Monday, 28 September 2009

There it was – gone...

...Or that was the weekend that was! Despite a tragic score line at Portman Road on Saturday the weekend was good (in case you care we lost 4-0 to Newcastle United). Unusually I had the possibility of sleeping in on Saturday – number 2 son had stayed at girlfriends on Friday night so no early start from them getting ready for work and the neighbour didn't have to start work at 6 AM so no noisy exhaust from him – guess what 5.45 AM! What the hell woke me up? Whatever it was it woke John up as well so I tried the very subtle hint of 'mmm that would be lovely' to which he replied 'what?' 'Cup of tea' 'I didn't say anything' 'Oh must have dreamt it then...' he doesn't get subtlety! No tea for me then L

Although football didn't start until 5.30 we set off to town for a late lunch and we, wait for it, went in on the bus! What an experience, to start we waited about half an hour for a bus, then I went to pay - I think the driver thought I wanted to buy the bus (John gets a free ride because of his senior citizen status) £1.80 for what, 10 minutes? A smelly, bumpy very unpleasant experience all of life's less fortunates were on that journey. All talking at the tops of their voices, trying to outdo the people sitting near them – I love people watching but boy this lot took some watching! I don't think I'll be rushing to get another bus anytime soon – so much for trying to help the environment.

We had lunch at Arlingtons again – sadly the service was not up to scratch all though the food was excellent as usual. When we paid the bill John made a comment about the service and we were told that it was only the waiter's second shift – felt a little bit mean but that's life.

Before the game the club held a wreath laying ceremony for Sir Bobby Robson on the occasion of his two favourite clubs playing one another for the first time since his death – it was a very moving experience only equalled by the tributes through the rest of the game.

Moving on, we're into the winter season for the TV – which means reality TV – X Factor & Strictly Come Dancing. The trouble is they are both on at the same time – I know I could record one but the problem is I never get round to watching it! Never mind – what does it really matter – it is only TV!

Sunday just flew by. I cooked a roast dinner – the first time in ages I've cooked a meal from scratch. Well, I say from scratch but confess to using frozen roast potatoes – I know, I know I should do my own but it's so much easier to use frozen. I did make a blackcurrant and apple crumble, well, I say made...OK I used packet crumble mix – alright I hear you, stop yelling at me!

Anyway all in all a nice weekend, punctuated by my obsession with checking to see who had come visiting for Sunday Stealing – I keep thinking I'll grow out of it...eventually.

Sunday, 27 September 2009

Sunday Stealing – The Fall Meme

When I looked at this my first reaction was 'Nah – not this week, questions not for me' then I saw that Janet over at Just Jotting has completed it and decided not to be outdone! As Janet says, this is written by somebody completely outside of my demographic but I have to be honest here and say that I love the way that Sunday Stealing brings people from all over world to my Ramblings! If you are visiting me for the first time – welcome, please leave a comment to say hello and I'll take a look back at your meme! If you are a regular say hi as well!

OK –Here goes nothing...

It's not really fall in until... (I'm going to ignore the word 'in' 'cos I think it's crept in by mistake) The leaves start to turn and the mornings have that wonderful damp musty smell about them although the air is bright and crisp.

What did you need to do in the waning days of summer for it to feel complete? Tidy away the garden, clear the flower beds and the pots and pack away the garden furniture.

A person I know was wrong for me but about whom I frequently thought after a break-up was...lordy, that would be a very long time ago, best let sleeping dogs lie I think for that one!

If you could only attend one major sporting event what would it be? I regularly attend football (soccer) matches but would really love to attend a men's final at Wimbledon (tennis!)

Assuming that you write an anonymous or partially anonymous blog, by what non-physically identifying characteristics might you be identified in a bar? I'm another one that doesn't go to bars!

Most blogs cover some sort of niche – personal, political, dating, culinary, etc. What topic, if any, would you like to address on your blog but doesn't fit into your niche? Oooh – tough one. Perhaps subliminal messaging but certain people would have to read it and guess it was aimed at them (sorry – that's a really weird answer but I have my reasons...)

If you could manipulate the time space continuum and give as many as three pieces of advice to a younger version of yourself, what advice would you give and to what age of you? Take some exams after you finish school, don't waste time on people who will only break your heart and make the most of now!

Who among your friends do you really wish had a blog because their stories, or perspective on something ought to be shared? I do have somebody in mind who will probably read this but I'm naming no names!

If you were to take an e-cation (vacation from the trappings of our electronic world,) and assuming that employment obligations would allow it, how long of a break could you take? What would you miss the most, the least? The tons of e-mails that hit me at work – how did we manage before them? Oh yes – we spoke to people!

On September 11th of this year, I attended a couple of parties and was somewhat conflicted by the fact that this ignoble anniversary shall pass with it being just another day in the eyes of many (and in some ways my own eyes as well.) Thoughts? Life has to continue – deal with events & anniversaries the best way for you.

How high are your walls? Who was the last person to scale them? What tools should would-be climbers have on their belt? Mmm – are these metaphorical walls or garden walls?? Metaphorically my walls are quite low so no equipment needed! My garden has fences – so tweezers to remove splinters would be a good idea!

The sexiest thing a man or a woman can say to you (or has said to you) is: Now that would be telling...and I'm not telling!

Friday, 25 September 2009

The one about my day off

I might have mentioned before that I work a 'nine day fortnight' effectively allowing me a day off on alternate weeks. The premise is that I work the 75 hours I should work over ten days over nine instead – in reality I work a lot more than that but my conscience is clear when I do take the day off.

Anyhow, today started rather rudely with John jumping out of bed with an expletive because he'd slept until seven o'clock! I harrumphed and turned over but he proceeded to sit on the bed and shave – I was not impressed and dragged myself up, took an armful of washing to the machine, made a cup of tea, powered up the lappy and returned to the bedroom – he'd only made the bed while I was gone! He'd forgotten that I had told him I was off work today!

A slow start catching up with the Twitterverse and I made my mental list of the days chores – I do try to be constructive on these days but I also think I need an opportunity to recoup my energies. I made the fatal mistake of not turning the TV off before my favourite 'Homes Under the Hammer' came on at 10 – so rewarded myself with a cup of coffee while I watched it.
We have had the most glorious weather here in the East of England over the last couple of weeks and today has been no exception – I ventured into the garden to start tidying up and it was so hot I couldn't believe it! I want to know why it is that weeds seem to grow whatever the weather but the flowers fade and die, I'm sure that every time I plant a new shrub or bedding plant it brings with it a new breed of weed which invades the whole garden.

Here's today's list (not terribly successful!):

Sort out the bedroom (yes – the astute amongst you will be asking 'what? Not again', but I have this little problem of not enough space and far too many clothes which I keep adding to!) - Fail

Go to the supermarket to top up before the home delivery tomorrow (crazy I know but needed milk and cereal for breakfast tomorrow) -Success

Tidy the garden (oh how I would love a man to come and 'do' for me, you know the type just a little man (or a big man) who has time on his hands and knows what he's doing and won't charge me the earth) -Success

Arrange for the old furniture to be collected – tried but couldn't get an answer from the local charity that collects

Tidy the vanity unit in the bathroom – the lovely plumber who did some work for us pulled everything out and put it back higgledy-piggledy - Fail

Change the flowers in the front room -Success

Descale the shower head the water here in the East is so hard all of our water using appliances need regular descaling - Success

And that's it – doesn't look like I achieved much but actually I feel quite satisfied with what's been done and here is the evidence to prove it!

Have a great weekend everybody! Oh – almost forgot, see the new button on my side bar? I had an email from this organisation asking me to host a button for them – seemed rude not to – take the time to vote!

Wednesday, 23 September 2009

The Wooden Bowl

An Inbox gem – this time courtesy of my good friend Karyn


The Wooden Bowl 

I guarantee you will remember the tale of the Wooden Bowl tomorrow, a week from now, a month from now, a year from now.

A frail old man went to live with his son, daughter-in-law, and four-year
-old grandson.
The old man's hands trembled, his eyesight was blurred, and his step faltered. 

The family ate together at the table. But the elderly grandfather's shaky hands and 
failing sight made eating difficult. Peas rolled off his spoon onto the floor. 

When he grasped the glass, milk spilled on the tablecloth. 

The son and daughter-in-law became irritated with the mess. 
'We must do something about father,' said the son.

'I've had enough of his spilled milk, noisy eating, and food on the floor.' 

So the husband and wife set a small table in the corner.
There, Grandfather ate alone while the rest of the family enjoyed dinner. 
Since Grandfather had broken a dish or two, his food was served in a wooden bowl. 

When the family glanced in Grandfather's direction, sometimes he had a tear in his eye as he sat alone.
Still, the only words the couple had for him were sharp admonitions when he dropped a fork or spilled food. 
The four-year-old watched it all in silence.

One evening before dinner, the father noticed his son playing with wood scraps on the floor.
He asked the child sweetly, 'What are you making?' Just as sweetly, the boy responded, 

'Oh, I am making a little bowl for you and Mummy to eat your food in when I grow up.' 

The four-year-old smiled and went back to work. 

The words so struck the parents that they were speechless. Then tears started to stream down their cheeks. Though no word was spoken, both knew what must be done. 

That evening the husband took Grandfather's hand and gently led him back to the family table.
For the remainder of his days he ate every meal with the family. And for some reason, 
neither husband nor wife seemed to care any longer when a fork was dropped, milk spilled, or the tablecloth soiled. 

On a positive note, I've learned that, no matter what happens, how bad it seems today, life does go on, and it will be better tomorrow. 

I've learned that you can tell a lot about a person by the way he/she handles four things:

a rainy day, the elderly, lost luggage, and tangled Christmas tree lights. 

I've learned that making a 'living' is not the same thing as making a 'life'. 
I've learned that life sometimes gives you a second chance. 

I've learned that you shouldn't go through life with a catcher's mitt on both hands. You need to be able to throw
 something back sometimes. 

I've learned that if you pursue happiness, it will elude you 

But, if you focus on your family, your friends, the needs of others, 

your work and doing the very best you can, happiness will find you. 
I've learned that whenever I decide something with an open heart, I usually make the right decision. 

I've learned that even when I have pains, I don't have to be one. 

I've learned that every day, you should reach out and touch someone. 
People love that human touch -- holding hands, a warm hug, or just a friendly pat on the back. 

I've learned that I still have a lot to learn. 

I've learned that you should pass this on to everyone you care about. I just did.

Sunday, 20 September 2009

From way back when...

A few months ago I received an invitation to attend a reunion at the place I started work when I was 16. Back in the day it was called Eastern Electricity but before its final demise it had several other names.

We were invited to meet at a pub local to where the office was which meant a drive down to the north of London for John & I. We booked a hotel for the night as it's just a tad too far these days to drive home after an evening out. Before the real gathering we arranged to meet up with a couple of friends with whom we are still in touch, Sue & Linda, for a meal in a local restaurant which meant we all arrived together at the venue.

I have never heard so many squeals of glee when people recognised colleagues not seen, in some cases, for over 30 years! When I started I was 16. Very young and naive, totally innocent of life's surprises and painfully shy. I met up with people who 30+ years ago had seemed so old – they were, after all 20, compared to my 16. How strange, now that we are all hovering around the 50 mark, that difference is no longer there? Some people hadn't changed a bit over the years, others had grown into their skins, I think most of us had shown an increase in weight but overall most people had the familiar features which helped to make them identifiable.

I am so glad I went – it could have gone either way, but I think everybody would agree the evening was a total success - Alison is even thinking about organising, wait for it, a DISCO!! Can you imagine all those old bones doing some shapes on the dance floor? Whaddya mean 'No'? Bring it on – the disco was one of the things we all loved way back when up in the Social Club room! Night Fever, Night Fever........

Sunday Stealing – One Long Meme – Part 2

How late am I this week? I did think I wouldn't make Sunday Stealing this week but having seen that it's the rest of last week' s I felt compelled to do it!

27. Do you prefer to sleep or eat? Probably both equally! I love to sleep – preferably properly, but I also love to eat!

28. Do you look like your mom or dad? I think a bit of both – my dad's height, but I look like my Mum's sister which I guess means I would look like my Mum.

29. How long does it take you in the shower? Depends on how I feel! Can be really quick or I might just stand and soak!

30. Can you do the splits? Hell no!

31. What movie do you want to see right now? Thinking of The Time Travellers Wife but I want to read the book first – which is taking a lot longer than I thought.

32. What did you do for New Year's? Last year I was really boring and went to bed! Waste of time though because the fireworks woke me up at midnight anyway!

33. Do you think The Grudge was scary? Is it a film? Never heard of it!

34. Do you own a camera phone? Yes – don't use it properly though, just leave the pics on the phone – must try harder!

35. Was your mom a cheerleader? No!

36. What's the last letter of your middle name? E – please don't steal my identity!

37. How many hours of sleep do you get a night? Probably more than I think! It feels like about six but is probably nearer eight.

38. Do you like Care Bears? No!

39. What do you buy at the movies? Don't go to the movies very often but always have to have Pick'n'Mix sweets!

40. Do you know how to play poker? No – my sons tried to teach me but it went right over my head!

41. Do you wear your seat belt? Yes – it's illegal not to!

42. What do you wear to sleep? Nice soft jersey night shirt.

43. Anything big ever happen in your hometown? Current home town – yes tragically a series of murders a few years ago, made national and international headlines.

44. How many meals do you eat a day? Three.

45. Is your tongue pierced? Yuk – no!

46. Do you always read MySpace bulletins? No!

47. Do you like funny or serious people better? That depends on the situation – I like interesting people!

48. Ever been to L.A.? Yes – two years ago. Stayed in Long Beach and did the Hollywood thing.

49. Did you eat a cookie today? No!

50. Do you use cuss words in other languages? No – prefer to use good old English!

51. Do you steal or pay for your music downloads? Pay on the odd occasion that I download.

52. Do you hate chocolate? I hate chocolate for making me love it so much!

53. What do you and your parents fight about the most? I'll turn this around to what do I fight with my children about – taking turns in what needs doing about the house.

54. Are you a gullible person? My son told me they'd taken gullible out of the dictionary...

55. Do you need a girlfriend to be happy? Not really getting this question – guess it was written by a young man???

56. If you could have any job (assuming you have the skills) what would it be? I'd love to have a little Tea Room with second hand books for sale!

57. Are you easy to get along with? Yes – I think so!

58. What is your favourite time of day? Bed time – the day's over, can crawl into a nice cool bed and snuggle down.

Saturday, 19 September 2009

The Present

A more reflective Inbox offering – this one was courtesy of my friend Julie (who hasn't had a mention in ages!)

It will take just 37 seconds to read this and change your thinking.

Two men, both seriously ill, occupied the same hospital room.

One man was allowed to sit up in his bed for an hour each afternoon to help drain the fluid from his lungs.
His bed was next to the room's only window.

The other man had to spend all his time flat on his back.

The men talked for hours on end.
They spoke of their wives and families, their homes, their jobs, their involvement in the military service, where they had been on vacation.

Every afternoon, when the man in the bed by the window could sit up, he would pass the time by describing to his roommate all the things he could see outside the window.

The man in the other bed began to live for those one hour periods where his world would be broadened and enlivened by all the activity and colour of the world outside.

The window overlooked a park with a lovely lake.
Ducks and swans played on the water while children sailed their model boats. Young lovers walked arm in arm amidst flowers of every colour and a
fine view of the city skyline could be seen in the distance.

As the man by the window described all this in exquisite detail, the man on the other side of the room would close his eyes and imagine this picturesque scene.

One warm afternoon, the man by the window described a parade passing by.

Although the other man could not hear the band - he could see it in his mind's eye as the gentleman by the window portrayed it with descriptive words.

Days, weeks and months passed.

One morning, the day nurse arrived to bring water for their baths only to find the lifeless body of the man by the window, who had died peacefully in his sleep. She was saddened and called the hospital attendants to take the body away.

As soon as it seemed appropriate, the other man asked if he could be moved next to the window. The nurse was happy to make the switch, and after making sure he was comfortable, she left him alone.

Slowly, painfully, he propped himself up on one elbow to take his first look at the real world outside.
He strained to slowly turn to look out the window beside the bed.

It faced a blank wall.

The man asked the nurse what could have compelled his deceased roommate who had described such wonderful things outside this window.

The nurse responded that the man was blind and could not even see the wall.

She said, 'Perhaps he just wanted to encourage you.'


There is tremendous happiness in making others happy, despite our own situations.

Shared grief is half the sorrow, but happiness when shared, is doubled.

If you want to feel rich, just count all the things you have that money can't buy.

'Today is a gift, which is why it is called The Present ...'  

Friday, 18 September 2009

Friday Fun – No Offence Intended

This one is courtesy of my shy and retiring friend and neighbour - Tracey!

OK be many of us REALLY ENJOY getting little angel love notes from every person in our address book? You know the ones with 'I love you so... here's an angel....... ' And like the cute wasn't bad enough, they then THREATEN you with bad luck if you don't send it on to others and back to them to prove you read the email and you love them too !!! and then you feel guilty if you don't and a sucker if you do...A vicious tactic! So here's my version:

Take the fairy dust:

Add it to one of those angels
And PHOOF!!!!.....

That's what I call an Angel....


I wondered why I kept getting visitors from Google (and other search engines) to the post I made about People of Walmart - so I googled it myself and guess what? When you type 'Random People at Walmart' the Ramblings comes up top of the list - woo hoo!!

Sorry - just felt I had to share that with you, I feel famous in my own little world now!

Have a great Friday (if it hasn't already passed when you read this).

Thursday, 17 September 2009

It’s OK to be like this...

Where has this week gone – Thursday already, hurray! I find myself feeling guilty for being a lazy blogger! Not an original thought has left these fingers since Sunday Saturday (sorry – just realised that I posted Sunday's meme on Saturday night) and there is absolutely no excuse for it.

Sunday saw us attend the wedding fair as we had planned - going out mid morning till early afternoon really threw my body clock for some reason! We got back from Kersey Mill around 1.30 and FDIL's mum and brother came back with us for a coffee – but by this time I was starving! I felt so mean – wishing that they would go so I could eat but good old FDIL (who's always hungry) managed to persuade them to go home! As son 1 had the day off we decided to go out for lunch, big debate – 'Oh just make a decision' he said, so we went to a local pub that I have mentioned before but not going to name this time because it was a less than pleasant experience! I suppose the sign outside saying 'Family Pub' was a bit of a giveaway, the place was heaving at 3pm when we arrived – I was so convinced that nobody else would want to eat at that time, after all isn't Sunday lunch supposed to be at 1pm? Yes – I know we were there for lunch but come on – everybody else? Did they really need to be there at the same time? Anyway, a passable meal in a very noisy environment led us to just want to get home as soon as possible. By this time I was all over the place – felt like it should be about 8pm but in reality it was about 4.30, really weird - to steal a word from a young friend of mine I was discombobulated (yes folks that really is a word!).

Enough of Sunday, back to work on Monday – feeling that I really needed a weekend! Given that Sunday was a really chilly day I decided that I needed to abandon the summer wardrobe and squeeze my feet into proper shoes, I'd bought a new pair last week and thought I'd risk them. Walk to work – OK not sore (those of you that know me well will know that I suffer terribly with painful feet especially in the winter), walked round all day – not sore. I was very impressed because normally, new shoes means sore feet. Tuesday was a bit more of a challenge. Work is a fairly long site about one mile end to end and I work in the middle – meeting one – furthest point North, meeting two – furthest point south. I make that about two miles round trip – feet were a tad sore but not too bad! Still quietly impressed with new shoes. Sadly by Wednesday morning I was paying the price L bring on the Voltarol! Magic cream or what – I smothered carefully applied the appropriate amount to both feet and abracadabra pain free feet all day long! How I wish I'd known of it before – will keep a tube close by at all times now!

Anyway enough of my feet! I've been hooked on a new gadget form Google Analytics which shows me all about my visitors – where they come from, how long they stay, what site has sent them to me, just another little obsession for me. A few weeks ago Erin included a link to Navel Gazing At Its Finest - Life Cycle of a Blog. I've delayed posting the link because I think I pretty well fit all of the first half of the list! I suppose it goes to show that it's not just me but most new bloggers really obsess about what they are doing and how well or otherwise it's received. Actually I feel quite comforted by it, almost as if it makes it OK!

Wednesday, 16 September 2009

What's going on?

I don't know what has happened to the post below! I've tried several times to format it and to line it up properly but it seems to have lost its way! I thought I'd leave it up anyway 'cos it's quite amusing!

Words for Wednesday

This little gem comes courtesy of my friend Janet over at Just Jotting Along – thank you, they made me smile! For some reason I can't fathom, the whole post has become a hyperlink to Janet and I can't change it- very bizarre, just don't click till you've read it all!

Read these and wonder, we are supposed to be the highest form of intelligent life. Maybe there is life in outer space?

It's time again for the annual 'Stella Awards'! For those who are unfamiliar with these awards, they are named after 81-year-old Stella Liebeck who spilled hot coffee on herself and successfully sued the
McDonald's in New Mexico where she purchased the coffee.

You remember, she took the lid off the coffee and put it between her knees while she was driving. Who would ever think one could get burned
doing that, right?

That's right; these are awards for the most outlandish lawsuits and verdicts in the U.S. You know, the kinds of cases that make you scratch
your head. So keep your head scratcher handy.

Here are the Stella's for the past year:


Kathleen Robertson of Austin, Texas was awarded $80,000 by a jury of her peers after breaking her ankle tripping over a toddler who was running inside a furniture store.

The store owners were understandably surprised by the verdict, considering the running toddler was her own son.


Carl Truman, 19, of Los Angeles, California won $74,000 plus medical expenses when his neighbor ran over his hand with a Honda Accord.

Truman apparently didn't notice there was someone at the wheel of the car when he was trying to steal his neighbor's hubcaps.

Go ahead, grab your head scratcher.


Terrence Dickson, of Bristol, Pennsylvania , who was leaving a house he had just burglarized by way of the garage.

Unfortunately for Dickson, the automatic garage door opener
malfunctioned and he could not get the garage door to open. Worse, he couldn't re-enter the house because the door connecting the garage to
the house locked when Dickson pulled it shut.

Forced to sit for eight, count 'em, EIGHT, days on a case of Pepsi and a large bag of dry dog food, he sued the homeowner's insurance company claiming undue mental anguish.

Amazingly, the jury said the insurance company must pay Dickson $500,000 for his anguish.

We should all have this kind of anguish. Keep scratching. There are more..


Jerry Williams, of Little Rock, Arkansas, garnered 4th Place in the Stella's when he was awarded $14,500 plus medical expenses after being bitten on the butt by his next door neighbor's beagle - even though the beagle was on a chain in its owner's fenced yard.

Williams did not get as much as he asked for because the jury believed the beagle might have been provoked at the time of the butt bite because
Williams had climbed over the fence into the yard and repeatedly shot the
dog with a pellet gun.

Grrrrr ... Scratch, scratch.


Amber Carson of Lancaster , Pennsylvania because a jury ordered a Philadelphia restaurant to pay her $113,500 after she slipped on a spilled
soft drink and broke her tailbone.

The reason the soft drink was on the floor .... Ms. Carson had thrown it at her boyfriend 30 seconds earlier during an argument.

What ever happened to people being responsible for their own actions?

Scratch, scratch, scratch.

Hang in there; there are only two more Stella Awards to go...


Kara Walton, of Claymont, Delaware sued the owner of a night club in a nearby city because she fell from the bathroom window to the floor,
knocking out her two front teeth.

Even though Ms. Walton was trying to sneak through the ladies room window to avoid paying the $3.50 cover charge, the jury said the night club had to pay her $12,000....oh, yeah, plus dental expenses. Go figure...


This year's runaway First Place Stella Award winner was Mrs. Merv Grazinski, of Oklahoma City, Oklahoma, who purchased a new 32-foot
Winnebago motor home.

On her first trip home, from an OU football game, having driven on to the freeway, she set the cruise control at 70 mph and calmly left the
driver's seat to go to the back of the Winnebago to make herself a sandwich.

Not surprisingly, the motor home left the freeway, crashed and overturned.

Also not surprisingly, Mrs. Grazinski sued Winnebago for not putting in the owner's manual that she couldn't actually leave the driver's seat
while the cruise control was set.

The Oklahoma jury awarded her, are you sitting down, $1,750,000 PLUS a
new motor home. Winnebago actually changed their manuals as a result of this suit, just in case Mrs. Grazinski has any relatives who might also
buy a motor home.

Are we, as a society, getting more stupid ?

Saturday, 12 September 2009

Sunday Stealing One Long Meme – part 1

Hehe found this really early this week – just as well 'cos I'm going to be tight for time tomorrow!

Here's this week's meme from Sunday Stealing given that it's name is One Long Meme (part 1) I think we can expect more of the same possibly next week!

1. The phone rings. Who will it to be? Son2 asking for a lift home from work – it's too expensive for him to park his car everyday!

2. When shopping at the grocery store, do you return your cart? Always – why wouldn't you?

3. In a social setting, are you more of a talker or a listener? Ohhh – a talker mostly. I hate difficult silences so always start off the conversation

4. Do you take compliments well? Of course not – I'm British!!!

5. Do you play Sudoku? Oh no – my husband plays enough for two!

6. If abandoned alone in the wilderness, would you survive? Probably not – I'm a wimp

7. Did you ever go to camp as a kid? Only to Guide (Girl Scout) camp – hated, hated, hated it!!!

8. What was your favourite game as a kid? Really can't remember it was soooo long ago

9. If a sexy person was pursuing you, but you knew she he was married, would you? No!!!

10. Could you date someone with different religious beliefs than you? This isn't really relevant but probably when I was younger – yes.

11. Do you like to pursue or be pursued? Too old to worry about either now!

12. Use three words to describe yourself? Good to have around (sorry – I know that was four)

13. Do any songs make you cry? It depends where they're being sung – if it were a wedding or a funeral most songs make me cry!

14. Are you Did you continue your education? No – I left school at 16, I'd had as much as I could take by then, haven't done too bad though considering!

15. Do you know how to shoot a gun? No!

16. Have you ever taken pictures in a photo booth? As a teenager – my that's a long time ago now!

17. How often do you read books? I always have a book that I'm allegedly reading – don't read anywhere near as often as I used to though.

18. Do you think more about the past, present or future? Probably the present

19. What is your favourite children's book? Percy the Park Keeper (that's the only one I can think of!)

20.What colour are your eyes? Green with a brown 'splodge' in one of them!

21. How tall are you? Five foot seven-ish (with an allowance for shrinkage due to old age!)

22. Where is your dream house located? I don't know – I don't think it exists yet!

23. If your house was on fire, what would be the first thing you grabbed? My phone!

24. When was the last time you were at Olive Garden? Now this will surprise some of my American friends but it was July 2008 in Branson, MO! I love Olive Garden but we don't have them here in the UK.

25. Where was the furthest place you travelled today? Just in to Town – about 3 miles.

26. Do you like mustard? I love it – but I mean English mustard – good and hot from a nice fresh jar!

Here I am!

After a so-so week, the weekend is here with still gorgeous weather. After a so-so (I've decided I like that little phrase-ette) night's sleep, I woke full of good intentions. I set John the task of clearing the clippings for the ceanothus bush (which is now totally decimated) to the compost bin ( they've been resting in the garden for a couple of weeks just waiting for the trip to their final resting place which will be the local dump where they produce compost from our garden waste) and to mow the lawn. Meanwhile I was to sort the laundry get it washed and out onto the line to dry which I did with time to spare – let's face it its not really a difficult job is it, I mean I don't have to stand up to my elbows in soap suds do I? After that I was to go into the garden and begin the clear up for autumn. Task score John 2 – me 1! I had to go to the supermarket this morning because I had to get prints from my lovely boys holiday photos – no it couldn't wait any time at all, it's been months since we all got back and it's time to sort the photos out.

Suffice to say I was far longer at the supermarket than I intended to be and got home to find John pacing because son 2 had asked to meet him in town with a view to getting another suit – of course I went with him, I could feel lunch being offered! Typically the jacket for the suit was out of stock so we had to order it – a very helpful young man in Burtons really went out of his way. 'So', says John, 'do you want to eat?' Do I want to eat - what a stupid question. So off we went to Morgans so that I could show John where I'd been with Janet last week, it was a little busier but still able to give a personal service. The he says 'Do you want to have a walk around the shops?' Another stupid question. Debenhams had 20% off most stock – daft not to at least have a look round wasn't it? I tried on a cardigan which was the most beautiful purple fluffy cardigan-come-jacket but just couldn't make up my mind so I brought a 'gypsy' style top and a black t-shirt. Having tried on the cardigan my appetite was whetted and I just had to find something so wandered into Marks & Spencer and spent ages looking for something similar. John kindly bought me a chunky purple cardi so I treated myself to a pair of black trousers! I need to confess that I also bought 'work' clothes when I went to the supermarket – does that count though when it comes to buying clothes?

Anyway – moving on, we came back from town in time to watch the start of the football scores rolling in on TV. Disappointingly Ipswich Town Football Club conceded a goal very early on giving me the perfect excuse to have an afternoon nap – not that I needed much of an excuse! Of course as a result of that I haven't done any gardening – again!

Tomorrow we are off to a 'Wedding Fair' in preparation for our preparations! The bride-to-be's Mum is joining us which will be lovely and I'm looking forward to being able to take some photo's of the lovely scenery at the venue.

Meanwhile, I leave you with a few photos that I have taken today with my gorgeous new Blackberry Curve!

Friday, 11 September 2009

Friday Funnies

Sign over a Gynaecologist's Office:
'Dr Jones, at your cervix.'
In a Podiatrist's office:

'Time wounds all heels.'
On a Septic Tank Truck:

'Yesterday's Meals on Wheels'
On a Plumber's truck:

'We repair what your husband fixed.'
On another Plumber's truck:

'Don't sleep with a drip. Call your plumber.'
On a Church's Bill board:

'7 days without God makes one weak.'
At a Tyre Store
'Invite us to your next blowout.'
On an Electrician's truck:

'Let us remove your shorts.'
In a Non-smoking Area:

'If we see smoke, we will assume you are on fire and take appropriate action.'
On a Maternity Room door:

'Push. Push. Push'
At an Optometrist's Office:
'If you don't see what you're looking for, you've come to the right place.'
On a Taxidermist's window:

'We really know our stuff.'
On a Fence:

'Salesmen welcome! Dog food is expensive!'
At a Car Dealership:

'The best way to get back on your feet - miss a car payment.'
Outside a Car Exhaust Store:

'No appointment necessary. We hear you coming.'
In a Vets waiting room:

'Be back in 5 minutes. Sit! Stay!'
In a Restaurant window:

'Don't stand there and be hungry; come on in and get fed up.'
In the front yard of a Funeral Home:

'Drive carefully. We'll wait.'
And don't forget the sign at a
'Best place in town to take a leak.'

Thursday, 10 September 2009

How many...

...visitors? I think my counter has had some sort of breakdown! While I'd like to think that over 10,000 people stopped by overnight I really don't think that can be true! Dilemma now - shall I delete it and start again, remove it completely and stop obsessing over numbers(!) or just leave it and see what happens next?

If you're brave enough to leave a suggestion I'll go with the flow!

Wednesday, 9 September 2009


Wow – it's Wednesday already, where has the week gone so far? The remnants of summer are just about hanging on here in eastern England, we have had some glorious days over the past week or so – probably warmer than a lot of August days – we need to make the most of this lovely weather because the autumnal changes will soon be upon us. Already the nights are drawing in – I recently saw a comment of 'it's getting late earlier' which sums up the sudden arrival of dark evenings.

The garden is also showing signs of needing to settle down for the winter, the tubs and containers have all long stopped flowering and my attempts at growing vegetables yielded mixed results. We had tomatoes a plenty, Lolorosso lettuces which were delicious and radishes from two crops. The dwarf beans were disappointing – probably because they came to fruit just as we went on holiday and didn't get watered properly – and the butternut squash only produced two fruits because the others all rotted on the stems! Oh – the strawberries were good too! So will I grow veg again next year? Don't know. The trouble is it always falls to me to water and if I don't feel like going out in the evening the plants get parched and start to keel over – perhaps next year somebody else might take some responsibility – we'll have to see!

I've had the day off today and wandered into town (well not so much wandered as took Son 1's car!) As I walked past a shop I saw this sign and just had to buy it – it will look really good in my office and no doubt raise many a comment!

Sunday, 6 September 2009

Sunday Stealing – The Random Dozen Meme

Ok here we are again – Sunday comes around far too fast! Sunday Stealing has managed to track this one right back to its creator! I've had trouble formatting the bullets on this one – for some reason Word is not liking double digit bullets! (Scrap that - I've edited in Blogger now and removed all the numbering!)

When you go to Wowmart, what one thing do you get every single time, besides a funky-wheeled squeaking cart full of frustration?

I'm really lazy busy and don't often go supermarket shopping – I tend to opt for home delivery! Nearly always order the same stuff though!

What is something that people are currently "into" that you just don't get or appreciate?

Some of the reality TV shows – always used to watch Big Brother but this year it has totally passed me by and the Apprentice – never really 'got' it!

What is something that really hoists your sail that other people might feel "ho-hum" about?

Has to be Blogging – for my non-Blogging friends, oh – and Twitter –some people just don't get it!!

Favourite song to sing in the shower or car?

I don't really have one – never in either for that long that I have time to sing! Although last weekend I sang along to all the wonderful Beatles tracks that were being played on the radio – knew almost all of the words as well!

A really great salad must have this ingredient:

Radishes – grew some for the first time this year and they were delicious!

What advice in a nutshell would you give to new bloggers?

Write as if it's just for you! But always remember somebody, somewhere will find it!

What was the alternate name that your parents almost named you? Do you wish they had chosen it instead of the one they gave you?

I was going to be Christine – instead they chose it as my middle name. When I was younger I hated my name because people seemed to want to call me Helen or Hazel all the time!

What in your life are you waiting for?

The boys to leave home! Oh, that sounds really mean – I don't mean it to.

You get a package in the mail. What is it, and who is it from?

Just about the only package I get in the mail these days would be a book I've ordered from I've ordered loads lately and need to find time to stop blogging/surfing and get on and read good old fashioned books! The last one to arrive was A Thousand Splendid Suns.

Today–what song represents you?

D'ya know – I can't think of a single one – failure on this one I'm afraid!

What is one thing that blogging has taught you about yourself?

That I can (sometimes) be quite witty and entertaining? And that not everything will contain humour. That I use far too many exclamation marks!!!!!!!! And parenthesises ((((^.^))))!!!!!!

How are you going to (or how did you) choose the clothes you're wearing today? What do they say about you in general or specifically how you're feeling today?

Today being a stay at home Sunday will be jeans and a T shirt – they say that I really can't be bothered to make an effort at the weekend but that I am quite comfortable with myself (that is until they get too tight towards the end of the day)

Saturday, 5 September 2009

Lovely Lunch

I'd like to start this post by thanking my wonderful husband for waking me up at 3am this morning! I say he woke me up because I suddenly found myself in conversation with him – Him 'did something just wake you up?' Me 'Yes – you!' He then went on to say that he thought something must have woken us both up at the same time – I have absolutely no idea what woke us up! Although later in the day somebody tweeted that the fact that there was a full moon might have had something to do with people having trouble sleeping – I'm not really into all that stuff so I wouldn't be able to comment. Anyway, he made a lovely cup of tea and I went back to sleep really quickly – until the next door neighbour started his noisy car at 5.50! Overall that is probably the best sleep I've had all week so I really shouldn't complain.

As I mentioned yesterday I met up with Janet for lunch today, we met at Arlingtons (notice no hyperlink to them today) and it was packed (hence no hyperlink), clearly all the publicity that I have given them over recent weeks is making them very popular! On the way through town Janet had noticed another restaurant that seemed to have plenty of room so we wandered along to Morgans Wine Bar and Bistro which did indeed have plenty of room – in fact there were only two people in there! The menu looked good – similar in some ways to Arlingtons – and the restaurant itself looked very nice too. We both opted for spicy crabmeat and salad sandwich which came served on ciabatta and was delicious. We took our time again only leaving when they closed the door – there were no other customers at all by this time. Janet explained to the waitress that we were bloggers and that they would get a mention on our blogs tonight! I think the waitress thought we were business-y type bloggers so we had to explain that we were small time, small town blogging buddies – but hey, they still got their mention!

Time to settle down now for the X-Factor the first act has just finished – oh my I hope they get better, he was terrible! I'll catch you all tomorrow with the Sunday Stealing meme (if it's something I like the look of!)

Friday, 4 September 2009

TGI Friday

I know, hardly an original title for a Friday but one that is so very heartfelt!

To be honest the week wasn't nearly as bad as I had thought it would be work-wise. Yes I've been busy and had a few long days but apart from that little issue that I mentioned a couple of weeks ago, nothing to really worry about. The boss will be so pleased when she comes back on Monday!

On the home front I've been incredibly lazy this week – no ironing, minimal cooking and precious little else. I have just been so darned tired (watch the Google ad sense pick up on this one), I haven't slept properly since Sunday night, instead feeling that I've been awake for a couple of hours during the night – you know the feeling? When you open your eyes, creep out of bed for the inevitable night time bathroom visit, try not to focus too much and get back to bed with the minimum of wake-up? Then you lie, eyes tightly closed, not daring to look at the clock – just in case you wake yourself up further. Then you find yourself turning over – and back (repeatedly) still desperately trying not to wake up fully. My logical self tells me that last night I did not lay awake for two hours because I know that I fell asleep playing a new little game I've invented. Did you ever play the game I packed my bag an in it I put....? When you have to start with an object beginning with A, then B and repeat the A, C and repeat A&B etc? Well this game was a variation when I decided I'd think of countries that I've visited in alphabetical order – America, Belgium, China (well not visited but couldn't think of one beginning with C that I had visted!), Denmark, Estonia, Finland, Germany, Honolulu (see China!!), zzzzzzzzzz...then I'd come to again and realised I'd lost my train of thought and start at the beginning – this happened several times and it wasn't until I was walking to work this morning that I realised I had actually fallen asleep for some considerable time mid concentration! Of course now I'm wondering whether my sleeplessness is a figment of my imagination – if it is why the hell am I so darn tired all the time?

Anyway – it's the weekend hurray! I'm off to meet Janet from Just Jotting Along for another lazy lunch – you may remember that we met up for the first time about a month ago and really enjoyed each other's company, I really must sleep properly tonight – otherwise I'll end up falling asleep in my lunch!

Back to matters domestic – I have found myself a lady 'to do' for me! Thanks to the power of Twitter and @flashmaggie's kindness in recommending her 'treasure', Sylvia will be starting with me on Tuesday – I so cannot wait to come home from work and find my house clean and shiny – no more guilty weekends thinking I ought to really get off of my butt and do something domestic! All I need now is a green fingered man (or woman) who fancies pottering around in my garden for a couple of hours a week......

Wednesday, 2 September 2009

Witty Wednesday

All found by my own fair hand this week – enjoy!! Whatever age you might be...

Any woman can have the body of a 21-year-old ... as long as she buys him a few drinks first.

My memory's not as sharp as it used to be. Also, my memory's not as sharp as it used to be.

Know how to prevent sagging? Just eat what you want 'till the wrinkles fill out.

I've still got it, but nobody wants to see me flaunt it.

I'm getting into swing dancing. Not on purpose - some parts of my body are just prone to swinging.

Isn't it scary when you start making the same noises as your coffeemaker?

I think I've reached my sexpiration date.

People our age can still enjoy an active, passionate sex life! Provided we get cable or that dish thing.

The good news is that even as we get older, guys still look at our boobs. The bad news is they have to squat down first.

These days about half the stuff in my shopping cart says: "For fast relief."

I've tried to find a suitable exercise video for women my age.. but they haven't yet made one called: "Buns of Putty."

Don't think of it as getting hot flushes. Think of it as your inner child playing with matches.

Don't let ageing get you down...It's too hard to get back-up.

Remember: You don't stop laughing because you grow old, You grow old because you stop laughing!