Bowery Mural

2010: the year, the people

Tuesday, 28 December 2010

I haven't blogged for a few weeks because I wasn't feeling it. I can't force my writing (not that i'm a writer or anything) but i feel i've got to want to blog, to blog. I just can't come up with things on demand. But it's Christmas, nearly New Years and as the sun sets on 2010 and rises on 2011 I wanted to do a blog post to all those people who have helped make 2010 quite a decent year. Indulge me for a few minutes as there's lots of people and so many reasons to give you all a special mention.

Firstly, Linda. Great friend and work colleague. She helped me through the trauma of last Christmas and New Year with her funny texts - "a fucking telly!!" haha. We've laughed together and cried together in the office too many times to mention. We've talked rubbish in a language that only we could understand. Our little sayings are legendary and they're listed on one of the many notepads on my desk for when the book is published. A friend in every way.

January 2010 saw me try to shift this blog over to SquareSpace and redesign it and in doing so I got into a conversation on Twitter with Mark (@markofrespect). Mark I now consider to be a friend. A good friend. Hope he doesn't go all showbiz now he's moved to Londonshire.

Then in my twitter stream a giant electrical structure appeared. It turned out to be @Pyllon. One of life's good guys. Always there, always listening, always around in the background. A machine of a man with the kind of determination and grit I could only dream of. I'm proud to call him a friend.

Which leads me on to Nicola (@LilacSwizzle). One half of the bro-sis tag team. When I came across Nicola and then met her i couldn't believe how alike and yet how different we were. She is one amazing lady and despite everything that 2010 has thrown at her she's still here, still smiling and hopefully riding the bike to fight another day. We had a good day out on the bikes when i fell off for the second time, it wasn't even steep but it was into a jaggy nettle bush. Ouch! good times.

Ah the bike... this brings me nicely on to Petesy (@Petesy)  and Phil (@Bobinson1). A few good summer nights out on the bikes in the Kilpatricks were had. I like going out with these guys because the banter is good, I don't get left behind and there's tea and sandwiches at the garage when we finish. I don't even mind the grilling I get every time we meet. :o)

Smiles at the waterside

Talking of bikes there's Ross (@ThirdSectorLab) who encouraged me to join the MTB group. A genuinely nice guy. Not a bad word about anyone, thoroughly decent and a trainer geek to boot! Win.

I was pleased to finally meet Craig (@CraigZielinski) on a night-time bike ride with Petesy and Phil. He was running, we were cycling. No, seriously. He ran all the way up and all the way down. A no-nonsense, straight-talking, lovely guy. Get some.

There were a few themeet140 meetups in Glasgow this year and that gave me the opportunity to meet a lot of really nice people. Kevin O'Neill, Ali McGill, Brian Barnes, Julie Broadfoot, Stuart Glen, Stephen O'Donnell, Geraldine Coleman, Michelle Rodgers, Kelly Forbes, Electro Ross Burns, Aaron Bassett ... this list could go on. Sorry if i've missed anyone.

Plus it was good to finally meet these two great fellas too Allan Barr and Martin Keane. Top, top guys and one has a very impressive tattoo sleeve (not Allan!). And a fab young lady in Holly Smith. I've read her blog for over a year so to meet her was cool.

I knew i'd forgotten someone else i finally met. Mr Stephen Bonnar - that fantastical drawing machine whose print will soon hang in a room when i get a frame from Ikea. Go check his work out.

People I have not met but would love to meet, have and keep in my life are, what i affectionately call, my Southern Crew. A good bunch of tweeters that in 2011, i will make it my mission to meet (Oh dear, have I really said that!!). You are all great for various reasons but mostly for being friendly tweeters whom I've taken to my heart. The straight talking passionate Miss Andie Kiss; fabulous husband and wife team of Ben and Carly Woodall (are you preparing a blog as i type Ben?); lovely lovely Laura Woods. I owe her lots for reading my emails; that scamp Paul O'Neill and the lovely Anna Rosenberg; fab Miss Kat; little Miss Embot; Richard Baker; Mr Jamie9A - he's living in the 80's this week; very cool Mr JJ Kilpatrick; lovely John Heath; and the inspirational and truly fantastic Mr Neil Fox. He will change the face of 2011, big time.

A very special mention goes to Adam Morland. My friend. Producer of the first baby in my twitterstream - little gorgeous Zak! I can't remember when our first contact was but i'm glad we connected. He's a friend, a confidante and a wonderful father and husband to his gorgeous family. Big love Mr.

And finally to these nice people, thanks for your tweets over this year. A pleasure talking to you and hearing your stories: Al Christou; Mark Kalch; Annie Beee - will we ever meet?!; Chris Pritchard; Mark Beaumont; Owen Philipson; Chris Hall; Claire Edge; Mark Cooper (truly inspiring winner at life!); Annanyah; Mr Rob Green; that wonderful landscape photographer Stewart Smith (buy his work, please!); Nick Dixon; Ceasar Lopez who was genuinely interested in my graphics class; Stuart Witts; the very wise Raam Dev; Lorne Rutherford. I've probably missed a few, if i have sorry!

Angela x

Take a Chance

Wednesday, 15 December 2010

You know when something just hits you and its like fate has creeped up behind you and smacked you around the back of the head with a mallets mallet... Well that happened to me today. I was driving into town and wanted a new CD to play. Looked in the glove box, found the Glee soundtrack stuck it on and this song came on! It just sums up my thoughts, and an ongoing situation that's happening right now completely. 

PS don't be laughing at my Glee soundtrack. Okay. ;-)

Taking Chances Lyrics

Don't know much about your life.
Don't know much about your world, but
Don't want to be alone tonight,
On this planet they call earth.

You don't know about my past, and
I don't have a future figured out.
And maybe this is going too fast.
And maybe it's not meant to last,

But what do you say to taking chances,
What do you say to jumping off the edge?
Never knowing if there's solid ground below
Or hand to hold, or hell to pay,
What do you say,
What do you say?

I just want to start again,
And maybe you could show me how to try,
And maybe you could take me in,
Somewhere underneath your skin?

What do you say to taking chances,
What do you say to jumping off the edge?

Never knowing if there's solid ground below
Or hand to hold, or hell to pay,
What do you say,
What do you say?

And I had my heart beaten down,
But I always come back for more, yeah.
There's nothing like love to pull you up,
When you're laying down on the floor there.
So talk to me, talk to me,
Like lovers do.
Yeah walk with me, walk with me,
Like lovers do,
Like lovers do.

What do you say to taking chances,
What do you say to jumping off the edge?
Never knowing if there's solid ground below
Or hand to hold, or hell to pay,
What do you say,
What do you say?

Don't know much about your life
Don't know much about your world

So what do you think? Do i take that chance?
Ange x

Thursday Three pt8

Sunday, 21 November 2010

Today's proper Thursday Three are... Christmas Traditions.

We always open our presents after midnight on Christmas Eve. We've done it for as long as I can remember and comes from attending Midnight Mass (yes shock horror, I am Catholic - lapsed). Anyway when we were too little to go to Midnight Mass we'd be woken up around 1.30am so that we could see what Santa had left us. It's just something we've always done and probably always will. When you discover that Santa isn't.... well you get the drift, it soon becomes exciting waiting until that time to open your presents and give yours out to others. Here's a story that we still don't know to this day the truth of... When i say We i mean me and my big sister Karen.
So, there we were, sharing our 3/4 size bed in the front bedroom. I was about 4 she must've been about 7. We sneaked downstairs to in the night to see if Santa had been, and there he was. Right there in our living room laying out presents with my Dad. We couldn't believe it and creeped back upstairs to wait until we were told he was away. Knowing what we know now about Santa... we always talk about it and yet we've never been told who it was that night there in our living room. We have a sneaky feeling it was my Granda but we've never ever had it confirmed.... That means everything to us.

Without fail each year we have the tradition of getting the house all cleaned in time for Christmas and New Year. Then there's always a big pot of homemade soup on the go. I can picture it just now. Windows all steamed up with condensation as it's too cold to open them. The smell that fills the air is warm and homely and tasty.

This is becoming my own personal New Year tradition. I go for a walk on my own up our local hill. It's usually crowded as everyone has the same idea but standing there staring out and pondering the year past whilst planning my year ahead is good. Gives you time to yourself in an other busy and at times stressful time of the year. Good to fill your lungs with fresh air too. I've done it the past two years and you'll most likely find me scaling Dumyat on New Years day again this year. I just hope the wee Granny in her skirt and ballet pump shoes isn't there this time! She looked freezing, poor soul.

Ange x

Thursday Three... pt7 (late!)

So i forgot what the Thursday Three from last week was but @Woody_Ben reminded me it was Three Memories from Childhood. Here they are...

When i was at high school I hung around with a large group of girls. It would be fair to say I was at my happiest then. If only we could turn back time. Anyway in the 6th year (or 5th, i forget, its been so long) of high school the school decided to put on a play, an end of year concert if you will. This would be the first time in our tenure that it would be done. It would be run around Easter time. Mostly we opted to be the Backstage crew. We would be helping with getting the actors on stage at the right time, moving scenes and props around, helping with clothing changes and other general backstage crewness. We all had black t-shirts on the nights. Anyway I can't profess to being a great singer but after (or before, my memory is really foggy now), Donna, Julie and I were hanging about at their house one weekend. It was the weekend around Easter holidays and I know this because the shows were here! This was always a highlight of our calendar year! Anyway the shows (or the fairground for non Scottish folk) were here and they had finished on the Saturday night, they were packing up their rides so we took a little trip up the Gowan Hill at Raploch (incidentally the showground was now where Sainsbury's is). We sat on a rock up the Gownie and sang songs from Oliver. It started to get a bit chilly and it was only when we looked at our watches we realised we'd been up there for a good three or four hours. It must've been dinner time. I can remember we were just sitting there, not a care in the world, watching life going on around about us. Watching the trucks and lorries of the fairground pack up and move on to the next town. I often think back to my school days and school friends with much love and fondness. They really were good times. Most of the backstage crew now reside in Perth, Western Australia but thank goodness for email and Facebook otherwise the memories would be just memories. I love those girls.
This is Julie, wee Steven Giannandrea, Donna and me - a fantastic school trip to Germany

Every school holiday we'd go and spend a week and my Pappy's house in Law, near Wishaw. It was the times before my Dad had a licence and we didn't have a car so my Pappy would come all the way through from Law in is Orange Austin Maxi to pick us up. We'd had our cases packed for a week beforehand and waited with excitement to hear the engine of that beast drive around the corner. We'd set off on a journey that seemed like it was hours, but in reality it was only about 45 minutes drive. Our summers were spent in his house, going walks up the Auld Road, going out on the bikes, going up to the farm to get cheeky the Shetland Pony out and generally having the best fun a child could have in the days pre technology. Our suppers were mostly white cheese on toast (We only ever got that when we visited my Pappy). We ate, watched telly, talked, sung, danced, played in the tiny kitchen of his semi detached bungalow. We weren't really allowed in the main sitting room, it was fancy! Outside was a massive garden to the side (the site of our tent building), out back was a huge vegetable patch (where we constantly stole pea pods). Sparky the black dog lived in a kennel out there. I think he's been the only dog i actually liked my whole life. The garage was an aladdin's cave of old and new tools, lathes, workbenches, old tyres, smell of petrol and machinery. In fact I got a vivid memory of it a few months back when i visited Petesy's 'kit room' for a tent!
My Pappy died in 1996, suddenly. He was 83 years old but still was out at the dancing in Wishaw at the weekends. He was great, kind, a storyteller, a fantastic baker, a carpenter to trade, a young person in an old but fit body, the kind of old gent that always wore his shirt and tie and cardigan each day. Add to that a Trilby hat and you can sort of imagine him i hope. I love that guy.
Me and my Pappy

Me, my Dad and Cheeky the Shetland Pony (btw i learned to tie my laces with those Nicks trainers from Woolworths)

i used to be a highland dancer, believe it or not. I was pretty good at it. We used to go on a Thursday night to the church hall, Me my sister Karen and Alec (our childhood friend from up the road). Anyway we used to dance at local gala days and stuff so one year we had to do Throsk Gala Day. The special guest that year would be none other than Terry Butcher. He stayed locally when playing for Rangers and this was at the height of his career. Probably around the time when that famous picture of him all bloody forehead, mad eyed and white bandaged wrapped around his head. So you could say, at the time he was as famous as David Beckham. Anyway after we did our dance we got our photos taken with him for a local newspaper. He was nice and tall i can remember. The picture did kick around here for a while but i can't find it.
Talking of Alec - our childhood friend, he along with his sister Teri were our great friends. The four of us would always be out playing in the street. One wintertime we built a snow caterpillar, not a snowman but a caterpillar. We were weird like that! Again there are photos but not to hand just now.

Ange xx

Thursday Three pt6

Wednesday, 10 November 2010

Two for the price of one this week since i was way too busy last week decorating my bedroom. Part 7 will follow in a new post.

Part 6 is Three most treasured possessions (suggested by @gruppox).

Number one would have to be my iPhone. Sorry! I think i've mentioned it on here before but it truly i one of the best gadgets I have ever bought. Keeps me up to date with my emails, texts, Twitters etc etc. Yes you know all this since most of everyone has one. 'nuff said really.

A birthday card I got from my little cousin for my 21st. Not long afterwards he was taken cruelly away from us. Sad times. It's something I'll keep all my life and has survived the recent purge of lots of my possessions. I couldn't really throw it out, ever.

My piece of Everest Base Camp rock. It was my dream to go there. It was nearly two years in the planning and i never did get there. But thanks to Team Extreme of Andy, Kate, Ruth, Emma and wonderful Saran I have to pieces of rock from actual Everest base camp. I like to think the one day those two pieces of rock were on the slopes of Mount Everest itself. I will go back, one day. And I will get there, myself.

Thursday Three... pt5

Friday, 29 October 2010

This weeks Thursday Three topic was chosen by @Woody_ben and it is this...
Three top holiday destinations. I asked for clarification and can confirm it can be places you've been or want to go to. So here are mine.


I love that city. I visited twice in 2005 with my sister and we still never seen it all. It is an architect geeks dream. I loved the buildings and wandering the streets and seeing the sights and climbing the stairs up a spire at the Sagrada Familia. I loved the escalators they had to take up to the Olympic Stadium (lazy!). I loved to see the Olympic Stadium and travelling on their metro system. I loved the atmosphere in the city centre when Barca had just beaten Real Madrid 3-0 in one of the football seasons hotly anticipated games. I especially loved the tour of Gaudi's Casa Battlo, where everything inside was a cruve. No straight edges anywhere (see inside pic above).  I love it all and I can't wait to go back and see the new as well as revisit the already seen.

San Francisco.

I've never been but i so want to. I've been thinking that i really NEED a holiday. And not just a mini break, a proper kick-ass full on holiday. I know someone who was flying to San Francisco last weekend to visit family and she's off for three weeks. I am envious. My friend Andrew cycled all through California a few years ago and took in San Francisco, Los Angeles, Monterey, basically the pacific coast highway and ended up climbing in Yosemite national park. I want to do this, well maybe not the climbing but I want to cycle across the Golden Gate bridge on a bike. To walk down the very steep and bendy Lombard Street. To take a ferry to Alcatraz and to sample the atmosphere of a foggy San Francisco Bay.

Hawaii / Australian Gold Coast

These are pure luxurious holiday destinations. If you know me you'll know that I'm not someone who is happy to go to all the usual haunts - Tenerife, Benidorm, Valarakee (i know thats not how you spell it!!), Blackpool ;-)  In fact those would be my worst nightmare holidays - seriously. But I've always wanted to go on a nice relaxing beach holiday, and where better than the Gold Coast of Australia or Hawaii (anywhere). In saying that, I think if I spent anymore than a couple of days on a beahc i'd be bored so these luxurious hoiday destinations need to have places I can wonder to, activities, guaranteed great weather and plenty of sunshine. In short, were I to win the Lottery on Saturday night I'd be booking a holiday to these straight away.

Ange x

The Great Gatsby

Friday, 22 October 2010

Quotes. I'm a sucker for a good quote. 

F. Scott Fitzgerald said it best in The Great Gatsby. This kinda relates to one of the things I wanna do before the end of 2010 ...

"Daisy tumbled short of his dreams, not through her own fault, but because of the colossal vitality of his illusion... No amount of fire or freshness can challenge what a man will store up in his ghostly heart. "

Ange x


Thursday Three... pt4

Ooh this is a difficult one for me, Three things you want to do before the end of 2010. There are things I want to do but i'm not quite ready to give you that much insight into the inner workings of my head nor my heart right at this moment. Argh and I so want to... But I can't...I just can't...So here's three other (slightly less embarrassing) things I want to do before the end of 2010. Enjoy.

One thing I would really like to do os be more organised. I always like to think of myself as organised and at work i'm really well organised but at home, another story. I mean if there's an even to be organised I will but as far as organising stuff out then not so much. My bedroom for example. It is filled with stuff i have accumulated over the years and I really need to downsize and rethink what of this stuff that I actually need. I'm a born hoarder you see. My Dad is too, as was my Pappy. But i think it's one trait I need to sort out and cleanse myself of all unecessary goods. I'm sure it'll feel good. Will it?

Another thing I want to do before the end of 2010 is wear a dress! No big deal you might think but I never wear dresses. Ever. I've got a little black dress in my wardrobe that i wore at a wedding in 2008. It's timeless and would suit any occasion. I've alos got a yellow dress that's more suited to a summers day so we'll leave that one for now. But generally I'd never wear a dress on an ordinary day. So who knows of any special occasion where my black dress can be revived and brought out of the cupboard? Perhaps a nice Christmas night out.

The last thing I can think of just now is before the end of 2010 I want to be able to run a few miles without any knee pain. Long term readers will know that I have IT band trouble and get terrible knee pain whenever i run (hence the reason i go to so many spin bike classes - no pain). Well I've decided that now is the time to try to blast this knee pain for good and hit it where it hurts. I want to at least be abel to do a 5K run for next year I plan on a few 10K runs. So there. Now for seasoned runners 5L or 10K may be a doddle but to me its not. Not yet anyway. But soon, soon it will be.

Next weeks Thursday Three subject will be announced soon @Woodyben is choosing.

Ange x


Thursday Three... pt4 Guest post: Martin Keane of OneKind

Thursday, 21 October 2010

I put out a war-cry via Twitter last week asking if anyone wanted to join in the Thursday Three posts for this week. Martin Keane, Movement Builder at charity OneKind replied. Here are his Three things he wants to do before the end of 2010. Mine will appear later...

When Angela put out a shout on Twitter asking for guest bloggers to talk about three things they would like to do by the end of this year, I was keen to share my plans with you all. I have had a pretty exciting year thus far, I graduated with First Class Honours, then joined OneKind. I have always been a keen supporter of animal welfare and it seemed like the perfect fit. Anyway, enough of my waffle, read on for my three:

·  We recently launched as OneKind, following many years as Advocates for Animals, a large part of that was “They’re Here.” The film is different to other animal welfare productions, as it focuses on the positive aspect of our relationships with animals. I feel it can inspire a strong and dedicated movement. I would like it to achieve over 30,000 views by the end of December. Will it? I’m not certain, we all know how difficult it is to gauge the possibility of video going viral. What I can be certain of, is that I will be giving it an almighty push to help it get even close to that total. I truly believe that everybody should see it. Watch it here

They're Here from OneKind on Vimeo.

·  I would like to be a better husband. I think as it stands, I am a pretty good one already. However, I am constantly working and beavering away on something. My wife is my absolute priority, she is a constant source of strength and is the most beautiful person I have ever had the pleasure of knowing. I cannot wait to move house with her in November, as it will give us a little more time to focus on us. After all, that is what is truly important.

·   It is a great ambition of mine to try to make a few swede movies. I would love to fit this in before the end of the year, as it looks like good fun. If anybody else shares this ambition, do get in touch!


Big Thanks to Martin for being the only one to respond. You too can join in. Let me know
Ange x


What I Digg in 2010

Sunday, 17 October 2010

I read a blog the other day about things a guy was liking in 2010. His was mostly iPhone apps and Google calendars etc and so I thought i'd do my own post about Things I Digg in 2010.

My iPhone. Ok so I got it late 2009 but that's a year I've had it now and I'm sorry to the Apple-phobes but i just could not live without it. It's a constant companion to me holding a compendium of info and apps and music and podcasts and photos.  Love it.

Hipstamatic, Camerabag, and lots of other photography/camera apps for the iPhone. I love taking photos, of anything. I've got a pretty decent digital camera (Panasonic Lumix) but for convenience and time-saving I use these apps.

Spin class at The Peak sports village, Stirling. I love it. It keeps me sane. I get a buzz when I'm done and if I haven't been feeling that great I always come out feeling much better about things. It's the combination of the loud music, the pushing yourself to the limits and the nice folk there. Andy is a brilliant instructor and motivator.

Paul Mitchell Sculpting Foam keeps my curly hair in check. And the delicious coconut scent makes sure my hair smells lovely. A spritz of water in the morning brings it back to life. Curly hair rocks.

My lovely CUBE Access SL mountain bike!! It's the best and biggest purchase i've made in a while. It looks great and does exactly what i need it to.

The shop All Saints. Yes it's a bit expensive but i've ordered a few things online and each time I'm thrilled with the service and free delivery. I get an email when the items were dispatched, a text with a hour long time slot of when the items will be dleivered and they are always beatifully packaged. My deliveries have always been bang on in the middle of the texted time slot. Plus in their end of summer sale I got 4 pairs of shoes for £110!! Bargain considering that one pair alone should have been £145.

Sending wee parcels of goodies to friends. I've sent a few of these this year to a small number of lucky people and they've been well received. So look out, you might get one in the post. A surprise mind, so i'm not telling you.

That's a few of the things i Digg in 2010.  I might update this post with more but since 2010 is nearly over and as 2011 approcahes at a pace so fast i'm slightly uneasy, then perhaps I'll wait until then to post on this subject.

Ange x


Thursday Three... pt3

Thursday, 14 October 2010

Three ideal days or nights out.
 (By the way these are always in no particular order).

Number One

A walk along a remote Scottish Beach

I've been longing to do this for a while. Gather a few of my favourite people and go driving and searching for a remote (and also very lovely and clean) Scottish beach. I asked around and there seems to be a few more than I expected. I have a few ideas but they'd take at least an overnighter stay somewhere to get there. But yeah that's what i'd like to do one weekend. Drive to a remote Scottish beach. Walk along it. Maybe even sit on it. Taking it all in. Taking fabulous photos. Have someone take fabulous photos of me. Then afterwards some nice eatables and chat. So if you know anywhere like the picture below that's not too far away, pleaselet me know. Additionally if you wanna join me on this trip, comment me up.

Number Two

Museums, Dinner, Cinema

I'd love to have a nice day out visiting museums and galleries, then head for dinner, then on to the cinema to catch a film. Simple really. I'm a simple girl with modest tastes really. If you fancy sharing this day someday let me know.

Number Three

Adventures in the Countryside

Spending the day hill walking and cycling around some of our beautiful countryside. Finished off with a stop-off in a country pub for a hearty meal. Sun-blushed, rosey-cheeked, knackered and happy. It's been too long since I've stood atop a hill. Slightly less time since i've had a good blast on the bike. Morning bike rides round the village don't cut it any more.

So that's it. Nothing fancy. Simple pleasures in life are where's its at.
LET'S DO IT!! Let's make number one happen soon?!!!

Ange x

PS Next weeks Thursday Three is Three things you want to do before the end of 2010! Get thinking peoples.

Here is a fantastic Three Ideal Days/Nights Out From @Woodyben It's brilliant, hop on over and take a read!!


The Social Network

Sunday, 10 October 2010

Here goes. My review of The Social Network.

Just got in from the cinema where I went to see this much talked about movie. First off if you think you're gonna hear that wonderful Scala version of Radiohead's Creep you're not. Not that I heard anyways. First off the casting is excellent. Jesse Eisenbergs's awkward (slightly autistic?) Adidas flip flop wearing genius Zuckerberg is brilliant. I think he plays a lost soul, a social misfit but ultimately I was left with the impression that he's a decent guy with a big heart for whom money is not the real motivation. All he wants is the girl to accept his friend request (Don't we all?)

Justin Timerblake's Sean Parker of Napster fame is perfect. I didn't really know that whole back-story... you know the 'what happened after Napster' story. But Justin gets the somewhat dodgy character of 'Sean' down to a tee. Andrew Garfield plays the CFO Eduardo Saverin. The money man behind The Facebook.The wronged best friend. And Rooney Mara plays Erica. The girl Mark wants to be his friend on Facebook. Cameron and Tyler Winkelvoss are great characters. I have to say in real life these are people I like to see fall on their faces. People who think they have influence just because they have money (old money?), or rather the parents have. Vile.

The script is sharp and has some great lines. But some of the best bits come during the opening exchange between Mark and Erika in a Boston bar. It gets a bit complicated but i think this sets us up with an understanding of what's going on inside the head of Mark Zuckerberg. I noted a few lines down during the movie... "A guy who's built a chair doesn't owe money to everyone who's ever built a chair", "The ability to make money doesn't impress anyone around here" and one of my faves "The internet's not written in pencil Mark. It's written in ink".

David Fincher's direction is fab. It's funny I watched Fight Club again not so long ago and this is just as good. For a film centred around a computer geek, that is! And I like that the geek has been made a baddie, easily led, a genius, but mostly at heart a good person. I mean he refused to monetise the site early on when Eduardo was pushing for it. I've heard reports of the movie portraying Zuckerberg badly but I didn't think so. Did I miss the point? I actually felt a bit sorry for him. He seemed a bit socially awkward (I can relate to that!) and a is bit quirky looking (ditto!). I liked that he wanted to get the attention of the Harvard clubs but never really wanted to join them. The film jumps from past to present (well as much as you can jump from past to present in the space of 6 years), from Harvard to lawyers offices, to Facebook offices in San Francisco. There is a scene in particular where the Winkelvoss' lawyer asks Mark if he has his full attention... then replies. I liked that one a lot.

But I don't want to say too much and I'll let you be the judge of the movie yourselves but overall i liked it. It made you think about the whole phenomenon that is the internet and social site such as The Facebook, Twitter, Flickr and the rest. Sometimes we think they just appear and pop up and you log on and you dabble or you get hooked, for a little while at least and you tend to forget that these are passions of people (perhaps geeks), they spend months taking snippets of ideas and turning them into something... well massive!! And it wasn't even that long ago, 2004. This world is changing fast and it's all down to guys like Zuckerberg. Ask yourself where would we be without sites such as Facebook or even Twitter. *shudder* I can't even bear that thought.

In summary Jesse Eisneberg definitely steals the show with his genius Zuckerberg. But i think Facebook will be a winner too. Say what you want, I bet there are millions around the world who wished they'd thought of that idea. I know I would! One day...  Go along to see this film. I liked it a lot x 500 million!

One last line that I loved... "I'm an entrepreneur" "A what?" "An entrepreneur" " you're unemployed". 
Now, go on and tell me...  What's on your mind?

Ange x

PS Dear Mark Zuckerberg, I'll accept your friend request. The End.

Thursday Three... pt2

Thursday, 7 October 2010

Three songs that have personal meanings to you.

Number One

The Slim Shady LP

Ok so it's not one song but an album. An album I stumbled across when visiting Florida in 2000. I got it on tape and listened to it all holiday on my walkman. Yes you heard that right... a Walkman! Anyway it was like nothing I had heard before and I bought the subesequent albums until he went into that dodgy phase. I think lyrically he's genius. The songs mostly told the story of his struggles with his mum, about his love for his daughter and the on-off relationship with his wife Kim. Explicit and violent at times but with jovial tunes, mostly. I just liked it instantly and then the second hotly anticipated The Marshall Mathers LP came out. Blew me away too. Eminem is polarising. Love him or hate him, he was different.

Number Two

Coldplay - Yellow

The song in which I found my love for Coldplay. A song that came out at a transition period in my life. A simple song about a colour, Yellow. Or is it. But I just simply love it. How could you not like the line "Look at the stars, look how they shine for you". I know some of the cool kids think Coldplay are rubbish but I really don't care. I've seen the four times live and to date they are one of the best live bands i've seen. Granted Chris Martin gets a but carried away and the vocals are a but dodgy at times but the band, Will, Johnny and Guy, even Chris are excellent musicians. So there, Yellow, one of my favourite songs.

Number Three

I'm gonna cheat a bit here and list a few songs that i have grown in recent years to love for various reasons but if nothing else they can move me to stop in my tracks and just listen to them and i think that's as gooda reason as any. So here they are:

The Sacrifice - Lisa Gerard

One day like this - Elbow

Vladimir's Blues - Max Richter

Oops sorry how could i nearly forget this little masterpiece by the brilliant Hans Zimmer....

You're So Cool (as used in the True Romance soundtrack)

So these aren't my only favourite songs but songs or albums that meant something to me at the time. But if you know me you'll know i like lots of songs and can't really call any one song my favourite. I have lots. So tell me your Thursday Three...

Ange x

Tweet, though your heart is aching

Monday, 4 October 2010

N ow you know how much I love Twitter, don't you? Well I've been collecting this blog post and swirling it around in my head for quite a while now but thought it was about time it came out.

To me the whole point of Twitter is to connect with people you otherwise most certainly definitely would not have connected with had it not been for Twitter. You can gain valuable information about things that you never even thought you were interested in until you read it via a link posted on Twitter. Friends are made and borders mean nothing. You can post anything you want such as shamelessly plugging your blog posts, telling everyone how much you love a song and even through the power of FourSquare and other such location apps, you can tell everyone where you are at an exact time so that they can one-stalk you, two-come and meet up with you or three-ignore you, and you know what? that's all fine to me. There are no limits to what you can or can't say on Twitter. Although I'd never be rude to someone mind. In saying that some people have no problem with being down right rude back to you or to other people and quite frankly there's just no need. For example... people seem to have a hang up about losing followers, they criticise and even mention the person by Twitter ID when they  unfollow them. That is just rude. It just means (wait for this revelation!!!) that to them you are no longer interesting - get over yourself please. People are free to follow or unfollow who they want. Simple. Check yourself before you wreck yourself. (Funny eh, someone tweeted that once and I thought it was good!).

I've never ever been a subscriber to thought that you HAD to follow people back if they follow you! I mean really do you? Nope! Sherlock. I'm under no illusion and know that at least a third of my followers are businesses, or bots, or brands trying to sell me something. And that's fine if they find what i tweet about interesting (or not because there's no-one actually there, or is there?!). It's like I get that I follow Lance Armstrong and Russell Brand and Steven Fry and they probably ain't ever gonna @ reply me but I like following them because I'm interested in what they're doing in their lives. Newsflash... they're mostly like you an me except they have become 'famous'. I like following some brands too (only some mind) because sometimes they aren't all about posting shite every hour.

About 2 months ago i started following a girl. I followed her because I saw her name on a tweet from someone i already follow about buying furniture from Homebase. Pretty mundane you might think but I offered some info that Homebase was basically Argos furniture and we have got some and it's stood the test of time. A wee snippet of boring info but the girl found it useful and helpful and thanked me. We tweeted back and forth and then she tweeted one day that she felt she had nothing interesting to say that any one would want to listen to. I got straight back onto her and said tweet whatever and whenever you like. There are no rules and don't let anyone tell you otherwise. If she wanted to tweet about her dinner - that's fine, if she wants to tweet about being the greatest at something - that too is fine.  And this is something I strongly believe. There are no Twitter Police who can tell people what they can and cannot say on a public place such as Twitter. She said she felt sometimes she didn't want to tweet and that too is fine. I just wanted to make sure that she didn't in some way feel like she couldn't tweet about something because she felt 'it wasn't interesting' to some people. I tweet about all sorts and to some it may be interesting and a great source of amusement whilst to others it may be the most boring thing ever - WHO CARES! It's all about the communication, the sharing, the banter, the joy when someone has a great achievement, the sadness if their day isn't going well. It's all about a wonderful Community. At least that's what I hope it still is...

In all honesty I think there are times when people can't deal with you if you might be having an off day. They can only deal in the happy happy clappy fun times but I'm afraid in real life there are bad days just as there are many good days and so people may want to say they're feeling rubbish or how shit is the weather or just that they don't feel too well. Someone else on Twitter told me that they were feeling a bit down after something quite unexpected happened to them relating to their job. I would have been floored by their news if it had happened to me. But what the person said at the time was that "people don't want to hear about my bad luck so I've stayed off Twitter". Why should said person have had to feel like that? I'd have liked to have helped them at that point when they might've needed it. Granted some people may not want to share details but heck if they put out a call saying they were feeling a bit rubbish then I'd like to think they wouldn't be met with blankness and no @ replies because everything's meant to be happy all the time in Twitterland!

I suppose what I'm trying to say through all my waffling is that we shouldn't berate people for what they tweet about. A Tweeter should never stop what they tweet about for fear of being shunned or ignored. If I want to say I'm having a bad day I will, if i want to telly you I'm drying my hair i will, heck I don't moan when all I read in my timeline is another goddamn tweet about hangovers or SM stats or people who would argue black is white that in no way shape or form are they social media experts or gurus when that is what they are... Embrace it guys...  :o)

Tweet though your heart is aching
Tweet even though it's breaking
When there are clouds in the sky, you'll get by
If you tweet through your fear and sorrow
Tweet and maybe tomorrow
You'll see the sun come shining through for you

Play nice now people.

Ange x

Thursday Three.. pt1

Thursday, 30 September 2010

Three people I find inspirational and why.

Number One
Lance Armstrong

If you know me well you'll know that Lance is my hero. I've read his books. I've worn the famous yellow LiveStrong wristband for nigh on 6 years and I cried when he won his final Tour De France. I yelped when he made a comeback, I was mildly disappointed when he got with Sheryl Crow and so very happy when they split up and yes i've heard all the rumours about the EPO and stuff like that but I can't help think that through his fight against with the LiveStrong foundation he has brought light to many people who may be going through very dark days.
I can't tell you how utterly broken I was when I set off on a rainy afternoon in August 2009 to try to catch a glimpse of him cycling around Glasgow/Paisley. I missed him by a half hour. Gutted. One day though, my time will come. I may meet him. Although they say you should never meet your heros...(heroes?)

Number two
Mark Beaumont

56/365: 30april2010 - The Beaumont

Well he did cycle around the world one his own then down the Americas. What's not inspirational about that. Actually, I went along to a talk by him at the Albert Hall in Stirling in April. I took my friend Linda and some other people from work were there too. Listening to a first hand account of these two incredible journeys he took brought a tear to my eye at points. It brought back feelings of my own incredible journey i had taken the year before (my trek). He spoke about people asking him "what next?" when he had just returned and how it was too soon for those thoughts and how they didn't realise what it took out of you. Now granted, my 2 and a bit weeks away was nothing compared to his year or two away galavanting around the World but adventures can be big or small, they're all the effort you want to put into them and they stir up feelings and emotions and drive and all the determination you can muster and he has most of that list. Inspiring.

Number three
Ryan Higgins

Yes that's right, my four year old beloved nephew. He's an inspiration in the way he can make a room light up not only from his bright red hair but just by being in it. He has a fabulous wit and sense of humour. A budding drummer (this is his new obsession) and sometime guitarist. He has a shy side to him. He doesn't like attention being on him and prefers to join in at his own pace. He loves his baby brother Connor so much and I fill with pride when i see him cuddle and play with him. He has a side to him that can make his Granda (my Dad) mad but within a few minutes they're best buddies again. Nearly everyone in the village talks to him, he's one first name terms with our local shopkeeper Archie. The fishman gives him cake on a Wednesday. The ladies in the chemist love when he goes shopping with my mum and at the nursery i think he's quite a character with Mrs Love and Mrs Tierney regaling stories of him playing football and running about all over the place. You ask him about it though and he won't tell you a thing. You should all get to know him one day. In fact you probably will. you know me, you know him, we come as a package.

Ange x

Stuck... like a wellie in muck

Wednesday, 29 September 2010

Lately I've been at a loss as to what to blog about as well you see my life is really work, home, work, spin, work, gym, Tuesday night graphics class, work, spin... well you get the picture.  There is really nothing much going on so I put a call out on Twitter to see if anyone could inspire a new blog post topic or something - anything!  Only one reply came in from @Robgreen78  He suggested top 5 favourite sunsets where i was when i took them; most rock n roll thing I've ever done and what was i doing this time 5 years ago.  Well, one - i don't like to think back in time. I was probably doing what I'm doing now except there was no blog or Twitter; two - I'm too much of a goodie two shoes to do anything even remotely rock n roll (well in the grand scheme of things) and three - my sunsets are mostly seen from my back door or bedroom window.  So I thanked him for the topics and decided I'd do a Thursday Three post! and try to keep it up every week.  You may remember i did a Friday Five post a few weeks ago but as usual I never kept that up. But Thursday Three will hopefully be kept going. Less pressure than a Friday Five.

So here's the deal.  I'll list below some topics for Thursday Three posts and you can all join in if you wish. If not I know I'll be here each Thursday with a new post. And hopefully more often in between.

Thursday 30th September - Three people you find inspirational (famous or not).
Thursday 7th October - Three songs that have personal meanings to you
Thursday 14th October - Three ideal days/nights out
Thursday 21st October - Three things you want to do before the end of 2010

OK i think that's enough to be going on with.  I hope you will all join me in this fun little blogging task.

check back tomorrow for my first Thursday Three.

Ange x

Phase 77 - Designs on Life

Wednesday, 22 September 2010

I go through phases in life.  With everything; music, hobbies, routines everything.  An example of this behaviour is music.  If I buy a CD (rare occurrence these days) I tend to play it every day for months and then not for ages, anyone else do that?  Anyway something that i've always had an interest in is art, design, architecture, buildings, great photos and all that gubbins.  I even still have some drawings from when I was an imaginative and creative 8 year old designing the interiors of caravans.  Yes caravans!  I used to love drawing where i'd put the tables and sofas and built in shelving units and stuff...

For a few years i've been wanting to learn new things.  Perhaps even do a degree which I could maybe do at work but to be honest there isn't really a subject that is taught at my University that interests me a great deal.  Apart from where I work (of course!) and I couldn't do that because heck I produce all the exam papers, I log essays and i don't think it would be allowed.  There's Business Management and all that but... blah nah not for me. No my interests still lay (although they've been dormant for a hundred years) but they still lay in So i made a  decision.

I got myself an ILA account from the Scottish Government and booked myself onto an Intro to Graphic Design course at Glasgow Metropolitan College.  Woopee!!  I go on Tuesday evenings and have just had my third week.  The first week I was a bit nervous as there was so much to take in and i thought oh no i'm never gonna have enough ideas for this but three weeks in and i'm finding my creative mojo.  Don't get me wrong this is just an intro course and it's probably missing out a lot of things but we are bumbling along and were set the brief of designing a poster for an fictional exhibition called Adventures in Typography. Having read some really brilliant documents that Mr Seamus Murphy off of Twitter sent me (thank you!!) I was ready for this brief.

I done three quick sketches of my layout and where i thought things should be and set about creating it on Adobe Illustrator on a shiny new iMac (a fantastic piece of software and an excellent bit of kit).  My first attempt I wasn't happy with. The tutor has shown us a few tools to use in Illustrator and I tried to work these into my work. He came around and i wasn't happy with it.  His comments were "restrained" and I knew it was.  It was also a description of me that night.  It was good but i need to have more fun with it he said.  And so that's what i did.  I set about with this idea in  my head and got it down before i forgot.  I was inspired in a way by my funky coloured scarf i had on that night ad my purple Converse.  The class ended and i couldn't wait to come back the next week to get it finished.

As I headed to class last night I was eager to finish my design and maybe even start a third one then decide which one I'd submit. I added more detail and completed my poster. This time when he came around his words were "excellent", "you've got the idea of what the brief should be and where it's going", "gold star".  I was chuffed.  I explained what my ideas were and how i wanted to interpret them and he said it was spot on. FTW!!!

Next week we get to print off our designs and have a critique session by the whole class. Can't wait for that. I'll show it off, see what you think.
I'm loving this phase of my life. I don't know where it will lead but i think i'll have some fun while I'm doing it.

Ange x

Holding Page

Thursday, 16 September 2010

I really should blog more but can't seem to find the time nor the motivation nor a topic to blog about.  Yes there are a few but would it be too boring.  I dunno.  This is a quick holding page until i figure out what i'm gonna say. Anyone else have this trouble?  hit me with your solutions, stories, tips, tricks in a comment.

In the meantime here's some nice pictures I like...

Ange x

Stirling Bridge

It's natural to be afraid
It's Natural To Be Afraid


Connor is one
Connor is One


Do Fun Stuff!! - Charity album launch

Monday, 30 August 2010

I don't ask much of my readers except to read (and perhaps comment) but today i'm asking you to read this special post carefully and spread the word.

This post is not about me.  This post is about a little guy called LB who features in one of my favourite blogs ever, Pacing the Panic Room.  LB was diagnosed with a condition called SMS (Smith Magenis Syndrome), yes I'd never heard of it either.  LB's mum, Cole and her husband Ryan have put together a cool album called Do Fun Stuff - A Kids Record for Parents (see below).  It's available to buy NOW on iTunes and 100% of the proceeds from the sales of this album goes to a grant fund Ryan established with PRISMS.  So what is SMS?  Please read more on the PRISMS link or here or go to the wonderful blog that is Pacing the Panic Room and read what this is all about.  I think you will fall in love with the blog like i did just over a year ago.  I recommend you begin with THIS POST cos that is adorable LB... followed by THIS POST with all of the important information you will need.

Or you could click on the fun guy below to here songs from this unique album and indeed to purchase the album.  There's also and option to click below to donate to the fund.  You can also grab the code for the cool guy below by clicking on a link too.  It's easy peasy.  You know you want this guy on your blog.

Ryan who writes the Pacing the Panic Room blog can be found on Twitter under @ThePanicRoom please help spread the word and use the hashtag #dofunstuff  Lots of people will be!

Ryan and all of the 'Rainmakers' as he called us tweetbombed The Ellen Show in the USA so that perhaps she could highlight this cause or even mention the album.  So far it never worked but there is hope that on launch day today (Monday 30th August) that she or someone who knows her will listen.  If you happen to know her please mention this!!  Thanks!

Thanks a million everyone.  I know Ryan, Cole, LB and Tessa would thank you too.
Ange x

Marshmallows, Bonfires, Friends... and a Vango Tent

Friday, 27 August 2010

Last Saturday was to be the first night I'd spend in a tent since I left Namche Bazaar high in the Himalayas over a year ago.  Petesy had very kindly loaned me a Vango Force10 Nitro 200 for the occasion.  Find out more about it here.  Despite my questioning i was assured that it would not be coffin-like and that although small i would fit in it.  I hoped so...

Mark and Fiona had kindly invited us over to theirs.  I set off at about 5.30pm from Stirling and drove to Glasgow to pick up Ross and his lovely better half Rosie.  I managed to find his place fine and arrived earlier than i thought i would.  I'd like to point out that I left Stirling with sunshine and hitting Glasgow there were some clouds.  We packed their stuff in the boot of my car and headed out of Glasgow after a few detours.  Ross' navigation skills were great!  The sky was getting heavier and the blue started to make way for blanket greyness then heavy rain showers.  We headed down the M77 and I took the wrong early cut off to where we were supposed to be going so another detour and we eventually arrived at Mark and Fiona's about 10 minutes after 7.  The rain had followed us all the way.  (Google maps on iPhone said 22 minutes and 9 miles, more like 32 minutes and 15 miles).

Once inside we were greeted by Rex, the dog.  He was full of energy but not as scary as i thought.  After a little while we decided to put the tents up before it got too dark so supplies were gathered and we made our way to the make-shift campsite that Mark and Neil (well probably Neil mostly) had constructed earlier in the day.  Nestled underneath a few trees were two tents already and close-by was an awesome square fire pit with a huge pile of twigs and kindling for later on.

Now me being me i like to look at instructions get my bearings and then start on something (it's the same when i build flat pack book shelves from Ikea!).  But Mark very kindly waded in and before I knew it the Vango tent was laid out in my prime position, somewhere between Ross and Rosie's tent and a tree.  I had a quick shifty at the instructions which were handily on the inside of the tent bag.  Got my bearings and we started to feed the poles through the sleeve.  Pretty easy really as they too were colour coordinated, black and silver, to match little patches on the sleeves.  Now for those who are into camping you might not think much of these little details but to me who has never put up a tent before they were very useful.  Once the poles were in it was time to push them up and into place to erect the tent.  Next it was onto the tent pegs.  Quite a straightforward affair although the pegs looked like they had never been used.  I was scared in case they got bent!  I put them in the holes and after debate i decided it was quite windy and that i would peg down the guy lines too.  I did feel a sense of guilt though as I swear these brightly colour orange lines hadn't been pulled out before?  Have the Petesy?  Anyway it was starting to rain and the wind was picking up but my home for the night was out the bag and in place in about 10 minutes.  Easy peasy.  I had a peek inside and hey, this was a roomy tent.  A huge porch for my 100L North Face kit bag and my rucksack (yes i was camping for 1 night and i took both bags...).  Anyway they fitted in the porch perfectly with room to spare for a pair of boots and a stove - if i had one.  Inside the tent I unpacked my Thermarest mat and laid it on the diagonal.  Somewhere in the setting up of the tent the back of the inner wasn't up right or tight but it was too windy to try fixing it and there was plenty of room so i left it as it was.  I sat for a minute and felt at home.  It was cosy and there was no flapping noisy material, quite tight really.

I got out and helped Ross and Rosie with their tent then we headed inside for some tasty barbecue food.  Yes we ate it in the living room, the rain had come on heavy now.  Mark and Neil had cooked some burgers, sausages and Fiona had laid on a spread fit for kings.  Kings who like barbecue food.  More than enough to go around.  There was music, chatter, laughs and then the time had come for the bonfire.

Thinking on it I've not been to an outside bonfire for aaaages. We settled ourselves in around the fire and it was cosy. There was a wind blowing but when that close to the fire you didn't really feel it. A few extra inches closer made all the difference. There was chat and music all the while the constant buzz of the motorway just over the field. But it wasn't intrusive. Time was getting on and something was needed... Mars Bar cake!! I'd made some and brought it, along with some other sweeties. The box was passed around and everyone liked it. Pretty simple to make too. Then out came the marshmallows and Rosie showed us the double skin technique - you heat the mallow til the outer skin crisps, carefully peel it off and then heat the gooey layer until crisp again, peel that off and then heat the final part. It was tasty but i was rubbish so i just stuck mine in on the end of a branch freshly cut from a nearby tree by Neil. The sky was clear, the moon was out but it was not a full one, still lit up the night sky though. Time went on and before long it was a little after 3am and time for me to head to my little home for the night.

I headed to my wee house and got into my Icebreaker thermal tights, opened up my PHD Minim 500 sleeping and got settled.  Unfortunately I managed to perch myself on an ever so slight slope so i felt like i would slide off the mat.  My feet were freezing but luckily i still have some hand warmer sachets in the big yellow kit bag from my trek to Nepal.  First things first.  I'd forgotten the Minim 500 sleeping bag only had a half zip (I'd got it in one of PHD's sales).  Once I got over that fact i maneuvered myself inside it and got comfy on the mat.  I had my head torch, iPhone and glasses inside and there was room.  I was cosy inside my tent.  There was plenty of room for two, i had my rucksack inside the inner with me and the kit bag in the porch. The buzz of the traffic could still be heard but not loudly, the wind got up but again i felt secure inside.  I'm not sure how windy it was, probably not as windy as if I was up top on a hill somewhere but windy enough all the same.  I think i finally fell asleep about 4am after i sorted the draft that was coming in.  Turns out I also forgot i had a pull cord on the sleeping bag hood but once i realised i pulled it tight and was curled up in a cocoon inside.  Cosy, toasty.

A couple of times I woke briefly to turn over but other than that i got a decent nights sleep.  My feet did feel chilly at points but that's because they were hanging off the end of the mat.  I woke feeling comfortable, not sweaty like I was inside my beloved Rab Atlas 1000 bag.  But it was too big and heavy and had to be sold (reluctantly).  I'm not sure how this sleeping bag would fare in worse weather.  I'm not that knowledgeable on the ratings on bags and downfill but i think I've got a pretty decent one.  Incidentally there's a good PHD factory visit story over on PTC's blog.  I'd set my watch alarm for 8.45 (I didn't want to be last up!).  I didn't realise it was daylight outside as i was still inside the sleeping bag but once i got out of it the tent was letting in enough light.  It wasn't dark at all (the outer is green and the inner orange).  I sent a tweet out with my view and got one back from Mark to say that breakfast was served but no rush.

 I sorted myself and headed inside for a nice cup of tea, or two.  I wasn't last up as it goes.  A wee while later the other campers came inside and we were fed like kings again, tea, coffee, bacon, eggs, rolls, cereals, fruit, yogurt, juice.  Yum, my usual start to a Sunday morning.  Once we were suitably fed and watered we headed out to pack up the tents and gather the stuff from the night before.  My tent was down in a few minutes although at one point I thought I'd lost a peg in the tufty grass.  I was playing out the conversation I'd have but luckily they are all there.  I rolled and packed the tent into the bag, a tight squeeze, and packed it into my kit bag.  Good effort Ange.

We headed back to the house and before long we were headed home after a thoroughly enjoyable night camping.  Driving around another detour off the motorway which took us back to where we came from we eventually got back to Ross and Rosie's house in a much more respectable time.  We said our goodbyes and i headed on my way.  I got caught in traffic from the the SkyRide which was taking place around Glasgow Green and then there was the traffic and crowds heading into Parkhead but i arrived home happy I'd survived my first nights camping in a ling while.

Huge thanks to Mark and Fiona for inviting us, your hospitality and company was great!  It was great to meet everyone else there too.  Thanks Neil for keeping the fire burning and thanks to Ross and Rosie for being my car companions.  Hope my navigation improves next time.  Thanks also to Petesy for the tent loan.  It was ace, this'll be mine! :o)

A good night out with friends.  Magic.

Ange x            

#themeet140Glasgow II - a journey continues

Monday, 23 August 2010

Thursday I got up after the previous nights bike ride and was tired.  Tired beyond belief and my scratchy throat had turned into a barking cough along with runny nose and those heavy eyes you get when you have a cold.  Lucky then that I had got my bag of stuff for Thursday nights #themeet140 at the Lansdowne Bar in Glasgow sorted on Tuesday night.

I set off after work and drove along the motorway in eagerness about seeing old familiar faces and also excitement about meeting new 'familiar' faces.  Familiar in the way that via Twitter you 'meet' people online and seem to connect but the real test is real life meetings and so far i haven't been disappointed.  Tonight was the second #themeet140 Glasgow hosted by Mark ( @markofrespect ) and Allan ( @allanbarr ) and if that last one was was anything to go by I would enjoy it very much.  I have to admit, there were over 100 people who RSVP'd YES to the Twtvite and this made me slightly nervous about going.  I did wonder if it would be too big, would you get a chance to meet new people?

I arrived earlier than i thought and wandered into the Lansdowne Bar about 6.25pm.  There was a small gathering of folk inside already and the first one i met was Ali McGill ( @ali_mcgill ).  I was delighted to meet him as we've been tweeting back and forth for a little while now and he's a good guy.  I wandered through and met a few familiar faces and it started to get busy.  Then another person whom I've wanted to meet for a long time came in.  The wonderful Brian ( @BriTimeAssist ).  He's been someone who I instantly warmed to over Twitter.  Isn't it strange when you just get these connections?  Personally I love it.  There was a proper chat with lovely @AllanBarr  a bit of a gossip with ladies @JulieBee and @LadyMiller (when are you changing that picture?) a sit down with the now familiar Ross ( @Thirdsectorlab) and a chance to meet Rosie.  A good catch up with Nicola ( @LilacSwizzle ). A chat about the pictures I post with @FissionCreative.  A chat with @GlasgowOsteo about those initial hellos - are they awkward?  A great chat with Elizabeth ( @Holistic_tweet ) about everything from IT bands to college to t-shirts and grey suits!!  and then there was @GeeeBeee - who I've been tweeting for ages, it was only by chance that he happened to pop into the Lansdowne.  Great to finally meet him!  Plus loads more new meetings (really sorry not to mention everyone!!)...

Faces appeared that I recognised from avatars and faces I didn't (I didn't see that Dave @social_penguin  though!...).  And you know what, once upon a time I would NOT have been comfortable in this situation.  I mean me walking into a bar on my own in a city that is not mine.  Talking to people I've only met in real life once or twice (others I've met lots).  Then meeting new people that perhaps I've only just started to tweet with.  A few months ago this was not something I'd have been comfortable with at all.  But I think Twitter is a conduit that allows us to connect with people no matter who they are.  As someone who has no real connection with social media other than being a huge fan of Twitter and blogging and the like then I think it's fantastic.  I've connected with the most unlikeliest of folks.  I've mentioned all of this before in a previous post here.

There were people I wanted to meet but unfortunately never got around to *sad face* and there were brief and fleeting hello and goodbyes with folk I wanted to have a proper real life chat with but didn't... (@Pavedwithgold1)  Judging by the growing popularity in #themeet140 then I'm sure there's plenty of opportunities for these chats.  I for one am looking forward to them all.  So if we didn't meet then I'm really sorry and let's sort that out and if we did meet then I was very pleased to meet you *happy face*.

I'm going to give a special mention to @StuGlen as we've met twice but never get the chance for a proper chat.  Stuart, definitely at the next one!  You can find more blogs and takes on the night here by Allan Barr

Overall it was another good night that allowed me the chance to meet more good people.  It also allows us to communicate in more than 140 characters!  Although I do need something to introduce myself as?  I mean I'm no guru, I'm not a marketer nor do i work in social media, I don't have my own business (yet!!) and I'm not really great at bigging myself up.  So if you've got any suggestions drop them in a comment below :-)

Thanks again to Mark and Allan for organising.  Oh and also to Chris Hall for the inception of it all. Good stuff guys!
Ange x

I have no photos (and we all know i like to take a photo) but you can find some here.

Chasing the Sunset

Sunday, 22 August 2010

The week started off ok but with me having a bit of a scratchy throat.  I never bothered as i'm not one for getting ill really.  I needed a tent for a weekend camping expedition (to someone's back garden - more in another post) and there was only one person i knew who may be able to help.  After much deliberation i finally plucked up the courage to ask PTC for a loan of a tent to which her replied "Come on get one, and bring your bike".

Wednesday was the night and a fine night it was too.  I set off from work early again along the usual route but no sooner had i left work when i met a diversion and (horror of horrors) lots of police and a white tent in the middle of the road just at McDonalds drive-thru in Stirling.  This didn't look good.  I later discovered a man had been knocked down and killed by a lorry not 15 minutes before i got there.  Shame.  Makes you realise how short life is...

Anyway i made my was to meet up point and i was surprisingly early but Phil wasn't far behind me.  We got the bikes ready and then I went to collect a tent.  They decided i should take the Vango F10 Nitro 200.  I'd heard about this one before - hhmmm!!  I was assured it was would be fine and that although small it was in no way coffin-like.  In front of my eyes in the gear emporium was all manner of things.  But I was more distracted by the machines and various equipment and tools that lined shelves on the walls.  In so many ways it reminded of my Pappy's hut in Law.  Was there a lathe in there PTC?  Anyway after a bit of chatter we were soon on our way.

Headed the usual route with a few secret diversions thrown in before we headed up the hill.  The first bit of road is always good but tiring at the same time.  My legs were ok but by Wednesday my sore throat had gotten worse and a cough was developing.  We made a leisurely pace up the hill but the evening was nice.  The sun was still out, the rain that had threatened earlier in the day never appeared and i seem to get lucky when i go on this bike ride.  I took a few pics of the view as i never tire of it.  After pushing the bikes we got up to a gate on a steep section and there was more chat.  The custom is me getting grilled about various things!  A guy came pedalling up behind us.  It looked he hadn't stopped pedalling from the bottom all the way up which is some feat.  However he stopped and chatted for a wee while.

After about 10, well maybe 15 minutes (this was a relaxed mtb ride) we set off again up more gravelly section but we were on the bikes again.  I of course was lagging behind but going at my steady pace got me up to the guys at the next gate.  Then it was downhill.  Round the corner and across a grassy section, which was also boggy and i got covered.  Although it only seemed to cover my left shoe.  The muck was all over my bike.  I thought to myself that i'd keep this muck seeing as EVERYONE seems to slag me off about how clean it is, hehe.  We were into the forest section now and I was pretty good i have to say.  Hardly any stopping.  But by now you could see a lovely pinky orange colour through the trees and I knew we had to get out of the woods to see this magnificent sunset go down.  I remember thinking i always go on about chasing sunsets (much like people chase Twisters) but i was litterally pedalling and chasing a sunset that night.  If only you could have seen to face i was making, gritted teeth and a smile.  It was great.  We made it out just in time and although not it's best lightshow it was still awesome...

Next was the grassy track section (Would you guys say this was single-track?).  Anyway it was the last big downhill push.  "Are we stopping or going to the bottom?"  "To the bottom" i said (brave!).  And we did.  Only one stop in the middle after a wee tricksy drop bit.  It was quite hairy at times but I done well.  I think I'm getting my MTB mojo one bit at a time.  And i like it.  Once we were at the gate at Overtoun House we turned left and flew down the road and into the BP garage.

Tea, coffee, custard slices (not for me!) and chat.  Was a great nights biking.  I'd forgotten my lights... OK I haven't got lights yet so i was directed to the middle whilst i got blinded from behind by Phil's lights that looked as strong as car lights.  No matter, I always feel looked after when out with these people.  I drove home and decided to go over the Erskine Bridge for the first time since the back roads would be quite dark now.  I was home in an hour happy, muddy and thoroughly tired.  Good job.

Thank you again for another good night on the bikes.

Ange xx

More on the tent in a later post, i'll link to later on.