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Showing posts from February, 2018

Let it snow...

The Beast from the East is fast becoming the Beast with the Least if you happen to live in the Home Counties.  
Everyone I spoke to yesterday had moved on from the anticipated closed schools, the days off work due to blocked roads and not needing an excuse to drink hot chocolate and brandy all day, and were merely suggesting that thicker socks might be enough to get through the Arctic blast.  I know that there are some of you lovely readers who will be experiencing the snow at its worst, but down here, the snow we do have isn't even enough to fashion a pair of snowman's snowballs, and the dreams of sledging and disruption are disappearing as quickly as the sprinkling on my lawn.
But boy it's cold.  Walking with my great friend Mrs P and her Rottweiler Neville yesterday afternoon, I admitted to wearing a pair of leggings under my jeans.  This was fine because she also had layered up in the leg region.  What I didn't divulge was the two pairs of drawers (my derriere always…

Cold wind blows...

I don't know how cold it is with you at the moment, but I spent yesterday morning snapping the two furballs off various trees and posts as we attempted a walk before I went to work.  I had made the schoolgirl error of asking myself, 'Just how cold can it be?' before putting one extra sweater on beneath my walking coat.  I also had my Olga from the Volga fur hat, a scarf and gloves (to be fair, I've been wearing all of these since the middle of October).  Unfortunately, what I hadn't taken into consideration was the above the knee dress I was wearing to work yesterday.  I imagined that the extra warmth up top would somehow work its way to my knees.  
I was wrong.
Getting back indoors after forty five minutes of combat with The Beast from the East, I looked down at my legs.  Even with the black 100 denier tights I was wearing, I could see that my legs had taken on a slightly different hue to normal.  They were looking like two red pillar boxes, and it took ten minutes …

Return to sender...

Now ladies.  If you were impressed by my three days spent with son number two, hauling my pounding feet around Leeds as I tried to worm my way into his student life, you ain't seen nothing yet.
Later this morning, I am winding my weary way up to Milton Keynes where daughter number two resides, with the aim of a little light shopping around the retail hell known as CentreMK.  I speak from experience when I tell you that this shopping centre is neither for the fainthearted, or anyone who has not completed an advanced course in orienteering.  I went there once a couple of years ago with Miss R, the Mother and Mrs Jangles, and we managed to lose the older ladies after forty minutes.  When we finally met them in the predetermined restaurant for lunch, it turned out that they were too frightened to stray too far, and had basically been in the restaurant for at least an hour before Miss R and I turned up. You can imagine the state they were in, I'm sure.
When I was with son number two …

Life in a Northern town...

Yesterday lunchtime, I crawled back through my own front door, never more relieved to see my sofa and slippers.  I have decided that however exciting it may sound, at the ripe old age of 53 and a half, a student life is not for me.  The one thing I realised having spent three days with son number two, is that there is no official time when you are a student. Watches are redundant and there is no such thing as 'opening hours', as the pubs are open for all of them; it's just some are happier than others. 
What I mean by this is that it doesn't matter whether it's 9.00 in the morning or 11.00 at night, you can still have a glass of Malbec and no one bats an eyelid.  Breakfast is eaten around lunchtime, swiftly followed by lunch about half an hour later, and then the evening meal (as we adults refer to it) is eaten sometime between 6.00pm and 4.00am.  
Take Wednesday for example.  Son number two and I had been out for a lovely meal the night before, and he dropped me bac…

Walking on broken glass...

I am a broken woman.  Who would have thought that a day's shopping could be so arduous?   Leeds is a sprawling Metropolis of shops, and I reckon son number two and I completed seventeen laps of the shopping circuit yesterday.  What is more impressive is that my FatBat FitBit stated that by 3.39 yesterday afternoon, I had walked 9.58 miles.  When son number two asked if we could call it a day around 4.00 because he had some work to do, I actually think that like me, he was looking forward to going home, rolling his trouser legs up to his knees, and soaking his feet in a bowl of warm water all the while wondering how on earth he was going to ever wear shoes again, and whether slippers were an acceptable footwear alternative in February.
I accompanied my feet bathing on the side of the bath with a rather small bottle of wine from my mini bar (all included in my room price, so almost illegal not to drink it) and a copy of House and Garden.  Rather impressively, neither the wine or the …

Talking to myself...

Yesterday, I took the long trek up to Leeds to visit son number two for a couple of nights.  This was a long anticipated trip for both us, but for different reasons. I was looking forward to a 6'4" hug, and son number two was looking forward to three meals a day and a shopping trip to rival Imelda Marcos (he loves his shoes).
The trip up the M1 was relatively pain free, although I seemed to adopt the husband's habit of muttering, 'To**er', under my breath at sporadic intervals.  This was usually directed at those drivers who seemed to think that the middle lane is for coasting at 65mph completely oblivious of anything either side. 
But I made it to the hotel in one piece, and marvellous news, I got upgraded to a lovely room.  I haven't spent the night in a hotel on my own for many years, and I've started talking to myself again.  It is usually my mother's voice which speaks to me though...
'Which side of the bed shall I put your pyjamas?' 'Wash…

Hot stuff...

I was under pressure to cook a Sunday roast yesterday.  As you all know, I've given up eating meat for Lent, so a roast would probably not be up there as the most appropriate meal for me.  But when faced with two daughters and the husband doing passable impersonations of Puss from Shrek, what's a girl to do?  I had a chicken and some pork in the freezer, so that sorted the three of them out, but I wasn't really too sure what to do for myself.  
Finally deciding that a smorgasbord of vegetables, some cracking roasties and some seriously cheesy cauliflower would do me, I still felt that there was something missing.  I needed something to make the meal feel like a roast even without the meat.  Adding Yorkshire puds helped, and then I started thinking about having a good old slab of Paxo on the side.  That would swing it.
The only trouble was, that there was no Paxo in my cupboard, so a trip to the local supermarket was on the cards. The husband and I ended up there, after I'…

What's he building...

It would seem that I am destined to be subjected to terrible things over the next few months.  My sanity will be stretched to its limits, and by May, I might be consulting the divorce lawyers.  It started off with a throwaway comment I made last week, which went something along the lines of, 'I'm a bit fed up of the red kitchen tiles'.  
The husband, always up for a challenge asked me what I wanted instead.  Well, I hadn't really thought that far ahead if I'm honest, but to show willing in the game known as 'The Husband Wants a Job', I said that cream tiles would be really lovely, and it would also mean that I wouldn't be limited to my kitchen looking like a Manchester United home kit (red, black and white as far as the eye could see).
As the days trickled by last week, the husband mentally moved on from simply tiling over the red tiles, to stripping them off and replacing them.  And then he said....
'I think we should have the kitchen units painted.  …

Bad decisions...

I made a serious school girl error yesterday.  As a woman of questionable age (too old to be a trophy wife, too young to wear purple) I am now far, far away from those years spent with young children.  I'll be honest with you, and I'm sorry if I offend any of you here, I had forgotten how bloody awful they can be (especially when they are not your own, if you know what I mean).
As daughter number one had very kindly offered to take the hairy hooligans out for a walk yesterday, I decided to take a drive to my local town to do the weekly shop and have a coffee in one of my favourite cafes.  
The car park looked like the M25 in rush hour, ie a still life, and having done several painful laps of the car park without finding any space big enough even for my itsy bitsy car, I eventually decided to leave my car with the car wash guys.  At least it was in the same time zone as the supermarket, and there was the added bonus of my car not resembling a skip for the weekend.
They didn't …

Say goodbye...

Here's a question for you.  Why is it that when we are dieting, we say that we have 'lost weight'.  To me this implies that at some time in the not so distant future, we're going to find it again.  I like to imagine a 28lb blob of yellow fat in a three piece suit, winking lasciviously at me and saying, 'Oi skinny.  I've missed you.  Fancy letting me ride shotgun around those hips again?'
So instead of 'losing weight' I am getting rid of it.  Throwing it away.  Killing it.   Banishing it, never to be seen again.  Previous experience tells me that I will probably have old Blobby hanging back around my middle in a couple of years, once I've tired of leaves and crispbreads, but I am trying to do things slightly different this time.  Slowing down the stampeding rate I eat (I blame hurried school lunches for this), speeding up the walking, and being more aware of what I am doing and why I am doing it.
Someone once told me that if I ever felt like pickin…

Tired of waiting for you...

If 'miffed' were a building, I would have looked like The Shard yesterday morning.  
Let me explain.  It's the husband's birthday in a couple of weeks, and he has very conveniently 'forgotten' the joint Christmas and birthday present bought for him a mere fifty two days ago.  He has been dropping hints all week about going to see one of the Six Nations rugby matches, so this week, I have been eagerly awaiting the witching hour of 10.00am on the 14th February when I could buy tickets for him courtesy of O2 Priority.
O2 have been bombarding me with texts all week (it's like they knew) reminding me to set the alarm for 10.00 so that I could buy my tickets.  Anticipating that I would have to take a bit of time out from my busy day in Binland, I got into work really early, so that I wouldn't feel too guilty about bunking off for half an hour.
As 10.00 approached, I got more and more excited, thinking of how thrilled the husband would be when he opened the ticke…

My funny Valentine...

The husband doesn't 'do' St Valentines Day.  His reason behind this is that he claims that he spoils me every day, so how can he possibly spoil me even more.  The trouble is, his definition of spoiling is rather different to mine (I picture every woman nodding furiously right now).  Whereas I would consider flowers, a meal out, new drawers or fancy chocolates as a St Valentine's day appropriate gift, the husband considers the following to be adequate to ensure he has enough Brownie points in store for when his birthday comes round.
A new tyre - this was last year's love token, accompanied with a very romantic poem A spaghetti strainer A set of Allen keys (since been taken back by the husband) A spare set of induction saucepans no longer needed on a job A photo of a Valentine's card texted from the airport as he'd gone away skiing for a week Gloves for the garden (sound lovely, but these were bought from the builder's merchant, were yellow and three sizes too …

Fox on the run...

After my hedonistic weekend, I was glad to be back within the relative peace of Binland yesterday morning.  I work with a lovely crew of people, and it's never a chore coming in on a Monday.  Mind you, if I keep winning the money when we weigh in each Monday, I have a feeling that their friendliness towards me might wain.  I won again this week - another £6 in the kitty of life thanks to a 2lbs weight loss.  As we tell our children, 'Slow and steady wins the race'.  It may well do, but I'd much prefer to have a racing rabbit of a weight loss.  Imagine going to sleep and waking up the next morning with your pyjamas hanging off you.  Sheer bliss, but I'm trying to be sensible and look at my diet like War and Peace rather than a well thumbed copy of Hello magazine.
Moving on, I may upset a few of you with what I'm about to say, but sometimes, thing just have be said.  Going for my usual morning walk with the woofers around a field which we are allowed to use courte…

These three days...

I don't know what it is about having a day off, but after three days of eating, shopping and drinking, I could really do with a couple of days off to recover.  Actually, I think my purse might echo that statement after its bashing in M&S on Friday.  I had three very different days, but with one underlining similarity.  Alcohol.
On Friday, I went to the new Westgate shopping centre in Oxford with Miss R, the Mother and Mrs Jangles.  Our expectations were high, and we were champing at the bit to be let loose on all the designer shops.  Miss R was very excited as she was off to House of Fraser, and I had a very meagre wish list of a black handbag and some new drawers (the kind often referred to as 'apple catchers' rather than a piece of furniture for the bedroom).  But it was a huge disappointment on many levels, the first being that there is no House of Fraser there.  To help with the pain, Miss R had to buy a Danish pastry to go with her coffee, and I reassured her that …

A man could go quite mad...

I have started to realise that there are many things about me which drive the husband mad.  When you first get together, those small faults are cute and a little bit quirky.  However, fast forward a couple of decades and they become a fairly acceptable excuse for manslaughter.  
I started thinking about this after the contretemps with the cutlery drawer a couple of weeks ago.  If you remember, the husband informed that that I was messing with his feng shui by putting the boiled egg spoons in with the dessert forks.  He only seemed to notice that I did this after I bought a new cutlery tray for the drawer, so I'm blaming Groupon for grassing me up.
The other thing is my snoring.  When we first met, this was described as 'endearing', and he told me that as he lay next to me at night, he used to smile to himself and listen to me.  This swiftly moved on to comparisons with a nasally challenged warthog, and more recently to a Boeing 747 with a noisy exhaust.  I'm considerate …

Payback...

I've decided to claim against the local council for the new tyre I had to buy this week.  It's something I've never done before, so going on to their website to find out how, I was prepared to fill in a form or two.
What I wasn't prepared for was the five sheet pamphlet which needed to be accompanied by so much proof and documentation, that I am considering retraining and becoming a forensic expert.  Prior to even being allowed to see the form, you have to read through a diatribe which basically says this:
'Please be warned that we know every trick in the book, and are fully clued up on how to counter attack any claim you might make.  You'll see below all the reasons why we won't pay out on pothole damage, but if you're feeling brave enough, fill this form in and make our day' (this said while blowing smoke off barrel of Colt 45).
Now I am a woman who likes a bit of a challenge, so taking a deep breath, I gripped the claim form by the throat and got st…

Oh happy day...

And so a better day was had by all yesterday.  The husband, having listened to my moaning about my pothole, which shall henceforth be known as The Not So Grand Canyon, played a trump card on the game that is 'Who Had The Worst Day'.  As you know, every husband and wife play this game around 6.30 each evening to see who will eventually cave and make dinner or take control of the TV remote for the evening.. 
Anyway, back to the husband's day.  
He's still working up in London, and coming outside to get something from his car, he was suddenly faced with a woman running towards him (unusual on any day).  She was covered in blood and screaming that her husband was trying to kill her.  Taking the woman inside, the husband called the police who got to the scene in less than three minutes.  Having taken a statement (I would imagine that this read thus: 'I was standing on the pavement and a woman ran towards me') the police took over from the husband and disappeared with …

Down in the hole...

I woke up yesterday morning at 5.30 and so started the morning from Hell...
Driving to Binland, I decided to take the short route to work. I am spoilt for choice for routes to work, four of which pass various eating establishments, so taking the short route was a good call as it only passes a caravan site and a Recycling Centre (not one of ours, so least said, and all that).  
Chuntering along the lane at my customary 14mph (the perfect speed to avoid running anything fluffy over), my car suddenly dropped to the left in a spectacular fashion.  All hell broke out on the dashboard, with the display screaming something along the lines of, 'Stop the car right now!'
It would appear that the puddle I was happily traversing at the time was in fact a shortcut to the Sydney Opera House.  Getting out of the car and wandering round, I could see that half of my tyre had disappeared down the offending pothole, and the escaping air made the surrounding puddle look like a mucky jacuzzi.
Huffing …

Dress you up...

Despite liberal spraying of saline and a strange smelling liquid from the pet shop, Percy was still slathering over Reg's cut on Saturday.  I had still not managed to get to the vet to pick up one of their babygrows, so the husband suggested that I find one of the kids old t-shirts and adapt it.
Now this sounds all well and good, but what you have to bear in mind is that all of our children bar one are taller than me and their clothes are therefore rather large.  Trawling through various wardrobes full of abandoned clothing, I held up one t-shirt after the other, finally accepting that they were all far to big for Reg's delicate frame.  And then I had a light bulb moment.  
Delving into daughter number two's ski wear drawer, I pulled out a snood, a thin fabric tube, used to keep your neck and face warm.  I cut a couple of leg holes in one end and a head hole on top, and recruited in the husband in putting it on an unsuspecting Reg.
This took twenty minutes.  I think that the …