2012 in review

Me!

2012 was a curious year for me with a lot happening.

After glorious #funemployment lasting six months I got a new job that I am still enjoying ten months later. Whilst it is the best job I have had my whole life, which is in a large part due to the relaxed working hours, I have found myself struggling with a meaningful work-life balance and, additionally, have had private matters affect me at work which isn’t great. All in all I am still mostly looking forward to going to work though.

I went on several trips:

I played a very small number of games, didn’t do much knitting, but I did read 61 books, went to see a bunch of classical concerts in Reading and London, as well as two weddings. Most of the pictures I was tagged in on Facebook involve me holding some form of alcoholic beverage, mostly wine.

I’ve had my first birthday party since 1993 and loved it.

I attempted a half marathon walk and failed miserably.

I took on too much charitable work and have [hopefully] now learned how to cut down whilst at the same time planning to increase my work with Cancer Research UK.

I was ill far too much, including my knee leftover from last year, my wrist which was also a leftover from last year and various other things, including a bad flu all over Christmas and the new year with heavy fever. I have also discovered that I am lactose intolerant which is a bit of a bitch as I love yoghurt and all things dairy.

I have become more grounded in who I am. More settled in life and with my roots [that sounds pretentious..] and ever more accepting of the burglary. I am even planning a visit to my hometown in Germany in 2013 which will be the first time in my life that I will visit it out of my own devices, rather than a familiar or other obligation. This is a big step for me.

2013 has started with a whimper and being ill. I hope it will be the best year yet.

Books I’ve read in 2012

The lovely Joe bought me a Kindle and I’d rediscovered my love for reading. I don’t whether it is because it’s so easy to pick up a book for just a few minutes at a time or perhaps the instant gratification of reading a purchased book within a minute on my Kindle, but since January I have read 61 books. Clearly not all of them are very high-brow!

  • Hints on etiquette and the usages of society with a glance at bad habits
  • The Sleepless Nanny by Christa Charter [@trixie360]
  • The English German Girl by Jack Wallis Simons
  • Memories of the Future – Volume 1 by Wil Wheaton [@wilw]
  • Agatha Raisin and the Quiche of Death by M. C. Beaton
  • Agatha Raisin and the Vicious Vet by M. C. Beaton
  • Agatha Raisin and the Potted Gardener by M. C. Beaton
  • Agatha Raisin and the Walkers of Dembley by M. C. Beaton
  • Agatha Raisin and the Murderous Marriage by M. C. Beaton
  • Agatha Raisin and the Terrible Tourist by M. C. Beaton
  • Agatha Raisin and the Wellspring of Death by M. C. Beaton
  • Agatha Raisin and the Wizard of Evesham by M. C. Beaton
  • Agatha Raisin and the Witch of Wyckhadden by M. C. Beaton
  • Agatha Raisin and the Fairies of Fryfam by M. C. Beaton
  • Agatha Raisin and the Love from Hell by M. C. Beaton
  • Agatha Raisin and the Day the Floods Came by M. C. Beaton
  • Agatha Raisin and the Case of the Curious Curate by M. C. Beaton
  • Agatha Raisin and the Haunted House by M. C. Beaton
  • Agatha Raisin and the Deadly Dance by M. C. Beaton
  • Death at La Fenice by Donna Leon
  • Death in a Strange Country by Donna Leon
  • The Anonymous Venetian by Donna Leon
  • A Venetian Reckoning by Donna Leon
  • Acqua Alta by Donna Leon
  • The Death of Faith by Donna Leon
  • A Noble Radiance by Donna Leon
  • Fatal Remedies by Donna Leon
  • Friends in High Places by Donna Leon
  • Locked In (Jessica Daniel Book 1) by Kerry Wilkinson
  • Vigilante (Jessica Daniel Book 2) by Kerry Wilkinson
  • The Hobbit by J.R.R. Tolkien.
  • Assault with a Deadly Glue Gun by Lois Winston
  • Sober Is My New Drunk by Paul Carr
  • Heat Wave by Richard Castle
  • Naked Heat by Richard Castle
  • Heat Rises by Richard Castle
  • Frozen Heat by Richard Castle
  • A Brewing Storm by Richard Castle
  • A Raging Storm by Richard Castle
  • A Bloody Storm by Richard Castle
  • Christopher Columbus and the Knights Templar by Jon La Plante
  • Travel And The Single Girl by Jenny Stallard
  • Redshirts by John Scalzi
  • Shopaholic and Baby by Sophie Kinsella
  • The Name of this Book is Secret (Secret Series) by Pseudonymous Bosch
  • Rook by Daniel O’Malley
  • Spying in High Heels by Gemma Halliday
  • Killer in High Heels by Gemma Halliday
  • Undercover in High Heels by Gemma Halliday
  • Christmas in High Heels (short story) by Gemma Halliday
  • Alibi in High Heels by Gemma Halliday
  • Mayhem in High Heels by Gemma Halliday
  • Honeymoon in High Heels (novella) by Gemma Halliday
  • Sweetheart in High Heels (short story) by Gemma Halliday
  • Fearless in High Heels by Gemma Halliday
  • Sanctus by Simon Toyne
  • The Other Side of Midnight by Sidney Sheldon
  • Fear of Landing: You Fly Like a Woman by Sylvia Spruck Wrigley
  • Schooled (Lexy Cooper Videogame Mystery) by Christa Charter
  • Devilish by Maureen Johnson
  • Thrill! by Jackie Collins

There are another five books that I keep on reading every now and then, such as the History of Britain and QI facts. I also have another ten books in progress.

Twitter archive

Twitter have released a new feature allowing everyone [gradual rollout] to download their entire Twitter archive.

I’m not going to lie – I am incredibly excited about it and have literally been waiting for years for this, especially as most third-party services were only able to pull a few thousand tweets which, for someone with currently 68697 tweets, just wasn’t enough.

I must resist the temptation of reading more at work, but I am already excited at having rediscovered my very first tweet. Sent on the 27th of August 2007 at  14:03:21:

is tidying up.

Shame it wasn’t ‘Hello World’..

Terrified by my own Sky+ box

I’ve been quite busy the last few weeks with work or spending weekends away at friend’s or going to weddings.

In the meantime all the recorded series’ links have continued recording and I only have 13% left of what I believe is a 1TB hard drive. Most of them also have more than one episode recorded which I’ve indicated below and all of those are unwatched asides from Castle which I’m rewatching. Again.

The only shows that I have been watching within a day or so of their screening are Homeland, Buffy [for the umpteenth time], Arrow and Elementary, though this week I’m behind on two of those, too.

This is what I have to catch up on [in order of recording]:

  • Death in Venice – A musical journey with Louis Lortie – Sky Arts 2
  • Shakespeare’s Globe – Sky Arts 2
  • Peter Ackroyd’s Venice [4 episodes] – Sky Arts 2
  • Andre Rieu – I lost my heart in Heidelberg – Sky Arts 2
  • Fidelio – Sky Arts 2
  • Salzburg Festival Opening Concert 2009 – Sky Arts 2
  • Passion – Last Stop Kinshasa – Sky Arts 2
  • Sideways – Sky Atlantic
  • The Comic Strip Presents [3 episodes] – Gold
  • Romeo and Juliet – Sky Arts 2
  • Under Siege 2 – Dark Territory – E4
  • Elisabeth – The Golden Age – ITV3
  • Valkyrie – C5
  • Everyday – C4
  • Falcon [3 episodes] – Sky Atlantic
  • Rebecca [2 episodes] – ITV3
  • Columbo [5 episodes] – ITV
  • UNforgiven [3 episodes] – ITV3
  • Hairy Dieters – How to love food and lose weight – BBC1
  • Robbie Williams Live – Take the Crown – Sky1
  • QI – Dave
  • The dark charisma of Adolf Hitler [3 episodes] – BBC2
  • Secret State [4 episodes] – C4
  • Flashpoint [8 episodes] – Universal
  • Midsomer Murders – ITV3
  • Law & Order SVU – Universal
  • National Trust – National Treasures – Sky Arts 2
  • Arrow – Sky1
  • Stephen Fry Gadget Man [2 episodes] – C4
  • Burn Notice [13 episodes] – FX
  • Last Resort [3 episodes] – Sky1
  • Last Tango in Halifax [3 episodes] – BBC1
  • Elementary – Sky Living
  • Young Apprentice – BBC1
  • Eureka [15 episodes] – Syfy
  • Scandal [4 episodes] – More4
  • The Fear [4 episodes] – C4
  • Hawaii Five-0 [8 episodes] – Sky1
  • JAG [11 episodes] – CBS Drama
  • Warehouse 13 [12 episodes] – Syfy
  • Star Trek TNG [13 episodes] – Syfy
  • Castle [4 episodes] – alibi
  • Merlin – BBC1

I don’t know what to start with!

RIP Larry Hagman

When I was growing up I wasn’t generally allowed to watch TV. It would be on when my parents wanted to watch something and occasionally during dinner, but for the most part it was just not a thing I was allowed to do. Of course, during those moments I was alone in the flat [which, come to think of it, were fairly frequent which I hoped was more due to my parents believing me to be independent at a primary school age rather than being unable to find a sitter!] I would take the opportunity to watch TV.

I would approach it rather sneakily – remembering the exact position of the remote control on the living room table, making a mental note of the TV channel that was last on when the TV was switched off, as well as listening closely to any noise outside the flat that could indicate an early return!

I would watch the Gummy Bears, She-Ra, Inspector Gadget, The Racoons and many other cartoon shows though I’ve probably watched more of that as an adult.

One of the shows that my mum used to watch and would happily let me watch at the same time was I Dream of Jeannie or the German name of it – Enchanting Jeannie. I wanted to be Jeannie and remember running round the flat trying to do magic whilst at the same time – even as a six year old – thinking that it looked stupid. I wanted to live in her bottle and was intrigued that it was only a sofa though always thought just how impractical that is.

It’s the show that was made by Larry Hagman. RIP.

Murder, She Wrote made me laugh

Some episodes of Murder, She Wrote are better than others and the one I’m just watching now actually made me laugh out loud.

Taken from the episode ‘A story to die for’, Jessica Fletcher is unaware that she suspected of murder and approached by two FBI agents:

Knock on the door, Jessica opens.

Jessica: Agents! What a pleasant surprise! What can I do for you?
Agent 1: The night Ivan was murdered, you spoke with him, correct?
Jessica: We had words, yes.
Agent 2: What kind of words?
Jessica: Oh, the usual. Nouns! Verbs! Adjectives! To round things out!

NaNoWriMo 2012

Let it be known that this is all @joyuna‘s fault and I make no promises that it will continue after today.

However, on a positive note, this is the start of my NaNoWriMo 2012 novel:

They were delicious. She felt like it was heaven in her mouth. Never before had she taste anything like it before.

It was the last thought she was ever to have.

Shine London 2012

Last year I had this crazy idea of signing up for a half marathon walk in aid of Cancer Research. I talked about it here and here. And then I didn’t talk about it any more..

First things first: I had a phenomenal number of donations totaling £313 [including gift aid] from these lovely people:

  • Amykate
  • Chelthan & Swedish Mike
  • cyclerunner
  • Darren
  • itsajo
  • JD and His Lupine Associates
  • Joe
  • Jonez
  • Katie
  • krider2010
  • Magda
  • Mark Cockshoot
  • Maxine
  • Michaela
  • Peter Cooper
  • Rob
  • sahfenn
  • SockYarnShop
  • Wei Joo
  • Zarrar

They are all incredibly awesome and I can’t believe how much faith they put in me. And then I hurt my knee.

The following months were painful. They involved a lot of hobbling and, whilst it initially seemed like I could do Shine, my doctor ultimately convinced me it was a bad idea, especially as I’d not been training for it. I felt guilty for letting everyone down. Yes, I realise it’s for charity and therefore a Good Thing™, but people donated money for something I was planning to do, something that was going to take me out of my comfort zone and then I didn’t deliver.

I did what I do best – withdraw. Didn’t mention Shine at all, as, obviously, not mentioning something makes it go away. Only it didn’t and it kept nagging at me, even though my knee still hurt at the beginning of 2012 – more than four months after the initial injury.

Once my knee was healed I decided to try again only this time I would not publicise it and instead do it for everyone that has donated to me already. Basically I wanted to be true to my word. I finally signed up for it in June and had all the intentions of training for it. I planned walks that didn’t happen due to the weather or due to other commitments, such as work, and then it was time for Shine 2012 and I had done precisely no training.

On Saturday evening I ventured to London, got there fashionably late, and completed 6.6 miles out of the 13.1 miles before giving up for various reasons, as I tweeted at the time. The reasons were:

  • I couldn’t do it. 13.1 miles with no training and no walking in my daily life asides from walking very short journeys from the bus stop wasn’t doable.
  • It was cold. Really cold.
  • Trains weren’t in my favour. With the walk starting at 7.30pm – though I didn’t actually cross the start line until gone 8pm – and being the world’s slowest walker, I knew it wasn’t feasible for me to finish in time to catch the last train across London at 1am and the next one wasn’t until 7.30am. Plus it was cold.
  • Walking through London wasn’t great.
  • My backpack was too heavy; I really didn’t need that 1.5l bottle of water with stops around the course.
  • The organisation wasn’t great. I’ve volunteered at many Race for Life events and it was good to see it from the other side. I have a lot of ideas on how to improve future events I’ll be volunteering at.

So I still haven’t lived up to my word and in essence have still let everyone down. I won’t be attempting Shine 2013 as the journey is too far and it costs me too much money – taking part this year has set me back £65 for entry and travel – and it’s too inconvenient to go to London and back.

I will, however, be attempting to do a 13.1 miles stretch at some point. Probably not in the next few months, but perhaps in spring.

Thank you to everyone for putting so much faith in me. I struggled a lot on Saturday and could barely walk on Sunday, but, with some training, I am sure I can achieve it. Thank you for all your amazing donations.

21 shades of of the same

The current UK top 100 paid Kindle books store contains the following items.

  • Fifty Shades Freed by E L James
  • Reflected in You: A Crossfire Novel by Sylvia Day
  • Fifty Shades Darker by E L James
  • Fifty Shades of Grey by E L James
  • Bared to You: A Crossfire Novel by Sylvia Day
  • Fifty Shades Trilogy: Fifty Shades of Grey / Fifty Shades Darker / Fifty Shades Freed by E L James
  • Entwined with You: A Crossfire Novel (Crossfire Book 3) by Sylvia Day
  • For His Pleasure (For His Pleasure, Book 1) (The Submission of Miss Masters, Domination, BDSM) by Kelly Favor
  • Gabriel’s Inferno by Sylvain Reynard
  • Beautiful Disaster by Jamie McGuire
  • His Every Touch (For His Pleasure, Book 8) by Kelly Favor
  • His Every Desire (For His Pleasure, Book 7) by Kelly Favor
  • Confessions: A Secret Diary by Amber Stephens
  • The Adultery Club: In an often grey world there are fifty shades of seduction: 1 by Tess Stimson
  • Gabriel’s Rapture by Sylvain Reynard
  • For His Taking (For His Pleasure, Book 2) (The Submission of Miss Masters, Domination, BDSM) by Kelly Favor
  • The Diary of a Submissive: A True Story by Sophie Morgan
  • In Too Deep by Portia Da Costa
  • Fire After Dark by Sadie Matthews
  • For His Forever (For His Pleasure, Book 6) by Kelly Favor
  • For His Keeping (For His Pleasure, Book 3) by Kelly Favor

No comment.

Actually I do have a comment – I wonder if Kelly Favor is bothered that book 4 and 5 aren’t in the top 100. Do people just read them out of order?

Brave

Went to see Brave today which actually turned out to be a good film. It was quite predictable, but had some lovely touches, even though the brothers of the princess were rather scary, especially in their other form.

It also brought back the urge to play Fable and especially Skyrim again.

Mostly though it made me think of my hair. My hair is currently the longest it has ever been and it’s great that I can now do things with it, such as braiding or putting it into a bun with a hair bun thing, but overall I feel like I’m still in a transition. It annoys me as it’s too long and at the same time it’s not long enough to do anything properly with it.

I’ve got to resist the urge to cut it off though. Persevere, Cat, persevere!

Image courtesy of The Rotoscoopers.

Writing a scene

“Even tea didn’t taste the same”, he said with a small smile.

After having a scene go round my head for days I finally decided to write it down earlier this week and within a few hours I wrote 3005 words. They’re mostly unstructured, the grammar is awful and a lot of loose ends, but it is a first draft.

It’s the first time at least this year that I have written anything fictional and the scene is very much chick-lit which is unlike everything I have ever written before. I also don’t know whether it is something in the middle of a story or a standalone part or maybe even the beginning or end and thinking about branching it out almost terrifies me as I don’t want to ruin the characters or the story, even though I don’t actually know either!

Wanting to carry on with that momentum I tried to write more on Monday, Tuesday and tonight, but have been failing and only got another 30 words down. Maybe I need to actually set time aside, but with work and other commitments it is difficult to switch off enough to focus on it which might explain why I wrote the scene at the end of my one week off work.

I kind of want to know what is happening to them next.

Crochet time card holder

Work have recently introduced a new swipe card time system and, seeing I always seemed to forget where my card was, I decided to crochet one.

Starting with the string I crochet two rows lengthways before crocheting a holder around the card, crocheting the sides together and attaching the string. The downside is that the card is now crochet into the holder and I’m hoping it won’t break as I will have to undo one side to get it out again!

It is the first time that I’ve been doing any knitting or crocheting since working on the doodleblanket in March. I blame work entirely for my lack of time. That and the fact it was summer and far too hot to be working on a blanket that is too big and heavy to not be covering my legs whilst working on it, of course.

Additionally there is the De Quervain syndrome I had last year. Ever since then my thumb has been playing up – on some days I can barely move it when I’ve been typing on an unresponsive keyboard – and I am terrified of returning to that stage where I can’t do anything with it so my instincts tell me to reject all knitting or crocheting in the meantime with ‘the meantime’ seemingly being an unending time frame.

The airport post

I was convinced I had made an airport post before, but looking through the 779 [!] posts on my blog wielded no results so I guess it was probably just me musing on Twitter about it or something like it.

I have spent too much time of my life in airports either waiting for someone or waiting for flights or to get home after arrival. I don’t even want to begin to count how much time of my life has been wasted in airports and I’m nowhere near as frequent a traveller as some other people I know. Off the top of my head:

  • 18 hours at Gatwick North in 2007. Misjudged moving out and travel cross London to get to airport and so on. Sigh..
  • 28 hours in Malaga airport in 2007 thanks to Easyjet which led to me documenting this via pictures. Lots and lots and lots and lots and lots and lots of pictures.
  • This was followed by spending 24 hours at Gatwick North terminal [where I am now, too!] as I had to make alternative arrangements which then involved dashing cross London to Heathrow.
  • 16 hours at Heathrow then going to Reading to then go on the coach to Germany for the first time. First time on a National Express coach that is, not Germany obviously. Those few days weren’t fun!
  • Spent too much time waiting for a friend in Hamburg airport in 2008.
  • Six hours in Gatwick South terminal on Sunday.
  • 5.5 hours in Gatwick North terminal now.

There are more times and I do remember more time spent at Heathrow, but can’t think of anything off the top of my head.

Each experience has been unique and each airport has its up and downsides for waiting, but I don’t think I could have imagined how different Gatwick could be.

Today I am at the North terminal for the first time since 2008 and it exactly how I remember it. There is a 24 hour Costa coffee, semi comfortable and many benches for people to sit [mostly lie] on. Some groups are playing cards – in fact I’m semi watching an intense poker game a couple of seats away – others are talking and there is a crazy guy in the corner oblivious to the fact he is singing along to the music he is listening to on headphones. An X-Factor contender he most definitely is not! Every hour or so the entire waiting area goes quiet as the heavily armed police make their patrol through, but asides from that it’s not a bad atmosphere.

Waiting at the South terminal on Sunday morning couldn’t have been more different. No seats were available and it felt disjointed and almost hostile. People were walking around constantly trying to find somewhere to sit, Caffe Nero’s music was loud enough to be heard when you couldn’t even see the cafe and a very large video screen banner ad near the M&S food shop kept changing the lighting in the whole area. All that was missing were the old style changing arrival/departure board sounds. And I didn’t once see any police patrols.

Malaga made me feel unsafe, Gatwick South baffled me, Heathrow is too busy even at night, but Gatwick North definitely gets my vote for best overnight stay in an airport.

Thank God it is only 2.5 hours more until my train!

[Probably] great holiday [definitely] wrong time

I’ve decided to come home from Pisa two days early and spent far too much money on a flight for tomorrow night. There are several reasons for it [in no particular order]:

  • I didn’t do any of the things I had planned to do.
  • I hadn’t been looking forward to it. Whether that’s because I booked it quite far in advance or something else, I don’t know. I’ve been talking about it, yes, but that was a lot to convince myself, too.
  • I’ve had bad headaches for the past month and, when going to the doctors, was either told that it’s something bad, but they can’t tell me what or that everything is fine. Neither has made them go away and I have now been told I can no longer take painkillers as otherwise I will get some fancy name syndrome which means I’ll get headaches from taking painkillers. Helpful.
  • I’ve had a bad few weeks at work – there have been layoffs [not affecting me directly] and several projects I’ve been working on have been far more complicated than they should have been.
  • I have issues with my housemates at the moment. Well, issues might be taking it a bit far, I’m not very happy where I am living at the moment which was rather sudden and I didn’t see it coming. Instead of doing something about it when I first realised it I just spent more time at work or working. For the past couple of months I have come home and pretty much felt miserable every evening with the house situation for reasons I can’t really mention in this blogpost as some of them do read it occasionally.
  • I have been stretching myself too thin all summer. Between three charities and work I’ve neglected most other things though at the same time I have realised that I am primarily doing all those things to distract myself from how bad some other aspects of my life are. Back to the whole issue of not having balance in my life.
  • Everything has a deadline these days – things I’ve got to get done, things I’ve got to do, things I’ve said are more advanced than they actually are. See previous point.
  • Family pressure. I’ve had two years with no contact with my family which, as many know, was fantastic. Once I made contact again, as my grandma was ill, I have been sucked right back in and am back at the whole thing of feeling responsible at everything. Whilst my relationship with my grandma has been better than it’s ever been and I’ve seen her twice in the past year, she has started again with her usual spiel of ‘you’re the only one I have left, there’s no other family‘ and ‘I can’t go back to the place I’ve spent my holidays at for the past hundred years… unless you would come with me next year….’. So I guess I’ll be going there next year. Fantastic. Saying no isn’t something I’ve ever been able to do.
  • Several issues with friends this year from drifting away to a full on argument. Most are my fault for letting it happen, others I feel were both sides, but the damage has been done and, despite assurances that everything’s the same, it isn’t the same.
  • Those stupid headaches just won’t go away.

I knew last week that the holiday was probably a bad idea and, when I started feeling really ill from Thursday onwards [I think #washingupgate2012 probably was the last thing to put me over the edge as silly as it sounds] I was sure that going on holidays would be a bad idea. In fact I’d pretty much set my mind on not going and only revised this on Saturday when several friends convinced me to and it seemed better than staying at home.

After the worst flight I’ve ever had on Sunday morning [Easyjet] I have pretty much spent most of the time in my hotel room feeling ill or with a headache so bad I couldn’t take it any more. Of course taking painkillers didn’t improve matters so I guess the doctor is on to something here. The noise and pressure on the flight was so bad it made me cry pretty much the entire time through and the snobby and chatty expat next to me didn’t help matters, neither did the aggressive salesspiel from the airline crew.

Instead of Friday night I’ll be coming home tomorrow night. One of the deciding factors, asides from me really wanting to be home, was that it’s a British Airways flight. And that I’ll be home. Ready to actually approach the things that have left me miserable and ready to actually improve things rather than booking a holiday to escape.

Of course I still have to go and see my grandma later on in the year as ‘she would love to see me before Christmas’. Brilliant.

Additionally I probably shouldn’t post this blogpost as a number of real life friends, work colleagues current and former, housemates and so on might read it and think I’m even more of a nutcase than I actually am. But I don’t tend to talk about problems with people as I normally don’t want to burden them or don’t feel it’s ever the right time. I love my job, I love certain other aspects of my life, but I’m just not doing very well at the moment. I’m working on it, but right now it’s been a couple of months of me not doing very well. Onwards and upwards.

“It is *because* I love you that I don’t let you do whatever you want.”

Had a conversation with a friend about children earlier which somehow brought back a memory from my childhood.

During my second year of primary school – I would have been around seven or eight years old – my mum decided she could no longer stand having to nag me every single morning to get out of bed and ready for school. Whilst I wouldn’t consider myself a morning person now, I most definitely wasn’t then or rather I didn’t want the day to start and much rather wanted to stay in bed or play forever. Quite clearly I was set to drive my mum insane!

For a few days, maybe weeks, she threatened me. “If you don’t start getting up on time I will stop making sure you are”, she would say. “If you don’t stop playing now and get dressed you’ll be late”, she would say on other days. I would retort telling her I didn’t want to and that she would let me play or stay in bed if she loved me to which she only ever had one reply:

It is *because* I love you that I don’t let you do whatever you want. You won’t understand this now and I don’t expect you to, but you will and you will thank me for it.

Of course I didn’t understand and being told I wasn’t even expected to understand it probably infuriated me more.

Despite all the hassle I always did make it to school just on time though my timekeeping 22 years ago is about as good as it is now.

One day she had had enough and with no warning whatsoever – as child Cat would say – she spent an afternoon preparing me for the next day. She asked me to tell her what I needed to do in the morning, which involved getting up, washed and dressed, and we did a trial run before telling me that as of the next morning I wouldn’t have her on my case. It took the rest of the day for the message to sink in.

Just for that message to obviously be forgotten the next morning.. The alarm we had set the night before rang and I turned it off. My mum woke my up a few minutes later telling me that she wouldn’t remind me again and that I would have to get ready myself which I didn’t until very late and I ended up being late at school which my mum excused to the teacher. The rest of the day she spent again telling me that it was now my responsibility, nothing to do with her any more and, most importantly, that it would also now be me who would have to confess to the teacher why I was late.

The next morning I got ready mostly on my own though so slowly I was late again. Getting to the school my mum came to the classroom with me and, when the teacher asked her about the delay, my mum just looked at me and said “well, Cat, why are you late?” which embarrassed me to no end. It was to be the last day of my primary school education where I was late, because of not wanting to get ready and was just another step by my mum to raise me to be as self-sufficient as possible.

And I did understand.

Cat on Google Streetview

A conversation with colleagues the other day about Google Streetview then led to 9-Eyes.com and I remembered that time I saw a Google Streetview car go by.

It was some time in August 2008 in Uxbridge outside the house I lived at the time and I was just waiting for a taxi to work. It’s blurred out, but it was most definitely not my ‘happy face’ as it was about 8am in the morning and I had only come home from work at around midnight.

You now know someone that is forever immortalised on Google Streetview.

You’re welcome.

Telikos Protocol

Quite some time ago a friend of mine mentioned writing a comic series and produced a prelude edition for it of which I have a signed copy.

Some time later he has a Kickstarter project for it! It’s got the honour of being the first Kickstarter project I’ve backed.

I’m immensely proud of @peterbcooper and recommend you stop by in the next 45 hours.

Unsolicited marketing emails can be funny

This is following about six previous emails outlining their services. I love the style of this email with it’s approachability whilst at the same time not even addressing me by my name and just keeping it as a blank field.

Hey ,

My guess is that we’re out of touch for one of four reasons:

1) I have done something to offend you.

2) You hired someone else and just don’t want to hurt my feelings by telling me.

3) Your SEO concerns resolved themselves.

4) You want desperately to hire us, but are trapped under something heavy, and cannot reach the phone.

I’d consider it a personal favor if you’d let me know if the problem is one of these, or something I didn’t think of. If it’s #4, reply to this e-mail and I’ll send help!

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