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November 08, 2007

An update on point 8 of my last entry

8. I've baked a cake for my friend's wedding in November - just got to do the scary part and ice it!

....and here's the finished result...

It's not perfect but it's very difficult to get perfect icing on a sponge cake (top tier) that's my excuse and I'm sticking to it! :-)

The wedding was last Saturday and she thought the cake was lovely, so I'm pleased I took the risk.


October 09, 2007

It's about time!

OK, I've been cowed into submission after I've just been remonstrated with at lunch time for my lack of blogging.  After numerous protestations (and actual belief on my part) about how busy I've been,  I thought I'd check the blog to see what the fuss was....well I couldn't believe I hadn't blogged since May and guess what? I was talking about the rain then!

OK, quick catch up on the last 5 months:

1. Been busy at work (no really!)

2. Taken up camping (2 trips so far at the end of the camping season - brilliant fun!  Me and HP have decided we're T.O.Ts (Tough Oudoorsy Types) You can think of something rude if you want :(

3. Dismantled our garden and had a rendered wall built, it's painted and looks fab and just needs us to rebuild the garden again (job for next year)

4. The allotment has unfortunately died a death after being visited by a plague of locusts (Ok they weren't really but they were bad enough) I hope to revive this shortly

5. The chickens next door have had more baby chicks and they're still really cute, especially when one escaped around the front of our house and they only way we could get it back was through our front door, down the hall, under the nose of the cat (who thought she was seeing things!) and out of the back door - and it didn't poop once :-)

6. I've volunteered my services for the Meriden Village Appraisal project, so far I'm the Minutes Secretary and I'm hoping to get involved in the communications aspect too.

7. Don't know why I'm left this so far down the list coz it is something I'm really proud of... but since I last blogged I've lost a total of 37 pounds (in weight, not money) I'm hoping to make it 40 (no other reason except I'm 40!) and I've had a great time going out and buying new clothes!

8. I've baked a cake for my friend's wedding in November - just got to do the scary part and ice it!

9. Visited Chastleton House, Coughton Court, Hardwicke Hall, Richmond Castle, Chedworth Roman Villa, Mam Tor, Blue John Mines and Judroll Bank (Camping you see it gets you out and about!)

10.  Celebrated my 7th wedding anniversary with my lovely HP - leaving the best thing 'til last x

OK - that's all folks!  (except I might try to keep things a bit more up to date from now on, as I've just remembered how much I like doing this!)


May 15, 2007

Pesky Critters!

Looks like I spoke too soon.  I went up to the allotment last night in between the showers to try and tackle the weed growth that I knew would be really bad after all this rain but I was also hoping to find my produce springing up after their drenching...it obviously sprang up too lush as some greedy critter has eaten it!!  My peas have gone - mice?, my beans have holes - slugs?, and my purple sprouting brocoli is reduced to stalks - slugs again?,  the things that remain unscathed are my potatoes, onions and pak choi but that's not going to make my vegtable in-take very exciting is it??  humphhh!

May 11, 2007

Drip, Drip, Drip Little April oops no May showers


I'm probablt the only person who is secretly enjoying the rain we're having.  I've just planted new seeds up at the allotment and I better they're having a great time sucking up all this moisture.  The only drawback is that I haven't been out digging and hoeing which means them darn weeds will be at it too :(

Anyway here's some piccies of my lovely bit of land it's coming on a treat:

April 1

Onions!seedlings

Under cover we have pointed red cabbage, pak choi and purple sprouting brocoli.  The covers are off now and they are making really good progress, can't wait to eat them!


May 03, 2007

Just haven't got around to it…

I haven't written anything for ages but I'm feeling the urge to just write so what better place to do it?

I've been meaning to update on  my allotment for ages I've even got photos but I just haven't got around to it.  So without the visuals here's the text...my potatoes are coming on a treat although I was told yesterday that if it doesn't rain then the actual potato won't swell :( my onions are very handsome and they're all standing up in a nice row, although apparently they won't be ready to eat for ages and I've got to let them dry and everything :(  My pak choi looks great as does my purple sprouting brocoli and pointed red cabbage :) however I did move some carrots and leeks from my greenhouse the other day and they look decidely sorry for themselves now despite my watering them and talking to them :(  WE NEED RAIN!!! 

My friend T came up trumps again though, he's given my a scythe so I can cut back all the nettles and long grass that's growing around the edge of my plot.  I had a go on Monday and I don't think my technique is up to scratch as I ended up with a scythe injury - lucky just a blister as opposed to a toe amputation!!

Archery has also taken a dive.  After changing to HPs limbs (that conjurs up amusing pictures..) my arrows no longer suit my bow and they have enabled me to miss the target more times than hit it, no honestly, it must be the arrows, a good archer will always blame the bow it can't be their release technique or the fact their mouth is hanging open in a fish-like manner, or their head resembles a nodding dog, or their shoulders mimic an old crone - none of these things are possible it is just the arrows!!  Anyway I've gone and bought some new ones which will make me a champion before the end of the year!  At this point it is worth noting that HP has acheived a significant personal ambition of becoming Archer of the Month and I'm very proud of him and I know he can't wait for his shiny badge - he's like a little magpie :)

Work is good, things are hotting up on the R front and it's exciting stuff I just want it get going so we can see what the end result will be like!

Anyway pictures will follow of the allotment and archery hopefully (if I can hit the target!)


April 23, 2007

Enigmatic – that's me

It was Hp's mum's birthday last week and like a good son he phoned to wish her Happy Birthday and catch up on her news.  Apparently she had received a card from her cousin in New York who we spent an evening with when we visited NYC in March.  In it she commented that HP had 'matured well..' - he's past 40 now so you'd hope so and that I was 'difficult to know'.  HP kindly put it down to the fact that she didn't actually ask me anything about my life, history, background, work etc. and as it was a family thing I didn't get an opportunity to volunteer too much information.  When HP first told me I felt a little insulted as she's insinuating that I was being deliberately obtuse and unfriendly but now I've decided that I must be enigmatic which has a slightly more romantic and flattering connotation.

Strangely I always thought I was pretty much an open book what you saw was what you got, warts and all, I'd happily tell everyone about myself and then think maybe I shouldn't have said that or revealed too much etc. but hey ho I suppose it goes to show you learn something new about yourself everyday.


April 17, 2007

£10.01

Why is it when I go to a particular petrol station Texaco I always get charged £10.01 despite very carefully stopping at £10.  When I look at the display it says £10 but when I get to the cash desk it's £10.01.  I think they're adding a penny to everyone's petrol, just imagine how many people fill up with petrol every day and get that extra penny added, it could amount to a hefty profit...

April 16, 2007

Welcome to Lucy

Follow-up to Triple A from HP's blog

Oh and the chicks hatched and I got to name the first one.  I named her Lucy and she was all black and fluffy.  That surprised me as I thought all chicks were yellow and then changed colour as they got older, it just shows you what 40 years worth of Easter advertising can do to you...

Triple A

Just got back to work after a fantastic week off.  I didn't go anywhere exciting just stayed at home but it was lovely.  I spent my time pottering around  the house and doing things I like doing, mainly 3 As

  • Allotment
  • Archery
  • Alcohol

All in  moderation of course :)


April 03, 2007

Hen pecked!

My neighbour's away again and I'm in charge of chicken feeding  - Yippee free eggs for me!  There is a slight problem though this time, one of the hens is broody and apparently they need special handling so HP and I popped round to see what we had to do last night.  When C opened the coop this big, black hen was all plumped up sitting on some eggs.  C has marked these with a red pen and they are not to be eaten :( as they have little chicks inside :) The problem is that when all the other hens start laying this broody one will gather them up under her and the one's marked with a cross might not get enough warmth and then die...oh no!  So we have to lift her up, sort the eggs out and take away the ones without the red cross.  Sounds easy enough.....but she's quite big and she pecks a lot to protect the eggs.  HP reckons we should wear a gauntlet to protect ourselves!

I'm secretly wishing that the eggs hatch while they're away and then I get to look at real Easter chicks and maybe even keep one or two....


March 28, 2007

Bliss…

What a fantastic afternoon it was yesterday!  I rushed home from work got a bolognese on the go and hot footed it up to my allotment.  I didn't have anything particular to do but I just wanted to be outside and 'be'.  I played around in the muck and dirt pulling at haphazad weed growth and scavenging the hedgerows for stuff.  It was really warm, the sun was shining and I stayed up there until 7pm, got home, had a shower, spag bol was ready accompanied by a glass of wine - bliss 

March 27, 2007

Fog Lights….aaaaarrrgh!

I know this has been said a thousand times, not least by me at least 999 times, but why do people insist on using fog lights when there is a tail of about 20 cars behind them - we can see you with your normal lights you know!!!  I accept the point that they may have driven from somewhere where there were no cars behind them and so were taking correct precautions but by the time they reach a major road with plenty of cars behind them they should be more aware and switch the damn things off instead of sitting in their little tin box listening to some crap radio, oblivious to the fact they're burning a hole in my retina!

Then on the opposite side of the coin, there were at least 2 cars this morning that didn't have lights on at all and were completley unaware that they appeared as strange dark shapes suddenly emerging out of the gloom.  Idiots is what I call them - all of them, foggers and no-lighters = idiots!

Well  that seems to have set the mood for the day...


March 26, 2007

Spring – reminds me of tigger

The clocks have gone forward and it really does feel like Spring now.  I spent a few hours up the alltoment yesterday with my new toy- a Mantis rotavator.  I thought I might have a bit of trouble getting it statred because it's a pull thingy (like they have on boats...) but it started first time and I was off!!  I managed to get 3 of my beds rotavated and now the soil resembles cake crumbs and is ready for whatever I choose to plant.  I had to have a quick check over the seeds I've bought to see what should be going in when but I think I might start them all off in the greenhouse first and then plant them out a bit later on.  That will give me plenty of time to continue making sure my soil is just right!  Oh the joy of an allotment and what's even better is that I can start going up after work now as it's lighter in the evening yippee!

On a different note the bedroom is definitely taking shape, HP is working hard on stripping the old bed and revarnishing it ready for some magical woodwork and then it'll be back to sleeping in comfy bed again - that calls for a 2nd yippee!

See lots of things to be bouncy about - tiggers (Spring) are wonderful things!


March 21, 2007

Memories

I've finally mananged to get round to adding some New York photos to my memory stick and then add them to this blog.  Just going through them and choosing which ones to upload brought back all the memories of what a great time we had, all thanks to HP! 

If you're interested check out the pics


March 14, 2007

New York, New York so good they named it twice!

So true!  Back from NYC now and I have to say it's better than I imagined it.  It's a fantastic city with so much to see.

Here's a brief itinery of what we covered in 3 days:

Day 1 (arrived at hotel 2pm) : Empire State Building, Grand Central Station, Beer in Cheers-like bar, shopping 5th Avenue

Day 2: Times Square, Statue of Liberty, Ellis Island, walking around financial district, visited ground zero, ate a pretzel from street vendor, HP insisted on a trip to Tiffany's where he had cleverly pre-bought me a beautiful pair of diamond, yes I said diamond, ear rings! (such a lucky girl) Dinner with HP's aunt in a 1930s New York apartment on 79th street

Day 3: Brooklyn Birdge, China Town (ate chinese out of a cardboard box), Little Italy (had a cappucino in an Italian cafe), more beer in Cheers-like bar, Museum of Modern Art (including Pollock, Monet, Matisse, Lichtenstein, Van Gogh and many more) Macy's, Rockefeller centre observation deck, dinner

Day 4 (Until 2pm): Central Park, this included; the Dakota building, John Lennon memorial, Hans Christian Anderson statue, Alice in Wonderland statue, De La Corte theatre, Metropolitan Museum and just general wandering around.  This park is huge and a great way to spend a few hours. Topped off with a trip to Bloomingdale's.

We certainly packed in as much as we could and our feet and legs were really aching by the time we'd finished.  It's a great place and the more you walk around the more you see.  You know you're going to see the classic buildings like the Empire State but as you start looking there are so many great pieces of architecture.  It's not just the buildings though, the streets aren't crowded, I didn't feel as if I was getting hassled and jostled like I do when I go to London and the people were brilliant.  They weren't over the top with their 'have a nice days' but when you wanted help with directions or anything else they went out of their way to help.

All in all it was a perfect way to spend my 'significant' birthday and I'd happily go there again - might do more shopping next time though!


March 05, 2007

Cold enough for you?

Well it's 3 days and counting 'til we go to New York and now I'm really excited.  So excited in fact I thought I'd check out the 5 day weather forecast....the day we arrive it will be -8C!!! sinking to -15C at night; that is bloody cold!  I know there's colder places out there and I have experienced some pretty cold times, Pendenis castle is legend amongst a certain group of friends and C and A will recount the bitter cold of Cologne on a Christmas shopping trip. The latter involved copius amounts of Gluhwein which I'm not sure helped keep the cold out but certainly made us try on and buy more shoes than was strictly necessary for a 3 day trip! 

In fact as I remember my birthday trip last year to Hampton Court with HP had to be curtailed beacuse of the cold. We managed to get around the palace but decided to leave the gardens because it really was taters, so we found the nearest pub and got some red wine down us while we watched the six nations on the pub TV. 

But none of these destinations was as cold as -15C so I'm seriously considering a hasty shopping trip to stock up on thermals!

HP has done a great job this weekend and stayed off the wicked weed!  He has been laughing in a maniacal way and shouting at the TV more though, which he puts down to a chemical imbalance...it has been highly amusing though!  I'm even more proud of him now and I'm sure he's going to crack it x


March 01, 2007

This time next week…..

It's official!  I can actually start to say the magic words....'This time next week I'll be on the plane to New York!"  Yippee!!!  HP's life will not be worth living over the next week as I quickly ramp myself up into a fever pitch of excitement that I'll probably burst!

Though I do tend to do this wherever we go as I like to feel that I'm getting my money's worth, and I feel it's all part of the 'going on holiday' experience.  As a good friend once said to me 'it's better to travel than to arrive' although I like the arriving bit too :)

HP's taking a big step today, he's giving up the wicked weed to enter the clean and (almost) wholesome life of a non-smoker!  I'm very proud of him and I know he'll be fine x


February 27, 2007

Human conditioning….weird

We moved into our spare room and bed last night as we're about to start decorating our bedroom and the bed that HP made years ago is having a face lift by his good self!

Now I was quite excited by the move, the spare room has already been decorated and is effectively my dressing room with my wardrobe, chest of drawers, all my girly stuff like make up, jewellery, straightners etc. etc and I thought it'd be nice to be surronded by all this niceness.  Well, when I actually whent to bed it was lovely.  The bed was comfy, we had a king size quilt on a double bed so no possibility of losing most of it to HP in the middle of the night and I was enveloped in all my girly things but I had the worse night's sleep ever I just fidgeted and fidgeted and was constantly waking up.  I can't believe that we're so conditioned to being in certain surrondings that even when we move to an equally familiar environment (i.e. a room I use every day!) that we can't relax enough to sleep properly.  It wasn't just me HP was in the same boat and the cat was not too chuffed either, seeing as that's normally her bed and she gets to have it all to herself!

Anyway I can only hope that I get used to it soon enough otherwise I'm going to be particularly miserable over the next couple of weeks and then we'll have to do it all again when we change back to our newly decorated room..harumphh!  :(


February 22, 2007

I wonder….

Across from my office I can see into a lecture theatre and on the screen is the title 'Gay Masculinities' I wonder what that's about?  I have to say the students look fascinated, I'm trying to read the rest of the slides but not getting much more insight into what it all entails.  I might google it but I'm a bit concerned about what might appear...

February 21, 2007

Doesn't it look lovely?

More pictures of my allotment, if compared with the earlier ones you can really see how it's coming on.  See if you can spot the first rhubarb plants....

Feb.18 (1)Feb.18 (6)Feb.18 (3)