Thought for the Week

"A hug is a perfect gift - one size fits all and nobody minds if you give it back."


My first great neice was christened on Sunday at the same church where my Mum remarried 10 years ago. It is a beautiful church and the weather was pretty good, dry at least.

My son was one of the Godfathers, his fifth now. People always seem to ask him, he is such a natural with kids. Maybe it has something to do with still being one himself!!

Anyway, I thought I'd share a couple of my photo's with you that I took for babies Mum and Dad. On second thoughts, maybe I should have saved them for 'C' is for... next week, oh well, too late now!!

Spring Clean

Well as you can see, I have been very busy over the weekend, I hope you like my new place.

I checked out the link offered to me by Laney, (as well as a dozen or more Google gave me), and realised it was the same site I checked out about a 6 months ago. There was one template, with 3 columns, which I was particularly fond of and I downloaded the file.

Having backed up my then current blog, I started a new blog and imported the 'new' template. Unfortunately blogger was under the impression that there was something wrong with the coding and was having none of it.

Whilst I had been reading bloggers help files for other things, I came across the instructions to alter a 2 column layout to a 3 column. My stubborn streak hates computer programmes getting the better of me, and it is not unusual for me to spend hours trawling help files to ensure that I have the upper hand and not my computer!! So armed with this new information, I decided I would simply add an extra column to one of bloggers own templates! Voila!

Once I had added the extra column to the left hand side of the page, I played around with the wrapper widths so that I could use the whole width of my screen too... yeah... I'm really getting into this now.... what's next?

I added my 'links list' that I sorted out on Thursday last week and wondered what photo to use in the blog header. I couldn't decide on a picture, nothing seemed quite right, so instead I opened up Photoshop, began with a blank document and created my own masterpiece of abstract artwork.

I still have some adjustments to make to some of the text colour, but that will be done as I go along.

Normal entries will resume shortly!

I'm Bored

I'm bored with my blog. No.. wait, don't run away. I'm not bored with writing in it, just bored with it's appearance. I have this urge to give it a make-over, but don't really know where to start.

Any suggestions anyone? Where's the best place to get a new design for my blog, something a little bit more jazzy, modern and bright. I don't know much about how these are done, so I need an 'off-the-shelf' design so to speak. Help

I am in the updating mood, and have spent the last hour adjusting all my 'labels' for my posts so that I can put up a link list to the different types of entries I have, for example, my photos, or 55 Fiction etc. Now that's done, I want a fresh clean look to my page.

I'm like that at home, although not so much nowadays as I used to be. I get bored with the room layout, and have to change it around. It's another trait I inherited from my Mum.

How many times, as a child, would I return home from school to find the sofa where the TV had been, the TV where the units had been and the units where the sofa had been! It was never a surprise. It was more of a regular occurance in our house. Mum's no better now. Still, I go to visit, to find the room re-arranged. Now that she is on her own, in a one bedroomed ground floor flat, she not only moves the furniture around the room, she moves the rooms around. Not literally of course.. lol.. but she often swaps the living room with the bedroom next door to it.

So, my friends (and Mike), how do I go about updating this here 'room'. I don't really like any of the other current blogger templates, but some of you have great looking sites, where did they come from?

All suggestions gratefully received!

'A' is for ...

Thanks to Denise for coming up with this idea of Photograph Wednesday and for letting us all join in. I love photography, and this will give me a new reason to grab my camera and get out there!

So it begins, with the letter 'A'

I have photographed an Amaryllis that has flowered beautifully in my dining room. It was given to me by my favourite Auntie when I visited her last month as a surprise. She lives about 2 hours away from me and is a volunteer in the gardens of a National Trust property where her partner is the head gardener. I came home with fresh, organically grown veggies, 3 succulents and this amaryllis bulb that had just begun to grow.

The stamens of large headed flowers like the amaryllis and lillies fascinate me. They begin life emerging from the bud as smooth, brightly coloured wands and almost immediately begin to split open and turn themselves inside-out, revealing their pollen coated jackets.

Standing to attention, in a neat little formation, as if competing for the mother flowers attention, almost shouting, here I am, and aren't I just gorgeous.

An amaryllis with a flower head at each of the compass points N, S, E & W was not too happy when I tried to sit one on top of the other to capture this, but I was eventually the winner in the battle of wills. I'm so glad I persevered, I love this shot.

You're a Star

Thanks to Mrs Nesbitt for sharing her friendship badge with me. It was all her creation by the way, and I, like her, wish you all to post it on your own site too. You will find it in my side-bar.

Lets see how far we can extend the hand of friendship in this wonderful space called blogsville.

Spirit of the Dance

Over the weekend I went to watch my neice perform in her dance studio's end of year show.

Now 13, she has been dancing since a very early age and still enjoys every single second of it. Dancing and performing seem to run through every single bone of her body. I have not watched her perform for at least 3 years, maybe a little longer, and what I saw at the weekend was absolutely amazing. She has progressed so much since I last watched her, she has transformed herself from a talented infant with an occasional awkward move into an elegant young dancer.

The show consisted of about 30 dances in all, and I'm sure that all the youngsters must have been practising for several weeks. The performances were very polished and the choreography, very professional. The music was taken from a wide range of musicals ranging from Joseph to Carousel. 3 of the youngsters also performed solo songs.

The young lad of 14 who sang Joseph and his Technicolour Dream Coat was amazing, and really worked the audience too.

The dances were wide ranging too, from Jazz to modern ...

... and everything in between including tap.

This dance was to the theme music for An Officer and a Gentleman

Each dance meant another costume, all of which were beautiful too, and some of the performers have obviously already mastered the art of a quick change and were back out for consecutive dances.

One of the performances I enjoyed most was a take on the Michael Jackson, Thriller video. The stage was pitch black, the smoke machine in full flow and all of a sudden the dancers came from the back of the hall, weaving their way around the audience making ghostly sounds and faces. Once on stage, as they shook theirs heads from one side to the other, 'dust' filled the air. The dance was very different to the others and it was absolutely terrific.

Finally, I could not leave this post without showing you this little double act. How cute are they? They were both little stars the whole afternoon.

Indecision 55

Pondering what topic to pick today, I thought of happy happenings and emotional events. Should it be orgasms, break ups, death?

Whichever one I choose I somehow don’t think that I will have enough words to convey what is on my mind, it is so cluttered with life. 55 fiction this week should be 155.

Sums it Up

This just about sums up my week.

Jumped in the shower, washed body, washed hair, shaved underarms.

Johnsons Silk & Shave, or whatever its called, all down my legs, razor in hand.

Gently shaving every inch, of my .. ouch! Shite, beggar, feck, blood. Drip

Try to finish shaving before the shower tray turns red. Gently, gen ... OUCH!! Damn, shitebuggerfeckinhell. More blood. Drip, drip.

Get out, towel dry. Drip blood on the mat. Grrr. Use wet tissue over the cuts, and make it to the bedroom.

What to put on? Too early for night clothes. Decide on skirt and t-shirt, quick squirt of deodorant... OUCH, OUCH, tears in eyes, grabs towel, rubs vigourously under arms. You stupid fecking betch.

Newly shaved armpits and hairspray do NOT mix, let me tell you.

Face Recognition

Anyone that has been here for the last 9 months, will probably remember a post I did about a face recognition programme that I found via a link in Miss U's blog at the time. If you haven't yet read that entry you really should whizz across now and read it before continuing here , it will make you understand totally why I have now repeated this exercise, and why I am blogging it for the second time.

If you can't be bothered to read the previous article, I will summarize it for you:

Upload photo of your face, hit button. Programme calculates which celebrities you most look like! Easy right! Hmmmm. For reasons explained in the previous article, I did attmept this more than once. Not that I was being vain or anything, I just wasn't too impressed at having my 7th most look-a-like celebrity listed as Mick Jagger. The last attempt I had saw Kofi Annan in my list!! I gave up, and decided when, IF, I ever had a photograph of me that I didn't loathe with a passion, I would try it again.

Since then I have lost weight, and my holiday produced some photographs that were passable as one's not to delete!

I uploaded one of them and here are my 2007 results!

OK, time to quit while I'm ahead, just the one attempt this time I think.

Give it a go, those of you who missed out last time, I would love to see some of the results you get.

Tour de France

What does that mean, Tour de France? (1 x ?, for Dan)

Excuse me for believing it meant a Tour of France, my french was never that good at school! So, who decided it was a good idea to start the Tour of France in England??? (3 x ??? for Laney)

Some of you will know from previous posts, that I am a member of the Kent Search & Rescue, a voluntary group which can only exist and continue to help vulnerable people if they can continually raise funds to pay for the running of the services we provide. When Canterbury City Council asked if KSAR could put together a number of it's members to assist in the marshalling of the Canterbury stage of this years Tour de France in return for a lump sum donation to the group I jumped at the chance. It seemed like a very easy way to boost the funds; after all, without the funds there would be no group, and I figure it is up to all of us to spare time for these kind of events too.

We drove into and parked in the city just after 08:00 on Sunday morning. Everything seemed normal. Apart from the barriers along the grass verges of the roads, waiting to be placed when the time came, the city seemed to be doing a remarkable job at disguising the fact that within hours it was to host the finish of the first leg of one of the world's biggest sporting events. Our morning was to begin at 08:30 with a full briefing on the state of play, and the current issues we needed to be aware of with regards to security threats. We were allocated with a hi-vis vest, cap, and official TDF t-shirts, and then split into sections, each with a zone leader who then gave us our brief, walked the section we were responsible for and posted us intermittantly along the route. By 10am we were stood, stationery, crowd watching.

Actually that's a lie. At 10am there were no crowds, just the odd early bird, the habitual event goers, the one's that you could spot a mile off. A single, lonely figure, doing a great impression of a pack-horse, walking along the barrier which at this time was devoid of people. On their back, a rucksack or similar, obviously weighed down by the sandwiches, snacks, sweets and drinks. I'm sure some of these people think they are on a weekend jaunt, they take enough to feed an army. The day was already very hot, and their laboured efforts were clear for all to see. Not content with carrying sufficient supplies to cater for the entire crowd within 50 metres of their final resting place, they also carry 3-4 fold up chairs of various sizes and colours, a blanket in case it turns cold and a couple of umbrella's in case it rains. They walk the empty barrier line, eyes darting, assessing at which precise spot they will gain the best view. Every now and then, they stop, to catch their breath, and then move on.

More than one million people lined the route of the Tour de France as it started in England for the first time in its 104-year history.

Spectators cheered the 189 riders as they left Greenwich, south London, and rode out of the city towards Kent.

The 203km first leg of the race finished in Canterbury.

About 4,500 Metropolitan police were on duty over the weekend in addition to officers from Kent and a contingent from France.

My first station of the morning was quickly occupied by a pack-horse. I swear he had enough luggage to see him through the entire Reading Festival, never mind a day out to watch 15 seconds worth of cyclists speed down the road. He stopped right infront of me, put down his rucksack, chairs, brollies, kitchen sink, and opened up first one chair then another. Carefully placing the second chair at a precisely calculated distance from the first so as to claim the space in between as his own. In this space he placed the as yet 2 unfolded chairs, and the rest of the goodies he had struggled with. He sat down. Pride on his face. He had found his perfect spot, and what's more, he had beat the crowds to it!

At mid-day, I swapped positions with another of the team. The crowds were beginning to show up now, and vigilance was the order of the day. A couple close to me one amongst the many that had travelled down from London to see the Canterbury stage and were constantly canoodling on the grass, obviously very care-free. How I envied them at that moment. Aching feet, scorching temperatures and no-one to talk to, I was feeling very alone. As the odd support vehicle came through the route Ms care-free jumped onto her other halfs back for a better view, clinging round his neck and planting little, loving kisses on it. Some while later, Mr care-free said she should sit on his shoulders for the best view, she wasn't so keen.

"Come on" he said, crouching, "jump on"

"No" came her giggly reply.

Obviously not one to be easily swayed, he grabbed her, both of them laughing, and tried to pick her up.

"No" she squealed in fits of laughter, "I'm not going up there"

"Oh yes you are. One way or another you ARE going up there"

He proceeded to bend forwards, grabbing each of her wrists he tried to force his head under her crotch to lift her onto his shoulders. For a split second, I thought she had relented and he was about to straighten up when she jumped out of his way.

When the carnival came through and the freebies were being tossed from the vehicles, grown adults turned into children with an animal instinct. 10 or more people would fight for every item that was thrown into the crowd. Pens, keyrings, sweets ... it didn't seem to matter what it was, they wanted it. Ms care-free managed to grab herself a miniture bag of Haribo. She picked it up, jumped up and down several times and launched herself from the ground into the waiting arms of her other half. Her hands raised aloft in a victory salute and beaming from ear to ear. She was so thrilled that she had finally outwitted the hoards of children who were jogging in line with the vehicles in order to get the biggest haul of goodies!!

The day went surprisingly quickly. There were worse things I could have been doing than basking in the sun for hours, people watching.

After the event, we were told that KSAR were to be given the magnificent sum of £950 for our efforts. A truly worthwhile day.

Lottery 55

Thanks to those of you who gave me suggestions for 55 topics a couple of weeks ago. This week I have used one of Laney's.

£10 for the first three.
The fourth is mine.
Ball 5, Oh God, it’s there too.
Heart beating, breath held, I hardly dare look.
Ball 6 is …….

Double check, triple check.
ALL 6 in one row.

My dreams, lay before me on the ticket clenched in my hand.


A quick post, for IT Barman, and anyone else who wants to know

"Concorde finger WTF"?

100 Things - About Me

I seem to have a huge blogging brick wall of late, and so I am going to post this list that I have been working on in fits and starts for the last 7-8 months. I have seen this lists on the blogs of others, some friends, some random, and I always find them interesting. It was meant to be 100 things about me, but turns out I'm not that interesting and after all this time I have only managed 60!

Some of you have known me for a while now, some of you share emails with me and check up on me when I go AWOL, which is touching. Some of you have expressed a desire to know more about me, so I have decided to post this entry as an unfinished piece, to be added to as and when I feel like it, or maybe not at all.

  1. I've been married to a wonderful man for 20 years

  2. I have 3 children

  3. I enjoy photography, particularly those shots other people wouldn't think to take

  4. I'm hormonal - often

  5. I can burp (belch) on request

  6. I can make a Concorde shape with my forefinger (don't ask - I taught myself to when I was 8 ok)

  7. I am still a teenager at heart, think I may always be

  8. I had a large cyst on my thyroid and had half of it removed. (Half the thyroid, not half the cyst, they removed all of that)

  9. I am usually very patient

  10. I put family needs before my own, every time

  11. I enjoy driving, but have absolutely no sense of direction.

  12. I can play the recorder

  13. I learnt to play the clarinet when I was at school

  14. I was in the Brownies and Girl Guides!

  15. I once went to primary school, without my skirt on.

  16. I like red.

  17. I have 2 sisters and 1 brother

  18. I was born at RAF Scampton, Lincolnshire

  19. I adore my husband. He is my soul mate.

  20. I lost my father when I was 28 and miss him every single day.

  21. I love to watch storms

  22. I have a completely unnatural fear of fire

  23. I was in the school netball teams at primary and secondary school

  24. All my children were born by caesarian section

  25. I have a logical mind and a high IQ, but am not great at general knowledge

  26. I can't swim very well

  27. I joined Weight Watchers in 2006 and lost 3 stone in less than a year

  28. I hate vegetables

  29. I love the ocean and the beach

  30. I can bend my smallest finger all the way down to the palm of my hand without bending any other fingers (yes, I taught myself that one too)

  31. I think the smell of a warm, dry pavement as the rain begins to fall is fantastic

  32. I'm soon to be a Great Aunt for the very first time. Well I was when I started compiling this list, she was born in December 2006

  33. I have been researching my family tree for the last 10 years

  34. I adore elephants

  35. I suffered quite badly with bronchitis as a child

  36. I joined the County Search & Rescue team as a volunteer at the beginning of 2007

  37. I had a hysterectomy at 36

  38. I could happily eat HOT curry for dinner every day (I mean vindaloo hot, not a manky old korma!)

  39. I can't stand lazy people

  40. I hate tomatoes but love tomato soup

  41. I enjoy watching Sunday league football in which my son plays.

  42. I have a good sense of humour (when I'm not feeling hormonal)

  43. I carry a Donor Card

  44. I used to go blood doning, but then I became anaemic and they stopped me.

  45. I like my own space, occasionally

  46. I completed a GCSE Photography course this year, never too old to learn.

  47. My first 'kiss' was at the age of 8

  48. I am allergic to the sun, yep, really

  49. I love people watching.

  50. I have never been caught speeding.

  51. I'm hormonal - often (did I mention that?)

  52. I adore real butter shortbread

  53. My Mum is also my best friend

  54. I love the sight of a man in leathers and the deep roar of a big engine (motorbikes!!!)

  55. Since I moved to a house with a larger garden I have enjoyed growing my own vegetables

  56. I experienced my first earthquake, a small 4.3 on the richter scale, in April 2007

  57. When I experienced my first earthquake, I had a hangover, not a good mix

  58. After over 10 years of research, I finally located my maternal Grandfather and laid flowers on his grave.

  59. I gave up smoking 4 years ago with the aid of a hypnotist

  60. I work in admin, and long for the day I can be released from a desk permanently