Archive for October, 2008

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last nights dinner was…

October 28, 2008

Pie!

Quorn (chickeny flavour) with veggies and mushrooms. I was too hungry to let it finish cooking so the pastry is slightly under done. The broad beans were cut fine but they were stringy. Apart from that it was a very tasty pie and enough for tonights dinner too.

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other things I should catch up on.

October 27, 2008

Thursday last week Mary came to visit for the evening. I went to the station and we took a cab home, then I drove to knit night. We stopped and had Pizza first and then got together with the ladies for a quick knit. We could not stay long but it was lovely to spend some time with Mary and allow her to get out and about a little. It was exactly two months since my wedding day and we had a good chat about how it all was. She reminded me what a beautiful wedding I had because lately its more about loosing mum and she did confirm one thing I was wondering about. Mum did not look or have any outlying proof that she would be dead within the week of my wedding day. Amazingly I found that heartening. She was amazing, right to the end. I am just about at the stage now where I can appreciate how special she is and was, and how great a wedding day I had. I have to thank good friends like Mary for that, reminding me its not all about missing them, its about celebrating and spending what time we can with friends.

Anyway on to other weekend and all that activities. Saturday we washed the cats, they were getting a bit stinky and needed it. Photos are on flickr and in that post down there that was dropped in by flickr. The boys were amazing and accepted the light warm raining that Scotty gave them. No loud meows, no struggling and both were very happy after that they were clean, fluffy and looking handsome.

I baked some more and made two batches of cakes. One fully successful and the other not so much. Lemon ginger cupcakes were fab. Carrot and sultana not so much. The lemon ones were so good I baked a second batch on Sunday just to take to the family.

Saturday night I went out! SHOCK HORROR! Anne-Marie who blogs too, was at knitting night but I never got a chance to catch up with her. She’s getting married in December so we have a lot to talk about. I met her at the local pub and we drank chatted and knitted at the same time. I enjoyed it lots and I would love to have a pub knitting group. Next time I must remember not to take the lace knitting. Far too complicated whilst chatting and drinking.

Sunday we went over to the coast and all the kids and my brother and sister were there. Dad pulled out all the stops and managed to cook a full chicken and veggie roast for 11 people. A couple of us pitched in a little but it was mostly his doing. He has confirmed he had a lovely time on holiday with the twins and my brother. I unfortunately was feeling all out of sorts and left early before anyone could tell me if they liked my cakes. We were off on a walk down the sea front and only ladies can understand that lurching feeling when you’re not prepared for your bodies functions.

Which brings me neatly on to my personal body issues. PLEASE if you don’t want to hear about ladies things wait for the next update. bye! go on, you really don’t need to read it.

The doc placed me on the pill just before the wedding. The first two months were a bit heavy and PMT is getting worse. This month I was almost a week late and it threw me. I’ve also noticed more headaches just before I come on. It should not upset me much but, on top of dealing with grief, a full time job and a house, family, cats and husband the period nearly broke completely. I’m in less control and I cant feel what my body is up to like I used to. I’m not sure I want to stay on the pill BUT it does bring a few small advantages which I’m sure i don’t want to give up yet. The only option is to go and talk to the doctor about it. Anyway, its not a killer but I am worried that one day I may shout at the wrong person at the wrong time and do the silly thing I did last week and tell someone to shut up or I’ll stamp on their foot. Not the worst thing, but my mind was properly thinking of poking out their eyes with a knitting needle. I’d never do either thing so daft but I may be stupid enoug to say I would. Someone needs to create a tongue peg to stick on and shut me up on those days where I have no self control. I can see me with a sticker over my mouth with a disclaimer on it. “removal of this sticker will lead to insults, and outbursts of annoyance, proceed with caution”

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our financial situation.

October 27, 2008

Is reasonable. We’re not skint, not rich but able to keep going with what we have.

So in order to make the best of what we have I’ve been in touch with a financial advisor to try and find the best deals out there and get us what we need, a new mortgage. The current one is for 30 years full term and we’ve only managed to cover the interest and £3000 in the past two years. Not good. Still we have alternatives and one of those is with the same supplier. Nationwide.

Oh do I hear any UK people nodding and wondering what my rant is going to be about? well it surely will be a rant and surely it will be about Nationwide. Firstly, I was called early as the rates were changing so I was asked by our adviser to call Nationwide and try and earmark the lower rate of interest. Ok, easy enough. This was Tuesday.

I called them and asked them to change our mortgage. Sorry we cant they said. You’ve got a block on your account and you’ve not been receiving mail because the address is incorrect. They have still been taking my money though.

Plus also I had to change my name on the account so Wendesday I went to the bank and changed both. Job done, or at least it should have been. I was informed it would take 24 hours to update on the system.

Thursday, I call them to change the mortgage. They said the name had been changed but not the address. Now they were claiming I had not changed it, and the postal address was still incorrect, and what was the mortgage under? a completely different address. The annoying thing is I’m not sure if it was the solicitors or Nationwide who got the address wrong but we cant change the mortgage unti this is all sorted out. By Friday we were called back by the branch and they posted out forms to sort out exactly what address they should have the mortgage under as well as our postal address which should be exactly the same.

Hopefully once they get all this back I can have a new mortgage, but because its taken the best part of two weeks I’m going to make sure its with someone else.

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lazy no plans weekend

October 27, 2008

Was last weekend, and I thought I filled all this in and published it. Apparently not. Time is very much getting away with me of late and because quite a bit is happening I’m starting to miss things. le sigh.

Saturday: final sort out and re-arrange. Still piled up to the heavens. I removed 3 boxes and gave them to my sister who popped over to pick them up.

Sunday spent the rest of our vouchers bought wireless keyboard, kenwood processor, silicone baking trays. Then spent the rest of the day baking cakes and stuff. It was fun. I wish I took pictures of my makings.

Then we played lego. Lovely.

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3 men in a shower

October 25, 2008

Saturday mornings are great. Just to let you know we don’t do this often. It is still a little cruel but when they smell they need it. About once every couple of months.

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bit at a time

October 20, 2008

Damn, I’ve been keeping notes and trying to write up an publish more often BUT just as I go to publish I get waylaid and miss it. So to cover what I have missed here’s a bullet post.

– I bought office for mac, but via the work sponsorship system which means I only paid £17.31 bargain. It turned up on Friday, its been installed and is working well. Shame about the updates though, they took twice as long to install than the software itself. Oh and then I noticed that my mac HD was full. only 3Gb left. YEEP! I realized it was nearly all my aperture folder of photos. I ran a backup and had a HUGE cleanup. Doing that alone cleared up 35Gb of a 75Gb HD.

– sorting boxes. I’ve been through everything that was taken from Dad’s house. I’ve now got my two sewing machines, 6 large under bed boxes full to the brim with sewing fabric. 3 full of yarn, one full of felting. These have all now been stashed in two stacks in the spare room down stairs and my project is slowly coming to pass. I’ve got at least 3 bin bags full of old clothes and a good selection of “charitable donation items” which need to go to the cancer research charity shop. One day, I’ll finish sorting and I’ll have a sewing/knitting room all to myself. Then I can get creating which is what I love doing most. Firstly I will need to collect more stuff from mum’s wardrobe and go through all that. Not until next week though.

– We had a visit from a financial advisor. With these trying times I must admit we’re not noticing it much. We are truley dinky (dual income no kids yet). I feel like I keep going on spending sprees but I forget most of what we get is discounted or out of our wedding vouchers. More about that later. Back on to the financial advisor, she took our details and will be coming back Tuesday night because all the rates changed when she visited and most of the banks pulled their deals. I’ve no idea how I would have sorted it all out so its nice here in the UK we have advisors who take their payment from the lender you choose so the service is free.

– Dad has gone on holiday with my brother, his wife and the twins. Hopefully he’s enjoying it as much as he can, and I think its the best thing for him to get away from the house for a bit, to relax and get a small dose of much needed sunshine. I miss him right now but that’s because I cant talk to mum either.

– I made it to knit night! YAY! As I’ve sorted through all the boxes I managed to take yarn donations to the group. By this I mean I handed out yarn for free but asked the person who took the yarn, in each case to give what they thought they could afford for the yarn to cancer research. I think it worked well. Most of the stash went. All the stuff I would have never ever got around to knitting with too (yes I did keep some back for me). I didn’t take photos, I didn’t count what was given away. Some of it also went to a disabled gentleman who joins our group and I’m not going to ask him for a donation. He’s going to make a blanket of squares to give to charity, what more could I ask than it all gets knitted faster than I could and put to good use.

– After such a lovely night with the ladies at knit night I had a bit of a rough nights sleep. Parting with some of mums items appears to give me nightmares. Friday at work was hell. What with a completely discombobulated feeling about myself, tired and not able to concentrate a poor girl in the office got a cough. The problem was its no ordinary cough, its loud, hard and repeated every few minutes throughout the day. She was told to go home and would not. At one point she managed to cough and fall over. By this point I was distraught. I could not find it in me to tell her I heard my mum cough just like that, for the last 6 months of her life, almost constantly. Mum was eventually taught some breathing techniques to stop it annoying her but the constant reminder on a day I was less than able to cope, it broke me. I went for a quick weep in the loos around lunch time. Later two colleagues were leaving the office for good, both to head off as expats in New Zealand (they got married earlier in the year). I decided to go for a quick drink and two large vodkas with coke later and I had enough courage to stomp home and feel happy that it was a Friday night. I very very rarely drink anything but that was just what the doctor would have ordered if there was one present.

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lapse me? NEVER.

October 14, 2008

well you got me. Someone reminded me today I’ve not taken a money shot of the new barnet. My long hair was like more than part of me. It became who I was known as, the girl with long hair. Well its not that short but its a lot further away from my trousers than it used to be, and for your delectation I give you me.. at work, no makeup and fuzzy. Amazingly I cut off the bottom of my hair, inserted a tree in my head and surrounded myself with boxes. DOH. Ah well at least I’m smiling.

see flickr for reasons why I should not take up photography.

from my iphone.

Click on the photo to go to Flickr where there is an even more dodgy but better taken photo in the work toilets mirror, where I’ve been mirrored of course. Well it looks right to me.

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so what is IT support?

October 14, 2008

so far this morning, and I jest not, I have been asked to fix a dictaphone, well 3 to be exact to get one working and fix a telephone because the line is out. These things have remained unfixed by me, I have shown the first customer that their PC has a mic and how to record from it and informed the second to contact the telecoms team. Work done.

To be honest that is the worst I can moan about so really I have it very good indeed.

Plus I realise I’ve been such a lax blogger and things are catching up and going very quickly to the point that I nearly forget everything that has happened before I get to tell blogland.

I missed out on Thursday night knitting because I was way too tired to go. By this point Scotty had placed the TV on order and I booked off Friday afternoon so that I could go and pick him and the TV up from work. Friday occurred as planned and we got home and plugged in the new very large TV. I now need a bib because the screen is so clear and top quality that I drool when watching it.

Saturday morning we had to get Scotty’s bike from the station because I picked him up. Whilst there we popped over to woollies and got Lego batman. Those who know me well know I’ve played all the Lego series and I love them all. This one is going to top of the class though, much better than Lego Indiana Jones and comparable to both star wars versions in one package. Lots of new places to explore, a plethora of new evil characters to play with and lots of new functionality that is just enough different from the star wars and Indiana versions that make it great fun to play. Since Saturday morning ( now Tuesday) we’ve clocked up the best part of 10 hours playing between us. OOps. 😉

Still, we have achieved other things too. We took one of the sets of bookshelves from the spare room downstairs and moved them up to the lounge. I think the lounge is mainly done now and looking rather nice and now I get to sit on the same sofa as Scotty because before we had one each and it was incredibly unfriendly. Two sofas seem nice but its not snugly.

Sunday we drove over to Dad’s at Sherringham. It was a beautiful day and even though dad on his own is not used to catering for family he placed on a lovely spread of fresh home made bread, cheese and salad. My sister and her family were there too. Dad went out with the kids to the park whilst me and my sister launched in to some of mums belongings that would cause pain for dad to deal with. In the end we had quite a nice time covering some of the stuff that desperately needed to be done. By the time we finished I ended up taking away 10 plastic wheeled boxes of material, wool, sewing patterns and personal belongings that we just did not want dad to have to deal with. We binned age old makeup, hairbrushes, curlers and realised just how much stuff a life can accumulate over time.

I need to spend time sorting through all these boxes and removing charity items, bin-able items and keeping as much of her fabric and patterns and wool as possible, or at least finding good homes for them where they will be appreciated. I know she would have wanted this above other things and I find it therapeutic doing this for her. I may not have been able to be there by her side near the end but I can make sure that what was hers is dealt with, with respect. Finally I also took all the undies and that which most of it will have to be trashed but the wig and fake boob(s) (two rights) are all going back to the cancer ward to hopefully be re-used. I don’t think she ever used them and never found them comfortable.

Once I’ve been through all of this I will take some of the boxes back and re-fill with the wardrobe which we have hardly touched. I’m a very similar size to my mum so I guess I get a free wardrobe of clothes, well anything I can bear to wear, which is quite a few things because I always thought my mum had great class most of the time. Still with most of this it will also end up at charity and I will search out and find the best ones suitable to the cancer cause that mum had to fight. My sister agreed with me, its sort of my job, I’m really the only one who can wear the clothes and yet again its what mum would have wanted. I never expected to enjoy the process as much as I am It reminds me of what part of me is like my mum, organized and getting stuff done, the love of knitting and sewing. Plus I love sharing and giving stuff away. If there is any way any of the nice stuff can make it out via here to donate I’ll try and do that too.

Dad also gave me all the green tomatoes he collected from his garden. I attempted to make green tomato chutney on Sunday night. It looks right but it still tastes a bit like vinegar, just a little and I put in WAY TOO MUCH chilli. It tastes nice and then lingers. I’ve never had a back burner like it. I’m not sure quite what to do with it to make it right again. I ended up adding apples and pineapple too and blending the resulting mix to get a more smooth texture.

Knitting has been a bit on hiatus this week. I finished the beret hat and even after blocking it looks better but is still not really big enough for my head and the cast on edge is way too loose and flops off. I don’t like floppy things that just perch. I need something to hug my ears to keep them warm in the depths of winter. Scotty loves his socks and they have been through the wash once already and are in need of another wash to be worn again.

Finally Otis and Jasper are happy and spent most of Saturday in the garden unsupervised. They are still fighting well and enjoying running up and down the stairs.

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what no more recap?

October 7, 2008

I think I’ll keep the honeymoon to myself for now. I have drafts but I like having the secret holiday. It was beautiful in its own sweet way.

Last week and the weekend and so far this week have been mighty busy. I made it to knit night on Thursday but left early as I was so very very tired. Friday night I cast on a new hat because I’ve very nearly finished two other projects, the socks, and also the mitts for a friends wedding. Saturday I felt like I had a stonking cold coming and my head was thick and thumpy. I spent the day on the sofa relaxing and knitting. I’m trying a beret via this pattern. What? no I can hear you, I know you’re asking, me? follow a pattern? HA, well in this case yes. BUT (see I knew you were waiting for it) I’m also trying Grumperina’s spiral tutorial. Which allows for the chevrons to meet up in a perfect circle without changing the yarn at the seam point at any time. I need all 4 ends of two balls of yarn going to get the two row chevron to work. I’m juggling yarn like a professional and it is coming out rather lovely. I did find a mistake though and it took most of this lunch time at work to fix.

Anyway, amongst all the knitting that I should be completing rather than picking new stuff Scotty and I had a sort out day on Sunday. Firstly we found all the stuff off the ground floor of our house that needed to go up the loft. Escorted it up the two flights of stairs and slid it up the ladder in to the attic space. Mainly empty boxes but some not so empty. Then anything else from around the house that needed to go up the loft did too. Then after tidying a little we decided to re-arrange the lounge. Now WAY back when this blog started we bought Slot sofas. This means now we have instead of a 3 seat corner we have a 4 seat L shape and instead of a two seat sofa we have a single chair. Plus the move around means that we are as far away from the telly as we can get in our little abode. Keep thinking on this point whilst I continue to meander about. We were just about half way though shifting and my brother calls and said he’s going to pop over with his kids and wife. I love them coming to visit so we got a wriggle on and slotted it all together and ran the hoover over everything. Once everyone was in the house the new layout worked well. The kids loved running around in circles between the lounge and kitchen and through the doors to the stairway. They were told lots of times to WALK past the stairs, but they are 2 1/2 year old twins, they mostly do what they like until they get hurt. Now I do love my brother but he noticed the TV situation and mentioned that, even our 28″ screen looked rather small. To be honest I agree, but Scotty took this point and has since been looking for a new 40″ TV… I’ll let you know when we get it, I’m still tempted to mount it on the wall but we’d have to find somewhere else for our giant but slightly warped mirror.

After all that Monday was not usual either, Dad came for lunch which was great and I do love now spending time with him. Its like I very rarely had the chance before and we do get on rather well. We talked, ate and generally had a good time. Dad delivered a spare garden bin to our house too so when I got home I went straight to the back garden and started emptying all my dead plant pots in to the bin, fluffing up the soil and mixing it all in so that next spring it will all be fresh and usable again (I hope). I felt like I had achieved, so up to the kitchen I went. I scored a whole bunch of free apples at work due to the free fruit that is left out on a weekly basis. (no I did not steal everyone’s free frut it was last weeks left in the kitchen). I peeled and chopped them all and cooked apple strudel. Then chopped and roasted a load of veg (steamed some romanesque, and cooked veggie burgers). I finally sat down at 9pm and lamented at not getting any knitting time. So this is why knitting now comes to work with me at lunch time. I want to get things done around the house but I’m at work too many hours to achieve everything at home I would like to do at home. Lunch hours are now for catchup and one day I will try and launch my new ideas on you all. I’m just formulating at the moment and I will have to make a propper plan and try and get it working before going any further. Mainly the plan right now is to get my sewing machines up and running in a permanant position. Then I can think about taking over the world… BWWAHAHAA HAAHAAHAAHAAHAHAAHAA.

Oh and PS, I nearly fell asleep last night hugging otis like a teddy bear. Jasper is for sofa hugging, Otis for bed hugging. How great is that? THE BESTEST. (yes yes I know, my husband should be for bed hugging but I’m trying to keep this place safe for work)