In need of a redesign since 2011.

Saturday, 28 February 2009

Shameless appeal for votes time!

That's right ladies and gentlemen, the time has come when I need to borrow you for two whole clicks. I was recently asked to do an interview for, and if my blog is the most popular, I get $50. I would like some shiny pennies so please go here and vote me up using the handy thumbs-up! Or I guess vote me down if you think I suck, only, please don't. That would be awesome. If I made some money I could actually call myself a blogger, and it would cover some of the domain name fees and the like, which would rock pretty damn hard.

In other news, the day after I found my bracelet, I went to see a performance by Adrian Plass (an author I've liked for years) and Saltmine Productions (a travelling theatre company). They were absolutely hilarious, and after talking to Adrian afterwards I've got a whole newfound respect for the man, he said some wonderfully encouraging things to me.

And the day after that... I went passed a church that had a big sign saying "God loves you Anna." That made me happy.

I'm back in Cardiff now, very much enjoying having some space and being back near my boyfriend.

In the meantime, please do vote, it would mean the world to me! Apparently you can vote once a day, so if you're keen...?

Anyway, an interesting link for you. Enjoy the Platitudipus.

No entry in colour

Monday, 23 February 2009

And there was much rejoicing!

Charm bracelet 4

For months now, I've been nagging my parents to hunt throughout the entire house for a very precious bracelet that I'd left behind. With every passing week I lost hope, becoming more and more convinced that it was lost to the void. You know how when you lose something that was pretty much brand new, and it just stays new and unattainable in your mind forever? My beautiful bracelet was like that. I even had dreams where I found it and it wasn't quite the same as in the real world... a sure sign that I was forgetting it while obsessing over it at the same time.

My dad asked me where he thought I'd seen it last, and time and time again I told him that I had no idea, and that the only place I could remember leaving it was on the leg of an upturned piece of furniture in my old bedroom. (It's kind of turned into the junk room since then so there's no shortage of chairlegs hanging around, waiting to have hairbands and stuff left on them.)

It wasn't because it was expensive jewellery that I wanted to find it, it was because it was a special gift from my boyfriend's parents. They chose the charms specially with me in mind - a silver flip-flop and conch shell - because I was raised on an island, you see? And they gave me a third charm to me this Christmas - a beautiful silver bear. Bears have huge personal significance for me.

The bracelet was intended, partly, to be worn on a cruise this summer. My boyfriend's grandmother is taking the entire family, and apparently, I qualify! I didn't want to wear it until then (ironically because I had a suspicion I would lose it / drop it / have it stolen), but I was talked into it by his mother, who told me 'not to save it for best.'

Anyway, my dad hadn't found it, my mum hadn't found it, none of my siblings had seen it, and I was forced to conclude that it could have slipped off my wrist any time, any place. I prayed. This is a revelation I've been unsure how to introduce to you all, but I'm a Christian. Sort of. Was. Am. Well, I'm confused, essentially, so I was pleading with God saying "If you're really there, you know how important this is to me - please, please help me find it..." then I'd tail off and wonder if I was talking to myself.

Every day since I've been back, I've been having mini-hunts in every corner of this junk-packed house, in the futile hope that it'd turn up. Tonight I searched in my old bedroom again. I'd already looked, of course, but I had to do something.
"Dad's already tidied here loads of times... to be honest, if it was here, he'd have found it." That was my sister, Judith, getting ready for bed.
"I know," I said, "but it just feels better than doing nothing, you know?"

After a lot of organising, and sorting, and putting things into bags and throwing them away and finding books from years ago, I saw it. There, on the leg of an upturned stool, hidden away under an old computer desk, was my bracelet - paler than I remembered it, but just as beautiful.

The next few seconds sounded like this:

"I found it.


Judith: "What?"




I ran downstairs, my sister shouting congratulations after me, and my mum reaching out to hug me, almost as delighted as I was, because she knew how important this was to me, and how bad I'd felt for letting down my boyfriend and his parents. I called him with the good news straight away, of course! And then... we prayed. And I said thank you to the God that I can't quite not believe in however much I hurt sometimes.

Sitting on the sofa afterwards, I thought of a story Jesus told about a woman in a very similar position.

Luke 15 v. 8-10
The Parable of the Lost Coin
"Or what woman who has 10 silver coins, if she loses one coin, does not light a lamp, sweep the house, and search carefully until she finds it? When she finds it, she calls her women friends and neighbors together, saying, 'Rejoice with me, because I have found the silver coin I lost!' I tell you, in the same way, there is joy in the presence of God's angels over one sinner who repents."
So, it being a little late to call all my friends and neighbours together, I thought I'd share it with you. Because some things are just important.

Sunday, 22 February 2009

Volunteers and things in ears

Ever been 'volunteered' for something? As in, told that you were going to do it and then left to deal with that fact? Of course you have. Well, last Thursday was the date of a church party that my sister had volunteered me, my brother, and my youngest sister for.

We were all up visiting her for the week, and had been shopping a few times and watched a lot of movies by this point. When I got to the church on Thursday, I started blowing up balloons for the games. I'd been told what game I was going to run, and secretly I was delighted to return to something I knew that I was good at. I did a year of youth work for a Christian charity on the Isle of Wight (something I've blogged about on many previous occasions), so I have a huge repertoire of games. We played quite a few classics that night; Mafia, this is a tick, Splat, and of course musical chairs. We were catering for people aged 15 to 90. My previous experience with youth work had been a lot more... youthy, but I distracted myself by taking photos of everything in sight.

Wire light

These were the lights in the kitchen of that church - look how pretty! Oooooh! (Photographers are much like magpies. Anythign that looks even vageuly interesting, and we're as good as hypnotised!)

While we were staying with my sister, I absolutely fell in love with a cat that had adopted her. The cat's called Lilcat Freesian, or Lily Freesia for short, and is a one-eyed beauty with a heart on her back. Sadly her real owners showed up towards the end of the week, but I absolutely loved having some kitty time anyway! Honestly, those of you with full-time cats are very lucky indeed, I have to borrow cats from my friends.


I'm back with my parents on the Isle of Wight now, after a beast of a train journey that was meant to be direct (but ended up with two changes and huge delays). I've been meeting up with old friends and relaxing (as relaxing as anything can be when you're once again surrounded by siblings) and I'm very much looking forward to getting home to Cardiff!

I got a phone call from my boyfriend this morning. He's - how much of this have I told you? - He's on a stag do for his best friend, and they successfully survived the mountain-climbing part. He hasn't been so lucky with the pubs and clubs part, however, as apparently he had to be taken to a medical centre to remove something from his ear with pliers! Now, I love and respect my boyfriend tremendously, but if I can't mock him relentlessly for that then there's just no point us being together, is there.

Saturday, 21 February 2009


Well done you, being so patient while I jetted off to the exciting and exotic location of, ehm, Tewkesbury. I have so much to update you on! I want to tell you about my boyfriend climbing mountains, about visiting my sister, about the party we threw for old people! I want to tell you about watching a performance of the Mikado, about what I believe about Life, the Universe and Everything! I want to tell you about an interview I've done about this blog (for serious), although I think that'll wait until shameless-appeal-for-votes-time. Everybody loves shameless-appeal-for-votes-time.

I've taken a lot of photos of my sister's snake, and the cat she adopted that woke me up by sitting on my face, and various other lovely things that I'll no doubt post in here at some point. For the meantime, I shall merely keep you entertained with this: Grow Tower. It's a fun, quick game. If you've got ten minutes to kill, give it a go.

Proper post coming tomorrow.

Saturday, 14 February 2009

What I love most about rivers

Last night was an interesting one. I'm home on the Isle of Wight with my family, and I finally managed to get a visit home to coincide with Catalyst.

Catalyst is a Christian worship event for young people, run by a charity I used to work for. It's always had such an incredible atmosphere, and it's run by wonderful people that I was lucky enough to work with in my gap year. The kids at the event are people I've grown up with, some of whom I'm related to (part of living on quite a small island - you're guaranteed to keep meeting the same people over and over again!), so it was amazing to see them all. I got plenty of hugs and photos!

It's crazy to think that I haven't been a part of Catalyst for two years. Everyone's growing up! The quiet, shy kids who'd just started high school are turning into confident young adults, and I'm kind of sorry I wasn't there to see it happen. There were a lot of new faces and a lot of friends missing... I guess it's true what they say, that you can never really go back.

But despite the hard times in my life lately, I wouldn't want to go back. I'm happy in Cardiff, and very much in love with my wonderful man (wish him luck, by the way, he's climbing mountains for a mate's stag party and I'm suitably worried). There have been a lot of teething troubles in the past few months, but I'm getting stronger and bolder by the day. So today, surrounded by the people and places of my past, I'm looking to the future more than ever.

I'm going to visit my sister, so I might not get online this week (whimper!) but you can always follow my Twitter if you want to check that I'm not dead.

Interesting thing of the day: My Name is Sylar! Quick and funny.

And oh I do love Sylar. Why is it always the psychos that have the most appeal?! Psychos and vampires.

Thursday, 12 February 2009

Girly friends

I have a special place in my heart for my girly friends, mainly because there are so few of them. I'm just one of those people who's always found guys easier to get on with. No drama, no bitching, just a bunch of blokes and me sitting around watching Power Rangers all day without a trace of shame (ok, maybe a bit...)

Unfortunately, this means that there are some aspects of being a woman of which I remain woefully ignorant. Every now and then someone will take me in hand and show me how to put on makeup (still not sure how to pick a foundation), or what shape of dress looks good on me (where the heck are you supposed to buy them?), but the rest of the time I'm left floundering in a sea of ignorance, making it up as I go along.

Now some of you will have noticed that I recently got my hair sorted out, and thank you everyone who's said it looks nice. But the sad fact is that once I've washed to salon product out of it, it just goes in the same scraggy ponytail again. I have no idea whatsoever what to do with it.

Any suggestions? I mean, now that my readerbase has expanded a bit, I'm hoping that some of you can tell me what to do with it. Tips, hints, pictures, anything!

And for those of you (us) who've found this post a bit too feminine for your liking (although what did you expect from a blog that looks like it was farted out by a unicorn?), I give you the Interesting Thing Of The Day: The Art of Manliness. This blog is devoted to how to be a proper man. Since western culture lacks a rite of passage (I mean, let me know if I'm wrong, but when did you last see a young lad spear a boar?), these things need to be taught. As usual, the link's going up on the left.

Wednesday, 11 February 2009

I'd like to thank the academy

Right! I'm today's Blog of Note (which excites me rather more than it should!) so now's the perfect time to welcome any new readers I may have gathered. Hello, everyone! Introduce yourself in the comments section, I'm sure my regular readers will make you feel welcome.

I'm rather flustered just at the moment, so rather than witter on about myself, I'll just link to some of the old posts I'm proudest of. Cheating? WHY YES!

Words are not enough (or too much)

So there I was in my bikini

Dinner party in a car park

Monday, 9 February 2009

A thousand words

I'll admit, sometimes the news becomes background noise. Ok, often the news is just background noise, and although I've heard about the fires in Australia, I hadn't registered them consciously as a real event until I saw this series of photos from The Big Picture. The wheels of the cars melted. People have died. And those pictures made it real to me in a way that concerned voices on the radio just didn't. My thoughts go out to those affected by this tragedy (translated from news-speak: Australians, I am so sorry. For reals).

The Big Picture
is a thoroughly wonderful blog, and I recommend it if you're even vaguely interested in photography.

I've had a good week; I finally feel like I'm getting things together a bit. Today I gave blood and signed up for the bone marrow donor thing, and they gave me some chocolate chip cookies. Done, and done!

I'm going home on Friday - Home home, Isle of Wight home - which will be lovely. I'm looking forward to seeing everyone. And by everyone I mean the eleven people who haven't yet left.

Also, you know those maple and pecan plaits? They ROCK. I'm craving them hardcore these days, mostly because I'm trying to cut back on chocolate! Stupid substitute addictions.

Wednesday, 4 February 2009

I feel pretty

I felt a bit out of my element when I first went in; but the guy I had arranged to see was very friendly and quickly put me at my ease. His bleached blond hair and a skinny scarf around his neck made him seem younger than he told me he was. He seemed surprised that it had been a year since I was last seen to; a year and two days, to be exact. And he was right, it was high time I was sorted out!

He started out with a head massage. We spent a bit of time just chatting before we, well, got down to things, and he told me that his trade name is Jay. (Most people who get into the business take on another name, something I knew already - my aunt has been known by another name to everyone since she started working in Soho.) It felt wonderful when he ran his fingers through my hair, and that naive little voice in my head started saying "
Oh em gee he loves me!!," and I had to silence it by reminding myself that it's his job and that money would be changing hands afterwards.

For the next hour, I was the absolute centre of his attention as he made me feel beautiful, occasionally taking something out of the toolbelt around his hips to use on me. He was professional and gentle, and truth be told I enjoyed the fact that there was a big mirror on the wall so that I could better see what he was doing to me.

I left with a spring in my step, feeling more like a woman than I had in... ooh... about a year!

I must get my hair cut more often.

New hair!

Monday, 2 February 2009

Come cheer up, m'lads!

Just discovered some absolutely hilarious Star Trek videos! The YouTube user gazorra has cut together... well, see for yourself.

Sunday, 1 February 2009

Blueballed by Firefly

Recently, Gav bought me Firefly on DVD. I'd heard so much about it, and I've been wanting to see it for ages, so I was very excited and already had a lot of expectations. I've heard it called 'the show Star Trek could have been.' Well, pfft. Pfft I say!

It only took me a few episodes to decide I didn't like it. It was absolutely nothing like Star Trek, and if River didn't stop being mystical all the time I was going to demand that she be thrown out an airlock. I was all ready to announce to the world that Firefly was overhyped, and not that great actually.

But... I began to like the characters, Kaylee in particular. And I began to understand that what Firefly actually is... is a Space Western. Not sci-fi. So, more Wars than Trek, more guns than phasers, more sex than diplomats. You get the idea. And after that realisation, I really warmed to it fast!

Of course, as we raced through the episodes towards the inevitable end, I remembered why Firefly has such geek cred in the first place. It's because it's obscure. Not massively, not any more, but it has the rare 'limited edition' feel of a truly wonderful programme that was foolishly cancelled just before it found its audience.

Joss Whedon, the creator (also the creator of Buffy which shuttup was totally awesome), wisely chose not to try and explain everything in the last two episodes. There were a lot of loose ends that he could have tried to tie up in a hurry, but he didn't, and the series is much better for it. It gives the impression that somewhere out there, they're still flying.


The interesting thing of the day, in keeping with the blueballed theme, is a fantasy webcomic that I absolutely adore but was abandoned before completion. I'm not sure entirely of the reasons, but I think the artist / author found out there are mean people online, and left the internets foh evah. (Actually, it seems that he's updating again now! Ace, where did I get to...)

A Modest Destiny

(Regarding the title: I realise that, as analogies go, this is a fairly crude one, but nothing else quite sums up the sense of enjoyment culminating in eventual disappointment and frustration with quite the same bluntness.)