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Curiouser and curiouser [Mar. 31st, 2008|08:38 pm]
[Current Location |the study]
[music |REM, Accelerate]

Its not quite dark yet. I can almost see the point of this clock changing lark.

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Distress [Mar. 27th, 2008|03:51 pm]
[mood |distresseddistressed]

Stuff in the news doesn't often freak me out.
This did.
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Easter [Mar. 27th, 2008|03:35 pm]

I went to Eastercon. Other people's LJ seems to cover most of what I did, but here's a quick recap:

Conquered the UK flight security systems, arriving only 2 hours later than expected in both directions
Attended about as many (or as few) actual programme items as usual
Chilled out (literally) with old friends
Made some new friends... not entirely as a result of...
On one evening, drank slightly more alcohol than I should (I blame the Scandinavians)
At one point exactly understood the precise relational location of all things within the Radisson Non-Euclidean
Drank Tea
Laughed my socks off at Mitch Benn
Pre-attacked the post con miseries by signing up for a whole load more.

The date of Easter has meant that a gentle return to work this week has not been possible - the end of the financial year is nigh and I am justifying taking time out to post this with the thought that despite having Monday off I have already worked my contracted hours this week and its only 4pm Thursday. 

Must go...someone has just brought me cake!

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New Toy Recommendations Please [Mar. 14th, 2008|10:48 am]
[mood |confusedconfused]

For my birthday, my lovely Dad gave me some money to put towards buying a camera. I'm looking for a compact digital camera, with the following things:

As many megapixels as are necessary (I think at least 7)
Lithium or other long life battery
Optical & Digital zoom
Non-proprietory memory card format so it'll go into my laptop slot
Fast image capture
Simple intuitive controls

I have around £150 to spend but want to get a case, a couple of memory cards and all the adaptors and leads I need - maybe even a spare battery. 
For the last month I have looked: online, in Jessops and Currys and suchlike, and have totally failed to come to a decision. They are all shiny and small and fancy, and no-one in the shops has been enthusiastic enough to help me make a decision. I just need to get over it and get one already, but I thought I'd put one more call out for the collective wisdom of my friends. So does anyone has any recommendations - for particular cameras, brands, batteries, memory card types or alternatively good places (in the real world or online) to go for information or to buy?

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(no subject) [Mar. 12th, 2008|09:29 am]

Happy Birthday 

f4f3! See you in the pub on Saturday!


 (and why do I always get funny things happening with carriage returns when I try to add usernames?)

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Sheep! [Feb. 21st, 2008|09:53 pm]

Scattegories - from  zantic 
Use the 1st letter of your name to answer each of the following... they have to be real places, names, things...nothing made up! Try to use different answers if the person in front of you had the same 1st initial.
1. What is your name: Helen
2. 4 letter word: Help
3. Vehicle: Honda
4. City: Hanoi
5. Boys Name: Henry
6. Girl's Name: Heather
7. Alcoholic drink: Hendricks
8. Occupation: Hairdresser
9. Something you wear: Hat
10. Celebrity: Harry Hill (see what I did there!)
11. Food: Herbs
12. Something found in a bathroom: Hand towel
13. Reason for Being Late: Haemorrhoids?
14. Cartoon Character: Homer Simpson
15. Something you shout: Hurry up!
16. Animal: Hedgehog
17. Body part: Hand
18. Word to describe you: Horrid ( I am the girl with the curl, dontcha know!)
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Birthday observations [Feb. 18th, 2008|08:01 pm]
[mood |happyhappy]
[music |Helen's 30th birthday album - 1987]

Made it! 
Bit of a mad weekend, starting modestly after work on Friday with a few drinks at the DCA with friends and colleagues.

Struggled out of bed on Saturday morning and down to Glasgow to meet my sister S and 

incomparable616 who were already propping up the bar. Hijinks ensued, and my plan for a smooth and lazy afternoon turned into a mad dash back and forth across the West End when I broke Munchkinstein... 

Eventually I gathered up K (and tagalong boy) and made it fairly promptly to Oranmor, where a dozen of my nearest and dearest were waiting quite patiently for their tea. It was very civilised, enjoyable and not at all rushed - which explains why we were running over half an hour late to Ishkies (oops!) where another half dozen people were waiting not so patiently and carefully guarding a huge sunflower cake (mmmm) and a giant package of lovely pressies. 

Things degenerated from there with lots of squealing (me) posing (me) and drinking of whisky (yes, me). Not sure what the rest of you got up to?  As ever, I have hostess's guilt that I didn't manage to speak to any of you for long enough, or probably make any sense at all towards the end of the night - so thanks again to everyone for coming. I had a great time, hope you all did too!

Woke up on Sunday before the hangover set in and kicked its butt at Stravaigin with Eggs Benedict and the three drink special (orange juice, coffee and coke). The sisters (and tagalong boyfriend) spent the afternoon touring the city centre before I put them on the train and escaped back to Dundee and the comfort and safety of my bed.

I'm wearing M's beautiful jewellery, cuddling my pillow and listening to my 30th birthday tape now. So how about that shopping trip? 



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Birthday Plans [Feb. 12th, 2008|02:39 pm]

After a great deal of procrastination I have been kicked up the bottom by 

zantic and have made the following plan for Saturday:

I was repeatedly foiled by Valentiners (bah, humbug) on the dinner front, but managed to snag a table at the Brasserie at Oranmor. They have a pre-theatre offer of 3 courses and a glass of wine for £15. (I don't know if that's the current menu or just a example, but it looks good!). If you want to come for dinner, please let me know - if possible by Friday so that I can tot up numbers and confirm with the restaurant. I'll be there from 5.30 - I think to get through 3 courses we'll have to be seated before six.

Following that, I plan to tootle along to Ishkies for around half seven, the top bit of the bar has been booked. Come along, bring your friends and prepare to carouse!

(Oh, and on Sunday I will be packing my aged arteries with cholesterol via brunch in Stravaigin. I'll be having the kick-ass Eggs Benedict!)

Hope to see you then!


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Known Unknowns [Feb. 10th, 2008|11:27 pm]
I spent the weekend in London around the LSE for the University of London's external study weekend.
This week I will mostly be finishing moving house, getting back on track with microeconomics and thinking about what to say next week, when I am being interviewed for jobs in the restructured organisation.

Oh and Ishkies. Saturday. I will mostly be being 30. Be there or... elsewhere.
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Good egg [Jan. 28th, 2008|06:29 pm]
I've always hated spaghetti carbonara - not the restaurant version but the various abominations I've eaten in the name of duplicating the recipe at home. Pasta and scrambled eggs anyone? 

But I've finally found a recipe that works for me - care of Bill Buford's Heat (an exploration of different forms of professional food preparation subtitled An Amateur's Adventures as Kitchen Slave, Line Cook, Pasta-Maker and Apprentice to a Dante-Quoting Butcher in Tuscany). It took 10 minutes to cook, has only 5 ingredients and even (with a little less pasta and cheese than you might use) scrapes in under the 400cal limit I try to stick to for my evening meal. 

NB. I think this recipe is suited to making for one or two but may be more difficult to make for any more.

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