Call me Princess Squidfeatures

Still haunted by fantastic dreams and allusions I find myself faced by the undeniable reality that my face on Skype via front facing camera is something horrific. I really look like some kind of bizarre sea creature / goblin hybrid yet my nephew immediately recognises me. How dreadful. I’d like to be able to blame this on dysmorphia but I actually do genuinely think there is something of the squiddish hobgoblin in my features.
Perhaps the problem is that someone I barely know told me that I looked beautiful a few days ago, which was overgenerous of them, and although nice, it made me realise how seldom I get such comments on this, most monstrous visage. I see only a collection of imperfections. A quite extensive collection at that.

Sorry folks it’s one of those many days where neither mirror nor camera is my ally. I have been taking my meds so I’m not quite sure what the deal is this time, but not being able to exercise for a week and wearing no makeup for 3 days may have something to do with it, in conjunction with extensive boredom and time for wallowing in silent self-discourse, or maybe it’s because I’m reading Wuthering Heights. I only hope that this bout of bodily and facial dissatisfaction make way for more important and constructive things. For the record, that’s pretty much EVERYTHING else.

Go tell someone that you love how beautiful they are.

“and in the doorway they stay
and laugh as violins fill with water
screams from the bluebells
can’t make them go away”

The dissolution of dreams


Those pesky dreams. They will ruin me.
I’m talking about those euphoric dreams where your hair stays shiny and volumous despite dancing until 5AM, where there is no anxiety, when you are confident and know you look great. Where everything you do or say is considered endearing, when someone is enraptured by your beauty and intelligence and a tall handsome and charming stranger sweeps you off your feet.

Instead I wake up drooling a bit on the pillow with knots in my hair, sleep in my eyes and knowing I looked like a frumpy hobo with a sniffly cold.

Damn you Disney films! I’m no-one’s princess, you should know that by now.

“and i’m so sad
like a good book
I can’t put this day back
It’s a sorta fairytale
with you”

Infectious celebrations


I think religion might be something that respiratory viruses are responsible for. I know, I know, just follow this track for a couple of lines. Viruses need hosts to replicate.  They rely on infection of new hosts to allow mutations and further replication. What better way to ensure good transfer than by getting crowds of people to regularly box themselves in a room together? Singing and praying and breathing all over each other. Even better….how about getting people who live far apart to meet up and hug and spend lots of time together at a time of year when such viruses are rife, like, say, christmas time?

Smart move influenza, and viruses rhino-, corino-, picorna- and adeno-. I applaud your success and wonder how it managed to choreograph such a huge annual exchange of lurgeys. Presumably, thousands of years ago, parts of the viruses started to integrate in our genomes. Did you know that 8% of your genome is actually of viral origin? We assume this is just ‘junk’ DNA but what if it isn’t? Huh? I’m sure you know about that ant infecting fungus  Ophiocordyceps camponotirufipedis, that takes over the mind of the ant and makes it go back to the nest so the fungus can find new hosts!

Just think about that when your sniffly great aunt plants a kiss on your cheek.

BTW of course I’ve been sick for five days over Xmas and am fed up.

I should point out that someone smarter than I hypothesised that maybe these things I am trying to blame on super smart viruses may actually be a human response in order to boost the immunity of our nearest and dearest…I don’t buy that, or at least, I don’t appreciate it!

“I aim to bug you on your vacancy
Never complicate but you talk it cheap
You sense but you don’t know
Too lame to catch a cold”

Scenes and scribbles to herald the start of yule

What a sunset. I hope Odin had a jolly good hunt after sunset. We’ll only know when we confirm that the days are getting longer again. I wonder can anyone tell me what Odin/Woden on his eight-legged horse (with his buddies) actually hunt at this time of year. Are we talking animals? People? Spirits? I guess it’s not general solstace knowledge because anyone who might chance to meet him on such a night, will certainly be in no fit state to go writing a book about it.

Happy Yuletide my Pagan friends.
Don’t think you are pagan? Look to your traditions and look to your ancestors.

One thing you probably don’t know about me is that I got in trouble at school for refusing to sing a Christmas song, because I hated it.
I still hate it.
Whilst perambulating around the local supermarket I was exposed to the most offensive and quite frankly nauseating American kid singing version I have ever heard, and to my horror, there was nowhere to hide. Complete with faux sincerity and attempted virtuosity.
I speak, of course, of the little drummer boy and his incessant purupapumpumming. By far the worst thing about this festive season. It would appear that I am not the only one, which is both disappointing and reassuring because a) I’m not unique in this hatred and b) there are others who share the sentiment, rational or otherwise.

Equally important seasonal equine information comes in the miasmic shape of experience shared. You see, yesterday it was windy. In fact, the wind was gusting like an angry flock of herons (pretty sure they don’t actually flock, those wiley theives). The horses were pissed off at being dragged away from their sheltered field into the wide open countryside and stripped of any comfy snug rugs, and coerced without so much as a soggy carrot into suiting up and carrying some extra kilos.
Now between my riding partner and I we had a sore back and a saddle sore, so we figured a nice gentle mooch around then pootling home, but the hairy beasties had other ideas. We had some nice canters, figured we’d warn them out then tried our luck down a track partially blocked by a large yellow jcb horse-eating monster. Mel just stood staring at it, so I figured my old lad wouldn’t blink at it, so we went in front. Oh how wrong I was. Within seconds we were facing the wrong way, primed to bolt. So, dutifully my friend got off her mare and led her through the gap between the hedge and the static and silent metal monstrosity. Buster wasn’t brave enough to wait behind, so he danced sideways past it, threatening to wipe out my friend, and generally behaving like a silly billy with the wind in his tail. We made it out the other side, jogging along, still keeping one eye on thay creepy industrial horror just in case it pounced. I told him he was brave even though he was a total wimp. So the lessons here are: horses, no matter how old or well-trained, are never bombproof, and if you want to test the bombproofedness of your steed, then maybe wait for the winds to drop first. Or make sure your bum is superglued in place.

“The clouds will part and the sky cracks open
and god himself will reach his fucking arm through
just to push you down
just to hold you down”

living freestyle – skirting around social norms

I wonder if it is very telling that I have no problem answering the door to the postman in my dressing gown. I wonder if I should be ashamed of still being in my PJ’s at 11:30 AM and making the poor guy traipse up the stairs to get my scribbled signature.

something very weird happened this week. On two separate occasions I chose of my own free will, to use the central cubicle in the works toilets. You know how I normally feel about this kind of behavior (the central cubicle being by far inferior and plagued with many potential pitfalls). On at least one occasion it was because someone had decided to kindly leave the bog brush in the bowl of the premium cubicle (right-hand side) ….which makes you wonder what it was hiding…and so i probably panicked, but why didn’t I go to the left hand side one to get as far away as possible from the offending brush catastrophe? This thought will probably haunt me all holiday.

I blame it on that trip to the pub. That’s right folks. I actually got my antisocial ass down to the pub for a drink with colleagues and was, to all intents and purposes, sociable. I sat next to someone i don’t know all that well and always assumed he plucked his eyebrow to look ‘cool’ but discovered actually it was the result of an argument with a climbing frame as a 3-year old! This and the fact that I got to watch him sweat out half of his body weight as he ate some pizza covered in naga chilli sauce mean that I like the guy much more despite the fact that he and his girlfriend got into a heated debate across the table from one another! Not only did I fail to come out with something unacceptably weird and offensive, to strangers / significant others, but I also didn’t sit in silence, was neither sober nor drunk – and by these signs I declare the evening a resounding success. Huzzah. Take THAT social anxiety!

Other adventures this week have involved locking myself in the bathroom by deft use of a bedsheet and manufacturing a bucket full of yeast and bleach and leaving it for someone else to clear up. I’m not even joking. The darned bedsheet was over the bathroom door, so it was stuck in the lock and I couldn’t open the door. SO was listening to his ipod so I was stuck knocking on the door getting increasingly claustrophobic, and forgetting which way I was even meant to be turning the lock to open it. At least I amused SO when he eventually found me! I owe someone some choccies for sorting out that yeasty bleachy soup because, quite frankly, my boss would have killed me if I left it to dry out for 2 weeks…

I had a dream that I was singing k’s choice songs. I have a sneaking suspicion that I might have ACTUALLY been singing. well at least the neighbours might think i got up at decent hour! ha! Now that reminds me, I need to do those neighbour xmas cards – but it so awkward , I’m still not sure what people’s names are and I’m pretty sure I sent a card to the Ahmed family (next door said that was their name) when their name  may not be Ahmed and I look like big fat racist. If only I could file the cards from previous years like other people do, so I know who to write them to…not to mention that I sent a bolus of cards the other day and am not unsure who I actually sent them to…

receiving a card from me for any occasion is a bit of a lottery – the conditions have to be correct for my brain to remember at the important times – like when in a card shop, when I have a pen, when I pack my bag AND when I have a posting opportunity. I think that some superhuman people do this with no problem. Perhaps they have some magical device to prod their brain into remembering. I’d need a damned electric shock every time I procrastinate until I actually get the job done.

Like now.

I need to collect xmas giftage from the city but here I am bloggin away about horse shit and watching the sky start to get dusky.

“All of this combined with me
Is very wicked chemistry”

Festive forelocks

I often get asked, “how can i capture a photo of my pet animal looking super pissed off”

And just this once I’ll let you in on the trick. What you do is, you dress them in something unashamedly ridiculous but cute


Aww mum, it’s soooo embarrassing, do you have to take photos? May the gods of carrots help us all if this gets leaked onto Facebook.

Sorry buddy, it’s just too damned cute. Call it animal abuse if you must but i’d like to point out that he got a mint afterwards and his ears were toasty and warm!

In the words of deerhoof:

“As a robot, as a robot, as a robot, as a robot,
As a robot, as a robot, as a robot, as a robot.

As a robot on the dance floor, a robot on the dance floor
A robot on the dance floor, a robot on the dance floor.”

Proof, as if we needed it, that lyrics without music, can be senseless.

Sometimes sticking to the rules kills a little bit of my soul (aka your rules suck but please don’t sack me)

I’ve got to chill out.
Yesterday I was told quite reasonably that we need, as a lab, to adhere more closely with health and safety legislation and unit policy.
So, rather than nodding and giving the command to the students, I did what I thought was the only thing I could. Argue like hell about why it was OK for us to not adhere to this one blanket rule because, quite frankly, there are circumstances where it is just silly. I took it as a personal affront that I wasn’t trusted to use my own discretion as to when the rule must be applied. I should have stopped there and calmed down, but….I didn’t, I just ranted on about ridiculous hypothetical situations and was all round being a childish smartass (at the time of course I was thinking how I’d make a damned fine barrister) but now I’ve slept on it, I realise I’m going to have to apologise, because as SO pointed out, the guy is just trying to do his job and I’m being a petulant child about it, giving a poor example for the students. I don’t know, maybe I’m a secret anarchist shackled under all this bureaucratic regime, waiting in vain for these opportunities to try and buck the system. I guess I was just defending our little tribe against the implied accusation that we don’t work safely, and of course no sooner do I leave the health and safety officers office, but I catch a student of ours failing to adhere to this very rule in a situation where he REALLY should. How. Embarrassing.


“So you start with your powertrip
You think I’ve lost my mind
But you might be the one who’s lost my mind”

Anger is rising

Today has left me feeling all kinds of annoyed. Firstly, the morning came too soon again. It’s been happening more and more. You know, someone stealing those precious dreamy hours away from me. It’s some kind of elaborate scheme so someone else can siphon off hours for their own pleasure, only I’m just too dumb to catch them in the act. One day I’ll catch them and then I’ll be able to sleep 12 hours a day AND do my job.

I’ve vowed never to return to that bike shop. I’ve been going to this shop religiously since I bought my bike there a few years ago. They were always super helpful, did little jobs with no charge and didn’t lie about how much things were going to cost. I trusted them. The staff have changed and maybe the management too.
Not only was I royally shafted (for the second time), but I was insulted again….when I went to collect I was asked IF I knew what kind of bike it is. Firstly, they should damned well know from my name which bike it is and secondly, clearly as I’ve got two x chromosomes I am supposed to shrug my shoulders or giggle and say a pink one with a wicker basket. Unimpressed face ensued, and I was prompted as to whether I knew the make…the delay was not because I didn’t know, I was angry…its a women’s Scott sports hybrid bike. I almost told him the model and frame size but he wouldn’t have got my point.
I’m actually unhappy with BOTH of the brakes, I do not think that they have been set up properly and I will have to fix them myself, as I should have done in the first place. As for the last visit there where they messed up my lock while fixing a pannier rack and I had to fix it myself because the boy working there was trying to permanently fix the lock to the bike….and I was charged labour for that! Can you imagine! And the kid just looked at me like, oh yeah I’ve just spent loads of time watching you fix that up and time is money. The rack was overpriced anyway. Grrr. Never again.

Ok that’s enough venting of anger. There is more, but I can’t write about it so I’ll just bend someone’s ear in 3D.


“What if all the world you used to know
Is an elaborate dream?”

Oh take me with you

Oh woeful woe is me. What cruel fate must plunge me into so dreary and unrelenting a day! I awoke to the twin sensations of a belly full of eels, and a skull full of angry fighting pufferfish. I knew right then that I was set for a good’un.

I was meant to read a student’s report this weekend. I forgot. At 8:30am when I went to my work bag, there it sat, all pristine and unencumbered with strings of red ink. A great sigh ensued, and maybe a little groan of despondency. I cycled to the bike shop who proceeded to tell me not only that the job would cost 3 x what I expected, but also that women never use the back brake. Oh really? And just as I took a run up to get on my super high feminist horse, I realised that in my case, yes that is probably true, so I merely raised a single eyebrow, evoking no response from the bike fixer upper. The nice guy who used to do my bike fixing left apparently, so not only would I be ripped off and belittled, I would also have to either leave work around 4pm or get my damned bike tomorrow morning. That other mechanic used to stay until 6:30pm for me to collect. I don’t much like change.

And so onto the nauseo-bus wenteth I, complete with reading material. The reading sadly extended beyond the journey, into the lab and infringed most horribly on my toast and marmite break. I did a lot of sighing and exclaiming. It was deserved.

One of my colleagues ran the wrong samples for me, so I have a less than perfect dataset. Gah! I colour coded the damned tubes and specified what colour needed analysis….In his defense, I  think he might have an aversion to yellow and I certainly don’t blame him for that. Thing is, I remember seeing him with the blue ones and I never clicked that they were the backups. Doh!

I’ve got the next draft of that student’s report to read again (well I couldn’t make myself read the whole thing this morning) and I just want to sleep but I haven’t yet mastered scrawling in red ink while unconscious, but if I do, you’ll be the first to know.

The march is over
The great destroyer’