Category Archives: Friends

Happy New Year

A belated start to my blogging this year – hopefully not a start as I mean to go on.

This is just a quick post to say 2009 is not the year I shall be allowing TBK to have a mullet hair cut* but is the year I shall be learning to use my new camera, exploring new ideas and trying to enjoy myself enormously.

Happy New Year to you all!

*The mullet cut is a whole conversation I don’t have time to blog about now but long story short he asked we addvised otherwise!

Make a Promise : Deliver a Dream

If someone offered you £4022 ($6000) worth of computer equipment what would you do with it? That’s what HP are offering, in conjunction with 50 bloggers from across the world in their Magic giveaway.

Yes. I am one of the 50.

Each blogger has been given $6000 (£4022) worth of HP equipment and they get to give it away to whomever they choose, and they get to set their own rules!

I first read about it over on Moosh in Indy who’s only stipulation to enter is “you have to share” and have since then been thinking what would I do with it? What would I do with all that “stuff”? Could I be selfless enough to give it all away, keeping nothing for myself?

As much as I’d like to think I could in this particular instance I know I couldn’t, I mean, Hey, how could I give the HP Photosmart C6380 All-in-One printer away after I’ve been coveting a new photo printer for months and then of course the HP 564 Photo Value Pack would have to stay with it.

Naturally I’d have to have something to process all those lovely photos on as my my desktop just about crashes every time I turn it on hanging 9 times out of 10 on the start up screen until I hit restart and begin all over again. Once it’s switched on it screams blue murder if I open anything intensive i.e photoshop and if I try to do something clever like, oh I dont know check my email and open a word document at the same time the computer says no and the whole thing freezes, so that’s why I’d keep this for myself too. The HP TouchSmart IQ816 PC.

But then what would I do with the rest of the booty? The HP HDX 18 series Premium Notebook PC, The • HP MediaSmart Connect, and the HP Pavilion dv4 series Entertainment Notebook PC (with Windows Live) oh and not forgetting the HP Mini 1000 (with XP) all loaded with either Windows Vista or XP depending on their spec.

Who would be deserving of it? Who would make the most of it? Was there anyone person that would benefit more than anyone else? Could I get away with keeping it all myself (only kidding as tempting as it may be).

I work for a non for profit organisation, could they make use of it?

I used to work for a Youth Club could they use?

My family and friends would they want it?

Of course they all would but none of these people NEEDED it. Work has, as hard as it is to come by sometimes, funding from different arts councils and organisations for IT equipment relevant to the different projects we run. The youth club has a computer suite for the young people to use, they may WANT upgrades but they don’t NEED them. Then my family and friends who I’m sure would all love me if I started handing out computers like Santa does presents at Christmas don’t really need them either, they’ve all in some capacity have computers which are fit for purpose.

So I thought further, what would do if I received all that beautiful booty? I couldn’t decide and as the spirit of the giveaway was to share i thought about not entering.

Then I remembered, It IS nearly Christmas and the season of goodwill to all men and lets face it is all about the children. What if I could help children who really deserved the help and put a smile on someone face, someone who is facing hard times that I can only imagine as an adult, let alone face them as a child. And then I realised the answer was with me all along….

Promise Dreams, This local charity launched in 2001. They “raise money for children who are seriously or terminally ill and provide treatment, help and support for both them and their families. Whether the child would like a holiday, a toy, medical treatment or equipment, or even the chance to meet their favourite celebrity, Promise Dreams is dedicated and committed to help.”

The charity is run by 4 people in an office in Wolverhampton town centre and rely soley on fund raising and donations to help make these children’s worlds a nicer place. They hold events in the building I work in, so I have seen how much work they do and one of my friends sisters received a new motorized wheelchair through them so I’ve seen first hand what a difference it makes to the people they help.

Thats who the rest of the booty could go to, Someone I think truly deserving.

So now I’m cutting it fine, I have no idea when the deadline is in relation to where I am in the world, I just know its in the next day or two so I’m rushing to finish this post and get it in one time. Maybe It’ll be me that’s picked, maybe it wont but at least I tried!!

one + one + one = three

Moblog user are taking part in a project “Interview52” inspired by Nige, Each week a different moblogger will have to post a photograph and answer a series of questions about themselves.

This week was my turn and here’s my entry:

An old picture but one that sums me up, Converse and my family!

*Where does this find you? Tell us the story of how you got there.*

Well right now as I’m writing this it’s Thursday evening and I’m at home, But
by the time it’s posted it shall be Friday morning so I’ll be at work in
Wolverhampton City Centre and I shall have arrived here on the bus from my
home 20 minutes away in the area I grew up in. I’m a yam yam born and bred,
I have lived in other places (Lichfield (too pretentious)and Wigan (Too
Rough)) but I returned “home” when I realised there really is no place
like it!

* Why do you moblog?*

I started moblogging as a way to pass the time when I was a poor lonely
single girl living alone with no one but the blonde kid for company.

James introduced me to it before “we” were “us” taking me into Birmingham
with a selection of Spied cards and I was hooked straight away, It’s so much
fun, kinda combining social networking with a hobby! Along with TBK telling
everyone we were getting married before we’d even smiled at each other in
THAT way maybe moblog was party responsible for the creating of James and me
as “us”?

* What were you hoping not to be asked for interview52?*

The typical Interview question used in lots of job interviews, Describe
yourself in 3 words….

* Now answer it!*

DOH! shoulda seen this coming. I’ll use the answer i gave in my last job

LOUD, TALKATIVE and TENACIOUS – and they still gave me the job!

* What question would you like to ask the next moblog interviewee?*

I’m not going say now as with the new interview 52 rules I’m going to get
the chance to ask what I want! –

oh new rules everyone says what are they??

The week after the last interview with FF when there was no interview I
though hmm thats strange, then the week after that when again there was
still no interview i though hmm even stranger It’s not like Nige to start
something and not finish it, so I emailed him something along the line of
“Oi you, giving up already?” and it transpires that Nige is a busy busy bee
and time had just ran away with him.
Organising questions and participants whilst running around the Notting Hill
Festival and generally having much fun was a time consuming thing so with
revised rules and with me being next on the “hit list” and silly enough to
wonder why he’d stopped he sent them to me….

From hence forward the interviewee will become the interviewer for the next
willing victim….So once you’ve read this today I will be on a hunt to find
someone to take part next . Then I will forward the list of questions and
instructions how to post on BUT

I will have to CHANGE AT LEAST ONE of the questions in the list

And so it will go on – my interviewee will become the interviewer, finding
the next participant and again changing AT LEAST ONE of the questions before
they forward it on. So taking the onus off Nige, continuing the project and
giving it a life of it’s own!

So who want to be next use email/text/contact button to get in touch

* What do you think your job was in your previous life? Tell us why..*.

I think I must have been a psychologist/guidance counselor in a previous
life, for some reason I’m usually the Agony Aunt, Dishing out advise to all
and sundry my friend Nicky seems to seek my advise on everything and even my
local shop keeper stops me in the shop and asks for marriage counseling –
And I’ve never even been married.

James reckons I was Pippa from Home and Away. I love kids and we’ve usually
got a houseful of TBK friends, I’ve worked as a youth worker, I’ve helped
out at school, taking part in sleep overs, & going on trips, He thinks
(quite rightly) that I’d have a horde of my own given the opportunity

*Whats the story behind your moblog username? Why did you choose it?*

Oh everyone knows this as I answered it on spikes moblog ages ago:

Essitam is Matisse backwards, It’s been my online name since school when in
an IT class the teaches asked us to think of a username.All the “cool kids”
were calling themselves “Sexygal1994” or “hotchick” and as I was neither a
cool kid, sexy girl or an hot chick I wanted something different.
Inspiration was at hand with a huge Matisse display on the wall i was
sitting next to. I wrote it down, I then rewrote it backwards and is stuck!

* What was your childhood obsession? What happened to it?*

I didn’t have one – seriously. I even called my mom when I read this
question to find out if she could remember something I’d forgotten, The only
thing she could come up with was I used to like emptying ashtrays into the
dustbin, Which apparently amused her no end as neither of my parents smoked
and my dad only ever threw loose change in there and according to her I just
one day stopped doing it aged around 3.

*Where do you go to my lovely, when you’re alone in your head? (Filbert
Fox’ question)*

I try not to spend too much time alone in my head I find it a pretty
worrying place at times!

That’s not avoidance either, I’m being serious. I suffer autophobia
(J.F.G.I.) as a symptom of stress/depression caused (according to the people
in the know) by the sudden death of my Dad when I was just a little Steph.
So I avoid being left alone for too long when I can help it. I’m better now
than I used to be. At one point the panic attacks were so bad I would be
physically sick – now I just sulk lots and get snappy if I’m left alone for
too long!

*If you had to draw a moblog family (and friend) tree, who would you be
linked to, and how?*

Oh now this could be quite interesting, If i were to be literal about this
then there is:

Miguel Sanchez

Who are all really (or via James) related to me in some way and registered
mobloggers and then real life friends (as in people I see in the flesh with
the family mobloggers)

Dicko – although I’m sure he should fall under family
Rich (not the one with Elvis)

Then there are the mobloggers who I’ve met in person purely through moblog,
at meets, if cafes (Dhamaka) in shopping centres (Nige) etc. I’m not going
to list them all as I’ve already rambled on too much but my ultimate moblog
family are my ultimate real life family:

Me + James + The Blonde Kid

Steph xxx

The boy next door.

When I was growing up and living with my parents I moved house a couple of times. On my last move with my mom we moved into what I really consider to be my childhood home living there from when I was 8 until my late teens when I branched out on my own and again in my early 20’s – The time my world came tumbling down.

Across the road and two doors to the left of my parents house was a big house (well bigger than ours) a big house with a big garage, A big garage with a big white door. A big white door that always seemed to be open and in the garage there was something making a BIG noise! There were boys, and not just any boys but teenage boys. Smelly, noise making, boot wearing, hairy, computer playing boys.

At the age of 8 they held my attention for all of 30 seconds, long enough for me to stick my fingers down my throat, wrinkle my nose at my younger sister make fake gagging noises because “eughh boys” and then forget they existed.

I wasn’t sure who lived there and I didn’t care because I wasn’t allowed to play out the front anyway and well, boys smell!

By the time I’d reached 9 my moms rules had relaxed and I was allowed out on the front garden to play unsupervised with the twins from across the road albeit only between the neighbours 2 doors up and the lamppost 3 doors down – right opposite the boys house or on my own providing I didn’t leave the garden. I would use any excuse to take advantage of my new found freedom and would often sit on my own on the perimeter of my boundary waiting for my friends parents to allow them out to play. I’d use this time wisely playing with my cars (hey we live in a world of equal opportunities) and became adept at people watching.

I quickly established using the secret agent skills of every 9 year old that a witch lived in the house across the road (she’d never give us our balls back if they went in her garden). That the house up the street had a vampire living in there that’s why they never opened their curtians. That my dinner lady from school lived about 12 doors away and would frequently pass my house so if I smiled really nice showing as many teeth as possible I’d get extra mint custard on my slab of chocolate concrete next time they served it up in the canteen and that the boys who made so much noise in the house across the road and two doors left was in fact only really one boy, one boy with lots of friends who visted and made lots of noise!

That boy was John, I found out his name the summer just before my 10th birthday. I was pushing my luck playing on my own right on the edge of my “out with friends boundry” casually looking over my shoulder for any movement in my house that would be my cue to flee back to my “out by myself boundry” when he approached me and ever so casually asked…

…Do you wanna see my smurfs?

Well what self respecting 9 year old could turn down an offer like that?

We spent the next 3 hours discussing papa smurf and his band of blue pixies and despite the many trials and tribulations of growing up, my rebellious teen years, his turbulent late teens/early twenties and some absolutely FANTASTIC Halloween parties (but thats another story) we’ve remained firm friends ever since.

He now after a stint living on the Isle of Man lives a million miles away (well 150) in the big city and we don’t get to see each other nearly as much as I’d like but I know if I needed him all I’d have to do is pick up the phone, He knows if he needed me all he’d have to do is pick up the phone….

…and I know that today is his birthday and he’s getting old and although he’s still a million miles away being a high flyer in the big city I still have last years birthday photos to embarrass him with!

Happy Birthday John

Happy Birthday John!!!!

HesFes 2008

All of these photos were taken on our first full day at HesFes this year (Saturday 28th June).

It was kind of impossible to get more photos of the blonde kid from later in the week as he just took himself off to take part in the activities and/or socialise by himself a lot of the time. We took walkie talkies with us so we could stay in touch, well so he could tell us he was hungry as that’s the only time he seemed to need us because, you know, “I’m eight now I can do it myself”!

I hasten to add he was NOT allowed down to the beach by himself and was informed all freedom privaliges would be evoked and he would be confined to holding my hand all week if I found him there without an adult!

Searching for crabs

Jordan & Kai Crab hunting

We can go by oursleves!

Taking a stroll

A Grand Day Out


What goes up…

Infatablel Fun

…must come down!

Inflatable fun

Waiting, not so, patiently.


We all had a brilliant time (yet again).  Jordan relished the chance to interact with so many different people of all ages from all walks of life and to catch up with Kai (1) and Kai (2) whom he met at HesFes 2007. I was thankful to be able to give him the freedom to experience everything in a safe family friendly enviroment and kick back and enjoy the glorious sunshine a nice change from HesFes 2007….

Racing for Cover @ HesFes 2007

Dodging the puddles

Not on a “school” night!

I am the April fool.

I wasn’t tricked into believing the ipod mind control accessory actually existed or that Google and Virgin were to join forces and launch “Virgle” and start a “permanent human colony” on Mars. I didn’t believe it when I heard that that to try and increase the popularity of greyhound racing there was to be a trail run of “Dog Racing On Ice” or that there is a new breed of penguins that can actually fly – (actually I was momentarily taken in by that one, the “footage” the BBC had was AWESOME – the wonders of C.G.I but that isn’t why I am the fool.)

I am the worst kind of fool – I should know better and I know I’m old enough to look after myself. I ask for no sympathy but please also don’t judge me I am already in a place of self inflicted purgatory. I feel terrible, my head is fuzzy and I’m tired no not just tired exhausted and it is all my own fault.

I think I did myself the worst kind of damage last night. I attempting to fit myself nicely into the Guiness Book of records, Right into section for idiotic people, somewhere in between the the women who thought it would be a good idea to live in a staple diet of salmonella and the man who juggles hand grenades.

My record attempt was to drink my body weight in vodka.

Ok so that maybe a small lie, just a little exaggeration, I didn’t drink THAT much. I did however drink enough to stumble home at a little before 2am wearing a manic grin that only a person who’s blood alcohol level is actually greater than their red cell count could sport and tell the long suffering James (who in all his brilliance had the foresight to wait up for me as I’d forgotten my keys – again) just how wonderful my night had been (I’d gone out with a school friend I hadn’t seen for the last 12 years) three times over!!

I woke this morning after just under 5 hours sleep feeling surprisingly sprightly. When I sat up and the room didn’t spin I thought I’d got away with it, and when I went to the bathroom and the pain I was expecting to find in there (and have found on other unfortunate mornings) with the bright morning light reflected and amplified by the white walls didn’t materialise I knew I got away with it.

How easily fooled I am.

I bent over to brush my teeth and right there with water swirling before my eyes a foamy mouth and minty fresh breathe it hit me, yup I felt fine, yes there was definitely no hangover, BUT (and there was going to be a but wasn’t there) it is actually quite hard to feel the effects of a hangover while you’re still pissed!!

I did the only thing I could in situations like that I went and collapsed back into bed where I tried to map out my day in the least painful way as possible to aide my sobering up/recovery process

It didn’t take me long to figure not only could I not spend the day in bed wrapped in the comfort of my duvet as I’d have liked, I’d made arrangements to go into Birmingham with the blonde kid and “Nanny Lesley” to see Deep Sea 3D at the Imax, which can be motion sickness inducing at the best of times but was going to be so much worse in my current “state”.

It never even crossed my mind to cancel, they weren’t going to miss out because I have no self control. So I went and I spent my day circumnavigating the hubbub of New Street station and Birmingham City centre and generally having as much fun as you can while waiting for the tipsy light-headedness to wear off and the sick queasiness to begin.

I’ve been lucky despite nearly falling to sleep in the cinema (twice), and the nauseating sweet smell of whatever tooth rotting bag of sugar Jordan had bought while we were in Selfridges wafting across to me periodically I lasted until I returned home again until the “I want to be sick and then curl up and sleep forever” feeling kicked in.

At points this evening the immortal words of many a recovered alcoholic have threatened to pass my lips “Never again!” but I know I’d be fooling no one but myself with false promises . I KNOW have no one to blame but myself so as I sit here pouring self pitying drivel in the keyboard I ask for nothing but maybe a wry smile as I know you’ve all been here, maybe a kind offer to hold back my hair should the sickly feeling progress into something much worse and for someone to pass me a dictionary.

I’m going to bed just as soon as I’ve looked up the meaning of “Moderation”