Sunday, 28 August 2011

A VERY quiet day at the Office (can mean only one thing!)

Friday saw our department very depleted. Three on holiday, including my line manager, and the departmental head rang in sick. The result was almost a carnival atmosphere from the 4 of us left and not a great deal of work done if I'm honest.
Being very easily lead when it comes to food, it took no arm twisting on my collegues part to get me to indulge in a huge chocolate brownie at teabreak and fish, chips and peas in the restaurant (yes the new work place has a freaking restaurant as well as a canteen!) for lunch.
I was *painfullly* full after that, but it was delicious...

So yes, I did do just a smidging internet browsing which resulted in just a tiny amount of internet buying......

                                            Another snowman for the collection.

 Seriously how could I not buy this? I was beyond thrilled to find this Magpie necklace on Ebay!

 This was the most expensive purchase but I have been coveting one of these necklaces for ages and it was cheaper than a brand new one......just!

                                 Lovely and surprisingly roomy blue velvet bag for 99p!

Finally I know they look almost identical but they were tail end of the Office sale, £12 for the pair including postage so how can a girl not?

The other stuff hasn't arrived yet.................

Friday was also the last day at the old job of my friend Melissa. Unfortunately I had to go and meet my sister at the station at 7.30pm so I couldn't join in the whole evening which I was gutted about, but I did manage to scoot down for an hour or so after work for a quick drink and a catch up. It was so, so good to see everyone again and I can only imagine how messy the night ended up!

A Family Day Out to the Chiltern Craft Fair.

Can't believe it's already the Bank Holiday weekend, but here it is and that means just one thing the big craft fair I go to every year with my parents. If you recall last year I bought my garden crows? Well the theme of garden ornaments continued, pictures in a moment!

This year my sister came for the first time and loved it. She and I both stayed overnight at Mum and Dad's where Mother fed us to within an inch of our lives as is her custom and we laughed ourselves stupid at a t.v. show about 1970's heart throbs. Good times.

The weather forcast for yesterday was heavy showers and they weren't kidding.
 We had some interesting moments dashing across the grass into the nearest tent to avoid biblical scale downpours, against which it has to be said my poor sisters quiff was no contest, I was feeling kind so no pictures. lol.

So to the day's purchases.....
a GIANT mug covered in little birdies which will be used to house my paint brushes.

A travel scrabble name bracelet, made while you wait, well kind of, in my case I actually went off and had lunch and then went back for it!

Circus animals to hang from the ceiling or some such. My mother thought I was buying them for Nephew Number 2 who has a jungle themed nursery. When I said 'No, they're for me' she just sighed and said 'How old are you?'
Do I care? er no they were too cute to leave!

  I loved this stall. It had loads of garden ornaments made out of reclaimed metal. This family of wild pigs won out as my favourites. I couldn't afford them all but I did buy one.
           Here he is in my garden, I'm now testing out different spots to decide where to put him permanantly out there.

So that was my happy day at Stonor Park for this year. I came home and drank wine and ate much macaroni cheese which makes for an even more perfect day in my book.


Monday, 22 August 2011

Bangers and Mash, Parties, Parakeets and Beachcombing.

It's been a fun but busy few days.
Wednesday I went out with some girlfriends to The Big Bang Restaurant in Oxford. Sadly it has been forced to close by Tesco who seem to be intent on buying out and taking over every beautiful or unique building in Oxford and turning them into a fleet of hideous overpriced 'Metro' stores!
Hopefully The Big Bang will live to fight another day it is such a simple but brilliant concept.12 different types of sausage, 5 different types of mash and 4 different types of gravy, you mix and match. I had Mushroom and Garlic sausages, rose mash and red wine gravy. The mash was simply heaven on a plate and I practically licked mine clean, I was Stupidly full but just couldn't leave it. Bliss.

Friday I had a day off work as we were heading down to Margate to visit Himself's parents and go to his best friend Paul's birthday party. I had to go into town so I did I quick trawl of the charity shops and then had to come home and pack. Himself arrived home at 1, wreaked havoc on the house before we rushed to the station and jumped on a train at 2pm!
I finally bought a cup of tea and bag of mini cheddars on the Margate train after it occured to me I hadn't actually eaten all day or had a drink since 9am!?!
We finally arrived in Margate at about 5.30pm and dived into a chip shop for a little further sustinance before . we got to Himslef's parents house where we had a couple of hours before headed out.

*Rant begins*
Seriously W.T.F. is wrong with the goddamn buses in Thanet??
The last time I was there I had to wait over an hour for a bus that is meant to arrive every 15 minutes and sure enough we did this time too FFS!
After an hour and 10 minutes Himself called a cab that came15 minutes later, followed by not one, not two but three freaking buses all in a row. Even the taxi driver said 'what's with all the buses?' as we got in.
We were meant to be at the party at 7.30ish we finally got there at 9pm.

*Rant over*

Other than that it was a great night. I have been trying to be good and not drink too much lately, so I had 4 small glasses of wine all night..... which is very good for me, especially at a party and on a friday night! Whilst all around me got more and more drunk I stayed happily chilled and pretty well sober, oh yes.
So I was NOT a happy bunny to wake up the next morning with a humdinging skull splitting headache. 'The hangover you don't deserve' to quote my favourite band!
I couldn't figure out why until I remembered I hadn't drunk much fluid all day Friday and was clearly dehydrated. Aspirin, water, diet coke and much tea later and I was good to go. (unlike Himself who needed a fry-up and hair of the dog apparently!)  

I met my sister and we headed into Ramsgate the plan being to browse the charity shops, eat lunch and beach walk.
We browsed shops, ate a leisurely lunch, browsed shops, ate ice cream, strolled along the promanade and sat in a lovely new terraced cafe looking out to sea. We kind of ran out out of time to beach walk....Ooopps.

                                                          I found this unusual blouse for £1

and this cute piece of china which I shall use on a sunday morning to eat my boiled egg and soldiers :-)
It was also £1

I finally headed to Paul's for a barbeque which was kind of interesting/entertaining as everyone there had been busy drinking since lunchtime and by the time I arrived at 7pm you can imagine the scene! Much fun was had with helium balloons and when people started to fall asleep infront of Die Hard I poured Himself into a taxi and we headed back to his parents house. I did take the camera with me but the only picture I took was of 2 of the parakeets that have taken up residence in the empty house next door!

Sunday we decided a fried breakfast was in order. It was a beautiful day and a bloody gorgeous breakfast. If you ever find yourself at Margate railway station I urge you to go to the cafe there. It has only been open a few months but the food is just fab.
We walked back along the beach and I immediatly started looking for shells. Strangely there were none to be had, so I picked up bits of glass instead. I love those pieces of glass and pottery you get that have been worn smooth and dull by the sea.

We walked back through the old town and found there was a buzzing craft and vintage market. They have been very busy rejuvenating the old market place and it shows. It's full of quirky little shops, galleries, cafes and vintage stores now. Most of them were open and it was packed with people.
I had a blissful half hour browsing and had to force myself to walk away from a gorgeous 1950's red & white gingham bag (£9) and a 1960's navy shift dress (£22) because I am completely skint and didn't have the cash. *sob*
There was some gorgeous jewellery at the craft market too *double sob*

All I could afford was this headscarf for £2. Boo, maybe next time now I know what is there......

Sunday, 14 August 2011

A Visit to 'The Other Place' or a day out in Cambridge.

So I survived the first week in the new job. The first day was pretty disastrous as no one was expecting me at the time I was told to arrive and nothing was set up for me at my new desk. It was kind of reasuring to find the HR department was as equally incompetant as the one at my old job, I guess that's the University for you!
It took until Friday to sort me an email address, without which I couldn't really do any work. So I spent most of the week deleting records and filing.

Having said in my last post that I was surprisingly calm about leaving my old job. I was clearly in denial and it took starting the new one to bring it all home I think. I came home on Monday and bawled my eyes out. I also have dreamt of the old place every night for a week now. It will pass I know but it has made for an emotional week.
On the plus side the canteen makes delicious fresh cakes every day and the most amazing brownies, as I have little to no willpower I have been busy sampling! I also love the novelty of being able to eat and drink at my desk and go to lunch whenever I want. 


Yesterday I had the excitement of a day out in Cambridge or 'the other place' as we call it here in Oxford! I went with two friends from my old job to visit another ex-collegue Sophie who moved there in February. We met her and her lovely boyfriend Alphonso at their apartment and walked into the city centre from there, this took us past the University library first so we had to take pictures and comment upon the differences. We were all ridiculously excited by the bollards outside which are designed to look like piles of books, some of which you could spin round!  What a sad lot we are, I guess you can take the girl out of the library but not the library out of the girl!
This was our first view of the city and just the classic image of Cambridge that you see if you look it up. Kings College across the medows.
The river Cam is wider than the Thames at Oxford and they certainly made up for that difference with the amount of punts on the river. It was mental, we did go out for about half an hour as we were able to get a punt for a fiver from Alphnso's college.I all honesty it was actually a bit traumatic and not at all the relaxing experience it should be.
At one point we were hemed in on both sides and had to stop still as there was a complete bottleneck ahead. I lost count of the number of times we were rammed and we saw 3 people fall in!
There are just too many punts on the river fullstop. The ones with hired professionals belt up and down the river scaring the novices to death as they struggle along.
The saving grace of the trip was the Ben and Jerry's Punt. You could just pull alongside and buy an ice cream, strawberry shortcake for me, lovely.

In conclusion when it comes to a wonderful punting experience Oxford wins hands down!

We were able to get into King's College Cathedral and St. John's College for free thanks to Sophie and Alphonso and we were also able to go up onto the tower roof  of St John's Chapel. It was fiercy windy but there were some great views to be had.
There was a wedding on too and we shamelessly gawped and made comments about the frocks. The bride's dress was a gorgeous draped grecian style confection but dear lord some of the guests!

Out and about in the City I got to step into the doors of The Eagle which I was thrilled about. Sadly we didn't have time to stop for a drink and a good long nosey around and to be fair none of the others have my obsession with WW2 and when the American G.I's were in the U.K.

Cambridge is a beautiful city and needs more than one day to do it justice. We crammed in as much as we could and my legs are certainly aching for it today. I know I have visited it a few times before, but I was quite young. (I used to live in Cambridgeshire when my Dad was in the R.A.F and posted to a base there), but I don't really remember the city at all. We did pass the cinema which is where my Dad took us to see Star Wars and I did remember that, but that was pretty much it!

I would like to go back for a long weekend one day and do it justice. I had a lovely day out with great friends, I ate, shopped, found an elephant and got sunburnt, but it's not as nice as Oxford!

                                               A Cambridge Elephant and what a beauty he is.

Sunday, 7 August 2011

Attacking the Wardrobe.

On Wednesday lunchtime I finished work, I thought I might have been more emotional but as it turns out for some reason I wasn't, which is probably a good thing. I'm guessing the amount of cake I got through that day helped!

When I got home this is what greeted me, Himself was off work too and had got me treats. :-)

My life as a jobless bum had begun in great style.

One of the plans on my 2 days off was to sort through the bigger of my two wardrobes and hopefully find items I could use to assemble some 'smart professional' work outfits.
It was a wearisome task as it turns out, though that was probably more to do with my mental state than the actual state of the wardrobe.
I managed to put off starting until 3pm on Thursday by finding all sorts of other things to do, even falling asleep for 2 hours Ooopps. In all honesty I still haven't quite finished but I have tackled the bulk. I tried on a myriad of outfits some worked, some didn't and took another bag of stuff to the charity shop.
On the downside trying on clothes does somewhat depressingly confirm that my comfort eating weight gain is as bad as I really knew it was.
On the up I found some gems I had forgotten I had and also had a good laugh over some of my more random/awful purchases.
I ended up listing a few more items on Ebay that I know I'm never going to wear again. I did have that 'Eeek' moment of regret and unlisted one item which I just couldn't bear to part with.
I don't really do the gothy rock chick/victorian lady of the night look any more but somehow when it came down to it, whilst I could part with other similar skirts no problem I couldn't with this one. I love this skirt. I always feel like breaking into song when I wear it, to be precise Nancy from the musical Oliver's songs!
'Oh there's a little ditty they're singing in the city.....' etc
Not that I can actually even do it up right now *sigh*........but anyway back into the wardrobe it went.
 This one on the other hand is on Ebay at a very reasonable price!
So yes there are some amazing memories hanging in my wardrobe and some easier to part with than others.

But I digress I sorted, I tried on, I washed and I ironed. I identified gaps in the 'Smart Professional' wardrobe and headed into town to see if I could bridge them and on a tight budget no less.
Thankfully the clothes gods were looking down favourably. I had a very successful trip to Next and managed to get 3 pairs of trousers and 3 tops in the tail end of the sale, which meant the most expensive item was only £15 = Result.

I had a gift card for New Look and got a couple more tops in there, as well as a lovely leopard print clutch which obviously was not on the list, (naughty) but it was only £3!

I also scoured the charity shops and got this very pretty blouse. I love the smocking detail.

As well as a sugar shaker, just what every professional woman around town needs!
and finally this amazing dress.
 I was just drawn to it even though it is not at all my usual type of thing, I even tried it on in the hope that that might put me off it but it didn't. So I bought it. I think I will wear it as a long top over leggings or jeans though.Being tall it was just that bit TOO mini on me, as a rule I don't go out showing the world my knickers.

 Last night we went to see 'Captain America'. Himself had already been to see it last week and loved it, and as you may recall from previous blogs I am a comic book fan of old, though not of  The Avengers as it goes, but it had to be done. I did enjoy it, but to me it was more like a war film than comic book hero one. It was set in WW2 and the period detail was very good, there were some dodgy accents though including Stan Lee himself!

  So yes, today I really must finish up tidying. I cleaned and polished the rescued cabinet last weekend and it looks ace, I did clear a space for it upstairs yesterday, but generally it looks like a bombsite up there.
I have the added insentive of  Nephew Number One coming to stay whilst his parents are away and at the moment the spare bedroom is only worthy of Mr Trebus, with a path to the window being the only bit of floor you can see and the bed cunningly disguised under a huge mountain of  'stuff'.

Anyway I shall leave you with this picture from my garden. I have no idea how I managed it, but I appear to have grown the worlds smallest sunflowers!!??! Yes that is a real football next to them for a touch of perspective!