Introducing Our New Arrival.

It's about time I talked about my little hush-hush new arrival! I've done my best to keep things under wraps until I knew for sure things were going ahead. It's all organised now, so without further ado, I'm pleased to present him to the Blogosphere for the first time.

Meet our new baby!

His full name is Oscar Winston the First - but you can just call him Oscar.

We first met him a few weeks ago - he was one of five babies, and just had the sweetest face. When we went to visit him, I fell in love and that was that. I had to hold off for a few weeks though, as we had already decided to go away for the long weekend and thought it would be best if he stayed with his mum a little while longer.

(The above photograph is courtesy of Rosie, one of Oscar's first mums.)

I lugged our kitty carry-case to work with me yesterday, and travelled to pick him up - and was sadly unable to also take his wee brother Wizard (the little black dude with white paws) along with me, even though they both shacked up together in the case. Home we went, both of us more than a little terrified at the prospect of squeezing into two tubes & an overland train in peak traffic time. We survived though, and even had people talking to us on the train. There's a first time for everything I guess! This is Oscar checking out his new surroundings at home.

He has settled in so well! He prowled around the place like a tiger, found his favourite spots, jumped around like a nutter and promptly fell asleep on the floor - and then repeated the process several dozen times. At bedtime, he took a little while to calm down, but eventually drifted off to sleep for most of the night. I think he slept better than I did actually, as I kept on checking on him to make sure he was alright. All was well until wee kitty decided that 4am was time to poop, and play. Errrr. Pooping is fine. Playing, we took a raincheck on that one and went back to bed.


Going to work today was insanely hard; I didn't stop talking about him all day, and was constantly wondering what he was up to - but when I arrived home, the flat was totally fine, kitty was totally fine, and he's been stalking me all night since, keeping up constant conversation. Until, that is, he exhausted himself out again and decided to have a siesta before bed. Such a hard life. I loves him.

Wonderful Copenhagen!

I'm officially in love with Copenhagen, it's true. Even though our el-cheapo flight ended up getting us there a little later than anticipated, our first encounter in the Danish city was with a smiling passport official. Did you read that? He was smiling! I don't know about you guys, but customs officials don't smile around here. They mainly grimace.

There wasn't much to do that evening except venture into the city, and look for our hotel. If there ever was a language that I would love to speak, it would be Danish. I have the world's worst pronunciation, it's so bad, it's laughable. Jase did a great job with the hotel, it was amazing. We were on the third floor up there.

It even had a glass lift; mama likey! (And that's saying something, because this mama? Does not likey lifts. Oh no she doesn't!) Thumbs up from me, and check out that water!

Saturday saw us acting as perfect tourists - a whole stack of sightseeing, a whole lot of pictures, and a whole lot of great weather. Not a cloud in the sky.

The city was amazing - so many beautiful buildings, statues, monuments. We saw loads thanks to the bus system that went around the town, walked a fair bit, did a canal tour, and just thoroughly enjoyed ourselves. I'm going to stop talking for a bit and bombard you with photographs, because I am smitten and the city is fabulous.

(And I totally want to live in some of these houses!)

Some of the more famous sights that we went past included the Carlsberg brewery, the Copenhagen Zoo, Fredericksberg Gardens, The Little Mermaid Statue & the Tivoli Gardens amusement park; rides with great city views!

Of course, after two days of such amazing weather (with my sunburned nose as proof!) it was only fair that we had a little greyness. This morning, we woke up to pouring rain - and it didn't stop the entire day. It even followed us back to London, how kind.

Oh . . . and did I mention that today is J's 26th birthday? Happy birthday Jason, and thanks for a flippin' fantastic weekend away! You all need to visit Copenhagen!

Leaving On a Jet Plane.

It's a long weekend - and I'm flying out to Copenhagen in a few short hours. Hoping you guys have a fantastic weekend, wherever you are in the world! Vi ses!

Full Steam Ahead.

It's been nice to have a few days off from the blogging scene. Nice, but completely bizarre. It's become second nature to get in a post before bed, to check my emails at work and well, just to blog. Since my little break, a few things have happened;

  • We celebrated two birthdays, eating out at French restaurants both times.

  • J & I watched an entire season of Grey's Anatomy re-runs.

  • I exercised three times, ate well, and still turned out bigger than the week before.

  • Jason organised a last minute trip away this long weekend - we're going to Denmark! Copenhagen to be precise, which should be great fun.

  • I cleaned. Alot. Including the entire freezer. Not pretty.

  • And as of next week, we are going to have a new edition to our family . . . more on this one later. (I'm so excited, I can't even stand it.)

So there is lots going on over here; what's been happening with you while I've been away for this (whopping) five days? I've missed you guys, you know.

Something I Never Thought I'd Say.

This will be my last daily blog for a while.

I'm a competitive little vegemite and hate giving up on a challenge - but to be honest? Since the day I started this blog in April 2006 (with the exception of my New Zealand holiday last year) I have blogged every single day. Hell, I've technically already completed Blog 365. I have no shame in throwing in the towel on this one.

I value you guys too much to post crap.
I've got loads of things to say but not much energy to post them.
I need to take a wee break.

(Ha! A wee break.)

It's time to take a step back.

Fore, For, Four!

I've been tagged today by the lovely Mrs Higrins, and since I'm trying to keep myself distracted and focused all at once, I'm up for the challenge. Feel free to yoink for yourself, if it tickles your fancy!

4 Things I did 10 years ago (1998):

1. Was in ninth grade of high school.
2. Dyed my (already blonde) hair with bleach, resulting in really light colour for a few months, and then dark, dark roots that are still with me to this day. Stupid self.
3. I began working in my first job; bet you never knew I started out as a Maccas chick!
4. Began dating my ex-boyfriend, a relationship which would last three (long) years.

4 Things I did 5 years ago (2003)

1. Studied at university, and making the decision to take educational psychology electives. (This was the choice that eventually led me into teaching.)
2. Was in the 'early years' of the Jason saga, lots of warm fuzzies involved.
3. Worked at Jeanswest, selling clothing and loving every minute of it. Except my sore feet.
4. Began saving and planning for my January 2004 trip to Europe!

4 Things I did yesterday:

1. Worked a late shift at work, and won a Marks & Spencer gift voucher. 10 quid!
2. Found out that we have been granted approval to house a cat in our apartment.
3. Won an Ebay auction for a pair of purple and white Havaiana thongs/flip flops.
4. Went to bed early, and snored like an elephant.

4 TV shows I love to watch:

1. Grey's Anatomy. I'm sorry, I can't help it. I love it. Sometimes it sucks, but I still love it.
2. The X-Files. Geeky but oh, so fabulous.
3. House. (I'm secretly in love with Hugh Laurie.)
4. Buffy the Vampire Slayer. About to start re-watching all of those again.

4 Things I love to do:

1. Annoy Jason.
2. Read blogs & search for kitties on the web.
3. TV show re-runs.
4. Sleep. Need I say more?

Quality Advertising.

I may not be a fan of buying bottled water, but when this advertisement came on the telly today, I sat tapping my toes and giggling through the whole thing.

(Obviously I'm a nerd. But dude, that song is awesome. And that's totally how I dance.)

A Little Bit of Spam Goes a Long Way.

Something caught my eye on my blog dashboard today when I was logging on:

Akismet has caught 10,014 spam for you since you first installed it.

Over ten thousand spam comments? Damn! I know that's nothing in the grand scheme of bloggers and their amounts of spam, but considering I've not been using the Akismet program for very long, that's pretty scary.

(Imagine if I got paid $1 for every spam comment? I'd be able to buy a pony!)

The spam program has it's downfalls, like how it never fails to eat the comments from certain bloggy friends, despite me going in and de-spamming them. I usually still have to go and rescue them from between the offers for Viagra and Young Russian Brides. But I'll tell you what, you miss it when it's not there. A few weeks ago when I updated my version of Wordpress, I forgot to re-activate the Akismet plugin, and in one day? I must have had about sixty spam comments that I then had to wade through and delete.

I guess the thing that really gets me about spam comments is that they're just so pushy. They don't ask, or offer to pay you for 'advertising' their penis enlarging product. Nope, they just rudely announce themselves on your blog, taking over and making you resort to drastic measures to combat their advances. It actually reminds me a little of those rude people who catch the underground who, despite the obvious fact that you've been waiting longer than they have for the train, shove in front of you into the last tiny bit of room in the carriage.

(Of course, my drastic measures in that kind of situation are to simply launch myself in after them, with a pointy elbow in their rib direction. Oops, sorry! Little crowded in here, innit?)

Ah, the dreaded spam. How has yours been lately?

Lifehouse & London.

Back in 2000, I joined a band message board. I'd heard a song on the radio, fallen in love with it, and went home to google them to find out more information. Turns out they had a message board for the music-lovers. That board was responsible for bringing me to a load of people; some of whom are still around, all these years later.

The first time I met Stefi in person was while I was in Florence in 2004, in the middle of our whirlwind European trip. When she moved to Australia to study, we met up a few times in Sydney, keeping in touch all the while. My jet-setting friend is now in Dublin, so flew down for the weekend. We caught up again today, which was good fun.

We headed out for Thai food; highlights? Coconut rice & Thai pancakes. Green ones.

After that, it was down to Greenwich for fruit smoothies and relaxing in the park.

Followed by some time wandering around Canary Wharf, wander wander wander.

Finishing up at home with a game of good old fashioned Monopoly.

See those hotels? They're all mine. (I totally won, by the way.)

Needing Shoe Advice.

I've come to a sad conclusion lately; when it comes to shoes? I cannot wear heels.

I love them, definitely. They look so gorgeous, and I'm envious of people who can wear them all day long and be comfortable. For work, it's always flats for me. I've tried the heel thing once or twice, but after just standing on the train to begin my commute? I was totally done.

I should add that I am a former shoe-addict. I used to have an entire closet load of pretty shoes, but bit the bullet and sold/gave loads of them away. And whilst wearing heels back home, things were fairly simple. I'd wear them to the car, drive to the restaurant/occassion, hobble around there, and then drive all the way back home. Here in London, it's public transport all the way - and let me tell you, heels are not practical where I live.

I brought one pair of strappy sandal heels across the water with me, because they're my old faithfuls - I wear them to weddings, to dinners, events like that. I've bought a few pairs whilst being over here quite cheaply, but the fact of the matter is, I can't wear them. I walk like a giant, they hurt my feet and I just want to take them off and go barefoot.

I've seen people walk like ducks in heels, and I've seen others walk perfectly. My walk is kind of a cross between a shuffle, wobble and teeter. Add the pained expressions on my face, and I don't look like any of the girls in the shoe catelogues, that's for sure.

I think it's time I invest in some nice summery flats; so I'm requesting some suggestions. I'd love a few pairs that are comfortable enough to maybe wear to work, but also nice enough to wear out to dinners. Ideas?

As the Shoe/Shirt Fits.

After work today, Jase and I met up and headed down south to have dinner with some friends of ours who offered to cook us dinner! Considering it was Thai food and a) I love Thai food, and b) I love board games, and c) I like our friends, it sounded like the perfect evening.

And perfect it was! Nothing like home-made Pad Thai, banoffee pie and fresh fruit, whilst happily bantering over a game of good old fashioned Scrabble. (And in case you were wondering, I totally won.)

Any of my blogging friends who have added me on Facebook will probably know that I am a Scrabulous nut. I love playing a few rounds before work, then during lunch, then just before heading to bed. I've always loved board games, and Mum initially got me onto it, but now everyone is fair game! Lara? Yep, we're playing. Swiss? Yep, we're playing too! Noelle? Possibly the world's best Scrabble player. Enny? She is about to beat me, close game. Stacy? Girl's whipping my arse!

I love the game, even if I do suck sometimes. And that's why I love my Scrabble threadless tee so much. Fits me perfectly, in both senses of the word.

(Pooper should totally have been allowed tonight. Nobody believed me when I claimed it to be a word. Party poopers. Ha! I would've done awesome with that one . . . )

Pants: You Needs Them.

To the ladies of London,

I know you're excited about the warm weather, but really - short shorts as business attire? Teamed with skanky heels and midriff jackets?

I just don't get it.

Even if I lost half my body weight and looked like a twig, you still wouldn't find me wearing butt-shorts to work. I'm fine sticking with my daggy work wardrobe, thankyouverymuch.

As always, there is an appropriate LOLcat for everything;

Spring has Sprung.

As I write this post, I can hear a bird chirping outside of my window. Scratch that, it's actually birds (plural!) chirping outside of my window. CHIRPING!

Yes, Spring has finally arrived in London, with a vengeance.

Last month it was snowing; heavy, bucketloads of snow. Last week I was still in my layered clothing, carrying my trusty jacket with me at all times. This week I'm sweating it out in my long pants and swiftly realising that I am in dire need of some short-sleeved work t-shirts. When I was packing to move over here in December, it was the middle of bloody winter; so cool clothing was the last thing on my mind. Psh, I was moving to England. It's always cold over there!

The last two mornings mark the first time that I've headed off to work without even bothering to take a coat with me. And (gasp!) there has been sunshine. All day long. Not a cloud in the sky. All of a sudden, there are ice creams trucks jingling in the streets, and let's not even mention the roller bladers! Where the heck did they come from?

Believe it or not, coming from Australia, I actually quite like escaping the heat. We have days so hot that you literally feel the skin melting off your body, so moving over here to cooler climates never bothered me. I must say I'm a little sad to be feeling the warmth, but you never know; give it a few days, and it'll no doubt be grey and miserable all over again.

I'm doing my bit to get out and enjoy the weather though. As soon as Jase walks in the door, I'm stealing him and we're going for a walk outside - it's still light, there's a nice cool breeze, and I just can't be bothered walking alone on my treadmill.

Hopefully the birds will have shut up by the time we get home. Noisy little buggers.

All Or Nothing.

I've recently discovered that I'm an 'all or nothing' kind of person. I'm either completely one thing, or I'm completely something else. The 'somewhere in between' sentiments have disappeared, and now I seem to be much quicker at jumping to conclusions and deciding what I am. Let me give you some examples:

I'm really, really cold.
I'm so hot, that I'm sweating up a storm.

I can be optimistic and really look forward to things, even months or years away.
I can be disappointed easily, and start wallowing in the negatives all too easily.

I'm motivated, dedicated, know what I want and know what I have to do. And do it.
I'm not in the mood. And probably won't be tomorrow. Or this whole week. Sorry.

I'm happy and content.
I'm mopey and whingy. (You all knew that was coming, yes?)

I don't know which is worse; being 'all or nothing' or being 'somewhere in between'. Each has its downfall. The extremes are, well, extreme - and I never did cope well with being in the middle, seemingly goal-less and floating along without any certainty.

I guess we'll see what tomorrow brings.

Which category do you fall into today?

Blogging Ramblings.

Today's UK bank holiday was spent utterly vegging out - so much so, that not only did I finish off the last two episodes of Roswell I've been meaning to watch, but also managed to get through the complete first season of Grey's Anatomy. (Don't hate me, Janet. I can't help myself.)

I've been thinking a lot about my blog lately, and about what I want to do with it. I think every blog has its highs and its lows, and at the moment, I'm feeling as though mine is in a bit of a low. I don't think it's because of the daily blogging, because I was doing Blog 365 way before this year. Take a quick peek at my archives down the side of my blog; you'll notice that ever since I started this blog over two years ago, I've never missed a days blogging. (With the exception of my January 2007 trip to New Zealand.) No, it's not the daily blogging.

I'd hate to think it's my writing that has changed. I've never been (and will never be) one of those writers who makes people stop, think and connect with. I'm just a rambling blogger, who loves a challenge and loves sharing the ins and outs of what is happening around me with friends, family & total strangers. No, it's not the writing.

Then what is it? What's changed about this blog, what is it that has me wondering? Blogging has been such a big part of my life for the past few years, an outlet that has led me to so many people who I would have never met otherwise, and I'm so grateful for that. I've never been one to blog for comments, but even those have started to change. What does that mean?

Regardless of the over-analysing, I know I'll persevere and keep at it. This is just something that I do, whether or not people understand the reasons behind it. It's an outlet, it's a hobby, it's a journal, and (beware of the cheese factor) it makes me happy. Maybe one day I'll grow tired of the daily grind, but I don't think it'll be this year. I'm much too competitive to give up. And I would miss you guys way too much!

I think too much television has warped my mind, because this is possibly the weirdest, most long-winded post in the history of man kind. Sorry!

Inappropriate Kitty.

Because a day of spring cleaning has left me pooped . . .

Purple teddy looks awfully content. And blue teddy just wants in on the photo.

Saturday in Bullet Points.

  • Our train link is down for the entire weekend (again!) leaving us with no other option but to walk. Luckily Jason did the shopping yesterday, because otherwise we would have had to carry it with us for the 25 minute walk to Canary Wharf.

  • Speaking of that walk, I did it three times today. Once in heels! My feet hate me.

  • Something is making my face break out into red, patchy blotches again, with some non-pimply lumps. I wish I knew what it was, because I look like a freak.

  • My car back home was finally sold - meaning I can actually afford to shop in the USA. (Hoorah! Watch out bargain outlets, here I come!)

  • I found the most awesome smelling underarm deoderant spray, and it makes me want to randomly sniff my pits. And then make Jason smell them too.

  • We added a mixing bowl and a wooden spoon to our teeny tiny stash of kitchen utensils, which has made me tremendously happy.

  • What doesn't make me happy? I forgot to do my own bloggiversary post! I'll save it for a rainy day, which according to the weather forecast will be tomorrow.

  • Oh, but I finally saw Juno! And cried like a baby, because that's just how I roll.

  • We went to a really flashy restaurant tonight and paid way too much money for dinner. Beautiful location though, with river and city views. Gorgeous.

  • It's my daddy's birthday today. (Well, it was technically yesterday if you look at it in Australian time.) Happy birthday, my one-finger-typing father!

Just a Little Blonde.

You know it's Friday when . . .

You stand at the door of your apartment block, wondering why your automatic swipe card isn't opening the main door for a good five minutes, muttering under your breath all the while. And then you look down and notice that you are swiping the reader with your train ticket . . . and not your keys.

It's a long weekend here in London, and I'm thrilled. I am feeling quite ready for some down time, maybe some nice city strolls, and catching up on some book reading.

Fridays. Love them.

On Being a Good Samaritan.

[Today's blog continued from yesterday - go here to catch up!]

Okay, so back to the surprise in the wallet . . . psh, you guys are creative. No, it wasn't birth control pills. Or condoms. Or essence of bat. (Ha!) I didn't mean to leave you hanging but, well, actually, yes I did. I wanted to see what else you come come up with!

In fact, most of you got it. There it was, nestled in with the store reciepts and 5 pound note, an empty pack of pills. There it was: Viagra! The very product that advertising robots spam my blog with on a daily basis. I bet that poor guy didn't expect a random stranger to be finding out his little secret, eh?

I carried the wallet with me for the day, and that afternoon took it to our flat complex porter. He went through the occupancy list, and assured me it would stay in his lost property drawer until the guy came back to claim it. I wonder if the porter will have a bit of a sticky-beak and peep around in there too?

(On the plus side, at least I didn't have to be the one handing back the guy's wallet, because I seriously don't think I could've looked him in the eyes.)

So there you have it, my good deed for the day. I do hope the guy finds it, because the thought of losing my own purse makes me very, very sad. And I don't even have anything as interesting as Viagra in mine. I just think it's a pretty purse.

Have you got anything questionable in your wallet?

Not Exactly What I Was Intending To Find.

This morning, whilst dodging the rain and heading towards my rail station, a man walking next to me suddenly broken into a sprint as he realised his train was coming. As he jogged towards the station and up the stairs, his wallet flung out of his pocket and landed on the ground in front of me - without him noticing.

Of course I picked it up, and took off after him up the stairs, bellowing at him all the while. Unfortunately by the time I got to the platform, the doors of the train had literally just closed, so I stood at the doors waving the wallet around and hoping the guy would notice. I waited on the platform for a while, thinking that if he had seen it, he might have gotten off at the next stop and then returned back to get it, but no luck. I was left standing on the platform with a stranger's wallet in my hand!

Needless to say, I felt very awkward heading off to work as usual with somebody else's belongings. I didn't want to look in it at that point, because I would've hated someone on the station thinking that I was clearing out the poor man's wallet. I didn't want to put it in my bag, because again, that would've totally looked like I was claiming it for my own. Instead I waited around, and eventually started heading towards my work, awkwardly clasping it in my grasp for most of my journey.

I finally opened it up at my desk, to see if there was a phone number or address in there. Nope. Nothing except a few credit cards, an Oyster card/train ticket (gasp!) and a few pounds. There were also a few receipts from our local grocery store; meaning that yes, he must live in our block of flats, which would make him easier to find. Noticing what I was doing, my colleague asked if there was anything interesting in there. 'Nope' says I. 'Nothing at all!' At the same time, I opened a flap of the wallet and noticed a pill packet with four empty spots, and we both looked on, shocked.

[To be continued . . . ]

Leave your guesses in the comments as to what was lurking inside.

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