Reepacheep's Ramblings V.10

Blatherings from someone who is not big nor clever

I have decided that that this year it is time for a new tent.

It is a shame, as I really love my big pink heart-covered tent (aka Big Gay Tent II). I’ve had it for at least 4 years I think. It was bloody easy to find in a field, and served me well in torrential rain and scorching sun and everything that British summertime like to throw in between. Sadly, it’s starting to show wear from being on tour for a while – bits are falling off and it worries me it won’t withstand much more. Unfortunately decent crazy-coloured tents seem to have fallen out of favour with camping companies – especially with Millets whom seemed to be the forerunner for this sort of thing in the past – being in administration or some sort of financial trouble.

I had an amazing Rainbow tent once too (the original Big Gay Tent) but an upsetting bout of mold saw through that one. Don’t get me started on pop up tents. Scott amd I both bought one for Reading 2008 (mine was an awesome cow print design), and although we were smug in our 2 minute tent erecting, the night it rained soon put an end to our smugness. Its now been used as a sortage tent at a couple of festivals, as it’s waterproofing is something to be desired. I wrote a snotty review of it for the Argos website where I bought it, unsurprisingly it never showed up there.

So, after weeks of sifting through tent/camping review websites (I know, my evenings are oh so rock n roll), I finall decided upon a Coleman Phad x2. It looks like this, (or the above if you scrolled down to quickly). I thought it looks suitably weird to find in a field. Plus is exactly the same weight as my last one (I found this out by taking my old tent to work and weighing it on our dog scales).

So, I have asked for this badboy for my birthday. We shall see how it fares soon!

Dinner

Posted by Kim under Noms

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I cooked mushroom risoniotto tonight. It’s kind of like a lazy risotto,  with orzo pasta. It’s very tasty, and quite rich as it contains both balsamic vinegar and creme fraiche. It didn’t take long, the most time was spent cooking the pasta – unbelievably the tiny pasta took 11 minutes to boil!

I don’t know why, but whenever I pass an offlicence, or go through the alcohol section of a supermarket, I like to check for bottles of Jagermeister. Or if I’m passing a shop on the bus, my eyes dart across the visible shelves to check.
I do like the stuff, its one of my tipples of choice, but I have no need to know such information. I don’t drink massive amounts of it regularly. It’s not as if I buy it particularly regularly either (I rely in birthdays or duty free!). Though seems like my mind has other ideas. Like its going to be essential to know where I’ll get my next bottle. I guess its handy information in a partying emergency, but right now there are at least two bottles at home!

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I wish I could play these better.

I have added another page to my site, in the form of The Ultimate Festival List. Hopefully this is a handy resource for anyone that is going to be packing for a musical excursion in the not too distant future.

Have a look. Comment if you wish.

Up yours, Blogger

Posted by Kim under Uncategorized

One thing I do love about WordPress, is that once you get your head around certain aspects, changing things are very very easy. Themes for example. As you can see, I decided to go for a new look, and most of the time was spend looking for the theme than implementing it. I do know rudimentary HTML and the like, but it was always a pain in the bum having to spend hours making sure everything was perfect when I was a Blogger-hosted er, blogger.

I take off my proverbial hat to you, WordPress.

There is one problem though – if things are broken its bloody hard to find out why.

And for my own purposes, testing some shizzle – but I’ll throw in a ridculous dog for your enjoyment:

This text is also for testing purposes, move along now.

Chachouka

Posted by Kim under Noms

I received my River Cottage Veg Everyday! book a few hours after writing the last post much to my joy, and was eager to try out something, as every recipe looks very tasty. I got as far as page 2, and settled on my dinner. This is chachouka. I made this very meal as pictured last night. It was extremely tasty. Basically it is a North African tomato and pepper stew with eggs baked on top. I have a massive weakness for hot smoked paprika, which this contained much to my delight. It took about an hour or so to prepare and cook (the timings the book suggested seemd a bit excessive to soften onion and pepper, but I went along with it), and it was well worth it -along with a bit of french bread it was very filling. My guinea pig mother also approved, which was handy as it was her dinner too.

The only recipe I can find from River Cottage to push you in the right direction seems to be this one which seems odd as I had very different ingredients (no duck eggs and it suggests tinned tomatoes in my version for a start), but you get the idea.

On a similar note, my fleece-lined DMs arrived too, and are really amazingly comfortable. I will get as much wear out of them as I can, until the weather dictates it’s not suitable to wear fluffy-lined shoes.

Nomnomnom

Posted by Kim under Noms

Last weekend I spent the Amazon vouchers I received for Christmas. They partly paid for a pair of fleece-lined Dr Martens which I am incredibly excited about, and hope the weather stays chilly enough to wear them for a long time. Secondly, I bought the River Cottage: Veg Everyday! Cookbook. I want to try and cook a lot more variety – I really like cooking anyway, I am good at it, but I often lack the imagination (or time) to try things I haven’t done before. I watched the tv series on channel 4 a month or so back, really liked most of the recipies, and so it seemed like the most logical book to buy to kick start my brain. So hopefully I shall open up my repetoire of mad dinner skillzz(tm).

I may even post the results here, if they look good enough :)

I mean no ill with the above title, it’s a Blink 182 song. I try to play it every Christmas eve, like a little tradition. Look it up. It’s nicely offensive.

I sit on the eve of a new year, sat in my tiger Kigu (Crimbo pressie, innit), so thought I’d update briefly on my life. I’ve had a pretty busy month, as Decembers usually are, because that’s when everyone decides to come out of their collective shells and make an excuse to be sociable. I’m not complaining, I very much like being sociable and as one gets older it seems that the opportunity starts to diminish. Work has also kept me on my toes, with many many hours of overtime – emergency sugeries/procedures on a rabbit, a monkey, a bird, and a hamster with a massive testicle to name a few.

Gigwise, December is always a bit slow – bands travel back to their respective homelands and generally leave punters to make their own fun. I went to a double-whammy Bronx gig midway through the month with Dan, Sam, Matt and Sian where we watched (side project) Mariachi El Bronx at Kings College Students Union at the normal time a gig should be, then a few hours later at around midnight we found ourselves in a small bar called the Rhythm Factory in East London to watch the actual Bronx smash our faces in. Quite literally, I was unintentionally punched in the face and left the gig with a cut/fat lip. And a massive grin as I’d had a lot of fun.

Me, my sister and her boyfriend appeared on Never Mind the Buzzcocks. proof, y’all.

Christmas also brings about the traditional Christmas feast with chums (aka #xmasfeast2011). We chose The St Margarets as our food-provider this year, and I thought it was rather nice. I wore a dress – the first time I have worn one out in a social setting that wasnt a wedding. I even managed to wear it again for my work Christmas meal a few weeks later.

My grandmother had a hip operation a few weeks ago, and so is unable to drive up for Christmas day with my grandad, and so mum and I went down to Sussex to visit them to make sure they were alright. My nanny showed me literally the largest bruise I have ever seen, which although impressive must be incredibly painful. I wish her a speedy recovery as she is not the sort to be sat around for long periods of time!

Actual Christmas was the usual – I go to work Christmas day for a few hours to clean and feed everyone, we have breakfast, presents and eventually went to my aunt and uncles for a meal. I’m never that enthused with the day itself, I guess I’m too old, and lack children. Though I do like spending the down time lounging, occasionally venturing out the house to see people, eating copius amounts of cheese and mulling any alcoholic liquid that comes my way.

As for 2012? Who knows. 2011 was alright – I can’t complain to be honest. I’m alive, I had fun, but I dunno, I felt everyone else has something exciting happen to them, whereas I was just… here. I shall have try to do something about that.

I wish everyone a good night tonight, whatever you may be planning and a prosperous new year :) x

Do you see many exotics?

Posted by Kim under work

Recently my working life has been taken over by the fact that my (new-ish) boss had decided that we needed to put our practice onto the radar of more vets in need of a referral service dedicated to exotic pets. You see, when vets go to university to learn about being a vet they are taught the fundamentals of treating cats, dogs, horses and a lot of farm stuff. However, when it comes to strange little animals (birds, reptiles, fish, rabbits – yes, even rabbits! Those really common little furries) they’re pretty much left in the dark, unless they take the extra time and dedication to study them, usually with little to no help from their school.
This is where we come in. We are a first-opinion and referral clinic for exotic species – our case load is about 75-80% exotic species and the rest local cats and dogs due to convenience to them. So we see a lot of cool stuff ranging from the aforementioned to invertebrates, to primates and small zoo animals. If a vet is scared or totally clueless as to how to treat something strange, we’re called.
One of the promotional campaigns we decided upon was to exhibit with a stand at the London Veterinary Show 2011 which is a massive CPD conference purely for vets and veterinary services – 3000 delegates apparently signed up to attend this year, with 300 exhibitors. It’s a pretty big thing.
We have been busy ordering stuff and planning and making things and promoting with the run up to the conference and finally the time came (Wednesday just gone) where Matt and I packed out his car with stuff and drove to Olympia to set up our stand. We worked from 7-10pm to put together Ikea furniture and put up posters to make up our home for the next two days. We drove home that night, exhausted.

Thursday morning I have to be up at 6am, put on smart clothes and meet Matt and his sister (who works in PR at a massive agency that deals with very important things non vet related but she was ideal to have around in terms of how to get and use information from potential referrers) at the surgery to start our adventure.

The premise obviously wasn’t to sell anything – this made it a bit easier on us – but for us to capture the interest of vets that were in need of a place they could send on cases that they didn’t like dealing with, either because the animal or the illness was beyond their confidence level. We offered some advice if they asked, and some neat looking syringe shaped pens with our logo and phone number.

Now, being the sort of person that take a while to warm to new people, having to approach new people and encourage them to consider using us totally put me out of my comfort zone. However, I had a lot of fun! We had a good talking point in terms of the cool animals we see, and tt was interesting to see how miffed some vets are of the sort of work I take for granted every day (“you’ve done surgery on a fish? HOW?” “I can’t stand seeing birds, I’m totally scared of them!” “What on earth did you do to that snail?”). Plus people who we deal with on the phone on a day to day basis (like our laboratory and other local vets) came by to show their support. The stands around us were nice to chat to – we were even given cake by a neighbouring company! It was a brilliant experience.

We had also sponsored two lectures which meant we had to ninja-flyer them just before they started which was a bit of a logistical nightmare as it meant putting leaflets on the seats of a 1000 capacity room that was already full of people who hadn’t moved from the previous talk. The way I leapt through the chairs meant I lost my exhibitor badge somewhere in the throng, luckily it was the end of the last day of the show, so no one cared. I hope we encouraged a least a few vets to consider using us, reconfirmed relationships with existing referrers and all together made us look like a good bunch to work with. It looks like my boss is going to do it again next year too.

I’ll tell you what, standing in a 3mx2m box promoting yourself for 10 hours really takes it out of you. I went to bed before 10 on both nights!