Thursday 28 February 2013

My month in numbers

30 days have September, April, June and November, All the rest have 31, Except for February alone.
Which only has 28 days normally but 29 in each leap year

30 days have September, April, June and November, All the rest have 31, Except for February which has 28 days unless it's a leap yea when it has 29

30 days have September - all the rest I can't remember.

1 friend with a birthday on 29 February.  We were born in the same year but she's now only 13 and a half.

2 relatives with birthdays this month.

5 days of half term holiday - whoop whoop!

1 cookery demonstration

2 thousand and eleventy twelve - number of calories eaten sampling the food and drink at said cooking demonstration

5 and half - number of hours until my son flies down from Edinburgh for a long weekend

1 meal out to Pizza Express with 3 friends.  25% off voucher for the meal.  Does anyone ever pay full price in Pizza Express? They always seem to have offers on.  Not that I'm complaining, mind - just observing.

That's it for me, why not pop by Julie's blog and see how her month compared.  Her's involves victory rolls, deep sea sailing, chocolate cake and silver boots - how can you resist?

ps on the yellow tshirt front.  Isn't quite so big now, husband accidentally put it in with a pile of towels that wen't in for a very long, very hot wash.  Me and the tshirt are now both petite.

Monday 25 February 2013

Hello Monday

Hello Monday!  And Hello Happy Birthday to my 'little' nephew who is 41 today!
Hello back to school after the half term break.  Only five weeks to the next school holiday (not that I'm counting or anything)
Hello and welcome back to work to my line manager.  She went into hospital the week before Christmas to have her hip replaced and is only just allowed to come back to work. Boy, will we be pleased to have her back, we've all been covering her work!
Hello and hurry up Thursday night.  My son's coming down for a few days and will be arriving late on Thursday.
Hello to not wanting to go into work on Friday (see above!)
Hello to March at the end of the week.  How can we possibly be almost in March already?
Hello to having to wear something yellow to work on Friday.  It's a charity fundraising event and the only yellow thing I can find is a t-shirt my son was given to wear one weekend when he was working weekends at the airport in World of Duty Free.  It is BRIGHT yellow and emblazoned across the front and back it says 'Flying to Fuerteventura, Tenerife, Gran Canaria or Lanzarote?  Ask me about duty free'.  I think I can almost guarantee I won't see anyone else in the school wearing the same outfit.  The t-shirt is a very large one size fits all and I'm 'petite', I may be wearing it as a dress!

Friday 22 February 2013

Food and Drink

Whenever you turn on the news at the moment, the headlines always seem to be about the discovery of horsemeat in 'beef' ready meals and the local newspaper has been interviewing butchers in town to see if they had noticed an increase in trade as shoppers shunned supermarket ready meals in favour of buying meat direct from the butcher.  One in particular made me smile when it said ' it had always enjoyed a stable trade ...'
Other news this week - I have finished reading the book that my friend has had published.  I can hardly wait to go back to work next week to ask her what inspired her to make the character with my name the middle aged landlady of the main character, who had a penchant for younger men!  Cheek!  I had previously wondered who would play me in the film version.  I think it could be Joan Collins.
I went to the cookery demonstration on Tuesday.  By 11.30 I'd had a small glass of white wine, a small one of red, a sample of lamb and red onion pudding, another of chicken, bacon and mushroom pie and a small bowl of steamed ginger and syrup sponge.  By 11.45 I'd signed up for the next one as the theme is chocolate.  I'm not sure my waistline can cope with too many half terms.
So my plan for the last day of half term was to make another page for the Telling Tales project and this is what I've come up with
I did say things would get messy didn't I?  True to my word there are splodges and splashes of paint and circular paint stains - so out of my comfort zone here, but I do like the effect it has made.  I hope you approve Miss Smith!  I'm sure the purple will wash off my hands eventually ...

Tuesday 19 February 2013

Half term day two

How many Deb's World family members does it take to change a lightbulb?  Two.  One to rootle around in the garage and find a replacement bulb, which doesn't work so she then has to go into town to the light bulb shop and buy a new one, which is put in the lamb and that doesn't work either -  and one to notice (after about 10 minutes of wondering why the new bulbs don't work) that somehow the plug which is hidden behind the telephone plug underneath the hall table has been pulled out.  Hmmm.

Phone message which made me literally Laugh Out Loud -' Mum, do you fancy doing the Three Peaks Challenge in Yorkshire with me and J? You climb three of Britain's highest peaks.  It's 26 miles and you have to complete it in under 12 hours. Let me know if you want me to sign you up'. You'd think that after knowing me for 26 years, she would have known the answer to that without having to ask!

Unexpected fame - turns out that my work colleague who has just published a book (currently available at a very good price to download onto your Kindle) has included a character with my name.  So I had to download the book to find out what my character is like and whether or not I should still be talking to the author when we go back to school next week.  I'm up to chapter three and I still haven't appeared.  I wonder who will play me in the film version? 

Monday 18 February 2013

Hello Monday

Hello to half term this week.  If you were here right now you would see mesmiling broadly and doing my happy dance!
Hello to painting my son's bedroom, he's coming home for a long weekend next week and I wanted to freshen up his room.  It was last decorated back in 2007 when he took it upon himself to decorate it with a friend.  Let's just say that it wasn't the most perfect work of art and this 'freshening up' is well overdue.
Hello to having a proper cooking lesson.  I love to cook and am always keen to try out new recipes.  Whilst ringing local restaurants to organise work experience for a girl who wants to be a chef, I got talking to the owner of one of our town's nicer eateries and she told me that the chef ran cooking demonstrations once a month.  Next thing I knew, I'd got a work placement for a student and I'm booked on the next session which is 'Pies and Puddings'.  After the demonstration there's much sampling to be done (good times) and learning how to match wines to the food (even better times!)
Hello to meeting up for with an ex work colleague who left last year.  She's in town and a whole bunch of us are joining her for coffee one morning.  So if you were thinking of going for a quiet morning coffee I would recommend you avoid Cafe Nero in town as it will be full of women chattering and gossiping and eating cake and drinking capuccinos and lattes and generally taking over the whole of the first floor!
Hello to longer dog walks - the weather report is finally looking a tiny bit better and hopefully that get fit intention will be one step closer ...
Hello to maybe getting a couple more Telling Tales layouts done, I have a couple in mind.  Which leads me to
Hello to taking over the dining room for a week with a whole bunch of scrapbooking supplies and generally turning it into a craftroom.  Expect a fine layer of glitter throughout the downstairs of the house!

Friday 15 February 2013

Simply a moment

I pull into the side of the road, switch on my hazard warning lights and settle down to wait.  I turn off the lights on the car - as do the other people in the queue of traffic ahead of me.  The gentle rhythm of the indicators is hypnotic and I find my mind drifting to what I need to do to finish dinner on my return home.  
There is a fine drizzle coming down and every now and again I flick the windscreen wipers on to clear the view.  Not that there is much to see.  It's dark and there is nothing but other vehicles in front and behind me. A group of taxi drivers are huddled together in their shelter about 200 metres away.  They are ready and waiting for their passengers, all of whom will be in a hurry to get home.  
After a short while I can hear a distant hum which becomes increasingly louder.  You can sense every other driver in the queue sitting up a little straighter and anxious to be on their way.  Behind the fence I can hear a voice coming over a tannoy 'The train arriving at platform one will be the 1757 from London Liverpool Street, next stop Stansted Airport'.  The hum gives way to a swoosh as the train pulls into the station.  Electronic doors open and you can see the glow of the interior of the train through the slats of the fencing.  The pavements are still empty though, and then suddenly the double glass doors of the station open and people come flooding out.  Pulling up hoods on coats, putting up umbrellas, looking carefully to see where the car picking them up is parked.  The taxi rank is busy now, doors of cabs slamming and drivers starting up their engines.  The commuters are in a hurry to be home.
The cars in front of me are gradually moving away, their passengers safe and warm inside and I edge down the ramp.  Where is my passenger?  The crowd has thinned right down now, stragglers pushing open the doors and making their way to the car park or bus stop.  Has she fallen asleep on the train again?  The warmth of the carriage after a busy day working in London easily lulls her to sleep and on more than one occasion she has woken up in Cambridge or Stansted Airport having slept through her stop.  Then a familiar silhouette comes through the doors, head down, cradling her phone to her ear, chatting and laughing to a friend.  She's in no hurry to finish her conversation and is still talking as she opens the car door and sits down in the passenger seat.  The end of a working day.

Monday 11 February 2013

Hello to 10 Things and Telling Tale

  1. Hello to multi tasking - 3 blog themes in one post.  I'm a woman, what can I say?
  2. Hello to more snow.  Seriously?  Haven't we had enough? 
  3. Hello to preparing for a week of half term holiday next week
  4. Hello to trying to eat healthily this week. 
  5. Hello to husband trying to sabotage number 4 by baking some cranberry cookies while I was at work, which meant I opened the kitchen door to find a batch of warm deliciousness waiting for me on my arrival home.  Of course I had to have one, it's only polite.
  6. Hello to de-icing the dog.  R had to carry her for the last 200 yards of the morning walk as she had so much snow attached to her paws and legs she couldn't walk properly
  7. Hello to not having to do overtime this week! 
  8. Hello to not being able to wear a couple of new items of clothing I bought last week.  You know the scene, you're fed up with all the clothes in your wardrobe so in anticipation of warmer spring weather you pop into Next to have a look at their new season clothes, buy a pretty top and a linen dress and then it gets so cold you can't wear them ....
  9. Hello to remembering that the 10 things theme is supposed to be 10 on the 10th and it's now the 11th - Doh!
  10. Hello to another page made for the Telling Tales course
The idea was to create a page using a washing line banner to tie random bits and bobs together.  My son had been given a couple of tickets to go and see Scotland play at Murrayfield in Edinburgh in the Six Nations Rugby Tournament.  Photo courtesy of Facebook!   He's torn now, does he support Scotland as he lives there or England because that's where he was born and brought up.  I suspect his loyalties may change dependant on who gets furthest in the tournament!  I like this idea of a design, you can have hidden bits here and there and change what's on show.  Simple but effective.

Wednesday 6 February 2013

Hair today and gone tomorrow

Well, not hair exactly but beard.  And no I'm not talking about myself before anyone leaps to conclusions!
When my son went travelling around Europe one summer, he grew a beard - just to save him the hassle of shaving each day - but when he got back we all really liked the way he looked and he's kept it.  Right up until last weekend when I saw a facebook status that referred to the loss of his beard!  We couldn't believe it, and needed photographic proof, which he sent.
So when I saw that the Telling Tales theme at the end of last week was for a sequence of photos, I had a thought that I could use photos of the before beard in 2010, two picture of him during the beard years and the after the shaving off of the beard.  And here's how it looks
I've entitled it 'No more beardy weirdy' which is the affectionate jokey name we had for it, I'm not just being cruel!
'So, what made you decide to shave it off?' I asked.
'Everyone at work thought I was 26, and I don't want to look THAT old' he replied.
No comment.

Monday 4 February 2013

Hello Monday

Hello - to getting it totally wrong last week!
It's not going to be Hello to going back to normal hours, it's hello again to doing longer days and a few hours on my day off!  My line manager had a hip replacement the week before Christmas and they told her that as she was far younger than your average hip replacee - she'd be back to work in 6 weeks.  You do the maths.  Yes she should have been back shouldn't she?  Only despite healing well (in her opinion) and being able to come in, because she could take things easy just sitting at her desk (in her opinion) and being mobile enough to not be a health and safety issue in the workplace (in her opinion) the doctor's opinion was that he would review her again in THREE weeks time!  Eeek!  In reality, we know now she won't be back until after half term.  So as we all bravely reassure her that yes we are coping remarkably well and things are running smoothly, and no she mustn't rush back, we are kind of missing her!
And it's not hello to Leggyblonde or FutureMrsDepp, it's back to Debs14.  I had an email to say the powers that be over at FB and Instagram had made a mistake and I am who I said I was all along.  Told ya so!
Hello Sunshine turned into Hello rain.
The only bit I got right was the start of the lovely Telling Tales course and the absence of any ironing!

Shall I try again?

Hello to doing a bit more overtime again
Hello to a mixed bag of weather
Hello to making another layout for the Telling Tales course
Hello to finding more excuses not to iron     and

Hello to trying Zumba again.  If I tell you what happened last week you have to promise not to laugh.  Promise?  Honestly?  Don't let me down now.  A little background info.  The exercise class I used to go to closed last July and I haven't done any 'proper' exercise other than dog walking since. So last week I decided to have a go at Zumba.  I'd done it once before and it was fun, but exhausting.  I text my friend who I know goes to classes to ask for info.  I was thinking of going to the Thursday class but she told me how she always goes to the Wednesday one and it's good fun and the teacher is great and there's all ages and abilities etc etc.  I asked about times and where to park and what time she got there and we had a bit of banter about whether they provided doughnuts half way through and if I could reserve a space in the back row. 
So.  Picture the scene.  It's 8pm on a cold Wednesday night.  the kind of night you don't really feel like going out on.  The kind of night you'd prefer to be curled up on a sofa waiting for Greys Anatomy to come on.  But no, I head off in trainers and joggers and sports top, with my bottle of water, and drive up to the Rugby Club where the class was held.  I go in, hand over my money and head to the back of the room to put my coat and water down and wait for my friend.  Only she doesn't turn up does she?  Oh no.  There I am on my own, with about a dozen other people who all know each other and obviously go regularly, and suddenly the front door opens.  A blast of cold air enters the room - 'ah, that'll be Lynda, she's cut it fine' I thought but no, it's about 20 Boy Scouts, coming to do a sample lesson as part of some fitness programme.  I am surrounded by tall, sweaty teenagers, doing routines that I have never seen before at a speed which caused my arms and legs to resemble a windmill.  As we stood in a circle doing the Gangnam Style dance (if I find any one of you is sniggering at this point I will not be happy) I was having very bad thoughts about my (ex) friend.  When the class finally finished, and how long can 60 minutes seem when you are extremely out of condition?, I text Lynda to ask where she was.  'I didn't realise you were serious about going' she said. 
So today I had a text from her asking if I want to join her at a different Zumba class tomorrow night.  Dare I trust her? 

Sunday 3 February 2013

My mystery precious

There's part of me that loves a mystery and part of me that really wishes I understood what secrets the mystery holds.  When I was growing up, my Mum's dressing table held such an attraction for me.  I would climb up on the velvet cushioned stool, carefully pick up the hairbrush, mirror and comb set that always sat in the middle.  A beautiful set, with Chinese patterned satin covered by a layer of filigree golden coloured metal.  I would carefully brush my hair - gazing into the tri-fold mirror that was on top of the dressing table, checking my appearance from front and both sides.  Having made my hair as glamorous as I could, my attention would turn to the other bits and pieces on the table top.  A bottle of perfume, pots of creams and lotions, and a few trinkets.  I now have a selection of these at home and all qualify for the title of 'precious'.

For February, I will share one of these that holds a mystery.  It's a little leather covered chest, about 3" tall and 4" wide.  Inside is a collection of things.  Buttons from clothes that I remember her wearing, a couple of brooches and then these things ...

 A commemorative coin for the Coronation in 1952, and a five shilling piece from the same year.  A cutting from a local newspaper, which turns out to be the obituary from when her grandmother died, a few months after I was born.  A key. What do you think this opens?  We never found anything that it fitted but it was kept safe so it must have some significance.  Then the little white leather pouch.  The softest leather you can imagine, held with a silver popper on the back.  Gold writing that indicates it comes from a jewellers in Burlington Arcade London W1.  Something very special must have come in there. You would imagine that it had once held a precious ring.   But open it up and you will see tht inside it is a little brown stone.  With a perfectly formed hole in the corner.  Where had it come from?  Who found it and gave it to my my mum?  Why was it kept in such a special place?  It obviously held some special memories to her but it was story she never told, and will now remain a mystery for ever more.

A random piece of stone, but something far too precious to throw away.  
This is part of Sian's Pick your Precious series.  Head on over there to see what other stories people are sharing.