Monday, April 28, 2003


I am so tired of not being able to sleep properly. Last night went something like this: Watched "Manchild" on BBC America. It's the story of 4 middle-aged British men goign through their mid-life crises. It's hilarious usually (and it's got Anthony Stewart Head). New series started last night so I wanted to see it. Finished about 10.40pm so not terribly late. About 10.30 took some Valerian Root (double dose cos one seems to do nothing for me). Felt myself beginning to drift off. About 11pm headed to bed. Put the radio on...and lay there....listening....not a hint of sleep wandering across my body. I remember a very awful song being played and then....yayyyy...I must have nodded off. Next thing I know...11.40pm and I'm wide awake. Don't know what caused it but all thoughts of sleep wiped from my mind. Put the radio back on. Tried to relax, hoping something would happen. It PC beeped...a lot. Oh, wot the hell, might go and see what's happening. It was Rob. Hi. Started chatting on-line. Then he phones me. Hey it's midnight...don't call me unless it's important. It was very important....he's after a video that he can only find in the UK, can I convert it to US for him or do I know someone that can. Actually I might do. And then he starts telling me about other stuff. How he's still celibate (been going on for a month or so I think...maybe longer). That's nice. Then there's a story about some girl that he got drunk with. Didn't want to sleep with her or anything but claims he "behaved like a chick". Why are you telling me this? Why did you wake me up for this? I don't wanna know. Got enough issues of my own to deal with. Anyway, went through the story and some other stuff and finally fell back into bed at 1.15am. And lay there....thinking bout things. All upset now. How can I sleep? Mind's in overdrive. Eventually it came.....and then the alarm went off at 6.20am. Uuuuuugggggh........can't get up, can't get up...gotta get up...meeting at 9am....uuuuggggghhhhh.......

Funny thing was, we were talking at work and it was like noone slept last night. Weird. This isn't the first time it's happened. Whenever I have really bad nights it's like the "boys" did as well (4 BDMs and 6 AMs...all male I can call them boys). Anyway, postponed my dance lesson this evening cos I'm very tearful. Some of it's probably tiredness. Some of it's back-related. After the 9am meeting, stood up and had this sudden shooting pain in my back. By the time I got to my desk I was ready to pass out. BK came to talk to me and then ran away. Told me later I'd gone really white....gee, you abandoned me???? Twix bar and a banana seemed to cure it a bit but can feel spasms. Damn!!!! So...tonight....I shall heat pack myself, cry a little and then go to bed at a very early hour.....and NOT get up for the PC or the phone or the door.........pleasant dreams!

Oh, before I forget...Bro-in-law...still in Basra. Apparently, they've been volunteered for another 4 weeks of peace-keeping. Great. They send home the "proper" army but keep the part-timers least the end is in sight (which is more than can be said for Sadaam!).

Sunday, April 27, 2003

Have You Tugged Yours Today?

No, NOT THAT!!!! Your Kite! That's the banner from the top of Did go to the dance last night. It was OK....only one decent man there....Joe T. So had a dance with him and I was happy. Woke up this morning stiff and tired (not surprising really....a day of dancing will do that to a girl) so took my kite out for the first time in a long time. It's been sitting in my car for months. Today it was free to roam around in the sky. Beautiful. Got so carried away with it all I was out for about 3 hours. Just noticed my hands got sunburnt. LOL. Some git came up to me and told me the tail on my kite was too long. Really? That's the tail it was born with and it's perfect. Leave me alone. Take your dog somewhere else please!!! Took me a while to get back into the swing of things but by the end the kite was soaring around like a happy little thing. Perfect day for it...lots of wind, but not too much. Sunshine...actually could have done with a bit more. When I stopped, I realised it was actually quite cold. But it was great. Most fun (almost) you can have with your clothes, forget that....not true at all. Anyway, if this weather keeps up think I'll be out there every weekend seeing if I can remember how to do all those fancy tricks and things.

The Answers... the 25 Questions:

1. Cos he's tall, sexy, rich....???? Doh!
2. Yes
3. Hmm, tried them once....just looked silly.....think I'll skip this one.
4. Aaaah but it's like Sean Connery, they just have that je ne sais quoi that makes them totally irresistable!
5. If I'm about to buy it....honesty. If I've already bought
6. 2 hours shopping.....aaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaah. Hell on earth!!!!
7. Never seen it
8. Cos we're keen to outdo our friends by showing them what a caring other half we have? I have no idea. Can't remember anniversaries.....
9. Are you serious? Comparing yourself to this? Ha ha ha!!!
10. It's called a mother.....
11. Cos we can
12. See 6. No no no no no!!!!!!
13. BAD
14. Boxers....preferably with nothing else ;-)
15. Cos the one's in real life never have the charm, looks, money, brains that the ones in the movies do
16. Why is it so hard for you?
17. Programmed at birth
18. Guilt
19. (a) so we can discuss you (b) so that we don't get left out of the gossip (c) to make sure the others aren't bitching about us
20. BAD
21. What? I have to choose? Hmmmm.....looks....I always end up with the poor penniless ones.....
22. A quick painless escape from you
23. Why wait til you're dead?
24. No. He's my dad.
25. It's a knack....LOL

Feel better now? Have all of life's little mysteries been revealed? No, I thought not!

Saturday, April 26, 2003

Hot Feet!

Fred Ast party last night. Loads of USABDA people turned up. Floor was pretty crowded and I managed to get rammed by someone....who Sharon told me also ran into her and Chris. Hmmmmm. But, yayyyy! The lesson was on Bolero. Mainly cos Yelena wanted to play a bolero and not many people know it. Very cool. The cute one didn't turn up though. That's too parties in a row. Boooo. :-(

West Coast Swing this morning. Learning to lead. Only cos I know Barb will just humiliate me so I might as well try and learn that part. Every week, in the first class, there are too many followers and she insists I lead. Errr, yeah but I don't actually know how!!!! So I did. Tuck turn this week. Nasty nasty step. LOL Didn't do too badly I guess. Then ran home for Eastenders so I could then run back to Freds for a FABULOUS lesson with Eduard Apolonov. Mmmmm. Latin champion. Now retired so just coaches and judges. Can't believe he's much past his 30's but guess that's old for pro competitions. We started with a Rumba and he said how "continuous" I was and that I had "flexible feet". Coool! Told me I had more potential than I thought I had. :-) Chris kept saying "I told you, she's a good girl". Nice. Made we feel better...been thinking bout giving it up but guess I won't now....well not just yet anyway! So Rhumba walks....quick, quick, slow...but the slow is now quick, hyperextend the knee, point the toe and settle into the hip on the straight leg. And backwards is place the foot, raise the front foot, push the body backwards. Sounds easier than it is. Said I was gonna practice on my way round Wegmans....grap a cart and Rhumba walk round the store. LOL that would scare them!!!!

Did hustle as well. Poor Chris..spent more time getting "beaten" up than I did. But he did show us how to make it look really snappy. Nice. Oh and that couple were there...names unknown...he insists on calling me Lady Di. Gonna stand on his feet next time...

Just in case I'm not totally worn out, there's another dance tonight. Can I make it? Don't know. The sun is shining and I've danced most of the weekend already....hmmmm.....might have to go lie in the park for a bit and let me poor little feel cool off.......

Monday, April 21, 2003


Got stopped for shoplifting. Well, I was driving through the supermarket and I had a few things in my basket. Went to the checkout to pay. Big concrete thing. Looked a bit like a toll booth really. There was someone in front of me. I couldn't be bothered to wait. So off I went driving down this long, long ramp..........woke up at 4.25am. Too hot. Ooops moaned all winter "too cold, too cold" and now I'm complaining. Well, with dreams like these wouldn't you?

I looked up my dream from Saturday night (when I woke up at 3.25 am!):

Snow: To dream of snow in all its forms, on trees, storms, etc., is a dream of very good omen which shows you will have success in business or investments, but if you should eat the snow this will presage a long period of sadness for the dreamer.

Bridge: Crossing a brightly lit bridge, and the bridge itself in good repair, with no difficulty, signifies a change in circumstances with a lot of prosperity heading your way. You should make no changes in your life, or your lifestyle, for the time being if the bridge had any kind of defects.

What does it mean if I can't cross the bridge??? Didn't find that! Or the hill I couldn't get up cos there was just too much snow!!!

Dance Instructor: To watch a dancing master give instructions in your dream shows you will neglect some vital business matters.

Shoes: If you lose a shoe you will experience setbacks or losses.

Does that include throwing shoes at someone?

I can't remember entirely how it went but I was having a lesson with Chris and he said something that upset. So I threw a shoe at him and made some comment about him being like all the rest (men I think!). Stormed off to change after only 20 minutes of my lesson. Then crept out the back of the studio where I sat on a low wall for a while. Somehow it then transformed into me driving up a really steep hill, following a plough, in the show. There was a plateau and then a sheer upward drive that we couldn't get up - it was just too steep to go up with all that snow.


The only common elements between the food I'd eaten on both days was...salmon! Is it this that's screwing me up? We shall find out tonight cos I had chicken soup...not noted for it's dream-enhancing properties.....

Thursday, April 10, 2003

Nearly There!!!

My voice is coming back. My lungs feel clearer. But I still have this area that includes my nose and ears that is so blocked up it hurts!!! Comes on in the evenings....pretty clear all day but it's almost as I drive home I get more and more stuffed up. Want to poke my ears all the time to get them to pop. And I can't sleep properly still. Tuesday night I got about 55 minutes sleep...literally. I dozed off about 6am....just in time for the alarm! Last night...much better but still work up at 3am to cough a lot. I so want to be well again. This has been going on for about three weeks now. It's ridiculous. Even JB told me I looked tired today. And he doesn't usually notice stuff like that. But it was nice to come home to a little get well card from Chris and Yelena. Very sweet of them! Oh yeah, and the ink turned up......the ink that's not due to be shipped for another month. Well, not gonna least not until I've checked they sent me the right stuff......Anyway, let's hope I'm OK tomorrow. There's two dances (I'm only going to one) and I've not danced since this started...not felt like it, didn't want to pass this on and probably would have fallen over anyway given how clumsy I've been.....

.....Tuesday: split coffee (ground, not liquid) all over the kitchen. Knocked the oil over in the kitchen cupboard, which hit all the spices and sent them flying. Went to have a bath. Pulled the shower curtain back. Turned the water on. Forgot to switch the thing from shower to bath. Water everywhere...including over me!!! Went to clean up the coffee maker and managed to spill coffee all over the collection of freshly washed had to wash it all again. Then just before bed, made a cup of Chai. Added some ice cubes (as I usually do). They exploded, sending liquid everywhere! Not bad for a day's work!!!!! And all week I've been giving myself paper cuts. Not intentionally, just keep doing it. No sense of coordination...all from bunged up ears I think.

No other news really. Sister's birthday yesterday. Spoke to her. She seems fine. Bro-in-law is outside a city beginning with "B" and ending with "A" according to the latest update. Rob says he's coming to see me in 2 weeks. Yeah, yeah yeah. Still without passport. But the sun IS shining....woooohoooooooo

Monday, April 07, 2003

My Inbox

Ooooh I woke up to some exciting things this morning! The first...from Dell (booo, hiss) reads like this: "We have reviewed your order. Although we had anticipated being able to ship your order sooner, we are experiencing an unexpected delay. We will not be able to ship your order until, on or before 5/6/2003. We apologize for this inconvenience and are doing everything we can to get your order out to you as quickly as possible." This order was placed a few weeks ago and comprises a couple of cartridges. I only ordered from them cos they were giving a discount and free shipping. How long does it take to find ink cartridges....methinks this is a little too long! The other, really cheering comfort was that the email was entitled "First Notification of Order Delay". First? How many are you planning on sending me????? Hmmm.....I shall debate whether or not to cancel while my head sorts itself out.

Email number two was much more entertaining. News from the Front. I've removed names but take a's good to see the boys are keeping their spirits up. And yeah, this really is from Iraq......edited to protect the innocent!!!!

"We are a "detached troop minus" (i.e., about 14 people). So whats's it like out here? Funnily enough, hot and dusty. We've endured heat, rainstorms, duststorms (see "The Mummy"), freezing cold nights, and the warry barsteward (aka my bro-in-law). Living in close quarters and lack of intellectual stimulus or British weather means our most elevated conversation of the day tends to be about the size, texture, consistency, colour, shape, smell, etc., of the daily poo, especially when somebody's fallen in it.

So on that subject, although we are far enough away from the front line that the biggest danger is being hit by runaway buses, we are still close enough to have to get Xtremely Dressed to go to the loo. Body armour, helmet, webbing, rifle, gas mask and daysack make it difficult to balance over the hole, and it is distressing to reach for the bog roll to find that you have forgotten it. To avoid enduring this palaver so often, we are using empty water bottles instead of the urinals, so anyone who shares a loo with us will be pleased to hear our aim has improved. We have to be careful about which bottles have rehydrated apple juice in them and which have ... Yes, well.

The troop Land Rover was "borrowed" the other night for a patrol by irresponsible seniors who used it as a boat in the local canal. Someone ought to tell people (for example, say, can't think why, the barsteward and Shaggy) that Land Rovers don't float. Our pet officer had all of his Gucci (read expensive) kit left floating at dashboard level in muddy water and industrial poo. So now he is out of facial moisturiser, hair cream, nail polish, etc. Note that when anyone else takes out the barsteward's car, it comes back dry, cleanish and not at all broken.

The crews are now like married couples, continually bickering and arguing mightily over important matters such as how many wet wipes it takes to go to the loo, who ate the last boiled sweet, whether the sun cream is better placed in the first or second ammo box, and which idiot used Army coffee granules instead of Alta Rica.

After all the hype about lack of bog roll, we have brought so much that we are using it to make papier mache models of Saddam Hussein's moustache.

Head Chef was planning a posh dinner for us all (like the ones he has every day for his crew) with table cloth, napkins, condiments, after-dinner mints, and the odd cigar. The warry barsteward, cannot cope with this transplanted civilisation. Head Chef's plan went awry when we were hit that afternoon by our second biblical duststorm. We are trying again this evening for Colonel's birthday. The horizon looks cloudy ...

We could all do with a return-to-civilisation training session when we get back. Swear words are being automatically censored by this PC, but we are going to need to be weaned off them. Bodily functions no longer even rate an "excuse me" unless particularly antisocial. We fear that on our return, we will by reflex get up in the morning half-asleep at 3 a.m., stuff the quilt into the pillowcase, swear at our partners because they're not up yet, take a couple of random pills, pee into a teacup by the bed, poo into a shoebox, set light to any rubbish we find on the floor, and start disassembling the bedside lamp to clean it. Please allow us some leeway on return and provide a fresh shoebox every morning.

As this war is being self-funded by the British soldier, we are now bartering what we have for what we actually need; a bag of Skittles (sweets) were swapped for a desert shirt, cap badges for boots (from the Americans - "this badge was worn by the Duke of Milton Keynes in 1623, you know"), ration packs for haircuts. Even so, we are awash with food, water, some ammo (woo hoo) and bog roll.

We have been issued special leaping Velcro camouflage nets to cover our vehicles with. They jump out and stick to everything that comes within a few feet, which means we have to back up (swearing), spend a few minutes untangling the mess (cursing foully), take a few steps forward, and repeat. Poor Dan caught the bottom of his boot on the stuff and earned his wings on a great flying leap from the top of his truck. Fortunately, he landed on his head: no harm done.

No real conflicts yet with the local wildlife. The promised leaping camel spiders (with webbing, machine guns, tactical nukes and a nasty attitude) have all slunk off to gnaw rocks and be nasty to cute furry things. We do have flies (by the thousand) and mosquitoes and little bitey things that leave us spotty (although that could also be the diet).

Our digging skills have improved greatly, especially after having had Scuds fired at us; but, wives, bear in mind that this will only be useful in the garden if you are planting 100-year-old oak trees with deep roots.

On the work front, we are busy most of the time. We have a daily regime to look after ourselves and our equipment, which involves a frantic two-hour scramble to scrape the sand off everything until it blows back onto it a couple of minutes later. Other jobs include sherherding road movement (you've got to watch roads moving - they have no sense of direction) and vehicle escort, as well as being on standby to carry out our main role (washing cars) at any time. We also make lists. Often. In duplicate.

We are all in high morale (it's the morphine). Our regular colleagues in the squadron to which we have been attached look after our interests extremely well - their hierarchy is much more involved, interested and competent than the REMFs (look it up) we left behind when we Crossed the Berm. We are all OK, so there is no need to worry. We look out for each other all the time. So says the barsteward, anyway, so it must be true.

We have seen a few of the local people and in some cases handed out sweets and goodies to ease their circumstances. Which is of ourse on of our reasons for being here. They smile and wave as we drive by; none have tried to shoot us. Yet.

The landscape in Iraq is a bit more interesting than further south - we have even seen some grass. But how this place gave birth to agriculture none of us can understand. Typical scenery is sand, sand and gravel, sand, sand dunes, sand berms and sand-coloured vehicles. The air is laden with rich local aromas of burning oil, burning rubbish, Woooman's freshly-perfumed scent, and hastily-washed bodies. Our ears thrum to the sound of generators, engines, helicopters, the barking of wild dogs or Paras, artillery thumps, shouts (which have us cowering under Land Rovers only to find that someone was demanding wet wipes from the bog), controlled detonations of mines and, of course, constant bickering. Our taste buds are delighted by coffee (horrible and non-Army), boilies (instant rations - all the same) and sand (that lovely feeling of grit in the teeth).

We've been here so long that people are having birthdays (no comments from the stats boffins, please). Jay was overcome with awe at our generous birthday presents to him - surrogate wine, mints, biscuits brown and a beautiful hand-drawn birthday card. Colonel is 38 today and so is our offical old fogey, although most of us are close behind.

Big disappointments include Wooooman's noxious feet, missing a BBC film crew by five minutes, not getting hold of any Saddam murals (all already nicked) and not winning the war a week ago.

We have just had a huge delivery of mail that had been held up somewhere while the coalition of the willing got on with the job. We are all extremely grateful. Those who get more than they need are sharing out the extras, which is great. Especially as force wasn't required.

We still don't have access to any kind of TV or newspapers, so we only have official Army intel, stuff Dr Evil makes up, and (to give us the Iraqi propaganda view of the war) the BBC World Service to keep us informed - and each other to keep us amused. Mail is a great booster. The Army still hasn't supplied us with a shop, nor does it let us use the local shops (they're for local people). So please, please send us things like magazines no matter what their content (Esquire, GQ, Heat, Marie Claire, Home & Garden, Dentist Monthly, Plastics & Rubber Weekly, etc.), biscuits, tinned stuff such as sardines/peppered mackerel, noodles, decent coffee, small packs of wet
wipes, *fly strips and spray*, cigarettes for the smokers, and especially general news (no matter how boring it may seem to you). No bog roll, thanks - we're trying to give it up."

I shall send another missive to them tonight. After all, it saves my voice...which is in dire straits...and keeps me out of the white stuff...falling heavily around us. We tried to pretend it was sand earlier but it just didn't work. Where is the sun???????

Sunday, April 06, 2003

Bronchitis sucks!!!!

Can't shake it off. Probably cos I went to work. Did take a couple of days off but had to go in to organise an even we had on Thursday at the Roycroft Inn. For the last week or so I've been waking up at 3am full of phlegm and coughing like mad. Very miserable. Can't believe I've still got stuff in my lungs. Coughed up so much of it I must be clean by'd think?! At the moment I feel like my head is underwater. YUKKKKKKKKKKKKKKKK!

Tuesday, April 01, 2003

Blew off work today. Felt shit. Actually, came home about 2pm the middle of the snow. Errr...hello....March 31, no more snow PLEASE!!! Slept. Ate. Took drugs. Slept more. Honey and lemon drink. Slept. Watched TV. Slept. Hot bath....mmmmmm. Slept. Got up. Yuk. Went back to bed. Forgot to phone in so JB called me. Supposedly cos the roads were slippery and he wanted to check I'd not had an accident. Really it was to tell me off for not calling in. My head is spinning at a different speed to that of the 3rd Rock so I don't care. Going back to sleep now. Thaaaaaanks. Feel a bit better now. Think the temperature's dropped but, following a walk around Wegmans I'm not totally sure. Kettle's on and I'm preparing for more tv and sleep. Now who says I don't know how to live!!!!!

what decade does your personality live in?

quiz brought to you by lady interference, ltd