Monday, 28 May 2007

Sunday Report

This weekend has been very slow - we had kind of set it aside for Spring cleaning (I actually understand why people need to do that now, with the whole massive winter thing) but it has rained non-stop for 2 days, making things like airing the house, washing blankets and trimming hedges quite difficult. Add the whole fact that 3-day weekends always seem to be more bludgy in our house because it feels like you have plenty of time to do things and it all adds up to late meals, lots of tv and staying in pyjamas for half of the day.

We did manage to drag ourselves out of the house to try out another church this evening though. We were warned that it was a bit of an out-of-the-ordinary service, because lots of people were away due to the long weekend and they had a guest preacher. But it was good enough that we can definitely see ourselves going back to check it out again. We chatted to quite a few people, most of whom are in a 20s & 30s group that meets weekly - they were all really friendly. The church seems to be quite active in the community, they obviously have enough attendees to do a morning and evening service, run youth groups, home groups and all that - the type of church we want to be involved in. The biggest downside is still the music - more hymns. Not that there's anything wrong with hymns, I guess, but they're not very exciting and they make the whole church experience seem more boring, I think. Oh well, as Graeme said, maybe they will play different stuff next week... Or maybe we will just have to get used to hymns, since so far, the places with the better music seem to be much more dodgy in other areas.

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Sunday, 27 May 2007

My Fabulous Friday

A nice long walk led to a visit to the local recycling centre/thrift shop where I scored a Wombles pillowcase in fantastic condition, a cool purple scarf and a circular table cloth that I am going to convert into a skirt. Then a bus back to the high street for a pastry for morning tea. On another bus to Shepherd's Bush Market where I got a couple of invisible zippers (for way cheaper than any of the shops I'd found them so far) and some strawberry patterned cotton fabric that I'm thinking needs to be a summer dress, if I can decide how to make it not so see-through (it's white and fairly thin - I'm currently leaning towards a red lining thing). Also bought some roasted peanuts in shells (which they call Monkey Nuts, which makes me giggle immaturely) to take to the squirrels. Since I was in Shepherd's Bush anyway, I went to the Aussie pie shop and got a pie, chips and a drink, plus a packet of Fruit Tingles (mmmm, made in New Zealand) to take away. Caught the bus to Kensington Gardens and found a spot in the shade to sit and eat my lunch. Was joined by a couple of squirrels, who happily hung around and came right up and got a new nut as soon as they finished the one they were eating.


Went for a wander through the park and fed some more squirrels. Spotted a bluish-purple plant (no idea what it was and too lazy to look it up) covered in bumblebees and attempted some macro shooting. They move too fast but this one came out OK...


Up to Oxford street and attempted to do some shopping but was overwhelmed by the crowds. Home via Hammersmith whose charity shops proved fruitless. Settled on the couch with my laptop to check email, websites, etc.

Graeme got home and decided he wanted to see Pirates 3 and couldn't wait another day. Booked our tickets online then headed out for dinner and a movie. After finally finding a parking spot, we enjoyed some Nando's (which is similar to the Australian version only in the fact that it sells Portugese-style chicken) and then headed to the cinema, expecting to have to queue like we did for Spiderman (did I mention we saw that? Dunno...) After getting some icecreams, we walked straight in and got prime seats. Over the next twenty minutes or so the cinema filled to about half and they made an announcement that there would be an intermission because the movie was so long (wusses). The movie finished at about 1.10am, which means we left once the credits started to roll and missed the bonus scene at the end :( I dunno if it would've redeemed how we felt about the movie though, which was slightly disappointed. It was better than movie 2 in that things were actually resolved (and it kind of made movie 2 seem more complete), but you still felt like they were leaving it open for another sequel, because some of the story lines left you with a massive feeling of "...but then what?". Not that I think every film should have a happily ever after conclusion, but basically all the characters head out on to new, not fully explained adventures. Also, it was one of those films where some parts move so quickly you're not sure you're following everything and then other scenes seem to drag on forever without really doing much for the story. I don't know what else to say without spoiling things. All I'll say is that movie 1 was great but 2 and 3 just kind of end up feeling like Disney's way to make more money off the success of the first. Don't get me wrong, there was plenty of the humour, action and the confusion over who is good or bad that I liked in the first one. But the story is just so much weaker, that you can't help but feel disappointed. Or maybe I was just too tired and grumpy after my long day, because I'm sure I'll do a Pirates marathon if/when I get the chance.

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stupid weather

From my Google homepage at 8.15pm Saturday (which is 5.15am Sunday in Sydney):So the sun is still technically up here (although the sunlight isn't really breaking through the rain clouds) and Summer starts next week. And its only one degree warmer than the coldest part of the day in a city that is a week away from Winter. How depressing.

This is the spring long weekend, too... I'm kind of glad we didn't get around to planning any of the trips we were thinking of.

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Saturday, 26 May 2007

HP Friday 5 - Would you rather...

1. Work with dragons or treasure hunt for Gringott's?
Based on the information we have from Bill and Charlie, probably dragons. Treasure hunting would be cool and all, but I don't like the idea of having to go into tombs and stuff. Hanging out in the wilds of Romania or some similar place with big, majestic animals would be more fun.

2. Spend a day with the Order of the Phoenix or Dumbledore's Army?
Order of the Phoenix. I've gone back and forth several times and everytime I try to write a reason, I change my mind, so no reason will be given.

3. Visit Dumbledore's office or Snape's dungeon?
Dumbledore's office for certain. All those cool instruments and things and you just know he has a million books. Plus Fawkes and all the old headmaster/mistress's portraits to talk to - awesome.

4. Give an old school detention to Filch or Umbridge?
Old school like the type of detention they like to give? Umbridge for sure. Filch is annoying and slimy, but Umbridge is nasty and an excellent example of everything a teacher SHOULDN'T be.

5. Have an Invisibility Cloak or a Time Turner?
Time turner. I don't feel the need to sneak around, but the ability to travel back in time and witness other things could be fun.

I know I haven't done these every week, but if they contain too many spoilers or the questions just don't inspire me, I just skip it, ok? Besides, I'm sure some of the people reading my blog don't give two hoots about Harry Potter.

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Thursday, 24 May 2007

Hey, jerk in the white van

It's called a speed limit, it's not just a suggestion. It is, in fact, required by law that I drive under or at the same speed as the little number on all the signs we are passing. Or maybe you are too busy looking at my car to see the signs. At least, I hope you're looking at my car, because if I brake and you're not looking, you will certainly hit me. And oh, by the way, rather than sitting on my arse, you can overtake me if you don't like the fact that I can see the signs and am driving at the speed limit. See that lane just to the right of us? I know there's no cars in it at the moment, but you're allowed to drive there too.

Oh, and while we're at it...

You, the dude in the big, ugly, black, 4wd thing. Let's forget the rant about your massive car and the fact that you clearly think you own the roads for a moment and concentrate on the matter at hand. That was two bits of plastic packaging you just threw out your window. Where do you think that's going to end up? It certainly won't decompose and will probably end up in the river. Don't you think the Thames (and most of London along with it) is polluted enough? Way to set an example for the kids sitting in the back seat.

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Wednesday, 23 May 2007

Project #2 - 5

So, if you'll remember, I decided way back in January to try and complete 50 projects this year. I'm not really on target to reach that goal, but I haven't been idle, I've just been lazy about taking photos and posting them. These are the things I have finally photographed - I'm sure I've done more things, but this is all I can find evidence for at the moment...

For project #2, I had planned to use the leftover wool from my first project to make a hat, but i couldn't find a pattern that suited and my attempts at winging it didn't really go well. So I ripped out an almost complete hat and ended up making this:

project 2

The pattern is Wavy from Knitty, although I added an extra repeat to the width and just knit 'til I ran out of wool, so its shorter than the pattern, but I like it. It is knit from Rowan Cashsoft 4ply (which is 57% extra fine merino, 33% microfibre and 10% cashmere - beautiful and soft) with 3.25mm needles.

Project #3 is a little cross stitch kit I bought before Christmas and never got around to stitching. There is another one similar to it waiting to be finished and I will finish it when I remember where I put it.

project 3

Project #4 isn't too exciting, but something I've been meaning to do for ages. I finished stitching this in November 2005 and brought it with me to London, since it had taken so many hundreds of hours to complete and I felt the need to display it. Well, its finally hanging on our kitchen wall - I had to cut the mat and stretch the work and stuff - the frame is from Ikea. It looks extra good because the kitchen wall is yellow :)

finally framed and hung

And finally, Project #5, which I finished last night and is the real motivator for making this post... my very own Gryffindor scarf. I've wanted one for ages, since I knit one for my brother a few years ago for Christmas. I finally got my butt in gear because I wanted to wear it to the midnight release party of book 7.

Gryffindor scarf
Being modelled by the couch, so you get some idea of the length.

Modelled by me

The red is Patons 100% cotton - I think the colour is Tomato :) The gold is sparkly gold stuff. It was basically impossible for me to find the two colours I wanted in a suitable yarn. I loved this red, but there was no yellow and the gold stuff was sitting just above it in the shop. I figured if Hermione were knitting herself a Gryffindor scarf to wear to Quidditch games, she would totally use sparkly gold, so I did too.

I didn't really follow a pattern - it's based on the scarves worn in the third and fourth films and I just kind of knit each section until it looked good to me and then repeated it a bunch of times. I think it ended up with the same number of repeats as a lot of fan scarves, but that was based on the length it had reached, not a desire to be the same as everyone else. It's knit in k1p1 rib, rather than in the round like most people's HP scarfs, for the same reason I chose cotton - I want it to be wearable, both in Winter, but also this summer for aforementioned book release. Its quite heavy for a scarf, due to the weight of cotton, but not too warm and I think it looks rad.

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Tuesday, 22 May 2007

Graeme's haircut

A couple of weeks ago, I got sick of Graeme looking like a bogan and gave him a haircut. This isn't really that exciting, I am just telling you so I can show you this picture I took of him...


This is what he looked like when I was done:

post haircut

Oh, and notice the dark line along his chin? He's decided to grow a beard/goatee/thing - its pretty slow going, but I'll try and take a photo so you can laugh at him some more :)

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Monday, 21 May 2007

Sunday Report

If you don't wanna hear about us going to church, skip the first paragraph (well, technically the second, I guess, since this is the first).

This morning we went into the city and went to a Baptist Church not far from Graeme's work. We chose to go in the morning because their website told us that the evening services were usually quieter, which didn't sound like it'd appeal to us. My best way to sum it up is that it reminded me of when we used to go with my grandparents to the church mum grew up in. A decent percentage of the congregation had white hair and it followed an obviously standard format - hymn, prayer, hymn, reading, sermon, hymn, type thing. The preaching was pretty good (and a woman) and the little bits they did for Christian Aid week were good too, but it was kinda boring. Not a lot of people in our age group, as far as we could tell and no modern music. We almost definitely won't go back - it wasn't worth the travel time - but it did help to convince us that we should "shop around for a church", as the guy we spoke to after the service put it.

After that, since we were already in the city, we finally went to Spitalfields market, which is something I've been wanting to do for about a year but never got around to. I'll probably end up going back on a weekday, because the place was packed and got a little claustrophobic before we managed to see everything. I'll also be aiming to search out some of the fabric shops I've heard about. It was good to get a feel for it and see some of the stuff that's only there on Sundays. We also wandered along some of Brick Lane, which was interesting, with all the people out flogging dodgy dvds and whatever junk they'd collected from their homes. We attempted to do some shopping on Oxford street, but didn't last long, again because of the crowds. So we made our way home.

See, the crazy thing about these English people is the dual lives they seem to live. For 6 months of the year, they all stay inside, coming out only to go to work or get food. But as soon as the "warm" weather hits, there are people EVERYWHERE - the shops are crazy, the parks are full, the tourist areas are packed and so is the public transport. Their willingness to wear shorts and a t-shirt when the high temp for the day is 17°C is amazing. If you're coming to visit, I highly recommend early Spring or late Autumn. Avoid May - October. That is all.

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Sunday, 20 May 2007

Good one, Google

So, that annoying thing that happened last week where I couldn't open people's blogs happened to me again a couple of times and pretty much convinced me that I should be using a blog/rss feed reader to check people's blogs. This really is a good choice, because some of the blogs I read are hardly ever updated, so I really don't need to check them every day (or even every week) but I don't want to get rid of them. Also, it means I will be able to add more sites/blogs to my list without having to worry about manually checking a million sites each day. And what reader am I using? Google's, of course. That was clever of you, Google.

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Watching the FA cup final...

At 19'50" commentator says: This is the most boring 20 minutes of football we've seen all season.

For those unfamiliar with the sport, the FA cup final is like the pinnacle of the English football (soccer) season. Its a knock-out comp that runs alongside all the other comps and the final signifies the end of the season. This year, the two teams represented are the winner and runner-up of the Premier League, so supposedly the 2 best teams in England. The game is being played at the brand new Wembley, a stadium which cost £800million or something ridiculous. They predicted it would be watched by over 500 million people worldwide. It's now at 29 minutes and there hasn't even been a decent shot on goal.

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Saturday, 19 May 2007

tv advertising

There are lots of things that strike me as strange in this country. Here is one...
Advertising things like washing detergent, insurance companies and debt consolidation on channels like Nickelodeon does not seem to me the best way to reach your target audience. Of course, the fact that I was watching Nickelodeon in order to discover this could indicate they're not as far off as it first seems.

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Friday, 18 May 2007


...for the support and encouragement after my last post.

We are planning on finding a church to (semi-)regularly attend, focussing just as much on its ability to supply us with a bit of a social network as on what the services are like. We were going to go to one last Sunday, but I woke up feeling awful (and no, it wasn't a hangover). I'm tempted to check out Hillsong, because they meet in the same theatre where We Will Rock You is playing and are aimed at the right demographic, but I'm not sure. A lot of the churches here are really, really old-school with their rituals and junk. I can probably handle any service you send me to, but Graeme is likely to get weirded out. I will go to one this weekend and let you know how it was.

Thanks also to Alison for the beautifully timed phone call. Somehow it felt like less pressure to talk to you and I miss you a lot. Speaking of Alison, she's finally started a blog - go check it out and wish her happy birthday.
(told you I'd be telling people)

Now, I'm going to watch Flashdance and finish knitting my Gryffindor scarf.

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Hi Dad

Sorry that I didn't answer the phone when you rang yesterday - I thought it would be the morons from the teaching agency and I didn't feel like talking to them, since nothing has changed since I spoke to them last. To be honest, I didn't feel like talking to anyone, so I may not have answered the phone even if I knew it was you. I still don't feel much like talking - I guess that's why I'm writing this here instead of engaging in a private exchange. Basically, I'm pretty much hating every moment of living in this country at the moment - the people are jerks and treat each other like rubbish, they hardly ever mean what they say, its too damn expensive, the rapid change in sun rise/set times is playing havoc on my body clock, everything takes 10 times (or more) longer than it should because they are still in love with paper trails, it feels like I'm never going to get work again, I've spent so many hours in front of the tv that everything is a repeat and I have NO-ONE other than Graeme to talk to. To top it off, the weather has been crap when its supposed to finally be getting warm, so I've been pretty much confined to the indoors for the last week and a bit. All these things are combining to crush any sense of hope that I can muster. We can't afford to do any real travelling because I'm not making any money, but every attempt I make to that end turns to mud. We really should be living somewhere cheaper and better suited to our needs, but the real estate agents here are totally dodgy and we got pushed into signing a longer lease than we had anticipated, so the earliest we can get out of here is September.

The rational, logical side of me knows that there are things I can do to make life here a bit better - make an effort to meet more people, do what people have been suggesting and try to make some money on my own by selling photos/things I make. But the emotional side keeps reminding me how much I've already been hurt since moving here and scares me into doing not much of anything. What am I supposed to do when all I really want right now is to move home and start a family, but I know I'm stuck here for another 2 years?

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Thursday, 17 May 2007


Not so much a review as a comparison...

We saw this on (the West End - I love saying that) stage in January with Graeme's mum and her partner when they were here in January. I didn't love it as much as some of the other things we've seen, but it was still good. Having now seen the 1996 film version (as in, I started composing this while it was finishing), I think part of the problem was that I can be a very detail-oriented person and the whole thing moves so fast that its hard to follow at times and I got caught up trying to work out what was going on exactly. So, the first advantage to the film: instead of only being able to rely on stage elements - costume changes, set, lighting - there are clips of the events going on rather than just being described, plus the ability to fade between scenes gives a wider feel to the story - I actually felt like I understood what was going on the whole time. The film also has Antonio Banderas, who is just fantastic as Ché, the voice of the people - great voice, beautiful pronunciation (despite the accent, which is very important, considering he basically tells the story) and the right mix of passion and criticism. But then, it also has Madonna - and as much as she was praised for this role, I didn't love her. She looks too old throughout the film, especially considering she is supposed to start out as a 15 year old, and I definitely wasn't sad when she died.

I think probably if I had seen the film first, or at least had a much firmer grasp on what the story was actually about, I would've really loved the stage version. The girl playing Eva in the stage version was great and I would much rather see people singing and dancing in real life than on a film. Because basically, other than the extra film clips that help to tell the story, it is the same show - same songs, similar scenes, different actors.

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Sunday, 13 May 2007

2007 Eurovision Song Contest

My notes, taken while watching the live broadcast… I imagine they won't mean much if you didn’t watch (and maybe even if you did), but they might be funny to read as you watch it, for those people back in Oz - I assume they still show it on Sunday night...

Terry Wogan, talking about how the dude from Lordi is from Lapland, near Santa, seriously just said: "By the way kids, I ate one of Santa's reindeers yesterday… delicious"

01 Bosnia & Herzegovina
What's with her skirt? She looks like she's wearing a fairly nice dress, but has put the tulle underskirt on top instead. If you want to keep my attention in Eurovision, you need a more interesting song or something funny to watch… oh wait, what's that guy got on his head?

02 Spain
I thought there were 5 members of the Backstreet Boys…
The chicks pretending to bang drums add nothing.

The little clips in between are so funny - usually the countries try to show off how great they are, with ancient monuments and clips of all their pretty inhabitants and such, but the Finnish obviously don't take themselves too seriously.

03 Belarus
Oh, this is the dude with the cool sets and Matrix dancers from the semi-final. I swear Eurovision is caught in a time warp - the shiny shirt and exposed chest are so 90s.

04 Ireland
Going for the stoned hippy look. Except someone forgot to tell the dude in the black suit. How can Ireland produce some really great music and then enter THIS in Eurovision?
I really like her dress though.

05 Finland
I'm glad Finland stuck with the rock theme - I like this song, definitely the best so far.

Host costume change number 1

06 FYR Macedonia
Toilet break for Kate so this is from Graeme - I think she could have showed more leg off, there were a few cm left. As for the song it wasn't very memorable.

07 Slovenia
The goth look is really in this year - I guess they're going off the winners from last year or something, but one girl in a black dress ends up looking like all the girls in black dresses… It was OK, I guess.

08 Hungary
The road light effect thing looks wicked and I love that she's wearing jeans and a singlet. If you judge a song based on how glued to the tv you are, this one does well. And its nice to hear a different style of music

Nerd festival - Graeme'd love that

09 Lithuania
The band in silhouette is cool - the sets are kicking butt this year. Oh, did I mention I'm a bit of a theatrical design geek? I like how her guitar matches her earrings. The song's alright, but not very Eurovision - its way too mainstream I think.

I so wanna play Swamp Soccer

10 Greece
This is more like it - bouncy music, bad dancing, singing for a country you don't actually live in… totally Eurovision.

11 Georgia
I still don't get the sword-fighting, but I still love her dress.

12 Sweden
They look fantastic and the song's OK, but the two don't really seem to match up. Every band should have so much sparkle, especially on Eurovision. How funny does he look when the jacket comes off?

13 France
Ummmm… yeah… what Terry Wogan said (something like that was odd and I can't believe it won any competition in France)

14 Latvia
Are the top hats meant to make us take them more or less seriously? I'm guessing less, since they can actually sing and the song is decent and they need to fit in somehow.

15 Russia
Naughty convent school girls? Do you think they even know what they're singing?

16 Germany
I vote for him (well, if I were actually going to vote). He's cool beyond words. He's too good for Eurovision, which means he'll either do really well or tank.

17 Serbia
I'm not sure if the butch girl surrounded by the model-esque girls was supposed to be a statement, but it was kinda cool. And she has a really good voice.

18 Ukraine
AWESOME!!! I might make a disco ball hat and wear it to my brother's wedding.

I think Santa and the lighthouse dude are the same person…

19 United Kingdom
That’s the first time I've heard it all through - its pretty lame. Reminds me of Aqua - remember them? They needed to mention more eastern block countries if they want more votes.

20 Romania
That looks like a fun street party. It’s a bit stereotypical that the darkest dude in the group is the rapper though, isn't it? Actually, I like to think that might be part of their appeal, their embracing of stereotypes.

21 Bulgaria
I can't quite believe this one made it through from the semis, but then I didn't watch the whole thing, so maybe the other acts were even more dreadful?

22 Turkey
I love when they realise that singing in English makes them appeal to a broader audience, but their English is so obviously not their first language that it's kind of awkward.

LOL at their obsession with mobile phones

23 Armenia
see: Turkey, above.
Ooooh, look, the tree is waving.

24 Moldova
What on earth is she wearing?

Aww, the hosts are still in the same outfit - I was expecting more changes.

Yep, Germany was my favourite, I think. I'm gonna post this now, so I'm not tempted to spoil the winner or anything. Dude - its Santa Claus!

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Friday, 11 May 2007

My 100th post

I feel a little pathetic saying "look at me, this is my 100th post", especially since I started this blog in JULY 2005 (I had to go look that up, and it makes me feel even worse). I need to get over the feeling that everytime I post it has to be something momentous or important. There's nothing stopping me writing about the mundane, especially since the only people who seem to be reading this are my family and a few friends from back home - or are you reading and never commenting? I'll admit I'm a little guilty of that myself, but I want to know who you are...
Maybe I should challenge myself to post a photo every day?
Or I could turn it into one of those blogs where I recap every day (although at the moment, most of my days involve me sitting on my butt doing one of three things: using the internet, watching tv or crafting) but I don't think that's very me.
One of my goals on my 101 things list is to reach 1001 blog posts here. I set it to make myself write more, but I have this internal conflict over writing often and revealing too much about myself - I guess I need to get over that.

Yeah, so this is another momentous Kate blog, about nothing in particular - I guess I am already writing about the mundane? Here's a photo...

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WTH Google?

Yeah, they won't let me look at anyone's blogs - even my own when I am logged in. I don't have a virus or spyware, I guess our IP has just tried to hit blogger too many times in whatever time frame they have set.

I admit that I tried to open a bunch of blogs at once, but I have done the exact same thing (using Firefox's 'open in tabs' function) at least once a day for the past who-knows-how-long. I'm terribly sorry that I prefer to read blogs on the page rather than through a reader, but for the first time ever, you have really annoyed me, Google.

Oh, and I couldn't even check that this posted properly, because they won't let me see my blog... again I say, What The Hell?

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2007 Eurovision Song Contest Semi-Final

I did this last year and thought it'd be fun to do it again. After all, I've got nothing better to do on a Thursday night.

01 Bulgaria
A very "Eurovision" song - repetitive lyrics that you can't understand, a voice that isn't really all that great and a gimmick, this time the collection of drums on the stage. This song was out staged by the Finnish clips either side of it - too funny.

02 Israel
The dude with the funny double guitar, the political statement I think they were trying to make, the accordion player with the pipe in his mouth, the man-made crossovers "push the button, push the button, push the bu, push the bu, push the button", the crazy mix of language and musical styles, the crazy band members who looked like they all come from a different musical era - this song had something for everyone.

03 Cyprus
I don't get songs that use the same dance bit as a bunch of other songs have used before them - instead of focusing on the song you are wracking your brain to work out what other song you've heard the exact same riff in. The first of what will probably be many middle-aged woman pretending they are still teenagers.

04 Belarus
I liked their cool set flats - the stretched fabric that allowed them to stand on hidden blocks behind without breaking the line of whiteness.

05 Iceland
This dude has the aging rocker look totally down. Graeme informs me that’s because he is. The song was OK.

06 Georgia
Best-dressed female so far - I like the detail on the side, back and arm. Pretty un-memorable though.

07 Montenegro
Promising start…

...but we didn't watch more than about 30 seconds because we decided we would rather watch Lost and get our Eurovision fix on Saturday night. I'll be back then.

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Saturday, 5 May 2007

HP Friday 5 - times 5

OK, so I've been away/lazy/sick/whatever on Fridays for awhile and am way behind. I'm just going to put them all in one post, so those uninterested in Harry Potter can skip it. Possible spoilers, although I do try to avoid them.

April 6
1. If you could be directly related (son/brother/father etc.) to any one HP character, who would it be?
I'd be a Weasley. I'd either want to be like the second eldest or the second youngest Weasley kid. Or I could just replace Percy completely, although that'd take away the fun of picking on him.
2. If you made a Horcrux what would it be?
I wouldn't make a Horcrux, because the act required to make one would never happen. If I had to have some other disguised magical item, I would probably make it a book or something, because no-one would suspect that.
3. What was the one twist you did not see coming?
I hardly see any of them coming - I pretty much always expect a twist, but predicting what/who/how has never really worked out for me.
4. What would be a cool place for the final battle to happen, other than Hogwarts?
I don't care where it happens, as long as the right team wins.
5. What is your favorite chapter in the series?
Favourite chapter? I have to pick one? OK, I choose "Hermione's Secret" from PoA, because its still my favourite book and that chapter is exciting and full of hope and Harry is starting to really discover his power.

April 13 - Who would win the fight?
1."Batshit" Bellatrix LeStrange vs. Narcissa "Not a Sissy" Malfoy
Bellatrix for sure. Narcissa actually has an ounce of compassion for her family and Bellatrix doesn't care who gets hurt, as long as it ain't her.
2. Remus "Moony" Lupin vs. Fenrir "Will Eat Your Children" Greyback
I wanna say Lupin, but Fenrir is almost as crazy as Bellatrix. Lupin is smarter though, so that would help.
3. Gilderoy "Blonde Ambition" Lockhart vs Ludo "The Wasp" Bagman
Right now, anyone could beat Lockhart. That was probably the case before book 2 as well.
4. Severus "Don't Call me Snivellus" Snape vs "Seriously" Sirius Black
I think this is the most even match of the lot. It would depend on what the fight was about and who had the greater motivation.
5. Neville "Stubefy" Longbottom vs Peter "Pathetically Pitiful" Pettigrew
Neville - he knows what he wants and will one day get it. Pettigrew is just lame.

April 20
1. You're allowed to use a love potion on one HP character, but it will only last a few hours. Who do you choose?
I think we've established that I'm kinda against things like love potions. And besides, I don't want any HP characters fawning over me. I guess this is just for those weirdos that have a crush on Snape... Although, I guess you could use it on Voldemort - maybe the conflict of a love potion and his lack of a heart would make his head explode.
2. Who is someone you started out liking more than you do now?
Percy - I think that's how I'm supposed to feel about him though.
3. If Arthur Weasley came to visit you one day, whats the first Muggle object you'd show him?
The television. Preferably with an episode of Scrubs on. He'd love it.
4. If you were able to visit the Weasley house for a day, what's the first thing you'd like to see?
There's so much to see, but I'd start with the garden gnomes.
5. At the end of Book 3, Dumbledore tells Harry that he may be glad someday that he saved Pettigrew's life. Do you think Pettigrew will somehow return the favor in the final book?
Something like that. As I've said, I'm terrible at the predicting thing.

April 27 - Choose one character - I can't even pick a character, so I'll come back to this tomorrow - but I'll leave the questions up...
1. What are your three favorite moments for that character?
2. What’s your least favorite moment?
3. What’s your favorite quote by that character?
4. What is one thing you hope happens with your character in Book 7?
5. What is one thing that absolutely can’t happen to your character in the final book, APART FROM DEATH?

May 4
1. Which character do you actually prefer the movie version of?
I don't know that I can say this about anyone - I get frustrated when they change things too much, especially characters, so even if, say Krum, seems like a cooler, less grumpy person in the movie, I still get annoyed that they Hollywood-ised him.
2. Which character do you usually love, but dislike his or her movie portrayal?
Hmmmm, so far Ginny's been a bit lame, I'm hoping that improves in the next film.
3. What is your favorite moment/line/etc. added to the movies that doesn't show up in the books?
I think there's been a question similar to this before... anyway, I like the scene in GoF when McGonagall teaches the Gryffindors to dance. My enjoyment of the interactions between the characters and the way Harry's friendship with Fred and George was more established as they picked on Ron managed to overcome my usual annoyance at the random stuff they chuck in.
4. In a perfect world, ________ would play _________.
Stephen Fry would play someone - not sure who, but he reads the books so good. Apart from the weight issue, he'd probably make a good Slughorn.
5. What is your overall opinion of the movies?
As long as I don't get too hung up on things matching what I see in my mind, I enjoy them. But they are not the finest examples of book->film adaptations.

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Friday, 4 May 2007

Whats my Daemon?

I don't know if I ever wrote about the His Dark Materials trilogy, which I read and loved...
Anyway, the movie comes out at the end of the year and looks like they're gonna do a pretty good job of it. I've just been looking around the website and did the Daemon quiz - figured I'd put it here...

edit: d'oh - he was a lion, which i thought was cool, but i stupidly clicked on it to see what it was asking you all to do and seem to have changed it to a stinkin' butterfly :( please click through (if you know me) and answer the 5 questions it asks - its easy and could change what animal he is

edit again: if you do answer the questions, leave a comment and say what animal he became - he's already changed to a tiger and back to a buterfly

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Thursday, 3 May 2007

Craft supplies

We went shopping on the weekend to try and get some stuff to make birthday cards, so we can send some to people back home. We didn't need card - we got that sorted when we found this cool shop over Easter where you could fill a box with whatever paper and/or card you wanted for a pretty bargain price. This is our paper collection. Its all A5.


And this is what we got on the weekend...


So, while I guess this stuff could be used to make cards, its not the reason I really bought any of it - its just that it was all so cheap I couldn't resist. Click on the photo to see the notes showing how much it all was - leave the box of threads til last for the biggest surprise...

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Wednesday, 2 May 2007

i know, i know...

I promised updates and there haven't been any. Well, there's a reason - basically that I've been in too bad a mood to write anything. So now, you get an insight into how much my life is sucking right now...

As you (probably) know, I quit my job at Christmas because it was making me miserable. I had an interview the day after my last day for another job - I never heard ANYTHING back from them (which is rude and unexpected, given the organisation it was with, but that's a whole other rant). I went through a couple of months trying to work out what I actually wanted to do, a decision that really still hasn't been made. Our pre-booked holidays ran out and we were getting low on funds to do new things, so we decided that I should just apply to do some teaching supply work to at least get the money flowing again. I contacted the agency that seemed the best for me... I'm trying to work out how to say everything without giving away too many details to identify them. Anyway, basically it has been one big farce - incompetent moron after incompetent moron giving me different and/or wrong answers and advice to the same issues. They had issues getting in touch with my reference in Australia and expected me to be able to sort it out. They finally got it sorted over the weekend sometime. This was supposed to be the last thing stopping me from getting work. I got a phone call on Monday to say I can't work until I have a police clearance check from Australia. They had told me I didn't need this. I could've sorted it out 6 weeks ago when the whole thing started, but they told me they would help me do it and then, like I said, that I didn't actually need it. Now I have to work out how to get this friggin' police check without actually being in Australia. It could take another 6 weeks before I can work. I have called them out on their incompetence more than once now and they are always apologetic and say that the people doing/saying the wrong things will get spoken to. But those people still have jobs, don't they?

The thing is, I don't even want to teach here anymore. Its not just my terrible experience at the crappy school. Its the teenagers you see everywhere and their complete lack of respect for anyone or anything. Its the crappy school system they have that places huge emphasis on grades and results and no emphasis on creating functional members of society. Its the other teachers who couldn't care less about the kids and just went into teaching because they couldn't do anything else. Its the fact that its taking me a ridiculous amount of time and paperwork just to be a glorified babysitter. Yet, I feel like its what I need to do, because its the best way for me to make some money and about the only thing I am really qualified to do right now. I feel like this makes me a hypocrite because I only want to teach for the money, but at the moment, its true.

Back home, I loved being a teacher. Unlike many people in this world, I actually enjoy hanging out with young people, teaching them new things, learning from them, watching them grow. I'm starting to think that I shouldn't be teaching though - that I should be working with teenagers in some other capactiy - alternative education or youth work/ministry or something. But none of those things seem within reach here, especially given the fact that I need to be making money so we can continue to travel and do new things. But how am I supposed to make money if I can't even get a job?

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