Tuesday, 30 October 2012

Crunch in the Leaves!

An extra for this month is to crunch in the leaves - walking over them doesn't count. To get this one you've got to really, really crunch through them kicking them up as you go along.

Fortunately the majority of my walk to work is absolutely strewn with leaves of all colours but, in an attempt to preserve some dignity (too late you say?), I wait until I get to the long ginnel/snicket/whatever you want to call it until I start jumping around like a big kid kicking through them but I still can't resist a little dignified shuffle (as I try to to restrain the grin) through the piles of leaves on the main route.

When you do get to the 'off the beaten track' bit though it's a little like 'Heidi and her amazing technicolour carpet'! Because the paths are never swept and there's been a fair amount of strong breezes (to put it mildly) over recent days the path is literally covered in a thick carpet of myriad colours in well defined stripes.

I'm sure it's only a matter of time before my mad capering about (and attempting to remain alert for fear of witnesses) results in an encounter between the getting-slightly-slippy path and my nether regions!

Thursday, 25 October 2012

Love your slippers, they are your friends!

I decided to indulge in a little slipper loving at work this time - a great idea as long as you remember to swap them for normal shoes before leaving the safety of your office!

I think it must be something to do with the angle of the photo (honest)...but my legs (and my slippers) just look a little, um, wrong!

Here's the full slipper collection :-)

And while I'm here it's also occurred to me that, despite talking about it, I didn't share the jewellery I made for Meller's birthday - so, here are some photos.

Monday, 22 October 2012

There's been a murder...

David 'Ditch' Digger, owner of the Summerlot Resort in the Lake District, has been killed!

Was it his gold-digging wife, the hunky lifeguard, the randy aerobics instructor, the oddball groundskeeper, the wacky driver or the intense head chef?
On Saturday 13th October (I know, I'm behind with posting about it!) I held my first Murder Mystery evening!  I was supposed to be doing this at some point during the first three months of the year (while it was still dark) but never actually got round to it so then had to wait until October when it was dark again.  You just don't get the same atmosphere when it's light outside!

It was set in the 60's so we had plenty of 60's music playing and started the evening with Brandy and Babycham (and glace cherries) - classy!  I even managed to unearth my 4 proper Babycham glasses (and then somehow managed to take a photo of one of the other glasses - d'oh)!

Anyway...here's me as the host!

Goldie Digger - the gold digging ex-wife...

Juan Hunkyguy - the hunky lifeguard
Paula Muscle - the randy aerobics instructor
Moe Lawns - the oddball groundskeeper
Carlo Ongas - the wacky driver (there was a last minute withdrawal so I was playing this role too!)
and Eve Coli - the intense head chef
Group Photo
And another 

There was a talent contest halfway through (the winner recieved an extra clue).
Eve Coli - amazed with her slightly stomach churning display of incredible dexterity and flexibility
Juan Hunkyguy - impressed with his ability to recall, in order, all reigning monarchs since 1485
Carlo Ongas - thrilled the audience with a successful balloon animal making attempt
Moe Lawns - entertained with his array of amusing impressions
Paula Muscle - wowed with her hand eye co-ordination and a set of juggling balls
Gildie Digger - rose to the challenge of putting an entire creme egg in her mouth and disposing of it in 60 seconds
...and the winner was...Jaun Hunkyguy!
We had a 60's inspired buffet complete with my first attempt at deviled eggs (a success!) and Bernie's psycho cheese/pineapple/pickled onion hedgehog followed by a favourite childhood dessert - digestive biscuits topped with a pineapple ring, filled with squirty cream and finished off with a glace cherry.  Trust me, for some reason it really works - and I don't even do biscuits and can't usually stand pineapple!
After many clues and much good natured bitchiness (even the characters who were supposed to have crushes on each other didn't seem to like each other much!) would you believe that not one of us successfully guessed the identity of the murderer - despite it being glaringly obvious when we thought about it and recalled that the very first clue they provided pretty much gave it away!
No, I'm not telling you who it was!

Wednesday, 17 October 2012

Piff the Magic Dragon!

Piff was appearing as part of the Harrogate Comedy Festival and was recommeded by Meller so I thought it'd be rude not to pop along and have a look!

I took Bernie along with me and we had a great night - made even better by the fact that Bernie got to participate (I knew I should have sat in that seat!)!

She was one of several audience members given a playing card during one of the tricks, the lucky recipients had to stand up and wait for their card to be called at which point they had to shout "Piff, I want to have your babies".  She did a great job and managed to get her card signed (and stroke Mr Piffles (don't panic - it's his magic dragon dog!) by Piff himself at the end of the night!

Here's a taste of the experience...

And here's his website!

Tuesday, 2 October 2012

Nearly there...

Today was The Best Day Ever!

Well, ok, maybe not (I still live in hope that the best is yet to come) but it sure felt up there with some of the best.

Today I made the final payment on the 5 year loan I was left holding the bag with 2 years and 10 months ago - yep, that's right I paid it off 2 years and 2 months early.

I feel very, very proud of myself.  It's been quite a journey over the last 34 months, I've scrimped, saved, done without, starved myself, half frozen to death, conserved water in the most ridiculous ways imaginable, cried, spent many terrified sleepless nights and, at times, lived (and I use the word in its most basic terms) like a hermit.

Having said that...as proud as I am of myself I'm also incredibly grateful to the friends and family who've sympathised and supported (and subsidised) me throughout.  In all seriousness I couldn't have done it without you.

So, I'm going to tie in 'Nearly There...' with 'Tell Your Friends How Wonderful They Are Day'...

Pops and Olive - for the other loan, the quiche (some things stick in your memory forever), the winter duvet and for driving me between mine and yours because you know I'd struggle with the train fare.
Bernie and John - for ferrying me about when I've needed it, taking me out (again when I've needed it!), feeding me countless times and for looking after me, my cats and my home when I was in hospital and poorly for so long afterwards.
Kevin and Ray - for always including me in the invites (when many would be put off by the frequent declines), for the civilised (and not so civillised!) evenings, feeding me on inumerable occassions and for the food packages which I've learnt, finally, to gracefully accept in the spirit in which they are given.
Helen and Bill - for the many lovely evenings I've shared at Chez Slimmon, again for feeding me (there seems to be a theme developing here), for understanding that I've not been able to see you as often as I'd like, for letting me cry on your shoulder and for Picnic in the Park Day ;-)
Nadine - for my beautiful 'believe' ring, for the many times you've insisted on taking me out (apart from when I'm wearing my panda hat), for the shared money saving tips and for the lift to uncle Tom's and back again (in half the time!).
Debbie and Elaine - for the many glasses of wine, daily support and willingness to try whatever 'cheap' entertainment I can come up with!
Webby - for indulging my KFC craving, the lifts to the cemetery and Morrisions, vodka, soap operas and whinging on the sofa!
Charlie and Simon - for the beer, the music and the abuse!

I know I've missed people out and I also know those that I have mentioned haven't been credited nearly enough for all they've done but hopefully you get my drift.

There's still the credit card which got me through the last 2 Christmas's, family members and the overdraft to pay off but the relief at getting this one out of the way is immense - not only because of the financial shadow it's cast over me but also because of the emotional baggage that came with it.

This time next year (Rodney), in fact this time in April (Rodney) we'll be...