Monday, 12 December 2011

Busy as a Bee.

An Inconvenient Truth.



The thing I find troublesome with blogging is that when I have things to actually talk about, I am so busy doing the things that I never have time to post about them. When I have plenty of time to write witty anecdotes and express my most interesting thoughts (as has been the case previously, of course), I struggle to find anything to actually say!


So, evidently, with a lack of fascinating stories having been posted in the last few months, I have actually been extremely busy. Most notably, this busy-ness has taken its form in trips to New York and Venice (of which a few pictures can be seen by clicking on Venice).


This post, therefore, is a mere notification letting all my fans know I am back and ready to blog! Naturally, the following posts will be centred around my trips (being in Venice for over two months and falling absolutely and completely in love with the place, I suppose there will be a few on the beautiful city)...




Stay tuned. 

Tuesday, 23 August 2011

Reality leaves a lot to the imagination.



The title of this post is a quote from John Lennon.
Yes, the same guy who claimed that all you need is love.
Which clearly isn't true. I also need these shoes.




As a 20 year old girl from Essex, clearly when I think about reality, one of the first things that comes to mine is reality tv

The best show. Ever. 

I own all five series on DVD. 
I have watched them all at least five times. 
And I still love it. 





Although it is 'reality', most of it is set up. 

I don't necessarily think that is a bad thing. It wouldn't be as funny otherwise.
Besides, most reality shows are partially scripted (or they would probably resemble one of those plays you perform in Year 8 drama lessons).


It is one of the most hilarious things I have ever watched and regularly cheers me up.
Although I may not have convinced some of the boys I lived with in halls last year to openly admit to liking the show, they can't deny that they sat through 3 hours of Nicole and Paris. 
Fact.



Now, I know I am not someone who usually has the most ideal role models for guidance in life (see here), but this time I think Nicole Richie is pretty solid inspiration
She has a fashion line with jewellery and handbags. She has written two novels. She was in Chuck. She has children. And she does charity work.
So she might have battled with drugs and an eating disorder. But I think that is pretty normal, especially for someone famous since childhood. 





Ok, so no, there isn't really much point to this post (we were all thinking it), but I hope it might persuade you somewhat to watch an episode or 12 of The Simple Life
Failing that, I hope I might have convinced you that for once, I have a decent role model in life.

Thursday, 18 August 2011

When I grow up...



A recent conversation with my three year old sister, Millie:






Millie: Becca, when I get bigger am I going to be tall like you?

Becca: I think you will probably be taller than Becca.

Millie: When I get bigger am I going to have a big belly like you?

Becca: ...







Bitch.


Tuesday, 16 August 2011

It must be love.

A few things I am loving this week. 2.




My new Rihanna tshirt

From Topman



My new black top and customized shorts




My own colour choice of peanut M&Ms
M&M shop, London





Dirty Sexy Things
E4, 9pm Monday
And creating our own jumping pictures
admittedly, I might have added the paint splash to our picture






Getting excited about my trips to New York and Venice




McDonald's Summer Chorizo Burger




Monday, 15 August 2011

Chocolate Biscuits


I am not a very good cook, but I do love to bake. 



One thing I am positively terrible at is Shortbread; it just never seems to go right.

But this summer, having little else to do, I began baking something everyday.
It has now become more of a 3 times a week hobby since, although my family do eat them, I tend to consume the majority and have got proper fat.

These chocolate biscuits were just one of my creations. I don't follow recipes much; and for these little treats, I didn't even weigh anything and I can't even enlighten you with what I threw into the mixture! Then again, I am not a food blogger; I leave that to my gorgeous friend Jess who is bloody marvelous at just that. 




But having little to blog about recently, I thought I would share my creation. 



The raw mixture

Separated into balls

Flattened into cookies

And sprinkled with crushed almonds


The biscuits were crumbly on the outside, and perhaps I didn't cook them well enough, but were soft and chewy in the middle, which is how I like my biscuits to be. The chocolate taste wasn't all that strong, but that's probably because I only used cocoa powder and not real chocolate. 

Nonetheless, they were edible. Which is a success in my opinion!




Saturday, 13 August 2011

'Holy shit, that's mint!'





The movie of the century.




For me, this film is motion picture perfection.



I was so excited to see this film knowing that is was produced by both Spielberg and JJ Abrams.

(Well in all honesty, Cloverfield gave me motion sickness, and Lost pissed me off a little after the first series; but anything with Chris Pine in is sure to get my vote [Star Trek]. Regardless, they are big names; the film is bound to be good, right?)



I included this picture because it is much more attractive than any of Spielberg and/or Abrams. Fact.




My excitement was justified. 


This film has everything a film could ever provide.

There is love, bereavement, action, sci-fi, horror, history and comedy.
There really are some cracking moments that are rather hilar.

A particular fave quote of mine was when the group were eating in a diner:
'Excuse me. Could we get another order of fries? Because my friend here is FAT.'


Admittedly, I was slightly confused whilst watching it. The main group of boys consisted only of four (with one girl to help them in their film production), so I thought (and I hope I am not giving anything away) that there might be something that had 8 legs to give the film its name?
It wasn't until I began writing this blog post that I discovered it was actually the name of the camera the boys use to produce Charlie's film. Although I am guessing that other people would know that and their knowledge probably isn't as limited as mine, and so this confusion wouldn't trouble them quite so much. 




A Super 8


The young actors are pretty great. I like they just seem like normal kids and not obnoxious American children you sometimes get in films.


I did become quite attached to the hero of the film. I am not sure whether that was solely because the film made us feel for him because of what he was going through or whether I feel as though if I had a child, it would look like this boy, given that he slightly resembles my brother. 
Maybe it's the hair...

Joe: actor 
Sam: brother



It is a film for everyone; given a 12A rating, it is a family film. But is not necessarily a film for children. 
Some parts do get a little gruesome, there are boys selling weed and there are certain parts to the storyline which are a little complex and take a bit of analysing.
(Saying this, that comment came from someone who had no idea why the film was called Super 8 so perhaps it is more straightforward than I have made it).

But then again, this is why I love the film. 


For me, it wasn't the brilliant effects (although some might say a little excessive, I would say it helps appeal to the younger audiences who wouldn't necessarily highlight its relatively unrealistic tendencies) or really the excitement of wondering what was causing the abnormalities occurring in the town that captured my attention, but more the questioning of the honesty of authorities, the story of a child in love, and the heartache of losing a mother. 
Then again, I am a girl. I love the sentimental shit. 


But this is exactly why I recommend seeing it. 

It has something for everyone. 





It does have an air of similarity to other Spielberg films, namely E.T. and Jurassic Park, and I am certain this will become just as loved as those classics



In the words of the Charles and for clarification of the title of this post (and let's be honest, some of us need clarification of titles)

this film is mint








Tuesday, 9 August 2011

Save the Children.

I have a question, is it fine for me to call social services for a poor child who's mother is making him wear ugly shoes?


Again, this post is related to my experiences in the shoe shop.


So the story goes that, on an above-average hot day this summer (well, for this summer; pretty normal for usual summers), I was working in the shoe shop. It was inconvenient for a number of reasons. 
One, the fact that I knew I was missing this one of the few days of the hot weather and I knew it was meant to rain for the rest of the week thanks to BBC weather. I could have attempted a tan! A real one!
Two, the fact that I should  have been in Leamington Spa, doing the MoS workout and getting the attention of the bar staff with a wiggle of my bum. The most important of all inconveniences. 
Three, my work trousers are too big and the red SALE shirt is extremely unattractive and so I do not appreciate having to look minging (the other times I do are a product of my own laziness which is the fault only of myself and so I can't really complain too much).

But still, every cloud has a silver lining, and I believe the silver lining of this particular cloud is that I behold the potential to bring justice to innocent children with what I witnessed in Romford's shopping centre on this Tuesday afternoon.

So back to the main plot of the story.... 


I had been pricing a few shoes when a family walked in.
A Mother. Average height (slightly taller than myself), brown hair, jeans, brown sandals, a forgettable top.
A Daughter. Skinny, long brown hair, really narrow feet (could be an inconvenience to shoe shop assistants but not us, we have width fittings), a floral dress.
A Son. About to start year 8, glasses, braces and a hearing aid.


Now the problem lies with the Son.

I am not being cruel about his disabilities. (I know what you were thinking.) I mean, throughout my school life I had glasses and braces. Admittedly I have adequate hearing but I was fat. And a bit of a geek. So I reckon we are on a pretty level heading....



To prove I'm not being a bitch. I really am a loser.


But going through a similar experience in terms of perceived loserness, I feel I am in a position to help him! I understand his distress and I wish I only knew then what I knew now, and avoided the backpack and opted for a Kookai bag like all the other year 7 girls with the older and more experienced sisters.


It's not cool to have glasses and braces and hearing aids. And it is not cool to be fat. (Unless you are a comedian. Fat comedians are cool. And I am rather hilarious, but I am not for some odd reason recognised as a comedian as such.)

What is also not cool is clumpy shoes to go along with all of this.

I should know. I have been there. (Alongside the backpack and oversized blazer and longer-than-average skirt.)

Now don't get me wrong, we don't just sell clumpy shoes in the shoe shop I work in. I mean, there are LOADS of really nice shoes in the same range. These ones just happened to be the ugliest. In my opinion. But the Mother was insistent on wanting her Son to have these particular shoes.

He wanted Kickers.
Like everyone else.

The Mother said that not everyone would have these shoes; that the Son was exaggerating.
This might be so. But when I have been into a secondary school recently, I can say I was actually amazed at how many kids were actually wearing Kickers. It certainly seemed like everyone. Even I felt left out! I wasn't even a student.


So I felt bad for the Son. Who calmly explained that he would get bullied due to the fact that he already has glasses and braces and a hearing aid.

So essentially he has pre-warned the Mother.
The Mother ignored him.
The Mother was letting this happen.
She is permitting the other children to take the piss out of the Son.
Essentially, the Mother is bullying the son herself.
I mean, he has glasses and braces and a hearing aid for fuck's sake.
Give the kid a pair of Kickers!


Personally, I think they are ugly. And probably more clumpy than the shoes the Son eventually had to walk out the shop with.

But at least he would be happy and safe in the knowledge that he can kick the bullies in the face with the same shoes they have...

Thursday, 4 August 2011

Tying the knot.

Warning: this post is longer than those in recent weeks. Do not be deterred. It is an incredibly important issue which needs to be brought to the attention of all children and their parents worldwide.


Ok; so this post isn't actually about weddings or getting married. It is about tying shoe laces
But I liked the phrase. 







Despite not actually completing many hours of work at the minute, I am employed. On a zero hour contract. But regardless, I am still employed.


This employment involves fitting children with wonderfully comfortable shoes!


Growing feet in safe hands.



That's what they promise.
I say they. I don't really know who they are. I am assuming they are someone with a lot more authority in the company than I possess. I mean, I currently have been removed of the ability of completing refunds by moving stores. Hell! I don't even have a sales number to put through the till! Essentially, I have no sales! I am not even there according to the sales statistics, but regardless..

I am the safe hands. Me.
And everyone else who works for the multi-national company; but I do own some of the safe hands they are talking about.



We sell over 50 million pairs of shoes every year. 
And being one of the main high street sellers of school shoes, there is a a lot of school shoe sales going on.

But I'm not going to take all the credit. I do have some help in creating such outstanding statistics, admittedly.
And who provides that help?

Well, my good friends Jack Nano and Daisy, of course.
The kids love them. 
They hang about, hiding in the bottom of their shoes making the kids so excited that they don't even care what the actual shoe even looks like!
They make the little shoes fly off the shelves (probably more so in Jack's case, since this summer he LITERALLY has wings. Wings! Well, a jetpack but still! And I say fly off the shelves, but in reality, I get them from the stock room and bring them to the shop floor; there is only one shoe on the shelves and the majority of kids I serve tend to have two feet)!



Jack

Daisy

But no matter how much fun I have with these guys, popping out the wings of the jetpack and threading the adorable bug beads onto the bracelet string, we are secret enemies. Enemies because they are dumbing down the nation(s) with their.... wait for it.... VELCRO fastened shoes!


I wouldn't usually mind the odd velcro shoe. 
It can be quite convenient. 

But none of the children's shoes below a size 3 have any laces.
(And lots of children have feet above a size 3, which intimidates me slightly since my feet are a size 4.5 and I am meant to be an adult! What if all those kids get massive feet when they grow up and I look like a strange old lady with miniature feet?!)
But again, this is only part of the annoyance. 

What really infuriates me is that SO many children cannot tie their laces.
They are like 11 years old! They are going to secondary school and their parents ask for velcro because they can't tie their own laces!

It's insane! And Jack and Daisy are just encouraging this insanity. It's not right.
They are giving in to the masses of children who are just too fucking lazy to bother to learn a basic and simple life skill!
What will happen if they aren't encouraged to learn?
What if it get's too late and they get to a size 3 and they can only have laces?!


As a child, probably aged around four, my mother would sit me down with a red plastic shoe and teach me to tie laces and make me do it myself, over and over again until I got it right. 




And now, well now I have a potential career thanks to this skill! I can fit shoes left, right and centre; tying the laces of the shoes above a size 3 whilst I'm at it! But once those shoes walk out that shop (well, the people in them; they are great shoes, but they don't have supernatural abilities) I shall not be there to tie the laces again.
That is down to them!
The people who bought the shoes I tied up!
They are on their own in the big bad world of laces and leather and all sorts! It's scary!


If they only had a mother and a plastic red shoe to save them from this horror; and save me from the fear of letting them leave with those laces flapping about and their shoes falling off and them stepping into a muddy puddle in just socks?! Oh god! The fear!


Now I thought I may have just been overreacting (there are a few slip on shoes you can buy and even some velcro shoes passed a size 3 after all), and perhaps I just had an over keen mother. 
But no. 
I did a bit of research and on the Fisher Price website, in the Parenting Help section, I witnessed the cries of a distressed mother.

Her 5-year-old daughter could not tie her shoes!

And the wise woman who replied to her pleas for help in such difficult times said that some children can't manage this technical ability until they are 6 years old!

But hang on! SIX?

I literally met some boy the other day who was 13 and could not tie his shoes.
I was appalled. Alarmed. Concerned. TRAUMATIZED by this infromation. 

And what is worse, he has size 8 feet and the only option in the stock room was.... LACES!

Heaven forbid! His mother had to buy the shoes and promised to help him learn in the holidays before September.

Poor kid.


So please, whilst you slip on your shoes and mindlessly tie the laces because you were taught so long ago that it has just become second nature, just think about that poor boy who is currently struggling with string. 
Who knows what will become of him?!
It doesn't bear thinking about.



Or, you could join me and laugh at the little bugger for being such a lazy shit.



Friday, 22 July 2011

It must be love.

A few things I am loving this week.


Jeffrey Campbell Platform Heels




Despite not having any money, I am still enjoying wandering around looking at all the clothes I would buy

Saying that, I did buy this skirt.... but it was in the sale for £3!





Innocent Smoothies; particularly this luscious purple variety
And they're on offer for £2 in Waitrose



Peanut M&Ms
yummy






And this picture...
Because it's funny


Thursday, 21 July 2011

In the meantime.

I have been terrible at posting in recent weeks.
As a mild perfectionist, I have many drafts and yet nothing seems to suffice.


But I found something incredible as I stumbled around the world that is wide, and is webbed (wtf?)

I have consequently spent many hours simultaneously flicking through these pictures and watching Man V. Food (and yes, I really want to be that guy).

So whilst you are all eagerly awaiting consequent posts (and don't worry they're on their way), I'm sure you will have just as much enjoyment looking through these...








I mean, it's not that cruel to laugh is it?! It was published on the internet for that purpose anyway, right?


Besides as I'm sitting around all day, slowing eating myself to an obesity problem and gradually becoming more frustrated with my family's inability to be... sane, I feel just that little bit happier. At least there are no pictures of us....







Sunday, 10 July 2011

Extreme makeover.

Being the summer holidays, having not started work and being a little bored of baking, I have mostly spent the entire time either on the computer and/or watching television.

Before I take a trip to Bournemouth, to Sugar Hut and to Leamington Spa, programmes to grace the screen in my living room and bedroom have included Jerry Springer, Judge Judy, Maury, America/Australia/Britain/Canada's Next Top Model, anything on Good Food, any show on the Kardashians and Extreme Makeover. To name a few.


Yes, Sky Livingit has pretty much taken over my life. 


The only things that have ever been able to draw me away from such quality broadcasting are regular visits to
  


where all sorts of make up tutorials, horoscopes and sex positions have been looked at; and, as is evident to my regular readers (i.e. a couple of friends), editing my blog.

Other than the obvious colour change, there is also the addition of a few links to the right and should you not have anything else to do (although let's be honest, hours at work in Accessorize and Deloitte internships are much more interesting) then they are definitely probably worth a quick look!


See, look how wonderful I am at this blogging business! (I lie, I'm not even sure if these things link up properly!)




But now the blog is all sorted and I know what the future holds for me and I am well aware of the position of the day (if you know what I mean), I guess I should get back to watching how well these lovely American models photograph... I mean, who knows who will get the spread in Seventeen magazine and deal with CoverGirl cosmetics?!

Well I do, because these repeats are about 4 series behind; but you know...







Tuesday, 5 July 2011

Home Sweet Home.

A lack of blog posting can be largely attributed to moving out of our student house in Coventry and moving back home for the summer to Essex.

I am sure my husband, Guy, would verify that it was bloody traumatic packing up all our stuff and cleaning the entire house.

And even that would be a massive understatement.
The two of us essentially cleaned a house in which five people had lived in for a year, and admittedly, probably not had cleaned for the majority of that time...




It is fair to say that our lives (and bins) were full of these:



and our lungs were (and probably still are) full of dust.

After hours and hours of cleaning and making the house look as though we had never lived there, it got to a point when only a trip to Burger King could have any hope of redeeming some spirit and preventing the tears about to flood from exhaustion and dread.


The dread? Well, that came from knowing we had a lot of unpacking to do when we got home.

It was justified. 


Having two cars full of, well... shit, it took me a whole day to unpack.

This was the view of my bed, when I emptied the contents of 4 boxes of products on to it. And this was after I had been putting bottles of all sorts onto the shelves in my wardrobe for 25 minutes:


Yes. I think I do, in fact, have an addiction to Boots.
The fact that you can see some of the duvet was a massive achievement in my unpacking process.


I managed to clear out my room before all the unpacking business even occurred. I was left with 7 bags of rubbish and 9 bags for Charity.



Guy's room looked a lot like this:


Put into perspective, this space filled with things is probably the size of my entire room!


It was a relief to be done and crack on with what I do best at home:

 baking.


Now, I don't want to take any spotlight away from the culinary skills of Jess, whose cakes are fucking delicious; besides, I couldn't even if I tried to... 


These cupcakes were made at the request of my two little sisters, both (although Lulu doesn't actually star in any of these pictures) helped me in the decorating process and aided in balancing out the scales.






This is Millie with chocolate icing around her mouth before lifting up her dress and asking 'Can you see the cake in my belly, Becca?'



 Yes, I will miss my friends at university terribly and maybe even doing some work, but it is good to be home.




I mean, no one really ate my cakes in Coventry, other than Guy and the Judas that is Hannah (her early departure meant a lot of left over cake, the marriage of myself and Guy and our suffering of cleaning everything by ourselves), and my greedy family make for excellent and surprisingly approving taste testers...

Wednesday, 29 June 2011

Unwanted presents.


This post really probably isn't what you expect from the title.


A wonderful friend of mine recently wrote an amusing and insightful blog on political correctness; aside from bringing my attention to the background of the 'taboo' behind the term 'brainstorm', it highlighted to me, more than anything, the absolutely ridiculousness of the nursery rhyme Baa Baa Black Sheep.



Of course, being reminded of this classic, I sung it to myself...
 For those of you who are unaware of the song (well, I don't know! You might have been living in a cellar in Austria for your entire childhood! Too much? Ok.. You're right, those kids probably can't even read, let alone stumble across this blog on a bloody computer! Moving on...) it goes as follows:


Baa Baa Black Sheep,
Have you any wool?
Yes sir, Yes sir,
Three bags full;
One for the master and for the dame,
And one for the little boy who lives down the lane...



I'm sorry, what?!
The little boy who lives down the lane?!

I live with little boys (at home, I don't mean Guy, he's bigger than me); what the fuck would they want with a bag of wool?!

Now, I am a history student... I am not ignorant enough to not know that maybe the kid knitted a few things in the past; you know, it was hard back then, kids had to work for some gruel, they didn't get a PSP at the age of 5, or a remote controlled car for their Baby Born!
But seriously?! THIS is what we are singing about? 
STILL?!

Well actually, given that this nursery rhyme is actually now deemed politically incorrect, because I mean it clearly shows favoritism to the black retailers and their place in the economy over everyone else (the sarcasm intended is aimed at the fact that this politically correctness is bloody ridic and not because I am mocking black people's success in the world economy), the kids of today probably don't sing it; but regardless...


So, it got me thinking...

What about the other nursery rhymes? 


My favourite has always been Humpty Dumpty




Again (without out Fritzl jokes this time, I promise), I will remind you of the wonders of this classic:


Humpty Dumpty sat on a wall,
Humpty Dumpty had a great fall;
All the king's horses and all the king's men,
Couldn't put Humpty together again...

(This actually wasn't the version I had taught myself growing up; it went more like 'all the kings, all the kings, all the kings, all the kings', and I mean to be fair, that would have been a lot more productive than horses and would have probably got all the leaders of the world together for a bit of a bonding exercise which could have been great for political relations and would have resulted in far less war...)

Firstly, what part of this song refers to Mr. Dumpty as being an egg?!
Where has this come from? Is there an extended version which informs us of this that I haven't heard in the 20 years that is my life?

 Or  have we arrived at this conclusion due to the fact that, once cracked, eggs can't be put back together again? (I say we, I doubt I would have pictured him as an egg if I was the original illustrator of this rhyme.) But then again, I am pretty sure horses can't put much back together, so he really could be anything.

Don't get me wrong; I LOVE eggs. 
My lovely friend, Guy, and I bought 30 today, in fact. I guess this doesn't seem as impressive without knowing that we are only in our house until Sunday morning (today is Wednesday), so they all have to be gone by then (we plan to incorporate them into every meal, our sausage plait today had an egg glaze over the pastry to make it golden and crispy...)
So I don't really mind the fact that Humpty has been given this eggy persona; I am just puzzled over it...


Secondly, what makes him so special that the King's army is going to come in an attempt to save him?!
And if he was so important, what was he doing on a fucking great wall?!

That's just dangerous!


I could go on (I mean, why wonder what you are, when you clearly just stated it was a twinkle twinkle little star?! Idiot), but I think this has been sufficient enough to explain my point...



Regardless of this ranting, I loved singing these songs. In fact, I evidently still do;
I just don't really understand why the lyrics are such nonsense





Tuesday, 28 June 2011

Sugar, ah honey honey.



A dream.






I want to run a cake shop.
With my friends.


Called Sugar Mammas.

My friends are pretty marvelous at making cakes. I am not biased either. I am particularly picky with cake. So I know that they are bloody good.
Which means our cake shop will be a major success.


Jessica works in a tea shop and is an expert in all food that is good. 
Lucy is also wonderful at baking; whipping up all sorts of treats.
And some special friends will make for wonderful taste testers.

(Their blogs are linked; special and friends are different friends....)





I decided this when it came to choosing a real career. I have always wanted to be a teacher. I say always but I mean, that isn't strictly true.
I used to want to be an author, an illustrator, an artist, an animator,  a cafe owner, a lawyer, a glamour model, an employee of Google, a pub landlady (Peggy Mitchell is a bit of an idol of mine), an interior designer... 

But I think it is fair to say that for a lot of my life I have wanted to teach History. Probably as the practical option. The one that is least competitive. The one that requires less risk.

But now the time has come to apply for teacher training courses and really become a teacher, I started freaking out and thinking about what would be my ideal job. In an ideal world.
Sure teaching is a great profession and fits with my other dreams of moving to Australia for a couple of years in the future, but what if I regret not doing something else? 

What is life without taking risks, right?



So the image above is a little bit like how I would love my cake shop to be. A cafe; for cakes and tea and coffee and sweets and fun. A little bit of a vintage feel. Tonnes of  comfy armchairs and sofas (they are always the seats you really want in Costa, right?...). Dark wooden flooring. Loads of little mirrors on the walls (to make sure we aren't eating too much cake and getting massively fatter... it would be bad for our health  and any love lives). Old fashioned frames with pictures of people enjoying our cakes. And a garden out the back, for afternoon tea


                                        





And in this way, I get to be a cafe owner and an interior designer; I get to bake all day and most importantly, I get to spend all day with my friends eating yummy cakes... 


What more could a girl ask for?!




But perhaps in the meantime, since my friends haven't really agreed to this, I should think about applying for teacher training. 
And of course I will keep on baking.



And I will keep on enjoying my friends' wonderful creations.
Of which more would be greatly welcomed, thanks Jess...