Friday 31 October 2008

Happy Halloween

Well a Happy Halloween to one and all.

I've been sitting here with all the goodies ready to give to all the kiddies knocking at the door and had almost given up. All we kept getting were teenagers with hoods up and rubber masks. So I gave them the kiddie sweets - probably not what they were hoping for!

Then at last a knock on the door and there is a little lad - only about 4 years old - with his face painted and dressed up as only a proper ghost would be. He was accompanied by his parents and deserved the sweets for making an effort on such a cold, cold night.

Shame we couldn't have had a full moon as well :-)

Thursday 30 October 2008

New Template

Tried several different templates but now I'm feeling weary and my eyes are bleary so I'll leave it on this one and see how I feel tomorrow.

Some of the lighter coloured ones were great but they didn't fit in with the widgets that I wanted to add and although this one is black - again - it is really cute!

Tuesday 28 October 2008

Layout Experiment

I noticed that my blog layout - much as I love it - is a little bit tiring on the old eyes. So I am going to experiment with changing the colour and see if that makes it easier to read.

Please bear with me while the experiments go on....

Sunday 26 October 2008

X Factor Big Band Week

Well X Factor this week was brilliant. I've always enjoyed watching X Factor but this year it is even better than ever. The standard of singing is incredible and it is unbelievable that it has had to take a program like this for them to be able to get a foot into the music business.

I do love music - not any particular type, just anything that is good and I wish I could sing, but unfortunately I can't. When I was younger I used to sing all the time but 9 years of being married to my first husband and being told to stop singing because I couldn't sing soon put paid to that! But in the privacy of my own home - and when no-one is around - I have been tempted to sing along to my favourite songs.

I can remember buying a DVD once which purported to 'Teach you to Sing'. Well it didn't work with me - I'm still out of tune and struggling to hit the notes! But I do enjoy singing nevertheless!

Should my family read my Blog?

Chatting to my daughter we were discussing blogs and how it is almost like writing a diary online. She said that she hadn't logged onto my Blog because she didn't know whether I would mind her reading it.

Well it does make you think. After all I write whatever crosses my mind so should I worry about who reads it?

Actually if I was worried about the content of my Blog and who reads it then I guess I shouldn't write one. By putting my thoughts out onto the world wide web I am giving people permission to read my innermost thoughts.

I was discussing it with my OH and was saying that in some way it's a bit like burying a time capsule in the hope that some time in the future someone will discover it and it will tell them something about the way people lived in this era.

Well this is my time capsule so that people will be able to read about how I dealt with life in this day and age.

Also as I progress through life I am documenting the way that I deal with all the problems I come across and any lessons I learn. Hopefully someone may find answers to their own problems by reading about mine or realise that what they are thinking/feeling is quite normal.

Well as normal as I can get!!

1920 Art Deco Watch

On my search for a 'ticking' watch I came across a little watch for sale on Ebay. It had been put in the wrong category and was not listed with the vintage watches. It was for sale from a jeweller in the Netherlands and is 14K Rose Gold.

Anyway I bid on it and won it and it arrived within 2 days. It is so lovely and I'm really pleased with it. I gave it a little clean although it was in great condition bearing in mind that it is about 85 years old!

So now you will see me wearing my vintage watch and not a battery operated one.

Nostalgia is great :-)

Thursday 23 October 2008

Feeling Old

Tonight I feel a bit sad. Where do the years go?

It all started with my OH having another hernia, a bout of bad stomach and the general feeling of always having something or other wrong nowadays.

I then had to start searching through my photos to try and find a half decent head shot to put on my season ticket that is due at the end of the month. Could I find one!!!

Where did all the years go and when did I start to look 'old' after all I still feel the same inside. What is it about growing up/old that the body has to deteriorate as well. If the mind can stay the same then why can't the body :-)

When I look back over the photos the years seem to have whizzed by and with them the youthfulness.

I long for the youthful body yet to retain the knowledge and experience that I have reached so far. But then I guess we all do that. Am I ready to hang up my desire for fun and enjoyment and settle into middle age/old age - you bet I'm not, but perhaps I don't have control over that.

Playing with the grandkids I have fun and try to pretend that I can still throw them around and play with them like before but afterwards the aches and pains prove to me that I should really ease up a bit. But I don't want to give in. I don't want to become 'old'.

My dad was always known as Peter Pan and perhaps that is where I take after him - a desire to stay young.....

Tuesday 21 October 2008

Nostalgia Costs

Recently I was discussing old watches with a colleague and I got a nostalgic desire to have a watch that ‘ticked’. I don’t know why, I guess it’s something I remember as a child and how comforting the ‘tick tick’ is.

After all one of the recommendations if you have a young puppy, and it is lonely at night, is to put an old clock in its bed. The ticking of the clock comforts the pup. But I digress....

I really fancied having an old watch. I didn’t know what era I wanted all I know is I wanted a really old one. After looking on EBay I found a style I liked from about the early 1900’s. About 1912-1930 seemed to be the era I was attracted to. Well I thought I would put in a few bids. Was I in for a surprise! Every time I bid on a watch – no matter what condition – I was outbid. It got to be quite ridiculous in the end. I mean I was bidding for a watch for ME but it appears from the bidding history that there are people that are bidding like mad to do them up and re-sell them. After all why would you buy just about every vintage watch that came up for auction?

I even started bidding on watches that needed repairing but that was just the same. The same people buying all the watches and outbidding anyone else.

I haven’t given up totally and I keep looking but I had not realised just how popular old watches are. I guess if I upped my maximum price then I might eventually outbid these collectors/sellers but I can’t afford to pay an extortionate amount for an old watch. All I wanted was to have a nice looking old watch that ticked not make loads of money out of it!

Ups and Downs

Well so far it has been a bit up and down this week.

The weekend was great with 6 out of the 8 grandchildren coming round to visit. By the time they had all left I was very relaxed but rather worn out – swinging children around is a very tiring business! But that is what life is all about – the children. Far too quickly they will be grown up and not needing their grandparents so I’m determined to enjoy them now.

Work was better on Monday but then my attitude has probably helped – I was far too tense last week (with the inquest on my mind).

Then last night I was greeted by my OH who promptly told me he had a hernia….

That is the second one in about 2 years. Crikey that means another operation. We’ve hardly got the skin problem under control and now he’s got to have an operation :-(

Will have to check out the Feng Shui arrangement in my health area in case I’ve got something wrong there… Anything to help!!

Thursday 16 October 2008

Financial Crisis

Well it has taken a little longer in the UK for the crisis to hit but it is definitely now having an effect.

Whilst many people still have not noticed too much difference except an increase in the cost of living it is now a lot less secure on the job front. With many thousands of people losing their jobs through redundancies everyone is tending to feel very insecure.

While I was in Spain this summer we spoke to our friends about the problems already encountered in Spain and at that time we hadn't seen any of it occuring here. We chatted about buying a property in Spain ready for when we eventually retire - unfortunately that now seems a dream in the too distant future. The exchange rate is suffering, although not so much here as in the USA, and the value of our houses have dropped. Loans are a lot more difficult to get hold of and also we are tending to be wary of taking on any more expenditure in case we end up out of work.

It is so sad and the divide between rich and poor is even wider....

Wednesday 15 October 2008

Inquest - to go or not to go

Well I'm under pressure from my sister to go to the inquest into the death of my father.

Six months ago he was run over and killed by a young newly qualified driver. The lad is going to be there because the outcome of the Coroner's report will decide whether the police will prosecute him or not. Naturally the young lad will be accompanied and supported by his family.

My initial feelings on the matter are that I do not want to go. My reasons being that at the moment my last memories of my Dad were pleasant ones - a long and happy conversation with him. That is the last memory I want to keep. I do not want my last memories to be a Coroner's report!

It is bad enough having already been told of the injuries he suffered and having to come to terms with it without six months down the line being reminded again. I feel that to hear in detail the cause of death would throw me back to where I was when he died.

My sister on the other hand had not spoken or seen my father for about 4 months prior to his death. She was stubborn and so was he and so her last memory of him was not a good one. Therefore I feel that guilt is behind her insistence on going to this hearing. The problem is that she is trying to transfer her guilt onto both her daughter, myself and my daughter with the words "if no-one is there it will look as if no-one cared about him".

That is totally untrue - I love my Dad. But then that is my way of dealing with it. I know my Dad would understand why I am not there but my sister has still made me feel guilty.

So, what is the right or wrong thing to do? I guess that it all depends on the individual but for me I want to remember good times not bad.

Quite a contentious issue I guess...

Saturday 11 October 2008


I don't wish to sound morbid but I've been thinking about death just lately. I guess it's because it was the inquest into my Dad's death on Friday that has made me ponder on the subject more than usual.

You see as you get older death smacks you in the face rather more than you would want it to. My stepmum, Dora, died suddenly less than 2 years ago and then my Dad got run over and killed less than 6 months ago. It kind of brings a lot of things into perspective......

So why are we so afraid of death and why do we avoid mentioning the subject?

I guess the pain of losing someone you love, whatever age they may be, is a truely personal pain. Every person is different how they deal with it and what it means to them.

What actually occurs at the point of 'death' and do we realise at the time what is happening? The older I get I suppose I come across more and more people going through the process. My mother and father-in-law both died a few years ago and I tried to help my husband cope with the loss but I could not fully comprehend what it felt like until I lost a parent. I watched Mick's mum dying and she seemed to be aware of exactly when she was going to 'go' and was not afraid. Dora had spoken of having enough now in this life and had made plans for her death even though she was not ill. My Dad, although totally unaware that he was going to be killed, made a point of saying something especially nice to me a few days before his death - a total surprise considering he was suffering from dementia.

So do we know? Or does a part of us deeper than our conscious mind actually know when we are going to die?

I guess I will never know until it is my time to leave this earthly life - and maybe that's the way it's supposed to be - although it probably would help with our perception of life and death if we were more knowledgable on the subject right now.....

Thursday 9 October 2008

Big Brother

Well Big Brother has finally found us at work!

I found out today that they have been monitoring the internet usage over the past month. Now you may ask why that has made me flaming mad. Well several reasons. For one thing the policy at our place has been to use the internet whenever you want to - there is a blanket charge for the internet connection and therefore it costs nothing extra for any of us to go on whenever we want. In the past 9 years that I've worked for this company everyone has popped in and out of the internet without thought. As long as your work is done then there has never been any problem.

So why the big change???

More important than that is why some people knew about this monitoring and others didn't. That meant that the people 'in the know' avoided using the internet during this month while all the rest of us (me included of course) carried on as normal.

Add to this the fact that I use the internet for work purposes also and am on and off to the banking system several times during the day (for work) then it leads me to ask "just what are they monitoring?". If they are monitoring the time logged in then it would falsely show an amount of time 'used' as most of the time it is sitting minimised but still 'open'.

Furthermore if they are actually monitoring the sites visited then isn't that beginning to border on invasion of our privacy. After all if I'm looking up something health related or personal I certainly don't appreciate all and sundry knowing.

Yes I am flaming mad and I feel let down. I no longer know who to trust anymore and those that I thought were friends are evidently not.

Who knows they are probably following this blog too......... disappointed; saddened; mad but most of all betrayed.......

Wednesday 8 October 2008

The end of a marriage

I've been consolling a friend this week who in absolute distress and shock told me that her husband of 2 years and father to their 1 year old baby girl had announced that he no longer wanted to be married. He wanted to be single again!

Now I'm not here to judge or make comment - after all I've made enough mistakes in my life, and I've been divorced - so all I could do was to try and offer practical advice. Her husband has already instructed solicitors (a definite no-no at any chance of a reconciliation) and is moving out at the weekend.

Within the matter of a week her life has been turned upside down and changed beyond all her expectations and dreams.

How quickly our lives and plans disolve into dust; and just where does it all go wrong. After all we all know how 'being in love' feels and it is an unfortunate (or fortunate - depending how you view it) fact of life that 'in love' has to change. It has to for how else could you live for years on end being in that heightened state!

Being in love is a great feeling but it is exhausting and all encompassing. After being in love I believe comes the real 'love'. As the years go by and you know one another more than you know yourself and you accept all the little things that could otherwise niggle you and still know that this person is the first person you want to see when you awake in the morning; and the last person you want to see before you go to sleep at night. To know that your life IS that person - they are your best friend, your confidant, your advisor, then to me that is real love.

Unfortunately for this couple they have never reached the real love stage; they have fallen at the first fence; when the 'in love' faded and the pressures of marriage and parenthood hit them. So now they have to face the pressures of separation; divorce and being an 'ex'. I do feel for them as it is not easy.

Monday 6 October 2008

Brain Meltdown

Wow, I don't know about you but sometimes you cram so much into your head - so many new things to learn - so many things to remember - that you just feel as if you have a meltdown...

The simplest things then seem impossible to remember.

When you consider how much information is taken in on a daily basis if your brain was a computer it would have crashed by now!!

As I've said before I have a totally different aspect to my work that has now been handed down to me which involves giving careful consideration to each stage of the work. Added to the fact that I don't understand the line of work or the regulations involved I am finding it quite difficult. On top of that I'm learning Spanish and French and art and drawing and studying forums to find out all about motorhoming, and researching my ancestors and...... so it goes on.

When I came to type in my password today on my blog my brain just said "enough's enough". After all, think about it - if you shop online you have passwords for each shop; if you bank online you have passwords for each bank/building society; then there are passwords for forums, passwords for blogs; passwords for............ everything.................

Help, that's it my brain is going on strike for a while.

Saturday 4 October 2008

Get me outta this country

England is becoming too overcrowded.

For the first time for weeks I popped into our local town this morning to do a quick bit of shopping. I was so surprised. A car park that I always used had now had 6' high fencing and gates that locked at night to protect if from anyone who might venture in after dark! They had also increased the minimum car park fee considerably (to pay for the fencing I guess) and it got me wondering again about the state of the UK these days. I really think I've had enough.

Get me outta here....

You can hardly find peaceful areas anymore. It's not that I'm unsociable it's just that working amongst noise all week I just long for a bit of peace and quiet; to be amongst natural surroundings and to breathe fresh air (not much of that about in London).

Also I guess as the years go by your priorities change. While those that still have many many years left at work focus on their careers and future development I, on the other hand, focus on what I consider to be my priority in life - my husband, my family, and enjoying what life holds in store for the next phase of my life. Don't get me wrong I do my job well - I just work to live, not live to work.

Given half a chance I'd be packing my bag and off to a warmer climate :-)

Friday 3 October 2008

Canada and Australia too

Just a quick update to say that the family tree is growing :-)

I've been contacted regarding a line of my family now living in Australia and also there is a definite connection to Canada.

Hey we are going global!

More later

Wednesday 1 October 2008

Welsh, Irish, Norfolk Ancestry

Well my search for my roots so far has left me with quite a varied lineage. The family seems to have moved around wherever there were dockyards or farming communities. Some of the areas lived and born in are Pembrokeshire, Wales; Belfast and Limmerick in Ireland; Norfolk, Suffolk, Kent, Sussex in England - and the list keeps growing!

I find it fascinating to read about my ancestors and to imagine how they lived - we complain about life now but how much harder it must have been in the days when they were alive.

So far I've got about 900 in my family tree and it's one of those hobbies that you can put down for a while and come back to when feeling fresh again.

I also love collecting the old photos - some of which you will see on my slideshow.

When I think of all those ancestors I just think to myself "what a party we'll have when we meet up on the other side". :-)