Tuesday, 30 December 2008

The End Of November

Current mood:  anxious

No, you didn't read that incorrectly, nor did I make a typing error.  Here we are, at the end of December...and I've only just got to blogging about what happened a month ago!
November 27th 2008
We returned to Ealing Broadway Dollond and Aitchinson, and this time Mum actually remembered her glasses.  She told them (again) that she couldn't cope with varifocals, and wanted a simple pair of reading glasses.  They complained, of course, and didn't want to replace them, and especially not when she said she wanted different, smaller, frames.  We pointed out that reading glasses are worth LESS than varifocals, and they weren't giving us a refund...so reluctantly they offered us a FREE pair of frames.  Very nice, huh?  Except when you realise they're taking the other, more expensive frames back in exchange.  Yeah, their definition of "free" isn't exactly mine.   Then we went to Greenford Woolworths for a 20% off toys offer, where I picked out a couple of Sweetie Belles as my "surprise" Christmas gifts! 
In the evening, I started trying to re-assemble my Excel MLP list, but as I mentioned yesterday, I can't remember a lot of the information that was on the original document now.  And it's not like there's anyone else that I can ask.  For instance, does anybody know where my Crystal Lake with a hoof ID mark of 2006A came from?  Or on which date I got Dazzle Surprise from Arena member Mykidsfault?  I thought not.
November 28th 2008
Following an e-mail from Emma the night before, we had to go and collect Allan from school.  Basically, Abigale had to go for an emergency procedure to have quite a few teeth removed due to some pretty bad dental abcesses, and Emma was worried she wouldn't be back in time to collect him.  As it happened, she was, but all the kids had been told we would be going over there so we went anyway, so as to not break our promise.  Abigale didn't seem to feel too bad anyway, and was happily playing with a loud car racing track that Allan had got for his birthday (much to Allan's annoyance!)
Emma had, um...*Coughs*  Let's just say that two ponies from a hospital toy box had come home in her bag.  Emma tells me they were headed my way, but Abigale had said she wanted them herself.  My niece actually told me I could take one of them, but I told her she could keep them both.  So Abigale now has her first proper MLPs, Blossom Forth and Starcatcher.
November 29th 2008
One of those boring days, where I didn't even leave the house.  Despite being broke, David took off to the internet cafe for FOUR HOURS to order yet more Mills & Boon books from e-Bay.   I spent a long time trying to sort through my old toys, and cleaning the better condition stuff for Emma's kids.  I hate throwing my old stuff out so I'd rather take it over there, and not see it going in the bin!
While David was at the internet cafe, I tried to make a Christmas recording for the Myspace music account I wanted to create.  When I came downstairs after finishing recording, I was shivering with an awful sore throat.  Mum said I shouldn't have gone upstairs to sing, as I obviously didn't know what I was doing and had made myself ill.  As the night progressed, and I got colder and colder, I realised I was coming down with an awful cold of some kind.
By the morning of...
November 30th 2008
...I was feeling really ill.  I had a terribly sore throat, kept coughing and my head was throbbing so much that I could hardly concentrate.  We'd promised to go and see Emma and the kids again though, so I struggled out (I'm sure my efforts weren't appreciated though, as they all came down with the illness soon after!)  I had run out of space in my offline diary for November, so I don't seem to have written much about that day.
I know my temperature kept going up and down like a yo-yo, and Mum was moaning so much that Emma took my temperature in the end...proving I wasn't actually all that hot anyway!  Then she took Mum's temperature, and HERS was higher than it should have been too...so then she started moaning that SHE must be getting sick.  And that's the reason why I would never have a thermometer in the house by choice. 
So that's about all for November.  Maybe tomorrow, on the very last day of the month, I can finally start writing about this month before it becomes last month, and indeed last year.  Have I confused you yet?  Phew, thank goodness for that!  I thought it was just me!
See you all tomorrow!
Best wishes,
Desirée Skylark  xxx

Monday, 29 December 2008

Four more boring days of my life...

Current mood:  angry

I'll catch up eventually, right?
November 23rd 2008
According to my offline diary, there's not much to note at all.  So this is an easy day to blog about!
I didn't leave the house, and seem to have spent most of the day messing about on the internet.  Apparently, I worked on my forum (Yes, my forum IS still around, I just haven't done much with it lately - here's a link for those who don't remember!), adding more of the script for "The Glass Princess" and some more G1 backcard stories.
I moved a ton of "Sold/traded" photos out of my Arena sales gallery too, hoping to make way for some of the new sales photos I'd taken with that awful pink camera.  But I figured out I would actually only get FIVE PHOTOS of this size in an Arena gallery!  How crazy is that?!
November 24th 2008
Another boring day.  David went for yet another job interview (sadly, nothing came of this one either), leaving Mum and I housebound again.  I made some recordings while he was out, but they were so awful that I've deleted them all now.  The only other thing that seems to have happened is that I finished writing my Gibraltar blog...but was unable to publish it due to the huge photos that I was still waiting to upload to my Photobucket account.
I know there was a huge argument that evening, but I can't remember for the life of me what it was all about.  I think I screamed at David when he turned the TV up loud right next to my ear, while I was trying to compose a letter to somebody.  It must have been a "If you want the TV volume turned up as high as it goes, why don't you provide me with a simple bedroom so that I can write letters in peace?" kind of thing.  I'm sure you get the picture.  Mum had been asleep on the sofa, but was disturbed by the commotion.  I know the huge row resulted in her not coming to the communal bed, and vowing that she would never sleep there again.
November 25th 2008
After two days stuck indoors, we enjoyed a fascinating trip to Dollond and Aitchinson in Ealing Broadway.  Mum's latest pair of glasses weren't working properly, so we were going to complain.  I had no coat apart from my 3-year-old fleece jacket I keep seeing every little old lady in the street wearing (hence, I refuse to wear it!), and the weather had turned nasty, so I FROZE walking to the optician in just a t-shirt and hoodie.  And when we get to the optician, what do we find?
"OH NO, OH NO, OH NO!!!" Mum shouts in the middle of the street, in a ridiculously exaggerated tone.  "I've forgotten my glasses!"  Well, it was pretty much impossible to complain about a pair of glasses that had been left in Grottsville...kind of handy since she was "didn't want to have to make a fuss and complain again".  In fact, she kept on and on saying "Wasn't it funny how I forgot my glasses?  It must be because I can't see..." all the way home, and stifling a giggle.  So I'm afraid I can't help but wonder if it was a little more than memory loss that caused her mistake...
It was too late to go back again once we got back to Grottsville, as Mum would "get stomach ache if she didn't have her dinner right now".  Remind me again why I have such a strange family?
David was once again refusing to discuss anything relating to the house move, hence delaying things further.  Rather surprising, considering the sight that had met our eyes when I opened the curtains that morning.
(Yes, that mess is our front garden - no wonder the rats had been having such a ball out there the week before)

Um...do you see what I see?  Four pillows?!?!?!
When I first saw them from upstairs, I wondered if Mum had thrown them out there in her bad temper the night before (like a big "I won't be needing these now I'm not sleeping in a proper bed" show), but no.  One of the local thugs must have dumped them there.  I wondered if maybe a homeless person might have seen our scruffy house and thought it was a perfect place to set up camp, but nobody has ever returned (to the best of my knowledge, at least!) since David placed them in the bin that afternoon...  Grottsville is crazy, and what you see above is photographic proof.
November 26th 2008
This is the fourth and final boring day to be detailed in this blog, you'll be pleased to hear!  The furthest I got was the local Tesco supermarket.
David drove Mum to the doctor to pick up a repeat prescription.  I desperately tried to teach myself to sing "The Wizard and I" from Wicked while they were out of the way.  But of course I didn't have enough time.  I'm listening to the recording right now though, and the first half of it doesn't sound all that bad...  Now if only I could get some more time to myself, I reckon this is one song I *might* be able to sing half decently.  Does anyone know of a decent karaoke version anywhere online?  Please?
That night I tried to add some information to my MLP list, only to find that the Excel sheet wouldn't open.  I'd deleted my back-up copy from this computer only a week before when the computer appeared to be packing up and I had cleared just about everything off of the hard drive.  So it seems I've lost all my hard work.  It's going to be near impossible to get all my ponies out of their boxes again before we move house. And there's no way to recover a lot of the information like where and when I got each pony anyway, simply because I don't remember as much as I did a year or two ago when I started making that list.  Why couldn't it have happened while I still had a back-up copy?  I'm still so mad about all of that lost information.
Anyways, I shall leave you all in peace now, because it's getting late and that's my daily catch-up quota typed up.
Oh, before I forget, I know this doesn't date from the days covered by this blog, but for those of you in the UK who are interested, the episode of "Psych" that Shane Meier guest-starred in, "If You're So Smart, Then Why Are You Dead?" is supposed to be on Hallmark on New Year's Eve at 9am, and repeated at 11am.  I just happened to notice that now that we have digital TV at last, and thought I should mention it for the benefit of certain blog readers...
Best wishes,
Desirée Skylark  xxx

Are you sitting comfortably?

Current mood:  happy
Yes?  Then I shall continue with the story where I left off last night!
November 19th 2008
Knowing that we would blow up if we had to talk to Emma Renton again, Mum and I refused to go and see her the next day.  So David went alone to collect the "garden design" that she had promised to draw up for us.  Amazingly, considering Renton is one of Sickton's friends, she had kept her promise.  In a useless kind of way, of course.  Um, was THIS really what we had paid her to design?!  Mum took one look at it and ripped it into pieces, stuffing them down the back of the sofa.  Fortunately, since it was such a tiny drawing anyway, we were able to recover the few pieces after Mum had calmed down a little, and I stuck them back together for this photo.  Baby Bridesmaid was not included in the design, and is only in the photo for size comparison!

Er...quite.  So I take it that's a path with flowerbeds either side?  But what the heck is that scribble at the bottom of the garden?!  Weird...
That night we went to Asda, and bought Allan's main Christmas gift - a large remote-controlled dumper truck.  Rather strange considering it wasn't even his birthday until November 25th!  We like to do things long in advance, you see.  Not that we usually succeed!
November 20th 2008
We went to Watford, and observed the first signs of Woolworths getting into trouble.  Practically everything was reduced, so we bought Abigale's main Christmas gift - a Disney Princess doll with horse - and some MLPs; Name on leg Pinkie Pie, Eyeshadow Scootaloo and the Fashion Fun Rainbow Dash Playset.  All at half price, I think.  Even so, I couldn't afford them, so they got saved for my Christmas gifts...
We went in Lush and bought Emma's Christmas presents too.  I got myself my first Lush bath bomb (or bath ballistic, as they call them) too - Youki-Hi.  It smells of jasmine, which is one of my favourite scents along with rose.  For those who have never heard of Lush (as I know a few of you hadn't until I started going on about it!), they're products are all handmade with natural ingredients and, most importantly, they don't agree with testing on animals.  This is a link to the page for Youki-Hi, so you can see the product in question, and maybe browse through the site. Lush Website There are stores worldwide, by the way.  The stuff is expensive, but smells delicious!  Now I just want to move house so that I can use my Youki-Hi and enjoy a luxurious celebratory bath!
That night we went to Mum's family history meeting, where she pleased the chairman by asking him for a copy of the poem he had recited a couple of months ago.  Apparently he writes poetry in his spare time, and has had a book of his poems published, which he tried to sell to us.  While Mum tried to escape, I felt like just disappearing into a hole in the ground...  Why does she always get us into such awkward situations anyway?
November 21st 2008
Not much to note for that day, according to my offline diary.  Oh, apart from the fact that Mum gave me the free gift she'd received with her purchase at Lush - a Chocolate Santa bath ballistic (as shown here).  THEN she went and told Emma that I had TAKEN IT FOR MYSELF!!!  What the heck?  So Emma got all upset that I'd stolen the free gift that had come with the purchase we had made for HER.  And in actual fact, the Chocolate Santa is about the only Lush product I hate - it smells like dead flowers or something.  Emma is welcome to it, as far as I'm concerned!  Oh, but since then she's been to Lush herself, and says she hates the smell of it as well.  So now I'm stuck with it knocking around the house.  No way am I using that one, even if we had a bath that wasn't filled with junk.  I don't want to stink of dead flowers, thank you very much!
November 22nd 2008
We went to the Chelsea Animal Fayre (basically, a bazaar where all the different animal charities have a table selling various stuff to raise money - you might remember me mentioning it last year?)  Mum bought me a pretty little second hand heart necklace for £1 - once again, modelled by Caroline's Pinkie Pie.  PP likes modelling necklaces, you know?!

We got a few little bits for other people for Christmas (including some old discontinued Lush stuff, by coincidence!) and a couple of home-made cakes for ourselves.  Then we went to pick up Allan and took him to Ealing Broadway library for Doctor Who day.
Sadly, I don't have any photos on this computer at the moment, but there was a real Dalek (as used in the latest TV series) there.  Allan was scared to death when he first saw it, but finally got the courage to go up to it when another kid told him "It's all right - there's a man inside!"  He then started chanting "Na, na, na, na, na!  Come and get me, Dalek!" as 7-year-olds do, only to have the thing spin around towards us!  Much to our surprise, it actually moved across it's boundary and chased us halfway across the library!   After Allan got over this shock, he queued up and spoke to it.  The look on his face when it turned to him and said, "Hello again, Allan!  I think you would make a good Dalek!" was priceless.
After Allan had coloured in a Dalek, and won a funny little finger puppet alien, we walked around the shops for a while.  We had a bit of trouble with Allan when he decided he wanted some toy handcuffs. (Well, I say they were toys - they had age 6+ on them, but also a lot of warnings about how they had real locks on them and we feared lost keys etc.!)  We thought Emma wouldn't approve, so Allan sulked and stamped his foot until we gave in and got them anyway.  And when we got back to her house, she wasn't cross with us anyway.  Oh well...
I must get to bed now.  Still, at least I'm four days closer to catching up with this blog!  If I keep on like this, I might get up to date by Christmas 2009.
Best wishes,
Desirée Skylark  xxx

Saturday, 27 December 2008

"Oh Rats, they're back!" and other stories from the past few weeks

Current mood:  sick

Well, Christmas was a lot better than I had expected.  None of us had cards for each other, I had no gifts for my parents, Mum refused to open the things David had wrapped up for her, and also missed out on the gravy due to David's greediness, but apart from that things went well.  I even got a few ponies, which I wasn't expecting at all.  Then yesterday we went to see Emma, Nick and the kids, so that was really our "Christmas party"/family time/whatever you like to call it, and they also gave me some lovely gifts...but this blog isn't the one about Christmas, so they'll be plenty of time to talk about the last couple of days in the future.  Right now, I must work on catching up with what's happened since way back in mid-November.
November 15th 2008
While I was getting my breakfast, I looked out of the back door and saw several large rats running around the patio again.  Knowing how intelligent those pesky rodents can be, we reckon they probably figured out the house was empty while we were in Gibraltar, and thought they could move in!  They really seem to have been on the verge of doing so, and got the shock of their lives when they saw me watching them from the kitchen.  One ran away down our side alley, and the others were very close behind.
Having been to Gibraltar for a few days, the laundry was heavier than usual, plus David had a backache, so I had to help him carry it to the launderette.  Walking down the path, I suddenly saw something leap out of a pile of leaves towards me...
I screamed loudly as the rat ran right at me, and over my foot to shelter underneath the car.  David dropped his handle of the laundry bag, and I was left dragging it behind me...right through the pile of leaves where all these rats were crazily running around my feet.  I ran right down to the side road we have to cross to get to the launderette (which is some way down our road, by the way), before I stopped.  I turned around and saw David still creeping along like a snail, with an angry look on his face.  "What the H*ll is wrong with ya now?" he asked, obviously embarrassed by my screaming act.  "Didn't you even see the bl**dy rats?" I yelled at him in anger.  "RATS?  WHERE?  WHERE?" David whined, kind of hopping about from one foot to the other.
Fortunately, we didn't see any more of our long-tailed four-legged friends that day.  I must say I really didn't enjoy the walk down the road to collect the laundry though!
November 16th 2008
Mum saw another rat in the front garden, running along our wall.  David still didn't put any kind of poison down though, or call pest control.  In fact, he hasn't even done so now.
We went to Hounslow, where I saw the new "Snacks" and "On Stage" Ponyville sets in Woolworths but couldn't afford them, of course.  I'm still in "pony debt" following the Ponycon.  We went to Asda on the way back and bought some frozen Cheesy Pancakes for dinner on the way back, which is a treat for us, since we don't have a freezer.  Actually, I lie there.  We DO have a freezer now, don't we?  But it's at Woodberry, being bashed to pieces by those rotten builders.  So we can't use it, despite the fact we were supposed to move back at the end of September.
According to my offline diary, I also photographed my Year Nine ponies on November 16th - still using the awful pink camera, I believe.  It took me AGES to upload them to my Facebook albums, and I still have to upload them to Myspace and Photobucket.  Stupid big pictures.  It really doesn't seem like there's any way to re-size them either.
November 17th 2008
Didn't leave the house.  Drusilla's parcel arrived though!  Not sure if I mentioned it on here before, but Drusilla contacted me a few months back, interested in some of my duplicate merchandise, and we set up a trade.  So I got a load of old MLP merchandise out of the house, and got some really nice stuff for my collection in return.  The things I got were also smaller, more valuable items which took up a lot less space than the stuff I sent out, which is good considering I'm trying to clear up the house!
I didn't take photos of the stuff, and it's all been packed in different rooms now, but included in the parcel were three ponies (Pretty Puff - perfect condition, except she was missing her cape...but I found her cape at a car boot sale YEARS ago, so now they're reunited, Baby Sundance - my old one was missing an eye, but this girl is beautiful, and Lofty - in very baity condition!  Well, she's a favourite of mine, and Drusilla threw her in so that she could join my Lofty army!), a G1 frametray puzzle, three G2 jigsaws, a G2 car air freshener, two G3 Lite Brite re-fill packs, a bag of accessories, and a GORGEOUS bright white Glory plushie!
Actually, I do have a photo of Glory on this computer...but it was taken before I cleaned her up.  Well, she didn't need "cleaning" as such.  Just a good hair brush and her eyes had to be partially re-painted, but that's normal for G1 plushies.  She herself is a much brighter white than this photo shows - her fur is all fluffy and like new too.  I think she's probably been washed at some stage during her life, but you'd never know it.  I only wish I could clean plushies so well without damaging them!

I'll have to take another photo of her sometime.  She's really gorgeous now.
David went for a job interview, so I spent the time singing upstairs in the communal bedroom.  Sadly, David didn't get the job, nor any job since.  I will continue with that story once I get up to the present day though.
I sold three duplicate G1 MLP books for £4.80, which paid off a little of my Pony Debt...still a lot to go though.  Anyone want to buy something from my sales album?  Oops, I haven't posted the revised version yet, have I?  Er, look out for the new sales album coming sometime in the near future!  The only problem is that half of my sales stuff has gone into the storage depot before Christmas, so I need to get David to bring it back before I can photograph it!  Agh, I'm getting all addled again now!
November 18th 2008
Ah, the latest date that David had estimated we would move house.  We didn't, of course.  Instead, we had to visit the house in its unfinished state to see the evil Chris Sickton and his recommended landscape gardener (aka his friend), "Mad Emma" (he can't be much of a friend, if he calls her that behind her back, can he?!) or Emma Renton.  I'm sorry to say she's as useless as Sickton.  She asked us what we wanted, and when Mum said she wanted a wildlife garden to attract birds, Renton answered, "What do you want birds for?  You do realise that they poo everywhere?!"  WTH?  She started telling us what patio SHE wanted in OUR garden, showed us that it was the best type of paving stone by splashing water all over it (I'm not quite sure what she thought she was proving, but I know she splashed my feet more than the paving stone! ), then began instructing us on what kind of fence WE want.  Mum told her she wanted chainlink along the bottom like Uncle Ron had, so that she could still see the trains, and Emma Renton looked at her like she was mad, and asked her what a chainlink fence was.  Um, you're standing looking at Ron's old one...  "Why do you want to see the trains.  You're not a little girl anymore!"  By this point I felt like telling the witch to mind her own business, but I bit my tongue.  Mum pointed out that she likes the birds that fly up from the trees alongside the railway, but we all know what Renton thinks of birds.  "Well, if that's really what you want, I suppose I'll have to find out about chainlink fencing."  How can someone who has supposedly been designing gardens for over a decade have never heard of such a common kind of fencing?!
Maybe we're just being pernickety (Sickton would certainly say so!) but we like green gardens filled with flowers.  I like seeing red admirals flittering about the buddleia, and watching blue tits drinking from the bird bath.  It seems Emma Renton doesn't like these things.  She just likes paving, paving and more paving!  This is her website for those who are interested: Emma Renton's Website  Look at the gallery - is that sad or what?  It just seems that most of those gardens are either made totally of wood and stone, or consist of nothing but flowerbeds filled with weeds.
While we were at Woodberry, I noticed that Sickton had actually done something - he'd moved the radiator in the extension!  We'd told him we wanted to sit by the patio doors, meaning the radiator had to move up a little so that our sofa would fit between it and the doors.  One teensy problem; he'd moved it TOWARDS the door rather than away from it.  I almost screamed.  I reckon he's messing the house up on purpose now, but have no idea why.
That evening, I photographed all of my sales stuff again...on the pink camera.  Then discovered that I couldn't upload any of the photos, of course.  So I ended up taking them all over again, using the old broken camera.  *Sigh*  Why does life have to be so difficult?!
It's almost 1am now, so I'm going to have to go to bed.  I will continue with this blog tomorrow...I'm sure something of more interest to all of you has happened between then and now.  Or maybe not.  Perhaps I'm just lying to get you to continue reading my blogs.  Who knows?  Either way, I've made you curious now, haven't I?  Ha!  See you back here tomorrow, eh?
Best wishes,
Desirée Skylark  xxx

Wednesday, 24 December 2008

Worst Christmas Eve Ever

Current mood:  relaxed
We've had an argument regarding the house, David and I aren't talking to each other, I have NOTHING - not even a card - to give Mum (or David for that matter, but I don't care about him), we have no apple juice or bread in the house, because of David's sulking, and my parents are STILL arguing...Mum occasionally ranting about how she can't be bothered with Christmas, HATES the decorations, and she's glad she doesn't have so much as a card to give me because I "haven't bothered" to get her anything.  Doesn't she understand I WOULD have "bothered" if only we were moved and I could get out alone to buy her something.  Mind you, she says she doesn't want anything anyway - chocolate gives her toothache, and anything inedible is cluttering the place up further.  Now David is going to the internet cafe to buy himself more Mills & Boon books.  AGH!  On top of that, my sister just wrote to my mum and told her that my brother-in-law's best friend was killed in a traffic accident this morning, so I'm not sure if I should be writing something to him or if that would only make the situation worse.  Plus I'm really concerned about a dear internet aquaintance of mine, who appears to be seriously depressed and has quite possibly turned to alcohol and/or drugs on a dangerous level.  But it's not my place to interfere in the lives of people I hardly know and have never even met, is it?  Yeah, so it's been a great day all round really.
Well, I know that nobody will be reading my blog at this time of the year, but I'm going to write about some of the things that have happened since Gibraltar anyway, just because it will give me something to do and hopefully calm my nerves a little.
November 14th 2008
Having arrived back from Gibraltar the night before, we decided to go to Woodberry and see what destruction had taken place while we were away.  Unsurprisingly, not much had happened at all, although that also meant no more damage had been done, which I guess is one upside.  They had fitted the kitchen countertops, which Mum immediately decided she hated, and wanted replaced.  In fact, she started screaming about how Picton had made her pick it out in a rush (because we were "moving soon"), and how unnecessary that had been.  All very true, I must agree...although I don't hate the countertop as much as Mum.  I don't particularly like it either though, so I can see why she's upset when Picton WASN'T  in any hurry to get the house ready for us to move in anyway.
The cheap camera we bought for Gibraltar is USELESS, and takes such enormous photos that they each take about half an hour to upload to the internet on dial-up, which I hadn't discovered at this point, so this photo was taken quite a bit later, but the countertop is the same, so you can see the contrast with the light coloured cupboards anyway.

After Mum had finished screaming, we drove to Uxbridge, where my parents finally gave me an hour to do some shopping on my own.  Well, it was bound to happen, since I'd wanted to go before Gibraltar.  David usually does the things he promises to do, he just takes too long about it!
I told my parents I'd meet them back by the bench near the stairs to the car park between 4.45pm-5.00pm (about an hour later) and set on my way.
I got the vast majority of the things I'd been after, but got phased by the lack of time and was unable to get a good moisturiser.  Also, Claire's Accessories have stopped making my favourite mascara, so I had to buy a different one.  And they can call it waterproof all they like, it's been running everywhere ever since.  Well, except when you want to get it off.  Even though I bought proper make-up remover wipes this time, rather than struggling with hot water like before, it just will not come off!  And it cost more.  Ugh, can anyone recommend me a good mascara for next time I get a shopping trip?!
I dashed into Accessorize and bought myself a sweet little necklace.  It's not as nice as yours, Sarah, but I'm glad you told me to look in Accesorize anyway.  As (rather badly!) modelled by Pinkie Pie...

Image deleted by Tinypic before I had the sense to re-upload all my photos to my Photobucket album and update all the links.  I apologise for any inconvenience caused!

Then finally to HMV, where I managed to snag a Wicked CD at half price!  Well, actually I almost ended up paying more than it should have been in the first place.  The stupid girl behind the counter had only just started working there, and was so busy telling everyone her life story that she didn't notice I gave her a £20 note.  So I had to have a huge argument (something I hate) to get my extra £10 change.
Obviously, this delayed me a little, and I had to go on a ridiculous dash back to the bench where I was supposed to be meeting my parents.  It was 4.50pm by the time I got back - a whole five minutes into my fifteen minute slot!  So what do I find?  Mum is pacing up and down looking very pale, and David is nowhere to be seen.  "Oh, thank God you're back!" she cries, grinning as I approach.  "There are police everywhere - I went to the loo, and it seems like there was some kind of drug dealing going on over there.  Why are you so late back anyway?  David's gone to look for you!"
Er, late?!  I still had ten minutes until the end of my time slot.  We had to wait a long time for David to return, and he looked equally worried - it seems Mum had been winding him up about how he should have got me a mobile phone so that they could have kept in touch with me or something.  Hence, it would have been his fault if I'd been murdered...well, whatever.  We just had time to dash to Woolworths (where I couldn't afford any of the lovely new ponies I saw), before returning to Grottsville.
Heh, I got a long way with that blog, didn't I?!  I will continue with this as soon as I get another chance.  Most likely tomorrow, even if it is Christmas day.  I'm really not looking forward to Christmas without Splodge.  This will be my first Christmas EVER without any pets, and a huge part of my Christmas is spoiling them rotten.  I have nobody to play "Father Pawmas" for tonight.
Have a Merry Christmas, everybody!
*Massive hugs*
Desirée Skylark  xxx

Wednesday, 17 December 2008

For the people who were wondering where I'd gone...

Current mood:  tired

I thought I should stop by write a quick line on here.
Having read my last blog, some people may have thought I'd left Myspace for good, but I promise I will be back to my old blogging self as soon as possible.  I guess I lost heart for a couple of weeks, then things got busy, and everything started going wrong.
It may be I won't be able to write about everything that's happened since Gibraltar, but the blog will soon be back in some shape or form.
Not quite yet though, as I've got wrapped up with Christmas duties, and have been really ill with a cold.  Yes, I know that sounds stupid.  It's not flu, just a very bad cold, but I honestly have been really sick; fluctuating temperature, constant tiredness (I fell asleep on the floor yesterday, and then slept twelve hours when I went to bed!), severe headaches and sinus trouble...  I looked in the mirror the last two days and didn't even recognise myself - I was as pale as a ghost with huge black rings around me eyes!
On top of all of this, our central heating packed up on Sunday, meaning we're FREEZING cold (Mum is sitting on the sofa in her thermal vest and coat right now - as well as her ordinary clothes, of course! - while I'm wearing an extra jumper, which is unheard of for me), and have no hot water whatsoever.
We tried to call a man out to come and fix it, but being Sunday nowhere was open.  We tried again Monday, but couldn't get anyone until this morning... and then what happened?  He didn't come!  They have "no record of us", but will "try again tomorrow".  They'd better try a bit harder than today.  I think we'll have pneumonia before tomorrow is out.
Anyways, sorry to those of you still awaiting a message from me.  I need to get some more sleep now, but I promise I'll try my very best to write to you all tomorrow.
Yours snoringly,
 Desiree Skylark  xxx

Thursday, 27 November 2008

Well, I've Had It!

Current mood:  sad
I was going to write a blog today on everything that's happened since Gibraltar, but I've lost heart again now.  Especially since I've had to make this blog private, meaning I'm now blocking all my non-Myspace readers again.
Basically, the endless talk between my Mum and Emma is getting more than tiresome now.  I don't know what my illiterate sister is on about half the time, and I KNOW I shouldn't be snooping, but it's the only way I know to stop writing when I do.
It appears Mum asked Emma about European sizes for a t-shirt she's thinking of buying me (a MLP one, of course.  She wouldn't think of clothes otherwise), and Emma's told her...
"Right you get 2 and a half centimetres to an inch - i have a top that is a size 16/18 UK but it says 46 Europe and was on a large hanger does that help? if in doubt i'd go for medium better to be a bit big than to small but knowing her she'll say your calling her fat! i always have liked things big - even when i was slim - she seems to like things tight not baggy!"..:namespace prefix = o ns = "urn:schemas-microsoft-com:office:office" />
Emma NEVER wore things "baggy" when she was my age.  And I have the photographs in this house to prove it.   She's just trying to make out to my prudish mother that I'm going over the line or something.  And yes, Liz (I'll write back to you tomorrow - it's late, and I'm feeling agitated about all of this right now), I know my leggings don't suit the t-shirts, but that's because I can't get anyone to go shoe shopping with me, and I try to wear something of a similar colour in a desperate hope it'll look all right with the shoes. *Sighs*
Obviously, she's read my Gibraltar blog and has a bit of jealousy brewing that I'm going so many more places than she did or something.  I'd already figured that...and then it was confirmed.  Mum wrote to her on a different subject - in fact, I had told Mum what Elisabeth had said about my clothes, in a desperate hope she'd help me go shopping...instead she made some comment to Emma which I won't quote here for fear of upsetting you, Liz, but basically you've been added to the people they rant about - I guess because you've been nice to me.  She's basically saying you've made lots of rude comments about me where everyone can see so now I don't want Emma to look at my blog.  Weird - 'cause that's a perfect way to get Emma to look and then she'll see there are no rude comments.
"she (desiree) was going to link you over to her blog as it has the Gibraltar fire engine photo on there for allan"
All very true.  I was going to link her over, having promised Allan I'd show him the fire engine pictures (he says he's going to be a fireman when he grows up and is fire engine mad!)
And that gave Emma the perfect opening (Beware - mild bad language ahead)...
"Well don't tell her - but when she writes her blog - it comes up on my page on Facebook so either i read it or click to get rid mind you she worte so much i didn't bother and when she writes she gets on my tits - she's a tycial 17 year old but she says to much - not being horrid but it doesn't surprise me that she gets slagged off - she leaves herself wide open and she's so rude about you and |David - unless your related - you'd just think she was a bitch, not understand what she's really on about. It sounds as though i'm slagging her off when i'm not - really i'm not  i just see it from an outsiders view! plus i think she's lucky to get to go these places at her age i never did - i got stuck with a Mum who didn't want to know unless i was doing smehing she could worry about and slag me off to Gran about (that's how it seemed back then) a toddler oh and the step Dad from hell - she seems to get away with murder - she hasn't had to go to school or college _ you made me go to Uxbridge! or get a job _ David was kicking me out if i didn't go to College and if i got a job he wanted half of whatever i earned - i'd have never been aloud near the camera, mobile or computer!

I think i'm just defence of you - i know exactly where she's coming from - been there got the t-shirt but i hate the way she writes stuff for everyone to see!"
Right, first off...
I've only ever written four blogs on Facebook, mainly because a couple of my non-Myspace friends are over there, and I thought I could get my news to them that way.  So Emma can't have had that many news feeds on her page.
I know I wrote a lot about Gibraltar, but I LOVED it there, and I wanted to express that.  I felt so much happier while I was there than when I'm here in Grottsville, so I thought it was better to dwell on those days than my depressed days back here.
I didn't think I was particularly rude about my parents?  I mentioned Mum's fear on the plane, and how David had gone to the loo and stopped Mum getting a camel ride.  Is that being "So rude" about them?
So do I really sound like a bitch to you all then?  Just because I have dreams, they try to get me down and I use my blog as a way to let it all out?  I feel horrid now, like I've been un-necessarily rude about people, but I can't think that I was in those blogs.  Maybe I shouldn't have mentioned when I thought David had broken my finger?  I don't know...
Yes, I am INCREDIBLY lucky to be going all these places.  As I just mentioned, I loved Gibraltar and Morocco.  But wait a moment, Emma.
My Mum doesn't want to know unless I do something she can worry about.  Trouble is, in my case that isn't boozing and having hundreds of boyfriends like YOU did, it's going on a simple shopping trip so that I can do something as simple as shave my legs or wear mascara!  And now there's no Gran for her to slag me off...or for me to go and sponge off (And steal from!) like you did.  OK, so this is me as the bitch you describe.  But everything mentioned above is true.
Right, so I don't have a toddler sister.  But was I really that bad.  And, oh my God, "the stepdad from Hell"?  Who's being "so rude" about David now, eh?  Try having him as a father who doesn't even provide you with a bed, and living in a house where there's hardly any hot water, no flushing loo, no freeser, no washing machine, no TV, no light, and clutter, mess, filth and GRIME everywhere.  Like just today, I was sitting on the floor eating chips for dinner, and found a carpet beetle standing on my hand just as I was about to put a chip in my mouth.  No joke.  SHE didn't have to live with ANY of that.  She had her own ROOM (oh, but she never got to choose the colour of her carpet so she was FAR worse off than me, remember? ), and still went dashing to Grandma and Grandad.
I "get away with murder" by "not going to school or college".  You might have been happy to waste your life, but I actually WANT to go to college having not been to school.  All right, so you didn't want an education, but how would you have lived with NO contact with people of your own age (or any people at all apart from an older sister who quite clearly hates you and your parents) except through a computer screen, Emma?  At least I HAVE ambitions.  But I'll never get to Canada if I don't get an education...and fast.  Remember, I want specific drama classes too.  YOU could never pinpoint anything you wanted, so that's why YOU never got it.  When it comes to ME people just choose to "not understand".
I'd like a job, even if David did take half of what I earned.  Then even if I only earned £20.02 I'd have more money than I've got now.  But I am unable to go out and get a job, remember?!
And what's all this?  She wouldn't have been allowed round a digital camera, mobile phone, or computer?  Digital cameras weren't so commonplace back then, I DON'T have a mobile phone and never have had one (nobody to ring anyway), and I only have a computer because YOUR HUSBAND gave me one when I was 15, and David replaced it when it broke, because that way he can shut me up inside this house, because I "have contact with the outside world from my own living room".
Oh, and then for the punchline which I can translate for you here: "I'm defending you, dear Mummy.  Please love me more than Desiree and give me some more Christmas presents for my family!"  She makes me want to puke.  And what's this "Been there, got the t-shirt" slogan?  I'd like to see this t-shirt; I wonder, what does it say?  "I went through my teens in a terrible household, came out bitching about everyone else in the same or worse situations...  AND ALL I GOT WAS THIS LOUSY T-SHIRT!"?
Well, right now I am feeling very downhearted and sad.  I REALLY don't want to see my sister this weekend.  She's so two-faced, and will be all friendly and sweet to me, probably making the occasional snide remark about Mum behind her back, to which I ALWAYS try to DEFEND Mum. (Unlikem my mum, who will now join in with this conversation and happily moan about me for days, even though she can't be bothered to read my blogs...meaning she thinks all this nonsense Emma is talking is true.)
So... I have deleted EVERYTHING from Facebook, and made my Myspace private.  I don't think there's a way to make LJ private (at least not that I can see) so I shall not be posting there - for the time being, at least
I think I might just take a break from blogging full stop, and work on my singing and voice acting at every available chance instead.
I'll show them that I CAN be something more than "the blogging bitch of rude comments"...some day.  Where there's a will, there's a way! <3

Tuesday, 25 November 2008

Glorious Gibraltar and Marvellous Morocco ~ Part Two

Current mood:  busy

The next day (Wednesday November 12th) we were off to Morocco!  We had overslept the day before (we probably would have missed our trip to Spain even if it had run!), so were worried we'd oversleep and miss Morocco too.  The bus was supposed to be coming for us at 7.30am, so we got up at about 5.30 to give ourselves plenty of time.  David went and got us some breakfast, in the form of chocolate muffins and croissants (again!)  I had just finished washing and dressing, and was just about to apply my mascara (Yes, I had decided to take and use my mascara, despite the fact it was eight months old because I hadn't been able to get out shopping before the holiday), when David came to the door, shouting that our "nice Scottish tour guide (I've always liked the Scottish)" had arrived.  It was only 7am, so I wasn't best pleased, as you can imagine.  I shoved my mascara in my bag along with the little make-up compact that came with my travel bag...the one that Mum says I save weight in my luggage case by not using.  Just thought I'd add that in for a laugh!
Anyways, there we were on a pitch black dark bus, with me sitting behind my parents trying to apply my mascara without them seeing...with Mum keep turning around to "make sure I hadn't disappeared"!   Needless to say, I decided it wasn't worth the effort and gave up in the end.
Apparently, I fell asleep on the coach as we drove through Spain, which was quite annoying as I missed out on seeing a lot from the window.  Eventually, we reached the port of Tarifa.  David then decided he needed to go to the lavatory.  Everyone else had got their boarding cards...and we were still waiting for David to return.  He'd got all our passports too, just to make sure we couldn't go without him.
Luckily, he showed up at the very last minute, and we were able to board the ferry.  I made one last attempt to go to the ladies' to see if I could apply this darn mascara, but Mum wouldn't let me go without her, so I gave up, and just wore my sunglasses practically all day instead!  Luckily, it was a very sunny day in Morocco, so I didn't look too stupid...well, at least no more than usual!
The journey on the ferry took approximately an hour and a half...most of which I slept through again!  I KNEW I shouldn't have got up for "Intelligence" the night before!
When we arrived in Morocco, we were welcomed by our local guide, Rasheed.  Then we were marched to the tour bus by him, the "nice Scottish guide (I've always liked the Scottish)", and a third man who seemed to act as security guard to us all.  And oh my, did we ever need a security guard!  It was heartbreaking to see the poverty there; the suffering of both humans and animals.  I think what struck me most was the amount of starving stray dogs and cats everywhere.  They were so durty, like they couldn't even be bothered to wash themselves.
We drove for quite a while to the "Caves of Hercules".  The caves were filled with poor people trying to sell gorgeous hand-crafted souveneirs which nobody seemed to buy, as "they'd be cheaper in town".  Apart from that, they were mainly filled with mud.  Thick, slippery mud.  Mum and I very nearly fell flat on our faces in our canvas shoes.  It's hard to see in this photo, but I promise this photo shows shelves of beautiful trinkets in a very muddy cave!

By the time we'd cautiously made our way out of the cave, everyone else was taking the chance to have their photos taken with the camels outside.  It's been one of Mum's dreams to ride a camel since she was a little girl, and missed her chance at London Zoo.  But David went to the lavatory again...taking all the euros with him!
So we just had to stand there, as everyone got back on the coach.  By the time David got back, we really should have been getting back on the coach ourselves.  I told Mum to rush and get her ride, but she insisted I went first.  I realised she wouldn't go anyway unless I'd already gone, so I went ahead.
Well, the camels were kneeling on the ground as they do.  They all seemed to be well-treated and happy with water provided at all times and clean feet etc.  So I got up on the back of the camel I was directed to, with the aid of a large blue box.
Of course, it didn't occur to me that they got up on their back legs first, did it?  There was nothing to hold on to apart from the saddle blanket that covered his front hump, and I really felt like I was going to go over his head straight on to the hard ground below.  I'm surprised nobody has complained for health and safety reasons!

I couldn't believe how tall he was, when he was standing up straight!  After a quick photo opportunity, he gently walked around in a small circle and knelt back down.  He seemed to know his routine pretty well.
By the time I got down, they were calling us back to the coach so, really due to David's lavatory excursion, Mum didn't get her camel ride.  I felt awful.  She did get her photo taken with the camel, but that was as far as it went.
Quite a decent picture of us together for our standards, I think?  If I hadn't been holding my hands so flat to my body like a Barbie doll or something!

Then back on to the coach for a ride into town.  Mum started moaning about how "I'd lost her the opportunity [to ride the camel] by taking the time for myself" (even though I'd told her to go first)...to which David replied, "There was plenty of time for you to go to the toilet if you'd wanted to - you wouldn't have wanted to use it anyway though.  It was a squatting one."  "I didn't want to go to the bl**dy toilet!"  Mum ranted.  "I wanted to ride a f***ing camel!"  I just tried to ignore my parents and pretend that I wasn't with them while they continued their argument, although I did feel sorry for Mum.
It was really hot by this point, so I took my hoodie off.  I was wearing a simple t-shirt underneath (a MLP t-shirt actually, with "Princess Sparkle" written across the front!).  We were told to not leave anything on the bus (apparantly, a lot of stuff gets stolen right off the coach o_0), so I did take my hoodie in my bag, but since it was a hot day, I didn't put it on again.
We were lead through a market which reminded us very much of our own Wembley market, except for all the uncovered meat buzzing with flies, and even more exotic fruit and vegetables than we see in the oriental aisles over here.  Mum made it clear that she wasn't impressed.  We walked down lots of rather narrow, dusty roads.  I took a couple of quick snaps to give you some idea of what I'm talking about.

At one point, we walked by a gang of boys of about my age who looked me up and down like a piece of meat.  Poor Mum couldn't keep up with the group, and kept getting accosted by very pushy salesmen who were waving everything from necklaces to mobile phones at her.  And, of course, what did Mum go and do, being the polite person she is (to everyone but her own family, of course!)?  She kept encouraging them by telling them she thought their sales goods were "really nice".   At one point, one of the necklace sellers walked backwards right in front of her down two streets, waving his jewellery in front of her nose!  Anyways, I turned around to check the necklace seller hadn't murdered her to see the gang of boys laughing at her for not walking fast enough.  I glared at them but, not realising I was even with Mum, they must have got the wrong idea and thought I was looking back AT them - big heads - so they started making rather rude, suggestive gestures at me.  Get a life, creeps!
First we went to a shop which sold fine arts.  Beautiful hand-made carpets primarily.  The man who owned the shop was even pushier than the street sellers.  "You like these carpets, yes please?  Is my English good, yes please?  We really try here you know, yes please?"  They sat us around this big room at the back of the top floor of the shop, and his assistant rolled all these carpets out in front of us.   "We are very proud of our hospitality here.  So first let's get you a drink of mint tea, yes please?  Sugar or no, please?"

"Feel the carpets, yes please!  Touch the carpets, yes please!  See what you like the best, yes please!"  Again, Mum started grinning like a lunatic, proclaiming how much she loved them.  So guess who got singled out of the group to "buy a carpet"?!  "Hello sir!" The "yes please" man cried. Then the tea arrived.  And before we knew it, we were all holding glasses of a strange hot green fizzing liquid filled with large leaves.  I almost puked at the smell, but at least I figured out the correct Moroccan way to hold the glass before anyone else.  "You have a very intelligent, very beautiful daughter, yes please." The shop owner told David, who looked like he was also about to vomit.  "So what is you favourite colour, yes please?" The man asked Mum.  When she didn't answer, he turned to me and asked the same question.  "The wife and daughter choose the colour and the husband pays, isn't that right, yes please?!"  We were informed that the carpets cost £300-350 each.  "They make great Christmas gift for whole family.  Yes please!!!"  We backed off towards the stairs, telling him we only had £50 on us.  The poor man was so desperate to sell the carpets that he offered to let us have one for £70.  But we just couldn't afford it, even though Mum did genuinely love them.  Somehow David managed to drink Mum's green fizzing tea as well as his own...and then mine too!  No wonder he looked sick!
When we got to the bottom of the stairs another team of men started trying to sell us hand-made wooden ornaments and jewellery...and many other things that I can't remember off-hand.  I would have taken photos, but I was worried that would have encouraged even pushy salesmen to try and force things on us.
But it seemed these men were more interested in BUYING stuff from us...or rather from my parents.  "Where are you from?" One of the men asked us.  We told him we were from England.  "What part of England?"  "London."  Mum answered. "Ah, my sister lives in Manchester - very rainy.  Is London like Manchester?"  We laughed and agreed it was.  "This is your family, sir?" The man asked David.  My father nodded.  "This is your daughter."  "Yes, both my daughters!" David joked.  "No, not really, is she?" The man said, indicating Mum.  "Your wife or your sister?"  "My wife."  "Oh, you look very alike.  You are so lucky to have such a beautiful daughter.  I will offer you fifty camels for her!"  We all laughed.  "No, she's worth at least fifty five!" David said.  "Fifty two." The man baragained, firmly.  SERIOUSLY.  Yes, honestly.  He was not joking.  He was TRULY trying to buy me for 50 camels.  I scarpered back to the coach group, and stayed as close to the guide as I could for the rest of the stay there.  God, how much longer did we stay in the shop, with that horrible man looking at me like I was just an object to be bought and sold; like the wooden ornaments all around me?  That seems to be how they treat women there though.  We hardly saw any women at all.  I think they must have all been indoors, working hard to make all these beautiful things.
It felt like forever.  Although I don't think it can have been that long until we were dashed off to our next stop: the pharmacy.  There we were given a talk and demonstration on all the different herbs they use for different ailments and simple cooking in Morocco.  The man who gave the talk (the owner of the pharmacy) seemed a genuinely nice guy, but he had two teenage assistants who I wasn't so sure about.  They looked like the kind of people who live in this street.  After each herb was discussed, the two boys would come and wave it under our noses, or rub it in our hands/on our wrists depending what it was.
At one point I thought this boy was going to stuff a whole handkerchief of this strange un-named substance up Mum's nose.  And he rubbed my arm so hard with white musk on my arm that I had a big scratch on it for the rest of my holiday!  We bought some white musk (used for keeping mosquitos and other pests away in Morocco), and rose hand lotion...  David also got some kind of "slimming powder" to put in his tea, which he "can use One...Two...Three...Four...Five times" (Imagine elaborate hand movements to go along with that line! )
When we got downstairs in the pharmacy - with the two assistants hot on our heels, quite obviously whispering about me  - we found another hand-carved wooden figurine seller with camel ornaments for sale.  They were cheaper than everywhere else though, so Mum bought a couple as souvenirs.
Apparently, while we were doing this, Rasheed had rushed off with the rest of the group.  Luckily, "the nice Scottish guide - I've always liked the Scottish" had stayed with us, and had a mobile phone on him so he could phone Rasheed up and tell him to come and get us.  The guide himself didn't know where to go, because "they have to change the route every time due to high crime levels".  Once Rasheed got back, we dashed to our last stop: a rather posh restaurant.  We took "the vegetarian option", although we still don't know what it was.

Some kind of very spicy soup with large lumps of not very well cooked vegetables in it, a plate of soggy salad, a dish of crunchy rice and more soggy salad and a very crusty loaf of bread.  Mum got mad that David and I were eating some of the bread, because she wanted us to sneak it in our bags for later.  She "couldn't eat it now in case she needed the loo before she got back to the hotel", as she told us loudly and clearly in front of everyone else in the group!  And just in case that hadn't made everyone feel suitably sick, she said to Matthew, one of the other men in our tour group, sitting on the table next to us, "What is that thing on the side of your plate?  It looks like a piece of dog poo!"  It was some kind of skewered burnt meat, which did look rather, um, like she described.  I can safely say that nobody ate their "dog poo" after Mum's comments.
Mum did enjoy the band who were playing at the restaurant.  She turned around and smiled at one of the musicians...and before we knew it, they were serenading her.  Of course, then they expected her to give them a large tip.  Oops!
Rasheed then dashed us back to the coach, despite having said we were going somewhere else before heading back to Gibraltar.

He left someone behind again in his rush, and everyone was shouting in panic, thinking this woman had been attacked.  Rasheed's assistant actually went to the and looked down each road to check it was safe before we were allowed to turn a corner.  They wouldn't even let us go and get a postcard at the end, because that would have meant letting us go out of sight for a few moments.  It was an experience, and something to say you've done, but rather unnerving to say the least.
Oh, and I FINALLY figured out why all these horrid men had been looking at me strangely.  All right, I was being stupid, wasn't I?  I guess it just didn't occur to me that I should be wearing more than a t-shirt in a place like Morocco.    Women do not go walking around with bare arms or legs in Morocco.  There was another woman on our tour with bare arms too, and I now realise she was getting the same looks.  Oops.
Just a couple of quick pictures I took before we got back on the coach.  These photos probably give you more idea of Morocco on the day we were there than the more specific photos I took.

We almost got crushed when we arrived back in Spain by a rush of tourists trying to get off the ferry.  Perhaps they were all feeling as desperate to set their feet on safer lands as we were after a day in Morocco.  I just cannot get the image of all these stray cats lined up along the bank looking after the ferry.  It was almost like they hoped they could somehow hop aboard and find a better place to live.
I took a couple of photos as we passed through Spain (No, I didn't fall asleep on the way back!), but I couldn't really get a good clear picture with us rushing along the road the way we were.  It should give you an idea of the scenery from the coach though.

Suddenly, there was a huge commotion, but Mum and I could not figure out what everyone was going on about, because they were all talking above each other.  "Look!" David said to Mum.  "Look at what?" She asked.  He just continued to point at something in the distance.  When he FINALLY told her that everyone had been looking at a stork's nest on top of a building we had just passed, we were fuming.  If he knew what they were looking at, why couldn't he have told us in time?!
At some point along the way, someone in our group asked "the nice Scottish guide - I've always liked the Scottish" where he was from.  His answer?  BELFAST!  Gosh, you should have seen Mum's face.   Of course, I was mad that I hadn't been able to tell his nationality from his accent.  He had been living in Gibraltar since 1976 though, so maybe that played a part in it.
The following morning, we had to leave the Rock Hotel behind for the final time.  Mum was sad to have to leave the rubber ducks there, because she collects rubber ducks (now there's an interesting fact you didn't know, eh?) and hasn't got one like this.  Anyone know where I can get her one for Christmas?  They sold them at the Rock Hotel but they were £10 each!!!  And I'm pretty sure they don't cost that much elsewhere.

Oh, and you know I was complaining about their being no spare pillows, and me having to use a shower robe instead?  Well, Mum was just checking we hadn't left anything in the wardrobe, by sliding the door the other way...and voila!  Look what was inside!

(She's grinning because she's just found some posh shoe polish that she can nick for somebody for Christmas, by the way.  That's what the little white thing in her hand is, in case you were wondering. )
We walked down through the Botanic Gardens to the place where you could catch the Cable Car up the Rock.

On the way, I spotted a couple of Gibraltar fire engines, and figured I'd snap some pictures for my nephew.  Now, of course, I find the photos are too big to send via e-mail, so Emma, if you're reading this, please show these to Allan for me...

We got some spectacular views from the cable car, and from the very top of the Rock.  Once again, the apes chased us for our bags...  Mum laughed at me when I shouted "No!" as one ran towards me.  I notice she gave her bag to David to look after though, presumably so that she could blame him when everything got lost!
I thought this one was going to jump down on our heads, and try to get our bags that way...

They weren't as bad as they could have been though, because they'd just been fed their daily fruit and vegetables.

We wandered around and watched the wildlife for a while - we saw a bird of prey gliding across the sea, but we're not entirely sure what it was.  David was urging us to leave the entire time, although Mum and I didn't really know why at the time...
When it did come to going back to the Cable Car station, David decided to "take a shortcut".  A dangerous cut, more like.  He had us stepping over all kinds of cracks and crevices, and walking down these near-vertical stairs.  Mum didn't like it at all.  "Give me my bag - I need to look after it!" she told him, before she began the long journey.

Even I could hardly believe we'd made it down all those stairs.  We're not exactly the kind of people who do a lot of climbing here in Grottsville.

When we got back down to the bottom of the Rock, we discovered the reason why David had been rushing us.  "Is it all right if I go back to the stamp shop?" He asked, although he wasn't really asking, if you know what I mean.  He was just letting us know that was where we were to waste a large chunk of our last day in Gibraltar.
And yes, he spent yet more time walking up and down with that pack of soldier stamps.  In the end, he bought it...with no discount, of course.  Idiot. 
In fact, we missed the changing of the guard because David spent so long in that blasted shop!  Wouldn't it have been better to spend the time watching the real thing than buying a load of stamps featuring scenes of the event?  I did get a photo of the guard anyway...probably not as good as the pictures on David's stamps, but he hasn't even shown those to us, so I definitely can't scan them in to show them on here!

We went inside a little cathedral, and then sat outside to eat our final stolen muffins and croissants.  Then we tried to figure out what to do with our last couple of hours before we had to go back to the hotel (who still had our suitcases in their luggage room) to catch our bus to the airport.  Eventually, we decided to go to the museum.
There wasn't much worth noting there, but it was interesting enough and we passed an hour or so.  There was a fifteen minute video which we were supposed to watch before entering the actual museum...so we stepped through the door as directed, and found we were in such a dark room that we really couldn't see ANYTHING.  Somebody else had entered through another door, although I couldn't tell you if they were male or female, or if there was one or a hundred and one of them!  I just saw a fleeting image of a silhouette as the door opposite closed behind them...  We struggled to find chairs to sit .. the film started.  We managed to find a row of them which we thought were at the front.  Mum sat at the end, with me in the middle and David at the en...er, where WAS David?  "Oof!  Ow..." came a cry in the dark!  "There's no bl**dy seat here!" David said...and I could sense his voice coming from the floor.  I reached to the side of me as I heard him getting up, and could feel that he was right; indeed, there was the back of a chair, but no seat there!  "Can you move up one seat?" David said.  So Mum tried, thinking there was a whole row of seats to the side of her...and almost fell on the floor herself!  In fact, there were only three chairs per row, including the seatless one.  So David sat behind us...  When the film started, we were also able to see that we were actually in the second row back anyway, so in theory we could have all sat in a row anyway.  Utterly crazy.
We stayed a bit too long in the museum, considering we had to catch a bus back to the hotel before we could get the bus to the airport.  One bus sailed straight past us...

...and the next one was so crowded that we couldn't get on.
While my parents got more and more stressed, I decided to occupy myself taking a photo on this sunny afternoon.  I guess it struck me as funny being able to stand there in a t-shirt in the middle of November.
All right, so there wasn't exactly a nearby palm tree for photo opportunities, but this would do, right?

And then it turned out I'd cut the tree out of the picture anyway.  Oh well, I'm sure you can see what I was aiming at...  "Sun, (fake) palm trees, and fun" and all that jazz?

...Oh, there's the bus!  This one was crowded too, but the driver let us on anyway.  We couldn't even find anything to hold on to, but Mum was all right.  "Would you like to sit down, Madam?" A man asked her.  "Oh, thank you."  Mum said.  "I know I'm getting old now, don't I?!" She laughed.  "Who mentioned your age?" The man replied.
And, sure enough, these seats were not reserved for elderly passengers, as the sign behind Mum clearly states in this photo.

Perhaps he had noticed all her obvious disabilities, caused by Crazy Disease?  Who knows?
We were about five minutes late back to the hotel, and our hearts sank when we saw the bus was nowhere in sight.  We hurried to get our cases out of the luggage room, stood by the door, and waited.
Why do we have so much luggage for a four night holiday?  Don't ask me!

In the end, I decided to walk across the road and try to take another "sunny November afternoon" picture.  At least I got the "fake palm tree" in the photo this time!  But I still look awful.

David agreed to try and take a photo for me...  Are you ready for this?  The very last photo of me in Gibraltar.  It's got to be good, hasn't it?  Well, it is.  Not.  Well, maybe in a hilarious kind of way.  Oh shoot.  Just look upon it and get your laughter out the way, will you?

Yes, I know.  But I promise there was an even WORSE one, where I'm pointing my toe like a ballerina.  Maybe I'll have to use that one as a profile picture just so that everyone can have another laugh.  I like to brighten up your days, you know?!
Sometime later the bus arrived, and the driver apologised for being late, and quickly drove us back to the airport.  After craeting havoc in the shop, knocking a load of books on the floor, we proceeded to check-in.
David floated through security (doesn't he always?), but they decided to pick on Mum and I.  First, Mum came through the gate - no bleeps or other worrying sounds - but they decided to do a full body search.  They didn't make her strip fortunately, but they still made her feel uncomfortable feeling through all her clothes.  I told her it's probably because of all the baggy clothes she wears - maybe they think she's got bombs strapped under there.
Then this man asked to look in my bag.  He pulled EVERYTHING out - searched the cases of my camera and binoculars, looked in every compartment of my purse, shook out each individual tissue that I had neatly folded in the bottom, screwed up the carrier bag I carry everywhere (also neatly folded) in case I ever need one for anything, got my hoodie and shook it vigorously, went through my first aid kit, checking the packet of feminine hygiene products and everything...then as the final insult, got the padlock off of my diary and went through every page, and my tidy little (FLAT) pencil case (with three pens inside) within my diary.  What the heck could I have hidden in there?!  I'm SO glad they didn't do that in Iceland, when I had Pinkie Pie with me.  They probably would have chopped her into small pieces.
I was so embarrassed after all of that, and since they'd searched through everything anyway, I decided to take some photos of the two rides at the airport.  There wasn't long to wait until we boarded the plane, so people couldn't sit round giving me funny looks, and surely the security guards couldn't think I was planting a bomb out of the bag they'd just searched so thoroughly!

Then the time came to get on the plane and bid farewell to Gibraltar.  Mum moaned about how it was not wise to get on a plane on the 13th...so I took a couple of little picture of her about to board the plane of doom, so that she would be able to laugh at them later.

Sadly, she still can't stand to even look at them.  And no, we didn't have a bad journey (Well, apart from the fact she went temporarily deaf again).  They served some mushroom pate sandwiches, which were lovely.  Hmm, I can still taste them now...especially since I had to eat Mum's too, because she couldn't bring herself to eat anything on the plane!
When we arrived back in the UK - yes, we did get back safely.  You have not been reading a blog written by my ghost! - David got the wrong bus to the wrong long-term car park (not the "Summer Special" one), and the bus driver decided to "help us" by dumping us about half a mile up the road, me with no coat, in the shockingly cold weather of a bitter English evening.  Oh well, we managed to get back to the car eventually, and found the house safe and sound (although VERY cold for the first few hours!), which was the other thing that had been worrying us all the way back.
So, I guess that just about concludes my Glorious Gibraltar and Marvellous Morocco blog.  Thanks for reading - I hope that you have enjoyed your virtual travels.   Tune in tomorrow for a blog on some of the things that have been happening since we got back to Grottsville!
Best wishes,
Desirée Skylark  xxx