Saturday, February 21, 2015

Happy Birthday to ME!!!

Well its that time of year again, February my birthday which is far too close to Christmas!! None the less we have arrived at the annual celebration!! 
This year I am feeling particularly old, I am now old enough to draw my pension should I be made redundant !! So that's a mile stone!A useful one to have in my pocket!!

I had a lovely day even though I was working, we went out for dinner in the evening. I was very lucky as I have some very generous friends who gave me some lovely gifts!!
I have a beautiful new scarf, some lovely candles, a great doodles book, flowers, money , chocs, wine to name but a few. 

Tom bought me a a candle from Imperial Candles, they smell lovely and by way of a bonus they have a piece of sterling silver jewellery hidden inside. I was given festive cranberry which smells lovely and after about 6 hours of burning the little package appeared.

You can see the little package at the top of the candle.

This was after I pulled it out!

Ta da!! a nice new silver ring, with a purple stone in the middle. It is a nice idea. 

The whole week was good, with dinner out with my oldest mates!!
Madeline, Sue and Sandra.

We have been doing birthdays at The Crooked Chimney for years and years!!

On my birthday we had dinner at the Long and Short Arm in Lemsford!

Afterwards we indulged in a few selfies with my selfie stick!

At work they 'decorated' my desk, we have miles and miles of the blue and white tape so I suspect we may be using it to celebrate everything until kingdom comes!!!

Finally I decided to do a bit of maintenance on our fish tank. We rescued the tank from a skip, thank you to our lovely neighbours who were getting rid of it, be bought a new pump and scrubbed it out, its now been running for around a year and I really like it! we invested in a few more fish which Beth has called after various footballers in the Sunderland team!

Beth also finally went on her 18th birthday trip to Amsterdam, Wendy got them to the airport at the crack of dawn and we collected them early evening a few days later. I think we got the best end of the deal ! 

Beth couldn't resist taking a photo of one of my favourite store, Blokker!! Beth and Hannah had a good look around taking in the Red Light District and several sex museums!!
So I hope you all have a good week. I am looking forward to my next weekend break which is to Warsaw at the end on March, before that I have a weekend away in London, its a tough life!!

Sunday, February 15, 2015

A few days away.

Last week I headed off for Women's Conference in Southport. Now Southport is quite a nice place, its been regenerated, lots of nice modern shops and hotels, a lovely convention centre known locally as the Floral Ha;l. On the down side it was 220 miles away. The last time I went I travelled by train. The train trip was awful with three changes and lots of stairs to negotiate with a suitcase. This time when I looked at booking train seats there were engineering works on the line which would have meant three trains plus two replace service buses! No contest really. We arrived late afternoon at our guest house- The Adelphi. It was very nice and minutes from the conference centre. 

We felt like we had been sitting all day so we went out for a walk. The bridge is quite imposing, but by the time we got out the light was fading. We didn't get down to the beach that night as it was too dark. We met up with colleagues for dinner and pre conference preparation.

The following morning after breakfast we went down to the sea, only we couldn't see the sea at all!! The wet sand made it clear that there had been water fairly close to the promenade, It just wasn't anywhere near now!! The pier was standing high and dry  not a drop of water in sight!!

It was however very very windy and chilly so we had to settle for a selfie minus the sea! The Conference was interesting, not all that enjoyable but interesting. I think the idea of a women's conference is good, but the content leads so many people to use it as a Jeremy Kyle show. While I understand that people want to share their experiences I don't see how it helps move the conference business on? It slowed things so much that by the second day they had to reduce the speaking time in an effort to get everything heard.
There were a couple of interesting speakers, Yvette Cooper and Dave Prentis so on balance it was worth it to hear from them along with the networking with our national colleagues. 

Back in October my friend Wendy and I booked a surprise break for Beth's 18th birthday in November. Wendy booked for her daughter Hannah and we of course booked Beth's. Today was the day that they flew off together at silly o'clock from Luton!! Its a huge step and we are all sure they will be fine, but you can't help worrying!!We will collect them on Wednesday, Poor Wendy got the bum 4am deal!!! I have heard from her, they are in their hotel and they have had their first huge portion of Frittes and Sauce!!

Tomorrow will be a sad day, I will say good bye to a work colleague and neighbour who passed away after fighting cancer. It will be a sad day although his wife wants us to wear bright clothes to celebrate his life. RIP Dave, you were a character and a huge loss to all of us. 

Have a good week.

Saturday, February 07, 2015

Happy Birthday Little Boy!!!

I can hardly believe its been 21 years since 'Little Ali' arrived on this earth!! Back then I was a stay at home Mum looking after Carl who was a toddler and Laura who was in infants. I was also a registered child minder and I was so pleased to be able to look after Alasdair from a very early age. He was (and still is) a lovely lad. Back in those days he was happy to play with Brio train set and millions of cars that he used to make into lines that snaked around the whole of the living room! He was such a happy chap and would follow Carl all over the place! Both Tom and I enjoyed looking after him. 

So here we are 21 years later celebrating his coming of age!! We went to Bills restaurant in town which was very nice. Its been a while since we saw Heather and Steve but the minute we meet up the time just melts away, we have been proactive and actually set up an evening together, a case of do it or before you know it another year will have passed!!

This week we finally had a little snow, I took this out of my bedroom window, in my head it looked really pretty but on closer inspection it looks more like Steptoes yard, broken fence, fallen over deck chairs, not very glamorous at all!! Next time we need a good fall of snow to cover all the imperfections!!

This morning I was very surprised to receive this package in the post. When we went away at Christmas I reviewed the hotel on Trip advisor, something I do with all the places I stay at, I really think you should give credit where it is due. It made me think about the airline as well. We had really good service from Virgin so I told them so!! This morning a package arrived with four bags containing these cute little Virgin Atlantic Air plane keyrings!! There was also a hand written note saying thank you for the review it was much appreciated. I was quite impressed that they took the time to send us something. 

I have been doing some crafty bits this week , mainly crochet of one sort or another. I have finally finished my pile of squares in bright clashing colours, I have been making them since August last year when I found the wool in a shop in Holland. It was the colour that attracted me and also the fantastic price of 99 cents for three balls of wool!

So now I have started the crocheting them together chore!! which is less than a chore than the 'finishing off the ends' chore which I have spent a few hours doing!!

My other crochet project is on a much larger scale, I am making some rugs out of recycled sheets for a project later in the year. The tearing up of the sheets fills the house with dust and I have to wear a mask to avoid breathing it in. On the plus side its a very fast craft, I can crochet a rug in an evening.

I have also found the perfect place to store the finished rugs, on my exercise machine, isn't that is what they are for??? 
So if anyone is getting rid of any sheets, pillow cases duvet covers, thin cotton curtains please send them my way doesn't matter if they are worn out or thread bare because they are all useful!!
Thank you.
We have half term coming up so Beth is looking forward to taking her surprise 18th Birthday long weekend. She is jetting away to my favourite city - The great Amsterdam. I am more than a little jealous because I don't have a planned visit there this year - yet!!! I am sure they will have a fantastic time!!
 Have a lovely week, don;t work too hard!! I am off to Southport at the end of the week  for some conference fun Whoop Whoop!!!