Wednesday, August 29, 2007


When we were on our walk on Monday we came across this oak tree, and I just happened to have my camera with me for a change. It's incredible that it is still alive with such a huge hole through the middle of it, but it seems to be flourishing.

I think I can incorporate this into my story somehow. I have begun reading back over it, to get my head around the story again. And do you know, it isn't half bad. For those of you who don't know, I had a mad writing fortnight about 18 months ago, following the principle of NaNoWriMo (National Novel Writing Month) and the book that accompanies it "No Plot, No Problem" except that I didn't do it online through NaNoWriMo because I did it in February!! I managed to write 25,000 words of a children's novel in that time, then got writer's block, and made the fatal mistake of stopping. I haven't written another word of it since. The two people I have allowed to read it have said it is really good and that i should finish it. Last week in the Saturday Times, there was a competition to submit a children's novel by a first time writer, with a chance to be published by Chicken House. The deadline is November. Hmmmm, could I finish by then????

Tuesday, August 28, 2007


My op has been postponed until 28th September, so another no-knitting month ahead. To be honest, I am getting used to it but will be happy to do some when I eventually can. I can't wait to use the Opal Neon that Blossom sent me for my birthday. I am not in as much discomfort as i was so i think the rest has done it good but I still can't bend my left thumb or right little finger.

Back at work today after the week off. The phones seem to be working fine. I was in late though because i had to wait for our new mattress to be delivered. We don't have the bed to put it on yet though, that is still being made. We went out and bought some new quilt covers and sheets in Next on Sunday though. We are going down from a super king size bed to a normal double. I do like my big bed but I think we will have a bit more room in the bedroom when we get rid of it.

Yesterday we ended up going for a walk near the river on the English/Welsh border at Holt/Farndon. Holt is in Wales and Farndon is in England and they are separated by the bridge over the Dee. Pincess Diana's ex-butler Paul Burrell had a shop in Farndon but we noticed yesterday that he has moved across the bridge into Holt. As it was bank holiday the little cafe in Farndon was closed so we headed back towards Chester and somehow seemed to drift off course and end up at Borders for a Starbuck's. Hmmm, now how could that have happened?? We had a good old mooch around the books but managed to escape empty handed, only to come home and order the books we almost bought from The Book Depository instead, saving ourselves about £5 in the process. Colin is getting the new Thomas Eidson and I spotted an interesting novel called The Angel Makers. Not that I NEED any more books!!!!

I am going to do my Reiki Master level on Saturday. I will then feel qualified to treat people officially. I'm still getting great results on my distance healing, my step-dad had a backache for a couple of weeks and when i sent the Reiki it was better the next day. Spooky!!

Monday, August 27, 2007

A poorly titled post!

Blimey, a whole ten days without blogging. You'll all be abandoning me!
Well my new computer is now up and running. Lovely and fast although it does sound as if it is doing something in the background all the time. Maybe it is, who am i to say how the magic works? I got a new keyboard and mouse too which i am getting used to. I keep hitting 2 keys at once.

We have had a week off from the office so hopefully it will still be in one piece when we get back on Tuesday. We haven't been away, just "pottering". On Monday afternoon we popped up to the zoo, and were very priviledged to see one of the Red Pandas

(not my photo) on the ground for a change. They are usually asleep at the top of a very tall tree. And I don't know how they managed it because we thought the 2 panda's were sisters, but one of them has produced some babies which can just about be seen as blurs on a video monitor near the enclosure. These are maybe my second favourites after the orangutans.

On Tuesday we went to the cinema in the afternoon. Quite odd really, I kept thinking I'd forgotten to have my dinner! Anyway, we saw The Bourne Ultimatum. A great action film, non-stop. I will have to try a Robert Ludlum book at some point. I reckon Matt Damon might be able to play the part of Shane "Scarecrow" Schofield if they ever get round to making the film of Ice Station. Oooo I've just looked, and Hugh Jackman has been suggested on the Matthew Reilly website. Good choice.

I am currently reading Sandstorm by James Rollins. A good old adventure story concerning strange artifacts and goings on in the Oman desert. Pretty good. Similar to Matthew Reilly but not quite so break-neck. I am also still reading Various Haunts of Men but it got a bit dull so I left it to one side for a bit.

You will never guess what came in the post last week................

Oh yes, the infamous Galm Rock Ski Suit Socks have returned home at last. They've only been away for 6 months!!! They did return with a free pattern book though, which was a nice gesture on the part of Simply Knitting. Unfortunately it was all baby patterns, so no good for me but I may be able to use some of the stitch patterns in something else.

This morning we went to the Wirral Food & Drink Festival. It was very similar to the Chester one but was held on a farm in a big field. I got to have my second Hog Roast bap of the year which was delicious. We bought a few odds and sods including some big halibut steaks which we polished off for dinner this evening.

I had my second lot of bookmarks from the swap-bot swap.

These were from Violette. Just one more to come now, and a book from the CTnY bookswap. I was wondering whether to do a disposable camera swap. You get a camera, take photos of various things and then send it to your partner to get processed. So you don't know what pictures you are going to get until you process the film. Hmmm, I'll think about it a bit more, the closing date isn't until Saturday.

Anyway, back to the last week. On Wednesday Colin's brother Niall came over from Ireland for a quick visit, and also to sort out the office phone system which hasn't been quite right since it was put in. He was in the office for the best part of a day but it is now working fine and i know how to transfer and get back calls without losing people!! Always a bonus! He headed back to Ireland on Friday. We did go out on Thursday night to the fish restaurant The Foxcote Inn. Delicious!

Saturday was our usual trip into town and then today was the food festival. So that about brings us up to date. Now to think of a good title for this post. That's the bit I'm poor at. Oh, okay, I know.......

Wednesday, August 15, 2007


I have managed to upload the picture of Fenina, in the end by taking a photo of the photo!! This is a pic of her when I first started sponsoring her, she was 6 then and is now 8.

Tuesday, August 14, 2007

At last, the wait is over.....

Ok everyone, check out THEARTOFIT. It's well worth a look, and well worth the long wait. Go Nina, go Nina, go Nina. Wooohoooo!

(PS. This post has now got pics.)

Yesterday when I got home I had a package from Denmark. It was from one of my swap partners in the bookmark swap. She only had to send 2 bookmarks but she had sent a shop bought one, FOUR handmade ones and a handmade booklet of a Hans Christian Anderson story to go with the shop bookmark. The HCA bookmark is one of those magnetic ones that goes over the page.

I gave her a 5 rating and a heart for going the extra mile. I felt a bit bad that the ones I sent to my partners weren't as good but I have had 2 ratings and one of them even gave me a heart!!

Monday, August 13, 2007

Op date, Nia, & Nina

I had a call this morning from the treatment centre. They have given me an appointment for my op, 29th August. I'm not sure if they are doing one or both together, I'll wait for the letter with all the details. Think i'd better call my Reiki teacher and get some advice on whether it is still ok to do the Master level with bandages on!

The barbeque yesterday was good. Met some nice people. There was a woman there who is going to be running classes in the Nia Technique. She has just trained in it and was very enthusiastic. Its an exercise class involving a bit of yoga, martial arts, and dance. It sounds quite interesting so i told her I might give it a go and to let me know through Mandy when it is starting. I can go once and see if it is for me anyway.

Apparently, according to the comments on my last post, Nina's blog is this space!!!

Saturday, August 11, 2007

No pics today, my computers gone away....

(Note: Now edited to add pics. Couldn't get the scanner to work at home for the pic of Fenina!)

I found this blog today, a great idea. Try to change something small for the good of the environment every day and then keep it as a permanent change, so that you are gradually becoming a greener person.

On Thursday I went for my appointment with the orthopaedic surgeon. I found the hospital (not my local one) with the help of the TomTom (GPS). Its a new treatment centre so it was all clean and sparkly, and they claim MRSA-free. I was shown through on time and saw the surgeon who agreed that surgery was the solution. On both. So I was basically then given a pre-op assessment, loads of medical questions, MRSA swabs taken to make sure i didn't bring it in with me, blood tests, wee test, heart trace, blood pressure, weight, height, blah, blah, blah. They were going to give me a date there and then but by the time all that was done the office had closed so i am waiting for an appointment in the post. It all seemed very efficient and i got the impression i wouldn't be waiting that long. I've got a feeling I might just be doing my Reiki Master level in bandages after all.

It is now Saturday and I have had birthday cards in the post every day since Wednesday. I think the last one came today as it was from my step-aunt which is always the last one i get. So I had a total of 11 cards this year, not too bad. On Wednesday afternoon I had a huge plant delivered from the florist from my mum. Its called a Tulip of Thailand.
My step-sister sent me some essential oil infused heat pads for my hands, they smell gorgeous.

I put T's Boosh head in the back of my car. It's the nearest I'll get to a Boosh Van but there you go, I can show my fan status off to other drivers.

And I had a card from my friend Mark who I know from when i worked in the path lab in Bangor between 1991 and 1996. He has eventually got onto the internet so I can now email him. We will probably be in touch a lot more now as it is so much easier. And he is threatening a blog too, which should be good. (Come on Nina, you have to start yours before he does!!) Mark and I did a creative writing evening course back in 1995 and have both threatened to write a book since. I think I have made the most progress with my 25,000 words but neither of us has finished anything.

The footie season has started! Colin is a long time Leeds United fan from since he was about 4 and now that they have slipped down into League 1 they are playing at Tranmere Rovers on the Wirral today. So he has gone up with a friend to see them for the first time ever. I think he's a bit excited but he didn't show it, hahah. Growing up in Ireland he used to pretend he was Billy Bremner (cos he's a redhead) and those were the days before football went all commercial and replica shirts weren't available. But his mum, who was the perfect housewife, made a big number 4 and sewed it onto the back of a white T-shirt for him. How cute is that?

Tomorrow we are going to Mandy's for her son Tom's 18th birthday. These are the family that we usually spend Boxing Day with. Although a lot of Tom's friends are going to be there, he said he also wanted some adults there too and asked us!!! Hmmm.

I have my new computer, but I am writing this on Colin's because mine isn't connected to the internet yet. Some kind of network thing isn't working yet, so we have to wait for the IT guy to sort it out. It looks pretty cool though, and all my files appear to have been transferred over from the old one. I think I should have enough hard drive space now with 320Gb!!!!!. The old one had 60 I think and I'd only used half of that!!

Right, I'm off to write to the little girl I sponsor in Nigeria. I decided to do it after watching Live8 in 2005. I do it through ActionAid, and have had several messages from her during the 2 years i have been sponsoring her. She is 8 years old, and very cute. I'll try to scan in a picture.

Wednesday, August 08, 2007

It's my birthday and I'll knit if I want to.....

Well no I won't actually cos I'm not allowed but I wish I could cos I got some knitting goodies I want to use NOW!
This was my CTnY Summer Birthday Surprise package from Blossom (I had guessed right!).
Some Opal Neon sock yarn in wonderful shades of purple, blue and green. I just want to start knitting it RIGHT NOW!! There was also a rosette kit, some Heaven chocolate, a lovely card and these stitch markers which are gorgeous.
Thank you Blossom. It's lovely when a complete stranger sends you such wonderful things. I hope my partner likes what I am going to send to them.
Here is the Mika CD from my mum. She also sent some money, choccie and some fancy shampoo!
Colin got me this lovely card that looks a bit like Podge! And the My Chemical Romance CD. He is also getting me a spanking new computer, which will be ready on Friday.
And look what T sent!! Hee hee heee heeeeeeee!! Made by her own fair hand. It's fabulous, dahhhling!
Colin took me out for a meal last night cos he will be a bit late home this evening. This is what we had and we went to Moules a Go Go...........
King Prawns for Colin, and Red Pepper Hummus for me,
Rissotto for Colin & Sea Bass for me,
followed by Rhubarb & Ginger sponge with cream shared between the 2 of us. Yummy!!!!

Today I have the day off so I am going up for a mooch around Borders and have a lovely frothey decaff cappucino. Ahhhh, and the sun is shining too, couldn't be better.

Tuesday, August 07, 2007

14697 people are ahead of you in line!!

Another little parcel was waiting for me this morning when I got into the office. It was from T, who has sent me a lovely birthday card and a little present which is very squishy, but I'm not opening it till tomorrow. Aren't birthdays fun, the anticipation is the best bit!

I have added my name to the invite list for ravelry. When I go to check where I am on the list this is the message I get..........

You signed up on August 4, 2007
You are #22998 on the list.
14697 people are ahead of you in line.
654 people are behind you in line.
34% of the list has been invited so far

I think I will have a long wait as they are inviting about 300 people a day. Fine by me though, because hopefully by the time mine comes through I will have had my op and my hands will be back in full working order ready to upload all my knitting projects and get on with them. I am off to the treatment centre for my assessment on Thursday afternoon.

I finished Salem's Lot last night. I was warned that it was very scary but I didn't think it was too bad. I don't think I would like to watch the film though. I have picked up The Various Haunts of Men by Susan Hill to read next but I also got The Artist's Way in the post yesterday so am hoping to work my way through that in the coming weeks too. It was recommended to me by my physio actually.

Monday, August 06, 2007

Swapping Monkeys

Ooo, I had a mystery parcel arrive on Saturday. It was my CTnY Summer Birthday Surprise package. I opened the outer envelope, and inside were several little parcels wrapped in tissue paper. Can't wait till Wednesday to open them. I will post pics then. I think I know who it is from, because there was a postcode on the envelope, but I'll wait to see if I am right.

There was also a package from my mum, which contained the Mika CD. Not going to listen to it until Wednesday either! Aren't I good?

I sent off a book to my partner in the Reader's Delight bookswap on Thursday, but I haven't heard whether they have received it or not. As this is my first swap, I don't know if you get an email when they acknowledge receipt of it or not. I put in a couple of my sheep stitch markers and a notebook and a bookmark too. I now have the names and addresses of my bookmark swap partners, 2 in the US and one in Australia. I wonder who is going to be sending to me. I managed to find some bookmarks in town on Saturday and I've made the handmade ones already so I'm ready to send those off too. I also have to wrap up the things I have for my Summer Birthday Surprise partner, and that has to go off soon.

I have just heard The Arctic Monkeys on the radio which reminded me of a band featured in Q magazine this month. They are a tribute band called The Antarctic Monkeys. But they are also a support band called something else, and they are the support act for........... The Antarctic Monkeys. In other words, they support themselves! That way people going to see them as The Antarctic Monkeys see them as themselves too so they get a bit of promotion. What a good idea.

Wednesday, August 01, 2007

Poor old Podge!

My poor old dog. His back legs are getting a bit weak and wobbly, and he keeps falling down the stairs and making me scream as he lands in an upside down heap at the bottom. Two days ago I screamed AND burst into tears. He just gets up and walks away! Anyway if this is what he does when we are in the house, how many times does he do it when we are not there?

The solution? Colin went to Argos yesterday and bought a stair gate. The dog is not happy. Usually at night he comes up with us and sleeps on the floor beside Colin's side of the bed. Last night we shut the stair gate and he couldn't come up. For at least an hour he prowled back and forth, back and forth, from the bottom step out into the dining room (where his feet clippity clop on the laminate floor) and back like a caged jaguar at the zoo. I think he eventually jumped onto the sofa in the living room and slept. We already bought a carpet runner for the dining room because he started to slip while he was eating his dinner, until all 4 legs were splayed out under him and he couldn't get up cos it was too slippery. Bless him! I have left him at home today sulking cos he can't go up and lie on the bed all day.

We have started thinking about a Christmas meal for the people who use The Consulting Rooms. We are probably going to go to moules a go-go. We have been before and the food is great.

I have now joined a third swap on swap-bot. I am in the CTnY's summer birthday surprise and reader's delight bookswap and yesterday I joined a bookmark swap where you send 1 handmade and 1 shop bought bookmark to your partner. I am ready to post off the first two swaps, and am waiting for a package to arrive for my birthday next week. The third one hasn't been allocated yet but I have made my bookmarks already. For the bookswap I am sending this book, which I really enjoyed. And I'll put in a little something extra too!