Monday, 26 September 2011

A Grand Day Out (and I'm no longer a virgin)

Yesterday (Sunday) was  a much anticipated  day out...the day of the Stamp and Craft Show @ Ally Pally.

Pat drove us up to London  (well, she has a car and I don't and although I can drive, I don't).

We stopped at IKEA on the N Circular and I am no longer an IKEA virgin.
That place is massive (as in size and not the other meaning) and busy..I think  Dante had  just visited when he wrote his "Inferno".

I did buy some odds and ends..

all of which are destined to become Christmas presents (though I may keep one of the notebooks for myself). I have a cunning plan for the frames, thanks to Pinterest.

The show itself was worth a visit..much nicer than the NEC..busy but not too crowded and the crafty people had time to chat.
Purchases were of course made:
Papers by Webster's Pages,lots of TH like embellishments (but not as expensive) and a Zentangle book - I'm hoping to improve my doodling skills or just have a change from Sudoku. :)

Card supplies, Christmas ribbon (like I really needed any more) and a mirror that is going to be covered using Decopatch and will end up under someone's Christmas tree.

Photos were taken by Pat but I won't get my copies until Friday. I plan on doing a LO as yesterday was noteworthy in that a) I wore a dress b) you could see my legs c) I elicited a "You look nice.." from D. Talk about "steps back in amazement.."

I'd had enough well before Pat but managed to find activities to keep me out of mischief...
One of them was watching the people/choirs arriving for the filming of "Songs of Praise". Judging by some of the party hats being carried it may well have been the Christmas episode (but I could be wrong).

We deliberately took the wrong turn that we found on our last visit and made it home in just over an hour..if only we could remember it  on the way there as it cuts out lots of the fiddly parts of the journey.

Back home normal service was resumed- back in jeans and my Man Utd hoodie to walk Max.

I nearly came a cropper while walking him. I've always sort of looked down on people who walk their dogs while texting or chatting on their mobiles as not paying enough attention to their pets.
Well, guess what? I was texting last night (it was a fascinating conversation and we both had plans so couldn't text /talk later) and almost got hit in the face by a rogue football - I looked up at the last minute and managed to avoid it. Max came rushing over (he was off lead) and we (the boy who kicked the ball, his father and I) all thought it was to check up on me. No, it was to chase the football. That puts me in my place.

I'd been planning to watch the rerun of the Singapore GP but got sidetracked by the T20 wish I hadn't...I'm not used to England losing cricket matches...
Only two positives in the game for me:
Borthwick had the best bowling average, he took his first wicket in an England shirt, pulled off a great catch and had second highest batting total.
Stokes made the most runs.
These two are both Durham youngsters and as the signs say when you enter the county, "Durham A First Class County". Others say "Land of the Prince Bishops". Seeing those signs on the A1M means I'm almost home.

If you've made it this far you deserve a coffee (or s'thing stronger).
Hugs xx

Thursday, 22 September 2011

What's Rocking My World Friday (with pictures and sex tape)

Apparently this blog is being brought to you by"The Cougar". This is my new nickname, courtesy of Carmen......mmm, at first I didn't know how I felt about this but then realised that yes, all the men in my life are younger than me*, so it probably fits. :)

So, gratefuls for this week...

First has to be DH being away for most of it.. I know this may sound odd, but with him working from home so much we're always in close proximity and since Dad died I don't get my weekends away (to chill, be silly, live it up, hear rock bands etc etc). It is possible to have too much of a good thing.

So...while he's been in Edinburgh (2 days), Newcastle (today) and Leeds (tomorrow) what have I been doing?
Get the boring stuff out of the way first....yes, the "h" word. I took the opportunity to do stuff that I can't do when he's home...bad idea! I thought  the "h" word was dangerous and now I know it's back is killing me ..
Didn't have to do the "i" word..the basket is empty ...

I've been able to...
- watch football on the main TV rather than in DS's room
- eat what I want, when I want..or not eat if that's what I feel like
- have MTV playing without complaint
- have a drink without being tutted at (he's virtually teetotal as he drives so much :()
- play as much as I want (and boy, have I played..)
- not go to the supermarket as I haven't run out of anything

I have missed him, of course I have, and will be pleased when he's home tomorrow night...but it's been wonderful just having myself (and Max) to please. And Max is easy..a couple of walks a day, food and cuddles in bed..

So what else has rocked my world?

Friends who seem to have discovered a way to make Wednesday not such a trial. I may not get much done but I certainly feel better (and more positive) for their phone calls and thanks to Pat and Phil (another transplanted Northerner) for cheering me up.

Parcels!! Yes, my toys arrived (fun!)but I also got my prize from WeScrap for the "Deal or No Deal" Challenge. Four of us tied for 1st place with 14 points so  extra prizes were awarded ..

Lots of crafty goodness there.

The demo day with Lindsay Mason at A Maze of Memories on Saturday. Loved the techniques and Lindsay is a lovely person, but I have to say, the stamps we used weren't really my thing. Here's the card I made:
I do have one friend who is very religious and will appreciate this card.

Man Utd....for two good wins over teams that I hate us playing..Chelsea and Leeds.

Sadly, the Durham boys were third in the Cricket 1st Division.. but not by many was tight at the top.

Experimenting with candles and pegs and things..

Question of the week:
Why, oh why, have female singers re-introduced the "gym knicker"?  
Yes, you Pixie Lott and you, Nicola, from Girls Aloud. It wasn't a good look when we had to wear them (ours were bottle green) and it's not a good look now!

Book of the week:
Actually, six of them, the "Wilde" series by Chloe Lang.
Girl falls in love with 5 brothers (cowboys Joanna!!) and gets to marry them all.
They range from a very sweet youngest to a full on 24/7 Master, the eldest. Much too good to be true..but we can dream. :)

So there you have it.. a week when the first Christmas card was made (along with a b'day card for N's girlfriend Vicky) and I had time to please myself for once - bliss.
I'd just like to wish a certain someone Happy 40th Birthday (no names, no pack drill) and leave you with the promised sex tape....
Pinterest has a lot to answer for!

*Despite his claiming to be "a child bride" DH is, in fact ,only 8 months younger than me.

One more task to accomplish then I'm off to bed.

A - Z of Me

Got this from Carmen and thought it might be fun:

A. Age: 21 and a bit (just don't ask how big the bit is)

B. Bed size: Queen

C. Chore that you hate: I HATE all housework but especially the "i" word

D. Dogs: 
1 a Lab/Collie cross called Max - he's a big softie..all 30+ kilos of him

E. Essential start to your day: COFFEE! I do not function without at least two cups - black and strong 

F. Favorite color: Blue, red, purple..

G. Gold or Silver:Gold

H. Height: 5' (and half an inch  - that makes all the difference!)

I. Instruments you play: None

J. Job title: "Lady of Leisure"/homemaker/reader/scrapbooker/dog walker

K. Kids: 1 boy - I use the term loosely since he's now 22 and 6' tall.

L. Live: transplanted Northerner living in the South

M. Must haves: Coffee, books, wine, stash for scrapbooking

N. Nicknames: haven't got one  and I feel deprived  :(
O. Overnight hospital stays: too many to mention - they don't let you out that fast after a C section

P. Pet peeves: Rudeness. Cyclists who ride on pavements and don't follow the Highway code (yes, it does apply  to them!!). Bad/sloppy grammar. Reality TV. Too much packaging on goods.

Q. Quote from a movie:  "Nobody puts Baby in the corner.." from "Dirty Dancing"

R. Rhubarb or Custard: 

S. Save or spend: Sadly...spend

T. Tea or Coffee: Coffee

U. Underwear: Hi-legs

V. Vegetable you hate: 
asparagus and artichokes

W. What makes you run late: The internet. My Kindle.

X. X-Rays you’ve had: I think only my brain hasn't been X rayed/scanned

Y. Yummy food that you make: Old English trifle. Pavlova. Eccles cakes.Chilli. Lasagne.Steak and kidney pie (suet crust).Squash gratin.

Z. Zoo animal: Meerkats. giraffes

So, now you know lots of "useful and interesting" facts about me...why don't you try it?

Friday, 16 September 2011

What's Rocking My World Friday (with pictures)

Another week, another Friday,another win (and a draw) for Man Utd and another list of gratefuls...

First has to be D's employers for the weekend away (to mark his being with the company 30 years). 
We had a lovely and mainly restful time in North Wales - stuck to the coast, so I still haven't seen Mount Snowdon but we def. want to go back. It won't be to the same hotel though....much too expensive for our budget but bliss to stay in.

This is a side view of the hotel "proper" - most of it dates from the 16th century. We ate in the dining room on our first was all very quiet  and silver service - felt like we should have dressed for dinner (and yes, I do have some posh frocks and an evening skirt - a hangover from when I used to interpret at Civic Balls and the like). The food was delicious but "nouvelle cuisine" i.e. beautifully presented but small portions. Needless to say we ate in the bistro the next night - much more us - and then had room service on the last night.

This was our cottage, The Bailiff's House - we even had our own private garden

There were interesting walks for Max in the adjoining woods so he was in his element.

Max is my next grateful, for his ability to spot dog lovers and make friends. He ended up on his back, having his tummy rubbed by strange women in Llandudno and Conwy...he's so easy!

M&S security dept. have to be next for alerting me to the fact that my card has been "compromised"....they phoned me Thurs. afternoon to check that a couple of payments were genuine..sadly they weren't. It got a bit embarrassing when he checked my latest purchases to make sure they were genuine, ebooks from USA fine (he didn't know what sort of books they were) but one was an order for some toys...
 So that's me with no card for at least a shopping then :( Just hope it arrives before Ally Pally on 25th.

I am not grateful for the cold I brought back from Wales..I normally only sneeze that much after copious amounts of red wine. :(

Friends are high on my list again this week. Carmen deserves a special mention for a) her lovely email and b)her link on FB to the "purple song".
Others have sent me funny and/or "instructive" emails, kept me occupied via text (so sad that they stopped me doing any of the "h" word) and generally cheered me up by phoning and chatting.

Things to look forward to this weekend:
Demo day and "Make & Take" with Lindsay Mason at A Maze of Memories on Saturday.
Man Utd v Chelsea (actually I'm in two minds as to whether I am looking forward to this) and Indy Car race on Sunday.

Music of the week:
"Called Out in the Dark" by Snow Patrol - great song and video with the rather lovely Jack Davenport..sigh..

Question of the week:
Why, in films and on TV can women go to bed wearing full make up and get up the next morning without a smudge?  When I do it I wake up looking like a Panda.

I think that's it for this week, so I'm off to check in with Virginia.

Thursday, 8 September 2011

What's Rocking My World Friday....Dressing like a grown-up and stumbling in heels.

Another week has gone by and I'm actually very pleased that this one is almost over.
Difficult to think of any positives although there must have been some...

Erm..I had my hair cut on Monday, different hairdresser (mine was on holiday) and the new girl actually made a better job of it..not everyone can do an  inverted bob.

Oh, yes...I solved the Max/ weekend problem (at a price) by changing hotels..the new one is even better (and has a spa) and has 200 acres of garden/parkland/woods...yes, Max is coming with us. He's still sulking about us leaving him behind on Tuesday and not collecting him until Weds. afternoon.

Ooh, I got to stay in a Holiday Inn at Elstree on Tues. night. Sadly,  all the Travelodges/Premier Inns  we tried were was such a hardship...NOT!
Nice meal (that wasn't cooked by me) and a comfortable bed.

The funeral went as well as these things ever go...unfortunately the aftermath has been unpleasant - to the extent that we saw a solicitor today. He just confirmed what we knew - too late to do anything (by 23 years, which is when D's father died and his will mysteriously went missing). My MIL was D's stepmother (his Mum died when he was only 7).

I dressed like a grown-up  for the funeral..including tights and heels..yes, I wore a dress. The heels weren't too bad on Tuesday but I forgot to pack flats for Weds. After stumbling around St Alban's (literally) for an hour, I retired to the public library and spent a happy half-hour checking my emails etc. My legs and feet have still not recovered...the physio knew what she was talking about when she warned me off wearing heels too often...but I love pretty shoes!

I'm grateful for the people who have emailed and phoned to offer support and have threatened all sorts of things to cheer me up and de-stress me when my routine is back to normal. The jury's out on whether I'm looking forward to all of them :)

Song of the week:
Maroon 5 "Moves Like Jagger" - great video 

Book of the week:
"Selected Poems" by Robert Frost. I love poetry :) And it does make a change from my "normal" reading.

Surreal moment of the week:
Just now when I dashed upstairs to google "bras" to find out when they were first developed. It's surreal because at the time we were watching a documentary on the formation of British Rail and the end of the steam train.*

I'm posting this early as I'm tired and going to bed soon and I have to pack for our weekend away in the morning. Normal service will be resumed on Monday evening..although I'm taking my laptop with me..ostensibly so that we can play Bejeweled but really 'cos I get withdrawal symptoms if I can't log on.

I'm leaving you with another gem from Pinterest:

And I bet you're singing it now!!

Do check out the other Rockettes and have a great weekend..whatever you're doing. :)

* The question was prompted by an advert for the sponsors of the programme not the programme itself.

Saturday, 3 September 2011

Say Cheese!

Title of today's LO.
Made for a sketch challenge...a little bit brighter than my usual work but the papers seemed to fit the photo. DS  Nick and Vicky at Glastonbury (and no, we don't know who the man in blue is but there's been a whole thread on FB!).

Not content with Glasto and then Serbia, the pair of them are off to the Isle of Wight for Bestival next weekend.

Which has left us with a problem..they were supposed to be here, looking after Max! My SIL (DH's sister) can't (or  won't) have him...the hotel does accept pets so I'll have to contact them...guess he's coming to Snowdonia with us..that was not the plan.

Was going to do the "i" word today but rain stopped play.

Watched the football last night and ended up with tears streaming down my wasn't that bad but the second half was so boring I decided to finish the book I was reading...bad move as it was a real tearjerker, although I did feel  better for having a good cry.

Plan for this  wine and another LO..I'm trying to get ahead on the Sept. challenges as I'll lose next weekend.

And how's this for service?
I ordered some stamps from Chocolate Baroque on Thursday afternoon and had them in my little paws by lunchtime yesterday..and it was free p&p.

Right, off to see how many points Durham got today.

Friday, 2 September 2011

What's Rocking My World Friday...halo demolished, gratuitous eye candy..'s Friday again..very, very early Friday but I can't sleep... and I'm going to have to dig deep this week....

It's not been the best of weeks as I've been almost permanently in pain. It's all right the hospital saying that fibromyalgia treatment is  a question of "mind over matter"....but if they don't teach me how and refuse to prescribe drugs (some sufferers are on morphine ..thankfully I'm not that bad) I'm going to take it into my own hands.... halo totally smashed.. this week I've had chocolate (bliss), red wine (even more bliss) and cream cakes...yummy!!

No alternative therapies on offer this Wednesday, sadly, so I spent most of the day lying down and reading.....
This week's books are totally to blame on Joanna...yes, I've been reading about cowboys..Yee ha!! Modern cowboys, 19th century cowboys...who cares? ..they're all least they are in the books I've been reading. :)

Puppies are my next attention as this may get complicated..amongst my Facebook friends I have two with exactly the same name. One is my SIL (brother's second wife) and one is someone I came across via the Andrex puppy (how sad is it that one of my FB friends is the Andrex puppy?) both of them bear my maiden name (and yes, that does complicate things when I'm amongst family). The one who's not my SIL has two dogs - Clyde, a lab/collie cross, and Chloe, a golden retriever. They've just had puppies...10 of them...and they all take after their dad....they're black with the odd white marking. They're now nearly three weeks old and absolutely gorgeous. I want a mini Max!!

Pause here whilst I unwrap a bar of Lindt Creation Hazelnut was on offer at Waitrose and I couldn't resist..mmmmm..dark chocolate and nuts...heaven.

So what else springs to mind?
The football on Sunday - I took no great pleasure in the result (Man Utd 8 - Arsenal 2) as it was embarrassingly easy and I felt for the boy. Spoke to him before the match to say, "May the best team win" and his reply was, "You're going to win. Frankly I'd be happy if we kept all 11 players on the pitch.." ..they didn't..I must be feeling sorry for him, I've just ordered all his course books for the year through my Amazon account.

Cricket.. my boys made the semi-finals of the 40 over competition (no advertising here..well, I can't actually remember the name of the sponsor) and England won the T20 match v. India...exciting final over..still can't forgive them for the way they've treated Collingwood but Durham are benefitting. 

Music this week is stuck in the 80's. For some reason I'm singing ..."up where we belong.." with eagles flying etc etc...

I have managed one LO which I'll share:
The boy and Vicky - they've seen it on FB and like it. All papers,ribbons,stamps and embellies -  Little Yellow Bicycle "Love Letters" and can you see that I've just bought a heart punch??

Website of the week "Chocolate Baroque" as featured (with a discount code) in Craft Stamper - I had to buy..honest (it would have been rude not to).. Steampunk Christmas here we come!!

My friend Audrey deserves a mention as she's going to look after Max while we're at the funeral on Tuesday and then doing "whatever"on Weds. I suppose I'll just have to shop....

Can't think of anything else so I'll leave you with some gratuitous eye candy:

Hugs xx