Well I went on a bit last time, didn’t I?

Never mind. I needed somewhere to vent, and it’s not like I do it often.

So let’s keep this one short. This got removed (no idea why, nobody actually bothered telling me at work, it just got ignored) from the Beggars Archive blog, and I thought it was funny. Maybe I was the only person who thought it was funny… anyway. There I was sat watching ‘Countdown’ or whatever it’s called in Australia, and this popped up.

Which amused me mildly. Mind, the following day (which I didn’t post, good job really as that would have been deleted too) I saw this car and had a strange kind of “OH MY GOD MY WORK IS HAUNTING ME” sort of day.


Maybe I’ll just post all work related things on here instead, that way they’ll never ever EVER be deleted. Ever. Lucky you lot.

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Like I said before, I’m removing myself from a lot of online communities. Most are fine, but this last 2-3 days at one place has been like getting blood from a stone.

I initially asked for a namechange, as the name I’d been using was quite googlable, and their site seemed to indicate you could do this – so I figured I’d give it a go, then I could disappear. They responded back fairly quickly, but negatively


Thanks for the message. Unfortunately we no longer offer username changes due to technical restraints.

Okay, fine I think. I’ll re-register using the preferred name. So I do that, and hope that then my old account can be removed. I get a message not long afterwards…

Unfortunately your registration at Digital Spy Forums did not meet our membership requirements and your registration was deleted.

Ooookay. I’m not *that* desperate for an account there. So I ask why they’d done that, as having had a good few years of moderating/admin stuff on forums I’ve a pretty good idea of most backends, and this one jumped out as a bit… well…


Our Terms and Conditions state that a user cannot have more than one account for any reason.

Okay. Fair enough. So they’re IP tracking, as I used a different email address. But I can’t amend my username I don’t want to use any more, and I can’t use the name I’d like to. So I let them know about my dilemma, and wonder what can be done to rectify it.

Hi Jo,

We no longer allow users to re-register because it’s just too disruptive for the community as a whole: people were doing so and then lying about their previous identities which is confusing and unfair for the rest of our members.

Best wishes,
DS Support

Ookay, so now I’m being treated a bit like a troll, when I’m not. Also, assuming that’s what I was going to do is a little unfair. It’s not like I post often on there, but it’s often enough I wanted a different username. The time I’ve spent on this is already a bit too much, I’ve a life, and if I had the time to adopt a different personality then fine, but I probably post on their forums once a week, tops. No big deal to me, anyway. I ask what my options are…

Hi Jo,

Thanks for your message. We are unwilling to make any exceptions in regards to our terms and conditions. We are unable to provide username changes due to technical difficulties (not because we wouldn’t allow them) and we do not allow users to have two accounts.

DS Forum Support

Okay, so that’s it then… may as well just delete my account, which you can do, and have rid of all trace of me there, right? Ah, but not so much… I got the account deleted, but there’s still a trace of me there. Sigh. I’m never going to go away…


Your account has been terminated as requested. While your account remains intact all personal information has been removed from our records in accordance with the Data Protection Act and this process is irreversible. Re-registration is not permitted.

Good good, I don’t want to re-register, it’s WAY too much hassle, and really I’m probably a bit too old for their communities on there (and anyway, surely account removal should mean the account doesn’t remain intact? I can’t be bothered asking them). It made me think though, I mean, back when I did admin on say, our work forums, I was never quite as awkward about name changes as this. It’s glaringly obvious when people register new names (because of the ip address), but it was never a major issue. Sure, Digital Spy is a huge forum, so maybe it’s just extra work for them, but anyway, I’m rid of all that now.

What a palaver. I probably lost an hour or so of my life on that! Still, free of another one…

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One thousand words

There’s so much to write about, I’ll do it in bullet points.

• we made it to Australia three days late. The fear and dread of taking H on a plane for the first time was overrun by the relief we were on a plane and going. Big thanks to Ash and Paul for letting us stay at theirs though, as I don’t know what we’d have done otherwise.
• Australia was hot, hot, hot. Toodyay was the same, except for the areas which were affected by the bush fires of 2009, you’d see the tops of trees looking normal, with the bottoms charred black. There’d be empty spaces where people used to live “there was a house there once” said Shaun. That was sad. Lots of ‘For Sale’ signs out in the bush, people moving away or leaving because they’ve nothing left. We caught up with the in-laws and H was spoilt rotten, and loved it.
• so it was kind of depressing getting back to Gatwick on the 29th December to our cold house (car abandoned by Shaun somewhere in the ‘get to the airport by train’ drama, which we did – with four suitcases, one stroller, one toddler, two shoulder bags and one car seat. People are amazing, they helped us so much, and thank god they did!), though I think we missed the worst of the weather.
• Then it was back to work, after using up all my accrued leave and finishing in mid-November, going back after almost two months off was kind of weird. I felt a bit forgotten – not that I’m one of those “me! me! me!” people who wants attention, mind. I’m sure that’ll change. I’ve changed, so there’s every reason to expect that everything else has too. It’s normal. I’m settled.
• not long after this the old abandoned car started rattling, and I refused to drive it any more. Success! New car bought, and old car sold, we now have one where the screen de-mists in about five minutes (and doesn’t seem to freeze on the inside, bonus), and it’s really quiet and doesn’t rattle when you drive over the bazillion speed bumps on the roads around here. It’s also bigger.
• I have a breadmaker. Inspired by Ash and how easy it all was to do, I asked for one for Christmas, and got one, and oh, how did I live for so long without one? I love the smell of fresh bread in the kitchen, I love that I can make a loaf and it’s ready two hours later, I love that I’m not buying those ‘fresh for a week’ loaves I used to, and just bake what I need. I will get more adventurous soon, but for now this will do.
• Music. I’m finding music again. Kristin Hersh played a ‘Paradoxical Undressing’ show last month, and Alistair had a spare ticket, which he offered me because he’s a kind and good person. I have to admit, I was sort of dreading it, as last time the venue had been huge, the show itself quite a sleepy thing – I lost myself in the music and missed the words. Fortunately the background music was gone, and it was a straightforward Kristin reading – from the book Paradoxical Undressing, and playing a song after each segment. It was great, it was funny (though I didn’t laugh as much as the man to my left hand side – I did start to wonder if I had no sense of humour, or whether he just laughed at anything) and entertaining. I rushed back home but got to say hi to Billy O, and got a copy of ‘Crooked’ which I had no idea was out (shame on me). The Throwing Muses Anthology is coming along nicely, I think. I’m slightly involved, which makes me happy. More music? I like the first two tracks on the new Kurt Vile album – they have those kind of guitar chords I really like. (the rest is okay, the first two tracks really great) I bought ‘Leader Of The Starry Skies’ a tribute to Tim Smith of The Cardiacs. The reason this exists? Well, as the article says “(Bic) Hayes has watched the recent high-profile recovery from a severe stroke of Edwyn Collins, but wryly notes that his circumstances differ: “Edwyn had family around him, and sold a lot of records, so he had money to pay for treatment. Tim’s situation is not like that.

“Tim can’t talk except, on his good days, via a letter board, but when I play him these covers of his songs, he wells up. He loves hearing his music given this new lease of life.”
It’s a damn good tribute too. I don’t like many tribute albums, but this one? Worth every penny. Buy it please. (unless you really don’t like The Cardiacs). There’s more, but I can’t remember right now.
• H. Ohh H. Almost a year and a half old, and she’s quite the little lady now. She’s a good talker (apart from if she’s around others) does lots of quite cute things which make me laugh (not good when you’re trying to tell her what she’s just done is naughty), and is still being regularly (not as much as before) logged over at the blog.
• The online world. I’ve got myself out of so many online communities now. It makes everything less cluttered, there was always too much to keep up with. I have trouble keeping up with everything. Just in case I needed to make even less time for myself I’ve started doing online surveys, but only the kind which make it worth my while. We’ll see how that goes… though having said that, I started another forum over here which is low-key, and pretty quiet. We’ll see how it ticks over. I’m happy for low key and quiet too – it makes everything much more straightforward. Now to give that old Pale Saints site a bit of a spring clean…

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Snow, snow, stupid snow. We’re not in Australia yet. We’re working on it, but when there’s no planes, there’s not a lot you can do. Boo.

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My working year is over, no more work until January 2011, thankyouverymuch accrued maternity leave time.

H’s walking and talking and teething and the rest, which makes for busy times. She’s obsessed with ducks and bubbles. Add to that she pushes anything and everything around the room, highchair included.

So yes, no more work. The year finished in a busy way, setting up digital releases for the new Adele and British Sea Power albums, and doing some of my old job which made for a good last couple of weeks – a different kind of busy, and a good one.

We’re sat watching ‘Something Special’ and it’s a bird episode, and H’s just squealed and pointed – we’re trying to teach her the difference between a parrot (which she’s set to see a lot of soon when we get to Australia) and a duck (which she sees plenty of in the parks near here).

Add to that The Amazing Race is set to film soon, and given the times we’ve flown in the past and they’re filming, surely this time we have to catch them? Which of course will be much easier as it’s another All-Stars season… hehehe.

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By a complete fluke

I seem to have accrued a ton of holiday time from work which has to be taken by the end of the year. So my working year finishes mid-November, until 2011. Cor.

I really couldn’t have worked that better, considering I had no plan to do that at all. So that leaves around two or three weeks left this year, and still only three days a week.

On the days H’s at nursery I fully intend to have some “me” time, if that’s possible. Even if it’s only sleeping (though to be fair she’s doing pretty good at that herself, which makes a happy mummy and happy daddy).

We’re doing Sing & Sign classes now, and she’s already signing ‘duck’ and ‘more’ (and sometimes ‘milk’) which is great – it’s definitely something I’d recommend to other mums with babies around this age.

Anyway, must stop, it appears she’s trying to walk right now and my heart is in my throat. OHGODPLEASELETITHAPPEN.

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The Boss

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I tell you what

time flies, it really does. This week may well be my first full week at work – and by full I mean three days (as we can’t get more days at nursery until the new year, then we can think again). It’s really busy – but stuff gets done. It’s not all bad… it’s just different. It’s a break from childcare, and I mean that in the nicest of ways. Considering my maternity leave ran out mid-August and it’s taken until October to do a full week, I reckon it’s pretty good going – and only one sick day in there too (nursery colds, oh the joys).

I even got out last week, met up with friends in the evening and saw The Darling Buds reform – well, I say The Darling Buds, but it was Andrea and four blokes who weren’t in the band – still, given I gave up around the second album, there were plenty of my favourites (we got ‘If I Said’!!) and I still remembered the words… so while at first I was worried it’d be a bit Darling Buds karaoke, it ended up being fun. Alas, the 100 Club was pretty empty. Apparently there’s a new young band called The Darling Buds, and people keep getting them mixed up. Tsk.

I’m even enjoying music again, not that I hated it, but I’d take music home for the sake of it, rather than because I was liking it – but this year has had some strong releases, and I’m getting back into buying things again too, despite having not a lot of disposable income to hand. Right now Deerhunter’s album ‘Halcyon Digest’ is likely my favourite of the year – it’s got all the elements in it which makes it feel like it’s been in my record collection for the last 20 years, and like I’ve heard the songs a million times, which I haven’t. Anyway, I’m quite liking the liking of music again, although I do like to have a little moan now and then too, otherwise I’d never be happy.

One thing I’m finding difficult to keep up with is the amount of albums which are download-only type things – I got the book version of Kristin Hersh’s new album, and was disappointed when I realised there was no CD included -and that you’ve got to go and download. In normal circumstances I’d probably have the time, but having a toddler who loves nothing more than to shut down your laptop when you’re checking emails/whatever, it’s just not practical! So I’m missing out on that right now… haven’t seen a CD version anywhere yet, but I’m holding on for that…

Somewhere in our sensible heads we decided it’d be good to go to Australia. So we are. All three of us. We’ve bought an extra seat for H, and we’ll take the car seat, but as it gets closer and closer to that time, I can’t help thinking that it’s going to be awful. I mean, she’ll sleep for some of the travel, but the first 10 hour stretch… how on earth do we keep her entertained? Yes, it’s going to be interesting.. good job she’s almost walking… good job we’ve started doing Sing & Sign classes….

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Eleven Months and three weeks

We’re almost at a year now, and rather than a baby we’ve a little toddler starting to appear.

God. Where did the last year go?

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Can I moan?

Well, I guess I can, it’s my blog, after all. See, one thing I’ve found, and I’ve probably been as guilty of it as anyone up until having a baby, is that really annoying thing where something happens, and people automatically assume you can’t go, because you have a baby.

That probably sums it up the best, but I’m finding that instances where I’d have been invited in the past, just aren’t happening any more – now it could well be I’ve become the biggest baby bore going (well, let’s also say, the best part of a year having someone who can’t chat back to you as your main point of conversation can make things a little ga-ga), but when it’s painfully obvious you’re not being invited because people assume you wont be going… oh I dunno.

Having said all this, thinking back, I’ve already done it once myself today. So I’ll get around to putting that right, oh yes. But yes, anyone with friends with kids, don’t assume they can’t go, and even if they can’t, give them the chance to turn you down anyway. It’s much nicer.

(nb, must add to this, that there’s been one person at work who invited me to Pavement, when they played Brixton, which I’ll forever appreciate, as she knew I was a fan – and yes, I got to go too. So while a lot of people do this, those that don’t are definitely not forgotten!)

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