Thursday, 30 December 2010

Let's end the fatigue....

So another winter is passing with me feeling like crap, curled up on the sofa under a blanket. This year it's shingles plus a rotten cold and cough. I've read on lots of websites that shingles is brought on by stress.....well last year it was post viral fatigue syndrome that had me laid up for nearly three months andd told that was stress too! But I've never felt stressed or seen myself as a stressy person so what's that all about?

Well I've decided that the only person that can de-stress me is ME so I need to improve my FOOD (not a full log just the good foods), FITNESS (anything that gets me off my arse) and FUN (anything that I've chosen to do just cos I want to) and the rest should sort itself out hopefully.

So as much as I wanted to confess all in my very private blog I've been brave and started my confessional here....

So far today
FOOD = banana
FITNESS = braved a shower with my sore rash, going for a walk with the grandchildren in Rendlesham Forest
FUN = that'll be the walk too
+FOOD = grapes and dates, but not enough to be my 5-a-day
FITNESS / FUN = walk ended up at Shotley instead but still nice. Fresh air didn't clear my head at all in fact it made it worse but glad I got out for a short while.

Thursday, 21 October 2010

What is in a dream.....

I dream so rarely, or maybe I dream often but remember them rarely, so when I wake up and can remember a dream so vividly that it seemed real I'm totally surprised and convinced that it must have a very deep meaning. So what do you think this means......

Hubby and I went into town to do some shopping. We parked our caravan in the middle of the shops at one end of the High Street, as usual. As we walked through town, hand in hand, a man jumped out and grabbed my wrist and pulled off my two gold bracelets. They broke and he was cross so hubby offered to repair them and return immediately while the chap held me waiting for his ransom. I can picture the man very clearly although I don't recognise him as anyone I know, he had a moustache and beard and was in his early 30s. The man was a stall holder, although his stall was totally empty, and he sat with a young woman on the empty stall swinging their legs and chatting away ignoring me! They seemed totally relaxed and no other shoppers had even noticed what was going on but I was a bit shaky so asked if they had a cigarette, he brought me one out of the back of his van (which hadn't been there before), it was extremely long but already half burnt down! After a short while I said I was cold and could I wait in the nearby hotel and he agreed. Inside the hotel, (which was dark and very old fashioned) I sat alone but soon there were a group of young girls which came and sat round me and discussed loudly all their purchases and occasionally I joined in.

Because I'd been in the hotel for some time and the man outside hadn't even come to check I realised that I could easily escape. So out of the back door of the hotel and down through town to our caravan where I expected to see hubby frantically repairing my bracelets to swap back for his captive wife.....but he wasn't there and I found him in a department store about to buy a packaged shirt. He actually gave the shirt to the cashier but made lots of excuses that he unfortunately had lost his wallet (although I could see it bulging in his pocket.

Hubby barely acknowledged my return and walked off with me following......
Then I woke up!!!
???  Any ideas what this means ???

Monday, 11 October 2010

Please Please(d) Me......

Just had a great weekend with friends on a coach trip to Liverpool for the Strawberry Fields (Beatles) Tour.
We met the coach in Ipswich Saturday at 5am (yes I know that’s a silly time of day but we were so lucky as our special friend and neighbour offered to be up and ready to take us to the pickup point). We then had to make pick-ups at Norwich, Kings Lynn and Wisbech then our first meal/comfort break at Peterborough. Well at this point I was a bit bored and my Bbook didn’t have a charge (grrrr silly oversight) so I sent a tweet (which copies to facebook)....

* On the coach to Liverpool for the Strawberry Fields tour. Lots of stops so.......a long and winding road!

Closely followed by........

* Early start meant it was a hard day's night, but have to admit it's getting better!

I know they’re not all titles and some are just lyrics, but it amused me so hope it amused a few readers :o)

* Good morning good morning good morning and I feel fine!

We went as a group to the Beatles Experience exhibition which was really good. Had a bit of free time to walk around the Liverpool city centre shops and we stopped for a drink and the weather was so good we sat outside which was great.
Finally checked into the hotel, but unfortunately the room key they gave me and hubby didn’t work, so back down to reception and as they couldn’t work out the problem on their computer they moved us from the second floor to the fourth. Realising I hadn’t brought my phone charger and all the internet stuff I’d done, I thought I’d ask at reception if they had a spare charger, and they did.....but it was in a box so full of tangled wires that it looked like the kitten had been let loose on the knitting wool! Some time later I’d found a charger that fitted my phone but only had a two pin plug, which thankfully fitted the razor socket in the bathroom.
Dinner that evening was really nice. Because the weekend was so cheap we all thought the meal would be cheap and cheerful too, so we were all pleasantly surprised. We followed that with plenty of time in the bar, in fact we were the last to leave and head for bed.

Up early again and down for breakfast at 8am. Packed, checked out and all on the coach by 9am, then we were joined by the local Beatles tour guide who took us on a two hour tour with plenty of Beatles music and an entertaining and informative commentary.

* Now on the magical mystery tour, yeah yeah yeah yeah!

We saw the homes of John, Paul, George and Ringo (sad to see that Ringo’s house is soon to be demolished). We saw the gates of Strawberry Fields and lots more.

* Been here there and everywhere, oh blah di oh blah dah life goes on!

After that we had over three hours of spare time and while two of the men wanted more Beatles us girls and hubby wanted to see more of Liverpool especially the two cathedrals.

* Good day sunshine for a day in the life of a day tripper!

Lots of walking and lots of steps later and a short break for some food then we were back on the coach for the long drive home!

* We've come together as it's time to get back!

Our lovely neighbour came out to meet the coach and bring us home, that was about 10:30pm. We were very tired but it had been a fun weekend!

I’d managed 14 references to Beatles songs on twitter and facebook.....and so many more during conversations that I drove the others mad :o) And now the photos....... with the album title ‘Please Pleased Me’!


Thursday, 30 September 2010

How time flies......

27 years ago today we moved into this house!
Since then our toddlers have grown into adults and we watched them go through nursery, primary, secondary and college schooling.
Since then our children have had various friends, boyfriends and girlfriends coming through this house and have now settled into homes of their own.
Since then we now have grandchildren coming to stay who are older than the children that first lived here!
Since then we have decorated every room more than once, needed to replaster almost every wall, and the kitchen has been completely rebuilt and the bathroom rebuilt twice too.
Since then we've change the building we moved into by adding an extension and porch roof and patio area too.
Since then our 'games room' with pool table and gym equipment has changed more to the 'arts & crafts room' housing all the grandchildrens' projects.
Since then we've had various visits to the hospital, mostly for minor injuries but a couple of episodes that were more scary but we survived them all.
Since then I've had lots of different paid jobs and now enjoying an early retirement.
Since then cassette tapes went out and CDs came in......what should we do with all our old tapes?
Since then videos went out and DVDs came in.......what should we do with all our old videos?
Since then we have made real friends that I hope will last forever!

Tuesday, 28 September 2010

Friends for the weekend

Hubby and I spent last weekend with friendsL&K......but separately!
They arrived early Friday morning then hubby left with friendK, plus some wood, to go back to their house to help with some decorating. FriendL stayed with me for a girly couple of days.

Around midday we parked the car at the Ipswich Waterfront an walked through the marina and then into town where we walked from end to end stopping in almost every shop. We bought some clothes each and browsed lots more stopping at Jacey's for tea and cake/sausage roll for lunch. Then shopped lots more.

Eventually we headed back to the Waterfront and took a well earned break in Isaac's bar then to Pizza Express for dinner. FriendL had brought a large tin of Quality Street which we attacked as our extra dessert when we got home.

Saturday we went to Snape Maltings for the Aldeburgh Food Festival. Lots more walking around and sampling all the goodies on offer. Lunch in the cafe there and home and out again later for dinner at The Oyster Reach. Late home but still time to watch the recorded Simply Red concert and a glass or two of wine!

It had been a rainy weekend but we both had coats with hoods so it wasn't a problem. I had suggested we go to Felixstowe Sunday market but when we got up it was raining heavily so neither of us could be bothered with battling the elements for more shopping we didn't need so spent a lazy morning at home. We were soon joined by my Darling Daughter and the three children and then friendK brought hubby home and we all sat for dinner. The girls were really busy being ever so creative and LittleOne was so entertaining that we all had a great afternoon.

I don't think friendL and I stopped talking for three days which was lovely. We have been friends since school days and know each other's families well so it was great to catch up properly.

All too soon everyone left, including hubby who went bowling, and I was left to flop on the sofa exhausted :o)

France holiday

Really bad at keeping up to date with this blog - sorry!
Our holiday to France was 5th - 13th September and hubby and I went with friendsP&A who happen to be our next door neighbours and we get on really well with them.

We travelled by Eurotrain and hubby did all the driving. Setting off Sunday afternoon we arrived in France and drove to our first stop which was an Ibis hotel about half way to our destination. Monday we did the rest of the drive and reached the house we were renting mid-afternoon. Unfortunately I had slept badly at the hotel and woke with a painful neck.....this lasted all of the week and actually is still painful now, but I didn't let it stop me doing stuff and tried not to complain too much!

The house we had rented belongs to a chap hubby knows from bowling and it's mainly their holiday home but occasionally they rent it out to family and friends. It was very well equipped and we were so grateful not to have to bring our own bedding or towels etc.

During the week we visited lots of local places including Biarritz, Arcachon and the Dune de Pilat at Pyla. We ate out some of the time but also made good use of the BBQ at the house. We started each day with friendA making us a cooked breakfast which was yummy and set us up for hours! Evenings were spent 'at home' watching some very old DVDs and videos mostly comedies like Only Fools and Horses and Dad's Army, not really my choice but relaxing.

Weather was good, not too hot, but a bit of rain some of the time.
And at this late stage of writing that's about all the main events covered!

Sunday, 29 August 2010

Catching up with the past....

Over a week ago I met BestFriendM for lunch, she still works at the little fishing hamlet where she'd bought a house some years ago. I used to be down there a lot and love the place. On the river with a beach, boat yard, sailing club and two pubs! Since my friend moved in with her boyfriend into the town I rarely have a reason to go down to the water's edge so it was great to meet her at work for lunch. The sun was shining and it was very warm so we went across on the small foot ferry and had freshly smoked prawns in the cafe, then all too soon it was the ferry back and she had to go back to work.

Last Thursday evening I met up with FriendD, we hadn't seen each other for nearly 14 years! I'd made contact with her again on facebook and she was thrilled that I had. We went out for a meal and although we had a lot to catch up on, each other's lives and what our children and now grandchildren were doing, it was just like old times!

Friday night to Saturday lunchtime was spent with FriendH, who I've known from school days! These days we have a regular catch-up of me driving to hers (about 50 miles) and sleeping over because we talk till gone 3am then a few hours sleep then starting the morning with more chat until I drag myself away around lunchtime. I say regular as it's always two visits a year six months apart!

And today hubby and I had a house full, DarlingDaughter, Sool, and my three fabulous grandchildren, plus NeiceL, her hubby, two children and their dog. Big dinner,bike riding and walking the dog to the park where we all got wet, tea and cakes, jigsaws, scrabble and watching TV......a lovely day!

Thursday, 26 August 2010

Scotland holiday - days 7, 8 and 9

So sorry for the delay, really bad at blogging and keeping it up to here is the rest of the holiday in one mad attempt!!!

Sunday 15th August
We left Aberdeen and headed to Barrow-In-Furness in Cumbria to stay with FriendM. We made our first stop at Loch Lomond, but guess we followed the wrong sign as we got to a bit which only led to a boat yard and ferry and couldn't really walk around the loch but we did find a nice place to have lunch. Then back on the road and stopped when we were nearly there for a quick ice-cream at a place called Bardsey. We sat there laughing at all the children getting covered in mud cos the tide was out and they were rock-pooling I guess, also watched some older guy wading out in obviously boggy ground and eventually falling into it - he didn't look hurt but must have been soaked through. We reached Barrow then crossed the bridge to Walney Island where she lives. FriendM made us dinner then we went for a walk to see the beach at the end of her road and the plan was to call into her favourite restaurant to book a table for the following night, but unfortunately they don't open on a Monday, so had to have a rethink.

Monday 16th August
After breakfast the next morning, and after hubby did a couple of DIY jobs, we set off for the first of her planned stops, but at the locked door we discovered that The Dock Museum is also closed on a Monday, so we had a long river side walk instead. Cumbria being closed on a Monday being the joke of the day! Then drove to Ulverston where we discovered The Laurel and Hardy Museum, which was interesting, then onto Wax Lyrical, Candle outlet shop, where we had a lovely lunch and FriendM and I shopped for bargains while hubby waited for us at the car, cleaning the windscreen and playing on his phone! Then onto Furness Abbey and a good look around speculating what went where and how they lived. Back at our friend's for afternoon tea in the garden. Her daughter popped round and they talked about a few places to eat out but FriendM decided we would have Chinese take-away delivered, and it was lovely!

Tuesday 17th August
We left FriendM's soon after breakfast and drove off without much direction at first. I'd suggested a couple of places and we'd set the satnav and even headed in that direction but then it was deemed too far out of our way. We did stop at Kendal and bought mint cake to give as gifts and a later stop at Ashby de la Zouch Abbey for a quick walk round but the weather was getting wetter and as we were then only a couple of hours from home we decided to come straight home a day earlier than planned.

Nice to be back in my own bed and to have use of my own 'facilities' of course!

Saturday, 14 August 2010

Scotland holiday - day 6

Saturday 14th August (yes today, finally caught up)

Up early but hubby still sleeping so I quietly got out the laptop for something to do while waiting for him. He woke with no hangover, thankfully, then down to breakfast. Met up with some of the guests again so lots more chatting. then out for some fresh air. We walked a circuit at the park over the road, nice park, then a walk back which took us through the little shopping centre and back to the hotel. Bumped into some family guests and chatted with them too.

2pm ish we headed off to the home of FriendsN&G for their extended wedding celebration garden BBQ. The new Mrs P had told us we could walk it from the hotel in 10mins, well she must walk fast as it took us nearly half an hour! Meeting these people again today was like meeting up with our own family, such lovely people and warm and welcoming and inclusive.

Back to the hotel about 7:30pm ish and we decided to stay in, feet up, cups of tea and TV on to recover from the past few late boozy nights. So the perfect time for me to catch up with blogging :o)

Scotland holiday - day 5

Friday 13th August

Today is the day of the wedding for FriendsN&G. FriendN stopped working with hubby about 8 years ago but they've kept in touch with the occasional email and even rarer night out when FriendN was back in Suffolk. This got a bit harder once FriendN moved back up to Aberdeen! However he made it down with his girlfriendG for hubby's 50th celebration and again managed to co-ordinate a Suffolk visit with one of our BBQs. We were so thrilled and honoured to be invited to their wedding and accepted immediately which was about a year in advance :o)

Wedding started at 2pm so after breakfast we headed back into Aberdeen and parked at the beach for a walk and drove around the harbour which looked totally commercial. We talked about the huge granite buildings and how they lacked much fancy stuff....they were obviously built to be spacious and practical with big windows, but didn't need to show off or prove their worth to anyone!

Back, showered, dressed and made up then down to the wedding. Hubby had spotted people he'd known from BT and FriendN's friends from that time, so we chatted with them in the bar for ages then all called into the service. The hotel hall has been decorated very elegantly. Very dark tartan drapes around the sides and the table all had black top cloths on which made the lights and candles really sparkle. The side of the room was set with chairs either side of an aisle for the civil ceremony.

Groom didn't look nervous at all and the bride looked stunning :o)
The service was really nice with various very personal bits added in, Celtic blessings and candle lightings all creating a totally unique and meaningful ceremony!

When we sat at dinner we were honoured to be on table 1 with the brides family. They made us so welcome and chatted to us all the time. I learnt every thing about everyone over dinner from the brides lovely parents, or so it seemed. Dinner was delicious starting with Scotch broth.

The night went on with disco and some traditional Scottish Gay Gordon's and a Reel or two. I danced as much as I could but had to sit with my foot on a chair for the end of the evening. The evening buffet included 'Stovies' and although I was still really full from dinner I had to give it a try and loved it. Like a thick beef stew, served with mashed potatoes and swede, topped with beetroot and hot gravy (like HP sauce).

Hubby got quite drunk, but he's always a happy drunk so that's good and we both had a great time.
Congratulations MR & Mrs P. our FriendsN&G.

Scotland holiday - day 4

Thursday 12th August

Up, dressed, breakfast and all too soon it was time to leave our friends on their little Glenrothes small holding. Turning the car round and saying good bye to friends and avoiding the chickens, geese, ducks, turkeys and even a lamb is not easy. Oh I'd forgotten to mention Murphey, he's a young crow they'd rescued and nurtured back to good health, he lives in a large cage and slept in the lounge with us at night. Actually with his blanket on he doesn't make any noise at all.

We made a stop en-route at Dundee and had a walk round a shopping mall, when we stopped for a cuppa I asked one of the other customers if there was anywhere to buy traditional Dundee cake and she gave us directions. We soon found a great bakers and bought cake (as you do).

We arrived in Aberdeen and headed to Westhill and checked in at the Holiday Inn....this stop was the main point of our whole holiday, but I'll still tell it roughly as it happened!

Italian dinner at Luigi's, then some TV but went out again around 11pm ish to see if we could see any of the promised meteor shower, unfortunately there was too much light pollution and far too cloudy, so to bed!

Scotland holiday - day 3

Wednesday 11th August

Didn't sleep too well, strange bed and all that, plus needing the loo and not wanting to disturb anyone! Stayed put until nearly 7:30am and hubby and I got up quietly and put the day bed away. Hubby then got out the birthday cards he had brought with and I opened them. Gradually each person got up and with young-J being the last up about 10am and a full cooked breakfast for all around 11am....including fresh duck, turkey and chicken eggs yummy! Then got extra birthday cards from these friends too :o)

Well the weather was very changeable with lots of showers, so our trip was postponed a few hours. On our way out hubby was asked to stop in a little village and FriendA popped out and came back with a prezzie for me, a metal heart that you hang and put a candle in, it's lovely! then all onto Tentsmuir where we walked along a huge sandy beautiful beach, then we walked through the woods.

When we got back and after FriendA had a nap and hubby had fixed a computer or two, FriendA made me a fantastic birthday dinner of venison and lots of very freshly picked veg, it was delicious and we all went back for seconds! Then dessert was a special birthday cake and the chantilly cream was coated with a sparkly stuff that left us all with sparkly smiles. It was a great day!

Scotland holiday - day 2

Tuesday 10 August

Our hotel room had a very high bath which I was reluctant to climb in and out of with my sore toe, so I asked hubby to get the shower head down so I could wash my hair. I carefully laid it pointing down then reached across to activate the button and whoosh.....I was now soaked and couldn't avoid the giant fountain which came high enough to hit the ceiling! I guess the shower head had spun round but all I could do was hold up a towel in front of me and shout for hubby! We did laugh a lot but he must despair and think "What she done now?"

After breakfast and checking out of our room we were back on the road. As English Heritage members I was looking out for the logo on all the brown local interest road signs and so we headed to Pickering Castle which entertained us for about half an hour. Back at the car we made a quick cup of tea and checked emails etc on the laptop with out mobile internet connection (so clever) then back on the road heading up to Scotland and our friends checking out at least three more supermarkets on the way, but no paprika!

We arrived at FriendA's about 6:30pm ish and said hi to her chap K and also to FriendE and her granddaughterJ who are also staying. Dinner and eventually very late to bed with lots of talk of early up the next day to catch the tide to go razor clam hunting! We were on the day bed in the lounge.

Scotland Holiday - day 1

Monday 9th August 2010

Two points to note before I start, firstly FriendA we are visiting had asked if we could bring a speciality paprika she can't get where she lives, and secondly I had dropped a full jar of peanut butter on my toe last Friday morning (think it's broken and very bruised OUCH!).

Left home about 10:30am, quick stop at Tesco for petrol and paprika, no luck again on the paprika. Hubby has already tried Sainsbury's and Asda. Driving north until we were ready to stop for some lunch...
NEARLY found the English Heritage site near Peterborough, saw all the signs but couldn't find the road in, so we headed back
NEARLY to the part of the river with lots of boats on that I had seen from the road in but we never found that spot again
NEARLY had lunch in a Ramada Hotel on their terrace, but eventually found a pub over-looking a small rowing lake (with no-one rowing) and had a nice lunch. then back in the car and up to Yorkshire. I suggested we head into town but we headed straight for the coast and in to Bridlington.

Eventually we parked and
NEARLY stayed in a lovely 4* hotel, they only had a suit available and offered it to us for the price of a standard double but decided it was too expensive. Bridlington wasn't in favour either, so we drove on to Filey.
NEARLY parked outside a nice hotel, legally parked but it wasn't in a bay so drove quite a way to find a bay and walked back (my poor toe). We checked into the Downcliffe House Hotel and our room was on the second floor (no lift and sore toe) and in fact the price was only £20 cheaper than the rejected 'suite'!

We settled into our room and decided to go out for a walk and find a place for dinner. As the weather had been quite changeable I suggested I grab the umbrella out of the car - "Nah you won't need it" says hubby! We walked along the prom but there was nothing more than a bag of chips to be had there so we decided to walk up into the town, yes up lots of steps and a big slope. Then just as we got to the top and before we got a glimpse of any high street the heavens opened and the heaviest shower hit us. We got soaked, I had a nylon shopping bag on my head some of the time and we'd even ran into a red phone box to shelter from the worst of it!!! When we got back it was all our wet clothes off, kettle and TV on.....then I stubbed my poorly toe on the bloody suitcase which was open on the floor ouch ouch ouch! So we ate crisps and kitkats while I cried into my tea :o(

Managed to hobble down to the bar for a short while, but had to go barefoot!
If this is the start it's going to be a loooooong holiday!

Thursday, 5 August 2010

The power of hugs........

For anyone on any of the social networking sites you'll understand just what I mean when I say how amazingly powerful they can be. 

My big SisterM is really poorly right now and without saying why I changed my status on facebook to 
 needs family and friends to share a big GROUP HUG today!
and within the day my page was full of hugs. I feel so special knowing I'm loved and supported by so many!

Monday, 2 August 2010

Yes I'm a hoarder...

There are definitely some things that mean more than just what they are! Take a wedding present for example. We were given a very fashionable coffee set as a wedding gift 37 years ago. Since then we have had four homes, two children and three grandchildren, so it's inevitable that there are now just 3 cups to go with the six saucers.

Well I do clear out stuff every once in a while but if it can't be donated to a charity shop for resale or added to the various recycling programs in this area then it just has to hit the bin......but not a wedding present eh?

So I just had to find another purpose....

Monday, 26 July 2010

And another family gathering......

With my mum, dad, aunts and uncles all gone now it's not easy keeping up with what is happening to who in the world of cousins......and in my family there are a lot of them! So my CousinS decided to host a get-together (family from my mum's side) at her house, which was yesterday!

We were all asked to bring food for the table and we took some folding garden chairs too and drove to Edgeware (just under two hours from here). The gathering had to be in her garden as she lives in a small flat so we all kept everything crossed for good weather and it worked. Though lots couldn't make it there were in total 36 of us, a few of which (3 children and 2 partners) I'd never met before, so it was great having a good catch up gossip. I calculated down the generations and decided that little A and her big sister F are my 6th cousins (or should I say 'cousins 6 times removed' or does that mean something totally different?).

CousinB kept reminding everyone that I was her bridesmaid and that was 48 years ago! Thanks B.

The adults all kept moving around so I guess we all got to talk to everyone, I know I did. All the children seemed to be enjoying themselves but I was too busy to see if they were mixing with each other. LittleOne certainly got lots of attention from the children he knows and the ones he doesn't know too. Shame our girls couldn't be there as they were with their dad this weekend (went to collect them afterwards) hopefully they will be next time.

Took plenty of photos and today I shared them with everyone. I hope they share theirs soon. Also hope that all the promises of 'must do this again' happen in the not too distant future.

Wednesday, 21 July 2010

Did it again....

Had such a lovely time Sunday that I decided to do it again, with the 'Tuesday girls' - BBQ that is. Also because I had bought far too much food for Sunday that it helped to use up the leftovers!

There were actually all five of us, which I think is the first time this year that we have all made it out together! Lots of laughter, lots of news to catch up with, lots of drink (for those not driving) and a warm night right through till the end.

They all said they enjoyed it, and I did too!

Sunday, 18 July 2010

A sunny, yummy, chatty, baby cuddling, munching, laughing, hugging day....I'm exhausted!!!

So lovely to see everyone and the sun never stopped shining :o)

Sister S and her lot got here early (as usual) and I hadn't even showered yet, but with family it doesn't matter. Niece V brought her boyfriend that we were meeting for the first time and he seemed really nice. Very tall which is always funny as our family are particularly short and Sister S is the shortest of all so was telling us what a shock it was when she met him for the first time. We are a mad bunch when we get together but he managed to cope with us so he got the thumbs up from me!

My darling daughter and her lot arrived next. They should have been late arrivals but they had been camping for the past 3 days not sleeping much and Olympian had County Squad training this morning so they were all up early for the hour drive to get there but she ended up too exhausted to do the full session so they pulled her out and came home. Darling daughter still managed to arrive with a box full of Gluten/Wheat free cakes she had baked last night, while unpacking all their camping stuff.

Then came nieces and nephews with great nieces and great nephews too many to name plus a dog. Closely followed by Sister P and her husband plus their dog too.

Hubby manned the BBQ and I spent a lot of time in the kitchen, but when everyone said they were full to bursting I realised I'd bought far too much food as usual, but will never admit that to hubby who had said so three shopping lists before!

So with tired children, those that have school tomorrow and two that fly to Egypt on holiday in the morning but haven't packed yet, they all gradually left. Hubby went bowling and after a bit more clearing up I'm now on the lounger in the garden with a mug of tea and my laptop.

I'll sleep well tonight :o)

Saturday, 17 July 2010

All in the prep...

Got lots of family coming tomorrow for a BBQ - should have been 30 but now down to 26 of us!
So of course I had to do some serious housework today! All shiny now and yes I'm feeling just a little bit smug :o)

I know I gave up being a working woman but should have thought it through more when I gave up my weekly cleaner!!!

Sunday, 11 July 2010

Zakynthos 2010

Tuesday 29th June – Tuesday 6th July

Our holiday was a great relax. Just four of us, hubby and me and Friends L&K. L and I have been friends since school days and she married a west London boy like I did, so they have always got on really well with each other too. We went back to the Clio Hotel, Alykes where we went two years ago but it was the fifth year in a row for L&K! Run by a lovely family who can't do enough to make everyone feel welcome! We hired a car just one day and drove around the island visiting the beauty spots and went to the beach for just a few hours another day but most of the time we lazed by the pool or wandered around the tacky souvenir shops or mostly finding different places to eat and drink............all at a snail's pace as it was around 36C most of the time!

On the day we arrived we wandered into town for our evening meal and met “Muscles” again. He’s a young guy who works the beach all day and pulls people into the restaurant all evening. When L&K first met him his English wasn’t very good (Albanian I think) so used to talk to them for ages to improve. He’s an uncontrollable flirt which makes him adorable and of course he got his nickname as it looks like he works out all the time! After eating we decided to just relax back at the hotel but they had a quiz night about to start as we got there… we joined in and won!

I really love Greek food but didn’t fancy too many hot dinners in such hot weather so had lots of salads, although couldn’t resist the lamb with oregano and garlic one night and sardines one lunchtime. I’ll never starve!!!

Our hotel hosted a Greek night. L&K were amazed as it has always been advertised but every previous year not happened during their holiday. Lots of lovely BBQ’d food followed by traditional Greek dancers, who kept getting us all to join in, followed by disco of some very old 60’s music. A really good night and more than enough exercise to cancel out our lazy week.

All too soon it was time to pack and head home. Only negative things to report was the very poor internet connection I got on my phone from their wifi but so long as I could let our daughter know we were OK I didn’t really care, and the other thing was insect bites which we all suffered with. Apart from that it was great and we told L&K that we’d love to do it again with them another year, perhaps avoiding July and August as they get a bit too hot.

Wanna come with us next time?

Monday, 31 May 2010

SATC2 - our epilogue.....

Following on from a very successful American series "Sex and the City" and the first feature film of the same name, this week has seen the UK premier of "Sex and the City 2". I've never actually watched any of the series or seen the film but my group of girl friends used to laugh at how we could have been characters.

The group of us that used to work together and then stayed in touch by going out together every Tuesday are all very different but round the table at the pub each week we looked forward to hearing about each other's news.

Now, those that used to shop with great extravagance and get excited telling us about each purchase are divorced or job-less so never have a penny spare.

Now, those that had interesting jobs and mixed with a variety of people daily can these days be seen at home with grandchildren. Not a bad thing and great fun for those involved but not so good as stories to share.

Now, those that used to have affairs and giggle and blush through the telling of their secretive antics have settled down with new partners.

And now, even the pub we had used for years is out of favour. Actually most of us have always hated that pub but I guess now our tolerance of each other has worn thin.

So perhaps it is the end of "Sex and the City" for us and possibly coming to the end of our regular Tuesday gatherings as we drift apart. I'm sure we will all remain friends even though we won't see each other regularly, but such a shame we will never be characters in "The Golden Girls".

Friday, 2 April 2010

Can you smell the difference?....

Two months, new plumbing and adjusted wiring and a lot of new appliances and tiles and carpet and yes THE BATHROOM IS FINISHED. Well worth the wait as it's lovely. Looks so much bigger. We've all used it and even the children gave it the thumbs up.
Well done Hubby, you're amazing!

Thursday, 11 February 2010

DIY update....

..... 4 weeks on and we have all the new bathroom fixtures and fittings - but they are sitting in the spare bedroom. We have all the tiles - but they are sitting in the games room. We have a room now empty of all carpet, tiles, radiator and all appliances which are sitting in the garden!

I wonder how much longer I'll be strip washing in the downstairs loo and washing my hair in the kitchen sink?

Thursday, 21 January 2010

I've got a happy Hubby.......

......cos I gave in and said he can rebuild the bathroom!

Yes I live with a very enthusiastic and totally capable DIY man. Hubby can tackle plumbing, building, decorating, electrics, computing, landscaping, car repairs, in fact almost anything and does here and for all relations and friends who have ever known him. He is efficient, not too slow for a non professional and never leaves a mess - so why did I have to 'give in' on the bathroom? Well he retired nearly three years ago and then announced he wanted to do a makeover on both the bathroom and kitchen, both of which he built himself and I have to admit both looking 'tired', but I hate the shopping and the choosing and we rarely agree on what we want.

I really liked my 'retro' bathroom with it's avocado coloured suit and tiles, it looked homely and not perfect like hotel bathrooms but a little cluttered and comfortable. However, the main problem with 'retro' is the cost of having to repair or replace anything and the shower needed replacing as I was fed up of having to run around to get wet. Trouble was he had built the shower cubicle and tiled it all so to replace it would mean ripping off the tiles anyway. Well over Christmas I had that rotten cold and felt dreadful and the one thing I wanted was a good shower to wake me up a bit and refresh my sorry self - but that couldn't happen, so I called down the stairs dripping and grumpy "OK you get to rip out this bathroom and build me one that works!". Once said of course it couldn't be taken back!

So I'm sitting here listening to tiles crashing. We've chosen all the fixtures we want but still haven't found any tiles we like, so another trip out tomorrow (and the shopping and choosing is the bit I hate). All be worth it in the end, hopefully!

Saturday, 16 January 2010

Has anyone mentioned the snow?

Well it has been the most reported UK weather for the past month that I can remember. The last couple of rainy days has almost washed it all away - but not quite - so I've been able to open my front door and look at snow for over a month!

For me personally I have been stuck in my car on the A14 for two hours because of lorries not being able to get over the bridge in the very sudden and very heavy snow fall. That night ended with me sleeping at friends and heading home the next day. Another night we were out and hubby was driving and the icy slippery road led to us bumping into the car that had bumped into the lorry that had skidded on a roundabout and narrowly missed bumping some oncoming traffic. Thankfully no-one was hurt and no real damage done.

But have to say that daily I thanked circumstances that I didn't have to try to get to work each day and could just curl up on the sofa in the warm with my book.