Friday, July 21, 2006

Holiday...

Hurrah, it is finally Friday and we are off to Scotland via Liverpool lunchtime today. We've got cottage for a week in the Borders, somewhere near Melrose. We are very very exited...we haven;t had a holiday for a while and we are also going to see some friends we haven't seen for a while :)

We are driving up to Olly & Becky's tonight and then we are all going to go to the cottage for a weekend. We've got book of walks around there, that should hopefully keep Moses amused. After the cottage we are going to see our lovely friend Craig from School of Ministry in Middlesborough from Sat evening to Monday. On Monday, I am going to see the people from Newcastle again just for a chat and then they are going to take david and I out for a lunch.

On our way back from Newcastle we are planning on calling on Family Hockey who are moving to the home counties next week. We saw them last night and had a really lovely meal together and even more lovely prayer time.

So if you don't hear anythign from us for a week or so, the reason is we are enjoying ourselves and there is no internet access available. But there'll be lots of pics afterwards...

Wednesday, July 19, 2006

In case you are bored...

For the last month or so we've been following the prime ministers questions just for the fun of it. It is one of the most hilarious things I've ever listened to - the right honorouble gentlemen and right honorable friends (the pc equal rights term) bantering. You can even look at the videos online. So if you are bored listen to them, Blair and Cameron are better than most comedians around!!!

Tuesday, July 18, 2006

Newcastle...

I have been offered a PhD studentship in Newcastle University which is exiting :) I had my interview yesterday and it was really really short (25 minutes) which was a bit disconserting, pretty much all the other interviews I've done before have been around 40 minutes or so. So I walked away thinking that they eihter hated me or loved me and luckily it turns out that they loved me :)

I took the train up there on Sunday afternoon, it is a very long journey! Most definitely extreme north (of England anyway) There was a problem with the train and in Birmingham they bungled all the people from two trains together in a train that was shorter than either one of the original. It doesn't really take genious in maths to work out that this means chaos. Luckily for me, I happened to be standing next to a man (who was sitting down) who left at the next station and he gave his seat to me some 10 minutes before we got to the next station - I think he wanted to make sure that he got our rather than got stuck in the train. And the airconditioning was working so it wasn't actually too bad at all...

I got to Newcastle 9.30PM and got a taxi to the halls of residence where they had booked a room for me to stay in. It was quite amusing, my first ever experience of sleeping in halls. My room was ok, a bit small and very studenty but I slept well :) In the evening I had bit of God time and tried to think of what to say in the interview tomorrow. I had to give 5 minute talk about a research project I've been involved with and the contributions I had made to it. That was actually quite nice topic and I could have talked about it for much longer than 5 minutes. In my interview in Leeds I had to do a proper presentation about introduction to research methods for 10 minutes - not enjoyable.

My interview was at 9am so I wondered down there in good time. I had to ask way from these two workmen and luckily they understood me and I understood them. I was interviewed by these 4 ladies who all seemed very nice.

After the interview I had little time to potter around so I walked to the city centre, admired the neo-classical architecture and had a look of the shopping centre. To my greatest delight, they had John Lewis there...that will be a heaven after living in Plymouth with no good shops for 6 years!!! My next thing to do is to find out if they have a waitrose there because waitrose does the best cooking chocolate there is...hmmm....that's probably not the top priority....better try again...So the next thing to do is to get ourselves sorted, sell the house and find a j0b for David.

Totally unrelated comment: Moses has a new hobby in the mornings. Because it has been so hot, I've been watering the garden in the morning and the evening. When I do it I usually open the front door (to get the hose out) and leave it open because there is a nice breeze. Moses likes seeign what's going on, so he goes and sits at the gate and sticks his nose through it. There are quite a lot of kids who walk past our house on the way to school and quite a few of them have started stopping at the gate and giving Moses some cuddles on their way...very sweet & Moses seems to enjoy it! (can I write a blog entry without mentioning Moses? probably not, he is far too lovely to be left out!)

Friday, July 14, 2006

Your guide to English bureaucracy



In case you require (a satirical) guide to understanding the English politics, law makers and the society generally, have a look of this: http://www.socialscrutiny.org/index.php

Finally Friday


Hurrah! Friday has arrived (=weekend of diy) The sun is shining, it is quite windy but at least it looks like it is summer. We are off camping tonight with Tony, just for 1 night, up in the moors. It will be fun to see how Moses will take to it...

I took Moses for a walk up in Clearbrook yesterday. David cycled up there with Tony and I met them after my walk quickly before we all headed back home. Moses met some sheep and ran after them but he did come back when I called. It's funny how chasing sheep is in his blood, or not funny but interesting to see how it comes naturally to him eventhough he has never seen sheep being rounded up.

Above is one of David's photos from Woodlands where his parents live. He took it last summer, got up crazy o'clock one morning, walked to the woods and waited for a long time for the sun to come up and this was the result. I was happily sleeping :)

Wednesday, July 12, 2006

Moses' week so far

Monday: Moses manage to open a box full of sandpaper sheets and pieces and proceeded to eat them. Wirewool was most definitely his favourite of the whole lot and he was very distressed when I stopped him from eating it

Tuesday: After being stopped eating and chewing cloth that had been used to wax the floor Moses had found the tub that had shoe polish, brushes and cloths in it. Again somehow manage to get it open and emptied it on the floor and was about to start chewing it's contents when it was saved

Wednesday: Found a banana in the kitchen (soft one that is only good for banana custard or banana cake) got it somehow to the floor and happily ate the whole thing (bar the skins). The whole incident gave more support to the suspicion that Moses is not purely carnivous.

PS: I love the Prime Ministers Questions...how can someone take seriously bunch of men who call each other Right Honorouble Gentlemen while slacking each other off!!!!

Tuesday, July 11, 2006

Sweet news story

I love it when there is something really lovely and sweet in the news. The news usually are dominated by so much of the terrible things that are going on that it can be quite depressing to read them sometimes.

Usually the local news are a bit better, especially down here in teh westcountry where all sorts of funny things end up in the news ranging from animals to tallships. They are usually much more heart warming than the standard news. I don't think much happens down here so they make news of anything that is a bit exiting!

BBC news website is brilliant but their stories often are not the warm fuzzy type - partly probably because most of the things that happen are not always the warm fuzzy type things. However today there was the loveliest little story of a lollypop man (the man who stops the traffic so that kids can go to school) who needed a knee operation and someone who had driven past him had offered to pay him to get his knee fixed in a private hospital.

It is so nice to hear that people do still actually care about each other even though there is no selfish gain involved in them helping others :)

PS: Moses has been naughty this morning. I made some egg sandwiches for us for lunch and while I was upstairs getting ready (after making the sandwiches) i heard this big crash downstairs...Moses had jumped up agains the worktop with his paws on the edge and had started licking the bowl where the eggs had been - unfortunately the bowl didn't stay there and went crashing on the floor. Moses knows when he has been naughty and the moment he dropped the bowl he went running to hide under the kitchen table looking very very quilty!

Sunday, July 09, 2006

No more sport...

We are in dispair...after the football world cup final there is not going to be any sport on for a month (untill the premiership starts) apart from Tour de France. For the last month David (=me=us) have been engrossed in the exitement of the football and tennis.

The Wimbledon final was good. And hopefully the worldcup will be brilliant too, the sad thing is we are going to have withdrawal symptoms of not being able to hear Lineker & co talking about football.

Some good news, we've booked a holiday for the summer :) we are going to Scotland for a week. We've hired this cute cottage in the Scottish borders. For the last seven years David has been telling me how amazing time he had up there when he was a kid and how beautiful it is up there.

We had been thinking of going somewhere abroad but because David's parents have sailed to France for the next three weeks we can't go anywhere without the dog. They are happy for us to have dog with us in this cottage but we had to pay extra tenner for that priviledge.

It's been quite cold and miserable here today, the sun is finally shining now but the weather forecast doesn't look too promising for the week -- hevy rain tomorrow :( We took the dog for a walk in the morning. It was raining and the only other people out at 9am in rainy Sunday are other mad dog people. Moses had good fun chasing this other puppy by the river but the other puppy was into swimming rather than playing with Moses. It was fun wathcing them, Moses does like water but he doesn't go in any deeper than his tummy.

Tony is over to watch the football and we are going to have roast chicken :) I think the panel here seems to think that France are going to win it...we'll see. Moses doesn't care, he is happily chewing his bone.

Friday, July 07, 2006

On good neighbours

We have a brilliant neighbourh. She is called Dot and she has lived in the house next door for 40 odd years (not as long as Eric who lives two doors along and has lived in the same house since he was six, he is going on 70+++ now and he is very lovely as well).

Dot calls us the kids and we are by far (20 years or so) the youngest people living on the street. When we first moved in, we only had 3 chairs and 4 pairs of knives and forks. So if we had more than 3 people around we regurlarly knocked on her door asking if we could borrow some chairs and cutlery.

She also waters my garden if we go away which is very nice of her. Last year when we were away last summer Eric was looking after my strawberries (=eating them) and has been asking for the last month if we are planning to go away this summer so he can do the same again.

Dot is brilliant, there has been various occasions when we are cooking or something and we are just one indegredient short so we knock on her door and ask if she has the desired indegredient. So far she hasn't failed us! I think we'll need to buy her big bunch of flowers when we move because she is truly amazing. And we will really miss her!

Yesterday David was cooking a curry and after starting we realised we didn't have any onions so David went and knocked on her door asking for onion at 9 o'clock in the evening (we took the pooch for a walk and didn't start cooking untill 8.30) asking for an onion. Dot had an onion and our curry was saved. It was really tasty red parsee chicken curry, nice, hot and very flavourful.

Wednesday, July 05, 2006

Puppyproofing the house

Something I never thought about doing before was puppyproofing the house (a bit like babyproofing draws etc). But it has come vital part of my morning routine unless I want to return to scenes like this when I come home in the afternoon:

He has discovered how get stuff down from the worktops, the problem is you can't tell him off unless you catch him in the act! This particular time he had managed to get a lettuce (the whity green shreds on the foreground) that we had forgotten to put away in the morning as well as bar of butter (we think that's the reason why his coat is so shiny!). Another time he had managed to get hold of a cucumber and was munching that very happily - and I thought dogs were carnivours...

Today was the first day we had left the door to the living room and dining room open when we left the house. Moses likes sitting in the window and being the nosy neighbour. So we thought it would be nice if he could do that while we are out of the house.

Over the weekend we had a big cleanout and removed things that Moses would eat, chew or otherwise destroy. So this morning when I was about to leave to work I went through the whole room, making sure anything that was on the table was out of the pooches reach if he decided to jump up against it. Also moving plants and things to places where he couldn't eat them. It took me good 10 minutes to go through the house and make sure there was nothing destroyable at sight/reach of Moses. Last week he went through a phase of pulling books of the bookcase and tearing them to shreds (unfortunately we haven't got anywhere to move them so we just need to make sure the books we like least are on the bottom shelf)

...and the miracle happened, he had not managed to destroy anything while I was away!!! There is some hope of Moses turning from puppy to a wellbehaved dog...


Tuesday, July 04, 2006

A very expensive date

So we are back from Wimbledon. Very tired but happy. Provided that we can get tickets from the ballot it is going to be our annual date. We got up earlish, drove to Southmapton and got the train into London/Wimbledon. We missed a train by couple of second which wasn't too good and I got rather annoyed by it, which was even worse.

Just a passing comment - Moses was snoring and barking in his dream (which is very funny) -and he managed to wake himself up by doign that ;)

The weather was schorching (hmm....spelling????) hot. We watched some juniors mathces on the outside courts while munching our sandwhiches and then headed to the court number one. Our tickets were for seats for quite high up but it was actually quite good as it meant that we didn't need to sit in the boiling sun for the whole day.

Hewitt match was good, 4 sets. Mauresmo wasn't too exiting so we dissapeared to find a=some food and to drink some Pimms after the first set. The last match we had was Nadal vs some georgian guy. It started really well but the georgian had a flair for the theatrical and also bit of a temper so in the end he was acting a bit like a clown.


I love the athmosphere is Wimbledon, it is very relaxed and friendly. Everyone is nicely dressed and polite. And you get to watch some good tennis. It really is an institution rather than a just a tennis match...very english! In a nutshell it is a lovely day out.

On the way back we thought it would be nice to go the the river (Thames) and have some dinner before heading back. So we went to the tube station along with thousands of other people. On top of that there were some technical problems (i.e. brokendown train) in earl's court on the distric line. So two hours later we arrived our destination just to find out that pizza express was about to close and they only did takeaways. So we ordered two pizzas and ate them by the river.


We didn't get back to Woodlands/David's parents untill very very late = 2am. I had to be in this conference for work today so we had to get up early as well. Moses had had a lovely time with David's mum, helping her to do some gardening...digging and eating plants pots!

I didn't get to my conference untill lunchtime. It was better than I expected and the lunch was good :) It was all about older people in rural areas, but I won't bore you with more of that because you have done really well to read my ramblings this far!

Germany have just crashed out of the world cup! Beaten by Italy 2-0, both goals in the dying minutes of the match.

Sunday, July 02, 2006

Wimbledon tomorrow!!!!!!

After the misery of England going out of the world cup (which wasn't very surprising but still sad) we've got a bit more exiting sporting event happening tomorrow. We are off to the All England Lawn Tennis club to watch some tennis :) We are going to see Hewitt, Nadal and Mauresmo (court no 1), which is very exiting. Murray is playing as well but he is on the centre court. The Finnish boy is playing as well tomorrow on one of the outside courts so we might catch the beginning of that before our matches start.

But it is bedtime now. So Good night!