Thursday, 31 December 2009

Happy New Year!

I hope you all had a peaceful start to the new year, and didn't have to put up with the sort of stuff my neighbours are coping with....at full volume tonight!
One person is berating another because they are taking Valium...when "they could have scored whatever they wanted here tonight!"
New year's eve is crazy...
I am glad it only comes once a year.
Am sad that I didn't get to spend time with the man I love, but I am sure we will remedy that.
Anyway....it's almost 3am here now..I should go to bed.
Night night all and Happy New Year

Monday, 28 December 2009

A late solstice gift

I had a slight surprise this morning when AmberMoggie called briefly. I had won a solstice giveaway on her blog, the roads had been bad around here, so it was surprise just before lunchtime when she turned up with the beautiful shawl and homespun skein of yarn. No doubt in weeks to come you might be able to see what I have created with the yarn over on Fidgetty Fingers.
Thanks Amber, they are beautiful.

Tuesday, 22 December 2009

Idiot Motorists!

OK...no apologies here
There are plenty of idiot motorists about.
For instance...the lady who was waiting for her car to warm up...with snow all over it and spraying her water bottles in minus temperatures.
Or what about the mobile snowballs...who only wish to get their cars going...and forget that they need to have their lights and number plates visible.
Then we have the idiots who insist on doing the speed limit..or perhaps more...despite the fact that the driving conditions are difficult.
I am not an angel...by any stretch of the imagination...but it took me from 10am this morning until gone 6pm to do several small jobs.
I had appointments in Galgate at 11.30am and Noon..then I needed to deliver pressies to Catterall, and Forton, then drop my son off in Lancaster. Then I went to Asda.
I arrived there around 15.30...I know this as I rang Edwin to see if he knew of anything we may want. I was through the checkout by 16.30.
I then sat in a queue until around 18.oo-18.15!
A wagon had ended up on it's side at the large roundabout, and the weather was making the traffic signals temperamental...coming out of Asda...the green light was only showing for 5-10 seconds
Over the next two days...if I want anything from the shops..I will walk...if I can't get it..it ain't necessary.

Back soon

The last few weeks have been madly busy, and I have been a little to exhausted to blog.
Normal service will be resumed...on all blogs...soon.
Thanks for your patience
First topic...Idiot motorists..unless Politics for Novices beats me to it.

Sunday, 6 December 2009

Why not kick people while they are down?

I know, a strange title for a post.
I have just read this article, and wonder what the world is coming to. These days if you are off ill from work, where I work you have to undergo a "return to work" interview. When you've been off work ill, you just want to get back into your work, and yes, I know many companies do this now, but why when you have long term conditions that are made worse by stress, do they make the interviews as stressful as possible.
This past week my asthma went out of control, I don't know why? But to such an extent that on Friday I coughed myself sick, and was unable to go to work.
While I'm grumbling about draconian measures taken these days, perhaps I should point out something else the current government initiatives have caused. I have a very dear friend who suffers from Arachnoiditis, this is quite a rare condition, but they were retired from their work because of it. At one point they were hospitalised almost totally paralysed. This person has enough courage and determination to get them self mobile again, yet they have to take very strong painkillers to ease the condition. What is the latest indignity this person has been subjected to? They have had their Disability Living Allowance taken off them, which has meant losing their car, and this at a time when they have successfully overcome throat cancer for a second time, and keep ending up in hospital with vasovagal syndrome. Yet an overweight neighbour of mine, who has never worked as long as I have lived here has a "disability", yet he owns a minimum of 4 vehicles, all with the tax paid by the government.
This doesn't seem at all fair, especially when my friend keeps himself busy, and this neighbour seems to do nothing but help keep the local hostelries open

Saturday, 5 December 2009

Private education

Several years back I wish thatI could have sent my daughter to Chethams in Manchester...thankfully she is motivated enough to "teach herself" on the saxophone she JUST BOUGHT

Sunday morning.....reflecting on this....if I had the money at the time I would have paid for Chethams, but not for a run of the mill private school, as sending a child to Chethams is investing in their future as a musician.

Pot of gold?

I'm sure everyone at sometime has heard the story about the pot of gold at the end of a rainbow.
Well, this morning I walked the dogs and one end of the rainbow was on the Midland Hotel. Yes, you need to own a pot of gold to be able to stay there, I believe it is very pricey. It just made me smile, rainbows always do.

Tuesday, 1 December 2009

I wonder

Is it illegal to drive if you are on crutches, and don't put your foot on the ground when you are on them?
I would think so, but one of my neighbours is getting in his car..on crutches...one foot of the floor..then driving. The car is not automatic, so....is he breaking the law?

Monday, 30 November 2009

Do You Ever?

Do you ever add someone to your "friends" list.....and then find yourself bombarded by spam?

Tuesday, 24 November 2009

Wide awake!

I should be asleep by now, but I am more than 75% awake...am going to try making some supper..albeit late
Perhaps I will sleep?

Thursday, 19 November 2009

Why? at least check!!!!

when a newletter is sent out....aren't the facts checked...before sending to over a 1000+ people?
As usual, answers on sealed down envelope or postcard to..............

Saturday, 14 November 2009

I wonder

After reading this article, I wonder if I was the victim of the mentioned scam. After all, the collision was slow speed and took place on a roundabout, and the woman who ran into me was extremely indignant with both her and her passenger asking me why I ran into them? A few weeks later my daughter did have an accident and the woman she ran into was very apologetic and didn't know the procedure. Let's face it, who ever thinks they are going to have an accident and have to claim on their car insurance, so unless you are a salesman, someone who works for an insurance company, or a member of the police, there is no reason why you should have the procedure off pat.
It's all in the past now, and it was decided that neither party was to blame, so I got 50% of my excess back. I am extra wary at roundabouts these days, and have reverted to the thinking my driving instructor recommended. You are driving a lethal weapon, and everyone else on the road is not to be trusted. He actually said they were all idiots, and will never do the predictable, so always be aware that other drivers are unpredictable. I had mistakenly thought that the driver who ran into me would take the outer lane of the roundabout, when in fact they drove across it in a straight line with no signals.

I'll never know, but will be wary from now on.

Tuesday, 10 November 2009

Swine flu

:) I knew I felt rough, and yesterday was diagnosed with swine flu.
Now I have a explanation as to all I want to do is sleep. The coughing made my chest and back muscles sore, and my throat very sore as well....and sneezing is very unpleasant.

Sunday, 8 November 2009

act on CO2

While I am all for conserving energy, etc. The latest campaign I am not in support of. It recommends that you drive 5 miles less/week in order to cut your CO2 emissions. Sometimes the only time I use my car is to drive to Asda to do the weekly shop. A round trip of 6 miles. If I cut my car use by 5miles/week...it would take me 6 weeks to get to Asda and back. Plus my car is diesel, and pollutes more on start up. I don't use my car excessively so I won't be following this bit of advice. I do walk most places, and usually if I know I need to shop I will drive to work to use my time efficiently, as work is closer to the supermarket. The rest of the time I walk to the shop/market/etc, as I have two dogs that need the exercise, and when I don't walk, my ankle becomes stiff and painful.
It might be more useful to encourage people to "downsize" their lifestyle. After all, expensive holidays abroad contribute more to CO2 emissions.

Saturday, 7 November 2009

Saturday night/sunday morning...............early

Have just finished leaving a comment on another blog
here things are just beginning to warm up...typical; Saturday night...but why should normal people be disturbed by abnormal ones?
Last night both myself and my 20+ daughter were woken by shouting and fighting in our VERY short street...they have started again tonight...I do know that we are not the only people disturbed...as the street is quiet and on the whole has families in it.
any ideas please...on a postcard or sealed down envelope to.................

Checking my "stash"

I have 9 x 50g balls of a cotton blend.
6 x 50g balls sirdar supreme..mohair...leaf green
7 x 50g pink mohair type
3 x 50g balls Sheena Ann mohair type..cream
1 x aran dusky pink...about 300g left of 400g ball
10 x 50 g soft touch by Wendy...think I have a project for this!
5 + big bit sirdar snuggly 4 ply in lemon
around 60-70 g of each colour in mohair thickness..of white, jade and cerise
4 x 50g balls...[plus around 30g] all same dye lot lilac aran
4 x 50g Dk cream coloured
2 x aran type large at least 300g left...in pale green and lemon
180 g DK wool in pale grey
2 x 100g teardrops cream
10 x 50 g coolspun ocean blue colour
4 x 50g random scarf yarn..blue/grey mix
There is a bit more...
like 4 x 50 g a silk mix in yellow
however..I intend to rationalise my long term stash..and if I can not find a use..I will offer up


The above is all stuff that has been sat in a box in a cupboard since I moved in here. I forget it is there and buy new for projects. I know I shouldn't but I do.

Wednesday, 4 November 2009

4 days in

I'm now 4 days into NaNoWriMo. My word count is short of what I would like. However tonight I had an idea that will help, well two actually. I started working on one, and the other is quite easy to follow up. So I hope these ideas will help my progress, and generate new ideas.
50000 words is an awful lot of writing, but I am sure if I concentrate...I will finish on target, and on time.
This time of year gets pretty "dead" here anyway, with the nights drawing in, and the weather getting colder, what better reasons do I want than to sit in front of my PC and write?

Love Hearts

I'd got a selection of sweets in for if we were visited by trick or treater's. There are some left, and I'm having a munch on some Love Hearts. The links below tell you more about them, what I did notice is that there are some "new" messages on them, after all, when they were first made....there were no such things as mobile phones, or personal computers. I wonder how many new messages you can spot in the list, besides the one's that are classed as competition winning messages?
I think there around 17 "modern" ones.
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Love_Hearts
https://www.lovehearts.com/

Monday, 2 November 2009

The Royal Mail

Currently our Royal Mail is on sporadic strike. They are protesting against the increased mechanisation. Normally I wouldn't feel that I was in a position to say anything, but as my brother has worked for the Royal Mail since he left the Royal Navy, perhaps I might have something to say.
My brother has been re-trained...with the Royal Mail picking up the tab, as a swimming instructor, and am not sure about this...but he was also looking into becoming a qualified archery instructor.
Apparently, the Royal Mail saw the imminent mechanisation, and offered to retrain employees at their own expense for the future. So...now my brother is a fully trained swimming instructor....they get a decent rate of pay..plus..he was in the Royal Navy..so there is quite possibly a pension coming from them...as they keep ex "staff" as reserves.
I am wondering if the only postmen who are protesting are the one's who did not take up the offer, and have only ever been postmen? I know that is sad, but surely their number of years service will count if they are made redundant? [They should do!]

On the same, but a slightly different subject.....I received a letter today. Wow! Big Deal! I hear you say. This was a letter dated 18th April 2009..it arrived today 2nd November 2009......over 6 and 1/2 months late! WHY?

Sunday, 1 November 2009

NaNoWriMo

NaNoWriMo started at a minute past midnight...this morning.
I spent quite a bit of the day doing my usual delaying tactics. Eventually I settled down and wrote. I have just typed it up, and have only written 953 words so far, but I have been "flying by the seat of my pants" I started with a basic idea, and have been developing a plot as I have been writing.
I haven't spoken to Blue today, so don't know if she has made a start on hers.
When I wrote essays for uni, I always started slow, then picked up pace as I warmed to my subject, and usually ended up writing more than I needed to. I hope the same happens here. I might post a snippet on Random Scribbling when I'm happy. But please remember the idea is to reach 50000 words, re-drafting and editing are not important at the moment, so it will be a quite rough part of a first draft.

Saturday, 31 October 2009

Samhain

The only thing I have done tonight besides make Mum's birthday pressie up is light candles to celebrate Samhain. We have had a few trick or treater's around, but the sweetie tub is still above half full. To me..tonight...last harvest, celebrating good harvest...the earth is preparing itself for it's winter rest period....except...our weather is screwy...and the temperatures are far higher than normal for this time of year. In my books it just means we are going to have really mean November and January..dunno why, but December never seems as harsh.
Peaceful Samhain to all.

Friday, 30 October 2009

Who emmigrates?

Yesterday I mentioned in my post that more people emigrate from the UK than immigrate. After looking at the post again, it set me thinking.
Two of my uncles and aunty's went to Australia in the 60s, possibly on the £10 ticket, my other aunty and uncle who live abroad moved to France after my uncle retired. Similarly my sister's in-laws, sold up and retired to Spain. I have a half cousin who lives in Switzerland, and he's part of the "brain drain", he went there to gain a better paid post. A friend's son lives in Greece, again, he couldn't find a suitable post using his qualifications here in the UK.
When we lose these people in that way, they don't often come back to the UK, apart from visits. So we lose the next generation of that family, who may be as intelligent as their parents. A true "Brain Drain".
However some of the immigrants are bringing their education into the country. But we put up barriers against them using their qualifications.
Teachers who are qualified in the country of their origin are only allowed to teach as unqualified teachers, unless they complete ITT...again...to our standards. [An unqualified teacher can only teach for 5 years, the idea is they qualify within that time.]
One immigrant I know is a civil engineer in his country of origin, but has taken a much lower level post here, just in order to get a good standard of living. Also my Mum's current dentist is from Poland, as our NHS dental service seem unable to keep hold of enough NHS dentists. I'm sure Mum's dentist is just a proficient, but we still have people training as dentists here, only to either emigrate as soon as possible, or go into private practice.
Ironic isn't it?

Thursday, 29 October 2009

Racism , and does it really happen in schools?

Before I start to discuss this topic, this is the article that sparked it off.
In today's UK there seem to be many immigrants, however throughout the centuries there have always been immigrants. After all what were the Romans, Saxons, and various other races who have in the past invaded the UK. I'm not saying that the current ones are invading, the new EU laws allow free passage between EU countries, and around a year ago I remember seeing a comedian doing a "stand-up" about just this subject. Apparently more UK residents leave than we have immigrants. Indeed, of my Mum's family of seven siblings 3 of them live abroad, my sister's in-laws have lived in Spain for several years.
Anyway, my objection to this "surveys findings" is as follows. Yes, I agree that children under 11 may not know the meaning of the racial comments they jeer at classmates, however, they must have heard the terms used somewhere, and 9 times out of 10 they have heard elders they mix with using the terms. These elders DO know what the terms mean, and unfortunately the names do hurt the recipients. I know as I have been on the receiving end of misplaced racial comments throughout my life. I have a sallow skin that takes a tan really easily, and every now and again I will hear someone refer to me with a racial slur, they don't know that I was born in Derbyshire, or have British parents, and I know they are wrong in their slur, but even now they still hurt.
I have also heard neighbours dismiss the eastern Europeans who live in our little street with racial slurs. These slurs are incorrect as they pertain to the country of origin of the hardworking eastern Europeans. Another complaint is that they don't speak English, well, having got to know more than one of them, I have found out there is a very good reason for this. They work for a shipping company, who thoughtfully have provided translators for them. The upshot of this being that as they tend to drive most of the time they are working they have very little opportunity to learn English. The one's I have become friends with can speak their own language, Russian, German and a smattering of English, so who are we to belittle them, when the majority of English people can only speak English, and we also have a high level of adult illiteracy in the UK. Most Eastern European immigrants are here for a better quality of life, and are usually well educated.

Pirates!

The aren't just in story books. The reason there are so many tales about pirates is because they did exist, and still do in some parts of the world. This story from Yahoo, is one of modern day pirates.
The myth is alongside the one of highwaymen, who are all now seen as ruthless but "romantic" characters, when all they really were was very cunning thieves usually oozing charm.
Today's pirates don't seem to have the charm, just desperate times seem to require desperate measures. Isn't it funny how people's perceptions change?
I do hope the couple are soon released.

Tuesday, 27 October 2009

Driving at night

I don't have a problem with this, but the following link has some very good common sense ideas.
I learnt to drive over the summer months, and was lucky enough never to have to use my wipers or my lights. [British Summers were better then?] However....the first time I drove after passing my test, it was pitch dark and chucking it down. I just took things slower than I was used to doing until I felt comfortable. There is one thing that is not on the list there, and that is...if there is a driver travelling slower than you expect, they have either only just passed their test...or know the road well, and know about possible hazards that you might not be familiar with.
OK...sorry for going on...must check my wipers in the morning, and the washer bottle. Also will get Sam to check my lights are all functioning, and will check hers in return.

Saturday, 24 October 2009

Go proselytise elsewhere.

Why do Western religions feel the need to proselytise themselves?
I don't push my beliefs in anyone's face. On paper I am Church of England, but I consider myself a Pagan. This does not mean that I have no beliefs, or make blood sacrifices, or dance around naked every full moon.
I won't say what I do, because that is private, between my goddess and myself. Consequently I wouldn't push it in anyone's face.
To my knowledge, and experience, Eastern religions do not feel the need to proselytise. I know there are the Harri Krishna group, but I don't think they actively push their beliefs. They are just visible and people become interested. [I might be wrong in this, but this is my impression.]
So....if the Mormons..or whatever they call themselves come around again during the week..I will politely point out I have my beliefs, and don't require converting, and if I wanted a "recognised religion" I would go back to the C of E, and try to work through it's hypocrisy!

Friday, 23 October 2009

Half term

I have never been so glad that half term has come around.
I have been falling asleep on my bed after a bath or shower. Work has been non-stop, but I have enjoyed it these last two weeks....even though my voice is unpredictable, and I seem to be needing my reliever inhaler at the mo...perhaps that is due to the flu jab I had last Thursday evening?
The Autumn/winter term is always the longest, and can drag in parts.
Today I cleaned all the cupboards and drawers in the food room, and parcelled the sewing machines up, so that they could be sent for service. Amongst other stuff. I was more or less flat out all day.
Perhaps I might have the energy to do something in half term? Who knows. Would love to finish the "Giraffes" UFO ...get Edwin's new room up and running.....etc
Would also love some time for me.

Sunday, 18 October 2009

Early start

Got up early today, as someone said they were going to be on MSN at 8am, and asked if I could be then we could chat. Well.....I was here, but they weren't, and they still haven't appeared over 3 hours later. No, have not been sat here waiting all that time. I've walked the dogs and been to the market. I have also worked my way through a rather large pile of ironing. Also, when I got up it was fine, and I put some washing out that is almost dry, I brought it in as it started to spit. I don't really want to put it in the drier, as 1) the drier costs money to run, and 2) the biggest articles are the sheets off my bed, and my drier is only little and tends to ball up my sheets.
I've also got some chickpeas simmering away on the hob, I'm going to use them in an Indian recipe later. I tried it out a few weeks back and it is very tasty, much to my surprise. I'll also make some garlic and ginger paste to use in Indian recipes, as it saves a lot of messing about when cooking.
I think I'll be able to catch up on my book blog as well today. I have read 4 books, but not yet blogged about them. I think I'll even have time to work on some cross stitch, although the light isn't good for working on the giraffes. I might start a christmassy design. I do have one of St Basil's Cathedral, but I want to do that in a holiday. I'll let you know what I do. I'll obviously find time to do a little knitting as well.
To finish the day off I'm having an early night as well. I did make the tomato/chickpea thing, and the garlic and ginger paste. The paste is well worth the trouble, it takes ages to peel all the garlic and ginger for it, there are now three small jars languishing in my fridge. :)
Night night

Monday, 12 October 2009

Do Do floats, and then falls copiously

This is a question, or should I say one of life's great mysteries.
Why do inept, incompetent people gain positions of "power", and get good pay? Whilst the honest people prop them up by working hard, dragging their sorry butts out of scrapes only to be shit on from a great height.
I can't disclose at the moment what is making me so angry, apart from the fact....that stress related illnesses are made worse by stress..not better.

Saturday, 10 October 2009

Dumped

Why have I got such a soft heart?
Why is dating/ finding the right person no easier as you get older?
I didn't even have time to try to learn his language...I know he wanted to learn better English, but I thought me learning his language would help as well.
Never mind
Perhaps I am meant to be alone.
One comfort is he said it wasn't my fault.

Friday, 9 October 2009

Silent reflux...part 2

OK!
I saw doc. I should rest my voice whenever possible....times when it is impossible at work...and follow advice sheet..also..wait for L&ST appt!
in the meantime..my voice has deteriorated to slightly little above a whisper!
If it doesn't recover over the weekend...I am going to have to resort to a notebook...to communicate. I have told the HR peep at work...all she was bothered about is..do the peeps I work with know...yes...ok
But.............hell I am not a "rude" person..if my voice don't work...don't want to be classed as "ignorant bitch!"
I dunno if JEC will let staff know...but if she don't....:P to her

Tuesday, 6 October 2009

OK

Last Wednesday I was diagnosed with a condition called "silent reflux". In essence my stomach acid is burning my vocal chords.
Treatment?
Well...the consultant gave me an advice sheet......which is great...presuming I can read it....I know there are many adult illiterates, but I could.
The two sided advice note suggested diet changes......I have been doing those since April this year! also it says how I should have 2 lots of antacid/day...because I was on one dose..nothing was said. There was no suggestion I should rest my voice..or anything....only upon consulting my family doctor did I get clarification. OK the consultant was ruling out extreme nasty problems..but a bit more advice would help. I have no idea when the Speech/language/voice therapist will have a vacancy to see me...and as my sons both had speech therapy I appreciate their workload. I do not expect until Mid November...so...you might appreciate...a little more advice would have been very useful...what a shame I had to visit my family doctor...when 2-3 Min's more of the consultants time would have been enough! It took me 6 days to get an appointment with my family doctor...I appreciate that consultants are on a much higher wage...but a couple of minutes to dispense advice would have been welcomed in my case.

Sunday, 4 October 2009

Cold winter?

Sorry that I haven't posted for a bit. Been ill and pretty unhappy, and worried.
My voice keeps going really hoarse, the doc sent me to ENT dept at the hospital, on a two week appt. I didn't realise until a few days before the quick appt was because the doc wanted to rule out anything sinister, and then when I twigged what they wanted to rule out I got worried, as my very dear friend, Darkstormrising has just beaten throat cancer for the second time.
After a consultation with the ENT consultant I was told that I am suffering from something called silent reflux, which basically means that my stomach acid is damaging my vocal chords. I have to see a voice/speech therapist, but as I was just given a printout I thought I should try to see my doctor for further advice. Like...do I need to rest my voice when possible, take more antacids? just basic practical advice.
I have also had gastric flu, left me feeling really down.

Let's return to the title of this post, why "cold Winter?" Because it is only very early October and there have been two Vs of geese fly over already, also there is a large number of berries on the trees/bushes. So long as it is fairly dry and cold...I don't mind winter appearing early. Saying that..the conker trees seems to be keeping hold of their leaves longer than normal.

Saturday, 26 September 2009

Sorry am quiet

I have got a lot on my mind right now. It might help to write it down, but to me saying things makes them more real.
Was off work ill yesterday, and don't feel any better today, think a bout of gastric flu, as I had the usual S & D you get. Well, no, not usual, I hadn't even begun to digest what I was bringing up.

Sunday, 20 September 2009

Passed

Am happy to say that school has passed the inspection.

Friday, 18 September 2009

What a load of twaddle

OK....you know we have been inspected during the last two days at my workplace.
I have no idea as yet to the outcome, although feedback was favourable when I came home today.
Since we learnt of the impending inspection, on Tuesday...things have been very tense. Yet 99.9999% of the staff were pulling together...to make the best impression possible...with the least deviation from normal .
Inspection is very hard on the teachers...some have had trouble both sleeping and eating. NQTs are especially nervous....their first ever qualified inspection!.
As I say...from things I have heard, it sounds like the result is favourable. I really hope so....because this time all departments..and most of the pupils have been determined that we will pass

Thursday, 17 September 2009

Inspectors!

We've got the inspectors in at work. Everyone is quite tense. I have worked an extra hour the last two days in order to help take the pressure off the teachers. I no longer work in the printroom, but have stayed behind to help out with the Ofsted "rush". I also tracked down one of the inspectors today, and gave him my input. Our teachers work very hard, against some situations they can often not change. My three all gained good, if not excellent, overall results. I know my daughter got as good results as her primary school best friend, and her friend went to the local girl's grammar. Samantha was also ill a lot in years 10 and 11, so considering that she did really well.
I have no complaints at all with the standard of teaching, but then again, my children are eager to learn, and will work hard.
I've spent some time tonight baking buns and scones to put in the printroom tomorrow, for any teachers who go in. The scones aren't up to my usual standard, but am sure they will just melt away. And I haven't put chocolate on the chocolate buns, but I know they will go as well.
Tomorrow night I think I might duck out of cooking and get a takeaway, bath and early night. Not sure. Am glad the inspectors are in Thursday/Friday...as the time since the inspection was announced has been hectic. It was only announced at 11.20-ish on Tuesday. None of the DT or Art teachers have been inspected as yet, we suspect that the corridor is invisible....lol

Monday, 14 September 2009

CRB checks....where to stop?

I saw an article on the evening news about the CRB checks that are now "supposed" to being implemented to ensure the safety of children.
This might be controversial, but when an individual gives their time freely, without recompense, they should not be required to pay for a CRB check.
I have 4 of these, and one was gained when I was working for a registered charity. I gave my time freely, but it put me into regular contact with children who were not my own. This was before the big CRB push, the charity managed to find funds to put all the trustees through a CRB check. It was not compulsory, but at the time a CRB check was not the price it is today.
My point is, if the government wants people to have the checks, they should be cheaper to run, or there should be a body that provides the finance for charity/ voluntary organisations. It is wrong to ask these people to dig into their own pockets.
Another thought occurred to me, where is the line going to be drawn. If parents giving other children lifts in their cars will initiate a check, what about when children have parties? Will there be an inspectorate set up checking that the correct adult/child ratio is maintained, and that the adults have been cleared?
Also...who will pay for these checks?
My daughter works in the leisure industry, sometimes parents will leave their children where she works to entertain themselves whilst they do another task, like the week's shopping. Do these places need checking?
Also, travelling fairgrounds?
To me a huge can of worms has been opened. Will anyone who occasionally babysits have to be cleared?
Don't get me wrong, I am all in favour of keeping children safe .....but where will this all stop? Your sister/brother needs their child looking after, alongside yours....you have to refuse as you don't have the regular paperwork? I really don't think this has been thoroughly thought through.

Tuesday, 8 September 2009

You couldn't make it up

Just a quick post here.
I was looking at receipt from Matalan earlier, and was very surprised to find this at the top of it.

MATALAN
-----------
Lancaster
store's phone number

Store manager - Vivian Westwood


Thought I'd share as it made me smile.


Perhaps her "hobby" doesn't pay enough. Yes ...I know the spelling is wrong, but I bet it makes people smile when she introduces herself.

Thursday, 3 September 2009

Thursday

Last day of the summer break...wish it wasn't.
***sigh***
Got up at 8-ish...did normal morning stuff...then went into Lancaster, via Promenade Music ....with Oliver and his new bass guitar. We left with an amp, case and strap. Lancaster....straight to Waterstones..more or less...bought books..back home.
Then we both went swimming.
After dinner I walked the dogs down to the market, bought some yarn for another cardigan..decided tiz time to ditch most of my cardigans......start again.
Made tea..Moroccan chicken stew...then thought it was time to catch up on crafty stuff.
Now am shattered...don't want to go back to what there was before summer break..hope stuff has changed.

Wednesday, 2 September 2009

Mind gone off at a tangent....again!

Right, I'm sat here knitting and chatting to my friend, Blue, in the USA. She left a BRB message. I carried on knitting, and my mind wandered. I'm knitting an amigurumi. [Note to self, put spelling right on Fidgetty Fingers.] but I digress.
The one I'm making is a common octopus. You work the legs first, or as some corrected me the other day, the tentacles. I have just started the 8th one and I thought I would let Edwin know that I had finished the tentacles. My brain asked me...."why aren't they octuples?" after all there are 8 of them, not 10. I answered myself...nope then they would be dectuples...or however you wanted to spell it.
So, I reached for my dictionary, and looked up what TENTACLE means.
Tentacle noun. slender flexible appendage of animal, used for feeling, grasping or moving.

So...it doesn't have a numerical meaning. I should have known that after all ten is not a Latin root.
Perhaps this is why I'm comfortable with my own company, I can entertain myself quite easily when my mind takes a wander.

Spark is cheeky

Yesterday I had a few dried apricots, there were only 5 left in the tub, so I ate them from the tub. As I picked the last one out, I put the tub down on the blue box that I use as a foot rest. Spark had been sat nearby sniffing...his nose twitching like it does when he can smell something he likes. He tipped the empty box onto the floor, and then looked me , and the apricot paused on it's way to my mouth.. He knows not to beg for food from us, as he doesn't get any, just told off for begging. But after sniffing at the box he tried to give it back to me. Yes! I gave him the last apricot, and he really enjoyed it. I'd forgotten he likes dried fruit. He deserved the apricot for being smart and amusing me.

tiredness

One of the things that has happened since I found out I have heart trouble bothers me quite a bit.
Yesterday was very busy, drove to Galgate , boys had their hair cut, and I had my legs waxed, then we called at Asda and did the weekly shop , then called at Matalan for clothes for Edwin for 6th form. I dried some washing, made tea, then after tea Oliver and I walked down to the swimming pool, swum 1/2 a mile, then walked back again.
So....yesterday was very busy, and today I am very tired. I intended going into Lancaster, but as it's 1.15pm and I haven't had my dinner yet....don't think I'll be there today.
I don't have the energy I used to have, and if I have a busy day, I generally end up taking it very easy the next day. I thought this would change when the doctor found a blood pressure pill that suits me, but it doesn't seem to. I might mention it to him when I see him next week.

Monday, 31 August 2009

Hunting! or things about me [part 7]

A couple of days ago I was talking to Mum on the phone. I don't know how the subject came up, but we got around to books. We both read a lot, so not really surprising. Anyway, Mum mentioned that she wanted to find some books for her twin sister, that Aunty keeps talking about. Apparently my Aunty S had lent them to grandma and when grandma died they found out she had lent them on to someone else. My Aunty S particularly likes the series of books in question, and Mum wanted to know if they were still available. Mum and Dad don't have a PC, or want one, but she knew I'd be able to find out for her.
That was Friday evening, early. Within the hour I rang back to tell her the books are out of print, so charity shops and amazon are the best bet. Mum wasn't sure of the title, but when Mum said the author I was fairly sure which trilogy Aunty meant....I looked for these and found that the author had published around 15 books. I did find all three titles, that I thought were wanted on Amazon....and the next day found one on the market secondhand book stall. Yesterday Mum confirmed that the books were the ones I thought, as Aunty's daughters had been to see her. Apparently Uncle M, her husband, was looking for them as well. The elder daughter S called in again yesterday and Mum mentioned she'd asked me to look for them, and could she let her know if Uncle M found them. Mum told cousin S that they were out of print, and my cousin said, "well Dad won't find them then, cos he won't look that hard!"
Today I walked the dogs down to a huge secondhand book shop on the prom. He didn't have them in, but he knew what I was looking for and said he gets them in quite often. On the way back I called in at the market to see if they had any of the three titles. They had one volume, and three copies of it, so I picked the best one. One down, two to go. I know I'll track them down before Mum and Aunty S's birthdays in late October.
The books are Maisie Mosco's Almond and Raisin trilogy,and I have the third book now, so just the other two to track down, and as Morecambe has lots of charity shops and the huge second hand bookshop I'm sure I'll find them in time. Mum knew that I'd enjoy hunting them down, that is why she asked me, and she lives near a small town that doesn't really have any charity shops.

Friday, 28 August 2009

GCSE results day

Yesterday Edwin and Becki got their GCSE results. They both did really well, gaining the grades they required to continue along their chosen education paths. After collecting and checking their results at school, they then went to sign onto their 6th form options.
Becki is studying Physics, Chemistry, Maths, Music and General Studies, Edwin is studying Art, Geography, Media and General Studies.
Josh also got the grades he needed for the courses he wanted to do and Fluffy got the results she needed in the ones she wants to study, but did have a couple of disappointing results, but she's been having problems with going to school, she's signed up for the subjects she wants to do at our 6th form, and I am sure there will be a marked change in her attendance, as I know she wasn't comfortable at her other school.
Becki, Edwin and Josh had a celebration here last night, Becki's Mum is taking Becki and Edwin out for their tea tonight to celebrate.

Mint condition! or Things about me [part 6]

That is how someone described me yesterday, they did mean that I was looking well, as they knew I have been poorly, as regular readers will know. If you are a regular reader you will also know I have a daft sense of humour that is liable to go off at tangents. And my mind did straight after being told I looked in "Mint Condition" , and asked, "do you mean round, a bit white-ish with a hole straight through my middle, or white and crumbly?" After all there are many different kinds of mints. Then my mind started it's whirring, and I started to think of the origin of the saying, which is more than likely to mean condition of coins when they are first "minted", and I know I'm far from that, but it entertained me thinking of all the different types of sweetie mint condition a person could be in.
Again, it's a good job the person who said it to me has come to know I have a daft sense of humour. I got told to learn to take compliments when they are given, instead of joking about them. Don't often get compliments, and that is why I joke about them.

Tuesday, 25 August 2009

Customs

No...not the ones that stop and search you for contraband when you enter a country.......Things that are done...customarily.
Yesterday I went to collect Sam's car, "Milly", from her work as she was staying behind after work for a drink.
When I went to get her keys from her, she introduced me to a colleague, who she said was the "bouncer".. won't say his name. Anyway, this gentleman when I extended my hand for him to shake took it and kissed it! A custom outdated in the UK by I don't know how many years, but........it felt really nice, and strange.
I do wonder if this is normal in the country the man is from, or is he just a "charmer"?

Sandcastle weekend

I'm terribly sorry....I did say I would take photos, and post them here.
The Sandcastle competition/festival is usually Sunday only and held on the beach beside the Midland Hotel.
This year it had been extended to cover the whole weekend.
So....on Saturday I walked down the prom looking for signs of activity...it was pretty dull and windy. I walked straight past the beach beside the Midland seeing nothing AT ALL....I walked further on, just past the Dome I saw a sign...."Sand sculptors"....and there they were..above the "imported" beach but only three rather than the advertised four!.
Despite the rain the sculptors were at work, nothing else in evidence anywhere.
Sunday, I walked down to the beach....where the competition was supposed to be taking place....There was no sign, nothing!
Then I get a copy of the free newspaper, the competition took place on the central beach.......behind the Eric Morecambe statue!
Why did the organising body not see fit to put posters up at the Midland Beach to this effect?
Just another shortfall of the local CITY council for our TOWN!

Tiring Tuesday

Today...I took Oliver across to Leeds for the Leeds Festival, and returned.
Then I shopped on the way back.
Now am relaxing.
The trip was less than 180 miles around, but due to the location, to go on the motorway would have been a much longer, and more boring trip. So...I went via Skipton and the A roads. We arrived just about 1 pm. I set off back around 2 pm...and returned home via Asda..buying pizza for tea..good job, as no-one had even thought of tea despite there being food in the fridge.

Now I am unwinding with a glass of wine.

I am not going to pick Oliver up from Leeds, I'll pick him up from Lancaster train station...if I have to...although there are trains straight through to Morecambe from Leeds....just Bramham Park...where the festival is held..is east of Leeds. [He'll be OK to get a lift to the station.]

Monday, 24 August 2009

Why?


I know I've titled blog-posts why before, but it is a question that constant puzzles me.

The why today is......

Why do people buy cheap cars, then spend a small fortune on them? Well...not so much that as, add body parts etc, so you can't actually tell what sort of car is underneath all the extra bits? These cars always have a really annoying sound system that plays music that sounds as if the car is falling apart as well.

I have seen some horrors around here.

One was a Renault Clio with so many extra body parts it really was difficult to guess what the car originally was.

I have also seen a Jaguar painted metallic purple, with green skirts and spoilers......why?

For heaven's sake...if you can afford a Jaguar, and can afford to run it, why do that? There are tasteful custom made bits that can be added. Or just save your money up and buy a better car.

It also annoys me when they put noisy exhausts on. All they do is make more noise, and the car burns more fuel. It doesn't make the car any more powerful.

One I saw last week made me want to cry though...I saw a yellow MGZR with mudflaps, but they were just yellow plastic....why? MG parts are still available, and surely they do co-ordinated mudflaps.


I'm not against all attempts at making your car look different though, as the picture shows. It's Sam's car, Milly, she put the patches of black vinyl on it before going to Download last year, needless to say she didn't lose where she had parked it. It also has a horn that moos, alongside the standard one. You'd have to meet her to know it is totally in keeping, makes her car individual, not an attempt to soup it up in anyway. And it only cost her about £20 for the vinyl, and a lot of patience. [That sort of customising is good, as it makes cars individual. Like tribal markings some people have on their cars, but it would be better if they actually knew what they meant.]

Friday, 21 August 2009

strange few days

These last few days I have felt like have been suspended in a bubble......I don't know if the bubble is protecting me......or just waiting for the right moment to drop me into the thick of things
However...I have gained a very clear idea of exactly what I would like in my future, and if I can't have what I would truly like then I would rather be alone. Being as I have been told more than once by fortune-tellers that I will live to be well over 80...that could be a very long lonely time.
But...I'd rather be properly happy or alone, than settle for second best....crumbs from another's table.
I know both my grandma's did it, but by being widowed...for 17 and 11 years each....I know that I might face longer than that....but I don't want to be with anyone who doesn't care.
And being as I am still in love with someone very dear to me...it ain't going to happen for ages.

Monday, 17 August 2009

unusual post

This is about what I want/would like.

I want to be loved....for me
Not for what I can do for the other person
Not because I feel obliged, but ....because there is genuine feeling between us.

I don't want to be a mistress.
I don't want to be the person who is turned to when another is feeling down.... all the time, and never have my feelings considered.
I would love to be loved for me

This might not make sense, but anyone who wants the same things as I do will understand.

Saturday, 15 August 2009

Blue's happy

I got an e-mail this morning from my friend, Blue, in the USA.
The gist of it is that she is happy, she's dog sitting for her cousin. Her cousin has digital cable TV, so can receive the USA channels that air the stuff that is shown on Dave TV in the UK.
Whilst she was here last January we watched a fair bit of Dave as I had only just had an operation on my ankle in December, Blue enjoyed it.

Sandcastle competition weekend

I haven't been down to the promenade as yet, but the wind is blowing quite strongly, and it's raining. Not the best weather for being on the beach making sandcastles. The competition is usually on Sunday, but I saw a poster saying that it was extended to encompass Saturday as well. All I can say is ...if it is today as well, at least the sand will be more workable being wet.

Friday, 14 August 2009

Random stuff

Yesterday I walked the dogs down to the market, on the way back I stopped to talk to the owner of one of the hotels. Whilst we were talking a man walked past me, but not very fast. When I carried on walking home I caught up with him. As I was walking behind him I noticed he was carrying two handheld steam cleaners, these were identical. [Now if you are a regular reader of my blog, you will know my mind has a tendency to fly off at tangents, so I just had to ask this man a question.]
When I drew level with him I asked,
"Is one of those for a present, or are they your chosen weapons?"
Luckily the man was on a similar wavelength. [As Samantha said when I told her...anyone who thinks a steam cleaner is a good birthday present is probably as daft as I am......No! I wasn't offended by that comment.]
He confirmed one was a present, and not his weapon of choice, for an impending duel.
Drat, wouldn't have minded seeing a duel with steam cleaners....I'd love to see the other person's face when he turned up with a "matched pair" of duelling steam cleaners.
Now my brain is off again, and I am thinking perhaps I should look up duelling etiquette. At least it would be a clean fight.

Wednesday, 12 August 2009

Catching up

Am slowly but surely catching up with things on the blogs I contribute towards.
Have just posted about the books that kept me occupied whilst without my pc. Now have to take photos of the knitting I have done so I can post them on Fidgetty Fingers.
This weekend is the sandcastle weekend. I hope to get some pictures of those, must put the software for my new camera on the pc, then I can use that to take the pictures, they should be better quality. :)

Tuesday, 11 August 2009

Catch up time

Last Wednesday I got Midori back :D :D :D (wish I could do smileys on here.)
On Friday Oliver and I went for a picnic along the Trough of Bowland road.
I've been knitting and reading quite a lot while I have been without my car and pc. I'll post about those on Book Addicts Anonymous and Fidgetty Fingers as soon as I can.
Yesterday I picked my pc back up, it was the power supply that had gone, for a second time.
Today is the first time I have felt fit enough to swim since the end of May, I only did 20 lengths, but that is better than none at all.
Today has been very hectic, what with one thing and another.
There is one thing that really annoys me though, and that is, when I have been to Asda recently, lines are disappearing, and there are frequently single bottles of soda water, but the four packs are nowhere to be seen. I like drinking soda water, so tend to buy quite a bit. 3 single bottles are on offer at £1.20, but 4 packed together cost £1.42....ah well!

Monday, 10 August 2009

Things are all back ...almost

I now have my car and pc back. Will try to explain tomorrow

Sunday, 2 August 2009

Waiting for repairs

At the moment I am waiting for my car, Midori, to be returned, and I have to take my pc to be repaired. Am also waiting for full sensation to return into my left arm and shoulder after trapping the nerve two weeks ago.
One thing I don't have to wait for any longer is Oliver's return from his backpacking trip. I will be driving down to Preston to collect him later, as the trains don't stop at Lancaster after around 10.30pm-ish?
Am just using Samantha's pc to make this post. Don't worry, am still here.

Tuesday, 28 July 2009

Midori gone to be fixed

Midori is the name of my car, she's was picked up by the accident and repair people yesterday. [She's an MGZR 2ltr diesel turbo, Midori is Japanese for green.]
They left me with a courtesy car, have been told by someone that is a like for like courtesy car, but I don't like it. Blue told me off for complaining about it. I don't like it for one aesthetic reason, it's ugly, but more importantly there are at least two practical reasons I don't like it. The first being the siting of the clutch pedal, the car must be designed for people with small feet as it makes my ankle ache after driving 5 miles, and as I had an operation on my left ankle I think this is an important problem for me. The other thing that I find peculiar is, yes, the car is a five seater, and the rear seat has three full seat belts instead of a lap belt in the centre, and two full ones. But the anchor point for the third one is situated just above the rear screen, to me partially blocking the rear view, and if the rear head restraints are up, they partially block the rear view as well.
I did promise Blue I would try to find some positive things to say about this car, and I will. Cos Blue pointed out, it is a temporary car, and I should be getting Midori back again.
I have already found one positive thing to say about this car. It's really easy to park, but as the wheels are almost at the corners of the car itself, rather than set back down the wing a little, it's hardly surprising. It also has a digital speedometer, which means you can keep a very accurate eye on the speed you are travelling at.

OK! after a drive to have my hair done and legs waxed, I have found something else I quite like about the car. It tells you how economically you are driving, with a MPG readout on the digital display. Plus the "cabin" area is quite roomy, or perhaps that is just one of those things, as the interior is pale grey which could make it feel roomier. The boot space however is very small, although there is a lift up section, with more space beneath.....perhaps the spare wheel is one of the "space saver" ones.

Sunday, 26 July 2009

Things about me [part 5]

Think I'm up to part 5.
I don't like watching reality TV programmes, apart from one particular one.
The one I like is called Come Dine With Me. The format is quite simple, the producer picks 4 or 5 people from a town who like throwing dinner parties, think they are excellent cooks and hosts, and throughout the week each person hosts their own dinner party for the others of the group.
At the end of each dinner party the guests give the host marks out of 10, and the one with the highest vote at the end of the week wins £1000.
Why do I like this programme so much? I don't know apart from the fact the narrator/announcer talks you through each episode, making some really funny comments. It's also fun to watch people getting in a flap.
I would never be brave enough to apply to be on it, but it would be fun to see how low a mark is possible. The lowest I have seen so far is a 9, and that was from 4 guests, they'd all given really low scores. I don't know if the host receiving that mark was particularly bad, or the guests just didn't like the style of food.
Another host/contestant had a caterer come in and cook his meal, how he won I'm not sure. I'd have given him 0 or 1 for that.

Saturday, 25 July 2009

Soaps!

Think I have said this before, but I do like watching Emmerdale. It has serious plot lines, alongside run of the mill ones. It was the only soap to reflect the recent local council elections.
Emmerdale has made me laugh, cry, and get annoyed..and made me happy through the years.
at the moment there is a plot line developing...and I can only see one "soap" outcome for it.
Should I get my crystal ball and shawl out...and cloak my prediction in mystery?
Nope will tell you straight what I think might happen in the next 2-4 weeks on Emmerdale...with the plot line I am referring to.

Right!!!!!
Mark Wilde...aka Daniel is Ryan's Dad. Maisie and Natasha will come back..Maisie will be interested in Ryan...and ........it has to come out that Ryan is Mark's son....Mark will get very stressed...Natasha.... who knows...
Cain will sit on sidelines relishing the chaos.

I seriously am looking forwards to Charity's return, as it can only mean a whole new twist to the plot, and...who knows...maybe Gennie is now pregnant ?
Nothing like affairs to cause a stir!

Friday, 24 July 2009

Please can we start all over again?

The first week of my summer break has now passed.
Today I attended a BBQ hosted by other non-teaching staff. I took along 3 different potato salads, and a heap of mini tomatoes. And Spark and Shadow.

Those two thoroughly enjoyed themselves.......hoovering up dropped food, and being spoilt, and not being a nuisance.
I only have two more days until Edwin and Becki are back....but.....they are both going to work their very first festival a day after they return...so I won't see much of them for around a week.

Sunday, 19 July 2009

What have I done wrong?

Please can I have the last couple of days again?
It seems to be a catalogue of upsets for me.
My fridge has started leaking water on the floor.....I may be able to sort it, but might have to get a new fridge.
My pc is being the moodiest machine in the world, will switch on, or won't, depending on how tiz feeling. Calling a useless heap of junk and telling it I'd get it seen to seemed to work today, to get it to switch on.
My car has been run into......Wait a minute...my parked car...with no-one in it was crashed into by a runaway car, also with no driver in it. The owner of the other car is supposed to be sorting it out for me, she doesn't want me to go through my insurance, or hers? She has a friend who has a garage who should be able to fix it. I really hope so, would hate to have to write my car off.
That was yesterday.
This morning I have woken up with my left shoulder aching like mad and going tingly. I think I have trapped a nerve to cause the pain. Just had a warm bath to help ease it. My friend is coming to put some muscle rub on it when she returns home from the barbeque she has gone to. I think an early night is in order.

Friday, 17 July 2009

New BP pills

Seen Doc tonight, he's given me another batch of BP pills. I really hope these work, as I am getting fed up of feeling so flaming poorly all the time.
I know that in the grand scheme of things my BP pills are a tiny drop in the ocean, but getting them wrong might cost me my current job. I seriously hope it doesn't.
Right now, if I could find a post that was 75% what I wanted.....I would go for it.
Am going to apply for a post I have seen advertised ...please pray to whatever gods are your's for me.

Sunday, 12 July 2009

Eventful week, but would rather not discuss

This past week has been a little hectic, to be truthful, but am sorry I am not going to blog about most of it.
I did enjoy the cruise on the canal again, and the response from our invited guest when we presented her with a token of our esteem was lovely.
I wish her and her husband well in their new home, which is in a new country, to them...but they have relatives there.
The token I had picked was well received, and am happy to say I got it right.
Am now off work because of my medication. The harassment I am getting for being ill, when most of the time it is adverse effects of medication is becoming unbearable. I should be OK to return to work on Wednesday, and I can say..hand on heart..at least this has not knocked my asthma out, which is a blessing.

Saturday, 4 July 2009

All quiet on the North Western front

My two boys have flown the nest, only for a holiday, but they are both away for a month.
There's only Samantha and me here, and Sam is off to another festival before long. It's my birthday soon, and next week is looking to be very busy. Hospital appointments, meetings, and then enrichment at school, as well as another canal trip.
We've had some very warm weather here these last few days, today though it wasn't as warm, and when I went out I could feel the thunderstorm brewing. Sure enough by 4pm we had a thunderstorm. The rain has made the temperature more bearable, us Brits ain't designed for hot temps, even people with sallow, easy tan skin like mine, although I think I could easily become acclimatised. Would love chance to find out.
Been sewing something today and started another lot of knitting. I also bought the wool for the enrichment activity I am leading. Got a slightly funny look from the lady on the stall, until I explained why I wanted 20 x 100g balls of double knitting yarn.

Saturday, 27 June 2009

lovely peaceful evening

Not what I would have expected, but my friend's son came across to ask me about stuff. He's the same age as Samantha. We got talking, and spent a very pleasant evening together...just chatting and sharing a bottle of wine

Nope, don't want a toy boy, but I would love pleasant evenings more often!

Is cheating acceptable?

I know, a bit of a deep question, and my simple answer to the question is.......only when playing cheat, [the card game.] Otherwise, no I don't think it is.
This is my belief anyway, and I found out the hard way.
Mind you, some people just don't learn, do they?
I really suppose it depends how you were brought up, and if the values your parents taught you have any impact at all in your life.
So, when faced with the situation where I knew cheating would be taking place, and I knew I would end up hurt, feeling a bad about myself, I said "no". I realise the other person may not be awfully happy about this, but if they really are as honest as they say they are, it will make them think about what they were suggesting.
But, I can just about manage to play a game of cheat without giving myself away these days. I never win, but who cares, it's just a game and doesn't affect other people's lives. Perhaps that was what the person making the suggestion to me was thinking about their suggestion? If so, I feel quite sorry for them, because things that directly, or indirectly affect other people, are not games, at least they aren't to me. When you start to play with other people's lives in order to enjoy yourself, not caring who you hurt, you start to lose your humanity.
Just my opinion, but I won't change my mind about this particular situation.
In case you want to play "cheat" the card game, and don't know the rules, click here.

Thursday, 25 June 2009

OK-ish

I went back to work today, and after a fitful night's sleep, it wasn't so bad.
Edwin has gone to his leaver's "prom" tonight with Becki, they both looked lovely.

Wednesday, 24 June 2009

Can I have a lifesize one please, Mum?

That's what Edwin said to me when I returned from walking the dogs earlier.
I've got a book on Amigurumi, and it has some really cute mini critters in it. Edwin has taken a shine to the octopus, and Becki the hermit crab. Although I told Edwin I wouldn't make a life size octopus for him. It'd take far too much yarn, and it isn't Amigurumi if it's big.
When I do make some there'll be pictures over on Fidgetty Fingers.
I forgot to say these are knitted ones, not crocheted like the bulk of Amigurumi patterns and books.

Tuesday, 23 June 2009

I don't get this

OK...what don't I get?
My house insurance is due at the end of the month, contents and buildings. [I have them both with same company]...as it means that if I have to claim...they can't say it ain't their responsibility.
Anyway...they called me today, and when I spoke to the person I told them I had been given a much lower quote. I realised it was an introductory quote, but I thought my premium had gone up a little more than necessary. Wonder of wonders...after being put on hold for 5+ minutes the advisor offered me a quote of around £50-£60 less than the original quote!
If they could offer me the amount the advisor confirmed...why the inflated quote? Do you only get a reduction if you ask for it?
Who knows?

Monday, 22 June 2009

Tying up loose ends

Oliver has gone down to Glastonbury this morning, Sam's already there. Must ring her tomorrow to wish her Happy Birthday. Edwin and Becki took their last exams, and it's two years since they started seeing each other. They are celebrating later on in the week though.

I parcelled up the things I have been making for Blue and sent them with the little man in the rowing boat. There are no books this time so perhaps he won't take as long?

I also filled in an application form for a job. All I have to do now is wait, see what comes of it, if anything.
So really I have spent the day tying up loose ends.

I did find time to finish the book that I had only just started though as well. It was one of those books that you just have to keep going back to and read a little bit more.
It's really quiet here, so am sat here listening to Greenday's newest album, to make it noisy .

Friday, 19 June 2009

Shopping

Had a very busy day today, sorting things out for the kids. Off to Glastonbury, then Europe, in one case, final exam then Scotland for a month, another, the other..."Muuuuuuum! can you take me to collect my car?"
In the course of the day we went to Asda, at one point I heard one customer say to their spouse..."it's a blind dog!".
OK...am sorry for this, but my mind went off at one of it's silly tangents, and I thought, "well, it's a good job there's someone with it!"

Wednesday, 17 June 2009

Bloggers beware!

Just seen this on the "News" on yahoo.
Apparently your identity can be revealed if necessary. I suppose that is why I have steered clear of saying anything too controversial on here, about others.
After all, if you say something, and it turns out to be untrue, it's slander, BUT if you put it in writing it's libel, and much easier to prove you have said something untrue. But saying that, I wouldn't put anything untrue anyway, and if you know me, you'd know that.
What a pity the blog in the article is now deleted, if it won a prize it must have been very well written.

Brown and green make purple?

Why the title?
Cos yesterday I went to see the asthma nurse, and she gave me another inhaler.....BUT....I no longer have to use two of my others. The new one is purple, and replaces the brown and green ones. If I like it, and get used to it, it means I will only have two inhalers to use in place of three. Which is good, as it also gives what takes me four breaths to take in just one.

BUT...have never tried mixing green with brown, apparently it does make purple when you mix the colours in art.

Things about me [4]

I like watching soaps.

Only British ones though, and not all of them though. Whittling down even more I like to watch Emmerdale, [originally Emmerdale Farm'] and Coronation Street. I sometimes watch Eastenders as well, but it can be a bit dismal at times, and I'm sorry, but I watch TV to be cheered up, not depressed.
Most of the British soaps have a certain "formula" that needs to be followed. There has to be at least two families, a pub, a shop, and a cafe. There can be places of employment that are local as well. That is about as close as it gets to real life, as if two characters ever meet and fancy a chat, they go to the pub, or the cafe, they rarely, if ever go back to their own house for a coffee and a natter.
Have just realised they all have garages that fix cars but don't sell fuel as well.
In Emmerdale there is a "rogue-ish" family, who sometimes get up to no good, but never mess on their own doorstep. If one of the family breaks this rule they are told to put things right straight away. And the fact that this family is also a source of many comedy moments tells the watchers they are not complete "baddies".
Emmerdale more accurately, to me shadows current events, as one of the businesses has gone bankrupt due to the recession, and they had a local council election when they were going on all over the UK.
There is one thing that puzzles me though. Did the Kings have all their suits repossessed when they went bankrupt? As you rarely see them in anything other than casual clothes these days.
I could go on for ages about things that amuse me in the soaps, perhaps I might pick it up another time.

Sunday, 14 June 2009

Oliver's home!

YAY!!!!!
Oliver's home from uni for summer, but how long he'll be here I'm not sure.
I know he has plans to go around Europe during July, and he's working Glastonbury, with Sam and some others of their friends. I also think he is working Leeds Festival, so perhaps he won't be around much.
I've just put the second load of washing in, and think there isn't much more washing to do, perhaps he's been doing his own this semester.
Sam has gone to Accrington ready for her OU exam tomorrow, she's stopping in a 4 star hotel, overnight, so she doesn't get delayed in traffic in the morning and miss the start of the exam.

Earlier on I walked down to the market with the dogs only to walk past a prize giving of some runners. It's too hot to go running in the middle of the day. They were all looking rather exhausted, if they will run in the middle of the day, what to they expect?

Friday, 12 June 2009

New blog

I've created a new blog just for my "crafty" stuff, as it seems to be taking over here.
It's called Fidgetty Fingers, and I will be posting craft stuff there, with photos from now on.

Thursday, 11 June 2009

Whoops!







In my last post I mentioned the mittens I had been making over the winter break, then I looked back. I mentioned them, but there were no finished photos, so I thought I'd better remedy that.
They aren't all there, but I can't for the life of me find the photo with them all on.
From top to bottom, goldfish, {this was not on the pattern, but I improvised,} Mice and Rabbits

Wednesday, 10 June 2009

Knitting without a pattern

A while back I found a crocheted "Cookie Monster" on Craftster, but not being over confident with crochet I decided that I would try to make a knitted version.
So, that's what I have been up to this last couple of days.
Armed just with an image of "cookie" I have been working him out. The yarn I am using is a long eyelash type and just the right colour. I have just to knit arms and an inner mouth now. The eyes won't be that difficult, as I will use the eye pattern from the mittens I have. [The one's I spent the winter break knitting.]

Monday, 8 June 2009

Lots to be proud of!

I came across this article, while trying to tell Blue about a very special cafe where I live. Apparently it is an experience you won't forget in a hurry when you go there. The cafe is number 98 on the list. I was surprised that there was so much "to be proud of" in the immediate area.

Finished already!


I couldn't get to sleep last night, so sat knitting, consequently I've finished the rainbow today. It's name in the book is "striped wedges". I had a trip into Lancaster today and bought a ball of violet wool, just standard DK to finish the rainbow properly. The photo has messed the last two colours up, but they are indigo and violet.

It's about a metre long, but very loose knit so will probably stretch.

I wouldn't mind doing this again in a thicker gauge yarn.
I woke with a start very early this morning, and was unable to get back to sleep, so my rainbow was finished in double quick time.

Sunday, 7 June 2009

Another scarf in the making


I finished making Blue's backpack, and now am onto the other things I said I would make with the fabric.

I have also started another scarf from Lynne Barr's book. I forget the name of this one at the moment. In the book it is done in greys, black and white, but I thought it would lend itself to being a rainbow, this means a few more colours on it, but I'm sure it will look just as I want it to when I have finished.

Meanwhile, here's a work-in-progress picture of it. It's a bit squashed

up as it supposed to be knitted on a long circular needle. It will look ok when I have cast it off.

Friday, 5 June 2009

Evening wander

Just as I was about to walk the dogs tonight the phone rang.
I answered it, more than 40 minutes later I set off out with the dogs.
I took my time, and it was a darn sight colder than I expected, but I walked to the end of the Stone Jetty, and sat for a while watching the sun setting, but keeping an eye on the very heavy cloud creeping into the bay.
It felt cold enough to snow, and if there is snow on "them thar hills" in the morning, I won't be surprised. There was a definite chill in the air, and the wind was from the North East. If there is snow, I'll try to get a photograph, although....British Weather is known to be unpredictable.
I was out for the best part of an hour, not walking so fast, just strolling really.
I've worn Shadow and Spark out, and they are both spark out on the floor as I type.

Good news, bad news

The good news is the doctor agrees with me, and I am off work for a short while with stress.
The bad news, Mum phoned me this morning to let me know that my sister's brother-in-law has died. It is a shock in a way, and yet not at the same time.
Mark was in the same year as myself at college, and we introduced Ann and Paul to each other at a disco, the rest as they say, is history. Mark was best man at their wedding in February 1980, and I was bridesmaid.
He has been quite ill for some time, repeatedly being admitted to hospital. So in that way, it wasn't a shock, but ...he would have been 50 in November this year, not really a great age these days. I do regret not having been down to see him while he has been ill, but then again, I haven't been anywhere much myself, not having been in that good health lately.
He will be missed at Michelle's wedding in August of this year.

A trio of scarves







Over the past few weeks I have been knitting scarves from Lynne Barr's Knitting New Scarves, book.



I thought I'd share pictures of the completed scarves with you.
The black one is called "Black Pearls" in the book, and Sam specially requested it. I have only just finished it, and I think she went out to work with it on.
The other two don't have owners, as yet. The Purple one was a practice for me, to see how the pattern works, I've got some lovely variegated mohair to knit one in for myself.
What I love about the scarves in this book is that they are all experimental, and different. I will be knitting more of them. Black Pearls was the first time I have knitted on short double point needles. I bought some bamboo ones from the Bamboo Knitting Centre especially, they are an absolute pleasure to knit with, and even though the needles are short, I didn't get cramp in my hands once when using them.

Wednesday, 3 June 2009

Things about me [3]

I make the bed as soon as I get out of it.
I don't know why? It is just something I always do in a morning, usually the minute my feet have touched the floor.
I go into my kids rooms, and since we have lived here, I resist the temptation to straighten their bed.
I have my own reason for making mine when I get out of it, I dare say they have their own reasons for leaving them unmade. Although it could just be plain laziness.
I suppose it goes back to when I was young and Mum was working, so she didn't always have time to make our beds in the morning. Saying that, my sister always tended to leave her bed unmade, and still does now, and she's been married 29 years!
Ah, well, each to their own, but I like to get into a made bed at night, and not have to start straightening out a sleep tousled one.

Being ill

I hate being ill. I always have done, and am a lousy "patient" as I hate not being able to do things for myself.
However, since late last year/early this year I have had to adjust my outlook on things. After finding out I have a heart problem and asthma, I am having to adjust how I approach some things in life. Because of the asthma, certain painkillers can no longer be used, and there are others I couldn't use before, which leaves me with paracetamol.
At the moment I have a really bad wheezy chest that is making me have a barking cough and sore throat, also sending me dizzy when I cough. And when I saw the doc, he said my heart was racing and my temp was far too high. He gave me a course of steroids to take to get rid of the wheezing. They are beginning to ease me a little, but I am sleeping more than 12 hours at a time. And when I am awake I have little or no energy.
So, I suppose from now on, if I feel ill I may have to give in to it straight away rather than fight it. The other thing is, I don't think I'll be fit for work until Friday at the earliest, but if I leave it over the weekend, my strength should have rebuilt more. Before all this I just used to bounce back! Guess those days are over now, or at least until the heart and asthma are properly under control.
I'm sorry about the moan, but all these things are made worse by stress, and right now, although my pay packet doesn't say that I have a stressful job, it is very stressful.

Tuesday, 2 June 2009

Since records began and other dumb phrases

It's the "driest/wettest/coldest/windiest day" SINCE records began.
Was there no weather before the records?
I think this is becoming one of the most overused phrases in the language today, along with..."for the record" and "at the end of the day"
Jeez, can't people say something original!
The one of those that annoys me most is "at the end of the day"...that ain't what they mean 99.99999999% of the time, so WHY say it? I know, it was first used....mainly by footballers, but has been picked up by no-brainers, who think it is a good way to sum things up. most of the time the phrase has no bearing on the subject being discussed.

Wednesday, 27 May 2009

Week off

So, it's Wednesday of the week off, and what have I done so far apart from go to the fantastic Jean Michel Jarre concert?
Answer, not an awful lot.
Yesterday I went to be tortured and pampered, then went into Lancaster on the way back for some essential bits , and ..as usual - a visit to the bookshop.
While buying cord to finish off the backpack I am making for Blue, I found some really nice patchwork cotton fabric, it was actually already patchworked on the reduced shelf, so I bought enough for a skirt. Had to buy coconut milk from Mung Mee the Thai food "supermarket"...they sell it at considerably less than Asda. And yes, I bought books, including a dictionary, German, for Sam, she's teaching herself German, and an OS map for Blue.
Today I had to wait in for a parcel to be delivered, so had a relaxing day, and made Kedgeree for dinner. This is something I have long thought I'd make, but never actually got around to making it, thinking it would take ages to make. It doesn't, and it is quite a filling "light meal". I can see why it used to be served for breakfast in posh houses, in times gone by. One recipe I looked at also said it was great for the morning after a heavy night out.
The parcel was a book on keeping sketchbooks, which I think will come in for both Edwin and myself, as I have decided I should keep a record of hand made projects I tackle, especially if I intend to give the results away.

Jean Michel Jarre - Indoors Tour

On Saturday, as I have posted elsewhere I went to the MEN arena and saw JMJ in concert.

To say the show was amazing doesn't do it justice. I just don't know what to say. I think back to it and am still lost for words. I have seen televised outdoor concerts of his on TV, but they in no way prepared me for the fantastic experience of actually being there. Bringing his concerts "indoors" is a first, but one that I think worked very well, and judging by the reaction of the rest of the crowd, I don't think I was alone in thinking that.
As I say, am still blown away by the whole experience, in a very good way. :)

Saturday, 23 May 2009

Gig :)

Tired, had a wonderful evening, will put more tomorrow. The gig was truly amazing.

Saturday, 16 May 2009

things

A week from now I will be on my way back from my first ever gig...that I have paid for..I don't think free ones count...do they?
5 years back I had tickets to see Midge Ure in concert...small one...and I gave up the chance to meet a bloke instead. The bloke cheated on me....but Midge Ure came back to my home town several times since...alas...not this year
However.....next Saturday night I am going to my first ever gig......!!!!!!!
JMJ at the MEN arena in Manchester. I can ..."hand on heart" say I have been a fan since oxygene part 4 way back in 1977. :)
I have most of JMJs albums...haven't got Metamorphoses...but I will get a copy.
I have the original Oxygene LP...on vinyl.....a present from my bf at the time.
Wouldn't it be cool if I could get that signed?
Anyway...I will definitely post after the gig...am looking forward to it..I just wish I could be there with Darkstormrising as I know he likes JMJs music.

Thursday, 14 May 2009

Expenses "scandal"

Here in the UK we are due a Euro MP election, and local council election, and if truth be told, we are about due a general election as well. After all, Gordon Brown was picked to succeed Tony Blair, there was no election, not even amongst the member of the labour party, as is usual when a leader steps down, but usually when a leader steps down they are in opposition, not in power.
A general election has to my knowledge been called at as short a time as 3 years, usually four, the maximum time between elections is meant to be five years I believe, and our current government is getting very close to the 5 year mark I believe. Ok, the usual trick is call an election when you know your party is strong, but if you wait too long, you don't have that luxury, perhaps the time spans should be set? I know this would be an unpopular move, but other countries do it.

Anyway, back to the title! The headline news here for the last few days has been the MP expenses. They are having to declare all the expenses they have claimed, these are then being scrutinised and if the expense is deemed unnecessary, or exorbitant they are being taken to task about it. For example for the last few days in the news there have been reports of MP for X having claimed £XYZ as expenses, one of the cheapest items claimed was £2.50 for a 4 finger KitKat from a hotel minibar! Excuse me, but the wages these people are on, surely they can buy their own snacks. Anyway, David Cameron, the leader of the opposition has told his members that undue expenses WILL NOT be tolerated. Following on from this there has been a mad scramble to pay back wrongly claimed expenses, from MPs of ALL parties, one MP continuing to claim against his second home....after the mortgage was paid off!
Now what I am going to say now might sound controversial...BUT......in any other walk of life, claiming payment for something that you shouldn't surely constitutes the breaking of a law. After all, if the MPs were claiming for these things, wrongly, and working for a run of the mill company, they would be charged with fraud. And if there is a general election, these people should not be seeking election, as they have proved that they can't be trusted.

I know this post is controversial, but....it is headline news here at the moment.

Tuesday, 12 May 2009

"wow"


That was Blue's comment when she saw the photo of the first scarf from Knitting New Scarves.

I picked the one I think is the simplest, Tilted Blocks, to get to grips with the USA terminology. The scarf is by no means finished yet, but it won't take long, and at long last I have found something that the yarn I'm using actually works with. [Yarn is a J C Brett yarn that is discontinued, called Funky Chunky.] I have a feeling it was designed to be used to knit accessories rather than garments, because despite it being described as "Chunky" it would not knit up to any of the chunky patterns I tried.

Ah, well....someone will be getting a very nice scarf, dunno who as yet, but I have enough wool to make at least two of the little darlings.

The vagaries of power companies.

As I was listening to the news earlier on, I noted that one of the power companies is cutting the price of their electric to the general public. It made me wonder why....gas and electric prices go up in the colder months, and the companies are able to make price cuts during the warmer months? I know it is a case of supply and demand, but surely people would stay loyal to their chosen company for longer if the price was cut over the colder months of the year when the householder uses more? Mind you...what a very silly thought, they wouldn't then be able to make the huge profits they are always reporting. After all, they never report they have made a loss....and when their raw material prices go down, the price of electric or gas doesn't immediately drop....no...they wait a good while to pass the saving on to the householder.
That's it...gripe over for now.
Just wouldn't life be simpler if it worked the obvious way, rather than the way to make maximum profit, for the least number of people?