Sunday, 19 November 2017

Sunday Summary | Got a fist of pure emotion, got a head of shattered dreams ...

Dear FOQ

Thank you for being such marvellous FOQ (no, Angie, it's not rude, it's an acronym) and 'bearing with'

last fortnight when the QB was a No Show.

{You lot, looking for the blog post ... πŸ’“}
I cannot even tell you how full-on the last few weeks have been work-wise; oh, look, I sort of just did. Anyway, it's been the sort of full-on-ness that turns me into some sort of vacuous couch potato upon re-entry to QB Heights of an evening, even with the added bonus of Bethy's Bar Cart (see below) for sustenance.

Even getting my sorry

to choir was becoming a struggle.

Luckily I had the collective amusement bureau of Charlie, Jess, Jenny and Alun to buoy me up and yes, people, I am singing

instead of 'millions' in our latest song.

And I'm doing it on purpose.

I'm naughty.

Anyway, the end of the crazy is nigh so I might actually be able to function like a hooman again by the end of this year.

No promises, mind.


This last, er, month or so, then, I have mostly been ...

Reading πŸ“š

{Spellbook of the Lost and Found | MoΓ―ra Fowley-Doyle | Thank you, Evie!}

{The #1 Rule for Girls | Rachel McIntyre}


via the magic of the Chromecast I treated myself to!

Gossip Girl

Like Made in Chelsea, but with slightly more integrity ... with the exception of Ed Westwick. Ugh. Horrible little man.

You Me Her

Binge-watched the whole series on Netflix, oh yeah. (And noticed a whopping continuity error between the end of the first series and beginning of the second, but hey, that's what I live for.)

The series is slightly saucy but very funny and quirky; Portland couple in their late thirties, Jack and Emma, decide to spice up their marriage by inviting student Izzy, part-time escort, into their lives.

Pitch Perfect and Pitch Perfect 2

Rebel Wilson's comic timing makes these films. Oh and the musical arrangements aren't too bad. Looking forward to PP3 ...

Listening ... πŸ‘‚πŸŽ΅

to 30 Days of Music for November (ah, ya love a 30-day music challenge, don'tcha). Want to know the tunes rocking my November boat? No? Well, you'd best scroll past the painfully curated Spotify link, then, hadn't you! ...

The criteria, for those interested parties (of which there are probably none and that's OK) is here:

{With thanks to Cousin Jo!}
and I make no guarantees that there aren't repetitions from the previous 30 Days ... playlist. My world is very small.

Building my empire a bar cart 🍸

Sorry. Empire sounded more dramatic, somehow.

Not that there's a lack of drama when one is single-handedly constructing a flatpack RΓ…SKOG trolley, oh no ... I was cursing the very name of Ingvar Kamprad (in so many words) on more than one occasion.

However, I persevered and now this beauty has taken up residence at QB Heights! Eep!

With all the thanks to Ma QB for accompanying me and not ridiculing me even when I was carrying the world's most insanely bulky bag home ... I'm pretty stubborn. Yeah.

I should explain the Blue Star Bar reference ... Hundreds of years ago, and for one night only (although I'd do it again, girls ...), I hosted New Year's Eve at QB Heights, with Natalie, Gaby and Louise in residence; this was back when blue was the predominant colour in the flat, before red took over, and it must have not been long after I got my blue star tattoo (so, about ten years ago. Way to age yourself, QB). Anyway, for that one night only, I dubbed QB Heights the Blue Star Bar, and I'm rather pleased to have had the chance to revive the moniker again.

Spending (double) quality time ...

... with Natalie

On 27th October (which seems, like, forever ago now), I met Natalie at my favourite Tunbridge Wells haunt (yes, I pick favourites and I deserve all the judgment for it) The Barn – well, what girl can resist the lure of ...

{Free curly fries!}

? Tell me that, my friends.

Admittedly on this particular night the Barn were all out of curls

so I was given chunky chips instead. (I accepted this substitution wholeheartedly, friends.)

All washed down with a cheeky Shiraz, before Natalie arrived, and I spent a lovely hour writing.

Then it was time to catch up on all the goss over an espresso martini (QB approves).

Incidentally, I should apologise for the amount of posey shots that arise out of a Night out with Natalie. I should, but I won't. We're posers and we're owning it.

Last Friday, we were Friends Reunited once more!

I booked our work's flat for us to stay in (which was slightly stymied by the epic leak coming from a ceiling pipe in the vestibule outside the flat ... ), and we spent quality time with tunes on the telly (interspersed with our middle-aged rantings on how rubbish modern music is and also,, could there be any more spelling/grammar errors in the text in this video, below?!

There is so much wrong with this I cannot even.

A Mars Bar to the first person who spots at least four errors in the subtitles (don't get me started on the ugly straight apostrophes and the random capitalisation, or the complete lack of hyphenation in places ...).

OK, OK. Curmudgeonly, much, QB?

Sorry. As I was saying ...

We preloaded (i.e. lined the stomachs) with nachos and some naughty, naughty shots:

{The Mint Aero ...}

before dolling ourselves up, taking all the posey pre-club photos ...

{Got ma face did #blinkybill}

then strutting into Tunbridge Wells (via The Barn ...)

to Zee Bar, venue of our last tear-up-the-town evening back in September.

Sadly the DJ was not quite as on-point this time round, and the music was all a bit ... meh and angry (hence why there are more photos of us sitting than raving).

With the exception of Bye Bye Fisticuffs, of course, which seems to have become our clubbing anthem of the year.

True to form we picked up some cheeky, cheesy chips on the way back to the flat

me being a wuss who was just recovering from a cold, and who was wearing the most un-rain-friendly coat opted to get us into a taxi, and we arrived back at the flat to find the leak had been stopped.

We shoulda known.

Someone had turned the water off.

And as we found out the next morning, it wasn't going to come on again properly until the following Wednesday.

For the purposes of this blog, I shall gloss over what happened the following morning upon the discovery of no water and no word of no water from the people turning it off (OK, I had an epic wig-out over the lack of water, and Natalie had to keep me sane and be the grown-up!).

{What do you meeeeeeaaaan there's no
water?!??!? I need
to do last night's washing uuuuuup!}

We headed into town for a restorative brunch at the wondrous Tuck-In sandwich bar where we had a slightly more upmarket chow-down than our usual greasy-spoon fare (not that we don't love a spoon of grease, no, but change can be good too, right?).

We met Natalie's wondrous mini people a little while later, and wandered the hallowed streets of Tunbridge Wells with C & R in tow which will keep yer fit, any road!

{Jeremy's Home Store, emporium of disco and drunk elves}
That said, by the time I returned to the flat later that evening, it was safe to say I was absolutely spent (largely from my histrionics over the water-fail):

{"It's! Out! Of! Your! Control!!!!"}

and ... I had to ask Ma and Pa to collect me and get me back to the station. Which they did and for which I'm insanely grateful.

As I am to the bay-ootiful Natalie for keeping me sane and being the voice of reason without resorting to slapping or shaking me!

I slept well that night.

Hanging with the work tribe 🍟🍸

... at workmate Holly's leaving do (noooo!) at – wait for it ... – The Barn.

And educating/plying the youngsters (o hai, beautiful Megan) with Jaffa Cake shooters, curly fries and nachos (because I sometimes pretend to be responsible in my carb-loading duties).

{Shout-outs to, from L–R: Emma, Mama Inger, Papa Juan, Chloe, Megan,
Holly, Olivia, Molly (out of shot), and Charlie}

Holly, we shall miss you!

Pinterest Pins of the Month πŸ“Œ

STOP PRESS: Pinterest has upped its game!

Admittedly, they're still yet to make board alphabetisation something users can implement without the help of a third-party extension (Pinterest Sort, which is now working again so that's nice) but Pinterest has introduced board sections, which makes it so much easier to subdivide your boards by interest. So, under a general board entitled Food and drink, you can include ... coffee, cocktails, dinner ideas, pudding ideas ... all sorts.

{Pretentiously quirky section labels are optional}

It's genius.

Less genius is the anally-retentive user (hi, that's me) who has subcategorised her boards alphabetically. Manually.

Did someone say:


Here are my Pinterest Picks of the month ...

Fortnightly Monthly Web Finds πŸ•ΈπŸ”Ž

Dear internet, you have inspired me none of late.

Ergo, no links.



If life doesn't swallow me whole with a generous slug of gin, I'll be back in two weeks.

But in the meantime, a belated Happy Birthday to Jos (da boss)!

qb xx

Sunday, 5 November 2017

S ...

... orry is all that I can saaaay ...

{Wot no blog??}

No blog post this week.

I'm not feeling very ... bloggy (bloggerly?) this fortnight.

It's not that I've not Done the Things ... I have; I'm just too πŸ₯šπŸ₯šπŸ΄πŸ» to write them up.

Forgive me. I'll try to make the next post extra

to make up for it, which won't be hard as I have quality Natalie time booked in for next weekend!

(In the meantime, Pete Johnson, you can catch up on all the posts you've not read yet. πŸ˜‰)

qb xx

Sunday, 22 October 2017

Sunday Summary | You be my lighthouse, honey, and rescue me ...

Dear FOQ

How are we all?

Somehow in the excitement of reporting on the 1970s Disco last fortnight, I managed to omit two very important milestones:

1) The 15th Anniversary of having moved into QB Heights (which I plan to celebrate retrospectively by treating QB Heights to one of these bad-boys):

{Bar cart, baby, yeaaaah!}

2) Ma QB's birthday

We celebrated in retrospect last weekend as Ma and Pa had been away, and then – well done, Monarch, the CAA, French Air Traffic Control ... – stuck at Porto airport for 24 hours over Ma's birthday proper.

Let us move on ...


This fortnight, I have mostly been ...

Reading πŸ“•

... and finishing, woot woot

then picking up

{I am David | Anne Holm}

Watching πŸ‘€πŸ“ΊπŸ’Ώ

{Jane Eyre}
and because I needed some weird, lighthearted fluff ...

{Don't Trust the B---- in Apartment 23}
Possibly the least possible effort has gone in to writing this programme's theme tune but ... the programme itself gets addictive. Especially when it involves this guy

{James Van Der Beek, for the uninitiated}
ripping himself to shreds.

Also, it has Dean Cain. You remember Dean Cain, right? TV's Superman in the 1990s?

Ohhhh yeah.

Listening πŸ‘‚πŸŽ΅

Also ... These albums. πŸ’“

I do like a wistful hipster ...

Celebrating the birthdays of ...

1) Ma QB

The Fam (Ma, Pa, Sis, Sis' partner Ceri and moi) went for a magnificent lunch last Saturday at the Poacher and Partridge in Tudeley, where we ate our respective body weights in tapas and starters before we even began Lunch Proper; where the ambience was friendly and the Shiraz was infinitely drinkable: the flatbread with caramelised onions and mozzarella blew my Friday night Prezzo offering

out of the water (sorry, Prezzo ...) and the Cajun chicken tortilla (which I managed not to wrap but ate like a pizza) was immense and spicy.

In a good way.

We passed on dessert, and headed back to Harwood Heights to see the parents' Portugal holiday snaps (blue sky ... blue sky ... blue sky ...) and force down a slice o' birthday cake. Good times!

2) Ms Jess

{Bay-oo-tiful birthday girl on t'left there, with Ms Charliepops}

There were welcome drinks, nibbles, and – eventually, but not for want of trying with a few technical hitches – karaoke; weirdly the Lucky Voice allowed all the Voicerox songs to play through, then started to cut off any non-choir songs. There's a conspiracy at play here, I tell thee.

Party shout-outs to Jess, of course, Charlie, Al, Alun and Steve aka "Bisto" (and Marie) with an honorary shout-out to Alun's Christine, for driving over to the party three times!

Happy Birthday, Jessie J! xxx

Roaming ... πŸ›’

... the vast and spacious aisles of the newly-reopened ΓΌber-Sainsbury's in town. πŸ€“πŸ€“πŸ€“πŸ€“πŸ€“

{artist's impression but pretty close already | via}

Sweet mother of chocolate, it's enormous.

A little overwhelming, in fact, but I'll get used to it.

The kitchenware section is gorgeous and copious, and, why oh why, Sainsbury's, is so much of it mint-green or red, or enamel, thus guaranteeing that I'll want to buy it for it matches my decor, you wicked tempters, you? Egads.

Pinterest Pins of the Fortnight πŸ“Œ

Fortnightly Web Finds πŸ•ΈπŸ”Ž

Making up for several link-free weeks ...

Serious-ish πŸ˜‘

• This is an interesting/useful writerly read: How to Keep Track of All Your Novel's Details | on Writer Unboxed | via SfEP on FB | They advocate Excel. I always advocate Excel.

• Mystery solved! | Introducing The IKEA Dictionary: a guide to the meaning (or lack thereof) of the names of IKEA products.

Now you can find out exactly what BUMERANG means, Maz!

(Boomerang, obvs!) | on Lar5 | via Present & Correct on FB

KALLAX is however missing. 

Perhaps it just translates to "Get out more, QB, seriously" ...

Marriage is no longer the norm – being single is | Oh goody, I'm Norm ...

on Bolde via Feminists United on FB | Taken as intended with a ma-hu-sive pinch of salt – quoth I:

Not only does this trend of staying single prove that women aren’t settling, but it also proves that women can look at the pool of guys out there, cringe, and realize we really don’t need any of that in their lives.

Pool? What pool?

• How My So-Called Life changed TV forever | in Guardian (Guide)

• Love this advert for Technics cassette tapes (Japan, 1978) | YouTube | via the exquisitely curated Things Organized Neatly Tumblr

Silly πŸ€‘

• ... but also a bit awesome: This Origami Penguin | on Laughing Squid | via Edd

Photoshop 'troll' James Fridman takes requests for photo fixes literally | on MyModernMet

{via }

and turns out to be a nice guy who will call people out on any unnecessary edits.

• These unphotogenic (but rather adorbs) animals | on BoredPanda | via Clare G

{Yer, I'm kinda warm ... I ain't lion ...}

{"The hiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiills fill my heaaaaaaaaaaaaaaart ..."}
{"Waaait, lemme take a selfie ..."}
I'll stop now ...

{"Ah, yeah, ma posture's never been better ..."}
OK, now.

• This KFC advert. Just ... clucking brilliant. | via Ma QB

And just plain ...

Sensational 🌟

Jeff Lynne's ELO ... as LEGO. | on YouTube by user tedblight | via MM and via Charlie | Sorry, Ma QB, this year's animation won't even come close to this for sheer awesomeness ...

And that's all for now.

Stay stable in the face of storms with very unassuming names ...

qb xx