Wednesday, February 25, 2009

I'm ringing to tell you I'm going to ring you later

9.10 am – email from Client saying he will call at 10.00am to discuss the project.

10.00am – phone call from Client to say he will call back at 11.30 to discuss the project

11.30am – Client rings back to discuss project but Boss is held up in meeting.

12.00pm - Boss rings Client to discuss project but client doesn’t answer.

1.20pm – Client rings Boss to say he is a bit busy to discuss the project but will ring back at 2.30pm.

2.30pm – Client rings to say he needs to discuss project with wife before discussing it with boss.

4.40pm - Client rings Boss. They discuss the project.

5.00pm – Boss considers not taking on the project.

Tuesday, February 24, 2009

Knitting accident

And I worry that I get unhealthily obsessed with crafts...

Monday, February 23, 2009

Divemaster Course

So, after Christian’s comment last week, it struck me that maybe lots of you don’t know of our exciting plans for the spring! Oh you’re going to be so jealous!

Nick and I have wangled 5 weeks off work using a combination of annual holidays, working extra days, unpaid time, and begging. We are going to Eygpt to take our Divemaster course.

This is a 5 week internship and is the first step to being a professional scuba diver. We will be with an instructor for the month and will learn to assist on diving courses, guide groups of divers in the water, take groups out on boats, map dive sites, and loads more stuff. We are also doing some technical diving courses including decompression diving and advanced Nitrox, which will enable us to go deeper for longer.

It will be a busy time – pretty much 7 days a week working at the dive school or on the boats, but it’s a fantastic opportunity to dive every day. We should rack up another 40 or 50 dives while we are out there.

I’m also looking forward to helping on the beginners courses. I remember very clearly the Divemaster on my first course. I was quite nervous and kept freaking out and shooting to the surface every time I got a drop of water in my mask. The Divemaster was so kind and reassuring and always next to me. It’s sometimes hard to remember how scary diving was at first. I really hope I can make a difference to someone else when they are diving for the first time.

The next stage after the divemaster course is Instructor training, which we might do next year.

Yesterday we were diving in Loch Fyne again, just outside Invarary to see the annual dogfish spawning season. Dogfish are related to sharks – they look quite similar in shape but have dark spots and are oooh, yay long (that’s just under 2 feet) The brilliant thing about them is they don’t swim off when you get near them so you can get a really good look.

I am still getting used to Scottish diving, which is markedly more difficult than jumping into the warm waters of the red sea in a thin wetsuit. Kitting up in the rain in a car park in the highlands is hardly comparable to kitting up with a helpful crew on a dive boat floating on azure waters in 35 degree sunshine.

My new dry-suit is still getting the better of me on occasion, but I am impressed with it’s ability to keep me warm. So far I have done 4 dives wearing it and I’m just about in control. I thought it was snobbery, but I now know what divers mean when they say ‘you’re not a proper diver unless you dive in the UK’ Everything is harder: Lugging 16 kilos of lead down the beach, putting on neoprene gloves when your fingers are blue, and trying to swim while wearing a clothes over an inch thick, amongst other things.

It will seem like heaven when we get to Egypt. (which is 3 weeks today, just to rub it in a bit more)

Friday, February 20, 2009

Only 3 weeks to go

Wednesday, February 18, 2009

Cupboard Love

Me: hello my beautiful kittys!
Macy: Oh Christ.
Me: ooooh about a little cuddle for Mummy. (picks up kitten)
Macy: Look. I'll tolerate this 'cuddling' thing for a finite period because I know it's part of the food deal, but overstep the mark and the claws are out.
Me: There. That's not so bad is it?
Macy: Yeah, whatever. Anything doing on the food front?
Me: (puts kitten down) Good girls. tea time for good little kittens.
Macy: About time. By the way, I've done a shit in your slipper. I expect you'll find it later.

Tuesday, February 17, 2009


Friday, February 13, 2009

Cool idea

Compliment or insult?

Colleague: When you sing it reminds me of Gremlins.

Thursday, February 12, 2009

is anywhere sacred these days?

Nick needs contant stimulation. He can't abide being left to the mercy of his own thoughts for more than a few moments. If he is standing in a queue for 30 seconds he'll be playing backgammon on his i-phone. He likes to go to sleep with the radio on, and he absolutely has to have the newspaper everyday, even if he only has 10 minutes to read it.

Perhaps he needs one of these to ensure that his brain demons don't strike while sitting on the loo.

Jenny's first Quilt

Last year I wrote complete instructions for how to make an easy and virtually free patchwork quilt on my other blog. I'm really pleased to report that Jenny has now finished her first quilt using the instructions. Here's the photo she has sent me:

The idea behind the quilt was to scrounge fabric sample books from curtain shops, which they often give away for free, and recycle the pieces to make a simple lap quilt.

I'm really impressed by Jenny's results - the quilting lines are nice and straight, and there aren't any wrinkles. The binding looks great too. I would give Jenny an A+

She says in her email that she is starting a new quilt soon. Can't wait to see the results!

Monday, February 09, 2009

Congratulations Chris and Liv!

Some things in life fill me with a wonderful feeling of joy. One of those is hearing that 2 people who I have great affection for are getting married. Chris and Liv, I am so happy for you. You are made for each other.

On another note: Liv - emergency!!!! Got to get your dress sorted out pronto. It's THE most important thing about getting married. Sod the life long promise parlava - get the dress!!!!

PS. will Jimmy be the page boy?

Rescue Diver

I had the first session of my Rescue Diver course on Saturday. I had got all confused about the dates, and it was only during a walk down to the take away on Friday night Nick reminded me that it was actually the next day and I had better read the manual because I would be having the exam.

Well, I got all panicked and stayed up late trying to revise. My slightly swotty tendencies from my schooldays resurfaced and I became all competitive. My main aim was to ensure I got a higher score than Nick.

Luckily (well, lets be frank, probably down to my sheer brilliance) I only got one question wrong in the whole exam which was the highest score in the class. God I even irritate myself.

Tonight is the first practical session in the pool. Because Nick is already qualified as a rescue diver he will be assisting on the course by pretending to be a drowning diver. I have made the stipulation that I don’t want to have to rescue my own husband, just in case the temptation to actually let him drown is too great.

Friday, February 06, 2009

The last taboo?

A friend of mine is going for a colonoscopy next week. (That’s a camera up your bum in case you didn’t know)

We were wondering if the doctor would give him a picture of the inside of his colon, you know, like they do when you are pregnant and you get a little print-out of your baby in the womb. This raised another very interesting question:

Why is it not embarrassing to show people a picture of the insideof your colon, whereas I would never dream of showing my arse cheeks in public. Xrays of yourself between the neck and thighs are fine to display, but the skin is not. How very odd.

The biblical ideal is that we should cover ourselves with fig leaves to preserve modesty. Perhaps the 21st century adaptation of this would be lead underclothes? Rachel! for the last time of asking – put your bones away girl! Where is your modesty? And what will the neighbours think of you cavorting without your lead bodysuit on? You know they’ve just had new xray windows installed.

The following image should be censored.

Tuesday, February 03, 2009

The door to happiness: take delight in small things

I am feeling particularly happy today because, for the first time since we moved into our house 18 months ago, we now have a door between the kitchen and the hall.

And oh! What a difference a door makes! My kitchen is warm. No icy drafts whistling through the house. And best of all - no kittens escaping into the hall and leaving pooey presents on the carpet.. We now have them contained in the utility room and kitchen where the floor is easily cleanable.

They are beautiful, but there are only so many times that big innocent green eyes can compensate for the inclination to poo behind the sofa.

This is Macy. Morag is virtually identical, but Macy has one ginger leg, which she is proudly showing off for you here.

Monday, February 02, 2009

Extreme Weather Event?

News report on Radio 4 this morning:

John Humphreys:
So, just how bad is it out there this morning?
Correspondent: Well John, I’m standing on the A38 and there is at least 2 inches of snow here this morning. The Met Office is calling this an ‘Extreme Weather Event’. I have to say that traffic is moving normally here at the moment, but I suspect this is due to surrounding roads being closed due to the heavy snow….

Radio 4 is normally such a sensible radio station.

The A38 this morning? Me thinks not.
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