Soggy Sunday

It is another rainy and windy day here, this week we have  seen our local rivers, streams and brooks on the verge of bursting from all of the rushing runoff from the rain.  I know we are officially in a drought but when you wake up to the sound of the whipping wind and lashing rain you don’t much think about hose pipe bans and water shortages.  So, what are some things you can do on a soggy Sunday like this?  My mom, (whose birthday it is today, Happy Birthday Mom!), loves to do what she calls “doing bear”. Doing bear, consists of puling the covers way up as if you are in a cave and snuggling down to listen to the rain outside feeling all warm and safe in your cave.  Not a bad way to spend a day like today.


Ugh, flat packed furniture!

My greatest nemesis…flat packed furniture and for someone who lacks spacial aptitude yet has the confidence to adopt the motto, “if all else fails read the instructions” you can see where this is a very bad mixture.  So yesterday when we could no longer put off opening the giant box in our bedroom containing my new and not very expensive desk, it was time to face my foe.  Now, Pam and I are very different people, she is my balance.  Where I will put together first and ask questions later when the door handles are upside down, Pam will study the instructions, lay out all of the components and then tackle the beast head on.  This was actually our first piece of flat packed furniture that we have bought together so I was going to turn over a new leaf and do it the right way. I took out all of the bits, sorted them and opened the dreaded instructions.  I made it to step two before calling in the reinforcements who was cooking dinner at the time.  Together we battled through steps 2 and 3 before my lovely and gentle partner announced that she was going to through the runners for the drawers through our bedroom window.  She took a break at this point.  I soldiered on not willing to be defeated by a couple of pieces of metal with little plastic wheels on them.  I completed building the first drawer with great triumph.  Now, time for the second drawer I look back at the instructions (now that I’m using them I cannot do anything without their guidance and I see that the next step takes  you on to something different.  Here I am one drawer complete and now I’m stranded.  The instructions did not even say anything like “repeat last step for 2nd drawer” or “okay fly solo on the 2nd drawer”…nothing just on to the next step.  Not to be outdone I used my first drawer as a guide and completed the second one.  Once the drawers were built and the runners put on (which was the worst part by far) the next few steps went swimmingly.  Pam came in very surprised to see the shape of a desk and no pieces outside our window.  Together we put the top on and were now ready to just pop the drawers in and we were done.  Okay, you know those runners that I was so proud I had conquered? Well, the left drawer went in but will not come out more than 3 inches and the right drawer will not even go in!!  Pam says “no problem we don’t need the drawers so we can just leave them out.”  One issuette here…the left drawer physically won’t leave its little cosy space.  It is there and it is staying.  We left it last night before the entire thing ended up outside, saying that we would sort it tomorrow.  Pam appeared confident saying “what goes in must come out”.  When I got up I tried to extricate the drawer to no avail.  Keeping my failed attempt to myself I will let the master do her stuff when she comes home.  At the moment though we don’t have a desk but a table with one drawer that only opens 3 inches!  Who the Hell ever thought selling furniture in this manner was a good idea?  Come to think of it maybe selling it was a brilliant idea it is the stupid people like me who buy the stuff knowing we will not get it to look anything like the picture on the box that are making them rich!


Crisis in the work place…the last banana

I am working on a client site this week (to remain nameless of course) and I witnessed something yesterday that I have never seen before.  I think the collective stress that everyone is under with all the current uncertainty in the world is starting to show in the work place.  I was in the client canteen yesterday staring at the same sandwich fillings as always and trying to decide between tuna and egg salad when I heard an irritated and slightly raised voice.  When I turned I saw a man with a rather red face holding his arms out exasperation saying “was that the last banana?”.  The very nice lady working the counter responded in the affirmative.  The man started to tut and the poor woman who took the dreaded last banana looked embarrassed for beating him to it.  This man just kept standing there tutting and waving his arms in what  I assume was a vain hope that another banana would appear.  The moral of the story is that when we start blowing a gasket about the lack of fresh fruit in our canteen there is something seriously wrong!

Never a Mother but now a Grandmother x2

I never thought I wanted children or maybe it was more that I never wanted to be pregnant  and the whole giving birth thing was just not me.  I would however, have liked to open my front door one day to find a little bundle on my door step.  As you can imagine that didn’t really work out.  I guess I’ve always been fairly maternal and kids do take to me most of the time but having one of my own seemed out of the question once I turned 45.  As you may know,  if you read my posts, I recently got married to my partner Pam.  Pam has two wonderful sons and both are married with lovely wives.  I have become very attached to the loving, crazy clan.  In December 2010 Pam’s eldest son and daughter-in-law gave birth to Ellie, then hot on the heals of Ellie, Jessica arrived born to Pam’s younger son and daughter-in-law.  We have been in both of their lives since the day they were born.  So, last December when Pam and I got married this family suddenly and legally became my family too.  I love them all to bits and don’t think I could love them more if they were my own.  What a game changer…going from a single person to a married person with step kids and grand kids. Now that is the way to do it!  I love being Nonna (Italian for grandmother) and I’m feeling things I’ve never felt before.  My maternal and protective instincts have kicked it up about 10 gears.  I would seriously hurt anyone who wronged any of our kids or grandkids.  Having this family has been a life changing experience for me and I can’t wait to see what happens next!

Okay, I’m impressed…

I had to travel to a new client in Kent this week. I didn’t fancy the drive down on Tuesday morning after the holiday so I checked what the trains looked like. Much to my amazement the journey times looked fantastic and with only the one change at St Pancras. Just in case the journey times were too good to be true I decided to go on Monday night. The trip from Kettering to St Pancras is always easy and takes just under an hour. I arrive on time into St Pancras and it was an easy 5 minute walk (and that is 5 minutes for me mind you), to the Southeastern Trains platform. The train is already there waiting so I hop on. I look around me and notice how nice the train is and believe it or not even trains have a “new train” smell like cars do. The carriage was lovely with loads of leg room and an electrical socket. Apparently this is not only a new train but a new high-speed line from London to Dover. 38 enjoyable minutes later I arrive at my stop. Since I always share my travel experiences and many have been negative I just had to shout about this very impressive service. I’m sure the upcoming Olympic Games were a driver for this new line and London can be proud of this piece of the rail network…don’t get me started on the rest of it!

James Patterson…slow down a bit, your quality is suffering

I have been a huge James Patterson fan for many years.  I am currently reading Private Games.  I think that the speed in which the books are coming out is starting to impact the quality of the editing.  I am just under halfway through and I have found several glaring editorial errors.  Such as Knight’s bruised ribs changed from the left side to the right side within several pages.  Also, the Olympic flame made its way from “Britain to Greece” instead of the other way around!  There are a couple more but with each error I find the more upset I’m getting.  This is not the quality of a James Patterson book.  The audience appreciates how hard you work and we are always holding our collective breaths for the next in a series.  But if it means that errors like this appear we would rather you take your time with the editing prior to release.

How can it possibly be Easter?

Can someone tell me where the first quarter of 2012 gone?  It truly seems like we were just taking a breather after Christmas and now Easter has snuck up on us from nowhere!  I know they say that as you get older time begins to escalate but this is crazy.  The best part of 4 months has gone by in what seems like a blink of an eye.  My granddaughters are growing at a phenomenal rate.  One is walking the other not far behind.  My youngest niece just turned 1 and my oldest nephew is about to be 26!  All this is happening and I still feel like I’m 18.  One day you are worrying about acne and the next wondering if you should colour your hair because you are too young to go grey!  Where has the time gone?

OMG, we really are becoming the “cat ladies”!

I woke up this morning and as I passed the French windows I saw 3 cats queuing at the door for breakfast!  My step son teases us that we are in danger of becoming like the cat ladies you see on telly…you know the ones with hundreds of cats all over the place.  We always tell him that he is wrong and technically at this moment we don’t actually own a single cat.  The cat we did have has decided she prefers living with Pam’s mum (yes, after nearly 12 years she has moved out and found a more understanding human who caters for her every need as I did just faster!).  So, officially Pam and I are cat-less.  You next door neighbours however have a multitude of cats and one by one they are migrating to this side of the fence.  We started with “Tink” named because when we first moved in we would walk into our locked cottage and hear the tink tink of a bell and we would find this little cat in our house.  It took us ages to figure out how she was getting in.  At first she was very timid and flew whenever we found her.  That of course made us feel bad so we wanted to let her know we wouldn’t harm her so that is the reason we first fed her.  Yes, you can see where this is heading.  After a while she started to let us stroke her for a few seconds before running off.  Over the winter she seemed to always be out.  Now we were pretty sure that she belonged next door but there were so many cats we were never quite sure and she was definitely at the end of the queue for food as she was very small.  Mind you the competition next door must be fierce with 2 Labs, 3 chickens and at least 4 cats.  So if she was out and it was going to be below freezing we would let her in to stay the night.  Which soon turned into letting her stay whatever nights she wanted to.  Within a few days of her getting to know and trust us, more cats started to show up.  Pam would feel bad and put a bowl of food out for them.  Hence this morning’s queue for breakfast at our back door.  The word is obviously out now.  Go to number 40 they are big softies!  I still don’t think this put us in the realm of the “cat ladies” but I have to admit when you are buying copious amounts of cat food and you don’t own a cat that you are getting pretty close.