Wednesday, December 31, 2008
Created with love by Lyzzy Dee at 9:25 am
Sunday, December 28, 2008
I love this part of the holiday break, all the Christmas stuff done and dusted, not yet preparing for New Years eve celebrations, a bit of time for myself. Today is a day off from the Panto so don't even have that to worry about. Beth wants to go into town to spend some of her vouchers, so I'll drop her off with Laura later on.
Last night we went around for tea at Rod and Tina's, they came to the panto with us and we had the back two rows. We had decided that we would make as much noise as possible and join in, we cheered all the good guys and booed all the bad guys, we booed in a very loud and noticeable way, in fact we booed one character so much he had trouble getting his lines out!!! It was so funny. Then we decided to clap and sing and whistle!!! Afterwards we met in the bar for a drink and even booed the baddies when they came in !! Beth said that they could really hear us all. Trouble was the people in the front of the audience were a little older than us (seemed to be lots of nans and grandads) They were caught in the crossfire and didn't seem to know what was going on! Once they realised, they joined in as well.
Today I may actually go to the shops, I have decided that we could benefit from a bean bag pouffe for the living room, we could have done with a bit of extra seating over the Christmas and there are a few in the sales at the moment. So into the fray!!!
Created with love by Lyzzy Dee at 9:51 am
Friday, December 26, 2008
Here are a few shots of our Christmas Day.
We had a good day, although Tom and I both have the dreaded cough that has kept us spluttering for most of the day. Beth got her much wanted red jeans, plus lots of other things she wanted. Carl got things he wanted including car mats, England shirt etc. I got some Nestabilities plus loads of other great stuff.
Hunny Getting stuck into one of her parcels!
Mum and dad preparing to play!
A pair of Christmas Crackers??
Laura and Beth.
Beauty and the Beast (make your own minds up!!!)
Scotty McSpotty sporting his new Christmas Jumper!!
Created with love by Lyzzy Dee at 11:00 am
Wednesday, December 24, 2008
Created with love by Lyzzy Dee at 8:37 pm
Created with love by Lyzzy Dee at 4:01 pm
Well I have joined the rest of the country with a cough and general feelings of unwellness, so I am dosing myself up to get through the festivities!!
This morning I have made a walnut cake, two apple pies and two dozen fairy cakes, just need to ice them and do the vegetables for tomorrow.
This afternoon its my turn to help out at the panto which is where I think I got the cough from in the first place!!!
Created with love by Lyzzy Dee at 1:06 pm
Tuesday, December 23, 2008
This afternoon I had a long cuddle with baby Olivia, she is beautiful, serene and very chilled. She has perfect little fingers, perfect little nails, perfect little hands. She has a beautiful dusting of dark straight hair, the most perfect eyelashes and cute nose. Her Mum is exhausted and her big sister is suffering from a virus and is miserable. Its going to be a long few weeks for them!!
I love having a baby in the street again!!
Created with love by Lyzzy Dee at 5:41 pm
Sunday, December 21, 2008
I can hardly believe that Christmas is almost here, Its a strange thing but the whole country, maybe the whole of the commercial world are taken up with this obscene buying frenzy in the name Christmas and the coming of Jesus. I am sure its wasn't meant to be like this!! Don't get me wrong I do enjoy Christmas and the meeting up with friends and family. I like the sharing of meals and good times, but sometimes, possible due to my advancing years,I think they whole lot has got out of hand.
I always lust after a white Christmas, but I can barely remember us ever having one. It seems to snow here on the 30th of January and then that's it. I love doing all the Christmas things to ensure that everyone has a good time. In doing that I am usually knackered and fit to drop by the time it arrives.
So one year I would like to take myself off somewhere and enjoy a different Christmas where things are done for me. Perhaps that will happen when I have grandchildren and we are then invited to their house to celebrate and I can sit in the corner and get drunk!!
Created with love by Lyzzy Dee at 2:34 pm
Saturday, December 20, 2008
Created with love by Lyzzy Dee at 3:57 pm
Friday, December 19, 2008
Wednesday, December 17, 2008
In the Dressing Room.
The stage from the back of the theatre, Beth sitting on the left.
Beth playing the Cat.
The Villagers Talking to Gepetto.
Last Night was dress rehearsal for the production of Pinocchio at the Barn Theatre. I stayed behind to help in the dressing room with the changes. I hadn't realised that Beth had three costume changes plus make up. Its a really labour intensive job. Most of the outfits were ready but there were a few running repairs made as we went along and Beth's skirt needed a zip fixed. A lot of the cast were suffering from sore throats and colds, so they need to rest their voices before they perform for real.
I was able to watch the show and apart from a few issues with the scene changes the actual acting went very well.
The theatre itself is very small and cosy so they don't use microphones, they all have to speak up to be heard. I sat at the back and it was perfectly clear!!
Last night there was also a professional photographer there and Beth was asked to do a Bio for the newspaper, so its all very exciting!
The only down side was that they didn't finish until 11pm and she was shattered this morning.
Created with love by Lyzzy Dee at 6:37 pm
Monday, December 15, 2008
Sandra went to secondary school with Madeline and Sue was originally her friend, but is now my friend too. These friends are from the early years of my life and have endured.
Next I have my local friends, Karen over the road who I can see virtually every day but often don't get a chance to speak to, chatting after a break we can just pick up from where we finished even if that was weeks or months ago. Sue who has children the same age as Laura and Carl who I keep in contact with, along with Jenny, Maxine, Lorraine, Michelle and Julia, all girls I call school mum friends.
Fran who now lives away in Suffolk, I still love to chat to Fran and her family although distance has made that less regular, she is still up there as one of my all time favourites!!
Tina who I have known for 25 years, who gave me a shocking insight into looking after babies, when she contracted meningitis when her twins were 6 weeks old. She was so sick that she ended up in hospital and I got baby sitting duty for an extended period, having had nothing what so ever to do with tiny babies before then. Those babies are now 25 and Emma is my God Daughter who is in turn expecting her first baby in March next year.
I have my new friends Dina and her family who are great fun and who are always game for a laugh. Wendy who has been through hell and has still come out smiling and willing to start over again, no matter how many knocks she has taken. Scrapping friends like Jaffne, Ginger, Shirleen and Sue D. New friends like Debbie who have added so much to our lives.
So without wanting to sound too slushy I have had a fun evening and I have looked back at fun Christmas times in the distant past and I count my blessings and hope for many more to come.
Created with love by Lyzzy Dee at 11:31 pm
Today I was up bright and early to take dad into hospital to have his hip replacement op. You know how it is you get yourself worked up, him worrying about it and me worrying that I would oversleep and miss the 7am slot.
Anyway we got there in plenty of time, we were shown to his bed in a ward with 5 other guys, I settled him in filled out the paper work and made sure all was well. Being an ace 'earwigger' I heard one of the nurses talking to another nurse, saying that there were no beds in the High Dependency Unit. I knew then that it was unlikely that he would have his operation. On the way out I chatted to the nurse and she confirmed the bed situation and said that Dad wasn't even down for a bed in HDU, which I knew he should have been, so that made him second for the non existent bed!!!
Sure enough 10am came and the surgeon came around and said that they couldn't do the op due to the lack of beds, and then the best reason of all time, 'your replacement part is stuck in Leeds' (just the odd 175 miles away!!) So he will be re booked and they will try again in January. That gives them one last chance before they have to do the op come hell or high water!!
Created with love by Lyzzy Dee at 7:14 pm
Sunday, December 14, 2008
Created with love by Lyzzy Dee at 6:00 pm
Saturday, December 13, 2008
Created with love by Lyzzy Dee at 3:33 pm
Thursday, December 11, 2008
On the one hand it has flown by on the other it has dragged. Work is absolutely awful at the moment with the threat of redundancy hanging over lots of people which in turn quite rightly makes them twitchy and worried about their future, so they take it out on the people who are trying to help them work their way through it all. This has an effect on those people and so we go around. Last night I didn't finish work until 9pm which was great after an 8am start.
I am so pleased that I have got a shopping delivery slot, all I have to remember now is to update my shopping list or Christmas will consist of two packs of cheese and a bag of sausage rolls!!
I have managed a pretty amazing thing though, I have managed to keep alive all year a potted Azalea. Its been sat on my windowsill in the conservatory through all the hot weather, it has dropped all of its leaves on a couple of occasions, after I forgot to water it. It has then revived itself. This morning it has burst into flower and I am amazed that it has thrived basically on neglect from last Christmas!!
Created with love by Lyzzy Dee at 7:46 am
Monday, December 08, 2008
I finally got my hands on a Swiss Dots embossing folder which is great and I am using it for everything at the moment, So here is the Boy and Girl version. The spotty paper is from Papermania, The ricrac is from wait for it, Ikea!! On the Girl card I made the little pearly thingy out of wire and alphabet beads, more embossing and the same spotty paper.
Created with love by Lyzzy Dee at 8:36 am
Sunday, December 07, 2008
If my next door neighbour has had her baby??? The signs are good, they left the house in the early hours of the morning, There has been nobody at home all day (and they have a toddler, so they are usually home by now) One Car is missing. The baby is due on the 10th so its near enough!! Fingers crossed that they now have a new baby!!
This afternoon I have made a couple to cards, one boy and one girl to cover every eventuality!! (although my prediction is that it'll be a little boy) Its really exciting.
Created with love by Lyzzy Dee at 9:15 pm
This morning I got up to a very cold and frosty morning. The cars are under thick ice and everything looks very pretty. I checked the temperature and it was -3c and it was 8.20!! When I went to get the milk in I snapped these two shots literally minutes apart looking across the road towards the woods. I love the colours and I am amazed that they are so different given that they were taken virtually at the same time.
Created with love by Lyzzy Dee at 9:09 am
Friday, December 05, 2008
The time seems to be flying by and we are heading at break neck speed into Christmas. I sat up a couple of nights ago with my finger poised on the enter key in an effort get get myself a Tesco Delivery slot on the 23rd of December. The second my PC time said 12 I hit the button only to find every single slot for the day had been sold out!! There must have been hundreds of us sitting there with fingers poised! I have decided to stick with the slot I had snagged for the 22nd.
Work has been a nightmare, so much going on that I just don't know where I am going next. Today we have been all over the place and next looks like it may be more of the same with the addition of Christmas functions in the evenings. I am so glad that I have a few days off over the Christmas to chill out.
The house is a tip and there is 'stuff' all over the place, so i will have to try and sort that out tomorrow, I have decided that I hate shopping so I don't really want to join in the throng of people all battling around the shops. I really want to go to Poundland to get some decorations for the office (because both poundland and I are 'cheap')
I have been spoilt by some online friends who I have entered into an Advent swap with. So since the beginning of the month I have had a cute little parcel to open, its a four way swap so we have decided to split it so that we all send parcels to each other. Its really great to open my own personal advent calendar every morning!!!!
So I hope you all have a great weekend and that you don't work too hard!!
Created with love by Lyzzy Dee at 8:31 pm
Thursday, December 04, 2008
Created with love by Lyzzy Dee at 12:30 am
Monday, December 01, 2008
The Howard Centre
In my previous posts I have explained how my local council is responsible for two towns, Welwyn Garden City and Hatfield, along with several smaller villages . Hatfield has always considered itself to be the poor neighbour, its been the industrial town of the two responsible for the development of the Comet aircraft and the British Aerospace 146.
My story involves the controversy surrounding the construction of two shopping centres, The Howard centre in WGC and the Galleria in Hatfield.
Back in the late 1980's the council were anxious to redevelop part of town centre in WGC, they wanted a new railway and bus station and a few more shops wouldn't go amiss, so they entered into negotiations with the biggest construction business in the UK at the time, Slough Estates.
While negotiating a deal to provide all the things mentioned above for WGC, they were also dealing with a rival firm, The Carroll Group to provide a shopping centre in nearby Hatfield.
Because of the close proximity of the towns, Slough estates negotiated a Tenant Mix agreement (TMA) with the council. This was to enable both centres to attract different types of shops and restaurants.The Howard centre was to have traditional High street shops and restaurants and the Galleria was to be geared more to entertainment, restaurants, cinemas and outlet shops.
The council was keen to have both developments the site of the proposed Galleria was on top of a tunnel which had been constructed to take the A1M underground and the area on top was perfect for shops. The Howard centre addressed the station problems. Slough Estates were playing hardball and wouldn't agree to the development until the council signed the TMA, this they did. Both sites went ahead and eventually opened at almost the same time in 1990/1. It was at this point that it came to light that the council had been doing a bit of underhand dealing and while agreeing the TMA with Slough they agreed the exact opposite with the Carroll group. This resulted in Slough taking the council to the High court for damages.
Slough won and was awarded 48 million in damages!! The chances of the council being able to pay that was remote, there were limits as to what could be paid from the public purse, and the council only held reserves of 2 million pounds. So Slough Estates won a moral victory and few a few years we suffered the reduction in events such as fireworks.
Incidentally both places are now thriving shopping centres and The Howard centre DOES have more traditional shops and The Galleria is an outlet centre!!
Update ...... I have done a little more digging to try and find out exactly what money changed hands in the end. It seems that prior to the court case the council were offered an out of court settlement for 16 million pounds but shose to ignore it. They didn't pay all the money awarded but they did pay a huge chunk of it and they way they managed it was to use reserves and to 'sell' all their stock of council houses to a housing association releasing capital. They were limited to only using 25% of that money raised, by government legislation. They eventually settled with Slough Estates for 29 million pounds.