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August 31, 2006

Visitin'.

So, I sat down after lunch ready to get set and add hopefully at least a thousand words to my thesis. Its a little after three and I have added maybe fifty words to my thesis. I am not too terribly worried about this because this is not entirely my fault. As I was sitting down someone buzzed at the door. Obviously, I went to see who it was and found it to be John's mom. I invited her in. When they talked for forty-five minutes about John's health and money and family and how the world works. When he signed the lease and I realized that we lived around the corner from his parents and across from the park that his mother takes the dog for a walk in I was a little worried that my life would turn into an episode of Everybody Loves Raymond. Well, not a little worried. A Lot worried because refuse to live in a piece-of-shit unfunny sitcom about a doofus with a squeaky voice. But, my life has remained very much Raymond-free. I can't think of a TV reference...maybe Queer of Folk (if only!) without the gay people as I have made zero queer friends in Cardiff (how did that happen?)

Then, I got a little worried about my visa and spent an hour or so on the Home Office's website. I think I should be okay. I'm not going to worry about it. After that I emailed the Welsh Language Centre and because I am a student I get a 50% discount on my Welsh class. How awesome is that? Its way awesome. You can admit it.

Its nice having John's mom pop in occasionally. Yesterday she stopped by as well, but with the dog. Jack is a maniac. A Fuzzy little maniac. Well, he's not little, but you get the point. His mom and I also talked about some of John's mates. It was nice to have a little gossip session. Anne-Marie is moving today and I was thinking about popping over and seeing if she needs a little help. I don't know, we'll see if I get anything done in the near future. And, by that in the next half an hour. I left her a comment on her blog to offer my services and she fired me an email saying that if I was up for it, I could come take pictures of the hilarity that should be the move. She's been trying to use up all the food in her cupboard in order to not move it, so a couple days ago she made cookies. Which makes complete sense. When I moved I pretty much just had tea and peanut butter in my cupboard.

August 29, 2006

Signs of the Apocalypse (Or Things From Today that I Found to be Disturbing)

1.  Fall Out Boy and others to cover the songs of The Nightmare before Christmas.

 Yes, that's right ladies and gentlemen.  Not only is The Nightmare before Christmas getting another theatrical release (this I have no problem with) and is now complete with 3-D effects but the soundtrack will be available as a double disc.  The first disc will contain the original Danny Elfman music and the second disc will have covers of the Elfman tunes done by such bands as Panic! at the Disco, Fall Out Boy, Marilyn Manson, She Wants Revenge and Fiona Apple.  Now, this could be interesting or it could be sheer and utter crap.  I'm leaning towards crap. 

2.  Elton John thinks he is going to record a hip-hop album

 More crap.  More utter crap.  I'm okay with people changing and growing and branching out to do different things.  But, do it first in the privacy of your own recording studio. (Especially, if this is an option because you have your own recording studio.) Stop subjecting the world to your half-baked notions of what could be interesting or your lame attempts at sticking with the zeitgeist and being all hip and fresh.  Actually, This applies to Madonna as well. Hey lady, with your limber disco dancing and continuing to draw the ire of the world's religions. Hey!  You're stretchy!  But you're music sucks, so stop "reinventing" yourself and, I don't know, have some tea. 

3. My thesis is going in to be bound in two weeks

 I spent about two hours today sifting through recordings to make sure I had notes on all of my "discourse markers" which included, I kid you not, more than sixty occurences of the phrase "you know".  As is common with such things, once you've heard one you've more or less heard them all.  Of these more than sixty occurences, well over half of them have the exact same phonological output, which is just fancy talk for I listened to the same thing over and over and over again.  I wish this would mean that I was thousands of words closer to my word limit.  It does not.  I still have a long way to go.

 

 4. The U.S. detained a man who could barely walk or hear at Guantanamo Bay

Although he was recently released, we held an Afghani man who needed a walker to leave the prison without charging him with a crime or even telling him why he was there.  Apparently, the captive whose name is Haji Nasrat Khan is at least 71, although that's just an estimate because he himself didn't even know his exact age.  I know that old people tend to be the last bastion of old school hatred and hellfire religion, but its my experience that what they do with that hatred and religion is sit around and make their kids and grandkids uncomfortable and angry by constantly nosing in on what they're doing and then telling them they're wrong and they'll burn for it.  They are, in general, not the sort of people you find making explosives in airplane lavatories.  Given that, I wonder what sort of intelligence value the man had for the military that they felt the need to keep him captive.  To quote the recently released Khan, "How could I be an enemy combatant if I was not able to stand up?" 

 

Well, that's it.  I'm going back to listen to more formulaic sequences and to hopefully nibble away at my word count.  

August 28, 2006

Quote of the Day: Dwight Bolinger

"[Speech] informs sometimes...but much of the time its aim is to cajole, persuade, entreat, excuse, cow, deceive, or merely to maintain contact." 

 

This is from Dwight Bolinger's classic Intonation and its Parts. I want to say it was originally published in the '70s but Amazon has a copy from 1989. 

 

Basically, academics everywhere concur that mostly, we don't talk to actually exchange information but for a variety of reasons, like to get you to give me that biscuit.  No, the one of the left.  No, your left.  That one with the big piece of white chocolate on top.  Ya.  Thanks, dude.  So, when your Mother said, "Do you think I'm talking to hear myself speak?"  she very likely could have been.

 

Things I Love: Space Raiders

I have a great thing noshing a delightfully salty things that have a tendency to be bad for you.  Namely, crisps (or chips for my American friends.)  So imagine my delight when I moved here to Wales to discover that I now live on an island with people also enjoy crisps and who flavor them in strange and exotic ways.  While there are no sour cream and onion (at least not that I've found) nor are there cheese and sour cream (they don't really do sour cream here like we do it.  Which is a shame, but you have to take the good with the bad.)  they have made up for the lack of both of these by having Cheese and onion flavor.  Oh, but that's not all.  They make chicken and thyme crisps, sweet thai chilli crisps, beef and onion crisps, marmite crisps ... the list could go on. 

 

But, recently, my love of crisps has focussed on one particular brand known as space raiders.  They are lovely.  They remind a little of cheetos because they are a corn and wheat puff that is obviously fried and then rolled in some delightful flavoring dust.

 

space raiders image from ilovecrisps.comThat, ladies and gentlemen is what a bag of the pickled onion flavor of space raiders looks like. 

At first, I didn't think I'd like pickled onions.  I mean, what's not to like, considering we're talking about baby onions sitting in a jar full of pickling juice, but still, I was skeptical.  But, no, even with the questionableness of the flavor they are still good.  There is a the tanginess of the pickle accompanied by the bite of the onion which compliments the dry crunch of the corn puff.  They are wicked, I tell you.  

But, I think what really makes this snack is that the little bags (and I've only ever seen them in ittle bags) are only 10p.  The Space Raiders come in other flavors as well, my favorite being Beef flavored.  Which are a little like chilli cheese fritos without the cheese. Although that's a pretty weak description, I think you get my point.  These are lovely.  Just lovely.

August 27, 2006

Fuck.

I can't believe I only have two weeks.  And, then after that.  What?  What am I going to do?  What am I going to do with the rest of my life?  Fuck.  What?  What?  What?  What?  What happened to my fucking plans?  And, why have an inordinate number of people in the last two weeks told me that I'm talented and that I need to not waste my talent.  I am taking my thesis in to be bound on the 11th.  It occurred to me today that on the fifth years anniversary of the towers falling I was going to handing over my dissertation to a publisher of sorts.  I'm freaking out about all of this hardcore.  Man. 

 

Now, some photos from taken from my camera phone at the festival this weekend.   

 

this is Bez from Happy Mondays. 

 


Echo and the Bunnymen are onstage in this shot.  Its hard to tell.

 

 


 

And, that is De La Soul.  The guy whose face you can't see because of the glare is John's mate Glyn.  

 

 

And this is De La Soul right before John made me ask them for a photo.   I mean, a photo with them and me.  More on all of this later. 

August 25, 2006

Playlist: Brewing

Love--Mos Def

Hell Yeah--Ani DiFranco 

Young and Aspiring--UnderOath

Rumors--Waking Ashland

Swan Dive--AniDifranco

Skeptics and True Believers--The Academy is...

Perfect Weapon--Communique

If these bullets could talk--the number twelve looks like you

I turn on my camera on--Spoon

I'd Kiss him if he were you--Aaron Mcmullan 

The Flashing Lights--Nolan

Your Song--Ewan McGregor and Allesandro Safina

Sing Along Forever--Bouncing Souls

 Inspired by the $--The Starting Line

I Do believe you are the devil--Aaron McMullan

Shameless--Ani DiFranco.

 

I'm surprised by the amount of Ani on this playlist.  Truly, I am.  It was found in one of my journals from last summer.   

 

 

August 24, 2006

Massive joint space ventures

Crap.  I can't remember what I was going to write about.  John and I had a couple of pints earlier and now, well.  You know.  I had a meeting with my advisor who thinks I just need to write.  And, he said he looked forward to seeing the finished piece, more or less.  I met with some of my coursemates and we organized a going out do for when we're all finished.  I have the application for my Welsh class in my bag.  We're going to watch good fellas in a bit.  right now I have firefly on, but the disc is skipping and that pisses me off to no end.  no good.  I'm going to have to fix that now.  But, in general its been a good day.

August 22, 2006

I am so boned.

I am sitting on the couch, although I am about to get up and go get another liter of water.  I had a touch of food poisoning last night and ended up puking and it was gross.  Of course, John and I had had a little argument earlier in the evening and John had gone to talk to a friend of his and when he came back he brought me a burger from our favorite burger joint as a truce.  I obviously wasn't at all prepared to eat it.  I've mostly kept food down today, but I've hardly done any work, which is similar to the this weekend when the wedding and preparing for and recovering from it sort of kept me from the keys.  Now, I'm here and I just can't do it. 

 

Oh, and I had to cancel a meeting with my advisor because of my sickness today.

 

I have to get stuff into writing before my rescheduled meeting on Thursday.  I have stuff written in pencil.  I may go sit at a coffee shop for awhile tomorrow and get more written in pencil because staring at the computer screen is starting to strain my eyes.

 

I can't wait for this flipping thing to be over.

 

Oh, my.  I have so much work to do. 

August 20, 2006

The Wedding

So, the wedding is beautiful.  The bride's dress laced up the back and was strapless and had a nice train (that she told me later she had to keep people off of all night.) And, I got to meet more of John's friends. 

 

The evening started by walking to the pub to have a drink with the other people we thought we were going to the wedding with.  As it turns out, they all decided that they'd rather get drunk instead of going to the wedding.  (Which, I thought was both lame and cheap of them, but that's a rant for another time.)  So, John and I (who were dressed up nice and were looking quite sharp) left after he and his friends Sparko and Michael had an interesting discussion about film.  (Also, I got to hear about Sparko's trip to Thailand as I've not seen him since he's been back.)  We flagged down a cab and the taxi drive sped off.  He kept asking us if we knew where it was.  So, we told him. It was an the Llanishen Golf Club which is in Lisvane (which is right near Llanishen village.)  So, it was a basically in the Suburbs.  The driver didn't know where it was.  So, he had to call in and ask.  Then, he lost his signal on his cell phone and instead of using his cabby radio he just moved the taxi up the road a bit and waited for his mate to call back.  Finally, he got some directions and we went along.  We stopped and asked a kid walking down the street.  Who pointed us up a hill.  Then, he pulled into a pub and asked a guy leaving the pub.  He pointed us further up the hill and then told us to turn right, which we did.  We finally found the golf club and the cabby knocked a our fare down for getting us lost. 

 

The Brits seem to have a thing for karaoke at weddings.  So, in between the band (which played a lot of soul music that was great for dancing and there was always people on the dance floor.)  We chatted.  I got to meet John's friends Sian, Gemma, and Lydia.  I also got to meet Gemma's brother David who is also studying at Cardiff Uni.  (He's working on a business degree, though.)  We stayed out until almost 1 in the morning before calling a cab and heading for home.

 

Needless to say (because we had been at a wedding) that we were a little tipsy so John made us a frozen pizza and we watched some of the Original Star Trek series before heading to bed somewhere around three.  I took loads of photos with a disposable camera which I will take to get developed tomorrow.  But, I did manage to get one shot of us with the digital camera looking sharp before we put on our pjs.John and me after Kirstie and Dale's wedding Don't we look nice?
 

August 19, 2006

Wedding Season

I just tried to call my father three times and for some reason I couldn't get through.  This makes me no end of irritated. 

 

 

We, for the third time in a month, will be heading out a wedding.  The first two were sort of sprung on us or at least on me.  The first one John's friend Andrew got the date wrong on.  So, a week earlier than we expected we ended up in driving out to the Suburb of Barry and celebrating Kenny and Tiffany at the weirdest wedding I've ever been to.  (We were kissed and were asked not to.)  Then, John got the date confused and we ended up going to a wedding two days earlier than expected.  But, this one I've actually seen the invite on.  In fact, I have it here in my lap.  We are invited to an evening reception at the Llanishen Golf Club.  This means I had to buy a dress.  

 

Of course, its the end of the season so things were on sale.  I found not one dress, but two.  And, I got a new black skirt for...are you ready for it?  A fiver.  This makes me happy.  Oh, and I got a new pair of pants with lots of pockets.  I love pockets.  They're amazing.  And, black.  Its very exciting.  Then I bought John a shirt to go with his suit.  They didn't have any I liked, they all sucked.  I did what I could, hopefully John'll like it.  His knee still hurts, so I also picked him up a new knee band thingee.  This one has thermal packs that you can put in it.  His friend/boss Brian recommended it.  My poor baby is falling apart. 

 

Hee.  Even though I should be working I'm watching Serenity again.  This is, surprisingly only the second time I have seen it.  I know, shocking.  SHOCKING!  Anyway, I'm actually pretty excited about the wedding.   Obviously, I'll post pictures later.

August 18, 2006

Moving: The TV Licence

The British have a quaint custom known as the "TV licence".  Back in the day, before Sky and digital and telly being beamed into your house, back when the BBC made large strides to appear to be something run by the government for the benefit of the people you had to licence your TV in order to generate revenue in order to continue creating BBC programming.  Now, with the BBC beaming its fare all over the world (and collecting ad revenue from it) and with cable companies providing people with crazy numbers of channels, I really wonder if the licencing is still necessary.  But necessary or not, it is still in place,  which means that we need a TV licence in our new place.

 

 

During a study break, because it has fallen on my lists of tasks to accomplish, I did a Google search for tv licences.  The first site returned just happened to be the one I was looking for, namely www.tvlicensing.co.uk.  I clicked on it and skimmed through the menus to find the one that I wanted: Buy or Renew Your Licence.  Then, I clicked on it to discover that you can renew online.  Sorted, I thought.  I filled in the first page of the form, clicked for the second page, filled that out, clicked for the third only to come to the realization that filling it out on the web was not an option for me.  You see, They require a post code for the billing information.  Now, you'd think that considering that the island is part of the EU that its forms (and, the BBC being run by the government would mean that the TV licensing people are also run by the government) would be open enough to accept credit cards and billing addresses that aren't necessarily from this country.  Especially when part of the form I filled out had to do with me being a student (I mean, just consider the number of World Class academic institutions in this country.  Come on!)  Disappointed and a little frustrated, I went back to the "ways to pay" page and looked for my other options.

 

My other options included the post office (although that page informed me that this isn't an option anymore), a pay point, by mail or by phone.  So, I figured, why not.  Phone.  I wrote down the number, took the materials I thought I'd need and gave them a bell.  After spending about five minutes in an automated loop that was absolutely useless, I spent another ten minutes on hold waiting for an advisor.  The advisor I got was quite possibly the slowest monkey in the zoo.  I spelled my last name for him six times.  And, every time he somehow added an extra letter where that hadn't been a letter before.  The entire process of me respelling my name for him was an atttempt to get him to remove letters that didn't belong.  I understand that my last name has an atypical spelling, but not that strange.  Halfway through this arduous process he said, "There are so many letters."  Finally, my advisor got it right and we went on to other things, like where I live.  

 

Now, I try to speak very clearly on the phone here, especially when I'm talking to any sort of customer service advisor because communication is hindered by both accents and the phone.  You see, spoken communication has a number of back up systems, one of them being visual.  Well, you lose that backup when you're on the phone.  Now, top that with having to listen to something that you're not accustomed to listening to and really you've got the makings of comedy.  Or you would if you were in any sort of mood for it.  So, I told him where I lived.  I gave him the post code.  Then, as he was typing it in, he read it out loud.  "54..."  

"No,"  I said, "64."

"Oh, that's good because I wasn't finding you."  Thanking god for the lack of a visual, I rolled my eyes.  Then, he got to the postcode.  "So, that last bit was 5 echo lemur."

 

"Yes, that's right."  

 

Then, for the first time in ages (as I thank god that the internet company isn't in charge of the tv licence.)  they are able to process my payment on the first try.  

 

"Okay, you're license starts today.  We'll mail it out to you in the next ten  business days."  Hooray!  Although knowing the post here, September will be half gone by the time the paper copy of the TV license turns up.   

 

August 17, 2006

Wrecked on Midnight Run

So, yesterday was my friend Georgia's birthday.  Even though I have a shit ton of work to do, (as does everythng else) we all went out.  We went downtown and met at are pub called Central Bar.  John and I walked in, looked around, didn't see anyone we knew and then I went to sit down and checked my phone and noticed I had a missed call.  It was Anne Marie who then immediately turned up and said everyone was upstairs.  John came over when he saw us and immediately said, "There's an upstairs?"  Well, yes.  We all reconvened upstairs, which we pretty much had to our lonesome, which was nice.  Dawn was there and Steffi turned up with her new guy friend Alex.  Then, the birthday girl turned up and we all started to drink.  Pints were had....pitchers of cocktails were had.  A good time was had by all. 

 

Georgia, Brian, John and me took a cab back home and we got out a little early and bought a late night snack.  Then, because neither of us were tired we watched Midnight Run.  Which is SO FUNNY if you haven't seen it.  Robert DeNiro plays an ex-cop turned bounty hunter employed to bring Charles Grodin in.  Everyone kicks off, another bounty hunter is brought in, the FBI are on the trail, the mob boss (who has history with Robert DeNiro's character) is has put a hit out on Grodin.  They're on planes, trains, buses, their own two feet.  Its amazing.  Top that off with a perfect  Danny Elfman soundtrack this comedy is a classic.  Huzzah

August 15, 2006

This is going to be a disaster.

This is going to be a disaster.  I can tell already.  Our phone doesn't work.  My mother tried to call and got someone else.  John tried to call out and it won't let us dial.  He says to me, "Are you sure we don't have a certain number of minutes we've already gone through?"  First off, that would have been, what 30 minutes?  15?  Because we've not exactly made a ton of phone calls.  (I, actually, haven't made any phone calls).  And, if its going to cut you off instead of just charging you for going over your minutes, we have the most ridiculous phone company ever.  How do they plan on making money?  I ask you?  Secondly, John just needs to relax.  He is so tense about everything these days that I am seriously worrying about his health.  Lastly, I just tried to check online and look and see what our package entails, but the website's full of only vague advertising-esque bits of information.  It will tell me "key features" of the package, and that's it.  I suppose this serves me right for not making sure that I got everything down in writing to begin with.  Still, you'd think they would have left everything in writing as some sort of legal backup.  I don't want to see this bill when it comes in.  Honestly, I just want to curl up in a ball and die right now what with the stress of my dissertation and everything.  Gah.

August 07, 2006

TV Sharing Time: Star Trek, Shore Leave

John popped a frozen pizza into the oven and I sat on the couch continuing to compile information for my dissertation.  While I worked and pizza cooked John went through the collection of Star Trek and found the next episode for us to watch.  Finally, with the pizza done and the episode chosen, we sat down to continue on with Star Trek. 

 

Shore Leave is an episode in the first season.  Dr. McCoy prescribes some much needed rest for the crew and the Enterprise locates a planet that seems to be without any animal life on it.  Sulu, McCoy, and a search party beam down to the surface of the planet to take samples of the flora and examine it, to make sure it will be safe for the crew to take a break on.  The surface of the planet is lovely, as Bones puts it, "Like something out of Alice in Wonderland."  Sulu bounds off to take more readings and as McCoy strolls along the most unusual thing happens--he sees a white rabbit.  But, more than that, he sees a white rabbit in a plaid waistcoat and jacket with a pocket watch that's being chased by a little blonde girl.  And here's where the mystery begins.  This episode is full with strange things popping up.  Meanwhile, Spock notices that the communications between the ship and the away party are growing weaker and that the ship is slowly losing power.  Are the crew of the Enterprise going mad?  What is the source of this mysterious power drain?  Kirk and the crew do, in the end solve the mystery and get their much needed rest.  It was a very entertaining episode, although it clues the audience in what is happening a little earlier than it needed to.  Ah well, it gets full marks for being quite funny. 

August 06, 2006

Stir Crazy

So, here I am, sitting at home getting ready to start once again on my dissertation.  I didn't get much done yesterday on account of the fact that John and I had a huge fight (everything is okay now) and I didn't much feel like doing anything after that.  On top of this, I don't feel like I have any friends (was supposed to have coffee with some of them this week, but wires got crossed and I was left standing outside a coffee shop on the wrong road for about half an hour waiting for people to show up who a. weren't coming at all (another aside, and I would have known this if they realized the benefit of hitting 'reply all') or b. were sitting comfortably in what was the right coffee shop enjoying, I would assume coffee and wondering where the hell I was.)  In addition to this not feeling like I have any friends, I've come to the conclusion that I don't like most of John's friends.  I think in general, there the sort of people who thrive on getting wasted and complaining about things.  I have no patience for this.  (And, how could I?  My Mother taught us that you lodge an official complaint and then you're done.  We all heard the first time and the more you complain the more you just irritate everything around you.  In short, you become a problem all your own.)  In addition to this I have an apartment to clean and a boyfriend who is out having a beer with the previoulsy mentioned irritating mates because my friend Jonathon is coming to visit from Seattle (via Italy, if you know Jonathon this makes sense.)  I'm excited about seeing my friend (in no small part because I'm excited to have friends.)  However, I'm a little concerened about the timing of his arrival.  I mean, what with me disliking John's friends and John and having an argument and my dissertation and all.  I hope that my mood improves and that its a nice trip for him here because I would hate for it not to be.  Cardiff is a nice place, even if I want everyone and everything in it to piss off. 

August 04, 2006

TV Sharing Time: Star Trek

First off, I taking suggestions for what to call this that doesn't sound as stupid as "TV Sharing Time". 

 

Show: Star Trek

Season:1

Episode:Court Martial

 

    My Love and I have a thing for well-written tv and films.  We like to laugh.  We like to be moved.  He likes to go on about camera angle and shots and editing (as he should because film’s his game).  On our first date we ended up back on my sofa, staring at my computer screen (because I don’t own a TV) watching the first episode of Invader Zim.  I love Invader Zim.  And, that episode fantastically sets up on main character Zim and his need to invade with such fantastic lines as, “Invader’s blood flows in my veins like radioactive rubber pants!”  Yes, the rest of the series will be like this.  Over our nearly eight months together we have shared our infectious love of stuff with each other.  This will be a small series that will hit the highlights of the things we share.

    Last night, we began watching the complete series of the Original Star Trek.  After watching two documentaries about the making of the series we proceeded on the the main event.  While the documentaries were interesting, focussing mostly on the writing and production (Leonard Nimoy discussed at length the saga of Spock’s ears, which was very interesting), I was ready to dive into the show.  The first episode John chose to show me (as he’s seen them all) was called “Court Martial”.
    This is the Matlock episode of the original series.  Captain Kirk is court martialed because according to computer records it would appear that his negligence has led to the death of his records officer. Of course, Kirk pleas not guilty because what he knows happened is not the same as the computer record.  His crew also knows this.   In the episode Spock, using his keen reasoning skills solves the mystery which leads to an exciting confrontation that takes place while the Enterprise’s orbit around a planet rapidly decays.  Will they be able to get everything back online before the Enterprise crashes?  Can Kirk once again save the day? 
    As we know that the crew of the Enterprise went on the make films after the series was over (and, as this episode was in the first season) we know that the answer to these questions are yes.  But, that doesn’t make it any less entertaining. 

August 01, 2006

Trouble.

So, John's boss (who is also a friend of his) was supposed to call on Sunday night and tell him where to be to paint yesterday morning.  John tried calling him Sunday, yesterday and five minutes ago and he's gotten no answer.  So, John's not working.  I'm trying to not think that this is going to be a problem.  But, I can't help but wonder.

 

It started raining again the other day, we'd gotten about two weeks off.  And, let me tell you, those two weeks were fantastic.  I spent most of them inside working on my dissertation,  but I could see outside and they were still marvelous.  Its hard going two weeks without rain, it makes me worry about the crops.  But, all the plants around us seem to be okay so I suppose I shouldn't worry.  

 The sun just popped out from behind a cloud.  Oh, now its gone away again.  Today its really windy but as I plan I sitting on the couch just working on my dissertation I'm not particularly worried about the weather.  I might go out later to buy a potato peeler, but then I might not.  John's mother has gone on holiday to his sister's house and has left her husband here in Cardiff to fend for himself.  So, we're going to make John's dad dinner tonight.  We're thinking maybe sausages and mash (hence the need for a potato peeler).