Sunday 16 February 2014

All That I Have is Yours.

Valentine's Day has been and gone and for the most part the internet seemed to be full of people saying 'Fuck Valentine's Day!'
When did it all get so angry?
It's too commercialized, just an excuse for the money men to make money, 'I don't need one day a year to tell my beloved I love them, I do it all year round'
Do you? well good for you.
 I on the other hand, think Valentine's day is just like Christmas, or Easter or Mother's day or whatever other celebration day out there. It's only too commercialized if you LET it be.

Personally I like to buy Himself a card and to get one back, to have an excuse to drink a bottle of fizz with our dinner and to have a mid-week date night. Maybe it stems from the fact we did 4 years of long distance relationship so it was nice to have a special occasion like this I don't know, maybe not.
 I also tell Himself I love him randomly throughout the year too, but I still like to buy him a Valentine's card and I couldn't give a shit if people think I'm a mug for doing it.

We have a tradition of going to the cinema for our Valentine's date and I get to choose the film.
On the whole this has been very successful, apart from the year I had a mental aberration and completely forgot he hates westerns and insisted on True Grit, other than that it's been great.

This year was meant to be The Lego Movie. However in true romantic fashion Himself had shared not only his love for me, but his germs also, and the cold that had him being a grumpy snotty git at the start of the week, had me wrapped in a tartan blanket being a pathetic snotty mess by Friday. As he was also coughing up half a lung every 30 seconds at this point we decided to give the cinema paying public a break and keep ourselves at home.

Other than yesterday when I hardly stirred from my pit all day, I have had to keep going into work as we are short of staff due to sickness (how ironic) and there were over 200 student interviews to book in and organise. Under pressure would be an understatement.
On top of that the powers that be have decided to increase the class size over the next 2 years which will mean having to organise at least 1000 interviews, almost double what we do now. It would also mean doubling up on everything else we do too. I'm going to have to give this job some serious thought in the next few months as I'm honestly not sure I can stick with it if that is the case, it might be time to move on.

 Oh and I have to give a presentation this Friday too and I haven't even had the chance to look at it yet FUUUUUUCKKK!
Sometimes I hate my job A LOT.

Would you believe my boss had a go at me for not having done any preparation, even though she would have had to be deaf, dumb and blind not to see how busy I have been.
I just fixed her with a look and said "Ok here's the thing with the presentation, Don't want to do it, have to do it, will get it done, ok?" in *that* kind of a voice, and she very wisely let it go.
Despite the bravado I am absolutely bricking it, I really should be prepping now, not sitting here blogging!
Think of me on Friday at 11.15am, I'll be the one hyperventilating in front of about 100 people in a lecture theatre.

I haven't much to show you by way of purchases, what with work, insane weather and illness there hasn't really been a will to shop. I had some cute sale stuff arrive by post that I ordered a while ago
 A Wren make up bag, with a wren on it (funny that!) I will probably end up using it as a handbag because it's so fab.
Hedgehog cushion!!!!!! Himself has banned me from buying any more cushions but I wisely ignored the ban when I spotted this felty fellow.
Blue and gold dress and jacket off Ebay, currently in the wash so I've nicked the sellers pic.
I am still battling on with working my way through my wardrobe, I'm making headway and about 2/3 through. This week was 2 keepers and 3 out. The weird thing is the damn wardrobe is no emptier despite me getting rid of various dresses. Admittedly it was way too overloaded in the first place, and I do keep buying new things on Ebay,  but still.

I also had a moment of madness and sorted out my nail polish collection.

You know there are some bottles in there that are over 20 years old now,(there's value for money for you). I threw out the ones that had started to dry up. 14 of them in total Himself told me that was pathetic and hardly worth the effort. he kind of has a point, especially as I bought 2 new ones on Thursday! 
The two on the left are at least 15 years old and really need to hit the bin as they are so thick they hardly come out of the bottle anymore, they were limited edition shades, with a petrol like colour effect which was why I bought them. I got them in Boots where I was killing time before going to the dentist. I never forget as I stood in the queue the terribly posh woman behind me exclaimed loudly over how amazing they were, we chatted briefly and she decided to buy them too, for her daughter's birthday as an extra 'little something'. See every bottle has a memory, and my only question is why on earth do I remember random shit like that?

The two on the right are the new shades purchased on Thursday, again limited editions, which I am clearly a sucker for.

Oh I also succumbed to the siren call of the Clarks sale thanks to Curtise! I have bought the same boots as her which makes me feel a bit creepy and stalker-ish
(seen here with another Ebay purchase,a lovely plaid jacket that needs to go to the dry cleaners because it stinks.) I got the girl to knock another fiver off as the only pair in my size were shop soiled, it never hurts to haggle!
In that strange way karma has, the one in one out rule kicked in without me doing anything. When a pair of boots I've had for a while and worn tons suddenly became damn painful to walk in. On closer examination not only had a nail that held to heel on come through the inside and basically stabbed a hole in my sock and my foot  = OUCH, but the heel had started to fall off.
So they hit the bin with a resounding thud whilst I poured neat TCP into the hole in my heel in the hopes of stopping any lurking gangrene in it's tracks. 

I shall sign off with a wee bloom from my garden. I had to go out and pick up all the stuff that had blown around the patio in the gales.
Next to the back door I have a big tub I grow cut and come again salad leaves in, great for just reaching out and snipping when you need a few for your dinner!
 Last year when I visited my sister we went to her local garden centre where they had some very sorry packets of bulbs reduced to 10p each. I rummaged through and found some packs that looked like they might still have a couple of healthy bulbs in, worth a punt for 10p. As it was raining when we got home I just shoved them all in the tub by the back door et voila!
A couple of single and a couple of double snowdrops, and some mini irises. Result!

Sunday 9 February 2014

Frocks, Brooches and Wearing Red.

Another week has taken wing, sent on it's way with yet more rain and gale force winds.
 I came home on Friday and was taking off my boots whilst watching with half an eye the 6pm news and also listening to Himself tell me my Dad had left a strange message in the phone. "I'll play it to you" he said at just the same time as my brain registered the news reader saying "blah blah Oxfordshire village,flooding, blah blah blah" and caught my full attention. I realised in shock that the village in question was my parents and the reporter wading thigh deep towards the camera was actually doing so through rushing water at the end of my parent's street!!

It was quite surreal seeing this on the national news I have to say. My parents have lived in their house 25 years and there has never, ever been flooding to this scale before. Yes there is a stream through the village but as their house is on slightly higher ground other than a bit of water up the garden they are usually ok, and yet for the first time ever suddenly they too had water lapping at the back door step and men delivering sandbags!

Thankfully not as much rain feel over night on either Friday or Saturday as forecasted and the pumps that the environmental agency brought in did their job so by this morning Mum was happy to report the water had receded down the garden leaving only a 'delightful' brown sludge in it's wake, lovely.

Fingers crossed they will be alright over the next couple of weeks when yet more rain and storms are forecast.

Talking of surreal, I was lying in bed this morning reading 'How to be a Woman by Caitlin Moran' (which has been in my book tower waiting for me to start it for at least a year now!)
As it happens I follow Caitlin Moran on Twitter and some time ago she had asked people to tweet her with experiences of outrageous sexism they had encountered so I did.

In Chapter 8 of the book, which is all about sexism, she describes asking the question on Twitter and the deluge of replies she got back and then goes on to say 'these are the ones that actually made me gasp' and there was my tweet!
I sat bolt upright, elbowed Himself and went "Oh my god, I'm in print, I'm actually in someone's book!" and read the relevant passage out. He responded with a satisfyingly outraged swear word at the incident, which I had never told him about before.
 So yes, a shocking incident that happened to me is forever immortalized in print on page 130 of 'How to be a Woman'.
 In case you are wondering, I'm the lucky person who had a guy leap out of a van and stick his hand up her skirt to see if she was wearing stockings or tights whilst she stood at the bus stop!
I wish I could say I walloped him or gave some manner of withering retort but in all honesty I was so shocked and taken aback that I just stood there like a lemon. Being much older, more experienced and far more jaded, I'm pretty sure if such a thing happened today my fist would be in his face and my knee in his groin faster than you could blink.

Anyway moving swiftly on to happier things, as I mentioned in my last post Friday was wear red day for The British Heart Foundation.
Even though it was dress down Friday I 'Ramped up the Red' in my lovely Trollied Dolly frock and little red fox brooch. I made a peanut butter tray bake which has so much sinful stuff in it (peanut butter, butter, sugar, shortbread and chocolate) I was accused of trying to bring on heart attacks whilst raising money to prevent them! We had great fun stuffing our faces with cake and raised £146.

But even better than raising so much and by far the best bit of news from my working week? Nightmare boss has resigned!!!!!!! Oh happy day indeed, the weight that has lifted off our department is extraordinary. It was like working in an office of Cheshire Cats, all wall to wall beaming smiles. Not sure what happens next, but whatever it is and who ever they are it can't be any worse.

On Saturday Soo came over for gossip and charity shop shopping and boy did we shop up a storm. I did manage to have mini two disasters. The lovely crystal sherry glass I bought Himself for 10p got broken in my bag before I even got back in the house (oopps) and the rather lovely, but a bit smelly, red cheongsam dress shrank dramatically when I stuffed it in the wash (arse!)
In an attempt at salvation, I have chopped it off at the waist and will try making it into a top instead. I am nothing if not adventurous.

I also bought a lovely forest green shirt for work,

a scarf, some silver spoons, a beret, 
a ceramic tile, a birthday gift for Soo (not shown as she reads my blog!) and 2 brooches.

I did score a magnificent cocktail dress too.
I'm no label snob, but I was more than happy to pay £12.50 for a brand new Hobbs evening dress. A quick squizz on their website shows full price there wouldn't have been much change from £200 on this beauty. Need to find me an occasion to wear it now....

Some random pictures from our day
 A handmade net curtain wedding dress
An evil pig ornament
A label that had us both snorting like adolescent boys
A hideous handbag, sadly my camera has toned down the colours, believe me when I say they all looked tangoed but with red lipstick on.
Finally a bizarre top that left me struggling for words, again sadly, the camera has toned down and dulled the florescent pink, scarlet, dove grey and beige......such a random mix of colours. No wonder it still had it's label.

I also went to pick up a pair of boots that I had put in to be reheeled. Whilst there I noticed the most revoltingly filthy pair of boots on the shelf. I couldn't help but ask the lady if they often get boots in in such a horrible condition. She sighed and said more than you would imagine, though if she is behind the till at the time she refuses to take them until they have been cleaned. Which apparently lead to one lady holding a horse muck encrusted pair to knock them vigorously against the counter 'to remove the excess' and basically cover the counter and floor with horse shit before leaving!?!   

On that happy note I shall sign off with the two brooches now they have been cleaned and the shell one given a touch up with purple iridescent nail polish because I don't do pink.


Tuesday 4 February 2014

Over Hill and Dale With a Happy Heart and Sore Feet.

So as it turns out I did manage to get Himself out for a walk on Sunday and what a walk it turned out to be. We had planned to head to a nearby village a round trip of about 6 miles.

It all started well, we bumped into my friend Liz out walking her dogs Sophie and Ebony. A little further along we met a baby poodle called Lindy and next a gorgeous chocolate labrador called Basil, he was my favourite, what an ace name for a dog.

Yup a lot of people were of the same mind and making the most of a welcome break in the rain and a little sun shining through.

It really was glorious. We breathed in the fresh air and admired the flora and fauna.....

We were about 3/4 of the way there when this started to happen.....
I'd kind of forgotten that the village we were heading to is famous for Pooh Sticks and indeed holds  the national championships every year. That means of course a river, which of course means flooding. We couldn't get any further without waders so we had to turn back :(

My idea was to cross the rail track at the level crossing and head home Himself decided no, we would go a 'slightly' longer way home by walking to the next village

and then the next

and then through the industrial/business park

and then home.

If he would have made that clear at the time I'd have told him in no uncertain terms what he could do with his suggestion. However he was vague, very vague and by the time I started to get suspicious we were committed to the journey.
I have to say I was trudging along on auto pilot by the time we headed up the hill to home and in some discomfort, for some reasons the backs of my knees were killing me!!
Which I have to say is not something I have ever suffered from before after a walk. It was also dark and freezing by the time we got in. Can you tell I wasn't too happy?
Anyway here's the gentle evening sun glowing on the cooling towers.
I know they are not everyone's cup of tea but I love our cooling towers, you always know you are nearly home when you see them. They are actually built from a warm and mellow coloured stone so they really do kind of blend into the countryside despite their vast size.
Sadly they are due to be demolished at the end of this year much to local outcry. When you keep in mind they won't be able to do anything with the piece of land for at least the next 30 or more years, possibly never, why not just leave them be?
Strange but true fact - When I was at Art College one of my tutors wanted to paint the 7 Muses onto the sides of the towers! He was known for his mad ideas.

Anyway turns out when Himself checked the pedometer we had actually walked 11 miles, no wonder my knee backs were complaining. Not quite the gentle stroll I had planned but very enjoyable never the less, well maybe not the last 2 miles.

Back to work on Monday and I am still wearing my wardrobe through. Monday's frock was one of the one's I couldn't decide on a couple of weeks ago. I came home and said to Himself
"I'm not sure this dress does anything for me"
"Certainly not with that cardigan you're wearing, no" was his swift reply
Charming!, I removed the offending cardigan and did a this way and that way turn. Himself considered and I could tell he was searching carefully for the right words. In the end he said
"It is a bit, well, billowy isn't it?" His polite way of confirming what I already suspected, it's a shapeless sack and I look a bit like a shapeless sack when wearing it. So it's definitely going in the charity bag after all.

Today's dress was a big hit at work, another lovely green dress I'd forgotten about. Mind you I have a sneaking suspicion that as I have been wearing so many awful frocks lately people at work were just thrilled to see something halfway decent for a change and leapt in to lavishly praise it!

I need to find something red for Friday as we are 'Ramping up the Red' in support of the British Heart Foundation, I also need to make something for the bakesale which might be interesting as I am off out on Thursday night. Hmmm 

I shall sign off with two bargain clothes purchases. Vintage glittery dress for 99p plus postage on Ebay
A sloppy joe sweatshirt that just had to be bought
Also the fact I seem to have been bitten by a very gap toothed vampire
and a rather strange but lovely tree from Sunday's epic walk.


Sunday 2 February 2014

Reasons to be Cheerful

Now usually I greet a Saturday like this
but yesterday despite the fact the rain had stopped and the SUN HAD ACTUALLY COME OUT this was the way I greeted the day.
I woke up in a grump it's as simple as that, it's one of those things that does happen but giving it some thought (inside with the curtains drawn) there were reasons for my foul mood.

My week off work was over, bah. Not that it had turned out to be the restful slob-fest I had planned, reason two for my grump.
Work rang me twice, typically at the worst possible moments, once when I was in the middle of having my hair done and once when my parents were here. Both calls necessitated logging into my work email and then getting sucked into working for a couple of hours. The irony being my boss then emailed me going 'why are you looking at your emails you're meant to be on holiday!!!!' Er because you guys contacted me?
Damn me for making myself so indispensable.

Reason number 3 was my hair cut. I went to have it coloured and wasn't allowed to have it how I wanted it because my hair is still in a delicate state (ie; fucked) right now. Turns out I lost at least 30% of my hair when it decided to break, typically most of that seems to have been at the front, oh how I hate not having a fringe *weeps*.

The good news is it is growing again, in some ways it was kind of interesting to see apparently it is like the hair that grows back after a session of chemo, sort of fine baby hair. The bad news is I have had to be scalped again to help it and I can't have any kind of colour in it so it's a very short delicious shade of dull mousey brown. I'm feeling a bit drab.

Reason number 4 is also vanity based. I happened to pick up Rock of Ages on DVD for £3 and decided to watch it again on Friday afternoon to see if it still outraged me. I don't think the miserable wet afternoon helped as I was having a bit of a wallow, mostly from the god I used to be that skinny and blonde and perky what the hell happened point of view?
This was not helped by Himself and I channel hoping later in the evening and stopping at the 50th Anniversary of James Bond gala concert.
The soprano singing was no Shirley Bassey and she did have the most appalling taste in frocks, and when I say appalling we are talking not just a bit dodgy, but really terrible here.
Himself made a couple of comments along the lines of who ate all the pies when it occurred to me actually she and I were actually probably the same size, admittedly she was shoehorned into an extremely unflattering frock but still....great

So who ate all the pies? that would be me then.

Just to compound my grump even further I managed to step on a CD case
smashing it to pieces and accidentally dye a dress pink in the wash.

It's not looking good is it?

So today I have decided to firmly take myself in hand. The sun is currently out again.

I got some colour run stuff in Tesco and the frock is saved!
Seen here drying out in all it's red and white glory again.

I bought myself a little plant on Wednesday when I was out with the folks, that unusually for a primula is scented and is currently making my kitchen smell lovely.
I also bought a Chrysanthemum in Tesco because it was on offer and is just so deliciously springlike and cheery
I have reflected on the things I did get done last week most of which have been waiting for ages for me to get round too. So what if I did get superglue all over my hands AGAIN, I fixed a broken brooch. 
I had a rejig of some of the pictures downstairs and finally hung some 1930's prints that have been leaning against the wall for over a year.
I wore my new nail polish and it's fab.
I also tried on my new converse that have been sitting in their box under the table for over 2 weeks now.
Good job the fitted really! and yes, yes I know they are completely mental but they have leopard print on them and they were heavily reduced, probably because they are so mental.

I didn't get round to framing my elephant match label collection, they have also been waiting for a year now for me to decide how I want to lay them out, but Himself has promised to help me with that so maybe one day soon.

In fact that was the only job I had wanted to get done last week that I didn't so all in all pretty good really.
I managed to get a couple of lie-ins and to read 3 books. I listed a load of stuff on Ebay that had been sitting in a pile for a few weeks now, and went out for a lovely long lunch with friends, so all in all reasons to be cheerful.

Oh and look at this cute little chap I found lying on the pavement when I was out with Soo and Jenny last week. He is only a centimeter long so it is a miracle I spotted him at all.

 Finally for those who might have missed my further evangelical ravings about the wonders of Liquid Gold furniture polish look at this. Himself brought this G-Plan tallboy with him when we moved in together. We used to just cover the top as it was so wrecked and I planned to strip it and either re-varnish or paint it one of these days. I figured there was nothing to loose and tried out the wonderous polish.

First picture I had started to polish the top right hand corner and in the second the finished article. Nothing short of miraculous.

Right I'm off for some lunch and to see if Himself feels like taking his delicate head for a lovely long walk.