Thursday, November 30, 2006

Self-combusting lights

When I came to the office on Monday my light was not working. We got these rather interesting uplighters that make an awful noise when you switch them on. First time I turned them on I was sure they were going to explode!

So dutifully following the procedure for anything that doesn't work I emailed one of the admin girls who emailed one of the estates people to report the broken lightbulb. The following day, in the middle of another exiting artcile I was reading the man from the estates with a lovely geordie accent comes to fix it. He changes the lightbulb...nothing happens...he turns the switch on an off...still not working!!! And it gets dark early up here so I need my light!

So he climbs up on the ladder again and starts taking my light to pieces (alongside I get a running commentary of how much trouble these lights are, the lightbubs are £35 each to replace etc). Finally he comes to the conclusion that it had shorted (or something to similar effect) and the fuse box has melted. As he needs to get a new part he can't fix it today so he tapes it up according to all health and safety regurlations and promises to come back tomorrow.

The next day he duly appears, fixes my light and this time it works. Just to cheer me up (or scare me even more about these lights) he tells that he had a call from office on the first floor and instead of just melting the fuse box the whole thing had gone up in flames and exploded!!! It is a dangerous life working in an office, if it is not papercuts or nasty staplers that are out to get you, it is the lights!!!!

PS: Have you ever heard of picking up rasberries in November? It is not just me who thinks it is mild!!!

Laura to the rescue

'Oh, I've got the test today and I don't know where the piece of paper is' were pretty much the first words (or the jist of them) David uttered this morning. I was a bit baffled to start with, i.e. what test, what paper...but it turns out it's the day for his dyslexia test*, it's at 9am (it was 7.02 at this point) and he has no idea where the piece of paper with the directions is!!!
I think David had these visions of being totally lost and not knowing where to go but thankfully I had couple of weeks ago had a vaguely organised moment and put all the papers floating about the coffee table in three different folders -the house we are buying, dyslexia, everything else - and I was able to produce a folder that I had even labeled with everything in a neat pile inside including the piece of paper with the directions.
The panic was over and we could have our morning cup of tea in peace**.
* despite having received 1-to-1 tuition at school, receiving assistance (=computer&books) at Plymouth uni for being dyslexic and having 10-page long detailed dyslexia report David has to go and do some more tests with educational psychologists in order for them to be sure that he is dyslexic....and then they wonder where all the goverment money goes
** if Moses running around like lunatic wanting to play wiht us and generally not understanding the importance of sitting in your bed and havign a cup of tea first thing in the morning can be classed as peace

Wednesday, November 29, 2006

Kuvia Mooseksesta Roosalle!

Roosa pyysi kuvia Mooseksesta joku aika sitten. Tassa on kaksi alkupaloiksi...jos jouluun asti jaksat odottaa niin sitten naet vaikka kuinka monta :)
Miks sa et heita sita? ma odotan niin natisti...

Aina van mun pitaa istua ja odottaa, eiko ne ihmiset tajua etta ma tykkaan juosta!

(One of my sisters requested pictures of Moses some time ago and here they finally are)

Those were the days

We ventured out to Middlesborough last night and had a lovely evening with Craig & Kerina and Craig's housemates Paul and Mark. Craig had prepared a tasty curry and we had fun time sitting together at the meal table. I baked the first mince pies of the year and we had them for pudding. We looked through some photos from SoM and it was fun remembering all the fun things that happened and lovely people we met there. And especially our regurlar coffee times at Timothy's in downtown Toronto.
On the way home we had little adventure (if you can call it that). We were very low on diesel when we got there but thought we'd fill up on the way back. When we left it was latish and the garage around the corner was closed so we had to go on without filling up. We weren't too worried as we had seen couple of petrol stations on the dual carriage way however they had closed the bridge that the A19 crosses and sent us on a diversion - only problem being it was not very well signposted diversion, i.e. you saw the diversion sign from the corner of your eyes when you were level with the junction and had no way of turning of!!!
When we finally managed to find our way back to the A19 the amount of diesel left in the tank was the last moment a petrol station that was open appeared and we filled up and life was well again. So it was mildly stressful but it could have been quite fun to pray for diesel...

Tuesday, November 28, 2006

Some exploration and persistant cold

Not much has happened in Newcastle over the last couple of days. I had a annoying cold over the weekend so I was sniffing and coughing. Moses ate something he shouldn't have and his body didn't agree with it so he was starved for 24h to help his body to get back to normal. He was very thankful for his breakfast this morning!

On Saturday we went for a drive along the coast north of Newcastle. It was really pretty and we had some good fun. I sneezed and coughed but the weather was nice and the car was warm so all was well. We stopped at couple of different places and had a little walk. Moses definitely approved of that!!! We bought some pies for a lunch from a farmshop and stopped at little town to eat them. We parked by the quay and watched some fishermen sorting out their nets while we munched our lunch. The coast was beautiful, very different than in the south west but equaly lovely. We found this huge beach with some amazing sanddunes and it didn't have huge carpark right next to it, which hopefully means it won't be too busy in the summertime. And there was no 'no dogs' sign either so Moses can come with us.

On Sunday I was even more miserable sniffing and coughing so we stayed home for the day relaxing and eating lots of oranges. We watched oceasn 11 in the evening which was good fun. My cold is pretty much over now, just some minor sniffing left.

My proposal due date is 25.12! As it is very unlikely that noone will be here on Christmas day to receive it, I will have to hand it in before Christmas which means I've got busy couple of weeks coming up.

Thursday, November 23, 2006

Be nice

Some Londoners have got tired of meeting rude, crumpy people on the way to work and are trying to change this. They have little bagdes/tags (niceties tokens to be exact) you can give to someone who is nice and the tags have identification number so you can go and log on to a website to tell where you got it from and then you can pass it onto someone else who is nice!
Couple of years ago we watched a film that had a bit similar idea, it was based on a book. It's about extra assignment at school which was to think of a way of changing world and put it in action. The hero of the story comes up with the following:

"You see, I do something real good for three people. And then when they ask how they can pay it back, I say they have to Pay It Forward. To three more people. Each. So nine people get helped. Then those people have to do twenty-seven." He turned on the calculator, punched in a few numbers. "Then it sort of spreads out, see. To eighty-one. Then two hundred forty-three. Then seven hundred twenty-nine. Then two thousand, one hundred eighty-seven. See how big it gets?"

The film really made you think how little things can make a difference. Sometimes it takes a long time to see the effects of but just because it is small doesn't mean it's unsignificant. It's a bit like dropping a stone in the water and seeing the ripples get bigger and bigger, reaching out furhter and further.

I guess you could summarise it in Jesus words of do to others as you would like them to do to you. We have a choise every day, we can either pass on good things or bad things, we can be positive or negative, we can be friendly or rude, we ca be selfless or selfish. It is up to us to make a difference in this world, we can change for better or worse. (sermon over).

Here is another heartwarming story to read if you have time.

Casino Royale

As it was Wednesday yesteray we went to cinema and surprisingly saw the new Bond film. We'd planned to go for 8 o'clock show but there were only single seats left, same for the 8.30 so we went for the 9pm and spent an hour or so looking around this huge bookshop that is close to the cinema (and is open untill 10pm!!!)

We loved it. It took a while to get used to Bond with blond hair but he was brilliant. It had all you want in a bond film, classic lines, pretty girls, twist in a story, fast cars, explosions, villain who looks like villain, beautiful scenery...only thing it didn't have was a carchase...probably just to make up for the last one that didn't really have much else than car chase in it ;) And the critics seem to like it as well.

And Judi Dench was excellent as M (not really a surprise). Actually the acting was really good all around. Someone at work made a comment that Bond had turned emotional (which is obvioulsy bad if you are 00) so I kind of expected it to be 'emotional' but it wasn't, it was brilliant! I guess he was a bit more in touch with his feelings than before but it jsut fitted in the story very well.

We thoroughly recommend it!

Wednesday, November 22, 2006

Christmas present?

I have found the perfect gift for David for Christmas, they had an article about it on the BBC website and I think it would save me lots of time...usually when David looses keys/wallet my help is requested. And boys usually like gadgets so that's like hitting two birds with one stone!But as it costs $99 I might have to leave it and get somethin else instead.
I'm really looking forwards to Christmas and lots of snow :) We are flying to Finland in less than a month now...jippiii!!!
We bought Moses a new toy yesterday. He used to have a squeeqy bone but he chewed it to pieces so we thought he's need a new toy. They didn't have any squeeqy toys in Sainsbury's so we got this funny lemon shaped and coloured hollow rubber ball for him (you can put some pate etc inside there andit issuppose to keep the dog occupied for hours when he tries to lick it off). We didn't have nay pate but he didn't seem to mind. Everytime we walked past him he moved away as he thought we were going to take his precious new toy away from him...he nearly even skipped his dinner as he was so exited about it!
David has had his first pieces of course work back and he has done really well, he got an A+ for his portrait collection and B & C for other pieces of work!

Monday, November 20, 2006

Newcastle-Plymouth-Beaconsfield/Seer Green-Newcastle

We went to Plymouth over the weekend and added total of 970 miles to the tank's already high mileage. Drive down was good when David was driving but hte moment we swapped and I started driving the heavens opened and htere was terential rains with tons of spray on the road for the next 3 hours :( but we got to Plymouth in one piece.

We stayed with Paul & Nikki for the night. It was really nice to catch up. I got the honour of reading Abi's bedtime story :) Once the girls were asleep we had lovely dinner and chatted etc. We've really missed having dinner with friends (as we haven't made that many friends yet up here...snif, snif...)

In the mornign Nathan cooked us breakfast. So we got to catch up with him and got cooked breakfast - what more could you ask! Moses had developed an eye infection so we had to take him to the vets for that (paid lots of money, got some eye-ointment thatseems to be working). Rest of the morning was spent cleaning the house and taking the cooker out. When David put the kitchen in, he did rather good job at it, and the gas-hose was very solildly positioned behind one of the cupboards - now there is a neat little drillhole on the side of the cupboard...

We had planned to see Tony for lunch but he had to work so instead we made a considerable reduction in Nikki's chocolate spread stock...chocolate spread on toast....yammee :)

After taking the pooch for a walk we drove up to Rob & Gaenors arriving there when it was the girls bathtime, I am jeaolous of their extensive bath toy collection, Anna has a fish that squirts water, a crab that squirts water, a whale that squirts water...and I got very wet as I had nothing.

On Sunday morning we got woken up by Anna and Rebekkah chattering away and playing together which was really sweet. After breakfast we went to church and saw Gaenor vicaring which was really nice. It's the first time we've seen her 'in action'. We had a lovely lunch in the vicarage prepared by the vicar herself and some delicious stewed apples for pudding.

Drive back was good and we got to Newcastle at sensible time. We had some dinner, watched love actually na ddrank some german wine that was really nice. (we've been on a mission to find some german wine for a while and found this one in oddbins and it's really nice)

We enjoyed our weekend, a bit tired after doing lots of driving but it was so nice to see friends. Moses enjoyed the visit as well...he got to snif around in three different kitchens for crumbs...he got to say hello to both of the old ladies who use to take him for a walk...he chased a squirrel in the woods...

Thursday, November 16, 2006

Moment of happiness

Football...since we met England has alwys been better at football than Finland which I guess is forgivable as the English claim to have invented the game ;) but now the tables have been turned...we are half way through (I think) of the qualifiers to the euro 2008 and Finland is on top of the group A ahead of Portugal and Poland whereas England is 3rd in group E trailing behind Croatia and Russia! Have a look here if you don't believe.
On a different note David's old work doesn't seem to be doing too good either.

Window shopping

We were going to go to cinema yesterday but there was nothing on we wanted to see so we went window shopping instead. Or if going to ikea and planning your ideal kitchen can be called window shopping! They are making the ikea here bigger so every now and then you come across this building site at the middle of the store...
Our kitchen dreaming came to the conclusion that we can have a really nice kitchen in the new house but it might be a bit step by step process, due to the limited finances students are known to have, i.e. move the existing cupboards to the other side of the room, knock down the wall, by some nice cabinets to replace some old ones, buy some more to make the breakfast bar etc. Estimated time of completion autumn 2008...
There is also a new furniture store that has just opened next to ikea and we went and had a look there as well. They had some nice sofas and lots of nice kitchen things and some nice rugs. It was nicer than ikea, little bit more expensive but not too expensive, and it was fun to just wander around the different departments & showrooms.
So overall we had a fun evening, probably more interactive and social than if we had gone to cinema but next Wednesday we are going to see the new bond film and we can be antisocial then...
We also planned our visit to Plymouth. We found out yesterday that we are likely to be completing on our house in Plymouth week on Friday, we also found out that they don't want to buy our old cooker. So we need to drive from one end of the country to the otherto pick up the cooker but that's ok because we can also see some friends at the same time :) We'll leave quite early tomorrow, go and see the estate agents in Plymouth, stay the might with Paul & Nikki, go and tidy up the house & unconnect the cooker on Saturday, see Tony & Nathan, drive to Beaconsfield, stayt he night with Rob & Gaenor, go and see Gaenor vicaring in the mornign and then drive back here to the land far far away.

Tuesday, November 14, 2006

All is well

Not much has happened in the Lindsey household over the last couple of days. David has been taking lots of pictures, I have been reading lots of journal articles and Moses has been wanting to go for more walks than we have taken him to...
Oh, something has happened...David has a job interview for a jobin one of the department stores next Wednesday, it's only untill Christmas if he gets it but it's better than nothing :) Sainsbury's have also got back to him ansd they want him to fill in a proper application to work in a new store they are opening near to our house to be. So watch this place...
It's been really really windy here but still not really cold, I think it should have snowed by now...

Thursday, November 09, 2006

Hide and seek

Moses has been learning a new skill over the last week or so. He is becoming the expert in hide and seek. When we go for a walk he usually likes to run infront of us so one of us has an amble opportunity to go and hide behind the trees. When he comes back the other one of us who didn't hide says Go, find and off Moses goes. He is getting pretty good at that. He usually runs back to the last place where he saw the hiding person and works from there.
Another variation of the same game is indoor hide & seek. Due to the slight confounding factor that Moses can't count, I throw a ball to the kitchen (which is in the back of hte house) and while he is getting the ball I go and hide in one of the other rooms. He is pretty good at it and he seems to love it. The only problem is that he is getting quite fast at getting the ball from the kitchen whereas my speed of running has not increased much ;) But we have good time playing which is the main thing.
It looks like we are finally coming to a agreement on the price of the house in Plymouth. Our fears of having to sell the house for the price the surveyor downvalued it to haven't materialised (but it is less than the original asking price). So the good news is we should be able to pay David's tuition fees :)
I had an email from my dad and he told me it has been really cold in Finland...-23 degrees! And the little lake by their house is frozen over already. It hasn't been anything that cold here, I wish but there is not even any sign of snow :(
PS: The dental students common room is called Bridge and crown - wouldn't Floss and brush would be a bit more catchy?
PPS: ma leivoin eilen kardemummakakkua...naminami...
PPPS: there is no real reason why the photo is in the beginning, I just saw it on the BBC news website yesterday and liked it.

Monday, November 06, 2006

Part II Church hunting

We had a pretty good weekend. David had borrowed a large format camera (negative size 10cm compared to the standard negative of 35mm) so off we went to yorkshire Dales again. We went to Swaledale and Wensleydale, saw lots of beautiful scenery and took 4 pictures (it costs £4/negative to get them developed). Moses also approved our choice of location and very happily ran around madly.
Unfortunately we failed to find a pub that was happy to let dogs in so we experienced what it is like to eat outside in England in November. In hindsight we probably should have ordered tea instead of lemonade as my fingers got a bit chilly but there is nothign a pair of mittens can't solve. The locals were building the bonfire for guy falkes on the square outside the pub, it was quite fun to follow all these little kids carrying branches bigger than themselves on the pile.
On Sunday we went to church. This time it was a new frontiers one & we could actually hear ourselves think. The talk was good but worship was very different than we are use to. But on a scale form 1 to 10 it was 10 times better than our last effort. And the people were very nice and friendly so they could be a possibility depending on how rest of the churches turn out to be. We do have bit of a problem on their stand on women's role (or lack of it rather) on leadership though.
We had lovely bacon and egg sandwiches prepared by David for lunch (the first meal David ever cooked for me was b&e sandwich :) In the afternoon we took the dog out on the town moor (this huge cow field in the city centre) and on the way back we saw a bonfire that had got a bit out of hand in someones backyard...very small backyard...the flames were 2 meters above the wall! There was a happy'ish ending as we saw fire engine arrive and save the house just as we were leaving.
It was my lucky day yesterday as David cooked a dinner as well :) We also watched a fun film over the weekend, someone at work mentioned about it so I got curious. It's called Goal and it is set in Newcastle and you can see the beach that is going to be close to our new house on it. It's all about football but it has got a relatively good (but little bit cheesy) storyline to it and you get to see lots of scenes from Newcastle.

Thursday, November 02, 2006

It is (still) getting colder...

It was chilly this morning...very very chilly. The heating went on 30 minutes before we got up and it was only 16 degrees by the time we woke up. It took lots of courage to get out of hte bed to make a cup of tea and feed the pooch. Thankfully the heating system is good so after turning the temperature up it didn't take too long untill the temperature was warm enough to poke my nose outside the duvert. But we didn't have any snow storms like Scandinavia - they did promise some sleet in the scottish highlands though!
We had a session on Myers Briggs yesterday in the research meeting in the school. It was fun and we even got to do the questionnaire rather than jsut hearing about it. I hadn't changed since I last did it and was still an INFP. I think David is either ENFP or ENFT, not totally sure.
After doing the questionnaire we did some exercises based on our personality types and it was really interesting to see the differences between the groups. In the first one we were shown a picture for couple of seconds and then we discussed about it in the groups for couple of minutes, after that all the groups told what they saw. My group went for the touchy feely things - it was colourful, friendly etc and we even remembered some details whereas other groups remembered all the details but didn't really articulate the athmosphere of the picture.
David did a gallery visit with his course yesterday to Bradford. He seemed to enjoy it which is good and he even have to write a critique on the exhibition!!! Degree in photography is not just about taking pictures??? It is only 500 words so I guess we can forgive the lecturer (but htey do have to write 3 of them in the course of the semester...)
On the house front we are still waiting to hear back the results for all the quotes people in Plymouth have to have done. So far the electrics test has come back saying it's all fine :)
We did little bit of exploration over the weekend when David's parents & Amy came up. It was really nice to see them. We went to the Northumberland national park and Kielder water. David and I manage to leave our digital camera hanging on the fence pole and we only realised an hour later when we were about to go and have pub lunch in some little village in the scottish borders. After lunch we drove back on the windy little roads to Kielder water and thankfully some little girl had handed it into the visitors centre! So there are still some honest and good people in this world :)
We often think that our guardian angels work over time with us and our possessions. We have left the car unlocked so many times (by accident) with a) wallet b) mobile phone c) digital camera d) all of the above on the front seat (both in Plymouth and up here) and miraculously nothing has disappeared. I did once leave the car keys on the front seat of the car and it was still there when we got back - it was the micra, which might be part of the reason why it hadn't disappeared.
If anyone wants to buy a car, we have one for sale (and it comes with extra angels as a standard feature) We are selling the passat (insurance is too much for our student budget) and it is too big for nipping in and out of town. It's just had an MOT & it has 6 months tax. Please buy it!!! It is very reliable & big - there is nothing you can't fit in that car.