Sunday, 21 December 2008


.... which to be honest with you is a huge relief as for a while it seriously looked like Matthew, our 15 year old, was going to spend the big day in his bedroom with no presents. It all started in the last school holidays when we got a letter from school saying that due to the large amount of minus points Matthew had incurred over the previous half term they were going to have to monitor him with a view to him going on report. To say I hit the roof was an understatement. However I am pleased to say that none of the minus points were as a result of him being nasty and rude they were for things like throwing a pencil, forgetting his PE kit, not concentrating, late homework and general tardiness. So like I said I hit the roof - rather hard.

So you can imagine the size of the bump on my head when we walked in from a weekend at Center Parcs and I opened his interim report, I am surprised you didn't all hear me yell. It is predicted by the teachers that Matthew will get mostly A and A* when he does his GCSE's next year but this report had C's and D's on it - not good. Don't get me wrong I don't mind what marks my children get as long as they are putting in the effort and trying to get the best grades that they are capable of. These C's and D's were for behaviour, effort and quality - not good at all. On one of the occasions I hit the roof (there were many) he was told that if he didn't buck his ideas up he wasn't going to have Christmas this year, instead he would get IOU's which could be cashed in when his attitude improved - basically his Christmas would be cancelled. Hard? Damn right it is and I meant every word of it he only gets one chance at this and I am not going to let him throw it away and he has lived with me for long enough to know that I don't bluff. He learnt that the hard way when he was in a slamming door faze he was warned that he would loose the door, and low and behold he did - for a week. We don't have a door slamming problem in this house anymore.

Anyway I digress. The school was closed on the Monday after the report was sent out for the parents to go in to meet the form tutors with their children. So off I went with my boys to see what was going to be said about them. I can't praise Matt's form tutor high enough, bless her, she was brilliant. I told her what I had said to Matt about Christmas and SHE suggested that she would ask for another report from all his teachers before the end of term so I could make a decision about his presents. So on Friday there was a message on my answering machine reporting that his work and attitude has improved greatly and in a maths test he had come top of the class. Miss Hall-Jones has even said she will do the same again at the end of January so that we can keep on top of him which I am very impressed with. So well done that boy he has saved Christmas!

Another little catch up for HSMSHS.

I personally prefer Quality Street, love the green triangles, but everyone else prefers Roses so Roses it is.

Pete is improving day by day. He goes for a blood test next Tuesday so we will find out how his blood count is then but for the time being he is back at work and seems fine.

Wednesday, 17 December 2008

On the up at last

I have nearly posted a number of times in the last couple of weeks but stopped myself as I wanted to be positive when I next posted. We now seem to be coming out of the other side of it and Pete is returning to work tomorrow. Since I last wrote he started with a cold which turned out to be worse than a normal run of the mill cold - which is really not suprising as we are talking about Pete here. On one of the 3 occassions that he was in hospital last week he passed out, I thought it was due to his wussyness with needles but apparantly it was due to a rather bad chest infection. He is close to finishing his course of antibiotics so the infection has now nearly cleared but not before he cracked his 2 weak ribs in a coughing fit. This is actually an added bonus, in one way, as he now has to lie stock still in bed all night or be in pain - great for me. His anemia now seems to be under control but we will know more when he has a blood test next week but so far he seems to be on top of it.

Not much else has been going on around here for the last month apart from a few wonderful visits with Mima and a great one with Sue. Most of Christmas has been sorted out over the internet this year as I have not really been able to go out shopping much. Just the worst bit to do now - food shopping. Really not looking forward to that.

Now for a HUGE catch up with HSMSHS.

Starting with todays. I really don't do tinsel in the traditional sense as I'm not that keen on it. However, I do have some black tinsel on my windowsill in the new room and some rather spiffing brown stuff that could sort of pass as tinsel on the tree in my front room.

Done and dusted the jobs a gud 'un.

Tuesday, 2 December 2008

Having a Whinge!

I'm in a moaning mood tonight and like Sue I think it is a good idea that I start making a record of what is happening health wise so that I can look back on it when I need to. Pete has been to the hospital today to get the results of his blood test from last week and to check on how his new drugs are going. The drugs (immunosuppressants (not sure this is how you spell it)) are going OK and he has to stay on the same dosage for the next few weeks and as they are not effecting his Liver at the moment the blood tests are now every 2 weeks instead of every week. They want him to start lowering the dosage of steroids down but he has told them that with the way he is feeling at the moment that there isn't a chance of that happening and it will just have to wait. The blood test taken last Tuesday says that his blood level is about 74 (should be 160) and the iron level is 3 (10 is very low). We know that it is now a LOT lower than that as he has was really ill on Thursday and Friday which will have effected his blood count with out a doubt. He was booked in for an iron infusion tomorrow BUT the hospital phoned late this afternoon to tell us that they could not get the iron until Monday !!! So now we have to wait and Pete has to suffer until then. He is going to see the Doc tomorrow to get a sick note for the rest of this week and next as there is no way he should be going in to work like he is.

Sorry that this post is a little depressing and boring but as I said this is more for me than anyone else. I will try and make the next post a little more up beat!

Friday, 28 November 2008

At last she posts!

Wow that was a big break from blogland by me, the longest one yet. I have started posting more than once and then decided against it, hopefully I will get as far as pressing the publish post button today. I have been visiting HSMSHS daily to have a look but it has been a long time since I felt inspired enough to get my camera out of its bag to actually do a prompt. I am hoping that one day soon the desire to join in will once again return.

We went away last weekend, in the freezing cold up to Center Parcs in the Lake District where we had a great time during our fourth visit. The boys loved it all the more this time because we let them go swimming by themselves. We also played a lot of Badminton which we have decided we all like so are planning to go as a family once a week and hire a court. This will have to wait for a while though as Pete is currently not well at all. He was in bed all day yesterday, he has managed to get up today but has only managed to get as far as lying down on the settee and watching a girly film with me.

His comment at the end? "That was gay".

Those of you that know us or have read my blog for a long time will know that for Pete to actually have a day (let alone two) off work is virtually unheard of. We have contacted the hospital and he is going in next Wednesday for a course of Venifer or Cosmifer (sp?) hopefully it will be the latter as that one is only a day the other is a 3 week course which means he will have to go to the hospital for one or two days every week for that length of time - not ideal especially when he is prone to not feeling good after it.

I'm off to go and subject Pete to another girly film now - who's the lucky boy then!

Wednesday, 5 November 2008


I had a good 10 hour shift in work on Monday, long but good and then yesterday I went to Mima's to visit her, Sue, Sheena and Rose (I know better than to miss gorgeous Rose out) which was lovely as always. All this means that today I am playing catch up with all the jobs that have been left since before the weekend. So I really, really didn't have time to be making a delicious soup for my lunch but seeing as the word today on HSMSHS is fry I thought "Why Not"! So here are my sweet potatoes, onions and butternut squash frying away a few minutes ago. All the veggies are a bargain in Aldi at the moment I got a HUGE squash for 69p this morning and a large pineapple for the same price which I am going to chunk and freeze ready to plonk into the blender to make smoothies with.
I'll share the recipe and a picture of the finished product on my "Not a Size Zero" blog later when my job list has shrunk a little bit.

Monday, 3 November 2008

Broken Man

Just managed to find the time to dart on and post this before I get ready and head off for a 10 hour shift in work.

This was taken in 2003 just after Pete had been knocked off his push bike. He had a broken shoulder, broken elbow and some broken ribs. Not sure what Kyle is doing at all looks like he thinks he is superman ?!?!
Arrgggghhh I give up - why won't blogger let you space how you want too?

Saturday, 1 November 2008

I would like to thank ....

Suzy for giving me this award.

Its the BFF award (Blogging Friends Forever award). The rules are to pass it to four friends who are regular followers of your blog and live in the same country and unlike Suzy I am going to be a good girl and listen to the rules.

I am going to give this to Mima who I am sure will be my blogging and real life friend forever and also to the lovely Zoe, Rach and Jenga.

Friday, 31 October 2008

Halloween Clouds

Yet again I have resorted to an old photo for the days prompt. When I first saw what the word was in my side bar I had the brilliant idea of getting my book out to take a picture. Then I visited HSMSHS and saw that Suzy had, had the same idea but I can tell you that my book is no where near as mucky as hers (mores the pity).

In recognition of Halloween I decided to share this picture with you. It is my most favouritist picture that I took when Sue, Mima, Sheena and I went to Trearddur a couple of weeks ago. This is exactly how it looked, I haven't edited it at all I love the way that it seems to be curling its way out of the chimney.

Noises have just started to filter down from upstairs , so another school holiday begins. More baking may be in order today along with a little shopping, some bedroom sorting, revision doing, dog walking, dog washing, photo editing, coursework doing and Mima visiting. Happy Halloween everyone.

Edited to add a couple of pictures of the nearly finished Living Room. I have to get more nick nacks and pictures to hang in the room. The one picture that is in the room was my "O" level piece that I did when I was 15 it hangs behind Pete's seat as he hates it but it matches the room perfectly so it is staying in there.

Thursday, 30 October 2008

Today ......

......I have been looking all day for a "structure" to take a picture of for HSMSHS but I have drawn a blank so it will just have to be an old picture, bet you can't guess where it is from.

Look at the boys faces, see how miserable they are. The heat was unbearable and I don't think that they were impressed with me insisting that we walk across the Brooklyn Bridge. We didn't get far in the end as we all got too hot and gave up before we were even over the water, even so it it a pretty impressive structure.
Today I have been warm, today I have a boiler that works, hot water, heating, gas and a huge new sofa to sit and enjoy, bliss, total bliss.

Today I got a new lamp.

Today I put hooks up so that a could put tie backs on my fabulously tactile curtains.

Today Kyle and I took the dogs for a walk and I wore the hat I bought in Ottawa at the Byward Market. The last time I had it on my head it was about 30c and I was glad to take it off, today I couldn't wait to put it on.
Today, Kyle and I played along with Amanda Magpies "What the cook" now you have to understand we are about 5 recipes behind with this but in our defence we have had a plumber camping out in our kitchen for most of the week. I did intend to take a picture of all the cakes in their full glory but I was a little late with that thought and this was all that was left, apart from 3 that are tucked safely in a box waiting for Kyle to take them to Mima's.
Tomorrow is another day.

Tuesday, 28 October 2008

Making up for lost time

I week between posts? I really didn't intend for that to happen but I have been feeling pants with a cold (woman flu) over the last week so something had to give. The Winter Living Room is coming along nicely and the sofa is being delivered at some point today which means we can stop sitting on the floor at night. We do have sofas in the other room but for some reason the boys would rather camp out on the floor to watch TV on the nice warm carpet. This weekend bought me an experience that I thought I would never ever have. On Sunday morning, just as we were about to go out, Matthew came downstairs with guy liner on. So we ignored it and went ten pin bowling and then clothes shopping for the boys before ending up in Pizza Hut for lunch. At the end of the meal we all had to sit and wait while Matthew went to the boys room to go and fix his makeup !!!! We just sat there stunned, totally stunned. I think we may be progressing from a goth in training to a full blown goth, the lipstick and nail varnish will be next.

A little catch up for yesterdays word on HSMSHS. This is one of the new cushions that are sitting patiently on the floor waiting for the sofa to arrive, very glossy I am sure you will agree.

This is the light that is keeping me warm while I type this. We have no boiler at the moment as the old one is outside and the new one is on the kitchen floor in a box so it is freezing here, hence the heater.

And finally I couldn't resist this one ...

This is the new remote control light switch in our new room a boys toy if ever I saw one!

The plumber has just arrived so I am going to make him a cup of tea before I make a nice sweet potato and chilli soup to warm me up at lunch time.

Tuesday, 21 October 2008


Taken in New York in the summer.
Just a quick one from me this morning before I climb the ladders to sand down the alcatrave before painting that and then ceiling. It sounds easy but when the ceiling is 10ft up (we have very high ceilings in this house) and you don't like ladders it's no fun at all.

Monday, 20 October 2008

Sunsets & Smiles

Well I suppose I will start this post with my picture for today's prompt on HSMSHS which is "Set". After spending a wonderful couple of days away in a fantastic place the only possible picture I could use is one of the amazing sunset we saw on the first night which believe it or not is taken from Mima's bedroom window and is totally unedited.

I was of course away for a girly couple of nights with these two lovelies.

Where we did some of this

lots of this

and Sue and I went out to do this which included making fools out of ourselves in front of the local fisher folk.

and this last one is just because it is a lovely picture of her.

And look at that I have not posted any pictures of certain people who shall remain nameless in silly party hats - yet!

Thursday, 16 October 2008


With DIYing and work over the last four days I have just not managed to find the time to post. I have now done my 2 shifts in work for this week and now have a whole 4 days to do as I please - well nearly. In a couple of hours I am going to go and meet Sue and we are going to drive to Wales to spend a couple of days with Mima at her Mum's holiday home ready to indulge ourselves with chocolate, diet coke (maybe a little wine), a little photography and some girly movies. Upon my return on Saturday I will be donning my painting overalls ready to cover our newly plastered walls in paint.
Last night I finally found my way to facebook after originally signing up a while back but not doing anything about it. Jenny, from work, had signed up yesterday and mentioned that she is a billy no mates and seeing as I was in the same boat we said we would be friends to make ourselves look better - how sad are we? So if you want to be my friend on facebook the link is on the right - this is only so that I have got more friends than Jenny as she is horrible to me in work. ** love ya really Jen **
My camera is all packed and ready for it's little trip out later on today so I am using this picture taken last month at Formby for today's word over on HSMSHS. See his face, he wasn't impressed with me asking him to stand like that. "Dad she's making me look stupid again" was said more than once that day.

Friday, 10 October 2008

This is a real quicky today as I am just about to go and start stripping the walls in the room that is no longer an allotment. Then this afternoon I am going to go and see the lovely Mima before going to the dreaded B&Q for some supplies. Inbetween all of that I need to go shopping and I am desperate to start organising the photos on my computer, which, at the moment could be compared to loads of photos spanning about 8 years just thrown into a cardboard box.
Today's word on HSMSHS I can do as we do plenty of looking for buttie boxes when we go geocaching.

Last night we attempted to watch an episode of this ....

... but I fell asleep at a ridiculously early hour. For some reason Pete loves Monk so we are watching all episodes in order from start to finish - sad I know.

Wednesday, 8 October 2008


A very quick post from me this morning as I have loads of jobs to do before I go to work for a 10 hour shift. I have no idea what this sign is for I just noticed it when we were out for a walk one day and thought I might be able to use a photo of it at some point.


Love it and I quite enjoy looking at Peter Petrelli and Mohiner Suresh while it's on.


Tonight I am a happy bunny as we have a floor once again and the house has stopped smelling like an allotment. I would take a picture but it is dark so I will leave that until the morning. Now that we have something to stand on again the walls are waiting for me to strip them ready for our rather nice friend to come a plaster the whole room for us next Monday - he is a gem and half believe me.
There was a huge amount of excitement here last night when Pete ventured in to the allotment to wire in some new plug sockets and came out with a baby great crested newt which had made its home under our floorboards ready for the winter. The cute little guy got fussed over for a while before he got put back in his little hidey hole (before I could find the camera). It's nice to know that the great crested newts that live in the garden are healthy and breeding as we don't see them very often.
I have been trying to think of something to photograph for "Welcome" all day today but have come up with zilch, Nada, nothing. This could be due to the fact that nobody is welcome at my house at the moment as it is a complete tip and I so wanted to join in HSMSHS today, never mind I will just have to try again tomorrow.
Last night we watched .....

Not a brilliant film but very watchable as Nicole is very believable in it and Daniel is rather dashing. Very much like Invasion of the Body Snatchers.

Monday, 6 October 2008

Tranquil? My Space? You've got to be kidding!

My space couldn't get any further away from tranquil if I tried. After accidentally ordering a huge sofa last weekend and realising we didn't have an actual room to put it in we decided it might be a good idea to go and order a carpet this weekend. Pete didn't enjoy this process one little bit as I got myself in a huge strop on as I HATE carpets, really hate them. For 15 years we have not had one downstairs and if it were up to me all the bedroom carpets would be ripped up too, the only reason they are still there is because Pete refuses to help me lay wooden floors if I do. So anyway he persuaded me that we should have a carpet in the Winter living room which does make some sense as it will make it warmer. I eventually found one that matched and I could put up with and it was ordered ready to be fitted next week giving us 3 whole weekend days to paint the room - no problem - easy job.

Yesterday after I finished emptying the room of my crap we had a great time pulling up the 15 year old laminate. This "fun" stopped the minute we pulled up the under lay and saw the state of the 100+ year old floor boards and joists which had damp, dry rot and woodworm damage - not actual wriggly things they are long gone. To cut a long story short this is what I got up to this morning

Living Room ....

Dining Room ....

Outside the back door...

The Winter Living Room .....
(the black on the wall isn't damp or mould it is the dust that was behind the computer table - eughhh)

I have to admit that I did panic briefly yesterday but then I made a call to our friend across the road who came across to see us. It took him about 5 minutes to measure up and tell us what we needed to order and what we needed to do and then this wonderful man, who happens to be a builder, offered to spend Wednesday here helping us to get a floor back again. He's even going to re plaster some walls for us - as I said a great guy which is one of the reasons we are going away with them next month for a few days.

So please forgive me if I can't take a "tranquil" picture today I will just have to resort to a cheat instead.


This is Beaver Pond, Algonquin, Canada. A totally beautiful place to visit and so, so tranquil.
*** Louise thanks for the tip about the picture size as you can see I have had a play with the Html ***

Sunday, 5 October 2008

Oooo I'm messing about with my blog again, will I ever be happy with it I wonder?

Friday, 3 October 2008

Happy hours

Well look at that I don't feel obliged to write or do the photo prompts and I have ended up doing both more this week than I have done in a long time. Must be because I have taken the pressure off myself and have started enjoying it again.
I was in for a 10 hour shift yesterday and got next weeks hours while I was there and I am pleased as punch with both of my shifts - yes I only have 20 hours over 2 shifts, perfect! So Tuesday I am in 7am - 5pm and Thursday 10am - 8pm, Mima you can take your pick of the other afternoons.

Pete started his new tablets yesterday which I am not too happy about but what can you do. A friend, with Crones, came into work yesterday and told me to make sure that Pete gets his Liver checked regularly as the same tablets shot his liver recently. The hospital had warned us about this and he has got to have bloods taken every week at the moment, I still can't help feeling uneasy about it but I suppose that is too be expected when it was tablets that gave him kidney failure.

The Winter room is not progressing very quickly at the moment, maybe because I am blogging instead of getting my arse into gear. The room was my craft room / office but seeing as I haven't the time to do much craftyness anymore I have decided to down scale and go digi as I can't justify a whole downstairs room being taken up with crap that I only use for about 5 minutes a week. I have managed to get most of it stashed away upstairs in drawers where it is easily accessible so I can still have a go when the mood takes. I think Pete is planning for us to move the desk top, printers and scanner into the playroom tonight ready for me to start pulling up the floor when I get back from work tomorrow. He's very optimistic my husband.

I'm off now to do the HS:MS prompt and dream about what I am going to do next week with all my free hours I could bake, make cards, garden .......

More likely it will be cleaning, decorating, washing, ironing tidying etc