Skip to main content

Posts

Showing posts from February, 2017

Blood brothers...

I am very proud to say that I give blood on a regular basis.  This was something which I started doing a couple of years ago, and several litres later, I'm still going strong.  Booking an appointment yesterday for my next withdrawal of the red stuff, the lady at the end of the phone asked me if I'd like to know where my blood had gone after it had left the building.  Well this was very exciting I can tell you.  Where would my blood end up?  I had visions of my B Rhesus- heading off in its thermal container, transforming the lives of poorly people all over the UK.  Giving her my mobile number so that they could send me a text, I asked her how specific it was.  Well not very, it turns out, as all I can expect is a text telling me which hospital it has ended up in.  But not to worry, as long as it's going somewhere which counts, then that's fine.
I remember the first time I went, and the disappointment at not being allowed a cup of tea and a biscuit after my first donati…

Mouldy old dough...

It was a very long day yesterday for yours truly and the husband.  I had managed to get a couple of tickets for the England-Italy Six Nations Rugby game.  Now I'm not saying these were expensive, but the husband is fully aware that this is his present for Valentine's Day, his birthday, our wedding anniversary and Christmas.  For this year, and next year too actually. 

We left early yesterday morning, as we had booked to go up to Twickenham on the train. Everything went really smoothly, with us managing to snatch a couple of seats from the eager bottoms of a couple of teenagers.  This will teach them to look where they are going rather than at their bloody phone screens.  Snooze you lose, my friends...

The atmosphere was brilliant and first stop was a pub naturally, where the husband, ever the forward thinker on these occasions, had double ordered his pints of Guinness. Standing in the doorway with our plastic beakers of booze, we watched the world go by.  Mostly men in tweed …

No sleep...

We had a lovely surprise yesterday when daughter number two turned up at the house very unexpectedly.  Leading up to her arrival, I had been stretched out on the sofa, desperately trying to grab back a few hours' sleep.  This was because we had been out with my best friend Mrs S, who wanted to thank the husband for all he had done to turn her house into a home (with hot and cold running water and heat).  The evening had started well, with Mrs S coming to collect us, with the idea that we could all have a drink, then the husband and I would get a taxi home, while Mrs S simply crossed the road outside the pub and walked through her front door.

Mrs S was on a mission, and ordered a bottle of Prosecco prior to even walking into the pub.  In between chatting, laughing and eating (thank you Red Lion, Cholsey) the two of us managed to down another bottle, while the husband chose to drink something marginally more manly...rhubarb gin with ginger ale.  Actually, this isn't that manly a…

Slip sliding away...

It would appear that I may have bought the wrong shoes for my Swing Dance Club.  After my blog yesterday, there was a bit of banter going on as to 'what the hell has she bought?'  I'm really worried now.  Am I going to be the laughing stock of the church hall next week?  Will the teachers throw me out, whilst shouting at me about how I've 'shown everyone up with my flashy ne'er-do-well footwear'?

But one lovely lady put my mind at rest (thank you Ashleigh) so when they arrive later today, I shan't have to lie to the delivery man and deny all knowledge of them, pushing them forcefully back into the van while saying very loudly that they are 'NOTHING TO DO WITH ME'.  I am planning on wearing them every day between now and the next class just to break them in a bit.  Bets are currently being placed in the house as to how many times my suede soles will cause me to fall down the stairs/slip over in the hall/get my feet wet (having forgotten that they…

Let's swing...

Yesterday, my bird table finally died a sad death on the lawn.  I am blaming that harridan Storm Doris for this, but to be honest, as the bird table has been without three legs for the last year after the last 'huffin' and puffin' episode, I think that it has been living on what is commonly known as 'borrowed time' since then.  It's very sad though, as this was a present from the husband many years ago, and he had a hand of some sort in its construction.  Needless to say, I will continue blaming Doris rather than his handiwork...

It was week three of Swing Club on Wednesday evening.  I was dreading it, as I really hadn't got to grips with the steps the week before, and I was worried that the teachers may 'build' on what was learned last week.  But oh happy day, we had new steps, and this time, my feet did as they were told.  It has to be the best workout ever, and by the time we were fifty minutes in, I was on my last legs...literally.

And then the …

I didn't know my own strength...

I can usually tell what kind of day I am going to have within about half an hour of getting up.  Take yesterday for example.  Opening the bathroom cabinet to reach for my deodorant, imagine my surprise when I pulled out a bottle of surgical spirit.  Same size, same colour, just not my deodorant.  This is the husband's and to date, I haven't been brave enough to ask him what he needs it for.  It was an omen (cue scary music and evil crows) and for a second I wondered what else would be flung my way. 

Well not a lot actually.  Work went well.  I have almost caught up with the email deluge from my two days off.  Of course, I have yet to catch up on Tuesday's and Wednesday's work, but I'm not Superwoman.  As I said to Master P yesterday morning, having a holiday is bad news unless you have a fairy to do your work for you.  In Binland, there are no fairies...

But the highlight of my day was a fantastic walk in the woods with my wonderful friend Mrs P and her Rottweiler…

Train in vain...

It was all back to normal yesterday.  I headed back to Binland where after six minutes at my desk I had forgotten all about my lovely time in Liverpool, and the husband donned his hi-viz and work trousers and drove down to my best friend Mrs S's house. The husband has been spending many of his daylight hours in her house over the last few months, and as her new kitchen is now nearing completion, his minutes there are numbered.

Now several weeks ago, Mrs S bought a gorgeous four legged fluff ball called Ralph.  The husband has had to work around Ralph over the last couple of weeks, and as he's just a puppy, toilet training has been sporadic.  The husband tells me that he will never be able to re-use the dust sheets he has used at Mrs S's house, and I think that Ralph may have something to do with it.  Ralph has also learned to climb a ladder.  Mrs S may not thank the husband for this when the window cleaner is there next.

Mrs S dropped me a frantic text yesterday afternoon,…

Picture this...

So we got home safely.

It was a close run thing though, as yet again the 'tea-effect' was making itself known half an hour into the long journey back.  Every time a services was advertised, I said to the husband that I thought I could make the one after.  The traffic was running freely, the sun was shining, and things were looking good.  However, after telling the husband that we would have to stop at the next one, we very neatly ground to a halt about four inches after the turn off for the services we had just passed.  There was some serious self control needed for the next twenty minutes while we pottered towards the oasis which was Stafford North.  But I made it, and then celebrated with a coffee.  I never learn...

The house was still standing, which is always a bonus when we have been away for a few days.  The dogs looked more than just a little relieved to see us, but this soon wore off once they realised that no edible treats had been brought back for them.  Son number t…

The other side of Liverpool...

Our three days in Liverpool so far have been defined very clearly.  Friday was the fleshpots of the rough end of Liverpool, Saturday was popular culture with The Cavern and The Philharmonic (great men's loos if you're interested) and yesterday was all about the serious stuff.  First port of call was the old courts where various 'scallies' met a fairly gruesome end.  Unfortunately much of it was closed due a wedding happening later in the day - quite fitting when you come to think of it...

It was then down to the newly refurbished and reopened library. This is what I have discovered that I love best about Liverpool.  They are so honest and faithful to the past, and in this library, amidst the wood and metal was a Victorian Reading Room, which looked like something out of Harry Potter.  Small spiral staircases took you up to the upper shelves of books, and it was a truly magical place.  Once I had circumnavigated the room, I found the husband with his head in a book abou…

Brain damage...

Yesterday was marginally saner than our first day in Liverpool.  I have to put this down to the three sausages, two rashers of bacon and baked beans consumed at breakneck speed with a Pain au Raisin chaser. We didn't get down to breakfast till 11.00, which meant that I had eaten nothing for 24 hours, and it was only my delicate constitution which stopped me launching myself face first into the basket of croissants like a mad woman. 

So suitably fed, the husband and I headed back into the city.  I needed to get my hair done, as Mrs W and Mr G were on their way to us for a Big Night Out in The Cavern Club (spawning ground of the Beatles and various other ne'er-do-wells).

Believe it or not, it took almost an hour of walking around the city to find a hairdressers.  Bearing in mind how much time they spend on their eyebrows up here, you'd think that anything connected with hair would be prevalent.  Speaking of the eyebrows, since I mentioned them in passing to the husband on T…

Ferry cross the Mersey...

I am alternating my blog writing with frequent visits to the 5* luxury bathroom, a room which overnight I have become well acquainted with.  This is what happens when you mix the following up..

Fruit for breakfast
Six hours schlepping around Liverpool
One Bakewell tart
Eight mini bottles of Prosecco

The husband decided that having been dragged around the sights, a beer was on the cards.  You'll note the use of the word 'a'.  At no point in that sentence was the word 'ten' mentioned.  Our first stop was Smokey Moe's.  This was jumpin'....at 3.00 in the afternoon... A rather rotund DJ in a beige cardigan was alternating his record collection with a bit of karaoke.  Two hours/three bottles in, we were having a ball.  And then something happened which you just could not make up. 

The husband and I were quite jolly by this time, and two gentlemen came and joined our table.

'That could be the worst decision you ever made', quipped I, implying that if the…

Wee willie winkie...

The husband had a close call at Swing Club on Wednesday night.  A lovely gay couple joined us for the warm up, and I watched with trepidation as the 6'4" 'follower' (as opposed to leader) swapped partners around the circle, getting nearer and nearer to the husband.  Luckily, just as the 'camp as Christmas' gentleman was about to fall into the husband's arms for a kick flick and basic Charleston, they were sent off for the Intermediate Class downstairs.  The husband's relief was palpable, and I feel that there is now a second reason why we won't ever see the Intermediate Class.  As if being rubbish dancers wasn't a good enough reason...

The husband and I are now officially 'on vacation' for a few days.  The journey up was far from smooth sailing, with accidents, barrier repairs and speed limits all the way.  This started to become a problem for me somewhere around Warwick, when I realised that a trip to the loo was needed.  Unfortunately…

Messed up kids...

Now he is working in Oxford, son number two is spending more time at his best-friend-now-girlfriend ELL's house,  This is all very well, but it goes hand in hand with not spending so much time at home.  Anyway, it's very quiet here, and what with daughter number one being away too, the dishwasher is only going on once every two days.  But it's the new washing machine I feel really sorry for.  Every time I wander past it, it looks up at me as if to say, 'I didn't sign up for this part time job - rumour had it that I would be washing clothes all day, not just a paltry once every three days'.

Well I suppose I feel much the same.  I am used to coming home from Binland and having a list as long as your arm of things to do.  Things like packed lunches for the following day (I know he's 19, but he'll be gone before I know it), ironing, washing, shopping for food (a daily job when son number two is here) and just general clearing up after him.  I am still shock…

Absolute beginners...

So last night I threaded the needle, pretended to be a rubber ball and made like an old tom cat.  As you can probably tell, the Pilates lessons are still going full pelt, and I am actually starting to feel like I know what I need to do.  When I went last night, I have to confess to being in a foul mood.  This has nothing to do with Valentine's Day being ignored in my house, as the husband pushed the boat out with a new tyre for my car and a beautiful handwritten poem.  He did ask me not to tell anyone, but hey, when a harnessed Northerner reveals his squishy side, it's definitely something which needs broadcasting...

I think that a combination of no kids, a hard day at work and diet-dependent blues had pushed me into a pretty bad mood - I actually said to Miss R on the phone that I would rather like to lock myself into a broom cupboard with a box of Milk Tray (and Tom Hardy at a push), so as you can see, I needed cheering up.  Heading off to Pilates, my feet dragging on the dr…

Under pressure...

Reversing out of my parking space at Binland yesterday afternoon, I realised that I could see nothing out of any of my side windows and the rear window might as well have had a roller blind, the amount of vision it afforded.  Now because I have a convertible, the car wash is a no go area, so I decided to head up to my local garage which had a pressure washer, and I'd clean it myself. 

Now I haven't used a pressure washer for at least twenty years - this is probably down to the fact that my last few cars have been most happy in the carwash, unlike the convertible diva I now drive.  I was glad to see that nothing had changed (except the price).  The pressure hose still leaked sideways, giving you an unwanted shower, and the broom attachment was still covered in grit, and swivelled on the pole, what with it not being screwed on tightly enough.  But at least the obligatory dirty bucket of water and stiff brush were nowhere to be seen.  These were used for cleaning the alloys/whee…

Alone together...

A text came at 7.00 yesterday morning, informing me that Stephen would be knocking on my door sometime before 9.00 with the new washing machine.  Unfortunately, because my phone was on silent, I didn't wake up till 8.15 when Reg decided to remodel himself as a new hat on my comatose head.  Looking at my phone through schnauzer fur, I realised that I was cutting it a bit fine.  'Just throw your dressing gown on and let him in through the garage', suggested the husband helpfully.  Does he know me at all?  I had to get dressed, do my hair, stick mascara on (can't let anyone see me without mascara, except Mrs S when we swim) and sort the utility room out to make space for the new washer. 

I must have made the husband feel guilty, as he headed down to help me.  He'd even found time to get some clothes on which was a plus.  He pulled the old machine out, leaving me with the pink job of cleaning the dirtiest square of floor I have ever seen. The husband thought it very f…

Disco love...

The husband and I found ourselves alone this weekend.  Daughter number one and son number two had headed off to the south west corner of our lovely country.  Daughter number one with some girlfriends, and son number two with ELL.  The husband didn't really register that the house was relatively empty until about 8.00 last night.  This was after I had cooked him a lovely grown up dinner (something without ketchup or chips) and we had flopped on the sofa to watch Sounds of the 80's.  'It's ever so quiet', he said. 

I suppose the trouble is that we are so used to the noise and hub-bub, that it comes as a bit of a shock to us when the kids are away.  So we enjoyed the peace and lack of sentences preceded by 'Mum', and watched what we wanted without interruption.  .

The new washing machine is due here later on.  I wonder if it would be so keen to go to its new home if it knew what awaited it in the corner of the utility room.  It looks like we've had a Brin…

Wash that man...

At approximately 11.27am yesterday, a washing machine repair man draped a black cloth over his bald pate and sentenced my faithful washing machine to death by scrap yard.  I had been expecting this verdict, and had put off calling Washing Machine Paul out to take a look, preferring to risk life and limb by carrying on using it.  Mind you, the noise the bloody thing was making was so loud, that I had resorted to only putting it on when I went out.  You know, out of sight and all that.

Well apparently, my drum is cracked.  According to WMP, this is down to either a screw or coin getting lodged somewhere inappropriate.  Ladies, I am sure that you can imagine exactly in whose direction I was glaring virtually when this information was imparted to me.  Why would I have screws in my trousers?  Actually, why would I have coins either now I come to think about it?  I have children, therefore my pockets are usually empty (along with my purse, bag and bank account).

Apparently, the drum could …

I will follow...

So the husband was true to his word on Wednesday night and came with me to Swing Dance Club.  We got there good and early (my fault again) and had to wait in the church hall carpark for half an hour while the twenty two dogs partaking in some classes of their own vacated the building.  Once we saw the mops and disinfectant come out, we knew it was nearing the time of our lessons.  The husband was as nervous as I have ever seen him (even more so than when we had the mouse in our bedroom).  On my advice, he had his best slippery bottomed shoes on, and taking a deep breath, we tip-tapped into the hall, and signed our life (or the next twelve weeks of it) away. 

The couple running the class were very excitable, especially the man, who reminded me of a fully charged Duracell bunny - he just couldn't keep still.  The lady was far more sensible, and it soon became apparent who the grown up was in that relationship.  He got told off several times over the course of the evening...for the …

Chocolate...

The tanker arrived yesterday morning with the heating oil.  Never have I been more relieved, and at last I can put away the eight-ply woollen knitted knickers which I was working on.  The atmosphere in the house is much lighter, and I think that the increase in temperature will see the return of daughter number one once again. 

Son number two, who is currently at home (between jobs, I think they call it) has had a week off before starting his new job on Monday.  He has taken to cooking brownies while I am at work, and as I walk through the door, I am assaulted by the smell of them wafting through into the hall.  But unfortunately, all I can do is sniff  them (that's not fattening is it?) as if I had but one crumb, it would send me on a downhill spiral which would see my way adorned with Crème Eggs, cake, biscuits, booze and crisps, and all this before the first bend.  So I try to ignore the lovely whiff of it, preferring to lock myself in the lounge with the two dogs and an apple…

Build me up, buttercup...

Mrs S paid a visit yesterday afternoon, accompanied by her son Master C who was nursing a junior version of man flu.  This is not to be confused with the life threatening adult man flu, but is more likely to come on when a Geography exam is imminent.  Needless to say, there was copious amounts of coughing and spluttering, and I expect to be doing the same in around ten days' time. 

Now Mrs S was only here on Sunday, so there wasn't really much for her to catch up on life wise.  The real reason she tipped up yesterday was because she has a load of builders in her house.  Now we all know what this means.  Dirty cups in the sink with squeezed teabags lovingly placed on the side, bacon rolls around 11.00, dust, Radio 1, more tea, and then biscuits for the afternoon.  The builders were having some issues with her ceiling, and the language was fairly ripe, and what with that and the fact that her new puppy kept going AWOL having learned how to climb a ladder, she decided to scoop t…

Lock all the doors...

We are still limping towards the oil delivery on the 11th February.  Heating has been rationed to two lots of two hours a day - just about enough to stop anyone refusing to get out of bed in the morning.  It's just as well the Heating Police (the husband) has allowed this, as I fear we may have had mutiny in the house.  I can just imagine daughter number one and son number two locking the husband in his office while they twist the thermostat hard right, causing the more hardy of us to sweat like Lee Evans after a Vindaloo. 

Talking of sweating (or is it 'glowing' we women do?) it dawned on me a few weeks ago that I haven't had a hottie for some time.  For those of you who weren't on board for the 'Summer of Loose Clothing and Battery Operated Fan', you missed some very informative advice as to how to deal with the dreaded menopause.  Red Clover and I are still on good terms, and rather than coming off it, and running the risk of the return of the aforement…

Dance, dance, dance...

The husband and I have decided that at the combined age of 107, we are going to go to dancing lessons.

I'll just give you a chance to compose yourself as I am expecting morning tea to have been spat across who ever is sitting opposite to you currently, or for you to have mascara running down your cheeks...

So.  Dancing lessons.  It's my fault really, and because the husband loves me so much, he is just happy to muddle along with anything I suggest if it keeps me smiling.  Some time ago, we went to a night out 1920's style, and the I fell in love with the dancing.  The husband, who is to dancing what Sweeney Todd is to a short back and sides, seemed to get the hang of this frenetic dancing pretty quickly, and we both had a brilliant time. 

I had tried suggesting learning to do this dancing a couple of times with no joy, but I have been very firm with the husband this time, and told him that I won't go back for another 1920's night, until we can do the moves.  As he…

Read 'em and weep...

I headed over to Marlow for breakfast with Mrs Jangles yesterday.  The Mother and Miss R were still away yesterday (throwing themselves down a snow covered mountain with only skinny poles to stop them attempting something Eddie the Eagle would be proud of) so it was a quiet one.

I got there early (yes, I know) but it was intentional.  I had bought my first newspaper in goodness knows how many years, and fancied catching up with what was happening in our crazy world.  Mind you, choosing a paper isn't as easy as it used to be.  I no longer read the Daily Mail as it used to rile me to unfathomable heights of fury.  I would often screw the paper up and use it on the fire before even getting to the middle pages.  I'm neither important enough, old enough or bothered enough to read The Times, so I picked out a paper which from its title, implied that it was a sort of round up of the week's events.  Perfect, just what I was after.

I had opened up the paper and had started reading …

Step by step...

As you all know, yesterday was weighing in day for me.  Up till yesterday morning, this has been a happy event for me, as I have been confident that enough has been done each day to ensure a small overall reduction every week.  I haven't been going mad, as we all know that 'slow and steady wins the race' however much we'd all like to lose half a stone with the wave of a bingo wing.

However, somewhere quiet, probably surrounded by half eaten doughnuts, the Goddess of Love Handles is having a really good laugh at my expense.  I almost leapt onto the scales yesterday morning.  Having had a preview of my weight the night before, I was convinced that Friday would bring another 2lb weight loss which was brilliant.  You can only begin to imagine my dismay when the Friday morning scales revealed that I had put on 2lbs this week. This equated to a 6lbs increase overnight, which I'm not sure is even physically possible even if you were stuffing your face all night. 

So it m…

Pool party...

It was back to the swimming pool last night for Mrs S and me.  After last week's triumph of fourteen lengths, we were hoping to beat this into submission with at least two more.  I got there early.  I always get everywhere early.  I blame my father, for consistently telling me and Miss R that that if you're late, you are basically telling that person that your time is more important than theirs.  I have memories of a boyfriend (not the husband you'll be pleased to hear) who was always picking me up late from home.  After coercion from my dad, I left a note on the front door saying that that I'd had a better offer.  I hadn't, naturally. (I had bad hair and a dubious dress sense so they were never queuing up).  I was just sitting in my room with a Jackie Collins book and a cup of tea, but my pride was intact even though my heart wasn't, as of course he dumped me soon after.

So back to the swimming.  Like I said, I got their early, and my heart sank at the sight o…

Liquid lunch...

I had a sleepover on Tuesday night.  I went up to visit daughter number two again in her flat in Milton Keynes, because she fancied a bit of company after a difficult day.  I had planned to come straight from Pilates (that Alex is making it harder every week - don't think I'm not noticing...) so throwing a coat over my daft Pilates pants I began the hour and a half drive up there.  You'll be pleased to hear that I've now got the PratNav sussed, and I managed to listen to some quiet music and get directions at the same time, so no unintentional detours or U-turns were needed this time. 

When I got to her flat, the place was in darkness.  Luckily, she'd given me a key, so I could let myself in.  Slapping the wall inside looking for a light switch which might help negotiate the stairs, I had a complete flashback of living in a shoebox (my first flat) and I came over all wistful.  There are definite benefits of living in a flat this size, such as being able to vacuum …