12 hour days are made of yarn and hooks

Do you know how dark it is at 6.45am when the street lights are off? Pretty bloody dark. I was up and ready to go for 7.30am, packed lunch in my creaky old satchel, because I STARTED MY NEW JOB TODAY. I’m not going to say what it is and where, but it involves researching and creating content for a particular website, and if things go well, I’ll be going pro as a blogger as well.
Not bad, eh?

It does feel a bit weird, going back to work as an employee after being completely independent for three years. Forms to fill out, permissions to obtain, notice to be given for so many things! I really need to come to grips with the idea that I don’t need to do everything on my own any more.

And if I leave work and walk fast, my commute is pretty well-timed (and quite long, but that means I can craft — most of a duck has been crocheted today alone). If I ever have to stay late, I’m fucked (well, not quite, but things become much more inconvenient). I’m getting my UK licence, but I’m still rather leery of buying a car.

Most of all, I’m really, really pleased that I found a job at a company that is not huge and anonymising. But I was also pleased when I started working at that other company in Xiamen, so I think I need more than one day to work out how much I like this place!

Do you know how dark it is at 5.30pm in winter? Pretty bloody dark. Good thing my desk is next to a window, so I get some sunlight during the day. But if (when) we get worse winds than what we got today, I’m going to have serious issues with walking from the station. I am literally small and light enough to be blown away.

Hence, this very scientific-looking illustration:

a very scientific illustration of me being blown away

A Wii bit keen

Game consoles have never been a big thing with me. I bought Neil a PS2 back in 2003, and I can’t even remember the last time I played The Sims on it (it would be some time in 2003). So I don’t generally ever care when a new games anything is released.

Since I got to Scotland, I’ve been into a couple of games stores, and saw ads talking about the Wii. I didn’t pay much attention, until Neil told me it had a simple controller. The thing I really don’t like about modern controllers is the number of freaking buttons on it, and all those bloody combinations to do stuff. That’s why I am still playing Sonic the Hedgehog. Up down left right and one action button is about as complicated as I’d like it.

When I play a video game, I get a little… into the game. You know what I mean, I move the controller in a very CONCERTED and DELIBERATE fashion that really should help my game. The Wii is perfect for me. So anyway, I’m actually feeling a little excited about the Wii being released this weekend. The best thing of all, you can play Sonic on it, too.

Those in the UK who have been waiting for the Wii will already know this, but here’s a post on where you can get a Wii on the ‘cheap’. Of course, I’m not going to GET one. I just like the idea, but really, buying something like this is completely wasted on me. I get bored with video games after about ten minutes.

Packed lunches, or one of the four most important meals of the day

Klip It lunchbox, on my wishlist!

I’ve been thinking about lunches. A lot of money is saved by not eating out, so I’m casting about for ideas on what I can prepare and/or eat without giving myself food poisoning.

It’s been a couple of months since I’ve arrived in Scotland, and I didn’t touch any Maccas while I was in Singapore (I’ve had a McFlurry at Livingston, but it was disappointingly unflurried). I’ve been to Burger King once and have eaten loads of suppers from the chippy, and Neil and I have even been to Subway twice (after a late movie).

(I had a bad experience with a Subway franchise in Singapore and only ate my next sandwich earlier this year.)

Cheese Steak SubwayThe perfect sandwich, IMHO, is their cheese steak on the parmesan oregano roll, with all the salad but for green peppers and jalapeños. It’s got all the main food groups and my favourite things, steak and cheese. Oh, and olives. The only thing about a Subway sandwich is crumbs go everywhere, we (well, I) messed up Neil’s sister’s car last time. I have amazed myself twice by finishing a six-inch sandwich. I haven’t done that in years!

Then there’s my old favourite, a ham and cheese sanger. No more cheese (pre-)slices for me, it’s got way too much salt. I could put great Scottish cheese on some wafer thin ham slices (or salami… mmm), I reckon it would taste rather good. I want to do something with chick peas — maybe add some chicken and lettuce to make a salad? This Greek-Italian chopped salad sounds good.

My mum’s former maid used to pack the previous night’s spag bol for my lunch the next day, and I loved it. I think she had some sort of secret recipe, as I’ve never tasted the same since. I can get egg noodles and pre-cooked chicken at the local supermarket, so I might make some chicken and vegetable noodles, mix in sesame oil, soy sauce, and maybe a touch of something spicy for a kick*.

Maybe some day-old mac and cheese, Neil’s mum makes good mac and cheese. Not Kraft, it’s homemade. Yummy. Her tomato soup also deserves legendary status (hopefully I’ll get the recipe soonish). This quick bacon pasta from Cheap Eats looks good. I like bacon.

bagels and loxAnother sandwich I’m a big fan of is smoked salmon on a bagel with cream cheese and a few capers for that extra bite. When I was a kid, I was under the impression that smoked salmon was extremely expensive — so, of course, I adored smoked salmon. Spinelli Coffee Company in Singapore (at Caltex House) did a decent mini bagel, and I’ve not had a great smoked salmon bagel since I lived in Australia.

Of course, my main goal is to get someone else to do this for me, since any time I make an attempt at what I laughably describe as ‘food preparation’, it ends up tasting quite, well, not good. I think it has something to do with my attention wandering after 30 seconds of doing something mundane, like stirring. There is an inverse relationship between my love for food and eating and how much I loathe cooking.

Asda sells a curried chickpea and lentil stew thing, it’d be quite good with some plain taco chips. Or mix some Dorito’s salsa with chopped salami or chorizo and make a sandwich or salad with the result. Even I could manage these things.

Anyone have any ideas for simple, not completely unhealthy lunches I can make?

* OMG I can’t believe I typed that. Something SPICY? Da-yum!

When will they learn, you can’t control the Internet?

China may make bloggers give ID:

There are worries that the proposed real name online system would limit freedom of expression.

Well, no shit, Sherlock. Can you imagine what Singapore’s online community would be like if everyone had to give their I/C number, with promises that no one’s real identity would be revealed, as long as they said “nothing illegal or harmful to the public”. Multiply that paranoia by ten.

I’m sure the more enterprising Chinese bloggers will find a workaround, though.