Wednesday, 10 July 2013

Seek Out Baby Animals and Behold Their Cuteness!

This one was easy - I just popped round to Bernie's and took some photos of Jasper (and a couple of Tilly even though she's not a baby) - decided to combine the day with Stroke Soft Things Day (an easy option and one that doesn't result in complaints or my arrest) so spent more time having cuddles (it's possible Jasper would have complained if he could) than taking pictures!







Tuesday, 9 July 2013

Leave a Penny for Someone to Find!

I left seven (inflation and all that) in the usual spot at the Valley Gardens en route when I walked Chap Who is (still) Too Good to Be True to work (he is quite capable of getting to work on his own for those of you who may be wondering!). I hope that 7 people got wishes rather than one person using them all but maybe that's just naive of me!

Wasn't able to take a picture due to my camera battery dying during the Red Arrows flight at Waddington airshow the day before so I'm borrowing last years!

Saturday, 6 July 2013

Mend Something Day!


It's actually been kind of a mend something month so far...
  • 2 badminton rackets
  • Necklace
  • Chap who's too good to be true's keyring
  • Chap who's too good to be true's sunglasses
  • My silver hair clip (which nearly cracked a bathroom tile when the spring sprung!)
  • Beanbag
All of which have just reminded me of the much used childhood phrase/command "Daddy fix it"!  I think the only time I attempted to fix something myself was the surprisingly effective toothpaste glue which held together my blue ceramic Roland Rat lamp for years and thus saved me from a proper telling off for breaking it in the first place!

Friday, 5 July 2013

Eurovision 2013!


I know, I know, it's (more than) a little late - so sue me!

It was a slighty quieter Eurovision celebration at Chez Matthews/Claire - in terms of numbers if not raucousness!

First things first - we all had to hand over our entrance fee (£6) for the prize fund and pick our countries from the lucky dip.

Prize Categories

Winning Country - £10 (Denmark favourite to win)
Losing Country - £6 (UK's always a safe bet)
Most Outrageous/Disturbing/Bizarre/Hilarous/Poor Taste Performance - £4
Most Outrageous/Disturbing/Bizarre/Hilarious/Badly Dressed/Stupid Results Presenter - £4

So with 4 of us and 26 countries 2 of us ended up with 7 'picks' and the other 2 got just 6 - and a blank one.  I was very impressed with Ray's deviousness at actually writing 'BLANK' on the pieces of paper, Kevin was less impressed when he realised what had happened - after crowing with delight at spying writing and assuming he'd picked a country!

Ken and I were fortunate enough to be the 2 who ended up with an extra country - a fact which didn't do Ken any good whatsoever but which I definitely benefited from!

My Countries

1) Lithuania
2) Spain
3) Belgium
4) Germany
5) Ukraine
6) Norway
7) Ireland

I'm going to write about the ones that stood out - starting with Finland!

For me this was the winner, I loved this one!  It was catchy, cheesy and a little controversial - a perfect Eurovision hit!



Netherlands - this was just bizarre and, frankly, depressing (in a wrist slitting kind of way). I really don't understand why it was so popular!



Romania - (got my vote for Most Outrageous/Disturbing/Bizarre/Hilarous/Poor Taste Performance!) looked like Emperor Ming and has to be seen (and heard) to be believed!



UK - Least said the better.



Greece - best song title ever! I really liked this one, it was fun and let's face it how can you go wrong with a song called Alcohol is Free (and it looked like they'd been on it all year!).



There were some very strange song titles this year, I think Belgium with 'Love kills' came near the top of that list - plus I also thought the singer had serial killer eyes and there definitely seemed to be a theme going on of people standing behind each other. 

I was impressed with the fact that the majority were sung in English this year (the mosr notable exception was the obviously pregnant Estonian entrant - the fact that she was pregnant prompted Kevin to remark that it was irresponsible of her to be singing - she should be put away somewhere - and then he wanted to know why she was singing in a language no one understands (her own!)) and we all agreed that it was the classiest Eurovision we've seen for a while. 

The presentation was outstanding, I think one of my favourite parts of the whole show was the Swedish Smorgasbord interval act - fantastic!!



This was the first year I actually won anything (I've come close a few times though!) - I managed to win £6 for having Ireland (who came last) and I also managed to bag £4 for having the worst vote announcer (Lithuania or Ukraine - I can't remember and I've spent ages trying to find a picture of either!) - bonus!

So, there was the usual, what can only be loosely referred to as...'dancing' after the Eurovision - one of the the reasons I'm still amazed that Chap who continues to be too good to be true is still here is because he had the misfortune to arrive at this point! You'll be pleased to know I don't have any video clips of this part of the evening - partly because I'd have struggled to think how to title a clip of me on the floor with 3 men between my legs one after the other.  I feel I should clarify that this was because each of them thought they could do a better attempt at 'Ooops Upside Your Head' - being the only original member of the evening's line up I can categorically state that they were all as bad as each other haha!

Yes, this bunch of children can do it much better than any of us (admitedly they aren't under the influence - at least I assume they're not)!


Thursday, 4 July 2013

June Togetherness Mantra - The Results!

So, in that lovely month of June did I in fact...

* Tell Jokes - I'm not allowed to do this anymore, I told my donkey joke once and I have a sneaky suspicion that the future of my relationship depends on me never telling it again!

* Pay compliments - Yes, I did this, I liked people's hair, clothes, artwork, cocktails, badminton moves, music, jokes (just cos I'm not allowed to tell them doesn't mean I can't appreciate other people's!), personalities in general and probably a lot of other stuff which I can't even remember!

* Send things in the post to people I love - I sent a telegram to a certain someone from this fantastic little website, a birthday card to my 'challenged in every way' uncle and I almost sent a Father's Day card but delivered it in person instead!
     
* Make it my mission to spread togetherness wherever I go - I think I can claim partial credit for spreading a little togetherness and being there at the start of a new relationship, admitedly John smacking the poor lad round the head and telling him to just get on with it probably had more influence though! It was National Kissing Day (you can find everything you need to know here) this month although I admit I was very selfish with my kisses and reserved them all for one person. And my final act of togetherness (that I can mention on a public forum) was to take part in the St Michael's Hospice Star Walk with 800 other people - dressed as a pirate (just me, not all 800 of us!).


     
* Test the theory that there are only six degrees of seperation - yes, it's true there are indeed. In fact sometimes there's less than six and it's a scarily small world...which isn't always a good thing!

* Meet new people - yep, met lots of new people both at work (it's been a workshop-tastic month) and at home (Chap who remains too good to be true is introducing me to folks!).
     
* Say yes a lot - um, yeeeesss! Probably far too much for my own good!

* ...and just kind of see what happens and where things take me - ok, I think it's fair to say that I didn't expect it to take me to the park, in various panda type hats, in the early hours of the morning after a bottle of tequilla  (despite the fact that this appears to have been my idea). 

Yes, June, you kind of were the month of go-with-the-flow-who-knows-where-we'll-go!

Wednesday, 3 July 2013

July Before-Breakfast Mantra!

Dear July

I am going to be ready for whatever you throw at me, in fact, I'm going to throw a few things at you!

I'm going to learn to love mornings (even more than I do now) and walk a different way than I usually do, I'm going to mix things up and not accept the status quo.

Whilst I may not do something that scares me everyday I will certainly do something that makes the little hairs on the back of my neck stand up some days!

I will attempt the impossible - and endeavour to do it all before breakfast (it's ok to have breakfast at 10pm right?)!

Watch out July, month of new-ness wow!

Sunday, 2 June 2013

June Togetherness Mantra!


So, this lovely month I will...

  • Tell Jokes
  • Pay compliments
  • Send things in the post to people I love
  • Make it my mission to spread togetherness wherever I go
  • Test the theory that there are only six degrees of seperation
  • Meet new people
  • Say yes a lot
 ...and just kind of see what happens and where things take me.

Yes, June, you are the month of go-with-the-flow-who-knows-where-we'll-go, you are!

Saturday, 1 June 2013

May Outside-ness Mantra - The Results!

Ok, here we go...(reminder of the Mantra HERE)

Even if the weather had been ok there's no way in heaven or hell that flip flop o'clock would be happening - nothing gets between my toes.  Apparently this is because I have freaky flipper feet, personally I'd much rather have my flipper feet than weird hand-feet which are capable of picking up tennins balls between the toes!

I'm well and truly out of my comfort zone - and yes, it is where the magic happens!

Ah, 82% of my time in nature? Um, no, not this month.  Although despite the continuing wintry weather there was a spot of Alfresco with a picnic in the sun (yes, I said sun) at the Valley Gardens.

And I have spent a night under the stars, in fact I've spent several!  'Chap who is too good to be true' continues to live up to his name and surprised me by covering my ceiling in glow in the dark stars to make this one happen for me!



I didn't run til my legs hurt but I have started dancing again and achieved the same result, I have laughed until my belly (and everything else) aches and I have had a picnic (see above).

I haven't been to places I've never been...but I will - I've renewed my passport and planned a trip to Krakow :-)

And my whole life feels like an adventure right now, so yes, May you were indeed a breath-of-fresh-air kind of month!

Thursday, 23 May 2013

Museums at Night...um, Day!

I'd never heard of this one before but came across it whilst researching something else and thought it'd be worth looking into whether there was anything going on locally.

And there was - Harewood House was holding a Twilight Experience on Thursday 16th May.  This was to include House and Collection talks, food and drink in the candlelit Terrace Cafe, silhouette portraiture and exclusive viewings of previously unseen areas of the house.

So I gathered as many of the 'boys' as I could (Kevin and Ken) and off we went...

As you can see it was less twilight and more broad daylight!



 
So the story is that this statue of Orpheus used to reside in the front entrance but caused something of  a stir (can't possibly think why?!) so was moved out to the garden.


 
And was replaced with this - obviously much less offensive with its enormous marble phallus! 
(In fact the whole statue is enormous which kind of begs the question "How did kevin not see this?", not only did he not see it but as he was turning he had a rather close encounter with said phallus, promptly apologised to it and then walked off - and didn't realise until Ken and I pointed out that he hadn't almost walked into a living person but had, in fact, apologised to a giant marble penis - is it wrong that this was one of the highlights of my evening?!)
 
 

 
 
 
Kevin - Lord of the Manor


 
So, apart from the fact that there wasn't the slightest hint of twilight it was still a very enjoyable visit. Things did come to a rather abrupt end though at the point Kevin discovered that the Terrace Cafe was only serving tea and cake.
 
Ray often says that Kevin is the calmest, most reasonable of people...unless he hasn't been fed. At which point he turns into something else altogether!  I started to feel uneasy when we were trying to actually find the cafe (very well hidden) and his pace quickened to an almost desperate haste as we retraced our steps through stone corridors and round increasingly familiar corners.
 
We finally located the cafe (which wasn't candle lit - it was still daylight), and sat down with the menu, Kevin was genuinely horrified to discover the limited (and in my opinion over-priced) fare on offer so we made a sharp exit and headed for the nearest eatery.  Which happened to be the pub across the road - where Kevin was then told it would be a long wait for food due to the party of 20 who were being served first.  Obviously this wasn't acceptable at all so off we headed back to Harrogate and the Pine Marten, by the time we got there I was genuinely concerned that Kevin might start gnawing on my arm but still couldn't help being amused when, on being told it was a 20 minute wait, he hopefully asked whether that was 20 minutes until our food was in front of us. The (rather scared looking) bar staff was very apologetic as he explained that, no,  it would be 20 minutes until we were seated.
 
So, after Ken and I forcibly removed Kevin from around the throat of the poor hapless bar man (only joking!) we all headed off for a drive around town on a mission to find somewhere still open that would feed Kevin before he entered some sort of full blown Jekyll/Hyde episode.
 
Having driven round for a while Ken skillfully found a parking place in the vicinity of Graveley's and we, just, made it in time to place an order to appease the angry food god.
 
The museum at night jaunt was enjoyable but it was the desperate mission afterwards which turned out to be the real adventure!  I am seriously considering though always making sure I have some sort of edible treat in my pocket, just in case, when out with Mr Matthews!




Thursday, 9 May 2013

Make Something Day!

(try and include glitter)

I made 3 pavlova's (none for me), several cups of coffee and cheese and various meat toasted sandwiches.

I'm pretty sure I also made a mess at some point.

I made someone's day.

I made a difference.

I made a mistake and I made amends.

I'm not entirely sure glitter would have been a welcome addition to any of the above but I am now inspired to make some sort of glittery sparkly pavlova at some point soon (when I can actually eat some of it!)!

I wrote about the food I'd made because, yes, that's right, I STILL haven't got any further with my Christmas stockings (which will have lots of glitter!)!

Wednesday, 8 May 2013

No Socks Day!

But I LOVE all my odd socks - admittedly they don't really go with the type of footwear I'm fiinally getting around to wearing though so it was time to abandon the mis-matched lairyness in favour of bare feet.



It has just occured to me that I can still get the 'odd' effect by painting my toenails different colours - bonus (amazing technicolour dream toes has got to be better than amazing technicolour dream hair right?)! It never occured to me though to check my summer shoes for cobwebs, lesson learnt.

Speaking of socks...chap who is too good to be true has major sock issues.  So, how do you know when you have major sock issues?  It's when you put your foot in the top and it comes back out - and you haven't even reached the toe yet.

Tuesday, 7 May 2013

Try a New Hairstyle Day!

Hmmm, perhaps I should have just stuck to the usual visit to Toni and Guys!

Instead I went for a colour change (I knew this was a bad idea, I usually colour after a cut so there's less to colour!)...

Heidi and Her Amazing Technicolour Dream Hair could well be appearing at a theatre near you.

It's varying shades of purple, red and brown.

And it's growing on me (no pun intended)!

Monday, 6 May 2013

Get on Your Soapbox Day!

I managed to put a MOON CANNON on my soapbox! I will beat you!

Something about this sentence just appealed to me.

And here it is in context...

A favourite pasttime among children is to build racers from junk found around the house and garage. Usually, crates used for carrying soap are used for the "bodies". So, a soapbox either refers to a crate used for carrying soap (wow) or the body of something young people drive about in.
I managed to put a MOON CANNON on my soapbox! I will beat you!
 
Other (urban dictionary) definitions of soapbox include...
 
Refers to someone having the attention of others as they speak.
Comes from when, back in the day, people would stand on soap boxes in parks and give speeches.
He was out standing on the soapbox, bitching about how the world was unfair.
 
(n.) a downhill race for american children, where they design go-carts that have no steering, to get them used to the fact that american roads have no corners, and american cars cannot turn worth shit.
The soapbox derby is lame.
 
A wooden crate used in shipment of soap.
Used by one who wishes to stand above others to give a speech.
The lunatic on the corner stood on a soapbox to tell us the world is ending.
 
I'm trying to decide which of  the 'bitching', 'moon cannon', 'lame' or 'lunatic' approaches would be most appropriate for me...

Sunday, 5 May 2013

Most Tummy-Flipping Thing This Week!

As every single day last week and this week (so far) has been full of tummy-flippiness I'd really struggle to pick the 'Most' tummy-flipping thing!

Hmmm, perhaps I have Gastric Volvulus.

Friday, 3 May 2013

May Outside-ness Mantra!

Hooray!

At last flip flop o'clock is here (yeah, this could be a problem) & this month of May I will get out and about, yes, out of my comfort zone (which apparently is where the magic happens).

I will spend at least 82% of my time in nature (only if I quit work!) including a night under the stars!  Indeed Alfresco will be my middle name (no, I won't be getting deed poll involved involved to make this official - sorry!)!

I will run til my legs hurt (that won't take long then!), & laugh til my belly aches & have picnics!

I will go to places I've never been & have seven kinds of adventure!

Yes, May will be a breath-of-fresh-air kind of month, it will!

Thursday, 2 May 2013

April Me-ness Mantra - The Results!

Ok, here we go...(reminder of the Mantra HERE)

I AM amazing, wonderful AND brilliant
(Someone at work did actually tell me on 1st of April that I was brilliant - unfortunately I can't for the life of me remember who it was or why they said it.  Obviously this is because it happens so often that I just take it for granted now...)

April is going to be the best month yet...Yep, EPIC success!

I wasn't kind to myself every day but I was more conscious of when I wasn't being, I may have wasted a moment (or two) worrying but nothing excessive I promise!

I have made the most of every second of precicisely 10.5 days of April which I think is actually pretty good going!

Haha, I've actually had the TV on more than normal but barely watched it when it was on as the conversation was much more interesting, I haven't gotten outside as much as I'd have liked but I'm hoping that'll change in May, I've put pen to paper and got a little creative (and made an admittedly feeble attempt to start the Christmas stockings) and done a fair bit of getting more me than I've ever been before!

Wednesday, 1 May 2013

Make Up Your Own Day Day!

I really don't know what to call this one...

Take Someone You're Trying to Get to Know Better to the Cemetery Day?

Doesn't exactly trip off the tongue does it!

Aunty Betty set me a challenge some time ago to find my ancestor's gravestone (pictured below) in the cemetery across the road from me.  It's been moved around on my 'to do' list  (otherwise known as 'The Spreadsheet Which Runs My Life') but the potential sale of the church land finally motivated me to get down there and have a look.

So why not, thinks I, also take the opportunity to see just how receptive the 'far too good to be true' chap I met a few days previously is to my particular brand of...well, just odd really.



 
And the answer is...very! 
 
Really enjoyed poking around the cemetery and fairly quickly got the line of sight for the gravestone - there's a big house in the background now though!  Anyway, with my sense of direction, I could have easily spent a lot longer actually trying to locate the stone itself but fortunately 'far too good to be true' chap (with a better sense of direction than me) homed in on it almost immediately.
 
Considering its age it was actually in pretty good condition despite being laid flat for safety (which I suspected would be the case) so I took a couple of photos for Betty before we wandered on to look round the rest of the stones.
 
Never let it be said that I don't know how to show a guy a good time!





 

Monday, 29 April 2013

Hug an Australian Day!

I'd pretty much given up on this one and had put it to the back of my tiny mnd - until someone in Charlie's (Ollie) told Matt he looked like an Australian butcher (I'm not entirely sure where he got that from, Matt was wearing an apron and a cowboy hat but there you go!)!.

I haven't moved so fast in a while, poor Matt looked quite terrified when I launched myself at him to give him a hug in the absence of a real Australian  - no mean feat given that he's rather an intimidating size.  The fact that Ollie jumped on the bandwagon and followed suit shortly after was a bonus (for me if not for Matt) - meanwhile John and Simon were doing their best to particpate...I'm not convinced that hugging pints of Fosters qualifies but I'm willing to give them the benefit of the doubt.  I'm good like that.

Tuesday, 23 April 2013

Guilt Free Pottering Day!

Usually I struggle with the whole 'guilt free' part of this day, however, I was a little too tired to feel guilty about it this time!

Staying in bed until almost lunchtime went some way to compensate for a very late night/early morning on Saturday (I may not have achieved staying OUT till the sun came up again but I managed staying UP!) but even so I suspect that had I been inclined to attempt anything even vaguely non-pottering I may have struggled.

Pottering down to Charlie's to watch the Grand Prix was taxing enough, staying on to watch the football (a game which I strangely enjoyed) was testament to my determination to potter rather than go home to feel guilty about all the things I should have been doing instead!

The remainder of the day was spent pottering on the sofa watching films before an early night :-)



Thursday, 18 April 2013

Pet Owners Independence Day!

Yep, this is a real day.

Apparently pet owners take the day off from work and the pets go to work in their place, since most pets are jobless, sleep all day and do nothing to contribute towards their upkeep. Owners get to stay home all day and lie around on the back of the sofa. 

Jemima was clearly not impressed with this idea and Rosie just looked terrified at the prospect.





























I suggested in the office that maybe we ought to observe this day in practice in future but, after much discussion, it was decided that Andy's rat, pigeons and doves, my 2 cats, John's goat and chickens and Neil's dog would, probably, cause a little too much more chaos and destruction than even we're capable of.

Also, I'm not entirely sure I'd be comfortable trying to stretch out on the back of my sofa.

And this is what happened the last time I turfed them outside to go and find a living.

Wednesday, 17 April 2013

Splash About Day!

Not quite sure this was what was in mind for this day (it certainly wasn't what was in my mind - I was picturing white sandy beaches, clear blue, warm gentle waves...).

I seem to have become addicted to my bath - largely because I take my book and distract myself from the fact that I really want to stuff my face with carb loaded comfort food!  So, a minimum of an hour in the bath each night has become ritual, this evening though has to be the last as I dread to think what my water bill will be like!

There's certainly more room to splash about now that there's less of me!

Monday, 15 April 2013

Blah, Blah, Blah Day!

The day for doing the stuff people (and yourself) have been telling (nagging) you to do!

I finally finishing going through the films on my hard drive and deleting all those I've watched and don't want to keep and made good headway on the books, while I was doing all of this I was also listening to my Itunes and deleting anything on there that I don't want to keep.  I resolved to spend a bit of time each evening doing the same - but then I've resolved to do this before!

Then I planned all the crafty stuff I want to get done over the rest of the year - yeah, that'll never happen to schedule either, I was supposed to start the Christmas stockings a couple of months ago!

I am my own worst nagger (despite the fact that I'm supposed to be going easy on myself this month!)...

Blah.

Blah.

Blah.

Sunday, 14 April 2013

The Surrogate!

When I was little I used to think that my real mum had been taken by aliens and replaced with a surrogate.

Yesterday I felt the same way about myself...

I ironed.

For almost an hour.


Saturday, 13 April 2013

National Jazz Month!

Woo Hoo!

I would have liked to have gone to the Harrogate Brasserie or the Blue's Bar for some live musical magic for this one but I'm not sure my willpower could resist the food and alcohol so instead Mr Webb came over and we celebrated National Jazz Month by watching Ray - unfortunately the audio wouldn't work on the accompanying tribute concert dvd which came with the film :-(

Saw Dan Burnett live at Charlie's a couple of weeks ago (ok, technically it was last month (just)...would highly recommend!



One of my favourite artists/songs...



And it doesn't get much better than this...


Friday, 12 April 2013

Gaze at Clouds Day!

In the words of intrepid time traveller Sam Beckett (yes, I'm well underway with my Quantum Leap viewing)...

Oh boy.

I didn't just gaze at them, I gazed through them! 

I set off all the alarms on depature from Leeds Bradford and had to be 'wanded' - I still set off all the alarms so I had to be body searched (NOT strip searched) during which I was asked whether I had any studs or other piercings in certain places - turns out my trouser fastening and the metal part of a certain item of women's underwear were causing unusual sensitivity in my case!  On the plus side, I left feeling like I'd had a light-touch all over massage.

Bearing in mind that I haven't been on a plane in 10 years I was more than a little nervous on take off - I'd obviously forgotten how absolutely beautiful it is up there.  I could have happily stayed up there gazing at the clouds for hours rather than the 45 minutes it took to get to Southampton.

And I enjoyed it every bit as much on the way back (also less nervous at take off) - managed to get myself through security with no issues this time.  Myself yes...my handbag no.  I don't understand why this happens to me!  Anyway, after having my bag examined and tested for who knows what we eventually made our way through to the departure lounge - I'm convinced that Neil (who breezed through both) now sees me as some sort of travel liability.  Let's face it, anyone who's ever had the 'opportunity' to travel with me knows that this is often indeed the case in some form or another!

Anyway, it brought to mind the opening credits of Quantum Leap (the cloud bit obviously - about 0.51 in this clip).



I suspect it'll be a long time before I do 'Gaze at Clouds Day' in such a great way again!

Wednesday, 10 April 2013

Superhero Day!

This is not a Superhero Day of the kind we've come to know and love (my costume remained firmly packed away)...

Hancock references in the early hours of the morning aside - today I exhibited superhuman strength and willpower in the battle not to do what every cell in my body told me I wanted to do (which would have more than likely resulted in some destruction and possibly injury!) .

In fact, despite literally seeing red (I never actually believed that was possible) and contained with a rage so colossal that I could feel every vein in my head strain and throb and my blood boil, I used superhuman effort to swallow it down and effect (eventually) a calmer exterior.

And at the end I'm left feeling curiously drained, is this normal for Superheroes?  Does Superman feel the need to just have a hot bath and go bed once he's hung his cape up?  Does Batman want to tell Robin to just go away and leave him alone for a while? Does Wonderwoman ever leave the house, wonder where she left the god-damned invisible helicopter, turn around and go back inside and give it up as a bad job?

Abject apathy has become my superhero power, loss of hope that anything will change has become my shield, and my new found I-don't-give-a-flying-rats-arse (yes, that should have been the f word) attitude (which will probably go away at some point) will ensure that I blend in perfectly with my current surroundings.

Meanwhile back where some sanity remains...

Russian Skywalkers
Ukranian Daredevils (and his name's Mustang Wanted - a Superhero name if ever I heard one!)





Tuesday, 9 April 2013

Think About Lovely Things Day!

Lovely things I thought about today

  • Food
  • More food
  • Having Friday off work and catching up with Webby
  • Seeing Kevin and Ray in a little over a week
  • Booking some crime festival tickets
  • Seeing Pops and Olive in a couple of weeks
  • Going to see the new Star Trek film
  • Planning a few days away in summer visiting Tom and Marley and then spending some quality time with Nads
  • (and then more food)

Monday, 8 April 2013

No Housework Day!

I had no intention of doing any housework at all today.

I've no idea how, but this is what happened...

1) 2 loads of washing done
2) All coats, bags, hats etc in hallway sorted out
3) All shoes upstairs sorted, shoe rack (and shoes) brought downstairs
4) Bagged up clothing sorted and put away, clothing I've shrunk out of bagged up to get rid of
5) Dishes done
6) Freezer cleaned




Friday, 5 April 2013

Great Outdoors Day!

Yep, saw lots of it whizzing by on the train to Birmingham, some more on the train to Coventry and more still from the taxi to Ryton!

And then again all the way back to Harrogate.

Didn't actually experience any though - other than the brief transfers between transportations.

Great Outdoors Day From the Inside?

Thursday, 4 April 2013

Get an Early Night Day (you old fox you!)!

Hahaha!

If only!

I did get an early night but there was nothing foxy (or otherwise animal related) about it!

The fact that getting to Ryton by public transport is such a ballache (and involves spending more time on trains than I'll be spending in the meeting I'm going for) means I'm up at 5.30 today so it was an early night last night - by necessity more than choice.

Thinking of animals though...thank you Simon for this photo which really cheered me up when I got home last night!

Wednesday, 3 April 2013

April Me-ness Mantra!

Sooooo

I'm to repeat (and often)

"I am amazing"
"I am wonderful"
"I am brilliant"

April is going to be the best month yet!

I'm to be kind to myself each and every single day and not waste a moment worrying (it's ok to waste them messing about or eating cheese instead though)

But I definitely won't worry. Especially about things I can't change.

Instead...

I will be focusing on today...NOW...this minute and make the very most of it.

I will be turning off the TV (which I never have on anyway!), getting outside, getting creative and getting more me than I've ever been before!

Tuesday, 2 April 2013

March Lucky Mantra - the results

Oh. Dear.

So much for the March Lucky Mantra!

Due to circumstances waaaay beyond my control it most definitely has not been a month of tantalizingly slighty-warmer-but-too-soon-for-shorts weather and as a result I have not been getting ready for leaping, bouncing and general springyness!

I haven't been lucky all month, I've been ill all month (although I suppose it's lucky that I've found the patch of black mold behind my bed which may well account for my month of illness!). I did dance (Olive's Ceilidh) but I wouldn't say with Serendipity - grace and co-ordination were also sadly absent.  I have dined once, way back at the beginning of the month but it's fast becoming a distant memory (along with the act of chewing) and it wasn't with Good Fortune.

It's difficult to inject colour when you feel slightly paler than death warmed up and, as for impossibly fashionable shoes...I don't think snow boots count!

March, however, was a mountaintop of a month - a mountain of snow (and snot).

Monday, 1 April 2013

Eat Loads of Chocolate Day!

I had hot chocolate for breakfast - whilst watching The Slipper and the Rose (my guilty secret favourite film!) which was always traditional Easter viewing as a child, right after the cartoon version of The Lion, The Witch and The Wardrobe!







Then it was chocolate velvet milkshake for lunch - whilst watching Stand by Me

And then I finshed with a chocolate coated toffeee bar for dinner (somewhere between a finger of fudge and a curly wurly but not quite right at the same time) - whilst watching a biblical epic, I had a few to choose from but went for King of Kings (there's just something about that music!).

Sunday, 31 March 2013

Be Inspired Day!

So I've started watching daily TED talks, most of them have no relevance to me whatsoever - or the content is so technical that I just switch off.  However, I've seen 3 so far which I've found absolutely riveting, have inspired me to scrape together a few extra pennies for a worthwhile cause (2 of which will become regular when my finances are sorted) and have restored my faith in humankind.

Kakenya Ntaiya - A girl who demanded school
(further info here - Kakenya's Dream)



Ron Finley - A guerilla gardener in South Central LA
(further info here - L.A. Green Grounds)



William Kamkwamba - How I harnessed the wind
(further info here - Moving Windmills Project)


Friday, 29 March 2013

Ponder the Universe Day!

I haven't done much in the way of pondering the universe today - pondering a day in my life is challenging enough thank you very much!

I did do a bit of research though...

There's a blog called Ponder the Universe which I have to admit does contain some awesome pictures of the Cosmos (I ignored the writing bits).

On YouTube there's a channel called Ponder the Universe, this seems to consist of aerial filming from the wing of a Cessna and a clip of a ZZ Top Concert - go figure?!

Then there's Punchline by Nick Courtright which is allegedley "Poetry To Ponder the Universe To"

"By turns elliptical and aphoristic, macrocosmic and microcosmic, timeless and contemporary, PUNCHLINE is not a book of poems for those who merely want to be diverted or amused; this work is for readers who consider poetry the natural sibling of philosophy. Nick Courtright's finely-distilled poems mine the frustrating unknowableness of the world, and celebrate its exhilarating mystery with elegance, compassion, and imagination."—Nicky Beer
 
Please...divert or amuse me.

Ok, this is quite cool...The Scale of The Universe (move the slider along the bottom/and or click on the images to go deeper and deeper in)

And this is the answer which Neil deGrasse Tyson (astrophysicist) gave when asked what he felt was the most astounding fact (I also really like this)




I've just remembered that 2 years ago when pondering the universe I told you about the soon to be released remake of Masters of the Universe, I thought I'd check progress and apparently it's still in progress...

And finally...

More YouTube results for Ponder the Universe...enjoy!








(This was supposed to be a short post, turns out there was more to ponder than I thought!)

Quirky Country Song Title Day!

 
And here are some of the best ....

"Flushed from the Bathroom of Your Heart" -- Johnny Cash

"You Can't Roller Skate in a Buffalo Herd" -- Roger Miller

"I’d Like to Check You For Ticks" -- Brad Paisley

"It's Hard To Kiss The Lips At Night That Chew Your A-- Out All Day Long" -- Vince Gill as well as The Notorious Cherry Bombs

"Drop Kick Me Jesus Through The Goalposts Of Life" -- Bobby Bare

And from my own extensive country music play list...

"Did I shave my legs for this?" -- Deanna Carter (and frequently Heidi Orange)

"Tequila makes her clothes fall off" -- Joe Nichols (and ...no, never mind)

And then there's this very clever little ditty which made me laugh out loud the first time I heard it...



Along with this one which turned out to not be at all what I expected - the first verse made me want to stick my fingers down my throat, then I heard the chorus (I can sooo relate to this!)!



And this tongue in cheek song by Rascal Flatts..

Wednesday, 27 March 2013

Most Important Thing This Week!

Hmmm, it could be Aunty Betty's birthday on Monday or the workshop in Ryton on Tuesday, or could it be that the clocks go forward on Sunday?

Nope, I think it's that it's a 4.5 day weekend this weekend - yay!!  It'd be even more important if I were partaking in some Easter fun with Kevin and Ray and then eating chocolate whilst watching biblical epics...but, seeing Dan Burnett perform at Charlie's on Saturday and avoiding chocolate whilst I count all the giftboxes in the spare room ready for ebay is all the 'important' I can stand at the moment.

The fact that it's Easter weekend must also mean it's around a year since my epic attempt (and success) to stay out late!

Tuesday, 26 March 2013

Climb a Tree Day!

Hahahaha!  Are you joking?!

Climbing the pavement (sober) is challenging enough in all this snow etc at the moment!

I'm taking the executive decision to move this one, tree climbing should be done in summer anyway - it's like, some sort of law or something.

How's this for an awesome treehouse though - I'd attempt a wintry climb up a tree if there was the promise of snuggling up with a good book, a blanket and a hot drink in that comfy looking chair in the corner!



Monday, 25 March 2013

Lips Appreciation Day!

This was actually March 16th but I've moved all the days around (because I can!) and lost track of which ones are actual real 'days' and which ones aren't!

My lips have been very sore and dry these last few days, I think excessive exposure to steam and then throwing in sporadic exposure to artic conditions on top of that doesn't seem to have done them any good at all - thank god for aloe vera Vaseline lip therapy!

I also thought my lips had actually turned blue today but I think it was just a trick of the light.

Things I learnt today;

  • You should never lick your lips (as saliva dries on your lip it evaporates and takes more moisture from your lips. Also, the enzymes in saliva eat away at the lips, leaving the skin thinner and more prone to cracking.)
  • Sparkling water is actually amazing stuff
  • Jochen Rindt is the only driver to posthumously win the Formula One World Drivers' Championship (in 1970), after being killed in practice for the Italian Grand Prix

Sunday, 24 March 2013

As Young as You Feel Day!

Haha!  About 106 then!

Today will be spent alternating between being in the shower, having my head over a bowl of steaming water, gargling with salt water and being in the bath, all in an effort to try and force this bug out of me once and for all!  Four colds/infections/whatever in the last 3 months is just ridiculous and I've had enough now - I suspect it's probably all the same thing and it's just that I'm never entirely kicking it each time so it just lingers around waiting to raise it's ugly head again.  Well, I have news for it - it can just GO DO ONE!

So, I'm going to take it easy for the next few weeks, work from home as often as possible, avoid any late night socialising or rendezvousing with people who are inflicted/still recovering from similar ailments!

It makes me wonder though how Aunty Betty (despite allegedly being "naffered" all the time) manages to stay in remarkable health given that she smokes like a chimney, has no heating and, literally, lives in an ice-box - I've never, ever known her to have a cold!  But this day did make me think of her - it's her birthday on Monday and, according to the family tree stuff I looked into a while ago, she should be 80.  According to Betty though when I listened to her last night (I never do any of the talking) it's her 81st birthday on Monday so who knows!

Also reminded me of a Garth Brooks song...

On reflection perhaps the punked up version by Me First and The Gimme Gimmes is more to your taste (be patient, it kicks in after the first verse)...





DVD Marathon Day!

You can't have enough of these days during the year - they also work very well when combined with Duvet Day!

I needed some feel good, cheery films so went for;

Mamma Mia
Chocolat

And then for some reason went in the totally opposite direction and watched;

A Mighty Heart (good film but most definitely not at all feel good or cheery)

So then I thought it'd be a good idea to go back to feel good and cheery and watched;

The Best Exotic Marigold Hotel
The Full Monty

Friday, 22 March 2013

Broccoli and Peas Appreciation Day!

Not a pea or broccoli earring in sight!

I would have LOVED to have appreciated some broccoli and/or peas but the current detox/diet means I can't - the only vegetable I'm allowed to appreciate at the moment is man and they appear to be out of season at the moment.

Instead I'll just include links to previous Broccoli Appreciation Days - I don't know what the humble pea did this year to wangle its way into the celebrations this year (and I'm wondering whether there'll be another addition next year)!

Broccoli Appreciation Day 2010 (in my opinion the best one - largely because I somehow persuaded my colleagues to pose with broccoli!)

Broccoli Appreciation Day 2011 (the christmas tree masquerading as broccoli was quite amusing and my broccoli earrings looked quite impressive)

I'm struggling to find a posting for last year but I suspect I may have substituted it for Pavlova Appreciation Day 2012 (a much more worthwhile pursuit in my opinion - no offence broccoli or peas)

Wednesday, 20 March 2013

Most Busy Thing Last Week!

That would be me then :-)

Monday was preparing for Tuesday and Saturday (and yes, I did also manage to get a couple of posts ready!).

Tuesday Boss was here and the whole team was together for the first time so we celebrated by going out to Vivido's.

Wednesday Webby visited - it's taken him this long to get over the jelly incident and work up the courage to come back!

Thursday was my detox and diet initial consultation which went very well although the evening ended terribly when my friend's dog was hit by a car and died (and the driver didn't even stop).

Friday I shopped (window shopped) and indulged in Pizza Express before a very enjoyable couple of beers in The Blues Bar with live entertainment - and I don't mean music!  The patrons were taking part in a challenge to see who could walk the furthest (from a chalk line) on their hands using beer bottles as 'stilts', they had to leave one bottle as far away as they could and make it back again with only the remaining bottle - all without touching the floor at all!  If I had any upper body strength at all I'd have given it a go although I'm sure I wouldn't have made a dint in some of the very impressive attempts!

Saturday was Olive's retirement Ceilidh with The Macaroon Ceilidh Band which was absolutely fantastic - I had some reservations but Bernie and I ended up getting up and dancing in a surprisingly short space of time and after that I was rarely off the dance floor either with Pops or with Bernie. I can honestly say that I haven't laughed like that in probably years - I laughed til it hurt and still couldn't stop!

Bernie has recorded some of this and I took some photos on Pops phone which I'm hoping he'll send me (I took my camera to theirs but forgot to take it to the 'do'!), will put it on here (depending on how bad it is!) if she ever sends me it but here's an example in the meantime...



Sunday was getting stuff ready for work once I got home again ready for a much quiter week!

Tuesday, 19 March 2013

Walking in a Winter Wonderland!

3 months late but there you go!

My walk to work this morning...

It was chaos on the roads as they hadn't been gritted and during the 15 minutes of my walk which is roadside I saw 3 gritters zooming round the Yew Tree Lane roundabout area!




 
The next 2 were at eye level, the weight of the snow had forced everything down in to the path!