Thursday, April 30, 2009

All Change

You know how it is, its spring and you feel the need for a change, well I felt the need for a change and I changed my blog!! Thought a few cheery flowers around the outside would make a nice change!
Tomorrow Dad is having his hernia repaired in hospital, so we will be heading off there for 7.30am. Hopefully it will just be an overnight case and we'll collect him on Saturday morning fingers crossed.
We seem to have had our fill of hospitals at the moment. My colleague at work is presently going through the ICU hell, her FIL had a triple heart by pass and has developed complications, he is on life support and holding his own, although they are describing his condition as critical but stable. So fingers crossed for him.
My life long friend is also going through it as well, her sister has just been diagnosed with breast cancer and will have a mastectomy this week. This is particularly tragic as it seems to run in the family, my friend has had breast cancer and they lost their mother to breast cancer. I can only pray that they have found this early enough and that they can treat it successfully.

Anyway onto to more cheerful things, here is Beth in nan and Grandads garden, she looks like she is in some sort of jail, but really she is looking through the wrought iron rose arch!!

Guess what these are ???? Tulips obviously, but these are special tulips, they are tulips from Amsterdam!!! We bought them back from our holiday last year for mum and dad. They have grown strong and tall and they are quite beautiful.

Tuesday, April 28, 2009

Final Layout

I had a good week last week fitting in all the cybercrop layouts. I enjoyed doing things that were outside my normal comfort zone and a bit different for me. this is Beth doing her Titanic bit on a rock in Sunderland!!
Things are starting to get back to normal (whatever that is) here. Today dad has his pre op for his operation on Friday, fingers crossed that goes well and then he can have the hernia repair and that will be one job done. Mum is doing well!
Yesterday we had the chap around to look at the bathroom, we were hoping that he could do it while we are away in May, but he has been inconsiderate and booked himself a golfing holiday. So we are going to wait until we go away in August, that way I won't have to be here while its all happening and there isn't so much pressure on him to keep a loo up and running, seeing how we only have the one!
Last night we went out to celebrate Sue's birthday, we went to the Crooked Chimney, the food was excellent but the place was freezing. We ended up moving around a fair bit, we closed the curtains in an effort to stay warm!! We are all getting older and all of us seem to be falling apart. This wasn't in the grand plan of things. Still we must make sure we get our moneys worth out of the national health system!!

When shall we four meet again?? Thunder lightening or in rain??
Lets get it on!!! (2 old birds in a fluster!!)
Eye Eye!!!!

Monday, April 27, 2009

Then and Now!

I have been getting my photo files in order and realised that I had photographs of us on our Wedding days and 25 and 50 years later, makes scary viewing!!!
Mum and Dad on their Wedding day 25th of April 1959.
Mum and Dad exactly 50 Years Later!!

Tom and I on our Wedding Day 25th of June 1983.
And twenty Five years later June 2008!!!
I think we are all just recognisable!! It'll be Laura and Scott's turn next!!

Sunday, April 26, 2009


25th April 2009, Mum and Dad's Golden Wedding Anniversary. To say that things had not to plan is a bit of an understatement!! Because of Mums illness they had to cancel their holiday to New York, they also had to cancel the party that they had planned, mainly because we were not sure if mum would be well enough or even out of hospital in time to go ahead with it. So now she has been home for a couple of days we decided on the spur of the moment to go out for a bite to eat with family. So I booked The Cowper Arms at Digswell. They were very accommodating and welcoming, they fit 13 of us in and served a lovely meal!! I bought some balloons for the table and some banners. The rest we will save for the rescheduled party!

Group shot of the 'cheap' side of the table!!
Auntie Peg and Uncle Roy, Mums Brother and Sister in Law.

My sister in Law Nicky, brother Keith and Beth.

The ugly mob left to right Laura, Scott,Dad, Mum, Me and Tom.

Laura and Scott.

Mum and Dad.

Carl, who poor soul was suffering at the time with the arrival of one of his wisdom teeth!!!! Had to drink medicinal Cider to help him over the trauma.

Friday, April 24, 2009

Been Crafting

Tomorrow is Mum and Dads Golden wedding Anniversary, So far this year not a lot has gone according to plan. The plan was that they would celebrate tomorrow with a party for their friends which was all organised. We ended up having to cancel it due to Mum being poorly, a couple of weeks in hospital has taken it out of her and I really don't think she will be fit enough to have a good time. We will rearrange it for when she is better and dad is over his hernia operation which is scheduled for next Friday. Anyway the above layout was to celebrate their anniversary.

I have been taking part in a challenge on a forum I visit and have made a few layouts from sketches that they have posted. The good thing is that it gets you away from your usual way of scrapping and makes you try something different, hence the above layout which is a departure for me!!

This one is even more of a departure, I find wonky things a little unsettling and this layout is based on wonky photos - twitch, twitch!! Again after a lot of shuffling of photos I am fairly happy with this one, twitch twitch!!

This is my favorite a lovely photo of Beth and baby Bobbie. Beth is smitten with her and wishes that she was all hers !! She said that she is like a little cousin!!!

Wednesday, April 22, 2009

Home Time!!

Well some good news, Mum was released from captivity late this afternoon!!! She had an Angiogram yesterday afternoon where they checked out her heart and gave her the all clear with regards to blockages. She still has an irregular heartbeat and has now got a shed load of tablets for that. The hospital have changed most of her drugs, only the thyroxine escaped the chop. She has further tests which will be carried out in the out patients department. She has been told to take things easy and give herself chance to get back on her feet.
So a good result all around. Phew!!!

Tuesday, April 21, 2009

Girls Wanna have Fun!!

I took these photos tonight out the front, Beth and Megan playing around with the blossom! It was nice to see them out there again, chatting and lapping up the sun. They seemed to have a lot to chat about this evening and had fun chucking the flowers around!

Sunday, April 19, 2009

My Town Monday - Around my Town in Blossom.

Today I took a walk in the beautiful sunshine and discovered that within in a short distance of my house there are lots of trees in full blossom at the moment. In my road there is a gorgeous flowering cherry which always looks stunning and dumps a ton of pink 'snow' as soon as there is a slight breeze! I am ashamed to say that I don't know exactly what all of these plants are. I will have to go and look them up!!

Forsythia in my back garden.

Pretty, but I have no idea what it is!!

I 'think' this is crab apple blossom.

Again not really sure what this is, it 'might' be plum blossom!!

Happy Hysterversary to ME!!

This time two years ago I was just starting my life after having had a very sudden hysterectomy and a diagnosis of cancer. It all happened so quickly that I barely had time to realise what was going on. I am so grateful that my GP referred me on very scant symptoms, or I might not be writing this today!!
While going through all of that I found a fantastic Web site called HysterSisters an American site that knows everything about hysterectomies and I mean everything. Its a great supportive site and although I don't need to go there that often anymore, its great to go back and see the old names and faces!
Yesterday we had a great time with our friends Debbie and Malc, the time flew. Today Beth wants to take a look around the Car Boot sale and we'll pop in to visit mum later. So I'm going to put the roast pork on and get sorted out for the rest of the day!

Saturday, April 18, 2009

Hospital Observations......

You would think that if you were in hospital with a heart problem, that one of the things they would been keen to keep and eye would be your blood pressure?? Well mum has large arms a problem that seems to run the family (as well as large everything else ;0) ) So every time they come around to take her blood pressure, they only have a small cuff, which surprisingly doesn't work. (because it doesn't fit it actually makes the blood pressure reading very high)So for days she has been approached by a variety of nurses who all realise the cuff is too small and wander off looking for a bigger one never to return. The real annoying thing is that if we were to pop out to any of the Chemists in town we could buy one that would do the job with the correct size cuff all for less than twenty quid.
So in the end we had to get out of our prams and insist that they find a cuff man enough for the job, this took them the whole of the visiting time and resulted in mum having five different machines around her bed, with 6 or 7 different cuffs all using different connectors. What a shambles. Finally one of the nurses went to the main stores and managed to get a complete set up, machine and cuff and instantly mums blood pressure went down. I can't believe that they are so useless.
Today we are having a Royal Visit from the Stortford Jacksons, a very regal bunch of folk who shared our holiday last summer, a family that looks danger in the face every single time the set foot outside their house. Who knows what will happen here. I can promise Debbie that the Chicken will not be raw, (its been slow cooking all day) The will be no CS gas in any of our drinking vessels, (only wine and port) So God willing this might be a chilled afternoon!!

Thursday, April 16, 2009

Short week

One thing I like about Easter is that you end up with two 4 day weeks on the trot, 4 days at work is so much better than 5 days. Its small comfort though, as I would really prefer to work two days and have 5 off each week, but I am not able to do that yet!!!!
So what has happened today?? Well mum is looking fine and seems to be responding well to the drugs that she has been given. She has been told that she will most likely have the angiogram next Tuesday, this will give the drugs time to settle things down and hopefully give them the best chance of trying to sort things out during the procedure. So fingers crossed that things continue to go smoothly.
The next issue is mobile phones, late last week Carl's 02 phone packed up, the screen has gone. It is several years old and beyond repair, so I have my old 'work' phone which was recently upgraded, but its locked to the Orange network. I contacted an online company for an unlock code but it seems this particular model of Samsung phone has to be physically unlocked by cable so he will have to make a trip to the market tomorrow to have that done. Meanwhile my 02 phone also goes on the blink (its a Nokia which has been the pits virtually since the beginning) Now it doesn't hold any charge. My work colleague and I have the same model and between us we might be able to make a single working phone. The problem with hers is that it loses the background pictures and wall papers every time she charges her phone. Mine randomly changes the ring tone back to the annoying Nokia tone, for no good reason. the problem with that is I don't always twig straight away that its my phone ringing and frequently miss calls!!!

Its amazing how you come to rely on this tiny bit of technology. I can now upgrade, so I am faced with trying to decide if I need a 12 million mega pixel camera (why I don't know as I have never mastered the art of uploading any photos that I have taken!!) Perhaps I need that MP3 player with built in FM Radio?? again I have had these facilities in the past but have never remembered to take any earphones with me to use it! So the latest must have is sat nav, do I need this??? Will I ever forget where I have parked my car?? These phones have a facility to enable you to mark the car location in case you have some sort of mental blow out while shopping and really can't remember. ( I expect that if I forget where I have parked my car, I am likely to have also forgotten that I have a Sat nav to help me locate it!!!)

So every upgrade time another dilemma and another decision to be made, I am off to compare all the phones available and see what is the best value for money and has the most bells and whistles that I won't use!!!

Happy Thursday.

Wednesday, April 15, 2009

Card for Di Hickman

This is my offering for Di Hickman's blog. I have really used scraps from my craft table stuff that was lying around. Last year I visited Eindhoven with my family, I found a fabulous little book shop that sold loads of craft stuff for very reasonable prices. I bought lots of 6x6 pads, they are great for cards and were so cheap it would have been a crime not to have stocked up. So the background paper is from one of those pads, the pink check is from a crafters companion printable disk. The sentiment is from a random collection of sentiments from my stash, as is the flower.

Back to Work Wednesday.

I took yesterday off of work, I was exhausted after the weary weekend and needed some time to sort myself out. I popped into town to buy slipper for mum and visited her in the evening. They have decided that she needs an angiogram and angioplasty to widen any narrowed places in her arteries in her heart. She is very upset and frightened. On a positive note she has been moved out of the temporary observation ward and onto a cardiac/medical ward. To have the angiogram she will have to go to Stevenage Lister hospital. The nurse said that they will take her and it might involve an overnight stay there before returning to WGC. They plan to do this before the consider releasing her.
Fingers crossed they get it sorted in the next few days.
Of course the next problem is that we had a party planned for their Golden wedding Anniversary which is the 25th of the month. We have decided the best thing to do is postpone it for the time being as she is fretting about not making it. Once she is home and feeling better we can think about doing it a little later on.
I don't seem to have posted anything crafty for ages so I have added a very simple layout of the new baby in our circle, Bobbie May who was born on the 9th of March, she is an absolute doll. In these photos she is around 2 hours old!! Mum (my God Daughter Emma) and Dave are exhausted but thrilled, just look at Dave's face!!! - A besotted new daddy!

So far she is being a good baby and Emma is coping very well.
More good news, Laura and Scott have decided that they are to marry next year so we have all the excitement of that to help plan as well.
Hope you have a good day.

Monday, April 13, 2009

An Unusual Easter.

I was enjoying my Easter Sunday, thinking about my Town Monday subjects. I have been toying with a couple but I was still undecided. Dad was at home watching telly and having a peaceful time, Mum had gone with her friend to see Dancing on Ice with Torville and Dean at Wembley arena.
Carl and I were still up at around 11.30 when we got a call from Dad to say that mum wasn't feeling well, she had been having a few issues with an irregular heartbeat. So we got around there to find that she looked unwell so I called the ambulance. Within minutes they were there, again Kate was the technician, she was the lady who managed to get dad to Stevenage in minutes with his aneurysm, every time we have needed an ambo she has been there!! So they took her to hospital where they straight away started her on a cocktail of drugs and continuous ECG.
By 4am the doctor had decided that it was likely that she had had a heart attack and that she would be an 'inmate' for a while. All very scary stuff for everyone including her.
We have visited her a couple of times today and she looks a lot brighter and has the pain under control. She will see the cardiologist in the morning and they will decide what investigations they will do.
So a few observations, Doctors can't take blood. Last night one Doctor literally dug around trying to find a vein and never found one, she left a massive bruise on mums hand. Nurses run the show, they know where everything and everyone is, they can take blood painlessly and without leaving any marks in seconds. The NHS has come through again in a crisis their service is brilliant and worth every penny of our national insurance.
Fingers crossed that mum continues to gain strength and that they can sort out this problem for her.

Sunday, April 12, 2009

Easter Sunday - Mmmmmm Chocolate!!!

This year the credit crunch seems to be hitting everywhere, Beth hasn't had the haul of eggs that she usually gets, not that it will do her much harm to go without !! The eggs she does have are very nice and there is the prospect of more before the day is out. She is particularly happy with the package received from Fran, Pete and Becca, it was a double bonus, tiny chocolate eggs PLUS money, what more could a girl ask for??

Hunny thought that the chocolate was for her so she took a very keen interest in the proceedings!!She had to make do with a biscuit.
Weather is all you would expect for a bank holiday, wet , cold and wet again. Nothing new there. We have Laura and Scott over for lunch. Carl has phoned to say that he is on his way back and will be ready for collection at 12.15, the joys of being a taxi driver!!

Yesterday I spent catching up with my scrapping, I managed to break my C plate in my Cuttlebug which is a nuisance. I did make very good headway with the scrapping though and scrapped 14 pages.

Friday, April 10, 2009

Happy Easter!!

Well Good Friday has been and nearly gone, with lots of rain and miserable weather. We have been furniture shifting, some drawers for Lauras flat moved from her friends house to her flat, then Tom and Carl removed a broken sofa and took that to the dump.
I have made dinner and some cards, also squeezed in a bit of scrapping. Shame all we have done is talk about going away but not got any further than that!!!
Here's hoping the weather looks up a bit tomorrow, as Carl has just announced he is going camping with some mates from work, I think its far too cold for all of that !!!

Thursday, April 09, 2009

First Day of the Holidays!

Today I have had an extra day off, not had too much time to do anything, I had planned to make a few Easter card, but that hasn't happened yet, I must try harder!!
We have done the shopping and we will have haircuts this afternoon. I lead a very exciting life!!!

Wednesday, April 08, 2009

Leg Update

Beth's Leg is a whole lot better but looks pretty horrible, The pain has reduced to tenderness and the bruising is finally on the wane. Its not stopped her getting back on again!!!

Card for Di Hickmans Blog

I like this template!!! I decided to use this pretty 'Stampendous' Spring stamp coloured in with twinkling H2O's. The patterned paper is from a pad I bought in a shop in Holland last year and I found the holey sticky paper in my stash, I have no idea where I got that from!!!
Check out the other cards on Di's blog, the link is on the right!

Tuesday, April 07, 2009

Ouch!!!! - Look away now if squeamish!

With the spring full underway the trampoline has been given a good bashing again.

We had a look at the springs and noticed that there were a few that needed replacing, so they were replaced. The rest of the looked fine. I say looked fine because Beth was jumping on it when there was a loud twang and one of the springs gave away and sheared off, one end embedding itself in her shin. There was lots of screaming and blood and the wound was surrounded straight away by a huge angry bruise that stood a centimetre proud of her shin. A very nasty injury that looks even worse now its healing as the bruise is now multi coloured and the wound is scabbed over. I think its going to leave a permanent scar, a semi circle where it hit.
I think that it was a freak accident, it could easily have missed her, she was unlucky. It hasn't put her off, now its healed a bit she is back out there bouncing for England.

So check out your springs and discard any that appear to be over stretched or worn.

Monday, April 06, 2009

My Town Monday - Trent Park

Above is a picture of the Halls of Residence.

The Mansion House Surrounded by beautiful daffodils!

Last week we took a trip to Trent Park, this was to primarily to see how far from home it was and what the journey would be like for Carl if he is lucky enough to get a place at Middlesex University in September. It got me thinking about the place. I was amazed at how beautiful it is. The mansion house is outstanding and its certainly a place that I think I would have enjoyed studying at.

So to the history.....
Trent Park dates back to the fourteenth century when it was part of Enfield Chase, one of Henry IV's hunting grounds. In 1777 George III, leased the site to Sir Richard Jebb his favourite doctor as a reward for saving the life of the King's younger brother, the then Duke of Gloucester. Jebb chose the name Trent, because it was in Trento that the King's brother had been saved.
In about 1836 the house was bought by the banker David Bevan for his son Robert Cooper Lee Bevan on his marriage to Lady Agneta Yorke. Robert Bevan built Christ Church, Trent, in 1838 to provide a suitable place of worship for the district. In 1909 the estate was sold to Philip Sassoon (cousin of the poet Siegfried Sassoon), who entertained many celebrity guests at Trent Park, including Charlie Chaplin and Winston Churchill.One of the Halls of Residence is named Sassoon Hall after the previous owner.

During World War II Trent Park was used as a special prison for captured German generals and staff officers. They were treated reasonably hospitably with special rations of whisky and regular walks in the grounds. Many of the rooms inside the mansion had been equipped with hidden microphones and listening devices, and thus the British military was able to gather important military information and an intimate inside-view into the minds of the German military elite. They received information about war crimes, political views and got a clearer picture of the military resistance that led to the unsuccessful coup on July 20, 1944. 84 Generals and a number of lower ranking staff officers were brought to Trent Park. More than 1,300 protocols were written by the time the war ended; a selection of these was published in English in 2007 under the title Tapping Hitler's Generals.

In 1951 the estate became the then Trent Park College, which became part of Middlesex Polytechnic in 1978, which itself became Middlesex University in 1992. The University's Vice-Chancellor is provided with a residence within the park. Though not so grand as the main house, this does nevertheless boast several small private gardens including a rose garden. Other University buildings including student residences and offices are nearby.
In 1973 Trent Park was opened to the public as a 3.8 km² country park, which surrounds the university campus.

The country park includes publicly accessible countryside, farmland, a golf course and an equestrian centre. Some of the grounds were attractively landscaped by Humphry Repton in the English manner (some also attribute the work of Capability Brown). Features of the original landscaping that can still be seen include an impressive avenue of lime trees, an obelisk, ornamental lakes and a water garden.
The original mansion and a number of statues and other structures located within the grounds (such as the Orangery) are Grade II listed building. The site is designated as Green Belt, and lies within a conservation area and is also included within the Register of Parks and Gardens of Special Historic Interest in England.

All we have to hope for now is that he gets the results that he needs to secure him a place!!

Saturday, April 04, 2009

Its the Weekend.

After yet another long week I am pleased to be at a weekend. Perhaps I really do need to address what I am doing during the week. Its becoming long , tedious and mentally draining. There is only so much that you can take on and then it has to explode somewhere or other. I am also spending far too much time online, its all or nothing. I am off to a conference in June in Brighton. Simple enough. The lady who was booking the hotels for a whole group of us called to say that she had booked hers and because the only rooms left at that hotel were 'bunk bed' rooms she was not sure if we wanted those!! Well I think I am far to old for bunk beds, so I declined her offer. This left me with trying to find 3 rooms in a town where there was no room at the inn. I finally after much searching found three rooms in two hotels with very similar names, I consulted trip advisor and decided that one of them with around 90 one start ratings was not going to be my choice, from the photos there was mould and mess everywhere. As I have said the names were very similar, so of course I booked the wrong hotel.
I canceled that the next morning booked on line the hotel I wanted only to receive a call to say that there had been an error and they only had one room and not three Grrrrrrr. I finally managed to find us three rooms in a hotel, but we have had to each have a family room and the breakfast is only continental rather than full English. That took hours and hours!
I have advertised mum and dads mobility scooter on eBay and that is jinxed, the first woman that bought it lived 100 miles away and didn't realise that it would take her longer that 10 minutes to get here, so after going out of our way to take an offer for the machine she failed to turn up and we had to cancel the bid (which is another faff about) I re advertised it and again accepted an offer. This time despite regular emails to the buyer they didn't seem to realise that they had to phone us and I thought it was going to turn into another problem. They told us that they would be arriving around 6, and eventually turned up at 8pm. Then they could pick it up to put it in the car so we had to go around and load it for them!!
So here is Saturday, Beth is begging for a Chinese takeaway for tonight's dinner and its only 10.30am. (Situation normal there) The washing is on and there is a huge basket of clean clothes to be put away. I would like to do some scrapping but I have to dig out the craft table from under a pile of 'stuff' that everyone has dumped on it!!
Roll on Easter and a four day weekend.

Thursday, April 02, 2009

Card for Di Hickmans Blog

I enjoyed this template, it suits my love of regular straight lines!!I love seeing all the different versions that the other team members do, so check them out over on Di's blog (link in the blog roll on the right)