"Time is an illusion. Lunchtime doubly so."

"Don't think, feel....it is like a finger pointing towards the moon. Don't concentrate on the finger or you will miss all that heavenly glory!" -Bruce Lee

Tuesday, October 31, 2006

Boston pumpkin health & safety nightmare!

I was looking on flickr the other day for pumpkin designs (there really are some incredible ones on there btw!), and I happened across this photo.. this is the Boston Pumkin Festival, held on 21st October this year. Apparently, with 30,128 lit pumpkins all in one place, it broke a world record! I wonder how they put them all out afterwards..

Monday, October 30, 2006

Hallowe'en! (tomorrow)

So tonight was pumpkin carving night!! =)

mine's the little one!

Sunday, October 29, 2006

Box Hill: sunset over Dorking

Bath -half term

We started off half term week,with a trip over to the Somerset, Avon, and Wiltshire area last weekend. We stayed at Corston Fields Farm, a B&B/working farm in a little village just outside Bath - very pretty.

We set off on Friday about 5ish, after James got back from work. The journey was supposed to take 2 hrs 20 mins door to door, lol, now that was an optimistic prediction! 4 hours later we were parked on the motorway somewhere between Heathrow and Reading. It turned out our journey had coincided with about 3 lorry crashes, one after another. After passing each one, we would speed off, only to be greeted a few miles down the road by another. Anyway, we finally arrived in Bath around midnight, and the farm was long asleep. We'd phoned them up earlier to let them know we were going to be late, and they told us they'd leave the key in the door for us. Lol, when we got there though, it was pitch black, so the seemingly easy task of finding the door to our annex posed slightly more of a challenge than anticipated. We completely overlooked the obvious option - the door facing out into the courtyard where we parked the car (didn't even see it!), and decided the annex would probably be somewhere random. We went around the back, and found something that looked vaguely likely, and tried the door. Nope. Wrong door! Probably gave someone a nasty fright! Then we snuck around the other side, still nothing.. slightly concerned we'd found the wrong farm, and anticipating eviction for trespassing, we headed back to the car, looked around again, starting to consider a repeat of the York car camping experience, and that was when we noticed the door -right there -with key as promised! We must have been tired.

On Saturday we tried out the park & ride into Bath centre, good value. We did all the touristy stuff: started off with the Roman baths -listened to Bill Bryson's audio commentary, tasted the warm bath water (yuck), saw the Royal Crescent, ate lunch next to the Pulteney Bridge, had a look around Bath Abbey, and nipped in a few shops to have a look at the Hallowe'en stuff.

In the evening we booked up for a Fright Night at Wookey Hole, some caves near Cheddar Gorge, so we went for a drive around the villages to get over there, past (I later found out) where Anthony Stewart Head (aka Giles from BTVS) lives, and stopped off in Wells for some supper. When we got to Wookey Hole, the whole place was deserted, save for about two cars and some tumbleweed, lol. We sat there for a few minutes, just in case anyone else showed up. In fact, we did see someone, and they left! In the end we decided we'd rather not walk around some caves in the middle of the night while a teenaged tour guide slightly embarassedly tries to scare us, lol, so we went off to Bath again to see what was going on there.

We ended up going to the cinema, as we noticed that Alan Bennett's 'The History Boys' was on -really enjoyed it.

On Sunday, we went back to Wookey Hole for a slightly less frightening tour, acompanied by a selection of small witches and Frankenstein's monsters that obtained free entry, and proceded to shed bits of costume along the way. These are really good caves! I remember the last time I went, one of our tour party was this old lady, who was one of the original cave exploring divers, what an amazingly brave woman, you wouldn't catch me diving into pitch black underground tunnels full of skulls.

After that, we went on to Longleat safari park, home of Animal Park, which was absolutely amazing! We had a monkey climb on our car, and a lioness walked right up to our car door to say hello! Incredible. We also saw zebras, giraffes, rhinos, tigers, baby lions, vultures, flamingoes, wolves, all sorts! I don't think the experience was in any way hindered by the drizzle, in fact I think it may have even given us a better view of the animals with less cars about! Highly recommended. =)

Saturday, October 28, 2006

Does this person look familiar?

Well, today I happened to stumble across this interesting piece of software called Morpher, that allows you to enter two photos, and it will morph from one to the other.. it's especially designed for averaging multiple face shots etc. Couldn't resist, lol. It's really fun to play around with actually! Gonna try morphing the cat into the dog next.. hmm.. could be strange..

Friday, October 20, 2006

Sooo, what have I been up to this week..

It's been quite a busy week. Due to working with quite a high proportion of young Mums, my holiday entitlement does not seem to include half terms. This is due to "Temp's rights", i.e. none. Lol. Oh well, so I decided if I wasn't allowed half term, I would take a few days off the week before, to potter around, and do some catching up with things! It's actualy turned out very nicely; after working Monday and Tuesday, I went to Brighton with Ruth on Weds to have a look around the shops, and look in wonder at the amazing Halloween offerings in Choccywoccydoodah, drink Ben & Jerry's ice cream milkshakes, and play with the record players in HMV. Always good. We also sat on the beach for a while, until we became unnerved by an aggressive looking man throwing rocks in our general direction, lol, I think he was fixated on a can about 2 metres away from us, oblivious that some people prefer not to be hit by the resulting shrapnel -fussy, I know!

Anyway, then yesterday, I headed over to Laura et al's to meet new baby Charlie, and play trains with George! =) It is amazing how quickly they grow!

And this evening we're off to Bath. AA route planner seems to be a little bit up the creek at the mo, but hopefully we won't get too lost. Actually, the last mishap we had with AA routefinder was kind of my fault, hrm, because I printed off the directions to Bluewater, and already had some printed directions to Horsham lying about in the car. Somehow, I really don't know how I managed this, the directions sort of got mixed up, and we kind of ended up in Crawley. Lol, what was most embarassing was the number of times that James had actually said "really?!", "I really don't think this is the right way Lucy.. are you sure this is to Bluewater?". Oops.

Oh yeah, we do actually have some photos from last weekend to upload too. On Saturday we went to Bluewater(!), actually the not-to-scenic route this time, followed by Canterbury -we looked around the cathedral and everything (in the midst of Fresher's arrival day I think). I really like Canterbury cathedral, I think the stained glass windows there are amazing. Sunday was James' Mum's unofficial birthday, so we went over to Hinchley Wood for tea and a Chinese, after stopping in on Wakehurst Place for a bit of Autumn photography.

Wednesday, October 11, 2006

Relative left hand finger length an indicator of a masculine/feminine brain?

I remember learning about this in Psychology a few years ago, and I heard it again today on 'Child in our time'. There is a theory that if your left hand ring finger is longer than your left hand index finger, you will have a more masculine brain.

"Since the relative lengths of our fingers seem to stay fixed throughout our lives, they are robust markers of what our early life was like in the womb-fetal fossils, if you will. Take a close look at your own hands. Pay particular attention to your index and ring fingers. In women, the two fingers tend to be almost equal in length, as measured from the crease nearest the palm to the fingertip. In men, the ring finger tends to be much longer. The ratio of the lengths of the index finger to the ring finger is called the 2D:4D ratio, and low ratios are considered "masculine", high ratios "feminine"."

This is such a dodgy theory! Lol, you can read the New Scientist article here.

Originally uploaded by kipperfrog.

Sunday, October 08, 2006

Autumn & Wisley Gardens

Feeling the need for some photo opportunities on such a beautiful Autumn day, today we went over to Wisley Gardens, near Working. I only ever remember going there once before, and that was years ago with my friend, her Mum, and a group of foreign students from all over the world (her Mum taught English as a foreign language). What we actually did was go there for a picnic, and the idea was that each person brought some food from their own country, for everybody to try. I always thought that was such a good idea! I don't think you could get a more interesting assortment of food! Yum!

I was also reminded today, of my first year at uni when I was living in halls with lots of international students, including a couple of American girls. It was around this time of year that I went into the kitchen to find an enormous turkey sitting in the sink; I wasn't particularly surprised because in uni halls all sorts of strange things seem to turn up (particularly in York, I've heard.. boats?!). Anyway, it turned out that our Americans had decided to cook us all a proper Thanksgiving dinner! It was very sweet, they piled us all into the largest bedroom they could find in our block, with all our food, and special Thanksgiving bread (that was delicious -wish I could remember what it was called), and told us the story of Thanksgiving. Very nice and unexpected! =)

Anyway, I digress, Wisley gardens.. I always remembered the place as being very picturesque, and today we weren't disappointed. A selection of the photos are as follows, see the full stream here!

Saturday, October 07, 2006

Slava's Snow Show @ The New Wimbledon Theatre..

is where we have been this evening! Seems to be a week for the theatre..

Here are a few pictures from the finale!

Friday, October 06, 2006

Stupid chavs

James and I went to Crawley last night for a bit of late night shopping, and ended up going over to the leisure park for some food. Just when we were heading back to the car, I felt a blow to the back of my head, I turned around a bit confused, and James was saying he felt something hit his shoulder, but we couldn't see anything suspicious. It was really wierd. And then the group of teenagers walking along next to us started apologising, which was even more confusing, because they didn't look like the sort of people to go around hitting people in the street. It turned out that they were running away from some chavs that they knew, who were pelting them with conkers, nice aim. I think they scarpered pretty quick when they realised what they'd done.

Tuesday, October 03, 2006

An evening (or sometimes an afternoon) with Bill Bryson

What a quality guy. We just got back from the Harlequin theatre in Redhill, where we saw Bill Bryson for an evening of book readings, anecdotes, and random slides. Today was the second day of his world tour, which started in High Wycombe yesterday.

So, after 8 years of living the American life in New Hampshire with his wife and kids, he is now back living in Norfolk, enjoying once more the eccentric British sense of humour, and our fondness for small pleasures such as cakes with jam and raisins, cold days in beach huts wearing anoraks, and nice cups of tea, "ooh lovely".

Apparently the move back to England was provoked, in part, by his neighbour Ted. Being brought up on a diet of puns and banter, Bill just couldn't resist winding this guy up. The entertainment value provided by these daily quips was increased tenfold by this poor guy's consternation; it just served to encourage Bill further. He would compliment Ted on the camoflaging he had created for his car, only to be informed "Oh no, Bill, it's not that at all, I'm taking this storm fall-down to the tip"; and he would reply to his questions, such as "Did you have a good flight? Who did you fly with?" with "Well, to be honest I wasn't introduced to many people of the flight..", you know, the way that you do. In the end, his wife actually had to ban him from talking to the guy because people were starting to think he was wierd. It seemed that despite living in an American idyll, the people just didn't get his jokes, so back to England they came.

He started off the evening by telling us how relunctantly the tour managers had agreed to an evening of book reading and questions, and how they had encouraged him to make the show more of an audio visual sensory experience. They suggested he perhaps should show some slides of America to break up the talking. So that is what he did, lol, quite literally. He had about 5 or 6 slides on a Powerpoint presentation showing childrens playground slides and helter-skelters from various places in America. Aha, very clever.

Anyway, he then went on to talk about his collection of amusing headline clippings that he had accumulated over the years. I'm desperately trying to remember one of the ones he told us now, but I can assure you they were funny. You know the sort of thing I mean, where a headline sounds perfectly fine one way you read it, but you look at it again, presumably after it has gone to print, and you realise the dreadful conotations of what you've written! He had a great transatlantic assortment of those.

What else..

He finished off with a Q&A section, where I think the best answer he gave was in response to what he had done so far as chancellor of Durham uni. He said that actually, he had done very little except shake peoples hands on graduation day, and that a chancellor is a little like a bidet (thanks for correction bigblue!): nobody knows what it is for, but everyone is glad to have one. Lol.

Check out my signed book! =) Signed for me personally after the show, wow!

My Little Klingon

Next up is my version of the custom MLP that started the whole thing off..

Bill Bryson

We're just off for "An evening with.." Bill Bryson =)