About Me

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I'm 57 years old, working full time, wife, mother and grand mother, wishing that I wasn't working full time! I love and enjoy our children and grandchildren, our dogs and cat, our garden and allotment. I love crafts - knitting, sewing, crocheting, patchwork and restoring old furniture. I love to go to country auctions and love thinking that I've got my self a bargain!

Monday, 30 September 2013

Cornwall, Jamaica Inn and Ghosts

Evening All

Well, Fleetwood Mac were amazing and awesome - my seat was worth every penny that I had spent on it and I achieved something that I have said many times that I'd love to do - see them 'live'. They were on stage from 8.10pm through till 11.00pm

Lyndsey Buckingham  was amazing he spent practically all night on the stage and played on every song bar Mick Fleetwood drum piece and then he  sat on the floor of the stage and just listened to Mick beating out those drums

The whole night was just very special - I'll put some photos on when we get back home

We've travelled down to Cornwall today - it's a 'Sun' holiday and the accommodation is ok basic, clean but not over special - it'll do us for a few days. Rain is forecast so we'll probably stock the car up with a flask of coffee, sandwiches and the kindles to read and then go  and find some where to park up, with a view and a walk for the dogs and just chill each day.

It's tradional that we always stop on the way down here at Jamaica Inn and as the weather was grey with cloud, we were trying to imagine what it must be like to be stuck  on the moors in winter.

When my hubby said 'what if you were stuck in bad windy weather at Jamaica Inn'  would you stay there? my answer was a definite No! - I'd never sleep and would be listening for the ghost of a pirate from long ago to rattle the windows or slam a door or hear the rumble of a cask of rum that's been taken from a boat that's been wrecked on the rocks - I think it's an atmospheric place and I'm sure that if you listen carefully you can hear the rustle of Mary Yellens petticoats in the hall way as she bustles away after listening at a closed door to what the pirates will do next

So if you've read the book - would you stay the night at Jamaica Inn and sleep soundly or do I just have an overactive imagination

Have a good day all - speak soon

Bye xxx

Saturday, 28 September 2013

And breathe.....

Evening All

I went missing there for a little while didn't I? Life took over I'm afraid and the daily grind has been a little manic to say the least!

I did say that work was busy - well its been past busy - closer to frantic really.

When I went back to the team 3 years ago, they weren't known as the most positive of teams but slowly we turned the negatives to positives and we've had some good inspections and reports - so good, that all of a sudden other teams are looking to my lads for recruitment and I've lost 3 good people to other teams. Plus I've had 4 colleagues on long term sick leave with different ailments.

Only problem - management are unwilling to allow me to recruit despite having found 2 brilliant agency guys who would make perfect permanent colleagues. When you add in annual leave, we've been keeping the service to customers going with 50% of a team at times.

It's no wonder that I've been doing 50 hour weeks and feeling very frustrated - I've come to the belief now that we're going to have to fail customers before management will listen to me and let us recruit

But talking to other people in other industries, it seems that everyone is in the same boat - everyone seems to be working flat out with not enough people to do the job properly - is it the recession or is it just the way 'working life' is now - I honestly don't know - all I do know is that I'm so glad that I'm coming to the end of my career - I feel for the youngsters, they've not only got to work till they drop -  with retirement being an impossible dream - but it seems that  they've got to work longer hours and flat out too.

Plus I swear someone has shaved half a day off the weekend - I fail miserably most weekends to get everything done that needs to be done, before I start at work again on a Monday morning - I know I'm tired from work, whether that's making me slower on a weekend..........I just don't know

But on the plus side, I've finished for a week -  I'm going to see Fleetwood Mac tomorrow night and then we're off down to Cornwall with our girls (dogs) Tilley and Daisy on Monday morning for a short break - we don't care what the weather does this next week - a walk on the beach, a few nice shops to mooch round and a pub with a view and we'll be just fine.

Time to stop and stare and just breathe in fresh Cornish  air.........

See you in a weeks time

Bye xxx

Sunday, 21 July 2013

Busy day

Evening All

I hope you are all fit and well and going along all good. It's been a busy day here - I took the net curtains down in the conservatory yesterday and got them washed and dried overnight (we have to have nets due to an extremely noisy neighbour 2 doors away) so I got those ironed and the windows cleaned earlier on.

Hubby spent this morning up on the summer house roof painting some thick black tar like roof sealant onto the shingles - the snow last winter lifted a couple of them and then damp got under them and we had a slight leak on one side of the roof - so it's been a good job done before the storms hit later this week - mind, roof sealant isn't cheap...... £60 in total but another job ticked off the list.

I've just finished knitting a little blue cardigan for Eli complete with blue aeroplane buttons

 Eli popped in to see us earlier on this afternoon and spent some time with his Grandpa watching the golf on the T.V. - mind I think Lee Westwood spent more time in the bunkers today then on the greens and I was really routing for him to win on a home course.

Oh well time to turn in - rain is definitely on it's way - my arthritis has been really painful all day - have a good week all

Byeee xxxx

Saturday, 20 July 2013


Evening All

I've not been around much lately - the computer where I normally work is situated in the conservatory and it's been way too hot to sit in there recently - this hot weather's nice but a little too hot for me, mind it doesn't seem 5 mins since I was  moaning that it was too cold - we're never happy when it comes to the weather are we?

I'm presently trying to see if I can do this post on the kindle, sitting in the kitchen where it's definitely cooler......so please excuse any mistakes!

My Daughter and Granddaughters are presently in Egypt where it's up in the 40's....... phew now that's way too hot for me!! But the girls are enjoying their holiday - they've been to swim with dolphins today and had a great time, skimming through the water holding onto the dolphins and getting kisses from them.

But the main reason I haven't been around much is this little chappie

Our third Grandchild and our first Grandson, Eli, he was born on 13th July weighing 5lbs 12ozs - he was 3 weeks early and he is named after one of his great, great, great Uncle's. My Son and Daughter in law have waited a long time for Eli to come along - he is one very very special little boy and he has brought so much happiness with him.

I spent last Saturday morning shopping for lots of blue items.........shorts,  t-shirts, coats,  teddies and blue wool for knitting............after 7 years of knitting in pink it's a nice change to knit with blue wool.

One very proud Daddy and yes I am one very proud Mom and Nanny

Byeee. Xxxx

Sunday, 23 June 2013

Poppy Cottage Garden

Afternoon All,

Hope everyone is well - the nice sunny weather seems to have deserted us this weekend........so much for Summer - plus now we've had the longest day it's all down hill to December!

I always think that when the Proms start on the T.V. - well that's it we're truly into Summer now and the last night of the Proms means we're in to Autumn.

Life's still pretty busy her but 'good' busy - My Hubby and Son have spent some time up at the allotment this weekend playing with the rotavator and making a big difference to our heavy clay soil.

When we were down in Cornwall we went to a garden called Poppy Cottage Garden - it was only £3.50 each to get in which was reduced because I'd got the 2-for-1 card from the Gardener's World Magazine

It was a beautiful garden - it was sectioned off into 'garden rooms ' and each time you turned a corner there was yet another beautiful small garden  - the lady who owned it sounded like she came from Lancashire or Yorkshire (I'm not the best with accents) but I couldn't get to speak to her - there were 2 rather elderly butch ladies who were monopolising her time - but she really sounded as if she knew her stuff when it came to this garden

We spent a lovely peaceful hour or so just wandering round and it was just that 'peaceful'

She only opens on some afternoons each week - we brought some plants back with us -  and they were reasonably priced too so if you're down there on holiday this is one garden where you get value for money

And finally - Hubby said that he wouldn't mind a water feature like this one in the garden (can't imagine why!!!)

Speak again soon

Byeeee xxx

Sunday, 16 June 2013

A little bit of this and that!

Afternoon All,

Oooops went missing a while there didn't I? - life just seems to have taken over and I've had little time to spend in blog land - not for bad reasons - all good - so until I have a little more time here's a quick update

Garden and Allotment
We have worked so hard on the garden and you can really tell - the decking has all been re-stained, and all the garden furniture painted white, cushions, seating pads and bunting has all been made very cheaply from a pair of CS curtains. I would love to have a white painted garden rocking chair sitting under the overhang of the summer house but at £100+ that's not going to materialise any time soon - so I have brought a rocker off ebay for £12 and when time and the weather allows I will paint it white - but all in all the garden is looking good now. The allotment is still work in progress but that will truly come into it's own when Hubby retires next year.

The view from the top deck -You can see Flossie's bench at the top of the garden and the new log store on the right (presently work in progress)
Pimms o'clock! - You can just see my new rocking chair waiting for it's coat of paint

As I went off work poorly in February the Aye Aye Captain (he liked to say 'I' an awful lot!)  took his leave and redundancy money and scuppered off into the great unknown. What a difference it has made at work! yes I am working harder but without having to worry about someone stabbing me in the back, if I gave him an instruction that he didn't want to do. The atmosphere is so changed you wouldn't believe.

In 2005 I was managing this team and going through a massive review of the service - I went for 2 days to a service conference and came back with the ideas (borrowed form another provider) for the service we operate now. Lots of work followed and the new service came into being in 2006. In the middle of May, this year we went back to the same conference and this time delivered a workshop - it showed that in our field we are now one of the leaders and I was so proud - only problem is since I've come back of my hols - I've been given another new large project to undertake which will certainly see us at the top of our game.....but it means even more work.

We went away to Cornwall and had a brilliant week, the weather was good if a little chilly at times. the chalet was absolutely beautiful and the view from there was to die for. But Cornwall seems to have lost a little of it's magic,  especially St Ives, it appeared that the shop owners in St Ives think that only young people have disposable income - it was all either food shops or these modern designer type shops selling clothes for the youngsters - it appeared that they don't think that the over 50's have disposable income - Don't get me wrong I don't have that much but when I'm holiday I do like to wonder round the shops and bring a few nice items back to remind me of my holidays - the only really decent shop there was Cath Kidston (yes - new handbag, purse and matching key fob later, which I'd saved hard for, for the last 3 months so a treat for me!).

I went into one shop and they wanted £14.00 for a wind chime which must have only cost a pound at the most to put together - I may have a few pennies to spend but I don't have idiot written across my forehead.

Plus St Ives seemed to be filled with people walking with their Cocker Spaniels and it made us miss our Flossie - we took her to St Ives so many times and she loved the Tate Gallery beach - we both shed a tear, when we walked round the church on hill and down onto that beach. I'd still give anything to have her back with us.

We spent an enjoyable hour or so sitting outside the Sloop Inn watching people pass by and spent 2 afternoons sitting outside the The Goldophin Inn at Marazion with a couple of pints, watching the sea come in over the causeway. We also visited a beautiful garden called Poppy Cottage Garden. (photo's to follow)


The view from our chalet

Days out
We've had a few days out, one up to Montgomery and Welshpool, before our holidays. We went to BBC Gardens World on Friday for the last time - it's something that we won't be able to afford come next year - we worked it out with the price of the tickets, parking, and the toll road, it had cost us £65.00 before we set foot in there.

The show has had it's day - the gardens were really poor - you could have got a double decker bus round the plant marquee, there was so much space between the exhibitors. We took the flask and sandwiches with us but stopped for a cup of tea each..........£4.40 later......yes £2.20 for a cup of tea.... can you believe it!

We did spend a fair bit whilst we were there but the majority of it went on a rotavator for the allotment - the ground is so heavy up there and it will pay us back in time - It will certainly save Hubby's back, that's for sure! 

Yesterday we spent the day in Ludlow - it's such  a lovely market town, we had a mooch round the shops and the market and had another pint sitting in a courtyard just off the market square

I'm still doing loads of knitting each night - I've done a cardigan and hoody jacket for the new arrival which is due in early August. I have also started on the Xmas knitting for my Grand daughters too.

We spent a day in Mullian whilst we were in Cornwall and went to the Chocolate Factory Craft Farm - there is a lovely lady there in a little cabin selling wool and I brought quite a bit from her as her prices were reasonable and the wool is beautiful and soft, she also sells beautiful buttons and all reasonably priced  - I'm saving up for when we go back down to Cornwall in October so that I can stock up on some more wool from this lovely lady - So if you're down there - it's well worth a visit as the craft farm was nice to walk round too.

Well that's a quick catch up - time to get tea on, speak again soon

Byeee xxxx

Sunday, 28 April 2013

Nothing but Cushions and Cupcakes!

Afternoon All,

Hope you are all fit and well - as weekends go it's not been so bad for the weather has it? Last weekend was my Grand Daughters 7th birthday (where have those years gone to?) and as pennies are tight now her party was arranged on a budget. She wanted a Hawaiian themed party with grass skirts and hula necklaces along with blow up palm trees   - all which were purchased thanks to ebay and a local warehouse.

As I had the Kenwood mixer last year, I said to my daughter that I thought that we could make the cupcakes far cheaper than buying them - so last Saturday saw me baking the cupcakes and then we transported them to my daughters, where my hubby piped them and my daughter decorated them - a joint family effort! (I couldn't pipe them due to the arthritis in my fingers but it appears that my hubby has a talent that he hadn't realised he'd got all these years!) They cost £6.00 to make 36  opposed to the price of a £1.00 per cupcake that my Daughter had been quoted!

The party was a great success with limbo dancing, a disco provided by their i.pod with disco lights and lots of party games

Not a bad job for amateurs!
This weekend has seen us out in the garden - re staining the decks has started - the top deck is done and we've started down by the summer house and I have made a start on painting the garden furniture - there was one bench that was a dull brown and I have spent most of this weekend repainting it white.
Plus last year I picked up a pair of curtains from the local charity shop which cost me £4.00 they were very 1980's but were really large - I've wondered what to do with them, so I unpicked one of them a couple of weeks ago - the lining is going to be used on a pair of curtains for the summer house along with the heading tape. At Wyvale's garden centre, a bench pad cost £36.00 so I picked up a sheet of foam, from Dunhelms - that cost me £12.00  and I have used one of the curtains to make a cover for it to sit on the bench in the summer - much more comfortable on the old derriere!

This was it before I sewed up the ends - very retro chic don't you think?

I started painting the old brown bench white yesterday and when it started to rain I went inside and used up the rest of the fabric from the one curtain and some old cushion inners  to make  3 cushion's to sit on the bench

I didn't have chance to go down the summer house and fetch the seat pad before the rain started again but for £14.00 all in, I reckon they will look very shabby chic retro cool on my white bench don't you? and I still have another curtain left to cut up and do something with - I shall probably do the same again as we have another 2 benches in the garden which are going to be painted.

I'm also going to order some oil cloth off ebay and make my own bunting to put up in the garden.

Oh well, tea's nearly ready ........ hope you all have a good week

Byeee xxx

Saturday, 13 April 2013

What's your era?........

Hello All,

Hope you are all fit and well - the T.V. just lately has been dire and we have taken to putting the radio on from about 8pm onwards most nights and the 2 radio stations that we listen to are Heart and Smooth radio

Carlos on Smooth plays all the old sounds and Heart on a Friday and Saturday play dance and disco classics.

I was born in the mid 50's and I must have been listening to the radio from a young age because when they play the 50's records in 'Call the Midwife' I know most of them........songs like Que Sera Sera by Doris Day (I used to love the Doris Day and Rock Hudson films) Catch a Falling Star by Perry Como and You are my Special Angel by Bobby Helms were played in the series and I knew the words and sung along.

Then there were the 60's - I liked the Beatles, the Who and the Stones when I was young, but wasn't mad about their records, so it's strange that it's now that I really enjoy their music - then later in the 60's I used to listen to radio 1, especially every Sunday night for Alan Freeman to play the charts to hear who was number 1, ( the show before was Sing Something Simple, with the Cliff Adam Singers and it always seemed to go on forever, because at that age, it seemed so boring).

Then as soon  as the charts were finished it was straight over to listen to Radio Luxembourg, in those days I was into the Monkees, the Mama's and Papa's , any Tamla Motown sounds and Reggae was starting to get really popular by then. Sounds like the  Onion Song by Marvin Gaye and Tammy Terrell, the Supremes, the Four Tops, were all my favourites then.

The early 70's were good, the Stylistics, and 3 Degrees, Mud, early Elton John and Barry White the late 70's and early 80's brought UB40, who I've seen (and sung along with)  probably half a dozen times at Birmingham NEC - they are a brilliant 'live' band - Fleetwood Mac is another favourite from that time frame.

Then the 90's another of my favourite time for music, the prat (first husband) had departed so I used to go out most weekends to pubs and clubs (the children were teenagers by then and out doing their own thing) and I loved the 90's dance sounds like  Ricky Martin, the Spice Girls, Will Smith, Culture Beat, Snap, Micheal Jackson, Mark Morrison, Madonna and Boyzone. Anything with a beat that I could get up and bop to was fine by me and that's why I love to listen to the dance and disco classics on a Friday and Saturday night on Heart.

Back then in the 90's I used to go with a friend to learn tap dancing on Wednesday night, salsa on a Thursday and line dancing on Friday night - then out to a disco on a Saturday - I was working full time and in my 40's by then so it was no wonder that I was shattered by Sunday - tap was the hardest to learn it used to kill me, it was so energetic and such a good work out  - but we'd go from dancing to sounds from the 40's on a Wednesday to Ricky Martin on a Thursday! I used to love the music for line dancing because it was that little bit more slower than the other 2 nights so I would have enough breathe left in me to sing along to the country records, as I tried to follow the line in front of me!

Since the 90's I've quite lost it with what's in the charts now - half the time you can't hear what the words are - I like Adele but really give me the old sounds to listen to any day. Something I know the words to and can sing along to. Just like Carlos plays on his show each night.

So my favourite era.............well the 60's just comes a very close second to the 90's - so what's yours?

There won't be any dance and disco classics tonight - the American Masters (golf) is on all night and that's one sport that I will happily sit and watch

Have a good week


Sunday, 7 April 2013

How much wool, do you have?..........

Afternoon All,

Hasn't it been so nice to see the sun this weekend - still cold though, but at least it's been nice enough to dry the washing outside.

I went back to work this week and if I'm honest it was nice to be back - the lads are a good bunch on the whole, who you can have a laugh and a joke with and who you know will get the job done- there's just a couple who can be 'challenging' but then it wouldn't do if we were all the same.

So back into the swing - it did seem strange though cause when I was first taken poorly, I was doing the commute in the dark but now it's light and it's so nice to not have to go backwards and forwards in the dark, so even if it is still cold at least we don't have the dark mornings and early evenings.

Plus it looks like we're going to be having some volunteers coming into the service - to help them get back into 'work' and the encouragement for me is that I can do a recognised qualification  in 'mentoring'- something that I really would like to do - the majority of the volunteers were young woman who have been stay at home mums and who want to get out and earn their own money, never having had a job before in the past - so if they're up for having a go - then I'm up for helping them too.

Just to show that I didn't sit doing nothing whilst I was off - I finished off an UFO - my first double sized patchwork quilt (never again- it was so heavy to work with) - it's not brilliant but it does add some weight to the bed and will keep us warm. The first night I put it on the bed my Hubby said 'Good God - I need a can opener to turn over! (it's so heavy) I also made the sham pillow cases to match

Sorry but I'm no photographer! I'm no patchwork quilt maker neither!
I spent yesterday morning sorting out all the wool that I have stashed away - I didn't realise that I had so much. As I have two Granddaughters there's a lot of it, that's pink, that's been brought over the years and put away. I do have another Grandchild on the way, so I've been buying white, lemon and green wool recently - but I do seem to have acquired quite a lot and if this new Grandchild is a boy then I just know that the compulsion to knit with some blue wool for a change will take over so there could be more added to that pile..........er think I might need a bigger storage box! 

 Then I started to sort out all the fabrics, that I have that I want to use to make some 'shabby chic' cushion covers and again I filled a big storage box and this isn't all the fabric that I have - there's a cupboard full in the summer house

But eventually it was all sorted and I now know where everything is and I don't have to go searching when I need to find something.

Then I set to and put all the crocheting UFO's along with the different hooks into one bag and the 2 knitting UFO's in another bag......so all tidy and sorted but I do think I need to use up some of the wool and fabric I have before purchasing any more.

Just on a topical note for the moment - old backstabbing  big conk Milliband has been going on about how unfair the 'bedroom' tax is on benefit claimants,well on the other side of the coin, someone I know, turns into work everyday without fail, with a smile on his face...... his job?........... he drives a lorry and removes fly tipping, he mauls wet dirty filthy mattresses  and heavy dirty 3 piece suites on to his lorry and then takes them to the tip - then he'll go and clean a bin room out, moving bags of maggot infested rubbish that rats have run over, again putting them into his lorry before going to the tip - a really dirty job - but when that lad gets home, he has to see his teenage daughters, sharing a small bedroom - how can it be 'fair' for someone like him, to work as hard as he does and then not have enough bedrooms for his family and a benefit claimant (regardless of why they claim benefit)  have a spare bedroom and not have to pay for that luxury.

Then again, on another side of the coin (this coins got lots of sides hasn't it?) why should any British benefit claimant have to give up their homes because they can't afford a spare bedroom for an immigrant family, who have never paid into the system, to have that home.

Old 'lets jump on the band wagon' Clegg came up with his first and only good idea last week - lets charge immigrants to come into this country. At last! yes lets charge the idle buggers to come here - I think it should be around the £500,000 mark plus get them to sign an agreement that they won't claim for benefits, housing, or the NHS for a minimum of 20 years. That would stop the flow here overnight!  Just goes to prove that politicians can have good ideas sometimes - pity that it's only once every 20 years.

Oh well teas nearly cooked lets hope this weather continues and it just gets warmer and warmer - Cornwall 5 weeks on Saturday - not that I'm counting

Have a good week, all


Friday, 22 March 2013

Some one very special..........

Afternoon All,

Well I'm still here at home after 2 months off work but hoping  going to go back on 2nd April - I've logged on from home most days to keep up with the work and my emails and have been into the office a couple of times this week - so I'm hoping that it won't be too much of a shock to the system when I do start back.

My Son and Daughter in Law are expecting their first  baby in August, so I've kept busy doing some crocheting blankets and now I've started some knitting for 'Horatio' as my son calls his wife's little bump.

We've waited a long time for this little one to come along and he /she is a very special baby - I was extremely fortunate to be able to go with my Daughter in Law J to her 20 week scan - it's just marvellous what you can see on those scans - it looked like the little chappie was raising his hand to us at one point, in a wave and then it looked as if he was about to suck his thumb. Just brilliant!

I said in one of my last posts that I'd had a new car - it's a Toyota Urban Cruiser - it's brilliant because you sit quite high in it and yet it's not a gas guzzling 4 x 4 - far from it - it's brilliant on the petrol - I'm actually saving money now on my petrol plus it makes it much easier on my knees getting in and out of it.

Not the best of photo's I'm afraid plus it does need a clean - but I feel so much more safer as I come through J10 of the M6. usually listening to this

Tusk from Fleetwood Mac - it's got a brilliant sound system too - plus I can use my mobile phone  (hands free - all done through voice activation!)  through the sound system - that will be so handy next year when my Hubby retires - I'll be able to phone ahead as I'm getting of the motorway to say "Put the kettle on Dear"

Have a good if snowy  weekend everyone


Thursday, 28 February 2013

Old age = second childhood!

Hasn't it been so nice to see the sun shinning for the last couple of days - I have even managed to put washing out in the garden to dry.

One of the down sides of having an issue with your my immune system is that  I have suffered a number of lesions on my legs, which were nasty and weeping but have now dried up and scabbed over - it's just like when you was a child and had fell over in the playground and you ended up with a grazed knee   - that's just what they look like now!

They keep itching so they are obviously getting better but each time I do scratch - I can hear my Mom saying (like she used to when I was little)

"Your leg will drop off if you pick at that scab"

I used to think no it won't........will it?

I think I said the same thing to my own 3 children too!

Anyway to make me feel a little better I've been had had my roots done and my hair cut and then I tootled off to Boots and treated myself to some new No 7 make-up - something I haven't done in a long, long time. Then I went onto M & S and brought myself 2 new tops ready for our holidays (11 weeks on Saturday - not that I'm counting!)

I had a Kindle Fire last weekend with some of my Christmas money and have got to say how pleased I am with it - it downloads a book so fast it's brilliant.

But why oh why do I keep calling it my Pringle and not Kindle?!

I really must be hitting old age and my second childhood - can't get my words out right!!

I then went up to the hospital to go in for yet another blood test (this will be my 5th in less than a couple of weeks) and couldn't get onto the car park, there were so many cars on there  - so I gave up and will go again tomorrow.

Well - hope that you got to see some of the sunshine today - Roll on Spring


Tuesday, 26 February 2013

Tuesday moans

Afternoon All,

Well I'm still here off work and at home - nearly 4 weeks now and  I'm still having issues with my immune system and now a kidney infection!

You know I started this year saying 2013 was going to be a great year - I should have kept quiet - oh well it can only get better. (hopefully)

I did try to go back to work after I'd had the first week off,  but only managed a morning before my ankles all swelled and I didn't think that I'd be able to drive back up the motorway and home again and I've been signed off by the Doctor for the last 3 weeks. But hopefully I'll be back at work next week, after I've seen the consultant .

The day after I tried to go back to work,  there was a young lady in the news who had successfully brought a case to court as she had been expected to work 2 weeks in Pound Land, stacking shelves,  to be able to continue to receive her unemployment benefit.

Now I have never in my life claimed unemployment benefit (if it comes to that - I've never claimed any kind of benefit!) I could have - when the children were little and the first prat of a husband refused to go out to work, but I didn't -  I got up of my backside and got myself a number of part time jobs which meant that I went out to work every single day of the week (weekends included)  - it meant I paid the mortgage and the bills and fed the kids, later on I got myself a full time job and there I've been for the last 23 years. I presently pay over £400 per month in tax and national insurance -  so that this young woman can receive her benefits and then whinge because she's been asked to work 2 weeks

Is it me or have I got it all wrong??? 

Then this week there's been much in the press about a single woman with 11 children being given a brand new purpose built house by her local social housing group. This woman is also on benefits, (has been for most of her working life I believe)  but can afford a horse (or her unemployed daughter can) and flying lessons for the young man in her life at the moment!

I'm sure that the government and the do-gooders in this country think that working people have IDIOT firmly written on our foreheads! cause lets face it that's what we're taken for.

Now I know that I am cynical hard hearted person - I have very little sympathy with people who I don't believe deserve help.

For me - the sooner that the government stops paying so much in benefits to people who have never paid into the system the better - benefits should only be a short term stop gap whilst people get back into work. The benefit system shouldn't be there for healthy people to claim for life.  

Something needs to be done - we're already seen as the soft touch for the eastern Europeans to come here and claim benefits.

Obviously for born and bred British people who suffer genuine ill health of any kind  then  we should look after our own.

Because believe me that woman hasn't had 11 children because she believes that she can give those children  the best in life and loads of love and encouragement - she's had them because more children equals more cash in her hand to spend how she wishes - it gives her choices. (You know what always amazes me? - there's never a father on the scene is there? you know....to pay to keep their own offspring!)

As for that new house - I'd stake my next years pay that given a month and it will be an absolute tip! with nothing but more expence for the housing group to put right. 

Is it me?? I can't see anything wrong in expecting healthy people to give something back and do a couple of weeks work (at the very least) to be able to continue to receive their benefits . People who do go out to work - work 48 weeks of the year - they're only being asked to do 2 weeks for goodness sake!

 My grandparents all worked, my parents worked and my children all work - I've been brought up to be a worker not a shirker. Perhaps I've had it all wrong all these years


Sunday, 10 February 2013

Happy days to come........


Afternoon All,
One of the better things of being off work, on sick leave,  meant that I could go on the computer at 9 o'clock on Thursday morning and purchase a ticket to go and see Fleetwood Mac at the LG Arena in September. It's cost an arm and a leg for the ticket but sooooo worth it - I've loved Fleetwood Mac for years and who knows how many more times, that they will tour, (they're in their 60's now) so I took my chance, paid my money and that's it now...... I'm going to see them.
I've also recently  had a new car, it's a Toyota Cruiser (it's slightly higher and looks more robust than the old one, but it's not a gas guzzling 4 x4) , it's a proper motorway car and I feel so much safer manoeuvring through Junction 9 and 10 of the M6 every night!
Plus we were lucky with the Sun Holiday and we have a week (well Monday to Friday)  booked at the beginning of October, for St Agnes, in Cornwall - we've paid the extra money and upgraded the accommodation and we're taking Daisy and Tillie (our dogs with us) as they will be OK by then for going on the beaches in Cornwall. (Can't take dogs on some beaches in Cornwall until 1st October)
Plus I was looking on the Internet and found a beautiful little chalet in Hayle, which looks straight onto the beach and across St Ives Bay, for a full week in May. It was a reasonable cost and we managed to book it.
It's got a balcony, just built for whiling away the hours with a glass of wine in hand and a good book to read!  - we're already counting the weeks down to that one (13 weeks next Saturday!)
We also have some further good news (but I'll save that for another day)
Till then - here's Steve Nicks and Lindsey Buckingham of Fleetwood Mac singing a beautiful song

Byeee xxx

Saturday, 9 February 2013

That's rare!

Afternoon All,

Well it's been a funny few weeks here - I haven't been at my best, I have an issue with my immune system, which has been causing a few problems.

I couldn't get into my own Doctors to begin with so went to the local 'drop -in' centre and waited 4 hours to see a Doctor (only the Shropshire country bumpkins of our local NHS trust could send all the G.P's in this area on a course on the same day!) - I finally walked in and it was a Nurse who looked at my legs which were very swollen and had I had come out with lots of open sores, on my legs and feet and she said - I'll have to fetch a Doctor - the Doctor came looked at it, then told me what was wrong and said - it's very rare - can I photograph your legs to show my students!

 I have had to have lots of blood tests over the last week and have had a week off work on sick leave (not something I like to do given the present economic climate) but the recommended treatment was to rest, so that's what I've done.

But last Friday night I was sent from the Docs to the hospital, as he wanted to be sure that I wasn't suffering with thrombosis. I arrived at the hospital and was put on the 'fit to sit' ward at 4.30pm - I saw the Doctor at 10.30pm and finally left the hospital,  very weary and teary at 11.30pm. (I had left the house to go to work at 7.15am and had nothing to eat from the lunch time, and only 2 cups of tea throughout those 6 hours) There was no checks made for a thrombosis - he just looked at it and said 'that's very rare'! Then sent me home!

During those 6 hours of waiting, myself and the other 2 patients in there, went more than 2 hours at one point without seeing a soul - we saw the tea lady (who came round twice) more than the Doctors or Nurses. This wasn't the fault of the staff there, and is certainly no criticism of them - they were working absolutely flat out on the adjoining ward, but of the NHS trust management  and their complete lack of care for patients, to leave wards running with so little cover.

Which leads me to the news this week regarding Stafford Hospital, it amazes me when government ministers and the bosses who run that hospital say that they didn't know that people were dying due to lack of care. What absolute idiots - any working class person will  know of a poorly performing hospital, wherever you live in this country. There is one hospital back in the Midlands that's known as No Hope hospital. The local hospital close to where I work is where my Nan died - she was the first person there to go down with MRSA - I don't care if I were dying - there's no way that I would enter that hospital, cause all they'd do is kill you off even sooner, with lack of care and cleanliness!

My Nan worked in the hospitals as a cleaner in the 1930's - she used to have to get down on her hands and knees and scrub the operating theatres - there was no MRSA etc., in those days, because they were cleaned properly - no contract cleaners, cleaning to contract standard then (i.e. you get the cleaning to a standard to match what the hospitals paying for) - then, it was cleaned to the Matron's standard.

When we recently had a fire at work, in one of our properties and one poor gentleman lost in life, we were told that as we had a fire risk assessment and policy in place, if it was found that we hadn't followed that policy then we could all be liable for prosecution for corporate manslaughter, so I for one agree with the relatives of all those people who passed away, in that hospital  - the management team at Stafford Hospital should be held accountable and answerable in a court of law - if they're not held accountable then there's something wrong somewhere, with our legal system.

All I can add is a 'Well Done' to the campaigners who have fought so hard for their lost loved ones, it must have been a long hard fight for justice and they are so close now.

Speak again soon

Byee xxx

Sunday, 20 January 2013

Anyone else remember the winter of '63?

Afternoon All,

Did I say that I hate January and that I hate snow!

 I was lucky enough to be able to work from home on Friday and haven't been out anywhere since Thursday night -  but this damn white stuff is forecast for the rest of the week, so it's a case of head down and battle through till it improves - with arthritic knees I'm frightened of tumbling and making them worse! I just wish it would go away - I can cope with any other weather conditions , but snow just makes doing anything twice as hard.

OK groan about the weather is over - now a groan about work!

The review has been undertaken and I've been lucky, I wasn't called in to have a 'chat'  - I think that I'm safe for another 3 years, but I will, with no doubt be working harder and longer to achieve whats expected of my team, but like I say I'm lucky, I have friends who haven't fared so well and the only real option open to them is to take the redundancy that's offered. Such a great shame - expertise and knowledge will be lost without a doubt.

Well I managed to get my sewing finished over the last 2 days so that's another UFO finished - I seem to have 4 ripple blankets on the go so that's my next goal to start and get them finished off.

Whilst I was sewing yesterday my hubby watched a programme about the big freeze of 1963 - for some reason he can't remember that winter. I can - that was the winter that I was 7 years old and I can remember skating (slipping and sliding really) across the big lake at our local arboretum holding onto my Granddad's hand. I also remember the ice on the inside of the bedroom windows every morning. My Mom and Dad were living in a two up, two down cottage with only one coal fire for warmth - I remember the paraffin heater burning away in the outside toilet trying to stop the pipes from freezing and there was one in the kitchen (scullery really) too.

But those were the days when you wore plenty of layers to keep warm - I remember wearing a liberty bodice (my Nan used to pin a piece of flannelet to the back of it,on the shoulders to keep my back warm, then there be a vest, a jumper and a cardigan, (all hand knitted by my Nan) then there was the thick woolly tights and when I went out  I always wore a balaclava, mittens, a good thick coat and a scarf along with the little fur lined bootees curled over at the ankles (very much like they wear in the programme Call the Midwife)  and there was always 2 hot water bottles in the bed when you went up.

The heating here has been on 18 degrees constantly since this cold snap started - I'd rather pay the bill and be warm than be cold and risk burst pipes.

Oh well good luck to everyone for getting to and from work this week

Byeee xxx
P.S. I'm not old enough to remember the winter of '47! that was another bad one I'm reliably told!

Sunday, 13 January 2013


Afternoon All,

Well the sewing didn't get done, but all the niggly little tasks are done around the house ready for another week of work and commuting.

I was reading somewhere that a lot of veg's are not sold because they don't suit the supermarkets idea of a perfect size and form of veg.

Well today I have peeled and chopped one of my Dad's large parsnip's - it wasn't uniform in size and had mud on it but you know what,  it smelt beautiful as it was being prepared and I  know that it will taste brilliant when it's cooked and best of all it will feed 3 of us, as part of 2 dinners and it was free!!

(I always plate up Monday nights tea with Sundays - saves time when I get in as well as gas and electric)

I also read today that food prices have risen by a minimum of 7%  over the last year - who are they kidding - I would have said closer to double that amount.

Oh well roll on the spring and we can  start growing the seeds ready for the allotment - lets hope it's a better year, weather wise, than last year - The log burner's lit I'm off to do some knitting and toast my toes!

Have a good week


Saturday, 12 January 2013

January Blues

Afternoon All,

Thank you for your kind words regarding our Flossie, they were much appreciated, we've spent the last week trying to remember all the good times we had with her and all the laughs we had. Although that went by the by on Thursday night, when I went down into the cellar to check on the contents of the freezer and found a pack of her liver - she loved liver with some mixed veg and pasta thrown in - daft how a pack of liver, that she hadn't had chance to have, can bring you to tears

Some one said to me that she'd had a brilliant life with all the places we'd taken to but for us, we've always worked on the premise that the dogs spend as much time on their own (waiting for us to come home) as we do at work, so it only seemed fair that they came on holiday with us too. We don't need fancy hotels and sun beds - I much prefer a reasonable cottage, an empty beach and a decent pub with a garden to sit in and have a pint after a mornings walk with our girls on the beach. Far better to do that and know we can afford that then sit on a sun bed knowing that it's put you in debt!.

We're not daft with our dogs - they're not allowed upstairs, or on the beds - we endeavour to keep them off the furniture, they have they're own beds, they're not allowed to jump up visitors, or to beg for food. We have rules, but we still love them loads.

So on to other things - I hate January! isn't it just the worst month of the year.....it seems to go on for ever and ever, it's dark and cold and worst of all you can guarantee that there will be snow - I shall be gald when January and February are over - at least the nights start to draw out a little by then even if it's still cold.

I've been going out in the dark and coming home in the dark all week this week and Wednesday night was an awful commute home all thanks to some idiot who let his lorry overheat till it burst into flames at Junction 9 of the M6, just as the rush hour was starting and guess who gets on the motorway at Junction 9?! Two hours to get home that night - an 11 hour day in all - I was shattered.

The review at work is starting to bite - I thought they would do it before Xmas but they waited till after the festivities. Some colleagues have received emails asking them to attend a meeting with the Head of the department and take a union rep with them. I haven't received an email as yet and fingers crossed I don't.

I went and did my shopping last night, to save pennies we went to Aldi for some of the shopping and Morrisons for what we didn't want to buy or couldn't get in Aldi.- didn't need to get a lot but it still came to £65 over the two supermarkets -  I think that I manage the housekeeping well and that I'm sensible with what I buy and cook but the prices are just getting ridiculous now. According to the news last night each family in Britain throws away £600's worth of food over a year - I certainly don't throw £600's worth of food away each year - I don't know anyone who can afford to throw food away -  It must be the politicians, they're the only ones with plenty of money these days. Every food item in this house either gets eaten by one of us 3, put in the freezer or the dogs finish it off.

Every one at work has had the recent bout of flu, people that I know have either had eye, ear or lung infections with it. We were saying the other day - we think that this has been a pandemic which the goverment have kept quiet about. I know so many people who have suffered from the flu this year - but I didn't know anyone who had the bird flu a few years ago - it would be interesting to know how many people have been finished off by this flu bug compared to the year we that we had the bird flu. Makes you wonder doesn't it?..........

I'm hoping to be able to have a few hours sewing tomorrow to make up a couple of cushion covers that I've had the material and trim for since last September  - let's hope there isn't any snow this week and we can keep the gas bills low and reasonable for this winter.

Have a good week

Byeeee xxx

Friday, 4 January 2013

Our Flossie

(k.c. Starlight Katie)
2004 - 2013

Flossie sadly passed away last night - when we came home on after work on Wednesday night, she didn't look too good so we took her up to the vets who told us that she had a tumour the size of a melon - he said that she wasn't in pain so we brought home and was going to take her back on Saturday to do the right thing but she was worse last night and we couldn't leave her so we went back to the vets and she went to sleep at 7.25pm with us holding her, loving her and telling her how much we loved her.She's buried under the clematis arch in the garden.
The house today seems so empty despite having Tillie and Daisy - Flossie was such a character and so full of energy, so loving and so devoted to us.
She came from a farm, not far from Oswestry, we went to see the puppies, they were in a barn, the gentleman was out so his wife helped us, we chose what we thought was a bitch, paid our money and brought 'her' home - we got a phone call later on that day to say that we'd been given a dog who had been promised to a little boy - he had one bitch left that he had wanted to keep but would we exchange the dog for this bitch to not disappoint the little boy - we said yes and headed back up the M54 to meet the farmer and exchange dogs! That is how Flossie came into our lives.
She would dance for a walk, dance for a slice of pork pie, always loving, always happy. She was a well travelled little dog, she's been all round St Ives, Marazon and Boscastle in the south. Gt Yarmouth, Bacton and Cromer in the east. Barmouth and  Aberdovey so many times(came with us on our honeymoon to Aberdovey) in the west. When we stayed at Porthmadog, my hubby used to drive onto the beach at one end, leave me with Flossie, drive up to the top end of Black Rock sands and wait for me and Flossie to walk up to him - she loved to go in the sea and chase the seagulls - she didn't just run the length of that beach but the width chasing seagulls! Then there was Criccith, and Abersoch beaches she loved.
Then 2 years ago we went all the way up to north of Inverness - we choose the cottage for Flossie, it was a fisherman's cottage on the beach and she ran the length of that beach, every time we took out for a wee, she was in the sea, it was so close to the cottage and she came with up to John O'Groats with us.  Me and Floss  sat outside Glenmorangy distillery together, both of us sniffing the air, me for the lovely smell of the whisky being distilled and Floss cause there was probably rabbits in the next field!.

Flossie was the most loving and devoted little dog that anyone would have the pleasure of owning - we were so lucky we had that 'pleasure' for 9 years - Rest in peace ,my lovely girl
I miss you so much...........