Tuesday, February 28, 2006

Self Portrait Tesday

All of me - week 4

Although I'm a fairly good-natured person, my temper does sometimes get the better of me. I think I learned my lesson today though.

I have an interview* on Thursday morning and needed to decide on an outfit for it today so that I wouldn't be fleeing around in a panic tomorrow evening. Maybe not the best idea though, since I was in an 'I-look-crap-in-everything-I-own' mood this afternoon. Nothing was exactly right and I just got frustrated and upset. Getting my foot caught in the hole in the knee of my jeans was the last straw and I pitched a minor tantrum. I hurled the jeans at the floor and in doing so smacked my hand off the end of the bed (which is big and solid and made of iron).

Split knuckles, lots of pain, much sobbing.

And so here I am: one hand bandaged and still aching, typing clumsily with the other and feeling thoroughly ashamed of myself for being so damn childish.

*The interview? Ummm, yeah. It's for teacher training college.

Wednesday, February 22, 2006

Feeling down?

May I recommend:

- M&Ms - I bought some at lunchtime, thinking they might cheer me up. I think this colour combination (which rattled into my hand completely at random) made me smile more than the chocolate did!

- Aberfeldy, Young Forever: especially when on my mp3 player coupled with...

- putting up your umbrella and walking home in that kind of spring rain that comes straight down really hard out of a sky that up until 30 seconds before was bright and sunny and then suddenly turned a livid shade of pinky-grey.

And lastly:
- finding out that the presentation you've been stressing over can actually be done on Monday instead of Friday, giving you three more whole days to work on it.

All this, and Steven's arriving in Edinburgh tomorrow evening for the weekend and to take me to the CHV Ball! My week is looking up!

Tuesday, February 21, 2006

Self Portrait Tuesday

All of me - week 3

I'm not sure whether it's obvious in real, everyday life but I can see very clearly in most photos of myself that one of my eyes is narrower than the other.

I was born with a squint in my right eye. When I was 4 I had an operation to correct it, and I've worn glasses - and more recently, contact lenses - ever since. I've been told that if I look very far to the left, you can see a scar in the corner of my eyeball.

Now, my right eye is slightly lazier than my left. This is more noticeable in photos - especially when I'm smiling; or when I'm tired - when I do still squint a little.

Sunday, February 19, 2006


The session was fun, but since then I've turned into a bit of a stress-head. I finally got my cds back on Friday afternoon, so I've spent the weekend transcribing. I'd forgotten how time-consuming it is - it can take almost an hour to transcribe 5 minutes of recorded interview. And I have nearly five hours worth!

Oh and also, you would think that being stressed about something would make you get your head down and work solidly at it. Not me! Oh no, I am the champion procrastinator and I keep finding myself doing other things that seem important. Did I mention I have a presentation to do on Friday? Ehh, Katharine? Get on with it! Anyone want to give me a kick up the arse?* Or just some advice?

It's going to be a long week. I think I might have to get drunk on Friday. Who's with me?

*Hannah, I don't really mean this. Please don't come through here and kick me.

Thursday, February 16, 2006

Death and fiddles

My dissertation is due in five weeks. I should be working on it. But the interviews that will form the basis of the whole thing are sitting in a little room in my department, waiting for the sound technician to copy them onto CD for me. I asked for the copies nearly two weeks ago and I'm starting to get cross. I hate complaining, but if they're not ready tomorrow I might just have to go in and complain a bit, otherwise I might have a small nervous breakdown over the weekend. I have to give a presentation next Friday on my progress so far; if I don't get those interviews back it's going to be a very short presentation.

In the meantime I've been making a start on my literature essay on death and illness in Victorian texts. I'm actually quite looking forward to writing it, but seeing as I know how insignificant it is compared to my dissertation, I can't settle to it.

Tonight I've been invited to a session in Stirling. A friend of mine is in a traditional music society there and he's asked me to go. I've barely played my fiddle in the 5 years since I left school; I had to dust the case when I dragged it out from under my bed this afternoon. I've been practising for a bit and it doesn't sound too awful. I'm quite looking forward to it, it'll be nice to play with other people again. Hopefully it'll take my mind off essays - but I promise to be back to work first thing tomorrow.

Tuesday, February 14, 2006

Self Portrait Tuesday

All of me - week 2
(with guest appearance from Steven - my better half and partner in crime!)

Steven and I are both a bit camera shy usually, but we were messing about with my camera this afternoon before he left. It started off all smiley and innocent:
... but then the fun started. Actually, I think our evil alter-egos took over:
Mmmm, pretty! Would you believe Steven told me I was sexy this morning? Hah! I hope you all had a fun Valentine's day!

Happy Valentines Day!

Oops, I've done it again. Steven was over for the weekend so I've neglected the internet a bit.

The two most important developments of this weekend:
- We went to a party on Saturday night for the place Steven was working on placement last year and they were pretty clear that they want him back as a proper employee after he's graduated this summer.
- And I got a letter inviting me to an interview for teacher training college in two weeks time. Eeeep!

Apart from that, we just had a nice weekend together. Steven in particular is a bit strapped for cash at the moment, so we didn't make a big deal of Valentine's day today. We got a DVD and a bottle of wine last night, and then we went out for breakfast together this morning before Steven had to fly back to Belfast. It was lovely, I'd rather do something simple and nice together that all the fluffy hearts and everything!

Anyway, it's Tuesday, so I'd better get down to business. Brace yourselves!

Thursday, February 09, 2006

Strange dreams

I had difficulty getting up this morning. Last night I dreamed about: other bloggers, characters from Desperate Housewives (which I don't even watch), my grandfather, people from my literature class and kids from CHV - all in the same dream! It was very very odd and I'm feeling a bit disorientated now. Bleugh.

But I'll get up and get going and then maybe my head will be a bit clearer. I started tidying my room last night - the clutter had got a bit out of hand - and I'd like to get it finished before Steven arrives tomorrow for the weekend. Oh, I hadn't realised it was tomorrow - there's something to cheer me up today!

Tuesday, February 07, 2006

Self Portrait Tuesday

All of me - week 1

This is me, exhausted, unwashed, hair-unbrushed and still in my pyjamas, recovering from malaria in Tanzania a few years ago. I had a bit of a tough time illness-wise when I was there in my gap year, but this was probably the worst: I was hospitalised for a couple of nights.

While I was ill Steven really got to see 'all of me'. He went for help in the middle of the night when I was badly ill and delirious; he sat with me through pin-prick malaria tests and while I got hooked up to an iv drip, even though he's terrible about needles; after I was let out of hospital he looked after me, fed me and helped me shower when I was too weak to stand long enough to do it for myself; and when I was tear-stained and begrutten because of missing home, he held me and sang to me and made me feel better. I really couldn't have asked for a better nurse.

Monday, February 06, 2006

Some more old photos

I've had a good day today. I've not really done anything that would be interesting to anyone else, but I spent almost the whole day in the library and got some good work done, and then it was still pretty light as I walked home at 5 o'clock, which made me happy.

I said last week I'd post some more old photos once I'd had a chance to Photoshop them. Here are some of my favourites:

These are meant as light relief to help you through the weeks to come. We're into February and there's a new theme for tomorrow's Self Portrait Tuesday. And yes, I'm terrified. It's not going to be pretty.

Sunday, February 05, 2006

Lost comments?

The other day, I posted a reply to someone's comment. I managed to post it twice and in my messing around to delete it, I set my comments to 'moderate' by mistake and didn't give an email address for comment moderation. So here I was thinking nobody loved me when in fact it was my own fault there were no comments. If anyone's tried to comment recently, I think they might just have gone off into the big wide internet, never to be seen again.

I'm sorry. I'll leave well alone from now on and hope that you do in fact love me.

Happy Anniversary Steven

On Friday, you and I had been together for four years. I feel a bit odd calling this an anniversary when we’re not actually married, but I don’t know how else to put it.

I love you Steven. Sometimes I can’t quite believe that I’m lucky enough to have you. Meeting in Tanzania when we did almost seemed more than chance, although I’m not sure I believe in that kind of thing. When we met we were just kids really, starting to define ourselves away from home and our families. You always made me feel that I could be myself, and because of you I have become a lot happier with the person that I am.

In the past four years we’ve learned so much about each other and I’m aware there’s still more to learn. We’ve made each other laugh and cry; we’ve learned that arguments are a part of relationships and how to resolve them together. You understand me and support me: being with you makes me feel safe and happy.

It’s been four years of mostly long-distance relationship. Some people doubted we’d manage it and I’m proud of us for getting this far. In a few months we’ll graduate and I’m looking forward to starting the next stage of our lives together.

Happy fifth year babe. This is getting serious.

Thursday, February 02, 2006

A musical interlude

I'm working hard this week, doing the interviews and research for my dissertation. Everyone's been really helpful and it's really interesting. So far, I think I've got about 3 and a half hours of material - with probably another 2 to come from tonight's and tomorrow's interviews. That's a lot of transcription for when I get back to Edinburgh!

It's not all work and no play though - I'm going out tonight. My younger brother's in a band and they have a gig tonight in the nightclub. They're called the Sea Monkey Bringers of Dooom (the 3 'o's are official) and they have the standard mix of band instruments, but with a brass section - a trumpet and a trombone. I've never seen them play, so I can't wait!

From what I found in amongst the old photos, Ally was destined for musical greatness. Watch this space!

Wednesday, February 01, 2006

Self Portrait Tuesday

Personal History: week 5

I'm sorry, I know it's Wednesday, but the internet wouldn't work last night when I came to post this.

I spent most of last night going through old photos and taking photos of them so that I can put them on my computer back in Edinburgh. Slightly vexing that all these photos have just been sitting here in Orkney all this month while I've been trying to represent my personal history fom Edinburgh! I haven't looked through them in years and now that I've got hold of them, I've gone a bit mad! Here is a small selection for today's Self Portrait, but I've a feeling I might be posting lots more in the near future because there's so many I love!

Growing up on a island, the beach and the sea are really important to me. We've always had a dog/dogs, so we went for lots of walks on beaches, as well as spending hours there during the summer.
I don't like to live too far from the sea now, it makes me feel claustrophobic.