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Friday, 29 March 2013

Today I Am...

Do you ever do that thing when you watch a TV programme, and then become convinced that you have whatever it's portraying?

It works hypochondriacally, intellectually, and physically. It's like TV magic.

Last night, I watched a show about taste, because the trailer for it suggested they'd found some magic way of making things sweet. And with a diabetic husband, I am all about the magic, healthy sweetness.

Anyway, they introduced the concept of a super taster, who taste things much more than ordinary people on account of the extra taste buds.

I have, obviously, now decided that I am one of these. It explains everything. I have told Andrew this at every opportunity since.

Me: You know how I don't like wine?
Andrew: Yes...
Me: I think it's because I'm a super taster.
Andrew: Really? Maybe you just don't like wine.
Me: Yes, and that explains why I don't like coffee too, because the lady said that super tasters don't like bitter things.
Andrew: Really? You love lemons.
Me: Ah...but they're not bitter, they're sour. See, you'd know the difference if you were a super taster, like me.

Some hours later, in Mimi's Bakehouse (mmmmm):

Me: And I've never like fizzy juice, because it hurts my tongue. I must have so many taste buds that they're just too sensitive. See. I am a super taster.
Andrew: -----

So, what do you think? Are you a super taster? Or do you just taste in pastel?

Monday, 25 March 2013

Things I Will Be Doing On My Easter Holidays

I love holidays, especially two week long ones. I will be doing a lot, but not too much, over the next few weeks:

1.Some Spring cleaning, despite the stubborn refusal of Spring to actually arrive in these wintry, Scottish climes.
2. Taking The Tiger in the Snow back to the library, because he is very late.
3. Finally unpacking my Christmas present from Lori, a slow cooker, and making two recipes:

  • Pork Paprikash
  • New England Pot Roast
Watch this space for photos and results!
4. Not getting carpets fitted tomorrow.
5. Working with the girls to do some more on our scrapbooks.
6. Probably some other stuff that I haven't figured out yet!

Thursday, 21 March 2013

Turn around...

In my previous post, I mentioned that I tend to break into song whenever anyone says the words, "Have you ever?", even if that's only in my head (like, if someone says it at work, for example).

This morning, when I was brushing Lori's hair, I told her to "Turn around", and immediately followed it with "...bright eyes".

It struck me that I do this a lot, so I started thinking about other phrases that prompt songs:

If someone tells me "I really need you to-" the chances are that I will interject with "-tonight, forever's gonna start tonight."

If someone says, "Once upon a time", nine times out of ten I will respond, "I was falling in love."

And then I realised. Those are ALL FROM THE SAME SONG. I only appear to remember Bonnie Tyler lyrics. I wracked my brain for more, different songs, not linked to ageing Welsh power balladeers.

And then I thought, why bother? Bonnie Tyler will do for me. But I need new lyrics. Hence this, and a cat, obviously. Because this is the internet.

Wednesday, 20 March 2013

Have You Ever...

Have you ever, ever felt like this? When strange things happen-

Okay, wait, that's the wrong blog start.

In our house, whenever someone says, "Have you ever-", either Andrew or I will break into that song that was at the start of that Australian children's programme with a lighthouse in it. It's a Law house meme.

But that's not what I'm here to talk about today.

Today, it's online grocery shopping. What's that? You'd rather I went back to that Australian children's programme, with the lighthouse in it? Fine. here you go. The rest of us are going to talk about groceries.

So, now we've got rid of them, shall we talk about my secret plans to make us all bajillions? No? Is that because you sense I have none and are just trying to steal yours? Well, perhaps. Back to groceries it is.

And it's now somewhat of an anti-climax.

But I'll crack on nonetheless. At the weekend I did my normal online grocery shop, but when it came I noticed that there were three packets of smoked mackerel instead of the one I had ordered. Three! And they were almost £4 each. Not being in the market for so much mackerel, I called the helpline. The conversation went thusly:

"Hello, I don't know if you can help, but I've just had my shopping delivered, and I seem to have 3 packets of smoked mackerel, but I only ordered 1."
"Well, let me just have a look at that for you [cue me giving my personal details about address/order number etc"
"Ah, madam, I see what you've done. When you selected mackerel, there's a drop down box where you can select kg, pounds, or each, and you've selected kg, instead of each. So instead of 1 packet, you've got 1 kg."
"Oh. I didn't mean to do that. I don't need 1kg of mackerel"
"It's quite a common mistake, actually. What I'll do is refund you the extra two packets, but just be aware of that next time."
"Thank you, that's very kind, considering it was my own mistake."
"No problem, anything else I can help you with etc etc./"

So there you go, have you ever ordered a kilo of smoked mackerel by mistake, and now have to work out what to do with it? Any suggestions?

And also, thank you to Waitrose for being the politest and most understanding supermarket I have ever encountered, even in the face of idiot customers ordering accidentally large amounts of smoked mackerel.

Tuesday, 19 March 2013

Natural Networking

Yesterday was a nerve-wracking first for me.

While I've done plenty of public speaking before, yesterday I was faciliating a 2-hour long event for about 50 people on Networking as part of my role as Focused Women Network chair in Scotland.

I was nervous not because I had to stand up and speak, but rather because it was my first event as Chair, and I really wanted people to enjoy the event and find it useful.

We had the idea for the event because usually, when we run Focused Women things, we have a bit at the end called "Networking", usually with drinks. It's after the main event, people are usually running to get buses, pick up children, have dinner, and we don't actually do any of the aforementioned "networking". This time, we wanted to make the whole thing about networking. And not just networking for the sake of it but networking as it could be i.e. sharing, learning, talking, and finding out how you can help others, and others you. In other words, the natural kind of networking that everybody does, but don't realise they do, and so are completely freaked out when things are separately badged as "Networking".

To help with the horrible and stomach-lurching feeling of not knowing what to talk about first, we got everyone to write down on their name badges:

"Ask me about..." and pick a couple of things about themselves. It worked really well. Here's a few examples of things people wrote:

Sustainability, Weekend Notes, Baby Back Ribs, Tap, Samba, Regulatory Risk, My underwear business, Education Committee and far, far more that I didn't get a chance to get a note of.

That was just a part of the day. We also had success stories from our members about how they networked, and how it had helped them, a visit from a business social media expert, and more. Responses are yet to come in from our feedback survey, but judging from verbal feedback and some emails I have had this morning, my first event was very well-received.

Saturday, 16 March 2013

Spring Has Not Sprung

I signed off my last post with a hope for a sunny spring.

It promptly snowed more than it has done all this winter, at least in Leith, anyway. On Monday morning we awoke to the powderiest snow I've ever seen this close to sea level. It drifted along pavements and blew off rooves all the way along the road to school. Josie and Lori appeared to be in some form of nirvana as they capered along the road. Josie threw a snowball at me about every ten metres, and Lori was fully engaged with making new footprints everywhere she could. We spent the next few days inching our way home, as the powdery snow had turned to sheet ice, with Lori shouting, "Those are mine!" at every child-sized footprint on the edge of the pavement.

Most disappointingly, the snow melted in short order, so we haven't had a chance to try out Winter Lightning, the new sledge purchased by Josie and Lori with a combination of Christmas and Tooth Fairy money. I think it might need to wait until next year now, which is pretty dull, although I've just checked the weather forecast and it does indicate that we're due more snow this weekend.

Bizarrely, this time last year, it was so hot that the BBC reported on the "March heatwave" from Portobello Beach, while locals paddled and swam in the unseasonably warm water. I don't think there's going to be any of that this Easter.

Saturday, 9 March 2013

Time for a Break

February and March: 2 months filled with new challenges, great news, and an ever-mounting pile of ironing and list of chores to do in two houses. 

It's been a busy few months in the Law household, and both of our blogs have been one of many things to suffer from neglect.

While Linzertortes has been a little bit more well-tended, that's only because my posts here often resemble a stream of consciousness, and so need less work to put together. Lawhammer! is more neglected simply because we haven't had the time to paint, play, game, or keep up work on the Might Empires project. Here's hoping that will change, although I fear it might need to wait until we have moved house permanently.

And that flitting moves ever so closer. The new spiral staircase is almost in a Flooded Flat, which is one step closer to being able to be sold. Rented Flat with the Fountain and the Piano is in a complete state, but I'm going to start spring cleaning this weekend, I think, taking the opportunity presented by the girls' absence from dance class today to start catching up on all my chores.

And the girls...well, you might have read on Facebook, but they both got granted places at the Edinburgh Music School, further to a successful audition last week. Next step is getting them places at the associated Primary School, counter-intuitively, those places are not guaranteed simply by winning a place at the Music School. So, we still need to go through an out-of-catchment placing request, something I've become quite familiar now I'm on the Education Committee. Fingers crossed there are places in their year groups!

Knowing they'll probably be at that Primary School after the summer is good, because it narrows down the choice of places to live. It's bad, because it's a VERY EXPENSIVE part of the city. You win lose some, but it looks like my budget will be stretched to breaking point in the pursuit of garden and spare bedroom.

Anyway, here's to the rest of March, and to a sunny Spring!