Saturday 15 April 2017

Start Spreading the News

Two posts in less than a week what has got into me?

I hope everyone is having a fab Easter weekend, so far we met my Mum and Nephew Number One and his girlfriend at Dad's care home. Mum brought prosecco and smoked salmon (got to love my Mum) I brought crisps and cream cakes (I'm all class me) and a copy of 'Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them'.
My Dad is a huge Harry Potter fan and has been since day one of the books coming out so there was no way I was going to let him miss seeing this, sadly taking him out to the cinema is not an option, luckily the care home has a huge flat screen TV in their lounge. What you call putting the good into Good Friday.

Today we may go for another walk, if the weather behaves, not as long as last weekend if I have anything to do with it. Himself has decided I'm good for 10 miles and anything over I get cranky. I think that's a little unfair. Going straight from 0 to 13 miles is enough to make anyone grumpy, but I think it is more pertinent that more than 4 hours without a cup of tea is what makes me cranky!!
I have invested in a new flask to see if this helps......

Last week I needed a new watch battery so I headed to Debenhams in my lunchbreak. They have a watch mending concession in store which guarenttees the battery for 18 months so even though it's more expensive than the market it's worth it for a battery that lasts more than 6 months. Whilst I waited for the battery to be changed I browsed their Blue Cross sale. I bought some brooches, I'm not precious about only getting vintage when it comes to brooches.
 The pineapple, orange flower & parrot were a set. The girl who served me who was very young and very 'on trend' said "ooh when those came in I did wonder who on earth would buy them"  Me apparently!

I also spotted a biker boot size 6 in the sale I tried it on and it was a bit big but there was no size 5 and it was nothing thick socks wouldn't solve so I asked to try on the other boot. The girl took it from me with a deep sigh and walked off to the stock room at a pace that would have made even a funeral director tell her to speed up.
She was gone for about 10 minutes then shuffled back to announce she couldn't find the other boot so she would check the other stock room. Off she went through the store and as I watched her progress I swear to god I saw a tortoise overtake her.
I had enough time to collect my watch and contemplate life the universe and everything before she returned still with just one boot in hand. It wasn't in the other stock room either apparently she would check the first one again.
By this point various other ladies waiting for service had given up and left. She finally re-emerged still with just the one boot she definitely couldn't find it's partner. Could I wait for her supervisor to return? He would know where to look.
I asked when would he return, not a difficult question on the face of it but by her horrified reaction you would have thought I had asked for an in depth explanation of quantum physics on pain of death. In the end she guessed it might be another 40 minutes, I said sorry I couldn't wait and never mind, by this point I was already late getting back to work as it was.

As it happened I got my storecard bill through 2 days later so I popped in to pay it, I wondered if the boots were still there so walked past that department on my way out to check. They were and it was a different girl on the till thank the lord. I asked for the matching boot and she disappeared into the stock room and reappeared instantly with both in hand, they must have literally been just inside the door!
Anyway I bought them even though I'm not really meant to be spending money right now and I need another pair of boots like a hole in the head.
They have been a bit flattened at the top as you can see but nothing a boot shaper won't sort out.

On the subject of spending money when I shouldn't I had a flash sale thing through from Voodoo Vixen and just had to snap up this beauty for half price.
It's been on my wishlist for ages now, but I couldn't justify full price.

I also bought a pair of flared exercise trousers in the Sainsbury's 25% off clothing event. Now the clocks have changed Himself and I have been going to the park after work to use the exercise equipment there.
He goes every day, I have been going every other day. All part of the plan to get a bit fitter and healthier.
The only downside is it has been playing havoc on my wrists. I have had Carpel Tunnel Syndrome for years now, eventually I will have to have an operation but for the moment I manage it by, mostly ignoring it for as long as I can, and wearing wrist braces or Robocop Arms as Himself calls them, at night when I can't.
I really need to get myself some kind of wrist supports when I exercise because I don't want to give it up just because it kills my wrists.

I'd better finish up by explaining the title of the post. On Tuesday at th arse crack of dawn I am off to New York for work. I am excited because it's been over 25 years since I was last there and I will have a day each side of work to cram in some sightseeing.
I am also in complete denial about the fact I will be interviewing candidates for our Masters programme face to face Eeeeek. So far I've only done Skype interviews which I like, I can spread my shit out around me and have all sorts of prompts and guides that the cadidate can't see, face to face I won't be able to do that and I'll have to try and take notes as well as listen and ask the right questionsall at the same time, Good Grief.
Work has even provided me with a nifty little laptop and just handed it over like I'll know what to do with it hahahahahaha. (For those who don't know I am an utter technophobe.)
I haven't done anything yet in terms of packing etc so I really need to get my arse in gear.

See you on the other side, providing North Korea doesn't blow me up in the meantime.........

Tuesday 11 April 2017

Spring is in the Air.

Well haven’t we had ourselves some glorious weather this last couple of weeks? This weekend we had a rare free day so I suggested going for a walk. I thought a wander to a nearby village with a drink or two in the pub then a wander home would be just the ticket. Himself once persuaded of the idea had other plans, no mere 7 mile round trip for him oh no.

Kitted out with map, water and cookies we did indeed end up at a village pub sitting in the half shade of their garden I could have stayed there (drinking) all day, but soon enough we were on the move again and rather than back the way we came we were walking a slightly longer route back. Himself then confessing he wouldn’t be happy if we did less than 10 miles…..right.    
I should add here Himself has never been to Wittenham Clumps, the lovely group of trees on the hill you see in the distance in this picture.

The Clumps are a group of 3 hills and were an Iron Age fortification and burial mound, they are now a popular destination for hikers, dog walkers, kite flyers, picnickers etc. Well as Himself had never been there and as we were so close by *cough* he decided we should detour for a visit, at this point I was holding out pretty well so we did. 
I must admit it was gorgeous taking in the panoramic views and sun-burning my nose whilst watching some blokes crash land their model plane.

However The walk back home started to feel endless, trudging through field after field. According to the map we had to cross a road and walk behind a farm to find the footpath back so we entered the gate at the end of the farm driveway noting signs along the way that said ‘Caution Dogs Running Free’. There was no obvious footpath, the driveway ended and short of walking right up to the house we were a bit stumped. We backed up a bit and went into the filed alongside the house, maybe this was it? There was a small orchard with a gate at the end but also with barbed wire running across said gate so clearly no through route there! 
We decided to walk the boundary of the field to see if there was a gap anywhere, as we were doing this Himself said “looks like we’ve been spotted” and sure enough a dog the size of a small pony had galloped round the side of the house and was heading towards us like an exocet missile.

Now is a good time to explain I am not exactly a fan of big dogs, especially those moving at the speed this one was having been knocked off my feet and bitten by an Alsatian as a small child, I froze in sheer panic, visions of being torn to shreds filing my head. Even Himself, who is a dog fan was showing concern/alarm, when the dog skidded to a halt a few feet away from us and started to do that on the spot boundy thing excited, but thankfully friendly, dogs do. He ended up followed us all the way round the field stopping until you were a ways away from him them charging straight at you in frankly unnerving manner given his size. 
Thankfully once we had established there was no way out of the filed than through the main gate he was perfectly happy for us to shut that on him even though he could have jumped over it in a single bound!

Having given up on locating the footpath we ended up walking down the main road which did give us the opportunity to call in at Sainsbury’s for some wine & beer on the way home. Checking online later it would seem the elusive footpath no longer exists, our map is a few year’s old now. Turns out we did 13 miles, so much for my gentle and alcoholic afternoon perambulation.

Last week I was up and off early on Saturday to catch up with friend’s at The Living Rainforest near Newbury.
It’s a small but fascinating centre made up of a couple of greenhouses full of exotic flora and fauna. Where else would you get to see little fishies that swim as you would expect (obviously just to lull you into thinking they are ordinary little brown fish) then casually hop out of the water and walk about on their tails!?!
Or where else indeed would you peer up through the lush green canopy and see a sloth’s bum? It was too early for the butterflies to be out but I would definitely go back and not just to have those beautiful jewel like creatures flapping about your head as you walk.
I was fascinated by the fact that a lot of the mammoth jungle plants are ones that we grow as house plants in this country, clearly in their native environment they are giants.
I have both of these at home in wee flower pots of course. The cafĂ© was good too, so I would definitely recommend dropping by if you are nearby. Just don’t ask about the bird eating spider.

Monday I went to see Feeder with my brother and sister in law. I had completely forgotten they were due to play and that I had asked my brother to pick me up a ticket, so was somewhat flummoxed when he texted me “Are you going to come home or meet us at the O2?” Eh? Arrangements were made and a bloody good night was had by all.
I love Feeder and they have never done a bad gig, that I have been too anyway. We stood near the sound desk and got chatting to the lead singer’s parents who were watching. I loved the fact his Mum was singing her heart out and thoroughly into the band, why should getting old mean you shouldn’t enjoy a rock gig anymore? Alright give the mosh pit a miss but no need to stop going all together.

I was trying out some new aluminium earplugs from Himself which I really liked once I got used to them, my hearing is so bad from going to far too many very loud gigs in my youth that usually if I put ear plugs in I can’t actually hear anything at all! These weren’t cheap but I will definitely invest in a pair for myself until it gets to the point where I have to go around with an ear trumpet bellowing at everyone.

Himself and I also went to see Beauty and the Beast on that Friday, I really wasn’t sure but as it goes I really enjoyed it, except the ending which was just way too saccharin & schmaltzy for me. Bleurgh.
When I go to work on the Monday I had an email from someone called Gemma (who works for the university too, I had to Google her to figure out who she was! I had met her before.) asking me if I could pick up some flowers that had been delivered for her and she would meet me at the train station to collect them and give me a lift home. Not only did I not know who she was I was a little freaked that she knew I caught the train and where I lived. Anyway I realised she had sent me the email on the Friday and had meant that day but I had actually finished early, so I replied and explained why I hadn't responded on the Friday and said if the flowers were still there I was happy to pick them up for her.

Turns out she had collected them over the weekend but then in her reply she also said “didn’t I see you at the cinema on Friday, you were watching Beauty and the Beast” WTF??  I’m hoping this is the closest I get to having a stalker because it was a bit unnerving having someone know me but me not know them.

I seem to have had a bit of a lucky run with handbags of late, especially those of the classic British variety.

Two from Boots, one of which was unused and still had it's care card inside,
 and one Clarks no less.

I think it’s about time I had a sort through of the collection as space is not limitless and who knows what space I will have in the future. I might have some beauties looking for a new home very soon……

I’ll finish with another lucky Ebay score. I was looking at this Hell Bunny dress on their website as I had a discount code but they didn’t have my size and indeed haven’t for about 6 weeks though even though they assured me 5 weeks ago they were ‘restocking that week’ hmm
I was going to go for it in the blue check but then I spotted this one on Ebay and snagged it for £16 including postage and it’s only been worn once = result.

 I’m fully expecting a total desert lack of lovely things after all this good fortune.