that he thinks he likes it.

Tuesday 17 September 2002

too much pesto, too little time

So what do you do with over 1/2 jar of pesto? It says that it'll keep for 4 days in the fridge, but I've only managed to use less than 1/2 jar so far. Can you freeze pesto? What if I put spoonfuls in cling film and chuck it in the freezer? Answers on a postcard, please.

Work related news: we're having a BBQ tomorrow (some sort of release party type thing) which should be fun if it's not freezing and raining. We're having space hopper races which should be fun if I don't kill myself. There's a TARDIS in Pete's teacup - he keeps filling it and yet the water level never rises. Freaky. If anyone happens to be passing by the lab right now, please go in and see if my boyfriend is still in there. If he is, feed him a sandwich. Thanks.

Monday 16 September 2002

scent of a boyfriend

Sitting here at home, in front of my computer, and suddenly I can smell Paul. Not sure if it's his deodorant, laundry soap, shower gel, shampoo or some combination of all of these (definitely not his cologne) but for a few seconds, it was like walking into the bedroom when he's just got dressed after his shower. I've just walked past the bathroom and I noticed that he left his toothpaste here this morning.

I like this - I've still got him around even when he's in Northampton (or more likely at this moment, Cambourne).
brush with internet fame, sort of

Thanks to an email sent to me by Adrian, I submitted what I thought was an urban legend to They've made up a page about it here. I'm a bit miffed that they don't credit me as having brought this to their attention, but least I'll always know that this little bit of Internet fame is mine.
rainy days and mondays

Today is a day to stay in bed, curled up with a cup of tea and a good book. Where am I? Sitting in an office with a cup of tea that's gone cold, reading through functional specs. Hooooooooweeeeeeeeeeeee.

Chez Gerard was good fun on Saturday night. The food was nice, but the service was dire. First they lost/screwed up our booking, then we ended up with a waiter who thought he was being hilarious (no really, please stop talking to us) who was only on his second night with no support from other staff. He neglected to take our drink order until we had been there an hour, forgot one starter and one main dish, and to cap it all, 10% was automatically added to our bill whether we liked the service or not. Fortunately, the meal was quite nice (asparagus and parmesan salad to start, with grilled salmon and pesto mashed potatoes for my main dish) and we had a fun night chatting to people. Chris was giddy and armed with a digital camera (bday pressie from Melanie), so I'm expecting some rather unflattering shots to arrive in my email later tonight.

We went to see "Signs" yesterday, which was generally a very good film. I'm still debating about whether or not the distractingly cheesy alien costume was deliberate (a guy in a green rubber suit, I kid you not) and considering the director could undoubtedly afford something a little more intricate, it makes me wonder if it was done on purpose. Joaquin Phoenix's character says that things are "just like 'War of the Worlds'", so is this low budget alien costume an homage to the B films of that era? There are a lot of comedic elements in this film (with affably odd characters who are distant cousins of the cast of "Fargo"), so it's plausible that the alien effects were meant to be cheesy in a tongue in cheek way. The rather unsubtle subtext about the loss of and restoration of faith is enjoyable enough, and the idea that some things are not simply coincidental (without getting into a heavy-handed message about religious faith) was worked into the plot nicely. Definitely enjoyed this film more than "Unbreakable", which turned Samuel L. Jackson into a pantomime villan by the end of the film. One of the best lines I read about "Signs" was in the Guardian's review: "But Rory Culkin, playing sibling Morgan, styles his own performance not on his real brother Macaulay, but very much on Haley Joel Osment, who became world famous under the tutelage of Shyamalan. He has the same precocious stillness and self-possession and most importantly he has Osment-trademarked Tiny Little Voice that indicates a childlike connection to spiritual realities unavailable to adults."

I love that - "Tiny Little Voice". The film's tension is more effective when you can't see the aliens; very Hitchcockian in its "what you can't see is scarier than what you can" direction. Once the aliens are visible, you have to laugh - which may be the reaction Shyamalan is looking for.

Work related news (I keep forgetting to do this): Matt has just returned from Montreal, and what did he bring in for us to enjoy today? Maple cookies. I mean, honestly. Someone's been leaving notes on our whiteboard that look like they were written by a 15 year old who uses text messaging a lot (e.g. the use of "2" for the word "to" and "4" for "for"). We figure it's one of the cleaners, but doesn't this violate some sort of child labour law? Oddly, our bins aren't being emptied again - so maybe it isn't a cleaner after all. Maybe publications has a teenage groupie? Cooool.

Saturday 14 September 2002

what's with all these september birthdays?

Sheesh, you people - enough with the September birthdays already. It's the lovely and talented Chris' birthday today, and we're out for an evening of fine cuisine at Chez Gerard. He's been out all day, so he should be good n' giddy by the time we meet up with everyone at 8. Ah, just got a text message from him and he is indeed good n' giddy already.

Apparently the firestation in Cottenham (Chris' place of residence and my neighbouring village) had an open house today. They were washing cars. My car needs washing, but I didn't go. *sigh*

Thursday 12 September 2002


I've added a Who's Who of some of the people (things, and places) in my humble life here in lovely Cambridge. I threw it together in 5 minutes after 2 glasses of wine. Whee!
life goes on

I woke up yesterday morning after a night of horrible dreams, and spent the day feeling exhausted and sad. At 1.46pm BST, I sat outside by the fountain, closed the book I was reading, and stared at the water for a minute. I thought to myself (because I don't pray), "I'm sorry for the people who died. I'm thankful that I'm here and my life is good. I'm hopeful that things will get better". I pulled my fleece around me and walked back inside to my office, where a headache gnawed away at me for the rest of the day.

I refused to watch TV yesterday, but stupidly read too much online news at lunch. The day settled itself into the front of my head and its heaviness stayed there until I fell asleep last night. I woke up this morning, curled up next to Paul, and everything was okay. Deep black circles cup my eyes today, but the weight of yesterday is gone.

So today I'm talking about food and restaurants with my workmate Andy, having a laugh about the law of white shirts (you must spill something on yourself when you wear white, usually red wine, something containing tomato, or curry), and tapping my foot to the music coming through my headphones as I do my work. I sent a note to Paul's Mum to make sure we don't end up getting him duplicate presents for his birthday next week. I keep checking my new mobile to see if my number's been transferred over yet as they are supposed to do this today. I've written a list of things I need to pick up at Tesco in a few minutes and will finish my Diet Coke before I head out. I'm thinking about what I'll make for dinner tonight.

Life goes on.

Wednesday 11 September 2002


All the people under broken homes

Don't wanna fight no more

All the people nursing shattered bones

Don't wanna fight no more

But there's no profit in peace

So we've gotta fight some more

And all those who are in foreign lands

Don't wanna fight no more

And all those who lost their feet or hands

Don't wanna fight no more

But there's no profit in peace boys

We've gotta fight some more

Hey, we don't wanna fight no more

Hey, hey, hey, we don't wanna fight no more

But there's no profit in peace boys

We gotta fight some more

And all those just trying to play their part

Don't wanna fight no more

And all those who own a human heart

Don't wanna fight no more

But there's no profit in what you want

So we must fight some more

And all those who got an axe to grind

Don't wanna fight no more

And all those who got their burning lights

Don't wanna fight no more

But there's no profit in ever being right

So we must fight some more

And all the people under broken homes

Don't wanna fight no more

And all the people never going home

Don't wanna fight no more

There is profit in the land you own

So we must fight some more

And all those who got a tired face

Don't wanna fight no more

And all those who lost without a trace

Don't wanna fight no more

But there is profit in the love of hate

So we must fight some more

Hey, hey, hey, we don't wanna fight no more...

-"Profit in Peace", Ocean Colour Scene

Tuesday 10 September 2002

do not operate heavy machinery

Wallace discovers that my web site seems to have a sedative affect. Warning: my web site may cause Qwertyitis*.

*Stolen from Dilbert; Wally falls asleep on his keyboard and it leaves an imprint on his face. He refers to it as "Qwertyitis" in reference to the keys q-w-e-r-t-y on the top left side of the keyboard.

Someone's birthday pressies have been bought and dinner reservations have been booked. *evil cackle*

Of course I had to buy a new spangly top to go with the birthday dinner. I can't go looking like a bag lady, can I? No.

Monday 9 September 2002

driving along in my automobile

So I made it to Chalfont without getting lost, getting killed, or getting sworn at. Hurrah! The M25 really wasn't very scary - particularly due to the fact that I seldom went above 30mph. Traffic seems far less menacing when it's going past you at the speed of an anemic go kart. It is a vile stretch of motorway; seldom moving and always full of people who suddenly forget how to drive. It's the latter that worried me, and I wasn't too keen on spending any amount of time on a major motorway with the insane drivers I've seen on that road before. It ended up being fine, and the drive was uneventful and boring for the most part. It's just nice to have done the journey without a hitch, and to build up my UK driving confidence. Man, I am so good at roundabouts now, it's scary.

We saw "Bourne Identity" this weekend, which we both really enjoyed. It's got the woman from "Run Lola Run" in it, and I think she's fantastic.

Exciting travel news: we're off to Dublin in November! Well, I think we are, anyway - if Paul's Mum's birthday bash doesn't conflict with the weekend we want to go, we'll be off to the land of Guinness. Those of you who know me fairly well know that I'm a big James Joyce fan, so when Paul asked if I was interested in going to Dublin, I think I was more than just a little excited about it. I'm absolutely thrilled as I've been wanting to visit Dublin for years, and the fact that I'll be going with Paul makes it even better. Happy girl, me.

Exciting work-related travel news: I might be going to our office in Fort Lauderdale! Okay, so it's not exactly high up on my places to visit but I've never been, it'll be hot and sunny, and I'll pick up some cheap clothes and stuff. Our team are supposed to be heading over to the Florida office the last week of this month, so if all is approved, we'll be sipping orange juice in the sunshine for a few days. Erm...I mean, we'll be busy with important meetings and definitely not drinking a lot of whisky in Phil's hotel room. 'Cos that would be wrong.

Friday 6 September 2002

signs your prime minister's first language isn't english, and he's insane #479

On whether Canadian prime minister Jean Chr�tien would support US president George Bush in a strike against Iraq:

The prime minister wants UN inspectors to return to Iraq to find evidence of nuclear, chemical or biological weapons. When asked exactly what kind of proof he needs, he put it this way:

"A proof is a proof. What kind of a proof? It's a proof. A proof is a proof. And when you have a good proof, it's because it's proven." [source]
signs my friends are insane #357

A good friend in Montreal just sent me this email:

"Is the Dame Edna show still on? Are you going to be the new Madge - you would be so cute - kinda like a little Canadian version of Bjork"

Yes, he's like this in person as well.

Thursday 5 September 2002

a good reception

Wahoooo the Orange phone has a nice, strong signal everywhere in my house! Meanwhile, the old phone sits in my kitchen, facing south, with its pathetic 1 1/2 bars showing next to the signal icon. Feh.

Tomorrow is free cake day at work, which would be a lot more exciting if I actually ate any of the cakes. Instead, I try to behave myself and sit with my 1/2 pint of cranberry juice and enjoy the company of my esteemed colleagues, while they wave bear claws around on their fingers and make fun of the intern's mole. I do enjoy the social aspect of cake day; it's always good fun to see people in high spirits because it's Friday and they're really full of sugar.

I'm following Paul to Northampton in my car tomorrow because I'll be working at our office in Chalfont on Monday (he's an hour closer, so it makes more sense for me to leave from his house). This marks a few milestones: it'll be the furthest I've ever driven in this country, I may have to drive on a motorway, and it'll be fun to see if I can find the office considering I have absolutely no sense of direction. Watch me end up in Brixton by mistake. Ah, I've got an A-Z of Britain and an automobile club card - I'll be fine.
almost orange

New phone arrived today. Hurrah! My number won't be transferred over from Vodafone until the 12th. Boo! Until then, I can either use my old phone/Vodafone network or I can use the new phone/temporary number on the Orange network. At least I'll be able to see if I can get a signal in my house.

Hamstring update: still a bit sore, but much better after sitting on Paul's floor and stretching last night. Will attempt further torture exercise tonight.

Work news: the air conditioning system is being looked at today. In the meantime, it's like an ice rink in here. Polar bears are frolicking next to me. No cheese in the fridge today. Banana supply getting very low, which is odd because they're still bright green. People must be taking them to ripen in their desk drawers. Lack of Pete has made this office very quiet lately. Too quiet.

Tuesday 3 September 2002

rubberband girl

My hamstrings feel like rubberbands that had a few inches cut off and been retied. I cannot straighten my legs and this is two days after doing the demon exercise. I only remembered today that I also did an hour of gardening and weeding before the yoga and skipping, so I should probably blame myself for the pain I'm feeling today. Nah, I'll keep blaming the exercise.

I've switched my mobile service from Vodafone (who are evil) to Orange (who are slightly less evil, but still somewhat menacing). For some bizarre reason, I could never get a decent phone signal in my house unless I stood in the kitchen and faced south. I'm not joking. Paul uses Orange and has no problems getting a signal here at all, so I decided to transfer my number over and join him in the class of people who can use their phones within a 10 mile radius of my village. Soon you will be able to ring my mobile and I will actually be able to speak to you without trying to spout out, "Call me back on my landline!! My mobile doesn't work in my hou..." Bzzzzzzzzzz... Of course with the new contract comes a new phone. Yeah, it's gold but it was free with the contract and it's got a funky little colour screen.

Work news: the heat was switched off but it was still a kajillion degrees in our room today because there was no air circulation happening at all. Two authors and a localisation specialist reported sleepiness and general feelings of discomfort. The cleaners seemed to have found our room. Clean bins ensued.

Monday 2 September 2002

being inflexible

So in an attempt to get the last bit of this flab off me, a bullet was bitten and exercise occurred yesterday. Now I can't move, which only goes to prove my theory that exercise isn't really very good for you. Who knew that innocuous sounding activities such as yoga and skipping could hurt so much? Don't be fooled! They will tear your hamstrings and rip your calves apart! Ah, but this will all pay off eventually. It better.

Restaurant 22 was fantastic, even though they did the "nouveau cuisine" thing by putting smallish amounts of food on enormous plates. I had the smoked haddock and smoked salmon on a potato rosti with horseradish sauce to start, followed by a small green salad (my favourite kind), and grilled monkfish with lovely crisp veggies for the main course. Dessert was a pastry type thing filled with a kind of whipped cream/soft cheese topped with fresh fruit. We had plenty of wine, but as planned, not enough to get to the point where Pot Noodle would have seemed like a gourmet dinner. Great restaurant and would definitely go back again.

Saturday we headed down to Lakeside for some chair shopping and a trip to Ikea - so now this makes 6 Ikeas on my worldwide tour of Swedish furniture retail stores (I forgot about the Ikea in Newcastle in my last list). After much shopping, determining that Essex girls were scarier than Northampton lasses, and a yummy pizza dinner at the stylish Pizza Hut, we headed back to Cambridgeshire.

Sunday we saw the film "Insomnia", which was brilliant. Bleak, trancelike, and wonderfully written, by the same director of "Memento" (do run out and rent it if you've not seen it already). We also watched "Silence of the Lambs" and "Trainspotting", two of my DVDs that I haven't watched in ages. I think I got Paul hooked on the Gamecube game "Luigi's Mansion", 'cos I swear I kept hearing the background music for it whenever I was out of the living room for extended periods of time. Maaaaariooooooo!

We got our plane tickets to Toronto for the Christmas holidays - hooray! Yes, it's a bit early but the fares go up almost on a daily basis so we decided to book now while the price is only moderatly unreasonable (as opposed to insanely expensive, which it'll be in about a month or so). This year, high season starts Dec. 14 and goes all the way to Jan. 6. Even the British Airways lady was surprised (high season is usually a lot shorter), but when you're only one of two airlines that fly to Canada from the UK, you can pretty much charge whatever the hell you want. And they do. I did manage to pay �100 less than last year, which was good. Roll on December to the land of cheap shopping and homecooked meals!

Work news: the heat is on full blast in this room for no apparent reason. We have new bread in the kitchen (Hovis Best of Both - hurrah!). The fruit man hasn't arrived yet. Once again, no one has stolen any of my food out of the fridge. The cleaners haven't been in this room for over a week and my bin is starting to get scary.