Sunday, 27 May 2012


Well this is just getting ridiculous.

In the last few weeks I've:
The other  month I was trying to get towards maybe encouraging myself to maybe possibly thing about getting around to one day maybe finally buy a new phone after buttons started falling off my old one, but thought it'd be a while before I got around to it, knowing myself and my tendencies towards procrastination and avoidance of new technology.

Well, yesterday I bought a new phone.

Not just a new phone but a new new phone!

After exactly one evening of getting to play around with my friend's phone and her giving me a genuine but very casual

I feel like Jay in Dogma, flinging my arms out and yelling 'Beautiful, naked, big-titted women don't just fall out of the sky you know!' except in my case, buxom lasses actually do start descending from on high.

This is my new phone.

 A HTC Velocity*.

If you've heard terrible things about it, keep them to yourself because as with everything in life, once I've made up my mind, I care not for the opinions of others. Or at least it's too late for the opinions of others and as it hasn't given me any trouble so far I'd prefer to live on in blissful ignorance.

It's got a fairly intuitive set up and there's nothing I need it to do that I haven't been able to get it to do so far.

Most of what it's taught me so far is the importance of decent sized pockets and exactly how gross and smudge-y the human finger is.

So, yes, I managed to buy a new new phone instead of clinging desperately to the old ways, well done me!

Now to think of some other things to remark upon because obviously this has become a magical wishing blog and I should take advantage of that whilst the enchantment lasts!

*'A HTC', I said. It'll be a cold day in hell before I'll use 'an' before words beginning with H. H is not a vowel, people.

Saturday, 19 May 2012

An Unexpected Opportunity

Huh, well that was easy...

Less than a month ago I was grumbling about how long it takes me to plan trips and how much time I spend faffing about researching and agonising over how much time to take and how much ground I should try to cover and then my father asked me if I wanted to come on a trip with him and I just said yes.

So, yes, in December of this year I'm going on a trip with my father and my brother.

We're going to Nepal to trek from Lukla to the base camp at Everest.

Yes, in December.

Yes, the Himalayas in December.


As we're not going up the actual mountain, the trek itself is supposed to be manageable as long as you prepare yourself with some regular and varied exercise a few months in advance.

I already walk for about two hours every day but I'm going to have to start mixing that up a bit, replace some of the walking with stair climbing and biking to get some more cardio going.

The trip is 18 days long and includes acclimatisation days that let you rest and get used to the altitude, though I've been informed by the last few days you'll be shuffling along missing full oxygen saturation.

The reaction of various friends and family to hearing about this trip has been equally split between 'OH MY GOD, THAT'S AMAZING!' and '... What on Earth is wrong with you?'

I can over-think things at time, I can be anxious or a bit of a cynic at others but there's no way, no way, that I could let myself be the person who would one day say 'you know I had a chance to go trekking in Nepal once but I didn't take it'.

Any worries I have about things possibly going wrong are completely outweighed by how amazing the experience could be and how much I want to do this.

Have I mentioned that we'll have Sherpas? And pack yaks?

Yes, you read that correctly. Pack. Yaks.

The company we go through pays its guides and Sherpas well and operates on a 'take nothing but photos, leave nothing but footprints' philosophy and as the time between my decision and the present stretches out I'm getting less nervous and more excited.

Holy crap, I'm going to Nepal!

And to celebrate, I give you this...

Sunday, 13 May 2012

To Battle Stations!

Oh... Wow... Really?


You remember at the start of the year when I said my friend Awesome and her fella were expecting a baby?

Well it's not long to go now and it turns out that, contrary to my assumptions, I *am* going to be a birth partner 0_0

This is both a huge honour and really *really* nerve-wracking!

Because a) I want to make sure I support her properly and don't get in the way and b) DO YOU KNOW WHERE BABIES COME FROM? THIS IS GOING TO BE INTENSE!

I am soooooooooooooo* glad I watched all those episodes of One Born Every Minute when she first told me she was pregnant.

It seems it's time to dust them off and watch them again, focusing this time on the fact that I'll be in the room whilst it's going on.

I've been putting together a list of things I can bring that she and her husband may have forgotten or not thought about.

Ricochet's Awesome List of Supportive Birth Partner Paraphernalia
  • hand fan to fan her with (or hand-held battery powered one if I can find it, maybe both)
  • flannels for her face
  • lavender oil
  • heat packs
  • spray bottle to mist her with
  • snacks
  • playing cards for if it's a long, boring labour
  • exercise ball for her to sit on
  • head bands for holding back hair
  • tissues for all the crying
  • and last but not least, any remaining romantic notions I may have about giving birth, though I expect I'll be asked to leave these at the door as they interfere with the equipment... and the screaming...
I'm trying not to overdo it and walk in with a wheelie travel case of things like a travelling salesman ready to unload some high quality snake oil on the unsuspecting populace but I figure the items on this list stand a good chance of coming in handy.

So, yeah, this is happening.

I think I'm ready.

But I'm pretty sure I'm not :-p

*Believe me, there are more o's. So many. You have no idea.

Sunday, 6 May 2012

Adventures In Plumbing (Not The Sexy Kind, Sorry)




I'm OK.

I just... #@*%$&@*!

This morning I boiled the kettle, grabbed the little coffee pot and started taking apart the plunger in order to wash it properly before using it again.

The little nut bit at the end slipped out of my hand, bounced across the bench and fell into the sink.

'Maybe it'll just sit there!' I thought, desperately, 'Maybe the plug is in!'

Plonk! went the stupid little nut bit as it fell down the plug hole and came to rest in the U-bend under the sink.

There was some swearing.

Quite a bit of swearing.

But fine, I'm an adult, these things happen, I'll now use my adult human brain to rectify the situation.

It's not brain surgery after all.

All I need to do is unscrew the U-bend section from the pipe, empty it out and find the nut thingy.

So I emptied out the cupboard under the sinks, unscrewed the top and bottom connections for the U-bend section, went to remove it and...

... are you shitting me?

Are you, in fact, shitting me?

What genius decided that it would be a good idea to cut a hole for the U-bend to rest in that makes it NEARLY IMPOSSIBLE to ease free a working part of a plumbing system that could quite routinely need to be accessed?

You know what would have been smart?


The only way to get the U-bend out is to unscrew the entire array.

So I do that.

I remove the pipes that are screwed to the bottom of the sinks and with a lot of wiggling and jiggling and some more swearing, I finally get the U-bend free and tip it out to retrieve the little nut bit.

Oh. My. God. The. Smell.


And what is this gunk in here? UGH!

OK, where's the bottle brush, I am scrubbing all of this stuff out before I put it back together and WHAT ARE YOU DOING, YOU IDIOT, DON'T RUN THE WATER INTO THE SINK WHOSE PIPES YOU ARE FIXING! OH NOW THERE'S WATER EVERYWHERE!

Fine, just throw down a towel, worry about that later. The pipes are clean and now you have to stick them back together.

Stick the U-bend back into its stupid hole... into its stupid... just a bit... GET IN THERE YOU BASTARD! WHY IS IT SO HARD TO GET THE SHORT END BACK UNDERNEATH THE WALL FIXTURE OUTLET BIT? ARGH!

OK, done that bit.


OK, calm down. Take a big breath. You're just going to have to unscrew it.

Unscrew the damn thing, wiggle it free again, reclaim the washer, wiggle it back... wiggle it back... wiggle it.... wiggle- AAAAAAAAH GET IN THERE YOU BASTARD AHHHHHHHHH!

OK, U-bend back in.

And if you move it like this you can fit the rest of the array where it needs to go and - AH NICE TRY WASHER BUT NOT THIS TIME - then you just have to screw it back together nice and tight and run water into both sinks to make sure that nothing is leaking.

It isn't.


Job well done.

Bleh, now just to clean up the mess.

And try to air out the smell.

And bring down your blood pressure.

Maybe a cup of coffee would be nice.

Let's put the plug in the sink before washing the plunger and re-boil the kettle, which is stone cold again by this point.

Firstly, I am never ever emptying coffee grounds down the sink again - that pipe was disgusting and all silted up and ugh.

Secondly, I hate whoever crafted this under-sink shelving arrangement so much I could almost start a religion about it.

The rage will drain away quite quickly because I am almost medically incapable of holding a grudge but for now... I hate you, shelving/plumbing atrocity.