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29th January 2006

Sunday - 8.15pm : No cat stories to tell today, I'm afraid. Well, apart from the pair of them turning into early morning alarm clocks. Yes, thank you Leo for waking me up at 6.00am on a Sunday morning, much apprieciated!

Postcrossing is going well. 4 people have registered cards I've sent (2 to Portugal and 2 to Brazil) and I have 4 traveling (2 to Russia, 1 to Turkey and 1 to Austria - 3 of which have only just been sent). I've received 2 postcards so far, but since 2 of mine have recently been registered I should be getting a couple more soon. I'm all out of postcards to send though, so I'll have to buy a few next time I'm in town.

Time for a recommendation - I've been looking for a bookmark manager for a while and today I found one I like.......

Netvouz is an online bookmark manager where you can store links online and access them from any computer. So this will save me from having to email myself links while I'm at work. It allows you to add a title, description and tags to a link as well as organise links into categories. Bookmarks can be made public or private, links are automatically validated, websites can be imported and exported to and from your browser's bookmarks/favourites, and much more. Well worth checking out! (I've started my collection of bookmarks here).

Leo and MikaI know I said no more cat stories tonight, but I couldn't resist showing you this picture of Leo & Mika cuddled up. It's a rare occasion when Mika jumps up and curls up right next to Leo. He was practically lying on Leo's tail. They were like that for around 45 minutes, which has to be a record with those two. Mika loves his little brother really! Don't they look cute together? Well, I think they do, anyway!

Thanks to Graeme, Andrea, Sarah, Karen, Miss M, Me, Myself & I, Nick, Jolynn, Kati, Mark, Claudia, Melly, Cassie, Liza Marie, Skye, Dawn and Strizzt.


24th January 2006

Tuesday - 10.25pm : If you were a big fluffy kitten, were would you choose to sleep? On a bed? Cushion? Pillow? Sofa? Or maybe a window sil to soak up the winter sun? Not Leo. The other day we found him sleeping in the bathroom sink! He loves that sink. It's his ultimate pad. Not only can he sleep in it, but he can drink water, play with water and play with the plug. All highly entertaining to the fluffiest cat in the village! Which is all very nice until we need to use the sink.......

Earlier this evening a spontanious Formula Cat Grand Prix was held around the house. The 2 entrants, Mika "Hakkinen" Cat and Leo "The Lion" Kitten, raced 10 laps around the special bungalow course. Over the race there was lots of over taking between the two racers, giving much excitement to the spectators. The pair clashed on lap 10 at Table Leg Corner, bringing an end to the race and a start to a brawl. Race officials weren't able to tell who had been in the lead when the pair clashed, so race results were scrapped. Spectactors await another spontanious Formula Cat Grand Prix in the future (Such is the madness in this house!).

On to a saner, non-cat issue... I finally got around to watching I, Robot on Sunday evening. I enjoyed it and would definitely recommend it. I thought Will Smith did a good job and is it me or has he beefed out over the last few years? Alan Tudyk was unrecognisable as Sonny, even I could barely recognise his voice, so good job done there. I loved watching the special features and seeing how they turned a green-clothed Alan Tudyk into Sonny the robot. Well worth watching.

That's all from the mad house today. Thanks go out to Karen, Andrea, SRP, Skye, Jean-Luc Picard, Graeme, Annie, Mark, David, Sarah, Liza Marie and SNiP.


21st January 2006

Saturday - 11.00pm : I'm tired (again) and this time it's Leo's fault. He seemed to think I liked being woken up at 5am on a Saturday morning! I'm planning on a lie in tomorrow, but who's betting someone wakes me up before I want to get up? It's not so bad if Mika wakes me early in the morning, because he tends to come for a cuddle, where as Leo wonders into the room and then wonders back out (meaning I have to open the door twice for him). I really should have a catflap installed in my bedroom door!

When I finally did get up I realised my package from Crafts U Love had arrived (my stuff from Capture The Magic arrived yesterday too), so I've got plenty to keep me busy. The scrapbook stuff from Crafts U Love is all cat themed, so I've already got plans for that.

If that wasn't enough... I was in town this morning so I decided to pop into our local paper craft shop as they'd still got their sale on. I ended up spending over £35 in there! I came out with rubber stamps, ribbons, gluedots, stickers, 12 x 12 paper, a whole box load of assorted A4 paper and card, and I don't know what else. I like supporting the local shops though, it's just a pity this shop is down a side street as I don't think many people venture down there. There was a couple of other people in the shop today, which is the busiest I've ever seen it, but they must be making some business because there's always new stock when I go in. It's a good job I sold my mountain bike to Sarah today, it's funded my habit!

Talking of Sarah... We had a film night tonight. I took my Alone in the Dark DVD down to hers and she cooked us tea. We'll probably be watching Serenity on our next film night, Sarah's not seen it yet and I think she'll like it. We generally like the same kind of films, which is handy when choosing what to watch.

Talking of films... Chaplin is on TV at the moment, starring Robert Downey Jr. I think Downey does a great job of taking off Charlie Chaplin and, from what I've seen so far, it's an interesting film. I'll be watching it the end, not matter how tired I feel.

Thanks to Graeme, Andrea (Yes, I want to watch that, but it's not out on DVD here yet), Sarah, Me, Myself & I, Jolynn, Stefanie, Karen and Ribbiticus.


19th January 2006

Thursday - 9.10pm : Another ticket arrived in the post this morning. This time for Take That - The band I got to see once as a teenager, just months before the final four split. The band I'd given up seeing reunite. The band I was fanatic about. I'll be seeing them at Birmingham NEC at the end of April. Can't wait!

A package also arrived in the post today. It was some craft stuff I'd ordered from DoArt - An X-Cut Daffodil punch (It's a Welsh symbol so I had to have it, plus half of it's price goes to the Marie Curie cancer charity), some flower block stickers and a Do Crafts Goody Bag (worth over £30, but bought for less than half price). I'm still waiting for my package of goodies from Capture The Magic, but I've plenty to keep me busy.

I rented Crash last night, but I feel like I should rent it again. I enjoyed watching the film and could see what it was about, but I just didn't think it gelled. Having read reviews, both before and after watching the film, I think I missed something. Due to getting interrupted a couple of times and being tired, I don't think I was really paying the attention it deserved. So go out and rent it if there's nothing else you can find, I'll be renting it again one day.

Anyway, Bones is on in a bit, so I'm going to take my mint flavoured hot chocolate and settle down in the living room in front of the TV. Thanks to Sarah, Lisa E, Miss M, Andrea, Graeme, Liza Marie, Nick and Dawn.


17th January 2006

Tuesday - 10.00pm : My ticket to see The Darkness arrived this morning. I'm going to see them at Birmingham NEC next month. I've just been checking out what support bands they've got this time around - Juliette & The Licks (featuring Juliette Lewis) and The Ark. I can't say I've heard of The Ark, but I do remember seeing a video of Juliette & The Licks. It's safe to say I'll be taking photos, I just don't know whether to take my good old trusty compact camera (which I take to most gigs I go to) or my digital camera.

I've managed to get another friend hooked on Jim Butcher's Dresden Files series of books. Sarah is currently working her way through Storm Front, which I bought her for Christmas, and I'm getting her Fool Moon for her birthday. I, myself, am eagerly awaiting the release of Proven Guilty, due out this May. I've already read the preview chapters and I'm just itching to read the rest of the book.

I haven't recommended any websites lately, but I have a lot of praise for this next recommendation...

Capture The Magic Ltd - This website is for anyone interested in scrapbooking and cardmaking. Based in the UK, they sell thousands of items and there's plenty to choose from. I found the website as I was searching for somewhere that sold Scrapbook Inspirations magazine, as Lisa had recommended I get a copy and it was nowhere to be found around here. I only intended on getting the magazine, but I ended up getting some paper and other bits & bobs too. Their customer service is brilliant too, there was a slight problem with my order (ordered Sunday evening) and first thing Monday morning I received an email informing me and asking what I'd like to do. Today I got confirmation of dispatch, so it should turn up tomorrow. Loads of stuff to choose from and good customer service, what more can you ask for?

Anyway, that's all from me for now. Thanks to Sarah, Karen, Graeme, Mark, Andrea, Me, Myself & I, Dawn, Kimm, Shaine, Kati, Lisa E, Liza Marie and Cassie.


15th January 2006

Sunday - 9.35pm : My cold is gone and my sleep is back to normal - well, as normal as it ever was! I'm still waking up around 2am, but I seem to drop off back to sleep without much trouble, so I'm not too tired in the mornings. I'm glad to be back in the land of the living, instead of feeling like a zombie!

After vowing to save money, I seem to have gone out and spent it! Over the weekend I've come home from the shops with a couple of magazines, a pair of jeans, a scarf (£1 - Bargin!), a wok with accessories (£10 - which was £16 less than in another shop), frame mounts, a storage box and some stickers, as well has some paper craft supplies from a couple of websites (and I blame Lisa for those!).

I haven't watched any DVDs this weekend, apart from some of the James Marsters - 'Words & Music' one which arrived the other day - it brings back memories of last October. Talking of James... Smallville (Season 5) has finally started airing here in the UK and in it James plays Brainiac/Professor Fine. I haven't really seen much of Smallville before, but you can guarantee I'll be watching season 5. Another series I've just started watching is Bones. It stars James's mate David Boreanaz and it started here last Friday. Worth watching.

Anyway, I can't remember anything else I was going to write tonight, so I'll leave it at that. Thanks to Lisa E, Liza Marie, Andrea, Dawn, Graeme, Jolynn, Sarah, Kati, Strizzt, Skye and Karen.


11th January 2006

Wednesday - 10.25pm : I didn't get much sleep last night either. It seemed like it took forever for me to get to sleep last night, the wind and rain beating down on my window didn't exactly help. My head is feeling fuzzy from the lack of proper sleep and my concentration isn't 100%. I guess I'll have to make a doctors appointment if this keeps up, but I hate bothering them with something trivial and me & medication have never mixed well.

I decided to rent The Island this evening and I really enjoyed watching it. It's interesting and there's plenty of action (No, not that kind of action, Karen!). One part had me squirming and others had me laughing, well worth watching. This film was branded a box office failure and I can't for the life of me see why. Bad marketing? It certainly wasn't bad acting or a bad film. I'd definitely recommend it. Go rent it or buy it now!

Talking of renting DVDs... I was scanning the shelves in the DVD rental store while after I'd picked up The Island and was quite surprised to see Cool Money (starring James Marsters) staring back at me. It's been out on DVD in the UK a few weeks now, but I still didn't expect to see it up for rent. Of course, I've already got the DVD, but it's a great heist film so that's another one everyone should see.

Confessions of a Kamikaze Cowboy by Dirk Benedict arrived in the mail today. I've already had a flick through it and it certainly looks interesting. I think I'll start on it tonight. Dad took a look at it earlier and has already read the foreword and preface, so it looks like I'll be lending it to him when I'm done with it.

Anyway, I'm off to read my book. Thanks to Andrea, Liza Marie, Miss M, Chloe-Lynn, Karen, Nick, Lisa E, SNiP and Graeme.


10th January 2006

Tuesday - 10.15pm : Tired and achey. I don't know whether it's this cold or what, but I've had very little sleep during 4 out of the last 5 nights. So I've felt like a bit of a wreck over the past couple of days. I just hope I get some decent sleep tonight.

My first card through Postcrossing arrived this morning, so that cheered me up. So far I've sent three (1 received and 2 still travelling) and have received one. I quite like Postcrossing, you never know where your next postcard is going to come from or where you'll next be sending a postcard to. Well worth joining if you are into penpalling and things like that.

The nominees for the 2006 Brit Awards were announced earlier this evening. As per usual, Robbie Williams is one of the nominees up for British Male Solo Artist, but no nomination for British Album. I think they're trying to cut down on the amount of Brits Robbie takes home! Over the years Robbie has collected 15 Brit Awards (4 of which were with Take That), so let's hope it'll be 16 on 15th February.

The Island is now out to buy on DVD here in the UK. I'm a bit of a Ewan McGregor fan, but I missed it at the cinema, so I'm hoping to rent it sometime this week. I've heard good things about it, so I'm looking forward to seeing it.

That's about it from me tonight. I think I'm going to head off to bed and see if I can get some sleep. Thanks to Graeme, Margalit, Karen, Camilla, Andrea, Melly, Sarah, Old Old Lady of the Hills, Jolynn, Jean-Luc Picard, Carolyn, Sage, Lisa E, Dawn, Sueellen, Liza Marie, Vera, Jem and Kati.


7th January 2006

Saturday - 9.25pm : I'm still feeling pretty rough. A night of little sleep on Thursday/Friday and a swollen eyelid this morning hasn't helped things, but still, it's only a cold. I feel worse during the night and in the mornings, although I have felt a little dizzy and a bit sick today. Oh well, I'll live. Actually, my parents aren't feeling too well today either. It's that time of year.

The Horse
The Horse
The Horse
The Horse

We've had a horse in the field behind us for a week now, so this morning I decided to take some carrots up to the fence for him and take some photos while I was at it. He's a friendly horse and seemed quite interested in the camera.

I've been spending money again. I popped into our local craft shop today and ended up buying a couple of rubber stamps, one of which says "I'm not fat... I'm fluffy!". I thought it was well suited to Leo, who is more fluff than anything else!

Something else I've been spendin my money on is books. I've ordered 2 autobiographies. The first is Confessions of a Kamikaze Cowboy by Dirk Benedict (a.k.a "Face" in The A-Team). I've always been quite a fan of The A-Team and it's actors, having much of the merchandise as a child, so I'm sure this one will be an interesting read. The second book is Bigger Than Hitler: Better Than Christ by Rik Mayall (star of shows such as The Comic Strip, The Young Ones, Bottom and much more). It sounds great!

Click to enlarge - A Sprinkling of SnowWe did get a little snow on Thursday and some this afternoon, but it's been wet so it's not really stuck. The hills looked quite nice though, as if somebody had sprinkled icing sugar over them.

Anyway, thanks to Liza Marie, Graeme, Karen, Andrea, Jolynn, Xtel, Sarah, SNiP, Skye and Cassie.


4th January 2006

Wednesday - 10.00pm : I seem to have caught a cold. I'm convinced it was the prospect of having to go back to work that let my guard down. I'm not too bad if I keep myself busy, but as soon as I stop I start to feel quite rough again. Mornings and nights are the worst, but it's just a cold so I'll be fine next week. Just don't get too close!

Guess what... I've got more tickets booked. This time for my parents & I to go and see Tony Robinson's Cunning Night Out at Ludlow Assembly Rooms next month. Tony is well known for playing Baldrick in the Blackadder TV series. I can't wait, it'll be a hilarious night out!

Congratulations to my cousin for passing his driving test today! Now he can go where he wants and when he wants.

The local weather report has just forcast a little snow for tomorrow and a little more on Saturday. If it snows I hope it's enough for some nice pictures as I was planning on going out to take some photos on Saturday.

Thanks for comments go out to Andrea, Lisa E, Karen, Sueellen, Suzanne, Xtel, Strizzt, Graeme, Nick, Jolynn, Marie, Liza Marie, Ghracena, Dawn, Sarah and Katie-in-Seattle.


1st January 2006 - Happy New Year!

Sunday - 10.30pm : I hope everyone had a great new years eve last night. Sarah invited me and a few others around to hers for a bit of a party last night. She'd gone to a lot of effort and made a whole host of goodies to eat, as well as providing enough drink to rival both pubs in the village!

I had a great time. We all talked, ate, drank and generally had a good time. We even watched a few classic episodes of Only Fools and Horses. When midnight arrived we went out on the street to celebrate with everyone who had come out of the village pubs. We watched the fireworks and talked with passing people. We even got given some champagne by Sarah's neighbours - How nice is that?! I left around 1.30am after a large bottle of WKD, a Cheeky Vimto and a glass of champagne. I didn't want to push it, Sarah knows exactly what I'm like after too much drink!

Anyway, big thanks go to Sarah who rushed around making sure we'd all got plenty of food, drink and chocolate. The perfect hostess!

This morning I was up early (and not feeling so bright!), because my parents and I went to see some friends in Broseley. We took the scenic way home and drove through Ironbridge Gorge and past the Iron Bridge itself (it was the first bridge in the world to be constructed of iron). It was lunchtime and everyone's stomach was rumbling so we stopped off at The Kangaroo Inn in Aston-on-Clun for a New Years Day lunch. The roast beef & yorkshire pudding dinner I had was delicious and just what I needed before heading home.

I go back to work on Tuesday, which is a pity because I've grown accustomed to not working over the Christmas/New Year break! Ah well, it will be nice to hear how everyone elses break went and what they've all been up to.

I already have plans for this year. Definite plans include seeing The Darkness, Take That (twice!), Bon Jovi and Robbie Williams live on stage. Not so definite plans (more like hopes) are to go to the British F1 Grand Prix at Silverstone (as it's my birthday weekend) and to the Serenity ³ event. I'm sure I'll try to fit in a few other things too!

Thanks to Graeme, Liza Marie, Karen, Courtney, Karen, Jem, Marie, Skye, Andrea, Xtel, Jean-Luc Picard, Claudia, Miss M and Cassie. Happy New Year!