Tuesday, 30 December 2014

What I learned this week

Well firstly, it has been a looooong time since I found the time to post on this blog!  I am sure that I managed to get the 6 hits I did yesterday purely by accident!

Work has been manic; in fact up until I finished for my Christmas leave on the 19th I spent 10 of those days away from home and away from Hubby.  The dogs even sulked and made sure I knew I had upset them by spending more time with daddy for a day or so when I returned.  Poor little things don't trust me to stay at home anymore.

At last I have caught up on my sleep and much of that has been needed to sleep off all the Christmas food and treats that have been in our house as a result of hosting the family Christmas dinner here.

So....this is a belated What I learned this week and so some of these lessons may be more than a week old, the first of which being....
  • ....it is really stupid to be looking at an incoming text when walking down 5 stone steps outside a hotel because I may miss the step and fall down all 5 of them.
  • sprained ankles (yes, that is a plural) don't always manifest themselves straight away.  In fact, I can sit in a meeting at work and feel the pain increasing to the extent that when I stand up I can hardly walk
  • I found out just how great some of my work mates are when they walked slowly up a hill to the Christmas party with me just so I could hobble there with company
  • Not only that they also walked me slowly back to the hotel so they could give me some support because 2 Amaretto Sours didn't dull the pain
  • Sprained ankles can recover and then suddenly become very painful again
  • Apparently sprained ankles can take up to 8 weeks to recover and physio may be required
  • If you over extend the ligament that runs around your ankle to the front of your foot you can experience sharp pains up the front of your ankle more than 2 weeks after the fall
  • Stairs are very painful when you have over extended that darn ligament around the ankle
  • Tramadol helps if only to send me off to cloud cuckoo land
In other news:
    obtaining a copy of Supernatural season 9 from abroad because Sky stopped showing it is a pain in the butt
  • Jenson Ackles looks so much better in Season 8 than he did in Season 1
  • The sale at the garden centre for Christmas decorations is just great if you are there on the 27th waiting for it to open.  Father Christmas at his workbench making toys agrees with me
  • Beautiful B cries her eyes out when she receives a present that she loves
  • Hosting Christmas dinner for my parents, aunty and uncle and hubby's mum is so much fun and Hubby makes it so much easier for me to do the entertaining because he does all the cooking so I can't accidently poison anyone
  • My mum in law has fallen in love with Amaretto Sours and lemonade; I'm now going to experiment with other cocktails for her to try over the New Year
  • Hosting New Years Day buffet means I enjoyed shopping for food especially cakes
So, what have you learned over the Christmas period?
Usual rules apply - see below. I would love to hear from you if you also leave comments on my blog.To join in Julie's What I Learned This Week carnival, simply follow these steps:

1. Any time this week, publish your What I Learned This Week post on your blog and comment on my blog hyper linking to your blog.
2. Then go and visit Julie’s blog at From Inmates to Playdates, find her latest “What I learned this week” and link up with the Mr. Linky form at the bottom of the post. Please put the link to your POST, not the front page of your blog.
3. Then visit the other participants and see what they learned this week.

Monday, 17 November 2014

Holidays are coming, Holidays are coming....

I don't need shops and supermarkets to tell me that Christmas is around the corner immediately after Bonfire Night.  What I look forward to is my first viewing of the Coca Cola advertisement with the great big red truck with flashing lights alongside the tune 'Holidays are coming....Holidays are coming'.

I'd like to say that I don't go around singing it for days afterwards but I do.  I won't say that it annoys Hubby but it does.  I won't say that this week while shopping in Morrisons I filled my trolley singing along with Christmas carols but I did.  

And I love it!

Hubby doesn't - he loves Christmas Day but hates all the fuss that goes on up to that day.  I do.  

How did we get together and adore each other so much.....

I ignore the 12 days before and after Christmas rule when it comes to decorating my house.  After all, it seems unfair to ask Hubby to take 20 boxes of trees and decorations from the attic and put the empty boxes back and then repeat the process just for 24 days.  So on the 1st December I stand at the bottom of the ladder gleefully stacking boxes as he passes them from the attic.  

Without a days leave it takes me two to put them all up.  Hubby doesn't help - he leaves me too it, wisely.

Each year I try, and mostly fail, to remember that the lights must go on the tree first.  I move things around the house to make room for Christmas trees and the rocking chair is consigned to our bedroom for the period of the 1st December to the 5th January.

Last year, I was frustrated at the inability to put up the Christmas tree in the dining room now that the replacement freezer is taller.  Removing the computer station is impossible and so this year again I may have to forgoe it.  However, Beautiful B could make use of it and the accompanying decorations for this year to remove the need and cost for buying her own.  She can then choose to keep it but I suspect, knowing my daughter, that she will keep the decorations and buy a new tree for next year.

Usually the Christmas advertisements from the big companies pass me by however this years John Lewis Christmas advertisement managed to get an 'aaaaahhhh' out of me.  A very clever and sweet advertisement where even penguins can yearn for love.

This year we are entertaining 5 people, well I do the entertaining and Hubby cooks; though I may attempt a nice desert for this year.  Cue plenty of practice and puddings for everyone else to eat in the run up to Christmas. Mum is staying with us on Christmas Eve and Day, Mum and Dad and my Aunty and Uncle will join us for Christmas Dinner.  I am sure I will have all sorts of items all over my bedroom as I remove them all from within the storage area under my bed to get to a table insert or two.

Beautiful B and Ryan are working on Christmas Day, the former looking after some of the ill folk in our society and the latter sending emergency services to people who need them.  I am so very proud of them both for giving up family time to help others.

Unusually I have only bought one gift so far which is more than niggling on my OCD nerve but finances and the urgent requirement for house repairs have gotten in the way.  Small gestures will have to surfice this year as our finances have been more than stretched; hopefully our friendship and love for family and friends will help make up for it until next year.

As Beautiful B and Ryan are working on Christmas Day they will have to visit us a day or so earlier so we can give them the present we have bought and when I can be ready with a camera to film the moment as I am sure that my Beautiful B will cry with joy.

This Christmas is going to be a good one; I can feel it in my bones! 

Sunday, 16 November 2014

Cherry and Chocolate Loaf - harder than I thought

I am not a good cook, in fact; I would say that I am a good cooker for too long and rescue food just before I burn it to a crisp person.  However, I can make cupcakes and some of them have been a hit.  I'm thinking coconut and lime cupcakes for Dad and chocolate orange muffins for Rachel.  If I am honest, the latter could have been almost awful as long as they were a chocolate orange flavour as Rachel is obsessed....

Like a lot of the UK, Hubby and I became hooked on this years 'The Great British Bake Off' where the formidable Mary Berry and Paul Hollywood set, what I consider to be, a sequence of horrible baking tasks.  While I wondered at the imagination of the contestants and was very tempted by many of their recipes I have saved the last 3 episodes which consist of baking lessons by Mary and Paul.

We will ignore the Baked Alaska recipe (yes, I am an 80's chick) because this post isn't about that and move swiftly to a bread that Paul showed us how to make which includes dark and white chocolate pieces and cherries.  Now we all know that I will try anything sweet but as a lover of bread I couldn't resist trying this.

I watched the show where Paul showed us what ingredients to use and how to make the recipe.  I watched the part where he shows us how to plait the free form loaf about 20 times before asking myself how hard it could be.  FAIL.

Firstly, I have never made bread before; I am a maker of cupcakes remember so I had no idea how long to mix the dough for starters.  Using the mixer mum gave me what I really needed was a large bread hook; instead the dough wound around the next best alternative until it was spinning around the top of the hooks.  At that point I thought it best to do the mixing by hand.  Except the cherries wouldn't break up.  Next step was to use my food mixer to break up the cherries in the mixture.  After this you can only imagine the amount of washing up I had accumulated.....

The problem with watching how to do a recipe on TV is that they forget to tell you how long you need to mix and knead the dough for.   Having already added 50g of strong bread flour to soak up the excess moisture of the cherries and it failing I added more and more flour.  The frustration was climbing.

Eventually I figured adding more flour wasn't really helping and left the somewhat sticky mixture to rise for 90 minutes.  During this time Hubby got a 15 minute session on the way home from work of me moaning about how useless I am and how I felt like I should cook some cupcakes just to prove I can cook something when I collected him from work.  He wisely took himself up to our room and the spare television when we arrived home.

I watched the episode 2 or 3 times again before noticing that when the cling film was removed from the mixture of 90 minutes the dough was in fact sticky and Paul was just much more experienced at using flour to get it out of the bowl.  Doh!

A more than generous coating of flour on the worktop and over the bread while I kneaded and shaped it was likely too much because Paul's long rolls to use for the plaiting were not split like mine but I did manage to get it into a misformed plait, the top of the plait much larger than the bottom.  Back into a bag to rise for another 90 minutes.

After 90 minutes we had a plait that was taking on Godzilla proportions a sure sign that I definitely used far too much flour trying to dry out the mixture.  

As well as the many lessons you are no doubt saying I should have learned by this point one of the biggest ones is that using an almost new and powerful oven after it has cooked dinner for an hour will result in the cooking time being halved and me just rescuing the bread before it burnt - hence, no photograph.

Once it had cooled Hubby and I assembled in the kitchen for a taste test.  I cheered inside when I noticed it was still sligtly warm in the middle of the slice.  Despite not being able to eat the top crust of the bread and the bottom crust having too much flour as a consequence to me coating the non-stick tray with too much flour the inside was scrumptious.

I do not believe for one minute that the gorgeousness of the bread had anything to do with my non-cooking skills and everything to do with what a gorgeous recipe it is.  A hug from Hubby and a congratulations on my first attempt made me feel much better and cheered me up enough to stop beating myself up and tell myself that we learn more from mistakes than successes.

A slice or three will go to my mum and dad today for their taste test and I am guessing that I will come home with an order for a loaf of their own. 

I will avoid the temptation of buying a more up to date and larger mixer primarily because I cannot afford one and persist with the smaller one having more patience and breaks to centre the dough correctly when I attempt a better version.  

I will post a recipe and instructions over the coming week because I really do urge you all to try this recipe - it is the best sweet loaf I have come across so far!

Tuesday, 21 October 2014

What I learned this week

A busy week again but we all know by now that isn't unusual.

Beautiful B and I disappeared to the cinema this week for some girlie time and a horror.  It was so lovely to sit with her and catch up on her week.  That has been the theme this week as travelling resulted in me catching up with Hubby too. 

  • It can be really annoying when waiting for a prescription to be filled a mum walks in with 3 kids that she does not know how to control.
  • It is astounding to me to see a father allow his child to pick things up in the pharmacy to examine them and to use the walking sticks for sale to slam them onto the floor.  Let alone seeing the father only try to control the child once the said walking stick almost knocked a display over while the child swung it around.
  • Sometimes it is heartening to be able to sit there and think that being rather strict with Beautiful B as she grew up has paid off.
  • Seeing Beautiful B go and care for other patients while in hospital visiting our uncle even though she wasn't on shift.
  • Herbal based products to help ailments are REALLY expensive.
  • It is silly week in Blackpool and I know that because I could hardly move in town for visitors to Blackpool wandering aimlessing around.
  • I am still confused as to why holiday makers have a tendancy to forget what a pavement (sidewalk) is and walk in the road.
  • Though he is not my son-in-law I felt really proud when Beautiful B's boyfriend helped to deliver a baby this week while working on the emergency telephone number.
  • Seeing Beautiful B worrying about the older loved ones in our family as she suddenly realises just how old they are getting after my Uncle broke his hip is very sad. Knowing just how she felt as I comforted her because I had done exactly the same thing when I had the same realisation after my dad had his second stroke. 
  • My youngest dog, Abi, has overtaken her grandma in the 'always hungry' stakes as she sits underneath the kitchen counter where her food is stored each time the kitchen door is opened.
  • Re-potting the only plant I have managed to keep alive for more than 12 months will result in it doubling in size in less than 2 months. 
  • If said plant gets much bigger I will start to form ideas on how I can decorate it for Christmas.
  • I have less than 3 hours before Hubby comes home and expects me to be organised and fully packed and I haven't done anything yet.

So what have you learned this week.

Usual rules apply - see below. I would love to hear from you if you also leave comments on my blog.To join in Julie's What I Learned This Week carnival, simply follow these steps:

1. Any time this week, publish your What I Learned This Week post on your blog and comment on my blog hyper linking to your blog.

2. Then go and visit Julie’s blog at From Inmates to Playdates, find her latest “What I learned this week” and link up with the Mr. Linky form at the bottom of the post. Please put the link to your POST, not the front page of your blog.

3. Then visit the other participants and see what they learned this week.

Monday, 20 October 2014

Things I would ask......

.....the person who decides what should be sold in the Supermarket I use

1.     Whose bright idea was it to only sell large tubs of coleslaw?
2.     Why do you sell only one type of plum?  Oh, and by the way Victoria plums have so much more flavour.
3.     Can you increase the price of dark chocolate digestives because my Hubby is growing by the packet?
4.     Don't worry, some of us know why the beer, wine, spirits, chocolate, crisps and carbonated drinks are the first things you want us to consider buying after the fruit and vegetables.
5.     It doesn't really make a lot of sense to put the dog food aisle right in the middle of household goods.
6.    Why are razor blades so expensive?  Furthermore, please would you reduce the price of women's shaving gel because we have larger areas to shave daily than me?
7.     Have you banned or do you not like cakes in your house because I cannot find icing sugar anywhere in your store?
8.     If you insist on removing salt from your brand of meals please find some spices to use because they really need more flavour.
9.     Cola flavoured donuts are just wrong.
10.   I am trying to stop drinking Pepsi Max. I know this is very selfish of me but would you remove them from your store so I can avoid temptation.
11.   Please consider giving away free wine with an alcohol content of more than 13% because Hubby loves it.
12.   Would you start to make BBQ deep pan pizza without peppers because my Hubby is very fussy?  Better yet, make it with absolutely no calories in so it makes up for those in the chocolate digestives.
13.   Beetroot with juniper - gorgeous, absolutely gorgeous.
14.   Why do your fresh ingredients never last as long as other supermarkets?
15.   Additional larger spaces for older people who struggle to get out of a car but are not blessed with a disabled badge would be fantastic! (and may save the potential for a paint job on my passenger door.
16.  One of your staff members on the till is so very friendly - any chance of cloning her to put on all of your tills? 
17.   Your store large cookies are amazing as are your ginger characters - any chance of 0% calories in them?
18.   Reaching the top shelf of the fruit and vegetable shelves for little people is a bit more than difficult - just saying.
19.   I am a little obsessed with cleaning products.  You have some of those new scented ball things that go in the wash to keep your clothes smelling fresh for weeks on end.  Can you be a darling and reduce the price of them please because I will need a loan to buy however many of those bottles I would need a month.
20.   And finally, thank you for the no quibble refund for my trousers when I ripped them on one of your displays. 

Sunday, 19 October 2014

Out in the world again

I am working away in 3 different cities that span the country this week and in typical fashion my preperation is running late.  Clothes are still being washed, packing isn't done, paperwork not completed or printed.  I still have a presentation to write so I know what I will be doing in the hotel room tonight before I sleep.  Rather than worry about the procastination maybe I should be energised by it instead and just organise myself better to get things completed.
This week has been a busy one; my Uncle has fallen and broken his hip so in hospital waiting patiently for an operation to pin his hip on Tuesday.  As Beautiful B works on the male orthopaedic ward she is one of the nurse looking after him and that will help him feel more comfortable; mind you the morphine appears to be doing that too.  Apparently all the nurses have been telling him how they will miss Beautiful B when she leaves to start her new job next week which is just lovely to hear.
And so to join in with last week this coming week will be very busy with a train journey to Sheffield tomorrow to work a day there; catching another train tomorrow night to go to Birmingham where I will work a day there and on Tuesday night catch another train to London to work a day there.  The final train will be my favourite as that is the one that will bring me home to Hubby and hopefully a visit from Beautiful B over the coming days.
There are 3 presentations to give this week and so further chances to improve my skills in that area.  Where possible I don't do the standing thing if I have a relatively small number of people in the group as I find that sitting with them while presenting provides a more friendly atmosphere for questions.  That has involved my groups running late as there have been so many more questions than I expected for a subject such as the one I discuss.
My only worry this week is that I am trying desperately to eat healthier and that is difficult when I am travelling and staying in unfamiliar hotels and surrounding areas.  I may just be a total pain in the butt and ask the hotel kitchens to make me something different than that which is on the menu to make sure I can at least be assured that unhealthy fats haven't gone into the dish.
Aren't they just going to love me?


Thursday, 9 October 2014

There is a reason I rarely watch the news

Well, there is more than one reason and yes the primary would be that it is just war and misery. Yes, I know it is important and we should all be interested in it but it is worrying to watch so much hurt and pain on the news on a daily basis.  

Overhearing on the news that without a bigger influx of troops some fear that one of the towns currently being protected from ISIL will fall is just awful.  And I can't help but think of the soldiers etc that go to these areas to protect us all and of course how much worry it must cause for their families.

Discussions on politics have started again as we are approaching an election and frankly I think they are all as bad as one another so I don't like listening to them tell us how they will improve the economy.  Basically I don't trust anything they say.

And then they have a nice story to follow all the bad which normally is great except before I could turn off the TV they told me who had won the Great British Bake Off last night.  So tonight I will watch it on the planner with Hubby and try and remove the name of the winner for the hour that I watch it.

Normally when Hubby is home he only watches sport on the TV and listening to Sky News repeat itself every 20 minutes or so gets tiring.  Last night he stayed at my brothers hence I put the news on this morning and I began to think that sport was the better of two evils.

Hubby all is forgiven; lets listen to sports results.....

Wednesday, 8 October 2014

2 years and counting

2 years ago today you made me happier than I already was.  Happier than I ever thought possible.  It was a day that suited both of us and one that you could relax into.  A day where seeing you in a suit for the first time in your life would have been ridiculous; a day where I wanted you to be you.  And so, you stood at the end of the aisle in a white short sleeved shirt and didn’t turn round to see me walk to you on the arm of my dad because the register had told you that you shouldn’t but instead waited until I met you and said ‘Oh, there you are.’  And I breathed a sigh of relief that you had relaxed enough to not feel as almost overwhelmed at the idea of being the centre of attention as you thought you would be and could enjoy it.

It was a day where all you saw, and still see, is the dress I turned up to the wedding in instead of the one you and I had bought earlier that year.  You don’t see the different bulges that I do, all you see is me and how beautiful you thought I looked that day. 

I remember asking you to take off your glasses when the photographs were being taken outdoors because they were reactor lights and I couldn’t see your eyes and wanted to look at them every time I looked at the photographs.  I remember you goofing about with the best man and how overjoyed I was that you were enjoying it.

I remember your delight at seeing the engravings I had secretly had put in our wedding bands that signified the 3 important days of our relationship to date; the day we met; the day you asked me to marry you and of course, our wedding day.

I remember your delight at the personalised bride and groom I had commissioned for the cake because I couldn’t find one with a bald head and glasses in a white shirt and how perfect you thought they were.

I remember being almost overwhelmed at the wonderful job that Dave and Rachel had done at the restaurant when putting the tables together and noticing that every place setting was exact – so typically Rachel and that she knew that it is what I would have wanted.  I remember you giving the grooms speech and how nervous you were; so nervous that you had your hands in your pockets to help relax you.  

I remember looking at each of the 40 guests and loving the intimacy of close family and friends knowing that everyone there loved us as much as we love them. 

I remember the beautiful words you spoke about your dad who sadly could not be there with us and how you spoke about how much he would have loved me and how that made your mum and Beautiful B cry.  I love the words you said for Beautiful B and how much she loved them; so much she sobbed and the lovely, sweet words you built into your speech for my mum and dad.

I remember discussing commissioned framed extracts of the speech for Beautiful B, your mum and my mum and dad and how touched they were to receive them. 

I remember appearing from upstairs with Angel ready to cut the cake in the dress that we originally selected for the wedding dress and you not even remembering what it had looked like; it having disappeared from your mind as soon as you saw the one I did wear at the wedding itself.

I remember the feeling of completeness that enveloped me when we were pronounced man and wife and how 2 days later while holding my hands in town you said that I had been right; that marriage did feel different and that ‘it just felt right’ and how my heart sang at those words.

I am reminded of the feeling I got taking your name that day every time I sign my name, say my name and think about my name.  I am reminded that my mum was right and that I did know I had found ‘the right one’ as soon as we started dating because it does feel totally different than any other relationship that I have had.  I feel how right it is right down to my bones, in every heart beat, in every breath. 

I thank myself lucky that you walked in mine and Beautiful B’s life and never left; that your felt you wanted to spend the rest of your life with me despite knowing we could never have children of our own.  I love that you consider Beautiful B your own while respecting the place her father has in his life, that you knew just how to look after her without her feeling that you were trying to take her dad’s place; that you love us unconditionally.

I love that you fill every void that I didn’t know that I had and that I cannot imagine life without you. 

I love you and I could rabbit on all day about what I loved about our wedding day and what I love about being your wife.  But I won’t because I will tell you all this in person as soon as we wake.

Happy Anniversary my sweet.  2 years down and decades to go.

I love you until all the stars fall out of the sky xxxxxx

Tuesday, 7 October 2014

What I learned this week

Another week of not completing all the jobs on my to do list.  Granted I keep adding things to it; 2 for every one I complete so I guess I don't help myself.

Today I am on leave doing all the jobs I need to as it is my anniversary tomorrow and I intend on spending it with Hubby and not completing one job on my list.

So on to this weeks lessons:

  • When my best friend Rachel disappears on a sunny holiday with her mum to the same Moroccan hotel complex that I spent my honeymoon in I can pine to be sharing the experience with her and her mum;
  • I giggle a lot when I receive a text from Rachel telling me that she enjoyed 99% of the spa as much as me despite the unexpected bonus...;
  • I am astounded that Rachel can read 15 books in a week whilst on said sunning holiday and again I would so love to be able to do that on a sunlounger with nothing to do but relax;
  • When the weather turns colder I realise how spoilt I was during the unusually warm summer and attach myself to the trusty hot water bottle;
  • The post man is possibly very grateful that Beautiful B moved out and took Fredster with him as his bark was most definitely worse than his bite;
  • When Fredster comes to visit the girlie fluffs go mad and kiss him; even Lily who is very selective with her kisses;
  • A visit from Beautiful B and Ry can be hilarious when she relays just how much she has turned into me now she is in her own house - everything has it's place, everything has to be clean and tidy.  Oh I made a little mini me!!
  • I think I am potentially going to have to mourn the death of the fireplace in the front room.  It appears to be struggling keep itself alive and lit.  That is Hubby doing more overtime to pay for a fire.
  • Drinking water as a replacement for Pepsi Max takes some getting used to;
  • As does the need to go to the bathroom much more often which begs the questions where did all the Pepsi Max go when I drank 6 cans of it a day;
  • Hubby and I are off to our favourite restaurant tonight, the one that held our wedding reception, so food and vodka are on the menu....salad it is for the rest of the week and more than worth it;
  • So far (fingers crossed and touching wood) I am not missing chocolate despite not eating it for 10 days; and
  • I forgot just how gorgeous a home made smoothie is!
So what have you learned this week?

Usual rules apply - see below. I would love to hear from you if you also leave comments on my blog.To join in Julie's What I Learned This Week carnival, simply follow these steps:

1. Any time this week, publish your What I Learned This Week post on your blog and comment on my blog hyper linking to your blog.

2. Then go and visit Julie’s blog at From Inmates to Playdates, find her latest “What I learned this week” and link up with the Mr. Linky form at the bottom of the post. Please put the link to your POST, not the front page of your blog.

3. Then visit the other participants and see what they learned this week.

Tuesday, 30 September 2014

What I learned this week

It has been a while since I posted a WILTW.  Time has run away with me again.  As if I am not busy enough as it is I am now inheriting the duty of going to Beautiful B's house to feed her new labrador puppy and let him and the Fredster have a run around.  Watching him try to reach Fredster on the chair is hilarious.  He isn't quite big enough yet so Fredster can get some peace.  Give it two weeks and Fredster will have nowhere to hide.

This weeks lessons:
  • When booking a hotel room on the contractors website make sure that breakfast is included in the price.
  • Find a way of moving the team meeting and requirement for an overnight stay to just after payday because the spa calls me very loudly when in a particular hotel.
  • Find a way of making sure that Charlie doesn't realise he is to go back in his crate before he is in it - otherwise I will again be running down the stairs after him as he returns to the living room in protest.
  • It feels good to do a little cleaning at Beautiful B's house while there to help her and Ryan a little so they don't have so much to do after a 12 hour shift.
  • If I cut my portions in half Hubby will just increase his portion size to compensate rather than allow some of it to be stored for another day - I may lose weight but Hubby's may well increase in proportion to my loss.
  • Switching from Pepsi Max to flavoured water or cordial feels like less of an ordeal if I put the water in a bottle instead of a glass (Yes, I know I am a freak).
  • When trimming the bushes in the garden with Hubby it is an idea to watch what he is doing on the other side of the bush because you may find that he is hacking it back ready for winter already.
  • Trying to convince Hubby that flowers and bushes are not weeds is a waste of breath.
  • Not everyone goes cuckoo on Tramadol like I do - as evidenced by my mum.
  • Having a laptop can be so annoying because every time you start it up after it being shut down all the icons have moved - I assume there is a way to stop this but I have no idea what it is.
  • It isn't even October and I am already excited about Christmas.
  • As much as I love my entire house looking like Santa's grotto I am willing to give some of my Christmas decorations to Beautiful B for her new house.  
  • The new series 'The Strain' seems amazingly good already.  That may be because I am reading the books at the moment and they are brilliant.
  • Making the sock giraffe I received from Rachel and her hubby for my birthday is going to be more difficult than I imagined.  It may teach me to sew however without the need of aida and a cross-stitch pattern.
So what have you learned this week?

Usual rules apply - see below. I would love to hear from you if you also leave comments on my blog.To join in Julie's What I Learned This Week carnival, simply follow these steps: 

1. Any time this week, publish your What I Learned This Week post on your blog and comment on my blog hyper linking to your blog.

2. Then go and visit Julie’s blog at From Inmates to Playdates, find her latest “What I learned this week” and link up with the Mr. Linky form at the bottom of the post. Please put the link to your POST, not the front page of your blog.

3. Then visit the other participants and see what they learned this week.

Monday, 29 September 2014

I did write a post called 'Where does the ability to sleep go?'

I did and I saved it to upload to the blog and then wrote another in preparation for another date and saved over the first blog entry - numpty . com

I wrote it at about 3.30am on a Tuesday morning in a hotel room after giving up trying to get a good nights sleep.  I slept a total of 90 minutes that night last week and amazingly coped extremely well until about 8pm the following night. In fact, I got quite a lot of work completed between 4am and 7am that morning.  If I was a little crazier I might consider that to be a great thing to do as it would appear that I am a VERY early morning person.

I travelled home that night and the train rocked me to sleep so I came home, kissed Hubby, attempted and gave up trying to calm the dogs down and took myself to bed where I fell asleep almost as soon as my head hit the pillow. Hubby says I slept well, evidenced by the snorning.

Wednesday was a none starter as I resembled a zombie walking aimlessly around the house and then attempting to get a decent days work completed.  I gave up at lunch time and took the afternoon off and slept for two hours while the sun shone outside.  I very energetically sat and caugtht up on some TV before getting tired again and cursed the hubby who needed my taxi service at 11pm because he refuses to learn to drive. 

Thursday I was still recovering so maybe that is what people mean when the say it all goes downhill after 40.  My head feels about 20 but my body sometimes acts like an 80 year old.

So there is a lesson learned this week.

This week I am in Sheffield again but I am going to travel there and back in a day because it is a bit pointless staying overnight if I am not going to sleep properly. Hubby thinks I am mental because it is a very long day, leaving home just after 5am and getting home at 9.30pm but at least I can snore happily in my own bed.

The hotel I stayed in was beautiful and being the end of the month I couldn't afford to spoil myself in the spa.  However, the hotel details are stored in my head for when I have to stay overnight and I will make sure that it is just after pay day......mmmm Indian Head Massage.......


Tuesday, 16 September 2014

What I learned this week

Firstly work gets in the way of blogging!

It has been another busy week of meeting myself coming backwards and one of those where you feel like you haven't really achieved anything - do you know what I mean?

I spent the weekend house and dog sitting for my brother and his fiance and as Mutley, their 16 week old chocolate lab was determined to get into all sorts of mischief I had to have eyes in the back of my head so I didn't get the accounts finished.  So that is this weeks job but after that they are done because the football club is closing down - it says a lot when I am not sorry to say 'YAY' to that news.

Do his eyes make him look a bit mad to you......?
It was fun to roll around the floor playing with Mutley though. He already has more strength than is to be believed - he is going to be a huge dog!

Anyway - lessons this week:

  • Standing on an uneven surface at the refuse tip results in this:
Why do bad scrapes always sting more than a straight forward cut?

  • Which looks like this the following day (excuse the flab):
Rocking some bingo wings there Ribena!
  • So what is the lesson you say?  Don't fall in an area where your arm is going to go down this TINY gap scraping itself along these broken tiles, that shouldn't be there.
Really?  What is that stuff on the left centre of the photo just before the post?! OMG!
  •  Mostly importantly; I am so lucky to have gotten away with only that injury and a stiff shoulder and
  • when the injury isn't bad enough for the Accident and Emergency Department and the medical walk-in centres are rammed the best place to go to so that you can get cleaned up is your mums
So what other random lessons are there this week?

  • Hubby is becoming far too used to me playing taxi to get him to and from work;
  • I am too soft especially as said taxi service adds over an hour to my working day;
  • SIMS 4 is addictive;
  • Oh yes, SIMS 4 addiction means I haven't really grown up;
  • There is approximately 99% less dog hair in the house now that the Fredster has moved out to look after his mummy, Beautiful B;
  • I have more 'proper' conversations with Beautiful B now that she has moved out and misses me;
  • I really enjoy not having to moan at Beautiful B for not completing her chores;
  • I still haven't transformed her bedroom into my office but the sofa bed has arrived and it is scrummy;
  • My hair apparently suits me more if it is curled - if only I knew how to do that myself instead of relying on a hairdresser;
  • and I knew this already but being so busy means I miss catching up with my best friends!

So what did you guys learn this week?
Usual rules apply - see below. I would love to hear from you if you also leave comments on my blog.To join in Julie's What I Learned This Week carnival, simply follow these steps:

1. Any time this week, publish your What I Learned This Week post on your blog and comment on my blog hyper linking to your blog.

2. Then go and visit Julie’s blog at From Inmates to Playdates, find her latest “What I learned this week” and link up with the Mr. Linky form at the bottom of the post. Please put the link to your POST, not the front page of your blog.

3. Then visit the other participants and see what they learned this week.


Monday, 8 September 2014

The day I needed an accident book

When I woke up this morning I was not expecting to need to insist on completing an accident report. 

The day started innocently enough with a gentle awakening after 2 nights of uninterrupted sleep as a result of Hubby's snoring.  There are benefits to him travelling up to Edinburgh to attend a stag weekend after all though I am not sure that the amount he spent was worth it; it would have paid for a relaxing weekend at the spa. 

Having lovingly spent an afternoon with Hubby last weekend building office furniture for the spare room I had told him that I could easily take the huge cardboard boxes to the refuse tip myself.  After an instruction to cut up the boxes with scissors or a sharp knife he felt I was safe.  The habit of ripping them up with my brute strength makes me feel good at the time but generally results in a dose of Tramadol later in the evening. 

Doing as I was told I found a sharp steak knife to slice the boxes up and put them in the car after giving up trying to undo one of the back seatbelts that someone has helpfully decided to put in a clasp without a release.  I drove to the tip and happily put the boxes and their contents where they needed to go and on the way back to the car suddenly both of my feet were no longer on the ground.

It is only typical of me to find the slab of pavement that has been patched up with a nice dip, albeit small, to the rest of the pavement.  It is also typical of me to find the edge of that patch with my trainer; half on and half off the higher part of the dip again albeit small but enough for my foot to tilt to the right and ensure I lose my balance. 

It is typical of me that when trying to right myself I fell and for my arm to go between what some people may argue to be the small gap between the pavement on the raised area and the lack of a pavement where the council puts the great big metal holder that people put their rubbish in.  It is typical of me to not only scrape my arm from wrist to almost my shoulder on some broken roof tiles some numpty thought to leave next to the gap before my arm moved them and then continued to slide down the edge of pavement.  The fact that my face only caught the side of the fence support was a small but very gratefully received bonus.

A very nice man helped me to stand up before checking my head was okay.  Knowing it takes a lot for my tough nut of a head to be injured I was more concerned about the path of fire spreading down my arm because somehow somewhat severe scapes hurt more than a cut at first.

When I approached a site worker and asked whether I could complete the accident book he responded by asking where I had fallen and on noting I hadn't actually fallen OVER anything said there was no need to complete it.  I informed him I was not after making a claim for compensation just following procedure seen as I had sliced my arm in what was, after all, a refuse tip! He seemed to ignore me and carry on walking.  At which point the nice man offered me his name and address after voicing his displeasure at the dip in the pavement, the tiles strewn about and the seemingly ignorant council workers.

I did manage to collar another worker who took pity on me and offered to clean it up and identified the initial rude site worker was the site supervisor - I would be cynical to say that he had, on second thoughts, seemed more interested in protecting the public purse than my arm and any injury.  On arriving at the site office it transpired that the report had to be taken on a piece of paper as the accident book was nowhere to be found and the site only had 1 antiseptic wipe to it's name. 

Having taken photographs and details of the accident the site supervisor confirmed it would be typed up properly and I would hear from the council and that he hoped my arm wasn't too bad explaining that the resulting investigation by the council may mean that the repair job is repaired properly to avoid anyone else falling.

Deciding this was not an Accident or Emergency Department job and not wishing to go to the NHS Direct centre seen as it is a sunny Sunday, in Blackpool, in the middle of the illuminations meaning half of England will be sat in that Department I went to the one place I knew could patch me up and would certainly have more antiseptic wipes than the refuse tip's first aid kit - my mums.

I picked Hubby up 3 hours later at the train station and he went to get in the car and just stopped dead looking at me as if to say 'What on earth have you done now?' On seeing the photos he is just grateful I didn't break my arm.

6 hours on and it is covered up with a bandage to save the dogs wanting to 'heal' it and it is stinging to high heaven and I am thanking my lucky stars it wasn't a lot worse. 

Photos to follow.....


Wednesday, 20 August 2014

What I learned this week

Another week, another dollar as they say.  Though to be fair I was off work for 3 days last week and all of this week so it doesn't really feel like I am earning it.

This week has been less sedate than the previous one; you know without 40th fancy dress birthday parties to go to and all..but as ever it felt just as busy.

This week I learned:
  • I need to win the lottery so that I don't have to work because I can find myself enough household jobs to do to fill all 7 days of the week
  • Children may well move out earlier than they say they will just so they can be living with their boyfriend even if it is only 5 days earlier than planned
  • Your children may continually try and convince you that they do not owe the board/rent for the last 2 weeks of their stay when they move out
  • Despite trying, little female grandma doglets will not settle into their new home as they cannot stop pining for daughters and grand-daughters
  • Fredster dogs will love their new home and settle in quite happily; in fact will nudge his lead after being dog-sat once his mum comes to collect him
  • A double bed is significantly smaller than a king size bed and will feel much smaller than it actually is
  • There is a sense of achievement in being able to change a plug better than the Hubby can
  • The wind is so annoying when it is strong enough to blow all the petals off the flowers in the hanging baskets
  • When re-potting a plant into a much bigger pot it will be much heavier than anticipated when filled with the plant and a load of soil....the plant will love it though and grow exponentially in just under a week
  • It's annoying having to wait for the daughter that moved out to empty her junk that she intends to take to the recycling plant left in the built in cupboards when you have significant plans for that cupboard
  • Towels will appear to multiply in the cupboard when your daughter and her boyfriend move out
  • It seems impossible to fill the kitchen bin with rubbish when there are just two of you living in the house
  • You can discover you need a much smaller kitchen bin
  • It is much quieter in the house not having a big dog clippity clop round the wooden floors in the house all day
  • The change in the weather, and not for the better, makes my heart a little sad
  • The post man is going to encounter my wrath if he continues to leave my garden without shutting my gate properly because before long he is going to snap the catch off when the wind keeps catching it after his carelessness
  • The postmans laziness annoys me in case you hadn't noticed
  • I am sooo looking forward to having a dining room back especially because I can invite best friends round for dinner and a game of poker and I may just bake some chocolate orange cupcakes for one of them....
So what did you guys learn this week?
 Usual rules apply - see below. I would love to hear from you if you also leave comments on my blog.To join in Julie's What I Learned This Week carnival, simply follow these steps: 

1. Any time this week, publish your What I Learned This Week post on your blog and comment on my blog hyper linking to your blog.

2. Then go and visit Julie’s blog at From Inmates to Playdates, find her latest “What I learned this week” and link up with the Mr. Linky form at the bottom of the post. Please put the link to your POST, not the front page of your blog.

3. Then visit the other participants and see what they learned this week.