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in the biscuit tin
Found this link the other day and thought it would be fun to see how much of it I've done since I made it (in 2010). I'm also not 30 yet, so there's still time to potentially complete it!

I got married :)  No baby yet though!
Piano and piano lessons on hold until we move into a bigger place...which hopefully we'll have to before I'm 30 because of the baby thing :p
German Christmas market hasn't been done yet! Maybe in 2015?!
Have been to the US twice since 2010. Not sure we'll squeeze in another before my 30th though.
Pass driving test...sadly not yet :(
Ditto getting rid of acne, publishing a novel, and owning at least 6 Loeb books.
The holy books thing is in progress...very important in today's world I think!
Actually, most of these things I copied from my 101 list, which I already analysed here. Unrealistic goals for the win!
Some I've revised since (such as owning every Simpsons box set ever released), some are in progress (like reading Clarissa), some are achievable but still not done yet (e.g. owning Louboutins) and others I've achieved (such as going to a ballet, and seeing Divine Comedy live).
Perhaps the best one was actually getting into a regular exercise routine. It really does so much for so many areas of your life: your weight, your fitness, your mental/emotional wellbeing, your productivity, your energy levels - and, in my case, since my gym has MTV, my popular music knowledge is much improved too...useful when you work with teenagers :p
Should perhaps make another list once I'm 30...although by the looks of it half of the list will still be the same :p

Current Location: 78100, France

Can't believe it's been two years since I posted here on LJ. TWO YEARS.
I've obviously been trawling through all my old entries with great interest, and a few things struck me.

- DAMN I complained a lot.
- I'd tell anyone leaving university to NOT WORRY about their career; life often chooses it for you and with a little bit of luck it will be something that suits you (contrary to my initial instincts, I now believe that teaching is something that suits me, very much). If not, can always change it :-)
- I also found my 101 in 1001 list, which I was supposed to complete by the end of February 2012 (and which I clearly paid great attention to):  ...and thought it would be fun to run through how much of it I've actually achieved (probably not much...), as well as keeping the rest for future reference:

I haven't published a novel. The reasons for this are a) lack of effort in terms of finding an agent/publisher, and b) I don't think I'm actually good enough yet. Organising my poetic fragments so I can work on them more, and actually assembling a half-decent poetry collection that may someday be worthy of publication, is also slow going.
I got engaged, and married. Good stuff! I won't deny it, though: marriage can be hard work at times, particularly when one party is frequently deployed overseas for work.
Owning 6 Loeb books and a piano hasn't come to pass yet, mainly for space reasons (a tiny apartment can only hold so much). Hence the piano lessons haven't happened yet either. Session in a recording studio is still a highly desirable but low-priority concept. I didn't join a choir, but did join a gym (not a swimming pool). Close enough, right?
I did indeed go on holiday to places that were not Britain or France...America was even part of the equation, when I thought it wouldn't be. Happy days! Next stop, Japan (hopefully...). I think I have also now visited at least 4 UK destinations that I hadn't discovered before (Canterbury, Torquay, Leamington Spa, and Guildford to name but a few...).
I've abandoned the freelancing idea now in favour of teaching. Teaching offers better security and pay both in the short and long term. Maybe someday it'll be something I come back to, but now it's a hobby at best in the form of blogging. I'm naturally constantly trying to improve my teaching, and don't see that stopping even now I've got my certificate. Organising resources is always a work in progress; digitisation IS the way forward, I've decided. I also got a raise (and with that, a raise in workload, but that's par for the course).
Trying every form of loose tea in that nice shop on the rue St-Honoré would have been quite a stretch! 50g of loose tea is a lot, you know. Doing everything in the Paris Insolite book would have also taken up EVERY SINGLE WEEKEND and then some. Unrealistic ambitions for the win!
Language learning has not come along well. I've made most progress with Italian (having acquired a decent dictionary, as I said on my list that I would), but despite encouraging reading and writing skills, I'm terrified to speak when I go there. Doh. Russian, German, and some other random language just for the heck of it just haven't had the benefit of my time.
Gardening...I do not have green fingers. I've killed a pot of basil and several orchids...that's as far as it goes. I'm a bit addicted to The Great Allotment Challenge on the BBC though...does that count?! (Thought not.)
I no longer aspire to own every single Simpsons box set known to man...just up to season 15. (The show is rubbish after that.) Not living in the UK anymore, and the ridiculously long waiting list to be in the Top Gear audience, also put paid to that ambition.
I did read all of Proust's In Search of Lost Time, although Clarissa still has yet to be completed. (Though I have started...) Trying to read all the books I own, and then selling them to make way for more, is a Sisyphean task to say the least, as is the kitchen equipment one. Just as soon as I've exhausted my list, other items come along to replace them. Latest lust object: fully automatic ice-cream maker, taking up the space of a small elephant and costing around £200. Errr...
On the fashion and beauty Louboutins yet. It'll always be the dream! I am also still a Lush addict.
Culturally, I have DEFINITELY improved my wine knowledge. Gone on several serious tours and tastings and could probably bore you a bit on the subject. (Don't get JM onto it unless you are really interested may well be an OAP by the time he's exhausted his ridiculous body of knowledge on you.) We also saw Divine Comedy live, but still not Bill Bailey yet....his tour dates never coincide well with our UK trips, it seems. I did see several ballets with my lovely friend Zoe, but dance lessons haven't ever materialised. I reckon the gym is enough. Needless to say, I still cannot do the splits. As I mentioned originally, this is cool but not essential.
Tech-wise, I finally succumbed and got an iPhone earlier this year. Next on the gadget lust list: a Kindle Fire.
The less said about the driving licence, the better.
I've eaten in several wonderful restaurants (including some Michelin-starred), but not yet the Fat Duck (hopefully this October...) or the Waterside (plan B).

Embarrassingly, I noticed only just now that I only got up to 43 on my 101 list. Says it all, really. Seeing as I didn't even accomplish all of those, it probably signifies the loftiness of my ambitions and general lack of follow-through.

Nonetheless, in a lot of ways I feel I'm in a better place mentally than I was when I was keeping this LJ more regularly. How much of that is down to the abortive 101 list is probably limited, but needless to say I'm looking forward to saying hello to my 30s and goodbye to my 20s. There has been good stuff in my 20s for sure, but I'd like to hope that with age comes wisdom and that even by now I'm a slightly better, nicer, more interesting human being.

Did you do a 101 in 1001? How did it pan out? I'm genuinely curious :)
“If ever there is a tomorrow when we’re not together there is something you must always remember. You are braver than you believe, stronger than you seem, and smarter than you think. But the most important thing is, even if we’re apart, I’ll always be with you.” ~Winnie the Pooh
The first five people to respond to this post will get some form of art, by me. It will be about or tailored to those five lucky "victims."
This offer does have some restrictions and limitations:
- I make no guarantees that you will agree with what I perceive as art and/or quality. (Nobody said anything about quality, anyway!)
- What I create will be just for you.
- It'll be done before the year is out. (I'd rather give myself enough time to make something nice.)
- You have no clue what it's going to be. It may be fic. It may be poetry. I may draw or paint something. I may bake you something and mail it to you. Who knows? Not you, that's for sure!
- I reserve the right to do something extremely strange.
The catch? Oh, the catch is that you have to put this in your journal as well, if you expect me to do something for you!
So here I am and loving November. I have always preferred winter by a long way in just about every respect: winter food, winter weather, winter fashion, and of course, the approach of Christmas. Not partaking in another November activity, though - NaNoWriMo (good luck to those of you who are, though!) - due to having become increasingly busy this term (see below).

I did not actually realise it had been so long since I'd last written, but it's understandable given the aforementioned work- and non work-related busyness.

Naturally, with 42 students in my homeroom this year for me to manage all on my own (yes, really), this is the most difficult part of my job at present. Especially since I taught half of them last year and did not have a good relationship with them, so said half the class are intent on heckling during the registration period and just generally not letting me get on with the job in peace. Despite my best efforts in terms of both appeasing and disciplining them (seriously, I have been the Duracell bunny of discipline so far this term. Lost count of the number of detentions I've given out), nothing seems to be working and I am really at a loss. Any ideas (apart from changing job!) would be appreciated.

It's a shame about the part in brackets in a way because my other classes are generally going well: they're working, I'm forming good relationships with some of the kids, and I'm keeping them under control. I'm managing my workload well and have also taken on a new IGCSE course this year, Global Perspectives, which is fascinating and terrifying by equal turns (the kids have to produce about 5000 words' worth of coursework each before they even get to the exam).

Less fun was the school trip. This too was a great shame as last year's trip was immense! This year, thanks to one kid ending up in hospital and one in the doctor's surgery, plus general misbehaviour, it was a nightmare of fairly epic proportions. Not helped by this being my first year of actually organising the thing and feeling rubbish about the way I handled things. My fiscal reward? €480 gross for five days of trip. Should just about pay for the therapy I'll need, then.

And so this is the dilemma: do I continue in a job and industry I don't wholly enjoy/feel I can handle, or do I continue pursuing a path in an industry that is far less secure both in terms of immediate financial gain and in terms of a long term future (journalism)? I get more responses from editors these days, but it rarely leads to commissions due to budget problems :(

In terms of Good Stuff That's Happened Recently, I went on a short break to the Loire valley a couple of weekends ago with JM. Included in this weekend was the weirdest wine tasting ever of some of the world's nicest wine (think ancient old lady who insisted we used the spittoon) and one of the best meal experiences ever at this place - think amazing food, high quality wine and top notch views over the vines.

We're also off to England this coming weekend (the 12th) to take advantage of a free hotel room, see my parents, go for fireworks and fish and chips on the beach in Deal, and raid Waitrose's shelves. Novembering indeed :)
1. Bianca
2. B
3. Miss Summons
4. Mrs Pellet


1. striped navy and pink Oxford uni rugby shirt
2. short grey skirt
3. dark blue tights with white dots


1. A pair of red trousers from River Island
2. For River Island customer services to stop being such wankholes
3. Dinner (and it's on its way, in the form of quail)


1. Watched some Mr Bean
2. Read some Proust
3. Ate tiramisu


1. Parents
2. The gynaecologist's office
3. River Island customer services


1. Go to work.
2. Get waxed
3. Practice driving theory


1. Sauternes
2. Coffee from our coffee machine that grinds the beans for you
3. Diet Coke (even though I shouldn't, on the advice of the dentist and on the grounds that I am trying to avoid aspartame in all its forms)


1. My husband
2. Bill Bailey
3. Hearing the news that one of my friends had her baby at four minutes to seven this morning: welcome to the world, Florence Elizabeth Joly!
It's been an eventful month or so, or at least it certainly feels like it's been a busy one.

I was marking for Edexcel for the first part of the month, and I have now been paid for that work, even though I now need to write a snotty letter to the Inland Revenue to claim back the tax. It was an interesting experience, although maybe not one that I would wish to repeat (at least with Edexcel). Suffice it to say that it confirmed many of my suspicions.

Secondly, I went to England with JM for what was essentially our honeymoon, during possibly the rainiest week/month on record. It even pissed it down on our boat party/UK wedding reception day, which was a slight bummer, but at least if the French adage of a rainy wedding equalling a happy marriage is true, that means double happiness is coming our way. The party itself was good, though, although with hindsight I may have changed a few of the guests round for others who mean more to me. It didn't feel like four hours at all and just flew by. The cake was epically nice, the speeches were well-received, and I got to talk to everyone, which is probably about all you can wish for.

Our week started in Kent, though - we got the ferry from Calais and stayed in Dover for a couple of nights, using it as a base to explore Canterbury (which I had never been to, but enjoyed and would return to), Margate (my mum and dad's old honeymoon haunt - the hotel where they stayed back in 1979 is now spectacularly wacky), and Deal (where my grandparents used to live, and which subsequently has a load of fab memories attached). We also went to The Marquis At Alkham for an evening of gastronomic delight - would recommend!

JM then motored us to Maidenhead for the boat party, and after staying there for 2 nights with the inlaws, they went to Windsor for the day with my mother before heading back to France, while we headed to London for more fine dining and just generally pottering around. On Monday after lunch we headed to Exeter, although a massive crash on the M5 prevented us from getting there until about 6. Visiting campus the following day was a strange experience; the place is virtually unnavigable and unrecognisable thanks to the £225m efforts to turn the place into some sort of space age metropolis. I'm sure the facilities etc will be great once it's done, but it didn't feel wholly like my university anymore.

We also used Devon as a base to go to Darts Farm to pick up delicious local produce, wander around Exeter town centre, visit Teignmouth (would have been nicer sans rain) and see Torquay (MISTAKE. Have a feeling it's not what it was in Basil Fawlty's day). On Wednesday we went to Bath for the afternoon on the strength of an English breakfast before filling up on afternoon tea (literally the full works, with dinky sandwiches, Bath buns etc) at the Royal Crescent Hotel. OMG TEH NOMZ.

Thennnnn back to Maidenhead and then the following day back to Dover for the boat. JM did all the driving (I still have no licence...oh the shame) and he did spectacularly - especially considering it was his first time on UK roads.

To be honest, throughout this time I have been so busy looking forward to my trip (and then subsequently enjoying it) that I can't find I really care much about the phone hacking scandal, even though I know I probably should. My reaction was stronger to the Norway attacks yesterday and to Amy Winehouse's death today (I don't like her music, but feel sad for her that she wasn't better looked after by the music industry).

Since coming back from the UK we've mostly been cleaning and tidying as well as relaxing and catching up on past Top Gear episodes. Forget spring cleaning - the 8-week summer holiday is where it's at for me. Cue tidying the spice rack and cleaning out under the bed. FUNFUN.
Still coming down from the whole thing really.

I always swore I wouldn't become one of those annoying countdowny people who'd start counting days until their wedding...but I did :p The excitement of the thing is really just underestimable until it's yours, I suppose.

I wasn't at all nervous on the day - just happy and excited. JM felt the same. I was, in fact, too excited to even eat properly (no breakfast, and didn't finish any of the four courses of the wedding breakfast), which anyone who knows me knows is just about unheard of.

I'm assured there comes a time where you stop thinking about your wedding day every single day. I've now been married for about a month and it hasn't stopped yet. Of course in reality little has changed given that we had already lived together for two and a half years prior to the marriage...but I do find it pretty cool and satisfying to be able to say "my husband" rather than "my boyfriend" (where's the "boy"? He's nearly 30...! Although saying that, we are young by French standards to be marrying.) or "my partner" (blech. just blech).

Changing the name is a little bit of an administrative nightmare but is still moving about as quickly as I would have expected it to (i.e., not very). I've had more fuss made over me for this wedding than I ever could have expected in my entire life and have been overwhelmed by everyone's good wishes and happy thoughts - and the UK leg of the celebration has not even taken place yet (at which the much-anticipated wedding cake will finally be wheeled out).

The weather was grey and a little bit rainy but I think we got away with it; a few things went wrong, but they were tiny and we were able to laugh at them, rather than going into Bridezillas-style meltdown. In short, we loved every moment, and hope to continue loving each (or at least most) of the moments of our married life together.

Tags: ,
Current Location: 78100 FRANCE
Current Mood: content content

(Or forums, if you prefer. Ugh.)

As many of you know I am just a little bit obsessed with the internet and so have been a member of many online fora over the years (sorry, I just can't say forums...).

This hobby (if you will) has had MANY positive side effects, including but not limited to:
- getting a chance to talk about things that you may never have thought of before
- being able to indulge in extreme silliness
- getting a chance to make friends with people you might not necessarily have thought of talking to before
- seeing how the internet can be used for good instead of evil; making you believe in the kindness of total strangers

And, in the friends category, I must not forget to include my fiancé: I never would have met him without xnet and I'm sure my life today would be very different if I had not.

However, my interaction in these online fora has become increasingly negative over the years due to my beliefs conflicting with those of others. It always seems to be when I am trying hardest not to offend someone (I know that sometimes my opinions can be a little hardline) that I seem to really piss them off the most, and it seems to happen more and more these days, even when I have moved on from fora that are no longer relevant to me (e.g. The Student Room) to those that may carry greater relevance (e.g. TES, MoneySavingExpert).

On the one hand this is understandable; as mentioned, I know that I have been raised within a set of fairly old-fashioned and Conservative values (which I still happen to agree with, for the most part, but which can sometimes seem shocking, alien or unacceptable to others), and know that I am therefore quite likely to come into conflict with others as a result. However, it makes me wonder why people bother to participate in such fora when they get themselves into such a tizzy over disagreeing with someone. If everyone agreed it wouldn't be much of a forum!

The difficulty comes in deciding what to do about this. In the context of an individual discussion: respond to others' criticisms of your beliefs, knowing that they will likely still shoot you down no matter what you say, or just walk away from it knowing that they will have had the last word (but that you will also probably feel better for not wasting your time over what are ultimately just words on a screen, even if they are angry ones)? In a more general context part of me thinks I just ought to stop using online fora altogether; it is surprising how often and to such an extent perfect strangers can get you riled up and the reality is that I am probably/possibly past the time of my life where making new friends online that I am actually likely to be able to meet up with/that are potentially real life friends is now past.

So...views? Do you feel that these places carry more positives than negatives, or that they cause more problems than they solve?
User: angelil
Name: angelil
Website: My Website
Back August 2014
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