30 November 2023

It's Beginning.........

It's beginning to smell a lot like Christmas.   Mmmmm!!  Hubby has made, and bottled, his annual batch of mulled wine.  The whole house smelled amazing.

It does come with a health warning and you should definitely not drive after drinking it.  

Four bottles of red wine - cheap stuff will do.
Star Anise
Cinnamon sticks
Bay leaves
Small amount of water

Basically - boil until it's ready!!  Add 2/3 bottle of brandy last off - again the cheapest.  You don't want the alcohol to evaporate. 

Serve hot in small amounts.

If you would like further details let me know and I'll get hubby to tell all.


27 November 2023

Me on a Monday

And here we are.  Another week closer to Christmas.  I can't believe how quickly the last four weeks of term have gone.  This week we start our first Christmas crafts session with the children and their parents!!  How can that be?

That's part of what I did last week.  I made an angel out of a paper plate and cut out 64 antlers to stick on our cardboard reindeer.  Photos to follow :0)

I bought some roses in the super market as they were on special offer.  Also for my mum, who's 80th birthday would have been next Sunday.  Beautiful yellow roses.

I've ordered some Christmas presents and also the wrappings to go with them.  I'm sure it gets harder each year to decide what to buy.

I've finished making one Christmas Gnome for one friend and have almost finished the second.  That one almost met a wet and soggy death when Innes took it out of my crochet bag and started nibbling the hat.  Luckily I caught him just as he stole it, so no harm done.  Innes did look very sheepish for a while, but we're friends now. 

I arranged a pre Christmas catch up with my Auntie.  Who knew it would be so difficult to find a date to go for coffee.  We both seem to be so busy at the moment.

I met my cousin in the super market and had a quick catch up.  We decided it was about time we got together, so we're planning on doing something over Christmas.

I seemed to spend all day Friday trying to get staff for this week, as we have people off sick and others out on courses.  Plus I had to check we had enough staff for the school trip to Chester Zoo next Friday. I think we have almost every child going so it will be an interesting day.

The weekend was spent papering the spare room before starting to paint.  The carpet comes on the 4th December and I'll be so glad when it's finished.

We also took the boys out for a play, on a field that is owned by a friend of ours.  They had a great time and I broke in my new wellies.

And that was it for the week.  Until next time.


20 November 2023

Me on a Monday - 20 November 2023

Last week started with a trip to hospital for my MRI.  Overall it was an interesting experience.  It was extremely loud, and if I kept my eyes shut I couldn't see how close to the top of the machine I was :0)  Results next week.  Hopefully.

Monday night continued with a trip the The Royal Philharmonic Theater, in Liverpool, for an evening with  Anton du Beke.  An evening of comedy, music and dance.  He is so funny and we didn't stop laughing for two hours.  It was a shame we got absolutely drenched getting there, and steamed for two hours whilst we dried out!!

On Thursday I had an optician appointment.  Another test due to my ailment, just to check that my eyes are OK.  All is well and there is no change from last year.

On Saturday we did the two hour drive to York to visit our son and grandson.  We had such a lovely day with them all and it was great to catch up.  We were going to go and see the Christmas markets but it was far to busy for the little fella so we gave it a miss.  I just wish that we lived closer.  Maybe one day.

Sunday was a day for emptying the spare room and de-cluttering the wardrobe etc.  Another trip to the tip and now we're nearly done.  Now we just need to paper and paint and it will be time for the carpet.

All too soon it was Monday.

15 November 2023

Currently in November 2023

Listening to - A Paris Affair by Anton du Beke - 

In the darkest days of war, a stranger will change everything.

Paris, 1926. A young dancer Ray Cohen arrives from London to compete at the Exhibition Paris. He is led astray by Hugo, a charismatic dancer born of the streets, who introduces him to the city's nightlife and a dazzling stranger called Hannah Lindt.
London, 1941. With the heroic Raymond de Guise away fighting in North Africa, his beloved wife Nancy must balance her new position - as Head of Housekeeping at the Buckingham Hotel - with life as a new mother to their child. As the war rages on, a charismatic stranger from Raymond's past arrives at Nancy's doorstep, asking for work at the Buckingham Hotel.

As dark secrets rise to the surface, the very heart of the Buckingham Hotel is under threat. Will tragedy strike?

Reading - Requiem for a Wren by Neville Shute.  I found this in a box of mum's things in the loft.  It was printed in 1956.  I don't think we read it as children but I thought I'd give it a go now.

Alan Duncan returns to Australia after the war and several years of study in England. But his homecoming is marred by the mysterious suicide of his parents’ quiet and reliable parlour-maid. A search through her belongings in search of clues leads to heartbreaking revelations about the woman’s identity, the death of Alan’s brother Bill, and, above all, the disappearance of his brother’s fiancée.

Watching - We have finished The Long Shadow on ITV, all about Peter Sutcliffe.  The Yorkshire ripper.  Hubby was shocked when he realised it was so close to home for him, as he worked in Sheffield at the time.  I watched The Reckoning on BBC (hubby didn't want to watch it).  All about Jimmy Saville, who we thought was brilliant when we were kids but didn't realise how deranged he was.  Just disgusting, and he didn't see he was doing anything wrong!!

Wondering - How our fur boys have any fur left, when most of it is on the kitchen floor!!

Wearing - Jumper and jeans when not at work and jumpers and trousers/skirts when at work!!  Pretty standard for me, this time of year.

Booking - The Great Yorkshire show is all booked.  Airbnb and time off work.  I just need to update our membership.

Making - I am continuing with my Sophie's Universe blanket.  She's going to be a weighty one when she's finished.  I've only done the middle section and she already weighs a ton.

Back next month.


13 November 2023

Me on a Monday - 13 November 2023

It was a pretty quiet week work wise.  Some weeks are like that and some are totally hectic.  I spent a little while sorting out the items for the children's Christmas Crafts session at the end of November and beginning of December. They are doing five items each and they all need to be put in individual bags!!

I had a blood test during the week and had to also see the dentist.  It's all part of the ongoing investigations for my ailment!!

We had a few sunny days but it was mainly wet and dreich.  Probably the best kind of weather to be stripping wallpaper in the spare room.

Saturday morning, after the Slimming World weigh in, I popped down to Starbucks for my first Gingerbread Latte of the season.  A lot of people won't like this, but I'm glad that Pumpkin Spice lattes are no longer on the menu.

On Friday night Hubby and I went to Carr Farm garden center for their first Christmas evening.  There were lots of trees and decorations, but they were all a little overpriced.  I ended up with an owl decoration (like the one in the center of the photo) and a bottle of Christmas Spice oil to put in my oil burner.  I saw a tree I liked and took a photo of it.  I checked it out on-line and managed to get it £140 cheaper!!

And that was another week over and done with.  Only five more Me On Monday's to go before Christmas Day :0)


9 November 2023

Me on Monday - 6 November 2023

Bit of a delay this week, with one thing and another.  Here's a quick run down of last week.

1.  It was Halloween and we had to have the yearly pumpkin.  I toasted the seeds and put them out for the squirrels, who absolutely loved them.

2.  I went for my three yearly Mammogram.  Such fun!!

3.  I was off work for 2 days due to headaches and facial pain.  After a chat to the Dr and an increase in my medication I seem to be OK.  I'm still a little tired and dizzy sometimes but I think that's a side effect of the tablets.  Catch 22.

4.  I've booked another Christmas outing for when my friend comes to stay in December.

5.  I did a little more of my Sophie's Universe crochet.  She is lovely and warm in the evening when the heating goes off.

6.  Storm Ciaran didn't cause to many problems, although when something crashed in next door's garden, Blue wasn't very happy.

7.  Hubby and I took a walk around the River of Light in Liverpool.  More on that later.

8.  We emptied the spare room and took up the nasty old carpet ready for the new one at the end of the month.  Just a lick of paint and a new radiator and we're all done.

9.  Bonfire night wasn't too bad for the boys.  Blue wasn't bothered a bit, but Innes barked every time a loud bang went off out at the back of the house.  Luckily with it being on a Sunday the fireworks seemed to stop by 10pm.

And that's it, in a nutshell.  Hope you all had a good week.


3 November 2023

What I listened to/Read in October

 Not a lot of books this month.

I listened to Chickens, Mules and Two Old Fools by Victoria Twead but I didn't like the narrator so gave it up.  I think I'll have to read the actual book and see if that helps.

If Joe and Vicky had known what relocating to a tiny mountain village in Andalucía would REALLY be like, they might have hesitated...
They have no idea of the culture shock in store. No idea they'll become reluctant chicken farmers and own the most dangerous cockerel in Spain. No idea they'll help capture a vulture or be rescued by a mule.

Will they stay, or return to the relative sanity of England?

I re-read The Guernsey Literary & Potato Peel Pie Society.  My mum gave me this book way back in about 2009 and I have read and re-read it over the years.  I came across it again when I was doing the loft clear out.

"I wonder how the book got to Guernsey? Perhaps there is some sort of secret homing instinct in books that brings them to their perfect readers." January 1946: London is emerging from the shadow of the Second World War, and writer Juliet Ashton is looking for her next book subject. Who could imagine that she would find it in a letter from a man she's never met, a native of the island of Guernsey, who has come across her name written inside a book by Charles Lamb...

As Juliet and her new correspondent exchange letters, Juliet is drawn into the world of this man and his friends—and what a wonderfully eccentric world it is. The Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Pie Society—born as a spur-of-the-moment alibi when its members were discovered breaking curfew by the Germans occupying their island—boasts a charming, funny, deeply human cast of characters, from pig farmers to phrenologists, literature lovers all.

Juliet begins a remarkable correspondence with the society's members, learning about their island, their taste in books, and the impact the recent German occupation has had on their lives. Captivated by their stories, she sets sail for Guernsey, and what she finds will change her forever.

Written with warmth and humor as a series of letters, this novel is a celebration of the written word in all its guises and of finding connection in the most surprising ways.

31 October 2023

40 years Ago........

I can't believe I'm typing the fact, that 40 years ago today, I left home (at the tender age of 17) and went off to join the Royal Air Force.  

31 October 1983.  Youth Training Scheme number 2.  Royal Air Force Hereford.

I got on the train at Liverpool Lime Street station, headed for Hereford.  The only thing I knew was, I had to change at Crewe and I'd be met at Hereford station.

After six weeks of learning all about the RAF, weapons, PE, marching and drill we "Passed Out".  Not literally but you know what I mean. 

I can't remember what our Corporal's name was, but she was scary!!
ETA - Her name was Wendy Fitzhugh.  Thank you Face Book for the info.

After basic training I went back to Hereford for my Admin training, where I spent another 6 weeks.  My first posting was to RAF Cosford in Shropshire. 

I spent 13 years in the RAF altogether.

I suppose now I should do more posts about my time in the RAF.  Unfortunately some of my photos have gone AWOL so I only seem to have a few, and most of them are from pubs and bars!!  
Hmmm.  Lets see what I can come up with later.


30 October 2023

Me on a Monday - 30 October 2023

It was half term week and I had quite a few jobs planned initially.  Unfortunately after last weeks episode I felt really washed out.  I had a day where I stayed in bed most of the morning, which is not like me at all.  I pottered around the house, tidying things away.  I caught up on the ironing and emptied the rest of the boxes.

I also went to see the Dr to find out what comes next.  I was worried about driving, as if the pain happens again, as suddenly as it did last time, I would probably end up in an accident.  The Dr upped my medication to two a day which should control the pain and hopefully last weeks episode won't happen again.  I'm OK to drive which is a huge relief.

ETA.  I had to phone the Dr again this morning and he is now going to refer me for an MRI scan to find out exactly what is causing the pain.  Fingers crossed it won't be too long till I get an appointment.

Hubby started taking the old chimney down off the roof.  He borrowed a roof ladder from our lovely neighbours and started chipping away at it on Saturday morning.  Once the bit on the roof was done and the tiles were fitted he started taking the bit down in the loft and then after that, he took the bit down in the spare bedroom.  The last bit was the best bit, as, the chimney in the spare room made the wall unusable as it was slap bang in the middle.  Now we have to decorate that room.

We went and ordered a carpet for the spare room, so we have to get it finished before they come to fit it. And also before December as my friend is coming to stay and that's her room :0)

I checked out some of the new Land Rovers whilst we were waiting for ours to have a service.  I think at £180,000.00 I'll just be looking !!!!

I was out with friends on Friday as two of them had a little Halloween party.  It was a really good night and Miss S is a great cook and did a wonderful buffet.  I was designated driver and ended up taking several tipsy ladies home :0)

And finally the boys are happy sleeping outside (or inside if they get the chance) hubby's office whilst he's working.  That's good for me as I can get on with things downstairs without tripping over them every two minutes :0) Please excuse the nasty carpet.  It's on my list of things to get rid of.  And the wall has since been painted!!


25 October 2023

Trigeminal Neuralgia

Pull up a chair.  This might take a while.

Remember that twist I mentioned on Monday?  Well!!  Friday morning of last week saw me sat in the Accident & Emergency department of the local hospital for two hours.  I had gone to work as normal, taken children to classes, spoken to parents and taken phone calls.

I had tried to get an appointment for the Dr to phone me about pain management for the neuralgia (TN) in the side of my face.  I couldn't get an appointment as they were all filled and a Dr couldn't call me back as all those slots were filled too.  My only option was to call at midday and hope to get an appointment, that afternoon, at another local hospital.

Getting back to work, I popped into the front office to pass on a message, when I suddenly felt like I'd been hit across the head with a shovel.  The pain was excruciating.  It went along my jaw, up the side of my nose, through my eye and into my head.  I yelled something rude and keeled over.  It felt like the top of my head was going to split open. The ladies in the office were naturally alarmed and managed to get me into a chair, but I couldn't think straight, couldn't speak and I was in floods of tears with the pain.  And I had snot on my sleeves.  It lasted all of a minute, but was the most horrendous minute of my life.

I was taken back to my office where my friend called the NHS emergency line.  We spoke to a lovely lady called Nicola who took all my details and said that I needed to be seen within the hour.  She booked me a slot at the hospital and my friend took me up there.  Luckily it's only 10 minutes from work.

The staff at the hospital were amazing.  I saw the triage nurse within 10 minutes and the consultant 10 minutes after that.  Dr Abdulah was an international student from India and was very good.  He listened to my symptoms and took a history of the pain.  He then related all of that to Dr Ash, the consultant, who explained that it was Trigeminal Neuralgia.  (See link for details.)   A condition that can't be cured, only managed.

To start with they give you epilepsy medication and if that doesn't work there are several surgical routes you can take.  I'm hoping that the medication works, as I have enough going on at the moment, to add another op into the mix.

The pharmacy was extremely busy, so I had a 45 minute wait.  Time for a coffee and a spot of people watching in the hospital cafe.  It brought back memories of sitting there when mum wasn't well.  I chatted to a very nice lady who hadn't been eating properly the last few days and was really looking forward to her cup of tea and buttery toast.  

The pharmacist took the time to explain the medication to me, even though they were maxed out, and I was very grateful for that.  I have, since, read and re-read the leaflet that came with the tablets.

My friend came and picked me up and I went back to work.  I felt absolutely fine, so stayed for the afternoon.  The head teacher did tell me to go home but I said I would stay.  This is something I have to live with now so best start as I mean to go on.  I apologised for saying a rude word but he said that under the circumstances he understood!!

I felt washed out by the time I got home, so I had some dinner and flopped onto the sofa to watch All Creatures Great & Small, followed by an early night.

As my mum would say.... "These things are sent to try us".  And she was right.

23 October 2023

Me on a Monday - 23 October 2023

Woo Hoo!!  It was the last week of term.  A busy one as usual but with a twist at the end.  More about that later.

Our heating came on for the first time the other morning.  It's been so mild here recently, that we haven't needed it on yet.  If it gets chilly at night we just get one, of the many, crochet blankets and snuggle under those.  Hubby of course is nice and warm as he has two labradogs lying on him!!  Tut, tut to him, for having his feet on the table!!

This last week has seen me digging out jumpers and layering for work.

We ordered the wood for the shed and it arrived on Friday.  The downstairs loo is on hold for now.  You can't see the decking for wood at the moment, but the loft is floored and we have a new loft ladder, so we're still moving forward.

We had a family wedding invite, which was lovely.  It's not till next May but I'm already wondering about dresses and shoes.  I may have already started dress shopping :0)

I have been slowly sorting through the boxes from the loft and have a few things to pass on to family.  Other bits and bobs have been recycled, as I wondered why I kept them in the first place, and some have been sold.  The photos will take longer as they are a  huge job!!

I feel like we're finally getting somewhere with the house.  It's one of those projects that you do as and  when you have the time, AND the money.

That's it for now.  I'm off to do some shredding and do a run to the tip.