This is not a test. Unless it is, and no one told me so I haven't revised, which means I'm going to fail. Thanks for that.
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Saturday, December 05, 2009

Vignette: on being a feminist

Context: I've just been offered a job with a charity that works with disadvantaged young women. I think this is pretty rad, so I was telling my boyfriend all about it last night...

Me: It's going to be great to work somewhere where being a feminist is actually a good thing!
Him: Being a feminist is always a good thing.
Me: Haha, I wish everyone thought like you.

Saturday, November 28, 2009

It;s fresh and it's new*, it's a mixtape for you

Pour vous, a Spotify mixtape: V&M's comp

Named for the folk who I originally made the mixtape for (and who left it in a van by accident - but that's another story). Lacking in the punk rawk sound you might expect from a blog named 'Travelling Punk', but conventions are for folks in suits who carry laptops.

Sadly missing the following tracks off the original pressing, not available on Spotify**:
Behave - Slumber Party
Angryman - The Bees
Morning Sun - The Beautiful Girls
Little plastic castles - Ani Difranco
Modern girl - Sleater Kinney
Oregon - The Maybellines
Plastic girls - The Minds


* It's SNFU, with Erics had a bad day...

** Oh Spotify, why you lemme down like-a this?

Monday, November 16, 2009

This weekend I...

  • Took 4 hours to get from Nottingham to Sheffield via the M1. The motorway was closed because of an accident
  • Saw a pheasant explode under the wheels of a car
  • Lost a false tooth when I 'held' the rope in my mouth as I was about to clip at the climbing wall. Luckily it came off into my mouth and was not lost forever
  • Made my wrists and elbows ache bouldering in the cold at Burbage North
  • Enjoyed my last days of climbing outdoors for a while - I'm going to be out of the game for a month after having laser eye surgery this week.
  • Eek.

Tuesday, November 10, 2009

The universe is in control. Is out of control.
I might try and choose my destination, attempt to plan my route, but forces outside of my control affect the path and influence the outcome.
Financial system

A fork in the road.

Monday, November 09, 2009

On the way to work this morning I was caught gurning in frustration at myself by a Paul O'Gady look-a-like.

While out running before work I was also spotted dancing on a pedestrian island (while waiting for traffic to pass - not just for fun).

Monday, October 19, 2009

Coffee - cheaper than food and an appetite surpressant.
Good news to the hungry and broke among me. Will I survive until dinner on one cup alone?

Monday, October 12, 2009

What do you do when you don't want to do the the thing you're doing anymore...
And you realise that what you really want to do is so far out of reach because of damned genetics...
And you don't know what else to do...
Because there is nothing else and there never has been?

Is this the correct time to have a quarter life crisis?

Thursday, October 08, 2009

I wish I ran a music review blog, where I reviewed surf punk cds all day long, and record labels sent me free stuff.

First off, I need to learn the art of reviewing.
I love this time of year, when you have to start digging your winter coats and jumpers out.

When spring comes you tend to abandon all those wintery comforts double quick and embrace the 'hot' weather, even before it arrives. The coats, hats and woolies are bundled away - not touched for months. Then when the temperature dips you rediscover them, slip them on a snuggle down against the chilly wind.

It's not quite the same rediscovery in the summer. I shed layers and find my summer clothes underneath - I've been wearing them all winter long for insulation!
You get the feeling that if this happened under a non mainstream religion, or in a different country, these people would have been locked up for being dangerous religious 'kooks', and their children taken into care for their safety.

Story from the Guardian, 'Parents given jail terms for relying on prayers to save dying daughter'

Monday, October 05, 2009

Well, I realised I'm not a rich 15 year old, so decided not to 'invest' in pleather or ludicrously overpriced anythings. I also failed in my other task - birthday present buying. And I walked around town for so long my legs hurt.

Friday, October 02, 2009

I'm all about the rock luxe look that's around at the moment. It's just like the shops have read my mind & decided to stock the kinds of things I like. So, in celebration I'm going to blow some hard-earned on deconstructed jumper dresses and pleater this weeked.

It's so long since I shopped, I'm pretty fucking excited.
How lame.
I haven't been climbing in over a week. My fingernails have grown so long.
Never fear though, off to Cayleigh tomorrow for bouldering and battling with ferns.

Thursday, October 01, 2009

I think my incredibly filth work mug keeps me healthy. The thick layer of tea staining tops up enough bacteria to keep my immune system on its toes and ready for a high leve attack.

Wednesday, September 30, 2009

Successfully resisted the urge to neck a bottle of cava on lunchbreak.
It would've made the afternoon more interesting, but it's a career limiting move for sure.

Monday, September 28, 2009

This weekend I

  • had a long weekend and spent the Friday on an ‘observation shift’ with the Fire Service
  • I had a go at hose rolling (turns out I’m not great at this!)
  • did some hose unrolling (more fun that it sounds)
  • had a tour of a pump
  • went out on two ‘shouts’ – blue lights, sirens and bull horn!
  • wore breathing apparatus (BA) in a smoke filled room
  • tried out the inflatable pads used to lift vehicles etc
  • and had a go with the expansion too

I also

Tuesday, September 22, 2009

Islanders from the northern isles protecting immigrants from deportation

Since visiting Orkney, I've been kind of in love.

It's such a relaxing, open, wonderful place. Island life is most appealing and I'm hoping they recruit in my field so I can flee up north to live (I can hack the short short winters days, and lack of bouldering...)

Also, my Grandad was stationed on Hoy during the war - the story goes there were three of them, and one rifle.

Today I came across some very old news about islanders fighting immigration officials to protect immigrants from being deported. Good people.

Monday, September 21, 2009

Achey body and sore fingertips from climbing over the weekend. Saturday at the Plantation, Stanage in the sun, ticked a nice 6a on the side of the Business boulder, but didn't get the 6a+ sit start, just too thuggy for me...for now! Another rescue off the crag, to follow on from the tragic events of last weekend.

Sunday at Bamford, it was crawling with climbers! Did a few classic VS and HVSs (I guess?) including Gargoyle Flake.

Friday, August 21, 2009

DIY: snip snip

I have these ludicrous knee high gladiator sandals. I imported them from the USA, they were the only ones I could find in PU at the time and they came from a fancy dress supplier! They're rad, but I've had them for over a year, and have only worn them under trousers in that time. Despite my preconceived ideas of how I could rock the epic knee high sandals, I haven't. I don't think I can, they're bonkers.

I like 'em with trousers though.

Thing is, they have this tendancy to rotate around my leg, and they're a bit hot & not exactly easy to wear under (skinny leg) trousers.

Today I was thinking 'I could do with some non-knee high versions of these'.

So I think I'm going to cut the tops off.
Save money, save time, save resources. Win win win.

Wednesday, August 19, 2009

Vignette: Family values

My mum dropped in to see me yesterday

Mum: We went out with so and so and their daughter the other night, she looked really pretty.
Mum: You look pretty too, sometimes
Mum: Like when you wear some make up and have your hair down
Me: Thanks...
Mum: But not when you scrawp your hair back, and have no make up on, like when you came to see me at work the other week. You didn't look really pretty then.
Me: Yes I did.*
Mum: Aww [ed. patronising tone]

Ah, parents. Why do you say these things?

* Yes, I actually said that! Haha! Go self esteem.

Tuesday, August 18, 2009

Stick to the list

So, I've been ticking things off my recent wish list.

Bat for lashes album:
I like it. A reviewer for the Guardian Weekend Guide said it would only appeal to 'people who watch the Culture Show. Scumbags basically' That's me told, then.

The jeans:
I got them, with a discount code (yay!). But - they sucked. What a weird fit. Huge and too small at the same time. Kudos though to Howies who exchanged them for the mens version, all the while honouring the original discount. The mens ones are 100% better.

Strawberry hair:
Hello highlights and lowlights. My hair is stripey like a raspberry ripple ice cream. Love.

Pet pied wagtail:
My friend bought me a little pied wagtail RSPB pin. Adorable, and less mess than a pet bird. Thanks Gareth!

Still working on:
On the back burner:
new Au Revoir Simone album

What gives?

If you want something doing, ask a busy person - or so the saying goes. I'm not actually sure how it applies in real life though.

As a self confessed 'busy person', I tend to have a lot on my plate and an eagerness to add even more despite my better judgement. Sadly, and even more, frustratingly, this means things just don't get done.

Example - I recently volunteered for a 5 week first aid evening class. Free, interesting, with a qualification at the end. However this took up one of my week day evenings - my precious training, volunteering or second jobbing time. Something had to give. In fact, two things 'gave' to allow me to complete the course - my training and work on my second job.

Frustratingly, this means I've lost some strength and fitness because of reduced training, and increased fatigue from the late night class room sessions. I've also lost motivation for my 'second job' and am loathe to give up my little free (read training!) time to sit at a computer and do more work. Even if that work is work I'm meant to love.

I'm burnt out. I'm not achieving my goals, or meeting deadlines I've set myself. I'm letting the side down. I feel guilty, but also far too tired to do anything useful about it other than worry.

Do you tend towards over burdening yourself with tasks, training goals, hobbies and commitments? How do you prioritise which gives and which wins in the battle for precious time?

Monday, August 03, 2009

Sometimes I just need to loose it, get wasted, do something regretable and dangerous with a stranger, walk home without shoes in the early hours and sleep for a day a night and a day.

All this exercising and clean living is KILLING ME!

Why does society insist we abandon the good times? Friends, shirk your responsbilities! Meet me in the park, bring spirits and skunk.

It'll be blast (from the past).
Teenagers will laugh at us.

Update 4/8/09
Phew. Have recovered from self-destruct mode.

Tuesday, June 09, 2009

Touch of class

Do you shake hands often? Through work, volunteering etc?
What does a handshake say to you?

I don't shake hands often really, but I'm an opinionated handshaker. I hate the little limp handshake (esp from men, I know, loose the gender stereotypes). I like a short handshake, firm grip, no messing about.

That I can do, but despite perfecting the short firm grip my handshake probably still comes off as all wrong. It might give folks a bit of a shock, it could cause them to pull away in revulsion even.

I have freezing cold hands, almost always.

I love it when I get to touch a warm hand, like yesterday when the guy at the deli cupped my ice cold hand in his lovely warm hand when he gave me my change. I think the massive temperature difference might have something to do with why I notice it so much - I am a bit like Rogue, draining some of his warm super power energy into my cold icy body. Wonder if he noticed my cold, cold hand?

Ever have to shake hands with an ice queen or king?
Did it give you a fright? What thoughts were you left with?

Cold hands, warm heart I hope.

Monday, June 08, 2009

Wish List

Au Revior Simone, Still Night Still Light
Bat for Lashes, Two Suns
Strawberry blonde hair (photo)
To re-visit Dartmoor (photo)
A pet pied wagtail (photo)

Friday, May 15, 2009

On archiving & tidying up

I'm going to delete some/most of the blog archives. This has been a great space for me to make friends, start things & share happiness & pain in the past, but I'm not totally happy with having it all out there now. I've moved on from that place & the knowledge that those statements of pain & desperation are still online makes me sad.

So, if there's anything in particular you think is worth keeping let me know, otherwise it will probably be a slash and burn affair as I don't have time nor inclination to read through the 4 (wow!) years of content. I will endeavour to save most of the posts on feminism/politics/society though. x

I can't imagine deleting the blog altogether. I have a total love affair with self publishing. Maybe a slight refocusing (and redesign for funs) is required instead.

Monday, May 11, 2009

Vignette: this morning

Me: Is my face getting too thin?
L: No, it's thinner, but not too thin
Me: So I don’t look like a sunken cheeked zombie?
L: No, you look beautiful (*)

L: It’s funny that you’re worried about getting too thin, and I’m worried about getting fat.


Tuesday, May 05, 2009

This weekend I...

  • drove up to Northumberland
  • put up my tent singlehandedly, in the dark
  • led my first routes for years, including a 'severe' which was a doddle
  • ticked my first outdoor 6a boulder problem
  • laughed and laughed at my friend's story of waking to find slugs on his face
  • temporarily stole my friends sleeping bag
  • got a tick and a mosy bite. insects are grim.
  • ate cereal in high winds
  • got chapped lips from said winds
  • took my tent down, singlehandedly in the high winds, without it blowing away (unlike my companions - and there were two of them working on their tent)
  • found out I need to go to Cornwall next weekend, never a chore :)

What did you get up to over the Bank Holiday?

Tuesday, April 28, 2009

Abject horror

The summation of a national news story that appeared on the internal news wire at work:

"Men applying for jobs could lose out to equally qualified women under reforms revealed by the Government yesterday."

Just imagine. Equally qualified candidates, tied for jobs, and people are being encouraged not to automatically plump for the man every time.

It's surveillance society, left-wing poltical correctness gone mad.

Red Top coverage of story here Sun, Mail

Thursday, April 16, 2009

Overheard in my shower*

L: G said Mary Magdalene was a prostitute.
L: But she was Jesus’ wife
Me : This is only important if you believe the bible is more than just a really crap story

(some background, L has been reading The Da Vinci Code)

L: M said feminism is sexist because some group of radical feminist lesbians in the 80s wanted to use IVF to have children, so they didn’t need men at all.
L: I told him based on that logic all Muslims must be terrorists – you can’t judge whole groups of people by the actions of a tiny extreme minority.
Me: God you are totally hot right now.

* well, it could’ve been if someone was listening

Monday, April 13, 2009

Those annoying Iggy Pop adverts

Who thought it was a good idea to put ageing rocker Iggy Pop in a series of adverts for car insurance? What audience is this speaking to? Are they trying to target ironic uber trendy types, who love a bit of nostalgic rock? Are they trying to target the older gent who used to be an Iggy fan?

Are they trying to piss me off, placing this arrogant rocker as a guide to finance? If they are trying to piss me off, it's working. GOD DAMN those adverts suck.

Monday, April 06, 2009

This weekend I...

  • made popcorn and trashed the good pan
  • drove to Leeds, too fast
  • campused a 5+, but didn't dare lob for the top
  • ate the most amazing home made thai green curry (waves to Claire)
  • found the cutest 40s dress (blue with white flowers)
  • and a crisp white sailor top at the Vintage Fashion Fair
  • bought some short-shorts
  • took 5 steps on the slackline - crush!
  • sang along to Christina Aguilera all the way home.

How was your weekend?

Wednesday, April 01, 2009

On getting things done

Last week I wrote a Subtext 'to-do' list. It contained 11 items, with 3 supplementary tasks. 14 'to do's' in total.

I've been working like a proverbial beaver recently to get on with completing the list. Today, I felt like I'd had some success. So, I turned back to my list of last week, eager to cross lots of items off.

Imagine my disappointment then, when I found I could only tick off 3 tasks.

3 down, 11 to go.
Back to work.

Friday, March 27, 2009

Shuffle shuffle

I loved this meme when it did the rounds the first time, but was so technologically backward at the time I didn’t have an MP3 player to shuffle. Being elephant like, as I am, I never forget - so decided to do the shuffle today (with 1900+) songs on the mp3 player.

The idea is, you put your player on ‘shuffle all’, and use each song title to answer each question, in order - no skipping!

1. If someone says 'Is this ok?' you say...
Secret someones
By Laura Veirs. No a clue how to interpret that one…

2. What do you like in a girl/guy?
By UK Subs. Hahahaha. Kinky

3. How do you feel today?
I had a dream
By Lilliput. I did have a good dream last night…
4. What is your life purpose?
Paranoid schizophrenic
By Raggity Anne. Hmmm.

5. What is your motto?
Most beautiful girl in the room
By Flight of the Conchords. Oh hilarity – so fail!

6. What do your friends think of you?
New star in the sky
By Air. Totally cute, would be nice if they did.

7. What do you think of your parents?
Black and blue
By Rancid. Nope, na-ah, way off.

8. What do you think about very often?
Do the reggay
By Toots & the Maytals. Fair enough on that one.

9. What do you think of your best friend?
In old yellowcake
By Rasputina. No idea.

10. What do you think of the person you love?
By Fisherspooner. Totally. He is :)

11. What is your life story?
I forget it’s there
By Lay low. People might also agree with that one!

12. What do you want to be when you're older?
Another night
By The Allstonians. Eh?

13. What do your parents think of you?
By Feist. It could have been worse.

14. What will you dance to at your wedding?
Love me like you
By The Magic Numbers. Kind of sad sentiment, but does include the word love…

15. What will be played at your funeral?
The creeps (feddie le grand remix)
By Camile Jones. Hahaha! Ok, it was worth doing this just for that result!

16. What is your hobby/interest?
Signal signal
By Common Rider. I write/blog/tweet – they’re signals I guess.

17. What is your biggest fear?
Big wheel
By The Maybellines. I don’t fear heights … but I am quite scared of getting knocked off my bike and run over by a bus.

18. What is your biggest secret?
Cell phone
By the All Girl Summer Fun Band. Hahaha. The fact I can’t use it properly?!

19. What do you think of your friends?
Cornflake girl
By Tori Amos. It’s not that I think they’re flakey… :)

20. What will be written on your gravestone?
I forgot
By The Moldy Peaches. There’s a ‘forgetting’ theme here. I forgot what - to cook those kidney beans properly? to go to the doctors? to check the breaks?
Want to have a go?
Would love to see what you came out with.

Thursday, March 26, 2009

In your dreams, like

Dreamt last night that I had a girlfriend, as well as my current boyfriend. Dream also involved climbing out of windows on ladders (the mysteriously bent double and meant I had to campus the ladder), lots of kissing, structures made out of scaffolding and some sort of escape from unknown assailant.

When I related the dream to my real life boyfriend this morning he didn't seem at all phased by the idea of sharing me with a dream girlfriend.

I rarely remember my dreams, but when I do they tend to be pretty weird. How about you?

Monday, March 23, 2009

Living on the edge

Home made scone with jam and a cup of earl grey. After work treat.
Accompanied by slightly blurry photos.

Friday, March 20, 2009

Unbelievable love

Is she flaring her nose?

By your zirconium smile
I was slain
By your olivine eyes
I was lying in piles
Hoping shovels would cast me

Furnaces burn everlasting
Black tattoos of you onto me
Furnaces burn everlasting
Black tattoos

Brand my memory
A tattoo of you
Me with your mouth
Brackish bright water from your eyes
I'll homing pigeon fly
To hover by your window white and shy
Homing pigeon fly
To hover by

My ashes to the wind
Can gather what they've found
We can struggle in the web
We can struggle
With white spider stars coming down
And night blowing black from the ground

Magnetized, Laura Viers

Wednesday, March 18, 2009

I come bearing biscuits

"scoff, scoff, scoff" - oops, they're all gone.

Monday, March 16, 2009

This weekend I...

  • ran 5 miles before 9am on a Saturday
  • saw about 30 frogs having a mating frenzy
  • inherited a cocktail dress with cocktail recipies on
  • nearly bought a suit jacket
  • got a carpet burn on the bridge of my nose while trying to win 'the box game' on the stairs
  • was too hung over to balance
  • went through my finger tips skin after pulling onto only 1 problem at Ramshaw
  • wore the worlds biggest jumper
  • fell asleep on the sofa
How was your weekend?

Friday, March 13, 2009


"equal ops all the way to the gutter"

I just used this phrase in a probably ill advised email exchange.

Wednesday, March 11, 2009

Despatches from the Font-line

@ Roche aux Sabots@ 95.2
Check out my fingertips - mantling on a crimp.

Tuesday, March 10, 2009

Time for something bold

sometimes you need a really bright red motivational desktop wall paper.

Monday, February 23, 2009

Cheer up love

Ah, FOTC, how I love thee.
Imagine the happiness when this popped into my head, forcing the clouds of miserable self-reflection out:

"Why can't a heterosexual guy
tell a heterosexual guy
that he thinks his booty is fly?
"Not in a gay way
just in a hey man
I wanna say that you're looking ok man"

Friday, February 20, 2009

Recent times

Looking gloomy at 'Flatworld' at Baslow in the Peak District
Ernie doesn't like posing for photos... he pretends to be asleep
New trainers!

My climbing boots 'Rockstars' by E volve - incredibly small and painful! Mean ass edging power.
The boyfriend at 'the unit'. Some friends built this climbing wall in an industrial unit. It's amazing.
My warm up route consists of holds named: moby, jug, rogan josh, hers, yours to name, bottom and lava lamp.

Monday, February 16, 2009

Tweet tweet my lovely*

Check it, I am LINKED IN man.
It's like the MATRIX.
See that in the sidebar? ----->
you can now follow my (rather uninteresting?) antics on twitter.


* title of a great Snuff album (the punk band, not the death porn)

Saturday, February 07, 2009

Blanket inversion - Roaches, Staffordshire.

Some photos of the amazing cloud inversion (where atmospheric conditions mean the cloud is really low, like fog, and you can get above it and look down on it) we saw on NYE 08, as promised.

It was -6 oC in the freezing fog (the cloud inversion) but gorgeous and sunny all day above the clouds.

Thursday, February 05, 2009

Snow day!!!!

We're having the best snow here for years and years. Chaos! Cancelled buses! Schools closed! Sledging! Snowball fights!

I still have to go to work though :o(
This is what my journey looked like this morning.

tyre tracks in the snow
bye the time I got to work I was plastered in the white stuff :o)

Tuesday, January 06, 2009

Intensive pig farming

There's a particularly awful report in today's Guardian about intensive pig farming, both in the UK and Europe. It outlines the horrible conditions many thousands of pigs endure throughout their short lives - bred as they are, for the plate.

A sow stall is a narrow metal cage, on a bare concrete and slatted floor,
in which pregnant sows spend all three months, three weeks and three days of
their gestation. They can move a few inches back and forwards, but not turn
around. Lying down and getting up is difficult, too.
If they're lucky, the animals may get a chain or a plastic football to play
with. But since there is rarely enough light to see by (pigs are quieter in the
dark), fighting and biting are more common than playing. To minimise the effects
of this, the vast majority of piglets' tails are routinely docked soon after
birth, and their teeth clipped, again in breach of EU rules.
If it matters to us that our morning rasher or chop or pork pie does not
comes from a genetically engineered fat-free pig that spent its brief life in a
dark, bare, windowless shed stuffed full of antibiotics and reduced to attacking
its pen-mates for entertainment - a pathetic parody, in short, of a pig - we're
going to have to reach deeper into our pockets. Right now, that seems
increasingly unlikely.

There are so many compelling reasons to go vegetarian. And it's easy!
More info and the full article, The price of bacon here.

Monday, January 05, 2009

2009 and new beginnings

Happy new year everyone - hope you had a good one?
I went climbing on NYE at the Roaches in Staffordshire, we were in the sun, above a huge inversion blanketing the countryside for miles around. It was a gorgeous day. I took a heap of pictures which I'll post soon!

One of my plans for 2009, aside from dedicating more time to climbing and Subtext, is to restart this blog, properly. Much maligned and neglected for too long, I want to combine it with my other much neglected blog, weather station, and start posting again regularly.

So, I was hoping you would give me an idea of the kind of things you enjoy reading about on the site? I've put together a little poll below- these were the top things I could think of that I like to write about (Subtext is notable in its absence, you know I'll keep writing about that!)

Your help would be really great - tick as many as you like, and if you want to see something that's not one of the options here please suggest your idea in the comments.

Edit - thank you to anyone/everyone who responded to the poll. Turns out I am not the computer whiz I think I am, and the code's not working! Your comments very welcome in the comments :o)