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Showing posts from 2008

My apologies for a long absence and some pictures of a Christmassy home.

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Wow! November 9th! And I haven't been working, honest I haven't. I've barely been on the puter either... or I'd have written before! I know that the first week of December I Christmassed the house, but what happened before or since I don't know. There was that cold, that lasted two weeks, and I have helped at any and every Christmas thing at school (dressing for the play? Love to help! Trip to Santa? Certainly, and I'll take 200 photos while I'm there!) so I haven't done nothing, in fact, I've used my catch up TV to watch every serious money programme and documentary going, and I figure that I am beginning to feel like I'm in the 30's and so I'm darned well going to live like that!( No, really, I looked up on a website where to get seamed stockings and my DH seems very keen!)



So, for a little light relief, here are some pictures. Enjoy (and hopefully I'll be back again soon)



But if I'm not, can I take this chance of wishing everyon…

A few photos of Madrid and a book to comment about.

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Last month, DH and I went to Madrid for our annual dirty weekend, if a weekend where both particpants are married to each other and shower everyday can be dirty. It's a break from the children, a chance to make sure that we can still talk to each other without awkward breaks and a chance to grab some culture without having to make it appeal to 10 year olds.



Madrid came up because of the convenient flights, both time wise and price wise, so off we jetted.

Having done Barcelona last year and having realised that a smattering of Spanish (dos cervesas, per favore) and a dash of French helps, we were pretty sure of a good time. Madrid lacks the seaside but has the museums, including the Prado, which I had long wanted to visit. We got there, got our paseo del arte and were off.

Lovely. Lovely. Lovely.

We visited all the cultural sights of the city, the Royal Palace, the museums and the Bernabeau Stadium. That last was my idea; what else do you do in a big city on a Saturday afternoon. Funni…

An award and my tags.

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Tilly Tatas gave me an award and tagged me for a 7 random facts tag. I can't remember if I've ever done one before/ for a while so, here goes. 1.My left little finger is smaller than my right little finger. I think it means I'm more highly evolved. 2. I met my husband when I was 11 and finally asked him out when I was 22. I've known him for 29 years. That's scary! 3. I wanted to be a nun when I was 11. All Catholic girls do. Something to do with Bernadette and St Theresa. I blame Blue Peter. 4. I have a Blue Peter badge for writing in to the programme. I got it when I was 19 and applied to be a presenter. I'd still like to be one, but I content myself with being a teacher. Not so well paid, but a lot less trampolines. 5. I can win at Trivial Pursuits using mostly the brown squares. I will answer the cheese questions for the other colours, but brown is my favourite and my best. 6. I have never read War and Peace. It's the russian names, all thos epatronimics bore …

My new baby and a boast; it can run already...

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You know my camera died. (RIP) Well, I am shortly embarking on an annual dirty weekend with my husband (dirty= no kids & plenty of fun in museums, royal palaces, cafes and shopping arcades, not glamping in a field) going to Madrid. We like capital cities and we like taking photos in them, so the race was on to find a new baby for me to carry around.


We went to Curry's and Comet.


Now the organised among you will know that, when looking for a new camera it is good to know what you want. The majority of you will know that life is not like that. We just knew it needed a lens, because all cameras do, that a button to press is good and that as long as it uploads to Photobox it will probably be useful.
As soon as we started looking at cameras, I knew the battle lines were drawn. Could I make do with a small point and press? 3x zoom? No macro facility? Did I really need it to have white exposure facility? A setting for fireworks? A 2gb memory card (extra?)
I have had a point and press and…

A long article, put on the net, with no intention to offend, just to inform.

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In another one of my alter egos I occasionally write articles for my parish magazine. I go to St Peter's Church Woolton.

It's a nice middle class church in a nice middle class suburb of Liverpool. Its biggest claim to fame is that the church hall is where John Lennon and Paul McCartney met for the first time. There's a plaque and all sorts of tourists, mostly Japanese and American, come by to go Wow! Also, Eleanor Rigby is buried in the church yard. Apparently John Lennon had lots of time to hang around in church yards. Who knew?


Any way, at 2 this morning inspiration struck. It's always 2am, never 2pm. Still small voice, I expect, the one I can't hear during the day for the TV, the kids, the husband asking for his tea....

Anyway, I am proud of this article and so, though I hate to inflict a much longer post than usual on you I wanted to give you the sneek preview. I've sent this off for the November issue of the Mag', so you really are reading it a month ahe…

Falling with style; some reminiscences

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I hope I spelled reminiscenses right. can't be bothered to check; someone out there will tell me if it's wrong.



Anyhoo, the kids are having a nostalgia day. My 10, 8 and 6 year old are all sat (bouncing) watching Toy Story (cert U) which they haven't watched in.... 2 years? 3 years? It is nice to know that they are still soft enough to get pleasure from that... especially as I just taped Cars for them to watch wondering whether Pixar still had the power to hold them. Yes, it does.

I had nothing better to do than to look outside my window.

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It's a nice day. That is to say, it's not raining.
I wonder if English people always viewed a day when it wasn't raining as nice. There must be a reason why as a country we so eagerly embraced the umbrella. I don't suppose it was for its properties as a parasol. My favourite book ever starts, "There was no possibility of taking a walk that day..." just because it was raining. And there must be a very good reason why we like to talk about the weather.How many stilted polite conversations have opened with, "Lovely day, isn't it?" or "Raining again!" It's as if the psyche and the weather are connected.


Yesterday was all gloom and despondency, the US banks were folding (and my comiserations go to anyone caught up in that fiasco) and we waited with baited (bated? I should look it up; you know I won't, so delete as applicable) breath to see what would happen to HBOS. It took me until 10am this morning to realise that HBOS WAS Halifax …

Bragging a little and showing off my impressive knowledge of technology.

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I've got the new Marie Claire idees. I have a friend whose husband works in France and gets it for me. Na na na na na.

I scanned the front in to my little scanner and here it is.


I also wanted to scan an inside page as well, but when the scanner made a definite clunk and said there were 15 minutes to go until the scan was done, I used my great powers of detection and figured out it's fubarred. (I think that's a rude acronym, but it works and I would never use the whole sentence in front of anyone)

So I got on the amazon.fr website and found this.

And this.


I've officially started my Christmas shopping. Tee hee.

My (ever so dead) camera

It has finally given up the ghost.... just before we went away, my little point and press finally breathed its last. Three years of close confinement in a Cath Kidston pouch and it had finally had enough.
It has been sadly missed the last few weeks.
Here are my children paddling at Bourton on the Water...
Here we are watching the Big Spider in Liverpool....
And here is Number Two hanging off the edge of his new top bunk, while long-suffering DP squeezes into a small bottom bunk.
I need a camera. I really need a camera


Oh, and, by the way, I'm back.....

I am indulging in a little light fantasy....

Nothing to do today.
No, let me rephrase that, nothing to do today that I feel like doing.
I could clean my car.
I could tidy out my drawers.
I could take a shower in my now-working-goodness-me-aren't you pleased I don't smell anymore-shower.
Or I can dream.

Why I may not be too fragrant for the next week....

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My shower is broken. No, let me rephrase that my shower is very broken. It leaks and it has made a damp patch on my ceiling. Imagine the picture, I like taking pretty pictures of my house but even I draw the line at the lunar landscape currently in formation on my hall roof.

So, I got my DH to ask at work for a plumber. He came home yesterday with a name and a number... that's all, one little forename and a mobile number. And this man is going to see my ensuite? Worse than that, he has to pass through my bedroom to get there?

My instructions (for me from DH, don't go thinking I have any authority in this house; it's why I want a cat.... except the cat would be more in charge than I am...) were to ring Jimmy the Plumber and arrange a meeting. It was only as he answered and I said "Hello, is that Jimmy the Plumber....." that I got a dreadful feeling. I desperately wanted to say it in a Scorsese way, you know, a New Yoik gangster way, a "I'm ready for you to …

I can prove that there is more than one way to skin a cat....

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My technological wizardry is about as good as my ability to resist a cream cake (you know, the Waterfields caramel doughnut with the sticky caramel icing, the vanilla scented cream that oozes out with one bite and the solid white chocolate medallion on. The sort of cake you have to reach for in times of crisis like forgetting to put the cat out, putting a cup down on a table without a coaster and , well, generally, anytime) so when my DH rang from work with the simple instruction; 'e-mail those pictures to me', I was ready.



Two weeks later I finally sat down to send them. Technology cannot be rushed. If the computer can be bolshy so can I.

First attempt; g mail. I attached all the files (16 pictures). No good. Too much information and my computer said no. ( I had a boy in a class last year who communicated by Little Britain. Computer said No was his favourite, Want that one came a close second. Having never seen the programme I was baffled but pigheaded enough to want my own way…

I am so cut out for a life in the army as a Gunner......

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I have never wanted to be in the army, really, but I do think I make a good Gunner. You know what I mean, I am gunner do this and I was gunner do that and we're gunner meet up for coffee... someday. My gunner list is getting bigger by the day.

Apart from getting my blog boogie back I want to do so much around the house, to get crafty with wool, material and paint and I am gunner find the time..... someday.

But I don't do everything I hope to. Time's winged chariot and all that. (good title for a book; I thought of it first, hands off) And that's fine because that's where my life is.


So I'll catch up with some old news. We went to York during half term week and really enjoyed it. We stayed at a lovely cottage on a farm, where there were hens and cats and dogs wandering freerange and, best of all for my three, 4 free range children who were ready and willing to play. We didn't get as much done as we had planned, but that was fine. They played and it was just lik…

What's bred in the bone will.....

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Your Inner European is Irish!





Sprited and boisterous!

You drink everyone under the table.


Who's Your Inner European?

A brag about the weather and my washing line...

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Look at the blue sky!




Just look at it!


What you can't see it?



What? The quilts are in the way?



Oh, Those quilts! They're just two quilts I picked up in Barnardo's for £6 each....




Mind you, there is a sting in the tail. They must have been owned by a dog because there is felted hair all over them so I not only had to wash and dry the blasted things but to stroke them all over with my hand covered in sellotape.



Thrift comes at a price.



And as I stroked all the dog hair off, all I could think of was this....

What a half hour in the garden is for...

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Yes! Don't you love it when you get a result! I had a spare half hour today (OK, so I was supposed to tidy my bedroom, but it wasn't raining and you take your pleasures when you can in England) and I spent it very well indeed in the garden, transforming a small patch of my earth from this....

to this.... (apologies for the difference in tone; I know the before is actually a better colour, but the after is neater)


and here is the pathetic flower currently sole occupant of this bed.


I was so guilty that, with my spare half hour when the Princess was at a party I had to go to the garden centre and get some bedding plants. Watch this space...


No not THIS space!

Mind you, gardening is a long term commitment. The other corner of my garden looks like this...


Yes, that is ground elder in there. Loads of it. I am as we speak blasting it with glycophosphate and pulling out every bit of root I can find... well, not literally as we speak. I was doing it 10 minutes ago until the rain began and …

Knitting is better than nothing...

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Last Saturday I had a half hour to spare so I visited the local Oxfam bookshop. Devotees of second hand bookshops will know that shopping in them is less about finding what you want than finding what you need. You can walk into a SHB wanting the newest novel, or a book on gardening, or just to browse and can exit with what must have been someone's collection of knitting books from the 30's or 40's with a book on embroidery and an illustrated Hans Christian Andersen without breaking into a ten pound note.

I love old craft books. It strikes me that, like that wonderful French magazine, Marie ClaireIdees, they presuppose a level of ability and pre-knowledge that is missing from most English craft magazines. Where we get numbered and full colour illustrations to explain often simple steps (as if every reader were a beginner) old books know that they can mention a particular stitch or step and the reader will not even need to think about it.. they have the language of craft and …