Sunday, 31 December 2006

10, 9, 8...............


Thursday, 28 December 2006

Wimpy Hound

Lurcher No. 2 is a wimp. That is now official.

He was stretched out fast asleep on the sofa last night (we get the hard chairs - that's just how it is when you live with lurchers) and when he woke up he started whining with that "I hurt.....a lot" type of whine. Checked him over and apart from a few fresh scrapes (resulting from chasing bunnies through bushes in the dark) there appeared to be nothing wrong. Thinking he might have cramp, I rubbed and stretched his leg and he just lay there with his ears back shaking like a leaf.

He spent the rest of the evening shaking and whining and I had absolutely no idea what was wrong. His stomach felt fine, no wincing as I palpitated it and no other outward signs of a problem. So I got him up on the bed with me and spent a sleepless night continually checking he was OK and still breathing (don't ask, it's a phobia of mine).

This morning I gave him the once over again and found the cause of the problem. Another graze on the inside of his thigh. Barely noticeable and I only saw it this morning because it had started to bruise. It's obviously sore but I can't believe I spent a sleepless, panicky night over a bruise.

There are days when I really wish they could talk.

Wednesday, 27 December 2006

That's all over then

No sooner does Christmas arrive than it's all done and dusted and can be put back into the box for next year.

We had a good time wiht one or two minor blips along the way. OH decided to go into pissed-off mood on the way home on Christmas night. This despite it being gone midnight and us discussing and deciding some days before Christmas that we would come home, rather than find some floor space to sleep on. I soon put him straight on that and, fortunately for him, the mood passed.

We won't mention presents. Suffice to say a nightshirt and three pairs of knickers do not a Christmas make. Yes they were on my Christmas list and yes, they were things I wanted but there were lots of other much more interesting things on my list. Ho hum. That will teach me!

OH and I are off to buy our Christmas presents in the sales. We need so much for the cottage that we thought we wouldn't waste money on presents for ourselves this year. So hopefully we will be going out this weekend to buy a flat-screen TV - a bit of a luxury as our current TV is only about 3 years old but it's too big for the room. Also hoping to get a fridge-freezer and a small chest freezer.

Mum gave us money this year and not sure what we're doing with that yet. It's not enough to buy anything substantial but enough that I don't want to just fritter it away. I think we'll put it towards buying materials to frame all the prints we have that need framing. Another project OH says he can do rather than pay someone else exhorbitant sums of money to do it. Watch this space.

OH is also plotting something. A few times over the last few days he has suddenly stopped conversation when I've walked in the room. I think, judging by the few words I overheard, that it's something to do with chickens. This could be interesting!!

I ate far too much food and really can't face the thought of eating anything today, although 1/2 dozen chocolates seem to have slipped past my lips already.

Hope you all had a good one!

Sunday, 24 December 2006

It's arrived then

Merry Christmas everyone!

Saturday, 23 December 2006

Oh if I must.......

Nicked from Stu

1. Ever been given an engagement ring?
Twice although I never married

2. Longest friendship?
Bestestest friend Niki - at least 12 years

3. Last gift you received?
Apart from Christmas presents, probably my birthday last January...and I can't remember what it was!

4. How many times have you dropped your cell?
A few

5. When’s the last time you worked out?
At least 8 years ago

6. Thing you spend a lot of money on?

7. Last food you ate?
Roast chicken dinner with roast sweet potatoes, roast parsnips, spring greens and sprouts, lashings of gravy

8. First thing you notice about the opposite sex?

9. One favourite song?
Steelers Wheel - Stuck in the Middle with you

10. Where do you live?

11. Cell phone service provider?

12. Favourite mall store?
None. I hate shopping!

13. Longest job ever had?
4 years as a PA for DMGT

14. Do you own a pair of dice?
Lots, for playing a very similar game to the one Stu mentioned, Yahtzee and sundry ther games

15. Do you prank call people?

16. Last wedding attended?
Ummm.....friends Steve and Trudi about 5 years ago

17. First friend you’d call if you won the lottery?

18. Last time you attended church?
Cousin's wedding about 6 years ago

19. How old are you?

20. Biggest lie you have heard?
It's in the post

21. What do you want to drive?
Something completely irresponsible and fast and low-slung!

22. Where’s your favourite place to eat with friends?
At home

23. Can you cook?
Yes. I love cooking, when I'm in the mood anyway. I make a mean Apple Pie!

24. What car do you drive?
Peugeot 406 Estate (W - 2000)

25. Best kisser?
Lordy.......pass on that one!

26. Last time you cried?

27. Most disliked food?

28. Thing you like most about yourself?
My feet and my overwhelming desire to help lost souls (believe it or not!)

29. Thing you dislike most about yourself?
My lack of confidence in myself and my tendency to fly off the handle at silly things.

30. Longest shift you have worked at a job?
12 hours when we have a Board meeting - although I do get a two hour break

31. Favourite movie?
Steel Magnolias

32. Can you sing?
Can't hold a tune in a bucket!

33. Last concert?
Probably Chris Rea. Years ago!

34. Last kiss?
This morning

35. What colour are your eyes?

36. Who knows your darkest secret?
Nobody except me.

37. Last movie rented?
No idea. Too long ago

38. Thing you never leave home without?
Keys, tobacco, mobile, The Lurchers and poo bags (seem to have them in every pocket!)

39. Favourite vacation spot?
North Cornwall

40. Do you like Chinese food?
Love it!

42. Is your room clean?
You're having a laugh aren't you!? No.

43. Laptop or desktop computer?

44. Favourite comedian?

45. Do you smoke?

46. Sleep with or without clothes?

47. Who sleeps with you every night?
OH and The Lurchers

48. Long distance relationships work?

49. How many times have you been pulled over by the police?

50. Pancakes or French toast?

51. Do you like coffee?
I go through phases. I usually drink herbal tea but am in a coffee phase at the moment

52. How do you like your eggs?
Scrambled with cheese

53. Do you believe in astrology?
Yes, if it's a personal chart. Not the crap in the newspapers

54. Last person you talked to on the phone?

55. Last person on your missed call list?

56. What was the last text message you received?
Someone asking me about a vet bill

57. McDonalds or Burger King?
Neither but Burger King if pushed.

58. Number of pillows?
4 when I'm sitting up reading. 2 for sleeping - one under my head one over my head.

59. What are you wearing right now?
Slobabout jersey trousers, t-shirt and sweatshirt. Sheepskin boot slippers

60. Pick a lyric, any lyric or song?
"In the Land of the Pigs, the Butcher is King" You've got to love Meat Loaf!

61. What kind of jelly do you like on your PB & J sandwich?
Never had one.

62. Can you play pool?

63. Do you know how to swim?

64. Favourite ice cream?
Expensive vanilla or mint choc chip

65. Do you like maps?
Yes,, love'em!

66. Tell me a random fact about yourself?
I'm a Reiki Master (believe it or not...again!)

67. Do you do drugs?
Nothing illegal although I used to smoke pot. Although the combination of anaesthesia and morphine when I was in hospital was pretty damn good! Take Thyroxin every day to make up for the lack of a thyroid gland.

68. Ever attend a theme party?

69. What is your favourite season?
Autumn. I love the colours.

70. Last time you laughed at something stupid?
Tuesday - staff party at a Chinese karaoke restaurant

71. What time did you wake up this morning?
5.30am ( I wanted to get to the supermarket for a few bits before the crowds.)

72. Best thing about winter?
Hoar frosts

73. Last time a cop gave you a ticket?
Got caught by a speed camera last May if that counts.

74. What’s the scariest thing you’ve ever done?
Spent thenight ina haunted house and held a sceance

75. Name of your first pet?

76. Do you think pirates are cool or overrated?

77. What are you doing this weekend?
A bit of shopping, bought tiles for the cottage. Fed the lads working at the cottage. Wrapping presents. Cooking.

78. Who’s your best friend?

79. What is the third letter of your name?

80. How old are your pets?
Lurcher No.1 - 6. Lurcher No.2 3. Lola (Hamster) about 18 months. Appollo Gemini Valentine (hamster) 22 months

81. What colour is your backpack?

82. Are you sick?
Bit of a cold hanging round

84. Is the bathroom open?

87. Are you smiling?
Not at the moment no.

88. Do you have on eye-liner?

89. Do you miss someone right now?
Niki and my Grandpa who died 18 months ago.

90. If you could go anywhere in the world where would you go?

91. Do you have a Myspace?

92. Are you in high school?

93. Do you have a crush?

94. What is your favourite nickname for yourself?
Silly cow

95. What colour is your bathing suit?

96. What’s your favourite brand of water?
The cheap stuff from Asda but Pellegrino if I'm really splashing out.

97. Did you go on vacation last month?

98. Have you ever been on a cruise?

99. Do you have a sister?

100. Are you upstairs?
No - live in a flat.

Thursday, 21 December 2006


Tonight I decided to go shopping. Perhaps not the best choice you might have thought, given my experiences on Monday. But I headed off to Tesco determined I was not going to get stressed or worked up at all.

I didn't faff that the car park was full and just calmly parked in the first available spot I came to. I strolled around quietly, oblivious to everyone around me and took time to stop and look at things properly, rather than the smash and grab affair that a visit to Tesco usually consists of. I found myself a nice clock for the new kitchen and bought a new outfit for our staff party tomorrow afternoon. I bought some house magazines to look for inspiration and I bought myself some Christmas flowers. I didn't get wound up when the till I was queuing at broke down nor did I get stressed when it finally got to be my turn and the check-out girl had to sign off for her break.

See how much easier that was!?

And look!!

I nearly have a bathroom

And I nearly have a kitchen!

And so on to Monday.....

On Monday I went Christmas shopping. I hate shopping. I hate shopping more than anything else I have to do and Christmas shopping is my idea of hell on earth.

I opted to go to Wimbledon rather than Kingston, which was my first mistake. Wimbledon has all the right shops but for some reason they are all the poor relations of their respective chain-store families. Kingston, on the other hand, has all the flagship stores and the best in-town shopping centre for miles. By the time this mistake dawned on me there was no point in trying to get to Kingston because it would be heaving.

My second mistake was not wearing summer clothes. Why do they keep the shops so hot when they know it's raining outside and people will be wearing winter coats!!?? So as the morning progresses, I can't find what I need anywhereI'm getting hotter and hotter and more and more flustered when I finally erupted in Boots. Looking for a particular item, three members of staff told me it was nothing to do with them and I needed to speak to someone else. No helping me look or offering to help me find the right person, all three of them just said "that department's nothing to do with me" and went back to what they were doing. I was furious!! Whatever happened to customer service? I threw my basket on the floor and stormed out muttering like a mad could see people parting like the Red Sea in front of me!!

Then I headed back to the car park and nearly just collapsed and cried....I couldn't find my car. I knew exactly where I'd left it but it wasn't there. I have a terrible habit of forgetting to lock it and really thought, that's it, it's gone. I walked up and down the rows of cars pressing the remote control button hoping I had just had a memory lapse and I hadn't left it where I thought I had. Nothing.

Then it occurred to me that I was on the Lower Ground level. My car was on the Upper Ground level. I really am starting to worry about the state of my mind.

Fast-forwarding to this morning......I'm looking after my neighbours chickens and put the single egg they'd laid overnight in my pocket. And forgot about it. Until I got to work when it broke in my coat pocket all over two sets of keys! Then I dropped a half-full tin of coffee all over the office floor.

I think I need to go and lie down in a darkened room until I regain some equilibrium. Dakota, I need some of your wise words please!

Wednesday, 20 December 2006

So, a fraught few days then.

This is likely to get confusing so you might have to make some effort to keep up but I need to get this down so that I can remind myself about how I sometimes just fly off into one...and how little it actually achieves.

It started on Sunday. I was up early as I wanted to get down to the Sunday market before the crowds. 7.45am - all ready to go. I hadn't slept well the night before and was tired and probably already a bit short-tempered. And then I couldn't find my purse. That's not particularly unusual because I always leave things in places where they are not supposed to be left but as long as no-one else moves them I can always work my way backwards to where I left whatever it is and find it. Except this time I couldn't find it and started to have some slight palpitations.

I mentally retraced my steps and knew it had to be either in the office where I had last seen it, or at the cottage, which was the last place I had been. Called my boss, no, she hadn't seen it at the office. Now the palpitations get worse and I start panicking, and I really mean panicking. There was no money in my purse, just my Debit card and, more importantly, Greyhound Gap's Debit card, and that was frightening the life out of me....what if someone had stolen it and taken all the money out of the account? You know how your mind can go from a standing start to total panic in the space of about 2 seconds flat?

On top of that, the veg stall at the market has an ordering system in place for the Christmas period and I had to hand in a list of what veg I want to collect on Christmas Eve. As my boss uses them as well and was working, she had asked me to drop her list in for her. And I'd put her list in my purse thinking that would be sensible and that I wouldn't lose it. Ironic eh? So, before I do anything else, I had to go to the office, photocopy my form and get my boss to fill hers in again. Half way there I realise I haven't picked my list up so scream to a the sound of all the boxes of tiles on the back seat of my car sliding into the footwells. Get home and find the list was in my coat pocket the whole time. That makes me spit and curse even more.

All this time, the panicking is getting worse because I keep thinking about the money in the Gap Bank account. So there I am in the office screaming at the photocopier because it is taking so long to warm up and then I'm pacing round my boss's house whilst she fills her list in again and then screaming even more loudly at the silly Sunday morning drivers and panicking because I'm going to be late at the market and it's going to be heaving and I really can't deal with crowds.

You'd think the sensible thing to do would be to cancel the cards but I didn't want to do that until I'd checked everywhere. With hindsight, I can see that some part of my brain was organising me and making me do things in the logical order, which makes me think that I must have slightly obsessive tendencies. For example, if my planned schedule gets changed at short notice or I'm going to be late or if I have to do things in the least logical or slowest way then a switch flicks in my brain and I hit total tantrum/panic/anger mode at train-wreck speed.

Hence me getting vegetable order forms sorted out before checking everywhere first, because that was the logical thing to do as the office is closer to home than the cottage.

Which is a pity really because if I'd checked everywhere first then I would have found my purse at the cottage and wouldn't have got myself into such a state.

Friday, 15 December 2006

No Red

I decided against a dark colour of tile in the bathroom in the end. The room is small and once we have the antique pine wall cupboard up and the shelves fitted and filled with stuff, the dark tiles will just make the room seem like it's collapsing in on itself.

So, I've chosen these three colours instead:

Now the only decision to be made is what pattern we set them up in. At the moment I'm thinking mainly cream with a double row of alternating terracotta and mustard as a border all the way around the area that's being tiled. I think.

Having decided on which floor tiles I wanted, I bought them too. Then started having palpitations when I got back because I'd seen another tile I thought I might like better. OH is being very patient but kept saying "Angela, I can live with whatever you decide. But, please, MAKE A DECISION!".

Ho hum.

I should be grateful that choosing the colour of wall-tiles is the only problem occupying my mind at the moment......well, that and the fact that I haven't started Christmas shopping yet. Others, I know, have more weighty problems and they are in my thoughts.

Wednesday, 13 December 2006


I am absolutely pooped, it's 10.45 and we've only just eaten dinner and I'm too full to go to bed.

Still, my kitchen arrived this morning and OH has started building it!! It remains to be seen if MFI have managed to get the delivery right first time! The central heating is installed and we're just waiting for the oil tank to be connected to the boiler to check it all works.

We have to get the bathroom tiled this weekend so the plumbers can come back and fit the shower and the basin....and I still haven't chosen what wall tiles I want. We're having dark grey ceramic tiles on the floor and antique cream (off-white to you and me) paint on the walls. So any suggestions? I'm erring towards a burnt red or terracotta at the moment. The tiles will only be in the shower cubicle so I'm thinking a splash of colour would be rather good! Mother, being like most mothers, can't see the problem with plain old white and when I mention red, she reminds me, with a slight "have you completely lost a grip of your senses" tone of voice, that I have to live with these for a long time. Red is looking more and more attractive!!

Saturday, 9 December 2006


I never make quiche.

I never make quiche because it always goes wrong. It either curdles, or won't set properly or some other culinary disaster besets it and it turns out rubbish.

So today I made quiche.

And you know what? It all went right! It was all nicely golden brown and it had risen and set and just looked too scrummy to eat.

And then I forgot to turn the oven off.

*note to self* Never make quiche because it always goes wrong.

Tuesday, 5 December 2006


Yesterday I acquired a chicken coop!

I've been muttering about keeping a couple of chickens once we move to the cottage but OH wasn't 100% convinced. Then fate stepped in. A local school rang work the other day to see if we wanted one as they were getting rid of theirs. They didn't but I did! So I went to see it on Monday, it's great, and I'm picking it up on Wednesday.

It was meant to be really!

Friday, 1 December 2006

Nac Mac Feegle

From up near the roofs came the sounds of a conversation.

'Aye, but pigs are no' that interestin.'

'Oh, I dinnae ken aboot that. A verrae useful animal is the pig. You can eat every part o' it, ye ken, except for the squeal'

'Ach, ye're wrong there. Ye can use the squeal'

'Dinnae be daft'

'Aye, ye can so! Ye make up a pie crust, right, an' ye put in a lot o' ham, right, an' then ye catch the squeal, put the top on the pie before he can escape, right, an' bung it straight in the oven'

'I ne'er heard such a thing as that!'

'Have ye no? It's called squeal and ham pie'

*chortles with laughter*....and that's why I love reading Pratchett!

Tuesday, 28 November 2006

I really wish.....

I really wish that I had some exciting news to impart to you, but I don't.

The parents came up for the weekend.
It rained. A lot.
Lurcher No.2 has a poorly paw again.
I'm still not sleeping well and am very tired. OH's snoring doesn't help so if anyone has any remedies I'd be pleased to hear them!

And that's it! It might be quiet and boring but every now and again, quiet and boring is GOOD!

Thursday, 23 November 2006

Up above the streets and houses.......

.....or, more correctly, up above the Common.

On Tuesday afternoon, the sky turned that really foreboding black, pregnant with the rain that's about to burst forth............oh for heaven's sake, Angela, stop with all the dramatic stuff, you'll never be a writer....

What happened was this.....the sky went black, the sun was shining at the same time, there was a windmill and a rainbow to throw into the mix and, once stirred, you end up with something like this:

Not too bad considering it was shot with work's little Olympus point and shoot as I didn't have my dSLR with me at the crucial moment and nature won't hang around for you to nip home and pick it up.

I haven't given you a cottage update for a while have I!? "No" you cry, "do tell what's occurring". Quite a lot actually. OH has been ploughing on with what he can before the plumbers arrive on 4th December. Walls have been stripped, filled, rubbed down and given a coat of undercoat to help keep the dust at bay. Fireplace has been made good and the mantle piece fixed into place - that's great that is, it's an old oak fence post that OH has cleaned up and oiled and fixed to the wall so it looks like it's hanging there! Aerial man is coming to put in a new aerial and aerial points next week. The kitchen has been paid for and should arrive on 13th December and the delivery of the sofas has been delayed to 8th December - which suits me just fine. Chimney sweep booked for 2nd December and the new wood-burning stove that arrived last week can then be fitted. So it's all moving on slowly and, fingers crossed, we will be installed in the New Year!

Tuesday, 21 November 2006

Think Fast!

Nicked from Stu!

Think Fast Survey- answer with the first thing that pops into your head DONT CHEAT!!!

1. My ex is still…
....drunk probably.

2. I am listening to…
...the sound of a mini-digger as it demolishes the old stable block next my office.

3. Maybe I should… some work rather than be doing this!

4. I love… Lurchers!

5. My bestfriend(s)…. poorly and I can't do anything to help.

6. I dont understand…
.......the minds of some people.

7. I lost respect for… father when he decided his "bit on the side" was more important than his daughter.

9. The meaning of my screen name is… initials: Angela Oakley Jayne

10. Love is…

11. Somewhere, someone is… my alternative reality.

12. I will always… me.

13. Forever seems…
.......too close for comfort with so much to cram in!

14. I never ever want to lose…
......sight of the good things.

15. My mobile phone is…
...errrrmmm around somewhere, just not sure where!

16. When I woke up this morning…
...I hit the snooze button and had a cuddle with Lurcher No.2.

17. I get annoyed at…
....incompetent people.

18. Parties are..
...really not my thing.

19. My pets…
...are my life.

20. Kisses are…..

Monday, 20 November 2006

Marching for Greyhounds

On Saturday I joined about 200 other like-minded people and marched through central London to try and highlight the plight of racing greyhounds. The march was organised following the revelations in the Sunday Times some months ago of the death of thousands of greyhounds at the hands of one man (and I use that term loosely) in Seaham, Co. Durham.

We began the march at Whitehall Place, along Whitehall up to Trafalgar Square and then along Pall Mall and St James's St to Picadilly. From there to Hyde Park Corner and up Park Lane to Speaker's Corner for speeches.

Apparently at Hyde Park Corner we held up the Mayor of London and 5 minutes later the Police Commissioner received an official complaint that the police had allowed us to march that route on a Saturday afternoon. We can only surmise where the complaint came from. How arrogant is that man?

We had one or two famous faces join us, Annette Crosbie and Jaye Griffiths and it was great to have their support.

We can only hope it starts to make a difference. We just all need to keep the momentum going and hopefully, one day, the despicable treatment received by these noble beasts at the hands of the people who are supposed to care for them will be a thing of the past.

Thursday, 16 November 2006

A lesson

Here's a lesson for you:

Do not try to pick up a Le Creuset saucepan with one hand.

In particular, do not try to pick up a Le Creuset saucepan in one hand when it has recently boiled water in it.

And even more importantly, do not then drop that Le Creuset saucepan and chuck that recently boiled water all over yourself.

It hurt. Lots.

Wednesday, 15 November 2006


On Monday night, I got to sleep just fine. Then I woke up at 3am and couldn't get back to sleep so got up at 4am and started working on the Board minutes.

Last night I couldn't get to sleep and it was 3am before I finally dropped off.

As I'm an 8 hours of sleep a night kind of girl, 8 hours sleep in the last 48 hours might just mean that today gets a bit fraught.

Sunday, 12 November 2006

They remember

Saturday, 11 November 2006

Lest we Forget

Remembrance Day

For every red poppy
That grows in the field
Marks the bravery of men
That the battle did kill

For every soldier
That lay down his life
He left behind
A family, a life

For every red poppy
That sways in the breeze
Remember the men
Who died for our peace.

By Vicky Poxon (13)

Friday, 10 November 2006

A Girl Night In

OH has gone out with the boys so I cooked myself my favourite dinner (which OH hates) and watched my favourite film.....I defy anyone to watch Steel Magnolias and not ball their eyes out.

Only one thing wrong....I forgot to get in the chocolate *slaps self for being so remiss*

Thursday, 9 November 2006

Deck the halls.....

...I've just had my first mince pie of the year. It's all downhill from here really, isn't it!? 46 days to Christmas and counting. If I were reading this blog I'd probably want to shoot me for reminding me of that.

Tuesday, 7 November 2006

All gone very quiet

Nothing terribly exciting is happening at the moment. OH is cracking on with stuff at the cottage but it's mainly repairing the rotten floor and other little bits and pieces that don't seem to have much to show for them but are important nonetheless. The electrician turned up, went away again and we've only seen him for a day since. To be fair, he's having some health problems and his girlfriend was attacked by a group of hoodies last night.....not a very nice thing to have happen. The cooker and hob have been delivered and seem to be taking up inordinate amounts of room so they are going to keep getting in the way and I dare say I shall be cursed roundly before much longer!

Friday, 3 November 2006


My taps have arrived and they are each wrapped in their own jersey-cotton drawstring classy is that!?

Bang flippin' Bang

Last night Wimbledon was under sporadic shelling which rapidly turned into a full-on barrage of explosions. Yes, the fireworks have started in earnest.

I have a love hate relationship with fireworks. I love to see them but I hate them because of the effect they have on Lurcher No.2. Last year he was so scared I honestly thought he was going to have an heart attack he was panting so hard. I use all the natural remedies - Rescue Remedy, Dap diffuser, Valerian drops and, although they help, they certainly don't get rid of his fear completely. Last year we had to get some tranquilisers from the vet and we are having to use them again this year. We've been trying to de-sensitise him with the "Scary Sounds" CD but it's a long haul. This weekend is going to be horrendous.

Cottage up-date: the kitchen, toilet, bathroom sink and associated taps are ordered. The cooker and hob are ordered and I've maxed out the boss's credit card!! A visit to IKEA on Tuesday resulted in the purchase of curtains for the bedroom and several other sundry items that really aren't going to be needed until at least next January...I have my priorities in order you know! I'm also watching a couple of wood-burning stoves on e-bay and tomorrow will hopefully be ordering the fridge freezer.

The only fly in the ointment is that the plumbers aren't arriving until the first week of December, which really does knock everything else back but nothing we can do about that so will have to plan accordingly. Unfortunately my sofas are arriving on 1st December and they're going to be in the way but I have to wait for the manufacturers to ring to see if it's possible to change the delivery date and still get them before Christmas.

Wednesday, 1 November 2006


Been back to the Royal Marsden this morning for my test results......BACK TO NORMAL, THE CANCER HAS NOT COME BACK!!

They have taken another blood test just to be sure but it's looking like the blip was just that, a blip. They can't explain it but it does apparently happen sometimes for no explicable reason.


Sunday, 29 October 2006

Where we are now....

OH ripping up the rotten floor joists

What was the fireplace (with Lurcher No. 1)

What's left of the bathroom and kitchen

And this is the wooden ceiling! It still needs a lot of work but it will look fantastic when it's done.

So, what have I been doing whilst OH has been so busy? You may well ask! I have finally sorted out the kitchen, although I am still trying to find someone who will supply the cooker I want cheaper than MFI. Yesterday I trawled through several DIY stores and failed miserably. I also failed miserably to find a bathroom that I like. Why is it so hard to find an old-fashioned loo with a proper handle to flush with? They all seem to have that push button thing like the ones you find in motorway service stations and I think they look horrible. The search continues!

I did, however, manage to buy two sofas today! Yay! An achievement!!

Thursday, 26 October 2006

How hard can it be?

How hard can it be to choose a kitchen?

I thought I had it all sorted out but when I saw the kitchens in MFI, I decided I didn't like the one I'd chosen and saw another one that I fell in love with instead. Tuesday evening we had an appointment with the kitchen designer and he completely changed how I thought the kitchen should be laid out. I reluctantly came round to his way of thinking as he is the expert and what he said did make sense.

Problem is, it was the second most expensive kitchen in the shop. But I AM WOMAN so what else did they expect? But, and this is also because I AM WOMAN, I've changed my mind and I don't like it anymore. So there. Pfft.

I've now chosen another one which is very similar but half the price, dropped the Belfast sink (not literally you understand) , the Beech worktop and the tap. Oh now there's a thing. The tap. It was a lovely tap, very graceful and elegant in the way only a tap can be. It was also £180. £180 FOR A BLOODY TAP!!

We have another appointment with the kitchen designer on Sunday to see how that all works. We're also getting the appliances elsewhere because MFI charge silly prices for things. I shall go to Curry's who have much more sensible prices.

Saturday I was supposed to be having a day out as part of my photography evening class but I'm having to knock that on the head because have to go and look at sofas, cookers, hobs and tiles and go somewhere to get an alternative quote for the kitchen, as I have to have two prices. Once was enough, I'm not sure I can go through it twice.

OH has been cracking on though and has stripped out most of the unwanted items - such as the kitchen, bathroom and fireplace. Electrician arrives on Tuesday and hopefully the plumbers won't be too far behind. Which reminds me, I have to choose a bathroom suite.

You will tell me if you get bored hearing about this won't you!?

In other news......oh, there doesn't appear to be any. Apart from Lurcher No. 1 going to the vet to have her anal glands emptied. But you really didn't want to know that did you!?

Sunday, 22 October 2006


The Cottage

Just the bit in the foreground is mine - up to the second chimneys. Most of the brambles you can see there will be cleared to have somewhere to put the oil tank and for parking.

The back, with the lovely porched area...still with original quarry tiles.

The delightful kitchen and bathroom!!

OH got up the ladder to see how difficult it would be to strip off the artex in the lounge this morning. Turns out it won't be difficult at all as it has been artexed on lining paper so it just peels off. And the really good bit!? Underneath the artex and paper is the original wooden ceiling! *Aoj jumps up and down with delight!*

Eat This!

My recipe blog has had a revamp and several other bloggers (Dakota, LordH, Andre, Zoom and Snowqueen) have joined so that we now have a group blog. it's now been re-named Eat This! and the addy has changed to

Eat This!

Thursday, 19 October 2006

Chinese Whispers

The men where I work are a worse than a bunch of old women, they really are. They gossip away to each other with every telling becoming more embellished until no-one knows what the original rumour was or where it started and the whole thing is blown out of proportion. Personalities are trying to wind each other up because they think it's fun and, in some cases, because they can.

The latest round of gossip has, however, started to descend into slander about someone who isn't the slightest bit involved in the situation. They can gossip about me as much as they like as long as the gossip has some basis in truth but slandering other people is out of order. Words have been had and lets hope this stops right now.

And, yes, this is all about the cottage. *sighs*

Edited to add: Now they haven't got the guts to hold their hands up and say "fair cop, guv". They're all passing the blame onto OH now. Go figure that one out!

Wednesday, 18 October 2006

And on it goes....

Yesterday was the turn of the electrician. And, yes, JG, I have arranged for double powerpoints to go everywhere! I will have more powerpoints than, at the moment, I can possibly think of a use for but, as is the way with many things, you expand to fill so I have no doubt they will get used! There will also be powerpoints outside! The three main rooms will also all have a BT point and an aerial socket. Apart from the kitchen. No room and as at least one phone will be a walkabout, I see no need to take up valuable space with unnecessary stuff.

I also need to give some thought to curtains, something I've not had to do before as our current accomodation has shutters. Because the cottage is small, I can't decide whether to have the same curtains in each room, or vary it
a bit. The colour scheme throughout will be the same, and probably somewhere between off-white and clotted cream (but not Magnolia!). At the moment I'm thinking about a deep blue or racing green, in velvet would be nice but I suspect cost will be prohibitive....but then if I speak nicely to my Aunt, who is an amazing seamstress, she might just make them for me which will be a big help as far as cost is concerned!

I'm not having carpets. Half the cottage has
wooden floors and although the boards are new-ish, and currently a mess, the hope is that they can be cleaned up and stained. The rest of the floors in the hall kitchen and bathroom have been screeded.....but it looks like they have been screeded over the original quarry tiles and OH is going to have a go at chipping away the screed in the hope that we can reclaim the tiles.

The place also has a bit of history. There are currently two cottages on the site but they have been created from what was the Ladies CLubhous
e for the Royal Wimbledon Golf Course, although much has changed and the RWGC no longer play on Wimbledon Common.

This picture shows the Ladies standing in what is partially my back garden and partially next doors.

Tuesday, 17 October 2006

All systems go....

I have spent the last 18 months anticipating the day I would get my hands on the keys to the cottage and I have been giving a lot of thought to what sort of look I want to give the place. I knew it needed a lot of work doing to it but nothing prepares you for the day you actually get the keys and are told "let's get started". That day arrived yesterday and the Big Boss (who's authorising payment for all this) is "keen to get on with things".

So the last 24 hours have passed in a complete blur of plumbers, kitchens, bathrooms.

My head is spinning with technical discussions about boilers and whether a combi-boiler (which is what I want) will work properly because there is a water pressure problem in the area. Apparently it should if have acold water tank in the attic and fit a pump to keep up the flow to the boiler....but a builder "wot does plumbing" told me that and not the plumbers which is a incy bit worrying! But hey, if it works, I'm game.

I've had to try and think about where I want the radiators, powerpoints, telephone points, radiators, aerial sockets, the layout of the kitchen and whether we want to move the door (we do), where is the oil tank going to go and how much of the bushes should be cleared to create parking. What needs to be cleared in the garden and which bits of fence need replacing or repairing.

Although I have chosen which kitchen I want.....Kelmscott Oak...mind you, I haven't looked at the price yet. But given the size of the kitchen I could have the walls lined with gold leaf and it wouldn't break the bank.

What fun this is!!

Monday, 16 October 2006

Well that was fun!

Saturday night was Greyhound Gap's annual fundraiser. This year we decided to leave the haunted houses to themselves and have ourselves a good time with a disco and karaoke. We started organising this in January and I have had all that time to not look forward to it. Disco and karaoke are really not my thing. I had my fill of discos when I worked in a nightclub 20 years ago. I just do not dance and I do not sing. My singing would clear the room. Now I'm middle-aged I prefer a quiet night in with friends to dinner than to boogying until the early hours.

However, I surprised myself. There's life in the old girl yet! The DJ was superb and played some proper rocking and rolling, proper dancin' music (remember "The Bump"!? "Tiger Feet"!?). It was probably the best night I have had in a long, long time!

Doing "The Bump" (That's me on the left. Dancing with the handbag. I wouldn't normally dance with my handbag but there were some very kind souls there who were chucking money at Gap right, left and centre and, as Treasurer, it got given to me. Shortly after this photo was taken I managed to unload it into the club's safe. That was good. It mean I didn't have a wonky shoulder the next day.)

Let's Twist Again (That's me on the left...again.)

C'mon let me see you shake your tail feathers ( You'll realise that's me on the left won't you?)

Me (yes, on the left) and Lisa doing what we do best...being loud!

Friday, 13 October 2006

Well this is going to be a problem

I got my hands on the keys to the new cottage today. I have seen inside before but that was over a year ago and time does play tricks on your memory. I knew the cottage was small but I had forgotten just how small it is. In fact, small is not the word. Miniscule is more apt.

My furniture is not going to even get through the door let alone fit inside. That's going to be a problem. There's no storage space either.

Ho hum. *Remember it's rent free. Remember it's rent free*

Wednesday, 11 October 2006

I have the bestest boss.....

....not "Big Boss" but "Boss". I have my photography classs tonight and I have completely forgotten to get a black and white film for my old AE1. Boss was heading off to Asda so I asked if she would mind picking up a film for me. She's just rung to say that Asda don't do black and white film and where else could she get it for me. The only other place is Jessops which is about 5 miles in the opposite direction but she's going to go there for me anyway! Boss rocks!


We have a new laptop at work and it has wireless capability. Unfortunately none of us do. We can't get it to connect to the internet and have no idea if what we're doing to try to connect it to the internet is right.

Things like that make my brain wibble.

Other than that it's great and it meant that I could work at home yesterday and type the Board meeting minutes whilst sitting in my comfortable reclining-heat-padded-massaging armchair. That's a life I could get used to.

Monday, 9 October 2006

The games people play

Lots of games in fact.

We had friends to stay for the weekend and we played crib, Yahtzee, Mah Jong, 1s and 6s, more crib, Pass the Pig, Nom and Uno.

And great fun it was too!

The absolutely bestest news of all though is that, tonight, the Board approved the recommendation that I move into a vacant premises on the Common. Yay!! There's a lot to be done as the cottage needs complete renovation so we won't be moving a for a few months yet. But it's not often you get to renovate a house how you please (within reason) and have someone else pay for it!! The only downside is that the cottage is about 1/2 the size of our flat so it will all be a bit of a squeeze. The upside is that it is rent free....something of a bonus! As payoff, I have to join the 24 hour duty rota which means I will be on call one night a week and will have to work one weekend in four. I think I can deal with that.

Wednesday, 4 October 2006

More waiting.

The good news is that scan is all clear. Yay! But the blood test results aren't back and I have to go back for another appointment in 4 weeks so I'm still none the wiser.

I did have my sensible head on this morning though so was able to clarify a few things. If the thyrogloblin results are still elevated, and the doctor I saw this morning would be surprised if they weren't, then I will be back in hospital for more radio-iodine treatment. Which in itself is no big deal. The problems arise because I have to come off my thyroid medication for a few weeks beforehand, and that is a really big deal and I'll be about as much use as a wet lettuce.

They don't "know" but it appears to be universally assumed in this field of medicine that elevated thyroglobulin levels do mean that the cancer will have returned. However, that said, elevated levels can also mean that not all the thyroid cells were killed during the initial radio-iodine treatment. But the doctor thinks that is probably unlikely because my results have been static at just about zero for the last three years and that scenario would have shown a steady increase not a sudden jump. Either way they would remove the cells anyway as they won't take a chance that there might be cancer there.

Watch this space.....again!

Saturday, 30 September 2006

Deer, oh deer

This morning, I was on a mission. I was going to get up at dawn and head over to Richmond Park to take some pictures of the deer as the sun rose. That didn't go quite according to plan because at 5.30am this morning, south west London was in the grips of a quite spectacular thunderstorm. So I reverted to plan B and went back to sleep! However, by 10.00am the sun was shining so I, along with the OH and The Lurchers headed over to the Park.

It's just coming into rutting season now and that makes for an eery walk with the bucks bellowing and calling from every direction. You have to be very careful as you never know where the deer are going to be. You keep your eyes peeled but the deer do like to hide themselves in the bracken. I'm not sure who was more surprised when this fellow popped up not 10 feet from us! My heart was in my mouth!

A bit further along we came along this handsome beast. OH and The Lurchers kept well out of the way whilst I photographed him. The deer aren't by any means tame but they are used to people and you can ger very close. But if the deer were in full rut, I wouldn't have been within 200 yards of him. Actually, I wouldn't have even been in the Park because they can be very unpredicatable when the hormones are flying!

"Who you lookin' at"

Wednesday, 27 September 2006

So far so good

Had the ultra-sound scan at the Royal Marsden this afternoon and the great news is that there doesn't appear to be any thyroid growth, at least, "nothing worth doing a biopsy on" was the radiologist's comment. Mind you, last time I had ultra-sound and a biopsy the radiologist said it didn't look like there was anything nasty there and it turned out to be very nasty indeed so I'm not counting my chickens just yet but am allowing myself to feel just a bit relieved!

Also had some more blood tests and will get the results of all the tests from the consultant next week.

Tuesday, 26 September 2006


Possible side effects from the Thyrogen injections, as listed by the company that makes the drug are, among others, weakness and fatigue.

They are not wrong.

Monday, 25 September 2006


So, off to the see my local Practice Nurse for the first of my pre-scan Thyrogen injections this morning. Never having done one of these injections before, the nurse studied the instructions carefully. I noted the same blank look on her face that must have been on mine when I read them.

Me (fearing the worst) : "They don't say where to give the injection do they?"

Nurse (confirming the worst): "No, but as it's intramuscular I'm afraid it's in the bum"

Me: "Oh"

Nurse: "Hold on, I just need to find a bigger needle"

Me: "Oh crap"

You'd think that after almost 15 years of having needles stuck in me that I'd be used to it by now wouldn't you? I mean, the last stay at the Royal Marsden resulted in them trying to get blood samples out of my feet because the veins in my arms had closed up in protest. Let me tell you, needles in the feet hurt. But no, needles still have the ability to turn me into a quivering, shaking wreck. And just to add to my misery I had to bend over with my jeans around my knees with my bum bared to the world.

And guess what? I have to do it all over again tomorrow.

Thursday, 21 September 2006

I have returned

Parents returned safely from their holiday and as they have now taken back possession of Millie the Whippet, I made my way back to London yesterday.

I had my first photography evening class last night. I've not been to an evening class before but it I had guessed the first class would be a bit vague given the need for everyone to introduce themselves and for the tutor to do all the necessary stuff like Health & Safety and where the toilets are, and I wasn't wrong. What worried me was that the tutor seemed too easily distracted and was flitting between different subjects faster than a bee collecting pollen. We had a basic outline on shutter speeds and apertures with promises that he would be going into each in more details at a later date. I hope he does because there were a lot of blank faces about me. Thanks to the chaps at Pixalo, I have learnt a few basics about shutter speeds and aperture sizes and just as well because without that I would have been completely at a loss as to what he was talking about. I think he told us about three different things we'd be doing next week but finally seemed to settle on low light photography and those that have them should bring along their tripods. Seems a little cart before horse if you ask me, but hopefully it will all become clear.
Other than that, the tutor is a really nice and approachable chap (even if I can't remember his name) and I enjoyed myself!

Monday, 18 September 2006

Rick on the Roof

As I took The Lurchers and Millie the Whippet out for stroll yesterday evening, I noticed a chap sitting on his roof, surrounded by signs which appeared to detail why he was sitting on his roof. I walked swiftly on trying to get the gist of the signs without actually appearing to be looking (why do we do that? Why do we have a pathological fear of being trapped in conversation by the local nutter?). I didn't get much other than something about being made bankrupt. He was still there tonight and I also noticed that he has a tent up there! No one-off protest this then.

Overcome by curiosity I trawled the net and this chap actually has a website. Rick on the Roof. So he isn't the local nutter but just some poor chap who, if the webste is to be believed, has suffered a massive injustice at the hands of a "corrupt justice system". Doesn't it come to something when the only way to get attention in this country is to camp out on your roof?

In other news:

JG and Dakota both rightly decoded OH's message! Quite why he is bemoaning the lack of kisses on a text message when in all the 13 years we have lived together he has never told me he loves me nor seemingly wanted to go out of his way to help me is really quite baffling!

Had a lovely walk on the beach with the hounds this morning. I grew up by the sea and every so often I hanker to get back to the waves, so it was nice to get my fix this morning.

Sunday, 17 September 2006

Greetings from Wales

Well here I am in sunny (for the moment) Wales.

It's a funny thing about coming to Wales, you can drive down the M4 in brilliant sunshine but as soon as you get to the Severn Bridge, it immediately clouds over and starts raining. Odd that, but at least it explains why Wales is so green and didn't have hosepipe bans like the rest of does rain a lot.

A very uneventful journey apart from having a front row view of the big huge plume of smoke emitting from what looked like a very serious fire in Langley. I did have my camera with me but decided, probably sensibly, that stopping to take photographs on the M4 was not a good idea.

All started well on my arrival. The key for the front door worked and I was greeted by the two resident cats who came hurtling down the stairs yelling "feed us!". The next door neighbour has been looking after them whilst the parents away so I think they were trying it on a bit. The cats soon legged it into the safety of the laundry room when they saw The Lurchers and Millie the Whippet arrive en masse.

Half an hour later I was unpacking my coolbox when I heard a very unpleasant sound behind me. One of the cats was depositing something very smelly and very runny in the laundryroom floor. Delayed reaction I guess. Although why she couldn't have taken herself out through the cat flap I don't know.

Then I sent a text to OH, who's at work, to let him know I had arrived safely, signing my texts inmy normal manner "Ax". I received a text back saying "mESSAGE received only one lips". At this stage I have to say thank heaven for Puzzle Donkey, without having successfully solved one it's puzzles about predictive texting I don't think I would have worked it out. Go on, you can work it out!! And then, like me, you can wonder what the heck that is all about.

Then, as the sky was looking particularly interesting, I got the camera out to find that the Hoya filter on the end of my zoom lense has smashed to smithereens. I have no cleaning kit with me (actually, I have no cleaning kit period.) There are particles of glass all over the end of my lense and blowing them off has helped a bit but not got rid of them. I don't want to wipe them of for fear of scratching the lense and am now stuck hoping my camera buddies can come up with a make-shift solution.

I wonder if the next few days are going to be so interesting.

Update: the cat did what she did on the laundry room floor because there was a screw jamming the cat flap closed for some reason. Makes mental note to talk to neighbour tomorrow.

Update 2: Camera now cleaned with the aid of a clean paint brush. Now why couldn't I have thought of that?

Thursday, 14 September 2006

Moving right along...

Having spent the days since last Wednesday with my emotions swinging between panic to denial and hysterics and back again, I seem to have plateaued and am back on an even-ish keel. Having been in this position before I knew it would pass and that I would, if not forget about it, at least let it slip to the back of my mind a bit. I am grateful that the Royal Marsden moves so fast but the downside of that is that it does hit the "OMG" button!!

In other news, Millie the Whippet is staying with us for a few days whilst the parents sun it up in Spain so I'm taking a few days leave next week and taking her (and the Lurchers of course) home to Wales on Sunday and staying at my parents until they get back on Wednesday. I'm looking forward to a few peaceful and quiet days with just the hounds for company. I might also try and think about where my relationship is going and do I really want it to keep going there, although I'm not sure I'm brave enough to tackle that one just yet. One problem at a time.

Monday, 11 September 2006


It is, of course, the 11th of September and my thoughts are with anyone and everyone that got caught up in the atrocities of that day.

It's one of those days, a bit like when Kennedy was shot, everyone remembers what they were doing when they heard the news. I was at the first day of my new job working in the office of the President of Cummins Power Generation. It was someone's birthday and we were in the main office eating cream cakes and I was just thinking what a great place this was, my firt day and we're already stuffing cakes! The President, Jack, was not there as he travelled the world on business a lot and on this occasion was in New York. Just before lunch someone called to say there had been a plane crash in New York, and then the details started to filter through and Jack's PA suddenly paled, Jack was at a meeting in the World Finance Centre.

Later we found out that from his meeting room, they had felt the blast of the first plane hitting the first tower and saw the second plane hit the other tower. He had also seen people throwing themselves out of the Twin Towers. I'm sure a lot of people found themselves in similar, if not worse, situations but it affected Jack deeply and really made him re-think his life. Always a philanthropist, two years later he retired and gave himself and his talents completely over to helping others.

I hope everyone involved has been able to have some closure and move on with their lives.

Wednesday, 6 September 2006

It's all a bit crappy really

Four years ago I was diagnosed with Follicular Thyroid Cancer. As cancers go, it's one of the better ones, if there is such a thing, as it is fairly easy to treat. Two operations to remove my thyroid gland and a week at the Royal Marsden hospital to have a dose of radioactive iodine treatment to remove any remaining thyroid cells - that was pretty interesting as I had a week in total isolation with my very own Geiger counter in the ceiling! Since then I have had annual check-ups at both St George's Hospital (where I had the surgery) and at the Royal Marsden. The tests check to make sure that the level of Thyroxin medication I'm taking is correct and to measure for any Thyroglobulin - Thyroglobulin is used by the thyroid gland to produce the thyroid hormone Thyroxine - and, as I shouldn't have any thyroid cells, I shouldn't produce any thyroglobulin.

This morning I had my annual appointment at the Royal Marsden and was told that there's been a "blip" in my thyroglobuline levels, indicating that there may be some thyroid cells regenerating. Now, that doesn't necessarily mean that the cancer is back with them. But it might be. And that's a bit scary.

The Royal Marsden being the Royal Marsden, they don't piss about and straight away I was sent for a chest x-ray and to book an ultra-sound scan. I'll have that scan on 27th September and on the two days prior to that, I have to go to my GP surgery to have thyrotropin injections - if the thyroid cells are present, the thyrotropin will stimulate the cells and make them more visible on the ultra-sound.

Watch this space.

Sunday, 3 September 2006

In case anyone was wondering......

....this was the shot that I finally entered in the photo competition!

You would not believe what's gone into getting to this point. 300 photographs and three evenings out wandering the streets! (Being underneath Hammersmith Bridge after dark was ermmm...interesting!) I finally realised that I was trying to be too clever and was trying to produce a shot I could see in my mind but didn't have the knowledge and experience to actually bring to fruition. So I went back to keeping it simple and I'm finally happy with this shot! It's been one hell of a learning curve but it's been fun nonetheless.

I'll post up all the other shots I shortlisted on my "one-a-day(ish)" photoblog over the next few days.

Wednesday, 30 August 2006

I need your help!

Another forum I frequent has a regular photo competition and the current theme is "low-light". I have read up on taking low-light photographs and over the last few evenings have been out and taken about 150 photographs! I'm not 100% pleased with any of them but I've managed to get a shortlist but I can't decide which one to put forward. So I need your help.....tell me which one you think is the best of a bad bunch!

Here are the options:

New template

Now that I've transferred to Beta-Blogger I've been having a fiddle with the template and ringing in the changes! I'm not sure if I like this look but I'm going to live with it for a while and see if it grows on me. I may yet transfer back to my favourite plain black!

Sunday, 27 August 2006

The Weekend

Saturday was a terribly lazy day seeing as how I spent most of it in bed. We were supposed to be going out for dinner with family but I'd been feeling crappy all day, with a headache lurking. By the time I started to get ready to go out, the headache was turning into a migraine and my stomach was lurching everytime I moved. So OH went out for dinner and I went back to bed.

I felt like a bit of chewed string on Sunday morning but at least the headache had all but gone. As we had planned to go to the Country Affair Show at Hampton Court and I really felt the need to get some air, off we toddled. We had a really good time and I got to experiment lots with the camera (pictures below). I was asked once or twice if I was with the press and I did wonder what would have happened if I'd said yes! I've discovered that the art of getting the picture you want is to just get on in there, look like you should be doing what you are doing and move swiftly on! It seemed to work anyway! And the big bonus, a stall with therapists doing acupressure massage - I was definitely having me some of that! It was fantastic and I seem to have some flexibility in my shoulders for the first time in ages - and no bloody headache!

Anyway, some pictures from today:

EDITED TO ADD: The rest of the photographs are here

Friday, 25 August 2006

Being positive!

Following Dakota's advice to get out there and do something., I've gone out there and done something! I've just signed myself up for a photography course starting on 20th September and I'm really looking forward to it! It willbe so nice to finally know what the heck I'm doing with my camera rather than trusting to pot luck!

Thursday, 24 August 2006

The classiest headline!

BT Yahoo News today reported on the decision to de-classify Pluto as a planet. Some bright spark managed to come up with the classiest headline.....

"Goofy Decision? Pluto Is Not A Planet"

They really put some thought into that didn't they!?

Full story here

Monday, 21 August 2006

Move right along....

...nothing happening here. Nothing to see. Move right along.

I really do need to get a life.

Thursday, 17 August 2006

Just call me stupid

Because that's what I am. I ran out of my thyroid medication on Sunday and kept forgetting to pick up my repeat presecription. So I've been without since then and I wonder why I'm feeling so bloody tired.

So second reason I'm stupid is that the MOT on my car ran out on 11th July. I bought the car a year ago today and, for some reason, assumed it had been done just before I bought it. Except it hadn't. So I've been driving round illegally for the last month and will continue to do so (although as little as possible now) until my mechanic can get it sorted for me a week tomorrow.

Now I'm going to bed before I do anything else stupid.

In other news, Millie the Whippet has learnt an important lesson today. Do not stick your nose into a sleeping cat's face, even if you do just want to say hello. The cat won't like it, will take a swipe at you and you'll scare the bejeezez out of my mother by screaming the house down.

Tuesday, 15 August 2006

Tuesday Challenge #6 - The Golden Hour

Stu's 6th challenge was to try to demonstrate the difference in the quality of light at different times of the day.

These are not meant to be artistic and good photos so please don't judge the quality of their composition, they serve only to show the light difference

Pic 1 - taken at 2.30pm

Pic 2 - taken at 7.30am

The difference is quite amazing with much warmer hues in the early morning.

I've also just resurrected my "One a Day" photo blog if anyone should be inthe leastbit interested!

Sunday, 13 August 2006

Millie goes home

Met up with the parents at Reading Services today to hand over Millie the Whippet to them. Or rather, they had to drag her out of my arms as I really did not want to let her go! But, as is the way with dogs that steal your heart, off she went without a backward glance. Life will be easier without a 6 month puppy around but I will miss her, even if The Lurchers don't.

Whether it's because of that or something else but I have been feeling a bit on an emotional edge today and because of that, the things I need to be doing are falling by the wayside because I cannot find the motivation to get on with them. Everything seems to be falling into the "way to difficult" category at the moment. Still, I'm going home for a few days next month - on my own with just The Lurchers and a little Whippet for company - and hopefully that will help restore some balance within me.

Thursday, 10 August 2006

Something strange in the night

There's been something strange happening at the house next door to us over the last week or so. Most evenings, as soon as it starts to get dark, they start digging! It's a bit creepy and although we've tried to peek over the fence to see what they are doing, all I can see is a man with a shovel but not what he is doing!

The house is a halfway house where young people who have carried out minor offences or have just lost their way for some reason are rehabilitated and taught "life lessons", how to cook and generally look after themselves. We don't have much trouble from them, occasionally some noise and when spirits are running high, they can jump from their fire escape onto our roof. But this digging has got us bemused!

If the police come knocking on our door about a mising person I'll at least know where to send them!

Tuesday, 8 August 2006


Millie is off to Wales to live with my parents! Woot!

Monday, 7 August 2006

A guest

We've had Millie, a young Whippet staying with us for the last few days. She has come in to Greyhound Gap's care and as she was fairly close to me, I have arranged for her to be spayed and chipped and all that stuff. She was going to be going back to her owner on Sunday night and she would continue to look after Millie until a suitable home was found. Unfortunately, her owner has a lot on her plate at the moment is feeling very emotionally fragile so it was agreed that it would be better all round if Millie stayed with me for the time-being.

It's made things a little awkward because Lurcher No.1 usually goes to work with OH and Lurcher No.2 comes with me. I can't take two dogs to work and leaving them all at home could be a bit fraught - being a young dog, Millie hasn't yet learned when to leave alone and the Lurchers have both told her off several times this weekend. Whilst that is how Millie will learn the boundaries, I don't want it getting out of hand with me not there to keep thingsunder control. Fortunately, OH is working for one of his old clients this week and he can take both lurchers with him, which solves the immediate problem.

My parents also came to stay this weekend and the good news is that they have fallen for Millie hook, line and sinker. They weren't planning to have a dog just yet and wanted to continue to enjoy the opportunity to holiday abroad since losing their last dog four years ago. But Millie has wormed her way into their hearts and they have gone home to give some serious thought to whether or not to offer her a home. I hope they do, she is just so perfect for them and I think she'd thrive there. So keeping everything crossed at the moment!

Wednesday, 2 August 2006

Stu Challenge ~5

The fifth of Stu's photographic challenges was, on first read, quite simple, just get out there and take some pictures. Well that's easy enough. The challenge comes in deciding which of the several hundred pictures I've taken over the last few days to put forward! So I took the easy route and went out this morning and took some more and here they are:

One of my favourite trees on Wimbledon Common

A wood pile, of which there are several on the Commons, that are built to encourage Stag Beetles:

Baden-Powell has many connections with the Commons, the most famous of which is that he wrote "Scouting for Boys" in the cottage that was attached to the Windmill. I'm sure that title wouldn't be allowed these days!

Lurcher No.1. I like this shot because of the way it catches the water dripping of her muzzle and the rings the drops make in the water.