January 22, 2006

A Few Of My Favourite Things.

Voted for by the flickr community

Wanna see the slideshow?

January 18, 2006


Another extract from my Bad Cats Book. If you like these then have a look at My cat Hates You.Com .

January 16, 2006

Ding Dong The Witch Has Gone!

I had some great news today, my neighbour is going away, only for three weeks admittedly but that's three weeks of sheer bliss for me! Don't get me wrong he's not a bad neighbour really; in fact he's quite a nice guy. Twenty something young lad, works as a KP in one of our local restaurant, quite polite in fact he's only got one flaw - he wants to be a Rock Star!

Now I've got nothing against that but my problem lies with the fact that in order to get anywhere in his dream career he needs to practice, and practice and practice, and his bedroom is right next to mine. Which means that HIS AMP IS RIGHT BEHIND MY BED! Add to that the fact that the wall inbetween us is paper thin and it's not a recipe for a good nights sleep.

He has Guitars, both electric and acoustic, a Keyboard, a Drum Machinejavascript:void(0) and even a Violin! There's only so much any normal rational human being can take of Final Countdown being played over and over and OVER again! We had a little chat about his noise levels when I first moved in and when that didn't work I had a little chat to the Environmental Health! We eventually reached an agreement (that is still occasionally ignored) that he shut's up by 11.30pm, and in return I call off the noise pollution brigade and let him know if I'm going to be staying away for the night so he can let loose once in a while.

He sent me a text today to let me know he's off to London for three weeks to do a Music Producers course, I wish him well - no I really do! I don't hold a grudge, in fact I generally feel bad about moaning at him mainly because it makes me feel like I'm turning into my Mother! I can still hear the Echoes of her wailing at the bottom of the stairs '"turn that music down"! Besides he's coming back eventually and if he makes it big it's always worth keeping on the good side of a backstage pass source (I didn't say I didn't like Rock did I?) However, I am looking forward to the best three weeks sleep I have had in the last two years :)


So now I feel really bad for moaning about him. My old neighbour has moved out, after nearly two and a half years of being moaned at by me for all the noise he makes, but before he left he made me a CD of the songs he's been writing and wrote a very sweet letter which he posted through my letterbox on the day he left.


Sorry if I've been a bit of a pain in the arse the last couple of years with my music! But you'll be rid of me soon! Not sure when my official moving out date is yet, but around the 15th March.

My last day at work is 10th, which is a Friday night, so we're going to be having a late night party, I imagine it'll be downstairs so it shouldn't be too bad!

Well here's a CD of stuff I've written, I thought you might like to hear it from the right side of the wall! A fair share of Rock Songs, ballads, instrumentals and classical pieces..! All remastered since my return from London, don't be afraid to turn it up loud, it's professionally done so no glitches! All mastered to the same volume as a normal CD so no messing around with CD player required!

Thanks also for all the inspiring tapes you gave me! Sex and Religion (Stevie Vai) was the last album to complete my collection. When I met him in October he also gave me a rare CD (1 of 2000) not available in the shops!

Well all the best, hopefully next time you see me it'll be on the front cover of a guitar magazine - but don't hold your breath!


Chris Howard

(The noisy neighbour type)

January 15, 2006


A little bit of fun, thanks to Garrett for pointing this out to me. I warn you though - you'll never get the song out of your head :)

January 08, 2006

Of Mice And Mogs

I had to do something yesterday that I hated having to do. Having never knowingly killed anything larger than a bug in my life (Oh and a pheasant that forgot to look both ways when he crossed the road!) the idea of setting anything other than a humane mousetrap was something I found abhorrent. However we’ve had a bit of a problem with them over the last week or so and unfortunately even I had to agree it had to be done. Cute though I think they are I don’t want to share my home with them.

We’re fairly certain that as opposed to having mice in our house, the mice are being bought into the house by Smodge - my cat. So why has he suddenly decided to start bringing his victims home with him, and what’s more bringing them home alive!

I did a bit of searching around to find out about the whole cat/mice thing. Apparently it’s all about the Mother cat teaching her kittens to hunt. The first stage is to bring home a dead mouse and eat it in front of them; eventually they get the idea and join in. Next she brings them a dead one all of their own and lets them tuck in. Once they’ve got used to mice on the menu mummy then brings them one that’s maimed but still moving and lets her brood have a go at catching it themselves, then eventually once they’ve got the idea she brings them a nice live one and lets them take their hunting test.

So is Smodge trying to teach us to hunt? If he is then he must have sussed out that we’re crap at it by now! We’ve only managed to catch one out of about half a dozen, give up Smodge – we are never going to get the hang of it!

Or is it nothing more complex than the fact it’s winter and he prefers a little warmth and home comfort whilst torturing his prey? Either way after finding one of my lipsticks and a couple of dusters had been eaten and spending two nights trying to sleep whilst listening to the rather disturbing sounds of little feet scrambling around somewhere beneath my bed I’d had more than the humanitarian in me could take.

I had set the humane trap for two nights in a row and I’d actually seen the mouse run into it, get a nice chunk of the Mars Bar bait and leg it straight back out again, unharmed but also uncaged! I had a long chat with it, I explained that its last chance for mercy was to get in the humane trap and stay there before I went to bed, but did he listen? No! So very reluctantly I set the nasty one before I went to bed.

I was prepared to hear it snap in the night, I was prepared to find a dead mouse in the morning, but I was not prepared for what happened! I caught my finger in the trap when I first set it and it really hurt so I felt a little consolation in the thought that he probably wouldn’t know much about it, or so I hoped.

The reality was very different. I was woken up at about 3am this morning by a strange sort of nibbling sound, followed by a sort of dragging sound. I listened for a while then put the light on and was horrified to find the poor little mouse was caught by one of it’s back legs and tail in the trap and was dragging itself and the trap along the floor, it looked very much still alive and very very frightened.

I can’t stand to see animals suffer, not even annoying mice but there wasn’t much I could do. If I released it now it was going to die anyway, its leg was practically hanging off, and besides it was three o’clock in the morning and I sleep in the loft! I was not going to get dressed, walk down two floors and out into a freezing night for a half dead mouse! I couldn’t bear the thought of just leaving it there to suffer, any more than there was a hope in hell of me putting it out of its misery. So I did the only thing I could, I opened the bedroom door and gave Smodge a call! He did the job with his normal aplomb dragging the trap with the mouse towards the garden. The trap fell off eventually, thankfully without any bits of mouse still attached and so far there are no signs of any more. I am going to have nightmares about zombie mice for weeks!!

January 05, 2006


Thanks to Bex and Lee for the funniest Christmas pressie this year, "244 not-so-pretty kitties and cats gone bad" also found at My Cat Hates You there will be many more from this book on my blog so watch this space :)

Januarys Flickr Scavenger Hunt

Well it's a new year, and a new month, which means a new challenge with the monthly Flickr Scavenger Hunt. I didn't quite manage to get all the items for December, which was my first attempt so here goes for January - the list is (drum roll please)...

1. A Red Reflection
2. Something Triangular
3. A New Beginning
4. An Outdoor Statue
5. Something Broken
6. A Bus
7. A Picture OF Your Own Camera
8. A Set Of Screwdrivers
9. A Fire Alarm
10. A Movie Poster
11. A Line With At Least Four People Waiting
12. Your Favourite Book
13. Keep Out
14. The Same Object In Three Different Colours (no photoshop)
15. Something Abandoned
16. 3 Generations
17. Something Dangerous
18. The Boy Or Girl Next Door
19. Re-create Your Favourite Movie Scene with people/props
20. A Resolution

And they're off.......

January 02, 2006

Happy New Year

What My Horoscope Said.....

Your understanding deepens and you will solve problems - and get a family working together again. Venus unlocks secret feelings - and you see love in special eyes. Draw up a work plan and watch it happen. Destiny smiles in a cinema queue.


Well, despite all my good intentions, as is the norm, I started the New Year with a stinking hangover. However my understanding did deepen, my understanding of hangovers that is! Instead of resorting to the usual approach of drinking lots and lots of water then waiting to throw up, I decided to try solid food first to see if that helped but after a while I understood on a new and profound level that the only way my body is ever going to cope with red wine followed by several shots, including something called a brain haemorrhage which involved curdling a shot of Baileys on top of something red, and a concoction that was described to me as liquid cocaine, followed by yet more Red Wine and a touch of Vodka, was to vomit profusely the following day until all traces of the previous nights excess have been expelled!

In a moment of weakness I agreed to deliver a balloon, locally for a customer in France, on New Years Day. It seemed like a good idea at the time, the address was only five minutes away, by car, the only flaw in my logic was that John (Alison's husband) had the car - and he was in Lancashire. It was considerably more that five minutes away by foot! So we decided, eventually, to go for it, kill two birds with one stone and take Jade for a walk, clear our booze muddled brains and deliver the balloon. The fact that the address was opposite a very nice country pub called The Fox and Goose helped clinch the decision.

So we walked, and walked, and walked! Jade had a great time, but hindsight is such a wonderful thing, I think we may have been a little adventurous. The field was really really muddy and by the time we'd made it across it our boots felt like they weighed a tonne.

My head ached, my legs ached, I had blisters on my feet caused by the totally inappropriate footwear I chose for the trek, but we delivered it, popped in the pub and stared at a couple of Jack Daniels and Diet Cokes for a while then began the equally arduous return trip. But even though it felt like a lot longer walk than it really was it certainly cleared the cobwebs and apart from a couple of blisters I felt much better for it. A quiet, sober night in tonight for me I think :)

Welcome to 2006!


January 01, 2006