Thursday, 24 December 2009

Snow snow and... more snow!!!!!!!!

Last night it started snowing again, and I like an idiot went out in it (in the car) to collect some computer speakers that a bloke advertised on Freelge. It was a little slippy in places, but at 8pm last night it wasnt too bad.

We woke up this morning to find that it had been snowing through the night.. everything was covered in a beautiful blanket of white stuff :-) We decided to leave the car under its snowy blanket, and go to work by tram.

Douglas and I got the same tram together at 7.30 this morning. He got off at his stop, then I had another 15 mins to mine, then eventually got to work at about 8.30.

The rest I will leave to the photos!

Tuesday, 22 December 2009


Seasons Greetings to our friends and family this snowy Yuletide!


I booked the 21st off and spent the afternoon cooking a right royal meal for us both...

Douglas had Garlic roast chicken, roast parsnips, roast potatoes, brussel sprouts and carrots, not forgetting the chicken gravy..

I had home made nut rost (with loads of garlic in) roast potatoes, carrots and broccoli.. and some delicious veggie gravy!

We had a really lovely evening, and washed our meal down with some sparkling chardonnay, then chilled out on the sofa watching a film. Billy came and sat on me for a while, which was really sweet, but hes a heavy lump, and when he became too heavy I moved him off :-(

I think he has just about forgiven me, so he and I will head up for bed, and join the already sleeping Douglas :-)

Have a lovely Christmas, and a Happy and Healthy New Year.

oh PS come visit us next year!!!!!!!!!

Tuesday, 15 December 2009

An exhausting day off work

My nephews and neice go to a school that has already broken up for the winter holidays, but their Dad (my brother) is still busy being a GP, and their Mum, (sis in law) who is a teacher, works at a school that only broke up this afternoon, so I booked the day off quite a while ago to sit on all three kids for the day.

Being a nice Aunty, I offered to have them from last night, to make life easier for Katy - one less morning trying to get the kids to us and herself to work on time.

I had decided that it would be fun cook something with the kids.. they told me previously that they adore pizza, so rather than make cake I thought it would be fun to make pizza from scratch!! We started after breakfast at about 9am.

They all took turns in grating cheese, chopping up chunks of mozerella and pineapple, then squishing garlic in Elaines (the late, much missed DMILs) amazing garlic squisher.

Martha was very dissapointed we didnt use our amazing hand blender with attachements, that also used to belong to Elaine. Elaine and her sister (DAIL) called this hand blender the "UM" as many years ago, when I was up at their house I kept saying "please pass me the "Ummmm" as I couldnt remember what it was really called...and the name stuck!

I organised the cooking by getting the kids to take turns being "chef" whilst the other two read or played on the computer etc.

It kept arguments down to a minium and gave them all important parts to play in pizza making :-)

After we had everything ready, they decorated their pizzas and we popped them in the oven. That took us till about 11.45am, and we were due at the local swimming pool to meet up with a school friend and friends mum.

We had a great swim, then about 1pm ish Carlo (smallest one) and I got hungry, so we sat out in the cafe area, and ate our amazing pizza. Carlo said it was the best pizza he had EVER eaten (in his whole 5 years lol) the twins came along and enjoyed some too. They adored it, so I think we will have to make it again some time!

The twins went off with their friend from school (and mum) for the rest of the afternoon, and Carlo and I got back home at about 3pm (me pretty exhausted by now lol) We watched a little kids tv then went to collect Douglas from work.

Carlo is growing up very well.. he loves reading little bits from books, can count up to at least 40 and probably beyond with very few mistakes, and spent quite a while discussing the "sticky stuff" that held the flap of his book bag together, what shape the "sticky stuff" was in, and whether it could be made into a mouse shape. He thought the main problem with this was that a mouse tail is too think and curly :-) The new word for the day was VELCRO.

We took Carlo, and quite a bit of spare pizza back into the loving care of his mum then went home ourselves.

I had a wonderful, incredibly busy day. Being with all three kids can be a bit difficult at times, especially as the two boys tend to provoke each other and need to be separated, but mostly it was lovely to be with them, great to see them cooking, swimming and just being themselves :-)

Being an Aunty is great.. I can steal the kids, play mum/teacher/chef/swimming helper with them.. and then.. HAND THEM BACK!!!!!!!!

Im now looking forward to a quiet, restful day at work tomorrow lol!

Monday, 14 December 2009

Blowing my own trumpet (again lol)

I have said in the past that I get quite a few compliments from my customers.

Now, for the first time ever, our "cool wall" has got one of my compliments (known here as commendations) as the star letter of the month!!

I got 3 commendations this month, but 4 if you include one for our waste carriers team.
Im reet proud of meeself, as they would say here in Yorkshire!!
The ones with little red lines round are my commendations for November.

I hope this shows that its not all "play" here, and we do actually work very hard, and our customers appreciate us :-)

Wednesday, 9 December 2009

What we did at work today!

For the last few months, every team in our contact centre has been spending a bit of time on a challenge our managers gave us.

Each team had to find out what our customers think of our service, and where we can improve. My team deals with people registering as Waste Carriers, so they were the customers we were interested in.

We created a questionnaire, put together a list of customers who had recently received their certificates, contacted them and asked them to take part in our survey - many very kindly did.

From the survey, and various other spreadsheets of lovely stats that we keep, we got lots of lovely raw data, that was then sorted out into some useful info, and put into graphs.

We have a very creative and talented team - some put together a story, some created props, others did the graphs, and one created some music then played it on his guitar for our presentation.

Here follows a quick outline of our story!

Santa is sitting in this grotto with his Elves (one of whom wants to be Elvis, so is known as Elfis). He gets a letter from the government saying they cant afford to give him money for all the toys children want for Christmas, but they will give him some money towards creating gifts out of waste wood (after all we are in a recession!)

Santa goes out and a local carpenter gives him lots of offcuts of planks etc. Just as the reindeer are having a drink at the local river, an Officer comes along and asks Santa for his Waste Carrier Licence (as hes carrying waste wood). Poor Santa does not have a licence, so has to return the wood, and go home empty handed. the Officer tells the Seasonal Fellow that he faces a heavy fine if he does not stay within the law!

Santa is shocked and thinks that if he does not get this licence, he might go go Jail.

Elfis appears and starts singing Jail House rock.

Meet Elfis!

Elfis is my dear colleague Arshid who is an Elvis fan!

Santa calls the Environment Agency, who explain all about it, and show him the site on the web where he can apply for one.

As Santa waits for his licence, the good fairy (aka Ricky) tells us all about how fast our process is, and what our customers think of how we are doing, and what we can do to improve our service. (lovely graphs and charts illustrate this)

Next scene.. Santa gets his licence, collects the waste wood and takes it back to his workshop where he makes toys for all the children, and all ends happily ever after!

Meet my lovely team!

From the left top.. Tim, musician, Lucy, Narrator and organiser, Arshid (aka Elfis) Ricky (aka the good fairy) Ali (the Officer and elf) sitting down.. Alice, (an elf and prop mover) Sonia (Narrator 2 as I had lost my voice) Robyn (elf) and Rob (aka Santa!)

We had a great time, and the information that we got from our project will be used to make the process faster and easier for our customers, and help us help them!

Monday, 7 December 2009

More photos of the wonderful conservatory

This is the cheerful chappy who painted our conservatory.. its really beginning to look nice!

The finished article looking clean and beautiful!

The inspector gives it the final seal of approval
(tempted in by cat biscuits lol)

Tuesday, 1 December 2009

Our lovely new conservatory!

As some of you will remember, a few months ago I put a photo in my blog of the beginnings of our new conservatory.

The rectangular space next to our kitchen had been dug out by the previous owners of the house, and was really just a muddy weedy space with our kitchen one side, and an old wall the other.

Now, many months later the conservatory is very nearly finished!!

Here are some photos.

This used to be a window, now it is a lovely double door. There are doors each end of the conservatory, so in the summer we can keep both open and have lovely fresh air going through the house.

Before the walls were painted and the floor was down:

Looking in from the garden end when I got back from work one evening.

More photos of the finished article yet to come!