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Showing posts from August, 2018

Ask me what you want...

Yesterday was a funny one at Binland.  As you all know by now, I 'look after' two lads young enough to be my offspring on a daily basis.  I should quantify 'looking after' actually.  It's not really from a work point of view as the two of them are perfectly capable of doing their job, it's more a pastoral kind of care.  Questions launched at me across the desks over the last few years have included:
How do you go about getting a mortgage? (Don't do it...you'll never get out of it alive)
How do you spell Siobhan? (We've all asked this question at some point in our lives)
Are you sure that's how Siobhan in pronounced? (See above)
Who's Zippy? (Opportunity for Mr W in Transport to show Master P X-rated version of Rainbow featuring George and his twanger)
Who's Stormzy? (This also from Master P who is a staunch Smooth FM listener, and whose musical tastes came to an emergency halt somewhere around Whitney Houston.  I blame his mother for this)
Who'…

Superman...

As you may recall, son number two is currently back at the homestead.  He was here while the husband and I were at Carfest so that the dogs wouldn't go unfed or unwalked.  Looking at the size of them when we returned on Monday, I think it's safe to say that son number two achieved 50% of my expectations.  The lounge carpet was littered with the remains of various animals (pigs' ears, cows' bones and some strange looking hooves) and knowing what the eventual outcome of these treats usually is, what was left was hurriedly put into a carrier bag and disposed of while the husband took the two of them for their pre-bedtime perambulation.
Son number two is a funny old bod.  His room in his university home in Leeds is kept tidy and free of all rubbish.  How do I know this?  Well he likes to video call me on regular occasions, so I see what the room looks like behind him.  It's always tidy with very little stuff lying around (as he tells me on many occasions, 'I like th…

Festival song...

Well dear ladies.  I survived...
Four days at Carfest South working with Binland to keep the site as free as possible of every type of detritus known and unknown to the Free World was our remit.  Add in weather which Noah might have had an issue with, a couple of bottles of toffee vodka, a sunburnt nose and jeans so wet they were too heavy to keep up without industrial braces, and you might just have an idea as to what the weekend was like.  
My job on Friday morning before the gates were opened to all and sundry, was to go around all the traders who were selling food and alcohol and explain to them what we'd like them to do with all their rubbish.  The husband, or Mr Bird, as he was lovingly called by Miss Mai (one of our Merry Band of Bin People), walked around with me in a 'minder' capacity.  This was the plan anyway. But by trader number thirty six, he was getting slightly bored of standing behind me and nodding at the appropropriate time, and it all came to a head at tr…

Food for thought...

This morning's meanderings will be the last for a few days. Much as I hate to abandon you all to a few Bird-free mornings, needs must and all that.  Later today, the husband and I will be heading off in the Wobble Box to yet another field in the middle of nowhere.  Apparently the wifi at Carfest South (which is where we are headed) reaches the giddy speeds of a rheumatic slug, and the thought of standing on the roof of the caravan waving my laptop in the air and screaming is not one I cherish.
So I'm going to go off the radar for a few days, to listen to some great bands, spend time with the husband and some of my favourite Binland colleagues and tell the general public where to put their rubbish (in the nicest way possible).
Back to yesterday though.  I had offered to take the Mother shopping for, and I quote. 'just a few bits'.  Son number two decided to come with us, (my bank card and food were involved.  Why wouldn't he be there?) so the three of drove to her nea…

Power to the people...

Talk about coming down to earth with a bump on Monday morning.  I normally work at Binland in the morning, but had 'volunteered' to work the afternoon instead.  This was because my boss Mr W (I have tights older than him) wanted to hold the monthly sales meeting in the afternoon rather than the usual morning.  He likes having me there, because I take the minutes.  There are three other people in the meeting who could take the minutes, but in the last three years, none of them has ever volunteered (they are all male...need I say more?) so it's down to yours truly to produce something each time.
Which left me with a free morning yesterday.  I was quite proud of myself in the first three hours as I managed to walk the woofers, do a weekly shop, do the washing and generally get myself sorted.
And then the bottom fell out of my world...
My laptop died.  This is the laptop which I use for absolutely everything from blog-writing to checking the weather and without it, I would have t…

The race...

Well that's Woolacombe ticked off the 'Places to Visit in a Wobble Box' list.
Coming back home on Sunday afternoon, a call went out to daughter number two who had been spending the weekend in Bath with her other half, Jolly Sock Man.
Coincidentally, we were heading up the M4 and had just passed Bath, and between some rather snatched messages, we realised that they were about five miles behind us.  The race was on.  Would they catch us up before we reached the Membury services?  It was decided that the losers would buy the coffee, and the husband said to me that he felt like he was on the set of Hunted.  
There was some choice abuse between daughter number two and me as our menfold drove their respective vehicles, and we pulled into the service station with them nipping at our heels about a quarter a mile away.  And here is when having a caravan proved to be an absolute godsend.  Parking up at the allocated spaces for caravans and other long-vehicled lunatics, the husband and …

Beach baby...

It's been an interesting twenty four hours since we last spoke.
Being very typically British, Miss R and our prospective other halves schlepped down to the beach yesterday morning.  Having been fleeced for deckchairs and a couple of windbreaks (it was a tad breezy) we found a suitable spot (away from young children and people who looked like they might be loud...well, louder than us anyway).  The wind breaks were extremely effective, being almost tall enough to keep our knees breeze-free, but as for the rest of us, well let's just say that the wind gave me a similar effect to a facelift while Miss R who was seated opposite couldn't see a thing as her hair blew forward obstructing any view she may have had (think Cousin Itt from the Adams family and you'll get the idea).
We lasted till 1.30pm, managing to endure thick cloud, stiff breeze and plummeting temperatures before finally bowing to the inevitable as the heavens opened.  This was the cue to start one of my favourit…

Read 'em and weep...

Eighteen minutes.
That's what it said on the box.
I should have guessed that it was going to be trouble, as the erection time had already increased by 50% by the time the husband had re-read the box.
The awning, ladies.  I'm talking about the awning...
I had told the husband that because we couldn't have a run through at home (the awning arrived forty minutes before we left yesterday) that he should look on t'internet for a video of how to do it.  Well he did, but as it was speeded up (think Benny Hill final credit chase) I'm not too sure it was much help.
Having dropped Charlie's legs and connected up, the husband tipped the awning out onto the floor and started to attach it to the Wobble Box.  Did he follow the instructions?  What do you think ladies?  Why men think that they know better than a booklet of written instructions and pictures is beyond me, and it soon became apparent that the allotted time for putting up the awning was optimistic.  I suppose I have to…

Blowin' in the wind...

The husband greeted me yesterday with the words every girl wants to hear.
'I've bought you a present', he said.  This was announced with a big smile which aroused my suspicion immediately.  Mentally discarding my birthday, Christmas and our wedding anniversary as date inappropriate, my interest was piqued.  It's very rare for the husband to get me anything outside of the recognised present giving days, and gifts which tip up unannounced tend to be given for a reason, and not always a good one.  Gifts like this have included:
A set of induction saucepans - great, but I already had two sets so these were surplus to requirement. (It turned out that they were also surplus to requirement on the site he was working on at the time, hence the re-gifting)
A new hammer - bought after he 'borrowed' mine and 'forgot' to return it.  In the year since the hammer was bought, this has also done the long one-way walk to his tool box.
A CD of Hits of the 1970's - this wa…

Ever present past...

Sunday was Miss R's birthday party.  A party filled with presents, balloons, cake, excellent food and drink, and a smattering of heavy rain to ensure that everyone left at a respectable time.  I think that had the rain not made an appearance around 8.00pm that we'd all still be there now.  Huddled around her picnic table underneath an umbrella with all of us cocooned in various blankets and wraps, and alternating bacon sandwiches with a glass of Aperol Spritz and a mug of tea.  
There's nothing better than spending time with people you actually like, and Sunday was no exception.  It was one of those 'past, present and future' parties where all aspects of your life come together as one.  The past was represented by our dad who is always good for a trip down Memory Lane.  His tales normally start with, 'Do you remember that time you....knocked your sister's tooth out/p*ssed the Greeks off/lost our Sunday roast/stole your sister's boyfriend?'  You know …

I can't stand the rain...

The bloody rain's back then...
I suppose that this is a blessing of some sorts as it means that my hosepipe will get a well earned weekend off, and the flowers won't be looking at me through the kitchen window, wondering whether there will be any chance of me getting off my derriere and giving them a drink sometime before the next millennium.  Talking of watering flowers, I haven't had any feedback from Mrs B next door as to the complete transformation of her front garden while she's been away.  I would imagine that after two glamorous weeks away, that she will have more than enough washing to do, and perhaps hasn't had the opportunity to do a full horticultural inspection as yet.
I finally got round to cleaning Charlie out yesterday afternoon. Armed with a bin liner and some sweet smelling multi surface cleaner, I gingerly opened the door.  Oh dear Lord....it is amazing just how much detritus eight adults can make over five and a half hours, and I soon realised that…

Champagne Charlie...

Last night was the second of many Charlie Fridays.  
At one point last night, I did wonder whether it might be worth contacting those lovely people at Guinness to see what the current record for the number of people in a caravan is.  Luckily, some of the neighbours had made plans, so there was a bit of to-ing and fro-ing going on throughout the evening.  Most of this was made up of popping back to various homes to make sure that abandoned children weren't killing each other/watching porn/raiding the cocktail cabinet but all in all, it was another successful evening in the Wobble Box on the drive.
After looking at a picture on facebook which had been taken at 6.30pm, a friend of mine suggested that we name the caravan 'The Speakeasy'.  As I said to her, at midnight when we finally served an eviction notice to all the remainers, renaming it 'The Sleaze Box' might have been more apt.
I've not been out there this morning yet to clean up, but yet again, the empty gin b…

Them bones...

Blimey, this week has been a slow one.  
The husband reckons it's because I have started a countdown ('seven more sleeps', 'six more days at work', 'one more Monday') for when we are next away in the Wobble Box.  Such is the level of excitement that I have taken to gripping myself firmly on the shoulders (figuratively speaking of course) and saying 'Calm down woman.  It will come round soon enough'.
So I have been keeping myself busy after work each afternoon, trying to Keep Calm and Carry On as they say in all good card shops.
Yesterday afternoon found me semi-clad on a bed being slathered in warm oils by some strange bloke who insisted on keeping his tie on, whilst listening to some Classic FM.  
Don't you just love the osteopath...  
Having spent a brutal afternoon digging up beetroots on Wednesday, my neck, never the happiest of body parts after a car accident many years ago, finally decided that it'd had enough.  Both shoulders were hurling …

Purple haze...

Yesterday was designated Beetroot Wednesday.
As you all know, I have a fairly unhealthy addiction to the venerable beetroot, and I decided this year that pretty much all of my allotment would be taken up by vegetables which I enjoyed eating.  This will explain why four of my six beds were taken up with the little purple horrors.  There would have been five, but Donald Trumpkin breached the defenses a couple of weeks ago despite my intervention with a pair of stiff secateurs.  There is a very pathetic row of beetroot plants being smothered by Donald's ample foliage, but maybe they'll muster up the strength to beat him back eventually.
So.  Yesterday.  Armed with a Bag for Life, two dogs and a fork, I wandered over to the allotment to dig up a few of the beetroots.  Back home I had the vinegars and chillies ready and waiting, and as I had sterilized 48 jars on Monday, I was ready to rock and roll.
I'll be honest with you, out there in the open, they didn't look that big wh…

Dead flowers...

I broke the land speed record last night.
There I was, carefully de-seeding the dog (note to self to keep dog out of metre high grass) when the heavens opened.  It started with a slightly ajar kind of opening with a few small drops of rain, but progressed to a full slamming of the door against the wall with a loud announcement of 'Ta Dah' kind of opening as the wet stuff hurled down.  
All my cushions were still out on deckchairs, patio chairs, chair chairs etc etc, and I ran round the garden at breakneck speed gathering up as much as possible, throwing it into the kitchen and then going back for more.  All the time, getting wetter and wetter until I was almost ready for a 1980's wet t-shirt competition (so would have lost that with my meagre bosom).
And where was the husband while I was doing this?  Well ladies, he was supervising, having just taken delivery of his new toy (more of this later) and as I threw the sun lounger cushions in, he very kindly said in a most supporti…

Saturday night's alright for fighting...

The husband and I are not the biggest of television watchers.  A little bit of Corrie, a smidgeon of Gogglebox and a two week session of Britain's Got Talent (only because one or more children are usually around when that's aired) but there is one programme which we never miss.  Evenings are arranged so as not to interfere with a single minute, and both of us are showered and pyjamad up three minutes before the opening titles.
This has been our Sunday evening for the last couple of months while Poldark has been gracing our screens, and many a happy evening has been spent gazing lustily at the scenery (ahem ahem....).  Last Sunday saw the final episode of the series (I absolutely refuse to call it a 'season') and as the credits rolled, the husband looked at me and said, 'Sunday evenings will never be the same again'.
As the first Sunday evening without Captain Ross loomed, I wondered what our 9.00 entertainment would be.  Should we watch a rerun of something, or c…

On the road again...

The husband and I spent most of yesterday afternoon planning our first big holiday away in the Wobble Box.  I had been trying to get him to consider Suffolk (Southwold fish and chips are the best) but he finally got his own way and we have settled on a whistle stop tour of Cornwall.  Eight nights over three different sites.  All chosen for their dog walks and beaches (Poldark.  Need I say more?)
If you could have seen the husband yesterday afternoon with his 'special map pen', described thus because it has a torch on the end, he looked like Captain Scott the night after some bloke in the pub suggested a trip to the South Pole.  He had a map of the UK spread over the patio table, neatly folded around Birmingham to avoid any unintentional forays north of the border, his glasses were perched at the end of his nose, and the 'special map pen' clicked furiously as he worked out journey times and routes.  
So we are now all booked in.  This week away has cost us substantially l…

Borders...

Charlie The Wobble Box returned to the homestead yesterday afternoon after a week in A&E. Nothing to do with any sort of pain the husband and I might have inflicted on him over last weekend, but a little TLC was needed. 

As the husband pulled into the drive, the two dogs went completely bonkers thinking that another weekend of new sniffs was on the horizon.  Goodness knows how they are going to react when the husband and I go away on the next two planned trips without them.  I have a feeling that pre-departure checking of all overhead cupboards might be needed to ensure no schnauzer stowaways.
I'll be honest with you, I was almost as glad as the dogs were to see it back home, and once his legs were dropped and levelled, I traipsed back in and out with all the stuff we'd removed at the end of the weekend to get Charlie looking like 'home' again.
I think I'd spend a lot of time out there if my blooming prehistoric wi-fi reached further than the front door, but you c…

Dress you up...

I had a very pleasant hour's video chat with son number two yesterday.  You may not recall what he's up to (I'll be honest with you, he's been away from home so long, I almost rejected the video call request having not recognised him straight away) so let me fill you in.
Having finished his first year in Leeds up to his neck in hefty tomes (such is the life of the Law student), he decided to stay up north rather than come back to the home comforts he has here.  These involve:
Constant nagging as to tidying of room Constant moaning as I fill his car and the fridge up with alarming regularity Constant questioning as to 'when he's going back' Constant requesting for walking of dogs
When I consider all of the above, I can understand his reticence to head down south, but still...
But he's making good use of his time up there, having got a holiday job in a well known gentlemen's outfitter.  Northern chaps are now taking on the appearance of dandies and poppinjay…