Tuesday, 30 October 2007

On this day

Did you know, that on this day in 1939, Orson Welles first broadcasted his radio play 'The War of the Worlds' causing nationwide panic in the United States?
And in 1944, Ann Frank was deported from Auschwitz to the Bergen-Belsen concentration camp.
On October 30th in 1960, Michael Woodruff performed the first successful kidney transplant in the United Kingdom, at the Edinburgh Royal Infirmary.
In 1945, Henry Winkler, otherwise known as 'The Fonzie' from the television show 'The Happy Days' was born.
In 1971, my parents tied the marital knot and became man and wife.
And on this day in 1973, at approximately four o'clock in the morning, I entered this world.
Happy Anniversary mum and dad! Happy Birthday to me!
I've been a lucky girl today and had lots of nice cards, birthday texts and great presents. I have even received a Happy Birthday email from the George Michael fan club.
This evening was the traditional family birthday/anniversary tea. Which meant my relations came to the house bearing gifts, and we all ate far too much cake. It was considerably noisy at one point, due to four children all under the age of four, hopping, running, screaming, crying and pretending they were Harry Potter.
Peace has once again descended on the house. My relations have left the building, and I am admiring my birthday flowers and chocolates. And my mother has just pointed out that I have baby sick on my top. Time to remove the offending item and put my new pyjamas on. The ones with pictures of little pieces of chocolate all over them.
Ever get the feeling that I like chocolate?!

Picture of the day:

Birthday chocolates.

Wednesday, 24 October 2007

The divine power

Just in case you were wondering, today’s can of soup-in-the bag is 'healthy choice, chicken and vegetable.' It contains no artificial additives and is a good source of protein.
It’s a strictly soup and salad only day today, as a result of the calorie consumption last night. I went to a charming countryside public house with my friend Helen. Vintage cheddar and home made chutney palinis, with chunky chips and coleslaw. Followed by chocolate fudge sundae, which was heaven in a glass. I tried not to feel too guilty as I devoured three of my favourite things – cheese, chocolate and wine. What’s the meaning of life if you can’t enjoy your three favourite pleasures every now and then.
Of course another favourite thing is being in the company of my friends. And last night was no exception. It was great to see my friend Helen and hear the latest episode in her busy life, with her husband and seven lovely children.
The forthcoming pamper evening was also discussed. This is being held at one of the kid’s school, and I have already booked myself an appointment for reiki healing and to see a physic. Roll on pamper evening!
I’ve had a reiki session before, and I thoroughly recommend it. I’ve seen a few psychics before too, and although I always enter the room with an open mind and a large pinch of salt, I have found them to be very interesting. Anybody else out there intrigued by physics, or do you come under the category of thinking it’s a load of mumbo jumbo? I have met people who have believed passionately in readings, and other people who would never, ever, enter the equation of wasting their time or money on them. I respect both opinions, but I must say I've had readings done before and I have been absolutely flummoxed with their information.
It’s soup and salad time now. But I'll be back before you know it. Probably.

Picture of the day:

Pretty petals

Friday, 19 October 2007

Catch a falling star

I woke up this morning singing I don't feel like dancing by the The Scissor Sisters, which then changed to What shall we do with the drunken sailor. This was in my friend Caron's spare room, as I stayed over last night. But the worst part was, my friend thought my singing voice was the little boy next door crying. Erm no, that's how I sound when I sing.
The previous evening, I met my friend at Waterloo train station and we travelled via the train to her home town. Here we stopped off at a bar for a couple of glasses of wine, enjoyed in the comfort of the floral armchairs. Then we headed to her house for very tasty fajitas, more wine, book lending and big chats. This was all done with the smug knowledge that we had both booked the following day off work.
Today, on our day off, we wandered into the town centre in my friends home town, and browsed around craft stalls and shops. I didn't buy anything as it's the weekend before pay day, but it was nice to window shop, and even nicer than being in the office.
After shopping, we went to the cinema to see the film Stardust. I was mesmerised by every magical moment of this fantasy adventure. It stars Michelle Pfiffer as the four hundred year old witch and Robert De Niro as the camp pirate. It's all about a fallen star and finding your true love, with black magic and humour along the way. I loved it. I may appreciate a Stephen King too-horrible-to-be-true book and film, but I'm also a hopeless romantic at heart.
And the good news is - this time, my purse was not mislaid at the cinema. But in true tradition, I spilt salsa sauce down my jeans. I'm looking at this salsa sauce now, and I think I better chuck the jeans in the washing machine. Then I'm going to read 'I capture the Castle' again, as my friend Caron has lent me her copy. Absent-mindedly, I left my copy on the train. I would loose my head if it wasn't attached to my body. On that note, I'm off. I hope you all enjoy your weekends, and I hope that you don't suffer the consequences of any lost items.
Oh, and look out for falling stars.

Picture of the day:

Pansy time again.

Wednesday, 17 October 2007

I've been tagged!

I'm a virgin to being tagged. This is my first time, since I have joined the blogosphere. I've been tagged by my friend Blur Ting.
I've completed my answers, so sit back, relax, and enjoy the ride!

5 things found in my room:
Let’s see, there is my much loved bed, my Cd player that has the capacity to hold 5 Cd's (is that just greedy?), my faithful television set, my lap top, and my book shelves which may well collapse one day, due to the amount of books they hold.

5 things I’ve always wanted to do:
I’ve always wanted to have a story or a book published. Another thing which has appealed to me is driving around Europe in a camper van, visiting lots of places, meeting lots of people, and having great experiences. I would also like to win something, I have never won anything in my life, and the bigger the prize the nicer it would be! Meeting George Michael is also on my list, I wrote to Jim’ll fix it and Saturday Morning Superstore requesting to meet him, but it didn’t work. I’ve always wanted to do something worthwhile as well, such as looking after homeless animals.

5 things in my bag:
I have a Mary Poppins type bag - you never quite know what you’ll find inside it. I’ve just taken a peep, and the first five things that I saw were: my ipod, my glamorous Gabbi make up bag, my umbrella (I live in England, so it’s always best to carry a brolly), my latest reading material and my digital camera.
It also contains: my cheque book, mobile phone charger, camera charger, my bank statement, throat sweets, head ache tablets, stamps, my diary, my glasses, keys, purse, travel card, hair brush, hair band, and a can of soup.

5 things found in my wallet:

A small amount of cash (it's the week before pay day), my office security pass (in case the receptionist forgets who I am after eight years), various receipts, debit card and credit card.

5 things I’m currently into:
Calorie counting (yippee it works!), taking photographs, making Christmas cards (I’ve bought some crafty bits and blank cards in preparation), decorating my dolls house, and reading as many books as possible, before my shelves collapse.

So there you go, my first tag.
I tag, anyone who cares to join in. Especially:

http://katediggins.blogspot.com/

http://seagrapejelly.blogspot.com/

http://hle-patienceofasaint.blogspot.com/

http://www.ramblingrebecca.blogspot.com/

http://luxuriouschoices.blogspot.com/

http://mminzes.blogspot.com/

You know who you are!


Picture of the day:

Reflections.

Monday, 15 October 2007

The Prince and the Pauper

Happy Monday. I do hope everyone had a satisfactory weekend. As for me, my weekend involved a dinner date with two of my oldest friends, two visits to the gym (that’s a world record for me, visiting the gym twice in one weekend), receiving my new mobile phone handset, watching a Feng Shui DVD, and watching my first rugby match, England verses France. England won, so world cup final here we come!
Friday at 5pm was when it all began. I left the office and hurried home to prepare for my dinner date. My oldest friend, Clare, who now lives in Scotland, was back in Essex for the weekend. When I say my oldest friend, I don’t mean she is 101 years old, I mean I have known her since I was 4 years old. That’s the longest time that I have known any of my friends. I have many photographs of us as little girls, playing in her paddling pool and playing with her Dalmatian dog, who incidentally had one blue eye and one brown eye. I’m sure you will agree that it’s quite unusual for a dog to have one blue eye and one brown eye.
Anyway, I collected Clare at 8pm on Friday night, in my not-so-new-now car and we stopped off at our mutual friend Laura’s house. Laura and I attended the same senior school, but it wasn’t until we left school that we became firm friends. So, all three of us, happy to be reunited, went to a nearby restaurant called Nandos, for some culinary delights.
I ordered a veggie burger and a Nando’s salad, with orange juice. See, I don’t always have to drink wine to have a good time. We ate, drank and talked the night away. We were actually the last people to leave the restaurant, when we suddenly realised that the floor was being cleaned and all the waitresses had their coats on and were looking impatiently in our direction. Whoops. Time to leave. It was a great night though.
Saturday morning, I was disturbed from dreamland by a knock at the front door. A little grumpy and still sleepy (hmm, that reminds me of a story about seven dwarfs) I left the safety and comfort of my bed to open the front door. My mood changed when I saw a man holding a box. It was my new mobile phone handset! I have only just sussed out how to use it, and my old handset is being sent to the recycling company, Envirofone. As well as doing my bit for the environment, I will receive a cash payment in exchange for my handset. Not bad hey. This will be my sixth mobile phone, if my calculations are correct. I will try not to leave this one on an aeroplane, or in a bar, or drop it in an ice bucket.
For the remainder of the weekend, I happily watched calories being exercised away at the gymnasium, and tried to expand my knowledge by watching a Feng Shui (used to be called Kan-Yu which means 'law of Heaven and Earth' but now it means 'wind-water') DVD and trying to understand the rules in the semi final rugby match. I think I have the hang of this rugby lark now, but the main thing is, England are world cup finalists. Another excuse to drink wine and visit a pub next Saturday. As if I need one.
Talking of rugby, my friend Sarah has just texted me a picture of herself and a certain someone she met at the weekend. This certain someone just happens to be Prince Harry! Apparently, they were both in France at the weekend, to watch the rugby match, and staying in the same hotel. He happily posed for a photograph with her, and accompanied her and friends to a French nightclub.
Hmm, okay, my weekend wasn’t quite as exciting as hers, but I do try.

Picture of the day:

Pansy time.

Thursday, 11 October 2007

1408

Scary film alert! I saw ‘1408’ at the cinema last night, with my work colleague and friend, Sophie. It’s based on a short story by Stephen King (being a King fan I have read the story) and starring John Cusack as the cynical, horror writer, and Samuel L Jackson as the hotel employee who warns the writer that room 1408 is “an evil ******* room!”
He hit the nail on the head with that comment! It’s a claustrophobic, terrifying, your worst nightmare come true, evil hotel room.
I watched the film on the edge of my seat and through wide-open eyes, and loved every frightening moment. Maybe I’m a little warped, or maybe I just appreciate mind bending physiological thrillers.
Before the film, Sophie and I had a couple of hours to spare, so we had a liquid dinner at a near by bar. Office politics were discussed once we were sat at our table, but the more wine we drank the less serious we became. In fact, we were having so much fun we nearly forgot the purpose of the evening was to attend the cinema, to view the adaptation of a story by one of our favourite writers.
I even have pictures to prove it!

Pictures of the day:

The beginning.


Meet my work colleague and friend.


Why is one glass of wine never enough?


Is it me, or am I seeing double?


I'm sure we're supposed to be somewhere else?

Tuesday, 9 October 2007

Time to visit

I’m back at my desk again, after three days absent, staring at my computer screen and listening to the drilling from the window to the left of me. (Only another year and a month until the building work outside will be completed.)
Yesterday I was on annual leave. Rather than decorate a miniature kitchen, my mother and I chose to visit my dear nan. I always have to brace myself when I visit her these days, as she is now in a care home, diagnosed with vascular dementia.
As we walked into the care home’s lounge, with the cheerful peacock wallpaper and the music blaring from the radio, my little nan’s face light up when she saw us. Thank goodness she still recognises us. I dread the day when she looks at us blankly, with no idea who we are and why we are there.
I walked over to her chair and gave her a big hug. Every time I hold her she seems to have shrunk in size. She was well dressed, my nan always cared about things like that. She wore a grey blouse, with pretty beads, and dark trousers. But I couldn’t help thinking she looked lost in her clothes.
There were no empty chairs near by, for my mother and I to sit with her, although we do like to take her for a walk when we see her. As it was a little cold for the garden, my mother said: “Why don’t you show us your new room?” My nan smiled, smiling and laughing is her communication. It’s rare that she is able to say a word, but when she does it can surprise and delight us.
My mum and I tightly held an arm each, as my nan shuffled along to show us her new room.
“Oh look at your room, isn’t it lovely,” I said, as we entered the green room with matching floral curtains and bed spread. She smiled again, as I admired the decor and took in all the pictures of her grand children, and great grand children.
We sat her down on a comfortable chair, my mother sat on the spare chair, and I perched on her bed. A packet of chocolate buttons were taken out of my mums bag, for my nan, and again her face light up. The sweet tooth runs in the family!
My mother and I waffled on with news and stories to tell her. Occasionally my nan would look at us with a far away look in her eyes, but mostly she smiled and laughed and even said the word “yes” a couple of times.
She tires very easily now, and when we noticed her eyes looking heavy, we took her back downstairs where everyone in the lounge was enjoying a hot drink. We left her with a mug of warm milk, provided by the nurse, and hugged and kissed her goodbye.
My mother and I waved at her as we exited the room, saying we would be back again very soon. And then we both took a deep breath as we entered the outside world.
“Just to think, there was a time when we couldn't stop her from talking!” my mother said to lighten the atmosphere between us.
My dear, sweet little nan.

Picture of the day:

Spikey.

Sunday, 7 October 2007

In the boot

Car boot sales, someone else's junk can be someone else's treasure! Isn't that what they say? I went to a car boot sale today, and I rummaged through a fair amount of junk, searching for my treasure.
I did discover a book 'A house of light' by Candida Clark which I purchased for 50p. I am yet to read one of her books, but according to the Irish Independent: 'Candida Clark is an author of breathtaking talent. She writes like an angel about the legacy of loss and the pain of moving on, the secrets and lies that cast shadows over our lives.'
Stupidly, I left 'I capture the castle' on the train, although my friend Caron has come to the rescue again, as apparently she has this book on her book shelves, so at least I can find out how it all ends. In the meantime, I can read 'A house of light' before my dinner date with Caron.
My father bought a garden plant, which is normal procedure for him at car boot sales. 'Crocosmia mixed' is the name on the colourful cardboard card, supplied with the plant. As well as the usual second hand stalls, there were many people selling brand new items such as, plants, bags, cosmetics and jewellery. One stall contained eye catching hand made jewellery, and this solved another Christmas present for my aunt. (I will have to discourage family members from reading my blog, otherwise at this rate, they will all know what presents they are to be given!)
I have been on the other side of the stall at a few car boot sales. It's good to have a clear out every now and then and pass things on to a new home. Some years back, I made a small fortune at one particular boot sale. I had decided to depart with my leather jackets and boots, and other clothes that were in good condition and had well known brands on the labels. As I was unpacking my car, I actually had people trying to stick their heads in my car and their hands down my boxes, trying to spot a bargain before anyone else! This was about 6am in the morning. How eager is that!
I'd also made special occasion cards and painted glass objects to sell. It was lots of fun being creative, and even if I do say so myself, the cards proved to be very popular and it gave me great pleasure to see people picking them up to admire, and actually handing over money to pay for them.
The hand painted glass objects sold well too, although various people tried to barter us with the price and didn't appreciate that the items were purchased first from second hand shops, and then took us ('us' being a crazy ex boyfriend and I) ages to paint, to make them look half decent.
Well, I am back from rummaging around in a field now, and I decided to surf the net and write my blog, before curling up with my latest boot sale bargain book.
Bye for now.

Picture of the day:

The delightful Dahlia's.

Friday, 5 October 2007

Diamonds are forever

I must confess to feeling a little tired whilst tapping today’s entry. In theory, I should have slept like a log last night - what a strange expression, do logs sleep?! I’d enjoyed a few glasses of white wine, which always relaxes my mood, and I was in a lovely comfortable double bed, with my friend Annie.
When I finally drifted off to sleep, I had a very scrambled dream of flying genies, advertisements, bags of sweets and engagement rings.
The engagement rings featuring in my dream makes perfect sense, as my dear friend Annie is now engaged. Her boyfriend proposed to her whilst they were dining out during their holiday. It all sounded very romantic, and her ring is a shiny, stylish, beautiful collection of diamonds. I have never seen her as content and happy as she is now, and obviously I am over the moon for her.
We had a very pleasant evening last night, a delicious plateful of spaghetti bolognaise, chilled white wine and browsing through brochures of possible venues for her forthcoming wedding. One venue in particular looked very magical and atmospheric, and I am looking forward to her ‘big day’ already.
A couple of years ago I would have been a little cynical towards planning a wedding. But that’s because my own one proved to be a disaster! Being cynical is not really in my nature, so I have thankfully moved on from this emotion, and I do believe in falling in love again, and learning from my mistakes. Plus, seeing my friend so happy and excited towards her wedding, and so content with her man, restores my faith in relationships.
Here’s to having faith restored in happy, fulfilling relationships! (And falling asleep faster tonight.)

Picture of the day:

One of my favourite places to read

Tuesday, 2 October 2007

Our house

Lucky me still has fifteen days annual leave remaining for this year. So I shall be taking the odd day off here and there, work schedule permitting.
Today I have been on annual leave. And guess what I decided to do with my time? I decided to lay wooden effect kitchen flooring and hang traditional delft tile design wallpaper. Before you praise me for my D.I.Y. skills, let me explain it was for my Edwardian style dolls house.
Due to circumstances beyond my control, I do not have my own house any longer, but I do own a rather attractive dolls house which I am enjoying decorating and choosing furniture for. It's like being a mini interior designer, on a budget I can afford! I've always quite fancied being an interior designer, so this is second best from the real thing. And who knows, as I've mentioned on an earlier blog, it would be nice to think that one day there will be a mini female me to admire and cherish this dolls house.
This afternoon, while I was measuring wall paper samples, a nice man visited my mother about a new kitchen. She has gone one step further than me and has ordered a full scale kitchen, with hand painted cupboards. It looks very attractive and homely in the brochure, and should be here in 6- 8 weeks.
As I have been indoors today, I thought I would take pictures of 'our house' to share with everyone.

Pictures of the day:

Welcome to our house.


One of the motto's in our house.


Another house motto.


I wonder what this lot will make of the new kitchen?


I think she needs a break from the kitchen.


Hopefully the teddy's in the lounge won't object to a new kitchen.


My (dolls house) kitchen, with newly laid floor and newly hung paper.

Monday, 1 October 2007

Pinch, punch, first day of the month

October is upon us. There is a definite change in the temperature as I sit here at my desk, with the grey blinds pulled back so I can actually see the outside world.
I left my house at an unsociable hour this morning, as the new magazine was scheduled to be sent to print and I had a few last minute loose ends which needed tying. The sky was still dark and there was a chill in the air as I pulled my coat closer to my half asleep body, wishing I had thought to wear my scarf for extra warmth. Was I really walking along the beach, without a coat, and admiring the blue sky only a week ago?!
Once I reached the office, I breathed a sigh of relief as the very last advertisement was awaiting me in my 'in box', direct from the USA, without any errors and amendments to be done. Double and triple checks were made on all the other files, and then with a touch of a button and a telephone call, the new magazine was sent to print!
I could finally relax and enquire as to what my colleagues had amused themselves with at the weekend. My weekend, in case your were wondering, was a reasonably quiet and low key affair.
On Friday my throat was rather sore and I was feeling a little run down and below par. The night before, I drank a few glasses of wine with my friend Laura, and ate a very large, over flowing with toppings, pizza. It was a most enjoyable evening but I don’t think the alcohol and late night helped my state of health. The account handler at the new printers had stopped being sick and so took the production 'department' out for lunch. It was a near by restaurant which has catered for many of our office functions. Quiz nights, football matches, leaving parties, etc. If the tan coloured sofas and mint coloured walls could talk, there would be a few tales to tell. Unfortunately I wasn’t feeling quite my normal chirpy self during the lunch. Two fresh orange juices were ordered instead of my usual wine and I even struggled with the gourmet beef burger, fat chips and onion rings. Not the healthiest choice I know, but you have to remember I had a little hangover and was not feeling myself.
When 5pm on Friday finally arrived, I rushed home to have a soak in the bath, with radox. Then I put my pink pyjamas on and wrapped my duvet round me, with ‘I capture the castle’ for company. What a brilliant book, and I have very nearly finished it.
Saturday came and I felt a tad brighter, so I ventured to the shops with my mother to buy birthday presents and cards for my lovely cousin and her adorable daughter.
Sunday was my cousins birthday, so in true family tradition, we visited her home with presents and cards and good wishes. My cousin certainly has her hands full at present, she has just moved (within walking distance to my house which can only be a good thing) and she is eight months pregnant. Plus she has two children under the age of three, and decorating and unpacking still to complete. I have offered my services and I’m on stand by duty for babysitting.
So all too soon the weekend, and September, came to a close.

I’m having my lunch break now before I start work on another magazine.(There is no rest for the wicked!) I have brought a healthy salad from the kitchen at home, but decided it needed jazzing up. So I nipped to Salisbury's and purchased a Moroccan style cous cous. This is a sweet and spicy mix of cous cous, chickpeas, chargrilled pepper, courgette and onion. With apricots and jumbo flame raisins for a fruity flavour. And the fragrant Baharat spices add a gentle heat.
Am I making you hungry? I’ve made myself hungry. I’m off to eat it now.
I hope you all had pleasant weekends.

In keeping with the cold change of weather, I thought todays picture was a suitable choice.

Picture of the day:

The duck pond.