Sunday, July 30, 2006

The wonders of the internets

My university has recently joined the bandwagon and registered with Facebook. I've been nosying around on it for most of the past two days; finding friends from uni and manically trying to get as many friends as possible. Oddly enough, I was talking about this with an old friend of mine - who I haven't seen for years, but myspace is a beautiful thing for that - and we were discussing Facebook. It turns out that my old school has also registered - and so I've been trying to see who is on and who is doing what. Unfortunately for my inner bitch, I can't see their pages unless they're my friends. Ah well, back to myspace for that one. And bebo.... my internet toys are multiplying but I only have myself to blame.

I've also signed myself and a friend up to do a craft show in London at some point; neither of us can really afford, or want, a table to ourselves, but half each seems fair. I'm not sure when, or indeed where, it is, but hopefully I'll get some details soon. I'm looking forward to this. I might even be able to justify getting a proper website.

Wednesday, July 26, 2006

*insert mad-scientist laughter here*

I've cracked it! Finally! After all these years of experimenting I have finally discovered....How to make the perfect iced tea. Sometimes I amaze myself.

Take... one earl grey teabag. A teaspoon of loose english breakfast... fill your teapot. Stir in six teaspoons of sugar. Stand for five-ten minutes. Take a two litre bottle, and pour in around ten teaspoons of sugar. Add a cup or so of lemon juice (enough to get a few fingers' depth in the bottom of the bottle). Shake. Fill about half-full with water. Shake.

Once your tea is done brewing, pour it into the bottle (strain out any leaves). Leave to cool, then put in the fridge.
Consume. Blissfully.

Sunday, July 23, 2006

You want to hear about parallels, how about the forty-ninth?

I have a terrible addiction to making mixtapes... ok, they're not really mixtapes. They're iTunes playlists. I still like to call them mixtapes though. Here are two:

Smoosh - Rad
Art Brut - Formed A Band
The Rakes - 22 Grand Job
Clor - Love & Pain
The Automatic - Monster
Panic! At The Disco - I Write Sins, Not Tragedies
Controller.Controller - Disco Blackout
The Cure - Love Will Tear Us Apart
Brakes - All Night Disco Party
The Bravery - Public Service Announcement
The Chalets - Love Punch
Brendan Benson - Sittin' Pretty
The Pipettes - Pull Shapes
The Feeling - Fill My Little World
Old Mol - Sobriety Friend
Hanson - Get Up & Go
Hepburn - Deep Deep Down
The Cure - Friday I'm In Love

Buddy Holly - Heart Beat
The Bishops - I Don't Really Know What To Say
Lily Allen - Oh My God (Kaiser Chiefs Cover)
Guillemots - Made Up Love Song *43
Ben Lee - We're All In This Together
Mark Schwaber - Watergun
Paolo Nutini - These Streets
Bright Eyes - Haligh, Haligh, A Lie, Haligh
Emmy The Great - Secret Circuis
Jewel - Pieces of You
Denison Whitmer & The River Bends - Are You Lonely?
The Feeling - Sewn
The Innocence Mission - Wonderful World
Daphne Loves Derby - Simply Starving To Be Safe
Joni Mitchell - A Case of You
Jens Lekman - At The Department of Forgotten Songs
Nina Gordon - Straight Out of Compton
Rilo Kiley - With Arms Outstretched
Tegan And Sara - I Know I Know I Know
Bruce Springsteen - Waitin' On A Sunny Day

Saturday, July 22, 2006

Rabbit or Greyhound?

For the past two weeks, I've been re-bonding with my houserabbit. She used to live with a friend of mine (long, tortuous story) but when he moved back home, she came to stay with me. Daphne - after the Scooby-Doo character - is just over a year or so old; she's a French Lop. And a proper madam.

At the moment, she's lying, stretched full-length in the living room. She spends a lot of the day napping, dozing and checking her eyelids for leaks. And then she potters around the house for a little while, sniffing everything, checking everything is in place - and woe betide you if it isn't. One of her tricks is picking up shoes and throwing them out of the way - usually towards where they should be lying. She keeps me tidy. But after the exhaustions of shoe-throwing (or the olympic food-bowl throwing, usually held just after I've cleaned her room) she has a little nap.

There is, however, one event which demands stamina. Endurance. Training.

The Bunbun 400.

Dahpne starts in the bedroom, usually against a wall - or saving that, something which gives a satisfying noise when shoved - and charges, full tilt along the length of the corridor. She slaloms through the the kitchen doorway, scrabbling at the carpet tiles and narrowly avoiding the door. There's a sharp chicane around the bottom of the breakfast bar, weaving between the stool legs, and then the sharp turn under the sofa, usually executed by bouncing off the wall. And then back to the bedroom. And then lap two. And three. And maybe four, followed by a brief rest, before starting again.

This is all done at a charge, full of thundering feet, lop ears flapping furiously and white cotton-wool tail punctuating each bound with a wiggle. When turning corners, she binkies - flings herself into the air, twisting wildly as though attepmting to tie herself in knots - and lands with a thump far out of proportion to her size.

And after the race, she flops down again, to groom and shed fawny hair on the carpet before rolling on her back and sighing.

Sunday, July 16, 2006


In a few weeks' time, I will be moving house. Today, I'm going to go through some boxes which I haven't seen since September - I packed the contents away just before I left Libya. I will divide my possessions into three piles - that I want, now. That I want to keep, but I don't need just now. And that which I don't want at all. I have enourmous amounts of stuff, but I'm sentimental. I've got christmas cards from when I was six, programmes from school plays I was in, a photo of my best friend and me, aged five. I found the last birthday card I recieved that was signed "Mum & Dad". There are some things you can't throw away.

But some of it will go into storage. I don't have space for it right now, and even when I move into my flat I doubt there'll be room. Some of it, mostly books, will come with me when I move, and be reread because I haven't touched them for more than a year. I might have to buy some shelves for them, though.

I'm loving Smoosh right now.

Wednesday, July 05, 2006

Am I a Proper Feminist?

With a capital "F"?

I was brought up among strong women, particularly my grandmother (who wouldn't call herself a feminist, but tells me that the most important thing a for a woman to be is independant). I started to have an interest in equality when I began to realise how much of her independance my mother had given up when she got married - and how hard it was for her to regain that independance - and more so as I left school. It was about then that I started to read "feminist" literature - I picked up an ageing secondhand copy of Germaine Greer's The Female Enuch, and then started on Mary Wollstonecraft's A Vindication Of The Rights Of Women. It might be old, but a lot of what it says still holds true - particularly the need for respect between men and women. I don't think that women a superior; the sexes are equal, although nature has a great deal to do with the differences between the sexes, nurture is important too. I'm probably a bad feminist because I think that no matter what, girls will prefer dolls and faces, while boys will prefer trucks and building blocks (but then again I firmly believe the best present for any girl is lego).

My interest in Feminism was furthered when I spent half a year living and working in a Muslim country - admittedly quite a liberal one - but my experience as a woman, and the limitations the culture put on me, made me more critical of both that culture, and my own. One of the things I noticed was that because I'm a western woman, it was automaticaly assumed that I was "sluttish" - impure, whatever you want to call it - and treated with less respect in many ways by both men and women. I've also noticed that the younger men watch porn - which is western - and it's the younger men who are the least respectful; the older men would prefer it if I shut up and looked demure in a hejab, but at least they didn't hurl abuse at me on the streets. I'm concerned about the effects that porn has on young men, but also on young women. It's demeaning - it "picks" on women - and gives both sexes the wrong idea. Young men, who don't know any better, assume all women are secretly "gagging for it" and inclined to have sex with any man at the drop of a hat. Young women, on the other hand, learn that sex is demeaning, yet that they should be ready and willing all the time, because men want sex all the time - and that they should be writhing and moaning in orgasm more or less continually. It doesn't paint a pretty picture, and it's not doing either men or women any good, especially as there isn't always alternative information (especially in non-western cultures).

I'd say my idea of feminism comes back to men and women being equal. I'm particularly interested in education - I always remember my grandmother telling "an educated woman has educated children" - and the effects it has on health, poverty and the like - I do believe that poverty is a feminist issue. Women shouldn't be demeaned - but that there is nothing demeaning in choosing to become a housewife - and women and men should be equal in everything. There's nothing demeaning in choosing not to havesex before marriage, but there is nothing demeaning in choosing to have sex before marriage either. It's about choice, and having access to all the choices - including the choice to abort an unwanted pregnancy, the choice to use contraceptives, the choice to sleep with whoever you want, and the choice to access as much education and employment as you want.

Sunday, July 02, 2006


I've loaded more photos into my flickr account - click on the button over *there*. I love flickr

The Archers

It's far too hot today. Odd, considering I've lived in hotter countries that the UK, but the stiff muggyness here is getting to me. It's not helped by the building I live in having a silly, silly rule whereby the window barely opens, and despite the sun shining in almost all day - airflow is massively restricted. As a consequence, I feel like I've been sitting in a sauna all day.

On the other hand, this gives me a perfect opportunity to get to grips with this whole blogging malarkey. I've been listening to the delights of Radio Four today - despite missing I'm Sorry I Haven't A Clue I left it on. I'm just about to catch up with The Archers, followed by possibly the most irritating programme ever, Go For It!, one of those over-enthusiastic, hyperactive programmes made for children by adults who desperately wish they had a Peter Pan complex, but instead are compensating with that teeth-jarring jollity that probably irritates the children as much as it does me. And besides, somebody show me the child who voluntarily listens to Radio Four.

I shall put on the Dresden Dolls' Yes, Virginia... instead. I don't know why it's taken me so long to discover them, but they're fantastic - they sound perfect, tongue firmly in cheek but a knowing glint in thier eyes. Perfect.

Saturday, July 01, 2006

Ooh, Shiny!


Goodness, yet another blog. What fun! Ok...details details. I'm a student, based (mostly) in London. I make earrings which I'm intending to subject the wider world to at some point in the recent future, mostly in an attempt to justify my addiction to shiny things.

I'll write more when I have something to say.