All entries for December 2006

December 28, 2006

Christmas Condensed

Christmas has now come and gone, phew. I’m not a huge festive fan (TA on the other hand is, she’s been counting down for weeks…) and to be honest, I’m quite glad it’s over.

On Christmas Eve, Mum and I trekked over to a people laden Tesco to check out the last minute bargains, having been into Sainsbury’s already, without any luck. We didn’t have any in Tesco’s either as it happens, so we went over to The Willows to go to the big Sainsbury’s and to M & S. (I don’t shop in M & S now – Clare is de facto personal shopper… …not that I have asked her to buy me anything yet…) anyway, we didn’t get much in either shop – Mum got a few last minute presents in Marks, and then we came home again.

Christmas Day came and went quite quickly, we had Barbara, Flick and Maurice over for dinner. I made the classic 1980’s prawn cocktail starter, and then we had turkey with all the bits (I love (and I mean LOVE) Pigs in Blankets…), followed by Christmas pudding and mince pies. Barbara and Flick were working in the afternoon at the hotel, so it was very quiet! I meandered off upstairs to watch some TV, before turkey sandwiches in the evening.

Present wise I got a very nice Jager jumper, an equally nice M & S V neck jumper, some CD’s, DVD’s and a new electric toothbrush.

Boxing day came, and I didn’t do ANYTHING – I watched a DVD and that was it. I have no idea where the rest of the day went, but then yesterday we went down to Cornwall to see Uncle John, Auntie Joy (Hello!!!), Alison, Stephen and Louise!

Ali cooked a lovely casserole with brilliant roast potatoes followed by a “cranberry and orange pudding in a dish” from M & S! (Very tasty, no need for the extra cream though!) We then had crackers (Christmas ones), cheese and biscuits with port (not me!), and then had an amazing half hour trying to put back together the cracker puzzle that my mother took apart for Louise, without success. It’s still in bits. We then had presents, and I got a Schott’s Almanac, a cookery book (with dinner party recipes,) and a Mexican food kit! (Useful for a dinner party – what are we doing New Years Eve TA???) Anyway, I had a very nice time, and Louise loved the craft kit I gave her; she got a little upset when the nose fell off of the hedgehog she was making, and a search ensued, but I found it glued to the carpet rod in the living room – phew!

December 23, 2006

Philips customer uncare!

Way back in November – the 25th of November to be precise my expensive Philips Coolskin shaver broke – I believe (as with my first one, this one being my third) that water got into the electronics. Philips customer care said to take it to a repair shop in Exeter. Lovely.

It is now nearly 4 weeks later, and I still haven’t got my shaver back. Mum has rung the shop several times over the last few weeks to get a progress report, but they hadn’t gotten around to doing it yet. Then they needed to get a spare part, then the part wasn’t in yet, and then the part may be in today’s delivery, but I haven’t checked yet.

So Mum rang Philips Customer care to see if they could hurry things along a bit. The response – well we can’t do anything, it’s up to our agent. Mum’s response – “You are a customer care department are you not?” “Yes” they replied. “Well it doesn’t seem like it, it seems to me you’re a customer un-care department.” “Well, I’m sorry, there’s nothing I can do about it.” “Well there’s something I can do about it, never buy any of your products again.”

So, we’ve added Philips to the list of things we don’t buy, along with Nestle, Tesco and Asda (Walmart). On a brighter note, the repair place called this morning to say it was ready – so Mum’s popped over on the bus to collect it for me! (As she being of pension-able age, gets to go free!)

However, I would like to point out, that merely replacing the circuit board inside the shaver will not therefore stop any leak in the casing, and therefore I predict that the shaver will be out of operation again in say, 6 months time? Only time will tell… …at least now I don’t have to wet shave, and my neck won’t look like I self harm!

The festive wind down…

Well this week has been all over the place!

On Monday I had to pop to M&S to grab a box of biscuits I had been charged for at Cribbs Causeway, but I hadn’t actually got, and then get a few last bits and pieces presents wise. I also had an email from British Nuclear Group saying that my telephone interview had gone well and that I was invited to assessment centre in April. So I am very pleased about that. I rang to confirm my attendance on the Tuesday, so I am all set up and ready to go so far…

On Wednesday TA and I went to the cinema (again) to see The Holiday, with Cameron Diaz, Jack Black, Kate Winslet and Jude Law. It was rubbish. (I had a nap in the middle for a few minutes, not intentionally, it just happened!) TA should be blogging about it on the Doing Stuff blog. In the mean time check out the Fraggle Rock video! Mum also got our Christmas tree – which would have been grand if it had fit into the Christmas tree pot. Alas it did not, so after whittling it, on Thursday I decorated it – it now looks lovely.

Thursday was a sad day as it was Chris’ last day at work. After Christmas and the New Year he is starting in the world of Banking at Barclays in Exeter. So good luck Chris! It does mean that work will be a bit quiet without him, although I have now moved onto his desk, and appropriated most of his stationery! (I like stationery!) I also have his infrared mouse (no trackball yay!), and his desk chair (Which I don’t like so aren’t using it.) So we all went to the pub at lunchtime for a Merry Christmas / Goodbye Chris drink.

The most exciting bit of Thursday was the raffle at work though! (I initially bought 1 strip of 5 tickets for £1, but felt under represented when Kelly had 4 strips, so I bought 2 more!) Just as well I did, because I won a Women’s White Musk Gift Set from the Body Shop. Fantastic I though – what am I to do with this? I eventually swapped it with Christina for a box of Ferrero Rocher. She got a good deal really, £16 gift set for £4 chocolates! But she is on a diet so couldn’t eat them, and I didn’t want the gift set, so we were both happy!

Yesterday was my last day at work until the New Year, not that we did a great deal of work (PD had his laptop in so we played a few rounds of who wants to be a millionaire and ate more snacks!). We’re not had a great deal of work in this week at all, so we’ve had to ration it so we’d have some left for the end of the week. I didn’t do a full day yesterday; I did 8am until 2pm, so that wasn’t too bad! Mum and I went to Sainsbury’s in the evening to gather festive food like a turkey, and other assorted goods (foil, iced buns, cranberry juice etc etc.) I think we’re all prepared now though…. Only two more “sleeps” to go as TA says!

December 16, 2006

Baking, Interview and the cinema!

Monday was our “Baking Day” at work. Each member of our team baked something, and brought it to work for the rest of the team to enjoy! (it was a result of my dinner party meringue story, so I am to blame…) Anyway, I cooked meringues, Trish a quiche (a little runny in the middle, and she bought the pastry! Tsk tsk!), Kelly a lemon cheesecake (very nice!), Chris a lemon Victoria sponge (which his mother made, he did the filling though – she didn’t trust him not to make a mess), John a sponge cake, Sharon some chocolate covered crunch things (yum, but chocolate = evil, and Sharon had to go home ill before we ate anyway!), and Dan – who forgot so went to buy sausage rolls and doughnuts! My god I felt fat (hard to believe, I know!) It took me about 4 hours to finish all of my different cakes off – Chris… ...about half an hour – he’s a bottomless pit him! It was all really nice anyway – something we may not be doing again too soon, as John forgot, and was up until 2am baking!

On Tuesday I had a telephone interview with the British Nuclear Group. I wasn’t sure it went too well, but I am still waiting to see – they said they would let me know within a week, so fingers crossed for that email on Monday or Tuesday! I also completed an application for John Swire and Sons today, so fingers even more crossed…

On Friday was work’s Christmas party, but I didn’t go. To be honest £18 for a pant’s menu – I really wasn’t interested. So Chris, Sharon and I were at work all afternoon, along with some others, including PD. So naturally not much work got done. PD was expecting a coach party I think the amount of party food (mini sausage rolls, peanuts, Doritos, cocktail sausages etc) he cooked! They were also playing with PD’s mini helicopter, which I might add he nearly crashed into my head at full speed! Not only that, but a fairly long time was spent chasing one huge queen wasp around the office. PD spraying it with deodorant (it was hiding into the light fittings – I was of the opinion firing a jet of alcohol based product at a light bulb wasn’t sensible, but, what the hey).... ... eventually I had a master stroke and struck it to the floor vehemently with my copy of the big issue! Hurrah!

On another note – I finished my Christmas shopping – now all I have to do is muster enough enthusiasm to wrap it all up! :-S

More importantly, our (TA’s and my) weekly jaunt to the cinema this week was to see Pan’s Labyrinth!

It was fantastic (hence the trailer below!), well-acted, fantastic story (although maybe a little TOO gruesome in places,) and thoroughly entertaining – go see it!

December 10, 2006

The Festive Period!

Well since I last blogged, not a great deal has happened.

On Wednesday TA and I went to see the film, “Little Children”, starring Kate Winslet. It’s a bit odd really, very long, and not very gripping. You can read more about our views on it here. On the plus side, we did get free samples of some fudge, and also a mini Tia-Maria, a small Diet Coke, and a Tia-Maria branded high-ball glass! (So not really a wasted trip!)

On Thursday Mum and I went to Clark’s Village in Somerset for a delightful shopping experience. I went with the intention of Christmas shopping, I cam away with 4 vanilla pods for £1.99, and a new pair of shoes! Mum pretty much bought bugger all too! We also lunched at a little place in the town of Street itself. It was not good! Mum had a mushroom omelette, it wasn’t anywhere near fluffy, and I had a burger – - blatantly Tesco value, disgustingly greasy, and it made me feel quite ill. Bleugh. The decor wasn’t great either!

On Friday, Kelly and I spent three hours decorating the office for Christmas! Time well spent if you ask me! It now looks a little bit festive, and I have my very own mini tree sat on my desk! Lovely.

Saturday was the best day this week though – TA and I were up bright and early to go to Cribbs Causeway in Bristol! We arrived shortly before 9am, had a coffee and a muffin, before spending the next 3 and a half hours systematically browsing, before going back after lunch (a rather nice salad bowl for me, and a baguette for TA,) to shop proper! We did a lot of shopping, and our feet very much hurt! I now only have 3 more presents to buy!

December 2006

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