Thursday, 31 March 2011

The Microsoft Outlook LOCD

I appreciate that I've already posted an LOCD this week but this one crept up on me so suddenly today that I knew I had to share it... that and I literally had nothing else to talk about and so was desperate.

The actual action didn't just develop today (it wouldn't be much of an LOCD if it had!) but rather the realisation that I did this came to me today. This scared me as I was filled with the knowledge that not only do I have LOCD tendencies but so does my subconscious.

This is an LOCD that was bred purely out of habit. Upon arriving at work the first thing I have always done is unlock my computer and click on the little Outlook icon.

That tiny insignificant action is the reason I write this post today. You see by clicking on this icon first, my subconscious was training me to see the image of Microsoft Outlook first on my bottom menu (lol, for some reason the phrase 'bottom menu' really tickled me) as the normal and right thing to see. As shown below.

(If you can't see the image then give it a click and it will get bigger for you... as if by magic!!)

It wasn't until today that I realised it had traveled into LOCD world however.

Today I accidentally closed down Outlook. I had open several other files I was working on. Immediately my subconscious realised that if I opened Outlook again then It would no longer be at the front of the menu but at the back.

So while the rest of me was concentrating on singing 'Sun and Moon' from 'Miss Saigon,' my subconscious happily started closing down all my other programmes. It wasn't until I was faced with a pop up box asking me if I wanted to save my changes that I realised what I was doing.

After the initial 'got-to-laugh-at-yourself-because-you-are-so-weird-otherwise-you-will-cry' shock had worn off, I soon discovered that my realising I was doing this subconsciously really didn't make a blind bit of difference because I still wanted that Outlook sign on the front of my menu bar.

Before you worry that this might be the point where I have officially lost it. I would like to offer you some method behind my madness.

Outlook is the programme I use the most and if the Outlook tab was anywhere other than first I would waste precious seconds trying to find it, those seconds I could have been using to work!

So after once again trying to justify my random thoughts to avoid being committed. I will bid you adieu with a wink and a gun from me.

Oh and in other news, I had a particularly cocky conversation with Work-Buddy-James today where I claimed to be a genius at my commute journey.

Six hours later, I got on the wrong train... ah, karma.

Wednesday, 30 March 2011

Staring doesn't bode well for the socially inept.

Do you know what's really unnerving? People staring at you on trains.

Especially on tubes when they're sitting opposite you and you literally have nowhere else to look. In these cases you tend to then develop an unhealthy fascination with the tube map stuck on the wall of the train, even though you take this journey every day and so know the route off by heart.

Now don't get me wrong, I have on more than one occasion been caught staring at someone on a train. But usually on those occasions I wouldn't be aware I was staring until they look back at me. It's at this point I will quickly look away and spend the rest of my journey looking anywhere but where that person had been sitting.

I do this partly because I'm a socially inept British person and partly because I have been told from a young age that IT IS RUDE TO STARE.

Well I'm going to take a wild stab in the dark and guess that the man who chose to sit opposite me on the train today had never been let in on this little life lesson.

This morning this man got on the train on the stop after me, sat opposite me and proceeded to stare.

I was obeying the unsaid rules of conduct when on a train, which is to look at either all the ads above the people's heads, through the window, at the floor, or at your own ipod (even if you're already happy with the song selection and are completely tired of all the games on it).

Thems the rules and I had chosen the window as my choice of stare. However, suddenly I was aware of these eyes staring unflinchingly at me.

Immediately, due to my complete social awkwardness when anyone of the opposite sex shows me any kind of attention, I froze up and kept my eyes honed on the window, determined not to give him any reason to continue his stare.

This didn't seem to work at all and he continued to stare.

Then I had a brainwave. I thought that if I looked at him maybe he would look away from either embarrassment or fear of being caught.

Convinced that he had made a similar mistake to the ones I had occasionally made and just simply had not realised that he had been staring, I turned my gaze to him.

This lasted for a total of two seconds but I realised two things in those two seconds.

1. He was not going to look away any time soon
2. He was clearly enjoying how awkward this made me

My eyes darted to the memorised tube map at this point and my awkward levels grew. For 10 minutes I kept my eyes averted but for 10 minutes I could feel his stare on me.

After the 9th minute or so I had convinced myself that I was making the whole thing up and that, as I wasn't looking directly at him I couldn't possibly know for sure if he had been staring at me the whole time. He could have been staring at the window behind me.

So after I had finished fully examining the shoes of the woman to my left (an action she was starting to eye me suspiciously for) I chanced another look at my 'possibly-not-at-all' starer again.

Alas my new conclusion was not the case. There he was - just staring.

This was the point I got out my notebook and started to draft this blog. An action I had discovered was actually the perfect anecdote but I had realised a little too late as two minutes later he got up to leave.

He promptly came and stood in front of the door next to me, leaving him in full view of what I was writing. Afraid he may realise my couple of paragraphs were all about him, I turned the page and pretended to scan it's contents. Unfortunately this page was blank so I fear it may have been a little obvious as to why I had really turned the page.

And so people that is why, when the man left the train after 20 minutes of non stop invasion of my social comfortableness, I then managed to feel guilty that I had done him some wrong.

I couldn't tell if he was being pervy or flirty (yes that's right, I can't tell the difference between the two) but I'm leaning towards... pervy? That's right isn't it? To be honest, both of them make me equally as awkward so it doesn't really make any difference to me.

Oh and by the way, the guy in the photo is not the man from the train. I didn't think it would be wise for anyone involved if I had run after him and asked to take his picture for a blog I was doing on the UNBELIEVABLY awkward moment we had just shared. Instead I roped Work-Buddy-James into posing for visual effect.

Oh and in other news, I think the internet is mad with me for something. I asked it to do something for me last night and it came back with this.

That's all.
Peace out.

Tuesday, 29 March 2011

The Up/Down Staircase LOCD

I've debated whether or not to put this one down as a LOCD given that it could also just be seen as a healthy respect for the law.

I've decided to write about it anyway and let the good people decide. So without further ado, I give you the 'Up/Down Staircase LOCD.'

Since starting my new job I have found myself having to adapt to a whole set of new routines and schedules. One of the new routines is my silly travelling regime. This is an hour and a half of public transport consisting of a walk, a train, a tube, a bus and another walk. Yes, I know, it's ridiculous, but I'm getting used to it now and if I don't focus on how much time in my life I'm wasting on trains then I tend to get through the week fairly unscathed.

The 'Up/Down Staircase LOCD' developed at the last train station I arrive at on my way to work. It's exactly as it sounds. There is a staircase at this station divided into two with a sign above it stating which side you walk up and which side you walk down.

As per usual, I have taken a picture to help you all visualise.

As you can see, the sign clearly states the correct path to take.

Now I like a good rule as much as the next person, so the first time I saw this I was very excited to get on the right side (which is actually the left side ironically (is that the correct use of ironically? (I think it is))).

This gave me ridiculous satisfaction. The only kind of satisfaction you can get when you've just obeyed a really good rule.

Anywho, this became a thing I loved. Every morning I would arrive at the foot of the stairs and trot happily up the 'Up' section.

The day I feared this particular habit may have turned into a LOCD was the first day I saw this happen.

I was halfway up the correct side of the stairs, at a walking pace due to the large amount of people trying to get out of the station at the time. Out of nowhere, this teenage boy in a bomber jacket bombed (see what I did there?) up the stairs on the 'Down' side!

Disgusted I was! What a complete disrespect for the law! What would have happened if someone had spotted their train coming and needed to run down the stairs at that particular point? Head on collision is what! As well as the person missing their train... so double tragedy!

Luckily there hadn't been anyone who needed the 'Down' side at the time but he couldn't have known that.

What's more it seems to have turned into an epidemic as since that day more and more have been taking advantage of the 'forbidden side.' I mean look at this picture.

That's almost half the population of current stair walkers who have chosen to walk on the dark side!

I appreciate that you may not be as outraged by this as I am. In fact you might find yourself not caring at all. Well, all I have to say to you regarding that is if God had intended for people to walk up both sides of that staircase, he would have created an 'Up/Up' sign.

And before you start thinking I need to loosen up a little, I am completely loose already thank you very much (probably best to take that in the context it was meant) in fact I would like to inform you of the time not long ago when I had had a whole bowl of ice cream BEFORE I'd had any dinner! So... IN YOUR FACE!


Okay, I feel guilty about how aggressive that last bit sounded so... here... have a blob of Salad Cream. It's my favourite.

I totally ate that after I took the picture.

Monday, 28 March 2011

The loves and unloves of Lisa Harries

So I write on this a lot and I thought to myself. 'Maybe I should tell you all a little about myself.'

So here it is, the loves and unloves of Lisa Harries.
Feel free to agree and disagree with me all you like.

First off.
All time loves.

Flight of the Conchords

Ginger men

Doctor Who




Pepsi Max and Salad Cream

All time unloves


Little girl ghosts

And *Shakes fist in the air* Nicholas Cage


Things I am loving about 2011 so far

Andrew Garfield (To quote Mugatu: He's so hot right now)

Starkid drama company. Seriously if you have a couple of hours to spare check out their 'A very Potter musical' on Youtube. It's immense. (Thanks to Younger Brother for pointing me in the direction of this one.)

And my new house!

And finally the Unloves of 2011 so far

Having no money (I miss money)

And losing my iphone due to it breaking. RIP iphone. I hope my insurance company sends me a new version of you soon.

That's all!!

But enough about me. What about you?

Saturday, 26 March 2011

The night where Rachael set fire to her house.

Last night I went to Rachael's house again with Claire. This is something that generally happens each weekend.

At about ten o clock Claire decides that she's hungry. Rachael suggested cooking sausages. I heard that sausages were being cooked and suddenly also felt famished.

Rachael puts eight sausages under the grill (she wasn't eating any, this was purely for mine and Claire's sausage sandwiches only). They started sizzling away and I promptly decided I needed the ladies room.

When I came out of the downstairs toilet into a cloud of smoke I deduced that something might have gone awry with the sausages. Going into the kitchen however I did not expect to see what I did. Rachael was standing over the grill poking at eight sausages which were now all on fire.

Now I'm not talking about a small flame dancing off some fat, I'm talking about large 'I could take off your eyebrows' kind of flames.

Now would have been a good time for me to have taken a picture so that you could see for yourself the tray of death Rachael had held in one hand. Unfortunately grabbing my camera so we could have a Kodak moment was the last thing on my mind. So instead here's a picture of a fire that was a lot worse than our one but looks good for dramatic effect.

I would like to say that I dealt with the situation with a clear head and a calm attitude but alas that particular moment of my life was not my finest hour. Instead this is how it went.

"Um Rach." I murmured, upon first catching sight of the flames. "Is that supposed to happen?"

"It's fine, the grill just caught some of the fat that's all."

"Shouldn't we try and put it out?"

Rachael threw me a tired look. "I am trying."

Rachael poked the sausages, trying to separate them from each other in the vain hope that that would calm the flames down.

It didn't.

Instead the flames got higher and more smoke started clouding the room. At this point I got scared and started my little panic dance.

"Rachael! That's a real fire!"

"I know it's a real fire Lisa, I'm trying to put it out."

When it was clear that I wasn't getting the correct reaction out of Rachael, I ran into the living room.

"Claire! Claire! Rachael's sausages are on fire! Come and look!"

Claire was laying on the sofa, all cuddled up in her blanket and it was clear that she did not want to move from this spot.

"It's probably just a bit of fat that's got caught." She said.

"It's exactly that!" I cried. "Only, the fat has been caught A LOT! This whole house it going to burn down unless we do something!"

I ran back into the kitchen to find Rachael attempting to remove the alight grill tray from the grill. Again this just seemed to aggravate the flames more.

"What can I do? What can I do?" I asked Rachael, whilst creating new moves to add to my panic dance (this is very similar to the 'I need the toilet dance' only with more arm movements).

"Open the kitchen door so we can get some of this smoke out."

I obediently ran to the kitchen door that led to the garden and wedged it open. Using my new dance to wave some of the smoke out into the night air. I then turned back to the oven and saw that Rachael had now managed to put out part of the fire but there were larger flames accumulating around the remaining part.

Seeing that Rachael clearly was struggling and knowing that I had no experience with this kind of thing as I am a complete noob when it comes to all household emergencies, I ran back to Claire.

"Seriously Claire, this thing is huge!"

"Well what do you want me to do about it?" Claire asked.

"You could put it out!"

"Why can't you?"

"I don't know how."

"Stick some water on it Lisa, come on, it's not hard!"

I ran back, clearly terrified that I was going to have to own the task of putting water on the fire when I saw Rachael shove a tea towel over the last of the flames and put it out completely.

"You put it out?" I asked Rachael.

"It would seem so."

I ran back to Claire. "It's okay Claire, Rachael's put it out. But you missed some big flames."

Claire decided to get up at this point and proceeded to help waft the smoke out of the kitchen while Rachael stood out in the garden and attempted to remove the smoke from her eyes.

Looking back and judging by the others reactions to this fire next to mine, I do wonder if maybe I had made this into a much bigger thing than they had. But still, it was my first oven fire and I was running off adrenaline.

I didn't get a picture of the fire, but here's a picture of the sausages after.

And here's Rachael telling Claire of the amazing help I had been in the putting out process.

All in all a rather eventful evening. Ta ta for now.

Peace out.

Friday, 25 March 2011

In a 'spot' of bother (puns are cool)

Yes, this is the post where I address the infestation on my face that you may have already noticed in previous photos.

Ladies and gents, of late my skin has taken on a life of it's own and for no apparent reason (as is usual with my body) it has decided to become best friends with acne.

Seriously guys, they're inseparable. I have tried everything to push them apart, but they simply refuse to leave each other.

I wasn't always this way, November 2010 backwards my skin was lovely! Don't believe me? Here's proof.

See, I told you. That's flawless skin right there. Anyone would be jealous of it, hell I'm jealous of it! (I think I may have identified a genuine way of being jealous of yourself... huh... never thought that was possible until this moment...)

I quite often stroke the above photo lovingly. It was only taken in September 2010 on my awesome holiday to Barbados! And now? Well...

Urgh, I know. Do you see why I'm a little perplexed?

Since November, when my face decided to rebel against me, I have tried EVERYTHING to get it back on track: Creams, scrubs, face masks, change in diet. (Okay so that last one didn't stick for long but in my defense I hardly doubt food had anything to do with it! (Translated as, I love food more than my face.))

If my face had just maintained the same level of acne throughout this whole experience then it could have been manageable. But no, you see, as I have previously stated, my body hates me and likes to screw with me.

So what my face has taken to do recently is let me put a face mask on and then the next day say "thank you Lisa, I'll get rid of some of your spots for you." And the following day it will continue to say "I know how much you are trying to make me clear so let me get rid of some more for you." When it does this, I thank my face for this by smiling lots at it in the mirror every time I catch it's reflection.

On the third day however, I always imagine the evil witch cackle it lets out as I go to the mirror and find in the space of the 4 spots it had cleared for me, 6 more had arrived! Stupid face.

Still my eternal hope in the good will of my face continued and I kept on saying to myself... next week my skin will clear, next week it will get better.


It hasn't.

So I lost patience a couple of weeks ago and went to see my GP. I explained to him all about my stubborn face and after he gave me a few options I went for the 4 month anti-biotic treatment.

The side effects of this choice were minimal. The only major one was that, should I get pregnant during this period and not stop taking the drugs, my baby will have screwed up teeth... There was a large part of me that thought that wasn't going to make a difference, the poor kid was probably doomed to have bad teeth thanks to my genes anyway. Unless mt mum was on those anti-biotics when she was pregnant with me... (mental note: ask mum about her experience with acne in her 20's).

The whole point was moot anywho as my commitment phobias would have me running in the opposite direction if a guy looked at me suggestively. So after I explained this all to my Doctor, he wrote the prescription and waved me goodbye.

Even though I've had this prescription for a couple of weeks, I only just traded it for drugs two days ago. My reasons being partly due to still wanting to think the best of my face but mainly due to having no money to speak of (I miss money).

However, Tuesday my face erupted into a breakout of 100 more spots so I glared at my reflection and hissed "Enough is enough."

I picked up my prescription from the Pharmacist on Wednesday after being treated like an alcoholic for asking if it was okay to drink alcohol whilst on this drug (His response was "In moderation" followed by a sceptic glare). I don't think it was too much to ask! I'm going to be on this drug for 4-8 months! Over the summer!! The opportunity for Pimms is going to be hitting me from all directions!

Anywho, I left feeling guilty about my non-existent drinking problem and promptly started taking them that day.

Three days in and my skin looks like this.

I'll post another picture in a couple of weeks and we can compare and contrast... fun!! It's like a mini science experiment!

I bet you're all as excited as I am.

Thursday, 24 March 2011

It's official, I'm a Peacock

I've done the official test and my personality clearly stated that I'm a Peacock. This isn't just some little quiz that you get on the back of '17' magazine, this is a genuine bonafide test proved by Scientists and everything.

I had another training session yesterday. This one was on Communication Skills and lasted the whole day. We talked about a lot of pretty interesting communication stuff but in the afternoon, we got to have a quiz on our personalities! Yeay!

I like a good personality quiz. The previous ones I had done had told me that the Spice girl I was most like was Baby Spice and Lee is the most likely guy from Blue that would date me (It was Duncan but I went back and changed my answers until I got Lee). Now, as you can probably tell from the topic of these quizzes, the last time I filled one of these in, I was still going through puberty but I remember enjoying them greatly. So you can imagine my excitement when our trainer suggested an actual real life official quiz.

First he made us answer a lot of questions about how we managed our time and what we thought of the people around us, then there was the adding up of points and finally (to prove the high classiness of this quiz) we had to plot our score on a graph in order to get our result.

There were four types of personality that were available to have (I bet you didn't realise it was so limited). Each of these personalities were given a bird name to help identify them.

There was:

The Dove Personality

If you have the dove personality, it means that you

A: Love love
B: Hate indifference
C: Can't cope with conflict

The Owl Personality

If you have the Owl personality, it means that you

A: Love order
B: Hate chaos
C: Can't cope with disorganisation

The Eagle Personality

If you have the Eagle personality, it means that you

A: Love winning
B: Hate losing
C: Can't cope with people's emotions

And then there was the personality I fell under.

The Peacock Personality

For everyone who has this personality it means that you

A: Love attention
B: Hate being ignored
C: Can't organise anything to save your life.


When I initially heard this, I spent a while trying to work out whether I was offended or not.

As it was, the bottom one simply wasn't true. I'm a PA and thus it is my job to be stupidly organised for myself and the Consultant I assist. What's more, I actually love doing it! Having a spreadsheet and filing system for everything I do literally gives me chills and gets me emotionally through the day. (I find it to be a good outlet for my (L)OCD tendencies as it enables them and also pays me for them at the same time!)

So the third one I dismissed immediately but the first two?

If my family or anyone who knew me at all had been in the room, they would have been nodding fervently in agreement but at the same time... is this how I'm to be defined?

Looking back at my childhood to teenage years I would have to agree entirely that I was an attention seeking... "large character." But over the last couple of years I have mellowed out somewhat. Apparently not enough however to constitute me being anything other than our colourful bird friend.

Just as I was inwardly counselling myself in this shock revelation, the trainer moved onto the next section: "How do you ask a favour from each of these personalities?"

I found this answer easy for the other three personalities and eagerly gave my suggestions.

For the Doves of this world, you have to approach them with a personable nature. Inquire about their day, ask them about their life, treat them nicely and once you've got them in a nice happy place, you weasel in your request.

For the Owls, it's all about going in there prepared with all the facts and information clearly laid out, stressing to them how much you need someone who can solve this issue.

For the Eagles, there is no beating around the bush. You go in, ask the question in the littlest amount of words you can think whilst getting in all the information they need.

For the Peacock though, I had to be told the correct way to approach "us" and when I did hear it, it took all I had not to stand up and protest.

Apparently, in order to get a favour out of a Peacock you need to turn everything into a drama. Using words like "You'll be saving the day if you do this.." and "I will ensure to tell your boss just how well you did if you can do this for me..."

I couldn't quite get my head around it, I refused to believe that I could be so easily manipulated by being told the world was going to end if I didn't help with a task. I was all ready to say that I had never responded positively to someone asking me a favour in that way when something stopped me, it was a memory.

There was a day last week when someone had come to me all in a fluster and asked me to fix something that someone else had messed up. I remembered the feeling of elation as I was told that I was the only one who would be able to fix this mess.

My mind then ran to just the day before when someone had congratulated me for my efficient work and told me that they had never seen it done that fast. That comment had freaking made my day, and why? Because I had felt special and unique. I remembered all this and instead of arguing my case to the trainer, I slumped into my seat, crossed my arms and scowled... I was a sodding Peacock.

I'm not sure why this offended me so much. I guess it just sounds a little superficial but then if I really look at my life seriously, I couldn't be any other bird and here's a list of why.

1. Last week I accidentally deleted one of my 'True Blood' episodes from my series link, leaving me with an unfinished series and I nearly cried at the injustice of it.

2. I quite regularly leave myself dramatic messages on my whiteboard for my own amusement only, as no one else will see them (This is the one exception, here's the one I wrote last night).

3. I wrote this post... and this one... well actually pretty much all of them are fairly Peacockesque.


I'm a Peacock.

I'll deal with it.

PS: If you want to have a go yourself it's called the DOPE test and can be found on google, Happy bird matching!

Wednesday, 23 March 2011

Dear Youtube. And other such emails.

I've been spending a ridiculous amount of time on the internet lately and due to this I have found myself forming opinions towards some of the social network sites. I decided to send these sites an email expressing my thoughts. Please find them below.

Dear Youtube,

You are so entertaining.
People seem to prefer you to blog sites.
You make me feel like I can be a really awesome Vlogger because other people are.
You lie.
I try to be funny like your videos.
I subscribe to other funny and amazing people in the vain hope that their amazingness will rub off on me.
I listen to John and Hank Green when they say to me "Don't forget to be Awesome" and I remember every day.
But somehow, the videos I film that I think are really cool when I make them, really don't seem to be that good at all when I watch them back.
I'm blaming you for this Youtube.
I had never had any intention of making films before you came along.
I was happy then.
And now I am sad.
This is your fault.

Fix this please.

Yours lovingly


Dear Blogspot,

Why do you make it so hard for people to find me on your website?
And why do you make it equally as hard for them to follow me when they do find me?
Don't you know that I'm counting on you to make people realise I can be an awesome future author?

Fix this please.

Yours lovingly


Dear Twitter,

You make me feel like a stalker.
That is all.

Yours lovingly


Dear Facebook,

With you, I have 523 friends.
Thanks for that.
Please stop freezing temporarily when people try to instant message me.

Yours lovingly


Tuesday, 22 March 2011

Geese... a little tale.

So I have been trying my little hardest to do one of those video things that I hear so much about on Youtube. I have this idea you see, and in my head it's freaking hilarious and completely awesome. However when I try and implement this absolutely fabtabulous idea something goes awry and I just end up looking at myself so much through my little editing programme that I start to hate myself and spiral into a downwards self loathing spiral that eats away at me from the inside...

So I decided that maybe those feelings weren't good feelings and instead I should come onto this wonderful little blog and write to you wonderful people in an exercise that doesn't make me want to claw my own eyes out. I'm sure you'll agree that this is a good choice to make.

There is a thought in my little plum-filled mind that I had the other day and I wanted to ask for your expert opinion on any insight into it. My thought concentrated completely on Geese.

Geese have always been these loud, very intimidating birds to me that used to wake me up at six in the morning when I lived with my friend Rachael. As such, I never gave them much thought other than how much I would like to come into their homes at three in the morning and scream at them until they woke up. Then maybe they would now what it feels like (This was something I never did but did dream about often).

Anywho, now that two and half years has past since I lived in that house, I found myself walking with Rachael back to her house from the pub on Saturday evening and actually looking at the Geese whilst experiencing a feeling other than disdain. In fact, as I stared, a burning curiosity started to take control. Both Rachael and I watched these birds take off into the air and fly together in their perfect V formation.

"Hey Rachael?" I asked.

"Yes Lisa."

"What makes the Geese fly in a V like that?"

Rachael took a second to look up at the birds as they flew overhead and thought for a moment.

"I have absolutely no idea."


I let it go for a couple of minutes until more questions piled on top of the burning curiosity.

"Hey Rachael?"

"Yes Lisa."

"Who gets to pick to be in front?"

Rachael who by now had clearly moved onto other things in her mind looked at me confused.

"I'm sorry?"

"Out of the nine birds that are currently flying in the V, who gets to pick to be in front?" I explained. "And for that matter, who then decides they're going to fly second and third? And most importantly, how do they share this news with each other?"

Rachael had thrown me a bewildered look at this point that told me I had clearly put too much thought into this, but I simply stared back at her with mild curiosity, waiting for her response.

When it was clear to her that I wasn't going to let it go without her answer she said. "I don't know."

By this point my thought process had taken on a life of it's own and the questions continued to roll.

"Do you suppose when they're squawking at each other they're actually speaking a language we don't understand or do you think they're just making noise?"

Before Rachael could even open her mouth to answer, I had continued. Clearly now having this conversation more with myself rather than anyone else. Rachael was pretty used to me when I got like this so simply walked along and let me carry on until I would inevitably run out of steam.

"I think I'd always thought that they were just making noise but now that I look at the V formation I'm going to have to rethink my whole outlook on it. I mean there has to be some form of communication involved in order for them to know where to go."

Excitement filled my eyes as a new idea came to me.

"Ooh, ooh! Maybe they're telepathic! Maybe they can read each others mind and that's how they know where to go!" My face had fallen as this idea had just opened up whole new series of questions. "But then does that mean that Geese are technically a superior and cleverer race than we are because they are able to use a part of their brain that we can't?"

All blood left my face as the next question dawned on me. "Can they read our minds?"

I looked over at Rachael, my eyes wide and once again expecting an answer. It took her a while to realise this and I'm not too sure if she had even been listening to any of it anyway, but whatever the case she had heard the last question because, after a few moments, she answered me.

"I don't think Geese can read minds Lisa."

"But how do you know?"

"I don't."

We had fallen quiet again after this. Once we reached Rachael's front door though, she turned to me.

"You're going to blog about this aren't you?"

I let out a small impish grin and she rolled her eyes.

"It's the pork blog all over again." She said. "We have one stupid small conversation in between loads of massive, more interesting conversations and for some reason you choose to make a whole post out of it."


I fail to see what's more important than me learning how close I was to dying because I had wanted to cook some meat.

And as for the Geese? If anyone can tell me how they manage to be so organised, you'd really be taking a huge weight of confusion off my shoulders.

Ta muchly.

Sunday, 20 March 2011

Happy pancake day... sort of.

Today, myself and two lovely lady friends of mine decided to celebrate Pancake day. We had had plans for this to happen on the actual day but we are a little rubbish with time keeping so it took us a while to actually get this day organised!

I offered to host the wonderful day out given that it would mean I could earn a few more gold stars on my 'Independent woman' chart. I had a sneaky suspicion that I would take to this with an array of professionalism. I just felt like this could be one of those things that I would be naturally good at. I mean, I now own a kitchen, I should be pretty darn amazing in it right?

Now I have never made a pancake before, (we have always been fans of the 'Aunt Bessie's ready made pancakes' in my family) but Jenny and Anna apparently seemed to be experts who did this every year. This was exciting, how could we fail such an epic challenge?

With this in mind, myself, Jenny and Anna took to my kitchen armed with forks, bowls and wooden spoons.

We cheated a little as we already had the pancake mix and only needed to add egg and water but it's barely a cheat so it's fine. In my excitement of being a real life independent cook, I practically threw the water into the bowl, pouring all of it in at once. Apparently this wasn't a good thing as you are meant to add the water gradually. I did start to fear for our future pancakes when the mixture after ten minutes of whisking still looked like this.

I learnt something about my friend Anna during this experience. When she is hungry, she is not a patient lady. She had decided after only 5 minutes that lumpy pancakes would probably taste just as good as smooth ones and that the mixture should be fine. Luckily we managed to convince her otherwise and after the three of us attacking the mixture with our forks simultaneously, we managed to salvage the mixture from the brink and turn it into a rather sexy looking texture.

The day took a turn for the competitive after this as Anna had the ingenious idea of each of us doing a pancake and seeing which one was better. So after a quick Frube for each of us we got ready.

Jenny went first.

Everything was fine to start with until the time came for her to flip the pancake. Due to the mix not wanting to be separated from the pan (I guess they'd formed a bond in the short time they'd known each other), Jenny had to resort to more of a rolling exercise rather than a flipping exercise.

I smiled smugly at this because the word competition had been used and I was no longer 'friend Lisa' but 'competitor Lisa' and unfortunately 'competitor Lisa' isn't very nice. Miraculously and by some sort of genius on her side she managed to rescue the pancake from the brink of extinction and return it to some form of normalcy again.

However, in her overzealous state of thinking she was capable of performing the same miracle again, she destroyed the pancake in it's last couple of minutes in the pan and was left to make do with what she had. In fairness to her, she didn't do a bad job!

Next it was my turn and to say I was excited would be a little bit of an understatement.

I just knew I would be good at this and now that Jenny's hadn't turned out that great I had everything to play for. I was going to win this, if it was the last thing I did! ... I think Jenny may have suspected my untapped talent for she kept a close eye on me throughout the whole experience.

If you were to describe the beginning parts of this cooking extravaganza as a success and something that by far exceeded anyone else then you would be correct. The pancake was perfect, it was round and even and UNBELIEVABLY sexy.

But then, well I'll let the pictures tell the story.

This was not supposed to happen. This was meant to be my time!! MY TIME!! How could something that I was quite obviously BORN to do, turn out to go so hideously wrong? I was devastated, I was a shell of my normal self. I was a broken woman and it was all the stupid pancake's fault.

Whilst I cried silently into my tuna filling I had prepared earlier but now had nothing to fill it with, Jenny was in the denial stage of her own personal journey. I think she managed to blame every kind of cooking utensil there was in the room, from the pan not being 'non-stick' enough to the ready made mix being a faulty pack. She was moments away from blaming the air in the kitchen and how it was probably somehow toxic when Anna's impatience could be held in no longer. It was her turn and she was going to make something that she could eat!!

She poured the batter in, although by this point both myself and Jenny were so deflated by the whole experience we could barely watch to see another friend go down in the same painful situation.

But then.

She had gone against the grain. She had made something that none of us had thought possible... She was sodding winning!!

We were not impressed.

Thank goodness that Anna loves a good photo as much as me. In her hastiness to get a shot of her in mid flip as she flipped her pancakes she kind of got a little crazy with the pan and couldn't quite control the pancake inside. What we got as a result was half her pancake behind the cooker whilst the other flew in the air in the shape of a mini chicken.

The end.