Tuesday, 30 December 2008

Hilarious. Thanks to Lynda for this one!

A co-worker got a pen stuck inside our printer.

He started to try and remove the pen, but I told him "we don't have time for that now, just put a note on the printer telling folks not to use it and then report it to the Help Desk".

So he grabbed a piece of paper and scrawled on it. I left before he finished the note.

About 20 minutes later, one of my techs comes in laughing and says he was just in the lobby, saw a piece of paper on a printer and went to investigate. Attached is what he found.

Sometimes things don't always come out the way you want them to........

Monday, 29 December 2008

Politically Correct Holiday

If you want a great laugh visit Mike H's blog Postcards from Across the Pond for a wonderful poem. He really has a way with words. Worth a look folks!


Thousands of candles can be lighted from a single candle and the life of the candle will not be shortened
- Buddha

As with the Buddha's candle, your knowledge, wisdom, enthusiasm and happiness will never be decreased by sharing them with others. Quite the opposite: As you share your "light" then everyone, including yourself, will be better illuminated.

May I invite you to take a few minutes over the coming holiday period to reflect on how you have spread your light over the past year. More importantly, how are you going to pass it on even further in 2009?

The Cruise - thanks to Sue for this one...

The Cruise...DEAR DIARY DAY ONE I am all packed and ready to get on the cruise ship. I've packed all my pretty dresses andmake-up. I'm really excited.______________________________________________________
DEAR DIARY DAY TWO We spent the entire day at sea. It was beautiful and we sawsome whales and dolphins. What a wonderful vacation this has started to be. I met the Captain to day and he seems like a very nice man.______________________________________________________
DEAR DIARY DAY THREE I spent some time in thepool today. I also did some shuffleboarding and hit some golf balls off the deck. The Captain invited me to join him at his table for dinner. I felt honored and we had a wonderful time. He is a very attractive and attentive gentleman._____________________________________________________
DEAR DIARY DAY FOUR Went to the ship's casino did OK ... Won about $80. The Captain invited me to have dinner with him in his state room. We had a luxurious meal, complete with caviar and champagne. He asked me to stay the night but I declined. I told him there was no way I could be unfaithful to my husband_____________________________________________________
DEAR DIARY DAY FIVEWent back to the pool today and got a little sunburned. I decided to go to the piano bar and spend the rest of the day inside. The Captain saw me and bought me a couple of drinks. He really is a charming gentleman. He again asked me to visit him for the night and again I declined. He told me that if I didn't let him have his way with me he would sink the ship. I was appalled.___________________ __________________________________
DEAR DIARY DAY SIX I saved 1600 lives today...Twice.

Sunday, 28 December 2008

A quiet day

After our hectic couple of days travelling to sporting fixtures we are having a quiet day in. The computer virus is still buried somewhere in my laptop, and it looks like we are going to have to get help getting it removed. Apparently it is a particularly vicious one. We have all the latest virus software but it has got in somehow.

I am having a good tidy up today. I am putting away all my lovely presents. I was really pleased with all of them. My favourite present was my Pandora bracelet. Other half bought it for me. I have a few charms on it. A jewelled football and small bejewelled cross from other half, a rugby ball from teenager and a teapot from my wonderful friend A. She and I like to drink tea together, so it is very fitting.

I will get teenager to take a picture with of it later.

I also got lots of Jo Malone stuff, and some Chanel face cream. Heaven.

Better get on with my jobs....

Saturday, 27 December 2008

The fabulous Mr Jonny Wilkinson

You may have noticed that I haven't been on my blog since Christmas Eve. My laptop was attacked by a horrible parasite virus which kept telling me I had to pay $100 to solve it. This happened on Christmas day. Other half is still trying to sort it out for me.

Our desk top is in our guest room which was occupied..... I could have borrowed teenager's new laptop but he ( as you can imagine) was too busy with it. (He has now graciously offered it to me so I can do this entry). And...

...... we have been rather busy since I last posted. Other than a lovely Christmas day with wonderful food and wine, good fun and fab presents ( more about this later), we have been to two sporting fixtures.

On Boxing Day we went to see Wigan Athletic versus Newcastle United. We lost 2-1 but the atmosphere was good ( and at times extremely interesting...).

Today we went to see Newcastle Falcons versus Worcester Warriors. It was a 16-16 draw. Sigh.
We went corporate and had lunch there ( three course carvery and unlimited wine- lovely!). During lunch, guess who wandered in? See below...

I would walk a thousand miles to see that smile...

Jonny and teenager

Lakeland Jo with teenager. Can you see any likeness?
We had a great time. It was mum's Christmas present from other half and I and it was very jolly, especially with our lovely visitor. The match was very exciting- I wish we had won. Never mind- next time.
I hope everyone had lots of fun over Christmas. I hope I will be back on my own computer soon.

Wednesday, 24 December 2008

Christmas Eve

Teenager and Grandma have gone to bed.
Now the Christmas elves can get the stockings and present sacks filled up.
Carrots have been left out for reindeer and Santa has been left his usual snifter ( this year it's Bushmills Whiskey).
The kitchen is clean, clear and ready for chef in the morning.
Other half is looking forward to cooking his COPAS turkey ( which was so expensive securicor are here to guard it over night). Apparently the turkey spent its days in cherry orchards and meadows. I kid you not.
It had a better life than most of us according to the box.
The menu is
SAUSAGES ROLLED IN BACON ( pigs in blankets)
Happy Christmas everyone!

Tuesday, 23 December 2008

We Three Kings

Do you like my three kings? Photo taken by teenager.

It's a busy day for the three kings in our house today...
  1. Collecting turkey and pork from butchers ( around seven miles away)
  2. Get a new tyre for car ( yes- we had a flat ) -groan- why do these things always happen at Christmas
  3. Final wrapping ( me -for other half)
  4. Buying stuffings and vegetables, and lots of groceries which are missing from our cupboards.
  5. Interflora -to send some festive flowers.
  6. Delivering presents around the area- it's good to play Santa.
  7. Having pals round for fizz and nibbles- can we start now?
  8. Wine stocks for the festive season. I have got the white wine in already - lucky enough to find two bottles of Cloudy Bay. If you haven't had it, you are missing a real treat. We need red now...any suggestions
  9. better get going....

Saturday, 20 December 2008

No sniggering please

I found this great quiz on That British Woman's blog. Gill always has great ideas and interesting stuff to look at.

Anyway- it's a quiz asking how well you would survive another great depression. Click the link and try your luck.

I got 63% and the following comments:

"Even though you may not be expecting the worst, you're the type of person who prepares for the worst.You live a relatively modest life. You don't overspend, and you aren't very materialistic.You are also quite self sufficient and independent. You have many useful skills.You can take care of yourself and those you love... which is crucial to surviving another Great Depression. "

Before there is great mirth from all who know me well... the stuff in red is NOT CORRECT !!

I do have skills, but few ( any?) practical ones. I love bling and beautiful things, I am not a bit austere and love to spend. I crave luxury, being warm and comfortable, and being pampered. I am less indulgent than I was.... but not to the naked eye!!
I have lots of lovely practical, creative friends who can make things, build things, grow things and cook things. If there is another Great Depression I will move in with them, promising them that when it is all over, I will lend them my Louis Vuitton handbag anytime.
Mind you- I must have done something right to get a relatively high score of 63% and some nice ( but inaccurate comments).

How did you do?

Friday, 19 December 2008


I read about this on Leslie's blog, Flowers of Life. She blogs about an organisation called Chemo Angels.

I recommend you visit this site. What a wonderful idea.

When I had chemo and radiotherapy last year ( urggh!) a good friend of mine ( hello wonderful Sheila) sent me cards ( sometimes every day) and gifts ( lots of them- they were all lovely). It made such a difference and really cheered me up.

I also received cards and gifts from many people, both good friends and those more distant. They made a major impact on me and gave me massive encouragement. I will never throw them out ( and I am not usually a hoarder of cards etc).

Very inspiring!

Wednesday, 17 December 2008

BS wild life photography


Please support a new blogger folks- my good friend BS who is a wonderful wildlife photographer, and new to the cyber world of blogging.

Enjoy the pictures!

Newcastle Falcons Rugby Christmas Quiz

Last night Teenager, Mum and I went to the Newcastle Falcons Christmas Quiz at Kingston Park. It is held every years for their young fans and their families.
The team turn out to spend time with the kids, and they make a real effort. Two players sit at each table, where the kids and the families are sitting. We do the quiz together and have good fun. They provide a lovely buffet and prizes.

All the players are really friendly and happy to pose for pictures. They are really supportive of the kids. Premiership clubs and their footballers could learn a lot from how they do it: a bit of respect and kindness to the young fans. (NUFC are you listening?)

Here is teenager with Ollie Phillips. He is one of the nicest fellows I have ever met. Cheerful, warm and happy to chat. He was delightful. A wonderful rugby player too.
A great night was had by all. The long drive in the dark and fog was worth it.
If other half doesn't object, a couple of rugby players in my Christmas stocking would suit me just fine?
I guess he would object. Shame.

Monday, 15 December 2008

You know it's nearly Christmas (in the Lakes) when....

Our Christmas tree. I love all the colours and it has lots of presents underneath.

Anyway- you know it's Christmas in the Lakes when:

  1. Lakeland Jo is seen dashing down the path first thing on a dark icey morning to give the bin men their festive beer.

  2. Lakeland Jo is leaving beer out on the doorstep for the milkman as well as empty milk bottles.

  3. Lakland Jo is listening intently for postman to give him his festive treat, only to find its a temporary helper and not the usual man.

  4. Lakeland Jo is missing M and S food ordering deadlines, and interflora deadlines.

  5. Lakeland Jo is buying a large bottle of Baileys.

  6. Windermere and Bowness are very very quiet- mainly locals in December.

  7. I am stocking up on M and S stuffings in the freezer- they are lovely!

  8. The heating is on all day if you are in the house

  9. The lights are on all day if you are in the house

  10. Lakeland Jo is seriously considering buying a light box to mitigate the impact of the interminable grey skies

  11. Christmas tree lights, lovely shop windows and candles burning at night are a welcome sight in the perpetual gloom.

  12. Teenager is eating his advent calendar over breakfast and counting down the days.

Now over to you, and thanks to Gill - That British Woman for the idea!

Monday Morning...

If you fancy cheering yourself up! ( Freezing fog here today so I do).

Visit Pamokc's blog called Capturing Life's moments and putting on Fairy Wings. There are some lovely pictures on there.

Spent a cosy day yesterday doing Christmas odds and ends. Teenager stayed indoors and helped out. He is a lot better now, but yesterday still didn't feel quite up to going out with his pals. I enjoyed having him with me.

I can't believe how much there is to do at Christmas. I have finished my cards, and did lots of present wrapping. I also did a little cupboard clearing. Always a good idea at this time of year, before all the presents coming flying in.

Today I am off to meet my favourite aunt and uncle for lunch. They live in York. We meet half way and exchange Christmas parcels. We are having a traditional festive turkey lunch at a pub called the Maypole at Long Preston. I will let you know what it is like!

Sunday, 14 December 2008

Toon Army and the Falcons- two mighty victories

Hurray Hurray- wonderful success at sport for the North East today!

Portsmouth Nil
Newcastle United Three

Newcastle Falcons 21
Overmach CariParma 16

Excuse the indulgence- it is a long time since we had a lot to celebrate!

What a happy weekend for Geordie sports fans. I hope both teams keep up the good work over the festive season.

Traditional Lakeland Farmhouse

Though you might like to see a traditional Lakeland Farm House which isn't far from us. It is where we got our Christmas tree, the place with the lovely reindeer.
The evil cold bug has now passed from me, to teenager and now to my mum. There is so much coughing and snorting going on in this community! At teenager's school carol service two children were sick ( made it interesting!) and you could hardly hear the carols for the deafening hacking and sneezing, and the sound of cough sweet wrappers rustling.
Ah- the spirit of Christmas. Paracetamol, Benylin and strepsils! Baah Humbug!

Saturday, 13 December 2008


I now have ten followers hurray. Thanks folks.

Dear Santa,

Please can I have more followers on my blog please?


Lakeland Jo

Friday, 12 December 2008

The best laid plans....

The best-laid plans of mice and men often go awry


“The best laid schemes o’ mice an’ men / Gang aft a-gley.” ( for our Scottish readers and those true to the original by Robert Burns.

We have just got rid of the snow and it has come back again. It is freezing and white outside. A delightful combination of snow and freezing fog. I am meeting twelve pals for lunch today at Pizza Express in Kendal before the school carol service. Problem is. Teenager isn't going to be there. He now has my cold, and is a miserable sneezing and coughing heap on the sofa. He is going to cuddle up in the house with other half, who is freshly back from Birmingham.

So I am going to carol service.... without my son. Just how many teachers are going to say ' So where's the boy then?'. Sigh.

If it decides to snow again it really will be fun and games. That's it- I am packing and going to live with Busy Bee Suz in the sun. Prepare the spare room

Wednesday, 10 December 2008

Time to be a proud mum. Here is teenager ready to go off to the Snow Ball at school.
I think he looks great!

Tuesday, 9 December 2008

Welcome to the Christmas edition of getting to know your friends. Okay, here's what you're supposed to do, and try not to be a SCROOGE!!! Just change all the answers so that they apply to you. You are all tagged....it's Christmas after all and I don't want to leave anyone out!

1.Wrapping paper or gift bags? Both. I am not a good wrapper- not enough patience!

2. Real tree or Artificial? Real

3. When do you put up the tree? It's up! Usually quite early so I can enjoy the lights on dark nights

4. When do you take the tree down? After New Year's Day

5. Do you like eggnog? Yes Yes Yes- not too sweet but lots of brandy please

6. Favourite gift received as a child? Toy post office, a pram with lots of dollies

7. Hardest person to buy for? Don't find anyone hard to buy for really

8. Easiest person to buy for? Mum- I know what she likes because we shop so much together!

9. Do you have a nativity scene? yes

10. Mail or email Christmas cards. both

11. Worst Christmas gift you ever received? Liqueur chocolates, chocolate oranges- I hate both!Luckily other half loves so they are never wasted.

12. Favourite Christmas Movie? The Snowman but it makes me cry at the end when he melts

13. When do you start shopping? November

14. Have you ever recycled a Christmas present? If it includes charity shops yes.

15. Favourite thing to eat at Christmas? Mince pies, stuffings,

16. Lights on the tree? Loads and loads

17. Favourite Christmas song? Traditional carols sung by lovely choir

18, Travel at Christmas or stay home? I would always prefer to be in Florida at Christmas- we had some wonderful times there. However, if I am with other half, teenager and mum and we are all safe and warm I am perfectly happy anywhere.

19. Can you name all of Santa's reindeer's? Yes

20. Angel on the tree top or a star? A toon army santa ( will post picture sometime soon)

21. Open the presents Christmas Eve or morning? We have a tradition of opening one each on Christmas eve and rest in the morning

22. Most annoying thing about this time of the year? It all starts far too early, and party nights in hotels ( very noisey for the poor old business traveller).

23. Favourite ornament theme or color? Gold

24. Favourite for Christmas dinner? The usual

25. What do you want for Christmas this year? A Sony Cybershot, a pink classic IPOD, Jo Malone stuff, face creams, Jaguar XF Azure Blue ( other half are you reading this? Well- a girl can dream)..... Am I supposed to say something terribly earnest here such as 'nothing' ' happiness' 'world peace'. Oops sorry.

Father Winter

I hope you like the picture of one of my best Christmas decorations. My favourite aunt bought it for me a few years ago and he lives on the fireplace in our lounge. I think he is wonderful!

Monday, 8 December 2008

Smile Stone- ten things that make me smile

  1. My teenager- when he laughs or smiles it lights up my world
  2. Other half- he cheers me up when I am feeling tired and low ( and very few people can).
  3. My mum- we have fun and a great laugh together.
  4. Living in the beautiful Lake district.
  5. My friends over gossip and coffee.
  6. Going out for coffee...anywhere
  7. Our customers- most of them are great to work with.
  8. Orlando
  9. Jo Malone
  10. When NUFC and the Falcons win ( just as well I don't rely on them to keep the face muscles exercised though)

I nominate Clippy Mat and Busy Bee Suz for really smiley happy blogs.

Hurray- my fifth blog award- the smile stone award

Thanks so much to PolerGirl for this award- I love the happy smiley face.

Sunday, 7 December 2008

Christmas at Kirkby Lonsdale

Sigh- rugby was cancelled- but we didn't find out til we got to the club at Kirkby Lonsdale. We weren't needed for coffee and bacon roll duty. So- we went to the village Xmas fair instead. It was very atmospheric and KL is a lovely place.

I liked this picture of Santa in shop window- drinking sherry. Isn't he great?

This is a lovely shot- just next to a shop called ChurchMouse Cheeses. What a lovely shop,especially at this time of year.
We had a big English breakfast and have now come home to decorate the tree.

Christmas plans coming along apace

After our advent workshops for children at Church on Saturday ( see our advent candle wreath below) we went to collect our Christmas tree. Above is a picture of teenager on the farm where we chose our tree. It is a lovely place.

As you can see below they have real reindeer- aren't they lovely? There were some tiny children on the farm and they were enchanted by them.

The tree is has now been delivered, and has all its fairy lights on. We just need to decorate it all now and I will come up with a picture later today.
First of all I am waiting to see if rugby is cancelled- it looks very frozen out there to me....

Saturday, 6 December 2008

The Mom song

This is brilliant, if you are a parent or a kid, prepare to howl.


Friday, 5 December 2008

Prepare for a grumpy post...

Yes- I have a horrible head cold.The sneezing, wheezing, hacking and snorting type. And worst of all- I have lost my voice.
Those of you who know me ( expat mum- watch it- I know where you live) will appreciate how awful this is for me. I can't communicate. I feel miserable: hot, sore dripping nose, tickly throat...
This has gone on since Tuesday night- and I am thoroughly bored with it. I have had two horrible broken nights sleep in a mediocre noisey hotel, and have worked through an industrial quantity of tissues.

Tonight I am going to be in my own bed,and at least I will have peace and quiet. All I can say is bah humbug.
I remember seeing adverts when I was a student where you were paid to be exposed to the common cold virus so that trials for cures could be done. Clearly the scientists didn't make much progress, and I cannot think of anything worse. Imagine volunteering to get a cold. No way!

Thursday, 4 December 2008

School's out and the boy has had his snowy day

Cumbria has turned into Narnia . A total white out.

Other half and I are in Derbyshire (at a naff hotel at East Midlands airport worst luck) and got the call today to say teenager and grandma are snowed in, and local schools are shut.

For years teenager has looked forward to a day off from school with his mate, just playing in the snow. Today his dream came true. They built two snowmen, went sledging and had snowball fights. Grandma has supplied a steady supply of warm clothes and warm food.

A good time has been had by all. I hope it has all gone by the time we set off from Derby tomorrow.....

Is this the start of an arctic winter folks?

Wednesday, 3 December 2008

Thank you to Hadriana for my fourth blog award- much appreciated, and now posted under the under three on the right hand column.

Tuesday, 2 December 2008

Snow stopped play


When I wrote the earlier post I hadn't opened the curtains. It has been snowing and the roads are thick with snow and ice. Roads to Sharrow Bay are narrow and steep, and the traffic reports are not inspiring.

While we were mulling over options ( not easy with the din of teenager jumping about saying 'school will be closed SURELY!).... Sharrow Bay called to say their kitchens are closed because of some disaster or another ( flooding I think they said?). So- the lovely lunch is off.

I have persuaded other half that this is just a universal message to tell us not to do lunch, but to do dinner and a stayover on a different date....much better. At the moment he doesn't look too convinced. The food is great at SB.

Teenager arrived at school half an hour late at nine. School is open. I told him that all his friends would be there, and there would be no-one to snowball fight with here. This seemed to cheer him a little... a little....

So, a change of plan is afoot based on road conditions. Will let you know. In the meantime, above are some pictures of our frosty snowy world ( outside our front window).

40 today!

Other half has hit the big 40 today and we are having the day offf. Hurray.

We are off to the Sharrow Bay - a wonderful hotel on Ullswater. Check out the link- I wish we were staying over. However, since we are off to Derby on Wednesday for work we thought a lunch would suit nicely. Apparently it is the first ever country house hotel.

It is always a lovely experience.

Here is a picture of a lovely plant on our window sill. I think it is a Christmas Cactus plant but stand to be corrected as I am not very green fingered. Favourite aunt? Are you reading ? B in Seattle are you there?

For Gill - that British Woman- this is next to the seat where I blog!

Sunday, 30 November 2008

Ronaldo scores against Stoke City November 15th

It's great to have an afternoon in doing bits and pieces. Catching up and working through a to do list of tasks which are not urgent, or perhaps even important, but fun to do, and interesting.

I have decided to try to put my first video on the blog, and it's a Manchester United one! Taken by husband when he went to see them play at Old Trafford recently for his birthday. They won five nil.

Those of you who don't support soccer- the scorer is a Manchester United icon, and thought to be one of best football players in the world.

So did it work?

Paul is watching another Man Utd match as we speak and said player Ronaldo has just been sent off. Oops.

Another thing I am doing today is a letter to Santa. Yes- I know I may seem a little old for this but other half likes it as part of his present buying strategy. I will publish it on another day. What are you putting on yours?

We went out to order a Christmas tree today but they hadn't been delivered. The garden centre had a view in but we want one that we can put outside after Christmas to use again. We did , however, have more success with ordering our turkey and pork for Christmas day at a local butcher called Higginson's in Grange over Sands. They have a great reputation. Apparently folk queue to collect orders on December 23rd and 24th from 6am!! Aggh!

You may be thinking I am being rather early in my preparations? It is so busy up until Christmas I need to get cracking.

Anyone out there having a bad week.....remember the old saying...

Always remember.....

When life hands you lemons........

Ask for Gin and Ginger beer and call me over!!

Saturday, 29 November 2008

The Sevens meme- I have been tagged!

Thank you to Hadriana for tagging me. I think this is my first official tag ( i.e.- where I have been mentioned on a blog by name)

VII Things I plan to do before I die:

  1. Go to New York
  2. Find out more about my dad's family
  3. See NUFC win the premiership ( I will have to be immortal)
  4. Enjoy every day and appreciate being here to experience it
  5. Weigh ten stone ( or less)
  6. Own a top of the range Jaguar sports car
  7. Get a million hits on my blog ( ok ok...)
VII Things I do now:

  1. Plan to change the curtains in the lounge ( still planning- this type of stuff terrifies me)
  2. Use moisturiser every day
  3. Watch Celebrity Get Me Out of Here ( teenager loves it and is glued every night). It is so bad it is compelling.
  4. Hate the rain
  5. Get lots of sleep
  6. Enjoy my current work projects
  7. Look forward to 2009

VII Things I can't do:

  1. juggle
  2. watch soap operas
  3. hang curtains ( see above)
  4. Decorate
  5. Iron well
  6. sew
  7. stay cross with Other half or teenager for long
Things that attract me in the opposite sex:

  1. strength ( physical
  2. strength ( emotional)
  3. blue eyes
  4. tall
  5. big build ( rugby, American football types)
  6. intelligence
  7. caring
VII Things I say most often:

  1. Where are we going for coffee?
  2. Where are we going for lunch?
  3. Shall we have red or white?
  4. What's the score?
  5. It can't be raining again?
  6. Are you taking a coat or a warm top?
  7. Where does the time go?

VII Celebrities that I admire

  1. Ronnie Barker
  2. Eric Morecambe
  3. John Thaw
  4. Shay Given
  5. Jonny Wilkinson
  6. Jane Austen
  7. Paul McKenna
VII Favourite foods:

  1. macaroni cheese
  2. cauliflower cheese
  3. roast veg
  4. fillet steak
  5. calamari
  6. onions
  7. tomatoes
VII Bloggers who are not obliged to do this if they don't want to:

  1. Expat mum
  2. Clippy Mat
  3. Range Warfare
  4. Gill that British Woman
  5. Renie Burghardt
  6. Travelling Typhoon
  7. Jessica ( Jessica's World)

The Cab Ride

Here is a post from Jessica's World. I hope she doesn't mind me using it. She is a very positive and upbeat lady, and I like visiting her blog.

I think this is a great story, and I agree with the sentiment. I try to do one nice thing somewhere every day ( and sometimes more than one!!). You never know what a difference it might make to someone.

I went for my hospital check yesterday. The nurse who was with me was very quiet and efficient, but very warm and encouraging. I was probably just another patient to her and she probably has no idea how her calm and pleasant manner re-assured me. It made such a difference.

The Cab Ride

So I walked to the door and knocked. 'Just a minute', answered a frail, elderly voice. I could hear something being dragged across the floor. After a long pause, the door opened. A small woman in her 90's stood before me. She was wearing a print dress and a pillbox hat with a veil pinned on it, like somebody out of a 1940s movie. By her side was a small nylon suitcase. The apartment looked as if no one had lived in it for years. All the furniture was covered with sheets. There were no clocks on the walls, no knick knacks or utensils on the counters. In the corner was a cardboard box filled with photos and glassware.

'Would you carry my bag out to the car?' she said. I took the suitcase to the cab, then returned to assist the woman. She took my arm and we walked slowly toward the curb. She kept thanking me for my kindness. 'It's nothing', I told her. 'I just try to treat my passengers the way I would want my mother treated'.'Oh, you're such a good boy', she said.

When we got in the cab, she gave me an address, and then asked, 'Could you drive through downtown?''It's not the shortest way,' I answered quickly.'Oh, I don't mind,' she said. 'I'm in no hurry. I'm on my way to a hospice'. I looked in the rear-view mirror. Her eyes were glistening. 'I don't have any family left,' she continued. 'The doctor says I don't have very long' I quietly reached over and shut off the meter.'What route would you like me to take?' I asked.
For the next two hours, we drove through the city. She showed me the building where she had once worked as an elevator operator.We drove through the neighborhood where she and her husband had lived when they were newlyweds. She had me pull up in front of a furniture warehouse that had once been a ballroom where she had gone dancing as a girl. Sometimes she'd ask me to slow in front of a particular building or corner and would sit staring into the darkness, saying nothing.

As the first hint of sun was creasing the horizon, she suddenly said,'I'm tired. Let's go now 'We drove in silence to the address she had given me. It was a low building, like a small convalescent home, with a driveway that passed under a portico.Two orderlies came out to the cab as soon as we pulled up. They were solicitous and intent, watching her every move. They must have been expecting her.I opened the trunk and took the small suitcase to the door. The woman was already seated in a wheelchair.

'How much do I owe you?' she asked, reaching into her purse. 'Nothing,' I said 'You have to make a living,' she answered.'There are other passengers,' I responded.

Almost without thinking, I bent and gave her a hug. She held onto me tightly.'You gave an old woman a little moment of joy,' she said.'Thank you' I squeezed her hand, and then walked into the dim morning light. Behind me, a door shut. It was the sound of the closing of a life.
I didn't pick up any more passengers that shift. I drove aimlessly lost in thought. For the rest of that day, I could hardly talk. What if that woman had gotten an angry driver, or one who was impatient to end his shift?What if I had refused to take the run, or had honked once, then driven away?

On a quick review, I don't think that I have done anything more important in my life.We're conditioned to think that our lives revolve around great moments.But great moments often catch us unaware-beautifully wrapped in what others may consider a small one.


Friday, 28 November 2008

Carlisle, re-cycling, Woolworth's and off to Starbucks

This post is dedicated to Expat Mum. She wasn't aware there is a Carlisle Football Club. Well- here it is. Brunton Park. The reason it came to my mind- I passed it yesterday on the way to a meeting. The fans are absolutely dedicated and although I don't support them I am always pleased to see them do well. I have given you the link so you can visit their website!
Mum came with me for the trip and we went to a lovely restaurant for lunch after the meeting. We got parked right outside ( miracle) having got our hands on a parking permit ( second miracle). The restaurant ( an italian) was called Adriano's. It was very tasty. It is in the middle of Carlisle City Centre, opposite the Civic Centre.
When I returned home I turned my mind to the re-cycling puzzle. We have news here locally that there are piles and piles of recycled paper and tins piling up because the usual purchasers of the material (presumbably for manufacturing the next lot of stuff) aren't buying it because of the credit crunch. As a result, the recycling is being landfilled. How frustrating is that? I am not naturally 'green' but happy to do my bit if the facilities are in place. I wonder how true those headlines are? Anyway, I will plough on.
Woolworth's. Now in administration and its future is looking uncertain. Since it has happened lots of people have 'come out the closet' and told me they are regular shoppers there. I have no objection to the store at all but I wouldn't say I was a regular visitor. In fact, I can't remember when I visited the store last. Anyone else in the UK fond of it? I think the main problem is it hasn't kept up with the times and the competition has subsumed it. Pity- it's been around a long time.
And finally, today. We are off to Lancaster for my hospital check up ( huge bore) then off to a meeting at Starbucks in Preston ( hurray- what a great venue for a meeting). I hope they have decided to bring back the egg nog latte. Apparently it is not on the UK Christmas menu this year : other half and teenager are distraught. It's a bit too sweet for me but they love it.
Hope everyone has a good day and a fun weekend!

Wednesday, 26 November 2008

Costa's in Bowness and a lovely day!

You will find me in this building quite a bit. It is a picture of the Costa's ( coffee shop chain) in Bowness in Windermere.

I meet up with pals here, teenager and I pop in for a hot chocolate, other half and I hang out here and chat about business ideas, mum and I get together over a cappucino. It's bright and comfortable, and the staff don't mind how long you hang out. There is free internet access too. All in all, its pretty good. In the summer there is outside seating .... ( what summer? what sun?).

In fact, I was there today. I met up with my pals A and D and we chatted about teenagers and school stuff. I had my favourite : medium sized skinny cappucino. It was the start of nice day. After Costa's, I went to meet up with a colleague of ours for a couple of hours at his house ( he put a real fire on for me - bless him- wonderful man) . I then went to lunch with my mum in a local country house hotel ( real fires, lovely views, nice food) and then I came home and had a rest!

A couple of wonderful customers put good orders in, and I finished the day hearing about teenager's brilliant science test scores ( he gets his talent in this from my dad- he was a science teacher- must be genetic- but is skipped a generation....).

All in all it was a great day- and the weather was grand!

Tuesday, 25 November 2008

counter update

The number of hits on my counter is not the same as the number of hits on my blog page counter, which means...lots more people visit my blog than I realised. Hurray!


Have done lots of miles today but it was fine- a sunny bright day and traffic ok. I went from Windermere to Crook in County Durham, to Darlington, and then back up to Durham. I then came back to Windermere. With all the economic bad news I feel blessed to be busy. We have had a couple of tough years, and feel heart sore for anyone who is challenged at the moment. I know what it's like and I feel for you. I can see some sad stories coming through on a few blogs.

Teenager and I are chilling out in front of the tv. Other half is in Birmingham. Tomorrow I am having a day off. Lunch with mum. Pottering. Catching up on odds and ends. Planning for Christmas. Head space day. Lovely.

Monday, 24 November 2008

I found this on That British Woman's page- she tagged all her readers!! You can get her page on my blog list.


2. WHEN WAS THE LAST TIME YOU CRIED? Last week. Nearly. Trying to get a suitcase closed. Other half usually does it. It's a beast.

3. DO YOU LIKE YOUR HANDWRITING? I defy anyone to have worse but I am fond of it.

4. WHAT IS YOUR FAVORITE LUNCH MEAT? Canned corned beef. Same as Gill That British Woman

5. DO YOU HAVE KIDS? Yes, a son


7. DO YOU USE SARCASM A LOT? I think I can do but I wouldn't like to hurt anyone with it. Its the lowest form of wit ( who said that? Oscar Wilde?)


9. WOULD YOU BUNGEE JUMP? If I was younger- I wouldn't be scared.


11. DO YOU UNTIE YOUR SHOES WHEN YOU TAKE THEM OFF? I only have one pair with laces, and yes

12. DO YOU THINK YOU ARE STRONG? Physically- no. Emotionally- not really. But I am resilient ( does that make sense?). I have a great support network.

13. WHAT IS YOUR FAVORITE ICE CREAM? Not a big ice cream lover, if I had to choose though Pralines and Cream. A direct copy from Gill That British Woman.


15. RED OR PINK? Pink

16. WHAT IS THE LEAST FAVORITE THING ABOUT YOURSELF? My weight ( copying Gill again!)



19. WHAT COLOR SHOES ARE YOU WEARING? none- furry slippers!


21. WHAT ARE YOU LISTENING TO RIGHT NOW? Teenager is watching the truly hideous I am Celebrity Get me Out of Here. It is appalling. Is it only in the UK we have to suffer this dross?


23. FAVORITE SMELLS? Coffee, lovely aftershave on a lovely man, Jo Malone


25. DO YOU LIKE THE PERSON WHO SENT THIS TO YOU? Yes! From what I read about her. We have never met.

26.FAVORITE SPORTS TO WATCH? Football and Rugby

27. HAIR COLOR? Blonde

28. EYE COLOR? Blue


30. FAVOURITE FOOD? Anything with cooked cheese


32. LAST MOVIE YOU WATCHED? Sex and The City

233. WHAT COLOR SHIRT ARE YOU WEARING? In pyjamas again-it.s bedtime



36. FAVORITE DESSERT? Creme Caramel ( same as Gill)



39. WHAT BOOK ARE YOU READING NOW? Where do I start? I always have a load on the go.

40. WHAT IS ON YOUR MOUSE PAD? I have a glide pad


42. FAVORITE SOUND. Teenager laughing


44. WHAT IS THE FARTHEST YOU HAVE BEEN FROM HOME? Chicago or Florida- which is furthest?

45. DO YOU HAVE A SPECIAL TALENT? I am good at my job

46. WHERE WERE YOU BORN? North Shields, Tyne and Wear


Check out my smart new counter ( see right). I have wondered for a while how to get one. I thought that profile views are the same as blog page hits but maybe I am wrong? Does anyone out there know for sure?

I went to layout and add a gadget, and clicked on it. I then went to the add htlm feature and put the text from the counter website. And there it is! Hope it is clear for those interested? ( as scotch mist I hear you say)

Sunday, 23 November 2008

What a shame!

Cape Cod Memories

I sometimes look at the Blogs of Note. There is lovely one on there just now called Cape Cod Memories and the photos are great. I was sad to see that they have removed their comments facility because of the negativity of the comments they have received. I can't see what there is to be unpleasant about.

I have never had a nasty comment on my blog. I have had some unwanted advertising 'comments' dressed up as ordinary bloggers ( hence the comments moderation) but nothing spiteful.

How about anyone else?
I got this list from Moments from Suburbia, a new blog I found on Hadriana's treasures.

I challenge any of my fellow bloggers to take part!

1. Where is your mobile phone? On table-needs charging!

2. Your significant other? Asleep- it's early

3. Your hair? Blond

4.Your mother? Wonderful lady and my great friend. We laugh lots

5. Your father? Died 2001. I loved him dearly and it was a profound loss.

6. Your favorite thing? My family

7. Your dream last night? None- too tired!

8. Your favorite drink? Coffee and white wine

9. Your dream/goal? To stay in good health

10. The room you're in? Warm and bright. There is snow outside the window

11. Your fear? Reverse of 9

12. Where do you want to be in 6 years? Here would be fine- I love it.

13. Where were you last night? At our friends' house having a lovely meal and a good laugh

14. What you're not? A supporter of Gordon Brown

15. Muffins? bacon ( I am talking about the savoury bread ones)

16. One of your wish list items? A holiday in New York at the Four Seasons

17. Where you grew up? North Tyneside. Howay the lads.

18. The last thing you did? Have a cup of tea

19. What are you wearing? Dressing gown

20. Your TV? Has Sunday morning Match of the Day on it

21. Your pet? None. We travel too much

22. Your computer? vital - a small and very light laptop

23. Your life? Varied, interesting, challenging and a bit hectic at times

24. Your mood? optimistic

25. Missing someone? My dad. Every day.

26. Your car? Large and comfortable. It is a work horse

27. Something you're not wearing? ear-rings ( yet)

28. Favourite Store? Selfridges

29. Your summer? What's that?

30. Your favourite color? Gold

31. When is the last time you laughed? Today- at Clippy Mat's blog

32. Last time you cried? Nearly on Thursday- trying to get a suitcase closed, and over the Baby P case on the news. Depressing and heart wrenching.

Amsterdam part two

I am trying to give the impression that I was truly immersed in the Dutch lifestyle and culture. Truth is I arrived at Schipol airport, went to the hotel on the shuttle bus, stayed in the ( lovely) hotel from Tuesday evening til Thursday evening, and came back home. Such is the glamour ( not) of international business travel.

It's a long time since I travelled abroad on business. I forgot how stressful it is. I don't miss it. I don't plan to do a lot more of it. Don't mind going with other half abroad for business as long as it means I can swan around site- seeing and hanging out at the hotel pool/ spa. At the moment, we don't have a lot of business travel overseas on the horizon though. Suits me.

Travelling is for holidays in my book, and I can happily stick with that. The furthest I will get on business before the year is out is Newcastle. Suits me!

The conference ( Insights ) was really enjoyable. I spoke for an hour on both days and had a good time at both sessions. The delegates were enthusiastic and supportive, and I had to remember that I was talking to people from many different countries ( no Geordie colloquialisms at this event). It was good to meet new like minded people, and to have a laugh with old friends.

Saturday, 22 November 2008

Amsterdam and the busy week part one

I am back and as you can see I haven't had a moment since Tuesday to do a post. It has been a mad mad mad week !

The frustrating thing is- the more interesting things there are to report, the less time I have to report them.

Still a fairly quiet day is ahead of me tomorrow. Once I have done the reading and coffee service at Church I can have an afternoon of peace and blogging....

Today was spent at our Church PCC ( parochial church council) away day at the wonderful Rydal Hall near Ambleside. Anyone visiting- they do extremely reasonably priced bed and breakfast and the views are breathtaking. There is also a wonderful sense of peace there. A great contrast to busy airports and a hectic conference. I needed the re- charge.

First thing to mention about my trip to Holland. We stayed in a lovely hotel. The chain is called the Dorint. I had never heard of it before I went.

The hotel was near the airport. Lovely bedrooms- very quiet and well appointed ( soft comfy beds...). Food was great, service excellent. Folks- I was impressed. If you are taking a trip to Amsterdam I would recommend it.

Tuesday, 18 November 2008

Smile for the day- Hell and Boyle's law

The following is an actual question given on University of Washington Chemistry mid-term.

The answer by one student was so "profound" that the professor shared it with colleagues, via the Internet, which is, of course, why we now have the pleasure of enjoying it as well:

Bonus question: Is Hell exothermic (gives off heat) or endothermic (absorbs heat)? Most of the students wrote proofs of their beliefs using Boyle's Law (gas cools when it expands and heats when it is compressed) or some variant.

One student, however, wrote the following:First, we need to know how the mass of Hell is changing in time.So we need to know the rate at which souls are moving into Hell and the rate at which they are leaving.I think that we can safely assume that once a soul gets to Hell, it will not leave.Therefore, no souls are leaving.As for how many souls are entering Hell, let's look at the different Religions that exist in the world today.Most of these religions state that if you are not a member of their religion, you will go to Hell.Since there is more than one of these religions and since people do not belong to more than one religion, we can project that all souls go to Hell.With birth and death rates as they are, we can expect the number of souls in Hell to increase exponentially.Now, we look at the rate of change of the volume in Hell because Boyle's Law states that in order for the temperature and pressure in Hell to stay the same, the volume of Hell has to expand proportionately as souls are added.

This gives two possibilities:1. If Hell is expanding at a slower rate than the rate at which souls enter Hell, then the temperature and pressure in Hell will increase until all Hell breaks loose.2. If Hell is expanding at a rate faster than the increase of souls in Hell, then the temperature and pressure will drop until Hell freezes over.So which is it?If we accept the postulate given to me by Teresa, during my freshman year, that:"It will be a cold day in Hell before I sleep with you";and take into account the fact that I slept with her last night, then number two must be true, and thus I am sure that Hell is exothermic and has already frozen over.The corollary of this theory is that since Hell has frozen over, it follows that it is not accepting any more souls and is therefore, extinct...leaving only Heaven, thereby proving the existence of a divine being which explains why, last night, Teresa kept shouting "Oh my God."


Monday, 17 November 2008

From Whitehaven to .....

Three guesses where I am going on Tuesday.?

Look to the right.

After spending a day in the rain and the roadworks in Whitehaven (west coast of Cumbria) I am packing up to go to Liverpool airport tomorrow to catch a plane to...

Another clue:

I saw a mouse


There on the stair

Where on the stair?

Right there.

A little mouse with clogs on

Well I declare

Going clip, clippety clop on the stair.

Right there.

More tomorrow.

( PS-Man Utd won five nil on Saturday and a wonderful time was had by all)

Saturday, 15 November 2008

Theatre of Dreams

Other half and teenager are off to the Theatre of Dreams today. For the confused- this is the home ground of Manchester United which is called Old Trafford.
Other half, despite his origins ( born and bred North Easterner) is a glory boy, or prawn sandwich man, as fans from other clubs like to call Man Utd fans. I can't understand why he supports them and will enjoy tormenting him about it on a daily basis for the rest of our lives. As a proud Geordie girl, I will always be a proud Toon Army supporter. We may not have the silver ware folks but we have hearts of gold...anyway... I digress....

Since it is his 40th birthday shortly I was gracious and entered an auction to get him two tickets for today's game which is against Stoke. They are going to have eats and drinks in the Red Cafe and kick off is at three. I think it will be a real experience. Teenager is excited, and so is his dad.

Myself? I am off to continue my campaign of Christmas shopping at the Trafford Centre near the football ground. It has one of my favourite shops in it - Selfridges. This sells my favourite wonderful smelling treats- Jo Malone (if you haven't discovered their products yet you are missing a real treat).

Mum is coming with me and once we have deposited the boys at Old Trafford we will head straight to Starbucks for my favourite coffee before tackling the Christmas shopping once again.
* a footnote. Don't worry about teenager's allegience. He is a die hard Toon Army man. My dad and I worked very hard on this when he was a wee mite, and successful indoctrination was achieved. Other half tried hard, but the black and white army claimed another one for its own.

Thursday, 13 November 2008

Check it out- Alice Walker and her letter to Obama

My great friend M has posted Alice Walker's letter to Obama on her blog and it really is worth a read ( as is all her stuff in fact).

You can get M's blog information down below on my blog list or click this link.

I am having a busy week but as per yesterday's post I had the afternoon off. Nice Italian lunch, shopping in the wonderful Corbridge village ( great shops, lovely atmosphere) and a peep in the always quiet Hexham M and S store. Got a ton of Christmas gifts and feel pleased with myself.

Today I am off to the very much busier Eldon Square in Newcastle City Centre. First though I have meetings to go to so over and out!

Wednesday, 12 November 2008

Time off and recharging the soul

I am writing from my North East office ( Consett McDonalds- see previous posts for explanation..).
Checking emails, working and blogging. Early in the morning.

I saw this on House of Jules blog and it is absolutely right. It's a great blog too- take a look. I am glad I visited.

I am taking a leaf out of this book. I am on a business trip all week and should have a back to back diary. However, I have taken this afternoon and tomorrow afternoon off. I am going to have lunch with mum, shop, potter around and have some down time. Why? See below.

At forty four, and a recovering work- a - holic, I am learning! All of you out there reading- have a great day!

Don't eke out your existence with the assumption that you can put a dollar value on recharging your soul. Get out there. Live so you can breathe.

Monday, 10 November 2008

one of those days....?

I got this cheery cat cartoon from Blogsgrab.

It sums up yesterday.

If I tell you that I was in bed last night at ten having consumed red wine and a glass of whiskey and ginger you may get an idea of where I am heading.

Nothing terrible happened...just an accumulation of horrible bits and pieces.

Having had a busy week last week, Saturday was busy but jolly too. We went to the Holker Hall winter fair. It was lovely but very wet. We got there early ( with everyone else it turns out- what recession?) and I did well with the Christmas shopping.

After getting teenager ( more) trainers for school ( when will he stop growing?) we went to a bonfire party. I hate fireworks ( hate them!) and it was pouring, so I stayed in the house ( fabulous with the most wonderful real fire in a huge fireplace) and snuggled into the sofa in the warm. ( everyone else in the wet and wind getting soaked - I am happy to be wimp).

Drove back in the rain and wind, and woke up the next morning in the same rain and wind. Off to rugby via a serious accident, a wide load hold up and a delay caused by a huge of cows off to milking. Teenager played rugby in wind hail and pouring rain ( they won 33-15 hurray) and was a mud monster afterwards.

The clean up operation on our return home took over thirty minutes - and this included the stress of finding out that the gum guard ( cost £30) was left in the shorts in the washing machine. Less said the better.

I struggle to get ready for a week away in the North East (other half in London over weekend at the NLP conference) and find I have lost a major document which I needed to print out. By now- my usually low blood pressure was rising by the second, and the air was blue.

I drop teenager off at his pals ( James Bond film and a roast chicken dinner) for a sleepover and I set off ( in the wind,rain and hail, and pitch black) to Corbridge. Mum and I arrived around half six and were in the pub at seven. Things started to look up by then.

Today, after eight hours sleep ( and the calm tones of other half telling me he knows where the document is!), the sun is shining ( a bit anyway) and I feel a lot better.

Saturday, 8 November 2008

what a little deer- Rupert

My mum's friend sent her this and I thought it was worth showing around. What a delightful little animal!
Here are the notes about him. I am not sure of the original source of the email but this is what it said.
This tiny deer was delivered by Caesarean section at a wildlife hospital after his mother was killed by a car.
Little Rupert, who is so small he can fit in an adult's hand, was born after vets failed in their battle to save his mother.

At just six inches tall and weighing just over a pound, he is now in an incubator in the intensive care unit at Tiggywinkles Wildlife Hospital in Buckinghamshire.
He has only recently opened his eyes.
Les Stocker, founder of Tiggywinkles, said: "Rupert's mother had very severe injuries.
We brought him out and got him breathing and then he went into an incubator on oxygen. He is now being fed by a tube."

Staff are optimistic Rupert, now five days old, will make a full recovery.
"Deer are very, very tricky but this one has spirit. He's an extremely feisty little guy and quite pushy",Mr Stocker said.

Friday, 7 November 2008

Just get on with it

It always surprises me why organisations who are supposedly offering a service to the customer will NOT sort things out which are clearly an inconvenience or a problem.

Recently. I went to a garage to the toilet and couldn't find the light. I hunted and hunted on the wall. Eventually, I went out to the counter and found a member of staff. I couldn't 'go' in the pitch dark and don't carry a torch for such problems in my handbag.

"Terribly sorry" I say sheepishly. " I can't find the light for the toilet"

" I will show you where it is" says the member of staff. She comes with me, points up to the ceiling where there is a small piece of string. " It's up there. No-one ever sees it, and we get disturbed about it a hundred times a day".

Bizarre. How about making the string longer? How about calling an electrician? How about putting a huge sign on the door such as:


How about just sorting it out!

Wednesday, 5 November 2008


That British Woman says everyone who reads her 4th November post is tagged. Since I have never been officially tagged I will take up the challenge.

We have to think of six things which are interesting or unusual about ourselves:

  1. I have met quite a few famous people, and several in elevators: Sting, Axel Rose from Guns and Roses, the rugby player Lawrence Dallaglio, and Damien Duff ( football player) being four examples.

  2. I have been to Iceland

  3. I used to work in a bookshop in London where Princess Diana bought books for Prince William.

  4. One of my favourite pastimes is going out for coffee

  5. I would love to visit New York and Hawaii

  6. I have a collection of china pug dogs and I would love to own a pug

Congratulations ( and commiserations...?)

A note of congratulations to all the Obama supporters over there in the USA. I am sure you are still partying and celebrating a very exciting victory.

Commiserations to all of you who hoped for John McCain to win- I know what it's like to be disappointed on election night.

We look forward to seeing the impact on UK when the new President comes into office in January.

Tuesday, 4 November 2008

Toon Army Joke

First of all apologies to all of you out there who are not as follows:

  • fans of the Toon army
  • fans of football/soccer at all
  • fans of sport of any kind
  • have no idea who Mike Ashley is
  • aware of the North East of England culture

The rest of you- should love this one!

Thanks to my Bolton Wanderer's fan Chris for making me laugh.

Mike Ashley was in Tesco last week when he saw an old lady struggling with a large shopping bag.

"Can you manage pet?" he said.

"Sorry I am not interested" she said -"try Kevin Keegan again".

Monday, 3 November 2008

Obafemi Martins and two goals

The Toon Army have moved six places up the table tonight and are now 14th. They scored two goals against the much fancied Aston Villa. Both goals scored by the wonderful Oba Martins who is loved as much for his celebration gymnastics as he is for his goal-scoring. It is wonderful to see them start to win again.

Our friend Chris is a great fan of Bolton Wanderers. We have great fun bantering about football all season. I am delighted to say that they are back in the relegation zone. This is mainly because he has to cook for us if the Toon finish higher in the table. Looking good at the moment....

Sunday, 2 November 2008

Lakeland Cam

I got this blog from That British Woman ( see my blog list). It's called Lakeland Cam and the photos are great. Well worth a look.I have added to my blog list. If you love the Lakes, you will love these pics.

Saturday, 1 November 2008

Goodbye to Ireland!

I am always happy to go back home to the beautiful Lake District. It is never a hard place to return to. Now I have sussed out how to load pictures I will be able to show you some shots of where I live.

First though, it's a fond goodbye to Northern Ireland. We will come back again- it has been a lovely rest and there is much still to look at. Thanks to Edith and Maurice at Croft Cottages: they have given us a great welcome and we have a lovely time in their wonderful cottage.

This is a wonderful shot of teenager on the trampoline here. It shows the exuberance of youth and it really makes me smile.

Spooks and Ghouls- a dead night

Have to admit being a bit disappointed last night. There has been such a build up all week to Halloween, and so many promises of fireworks too ( much as I hate them, I love bonfires). We booked a meal out at the local pub last night and expected much festivity. The pub (which is usually packed out) was dead quiet ( excuse the pun) and there was a singer on who made every song sound the same ( three cords on the guitar etc). He did the Eagles, Neil Young and Bruce Springsteen and it was indistinguishable! He was very keen and well meaning though, bless him
The only sign of Halloween life other than the decorations ( see pictures taken by teenager!) was the pumpkin and garlic soup.

In desperation teenager asked if we could have drive round to see if there was 'anything going on'. We saw- nothing. It was so quiet. Suddenly- one firework, and then nothing more. I read during the week that if you want to buy fireworks here in Northern Ireland you have to have a licence. That seems fair enough- until you discover that they cost £30 each! Aggh! No wonder folk are put off....