Sunday, 18 October 2009

Visitors, bands and new cars

I've had a great week. Even though I was back to work after a week off.

Loria came to stay with me on Wednesday for two nights. We hadn't seen each other for over eight years - since March 2001 when we met up in London and York. I've only been blogging here since March 2007, and before that I hadn't blogged for a while - but back in 2000-01 I was hugely active on the internet. I spent a hell of a lot of time on a Tori Amos forum and on a load of sites hosted at descending.net, and had a website at envy.nu/piecesofme and a blog-type-thing that's amazingly still out there. (Warning - it started out chatty and ended up political, just in case you're going to have a read.)

And Loria was visiting the UK. So we met up. And it was great. It wasn't like we'd never met before; it was like carrying on a conversation we just happened to have started by email. This isn't too surprising now, but back then - it was amazing.

We'd always said that sooner or later we'd meet up again. I've never had any money to go visit her, so Loria ended up getting over to visit me again. And again, it was just like carrying on that same conversation.

We went to see Editors on Wednesday night, and I took Thursday as leave and showed her round Newcastle. Grey Street, Monument, the Grainger Market, the Theatre Royal (where we had lunch), St James' Park, the Quayside, the Millennium Bridge... we spent hours wandering Newcastle. It was fab.

She left on Friday morning and I can't believe how fast the time went. I can't wait to see her again. I think maybe next time it's my turn to do the travelling :o)

And we got a new car on Wednesday too! New to us, not brand new, but still - a shiny new blue Ford Focus. We are temporarily a two-car family. It's a strange feeling.

How's your week been? Any exciting happenings?

Saturday, 17 October 2009

Just a warning for those in Newcastle

A girl in my office was fined £50 for dropping her cigarette butt on the pavement outside work the other day. The thing that scares me* about it is that they made her go into work and get some ID and, I think, said the fine would be increased if she didn't provide it.

What if you don't carry ID? Or cash? Or a cash card? What happens then?

I only have a very limited amount of sympathy - after all, Newcastle Council had a pretty big campaign a little while ago along the lines of 'however you dress it up it's still litter', featuring cigarette ends with lipstick or with green leopard print paper instead of the usual yellow end, stating that you could be fined £50 for dropping a cigarette end. And you shouldn't just drop them, anyway. It's nasty.

So be warned.

*not that I drop litter, but that's not the point.

Saturday, 10 October 2009

Obsessions

Dammit. I've been tagged. And I hoped noone had noticed that I'd disappeared....

I think everyone in the world has already done this (I'm really out of the loop recently), so I won't tag anyone, but if you've been left out and kinda sad that noone has noticed - then consider this your tag.

My obsessions.... hmmmm.

1. Reading. D was fascinated when he first visited my parents' house by the number of books everywhere. He wasn't used to a culture where reading is encouraged. Now, he's a worse bibliophile than me (word used advisedly - he keeps every book he's ever read, whether he liked it or not. I realise that if we both did that sooner or later we'd have to start camping in the garden so the books could stay dry). But I love reading, and although I go through phases when I don't read so much, I'm still the girl who couldn't go upstairs in my parents' house without sitting down to read on the stairs.

2. Music. Nine Inch Nails. Placebo. They're my current obsessions, but it's music generally. I never go a day without listening to something - in my head if nothing else. At the minute I'm listening to a certain kind of music - but I do listen to quite a range. My main criteria is passion. You need to mean what you're singing. Watching Trent Reznor sing live - now there's a man who means it. I can't believe he's giving up playing live *sob*

3. Lost. So shoot me - they can't all be deep and meaningful! D and I are currently on The Great Lost Re-watch. We're half way through Season 3 and will finish the whole lot before the last season starts. I'm loving it. How the writers can take such a flawed bunch and make the viewers care SO MUCH about what the hell happens to them - I'm in awe. The acting is mostly flawless, the twists and turns of the story walk just this side of believable, the scenery, the way they can have similar things happen from finale to finale (things blowing up! Locke in a box! Ben stabbing someone!) and still make it different and believable - it's amazing.

4. Writing. This would normally go higher up on the list, but I've been on a bit of a break recently. After the hectic pace I was going at before, it's only natural; but it's still weird.

I've been writing since I was about 7 or 8, on and off. I've flirted with the idea of taking it seriously in the past, but only recently been really working at it with any amount of consistency.

In a week where I've been dealing with a lot of rejection it's hard to keep going, to think that I really do have something worth saying. But - I've got to keep trying. Better writers than me have suffered more rejection. I need to keep writing, to keep reading, to keep improving. To keep learning.

I've got to keep on.

5. Photography. I'm really missing this one at the mo. My camera broke yonks back, and I've only just got round to getting it sorted out (I've got so much on at the mo - it's been hard to keep up with everything). But I love taking pictures, I love creating a record of the things I see.

My photography course started a week or so back. I haven't started yet. Typical. But I'm going to, this weekend. I'm not a great photographer, just a keen amateur that's sometimes lucky. But I want to improve. And there's always the photo site to keep me working.

That was really hard!

I am enjoying blogging again though. See y'all again soon.

Friday, 9 October 2009

The Lego Men are no more :o(

D and I went into town yesterday. As we went past Haymarket along Percy Street, I let out a cry.

'The Lego Men have gone!'

I'm really disappointed. I know they were unpopular, and they were really expensive for what they were, and I know that I love the standard black railings with the castle motif -

- but -

the lego men! They were the only place in town you got something a bit different to separate the road from the pavement.

I still hope they make a comeback.

For a pic of what they looked like in the glory days, see here.