Thursday, 31 July 2014

DAY 78 - Busy Busy!


I have 1 day left at work (sounds of bells, singing in the streets and fireworks).

I have 7 days to plan and cater a 50th Birthday party.

Slight problem being that we are in Wales from Monday to Friday.

I need someone to bake me a very specific Sex Pistols album cover cake.

I'm going on holiday on Monday and I don't have anything sorted.

I can't find the code to print off our train tickets.

Just ever so slightly panic stricken.

I have worked from 8 until 6 today.

I am working from 8 until 6 tomorrow.

I am going for a lie down in a darkened room before madness takes over and my eyeballs fall out.

Wednesday, 30 July 2014

Day 77 - Be Still ...

I fully intend to take heed of these wise words at some point next week. 

Tuesday, 29 July 2014

Day 76 - some days ...

Some days all you need is your best mate and a very large gin and tonic.

A long overdue chinwag in her garden, a haven for stripey-wildlife and blue-mates. 

Rambling lavender bushes buzzing with bees. 

A pink shed and bunting. 

A quiet place with swirly painted chairs

And rainbow salads in eclectic crocks

And I left with my spirit lifted, my ribs aching, my tummy full, a couple more laughter lines and a rather squiffy head. 

And feeling blessed.  

Monday, 28 July 2014

Day 75 - If you can't say something nice....

This should have been my mantra today.   

Note the use of the words "should have been".

I obviously didn't try hard enough.

Ah well.  

"Tomorrow's another day...." 

Thumper O'Hara signing off. 

Day 74 - Dogged Obsession

I've just realised that we've had Harvey the Hooligan for three years this week.  Goodness me!  

He was just six months old when he came to live with us and whilst he's calmed down a 'little' he's still as mad as a box of frogs on speed!

This was him back then, a couple of days after we had him.

And this is now.  This was taken this afternoon and he's basically saying "Hello Mom.  I'm a good boy I am.  I'm sitting here looking up adorably because I love you.  It has nothing to do with the fact that you and Dad are eating scones.  Dribble.  Oops Didn't meant to say that".


The list of Harvey's obsessions is getting longer every day.   He's a very clever dog and you don't have to show him something more than a few times for him to work it out - whether it's a good thing or not!

Obsessions are as follows:-

  • Spinning on the sun circle three million billion times each day with a bit of old string he's had for years and refuses to ignore.  And no, I'm not exaggerating. 
  • Putting stones on your feet so you can throw them for him.  Ignore him and he'll keep putting them there ad infinitum. He will not bore of this.  Ever.  
  • Jumping mid air snapping his jaws at flies. 
  • Getting out of the back door before you, taking your knees out in the process so you're left wobbling on the step and he's half way up the garden.  He knows this is wrong.  He is told twenty million times every day to wait.  Forget to say wait and he'll barge past.  Say wait and he'll barge past you anyway at a slightly slower velocity. 
  • Going outside.  Even if he's just come in from being outside.  Even if he's been outside ALL bliddy day.  If you close the door and then open it again, he'll run out like he's been set free from a terrible prison. 
  • Running after the cat.  Always.  He has to chase him.  He doesn't actually do anything to him but he's incredibly jealous of any attention given to anything other than him. I wish the cat would box him on the nose but he just runs - and Harvey pursues!
  • When he gets told off about anything -(barking too vociferously, picking up stones, chasing the cat) he will bounce at the chicken wire and shout at the chickens.  The chickens look at him, cast their eyes skywards and say "Bitch. Please".  
  • The television.  He will hear you pick the remote control up from the top of the garden and dash in to glare intently at the controller in your hand.  Why he does this we have no idea.  
  • Emmerdale.  He knows the music.  He knows exactly when the lurcher is going to walk across the screen.  He stands on his back legs and barks at him every time.  Sigh.  
  • Coronation Street.  The Meerkats.  He doesn't like them. Simples.
  • Eastenders.  He'll sit and listen to the music.
  • Football.  He will dance around on his hind legs watching the ball intently for ages.  He has more of an interest in football than I will ever have. 
  • The Trivago advert.  Shhh.  He doesn't like the woman whispering. 
  • The steam iron.  How he hasn't got his nose burned or steamed off by now is a miracle. 
  • Aerosols.  Of any kind.  Anyone can attempt to spray something in any room in the house and he will be at your feet before you have taken the lid off. 
  • Picking the tiniest bit of paper up off the floor and touching your leg with it to attract your attention and then when you demand he puts it in your hand he'll dance off just out of reach and bow with his arse in the air laughing at you. 
  • Mops, Brooms, Hoovers.  
  • Watering cans.  He is tripping me over as soon as I pick up the watering can and doesn't leave my side until I've finished watering, sticking his head under the stream of water until he's locked in the house (waiting to barge out of course at the first given opportunity).
I'm bound to have forgotten another 27. 

He's a sod.  But he's intelligent, kind hearted, funny, loving and a constant source of amusement. 

Bless him! 

Saturday, 26 July 2014

Day 73 - Shine On Saturday

Another Scorcher here in the BC.  I think its been hotter today than in the week  - almost unbearable at times.

Nevertheless there are always jobs to be done aren't there? Man was off doing manly things up the garden with hedge trimmers and drills and I stayed in the house getting all the jobs I'd usually do on a Sunday done today out of the way.  There's another load of washing to go out first thing tomorrow if the weather stays dry and I shall hopefully be able to get to do some weeding too. We're having a big purge on the garden as him indoors has a rather notable birthday occurring very shortly after we come back from holiday and I don't want to leave everything until last minute.

The buzzard has been hovering and soaring just over the top of the house for most of the day, calling plaintively and sending the chickens in to paroxysms of stressy chuntering. There have been as many as five overhead at times when the family has been raised, but today there was just one, being bullied by the crows and magpies if he came too low.  Bully birds!

The soft fruit is so plentiful and cheap at the moment I went a little overboard yesterday when it was knocked down.  By this morning, though, it had begun to collapse so although 30 degrees of heat isn't really conducive to heavy, hot puds - the addition of ice cream will of course help the apple, raspberry and blackberry crumble down nicely! 

There we go then, a post full of outright drivel and nothing of importance - sorry about that!
Hope your Saturday was a right little belter!! xx

Friday, 25 July 2014

Day 72 - High Five Friday

Hello there!

How are you all?  Happy Friday to you!

I'm feeling less stressed today and so here are some Friday positives:-

  • Leia chook hasn't beaten Charlie chook to a pulp just yet.  They're not best friends but I think a truce may have been called.  For now at least.
  • Man's booked tonight off so we've been for a cheapie pub two for one meal, and very nice it was too!
  • We went shopping straight afterwards and now we have a whole two days of the weekend to spend as we please.  Yay!
  • Whilst shopping we picked up lots of yellow stickered items which slashed our shopping bill and has put lots of good quality meat in the freezer at a small cost. - i.e. 3 HUGE trays of chicken thighs for £1.79 per tray instead of a fiver, frying steak, salmon and pork steaks.  It was well worth going at the time we did - there was hardly anyone there. Go us!
  • There were some huge citronella candles knocked down to half price - these will be perfect for keeping bugs away at our bbqs.  We also picked up some cut price solar lights and some more candles for the house which smell A-mazing.  Can't wait to burn them!
  • There is just one week left at work before our holiday. 
  • I'm keeping everything crossed we can pick up some overtime next week which will be very welcome. 

Positive vibes to you all.

See you soon xx

Day 71 - One nerve left .........

Y'know when its just one of those days, you have one nerve left and someone stamps on it? 

Yeah - today was one of those days. 

Me, earlier. 

Normal service resumed very soon!!

Wednesday, 23 July 2014

Day 70 - First World Problems

I saw some of these on the t'interweb earlier and they made me smile - especially the first one.  I bet when I go upstairs I shall find that my other half has left the light on and the window wide open and a herd of moths are having a rave inside my lightshade!

1.   July.  The time of year when you open your window very briefly and let in 50 midges, 16 flies, 7 wasps, 4  beetles, an assortment of moths, two pigeons and a badger.

2.  You can't go anywhere without being told to Keep Calm and do something.

3.   Being unable to pay for something with the exact change without saying "I think that's right".

4.  Tutting at someone who pushed in front of you in the queue and having them turn around and glare at you.

5.  Tesco want £2.50 for an empty jam jar.  In the next aisle they are charging 30p for the same jar filled with pickled onions.

6.  I want "The London Look" but my two front teeth touch.

7.   Every pub now serves their food on a chopping board.  Or a bit of slate.  Whatever happened to plates?

8.  W H Smiths charge for their carrier bags because they're being environmentally conscious and then give you an entire tree's worth of receipts and discount vouchers.

9.  Running out of ways to say thanks when a succession of doors are held open for you having already deployed "cheers", "ta" and "nice one".

10.  I got five minutes into one of Jamie's 30 Minute Meals then realised I'd forgotten to grow a herb garden in my kitchen.

What about you then bloglies?  Do you have any 'first world problems' to add?!

Tuesday, 22 July 2014

Day 69 - new chook on the block.

We have acquired a friend for Princess Leia who is not  best pleased!   I hope they'll settle down together.  L 
Getting to know you ? 

Newbie chook is the last one standing of a work colleague's little flock. She's a pretty little thing with petrol blue/black feathers 

Monday, 21 July 2014

Day 68 - New Horizons

Blimey it's been a hard day today.  Unpacking box after box of medical records, trying to cram belongings in to half the desk space we had before we moved offices.  Yadda Yadda!  

On the plus side,  I now have this vista to look out on. 

That's the canalside side!

And this is part of my walk to the bus stop at nearby Merry Hill. 

I passed this flotilla of geese as I walked home.  They made me smile as they were all in a perfect line. One behind the other. 

With a loan rear gunner following behind!

I shall look forward to seeing the seasons change from our third floor eyrie.  

Big boss man bought us all ice creams today by way of thanks for our efforts.  He's also offered us drinks in the local 'spoons at half past four tomorrow. Be rude not to wouldn't it?!  

I'm so stiff I need to go and soak in the bath. But I may need winching out if I seize up !!

Love love. Xx

Sunday, 20 July 2014

Day 67 - Slow News Sunday

We've spent today pottering so I've not got much in the way of interesting tales to impart.

So three positives for today to keep it simple:-

Man has done some running repairs and a deep clean to the chook pen, dug over the ground (and filled in the craters she's dug!) and replenished the sandy floor ready for our new arrival on Tuesday :)

I've managed to dry three loads of washing on the line and the washing pile is now down to just one brimming laundry basket full.

I rescued three large lavender plants (including 2 white lavenders) from Aldi yesterday for the princely sum of £1.49 each.  These are actually not in bad nick and will fill the large planter by the back door.  Boom! (as they say.. erm... somewhere!).

p.s.  Scone debacle #327
I made scones today.  Using packet mix.  They STILL came out like biscuits.  I give up with the bliddy things!  I am sulking.  I must be the only person in the universe who can't make them!

Saturday, 19 July 2014

Day 66 - Simple Woman's Daybook

Check out more of the same here ~~~>


Outside my window...
Night is drawing in.  The evenings are shortening already but today isn't helped
by the heavy black clouds which have sat just above the roof tops all day. 

I am thinking...
that I really do need to re-start my 5:2 regime without any further delay. 
Months of surviving on bread sticks and dry jacket potatoes when I was ill was great for the weightloss but I've made up for it ridiculously since beginning to eat normally again without living in fear of chronic pain.  I love food.  I love its tastes and different textures but I'm damaging myself with it again.  I need to kick myself in to touch and there is no time like the present. 

I am thankful...
for a roof over my head, a full belly (too full actually!), my family, my partner, 
my life in general.

In the kitchen...
usual detritus from Saturday's Supper.
I cooked home made bhajis and pakora this evening with mint raita and a packet of poppadums.  Simple.  Cheap. Delicious. 

I am wearing...
Orange and black.  Yep.  Orange.  Me!  Shocked aren't you?!

I am creating...
a journal page which involves angel wings and cutting out hundreds of metallic 'feathers' which is taking farrrrr longer than anticipated!  I need to finish this tomorrow as its for a journal swap with my friend. 

I am going...
nowhere at present and I'm as happy as Larry about that. 
I'm going on holiday to Porthcawl in a couple of weeks.  Just a few days in a little 
flatlet.  A bucket and spade cheapie holiday - but looking forward to it all the same.

I am wondering...
what Porthcawl is like because I've never been.  My heart belongs to Tenby and I fear that it won't live up to that!

I am reading...
'Mad About the Boy' by Helen Fielding.  The third Bridget Jones novel.
I don't care much for more cerebral reading.  My brain is full of so much stuff that 
I can only read froth these days and that's good enough for me. 

I am hoping...
that the rain holds off a little tomorrow so that we can spend some time outside
completing the glass bead mosaics we started a couple of weeks ago. 

I am looking forward to...
snuggling up to my man tonight.  We get two nights together out of seven
and that makes it even more special. 

I am learning.......
that I can't make everyone in the world like me.  And also that I need to accept compliments rather than making a huge joke out of them or at worst sneering
at well meant words.  I need to start learning to love myself more.  This may take a little time. 

Around the house...
its a complete bomb site.  I can't see it ever being anything else unless I give up work - which certainly won't be happening any time soon.  This is not out of choice.

I am pondering...
the fact that life is a journey with many twists and turns.  I need to embrace this. 

A favorite quote for today...
Spot on for today - and every day.

One of my favorite things... 
Listening to steady rhythm of the summer rain whilst I'm lying in bed, feeling drowsy
and drinking coffee.

A few plans for the rest of the week:
Monday is the first day at the new office premises. This will be a bit of a sea change for our department as we have moved away from the head office branch.  We have left a lot of colleagues behind that we've grown close to and who we shall miss on a daily basis. It will be quite a learning curve but it will also be lovely to have easy access to the canalside at lunch time.

A peek into my day...

I think I may have a bit of an addiction!  I can't pass the tea aisle without trying a new box.  My favourite ever fruit tea is the Taylors 'Sweet Rhubarb' one.  Mmmm!! absolutely wondrous!   I never have sugar in coffee or tea (gives me a furry tongue!) but half a spoon in a mug of fruit tea really does enhance the flavour for me.  I can't drink green tea - I've tried so many times because of the constant banging on about its beneficial properties - but its not for me.

I tried nettle tea too - but it tasted like wet dog so that one was jettisoned too! 

Friday, 18 July 2014

Day 65 - Playing Hooky

Sometimes, on a hot, HOT summers afternoon, you've just got to sit canalside with a cold beer and tell work to go hang! 

Half a day's pre booked leave spent chatting, putting the world to rights and gossiping with a work colleague was a far nicer prospect than packing boxes and heaving files around. I'd done that all morning. This was my reward!

Wednesday, 16 July 2014

Day 63 - Hedgies!

Look at this little cutie!  - Check out that little black button nose!
This is the second hoggie that my brother has found recently on his wasteground clearances.
 He has a brilliant video on his Facebook of one of them munching meal worms very happily, but sadly I don't know how to upload it from there so it's visible.  If I get a chance then I will.  


Tuesday, 15 July 2014

Day 62 - night all!

Hello lovelies 

Busy day today at work today training first thing (yaaaawn) and packing to move this afternoon topped off with a family evening out at the local Balti house so I'm off to bed with a bottle of Gaviscon!  Ive reached that level of tired when the head is wobbling around like a nodding dog!!   I've had good news that my brain scan is absolutely normal. This doesn't explain the constant right sided headaches but is slightly more reassuring. My gp has given me some scary muscle relaxant type meds as he is convinced they are tension headaches.  I'm not convinced but we shall see.  

See you soon xx

Monday, 14 July 2014

Day 61 - From Tot to Twenty in 60 seconds.

This time 20 years ago I was in labour with my first born.  She arrived at 1.05am on the 15 July 1994 weighing in at a diddy 6lbs 9oz.

Tomorrow she reaches the grand old age of 20 years old.  How?  How did this happen? I must protest - I'm  just not old enough to have a 20 year old offspring! Its just not right and proper.

Look at this innocent little face.  She was about 2 and a half when that picture was taken and she was a bloody diva even then!!
  She's always been an 'old soul' - I guess it  was being brought up with a huge input from my Mum who was my childminder and my Nan, whom she visited almost every single day from birth up until she started school - and even then saw her 3 or 4 times a week.  She still comes out with old fashioned sayings even now. A lot has happened during those twenty years; she's lost two of the people she adored most in the world and in return was the apple of their eye, she's witnessed the arrivals and departures of many pets, she's put up with the trauma of her Dad and I separating and latterly been very accepting of her new Step Dad whom she loves dearly.  She's experienced the heartbreak of a first love, a rocky relationship and now a new beau.  She's gone from falling off swings and grazing her knees to experiencing a car crash where the car she was travelling in flipped and rolled into a field (thank you Universe for looking after her that day).  She's gone from dressing up in my high heels to going clubbing in heels that I will never be able to wear over the door step again.  She's had awful experiences of starting out in the work place to settling into a job that she loves.

She's loud and bolshie, stroppy and beautiful, infuriating and adorable in equal measure.

Happy Birthday my little Pixie-Pie.  I'm so proud of the beautiful young woman you have become.

Sunday, 13 July 2014

Day 60 Butterfly

I watched this beauty for ages this morning. He was flitting around the budleia before coming to rest his wings and do a little sunbathing.  I got a little too close with the camera and off he flew.  

Saturday, 12 July 2014

Day 59 Moons & Motorcycles

Hello there

Happy Saturday to you all.

I took some photos of the moon last night.  I know it wasn't quite full but wanted to test the camera and as sod's law would have it there is a load of cloud cover tonight so the moon isn't visible.  I know it's all over blogland about the moon right now, but I do love moon gazing.  Perhaps I was a hare in a former life?!  There will be 3 'super moons' over this month and August/September with the September moon reaching fullness on my birthday.  I've told lovely bloke that I want to be somewhere lovely looking at that moon! lol

 The colour change is due to different camera settings.  Don't ask me what they were though - I just point and shoot! lol

We had a busy day today.  We were up early to go booting - believe it or not our first one of the season.  As usual there was a sea of tat and brightly coloured plastic children's toys.  The plants were looking very leggy so I didn't bother with any of those.  I did manage to buy a lovely electric steamer though for just £2.50.  It's like new and a good brand name so that will be put to good use and also some pretty costume jewellery for 50p per item.  Ooh! I also got a lovely glass tealight holder star (which will hang in the garden) for £1.00, and a Cath Kidston style bag for £1.00.  Nothing ground breaking but it'll do for me!

This afternoon we took ourselves down to the Stourbridge Motorcycle and Custom bike show which is held by the local biker club for charity.  There was a massive turn out of people and each entry was just £1.00 per person - They must have made loads of money which will be great for their chosen charities this year.  The sun was out, the crowd was huge and very smiley, and the demographic was very diverse.  There were Hells Angels, Cycle club members, Joe Public and their children and grandchildren, and many people from my old rocker days who are still living the lifestyle even if there are a few more grey hairs around these days.  There was a laid back feel about it all and the bikes were fab! Harleys, Rats, Trikes, Streetbikes, swoon...........  We popped into the River Rooms to cool down with a freezy cider and to watch one of the bands for a while.

Here's just a few of the bikes:-

Ooh look - man photobombed my pic! lol

Riding off into the sunset now (I wish!!)  See you soon! 

Working from home

I've taken a precious day of annual leave today.  I've really struggled this week with feeling so yuk and I needed the restorative ...