Saturday, December 29, 2007

just being

I'm sleepy. I'm having a travelling Christmas. So far I've been to Melton Mowbray and Cheltenham. Now I'm in Exeter for a New Year's Eve ball on Monday, but planning to spend some time sleeping, reading and maybe even essay writing before that.

It is quiet here in HP's house. Fe lives here all the time, but everyone else is home with their families, or otherwise elsewhere. HP herself is on the Isle of Wight. I do like the quiet dip between Christmas and New Year's Eve, it feels like a time when you can do anything and not feel like you should be working or tidying or otherwise being useful. Except that I do think I should do some essay-type work. But not right now, I'm far too sleepy. Radio 3 and the paper for me.

Saturday, December 22, 2007

Merry Christmas

Tomorrow I'm off to my grandparents' house at the beginning of a cross-country journey of seeing family and friends, hopefully with some reading and essay-writing thrown in.

Have a wonderful Christmas, whatever you get up to.

Friday, December 21, 2007


I was trying to think of an apposite quotation, but my brain's too fuzzy. I've just got back from the English department trip to Stratford-upon-Avon after a fantastic couple of days watching plays and talking about them and it was such fun! I feel like I've been living in plays for the last couple of days and it's a real wrench to have to leave the world of kings and civil war and struggle and come home to real life.

We saw part of the cycle of history plays the RSC are doing at the moment: Richard II on Wednesday, and the two parts of Henry IV yesterday. It was amazing, seeing them in order, within a few hours of each other and seeing the big story and the smaller stories unfold in front of our eyes. I'd have loved to do as some others are doing and stay tonight for Henry V. Having seen the same actor (Geoffrey Streatfeild, brilliant) playing Hal and developing across yesterday's plays, it would be amazing to then see him play Henry today. We had a Q&A session with him this morning, really interesting to get an inside perspective on the role of Hal/Henry. But I had to come back and I'm probably a little too tired to appreciate another play tonight. A bunch of us are plotting to go and see it when the Histories come to London next year.

I'll try a more considered post when I'm more awake, but right now I'm just in awe of the plays and the performances and the feeling of being caught up in the sweep of history.

Wednesday, December 19, 2007

just in case you were worrying about it

My ear doesn't hurt any more. Feels weird, but doesn't actually hurt.

Off to Stratford tomorrow, er, today, so there might be a post about all the fun I've had and the plays I've seen sometime between now and Christmas. Not that I'm promising or anything.

Saturday, December 15, 2007

ow ow ow

My ear hurts. I've had worse earaches, but it does hurt. That is all. Good night.

Friday, December 14, 2007

friday once again

Comes round every week, apparently.

Term ends today, well sort of. I had my last seminar of this calendar year yesterday, the next one's not until almost the end of January. Before then, quite a long while before then, I need to have written and handed in two 5000 word essays. It's been a while since I've written anything that long. Essay one might be fun, essay two I'm less sure about. Neither has been started yet, both will involve a lot more reading and thinking and note-making before the writing can begin. I forsee some last minute late night writing in early January. I'll try to minimise it, but there's only so much writing you can do over Christmas whilst visting family and friends.

Today I made some chocolate and ginger truffles (for Sunday morning's Christmas service. I allowed myself to eat one, but no more), bought things to wear for singing in the choir for Sunday evening's carol service, did some paid work, cooked and ate sort-of-Thai curry, finished the book I was reading and finished the cardigan I've been knitting for yonks.

Time for bed, I think.

Friday, December 07, 2007


Just did one of my periodic going through receipts and wokring out how much money should be in my account and was alarmed to find that according to me I was overdrawn. Fortunately a cheque hasn't been cashed yet, so according to my bank I was still OK. A bit scary though. Had to transfer more money than I wanted to from my savings to my current account to make sure it's all covered. There are monies due to come in from various sources (like the deposit from the house I moved out of and pay for work I've done) and when they do, I'll be fine again, but right now I'm feeling very skint.

Eek. Lack of money is one of those things that really scares me. I'm not sure why exactly. Right, lesson learnt. I shall try to watch the pennies even more carefully from now on. At least I'm earning now.

Monday, December 03, 2007

I do love Nightwaves

Ooh, hooray for Anne Atkins. She's talking sense about the Bible in a discussion on Nightwaves with a man who's written a book about reclaiming the Bible from the political right for the left. And not in a good way since he wants to pick and chose the bits he likes (which he quite rightly points out is exactly what those on the right do) and identify with the rebels rather than the 'establishment' figures he who sees as having written it. And Anne is pointing out that you just can't do that, the Bible is a whole and to make sense of it, you have to submit to its authority.

Go and listen on the Nightwaves page, it'll be there for the next week. The bit about the Bible is about 30 minutes in, after the bit about the film abut Mark Chapman.

Friday, November 30, 2007

friday again?

Where did the week go?

I'm off to somewhere in Northamptonshire with lots of lovely people from church for our students and 20s weekend away. I'm looking forward to it.

Life's rather busy at the moment. 2 weeks of term are left, I've got to do some serious essay thinking, which is what I ought to be doing this weekend, if I wasn't going away.

What are YOU doing this weekend?

Friday, November 23, 2007

head in the cluds, nose in a book

Both are true, for once. I'm reading Cloud Atlas by David Mitchell. And I'm loving it. I've got to finish it in time to prepare a presentation for Monday evening, but I don't think that'll be a problem. The finishing it bit, at least.

It's an intriguing book, made up of 6 nested narratives. I'm only 3 in, and beginning to see connections, but I'm sure there's more to come.

I was amused by a reference to someone "breastfeeding a hangover". Now I'm fairly sure that's some lazy editor deciding to do and find and replace with a US English to British English lexicon (i.e. nursing = breastfeeding). But there's an important plot point in the same section that turns on the boot of a VW Beetle not locking properly (mine never did) and it's definitely referred to as "the hood" or "the trunk". Hmm. It's the sort of tricksy novel in which you're never quite sure whether mistakes are deliberate or not. Or perhaps I'm too suspicious minded?

Wednesday, November 21, 2007


Debs rang me up! Yay! So lovely to hear my sister's voice, all the way from the other side of the world. Well, sort of. She sounds like she's having fun.

I am less tired than I was, though still a bit sleepy. It's been a sunny day, though I spent most of it inside alternating between reading Edward II and seaming a cardigan. Off to watch Derek Jarman's version soon, in preparation for tomorrow's seminar. Should give us lots to talk about.

Tuesday, November 20, 2007

fuzzy headed pig

I think I need more sleep. I had a good weekend, but kept fighting off the feeling of being tired and tearful. The former is probably the cause of the latter. I did attempt to get an early night last night, but it didn't really happen. I'm currently considering going home to curl up in bed with a book or three and probably fall asleep.

It's autumn. It's cold and grey and the leaves are all falling off the trees. I like autumn when it's sunny, but on grey days like this, I'd rather curl up and sleep.

Thursday, November 15, 2007

today it's the Debs wot flies

Debs is off to Texas today to stay with Blest. On a big plane, to a big state in a big country.

Bye bye my lovely middle sister! Have a fantastic time and let us know what you're up to.

Tuesday, November 13, 2007

pig tales (again)

Amrita asked why 'pig wot flies'?

Here's an old post that sort of explains. It's the pig what flies, misspelt in the manner of Chad. I've been the pig wot flies (and knits) for so long now I forget that it's an odd name.


This post is all about my begging for sympathy, but never mind, it's my blog.

I fell off my bike. :-(. Entirely my own fault. I was going too fast, had to detour round a pedestrian and skidded on some wet leaves. My knee was the first thing that hit the ground. I scraped a hole in my jeans, scuffed my new shoes and my leather gloves (although they did save my hands from scrapes, so that's good.) The bike needs a new front brake cable and the front mud guard wires are even more bent out of shape than they were. A nurse at the uni medical centre cleaned up my knee, which now has an impressive plaster (and a dressing with silver in. I thought that was rather cool) and Mike's Bikes are fixing the bike. I planned to have a productive morning in the library reading The Duchess of Malfi and preparing for my presentation on Thursday, but after sorting myself and the bike out, opted for sitting down with a coffee and the internet until I feel better. The knee seems to be bleeding still, I hope it stops soon.

Can I have an aah?

Monday, November 12, 2007

where does the time go?

I am suddenly very sleepy. It's been a busy weekend, packing, cleaning, unpacking, organising, doing some work in between. Suddenly it's nearly time for today's seminar and I'm not entirely sure where the day went. By some miracle I have read the book (The White Hotel by D. M. Thomas) and at least the minimum set reading. It's a powerful and controversial book, so it should be an interesting seminar. I just wish I was awake enough to appreciate it. What have I done today? Went to the gym, picked up some stuff I left at the old place, drove to Emmaus (a rather long and circuitous route. I wasn't lost, just using creative navigation techniques. Or something), failed to find a useful bookcase, but did buy 2 books (a little counter-productive then), came home and cooked lunch, bought milk and bananas, cycled into uni, checked email and blogs. Suddenly, it's time to move again.

Plan - seminar, then probably Ceroc, then collapsing into bed.

Maybe tomorrow will be more organised.

Thursday, November 08, 2007

pig wot flies' moving day

Today I've been packing and cleaning and preparing to move (not very far, just across town). Debs and my parents came to help, which was brilliant. I hate packing, it makes me feel stressed. I'm not officially moving out until Saturday, but we shifted lots of stuff today. There's some left, but I think I can cope with moving what's left on my own.

I don't like packing, but I do like unpacking and rearranging in new places, so there's that to look forward to this weekend. There's rather less bookshelf space in my new room, but more drawers and cupboards. Should be fun working out where everything's going to go.

Monday, November 05, 2007

disappearing Debs


You may have gathered this by now, but Debs is off to Texas very soon (on the 15th) to stay with Blest and help look after her tribe of boys. Flights have been booked, insurance is being sorted, lists are being made. It's all very exciting.

Debs is going to be away over Christmas, which will very weird for us and I'm guessing for her too. She'll be gone until February next year. Hopefully she'll have a wonderful time, won't miss us too too much and will keep us all informed with blogging and emails and the occasional phonecall.

Go my Debbie sister! I'm very proud of you for being brave enough to go miles and miles away (on a plane! First time on a plane and it's a long haul flight and changing planes and everything) to stay with people you've never met in, in a HUGE and unfamiliar place and not freaking out too much. Big big hugs.

Thursday, November 01, 2007

stars of page and screen

Last week I read and adored Stardust by Neil Gaiman. Yesterday I watched and liked, but didn't love, the film of Stardust. It's easy to moan about how films never get books right and how they left all your favourite bits out and he just doesn't look like that. Films and books are different animals and there's no point expecting what you see on screen to be like the pictures in your head. Rather, I want to muse on the differences between the two Stardusts and the reasons for them.

Inevitably there are compressions of time. The book Tristran takes a year to wander Faerie and get back for the fair, where the film's Tristan has a week in which to bring back Victoria's birthday present. Characters and events are lost and the story becomes simplified to its essential details. We'll leave aside the silly camp pirates and the unnecessary Ricky Gervais cameo (the pirates were OK. There's a wonderful sword fight set to Offenbach's Can Can which is deliciously silly. Ricky Gervais I just don't like.)

One thing I did find interesting was that the film managed to be both less menacing and less innocent than the book. In Gaiman's Faerie, no-one is safe. People die, sometimes bloodily and it's a shock when they do. This creates a real tension and fear for the central characters. The usual fairytale guarantees that the good will end happily and the bad unhappily seem to be in doubt all the way through. The film puts back those conventions and there's no shock or real fear that the wrong person might die. Yet, there's a sort of innocence about the central pair of characters in the book that gets completely lost in the film. From the off, they're confidently exchanging insults and arguing and there's none of Tristran's tender standoffishness that I liked in the book. Inevitably, when they realise their love for one another, they fall into bed in a way which just wouldn't occur to their page-bound counterparts. Not that Gaiman's book is coy about sex, quite the opposite, but most of the earthier bits get cut out completely, which means in one case the death of one of the would-be Lords of Stormhold happens via a sub-Princess Bride scene of poisoned and switched goblets, rather than to the accompaniment of a barmaid's willing seduction.

The film's denouement is of course dramatic and full of explosions and swords and broken glass. The book's clever, but less dramatic end just wouldn't work for Hollywood, which is fair enough. And the good end happily and the bad, unhappily and all is well forever after, as you would expect. Still, on the whole, I think I prefer books to films of books, however good the latter are. There's always the shadow of 'The Book' hanging over a film of a book, which just isn't there with an original film. Unless the book is dreadful, in which case the film can only improve on it. Can you think of any examples where that is the case?

Saturday, October 27, 2007


Whenever I go clothes shopping, I feel like a shape shifter. For one thing, I am smaller than I used to be. But still, guessing which size I am now and therefore which garments might fit is always tricky. In one shop or brand I'm one size, in another, something different. Add in the fact that I'm more than common tall, and sometimes it feels like nothing looks right. With each new top or skirt or pair of jeans, my body seems to shift and grow or shrink like Alice. I know it's the clothes that are variable, rather than me, but still, it's an unsettling feeling, as if my limbs and torso don't quite belong. A cropped jacket, for instance, looks totally ridiculous, flapping somewhere at the level of my bust and making me look like an overgrown toddler. Jeans that gap at the waist or bag at the crotch or are too short or (wonder of wonders) too long or just plain wrong.

I went shopping for jeans and failed to find any I liked. I did, however, find a hooded sweatshirt that was miraculously long enough in the arms and body and, though it has a kangaroo pocket, it's placed low enough that it doesn't look silly (sometimes they're placed so high they start just under the bust on me, most unflattering). And I bought new pyjamas, which are blessedly easy to get to fit, since they're fairly baggy and I don't care too much if the arms and legs are the right length.

Friday, October 26, 2007

you like me, you really like me

Aw, thanks guys. It seems you like the random mixture of things that appear here.

I shall endeavour to continue in randomness. :-)

Sunday, October 21, 2007

trying to be sensible

This has never been a very sensible blog, has it? It's such a random mixture of moans and pictures and thoughts and questions. I wonder what it's for. Perhaps I should have more of a vision for what I want to do with it. Perhaps I should start a new blog for the sensible stuff (assuming I have something sensible to say about anything, which I'm not entirely sure I will). Perhaps I should just post things here.

I'll have a think. Does anyone have any comments? Why do you read pigwotflies? Is it because you've met me and/or are related to me and want to see what I'm up to? Because you find it amusing/intriguing/are dazzled by my insightful writing (I think not somehow)? Adrian got me blogging because he thought I'd like the intellectual discussion side of things. I've stayed out of the theological discussions he gets into, mostly because I don't think I've got much to add. But there are things I like talking about, books, art, science, philosophy. The discipline of turning a random thought into a short, coherent blog post might be useful.

Perhaps it's time to raise the bar of what makes the blog, rather than waffling on. And then, paradoxically, I might write more. Or I might intimidate myself and write less. Either way, I'd like to blog to some purpose, I think.

sunday night

I'm feeling better, thanks for the kind words and encouragement.

I like Sunday afternoons, anything feels possible. I've been for a walk along the river, admiring the autumn colours and the sunset. Now I'm listening to the Archers and soon I shall make some food and settle down to knit or watch Henry VIII or read something.

A new week is starting.

Tuesday, October 16, 2007

who stole my gorm?

Give it back, I need it.

I have no energy today, it's cold and wet and rainy and I've not really accomplished much today through lack of gorm.

I hope a good night's sleep will help.

Saturday, October 13, 2007

happy birthday to me!

HP is staying for the weekend to celebrate with me, I'm having a party tonight, people are coming, we will have fun.

I like birthdays!

Tuesday, October 09, 2007

Nothing but curious pleasures

A certain BFC (aka big fat/fine cat aka my uncle Jon) asked about how I found Pericles etc, so here's the promised post.

I did finish reading Pericles. It's a bit like The Winter's Tale with added shipwrecks and no bears. I think I read it a little too fast to appreciate it properly. I'd like to see it performed. The structure's interesting - narration from Gower and dumbshows to show us what's going on. Most of the really dramatic action seems to take place in the dumbshows, except for the storm at sea in which Marina is born.

The main point of looking at Pericles for the seminar was the choices made in editing and we had a go at editing a bit of the beginning of 2.1, which was trickier than I thought, if you're going to worry about the placement of every jot and tittle as well as try to guess whether the apparent mistakes are due to misreadings, mishearings, uncertain spelling, archaic words or something else. I think my attitude would probably be to change as little as possible and work out the details in performance, repunctuating or substituting words as necessary to make sense of it. The way different editors differ over the placement of commas or the interpretation of ellisions sometimes seems a little far away from the text's first incarnation as a performance. But then, punctuation can make a huge difference to meaning, so it's not unimportant.

Yes, I did read all of Titus Andronicus, not just the fly-killing scene. It's a pretty gory piece of work. Again, I feel I need to see a production or two to appreciate it properly. I can't help wondering how things like "Enter the Empress' sons with LAVINIA, her hands cut off and her tongue cut out, and ravished" would be staged. The fly-killing scene (3.2) is a later addition to the play. I saw it as a private family scene, in contrast to the more public scenes that surround it. For some reason it my head it's like a scene from a film, very claustrophic and dark, with the Andronici gathered together, eating, because they need sustenance, comforting each other and gathering strength for their revenge. The camera plans along the table and flicks from face to face as they react to Titus's pouring out of his heart and attempted comfortings of Lavinia. The killing of the fly is like a summary of the entire play - "How if that fly had a father and a mother?" - that's the problem with killing people: their families generally want revenge and in this play that pits a father, Titus, and a mother, Tamora, against one another for revenge for their respective offspring. But of course "it was a black ill-favoured fly/ Like to the empress's Moor" so it had to die. There's the personal element of revenge and the tricky character of Aaron the Moor (also a father, in his own violent way). It's all wrapped up in those few lines. Hmm, perhaps I have more to say about Titus Andronicus than I thought?

And Cymbeline. I love Cymbeline! I really must read it. (And Jon, you MUST let me read your thesis). Yes, there were some bits that cut in the last production we saw that were included this time, notably the doctor with his suddenly remembered details, the comic jailers, Posthumous' family and Jupiter appearing from the heavens (actually appearing swathed in a giant silk parachute, rising out of the box which was the main consituent of the set. People found their costumes in it, props were taken out of and put into it, Iachimo hid in it, obviously. Actually I think it disappeared for a bit in Wales, which missed a few tricks, it could have been the cave, or the grave, or a boat, or cover for the battling armies.) Some other bits got missed out. Imogen's speech to the headless body of her (supposed) husband was even more truncated. It was a fun production, played for (even more) laughs than the Barbican production, with a wonderfully devious and scheming Queen. Although she did seem to go off her head rather too rapidly. Cloten began almost every one of his scenes by hurling his doublet to the ground and lived up to his name (definitely Clot-en).

On to this week. I'm currently supposed to be reading Dr Faustus, Mankind, extracts from Mediaeval morality plays and some scenes from Henry VI 3, King John and Macbeth. And it's pouring with rain and nothing could be nicer than curling up with some books and Radio 3.

ETA: I think part of the problem with the film of As You Like It were all the bits that got cut in the final scene, particularly Hymen (fair enough, no-one knows who Hymen is today anyway and what would she be doing in 19th Centuary Japan?), with some lines reassigned to Rosalind. Unfortunately they cut most of the 'If I were...would you then.." lines that explain how each character then reacts to the revelation of Ganymede's identity as Rosaline, so to have everyone suddenly understanding when she appeared dressed as herself again made very little sense. I don't think As You Like It makes that much sense to start with, but it's a comedy and believing in the character's rather unlikely deceptions is part of the fun.

Monday, October 08, 2007

head in a spin

It's been a bit of a stressful weekend. We've been trying to find a third person to share our house for ages, to no avail. So many people have come and looked and liked and then decided to live elsewhere. A solution of sorts may have been found, but it's not all sorted yet. If you're the praying kind, please can you pray for wisdom and God's direction in knowing what to do? Particularly that if what I'm trying to sort out right now is the wrong thing to do, that God will firmly shut that door.

Sorry to be cryptic, I just don't want to tell the world everything.

Friday, October 05, 2007


To the dozen or so people who sent emails to my gmail address. Emails which I have only just discovered because I hardly ever check that email inbox.

I think I have too many email addresses.


I've just been asked for ID buying wine (and other things) at the Co-op. To be asked whether one is over 18, a week or so before one turns 28, is flattering, I suppose. But I was feeling all grown up and sophisticated in my new coat and favourite boots. The woman at the cash desk was apologetic and decided it was a sign she was getting old.

Wednesday, October 03, 2007

shakespeare week

That's what it feels like right now. Yesterday I saw As You Like it* tonight I'm going to see Cymbeline. I'm halfway through reading Romeo and Juliet, I've got to finish that and Pericles by Thuirsday evening and have something coherent to say about the fly-killing scene in Titus Andronicus. And I've been reading Making Shakespeare by Tiffany Stern.

I am happy! :-)

* It was OK, the lead actors are good, particularly Bryce Dallas Howard as Rosalind, but somehow it doesn't sparkle as it should and it doesn't quite make sense to me, at a psychological level, particularly at the end when all the couples are matched up. I'm not sure whether that's the play's fault or the way the film chops it around. I'll have to read it again.

Friday, September 28, 2007


Look look! Dirk Gently's Holistic Detective Agency on Radio 4.

Big silly grin.

today I am mostly...

...reading Ulysses. Trying to see how much of it I can get read in one day.

So far today, I've also broken a glass and sent shards of glass all over the kitchen, re-wired the vacuum cleaner plug so that I could clean it up, washed everything on the kitchen worktop that got covered in little bits of glass, checked my emails, sent party invites on Facebook, registered for a conference and written a blog post to tell the whole world what I've done.

So not a lot of reading then.

Wednesday, September 26, 2007

black swan

I've just come back from seeing Atonement which is beautiful and sad. Which is all I can think to say about it at the moment.

Except that the music is wonderful in the way it draws together atmosphere and sound and the feelings of the moment and the sound of the typewriter, drumming away at the beginning and returning again and again and the sound of repeated notes in the piano and the buzzing of a fly creating the oppressive heat of a summer afternoon.

I think it's got into my prose style a little. All that brittle wartime dialogue in cut glass accents.

I came the long and scenic way home, feeling the need for sunshine and air and the wind in my face. It had rained while I was in the cinema and the sky was fresh and full of crepuscular clouds. Dashing along the river, I saw a black swan. I stopped, it cried, just once, and swam on. I remembered how as a child I thought all swans were black because the ones in the park were and how excited I would be to see white swans. Today, to see a black swan was somehow thrilling and alive-making. On home, as fast I could across the common, past the cows and the evening sun dazzling straight in my face.

Now home, where it's warmer, a little and the pears next door are hanging heavy. Are they ripe yet?

Saturday, September 22, 2007

science in art

I'm just finished reading The End of Mr. Y by Scarlett Thomas. It's a fun read, concerning the investigations of PhD student Ariel into a mysterious novel, reputed to be cursed, also called The End of Mr. Y by an odd Victorian scientist called Thomas Lumas. The first few chapters felt like Thomas had stolen my ideas of what I wanted to do with my life and given them to her character. Ariel goes to a lecture by Prof. Burlem on Lumas, and after it, he offers her a PhD project based in a Literature department looking at the history of thought experiments. (If only...) As the novel begins, Burlem has disappeared, a building at the university has collapsed (apparently to no-one's great suprise) and on her way home, Ariel finds a copy of Lumas' cursed novel in a box of books in a second hand shop, which she quickly buys, before the shop assistant can realise its value. Chapters from Lumas' novel alternate with Ariel's first person narrative of her, rather dark and gloomy, life. (I was amused to notice that Ariel, like the heroine of Thomas' previous novel PopCo and Thomas herself, eats a vegan diet. This is mostly irrelevent to the plot apart from the fact that as an impoverished PhD student, Ariel can afford to buy very little food, although I'm sure a dietician would have something to say about the perils of surviving on potatoes, dark chocolate, black coffee and slivovitz.)

The collapsed building is a means for introducing to Ariel's department office a evolutionary biologist and a theologian. Here things start to clunk a little. An impromptu dinner party is the scene for a discussion of origins and truth. The themes are relevant, but I don't think they're handled very well. If you want to write a novel which explores theoretical physics, philosophy and multiple dimensions, then you're going to need to explain them somehow, but how exactly is tricky. Giving differing philosophical positions to different characters is usually how it works (David Lodge does it rather well) but somehow it didn't quite work for me. The theologian character, Adam, becomes more important by the end of the novel, but the biologist seems to be there only to be to impart some information about science and then fades into the background.

It's a highly fantastical novel and by the end we've left reality far behind. I did like the unravelling of Ariel as a character. At the beginning, I wasn't sure I liked her. By the end, she had become rounded out and understandable, as facts and snippets of her past life were revealed. It's an odd mixture of quantum theory, Baudrillard, time travel, Heidegger and a whole string of literary theorists and philosophers, predictable in some aspects (start with quantum indeterminacy and a world constructed from langauge and see where you end up) but ends up in some unexpected places. The effect is a little confused, as if too many ideas got thrown into the the mix. It reminded me of PopCo by the same author and of Pattern Recognition by William Gibson.

I'm vaguely thinking about dissertation ideas at the moment and thinking about doing something about how scientific ideas get used in literature. I'm not sure if this novel is typical of the sort of thing I want to investigate. More data needed, I think.

Thursday, September 20, 2007

bye bye work, hello uni

Today's been a weird day, for good reasons. I had my official last day at work and my first contact with the other students and the lecturers for my new course. Leaving work for the last time, having said goodbye to everybody (and eaten a delicious, if rather large lunch) was odd. I'm both happy and sad to be leaving, which I suppose is a good position in which to be. I did spend quite a lot of the afternoon trying to cram all the contents of my brain into the brain of the person who's replacing me, which was a bit much, both for her and for me. We didn't quite cover everything, I've promised to write her some more notes. It's only when I had to explain all the things I did in my job that I realised quite how complicated it all was and how much I just do without thinking.

And now I'm a student. Not just that, but I'm an ARTS student for the first time in my life. All those jokes we used to make about lazy arts students with two lectures a week who never got out of bed before noon are now coming back to haunt me. I'm definitely the only person on my course with a Physics degree. Everyone else has come from English or History or other Humanities subjects. And so far there are no men. Some are apparently enrolled on the course, but none of them turned up tonight. It's a long way from those lecture hall and demonstration labs where my lab partner and I were distinctly outnumbered by male physicists.* It's all different. But different is exciting and I'm very very excited and happy to be finally starting!

*Who don't all conform to the geeky stereotype. But many do.

Wednesday, September 19, 2007

talk talk

So, I've just been speed-dating. And it was OK. I think I've introduced myself and explained who I am more times in the last few hours than I have since I was last a Fresher (hmm, I suppose I'm technically one of those again). But it was a good evening and some of the guys I met were interesting in an "I'd like to talk to you again" sort of way and some of them were interesting in an "I'm sure you're lovely but we have nothing in common" sort of way and all of them were friendly. So, we'll see what happens. But I'm glad I went.

Sunday, September 16, 2007

...and collapse in a heap

This has been a very very busy and stressful week and I'm so glad it's over.
In a sense it's not as I've got 2 days left at work, one tomorrow and my last day on Thursday. But the weekend conference I've been preparing for all week is over and I get to go home and relax (i.e. collapse in a heap, have a bath and curl up on the settee with a good film, not got the brain power for reading).

And very very soon I will be a full time student and not be trying to concentrate on a full time job and studying all at once. Hooray!

Wednesday, September 12, 2007

cows and sky

cows and sky, originally uploaded by the pig wot flies.

The view across Coldham's Common as I cycled to work this morning.

Tuesday, September 11, 2007

bad day, good food

Yesterday was not a good day. A situation at work made me angry enough to have to walk out of the office and go and kick apples around in the college grounds and ring my mum who calmed me down. It's still not really sorted, but I'm less stressed now.

On the good side, I went into town for lunch and wandered round the market. The stalls were full of wonderful fruit and veg, so many beautiful fresh things to eat, including fresh figs. I've eaten figs once before, but I'd never cooked them myself, so I decided to buy a few. I'd never realised how beautiful and delicate they are. A little googling found me some recipes. I tried a couple out.

For my main course I roasted a fig in the oven with some goat cheese, rosemary from the bush outside our back door and a few walnuts. Heavenly! I've never tasted anything quite like it. The cheese and herb flavours complemented the taste and fleshy, succulent texture beautifully.

Then for dessert, I poached a fig in some red wine, with cinnamon. I ate it with a dollop of greek yoghurt. It wasn't quite as luxuriously melting as the roasted fig, but still beautiful.

There's one fig left in my fridge. They're so delicate it won't keep for long. I might try roasting it with nuts and honey, or maybe goat cheese again.

Mmmm, I think I have a new favourite food.

Sunday, September 09, 2007

counting the days down

Until I leave my current job and become a proper student again. (Rather than an improper one?) It's going to be a busy week. My replacement starts tomorrow, so we've got a week or so handover period. I'm not really sure where to start. In the past I've just left jobs (generally remembering to tidy up before I left) but I've never had to 'train up' my replacement before. Not that training's exactly the word, more showing someone round all the things I do and making sure there aren't any things that are obvious to me that noone else knows. So that's this week, much busy-ness at work, my last Open University essay to be written, maybe even some reading for my new course to be done.

It's been an undramatic weekend. We didn't go and buy bookcases, there were no nasty suprises, I didn't catch up on sleep (indeed got even less sleep than usual due to someone playing songs about threshing machines and oompah bands at 2.30am).

It's not that life is dull, just that I've nothing very entertaining to say about it. Maybe in a few weeks time I will. Maybe I won't. Who can say.

Thursday, September 06, 2007

pathetic really

I'm annoyed because I want to check my emails and hotmail isn't loading properly. It's not as if I'm likely to have any urgent emails. It's just bothersome. Humph.

ETA: It's back again now. Hooray! And no, there were no emails of any great pith or moment.

Tuesday, September 04, 2007

september I'll remember

It feels like autumn. Cycling to and from work, there's a definite chill in the air. I went blackberrying on the way home yesterday and somehow it wasn't as much fun as it was in August when it was sunny and warm. All the easy berries had gone and though there are still many more to come, there's not that feeling of abundant fruit anymore. And I got stung by nettles and stood in a cow pat which is enough to make anyone feel grumpy.

Still, I like autumn. Brisk cold sunny days, wearing skirts and boots and jumpers. I'm in need of jumpers, I've slimmed out of last year's. Two weeks or so left at work, one essay left to write for my OU course, a stack of books to read for my MA course. Back to being a full-time student again, back to being penniless again.

It's going to be a busy month, this September.

Friday, August 31, 2007

ooh look

Debs has some exciting news. Find out what here.

Thursday, August 30, 2007

cornish sunshine

Daymer Bay, originally uploaded by the pig wot flies.

A beautiful sunny day on the beach at Daymer Bay 2 weeks ago.

Monday, August 27, 2007

back again - did you miss me?

I've been away to Cornwall with my family. There was sun, rain, days on the beach, lots of blackberry and apple crumble, walks on clifftops, ice-creams, mooching in shops, reading, doing crosswords and generally relaxation.


Monday, August 06, 2007

hello people out there

I am tired. I can tell because I'm suffering from sense of humour failure, eating too much chocolate and having trouble reading.

On Saturday, I'm going on holiday to Cornwall avec Debs, HP and our parents. Until then, I will be trying to do useful things at work, frantically knitting, preparing notes to write an essay on things I haven't yet read, oh and Ceroc dancing (tonight, anyway).

What are you doing this fine August week?

Saturday, July 28, 2007

courgettes at last

courgettes at last, originally uploaded by the pig wot flies.

I went home last Thursday after a week away and found that the sun and rain had done their work and there were 2 courgettes ready to harvest. So I picked them and turned them into dinner.

Friday, July 20, 2007

bizzy backson

Not dead, busy.

Say hello and tell me nice things.

Thursday, July 12, 2007

courgettes day 58

courgettes day 58, originally uploaded by the pig wot flies.

Look what I found this morning. A flower!

Tuesday, July 10, 2007

courgettes day 56

courgettes day 56, originally uploaded by the pig wot flies.

They've enjoyed all the rain and produced lots of leaves, but no flowers yet.

Monday, July 09, 2007

another weekend, another wedding

To Oxford for the wedding of Chris and Caroline, now Dr and Dr C.R.
It was a lovely day and beautifully sunny for a change. It was good to catch up with old friends and spend time in Oxford.

Wednesday, July 04, 2007

passion flower

passion flower, originally uploaded by the pig wot flies.

Here is a pretty flower, snapped while walking back to the car after Dave and Vicky's wedding.
We have a passion flower plant in our garden. Sadly, it's not producing any flowers. Someone cut it back a little too severely and it's struggling to get its head above the rosemary bush.

rain, rain, go away

Don't know why there's no sun up in the sky.
Stormy weather
Since my man* and I ain't together
Keeps on raining all the time

Yesterday there were fantastic thunderstorms and hailstorms. And it's July. What's that about?

I have come to the conclusion that Debs is a far better blogger than I am. She posts things more often, has something to say and she's actually funny. Whereas I moan too much, post too infrequently and rarely have anything of note to say. Something must be done.

My head is full of thoughts and realisations, all of them half formed and in need of more time to digest. Some of them might become blog posts. Some of them won't.

Last weekend I went to a wedding, this weekend I'm going to a wedding. Life is good, I like weddings.

I have an essay due in 16 days and no weekends left in which to write it. Life is busy. I like busy, but it's tiring.

I've run out of enthusiasm at work, probably because I'm getting closer to leaving. There are plenty of things that need doing, but not much oomph to do them. Life plods on.

*There is no man to be not together with, but apart from that it's a highly appropriate song.

Tuesday, June 26, 2007

living for the future

A couple of things that got me thinking about sustainable living this week.

Andy McWilliam's talk from last Sunday. Making the Most of what We Have.

Dan Edelen's letter to Rich, the Young Ruler.

Food for thought.

Thursday, June 21, 2007

courgettes day 36

courgettes day 36, originally uploaded by the pig wot flies.

Getting bigger and bigger. All the rain is doing them good. I wonder how long it'll be before they flower?

Wednesday, June 20, 2007

May week sleepiness

I had a fantastic time at the ball. Sang, our set went well. Wandered around, drank champagne, ate yummy food, danced and danced and danced and made it to the survivors' photo. I'm still a little sleepy, but it was worth it. May week* fun continues with the Rev Garden party this afternoon.

Hmm, I've got a 4000 word essay to write by Friday. I think a couple more late nights might be in order.

*Yes, it's May week, in June. It's a Cambridge thing.

Monday, June 18, 2007

magic words

"I'm with the band".

I'm off to sing at a ball tonight.

Friday, June 15, 2007


Today is peaceful, so far. I'm at home writing an essy. Not much progress so far.
Once again, I failed to stay asleep past 8am. I think I've discovered why - the number of alarm clocks that go off between 8 and half past. Alarm clocks wake me up very easily and I generally switch mine off within a few rings. It seems my neighbours don't. I'm not sure what the solution is. Going to bed earlier, probably.

Essay writing today, fun tomorrow. I'm off to a wedding. Hoorah!

Monday, June 11, 2007

good things

Doctor Who (Don't blink!), sunshine, cinnamon tea, red nail polish, singing, sleep, friends, poppies, avocado and goat cheese salad, flags, God, housemates (mine, I've no idea what the ones on the telly are up to), silver shoes, pink dresses, beads, the feeling of summer (however short-lived).

Thursday, June 07, 2007

currently occupying brain space

Brecht, Chinese theatre, courgettes, the lifespan of VW Beetles, alienation, graduation, Galileo, weddings, dresses, shoes, the availability of alternators, rain, cloud, climate change, trains, shoulder ache, sleep, birthday cards, cashmere, beef stir fry, cheese, rucksack straps, the Higgs particle, MOT certificates, washing, mushrooms, bed.

Wednesday, June 06, 2007

courgettes day 21

courgettes day 21, originally uploaded by the pig wot flies.

They've got big leaves and they're dark green, fleshy and slightly fluffy like proper grown-up courgette plants.

I planted 4 seeds in each side. On the right hand side, they all came up, on the left, only one did. I suspect this was because I didn't shake the grow-bag thoroughly enough at the beginnning and the soil was more compacted at the left hand end. I suppose I should thin out the plants a bit. The question is when and by how much?

Monday, June 04, 2007

on time and not having enough of it

I've had a good weekend. Went to see Cymbeline on Saturday with my mum and my uncle, which was great fun. Possibly Shakespeare's most bonkers play, in which it seems anything can happen and probably will. Apparently some of the most bonkers bits were cut, so I'll have to read it to find out what they were.

Sunday, went to Jubilee, heard Adrian preach on Missional Bible Study (good stuff, lots to think about about and more importantly, put into practice) and caught up with friends. We spent the afternoon doing and finishing the Guardian crossword from Saturday. It was good to be relaxing with my family, enjoying the sunshine and just being.

And now it's Monday again. It's not sunny. I have lots of non-work things to do (sort out my car, read, write an essay, possibly knit a shawl to wear to a wedding at the end of June, although the yarn's not arrived yet and I haven't bought a dress yet, sleep) and quite a lot of work things to do. Weekends never feel long enough.

Tuesday, May 29, 2007

Courgettes day 10

I'm growing courgettes (zucchini) in our back garden. I planted the seeds on 9th May. (Edit: Actually it was the 16th.) Saturday was the first day I noticed shoots. They've got a bit bigger since then.

Any tips for growing courgettes? They're getting plenty of water at the moment because it keeps on raining.

Thursday, May 24, 2007

suddenly coming to earth with a bump

That would be me.
I've been going flat out for the last 10 days or so. Worked all weekend at a course, was pretty tired before that, now it's time to stop. Day off tomorrow, going to London, going to see Kiss of the Spiderwoman in the evening, long weekend, planning to shop, maybe sew things, maybe just sleep.

Perhaps next week I'll blog things, like pictures, fun thoughts, a meme for Amrita.

Friday, May 18, 2007

Happy Birthday Debs!

It's my sister's birthday today. (She's the one with the big brown eyes). Go and wish her a happy happy birthday.

Monday, May 14, 2007


I watched The Eurovision Song Contest for the first time in several years. It was fun, but not quite as much fun as it would have been watching with my sister. Fortunately, she was blogging it, so you too can experience the fun of Eurovision with Debs (part 1), Part 2, Part 3, Part 4, Part 5, summary, result.

Tuesday, May 08, 2007

mountains and valleys

Snowdon, originally uploaded by the pig wot flies.

I had a wonderful time in Wales. This photo was taken on our way down from the top of Snowdon. I'd never been up it before and it was beautiful. It was a hard climb, with a scary ridge and some even scarier scrambling across scree, but worth it for the views from the top.

Now I'm back at work, still aching from all that hard walking and very tired. It feels like I've gone straight from a mountain top to a valley. From all the time in the world, at least as long as the light lasts, to clock-watching and alarm clocks and no time to do anything. I've got to keep plodding on until the path starts to climb again.

Thursday, May 03, 2007


Tonight I'm off to North Wales for a long weekend. Lots of walking, fresh air, sunshine (I hope) and relaxation.

And no internet and no phone (I'm leaving it at home).


Tuesday, May 01, 2007

a pocket a pocket!

pocket, originally uploaded by the pig wot flies.

You know you're bored when the most exciting moment of your day is discovering your new skirt has pockets.

Pretty new skirt and blouse, both from H&M.

If we're on the subject of fashion and frivolity, I am underwhelmed by Kate Moss's collection for Topshop. I happened to be in town at lunchtime, so took a look at what all the fuss was about and, it's not really me, I suppose. Skinny jeans and waistcoats and a couple of interesting jackets.

Now, Lily Allen's collection for New Look, that's more my kind of thing.

Sunday, April 22, 2007

sunshine on Dartmoor

Hound Tor, originally uploaded by the pig wot flies.

It's been a good week.

HP and I went for a walk on Dartmoor on Thursday. We started off by Hound Tor and wiggled our way up and down to Bowerman's nose. The sun shone and everything was beautiful.

Tuesday, April 17, 2007

Save the William Morris Gallery


Jonathan Glancey's article in today's Guardian reminded me. The William Morris Gallery, which is very near my parents' house in Walthamstow, is under threat of drastically cut funding, which would see its opening hours cut to weekend and bank holidays and a huge reduction in its education work. Glancey says of visiting school children "Most have experienced nothing like it; a world of beautifully crafted romance. The rest of Walthamstow is virtually bereft of such special moments." I might beg to differ a little on the last point, Walthamstow's not quite the artistic desert he describes, but the overall point that the gallery is an important resource for the borough and a unique place which many people should have the chance to experience is one I whole-heartedly agree with.

If you agree too, there's more information about how to get involved in the campaign, including a link to the online petition on the Keep our museums open site. Vestry House Museum (the location of the column above) is also at risk.

Saturday, April 14, 2007

can anyone tell me..

...why the BBC's standard pronunciation for Manuel de Falla's surname is "de FAL-li-ya" rather than "de FI-ya"?
Radio 3 have been doing it all week and now Counterpoint on Radio 4 are doing it too. Although the contestant pronunced it "de FI-ya".

barefoot in April

barefoot in April, originally uploaded by the pig wot flies.

I'm having a lovely Saturday. Sunshine, warmth, music, poetry. At lunchtime I ate salad with perfectly ripe buttery avocado, tomatoes, peppers and tasty bacon and listened to cello suites on Radio 3 (Bach and Kodaly). Then I lazed in the garden reading poetry all afternoon. Bliss!

Friday, April 13, 2007

afternoon poetry

afternoon poetry, originally uploaded by the pig wot flies.

I've been enjoying myself, curled up on cushions with textbooks and poetry. At the moment I'm working my way through the chapter on poets of the 30s and I'm loving it.

spring comes to Cambridge

It's been beautifully sunny for the last couple of days, but today it's gone cold and misty again. I cycled the scenic route into town this morning, across Coldham's Common and along the river, parked the bike here and wandered around the town. It was too cold to stay out long, so I pootled back home for fresh coffee and my morning snack of humous and mange tout.

Wednesday, April 11, 2007


I've just been watching Napoleon Dynamite. I don't think I get it. Why do people love this film?

I liked the title sequence. The lat ten minutes or so so made me smile, but mostly, I really don't get it. It just left me blank and sometimes a little sad. And wanting never to live in a small town in America.

Anyone want to explain it to me?

moving the furniture

It's obviously a week for spring cleaning. I've got a couple of weeks holiday from work, which I'm mostly spending pottering round the house. Over Easter I was home with my family in London. Now I'm back in Cambridge and tidying stuff up, while my housemate clears out her room. It's a beautifully sunny day. What shall I do?

Oh and I've rearranged the blog. Let me know if anything looks odd.

Friday, April 06, 2007

good friday

crocus field, originally uploaded by the pig wot flies.

Wednesday, April 04, 2007

spring sky

spring sky, originally uploaded by the pig wot flies.

Sometimes it feels like spring, sometimes it doesn't.

Wednesday, March 28, 2007

reality checkpoint

reality checkpoint, originally uploaded by the pig wot flies.

Morning fog on Parker's Piece.

Monday, March 26, 2007

new hair

new hair, originally uploaded by the pig wot flies.

I got my hair cut on Saturday. I like it!
The hairdresser got it to go all curly, which I rather liked. I couldn't quite recreate it this morning. I'll have to practise.

Thursday, March 22, 2007


It was something Nathan said about "Beatrice and Benedick and how we all want to be them but in real life we often aren't." Last night I watched Becoming Jane and was reminded. It's a fun film, pretty preposterous (my housemate Sophia was amused to learn a new word, she hadn't come across it before) and sentimental, but good for a girls' night out. There's an early scene in which Jane (Anne Hathaway, what is it with getting Americans to play Brits? She did it very well though) and the love interest Tom LeFroy (the very pretty James McAvoy) are dancing and sparring verbal points off each other as they dance. It's fun to watch them, knowing that they're as much fascinated by each other as they are irritated.

What is it that we love about witty pairs of lovers? Historically, Beatrice and Benedick have always been the favourite characters of Much Ado About Nothing. They're so much more interesting and human than the rather sappy Hero, who hardly says anything (I liked the production I saw once in which she was always trying to speak and being cut off by her father or uncle) and the idiotic Claudio. I think it's that we want to be witty, to have clever things to say and win the argument, but also that we want to have relationships that are alive and sparkling, where the other person provokes us, draws us out, makes us more alive.

They're a dangerous pair to emulate. It would be easy to look only at their verbal sparring and build relationships that are nothing but fine words. Perhaps more crucial than their friends' trickery in showing them their true feelings is the moment of testing provided by Claudio's rejection of Hero. In the chilling moment when Beatrice tells Benedick to "Kill Claudio", he must decide whether love for his friend or love for Beatrice is more important. Not that asking your boyfriend to kill his best friend is a good test for whether he loves you, but at the time where it matters, Benedick proves that there is more to their relationship than words and argument.

So why aren't we like Beatice and Benedick? Or Elizabeth and Darcy or any other pair of literary lovers? We aren't scripted by a genius for a start. We live in the real world, where arguments about silly petty things or big ones can hurt and wit can wound more than it means. Love is in the mundane and quotidian as much as in the sparkling and the heat. But it's also in the fizz as much as in the everyday. Either without the other would be incomplete.

Tuesday, March 20, 2007


You might have noticed I've moaned rather a lot about work on my blog. I love where I work and the people, but I don't really love what I do. During yet another whining phone call sometime in January, my lovely mummy said "Maybe it's time you looked for another job." Somehow, this wasn't what I expected her to say, but I'm so glad she did. She gave me permission to dream. So I thought and I dreamt and what I came up with was doing a PhD in English Literature, somewhere exciting, like the US or Australia or New Zealand, or...

I worked out that a) there wasn't enough time to apply for a PhD to start in September this year and b) I wasn't likely to get accepted on one with half a degree in Literature and not much research experience and only vague ideas of what I wanted to research. So, my first step is an MA course. I've applied and been accepted on a course at Anglia Ruskin, starting in September. I've told my boss I'm leaving, though I haven't yet formally resigned.

The rate at which I've changed jobs in the last few years seems a little crazy. Since I started this blog I've had 2 new jobs, both of which I've decided I want to leave after not much time. (About 4 months in the first case, a year in the second). But for once, this next step has a possible step beyond it and even possible steps beyond that. It's taken me a long time to realise it, but I seem to be a natural academic. Being in Cambridge has helped me figure that out. Part of my dissatisfaction with this job is the feeling that I'm sick of supporting other people to do research and I want to do some of my own.

It's a little scary, thinking about being a student again, especially the financial side and the idea of studying abroad for my PhD needs a lot of thought, planning, prayer and hard work. But I'm excited about the prospect of doing something I love.

Friday, March 16, 2007

spring is in the air

spring is in the air, originally uploaded by the pig wot flies.

Today is sunny and spring-like. Still cold, but warmth is coming.

Thursday, March 15, 2007

all that effort and nothing to show for it

You'd think if I was busy I'd have lots to blog about. Apparently not.

I did have a lovely weekend in Exeter. It was so good to get away from Cambridge and leave behind all the things that were making me busy. Had lunch with parents, sisters, grandparents, uncle and sister's boyfriend which was fun, though poor old Debs wasn't feeling well. HP was very good in Princess Ida. Stayed with my friend the lovely Miss P, who is currently doing the very grown-up thing of buying a flat. We did lots of catching up and relaxing and watching Comic Relief Does Fame Academy.

And then it was Monday morning and back into real life again. Tuesday night was great fun, the Rev concert. We rocked and a good time was had by all.

Suddenly, it's nearly the end of the week. I'm busy again tonight, but Friday night, I've nothing planned and then it's the weekend. Hooray! Slightly blighted by having to work at an event on Saturday (which means I have to miss a friend's birthday party, perhaps I'll get to the end), but I'm taking Monday off, so all is well.

Friday, March 09, 2007

..and breathe

It's been a crazy couple of weeks. Next week is equally crazy, but at least I have the chance to grab a breath of fresh Devon air in between. I'm off to Exeter to see my sister HP in Princess Ida, meet up with my family, including Debs and stay with another HP, a friend from uni.

All I do is get through a morning at work and catch a train.

Have a lovely weekend.

Wednesday, March 07, 2007


I am not good at waiting. I always want things NOW! Actually that's not true with everything. Somethings are worth waiting for, like waiting for the right occasion to debut a new outfit, or saving that delicious piece of chocolate until you've got time to really savour it. But the things where I'm waiting on someone else are harder. Right now, I'm waiting for things to arrive in the post, for the results of an essay I handed in a while ago, for a response to an application I made, for the weekend.

I must be patient.

Wednesday, February 28, 2007

new dress

Showing off, mostly for my family's benefit. Here's the new dress I bought on Saturday from New Look, for the bargain price of £3. It's quite short. On Sunday I was feeling brave and wore it with tights and boots. Today, I'm wearing it over trousers (also bargainous but charity shopped). Ooh and the necklace is a charity shop find too.

Love it!

Friday, February 23, 2007

looking for spring

crocuses 2, originally uploaded by the pig wot flies.

It's being intermittently warm and springlike today. I took advantage of a sunny spell at lunchtime to go and look for crocuses along the backs. Outside Trinity's back gate, I found a carpet of lilac shimmering beneath the trees.

Wednesday, February 21, 2007

happy purple skirt

Today I'm wearing a new purple wool skirt, bought yesterday from the Oxfam shop. It's lovely and it's a whole size smaller. Hoorah!
I'll see if I can get a picture to show you.

Updated: Here's a picture. Looks a little Victorian with my hair up.

Friday, February 16, 2007

rushed off my feet

Brighton - red shoes, originally uploaded by the pig wot flies.

That's how I feel at the moment. Yesterday was the first evening this week where I was in and had no-one coming round. Not that those things aren't good, but it has been a busy week. I enjoyed myself, made experimental pudding (pearl barley, milk and nuts, rice pudding with barley instead of rice, basically) did some reading and started making notes for an essay. But tonight I'm out again and the weekend holds lots of busyness and every spare moment needs to be taken up with essay-writing. I like writing, but I could do with a little more sleep.

This photo is from last summer and it's a reminder that sometimes you need to take a moment to sit and relax and talk to God. Shoes off = I'm not going anywhere right now and I'm listening.

Thursday, February 15, 2007

chocolate fondue

valentines meal, originally uploaded by the pig wot flies.

We had fun last night. Lots of food, lots of chat, watched Monsters, Inc (Why have I never seen it before? It's lovely!).

Valentines photo set

Wednesday, February 14, 2007

Happy Wednesday

It's a little wet and cold this wednesday, but I intend to enjoy it anyway. Tonight a bunch of my friends are coming round to eat chilli con carne, watch a silly film and have some fun.

Have a happy Wednesday, whatever you're up to.

Monday, February 12, 2007

plotting and planning and trying not to worry

I'm starting to plot my escape from my current job. I'm happy living here, church is great, I've got lovely friends. But work is getting me down. I'm bored, mostly. It galls me to say it, but I think that's the problem. So I've come up with an idea to do something I'd enjoy more. The idea's very new, but if it's going to happen I need to act quickly. I think it's a good idea, but no idea if anyone else does, or if God does. I'm trying to learn from the past and not worry, just trust and push doors.

Prayers appreciated!

Friday, February 09, 2007

style and substance

I've just been going through my wardrobe, discovering old clothes. Most fun, finding things that haven't fitted for years and finding that now, they do. Yay for shrinking me! Trouble is, the things I like best are the things I'm least likely to get to wear - a black empire line dress I made for a ball and wore once, a silk/linen blend tailored jacket in pale sky blue, perfect for a spring wedding, but not really the thing in freezing February. What to do? Anyone planning a ball in the next month or so? Or maybe a Pride and Prejudice themed party?

Actually, maybe I should just plan one of those, myself. Anyone want to come? We could watch P&P on DVD (we've got the BBC version at our house). We could see if we can teach ourselves some Regency dances, and generally flit around in pretty dresses. But we'd need some gorgeous menfolk to dress up in breeches. I can't actually see any of the men of my acquaintance finding it much fun. Ah well.

So I shall either have to overdress for work one of these days, or suddenly acquire some friends with the kind of lifestyles that require black tie several times a month. Shouldn't be too hard in Cambridge, right?

And looking on the bright side, when I lose more weight and all my clothes no longer fit me, I get to buy and make more. And an excuse for more clothes is always a good thing. :-)

Thursday, February 08, 2007

little cold wooden horse

The only camera I had on my way to work was my phone. I saw the little wooden horse looking all snowy and had to take his picture. I was surprised how well it came out.

snow day

snow day, originally uploaded by the pig wot flies.

It's back and it means it this time.

We were promised snow and snow we got. A few inches, I think and it's still coming down. I cycled in rather gingerly this morning.

Wednesday, February 07, 2007

green squiggle

Two of my favourite things to photograph - giant public sculpture and philosophical grafitti.

This one's in Brighton, near the pier (the one that has stuff on, rather than the one that's slowly falling into the sea.)

Monday, February 05, 2007

wedding gravestone

wedding - gravestone 2, originally uploaded by the pig wot flies.

I took this at David and Zoe's wedding last July, while waiting around for official photographs.

I like the simplicity of the stone and inscription. It seemed fitting.

Flickr photoset for David and Zoe's wedding.

Friday, February 02, 2007


moo, originally uploaded by the pig wot flies.

Wow, a grumpy day when I almost decide to give up blogging and then suddenly, four posts in one day.

Home time soon. I shall leave you with this friendly cow.

proud cat

I love this photo. It's the combination of the angle and the expression on the cat's face.

More photos from last year's Scottish holiday are on my flickr.

last night's dinner

dinner, originally uploaded by the pig wot flies.

The food I cooked last night looked so good, I had to take its picture.

It tasted delicious too.

A silent poetry reading

I found this on Mary's blog.

WHAT: A Bloggers' (Silent) Poetry Reading
WHEN: Anytime February 2, 2007
WHERE: Your blog
WHY: To celebrate the Feast of Bridgid, aka Groundhog Day
HOW: Select a poem you like - by a favorite poet or one of your own - to post February 2nd.
RSVP: If you plan to publish, feel free to leave a comment and link on this post. Last year Reya put out the call and there was more poetry in cyberspace than she could keep track of. So, link to whomever you hear about this from and a mighty web of poetry will be spun.

by Robert Herrick

Here we are all by day ; by night we're hurl'd
By dreams, each one into a sev'ral world.

There's a poem on pigwotknits too.

Thursday, February 01, 2007

fish heads

fish heads, originally uploaded by the pig wot flies.

Thanks guys.

I think I'm back to photo-blogging for a while.

Wednesday, January 31, 2007

I have nothing to say

I'm not really sure why I have a blog when I hardly have anything to say to anyone at the moment.

If I think of something to say, I'll get back to you.

Friday, January 26, 2007

thank you

Thank you comforting people. You're all very kind.

I am glad it's the weekend and that I have fun things to do and friends to spend time with.

Have a lovely weekend.

happy flowers

happy flowers, originally uploaded by the pig wot flies.

On the way home last night I bought big yellow smiley flowers to cheer myself up.

They do help a bit.

Thursday, January 25, 2007

can I go home now?

It has been one of those days. Too much to do. Too many people demanding things to be done yesterday. Frustrations it seems no-one listens to, or at least frustration because I can't communicate the things I want to say to the people I need to say them to.

I've been in this job a year and I still don't feel like I can do it to anyone's satisfaction, least of all my own. I am uninspired.

I've been trying to think of exciting things to do for a holiday and deciding I am too scared to do any of them. I want to go somewhere exciting. But I hate travelling alone. I need people, a person to travel with. And a few more tons of confidence.

And I still don't know what I want to be when I grow up. Whenever that is.

Tell me nice things. Please. I'm hoping the main thing wrong with me is January and once it's gone away I'll feel better again. Hurry up Spring.

Wednesday, January 24, 2007


I seem to have been taking lots of terrible pictures lately.

But I think these are OK. See if you can guess what it is before clicking through to flickr to find out.

snow snow!

Cambridge snowscape, originally uploaded by the pig wot flies.

It snowed in the night! I didn't notice until I got downstairs to the bathroom and thought, it looks very light out there, I wonder did it... And I opened the window and there it was, white stuff over everything. Magic!

It's my little sister's birthday today. Unfortunately she's down in the South West and didn't get snow. And she's got an exam today.
Happy Birthday HP! I hope it's good despite the exam. :-)

Monday, January 22, 2007

aches and pains

This weekend was fun. Lots of knitting, lots of reading and a celidh on Saturday (the cause of the aches and pains. It's fun whirling round as fast as you can, but you do feel it the next day). Now I'm back at work and realising I'm bored. I've lost my initial excitement for my job now I've been at it a year and I know what I'm doing. Most of the time. Time to think of ways to make my job more exciting.

Wednesday, January 17, 2007


Just had to share my favourite google search so far. Someone clicked through to my blog from the search "Ricky Martin Assyrian". What exactly where they looking for?

not today's weather

boat on the Cam, originally uploaded by the pig wot flies.

Cambridge is wet and cold and windy this week. Here's a reminder that it isn't always like that.

Monday, January 15, 2007


Despite evidence to the contrary (like today's earlier post) and blips like this weekend (very flat, mainly due to tiredness and a modicum of disappointment), I am mostly happy at the moment. This feels like an achievement. I spent lots of 2006 being not happy, and lonely and a bit moany and grumpy (see the archives).

I put this down to lots of things. A warm and friendly place to live, lots of really good friends, a job that, while being hard and sometimes frustrating, I'm excited about, being settled in one place for a good length of time and, I'd say, most importantly, God. I learnt a lot last year about how much God loves me. Not because I'm better than anyone else, or more important, or more holy, but because he does. And that's a pretty mind-blowing, joyful-making thing to know. And one I want to hang onto and know more and more.

Monday mess

I've arrived at work and caused a mess of panic and disorganisation which I'm now trying to untangle. It's my own fault for leaving undone things which should have been done months ago. Oh dear.

Hello to all those people who de-lurked! Nice to know someone's out there reading.

Thursday, January 11, 2007


It's been a long week, having worked all last weekend. I did have Tuesday off, but it wasn't much of a break. I think all the busy-ness finally caught up with me this afternoon, I'm suddenly exhausted.

Day off tomorrow and then it's the weekend.

Do something pretty while you can.

See you Monday. :-)

say hello

I notice it's Annual De-lurking week. Time for all those people who read and never comment to say hi.

So if that's you, leave a comment. If you want something to say, then tell me what was the most exciting thing to happen to you this week. Or just say hello.

little little me

There's a picture of me on Debs' blog. And Debs and her friend Esther. All looking very sweet and young circa 1985. Go and have a look.

Wednesday, January 10, 2007

look up

I've just seen the most beautiful sunset and, something even more exciting, a comet. Comet McNaught, visible today just after sunset, above the horizon, a little East of Venus. I've never seen a comet before. It was beautiful, a bright nucleus and a long tail streaming behind it.

You might catch it in the sky tomorrow, although it'll be lower in the sky tomorrow and the weather forecast isn't so good. According to the British Astronomical Association, comet McNaught will be at perihelion (closest to the sun) on 12 January, when it "could be brighter than Venus".

Monday, January 08, 2007

blue sky year

morning sky, originally uploaded by the pig wot flies.

2007 seems full of possibilities. I don't know what's going to happen this year, but I'm feeling excited about it.

Thursday, January 04, 2007

what you lookin at?

what you lookin at?, originally uploaded by the pig wot flies.

On the weekend of my birthday, a bunch of us walked up Magog Down around sunset. I took pictures, of people, sheep and the sunset.

The sheep ones came out best.