Tuesday, 30 June 2009

Our lovely garden

I picked what will probably be the last of the rhubarb yesterday, and before I went to bed, trundled over to give half of it to my parents, who were very appreicative!

Here is a photo of my garden.. its looking beautiful!

And here is a poppy from a little earlier in the season.

The photos below are from our front garden. As you can see, at present it is overrun with evening primrose plants! They are just coming into flower. It will look simply amazing when they do all flower, but I fear that unless I remove about 90% of the plants before the seed drops, they will smother everything else in the garden! (not that they are not doing this already lol) Maybe these are the new Triffid for 2009?

I will take another photo when all the flowers come out :-)

Anyone want a triffid? I have plenty of them...

Sunday, 28 June 2009

The weekend

Its been lovely having Thursday and Friday off work.. I cant remember when I have slept so much!!


We went to the local Green Fair on Saturday - this is the 20th year the Green Party have held a little festival of all things environmental in the grounds of a church near town.

I dragged Douglas along.. not feeling at his best, and more than a little grouchy at times, but its not good for him to read his two new books cover to cover without eating, moving or blinking (yeah ok I exaggerate.. just a little but hes a terrible book worm given less than half a chance) ! Bless him, Grouchy and Grumpy he may be, but after he has Grouched and Grumped he does apologise for his bad temper which is purely him not feeling well poor lad. (I still love him - coped with ten years of him, think I can put up with a bit more yet!)

There were loads of stalls.. from solar powered panels, to how you make your own compost, general energy savings groups.. I also found that our City has its own LETS group!!! (Local Exchange Trading System) Its a way of trading skills or items without exchanging money - each area has a notional currency - here its Stones, in Loughroough it was called Leaves, in York its called Yorkies (no, not the dog) . I might join.. will have a think about it :-)

Various types of entertainment were provided at the fair.. there was a lovely folk group called Brick Budgie playing. I've never heard them before, but their vocalist reminded me of Maddie Prior. I cant find anything on t'internet about them but have a few other things in mind to try as Id love to hear them again when I had more time!

The other entertainment will look familar to some of you..

This is John, my older brother doing his juggling & diablo and unicycle performance, which goes down well with kids of all ages.

We had taken a camping chair with us, as D is still very wobbly, so he parked himself up in front of John whilst I wandered round.

After a rest, we went out to see my younger brothers daughter, Martha, perform in a local summer concert. She has recently started to learn how to play the violin, so she decided to play that, at the same time as reciting some tounge twisters.

As much as we love our neice, hearing a beginners violin tune at the same time as she recited Peter Piper Picked a Peck of Pickled Peppers was, to be honest ...... DREADFUL!! Even so, it was brave of her to get up on stage and do her bit, so we were very complimentary and encouraging to her for doing her bit. :-)

We only stayed for the first half as Douglas is still pretty weak, and was beginning to fade. We were sad to miss out the second half, as there had been some lovely musicians and a rather nice dance too. Lets hope next time D is strong enough to cope with the lot.

About an hour after we got back, D's friend Dangerous popped round for a few moments on his way to pick up a very rich bloke he drives for some weekends. He couldnt stay long, but it was nice to see him.


The last of the great sleep ins. We went to bed quite late (watching some rubbish on telly) so after my usual being woken up by ravenous beasts, I went back to bed and didnt wake up again until 11.45am!

I made Brunch for the both of us, then in the afternoon, just as I was planning to go see my little brother, our neighbour invited us round for a goodbye party as they are moving house next weekend. It was lovely to have a chat (and a long hold of fairly new baby Agnes).

We will miss Matt, Katy, Eliza who is a very cute toddler, and baby Agnes. We will also miss their lovely ginger cat Milo!

Our new " neighbours to be " have a cat.. hope we get on well, so we can do cat sitting for each other! (Of course, getting on so we can exchange cat sitting is the most important bit of having neighbours! lol)

Back to work on Monday for me, so less exciting blog entries for a while unless something interesting happens.

Keep reading and please do leave comments - I really enjoy finding out who reads this stuff... so even if you pass by, please just leave a "hello" for me.

Thanks, Anna

Fridays activities

Douglas felt up for going out!!

We slept in long and late (of course I woke up about 6 as usual to feed ravenous starving beasts) then went back to sleep.

I took Douglas to see Blood, the Last Vampire at the movies. The title sounds very gruesome, and although there was quite a lot of red stuff during the film I really enjoyed it.

Douglas introduced me to a Japanese style of animated cartoons known as Anime when I met him, and I have grown to like many of the films I have seen! Please don't quote me, but I think Anime is the film version of a comic book style of art that the Japanese have developed called Manga.

The film first came out as a cartoon, but now its a film with real people in it (and a little bit of animation here and there)

This is from the cartoon version, which I would like to see!

This film was not a cartoon (although a few scenes did contain animation) but the style was the same. Its all about a girl who is a vampire, and whose reason to exist in life is to kill a Demon called Onegin.

On the whole Im not a fan of movies with a lot of violence and blood in them, but I really enjoyed this one, and so did Douglas. I think because it isnt gratuitous violence which many western movies seem to favour, but killing to rid the world of demons, it felt different!

Anyway.......... after that I took Douglast to MeadowHell, where we spent a while pootling around, him in a wheelchair and me pushing him! As it was a weekday afternoon, it wasnt as hellish as it can be, and we had a good time. Douglas was happy because he got two new books!

Well, its very late (early, really) here so I will write up Saturday after Ive had some serious sleep :-)

Thursday, 25 June 2009

A few days off

Quite a while ago Douglas and I booked a few days off - can't remember why, but this is the first of them.

Having fed the Sacred Beasts at 6am, I went back to bed and slept through till about 9, which is a real luxury on a week day. Im normally up by half five (in the summer, anyway as its so light) and out the house by 7 to start work at ten to 8.

After my sleep in, I slowly pottered round the house getting stuff ready to go to the Building Soc then onto Waitrose to fill our fridge and freezer.

In town I noticed there was a farmers market, so I purchased a little tub of potted meat and some sliced beef to try and tempt the still poorly Douglas to eat.

I went to Waitrose, purchased loads of things, including various bits n peices for Simon in Ethiopia, and rushed home, choc ices and frozen stuff in my hessian bags, needing the coolth of the freezer as soon as possible.

Douglas had just managed to get himself up when I got back, so i treated him to some Elderflower cordial. Much to my delight, he had a bit of toast with potted meat on! I thought about things that would make tasty small Douglas meals all the way round the farmers market and the supermarket, and it looks like my care and attention has paid off. I got some cold beef for him, and some smoked salmon offcuts too, so I hope I can slowly slowly wean him back into an eating Douglas, rather than a feeling sick and upchucking Douglas.

I will keep you informed as to how things progress.

This afternoon, Billy has decided to have a nap by my side, sprawled out on his favouite white fake fur cusion cover. This is a much adored place for both Sacred Beasts to recline whilst being worshipped :-)

I need to pop up to a branch of hobbycraft. A member of my team at work is going to celebrate her birthday soon, so I am sorting out her gift. She loves making cards and decorating letters to her friends, so a crafty place sounds just right!

Not sure if I can persuade D to come with me.. the store dosnt have a wheelchair because the last one got stolen :-(

More later mabye,

Tuesday, 23 June 2009

An hour of melting

A few months ago, I was contacted by Marie Curie Cancer Care, a charity provides nursing care to people suffering with cancer, so they can be looked after in their own homes. They wanted me to deliver some little charity envelopes door to door for people to stuff money in, and then collect them a few days later.

I posted these out a few days ago, and this evening went about half way down my road and knocked on all the doors from there back again. It was very hot work, and nearly all the houses had a set of steps up to them, so by the time I had done, I was melted!!

I know, and am known by a few people down the street, so had a friendly chat with one or two. One lady about 4 doors away knew me as a friend of Margaret, our elderly next door neighbour.

The lady ushered me in to her home whilst she found the Marie Curie envelope, and ended up giving me not only some money in the envelope, but also some of her small (but perfectly formed) home grown new potatoes, and a very strange elongated red onion also from her garden!! I cant give those to Marie Curie, but I will enjoy them in the next few days.

For my efforts, I have raised (so far) £15.50. I have put a note through a few doors asking them to deliver their envelopes through my door, but I doubt I will get much more cash. I guess £15.50 is better than if I hadnt done it!


Douglas update.. still not well, still barely managing to keep anything down.. going to his outpatients clinic tomorrow.. I do so hope they can find some reason for my beloved to feel so rubbish.. then sort him out!!! I want my Mr Happy back!!!

Watch this space.

For those of you wondering about my wanderlust filled brother in law, Simon, he has now reached Addis Abbabba, where he is house sitting for some wealthy ex pat who has servants and a cook etc. I hope he will write another one of his amazing emails again soon.

Saturday, 20 June 2009

Sheffield Pride

We had a message round at work a few weeks ago, looking for a few people who would be willing to volunteer their time to help at this years Sheffield Pride event.

For those of you who dont know what a Pride event is.. its a celebration for Gay, Lesbian, Bisexual and Transgender people (LGBT)

The Environment Agency is very supportive of diversity amongst its work force, and quite often have a stall at Pride events all over the UK, so I decided to volunteer. The day involved giving out leaflets, explaining what the Environment Agency does, doing a very short survey about peoples local rivers and giving out some lovely hessian tote bags (oh and some pencils and rulers) in return for answering the quesitonairre!

I went to work to meet Rob, the organiser. We put all the leaflets and banners in the back of my car, and drove to the local park and started setting up. We were soon joined by one of my colleages - Andy - and his husband/civil partner Chris. Quite a few other people breezed in, and soon there were about 6 of us, all "bigging up" and explaining what the EA does.

The day went very quickly, but by about 4 I was pretty tired having been on my feet all day, so I packed up, took some of the empty cardboard boxes and some other stuff away and came home. A couple of the managers from the office turned up to give their support, and one of them very kindly helped me carry the large cardboard boxes to my car.

I thoroughly enjoyed helping with this event, spreading the message of what the EA does, and supporting the diversity of our local city! If our office has a stall at the event next year, I think I shall volunteer again :-)

Comedy night

Last night, having helped Douglas escape from hospital with a fresh set of magic beans (aka tablets) we had some tea, and went down into town for a comedy night.

June 19th 2009 marked our 10th Wedding Anniversary, so I was delighted that Douglas had escaped, and felt well enough to come out with me.

A group of about 25 went from work.. we got there early and bagged the end of a table with a little bit of leg room - Not too far away from the stage, but not slap up close to it either!

The compere (sp?) came on, and although he was pretty good, every second word was an expletive. The second act - a woman - was better, funny in places, but even so still way too swear words for my enjoyment.

In general, the comedy was crude, vulgar and relying on taking the piss out of disabled, gay and any other minority group in society.

I know I'm rather old fashioned in my views but swearing all evening isn't funny! Why oh why when there are well over a quarter of a million words in the English Language do people have to use swear words so much.. its NOT FUNNY!!

Most people (Including my colleagues) there were so drunk they would laugh at a telegraph pole if it were on stage. One guy, already pretty intoxicated, purchased himself the hugest jug of beer I have seen for ages, and proceeded to down the lot with no help from anywhere else. Surely he and many other of my colleagues will end up with liver damage if they drink so heavily every time they go out??? Either that or they will experience a a dent in their bank accounts!

I do have a good sense of humour, but sadly yesterday evening hardly raised a smile.

We got home and fell into bed. I think i was asleep even before my head hit the pillow - its so nice to have my Douglas back beside me.. that was a far better treat than the rest of the evening.

Ok .. rant over.... next post will be happier :-)

Friday, 19 June 2009

News Flash!!

Douglas is being kicked out today!!!!!!!!!!!


Thursday, 18 June 2009

The Stupid Cat (aka Billy)

Last night, having visited Douglas, I played a bit on the computer and stumbled up to bed.

I was very tired.

Normally, every morning I get woken earlier than I would to be woken, by a very happ, large and loving cat walking up the length of my body purring loudly at me. This is Billys morning routine to tell me

a) how much he loves me
b) how much more he would love me if I got up and fed him.

This morning it was Lilly that woke me, walking along the side of the bed and brushing up past my legs and back. No sign of Billy.. Hmm.

I dragged my eyes open and went down the stairs from our attic bedroom and heard a small but pathetic wail from behind a door. I opened the spare room door and out walked a rather grumpy Billy!! He had been trapped in their all night, poor boy!

Ok.. so I was tired yesterday but I'm sure I didnt open or close that door... has he learnt to teleport?

If he has I wish he would teach me..

I talked to Douglas this evening, and he says that Billy has learnt that if he puts his full (considerable) weight on the door by putting his front paws up on it and pushing, he can open it!

He must have opened it enough to slink in, then tried to put his weight on the other side to get out, thoroughly closing the pop-to fasten door trapping him.

Silly Billy!! I sitll love him though.... how could i not? Evidence below :-)

Mr Yo Yo

Well folks.. guess what.. my dear Mr Happy has not been so happy since Sunday evening.

Douglas has had D&V for a few days, then by Tuesday that had cleared up, but he had a really bad tiredness that didnt go away, so on Wednesday he drove along to the hospital renal outpatients (for some odd reason its called Room 1.. surely 101 would be better?)

The team took his blood in the morning, then, as usual he had to wait.. and wait.. and wait.. for the results to come back. The nurses could see that poor D was really not feeling well, so they put him in a side room that has a reclining chair thing (turns into an examination chair) which is more comfy than the horrible plastic waiting room chairs.

Douglas just slept most of the day and was very dizzy when he stood up. When his results did come back, his blood levels were not right, so they found a bed for him in one of the renal wards.

I have visited him this evening, and he seems to be feeling better. Hes had anti sickness tablets, and I took him a ham sandwich (he wont touch hospital food unless hes desparate!). The Drs really dont know whats wrong.. they think he has had some kind of virus, but thats a bit vague really.

More blood was taken this morning, and aparantely the results are a bit better, so if he can eat and keep breakfast down tomorrow.. hes free to come home!!

Fingers crossed...

Wednesday, 10 June 2009

An unwanted and unexpected sales call

A while ago I was approached and offered a free raffle ticket with the chance of winning a brand new shiny car, so, like a fool I accepted, on the promise that my details would not be used for any commercial purpose.

Last week Douglas got a call from someone in relation to this, saying we had "gone through to the next stage" and as a result we had won a free carpet clean of one room in the house. Great! we thought. The hall stairs and landing carpet could do with a nice deep clean!

The carpet clean was booked in for yesterday at about 6pm. We expected someone to come in, clean our carpet, probably leave their details and how much it would cost for other carpets to be cleaned, then leave.

Oh.. how wrong we were.....

Three smartly dressed very polite blokes turned up and introduced themselves, bringing with them two large boxes which contained the vacuum cleaner.

Two of them stayed, the Boss going who knows where (maybe to supervise other teams?) The two blokes proceeded to unpack and set up the many many many attachments of their shiny Kirby Cleaner, and talk us through the uses of all of them.. long bits.. small pokey bits.. brushy bits.. you name it, this machine had them!

One hour passed.. demonstration continued…

One and a half hours passed.. we were getting distinctly conscious of how much of our evening this was eating up, so we were delighted when the carpet cleaning bit arrived… however..

The bloke cleaning the carpet didn’t have a proper dust collection bag, only a demonstration attachment that fed the dust/dirt through to a white paper filter to show (and shock) the customer at what had been collected. These filters only collected a small amount of dust/dirt before having to be replaced.

Mr Kirby Hoover/Carpet Cleaner came in to the lounge every 45 seconds or so with yet another bloomin white paper disc. Throughout the presentation these were laid out all over our lovely new cream lounge carpet L By the time we were thoroughly fed up of the whole process, the discs looked like some new Tracey Emin exhibition “Dust from those carpets I have ever slept with” lol.

One and three quarter hours passed.. and we politely told the guys to wrap it up, only do the bottom of the hall carpet and leave us in peace without doing the shampoo etc.

They didn’t take long after that to click onto the fact that no, we were not going to buy their incredibly expensive equipment, packed up with an unpleasant “well if you are happy living with all that dirt” comment and.. thank goodness..



We have both learnt a salutatory lesson - you dont get something for nothing from a slightly dodgy raffle ticket :-)

Saturday, 6 June 2009

Not cooking

Yesterday after work I decided I better go do something nice for an hour or so..

Firstly I basted myself nicely in chlorinated water for about 25 mins..

Then I steamed myself gently for about 20 mins..

After that I cooked myself in a very large oven at moderate temperature, and to finish with.. I dipped myself back into the water for one last time before going home, having tea and falling asleep on Douglas as we watched TV :-)

A very nice evening, particularly as Douglas is feeling much much better than of late.

Thursday, 4 June 2009

My Blessed Team Leader...

My blessed team leader has just been to Asda.. she wickedly passed the cream cake section and came back with carrier bags bulging full of these (and other equally delicious buns)

I cant deny that a very small cake might..... just ....have passed my lips.. but.... after that I had........... no mother dearest :-) I didnt have a second one, lovely though the first one was..

I had some lovely ..........


The spare cakes were put in an area for general consumption.. an email announcing them was sent out, and (I think it might be a world record) within 3 mins flat every single one of these calorie filled goodies had vanished into the hungry mouths of the EA NCCC - the Environment Agency National Customer Contact Centre.


I better go swimming tonight to make up for the cake :-)