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Showing posts from July, 2018

Blue bird...

The husband and I have been suffering post holiday blues, and both of our Mondays were a bit of a letdown after our weekend caravanning extravaganza.
The husband deals with his holiday blues in a couple of ways.  Sulking is his favourite, rapidly followed by tantrums of Trumpesque proportion (without the Tango-Tan and small hands).  He went off to work yesterday dragging his feet and muttering under his breath, and when he came back home last night was only marginally better.  I did manage to cheer him up eventually by suggesting that we start investigating our destination for a week in September - his little face lit up and he said, 'Can we?' 
I'm sure that this is going to cause arguments of mammoth proportion as the discussions deepen.  This is because I fancy Suffolk and for some reason known only to the husband, he wants to go anywhere on the South coast where Poldark was filmed.  Now the husband is a manly chap who hails from the North (think Coronation Street) and thi…

Line up..

So our first attempt at towing a metal box to a field has been an unmitigated success.  By this, I mean that I didn't kill the husband and we didn't run out of teabags.
The weekend started on Friday with a slow but steady drive down to a well-recommended campsite in the New Forest, which we drove round for twenty minutes before the husband found a pitch which he felt suitable.  I'll be honest with you, they all looked the same to me (grass/electric hook-up), but who was I to question him after the arduous drive.  Once we'd downed legs and hooked up the water, deckchairs were unfolded and rather large drinks poured (the husband's was deemed a reward for his excellent driving, but I just needed a drink really).  

A trip was taken to the pub for dinner a bit later that evening, where the husband made friends with two old chaps who looked like they'd been sitting there since 1957.  On returning back to the Wobble Box, there was a frantic search though the many cupboa…

Heaven is a place on earth...

Who doesn't love a bit of tropical sweating to keep you away from your laptop for a couple of days.  I'll be honest with you, by Wednesday, I had removed enough layers of skin from my arms from sticking to my wood-effect desk, that my arms looked like a couple of badly stuffed cheap sausages.
Anyway, the two days away gave me a chance to get the Wobble Box packed and ready for our first trip away.  Amazon packages had been arriving at an alarming speed, each greeted with a 'What have you bought now?' from the husband, who had taken to sweating slightly every time a white Transit van turned up in the drive. Men just don't realise the importance of a matching towel and bath mat combo, and there have been many items smuggled in while the husband was at work.  
Talking of the husband, in a throwaway comment over dinner on Wednesday, he proclaimed to have 'filled the fridge with all we need for the weekend'. Now I knew that I hadn't been shopping for the weeke…

Trash day...

The husband is  in trouble again.  
A small decision on Monday night has thrown the whole of my road into complete disarray, and all because (yet again) he chose not to believe me on matters concerning the house.
'What colour bin is it tomorrow?' he asked me over dinner.  'Black bin tomorrow', I replied, utterly confident that I was right.
'No, it's green.  Someone had a green bin out when I drove home just now'.  
'Well 'someone' is wrong then', I said.  'It's black bin tomorrow'.
Not wanting to bow to my superior knowledge where rubbish is concerned, he refused to back down, and asked, 'What did we put out last week then?'
Speaking very slowly at this point, I said to him, 'They took the green one last week, which is why it's black bin tomorrow'.
And then the conversation tailed off as he concentrated on the homemade burgers I'd made him.  Don't be too impressed lovely readers, I'd cleaned out the freez…

Remote control...

Charlie the Wobble Box is now firmly ensconced on the drive with the husband barely leaving it in peace for more than ten minutes.  And why would this be?
Well lovely readers, our Wobble Box came with a gadget which moves the caravan around via a remote control.  To the husband, this is the equivalent of a giant scalextric for those of advanced years (even the buttons on the remote are supersized) and he has spent many an hour this weekend joyfully turning the caravan this way and that until it was in a perfect position parallel to the fence.  To be honest, the two of us are such novices that I think we'll be very grateful for this when we reach our first site.  I can just picture the husband unhooking Charlie at the reception and moving it remotely all the way to our allocated pitch rather than risking the muted laughter from other caravan owners as they watch the husband and his reversing skills.
We had planned on sleeping in Charlie on Friday night, but such was the state of the …

Green door...

Having recovered from the van-warming on Friday night, it was full steam ahead for bacon croissants and a cup of tea for whoever decided to pop by to give Charlie the once over.  In case you're late to the party (where have you been for the last two and a half years?) Charlie is our new caravan, and is currently sitting on our drive waiting for his first excursion.
First to show was daughter number one with Del Boy, rapidly followed by son number one with Little Miss Tiny.  Bringing up the rear were The Mother and Step Daddy Dick, Mrs Jangles, The Father and Miss G.
They were all suitably impressed (and a tad jealous I think) and having fed and watered them all, the husband decided that a trip to Ikea was needed to stock the caravan out.  
Ladies, I tried to warn him off, really I did, and as we drove around the car park for the third time, I'm sure he wished he'd heeded my warning.   The store was packed to the gunnels with first time home owners and frazzled parents, who, s…

Caravan of love...

I can honestly say that Charlie the Wobble Box was christened in style last night.
We collected it yesterday afternoon, and having been subjected to a three hour 'handover' where the ancient, but very wonderful, Roger talked us through every square inch of our new purchase, we tentatively pulled out of the caravan dealer.  'Is there a special wave which caravanners do?' asked the husband as we tiptoed down the road.
Now the husband has a very special 'wave' he has up till now reserved for caravan drivers (especially on that road which leads to North Devon) but I don't think that will be acceptable now.  'You'll have to wait till one comes in the opposite direction - we'll find out then'.  Well believe it or not, we didn't pass a single one on the hour drive home (my memo about avoiding West Berkshire obviously paid off) so we're still in the dark as to a possible Caravanner's Wave.
Reversing into the drive (clever husband) we unhitc…

Jammin'...

The husband, in a rare brave moment, declared this week that he was slightly worried as to how quickly I was romping into Upper Middle Age Territory (UMAT).  The trigger for this statement was the purchase of the caravan (which we collect later today, so avoid the A34 around 6.00pm).  In his mind, having a caravan, and the accompanying obligatory membership of The Caravan Club, reeks of 'something old people do'.  These were his words, not mine.  I have wanted a caravan for what seems like the whole of my life, with week-long forays to various sites across the UK and Europe with family and friends being some of my favourite times away.  
So that was the trigger.  Since then, he has had what is commonly known as 'an eye on me'.  Now I don't know if subconsciously I am rather happily swanning towards UMAT, but over the last three weeks, I have developed an unusual urge to garden. Plants have been thrust into my borders, weeding is done regularly, and I deadhead every …

Fill me in...

It was back to one of my favourite haunts yesterday...I say 'haunts' because the people in the waiting room tend to have that ghostly pallor and sit there patiently, nervously sweating while they wait their turn.
Yep, it was back to the bloody dentist again.  Now as you may recall, I have absolutely no qualms about going to see my dentist.  If we met under any other circumstances other than with me laid back with my mouth open while he prodded about in there with his tools of torture, I'm sure we'd get along just fine.  He is funny, charming, very patient and considerate.  If only he could just change his bloody job title.
I'd gone there with a grumbling tooth and with a confession which could have blown the socks off the editor of Dentistry Today, such was the announcement I had to make.
'I need to tell you something before I sit down', I said from the doorway.
He already had that pointy, metal thing in his hand and he gently laid it down on the shelf next to …

Down by the river...

It must have something to do with the weather, but for the past week I have been taking new paths with the dogs, all of which have been close to the river.  Now water is a relatively new thing for Percy and Reg, and whereas Percy will dabble in the sea up to his knees like a turn of the century matron with her skirt tucked in her voluminous drawers, Reg struggles with the hosepipe...whether on or off.
Yesterday's walk was a completely new one for me as it proclaimed to be a Nature Reserve as well as being a riverside walk.  Clipping the dogs onto their leads to avoid any contretemps with deer, badgers, rabbits or any other unsuspecting animal we happened to chance upon, we set out on the  very narrow path.
Walking further on, the path got narrower, and I regretted my decision of shorts as suitable walking apparel.  Within fifteen minutes my legs were lacerated by nettles, spiky grasses and thistles and something with teeth like a sabre toothed tiger had had a good old go at my ankle…

Baggy trousers...

You'll be very pleased to hear that the husband survived my wrath after the Night of The Missing Trousers.  
What has been most surprising is the number of friends, who having read yesterday's ramblings, now announce that they have spare dinner suits (ranging from 'only worn a couple of times' to 'never worn at all') in their wardrobes.  I've decided that it's a very strange thing about dinner suits.  It doesn't matter what size the wearer is, whether he be 6'3" or 5'10", a 34" waist or 32" inside leg, because apparently one size fits all.  The most recent offer of a pair of trousers came from the husband of a wonderful friend who has the misfortune to wear what I consider to be square trousers.  What are these I hear you ask.  Well, he has a 54"waist and a 27" inside leg...so you do the maths..
Thinking about these trousers, although the offer was a lovely one, they would definitely have been no good.  Lengthwise…

Donald, where's your trousers...

The husband is the King of Ill Preparation, the Prince of Procrastination, the Count of Can't be A**ed...
Knowing this only too well, I had asked him on Wednesday whether his dinner suit, shirt, dickie bow etc were all ok as we had a big function on the cards for Saturday night. 'Yes, yes', he'd muttered, 'it's all there'.
I now know that a) he wasn't listening and b) he hadn't been anywhere near his wardrobe. 
On Saturday afternoon around 4.00, I reminded him that the taxi would be collecting us at 4.45.  As he was mid car wash, I said that I would go and quickly get ready and by the time he'd finished my car, the bathroom would be all his. Now, I have been here before, so I poked my head into his wardrobe to get the suit and shirt out.  Horrors, there was a jacket and a dickie bow, but no trousers. 
Having done a military sweep of the children's wardrobes to see whether they had borrowed them.  If you know the height difference between the bo…

In da club...

Boy was I glad to see the end of this week.  What with the football, the weeping colleagues (just the male ones as the female variety were quite cock-a-hoop) and the incessant watering of myself as well as the allotment, my garden, and a neighbour's garden (a greenhouse, thirty tubs, four cacti, seven bowls of hedgehog water and a scoop of mealworms each day....in the hottest fortnight on record).  Throw into the mix some rather frustrating conversations with someone who shall go unnamed, I was very glad to leave Binland on Friday afternoon.
But there have been good things too.  And isn't that what life is about?  There's no point having good things if you don't have the bad to compare them to.
I spent a lovely two hours with the Mother on Thursday discussing plants, allotments and beetroot, and I'd like to think that the highlight of her afternoon was digging up a couple to take home for her dinner that night. Or maybe it was the contraband tomato I smuggled out …

Three lions on a shirt...

Do you have any idea what it's like working with colleagues  94% of whom are of the male persuasion, on the morning after a World Cup semi-final?
Walking into Binland yesterday morning, there was a depressing hush over the place as the boys contemplated the previous night's loss at football against a country who has a relatively small population.  Putting it bluntly, if you could could get all the people living in Birmingham and Sheffield to snuggle up together, that would be Croatia's population.
Deciding that a positive slant would be the best way forward, I greeted them all with a cheery, 'Morning all'.
And how did they react?
Master P was sadly humming 'It's staying put', to the tune of 'It's coming home'.  This was accompanied with head shaking and eye rolling for most of the morning.  There was also the risk of tears whenever Gareth Southgate was mentioned.
Master J, who is a little more pragmatic, swore a lot, but tried to cheer up Master …

Bagboy...

There is a saying about 'what goes around comes around', and at no time has that been more fitting than on my dog walk yesterday.
As you all know by know, my two dogs are extremely different in character.  I have Percy, the older of the two, who is sensible, distinguished, calm and basically, the dog who everybody wants (except for the time he rolled in some fox poo when even I considered putting him up for adoption).  And then there is Reg.
He arrived around three years after we got Percy, and the purchase was based on the fact that Percy was such a great dog.  If only we'd known...  Reg could be a completely separate species, let alone a different breed of dog, he is so unlike Percy.
Brash, daft, naughty, destructive and dirty.  And these are his better points.  He decapitates my flowers, poops wherever the fancy takes him and will eat anything which stops moving long enough.  Yesterday, he got his comeuppance...
We'd been over to the allotment to water what was left of …

Hot in the city...

The heat has finally got to me.
The last three nights have seen me in bed before 9.30 each night, dragging my feet up the stairs each night like a sulking seven year old who's been refused 'just five more minutes'.  The problem is that normal life has to go on, whatever the weather.  We still have to work, walk dogs, feed husbands and iron clothes (under duress).  We also have to pour the equivalent of the Pacific Ocean over our dahlias and hollyhocks each evening.  
Because of the risk of 'scorching' (this is a term which is bandied round at times of extreme heat and I've yet to learn whether it applies to the waterer or the plant) this watering has to be done after the sun goes down, which is approximately an hour after I start thinking about heading off to bed.  This is why you'll often find me in pyjamas and wellies in the back garden around 9.00, risking life, limb and antirrhinum to premature watering.  I have a devil may care attitude it would appear..…

Sunny afternoon...

The husband went off on a jolly this weekend, along with some other gentlemen of a similar age.
He had sold it to me a couple of weeks ago, describing it as 'just a bit of a motorbike event', and I expected him to be missing for just a few hours, eventually coming home with part of his bike in a rucksack having lost it on a tight corner.
So watching him get ready for it on Friday morning, I watched as t-shirts were packed, then a toothbrush, a change of underwear and then...a tent.
'Exactly how long are you going for?' I asked gesturing towards the tent.
Well it turned out that he was leaving on the Saturday morning (around seven hours after we crawled through the door after Henley Regatta) and would be staying the night.  This was because there was live music, a bar and 'other entertainment'.  I didn't ask him to quantify the 'other entertainments' but bearing in mind it was a bikers' event, you can bet your bottom dollar that it didn't involve…

Messin' about on the river...

And so endeth another Henley Royal Regatta weekend...
And I survived.  I'd like to say that the same applied to all other family members and friends, but if I did that, my conk (yes, conk) would grow to epic proportions having been subjected to the Pinocchio Complex.
Friday was the most amazing day.  How you can go from discussing the contents of someone's wheelie bins in the morning to donning a hat and posh frock in the afternoon is always a bit of a shock to me - amazing what you achieve in forty seven minutes isn't it?
On Friday, we were all at a riverside club in Henley, courtesy of the Father who is a lifelong member. This is a very quintessentially English place, and as you drive down the drive, you can almost feel the door closing on the 21st century as you are whisked back to a time where life was slower and men wore boaters for a spot of 'messing about on the river'.  Unfortunately, this type of place is frequented primarily by people who remember life like …