Sunday, December 31, 2006

Its nearly gone!!

The year that is. Where has 2006 gone?
Ah well lets get ready for 2007.
Happy New Year!!

Saturday, December 30, 2006

What did you make at Christmas??

Beth is a very keen crafter and loves to make all sorts of things, this Christmas Santa could have got away with giving her a load of old boxes!! This afternoon she has made a cyberman helmet out of the corner protectors off of our new mattress along with a load of tin foil and sellotape. She has also made a darlek money box using a load of glass pebbles and my hot glue gun!!

At the moment she is busy transforming a box that arrived from ATDML yesterday into a Tardis. I should have just bought her a box of tin foil and a load of sellotape!!

Feeling Tired!!

Well last night we had our friends Rod and Tina over, along with the twins Emma and Stuart and Emmas Boyfriend, Dave. We had a very nice evening, playing charades and doing a karaoke stint on the playstation.
We seemed to get through gallons of drink, so much so that we have over flowed the bottle recycling well and truly!!
I have no idea where the time went and it was 1am when we decided to cook some sausage rolls!! Our guests left around 2am and today we are totally wiped out!!

This morning Tom and I took dad over to Stevenage to look for some furniture. Since dad has been home from hospital, he has found his chair uncomfortable, its hard and has hard wooden armrests. So this morning we went to DFS to look at suites, mum was supposed to be with us but she was unwell, she now has the cold and sore throat that the rest of us have had over the past week. Anyway we tried out all the reclining chairs in DFS and found a really nice suite, dad will take mum back tomorrow to take a look . On the way back we bought a new mattress from Dunelm Mill. It was a good price and it was comfortable so we got it. The only problem was that we were expecting to be able to get it in the van, sadly it didn't fit, so with help from the guys at the store we strapped it to the roof and drove home slowly. If I stayed at around 30 mph it was ok, if I went above that, it started to shift. We ended up stopping a few times and dad held onto the strap through the sun roof, we got home in one piece.

I have now made it up and we have put the old one in the van, its so knackered it fit in with no problems!!

We are having a really heavy rain storm at the moment the back garden is like a swamp. I have made new ties to keep the cover on the trampoline, at last I have done something creative!!

Friday, December 29, 2006

The Lovelocks were Here!!!

Last night we were visited by the flying Lovelocks, Madeline,John and Gracie.
We had a nice dinner and then followed it with a game of hullaballoo.
It was a riot, that game makes us all laugh, its quick and funny.
For once we did not have too much to drink, we were quite restrained really. I did however notice that Carl and Grace seemed to be knocking it back and we topped up our recycling glass box !!

This morning the weather has changed and we should have been going to the outside skating rink in Welwyn Garden City, unfortunately it started to rain and the skating looked to be out of the window. It has rained so hard that we have a pond on the trampoline. In the end we decided to swap the skating tickets to Monday afternoon, the long range weather forecast says that Monday should be light showers and mainly dry. So fingers crossed.

Beth is not too impressed with the change of plans, but she is going to London this afternoon with Heather and Emma to see Snow White and the 7 dwarfs, so she will get over it.

Thursday, December 28, 2006

What is this ??

I found this in my jar of quality street!!!

Is it a new Sweet?

Is it part of the machinery?

I feel a letter coming on!!!!

One long slog........

The trouble with Christmas is that we spend ages and I mean ages building up to it and then Poof, its gone. What are we left with ?? Well in this house its a bowl of nuts minus the crackers which gave up the ghost last night. Three million boxes of sweets, a turkey carcass that you can't bring yourself to throw out, but you can't be bothered to pick the remaining meat off of either.
How come you always end up with some god awful stinky Stilton cheese? I don't remember buying it and no one in the house actually likes it. Its one of those festive mysteries.

This morning I have cleaned the whole of the downstairs, hoovered, dusted AND cleaned out the fridge. I have taken the final step with the Turkey and it is now safely in the dustbin, which incidentally has been emptied, which is amazing as they miss our road more often than they collect, perhaps they were after a tip.

I have taken my sanity in my hands and phoned 02, I have an online account, which I regularly forget the password for and to be honest I don't check unless the final bill is higher than expected, well, today it was, so I had to phone them, Its almost as hard to get through to them as it is to Sky TV. Eventually I was answered and it seems that 'they' had decided to add a bolt on package to my account, which costs me £15 extra a month. I have no idea why and nor do they, one of the mysteries of 02. So now they are taking it off and refunding my account. I failed to tell them that due to another of their cock ups there were 4 months this year where they failed to charge me anything, so I feel morally ahead of the game anyway !!

Now waiting for Tom to arrive home so that we can hit the sales, we need a new mattress and Beth needs a new duvet, oh what an exciting time !!

Wednesday, December 27, 2006

Feel A bit Rough today.

Well I have had a sore throat for a few days and last night it seems to have hit home hard. I feel a bit rough. So I have spent all day sat at home in front of the computer.
On the plus side I have managed to get my Craft Robo working, with help from my online friends Elfin and Ginger. Its rather odd, the machine is made in China, I am in England and I managed to get it to work with the assistance of a friend in Manchester and another one in Spain!!!
Anyway its now up and running and I have cut out a few titles and a very nice swirly corner thingy.I haven't set foot outside the house today!
Beth has gone to play with Emma, they have had a session in Jungle mania followed by a visit to Emma's house. Its nice for her to get out as we have been a bit house bound this holiday.
I have finally managed to book a session on the ice rink for Friday at 12pm. Beth is going with Heather and Emma, and I will be there to take the photographs!!

Tuesday, December 26, 2006

Some Christmas shots!

Christmas day, we had a visit from Aunty Peg and Uncle Roy, mum and dad and Laura and Scott. Mum and Dad had dinner at home with peg and Roy and Karen. Laura and Scott stayed with us.

We had a nice day and I feel exhausted now!!

Monday, December 25, 2006

Happy Christmas !!!

I got a craft Robo !!!!

Can't wait to try it, but want to be sober before I mess it up!!

Thank You Santa!!!

Saturday, December 23, 2006

Had a productive afternoon.

I decided as part of my home baking session to try and make a batch of fudge. Its really not that difficult, took about 20 minutes, although it was a bit scary when it was boiling like mad and bubbling fiercely!! I think this tastes more like Scottish Tablet rather than traditional soft fudge. Its still very nice though!!

This is a recipe from GMTV.

Servings: Makes about 36 pieces
Level of difficulty: Easy
Preparation Time: 15 minutes, plus cooling
Cooking Time: 25 minutes
oil, for greasing
300ml Milk
350g caster sugar
100g unsalted butter
1 tsp vanilla extract
1. Grease an 18cm square cake tin. 2. Put the milk, sugar and butter in a heavy-based saucepan. Heat slowly, stirring all the time, until the sugar has dissolved and the butter melted. 3. Bring to the boil and boil for 15-20 minutes, stirring all the time. 4. When the mixture reaches the soft-ball stage (115°C on a sugar thermometer), remove from the heat and stir in the vanilla extract. Leave to cool for 5 minutes. 5. Beat the mixture with a spoon for a few minutes until it starts to thicken and the gloss disappears. 6. Pour into the prepared tin and leave to set at room temperature (do not put it in the fridge). 7. Once set, cut the fudge into small squares and store in a sealed container.

Went for a Chocolate.....

Yesterday afternoon I met up with SueD and Caz for a very nice cup of minty hot chocolate with cream, chocolate flakes and marshmallows, the drinks were devine and the company was good too !! We got ourselves a nice comfy seat in the corner of the shop right by the window, it was like being in a gold fish bowl, but that works both ways, saw loads of people I knew and said hello to as well!! We chatted watched the fog lift and come back down again, saw the continental market dismantle themselves. Caz had been to the hairdressers and on a shopping trip, Sue had been in to the shops as well, and I came straight from home. I felt a bit underdressed as it was freezing and I had top wear my crocs as I have a nasty blister from some new shoes on my heel.
For me it was a nice end to a busy day, what with all the food shopping that I had done, and I had also prepared food for the evening guests, I deserved a break and a gossip!!

Awww Sweet!!!

Beth decided to take a cat nap last night under the Christmas tree, she loves the lights and I am so pleased that she still finds the whole Christmas experience magical. I am sure that she 'knows' but I she really enjoys the whole 'thing'.

Nearly There.

Well Terranova was very very nice, and as an added bonus it was a treat and we didn't have to pay!! We arrived first and the restaurant was empty by the time we left at 8.30pm it was packed. The food was great, the staff were attentive and the company was entertaining!

Yesterday I did my shopping in the morning but have now realised that I have forgotten to buy potatoes, which is a nuisance as I have the goose fat ready to go !!So now I am going to have to go again and battle with a million others to get what I want.

Thursday, December 21, 2006

Its so exciting!!!!

Christmas is coming and I have bought some goose fat!!!
Its all the rage this year after Nigella recommended it as the best fat to cook your roast tatoes in. The only problem is she started a goose fat stampede and its very hard to get hold of. Anyway I have managed it, just got to hope that the rest of the dinner ingredients are as easy. Last year couldn't get any cranberry sauce, but as Nigella is advocating home made, perhaps there will be loads of the pre made stuff left on the shelves!!

Today we have the exciting task of waiting in for the Sky engineer, a job we have done a lot of late. The box is playing up (a surprise I know) He has just phoned to say he will be arriving between 2.30 and 5pm. Which is a bit of a nuisance as Tom has to take Beth to rehearsal at 4pm. Will have to leave Carl in charge again.

Did a mini shopping spree last night bought the turkey, and the fixings for the baking. Carl is going to be in charge of making the apple pies and the cakes today while I am at work. I have printed out the recipes for him. He likes cooking and is usually very successful. He is going to try a fruit cake for the first time today.

Tonight I am going on my last Christmas 'Do' of the season, Terranova with the feds and the SMT at work. I think I am looking forward to it, I'll tell you for certain later !!

Wednesday, December 20, 2006

Last Day at school.

This is the smile that says - 'Schools out' !! Beth made herself this beautiful hat specially for her class party on Monday. She wore it home today! I went along to see the Christingle assembly which is always moving and exciting at the same time, its that feeling knowing that school is nearly over and Santa is just around the corner!!
Exciting or what ???

This morning it was bright and frosty, the ground was crunchy and the air was chilly. At last a winters morning !! When I got to Head quarters I spotted this cobweb in the car park. It looked stunning !!

Another busy day at work, meeting after meeting, finally got home after 5.30pm.

Tuesday, December 19, 2006

The Tree is Up !!!

We finally put the tree up and decorated it, Hunny has been very good and has ignored it by and large. I have been meaning to take a photo but have not got around to it before now.
We are now fast heading towards the last day of term, tomorrow is the Christingle service at school and I love that, its so Christmassy all will be well as long as they don't sing Starry Night, that carol gets me every time !!
We have been having trouble with our beeping Sky Plus again. That machine has caused us nothing but problems since it was installed. We have been onto them three times, the first miracle is that they answered the phone in less than half a minute, second they agreed that they had made a mistake and refunded us the cost of the last box office that we had bought. (we were not able to record it due to a box fault) Thirdly they have agreed that the initial installation was defective, which is what we have been telling them for months they have said that the box has not called back since the installation, whatever that means!! Anyway the upshot is they are coming out to check the install free of charge on Thursday. Who knows it might even work properly before Christmas.

Monday, December 18, 2006

The Play...

Yesterday at 4pm we were all seated for the Nativity Play. lots of assorted children and a packed audience. We managed to get dad a padded seat and he watched from right by a pillar.
I had a quick count up and there were 15 shepherds, 6 wise men/Kings. 4 sheep, 7 inn keepers and 23 angels plus the usual Mary and Joseph.

Beth did very well in spite of being Joey's 'minder' He was just the same as he was at the rehearsal. He really sang loud and clear but the rest of the time he chucked his sheep around, hung onto Beth and was jumping all over the place!!

Kathryn was given some gifts for her efforts, and she in return gave all the children a Santa sack filled with sweets and games!

Today we are experiencing some problems with our Sky connection, to be honest it has been a total nuisance and we are not able to sort it out, I think we may end up getting someone out to sort it. Its driving me nuts, why can't it be straight forward?? On the plus side the phone was answered in a millisecond tonight, so it must be Christmas.

We have decided to do our Christmas food shopping on Friday morning, I think Tom and I should be able to rattle that out in a couple of hours, we are going to spend our £30 of Morrison's tokens, so that will make a dent in the food bill.

I finally got a little extra present for Tom this morning, he has always been mad on space and has always wanted a telescope. So soon he will have one, I have bought him a super dooper one which will allow him to look at the planets, providing he has half an idea where to start looking for them!!

Sunday, December 17, 2006


Finally this morning I finished my online Safer Recruitment modules and passed with flying colours. It has been a labour of love, it was set up as part of the School Governor training, but it has been temperamental, booting me out and not letting me finish. Finally I beat it into submission and qualified.

It pointed out some interesting things and although we do most of the things they suggested there are a couple of places where we could make some changes and tighten things up.

We took a walk around to see mum and dad, Mum and Karen were getting ready to go to see the Ballet in London. Karen has planned the whole trip so that there are as few steps as possible to negotiate.

We popped around to see Laura and dropped off her new bank card.

We are now waiting to go and see the play.

Saturday, December 16, 2006

Nativity Time again.

Beth has been practicing hard for the Church Nativity Play. This year is ....... wait for it........ A Shepherd!! She is getting a bit type cast in that role, but she doesn't seem to mind too much. This year she is the main shepherd with lots of lines to say. She is also responsible for Joey, who is a two year old shepherd with a complete lack of commitment to the play !! Joey throws himself into all the songs that he obviously loves, but the rest of the time he is into everything and refuses to sit down with the rest of the shepherds. (the sheep must have been very naughty in the year that Jesus was born as this play has 15 shepherds and 4 sheep! Must have had a great Shepherds Union!!)
The performance is tomorrow afternoon, can't wait.

Friday, December 15, 2006


Work started with a load of phone calls on the answerphone, but luckily I was able to deal with the back log and clear up all the emails. As a reward I was treated to lunch by the jolly Federation chaps from work. We had a great time chatting about our joint problems in the workplace and how it affects everything we do. We put the world to right all before 2 0'clock !! They are good company and made me realise that I am not alone in my trials !!

After work we decided to buy the Christmas tree. What followed was the usual Christmas tradition of arguing over the placement/size/thickness of trunk/wonkiness of the tree. True to form we managed to have words over all of the above, resulted in Carl storming off, Tom throwing a strop and me picking up pin needles from the carpet.

Eventually the tree went up, we took Beth to Nativity practice, came back and finished decorating it. It all looks very nice now and worth the effort. I will take a few pictures tomorrow.

Still Travelling

This week I have continued with my travelling, not so far this time, Cambridge, just up the road really. I had a place on an Employment Law Update course. About a week before I was due to go, Megan from Suffolk police talked me into staying over. She booked a couple of nights for us in Fourwentways Travel Lodge.

I have never stayed in a Travel lodge and I have to say I was impressed, clean tidy, comfortable, plenty of hot water and a TV. All for £48 a night. As a bonus we found that Sarah from Beds was also there, so we had a great time !!

The course was good, traditional UNISON style, virtually teach yourself. We were split into groups given the legislation and books and told to work through it!! The venue was brilliant (Cambridge professional Development Centre) Food was provided and it was very good, although I felt awash with tea by the second tea break !! We were the only three day course being held so we were treated to Christmas dinner three days on the trot!!

In the evening Megan and I ate at the Little Chef, on the second evening we ended up in there chatting for three hours, its amazing how much we had in common ;0)

On the third day the tutor failed to turn up, so as we already had the note and the work books we run our own course. Half way through the morning a replacement arrived, a brilliant Liverpudlian who was a passionate Unionist. He could tell great tales and was quite inspiring !!

I passed the course and headed for home on Wednesday night.

Thursday I was back at work, straight back into all the usual stuff, as if I had never been away.
I walked into a major conflict which took half the day to resolve. On the plus side was able to agree a change of pay and conditions for some staff.

Sunday, December 10, 2006

Little pots of Loveliness!!

I have recently discovered how relaxing it is to make jewellery. I seem to have collected a large amount of beautiful glass beads in a very short amount of time. I love turning them into bracelets, ear rings and necklaces. I have also made some charms for mobile phones and key rings. Once you start its addictive and they make nice presents. They have been well received so far (Unless people have been too police to say they are crap)
When I was at Manchester the Hotel had these Little jam pots at breakfast, so I collected them up and at the end of the trip came away with 14. The trouble is they were just throwing them away and I couldn't make the waitress understand that if she was to throw them in my direction I would be very happy. Ah well. I'll have to stay in more hotels !!!

Principle Shark..

This year Beths school are doing Pinnochio for the Christmas Play. I went along to the dress rehersal and although it was the first run it was very good. There are a few spots where they will be able to tighten things up, but it was very enjoyable.
The main problem I have was not being able to get close enough to get a good shot of her performing. Our of dozens that I took these two are the most presentable. (they are nothing to write home about !!!) I am hoping that when Carl and Tom go during the week that they may get closer shots, if not this years scrapbook page may well be a bit short on photos !!

Saturday, December 09, 2006

The Party.

Beth decided that it would be 'cool' to have a skating party, so I booked Roller City for a Sunday afternoon. We all ended up in Macdonalds afterwards!!
I just keep thinking that it won't be for too many years once she hits secondary school age that should be the end of it!!

Happy 10th Birthday Beth

Beth is now 10 and I again can't believe how fast those years have gone. Is it really 10 years since I was cooing over this beautiful little bundle in hospital? She is different to the other two, in some ways more confident, in other ways she is shy. She has a talent for netball and like to play for the school team. She LOVES Money but can't keep it in her pocket for too long.

The big Wheel in Manchester

Not quite as big as the London one, considerably faster, and a whole lot wetter!!

While in Manchester I took a chance and met up with Claire, known in some circles as 'Mad Ginger' or 'Bonkers,Conkers' We had a very nice night out on the tiles, we went to Cafe Uno and both had a lovely meal.
Ginger handed over Izzy's Circle Journal and we chatted the night away, I felt like I had know her forever!!

Last month I went to Manchester on a Police Staff Conference. I stayed a nice hotel, The princess on Portland Street. the conference was held in the very spectacular Manchester City Town Hall. The building was stunning inside and out, built in the late 1700's it looked like Hogwarts inside!!

ASs a bonus there was a German market outside the front door!!

At the end of last month we had a family reunion. Uncle Ed booked us in for Sunday Lunch at the Watford Conservative Club. It was great to see all my cousins again, not seen them all together for about a million years!!

We have all changed and there were lots of kids as well, laura, Scott, Carl and Beth came along. Keith came with his brother in law, as Nicky was poorly.

We are hoping to do it all again in the new year!

Some photos...

Blogger has been playing up and I have not been able to post any photos recently, so now I am going to make up for it and post some of the back log!

Beth and I at the Fireworks at Fairlands Valley lakes in Stevenage

Bowling along.........

This month is rushing by, I logged onto Tesco last night to get a slot for a Christmas delivery but they had all gone, the latest I could get was 6pm on the 20th of December. Its so disappointing, I'll have to go and do it myself now.
I hate all those people who were more organised and got there before me.

This week at work has been so busy that I haven't had time to stop, apart from Wednesday when I had an upset tummy and had to take my first day off work sick in 2 years.

I have also been thinking this week if I am doing the right job. I have been under pressure and pulled all ways, my brain seems to be closing down so now I can't remember things from one moment to the next. That is proving to be very difficult when trying to remember what problems I have been told about and what action I have taken or need to take. Perhaps I have old timers disease. I think that its likely to be mental overload, so i need a break.

Next week I have three days in Cambridge for a course so I am hoping that time away will help me to chill. I will take my laptop and my jewellery stuff and chill out.

Saturday, December 02, 2006

Here we are in December

Where has this year gone ?? we are in December already and rushing headlong towards Christmas.
Last week Tom and I went and managed to do just about all our Christmas shopping in Watford and managed to sneak lunch out as well.
Last night we went to Ikea and bough Laura and Scots Christmas pressents. I really only have Tom to sort out now.
At the end of November I went to Manchester on a Police Conference. Dreadful weather but a very nice hotel and good company. The conference wasn't bad either, quite an eye opener for the likes of me being a new person.
Next week I have another three day course this time in Cambridge, I have decided to stay over again, as it will involve a long rush hour journey and will be cheaper in the long and far less stressful.

For the first time I am going away to a scrapbooking retreat, its not until next year but I am looking forward to it already. I really must get my deposit sent off today!!
(mad Ginger will be after me!!)

This weekend is going to be busy and I have got up with belly ache from the dreaded monthly curse. Feeling miserable. I will have to go shopping and then after visiting mum and dad the day is my own.