Monday 28 July 2014

Me on Monday ~ 9

It's driving the dog mad to see me doing this on this particular Monday
Suitcase.  check.  Flip Flops. check. Luggage label.  check ... Uh oh, they're leaving me.  Little does she know that her Mummy is taking a few days off work to be at home with her and there are plans afoot for Coco to have her very first visit to a beach if the weather permits.  But as far as she is concerned suitcases being packed are never a good sign.
Well Monday has been going on for quite some time for me this week.  There was a horrendous thunderstorm right overhead at about 4am which woke me up, scared the living daylights out of me and led to me rescuing a frightened pup from her bedroom (aka the kitchen)and bringing her upstairs to be with us.  It went on for ages and a house not far from us was struck by lightening.  They heard a loud bang, went to turn on the lights to find they had no electricity, and when they found a torch they discovered a hole in the ceiling of one of their bedrooms.  This is why I hate thunderstorms!
Did you have a good weekend?  We spent a lot of ours picking up our 'children' from airports, train stations, and hen nights.  It was a 'good to have Jon home for a few hours, watching a couple more episodes of Season 3 Breaking Bad, long dog walks in the sunshine, eating Mary Berry's slow cooked Asian style pork belly for Sunday lunch, mowing the lawn, eating all meals outside, checking the weather forecast for Lake Garda, looking round properties with a house hunting daughter, and another trip to the airport for Jon's return flight' kind of weekend. The kind of weekend that you need a holiday to get over it.  Funny you should say that ... 

Let's sit and have a cup of tea in July

...and not just any old tea, let's try the cute little tea bag that Beverley sent me with my quilt 

I think that to get the true American experience and have one of the little Peach Buds she sent me too. They're so tasty and refreshing aren't they?  As you can see from the fact that there aren't too many left, I've already been trying these.  Isn't it lovely to try something different to what you can get in the local shops?

Excuse the piles of clothes waiting to be ironed.  It's just been so hot that I keep putting that chore off.  But I need to get all up to date before our holiday.  You'll notice that Coco is giving that empty suitcase on the landing the evil eye.  She knows that means that someone is going away, and she does not like any change to her routine.
Have you enjoyed this hot weather?  I keep wondering how long it will last.  All daytime dog walks are off limits until it cools down in the evenings.  School's broken up now and I am looking forward to a long break.  Although I know that by the time the end of August is here I will be moaning about it having flown by and how I wasted my long stretch of days off.  Apart from my forthcoming holiday to Lake Garda, we don't have anything else planned.  I quite like to have a whole day to fill as I please and I intend to really crack on with my next quilt.  I've done all of the 16 log cabin blocks I need and when I get back from Italy I can get on with the sashing.  What projects do you have on the go at the moment? 

Ah, that text message I've just received is from Jon telling me that he is on the train back from London.  He came back from Edinburgh for the weekend as he'd been shortlisted to take part in a mentoring scheme for aspiring authors.  I was excited to think he was home for the weekend but actually he's spent most of his time in London and not at home.  It's been lovely to share some time with you before I have to start cooking dinner for a family meal; we don't have long before he heads back to the airport - this was literally a flying visit - and I hope you'll be able to pop back again next month.

I'll see you later round at Abi's - who is hosting this monthly blog tea party.

Friday 25 July 2014

Going overboard

You may have guessed, from my comments about long summer holidays, that I work in a school. I'm not a teacher though, I work in the main office as a secretary. My line manager is an ex-teacher, an ex-English teacher to be exact. Now this means that she casts a beady eye over all our work. Oh yes, ALL our work. It's a bit of a standing joke that every single letter that leaves our office has to be checked by almost half a dozen people. We obviously check it ourselves, then the ex-English teacher checks it, then another member of the Leadership team checks it, if we are asking for money for a trip or something, the Finance office check it, and finally our Head checks it. Every. Single. Letter.
We joke about how much of the original letter will be left underneath all those red pen corrections. I'm hit by a double whammy as I am involved in the school newsletter. On average 20 pages of articles. All checked for spelling and punctuation, not to mention House Style. Ariel font. Size 11. Names in bold. Text justified within the body of the paragraph. Double space after each full stop. Extra carriage return between papragraphs. You get the picture.
Did I follow all these rules and regulations on my blog? I'll let you be the judge of that but the easy answer is not completely! I must learn to press that 'spell check' button before I press the 'publish' one.
When I was commenting on some other blogs last week I noticed that I had developed a habit that would never pass the red pen checks at work. I have become a bit too enthusiastic with my exclamation marks. Actually very over enthusiastic. I was frequently adding 3 to the end of a comment. Was what I had written that surprising? So I tried reining myself in. I wouldn't use more than one at work, so I tried hard to make myself stop at one. I've realised that I end more comments with an ! than a full stop; I obviously need to join a support group for people who can't stop exclaiming! (See, I did it again.)
My friend's daughter works for a publishing company and she had a meeting with Stephen Fry last week. At the end of a conversation he said to her "please don't start every sentence with the word 'so', it's really not necessary." Oops, fancy being corrected by Stephen Fry! Then I started listening around me, and it's true, people have started to begin sentences with "So, ..." 
One thing that makes me smile is when people put an apostrophe whenever they make a word plural or just if there's an s at the end. There are some funny ones out there and the more you look, the more you see.
So that's my topic for the day. Sorry Stephen, let's try that again. That's my topic for the day.  Do you have any particular things that drive you mad, make you smile or are guilty of overusing? I recently noticed that the expression "okey dokey" was creeping into my vocabulary far more frequently than it needed to. Let's be honest, no one really needs "okey dokey" in their life. Does anyone else want to join the !!! Support Group? 

Monday 21 July 2014

Me on Monday ~ 8

You can't tell too much from this photo but if I turned round you'd see that there's a lot less hair this week compared to last. Easily about 3" gone, maybe more from the back. Whats that I'm holding? A massive clue about what I did when I left work at lunchtime - picked up my holiday tickets! Happy? You bet. Counting down the days!

Yes this weekend was a hair cutting, dog walking, margarita drinking, falling off the Slimming World wagon because we were at friends for dinner, thunderstorm sheltering, sewing a few more log cabin blocks, sitting in the sunshine kind of weekend. Which brings me to the last two days before schools break up for the summer. As I said earlier, Happy? You bet. Counting down the days! 

Monday 14 July 2014

Me on Monday ~ 7

Although Sian's away for a while I'm continuing with the Me on Monday post.

I was working this morning but it doesn't seem so bad when we break up for the 6 week holidays next Wednesday!  I only worked half day and when i got home at lunchtime Coco was so happy to see me, I didn't have the heart to tell her I was going out again. So, guess who ended up my back seat passenger? 

I went into work with poor aching shoulders and a stiff back because our daughter decided she fancied moving her bedroom around on Saturday so it was a ...
Furniture shifting, wardrobe emptying, clothes sorting, paintwork washing, dusty carpet hoovering, new recipe trying, quilt fabric cutting, log cabin pattern learning, dog walking, World Cup Final watching kind of weekend.  I went back to work today for a rest!

How's your Monday shaping up?

Wednesday 9 July 2014

One photo - 20 words

Awards Evening. Forty eight silver cups and glass trophies.  Seventy book prizes. Thirty certificates. Three book tokens. One exhausted secretary.

Joining in with Abi's idea of linking one photo ( or in this case, a collage!) with 20 words.

Monday 7 July 2014

Me on Monday ~ 6

Well hello to the first Monday of July! And I'm happy to report it's not a working Monday for me. I have a day full of catching up to do.  All those things I planned to do on Saturday and didn't get round to.  It's the day the Tour de France comes past this area so many roads are closed in nearby villages.  
So what does a blogger do on her day off?  I'll give you a clue
Well, if she's joining in with Sian's 'Pile of Postcards Exchange' she'll be off to the post office to sort out postage for those going overseas.  And if she's joining in with Fiona's Friendship Quilt, she'll be posting the next block for that too. And as it's her day off, she'll be meeting up for coffee with a friend.  The sun's shining, so the dog may be able to enjoy a nice long leisurely walk later too!
Did you have a good weekend?  What a Wimbledon final eh?  For me it was a:
furniture moving, spare room cleaning, paella eating, wine drinking, nursing a husband with 'man flu', tennis watching, kind of weekend. Our son is coming home after 2 years up in Edinburgh and we are desperately trying to make some space for all the 'stuff' he will have accumulated up there.  Which explains the first two things on my weekend list.  His sister seems to have used his room as an overflow wardrobe in his absence and we need to make some space - lots of it.  It's not an easy task I can assure you - I need my Monday 'off' to make up for all the hard work of the weekend! 
Linking up with the aforementioned Sian for her 'Me on Monday' meme.

Wednesday 2 July 2014

Scavenger hunt round up #1

The first month of the Scavenger Hunt organised by Rinda is finished.  Are you joining in?  It's such a fun little project to do.  I've actually ticked quite a few off but there are a few that I know I can better photos for so this is not my final choice.  But you know how you see something and think 'I'd better snap that, I may not get a better opportunity to tick that off the list'!
I managed to get quite a few on our recent trip to Edinburgh and I love that when I look back on these photos, it won't be just the Scavenger Hunt I think of but a happy time with friends with the added bonus of meeting up with our son!
Now I'm not totally happy with the parade!  The Gumball 3000 rally was arriving in Edinburgh while we were there and the cars were all parading through the streets in preparation for the next leg of their journey.  I am keeping my eyes out for a better interpretation of this one!

My daughter has her initial tattooed on the inside of her right wrist.  We joke about it looking as if she doesn't know her left from her right and has to have an R for right tattoed on!  I love my juggler - he is an Australian teacher who is working with our school for a few months.  His previous job was in a circus so he was a natural with the juggling balls!
Now, I'm not happy with the first one here.  It's a sign set into the paving outside the Scottish Parliament building, Holyrood House.  And although it's not in plain English, I think it may be considered to be written in the Scottish dialiect rather than language.  What do you think?  Also my group of tourists is us with our friends while we were looking round the tourist spots in Edinburgh. We were hundreds of miles from home, surely that makes us tourists? Again, I think I will be looking to replace this one!
Now, the first one here annoys me so much I didn't really want to include it!  I had real trouble finding any sign that showed you that you were entering our town and when I did, it wasn't exactly exciting.  But more to the point (and please bear in mind that I work in a school.  My boss is an ex-English teacher.  They are red hot on spelling and punctuation in any letters or communication we send out to parents) the council have missed out our apostrophe!  What?!  I felt like taking a black paintbrush and putting in the missing punctuation between the p and the s.

So I feel like I am making good progress in the hunt, although I am confident that as the weeks go on, I will find better photos for some of them but this is the state of play at the end of the first month.  How are you getting on?  Which ones do you think you will struggle with?   

Tuesday 1 July 2014

My Month in Numbers - Making a positive out of a negative edition

Or alternatively, things I didn't do in June. 
  • The lady in charge of the Slimming World group was as pleased as I was that I didn't put on any weight. In fact I lost 4 1/2 lbs. and yet I still seem to be eating as much as I ever did. Strange.
  • I didn't have to wear any sun cream on our visit to Edinburgh. We travelled 376 miles (took an hour on Easyjet) to spend 3 days in bonny Scotland with our friends. The weather was mixed to say the least. 
  • I didn't pick any winning teams in World Cup sweepstakes. Spain was the first team out, Ghana weren't far behind them and I never had much confidence in South Korea brining home the cup.  I blame the lady in charge of the school kitchen. Every day she made World Cup biscuits, and every time I bought one, my team lost.
  • I didn't receive all my blocks for the friendship quilt project, but I did receive 7 beautiful squares, and sent 1 off in return to the next person on the list.
  • I had 70 books delivered to school; school prizes to be handed out at Awards Evening in July. Each one has to have a personalised book mark and fancy book plate stuck into a front page. I didn't spill any coffee over any of them, nor did I put the wrong label in the wrong book. (I hope) It's a good job I don't have long legs as I now have 7 of these boxes under my desk 
  • I didn't get every picture on Rinda's Scavenger Hunt list but I have found 12. I now know which ones are going to be more difficult than others, how do you get an unplanned photobomb?! And why is sunrise so early over here?
Counting up your month in numbers is the brainchild of Julie Kirk - pop over there to discover where WW1 nurses bought their uniform, how many miles she has jogged in her new trainers, and how far a number 9 snail moves in a year.