31 July 2009
I love the advice column... I have a black cloak and some red paint but seemingly here at the back of beyond we appear to be out of the reach of the swine flu.. though no doubt there is someone somewhere in the local vicinity who is a 'plague' victim...
The title for this post is because I was (and still am) an avid reader of the Readers Digest and loved finding the Laughter is the Best Medicine pages... cheered me up at the Dentists and generally made my day...
30 July 2009
The guys that were injured were fighting on behalf of the Government, but that isn't good enough for the powers that be, they want to ensure that they are as badly treated as were the troops and sailors after the first napoleonic wars when they were reliant on charitable donations when they could fight no longer. They deserve better than the treatment they are getting and we should make sure their voices are heard.
A nicer piece of news is that Staff Sergeant Andrew McFarlane wrote the following tribute to the fallen, he is part of the Adjutant General's Corps and a member of the Territorial Army.. enjoy
The news is spread far and wide
Another comrade has sadly died
A sunset vigil upon the sand
As a soldier leaves this foreign land
We stand alone, and yet as one
In the fading light of a setting sun
We've all gathered to say goodbye
To our fallen comrade who's set to fly
The eulogy's read about their life
Sometimes with words from pals or wife
We all know when the CO's done
What kind of soldier they'd become
The padre then calls us all to pray
The bugler has Last Post to play
The cannon roars and belches flame
We will recall, with pride, their name
A minute's silence stood in place
As tears roll down the hardest face
Deafening silence fills the air
With each of us in personal prayer
Reveille sounds and the parade is done
The hero remembered, forgotten by none
They leave to start the journey back
In a coffin draped in the Union Jack
Staff Sergeant Andrew McFarlane
29 July 2009
I managed to finish off the spare bedroom, walls and skirting boards as well as door frame. Just the door to do as the plan is to move into this room while I pack away and tidy up the big bedroom...
Funnily enough, it was always my bedroom until after Dad died and then I moved into his room as it has windows front and back and is a huge room.
Not too much more to do with the decorating, and I am hoping this weekend will see most of it finished, as long as I can stand the gloss paint fumes lol
Had a removals company round yesterday for a quotation... things are moving :-)
28 July 2009
The painting has moved on a pace, more done and less still needing to be done. The packing is going well and I have arranged for a removals company to visit tomorrow evening to give me a quotation for removals down to Cornwall.
Ain't life exciting lol
27 July 2009
If I end up down in Cornwall, without a job to go to it doesn't scare me but I must sell the house first so priority has now been given to the decorating. The Estate agents are coming around tomorrow afternoon to take photographs outside so hopefully the sun will shine. Wednesday I have a removals company coming around to give me a quotation and I am optimistic that I will be leaving here very soon as I don't want to be here at all never mind for very long but it does pay a wage and that is much needed at present or I would just decamp tomorrow.
Friends came down at the weekend, and helped to strip the wallpaper from the kitchen and bathroom. Much needed help for which I was very grateful and they were rewarded with a homemade curry and a trip to the village pub in the evening though I am sure the nightlife in the area was a lot quieter than they thought it might be.
I took them back to the station yesterday, then started on with the painting in the kitchen, managed to fall over twice, the second was more spectacular as I crashed down off a chair after hanging a new shower curtain in the bathroom. Luckily on neither occasion did I hurt myself but did end up feeling a little scared of doing more so had the rest of the evening off to enjoy a chinese instead.
26 July 2009
The Biography The Last Fighting Tommy written by Harry along with Richard Van Embden and very little of it covers the war and his experiences, instead it covers his early life and his life after the war when he returned to his career as a plumber.
Harry didn't talk about the war very much until he was over 100 and that was to ensure that the current generations know about the futility of war on such a grand scale. To quote him, no war is worth losing a life over; Harry said discussion was how to stop wars in the future... perhaps our politicians should take note.
God Bless you Harry
25 July 2009
The husband cringed, 'I warned you to be careful! Now we'll have to go up there, find the owner, apologize and see how much your bad aim is going to cost us.'
So the couple walked up to the house and knocked on the door. A warm voice said, 'Come on in.'
When they opened the door they saw the damage that was done: glass was all over the place, and a broken antique bottle was lying on its side near the broken window.
A man reclining on the couch asked, 'Are you the people that broke my window?'
'Uh...yeah, sir. We're really sorry about that,' the husband replied.
'Oh, no apology is necessary. Actually I want to thank you... You see, I'm a genie , and I've been trapped in that bottle for a thousand years Now that you've released me, I'm allowed to grant three wishes. I'll give you each one wish, but if you don't mind, I'll keep the last one for myself'
'Wow, that's great!' the husband said. He pondered a moment and blurted out, 'I'd like a million dollars a year for the rest of my life.'
'No problem,' said the genie 'You've got it, it's the least I can do. And I'll guarantee you a long, healthy life!' 'And now you, young lady, what do you want?' the genie asked.
'I'd like to own a gorgeous home complete with servants in every country in the world,' she said.
'Consider it done,' the genie said. 'And your homes will always be safe from fire, burglary and natural disasters!'
'And now,' the couple asked in unison, what's your wish, genie?'
'Well, since I've been trapped in that bottle and haven't been with a woman in more than a thousand years, my wish is to "have" your wife.'
The husband looked at his wife and said, 'Gee, honey, you know we both now have a fortune, and all those houses. What do you think?'
She mulled it over for a few moments and said, 'You know, you're right. Considering our good fortune, I guess I wouldn't mind, but what about you, honey?'
'You know I love you sweetheart,' said the husband. I'd do the same for you!' So the genie and the woman went upstairs where they spent the rest of the afternoon enjoying each other in every way. After about three hours of non-stop s*x, the genie rolled over and looked directly into her eyes and asked, 'How old are you and your husband?'
'Why, we're both 35,' she responded breathlessly.
' Wow!' He said, 'Thirty-five years old and you both still believe in genies?'
23 July 2009
I am still extremely tired after yesterday's exertions... and after the long drive down in the rain on Tuesday as well. I arrived well after 7pm and that's after leaving here at 12.30 but circumstances meant that my journey was delayed by 45 mins due to having to cross the wasteland that is Milton Keynes.
I was treated to a meal out in a nice location at the other end, and then crashed out on the bed... so much for stay-ability when you get older and needing more sleep lol.
Up early for the interviews, couldn't eat breakfast or drink my tea but made up for it after the second one with a ham and gruyere panini in Tesco's before heading over to drop off some things for friends and then the long drive home. I stopped for a break at Taunton Dean services where (and I rarely do this) I spotted a fashion faux pas of the highest rank.. It is bad enough when men wear socks with sandals but when it is a woman wearing an orange skirt, a purple top and a green shrug it was hilarious.. I have no idea of who she was but if I ever wear anything that bad, please push me off the edge of the nearest tall building :-)
By the time I got to Swindon the car was starting to look alarmingly empty, I know that a 1/8 tank will still do 60 miles but the Esso garage was selling diesel for 99.9p per litre which is a good price at any location most of the garages were ranging between 101.9 to 106.9 for diesel en-route so I filled her to the brim.
I was so glad to get home last night, the fish were sleeping silently (do they do anything else I wonder?) on the floor of their tank while Gus and Barnie were gazing at me through the bars of their cage in the every hopeful stance that begged for a yogie.. duly given, I then sat down to a KFC and finally managed to go to bed and sleep at about 11.30pm.
This morning I had to empty the car, which I was just too tired to do last night - and then make my way to work... but at least the sun shone today :-)
Thank you to everyone who wished me well, thought about me and contributed any ideas for questions.. it was all welcomed and appreciated.
22 July 2009
We were led in a crocodile format to the Learning Centre, and given a briefing of the day - Day! I thought crumbs... I am in trouble... so I asked for clarity and we were given our individual interview times, mine being 11.30am... hoping they weren't running late I kept quiet and the IT task was given to us to do, not too bad using Office 2007 which I was familiar with, as it happened but challenging enough to keep me thinking all the time I was doing it, checking I had followed instructions and that it was what was being asked for.
I did find that the lack of planned activity led to a lot of sitting around, as you couldn't monopolise the staff member for any length of time and I tried to get a feel for what the college was about and also the types of students/queries needing answers.
One of the other candidates asked about the test, she had yet to take it and it was a very uncomfortable few moments when I explained that I couldn't in all fairness give her any information about it neither good nor bad as it would set her up with pre-conceptions about what to expect.
The interview itself went well, ok that's how I felt it went, but you don't really know or get a feel for how they perceive you.
I finished about 12.10pm and then had to hot foot it over to Camborne, no time for a break for the next appointment and more importantly no time to go through the paperwork.
This interview was with Cornwall Neighbourhoods for Change and appealed to my sense of fair play and wanting to put something back into the community. This time it was a written test trying to establish matching clients with criteria for options. Then a list of tasks which needed prioritising.
At the actual interview I was handed back my test and asked to explain the process I had gone through with each task and how I had arrived at my answers. I again though the interview went well but they have a few more people to interview on Thursday so I am unlikly to know anything until Friday at the earliest.
I would happily take either of the two jobs offered, both differing in the workplace, both offering me the opportunity to use my skills and I would find it hard to choose which one I preferred most... I only hope that one of them feels I am the right person for the job as it would be good to be able to tick the boxes re: a job before I leave but if need be then I will be moving without a job and doing temp work until something more permanent comes along.
Left Cornwall after the last interview, dropping in to see a couple of friends and got home after a long and tiring journey at 10.30pm after stopping for a KFC in Milton Keynes.
21 July 2009
Tomorrow I have two interviews, one at 9am and another at 12.30pm not too far apart so I should be ok if one runs late. I have been reading the spec for the positions, the background on the companies involved and tried to come up with some intelligent questions that demonstrates a) my interest in the job and the company and b) that I have prepared for the interview and done my homework.
Do any of you have any other questions I might like to raise, other than money... not that it isn't interesting but there are more ways of making money than bartering your soul for it and I am hoping that if the house sells for what I have been quoted I will be able to lose the mortgage in the process of the move and therefore money will be less of a target and more of an opportunity.
Look forward to hearing from you on this, what have you asked at Interviews in the past and do you think it influenced your interview?
20 July 2009
Not only does the room now appear lighter, but also larger (though that has more to do with the amount taken out of the room rather than the colour aspect).
I had to learn a whole new technique to painting the walls as the first coat didn't cover the old paint underneath and when I got back to the first corner, at least the surface was dry enough to take a second coat immediately. I used a brush rather than a roller as I find it easy to make a bit of a mess with a roller, that's not to say I don't with a brush, but at least its not so big a mess.
I don't want to stay in the house, even with the fresh coat of paint on it, and the estate agent has another client she wants to show the property to which will be done on Tuesday when I am not in.. it was very uncomfortable to show the house off on Friday last week, and the thunderous rain didn't help very much but I knew as soon as they left that the couple weren't interested in buying it as they wanted something a little more open plan but didn't want to make the effort.
The couple looking at it on Tuesday are a builder, handy for the changes they want to make, and also keep chickens and have a vegetable patch so it might tickle their fancy.. as soon as it is sold, no matter the job situation, I will be handing in my notice at work... and I can almost taste freedom.
18 July 2009
“We have a number of locomotives at the NRM without names,” a specially-sought NRM consultant told the top civil servant. “Mostly freight locomotives though.”
“Oh dear, that’s not very fitting for a prime minister,” said Sir Humphrey. “How about that big green one, over there?” he said, pointing to no.4472.
“That’s already got a name” said the consultant. “It’s called ‘Flying Scotsman’.”
“Oh. Couldn’t it be renamed?” asked Sir Humphrey. “This is a national museum after all, funded by the taxpayer.”
“I suppose it might be considered,” said the NRM consultant. “After all the LNER renamed a number of their locomotives after directors of the company, and even renamed one of them Dwight D Eisenhower.”
“That’s excellent”, said Sir Humphrey, “So that’s settled then .. let’s look at renaming 4472. But how much will it cost? We can’t spend too much, given the expenses scandal!”
Well, said the consultant, “We could always just paint out the ‘F’
17 July 2009
I have tried some of walkers flavours, the hoisin duck weren't too bad, though I passed on the builders breakfast, cajun squirrel and fish and chips...
What's wrong with good old salt n vinegar or cheese and onion or my personal favourite is to have worcestershire sauce crisps... definitely worth obtaining if you like worcestershire sauce.
Outside it is pouring with rain, thundering like mad and generally a wet summers day.. but at least it isn't cold.
Was up at the crack of dawn this morning; finishing off a little painting task I left undone last night... I prefer to paint textured walls, or even anaglypta wallpaper than plain walls as you can see a more even finish on those whereas plain walls show ever blemish there is ... sigh!
16 July 2009
I am lucky in that my bedroom, has windows front and back as it is a large bedroom some 22feet long and at the rear it faces onto fields and woods I don't need to pull the curtains at night so I get to see the bats flying in the twilight catching insects.
I knew they flew at dusk, but until this morning I didn't realise they also flew at pre-dawn as well.. all you see is a fast moving dark object almost like a swallow except for the fact they are flying in lowlight. I am fascinated by them, and when I still had the dogs I used to take a walk last thing at night along the lane to the farm to see the bats flying. Occasionally they would come nearby you, but you were never in fear of being entangled in them.
So there you go... I am going to miss my bats above everything else and I don't know that they will be at the other end of my journey.
Update : I had a phone call this morning, to say I have another interview for the same day next week as the other one.. what are the chances of that occurring? One happy singing bunny...
15 July 2009
This is a job in Pool, near Redruth and working with a regeneration charity. I am trying not to get my hopes up as there is likely to be stiff competition but it is a step in the right direction and I am always hopeful that a) I like them and b) they like me enough to offer me the job.
I will remember that the interview is a two way streak, as much about whether I want to work for them and what their ethics are about the people that use their services. I now plan to do some investigative work and try and find out more of what they do so that I can ask intelligent questions at the interview stage.
Also my new laptop arrived last night, I purchased this last week from the Dell outlet. It was supposed to be a scratch and dent laptop, but I can't find a mark on it and I am looking forward to exploring it in the next couple of days.
14 July 2009
Something so obvious you would have to be ultra stupid to get it wrong..
I did, and it took me two attempts to get it right. What was it I hear you cry? I used a power washer to do the driveway last night, to blast the weeds out between the cracks and to clean up the dirt and algae/lichens off the stones.
All I had to do (so I was told) was to connect the hose, turn on the water, plug in the unit and hey presto all would be power-washed.. it was at this moment that the situation turned into the simpson's moment as I had done the above and nothing much seemed to be happening, certainly not the pressure I had been expecting.
Frustrated, I put it away in the garage, while I decided to leave it to carry on with the painting task - see occupy the hands and the brain can think - and I had my Archimedes moment "Eureka" I cried..
Why hadn't it worked when I put it together the first time.. simple, I hadn't checked the switch was turned on.. Doh!
10 Minutes later and my wrists are aching with the vibrations, next doors car has been sprayed with mud (as am I) and the drive is looking much, much cleaner.. just have the second half to do tonight so will be a little more prepared and a little less stupid.
13 July 2009
- Painting the stairs wall and ceiling
- Painting the front room walls and ceiling
- Painting the window ledges front, wall posts, garage surround and porch woodwork
- Putting woodstain on the front door
- Repainting the number on the door (was brass is now painted with gold leaf paint - which looks pretty)
- Replacing the coving - which had fallen down over a year ago.. being as it was over 10 wide impossible for me to do on my own.
- Met with an estate agent who has given me an estimation of the value of the house
- Drank 4 bottles of beer, 2 bottles of wine - yes really not a lot at all.
We were pretty much on the go from 8am until usually 8pm with a short break for lunch... dinner was more of a slow affair as both of us were shattered by then.
Sounds good, well this is the list of things that still need doing :
- Painting the dining room walls and ceiling
- Painting the spare bedroom walls and ceiling
- Painting the study walls
- Painting the kitchen walls and tiles
- Painting the bathroom and sealing the bath
- Gloss work in the entire house - skirting boards, doors and some window ledges
House will be going on the market when this is done, which I estimate to be the end of the month. Another couple of friends are coming down to help me to do the kitchen and bathroom but the rest of it.. that's all mine..
I know it will be worth it in the end, but it does seem like an awfully long list to me
11 July 2009
The Personnel Manager said, 'Mujibar, you have passed all the tests, except one. Unless you pass it, you cannot qualify for this job.'
Mujibar said, 'I am ready..'
The manager said, 'Make a sentence using the words Yellow, Pink and Green.'
Mujibar thought for a few minutes and said, 'Mister manager, I am ready'
The manager said, 'Go ahead.'
Mujibar said, 'The telephone goes green,green, and I pink it up, and say, 'Yellow ', this is Mujibar.'
Mujibar now works at a call centre. No doubt you have spoken to him... I know I have.
10 July 2009
Sadly he won't see this post as he and his wife Pauline don't have access to the internet, but the thought counts .. that and I did send him a birthday card which I know he has got and next time we meet I will take him and Pauline out for a coffee and a piece of real cake on me to celebrate; I hope this won't be too distant into the future.
09 July 2009
She was the one who picked out Sam and Teg as she was always dog mad, and spookily they were born on 3 Aug in 1990 - the spooky bit, this was the day she died in 1992.
Also, Dad and I brought the car a Peugeot 306 on this day in 2001, we had committed ourselves to it just before going on holiday as there were a few minor things that needed addressing (minor scratches/blemishes etc) and when we got the paperwork we found that the car had been officially registered on my birthday which is the end of March - guess it was always meant to be :-)
I know you can always read more into patterns that is actually there but this has always struck me as slightly spooky.
08 July 2009
I am planning on getting another couple of valuations done and then I can sit down with the costs for sale and work out the best way of selling the house...
Anyone done this out there and wants to give me some valuable advice and tips, I am all ears..
I apparently need either to pay up front (non-returnable) or at the point of sale between 1-1.5% of the value... hmmm which is the better option?
How do you interview an Estate Agent to get the best price for them to sell on your behalf?
Help me here someone must have some useful info?
07 July 2009
So I tried gently cooking them with some sugar and spooning some over strawberries and ice-cream...mmm now that was a good combination..
Next I am going to try this :
Baked vanilla cheesecake
- 8 digestive biscuits
- 50g butter , melted
- 600g cream cheese
- 2 tbsp plain flour
- 175g caster sugar
- vanilla extract
- 2 eggs , plus 1 yolk
- 142ml pot soured cream
- Heat the oven to 180C/fan 160C/gas 4. Crush the biscuits in a food processor (or put in a plastic bag and bash with a rolling pin). Mix with the butter. Press into a 20cm springform tin and bake for 5 minutes, then cool.
- Beat the cream cheese with the flour, sugar, a few drops of vanilla, eggs, the yolk and soured cream until light and fluffy. Pour into the tin. Bake for 40 minutes and then check, it should be set but slightly wobbly in the centre. Leave in the tin to cool.
Anyone got any other suggestions?
06 July 2009
The reason why?
The dogs kept out the neighbours cats from the garden and the birds could comfortably eat my redcurrants and strawberries leaving me with none but I didn't mind as when I last had redcurrants it was years ago and I prefer raspberries.
Now the cats have free reign, I have lost most of the birds from the garden and as a result I managed the other night to pick over 3lbs of redcurrants.. a bittersweet moment.
I have frozen 2lbs and the other went into a saucepan with some sugar and gently stewed.. last night I had this compote served over raspberries and yoghurt... it was superb and I looked at a small pot in the supermarket which had 200g of redcurrrants in for 1.99 so I reckon I have an expensive commodity there..
Will have to plant a new bush when I get to Cornwall as I think I like redcurrants, I know I like white currants but I have never seen any plants for sale.. anyone else know where I can get them from?
04 July 2009
"Hans Olaffsen?", he muses. "How does that fit in here?" So he walks into the shop and sees an old Chinese man behind the counter.
The tourist asks,"How did this place get a name like Hans Olaffsen's Laundry?"
The old man answers,"Is name of owner."
The tourist asks,"Well, who and where is the owner?"
"Me.....is right here," replies the old man.
"You? How did you ever get a name like Hans Olaffsen?"
"Is simple," says the old man. "Many year ago when I come to this country, I was stand in line at Documentation Centre. Man in front was big blonde Swedish guy.
Lady at desk issuing papers ask at him, "What your name? He say 'Hans Olaffsen.'
Then she look at me and say,'What your name?' I say Sem Ting."
03 July 2009
Peter, Zeltus and I are in contact by email, and discussing family history. Nan was born in 1897 and married when aged 27 to Pops who was 5 years younger than her.. Nan to me was a no-nonsense woman, who managed children (and grand-children) with cast-iron rules particularly for manners and the like (though she was very good at treats etc).
Peter's perspectives of his parents, our grandparents, seem to be different from mine and we are busy swapping family history and sharing what we know.. it is good to be in touch and we hope that at some point in future to meet up.
I learned a lot of cooking skills from Nan, who was a cook before she married, as she always seemed to be baking and after school treats were nearly always available in the kitchen.. I still love licking out the cake mixture when I am baking cakes.. yep even the raw eggs in there don't stop me loving it. Mum also was a good cook, and I would think that she also had 'lessons' in how to make your own cakes etc.. which came in handy when we were stationed in Malaya as these were not usually widely available in the Naafi and when they were they were incredibly expensive.
Peter's wife, like Zeltus's wife comes from Falmouth... a funny coincidence in the bigger scheme of things... and they are trying to make contact with her side of the family
02 July 2009
It's a blog featuring the ducks which appear in the Harborough Mail a sample cartoon is above and if you click here you will link to the post with a better version of the cartoon in... I like it when cartoonists poke fun at the MP's in this way and the cartoon of the week ending 28/05/2009 is even better though I believe you can't beat Mac for the charm of his cartoons and the hidden pictures.
I think this is one to add to my blogroll.. what do you think?
01 July 2009
I had an email in my inbox yesterday morning, from a contact within Genes Reunited and it turns out to be my Uncle Peter, who left many years ago to live in Australia.. Zeltus was in touch with him for a little while a few years back, but lost his address and since then Dad and I had no contact at all for a number of years; in fact since after Mum died in 1992, when we had to tell him the sad news over the phone.
I have been building the family history, on a part-time basis, as and when I get a chance or a new link and thanks to people like Colin and Rachel who gave me their family trees which link to mine I traced back my Dad's family to 1790's but had little luck with Mum's side and now Peter and I will be trading information back and forwards to fill in the gap a little more.
It was good to get this contact from him, and he has passed my details onto another family member in the Gloucestershire area which my maternal grandmother's family came from.
I can now add some more details to the family tree and hopefully, can add Peter to the view so he can see what I am missing and what he is missing and between us we can add some colour.
I have given Peter this blog, and if he clicks on Zeltus he will find my brother as well; whether we will get a chance to visit Australia at some point in the future I don't know, I would like to think so but I am not going to set my hopes too high as the future is at the moment uncertain until certain events have occurred (or not as the case might be).
Hello to my newly found family in Australia if you have followed the link on the email...