Thursday, 30 June 2011


Nothing much to report today...except that tomorrow is the first of July, and I have decided to participate in NaBloPoMo again, since my blogging juices seem to have dried up a bit. The theme this month is swimming, which isn't exactly fantastic for myself since I cannot swim and indeed fear the swimming (perhaps I drowned in a past life because by all means being fat as I am I should be able to float better than anyone!).

It's my second stab at NaBlo, and the first time since the reins were given over to BlogHer (which I've no experience of but seems not to be the kind of community I'd otherwise be a part of) so we'll see how it goes...and see if the prompts are any more regular and blog inspiring that they were back in February!

Beat the Heat challenge starts on Monday and I'm looking forward to it...I've just recieved the reminder email with the first weeks questions etc, so before that gets lost somewhere in the vast crampedness that is my inbox I should probably be pre emptive and start a draft ready for Monday (just like I've been pre emptive and started on some of my goals...but only because I was bored and didn't want to wait!)

Anyway, yes, this month is all set to be a busy blogging month, and I am looking forward to it!

Wednesday, 29 June 2011


I love a good ominous sounding title, however todays post is not greatly ominous at all!

We had a great weekend, it was everything I wanted for Ben and more. I was worried that he might succumb to the blues, he would have been well within his rights to. However, I knew that my mission was complete, and completed very well too, when he turned to me yesterday after having gotten back from our second excursion from the cinema and told me it was the best birthday he'd had in a long time, despite the obvious reasons for it being a less than palatable occasion for him.

However, one part of his birthday celebrations has left me feeling terribly guilty.

As regular readers will know, Ben and I are fans of Formula 1 racing. Ben, unlike me, is one of those people who, when he is a fan of something, likes to know all about it; the history, the people, the politics. Many people are like this with music and their favourite bands, but Ben is like this with sport, and I am not really like that at all (Hey, I like this music, I shall listen to it. Hey, watching those people race cars is exciting, I shall watch it some more.)

So when he found out months and months ago that a documentary about Ayrton Senna was coming out on general release in the cinema, Ben jumped for joy and I died a little inside....I knew he'd want to go and see it, that he would be hard pushed to find anyone else to go with him, and he wouldn't go on his own.

He nagged and nagged me to agree to seeing it with him. And for a while I point blank refused. He pushed more, saying that with other movies he'd nagged me to see I'd ended up enjoying them. I replied "remember Transformers?" which he had nagged and nagged me to see with that same logic, only to have me fall asleep halfway through and start snorring.

Eventually, I came up with the ultimate in cunning plans. So cunning that it couldn't possibly fail. Yes, I would agree to go and see Senna at the cinema, if only he would come with me to see the next installment of Twilight.

He hates Twilight. I mean, he loathes it with a passion. It's not that it's particularly offensive to him as such. The books are bad, the movies are (somehow!) worse. It's the hype that surrounds it all which has him so put against it, and the general mutilation of Vampires and Werewolves which Meyer has managed to bring about. He hates it, and is very vocal about it. There was no way he was going to agree to seeing Twilight with me.

Oh how I underestimated how much he wanted to go and see Senna.

So we went yesterday. On Monday, his actual birthday, we went to see Xmen First Class, because we both wanted to see it and it was the only other chance we had of seeing it. This made me feel a little better towards was like a good news sandwich...prequel it with Xmen, then watch Senna and fall asleep, but it's the cinema so ice cream and pop corn, fantastic. We ended up having the screen all to ourselves, and since this was the case I was fully intent on being rather immature and shouting "LET ME SEE YOUR BOOBS" every time a lady was on screen, cause, you know, he's already promised to be rather vocal at Twilight, when we know it won't be deserted.

Except, I made the joke once at the beginning and then shut up and watched the damn thing cause it was actually really really good. I even shed a single tear at the end when he (censored for spoilers lol). I mean, it was nothing like Harry Potter where I blubbed like a baby when Dobby (more spoilers lol) but only because of my immense self control.

So now I kind of feel really guilty about making Ben go to see Twilight when I know he's most definitely not going to like it.

However, I have the feeling that had Twilight been out before Senna and by some miracle of God, Ben had decided he was now Robert Patterson's biggest fan boy, he would still have expected me to go to see Senna, so I'm not letting him out that easily.

Perhaps I can trade it in for another favour. He'll have to make some proposals, let's see what he comes up with anyway.

By the way Ben, since I know you'll be reading this, you'll have to do this off of your own back. This is me offering it up to you, it's now up to you to come up with the goods.

Anyway, yes, Senna was very good, Xmen was also rather good (and I especially liked when Wolverine -spoilers-)

I'm just going to stop you right there and say that this leek and potato soup I'm eating right now tastes suspiciously of a cheese and onion pasty.

Anways, all good things must come to an end and now we're back to reality. Still, life is pretty good. Still no good news on the job front but I'm keeping on top of my search so that's something at least. I've a coffee afternoon coming up on Friday which I'm very much looking forward to, I have two tickets to the opening night of Harry Potter in a couple of weeks (yaaay!) and then over the first week of August the family will be paying a visit. So yes, still lots to look forward to over the next month and a bit ^_^

Till later folks!

Friday, 24 June 2011

Gotta get down on Friday

So yeah, please don't hurt me for that! But, it's Friday and I'm in a darn good mood so I thought I'd come and share the happy with you all.

So what's been going on in the land of Bex this week? Well it's the end of the month and so there's not much to say about what I've done this week, but looking ahead there are some super duper things to look forward to.

The Spring Fever seasonal challenge over at Life's journey with a smile has just finished. I found out about it too late to partake, however the Beat The Heat challenge for summer is about to start at Weight Wars (to give the lovely hostess of Life's Journey the summer off!). I'm really looking forward to this, and I've used the time I've had on my hands to set the goals I'm looking to achieve over this summer. I'm not sure if they're a little conservative for ten weeks, but since I've never partaken in a challenge like this I didn't want to set myself up to fail! I'll publish them towards the starting date anyhow, expect to see, of course, more weight loss goals, day zero list shrinkage and more knitting!

Speaking of goals, and weightloss I set myself some mini goals a while back on My Fitness Pal. When I say a while back I mean it was pretty much my new years resolution. I ended up scrapping the whole lot of them because I was failing so miserably at the beginning of this year at keeping any handle on the weight loss. Anyhow, as you know I recently kicked myself up the arse, stopped going to see that damned dietician and started tracking my long term eating habits myself, under my own system based on the basic scientific principle of fewer calories in over the long term = greater weight loss, as opposed to the principle of "just eat baked beans on toast".

And no, I'm still not over that.

Anyway, after kicking myself up the bum I decided to reinstate my goals but based on the time available to me now that we're halfway through the year (well, almost halfway, at the time) and I've just, as of this very day, hit my first goal! Three whole weeks ahead of schedule!



Monday is my lovely one's Birthday so this weekend we're going to have a happy fun filled time. Ben isn't a sociable bunny, so we've basically scheduled in a couple of rounds of drinks with some friends on Monday, and the rest of the weekend is dedicated to shopping (for him! Ok and a little bit for me too...but mostly him!) Formula 1 (European GP coming from Valencia) and the cinema to see X-men Origins AND Senna, because we just couldn't choose between the two. But the Senna trip puts me firmly in line to have him accompany me to see Twilight in November, so I suppose he's signed his own death by Sparklepire warrant.

Speaking of the cinema, the second installment of Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows is released in July. The 15th, to be precise. And I fully intend to be there on opening night! Still, I have to wait until tomorrow before I can book the tickets and I'm just looking at the serious lack of seats already...I hope there are some seats left at a reasonable time!

Not that the time got in the way for part one, if needs must needs must, and I will go to a midnight showing if I have to! But I'd rather not...

Anyhow. Yes, the more distant future still brings more things to look forward to, but right now I'm buzzing about this exciting, relaxing and happy birthday weekend Ben and I are about to share together, and so because I'm bouncing off the walls with glee I'm linking up with Joelle for happy hour this week.

Hope wherever you are, you've got a fabulous fun filled weekend ahead too, and lots of amazing plans for the summer!

Saturday, 18 June 2011

Royal Fail

Tonight I am going to delight and entertain you with an angry rant about the national postal service that we are subjected to in this country; Royal Mail

There's a big debate going on in government at the minute over plans to reform the NHS. One of the things that the big wig tory toffs keep regurgitating is "competition will be good for the NHS!". Now, what they need to do is stop sniffing their own farts and apply this logic to the Royal Mail. Royal Mail is in fact one of the national establishments that actually could heavily benefit from having to fend off some competition.

My husband and I live many hundreds of miles away from our families and so when it comes to birthdays and mothers and (in the imminent future) fathers day etc that we can't make in person we have to fall back on using the post to send our lovely greetings cards and gifts. But it's hit and miss as to whether or not what we put in the post will get there. I mean, you could quote statistics for lost post if you wanted and I would snort at you. We use the mail so infrequently that the ammount of times cards and gifts haven't shown up at the other end means that if you used me as the sole example, the Royal Mail would probably have a 20% failure to deliver rate. That might look small, but I can bet that if this was a national statistic there would be hell to pay. This is also not taking into account the things that haven't reached us from other senders, even when special or recorded delivery is used.

Above: the jolly British postman. Perhaps if he stopped meddling with the concerns of the local townsfolk and actually did his job then Royal Mail wouldn't be the national disgrace that it is.

There are other couriers available. Businesses will use TNT for example, who will come and collect their mail and send it off on its way....but who delivers it at the end? Royal Mail. This means that we've recieved bills too late and had to pay charges for late payment, even though Royal Mail didn't even have to bother collecting and sorting it. They just had to deliver it.

Some of the frustrations we've suffered from this horrendously managed company:

  1. We're still waiting for a parcel that my mum sent me 2 and a half years ago
  2. My mum, brother and sister are still waiting for their birthday cards from 2 years ago
  3. My in laws are waiting for various cards to arrive. I believe my mother in law is still awaiting a birthday card my mum sent her for her birthday this year in fact
  4. When we were up to our eyeballs in student debt, we recieved final demands sometimes months after they expected a response
  5. Job application forms have failed to show up
  6. A letter from British Gas threatening to break into our property to switch our electricity meter to a pre paid meter arrived the day before they said they would be breaking in - the date on the letter was two weeks previously and we were going away to visit family the next day (in this instance British Gas weren't even supplying our electricity so we called up and gave them what for, but had the letter arrived a day later? We'd have been, frankly, fucked.)
  7. A sympathy card from my husbands work colleagues which was posted three days after his father died didn't show up until 3 months later. They posted it from a mile away from our home.
  8. Train Tickets sent to us via special delivery arrived but the post man decided he couldn't be bothered to ring the door bell and get me to sign for them. What followed was a game of cat and mouse in which we never actually got our hands on the tickets until the day before we were supposed to travel. In fact, for rcorded or special deliveries, or parcels that are sent via Royal Mail, this has become the norm for us, something which hasn't been helped by the fact that the sorting office from which we have to collect it now has been moved from somewhere quite central to an out of the way backwater which we can only get to by bussing into town then getting a train out to it.
And now yes my fathers day card has apparently failed to turn up. This has pissed me off to no end because it was posted with an application to ChildLine who emailed me to acknowlege reciept of my application. I know ChildLine are in the same city, but then again that doesn't necissarily mean jack shit going by number seven above. In the great scheme of things a fathers day card is absoloutely nothing, it's a mere trinket really, but I paid for a service and that service was not provided. And it is getting to the point where it is all too frequently not provided, I must have chucked so much money down the black hole which is Royal Mail over the years. It's not like we have a choice...I mean, we could in theory use a courrier for big parcels but that's expensive, and what other choice have we for things like cards or application forms? There is no other way of doing it.

What makes me laugh is that post men like a good strike but every time they do I kind of get a bit bitter and even more cynical. If the post is delayed for a few days then so what, boo hoo. But the fact that their service for the rest of the year is so abysmaly poor, I just can't get behind them when they do. You know, perhaps it's true, perhaps the conditions in which they work is what shits them up and fucks the service up. So why can't the higher ups just sort it out? I for one would gladly pay up to a pound, if I can be honest with you, if I knew it would definitely arrive. You could say well that's special delivery for you but you shouldn't have to buy special delivery every frigging time. That should be saved for special occasions. And you shouldn't have to buy special so that your cards get there in a timely fashion. Royal Mail, seriously, I implore you, hire some more staff, modernize, do whatever the hell you have to do to get your service up to scratch. I'm sure paying a few pennies more isn't going to piss us off.

What pisses me off more is, like I said earlier, whatever I pay I have to because I haven't a choice, there's no other option.

I don't know how the system could be shaken up to promote competition or anything like that, but someone needs to look into it, someone trained up in logistics or some such thing. Because at the minute it's disgraceful, and I'm sick of buying cards and stamps only to, essentially, throw them into a giant red trash can.

It's bent

This, ladies and gentlemen, is a bent pyramid:

It was built by a Pharaoh by the name of Snefru. It's rather perculiar shape is thought to be down to a change of heart halfway through construction as opposed to original design...perhaps the original angle of inclination was too steep and was showing signs of structural damage, or perhaps it is suggested that the old Pharaoh was nearing the end of his days and so the structure was hastily changed to a gentler gradient that would be quicker to complete.

What has this got to do with anything, you may ask? Well, I finally finished my hat and...

Not that I'm as awesome as a Pharaoh or anything, but don't you think it kinda looks like a bent pyramid? With that ridge there that I made by mistake? Just don't look at the back, it comes to a halt a good few inches before it hits the seam!

But overall, despite its bentness and the fact that it looks like a tea cosy for a cylindrical teapot when it's not being worn, I think it is a fine first attempt at knitting!

Please forgive the mess behind my hubby, our clothes horse has decided to give up the ghost and will no longer stand up on its own so since we've still got clothes to dry between now and pay day we've taken to wedging it up in between the wall and any heavy objects that are of sufficient size, in this case my Gran's old sewing machine that I've yet to get around to repairing the pedal of and a box full of already dry laundry.

In other news, you may or may not have noticed but look at the little badge in the side bar says eight...yep yep I think I've finally managed to crack my willpower into submission once again! Once it says 17 lb's lost I'll have lost everything I lost when I first started trying to seriously loose weight last Summer but then put back on again, and I'll be on proper loosing territory again. I'm very much pleased with myself and have celebrated with PIZZA!

But don't worry, I'm still under my calories ^_^

Finally, some more good news, I've had an email from ChildLine and they are apparently now in the process of getting in touch with my referees so I can only assume that they found what I wrote about myself satisfactory and fingers crossed my referees will say how wonderful I am and I'll be in for an interview and then I can start training. BUT that is of course jumping the goose a bit. For now, it seems to be progressing well so touch wood it continues to do so :)

Till next time!


Wednesday, 15 June 2011


I have been very productive this week indeed. I finally conceeded that no matter what I wrote it would be better than nothing and so I've completed and posted off my ChildLine volunteering application form. Haven't heard anything back from Samaritans or that place around the corner so if ChildLine comes to nothing I shall head down to the volunteering centre in person and say "USE MEH!" in my biggest most enthusiastic voice possible.

I've got my Christmas list sorted (not my list to Santa, but my gift shopping list!) Yes, I know it's pretty early in the year, however given our budget and the people to buy/make things for I've decided to get an early start. Most of my gifts will be made...there's no two ways about it, it's cheaper to buy materials than it is to buy nice ready prepared gifts. Ben, possibly, will also be at the hand made fairy's mercy this year. But anyhow, just looking at the list, considering I have pretty much my entire family's birthdays to provide for all in one big go between now and Xmas (a miracle of family planning on my parents behalf, but also a blessing that they've decided to come down to Liverpool around that time for a short break away so we can have a mid year xmas lol) which is not fun for my purse or my time. Anyway, it's all a matter of staying organised. I have to do lists, to make lists, to buy lists, flying out of my ears left right and centre.

On that note would you believe I've actually gotten round to sourcing out -nice- boxes for my handmade jewellery? Since I started I've given any gift jewellery in my own jewellery the boxes that jewellery gifts to me have come in...which was not ideal in the first place because I had to be careful not to give away anything with another company's label on it, not to give something in a box that came from the recipient in the first place, and because frankly I like to keep my jewels in their own boxes as opposed to getting them all mixed up together in a jewellery box if I can help it at all.

But yes, I've found a place that does pretty, colourful boxes plus filling and also crepe paper and ribbons all for a nice price. For some people you will be thinking "yeah, so what?" but I feel like I've taken a step towards making it all that more professional and not just "aww Bex is making pretties, bless"

I'm coming close to finishing up that hat I started knitting on Saturday. It feels like I've never put the blasted thing down, and the progress is slow. I've had a fair few slip ups, some I've been able to rectify (like starting with 110 stitches and then realising, somehow, I'd increased that to 120) some are just messy and careless (holes from a few dropped stitches, wonky rib stitch) and one just perplexes me (starting a row of knit, as per the pattern, then when I'm not paying attention to what I'm doing, switch to purl...I don't even remember doing it :s). I hope the people at John Lewis don't laugh me out of the shop when I hand it in...but given the ammount of yarn I'm planning on buying from them on pay day they'd be best not to...anyhow. This is it so far, the hat of wonky wonder:

Only a couple more centimetres of stocking stitch to go, and then I shall be ready to shape the crown and then it's just a case of sew it all up and there you go, the first hat I have ever made ^_^

I don't like to count my chickens before they hatch, you know, but despite the inperfections, I'm rather proud of this ^_^


Sunday, 12 June 2011

The pleasant clickity click of knitting needles

That sound always reminds me of my Granny's. She hasn't knit for years now, as she has a repetitive strain injury and finds in arduous to hold up the needles for so long, as well as her difficulty in counting stitches and reading patterns with her eyes getting older. Still, once upon a time I had a whole wardrobe full of Granny's creations.

They were brightly coloured by nature, post box red and a bright colour which sat somewhere between yellow, gold and orange in particular come to mind when I think back. They always had that stereotypical cable design, and when I got to a certain age my wardrobe was coupled with a smaller wardrobe full of duplicate, smaller designs for my sister.

My mum was never much of a knitter, though she did dabble in it from time to time. She was more a tapestry and cross stitch kind of person though, and so there came a point where the pleasant clickity click of knitting needles wasn't heard in my house or Granny's anymore.

It seems that knitting has seen a bit of an upsurgance in popularity lately. I don't know whether this is just because I've become more aware of it as I extend my feelers out into the world at large or whether it really has become more popular in general recently. A few years ago I spied a new friend clicking away with her needles who proudly announced "I'm knitting Cthulu". It's certainly more amongst my, for lack of a better term, nerdier or geekier friends, and perhaps the rise of knitting is paired with the rise of geek chic. Now it seems there are more people than ever picking up needles and yarn to create everything from the practical wears my Granny used to make or hand made woolen gifts of every kind imaginable.

Anyhow, yesterday was, I am reliably told, "National Knit in Public day" and my good friend Becky who you never see without a pair of knitting needles or a crochet hook in hand invited myself and Dee to go to the knitting session that the museum where she works was holding. First of all, she said, go to John Lewis and pick up a free kit to knit a hat for soldiers on behalf of the British Legion charity. So I picked up the yarn and needles required, grabbed the pattern, left my name and number (a promise to bring the finished article back) and headed up to the museum to knit in public.

Of course, I haven't knitted since I was about four years old when I had a little kiddy kit and made a tiny tiny orange scarf for my barbie.

It's fun. I spent about an hour trying to figure out how to cast on (it wasn't the concept, it was the needles kept slipping everywhere without doing their job and pulling the yarn through where it needed to be) and then a while longer casting on each and every one of the 110 stitches required in the pattern. Then Becky (bless her, I'm probably the worst student ever but she displayed never ending patience!) had to show me how to rib stitch. This "forces beanie" pattern may be short and sweet but it possibly wasn't the best choice for a complete noob!

I got home and continued on the row of two knit two purl and thanks to the fact that my poor attempt at casting on had frayed the yarn which made it difficult to avoid sticking my needle point through the yarn as opposed to through the loops...anyhow, I unravelled it all and started again and it's looking neater...fingers crossed it will continue to go well!

Well, it's time to go and watch the Canadian GP. I shall have knitting needles in hand throughout. It's a mildly damp track, which should make things interesting. But you know what really likes damp weather?

Thousands of blue rubber ducks I spied in the museum yesterday that shall partake in a great race for a local charity :)

Wednesday, 8 June 2011

Wee bit wednesday v48

{one} how many times have you been a bridesmaid/maid of honor?
Just once when I was about 3 year old, I was my Godmothers flower girl

{two} what’s the last thing your do before you fall asleep at night?
Snuggle into Ben of course!

{three} you just won your dream vacation, all expenses paid. where are you going?
Don't make me choose! Well all expenses paid, I would have to go somewhere I wouldn't otherwise get the money to go so probably a tour of a far flung country in the far east. Japan, or perhaps Singapore or Hong Kong. Alternately, I could opt for a long road trip of the USA and stay in only the swankiest places. So many choices!

{four} what is your favorite outdoor activity?
Does gardening count as an outdoor activity? I haven't got a garden, but when I do, it will be as active as I get!

{five} as a child, what did you want to “be when you grew up”? did you end up there?
All sorts. A doctor. A vet. A hairdresser. I went through a long phase of wanting to be an Egyptologist, and a long phase of wanting to be a Volcanologist. I never got there.

{six} what are 3 things your dream home would have that you don’t currently have?
A garden, a fully equiped studio, an Avery

{seven} what’s for dinner tonight?
Chicken and ham tortillioni with tomato sauce

{eight} if someone stopped by your house unannounced on a typical Saturday night, what would they find you doing?
Watching Doctor Who! Or if that was not on, probably playing on the Xbox!

{nine} what’s your average monthly water bill?
About £20 methinks

{ten} what do you do to relax?
Watch a movie, play the Xbox, make pretties ^_^


Bahrain from an English F1 fan's point of view

As we deliberated over which instant coffee we fancied a couple of weeks ago (it must be fairtrade, but do we stick with tried and tested Percol Columbian or take a chance on Asda's Extra Special Tanzanian blend?) Ben turned to me and out of the blue said,

"I'm in two minds over whether or not to watch the Bahrain Grand Prix if it goes ahead."

What our choice of coffee had to do with a motorsport event taking place on a small desert island in the Persian Gulf which is not generally known for its trade in the brew, I will never know, but he made the statement and I felt it only fair to give my view on the subject.

"Well I'm not. If they decide to go ahead with it then I'm boycotting it. I'm not having it broadcast into my home."

"But what if they send in Human Right's experts and show that the situation is improved there?"

What he was referring to is, of course, the news reports that Bahrain, like much of the Arabic world, has been suffering from a touch of civil unrest. What shocked us both the most was that doctors and nurses who treat pro democracy protestors had been arrested and held for what essentially ammounts to treason. It seemed brutal to us that such people had been arrested for trying to care for humans to whome the powers that be decided shouldn't be treat.

We continued our little debate, about the ethics of holding a a major international event in a country which seemed to be actively persecuting a good proportion of its population. We're terrible arm chair do gooders like that. Ben pointed out that Bernie Ecclestone didn't want to turn F1 political. I argued that by going to a country in which such things are happening, and host an event at which the Bahrain monarchy would inevitably be strutting around on camera and generally spilling their money all over it, then it couldn't help but be political and so they should stay away until the unrest was over. And such has been my opinion, and is my opinion still.

Of course, this weekend the government of Bahrain dropped the state of emergency rule, and the FIA, after a "fact finding mission", decided to reinstate the Bahrain Grand Prix.

Well the fans of course have all gone wild and there are already petitions and facebook pages (ah yes, facebook, the best thing that ever happened to the arm chair do gooder) zooming up against it. And since before the FIA even made a decision, everywhere that F1 is present on the internet there are an alarming number of Bahraini's popping up saying "but everything is fine, don't believe the liers, come back to Bahrain life is good and wondeful here!". Paid propoganda? Many of the other fans certainly seem to think so.

The truth of the matter is, whilst I consider myself to be relatively decently read and I like to keep touch with what's going on in the world, I wouldn't have the foggiest with where to begin on the situation in Bahrain. At first you see the pictures on the television and it screams "police brutality and hostile dictatorship beating down on innocent protestors!" and that is bad. It is always bad. In no world, in no context, is police brutality and hostile dictatorship baring down on innocent bystanders a good thing. As such, this is most people's reason to avoid the Bahrain GP. F1 should not go to a country where these things are actively taking place.

And yes perhaps I'm a hypocrite because I still watch the GP in Turkey and China who are also topping the list of "human rights being squashed here" but the difference is there isn't active civil unrest and disobediance. The fresh taste of blood in Bahrain does not sit comfortably with international fans.

If you go to the F1 company page on facebook you will find little recent activity about F1 in and of itself. It has been completely taken over by what one can only assume is the Bahraini propoganda machine such as I mentioned earlier. If you chose to listen to what people are saying here without stepping aside to think for a moment, without any other source of information, you wouldn't know who or what to believe. Some say that hey, nothing untoward is happening here, everything is fine. Others say pretty much what the news tells us. More say that the protestors are in fact the evil ones, torturing innocents and brutalising students for not taking up arms with them in protest. Then people seem to get even more down and dirty...hey, you, you've sold us out to the Saudi's says one, well you've sold your very soul to the Iranian's is the reply.

And every time someone who is obviously not from Bahrain goes onto the page? They would be instantly jumped don't know, you're not here, do you even know where Bahrain is? Stupid Americans...believing all those lies. Welcome back, F1!

Desperation? Is there ever smoke without fire?

Clearly, at this point in time, people there are being hurt, oppressed, tortured. Who is the guilty culprit? Does it really matter? Doctors and nurses are being tried in what Amnesty International describes as a "secret military court" behind closed doors, even though the state of emergency has been lowered. Is this an environment into which F1 should be going?

Bahrain is already scheduled to open the 2012 season. Will things have changed by then...I don't know. But this is not a question for now. There are more issues than just the mucky issues of human rights abuses; for one, should the Bahrain GP go ahead then the season will be pushed right back into December. Being that teams begin work in January and usually have a few months off, this would really be stretching things. Then there is the fact that some in Bahrain have said that should the GP go ahead, a day of "rage" will be held in protest on the day of the GP. Whatever the situation may be now, however quiet or "peaceful", that certainly leaves massive potential for security threats for all involved in the race, from drivers to spectators.

All in all, I don't pretend to know all about what's going on in Bahrain, but I do know that for a variety of reasons the race should not go ahead this year. There are reasons why it should, of course, but they are spurious and stink of money hungry business men and monarchs rubbing their hands together.

The government has said it hopes the race will go ahead and will help to unite the people, however the issues there are obviously much deeper than they would appear at first glance. F1 is not the answer to Bahrain's problems, but the problem of Bahrain is certainly one that F1 cannot afford to saddle itself with.

Saturday, 4 June 2011

Sparkling Jewels

So today I made my very first jewellery sale. I hadn't planned it, it was completely out of the blue. A friend of mine came over cause he needed some jeans sewn up (not a complicated job but apparently the thought of picking up needle and thread to sew a ripped seam was just too scary :p) and I had out those fluorite and amethyst ear rings I've been working on, almost finished but not quite. Anyhow I asked what he thought and gave him a nudge and a wink and said that if he ever needed presents for lady's I'd be happy to help. It then transpired that he was in need of a gift for his sister in law, and he asked me to make "something with purple in it". Why, I said, these are purple...why don't I finish them off now and you can take them away, I'll give you a good deal.

And so my first jewellery sale was made, and I'm a very happy Bex for it ^_^ Still, since it was so out of the blue I never got a chance to take a great photo and only have a very dark and rather blurry one from my phone. Since it's all I have, I shall share it anyhow;

The one on the left is a bit wonky as it got a tad rushed, but not bad ey? I was gonna keep them for myself but hey, there's pleanty more where that came from!

The next project is an olivine and pearl pendant that I think will be a bit more gentle on the you can see there's a lot of close up woven detail on those ear rings which, whilst not technically difficult is rather fiddly and my poor digits are a bit sore.

Anyhow, it's half past one in the morning and I'm a rather sleepy Bex, so for now I bid thee goodnight :)

Thursday, 2 June 2011

Back on the blogroll!

We got back from Kent late on Tuesday night and yesterday was relatively busy for me, so here and now is my first chance to get back on the blog and check in with you all!

The weekend went off rather well for the birthday girl and family and friends who were involved. It didn't go too badly for me, I simply hid away ^_^ my mother in law has just had a new garden 'installed' (if that is the right word? Or perhaps it is that the old one got overhauled or 're done'. Not sure!) and it looks absoloutely beautiful. Less like a wilderness and more like the suburbian paradise that such gardens are meant to be. Much time was spent in said garden and enjoying the glorious sunshine and wonderful birthday cake.

This had a twofold effect on myself. First off, I've managed to catch the sun and have, for the first time in years, had to invest in sunblock. My nose is blotchy where it has peeled, and my forehead is flaky. My chest is the same kind of bright red colour my mum's goes when she gets flustered, and in the exact same little triangular area, which has kind of made me a bit paranoid about age and the appearence of my skin, but then again I don't think my mum looks bad for her age so hopefully I'll follow in her footsteps! As for my forearms, the angry red has calmed down into what is quite an impressive tan. Sadly, I was wearing 3/4 length sleeves that day, and it didn't catch my underarm so it looks like I've painted brown over the top of my hand and up the top of my forearm which stops abruptly 2/3's of the way up before it gets to my elbow!

I'm not a huge fan of tan, it has to be said, so hopefully I'll turn back into my pale and interesting self sooner than later. One thing is for sure, I shan't be going out on sunny days without liberal ammounts of sunblock!

The second effect, that of birthday cake and celebration food and drink, is that diet went completely out of the window. However, I did keep track of every morsel that went past my lips. So I start my calorific week on saturday and it runs till Friday (shopping and weigh in day!) and as of yesterday I was 2000 calories over my weekly basal metobolic rate. I have, however, not just sat around all this time and have taken some walks, so obviously my BMR isn't going to be an exact match on what my body has actually burned. I don't expect to have not put on some of the weight I lost, but I know now that it won't be too much of an effort to get back down again.

I treat myself to some new beads and wire this past week after having found inspiration in a wire jewellery magazine. It's an American publication and I found it on the shelf of the independant news agent's in my mother in law's hometown, which is a shame as I don't know where else to find it. I know where to buy it online however so perhaps in the future I will do just that. The only other jewellery making mags I've ever been able to find here in Liverpool are the general beading mags in Smiths.

I have to admit, beading and stringing on its own doesn't really fascinate me so much as making wire wrapped jewellery (Although the beadloom does, when I get round to buying all the correctly sized and coloured seed beads for it!). I think there's something very ethereal and fantasyesque about wire jewellery and I also find the process of wrapping and tucking and bending lengths of wire into something more cohesive and beautiful really calming. I once made a wire tree and was going to attatch it to a polymer clay base and give it little crystal chip leaves but then it got knocked over and trampled on and ruined. It was an accident (and symptom of our crazy chaotic situation at home at the time) and such is the nature of wire that it can still be bent and wrecked if not treat carefully, but maybe I shall make another one if I have enough wire left over after my projects have all been completed.

So expect soon some pretty pictures of what I'm making. Currently I'm working with fluorite and amethyst. I've also got something experimental going on with some olivine leaf beads and olivine/celsian flower beads, but I'm not sure how well that is going to turn out!

Oh, that's something else I love about making jewellery - I can mix it with my love of mineralogy!