Friday, 31 December 2010

Can't Eat Much More Wednesday!

I know, I know, it's Friday - I moved Wednesday!

And I'm sure I can eat much more - I have a lovely New Year meal to look forward to with Kevin, Ray and friends!

My contribution is a pavlova, (a recently mastered culinary delight!)


 and a Robert Service poem (The passing Of The Year) to read just before midnight!

My glass is filled, my pipe is lit,
My den is all a cosy glow;
And snug before the fire I sit,
And wait to FEEL the old year go.
I dedicate to solemn thought
Amid my too-unthinking days,
This sober moment, sadly fraught
With much of blame, with little praise.

Old Year! upon the Stage of Time
You stand to bow your last adieu;
A moment, and the prompter's chime
Will ring the curtain down on you.
Your mien is sad, your step is slow;
You falter as a Sage in pain;
Yet turn, Old Year, before you go,
And face your audience again.

That sphinx-like face, remote, austere,
Let us all read, whate'er the cost:
O Maiden! why that bitter tear?
Is it for dear one you have lost?
Is it for fond illusion gone?
For trusted lover proved untrue?
O sweet girl-face, so sad, so wan
What hath the Old Year meant to you?

And you, O neighbour on my right
So sleek, so prosperously clad!
What see you in that aged wight
That makes your smile so gay and glad?
What opportunity unmissed?
What golden gain, what pride of place?
What splendid hope? O Optimist!
What read you in that withered face?

And You, deep shrinking in the gloom,
What find you in that filmy gaze?
What menace of a tragic doom?
What dark, condemning yesterdays?
What urge to crime, what evil done?
What cold, confronting shape of fear?
O haggard, haunted, hidden One
What see you in the dying year?

And so from face to face I flit,
The countless eyes that stare and stare;
Some are with approbation lit,
And some are shadowed with despair.
Some show a smile and some a frown;
Some joy and hope, some pain and woe:
Enough! Oh, ring the curtain down!
Old weary year! it's time to go.

My pipe is out, my glass is dry;
My fire is almost ashes too;
But once again, before you go,
And I prepare to meet the New:
Old Year! a parting word that's true,
For we've been comrades, you and I --
There! bless you now! Old Year, good-bye!

Happy New Year to all readers, may 2011 bring you all that you want it to, your dreams are big and your worries are small.


Monday, 27 December 2010

Getting Stuffed Saturday!

Saturday (Christmas Day!) was Getting Stuffed Saturday!

Ok, let's start with a quick round of spot the difference shall we?!

Yes, that's right, one's a spray breath freshener and one's a spray perfume - easy to tell the difference yes?

Yet, somehow, I managed to confuse the two in my handbag and sprayed a fair amount of perfume into my mouth just as we arrived at Pops and Olives house on Christmas Eve!

Luckily the taste had gone by the next day so it didn't spoil dinner!  And it certainly was Getting Stuffed Saturday - turkey and all the trimmings, it was beautiful - thank you Pops and Olive!  Then more turkey, in sandwiches, later - with enough mustard to bring tears to the eyes, perfect!

And now it's time to watch another festive favourite (haven't decided which yet!) with a big bowl of roast potatoes and gravy!


Monday, 20 December 2010

Day Dreaming Day!

Yesterday was Day Dreaming Day!

Now, you'd think I'd be good at this one given that I regularly indulge in a spot of Day Dreaming Life - however, I'm sorry to disappoint, the only (fleeting) opportunities for day dreaming were during the HOURS I spent at Auntie Betty's day dreaming that I was somewhere warm where I understood everything that was said and hadn't heard it all a dozen times before!

And that's it from me until Getting Stuffed Saturday (Christmas Day) so............................

Merry Christmas one and all!

A Christmas Cake Recipe - for those of you who can't remember last year's cake recipe.


* 2 cups flour
* 1 stick butter
* 1 cup of water
* 1 tsp baking soda
* 1 cup of sugar
* 1 tsp salt
* 1 cup of brown sugar
* Lemon juice
* 4 large eggs
* Nuts
* 2 bottles wine
* 2 cups of dried fruit

Sample the wine to check quality. Take a large bowl, check the wine again.  To be sure it is of the highest quality, pour one level cup and drink.  Repeat. Turn on the electric mixer. Beat one cup of butter in a large fluffy bowl. Add one teaspoon of sugar. Beat again. At this point it's best to make sure the wine is still OK. Try another cup... Just in case. Turn off the Mixerer thingy. Break 2 eggs and add to the bowl and chuck in the cup of dried fruit.  Pick the frigging fruit up off floor. Mix on the turner. If the fried druit gets stuck in the beaterers just pry it loose with a drewscriver. Sample the wine to check for tonsisticity. Next, sift two cups of salt. Or something.  Check the wine. Now shift the lemon juice and strain your nuts. Add one table. Add a spoon of sugar, or some fink. Whatever you can find. Greash the oven. Turn the cake tin 360 degrees and try not to fall over. Don't forget to beat off the turner. Finally, throw the bowl through the window. Finish the wine and wipe counter with the cat.

Go to supermarket and buy cake.

Bingle Jells

Saturday, 18 December 2010

Snuggle Up Day!

Today is Snuggle Up Day!

According to most definitions the act of snuggling requires two people - well, I think I've managed to make an art form out of the singular snuggle!

After a very late night last night I stayed snuggled in bed until 11.30 this morning, then moved the snuggling downstairs to the sofa for the next few hours while I finished Jodi Picoult's Keeping Faith.

I made a pavlova this afternoon, it's still in the oven cooling down so I have no idea how it's turned out but folding all the ingredients in to create the lovely smooth pearlescent mixture also made me feel all snuggly!

Then I trimmed Rosie and Jim's claws - which made none of us feel particularly snuggly!

I'm going to snuggle in the bath now for about an hour or so with a G&T and the latest Kate Mosse book then I think it'll be back to the sofa for more snuggling with the latest episode of The Event before moving the snuggling back upstairs for an early night!

Up early tomorrow to spend the day (Day Dreaming Day) with Auntie Betty trying to avoid bringing anymore of her crap back to add to my crap :-) (at least until my ceiling's fixed and everything's back where it's supposed to be!)


Thursday, 16 December 2010

Captains Log Supplemental!

I'm deeply, deeply sorry but I just had to share this with you!

It brings my Christmas track count up to 170 and may well be my current favourite festive song (now that I've got over my hysterical laughter)!


Monday, 13 December 2010

Crazy Busy Saturday!

Saturday (11th December) was Crazy Busy Saturday!

And it was!

I was up early putting the final stuff together to take for the party, then it was off to mission control for a quick bite to eat before spending the next 2-3 hours blowing up balloons and curling ribbons (thank God for the balloon pump - although I couldn't feel my arms after a while!) to dot around the place!

Artistic bread arrangements and devising a priority driven project timeline for oven baked nibbles followed, then a quick half hour to get changed (btw, never decide to wear false eyelashes for the first time when you only have about 20 minutes to get changed and ready - especially if they're beaded ones! I had to cut them in half because with the weight of the full lashes all the way across I couldn't open my eyes, then I glued the bottom half of my eyelid to the top and couldn't shut my eye - it was all very traumatic! And as many people know, I have issues with eyes in general so the whole endeavour was doomed to failure from the start, so, I spent the next half an hour or so desperately wanting to rip the blasted things off! Oddly enough though, the more I drank the less they bothered me!)!

Then there was just enough time to start a glass of wine and contemplate sitting down before all of a sudden the first guests were arriving!

And I don't know where the rest of the evening went! Between checking everyone always had a drink I seem to vaguely remember trying to do my card trick and failing miserably at every attempt, dropping a tray of sausage rolls, having a discussion about the potential money to be made by inventing a bra with pockets, a spot of line dancing, having a glass of orange juice thrown over me, some dizzy moments on the fire escape and running down the street with a glass of wine in my hand (and believe or not I didn't spill it all, most of it, but not all!)!

It was crazy, it was busy, it was Saturday (and a few hours of Sunday!)!


Getting All Excited Friday!

Friday (10th December) was Getting All Excited Friday!

Well, to be honest, the first half was Sleep Off the Night Before Day, the next quarter was Make a Monumental Effort to Get Out of Bed and Look Halfway Presentable Day and the final quarter was, finally, Getting All Excited Friday! But only because it was time to (and I finally felt up to) start thinking about the excitement of Kevin's birthday party the next day and to gather all my bits and pieces together in readiness for the festivities!

Then I was in bed by 8pm with a cup of tea and the final few chapters of Pillars of The Earth - I don't know how I cope with all the excitement of this rock and roll lifestyle!


Drawing on Steamed Up Windows Day

Thursday (9th December) was Drawing on Steamed Up Windows Day!

Normally this wouldn't have been a problem but my windows weren't as steamed up as normal - largely due to the additional ventilation currently available (the hole in the ceiling!), still, at least when it gets repaired they're going to attempt to insulate about 60% of the roof - yay!

Then I was too busy getting ready for the Christmas party to spare a moments thought for the drawing on windows stuff. I'm not sure whether the imprint of my face as I drunkenly rested my head against the hotel windows counts.............?

Monday, 6 December 2010

Start Getting Excited About Christmas Day Day!

Friday (3rd Dec) was Start Getting Excited About Christmas Day Day!

Ok, I knew this was a day at some point so I made a note of the moment I felt the first flutterings of festive excitement - August 25th. Neglected to make a note of what it was exactly but that's when it was!

I've been greedy with this one and extended it from one day to three, starting with decorating the bedroom on Friday (you've been warned - there will be photos as soon as I overcome my current technical difficulties!).

The living room got the treatment on Saturday, I tried really hard to wait until Rob arrived before I started but once the obligatory Christmas music (all 169 tracks), Sherry and festive headgear came out I couldn't resist just starting a little bit here and there so by the time he arrived (doing his best Russian Wookie impression) I was well on the way (and possibly a little tipsy!)!

Most people know I'm a little OCD when it comes to my decorations but I have to say I was very impressed with Rob's natural decorating abilities - he made a band in my tree (again, photo will follow and all will become clear!)! A quick trip to town to see the pretty lights and pick up a halo (I broke mine! No comments please ;-) followed by Bad Santa and candlelit nibbles and other festive themed things rounded off Day 2!

Day 3 involved decorating the office, Rob did a great job of making sure Bob was included (as a tree like object)  before deciding to decorate the fields outside the office, having given up on the idea of a snow arch (it's the wrong type of snow!), with a snow angel, the word snow written in shoe print and something that looks suspiciously like a rugby tackled Heidi shape! The Pac-man scene on the picnic tables, a pushed over Heidi shape in the snow and a visit to the playground on the way home followed by chicken and chorizo paella and Joyeux Noel finished off Day 3!


And I think that's all the excitement I can manage - for now!

Wednesday, 1 December 2010

Top Notch Tuesday!

Yesterday was Top Notch Tuesday!

It starts getting busier from here on in - it's a 'day' almost every day!

It was a good day, managed to walk to and from work without any slips etc in the snow, also managed to get in the flat without any difficulty (yay!) when I got home, had steak for tea (desperately trying to make some room in my freezer before more shopping arrives on Friday), finished making all my Christmas cards and decorations, even made a start on wrapping presents (which means the Sherry had to come out of course!)! Oh, and got some Top Notch news last night which means I'm REALLY looking forward to the weekend!

Here are some photos of the walk to work in the snow - most of it was like walking through the wardrobe to approach Narnia!


Tuesday, 30 November 2010

No Rude Words Allowed Day!

Yesterday was No Rude Words Allowed Day!


After giving Dennis feedback about his use of rude words in the office I'm ashamed to say that I let the side down badly when I got home, just as it started snowing again, and couldn't get into the building! I've somehow managed to bend the key! So I had visions of having to sit in the snow on my doorstep and wait at least an hour for Bernie to rescue me with my spare keys - luckily I managed to bend it back just enough to force it in the door (but Bernie's on standby just in case I can't do the same tonight!)! I don't remember exactly but I'd be very surprised if rude words weren't included in my furious doorstep mutterings!

Must try harder!


Saturday, 27 November 2010

Big Breakfast Saturday!

Today is Big Breakfast Saturday!

I was originally planning to do the whole full English thing but a recent reintroduction to my sandwich toaster derailed my plans (yes Bernie, it's your fault!)!

So, instead I thought I'd have my favourite toasties!

Green pepper
Tinned beans and sausages
Oh yeah, and bread obviously!

These are toasties that definitely require a knife and fork! Messy but soooo worth it!


Tuesday, 16 November 2010

Telling All Your Friends How Brilliant They Are Day!

Today is Telling All My Friends How Brilliant They Are Day!

I did this using the powers of facebook, Royal Mail and magnetism (sounds like I'm building up to a Blue Peter special - and look what I made earlier!)

I was accused of cheating by some (by using facebook), stating the obvious by others (on facebook) and making some cry at work (Royal Mail)! The magnets were well received - although we've discovered that there's not much that's actually made of metal in the office to stick them to!

Anyway, hopefully one way or another the message was received - all my friends are brilliant!

I'll tell you what else is brilliant (no, no, NOT cheesy peas - or milk!)........ Movember. Movember is brilliant! Movember raises funds and awareness of prostate cancer, the most common cancer in men in the UK. Some chaps at the office are dutifully growing facial hair, any donations are more tham welcome here El Mustachio, all donations from Movember go to The Prostate Cancer Charity.

The Three Moustacheers: Neil Smith, Matteo Sole andTony Dell showing off the shape of things to come!


Tuesday, 9 November 2010

Cheery Tuesday!

Today is Cheery Tuesday!

I've actually felt surprisingly cheery! Had I been capable of it I might have even skipped to work, seriously!

I think it may have something to do with being back at work (yes, that's right, I did say that my cheeriness may have something to do with being back at work!), almost five weeks of my own company has taken its toll - I really don't know how everyone else copes with me and I now have a finer appreciation of the effort required by those hardy souls who choose to count me amongst their friends and family (well, obviously there's not much my family can do about it!) - although it's been very tiring (and it's only been 2 days) it's very good to be back in the land of the living!

I received a lovely invitation to a party in December for a very dear friend (don't worry Kevin, I won't mention which birthday it is!) and Boss arrived here today for a couple of days which is always a morale boosting experience (I was tempted to leave out the morale boosting bit and just leave it at experience ;-), had a good catch up with Nads and am spending the rest of the evening with The President (West Wing) so I fully expect the cheeriness to continue til bedtime!


Sunday, 7 November 2010

Big Bang Friday!

Friday 5th November (of course!) was Big Bang Friday!

I didn't go out to a firework display - I stayed at home and watched several from my bedroom window with the panoramic views over Harrogate (on a clear day I can see as far as the white horse at Sutton Bank!)!

I took a couple of photos but it was the fisrt time I'd used the firework settings on my camera so it took me a while to get used it (this is my way of saying I missed the really good ones!) and the zoom isn't as good as I'd like it to be so I didn't get many - anyway, here's a couple I did manage to get!

It was more of a Big Bang Saturday really - I went to the Stray firework display with Bernie and John. Having practised the night before I was at least able to get some better photos so here they are.

(Is it just me or does John bear a resemblence to either Shrek or Sloth from The Goonies in the first photo?)

I like this one - I was trying to get a photo of some of the many chinese lanterns in the sky, no idea what happened 'cos the image looks nothing like what I was seeing but I'm liking the UFO effect!

And I think this may be my favourite!