Friday, September 26, 2014

We had a Great Turnout!!!

Well all the time we spent carefully preparing our wares for the big sale paid off!!

We set up our stall in the works canteen and just about sold out of everything.

We decided that the best thing to do was ask people to make a donation. 

We did a brisk trade and finally packed up as the lunch time crowd went on their way. 
I am pleased to say that we raised over two hundred pounds for Macmillan Cancer Care. Best of all we had very few cakes left!
This year there seems to have been a load of cake sales, several at work and tonight the Gym I go to had their version, which had some cakes but also some fruit. Best of all they were doing taster beauty treatments, so I had a head and shoulder massage with oils and hot stone massage. It was very relaxing.

Its been a bit of a tough week at work, although the last couple of days I have been on a pre retirement course which was brilliant. It made me sort out all my paperwork at home, I have a sack of shredding to do on Monday!! It has really made me think about preparing ourselves financially for retirement and the possibility of eventually having to go into a care home. There are things that you can do to make sure that the government can't take all of your money. I am definitely going to look into that, I don't want my kids not to be able to benefit after I have gone. I hadn't realised that there are ways to protect your money - Legally, you just need to have the correct financial advice!!

I am so glad its the weekend :)

Tuesday, September 23, 2014

Making Cakes.

Tonight I have been a busy girl, we have decided to hold a 'Macmillan Big Coffee Morning' at work tomorrow, so tonight it was baking time!! I really only do 'baking' at Christmas, so I hope we raise a lot of money for them!!

So tonight I have made two dozen fairy cakes and two dozen fruit cakes. I have also made two dozen diet cakes, they are only diet because they are half the size of normal ones!!!

Its been an exciting week, we have got a new car!! Dad has treated himself to a new car so we have bought his old one from him. We are replacing our Zafira, Ruby with Dads Zafira, Sapphire. The new car has only done 100 thousand miles less than Ruby!! So I started to prepare Ruby for her new owner , for the first time in a long time she was cleaned inside and out. She is now on EBay with 12 watchers and one bidder, so she will definitely be sold by the end of the week. The process of selling a car is hard work. I have had people contact me asking to buy the car for less than we have it up for, they are quite rude when you say no. I think with so many people watching we will find that the price will rise by the end of the auction.

Our new car is an automatic, I have not driven an automatic since we were in Florida last year. Its quite difficult to remember that you don't need a clutch, in fact you don't need your left leg!! I just need to remember that, yesterday while practicing I forgot and hit the brake and nearly put Tom and I through the windscreen!!! Lucky we had our seat belts on. I have now got my head around it and will just have to keep concentrating until it becomes second nature.

I really hope the cake sale goes well in the morning. 
Hope you all have a good week.

Saturday, September 20, 2014

Water, Water everywhere :(

We have no luck with water. Over the years we have had lots of water 'incidents' It feels like we have far more incidents that other similar people and I ask myself why??? At the end of last year we had a major leak in the loft that meant I had to wash every towel I owned, not so great in the middle of winter :(

This time we were heading for bed when I walked by the fridge to get a drink. I felt a spray of water on my leg, not something I was expecting!! I grabbed my torch and looked down the side of the fridge and saw a pin prick of water coming out of the mains water supply pipe. This would not have been a problem if the hole had been on top of the stop cock, but it wasn't, closing the stop cock was going to do nothing !!! I suddenly realised we were going to be in serious trouble, with mains pressure water trying to fight its way out of the pipe. It was not going to get better. As we were watching the leak increased and the small jet reached all across the room and hit the opposite wall. 

I could feel the panic rising and it was clear despite it being nearly midnight we would need to call a plumber to switch off the mains outside the house.  We picked a 24 hour plumber off of Google and prepared my credit card for the inevitable assault on the balance. 

Half an hour and several towels later the plumber arrived and quickly realised that he would have to turn the water off outside. He had the big stop cock key, but for some reason there was a load of stones down the hole, which the plumber had to pull out before he could get to the tap. Once off I could breathe again and thank goodness that I spotted the leak before we went to bed, we would have come down the next morning to devastation.

The cost of calling a plumber out at night is truly frightening, I am pleased that the leak is covered on my house hold insurance. Its all repaired now and I thought that would be it, but no our luck continued, we were putting everything away when I notice water dripping down the inlet pipe of the dishwasher, I think all the pulling and pushing repairing the main pipe must have knocked the dishwasher feed . We managed to switch that off over night and our regular rather lovely plumber came and bailed us out. Thank you so much Nick, I am pretty cross that your Mum and Dad allowed you to move out of our road, don't they know who we are???

The weather has been pretty odd for September, we have had some really hot muggy days plus a fair few thunder storms, I have been trying to do the garden in between times. Yesterday I was really shocked to find this huge clump of fungi growing in the garden. They had literally sprung up overnight!! I don't know what they are, I will have to employ Google to identify them. 

The other news is that Carl has decided to sell his car, he wasn't really using it very much and things had gone wrong with it to such a point that it wasn't worth repairing. He put an ad in auto trader, being honest and listing all the faults. That advert attracted every sort of weirdo that was out there. He had ten calls in the first few hours, people promising to call and look at it and not turning up. People asking if there was anything wrong with it when it was all in the advert, when Carl said its in the advert people actually said they hadn't read the ad!!! He had one man phone yesterday and say he he would give him full price for the car, unseen. (He turned up and did just that!!) The strangest was two Polish blokes who turned up at 10pm yesterday in the dark to look at the car, they didn't bring torches, so we supplied them and they seemed to be overly concerned with checking the oil (I realise that you can check for a blown head gasket by checking for froth in the oil) BUT they stuck their fingers in and licked the oil!!!! Must be some quaint Polish custom!!

I am hoping for a quiet, restful weekend. I want to wish my friend Madeline well and hope she is back on her feet soon.

Wednesday, September 17, 2014

Feeling a bit creative!

I really enjoy doing a bit of crafting, I don't mind what form that takes I enjoy having a go at all sorts of different things. On my hit list in recent weeks has been a stand for my kitchen roll (I really know how to live the high life!!)  Since we had the new tiles in the kitchen, we lost the 'thing' that we hung the kitchen roll on. So since then I have been on the look out for one that can stand on the counter. As normal I have hit upon something that doesn't seem to be too popular any more. I can remember when I was just starting out and kitting out my first flat there were wooden kitchen accessories everywhere. Obviously their time has gone!! I eventually found one in charity shop for 50p so I was able to paint that in my trusty Annie Sloan chalk paint and that is now in use. 

I also had some wooden picture frames, they were old and big, I had seen an upcycle where the frames were painted and converted into a notice board. Over the years I have struggled with my desire to keep every piece of memorabilia, I have baby boxes for the children and I have bits an pieces from all times in my life.  I have kept birthday and anniversary cards. I am always battling with myself to throw things away, On looking through some of the cards I did have a clear out but I was pleased to find a couple written by my mum and even one from my sister. So I am happy with that!!

I have painted the picture frames and strung some ribbon across them, while we were in Amsterdam I found a shop selling some tiny pegs, so I have used them peg my precious bits and pieces on to the display. I now have a couple of them on my bedroom wall.

I am not in any rush to fill them up, I plan on adding to them over the years and swapping stuff around. On the one above I have my Rosary from Rome, a card from Rome, an Anniversary card from Mum and Dad, a telegram from Mum and Dads wedding, The place tags from Becca's Wedding, a photo from our wedding, Plus a thank you and some birthday cards.

The one above has a picture of the Sistine chapel, the rose that we bought in memory of Mum, a poem Laura gave me, photos of a trip to a field of Sunflowers. 

I will be able to add to these and swap stuff around as I want. I am happy with my weekend project!

I just need to think about what else I can smother with Annie Sloan Chalk paint, I have a mirror frame looking rather boring............

Have a good week, roll on the weekend, can't believe that I will be spending the month of October in England, I will remedy that in November when I am on my travels again with my girl friends, all booked and looking forward to Hamburg!!!

Saturday, September 13, 2014

Another Interesting week or two.

Life is full of twists and turns, sometimes we get lulled into a false sense of security bumbling along in a comfortable groove, not expecting anything much to change. Then we are thrown one of those curved balls that knocks things off track. We have recently had a couple of those balls in quick succession. 

We had been busy planning for a weekend away in my spiritual home, Amsterdam. We had booked a break with our friends Madeline and John, they hadn't been away this year and we were all looking forward to it. We had just returned from our weekend with Rod and Tina, when Tom was taken ill. Without going into the details we found ourselves with an emergency admission into hospital and a whole load of worry. 

It was quite strange for me, because its usually Tom who is having to worry about me having various operations and procedures so this was a very unusual experience for me. He spend some time in hospital and had a whole raft of tests, eventually they were able to eliminate the most serious of our concerns, but he has been left with a very long recovery period after contracting a virus. He is getting better but it could take up to a year to return to full health and in the mean time he is having blood tests twice a week and meeting with the consultant so they can keep an eye on him. 

Just when we thought we were on the up, Dad ended up back in the same hospital with his reoccurring intestinal problems. Thankfully my brother was able to help me out with that and he cared for Dad .

Toms  virus is not contagious, so he decided that he wanted to continue with our Amsterdam trip as long as we were able to build in some rest time for him. This we did, so he had a lie down for a few hours each afternoon, in fact I was the only one who didn't have a lie down!!!! It worked out well we did all we wanted to do and Tom wasn't exhausted. 

When I booked the weekend I had asked Easy jet for some assistance for Mad, she is waiting for a knee operation and walking distances was difficult. They really excelled themselves and we were very well looked after both at Luton and Schiphol airports. There is a huge distance to walk particularly at the Amsterdam end, so we were able to stay with her and all get a lift !!

On the first day we took a walk around the shops, there were many cheese shops to explore!

There were a lot of people around but we went to the floating flower market just to the left of this tower. I bought back a couple of bags of bulbs for next spring.

Our hotel was in Rembrandt Square, it was still nice an warm in the evenings, so we chose a cafe there to have a bite to eat on the first evening.

There are so many places to eat and drink in Amsterdam, I think you could go somewhere different for years !!

I think that's my last Amsterdam trip for this year, I will have to manage until next year for another trip!! 
Amsterdam mijn favoriete stad ,
Vaarwel ik zal je missen.


Tuesday, September 02, 2014

Where did the summer go???

A shot from our holiday in Holland, this year they had the usual photographs after the rides, but instead of printing them you could have them sent to your email address for the sum of two Euros, so I gave it a go!!

I can't believe that we are into September and before you know it, it'll be Christmas. We had a good summer and we finished off at the weekend with a trip to Scratby on Sea with Dad and our friends Tina and Rod. We were very lucky with the weather, a drop of rain at night but nothing during the day. It was a bit of a milestone for dad, he hadn't been away for a number of years and wasn't sure how he would get on. 
I had forgotten how difficult and somehow frightening it is to do something that you haven't done for a while. In the end Dad did very well!!

On the Friday evening we went out for a meal at the local California Tavern. On the Saturday morning we headed down to Great Yarmouth and walked along the prom and the pier! We walked for miles and miles!

Not a very flattering photo of Dad and I on the sea front!!

We stopped for elevenses!! Very nice indeed!

In the evening we went to Yarmouth Dog track. I backed this dog purely because of the name and the connection that has with me, I was right I won the huge sum of £3.20 !!

Rod blew all his winnings on ice cream, two of them all for himself!!!

On Sunday we had a lazy morning and then headed off to Hemsby for lunch. We ended up at The Hollywood Diner which was run and staffed by Tina's cousins. We had a nice meal with milkshakes that were lovely - I had  mint choc chip, Tina had a chocolate one and Rod went the whole hog with a Choco Mocha extravaganza !!

What a group of stunning looking folk!!!!

We rounded the evening off with a visit to the amusement arcades, we usually have Beth with us, so it felt very odd this time without her!

I am pleased that we managed to get away and we had a brilliant weekend with dad and our friends!!

If you fancy a week or weekend away give The Reeves Family Chalets a go!!