Saturday, 31 October 2009

Last Grand Prix of 2009

The Middle Eastern Correspondent is a bit of a petrolhead (possibly a slight understatement - he has F1 wheels decorating his wall!) has sent me a stack of pics of the new race track in Abu Dhabi, the prep for the race this weekend and some of the practice laps. The circuit on Yas Island is unbelievable - it looks like it will be a fab race and they’ve pulled out all the stops in terms of entertainment too. There are gigs every night; Thursday - Beyonce, Friday - Jamirioquai, Saturday - Kings of Leon, & Sunday - Aerosmith...can’t say I’m that much of a fan of the big bootilicious, or JK & his ubiquitous hat...but ‘Kings of Leon’ and ‘Aerosmith’ will be good..he’s got tickets to see the latter...only slightly envious

Friday, 30 October 2009

Been a messy week

trying to juggle childcare, work and a wedding over the half term break. Good job we women can multi-function ;o)...but none the less my brain's a little on the fried side now - possibly 'cos I left the house at 6.25am yawn :-0
Looking forward to a nice relaxing weekend....reviewing Miss Sensible's GCSE English coursework....Gothic literature... :o/

I am coveting this jacket

very much - a smart black leather bikers jacket...if that's not an oxymoron. Hoping the Birthday Fairy or Father Xmas will think I've been a sufficiently good girl. It's very much in keeping with my mid-life crisis phase...I aim to grow old disgracefully ;o)

There were a couple of other things on my wish list but think they are even less likely to come to fruition :-(

Thursday, 29 October 2009

The House Elves

had been hard at work whilst I was out at the office today. The mistress's training is starting to pay off :o) I came back to find a simmering pot of chili and a freshly baked chocolate fudge brownie.

What made it even better was they'd tidied up & washed the dishes unlike their big sis who usually decorated the entire kitchen in flour and sticky finger prints and left a sink full of pots :o/ ...her house share will cure her of those habits ;-)

Wednesday, 28 October 2009

Pottered back

via Shrewsbury and Ludlow had a mooch round the shops, took some pics and had a coffee etc. Not really explored Shropshire before but it's a beautiful area; picturesque scenery and fab architecture. More pics via the Flickr link.

Upgrade Madam?

It's enough of a treat just to escape the sproglets for a few hours so when booking a room I opted for a standard. I was speachless when I opened the door to find a massive four poster! Bex, bless her, had arranged an upgrade :o) I was so touched and excited. When I finally stumbled up to my room in the early hours it was a challenge to get into, not due to aolcoholic indulgence but the height of the bed! How on earth did the Elizabethans, whom we are told were vertically challenged manage to hop in??

Biker Bex's Bash

I've finally put my recruitment & selection experience to good use :o) Some time ago I offered a job to Bex, deploying her onto a piece of work with the software team where she met Rich and the rest is now history. They had a superb wedding at a place called Rowton Castle near Shrewsbury. One of the nicest weddings I've been to...a truly excellent do, informal ceremony, photos in the castle gardens, rounded off with (I never thought I would say this) a fab tribute band who did Abba, Amy Winehouse, Tina Turner, Cher & just about everything in between – managed to get everyone doubt the pictorial evidence will be used against me at some point. Bex was true to form dancing with her train in one hand and a Jack Daniels & Coke in the other, and there can't be many brides who chose Metallica for their first dance.

Wonder whether I should give up my day job and venture into this match-making lark...maybe I could make some money out of it ;o)

Sunday, 25 October 2009

Star gazing

in the middle of the common tonight. Mutt looked utterly bewildered obviously thinking "we don't normally stop here" & wondering what on earth I was up to. The sky was full of stars and cirrus clouds & looked so like the famous Van Gough painting I sat down on a bench and just stared.

"However far away, your loved ones look up to see the same moon."

I said thanks

to St.Delia of the cookbooks again last night :o)
My brother and his wifelette were treated to some good old comfort food...sausages braised in red wine, and baked stuffed apples. Seemed to go down well and none of the kids complained...well that's not exactly true, the strident student mentioned no one cooks for her any more and ensured I felt suitably guilty about leaving her stranded in the Steel City with only a sizable food parcel as compensation.

Friday, 23 October 2009

Fat chance of being bored

Strident Student has decided she needs something additional to occupy her when she's not doing her degree course, debating, voluntary work and part-time job so she decided to stand as dept. rep on the Student Union...never a dull moment...

Wednesday, 21 October 2009

Doing the Milkround

required a trip to deepest darkest Welsh Wales in order to man a recruitment stand at Cardiff University. Manic day with a good few hundred potential grads wandering round looking for jobs or sandwich year placements. Hard on the legs but the years in retail have stood me in good stead for this type of thing...had to be one advantage ;o)
Struck by how few of the students had actually done any research about the companies who were recruiting...somehow thought with the recession and jobs on the scarce side they'd have been a bit more prepared...maybe I'm just getting dull and boring in my old age...

Sunday, 18 October 2009

Career path

They start them early on the path to achieve their aspirations nowadays. Miss Sensible has been to see the careers advisor and undertaken some assessment tests to ascertain what careers she might be suited to.

In my day the 'penguins' at the convent didn't hold with such things. If you were a bright girl you would be a teacher, less able, join a bank or go into nursing....anything else you were doomed, which may well be how I ended up in retail management...or "working in a shop" as Sister Jennifer disdainfully described it :o/

Fortunately things have improved as I could see when Miss Sensible showed me the feedback recommending journalism or broadcasting…only a slightly competitive field then...

Friday, 16 October 2009


has descended on the site. I couldn’t get into the cafĂ© at work other than by a back exit this morning. We minions are not allowed to be visible today. Everything has been cleaned, polished and tidied to within an inch of it’s life. Decided to go home to work ‘cos I somehow don’t think my dress-down Friday approach will be favoured ;0) As I left the office there was no sign of staff leaning from the windows, waving flags and cheering, merely a cleaner brandishing a duster;-) Well he's hardly first in line to the throne - can't believe the amount of fuss and security :o/ The guard dogs were out and there were loads of men in suits with walkie-talkies about the place - talk about over-kill!

Wednesday, 14 October 2009

Is there a protocol

about posting re. a cremation and memorial service :o/ Suffice to went as expected - pretty harrowing.

If I pop my clogs please can someone give all the valuable bits to those who need them, ensure medical science gets anything else of use and should there be anything left, dispose of it quietly, preferably with no one looking on. Most of all I would like everyone to have a really good party with the odd story about me with some of my exploits (good and bad), music ('80's naturellement), dancing (but you'll need plenty of space for Jon's flailing limbs especially if you play Blancmange tracks) and sustenance in the form of bacon butties or fish & chips.

Monday, 12 October 2009

Extreme gardening

session over the weekend requiring chainsaw, hedge trimmer, & pickaxe as well as the expected spade and fork. Almost nine hours hard graft later ably assisted by Mel (aka Green Fingers) we'd removed a ceanothus, buddleia, yukka and massive pampas grass. Not sure that gives any idea of how major a task it was.... the root ball on the pampas grass was about 18" deep and circumference, the yukka was 10ft high and some of the roots on the buddleia where about 4" girth you maybe get an idea of the amount of effort to get them out! Gives a whole new meaning to the phrase "girls with power tools" ;o)

Friday, 2 October 2009

Putting life in perspective

Just before I went on holiday I saw one of my friends, Sue. regular get-together where we chatted about life, the universe and everything... joked about her upcoming 25th wedding anniversary celebrations and her son going off to Uni. I came back from vacation and heard the news she'd been diagnosed with terminal cancer. It's indescribable what a major shock it was to everyone, and the progress at which the disease spread was terrifying. I managed to see her and despite the enormous pain she was obviously in she was remarkably brave and positive. Within the week she was transferred to the local hospice & this morning I heard she'd passed away. She was just 48yrs old. The adage 'life's too short' doesn't begin to describe it....

Thursday, 1 October 2009

How to scare your mother

Strident student's off doing voluntary work tonight - an out-reach scheme for prostitutes! She couldn't get anything to do with refugees which is what she initially wanted to do, so decided to offer to help with this programme and at a homeless shelter. On the one hand I'm pleased she's so keen to help people, and on the other I'm worried sick about what she might come face-to-face with. She's getting training/briefings from various agencies before she's sent into the red light district. Tonight she's with a policeman talking her through some of the things they deal with. I guess they become pretty jaded with what they come across and the fact they can't make a difference. I know I can't wrap her up in cotton wool but she's still so niave about life. Needless to say she's got strict instructions to let me know she's home safe and to ensure she gets her inoculations (Hep C etc.) up to date.