Tuesday, 31 January 2012

Wheels 31:365

Quite an apt theme for today. My girls are 18 today and Amy is having driving lessons for her birthday. The photo has one of the cars that we kept from Emma's huge car collection. She used to line them up all round the lounge and I still wish I had a photo. Every time we went shopping we'd have to find a new car to buy.

Amy was in special care for just over a week and we were in hospital 18 days in all under the transitional care team. The number one was 'Things can only get better' by DReam. It certainly seemed very apt at the time!!

Monday, 30 January 2012

Collections 30:365

As soon as I saw the theme this morning- I planned to take the herd of elephants on my kitchen window sill. Unfortunately they were packed away at Christmas to make way for the poinsettia- and it seems they are still residing in the loft! I also used to collect penguins- so here are 3 that have got MOST of their wings still. My dh isn't so keen on the penguins and they have befallen several mysterious accidents whilst he's around!!!!!

Sunday, 29 January 2012


We've been away for a few days - so I am trying to make photos we took fit the themes!

27:365 Amazing

I think that the people who man our lifeboat stations are absolutely amazing. This is the lifeboat house at Mumbles - and today we saw the lifeboat at Porthcawl out doing a practice session.

28:365 Fluffy

My niece bought herself a really fluffy, cuddly hat and scarf and here is Holly modelling it! I couldn't resist including this one- Holly will pose for photos sporting all manner of things poor girl!

29:365 Kitchen utensil
I've had to use artistic licence here- as we've been out and about and haven't actually used any kitchen utensils. But the first photo is a delicious hot chocolate my daughter had in a delightful tea room and if you look closely- there is a spoon there which is a kitchen utensil.

We were also walking round Raglan Castle today and the kitchen utensils from that time must have been really labour intensive- the kitchen area was massive and they had a seperate pantry that was equally large!

Thursday, 26 January 2012

Free choice 26:365

I met my mum for lunch in Birmingham today- but my camera battery was flat, so no touristy shots from the city centre. I've charged the battery since I got back and decided to take the 18th party goodies that I got for the girls today. My twins are 18 on Tuesday and I've been looking for streamers and balloons and badges etc to embarrass them.

Amy has decided to opt for driving lessons - but Emma just wants dvds and games. I've bought them a few bits and pieces to open. We sponsored a guide dog in their name for their birthday and Holly (the dog) has bought them a name a star set.

We will go out to their favourite Chinese for a meal and Amy will probably go out for a meal with her friends.

Wednesday, 25 January 2012

Motionless 25:365

I wish I'd saved the shot of Holly relaxing yesterday now!!!! Anyway- this isn't a very thrilling photo- but is something we'll remember. So this is probably as good a place as any to record it!!!! This car has been parked outside our house for nearly 2 months now without being moved at all. It's not reported as a stolen car, isn't registered locally and is taxed until May so it isn't doing anything wrong. It is just so inconvenient. We don't have a drive - so there is only on street parking- and the road isn't wide enough for a car to be parked opposite. I wish I knew who it belonged to- as if they shifted it even a foot we'd be able to park our car.

Tuesday, 24 January 2012

Motion 24:365

It was pouring down with rain this morning when I took dd to her bus stop and couldn't have taken the camera out. The moving traffic would have made an interesting photo with the bus lights against the dark skies. The planes were also coming in very low and had bright lights- but again my phone camera would have taken a little blob.

I've been watching for planes since I got back and must have missed them all!!!

The dog wouldn't even pop her nose through the back door- so the normal action girl wasn't playing (she doesn't do rain!)- so I was a bit flummoxed!

Anyway- I'm onto my third new recipe today- Streusal topped pecan and peach cake and tried to catch the mixer blades. The clearest photo is the one I've picked- but you can only see that it was moving from the mixture- so I included the other one aswell!

Holly really isn't entering into the spirit of the theme today! She was my sure bet for an action shot!

Monday, 23 January 2012

Hot 23:365

My daughter had this HOT water dinosaur for Christmas. She feels the cold and loves a cuddly heater!

Sunday, 22 January 2012

21:365 Fire and 22:365 Glowing

This was the most apt choice for fire last night. Dh likes quite spicy hot curries- whereas I always choose something more wimpy!

I should really have taken my face today for 'glowing' but would probably have had to preissue sunglasses to take the glare away!!!!!!! We went for a very strenous walk around Castle Ring, Castle Chase. Most of the walk was ok- but the homeward section was all uphill and I don't do hills easily!!!!! I was all wrapped up in my winter woolies- and my face was certainly glowing by the time we got back to the car.

I knew I would find something 'glowing' at Karens house- where we stopped for a cuppa!She LOVES candles and there is always one burning nice and brightly. She lit them all to give me a choice! This one was pretty- although I didn't capture the glow as warmly as it was.

Walk 3/52 Castle Ring Cannock Chase

A new walk for us around Castle Ring- Cannock Chase.We've been on various walks around Cannock Chase as one of my best friends lives on the very edge of part of it. She regularly sees deer on her morning walk and my daughter is desperate to see them one day. Todays walk was a bit strenuous for me- lots of steep inclines and I don't do hills very well!!!!! Karen took Her German Shepherd cross Roxie and her sister took 2 dalmatians Oliver and Henry. Our dog is an alpha female and isn't always the best dog to walk with a 'dog' group- but she did fantastically today. As long as she has my dh throwing a stick or a toy she stays focused and she had a wonderful time. She went in EVERY bit of water she found and the other three dogs looked at her as if she was mad. Holly has kept up her weekly swim through January- and hopefully she'll be swimming in the sea next week.

We went back to Karens for a very welcome cup of tea before driving home. I managed to take one of her many candles for my 'glowing' photo today!

The dog is now asleep and I am comfortably exhausted!!!!!!!

Friday, 20 January 2012

'Signs' of a surfer girl 20:365

I immediately thought of the 'surf chick' signs in my daughters room. Since she was quite tiny she's been a water baby and took to surfing straight away. We holiday in Cornwall and love the surf. She's collected 'surf' pictures for years. Her coasters are surf themed, she has a lovely camper van on a beach canvas. She has a lighthouse shelving unit.

In fact apart from the lounge - all the pictures around the house are 'water' related, usually the sea! We all love the sea- and one day I will live closer! At the moment we live as far away as it is possible to be in the UK!

The other sign around the house today are the ingredients for recipe number 2 (it's about a week late- but we're getting there!). Tuna and Sweetcorn lasagne tonight and I'm also tackling recipe number 3- Streusel topped Peach and Pecan Cake. So we should be back on track then!

Thursday, 19 January 2012

19 Bad for you and 18 Pleasurable

This must be bad for you!!!!! My ironing basket and I have loads of washing still to catch up on aswell! Ironing and me have never got on- I can ALWAYS find something I'd rather do!!

18- Pleasurable

I spent a huge chunk of yesterday at the dental hospital with my daughter. She has a problem with an emerging wisdom tooth that is causing extreme pain and discomfort. She's been to the dentist who said it is just the wisdom tooth and she'd have to keep on taking the painkillers. I've spoken to the pharmacist on Sunday evening- as whilst I was at a crop they didn't go to get painkillers whilst the shops were open! So I had to find an emergency chemist that was open until 11. He said the ones she was on were the best combination. Anyway Tuesday evening it must have shifted again and she was in tears. So I decided we'd go along and wait to be seen at the dental hospital. They take registration from 8.30 and we were there not that long after that- after seeing Emma on her bus to school. Amy got ticket number 13- not a great start to the day. She had xrays which confirmed the wisdom tooth wasn't emerging crooked and pressing on nerves. But they said the pain was either due to the wisdom tooth movement, the brace 'shifting' her bottom teeth as they draw together, or something having caught at the back of her brace and irritating the gum line. She had a antibiotic mouth swill/clear out and some antibiotics- so hopefully that will help the inflamation and tenderness. If she still suffers pain- she'll need to go back to her dentist for more investigation on one tooth that has a large filling- incase the filling needs replacing. She says it is a little easier today- so hopefully the antibiotics are kicking in now.

I may try to upload the photo we took of her ticket number and the dental hospital leaflet!

Anyway- my kindle came into it's own yesterday. There was a lot of waiting around- but then having to immediately get up and into the treatment rooms when called. So I was able to start the UKS book of the month on the kindle and just pop it in my pocket when we were called. I am still not entirely convinced that the kindle will totally convert me- but haven't read much of any type of book this year. But it showed it's worth yesterday and provided me some 'pleasure' in the midst of a yukky morning!!!!!

Tuesday, 17 January 2012

Naughty 17:365

Well- I've been QUITE naughty today- but have chosen this photo of Holly as my main 'Naughty' culprit. I've been shopping in Birmingham today- and Holly can't resist looking through shopping bags when they come home. It's probably our fault for buying her lots of toys (her obsession!).

I have the results of yesterdays 'snack' choice- and it's obvious I took the 'naughty' option.

I was in Primark today looking for inspiration for extra pressies for the girls birthdays and they had all their winter woolies at bargain prices. For some reason they are one of MY obsessions. This morning Emma wouldn't wear her scarf and hat because they didn't match- so I bought her matching ones and also treated myself.

The bus stop I normally use has been moved whilst they carry out road repairs and it was located outside this place- which I thought might be apt for everyone being 'naughty'. I didn't take too close a look at what it actually was- might have been a bar- could have been something else!!!!

Monday, 16 January 2012

Snack 16:365

I didn't need much encouragement to have an 'elevenses' break today!!! Now was I going to choose the banana and orange option or the lemon drizzle cake! MMMM big decisions...............You decide!!!!!

It's Monday - what are you reading?

I'm still not back into my usual reading habits! I decided to pick up a historical saga type book by Lyn Andrews set around the turn of the last century. I do have a weakness for this type of book sometimes as they are easy to totally immerse yourself in. Ellan Vallin has had a sad life and it keeps throwing a new twist. Her fiance stands to inherit a fortune- and after his death she travels to New York to try and claim it, with a copy of his will.

I'm not sure what to choose after this one- but have a few of the Richard and Judy selection reserved at the library and one in particular is calling to me. I might even have to buy a copy this week!

Sunday, 15 January 2012

Generous 15:365

Someone very generous bought us a huge box of Thorntons for Christmas. We've been saving them - but thought we'd open them tonight and everyone swarmed round like a swarm of locusts. The rules are that everyone has to be present for the box to be opened- so that no one eats them all!!!!!!!!!!! Absolutely delicious!

Saturday, 14 January 2012

Guilty Pleasures 14:365

I wasn't sure what to add as my guilty pleasure! I have many!!!! We still have a box of Thorntons left over from Christmas- but only because they are unopened. I have loads of books around the house and have at last managed to train myself to walk PAST a bookshop! I collect cook books and am trying to do 52 new recipes this year- so that they see a bit of use.

But think IKEA is one of my biggest guilty pleasures- I find it virtually impossible to browse!!! I always come home with stuff I didn't know I needed. Today we bought 2 boxes of white plates. I am trying to declutter and buying MORE stuff really doesn't equate. But the idea is to get rid of the assortment of plates we have collected over the years that no longer have matching 'friends'. So the counter tops have plates and bowls to go down to the tip tomorrow and the new ones are in the dishwasher ready to go in their freshly springcleaned cupboard- and EVERYTHING now matches.

My other guilty pleasure is 'mugs'. I love collecting them- almost as much as dh HATES them.

Walk 2/52 Birmingham City Centre Leanardo Exhibition

My dh was in Birmingham- so he met me from work at 4. We knew that the Leanardo exhibition opened yesterday- so thought we'd try to take a look before they closed. Unfortunately by the time we got there - we discovered that they closed the queue at 3.45- so all we could see was the end of the queue and the first exhibit through the door. You are allowed to take photos in parts of the museum- but I always feel like I shouldn't. It was getting too dark to capture the lovely stained glass window there- and it was getting too dark to take much around the art gallery. I did notice on the way past that a new Lush shop has opened on New Street- so that has been filed away mentally!!!!! As part of the 52 walk challenge a couple of years ago- one of the ladies had taken a photo of the walk up to the Mailbox- and although I've lived here all my life- I couldn't picture where it had been taken from- but we walked past it tonight. I don't think my photo really captured it. We also saw parts of the University buildings in the city centre- unfortunately not one that dd is considering!

So we need to go back and try to get into the exhibition. I'm at a crop tomorrow- which is why I need to include this as a walk today. I won't get the chance to go somewhere picturesque tomorrow. Unfortunately it was getting dark when I finished work and the photos look a bit grey!

Friday, 13 January 2012

Costco boxes

I bought some 12x12 boxes in Costco to try and get organised. I think I might try to persuade dh I need another set. Not sure how successful I'll be- he wasn't happy about this set!

Inside your fridge 13:365

I think my fridge is a year old this week. Our old one gave up the ghost last year after a defrosting session. It didn't like being moved. I'd had my heart set on one of these American style fridge/freezers- but whilst the old monster was plodding on it wasn't on our radar.Anyway we went looking at new fridges and I just couldn't tear myself away from these. I eventually settled on a fridge that I liked. I had a look online for the American fridge/freezers and found it 200 pound cheaper than the shops. Also it was from Boots- so we would get points (the fact that I forgot to get them added is by the by!!!!). We measured the door ways and although tight it looked ok.

So we ordered it and it arrived. But wouldn't fit through the gate! Hadn't even thought about the gate. THey had to trundle it round to the front and luckily (although not for them) next doors wall had been demolished and they managed to wheel it through. Then it got through our porch and front door no problem- but was mm too wide for the doorways!!!!!!! So they had to take the doors off (no idea why they didn't try that first!!!) and it got through the door.

Trying to get it through the door they did scrape it along the frame and there was a scratch on it. They took photos and phoned the head office who asked to speak to me. They said they could either take it away or offer me 100 pound discount. The scratch wasn't bad- and I have covered it with a metallic photo frame. So we agreed to the discount. So I got my beautiful fridge for 400 pound- and I still walk past it every day and I'm really glad that I decided to go for what I wanted rather than one I'd settled for. In the end- we got this one for less than 50 pound more than the ordinary style fridge I thought we'd have. It's the only appliance we've ever insured- the policy will fix it or replace it for it's lifetime. So I treat it as a savings policy for a new fridge- rather than insurance.

One of my friends did a front page newspaper thing for it online- so that i can scrap it one day as it really is my pride and joy!!!!

Thursday, 12 January 2012

Transluscent- 12:365

I'm stretching the point a little today- but wanted to record this for posterity. We have REVISION going on - during official study leave!!!!!!!!! We had a new table and chairs for christmas and everyone is enjoying being able to use the table again. The light has a transluscent shade!!!!

Wednesday, 11 January 2012

Chicklit challenge 2012 Book 1

I've just finished my first book of the year and the first for this challenge. It's one of my favourite authors and the third trip to the characters in Longhampton. This one is largely set in the bookshop that Annie runs for her friend and the adventures happening at home.

I would absolutely love to work in the bookshop!!!!!!!

Item of clothing 11:365

One of the things I have always treated myself to, is a new scarf and glove set for the winter. I have various combinations now- but still have a nice new snuggly one every year. This year I've been greedy and had a similar set in the gold/mustard colour aswell. But this dusky pink set is lovely to snuggle into every morning on the school run. My dd went out without her gloves yesterday and I had to make the ultimate sacrifice and let her borrow my leather gloves for the day. Being as though I have to buy her gloves in sets of about 6 matching ones to last the season losses it was very good of me!!!!!!!!!!!! She's managed to stretch them a little bit- as she has larger hands than me (the rest of her is skinny as a rake- but my hands are still thin!!!!).

We are still waiting a resolution from the water board and intend to put the 'written' complaint into their system tonight. It has been escalated to the customer service manager level at Severn Trent (3 stages up apparently) and the Operations Manager at Enterprise. We have had a huge catalogue of misinformation, missed appointments, crews attending without necessary information- and following us calling them again on Sunday the crew that was supposed to turn up with a camera didn't turn up and the crew that did turn up just repeated the same investigation looking at the manhole as they did last Friday. It was originally reported on the 4th January- and we are no further forward in finding out where the problem is- let alone a resolution/repair. It's the lies and lack of communication that really gets to me. I have waited in EVERY day just incase someone turned up. My dh actually told the crew that turned up yesterday what had been done before and which way the drains run. When he's looking for a career change- he must be half way qualified by now!!!!!!

Metallic - 10:365

My daughter bought me a lovely dainty necklace for Christmas and thought it would suit the theme nicely. Funnily we were watching Coronation Street and the subject of a Christmas present of a phone v a necklace (Peter Barlows wife and girlfriends pressies!) and dh was saying it was stupid- the phone was the better present!!!!!!!!! He then tried to get me to say I'd rather have a phonee rather than a necklace- after having received this lovely necklace myself!!!!!!!!

Monday, 9 January 2012

Water- 9:352

Not my favourite subject at the moment!!

We've had an issue with our drains since the New Year. We were told it was a shared drain and had to call our water board out. I waited in, the first set of operatives did nothing- and then despite being guaranteed they would be there within a certain timescale they weren't. We had to escalate it to management level to get anywhere. They came out on Friday evening at 9.30 until around 11. They did say they thought we would probably get a problem again. Yes- by Sunday the drains were blocked again. We called last night and were assured a morning appointment- I called this afternoon and was promised a call back within 2 hours to tell me why they didn't call this morning- not when they would be here.

Anyway- we are putting an official complaint in- and looked up their complaint procedure and guaranteed service standards . They won't give me the CEO's email- so I will email the 'generic' complaint and send it recorded delivery to him aswell!

I was really tempted to use our photos from yesterday- had some lovely shots of our dog swimming and attempting backstroke!!!

It's Monday - what are you reading?

I haven't updated for a while- and unheard of for me I haven't finished a single book this year. My 'ticker' tells me I am 2 books behind target to read 100 in 2012!

I am reading a lovely book by one of my favourite authors and I'm still not getting through it! The secret of Happy Ever After by Lucy Dillon. She's written a few books set in Longhampton and it's nice to pick up on a series.

When story-lover Anna takes over Longhampton's bookshop, it's her dream come true. And not just because it gets her away from her three rowdy stepchildren and their hyperactive Dalmatian.

Unpacking boxes filled with childhood classics, Anna can't shake the feeling that maybe her own fairytale ending isn't all that she'd hoped for. But, as the stories of love, adventure, secret gardens, lost dogs, wicked witches and giant peaches breathe new life into the neglected shop, Anna and her customers get swept up in the magic too.

Even Anna's best friend Michelle - who categorically doesn't believe in true love and handsome princes - isn't immune.

But when secrets from Michelle's own childhood come back to haunt her, and disaster threatens Anna's home, will the wisdom and charm of the stories in the bookshop help the two friends - and those they love - find their own happy ever afters?

Hopefully I will get back into my reading again soon- I have a kindle almost packed full of free books waiting for me!

Sunday, 8 January 2012

Cosy 8:365

I've waited all day for Holly to fall asleep on a cushion. She always makes herself comfy- but has been very alert today!!!!!!! She is also usually the keeper of the tv switcher. If it changes on it's own it will be somewhere near Holly!

Walk 1/52 Plantsbrook Nature Reserve

It was a bit of a grey day today- but we took Holly to the local nature reserve where she can swim and chase sticks. Today she wanted to chase a  7 foot log- taller than Guy! She took it in the water and it was so heavy she ended up doing a side stroke and then back stroke- and dogs aren't designed for back stroke!!!!!!! She's still quite active for an old girl- as long as the walk starts in the car and ends up somewhere open!

Drink- 7:365

My daughters morning cuppa along with the 'small' tin of tea bags we bought to keep her happy over Christmas!!! She can hear the kettle being switched on from any room of the house- and is the first thing she has when she gets in from school.

This was my other daughters 'drink' over Christmas- she's sampling lots of different types in order to find a favourite!!!!!!!!

Friday, 6 January 2012

Frost 6:365

This one had me a bit stumped- as I saw it after dh took the car to work that had needed clearing this morning. I was going to take the little cookie christmas tree we picked up in the bargain bin at Sainsburys for dd to make. I was going to add some icing sugar for frost- BUT after following the declutter calendar, any old food stuff was consigned to the bin a couple of days ago. So it's had a frosting of normal sugar. But not really happy with that- so I ran upstairs to dig out some 'frosty' christmas decorations that are waiting for dh to put in the loft. One is a lilliput lane cottage and really sweet, the pine cones came from the 99p shop this year!

Emma's 99p Christmas cookie tree

I'm sure this will be devoured after school. But not by Amy. She has a really bad toothache today. As I am waiting in for the drain men and her actual dentist is in another county I asked dh to get her an emergency appointment. I don't think he phoned until lunchtime as she can't get in until tomorrow. The local pharmacist gave me some tablets that she can alternate to try and keep the pain at bay until then. It seems to be easier- was worse overnight- but think that's always the case with toothache. She did think it was her wisdom teeth coming in- and I remember mine being painful- but the pain is worse today and need to see it isn't a tooth issue. Her last x rays did suggest that one wisdom tooth was lying funny- so possibly if it has started to try to emerge it could be the culprit. She has braces on at the moment- so we might need the orthodontist to remove the lower ones- not sure if the dentist can do that and then we can try to get in to the orthodontist later. I know they said if the wires broke they could reattach them - but it would put the treatment back and she really wants these braces off as soon as they've done their job.

Unfortunately- as part of her bday pressie we'd arranged a full head foil, cut and blowdry for her using a groupon code- which saves a fortune. I phoned them to see IF we could find someone else to go they would accept a change- but she agreed to rearrange the appointment for me. I would have got the wrong time anyway- as I thought it was booked for 9.30, not 9! We haven't had much luck with groupon- the canvas I ordered for Guy still hasn't arrived and it was a struggle to get the log cabin booked.

We still have a drain problem which is getting worse. Severn Trent turned up 4 hours after the emergency 24 hours and stayed 10 mins without even inspecting my drain I think. THey didn't know where the manhole was- and apparently they aren't sent out with useful info like that- OR have the technology to download it. He said they'd send a van out to jet the drains- which is what dynarod said wasn't what was needed.

I phoned up this morning and they said they'd be out THIS MORNING before 2!!!!!!!!! It's now 1.15 and not seen anyone yet. I will be extremely annoyed if they turn up in the dark yet. I am trying not to let anyone use anything apart from the toilet- apart from Amy helpfully had a shower AND put the washing machine on last night. If this is classed as an emergency I dread to think how long you wait for non essential work. I think it is going to mean someone getting annoyed now- and I'm likely to burst into tears rather than get stroppy!!! I think we need to get people out of the house this weekend IF it isn't sorted- as when everyone else is using their houses it's causing our drains to back up.