Monday, 29 June 2009

Well, they've gone. Number 1 son and girlfriend are somewhere over the Atlantic right now on their way to the Dominican Republic. How things change, my first holiday without parents was Bideford in Devon, how grown up that all seemed (shock, horror – that was over 30 years ago!) John volunteered to do the airport run this morning and for some reason got up at 4.15! They weren't planning to leave until 6! So of course I was awake, trying to go back to sleep, not wanting to miss them leaving – result fell asleep – ish after they had gone and felt grotty when I had to get up for work at 7 – hmph. I'm slightly worried by a Twitter comment left by @farctum that she will tell me about her daughter's holiday 'when he's safely home' she promises it's nothing too bad!

As a bit of a bonus work wasn't too bad once we got past 9 o'clock – the three bad things all came before then, once I stopped bashing my head against the wall (I kid you not – I needed to know how good it would feel when I stopped!)positivity crept in and (whisper it) I had quite a good day, loads of fiddly bits done and had some good news about a colleague, always a bonus.

Off on one of my training days tomorrow – coaching skills this time, we have had to think of two subjects to be 'coached' in. At first I said holidays and retirement but they would probably both come relatively easy, instead I've gone for repairing a dysfunctional team (if you are reading this and wonder if I mean you, I probably do!) and supporting a newly appointed colleague – get me!

Just wondering now if Andy Murray is going to survive this match, and do I really care one way or the other? Probably not.

OK – off now bins need emptying, dishes need drying – where's my son when I need him?


Sunday, 28 June 2009

Normal service is now resumed!

Apologies to those of you who have found the Ramblings a bit iffy over the past couple of days, I think it was the music player that I was using – a message appeared saying something about UK licensing. Anyway, I have removed the link and it seems to have resolved the problem! I will attempt some more tunes at another time, meanwhile feel free to leave your requests!

Lovely weekend, weather OK - stormy, sultry, misty, sunny – however no rain (actually, I could do with a downpour because the water butt is nearly empty – overnight only though please).

Planning continues for holidays, our good friends came for Chinese takeaway last night while we finalised the plans for our trip - Baltic Capitals Cruise, woooo, hoooo! Never cruised until earlier this year but booked this one before we went. I was so worried that we would hate the cruise and have to cancel but no, we LOVED it! Well and truly bitten by the bug now – Red Sea in November as well! Oh – just in case anybody is worried about our home security as we'll all be away, you needn't be. Any would be burglar reading this – don't bother. We don't have anything of value apart from the two huge Rottweilers we will be leaving in charge!

Spent some time this morning tidying up the garden, number 1 son assisted in some very heavy pruning of my beautiful ceanothus (spell checker not liking but no suggestion!) It's such a beautiful bush in flower, covered in tiny blue blooms, but it's been growing for about 10 years now and I didn't treat it harshly enough early on. The decision has been made now to keep trimming through the summer and give it a brutal chop in the autumn. If it survives the winter and shoots again, it wins and we leave it but make sure it's kept tidy in future! If not bye bye and we'll plant another one anyway! The veggies are coming on well, tomatoes (strictly fruit) are fruiting in abundance – you know when they'll be ready, yep whilst we're away, they won't be wasted though as my neighbour will use them. Same with dwarf beans as well I think.

Oh – we brought a new lawn mower today, believe it or not a little old fashioned type that needs to be pushed, yes I know – how quaint!

Just sitting watching Status Quo at Glastonbury, having also watched Tom Jones and a group that's new to me The Noisettes – oh, I'm not AT Glastonbury – I'm sitting in front of the TV, multitasking – blogging and watching!

Time for dinner now, we're having steak and because John cooks the best steak I've asked him to cook for us (no really, he does, that wasn't a cop out on my part – what do you take me for...)

Thanks for stopping by – another fun packed week to look forward to (tongue stuck firmly in cheek for that one)I'll keep you updated

Bye for now


Friday, 26 June 2009

Warning eeeuuugghhh alert (is that a word?)

(Another email round robin – I am not the 'I' in the story!!!)
Those of you that have had the experience of being visited by business consultants will identify with this one...

The Spoon

A lesson on how consultants can make a difference in an organization.

Last week, we took some friends to a new restaurant,'Lakeside Views' , and noticed that the waiter who took our order carried a spoon in his shirt pocket.

It seemed a little strange. When the busboy brought our water and utensils, I observed that he also had a spoon in his shirt pocket.

Then I looked around and saw that all the staff had spoons in their pockets. When the waiter came back to serve our soup I inquired, 'Why the spoon?'

'Well, 'he explained, 'the restaurant's owner hired Andersen Consulting to revamp all of our processes. After several months of analysis, they concluded that the spoon was the most frequently dropped utensil. It represents a drop frequency of approximately 3 spoons per table per hour.

If our personnel are better prepared, we can reduce the number of trips back to the kitchen and save 15 man-hours per shift.'

As luck would have it, I dropped my spoon and he replaced it with his spare. 'I'll get another spoon next time I go to the kitchen instead of making an extra trip to get it right now.' I was impressed.

I also noticed that there was a string hanging out of the waiter's fly.

Looking around, I saw that all of the waiters had the same string hanging from their flies. So, before he walked off, I asked the waiter, 'Excuse me, but can you tell me why you have that string right there?'

'Oh, certainly!' Then he lowered his voice. 'Not everyone is so observant. That consulting firm I mentioned also learned that we can save time in the restroom.

By tying this string to the tip of our you-know-what, we can pull it out without touching it and eliminate the need to wash our hands, shortening the time spent in the restroom by 76.39%.

I asked quietly, 'After you get it out, how do you put it back?'

'Well,' he whispered, 'I don't know about the others, but I use the spoon.'

Just goes to show... never know who is reading your blog! I read on another blog (apologies I can't credit the writer because I can't remember who it was, but thank you if it was you!), that you should write as if nobody else will ever read what your writing – ooh,er! I've sort of been doing that anyway, only knowing for certain who a couple of my readers were. Anyway, once again I digress. I was having a conversation with somebody today who I've known for some time and seen grow from child to adult. We were talking about Facebook contacts and contents when she mentioned the Ramblings!! I had no idea that she read my outpourings, I really hope that I have not shared anything I shouldn't – oh well too late now anyway. In my time honoured way, I would like to welcome Katie to my blog world – there you go Katie – you're slightly famous, you have a long way to go though to be as famous as the friend that I call Julie. Oh yes – Katie came by the Ramblings courtesy of my lovely goddaughter E, need to be doubly careful now – I can't be seen to be corrupting her can I? Hi E if you read this!!

I'm really glad that it's Friday, I have had enough of work this week and really need my upcoming holiday, only 13 days left before we go.

It was a real shock to wake up to the news about Michael Jackson this morning. He was iconic during my teenage years and before. My first real recollection of him would be in 1970 when the Jackson 5 recorded 'Rocking Robin'. I was 10 years old at the time dealing with the loss of my younger brother in road accident, but I can remember been sent away for the weekend to an aunt and my cousins played the 45rpm (hands up if you remember them – mm most of you I see) constantly, I guess it took my young mind off things. Anyway, lightening up and moving on I think most people of a certain age (and number 1 son of a lesser age) would agree that Thriller was the album of all time – ah well, enough reminiscing RIP Jacko.


Wednesday, 24 June 2009

Time passes... quickly, but again so slowly. Two extremes of time today. First one experienced during the early hours of this morning, having one of those nights when I appear not to have slept after 2am, although I know that I slept a little because I remember waking up dreaming – that, believe it or not, was time passing slowly, just waiting for the time on the clock to move its way through the hours and minutes of early morning until the break of day when I can no longer see the illuminated time on the ceiling, when I can hear the birds starting to sing, the boiler kick in to life and the neighbours setting off for work. Each of the sounds lets me know roughly what the time is, so that I can tell my body clock to try for another couple of hours sleep or to throw force myself to get out of bed and start the day.

On the other hand time absolutely flies! My darling goddaughter had her school prom this evening, I suddenly remembered, as John & I went out for dinner, that today was the day and we were very close to where the prom was. Good old text messaging meant we were able to meet up for a quick hug and a few tears before she went off with her friends, it seems only a short while ago I was cradling her as a new born and here we are, 16 years on she's all grown up.

On the way home we reflected on the changes we've experienced over the last few years in our family life. The advent of girlfriends, passing of driving tests and taking to the road alone (or worse, for the first time together) and the holidays as individual couples. This is the first year that we will all holiday as independent couples, number 1 son & girlfriend go off first, number 2 son & girlfriend a week later and John & I a few days after that. It also means that we will have the house to ourselves for three days and, although we are often alone, it's going to seem really strange knowing that when we go to bed at night there will be no late night returns, no car doors slamming, no TVs left on all night, no checking to see how many pairs of shoes are in the hall and not worrying who you may bump into on the landing in the middle of the night! Best of all for John & I it will mean the luxury of only having ourselves to worry about whist we prepare to go away – bliss!

Thanks for passing by and giving me a little of your precious time.

Sunday, 21 June 2009

Perhaps I should hibernate...

...that way I can avoid p***ing anybody else off! I thought the day was going too well and then I yelled at number 2 son for being sarcastic – if you knew him well, you'd understand just how wearing it can become. Anyway, I've apologised but, unfortunately, he is another sulker, oh well – peace and quiet for a couple of days!

Haven't really done much today but I have brought some fabric flowers in an attempt to dress the living room. As the room is mainly cream, I thought that a dramatic red amongst the cream would just offset the piece. Seems I was wrong, if anybody out there has an opinion please be honest and let me know. You can't be any more brutal than the family and I really do promise not to take any offence – honestly.

Saturday, 20 June 2009

A Male Viewpoint – interesting

This is one of those round robins that land in the inbox from time to time ...

"I never quite figured out why the sexual urge of men and women differ so much. And I never have figured out the whole Venus and Mars thing. I have never figured out why men think with their head and women with their heart.

FOR EXAMPLE: One evening last week, my girlfriend and I were getting into bed.

Well, the passion starts to heat up, and she eventually says "I don't feel like it, I just want you to hold me."

I said "WHAT??!! What was that?!"

So she says the words that every boyfriend on the planet dreads to hear... "You're just not in touch with my emotional needs as a woman enough for me to satisfy your physical needs as a man." She responded to my puzzled look by saying, "Can't you just love me for who I am and not what I do for you in the bedroom?"

Realizing that nothing was going to happen that night, I went to sleep.

The very next day I opted to take the day off of work to spend time with her. We went out to a nice lunch and then went shopping at a big, big department store. I walked around with her while she tried on several different very expensive outfits. She couldn't decide which one to take so I told her we'd just buy them all. She wanted new shoes to compliment her new clothes, so I said let's get a pair for each outfit. We went onto the jewellery department where she picked out a pair of diamond
earrings. Let me tell you...she was so excited. She must have thought I was one wave short of a shipwreck. I started to think she was testing me because she asked for a tennis bracelet when she doesn't even know how to play tennis. I think I threw her for a loop when I said, "That's fine, honey." She was almost nearing sexual satisfaction from all of the excitement. Smiling with excited anticipation she finally said, "I think this is all dear, let's go to the cashier."

I could hardly contain myself when I blurted out, "No honey, I don't feel like it."

Her face just went completely blank as her jaw dropped with a baffled WHAT?"

I then said "Honey! I just want you to HOLD this stuff for a while. You're just not in touch with my financial needs as a man enough for me to satisfy your shopping needs as a woman." And just when she had this look like she was going to kill me, I added, "Why can't you just love me for who I am and not for the things I buy you?"


Ah yes - Carrots

Yesterday I left you wondering about the carrots – well, here they are.

I know the packet said that they were miniature but I expected something a little bigger! However, they were very tasty – most of them I ate raw but I cooked a few with dinner tonight – absolutely delicious. I have planted another batch, this time bigger and I have thinned them out, perhaps we'll have more success!

I've given up trying to fathom out why Freecycle won't work for me and decided to put some pavers and slabs on the intranet at work. I don't know why I don't do it more often because generally the stuff goes! Anyway a lady took both blocks & slabs for her allotment – wanted to make it a bit more homely. She came round in her little battered car at 9 this morning and made several trips – more space in the garage for more junk. It seems no matter how hard we try, we just keep adding more clutter. Next weekend we're going to have a skip (dumpster, for my friends from the US) and have a real good clear out – honestly. I'll take before and after pics to prove it!

I had grand plans for today but unfortunately my mouth ran away with me before my brain was in gear. Ended up upsetting John, by sighing and tutting because he wasn't looking to finish that very last bit of the front room decorating – he was tired! So was I – so I let him have it from both barrels. Result he sulks, I stomp and didn't get to Dennington's Expo!

I really don't do sulking very well – need to clear the air and move on, really difficult when the only other person in the house doesn't feel the same way, hey ho. Tomorrow is another day.

Father's Day tomorrow – bought a nice piece of lamb for dinner (even though he's not my Dad, thought I'd make an effort) hopefully that will get me some Brownie points.

Number 1 son has decided it would be helpful if he acquired some DIY skills so thought he would do some painting – a bit risky because he's never even attempted it before – he did a good job, I think there may be some mileage in that, need to go around the house and make a list!

Friday, 19 June 2009

Fulfilling Friday

Had a day off today, the one that happens once a fortnight when I work ten days worth of hours in nine days (yes – of course I work more than ten days worth – but that's the principle!)I always have such high hopes that I will get all of the chores done so that the weekend is free but always end up stumbling at the first hurdle. Normally the TV. And the laptop. At one stage in my life it would have been a good book, but now the variety of material available via the web has almost made books a thing of my past.

I have developed a habit of picking up the laptop first thing every morning – checking Twitter (why – does it really matter what (mostly) total strangers are dedicating 140 characters to?), Facebook, email. I also take this opportunity to check in to the Ramblings and read any of my favourite blogs that have been updated overnight. This morning I checked into Kathy's Blog - Empty Nester to read her latest post – a real rant against a comment left on the blog of her friend. It struck a chord with me as well because it related to supermarket staff – I left a message supporting Kathy's rant. Later on in the day when I Rambled by again, I noticed a comment against the Elmo post that I added yesterday – it was from Kathy, who had found the link from my comment on her blog. Sorry – I'm going to sound really vain again. I'm really chuffed to say that Kathy is now following my blog – I have two public followers whoo, hooo!! Welcome Kathy!!

Anyway, back to the original plans for today. I nipped in and out of Twitter & Facebook whilst cleaning the kitchen (oh – forgot to say I also came across – music on demand, free if you don't mind adverts), feeling like a naughty schoolgirl, which was fine until 10am when 'Homes Under the Hammer' came on TV. It's on everyday – I don't watch it every day, so why, on my day off, is it so important that I watch it? I have the perfect answer – I do the ironing while it's on!! Result. Until halfway through when the shopping is delivered – thank the Lord for Sky+ - TV on pause, scream to number 1 son to get up and help open the door to the driver. We tend to have the same two or three drivers who offer varying degrees of assistance. Today's driver stood and watched whilst I struggled to pick the shopping out of the boxes, he made absolutely no attempt whatsoever to help. My hackles were up and I couldn't even be polite enough to say goodbye to him – and that is a huge black mark against my principles, especially considering the comments that I left on Kathy's blog only hours earlier. I know he won't see this, but I am sorry to have been so ungracious.

My future daughter-in-law turned up shortly afterwards, feeling slightly jaded after a night out with her girlfriends to belatedly celebrate her birthday and we carried on watching property programmes – she then suggested it was time that they started looking for a house!!! Whoa – hold on too early by far plus no financial means to pay for it! I tried to steer her away by offering to treat them both to lunch, phew that worked!

We had lunch at Arlingtons in town. I'd never been there before but several people had recommended it to me. It was very nice, excellent service, very pleasant atmosphere – yes I'd go back.

I am now going to make a huge, unashamed confession – my bedroom needed the biggest spring clean imaginable, as a result of my ill discipline in respect of watching TV in the mornings, I rarely get round to cleaning the bedroom (the boys are responsible for their own). My Wednesday post of 'Why am I the only one...' needs to be amended slightly to 'Why is it only us...' as number 1 son drove me on to a constructive afternoon of domestic chores – thanks D, you're a star!!

I'm looking forward to the weekend, hopefully if the weather is good we'll take a trip to the Dennington Exposition that Vivia has been working so hard to help arrange – 2-5 if you can make it!

Catch up more tomorrow – remind me to tell you about the carrots.........

Thursday, 18 June 2009

Oh, Elmo!!

There is a factory in Northern Minnesota which makes the Tickle Me Elmo toys. The toy laughs when you tickle it under the arms.

Well, Lena is hired at The Tickle Me Elmo factory and she reports for her first day promptly at 8:00 am. The next day at 8:45 am there is a knock at the Personnel Manager's door. The Foreman throws open the door and begins to rant about the new employee.

He complains that she is incredibly slow and the whole line is backing up, putting the entire production line behind schedule

The Personnel Manager decides he should see this for himself, so the 2 men march down to the factory floor. When they get there the line is so backed up that there are Tickle Me Elmo's all over the factory floor and they're really beginning to pile up.
At the end of the line stands Lena surrounded by mountains of Tickle Me Elmo's. She has a roll of plush Red fabric and a huge bag of small marbles.

The 2 men watch in amazement as she cuts a little piece of fabric, wraps it around two marbles and begins to carefully sew the little package between Elmo's legs. The Personnel Manager bursts into laughter. After several minutes of hysterics he pulls himself together and approaches Lena . "I'm sorry,' he says to her, barely able to keep a straight face, 'but I think you misunderstood the instructions I gave you yesterday..."
"Your job is to give Elmo two test tickles."

What a great sense of humour!

Wednesday, 17 June 2009

Pinched with Pride

I make absolutely no apologies for today's post, I lay no claim to its originality and am proud to say I have stolen the idea from Shark Bait and added my own twist! Interestingly though, I think that a lot of these will strike a chord with a lot of you...

Why am I the only one ...

  • Who notices that the laundry basket is full?
  • Who replaces the loo roll?
  • Who notices the dust balls in the corners?
  • Who empties the various bins around the house?
  • Who notices that the lawn needs mowing?
  • Who can weed the garden?
  • Who remembers to water the garden?
  • Who can buy the daily newspaper?
  • Who can think of things to buy for Christmas & birthdays?
  • Who remembers birthdays?

Please be assured that this list is by no means exhaustive and I'm sure that I will add to it from time to time – I may even give it the name of 'Why Wednesday' – perhaps it will catch on!

Monday, 15 June 2009

Sunday, 14 June 2009

Champagne, Strawberries & Chocolate Cake

Remember yesterday I said watch this space? I am pleased to at last be able to announce that Number 1 son has proposed to his girlfriend – I've known he was planning it for a couple of weeks to coincide with her 18th birthday (yes, I know soooo young but what can I say??). Poor boy was so damn nervous it wasn't true. But give D his credit, he went about it the right way and asked A's father for permission – poor boy's heart was pounding so hard in anticipation, but the reaction he got was almost stunned silence, he was so surprised. Anyway, no wedding just yet, A has to get through university first and they obviously need to save for a home etc.

The birthday cake was not a complete disaster – just partial! I decided to pour chocolate over the top but couldn't work out how to keep it there, so I created a collar out of tin foil, so far so good, except that it wasn't quite big enough so I added a piece on with Sellotape – it didn't hold! So, imagine this, there I am, bowl of hot melted chocolate in one hand and trying to hold the foil in place with the other. I thought it looked good – it appeared to have contained the chocolate within the foil – wrong. It had all seeped down the sides of the cake, got stuck in the foil and I couldn't get the foil off or take the cake off the plate which by this time was covered in chocolate. Never mind, we managed to eat some and I have to say it was quite delicious – eat your heart out Master Chef, presentation isn't everything!

A&D thought it would be a good idea to go to Felixstowe for ice creams – only a few miles away for those of you who don't know the area – by the sea. We went with A's mum & brother – amazingly her Dad had not told her Mum about D's visit so when we turned up at their house with A waving her ring around her poor Mum was completely gobsmacked - I must say she recovered very quickly! It was very windy and quite cold down by the beach, so we decided to head off to a local (ish) pub and sat outside with A having her first legal drink in a pub – a lovely way to end a sunny Sunday afternoon.

Well, all the events of today have left me feeling wiped out and I need to get myself psyched up to go back to work tomorrow – think I'll take myself upstairs with the Sunday paper and magazines, bliss!

Saturday, 13 June 2009

A bit of a catch up

Phew – what a week, mostly spent feeling totally sorry for myself in between sleeps. I can honestly say that whatever that was it knocked me for six – wouldn't wish that on my worst enemy (no, honestly I wouldn't, not even mmm ...)

In real terms nothing much has happened, I'm sorry to say that number 2 son still hasn't got anything confirmed about the new job, latest update is that he's going to meet the bloke tomorrow morning to discuss terms – yeah right. I think he's prepared for the worst so I hope he's pleasantly surprised, once again please keep everything crossed for him.

Since I started blogging myself I have become an avid follower of other people's blogs. As it says in the sidebar, I've stumbled across most of these by accident often finding a link from one blog to another. Occasionally I feel motivated to leave a comment and was absolutely flabbergasted to find a comment against one of my posts from Natalie whose blog is {my life as neil's wife}. Without sounding too gushy here, I am really touched that she took the time to read and post a comment against the post headed up Need Help – please read it, it made smile!

The decorating is almost finished, floor is laid and the fire surround is in place, just need to get the fire connected. The boys helped John to fix the fire surround, which was actually quite a challenge.

Oh, almost forgot! Nearly had a breakdown this afternoon because I lost my wireless connection to the laptop, I can't tell you how bereft I felt. Everybody else seemed to find it hilarious, I tried all the logical things then the Windows suggestion popped up to reboot the router. Well, Number 2 son was playing blasted Football Manager 2009 which I think connects to the Internet do you think he'd let me turn off the router – no way, it took me ages. John suggested that I should wait until Richard our brilliant PC technician, came around at 5 – aaaaaghhhh, no way. Eventually I managed to reboot the router which did the trick and was reunited with Twitter etc.

Tomorrow is the birthday of number 1 son's girlfriend – I thought I'd make her a cake. I've clearly lost my touch because I ended up making two cakes, both of which ended up looking like volcanoes (I think I had the oven too high)so I ended up cobbling one cake together from the two of them and making an orange and chocolate trifle with some of the leftovers! I clearly need more practice.

Ok, done well today. I've stayed awake all day but starting to flag a little bit now. Here's a little tempter for tomorrow for this space for some life changing news for one of us!

Friday, 12 June 2009

Beautiful Message About Growing Old

Well Crap...
Now I forgot what it was...

Thursday, 11 June 2009

Amazing photography

I can't remember how I came across this weird but amazing photography – take a look it'll make you think!

You'll all be glad to hear I'm feeling much better today, thankfully. Seems there may be something going around at work, I'm glad it's not just me anyway. Plan is to go back to work on Monday – just have to manage to stay awake for more than a couple of hours!

Wednesday, 10 June 2009

Getting there...

I've had a quiet couple of days, feeling under the weather and sorry for myself and just content to watch the world go by both literally and virtually. Even my favourite daytime TV hasn't been able to capture my imagination, normally I just love Homes Under The Hammer and other property programmes but I've even slept through the three episodes from this week. One thing that always intrigues me though is what ultimately happens to those houses that aren't finished when the programme revisits, do they ever get finished? Answers on a postcard please. Hang on I think I've just had an idea for another programme – just need to come up with a catchy title – I'll let you know...

The other day I was extolling the virtues of Freecycle and suggested using Google to locate your nearest group, now I've worked out how to do the links properly you can click here and go to the Freecycle home page, interestingly the group moderator reminded members of the etiquette yesterday – maybe he read my post! Basically, if you show an interest, take responsibility for following it up and don't waste people's time!

Anyway, not much of interest to write about today, but I must thank number 2 son whom, when he eventually surfaced this morning, has been dutifully plying me with tea, biscuits and drugs – all legitimate I hasten to add. Oh – and we've had the first two strawberries form the garden, they tasted just like strawberries!

Monday, 8 June 2009

Monday misery

Ahh, poor me! Felt a bit under the weather for a few days now – sore throat thing going on (and off). I think I was awake from 2am today. I say think because I seem to have lain in bed, putting all sorts of things to right, you know – what do I need to do at work, opening chapter for my virtual novel, the state of the nation etc. In between just trying to count, relax etc I may just have dropped off occasionally. Anyway, when I got up at 6 I felt so rough I made the momentous decision not to go to work today. This decision however was no miracle cure, no panacea for my unwell-ness. I didn't actually know why I wasn't well – headache, sore throat, feeling of anxiety – all of the above? The trouble is I don't do sick from work, not only do I do the martyred mother act extremely well, I am equally adept at the martyred employee always dismissing suggestions that I should go home for my sake and that of others.

I slept for most of the morning – except for when darling number 2 son came in to make sure I was OK and to bring me tea, biscuits and paracetamol. He amazes me with his total swing from loony idiot to caring adult, today was the latter. He had a busy day today, first off his consultation for his injury claim following his accident at work last August – must have gone well because the consultant made his foot hurt – and then another visit to the estate agency to 'finalise' arrangements. Needless to say nothing is yet 'finalised'. Apparently the branch manager has two options, one is for him to take an NVQ which will effectively make him a modern apprentice on £80 per week – erm, don't think so – and the other is to be a trainee negotiator – erm, no brainer yes please. Branch manager needs to speak to Regional manager when he gets back from Dubai on Thursday (business can't be too bad can it?) I will be so disappointed if he is only offered the NVQ route, he's worth far more than that and won't take it. He has worked full time for almost two years, who in their right mind would give up a full time job to go backwards in the career stakes?

Anyway back to me me me! Boringly I slept nearly all afternoon as well, still don't feel much better John has offered to cook dinner, which means shoving two chicken breasts in foil in the oven with oven chips. Still it's the thought that counts.

Oh – you'll be pleased to know that I managed to put all of my purchases from Saturday away with minimal rearranging – the cupboards are stacked a little precariously but the doors all closed without too much trouble!

Sunday, 7 June 2009

Need Help?


I saw a billboard sign that said: 


Out of curiosity, I did.

A Mexican showed up with a lawnmower

Magic Sandals – Beware mild offence may be caused!

A married couple were on holiday in Jamaica . They were touring around the market-place looking at the goods and such, when they passed a small sandal shop.

From inside they heard the shopkeeper with a Jamaican accent say, 'You foreigners! Come in. Come into my humble   shop.'

So the married couple walked in.  The Jamaican said to them, 'I 'ave some special sandals I tink you would be interested in. Dey makes you wild at sex.'

Well, the wife was really interested in buying the sandals after what the man claimed, but her husband felt he really didn't need them, being the Sex God that he was.

The husband asked the man, 'How could sandals make you a sex freak?'

The Jamaican replied, 'Just try dem on, Mon.'

Well, the husband, after some badgering from his wife, finally gave in and tried them on.

As soon as he slipped them onto his feet, he got this wild look in his eyes, something his wife hadn't seen before!!

In the blink of an eye, the husband grabbed the  Jamaican, bent him over the table, yanked down his pants, ripped down his own pants, and grabbed a firm hold of the Jamaican's thighs.

The Jamaican began screaming: 'You got dem on de wrong feet!'


Mmmm – will this work?

After reading Grethic's post I thought I'd just try writing in Word 2007 – has a much crisper, cleaner feel than creating a post in Blogger, just have to see how it turns out! And I've made a link which I couldn't manage before.

I'm afraid I haven't made much progress with creating space for the things I brought yesterday – apart from putting pot pourri into one of the vases and arranging it delicately on one of the new tables.

I decided to be ethical and start to use Freecycle again – we had loads of hardboard to get rid of which was previously under the carpet that we took up. Generally I have really good results when I offer anything, (for those of you that don't know the system, you can offer your unwanted goods free to the Freecycle community or request something specific that you need yourself – to start you have to offer something. If you want to give it a go just Google 'Freecycle' and you can find the scheme closest to you) however I get the odd disappointment. I had about 10 responses this morning, usually I take the first come first served principle. Other people agree to wait until the whole community have had a chance to view the post but personally I just want to get rid of the stuff! Anyway, I digress, today I thought I'd be a bit more considerate and read all the replies, there were two that stood out, a lady who needed something to assist her pushing her mother's wheel chair down the drive needed three sheets and a poor art student (I had a vision of him starving in a garret)who would use it to mount his work or to paint on. I sent replies asking them both to phone to arrange collection, the student phoned and we agreed they could come at 11 to collect, you've guessed it. The other lady, despite a nice reminder email, hasn't bothered. I'm left now with three sheets to get rid of, my ethics went out of the window and I mailed the first person who replied – now just waiting for the phone call.

The heavens opened as soon as the student arrived – the hardboard was in the garage, result very wet people and mucky floor as they walked through the house, in hindsight we should have opened the gates to let them through that way! The good news is that the water butt is now full again which will keep the garden watered for a couple of weeks.

A bitty day today really – not achieved anything apart from the ironing, came over weary and slept for two hours. Need to go now to try to put some of the new bits away before John, has a fit at me.

Thanks for stopping by. (oooh hovering over the publish button – will it work?)

Saturday, 6 June 2009

Almost successful Saturday

We went to Ikea today, such a shame it's an hour-plus drive - or maybe not. Whenever I go I end up buying a load of really useful stuff that I don't really need, as shown below. It's always handy to have serving dishes but these days I probably only use them half a dozen times a year, still it's best to be prepared isn't it?

You may remember that last week I was bemoaning the loss of somewhere to buy a glass bowl - success! Lovely deep glass bowl for under £2 - it will take some filling but I bought it anyway! I'm going to have to do some serious cupboard rearranging to fit all this new stuff in - actually, I don't think I can find room. I know, I'll box up some stuff that I don't use and put it in the loft - just in case somebody needs it for a bottom drawer at some time...

The thorny issue of the cabinet for CDs/DVDs is partially resolved - after wondering around Ikea for a couple of hours we eventually found the room settings (oh - I had an admission from John, he was wrong. The furniture was not downstairs it was in fact upstairs as I had already pointed out) We found a nice set of cabinets that fit together that will not only store the discs but will replace our current 'drinks' cabinet - we've had it for about 15 or so years so. Couldn't quite make up our minds which combination to choose so decided to come home and have a think about it.
After lunch at Pizza Express in Lakeside we decided to come home - the place was heaving with people, far too many for comfortable browsing.
I'm very impressed because John set to immediately to put the tables together - normally we would have had to have a planning meeting, then end up doing it tomorrow perhaps. You'll see I've said tables - we splashed out and bought four small tables rather than one larger coffee table
and have arranged them a la Ikea, don't know if they'll stay like that or not - watch this space.
OK - all blogged out now, need to cut the grass before the rain which hasn't yet arrived but looks as if it's not far away - the water butt is almost empty so I'll be grateful for a refill.


Sorry - just had to mention this one - the NHS ad for a better life that's appeared in my sidebar! Total irony for those of you that know!!

Typical Man

This was posted by my friend Charlie on his FB page - made me chuckle (especially when I read it in his Irish brogue!)

A man was drowning out at sea.

He called God save me.

Two men in a boat came along he said 'Go away God will save me'. Another boat came along he said 'Go away God will save me.'

Then a helicopter landed but he said go away God will save me.

He drowned and arrived at the gates of heaven.

Said to St Peter why did God not save me. Peter said 'For heavens sake He sent 2 boats and a bloody helicopter what else could he do?'

Friday, 5 June 2009

Surprise...turn up the volume

Well - what do you think? Yes, I know it's probably a little to cultural for me, but I keep seeing that Radio 3 ad for the Haydn season and just loved the music, don't worry, if you scroll down far enough there's some Stevie Wonder as well - and there'll be others as something comes to mind.

Well, day off today. Slept until gone 7 - how wonderful was that? Decided to have a leisurely surf (web not water of course) before breakfast after John went to work, but had an interruption from my mobile which never rings, certainly at that time of day. It was John - 'I've forgotten to bring my glasses to work, can you ask number 1 son to bring them in?' I thought it was mean to wake him up so decided to take them myself - which broke my leisurely reverie.

I didn't rush - John said not to and, as I always do as he says, I took him at his word!

Came home and worked hard at being the domestic goddess, ironing, washing, cleaning, shopping. Number 1 son and girlfriend thought it would be nice to have a barbecue - had they not seen the weather forecast? Off we went to Sainsburys to buy the requisite burgers (Taste the Difference of course, darling), sausages & rolls - plus a skirt, can never have too many clothes can I?

Number 1 son and I went to town, I offered him lunch which he turned down, saying he thinks lunch out is a waste of money (boy has he changed over the last few years) so instead we went slightly out of town to buy more bird food and a new broom (just like Julie's :)) and home to have lunch - 2.30 by this time, unheard of for me to eat lunch so late, mind you made the day go really quick. Rounded the day off with sweeping the front doorstep and garden - very long overdue!

The computer man came round this evening to look at the PC which has been running like the proverbial three legged donkey for some weeks, apparently all the protection software installed is making it limp along rather than run. He installed something called Kaspersky which isn't a free programme but will hopefully solve the problem. We need a new CD drive plus the TV card installed isn't working so he will be back next week for that. We have been really lucky in finding him to look after things for us, nice local business man, nothing's too much trouble - highly recommended.

We eventually had our barbecue indoors, which was very tasty.

Number 2 son and girlfriend are now cooking their dinner, she starts her new job tomorrow and hopefully he will finalise the details for his as well - it would be really helpful if you could all keep your fingers crossed for them, please.

Why Boys Need Parents

For all you mothers of boys, grandmothers of boys and sisters of boys - please be aware that these photos contain some elements of surprise, I hope you're not easily offended. It's all intended as innocent humour.

Banana & Gingerbread Slices

Quick to make and deliciously moist due to the addition of bananas

275g/10ozs/2 cups plain flour

20ml/4tsp ground ginger

10ml/2sp mixed spice

115g/4oz/1/2 cup soft light brown sugar

60ml/4tbsp sunflower oil

30ml/2tbsp molasses or black treacle

30ml/2tbsp malt extract

2 eggs

60ml/4tbsp orange juice

3 bananas 1

15g/4ozs/2/3 cup raisins

(I ran out of plain flour last time I made this so used SR instead without bicarb, I think it was better because it rose more evenly!)

Preheat oven to 180c/350f/Gas 4.

Lightly line & grease 18x28cm/7x11in baking tin

Sift flour into bowl with the spices & bicarb.

Mix in the sugar with some of the flour and sift into bowl

Make a well in the centre, add the oil, molasses/black treacle, malt extract, eggs & orange juice and mix together thoroughly

Mash bananas, add them to the bowl with the raisins and mix well together

Pour the mixture into tin and bake for 35-40 minutes, until the centre springs back when lightly pressed

Leave the cake in tin to cool for 5 minutes, then turn out onto wire rack and leave to cool completely. Cut into 20 slices

Wednesday, 3 June 2009

Well I'm here! 3.47. That's the time my feathered friends started this morning, I forced an eye open more out of curiosity than anything else - just needed to prove how ridiculously early it was.

Don't worry though, I managed to grab a few extra winks till 6am! Woke with that all too familiar feeling of dread again - you know, the one when your psyche is telling you you're sick but that sensible thing sitting on your shoulders makes you pull yourself together and get going.

I got going and went to work like the good employee that I am, the boss was excited 'cos she thought she recognised somebody at work on Crimewatch - needless to say she was wrong, thank goodness. If she'd been right we would have been completely screwed!

More of the same at work, plus an interview (by me, not for me) which made a nice change.

Number 2 son had a trial day at the estate agents to see if he liked it - he did!! I know I'm biased but he looked so professional and mature in his suit, please let this work out for him.

Dinner at Zizzis, just John & I, he had to have something soft because he's been to the dentist - ahhh! He's had his front teeth repaired, they'd been disappearing slowly over the past few years (oh God, he'll kill me if he reads this - sorry) and the dentist has rebuilt them to normality, can't get used to the difference - I suppose they'll grow on me!!!

Anyway - ended up with a free meal at Zizzis, even though we had a voucher anyway! I asked for Risotto de Pesce(?sp) without chilies - they got it wrong and had to re-cook both meals. Result 20 minute wait, one free meal and two complimentary diet cokes - and excellent customer service.

Well, that feels a lot better than yesterdays outpourings, I was tempted to delete it but decided against it - just to let those of you who don't know me realise that I have down days as well as up days!

Tuesday, 2 June 2009

Did you miss me? Did you even notice? Yesterday was so non-eventful there was absolutely nothing of any interest to write about - to be honest today probably hasn't been much better! Dawn chorus started stupidly early - probably about 3.30 (can't say for sure 'cos our clock beams light onto the ceiling - once it's light you can't see it (hence the need for new curtains with a good lining!) Ended up flitting in and out of sleep 'til about 6 which probably wasn't too bad.

I needed to be up early enough to tidy away before I left for work - don't usually worry, just hope that somebody else will do it! The new floor was laid today and looks very swish, I wasn't sure about having laminate right through but I think it will grow on me. Just need the rest of the fireplace to arrive now and we'll be set - once we've found the CD/DVD cabinet of course!

Work was OK to start, a bit boring because I had about 300 records to amend - excel to bespoke system, right clicks all round as I could copy & paste most. After the last few weeks, things had started to settle down but sleeping dogs don't lie very long and they've started to growl again - me thinks it may be time to seek employment elsewhere, question is where??? Ohhh, I'm getting too long in the tooth to be worrying about looking for new jobs.

Well, sorry but this hasn't been even slightly entertaining today - I'll try harder to make tomorrow's post better, if no post then you'll know I've failed and am in abject misery!!

Oh - just remembered that John spotted my photo of breakfast - now his reaction was funny!