Sunday, 30 November 2008

More Christmas Cards

If you read my last post about Christmas Cards, you may know that I am taking part in a craft fair on Tuesday and so I have made what feels like hundreds of cards. Definitely a hundred cos I have made just over a hundred!! As much as I love card making it does get a bit wearying if you're trying to meet a deadline, but I am pleased with what I have done so far.

Here are the two boxes full of cards....


And, with apologies for the very poor photographs as I have yet to work out how to take card photos properly, particularly when they have been sealed in plastic bags, here is a selection of the cards that I have made.


With a close up...!





I hope to be able to tell you all on Tuesday evening how the craft fair went - I do hope to sell at least ONE card!! Anyway, a real make-and-take show and and tell that one I think!! If you want to see more Show and Tells then go and ask the teacher and she may be kind enough to let you see what other people have brought to the classroom!

Saturday, 29 November 2008


What does it take to make you smile?

I was in my car and on the way to the shops this morning when the cockles of my heart were thoroughly warmed!  I drove past what looked like a father and daughter and they were obviously out walking their dog. 

Just as I drove by, they had pulled up to the pavement opposite the road from me and were teaching the dog how to sit and stay rather than dashing across the pavement, and as I looked I could see that the dog was a puppy - it looked like a King Charles spaniel and it was just so gorgeous that I just melted into a puddle of goo!!

I think that I smiled for about the next five miles and giggling every time I thought of that puppy so eager to please and yet so excited too.  Even now, practically the whole day later, it still  makes me give a little smile!

Friday, 28 November 2008


It's half past ten in the evening and I still can't think of anything to say! Except that I've been having fun rummaging around the blogs that have signed up for ICLW - International Comment Leaving Week - a monthly blogfest that means commenting on at least six of the blogs that are participating.

It's a good way of getting to see what other people are doing and spreading a bit of bloggy love!! This time around I have been aiming for Iron Commentator status, i.e. leaving a comment on each and every one of the blogs listed - with the exception of those that need passwords that you don't have and there was one of those this month, which is a shame because I did want to leave a comment only I had sign up/in in order to comment. It is also a shame because I am sure that blogs that require you to sign in will get fewer comments because people can't be bothered to go to quite that much hassle - never mind the comment verification that drives people up the wall (but not me, cos I have this on my blog so I don't mind it so much!! ;-) )

Anyway, without further ado, here is my final list for November's ICLW....

Sticky Feet
Mrs Spock
Portraits in Sepia
Just Me
To Baby and Beyond
Vintage Mommy
The Unfair Struggle
Dancing with Gaia
Elana's Musings
Building Heavenly Bridges
Who shot my stork-
Musings of a Teacher
Not The Path I Chose
Stirrup Queens

Woohoo!! I made Iron Commentator Status!!! I don't think that I'll be doing that again!! ;-)

Thursday, 27 November 2008


This seemed like a good way to do a post - as seen on Chocolate on my Cranium.

And so in honour of the American Thanksgiving (and those hundreds, nay, thousands of bloggers that are writing something thankful today!), I say that I am thankful.....

Thankful that my brother is coming home from India on Sunday week, I haven't seen him for ages!

Happy and thankful for all those memories of family holidays, I don't think that there was a bad one in the batch at all!

And I am thankful that I was able to adopt Phoebe cat from the Cat Protection Society almost three years ago (doesn't time fly!), especially when she curls up on the bit of my tummy or chest that is not covered up by a laptop!!

Naturally I am thankful for all those things that mean I can live well, a job, a house, a car, and the education that got me there!

Kindness is always something to be thankful for, so thank you for those that think to help others, those that always smile and say hello in passing, those that do not expect anything in return for what they do.

Freedom is definitely something to be thankful for, particularly as it is not really something that I think about, but truly, I am free to work, free to wear trousers, free to live the way I want to, free to complain if I need to (!), and free to be me!!

Unlimited thanks are definitely required for my parents who manage to put up with me and my ways! ;-)

Last but not least, I am thankful that I can listen to Christmas music!! I finally gave in and decided to put a Celine Dion CD on in the car - "poppy" enough that it is not quite like listening to carols too early!!

And on the penultimate day of ICLW I left comments on the following....

The Fertile Infertile
Woman Anyone
Between the Lines
Bella And Her Fella
Kicking You From the Inside
Meepit On Parade
Get Pregnant
Unquestionable Love
Birds and Squirrell
Our Own Creation
The Binky Diaries
Conceive This!

Wednesday, 26 November 2008

Really make sure you save it!

After yesterday's post on saving your work, I didn't expect to be writing about another potential catastrophe today! Fortunately all ended up well, but you'll never guess what happened!?

The library was being hoovered by the cleaner and was looking all nice and clean when she unplugged the hoover and caused screams to ring out in the library! It seems that she was just a little too careless in switching off the plug at the wall and managed to switch off both plugs.

Which, actually seems rather a risky design fault - wouldn't it be better to design a socket that has the two switches on opposite sides of the plate from each other - surely that would stop us from switching off the freezer, computer, whatever vital piece of equipment we have, by mistake.

Anyway, we all jumped when that poor girl on the computer screamed (luckily it wasn't the same girl I was talking about yesterday, I think that she'd have committed murder if it was!) and as I saw the cleaner walking away from that area, I knew exactly what had happened and dashed over to see if anything could be done.

Fortunately this girl had been saving her stuff on her memory stick and so when we turned the computer back on, she merely had to do a little bit again rather than the whole thing. (The cleaner wasn't even sorry as I don't think that she realised what she had done because I don't think that she uses computers much, if at all!)

But good grief....whatever next!!!

And today's ICLW comments were left on....

Heeeeere Storkey, Storkey!
Mom of 2 Dancers
The Daily Doings of Mr Silly and Little Miss Trouble
Ronda's Rants
Broken Bits
Our Surrogacy Adventure
Elusive BFP
Helping Make Sense
Hello Jello
Rachel's Scrambled Eggs
Life In A Holding Pattern
Our Box of Rain
The Saga of Becoming Fruitful
Baby Smiling In Back Seat
The New Life of Nancy
The Maniacal Mommy

Tuesday, 25 November 2008

Save it!!!

If you have an essay to do, please please don't just hit save and think that it has been saved!!

I had someone in tears today in the library because they didn't specifically save their work to their memory stick, they just hit "save as" and kept pressing return and simply assumed that they'd be able to find it again.

Not so. We had great fun trying to find this document again, we even had one of the IT guys down in the library trying to find this document, all without success. It's one of those things like keeping duplicate copies on a different file, we all know we are supposed to do it, but how many of us actually go to the bother of making another file?

I did feel sorry for this student and did my best to help her out, but there really was no denying that her work was gone. I have actually been in that position myself - years and years ago at university when I managed to lose some work right before I had to hand in the essay. Of course, it's a valuable (if unnecessary) lesson to learn as I never did anything so silly again!

So please! Make sure you save it where you know you can find it!

Anyway. My recent ICLW comments are...

Monday, 24 November 2008

Christmas Cards

Today I am taking part in a Christmas homemade-handmade bloggie carnival as hosted by Antique Mommy. I've never taken part in a carnival before, but it's a good idea as it gets a lot of people blogging on the same topic and all the posts can be found in one place. (of course, that only works if everyone joins in!!)

Anyway, I have been making what feels like hundreds of Christmas cards for an upcoming craft fair where I work and here is a selection of the range that I shall be selling!


As I couldn't possibly describe how to make each and every one as I'd be here all day, there is one that I want to focus on though as I rather liked this one. Oh, I like them all, but this one is relatively simple yet very effective.


1) Grab yourself a card blank

2) Lightly draw a circle in the top two thirds of the card

3) Stamp a greeting in the middle

4) Punch out several shapes from different coloured paper. I've gone for a variety of green paper and have used my star punch, but you could use a simple round punch, or perhaps jazz it up at bit with a snowflake punch?

5) Using glue and foam pads simply layer the punched out shapes around the circle so that some lie flat against the paper and some stand out from the circle.

6) Finally, tie yourself a ribbon, red works well with green! But it will depend on your tastes and what colours you have already chosen.

And there you have it, a little card that is quite easy to make and you could sit down of an evening and make a few of these!! Nothing too time consuming or requiring lots of colouring in or embossing, and yet, don't you think that it looks pretty?!

And by the way, some crazy woman is giving away a craft stamp every day for the rest of November!! So, go and check out Bootiful Stampz if you want to be in with a chance of winning a stamp for your cards!

Incidentally, my latest ICLW comments are....

Life with the Georgia Reiniches
An Equation of Hope
It is Tuesday, Right?
Dreams come True Sometimes
That's My Answer
Loving Thee....and More
Along Life's Little Journey
Ordinary Exultations
Breeder Beware
Off my Mind, but from my Heart
Life, Liberty and the Pursuit of Pampers

Sunday, 23 November 2008


....know how to make themselves comfortable despite whatever you may be doing, and so for Show and Tell I am going to show you just what Phoebe did!

It is fortunate that my laptop has a built in camera cos I was able to take these few photos!!


I was in the middle of writing an email to my middle brother when Phoebe wanted a cuddle, and she clearly saw that my lap was full of laptop so she decided to climb on my chest. I was actually somewhat slumped down on the armchair as I don't think that she would have tried this otherwise!


She is still here as I type this up the night before Show and Tell and this is probably an indication of how accommodating I am and how much I don't mind if the cat sits on me!! Fortunately I can still see the screen and can touch-type so I don't mind in the least; we are keeping each other warm on this cold night when all the weather forecasters are giving weather warnings of snow and ice and all things cold!

She finally got comfortable and settled down in a suitable position (i.e. her posterior wasn't in my face!!)


And if you want to take part in Show and Tell or see what other people have got to tell us, then do go and visit Show and Tell!!

Finally - today's ICLW comments were....

Vickie Press
Nervous Breakdowns are Highly Underrated
Fighting Infertility
The Idle Mind of Beth
One Small Wish
Preheated Oven - where is my bun?
Junebug's Musings
Infertility Podcast and Blog
In Pursuit of Parenthood
Mommy Confessions
The Great Big If
From Such Great Heights

Saturday, 22 November 2008

Mystery Tour

Did you know that it was possible to take a mystery tour in your own home town!?

I did one today when I wanted to drive across town from one craft shop to another and due to various reasons I don't normally visit them both on the same day and so I didn't know how to drive directly from one to the other.

I could have beetled down the motorway or driven up and around town, but why do that when there must be an easier way across town ? Well, needless to say I saw parts of town I had never seen before and I am quite positive that I still managed to take the longer route rather than the short! I kind of aimed the car in more or less the right direction and hoped that I got there.

I had no idea quite where I would pop out but I hoped that it would be close to the craft shop. As it was I ended up coming out on the bypass exit just above the one needed for the shop, so it was just a matter of driving down the road and turning off again.

It was certainly all very interesting and I was never worried about getting totally lost! How could you possibly get utterly lost in your own town anyway?!?

P.S. My laptop is behaving itself beautifully today, so yesterday must have been a momentary aberration or at least I hope it was!!

Today's ICLW comments are...

Be Still and Know
Tales of the Phoenix
The Long Journey
Blissful Body Yoga Blog
Sippy Cups are Not for Starbucks
Letting It Out
Our Journey to Baby
Getting There
White Picket Fences
Infertile Myrtle

Friday, 21 November 2008


My laptop keeps messing me about this evening, I may have to call Dell tomorrow and see what they can do for me....this may well cut short my NaBloPoMo efforts.

Still, as this is a relatively new laptop I should be able to get the problem sorted out, whatever it is. I shall certainly be making a mega fuss if Dell wont sort it out.

Fingers crossed everybody!! But at the moment, after several efforts to restart my laptop, it seems to be working.

P.S. Nearly forgot allll about ICLW - I joined again for November to poke around some other blogs and get a few comments!! I commented on these ones today.....

As you can see, I am attempting to go for Iron Commentator Status!!

Thursday, 20 November 2008

I remember when.... brother and sister-in-law told me I was going to be an Auntie.

They were very very sneaky and kept it all very quiet and didn't tell anyone until they had the first scan done. If I remember rightly, I visited them the week that they had the scan done, so they didn't have to wait long to tell me.

Arriving at their house after the usual wearying journey across the motorways on a Friday evening, never the best of times for driving cross country, I was given a cup of tea and we all sat down to chat when my brother suddenly jumped up and said "I've got something to show you" and he dashed off for a few seconds.

He returned with a little rolled up piece of paper and gave it to me without saying anything at all. He and my sister-in-law must have been on tenterhooks waiting for me to unravel the paper and look at it.

I unrolled it and saw the baby pictures. My first thought was "why are they showing me E's baby pictures" (E being my sister-in-law's sister) and I was quite puzzled for a couple of seconds when all of a sudden I twigged the reason that they had hold of these scan photographs and that I was looking at my first niece or nephew!! (nephew as it turns out!!).

It was just over four years ago, but I still remember that moments confusion and realisation and the hugs that followed. It was a good weekend. I even remembered going out for a meal with them some weeks prior to this weekend and my sister-in-law not having any wine and whispering to my brother behind her hand - clearly she was already pregnant but didn't want to say anything then - it must have been agony for them not to say anything at that point in time!!

As with my story last Thursday, this has been prompted by Mama Kat's writer's workshop!

Wednesday, 19 November 2008

another whoops!

But this time, it's a lesson learned!

For all you card makers out there, or indeed, all you craft not stamp and emboss and then cut out said images unless you know for absolutely certain what's on the other side!! Unfortunately I cut up a perfectly lovely yellow patterned piece of paper and then couldn't use the stamped images because the yellow showed through on the cut edges of the paper. (and can't now use the yellow paper because the embossed images show through!)

Like I said - a lesson learned (or should that be learnt - Mrs Spit, I need your help there as the acknowledged grammarian!!) and this is the perfect example of needing to look before I leap. Luckily I am not usually an impulsive character so I can be assured that I don't normally need to check things before I do them.

Still, when the card-making desk is all cluttered and piled high with bits of paper, stamps, ink, pens, scissors and the like, it is actually rather lucky I didn't cut out something that I really did need and would be have been utterly cross with myself about. As it is, it is just a whoops and and "oh poo, I didn't mean to do that", but no biggie.

Just pay attention next time!!

Tuesday, 18 November 2008


Nearly forgot to post today, which would totally ruin my NaBloPoMo efforts!!

Ummm, I did a random thoughts blurb yesterday so can't do another one today.

Some days I just have to admit that I have nothing to say, nothing to comment on, nothing to make you laugh with, nothing to make you cry with either, so that's a good thing too!

Monday, 17 November 2008


We're just over half way through NaBloPoMo and I am a bit stumped for what to write about today, so I think that I will go with one of my random thought bubbles!

  • The Christmas decorations in the shops this year seem to be totally rubbish, and as I am taking part in the Ornament Swap this year, I was getting a bit worried about what I was going to buy to send to my recipient. Fortunately I remembered that there is a Christmas Shop in a village about fifteen miles away from me, so I went and had a look and found something!!

  • I have decided to join in with the new craft fair at work this year, which is going to be hosted on the 2nd December and so I have a bunch of greeting cards to make, although I expect that most of them will be Christmas cards. I am just having trouble deciding how much to charge! I don't want to overcharge and not sell any, but neither do I want to undervalue them and make a loss - how the heck do craftspeople decide how much to charge?

  • Tomorrow I am attending a regional library meeting and I really don't want to go!! There are about 20-30 people that usually attend and I avoid going to the meetings that happen quarterly because I don't always follow what's going on and I don't actually think that the meetings achieve anything. But if I don't want to get known as the librarian that never attends meeting, then I should go and show my face!!

Sunday, 16 November 2008


This Show and Tell doesn't actually belong to me, but I simply could not resist alerting more of you to this live feed of six gorgeous, rambunctious, sleepy, fiesty, and funny puppies!! (It's not on air all the time, but when it is, it is rather addictive!! Although I should point out that the pups are not always in the bed!)

If you want to Show and Tell something to the world, go and join the rest of the class at Stirrup Queens

Saturday, 15 November 2008

More giveaways!

There seems to be rather a profusion of giveaways at the moment and they all have specific entry requirements, some ask for nothing more than a comment, some ask you put a badge on your blog, some ask you to make a funky video and some, like this one, ask you to blog about it.

So, apologies for inflicting this one on you when you probably have no interest in eyelets (Christmassy or otherwise!), but I do! I love making cards and these eyelets would go very well with my Christmas stash.

If, like me, you make cards and fancy some more bits and pieces for that neverending pile that sits around the house, go and visit the Retro Cafe Art Gallery and see what you have to do to be in with a chance of winning this great set of eyelets and associated kit!!

I did try to win a very similar set a few weeks ago, but didn't win, so clearly I am trying again!!

Friday, 14 November 2008

The first time I....

...could hear my own voice was when I must have been about 18 months old, although I am sure that Mum will correct me if I am wrong as I don't exactly have a memory of this! (Mum says that I was actually just under a year old)

The first thing is you have to know is that we lived about seventy miles from London at the time, which meant a rather long journey by car if we ever wanted to visit London, particularly as taking the car was always going to be easier with all the paraphernalia that toddlers seem to need.

But let's go back a bit further than that. It all started when Mum caught Rubella (German Measles) whilst pregnant with me and as a nurse she knew that there was a good chance that I would be disabled, so when I was born Mum and Dad were on the look out for anything like spina bifida, blindness, brain damage, and deafness.

When I was born, there was nothing obviously wrong, no obvious disability and then Mum didn't think that I was deaf because when I was no more than a few days old and still in hospital someone dropped a metal tray and I startled, which Mum felt as she was holding me at the time.

What Mum didn't know at the time is that apparently Rubella babies have a great deal of hearing at birth and it diminishes rapidly after birth ending up with the final level of deafness round about one year old.

So, at first Mum didn't think anything of it, especially not when I would push my ear against her mouth if she was humming, as mothers do to all babies! However, I eventually stopped responding to sound and despite several visits to the general practice where they insisted that I had a cold and to come back next week, I eventually had an appointment with the specialist in London.

It wasn't long after that that I was fitted with a body worn hearing aid (as you can see on my birthday post from last Friday!) and the doctor warned Mum and Dad that I would try to take my hearing aids out like most children do (as I expect that they are quite uncomfortable). Well, the story goes that it was pretty much impossible to get them off me!!

Anyway, the point of this story is that after I was fitted with this hearing aid in London I could hear myself for the first time in my life, and so I sang to myself something like "woah teddy" all the way home. All seventy miles from hospital to home, which may well have driven my parents crazy if this was any other situation but my joy of hearing that I had a voice!

(By the way, this story came about because I responded to a writer's prompt as blogged by Mama's Losin' it - if you are ever short of inspiration - this is the place to go!! Go and visit and read what other people have written!)

Thursday, 13 November 2008

Snooze button please

funny pictures of cats with captions

No there really isn't!!! In fact, I get a bit worried when Phoebe doesn't bother me first thing in the morning - the way she didn't this morning. Of course, she was fine, just clearly not as hungry this morning as she usually is, but dang it, it's got to the point where I'd rather she bothered me for her breakfast before the alarm goes off so I don't have to worry about her!!

Wednesday, 12 November 2008

Win one of three quilts

There are some incredible people out there, people who want to spend a bit of time making quilts to give away for free. I am in the process of making my own little lap quilt and I think that I would be exceedingly reluctant to give it away, perhaps I might if I'd been making quilts for a few years and found that I had too many or they were becoming (relatively!) easy to make due to my well developed skills!! (which, at the moment, are not looking very well honed!)

quilt one

But yes, there are three quilts up for grabs, one each for three lucky winners and there are multiple ways in which to earn chances, so hop over to the Old Red Barn Co. and see how can you win one of those beautiful quilts.

quilt two

Go and drool over the quilts and enjoy the colours that have been cleverly put together and imagine yourself all snuggled up on the sofa watching your favourite film with the quilt wrapped around you, knowing that it is cold outside but you haven't go to be anywhere!!

quilt three

Naturally I don't want to tell you all about so that I can have more chances of winning, but I get more chances if I blog about it and in any case it just wouldn't be right to keep this wonderful opportunity all to myself!! Good luck to every body and go visit the Old Red Barn Co!!!

Tuesday, 11 November 2008

Remembrance Day

Did you wear your poppy today?


I don't actually know whether poppies are just a British symbol or whether they are worn in other countries. In any case, today was the official Remembrance Day - the commemoration of those that have died in wars, but specifically since the First World War. The day is not a public holiday here in Britain but we do have various events going on like the Queen laying a poppy wreath or two minutes silence held up and down the country.

Another one of our fallen soldiers was brought home yesterday, so I imagine that today would have especial significance for their family. It is rather difficult sometimes to believe that people are still dying in war, clearly not in the numbers during the First and Second World Wars, but they are still dying.

I know that people like to say that they'd wish for World Peace, but why should that be such a difficult thing to achieve? Why can't we sit around the table and agree on the things that matter to us, but there I answer the question myself - the things that matter to us are less important to others and so we are never going to agree not to take to our guns and kill one another.

They shall not grow old as we who are left grow old.
Age shall not weary them, nor the years condemn.
At the going down of the sun and in the morning,
we will remember them.

Monday, 10 November 2008


I have finally finished that case study that is due tomorrow. Now I just have to finish off the critical reflection and make sure that my portfolio is all up to scratch.

Once I hand it in, I am quite sure that I will send myself into agonies by thinking about it and believing that I should have written this instead of that or used a different case study or just generally driving myself mad!

Oh well, the deadline is tomorrow, so whatever gets handed in, gets marked, and that's that!!

Sunday, 9 November 2008


...are very difficult to photograph, but of course it would help if I hadn't accidentally changed the setting on my camera to "underwater" instead of "fireworks"! The little fish icon in the corner of my camera screen eventually came to my attention and so I groaned and changed the setting again and hoped for the best.

I have to say that even with the firework setting on the pictures are not that brilliant. I needed a tripod for the camera and as I don't have one I had to make sure that I held the camera as still as possible, which of course was utterly impossible.

But for Show and Tell this week, here are a few of the better pictures. But before I go and show you the pictures, don't forget that you can see other pictures and other topics at Mel's Show and Tell and if you have anything you want to show the world, just head over there and wait patiently for the teacher to call on you!!

We were at Leeds Castle for the fireworks, and I must say that I think this is a rather impressive castle...


Then we had fireworks and lasers all set to music, it only lasted about half an hour, but it was good fun - loads and loads of people were there eating hot dogs and candy floss and all things yummy!





Of course...I must show you my birthday present from Mum and Dad too!!


I have had the bag for about four weeks, but have refrained from using it until it was actually the day of my birthday, don't you think that I am very restrained!!!?

Saturday, 8 November 2008


How many of you have quirks that other people just accept as being part of you (while still teasing you about them of course!)?

I am quite sure that I have several quirks but the one that seems to stand out is my habit of making noises. For instance, I just now stumbled over my little table on my way back to the armchair after turning the telly on (yes, I know I am watching less TV these days, but that doesn't mean I can't watch it at all!) and instead of just collecting myself and sitting down, I made this noise as well.

My family will know exactly what I mean, as will my close friends and colleagues - it goes something like this "whooooop!", it doesn't quite come out so well in the written form. Nevertheless, every time I slip, stumble or have a minor mishap, this particular noise or some variant seems to come out of my mouth!

I just seem totally unable to prevent this particular quirk, I do try and tone it down in polite company but it still pops out! It happens even when I manage to keep my balance but something else attracts my attention, the point is that I don't always have a volume control on my voice.

The funniest noise that two members of my family particularly tease me about is actually a word, I can't remember exactly when it happened but it was at least a year ago if not more when somebody happened to mention that someone was wearing shorts in particularly nasty weather (it was probably early spring or late autumn or something) and I repeated, in a rather loud and squeaky voice - SHORTS?!

And so now I get teased by people (you know exactly who you are!) when I am particularly loud by saying "SHORTS!". Naturally I am not quite like this at work, but I still manage to make the odd noise or two and I do wonder what my colleagues think of me sometimes, fortunately I have been reassured by at least one of them that she just thinks of merely as being part of me and that I wouldn't be the same if I was this quiet little person in the corner!

Friday, 7 November 2008

Happy Birthday to meeeee!

Woohoo, 34 years ago today I was born! Erk, did I really say 34?! I must be 34 because the 6pm news isn't nearly as boring as it was when I was 14 (or even 24)! I must be 34 because I worry about the cost of my mortgage instead of how much pocket money I'll get. I must be 34 because I can remember the New Kids on the Block!! And I can actually remember playing "afternoon tea" with my grandparents!!

Due to the proximity of my birthday to Bonfire Night, I have always associated fireworks with my birthday, in fact, there is a family story where I apparently once said on a birthday something like "I wake up, have a party, have presents, have fireworks and THEN I'm five" - so clearly I don't actually turn 34 until I have had fireworks on my birthday.

This year the fireworks promise to be even more spectacular as Mum has got tickets for us to go and see fireworks at Leeds Castle, so we will wrap up warmly and take a flask of hot chocolate and stick a few buns in our pockets and go and enjoy the fireworks - hopefully I will be able to show you some photographs later - probably for Show and Tell on Sunday!

Updated: to add that someone else is 34 today - imagine my surprise when I found another blogger (who is a twin!) that shares EXACTLY the same birthday as me!!

Thursday, 6 November 2008

Ten of my absolute worse pet peeves

Mama's Losin' It hosts a regular writers workshop with various prompts that she offers up for people to use as a jumping off point. I have often said that I find it difficult to find inspiration when it comes to blogging anything remotely interesting, so this looks like a good idea for me to try out!! (not to mention more fodder for NaBloPoMo which I need if I am going to post every day for thirty days!)

I am sure that my post title makes it quite obvious what I am about to talk about! So - ten of my absolute worse pet peeves? Would that my own worse or other people's worse peeves about me!!? I don't think that I would even know (or attempt to guess) at other people's peeves about me, so I am going to settle for my own.


ONE: leaving the milk out of the fridge, or in fact anything that should by rights be in the fridge. For some reason this really truly bothers me, I know that a few minutes wont hurt, but this one really does bother me deep down inside and I don't think that I could even tell you why!

TWO: those people who simply cannot find the bin the public loos - "ITS RIGHT THERE!" - I know that the hand-dryers are next to useless but if you find some paper towels please please use the bin!!

THREE: this one is a bit of hazard of my job as Librarian, but it does bug me when our library users expect us to get an article or book that they need immediately when in fact they've known for a while that they have this essay/project/presentation to do tomorrow!!

FOUR: tradespeople who just don't seem to want your business. I think that I've mentioned something similar to this before, but when you ask people to contact you with regards a possible job, I don't expect not to get a response at all or even worse, continued promises to contact you that are just not followed up. Don't you want my money or my goodwill?!

FIVE: As I am watching the adverts at the moment I suddenly realise that one of my pet peeves are those glossy adverts for hair products or make up or any other feminine beautification product. Nobody looks that beautiful, you've all been airbrushed and polished and buffed to a shine - thanks for making me feel inadequate! It's a good job that I am not silly to enough to think that if I bought that product I would instantly turn into a beauty!!

SIX: politicians who constantly put down the opposing party instead of saying that they can do for the electorate. I know that this sounds like something that I have thought of off the back of the American election, but it is something that bothers me at every British election that we have (or even when I happen to catch some parliamentary stuff on television). It really does seem as though all the politicians can think of is that we want to know how badly they think of the other political groups. In my case that just annoys me deeply - why couldn't they tell me something more constructive instead of acting like school children taunting each other in the playground.

SEVEN: those teenage boys who think that it is perfectly acceptable to wear jeans that hang half way down their legs. Every time I see one of them waddling down the street and attempting to hitch their trousers up so that they move past the point of actually falling down I just want to go up to them and yank their jeans right up and give them a belt to wear. I really really don't want to see your underwear thank you very much!

EIGHT: supermarkets who try to make a big thing about comparing two different shopping bills at two different supermarkets when in fact all you save is about £2. That might sound like a lot if you were comparing two bills of about ten pounds each, but when you compare two shopping lists costing about a hundred pounds, do you really think that we're going to quibble over two pounds. If I am already spending a hundred, I would expect serious savings!! I remember complaining about this particular advert with a friend, but can't find the actual advert to show you all.

NINE: I love to read and will pretty much read anything and everything I can get my hands on, so it does annoy me when I read something that has been through umpteen drafts, several edits, not to mention a few proofreaders and yet there are STILL spelling mistakes or grammatical errors.

TEN: My final pet peeve actually has to do with ME and my inability to make sure that I always have a spare set of hearing aid batteries somewhere on my person. I invariably run out of batteries at the worse possible moment (before a seminar, half way though a concert - I actually drove home to get more batteries during the interim and made it back just in time!). Why oh why can't I make sure that I have batteries, I get them free so why do I have to put myself in the situation where I have to go and BUY some more?!

Heck, I didn't imagine that this post would turn out to be quite so long, I hope you didn't fall asleep by the end of it. Oh well, I never knew I had quite so many pet peeves!! I am kinda pleased that they are a mix of the serious and the not-so serious! Do you have any major peeves?

Wednesday, 5 November 2008


There are many adverts on the television that just baffle me and I have no clue what on earth they are supposed to be advertising or sometimes the advert is just very stupid. Occasionally one pops up that blows the mind like the advert for a particular car where there a chorus that beautifully mimics the sounds of the car passing - not that I can actually remember what the make of car is!!

Anyway, I have just seen an advert for Barclay Card and their new card that is supposed to work without direct contact and it is such a fun advert. It all begins with a chap in swimming trunks walking through an office filled with cubicles, so my first thought is "eh?" and then he opens a cupboard in which is a tube that looks a bit like a laundry chute, but it has water in it and that's when you begin to realise what is about to happen and he takes this water chute allllll the way home. He passes through a supermarket and swipes his card for a banana, he also goes down into the tube station and swipes his card again - all without actually touching the machinery cos of course, he can't - being inside this plastic tube full of water!!

Naturally anything I say cannot come anywhere close to describing how the advert really looked, so here's the video!

I saw it for the first time today and my jaw dropped at the bizarreness of the advert, but at the same time the child in me thought "woohoo, if only all commutes home could be like that!!". The only thing is that it wouldn't do much for my hair and what on earth would I do with all the clothes that get left behind in the office! This is what happens when you start to think too literally when in fact, it's all just a mindless piece of escapism. But a very good advert it was too, how do people think up stuff like this!!

Tuesday, 4 November 2008

How do you feel about being deaf?

The above question was posed to Tales from a CI Gal and it made me think about the question as it applies to me.

I don't actually think that I have thought all that deeply about the fact that I am deaf. It is simply a part of me, there isn't a great deal I can do about it except make sure that I carry spare batteries with me!

You see, although I am deaf, I do like to hear what is going on around me as then I feel less vulnerable and less inclined to behave meerkat-like as I frequently pop up and swivel around in order to see what's going around me. At least with hearing aids I get some sense of what's happening around me, but that doesn't mean that I don't jump a foot (or two) when people manage to sneak up on me!!

Of course, there will always be moments when I get frustrated with the fact that my ears don't work quite as they should. For instance when the promised subtitles are not working it means I can't watch something that I'd been anticipating! Or perhaps when I am out for a walk with friends and family and simply cannot listen to the conversation because we have to walk in single file for a moment - this I find harder to deal with sometimes because what do I do? Do I ask people to wait and finish the conversation later, do I ask people to repeat the whole thing to me after the conversation has finished? Usually I end up shrugging my shoulders and saying to myself that if it was important they'd tell me and so I look at the scenery and think what a beautiful day it is.

As I usually get by, I have no intention of making other people feel uncomfortable and having to feel constantly alert as to whether I was able to pay attention or not. Yes, I am well aware that it could be said that the people around me have a duty to make sure that I am not marginalised simply because I cannot hear. After all it is not my fault that I need to see in order to hear, but like I said, I usually manage to know what's going on so in the main it doesn't bother me that much. Besides, why get all worked up and frustrated about a conversation that probably wasn't all that important - it is just that so much could potentially get missed.

However, I am not so deaf that I can't hear my cat, Phoebe, meow when she wants feeding!! Clearly, I hear her much better when she is right next to my shoulders or when it is particularly quiet and she is right at my feet. Which is a pain in the neck because every time I even look as though I am walking to the kitchen she is there at my feet - meow, meow, meow!! But, hey, I can't have it both ways can I?! I can't choose to hear what I want to hear and ignore what I don't - it's all about taking the rough with the smooth and not forgetting to be quite totally deaf when the call goes up for dishwashers!!!! ha ha.

Monday, 3 November 2008

The Election

Although I am not American, the only election that I could possibly be talking about this week is the one currently going on across the pond. I have managed to avoid talking about it so far, but something curious came to my notice the other day.

All the news coverage that I have seen so far suggests that it is a race between Obama and McCain, and yes, I would say that the news reports are right, but did you know that there are other candidates for the American Presidency?

Granted they are the candidates with the most money and are most likely to succeed (whichever candidate it may be!), but the Green Party, the Libertarian Party, and the Constitution Party all have nominees, and there is also an independent candidate.

Now, I don't know how much coverage those other presidential hopefuls get in the United States, but they certainly don't get any coverage in the British media - at least not that I have seen. So, I would imagine that any Briton would assume that there are only two candidates and that the election is all about Obama and McCain.

I am not silly, I do realise that the race is truly a two horse one, but why is it that the other nominees don't get a look in at all? It is totally down to money or is it believed that the only possible successful candidates come from the Republican or the Democratic Party?

Sunday, 2 November 2008

It's Sunday.... it must be Show and Tell! Today I want to tell you all about just how good some shops are when it comes to customer service. First of all you need to know that a few months ago I had my ears pierced with a second set of holes! (which doesn't actually sound all that attractive does it - "set of holes"!?).

Anyway, I'd been wearing these gold studs for ages and was fairly desperate to get something else, something that would go with whatever else I chose to put in my first set of piercings. Cos, as you know, gold doesn't necessarily go with everything!

I'd been looking for something like diamonds or some sort of stone, but I couldn't find anything that I fancied and, of course, I knew that I couldn't afford real diamonds!! In fact, I am not even prepared to wear diamond earrings as I'd be so worried about losing them that I expect that they would be worn once a year and then left to sit in the jewellery box!

All of that is beside the point.....I found myself some nice diamondy-looking earrings and even had a look at some real diamond earrings that were about the same size and they cost about £450 so that was definitely a no-go. But, back to customer service; these earrings were for me and the saleswoman knew that, but she still prettied up the box, dropped some silver circle confetti on it, wrapped in tissue paper and put it all in in a lovely bag.

When you see the photos, you will see why I shall be going back to that place again. It feels so much better than simply asking your customer if they'd like a plastic bag!! Okay, okay, so perhaps this isn't exactly environmentally friendly, but the pleasure that I got out of this was just....mmmmmmmm.






Wouldn't you go back? Treat yourself to some more jewellery?!

Saturday, 1 November 2008


Many of you will know what I am talking about when it comes to NaBloPoMo, and for those of you that don't it's  a regular bloggy thing that encourages people to blog rather more regularly by committing to blogging on a daily basis for at least a  month in order to establish the habit.

As far as I can gather, this is usually most popular in November when it was originally set up,s and although there are now regular themes each month, but November still remains the most popular month for blogging  (quite probably because there are random prizes for those that do manage to blog every day!) and I have decided to join those people for the month of November and see how I get on.

It will be a struggle to try and blog something every day and sometimes I am quite sure that I will post utter drivel, but hey ho, it's only through practicing that I'll get better!  So here goes!