Sunday, 31 January 2010

Hyacinth Rescue

Yesterday I collected this - my replacement Christmas pressie

And I decided that I needed to try to do something about these...

So I performed emergency surgery and they now look like this...

That's all for now...Oh and I think I've crocheted enough squares for my blanket!

Sunday Stealing – The Pretentious Meme

I think this is a strange title for a meme! But as it's all about my favourite waste of time, I'll go along with it – check out the others over at Sunday Stealing

1. How long have you been blogging? Since May 2009 – this is my very first post!

2. What made you start? I receive a lot of 'funnies' through email and I'm not a great one for sending them on to 'ten people and something good will happen in ten minutes' type of thing, so I thought that this would be a great way of sharing them. I had absolutely no idea that it would run away with me the way it has!

3. Who inspired you? Nobody really. I had checked out the odd blog from news sites and didn't actually know anybody who blogged – either in person or on the Blogosphere. When I first started, the friend that I call Julie (there's that overdue mention J) encouraged me no end and then other people found their way to the Ramblings and it just grew from there.

4. About how many hours a week would you estimate you spend on your blog? On my blog probably no more than a couple of hours now but I do spend an inordinate amount of time blog-hopping from site to site, envying the creative ability of many of those that I visit.

5. What kind of experience or background do you have with writing? My experience is limited to school and work! I hadn't written anything remotely creative for over 30 years when I started (apart from a holiday journal which I only started about five years ago). My work writing is limited to formal letters and reports containing facts and figures – I guess that could be interpreted as creative at times!

6. Talk about how you come up with blog topics. Where do you get your ideas? A lot of my posts are related to my life so are autobiographical in content. Sometimes when I'm hopping I pick up on an idea and credit it back to its source.

7. What or who inspires you and your blog? My life, friends, family – other bloggers!

8. Where and/or how do your brainstorming for your blog? I don't really brainstorm – however a lot of my ideas do arrive at times of sleeplessness, sadly a lot of them don't stay in my mind until the cold light of day!

9. Do you have any blogging rules or guidelines you follow? I tend not to share any political opinions and try not to rant too often.

10. Is there anything you will not blog about? Politics!

11. Do you have any sort of a publishing schedule in terms of day of week or topic? I've just started a meme on Thursday's which I picked up at
Jenny's blog – Alphabe-Thursday, so I've committed to that for 26 weeks (yes – one week per letter of the alphabet!) and of course Sunday Stealing! I also like to write about the other stuff so I suppose at the moment I'm trying for three posts a week which, compared to when I started, is lightweight!!

Thursday, 28 January 2010

B is for ...Brother

Well – I bet that has surprised those of you that kindly made suggestions, you weren't expecting that one were you! I warn you the beginning of this a little maudlin but it gets better.

I don't have one, John has two and my sons have one each. I did have a brother but sadly he was killed in a road accident when he was eight years old. I was ten at the time but still recall so clearly the evening's events. I had come home from Brownies to find my Mum beside herself because David was nowhere to be seen. At the time we lived just outside London, separated from the capital by the A1 trunk road a busy road even forty years ago. He was actually killed on that road as he attempted to cross on his bike to collect world cup coins from a petrol station. He was killed outright so didn't suffer. My parents never recovered – especially my Mum. My Dad was more resilient, finding comfort in the bottom of a beer glass and eventually moving on to pastures new and a readymade new family. My Mum's health went downhill slowly from that point as first her physical health deteriorated and subsequently her mental health. I lost my Mum to mental illness when I was about 19, she lived another 11 years but was not 'Mum' she was somebody else altogether. My boys never knew her as they should have done and John only met her as a shell of her formal self.

Since number one son moved out earlier in the year, I have sensed a shift in the relationship between the boys. I knew it would happen at some time but I suppose I wasn't anticipating it just yet. They spend evenings together now playing. Yes, that's right I said playing. Thank heavens for the invention of the video game (or whatever they're called) because nowadays they can beat the living daylights out of each other in good humour playing boxing games on the X-box. No blood or bruises, tears or tantrums. I'm pleased that they can finally be friends as well as brothers. I can remember saying once when they were very young that whatever happened they would always be there for each other and I'm pleased that that prophecy has come true.

Weren't they sweet all those years ago? They'll kill me for this one...

Monday, 25 January 2010

Another week gone by...

The observant amongst you will have noticed that there was no weekly update on Saturday, why? No reason – just didn't get around to it!

Last week was OK – nothing special. Considering that we have been in the midst of a grey gloom now for several weeks with just the odd few minutes of blue sky and a glimpse of a watery sun, my mood has been quite good – I'm sure that you'll be pleased to hear that! I'm carrying on with the view at work that I can only do what I can, a colleague always used to say that the work will expand to fit the time available and of course she was right. Strangely, with my new found resolve I got more done last week than I have for ages which cheered me up no end! I'm going to confess that at the beginning of last week I had over 200 unread emails in my inbox – by Thursday it was just over 100, still far too many but nobody seems to be chasing me for answers which makes you wonder how many of them were that important...time will tell!

On Friday I managed to have a day off – remember, I used to have a day off every other week? Well, this was my first opportunity since the end of November to take a day off – my diary was completely empty so I took the opportunity. Yes, I know I could have used the day to go through the rest of the emails but actually I deserved the day off. Nothing spectacular happened, the building is still standing, life carried on as if I was there anyway so all's well.

I decided to treat myself to some flowers and thought I'd go for something different and came up with the basket of hyacinths at the top of this post – I have to keep turning them round so that they all have a turn to reach for the light, since I took the photo they have grown considerably – when they open up I'll take another pic to share. I hope they don't disappoint.

On Saturday I met up with Janet and we dared to be different! Not radically, we just went to Woodbridge for lunch instead of Ipswich, I also had the opportunity to meet her OH who is a charming man! I have to say that because he referred to me as a 'young lady' without any hint of irony.

I'm off now – need to start thinking about what I'll write for this week's Alphabe - Thursday it's the letter B this week, I've had lots of suggestions already but I'm going to keep you all guessing for a couple more days!

Friday, 22 January 2010

A is for Arkle...

A is for ......ARKLE! Isn't that just so obvious! While I was visiting Kathy this morning I picked up on a new meme – I know I said I would only do the Sunday Stealing and not over commit myself but well, this one looked fun! Kathy provided a link to her friend Jenny who has devised a meme called Alphabe-Thursday, I won't repeat all of the rules, have a look and check it out for yourself!

Anyway, as I say A is for Arkle. When I married and took the name I believed that I was part of a unique English family with possibly the most unusual surname in the whole wide world. John's family hailed from the north east of England and although he knew a fair bit about his extended family he thought that they were the only ones. Wrong – there are Arkles all around the globe.

Let me bore you for a while with my absolute favourite tale of Arkle-ing. About 11 years ago, when access to the World Wide Web was more limited, I took up the challenge of finding other people with your surname around the world. I used a search engine call Bigfoot and entered our family name. It returned about 12 links. The top one was for an Arkle based in an area where there had recently been a high school shooting – somehow it didn't seem right to contact them. Instead I went right to the bottom, took a deep breath and mailed a guy called Will Arkle, explaining what I was doing, asking him to excuse me for contacting him and giving every opportunity for him to totally ignore me. He didn't ignore me. He wrote back. I wrote back. We got to know each other in the ether, we learnt about each other's families. Eventually he invited us to visit. Gulp – apart from what we had disclosed via email we knew nothing about each other.

To cut a long story short, we visited Will and his family in 2001. They made us very welcome in their home in Joplin, Missouri (yes – Joplin gets a mention in that great song about Route 66) and we had the best time ever. Will and his wife Jo are an older couple with offspring nearer my age. This is how we became such good friends with Scott & Shirley with whom we have since spent many a happy holiday.

So I hope you forgive my self indulgent choice for A and appreciate my reasons for choosing it! Since meeting up with our Missouri 'cousins' we have also found other Arkle's virtually all over the world through Facebook and other networking sites – if you're feeling brave, give it a go with your surname. You never know where it might take you!

Now for B...I'll need to start planning for next week, any ideas?

Tuesday, 19 January 2010

Go Faster Dog....

I got stopped for speeding yesterday!

This one is destined to become a classic!
end it to a friend who needs a smile.

[I especially liked the claw marks
in the leather seat.]

Sunday, 17 January 2010

Sunday Stealing - The Trivia About Me Meme

trivia challenge Pictures, Images and Photos

This is more like it – I think I can answer most of these! Have a look at some of the others over at Sunday Stealing


Do you get regular massages? Not massage but I do have monthly reflexology – the only way I can have my feet touched!

Do you have an answering machine? Yes – but I never notice it flashing!

What cuss word do you use the most? Oh bother

Are you underweight or overweight? Oh – seriously overweight, diet will start tomorrow!

Can you see your veins? Yep – very prominent in the backs of my hands!


Soap? I only watch Eastenders these days – although I don't know why as it's so depressing! (After writing this I saw that other people had mentioned soap as in washing! In that case Dove!)

Fruit? I'm bad at eating fruit but do like pineapple – shame it's a bit messy to prepare!

Kind of red meat? Beef – cooked just so!

Fish? Again, I'm bad at eating fish but do like haddock from time to time.

Candy bar? Most of them!

Have You Ever…

Eaten a whole bag of potato chips? Oh yes – sometimes even those really big ones!

Eaten lobster? Yes – but only on a cruise when I don't have to pay separately for it!

Climbed a mountain? Only in a cable car!

Been skydiving? No!

Been water skiing? No!

Do You…

Wish you could change something about your life? I don't think so – not right now, there have been times in the past though...

Like your nose? It's alright!

Like salt and vinegar chips? Yes!

Eat salsa? Not often

Own a boat? No!

What Is…

A small thing that people let slide but that actually has dire consequences? Health – screening's out there people – use it!

Your most macho trait? My love of football – the soccer kind!

The longest relationship you've ever had? My current one – nearly 27 years!

Your most embarrassing thoughts? Do you think I'd share them here??

Your most shameful moment? Nothing springs to mind...


Bath/Shower? Shower – never seem to have time for the luxury of a bath!

Markers/Crayons? Either

Pens/Pencils? Pencils

Jelly/Cream Cheese? Cream Cheese

Bagel/Toast? Toasted Bagel!!!


My greatest weakness is…the time I spend on line!

I wish I was…still sleeping!

Three things I wouldn't do for a million dollars are…sky dive, water ski or abseil!

The oddest thing I've ever put in my mouth is…again would you expect me to say???


Credit card you had? Was a long time ago, took me forever to pay it off and I no longer use them.

Loan you got was for? My first car

Paycheck was for how much? I think about £90 but that was 34 years ago!

Time you had stitches? Apologies but when I had my first son – probably too much information!

Time you went to the hospital for something? To have my tonsils removed


List everything you ate in the last 24 hours? There is not enough space here for that!!!

Last thing you used a credit card for? See above – can't remember!

What was your job previous to the one you have now? Similar role - always done the admin type thing!

Last thing you celebrated? Christmas

Last time you were at a sports bar? Only been once, ended up in Hooters in St Loius – not realising what sort of bar it was, my 18 year old son loved it tho' – can't think why!!!

Saturday, 16 January 2010

What do you think..

...just had a quick makeover - changed the template to Minima Stretch and found a new background to fit, all comments welcome.

Must go and do something more constructive now though!!

Not a bad week really

The snow has mostly gone – for the first time in almost a month the roads and paths are clear and safe here in the East. I will start to walk to work again from Monday – lord knows I need the exercise. I took the brave step of weighing myself this morning – a figure which I will not be sharing with anybody. Not even my closest friends are going to hear that horror story. Suffice to say I need to lose an awful lot of weight (again) to get me back to a more healthy level. I can do it – I lost two stone (28 pounds) about three or four years ago and it was so easy. I did it in six months with Weight Watchers and my head was in the right place. It's true that it's not a diet but a lifestyle change. I just need to get my head back to that place and to stop my hands picking up the wrong foods to put in my mouth. So Monday is going to be that day. Back to a healthier lifestyle, better food and a new headspace. The problem is that I need to eat at midday and sometimes work gets in the way of making the healthy choice – I'll just have to try harder.

So what have I been up to this week? Well, work (obviously) mad but managed. I had a bit of a eureka moment when the scales fell from eyes and I realised that I can only do what I have time for. There are nowhere near enough hours in my day to get everything done that needs doing so I prioritise now. The obvious things have to be done immediately, but after that I take the time to work out what needs doing next. So far I have learnt that it was right for me not to have applied for the job on a permanent basis, I have enjoyed huge elements of it and might think again if an opportunity came up elsewhere in the future – just not right now.

We have had the strange experience of Son 1 coming to see us as a visitor. He doesn't know what to do with himself – he actually sits with us and talks! When he lived at home he spent 90% of his time in his bedroom – he can't do that now so has to sit in the front room with us! That's weird. He doesn't stay long – just enough to eat, digest and after a reasonable time he goes home. Last night he came with FDIL and we had Dominoes pizza – it's a novelty for them to sit at a table to eat so we made an effort for them! That will have to be my last take-away for a while.

My house husband has kept up the good work this week although he's had a nasty cold which doesn't seem to be getting any better – he actually slept in the spare room on Thursday night which meant that we both actually slept better, mmmm......could that be the answer...

On with the weekend. Football this afternoon – hopefully another win for Ipswich Town, we're on a bit of a roll now and need to keep going. John and Son 2 are not coming today, instead they are going to watch Colchester United play Norwich City which is the only derby game they'll see this year – there is no love lost in the region between the derby teams but traditionally Ipswich Town fans so dislike Norwich City that the rivalry is off the Richter scale. Son 2's true love however, in football terms, is Colchester United. So, to save me going to football on my own, my friend Carl is coming with me and bringing his son to use the tickets.

Time to get on now then – oh, not much housework to do so whatever will I spend the morning doing... oh yes, the bits that he doesn't notice that need doing! Happy weekend everybody!


Thursday, 14 January 2010

A Pome What I Wrote

With absolutely no apologies for the lack of style, content or substance – this came to me (mostly) at 4 o'clock this morning – please use a sing-song style while reading!


I've made some new friends from blogging, on Facebook and Twitter too

There's Miss Posh, Lady B and Jaydubblah and Busby to name but a few

They all are quite different in outlook, on content of comment or Tweet

Sometimes their writings leave you nowhere to look, 'cept for down at your feet

Miss Posh is a stay at home mum, with L'il Man, Posh Pupp and her man

She writes how she feels from her heart, which she does because she can

Lady B works in healthcare, dedicated to her patients it seems

But if you don't keep your appointment, she'll let you know what that means

Now Jaydubblah, what does she do? That's right at the moment not a lot

She'll tell you she's looking for something, when the weather changes to hot

And Busby, oh yes an enigma, appears on line for but a while

But believe me his comments, though few, will always leave you with a smile

There's others too many to mention, more difficult to include in a rhyme

But believe me Grethic, Kathy & Erin I think of you all of the time!

Saturday, 9 January 2010

Burst pipes and the tumble drier

Brrrrrr – it's flippin' freezing! No need to tell you that the cold weather and abnormal amounts of snow have captured all of the headlines this week, meanwhile life has had to continue as normal as far as possible.

Work has been mad (I'm feeling obliged to share this with you!). Lots of very sick people needing lots of care and attention, there's something about the camaraderie that this type of pressure engenders. We are all exhausted but in some sort of mad way things have been on a high this week. I think generally the public are more understanding and most of the staff go that extra mile to make things happen in such adverse conditions. We've had some staff arrive at work with overnight bags and making up beds so that they don't miss their shifts – that's what makes the NHS great!

On the home front, John's temporary contract came to an end at the end of the year so he is currently a house-husband which has meant that, after finding a cleaning fairy, he is now in charge of all things domestic (with a guiding hand from moi of course). He has been a hero getting up early in the morning and clearing the car to take me to work and also cleaning son 2's car so that he can get off quicker.

When he got home on Thursday morning he was greeted by our neighbour who was wondering what he could hear against our shared fence. It was water. Our garden tap had frozen and burst – the water was coming out at full mains pressure and bouncing off of the fence. Our neighbour fortunately can turn his hand to almost anything and despite the freezing temperature helped John to stop the flow. That was after they managed to turn off the stop cock in the kitchen cupboard. It was stuck fast with limescale and took them ages to move it. The pipe had to be capped and will need to be repaired in the warmer weather. In the ensuing melee John panicked to turn off the tumble drier – I have no idea what he was thinking but he has walloped the control switch so hard that he has pushed them so far in, the drier no longer works – the stupid thing is all he had to do was turn the switch off at the wall or simply open the door! Ho-hum, men eh?

So now I have no drier and have resorted to using the 'clothes horse' method which is OK for small amounts of laundry but not several loads a day. I asked him to call a repair man yesterday – you know what's coming don't you? Yep – he forgot!

So what does the weekend hold in store? Well, the forecast is for more snow. I don't intend to go anywhere. I need to motivate myself to do something other than sit here either crocheting or surfing. I'm tired so don't feel particularly inclined to do much – I do feel though that I may go stir crazy if I don't get out.

Ok, enough of this sitting and surfing – except for finding a man to repair the drier, what chance have I got of anything happening to soon?

Wednesday, 6 January 2010

Sunday, 3 January 2010

Sunday Stealing – The What If Meme

First impression of this one – no way! So I had a look at some of the other regular participant's posts and decided that, with my tongue planted, once again, very firmly in my cheek, I would give this a go – I do wonder though how the hell people come up with questions sometimes!

1. You can press a button that will make any one person explode. Who would you blow up?

- That really annoying bloke on the car insurance commercials who keeps bursting into song

2. You can flip a switch that will wipe any band or musical artist out of existence. Which one will it be?

- Any manufactured pop band

3. Who would you really like to just punch in the face?

- Moi? I'm a pacifist

4. What is your favorite cheese?

- Love it all

5. You can only have one kind of sandwich. Every sandwich ingredient known to humankind is at your immediate disposal. What kind will you make?

- Brie and cranberry - toasted

6. You have the opportunity to sleep with the movie celebrity of your choice. We are talking no-strings-attached sex and it can only happen once. Who is the lucky celebrity of your choice?

- Lucky?? Mmmm – let me see. Nobody, I'll stick with what I know thanks

7. You have the opportunity to sleep with the music-celebrity of your choice. Who do you pick?

- See 6 – same answer!

8. Now that you've slept with two different people in a row, you seem to be having an excellent day because you just came across a hundred-dollar bill on the sidewalk. Holy shit, a hundred bucks! How are you gonna spend it?

- (Clearly this is a masculine meme!) On a handbag!!

9. You just got a free plane ticket to anywhere. You have to depart right now. Where are you gonna go?

- Somewhere that it's not snowing

10. Upon arrival to the aforementioned location, you get off the plane and discover another hundred-dollar bill. Shit! Now that you are in the new location, what are you gonna do?

- Another handbag!

11. An angel appears out of Heaven and offers you a lifetime supply of the alcoholic beverage of your choice. It is…?

- An offer wasted! I drink so rarely I am happy with the current availability, thank you!

12. Rufus appears out of nowhere with a time-traveling phone booth. You can go anytime in the PAST. What time are you traveling to and what are you going to do when you get there?

- And Rufus is? (goes off to Google)(comes back none the wiser)I'd rather stay where I am, thanks.

13. You discover a beautiful island upon which you may build your own society. You make the rules. What is the first rule you put into place?

- Aaahh – peace and love rules OK – no war, no hatred, just love enough for all (Eeewwwww)

14. You have been given the opportunity to create the half-hour TV show of your own design. What is it called and what's the premise?

- Errrr – I don't think so.

15.What is your favorite curse word?

- Being English it has to be 'Oh bother' (believe that and you'll believe absolutely everything I tell you!!)

16.One night you wake up because you heard a noise. You turn on the light to find that you are surrounded by MUMMIES. The mummies aren't really doing anything, they're just standing around your bed. What do you do?

- Turn over and hope they disappear

17. Your house is on fire, holy shit! You have just enough time to run in there and grab ONE inanimate object. Don't worry, your loved ones and pets have already made it out safely. So what's the item?

- Serious answer – my laptop.

18. The Angel of Death has descended upon you. Fortunately, the Angel of Death is pretty cool and in a good mood, and it offers you a half-hour to do whatever you want before you bite it. Whatcha gonna do in that half-hour?

- File my nails

19. You accidentally eat some radioactive vegetables. They were good, and what's even cooler is that they endow you with the super-power of your choice! What's it gonna be?

- Never ending energy and no tiredness

20. You can re-live any point of time in your life. The time-span can only be a half-hour, though. What half-hour of your past would you like to experience again?

- Errr – see number 12

21.You can erase any horrible experience from your past. What will it be?

- Err – see number 20

22. You got kicked out of the country for being a time-traveling heathen who sleeps with celebrities and has super-powers. But check out this cool shit… you can move to anywhere else in the world! Bitchin'! What country are you going to live in now?

- Err – I didn't take up the offers!

23. This question still counts, even for those of you who are under age. Check it out. You have been eternally banned from every single bar in the world except for ONE. Which one is it gonna be?

- Don't go to bars!

24. Hopefully you didn't mention this in the super-powers question…. If you did, then we'll just expand on that. Check it out… Suddenly, you have gained the ability to FLOAT!!! Whose house are you going to float to first, and be like "Dude, check it out…I can FLOAT!"?

- Well with all my super power energy I could float absolutely anywhere I wanted at the time.

25. The constant absorption of magical moonbeams mixed with the radioactive vegetables you consumed earlier has given you the ability to resurrect the dead famous-person of your choice. So which celebrity will you bring back to life?

- Remember – I stay in the present!

26. The Celestial Gates of Beyond have opened, much to your surprise because you didn't think such a thing existed. Death appears. As it turns out, Death is actually a pretty cool entity, and happens to be in a fantastic mood. Death offers to return the friend/family-member/person, etc. of your choice to the living world. Who will you bring back?

- What's this obsession with death and stuff...

27. What's your theme song?

- Always look on the bright side of life!!!

Please Bud – try to find us old bloggers a more logical meme next week!!!

Saturday, 2 January 2010

Happy New Year Everybody!!

in a bird cage Pictures, Images and Photos

I wanted to wait a day before I gave you my greetings for the New Year – it's like having a late Christmas pressie!

I have my aunt staying with me at the moment, that probably conjures up a vision of an old lady sitting in the corner but she is actually only eleven years older than me so we're more like sisters really. Having said that I did threaten to put her in the corner and cover her if she misbehaved (the image was of a bird in a cage letting off expletives and needing to be quietened!) her name is Judith but for my whole life I have only ever called her Dilly – something to do with 'Dilly Daydream' a nickname coined by my late granddad.

Dilly is single and lives alone and is not with the techno world, she likes to use the internet but doesn't have regular access. I've been trying to tell her about blogging. She wants to know what I write about – when I told her it's mainly drivel she failed to see the point! I explained that I have visitors from across the globe who read my drivel and leave comments. She still didn't get the point. Will I tell her that she's mentioned today – I don't know, I don't think she'll get the point.

My point in the paragraph above leads me to the point where I thank you all for sticking with me for the past seven months. Some of you I know in real life, others I know only virtually but I love you all! I love the fact that I can waste spend hours travelling the globe reading about your lives, if I'm honest most of my travelling takes me to the USA but it's a place I love and am happy to visit in person or just virtually. I think most of us bloggers follow the maxim of writing for ourselves, it's certainly made it easier for me by holding that belief.

Let me now tell you about my exciting year to date – and a little about the past few days. Son 1 has finally moved out – keeps popping home for the odd thing (like his underwear!) but he has essentially moved out. I left them for several days before visiting. I wanted to be invited. I don't want to be the sort of MIL who turns up out of the blue. I need to be wanted. The reason for that is deep rooted – I may share another time. Moving swiftly on, we visited on New Year's Eve – just a short visit. We took Dilly with us so that she could see their new home and I must say it looks lovely. Although it's very compact they have made it very homely and I think I feel more settled about it all now.

We had a quiet New Year's Eve. Son 2 hit the town and John, Dilly and I sat with the TV for the evening. We had the excitement of more snow which wasn't expected and caused concern because Dilly has a bit of a drive home – heaven forbid she'd get snowed in with us! I can proudly say that I stayed awake until 10.45, heard the fireworks at midnight but turned over and went straight back to sleep.

Yesterday I played hostess to the friend that I call Julie and our other friends Linda & John (you may remember we went on holiday in the summer with them). Unfortunately the frozen snow put a bit of a damper on things and they left a lot earlier that we would have anticipated but we had a lovely day. Mix and match lunch (dinner?) – I really couldn't contemplate a roast dinner so we had chilli, lasagne, duck pancakes wraps with plum sauce and chicken – strangely the duck went down the best! After lunch son 2 took Julie, Linda & I off to see son 1's flat although he was actually at work but FDIL played the perfect hostess. The roads around Ipswich were so icy and they live on a hill – picture the image of son 2 with two older women on his arms trying to keep them upright on the ice! Clever mother (who wasn't even offered an arm!) saw that the path close to the buildings were actually snow and ice free and just had to balance on the bit of road by the car!

After a cup of tea and a slice of Christmas cake, our visitors made their way back to Colchester in an effort to avoid the possible worsening weather. I offered to pack them up a picnic of what would have been their tea but they declined! Oh well, I'll start the diet next week then!

And that essentially is my year to date. I'm looking forward to 2010 for all sorts of reasons. More travelling (of course), work challenges (bites knuckles), more blogging (what would you expect) and adjusting to life in household of three instead of four (that may actually be the bigger challenge).

Happy New Year everybody – 2009 was a blast, bring on 2010!