Friday, 29 July 2011

Rocking Your World Friday

Friday again, but a much more reasonable time this week. Sitting here with my coffee (strong and black) in my favourite mug (Drama Queen) and thinking back over the week.

So what am I grateful for this week?
It is now 5 mins later and I'm still thinking..I know there are things but my brain is refusing to cooperate..a bit like me and authority really.

Erm, erm..oh, yes. Books (again? I can hear you groan)..yes, again. New author alert for Carmen...Sophie Oak.  Two great series and lots of humour - "Bliss (Colorado)" and "Sirens". And yes, there is lots of what you described me as (twice). I don't know why you think of me that way and I'm sure that Joanna will be able to tell you that I'm a picture of innocence after we meet up on 15th..oh, look, a pig just flew past the window.
Good luck with the house move Carmen - will miss you online until you're re-connected.
And, just to show that my brain has not turned to complete mush, I've been reading George Orwell this week too - "Down and Out in Paris and London".

Phone calls are next ..specifically phone calls from friends that cheer me up :)

And... I bought a dress this week ..and it's a short one (just below the knees)...why is this momentous? let's just say I have a problem with dresses, I'm short waisted so they don't often fit properly and I'm always fidgeting when I wear them. This one is designer no less - George @ ASDA is a designer isn't he? I have to admit that I also bought a pair of black linen trousers (much more me and no, I'm not going to admit how many pairs of black trousers I now have). Couldn't resist them as they had my name on them - "Perfectly Petite". Well, one out of two ain't bad  - I'll let you decide which one. :)

Pinterest has been keeping me amused and busy this week - I keep coming across wonderful sayings..

This one is courtesy of my friend Diane.

Recipe of the week...Heston's Ice Cream Sandwiches with Salted Caramel Popcorn Ice Cream - heaven.
I'm going to try another Waitrose (where's the commission?) recipe on Saturday if I can get my hands on some amaranth. I know it's a plant ..

Cricket has mainly been good this week. England won, my boys lost to Somerset but are still top of Division 1 thanks to Notts. who beat Lancashire. Two points in it and five matches to go.

Bejeweled 3 has been occupying me, a lot. Poor Max had his walk an hour late yesterday as I lost track of time. This new, improved version (I lost Bej. 2 when my computer was poorly) has a badges board and I only need one and a half badges to complete it. The whole badge will happen when it happens but the half is driving me would help if I knew what I was doing. I've somehow managed to achieve bronze and silver but still need gold and platinum. I could read the instructions, I suppose, but the fall out to being the only girl for two generations is the very masculine trait of not "doing" instructions.
N.B. The need for achieving badges is in no way, shape or form related to being a Brownie or Girl Guide. I was never either - I was too subversive for them and they were too "organised" for me.

Surreal moment of the week : drinking coffee from a Christmas mug. It was either that or an Arsenal mug and that is soooo against my religion.  Other mugs were clean (I'm not a total sloven) but were still in the dishwasher.

Upsetting moment of the week: a tiny dead bird in the garden. I think it fell from the nest, at least that's what I'm hoping, rather than being savaged by one of the three million cats we have around here. OK, a bit of an exaggeration, but the cat lovers round here don't stop at one cat, oh no, they have two or three or four.....why?

Things to look forward to:
Sunday - cropping all day at A Maze of Memories
Monday - the boy will be home from Majorca (very late so I may not see him until Tuesday)
Tuesday - the six weekly visit to the vampires
August - Charity Shield, return of the Premiership - lucky socks and new shirt ready.

And the final grateful is Sky for letting me have MUTV for £1 a week for six months. Just don't tell the Arsenal supporters in the house.

Friday, 22 July 2011

Rocking My World Friday (and a slightly tarnished halo)

 Another Friday and time to look back on the week that was - not sure 2 a.m. is the best time to do it but I can't sleep so I may as well.

This week has been much better than last  due in no small part to my first grateful and that is family, in particular my boy who turned 22 on Monday (the weather was definitely better 22 years ago - we were having a heatwave).

It was wonderful having N home with his girlfriend. He's gone back to Bristol now but is threatening to come home again in a couple of weeks via Majorca.
He left his room tidier than it was,unfortunately, and I can actually see the carpet...which means...a little more tidying and I'll be able to start Zumba on the Wii. This is in place of the Pole Dancing lessons I wanted to try - apparently I'm nowhere near fit enough. I do have a back up plan though - my nephew's girlfriend has a pole in her living room (I kid you not!) and has been properly trained....

Good films are next on my list. The four of us watched "The King's Speech" last Friday - I thoroughly enjoyed it and can see why it won at the Oscars (and it has Colin Firth in it..sigh).
Saturday was Harry Potter part 1 - a bit long and tedious I thought but at least I stayed awake to the end. :)
Sunday was Harry Potter part 2 in 3D - wow! Amazing effects and really fast paced - the three of us loved it. Sad that it's the end though.

The joy of food, especially home cooked, is next. The Thai green curry was yummy - thanks to N & V for cooking it.
I made Delia's strawberry and vanilla Pavlova again and it was just as good as the first time..and,no, Christina, I haven't forgotten..I'll email the recipe this weekend.
The "cake in a bag" from Waitrose (I should be on commission) turned out beautifully - chocolate and hazelnut this time. 

The internet has proved helpful this week both in the ordering of books and the finding of new friends - how did we manage without it? N is indeed studying Fascism next year so he wanted some background reading - Hemingway and Orwell on the Spanish Civil War. The books were here in time for him to take them with him - probably because Amazon didn't use Royal Mail. It took 5 days for a card from my brother to arrive even though it was posted 1st class. I know Newcastle is North of here but it's not that far North.

And now for the tarnished halo. :(
No chocolate has been bought or chocolate biscuits (much to N's disgust) but red wine has been purchased and drunk - slapped wrist. In my defence it was in reaction to my decision to clear out the drinks cupboard, starting with the cooking stuff - there were quite a few bottles with only one or two glasses worth in them. So over the space of several evenings I had the delights of sherry ( trifle), Spanish brandy (various uses) , ginger wine (sauce for ginger sponge) and Cinzano (risotto). I  needed some normality.

Surreal moment of the week #1
V. wearing one of N's T-shirts. What's odd about that? It was a T-shirt bought in Florida in 1998 when he was 9 years old and it fit her..perfectly. Women will understand this ..any men reading may not.

Surreal moment of the week #2
Edith Piaf sitting between Muse and Rammstein (very heavy metal German band - and yes, it's mine). Max knocked a CD rack over and I made the discovery when putting the CDs back. I'm a bit OCD with books etc. - they have to be in alphabetical order by author/artist and then chronological order.

What I have learnt this week:
- to make a pop-up card. V made two (well, I had to check the shop for new stock and I only needed one) and really enjoyed her first ever class. Thanks to Christina and Rachel at A Maze of Memories for a great afternoon.

- when it says on a bottle of Cinzano "make  a long drink with your favourite mixer" they do not mean American dry ginger (bleugh).

- confession may be good for the soul but it's also a pain in the butt.

- I can look at photos of babies and not feel broody. I've suspected this for a while as I never really felt broody before.

- the joy of being organised. I have parcels ready to post tomorrow: "Black Swan Rising" and "Passion" will be heading for Scotland (Gill);"Sleeping Beauty" is off to Yorkshire (Virginia - remember the hot drink warning!);cards for the Poppy Appeal are also heading for Yorkshire (Janet) and finally..Joanna I'm going to risk Royal Mail and your surprise project will be heading down to Kent ...Yee Haw!

- things to look forward to..German GP, IRL from Canada, test cricket(please let it be more lively than today - I had to resort to MTV again) 

That's enough rambling from me. Hugs (especially to new friends).xx

Friday, 15 July 2011

Rocking Your World Friday

Another week has flown by and what a strange one it's been. It started with a migraine (after months without one) and me on auto-pilot, which saw me sending emails with totally inappropriate sentiments (there are some emails that should never be sent with "Hugs xx"). I just hope the recipients appreciated the love.

Next came two very upsetting days which saw me wanting to run away from home. I seriously think that if I hadn't been expecting DS home later in the week that I would in fact have gone. I still have a key to Dad's house (it hasn't been sold yet) so could have gone there - no furniture or anything in it but I'd have coped. This led to the realisation that not only do I miss him, I also miss my weekends away. The chance to be "home" again (DH hates when I say that but even after spending half my life down here, I'm not a natural southener and the NE is still home) and all that entails (wild nights out and catching up with friends) kept me grounded.

Wednesday was a day of quiet reflection (9 yrs to the day since Mum died) as, let's face it ,I'm not much use for anything else on a Wednesday.

And then the good stuff started!
 My boy is home!
 He phoned from London on Weds. afternoon to say he was back in the country and would it be OK if he and girlfriend came straight up to us - he was 24 hours earlier than expected. Wonder what he'd have done if I'd said no? Further texts and calls followed asking me a) could he borrow...? yep, the bank of Mum and Dad is open again and b) could I look up train times? Just as well I did as he would have ended up at the wrong station. He wanted to go to Paddington (trains for Oxford) but needed to go to Marylebone (trains for our local station which happens to be in Bucks.). 

I am so grateful for him being home for the following reasons:

- he arrived early so I didn't have chance to tidy his room
- I had my lunch made for me yesterday
- someone other than me emptied the dishwasher
- he refused to let me do his washing (?!!)
- he and Vicky are cooking for us tonight (Thai green curry - prawns)
- Vicky and I are going to a card class together on Saturday pm.
- the three of us are booked to see Harry Potter part 2 in 3D in Aylesbury on Sunday
- that means I have to watch part 1 this afternoon 
- I get to make Delia's improved pavlova again (by special request of DS)
- comfort food - they'd been eating junk whilst away so I made chicken casserole last night.

He won't be here long as he has to be back in Bristol by 22nd so I'm making the most of it.
I'm amazed that the tiny scrap I had almost 22 years ago is now a thoughtful and caring young man. He's also now taller than his Dad (which he didn't get from me).

No crafting this week although I have found a use for the pegs that were left over after I'd altered the clipboards for Christmas. :)

And now for the questions thrown up by this week:

What has Liz Hurley done to Shane Warne? And why????
Why when you lose weight* does it always come off the bits you don't want it to? In my case my boobs - it's taken me over 20 years and a pregnancy to get them like this.
Was it very daring of me to wear one of my shorter skirts yesterday? You could see my ankles and....ooh, 2 inches of leg. It's not my legs I'm hiding by the way it's my knees. 
How many times in one day can MTV show the top20/40 and is it sad that I watch most of them?
What is the difference between the top 20 and the Urban top 20? 

* I am not trying to lose weight but the self-imposed ban on buying chocolate/red wine/chocolate biscuits is having unforeseen results.

That's it for this week.
Do check out my fellow Rockettes.

Monday, 11 July 2011

Monday Funny - this one is priceless!

From my friend Alwyn in Canada - we were at Uni together (longer ago than I'm willing to admit!).

On the first day, she sadly packed her belongings into boxes, crates and suitcases.
On the second day, 
she had the movers come and collect her things.
On the third day, she sat down for the last time at their beautiful dining-room table, by candle-light; she put on some soft background music, and feasted on a pound of shrimp, a jar of caviar,and a bottle of spring-water.
When she'd finished, she went into each and every room and deposited a few half-eaten shrimps dipped in caviar into the hollow centre of the curtain rods.
She then cleaned up the kitchen and left.
On the fourth day, the husband came back with his new girlfriend, and at first all was bliss.
Then, slowly, the house began to smell.
They tried everything; cleaning, mopping, and airing-out the place.
Vents were checked for dead rodents, and carpets were steam cleaned.
Air fresheners were hung everywhere. Exterminators were brought in to set off gas canisters, during which time 
the two had to move out for a few days, and in the end they even paid to replace the expensive wool carpeting. Nothing worked!
People stopped coming over to visit.
Repairmen refused to work in the house.
The maid quit..
Finally, they couldn't take the stench any longer, and decided they had to move, but a month later - even though they'd cut their price in half - they couldn't find a buyer for such a stinky house.
Word got out, and eventually even the local realtors refused to return their calls.
Finally, unable to wait any longer for a purchaser, they had to borrow a huge sum of money from the bank to purchase a new place.
Then the ex-wife called the man and asked how things were going. He told her the saga of the rotting house. She listened politely and said that she missed her old home terribly and would be willing to reduce her divorce settlement in exchange for having the house.
Knowing she could have no idea how bad the smell really was, 
he agreed on a price that was only 1/10 th of what the house had been worth ... but only if she would sign the papers that very day.
She agreed, and within two hours his lawyers delivered the completed paperwork.
A week later the man and his girlfriend stood smiling as they watched the moving company pack everything to take to their new home ......
... and to spite the ex-wife, they even took the curtain rods!

Friday, 8 July 2011

Rocking Friday Update - a slightly tarnished halo.

Yep, my halo is tarnished, my self control has been lost...

Here is a photo of the culprits:

I couldn't resist them - they were half-price in the sale and they fit beautifully (size 4). I did battle with  the little voice asking if I really needed four pairs of red shoes (hell, yes!!) for all of, ooh, must have been 20 seconds. And they've got bling! The perfect scrappers shoes.

I only went out for coffee with Pat..came back with these and a bottle of gin (it was on offer in Waitrose) which I managed to buy without accosting any random males.

Now a couple of answers to questions posed by Joanna:

1.The vibrating strawberry sponge - nothing to do with where I live. It came home with me from the NE after one of my weekends away. All I'm saying is hen party , Ann Summers, rolled back to Dad's @3a.m. 

2. The erotic sci-fi - my hysterics had nothing to do with gravity or the lack of it, they were caused by (and how do I put this politely?) the,erm..."appendages" of the humanoid aliens and what they could do with said appendages.

I'll leave you to ponder that one. :)

What's Rocking My World Friday

Friday again - eek! The way the year is going by I may have to mention the "C" word and start cardmaking - sooooo not in the mood.

This is a long one so you may want to settle down with a drink - preferably not a hot drink.
First grateful of the week is the Internet and the various people it has put me in contact with:

- the WeScrap girls who are planning a weekend crop in May next year in.....San Francisco.....if only!

- Joanna who has come up with the idea of going to the Tracy Emin exhibition. Not so bothered by TE but  looking forward to meeting Joanna. :) J. my project for you has cleared the planning stage and goes into production today. :)

- Carmen who made me laugh with her wonderful (if slightly overstated) description of me. C. I'm still giggling!

- Valerie who keeps coming up with funnies to brighten the day and who has a wonderful way with tags.

There are others but they know who they are and I'd have to change their names to protect the guilty. :)

Amazon has been brilliant again this week - ordered the books DS wanted for his b'day on Monday and they were here by Weds. Either he's studying Italy next year or I should be worried about him. Two books on the Italian Mafias (who knew there was more than one?) and one on the rise of Fascism.
Also didn't know you could order random things from Amazon, such as toilet seats.

Google search engine for showing me exactly where DS is - in a fortress in Serbia no less. Two years ago it was an island off Croatia. Also showed me who was playing - Arcade Fire..jealous!

Waitrose for their recipe cards. This week it was Scandinavian Chicken - it was nice  but I think I was a bit heavy handed with the fresh rosemary - not the only thing I'm heavy handed with unfortunately. Also picked up another "cake in a bag" - chocolate and walnut this time. Keeping it for DS's b'day on 18th.

The Apprentice for finally getting rid of the lying bitch that is Melody. And she did lie - she totally lied about the replies given during the task in France. And I should know.

And finally, Max for making me laugh. It is now official - he will eat anything given half a chance. I put some cake crumbs out for the birds and 20 secs later he was there and had them all hoovered up. I sort of knew he'd eat anything already. As a puppy he chewed up a strawberry vibrating sponge before I'd had chance to use it. :(

Things to look forward to: one day cricket tomorrow; two motor races on Sunday - British GP, which we used to go to until they started charging silly money (Silverstone is just down/up ? the M40 from us - I really do have no sense of direction) and Indy Racing from Toronto;Scrap Club - Monday evening session this month as Pat is off to Bruges tomorrow; new neighbours moving in on Tuesday.

Books read this week (and I do mean proper books this time - I gave my Kindle a rest): "Passion" by Lauren Kate  - this will be on its' way to Gill in Scotland soon- now have to wait a year for the final part of the story;"Smokin' Seventeen" by Janet Evanovich - as funny as ever and only have to wait until October for #18.

Self control update: No chocolate has passed my lips, no wine has been drunk since Tuesday,no stash has been bought. Can you see my halo?

Next target: to stop accosting random men in Waitrose and have the patience to seek out a member of staff when I can't reach something. It's not much fun being only 5ft tall - esp. when the other humans in the house are all 6 footers. Even Max is taller than me when he stands on his hind legs and puts his paws on my shoulders.

Things learnt this week:
- Chris Brown and Justin Bieber does work as a pairing (great song and video)
- abstinence does not make the heart grow fonder
- Sunderland really will be Man. Utd reserves next season
- never again will I plan to cook mince on a Wednesday - bleugh.
- stripping the bed when all you want to do is crawl back in is not a good idea - you'll end up on the couch and feel even worse.
- a visit from the window cleaner heralds rain.
- channelling "Little House on the Prairie"* is not a good look, even if you're only walking the dog in the rain. Comes of owning only ankle length, floaty skirts and a shorter raincoat.
- in one week I achieved 50% of skirt wearing total for the whole of 2010. 

* This label was first applied to me by some girls at my last school - don't think they meant it as a compliment.
Do visit the other Rockettes.
Off now to link to Virginia the Rocking Queen. xx

Thursday, 7 July 2011

Thursday Funny

Another funny via Valerie in Germany:

A woman devised her own system for labeling homemade 
Meals she stored in the freezer. Instead of calling them 
Chicken Parmigiana or Meatloaf, she labeled them 
Whatever, Anything, I Don't Know and, her favorite, Food. 

That way when she asked her husband what he wanted 
For dinner, she was certain to have it on hand.

Monday, 4 July 2011

Issues of Self Control

On Friday it was suggested that I may benefit from exercising more self control over certain aspects of my life (response:smiles sweetly, grits teeth and says thank you R).

In the course of a largely sleepless night I pondered whether I could in fact use more self control in other situations. I am known for rushing headlong into things without thinking and instant gratification is my middle name (actually it's Jane, but you get the drift).

So...starting on Saturday a new regime came into being. Since then I

- have not bought any of the new Basic Grey lines despite them being even more lush in real life than on the internet.

- limited myself to two glasses of red wine on Saturday evening

- limited myself to one glass of red wine Sunday evening (OK there was only one glass left in the bottle but the thought was there)

- have not sworn at the person who rang me 5 times in three mins. this morning despite me saying I wasn't interested and hanging up. Sign that I was really, really annoyed? The fact that I almost swore at him 'cos I don't swear, ever. "Knickers" is my "go to" word for expressing annoyance and the occasional "bloody" can be heard during football matches but there are words in the English language that I have never said....mainly four letter words beginning with f,s,c..... Just the way I am.

- did not buy chocolate despite fruit and nut being on offer - and chocolate apparently being better than sex. :)

- lost self control in the wine dept. and there is now a bottle of Rose chilling in the fridge.

- the above is actually another form of self control as I know I need to relax this evening or I will say s'thing I regret and can't take back to someone who has been winding me up all weekend. Don't think it's deliberate but I. HAVE. HAD. ENOUGH.

Will tell you on Friday if I've managed to keep this up all week.....

Update on DS who promised to phone before heading off to Serbia. Text message from the airport (he was bored) with list of suggestions for his b'day.

He will be home for his b'day, probably with girlfriend, which means...I'll have to tidy his room. I washed his towels and bedding and then quietly closed the door on it. Apart from the odd watching of Champions League football I haven't touched the room since. Knickers!!

Hugs xx

Sunday, 3 July 2011


I spent all day yesterday at A Maze of Memories where Christina was running one of their regular Stashbuster sessions.
The idea is that we all take our own stash (in an attempt to actually use it rather than just stroke it - lol) and they come up with ideas for cards, LO,mini books etc.

It wasn't overcrowded and quite a few us stayed all day, with others coming in for the morning or afternoon sessions.
We chatted,laughed and generally had a really good time. We also had lunch from the Farm Shop and I got to chat to my new next door neighbour,Elle, as she was working there for the day.

And amidst all this joy we did actually do some crafting!
I spent the morning making cards for the Poppy Appeal:

Poppy paper by K&CO, stamps by Hero Arts, border punches - EK success.

In the afternoon our table was joined by Jan - it was lovely to see her as our paths don't often cross these days.

I made an envelope album:

Front cover - I need some small magnets for the closure.

Opened up.  There are five envelopes (in alternating shades of burgundy and cream) into which you can put photos,seed packets,whatever.
I used Pink Paislee "Butterfly Garden" papers and embellies.

So, what am I up to today...have been watching the cricket but it's slow going and England keep losing wickets. I removed myself from the room on the offchance it was my presence affecting them...this usually works - there have been football matches where I've missed every goal using this technique.

After that I have some of the "i" word to do....but it may well be left until tomorrow as I started a 6 week workshop (online) called "Colour. Or is itColor?" run by Nic Howard (she's Australian hence the spelling question). This week's colour is red so I'm dying to get started.

And now a message for Joanna who queried my "erotic sci-fi". Normally sci-fi is not one of the genres I read but I've loved the other books by Tymber Dalton so gave them a go. Now let me just say that if they hadn't been so well written (and they'd have to be well written to get me to read them in the first place) and I hadn't already "bonded" with the characters, there were scenes that would have had me ROFL in hysterics at how unbelievable they were. I'm still giggling now. :)
And still with Joanna - I have a project in mind for you and your love of cowboys. Apparently there's a song called "Save a horse,ride a cowboy"..imagine what I could do with that. :) Well it makes a change from vampires and fallen angels.

Hugs to you all and thanks for dropping in.

Saturday, 2 July 2011

A Blog Award

Many thanks to Valerie  who sent me this award.

 The rules are that I must share 7 things with you about myself and pass the award on to 8 other bloggers (who must then do the same).

OK ...
1. I hate "h*******k" 
2. I really, really hate "i*****g"
3. I'm planning a trip to the NE so that I can go and see "Breaking Dawn" with my nephew and his partner (they don't know this yet but having seen "Eclipse" with me I'm sure they'll be up for it)
4. It is now 45 years since I started supporting Man Utd. Blame George Best.
5. #4 makes me sound ancient but I'm still only 18 inside.
6. I stopped growing (upwards) aged 13 - I never grew into the school coat bought for me that year.
7. I retired from teaching aged 42. :)

And now for 8 people worthy of this award:
Virginia -  for organising Rocking Your World Fridays.
Carmen - for being my partner in crime with regard to books (esp. For Sleeping Beauty!!).
Janet - for being first and foremost a friend and also an inspirational crafter.
Slightly South of Sanity - for the funniest blog around - full of parenting tips and surreal adventures.
Bev - for being a talented scrapper and a great member of the WeScrap DT.
Ally - who guided me  through my scrapbooking design course and has since become a friend.
June at Dezinaworld for her wonderful downloads and inspiration - she  has also become a friend.

And last (but by no means least) Joanna who introduced me to the world of collage and mini-books and who has the second bestest dog in the world. Sorry Rosie-Mae but Max holds the "bestest" title in our house - you're a close second. :)

Friday, 1 July 2011

Rocking My World Friday ( with bonus items)

I'm working on a project called grounds for divorce...I'm not really, this is the song that has been stuck in my head all week since watching the BBC coverage of Glastonbury..which reminds Elbow CD has gone missing along with the Beatles #1's and Kings of Leon..mmm..think they're probably in Bristol.

Another week has flashed by, and I don't seem to have achieved much, but I do have some gratefuls.

 Warning here...Carmen, if you're reading this, step away from the tea. I don't want to be responsible for any more hot beverage incidents!

First has to be old family friends who took the trouble to phone me on Thursday to check if I was OK. I feel blessed that they thought of me despite their own problems (my Mum would have been 80 - can't believe it's 9 years since she died).

Next is definitely books that make me cry. I know this is an odd grateful but I've been emotionally fragile for a few months now and have felt like bursting into tears at the slightest afternoons this week I've found myself sobbing my heart out, over the written word. Wonderful stories (if a bit naughty) and great characters. 
I do actually feel better for having cried but can't believe that two of the stories were SciFi, not a genre I'm fond of (unless you count fancying Harrison Ford in Star Wars) ..OK ..they were erotic SciFi.

The power of daydreaming is next. I've been casting the films of books that I've recently far I have one with Yannick Bisson, Bradley Cooper and David Boreanaz as the heroes...sigh...keeps my mind occupied whilst doing the "h" word.

DS is up next. Had a long chat to him on Weds. and discovered that he hadn't seen any of the acts I saw on TV from Glastonbury. 
But..the big posed by Joanna was " the muddy washing".

Me: What have you done with all your muddy clothes?
DS: I've already washed them.


He's off to Serbia on Monday for 10 days (music festival) via Budapest and should then be home in time for his b'day.

And now for the bonus items.

Question of the week
Why do female tennis players grunt like pigs every time they serve/hit the ball? Or squeal like stuck pigs in the case of Sharapova?

Tip of the week:
Do not try to melt butter in a microwave in a plastic bowl. The butter will get so hot that it "explodes" and the bowl will tip over, leading to melted butter all over the microwave and surrounding worktop. (Don't ask).

Recipe of the week:
Lemon,pistachio and poppy seed cake as supplied by Waitrose. In a bag like their Christmas cake, so the only things I had to provide were lemons, eggs and butter. It was wonderful. :)

Explanation of the week:
Scrap Tag is a scrap version of Chinese Whispers. The organiser chooses a LO and sends it to #1 who scraplifts it and sends her version back to the organiser, who then sends that to #2 and so on. Really fun and amazing to see how the original changes. I was second to last in the most recent one and my LO bore no resemblance to the original.

Rock Cakes - the saga continues:
Yes, I've been baking rock cakes again. Nice as Delia's were they weren't as DH and I remembered them. 
Cue the Bero baking book (I have two copies - one was my Mum's and one was my Gran's) Much nearer to the original...well they would have been had I had any currants. I had to use raisins, but hey, what's a little dried fruit between friends?

Hero of the week:
Jo-Wilfried Tsonga for beating Federer @ Wimbledon and not being afraid to show his delight.

Virginia  - I haven't forgotten you - will post "Sleeping Beauty" to you next week.

Gill - I'll email you over the weekend. :)

Carmen - thanks for the TB recommendation. You'll be pleased to know that my "research" continues apace and it's likely to yield results soon. :)