Sunday, 20 July 2008

Offshore Lung Test...cough cough splutter splutter!

Turn the volume up as the sound isn't brilliant. An excellent set-up!

Friday, 18 July 2008

UK Swap: Week 6 Questions

The topic is music this week:

Of all the bands/artists in your cd/record collection, which one do you own the most albums by?
That's a tie between Johnny Cash, the Chemical Brothers and Abba - how's that for an ecletic mix. If it hadn't been for my ex being a pain in the butt then the Pogues would've been in there too. He lifted the whole collection when he moved out but I figured they were cheap enough to replace so didn't panic. Still a pain though!

What was the last song you listened to?
The last album I consciously played was the Sound of Music soundtrack. I was having a tacky musicals day. That was preceeded by Evita and Cabaret :-)

What’s your favorite local band?
Don't really have one as such as not that involved in the local music scene. There used to be a band doing the rounds in Aberdeen when I first got here 17 years ago that were an institution - Bunion. Same banter every single time they played. Ah - the Malt Mill!

What’s the worst CD/record/etc. you’ve ever bought?
My Dad bought Joe Dolce "Shaddapa you face" - does that count!? I have taste and style therefore have nothing dodgy in my collection...

What was the first single/album you ever bought?
First single was Dave Stewart and Barbara Gaskin singing a cover version of "It's my party and I'll cry if I want to". Really can't remember the first album but I'm old enough for it to have been vinyl if that's any help!

UK Swap: Week 5 Questions

Choose one - don't think just choose...
1. Stop or go? Go
2. Going out or Staying in? Staying in
3. Small town or big city? Small town
4. Happy or sad? Happy
5. Straights or Circulars? Circulars
6. Red or Blue? Red
7. Seaside or countryside? Seaside
8. Fish or chips? Fish
9. Surprises or plans? Surprises
10. Wine or beer? Wine
11. Sweaters or cardigans? Cardis
12. Pizza or Pasta? Pizza
13. Chopsticks or fork? Fork
14. Early Bird or Night Owl? Night Owl
15. Knitting or crochet? Knitting
16. Hot or cold? Hot

I survived my survival!

Today I had to do something I really, really hate just so I can keep on working! Here's the video for it...

This time round it was only the one day refresher I had to do since I did the full 3 day course 4 years ago. It's amazing how quickly those 4 years come round again. Today was go number 2 at the refresher since I took a panic attack a couple of weeks ago while I was doing the rebreather (Emeergency Rebreather System to give it its full title) and didn't even make it as far as the simulator! That really wasn't helped by having a stinking cold so my lung capacity wasn't at it's best.

The divers were very patient with me today and got me through it (plus some pulse is way down at 60 at the moment - it usually sits about 78...way hey!). It wasn't pleasant
but at least that's it done now so I'm safe for another 4 years. Just gives a better range of choices until I get on with the next stage of my life.

Thank fuck it's over!!!

Wednesday, 16 July 2008

I've been home...and watched my Pa get married!

Saturday July 12, 2008 St Magnus Cathedral, Orkney

My Dad, Ian, and my new step-Mum, Caroline (though I'm not allowed to call her that for reasons that are ours - mainly the lack of age difference!). My brother, Derek, was Best Man. My peedie brother, David, was Page Boy. I got to be Chief Bridesmaid (free frock...yay :-)) and the 2 little bridesmaids were Erin and Charley.

And then we have an integral part of any Orkney wedding...the Bride's Cog

And then I got to spend some time with my honey. He looked absolutely gorgeous and made a rather lovely speech. What a star! It was noted that he is well integrated into the family...

And here we have a couple of the speeches:

My DB and the toast to the bridesmaids

Ladies and gentlemen, Rev Max Fargus, Mr Heddle, and Wife.

I stand here today as one of the more surprised guests at the party.

My girlfriend, Maureen, is the chief bridesmaid and stepdaughter of the bride.

When I was invited to come along I thought I was coming for free dinner and a damn good ceilidh. Orkney weddings celebrations enjoy mythical status for those of us “from Sooth”.

That was until Ian phoned me with the interesting opening “Hello Derek, I hear you’re a great public speaker….” He’s a great judge of character obviously… and knew to start with flattery straight away!

And so here I stand to propose a toast to the bridesmaids! All princesses for the day!

They were, I think you’ll agree, particularly pretty and carried out their duties in an exemplary manner.

There are three of them:

Charley, the youngest, is 9 years old. She is artistic, loves the violin, dancing and horse riding. She looked stunning today, and I think she’s sure to break some hearts in the future.

In fact I’m sure I saw young David Heddle standing there earlier with both eyes and his mouth wide open!

Where are you young man? I think you’ll have to watch yourself there!

Erin is next, and she’s 11, and comes from Forres.

She hates worms, her brother, and being on boats, she picks her nose, can’t be quiet, and bites her nails.


She's very artistic, very funny and a quite tomboy. This wedding will be one of the few time she’s been seen her in a dress!

Well what can I say?

I hear she’s going off to star in her own TV series later in the year. She’s always had a theatrical streak and was once an Italian flea in a school play, and a French Camel.

She’s very helpful too, Maureen says that she just couldn’t have got into her outfit today without Erin to lace her up – I’m left speculating now about how she’ll get out of it later on!

Any way, If this is the first time Erin’s worn a dress, I hope it won’t be the last, she looked very pretty today - Another heartbreaker in the making I think you’ll agree.

Maureen Anne Heddle; Chief Bridesmaid, Head Princess for the day and Senior Heartbreaker.

I first met Maureen about five years ago when we worked together.

I thought she was very funny, and I clearly remember noticing what nice eyes she had, especially when she wore green eye shadow.

And then she left, and we didn’t see much that much of each other for a few years.

After a while I found myself unexpectedly single. Then after another while I started looking around again.

I decided that I’d made some bad choices, and this time I was going to find somebody from a country background like myself.

A quiet, country girl that could cook and sew and liked gardening and stuff like that.

And my friends said, “Well, that Maureen Heddle is back on the market, she’s from the country”

I said, “Can she cook?”.

They said, “Oh she’s a trained cook. In fact, there’s not much you can do in hotel she hasn’t tried.

She likes gardening, and although she doesn’t sew much, some of the things she can knit are very, very inventive indeed.

She’s very quiet (in a talkative sort of way), and you are always saying how much you haven’t noticed how nice her nice eyes look, especially with green eye shadow”

So here I am, she’s the bridesmaid and I’m proposing the toast. (Well, you hope you’ll get something with your eggs and ham don’t you?)

Maureen talks a lot about her family! Many of you will not have heard much of me, but believe me, I will have heard about you! The Orkney ones, the Sutherland ones, the Aberdeen ones, the Canadian ones…and both wee brothers!

She talks a lot about her dad, I know that she’s very fond of him and very proud of his success in the construction industry. I know he’s very proud of her successful business in the offshore oil industry too.

She’s fond of Caroline too, I can’t count the number times she said to me “I’m so happy, Caroline is just the most fabulous step-mother I could’ve ever hoped for”

Maureen has really looked forward to this day, she’s taken her duties very seriously and systematically - a wee hint here, a wee prompt there…actually quite a big hint or two here and there as well. I know that Ian and Caroline have appreciated all her efforts.

I think she looks fabulous today, If you look you’ll see what I mean about the eye shadow and the eyes

And so to the toast - Ladies and Gentlemen, They have been so glamorous and so helpful today - Please fill your glasses and drink a toast with me to the Bridesmaids. ”The Bridesmaids!”

And then there's the one my brother Derek did as the response to my Dad. It was a cracker (putting on an Orcadian accent, if you can do one, adds to the speech!)!


Good evening Ladies and Gentlemen

Bride and Groom

Firstly I'd like to thank Derek for his kind words about the bridesmaids.

I take it you all know I'm Ian's son, so I was told anyway, but I don't understand how he still has a full head of hair when my hair has left me at such a young age. Maybe he's wearing a wig, but then again it can't be that because why would he pick a grey wig!

Me and fither have worked together in our business since I left school. Well, work is maybe a bit strong. Actually we sit at our desk looking oot the window speaking about whoever is driving past, or dicussing important issues like "why the North Isles ferries stay tied up to the pier all day". But we do work well together and he's lucky to have me there to keep him right.

You will probably no ken that fither and Caroline had a lot of trouble deciding the seating plan. But fither gave the room layout some serious thought and did what any normal person would do. Make an autocad drawing of it! You see everyone of you has been meticulously dimensioned to the millimetre just like one of his steelwork drawings! So don't start moving around or fither will be away back to the office to change the drawing.

Oh and Caroline watch oot, because when I peering over his shoulder the other day I'm sure I saw another drawing of the honeymoon suite. It did look very impressive but then he was drawing in millimetres!

But seriously I am delighted to best man for me fither. He's always been there for me and I know he will always be there for Caroline. Congratulations to you both.

Just while I've been sitting here the night looking around all the family, friends and work colleagues, all eating and drinking, it's made me a bit emotional. I wondered why and then it dawned on's because I see my inheritance dwindling away.

I hope you have a good night. Thank you.

Sunday, 6 July 2008

TV heaven and hell...

Is there a TV programme you watch religiously?

That would have to be Grand Designs. I love Kevin McCloud with a vengence and would have his babies if I could!!! My favourites are always the designs which are done on a very limited budget and fantastic imagination. Got a real thing for Project Runway (US) and Project Catwalk (UK) as well. I love the campness, creativity and watching the design process in full flow. It's reality TV but something with an end product as the result of a lot of jhard work and talent.

What TV programme(s) do you avoid like the plague?

Big Brother I avoid. I hate the shallow end of the gene pool element and gratuitous fame-seeking for the sake of fame. There is no reward from watching it apart from thinking that you aren't as bad as the folk on it. I'm a great believer in using the off switch/channel change buttons on the remote. If I don't like it then I can always switch it off!

Is there a TV programme that you find works particularly well for knitting along to?

Music shows (Jools, Glasto/TITP coverage, live gigs) are good. Because I do a lot of lace knitting then I tend to listen to stuff rather than watch it.

What was/is your favourite kids TV programme?

So many to pick from. Dangermouse was a classic as was Grange Hill. Crackerjack. Tom and Jerry. Spongebob Squarepants. Ant and Dec on a Saturday morning. Chronicles of Narnia (BBC version was excellent on a Sunday). Any of the 5 minute cartoons you used to get at the end of children's TV before the news each day (on at 5.40pm) were good - Wombles, Barbapapa, Ivor the Engine, Ludwig, Paddington (he should not be advertising Marmite - that's just plain wrong!), the Clangers...I was a child of the 70's!

Thursday, 3 July 2008

Play the Flickr game...

How it's played:

a. Type your answer to each of the questions below into Flickr Search.
b. Using only the first page, pick an image.
c. Copy and paste each of the URLs for the images into fd's mosaic maker.

1. What is your first name? Maureen

2. What is your favorite food? Raspberries - the perfect Scottish raspberry (no other will do) with a sprinkling of sugar and a dollop of cream is just perfection

3. What high school did you go to? Stromness Academy, Orkney - we were made to do Navigation as a subject in 1st year which involved going out in rowing boats and trying to keep hold of oars (in my case!). I was only about 4'6" at the time so the oars were generally longer than me. Never come across anyone else who had to do the same subject!

4. What is your favorite color? Red in its various hues

5. Who is your celebrity crush? Kevin McCloud - the presenter of Grand Designs on Channel 4. He's enthusiastic and comes across as intelligent, funny and self-deprecating. Plus he gets to be involved in lots of cool building projects.

6. Favorite drink? Earl Grey tea - though I am a heathen and have it with milk...shock horror!

7. Dream vacation? Iceland - if Bjork was playing at the time then I'd be in heaven!

8. Favorite dessert? Tiramisu - the perfect pudding when done well - abysmal when done badly. I'd rather make my own where possible but most recipes are for at least 6-8 portions so that's a lot of time eating tiramisu for a few days.

9. What you want to be when you grow up? Loved - and I'm feeling the love loads now. It's taken 40 years to get there but it's much easier to love yourself when you're loved for who you are.

10. What do you love most in life? Being cuddled up with my honey - he's the best thing in the world ever.

11. One Word to describe you. Playful

12. Your flickr name. Made by Mojo

1. Project 365 Day 9: Happy Birthday Maureen, 2. Blue Raspberry, 3. - red -, 4. again let’s do a panning…♫ black crowned night heron from bali♫, 5. We are not worthy!, 6. Sniff, Sip and Settle in all..., 7. A Golden Moment, 8. pick-me-up, 9. hugs are always needed, 10. i love my husband., 11. Bubbles, 12. Rhonda's wedding - Me

Tuesday, 1 July 2008

I've been tagged...!

That's never happened to me before! I didn't think that many folk actually paid that much attention to me. Better not be rude so I'll play the game.

1) What was I doing 10 years ago?:
In 1998 I was leaving further education for the second time (an HND in hotel management the first time round, a BSc in Health Sciences the second time). I was with long-term partner number 2 and about to embark on a fabulous career in research. Didn't quite pan out that way in real life but hey ho!

2) What are 5 things on my to-do list for today?:

What did I do today...?

  • put my car to an auto-electrician to get the windows fixed. I wish my windows were an old-fashioned window winder. Instead it's cost me over £200 to get the wiring fixed just so I can open my window and get car park tickets without having to open the door!

  • fed the cat (important when one is only at the house half the time - there are loads of mice but it's nice to top him up)

  • finished off some work for a portfolio for one of the oil platforms - and handed it in

  • cast on for the Hexacomb Cardi out of the Spring 2008 Interweave Knits

  • booked the ferry home to Orkney for my Dad's wedding next week and booked flights for me and my bloke to go back up to Orkney for the school reunion in Sept (we're all 40 this year!)

3) Snacks I enjoy:

  • chocolate/sweeties

  • tortilla chips and the really synthetic cheesy dip you get in jars out of Lidl's

  • Salad Cream sandwiches

  • summer fruits/dried fruit

  • toast with loads of butter
4)Things I would do if I was a billionaire
  • Give up work (somebody else would need my job much more than me) and buy a wee farm for my honey (not long-term BF no 2 - he's gone - we're onto sweetness no 3...I'm fickle!) so he can grow his heritage strain raspberries (is there any other fruit!) and have an orchard and then I can have my sheep, pigs, ducks and chickens. No goats though - that shows you up as an "incomer" around these parts!

  • buy a peedie traditional cottage in Orkney to use as a holiday home - preferably overlooking the Bay of Skaill

  • travel to the places I haven't made it to yet

  • give enough to my friends and family who need it so that they can be comfy

  • make sure that Women's Aid/Rape Crisis got the real financial help they deserve

5)Places I have lived

  • Orkney
  • Edinburgh
  • Stoke-on-Trent
  • Reading
  • London
  • Aberdeen
  • About to be Laurencekirk (I'm going to be a Sunset Song girl!)
6) Jobs I have had
  • Hospitality trade (waitress/chef)

  • Civil Servant

  • Library Assistant

  • Researcher

  • Health & Well-being Consultant