Saturday, December 30, 2006

Bogging annoying

The washing machine saga continues....

Man came yesterday with the new parts ready to fit them. This was a different chap to the one we've had the previous 3 times - he looked at what the other chap had left for him and then ranted about this for a good ten minutes or so including having a go at the other chap over the phone for leaving a bit of a bodge!

We felt in safer hands by then. Took him 2 hours, but at the end I was assured that the new bits were all in, the electronic module had been upgraded and despite the fact that you usually have to leave the adhesive for 24 hours to dry, he had used extra strong stuff and I could do a load by tea-time!!! Hurrah!

But it was not to be. Load went on at about 7 - kitchen and bathroom flooded by half past. Poo. Although that was not our exact choice of language.

Ringing them again today to get someone to come and fix. No idea where the water is coming from although it would appear to be from in the machine because a load of scale came out with it! Really quite fed up now.

But on the plus side - off into town this morning for retail therapy. Found an expenses cheque for £80 from October in one of my handbags yesterday - wahey!


I've had a great Christmas - busy but great. Started off at L's parents in Derby for a family "do" last Saturday at which Leigh's brother's new girlfriend was thrown to the wolves...well the Hutchins women! They had a rowdy afternoon of working themselves up into a frenzy about what she would be like, and then followed her around for a good half hour when she arrived! But bless her, she seemed to take it all in good heart. A quiet Christmas eve and then Christmas day with L's parents, his nan and brother. I got a very lovely Radley handbag from my husband (amongst other things) - unexpected and delicious!! Then sent the rest of Christmas day (apart from Dr Who) Wii-ing in the front room. L's parents have completely taken to the Wii, especially the sports games, although L's dad wasn't too happy that he couldn't crack the golf game, having been Captain at his golf club a few years ago!

Exchanged pressies with our uni friends on Boxing day and then went to Yarmo the next day to see mum and Chris. Some other friends I haven't seen for nearly a year popped in as well and it was good to see them. Back home to Ipswich and then off to Cambridgeshire to see the rest of Mum's side of the family - again so glad we made the effort to go up there.

So, busy but great. and now we have 2 full days to recover before going back to Nottingham for new year. Murder mystery dinner again - my character is Mandy Seever the femme fatale. Hmmmm.

Thursday, December 28, 2006

He came, he saw and STILL didn't fix....

Had this afternoon off work to wait in for the washing machine man (again). After much grunting, exclaiming and complaining to his mate on the phone, he managed wrench the inner drum from the machine. I then hear "I don't believe this!" This removes what little hope I had left that it would get fixed today - it appears that the new inner drum he has been given has been manufactured differently to the old drum removed. The door seal now does not fit and there is a blanking plate missing. He's got to go and order these and come back again!!! He'll be here again on the 29th and I spent another hour or so at the launderette - but at least I'm up to date before we go away.

Not sure whether this will ever end...perhaps should suggest they just give us a new machine...

Tuesday, December 19, 2006

Christmas has arrived1

It's definitely here - have now been to 2 pantos, eaten 3 or 4 mince pies and been to a carol service. Hurrah. Had to laugh at the carol service - someone clearly hadn't proof read the carol words (and sadly some mistakes had carried forward from last year!) - the best line being "from our ears and sins release us..." (fears...)

And the weather's finally turned nippy which seems to be an excuse for jack-knifed lorries on the road - my usual half hour journey to work this morning took a record hour and a half.

But on the bright side I found a plum in my handbag at the weekend - no doubt left over from some work lunch I'd taken in, but have no idea how long it's been there. It's certainly been weeks since we had plums in the house! Tasted all right though.

Sunday, December 10, 2006

He's behind you!

Went to the Playhouse panto in Nottingham last night - absolutely brilliant! It's not the big "star" panto in the city but we all agree it's much better! The show was Cinderella - the 2 dames were fantastic, the songs were ace (especially my favourite from Hercules) and it was really funny. My hearing was only slightly impaired by the frenzied shrieking Brownies on the row behind...but who thought orange and peach would be good colours for the final wedding scene???

'Nother panto next weekend - Dick Whittington in Ipswich. It's a Rock and Roll panto and has been great for the last couple of years (oh yes it has) - roll on next weekend!! I love Christmas.

Friday, December 08, 2006

He came, he saw, he didn't fix

Washing machine man turned up during Murder She Wrote this afternoon (star-studded episode - Cynthia Nixon and David Soul). Heard him banging away in the kitchen for a good 20 minutes and then he came through to tell me the good news and the bad news. Good news - he was all done and would be "out of my hair," bad news - the washing machine still is not fixed. Humph! It appears although the electronic diagnosis thing is pretty good, it only told half the story - when the back of the machine came off and something called a spider (?) needed to be removed, it was discovered welded to the back of the inner drum with rust. So new part on order again - waiting for the depot to ring to say it's in. Could easily be another week.

Back to the launderette this afternoon - spent my time having fun reading CRAG...

Got home just after 5 - Wii still not arrived. L's been up since 6 - last time Parcel Force had a package for us they came at half 6 in the morning! Not this time though... we have a controller, but no console...

Wednesday, December 06, 2006

Is it wrong to miss church coffee mornings?

By that I don't mean is it wrong to not go to them! Had a day off today and went to Yarmo to see Mum. Marvelled at all the work she's been doing in Chris' garden (which now looks less barren bramble-filled wasteland and more cleared scrubland) and admired the new sink and toilet upstairs (very handy). We then went off to Newtown for a coffee morning to raise funds for a child they sponsor through World Vision. Visits to Newtown always make me very nostalgic - it was a huge part of my life until I went to uni - and this morning was reminded of the cameraderie on coffee mornings. Everyone pitches in - setting out furniture, pouring tea or generally just standing around catching up on all the gossip! I found myself engaged in washing up, wiping down tables and sweeping the floor by the end of the morning! Also found one of my aunties and Jane's mum there for a chat. And only 2 people thought I was my sister - it's getting better.

The church looks great at the moment though - they've got some new banners up and are also having a Christmas tree festival, so the church is full of decorations at the moment! Becks' school concert is at the church on Friday so they're also preparing for the onslaught of 200 children!!! It will be cosy in there!

On way home, realised that my mobile phone clock and car clock are 5 minutes different. Rang the speaking clock - phone is 3 minutes slow, car is 2 minutes fast...

Tuesday, December 05, 2006

Is it possible to overdose on Strepsils?

If it I think I may have! Feeling grotty today - head full of cotton wool and my throat is v sore . Sneezing has also started - I think I've started the slippery slope...

Saturday, December 02, 2006

So it wasn't too bad

The launderette I mean! Been and sorted out three loads of washing - and most of it's now dry, although you don't seem to get long for your 20p. Hadn't quite appreciate how much you can get into one of their machines - if I have to go again I'm taking everything!

It was pretty full when I got there - although mostly it seemed to be one woman who seemed to be using 3 washers and 3 dryers at any one given time... But at least there isn't smelly clothing lying around at home now. Managed quite well too - fortunately there were clear signs on the machine to say what the cycles are and how to operate it, otherwise could have been a nasty embarassment - sadly like when I was leaving thinking I'd done pretty well, and the attendant (male) handed me a pair of my knickers which had fallen to the floor. Oops - and they weren't the best either!

The attendant also tried to engage me in conversation earlier when he was telling me about the alcoholics who lived upstairs and had thrown their TV down the stairs! With the cables still attached and everything - fortunately cycle only had about 3 minutes left.

Started "The Ode Less Travelled" while I was there - I am now instructed to practise my iambic pentameter :

I sit and watch the clothing spin around

I wonder if I've coins enough to dry

Enough of all the knickers on the floor!

Wednesday, November 29, 2006

Nobody's Watching

My Beautiful Launderette

Yep, the washing machine is broken. The (some of?) bearings have gone and there's something else amiss. One part needs to be ordered so we're without machine until next week! Time to rediscover my "love" for launderettes...

But on the plus side, my new ASDA skirt billows most satisfactorily when I run down stairs.

Monday, November 27, 2006

Bogging washing machine

It appears to have broken - at least the dial just keeps turning and the programme doesn't run properly. Got in the queue for an engineer on the phone - left it to have dinner and when I rang back the office had closed. Bah.

Sunday, November 26, 2006

I've been away too long!

It's been an exciting (well... busy) few weeks since I last blogged - so what's been happening?

The big thing was the Gilbert & Sullivan shows which went off last week. All went pretty well really - the first rehearsal on the actual set is usually pretty disasterous (and it was) because you suddenly find there are real steps to go up and down (rather than pieces of matting with steps painted on them!) and there's less/more space on stage than you had been imagining at rehearsals. The women's chorus also had massive hats to contend with in HMS Pinafore - whilst these looked superb to the audience, they could be awkward buggers to get through doorways and there was no way you could get too close to any of the other ladies without a major hat wobbling incident! Which was perhaps a hidden bonus for anyone very protective of their personal space!

The shows were brilliant though and all seemed to go really well. Not too many fluffed lines, and no major incidents with the set. The orchestra were ace as always and it seemed to go really well. L's posted a review to his blog - read it here, and some of the photos are now on the G&S site - see them here (you'll need to click the "This Year's Show" button on the left).

One downside to the week was the exam I had on the Thursday afternoon! Trust and estate accounts - not too bad really and certainly not the huge amount of learning statutes and cases that there was in the previous 3 exams. But still it was on a show day...I went to London the Thursday before to practice getting home and thought it would all be a doddle. How wrong could I be?? Left the exam early to make sure I got the train I wanted but there had been vandalism somewhere at the extremity of the Central Line somewhere meaning those trains were delayed and there were huge numbers of people waiting at platforms. So I caught a cab - took longer that I was hoping but still got the Liverpool street on time only to lose 1/2 hour at Stratford because of an earlier broken down train!!! So sadly missed Trial by Jury on Thursday, but made it back in time for HMS Pinafore. And the exam seemed to go okay - the accounts balanced anyway!! Find out in a couple of weeks.

This weekend had the IOS concert - extracts the the Gadfly, Rachmaninov's 2nd piano concerto (think of Brief Encounter) and Tchaikowsky's 6th Symphony - he died about 7 days after the first performance! So lots of discussion about whether it was in fact his "swan song," but there seems to be debate both ways. Still a great concert - the Tchaikowsky in particular has lots of dark brooding music. Lovely. The soloist was ace - born 1976...only a year (if that) older than me.

Decided to try and do some Christmas shopping this afternoon, including ordering a sofa from Debenhams for ourselves. we've been looking at this sofa since the summer and it's the only one we've really liked (and we have looked everywhere). Finally decided to go and order the thing today and found that the half-price event for sofas which seems to have been a permanent fixture since the summer has ended and the one we want is now £1700!!! Damme that's too bad.

Went to a new place for lunch - describes itself as a pasta buffet, but there's pizza and salad too. Not bad, although never have ham and pineapple lasagne. If you've ever had evaporated milk on pineapple you know what the juice does to it. It also does that to the white sauce in a lasagne. And it looked as though someone hadn't really drained the pineapple before using it....

I've updated my book list again - finally finished Philip and Elizabeth which was pretty good. Read the latest Harry Potter during show week - it only took a couple of days so didn't have chance to put it on the blog. I enjoyed it - at least Harry's not so angry all the time any more! But it's certainly setting the scene for the final installment...

Friday, October 27, 2006

Lest I forget

Rehearsal went pretty well last night - it's starting to come together, although some of the music still needs a bit of work. We were encouraged to all spend an hour looking at our parts this week. Sadly, yes, there were that many sniggers...

Wednesday, October 25, 2006

New book

I've added a new reading book to my list and then found there's a game!

Number crunching

Went to London today for a workshop/revision day for my last STEP exam which is fast approaching (and it's during show week...but that's another story). It's trust and estate accounts this time and doesn't look to be too bad - at least there aren't reams of case law and statutes to learn! We started with a jaunt through the world of double-entry accounts and the tutor (bless) gave us a helpful mnemonic to aid us in our pursuit of learning how to put entries into the cash account - DRCP which means "debit receipts, credit payments." The helpful mnemonic? Don't Rely on Contraceptive Pills. There's a lesson for everyone there!

Saw a poster for a new film whilst I was looking around aimlessly on the underground escalators and not trying to catch anyone's eye - it was described as "the best British romantic comedy about sexual politics this year." Hmmmm somewhat narrowing the field of competition???

Tuesday, October 17, 2006

Blog your way into history

L sent me this link today - sounds like a good idea. An electronic time capsule. Here's a run-down of my day.

Got up at the usual time this morning - 6.30am. I have recently started working nearer to home that I have for the past 4 years, but still can't get out of the habit of getting up at half 6. Oh well, more time for television! My particular morning favourite is the children's programme The Hoobs - although I think I've seen all of them about 3 times! In case you're not familiar, they are aliens from the planet Hoob sent to earth to find out more about Peeps (us) to report back. Ivor (purple) is the neurotic leader prone to panic attacks when they don't seem to have answered the question in time for Hoob news, Groove (green) is the slightly dopey one who eats constantly and likes collecting things (like, things there are two of, or water in buckets...), Tula (pink) is the girly girl, good with the cooking and making them all costumes, and finally Romer (orange) is the travelling motorbike chick, ever so slightly butch with a friend called Dorothy (who apparently is very rude about her paintings!).

Had an unholy alliance of Bran Flakes and Crunchy Nut Clusters for breakfast and then drove the 25 miles to work. I'm a solicitor working in the private client department, and my day today was filled with a meeting about personal injury trusts and how we deal with the inheritance and capital gains tax changes wrought by this year's Finance Act and a trip out to Scole to see a lady about an Enduring Power of Attorney. Had been secretly dreading that visit but in fact it all went off okay.

After work I popped into Morrisons on the way home for some extras for dinner (cooked by my husband) and we ate that watching series 7 of The West Wing - they're just in the middle of a nuclear scare in Sacramento. Ooooooooooo. Then off to a sectional rehearsal for orchestra. I play the viola and our next concert is in just over a month's time (the week after the Gilbert & Sullivan show) - playing extracts from the Gadfly by Shostakovich, Rachmaninov piano concerto number 2 and Tchaikowsky symphony number 6. The third movement of the symphony is a bit of a nightmare, not leats because we're playing it at breakneck speed! Rehearsal also a good chance to catch up on all the lovely bowing details!

Got home around 10 and didn't want to spoil the ending of CSI : Miami which was just finishing and which I was videoing to watch later so brushed my teeth and came up to write this. Good night.

Sunday, October 15, 2006

Weight of a bow

Heard at Suffolk Strings this afternoon that a recommended weight for a viola bow is between 69 and 75grams (I think!). So rushed home to check my bows - older crappy bow 59g - new lovely bow - 72g!!! Hurrah! But haven't so far found any validation for this remark on t'internet yet...just that you should use a weight that suits you. But it makes sense - a lighter bow tends to be much harder to control particularly in fast bouncy music.

On the same kind of theme it was the Planets concert last night. Brilliant music. They had a girls' choir in for Neptune - The Mystic because there's an etheral passage towards the end of the movement enhanced by a female choir singing out of sight - and sounding quite faraway and mysterious. Choir stood outside the main auditorium which was all well and good until they decided to close the door for the last few bars to make it sound even more muffled and further away. If only someone had thought to practise with the door which made the loudest most laborious clunking and banging noises as it was being much for mystery!

Freaky food

While waiting in a queue of traffic on the A14 on Friday I briefly switched to SGR fm on the radio (local commercial station) to try and catch the local traffic news because R2 hadn't mentioned the A14 hold up. They had some how got onto the subject of weird food combinations - one of them liked to eat a bar of chocolate with mushrooms and a glass of milk (!). Then one of the presenters announced that the freakiest food combination she'd heard of had been chosen by her pregnant friend for lunch the day before. Cue ringing up the friend - what was the strange combo? Cheddar and raspberry jam! What's odd about that?!! I've been eating that since I was introduced to it in Methsoc at Uni (albeit usually red leicester being my hard cheese of choice). It's delicious! Not at all weird. Or strange. In any way. Perhaps?

Friday, October 13, 2006

Friday must be the day for it

Another accident on the A14 on my way into work this morning. Diverted around Thurston and in fact had the diversion not been full of other cars diverting might actually be a nice alternative for the last couple of miles. I would hate a journey to get stale! Got to work about half nine.

Same happened last week - an accident on the A14 which resulted in (apparently) the road's closure for 10 hours! Fatal accident - someone tried to drive along the A14 on the wrong carriageway... And then there was an overturned lorry on the diversion route. Another late start and not setting a good precedent for next week!

I've finally updated my reading list on the Blog, but still finding the Iliad tough going - I keep putting off trying to read it and as L finished "Faithless" the other day. I'm taking the opportunity to read that instead! Philip & Elizabeth still going well, if slowly but getting more into it now - I like the section I'm in because it's working through each family tree. Who Do You Think You are has a lot to answer for!

Tuesday, October 10, 2006

Day of meetings..

So my day today -

Arrive at work and do an hour's research on some trust issues
Then travel to Stradbroke (about 50 mins) to see client for a little over an hour.
Travel back to Bury and then straight into a meeting. About an hour.
Then straight into another meeting - about an hour and a half
Spent the rest of the day dealing with my emails and emergency post.

So not especially productive...but at least my 3 hour "sharing work" meeting has been cancelled for tomorrow and with no other appointments I can hopefully get stuck into some of the things that have got a bit held up. Like post.

Wednesday, October 04, 2006

Are you my wife?

Heard this chap on the Chris Evans show on the way home from work tonight - sounded great!

So much to catch up on..

And I seem to be having difficulties uploading photos to my Blog - quite annoying because I wanted to share a few from Shell Island. Must speak to L about getting my blog back logged into Flickr so I can post photos direct from there.

It's been ages since I last blogged - there's so much to tell! Went to Shell Island a couple of weekends go which was truly staggeringly beautiful. We had brilliant weather for the most part and the beach was so quiet and vast. It's impressive when you arrive and they say things like - we've got 300 acres, so you can just go anywhere, as long as it's not too close to someone you don't know. Fine by me! I keep getting a bit mixed up and wanting to call it Shell weekend, but that just reminds me of church youth weekends of the same name from years ago.

Visited Harlech and Barmouth briefly and came home a bit early, but that allowed us to break the journey in Derby which meant not too tired for the rehearsal on Monday and work on Tuesday. And the best part is that I can now say I've stayed somewhere with a causeway...very evocative of certain murder mysteries!

The next week at work was okay but seemed far too long for just a 4 day week. Went to Norwich last weekend to see my sister and fiancee after visiting mum in Yarmo. They had floods again a couple of weeks ago - my sister had to leave her car at school because the water in the car park was knee deep! But all dry now, although there are still a lot of sand bags lying around in case any rain tries to sneak up on them again!

Mum's having a clear out in preparation for selling the house next year to move in with her new husband and wanted me and Becks to sort out some more stuff. Mostly old school work and university stuff, most of which was dumped and although I fully appreciate you can't hang on to things like that (because when did I last look at them? Probably about 10 years ago when they went under the bed!) it does bring back good memories and all the work that went into them. I did hang on to some of my english coursework though - I just couldn't bring myself to throw it away because I'd enjoyed it so much, oh Sylvia Plath. I think English would have been my next choice for degree if I hadn't done law.

I think as a result I'm trying to rekindle my old love for literature and I've started Homer's The Iliad. Only read a few pages so far and it's a bit hard going at the moment, but I'm hoping that once I get into the language it'll flow a bit more. I was weak last night and started the Hitchiker's Guide to the Galaxy again...but that will have to be put aside now!!

Work's been okay this week so far - the new cupboards arrived with a fanfare of chaos and we're having a meeting about it on Friday... Ran the on-hold gauntlet at lunch today with various utility companies and banks, and was successful! Noone had to listen to me trying hurriedly to swallow a bit of sandwich because they'd answered the phone too early!

Off to Fleet this weekend for a birthday party and then back on Sunday for G&S. This now seems to be flowing much better although it would help if the lady setting some of the movement could learn the words of the song - 'you move your hand on the bit when it goes "his dumpty dum should thingummy and his" (starts humming)...' Great - and the men surpassed themselves again - supposed to be doing actions on 'foot should stamp' and 'throat should growl' but bless, they got carried away with the new learning and all manner of actions broke loose on the section before. But it will all come good and L now has a lovely sailor hat to wear. Can't wait to see it on!

Tuesday, September 19, 2006

Blogs of note

Having a look at this section on the Blogger dashboard and came across this site - made me smile.

A Chorus Line

Rehearsal for the shows went well last night. Still concentrating on Pinafore at the momentbut we basically managed to set nearly all the chorus numbers in Act II. Actually, what seems to happen is that we come on at staggered intervals during "Carefully on tiptoe creeping" (sadly the men's entrance seems less creeping and more mincing...) and then stay on for the rest of that Act - brilliant! I was amazed how much we managed to get through given the disaster that was last week. And Mavis even managed to re-set parts of the Act I finale (much less standing around now - everyone's involved) - not quite finished that yet but hopefully will next week when we start Trial as well - hurrah!

Monday, September 18, 2006


Feeling really tired today - I guess that saturday night's bed at 1am, up at 6.45am to drive back to Ipswich (although L did the driving thank goodness) didn't really help! And when I'm tired I get fed up with making an effort - re the diet. sat at work today and just thought "oh f**k it, I'm having a Kit Kat."

But I didn't so hopefully there will be nice choccy biccies at the rehearsal tonight - and hopefully a bit more to do. We rehearsed the Act I finale of Pinafore last week - all very well, but the main point of interest about half way through is a block of chorus interweaving with each other to bring Josephine and Ralph to the front. Could be impressive if anyone actually understood what was happening and as there are more men than women, there are a few of us women (me included) who have been sidelined while this takes place. we've started making up our own dances and are considering bringing in some magazines to fill the time... Hopefully a bit of Trial tonight - we have to find our own costumes for that and I found a great mini skirt at the weekend - okay the diet will be worthwhile if I can wear that and not make the rest of the chorus feel physically ill!!

Sunday, September 17, 2006

Sunday again

and it's been a week since I last blogged properly. where has the time gone? Been pretty busy actually - we've been on a new diet (which seems to be going okay - best part being that I can eat as much fruit as I like!!) and our new secretary has started at work. She seems to be getting on okay and best of all is coming back next week - brilliant! We haven't managed to scare her off yet!

Also had a worship cttee meeting, spent all of Wednesday evening finishing off the bathroom (which now looks great), had first orchestra rehearsal of the term (the Tchaikovsky is really hard!) and then went to nottingham for a Chinese. which was great but tiring and then harvest festival and Suffolk Strings today. Phew - now off to watch Spooks. We've only actually watched series 1-3 but I've caught up on all th goss from series 4 from Wikipedia...and I know who dies!

I like the song okay!

Tuesday, September 12, 2006


Travelling between offices today I caught a bit of the Jeremy Vine show and the topic was the problems musicians are now having flying with their instruments because of the new security regulations. As an intro, they played a clip of a musician/comedian called Mitch Benn singing a song about their woes - very funny! I have been trying to find it through the Mitch Benn website and the BBC website but had no luck. I tried putting "mitch benn song about musical instruments on planes" into Google and the first in the list was a link to another blog with the clip! Hurrah.

I've decided

As I'm going to be away for both rehearsals, I'm going to enjoy the Planets from the safety of the audience.

Sunday, September 10, 2006

Home Again

What a terrific week in the lakes we've just had! Weather was a bit haphazard the first few days but all the afternoons were gorgeous and Thursday and Friday were lovely all day. You can read more about our explouts here, but suffice to say we were both desperately in need of getting away from the house and work things and it was a truly relaxing weekend - physically tired but mentally refreshed!

So now it's back to reality - I have a meeting on Tuesday evening I'd forgotten about (! thought it was later in the month...) so have been hurriedly sending out agendas and minutes by email (thank goodness for email!), and then of course it's back to work tomorrow. I was feeling quite anxious about it - I always do after a holiday - but especially this time as I know I left things behind which I probably should have dealt with, butlack of space and a secretary is starting to take its toll (ooo, listen to me!). I've even been having dreams about it! But I went to church this morning (Racial Justice Sunday in the Methodist calendar) to find some calm and there was a short reading which mentioned being anxious. And I thought about how I really don't have much to be anxious about - I'm not persecuted for my faith, I don't suffer prejudice because of my race or colour, my country is not in the middle of a civil war or suffering from a corrupt government, I have a home, enough food and drink, a loving husband and wonderful family (and I could go on). So I'm going to get it all in perspective and just take tomorrow as it comes.

Thursday, August 31, 2006

Bathroom Ahoy!

After what has seemed like an interminable time, the bathroom renovations have finally been started today! (we've had the bathroom cleared for over a week now though as bathroom man said he was coming last Tuesday) Good job I washed my hair and shaved my legs today - means I don't have to worry about it tomorrow and then we're off the Lake District for a week so I can use the facilities there. Lucky old L has showers at work he can use - tomorrow my choice appears to be standing on a muddy floor in the bathroom trying to have a strip wash (not an elegant experience at the best of times) or "managing" without a shower tomorrow at work. Hmmmm not sure I can manage without some kind of washing and not sure my clients would want me to either! (not that I'm that dirty...honest)

also had a books down rehearsal tonight which was...interesting. I'm not sure any of the chorus felt particularly ready for that little treat - usually it feels like we've sung everything to death by this time so everything's really familiar. We're doing 2 shows this year though so I don't know whether that's got anything to do with it - some bits we really only have done once together. But still it didn't go too badly - I've got to find my own costume for Trial though. L suggested hotpants, fishnet tights and a low-cut frilly blouse (yes, you can guess the theme) - hmmm, apart from the ample thighage which will be on display (and may not be appreciated by those of a delicate disposition), not sure whether that's a genuine suggestion or something else....

Wednesday, August 30, 2006


Have finally updated my reading list here after a it of a Eurostar marathon at the weekend. Finished the Big Over Easy and then strolled through the Murderous Marriage (an Agatha Raisin mystery) and Giotto's Hand ( by Iain Pears - completely different in style to the only other one I've read of his - The Instance of the Fingerpost). I've now started Until I Find You by John Irving - it's about a man who is the product of a union between a tattoo artist and an organist. The tattooist apparently does a very special Rose of Jericho which is apparently a rose with a secret... So...thinking I was being clever I tried to look for a picture of one on the internet - didn't really get anywhere, only found a website which had a review of the book and proclaimed that most of the people reaching their site managed it because they were looking up Rose of Jericho on Google! I'm so unoriginal.

Got started on John Irving while I was at uni - was going through an Alan Davies phase (at the height of Jonathan Creek) and there was some book thing on BBC where various stars said what their favourite books were - his was (apparently) "A Prayer for Owen Meaney" by John Irving which I promptly then went out and read! But it was good and I've really enjoyed others of Irving's as well. Yet to read The World According to Garp however and that appears to be one of his major works - whoooops! It's in my pile!

Monday, August 28, 2006


Hit song the day I was born

Number one on the day I was born appears to have been "Don't Give Up on Us" by David Soul, and album was "Red River Valley," by Slim Whitman. Oh well, at least I share my birthday with Mark Owen of Take That fame...

August in Paris

Had a truly lovely weekend in Paris - this is the view from our hotel window of Saint Severin church and the room itself was pretty good to. We were a stone's throw away from Petit Pont and so very close to Notre Dame as well. Arrive in Paris on the Eurostar - all went very smoothly and fortunately I escaped having my bag searched at customs as appears to be my wont. But strangely, there was a metal detector and bag x-ray machine at the left luggage place at Gare du Nord which I had no problems with when we dropped the bags off, but when we returned to collect them, I had to empty my pockets, remove belt and all jewellery before it would let me in! The machine seemed to be going off for virtually everyone though - L thought perhaps the guard was a bit bored and needed something to do!!

First evening we went and had a gawp at Notre Dame and a wander inside. It really is an amazing building although we missed going up to the towers. Thought we'd go back on Saturday, but in the end didn't have enough energy! Had proper fondue for the first time ever - we went for the "meat" fondue trying to be a bit brave and it was not at all what I was expecting. I guess I've only ever thought of fondue in the cheese or chocolate sense - for the meat version there was a pot of sizzling oil which we dunked big chunks of raw beef into and left to cook!! (you could never see that in England somehow). Yum.

Had a few drinks out on the main road to end the evening and a gorgeous whisky coffee.

Had a busy day on Saturday - thought we'd go the the Eiffel Tower, but found the metro line we wanted had been closed off. so we decided, what the heck, we'll have a stroll along there....hmmm. Started off at our hotel and walked along the river to the Louvre. Crossed the river so we could walk through the Louvre grounds (although we didn't go in) and marvelled at the sheer size of the place. Noted the pyramids and continued through the Jardin des Tuileries which were really peaceful at that time in the morning. We weren't tremendously early, but it was still quiet. Through Place de la Concorde and the up the entire length of the Champs Elysees to the Arc de Triumph. Strolled down Avenue Marceau to the riverside again and crossed over to the Eiffel Tower. Absolutely incredible structure. We went up to the first stage and had a good gawp at the cityscape laid out around us, trying to pinpoint the landmarks we'd already been to that morning. Climbing down again, realised getting up Notre Dame may be a no-no!!

Caught the Batobus back to the Musee d'Orsay and then walked back through the Place de la Concorde up to Place de la Madeleine to Fauchon, a magnificent food shop. Absolutely amazing creations in the windows, and sadly we were too stingy to try any. The mint eclairs did look heavenly though! Back to the hotel for a quick rest and securing the services of a porter to unlock the safe (which L had somehow managed to break earlier...), dinner (steak and chips!) and then a ride on one of the boat trips along the Seine. Excellent and I'm so glad we went in the evening - everything looks so different at night and lit up.

On Sunday we popped up to Montmatre and the Sacre Coeur, found some quiet gardens in the backstreets there and finally headed back to have a look round the Orsay museum - lots of Impressionist work. Great - you realise how poor reproductions of some of those works are - can never really quite convey the richness of the original's true colours. Then a quick crepe in the Tuileries (and see the happy duck after I fed him some baguette!) and back to Gare du Nord for the train home. Whew! We've already started a list of what we want to do next time we go...

Tuesday, August 22, 2006

Look after your muffin top

And if you don't know what one of those is, listen to those Sheilas Speak!

Monday, August 21, 2006


Went to Yarmo at the weekend to see Mum. after the compulsory lunch t the Boating Lake and whippy ice cream at the harbour's mouth we headed back in a massive cloud burst. I'm not sre you can really see it very well in this picture, but all the pavements disappeared

Sunday, August 20, 2006

Typical me

This is my life.

I went to a well known supermarket recently (slap pert bottom twice) and had learned from L that they now have some self-service tills. So, ever eager to try something new (and fulfil my childhood fantasy of working a till), I thought I'd give them a go. why i thought I could manage this I'll never know.

First mistake - I bought alcohol. One bottle of cider in a total shopping basket of around 5 things. Had to wait for ages for someone to come and confirm that I was in fact over 18. Second mistake - while waiting for the age-confirmation, I put my keys into the shopping bag waiting on the counter for the bottle of cider. Queue flashing sign on screen telling me something unauthorised was in my bag. I had no idea what this meant, so flapped for a bit until a kindly assistant pointed out that my keys in the bag were telling the system that I had tried to take something I hadn't paid for...remove keys, everything fine.

I didn't know the counters were weight-sensitive!! No sympathy from L who thought it was obvious to everyone they would be weight-sensitive. Sometimes I wonder why I leave the house!

(but at least we finlly have a date for the bathroom man to come and fit our new suite! Hurrah!)

Decisions, decisions

Had a rehearsal of Suffolk Strings this afternoon - was asked whether I'd like to play in a concert in October with another orchestra. I was going to go to that concert anyway because they're playing The Planets. Now I can't decide whether I would rather sit and listen and enjoy the music (which would be great - I've only ever heard it on a recording) or whether I should grab the opportunity because it may be the only chance I get to play this work? (and apparently there are some cracking viola lines in it as well....)


Tuesday, August 15, 2006

The slugs advance

We have a bit of a slug issue in the front room - I've mentioned it before. we get up in the morning to find lovely slug/snail trail across the room in random places, but they're getting more starting to find papers which had been left on the floor with bits of them eaten/dissolved away by the creatures. Leigh's Trial by Jury score has been attacked. What next???!!!

That reminds me, I had a dream about the slugs - dreamt that I'd seen where they were getting into the room - I noticed the hole in the wall when i saw a cat get through it from outside. But when I went to check it with a man who'd come to fill it up, in some kind of alice in wonderland weirdness, the hole turned out to be a whole door which had been left open, which is how the slugs were getting in. Yes, I have freaky dreams.

Rehearsal tonight went well although I'm thinking of boycotting part of Pinafore - the entrance of the ladies (all 2 pages of it) has been cut! I fully realise that HMS Pinafore and Trial by Jury don't quite fit into our usual time slot, so some bits are going to have to be cut, but why one of the few ladies' bits? They haven't cut bogging Fair Moon - I'm sure that song cannot ever be sung well and not remind me of our university show?? Oh Dave where are you now.

Other than that, been trying to think of some interesting way for the ladies to arrive - I think aerial slide would work a treat. 'Specially if we have hooped skirts.

Monday, August 14, 2006

How is a raven like a writing desk?

Came across this in Jasper Fforde's "The Eyre Affair," which I'm reading avidly at the moment. Two replies are given in the book - "because Poe wrote on both", and "becausethere's a 'b' in 'both." Hilarious - but I then couldn't remember where I'd seen the riddle before - felt convinced it was Alice in Wonderland and of course it was. In fact, there seems to be a wide variety of possible answers, but I prefer the thought that there wasn't intended to be an answer at all, it was just some of Carroll's nonsense.

The Eyre Affair is great though - it reminds me of the Aberystwyth books I've read recently as well - the worlds they're sent in are close enough to reality to seem familiar and recognisable, but there are strange quirks which make them something else entirely, like magic being real, or a glut of cloned dodos. Just enough unreality.


Have received my refund from the Post Office!!!!

Moving day

I'm all moved to Bury now. Still have a lot of unpacking to do for my new desk, but at least everything's over there. Spent most of Thursday packing up my room so on Friday just had the last few things to do - although I arrived at work at half 8 to find my computer had already been removed! That was a bit quick. The guys arrived to move me about 11 and although they initially reeled at the sight of the number of crates I'd managed to fill, they used their spacial awareness talents and managed to get everything into the transit.

Had what must have been the most ridiculous set of conversations with Capita and Computershare whilst waiting for the boys to arrive. You my know that BAA shares are the subject of a takeover bid which is going ahead soon and the acceptance forms also have to be in soon. We are dealing with an estate where there are BAA shares. The document confirming who the executors are* has been sent to Capita (the registrars) although when the letter of acceptance arrived from Computershare (who are handling the ins and outs) it still had the deceased name on it. I rang to ask if I needed to amend the form by hand.

Computershare - we haven't got the executors on our system. we can't process the acceptance until Capita have updated our records.

Me - can't I just send in the *Grant of Probate which shows who they are?

Computershare - you could but we still wouldn't be able to update the records. Capita has to do that

Rang Capita

Capita - we sent Computershare an updated record on 4th july. They've obviously got updates sitting there for the past month they haven't update. we can't help - you need to speak to Computershare again.

Rang Computershare and spoke to someone else.

Me - Capita say they've updated your system.

Computershare - well we still hven't got the records here which might mean we can't update the system. I'll check with my supervisor......oh yes, they say you can just send in the Grant of Probate and we can deal with it from there.

Grrrr - not helpful.

It was strangely emotional leaving Watton for the last time - as I'm now at Bury, the chances of me having to come back that way to see clients is pretty slim and I've had a great 4 years there. I can't imagine what is was like for thoe who had been there 20 years.

So got to Bury to find it appeared noone knew where my spare files were to go. These are now still in boxes in a pile in the basement. I have also gone from having 8 shelves and 3 full filing cabinets to 2 shelves and hangers which take just less than a filing cabinet's worth of files.... This did not make me feel good - there are, sorry were, 2 free desks in the room (open plan) which are now full of my files and the careful alphabetical system I employed in packing the crates has gone up the swanny! Oh well, at least I have put away A to F and I have a plan to comandeer part of another cupboard in the room. Otherwise noone seems particularly bothered that I am in a complete mess! Never mind, I'm sure next week will be better and looking on the bright side, I might even be able to watch LazyTown before i leave on Monday...

Tuesday, August 08, 2006

Sunday, August 06, 2006


Went to my aunt's house in Somersham (Cambs, not Suffolk) yesterday. I love going to her house because it brings back lots of lovely childhood memories. She was holding a kind of yardsale, coffee morning type thing for her local church and the mother's union. The weather was great, and we won a tremendous amount of tat on the tombola! Hurrah!

Got to admire mum's engagement/eternity ring and marvel again at her story of how she saved money on both that and her fiancee's engagement present - a reclining chair. sadly the story took a lot longer that it needed to have done because L and my uncle were ribbing her ceaselessly throughout about the money saving... Oh, and my aunt kept interrupting with random comments that had not much to do with anything else (this is not unusual - L is usually astounded by the way when all the family are together we can seemingly be carrying on 4 or 5 different conversations at the same time with the same people...) But, the joy of it was that we had the usual lovely spread at lunchtime - no need to eat for a week now!

I am a pen hoarder

It's true - I think I've always known it, but it was brought home to me today. one of the straps on my main handbag broke on friday so I emptied it to start using another oldish one. I also emptied my weekend handbag (much smaller). Out of the three bags, I've thrown one pen away, put 2 in my weekend bag and 6 of varyinf colours and types into my main bag. Guess how many were left over?

And we're talking pens I took out of the bags - no new additions.


Call me Pauline.

Saturday, August 05, 2006

And continues...

Not that I want to labour this or anything...had a nice call from a very helpful lady at the PO helpline a few days ago - asked me to fax over any receipts I had and also took my debit card number. Spoke to her a few days later and the records had confirmed my debit card payment. Now they need to confirm my credit card payment and can then issue a refund. Gave the details.

Phone call (sorry, message left at home - why? all other calls have been to work) saying they can't trace my credit card payment (the one I have a receipt for...) and I need to ring them with further details on Monday. I now need to print off a credit card statement (just done!) to prove the payment was taken twice.

Oh dear.

Thursday, August 03, 2006

Leigh's going to regret showing me YouTube...

Thank you YouTube!!!

Wedding Belles

After a paucity of wedding this year, we've got 2 next year - my sister in August and Mum in October. I'll be seeing a lot of my family then!! Going wedding dress shopping with my sister in a couple of weeks - according to Mum, Becks has seen "the" dress, but is still taking a bit of persuading over the price tag. Why!!?? Mum's paying!!

Mum's was a bit of a surprise announcement but she's been stepping out with the chap for a few years now and they seem really settled together. I'm very happy for her.

Little Britain...

Listening to mix CD "3" on the way home tonight - I think I made a bit of a mstake with it because I tried to mix genres (pop, rock, theatre, spoken word...) so it's a bit of a mish mash. does include my favourite 3 LB sketches from the radio show - Paul and the ghost (the door slammed..I thank you), Alan the Amnesiac (I don't really have any memory of fruit salad or just a banana and if they were served up it would probably quite unnerve me) and Ray McCooney (?)(I'm hard yet soft, I'm coloured yet clear, I'm fruity and sweet, I'm jelly. what am I?) ah...just the thing after a hard day's work.

One take!!! One take!!!

Wednesday, August 02, 2006

Proper blog

Had a good G&S rehearsal last night - i feel like some of the new stuff's actually starting to stick and we're tromping through it all. Sadly it seems that whenever there isn't a separate alto line written in and I'm getting excited thinking we're going to be able to sing the tune, someone pipes up from behind me "well last time we did it, the altos sang...(some really boring line that consists of one or two different notes. only)" Grrrrr to "last time."

The MD had even written a special line in for us in one bit - just consisted of alternating between 2 notes. only.

I'm starting to get some favourtie bits though - the piano line between verses in Mrs Cripps' legend towards the end of Pinafore is great couple of bars, and I love the harmony and melancholy of "alas, of life his leave he's taking..." from the act one finale. But I cannot sing "trial-la-law" to save my life!

MD's having a bit of trouble getting people to be surprised and shocked when singing - I did consider drawing a little penis by the appropriate songs (to shock me into sounding shocked..) but knew that it would more than likely end badly....

Heard on the radio (so don't blame me)

Who's the patron saint of carpet fitters?

St Neots

That wasn't planned well..

We've run out of mouthwash and bin bags - only went shopping at the weekend!

And...did I remember that it's the 1st today? Did I bogroll. Damn you Leigh with your hyper-efficient pinch-punching!!

Saturday, July 29, 2006

Moving on

Feeling a bit overwhelmed at work at the moment. It's 2 weeks til my due moving date to the BSE office and I'm getting lots more phone calls from the facilities type people about getting my stuff boxed up and itemised - spent 3 hours sorting out this afternoon, my room looks like a bomb's hit it and I still feel as though I've barely done anything. Added to which I'm supposed to be managing my own case load and looking after boss' while he's away on hols for 2 weeks. Not sure it's all going to fit in either....

Also, heard on the radio news today that las vegas have banned feeding the homeless in parks. It seems to be aimed at the soup kitchen-type affairs but you can get up to a $1,000 fine or 6 months in jail! Seems a bit extreme.

Friday, July 28, 2006

And so the saga continues...

Following up my debacle at the Post Office I checked my bank and credit card statements when I got home. Payments appeared to have been taken from both. spent a long time explaining the situation to both the PO helpline and then a very helpful chap at Thetford who said the money will only have gone into a holding account and will be returned when they balance up and realise the currency was paid for twice. It wasn't.

I was referred back to the helpline to get my refund, but spoke to someone who patently didn't believe me and was trying to get me to ring the branch again...but got that sorted. now looks as though I'm going to have to post a whole load of stuff to them to get the refund! still need to actually speak to someone again to find out what they want. Hmpf.

Brussels Baby!

Had a fantastic weekend. I almost don't want to say anymore in case that spoils it, but it was ace!

As I had organised the weekend I was as usual a bit nervous about whether anything would go horribly wrong - the car parking not have us registered, too much traffic on the M25 and even that they wouldn't let us on the plane because our boarding passes didn't have our middle names on them...yes it's okay, I have received plenty of ridicule for that from Leigh!

But no problems getting there or back and Brussels itself was truly great. We arrived on National Belguim Day which meant we were treated to a military flyover and a fireworks display in the evening. Also went to the Comic Strip museum, the Musical Instrument museum (absolutely beautiful - the instruments and the exhibits), the Museum of Fine Art, the cathedral, the atomium and Mini-Europe (see this cool photo) name but some. A very busy, tiring weekend but great - a good chance to try out my awful French on the good citizens of Brussels, go a bit mad in the TinTin shop and eat delicious food! (My Flemish casserole was just lots of the tenderest beef you've ever eaten cooked in a rich beery gravy and served with chips - yum!)

I even spotted a free concert at the Instrument museum on the Sunday afternoon - viola, oboe and piano trio no less so that just about made my weekend!!! (and because L had been making fun of the fact there didn't seem to be many violas on display!!) It was lovely and I was just reminded again how much I love the viola.

Came back with a few questions for the internet -

- who was Eduard Fetis? Found a portrait of him by a painter called Louis Gallait in the Museum of Fine Art - had a particularly serious and intense look on his face and I got a bit obssessed about who he might have been. Found this later - he was a student! (okay, I needed to get it translated first...)

- what is the big clock we found at the Mont des Arts? more particularly I wanted to know what each of the figures stood for, but have only found this so far - it's a Jacquemart clock apparently.

- why were there two street signs on some streets? I know that there are two names on each sign, one French and one Flemish, but some streets had two signs - the blue one was the normal sign and the white one appeared to give an alternative name relating to a comic strip character (yes, we found Smurf Street!). Still not sure

- finally can I get a copy/recording of the whole sonata from which the allegro moderato was played at the concert? (sonata in d minor for viola and piano by Mikhail Glinka) Couldn't find it on iTunes, although will need to go back and look again, but did find this, which talks about the sonata ("unfinished" because he only completed 2 of the 3 planned movements) . Also found a site where I could download the sheet music and the New York Viola society which has listings of who has recorded it so I'm sure I'll be able to find it somewhere!!

Hurrah for Brussels!

Friday, July 21, 2006

Brussels here we come!

I've cancelled the veg box and the milk, rung the bathroom man (although am not particularly expecting him to call me back - although we do need to do something about the bathroom living in our spare room!), and got the Euros - Brussels here we come!

Very excited about having a weekend away, not least because have had a tiring and frankly frustrating week trying to get work done in between thinking about what I'm going to need to do to transport my room from Watton to Bury...

But had a quite tedious 40 minutes in the Post Office today trying to pick up the currency - here's a tip for you - always use cash at the Post Office. I had originally ordered the Euros using the PO online service, set the amount, they told me the exchange rate and I booked to collect them from Thetford. Thought this would make things nice and safe - no danger of them running out because mine would already be pre-booked. But no. Got to the B de C at Thetford PO only to be told they don't bother with the order forms and just gave me the exchange rate today (which turned out to be better!). I asked what the point of ordering online was then - they said none!

Then sadly, my card turned out to be the 20th transaction. It appears there's some kind of policy where every 20 transactions, the staff have to run through an authorisation procedure with the bank. Okay fine, until they asked me for my expiry date - which is on the card, still in the machine, cleverly hidden from view by the machine and I wasn't allowed to take the card out. so I guessed. It was wrong. Spent the next 25 minutes waiting for them to sort it out with the bank - I had to use a different card in the end and now have to ring my bank to make sure they will now authorise any future transactions because of some weird way the PO tried to cancel the transaction!!!!

Is it me?

Wednesday, July 19, 2006

I wonder if it's true...

Found some old emails from a friend today that BT Yahoo had helpfully tidied into my Bulk folder which for some reason I don't seem to be able to access from Outlook. So found it today on one of my infrequent checking of home email at work (and I sit right in front of our HR department desks!!) - it was an email of "interesting" facts - apparently if all the Lego in the world was divided up, we'd get about 30 pieces each. Do you think that includes Technik Lego - had a great time with that at school, but there were only about 2 of the battery power thingys to go round a class of 30. Not enough!!

Also, at the office I was working in today, we appear to have 2 air-conditioned rooms for meeting clients and the rest of the building is unair-conditioned (although the toilets are strangely cool..) thinking of ways to try and get my desk moved either to one of those rooms - or somehow managing to have day long client meetings - or to the toilet...hmmm, not sure that would work somehow!

Tuesday, July 18, 2006


Went to G&S on my own tonight - we have a bit of a bug bear about people arriving late. Now I only just got there by the skin of my teeth for half 7, and there were only about 10 other chorus members there by then, but had swelled to twice that by twenty to eight. surely if we start on time we finish earlier?? (okay I know that doesn't always work...)

Also have a new Pinafore score ordered from the internet which was being happily christened with random markings (and a few lists) tonight before I dropped and broke my extendable? repelling (thanks Leigh) pencil. But it smells great - shame I was in company really...

Why oh why oh why

did Bassetts make a Desserts Allsort selection??? It's simply wrong, and I'm going back to licourice? licquorice? Liquorice - thank you Wikipedia. (and thanks to that I also now know that the nearside of the car is the side nearest the kerb - hurrah)

Friday, July 14, 2006

Time may change me...

Have been thinking a lot this last week about how things and people change over time. Now, while I fully accept and know that you cannot stand still, time must move on and you can't ever go backwards and there is nothing I would change about my life at the moment, I find it sad sometimes when you revisit old friends and places and seeing how they have changed. I went back to the church of my childhood at the weekend (for a strawberry tea), and got news of another lady who has died who was a member when I went there. It just got me thinking about how much I loved that church and its congregation when I was younger, and how many people have now left or died - quite a few recently. There have also been marriage break ups which have affected me a lot - was it all just a big lie? It used to make me quite sad visiting and thinking about how I remember it to be, and the people who aren't there now, but I mustn't be melancholy - I know there would have been things going on that I wasn't aware of and that not everyone would perhaps remember it so fondly, but there we go. Perhaps part of it is that Mum still goes there and she tells me about all the problems and difficulties between people and perhaps I don't want to know about that - I want the good memories from my youth. Things move on and the current lot are great as well, but it was just such a big part of my childhood, it's strange thinking of it being so different.

Is that just really self-centred? Am I rambling? I think I am.

Monday, July 10, 2006

Treasures of the loft (2)

Well, not content with sorting out our own loft back in February, I've now had a go at my mother's! It's been something which has been in the offing for many years now, and I have been pestering her for absolutely ages about sorting everything out. Basically, we moved into the house in about 1986, stuff went into the loft from the old house which we didn't use any more and then noone's been up there since, except to put up a couple of computer boxes. There's certainly no way Mum would ever go up there and she's always been particularly cautious about anyone else going up due to an unfortunate "falling through a ceiling" episode she had when she was younger together with there being no boards, just the joists to stand on!

But, she's finally decided it needs to be emptied - she might be selling up next year and it'd need to be done anyway so we managed to get up at the weekend (despite Mum being completely stressed out by everything when we arrived).

So, it was dusty and dirty and we have thrown a lot away, but particular highlights from our childhoods include Playschool Pick-a-Pair, Mr Men Marble Race, the Sindy house (tiny, tiny chocolate cake) and bags of school work from when me and my sister were about 11/12. I was such an awful artist!! But I did find a poem I wrote about my friend Jane which was ace!

Rounded off the day with a strawberry tea at church - and some interesting cabaret... I wasn't going to help out in the kitchen, but it was so easy to slip back into that role - I just took a plate in, the ordered mum out to go and eat her strawberries while I took over drying up, then somehow found myself taking to pot round for a second cuppa! Oh, those were the days, and I still maintain that men just have not got the knack of washing up after a church tea/coffee morning - far too slow!!!

Friday, July 07, 2006

It's time

I really ought to start blogging again - didn't feel like it for a while but that's all passing now. Can't believe how hot it is at the moment, I seem to be permanently sweaty! Also, had a horrendous overslept by an hour morning yesterday! Leigh shook me awake at half past 7!!! The time I usually leave! Fortunately because I seem to be able to have super-quick showers still got to work for nine. Now is this telling me I get up too early every other morning??

Also, big changes afoot at work. They're closing down the office I work in, which isn't too bad for me because I now get to move to another office where my work commute is cut in half, but bad and sad for several members of staff who can't/don't want to increase their own commute. Most people at my office live in the same town (as the office) so it's generally a 2/5 minute drive to work. Now it would be more like half hour/40 minutes. So morale hasn't been particularly good and add to that new work seems to suddenly be multiplying and we were 3 secretaries short yesterday and today. Time for me to brush up on my typing skills!

And I have to interview for a secretary! This is a bit scary - I've only ever been on the other side of the interviewing desk before! But I was speaking to someone about it today and they reckoned HR helped them out with some questions for an interview so I'm hoping they'll take pity on me as this space.

Monday, June 19, 2006

O Waly Waly

I play in a string ensemble once a month as well as regular orchestra, and we played a suite of folk songs arranged by John Rutter this afternoon. One was called "O Waly Waly" about which there was a heated debate about what the title meant. Noone knew. So like the sad geek I am I looked it up on Wikipedia as soon as I got home. Apparently "O Waly Waly" means "The water is wide" and it's quite a well used folk song which has also had a lot of "pop" recordings. I listened to the Beers family link from Wiki and it turns out that I know the folk song! at uni, our Methsoc were friends with a cuple who livd near by who used to invite us all round for food and folk singing (okay, it sounds geeky, but actually it was great - learning old songs in parts and harmony) and this was one of my favourites! How strange.

Friday, June 16, 2006


Queuing in the the post office today. Man races in to the back of the queue with his wife/girlfriend shouting "you just don't do that to your friends." And then shut up.

Do what?!!!!!!!???????

Thursday, June 15, 2006

TA DA!!!!

Originally uploaded by Leighbob.


I haven't blogged for ages! feeling a bit bad now, but we had a really great weekend in Derbyshire with our friends and I then had three bits of crappy news to come home to on the Monday! so didn't feel like blogging for a while.

You may have seen from L's blog that we've started doing the "brain training." I was too tired to do it last night, but it's pretty fun and you do see improvement in some of the exercises (calculations are not always so much fun though and just show how poorly I know my 7 times tables...and that I still keep falling into the Yx0 = Y trap of old... at the beginning of maths lessons in the third year at middle school [the delightful Mr Riches] he used to pick two people from the class at random and two sets of tables using his special 12-sided dice (!) - one person to recite one table forwards and the other to recite it backwards. Oh the fun the day when Cheryl had a complete mental block about her nought times table - got sorted by about 6 times nought...).

I see that L has referred to some possible shenanigans over the brain age test - he got a score of 21 yesterday by choosing the 3 tests he did! Though to be fair, some of it isn't his fault - for some reason the machine will not recognise him saying "blue," leading to the word being repeated several times at varying pitches!!

But the big news is that I finally finished my goddaughter's birthday present today! Her birthday was at the end of April but I've been doing a mammoth cross stitch that needed sewing and everything so I only finished today (piccie tomorrow!). It's a banner thing so I also had to go and buy dowel today for the top and the bottom - thank goodness for little country town shops! Went into the DIY shop in Watton today, and they cut my dowel into the right sizes and only charged me for the bit I wanted to buy - hurrah! Quite amusing though - the shop-owner's wife and daughter decided they'd try and saw it for me - standing in the back doorway of the shop, massive saw, no table, no safety equipment, and a lot of jiggling going on as they sawed..... Only in Norfolk.

Tuesday, May 30, 2006

Viola players

I'm spending a bit of time on the computer while L tests out his new X-Box downstairs. I was trying to find a reference and perhaps a playing of some viola music when I came across this... Now I knew there were many viola jokes out there, but haven't violin players got anything better to do with their time??? (dare I say that some of them made me laugh....)

I then went back a page to this - there's some good stuff here too!

Thursday, May 25, 2006


Well, embarassed myself in Somerfield today. I wanted to buy a drink so I left the office with just a pound in my jacke pocket. Got to the shop, chose drink and on way to checkout felt in my pocket - no coin. Felt in the other - no coin. So I'm thinking I left it behind or something, but on way back to the chiller cabinet realised there was a hole in my pocket. So there I am contorting myself in Somerfield trying to get the coin out of the lining. On the way home, relaying this to Leigh suddenyl realised I could have just taken my jacket off....

We were talking about people who hoard stuff at work today -one of my friends was telling us about a friend of hers who just will not throw anything away. Apparently one day one of her cats killed a blackbird. she didn't throw it away or bury or anything like that - but cooked it up in one of her pans (!) and then fed it to the chickens as protein!! My friend's a bit dubious about accepting eggs from her now....

Tuesday, May 23, 2006

Interesting day

Spent a lot of it in the car travelling Norfolk. Off to King's Lynn first thing to collect a medical cert from the hospital and then to register the death of one of our clients (a really lovely lady - what will happen to her budgie now??). The first time I've registered a death and fortunately I had the encyclopaedic information they need for the form. Then to the crematorium to collect another of our clients (...yes I do mean that...). Back to Watton to collect the cremation forms which also "had" to be returned today and then out again to Northwold to deliver them to the undertaker. Lots of firsts today.

Also, was watching Will & Grace from Friday (channel 4) - Seth Green really is quite short. I hadn't realised before how small he actually is!

Monday, May 22, 2006


You know how you agree to things because they'll only be once a month, or 4 times a year, or a one-off lovely visit to the Good Food Show, but then somehow fate conspires against you and a load of things happen together in a week which is already busy? That's a bit how I feel after last week and although it pains me to say it, roll on Monday and the start of a new week!

Last week, had a party in Nottingham for Richard on the Saturday but had to come home early on Sunday because I'd already put my name down for the Church lunch and AGM (annual event). Monday was fine, Tuesday was Worship Committee in the evening (4 times a year), which would have been fine had it not followed immediately after a course in Norwich which finished at 7! (This is partly my own fault for assuming the course would be 2-5 like any sensible course would be!!) Wednesday spent most of the afternoon, evening and night travelling to Salisbury for a presentation on Thursday and stuffing carrier bags full of goodies. Thursday was the course in the morning and journey back pm. Got home, straight out again to go to Derby for the Good Food Show on Friday (fantastic!). Came home Saturday, unpacked, cleaned the house etc. Then this morning had Praise & Worship service at church (playing viola - once a month) and then Suffolk Strings (viola again! - once month but not the same Sunday each month...!) this afternoon. Have just crawled in at half 5 ready for dinner.

At least that's got some stuff out of the way for another few weeks! And hopefully can now spend some time booking a trip for Leigh's birthday and sorting out a trip to Vinopolis with my sister and her fiancee!!


Having watched the BBC series Mayo and really enjoyed it (lovely gentle detective series along the lines of Agatha Christie) I thought I'd have a go at some of the books (by Marjorie Eccles). Reading what I think is the first one I came across the phrase "the rain paffered against the window." Assumed this to be typo at first, but I then wondered whether it might actually be a new word to me, so I looked it up on Wikipedia. No results sadly so I'm putting it down to a typo, but what a great word it would be! I can almost imagine it - the sound of rain when it's not hard droplets but more like a mist or spray, like you get on your windscreen on wet roads. To paffer. Great.

Tuesday, May 16, 2006

Parties and such

Went to a great party at the weekend - Richard's birthday, Heroes and Villains theme. The hubby and I went as a silent film villain and damsel in distress. Costumes worked out really well, despite having cobbled them together on Saturday morning (being too lazy to sit and stitch a cloak on Friday!). and although only about a dozen of us - 2 Cruella De Viles! Hurrah!

Then...heard as a "vestry tale" from one of our ministers at the Church AGM on Sunday - apparently a joke told to him by a church steward one morning ... two mice sitting in a field and they see a lady mouse run past. "Look at the legs on that" says one, "doesn't it turn you on?" "No," says the other, "I'm a titmouse!"

Well it made me laugh.

Friday, May 12, 2006


I have been faithfully completing the Google Da Vinci Code quest for the last few weeks. Yesterday the last 2 puzzles were up but because I didn't get on the computer until 11 at night I thought I'd leave them for today. When I logged on today it said it was finished - I completed 22 of the 24 puzzles!!!! How annoying! I would have done had I known I'd never get the chance again...grrrrrrrrrrrrrr.

Thursday, May 11, 2006

Revision free...

Had my taxation exam today - one of those where it wasn't great but not awful either (like the Trusts exam which just made me feel panicked...) and hopefully I've done enough to pass. Another one of those where the questions just aren't focussed where you think they will - all the past papers have been heavy on inheritance tax, with calculations relating to discretionary trusts and distributions, but this was the paper of capital gans tax. Oh the joy!

But at least it's over so no more revision for a while - at least not until the next course starts in July - it's trust and estate accounts and hopefully the last of the exams (providing I pass this one...). So tired though - left for London at half eight this morning to meet a friend beforehand so we could worry each other, exam was at 2 at a venue at least a half hour's tube ride from Liverpool Street. Exam 3 hours 15 minutes, then back on the tube and the train (not seat on either and got very hot and light headed on the way home!), and finally getting home at about eight. Can't wait to go to sleep!

Have been really nervous about this exam - couldn't get off to sleep a couple of nights ago, which was a mixture of going over in my mind all the things I needed to go through because I didn't really know them, and painful blisters from the weekend! fortunately the blisters are now well on the way to being healed.

Back to work tomorrow.

And one more thing...why are there long slug/snail trails beside our sofa and across the middle of the floor in the front room? we had them last year - didn't find any crawly things in the house - the trails stopped, and have started again now. Have we got a little nest somewhere? If we have - how do they live??? Are they getting into the house somehow? Suggestions on a postcard...

Sunday, May 07, 2006

And this is me at the end...

Originally uploaded by Leighbob.
Blimey I look flushed - yes and I was pretty sweaty as well - what a lovely car ride back to the house it was!

Race for Life baby!

Originally uploaded by Leighbob.
Well, here are the three of us fresh-faced girls ready at the start of the Race for Life at the Norfolk Showground yesterday. It wasn't particularly sunny, but great weather for a run, and it didn't start to rain until we'd finished - hurrah!

We all managed our three miles (although I know I held my sister back a bit...) and I now need to get new trainers as the pair I wore gave me HUGE blisters. Three miles can seems such a long way...but it was a great event - about 4,500 women there running and about the same again in supporters to so the atmosphere was great!

And all running for a great cause - it's at these kind of events you really start to appreciate how many lives are affected by cancer - the majority of the runners had someone specific named on their back they were running for - and some had pictures as well which were particularly poignant.

Felt quite knackered at the end but proud of what we had been a part of and now all I need to do is collect in the cash!

Friday, May 05, 2006

Will your anchor hold?

G&S auditions for Trial by Jury and HMS Pinafore last night. The least said about mine the better but Leigh was great. We were also introduced to the first in what will surely be a long line of innocent innuendo caused by the horrendous character name "Dick Dead-Eye."

Enquiring of who is reading dialogue with one of the people auditioning for that part - "is Doug doing Dick with Ros?" Various questions during rehearsals as to how many Dicks we have and one poor nervous auditionee claiming the character is Dead Dick Eye... I'm sure this is just the beginning of things to come!

Wednesday, May 03, 2006

Give me a "T"!

Leigh's got me to do a meme. I've been thinking about it on the way home and hopefully have enough ideas...


Travel - Easy one to start with. I do a lot of this for work - including my 90 mile round trip to actually get to the office! as a firm, we have 5 offices spread out across East Anglia, so there's the journeys between them, and also because of the nature of my work I have a lot of elderly clients and if they can't get to an office I travel out to see them at home. Takes me about an hour to go to my usual office, but at least I'm moving all the time, not stuck in jams, or spending an hour getting to work on the underground - yuck!

Tea - hurrah, the drink of gods! Like a good strong cup myself, and had a disastrous one out for lunch at the weekend. It really didn't taste of anything! I quite like green tea as well, but have never really got one well with fruit teas.

Tax and trusts - this is basically what I deal with at work (amongst other things), but this is the team I am designated to! I find it really stimulating and challenging (despite what others may thnk of the private client department - one comment being 2oh you work with dead people"...) and better than that have a tax exam on Wednesday... No, not really looking forward to it.

Thrillers (crime) - my favourite kind of reading. Started with Agatha Christie many moons ago and still love them. Read all sorts now, and usually attribute a wide range to inspired birthday and Christmas presents from one of our friends.

Trial by Jury - the next production of the Ipswich G&S society. I haven't sung it before, but the music sounds great, although not a huge amount for the female chorus - as the Judge, Counsel, Usher and jury are all men!! Humph! I've decided to audition for the part of a bridesmaid - initially this was just to get more things to do in the chorus (not because I really think I'm any good) but since finding out the only song is a duet rather than a solo solo, I really want the part now! So...I imagine do most of the women's chorus...

Treble clef - this is a bit of a cheat really, but I wanted to include music in general because I love it so! G&S, orchestra - hmmm, something about ensemble playing and singing really seems to make me feel really positive and lifted. This subject is a bit of a cheat because playing the viola, I use alto clef...although treble clef for singing, so that's nearly there! what else was there...oh yes,

Teachers - I have been surrounded by them all my life - my parents were both teachers (and one still is), my sister is a teacher and our best adult friends when we were growing up were teachers as well. Get togethers generally involved talking shop, and still do!! I hope I have a bit of an insight into the life as a result - I certainly don't think I could be one! My mum used to teach at the first school I went to and there was something a bit exciting and illicit about being able to roam the school after all the pupils had left - also really enjoyed sorting out the library and reading books in my summer holidays and helping get the room ready for the new school year. Have I shared too much??

Blast, that's only 7 - thought I had more than that in the car...

Tango - one of my favourite ballroom dances, all kind of serious and passionate and tight movements. We're still going to classes which I love, and kind of wish we had more time to do more dancing. Recently passed our second social dancing test (unbelievably - said in the voice of Geoff from the League of Gentlemen [is that the voice I mean Leigh?]) and am still lusting after those sequinned dresses!!!

Seems a bit sad, but I reckon TVshold be in here too. "But how do you have time for TV when there is so much going on?" I hear you ask...well, it can always be fitted in somewhere!!!! Such brilliant shows I have watched and remember - too many to name them all, but often involving mystery, or games, or puzzles, or comedy basically!!

Just one to go then...

Tents - how could I forget this one? I did a lot of camping when I was young, with the Guides and with the school and also Duke of Edinburgh (no, not with the Duke of Edinburgh - with the scheme...) and to be honest these times probably had a lot to do with shaping the person I am today. Have fantastic memories of those times, despite camping also introducing me to some of the coldest nights (Sandringham and Weave '93) and wettest days (North Wales - need I say more) of my life. and soon hopefully the windiest beach (Shell Island). Have fantastic memories of these as a child and am glad to say am building more fantastic camping memories with my husband!


Saturday, April 29, 2006


My friend sent me this link today. It's nightmarish!

Friday, April 28, 2006

Thumbs up!

Hurrah!!!!!!!! We've got the results of our dancing exam and it sin't the pit of despair I thought it was going to be. Now I really (and I mean really) cocked up the quickstep routine, or at least I thought I had but I got 88 out of 100, and Leigh got 89 (thus maintaing his penchant for beating me by one mark in the ballroom dancing...) and we both scored 95 out of 100 for the rhumba!!!

This made me unbelievably happy driving home after I found out! And what is more, our overall scores were higher than when we took our first test last year - something must be going right.

Thursday, April 27, 2006

Catch up

Work is nightmarish at the moment - no sorry, it's not the work itself which is nightmarish, but my diary. Having just come back from holiday, I will have spent the grand total of two and a half days at the Watton office, 2 half days on courses, half a day at Bury and a day at Thetford on Friday. Next week is bank holiday Monday (yay!), then Tuesday at Bury, Wednesday in Watton, Thurs and Fri off for revision. The week after is 3 days off for revision, 2 in the office. The week after that I have a team meeting on Wednesday which usually last all morning, followed by travelling to Salisbury sometime in the afternoon ready for an all-day course on Thursday (at which I'm doing a bit of a presentation about PI truts - scary!) and then I'm off on the Friday to go to the Good Food Show summer thingy (can't wait!).

So, not a full week in the office for ages - the work is just piling up there and when am I going to do it???.... Still at least the first day back wasn't anything like the bad dream I had about it so that was a bit of a relief!

Have been on 2 separate courses the last couple of days. Yesterday's was in London and about periodic payments - or so I thought. There was about 20 minutes spent on explaining the effects of some legislation which came in last year and the choices for types of settlement claimants have in PI cases as a result (which is what I had gone for), and then the remainder of the hour and a half spent explaining and promoting a new whizz-bang financial product which has recently come on to the market offering something better than already exists. Interesting but not quite what I was expecting... and meant that I kept drifting off and thinking about Gilbert & Sullivan for some reason.

Today went to Colchester for a tax thingy. Again not bad, but the bit I wanted to know about was relegated to a rushed 20-30 minutes at the end when the speaker found he'd over run on the other topic by about an hour! The first topic was really technical and not something I have to deal with usually, so I was concentrating hard and just about managing to stay with it when the tea lady came in to change the cups/glasses, put plates out etc and generally make a bit of noice. Well that was it after that - i got so distracted by the tea lady I completely lost the thread of what was being saidand didn't really catch up again! Still, the break was only 20 minutes later and that helped.

Oh well, the rest was good. And, you know my usual horror stories about having to travel to new places? The AA site told me it would take me 1 1/2 hours from Watton so I gave myself a good 2 hours to get there anticipating there in 1 1/2 hours! So early. Made myself a coffee to pass the time but was over-enthusiastic with the milk and had to drink it really quickly before it went too cold. Poo.

The course was at the University of Essex which has a really bizarre system for numbering rooms - the building I was in started at floor 4, because it is higher physically than another building further down the hill which starts at floor 1. Yes. Really.

And I'm sure I must be a bit wierd - I had my arms crossed at one point and my fingers brushed against my elbow. This led to me thinking "oh that's smooth" and every time I had my arms crossed after that I kept feeling my elbow to see if it was still as smooth...

Still, home now and the journey back seemed to take hardly any time at all which was great. Just about to check email and do the Da Vinci puzzle for today - then off for some ironing, bit of cross stitch and I have an abundance of exotic fruit to sell in my village! Hurrah!

Sunday, April 23, 2006


Having a quiet few minutes googling people's names rather than start some revision when I came across this. This totally appeals to me - I've solved all the puzzles so far (with some help from the hubby).... and yes I am unbeliveably sad!

Friday, April 21, 2006

End of the week

And nearly the end of our holiday - it's gone so quickly!

We started off with Easter weekend at Sandringham at the Camping and Caravanning site there which is great - and huge! I had been becoming increasingly dubious about the quality of the weather for the weekend - certainly I could definitely hear people sniggering as I left rooms at work after mentioning I was camping that weekend. But fortunately the weather held out (mostly) and typically, the sunniest days were the ones we arrived and spent most of the time putting the tent up and the day we left - spending most of our time gaily chasing the drying groundsheet round our little piece of land while the wind laughed at us.

It was actually a great weekend despite the oil cap farago and forgetting the tent pegs - I love well stocked camp shops - also thoughtfully selling lovely mint magnums and tons of Norfolk tat! Hunstanton was busy and Great Yarmouthy, Sandringham itself was beautiful and the deserted beach at Titchwell Marsh was breathtaking - that is why I love the sea. Quite cold at night though - we got it sorted by the second evening - nice and toasty in our bed...

sleeping bags
picnic rug

Yes...we did need that much!

Had a day at home, then of to Derby to see Leigh's parents and their newly decoated downstairs (not quite finished yet..), and then on to see our friend Emma in Jesus Christ Superstar - great. Home again yesterday after visiting Melbourne and drinking about a gallon of tea (that's after the gallon I had with breakfast!). so...having now tidied the house a bit and caught up with my computer jobs, I think it's time for some revision - unless of course I can find something else to tidy...

Had an awful going back to work dream last night - I had absolutely tons to do and no time to do it - people kept interrupting and wanting to chat - i had to drive home and then to Yarmouth for some reason and spent the dream gradually feeling increasingly panicked...I don't think that's good.

Friday, April 14, 2006


Usually I'm not a big "tan" person - if I get a bit browner because I'm out in the sun, fine, but not usually one for fake tan etc. Just let everyone look at my lovely pasty arms and legs.

But...I bought some of that "layers build up into a natural looking tan" moisturiser a while ago (I think I had a voucher...) and have just stared using it. I've no idea if my arms and legs look any browner (to go with the white back and body where I haven't moisturised!!) but on the way to work this morning I noticed that the skin between my fingers was looking quite orange! Spent most of the rest of the journey trying to decide if my hands looked yellowy orange as well, or if it was just the light...Must remember to clean hands properly after use!


Well... let's hope that Sandringham isn't just about to receive the wet poo weather from Ipswich and that the long range forecast is correct for Sandringham... Weather station thingy at home says rain in the next 24 hours as well. But Ipswich is miles away from Sandringham ... Ipswich is miles away from Sandringham ... Ipswich is miles away from Sandringham.

Really hate putting tents up in the rain - have awful memories of going on Guide camp as a leader, using the big green canvas tents which get so heavy when they're wet, the Guides are too weak to hold them up!! That was a fun couple of hours pitching the site..

Otherwise really looking forward to the weekend and seeing lovely friends. Best thing is no work for a week! Hurrah! (BTW Budget 2006 - Grrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrr)

Sunday, April 09, 2006

On my birthday...

Saw this in Alex's blog (entry Fri April 7th) and thought it sounded like a good idea: Go to Wikipedia ( Type in your birth date (but not year). List three events that happened on your birthday. List two important birthdays and one interesting death. Post this in your journal.

Birthday - 27th January

1593 - Vatican opens 7year trial against Giordano Bruno. Perhaps not interesting in itself but I have played a game for the PC called In Memoriam in which this was key (!! I'm getting as geeky as my husband!)

1926 - John Logie Baird demonstrates the first TV broadcast

1996 - Germany observes its 1st Holocaust Remembrance Day

1756 - Wolgang Amadeus Mozart (which I already knew)

1832 - Lewis Caroll

1956 - Alan Cumming

1910 - Thomas Crapper

Hurrah! Oh and why am I up so early on a Sunday? Dance exam in an hour!

Thursday, April 06, 2006

Saw on the way home...

...learner driver in a car with the number plate N3 RVY...I hope not!

Wednesday, April 05, 2006

Tiny cups!

Went to a course in london today - taxation of trusts and estates - yum! (not). Managed to get a seat on the way there and back so that was a bonus! Course was okay - but they served the tea and coffee in the TINIEST cups I've ever seen (I suspect espresso cups)! Could drink the tea in one go - I like a nice big mug myself (...just read that back - not good).

These sort of courses are usually at hotels, which serve a massive 3-course lunch which makes me fall asleep in the afternoon, so thought I'd have a bit of a wander around. The hotel was really near the BT tower which I tried to photograph with my phone to show off to Leigh, but sadly the sun was in front of me and behind the tower so all the pictures show is a big black stick pointing into the sky. Had a lovely baguette at a coffee shop whose soup of the day was "brocolly" and then bought a couple of plums at the station on the way home - they were as big as apples! Now that can't be bad.