Wednesday, March 31, 2004


Got up at a reasonable hour this morning, despite not getting much sleep last night. Not sure whether it was something to do with yesterday's lack of activity (most of which being spent on my arse, staring at this very screen, apart from a brief hiatus where I did a quick tour of Ikea, bypassing the showroom and going straight for the nitty gritty of the marketplace) or BF's idea that we swap sides in bed (I normally sleep on the left, but for reasons I won't go into, we decided to try it the other way around). Either way, I woke up on countless occasions... I hate it when that happens...

Anyway, I blogged for a couple of hours, most of which was spent doing this, a special blog set up to blogvertise and make arrangements for the upcoming blog meet in London (as suggested by the name of the blog... such imagination Witho!). Whilst so-doing, a young lady appeared outside the spare bedroom window and started banging her trainers against the wall. She then proceeded to scrub the window ledge (our window ledge, I might add), whereupon she placed a selection of plants, including three cacti (one of which has one of those bright pink.. erm... nodules on it). Curious, I think you'll agree, but it looks nice...

Then I finally logged off, and since we're on dialup, I checked for answerphone messages. There were three - which got the Witho a bit excited as she thought it might be the school responding to her application. But ah no, just to taunt me, it was someone phoning about TV repairs. It appears that our phone number used to belong to a TV repair man. So every so often we get people phoning up asking us to come round and look at their telly... gah!

So, no news on the job. I went for another run today - same distance as last time, but it felt a bit harder as I got a stitch on the last kilometre, and it was also quite warm out. Spring has indeed sprung!

I had another of my flaky moments last night. These seem to occur on a regular basis, and seem to encompass the following concerns:

I want someone to come and give me the answers, but the fact is, the answers are within me. I must sort this out myself. That's what scares me...

I think I'm going to go outside and get some fresh air....

Tuesday, March 30, 2004

Live unlimited ... to London

I was thinking I might go to Ikea today. Ikea, eh? Bless its little heart. I read the other day that there's going to be another Ikea, in Edmonton. They must have decided that the North Circular wasn't quite congested enough what with the Brent Park one 'n'all...

So that makes 4 Ikeas in London. It must only be a few miles from the Brent Park one, and North East Londoners can go to Lakeside - I know, I used to do it! How many in the South of England (added this so as not to confuse those London-centrics among our readership... tsk Legomen)? Not the South East or the South West, I'm talking about the South - i.e. where I used to live. Err, that'll be none then... When I first moved to Southampton, nearly 6 years ago, they were talking about building an Ikea down there - needless to say, it never materialised. That's the real reason I moved away you know... maybe not...

Talking of the North Circular - when I bought my first car, I hadn't driven a car since passing my test over a year before, but had to drive it back home from the dealership - around the North Circular. Nice...

I think I've driven every mile of the M25, the North Circular and probably now the South Circular too! Lucky old Witho...

I think I'm turning into my uncle, talking about roads and the like. I'd better shut up now

Just listened to "It's my life" by No Doubt on the radio. Talk Talk's version is better...

Monday, March 29, 2004

Job ideas

I've thought of a couple of jobs that I'd be really good at:

Glove loser

Take two gloves into the cold? What a waste. Travel light, and get Witho to "lose" one of your gloves for you. Over 30 years of experience in glove-losing, leather, suede, wool - any material, any time, any place. Just give Witho a call... she can even lose mittens joined together through the sleeves of a coat via a piece of wool - oh yes, she can take all challenges in her stride.

Upright hoover clogger-upper

With her long tresses which will willingly lurk in or on any available flooring, la Witho can efficiently and effectively clog up any brand of upright vacuum cleaner, with hair being wrapped around the revolving brush and causing the vacuum cleaner to operate both noisily and inefficiently... You'll wonder how you managed without her!

What do you think readers? Do you think there's a market for my "services"?

On losing my glove (somewhere on Eltham High Street) I thought to myself "ah well, I'll just get some more...." - but oh no. Despite the fact that it was freezing cold, all I could buy was flip-flops, bikinis, strappy sandals and the like. All the gloves had been removed from the displays to make way for the summer collections... So la Witho's ungloved hand resembled a withered claw by the time she'd finished her shopping...

Running news

Ran 5.6km this morning so I probably won't suffer from guilty feelings today...

Job news

None as yet - trawling through the next batch of job ads...

Sunday, March 28, 2004

The Passion Bashing of the Christ

Last night the BF and I went to our local popcorn emporium, elaborate hotdog stand, purveyor of overpriced nachos, dwelling place of the dregs of society, multiplex cinema - namely the Greenwich filmworks. No, I'm not going to link to it because I urge you, with all my heart, in the strongest terms not to go there. Even if the alternative is to watch a film in a stinking bog surrounded by crocodiles thirsty for human blood, believe me, stick with that option, because this place is an abomination. Trouble is, BF wanted to see this film and it wasn't on at Bromley, Bexleyheath is too close to where his pupils hang out (and would also be of a similar ilk to Greenwich, if the quality of clientèle of its shopping centre is anything to go by...), so we thought we'd brave Greenwich... o Southampton, with your nice little picturehouse, I do miss you so....

Anyway, after paying £1.80 for a bottle of water, we proceeded into the auditorium. Well, we attempted to, but as we approached the "ticket boy" (for want of a better name) he informed us that we weren't allowed to go up yet - no reason was cited for this. It was twenty minutes before the film was due to start - the exact time we were advised to arrive when purchasing the tickets over the phone. So, hordes of filmgoers, standing around for about a quarter of an hour, none of us knowing why, blocking the access of people wishing to view other films. All in all, a shambles. Meaningless, mindless, petty jobsworth rules - something of which, you can probably tell, I'm not a fan...

The film

After sitting around watching endless adverts for the University of Greenwich, various popcorn/sweets/drinks combos available from the "kiosk" (err, you mean most of the ground floor surface area - hardly a kiosk, is it?) and answering the multiple choice quiz question "Uma Thurman is married to which Hollywood actor?" for the nth time (where n=lots), we settled down to watch the film. Well, I can only talk about the first half of the film (that was a good hour and a half, to be fair) - I had to leave at this point. It was grim, very grim. Just when you thought it couldn't get any grimmer, it sure as hell did. I suppose I didn't know what I was letting myself in for, but my reaction surprised even myself. I just couldn't bear the violence, cruelty and brutality - I suppose because it seemed so real. I started to reflect on the kind of world we live in, and was overcome with sadness. Basically, after crying solidly for about half an hour and shielding my eyes from the screen (with the able assistance of the Big Fella's shoulder), I realised that I just couldn't watch any more. What was surprising to me was that no-one else bailed out before us...

It was a deeply upsetting film - which, I imagine, it's supposed to be. I just couldn't deal with it... What I liked about it (I'm not saying it was a bad film, just one that I couldn't watch...) was the fact that the characters spoke in the languages of the time (Aramaic I think, and Latin - one of the reasons BF was keen to watch it) with subtitles - rather than them speaking in English with dodgy accents, something which is highly annoying to a Witho.

On a lighter note...

May I present...

.... Fanny Frog!

Let me explain. Fanny Frog is basically a hot water bottle of sorts. It contains a gel substance which retains heat, so you stick it in the microwave for a bit, lob it out and "use" it as per a hot water bottle. Now, in common with other ladies, my use of hot water bottles is generally a monthly thing. Applying a hot water bottle to the lower abdomen at certain times of the month can help ease the pain. This one is quite a compact size, such that I can stuff it down the front of my trousers at such times when schlepping around the flat, providing hands-free functionality. BF, on witnessing this phenomenon, decided to name the hot water bottle "Fanny Frog". (Americans, if reading this, "fanny" here means "front bottom", as per British usage...). So there you go...


Yesterday, I was sitting here blogging away, and heard what I thought was the sound of a horse-racing commentator, and assumed that the racing was on the television. It turned out to be the BF gargling...

Friday, March 26, 2004

Sorry, I just couldn't resist...

Ray inspired Friday Five:

1.List your five favorite beverages.

No, there are no alcoholic beverages. As previously advised, I am a weirdo.

2. List your five favorite websites.(Not including blogsites)

Not including blogsites! Sorry, don’t understand the question…
Oh, okay, here’s a random selection…

3. List your five favorite snack foods

So many snacks to choose from!
Okay, off the top of my head:

4. List your five favorite board and/or card games

I do love a board game. My friends and I used to have "games nights" where we'd play a selection of such games...

Others I'd like to add are Taboo, Rapidough, Spit it out, Pass the Bomb (so stressful!) - I could go on...

5. List your five favorite computer and/or game system games

Right, that's that over with....

She's ba-ack!

Yes, the laptop's back in action. After an initial hitch, where it still wouldn't recognize the modem, I realised that I was making it look for the "pretend" modem which I'd invented, and once I switched it to the actual, living, breathing modem, it was fine. Phew! I nearly chucked the thing out of the window, I tell ya!

New toes

You'll notice from the picture above (well, not if you're Tilesey, who won't be able to see it... although he should be able to see the one on the sidebar - no, I'm not sure why that is either...) that I am now sporting a different colour on my toenails. I got one of these £5 No7 vouchers from Boots for spending over £10, and rather than falling into the trap of buying something I didn't want or need which cost *over* £5, I instead opted to fall into the trap of buying something I didn't want or need which cost *about* £5 (well, £5.75 - actually, that's a lot for a nail varnish - bring back Constance Carroll I say...heh heh heh). So I got this fetching lavender coloured nail varnish - not sure if I like it yet... Ray, you're the expert, what do you think? ;)

Witho - the scrubber!

While I was in Boots, I also bought some of this stuff (ah, see Witho, that voucher did lure you in to buy further extraneous items... they stitched you up like a kipper!) - but I tell you what, it's good stuff. Left me feeling all soft and scrubbed and clean. Mm mm! (Note to self: Boots website is horrifically slow, avoid in future...)

What else?

Got up early this morning to accompany Big Fella to his Friday morning tradition - a greasy fry-up with his colleague from school. Scrambled eggs, bacon, hash browns and toast - mmmmm!


I ran 5km yesterday and felt very pleased with myself as a result - although it was pretty slow, but that's down to the hills which I'm not used to yet... I felt I could have gone further too - so next time, maybe I will!


Just had another call from the agency about a job in Lee, which *is* local, but I think I'd like to see what happens about this school job first... but will the woman from the agency hate me if I turn down another job? I'm not sure about temping etiquette...

Thursday, March 25, 2004


Right. The laptop is still not sorted - BF brought it home with him yesterday, and I rigged it all up, only to be told in no uncertain terms that it was unable to detect a modem. I tried to fool it into thinking that there *was* a modem, but it wasn't having any of it. The way I see it is this:


A very scientific analysis, I think you'll agree.

So, I'm in the local library. I came down here on Tuesday to find out how to join, as BF had mentioned that they have free internet access. The librarian told me to come back with some id. So, my plan was to go back on Wednesday. Not having been to a library for 100 years (approx.) I forgot about the old "closed on Wednesday" chestnut... and it didn't reopen until 2pm today! But I got there in the end...

Anyway, here's the news from Witho:


My old school won an Evening Standard award.. Well done, Green School (as it's affectionately known)... I never thought a school I went to would ever win an award...

TK Maxx

Went to the Maxx on Tuesday, looking for jeans. Well, needless to say, I didn't find what I was looking for, but I did an "even better than that", and bought a selection of lingerie items, plus a t-shirt which had "cat" (out of "cat bag") on it. Despite the fact that the t-shirt didn't fit me, I bought it anyway, and plan to find a new home for the cat motif... possibly on a t-shirt which fits me - how innovative?... I also found a nice, sexy, black t-shirt which, I noticed whilst trying it on, had a monochrome motif of Hong Kong Phooey ("Number One Super Guy" apparently...) on it. I wanted it so much, but I was gutted to discover that the t-shirt didn't fit me, so I left it behind with a tear in my eye...

Job news


Tried to do recycling on Monday, but turned up 15 minutes after it closed... so went on Tuesday instead. Now I've explained before about having to pay if you're not a resident of Bexley, so I turned up and waited at the gate to hand over the money, but no-one came, so I drove in tentatively, and this guy came up to my car. I wound down the window "Erm, I'm not a Bexley resident" I trilled, lowering my eyes and fluttering my eyelashes. "I'll let you in anyway" said the guy, whilst chewing on a match...

Maybe I should go without the BF in future, so that I don't have to pay!


I got a letter from my solicitors this morning, concerning the sale of my flat. Below is a faithful reproduction of the opening paragraph:

I have heard today from the Solicitors acting for your Buyers confirming that they are in receipt of the various papers that have been forwarded to them confirming that they are in the process of reporting to their client.

Erm, thanks for letting me know... I think...

Sunday, March 21, 2004

Listen up...

As advised a few posts ago, this coming week, for an as yet unascertained timeframe, I will be sans laptop and cut off from the blogniverse. I won't be able to post here (unless I can be a*sed to go to an internet café) and won't be able to read your blogs either. So, please:

Meanwhile, my lovelies, please don't have nightmares - please *do* sleep well...

Love Witho

Saturday, March 20, 2004

To schlop or not to schlop...

Curries. You've got to love 'em. Well, you haven't *got* to, there's no law in this land which says "Thou shalt love curry", no. No-ones going to come round, tie you up and say "Oi, 'ere's a curry, LOVE IT, or else!" are they? So I lied. So kill me. Anyway, I digress. Whether eaten-in or taken-away, a curry makes for a delicious meal - particularly, in the case of the BF and me, on a Friday night. Ahhh, such creatures of habit, bless us...

Now, being a "noticer of phenomena" by trade, I have noticed a phenomenon with regard to the way people eat curry. Essentially, I find that males and females tend to eat curry using distinct methodologies:

The boy's methodology

  1. Take rice container
  2. Tip entire contents of rice container onto plate (this is also known as "schlopping")
  3. Take curry container
  4. Tip entire contents of curry container on top of rice (this, too, is known as "schlopping")
  5. Eat entire curry/rice combo, both there and then

The girl's methodology

  1. Take a spoon
  2. Spoon out a portion of rice from rice container onto plate
  3. Spoon out a portion of curry from curry container onto rice
  4. Eat contents of plate
  5. Consider whether more curry/rice is required
  6. Repeat entire process if yes

Evidently, if you do not subscribe to the traditional curry + rice equation (for example, in my case, I usually accompany my curry with chapatis instead of rice) then certain points may not be applicable. However, I have found these patterns to be applicable to my circle of acquaintances.

Please feel free to cite examples to disprove my ill-thought-out theorem, dear readers. Tell me, how do *you* eat *yours*? Oh, and tell me about your curry-eating habits whilst you're at it (snigger).

Meanwhile, I walked into the sitting room yesterday to find none other than Bagpuss strumming away on his ol' gui-tarrrr... I ask you!

Friday, March 19, 2004

As if I needed reminding....

... why I'm leaving that London...

10:20 Witho leaves the flat, purchases 1 day travelcard from newsagent
10:30 Witho boards bus for the station
10:40 Witho arrives at the station and plans on getting 10:45 to Charing Cross
10:41 Witho notes goods train on track just beyond station which doesn't appear to be moving
10:45 10:45 Charing Cross service disappears from board
10:50 Announcement over tannoy advising customers of delays and to board first available train, changing where necessary
10:55 Witho notes goods train up ahead has still not moved
10:59 Witho boards (delayed) Cannon St service
11:20 Witho is still sitting on Cannon St service. The doors have closed, but the train hasn't moved
11:25 Driver announces that all London-bound services have been stopped due to both point and signal failure. Customers are advised to travel to alternative station
11:26 Witho waits for bus to alternative station
11:40 Witho arrives at alternative station
11:41 Witho notes that the next train to London is due at 12:00 (incidentally, the time of her appointment in central London - she has already phoned to warn of potential lateness)
12:00 Witho boards train
12:45 Witho finally arrives at the offices of the recruitment consultant

Nearly two and a half hours... I ain't saying nuffin'

The Interview

Well, the reason I had to go up town was to register with a temping agency, and do various typing tests and so on. I think it went quite well. I got 100% on the spelling test (yes, a spelling test - I didn't think they still did those, but felt quite heartened that they did). The woman said she sees people getting 100% about twice a year... so at least that's something I'm reasonable at...

I also did a copy typing test (which I panicked at and forgot that the way to type the fastest is to *not* think about it...) and an audio typing test (which I've never done before - quite enjoyed it and proved that I can type quickly actually...) and a Microsoft Word test (for which I got 95% - okay, I forgot about the envelope printing function - it's been a while!).

Needless to say, when she asked what sort of jobs I was looking for, my main requirement was "local"...

Raising the game

Big Fella decided to raise the stakes on the Bagpuss tableaux last night, coming up with:


and "Shagpuss" (starring Beanie Bagpuss and Teddy - oh, and a bit of my arm...):

Note (for Ian): no Bagpi were harmed during the making of these images.

In other news

We're off to Scumpton this weekend. This will allow me to:

Witho in "has a good idea" shocker!

Yesterday, BF sent me a text message asking me to send all the documents on the laptop to his email address. "But why?" I enquired.

Well, readers, this laptop has been p*ssing us off for some time. The long and short of it is, I think the OS needs updating, but I can't be arsed to download all the updates off Microsoft - they just take hours (no broadband here, kids). It belongs to BF's school, so he has asked the IT bods to blummin' well sort it out, or else! But they say they need to wipe the disk, hence BF's request to get all the docs on email...

"Even better than that" shrieks Witho, and unwields her magical, mysterious MP3 player. As well as being an MP3 player (and WMA and WAV and gawd knows what else) it also acts as an external hard drive - with 128Mb of storage available. So I schlapped the lot onto there. Okay, for some of you nerds, 128Mb is nowhere near enough space (I remember my first home PC which had 40Mb of hard drive...thems were the days...) but it's ample for a few Latin vocab tests and my cv... So I'll need to re-install the loader software to be able to get all the documents back off again...

The upshot (this originally came out as "upsnot") of all this is, early next week, we won't have the laptop. And unless I get my arse down to some Internet café, or I get a job which has Internet access, I won't be able to post for a few days. Now, readers, do you think you'll be able to cope? Hmmm, I thought so...

Thursday, March 18, 2004

Bagpuss in Russian hat shocker

Witho watches television programme

One of the few things I watch on television during the week is Grand Designs. You know the one (well, you will if you're British...), the formula goes something like this:

The thing that gets me is that the women are either already pregnant at the start of the build, or "fall" pregnant ("oops, I just fell on some sperm and it fertilised me eggs!") during the build. Why don't they plan it properly, wait until they've settled in? They really need a Witho around to give them some practical advice... I suppose Channel 4 like to pick the more risky, dramatic builds as it makes for better television, but it just gets a bit tiresome - before the ad break, Kevin will say: "So, the build appears to be going to schedule, but Jacinta has some news which will really put the pressure on" - oh, I wonder what that could be...

I do like McCloud though. He reminds me of Louis Theroux in his style of interviewing - and as far as La Witho is concerned, Theroux can do no wrong. Yesterday, McCloud described the darkness of the "earth sheltered" house the posh couple were building as "a stygian gloom" - you've got to love that. An old colleague of mine used to describe my eyes as "stygian" - they are almost black, in stark contrast to my deathly pale complexion... I am a bit of a weirdo - with dark eyes and dark hair, you'd expect me to have dark skin, but oh no, La Witho has to be different. I have the complexion of a redhead - just with fewer freckles...

Running up that hill

I'm quite pleased with myself this morning. I got up at 07:15 and went for a run. It's the furthest I've run for quite some time, and almost half of it was uphill (we live at the top of a hill - with, incidentally, an impressive vista of London from The Dome to the West End - so you can't avoid going up a hill at some point or another). When I reached the top of the final incline and approached the block of flats, I could have gone home at that point, but I carried on, feeling really strong. It was like I'd found my second wind, like I was floating down the other side of the hill with little effort required. I *almost* enjoyed it... *slaps self*


Well, I've had my porridge and my cup of tea - time to get on with the chores (once I've gone through the blogroll of course...). Today, the estate agent is coming round to take photos of the flat.

*looks at the shambles that is the spare room*

Hmmm, maybe I'll tell him not to take any photos in here...

[UPDATE] Cuh! He didn't even take any internal photos! All that cleaning and tidying for nothing![/UPDATE]

Wednesday, March 17, 2004

A mixed bag

This morning:

Witho wakes up, BF is already awake

He: I've overslept

*Witho looks at clock - it's 06:20 - BF gets up at 06:00*

Me: Oh, well there's nothing you can do about it now, just get on with it *snuggles back down to sleep*
He: Bums, what am I going to do? *shows no sign of getting up*
Me: Well, just get up now, get the later bus....

*Witho thinks: hang on...oh I know*

Me: ... do you want me to give you a lift in to school love?
He: Would you mind?
Me: No, course not...

Bless 'im, he didn't want to ask outright...

As it turned out, with me giving him a lift 20 minutes later than he would normally leave, he got into work 10 minutes earlier than he usually would getting his two buses, or thereabouts... I got to come back home and go back to bed - how decadent! How guilt-inducing! Okay, we've been through all that....

Job News

Swiss left a comment with a link to some contract work which could tide me over until we leave London in the summer. (we're leaving London in the summer! Cool!) It's doing what I used to do at [insert company name], but with less responsibility and probably a higher equivalent hourly rate (yes Swiss, I know it probably balances out in the end, what with the benefits and so on...), plus a bit of French thrown in. I'm no expert, but there can't be *that* many iSeries developers who speak fluent French. But anyway, as a short term option, it's something I probably should consider. So I've sent the agency my cv and we'll see what happens...

Meanwhile, I got a call from a secretarial agency this morning (to whom I'd sent my cv) and they want me to go to their offices on Friday to register. They apparently have lots of work going in South East London, which would suit me. The hourly rate would be considerably less than the contract work...

Still struggling with my long term options. Teaching is like an itch that needs to be scratched, but it seems like a risk to go down that road, only to find that it's not what I want or that I can't do it... There's something about teaching which scares the sh*t out of me, but so much that appeals... BF has suggested that I do some lesson observations at some local schools to get a feel for the classroom from the teacher's side - he did this when he was deciding whether or not to do a PGCE. I think it's a good idea - just got to pluck up the courage to give some places a call...

Flat news

We now need to put BF's flat on the market, since we're leaving London in the summer (we're leaving London in the summer! Cool!). Originally, he had two potential private buyers, but both have backed off due to financial issues, so we're going to have to get the vultures parasites estate agents involved... However, one of the guys who came round to value the flat talked a lot of sense and came up with some interesting ideas, so we'll see...

Tuesday, March 16, 2004

Bagpuss wears...

... an Inter Milan hat!

Hmmm, I can see this becoming a bit of a series, like the toe thing...

Magic Mushrooms

Dear Witho

When making mushroom stroganoff, never underestimate the sheer volume of mushrooms required - buy at least double the amount of mushrooms you think you'll need

Love Witho

Yes, last night's dinner. That pack of mushrooms I bought last week (pictured below) - 5 big old fellas there were, I thought "that'll be plenty". Stick 'em in the pan, turn around, and they've shrunk down to nothing! Cuh!

Anyway, this one's a shortie - just had an SOS call from the Big Fella - got to drop off a bag full of coursework he forgot to take to school with him this morning...

Catch you later


Monday, March 15, 2004

Monday moans

Don't worry, no more dreams to recount this morning, you're safe...

I hate getting up late. I think I'm going to love it, but when it comes to it, I feel guilty and usually sluggish as a result. That's what happened today. I set the alarm for 9am, thinking that, for a lady of leisure, it would be a reasonable time to get up. However, when the Big Fella was getting ready for work this morning, I decided to cancel the alarm and sleep in, which I did, and now I feel bad. I also feel bad for spending so much time blogging...

I have no structure in my life at the moment since I finished working for [insert company name] - I am free to do whatever I want. But, like many of us humans, to deal with the absurdity of my existence (you can tell I studied Sartre and Camus at university) I have started to build my own little routine to deal with the emptiness of my days.

where x is the only "variable".

Last week, x equalled the following:

Hmmm, I sense a theme here - I should more truthfully say "where x = shopping"... but hang on Witho, you haven't got a job, have you? No, dear reader, which leads to further guilt...

However, the sale of the flat is going through like wildfire - should have my big wodge of cash just after Easter. I could make it earlier, but if I'm working (which I could be at short notice), I'll need the Easter weekend to gather all my stuff together and for each item of "stuff", decide whether to:

Recycling woes

This weekend was our regular trip to the local "recycling centre" (or "dump" as it used to be known). Now, we live in the London Borough of Greenwich, but the Greenwich dump is miles away from us! There is one much nearer, which comes under the Borough of Bexley. Because we are not residents of Bexley, we have to pay £4 to recycle our stuff there. Hang on, shouldn't we be encouraging people to recycle?

Furthermore, there are some recycling bins just down the road, in a car park. My eyes roll skyward whenever I approach a recycling container to find that it is riddled with restrictions, such as:

So much of what we recycle is made up of junk mail, plastic non-milk bottles and food packaging. Again, we should be encouraging people to recycle. Luckily, at the dump we can recycle all of these things, but it's hardly a pleasant place to go, and I baulk at having to pay for it...

So there

Saturday, March 13, 2004

Analyse this!

I don't often remember my dreams, but this morning I woke up "mid-dream" and immediately recounted it to the Big Fella so that I wouldn't forget. So today only, I present to you, dear reader, the addled mind of La Witho. Brace yourself, it's utter nonsense:

The Big Fella and I were in a wood and were off for some rumpy-pumpy "in the nature". We found a massive old tree which had been hollowed out at the bottom and there was a bedroom inside, which was handy.

Big Fella sent me off to have a w*nk (?) - I was completely naked, but wrapped in a duvet. I was wandering around the wood trying to find somewhere private, but there were quite a lot of people about and lots of open space (plus a number of other furnished tree trunks), so I decided to return to "our" tree trunk. When I got back, BF was in the bed, but so were some other people - two girls (who I don't think I knew) and a male friend of mine, C. They were all just tucked up in bed together, wide awake. I decided I needed a wee, and there was a ladder up to a toilet just next to the bed (again, handily...), but I couldn't work out how to get up the ladder and hold the duvet around my body at the same time. Just as I was puzzling through this, some people came to the tree trunk and said they were moving the bed out, so we'd have to get out of the way.

We all started gathering our stuff together, and I was looking for my knickers. I saw the other girls' knickers and was jealous because they had really glam ones with diamanté trim, while mine were plain black. I thought I'd spotted mine, but then my friend B randomly appeared, and said they were hers. I examined the label to see if they were mine, and the label was massive, with loads of writing on, and I couldn't find the pertinent bit to confirm that they were mine. I spent ages reading all the stuff on the label.

Not sure how this happened (it was a dream, after all!), but I suddenly found myself in a car with Billy - it was a left-hand drive car. He seemed to be driving me home, but we were clearly going well out of his way. We were chatting away, and I said it was funny actually listening to him speak rather than reading his blog. I told him I was surprised that, in real life, he actually paused for breath. I suddenly realised I didn't have my bag on me, but I had my phone. I got it into my head that I'd left my bag at Swiss Tony's and started to panic.

By this time, I was out of Billy's car and wandering around a busy marketplace - a bit like a bazaar in Morocco or something. I decided to phone Tony about my bag, and when he answered, he sounded really upset. I asked him what was wrong, and he told me that he'd been listening to his Kajagoogoo album at the wrong speed (I kid you not!). I realised I wasn't going to get much sense out of him, so put the phone down, and started composing a text message to him, but instead of saying that he had my bag, I was now under the impression that he had my knickers, and was describing them in detail in a text message. As I was doing so, I suddenly thought: "Where's my car?" and then started panicking about that as well...


then I woke up, realised that my bag, car and knickers were all "safe" and everything was all right...

*watches as blog readership backs away slowly*

Thursday, March 11, 2004

First there was "Cat Bag"....


Now, allow me to present...

Dog Purse:

I was very good you know. I *only* bought a purse, nothing else, despite temptation from all sides! Oh, but I did buy a cup of tea and a cakey... but I needed to keep my energy levels up! Or something...

These malls, they are so alike. I could have been at Lakeside (well, it's only across the river). Bluewater even has the same "cliff" effect (UPDATE probably due to the excavation required to build the monstrosity according to Tilesey, this is due to the fact that they are both built in abandoned quarries - thanks for that Tilesey and apologies to anyone who may have been offended by my earlier allegations! /UPDATE).

My work here is done. Good evening one and all...

The pink purse will be mine!

I'm off to Bluewater. If I can't find a pink purse there, then there's something wrong in this world...

Wednesday, March 10, 2004

Move along, no original ideas to be seen here....

Inspired by Tilesey and Hans (or Christian, or whatever he chooses to call himself these days - soon he'll be calling himself "The blogger formally known as..."!), but not currently in possession of a desk drawer of my own (being, as previously advised, jobless), I briefly considered photographing my underwear drawer, but given the excitable nature of some of my readership, I decided instead to take a snapshot of my grocery shopping from Sainsbury's:

Whaddya think of that then?

Tuesday, March 09, 2004

This week I are be mostly...

... spending money, despite the fact that I don't appear to have a job at the moment!

Yesterday, I went to Ikea, and purchased:

I was just too excited by the fact that we live only 20 minutes from an Ikea, when I've spent the last five and a half years "between Ikeas" - yes, in Southampton, you are about equidistant from Croydon, Brent Park or Bristol (I used to opt for Bristol to avoid the M25), all of which take about an hour and a half to get to. So this was quite a novelty, not having to make a whole day of it. And I got to go through the Dartford tunnel on the way, and over the bridge on the way back (can't remember what that bridge is called now...). What an exciting life I lead, readers!

So that was yesterday's hoard. Today, I decided it was about time I went to TK Maxx again. This time, I had a specific purpose in mind. I absolutely *had* to buy a purse. Not just any purse though, this one had to be pink. Now, those who have known Witho for a long time (i.e. no-one who reads this blog...) will find it hard to believe that Witho would want *anything* pink (preferring to both clad and accessorize herself almost entirely in black), but since meeting the BF, I seem to have rediscovered my girly side, and now possess not just one, but a number of pink items.

So, off I went to the Maxx in search of this elusive pink purse. Could I find one? Could I 'eck as like.... But not to worry, because I found..... these:

Granted, you can't put all your credit cards and whatnot in them, and the coins would just fall out, but aren't they just adorable?

Again, the Witho of yesteryear would never have entertained such footwear, but another thing to add to my list of ch-ch-ch-changes below would be the wearing of dainty shoes. I spent most of my twenties clumping around in DMs, Pods and Kickers, convinced that, being a chunky lass, I couldn't "carry off" anything girly or pretty. But then one day my sister convinced me to try on some sandals which consisted only of two straps of lilac coloured flowers on a thin sole. It was like a revolution, seeing my own tootsies in such a pair of shoes. I haven't looked back since then...

Monday, March 08, 2004


Following on from the last post, in the past year I have:

A selection of things which haven't changed:


We nearly didn't find out about BF's job. I'll tell you for why, shall I?

When BF applied for the job, he knew that the interviews were taking place during his half term, when he would be in Southampton, at my flat, as I was working out my final week at [insert company name] at Head Office. So he supplied my telephone number as well as his home address, making sure he made it clear that the Southampton details should only be used during that week. You can see what's coming, can't you?

So, we were driving down to my brother's on Friday night for his birthday celebration weekend, and BF was fretting that he hadn't heard any news from Taunton. He knew that the final interviews were taking place on the Thursday, so any time after that he was expecting to hear one way or the other. I thought it was strange that he hadn't heard, as he had been in close contact with the Deputy Head (his old Latin teacher) throughout the application process. It suddenly struck me that they might have tried to phone my flat in Southampton...

My friend/neighbour has a key to the flat, so we asked her to check the answerphone. Sure enough, there was a message from the Headmaster...

You know the rest...

So if I hadn't thought to ring my neighbour, BF still may not have known he had the job!

Apparently, the decision to take him on was unanimous... so it's not just me who thinks the sun shines out of his @rse then....

Sunday, March 07, 2004


365 days, or
52 weeks, or
12 months, or
4 quarters, or
1 year



I gave up smoking. Not a fag has touched my lips in that time...

Oh, and Big Fella got the job in Taunton...

Somerset, here we come!!!!

Will post more tomorrow people...

Friday, March 05, 2004


Since all I seem to be able to talk about at the moment is driving and property selling, and I'm also feeling guilty about blogging all the time when I probably should be looking for a job, I'm handing the virtual pen over to the BF for mine and his first "Guest Post", since he's off work today...

Take it away, Big Fella:

Err, hello. I am thinking about becoming a blogger, possibly even twice over, and getting a moblog. I am thinking having one might be a useful tool for work and having another might be kind of good for getting things out of my system. I remember I once went to a Greek summer school and enjoyed myself so much I felt empty afterwards, so I got out an (utterly crap) QL and did a diary on it for a few days and that saw me through those bad feelings. However I don't want to be in the position of the tail wagging the dog and feeling I must blog or else and I don't ever want to feel bad because of stuff being written on my blog, as I know has been the case with a few of you in recent times. Is it worth it? What would I get out of it? Could it really just be a tool without making me feel bad? I want to feel that my blog is my blog and I am completely in control of it but that when I step out into someone else's I am going into someone else's world which I might be able to comment on but have no right to expect to conform with my preconceived ideas in any way shape or form. I'd like to use my work blog perhaps for parents and pupils at school to get in touch and so they could see what we got up to and also I could have a tool to talk to people in a similar position without having to go to musty, fusty old conferences. What options are there for me to use to set up blogs and moblogs? What are the pros and cons? Please give me your thoughts so I can go (or not go!) into this with my eyes open.

Thursday, March 04, 2004

This morning I are be mostly sitting stationary on the M25...

Left South East London at 7:45am
Arrived Southampton at 11:00am
All thanks to that circular car park known as the M25
Even more reason to get the hell out of London...


Now I have much less time than I'd hoped to faff about with paperwork for this flat sale. I've already spoken to the Estate Agent and have negotiated a lower fee. Cheeky blighter has put a "SOLD" sign up!

I've also got to arrange van hire for the weekend as I've got to collect some furniture for the London flat. Meanwhile, various friends are raiding my flat for furniture which will mean lower storage costs for me when the time comes!

So, people to see, papers to shuffle!


Wednesday, March 03, 2004

Today, I are be mostly staring at this:


Part I - to be completed by the seller

1 - Boundaries

"Boundaries" means any fence, wall, hedge or ditch which marks the edge of your property.

1.1 Looking at the house from the road, who either owns or accepts responsibility for the boundary:

(a) on the left?
(b) on the right?
(c) across the back?


My response would ideally be as follows:

Dear Seller's property information form

Please note the following:

  1. I live in a flat
  2. I cannot see my flat from the road, it's at the back of the building
  3. There are millions of people in this country who live in flats, I'm not just being "awkward"
  4. Your form, on its very first question, has succeeded in making an otherwise reasonably intelligent woman feel confused and excluded
Love Witho

My actual response will be:


There are many other questions of this ilk on the form.

This country is so "house-centric", even though people have lived in flats for many years. My apartment block was built in the 1930s, which was a period when many people had a "pied-à-terre" in the city to complement their country pile. It's not a new thing. So why must us flat-dwellers put up with a system which can't seem to cope with it? It's the same when citing your address over the phone: "Can I have your postcode and house number please?" - the assumption is there.

So anyway, I'm going to have to go down to Southampton tomorrow to visit the solicitor, show them some documents and ask them about some of these stupid questions.

Also have the delicate matter of an estate agent to deal with. Here's the story. I got a guy round to assess the flat for rentability. He mentioned a guy who owned 4 other flats in the block who might be interested in buying it (I had met this guy previously on the stairs and knew he wanted to buy more flats in the block. At that time, though, I had no intention of selling...). So he asked me if I'd like him to give the guy a call. I said yes. Nothing was signed, no contract was entered into. We arranged for the potential buyer to come round to the flat with the agent. The agent phoned to say he wasn't coming, but the potential buyer would still come. So he did. I got his number, and we negotiated a deal between us.

So now, because the agent knows the potential buyer, he knows about our deal and has now sent me a "contract" to sign to that he'll get his commission. But he hasn't had to do anything other than phone up his mate. Do I ignore the contract and leave him out of the loop, or do I negotiate a lower fee? I have the details of the buyer, so don't need his services... but he knows the buyer so is aware of what's going on...

Comment faire?

These dreams...

Had a dream about Elsie last night. She was considering having coloured streaks put in her hair, so I said she could try my pink clip-on streak before committing herself to the hair dye. That's about all I can remember... not very good at recalling my dreams.

Tuesday, March 02, 2004

Don't panic!

Sorry kids, bit of an interruption to Dear Witho, which I was going to warn you about on Monday when I was getting ready to drive down to Taunton with the Big Fella, but I was too busy...erm... getting ready to drive down to Taunton with the Big Fella.

Firstly, why was I driving down to Taunton, I hear you ask. Well, if you'd been paying attention, dear reader, you'd know that BF had an interview at a school there today. And me being a lady of leisure, I decided to accompany him down there for moral support (and, as it turned out, shopping!). So we drove down Monday night and stayed in a B&B a short walk from the school, ready for BF's interview today.

I was planning on seeking out an internet cafe so that I could have posted as normal, but that pesky hinterweb was nowhere to be found! So you see, Billy and FROG, it wasn't my fault!

(Cue: Billy scribbles: "must try harder" in Witho's unemployed blogger school report)

Meanwhile, Witho's toes have been spotted in a strange bed! To whit, the bed in the B&B mentioned above - 'twas a four poster, don't you know?

Dipstickerie report

Picture the scene.
It's Witho's brother's birthday on 3 March. Witho wanders around Taunton on 2 March, thinking: "Damn! I need to post my brother's card, but I don't have his address on me. I can remember the number and the road name, but not the post code. If only I could find an internet cafe, I could find out the postcode (and, of course, post to the blog at the same time - woo-hoo!)."

Witho fails to find an internet cafe, and wanders despondently around the town, seeking solace via the magic of retail therapy - in particular, the trying on of pink stilettoes.

Later, whilst Witho is having lunch, she receives a telephone call from none other than the Big Fella, claiming that his interview has finished (it went very well...more later...). BF arrives at the restaurant and Witho tells her tale of woe vis-a-vis the postcode/lack of interweb issue. The Big Fella suggests that Witho send a text message to her sister-in-law (being Witho's brother's wife who lives in the same house as her brother, as luck would have it!) asking for the postcode.

Witho starts typing the text message as they walk back to where the car is parked. Then a thought strikes la Witho. It is only now that she realises that she has the entire address scribbled in her diary (which is in her bag) and thus could have sent the card first thing in the morning....

Witho, you dipstick!

BF news in full

So, BF had his interview. A very nice (posh) school, with miniscule class sizes compared to his current school - and being privately funded, it has a beautiful building, extensive grounds, excellent facilities etc etc... He met the head, two deputies (including his old Latin teacher) and various other bods, and taught a lesson observed by the head and the deputy as part of the day's activities. He was pleased with how it went, and felt that he'd done his best, so we'll see! Fingers (and other appendages) crossed!

Monday, March 01, 2004

Witho has left the building....

Here I am, on a Monday morning, blogging from home. And I'm not ill. This can only mean one thing - la Witho is jobless!

Friday was my last day at [insert company name]. Much to the chagrin of my colleagues who would have liked to see me squirm, I opted out of the embarrassing presentation. If my manager had had any charisma or even traces of a personality, maybe I would have allowed such a presentation to happen, but it would have just been cringeworthy for all concerned...

Anyway, opting out of the presentation did *not* exempt me from presents (woo-hoo!). I got a silver, "Tiffany-esque" T-bar necklace and TK Maxx vouchers. Anyone who knows la Witho knows that chunky silver jewellery and TK Maxx vouchers will go down a treat - and sure enough, they did!

Friday lunchtime (plus a bit more besides) was spent down the pub explaining to an increasing circle of people that I don't actually have another job (yet) and that I won't be in London permanently and that I might even end up back in Southampton and that I'm selling my flat and so on and so forth...

Friday night was a low-key affair - just like the Friday nights we used to have when I first worked at [insert company name]. A few friends, a pub, a curry house, lots of chit-chat and tomfoolery. With the added bonus of a Big Fella tagging along. Originally, my friend had organised a big blow-out meal for the Thursday night and I was going to "hijack" that for my leaving do. But that all fell through, so I hastily organised this little soiree (argh, there's no number keypad on this poxy laptop, how am I going to do my accents?) which was thoroughly enjoyable....

Saturday - what did we do on Saturday again? *scratches head*
Ah yes, had a lie-in and a greasy spoon "breakfast" (eaten at about 1pm) during which BF was saddened to note the lack of black pudding and "bubble":

We had originally planned to leave Southampton at about 10 - 11am. We *actually* left at 3pm. But hey... As we approached London, it started to snow, but this was only a brief interlude.

Anyway, I looked at my bank balance yesterday. Then looked at my watch to see what the date was, thinking "when's the next pay day?" Then it struck me - I don't know when my next pay day will be. How scary is that?

... and now for something completely different

I've just realised, I haven't even (publicly) thanked the wonderful FROG for Dear Witho's new banner. Isn't it beautiful?

*goes off to panic about joblessness*


Check out the moblog for the latest in the series of "Witho's toes"....


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