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Showing posts from April, 2017

Step inside love...

Master B and Master P returned to work yesterday after their training course.  I'm not sure whether there has been a day in the last two years when I have been so glad to see them. Running the sales office this week just about finished me off.
So to celebrate the fact that I managed to survive the week in Binland without killing myself, any of my colleagues (who were magnificent in their help and support) or a single customer, I suggested to the husband that we have a quiet meal out.  To be honest, between Binland and London, we haven't really seen much of each other this week, so it was a chance to catch up (this is a cute phrase for 'having a moan').
I was just about to take the dogs out for a final walk yesterday afternoon, when daughter number one turned up unexpectedly.  Not unexpectedly, she was here to 'beg, borrow or steal'.  This is a common reason for any of our children to visit, and I mentally started counting down what I might need to hide.  Well it …

Little too late...

It was a sad night on Wednesday as the husband and I didn't get to go dancing.  This wasn't because we were worried about the pain we could inflict on strangers' feet over the course of two hours, nor was it because we were struck with an attack of CBA (ask your kids about that one).  It was simply down to the fact that the husband returned home from working in London about half an hour after we would have normally left.  He rushed in, shedding layers of clothes as he walked, saying to me that he'd have a shower and then we'd go. Looking at his weary little face, I told him that we should give it a miss as it was late, and as it was the first lesson of the course (we've already done lessons 8 to 12 so have covered quite a lot) we wouldn't miss much.  Well, his face lit up like a Christmas tree, and he slumped gratefully on the sofa for the rest of the evening.
Thinking about this yesterday, I did wonder whether he'd been parked around the corner for an h…

Popcorn...

On Tuesday evening, Mrs S and I went to the cinema to see 'Their Finest', a film which has been on my list of things to watch since I first saw the trailer back in February.  It's set in the 1940's, my favourite era (although parts of 1978 and 1984 were pretty good also) and I was really looking forward to it.  Because Mrs S and I work for a living, we grabbed the early showing at 5.30.  I like going early as it means that I feel I've had a night out, but can still be in bed by 9.00 should I feel like it.  Admittedly after Tuesday at Binland, I'm surprised I made it past 7.00, but the film was brilliant and I managed to stay awake all the way through it.  
I collected Mrs S at 5.00, and had a couple of sandwiches stuffed in my handbag to eat when we got there.  Even as I write this, I am feeling like a cheapskate, but hey, money doesn't grow on trees (or in my savings account either it would seem).  Settling down in the cinema, having managed to successfully…

Busy doin' nothin'...

I have been abandoned.  Not at home of course, as the husband would never be brave enough to leave me.  The kids couldn't wait to leave the building, but I must have some strange hold over my dearly beloved as he seems to want to hang around. Mind you, if he thinks of any more manual jobs for me this weekend, I may be the one moving out.  
No, I have been abandoned at work.  Master B and Master P, the two young boys I have the daily joy of working with, are on a training course, and Mr W (our boss, who is only marginally older than daughter number one) is on holiday. Which leaves me in charge of the sales office at Binland.  
Now I like a challenge as much as the next person, but yesterday peaked at around 11.03am when I realised that I had been needing a comfort break since I got in at 8.30. Reaching a speed Roger Bannister would have been impressed with, I hurtled down the corridor towards the loo.  There were a couple of colleagues in the corridor at the time who looked like they…

Earned it...

Overnight, someone swapped my legs for a couple of lengths of 4"x 2" wood, such was the flexibility of my knees and hips yesterday at work. Several of my colleagues asked me what I'd been up to, as I was walking with that strained John Wayne swagger, swinging my legs along from the hip.  Not what you are all thinking, that's for sure.  
I think that I must have gone up and down that step ladder more than I originally thought on Sunday, whilst painting the Oxfordshire equivalent of the Sistine Chapel.  All I needed was a pair of leg warmers and some disco music, and I would have been right back in the step class I used to frequent on a Wednesday morning in the early 90's. The woman who took the class was like a Rottweiler in a leotard, and I was never sure what I was more afraid of.  Turning up to the class, or not turning up, as she had a reputation for 'hunting down' anyone who missed one of her lessons.  When I first started going, the class was ferociou…

Sweet painted lady...

It is a well known fact in this family that the husband loathes painting.  I'm not talking about the Constable/Monet kind of stuff, but the kind of painting which involves a roller and a lot of patience. 
Several years ago, on a particularly miserable summer day (quelle surprise) the husband thought it would be a grand idea to move the barbecue closer to the house, where he could continue to cook in the dry.  Well this was a great idea, until several beers later, we realised that whatever he was cooking had turned into kindling, and flames were licking up the white rendered walls.  The barbecue was henceforth removed from this place of comfort, as was the husband, and both were banished to the far end of the patio to think about their actions.
Fast forward to a breezy, sunny Sunday and yours truly is on paintbrush duty.  Now as much as the husband hates painting, he hates me painting even more.  He got what the kids would call, a big eggy with me before I started, and handed me a st…

Nice legs, shame about the face...

The husband officially has his shorts on now.  I have tried to warn him of the coming temperature plummet which is forecast for next week, but he poo-poos my attempts at weather forecasting, choosing instead to throw caution to the wind and get his knees out.
As the weather was so lovely yesterday afternoon, we sat on the deckchairs in the sunshine, nursing a couple of beers.  I had been on a long walk with Mrs S and her canine candy floss, Ralph, so felt like I'd earned a sit down.  The husband had been working all day, and felt the same.  As we stretched out on the deckchairs I caught the husband staring wistfully at the parts of his legs which were on show between his work boots and the bottom of his shorts.
'You all right there?' I asked him, as a little smile played across his face.
'I've got really silly little legs', he said.
Well I wasn't having any of that.  'They're not silly', I said.  'They do what they're meant to, don't th…

That's what friends are for...

A quiet weekend beckons...
This is my plan, but I am sure that one of our many offspring will tip up at some time over the next two days demanding food, money or ironing (or all three which is more likely). But at this moment in time, it's looking promising for the husband and I to have a little time to ourselves.  Of course, the time together will be after he has worked most of Saturday, and then cycled with his buddies on Sunday morning.  I predict our time together will be restricted to between 11.00am and 4.00pm on Sunday.  
Most of this will be spent asleep on the sofa, as I struggle to recover from walking the equivalent of Hadrian's Wall with the dogs this week.  I sometimes wonder where they get their energy from, but then I realise that in dog years, they are only 28 and 10, so energy is not really an issue (unlike the 53 year old asthmatic woman with dodgy feet and tight hip flexors who would love nothing more than a Rhubarb Gin and Tonic in a dark room).  I have been …

Don't speak...

I chanced upon next week's weather forecast last night.  I am now in the process of looking for anything which resembles 'fleece' to lay over my bedding plants to protect them from the plummeting temperatures which are predicted from Monday onwards.  I would like to think that the Harbingers of Doom may have it wrong, but just in case, I am shredding any cotton wool ball I can find.  Even my nail varnish remover pads are getting a little roughing up just in case.  I can almost see the man in the garden centre who warned me about this, shaking his head and muttering, 'I told you so'.
I hold myself responsible for the sudden turn about in the weather.  Not because of the bedding plants, but more for the opening of the holiday suitcase.  If only I had held off for another week or so, and been content with sweating it out in a pair of leggings and long suede boots.  Never mind, it's part of the whole excitement of April, waking up in the morning and wondering whethe…

Any colour you like...

It dawned on me yesterday while I was eating my lunch, that it's only a few weeks before I head off to Italy with Miss R and the Mother.  I did have a four second panic about having to wear a bikini in public, but quickly gave myself a stiff talking to as my 'bikini body' although not quite ready, is well on its way to being of a size where a Demis Roussos kaftan is not obligatory to get from the sun-lounger to the pool.
So suitably reminded of the few days away, I thought it would be a good idea to get out my holiday suitcase and go through it to see what bits and pieces could be resurrected for Italy.  It's always a tiny bit exciting doing this, as you never really know what you're going to find.  I suppose that the summer months are so short, that you don't really get a chance to get used to them.  A couple of wearings of each item, then back in the suitcase they go.  
I eventually found my suitcase in the airing cupboard which has the misfortune to be attache…

Digging in the dirt...

I'm sure that there are some of you out there who are assuming that my temporary disappearance over the weekend was down to being whisked away by the husband for a romantic weekend a deux. 
How wrong you would be.
I had in fact spent at least 75% of my Easter holiday waking hours digging . I have blisters upon blisters, claw like fingers which refuse to straighten out, and have developed a dowager's hump from bending over piles of topsoil, compost and stones for most of the weekend.  I could cope with the beautification of my garden in readiness for the family coming over on Sunday, but it was Monday's disaster which pushed me over the edge.  
We have (used to have) a raised bed which housed our strawberries.  On Saturday, the husband piled in several bags of compost and I lovingly planted my new strawberry plants in neat rows of three (the OCD is not confined to the inside of the house, and plants are equidistant to each other throughout).
So, the family came over on Easter S…

Colour my world...

You are probably wondering why  I decided to take a day off from the blog yesterday? Well I'll tell you why.  It was all the husband's fault, as on Saturday, he MADE ME DO GARDENING.  We had planned a big family barbecue, and the plan was to eat outside, weather permitting.   The thing was that the front and back gardens resembled Beirut on a quiet day, so armed with various instruments of torture, we set to it.
The husband had a load of top soil on the back of his trailer, and the idea was to scatter it across my borders, around the plants, and over the weeds, thus rendering them invisble. The husband calls this 'colouring in' and it works for me and my OCD very well.  So once I had done all that the borders looked presentable.  Empty, but yes, presentable.  
The husband was in charge of the front. You'll remember that he removed our hedge some months ago, leaving an area of muddy scrub-land outside my front door.  We had mulled over lots of different ideas as to wh…

In da club...

Well.  Booking a holiday is not all it's cracked up to be.  I spent a good two hours perusing the internet yesterday morning and finally settled on rather a glam spot in Ibiza (this was after walking the dogs, weeding the garden, doing two loads of washing and emptying all the bins - don't you just love a Bank Holiday..)  I was just about to press the 'Confirm my Booking' button, when son number one chanced upon me in my office.
Feeling very excited about the holiday, I said to him that I was ready to book it.  'Ibiza?' he asked.  'Are you sure?'  
Oh dear god...
The reason I had chosen Ibiza was because of the club scene.  I thought that the kids would love that, but it turned out that they are a load of boring old farts who would rather not spend fortunes on having a bop.  I don't know what they consider expensive, but the husband and I spend £6 each for our dancing each week - surely it can't be more than that?  Mmmm, turns out that strutting yo…

Jitterbug stroll...

So another working week came to a premature end yesterday.  I think all of us at Binland managed to cram about a fortnight's worth of work into the last four days, so it's fantastic to have four long days of sod all stretching in front of me today.
On Wednesday night, our Swing Club had its last social event before breaking up for Easter.  This involved all of the different levels of dancers getting together for a bit of a shin dig with cake thrown in.  Talking of cake, I'm not too sure why it is always present at Lindy Hop events.  I don't really think that it's a true reflection of what people ate in the 1940's. do you?  Mind you, I'd rather have a slab of fruit cake than a dried egg sandwich or a spam fritter, so best to keep quiet about this I feel.
Anyway, back to the dancing.  The lessons are split into two, with the beginners being upstairs.  The teacher from downstairs, where the fancy movers go, was trying to teach us all the Jitterbug Stroll, a danc…

Holiday...

Our family has a WhatsApp group chat, so that we can all keep in touch.  With kids living between the far south and the Midlands, we don't manage to get all of us into one room very often, so the app gives us a chance to chat each day about stuff and nonsense.  
Yesterday was very exciting on the group chat...
I had decided that I wanted to take us all away for a week in the sun.  With so much happening in the kids' lives, this could be the last chance to all go together before (and I say this with fear in my voice) we become in-laws to some poor unsuspecting girl or boy, or worse still, we become...wait for it....grandparents. So I put up a message on the chat with the week I had in mind.  This had already been decided by son number one who was the only one at home when I was looking at the calendar, so he got first dibs on the week.
Daughter number one came back with the predicted reply of 'Where are we going?'  When I replied that it would be somewhere hot and glamorou…

Chocolate...

When I came home from work yesterday afternoon, for one crazy moment, I wondered whether I'd gone to the wrong house.  It was so quiet, and the house looked like it did when I had left yesterday morning (hoovered, floors washed, what's left of the stair carpet brushed).  This was because son number two was back at work, and son number one had gone to see his girlfriend.  We only have his word that she's not an imaginary girlfriend, as none of us have actually seen her as yet,    We have promised to be on best behaviour and everything, and I am now wondering whether he's afraid to introduce her to his middle-aged swinging parents...can't imagine why.
My cartwheel sized chocolate cake went down quite well at work, although I was astonished at the amount of people claiming to be on diets.  A decision was made fairly early on though that if you had a small slice before 10.00am, then it would be fine as you'd have a chance to work it off through the day. Let's th…

Egg man...

I broke my own Personal Best yesterday, buying from three separate supermarkets within a twenty four hour period.  This is because there are MEN in my house, who as we mums know, will eat anything with a pulse which stops moving long enough.  The girls tend to pick at what ever is on offer at mealtimes, whereas the males in the house just pick all day, hovering around the fridge like a pack of salivating hyenas.
The reason I had to do more shopping yesterday, having had a massive Tesco delivery on Sunday, was because the husband incinerated (sorry, barbecued) the chickens which were to be for the week's lunches, so more were needed.  The barbecue had also been all encompassing, with sons one and two and daughter number one bringing everything to the table which just might go with the barbecue.  Subsequently, there were gaps in my food availability for the menus planned for the coming week.
First stop after work yesterday was the Co-op.  In there for chickens, red peppers, yet more e…

Ain't nobody here but us chickens...

I really enjoyed the last 24 hours of the summer.  Have you seen the forecast? Never mind the shorts and flip flops of this weekend.  Next week we'll be back in thermals and waterproofs as the temperature plummets.  Never mind, if there's one thing I've learned about British summer time, you have to take it while you can.  This might be two days in April and a midweek heatwave in October, but just enjoy it.  Who knows when it will be back again.
But joy of joys, we had 75% of our children here yesterday (always a blessing - this is Mum speak for 'Oh you're back to eat me out of house and home, and you have enough dirty clothes to keep a charity shop in business for a month'). I had taken the easy way out and ordered a load of meat to stick on the barbecue, and I reminded the husband on Sunday morning that it would need cleaning before we cooked anything on it.  Cleaning the barbecue basically means setting fire to it and hoping that it won't blow up, so once…

At the hop...

Well, we did it.  After eight weeks of Lindy Hop classes, the husband and I finally plucked up the courage to go to a 'Social'.  This is the equivalent of learning basic French for a couple of months, and then living in Paris for the rest of your life.  You know enough to feed yourself and basically survive, but anything else?  Well, you're knackered. 
Having told all and sundry we were going, we realised on Friday morning that there was no going back.  The trouble was, what was I to wear?
After a bit of failed internet shopping on Thursday, Mrs S from Binland reminded me about the vintage shop in town. Oh yes, this would be one of my customers who just happens to sell retro clothes from the 1930/40's.  How on earth could I have forgotten that?  I ask this, but at the ripe age of 53, there's a lot which passes me by.  Heading down there after work on Friday, I walked into WWII heaven.  It was crammed with dresses, skirts, petticoats and everything you could ever desi…