Thursday, September 30, 2010
Ab Fab evening with the DPP girls at Don Beni's, can't beat an Italian - meal that is - and good company :)
Monday, September 27, 2010
Just a quick post cos this photo deserves my undivided attention! Is this a cool photograph or what? Taken in Macro with my point and shoot £60 Fuji camera, so chuffed. What with this and the clouds the other day - go me! Oh, and the biscuits tasted bloody nice too :)
Sunday, September 26, 2010
Sitting here typing oh so slowly, typo's and spelling errors very likely! Last night was the first time this year I enjoyed a glass or 3, or more, of Pernod. And although I was only chilled, anybody that likes a glass of pernod will know that any fluids imbibed the next day reacts badly (or well, depending on your take ;) ) and you end up chilled all over again!The reason for the slight excess of alcohol? Well I totally blame my friends Jeanette and Sandra! We were all at Sandra's with our other halves enjoying a lovely meal and even lovelier company. Well, when I say lovely meal ....... we've all known each other 21 years - which in itself is a pretty scarey thought - so one has to wonder why Sandra put peppers in Jeff's chilli when she knows that he's allergic to them? I always thought she liked him, but maybe I was wrong, maybe she's been harbouring a deep seated hatred and it erupted last night! Nah, unlikely, now if I added it to Jeff's meal .........
So, can you tell which one of use was the designated driver lmao!These 2 are absolutely lovely ladies who been so supportive during the best and worst times and I am honoured that they count me as a friend :)

As usual a lot of alcohol, rude jokes and catching up took place. And if David and Nick would like to get in touch we also discussed how to solve all the country's problems ;)
Saturday, September 25, 2010
Think this Barefoot Contessa is having a bad effect on me - cheese and biscuits for lunch a la Ina style! Jeff wants to know what's happened to his wife, cheeky sod, but to be fair he has a point!
Friday, September 24, 2010
Jamie at home party last night small but fun - good warm up for Center Parcs next weekend!
So thought I'd try something different. Decided to bake some Red Velvet cakes for the girls. Tried out the recipe on Wednesday on the boys - one of the advantages of having teenage boys, they'll eat anything LOL Anyhow, successful result so did exactly the same recipe on Thursday and they came out as flat as pancakes. Grrrr, why does that always happen!

Photos are Wednesday night - never seen a sky quiet like it. To coin a popular phrase, awesome!
Saturday, September 18, 2010
The Pope and Maternity Leave. Who would put those 2 points in the same post? Okay, as a Catholic I am maybe slightly biased about the Pope's visit. But, as some of you know me so well, I am a divorced Catholic - I happily practise birth control (if sending Jeff off for the snip counts?!) - you all know kids mean the world to me, so the abuse scandals horrify me - and I don't care what religion, minority, sexual orientation, blah! blah! blah! you're are made up of, as long as you're a kind person. I also don't think Catholics, or any religion, has got a 100% tie-in to Him Upstairs. But the Pope's role (not the man), in a nutshell, is to act as Head of my Church. I don't have to like him - jury's out on that - but I like what he stands for.

So I find the whole anti-Pope visit truly saddening. Okay, maybe his aide was a bit outspoken about us being a third world country. But the point about Christians (not just Catholics) being treated as second rate citizens carries some credence. How often do we read an article about how we can't do this, or we can't do that, for fear of offence. And actually, usually it's only the Policitcally Correct Prats that care, Joe Bloggs couldn't give a hoot.

Okay, so it cost approx 11 million for his visit. Two points. How much did the economy benefit? People flew - drove - bused - taxied etc to see him. I assume they didn't get free travel? Cafe's, pubs, sandwich bars? I assume the Pilgrims didn't all bring sandwiches and/or starve. Hotels, B and B's, the Pilgrims that travelled some distance would have needed somewhere to sleep. I'm not saying that the money was recouperated, but it probably gave some businesses a boost during this difficult time.

And onto point two. What about the 'Why should I pay for it' cries? Why aren't you creating a fuss about the new EU Directive which is being considered (note EU Directive, not UK) on Maternity Leave which will cost our businesses, and therefore indirectly employees) 2.5 billion a year! If you want to make a fuss, start shouting loud about that instead! Palls the 11 million into insignificance.
Friday, September 10, 2010
Mum and Ben are going to France next Easter to see Robert and co. Our school holidays match for a change. Being a bit borassic Mum offered to lend us the money for Ben's flight ticket. Got a clue where this is going yet?

So Mum comes round and we proceed to book a ........ cheap flight! 45 mins later the air is very blue. No, Mum isn't surprised at my extensive vocabulary, sadly she has heard it all before!

We start with dates. Gatwick tells you 'press here'. What they don't tell you, until you have gone through half a dozen screens is that their schedule past Sept for that particular journey isn't online yet.

Okay, we'll try Southampton. £25.00 each going out, £13.00 each coming back. Now, I know I got a U for my Maths O Level (yes, I'm THAT old that I was around when O Levels were in) but even I can work out that's £76.00.
*whispers* Jeff, is that right? So how come it comes to £210.00!!! Yep, "airport charges and taxes" If you ask me that's a carte blanche to add whatever the company fancies. It's not like it's broken down or anything.

But okay, that's still only £105.00 each for return flights over Easter so we proceed .........

Do we want to choose our seats. Well, yes, so that's another £6 per person per trip.

Insurance? No thanks, got own own. Are you sure? Er, well that's why I said no cos I meant yes really! Did you? NO!

Luggage? £11.00 per hold baggage per trip. So £44.00 quid? I think not and agree Mum and Ben can share!

Car Hire? No, go away!!!

And we get to the end £ 256.00 Again, it's a good price, so we proceed .......

Check the small print. Yep, I'm anal like that, anyone hear about the huge company that played April Fool this year on their small print and nearly everybody agreed to sign their eternal soul over! So, any amendments will cost £30.00 per person per trip - seriously! It will cost more to amend than the original tickets!

Still, we carry on and hope nothing goes wrong.

Start putting in Mum's card details. Do you know that even Debit Cards - Debit, not Credit - get charged! Minimum of £4.50 per person per journey! So £18.00 charges! Now by now I am really getting p***ed off. I know that companies get charged for processing all cards, but I also know it is nothing like £18.00. Then I notice that there are no charges for Electron - poor mans card LOL which is what I have. So cancel booking and go back and start again ......

Put in card details ........ New screen pops up and says card type and details don't match, do I want to continue and pay charges? No of course I bloody well don't want to, so close screen.

Five seconds later e-mail pings into my inbox saying money taken and booking made! WTF? How can that be? According to the computer the details didn't match and I closed the screen. Seems like they were going to get that £18.00 one way or another!

So....... still with me?! .......... Find a phone number - £1.00 a minute - and ring. To get through to an answerphone that tells me the offices are shut (oops! typo there was sh*t, maybe I should have left it! lol) and to ring back during office hours. Well that's all well and good, but this was 11.30 on a Thursday morning, so WTF office hours do those jammy people work!

Found another number. Took my booking reference. Explained the problem. And oh yes, there is a problem with their system recognising Electron cards. Two points here - It's Flybe not some Mickey Mouse company (ok, maybe.....) and it was smart enough to take my money.

Upshot is I have to email company and ask for a refund, which I will get once they clarify that my card really is an Electron!

And breath ...........

So, halfway through this fiasco I am reminded of a You Tube clip that is just perfect for this experience ...... click on the link and enjoy :)


CHEAP FLIGHTS by FASCINATING AIDA
Monday, September 06, 2010
11.30pm "I'll set the alarm for 6.30, now that kids are going back to school I need to get back into routine."

6.30am BEEP! BEEP! BEEP! snooze,,,,,,,
6.39am snooze.......
6.48am snooze......

Eventually crawl out at 7am. Oh well, I'll definately exercise tomorrow LMAO like we all know that isn't going to happen! Fight with Ella to have a shower and hair wash.

7.45 am Ella's eating brekkie and Jeff's making packed lunch. Door knocks and bus is 20 mins early. Had tried to prepare Ella for new school building - new teachers and SSA - new uniform - new timetable. Did not know I would also have to prepare her for new driver and escort and no friend on the bus. Grrr! Why do officials not work together to make easier for our children. Oh and, horror of horrors, cos of the chaos I didn't get to photograph her going to school on her first day of secondary! As a scrapper I failed magnificently! But hey, there's always tomorrow and a white lie!

Then went to Angela's for a visit. Sneaked a couple of lovely photos of Jeff with the girls :)


Sunday, September 05, 2010
For my Man just because I'm feeling all loved up :) (Awards will have to wait!)

How do I love thee? Let me count the ways. I love thee to the depth and breadth and height my soul can reach, when feeling out of sight.
For the ends of Being and ideal Grace.
I love thee to the level of every day's most quiet need, by sun and candlelight.
I love thee freely, as men strive for Right; I love thee purely, as they turn from Praise.
I love with a passion put to use in my old griefs, and with my childhood's faith.
I love thee with a love I seemed to lose with my lost saints, I love thee with the breath, smiles, tears, of all my life!
And, if God choose, I shall but love thee better after death.

Elizabeth Barrett Browning
Friday, September 03, 2010
Mum, I got into college.
Excellent Josh :)
I need my qualifications certificate, passport photos, 2 references, and all these forms filled in.
Okay
And £10.00 for ID and printing.
Fine.
And £30 for administration costs
Er, okay.
And £85.00 for the kit I need.
Right.
And £240 for a residential trip.
Yeah, no problem (we just won't eat for the rest of the month). Anything else?
Um, yeah, I've got to enrol tomorrow and take it all with me.
............. (me speechless)
Mum? Mum?

The things we do as parents *roll eyes*

And a couple of days ago Sue gave me a blog award - thanks soooo much :) Not sure about a big heart - big ass definately LOL. Will do my awards next post :)

Oh, and posted on FB but not here. Social Worker has been out to interview us as they liked us on paper. Let's hope they liked us IRL! Prayers and vibes very welcome :)
Thursday, September 02, 2010
Busy as anything at the moment, but never too busy for a bit of crafting :)