Friday, February 29, 2008

Raising Money for WARCHILD

Remember the fun that was Shaggy Blog Stories?

Well now Peach is co-organising a new project to raise money for WARCHILD.

Ta to Mike for this direction.

One of the things that a lot of us love about blogging is that we share experiences. We may not meet or even see our fellow bloggers but we feel we know them. For many of us it's an important part of feeling connected, almost like having another support system. Recently I tagged some bloggers on memes requiring a bit more info on who they were and what they felt and what I read really moved me. They made me wish I could pay for their writing, to thank them for sharing, to give them something for giving me their words on their personal stories.

From that thought, and with the help of a small team (Sarah from He Loves Me Not, Ariel from From Fuck Up To Fab, Ms R from Woman of Experience and Vi from Village Secrets) we've come up with a plan! We're putting together a book for WARCHILD written by bloggers and here's where you come in:

We would like you to submit (to us at a written piece about something you've been through from any aspect of your life that you want to share. It can literally be about anything: your relationships, your past, a road not taken, being a parent, an illness or your regrets etc. We've called it "You're Not The Only One" to reflect the camaraderie of blogging.

Proceeds will go to WARCHILD and, blatantly following in the same fashion as Troubled Diva (Mike Atkinson)'s Shaggy Blog Stories, we will be publishing it through This is a no upfront fee internet publishing site who will take £4.70 per book sold if we make it no longer than 200 pages. We're pricing the book at £9 so £4.30 will go to straight to the charity. Because the cost takes goes up according to how many pages we want published, we do have to stick to the 200 page limit so we can't guarantee you'll get your submission in for sure and the absolute maximum length for submission is 1500 words (but we’d rather not have too many at that length. In fact you may stand more chance if your piece is on the less wordy side).

WARCHILD is a uk based charity but it helps children all over the world, so we'd like as many submissions from as many places as possible

A small note, we'd prefer it if you submit stories you've not published outside the blogworld, i.e a piece from your own site is great, but not from a previously published hard copy book, lulu or otherwise; that makes this exclusive.

To summarise:

You must be a blogger with a live blog
It must be about something you've been through, amusing or serious or any style you like.
You can submit in your blogname and remain anonymous, or not, up to you.
It can't be something previously published outside the blogworld, but anything from your blog, or something entirely new, is fine.
Try to keep below 1500 words.
You must pimp the book on your site and buy it if you make a submission to be in it!
Please LINK BACK TO THIS POST to spread the word!

NEW DEADLINE IS 9th MARCH 2008 for submissions.
Send your submissions to us at

A good idea I think...

My job

"Congratumisserations" - for when you get something you wanted but have regrets about getting it
A Cloud definition.

My job - which to date has been fractional (part year) has now formally been made permanent... and not just by the default of I have been there so long they can't treat me as contract fixed term any more.

I have also had my contract increased from fractional to full time - that is, 52 weeks per year rather than 42 weeks per year.

This brings the welcome benefit of more income. YEAH! (especially following recent events this is most welcome).


This does mean I may go straight from the end of my fractional contract in June/July into my new permanant full-time contract... Hmmm. The summer 'off' has been a bit of a life-saver in the past. I can't imagine why suddenly losing it for this summer - despite it being part of the package of increased pay and greater job security - hasn't exactly made me leap with joy...

This is not made easier by the complications in resolving the aftermath of my Jan/Feb absence as the university only allows a maximum 5 days compassionate leave...

Tuesday, February 26, 2008

Thanks to builders I am JUST listening to Chain Reaction...

Bliss... David Tennant on Chain Reaction. Hee.

Tamagotchi Heaven.

TV as an excursion (away from the stage)

"When I was wee I watched telly - Doctor Who"

The 'utterly normalness' of Doctor Who fans

The delight in doing Blackpool

Hats as a gender disguise in Shakespeare

Richard Schiff and George Lucas

Exploding sweets

Fantasy vs reality: believing in space vs astrology

Interactive news programmes and astrology - into Room 101

Reading reviews - "theatre taught me not to do this"

Being in 'The Bill': "I'm a killer"

The Doctor as quirky

Making the decision to take up the role of the Doctor: "I didn't want to be the guy who turned it down"

Adored into dotage

The first line of the obituary

All very enjoyable.

And - as progress - we now have some concrete put in. The kitchen floor is leveled and concreted - as has been the pantry (to resolve the damp problem - hopefully). What next? Doors and the ceiling.

Friday, February 22, 2008

Explanation of absence

Hi folks, remember me?

As Cloud has given a public explanation for our recent absence - and return - I thought I would make my own here too.

Basically, Neil's dad took seriously ill and we had to quickly up-sticks and depart for New Zealand. It was always going to be a race against the clock, but before we could get our stupidly expensive but necessary flights out he had unfortunately died. So with heavy hearts we had to make the long journey to NZ knowing we were going to a funeral.

We left in winter, we arrived in high summer. We also left on the day our kitchen rebuilding project was due to start which did mean we missed the first two and a bit weeks of demolition (old chimney, former bathroom, outhouse wall to join it all together into one large space). However, we did come back to a kitchen minus a ceiling, minus most of its flooring, needing the outhouse roof to be raised and replaced, with pretty much every room in the house bar one (luckily the bedroom) layered in dust as we had had no time to properly pack away and dust sheet everything. And the builders (who have been lovely btw) were taking out and putting in the new windows. It was still winter in the UK - albeit no longer dark by 5pm. But it was - and remains - bloody cold in the ceiling-less, floor-less, unsealed windowed kitchen space.

We had three days at work last week: mostly sleepwalked them I have to say. After that we had our longed planned trip to London, and boy was it nice to not have to climb over things or take an hour to make a cup of tea [at home it is: find mugs, clean up sink, wash mugs, trace teabags and sugar and useable milk, clean kettle, fill kettle from struggling water-pressure taps, boil kettle, finally make tea in mugs as cannot bear to locate and clean up tea-pot].

London was lovely: we had glorious, if cold, weather and bright sunglasses days. Amongst our many activities, I was 'reluctantly' dragged to the Globe theatre where my inner geek screamed not just Shakespeare but 'The Shakespeare Code'.

Home again we are hoping that next week we get patio doors, a patio, a new kitchen/porch/pantry floor and a ceiling. At some point thereafter we should start to get fittings, cupboards and appliances. Basically a completely new and much more functional kitchen.

In the meantime, jetlag, work, the stress of a major house rebuilding project on top of bereavement has meant that blogging has unfortunately taken a big backseat.

Mind, I did watch both the BBC2 and BBC3 eps of Torchwood this Wednesday...