Monday, 28 January 2008

A busy weekend!

We did the boring but necessary tidying up on Friday night and Saturday morning, then Saturday afternoon we went to fetch the twins (8) to take them to see "Stomp" at one of the local theatres.

I think the kids were a bit non plussed for the first 5 mins or so, then got the hang of what it was all about and thoroughly enjoyed themselves :-)

After the show, we went back to collect their little brother (3) did some shopping, got pizza for tea on their request, and took them back to ours for the night. After tea they made birthday cards for "Grannys" 70th (my mum) then I stuck them in the bath, did stories, then bed time.

As per usual for kids, they woke up way too early, so we left them to kill each other, tried to ignore them until about 8, when I got up and sorted out breakfast.

The twins were clamouring to have a go on runescape, but we put the Stomp DVD (we got it yesterday) on first, and did some "Stomping" - making rhythms with matches in their box, water in a bottle, and an empty bottle and a fork!

Having got the kids dressed, we went down to town, to meet their mum and dad, and my parents. It is my mums 70th today, Monday, so we all had lunch in a rather nice Italian restaurant yesterday to celebrate.

Mum got some lovely presents - a book from us, some table mats with pictures of the three kids, and a telescope for bird watching from my dad!! (we went out and chose it whilst I was off work with no voice) All went down very well, and we had a really good party lunch :-)

Sunday pm.

Gave parents a lift back, got home and was shocked to find the window to our office wide open.. horrors for a while thinking cats had escaped onto the roof and away, but on calling, Billy came trotting along, and Lilly a while later. Phew!! Billy now nearly always comes when i make a squeaking sound :-) Ahhhh :-)

Thursday, 24 January 2008

My job

I work for the Environment Agency in one of their National Customer Contact Centres.

I thought I would share with you some of the questions I get and have to deal with. Its a very interesting, and wide ranging job, and I enjoy it!

I have had calls from people expecting us to do all sorts of things, from pick up their rubbish,
mend their telephone, and remove the rats from their gardens! (we dont deal with any of those, but I try to re-direct the callers if I can)

These are some of the things that I have dealt with today. (sorry its rather long but I hope you find it of some interest)

* Customer wanting to know the ins and outs of how and when to use waste transfer notes (would take too long to explain this :-) )

* Customer needing help getting a grid reference for her house, prior to applying for a Discharge Consent Licence. (she was having a new "septic tank" installed)

* Enquiry about law surrounding carrying waste

* Person got stopped for carrying waste without a licence – (directed to web site and explained why licences are necessary)

* Lady wanted to change her DD details for her husbands Rod Licence

* Person wanted to apply for a licence to export Weee (waste electrical electronic equipment)

* Man wanted to register his premises as a producer of hazardous waste (our system playing up, he said he would call later)

* Person needing to get through to the Wallaby office to find out if the Hull Barrier would be lowered at the next high tide.

* Customer wanting waste carrier info (directed to web site)

* Customer wanted to buy one day rod licence (directed to website)

* Customer wanted to register as Hazardous waste producer (directed to website as its cheaper)

* Person from city council putting together a flood recovery pack – wanted info and leaflets. I Emailed a request for bulk leaflets, advised of ABI and BIBA websites, gave my number so she can call me again!

* Info wanted about the River Alt in Liverpool (history) although we deal with management we don’t deal with history. Suggested internet and local library!

* Is my house in a flood zone? Advised go to web site, put in post code and use alongside a street map to find out.

* Bloke wanting to lay a pipe to transport hot water from an incineration plant to somewhere else. (put him through to integrated regulations, pollution prevention control team for his area)

* Someone to renew some exemptions (people can apply to carry out certain waste related activities that do not involve a very expensive waste management licence)

* Man who has been told he had to talk to us before putting in his planning application to replace his conservatory and extend to make a small disabled toilet. Got him through to someone in his local area who can help.

* Taught a colleague in a different department how to use our interactive map system (she was very grateful!)

A special day today!

Today is the 5th Anniversary of Rabbie the Kidney arriving in our lives!

Happy Transplant Day Rabbie!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

I can't adequatley describe the freedom and better quality of life that Rabbie has given Douglas.

We are so grateful to the donors parents who allowed their sons organs to be used to save/improve the life of total strangers.

Tuesday, 22 January 2008


Dear Readers, we had a good time in Amsterdam – there is very little to report, however as Douglas developed a nasty pain in one of his big toes which prevented him from walking very far.

Despite the mobility problems, we did have a pleasant weekend, and Im glad to report I found my voice whilst I was out there. Im very sorry but I forgot to pack our camera, but I have found a picture of the flower market, where I purchased 2 large amaryllis (amarylli?) bulbs for my parents as a thank you for looking after Billy and Lilly.

How my voice knew to run away to Amsterdam and that I would find it before my 7 days of sick note ran out, I will never know ;-)


At last, the day arrived to have the dratted back molar out, that has been the cause of a lot of pain recently. I won’t dwell on the subject, but the my dentist is really good, and removed said tooth with a minimum amount of pain. Sadly the pain killers Ive taken since only just hit the sides, so Im sitting here at work willing the next half hour to go swiftly so I can go home and get looked after (and probably go to bed!)

I had to stay at work because Ive had 7 days off with lack of voice, and as with any workplace, there is only so much sick time they will allow you before you get to the “written warning” stage. Please don’t think for a moment I’m moaning about my place of work – their policy is entirely normal, Im just moaning for the sake of it!

Small wimping noise and "ow" comes out of the computer. (only 10 mins to go now..)

Thursday, 17 January 2008


My voice is slowly coming back, and Ive been doing loads of housework.

Yesterday my mum took me to a rather special charity shop, run by a secular organisation which helps homeless people get back on their feet though teaching them practical skills, that can be transferred into jobs.

They are based in an old 19th C. factory unit near the centre of town, and have two large rooms nicely laid out with furniture, clothes and books for sale.

We needed a few more bits for our house, so I got a very nice bedside set of draws for £10, a wheelie office chair for £5 (might not last long but at £5 that dosnt matter) I have also purchased a large pine wardrobe with a drawer at the bottom for £70! Its all incredibly cheap, and apart from the office chair the items will last a long time :-)

It was nice to get such bargains and to help a charity too.


We are off on our holidays very early on Friday morning, so no more blog until Wednesday of next week! Amsterdam here we come!

Tuesday, 15 January 2008

I think Ive lost it..

As a result of this 'orrible chest infection i now do be getting over, Ive now lost all but a very small bit of my voice.

On Friday I was croaky, managed at work on the phones till about 3pm then asked to come off and do post (processing application forms) grudgingly, my team leader agreed.

On Monday I went into work, voice still croaky but I decided to try my best to answer calls and carry on, because I like my job and I didnt feel ill - also having stayed at work during the dental abcess pain and the chest infection itself I didnt want to go off sick now.

I answered calls till about lunch time, and my voice was getting worse, so i had a chat to team leader and said i wasnt feeling ill, but my voice was straining, and I really couldnt take more calls. I said I didnt want to go home and could I do some of our applicaitons please? (there is plenty of work in them for more than a week solid!)

My very nice team leader (and I do mean that, genuinely) said she was very sorry but having talked to the boss, they had to tell me to go home as I could not do my job :-(

I went home, close to tears because I felt as though I was letting them, and me down.

Saw GP this morning (the supermarket shelf GP) who spent proably less than 2 mins with me.. checked breathing, asked colour of sputum, checked glands in neck, asked If I had been abroad recently then asked if I would like a sick note!

Result: 7 days signed off sick.. told to rest voice, drink honey and lemon (will do blackcurrant instead, hot - yum) and eat pastilles (shan't cause they not veggie and I dont like them)

Will scan sick note and email it to my team leader.

Saturday, 12 January 2008

Le Weekend

Cats are fine - my scratches are healing slowly - the deep one on my palm is still sore, but thats better than having one less black and white cushion in the house!!

Well........... mum got a new computer on Wednesday so guess whose job is was to sort it out?

Douglas dropped me off at about 10am, after I had changed cat litter and cleaned the kitchen yet again (going to have to teach those cats how to sweep)

D went shopping to get some Euros for our trip to Amsterdam (going on Friday) and I wrangled with the new computer. The first problem was trying to get the stand on the monitor! We called the department store where it was purchased, and they were not helpful over the phone. Its not very far into town from my mums house, so we got the bus down, monitor in arms and went to the shop...

5 mins later, a rather embarrassed mother and daughter (monitor in arms) walk back out of the store having been shown how to do it!!

Back at base... gently bullied my mum into putting all the right wires int the right holes. My mother is fast approaching 70, is a not really that old cat but a bit jumpy when it comes to learning new tricks!

After lunch, Douglas and I spent a few hours installing anti spy, virus and advert removers.. Open Office (like Word for windows but free)

We had a break by taking some cat food down to the shelter where our babies came from - was a lovely visit, and nice to tell them how things are going.

More computer stuff them home to veg out and rest :-)

Mum can now use hotmail and the internet - shes happy!!!

Friday, 11 January 2008

Who let the cat out of the bag?

It was Douglas :-(

We went to the car to go to work and found it was frozen over.

I sent Douglas back in to get some warm water for the windscreens and he left the front and lounge doors wide open!!

Billy, being a very curious cat, decided to get some fresh air and escaped!! Oh no!! I followed him found the back and then back round the front, and found him looking scared in a neighbours front garden.

He walked past me and I grabbed him.. then proceeded to try to keep hold of panicking flailing cat and take him back inside!

I managed.. just.. but i have a long scratch on the inside of my left wrist, two on that palm.. two long ones on fingers of my right hand, and a nice one (two inches) on the top slope of my left boob!

Not a good start to the day. I can only hope that Lilly is still in the house, because if she isnt we have very little chance of rescuing her again (pretty sure she is safe but will have to wait till tonight to be sure)

Ive washed them, and have a few plasters on the worst ones!

I think Douglas has learnt his lesson!

Wednesday, 9 January 2008

Exciting news (if you play Runescape!!)

Woooot! At long last Ive saved up enough, and managed to purchase D dragon Chain Mail top, which gives really good defence bonuses! For those of you who want to know what one looks like.. click HERE !! It cost nearly 12 million gold, and took me ages to save up for :-)

Not sure what the next challenge is going to be.. any ideas? Im sure Jak will poke me and suggest more quests lol (anna runs away and goes noooo!)

Im feeling a bit better, Douglas has been given the OK for another 3 weeks from his consultant, and his cough is clearing at last.

Tuesday, 8 January 2008


Dentist says I have a raging abcess. yeah I knew that.. however hes given me 5 days on 2 types of antibiotics, one of which tastes foul, and I have to go back for the dead tooth to be removed.

Ok.. no more about this till its over.


D is going to his consultants tomorrow then work in the pm..

Billy is fast asleep on my computers keyboard. Everyone go Ahhhhh!

Title unchanged

Douglas is still off work with a chest infection, but going to see his consultants at the hospital tomorrow as a routine visit, so will get more help from them..

Im still working but pain continues - Dentist today at 3pm.. hopefully pain will be sorted!

Lilly continues to come out of her shell - shes much more visible, and even came into the kitchen this morning whilst i was putting out her food! Still cant get near enough to touch her, but she is doing better!

Friday, 4 January 2008

Just put us down..

The title of this blog is changing for the next few days.

No longer the happy couple.. we are The Unhealthy Couple.

We both started with a throat based cough, that was annoying and as per usual took my voice away for a few days. It started as a late Christmas present to us both. I am now recovering, and my voice is almost fully back, but poor old Douglas, as per usual has not been able to fight the bug off, and has now been off work for 2 days.

He rang the Drs yesterday (and rang and rang) but by the time he got through there were no appointments left! Today he dragged himself down there (determined to get seen) and was successful.

He decided to wait in the surgery for his appointment, only to be seen earlier by a grumpy GP who advised him that the system of “Wait to be seen” had changed, and it was now an appointment based system. Douglas, much as he ever does, protested his innocence and felt rather aggrieved!! Anyway, GP prescribed strong antibiotics and told him to increase his steroids.


I developed toothache in the time between Xmas and New Year. I tried calling my Dentist on 31st Dec.. they were closed, so tried again on 2nd, only to find they were STILL closed! By this time I was in a lot of pain, and desperate, so I called the emergency Dentist Service, and got an appointment in a place Google Maps said was 12 mins drive away. Knowing me, I gave myself an hour to get there, and made it with a few mins to spare!!!!

Dentist did an X-ray and said I have an abcess under a time-bomb tooth/two teeth. Im on pain killers and antibiotics, and feeling rotten (but still at work). Roll on Monday when my Dentist re-opens L Hope he will refer me to the Dental Hospital who can do what they like whilst im out of it.


Billy continues to be the adoring furry moggy I’ve always dreamed of.. Lilly continues to make millimetre by millimetre improvements :-)