Monday, 19 December 2005

And just to add insult to injury...

....OH's car blew up yesterday morning. I'm hoping that's the end of our run of bad luck.

Friday, 16 December 2005

Roll on tomorrow

Today has most certainly been one of the crappiest for a long time. OK, maybe not in the grand scheme of things but as my personal crappy days go, this one is right up there.

Firstly, we have been having problems with our central heating boiler for a few months. Actually, we've been having problems with it since it was installed 3 years ago but this latest problem has been going on for a few months. The heating bit of it only works when it chooses. It might work fine for weeks then we'll go a few weeks with it not, usually on the coldest nights. Our regular plumber had thrown in the towel so our landlord decided to call in the manufacturer's engineer. Appointment (and I use that term loosely) was made for this morning between 8am and noon. As luck would have it, I'd already booked the day off to finish my Christmas shopping. No problem, I'd just rearrange my day so that I could do all the things I'd planned to do at home in the afternoon in the morning, and go shopping in the afternoon.

The engineer duly called me at 10am and said he'd be there between 11 and 12. OK, I'd hoped for earlier but at least he'd been kind enough to ring. "Between 11 and 12" came and went, along with my sense of humour. 1.30pm he decided to arrive. Spent an hour or so faffing about doing engineery type things to the boiler then declared it working....something wrong with the presure valve (tell me about it). He finally left about 2.45 with everything working ticketyboo.

So off I toddled to do my shopping. No point in going into town at that point on a Friday afternoon so I went to the local retail park. Got most of what I wanted then decided that I really couldn't deal with Tesco at that point so stopped at a convenient Waitrose to get something for dinner.

All goingly swimmingly so far and I still had time to go and get my new glasses from the optician (what have taken two weeks to arrive). Get the glasses fitted and am given full operating instructions as these new glasses are varifocals and I've not had those before. Then we discover that the snazzy magnetic sunglasses that clip onto them don't fit. A little judicious fiddling by the optician gets them almost there and he promises me he will order another pair that should fit properly. Don't wear the glasses to drive jsut yet, he suggests, give yourself time to get used to them at home first. OK. So get home, take them out of the case to clean them and before I can put cloth to glass, I notice a flippin' big chip in one lense. After paying out £400 squids I was not best pleased. So amongst all the other things I have to do tomorrow, I have to take them back.

Having got over that annoyance, I realise that it's a bit bloody cold in the flat. Ahhhh....I turned the heating down before I went out so it didn't get too hot for the Lurchers. Turn the thermostat up expecting the nice sound of the boiler firing up and heat blasting form the radiators. Except that doesn't happen. It's not working again.

I'm not best pleased, landlord isn't best pleased when I told him and I suspect the manufacturers won't be best pleased at the abuse he'll give them tomorrow morning.

And on that note I'm going to bed before anything else goes wrong.

Thursday, 15 December 2005

Uh Oh!

We have a Board meeting once a month that I have to attend to take minutes. I spend a day typing them up and then drop them in with the Chairman who goes through them making numerous amendments. As he lives next door, he usually pops them through the letterbox when he's done.

Which is what he did last night.

It never occurred to me to mention that we were going out for a couple of hours and the hounds would be home alone. Neither did it occur to me to put the basket over the letterbox, which I usually do if The Lurchers have to stay at home during the day because Lurcher No. 2 tends to eat the can see where this is leading can't you!!?

Yep, got home last night to find the amended minutes turned into confetti all over the hall floor. I've managed to salvage the bits and am in the process of working out what goes where and sticking them all together. It's a good job the Chairman has a sense of humour and I like jigsaws!

Lurcher No.2, of course, thought the whole thing was great fun and was most definitely not helping as I tried to pick the pieces of paper up!

Tuesday, 6 December 2005

Poorly puppies and washing machines

An eventful weekend on the quiet.

OH took The Lurchers out for a walk on Saturday morning whilst I went out and spent a lot of money. I need new glasses. My current lenses are scratched to bits and seeing out of them is getting more and more difficult. So off I toddled to the optician and ordered said glasses. £400 squids later and I'm sorted. *gulps*. Went to the Farmer's market and stocked up on various delicacies although no black pud for OH. Went to Tescos and bought some bits and pieces and came home.

Came home to find that OH had broken Lurcher No.2. Not unusual given Lurcher No.2's predilection for breaking himself. And as usual, it was his foot he hurt. As he still wasn't putting any weight on it by Monday morning we took a trip to the vet. In for sedation and x-rays which revealed a fractured toe. I know have a 2 year old lurcher on complete rest for the foreseeable future. Not sure who will be crawling thw walls first.

Rewinding slightly, on Sunday we went out and purchased a spanking new washing machine to replace the one that has been pissing water out on a regular basis over the last few months. All excited, OH plumbed it all in and switched it on. Came back an hour later to find it had pissed water all over the floor. In fact, lots more water than the old one was. Cue much swearing and scratching of heads. We think it may be a leaking supply pipe and the washing machine is now in the middle of the laundry floor, going through a cycle so we can figure out where it's leaking from and to see if our suspicions are correct. A little water does go an awfully long way when it's running across the floor.

Sunday, 27 November 2005

One of life's little ironies

The aforementioned pup duly arrived on Saturday afternoon, the tiniest, sweetest little bundle of Whirrier (Whippet x JRT) and this morning I've just done a 100 mile round trip to hand him over to the family who will be fostering him in Ipswich. Just as I got home, I received a phone call to say that there's a homecheck being carried out for him this Putney. Two miles down the road from where I live and from where said puppy departed this morning! Guess what I'll be doing next weekend!!

Friday, 25 November 2005

Getting busy, slowing down

Getting busy: Things are getting busy in the rescue world with dogs coming in through pre-Christmas dumping. I was on a transport run last weekend for a poor young greyhound bitch who had been used for flapping (illegal greyhound racing). She and one of her kennel mates came in together. Both full of worms, the heaviest flea investation I think I have ever seen in my life and, at five years old, rotten teeth and one with a mouth full of abcesses. They have never received an ounce of medical care but have been expected to run and earn their keep - the only way the owner said the only way he could afford to feed them was to race them. Go figure that one out.

It's a hard call but serial neglect like that is almost as bad as a one-off beating or dumping. Their bodies are put under so much stress with all the infestations it's a wonder they didn't have heart attacks.

We should be having a pupply come to stay this weekend before he moves on to his foster home. This one rescued from travellers. Unfortunately Wales seems to have been snowed in so we can't get him out. Keeping everything crossed for tomorrow. Although sometimes you know it's out of the frying pan and into the fire. This poor pup was rescued by a lady who then handed him into a rescue after being able to find homes for all his litter mates but not him. Unfortunately the rescue in question has a policy of neutering at 12 weeks of age. And that's not good which is why we need to get him to us asap. Sometimes I hate snow.

Slowing Down: Because we don't get many home offers during the pre-Christmas season.

Friday, 18 November 2005


The cold has launched itself and I feel awful. Cotton wool head, raspy throat and a tight chest (yes, thank you, that's enough!).

Am I looking for sympathy? Damn right I am.

Thursday, 17 November 2005


It's a bit chilly round the edges this morning. Actually, it's not just chilly around the edges but chilly through to the middle as well. Being so chilly has reminded me of a few things I should/shouldn't do now winter is here:

1. Do not leave your walking boots in the car overnight. They would be warm as toast if you took them back inside to sit by the radiator of an evening

2. Phone the mechanic because I don't know if my car has anti-freeze in it.

3. When you change to your warmer winter coat, remember to take your office keys out of the pockets of the jacket you have been wearing. This is especially important when no-one else is in the office to open the door.

Oh, and I've got a cold coming. I know this because I have gone off tea. For some reason when I have a cold coming I go off tea and start to drink coffee.

Friday, 11 November 2005

Go Google!!

1) Go to
2) Type in " failure "
3) Press the 'I'm feeling lucky' button (instead of the google search one)
4) Laugh
5) Forward to others before the Google folks fix this!

THEN TRY THE SAME FOR "french military victories"
What passing-bells for these who die as cattle?
Only the monstrous anger of the guns.
Only the stuttering rifles' rapid rattle
Can patter out their hasty orisons.
No mockeries for them from prayers or bells,
Nor any voice of mourning save the choirs,
The shrill, demented choirs of wailing shells;
And bugles calling for them from sad shires.

What candles may be held to speed them all?
Not in the hands of boys, but in their eyes
Shall shine the holy glimmers of good-byes.
The pallor of girls' brows shall be their pall;
Their flowers the tenderness of silent minds,
And each slow dusk a drawing down of blinds

Wilfred Owenfirst published in 1921

Thursday, 10 November 2005

Gosh, blimey and other similar expressions of surprise

Some of my more long-standing readers may well remember this blog, and in particular the penulitmate paragraph which mentions that we got five numbers on the lottery that particular day and got rather a nice little windfall.

Well.....*ahem and coughs in a slightly embarrassed manner* seems we've done it again! We got another five numbers last night and have another nice little windfall to add to it!

Tuesday, 8 November 2005

Ms Grumpy Knickers

That's me today...grumpy. Hormones are raging and I want to curl up on a ball and have a good cry.

Work is getting me down and that's not helping. I love my job and I'm not planning on leaving it any time soon but there are days when "certain people" make me want to spit. "Certain people" being those that are so selfish and self-centred but think they cover it in a gloss of niceness so that no-one can see what they're really up to. And everyone can.

Sunday, 6 November 2005

Hush my mouth

I do find it frustrating that there are often things I would like to blog about, if only to get it off my chest, but the problem is, you just never know who might be reading it. The intermaweb being the popular thing it is, all those I might be writing about could, at some point, stumble across my ramblings. At which point I could possibly lose my friends, get sacked, shunned by my family or put my relationship with OH on seriously rocky ground.

It's a dilemma isn't it?.

Saturday, 5 November 2005

We are very proud!!

My mum was nominated for the "Welsh Carer of the Year" in the 2005 Care Forum for Wales Care Awards, in the category "Domiciliary/ Care Home- Care Practitioner Award". She was initially nominated by the care company she works for, was selected to go through to the next round and then made it to the final 7. She had to attend a big dinner in Cardiff last night for the announcement of the winners. And she won her category!!! She is officially a "Welsh Carer of the Year"!!

I'm so proud of her and so pleased to see what she does recognised. She looks after elderly housebound men and women in their own homes and as well as the routine bathing, cooking and cleaning, she goes the extra mile and does their shopping and runs errands for them. She treats her clients with respect, rather thanthem just being a job. They become friends and she genuinely cares for them.

I am so proud of her!!

Wednesday, 2 November 2005


I hate fireworks. I used to love them until I got a Lurcher that is terrified of them. Lurcher No.1 doesn't bat an eyelid but Lurcher No.2 becomes a quivering panting heart pumping like a steamtrain wreck at the first bang.

It's so bad that I took advice from my vet who has prescribed an anti-anxiety drug for him. So far they work well - as long as you get them down his neck in time. That's sometimes difficult around West London as you never know when the damn things are going to start going off. Just when you think they've quietened down for the evening, off we go again. They've now been going off every evening for the last 10 days and I'm betting we still have a way to go.

I'm fed up with the damn things already. Enough is enough. Why can't they be limited to 5th November, or the closest Saturday and leave it at that?

Wednesday, 19 October 2005

My back has gone into spasm. It started on Monday afternoon and by Tuesday morning I was walking like a cripple. I've spent the last 36 hours flat on my back. Visit from the osteo last night has improved things only half my back is in spasm. It still hurts like hell and this blog is necessarily short because I can't sit here for very long.

Monday, 10 October 2005

Games, games, games

Stayed with friends in Sussex this weekend. We played lots of games and ate lots of food, pretty much what we usually do when we meet them! The weekend always follow the same routine and we've yet to tire of it.

Friday night - crib (me and Mike always win!)
Saturday monring, walk the lurchers and their furry friend, Teyha. Eat breakfast.
Saturday afternoon - Mah Jong - the highlight of the weekend!
Saturday evening - if we finish Mah Jong early enough, we follow it with a n other game. This weekend it was Texas Hold 'Em poker. I lost.
Sunday morning - walk the lutchers et al. Breakfast. Play Nom. Roast dinner. COme home and collapse in a heap.

The only differnce this weekend is that I woke up on Sunday morning streaming with cold. Not good as I have to attend a Board meeting tonight and stay alert enough to take minutes. This is not something I am looking forward to with a cotton wool head and a nost that thinks it's on my feet (running.....yes, I know, old joke).

Wednesday, 5 October 2005

The holiday that was....

...and has now disappeared into the dim and distant past already. We've been back a week already and I haven't stopped for a minute.

But it was a lovely holiday. Fantastic cottage, weather superb, everyday spent walking on a different beach with the Lurchers running around like loonies. Nothing exciting happened, which was just how I wanted it.

Can't wait for the next break.

Thursday, 15 September 2005

Bye Bye

Gone Away. Be back soon.

Wish you were here. Weather is lovely. I'll fetch you back a stick of rock.

There...consider that your postcard!

Friday, 9 September 2005

Half a Yay!

Had to go back to the Royal Marsden on Wednesday for my annual check-up. One blood test was able to tell them that the level of drugs I'm on is fine. The second, which should have told them if there are any nasties lurking, had gone missing. Ho hum. Another blood test and they'll let me know in a week or so if there are any problems.

I'll just keep hanging on to those tenterhooks for a while then.

Monday, 5 September 2005


My de-cluttering continues apace...yesterday it was the linen cupboard. I have one bed. I seem to have 11 sheets, 4 duvets, 8 duvet covers and more pillowslips than I can count. OK, we do keep some spares for when we have guests sleeping on the airbed and OH and I have a duvet each (he gets too hot and I get too cold), but that still seems a little excessive. So some of them went into the charity bag. I now have 8 sheets and 4 duvet covers and not quite so may pillowslips. Which is a start......

Wednesday, 31 August 2005

That's better!

Last night I cleared out my clothes cupboards. Three black bagfuls were discarded. One for rubbish and two for jumble/charity. And I've still got all the bits and pieces that can be e-bayed!

Damn but it felt good!

Monday, 29 August 2005


Today I stabbed myself in the hand.

I didn't intend to stab myself, I had intended to skewer the stone in the middle of the avocado I was cutting up. Instead the blade slid off the stone, through the avocado flesh and then through my flesh. Cue lots of blood and one very sore hand.

Damn stupid thing to do really and, on the whole, not something I would recommend.

I still haven't quite given up smoking but I'm not giving up on giving up. I have cut down though and only had four cigarettes over the weekend and three today. That's a definite step in the right direction.

Thursday, 25 August 2005


Well, I lasted all of 20 hours this time. And for 8 of those I was asleep. Methinks I'm not going to be able to do this without help this time and I might need to look into getting some patches.

In other news, I had to go and see the nurse at my Dr's surgery last night. Nothing dramatic, just one of those regular check ups. Got on the scales and weighed in at 72Kgs. It was late in the day and I was full clothed so knock a couple of kilos off and round it down to 70kgs puts me at 11 stone. I was quite pleased with that considering what I have weighed in the past. According to the nurse, I'm 10kgs overweight and I should try and lose that. That's 1.5 stone. I haven't been that 9.5 stone since I was a teenager for heaven's sake! Now, I know that I'm not a skinny bint and I never will be, I'm Welsh for heaven's sake, we breed proper women in Wales - good solid bones and proper curves - and yes, I could do with losing another 1/2 stone or so bu if I go down to that weight I am going to look anorexic.

Having picked myself up off the floor laughing, the nurse told me it must be right because that's what the computer says. Cue me falling of the chair laughing again! What irritates me about all this is that no account is taken of my build (heavy-boned!) nor the fact that I don't have a thyroid gland (even if I do take replacement hormones, it's not entirely as efficient as the real thing). If I was not the sane, rational person that I am, I could have walked out of there convinced I was "fat" put myself on a ridicoulous diet to lose that amount of weight and possibly start on the way down a very slippery slope. That might sound a bit dramatic but it happens to people.

So WHY are health professionals encouraging the idea that thin is good when the media gets villified for exactly the same thing?

Tuesday, 23 August 2005

The last day

Today is the last day that I smoke.

There, I've said it.

Trouble is, everytime I decide to give up something goes wrong, I get stressed and reach for the tobacco again. Let's see how long I can last this time. Surely I can go longer than 6 hours?

Monday, 22 August 2005

I am so tired today, I can barely think straight. There's no reason for me to be tired, I seem to have done nothing but sleep this weekend. The Royal Marsden took what felt like the best part of 1/2 a pint of blood out of me this morning at the hospital, but that shouldn't make me feel this dozy. Early night tonight.

Saturday didn't get off to the best of starts, firstly I gave up smoking. Then, Lurcher no. 2 cut his pad and bled everywhere. Again. I've only just got the blood out of the sofa cover from the last time he cut himself. Then I couldn't shut the electric driver's window on my car. With rain imminent and nowhere to park the car but on the road, I started to panic somewhat. OH took the door panel off and fiddled with this and fiddled with that, to no avail. Then 1/2 hour later I just tried it again, because you just never know and you know what? It closed! Go figure, I don't understand it. 6 hours after I gave up smoking, I started again. I haven't dared open the window again in case it does the same thing although I was later told it's probably a dry connection in the switch. Oh. OK then.

Friday, 19 August 2005

Wet and camping

It's raining. And that's about all I have to say about today.

However, I have completely forgotten to blog about the weekend before last. So as it was lovely and sunny then, I'll blog about that instead.

When OH and his siblings were growing up, they used to go off camping every summer to a field in West Sussex with a group of people from their local church (OH's parents being of good Catholic stock). The fathers (of the kids, not the religious "Fathers") would go down the weekend before they were due to leave to put up the big marquees and dig the holes for the toilets, and take down all the cooking equipment. Then off they would all troop in cars, for those that had them, and a removal lorry, for those that didn't.

For years I have been regaled with stories of the kids all running riot around the field and in the surrounding woods, of lying in the middle of the road to watch the stars, of freewheeling their bikes down the hills and a bell to call everyone for dinner. And so we went back. 20 of us packed up our tents and headed off to the same field for the weekend so that OH, his siblings and their mum could re-live their holidays of 40 years ago.

This can often turn out to be a disaster as things are often never as you remember them. But, apart from the old chapel now being a bunkhouse and everything seeming to be smaller than it was, a great time was had by all. The facilities were basic but there was a functional kitchen and just about functional toilets and showers. But it was private and the children could all run around free as birds, as could The Lurchers. We played silly games and had scary walks in the forest and we even had the bell to call us all to dinner.

No computers, no TVs, no childrens' playgound, nothing but ourselves to entertain ourselves. And we had the best time ever!

Wednesday, 17 August 2005


It's not often that I'm inspired to do something that I've seen on the internet but inspired I was by Stu's "A Photo Per Day. So, hoping that Stu will see imitation as the sincerest form of flattery, my photographic endeavours can be found here!

Monday, 15 August 2005

I've lived in these counties

I've lived in these counties

County map
I've visited the counties in yellow.
Which counties have you visited?

made by marnanel
map reproduced from Ordnance Survey map data
by permission of the Ordnance Survey.
© Crown copyright 2001.

I've visited these counties

County map
I've visited the counties in yellow.
Which counties have you visited?

made by marnanel
map reproduced from Ordnance Survey map data
by permission of the Ordnance Survey.
© Crown copyright 2001.

Wednesday, 10 August 2005

Blimey..... really has been a long time since I've blogged. So long, in fact, that I can't remember what it was that was so exciting that I felt the need to mention it, without mentioning it.....if you see what I mean.

It was probably something to do with the major fund-raising effort we had for Greyhound Gap. One of our foster dogs, walking along quite happily, suddenly collapsed with a broken leg. That sort of thing doesn't really happen very often and an anxious few hours were spent waiting for the vet's opinion. Luckily, the vet deemed it repairable and £2,500 squids later we have a dog back in one piece, thanks to 17 pins and staples. We launched the fundraising appeal and within days people had pledged what was needed. Everyone pulled out all the stops and faith in human nature was well and truly restored and overflowing.

The only downside was that, as Treasurer, I was deluged everyday with sacks of envelopes containing cheques and my e-mail nearly exploded with the amount of Paypal notifications....and they're still coming in!!

On the bad news front, my car is broken. Some would say that I broke my car by letting the oil run low but I would refute that. Not only because it's such a silly, girlie thing to do and, one thing I'm not, is a silly girlie, but also because it hadn't actually run out of oil. True, it was at the "Add oil now or your car will break" line but it wasn't below it. Anyhow, the upshot was that the Turbo thingie whatsit broke. So whilst the car still goes, it sounds like a jet engine whenever I put my foot on the accelerator. As it's an old car, repairing it simply not financially would cost more than the car is worth. Sooooo....this meant I had to go and find a new car.

Whilst being quite excited at the prospect of buying a new car, the whole process actually fills me with dread. What to get? Where to get it from? What colour shall it be? And all those important things. People who sell cars seem to have this in-built radar which spots a woman at 300 paces and automatically assume they have "mug" stamped across their foreheads. I've spent hours on Autotrader trying to find something I might like, and find lots of things I liked I did but a 3 litre engine is not entirely economic for London driving. My only requirements were something big enough to take The Lurchers and all their gear (so an estate or an MPV) and air conditioning.

I got myself all geared up for a weekend spent car-hunting when I found a really lovely salesman who works from home, not a couple of miles from me. And he had a lovely shiny 5 year old Peugeot 406 estate with the required air con. Actually, it has climate control, which is just a tad swankier than air con. It also has a CD player and lots of other flashing thing that I need to figure out what they do. I have just emptied my piggy bank of all it's pennies and shall be picking up said shiny car this evening.

I'm terribly excited....again!

Tuesday, 26 July 2005

Too much to do and no time to do it in

Normal blogging will be resumed as soon as I get a minute. Everything is very busy, what with running the universe an' all (they wouldn't accept my resignation), so no time to blog. WHich is a shame because it's all been terribly exciting!

Monday, 11 July 2005


I am so damn tired I can't think straight. I won't bore you with the details as it will turn into a self-pitying ramble which no-one will find interesting. Suffice to say that whilst I appear to be sleeping all night, I certainly don't wake up in the mornning feeling like I've slept all night.

But, as this blog is as much as a diary for me as it is for anyone else to read, I shall note the details without emotion or comment.

2nd July - drive alone from London to Cornwall

2nd & 3rd July - get very little sleep and have a very emotional few days

4th July - drive alone back to London from Cornwall and try to catch up on some sleep

Rest of the week - try to get everything ready for the Stables

Open Day and get all the Board papers together.

9th July - Work in the morning and Greyhound Gap Stall at Battersea Old Windsor in the afternoon

10th July - Wimbledon Common Stables Open Day

10th July Evening - Staff bbq to unwind.

11th July evening - Board meeting

And it's not finished yet....

Saturday, 2 July 2005

Rest now

Grampa passed away this morning.

I shall miss you Grampa. Sleep well now.

Thursday, 30 June 2005

I have one of those little calendar things on my desk that has the date on tear-off pages that have little quotes on them.

I should take today's quote on-board "For peace of mind, resign as general manger of the universe". I always have to manage and organise everything, not because I'm a control freak (although there could be a little of that) but more because I want everyone to get the best out of whatever it is they are doing and, well, I think I know best how they should do that. I hate it and really wish I didn't do it but it's bevome almost compulsive so I'm going to chill and not do it any more. Which should be about as easy as trying not to breathe.

Wednesday, 29 June 2005


Boo Hiss. The bees didn't come back.

And in other news, I went to the gym tonight for the first time in...well, longer than I care to remember. We have some playing field facilities on the Common and a top flight rugby team have moved in there and have allowed me and my boss to use their gym. 15 minutes on the rowing machine and 10 minutes on the bike were more than enough for me tonight. We left the heavy weight (literally) equipment where it was. That's for the big boys. And, my, they are big boys!

Tuesday, 28 June 2005


Our bees have buggered off.

We have an observation hive at work and this morning, half of the bees swarmed out, hung around for a bit and then took off across the Common, terrorising a group of school children on the way. We have no idea if they've swarmed off with a young queen to set up a new hive or if they've just decided to go for a sight-seeing trip and will come back plastered on unfamiliar nectar later this afternoon.

Monday, 27 June 2005

Weekend report

Such a hectic social whirl we live in.....this weekend started off quietly on Saturday with dog walking then very little else until the afternoon when we headed down to Sussex for a 50th Birthday party. We stopped off at frieds who were kindly looking after The Lurchers for us and leting us crash out at their place as well.

The party was for OH's cousin so there were loads of his extended family there that we have't seen for that was nice! But given the weather we had last week, Saturday night was bloody freezing in comparison and they had to break out the jumpers for all of us in our summer gear!

Sunday we had a nice lazy morning with friends, walking The Lurchers and eating breakfast. Then we met the family again at the pub for a couple of hours and pootled home about 5pm.

Dropped OH's car off at the garage because last week he realised his MOT ran out last month.

Then home and crashed out in front of the TV for the rest of the evening.

The only problem with weekends is that they go to damn quickly.

Tuesday, 21 June 2005

It's too bloody hot!

At least, it was over the weekend.

Friday we travelled down to Gloucesesestershire to stay with some friends. As lots of other friends were also converging on said friends we decided to take our tent and put it up in their garden...well, not quite the garden but they have lots of lovely land and we were on a bit of it and I'm getting carried away with what after all is a very minor point so I shall stop. This was our brand new shiny tent and I'm very pleased to report that it went up in record time with nary a hitch.

Saturday we went to a local horse trials but as it was so hot we only stayed for just over an hour. We spent all of that time sitting next to the water jump so that we could dunk The Lurchers and their canine pals into the water in between the horses coming through. In the evening several more friends joined us and we enjoyed a very scrummy barbeque and catching up on all the news as we hadn't seen each other for a year.

Sunday started very early as we stupidly pitched the tent in full sun and by 7am The Lurchers were already suffering from the heat. The drive back was appalling although fortunately there was no traffic to hold us up...a three hour journey in the heat of the mid-day sun was not the best idea in the world.

I feel very privileged to have some wonderful friends...we may not see each other from one year to the next and speak only every few months but, despite that, we pick up where we left off and still remain the best of friends. Everyone should have such friends.

Thursday, 16 June 2005

A new phrase

I discovered a new phrase today.... ipse dixit.

It's definition is: He himself has said it; a mere assertion

It's such a good, round and ripe phrase that it really ought to mean so much more than that.

Wednesday, 15 June 2005


I've had two pictures accepted in the BBC's Digital Britain. Whilst that probably isn't a major achievement, it makes me happy, even if they are not the best photos I've ever taken. If you're interested, this is them: Windmill, Heath.

I have some more to enter but need to shrink them so that will have to wait until I get 5 minutes. Which is not likely this week.

Monday, 13 June 2005

Peace and quiet

I have had a fantastic weekend. For the first time in ages I have had a weekend where I didn't actually have anything that I had to do. Don't get me wrong, I love my family and it was great when they came to visit last weekend and of course I was going to go down to Wales and see my Grampa in hospital the weekend before that and of course I love doing stuff for Greyhound Gap most weekends but, just for once, it was lovely not to have to do anything.

So I did things I wanted to do. I nicked a horse from work on Saturday and pootled round the Common for an hour or so and Sunday we decided to get a bit domestic and went to look at new fridge/freezers and get a new pump for the fish pond, the existing pump having expired some months ago.

The rest of the time I caught up with some sleep and Star Trek.

Wednesday, 8 June 2005

Teeth again

OH has a dental appointment tomorrow to have a tooth out. His appointment is at two thirty. Getit? Tooth hurty?? Oh dear...sorry.

(It is actually at 2.30 as well...I didn't make that up in order to get a cheap laugh!)

Tuesday, 7 June 2005

Phew...they've all gone!

We had my parents come to stay for the weekend. Which was nice. They brought a tumble dryer with them, kindly donated by my grampa who doesn't use it. Which was very nice. Even though it's summer and we won't need it for a while!

Everyone had a jolly time getting roaring drunk on Saturday night, apart from me because I don't drink. Spending the evening stone cold sober when all around you are falling over tends to result in something of a sense of humour failure on my part. But I had the last laugh as I didn't have a hang over on Sunday morning. Ha!!

Given OH's recent escapades in the tooth department , he actually went to the dentist last week and had to have minor surgery to remove some bone growing in the wrong direction. So he now has four stitches in his mouth and is all very tender. I therfore had to plan the weekend's menu carefully as he wasn't able to chew terribly much. The answer, other than bread and gruel, was lots of things with mashed potato. So Saturday night we had bangers and mash and Sunday I did a Cottage Pie. Given that there were seven of us for Sunday lunch; I always cook twice as much as I need; and potatoes seem to evaporate into thin air when you mash them so you have to do lots and lots, it felt like I spent the whole weekend in boot camp peeling spuds.

Much fun was had as my brother, his girlfriend and my mother-in-law also joined us for lunch. But much as I love having people round to stay, I do so love it when they all go home and peace returns.

Thursday, 2 June 2005


When we went camping a few weeks ago, we were discussing the annoying call of the pigeon...the one that goes coo coooo coooo coo coo. My sister-in-law has put words to it "youuu caaannn't gooo shopppping".

If you read this, and you have pigeons near are going to hate me in a few days. Because I can't get that damn line out of my head now and it's driving me even pottier than hearing the call in the first place. I'm so glad to be able to share it!

Migraine up-date: it seems to have disappeared finally. The full frontal attack of the ibuprofen style didn't appear to be working so I launched a sneaky behind the lines assault with the paracetemol. That seems to have done the trick.

Wednesday, 1 June 2005


I'm fighting off a migraine this morning. It started yesterday afternoon and gradually got worse through the night. At 5am this morning I was in agony. Painkillers are keeping it at bay at the moment but one wrong move and I'll collapse in a heap again.

Monday, 30 May 2005

Home again home again jiggedy jig

I dashed home yesterday to see Grampa who, I am pleased to report, is looking well and should be let out of hospital by the end of the week. Yay! But although he's better, he's not "better", he has, as well as the emphasemia and the asthma, an acute heart condition and so we could have a repeat of this at any time. We just need to get him to call the doctor a little sooner than at the crucial life or death moment methinks.

I stayed with the folks in Barry (that's near Cardiff for the geographically challenged) last night which, if nothing else, makes for a change of scenery. They have two 12 week old kittens and although I'm much more a dog person, they are rather sweet and endearing with their antics! It will make the next visit with The Lurchers in tow very interesting!

The only worry last night was that I couldn't reach OH on the phone. I guessed, it being Sunday afternoon of a Bank Holiday weekend, that he'd had too much to drink and fallen into a drunken stupour but it didn't stop me worrying all the same, especially as The Lurchers are with him. but finally reached him this morning and my guess was correct. He told me that he'd saved himslef some money.....he was so drunk that he decided to pull out the tooth that has been giving him pain for the last couple of weeks. pah! Who needs a dentist when you have a drunk OH!!

Friday, 27 May 2005

Grampa has been rushed to hospital again this morning. His lungs are so crap and his heart is enlarged and all the drugs they've had him on are having an adverse effect on everything else. After his last hospital stay he came home fighting fit and feeling better than ever so for this to happen again is devastating. It was touch and go this morning he was struggling so hard to get his breath. Two doctors have told Mum that there is nothing more they can do for him and to prepare for the worst. His hospital stays are getting more and more frequent and his condition worse every time.

Living so far away and only speaking to him on the phone every week hasn't prepared me for this. He always sounds so well, apart from the wheezing. He's out and about doing his shopping and shopping for his "old ladies" as he calls them, who make him cakes in return. He still drives himself about and potters inthe garden and his greenhouse, living an active life.

I don't want to think about life without my Grampa in it. He's been my rock all my life and I don't want him to go.

Wednesday, 25 May 2005

Wet, wet, wet and windy

We went camping in Dorset last weekend. I suspect it was the wettest and windiest weekend in Dorset since records began. But then again, it may have just felt like it, what with being in a tent an' all.

It all started on Friday afternoon..the sun was shining but it was a bit blustery. Unforutnately, a "bit blustery" is all you need to turn your tent into a giant kite. After much cursting the tent was put up and I started to fix the guy ropes. Five of them were so badly frayed that they had started to snap, even though they were fine when we last put the tent away. I then discovered the reason why they were frayed and snapping.....wandering round the tent was Lurcher No.2 calmly chewing his way through each guy rope in turn. He received a stern talking to whichdidn't entirely stop the chewing over the weekend but that rapidly become the least of our worries.

It started to rain about 10pm on Friday night and it didn't stop for the next 14 hours. We woke to a stream running through the middle of the tent which, somehow, leaked into the supposedly waterproof sleeping area. The bottom half of our bedding and the Lurcher's beds were soaked. Having just walked the Lurchers and got soaking wet, I will admit that I sat down and cried. This was no longer fun and I wanted to go home. However, as this was a clan gathering with 22 family members present, going home was not an option. Fortunately the sun broke out and I was able to get all the bedding out and pegged to the car to blow in the breeze and dry out.

Saturday night it was the wind's turn and it felt like we were in the midst of a force 10 gale. Quite how we stayed attached to the ground is beyond me. The tent caught on something inside it and got ripped, which I actually wasn't sorry about as I've been angling for a new tent anyway!! Monday we went out and bought one of these, which I thought a bit of a bargain at 99 squids!

Wednesday, 18 May 2005


A few days ago I needed to download RealPlayer onto my peecee. Whilst messing about with it yesterday evening I discovered RealArcade. And in RealArcade I discovered a downloadable trial game of Texas Hold'em Poker. The trial game is only meant to last for 60 minutes but if you don't close it down, you can keep playing for as long as you like. Five hours later I was still at it.......I find I could become seriously addicted to poker, which is why I don't play it for real money.

Monday, 16 May 2005

It seems like an age since I blogged...actually, that's probably because it has been an age since I blogged. Ok quick catch up:

Greyhound Gap's second annual fun dog show was a brilliant success and raised us lots and lots of squids. 1500 of them in fact! Having spent the day running round like the proverbial blue-bottomed fly, we arrived home at 9pm, waved at my brother and his girlfriend who were staying with us, and headed straight for bed. The Lurchers surfaced at around 6pm the following evening, demanded to be fed and then went back to sleep again.

The following weekend (ie. weekend before last) was spent doing homechecks for afore-mentioned Greyhound Gap. It always tickles me that many people who have no experience of living in London don't quite get the rules of driving around here. I got a phonecall and the conversation went something like this:

Can you do a homecheck?
Yep, no problem. Where?
Leytonstone!? That's bloody miles away!
No it's not, according to the AA routefinder it's only 16 miles away.
Well, it might be if you go through central London.
So why don't you? just don't. You go round the M25 and that's a 120 mile round-trip.
*sounds of falling of chair and a muttered oath*

I went by tube.

Second homecheck was down in Hampshire and me and Lurhcer No.2 had a lovely drive down in the sunshine. Two successful homechecks and two more hounds in their forever homes. We really do need more people trained up to be homecheckers as I seem to be covering the whole of the South East on my own and I'm getting spread a bit thin!

This weekend we made use of OH's birthday present...two tickets to the Zurich Premiership Final at Twickenham. I think I've mentioned before that going to Twickers is usually quite a pleasant experience, however, the powers that be now seem determined to make the day as difficult as possible with petty little things. Firstly, our tickets said to enter by Gate Q. Gate Q was closed so we went on to Gate R, getting further and further away from where our seats were. At Gate R there was a huge long queue for bag checking. As I only had a tiny bum bag, big enough for money and mobile phone, I thought I'd get away with it. Nope. Sorry madam, that is definitely a bag. Oh boo hiss.

Then we get in there and up to the bar to get a drink. I only want mineral water, in a bottle so that I can take it in with me. The chap behind the bar takes the lid off and throws it away. Why? Because you are not allowed to take plastic bottles in with the lids on. Umm....a plastic bottle of water without a lid seems an infinitley more dangerous weapon that one with a lid, but there you go. This pettiness was compounded by the fact that if you bought a bottle of water from the vendors outside the stadium (although still within the grounds), your bottle can keep its lid.

Wednesday, 27 April 2005

Greyhound Gap Dog Show

Greyhound Gap's 2nd Annual Fun Dog Show takes place on Sunday 1st May at the Walsall Arboretuem Annexe

Registration starts at 12 noon and the show commences at 1pm.

There are twelve fun Classes open to any breed of Dog they are.....
Prettiest bitch
Most Handsome Male
Best Senior (over 9)
Best Puppy (under 12mnths)
Waggiest Tail
Best Child Handler

Break - Dog Display Team

Best Black Dog
Dog the Judge would most like to take home
Best Rescue
Best Gap Rescue
Best Brace
Five minutes for them to get ready then:- Fancy Dress

Best In Show Rosettes on the day will be awarded to 5th place for each class with 1st, 2nd and 3rd in each class also receiving a prize bag full of goodies.

We also will be welcoming on the day local and national rescue organisations with their fundraising stalls. A dog training display and lots, lots more to see and do, food will be available at the location and toilets are also on site.

1st May is also Justice for Rusty Day more details here: Justice for Rusty We hope to encorporate into the day a 1 minute silence in respect of Rusty and all of Greyhound Gap's hounds will be turned out wearing purple ribbons as a mark of respect. We will also be offering ribbons for sale on the day for 50p with all proceeds from the sale being donated directly to the Justice for Rusty fund.

Monday, 25 April 2005

We have returned

We're all back from the sunny climes of Dorset. What a beautiul week it was....the sun shone every day and it was warm and glorious.

The lack of television and computer meant that I did as was intended and caught up with a few books: I managed to finish Terry Brooks' Tanequil that I seem to have been reading for an age; read Pratchett's Hat Full of Sky in 12 hours; Going Postal in not much longer. An inroad has also been made into The Amazing Maurice and his Educated Rodents. Hat Full of Sky and The Amazing Maurice are technically childrens' books, but to not read them because of that would mean missing out on Pratchett at his best. Perhaps not at his cleverest, his adult books are, after all, full of very cunning and complicated verbage, but his books for younger readers are simple in their humour and perhaps funnier because of that. You can enjoy their humour without wondering if you've missed a pun.

But I digress, the rest of the holiday not spent reading was spent walking The Lurchers - Durdle Door has to be seen to truly appreciate its beauty - and sleeping. I slept lots. And then a bit more. Although all that sleep was negated as we had friends staying for the weekend, who arrived about 4 hours after we got home on Friday. Two very late nights, a marathon session of Mah Jong lasting for 9 hours and a serious bang on the head which almost knocked me out cold, has done much to make me feel like I've not been on holiday at all.

Roll on the next one.

Saturday, 16 April 2005

Pratchett Catch-up

OH is working down in Dorset at the moment so next week The Lurchers and I are joining him. He works, whilst I swan around doing not very much. Although "not very much" next week means walking The Lurchers and making sure OH has food in front of him when he needs it. Not much change there then. But at least there's no work involved and I can lie-in and catch up on some reading. I'm woefully behind on my Pratchett intake so I shall be immersing myself in A Hat Full of Sky and Going Postal.

I shall re-surface back into real life next Friday. Then again, I may just stay in Discworld.

Wednesday, 13 April 2005

Pretty picture!

In an auctin that we recently held to raise funds for Greyhound Gap, I won the chance to have a very talented artist paint a caricature of The Lurchers. She has e-mailed me the result today and I very nearly burst into is so brilliant!

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Monday, 11 April 2005

By golly, I think she's got it!

As an only child, it falls on me to carry on our particular branch line of the family. My dearest Mother has never given up hope that one day I will produce the grandchildren she longs for. This is despite the fact that I have not wanted children since I was old enough to understand what it was all about.....since I was about 13 in fact.

But everytime we see my Mum she still makes litte comments and enquiries about it, wondering when we might produce. And I feel for her, I really do. The maternal gene simply passed me by and in all these years, I have never changed my mind. I don't want children and, fortunately, neither does my OH. We do dogs rather than children! But Mum longs to have a little grandchild to hold in her arms. She loves children and would have had more after me if medical complications surrounding my birth had not made it too dangerous for her to have another child. She has step-children and they have produced numerous grandchildren but as she says, it's not quite the same.

But I think she has finally accepted it. Chatting to her on the phone this weekend, she asked me "How are my grand-dogs"!? I love you Mum!!

Monday, 4 April 2005


I don't watch huge amounts of television, unless I'm feeling particularly lazy when I will curl up in bed and watch whatever dross happens to be on any of the numerous freeview channels we have.

So if anyone asked me if I was influenced by television, I would like to be able to answer "no", except that wouldn't be strictly true. One of the prgrammes that I do like to watch is Gillian McKeith's "You are What You Eat", and I have been hugely influenced by Gillian and her nutritional advice. I've sat back, looked at our diet and changed a few things. We're not big time junk food eaters and I never buy ready meals, I always prefer to cook fresh food. But we did have a Chinese takeaway every week and an occasional McDonalds. But changing my diet by adding in a few things that we ddn't eat and listening to the hypnotherapy tape has resulted in me losing 1/2 stone in the last few weeks, something that pleases me immensely!!

Another programme I watch, and for the life of me I'm not sure why, is "Ten Years Younger". If you haven't seem it, the idea is to take a member of the public that looks much older than their years and make them look 10 years younger, by means of plastic surgery, dental work, hair styling and changing the clothes they wear.

I think I must have a morbid fascination with watching people having their faces chopped about and stuck with needles - except I have to turn away when that bit comes on because I'm really not terribly good with needles. What really fascinates me though is the clothes bit of the programme. The presenter, in my humble opinion, has the worst dress sense I have ever seen. The clothes she chooses for the poor hapless member of the public never suit them and they look awful in them. So this has influenced me in at least what not to wear!

Thursday, 31 March 2005

The sun has got his hat on

Someone please bring the sunshine back. I thought I'd done with waterproofs and warm jackets for this winter and here I am, walking the Lurchers, and getting soaking wet again. Enough! I need sunshine!

Sunday, 27 March 2005


It's been a busy old weekend...and it's not over yet!

Friday I met up with a bunch of people for a major dog walk. 6 people and 14 dogs! It was a riot and The Lurchers had more fun than they've had in ages! The trip was only marred by getting caught up in the aftermath of an accident on the way home and having to sit in traffic for an hour when I was just 2 minutes from home.

More fun was had on Saturday when we went bowling again. I have to say that my form has much improved since the last time we went when I was absolutely crap. This time I was merely mediocre which pleased me no end. Bowling was followed by a slap up dinner in a local chinese restaurant where I stuffed my face and regretted it afterwards.

What is seriously unfair is that I've woken up this morning feeling like I have the hangover from hell. Which considering I don't drink, was still in bed by 11pm and had a good night's sleep is muchly not fair.

However, things have brightened considerably since discovering that we got 5 numbers on the lottery last night. OH and I are pondering what to blow our £2,056 windfall on! Big YAY!!

We shall go celebrate at the clan gathering that's planned for today. OH is from a big family, he's one of eight, so there should be about 28 of us for dinner!

Monday, 21 March 2005


We have a new resident who has taken up, errrr, residence. And this is he:

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Please meet Apollo Gemini. He is a 5 week old grey Syrian hamster and he moved in last Friday. I went to the petshop for some bits and pieces for The Lurchers and came home with a hamster. He is most definitely not for The Lurchers, much to Lurcher No.2's disgust, who thinks he would make an excellent toy.

Apollo Gemini is possibly a bit of a pretentious name for a hamster and I'm not 100% sure it will stick. But he hasn't told me his name yet. I named last but one hamster Egg, and he told me in no uncertain terms that his name was not Egg, but Bean.

Talk to hamsters? Has she gone raving? Quite possibly. A few years ago I studied animal communication and found that, just now and again, I could pick up on thoughts and feelings of animals. It sounds mad but when you have a bond with animals sometimes they will open up to you. You don't literally have a conversation of course, you just get pictures and feelings. Don't knock it 'til you try it!

Saturday, 19 March 2005

Glory Days

I'm old enough to remember the glory days of Welsh rugby. Those days when the name "Wales" struck fear into the hearts of all the rugby playing nations. We were scared of no-one and there wasn't a team we could not, and did not, beat...not even the mighty All Blacks.

Then things started to go wrong. Very wrong.

We had such a stratospheric team that perhaps no-one thought about what would happen once they all started to retire. There was no-one waiting in the wings to replace them. How do you replace demi-gods? So began the rapid descent from the giddy heights to the rock bottom position we found ourselves in a few years ago when even Italy could beat us...and we were playing at home.

But through all that time we kept heart. Every year we thought "this is it, this year we can do it". It's what you think when you are Welsh and remember the glory days because you can't bring yourself to believe that the fire isn't still burning deep within the dragon. Yet year after year there was disappointment. But we still thought it was a momentary blip because that's what you think when you are Welsh. The pride of the nation rises and falls with the performance of your rugby team and we are a very proud nation indeed. So proud that we simply could not believe that we would not be back at the top again.

And now we are. Thanks to 15 men in their red jerseys. We kept heart and you have repaid us in full. Pride is restored and we salute every single one of you.

You take your rugby very seriously when you are Welsh you know!

Wednesday, 16 March 2005

Good news!

Grampa is out of hospital! He's feeling much, much better and Mother tells me he looks much, much better too! Many hurrahs!

Other good news: I've stopped buying on e-Bay. I've started selling instead. Mostly selling all the things I've bought there that don't fit.

Other other good news: Big Boss didn't gloat over the job title change that has been forced on me and which I am seriously not happy about. As he now has a "PA" rather than an "Assistant", I thought he'd go to town with the whole concept and I went to work this morning spoiling for a fight. I was pleasantly surprised that he was somewhat embarrassed about the whole thing. I therefore removed my boxing gloves and calmed down.

Tuesday, 15 March 2005


So how many people watched Suprevolcano and pondered that stocking up on a few essential items for the store cupboard might not be such a bad idea!? I know I did! I shall probably forget all about the idea over the next day or two but it was definitley one of those programmes that makes you stop and think.

Other news: My Grampa is poorly in hospital. He's 85, of sound mind and generally fit as a flea but his early years were spent down the mines and they've taken their toll on his lungs. He now suffers from bronchitus and asthma and this recent bug that's been doing the rounds has knocked him a bit. A visit to the docs last week because he was having difficulty breathing resulted in them calling an ambulance and taking him to hospital there and then. He's doing OK but they are keeping him in until they can clear the infection. All a bit worrying nevertheless.

What really brings me up short is the fact that he has sorted out what he wants for his funeral and has "put his papers in order". All very sensible but knowing that your grandfather is facing up to his own mortality and preparing for the inevitable is more than I really want to contemplate.

Wednesday, 9 March 2005

But is it advertising?

Am I the only person to be moderately offended by the new Wanadoo TV commercial? The one with all the tongues at the end. OK, maybe not offended, I'm not that much of a prude, but is it really necessary to have all that sticking of tongues down throats? And what has it to do with broadband? Or am I missing the point?

Sunday, 6 March 2005

Look into my eyes

I have a problem with food. Nothing so serious as anorexia or bulimia but an irritating problem nonetheless. I have days when I simply cannot stop eating. I can eat a good meal and be nicely full but my tastebuds are still insisting that they are not satisfied so I have to have something sweet. Then they decide that they need something savoury. Then back to sweet and so on it goes, yo-yoing between the two until it's time for bed. Even then, I can wake up in the middle of the night and my first thought will be "I need food". Fortunately, I've learned not to give in to these middle of the night tastebud demands.

Funnily enough, my boss has a similar problem and a few years ago she went to a hypnotherapist to help her deal with it. As part of the package she had a cassette tape given to her to listen to at home. She lent me the tape this week to see if it would help me. I've had hypnotherapy before and it was not a great success so I had my doubts but on the basis of nothing ventured nothing gained, I felt it was worth giving it a go. I got myself all settled and put the tape on. It starts with getting you to relax your body and takes you into a semi-trance like state. I was still completely aware of what was going on and really thought it wasn't working, until the time she suggested trying to open the eyelids to test how relaxed you are - if you are, you can't open them. I couldn't open them. Panic? You bet I did!

However, I persevered and fell asleep half way through. Which I think is part of the plan as she then makes suggestions that are supposed to sit themselves into your subconscious. Things like sweet things - all you're doing is putting a teaspoon of sugar in your mouth and greasy foods - a frying pan swimming with fat. Yeah, OK, whatever, it's going to take something fairly hard-hitting to wean me off my sweet tooth. When I finally woke up, I have to say that I felt very relaxed and had the best night's sleep I've had in a long time. If nothing else, that was a bonus.

But then the next day when I got my usual sweet craving and started to wonder what I could find in the cupboard to satisfy it, all I could picture was putting a teaspoon of sugar in my mouth, which, let's face it, is a pretty disgusting thought. So I'm happy to report that it seems to be working! The sweet cravings haven't disappeared but I seem to be able to dismiss them without caving in and not giving them another thought. Yay! Target weight of 10 stone here I come!!

Friday, 4 March 2005

Silly People

We had a blizzard this morning and everywhere on the Common was white. Not surprisingly I didn't see many people, only a few other hardy dog walkers like myself. Part of the Common is a golf course and I was gobsmacked to see a couple of golfers out playing. They were wandering about aimlessely looking for something. Funnily enough, it was their golf balls. You'd think they might have twigged at the start that playing golf in the snow might be a tad on the difficult side. Still, brought a smile to my face!

Talking of the weather, I think that whoever up there is in charge is having a laugh! Judging by the severity of the blizzards this morning, I really thought the snow was in for the day and we'd have at least 3ft drifts by the time this evening came. But it stopped and it all started to melt. Then at lunch time, I nearly fell out of my chair in shock when, right overhead, was the loudest thunderclap I have ever heard, followed by torrential rain and hailstones. We now have brilliant blue sky and sunshine. I wonder what's coming later!

Thursday, 3 March 2005

Cop out

I do feel that I've been copping out on the old blog writing over the last week or so and either not writing one or taking an easy option.

There are several reasons for, I seem to be constantly tired at the moment and find it difficult enough to focus in work let alone on anything that requires thought when I get home. Secondly, I've been somewhat down in the doldrums of late and didn't want to dump that on anyone who happened to be passing by and reading my blog. Which, thinking about it, I suppose that's what blogs are for, letting it all out but I've been fearful that if I let one thing out the whole wall is likely to collapse and I'd find myself drowning in emotions I'm really not sure I can cope with. It's easier to keep the brick wall intact and not feel anything.

It's not even as if I'm going through any sort of crisis. Most of my life is sweet and all is well. It's just that lack of concentration and my inability to focus is leading to procrastination which means I'm getting behind on things that need doing and I feel terribly guilty about it. And if there's one emotion I hate feeling, guilt is at the top of the list. I just can't seem to make myself do anything about it.

Reading this back, it strikes me that all this is indicative that my thyroxin levels might be a bit up the spout. Mayhap a visit to the doc is in order. There, something useful has come out of blogging!

Oh and further to my recent blog about unreceived e-bay purchases, I received an e-mail from the offending seller this morning apologising for the delay and explaining it was due to the loss of their son and everything else, not unnaturally, took a back seat. Which made me feel a bit of a heel for launching a complaint against them. But then when I checked their recent feedback, over the three weeks since I purchased the item, they have bought or sold 15 other items. I can't help but feel a little suspicious, and that makes me feel even more of a heel.

Wednesday, 2 March 2005


To All Staff,


It has been brought to management's attention that some individuals throughout the company have been using foul language during the course of normal conversation with their co-workers.

Due to complaints received from some employees who may be easily offended, this type of language will no longer be tolerated.

We do however, realize the critical importance of being able to accurately express your feelings when communicating with co-workers.

Therefore, a list of 18 New and Innovative phrases have been provided so that proper exchange of ideas and information can continue in an effective manner.

1) TRY SAYING:I think you could use more training.
INSTEAD OF:You don't know what the f___ you're doing.

2) TRY SAYING:She's an aggressive go-getter.
INSTEAD OF:She's a ball-busting b__ch.

3) TRY SAYING:Perhaps I can work late.
INSTEAD OF:And when the f___ do you expect me to do this?

4) TRY SAYING:I'm certain that isn't feasible.
INSTEAD OF:No f___ing way.

5) TRY SAYING:Really?
INSTEAD OF:You've got to be sh__ing me!

6) TRY SAYING:Perhaps you should check with...
INSTEAD OF:Tell someone who gives a sh__.

7) TRY SAYING:I wasn't involved in the project.
INSTEAD OF:It's not my f____ing problem.

8) TRY SAYING:That's interesting.
INSTEAD OF:What the f___?

9) TRY SAYING:I'm not sure this can be implemented.
INSTEAD OF:This sh__ won't work.

10) TRY SAYING:I'll try to schedule that.
INSTEAD OF:Why the f___ing h _ll didn't you tell me sooner?

11) TRY SAYING:He's not familiar with the issues.
INSTEAD OF:He's got his head up his a__.

12) TRY SAYING:Excuse me, sir?
INSTEAD OF:Eat sh__ and die.

13) TRY SAYING:So you weren't happy with it?
INSTEAD OF:Kiss my a__.

14) TRY SAYING:I'm a bit overloaded at the moment.
INSTEAD OF:F___ it, I'm on salary.

15) TRY SAYING:I don't think you understand.
INSTEAD OF:Shove it up your a__.

16) TRY SAYING:I love a challenge.
INSTEAD OF:This job sucks.

17) TRY SAYING:You want me to take care of that?
INSTEAD OF:Who the h___ died and made you boss?

18 ) TRY SAYING:He's somewhat insensitive.
INSTEAD OF:He's a pr_ck.

Thank You,

Human Resources

Monday, 28 February 2005

Going, going.....

I have become something of an e-bay addict. There. I've said it.

It all started when I wanted to buy a USB Memory Stick and e-bay seemed a good place to get one at a reasonable price. Then a friend called up and asked for my opinion on something she was bidding on. We spent the next hour on the phone each surfing through the items for sale and imploring each other to go look at this bargain and that bargain. That was 2 weeks ago. Since then I have purchased not only the USB Memory Stick but:

a dog bed
a suit for me
a tennis ball chucker
a fleece
a pair of trousers
a couple of jumpers
another fleece
a travel water bowl
an in-car charger for my mobile
a talking pedometer
Terry Brooks' "Tanequil"
a sack of 50 pigs ears (for the Lurchers I hasten to add)
and a 5litre water carrier for camping.

Gosh, that all looks quite impressive written down! Especially when I tell you that that little lot came to under £70 squids! My only bad one was buying Going Postal. I've paid and the seller seems to have disappeared off the face of the earth and isn't responding to my e-mails. I feel a massive stamping of feet coming on tomorrow.

Some of the items were easily won, others involved a down to the last second, nail biting fight to the death. The adrenalin rush is quite something!

All of which leads me to conclude that I really do need to get out more.

Thursday, 24 February 2005

Ponders the missing marbles

I've been pondering what to blog about. I have an unfinished assignment to complete but, quite frankly, I think this cold weather has atrophied my brain and it's having problems operating.

Take this morning for example. I get up to take The Lurchers out for a walk before work. Something not quite snow and not quite rain was falling out of the sky but, regardless, it was wet so much dressing up in outer gear was required. Put on my walking boots and my coat. Could I find my hat and gloves? No I couldn't. Emptied out my bag that I'd just packed up with all the daily necessities thinking they might be in the bottom of that - given that just about everything else is - not there. Looked where they ought to be - in the dresser drawer - no, not there either. Not in the bedroom, bathroom or chucked on my desk. With much exasperereration I asked OH if he'd seen them. "What? Those ones there?" he said pointing at the gloves and hat I'd put on the radiator in the hall last night, right by the front door in plain view, so they'd be nice and warm in the morning.

Waterproof leggings are in the car though - that much I do know. I saw them there yesterday. Drive to where I'm going and look around car for waterproof leggings. They're not in the car at all. They're at home. So not quite sure what I thought I saw in the car yesterday. Fortunately I find some gaiters lurking under the passenger seat so at least the bottom of my legs will be dry. Then I look for the gloves that I'd had such trouble finding about 10 minutes earlier. No sign of them. Bugger, after all that I must have left them at home, so scrabble about for the spare pair that I know are also lurking under the passenger seat. Find those and put them on...cold and damp but hey ho, they'll soon warm up. Put hands in pocket to get keys...oh, there are my nice warm gloves! Hiding all the time!

At that point I gave up on the day.

Monday, 21 February 2005


Last week Milk Monster's Mum blogged about the changes Nestle are making to Smarties packaging. I sent off a suitable "disgusted of Wimbledon" e-mail and I've had the following response:

Dear Angela

Thank you for your email regarding the new hexatube packaging for Smarties. As with any change to a long established and much loved product there are bound to be loyal users who feel upset.

Smarties have been available in markets throughout Europe for many years now, starting in the UK 67 years ago. We are, however, always looking at ways to improve our products to give more to the consumer in terms of both taste and value for money and we are obviously concerned to maintain the highest possible standards for our products. This is the first ever change to the traditional Smartie tube.

We are aware that people had a lot of fun with the tube and the plastic lids however, the new hexatube is a great development for Smarties, the flip-top lid is resealable and we will be placing quirky messages, stickers or images on the flip-top lid.

With regard to using the tubes for fundraising, we are aware of a great number of fund-raising schemes involving Smarties tubes as 'collection' boxes. Because of the need to ensure that tubes which have been partially filled are not mistaken as containing sweets, resulting in a coin being swallowed, we have always declined to offer support to such schemes.

I hope this explains some of the reasons for the change.

Kind regards

Karen Short

Consumer Services
International Freephone 00800 63785385

Friday, 18 February 2005

Test your reflexes

Best I can manage is "Bouncing Bobcat"!

Thursday, 17 February 2005


I am being thwarted at every turn. I'm probably not but it damn well feels like it at the moment.

Sometime ago I blogged that I'd bought a new peecee and bemoaned that I now had to work out how to transfer the data from my old one onto my new one. A dear friend was coming down to help me celebrate my birthday and was going to bring with him a USB memory stick. As the celebrations were cancelled, said transfer of data never happened. So this week I took a very daring plunge into the technermalogical world and purchased my own USB memory stick (£8 from e-bay :))

It duly arrived and I booted up the old peecee, inserted the stick and all seemed hunky dory....until I tried to install the driver. My cd-rom didn't want to work. So I took the base apart to try and find out why. No apparent reason and then I discovered that if I right-clicked on something or another I got an "eject" option. Hurrah! It ejected!

So CD duly inserted and lots of clicking and whirring ensued. However, it seems that the driver is not on the CD-rom that comes with it - you have to connect to the intermaweb to do that. Except I now have broadband and old peecee isn't set up for broadband. So, I thought I could connect it to the normal phone line and access it on a pay as you go basis. Nope. Old peecee only wants to connect via my old BTAnytime account which, of course, I don't have anymore.

So far and so bloody thwarted. Boo hiss.

And now I can't get the base unit back together. Boo bloody hiss again.

Wednesday, 16 February 2005

Stupid Guilt

One day a month I work at home so that I can have peace and quiet to write the Board minutes. Yesterday was that day.

I started about 7.45am, broke off to walk the Lurchers at 8.45am. Got back to it at 9.30am and then worked my butt off without a break (apart from making the odd cup of tea and grabbing some lunch to eat at my desk and well, OK..the odd quick flick around the intermaweb when I lacked inspiration) until 4.15pm when I finished. I delivered the draft to the Chairman (who also happens to be my next door neighbour and landlord) and then at 4.30pm departed in what was left of the wintry sunshine to walk the Lurchers again.

Now, I don't tell you this for plaudits. I tell you because of what happened next. 5 minutes out on the walk I met a member of the Commons' staff (that's the trouble with walking the Lurchers where you work) who looked at me, looked at his watch, looked at me again and said something along the lines of "I thought you were working at home....this looks more like walking your dogs". Now, it doesn't matter how much you protest that you've already worked more hours than you do in a normal day in the office, no-one believes you and they automatically think you're skiving off.

I spent the rest of the walk keeping to the trees and I actually hid behind my car as one member of staff went past so he wouldn't see me. It's pathetic isn't it!? Why do we feel such guilt when we know we've done a good days' work?

Monday, 14 February 2005

Ohhh my daaarling

Lurcher No. 1 received a Valentine's card. I didn't.

Not that I expected one, mind you, as we don't "do" Valentine's in this house, what with it's true meaning being lost in the depths of time and the profits of greeting card companies. And the fact that OH is possibly the least romantic person I know. Although he did excel himself the first Valentine's Day of our then budding relationship. I worked in town in those days and parked my car at the station, whence I caught a train. On my return that evening I found a single daffodil, my favourite flower, under my windscreen wiper. Awww....

The fact that it had been nicked from someone's garden somehow seemed to make it even more romantic!

Happy Valentine's Day!

Saturday, 12 February 2005

Dressing up

We went to a fundraising dinner dance last night - our local rugby club are raising funds to send their under 16s team on a tour to the southern hemisphere. We rarely go to any of these dressing up type of events and, as is ever the way, I had nothing suitable in my wardrobe to wear. So last Saturday morning I went and bought myself a little black number. I have to say it was quite a racy little black number and very daring compared to my normal attire. Well, let's face it, anything is a little more racy than jeans and a jumper. It was a very close-fitting, halter-neck all-in-one trouser affair with no back (yes I know halter necks don't have a back, that's the whole point of them, but this really had no back as what there was at the back was cut very low), plunged at the front and barely covered my modesty. The question of what supportive under-garment I was going to wear under it didn't arise, there was no way said garment could be worn under it. No bopping around the dance floor for me then! But it was one of those outfits that made me feel good as soon as I put it on and it had to be had.

There were, however, two things I forgot to bear in mind.

Firstly, trying something on in the morning, before you have eaten, is very different to trying something on at the end of a day when breakfast and lunch have been consumed. Especially when it's a very snug fit. OH managed to zip me into it but any breathing out on my part was possibly going to result in disaster. I spent a very uncomfortable evening sitting bolt upright and moving as little as possible.

Secondly, I hadn't given a thought to what going to the loo might entail. I discovered that what it does entail is the total removal of said outfit. In a drafty rugby club loo, this was not fun. Neither was trying to zip myself back into it. My arms simply do not bend in that direction.

Talking of dressing-up, when we got home, OH turned the TV on and the Rocky Horror Picture Show was on. That has to be my all time favourite romp of a film although it does always leave me wondering how Tim Curry manages to look sexier in a basque than I ever could.

Thursday, 10 February 2005

Ding dong..

So Charles and Camilla are getting married. Now is that ever creating heating debate! Personally I think good for them, they should have got married 30 years ago and a lot of unhappiness could have been avoided.

But people are getting so worked up about it....he had an unhappy marriage and did the dirty on his missus. So missus did the dirty back. Gosh, that puts them in a minority of one then doesn't it? How many other couples have been through exactly the same scenario then moved on and made a happier life for themselves? Lots I should think, including several of my own family. So why do people make such a fuss? Let them get on with their lives and be happy.

Tuesday, 8 February 2005


I never cease to be amazed about how the karma of the universe works.

The rescue I volunteer with has just taken on a lurcher bitch whom we suspect may have Laryngeal Paralysis. Treatment is a fairly straightforward operation but it doesn't come cheap...we're probably looking at close to £1,000 all in. We have the funds to pay for it although it will leave a rather large dent in our bank account. But we feel it's worth it because she is only 3 years old and will live a perfectly normal life afterwards....even if one well-known veterinary establishment, that shall remain nameless, feels that financially it isn't viable and we should just cut our losses and put her to sleep.

Then yesterday, we heard that a theatre group are closing down and want to donate the funds they have left to a deserving cause. And they chose us. £950 is what they are giving us. I can't thank these people enough for their generosity - how brilliant are they!?

It's a bit spooky though!

Saturday, 5 February 2005



Gavin Henson...we salute you!

Friday, 4 February 2005

Ups and downs

Down because we had to bury Chaz the Hamster today after she departed for hamster heaven last night. Little creatures that steal a big bit of your heart.

Up and down because I had to pull a greyhound from out of a home where he was not really wanted anylonger. His owner had to leave him on his own all day so thought it best to find a home where he would have company. Such a shame as he had been there for 4 years. He came away with nothing but his lead and didn't even glance backwards once. Loved but not really "loved". He's staying with me tonight and will be on towards his new home tomorrow.

And tomorrow the 6 Nations starts. England v Wales. I think this year that maybe Wales might have the edge and I shall be celebrating tomorrow night. Then again, I could be eating my words!

Wednesday, 2 February 2005

Some days are not so good

On Saturday afternoon, the police informed us of a missing person that they believed was last seen heading for the Common. We searched Saturday, Sunday and Monday. On Tuesday, we found his body. Some bits of my job are not so nice.

Monday, 31 January 2005

Food glorious food

My life seems to revolve around food.

A quick trip to Waitrose to buy a couple of things resulted in an embarrassing moment involving blueberries and me crawling around on my hands and knees. It also resulted in me managing to spend sixty squids. Quite how that happened I don't know but there is something about Waitrose that seems to make me spend a lot more squids than if I'd just popped into Tesco. That's why I only go to Waitrose when I've just been paid.

I made dinner (bolognaise) and some parsnip soup for lunch, whipped up from some home-made chicken stock I just happened to have to hand, of course. Then I made OH's trough box (that's a lunch box to the uninitiated). As we're both on a bit of a "watch what we eat" thing at the moment (Gillian McKeith has a lot to answer for), making his trough box isn't as simple as chucking a few bits of processed ham between to pasty looking bits of bread. Nope, it involves avacado salad (peel avocado and toss in lemon juice, chop lettuce, tomato and spring onion), fruit salad (peal and chop mango, peel and chop Kiwi, wash blueberries (dratted things) and raspberries) and freshly baked, home-made bread. Then once that's done I have to put The Lurcher's breakfast together. One box for me to take for Lurcher No.2 and one for OH to take for Lurcher No.1. That's before I even start to think about getting my food together.

Now, before you start to think I'm Martha Stewart out on bail, OH will be the first to tell you, and I will be the first to admit, that whilst I can cook a mean supper and provide a trough box extraordinaire, I have great difficulty in tidying up after myself. Consequently this feast-making few hours has resulted in my kitchen looking like a force 10 gale has blown through it, leaving a trail of debris in it's wake. Ho hum. Just as well I have OH to clean up after me. Worst of all, the whole process will have to be repeated tomorrow and every night this week. By Wednesday night I often find myself resorting to processed ham and pasty looking bits of bread.

Oh, and there is a new item at the top of the Devil's Food list. Avocado. The texture is awful, the taste is awful and it's...well, just awful.

Sunday, 30 January 2005

Bang bang

Having seemingly been successful in accustomising Lurcher No.2 to fireworks - there was a very loud fireworks party next door last night and he didn't bat an eyelid - we thought we might try introducing him to the gun this morning.

OH goes clay-pigeon shooting several times a month and I like to go along from time to time, however, as dogs shouldn't be introduced to the gun until they are at least a year old, I haven't been for some time. It wasn't hugely successful as Lurcher No.2 stood there shaking like a leaf as soon as the guns started. So I took him off for a walk somewhere much quieter. But slowly slowly catchee monkey and we have made a start. We'll keep trying for five minutes at a time, every few weeks and see how we go. If he never becomes accustomed to them, then so be it and I shall enjoy having Sunday mornings lazing at home instead. Oh dear! ;o)

Thursday, 27 January 2005

Nuggets of information

I was trawling the intermaweb the other day and came across these gems:

According to U.S. FDA standards, 1 cup of orange juice is allowed to contain 10 fruit fly eggs, but only 2 maggots. Thirsty!?

In Michigan, a woman isn't allowed to cut her own hair without her husband's permission.

On a Canadian two dollar bill, the flag flying over the Parliament Building is an American flag.

Cat's urine glows under a blacklight.

American's are responsible for eating 75% of the world's daily chocolate intake.

The dot over the letter 'i' is called a tittle.

Nutmeg is extremely poisonous if injected intravenously

Ingrown toenails are hereditary.

Only humans and horses have hymens.

A full seven percent of the entire Irish barley crop goes to the production of Guinness beer. (As it should!)

The longest word in the English language, according to the Oxford English Dictionary, is pneumonoultramicroscopicsilicovolcanoconiosis. The only other word with the same amount of letters is pneumonoultramicroscopicsilicovolcanoconioses, it's plural.

The longest place-name still in use is Taumatawhakatangihangakoauauotamateaturipukakapikim tungahoronukupokaiwhenuakita natahu, a New Zealand hill.

Los Angeles's full name is "El Pueblo de Nuestra Senora la Reina de los Angeles de Porciuncula" and can be abbreviated to 3.63% of its size, "L.A."

Grapes explode when you put them in the microwave. No! Get away!

A pig's orgasm lasts for 30 minutes. A pig's penis is shaped like a corkscrew.

It's impossible to sneeze with your eyes open. There's a very good reason for that so please don't try - your eyes would pop out of your head!

Charles de Gaulle's final words were, "It hurts"

The microwave was invented after a researcher walked by a radar tube and a chocolate bar melted in his pocket.

The average person falls asleep in seven minutes.

Certain frogs can be frozen solid then thawed, and continue living.

When a giraffe's baby is born it falls from a height of six feet, normally without being hurt.

Reindeer milk has more fat than cow milk.

It was discovered on a space mission that a frog can throw up. The frog throws up it's stomach first, so the stomach is dangling out of it's mouth. Then the frog uses it's forearms to dig out all of the stomach's contents and then swallows the stomach back down again. (oooh,nice!)

Ten percent of the Russian government's income comes from the sale of vodka.

During menstruation, the sensitivity of a woman's middle finger is reduced. (It is also the most over used finger) Ummmmm......

The average chocolate bar has 8 insects' legs in it.

In the next seven days, 800 Americans will be injured by their jewelry.

In 2003, the U.S. Government spent about $2,000,000.00 on potato research. (40% of Americans eat french fries as their daily vegetable intake)

In Oblong, Illinois, it's punishable by law to make love while hunting or fishing on your wedding day.

The average American eats at McDonalds 1,811 times in their life.

Q-Tip Cotton Swabs were originally called Baby Gays.

In America in 1977, the punishment for smuggling marijiuana was 15 years less than the punishment for smuggling coffee!

To burn off one plain M&M candy, you need to walk the full length of a football field.

Queen Elizabeth II has a rubber duck in her private bath with an inflatable crown.

'Formicophilia' is the fetish for having small insects crawl on your genitals. Eeewwww

Sunday, 23 January 2005


I should have been writing this blog with a hangover. Although that would not have been indicative of me having a complete skinful last night because it only takes one drink to give me a hangover. But that's by the by because I don't have a hangover. And that's because I didn't have a drink. And that's because we didn't have a dinner party after all. And that's because all the people who were supposed to come to dinner, didn't. And that's because on Friday I took the decision to postpone all celebrations of the "oh no four oh". I had the lurgy and half the people that should have been coming had the lurgy and so wouldn't be coming after all. Not wanting to celebrate with only half my friends, I cancelled and we shall re-group in early March. Because.

This has left me and OH with a bit of a hole where the weekend should have been so we've been at a bit of a loss as to what to do with ourselves. The lurgy fizzled away without taking hold (hurrah!) so we've been twiddling thumbs a bit. Taking The Lurchers for nice long walks in the glorious winter sunshine - and not in the snow as the weatherman promised us. A trip to PetsAtHome resulted in a nice new cage for Chaz The Hamster and new feeders for the wild birds in the garden. Other than that, a quiet time has been had.

And I cried watching Stargate.

Friday, 21 January 2005

Uh-oh four oh

I've spent the years since my 30th birthday wondering what it woul feel like to wake up and be 40. I don't feel very different at all. Well, that's not strictly true, I do feel different. I've woken up with the lurgy. :0(

Thursday, 20 January 2005

I don't want to be morbid but...

....OH and I had to go to a funeral this morning and it got us thinking about what we'd want to happen to us when we finally depart this earth. Neither of us are at all religious so don't think that the "usual" funeral would be appropriate for us. Many years ago I decided I really couldn't be doing with a funeral at all, mainly because I thought no-one would bother to turn up and how sad would that be? So I decided I wouldn't take the risk of being a billy no-mates and would leave my body to science. It won't be much use to me so someone might as well get some use out of it rather than just feeding the worms. I know worms have to eat as well but, well, there's plenty of other things they can find to munch on I'm sure.

I did a little research on the intermaweb (what did we ever do before the intermaweb I wonder?) and did you know that strictly speaking, one cannot legally own one's own dead body and, therefore, cannot legally bequeath or donate it? So who does own it then? It's up to those who survive you to carry out your wishes, or not, should they decide to be awkward.

It also leaves me with something of a dilemma. I have registered as a donor so that any bit of me that's needed can be used by someone more needy than I obviously will be at that particualr juncture. But, if you donate anything other than your eyes, you can't leave your body for research. There also seems to be a few other caveats about leaving your body for research; it can't be done if an inquest has been carried out and a coroner has got his hands on you, or if the particular establishment you want to leave your body to is short of storage space....or staff.

So regardless of what I might wish to happen to me, it seems I might have to make a back-up plan for a funeral after all.

Tuesday, 18 January 2005


How could he not notice!!??

Breaking news: Hamster much improved this morning. Course of antibiotics from vet should hold a lung infection at bay. Yay!

Monday, 17 January 2005

Not just yet. Please, not just yet

Chaz, my hamster, is not well. As she is now two and a half, she is well into old age for a hamster. We'll be off to the vet in the morning but I'm steeling myself for the inevitable.

As my assignment is "Harry Potter and the Hamster of Fire", perhaps you'll forgive me if there is a delay in blogging it.

Saturday, 15 January 2005

ohhh I hurt!

I was totally led astray by the fact that I didn't hurt very much after I went riding on Christmas morning. So I went again today. And I hurt. A lot.

I think I know why. We have a new horse in the yard and everyone has been raving about how wonderful he is and the Senior Keeper offered to let me experience this myself. He's a big horse, 17hh, but not as wide as the hulking brute of a horse I rode on Christmas Day so I didn't think there'd be too much of a problem in the aching legs department. Unfortunately, I forgot to take into account the fact that he isn't a cavalry trained, push button horse, as the others in the yard are. He's an ex-hunter, from Ireland, whose idea of "push button" is "push the button and surge forwards, sideways, up and down all at the same time". That tends to have something of an "oh crap" effect on me. Consequently, my legs were glued to this horse for the whole 1.5 hours we were out and muscles were somewhat tense. But it was a fab ride all the same!

A hot bath when I got home might have helped soothe the hurt but there was no time. Get in, get changed and head straight out to Twickers for the Harlequins v Munster Heineken Cup match. Walking several miles to the ground followed by another 2 hours sitting on a hard seat and standing on hard concrete yelling at the Quins to get their butts into gear have taken their toll on my unfit body. And I hurt. Did I mention that?

The things we do in the name of fun!

Friday, 14 January 2005

We are sailing

I write to you through the wonders of Broadband! I can't believe I waited so long to sign up.... it's so damn fast! Having one or two teething problems accessing one of my e-mail accounts but I'm sure I'll get them ironed out. Especially now that I am brimming with confidence at managing to install it all by myself. For a complete technophobe I'm really quite proud of myself. Mind you, it's not that difficult given that BT give you step by step instructions that even a 2 year old couldn't fail to manage.

Other news....oh, there is no other news. Life is as exciting as it ever isn't!

Thursday, 13 January 2005

The call of the waves

Wanted. One holiday cottage in Cornwall or West Wales that allows The Lurchers and smokers, is by the sea, isn't in a complex with other "cottages" and has a private garden. Not as easy as you might think. I may have to broaden my search.

You see, the sea is calling me. I grew up by the sea and I miss it, there not being much of it in South West London. Every so often I start to crave the sea. Not to be in it, but to be sitting by it, listening to the waves pounding on the beach or the rocks. Once the craving starts, it becomes an itch that I can't scratch and becomes intolerable until I get to sit by the sea.

The sea is the balm that soothes the irritation.

Wednesday, 12 January 2005

A dilemma

My day started very early. In fact, it started before the last one had properly finished. I was just dropping off to sleep last night and my mind was wandering through what I had done during the day. Not a lot as it happens as I had been working on the Board minutes, at home - so I could get some peace and quiet. Once I'd finished, I'd popped out to the bank to pay in a cheque. The bank was closed but I used the DepositPoint facility in the lobby, with a paying-in slip from my cheque-book.

As my mind reached this point in it's wanderings, it suddenly occurred to me that I couldn't remember picking up my chequebook off the counter. I shot out of bed and turned my bag out onto the floor and emptied my coat chequebook. So 1am this morning found me on the phone to my bank cancelling the remaining cheques.

I don't write cheques very often and checking my last statement, I didn't think I'd written one since the middle of December so stopping the remaining cheques wouldn't be a problem. However, it has just occurred to me that I paid for my computer by cheque at the end of December and it hasn't come out of my account yet. And I've just stopped it. Oops! So now I have a dilemma....the bank have told me to re-issue the cheque rather than try to stop the errrmmm... stop, if you follow. But, a friend of mine seems to have this uncanny luck with clearing banks losing her cheques and the money not coming out of her account. So, do I do the decent hting as and upright an honest person and re-issue the cheque, or keep my head down in the hope that some of that luck has rubbed off on me and they've lost my cheque? Three weeks is a long time for a major company not to pay a cheque in, even with Christmas and New Year holidays. Isn't it?

Tuesday, 11 January 2005

Hot hot hot

Today our boiler was fixed and we have hot water again. Hurrah! For the last 6 weeks or so, having a shower in the morning had begun to resemble a military operation.

Go to bathroom and turn on taps in the shower.

Go to kitchen and turn on tap in sink.

Turn temperature gauge on boiler off and on again.

Wait for water from kitchen tap to run hot.

Return to bathroom to check water there is running hot.

Return to kitchen and turn off water.

Return to bathroom and have shower.

However, the gremlins moved in when we were away over the weekend and yesterday morning the water wouldn't run hot at all. Washing my hair in cold water first thing on a Monday morning is not my ideal way to start the week. Especially when I have to attend a Board meeting. Dearest Boss came to the rescue and let me use her shower. She has one of those shower heads the size of a dinner plate that sends water cascading down with such force that it's all you can do to stand under it.

I want one of those!