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!