I've just been to my first Bangor peace vigil.
Disappointing. Very disappointing.
I turned up just about on time, and spent about ten minutes trying to get my candle to light and stay alight. The guy next to me helped out; he was the only person who spoke to me throughout the entire event. The others clearly all knew each other; you'd think they'd make some effort to integrate the newbie.
After about fifteen minutes of people standing around and young people cartwheeling (and me standing there feeling awkward and wondering how I could sneak away un-noticed), some people started arranging us into various formations so they could take photos. That went on for perhaps another ten minutes, with much conversation about whether or not the flash would work (it was a digital camera, they could have just looked at the screen).
Eventually a couple of people gave short little speeches about how terrible Israel is, and how awful fixed-term ceasefires are. All very noble. Then we had a couple of minutes' silence.
And that was it.
I don't really know what I was expecting, but it didn't seem very hardcore. I've already had an hour's silence today. I could have done much more of that. And maybe some more rallying speeches with promises of bold action, rather than vague talk of having a meeting to arrange a meeting.
Apart from anything else, I felt really left out becaues I brushed my hair today.
It's just so frustrating how emasculated lefties are. I desperately want to be an active leftie, using my powers for good and whatnot, but when everyone else is wandering around in hemp clothing getting bogged down with major issues such as whether the meeting venue serves fair trade coffee, it's hard to believe we're ever going to make a difference. That's why I like the Lib Dem society in the SU: they actually do things, and they turn up to events in very smart clothing (did anyone see how wonderfully smart their outfits were at the Societies Awards?). We just need to replicate their success on a larger scale.
Monday, July 31, 2006 | | 3 Comments
I've just met the happiest man in the world.
His happiness is overwhelmingly infectious, so I'm feeling quite joyous myself now. It's impossible to resist feeling enthusiastic and marvellous about everything when someone's grinning so happily.
He seems to be quite a spiritual man, and every day he starts the day by saying "Please God, if it's alright by you, can I be really happy today?" Then he goes around praying for everyone else to be happy too. What a nice thing to do!
I like meeting people like that. People who really inspire you to be nicer to the world, to want to make everyone in it happy. It's not as though he's had everything go well for himself; he's learnt this approach to the world at AA meetings. It's just so nice to see that happiness really does come from within.
I haven't been to Quaker Meeting in Bangor for ages, so it was good to go and meet lots of interesting people. There was a woman who's been on a Peace & Reconciliation educational tour in Ireland all week, a man who's going to send me information on cults (which I'm quite grateful for: it's certainly something we need to watch out for in the SU) and various people who I'd spoken to on previous visits.
Today is a nice day so far. I'm going to spend the afternoon hanging around with me, playing piano, reading, doing nice quiet things. Then Sam and I are going to go cha-cha at the Lets Go Latin class in the gym. And then Spencer (who is returning to Bangor today) is going to cook us a meal. What a great day.
Sunday, July 30, 2006 | | 1 Comments
I have a National Insurance number! I feel so accepted.
Saturday, July 29, 2006 | | 1 Comments
Just a little update.
Yesterday I got a letter addressed to Mr G Goggin.
I did speak to the lady who sent it on the phone, so you'd think she'd get my gender right at least.
Friday, July 28, 2006 | | 6 Comments
This work thing is tiring. My working week has rocketed from 2 lectures to 35 hours per week. And I've just spent about an hour trying to order magazines for the Amnesty Society, spelling out my names countless times.
Me: "C - A - R - O - L - A - N"
Stupid person: "C - A - R ..."
Me: "O - L - A - N"
Stupid person: "O ... wait .. C - A - R - O - L ..."
Me: "A - N"
Stupid person: "Say all that again?"
AGH! Then they get confused with the number of gs in my surname:
"Hang on, G - O - G - T ..."
Tuesday, July 25, 2006 | | 13 Comments
Saturday morning, sitting in my house listening to OK Go (thanks Ian -- everyone else, go click on the link to the OK Go video on Ian's blog, it's wonderful). I've had a lovely morning so far. Had breakfast and a long chat with Emma Gascoigne, in Bangor for the day to do her weekly radio show on Coast (which has just been expanded to a FIVE HOUR show -- go Emma!). Then the Castleconnell Ladies rang me, so I had a nice chat with them too.
Last night's social was quite wonderful. Broad beach in Rhosneigr, barbecues, lots of food, Cava, Bucks Fizz and a giant sandcastle. A very well-defended giant sandcastle, with lots of towers protecting it from the sea, and several layers of walls, moats and turrets surrounding the keep. And a cafe, interpretive centre and disabled access, courtesy of Sam 'National Trust' Burnett. It was beautiful. Until the boys started throwing rocks at it. So us girls decided to spoil their fun and jump on the castle. That was also fun.
I also met a dog. Chris and I had just started building the castle when a very hyper puppy (perhaps a black retreiver, although it seemed a little thin) came along and jumped all over it, dug it up and ran off with my jumper. Good thing Pippa and Goldie have a similar sense of humour. The grumpy man on the beach who got annoyed with Goldie for dripping on him would have been most displeased. But he was a sweet dog. Anyway, all castles have to be knocked down and rebuilt at least once. It's the rules of castles.
Saturday, July 22, 2006 | | 8 Comments
Chez Goggin, we celebrate major occasions with food. Graduation is a pretty major (albeit not very exciting) occasion, so Mum, Dad and Gran took me to Bodysgallen Hall. Goldie and Pippa stayed here, but shh, don't tell my landlady.
Bodysgallen is a fantastic hotel near Llandudno. Its website tells me it's believed to have 13th century origins, but the main part of the house was built in the 17th century and is Grade 1 listed. It has a wonderful garden, part formal terraces, part informal rock gardens. And the trees have been beautifully shaped (while appearing completely natural) so that the castle in Conwy is framed between the trees when you look down the garden from the hotel.
We were shown into the bar when we arrived. I had a lovely refreshing drink called .. agh I can't remember, even though Mum spelt it for me. Anyway, it was lovely. Dad was impressed by the range of beer, although when he asked what beer they had he was offered Carling, Stella or Budweiser (pretty poor). But when he stood up to examine the spirit cabinet, he spotted some Old Speckled Hen. Odd, concealing good beer and offering rubbish.
We initially had the second dining room to ourselves; a little daunting, with three people ready to pounce on our water glasses and bread plates every time they emptied. We had a bottle of champagne, mostly between me and Dad (Mum was driving and Gran doesn't drink). House champagne! What a concept! Imagine champagne being such a frequent tipple that you offer house bottles! I had one of the nicest soups I've ever eaten to start: a beautifully frothy celeriac and wild mushroom soup. I could have sat there all night drinking buckets of it. My cod main course was also delicious with this WONDERFUL truffle potato thingy, fresh peas and bacon diced really finely. Gran's lamb came with this cute little baby shepherd's pie in pastry. Looked lovely.
The desserts .. oh I love dessert (and not desert, as I see they sell in The Harp). I had a chocolate tart thingy with Horlicks ice-cream. MmmmmMMMmmm. The chocolate part of it was like the most perfect brownie you could ever imagine, fresh out of the oven. But not too hot. Just lovely. Mum had a selection of sorbets (I love sorbet so much and have just bought a tub of mango sorbet, hooray!), and Dad had a selection from an extremely well-stocked cheese tray. He was particularly delighted to find that the cheese was at room-temperature: there's nothing worse than cold cheese. It's so flavourless compared to nice warm cheese.
Then we had our tea and coffee on the terrace (where else, darling?). They had those little crystals of sugar. I haven't seen them for years; I used to eat them when I was little. So I ate a couple for old time's sake.
Delicious all round, really. I could quite happily live there, I think. Can I have one of these, please?
Bodysgallen "25th Anniversary Heritage" Break 2006/2007
(excluding Bank Holidays and Bank Holiday weekends)
A five night break, with rates charged per person, inclusive of overnight accommodation, early morning tea, cooked breakfast, table d’hote dinner, full use of the Bodysgallen Spa, service and VAT, and admission into two local historic places of interest. There will also be a chilled bottle of champagne placed in your room to welcome you on arrival.Single room £665.00 per person
Wednesday, July 19, 2006 | | 7 Comments
Broadband! In my house!
My 100th blog post will probably appear later today. Bated breath all round, I know.
P.S. I graduated yesterday. It was hot.
Wednesday, July 19, 2006 | | 11 Comments
Climbed Snowdon on Saturday with Sam. It was quite difficult. Very hot. Very .. rocky. And steep. And a long way. How do these little kids bound up so easily? We chose the miner's path over the pig path: a wise decision, since it brought us past lots of nice refreshing lakes with tasty water. There's a very steep ascent at the end though.
Mum, Dad and Gran arrived yesterday with Goldie and Pippa. I met them in Holyhead and went to Rhosneigr. Very crowded, unsurprisingly. I was impressed with the range of watersports going on though: several types of sailing boat, several types of canoe and a plethora of speedboats. Pippa has decided that she likes beaches. Initially upset by the lack of stones in the water, she found that burying and digging stones in sand was much more fun. Goldie upset a man lying near by by dripping on him. Oh well.
A visit to the gardens in Plas Newydd followed. I like Plas Newydd. I went there with the Abbey Road Centre last year. We didn't go into the house yesterday (they don't accept payment in euros and it was too hot to want to be inside anyway), just strolled happily around the garden. What a lovely place.
Pippa and Goldie were very excited about my house. Good thing, too, since we left them there while we went to Wetherspoons. Which Dad was very excited about. I'm not seeing them at all today (I have to work and they're in Bala), but we'll continue our adventures tomorrow.
Monday, July 17, 2006 | | 4 Comments
Just to catch up on what's trendy these days. Ones I've read in bold:
To Kill a Mockingbird by Harper Lee, The Bible by God and friends, The Lord of the Rings Trilogy by JRR Tolkien (well, two and a bit), 1984 by George Orwell, A Christmas Carol by Charles Dickens, Jane Eyre by Charlotte Bronte, Pride and Prejudice by Jane Austen, All Quiet on the Western Front by E M Remarque, His Dark Materials Trilogy by Phillip Pullman (I've read one but that's not enough), Birdsong by Sebastian Faulks, The Grapes of Wrath by John Steinbeck, The Lord of the Flies by William Golding, The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time by Mark Haddon, Tess of the d'Urbervilles by Thomas Hardy, Winnie the Pooh by AA Milne, Wuthering Heights by Emily Bronte, The Wind in the Willows by Kenneth Graham,
Gone With the Wind by Margaret Mitchell, Great Expectations by Charles Dickens, The Time Traveller's Wife by Audrey Niffenegger, The Lovely Bones by Alice Sebold, The Prophet by Khalil Gibran, David Copperfield by Charles Dickens, The Alchemist by Paulo Coelho, The Master and Margarita by Mikhail Bulgakov, Life of Pi by Yann Martel, Middlemarch by George Eliot, The Poisonwood Bible by Barbara Kingsolver, A Clockwork Orange by Anthony Burgess, A Day in the Life of Ivan Denisovich by Alexander Solzenhitsyn.
Right, that's that done. What else is trendy to talk about on one's blog? I should probably give you a youtube link but I'm afraid I only look at what my dear brother tells me to look at.
Monday, July 17, 2006 | | 6 Comments
I've fallen horribly, horribly behind. It's going to take me quite a while to catch up. I still haven't got a working internet connection in my house, despite spending over an hour on the phone to BT (turns out the first woman I talked to was wrong when she said I had a broadband account with them) and finally finding the username and password. Looking forward to spending another hour talking to Madasafish tonight. Woohoo!
Since I last blogged I've moved into my new house (wonderful, except for the rats and heroin addicts), started my new job (wonderful, except for the rats and heroin addicts) and been on NUS training in Nant Gwrtheyrn, a crazy little hidden mining village thingy about an hour from here.
I've figured out my societies and standing committees budget for the year (we need more money), [Sam has just fallen off his chair] worked on our course reps system (henceforth known as Shout) and learnt to offer tissues in Welsh.
At home, my mum has finished her job and is having a nice relaxing time. She's just been to London to visit the queen, and to bring my brother to meet the Quakers he's travelling to America with. He's on his way to America right now. Or maybe he's even there, who knows? He'll be spending the next month there. Dad has been skilfully navigating the Shannon-Erne Waterway with the Knocknagow, getting our 4-foot deep boat past a 3-foot deep lock entry thingy. Goldie has been rolling in mud and Pippa has presumably been eating his ears.
And now I have to go to a Trading meeting thingy, so I'm going. Byyeee.
Friday, July 14, 2006 | | 7 Comments