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Hola!!  Como esta??  Como te llama??  Me llama Laura!! 

We don’t need no stiiiiinnkiiiing badges…

No I’m not have a meltdown – I’m going to Cuba.  And in preparation for my epic trip I’m attempting to pick up a few palabras in Spanish.

I’m not feeling hopeful.  In a few weeks of study (CD + spanish lessons at the local college) I have not progressed beyond saying my name, where I’m from and ordering beer…and I suspect that I might need a little more than this in order to get by.

Worryingly I also don’t seem to be able to say anything in Spanish without adopting a comedy ‘hey gringo’ Mexican accent. It’s not intentional – it’s just the way my brain makes spanish words come out of my mouth.  I sound like the Mexican bandit from Blazing Saddles.

So, with less than a  month before I depart, please please please if anyone has any advice on how to get some ‘proper’ Spanish into my thick noggin I’d love to hear it.

Otherwise, I fear that I run the risk of spending two weeks sounding like a racist simpleton with a booze problem.

Written by Lores

April 16, 2011 at 10:44 am

Live below the line…

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I am an avocate of frugal living it’s true.  I am a bargain shopper.  I sniff out ‘deals’ like pigs seeking truffles.  I like to eat healthily and not buy what I term as ‘crap’ from supermarkets (crisps, cereal bars etc).

So far, so smug – I’m sure you’ll agree.

But while I pat myself on the back for being such a canny shopper, the fact is that if I wanted to have a blow out on an expensive resturant meal, or gorge on cakes and sweets I could. I am lucky that I have the means to spend more than I do on food and drink.

However millions of people around the world don’t have that luxury, and face days of hunger, malnourishment and extreme poverty.   Can you imagine what it would be like to face the daily struggle to feed yourself and your family?  To have to make the choice between eating or buying clothes? To try and get by on a little amount of money – say £1 – a day?

Well imagine no more, and take part in Live Below the Line – a new campaign which encourages people around the UK to live off just £1 a day for food and drink for a week, to get a better understanding of the challenges faced by people living in extreme poverty.

In the UK many of us are used to being able to buy what we like, when we like.  In fact we often buy so much, that 8.3 million tonnes of food is thrown away by households every year.

The Live Below the Line challenge (which takes place from 2-6 May 2011) is a great way to highlight not only the daily challenges of  people trapped in extreme poverty, but maybe also just how much we buy but don’t actually need.   You can also use the challenge as an opportunity to raise funds for the fight against extreme poverty.

So sure, I consider myself a frugal shopper, but I don’t know what it’s like to walk a mile in the shoes of someone who has no choice.  I’m going to join the campaign on 2 – 6 May, and I hope many others will join me!

Written by Lores

April 15, 2011 at 11:52 am

How TV ruined your life…

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A while back, when I was a regular(ish) blogger, I blogged about the reasons why I don’t watch much TV.  This is mainly because a) there isn’t that much on that I feel is worth watching and b) the constant streams of unachievable stereotypes and advertising quite frankly insult my intelligence.

However, my interest was piqued recently by news of a new TV programme, hosted by Charlie Brooker, which explores exactly why life doesn’t measure up to the expectations constantly rammed down your throat via the medium of TV and film.

Yes, the irony that ‘How TV ruined your life‘ is still a TV show hasn’t escaped me, but anything with Charlie Brooker is definitely worth watching anyway, and at least on BBC2 I won’t have to watch any adverts either.

Written by Lores

January 25, 2011 at 10:49 am

Has it really been that long?!

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Crikey blimey indeed.  As it really been since August that I put finger to keyboard and poured forth inane drivel from my cluttered brain onto this little corner of the internet?

This will be rectified…

Written by Lores

January 21, 2011 at 1:36 pm

A facebook detox anyone?

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Hold the front page!  British workforce productivity surges as bored office workers all over the UK are forced into actually doing some work.  Sadly, this isn’t the first signal of the end of the recession – this is the news that Facebook is down…causing panic and confusion for many people who insist on living the majority of their lives virtually.

If you are one of those social media addicts who cannot help but log onto their Facebook account every 10 minutes to update the rest of your friends list with your latest banal thought, or the ‘cute thing’ that your dog/cat/child/boyfriend just did…then I beg you…please please please try not to think too hard about all of those little lost Farmville sheep going unattended, the missed poker games and those holiday snaps of your ex girlfriend which are going unstalked.

You’ll only drive yourself insane and they will probably still be there when they eventually sort the server problem out (unless they’ve deleted your whole virtual kingdom by accident of course…<insert evil laugh here>)

UPDATE:  Facebook came back on…

Written by Lores

August 31, 2010 at 2:58 pm

Posted in My thoughts

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My sister is crazy and mad, and is throwing herself out of a plane in the name of char-i-dee (Little Haven’s Hospice to be exact)

As I am no-where near brave enough to join her, I’ve agreed to help her spread the word instead:

Click on the button below to read more:

Written by Lores

August 24, 2010 at 1:27 pm

Why I do not watch much TV

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I don’t actually watch a lot of TV.  There’s very little on the box that I actually want to watch, and anything that I wouldn’t mind watching I can find on BBC iplayer or Channel 4 on Demand.

However, my sister watches and enjoys a huge amount of banal TV trash – much of which I’m subjected to while eating my tea of an evening.  The worst examples of the eye ball offenders are:

  • Pineapple Dance Studios (gyrating craziness fronted by gay-guy-about-town and screaming, annoying twat Louis Spence.  Like the Trocodero Centre – wrong on so many levels )
  • Dating in the Dark (it’s a dating show – so I hate it already.  And the ‘hook’ is that its…er…in the dark)
  • America’s Next Top Model (public hate-fest where a model called Tara Somebodyorother seems to really believe that a) she is God and b) that anything she says actually matters)

All a load of guff, but the one show that has really got my goat of late, is the horror of a TV programme called ‘Fat Families’.

Fat Families is a show hosted by ex-lardy Steve Somebodyorother (not related to Tara), who is contacted by families of salad-dodgers to help them shift a few pounds of podgy fat.  (see picture).

Steve gives them a healthy eating plan, replaces their extra large sofas with treadmills so there’s no excuse not to exercise and monitors how they get on.  There are usually a few tears and tantrums as the fatsos realise that salad leaves don’t taste like chocolate, but all in all they end up losing a bit of weight by the time it gets to the ‘final weigh in’.  Cue smiles and back slapping all round (no pun intended).

So far, so boring.

However, it’s the follow up show that really makes my teeth itch.

After a few months, Steve then invites the slightly less wobbly families back to see how they’ve got on – if they’ve managed to take on board his healthy eating plans for the long term, and if they’ve managed to lose any further weight.

The family are put up overnight in a hotel, but what isn’t communicated is that cheeky little imp Steve has set ‘traps’ around the hotel (bowls of sweets at reception, a free buffet full of fattening foods in the dining area), and has installed secret cameras to spy on them to see if they slip up at any point (i.e. help themselves to a choccie, or choose the unhealthier option at the buffet).

Now, perhaps I’m a little over sensitive, but isn’t this just a modern type of bear baiting?

It just seems needlessly cruel to me to set up such fiendish traps.  After all, this is a bunch of people who obviously have an unhealthy relationship with food.  You wouldn’t tempt recovering heroin addicts with bowls full of skag lying around the place, or entice a recovering alcoholic with a free bar would you?

Also, I know what I am like when I stay at hotel – I tend load up.  It’s free food.  I’m going to eat more than I should.  Come on…live a little!

Anyway, after setting these traps and monitoring the actions of the family of podges, Steve then jumps out on them in the restaurant just as they are about to tuck into their second helping of double-chocolate-extra-cream-big-boy-cheese-cake, shaming them into (very often) tears, and patronising them blatantly in public.

Cue more tears, scenes of the fat families doing a bit more exercise, another final weigh in that shows that they’ve shifted a bit more weight, and bit of self congratulatory back slapping for Steve.

All in all, I’m left with a feeling a despair for the human race, bafflement at what passes as ‘entertainment’ to some people, and with an overpowering urge to put Steve in a sack full of other things I don’t like (like poo and sild) and punt it into the sea.

This is why I do not watch  much TV

5 things that I’ve been doing…

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I’ve been catagorically rubbish at updating my blog at late, and as I’m stealing a bit of time from my working day, I’ll keep this succinct and to the point.

5 things that I’ve been doing of late…

1.  Not going to the Doctors
Following my blood test at the Dr’s a couple of weeks ago, I’ve continually forgotten to make another appointment to get the results.  However, as the Dr’s surgery haven’t contacted me I’m assuming that I’m not dying of anything – and I’m feeling a million times better, so I think it might have just been a funny weather related turn

2.  Going to the Sonisphere Festival
A couple of weekends ago I went to the totally tropical Knebworth for the Sonisphere festival.

High Points:

  • Rammstein, Alice in Chains, Placebo
  • Meeting up with old friends
  • Tea in a mug – an amazing tent that did proper tea in a mug with optional biscuits.

Low Points:

  • Festival food related stomach upset on the Friday night (thank the Festival Gods for the invention of the ‘Comfy Crappers’!)
  • The sight of a man walking around in speedos with one bollock hanging out for most of the festival
  • The loud posh kids in the tent next door.  A right bunch of Nathans who decided that we all wanted to hear them shout profound things at 4am.  Twats.

3.  Car Hunting
After the pain of lugging tent and belongings on public transport to the last festival, I have decided to bite the bullet and get mobile again.   Other drivers in the UK:  you have been warned.

4.  Getting my stuff together for the Beautiful Days Festival…
…which is next weekend.  A festival organised by The Levellers.  In Devon.   In a field.  What’s not to like?   I am expecting rain, real ale and dogs on bits of string.

5.  Getting my Art On
…I may well update this blog with some of the outcomes.  If I remember.

Written by Lores

August 10, 2010 at 12:00 pm

Favourite Website of the Week: Awkward Family Photos

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This site is simply genius – and does what it says on the tin…by sharing and celebrating all of those Awkward Family Photos that people have been forced to pose for.

Take a look at the prime example below, and check out more at

Written by Lores

August 4, 2010 at 10:42 pm

Doctors. Bleurgh.

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Urgh.  Doctors.

After my tres bleak blog post of last week I visited the doctor who suggested that I swap contraceptive pill immediately, and go for a blood test to check out the low blood sugar symptoms.

Although getting him to send me for a blood test was a bit like getting blood from a stone.  So to speak.  After I described my symptoms (dizziness, tiredness, excessive thirst, poor concentration), he told me that (and I quote) ‘…you are probably not eating enough…’ This was after he had just told me that ‘…your weight is ok for now, but if you put on any weight you will be in the ‘overweight’ catagory…’

Well that piece of advice was about as useful as an aspirin lifeboat.

Anyone who knows me knows that I’m not someone to skip a meal, so I put my food down and was granted the right to be stuck with a needle by the helpful nurse at the local PCT.  Unfortunately, they couldn’t find a vein straight away, so had to poke about for a bit – and because I bruise like a peach, I now look like a skag addict.

Ho hum.

On the plus side I’m feeling a lot less moody and depressed – so I do believe that these feelings were a result of the pill that I was on.  Now I just need to be told that my dizziness is a result of the weather / dehydration (which quite a few people have advised could be the case), and then I’ll have to find something else to complain about.

After all, hypochondria is the only illness I don’t have…

Written by Lores

July 22, 2010 at 10:01 am

Posted in On Health...

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