kelzadiddle: (keep calm and read Wodehouse)
Today's to-do list:
  1. Laundry!
  2. Clean rats' cages!
  3. Tidy room!
  4. Type up 6 pages of the novel!
  5. Finish one hammock for the babies!
  6. Work acrylic paint into A2 'Iris' painting!
So, how did I do...? )

I've Rejiggered My 2013 Writing Plan...

  • Feb. 18th, 2013 at 12:14 PM
kelzadiddle: (Default)
I'm feeling much better today, thankfully. Maybe that little rant helped. I worked a bit on this project for Holly as well, which proved to be somewhat theraputic in that I now have less work to do, and I always find drawing quite soothing anyway.

Speaking of Holly's project, I've altered my 2013 writing plan to accommodate it. I was going to work on four separate projects across the year, but that's now down to three. My plan is as follows...

1. March, Camp NaNo (April) to the end of May - The Great Couch Happening of '69
2. Camp NaNo (August) - Chronicles of Stan books 2 and 3
3. NaNoWriMo (November) - You Know You Got (No) Soul

So... yeah. I might even find room for that fourth book in there somewhere; maybe I could just write a couple of pages a day across the year while working on the three big ones. Mind you, I'd need time to edit The Great Couch Happening of '69 as well. Perhaps the Mystical Fourth Book could just be a little side project for fun; I could just work on it whenever I have the time and feel compelled to.

For the moment, though, I must draw. I've still got tons to do, but when it's done I'll be so relieved. I've got a few things to show you guys already, actually... only my laptop is being a jerk and won't let me load any other tabs in my browser, so I can't actually upload anything yet (otherwise I'd have to leave this page). Most annoying. I'll try and get some stuff up later, when I've actually scanned it in. So far I've only got pictures I've taken on my iPod, and they aren't the best quality.

It's weird how motivated I'm feeling today as opposed to yesterday. I hope it stays like that to be honest. I'm going to Jason's later and I'm seriously hoping Lee isn't there because he has a habit of inadvertently destroying my will to live.

CARAVAN, OMFG.

  • Jan. 15th, 2013 at 11:08 PM
kelzadiddle: (Kevin Ayers Still Life With Guitar)
Despite the weather and the fact that I've never been to Salford in my life, Jason and I got to the venue in one piece! We set off at about four o'clock since Jason's aunt had heard that trains into Salford would be a bit funny today, and then when we arrived at Manchester Oxford Road we were told that no trains went from that station anyway; the best way to Salford Quays was via a tram from St Peter's Square. Thankfully this was easy enough to find; simply leave the station, turn left and keep walking until you see the tram tracks.

Not long after we found the tram station and figured out which trams went to Salford Quays (MediaCityUK and Eccles), one arrived and we hopped on. It was about fifteen minutes before we got there, and when we did we had loads of time to kill and three places in which to murder said time - Frankie & Benny's, Chiquito (a Mexican place) or a pub, which turned out to be a Hungry Horse venue.

Once Jason realised it was a Hungry Horse place it was decided and I had no say in that decision. He used to go to one when he was down in Exeter and the college would give all students a fiver towards a meal on a Thursday, and the prices are brilliant; much better than Wetherspoon's. I had tomato and basil soup for a starter and a cajun chicken burger for a main and it was AMAZING. Jason had chicken wings and then steak and chips, and even after waiting for our food and then eating it, we still had about an hour to kill.

At half six we headed off to find the Lowry, which was actually very easy to find. The pub we ate at was just across from the Salford Quays tram stop; from there, you just turned left and carried on along the quay, past a Beefeater Grill and the Lowry Outlet Mall, until you reach a funky bridge that gradually changes colours. To the right of this, the big, shiny, multi-coloured building is the Lowry. It's all orange and purple and amazing! So we went in, got directions to where Caravan would be playing... and still had time to kill so we got ourselves a cup of tea. There was a Lowry employee in the bar area where we were waiting who was selling Caravan t-shirts and they had one medium left so I snapped it up. You have no idea how chuffed I am to finally be the proud owner of a Caravan t-shirt!

7.30 came and the doors were open. Jason and I were the first two into the theatre and wow! What a view we had! Our seats, Tier 2, Row A, 38 and 39, were right in the middle of the top tier with a cracking, uninterrupted view of the stage. In the meantime they were playing Frank Zappa, The Velvet Underground, Captain Beefheart over the PA to keep us amused. Time ticked on, I tried and mostly failed to get my camera to take decent photos, people slowly began to fill the seats. Instruments were already out on stage; Geoffrey Richardson's violin, guitar and flute. Mark Walker's drums, emblazoned with a Caravan logo. Jan Schelhaas's ensemble of keyboards... and an acoustic guitar. I wondered if we would be treated to an acoustic number tonight. I certainly couldn't see Pye Hasting's trademark red Fender on the stage anywhere, unless he would be carrying it on with him.

Then, at 8 o;clock, when the theatre was about 2/3rds full, the lights dimmed and a silent apprehension fell amongst those gathered. Two young chaps walked onto the stage - Garron Frith, the support act, and Cliff Woodworth, who would be accompanying him on Richardson's violin...

In Which Kelza Screams About Caravan... )
kelzadiddle: (Default)
I'll get replying to your comments tomorrow, chaps, once I've had some much needed sleep. <3

I'm only just back in the house, having seen Jason off for the weekend. The initial plan was for me to go to his (or, to be more precise, Lee's – where he and his Mum are still staying) on Wednesday, then for him to sleep at mine Thursday, Friday and go home early Saturday, but since he's now only working two days a week he was done for the week on Wednesday and so there was a last minute change of plans.

That, and I think Lee has started to go out of his mind with the number of people always knocking at his door... )

I Love You, Now Let's Go Shoot Zombies!

  • Aug. 28th, 2011 at 5:48 PM
kelzadiddle: (Write Like a Mofo)
New journal style! Yay! Also, while I'm talking journally stuff, there's some interesting debate and discussion going on in my previous entry ("Writer's Block: It's Women's Equality Day!" - 26 August 2011 @ 08:28) - thank you [livejournal.com profile] truearisa and [livejournal.com profile] ladyadeone for giving me the chance to exercise my brain before I go to university! I think I need some healthy debate to prepare me for my course.

The weekend so far has been absolutely brilliant! Jason's obviously stayed over at mine Friday to Saturday, and today I've had a nice relaxed day to myself. Today I've mainly been reading, looking around the Internet for cool things to do on Minecraft, and working my way through the stack of junk food that he always seems to leave behind.

So, Friday... )
kelzadiddle: (Louis Comfort Tiffany Photoshopped)
An apology is probably in order for my horrendous consistency over the last month or so. According to my LiveJournal, which you might call the 'terminal' of all my scribblings, I haven't posted much since the "Tom incident".

And so this entry continues... )

Apologies about any formatting issues this entry might have, by the way. This is an e-mail post and I can't quite remember how I used to lay them out so they'd look alright on my LiveJournal. I hope everyone's having an awesome life, and I'm sorry I haven't been updating much! Just know that I have a mass of typed up and handwritten backdated entries to get up - you're not rid of me yet!

I have to learn how to do things by e-mail post like change my userpic, add tags, privacy settings and the like. Happily there's nothing in here that I want to hide from the world!
kelzadiddle: (Louis Comfort Tiffany 2 White Flowers)
What can I say about my first day back at the Star?

I am so glad I came back; and grateful that they let me return - even wanted me back working there. The experience I gain will be so valuable; worth more than any wage, in my opinion. This way, I can move over to Portadown in the autumn and say I have nearly five months' experience working and writing at a newspaper. And I'll have the portfolio of my obsessive little newspaper clippings to prove it.

They started me off with some fairly easy work; so not dropping me in at the deep end! I was given a load of fillers to occupy the time before my big assignment of the day.

Somewhere between the red carpet and an ordinary day at the cinema... )

Well, *This* is Blinking Well Baffling!

  • Apr. 13th, 2011 at 11:53 PM
kelzadiddle: (UFO Club Poster 1)
Just to let you all know, I've been on an employability course called TNG for a few days, hopefully starting back at the St Helens Star on Friday. It's all jolly good stuff, but it'll come in due time.

This post, my friends, is Jason-centric.

"Again?!" you may cry, slamming your fists down on your computer desks. "What of the novel? And you have yet to prove to us all that you can actually draw!"

Well, that stuff's been going on too. But, like my TNG and upcoming Star continuation, separate posts. Besides, I'm too bloody chuffed to fixate on any of that for now.

Kelza's accidental, eccentric charm works again... without the question marks this time! )
kelzadiddle: (keep calm and read Wodehouse)
I've only had three Magners - three! - and I'm quite sozzled. Perhaps not so much next time unless I want to wipe my memory entirely clean. Already I feel the night's events drifting off into an ocean (or, in my case, a puddle) of cider. To be young and Irish!

Thus my haste in getting it all down while I still can. Must not forget the good times. I really ought to just have a cup of tea next time round.

Anyway, the events of the night. I went out to the bus at around half seven this time to catch the 8:07 - which would have been fine, had I been wearing a coat and proper shoes. I stood there trembling for about half an hour until the bus finally came.

When I arrived at the Running Horses, a horrific experience - I couldn't find Jason, or Lee, or indeed any of the people who'd been there last time. I texted Jason, who confirmed that they were still on their way, and then went to wait outside - the place was full and there was nowhere to sit. I entertained myself much as I had while waiting for the bus - by reading Wodehouse's 'Carry On, Jeeves' to pass the time.

I really ought to refrain from reading in public... )
kelzadiddle: (Kevin Ayers Still Life With Guitar)
I decided against the chiffon dress after all, due to confidence issues. There's still that stubborn, unshakable part of me that simply refuses to be seen in a dress or skirt. I will wear it one day! I'm not giving up just like that; if there's anything the Prince's Trust taught me, it's that I can overcome all obstacles.

Today I had my first Job Centre appointment in about three months. It was just to sign paperwork declaring that I've completed the Prince's Trust Team Programme, and to talk about moving onto TNG (this job search organisation) and a continuation of my placement at the St Helens Star. I've got another appointment on Friday at 9:00 (so no lie-in for me!) to sort out some more paperwork. Huzzah!

The Job Centre even refunded £3.20 of my weekly bus ticket, which will be handy as I'll tell you later on. With a couple of quid in my pocket and a spring in my step (ah! To be poor again!) I emerged from the Job Centre of Doom and phoned Jason.

We agreed to meet at Victoria Park. Since I was closer I got there first, chose a bench in the sunshine by old Queen Vic herself and immersed myself in H. G. Wells' 'The Time Machine'. It was an absolutely perfect day - warm, a bit breezy, and the sky was brilliant blue.

Under the cut for more waffling... )
kelzadiddle: (Caution! Zombies Ahead! Roadsign)
I have never had to get a bus after five o'clock before. You can imagine, then, that I was feeling pretty nervous as I waited to get the first bus after eight so I could take Jason up on his pub quiz offer. I knew the buses became hourly after a certain time, so it was either be on time or be very, very late.

I was stood at the bus stop for nearly forty minutes. If anything, I could have gone home for a quick cup of tea but I didn't dare leave my post, should a bus turn up before the normal time. Which they have a tendency to do.

My iPod and Soft Machine's 'Third' helped to pass the time somewhat. The skies darkened and it was dusk when I got the bus. In St. Helens, I arrived to the deep blue of a young night. It was a quarter past eight and a few stragglers were about the town; most of the activity was in the countless pubs and restaurants. The streets lacked people but an ambience filled the air; traffic, the sound of a security alarm shrieking and church bells going wild - melodic, near, yet out of place.

In Which Kelza is Rubbish at Pub Quizzes )
kelzadiddle: (Louis Comfort Tiffany Photoshopped)
After the presentation night, most of us (including Vicky, Tim, Barry and Jason, as well as Anna's friend Stu) went to the Running Horses, a lovely Wetherspoons pub next to Cineworld in St. Helens. Anna, Dave, Perry, Matty, Lewis, Ryan, William, Steph (William's highly excitable friend) and myself were also there.

We all had a couple of celebratory drinks here, and a bit of banter. Perry was talking about his own presentation, spouting his usual yet amusing egocentric nonsense about how his was the best and then Stu shot him down.

"I think Kelsey's was the best. Come on, she made a reference to speaking in third person while speaking in third person. It was genius!"

Heck to the yes - you can't beat zany intellectual humour!

The Chronicles of That There Night After the Presentation )
kelzadiddle: (Write Like a Mofo)
The sponsored novel is done! Well, I say 'done'... it's over, at 103 pages in total. I managed to get £44 out of it, which covered the shopping, at least. Half the people who decided to sponsor me didn't pay, but it's not a problem - as the great god Tesco says, 'every little helps'!

A massive problem has arisen, though. I won't have enough money to get to the community centre tomorrow, and Dad can't give me anything because he's got to be at a meeting tomorrow morning, so he won't be getting his money until after 9, when I have to be in.

Guess who's probably walking to St. Helens tomorrow? Unless my Aunt is willing to give me a lift, that is.

Never mind. Dad's giving me a fiver after all. Plus a lecture on how expensive it's going to be each week. Yes, Dad, I know how bloody expensive buses are. Before I got my bus pass I was spending about 20% of my income on transport alone.

Blah. Anyway. Last week was a stressful week. I can barely remember most of what happened, really; I think it was just a bit too much so my mind's wiped itself. All I remember is there was a lot of bickering, some tears, I lost my bus pass and even I, Kelza the Eternally Patient, started to lose my temper with people. That was the bad side.

The good side? I got my guitar and clarinet. But you know that already because I wasn't entirely dead on eljay last week.

So. Today. Thankfully the day wasn't too bad. This, I believe, was down to the fact that Anna, Jane and myself didn't really work with the others much today. We were responsible for writing up a detailed day-by-day, step-by-step plan for our Final Team Challenge, which starts tomorrow. Then, we went and did the shopping for the three days, using most of what I'd acquired though sponsorships. The rest of the team went out and about delivering leaflets for some fellow who'd agreed to give us £100 for our efforts.

I keep trying to remember what happened last week and I just can't. It's crazy how my mind has just gone blank. All I remember is I came out of it feeling horrible. It was bad to the point where I didn't think I could go back on Monday. But I did!

Tomorrow, we'll be taking our three elderly residents out to the Liverpool Museum. There's an awesome World Culture display on the third floor, apparently, and hourly shows in the planetarium which should be great to see. Wednesday, we'll be taking them to the Blue Planet aquarium - good for me, because the alternative was Chester Zoo and I've already been there - and on Thursday we'll be cooking them a meal and having a tea party with games.

Meanwhile, I can't think of anything else to write. Since I'm free of the sponsored novel (HOORAY! I hated that project and nobody shall ever read it!) I've decided to get back into 'The Great Couch Happening of '69', going at a more normal pace that won't kill my brain.

First, though, I shall tidy my room!
kelzadiddle: (Louis Comfort Tiffany 2 White Flowers)
We got rid of the malware. All it took was to run the computer in safe mode with networking, then have both BitDefender and Malwarebytes run a complete scan of the computer. Basically it was the exact same process that got rid of ThinkPoint and Security Shield.

Anyway, today we went back to our normal routine at the Prince's Trust. For me, that meant waking up at 7am, getting the 34 into St Helens, the 32/32A to North Road and then walking through Victoria Park to Windlehurst Community Centre. It was bloody freezing, this morning - apparently meteorologists are predicting more snow, which we clearly need. Still, it was sunny all day. Frosty in the morning and bitterly cold, but I noticed that crocuses were starting to burst into life here and there. Towards the end of the day, it was mild - almost pleasantly warm; one of those rare Goldilocks days that never fail to make me high.

We started with a team-building task, today; while we'd all been working independently for two weeks, we needed to get back into the swing of working together. A guy from the army called Doug came in to do a task with us that involved the group being split up into two teams, each with a stack of five tyres. The tyres were numbered and stacked in order - 5 at the bottom, 1 on top. We had to work together to get these tyres from one side of the basketball ground to the other. The rules...
  1. The tyres could only be dropped in three places - either end of the ground and on the white line in the middle.
  2. We could only carry one tyre at once.
  3. Tyres could not be stacked on top of a tyre with a lesser number (so you couldn't put 3 on 2 or 1, for instance).
  4. Wherever you placed the tyre, it had to go on top of the stack. You couldn't slot it on the bottom, for example.
I think that covers the rules. I hope you lot get it, because I was clueless. Only towards the end when things were getting a little more organised did I click on and come up with a strategy - after everyone else had already thought the same thing. This is what happens when you give me a problem solving task before noon!

Anyway... )
kelzadiddle: (UFO Club Poster 1)
So I think I have another malware thingy on my computer. WHERE THE HELL DO THEY COME FROM. There I was, happily browsing the Internet (or as happily as a TalkTalk user could browse, at any rate) when suddenly BOOM! The browser closes, and when I try to open it up again I get a pop-up saying 'install Vista Home Security 2011 OR DIE'. See, the thing is, it looks like a genuine Microsoft program. But then, so did ThinkPoint and Security Shield.

Also, this pop-up, while mostly well-written, contains a few subtle quirks in the language that make my malware alarm go wild. I quote word for word...

"Windows recommend Activate Vista Home Security 2011

Click "Yes, Activate..." to register your copy of Vista Home Security 2011 and perform threat removal on your system."

One: there are elements of Engrish to your writing. Two: I have no recollection of ever having a trial version or whatever of your program. Three: kindly go to hell and perish there a million times.

Methinks it's time to get Malwarebytes on its arse.

Anyway, I managed to write four pages on 'The Great Couch Happening of '69' today, as well as kick arse on Final Fantasy VII. Usually it's one or the other with me. I write and keep writing, or I play FFVII and keep playing. I even managed to listen to a few records, and work a little on my screenplay version of 'The Great Couch Happening of '69'. All in all a productive day. This journal entry will be my final productive act of today, if you don't count sleeping as productive!

Personally, because I'm a lazy sod, I do. It makes me feel better about myself. If someone says to me "So you didn't write or draw anything today?" I'll look them square in the eye and say "I slept. That still counts as doing something with my life!"

Ehem.

And so the story continued and you all got bored and went off to do more interesting things... )

In Which Bakeries Hate Debit Cards

  • Feb. 22nd, 2011 at 10:03 PM
kelzadiddle: (Write Like a Mofo)
I took my placement one step further today. Yesterday, I was writing mainly filler articles and other bits and pieces. Today, while I did a few of those, I also had the opportunity to do two longer pieces. The first was on Neil Daniels, a local writer whose main focus is writing about rock music - be it in book form or as articles in various paper and digital publications. He wrote in to us asking that we do a piece on his forthcoming books 'Don't Stop Believin': The Story of Journey' and 'Rock 'N' Roll Mercenaries - Interviews With Rock Stars Volume II'.

The fun part? I was given about four pages of information to cram into an article of 350 words or less, and I was asked to e-mail Neil to ask a few questions regarding the books.

Here's how it went... )
kelzadiddle: (English is a Mugger)
Today was my third day of work with the ExtraCare Charitable Trust shop in Earlestown. In a nutshell, it's a voluntary job as a shop assistant, and I get to do everything from sorting clothes, to steaming them to make them look presentable, to storing them, to sticking them on the shop floor, to running the till... and there's probably more that I can't remember.

It's my Monday, Wednesday and Friday thing. Nine to five - and I believe I'm the only person who stays until the very minute the shop closes, other than the manager and deputy manager - and I bloody love it.

The work? Knackering, both physically and mentally. Carrying stuff to and fro all day gives you one hell of a workout. You haul huge plastic binbags full of clothes out of the stock room into the sorting room, spend an hour on your feet going through everything, tagging and hanging what's worth selling and binning what isn't. Then you haul them all into the steamer/kitchen area and spend a further hour steaming all the creases out of everything. Then, you have to haul it all upstairs, usually making several trips, to the storage rooms on the second floor. Lather, rinse, repeat.

Sound tiring to you? It bloody well is. And it's flipping fantastic.

You see, it keeps you on your feet. There's always something to do. You're always moving about, carrying things, so you get a bit of exercise. And it's a challenge to the mind in some ways because of the complex sorting and pricing systems they've got going there. With clothes, you have to scrutinise them carefully for the slightest blemish. Marked ones get 'ragged', but the charity still receives money for scrapped clothing (50p per kilo).

For good clothes, you need to find a size, figure out whether it's been 'rotated' (sent in from another shop who's failed to sell it), and write all this down, along with the sort code (there's a different number for ladies' tops, ladies' trousers, menswear, kids' clothes, books, etc). Then you have to remember which hanger to use, remember to put a size cube on the hanger and actually tag the item. There's a lot to memorise, and when the process becomes second nature, things can be forgotten.

It's the same with running the till. There's this huge process you have to go through, and if you make a mistake, the till screams - quite literally - at you. If you press the 'cash total' button too early, for instance, it beeps loudly. And the method's slightly different when people pay via. card. I learned this the hard way the other day when I inadvertently created an anomaly in the shop's books - which Dawn the manager had to rectify with a call to the Head Office. Er - oops. Sorry, Dawn!

There's always something to do. We get loads of bags of donations every day, so there's those to be sorted. If not, there's tidying to be done in the stock room, on the shop floor - anywhere in the shop, really! Or, if you're a nutter like me who loves making tea/coffee for people, there's that to be done.

So, it keeps me busy, it hones my organisational skills, keeps me mentally alert, teaches me to socialise... and then there's the 25% discount and first pickings of anything that comes into the shop! Huzzah!

Speaking of which, I brought three more lovely items home today, all clothing. Two tops and a hat.

In which Kelza goes on a ramble about what we all know is the main reason why she loves her job... )
kelzadiddle: (Write Like a Mofo)
I did the dumbest thing ever, today. Or, should I say, two days ago? Remember how Laura and I arranged to go out today? Well, we did. Then, as we ambled along Peasley Cross road, I realised I'd done something very stupid. I was expected by Sian for a game of Snap at the Oak Tree Pub in Newton, at 3PM.

Sian naturally got very, very annoyed at me, but I balanced it up. I hadn't seen Laura, my best friend of ten years, in two or three months. Choosing between her and pub snap with a bunch of friends I'd seen only five days ago wasn't difficult... at the risk of sounding horrible. Consequently I felt like a pillock all day.

Despite all that, today was a good day. You'll only get to share in the awesomeness by partaking in this LJ cut. )
kelzadiddle: (Write Like a Mofo)
It's nearly eight in the morning and I'm awake before everyone else. This is partially due to my excitement, but also because I'm intent on going out this morning to buy aforementioned SD card. It is, however, absolutely piddling it down, and I don;t much fancy going out in that!

I don't know how many people thought Mike Oldfield crazy when he wrote about his 'atmosphere antennae', but I can really see where he's coming from. Certain days and situations really do seem to have particular atmospheres to them. Summer evenings in August, for example. The first day back at school after summer, which I probably won't feel for another year or so if all goes well. The beginning of the Christmas holidays.

Years ago, when Mum had the money to come over here and take us back to Ireland for two weeks, the two days before she was due to arrive would feel great, like one of those promising days, only they've been electrocuted or sent on a sugar rush. It's been a long time since I've had that feeling, and when I woke up this morning it struck me smack-bang in the face. I'll be heading over there in less than two days' time, and today's got that "I'm about to travel!" excitement to it.

Dad's getting up, now. I can hear him bumping about, coughing and wheezing. Perhaps I can scrounge a lift to the flea market to avoid walking in the rain and getting soaked.

I checked my e-mails again this morning and there's no reply from Mum or Claire. It matters even less, now that my plan's free from holes.

It occurred to me recently that I'd love to write a book about Canterbury; something that would be part travelogue, part insight into the city's history and culture. I'd go there myself on foot (taking the safest route, of course), write about my journey and my experience there - interlinking the stuff about the city itself - and it would be my very own Canterbury Tale. To do that would be tremendous fun.

While I'm at the flea market, it might be of benefit to look into new shoes as well, while my orange ones ended up ruined.

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