Bowery Mural

Five things #29 and #30

Saturday, 28 July 2012

okay okay okay, i missed last weeks Five Things on a Friday post. Gah!
I'll add en extra few to this one, don't worry. Maybe.

1) THE OLYMPICS!!! I cannot help but be swallowed up by the while fever that has taken over form the moaning. Wow, the country has embraced it, for the most part i think. Day one and no medals for Team GB yet, but the games are still young.

2) THE OLYMPIC OPENING CEREMONY. I was soooooo excited and looking forward to this event all week. And what an event it was! Apparently 27 million people watched on TV in the UK and what a spectacular spectacular it was, from Danny Boyle no less. I loved the set up, a rolling green land, prospering with crops, animals, kids doing a maypole, a cricket match, a concert on a tor, a giant tree and even rain clouds. The moment it all started and then the anthems from the various regions that make up GB, that was the first teary moment. We then moved onto 'pandemonium' and fantastical extravaganza of steel workers, strikers, suffragettes, industrialists and high above the arena were 4 orange lit rings, the fifth being made right there in the make shift foundry. It rose and they all joined together over the towering reeking chimney stacks. It was a wonderfully dark cityscape. We then moved on to a tribute to the NHS, fairytales, JK Rowling reading Peter Pan, Mr Bean! But one of the highlights has to have been the moment James Bond turned up at the palace, yes, Buckingham Palace and brought the Queen to the ceremony on a helicopter and a sky dive! Well it wasn't her sky diving but fair play to the Queen for her sense of humour and rolling with the sketch. Later the athletes came in and the loudest cheer was obviously for Team GB, last ones to appear being hosts and all. So blooming exciting. Sir Chris Hoy held the lag aloft with such pride. It really was inspiring the whole shabang. Let's gloss over McCartney being rolled out again shall we. Throughout it all was a soundtrack of British music and film from the decades. Awesome. It really was a triumph! Bravo, bravo.

3) The Dark Knight Rises. So i relayed my thoughts in another post - without any spoilers i add. but I had to include it here, because it was a good thing of my five...or six...or seven.

4) the family returned from their holiday safe and sound. It was nice having the house to myself for a whole 12 days but seriously I was beginning to miss them and get a bit lonely in the house by myself. I don't think i could live entirely on my own. No way.

5) i had the offer of a sounding board via emails with someone this week. Someone so generous with their time and a person whose friendship is precious. Anyway, it's amazing what clarity it can bring to talk things over, say it out loud (or in print) and see it for what it is. I saw the light a wee bit and it has helped me clear my thoughts about something that's probably hung around for  a few months longer than it should have. Thank you, friend.

6) okay, can't think of any more. i'll end.

Angela x


The Olympics Eve and Team GB

Thursday, 26 July 2012

As I sit here and type I cannot believe we are on the eve of the Olympics. London 2012. Wow. I am really excited to see the opening ceremony. There are so many different sports i love to watch. Here are a few... the cycling (of course), swimming, rowing, sailing, tennis and the athletics. I'm excited to see if Sir Chris Hoy can get any more golds. I want to see Mark Cavendish win the road race, being led out by Brad Wiggins and aided by David Millar. I want to see if Usain Bolt is still unbeatable, in the Olympics. I'd like to see Ben Ainslie win again. For some reason the rowing always gets me emotional. I think it's because for so long we were there cheering for Sir Steve Redgrave to cross that line again for another gold. I still remember that Friday night we sat up late watching the final of the men's coxless fours rowing and cheering them on to victory. What a night! I am beyond awed and simply cannot wait to see Oscar Pistorious race in the 400m and 400m relay races. What an athlete. Nothing stops him does it.  And i so hope that Paula Radcliffe finally finishes a marathon in the Olympics.

I know some people aren't that fussed by the Olympics. I move sport and therefore always watch them but i think it's so exciting that they're finally here. I can remember that day when it was announced that London had won. Times flies.

Good Luck all on Team GB.

Here's a few pictures from a trip to Glasgow the other day. See! we are excited too :)

Angela x


Spin class - what goes on

Tuesday, 24 July 2012

So what goes on at a spin bike class? i hear you say. Actually, I don't hear you say that but I'm going to tell you anyway. Because there are a few things that goes through my mind when I'm there.

First of all, spin bike classes take place at my local sports centre. There's a room set up with about 40 static bikes. These are bikes that have no wheels and are stationary. They have 'gears' on them which is basically resistance. The higher the resistance the harder you are working, depending on the speed you are going of course. There's an instructor and very loud music. Most of it's pretty decent and is fab loud. In our classes they always put the lights out but there are some coloured lights the trove with the music so that's ok, plus light from out in the atrium shines in too. So it's not completely dark.

Most of the classes I go to are called Velocity classes. Apparently some guy has trademarked the word 'spin class' and no one else can use it. Some gyms call them vibe cycle classes too. Velocity classes can vary depending on who's teaching it. My Monday class is by Claire and has a range of fast and slow paced tracks. She has kinda chilled out Ibiza type music. She's really motivating and i do like her classes.

On a Wednesday night I do two classes back to back. It's not as bad as it sounds and you feel so great afterwards. First class is Velocity with Julie - again more fast and slow paced tracks. Julie is a fantastic instructor. She's really smiley and has a fun personality. This helps towards the end of a class. I always find this one flys by. Second class is RPM Biking with Tim. Now, RPM Biking is from the Les Mills range of classes. These are classes which have set routines that change every 10 weeks or so. But more or less every class is the same, including the same music, which can get a bit tedious if I'm honest. Hence the reason i only go to one of those per week. But Tim's class is good. Plenty of fast paced tracks in here. Fast and push it hard i.e. up your gears as high as you can put them. It's a killer. Fantastic feeling afterwards though.

My favourite class is my Friday night hour long velocity class with Ross. A nice guy whose class is more slow paced but higher gears. It's over a year since i started going to this class and he's changed it up and around at a steady pace. We're now doing long slow and heavy hill climbs. In my head we're heading up the Col du Tourmalet! It's really good. By the end I'm totally dripping with sweat, as i am with all of these classes. I know, what a picture to paint eh.

So that's a little bit of an explanation about what happens at spin bike classes. You should try one. It's not for everyone by any means but for me it's a way for me to keep fit without aggravating my knees. Long time regular readers will know that my knees ache when i run, so cycling is better, for me.

Whilst I've been on holiday I've been going to daytime classes which are less busy. Friday night Ross has been doing these classes, which for me is great. Not one of the classes have been exactly the same, he changes it about every day. Today was a killer. Longer higher up through hills we went. Fab.

I actually love the classes. Granted, there are days when i so cannot be bothered going but once I'm actually there and have completed then, i feel great.

I go to The Peak in Stirling. Classes are £5 on a drop in basis but i pay monthly membership so can attend as many as i like, as well as having access to the gym and swimming pool. Pop along to your local sports centre and try one out.

Angela x



Monday, 23 July 2012

The Dark Knight Rises. Wowsers, I loved it. As usual there'll be no spoilers here.

The opening weekend has been a little bit marred by a lone gunman entering a cinema in Colorado and mindlessly shooting people. Dick. Ban guns. All guns. You don't need those sorts of guns to protect yourself. End of.

Anyway, back to the main event. I saw TDKR at the IMAX. I had a great seat two rows from the back. I imagine a front row seat of the IMAX could be sore on your neck and or your eyes.

It starts with a stunning scene filmed high above the Highlands. Inverness area to be precise. No visual effects here, all performed by real stuntmen. Spectacular. That's as far as this post will go with the story. I'll not spoil it. 

Bale was his usual cool self. His Batman is deep, lonely, wanting, noble, a fighter, a force for good, just one really good Batman. To me anyways. I haven't really seen other ones. I was never into that other set of films with Michael Keaton et al.

It's hard to describe scenes without giving too much away, so i won't. I was surprised by how much I liked Ann Hathaway's cat burglar woman Selena Kyle. Albert (Sir Michael Caine) looks older and it fitted well with the story, since we are now 8 years on from The Dark Knight. Master Wayne is a recluse. His body and mind battered, bruised and scarred by his previous exploits. Commissioner Gordon is hiding a few secrets too all the while still seeking out The Batman. Enter the new baddie, Bane. Bane (as you'll all have seen no doubt) wears a mask. A mask that hides most of his face and gives him this robotic-type voice, but it's all in Bane's eyes... He's a formidable enemy. We have a young buck on the block called Blake. What a mouthful that was, and a pure accident! Yes, Blake. Joseph Gordon-Levitt (from Inception and 10 Things I Hate About You and 50/50 and 500 Days of Summer) to be exact. I've always loved him in movies. He outwardly appears young both as himself and as Blake, but as Blake he grew and his story is a nice addition to. 

In TDKR, Nolan has given us endings to stories. He's tided up loose ends (cliche alert). There are some stunning visuals and the pace quickens up towards a climax. It crept up on me mind you and i was sat there at one point thinking oh my god, this is too tense! heart beating ten to the dozen.

In short I loved it and am so glad I went to see the previous two films last week on the big screen. I'm going to go back for a second viewing, so good it was. I hope that you're familiar with the previous two films and have seen them recently before you see this. It'll make it all the more special.

Go see.
Angela x


NOTD - Essie Fiji

Sunday, 22 July 2012

It's taken me a while to post on Essie Fiji. I bought it about a month ago at the same time as Bahama Mama.

Essie Fiji is a pale pale pink. It's opaque in 2 coats but if like me you have ridged nails then you're probably going to need 3 coats if you like that perfected look. As ever 2 coats is my norm.

My nails have been a bit of a state ever since i got a shellac manicure done back in February. My thumbs and index fingers on both hands are badly ridged and no amount of buffing will ever get rid of it. Having run out of OPI Nail Envy i reordered a new bottle and set about my nails with it. I've been using it for a couple of weeks now and it has helped the splitting that was happening on my right hand. I don't know if it's because of that too, but my nails seem to be growing at an alarming pace. That's sounds a bit dramatic eh. What i mean is that I need to cut and file them every week to keep them to the length i like. Actually, they're a bit longer than my new ideal just now.

Back to Fiji. For me this is the perfect pale pink, almost white tipped like colour. It's not sheer enough for a french manicure but this is a colour i like to wear when I'm fed up with brights. Although i do change my colour every few days so no doubt by tomorrow i'll be wearing something else.
excuse the little dent in the middle finger
I bought this from Boots for £7.99. It comes with the wider brush which i've said before i much prefer. I think Rimmel do the wide brushes and it makes application easier. I suspect if this had the way too thin Essie brush of old i'd have much less pleasure applying it. First coat is just laying down the colour for me. I leave it and then apply a second coat. As usual i never do a third coat because i really don't have time to sit and wait on it. And no, i don't have fast drying top coats either.

nice pale pink

The colour was easy to apply, with the wide brush. I like the opacity of two coats but i can still see the ridges on thumbs and index finger on one hand. Two coats have lasted me about 3 days and that's with me washing wall tiles and blinds with cleaning agents, dipping my hands in and out of water, washing dishes, washing my hair and showering.

Ridges on show, but nice colour
If I could sum this colour up it would be slightly lighter than the pink marshmallows that i love to buy from Tesco.

If you're after that perfect pale opaque creamy pink and can buy the wider brush bottle from Boots, then this is the colour for you. I really really like it.

Angela x


Revisiting Batman as the Dark Knight Rises

Wednesday, 18 July 2012

Last night I headed off to the cinema to see the Batman double showing before this weeks release of the Dark Knight Rises. Of which I am way too excited to see. I managed to get a single seat in the back row. It was near the edge so was pleased that no one's big head may disturb my view. I sat in my seat and the screen started to fill up. A few people came and sat in my row and then a group of about 5 came along and were all friends. Turns out they'd booked tickets online at different times and i was stuck bang in the middle of their little group. Of course we swapped seats which suited me even more as it was back row as well as being on the aisle so there would be no instructed view.

The screen popped into life a little past 6pm and played some trailers of movies. Total Recall with Colin Farrell!?! It looked kinda like The Matrix to me.

Anyway, The Dark Knight Rises trailer came on and everyone went silent. Then there was applause afterwards. I always think applause in the cinema is a bit weird. Awkward even. How do you feel about it?

People were still coming in and the films were about to begin. I couldn't wait and was so glad I hadn't watched any of them for a long time. Batman Begins began...

There were things i'd forgotten. There were scenes where I noticed little details I probably missed on my grainy portable tv when I first watched the dvd. I'm sure you all know the story so far, about Bruce Wayne and how he becomes Batman. If you don't then give it a watch.

What I appreciated more on this showing was the scale, the detail, and of course you can't escape the great relationship that Alfred and Master Bruce have. I also really like Katie Holmes in the movie. I thought it was a tad sad that she wasn't on board for The Dark Knight. When we first see, or rather hear Morgan Freeman and Lucius Fox, I could not help but smile. I want him to narrate my life. I just know that everything would turn out right then. I'd forgotten that Liam Neeson was such a good baddie too. Just one of the many, and of the many father like figures in Bruce Wayne's oh so dark and lonely life.

Let's talk about Christian Bale. I'm surprised it's taken me seven paragraphs to get here. Awesome Batman. Brought the right touch of mean and moodiness to this character. The close ups were also good *wink* He's so handsome. But every time I see a close up part of me keeps thinking back to Patrick Bateman (American Psycho) and that scene where he does the face mask and slowly peels it off. I have never seen such flawless and clean skin on a boy! Have a look, it's extraordinary.

When the first movie ended there was a round of applause, from some quarters. Again, awkward. Then a 20 minute break.

I could not for the life of me remember the exact story to The Dark Knight and I'm so happy I couldn't. It made it even more like a first screening. Of course we all remember this film as being Heath Ledger's last one. And what a last one he gave us. Wowsers. The camera loves him, as do we all I'm sure. Such a sad loss. But let's not cry. Instead let's remember his Joker. A wonderful baddie, if a baddie can ever be wonderful. And yet in the end, I sympathised with him, The Joker. His little on screen video to the crowd and the "ha haha ha ha hahaha ha ha ... ha ha" staccato dialogue, great. We can only imagine what working on set with Christian Bale and Heath Ledger must have been like. Electric i'd guess.

Maggie Gyllenhal takes the role of Rachel in the second movie. And like i said before, i missed Katie Holmes in it. We also get an all too short scene with William Fitchner, i likes him. We get more Michael Caine, Morgan Freeman and (I forgot to mention) Gary Oldman. Wonderful Commissioner Gordon. He's on Batman's side. Another father figure, but yet does he know Batman's real identity? I don't think he does.

I'm glad I went and revisited these movies before the final part of the trilogy. It's a sad day but we have the dvds to remind us what a brilliant director Christopher Nolan is. These films have to be seen on the big screen, or at least a big telly. I don't have a big telly so this was a treat of the highest order for me.

Roll on the weekend when I will see Dark Knight Rises on the big screen in IMAX! Waaaaaa. I'm excited. I can't wait to find out the fate of our beloved heroes Bruce, Alfred, Lucius, James Gordon. AND I cannot wait to see Tom Hardy's Bane, and what terror and darkness he brings to Gotham, 8 years on from the last instalment. If I'm completely honest, i'm not too sure about Catwoman. I'll keep an open mind. The countdown is on...

Angela x


35 Things n my 35th Year: an update

Sunday, 15 July 2012

I'm now just over 4 months into my 35th year and i thought i'd go back to my 35 things in my 35th year list to see how much i've progressed with it. As a reminder, HERE is the post and the list is below... I'll add little notes next to the items as a sort of report on its progress.

  1. a road trip north, south, east and west
  2. wear pink lips - yes this has happened. Once or twice. Not for a while though so i may do this again tomorrow.
  3. a sunshine holiday
  4. show off my iPhonography - it's pretty cool
  5. go out dancing, in heels!
  6. ride my bike to work 2 days per week (disclaimer: in summer!)
  7. bake more cakes - sticky toffee pudding has been my staple. It's Eric Lanlard's recipe i use. It's tasty and light and the toffee sauce is to die for. No, really. You'll have to come and try some.
  8. have a dinner party
  9. be 8 stone, consistently - not quite but i'm getting there. Consistently hovering around 8st 12lb just now. So you'll see i've a fair way to go.
  10. see a movie at the IMAX - hello Batman! - HELLO BATMAN indeed. This will be happening this week. Woohoo, can't wait.
  11. meet new people that like me just the way I am
  12. wear a skirt to work regularly
  13. eat less sweets and chocolate
  14. Alton Towers day trip!
  15. try not to bother what anyone else thinks about me. I'm awesome.
  16. get full series of a tv programme and watch them all (LoveFilm) what do you suggest? - I've started Game of Thrones and am on episode 6. I have to admit to falling asleep when watching it but i'm going to try to stick with it. Everyone raves about it after all.
  17. get some cools photos of me done
  18. say "yes" to a social outing when I want to say "no"
  19. make some of the things from my Crafty board on Pinterest
  20. collaborate with someone on a project
  21. keep my skin healthy - It has been not too bad. I get the usual hormonal breakouts with a particularly bad spell about 2 weeks ago but other than that it's the same. I've just bought a new cleanser after using Origins cleansing oil for a few months. I'll monitor the progress.
  22. finish reading the book on my bedside table - Well, not technically the book on my bedside table but yes, i have read 2 of the Fifty Shades books and am currently on the third one. This for me is a miracle. I;m not a big reader you see.
  23. get an international check in on Foursquare
  24. tweet a picture from somewhere AMAZING
  25. have more faith in my gut instincts. They're usually right.
  26. get this blog sorted. If anyone wants to help me please shout! - Still trying to work this out. I tried to add new fonts last week but it didn't work. If anyone wants to help me out on this please do shout. I'd provide tea!
  27. see a real life Banksy (this has been on most of my lists)
  28. don't keep new clothes in the cupboard 'for a special occasion', wear them now!
  29. blog more, and for others
  30. catch a sunrise and sunset in the summer
  31. meet some of my favourite Twitter people whom I've not yet met
  32. step outside my comfort zone at least once a fortnight (I know, it's me we're talking about though!)
  33. stop buying stuff and things. Stuff does not define me
  34. write a letter and send it every month
  35. laugh, smile and be thankful
As you can see i've not completed half of the items on the list. To be honest, i'm not sure the international check in on FourSquare thing will happen this year. Although i'd very much like i to. There's really no excuse for a lot of the items not being ticked off. But there's still 8 months of my 35th year to go. 

So, who wants to help me with my list? Come on... Join me. Would you like to go on the road trip (1)? to Alton Towers (Please!!!!!!) (14)? Perhaps a nice out dancing, in heels (boys, you can leave your heels at home)? Let's catch a sunset? Suggest me some topics to blog about?

Or if all that fails, send me your address and i'll write you a letter (34).

Thanks for reading
Angela x

Five Things #28

Saturday, 14 July 2012

This is Five Things and this is Friday (well it was Friday when I started this post. It's now Saturday). Number 28.

1) featurette of the Dark Knight Rises appeared this week. Pretty good. But does it give away too much? Not sure. I for one cannot wait for this movie to happen. Excitement is building.

2) An Olympian sent me a DM last week. I casually wished him well in his amazing feat of being selected in the team. He DM'd me. Like you do. Wowsers. Amazing response too. It made me grin from ear to ear and all made possible by the power of Twitter. I mean, come on, we would never ever have the kind of access to this without such platforms. I Love Twitter.

3) Bradley Wiggins takes the yellow jersey in the Tour de France. Another awesome tale. I love cycling and this is fantastic for Britain. Oh and this every day, David Miller won a fab stage too. Well done the Brits, we can do this!

4) I lost a few pounds and completed 4 spin classes this week after a week's hiatus. It's amazing how quickly you can lose those extra few rpm's from the bike. I've booked all my classes for next week with a view to hitting it big time when i'm on holiday. Can't wait.

5) The discovery... a 21 year old student spends three days redesigning and rebranding Microsoft. This is frankly AWESOME. I love what he's done. They could use his skills. Check it out over at Minimally Minimal Also, check out his other work. Really good.

6) BONUS: I am now on holiday from work. Woohoo! So happy. I'm not gong away on a holiday as such but rest assured i'll still be enjoying my time off. Movies, spin class, gym, cake baking, dance move learning, researching and planning. Yay!

Happy weekend folks,
Angela x

A little bit human warmth

Wednesday, 11 July 2012

A film can transport you to another world. A world so far removed from your own that when it's over you settle back into your chair and exhale as you try to process it and take it all in. But sometimes a film can hit you between the eyes with a bat and bring home to you the realities of your life and what may or may not be missing.

That's what's happened to me recently when I saw two not dissimilar films, 5 year engagement and Friends with kids. Okay Okay yes they are chick flicks but you know, sometimes you need to see these kinds of films. Anyway I've come out of both feeling that all i want is a huge cuddle. Do you know that feeling?

Not just any old cuddle that a friend could give you when you meet for lunch, not a cuddle you get from a kid. No. I crave one of those cuddles where you are there in a moment. Time stands still. It's not too long but by the same token it's not so short that you feel short changed. A cuddle where there is no pressure to break apart any time soon. You're there in each others arms, not a care in the world other than to make sure you're making the other person feel wanted and cared for.


You might even let them rest their head on your shoulder, or chest, if you're a shortie like me.


I'd love one of those cuddles right about now. A little companionship, a little bit human warmth. At the end of a long day or a tough week.

Angela x

Five Things #27

Friday, 6 July 2012

I think i might get back on track with this Five Things posting. Yay!

1) MacBook Pro. I'm so glad i took the plunge and upgraded to this machine. A pleasure to use. So easy and i'm up and running within a few minutes of turning on. Whereas with the Dell, now 5 years old, it takes at least 30 minutes for it to run through it's start up procedure before I can start to even load up Chrome for net surfing. And don't even think about editing a photo, or playing iTunes, you'll wait a further 20 minutes for that. So, yes, glad i got this.

2) Andy Murray is into another semi final of Wimbledon. The match is tomorrow. I think we should all get behind him and support him. I know people say he appears dour and moody, but i think (i've heard) that once you scratch the surface there's actually a really witty guy there. Somewhere. C'mon Andy!

3) our new bathroom. I know, this is a weird one but I actually love our new bathroom. it's all white and bright and has a gorgeous charcoal grey tiled floor. The bath is big yet tight but long enough to have a good stretch out in. Not that i'm a bath person. I prefer a shower but the new surroundings may prompt me to bathe more.

4) red trousers. My new red trousers. Red chinos to be exact. £10 in the Topshop summer sale. Bargain, and just that right shade of red. My current red affairs from Zara are more of a pink toned red but these...these are the stuff of tomato redness and I look forward to wearing them to brighten up these long grey summer days we've been having lately.

5) Spiderman. The movie. Out this week and i'm going to see it. Can't wait. Also my summer holiday countdown is on. One week today will be my last day at work for two weeks. Yay! and with that means only a week or so until The Dark Knight Rises hits the big screens. I'm both excited but sad that this will be the last Nolan Batman film. But I look forward to seeing Tom Hardy's Bane. Argh!

Angela x


Thursday, 5 July 2012

Whilst I was on my day off on Tuesday, awaiting the delivery and collection of the MacBook Pro's, a funny thing happened. The boys, my nephews, Ryan (6) and Connor (2) were outside playing in the drizzly rain. Ryan had been bemoaning the fact he couldn't go out because of said rain and wanted to come with me into town. That was until someone knocked on the door asking if he was going out to play. Then I was duly told "Angie, I'm not coming to Stirling with you. I'm going out to play with Dean". Dean is about 7 or 8.

So I continued watching the Andy Murray match on TV.

A little while later I looked out the window and saw them going up and down this little hill on their scooters. Connor was with them too.

A few minutes after that Ryan came trudging up the hill, scowling, holding his wrist. We went to the door t ask what was wrong. "I fell off the scooter into jaggy nettles!"..... and through petted lip and tears "...and Dean told me.....(sob sob) that if you get stung by jaggy nettles you'll die!" and he continued to cry, real sobbing heaving tears.

What a shame I thought. "He's a silly boy and he's just telling you lies. You'll not die from jaggy nettles, it just itches a wee bit". The words weren't consoling him. Eventually I got him inside and into the bathroom, all the while reassuring him that the really faint nettle sting on his wrist would not result in him dying. Poor wee thing. He eventually let me rub some savlon cream onto the area and his tears soon stopped.

We then heard mum shouting on Connor. She was out the back. She couldn't find him. She shouted on him a few times but no reply. We went out front. No sign of him. I could see the colour drain from my mum's cheeks and my heart started to race. Where was he!

He couldn't have gone far. It'd only been about 3 minutes. "Where's my wee brother?" Ryan asked and started to cry once he saw the panic on our faces. I headed up the street to see if i could see him. Still no sign up the hill or around the corner. Then I looked over at my aunts garden and caught sight of his beat up old Fireman Sam scooter. There he was. Playing football with my uncle.

I marched into the garden and ordered him back home as he'd been naughty and run away without telling anyone. Turns out he'd just gone up the hill on his scooter and had saw my aunt and uncle coming back from the shops so went and played football. I was glad he was there but something deep inside said "what if..." i daren't think about it.

He fled down the street on his scooter and said he should say sorry to his granny and big brother for running away. He was so cute saying sorry to Ryan but Ryan was hurt. He's a little chicken hearted you see. I like that about him but i fear he may get taken advantage of like he had been earlier by the older kid.

Back in the house Connor got changed and Ryan and me headed off into Stirling. Partly because i felt sorry for him and partly to give my mum a break. But also because I could tell Ryan was hurt by Connor, "you're my wee brother and you're naughty" were his words.

It's days like that I wonder what they'll have in store for them when they're growing up. I just want to protect them from the bullies and from bad things. I know you can't wrap them in cotton wool, but still. I can't think of a time when they weren't around. They are amongst the few people around me who can bring a smile to my face and cheer me up with a little thumbs up or a cheeky grin.

My nephews. Love.

Angela x


Tuesday, 3 July 2012

I had a day off work today. Tuesday, an unusual day for a day off you might wonder, but i had reasons. My cousin, Brian, has just returned from nine months away travelling to Thailand, Vietnam, Cambodia and he's been working as a teacher in Sydney, Australia for the past seven months. He arrived home yesterday afternoon for three weeks. He's looking great on it. So this day off was to coincide with that.

But I was also waiting on a delivery and return of an item. My new MacBook Pro. Having lasted me for five while years i decided it was time to upgrade from my Dell laptop. It's sooooo slow. It takes about 40 minutes to edit one photo in Photoshop. Hence the reason i don't really do much with my camera photos now. Which is a shame because it takes wonderful pictures.

Anyway, the first MacBook was delivered on Friday. On start up i noticed what can only be described as a tear like line on the screen. The was not right. I knew this, however i had a little play about with it and decided to call support on Saturday morning to see what they said. The next morning i waited until 10am and called. After a few tests, mainly me contorting my fingers into some weird shapes with the combination of keys i was being asked to hold down whilst holding the phone to my ear and pressing the power button with my other hand. It was amazing i managed it but eventually it was decided that i'd be sent a replacement device and that one would be returned. Today was the day.

The new one was delivered about 10 30am and i turned it one. No black line on screen, phew! But it wouldn't connect to wifi. After doing the turn off turn on of both the Macbook and my router i called Support again. After 30 minutes of tests and many off and on again sequences he told me i'd have to reboot the operating system. He talked me through the process and said it would take an hour or so, depending on internet speed. This took about seven hours!!! my internet must be really really really slow.

Anyway, about 5.30pm it restarted and lo and behold it still didn't want to connect to wifi. Further searches on the internet (on iPad) i decided to go through the help function and what do you know, within 5 minutes i had connected myself to wifi. I don't know how it happened but it did. Thank goodness. If i'd had to call them again (on an 0844 number by the way!) i was ready for asking for a refund. Honest.

Anyway, i'd saved my iTunes library to an external had drive on Friday night and within half an hour i've loaded all my music onto the Macbook. I'm so pleased that happened without any hitches, touch wood.

I do really really like this laptop. It's easy to type with. I love the sleek design, even the way the power plug and cables fit together. Using something other than Windows is taking a bit of getting used to though. I'll need to memorise all the keyboard shortcuts.

So now, i'll hopefully be blogging more and able to load some cool edited photos of mine that aren't from the iPhone.

And if you've got a Macbook, let me know if there's any cool apps i should get. When i bought it i got a £70 App Store voucher too - bonus!

Angela x


Big Rock, Little Stone

Sunday, 1 July 2012

The big rock rolled and bumped it's way down the river, the swooshing, gushing water carrying it most of the way. It bumped off other rocks but it kept rolling. Then one day it got wedged between the side of the babbling river and another smaller rock. Well, this was more of a little stone. One that had probably been thrown in by some over eager little person with big dreams and one which had probably created a few ripples as it landed. This was a nice little rock. I mean stone. The big rock wedged himself in between the river bank and a huge price of bedrock. The little stone was also wedged. With each passing day they swayed and rocked, the water lapping over them but they didn't budge. They were stuck here.

The season was turning from spring to summer and with that the sun came out to play. They basked in a few days of sunshine here and there. They watched the cotton candy clouds roll by. This was nice. Steady. All the while their movement in unison together with the water was beginning to change their shape. The little stone got used to the big rock being there. One side of its outer even began to mould into the shape of the big rock, so close was their current predicament. Wedged here between the river bank and a giant bedrock, remember. They got used to each others movement. A gentle sway. A little budge. A protection from the wind. This was now their reality.

Suddenly, the seasons began to change again. It wasn't really sudden. It had been a few months, but it didn't really feel like that. From summer to autumn was the change. With that brought heavier rain, stronger, gusty winds, grey skies and this uneasy feeling that something was about to give. The little stone wasn't sure what was happening. It had gotten used to being here, by the side of the big rock. Steady.

The water began to flow faster. And there was more of it. More and more rocks and stones tumbled down past them, down to where though? They didn't know. The little stone clung on for dear life. Then one day a large stone came along and bumped into them. This larger stone was somewhat funny shaped. One end round and large, the other end flat and small. Funny colour too. When that bump came together with a huge flow of fast flowing, bubbling water it was too much force and soon they were all tumbling their way downstream. The little stone eventually came to a halt. A halt so sudden that it made it dizzy. But, luckily it was wedged into the side of the river bank again in some soft fresh mud.

The big rock and large stone kept tumbling. Who knows where they ended up...

Months passed and the little rock was still stuck in the mud. Only, one half was sticking out and feeling the full force of the strong river flow. The was shaping the little stone. It was grateful for the place to stay and this reshaping would be good for it, it told itself.

The seasons changed again, autumn to winter. The water turned freezing and it was everything the little stone could do to stop cracking in two. Something made it hold on. It often wondered what fate the big rock and large stone had met. Never mind, the warmer weather would be here soon.

At the waters edge the little stone waited, waited until the freezing water began to flow strong again. Waters from high up flowing and bubbling again all around it. This meant that the seasons were changing, winter to spring. Little cute flowers started to grow near the river bank and butterflies started to flit, fly and hover around.

Then one day the river bank gave way and the little stone was soon on its way again. Rolling and tumbling downstream. This time with much more grace due to the weather and water reshaping it. As it tumbled, it bumped into something familiar. The big rock! Only this time it kept rolling, but only a little farther until it was at the edge of the water. A much shallower pool. It swayed slightly in the flow. It could see the big rock which was wedged again. But the large stone was nowhere to be seen. It wondered what had happened over that fairly long winter. It wanted to be wedged in with the big rock again, on the other side of the river bank. It was soon on its way again because unusually rainy weather brought much more water to the river.

Over the next few weeks the big rock and the little stone tumbled and rolled their way downstream, occasionally bumping into each other. Sometimes they got wedged together because their shapes still fitted despite the partial reshaping of the little stone. Other times they drifted off on separate journeys. But somehow they always managed to be wedged together, somewhere along the river bank, between a mud bank and a huge piece of granite.

Summer was now well and truly here and they found themselves heading to the coast. Rolling and tumbling and gently swaying and eventually they found home in a rock pool on the edge of nowhere. All was clam here, except for the occasional tiny crab crawling over them, they enjoyed their new resting place. Not wedged this time, but close enough to feel comfort. That comfort they felt back when they were wedged between the river bank and a bedrock.

The little stone rolled over and then back again looking up to the once familiar cotton candy clouds in the sky and secretly smiled. Home.