Sunday 26 August 2012

Sunday Social (12)

Linking up with Ashley and Neely for the Sunday Social

  • What is the first website you log into each day?
    If I'm at home it's Twitter as I have it pinned as an app tab in Firefox. If I'm in-transit it is usually still Twitter. If I don't use the internet until I get to work (highly unusual!) then it is Toodledo (pinned as an app tab) which is my rolling to-do list.
  • Give us some funny websites that you visit that we need to know about.
    There is a disproportionate amount of cats involved in these! I do like Lolcats (yes, cats doing cat things with funny captions), the Infinite Cat Project (cats watching cats, and other feline fun stuff), Cracked (caution recommended, occasional adult content) and The Onion. There are a lot of other sites that make me laugh, but they aren't included as they don't set out to!
  • Pinterest or Facebook? Why?
    Facebook. It is more useful for keeping up with people. Also Pinterest did a Google+ and were too exclusive for too long and so now a lot of people have found other things to do. Facebook has a lot more 'personal' to it - and it has been around for over 5 years which means I've got a lot of stuff tied up in it.
  • Twitter or Instagram? Why?
    For photos only, Instagram. It is a better interface and gives a better product. Also you can send photos to more places than just Twitter at the same time. It also helps you can hash-tag the photos in the comments which saves on 140 character real-estate!
  • Favorite YouTube video. Post it!
    I don't watch a lot of YouTube. Again it is mostly cats (or informational).

    I'm going to cheat here... because this is an original YouTube video and it is also one of my best friends.

  • Biggest online pet peeve?
    People posting mean things, nonsense and just plain drivel on Twitter. People spamming me by using my Twitter handle. Mostly things relating to Twitter, I do spend a lot of time with Twitter.

Saturday 25 August 2012

New Look

As happens every so often (about once a year) I decided it was time for my blog to get a make-over. I hope you like our new look; I think this one might be around for a while!

Friday 24 August 2012

Skywatch (64)

Watching the clouds go by

Uploaded by nat_mach on August 9, 2012
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Wednesday 22 August 2012

What I'm loving Wednesday (2)

What I'm loving this Wednesday... 

I'm loving that...

...London is still full of summer (whatever the weather is like)

...iced coffee is back at the coffee shops

...the evenings are still light

...there are fun things in my Calendar to look forward to of my jobs is finished on site (at last)

...I got to see spend time with some of my friends' children last week

Sunday 19 August 2012

Sunday Social (11)

Linking up with Ashley and Neely for the Sunday Social

  • What were you like in Middle School/HS?(pictures)
    So, I'm trying to work out what Middle School and High School equate to in terms of the UK system; I think that Middle School is when I was at the end of primary school/a junior at Secondary school and High School when I was a senior (ages 9-12 and 13+).

    Pictures are surprisingly hard to come by! This was the era before digital cameras so 1) a lot less pictures were taken and 2) most of the ones with me are at my Mother's house.

    What was I like? Well most of the time I didn't really know who I was. I was lucky enough to go to private school for my primary education and when I went to secondary the sheer size of everything was very intimidating; I found it hard to find my place. I was quite a tom-boy growing up, but terrible at sports. I was quite quiet, shy and introverted... and terribly messy (some things don't change).

    As do most teenage girls I had terrible body image issues; I wasn't comfortable with my size, I wore braces on my teeth and I hated my hair (I was constantly dyeing it!). I can date any picture of me from the age of about 12 onwards by the colour and length of my hair.
Age 10 at Primary School
Age 10 - getting ready for horse riding
Age 12 - Joining the Choir
Age 13 - Playing the piano (very 80s sweater)
Age 14 - Senior at Grammar School (dodgy dye-job)
Age 15 - German Exchange (terrible anorak)
Age 16 - with my dog Leo
Age 16 - very dodgy dye-job
Age 17 - School Senior Choir Tour (Geneva)
Age 18 - leaving school (hippy phase)
  • What were your favorite pass times?
    I loved my pets (the dogs and hamsters we had at home) and the Animal House at school (rats, gerbils, rabbits and more). Until about 13 or 14 I was obsessed with horses and rode every weekend. I loved then (as now) to read and had a huge collection of 2nd hand paperbacks. I was also a music geek; I started learning recorder and guitar when I was about 8 or 9; and I progressed to piano and singing at 11 (and a brief flirtation with violin in my late teens). I studied music GCSE and A-level and sang in our church choir until I left home.
  • What songs were you obsessed with?(Backstreet Boys anyone?)
    I have to admit to never really getting into popular music. I was much more a show-tunes girl, or classical music. I actually can't think of any songs I bought between the ages of 7 and 19!
  • What fashion statement do you look back on and cringe?
    All of them! It was the late eighties and early nineties. There were far too many bright colours about. I also had a horrible habit of wearing oversized clothes to hide my figure. Finally there was the best forgotten goth phase.
  • Who was your celeb crush?
    Ah, Christian Slater. I had pictures of him stuck all over my 'rough book' him and Tom Cruise (don't judge me, it was 25 years ago!).
  • What were your favorite tv shows/movies?
    We didn't watch much TV growing up and my parents were very against commercial programming. There was a lot of BBC in our house; I'm not sure they were my favourites but I look back with affection at all the old comedies such as Only Fools and Horses, 'Allo 'Allo and Dad's Army. Movies; well 'Dead Poets Society' is head and shoulders out in front; but my grandmother did introduce me to all the Hollywood musicals.

Friday 17 August 2012

Skywatch (63)


Rain on the window

Uploaded by nat_mach on April 29, 2012
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Sunday 12 August 2012

Sunday Social (10)

Linking up with Ashley and Neely for the Sunday Social
  • If you could only eat one thing for the rest of your life, what would it be?
    When I was younger I'd have said chocolate without hesitation, but my tooth has got less sweet as I've got older. I'd probably go with raspberries; refreshing yet not too sweet (and lacking in most of the major food groups!).
  • What's your guilty pleasure/comfort food?
    I might not have that sweet tooth, but it is still chocolate - for preference Guylian - and when possible one of their 'special' ranges like Opus.
  • What's the weirdest/craziest thing you've ever eaten?
    I'm not sure about weird/crazy but I've eaten some unusual things; snails (quite a few times), pigeon (hopefully not one of those London street ones), hare (in a casserole), goat (in Jamaica of course) - although the craziest, if received wisdom is to be believe is the hot dogs from the street vendors in New York (!).
  • What foods do you avoid at all costs?
    There isn't much I won't eat (although there are plenty I'd rather not) - the only things I've come across that I can't abide are ochra (also known as lady's fingers) and tapioca (seriously, a milk pudding made of something poisonous if eat raw... how long did it take to work out you needed to cook it?!)
  • What meal reminds you of your childhood?
    It's hard to come up with just one... probably the traditional Sunday roast with beef, roast potatoes and yorkshire pudding (as I'd never be bothered to cook all that); or the oxtail stew with pearl barley and dumplings my Gran used to make. For desert it is all those milk puddings, semolina, rice pudding and tapioca... or a good apple and rhubarb crumble with custard.
  • Share one of your favorite recipes and the story behind it.
    There is a soup that I make (especially in the winter) - follow the link for the recipe. There are lots of similar recipes out there I'm sure but mine came about about 15 years ago when I was sharing a flat and on my own at home. I couldn't be bothered to go shopping and so lunch was 'whatever is in the fridge' which was pretty much vegetables. The best thing about he soup is you can mix and match vegetables, as long as you keep a bit of garlic and chilli for 'kick' it will always be filling and warming.

Friday 10 August 2012

Skywatch Friday (62)

 British Summertime - can't make up it's mind!
Uploaded by nat_mach on July 21, 2012
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Sunday 5 August 2012

Sunday Social (9)

Linking up with Ashley and Neely for the Sunday Social

  • What is your favorite fall activity
  • Pumpkin carving for Halloween. You can get cheap ones in the supermarket which don't really have much flesh, but plenty of seeds for roasting! I like to get creative with my carving too!

    Halloween 2011

    A set by nat_mach
  • Do you follow a football team? If so which one and why?
  • My original introduction to (American) football was when my brother and I were kids. He used to have a table game so his sister had to learn all the rules! Years later my fiancĂ© re-introduced me. As a Yankees fan it seemed natural to follow a New York team, so I picked the Giants. I do have a soft spot for the Jets as well though! We also watch College ball - I randomly chose Florida as I liked their Gator... which means I also have a soft spot for their 'big brothers' the Jaguars. It gets busy in our house in football season (nearly here, yay!).
  • What is something fun about fall in your area? 
  • To be honest, there isn't much. Our tree and those of our neighbours shed leaves all over the garden and my better-half has an eternal battle clearing them.
  • What are your favorite fall outfit staples?
  • Anything warm once it gets colder. I have a massive and constantly expanding collection of hats, gloves and scarves!
  • What things are you looking forward to most about this coming fall season?
  • Same thing I look forward to every year... the NFL game at Wembley Stadium - we have been lucky enough to go every year!
  • What is your favorite fall holiday? Traditions?
  • Halloween is one (see above). Even though we aren't American we also celebrate Thanksgiving - we watch the football games and have turkey and sweet potatoes for dinner.