Sunday was such a busy day. I got up bright and early and was at the gym for 11, had a good session and was all done by 12. Early afternoon I went to the station and met Ghost and we took a train into London. Actually, because of engineering works, we had to change at Reading and catch an incredibly slow and smelly train to Waterloo.
A quick ride on the Northern line took us to the general neighbourhood of Ben Crouch's Tavern, which is a gothic-themed pub that Ghost was keen to visit, so we went there for a few drinks (!) and a spot of lunch. The decor was certainly gothic although very over-the-top, and the drinks and cocktails we had were just the ticket.
Then, just after 5pm we went back to the tube station and continued northwards on the Northen Line to Chalk Farm, and then went to the Fiddler's Elbow pub where they were having a Come on down and meet the folks session. Streuth, that place was tiny inside and quite packed too. It was also very hot.
Wreckless Eric, The Fiddler's Elbow, 29 August 2004
We had a couple of Vanilla Vodkas (alas Absolut, not Stoli, but never mind) and then I spotted Wreckless Eric, who we had come to see, so had a little chat with him for a while.
Somehow, I not only managed to get to the front of the gathering crowd, but I also found a seat right by the front of the stage. How lucky was that? Eric took the stage and treated us to an eclectic bunch of songs, many of which were taken from his new "Bungalow Hi" album (available here). He also played some older songs and one or two obscure ones, including a couple that I wasn't familiar with.
As is usual at Wreckles Eric gigs these days, it was just Eric accompanying himself on a guitar, and with a bunch of guitar effects. He switched back and forth between a Yamaha electro-acoustic guitar and a red Gibson 355 electric, and his playing was as chaotically brilliant as ever.
Some of Eric's traditional inter-song banter was spoiled by a curly haired git who kept calling out "Shut up, and get on with it!" He was really pissing Eric off. "How do you fuck? Do you do that quickly as well? " Eric countered, "And sort your hair out."
Songs that I can remember him playing were: "Same", "Joe Meek", "(Swimming Against) The Tide of Reason", "The Sell-By Date", "Continuity Girl", "33s & 45s", "Local", "Housewives", "Kilburn Lane", "Paris in June" (I think - this was one I wasn't sure about), "Reconnez Cherie"...
He finished on "Whole Wide World" and that would have been the end but everyone was crying out for more, so he said "Shall I play the b-side?", and launched into "Semaphore Signals", and then followed this with "I Wish It Would Rain" (a sentiment I applaud following the hot sticky weather we've been having).
Afterwards, I said ta-ra to Eric, and Ghost and I caught the tube train back to Waterloo, where we managed to board a Bristol-bound train that stopped at Didcot with only a minute to spare. Lucky or what? We passed the journey away with a couple of Jack Daniels from the buffet car. And why not? Then it was back to my place and a couple of episodes of "Most Haunted" as part of Living TV's "10 scariest episodes" thingy. A busy Sunday. Just as well I've got this Bank Holiday Monday to recuperate!
posted by Gina Snowdoll 1:57 pm
Saturday, August 28, 2004
So there's me, watching "Most Haunted" and laughing at how Yvette Fielding and Co get so scared at the slightest noise and run away screaming. "I wish I could see a ghost," I said to the cat, who's sitting alongside me; "I wouldn't run away screaming."
Then I heard a funny sound behind me, and I just figured it was something out in the garden so I put my hand through the gap in to curtains and went to pull the window shut, when suddenly my hand was attacked by something with claws! I nearly jumped out of my skin! It was a neighbour's cat trying to come through the window.
Then, when "Most Haunted" had finished, I moved off the sofa and was just about to turn the television off, when there was an almighty crash behind me, and I'm ashamed to say I screamed. The curtain pole had fallen down... I don't know why, perhaps it was related to the earlier incident when the neighbour's cat was clawing me and I jumped back. Possibly I pulled at the curtains as I hurriedly withdrew my hand and shifted the curtain pole away from wall? I don't know, but I screamed like a girl. Which was quite appropriate give the way I was (and still am) dressed, I suppose.
Nevertheless, that's enough excitement for one night, I think. Time for bed.
posted by Gina Snowdoll 11:06 pm
Bank Holiday Weekend
Well, I'm not up to a great deal of stuff this holiday weekend. I didn't even do my weekly shop at Tesco this morning. I was sneaky and I went last night because I guessed that with the bank holiday it'd be packed today. Also, it's end of the month so everyone has been paid and the Tesco club card vouchers have just come out. Last time those three events coincided, the queues were horrific.
Actually, I can't believe I'm so organised!
So, today I've been doing very little. Tonight, I've gotten myself all made up, just because I fancied doing it. I'm not going anywhere or having any visitors. I just fanced trying out the ol' make-up, keep my hand in as it were.
Now I'm semi-regretting cutting off all my hair because none of my wigs seem to be working for me right now, although when I put on one of my original wigs (seen opposite) it just felt and looked right, despite the fact that the wig is in a right old state.
Anyway, I'm just going to pop a pizza in the oven (and hopefully not set my wig alight in the process) as I haven't eaten yet and it's getting late. I've opened a bottle of Pinot Grigo Blush which is yummy, so I'm enjoying that, and I've got the Living TV's 10 Scariest Episodes of "Most Haunted" on the telly, so I'm going to collapse onto the sofa next to the cat and enjoy that soon. I might have to kick off my high heels though.
Tomorrow is going to be busier. I ought to go to the gym first thing, and then I intend nipping into London to see Wreckless Eric. More about that later!
posted by Gina Snowdoll 8:09 pm
I love it when stuff like this happens. I mean if art is indistinguishable from rubbish then what is the point? We may as well all live on a rubbish dump and be done with it!
posted by Gina Snowdoll 1:10 pm
Thursday, August 26, 2004
DKT/MC5, The Astoria, London, 25 August
The train took forever to get into London what with engineering works on the track and whatnot. Paddington station was packed with people; there was some kind of delay, something to do with a crash on a bridge(?). I met Ghost and we went along to the Astoria. Thankfully the first band were finishing their set when we arrived. After all... who wants to sit through a whole three support bands? (Well, I say sit, but of course we were actually standing).
The first band we saw were called Do Me Bad Things and seemed to be a bizarre mish mash of styles all set to heavy guitar riffing. There were also nine of them, including a whole bunch of vocalists, male and female. The one little guy who was singing was really over the top. He kept changing shirts for each of the songs he sang on, until finally he was wearing some kind of sequinned butterfly blouse on the final song and which looked faintly ridiculous (echoes of The Darkness?). Whenever one of the guitarists took a solo he went really overboard in gesticulating towards them, even going as far as performing what Peter Kay would describe as "small boys sliding on their knees" in the direction on each guitar player. Very odd, but quite comical. Which I'd guess wasn't the intention.
The next band were called The Icarus Line and obviously really desperately wanted to be the bastard offspring of The Jesus and Mary Chain and Primal Scream (and I realise that Bobby Gillespie was in both of those bands before someone points this out to me). They were really driven along by the bass player and the drummer - both of whom were very strong and talented players. Otherwise, the guitars were just walls of noise and the singer was largely inaudible. At one point the singer responded to a heckle from the audience saying, "Don't tell me to sing louder. You listen harder!", which was quite laughable in itself. And it was so painfully obvious that the one guitar player was going to trash him guitar at the end. It's all been done before, mate; try something more original.
Finally, the MC5 came out on stage, or I should say DKT/MC5 as they call themselves these days, for there are only three members of the original MC5 left - Wayne Kramer (guitar), Michael Davis (bass), and Dennis Thompson (drums). The original vocalist Rob Tyner, and second guitarist Fred "Sonic" Smith both died over a decade ago. The trio were augmented by Nicke Royale (vocals and guitar) and by vocalists Lisa Kekaula (from the Bellrays) and Mark Arm (from Mudhoney). They started out with "Ramblin' Rose" with Wayne Kramer singing, and throughout the performance played all the great MC5 tunes, the different singers taking it in turns to sing lead vocals. I don't recall the order the songs were played in, but they gave us "I Can Only Give You Everything", "Call Me Animal", "Sister Anne", "Shakin' Street", "Over and Over", "Looking At You", "The Human Being Lawnmower", "The American Ruse", "Kick Out The Jams", "Rocket Reducer No.62 (Rama Lama Fa Fa Fa)", and they definitely ended on a long and quite literally spaced-out version of "Starship" from the now legendary "Kick Out the Jams" album.
We actually ended up being very near to the front of the stage, right in front of Wayne Kramer (so, DAMN - had I taken my camera I could've got some excellent pics! Grrr...). I was totally blown away by his guitar playing and was intently watching his apparently effortless playing. He makes it look so easy, and I think I've now got myself a new guitar hero! It's even made me think I'd like to get a Fender Stratocaster again (but then again I have more than enough guitars as it is - I need to cut down the collection, not add to it!). [By the way, trainspotters, I noticed that Kramer's Fender Strat was a non-tremolo model but bizarrely had the legend "With Synchronized Tremolo" on the headstock! I wonder if it was a mis-matched body and neck job?]
Anyway, a fab gig! How old are those guys anyway? They must all be knocking on for 60, surely? If not there already! And they played the arses off everyone else there that night. Brilliant musicianship. Actually, it even seemed more "together" than the original MC5 recordings (which were at times a bit shambolic), but I don't know if I'm supposed to say that. Good choice of vocalists too, who did those old classic songs proud (but a pity the vocals weren't a bit louder, Mr Soundman!!!).
There were train delays getting home too - I didn't get to bed until 2:00 in the morning - and Ghost got attacked by the looney on the train! Have I ever told you about the looney on the train? Well, that's a whole other story and I won't go into it now, but will save it for later. (You might need to remind me though!)
posted by Gina Snowdoll 8:02 pm
Wednesday, August 25, 2004
Not feeling too fab this afternoon, and to make matters worse straight after work I'm going into London to see these guys,
DKT/MC5. Not really the best of nights for it. I'm hoping that once I get there I'll feel better and more positive. I can't be arsed taking a camera either, as I doubt we'll get near the front, so there'll be no photos.
Who's singing with them? Lisa Kekaula? Never heard of her. Oh, and Mark Arm, whoever he is. I was hoping David Vanian of The Damned might do a turn with them once again, but it looks like it's not to be.
posted by Gina Snowdoll 3:40 pm
Google ain't all it's cracked up to be
When I first discovered Google's Image Search function I thought it was brilliant, and I confess that I've used it loads when searching for pictures on the net. But now, it's really bugging me, and I'll tell you why.
On my other blog, the guitar one, I noticed that I was suddenly getting loads of hits. However, looking at my SiteMeter statistics I noticed that the majority where Google image search hits, i.e. they weren't people hitting the blog at all, but were hits from people using Google Image Search to were find pictures I'd posted on my blog.
One particular image was very popular. It was of a certain guitar player, but I won't mention his name here in case Google picks up on it and gives this blog a whole load of spurious hits. Instead, I'll give you a clue: he used to play with a band whose name was something like Firearms and Flowers, and his own name was another word for "Urinate". (I wonder if he realised that?)
Anyhoo, I started getting a bit fed up of this, so I changed the location of the photograph and re-linked to it. But still the spurious hits came. Grrrrrr...
Then I took tried renaming the picture and made sure the guitarist's name was not mentioned in the ALT tag. Still, it seemed to make no difference. I even asterisked out part of his name in the news item on the blog to see if this would deter the hits. Again, no change.
What next? I was getting really annoyed by this point, so I deleted the photo and the news item altogether. This STILL did not seem to make any difference. Google was still directing visitors to a non-existent picture on my site.
So why has Google got an old cached version of the site? I thought they were supposed to be pretty on-the-ball and up-to-the-minute, but it seems standards are slipping. Does anyone know how I can get them to re-spider the website? Also, the Google site search function doesn't work that well either, because there's all sorts of stuff it misses out in searches.
I wonder if there's any way of posting photos that are Google Image Search unfriendly, if you see what I mean. I guess that if the filename is randomised rather than named after the subject in the picture, and if the ALT tag is not used, then that might work? Has anyone out there tried this? It does seem a bit mean though, doesn't it, especially seeing that I use Image Search myself. I wouldn't mind so much if these hits didn't register on my stats. (Get a better stats programme, did you say? One where I can filter out such hits? OK... recommend some freebies!)
Anyway the current situation is that I'm still getting these spurious hits, so I thought I'd have a bit of fun with it so I re-uploaded a photo to my site using the same name that the original photo had... except that it was a completely different photo! Ha! That'll teach the buggers (and they should have better taste in music anyway).
Have a look on this Google image search - the offending picture is currently the third one that is displayed. Look for guitarz.blogspot.com in the text beneath the photo. Then click on the picture and select See full-size image.
posted by Gina Snowdoll 8:43 am
Friday, August 20, 2004
I'm one of those people who comes back from a visit to the beach with my pockets bulging with stuff I've picked up. I love stoney beaches the best, and love searching amongst the pebbles for those of a curious shape or an unusual colour. I especially like picking up pieces of "sea glass", that is, pieces of broken glass that have been weathered by the sea and worn smooth by the action of the sea against the other pebbles. As you can see in the picture above, I've been picking up quite a collection!
posted by Gina Snowdoll 3:09 pm
Thursday, August 19, 2004
Is it just me that is feeling crap this last week or so, or is it a general malaise at this time of year?
Had a major panic attack on Monday night. I've no idea what all that was about; it just came out of nowhere and hit me full-force.
I'm feeling so fed up at the moment. I can't wait to get away and have a change of scenery. Still, it's not long to go until I'm off to France for a couple of weeks. Mind, you can guarantee that the days until then will grind by as slowly as possible.
posted by Gina Snowdoll 2:32 pm
Tuesday, August 17, 2004
It's a real bastard not having the comments on here any more. I keep forgetting that I've turned them off and go take a look at the blog and then I remember. It feels like no-one's talking to me any more. And all because one person had to act like a complete and utter arsehole.
I still don't know what his agenda was? Did he hate me because I'm transgendered, i.e. is he a homophobe? Or did the fact that I published my own book piss him off for some reason? (WHY?)
As for my credentials in publishing, I worked as a technical author for two years, as a mathematical typesetter for a software library developer for three years, as an editor for training materials for five years, then was involved with producing quality marketing literature for another four or five years. I also worked on a very well received science fiction small press magazine which I designed, typeset and edited myself (I also commisioned writers and artists) and this I did for two years, as well as having articles published in various other small press magzines. I currently work in the realm of the internet and away from old-fashioned publishing on paper, but I still know a thing or two about publishing. Unlike that complete turd who inexplicably kept shouting "vanity publishing" at me. (I reckon it was another blogger - very cowardly of him not leaving his email or URL so I could give him a taste of his own medicine).
I've been writing a blog for four years and have had a personal website of some description since 1997 - that's self-publishing, it's what the internet is all about. I take the blog and turn it into a book. Where is the problem? Would it be any more credible if some big publisher had come to me and asked if they can turn my blog into a book? Does it make it more "real" if someone else throws money at it? Why should me doing it myself, off my own bat, make it such a big joke?
(Sorry for the "c" word the other day, by the way. I was angry.)
posted by Gina Snowdoll 3:10 pm
Sunday, August 15, 2004
The Green Fairy
Last night Ghost came over with a bunch of DVDs for us to watch and a bottle of La Fée Absinthe. We started out with a bite to eat, and - quite exciting this because I'd never done it before - ordered a pizza and some garlic bread on-line from Domino's. The pizza turned up within 20 minutes - quite impressive!
Ghost poured a couple of glasses of absinthe for us - apparently there is quite an art to this. You pour a measure of absinthe into a glass then lay the special absinthe spoon on the top of the glass, place a couple of lumps of sugar on this and then gently pour water over the sugar, so that it dissolves and filters down through the holes in the spoon and into the absinthe. The pure absinthe is a clear emerald green, but when the sugary water hits it, it "louches" and turns an opaque light green colour - apparently this is known as "the fairy spreading its wings".
We watched a DVD of "From Hell", starring Johnny Depp, and which is yet another take on the now legendary tale of Jack The Ripper. At one point Depp's character is seen to be preparing himself a glass of absinthe, which was a spooky coincidence. Mind, he added an extra ingredient to his - laudenum.
The film was OK... quite gritty, but adds nothing new to the theories surrounding Jack the Ripper.
Then we watched "The Abominable Doctor Phibes" which was a bit of a silly tongue-in-cheek Hammer Horror romp starring Vincent Price.
We followed this with the sequel "Doctor Phibes Rises Again" (I think it was called) which was more of the same, only set in Egypt and with even less of a coherent storyline. Ghost managed to fall asleep during this one, not that he missed much to be frank. I think the overly generous measures of absinthe that he'd been pouring may have had something to do with this. I found it made me incredibly thirsty and ended up drinking buckets of water.
With Ghost gone, I ended up going to bed after 3 o'clock thoroughly tired.
posted by Gina Snowdoll 10:45 am
Friday, August 13, 2004
Comments have been turned off because some complete cunt who has obviously got some problem with me keeps on abusing the system. Which fucks it up for everyone else.
This is the same wanker that told me to "get a life". Perhaps he should take his own advice because stalking someone on the internet through the comments on their blog is pretty pathetic behaviour even for the seriously lame minded.
My real friends can email me, as ever.
posted by Gina Snowdoll 7:31 pm
Die So Fluid, upstairs at The Garage, 12 August
Last night Ghost and I went into London and following a bite to eat at the pub at Paddington station and after a couple of very hot and sticky tube rides, we found ourselves at Highbury and Islington. After another beverage at a pub we went to The Garage and made our way upstairs. Uh-oh! I'd forgotten what a pokey little venue this was. (And it certainly got very hot in there later when it filled up).
The place soon started filling up with all sorts of people, loads of different styles of fashion - some people looked like they were on their way to the opera rather than going to see some rock music.
First band on were Living With Eating Disorders: blonde female vocalist, keyboard player, guitarist and a very hairy drummer. Ghost didn't seem to like them very much, but afterwards he must have changed his mind because he was looking to see if they had their CD for sale. I thought they were a bit Queen Adreena-ish although nowhere near as appalling as that band (and as everyone knows Q.A. are my most hated live act of all time). Other than the fact that I thought the most interesting thing about them was that the guitarist was playing a Danelectro guitar (I like Danos! I've got two! Sorry, that's a bit trainspottery isn't it?), I suppose they weren't that bad, but every time they began a new song, Ghost and I exchanged glances and said, "Didn't they just do this one?"
Next up were The Carbon Plan (I think) who were a more traditional no-nonsense rock band. The singer/rhythm guitarist had a serious Jimi Hendrix hairstyle going on, which was good. They weren't bad, but neither did they set the pulse racing.
Finally Die So Fluid came out and set their equipment up, and then launched into "Operation Hypocrite", a bizarre opener seeing as this was the album launch gig and that song isn't on the album. Their sound was big and brutal. Fab stuff indeedy. Next followed "Bitterness by Discipline", the album's opener, and then a good selection of the rest of the album followed. Grog was in good voice as ever. I like the way that she makes eye contact with the people in the front couple of rows of the audience - it gets a good rapport going.
I was quite surpised when they played "Draw A Line And Cross It" because when I'd listened to this on the album I couldn't imagine how they'd recreate the complex parts in a live situation, seeing as they are only a three-piece band. Nevertheless, they performed it beautifully. As I said to Grog afterwards, it's my favourite song from the album ("Spawn of Dysfunction") because it goes from in-your face noise one minute to quiet and angelic sounding and then back to the noise. I also love the way the song goes off at a tangent instrumentally towards the end - it's gets quite mellow before the heavy guitar returns.
As I alrady comment I managed to see Grog afterwards and introduced her to Ghost, and she also signed my CD cover for me. I also spoke to Drew and Al, but didn't have time to get them to sign the CD, as we had to dash for the train as it was getting late.
Oh, and next time I take my camera I must remember to make sure that the sodding memory card is actually inside first and not plugged into my computer at home. It works much better that way!
Bitterness By Discipline
Draw A Line And Cross It
Spawn Of Dysfunction
Kiss The Floor
Gang Of One
I sent off the six books for the Legal Deposit yesterday. Streuth, that cost a lot! I sent one package of five books to the Agency for the Legal Deposit Libraries which takes care of publications destined for the Bodleian Library Oxford, Cambridge University Library, the National Library of Scotland, the Library of Trinity College Dublin, and the National Library of Wales, and the other smaller package (one book) was sent to The British Library.
Seeing as the Legal Deposit law means that these institutions are each entitled to a copy of every work published in the UK, can you imagine the sheer volumes of books in those places? I can't, I really can't. Surely they'd be running out of space all the time? Either that, or like the Doctor's TARDIS, those places are bigger on the inside than the outside (actually, Blackwells bookshop in Oxford is a bit like that!).
Speaking of the good Doctor, and following my concerns last month, I am pleased to be able to report that the Beeb Beeb Ceeb and the Estate of Terry Nation have settled their differences and that the daleks will be returning to Doctor Who after all. Hurrah!
posted by Gina Snowdoll 12:10 pm
For some reason I always seem to get picked on by lorry drivers asking directions. It happened again this morning whilst I was on my way to the station. I ended up giving this guy quite complex directions as to how to get to the place he wanted. It wasn't until he was driving away that I realised I'd got the wrong village name and had sent him in totally the wrong direction. Oh dear! He's going to be cursing me.
posted by Gina Snowdoll 8:57 am
Tuesday, August 10, 2004
Blinkin' flip, guv. Simon (of Simon's Skip) has thrown in the towel and won't be continuing his blog. Which is a shame - I really enjoyed reading his posts. I would have thought it was better to post infrequently rather than say "never". Ho hum!
posted by Gina Snowdoll 1:31 pm
Monday, August 09, 2004
In the kitchen at work there is a disturbingly large pile of those trashy magazines that are obsessed with so-called celebrity culture. It's quite worrying that so many of my colleagues must be reading such mind-numbing crap. The only time I ever saw one of the girls here actually reading a book, it was a Stephen King novel and the less said about that the better.
On the cover of one of these awful magazines I just spied the following headline: "EXCLUSIVE: Girl's Aloud - Between us we lost 36lbs!"
Is that all? Surely, it'd be easier to lose a whole load more than that. Just sack one of the untalented cows, that'd do the trick.
posted by Gina Snowdoll 2:34 pm
HMV are money-grabbing bastards!
I had a voicemail from HMV in Oxford this morning to tell me that the CD I had ordered - "Spawn of Dysfunction" by Die So Fluid - was in stock, so when lunchtime came I braved the wet weather and went into town to collect it. After much faffing about looking for it, the assistant went and rang up £13.99 on the till.
"How much?" I asked, and went on to explain that I personally know the band and the record company (not strictly true in the latter case, but I have met the guy who runs the record company) and that they have said that it should sell for not a penny more than £9.99. This cut no ice with the HMV staff, who insisted that was the price as they had to buy it in from someone else at such and such a price, and blah blah blah...
All a bunch of lies really. I ended up paying full whack for it and told them that someone was pulling a fast one somewhere along the line. Are all their new releases outrageously marked up in this manner, I wonder? They're having a laugh!
I could have bought the same album from play.com for £7.99 which is nearly half what HMV were charging. My only reason for getting it from HMV was that I thought that if I bought it from the high street rather than the internet it stands a better chance of having a chart return registered for it. Just doing my bit in trying to support an up-and-coming band who have just released their debut album.
But... HMV... utter bastards aren't they? I'm not going to hurry to buy anything from them in the near future, not unless it's a sale item with the price slashed.
On Thursday, Die So Fluid are playing an album launch gig in London, so I reckon I'll take my copy along and get it signed to make it even more worth the extra moolah that I forked out for it.
Yes, it's only four poxy quid we're arguing about here, but why should HMV be the ones to pocket it? That's roughly what it costs me on the train to and from work each day. That's more than lunch costs me. That's be a pint and a half of beer, or a bottle of cheap and cheerful wine. In short, it's a rip-off.
posted by Gina Snowdoll 2:04 pm
If you wondered what gave me the idea to turn the website into a book, then I'll say "Blame Tamsin", for it was she who emailed me the URL of this article in The Guardian discussing turning blogs into books.
Having digested that article, I was rather surprised to read elsewhere that I was the first blog-to-book customer on Publish and Be Damned. The Guardian article had led me to believe that it was all the rage.
Tamsin had also suggested that I might like to turn our rather silly humour site, The Liar into a book, but I thought it would be an absolute nightmate seeing as the entries were written by lots of different people (so how do you divide the profits - if any?) and also the fact that there might be copyright issues seeing as we were endlessly taking the piss out of celebrities for the most part. Also, it wouldn't be quite the same without some of the more creative graphics, which again were mainly made from pictures gleaned from Google's Image Search. Copyright hell!
(Before someone points it out, I realise that The Liar is in a sorry state: the Archives are buggered and the template has gone AWOL so I can't simply re-publish.)
posted by Gina Snowdoll 1:36 pm
Saturday, August 07, 2004
Well after the crappy stressful week I've just endured, I deserved to have a good day. And it was one that I really enjoyed. I went for a cycle ride - had to try out the newly fixed bike properly - and went to a little village pub for a ploughman's lunch and a pint of beer.
The afternoon was spent relaxing in the garden, until I decided to do some work on a guitar project (I was sanding down the body of a Yamaha Pacifica that I am rebuilding - see my Guitar Blog for details), so I ended up being quite industrious out in the garden. I also took time out to sit under the big umbrella on the patio and do the Guardian crossword.
It was a peaceful, unhurried but productive, stress-free day! I need more like these.
posted by Gina Snowdoll 8:10 pm
Thursday, August 05, 2004
Clearing the air
It's been hideously hot and muggy this last week, and now we've had two thunderstorms which help to clear the air for a while.
I've also ben getting pretty uptight and stressed out about this passport business. As I said the other day, I'd lost my passport and I need it for next month when I go to France. I'd been turning the house upside down looking for it, all to no avail.
Well, today I decided that I was leaving it too late, for if I didnt find the passport then I'd have to cancel the holiday, so I went to the post office and got a passport application form and a form for claiming a lost passport. I also went to get some new passport photos done too, which wasn't as simple as it should have been for I had to queue for ages in the bank to get some change (pound coins and 50 pees) for the photo machine in Boots.
Then back in the office I started filling out the forms, only to be confronted with questions like "Where did you lose your passport?" (I don't know! I wasn't paying attention. If I'd been paying attention I wouldn't have lost it, would I?) and Passport Number, and Issusing Office (How can I tell you my number?... I've lost the bloody passport - that's why I'm reapplying!!!). Stupid stupid questions!
This just served to make me feel even more stressed out and upset. I felt so bad that I wanted to throw up. I left work with the only plan left to me being to seek out my old expired passport, which I found recently, and to hope that the number on that would be the same as on the current (lost) one.
After I'd showered, I decided to take another half-hearted search of the bedroom to see if I can turn up the errant passport. I found the bag I took to the States back in 2001 (there was an airline ticket in the pocket proving this) and this spurred me on a little and I then thought to check the pockets of a couple of jackets hanging in my wardrobe. First one I looked in, there it was! Hurrah! Major panic over! I can't tell you what a weight that is off my mind.
I phoned my Mum to tell her the good news, and then in conversation found out that I'd booked the wrong two weeks off work for the holiday. I thought it was from the 27th August to 10th September, but I should have booked 2nd to 17th September. Oh dear! I never was very good with numbers. Still, we'll get that all sorted out in the morning. I'm just glad the passport fiasco is over and done with.
posted by Gina Snowdoll 8:04 pm
Wednesday, August 04, 2004
Hurrah! The first batch of books are here and are looking good.
I'm going to have to send most of these out quite promptly to various libraries around the country as part of the Legal Deposit system. It's the law, you know. It's quite funny to think that my writings are going to be languishing in some of the best libraries in the country!
posted by Gina Snowdoll 5:49 pm
Tuesday, August 03, 2004
This weekend Shel came over for a visit, and turned up on the doorstep in full Sherri mode which surprised me for a moment. I don't know why I was surprised really; just wasn't expecting it, I suppose.
We did this and that, nothing major really. Shel took a look at my bike for me, 'cos she's good with things like that, and we ended up giving it new brake blocks and a new front tyre. I gave it a test ride around the block - first time I've ridden a bike in years - and it was like, errr, riding a bike, so came back to me really easily. The reason the bike had been locked up in the shed for so man years was that a few years ago now I had a nasty accident when some arsehole in a white van suddenly and unexpectedly braked in front of me and I cycled right into the back of him. The git then drove off, leaving me lying in a puddle in the road. That sort of put me off cycling for a while.
Saturday evening I Gina-ised myself, for I wanted to try out a few make-up ideas. But it was so bloody hot, the make-up was sliding off my face, and to make matters worse I couldn't find anything to wear (you know, the old problem of nothing fits anymore), so I'm afraid I got a bit drama-queeny.
I'm going to have to get myself a nice big mirror for the hallway downstairs. The only large mirror in the house is in my bedroom, and that was the hottest place in the whole house. How are you supposed to get the right look, adjust your make-up, fanny about with wigs, etc, if you are melting? It's just too much trouble.
I did very well in the heels all night though, bearing in mind that I've hardly worn high heels for any length of time for ages now.
Shel installed some bit torrent thingy on my computer (don't ask... it's too technical for me to elucidate further) and set the computer downloading some live video of Goldfrapp. I left the computer running all Sunday night, and on Monday morning it had completed the download. The vid's very good quality, although the sound and picture do seem to be out of sync with one another - possibly this is a video card problem?
Something that has been troubling me, however, is that I cannot find my passport and I NEED it for the end of the month when I go to France (at least, that's the plan). I've been looking everywhere for it, and can not think for the life of me where else it might be. I think I might have to resort to dowsing for it (I'm serious!). Last time I used it was when I went to America in 2001 (work, not holiday). I'm trying desperately to remember what bags I took then in case the passport is in a pocket, or else what I wore, jackets, etc. If I don't find the passport I'm not sure what I'm going to do. So, I'm afraid it's panic stations here at Snowdoll Towers for the moment. Please forgive me if I seem a little pre-occupied.
posted by Gina Snowdoll 12:50 am