Scattered Brainings XIV

31 08 2011

* Old school video games are awesome. We didn’t play a lot (our SEGA machine had Alex Kidd in Miracle World built in), but my limited ‘experience’ won’t stop me from having fun… even though it probably accounts for why I get my behind kicked when playing against my Significant Other. That, plus the fact that he has been gaming for many a year.

* Finding new things to do is fun. I might not be very good, but my Significant Other and I are having a blast playing video games… which makes two and a half hours disappear each time, somehow… We also bought a Monopoly board on Monday – the South African version – and might start making mosaics/ building small things. Having to teach me all these things (excluding the mosaics) probably ties in with that “Love is patient” line.

* It’s ‘scary’ to realize how much you have in common with someone you find a tad annoying and, yes, sometimes overwhelming. Betty Bright drinks green tea, loves cats, doesn’t like rugby… and believes that the two of us think alike. Really?! This coming from someone who thinks she can do everything / knows best and whose species is most likely extinct already. [Sorry, couldn’t resist an age-related joke!]

* Sometimes I think I should either opt for the book or the film version thereof and not both. Just by looking at the cast for the first PERCY JACKSON film – along with what I heard about it from various sources – I immediately knew that I should steer clear. I had the same feeling when I read up on the cast for THE HUNGER GAMES. Yet, in this case, I am willing to wait it out and let the film decide it for me.

* Baking is awesome. What makes it even more meaningful for me (childhood memories aside) is how much people appreciate something as seemingly insignificant as a cookie or two with their morning coffee/tea. I brought some of the cookies I baked on Sunday to work yesterday, and my co-workers were delighted 🙂

* Speaking of which, when our Publishing Manager came to thank me for the cookies, she said that she didn’t see me as ‘domesticated’. This does not make sense to me… unless I am actually a household pet or something *laugh* I think she meant she didn’t see me as the domestic type, and not as someone who isn’t house-bred.

* Why are people so curious? I’m convinced that motorists are the people with the most curiosity. Just look at the excruciatingly slow pace of traffic when an accident has occurred, or when a truck has pulled over, and how immediately after you pass the vehicle(s) things go quicker. And why? Because everyone was staring and turning to look at what happened. Ogling should be a (criminal) offence.

* The fragrance of the air freshener cans in our Ladies Room at work is called “Baby Caress”. I find this highly unsettling…

How do YOU know what baby would taste like, kitteh? Also, with the air freshener: does it smell like dirty diapers and spit (like babies do), or is it the powdered, clean, 'new human' (baby) scent that's enticing...? *shudder*

* In just under a week, three or four people’s fathers have passed away (said people work for OUP). This makes me appreciate the fact that I still have my dad even more… and also makes me worry about his safety/ health/ longevity. Three deaths related to the (people in our) workplace is kind of eerie.

* I was having such a dull day at work yesterday that I actually started jotting down my brainings for today’s post. Talk about being constructive!


Dining in Scotland (4)

30 08 2011

Where did August disappear to?!

It’s not that I’m complaining, it’s just… wow…two-thirds of the year seem to have vanished. And three months ago I was getting ready to go back to work after such a lovely (history enriched!) honeymoon.

We’ve reach what will be the last entry in my Dining in Scotland ‘series’. We did a lot of walking around, saw how the streets were always busy – and the bus system d*mn efficient! – and generally just relaxed… perhaps already steeling ourselves for the long flight home.

I never want to spend 13 hours (excluding delays) on an aeroplane ever again…

…unless, of course, I have the opportunity to go back to Scotland. Then we’ll have to save our pennies – or cents, here in South Africa – and book into business class. Sleeping pills/ tranquilizers/ morphine would also be welcome.

Fourth, and final, stop: Aberdeen!

[PS: what made this stop special in its own way was the fact that my Significant Other bought me the two Simon’s Cat books. Hurray for honeymooning, beautiful Scotland, nyummy treats… and, as always, cats!!! Even if it’s only the antics of a cartoon kitty.]

@ The Caledonian's restaurant: garlic bread

@ The Caledonian's restaurant: salmon fillet for my Significant Other

@ The Caledonian's restaurant: curried vegetable soup -- this was oily & disgusting. Forced down almost half, then couldn't anymore :-/


From The Caledonian's restaurant: woodfired pepperoni + salami pizza -- after lunch, my Significant Other ordered this to take up to our room...& he finished it pretty quickly!

Cappuccino at Costa

Casa Gabriele: complimentary bread -- my Significant Other was sooo happy, because he LOVES bread

Casa Gabriele: Lasagna al Forno

Casa Gabriele: Risotto ai Funghi -- this is the best risotto I have EVER had, and most definitely my food highlight while dining in Scotland ❤

The sweet treats we bought at Peckham's - a slice of lemon cheesecake, and a raspberry + white chocolate tartlet

Another Whensday

24 08 2011

Happy Hump-Day, everyone!

Or, as I also like to call it, Whensday. Because, yes, let’s have that old joke: when’s this day ever going to end?! 😉

It’s 4:45 in the PM over here in South Africa, so my working day is almost over. Tomorrow it’s on to Meh-Day and, cue the cheering, Fried-day and the weekend!!

Dining in Scotland (3)

23 08 2011

Life. Love. Scotland. How I wish I could go back already *sigh*

I initially intended to do the Dining in Scotland ‘series’ on Mondays, since I managed to do it for the first two ‘episodes’ anyway (halfway there!), yet things don’t always work out as planned.

Mundayn/ Mondayn (because Monday = mundane) came and went so quickly, by the time I had a look at the hour-minute-second tickers on my watch, it was already ten after five in the PM. And when you get home, there are so many other things to do (while also thinking about work), that the evening goes by just as quickly.

So here were are at Productive-Day (aka Tuesday). I’ve been nice and busy, but at least there are still a few minutes of our designated lunch hour (1 – 2) left and I can share more of the great… and not-so-great… food we had while traveling abroad for the first time.

Third stop on our honeymoon: Inverness!

[I was hoping to spot the Loch Ness Monster, but unfortunately it wasn’t ‘Nessie weather’.]

Arts (the Ramada Jarvis' restaurant): The Club -- sandwich

Arts: The Club (2)

Arts: broccoli soup

Arts: bacon bap -- soft roll

The Corner Grill: sirloin steak

The Corner Grill: half pound homemade cheese burger

Johnny Foxes Pub & Restaurant: crumbed mushrooms

Johnny Foxes: classic fish & chips -- very oily, according to my Significant Other

Johnny Foxes: ovenbaked lasagne -- oily, disgusting... and there was something that looked like a small chunk of raw chicken, as well :-/

The three graces [call me Joy – I dare you]

19 08 2011

This morning, while looking for photos to use in my next blog post (which I may post today, thus making two posts in one day *astonished face*), I came upon this picture and immediately wanted to caption it ‘The three graces’:

The Three Graces: Addy (youngest, in yellow), Liz (yours truly) & Libby (oldest, in black) on my wedding day

 Being interested in mythology as I am (and in this instance, we’re dealing with the Greeks/ Romans), I remembered that the Graces were three goddesses that epitomized joy, charm and beauty. While both my sisters have lots of charm and beauty, and can probably spread joy wherever they go – though whether they feel joyful at times is questionable, I think it’s genetic – I’m not exactly sure where I’d fit in.

This being the case, I decided to go use good old Google to divine which goddess/ sister was which.

It turns out that these three, from youngest to oldest, were Aglaia/ Aglaea (“Splendor” or “Radiance”, “the one who harvests”); Euphrosyne (“Mirth” or “Joy”, literally “the one who brings joy”); and Thalia (“Good Cheer” or “Flowering”, “the one who blossoms”).

And yes, incidentally, we are standing from youngest to oldest in the photo above.

If you look at the meanings further, you’ll discover that Aglaia – the youngest – was named thus for her beauty and goodness. I think that suits my younger sister.

Thalia – the oldest – was named for her continuous/ everlasting freshness… which might be suited to my older sister Libby. She may be tired at times, but she rarely allows herself to be defeated, and after a gym session she’s all guns blazing and raring to go. Of course, the Graces were also goddesses of “cheerful amusement”, which refers to “the characteristics of loveliness”, and that definitely suits Libby. “Freshness”, after all, can also refer to beauty, and both my sisters are lovely.

Although, after reading the PERCY JACKSON books and encountering their depiction of Thalia (stubborn, a go-getter, very no-nonsense), I think that suits my older sister far better!! 😉

And then there’s the middle sister, Euphrosyne. The one who brings joy. The one who’s supposed to be cheerful. Me. *exasperated look* Sure, if you like your mirth with a shot of sarcasm or silly humour (which I suppose could be seen as merriment).

That said, I think that maybe there could be a small hint of truth in that. I like making people happy/ joyful by doing special things for them, and I put in a lot of effort. I’ve become semi-‘famous’ for the hugs I give… which, maybe, isn’t so bad, though it is peculiar to be known for something like that. I just think that out of all things you could attribute to someone, ‘joy’ most likely wouldn’t be mentioned when it comes to me.

But hey, I could be wrong – if I’m able to put a smile on someone’s face, to lighten their load, to provide assistance/ listen/ help out where I can, and to bake a chocolate cake/ cookies/ cheesecake that is eagerly devoured (*nom nom nom*), then I’m definitely spreading some joy.

Just don’t bother me tomorrow morning – I could really use some sleep, and if you disturb me, I might not be all sparkly rainbows and sunshine… Or I’ll find a way to mirth you to death. Whatever that means.

Eat (nope). Pray (sure, for things to be over). Love (that’s debatable).

18 08 2011

Or, in my case: Work. Work. Work Sleep. (Who needs to eat anyway?!)

I finally have time to breathe blog again. Breathing is, of course, fundamental to my very existence as a human being who needs oxygen (among other things) in order to survive and keep up a heartbeat, but you know what I mean.

I have been really busy at work… as in extremely, excruciatingly busy. It’s a good thing that I’m such an efficient, industrious and diligent slave robot worker-bee/drone person, otherwise I might not have survived.

And the hard work is just beginning!

I suppose I’d be fine with the workload (a) if I learned not to say yes when asked if I have time to ‘assist’ with something, and (b) if people were more certain about what they want and don’t give me things to do less than a day – no, half a day – before everything needs to be ready to handed over. Unfortunately (a) goes against my inbred sense of ‘duty’/ responsibility to help out where I can, even if it means taking everything upon myself, which is why I’m most likely to always say yes. I can make time. Who needs to have relaxing evenings at home? It’s a weekday and thus a workday.

Point (b) cannot be helped. You learn to live with and manage such things as they arise. That’s life. Case in point: I had a handover (two, actually) scheduled for this morning at 09:30. Yesterday at around 5PM I was still receiving info to use, which is why I spent another two hours working at home to get the job done – this after working for 9 hours straight, not taking lunch… and not having single thing to eat all day.

Like I said, who needs to eat anyway?! [I eventually ended up having a slice of toast with peanut butter *hmm* just before midnight.] [I suppose food is also fundamental to my still functioning – I must make a note of that…]

But hey, I’m happy. I have a great job. I’m praised for the work I do. I’m building up skills and knowledge with every passing minute, and I know that it will be valuable for any future working endeavours I have. Even if I get a little obsessive-compulsive, it’s still all good. It’s in my genes (not sure my family will like me saying that…)

Here’s to another Meh-day, which has been a bit quieter than the rest of the week, and hopefully to some well-deserved sleep this weekend.

Yes, I actually do love my job. Is that so mental troubling disturbed wrong?

Mind if I join you?

Dining in Scotland (2)

15 08 2011

Good morning, everyone!

I hope you all had a lovely weekend. I didn’t sleep very well, woke up at ungodly hours, and was plagued by an iffy headache most of the time.

Also, I felt extremely hungry late yesterday afternoon (a rarity in itself, as I never seem to be hungry), and immediately thought of posting more food pics on my blog from our time in Scotland.

While there, we bought a DVD that has three short ‘documentaries’ (if one can call it such) of the three castles that are a must-see when visiting Scotland:  Edinburgh Castle, Stirling Castle and Urquhart Castle. Yesterday, just to pass a bit of lazy Sunday time, we watched the 20 minute film about Edinburgh Castle… and I found myself wishing that we could go back as soon as possible. Maybe next year…? *sigh* What a lovely place.

So, on to the second stop on our honeymoon: Glasgow!

[Incidentally, three months ago about this time, we were spending our last morning in Glasgow before heading on to Inverness.]

Elements (the Novotel's restaurant): vegetable soup

Elements (the Novotel's restaurant): Elements burger

Breakfast -- fruit salad drizzled with honey

Paperino's Ristorante Pizzeria: Papperdelle alla Carbonara

Paperino's Ristorante Pizzeria: Penne Contadina

Elements: complimentary olive bread

Elements: vegetable broth

Elements: panfried rump steak. This was quite a pricy bit of meat... and when I say 'bit', I'm not exaggerating

See, tiny! It's not even visible due to the onion rings on top of it!! My Significant Other said it was nice, so I'm not going to argue