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I have stolen his mighty beard of masculinity.

I think I have maybe missed the point of what this is for. There is a distinct difference in the 2 camps, as I see it, of blogging.

The first camp treat it like an open forum for their inner thoughts, and although it may be centred on their every day life, it is more philosophical and not just today I went to work.
The second camp are the ones who say today I had chips for dinner, and I hate my job.

I think I am falling into the second camp when I suppose the real point for me might be to be part of the first. I suppose it is a good place to vent my feelings about things in general, usually people and things that happen who really rip my knitting.

With that in mind, I have to vent my spleen on the subject of travel agents. We have less than 2 weeks til we go on holiday. I am very excited about this. However, the edge has been somewhat taken off by the dimwits at Barrhead Travel/United Airlines who have decided to only now tell us that the hotel we booked almost a year ago in San Diego is overbooked and we need to find a new one.

The alternatives frankly I would not have sent my worst enemy to stay in (although I would happily send the travel agent woman to stay there). So eventually we got a hotel sorted out, which is probably in a better location than the first one but I am still peeved.

On top of that, they have blithely announced that our flights out to San Francisco have been delayed by several hours, meaning that by the time we land, pick up our incredibly small bags and then locate the car rental place, get to grips with driving on the wrong side of the road (or the right side for my transatlantic readers!) and drive around the greater Bay Area for several decades trying to find our hotel, it will be pretty much time for bed.

Now, that annoys me, but as I sit here and type about it, it does not annoy me as much as the cat’s arse faced travel agent who suggested that they compensate me for the inconvenience. Good suggestion I thought. Several days later and she has rung me to say that they can’t as it’s “not that much” and anyway, it would only be £30 if they did and that would only be if it had been changed by more than 12 hours.

But there is nothing I can do about it, so I will just have to remember to take some eggs and throw them at the travel agents next time I am passing.

Aside from that, I am really looking forwards to our holiday. It feels like it has been a long time since we went anywhere and did something that didn’t either involve work or work very soon afterwards. It will be cool to just be hanging out and not having to do anything in particular – apart from shop of course.

I am one of the lucky few girls in life who have managed to find a life partner who likes (or at least doesn’t actively dislike) shopping for clothes. Lee is very good at looking interested whilst I examine another pair of shoes which no doubt look exactly like the previous 100 pairs I have looked at or at saying “yes, you know you’re right, you DO need another handbag”. For this, and many, many other reasons, I love him dearly.

Last time we went to the States we bought practically entire new wardrobes. This is not because we do nothing other than shop, it’s because we don’t really buy that many clothes here. And everything is so much cheaper and fits better and the shopping experience is so much more pleasant in the California sunshine where everyone is that colour naturally and not because they spend 5 nights a week in a Maryhill tanning shop.

We don’t have many firm plans for our trip this time, maybe take in a show in Vegas (like the look of Penn and Teller, but V expensive), go to the zoo in San Diego, maybe a day trip to Tijuana, but I am looking forwards to relaxing and just enjoying doing nothing in particular. I am also looking forwards to not seeing a computer for 2 weeks!



I’m Claire and I live near Glasgow, in Scotland. I have strong family ties to Cincinnati, too and regard it as my second home. If I had to describe myself in five words, it would be thus: Does. Not. Suffer. Fools. Gladly. I’ve been cross stitching pretty much all my life, but professionally since 2005, first as Miso Funky, then as The Bellwether and now under my own name. I'm known for my witty, sarcastic and occasionally profane typographic designs. My work has been featured in The Sunday Times, The Guardian, Channel 4 and on BBC television as well as numerous media outlets across the globe. At one point, I was kind of a big deal but I mostly just dabble in it these days when I have time. My website is a repositry of cross stitch charts, travel and food blogging and you'll find it at I also love to travel and eat, ideally travelling somewhere great to eat something brilliant. I'm fascinated by social history, particularly the Victorians and will absolutely beat you hands down in a quiz about the Tudors. Dogs are LIFE. I like being in water and have lots of ideas that will never see the light of day but would definitely be a winner on Dragon’s Den/Shark Tank. I love to give people gifts. I! also! overuse! exclamation! marks! sorry!

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