Friday, 29 April 2011

Oh my days, it's been a right Royal havoc today!!

Biiiig day today in the world of the British. I have never felt so patriotic and completely in love with our Royal family as I did today.

Today in a world that seems to be falling apart around us, we got to take a break. We got to come together in unity and say, 'Yes man, let's go to a wedding!' And boy did we do it. I watched the crowd in London today and I felt that familiar urge to jump out of my seat and bellow the national anthem at the top of my lungs.

In case you hadn't heard, Prince William (future king in like 70 years at this rate) got married to the absolutely stunning and completely normal Kate Middleton, making her the future queen of England (again, when she's old and grey).

Let's look at the lovely couple shall we?

So here's my day in a nutshell.

Wake up to radio station trying to convince their correspondent who was in Buckingham Palace to steal something. Realise this could only mean that the day had finally arrived so tweeted my excitement and started the day with a skip in my step.

Turned up at Rachael-The-Bully and Claire-The-Bully's house with bacon and bread so we could watch the lead up to the wedding on Rachael-The Bully's big screen and feed ourselves as well.

I check my watch and tut in a disapproving manner as it would seem William was already late to his day. My mind then starts to imagine scenarios where he's completely freaked out and is insisting he can't go through with it.

I realise my imagination has run away with me again and Prince William leaves Buckingham Palace with Prince Harry (or as I like to call him, 'The ultimate hunky ginger'). We all cross our fingers and toes in hope that he makes it to Westminster Abbey without any bombs or snipers going off.

They make it and I start breathing again.

10:30am - 11:00am
All the other Royal family arrive (Prince Charles and Camilla, Queen Elizabeth etc). Claire-The-Bully and I remark at how beautiful Kate's sister Pippa looked in her maid of honour dress. Rachael-The-Bully snaps at both myself and Claire-The-Bully for talking over the top of the commentator. Claire-The-Bully and I apologise.

11:05am (or there abouts)
Kate smuggles herself into the car that will be taking her to Westminster Abbey. We catch a glimpse of the dress. Claire-The-Bully and I marvel over what we've seen so far and comment on the lace at the top. Rachael-The-Bully turns the TV up uncharacteristically loud and throws us both a glare. Claire-The-Bully and I apologise again.

11:15 - 13:45
Kate arrives at Westminster Abbey and we finally get to see the full effect of the dress. It's minimalistic, elegant and absolutely gorgeous. We all agree on this and give our approval. I ring the Royal Wedding planners and tell them they can go ahead with the wedding because it's a unanimous approval from us three. They are grateful and radio it in that Kate can proceed into the building. She does.

The service was gorgeous, the hymns were well picked and Prince Harry was on top form, looking back at Kate as she walked down the aisle and then reporting back to Wills on what he saw. I like to think he said something along the lines of "She looks well fit mate." On the way out I make a comment about how I wouldn't put it past Harry to now hit on Pippa in his role as best man. In true timing genius, the next shot was Harry sliding in a few smooth words to Pippa as they left the church. Loved it.

Kate meets the crowd in her first appearance as a member of the Royal Family and Duchess of Cambridge. She looks stunning and gets into the carriage with such grace. Claire-The-Bully and I both agree that she may need to work on her wave a bit more. It seemed less regal and more "Everyone, look at me! I'm a princess!" Mind you, she did just become a Princess after coming out of almost nowhere so fair play Kate, you deserve that kind of wave! Rachael-The-Bully makes some kind of sarcastic remark about how they don't even need a commentator on the TV if we were going to insist on talking all the way through. Claire-The-Bully and I look at each other sheepishly and apologise again.

We wait an hour and marvel at the thousands of people who had turned up to see this wedding. All agreeing that we were a little jealous for not making the effort ourselves.

Kate and Wills come out onto the balcony and grace us with not one but two kisses as official husband and wife! (I absolutely loved that the second kiss was after Wills turned to Kate and went, "Another kiss?")

We all celebrated and hoorahed and laughed and got all patriotic.

14:30 - 20:00
I went to a barbeque to celebrate the wedding round Good-Buddy-Karls. I brought face paint. I saw this face (it belongs to a friend called Ben).

I knew I had to paint it. Ben wasn't happy with this decision so we made a deal. If I painted a Union Jack on my face without looking in a mirror then he would let me paint a lion's face onto his. I agreed.

It ended in this.

Only problem was I caught the bug and was soon begging others to let me try. Which turned into this.

(That's a Union Jack, a lion, and two pirates in case you weren't sure.)

The kids at the barbeque were also very excited about the face paints and attacked every person they could get their hands on, which turned into this.

All in all, Good times.

Cheers Wills and Kate, have a fabtabulous marriage!

Thursday, 28 April 2011

If I wanted to pay to have stupid little things flying out at me I'd hire a darts player to throw things at my head.

Today's blog will be in the form of a rant.

Shock I know, as I do try to keep these things as up beat and chipper as I can but this is something that has been burning inside me for quite a while now and if I don't let it out I think I may spontaneously combust. Something that will certainly not help the house I am currently trying to spring clean. (And I'm doing it in the spring... awesome! Hadn't thought of that!)

Today I woke up and being the uber cool person that I am, I checked my twitter immediately. Whilst stalking my various celebrities and other far more successful bloggers, Simon Pegg brought to my attention that there is now a new Harry Potter trailer out.

Eager and with a gusto I have not quite experienced in the whole week I have been off work, I ran to my computer and turned it on. Hoping and praying that what he had to say was true, because if it was... A-MA-ZING.

Sure enough, spread across the top of the page for everyone to see was the beautiful link to the new HP trailer. Eager I clicked on it and man, watching it was awesome. For those of you who haven't seen it, check it out here.

There was something else that Mr Pegg had alluded to in his tweet about this trailer however that hurt my feelings and I had hoped wasn't true. However, after watching the trailer it was confirmed and, upon seeing this one small confirmation, my minor irritation turned into the need for a full blown rant. Ladies and Gents, it is with a heavy heart I tell you that the HP makers have gone over to the dark side and decided to turn the movie into a *shudders and gags a little* 3D experience.

Why HP? WHY???????

You were doing so good with the last movie, staying so true to the book you made me almost cry with the beauty of it. And even the main three actors were acting decently. The whole film was a joy to behold as it finally was everything I had wanted out of a HP film.

From this I was brought into a false sense of security, assuming that by getting it right finally, the second part would have to be as good. You were making all the right decision HP makers, you were FINALLY DOING IT RIGHT!!!! So why did you have to ruin it now???

Why does everyone who is making a film that has the tiniest bit of action involved insist on suddenly making the whole experience jump out at you from the screen?

I mean it's not even like it's a better experience, you have to buy these stupid black glasses that start to fall down your nose half way through the 'experience.' If you wear glasses it automatically makes things awkward as you then have to maneuver the two glasses together to get maximum effect.

Plus after a while you even forget that the thing is in 3D as it just begins to merge into the story so what's the point film-makers?? WHAT'S THE POINT??

All that being said, the absolutely worst thing about the whole thing, the one little snippet that makes me want to rip my eyes out of their sockets, throw them at the screen and scream "Here have my eyesight, it's better than subjecting me to this!" They charge you extra for going to see it.

Yes, given that this is my least favourite thing about the cinema world at the moment, given that it actually makes me want to cry at the injustice of it. I would actually argue that they should at least be paying me for the privilege of watching their sub-par sorry excuse for a film.

But no, they wear the 3D experience badge with pride and tell me that I should be happy to sit through the uncomfortable experience of seeing a film ruined by some money hungry people who insist on adding tricks and whistles to a film that might have been good if they had just left it alone.

Now they do create a few 2D viewings as well, but here's what I have discovered about these viewings. They are either:

A. At a stupid time in the early afternoon when you are working and couldn't possibly make it.

B. If they do have a time that is available to you, you have to book like three days in advance because all the tickets are sold out otherwise.

Film Makers of the world, doesn't this tell you that the majority of your viewers really don't want to be subject to the whole thing? People don't want to go to a film that demands it's own accessories. People don't particularly care if a blue alien creature can reach out of the screen and actually touch you. And most of all, in this current climate especially, people do NOT want to have to pay £15 to see something that decades of film have proved works just as well, if not better, in 2D.

So please listen to my plea, understand that it comes from a place of love. I am a film LOVER. I average my viewings at the cinema at around three times a week, I love what you do. But this 3D fad has to stop. Just stop it. Kill it. Realise that it was fun for a while but now... no one really cares. It's time to stop your silly shenanigans and get back to what film making is all about, telling a story and doing it in style.

Thanks for listening.

Tuesday, 26 April 2011

The mysterious case of the 9 year old Blazer.

Today I have adopted the role of Inspector Harries as a mystery has fallen into my lap that has stumped me completely and I must share with you.

For the past two days I have been at my parent's house, rooting through their loft and saving all my childhood memories as they are moving up to Scotland in a couple of months and can't take it all with them.

New and exciting thing to know about me? I am a hoarder. I cannot for the life of me throw anything away. If it holds any type of memory for me then it is precious and must be kept for all eternity even if it has no use ever again.

This has made the past two days incredibly interesting as I have been reminiscing over all of the random stuff I have kept over the years. Some of them were notes that me and my friends passed each other in class proclaiming our undying love to the boy we were certain was going to be our soulmate (none of which I think any of us have seen in at least five years). Some of them were left over ticket stumps and programmes for the various school muscials and concerts I was in during my school life (I was a bit of a theatrical person back then...and now).

Two of the most amazing things I found though, that made me almost cry with the memories attached to them, were my oldest stuffed toys. Ladies and gents, I introduce to you Ellie the Elephant and Spot the Dog.

Ellie in particular is very old and has been sewed back together too many times to count. Man, I LOVE that elephant.

The big mystery that I faced however was in one of the boxes that I didn't get a chance to look in until I got home.

In it was a bunch of old clothes including my signed shirt from my last day at school. This did look a lot more impressive until my 'clean crazy' mother took one look at it a couple of years later and thought "That could do with a wash."


I know.

Unfortunately now all I can make out are a couple of messages that seem to say 'goob Lsa' and 'iss yo Hrris' scattered around the back. Not nearly as sentimental as it was intended to be.

Another item of clothing that I found however was my old school blazer. Remembering how much it swamped me while I was at school as I'm pretty sure it was a large boy's size, I put it on to see if the weight gain really was that remarkable (the answer was yes by the way, very depressingly yes).

Whilst wearing it I thought I might check out what was in the pockets. You know, see what Lisa was carrying on her last day of school 9 years ago. The first thing I pulled out (amongst a receipt for chocolate and a lolly pop wrapper) was an official school photo of a girl in my year... a girl I think I had said a total of three things to in the whole 6 years I had attended... that left me just a little bit puzzled I can tell you that. I wracked my brain but I couldn't think for the life of me why on earth I would be carrying her picture.

Intrigued I searched my other pockets and it was as I was checking my inside breast pocket that the one little photo I had found turned into a full blown mystery.

The first things I found made me laugh because it wasn't so much a mystery but rather just an amazing insight into me on two small pieces of paper. (Thank you mum for encouraging my laziness)

But the rest of what I found threw me into confusion.

I found these

followed by this

Guys, I have no memory of how on earth any of these things got into my pocket. And as for the key? Well I have no clue what it is for. It wasn't for a locker as I didn't have one in year 11. It's too small to be a door key and at the age of 16 there really isn't anything else I would have needed a key for!

The only conclusion that I could possibly have come to is that there was something massive that happened on the last day of school that involved a girl I barely knew from school, a woman getting married, a man gardening, a young boy, a sultry woman and a happier one and the key opens something that will unlock the whole mystery. Someone wanted me to find out and solve this case but in my hastiness of not ever having to wear that uniform again, I took the blazer off without ever checking the pockets.

My only worry now is maybe I have discovered the clues too late? What was in that locked container? Oh my days... I sincerely hope it wasn't perishable...

Excuse me while I go and check to see if the girl in the photo is still around today... if only I could remember her name!

Any insight into what these clues could mean I would be majorly grateful. I fear what my lack of awareness may have done...

Monday, 25 April 2011

I am so not competitive... in fact you could say that I am the most non competitive person there is... I'll arm wrestle you to prove it.

Here's a new thing about me that you will most undoubtedly die happy knowing about. I happen to have a very ugly looking competitive side. Especially when it comes to sports.

The one problem with this is unfortunately I happen to be very average when it comes to sport based games... Actually, who am I kidding? I'm highly below average.

So when I went to help Claire-The-Bully move into Rachael-The-Bully's house (at 8pm so that actually all of the moving in would have been completed) and Claire-The-Bully suggested unpacking her Wii Player, I should have guessed that this was going to turn me into a highly stressed out Lisa.

It's not that I want to suck all the fun out of the game until everyone has become really angry with each other in their sudden urge to win. It's just my competitive streak tends to goad people so much that the games always end up finishing that way.

I don't know what it is, but every time anyone mentions the word 'game,' I automatically am filled with a sudden urge to win. It starts as this little pull somewhere near the bottom of my chest, but then as the rules of the game are explained the urge will grow inside of me until it's buzzing around my head, telling me that bad things will happen if I don't win.

Not wanting the world to implode on itself (as it no doubtedly would if I did not feed my urge and win), I start psyching myself up, telling me that no matter how ridiculous the prospect of me winning can be in this scenario, I have to give everything I have until I have accomplished either victory or death.

This has been the case in a series of stupid games throughout my life.

Whether it's eating raw jelly in the quickest amount of time.

Swinging from a harness around an assault course in the trees.

Playing Bingo whilst on holiday.

Or even through a competition whereby I had to have come up with the best dance/costume to win.

(yes I am the one with the dramatic stance whilst everyone else on her team watches her nervously)

All that being said. I should have guessed that behaving this way around Claire-The-Bully and Rachael-The-Bully would inevitably result in some ultimate ganging up on me from their side. I mean, they don't usually need much to get them going and me throwing catty remarks at them with each game I lost was going to rub them up the wrong way and make them hell bent to ensure I never won at anything ever again.

So when Rachael-The-Bully suggested a good game of Wii Bowling, I felt the urge start to pull somewhere near the bottom of my chest and I realised that this was not going to end pretty.

The first game went as it usually does with me when I play any kind of activity sport (be it real or virtual). I sucked majorly but refused to admit that that was the reason why I was losing and so blamed it on the game and not on me.

Yes, I do this all the time but this game I reckon I was actually justified. You see, I just couldn't get that stupid bowling ball to go in a straight line. No matter how straight I was bowling it (and trust me, I was) it would keep on veering off to one side.

"There's something wrong with this game." I said, after the eighth time of watching the ball fall into the gutter at the last moment.

Claire threw me a skeptical look. "It's funny how the game only seems to be reacting to you in that way isn't it?"

"That means nothing." I said. "It's your game, you've probably rigged it."

"You're obviously putting a curve on the ball at the last minute. Plus you're not centre to the TV. Get closer to Rachael."

"Claire, if I get any closer to Rachael I'm going to be sitting on her!"

"Please don't sit on me." Rachael murmured as she continued to rummage through her sewing bag and ignore the game completely.

I threw the virtual ball again, paying special attention to the angle of my hand and twisting it the right this time as I let go to prove my point. As was usual the ball rolled up the lane in a straight line and then at the last moment veered off to the left.

"It's broken!" I exclaimed, throwing the Wii remote at Rachael.

Rachael sighed and stood up with the remote. "It's not broken, look."

Rachael threw her arm back but stumbled as she brought it forward again, throwing it off to one angle, the virtual ball flew out of her hand and down the lane.

"Whoops, didn't mean to do that."

We all watched as the ball in some bizarre move curved it's way back into a straight line on the lane and smacked all the pins down, giving Rachael her third fluke strike in a row.

"Hey! Look at that!" Rachael laughed as she passed the remote to Claire and sat back down again.

Claire stared at her open mouthed. I shook my head in disgust. Pushing as much venom as I possibly could into it, I looked her in the eyes and muttered.

"I hate you."

The game continued as that until all ten goes were played, I came last, Jammy Rachael came second and Claire won out of, what she would call 'talent,' but what I would call 'a girl who has too much time on her hands that she would have played this game so much she was actually good at it.'

Apparently this was an example of how I played ugly when it came to games and if I were actually winning then I would think that was a good thing, but I wasn't too sure about that.

"Fancy another game?" Rachael asked.

Claire looked at me with a smirk pasted on her face. "Yeah, why not, it's always good to watch Lisa get upset over something."

Revived with the possibility of another game, whereby I would suddenly find my untapped talent for Wii Bowling and unleash it on the world, I hastily agreed.

"Bring it on," I said. "I was just warming up in the first game, I'll be ready for you now."

"Yeah right," Claire said. "You're not fooling anyone."

I stared Claire down and gave her my victory stance. I was going to win this one. I had to.

If I was honest, I knew it wouldn't happen. I knew it was lost before it began. But I couldn't stop the urge within me to win. I had to try.

I threw my first bowl and watched it, as per usual, veer off to the left. I growled at the TV and cursed the people who had thought up Wii. I then threw the second bowl and in some miraculous 'Rachael like' move I watched the ball knock over the remaining pins.

I had scored my first spare. MY FIRST SPARE!!!!

Overwhelmed by my sudden talent I danced around the room, pulling a less than excited Claire into a dance with me.

The game progressed and one after the other, on each of my turns, I continued to get spare after spare after spare. Somewhere around the sixth go I then progressed my talent to the next level and watched myself bowl a strike.

The moment that last pin hit the floor it was as if the world had gone into silence. I watched transfixed as the word Strike appeared on my screen, and then the excitement began. I erupted.

I created a new dance to add to my repertoire. A victory dance. I can't really explain it too much but it did involve a lot of waving my bum in the faces of Claire and Rachael.

I don't really want to tell you rest of the story as it is possible that my game loses some of it's pizazz after that. So I'm going to be one of those people that only tells half of a story and leave you with the image that I finally beat the lovable bullies, Claire and Rachael, because in my mind that's where the game ended and that's when I became victorious.

Plus this has become a really long post and if by some miraculous chance you are still with me, I want you all to still love me and not become bored.

Peace out.

Sunday, 24 April 2011

It's fun to frolic in the sun and experience multiple personalities all in one day.

I wanted to start this blog with the idea that British Stereo-types were actually quite accurate if my actions last Friday were anything to go by. However when I went to google images to look for a picture on the stereo-typical British person I realised that what I thought was still the stereo type for us had moved on to something drastically different.

You see, I was under the impression our Stereo-Type was something like this.

Turns out, however, that as the times have changed, our Stereo-Type is actually more like this.


As a result, I have chosen to ignore the introduction and go straight into my day on Friday.

On this day, my friends and I took advantage of the sun and went out for a picnic at this really nice estate grounds near where we live.

As we arrived we settled down on the blankets and one of my friends Smithy brought out his guitar and the beautiful Anna brought out a small little drum.

Dude, I loved that we were those kind of people that bring guitars. Add the daisy chains that me and Anna made to the equation and we were verifiable hippies.

I have been called a lot of things in my life, but a hippie was definitely not one of them, so I very much enjoyed soaking in the new situation I found myself in.

As the day progressed we became a lot less hippie like and a lot more Stereo-Typical. It started with Anna's contribution to keeping me and her protected from the sun. She brought with her Parasols.

I stole the prettiest one of the two and automatically my whole character was drastically transformed into a lady who does lunch with her companions and laughs over tea and scones. Yes, this one piece of accessory was suddenly the thing that defined me as a person. I would never again be common. I would never again burp in public. I would never again cackle my witches cackle because a friend of mine had fallen over and actually really badly hurt themselves. All of those things belonged to common, rough Lisa. I was posh, sophisticated and refined Lisa.

What really tipped us over the edge however was when Karl brought out the authentic cricket ball for 'a quick game with the lads.' They played, Anna and I took pictures and laughed daintily whilst giving small courteous waves to the passer-bys who had come out for a stroll with their loved ones.

This was what I was seeing in my head. In reality it was more me screaming any time the 'death ball' (as I like to call it) came anywhere near my face. Parents shouting at their kids to stop climbing trees as it would result in falling to their death, and a man snoring loudly as he slowly cooked himself in the sun.

But I barely noticed this, I was far too busy living in the alternate reality in my head. It was nicer there, there was even a soundtrack of classical music playing in that reality.

We went for a walk and Dave climbed a whole tree all by himself, we almost got eaten by a swamp monster and I revealed a deep and dark secret about myself.

Yes people, it was an intense secret apparently. So intense I didn't even realise it classified as news at all.

I don't know what it says about the interestingness of the day when the most amazing and unbelievable fact that came out of the whole day was that I had in fact never played a game called Boggle.

Apparently, if I had played Boggle then I would have had my world open to the spin off game noggle. Which (in case you haven't already figured it out) is in fact the Naked version of Boggle. Apparently it doesn't add anything onto the overall rules of the game, it's just played naked instead of with clothes. Anna then went on to talk about the spin off game of Risk called Nisk... apparently there were more, but I think you get the idea.

Overall it was an awesome day, ending us in Hertfordshire where I ate in one of the poshest pubs I've ever been to and watched them serve people who looked like this.

I guess it's possible for both Stereo-Types to co-exist in the same world... doesn't stop me from being highly bummed out about it though.

Friday, 22 April 2011

A taster of things to come... intrigued?? You should be... or you don't have to be I guess. I suppose it's really just up to you.

I've neglected my blog for almost two days and for this I am whole heartedly sorry. My reason for this however is because something amazing has happened in England. We have hit a public holiday period and the sun has been out. A lot. More than it was a couple of weeks ago.

Due to this fact I have found myself uncharacteristically with a social life once again and so have not been around to write anything to you wonderful people. I know. I'm sorry. I do not want you to think for one moment that I am one of those friends who will ditch you the moment something more interesting comes up. I love you all far too much for that.

Over the next couple of weekends we have a really cool two long weekends off in a row. I am one of those really cool people who jumped in and booked the three days in between these two long weekends off so that I can utilise the wonderfulness that is and 11 day holiday whilst only taking 3 days annual leave. Yes I'm cool.

Lot's of amazing things are coming out of these two weekends that you will get to enjoy immensely as I blog so I guess I shall use this particular post to give you a contents page of what is to come on future posts.

1. Today I went out with friends picnicking and walking and running around in the sun, (there's a video attached that requires editing, which is why I haven't blogged this today (but in the meantime, sneak peak!!))

2. Tomorrow Good-Buddy-Hannah gets married to Good-Buddy-Dave and it's all very exciting!

3. Tomorrow Claire-The-Bully moves into Rachael-The-Bully's house and so fun shall be had during that process.



6. Monday I shall be barbequing with the parentals before they pack their bags and move off to Scotland, carelessly leaving their children behind.

7. Royal wedding will be happening a week on Friday and there will be a themed barbeque involved and happiness all round as (even though I may not actually be) I love it when we get all British.

Depending on the interestingness of all of this I no doubtedly will have something completely weird to comment on all of this, throwing everyone into a thought process so deep that it will change the lives of all who read it. Because, you know, that's blatantly what I do on all my posts.

Peace out my lovelies.

Wednesday, 20 April 2011

I'm still young and hip... in a really sensible and respectable way.

Just a quick moment of post before I head to Bedfordshire...

I've just arrived home from the cinema. Being one of those really cool people who believes themselves to be above driving a car, I caught the bus home.

Whilst on the bus a rather frightening realisation hit me. The first thing that led me to this realisation was my thoughts on the bus drivers driving. I couldn't help but notice that the man seemed to be driving far too fast for what I found to be comfortable. I know it was late and so there was no traffic on the road but still, it concerned me slightly and left me wondering if this speed was at all necessary.

Then I thought that I really shouldn't judge without knowing the whole situation. I mean, I've seen Speed and sure I didn't see Keanu Reeves or Sandra Bullock anywhere but that didn't mean that there wasn't some form of life threatening device attached to the bus. Maybe the driver was simply trying to keep us all alive rather than dicing with death as I had initially thought.

Also I noticed that no one else on the bus seemed to notice the speed we were currently going at, so I had to assume that maybe this was another of my over reactions. Whatever the case was, it didn't alas, stop me from tutting under my breath in a rather disapproving manner.

This all happened without me really thinking anything of my reactions. However, the next thing I caught myself doing made me stop myself in my tracks.

Just as we were pulling away from a bus stop, three young ruffians around their teenage years ran across the road right in front of us. They all made it across the road unscathed but not before I caught myself throwing them the 'Old lady look of disgust.'

Yes people, I have turned into the oldest 25 year old in the world as in one single moment I had turned into that lady who wonders what the youth of today are like that they would dare throw themselves in front of a moving vehicle. I didn't see the look I gave them but I'm pretty sure it looked something like this.

I'm going to go and crawl under my electric blanket, finish the last part of the jumper I was knitting and listen to Radio 4 on the Wireless whilst taking the last of my glaucoma medicine. It always helps me sleep better.

What do you know? I can talk about other people too... occasionally.

Since I started writing this blog, every so often someone highlights an interesting thing to me and suggests I write a post about it.

For the most part I will agree that this particular fact would make an awesome post but due to rubbishness on my part, I never get round to writing it.

Monday, however, something was brought to my attention so awesome I couldn't let it pass by.

So today my post is not going to be about me. Today, I present to you the lovely and beautiful Anna Tidey.

(Yes, that is her real hair colour... I know, I'm jealous too)

Anna you may recognise from this post and she is one of the loveliest ladies I've ever met.

Random fact about her you may not know: Two and a half years ago, when I started writing my book 'Serenity,' she was my muse for one of my main characters and now as I write the second book, she continues to be.

All that being said, aside from her hair, Anna has always had a certain aspect about her that has made me envy her ridiculously. That aspect is her name.

You see, Anna has one of the coolest mixes ever. She is absolutely tiny (under 5 feet I believe) and she has the surname Tidey. Yes, ladies and gents, you're right, that could only mean one thing.

She has at her disposal her own series of merchandise.

For years I have envied her for this, crying into my pillow at night for not having a surname that also means 'chatty' or 'giggles.'

On Monday though, Anna brought to my attention something new that she had discovered about her name and this fact has now had me searching the internet to see how much it would cost to change my name by Deed Poll.

Anna discovered that not only did her name mean that she never need have to put a name tag in her clothes ever again, but it was also a verifiable phobia.

Not only that, but this phobia is freaking awesome.

So I leave you with the best name ever and I'll see you next year at the annual 'I've changed my name to Anna Tidey' conference.

Definition for anatidaephobia:
Anatidaephobia is the fear of being watched or stalked by a duck.

Coolest name EVER.

Tuesday, 19 April 2011

The day my stomach decided it had had enough of my shenanigans.

Work-Buddy-James has a bit of a passion for everything that is Chinese. In the course of our short friendship he has tried to get me excited about this too.

He has asked me to listen to Chinese music... I listened to about 3 bars before I told him to turn it off. He appealed to my 'film review' side and asked me to review some Chinese films... I thought of the concentration behind reading subtitles and immediately felt knackered so fobbed him off with the excuse that I can't read.

Today though, he asked me if I had ever eaten Dim Sum. I hadn't. I was also hungry. So I decided that I would be supportive of his passion this one time and partake of this food.

We went in our lunch break and upon looking at the menu and seeing that there was no Sweet and Sour Pork or Chow Mein of any kind to be found, I realised that this was not going to be anything like my usual take away.

Due to this, Work-Buddy-James took over the ordering of the food, ordering dishes that quite frankly scared me whilst assuring me that it would be the best food I'd ever tasted.

When the waiter arrived with our Chinese tea instead of my usual Diet Coke, I took a deep breath and reassured myself that everything would be okay. Change is a good thing right?

Then the food arrived and my need for a greater intake of breath arrived with it. It was food that looked something like this.

And this

Which scared me, because I was used to food that looked like this

So I pasted a big smile on my face, scolded myself for not having an open enough mind and then looked around for my plate.

It wasn't until I saw Work-Buddy-James tucking in with the tiny saucer and bowl in front of him that I realised that this was what I should be using. James looked at me with a grin then and said.

"I was going to start explaining how you use the bowl and spoon with the chopsticks but then I realised that you're not an idiot."

Oh how we laughed.

Throwing quick manic glances in his direction for tips, I reached for my first slimy dish (looking remarkably slug like but which I was assured was in fact beef in noodle) and attempted to eat it.

I will admit now, all of the dishes I ate were really nice and with each new dish I puffed up more and more in pride at how daring and open I was being for trying new food.

However, somewhere around my third new dish, my stomach perked up and started sending confused messages to my brain.

I could almost hear it's complaints, saying "What is this new thing? And this one? I don't recognise anything you are giving me right now." After the fourth dish it practically shouted "Stop confusing me!"

It was at this point the final dish was brought out, completely encased in a giant leaf, and it was also at this point where even my brain said "enough Lisa."

Remember from this blog when I said that Work-Buddy-James doesn't like to waste food? Well, because of this apparently, I had no choice but to eat the leaf dish (which turned out to have rice and meat inside).

Not wanting to suck in my supportive friend moment, I took the smallest chunk and put it in my bowl.

I then had to negotiate with my stomach, promising it a Big Mac later if it just accepted one more new thing. It agreed with the bargain but begrudgingly, and I psyched myself up and ate the final dish.

This has been my day. My stomach is still intact and, if offered in the future, most of the food I would eat again. But as for now? I think I'll be sticking to my tuna sandwich tonight.

Monday, 18 April 2011

The life altering tale of a woman without a home

I had a pretty traumatic thing happen to me this weekend. It's shocked me to my very core and made me question all there is that defines me.

On Saturday, before embarking on my 3 film cinema marathon (check out filmsworthseeing for more info on that) I decided that three cards through my letterbox reminding me that I needed to do my census was enough to make me do it.

I sat down with my lap top, imagined I was a secret agent as I entered in my secret code and proceeded to fill in the questionnaire.

1st section revealed nothing apart from making me realise just how boring my life in census world is.

Seriously, those guys should throw in a more interesting question every now and then, like "What's your favourite item of furniture in the house you live in right now?" followed by "On as scale of 1 to 10 - how much would you say you loved it?"

Anywho - I digress.

The 2nd section was about me as a person and where I came from (in terms of 'town I was born in' rather than 'how I was made').

Fun fact about me you may not know - I was actually born on a tiny pebble of an island in between France and England called Guernsey in the Channel Islands.

Although I was already aware that this didn't make me an 'English born' person, I had a British passport so I still felt I belonged.

On the day of the census filling however, this changed.

When asked to pick out which country I was born in from the list, I noticed I didn't appear, so I ticked 'other' and manually entered in my little island.

Upon clicking on 'next' I was taken to a page that asked me for the month and year of when I first entered the UK.

Perplexed and certain that I had been sent to the page in error, I clicked next without filling in anything.

That pesky red writing was suddenly all over my screen telling me that I was wrong for hitting next.

After yelling back at the screen, stating that I'm obviously right and it's the computer who's the idiot, I clicked the next button three more times, convinced that somehow one of those times it would change it's mind and give me a different answer.

It didn't.

After 5 minutes of further stern words with the stubborn website I then noticed the 'Help' sign in the top right hand corner.

I clicked on it and here people is where I faded away into nothingness as my very identity was ripped away from me...

Apparently Guernsey isn't part of the United Kingdom. Apparently it's just that little too far off to qualify.

The fact that it wasn't part of the UK was bad enough, what was worse however was that I had NO CLUE what Guernsey was a part of.

Then I thought "pants... am I French?" This worried me as I don't even know the language and I'm not exactly a massive fan of garlic... I mean I'll eat it if it's there but it's not like I crave it or anything. It's just so smelly.

I phoned my mother in full crisis mode and she assured me that I wasn't secretly French and didn't need to start taking language lessons.

However, I fear that this is worse... who am I? When I fill out application forms, what nationality do I put? I'm like a nomad, an eternal wanderer, wanted by no country.

I can't even get back into Guernsey because they're so picky and won't take anyone who hasn't lived there for 15 years. I left the Channel Islands and (emigrated it would seem) to England when I was 2!

My identity is crushed. If anyone is knowledgeable in the culture of the Channel Islands and can shed some light on where I belong I would be most grateful as it would save me from losing my sense of self altogether.

Much love.

Best thing EVER!!!!

Hey guys,

So I'm a little obsessed with the stats page on my blog. It allows me to see which posts are being viewed the most and where in the world people are watching etc etc. One of the sections on it lets me know how the people found my blog. Usually through Google, but today I had a little look and saw a new website on there. Intrigued as to how that is anything to do with me I went onto the website and FOUND THIS!!!!!!!!!!

Hazzah!! People who do not know me are recommending me!! Hazzah Hazzah Hazzah!! Happiness in a bag is this day!

Sunday, 17 April 2011

Apparently if you close your eyes, don't agitate anything, and wish hard enough, then all your kitchen dreams can come true!

Biggest news of this weekend?

It just happened. Literally half an hour ago. Turns out if Mr Muscle doesn't succeed on the first try then the second time is a charm! Hazzah to no rooting through my U bend! (Keep it clean please people.)

I was overwhelmed with such excitement that I immediately washed up the weeks worth of dishes that had started to stink up my kitchen.

What's that I hear you cry? Is that another LOCD peering out at you? Correct! You get a gold star.

I won't even pretend that I'm a tidy person because... well... who am I kidding? But for some reason the drying dish area beside my sink is a very sacred place. When washing up, if the dishes, cutlery, glasses and other miscellaneous food related equipment are not in their correct place the world surely will end in a ball of fire and I couldn't do that to you lovely people! I mean, who would read my blogs then?

Some of the places make sense, like the knives and forks are in the cutlery pot furthest away from me as they are the sharpest and most likely to cause me to bleed. The cutlery pot closest to me is reserved for the safest of all cutlery, the spoon and it's child, the teaspoon. (They used to also hold the chop stick as well but that was able to poke just as dangerously as the knife's ability to cut, so they were moved immediately.)

The others have their place because... well look how pretty it looks? Why would I want to disrupt that?


I am an awesome gourmet chef at all food microwaved because I'm an awesome kick ass single home dweller. Today I had me some corned beef hash thingy (tastes a lot nicer than it sounds). The instructions confused me slightly however, when I looked and saw this...

I was pretty sure this was a weird instruction to have on cooking directions, but just to be sure I went to Google dictionary to find out what it truly means to agitate. This was what I found.

1. Make (someone) troubled or nervous.



Okay. Question, how do you make a black plastic tray full of half cooked food troubled or nervous?

Not wanting to fail at an epic cooking task, I attempted to do as it said. I looked the tray straight in what I assumed was it's eye, pointed my finger menacingly at it and said "Have you seen the state of the economy today? It's not good at all. Everything's really expensive."

Unfortunately not only did this have no effect on the food but it also backfired horribly on me as I started panicking about my own finances and how I was certainly going to die of being without money within the next year.

I take it I had a particularly brave looking food who didn't want to show it's agitation as although I had noticed no difference, once it came out of the microwave for the second time, it was scrumptious to eat and full of all kinds of hopelessness.


Saturday, 16 April 2011

Flight of the conchords is my life and RACHAEL has ruined it!!!!!

I'm around Rachael's house tonight. The most amazing thing happened, flight of the conchords was on! I was watching in true love obsession. Then the worst person in the world changed the channel. Suddenly in a fit of passion, I slapped Rachael silly and insisted that I needed to see them perform but she didn't care!! She just insisted on finding a 'better channel!' Like such a channel exists!!!!!

I fell into a fit of depression as I tried to find the awesome magical channel that showed 'Flight of the Conchords' but I couldn't find it! She had lost it forever! I'm soooo upset. I've lost my reason for living and Rachael is the reason for this. And Claire, who is supposed to be my friend, just laughed and let it happen.

They complained that this would make them see like bullies again, but I argued that if they had just let me have my moment of happiness they would have seemed like angels. They ruined my life however and now I am crying... Rachael and Claire, you don't understand my life and the happiness involved. You've ruined my life of happiness.


UPDATE: I couldn't add this as I was at Rachael's at the time of writing the above post but when I asked Claire and Rachael to show their remorse for their horrible deed this was what they told me to upload...


Friday, 15 April 2011

It's a little unnerving when you make me look like a perv without my permission.

Dear couple groping each other on the train this morning,

Please don't read this and assume I'm a bitter spinster. I'm really not. I love love, I think it's awesome. The idea that two people can find the person they like more than any other person blows my mind and will always make me cry when watched in movie form. 

That being said... This morning was a little uncalled for don't you think? It was 8:15am for crying out loud, I hadn't even had breakfast. 

I get that you two both dig each other and are totally attracted to the other's body, but seriously? I mean I could actually hear the sloppy sound of saliva mixing and I've got to admit... I gagged a little. 

Okay, so I understand the train was packed and you two had no choice but to get as close to each other as you were, but was the incessant touching and stroking necessary? I managed to stay pressed up against the 50 year old business man next to me and keep my hands to myself. 

Maybe your attraction to each other really is that strong that one touch of the other sends you into a frenzy, but if that is the case, might I suggest travelling on the train when it isn't rush hour and you might have more of a chance of getting a seat each?

I hate to be a pain about this, it's just this morning I was wedged facing you and I had no choice but to watch the live soft porn show you were putting on. This made me just a little uncomfortable and has left images and sounds in my brain that I fear may haunt me for years to come. 

I would be most grateful if perhaps you could keep your undeniable desire for each other to a place that doesn't mean you're sharing your special moment with 50 or so other unconsenting adults. 

Thanks, I appreciate it. 

Yours (appropriately) lovingly

Lisa xx

Thursday, 14 April 2011

Do I have an addictive personality? Let's obsess on that for a while and decide.

My bedroom is currently full of feathers. I woke up in the middle of the night last night to the tickle of one that had decided to lodge itself halfway up my nose... that was a bizarre feeling.

It's no one's fault but my own alas. You see two nights ago I changed my bed covers (I can actually hear my mother's cries of joy). I have two feather pillows on my bed. My reason for buying these feather pillows was not for comfort sake, nor because I find them to be superior pillows. No, my reason for buying them is a simple one, one that I have had since I was 8 years old and first set my sights on my Grandma's feather pillow.

I remember that day very well, I had sat down on the sofa in her back room and that dark brown velvet cushion just sat there, watching me, inviting me into it's featherness joy.

The reason for why it was so intriguing to me was due to one small white speck in the middle of it's rich brown colour. On closer inspection I discovered this white speck to be the pointy end of a feather.

An urge came over me then, so large that I knew I would never be able to resist it. I had to pull that feather out.

I practically pounced on the cushion in my hastiness to fulfill my child desire. I pulled the cushion close, placed my index finger and thumb around the small stalk and pulled.

The sheer satisfaction behind pulling that feather out to my young 8 year old brain, was immense.

I immediately wanted more. I wanted to feel that satisfaction again. I placed my palm down on the cushion surface and searched for any more feathers poking out, To my delight there were more... and then more still... and then even more. Once I had exhausted the cushion of all it's protruding feathers, I went on the hunt for more cushions like it, and boy did I find them.

To my utmost joy my Grandma was a complete lover of all cushions feathery. I set to work on all the cushions in the room until there were none left to pluck and the clock on the wall told me that three hours had gone by.

The room looked like 100 chickens had been brutally murdered.

I'd like to say to you that I behaved that way because I was a child who didn't know any better. Alas, if that was the case then I wouldn't be writing this post.

It's the most bizarre urge that I have never been able to explain but at the same time, has never desisted.

Every time I see a feather pillow I just have to pluck away until the pain goes away.

As the years progressed, I learnt to be ashamed of it, only plucking a cushion or a pillow when I was alone so as not to attract judgement or gossip.

But this unfortunate habit does tend to leave a trail. When I lived with Rachael I can't tell you the amount of times she would come home perplexed and ask me whether I had been having cushion fights in her living room. I would usually mumble something about a stray goose who had got in and swiftly make my exit.

I've found that to take the edge off, it's good to have my own feathered bedding. I don't think cushions for the living room would be a wise idea because then I would never leave my feather carpeted house. But pillows are a happy compromise.

You see, I have discovered I don't usually have the urge to pluck a pillow if it has a cover over it, which is most of the time. So my plucking is limited to the day I change the bedding.

And that, dear friends, is why my bedroom is full of feathers.

It is also why I don't do drugs.

Wednesday, 13 April 2011

Careful, my crazy appears to be contagious

(Work-Buddy-James shortened to WBJ)


WBJ: I worry about you Lisa
Me: Why?
WBJ: You're so strange
Me: I'm quirky I guess
WBJ: No, I mean you are really strange. Like I'm not too sure if your mind is completely there.


Me: (Picks up phone) Hello
WBJ: Lisa?
Me: Hey James.
WBJ: Did you get the agenda for today's meeting?
Me: What meeting?
WBJ: The meeting you agreed to last week.
Me: (Checks diary) What time?
WBJ: 12pm
Me: I don't have anything in for that time, are you sure you sent an invite?
WBJ: (Getting agitated) You said you'd come to this ages ago.
Me: Well I'm free, what's it about?
WBJ: (Tuts) I'll send you the agenda and invite again.
Me: What's it to do with?
WBJ: I have to go, I'll email it to you now. (Hangs up)

20 seconds later, the following agenda is sent to me. (You may need to click on it to read it)

I laughed so hard, I wet myself.

When we did meet for this 'Meeting,' we deviated from the plan a little as we have to change venue from Sainsbury's to KFC. Here, Work-Buddy-James insisted we order this for the two of us.

Yes, that is 4 portions of chips.

It also turned out that Work-Buddy-James is one of those people who insist you eat everything that is put in front of you. I have never felt so sick in my life.

He made me eat all the chicken, although I did draw the line at the chips.

We also managed to cover in some detail both Action 3 and Action 8 on the Agenda.
Minutes to follow.

Tuesday, 12 April 2011

You say "jump," I say "you come anywhere near me again and I'll snap your neck.

I'm going to the cinema tonight (check out my review page for more on that).

Film-Buddy-Kezia suggested a scary one. I'm a little bit of a wimp when it comes to this. There's a large chance I may cack myself. Mind you it may not actually be that scary but just one of those films that try to be. That wouldn't be as bad I suppose. 

You see it's not even the scary prospect that gets me (although little girl ghosts should be banned from all tv screens). It's more if a film has the 'Jump Factor' included. 

Take 'Snakes on a Plane' for example.

Before you start goading me, I did not find that film scary but you couldn't make me watch it again if you paid me. 

It was just so jumpy! Every 5 seconds something new was popping out of nowhere and scaring the crap out of me. 

I remember coming out of that film physically exhausted. Not to mention I was completely on edge. Anyone who so much as touched me for about a day afterwards would get an instinctive slap from me whilst I yelped "I don't even like snakes!" (this was to the great amusement of those who were with me).

Anywho, this film I'm about to see looks like it won't be particularly scary but the trailer alone made me jump so I'm a little terrified of what the actual thing will do. 

Poor Film-Buddy-Kezia, I fear she may end up with a black eye by the end of the night. 

Wish us both luck and catch you in a few hours on Filmsworthseeing!

Monday, 11 April 2011

Dreaming of Joe Walker makes England rain and (fingers crossed) my kitchen sink unclog.

Sometimes writing a post is really easy, sometimes it's not. Today is a 'not' day.

I guess that doesn't help sell the post to you or make you want to continue reading but truth is I can't tell you what to do with this one because I have no clue whether it'll be interesting, at this point I have no clue what's going to be written!

I guess in a way it's sort of fun, like we're both going on an adventure into the unknown together. Who knows what kind of treasure we'll uncover...


I could tell you about the dream I had last night! I dreamt I was dating Joe Walker from Starkid, which was nice because, as anyone who just clicked on that link will see, he is not too bad on the eye. In the dream I was in a production Starkid was doing which was how the whole 'dating him' thing happened... I don't remember much else other than that. Apart from of course waking up and thinking "hmmm that was nice, at least my dream self isn't too neurotic to date" (sometimes she is, but every so often she catches a break).

The rest of the day has been spent working hard to keep Ufahriseal at bay. I succeeded and was rewarded by England doing what England does best... right now as I write, lovely and familiar dark clouds are taking over the sky with four days worth of rain ready to offload. Hello bad weather, I knew you'd be back.

I've also discovered a completely irrational thing I do on my way home from work (shocker I know).

In order to utilise my time as effectively as possible (because I'm a stupid over achiever at times) I tend to hand write these posts during my hour and a half train journey home. (SIDE NOTE: Ha ha, someone just got on the tube, sat down, realised it was the wrong train and almost tripped over himself to try and get off the train again before the doors shut (he made it, but the panic amused me)).

Anywho, as I was saying, my first draft of this (which inevitably ends up being the actual draft as I'm really not that fussy) is done during my journey. But what I get really antsy over is if anyone is looking over my shoulder and reading it whilst I'm writing.

This is UTTERLY ridiculous, given that it will only be uploaded onto this website before the day's out for the whole world to see (Not that I delude myself into thinking that whole world does read it (unless there really are only 86 people in the world as that's what my stats tell me is the amount of readers that randomthoughts gets a day (yes that may have been a little brag, I'm quite proud (even if the majority of the viewings are down to people google imaging 'Geese in a V formation' (my, my, these are a lot of open brackets, I wonder how many closing brackets I would need to end this (the answer is six)))))).

I actually had to re-read that last bit because I completely forgot what I was talking about. I'm back on track now.

I'm going to end this post with an appeal. For those who have read my last two posts, you'd know I'm having a little trouble with my kitchen sink. It's blocked and even Mr Muscle won't solve the issue. I am dangerously close to taking 'Crazylegs' advice and just moving house but I thought I might try fixing it by unclogging the U bend bit myself first... this is the bit where I need help.

I cannot stress how much I am a complete noob with this 'keeping a house' milarkey. If someone can explain how I do this in the SIMPLEST of terms (I'm not kidding, treat me like a five year old) I would be most grateful!

Also for those of you who actually continued reading this far - WELL DONE! I really didn't sell this well enough to warrant that kind of dedication. To reward you I may even give you a prize. Feel free to tell me what that should be below.

Peace out my lovelies.

Sunday, 10 April 2011

The completely dangerous and highly complex issue of unclogging my sink for the very first time.

This post is going to be marked as a real time account of my new milestone in my flat. I do need your help and advice in this so please PLEASE keep reading.

Okay, so as a result to yesterday's post whereby I discovered (amongst many other very important revelations) that my kitchen sink was blocked I was advised to purchase a Mr Muscle cleaning foam type thing as a way of cleaning it all again.

I have bought that product and by way of advertisement I suppose, here it is.

(Mr Muscle feel free to send my check in the post)

I heard something from Good-Buddy-Hannah that if I were to pour this stuff down the sink the wrong way I would cause a foam explosion and this would be bad. I looked at the bottle's instructions, determined not to do this but could not find a particular rule on which is the right way to pour the stuff down the sink!

My panic now risen as I realised I would have to guess and risk possibly coating myself in a substance of foam that I'm pretty sure is toxic to human skin, I took the plunge, crossed myself, and tried.


I'm not quite sure if what has happened is right. I need advice please. Although you'll be pleased to know that there was no explosion and so none of my skin has melted off my body. A lot of the foam seemed to have missed the plug entirely and has spread itself across the surface of my sink, like so.

I have to wait an hour now for it to do it's work. But is this normal?? Should I be worried? Or should I be cheering the foam on for doing such a good job? Please let me know before my house potentially blows up due to my complete lack of knowledge in household cleaning appliances.

UPDATE: 17:11

Completely unrelated news, but I've just found out that Robert Sheehan isn't returning to do the third series of Misifts... I think I just heard my heart break into two. I'm going to go and cry now. I'll post an update of the unclogging sink once I'm allowed to test it and I've stopped weeping into a pot of ice cream.

UPDATE: 17:28

Looking good... I think. Although the joy of this seems tainted now. I'm now living in a world where Robert Sheehan's not in Misfits. What's the point in anything anymore? And before you say anything, this is not dramatic. This is raw and real and sad.

UPDATE: 17:55

Robert Sheehan and Mr Muscle didn't work.

This day sucks.

Saturday, 9 April 2011

There's something quite poetic about having several revelations in a day where I have done absolutely nothing.

Today on our fourth day of sun I have not left the house once. I thought about it, I even got changed into a strap top and three quarter lengths and spent a long time gazing out the window, but the action to leave the house never came. This was silly. Especially as it's predicted to rain tomorrow.

In spite of all of this I have discovered a plethora of amazing revelations today and I would like to share them with you.

1. People should not be allowed to make a film if they are going to try and realistically sell a scene whereby a massively drunk man is watched by 100 wedding guests get into a car and drive off without one person making a protest. They couldn't even hide this behind it being a comedy! Mind you, Miley Cyrus was the main character of this particular film so I shouldn't be expecting too much out of it.

2. When my kitchen sink takes 45 minutes to empty I should probably come to terms with the fact that there is a blockage somewhere in the pipes.

3. I have no idea how to unblock a kitchen sink.

4. I have a very 'head in the sand' attitude towards sink blockages as I'm convinced that if I leave it a day it will have magically fixed itself.

5. I may have finally reached the point where I am bored of spending an entire day on my own. First time in 4 months of flat living.

6. I have no short term memory at all and am rather prone to turning the tap on in the kitchen sink just a mere 20 minutes after I have finally emptied the sink of water.

7. Hot weather, a glass of Pimms and curtains open in my living room are the secret solution to making me do housework.

8. My kitchen floor is so much nicer now my feet don't stick to it as I walk to my cooker.

9. Blood does not come off my bath tub. Not even after four months of bleach.

10. I can now sing all the harmonies to Starkid's "Not alone."

11. Sitting on my sofa in my pyjamas past three o clock makes me smell.

12. Watching "So you think you can dance" makes me depressed I can't bend my leg back over my head and jump into the air like they do.

That's all.

Oh and if anyone knows how to unblock a sink I would really appreciate your input.