Saturday, 22 September 2007

Spin me round, round baby

After two weeks of walking into door frames and being permanently cross-eyed, it looks like my labyrinthitis is on the way out. It all began on Best Mate's 30th, when I felt a bit peculiar and had to go home from work for a small nap. Here I am at her birthday meal, being a bit dizzy (no change there then) behind the menu. Lurking, you might say.

As a brief aside, it was a very entertaining day. Best Mate and I went to House of Fraser at lunchtime, where we purchased her present, Chanel No. 5. I then treated her to a McDonalds, because she is nothing if not a woman of disparate tastes. After work we went to a tapas restaurant called Destino, where we made the usual spectacle of ourselves.

Anyway, back to my ears. Two days later and the spinning had begun in earnest - just when my first week off in 6 months began. Bloody typical.

For those of you who have never suffered this aggravating illness: labyrinthitis is a virus that affects your inner ears and mucks up your balance centres. As a result, your whole body thinks it's in a washing machine and tries to compensate for it by spinning you in the opposite direction. Entertaining? Absolutely not.

It's like that feeling when you're small and spin round and round until you fall over, which is great fun until you take it a bit too far and feel like you're going to vomit on your own feet.

I'm painting a particularly beautiful mental portrait today, aren't I?

Anyway, I'm pleased to announce that the tribulations are finally coming to an end and I no longer sway as if caught in a breeze. I will no longer lurch to the left while walking, confusing my fellow pedestrians. I will not be forced to spend long periods lying very still in silence, an activity that is pure torture for a fidget. I can finally see the television and computer screen again without my eyes scanning across them like a typewriter. I have been able to get to the supermarket and avail myself of the fresh vegetable selection, something I craved like a crack addict during the worst of it. I am free!

So what did I do in celebration of this fact? I played Warcraft, of course.

Thursday, 20 September 2007

Poultry Addendum

Two posts about World of Warcraft is probably two too many, especially in one night, but I had to share with you the joy of my new pet.

I found an easter egg quest where, if you cluck like a chicken, at a chicken, one hundred times, you get to talk to it, feed it and claim it as a pet.

You're asking yourself how I found this easter egg, aren't you? I wouldn't.

I have named her Peck, which Flopsticks thinks is silly. She runs faster than your average cheetah and has a better tracking ability than a bloodhound - never loses me. Three cheers for Peck!

As an aside: a note about the popular brand of sauce, Chicken Tonight (I believe the mental link here is fairly obvious). It can be eaten with duck, turkey, anything you like, and it's in the longlife section so you don't need to rush. I therefore pose the idea that it ought to be called Poultry At Some Point.

Warcraft, and other guilty pleasures

I've been needing a new game to occupy me in the rare moments when I'm not working or being a bother. Second Life has lost its charm in recent months, everyone on there seems to be in a temper. So I'm taking a bit of a break and allowing myself to be seduced by World of Warcraft.

I've always avoided it because I am a tightarse and it makes you pay monthly - I couldn't see how it justified this considering it's no different to Silkroad and they let you play that for no munnies. Turns out that's not true: Silkroad and its brethren are a bit pants compared to the gaming wonderland that is WoW.

Here I am being frankly impressive with some buffering spells in my swanky new mage's robe. I got it by killing some upsettingly realistic spiders and collecting their silk. I don't know quite how I feel about that...

I am not alone in my virtual adventures. Helping me thwack gnolls and bait bears is the lovely Laura, and it's just as well because I get scared when sent out alone and I die every 6 minutes because mages are feeble and only need to be poked with a stick to kill them.

Her boyfriend is fast going off me, mind you, because he's a night elf and has bunny ears, so I call him Floppybonce. As if that's not bad enough, I then called him Flopsticks, which Laura thought was so funny she keeps using it herself. Earlier today, his 3-year-old daughter called him Flopsticks. Oops...

Here are Laura and I posing wilfully in front of a portal I found in the woods. I am a humble level 28 mage, while she is a flashy level 56. I am her bitch.

Laura herself just appeared on yahoo and requested that I tell you about the monocle her character wears. You cannot see it here because she chickened out during the photo session. As she put it:

Laura k: can u mention my monocle?
Laura k: i wish i hadnt had monocle shame

p.s. On a side note, Blogger seems determined to talk to me in German. I can't think why, it's not like I'll reply.

Tuesday, 18 September 2007

Neville the Fox

After making a huge fuss and bother about my phone not letting me download photos to my computer, I discovered this evening that I was, in fact, completely wrong. Poor little mite is more than happy to let me do as I I have.

And here, for your amusement and pleasure, is a picture of Neville, my fox friend. He resides in our garden and is fond of ham, but not of loud noises. He is very pleased to meet you, I'm sure.

Not a word about the fact you can barely see him, it's a scenic shot. And I haven't worked out how to use the zoom properly - give me another few months for that. About the time I upgrade the phone, actually. Fun fun!

Tuesday, 4 September 2007

Office politics

As I sat at my comfortable, personalised desk this morning, sipping a Columbian coffee and nibbling a bit of cake that the office building had provided for us courtesy of Starbucks, I took to musing on the relative merits of the places I currently work.

On the one hand, I work up in Islington in a building that I am convinced used to be part of Holloway Prison (and, indeed, still boasts the barbed wire and high walls), has a central portion that looks like Alcatraz and is in an area where I'm convinced I will be mugged any day now. For no reason at all the temperature is constantly above 30 degrees (16 is my optimum) and there isn't a proper shop within a 10 minute walk.

On top of this, Old Boss has it in his head that freelancers mustn't have their own desks, so you never really know where your bum might land of a morning. There is also no cutlery, to the extent that Kev had to eat his Pot Noodle with a pencil on my first day. He is currently Keeper Of The Fork after we went on a mission to gather plastic implements to share between us.

I'm not sure I'd mind one of these issues on its own, but I've had to buy my own plate and glass and I've nowhere to keep it - and I'm certainly not going to be the loon on the Tube with the crockery.

On the other hand, there's the Richmond office, which is at the bottom of my hill. I need only leave the house 10 minutes before my day begins and I arrive to my own, lovely desk with everything exactly as I left it. We have sparkling water on tap - seriously! - and there's always real coffee and biscuits on offer downstairs. Today we had our freebie breakfast from Starbucks and David assures me that a trolley of donuts is often brought round of a morning.

I wonder if you can guess which place I like going to best? Answers on a postcard to the usual address.

Monday, 3 September 2007

Spider Fortnight

Anyone who knows me also knows that I'm a ridiculous arachnophobe (to clarify, language-wise, I mean that the arachnophobia is ridiculous, not the me). So stupidly arachnophobic that I will throw a tantrum if you come near me with a ball of dust I deem suspicious.

It is for this reason that the first two weeks of September are my least favourite of the whole year. You know those massive behemoth spiders, the ones that make the floor move as they stamp across it and are the size of a small cat? This is the two weeks of the year during which they all decide to go on an excursion.

Why? Because they're male and they want a shag, why else? For all other arachnophobes, here is the information you always wanted, but could never google for fear of the images that might come up:

1) They will only be around for two weeks, and tonight marks the first official sighting - have just had a text from Best Mate to say she caught one doing the hokey cokey at the bottom of the stairs.

2) They don't stay long, so all is not lost if you lose one of the speedy little bastards under the sofa - they're hunting for the ladeez, you see.

3) They don't come up the plughole - if you find them in the sink it's because they're thirsty. But I always leave plugs in and sellotape up the overflow pipe just to be sure. Paranoid? Don't be ridiculous.

4) They do not like lemongrass or peppermint oils. Sprinkle liberally on thresholds to deter at least a percentage of the leggy fuckers.

5) There's no point trying to drown them, they don't have hearts or lungs. Which makes perfect sense to me.

Just two weeks and I can relax. Guh :(

Saturday, 1 September 2007

Every dog has his day...

Today is my first day off in nearly 2 months and what have I chosen to do with it? Sleep and indulge in doggy nonsense, that's what!
Couldn't resist making the above picture to illustrate the possibilities of dogs and their angles. Look at dear Skye, he's really going for it!