Monday, 29 April 2013

My Week in the Sun.

 Last week I had a long overdue week off work and it was wonderful, mind 2 hours back in the office this morning undid any of the good work the week off did me, but that's another story!

The plan was to do some of the jobs that have been waiting to be done around the house and get out into the garden which is in a pretty shocking state for someone who claims to be a keen gardener!

Boy did I pick my week well weatherwise. I got to spend most of the week up to my elbows in compost, bliss.

Monday ended up being all about the family. First my brother came over, then he left and my parents arrived. Not that I am complaining because it was lovely to see them all and Ma and Pa also took me to the local garden centre where I bought lots of bargains as they had reduced loads of their spring bedding plants.
My Mother gave me grief for wasting money on rubbishy half dead plants but a good soaking and a bit of TLC and she had to eat her words.

                                                         £2 worth of pansies

Tuesday I headed into town for a bit of manic shopping. I cannot say why it was manic, other than it is all to do with Himself's birthday next week, I have set myself a challenge I am now regretting.....

Sadly the charity shops were pants. All I got was the wee wire piggy for 75p *Bah* I was most disappointed.

I spent the rest of the day and all of Wednesday battling weeds (ground elder in particular, damn it and it's endless root system) and restoring order to my flowerbeds. They are mostly weeded, mulched and strewn with flower seeds.
Three down.....

One to go!

It was a tad windy so I had my hair tied up in a scarf in my best landgirl stylie. This meant instead of looking like I had stuck my finger in a socket when I got in, I was sleek and smug, that was until Himself pointed out the state of my neck.

                                            Sunburn/Windburn developing = Ouch.

I did also manage to blitz the bedroom, list a load of stuff on Ebay, read 3, yes 3 books!!! and most exciting go to the cinema in the afternoon on a cheeky date with Himself. We went to see Iron Man 3

I LOVED it! but then it's no secret I'm a fan of comic book hero/action films. Roll on Thor 2.

Finally before you have dress withdrawal I did find this green beauty on Ebay.

Sunday, 21 April 2013

Water, water everywhere, but I have a new hat and bag.

This week, Oy, it was enough to try the patience of a saint. Thank the lord for wine, chips and shopping is all I can say.

Tuesday night I had just hollered to Himself that dinner was ready and sat down when he said "Come here a minute" (he was upstairs getting changed after work)
Me "Why? I've just sat down"
Himself "You've got to see something"
Me "Nope, I've just started eating it can wait". Himself comes downstairs and says the bathroom floor is soaking wet.......and it was.
Cue me giving up on my dinner and spending the next half hour moping up and placing strategic containers under the culprit (the toilet AGAIN!!) whilst Himself tried to rustle up some kind of response from our rental agency and landlady's cousin up the road. Two hours later it was established that the cousin was at work and none of the agency's 3 emergency plumbers was able to come out!?! but one of them did helpfully explain how to switch the loo off at the valve so at least no more water was going in to end up on my bathroom floor.

Next day the cousin arrived with his plumber who had 'fixed' the toilet last month and decided it was the handle that was leaking???
 Now not only is the handle ABOVE the waterline but the water was coming from under the cistern and not down the front as you would expect if it was pouring out of the handle. They replaced the handle and said the toilet was definitely fixed now.

Thursday morning I got up and got ready for work, no flooded bathroom, great stuff. Went downstairs to make my essential to being able to function in the morning cup of tea and not only is the kitchen ceiling raining, the floor is under an inch of water. I turned the early morning air blue.

Now as a rule I am a very happy, calm and placid person, it takes an awful lot for me to loose my temper but in the words of my friend Murray, the red mist descended.
Food was ruined, some of my things were ruined so I lost the plot big style. Himself assessed the situation in a flash and bustled me out of the door to work. I will deal with this he said.

By lunchtime I had just about calmed down again when Himself texts me 'ring me' he says, so I do.

Now apparently the cousin and the plumber have been round and they cannot figure it out, they think we are wrong and it's not the toilet, it can't be the toilet because they have fixed it, so they turn it back on again. They decide it must be the bath, so they fill it twice with water to see if it is leaking but it isn't. They don't want to take the panel off the side of the bath because that would ruin it and then we would need a new one.

Their conclusion?

a) it has taken 24 hours for water from Tuesday's leak to find it's way through the ceiling
b) that that when one of us had our shower that morning we had forgotten to make sure the shower curtain was inside the bath. 

I kid you not!

You know what? it's a damn good job they said all of that to Himself and not me or I might be in a cell right now for plumbercide.
The cousin would call round between 6pm and 9pm when we are both home to discuss it. The red mist descended again and poor Himself was left with a cauliflower ear from my ranting, but oh boy was I ready for that discussion!

I mean SERIOUSLY??  Water taking over 24 hours to get through a ceiling? or a ceiling flooding a kitchen from a incorrectly placed shower curtain whilst the bathroom floor is bone dry? Yeah right.

Himself got home at 4.30pm to be greeted by this

in the second picture you can start to make out a rectangular shape right? That is the pedestal of the toilet!
So the cousin and plumber come back out and agree that as water is pretty much coming through the light fitting at this point that it's serious.
They are still perplexed however by where it is coming from. They check under the bathroom sink, nope, so they try to get the side panel off the bath because it has to be the waste pipe.
 The cousin is kneeling against the toilet pedestal at this point and gets wet.
They finally agree it must be the toilet after all! They switch it off and this time take the cistern off and this is what they found.

Lots of mould from the first leak (nice!) and that the seal at the bottom of the cistern had perished making the metal plate underneath rust right through and yes that's right leak water.
So yeah, we were right, it was the toilet and it was coming from under the cistern where it apparently isn't meant too, yay for us or something.

Anyways the toilet is now 'fixed' again. I'm cautiously optimistic.
Before eating chips and drinking some well deserved wine I got to spend my Friday evening cleaning the kitchen and the bathroom........again!

There was some light to my week. Behold I spotted this awesome vintage bag on Ebay and for the princely sum of £3 plus postage it was mine.

I bloody love it's beaded lucite handled gorgeousness. It's decent size too for an evening bag.

Finally on the day of Mrs T's funeral I was due for an Alexander Technique session but it was cancelled so I went to the Helen and Douglas House Vintage and Retro shop instead and bought myself a rather splendid black hat.
 I did try on a fabulous men's bowler hat that was too small *weep* (god how I wish that one had fitted it was so fab), a top hat that was too big and a pith helmet that just looked mental before settling on this beauty.

It's a little bit bent at the back but who cares? it's not broken so that's fine by me. Bizarrely they also had two vintage milkman's caps but they were pretty mouldy so I declined trying them on.

Next week I am off work and plan to do lots of gardening and a little shopping, huzzah for holidays.

Sunday, 14 April 2013

Blouses, Onions and Aliens.

Another busy week but I have been positively chipper now the weather is warmer. I did get out into the garden on Sunday and after 5 hours of work I was tired but satisfied.


I did battle (and lost) with one of my compost bins but managed to get enough out of it to mulch the veggie patch and get my potatoes and onions planted. I also dug up, split and replanted the strawberries, weeded the rockery and one flower bed. No wonder I was knackered!  

The sticks are to stop the local cats making this their toilet as is their habit the moment I dig it over.I also seem to have a rogue daffodil!
I do need to go to the garden centre to get some more compost but in the meantime I bought some gorgeous pansies at the market for a fiver.

I managed to get some socializing and shopping in around the work schedule this week too. I was out on the hunt for birthday presents and ended up getting myself a few bits too, I know, I know but old habits die hard and I justify it because they were all in the sales that are on at the moment.
                                                        mad bird brooch.
                                                     New spring make-up.

                                     A very bizarre t-shirt and some new sneakers.
I also ended up getting two new blouses because I loved the print on them both. Playing cards

and dinosaurs :-)

You'll be pleased to hear despite all this shopping for myself I did manage to find the birthday presents I was after too *cough*

Thursday night we went to see The War of The Worlds at Cineworld. It was a recording of the live show from last year. I can see how it would have been amazing to be there with the orchestra and cast below a big screen that was showing images from the story but somehow it didn't work in the cinema. Especially as the cameraman felt the need to keep swooping about to such a degree I actually started to feel motion sickness!
All the performers were fantastic, though as someone who has very fond memories of the original the fact it was bulked out by about an hour of extra music sadly detracted rather than added to the show.

Friday I had the afternoon off work to meet my best friends Soo and Jenny to finally exchange christmas and birthday gifts! We had a wonderful afternoon and the time flew by. We popped Jenny on the bus home and decamped to Wetherspoons for a bottle of wine and lots of gossip until Himself arrived in town, he and I were due to go and see Nephew Number One's band in their first headlining gig.
He arrived so we had another bottle of wine (would have been rude not too) and finally headed to the other side of the Oxford at about 9pm.
All in all a great week.

Saturday, 6 April 2013

Sun, Shoes and Curls.

Oh what a glorious sight to finally see the sun in the sky and feel a bit of warmth on your skin after months and months of snow, ice and bitter cold winds. I'm wondering whether I dare to get out in the garden tomorrow and begin the long task ahead of me of getting it into shape after the disaster that was last summer. Hmm

I bought myself this wire blackbird last week and constantly think it is a real one when I see it out of the corner of my eye! I think he will finally end up with the pots on my patio but at the moment he's enjoying the spring flowers as much as I.
I must confess to lots of quirky ornaments around my garden, they aren't for everyone but I'm not one for regimented formal flowerbeds. I like being surprised by something you wouldn't expect to see in the garden!

                         Gardening Law states No garden is complete without a gnome.

Forgive me father for I have sinned.

I had an email from Office Shoes, it said SALE in huge letters. I should have deleted it there and then but weak willed woman that I am I opened it........There was a link for the 'Women's Shoe Sale', I shouldn't have opened it but weak willed woman that I am I did.

You all know where this is going don't you?

First thing that caught my eye was a pair of purple Converse for not at all a bad price. Now I need more Converse like a hole in the head but they were a delicious shade of purple, I love purple it's a colour I wear often and I always get complimented when I do.

So yes, to cut a long story short I bought another pair of Converse. Behold in all their glory my new shoes.

 Ha, fooled you! they're not purple are they? This is because as I was doing the 'can I justify this purchase?' pros and cons argument in my head I idly clicked the

'more colourways available button'. 

Seriously, how is a girl with a nautical obsession meant to resist navy blue and red Converse WITH ANCHORS ON THEM???

Not at all is the answer to that question of course.

On the plus side they were also in the sale but unfortunately they were a great deal more expensive than the purple ones.
Do I care?
Do I have one ounce of guilt for spending the money?
No, nah. nada, they are mine now and that is that *happy sigh*

In the sort of ying to balance the happy shoe yang I had my hair cut and coloured today. I only wanted a trim, my hairdresser (see sister in law) disagreed, my current length didn't suit me and my face shape apparently. Now this is where your hairdresser being your relative goes badly wrong I think.
If I were in a salon she would have to do what I wanted whether she thought it suited me or not, I could also complain if I wasn't happy without fear of causing family rifts of world war three proportions.

Anyway much disgruntled she suggested cutting more layers into my hair if I *must* keep it longer and set to with the scissors.....

All I can say is I currently have the hairstyle of a 1970's footballer, Kevin Keegan to be precise.

Imagine if you can bear to, the above style but in blonde much finer and more frizzy hair. Yup it's pretty bad isn't it?
The problem I have now is that because my hair has been much abused over the years, it has been left dry, fine and fragile.
It also grows very, very slowly, currently it's at the rate of one inch per millennium.
All of which means gritting my teeth and putting up with it until it grows out a bit could be a very long time.

The other option, and the one I suspect is my sister in laws nefarious plan behind the said footballers haircut, is to have it cut much shorter.

In some ways this is not a bad thing in that a pixie cut suits me and I've loved it whenever I have had one before. It's just I didn't want one again right now and it takes me so damn long to grow it out.