Thursday, 31 December 2009

Ladies night

well with a few honorary men so as not to discriminate - good HR practice in operation ;o)

A group of girlies used to work together many moons ago and have stayed in touch despite going our separate directions career-wise. We regularly meet up to celebrate birthdays and major events, but every so often the chaps are invited along too to witness first hand what our get-togethers entail. Somehow or other the tone of the conversation tends to get a little on the risqué side no matter how innocent the topic may have been initially. I think this snap of Loulabelle says it all....

Monday, 28 December 2009

Xmas past

Just the Frosty family for Xmas Day & Boxing Day which meant no pressure. After the unwrapping fest the kids went their separate ways whilst I spent a blissful couple of hours in a candlelit bath with a good book, a glass of mulled wine and the knowledge that the turkey was roasting away in the oven.

My brother & sister-in-law plus parents came over on 27th so another bought of pass the present ensued before copious amounts of food & wine were consumed. I could happily get used to this life of leisure :o)

Thursday, 24 December 2009

Wrapping frenzy completed

Finally now able to see dining room table again. It's been a bit of an initiative test trying to work out how to wrap up some of the items, and much as it looks fab I won't be choosing flocked wrapping paper again as it appears to be incompatible with Selotape! :o/

Baking fest conducted, large stocks of gingerbread cake, mince pies, & shortbread now available to accompany enormous vat of homemade mulled wine from my secret recipe.

Done the Waitrose run. Timed it quite well - car park & store only half full. Stocked up on all the remaining bits. Strident Student's been kept busy dealing with Turkey orders, came home & collapsed in a heap having dealt with 225 turkey orders since 7.30am this morning. She's slightly on the fraught side which I guess is to be expected if you're dealing with harassed housewives in the run up to Xmas.

So all is prepared for the onslaught tomorrow. Now all that remains is to chill :o)

Wednesday, 23 December 2009

Frosty interlude

Miss Sensible & I took the dog for a long walk across the Common. The ground's frozen but the sun was out which was nice. Our road is still a complete nightmare 'cos the council don't grit it so there was yet another accident today. I've put salt down the drive but the ice is so thick it's only partially dissolved...not chancing it so car will have to be abandoned on road.

Tuesday, 22 December 2009

Aliens have abducted my child!

Minor Mayhem has definitely developed teenaged tendencies...only arose from pit at 10.15am, proceeded to devour the contents of the kitchen cupboards and has spent most of the day on various games consoles grunting occasionally. Help! I need to get a guide on how to deal with this new species.

Friday, 18 December 2009

Conscience dictates

I go for a long walk with the mutt tonight as although skipped breakfast & lunch in partial compensation for the three Xmas dinners, someone had very cruelly placed a tin of Quality Street at the end of my desk, and consequently I was obliged to eat all the orange ones. Would also have had to devour the green triangles too under normal circumstances but someone had beaten me to it! Only toffee ones are left & we're all too wary of a trip to the dentist so I reckon they'll still be there in the New Year unless Andy the HR hoover comes to visit first.

Sproglets broke up from school today, came home and littered the place with all kinds of stuff out of their lockers. Decided that much as I like watching rugby I do not want anything to do with the smelly kit...winter games in general seem to breed filthy gym stuff & it's patently obvious this week has involved X country, hockey and rugby! Also appears like half the astroturf has found it's way into their PE bags over this's that happened!?! One of life's mysteries.....

Tuesday, 15 December 2009


Nope not the '80s band (saw them twice & they were most excellent!)...this is Xmas XS...on a fairly major basis
  • Sumptuous festive lunch no.1 took place today with my colleagues from the management team
  • Tomorrow is another Turkey fest with the HR department
  • Thursday night is a further seasonal nosh up with a bunch of friends
Already sedated from calorie overload & not sure how I will get to the end of the week without waddling or snoozing in the soup course!

I feel a mammoth mutt walking session will be required on a nightly basis :o/

Monday, 14 December 2009

Now suitably old-arsed

I've decided it's 'necessary' to start to do all the things I missed out on whilst raising the kids & trying to juggle the day job. Indications of mid-life crisis are relatively minor so far with acquisition of biker jacket possibly the first sign, shortly followed by the events of last night - Depeche Mode at the my youth! :o)
Superb gig...brilliant atmosphere, excellent sound and fab light show. Loved the mix of old and new tracks just the right balance and the crowd were really into it. Not bad for a group of blokes my age plus ;o) Miss Sensible who was attending her first ever gig was suitably impressed.

Only low point was the bad journey back... the NEC parking arrangements are rubbish and when we finally got onto the M42 the Highways Agency had closed two lanes hence only getting in at gone 1am. Took me ages to get to sleep as I was still buzzing from the gig they were sooo good.

More pics at
with credit to Paul who captured it all so well & John Corner for pointing me in the right direction for these snaps when mine were so rubbish.

Saturday, 12 December 2009

Major thank yous to the Birthday Fairies

in their various guises who kindly brought me the much desired Reiss leather jacket as well as the new Cure CD, a fab Merino sweater dress, and some Monsoon vouchers to name but a few of my beautiful gifts.

I had a lovely night out at Puccinis with the family and then celebrated in a slightly more raucous manner with the girlies...
sincere apologies to all in Ruby's tonight for all the loud laughter from the bunch in the corner & to poor Russell who not only provided a taxi service but was subjected & possibly traumatised by viewing my lingerie purchases from John Lewis.
...those from my carrier bag I hasten to clarify!

Friday, 11 December 2009

Sometimes you get some work/life balance

when you least expect it. 06:10hrs train to London for another session on Workforce Planning which covered the management of resources across the NHS - really interesting presentation. The event ended at lunch time with no trains until the late afternoon which gave me some time to kill...visited St. Pauls, mooched around the V&A (somewhat too briefly) then braved all hitting John Lewis Oxford Street.

Really a nice day, thoroughly enjoyed myself :o)

Sunday, 6 December 2009

Steel City

was cold but bright yesterday. Travelled up there laden down with pressies and cake for the strident student's 20th birthday. Despite being received by someone who was obviously still nursing a fairly major hangover she was delighted with her gifts. Whilst she gathered herself together I had a look around the house which despite some efforts by the landlord is still completely diabolical. Can't come to terms with the fact there are damp stains & mould spores on the walls, although it has to be said her bedroom is OK. You'd think these days student accommodation might be a bit more habitable.

We pottered into the City centre (a friendly, buzzing environment)
, mooched around the Xmas market, shops, stopping for lunch at a fab little place she's discovered. The place is so different to 20-odd years ago when I was offered a management position there by Top Shop and couldn't face living somewhere so grim, but I guess that was in the days when the steel works were going to the wall and the mines shutting down - a la 'Full Monty' & 'Brassed off'. Very different story now, huge regeneration and nice eclectic mix of shops, restaurants and people...feels quite cosmopolitan. After out little sojourn we got back to the house she made me some dinner, which I think is possibly a first! :o)

Although she's in touch every day I miss her when she's away. Looking forward to her coming home for Xmas though with Waitrose and catching up with her friends I doubt I'll see that much of her. She's sorted her transfer out and is back on the 20th, assigned the role of 'Turkey Bitch' - i.e. dealing with customer orders and running to & from the chiller all day. She's been given some very fetching long johns and a thermal vest specifically for that purpose! :o/
Food retail is such a glamorous business & I can't think of anything more enjoyable than dealing with hosewives on the brink of a breakdown due to the run up to the festive celebrations :o( Not a job for the faint-hearted!