Tuesday, 25 February 2014

What I learned this week

First of all I am on my way to Sheffield for 4 days to work alongside the rest of my team. It's just past 6am, I've been in the train 30 minutes which means I have been awake since 4 am - yes, 4am! 

This week I'm going to concentrate on the lessons learned while preparing for my first week back at work after 2 weeks of work. 

I have no idea how I have filled my days off work to the extent that I haven't posted anything in the last week!  So I'm going to blame the Olympics and sleep - lots of it. 

Having the best intentions of saying to myself that I will catch up on some work and emails before I return to work is not the same as actually doing it! 

The day before I travel is usually spent packing, catching up with work, doing the laundry and a bit of cleaning - note the word USUALLY.

Downloading an addictive computer game is not a good idea on the day you are supposed to be packing. 

6 hours goes very quickly when engrossed in an addictive computer game. 

Being in a hotel room for 4 days means a huge suitcase is required. 

I can hardly lift that suitcase!  Packing Ribena cordial and Pepsi Max probably contributed to its weight. 

When printing travel itineries, checking emails and packing the work laptop I really should ignore the addictive computer game. 

If the dogs go mental and I look out of the window and see Hubby coming home from a game of pool he can lip read when I say 's$#t' because I still haven't packed the suitcase and it's 10.30pm. 

I can pack a suitcase quite quickly. The clothes may be folded but everything else is practically thrown in. 

When sorting out which paperwork needs to stay with my laptop and which can travel in the suitcase it's a good idea to make sure you pack the right things in each bag. Otherwise you may, as I did, find yourself in the train station at 5.15am rooting through the suitcase for your train tickets. 

It is possible to pluck my eyebrows while on a moving train without taking an eye out. 

Similarly I can put my make up on while on the train, remember I have to take my glasses off, without looking like a clown or poking an eye out with the mascara brush. 

Having filed my nails I can paint my nails with nail strengthener but it may need redoing again at the hotel tonight....

The man sat 2 seats behind me keeps coughing - maybe he doesn't like the smell of nail strengthener.... 

When rapidly working out which train ticket is correct along with the seat reservation before the train sets off is a nightmare when I've had to dig them out of the suitcase at the last minute. I sat in the correct seat but the conducter kindly told me I had given her my return train ticket! 

Next time I am ignoring the computer game and packing properly, even if it's just so I don't have the last minute train ticket worry. After all, shoes falling out of a suitcase along with my Eyeore dressing gown is not what others need to see in a station at 5.15am. 

Downloading films on the iPad at the last minute is not a great idea. Leaving them to download overnight seems a great idea but I may have found that 2 of the films didn't download. Apparently a lack of storage space - I'm not sure what I have on the iPad that takes up so much storage space!  

It's a good job that the hotel has free wifi so I can download the others after I have watched the first. After all, I only packed 2 books - they won't last 4 days. 

Getting up at 4am to straighten my hair means I can watch an episode of Criminal Minds on the planner. Yes it does take 45 minutes to sort my hair out but seeing Derek Morgan (Shemar Moore) in just his boxers was worth getting up so early for. 

And lastly, when I have a pice of skin on the end of my index. finger that is annoying me I shouldn't pull it because I may rip a huge piece of skin off the pad of my finger that stings like hell and even more when using hand sanitiser. 

So there we are.  What did you guys learn this week?  Leave me a comment and let me know. Then hop on over to From Inmates to Play dates to see what Julie learned this week. 

Go on leave a comment....

If you like this blog you can also follow me by clicking in the link. 

See you soon. 


Tuesday, 18 February 2014

What I learned this week

I have been on leave this week to watch the Olympics.  Yes, I do take leave to watch every Olympic games despite not liking any other sport for the rest of the year.   So, I haven't really learned much this week:

  • GB are rubbish not so good at Figure Skating - 19th out of 20th in the group event - bring back Torvill and Dean.
  • The USA and Canada have such a great ethic - to enjoy the experience of the Olympic games and it is great to see.
  • Having learnt about Curling this week I rather enjoy the strategy of it all but I cannot cope with all the shouting they do.  It's completely unnecessary.
  • I do not make the best use of my iPhone 'to do' list.  I should really put more things on it purely based around the fact that I forget where I put things.  The fact that it has to remind me twice a day to take my inhaler is evidence enough of my forgetfulness ability to get carried away doing something else.
  • Somehow, despite the onesie being navy blue on a white dog Beautiful B can forget to unclip it from between Cala fluff's legs when she goes out for a pee!
  • Trying to stop Cala Fluff from licking her wound when the onesie is in the wash is a nightmare.
  • My knee and ankle joints ache when the weather turns cold - I guess this means I am getting old maturing with age.
  • Even a university can make mistakes when explaining what grades are needed to get on one of their courses.  They can even think that your daughter is on a completely different course than she is on.  Thankfully she can get onto the course but she will require 2 distinction*s.  Luckily she is in line to get those grades. 
  • It is possible not to breathe properly while you wait to hear whether your daughter can still get on a university course because you are trying to think about how you are going to console your daughter if not.
  • Lily fluff is top dog.  If she decides that she wants to lie where one of the other dogs is lying she merely has to stand right in front of their head and they move.  No growls, snarls or noise at all - just 'puppy power!'
  • 3 of my dogs are too soft!
  • When you work from home it can be hard not to log onto work to keep track of your emails in the hope that you can hit the ground running on your day back.
  • Arranging a night out with 3 of your friends is much easier if you send a spreadsheet to them for available dates than trade text messages for hours.
So what did you 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, 17 February 2014

Let's drug him

On Wednesday I saw Angel who relayed how wonderful her 5 day trip to San Francisco was with her husband including how her Hubby was so excited to go to Alcatraz he put on his earphones and disappeared leaving her to wander the island alone.  Not only that, after listening to the history he returned the headphones and then disappeared again to discover it once again.

I have always wanted to go to San Francisco.  I would love to drive over the Golden Gate Bridge and have always wanted to visit Alcatraz.  

On collecting Hubby from his usual weekly snooker match he asked how their holiday was and I said that I had always wanted to go there.

Hubby:     "You have never said that you want to go to San Francisco.   Where has this come from?  Is it because of the great holiday Angel has just had?

Me:            "No.  I have always wanted to go.  I am intrigued by Alcatraz and the city has so much more to offer.  It has just been pointless to mention it because you hate to fly."

Hubby:        "Yes, but that is not fair on you."

Me:            "No it isn't.  However, you panicked enough on a 4 hour flight to Morocco so you aren't going to manage a 10 hour flight to San Francisco."

Hubby:        "Still, it isn't fair on you.  You can always drug me.  We can borrow some of drugs.  They work for her."

Me:              "Oh yes, because it is fair to drug you up just so I can see a city."

Hubby:         "It's not like I would know; I'd be drugged up."   

So there you have it peeps. Licence to drug my husband so I can go on a holiday outside of this little country.

See, the man will do all sorts for me!

Friday, 14 February 2014

Where did I hide the Valentine's card

I have a habit of losing cards that I buy before they are needed.

On our wedding I gave Hubby a card.  Since our wedding 18 months ago I have found 2 that I bought him, hid in a safe place and forgot about.  Okay, I forgot about 1 and searched the house for the other before buying him the third.

For his 40th birthday I got a card reminding him of his age.  6 months later when taking the computer tower to be fixed I found a card that I had already bought him.  This card had been designed by me, I had written a beautiful verse inside professing my undying love for him, sealed it in the envelope and written his name on the front.  I recalled tucking it under the tower because he came home early unexpectedly.  I had then promptly forgot that I ever bought it.

So I have form for doing this right?

So it's Valentines Day.  I had already bought Hubby a card when away with work I had spent a good hour scoping out card shops and reading their cards; I have a thing for verses - thought has to go in the card you see.  The lack of a verse insinuates that the only thing a person has thought about when buying the card is how pretty the picture is on the front of the card.  I know, high maintenance.

Yesterday Hubby and I spent half an hour hunting for my keys - the ones that not only had a key for every external door in our house but the only car key.  I insisted Hubby was the last to have the keys, he said he wasn't.  We found the keys, still in the front door - on the outside of the door.  I guess I can be grateful that the red amber alert for the weather and the force of the wind kept people indoors and that our car was still outside and we hadn't been burgled or murdered in our beds!

I returned home from taking Hubby to work to hunt for another hour for the Valentines Day card that I knew I had bought Hubby and hidden in a safe place.  

You would think that as I have my life on a 'to do' list on my iPhone, all categorised; of which one of the lists is titled 'Cards' that I would have noted where I hid the card.  Yes, I would too.  Except I didn't.

So, having searched all the places it could be including my office I sat down to write a blog on how I would, once again, have to go out and buy Hubby a duplicate Valentines Day card.

Until I saw something peeking out from under my storage box for pens, staples, paperclips.  Yes, I had searched everywhere in the office...except under this box.  Numpty!

I have found the Valentine's Day card.  I have danced a jig around the dining room table (my office sits on top of the dining room table).  I have realised that it was a stupid place to hide the card as it is possible that Hubby will have moved this storage box to get a pen. 

I have realised that I need to utilise that 'Card' list on my iPhone for things other than reminding me what cards I have to write and send to friends that month.

Hubby expects me to lose things on a regular basis.  He knows that he should have had different wedding and 40th cards.  It is only right that I stay true to form and struggle with this Valentines Day card.  After all, this is who he married and this is who he will celebrate our second Valentines Day with since marrying me.

Happy Valentines Day Hubby, I promise to try harder next year......


Thursday, 13 February 2014

...and I'll huff and I'll puff and I'll blow your house down

Living in little 'ole England we don't suffer hurricanes and tornadoes and consider ourselves very lucky.  We had what some USA citizens may consider a slight breeze a month or so ago with winds of up to 80mph.  Living on the coast the town I live in was at risk of suffering worse than some.  We got away lightly for all intents and purposes.  

Nevertheless, Hubby decided that while having a new front gate made, which had needed a replacement for nearly a year, he wanted the fence panels in the back garden strengthened.  Now, I laughed and scoffed at this idea. After all, the fence panels between us and our neighbour to the right were strong and although nearly 10 years old they stood all sorts of weather.  The fence panels to the left of the garden were bought last year and while they rattled and sang all sorts of songs in the wind and while that scared the hell out of Fredster dog they were at little risk of breaking.

Nevertheless, I let Hubby have them reinforced and stupidly, have sat in the chair in the last month and kind of missed the rattle, moan and song of the fences.  

This week we had an amber alert for wind.  I ignored it; after all last months same warning only caused my then, un-reinforced fence panels to sing even louder.  As the days went on the warnings were increasing and on Tuesday our area was given a red alert.  Watching the weather the swirl of the cloud was right over our part of the country.

Now, Beautiful B who spends her spare time between a full time job, 3 days of college and her almost constant writing of assignments and research watching the news had somehow missed all of these warnings because as I sat in my cross-stitching chair opposite the patio door yesterday morning while settling down to watch the Olympics I noticed that her bike had disappeared.

Really, on the one day that the weather was going to get severe from lunch time she decides to ride her bike instead of get a taxi?!  So all sorts of texts were sent from a very concerned mum to her daughter insisting that she leave her bike at work and get a taxi home.  After all, I still wasn't convinced that the winds were going to be 'all that' but still a little gust of wind could blow my very talented and beautiful child into the path of an oncoming car.  

Feeling much more settled when I received a text confirmed a taxi would be used I settled down to the Olympics and as the day went on watched the tree in a neighbours garden slowly start to move, increasing it's movement by the hour.

When I ventured outside mid-afternoon to put some recycling in the bins the wind decided it wanted to help my keep the bin lid open.  

Texts were received from Hubby telling me to drive carefully to Angel's house that night and texts from Angels telling me to be extra careful.  I ventured out to the car and even at my weight I had to fight the wind to the car and I sat in the car at traffic lights while the wind buffeted the car from left to right watching the street lights sway quickly in the wind.  I saw telephone cables struggling to stay attached and when I reached Angels the wind helped me to close the car door.

Angel and I sat in her house listening to the wind while she told me all about her surprise trip to San Francisco for her Hubby's 40th birthday and periodically she told me she didn't like wind because it is the one weather phenomenon that can cause serious damage.  I reminded her that she doesn't like thunder and lightening and lightening can cause serious damage too.  We laughed at how she can forget that when in the middle of another type of storm.

Buses and trams were stopped, roads were closed, news of garage roofs sitting in the middle of a road just around the corner from my house reminded me just how my house may be affected.  Illuminations were down, the promenade was closed, siding from businesses on the promenade were being blown away.  Truly, the red alert warned of exactly what it predicted.

This morning the wind is still high but not as severe as last night.  Buses and trams are running again, though slower than normal I noticed when taking Hubby to work. Roads are closed, workmen are up and down the promenade assessing the damage to the illuminations and making it safe for cars.  Work has begun to move felled trees and building parts to open roads as soon as possible.

Our damage?  The patio table cover has blown off despite being held down by huge sealed packets of Fredsters food.  That is it.  What of the fence panels? - not one of them moved last night.  While the wind blew all around us those fence panels held strong.  Hubby was right.

I shall scoff no more.

Wednesday, 5 February 2014

Vampire tendencies?

Okay, I don't want to drink blood, I can't turn into a different animal, I don't have fangs and I'm certainly not beautiful. However,  I am making a habit of being awake most of the night. 

I nodded off on the train, thankfully dropping my book on the floor waking me before I slept through my stop at Sheffield. I nodded off on the way home last night. I longed for sleep most of the day. 

I was in bed reading about murder and mayhem, zombies that weren't zombies, by 9pm. Hubby came upstairs and told me to turn the light off at 9.45pm. I has nodded off (I see a habit forming) reading the book but Beautiful B had woken me up laughing really loud last night for about 20 minutes. 

She wasn't on her own so I didn't have to wonder if she was losing her marbles and I didn't really want to think about what Ry might have been doing to make her laugh so much. He is a lovely young man but I am her mum after all. 

I didn't want to ask her to keep the noise down because she has spent the last week mourning her dad and sister during their second year anniversaries. It was nice to hear her laugh and so without thinking too much about what they may have been up to I was grateful that Ary can make her so happy in such a terrible week for her. 

Checking Facebook before I went to bed she had tagged me in a post. A post of a man and a dog that she thought was hilarious and I just didn't get. Must be an age thing....

I had no problem going back to sleep....until midnight, then 1am, then 2.15, then 3pm, 3.30 and 4.15 at which time I gave up trying to sleep. I seem to have no problem nodding off but then I keep waking up. 

I'm a pretty light sleeper but I am used to Hubby's snoring though judging by how loud he is being at this exact moment in time one has to wonder. I may try some ear plugs just to see if that is the problem. 

I'm not overly concerned though other than waking up at night which may make me a vampire in the making or a zombie, which is what I always feel like the day after waking up so much.

I'm off work today and Monday and do have a long weekend.  I have a long list of things to do but I can have a little siesta later today if I need it. 

I have a presentation I need to finish off over the weekend ready for a visit to Sheffield next week. I'm not telling Hubby, he won't be impressed at me working rather than relaxing at the weekend (is cleaning relaxing? Mmmm) but I'd rather get it done as I have a full report to do by the end of Tuesday. 

It's now 5am and I'm feeling a little tired. If I try to sleep I will be awake at 5.30, my internal alarm clock will wake me up so I'm not late getting Hubby to work. I am sure though that by dinner time today I could nip back to bed and easily sleep 2 hours away. Should I add it to my 'to do' list?  

As you can see this was not written this morning, but earlier this week.  Just in case you were confused and thought you may be losing your marbles....

Tuesday, 4 February 2014

What I learned this week

Cala fluff has been to the vet this week to have an operation.  She is currently feeling very sorry for herself and so she should be.  I have been through the same operation she has, obviously for a human! Anyhoo, I can only imagine the pain she is in when she moves. 
  • It's a pain trying to get Cala to sit properly so you can clip the dew claw she has on her back leg that curls in on itself and causes her pain.
  • It seems like a good idea to have the dew claw removed at the same time as she is being spayed.
  • Getting a quote for the spay and what you assume includes the dew claw is a stupid thing to assume.
  • It takes approximately 20 minutes to remove the dew claw, sew up the wound and dress it.
  • The cost of an extra 20 minutes work for the vet, including the anaesthetic, is £100. 
  • I am in the wrong job, I should be a vet, I would earn much more.
  • The cost of a spay does not include painkillers, additional gas and air to aid the dog coming round from the anaesthetic or blood tests prior to the operation to check for anything sinister.
  • The costs of additional 'treatments' during the spay add up to nearly £150, and that is just for a small dog.
  • The cost of all the treatments plus the spay and dew claw removal are just shy of £400 - basically nearly a weeks wages.
  • The cost of a 'onesie' to prevent her (and her mum and daughter) getting to the wound will add another £20 to the bill.
  • Cala fluff will bark and bark and bark when put in the cage at the vets and won't clam down for an hour - basically she doesn't like being caged ;-) and isn't afraid to tell anyone so.
  • After the operation and when she has come round she will be her normal friendly kissing self and help out in the vets reception (translated to needing cuddles and kisses).
  • She will sleep when she comes home after eating a full bowl of food and despite taking her out 4 times she won't pee - that makes for a late night before being able to sleep.
  • The plastic bag we have to tie round her leg so she can go out without getting her leg dressing wet in a pain in the butt!
  • A day later and she is still sleeping merrily in her bed in front of the fire in my office.
  • Trying to stop her going up the stairs and jumping on the furniture over the next few days as the anaesthetic wears off is going to be 'interesting'.
  • I would include a picture of how cute (and sorry for herself) she looks but my email is playing up - again.....
  • Again - I am in the wrong job.  I wonder if I can convince Beautiful B to change her career choice to being a vet....
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, 3 February 2014

It's cold up North

Another day, another train. I am sure that even people in other countries have heard the jokes about our train system. I, touch wood, have had no such trouble since starting my new job. 

Then again, I do catch a train just after 5am and as the train sleeps overnight at the town I live in, it can't really be late can it?  What, with being one of the first trains  of the morning! Unless it was frozen....

So you would think I would be happy, which I am (glass half full and all of that) and that I had nothing to moan about. And I don't. 

I do have an observation though. Although the train leaves on time it's cold because it's not had time to warm its cockles as my mum would say. 

This morning I sat on the train attempting to snuggle up like a little hedgehog in hibernation which is kind of impossible seen as I don't have prickles and I am to fat to fold myself in a ball. 

It's a rare occurrence these days. Me being cold. I used to be cold all the time. Fires roaring in August, hot water bottles practically strapped to my body, heating on full blast, hubby in the garden fanning himself cool before he melted like a snowman in hell. Well, you get the idea. 

Not, though, for the last 2 years. It turns out that having various bits cut and removed from your body can raise your temperature. I blame the hormones. They were to blame for the migraines; I'm sure they won't mind me tagging other illnesses onto the list of reasons they were not good for me. 

Let's not forget that Hubby must be grateful they are gone. There are no more  days each month where I locked myself away in a room for fear of ripping someone's head off for breathing. Now it's just normal bad moods. Ha. 

Back to the train;  after eating Milky Way yoghurts (not really yoghurts - melted chocolate and cream - amazingly good for the arteries) and deciding it wasn't a good idea to eat something cold I tried to snuggle up as close to the side of the carriage. As close as I could get and I tried to find a way of resting my feet and ankles on the heater that runs down the side of the cabin. That worked until a man sat opposite me. 

I wished I had worn more than my usual fleece and I longed for my clothes - the first time in 2 years. Note to self: gloves do not take up that much room in the everything but the kitchen sink bag. 

Imagine my delight as I walked into the office building to a heater blowing glorious warmth at me. It was no surprise that I promised to return with my laptop to keep the security man company if the office was not as warm as the lobby. At least he wouldn't have given me more work!