Wednesday 29 September 2010

I Now Live At The Library...

Remember when I used to blog every time I had a thought in my head? Yeah, those were crazy times...

I was funny, and articulate, and sometimes passionate about things. I still am really... I just feel less like sharing it with the world these days. I'm trying to keep my public profile simple - but honestly - my life is still whacky.

I've been spending my evenings in the library because I can't seem to focus on studies at home. As soon as I get home, all I want to do is vegetate by social networking, and you-tubing, and BBC i-playering, and silly stuff really. Before I know it, it's 9pm, and I haven't done a thing, and I never get around to Yoga like I want to.

So, yeah - the Library and me, we've become good friends. 2 hours after work every day, that's the ticket. I'm enjoying my studies, I must say. I think it's really important this time around to study more regularly so that it's fresh in my head. I'm pretty lucky with this module that there's no tests. There is however - 7 tutor marked assignments. 7!!! The first is due on the 29th of October.

There is a downside to this library haunting mind you... it means I get home at 8:30-ish... then I take my down time, and before I know it, it's 11pm! But, at least I've gotten some good study time in. Still no Yoga mind.

It's terribly rainy today. Really, really rainy. My cold is getting worse AGAIN! My ears are plugged, and all I seem to be able to do today is complain. But, other than that - everything is sunny and bright in my life. :-)

Saturday 18 September 2010

On a Yoga High... finally

I am writing this post on a high - a Yoga high...

What on earth is wrong with me? WHY have I been putting off doing Yoga for 3 or 4 months?

I compare myself (as a PCOS victim) to someone who has bi-polarity and having been on a medication for some time, feels so good that they think they've been cured and that they don't need the medication any more. Therefore they go off of it, and over time, life becomes miserable again - a series of highs and lows.

Well, as a PCOS victim, and as someone who never has normal hormonal balance in their body, I have to say it is quite a similar situation with me and Yoga. Goodness me, I even feel my deadly cold (+ Asthma) waning as a result of the good hormones coursing through my veins. I read once, that this is the reason Yoga makes us feel so good. The positions we hold have a way of squeezing our glands, and therefore making them release the hormones that make us feel so much better. At the same time, it builds muscle tone, and just overall feels good. I also have noticed that my back pain has vanished. What a moron I have been to put it off for so long, when it makes me so happy.

Well, I hope I can continue to remember how good it makes me feel, and do it every day. (as mentioned in the diet plan - see above) I haven't been stalwart in my dieting as planned, and also I find myself struggling to walk to work every day. (back pain - due to old-agedness) So, if I can commit myself to one hour every day of Yoga, I think I can see some results - in every aspect of my life.

Oh, how silly we are - people...

Check out this fantastic video that my Cousin Claire shared on facebook...

Claire is in fact the owner of Leeds most exclusive Personal Training and Pilates Studio - "Equilibrium Health Personal Training and Pilates" so, if you're in Leeds or the area, do go and check out her studio...

I wish I was half as fit as our Claire. But, I can get there, with persistence.

Saturday 4 September 2010

Gonna Fly Now!

Well, here we are in September, and an entire month has gone by without my posting much at all. To be honest, there wasn't much worth posting about. I got sick, and I was also a little depressed. Well, ok - more than a little. I've been on a bit of a roller coaster. Long story short, I've decided to completely block out any well-meaning "feel good" advice, and just cling to my faith and personal relationship with God. The thing is - life has never been easy. It's always been an uphill battle for me. (for most of us I wager) No one ever promised that it would be easy though. I'll tell you what, this may seem silly - but a friend of mine posted this video on Facebook this week...

Besides re-instating my childhood love for Rocky movies, this wee speech gave me a bit more strength to carry on. It's very true you know, life is always going to knock us back; but it's up to us to take the knocks and keep moving forward. "That's how winnin' is done", and believe me - Rocky knows! (that is if Rocky were a real live person, but his character is based on many inspirational people who are real) Who doesn't love an underdog? I am a sucker for an underdog. You know why? Because I AM the freakin' underdog. If I can just stop feeling sorry for myself, and move forward despite the hard knocks of life - I can win too. Truth be told, I don't really have it that bad compared to most people; but then our trials are ours for a reason - because they are hard for us. I think that's the whole purpose of life, isn't it? To endure through trial.

Yeah - so - I've become very philosophical over the last week or so. It's about time too, because I was really getting tired of self-pitying. It gets old after a while.

School starts soon. Yay! I'm looking forward to starting my new module and immersing myself in something new. It's time to put the summer behind me.

Sunday 1 August 2010

Dieting again...

Well, here I am - dieting again.

I know - it seems like I'm always dieting. This time, I've decided to avoid all creativity, and generally stay away from unknown tactics.

I've decided to do what I did before - you know when I lost 110 lbs.

It seems to work for me. I think, in essence - I'm lazy when it comes to dieting. When I get home, I'm tired of work, tired of doing everything really, and therefore, ready-made meals (as unappealing as they are) seem to work for me.

So - yeah, I'm replacing meals with high protein, high fibre shakes again.

In fact, I've worked out a step-by-step programme that's tailored to me and my needs right now. I've listed them at the tab at the top which says "New Diet Plan".

So, you can go there, and see what it is I'm doing.

As I said, it's not ideal - but it seems to be what works for me. The only reason I gained 60 pounds of it back is because I changed my lifestyle again. I ate things that weren't good for me, and became sedentary. That's simple enough, of course I'm going to gain weight with that combination. It didn't help that I completely uprooted myself and moved to another continent.

So - whether or not you approve of meal replacements, it doesn't really matter, because as I said, it works for me.

Will keep you posted about progress. (for good or bad) Watch the tab at the top that says "New Diet Plan" - where I will log my weight over the next 6 months or so.

Saturday 31 July 2010

Not Sure What to Title This One....

Hi Everyone...

Well, I know it's not Sunday, and yes - I did miss last Sunday's post. My apologies for that. I shall try to do better in the future.

Here's the news for today...

I'm a singleton again. I won't go into too much detail, but long story short, the Barenaked Ladies are right - absence does make the heart grow fungus.

The rest of the song has nothing to do with what happened to Andy & I. The distance was hard though. I think it was really easy for us to forget what it was like when we were together, and therefore it dwindled.

Never mind... as hard as it's been this week - onwards and upwards.

Andy is my friend, and in fact we still keep in touch in some small way every day. So, that's positive. We're just moving on.

Overall, a good learning experience in feelings and relationships.

Moving on from that topic...

I've become slightly idolatrous over this item...

The HTC Desire... An Android operating system smart phone with amazing capabilities. With everyone around me all of a sudden getting i-phones and the like, I find myself coveting this little beauty. The only trouble is, that I'm still very much on a contract until February 1st. If you know anyone who wants a Sony Ericsson K770i for about £108, or wants to take over my contract - let me know. This offer only applies to people who actually live in the UK of course.

Meh, I'll just have to be patient. In every aspect of life. :-/

Hope everyone is well. I'm doing quite well today considering I've had some serious heart-ache this week. Everything happens for a reason, and I'm grateful for the experience.

Sunday 18 July 2010 Re-vamp

So, I don't know if you knew this or not, but; my church website has been re-vamped, and it looks fantastic. Just look at this...

The new website very much focuses on the members of the church now. I think this is a great idea, because the best thing we have to offer really to the world (besides the most important things, such as truth, salvation through Jesus Christ and happiness) is our people. I mean there's still the most important things on the site - such as the doctrines of the church, and what's important to us, and how to get in touch with missionaries, etc. There's also a way to chat online to missionaries and get answers to questions. I think it's brilliant.

There are individual profiles on members of the church throughout the world. Here is my profile...

which can be found here... (link)

Here is Andy's profile...

which can be found here... (link)

I think this is a fantastic tool for getting the message out with regards to what Mormons believe, and what they are like. As many of you know, I'm a pretty average, every day sort of girl who tries to live a clean life, and does my best to help people. I'm not perfect, by any stretch of the imagination, but I do try to be my best. I have incredible flaws, but I suppose that is normal. I think, though - that helps in getting people to see how normal we are. In fact, normal is hard to come by these days. If I'm honest, that's one of the things that attracted me to Andy - his level of normal-ness. I love that. :-)

On an un-related note, I've started another blog. (like I have time to keep this one up, let alone start another one) It's entitled "Hidden Dundee", and can be found here... (link)

I just really felt that I've been learning enough quirky things about the history of Dundee to start a whole new blog. It will give me a chance to do some research as well. There's that many interesting things, that I can actually do a fair number of posts without running out of things to blog about. So - there you have it.

Sunday 11 July 2010

A Bit Distracted...

You may have noticed that I've been a bit boring lately in my blogging. I think it's because I'm a bit distracted and for the most part my thoughts have been focused on feelings, hearts, and everything sappy one can imagine. I guess it's a sign that I'm pretty happy. I mean, I'm mostly happy. I just think that it's a bit difficult to have a long distance relationship. It would be a lot better if we could see each other every week-end. However, our schedules make that difficult. Andy works a different type of shift every week, and his visits often depend on whether he's on earlies, or lates. He was here this past week, but now I won't see him for a month! The time he was here though, was lovely. We always enjoy our time together. Well, there you have it though - my excuse for being a bad blogger... a bit distracted.


Well, I finished my first University Course last week. That was a relief. I won't receive my result until early September though. I'm sure it will be fine, it's only a 10 credit course. I begin real live University courses in October. That will be great. I really enjoyed the wee course. It was really interesting. It felt a bit like High School Biology, but as I said - it was a 10 credit course; not worth much. It did get me into the right frame of mind though, and helped me to think about what I need to work on for my next course.

Primary is great. We are finally getting callings filled. :-) People keep moving into the ward left and right. I'm loving it. I think it's often about timing with filling callings. Have I told you I love the kids? I love them. They are fantastic.

I finally put curtains up in my flat. People can now no longer see into my flat at night. If they were looking, they wouldn't have seen much anyway because I'm higher up than all the other flats in the area. However, last week, took a quick trip to IKEA (not so quick!) on the bus which included taking the megabus to Edinburgh and then taking a Lothian bus to the outskirts of Edinburgh. Lucky for me there were better quality curtains on sale than the ones I went there for. They were cheaper too! (£2.99) I do like the IKEA sales.

That's about it for news. I don't really lead an exciting life. I mean - it's exciting to me, but I have nothing that I can report. Life is just generally good. Take my word for it.

I do miss my Andy though...

Sunday 27 June 2010


What to blog about? What to blog about???

Not sure really. I've had a decidedly low-key week-end. I've been finishing up my course on "Introducing Environment". I have one assignment to write up, and then I'm done. I'll be working on it over the next week or so. It won't be that hard; it's only a 10 credit course.

Other than that...

Oh, yeah - Final episode of Doctor Who series 5 was fantastic. I'm really impressed with Matt Smith actually. Some people swear up and down that David Tennant is better, but I think Matt is fantastic. I love the fez in this episode... it's too bad it had to go at the end there.

More people should wear fezes.

I wish I had a pet sometimes. A furry one.

Babies are nice, I held a baby today in church. They're everywhere I turn at church.

Dundee has had ridiculously lovely weather for the last month.

It's amazing what delicious concoctions you can come up with when you have a near-bare cupboard.

There are 9ish sleeps until Andy comes back to Dundee to see me. (he hasn't given me an exact day yet - deciding on transport)

I'm looking forward to reading for fun this summer, and not just reading my course materials. In October, I'll be back at it - for 60 credits this time.

My peace lily has decided to flower in June instead of at Easter.

Yep, that's about everything that's on my mind at the moment. Some of it's boring I know, but there it is...

Have a nice week folks.

Sunday 20 June 2010

Happy Father's Day!

I just spoke to my Dad on the phone... he's sounding ok, just feeling a little bit older overall. I guess the stroke, and surgery has left him feeling a bit more tired, and a little absent minded. I suppose a cerebrovascular accident is bound to slow you down a little bit, his brain is bound to have suffered a little damage... (which accounts for the absent-mindedness) I think though, considering his age (78), he's done very well.

I miss him (and my Mum), especially on days like today when families are meant to be together. At church today for Father's Day, we had the Primary children colour paper ties for their Dads, then put them on ribbons so that the Dads could wear them. They turned out really cute. It made me think that perhaps I wanted one. One little girl (one of my favourite girls) drew ginger-haired sets of toupees and wigs on hers to remind her Dad of his former glory days when he had hair. Heehee. Some of the boys drew weapons on theirs, and flames... I suppose their Dads will see the artistic talent in them anyway. I love opportunities to see the artistic talent of the children in our ward. They're absolutely brilliant in every way. I really think this is my favourite calling I've ever had. I look forward to church every week, even though I know it could turn out chaotic; simply because the kids are sooo great. :-)

We also taught them a song to sing in sacrament meeting to their Dads. We then handed out fairy cakes to all of the men over 19 in the ward. It turned out rather lovely. :-) It looked a bit like this...

That's the song we sung anyway... imagine that x 25. :-) Brilliant.

I've just been thinking that I really miss all of those family dinners we had out in Okotoks at Debbie's house. That's where my family will be just now... sitting around the dinner table, eating more food than necessary, and talking about politics, religion, and gossiping about this and that. One is always guaranteed intense conversation at our family gatherings.

I hope all of the Fathers, and future Fathers out there have a lovely Father's Day. I know I'm really grateful for my Dad, not to mention my Heavenly Father. I'm thankful for his constant guidance in my life. I don't know where I'd be without him, to be honest. It's a good thing he'll always be there. :-)

Happy Father's Day!

Monday 14 June 2010

Adventures with Andy in Arbroath

I didn't post yesterday because, frankly I had better things to do. :-) Andy was here in Dundee this week-end. He came up on Friday (really really tired from working earlies all week), and then Saturday morning, we took the bus to Arbroath and I made him walk everywhere (he didn't complain though - bless him) We had an Arbroath Smokie. (I now wish I had taken a picture of it - Andy did though) Arbroath smokies are quite tasty I have to admit. My only problem with eating fish in it's non-battered form is fighting with bones. I hate fish bones, they gross me out a bit. The taste of smoked haddock though, is quite delicious. We then went to the Seaton Cliffs at Arbroath.

The Seaton Cliffs are really quite beautiful. Apparently if we had gone a bit further on the path, we would have seen even more beautiful cliffs, and the Mermaid's Kirk, not to mention the Deil's head. But, I suppose we shall have to save those delights for another day. From the cliffs, we went back into the town, and had lunch, then we toured Arbroath Abbey... which is really quite interesting and Rich with History.

It was founded in 1178 by William "The Lion" I of Scotland who built it in honour of a friend of his who had died a Christian martyr. William I is actually buried in the Abbey. (see picture below) One of the many other things which Arbroath Abbey is famous for is that it is the site where the Declaration of Arbroath was drafted and signed. It's also really very striking because of the red sandstone rocks it is built from. As you see in the Cliff pictures, Sandstone rocks are quite common in the area of Arbroath. So, when the monks built Arbroath Abbey, they did so with the materials available to them in the area. It's really quite a striking building - even just with what's left of it.

So, our time in Arbroath was lovely, and in fact all of the time we spend together is lovely. It all goes by far too quickly though - as I'm painfully aware of this morning. I only just left Andy at the bus station an hour and a half ago. I suppose I can survive the 3 weeks before I see him again.

I never thought I'd be this sappy.

Sunday 6 June 2010

What's On My Mind...

Friday morning I got up early to catch a train to Chorley. I went to the temple again this week-end with Andy. He could only do one session, because he was on the early shift on Saturday. He has to get up at 3:30 am every morning this coming week and cycle 6 miles to work. :-S He's a hero in my books; among other things. As many of you know, I am far from being a morning person. Neither is he - which makes it so amazing that he manages to do these morning shifts.

What I really am enjoying right now, is who I am when I'm with Andy. He brings out the best in me. :-) He's also just - a really really good person. x

Sunday 30 May 2010

Parental Drama... as per usual

Hello there... I've just spent most of the afternoon and evening napping I'm afraid. This means that I am now wide awake and ready for action, even though it's 10:00 pm. :-S

Ah well, not to worry. I'll just force myself to sleep at midnight. Hopefully that will all work out...

Anyway, update on Dad... He's doing well. The surgery went really well, and the only trouble he had was a bit of low blood pressure afterwards. This is apparently pretty normal for a stent insertion procedure. The reason being - that with the stent in his artery, the blood is able to flow more freely, so there is less pressure. He's ok now though, just really really tired. He didn't get much sleep in the hospital, and I'm guessing that now he's at home with my Alzheimer's suffering Mother, he's still not getting much sleep.

I just had a chat with my Sister, and it sounds an awful lot like Mum is getting worse and worse with her Alzheimer's... she will hear nothing about talk of living wills, or assisted living. This is a source of great frustration for me and my siblings. She's always been that way though - extremely stubborn, and unwilling to hear what other people have to say. Now that she's not at full capacity, it's even worse. I don't know what to say really, except that I moved at the right time. ;-) Just kidding... well sort of kidding. To be honest, I couldn't handle much more of her behaviour while I was there, it gets to you after a while. Plus, I was the one who was there, actually living with them, and keeping an eye on them. So, I got the brunt of most of her attacks. Now, Dad gets it. Debbie and Rich get it too, but they don't live with her - so it's not every day. You can imagine, that living with that every day, and trying to recover from a stroke, and surgery is pretty difficult. I'm afraid Mum isn't going to be the pleasantly confused type of dementia patient. She'll be the kind that we had at the hospital all the time who yells abuse at you, and tells you you're going to hell, because you're a terrible person. Mark my words Geri-Psych nurses - you're in for it. They're used to it though, I suppose. As for me, I've had my share, and it's enough for anyone. I don't know what to say really, except that if she doesn't want to hear what people are suggesting about assisted living, then I'm afraid that eventually, she'll be committed to a geri-psych facility via sectioning. That won't be a pleasant experience for any involved. Maybe I'll have to have a blunt talk with her. It will be slightly easier with me being a million miles away. The only trouble is, you have a blunt talk, and she forgets the whole thing the next day.

A person could go slightly crazy going around in circles like this. There is no clear answer, except to say that she is going to get worse, and we'll just have to see how it goes day to day.

As for me, in my life - I'm good. Life is good. I'll see my boyfriend on Friday. :-) He's wonderful, and normal, and kind. He's highly refreshing after a lifetime like mine. :-) Andy is going for a walk tomorrow for Haitian Appeal... if you can donate, then please do so here... (link)

Have a lovely evening.

Becky x

Monday 24 May 2010

Prayers Please...

Sorry I didn't get a chance to blog yesterday... it was a busy week-end as it turns out. It was just what I needed though. I had a very good visit with my Andy. It was a short visit, but productive. :-)

Plus, my mind has been on other things...

Thursday morning I logged onto facebook, and read my little brother's status which went like so... "mmm just got home a little while ago and just missed parents. message from mom about hospital and dad, crap." I wrote him a message asking him to expound on that, but with no response. So, all day Thursday I was thinking about this in the back of my mind. Then, when I got home, there was a message on my phone from my Mum.

What happened was that my Dad had a stroke. He's never had a stroke before, but he has eaten a fried English Breakfast almost every day I can remember for his entire life. He would dispute that, but it's true. Any of my siblings would say the same. Fried Bacon, fried eggs, chips, fried mushroom, fried tomato, rashers, sometimes beans. So, I guess it finally caught up with him.

What they found from the tests, is that if he hadn't had this little stroke, he would have had a much bigger stroke in a week's time that could have been much more detrimental, possibly fatal. They found that he has 77% blockage in his carotid artery. Which means - that tomorrow he has to go in and have surgery. What they're going to do is go into his artery from his groin, and pump a balloon up that has a stent around it to open up the artery again. Obviously this is a risky procedure, but leaving it the way it is with no procedure at all is far more risky.

I've spoken to a couple of people since this happened who have had the same procedure, and they say that they are fine, and that it was the best thing they could have done. This brought me some comfort. Also, Andy was a big comfort to me on Friday and Saturday. It has been hard though, being so far away and not knowing exactly what is going on, and not being with him. In the past, whenever something like this has happened, I've been the one to be there with them, and make sure everything is alright. But, my sister is there, and my 2 brothers. Also, the Relief Society at church, and my parents' Bishop have been a support. So, that brings some re-assurance.

So, the reason I am writing all of this, and laying out the personal details about my family drama is because I would like to ask anyone out there who knows us and loves us, (or maybe doesn't know us at all but can relate) to offer up your prayers for my Dad that his surgery will go well tomorrow. Whatever your faith, or even if you have no faith, if you can - please spare a thought or two, or a prayer for my Dad and family. I would very much appreciate that.

Sunday 16 May 2010

I Fell Off The Wagon A Little...

Apparently I didn't learn my lesson the last time I gave up Caffeine...

Well, last week during all of the election excitement, and staying up late to watch this news or that I got to be pretty tired in the mornings. So what did I do? I turned to my old friend Diet Cherry Coca-Cola. I need to remember though, it is NOT my friend. No - not! I'm sad to say that yet again, today I am suffering from Caffeine Withdrawal. I think I have spent quite a lot of my adult life suffering from Caffeine Withdrawal. The best times I've had in my life, where I've felt the most healthy have been when I've been off the sauce - entirely. I've got to get off the sauce again. Today, it was quite by accident really. It's the week-end is all. No caffeine yesterday, or today. Today I am feeling it by golly.

I'm sure most of this blog makes very little grammatical sense. If so, you can blame it on the caffeine withdrawal. Why is it so painful? I don't know. I'd like it all to stop though. Make it all stop.

I'm thinking of going to Addiction Recovery classes at the church on Thursdays. I have a bit of an addictive personality I'm afraid. If I weren't a Mormon, and I didn't have the "Word of Wisdom" to follow, I would probably be dead in some ditch by now. Yep - dead in a ditch. Thank goodness my parents let the missionaries in. In fact, if they didn't let them in, I probably wouldn't have been born at all because my parents would have never met. So - overall - thank goodness for my parents letting the missionaries in. Way to go Mum & Dad! Way to go missionaries!

Excuse me while I crash on my bed for a while.

Later peeps!

Tuesday 11 May 2010

Flat Chloe!!!

Have you heard of the "Flat Stanley" books? Well, my niece has a project she is doing in school associated with the "Flat Stanley Project". So she sent along "Flat Chloe" to me for a wee adventure... (that's her name - Chloe) I got this letter, and this miniature drawn version of my niece to take around with me...

So, today we had an adventure, and here is my report back to her teacher...

Dear Mrs Coombe,

Flat Chloe mailed herself all the way to Dundee, Scotland.  I took her around with me today on a typical "day in the life" of Becky...

I took Flat Chloe to work with me - where I work as a Finance Administrator.  The picture shows me in my work setting - with my files behind me.  Then, on my lunch break - I took Flat Chloe around to some of the places where I spend my time here in Dundee.

First off, I showed Flat Chloe some of the buildings where I work at the University of Dundee.

Then I showed her the Tay Rail Bridge.  This is actually quite a famous bridge, because in 1879 there was a terrible disaster where the bridge gave out.  The entire train fell into the Tay with no survivors.  The bridge has obviously been rebuilt since then, and we use it all the time with no problems, but the news at the time shocked the world.

After seeing the bridge, I took Flat Chloe further into town, where we came across the famous statue of Desperate Dan here in Dundee.  Desperate Dan is quite a famous comic book character in the UK, and he was invented right here in Dundee.  In fact, some of the most famous comics were invented here in Dundee, including the characters in the Beano, and the Dandy.  Dennis the Menace was born right here in Dundee!

I also showed Flat Chloe some of our local artchitecture, including the Steeple Church of St Mary's on the Nethergate.  Another thing we saw was the R.R.S. (Royal Resesarch Ship) Discovery.  The Discovery was built right here in Dundee, and it was the ship that Captain Robert Falcon Scott first took to Antartica.  It actually got stuck in the ice for 2 years!  In fact, another ship that was built in Dundee came out to rescue the Discovery and pull it out of the ice.  The Discovery went on several polar expeditions, and now it has a permanent home docked here in Dundee where people can come and see it.

At the end of my work day, we had some visitors at the University, including 2 Jacobite Highlanders and a Piper!!!  So, we had our picture taken with them.  (broad sword and all)  It's a long story as to why the highlanders and piper showed up, so I won't tell it.  Needless to say though, it was a pleasant surprise.

After we left the highlanders, we walked through the park to my church.  As we walked through Baxter park, we came across Baxter Pavillion.  Baxter park and pavillion were named after a wealthy family that owned many Jute mills.  For a very long time, Jute was one of the main industries here in Dundee, but eventually, it died out.  The owners of the jute discovered that it was cheaper for them to mill jute in India - where it is produced instead of shipping it all the way to Dundee and then distributing it.  The last Jute mill died out in the 1970's.  This was a heavy blow to Dundonians as Jute mills were a major source of employment for them.  So, long story short, I took a picture of Flat Chloe with the Baxter Pavillion.

When we got to the church, Flat Chloe met up with some Scottish kids her own age.  We had an activity tonight that included making cookies.  The kids had their picture taken with Flat Chloe.  On our way home, we came across what looks like a castle.  :-)  *wink wink, nudge nudge*  Actually, it was the Dundee Waterworks station, but it looks just like a castle - doesn't it?

So, that was my day with flat Chloe... it was a good day... pretty typical in my life.  I'll send Flat Chloe back in her envelope.  But, here are the pictures I took of her.  I think Flat Chloe had a pretty fun time with me.  :-)

All the best,

Flat Chloe's Aunt

*I only wish it was real Chloe I was taking around with me instead... :-( *

Sunday 9 May 2010

Politics Can Be Dead Exciting At Times...

Well, lots of things have happened this week...

As many of you probably know, the UK has had a general election this week. After doing a bit of research and also watching the Prime Ministerial debates; (the first of their kind) I had narrowed down my choice between that of either the Liberal Democrats led by Nick Clegg, or the Scottish Nationalist Party - led by Alex Salmond. Both parties seemed to have pretty solid manifestos for me, and lined up with what I believe personally. Also, I'm not really that bothered about Scotland separating. I think that if Scotland wants to separate, then they can - it's economically viable - I mean - we have all this oil up here and stuff. Plus, Scotland survived for hundreds of years before the Union, so what's the big deal if they separate now? Also, Alex Salmond, the leader of the SNP is dead quirky and funny. Check this out...

My opinion on this matter probably sounds pretty naive to a lot of folks out there, but frankly I don't care. Take it or leave it. In the end though, I wound up voting for the Liberal-Democrats. This was mainly because I didn't feel either choice would have been bad, but I just had a feeling at this time that I should vote for the Lib-Dems. In the end, it didn't make a difference in my constituency anyway, because the Labour candidate nabbed it.

So, the result of the election is what is known in these parts as a "hung parliament". There has been much amusement among my Canadian friends with regards to this term... my facebook status the morning of the election said something along the lines of "Well, hung parliament is a good thing..." I had many comments in my inbox about that particular choice of word. However, what a hung parliament means - is that we - the people of the United Kingdom have elected a more balanced parliament. The Conservatives had the most votes of any party, but all of the other parties combined had WAY more votes than the Conservatives. It's very much like the minority government in Canada at the moment. The situation we have is quite interesting really because there are a number of choices that could be made. In the end the man that seems to have all the power is Nick Clegg - the leader of the Liberal Democrat party. Depending on whom he decides to align himself with, this government could swing either way - Conservative or Labour. Here is a more detailed explanation of this hung parliament...

Nick has started by talking to the Conservatives to see what sort of offer they can make that could entice him to allow his party to form a coalition with them. He has made no official decision at this moment. However, there have also been offers from Labour, and the SNP / Plaid Cymru (in Wales) to form an alliance against the conservatives. Nick has all the power in the end, and it's very interesting to watch. He better not screw it up!!!

One principle of the Liberal-Democrat Manifesto is that of Parliamentary Reform... the idea of Proportional Representation has been kicking around in the UK for more than 20 years. PR has been used in many countries around Europe for years and years... here's a video from the 80's with John Cleese in it to explain how it works...

So - yeah - I'm all for PR. I think it's a brilliant idea. Since the results of the election have come out, more and more people are becoming aware that there is something wrong with the current system of voting. Parliamentary reform at this point is inevitable. This is one of the main points that Nick Clegg will be pushing right now in his negotiations. (or better be!) If you believe that parliamentary reform is important for the future of Britain, then I would recommend that you sign this petition... (link)

I have... I hope that the outcome of this whole thing will be a positive one that will reflects the wishes and desires of the British people, as opposed to the wishes and desires of a few greedy politicians.

So yeah - there's my unfashionable political post. As I said, take it or leave it. I'm not much of a debater, so don't even try to start one up with me... I believe what I believe, and I stand by it.

Other than that, not much has happened this week. I was just really glad to have a reasonably restful week after the events of the past few weeks.

Have a good week peeps, and pray for us Britons. Thanks. x


Here's a video of the protests for parliamentary reform from yesterday...

Thursday 6 May 2010

News & Stuff...

I profusely apologize for not blogging the past 2 Sundays... I've been ridiculously busy lately. I had a very special visitor 2 week-ends ago. ;-) Then, I had another visitor from Canada staying for a couple of weeks, and then this past week-end I had a large group of singles from age 25-45 come up to Dundee for a wee conference I had planned. I also had my first University assignment due in this week - which actually was due last week, but I got an extension...

Anyway - well yes I do have news. If you've been following me on Facebook, then you already know this, but well there's a new man in my life.

By a new man in my life - I actually mean - a man - for real. I'm not being funny, I actually have a boyfriend. Yes, I know, I know - it's about time and all of that.

Brief synopsis... (since everyone asks)

We met online about 3 years ago through a mutual friend on and kept in touch rather casually all of that time. Anyway - a couple of months ago, when I went to the temple for the first time in 18 months, we finally met in person. We had lunch in the temple cafeteria - which was our first date... the rest is history. We've had 3 other dates since then - including 2 week-ends back when he came to Dundee to visit me. We seem to hit it off. We have a lot in common, and plenty to talk about when we're together.

His name is Andy, and he works at the temple as an assistant engineer. :-)

He's very kind, thougtful, smart, funny, and witty. Plus, I really really like him.

We're not engaged or anything - so stop jumping to conclusions, and try not to get ahead of yourselves. We're taking it one step at a time. But, umm - watch this space.


p.s. - I'll try to write this Sunday xo

p.p.s. - I voted today in my first UK parliamentary election. I think it's going to be a pretty tight race. I really really hope it doesn't wind up a Tory parliament, but that's me. I had a lot of pressure from all of my friends to vote this way, and vote that way. In the end, I voted according to my conscience - so there you have it. :-) New parliament tomorrow - likely hung.

Sunday 11 April 2010

My Yorkshire Holiday...

I feel well and truly relaxed today... I guess that's a sign of having had a good holiday. I think I was in need of a good holiday. I was all stressed and grouchy, but no longer. Life is good.

Ok, well from my Twitter updates, I'm sure you've gathered that I didn't entirely stick to the diet while on holiday... in fact - I didn't stick to it at all. I had Fish & Chips 3 times while in Yorkshire! 3 times! Don't ask me why - I have no idea really - but I think that F&C are maybe - better in Yorkshire? I know that all of my Scottish friends are going to protest to that comment, but I don't know what it is - it tastes different down there. Also, the claim seems ludicrous considering that according to some or other chippy experts extraordinaire who have had F&C literally all over the country - the BEST F&C in the entire UK are found in Anstruther which is a mere 30 minute drive from where I live - here in Dundee. I mean - even Prince William gives that one his thumbs up. I think - maybe it was the fact that I was on holiday - and you know - everything you eat on holiday is calorie free... or at least that's what you keep telling yourself - though your body says something else entirely when it's all finished. I had F&C, Chocolate of all manner - egg shaped...

My Aunty bought me some Easter candy... because she loves me. :-) <3

Also, I ate - just about anything that came across my path really. Including this lovely Proper Yorkshire Sunday Dinner...

Just like my Mum used to make. :-) Only this one was made by Gary. Thanks Gary. :-) I mean - just LOOK at these delicious Yorkshire Puddings the man made. I was supposed to say that Sara made them, but I cannot tell a lie - it was all Gary - bless him.

So, yesterday and today, I've been eating according to the diet, and it's amazing really how much better I feel when I eat healthy. However, when you're on holiday you can really only eat what you're given, and enjoy yourself. :-) I certainly did enjoy myself. I had visits with family members, and a special friend who came to Leeds to see me... it was just really enjoyable overall. :-)

One really interesting (historical) thing I was able to see was "Temple Newsam" which is a very old estate in Leeds that was mentioned in the Domesday book... Uncle Arthur, Aunty Rosalie and I toured it - it was fascinating. One of it's many claims to fame is that it was the Birthplace of Lord Darnley - who was the husband of Mary - Queen of Scots, and the Father of King James the VI of Scotland, and I of England. It was also once the home of Lord Darcy - who led the Pilgrimage of Grace against Henry VIII and his dissolution of the Yorkshire Abbeys and Monasteries which made Henry a VERY wealthy King.

(that's my Uncle Arthur in the courtyard of Temple Newsam - I tell you at times it was just like my Dad was right there with me)

I also was able to take a day and visit the ancient city of York - which was absolutely fabulous! Katie and I walked along the walls, and saw a bit of the old city. Including this fabulous little street called "The Shambles" - which Steve had told me about, so I really wanted to see it...

It's like walking into Diagon Alley! It's the cutest little street in the world! All of the shops are really quaint, and the buildings seem to be leaning towards each other. Totally cool place! We went into York Minster, but alas - the religious minds of the day seem to think it's ok to charge people 8.POUNDS. just to take a look at the place - so umm, we gave that a miss. I kid you not - £8!!! ... to tour a religious building. Granted, it is a very famous and interesting religious building - but um - most churches let you tour for free - or at the very most a donation. I would have been happy to pay £3 or £4, but - nope York Minster wants £8!!! Ridiculous. So, we went in, took a few pictures, and turned around again. It really is a beautiful building though...

Here's some of the pics we took whilst in York...

(Katie's chic pose on the wall)

(my attempt at looking Chic on the wall comes out looking rather special...)

I feel very well rested, and very blessed to have been able to spend Easter break with my family here in the UK. I think sometimes I get caught up in life, and forget who I am, and where I came from - so this was an opportunity for me to get in touch with my roots a bit... to close - here's some pics of Otley and surrounding countryside to give you a taste of some of Yorkshire's beauty.