Thursday, 22 January 2009

I've considered myself tagged.

Lane has posted the fourth picture in the fourth folder on her computer - it's worth clicking, they are great shots!

The fourth folder in my My Pictures folder is my 2005 folder. So here's the fourth pic in there:






Which didn't strike me as very exciting. It's a photo to demonstrate how flooded the back of our house gets when it rains really hard.



But the fourth picture in the fourth folder in the fourth folder! Now that's more interesting...

This was taken in the Isle of Man.

One of my great aunts, my grandma's sister, lived most of her adult life in the Isle of Man. When her husband died she moved back to England to be nearer her family. But her heart was always out on The Island.

Her husband had been buried (or maybe cremated, I'm not sure) out there. So it was agreed that my aunt's ashes would be taken out to the Island.

I only spent 24 hours there. The tiny plane that flew me out only got to about 15,000 feet before starting its decent. It was a strange journey. But my mum and dad, and my aunt and uncle, took me to different places on the Island. I really enjoyed visiting again.

I flew out on a Wednesday and returned on the Thursday. When I went back to work on the Friday, I felt like I'd had an entire week's leave. The air is different out there.

Until I saw this photo, I'd forgotten how much I wanted to go back.

Sunday, 18 January 2009

Observation

As I drove over the roundabout, I saw flashing blue lights going down the Coast Road underneath at quite some speed.

'Flashies,' said D. 'Wonder what's happened.'

I took the slip road onto the Coast Road. Just before I joined the road itself, I noticed that the blue lights had slowed considerably or stopped and that a couple of cars not far ahead, while still moving, had their hazard lights on. 'Something's wrong,' I said. I could see cars coming up fast in my mirror so I switched my hazard lights on too and they slowed down. I stayed in the inside lane and kept my speed to about 30mph (the limit there is 70).

Before we got to the incident, I became aware of a car in the outside lane going at at least 70mph, probably more like 80 or 85.

In the dark.

Towards the back of the stationary police car.

It realised there was something going on just in time and braked, just about managing to get into my lane in front of me and carrying on.

The policeman was out of the car anyway and running towards some stationary cars ahead.

As we passed the police car, we saw a fox - a HUGE fox - lying in the road. A car at right angles to the road, its bonnet caved in. Two men standing on the side of the road, not looking as shaken as I would've had it been me. Another car, further forward; I'm not sure if that was involved or if it just stopped because it'd seen the accident.

It didn't look to have been too bad an accident, considering. It could have been a lot worse, if it hadn't been Sunday night. At rush hour, that would have been a multiple-car pile up (stopping distances don't seem to exist while driving to work on the Coast Road on a weekday morning).

But I can't help but wonder. If you're driving along a dual carriageway in the dark - and a police car passes you at speed - and then there are blue lights, not moving, in front of you - and all the cars around have their hazard warning lights on -

at what point DON'T you think 'hmmm, maybe something's wrong. Maybe I'd better slow down.'


If he'd slowed five seconds later, he wouldn't have stopped in time.

He might have swerved into me.

I'm not saying I'm a great driver; I'm not. Sometimes I'm impatient. Sometimes I'm careless. Everyone is. But I always make an effort to be a safe driver. I watch the road well ahead for possible risks. I use my hazard lights to warn other drivers of possible dangers. If I'm not sure what's going on, I slow down.

Some days I really bug D by telling him cars ahead are slowing down or have stopped. But I'd rather tell him when he might not have noticed than risk us having a crash.

I'm glad we're both OK and that the situation didn't get any worse. I was scared for a minute there.

Thursday, 8 January 2009

Geordie-ish-ness

There hasn't been much Geordie-ness on here recently. This is to rectify that a little.

The word 'Carpets' on top of Storey's carpets has been replaced with the words 'I love u'. Who knew there were romantics in Byker? (Incidentally - this is where we got our bedroom carpet from. Yay!)

And if you'd like to see the best of 2008 from the photo site, click here to go to a gallery of my favourite shots from 2008. I tried to keep it to one a month, really I did, but I couldn't. Eighteen was the absolutely minimum I could manage, and I still left out some fantastic shots. Oh, and most of the shots are Cassandra's - only 12, 13, 16, 17 and 18 are mine.

(I have a course deadline Friday. Then it's D's birthday on Saturday. Once all that's out of the way... I have another deadline on 23rd Jan :os Once all that's out of the way, I hope to get back to blogging and commenting again. I'm better than I was a few months ago. But not much.)

Monday, 5 January 2009

Award!

So like a month ago the lovely leigh gave my blog an award. This has only happened maybe once before, and is very exciting. Unfortunately it happened when my mojo was still lurking undiscovered in my trainers, so I smiled a small smile to myself and... kept leigh's post unread in my google reader so I wouldn't forget.

And then felt really guilty for ages for not doing anything about it.

The Rules for receiving the above award are:
1. Copy and paste the rules and instructions into your post.
2. Post the award, and a link to the person who gave it to you.
3. Post five of your addictions.
4. Post five winners and link to them as well.
5. Inform your winners by commenting on their blogs.

I think pretty much everyone has had this award now, and I don't do 'you must pass this on to x people' games anyway, but if you haven't had this award I hereby give it to you.

My obsessions?
1) Facebook and blogs. try keeping me off the interweb for 24 hours and I'll get stressed as hell.
2) Nail polish. Silver and red and purple and blue and green and mmmmmmm.... it has to be exciting colours.
3) Val McDermid. And reading generally.
4) I debated for ages about whether to say writing. But as something that i like to do that makes my life happier and that i can obsess about, then i'm gonna say writing!
5) I will steal 'being on time' from Leigh - although more accurately, it's 'not being late'. My family was compulsively late when I was a kid, and I bloody hate it now. I am normally early for most things, although when it goes wrong I a) stress the hell out and b) tend to be very late.

----

I'm happy I'm blogging again.

Sunday, 4 January 2009

2008 in review

Questions taken from Becky. Thanks Becky!

1. What has been your biggest achievement this year?

Getting a distinction in the Open University course. I'm still not sure how I managed it, but I'm really proud of myself.

2. What made you laugh most this year?
Mock the Week. And playing on Wii Fit.

3. What has been your favourite/most listened to piece of music this year?
The Slip by Nine Inch Nails. No contest. And it's a free download, people!

4. What was your best holiday this year?
Three days in Paris, then a trip to a caravan in Maryport. Glorious sunshine and two weeks to relax. It was amazing.

5. What new skill, if any, have you acquired this year?
Poetry! I never expected that.

6. What's your happiest/fondest memory of this year?
There have been quite a few, even though this year has been pretty stressful for large parts. Going to see The Cure in London for our wedding anniversary. Going to Paris and Carlisle. My dad's birthday.

7. What's the best book you've read this year?
Stephen King's On Writing. And Black Boxes by the lovely Caroline.

8. If you could spend next year as a film character, who would that be?
Trinity from the Matrix. COOLEST CHARACTER EVER.

9. What new hobby did you take up/old hobby did you reinstate this year?
I took over the majority of posting to Newcastle Daily Photo. I'm really proud of that and of the good response I've had. And I've rediscovered my love of baking. The respect I get in work is a great side effect :o)

10. What one thing would you really like to do next year?
Write. Move house to somewhere bigger. Make my fortune.

11. What has been your best discovery of this year?
Hovis Seed Sensations Rich and Roasted. I rue the day that someone introduced me to that stuff. Normal bread just isn't good enough any more.

12. What news story of this year has had the biggest impact on you/do you most remember?
The financial stuff. And the fiasco that Newcastle United has turned into.

13. What's the best film you've seen this year? (can be at the cinema or DVD etc)
I'm not sure. Maybe Juno? Oooh maybe Control or Joy Division. They were both excellent, heart-wrenching films.

14. What was your best buy this year?
My exciting black corduroy coat from Per Una at M&S! I also got a great new camera and a netbook but they were presents so don't count.

15. What has been your best day out this year?
Maybe the Blue Reef aquarium. That was fabulous! Also all the meetings with lovely blog-gers - especially at the Novel Racer meet (I don't have enough words to link you all!). I also have met some great people in my tutor group through my course.

16. Is there anywhere you'd like to visit next year?
Anywhere! I'm not fussy :o) Ok then - Holy Island. And my sister on the continent.

17. Name one thing you did this year that you'd like to do again.
Have my sister and her boyfriend to stay!

18. Who gave you the best advice this year?
Caroline. And my mum. And D. And Jen and Becky and all the other people who commented on my first TMA for the course.

19. What new skill would you like to acquire next year?
Improve the photographs. Improve the writing. I don't want to acquire any new skills; I want to concentrate on improving those I have already.

20. What was your favourite TV/radio programme of this year?
Scrubs and 24 - I've only come in on it at season 5 but am loving it, insanity and plot holes and all. The only other thing I really watch consistently is BBC Breakfast News, which helps me get ready for work every day.

Bonus question that I'd like to have been asked: Do you have any regrets? I regret having given up Samaritans. I wish it hadn't come to that. And I hope to go back sometime soon.