Month: December 2015

Merry Christmas Everyone!

I just wanted to wish all my readers a very Merry Christmas. And also, show off a couple of bits from my haul.

I am happy to know that my Dad acknowledges that I refuse to grow up:2015-12-25 10.11.16

Yeay, ponies!!!

And of course, the game I’ve put off playing just for Christmas:

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All my presents were of course fabulous. The bloke got me a lovely necklace, my sister got me the new set of cooking pans I wanted, and I got lots of bath smellies. Another blinding present was the cheese making kit. I can’t wait to have a go of it!

To sum up – thanks to all who were so thoughtful with their gifts, and I hope everyone has a cracking day!

Oh, and hold the sprouts. Christmas should not be smelly.

My Christmas Spirit Broke Already.

I posted earlier about my rather lame attempt at Christmas Decorations.

I haven’t turned the lights on all too often – but this weekend, whilst making a sunday roast for the bloke and I, I decided to attempt some Christmas cheer in what has been an unseasonably warm December (seriously, it feels like Spring here. Far too warm).

The lights lasted 5 minutes before they died, leading the bloke to proclaim ‘Your Christmas spirit just died’.

All in all, from the time of taking a picture of them, my Christmas lights lasted approximately 15 minutes. This is what you get for buying cheap from Tesco.

I haven’t yet summoned up the desire to attempt to fix them. There are 100 bulbs on that. It probably won’t take me too long, but … meh.

Reschedule!

So, this is a time of year when everything is maniacally busy, so I won’t be posting *quite* on schedule until the new year – after which, normal service will resume.

In between eating lots of food, watching lots of films, playing many computer games, drinking too much and spending time with family and friends, I doubt I’ll be making much time to blog over the holidays!

Fear not, though – no doubt I’ll be having plenty going on that I’ll probably have blog fodder until February.

Happy Christmas all!

Gotta go fast!

As mentioned in yesterdays blog post, I spent a portion of this weekend ice skating.

It’s been a while since I last did any form of skating, so I was somewhat wobbly right at first. Then I carried on being wobbly, as I was escorting one of the blokes kidlets around the rink.

That said, it was still good fun. Watching kidlet #1 slowly get the confidence to let go of the edge was pretty rewarding. We progressed from edge clinging, to hand holding, to me letting go entirely over the course of a couple of hours.

Kidlet #2 was a different kettle of fish. It did not take her long to let go of the edge and just go for it – with a few spectacular (yet tearless) falls along the way.

I never really got it into my head just how hard skating is unless you’re going fast. Since going as fast as possible has always been my default style, I never really got the whole momentum = better balance when skating. It’s also harder when holding on to someone smaller, as it totally throws off your balance.

My legs remained sore for about 3 days afterwards, and I don’t consider myself to be all that unfit. I do miss skating, though. I think I’ll be making an effort to do more of it in the new year. It’s a shame I let myself grow out of it.

This got me thinking about other things that I ‘grew out’ of at some point, that I should probably revisit: swimming, sports and above all – comics.

I’m not one for new years resolutions, but my ‘to do’ list has definitely grown. And in my own style, I’ll be attempting to do all the above fast. Everything is more exhilarating when it flies by!

Snow doming

First off, my apologies for the lack of posts over the last few days – a mixture of bodging up my wordpress scheduling and being busy got in the way of me doing it right. Normal service shall resume.

So, what have I been up to? I was with the blokes family at the SnowDome to experience the Winter Wonderland and a couple of hours of ice skating (more on that in a later post).

The Winter Wonderland won’t allow you to meet Santa himself, but you will get a good half hour of sledging and snow tomfoolery, followed up by a Christmas pantomime and chocolate. Finally, you get to write a letter to Santa, and meet all his animals. According to the Winter Wonderland experience, this includes rabbits, pygmy goats, pigs, donkeys, and miniature shetland ponies. Oh, and reindeer. Confused? Me to.

The highlights of this trip were the bloke and I getting disapproving stares from various adults as we chased each other around the snow trail with snowballs and attempted to knock each other into snow banks. Snow trails are serious business, and we must all remember to behave like responsible adults. Which is, I suspect from some of the looks we got, the inability to have fun. Or something.

Fear not, we chased his kidlets to. We’re not total heathens.

Next, the creepiest snowman I have ever seen in my life:

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Scary stuff.

I also left my mark on the graffiti board:

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Finally, we were given some much needed health and safety advice:

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All in all, it was a very enjoyable day. For anyone around the Midlands area, I’d recommend it.

Secret Santa

Today was Secret Santa day at work.

For those who have not heard of this, here’s how it works. All participants have their name put in a hat. You then pull out a name, and that is who you need to buy a present for. You shouldn’t tell anyone, as the identity of who brought the gift is supposed to stay secret.

My secret santa has done well this year:

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Cheese is always a winner with me. Nom nom nom!

Thanks, Secret Santa!

 

Technology moves on so fast.

I was watching ‘That’s so Last Century‘ last night with the bloke.

It was covering gadgets from the last few decades – gadgets that I grew up with.

I really enjoyed this program, but it made us both feel old. Which is interesting in itself, since I don’t think that the bloke and I, both being in our 30’s, are actually old.

It’s both wonderful and frightening how quickly technology is moving on. We reminisced about always keeping a biro handy to wind our cassettes back in. This also left me with the pet theory that the biro case is the shape it is for the sole purpose of winding cassettes back up.

Another thing that we considered is how small children won’t actually know what a floppy disc – and certainly won’t know why the generic save icon is a picture of a floppy disc. They just know it as the save icon.

Walkman, 5 1/2″ floppy discs, VCRs, BBC Micro. These are things that are now right at home in a computing museum. In the grand scheme of things, they aren’t that old.

I do miss some things about the older ways of doing things that were covered in the TV show – making mix tapes, the excitement of sitting at the single computer in the classroom (which was always on a trolley) to play a game called ‘Granny’s Garden’. The very first time I used the internet was in high school. That was only about 18 years ago.

 

I couldn’t imagine being without the internet now. It just makes everything so much easier. But back then, I would never have conceived that I would be sitting here, writing a ‘blog’, and sharing my thoughts worldwide.

It’s awesome. I can’t wait to see what the next 10 years will bring. Actually, with the pace of change, I can’t wait to see what the next 5 years will bring.

How to confuse children well into adulthood.

I wasn’t always the best behaved child. I’d occasionally get caught, and (rightly!) get in trouble for it. Sometimes though, we get in trouble, and the punishment is just … odd.

One instance that comes to mind is at junior school (I think I was somewhere between 6 and 8 years old). There were two play grounds, one for the smaller children, and one for the bigger. So, you’d have two adults on ‘playground duty’. I was on the larger playground, and the lady on duty had the surname ‘Sergeant’. I can’t remember the conversation that led up to this instance. Thinking back to my younger self, there probably wasn’t a conversation that led up to it. Regardless, I went up to her, smartly saluted, and shouted ‘Aye aye, Sergeant!’.

She did not take it well. Her face went bright red, and she gave me a rather sound telling off. In retrospect, it was probably a ‘joke’ that she’d heard all her life, so I can see why she’d be pretty fed up of it. The telling off was all fair enough – I’d been pretty disrespectful to her. I got that, so I owed her an apology.

However, her telling off finished with an instruction to apologise to the other teacher on duty – not to her. I clearly remember toddling off in a rather confused state to the other playground to apologise to the teacher there for what I’d done. He looked a bit confused as well, but accepted by apology.

The only reason I remember this incident so well is that I was so confused about the punishment. I still am. Surely I should have apologised to her?

I’m not even sure what the underlying message of this post should even be. Don’t give children confusing punishments that will still confuse them over a couple of decades later?

I still don’t get it, even today.

I still don’t quite get twitter.

I signed up to twitter as another stream to try and publicise this blog a bit more. I’m still not quite sure I get it to the point that I’ll ever post anything more meaningful on there.

However, in dipping my toes into the ‘twittersphere’, I have ended up following a few interesting accounts. Since I like my news, I follow a lot of the worldwide news sites. I follow accounts related to software development, tech, women in STEM, and such.

Then I started following UK MP accounts. Watching some of the rather public meltdowns on twitter has been both amusing and saddening. Amusing, because dirty laundry being aired cannot fail to be so. Saddening, because these people are amongst those who are apparently running the country.

That said, most do actually behave, so it’s not all bad.

It was through this that I discovered some of the parody accounts, which I just had to follow. They are hilarious. They’re all properly marked as being parodies, and they keep up to date with any breaking news to basically mock it.

I do like a good bit of mockery in the morning.

Here are my current favourites:

Jeremey Corbyn

Dave Cameron

Vladimir Putin

To the owners of the various parody accounts on twitter – thanks for giving me a laugh!