Monday, 26 February 2007

NEVER again

I am NEVER arranging a party for anyone or anything EVER again. It's all far too bloody stressful.

We went off to look at the local-ish pub tonight, as mentioned here. Fantastic room, nice little alcove for the DJ, a slightly seperate area near the bar for those that don't want to be in the thick of it but not too far away either. Sounds perfect doesn't?

Just a couple of minor problems. The bar only had lager and most of the people coming are bitter drinkers including, most importantly, the birthday boy himself. They thought they could bring up the bottled bitter but it's bottle-conditioned so has lots of sediment and, according to OH who knows about these things, wasn't the nicest bitter he'd ever tasted. And at 5.2%, serious falling down water. Oh, and it was £3.20 a bottle. EEK!!

Second problem. It is a no-smoking pub. Yes I know we're going to have to get used to that but we seem to know a disproportionately high number of smokers, including both of us, and we'd more than likely find most of the party taking place outside in the beer garden.

Edge of the planet, here I come.

There followed a series of telephone calls to all our local pubs with no joy. Until, out of sheer desperation, I tried the one pub I was convinced wouldn't have a function room. But they do so we shot over there to have a look and it's fab! A little smaller than I would have liked but at this stage of the game, beggars can't be choosers. The food looked great, the beer is more than adequate (it's a Young's pub with Bombardier as a guest ale, for those that like to know these things) and OH was very happy.

And now so am I.

But I'm still not ever doing this again.


Dark chocolate KitKat. Scrummy!

Can't think why they didn't come up with that idea years ago!

Sunday, 25 February 2007


I particularly hate shopping for clothes. I find it the singularly most horrendous thing to do. Yet, for all the hype that that there is about women and shopping, I know I'm not alone because many of my female friends hate it too.

High-street clothes just don't sit right on me: I'm too long in the body and too short of the leg; I have no idea what suits me; and I go for comfort over fashion every single time. The shops are too hot; there's too many people and don't get me started on dressing-room mirrors. So when I am out and about doing other equally hated but essential shopping, and where there also happens to be clothes, and I see something I like, I buy it.

Take yesterday as a case in point. Wandered into Asda for some essentials and immediately spotted a lovely soft, knitted roll-neck jumper. Except they only had them in size 22. Now I like my jumpers baggy but not six sizes too big baggy. Yet when I held it up, it looked like it would fit me just on the right side of baggy. And it does. Which leads me to yet another moan about the clothes industry...why can they not have standard sizing? How difficult would it be to have one size 12 or 14, or whichever, right across the industry. If a person who normally wore a size 22 had bought that jumper, it would have looked ridiculous.

But at least I have a nice comfy jumper.

Then on my way to the fruit and veg I wandered down the jeans aisle. Now I normally avoid this aisle because ASDA jeans are usually paper thin. But they had some bog standard boot cut jeans for £3. £3!! Bargain I thought, even if they're just fit for walking the dogs in. But, you know what, they fit like a dream! Every woman will tell you that finding the perfect-fitting jeans is a nightmare and many pay hundreds of pounds to get the right pair...and I just found my right pair for 3 quid in Asda.

Did I mention I hate paying good money for clothes too!?

Friday, 23 February 2007

From bad to worse

That's how my day has gone today.

We had an appointment at 10am this morning with a rep from a window shutter company. She rang at 9.30 to say she was running late as she had only just left Swindon. OBviously there was no way she would get to London for 10am so would 11am be OK? No, actually, we had another appointment at 11am so could she please come at noon. Yes she could so that was that sorted.

Went to have a shower and half way through the hot water disappeared. And so did the heating. Great. The boiler had packed up. Not what I expect from something that was only installed three months ago. Rang the engineers and they could come later in the afternoon.

The appointment at 11am was with one of the local golf clubs where we had booked their function room for OH's 50th birthday party in March. We'd booked it through a friend who was a member which meant we got the room for free and they would just charge us for the buffet. Stupidly, we didn't go and see it, just took our friend's recommendation that it would be perfect for what we wanted. So off we toddle this morning for a look-see and to discuss food. Well, my face must have said it all - the place would barely hold 50 people and as we are inviting close to 140 it simply wasn't going to work. Great. On top of that, we were told that their chef is leaving wasn't interested in providing a buffet so it would be easier if we got the food ourselves, although he would prepare it for us. Thanks very much. The whole point was that it would be stress free for us and the thought of buying all that food sends me into cold shivers.

Wobbling a bit now.

So on the way home I rang our other local golf club. We hold all our work functions there and although the food is OK, it's not top notch but it would be sufficient. Nope, he had the club's AGM that night so no way he could fit us in.

Wobble has now escalated into panic.

Rang yet another golf club, this time a Very Posh Golf Club. Fortunately we work quite closely with them from time to time so although they don't normally hire out their function room to non-members, he would "as it's you". There would be a charge but again "as it's you", he'd reduce it by 50%. What a sweetheart! Made an appointment to meet him at 6pm.

Window shutter rep arrived and tried to steam-roller us into paying nearly £3,000 for shutters. That's one way of getting us to not buy them, beautiful as they were I will not be forced into making a split-second decision on that kind of money. Even if she has made a 160 mile round trip to see us, as she repeatedly pointed out. Goodbye.

Engineers arrived and fixed the boiler and showed us what to do if it happens again. Good. Water and heating working again. Sorted.

6pm. Made our way over to the Very Posh Golf Club. I've never been in there before and it was fantastic!! Well worth the room charge. Then we started discussing menus. They don't really do finger buffets, "we do have certain standards to maintain". Oh. Of course you do. He suggested a hot buffet and that sounded like a plan until we started to discuss costs. He was terribly apologetic but it would be in the region of £20 per head. At least 100 people. You can do the math I'm sure.

Panic is now escalating into minor hysteria.

Tried a local Very Posh Hotel. I'm not even going to tell you what they wanted to charge but it was about twice what the Very Posh Golf Club would have charged.

However, all is not lost. A local-ish pub has a big function room that can hold about 100 people and don't charge for the room, just the food. And they can do a finger buffet. Phew. It's a bit more expensive than the first golf club, but not unreasonable. So we're off there on Monday evening to have a look and I just hope it's OK or I'll be falling off the edge of the planet.

If you are in the slightest bit interested, watch this space.

Thursday, 22 February 2007

What does this say about me?

Tagged by Dakota!

Look at the list of books below.
*Bold the ones you’ve read
*Italicize the ones you want to read
*leave blank the ones that you aren't interested in. If you are reading this, tag your it!

Now I am reading: The Crystal Gorge by David and Leigh Eddings - Eddings is one of my favourite authors and although this book is part of a series written for teenagers, it is still required reading for me!

This list actually says little about me and you would not surmise from the ones I've highlighted that I read almost exclusively Science Fantasy. The other books I read will be of the Dan Brown ilk, almost adventure novels if you like. I have no time for the classics and refuse to read a book just because it must be read. If I had to single out one book on this list that I would recommend to anyone, it would be The Time Traveller's Wife. Almost, but not quite, without exception that is the best book I have ever read. It's second on my all time favourites list. Top of that list is The Black Jewels Trilogy by Anne Bishop

1.The Da Vinci Code (Dan Brown)
2.Pride and Prejudice (Jane Austen)
3.To Kill A Mockingbird (Harper Lee)
4. Gone With The Wind (Margaret Mitchell)
5. The Lord of the Rings: Return of the King (Tolkien)
6. The Lord of the Rings: Fellowship of the Ring (Tolkien)
7. The Lord of the Rings: Two Towers (Tolkien)
8. Anne of Green Gables (L.M. Montgomery)
9. Outlander (Diana Gabaldon)
10.A Fine Balance (Rohinton Mistry)
11.Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire (Rowling)
12.Angels and Demons (Dan Brown)
13.Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix (Rowling)
14. A Prayer for Owen Meany (John Irving)
15. Memoirs of a Geisha (Arthur Golden)
16.Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone (Rowling)
17. Fall on Your Knees(Ann-Marie MacDonald)
18. The Stand (Stephen King)
19. Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban(Rowling)
20. Jane Eyre (Charlotte Bronte)
21. The Hobbit (Tolkien)
22. The Catcher in the Rye (J.D. Salinger)
23. Little Women (Louisa May Alcott)
24. The Lovely Bones (Alice Sebold)
25. Life of Pi (Yann Martel)
26. The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy (Douglas Adams)
27. Wuthering Heights (Emily Bronte)
28. The Lion, The Witch and the Wardrobe (C. S. Lewis)
29. East of Eden (John Steinbeck)
30. Tuesdays with Morrie(Mitch Albom)
31. Dune (Frank Herbert)
32. The Notebook (Nicholas Sparks)
33. Atlas Shrugged (Ayn Rand)
34. 1984 (Orwell)
35. The Mists of Avalon (Marion Zimmer Bradley)
36. The Pillars of the Earth (Ken Follett)
37. The Power of One (Bryce Courtenay)
38. I Know This Much is True(Wally Lamb)
39. The Red Tent (Anita Diamant)
40. The Alchemist (Paulo Coelho)
41. The Clan of the Cave Bear (Jean M. Auel)
42. The Kite Runner (Khaled Hosseini)
43. Confessions of a Shopaholic (Sophie Kinsella)
44. The Five People You Meet In Heaven (Mitch Albom)
45. Bible
46. Anna Karenina (Tolstoy)
47. The Count of Monte Cristo (Alexandre Dumas)
48. Angela’s Ashes (Frank McCourt)
49. The Grapes of Wrath (John Steinbeck)
50. She’s Come Undone (Wally Lamb)
51. The Poisonwood Bible (Barbara Kingsolver)
52. A Tale of Two Cities (Dickens)
53. Ender’s Game (Orson Scott Card)
54. Great Expectations (Dickens)
55. The Great Gatsby (Fitzgerald)
56. The Stone Angel (Margaret Laurence)
57. Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets (Rowling)
58. The Thorn Birds (Colleen McCullough)
59. The Handmaid’s Tale (Margaret Atwood)
60. The Time Traveller’s Wife (Audrew Niffenegger)
61. Crime and Punishment (Fyodor Dostoyevsky)
62. The Fountainhead (Ayn Rand)
63. War and Peace (Tolsoy)
64. Interview With The Vampire (Anne Rice)
65. Fifth Business (Robertson Davis)
66. One Hundred Years Of Solitude (Gabriel Garcia Marquez)
67. The Sisterhood of the Travelling Pants (Ann Brashares)
68. Catch-22 (Joseph Heller)
69. Les Miserables (Hugo)
70. The Little Prince (Antoine de Saint-Exupery)
71. Bridget Jones’ Diary (Fielding)
72. Love in the Time of Cholera (Marquez)
73. Shogun (James Clavell)
74. The English Patient (Michael Ondaatje)
75. The Secret Garden (Frances Hodgson Burnett)
76. The Summer Tree (Guy Gavriel Kay)
77. A Tree Grows in Brooklyn (Betty Smith)
78. The World According To Garp (John Irving)
79. The Diviners (Margaret Laurence)
80. Charlotte’s Web (E.B. White)
81. Not Wanted On The Voyage (Timothy Findley)
82. Of Mice And Men (Steinbeck)
83. Rebecca (Daphne DuMaurier)
84. Wizard’s First Rule (Terry Goodkind)
85. Emma (Jane Austen)
86. Watership Down(Richard Adams)
87. Brave New World (Aldous Huxley)
88. The Stone Diaries (Carol Shields)
89. Blindness (Jose Saramago)
90. Kane and Abel (Jeffrey Archer)
91. In The Skin Of A Lion (Ondaatje)
92. Lord of the Flies (Golding)
93. The Good Earth(Pearl S. Buck)
94. The Secret Life of Bees (Sue Monk Kidd)
95. The Bourne Identity (Robert Ludlum)
96. The Outsiders (S.E. Hinton)
97. White Oleander (Janet Fitch)
98. A Woman of Substance (Barbara Taylor Bradford)
99. The Celestine Prophecy (James Redfield)
100.Ulysses (James Joyce)

Thursday, 15 February 2007


My bestest friend sent me this. Something we should all live by.

Two friends were walking through the desert.

During some point of the journey, they had an argument; and one friend slapped the other one in the face. The one who got slapped was hurt, but without saying anything, wrote in the sand:

"Today my best friend slapped me in the face."

They kept on walking, until t hey found an oasis, where they decided to take a bath.

The one who had been slapped got stuck in the mire and started drowning, but the friend saved him.

After he recovered from the near drowning, he wrote on a stone:

"Today my best friend saved my li fe ".

The friend who had slapped and saved his best friend asked him, "after I hurt you, you wrote in the sand and now, you write on a stone, why?"

The friend replied "when someone hurts us we should write it down in sand, where winds of forgiveness can erase it away. But, when someone does something good for us, we must engrave it in stone where no wind can ever erase it."

Learn to write your hurts in the sand and to carve your benefits in stone.

(Oh, and Dogga, the picture of the knickers is on its way!)


Wednesday, 14 February 2007

Valentine's Day

I had really hoped to let this day pass without mentioning the word "Valentine".

Unfortunately, Himself scuppered that plan by surprising me with a huge bunch of daffodils!

I really couldn't let that event go by without mention.

Monday, 12 February 2007


I wouldn't normally blog about my underwear, I mean, you don't really know who's reading and what they might get off on and I'm not sure my regular readers, some of whom I would like to meet one day really need, or want, to know, but today I make an exception.

I'm the comfy kind of knicker type person. No skimpy lace or cheek-baring g-strings for me, they either irritate or chafe, neither of which is comfortable. Being somewhat broader round the beam than I would really like to be and not anywhere near your average figure ("low-slung bum" as a friend of mine used to describe me, I prefer "long-bodied/short-legged" myself), I stick to the well-fitting, white cotton, cover it all up type of knicker. I'm your regular Marks & Spencer kind of girl.

But yesterday I had a bit of a brainstorm. Walking around my local market, I spied some black, short-type knickers, emblazoned with the Playboy Bunny Girl logo. In pink. I don't do logos and I most certainly don't do pink, so I'm not quite sure what I was thinking when I just upped and bought them.

They're very comfy though.

Friday, 9 February 2007


I have quite a number of Blogs bookmarked. All of them are by people whom I have never met and, although I don't read them all everyday, I try to catch up a few times a week. Some Blogs I do try to read every day and comment if my addled brain can think of a suitable response. But most of these Blogs, like mine, receive perhaps a handful of comments, sometimes none at all.

Some of the Blogs I read are hugely popular and seem to receive anywhere between 50 and 100 comments to every entry. They are written by people who, by virtue of their Blog, are offered book deals and can give up their 9 to 5 (or in some cases be pushed from their job) to concentrate on writing the book of their Blog. One or two are quite notorious and I imagine the subsequent books make for some good reading but the rest are just detailing the general day to day humdrumness (is that a word!?) of the writer's life.

What is it that makes these Blogs so interesting to read? If I wrote a blog about the comings and goings of my day it would read something like:

Got up and showered. Walked the Lurchers. Went to work. Worked. Went home for lunch. Went back to work again. Went home for tea. Surfed a bit. REad for a bit. Went to bed. Went to sleep.

There's obviously an art to making a Blog scintillating reading. And I don't have it.

Thursday, 8 February 2007

Dogs. Snow

"Look I come!!

This is how we play!

Cooling off!

Friday, 2 February 2007


Today is turning out to be a very frustrating day.

My e-mail isn't working and the private message forum I use to keep in contact with some close chummingtons won't let me login. Thinking I might have got my password wrong, I asked for an e-mail reminder. Which of course I'm not getting because my e-mail is't working! Arrggghhhh!


I'm 42 years old so why, for heaven's sake, do I still get spots!!??