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!