Monday, 31 December 2012

Well!! What A Year It’s Been!!!

Here we are….it’s New Years Eve!! How did that happen?!! This year seems to have passed in a flash….mainly because it’s been full to the brim with good things to look back on!!

2011 had set me up for a shaky start though, following the car collision in November (still unresolved!!), Alex’s hospitalisation with Ketoacidosis just before Christmas &, after living with horrible shoulder pain through the year, my being turned down for much needed surgery because of high blood pressure in January 2012!

10 ChinaBut by February things were looking brighter! My blood pressure was brought down to a safe level & the op was rescheduled for March! Lee heard that he had won an ‘all expenses paid’ trip to Beijing, courtesy of a University prize draw & my sister

10 Hotel in Turkey

   phoned to say she had booked a
   ‘girls’ week away in Turkey as a
   post-op treat! I had been given a
   referral to Weight Watchers by
   my GP & was beginning to see a
   real difference a few pounds lost
   could make!

March saw my ‘op’ declared a success & I started physiotherapy immediately! Lee managed, after several attempts, to secure tickets for the Olympics Athletics finals & I started a course of Hypnotherapy sessions designed to help curb my tendency to overeat!!

23 Jason & OtisIn April we had a fabulous day out at the NEC for the ‘Gadget Show Live’…

May saw me securing tickets for the 2012 ‘Once In A Lifetime’ tour at the NEC to see my teen pin-up David Cassidy in November!

17 First Love   By this time too I
   had achieved a
   two stone weight
   loss & was feeling better than I had in
   ages, still not 100% mobility in my
   shoulder but able to swim again!
   June continued well, with Lee securing
   a teaching post to start in September!
   After four years hard slog, back at university, gaining a fresh degree, along with various school placements, he deserved it & made me so proud! 

9Oh & of course I had that all important week in the sun!!

July was dominated by Lee’s trip to Beijing….& hot on it’s heels his Graduation ceremony!!


  IMG_7579 (3)




Then of course, came August!!
We had the most amazing day out at the Olympic Park…

18 Olympic 4



   …& just when we thought it
   would have to be a ‘once in a
   lifetime’ experience, we heard
   that a photo of us that Lee had submitted to the ‘NEXT’ website had won us two tickets to the Paralympic closing ceremony, so we got to go back again in September!!

8 BargainsThe summer also saw me complete quite a major DIY project, when I re-allocated three bedrooms, giving each a complete decorative makeover!! I still cannot believe how much cleaning, painting & furniture moving I achieved…& all on a shoestring!!

September saw Alex start at college…his first term has proved very successful & he has settled into the new routine well! Lee took up his post as teacher to a class of nine year olds & Nathan started back at school in year nine!

Then there was a wobble!! I was told that my job was being made redundant at the end of January 2013!! But I was offered an alternative position…after being given a warm send-off by my old colleagues, I started my new job mid December & so far, it’s working out just fine!

November saw me swooning at the aforementioned David Cassidy…

25 The Tower pt 1

23 The man himself 




…& spending a wonderful day out at the Tower Of London with Nathan!

0 365 1 2012Add into this year long list of things to remember…

the Queens jubilee celebrations… a whole bunch of great crops, both online & in real life…Dawns ‘Chinese Whispers’…Suzie’s ‘365+1 in 2012’…Rinda’s ‘Scavenger Hunt’…
Sian’s ‘Storytelling Sundays’…00 MMEW
Shimelle’s ‘LSNED’ …
Cathy Zielske’s ‘MMEW’ year long project…
‘From Screen 2 Scrap’ challenges…

…all have kept my creative juices on the boil & of course, a whole myriad of days & nights spent in good company with family & friends old & new! A good year indeed!

13 Project Life 2013So what can I hope for in 2013? Well…I’m committing to ‘Project Life’, inspired by the albums of Karen & Hilary!! I’m already signed up for a couple of classes with Jessica Sprague & BPC!  I know that working on Saturdays will limit my ability to attend some of my favourite crops in real life, but I hope to find other ways to keep up with my scrappy friends…one of which is right here in Blog land!

I intend to keep chipping away at the weight loss (I’ll admit to a slight gain in the run up to Christmas, but I will be addressing that post haste!!) & I shall continue to ‘move more’ & work towards not relying on the BP Meds!

I'll finish now & say thank you for the ‘get well’ wishes on my last post…I’m still voiceless, Lee can't believe his luck!! I wish you all a very HAPPY NEW YEAR & may 2013 bring you & yours all you could ever wish for!!

Thanks for stopping by & come back soon! Open-mouthed smile

Monday, 24 December 2012

Another Ooops! I Did It Again!!!

For the second time this year I have been AWOL from Blog land without warning!! Please don’t take this personally!!! It’s just that sometime things over-awe me & something has to give!!

I had felt well in control of all things Christmas until the announcement of my impending redundancy & all that involved!! I seemed to be here, there & everywhere for meetings, interviews & store visits during November.

Then began the rounds of meals to say farewell to various colleagues & customers, along with the beginnings of Christmas nights out with friends!! All in all I was struggling to find enough hours in each day!!

So, now I am ensconced in my new job & have my rota mapped out, for the next few weeks at least! Mum-in-Law is installed with us for Christmas & New Year. Gifts are all bought, the cake has been made & decorated, mince pies baked & being enjoyed as we speak! Cards all sent by the various postal deadlines & those received all displayed so that we are surrounded by love & good wishes!

On the down side, Lee & I are both full of cold & while he is coughing for England, I have no voice at all!!! It’s going to be a peaceful Christmas here!! Thank goodness for Covonia cough syrup & Strepsils lozenges!

I have just shut myself away in my scrap room to wrap a couple of last minute gifts & felt I had to log on to leave Good Wishes for all my friends in Blog land! May you all have a wonderful Christmas & enjoy whatever plans you have made!

I’ll be back before the end of 2012 & hope to get around to visit each of you by then too!  Thanks for stopping by!!

Xmas Hugs

Thursday, 29 November 2012

Oooops!…I nearly forgot!!

(LSNED September 2010…The Final!)

A little while ago, in THIS post I announced how, finally, I had completed my ‘Learn Something New Every Day’ project, started in September 2010!! I shared half of the recently completed pages & promised to return with the remainder very soon!

Well in true form I promptly forgot! But today, while having a tidy up, I suddenly realised my omission!! So here we go with the final seven lessons learned (over two years ago now!) as part of Shimelles wonderful class!

35 LSNED Sept 25 201034 LSNED Sept 24 2010 








36 LSNED Sept 26 2010

37 LSNED Sept 27 2010









Was it really so long ago that we made the relatively long trip to Shepreth for the ‘It’s Crafting Time’ Thursday evening crop? But a good night was had by all! Then I had a surprise package in the post, all the way from Texas! I had enquired, in the forum at Dixie Pieces, if salt water taffy actually tasted salty & Tammy Malone very generously sent me a box, so that I could find out for my self!…It isn’t salty, but totally delicious! An afternoon walk along Bedford’s Embankment started in glorious sunshine, but very quickly the storm clouds gathered & I was soaked before I could get back to the car!! I received my first ever Graze box…Yum!!

38 LSNED Sept 28 2010

39 LSNED Sept 29 2010









40 LSNED Sept 30 2010

     On the 28th I discovered a
     new way to enjoy chocolate
     that wouldn’t pile on the LB’s!
     A cocoa paraffin wax hand
     mask that smelt as good as
     it left my hands feeling!!

     On a trip to Ikea to pick up a
     new Expedit unit for my scrap
     room, I came away with a
     car boot full of stuff I hadn’t
     even realised I needed!! Am I
     the only one who does this?!

     ….& finally! I bought this pack
     of mushrooms in Tesco…chosen not because they were the best on display, but more for the way they’d been packed! It appealed to my definite O.C.D. tendency!!!

So that’s that! Done & Dusted!! Now I have to get my head around completing the ‘Journal Your Christmas’ Album I started in 2009! I think this might be the year to get it done!!!

Thanks for stopping by & come back soon! Open-mouthed smile

Thursday, 22 November 2012

A Bit Of A Catch-up…

Before November ends I must bring you up to date on a few things that have gone on in between those things I have shared with you already!

During the half term holiday Nathan & I set off to London to visit the Tower of London…something I’ve always wanted to do! History fascinates me & I find the prospect of touching walls & walking on cobbles & stairways formerly touched by Tudors thrilling!

The weather wasn’t brilliant but stayed dry for the most part…it was very busy, as you’d expect for a school holiday week! We joined a Beefeater guided tour, which was so informative & Robin, our guide, had such a dry sense of humour! We walked the walls, visited the torture chamber, Traitors Gate, checked out all the different towers, the chapel & The Green, where Royalty & nobles were executed.

The Tower pt 1 
We learned about the Tower Menagerie, the armoury & marvelled at Henry VIII’s HUGE armour (not to mention his codpiece! Whereupon Robin commented that before we gasped in awe, we should note that his head did not go to the top of his hat! Tee Hee!!) We watched open air costume drama, met Oliver Cromwell, got up close & personal with the Ravens & admired the various sculptures, mainly made out of chicken wire & so impressive!

The tower pt 2

The only thing we didn’t do was see the Crown Jewels…the queue for that was a mile long from the time we arrived till the time we left!! While I might have been happy to stand in it on my own, it was a bit much to expect Nathan to do!! I’ll just have to go back another day!!


The tower cookie!Travelling home, we stopped at Costa in St Pancras station & rounded off the day nicely with a hot drink & the largest Bourbon Cream biscuit I have ever seen…it was big enough for two of us to share!!

It’s a great day out I’d recommend but take a picnic…the restaurant is extortionately expensive & avoid the Gift Shop too…Robbery!!!

HCTB Movie poster  
   I’ve had two cinema visits…The first
   to see ‘Here Comes The Boom!’…
   I had not heard anything about
   this one so had no idea what to
   expect! But it was so enjoyable!
   Funny & with a total ‘Feel Good’
   factor!  I like Kevin James…he’s so
   normal…& with Henry Winkler &
   Penelope Cruse the rest of the
   cast was great too!

Then, on Sunday, we saw the final episode of the Twilight saga! ‘Breaking Dawn Part Two’…it did not disappoint! To think that I only went to see these films because Amanda wanted to! I have enjoyed them all, but this final one, in spite of the rather creepy CGI effects on the baby, is the best of them all! That may have something to do with seeing ‘Jacob’ strip off in one scene….or not!! Go see it!!

Finally, Lee & I had one of our rare nights out together, when we met up at a local restaurant with people we had not seen for around 15 years! We had a marvellous time & after a great meal there was much fun had on the dance floor…

Reunion Mid evening

   Here’s Lee leading a team in the
   ‘rowing dance’ to ‘Oops! Up Side
   Your Head’!!
   The evening was in full swing with
   drink flowing & a good time had
   by all…until it was time to leave &
   they went out into the fresh air!!
   As the only one sober in our
   group of seven, I found it so
   comical to watch all the wobbly
   hugs & hear all the “I love you Mate” declarations…& then see them struggle with the steps onto the mini bus!! Then it was my turn to struggle…with getting Lee into our car…he was asleep before we were 100 yards along the road…& it took me two hours to extricate him once we reached home!

Reunion End of night!

He’s just too big for me to have tried to manhandle, so I left him where he was at first! I kept popping out to check on him, between removing my makeup, getting into my PJ’s & resettling the boys who, having never seen Dad like this, found the whole thing hilarious!! Realising I’d never get him up the stairs, I prepped the sofa with pillows & a duvet….& a large plastic bowl, just in case!!  When finally I got him out of the car & onto the sofa (via the downstairs loo, which is a tale too gruesome to tell here!!) he promptly threw up… Thankfully, into the bowl I’d prepared earlier….& then crashed!! I’ve known Lee for thirty five years & I’ve only ever seen him in such a state once before, so I think I can let him off!!

32 Last Tango in Halifax  Almost finally! Did anyone
  else watch this amazing
  new BBC1 drama series
  last night? It is fabulous!

  If you missed it, you can
  still catch the first episode
  on BBC i-player & I’d
  recommend it! I am so
  looking forward to the
  rest of the series!

…& finally! If like us you’ve been experiencing extreme weather this week (Alex declared it must be the end of the world yesterday afternoon when the sky took on that eerie shade of luminous graphite!!) I guess every cloud has a silver lining…look at the sunset we had last night!

33 Sunset

Taken from my Scrap-room window…it was breath-taking!

Thanks for stopping by…& stay safe, dry & warm everyone…wherever you are! Open-mouthed smile

Friday, 16 November 2012

Still Star Struck!

Well, it’s almost a week & I’m still humming ‘Could it be forever’ to myself 24/7!! All the months of anticipation were not in vain…it was a fabulous night!

20 Arriving

We arrived at the LG Arena nice & early to avoid any risk of motorway traffic hold-ups & settled down to a pre-show drink & bar meal!

21 Pre show drinks


   As predicted, the majority of
   those arriving for the show were
   ‘women of a certain age’ & a few
   coerced partners & offspring!! 
   Rosemary & I felt quite at home
   & as time went on the sense of
   excitement was as intense as at
   any current ‘teen band’ concert!

Once in our seats we were pleased to find that we had a great view of the stage as there were no curtains & having chosen an elevated side position, even if everyone got up to dance, our view would not be blocked!
  22 Waiting
We got chatting to our fellow audience members & soon discovered that we were all there to enjoy the music, but that we also favoured different acts! The ladies in front had come from Northampton to scream at ‘Hot Chocolate’!! The rather elderly lady behind us was all for ‘Leo Sayer’ & Rosemary is definitely a ‘Smokie’ fan…but myself & it seemed, the majority of the crowd, were there for David!!  ‘Smokie’ had the opening set & we were soon on our feet, singing along to ‘Living next door to Alice’….then came ‘Leo Sayer’, what an amazing voice & we all sang along to more well known songs! Errol Brown wowed all the ‘Hot Chocolate’ fans & even though he’s a bit thicker round the middle than he was (aren’t we all?!) he can still move!!

By now we were all warmed up & ready for the headliner!! He did not disappoint!! As soon as his set was due to begin there was a flurry of activity & a throng of women on the ground floor all rushed to the stage barriers!!…& then, there he was!! In black skinny jeans & a white shirt…I have to admit that my whoop turned into a scream…I was so caught up in the moment!

23 The man himself

   Then I was singing along
   to all those hits whose
   lyrics I had committed to
   memory 40 years ago!!
   David's voice is still clear
   & true…& of course he
   was only singing for me!
   I took some photo’s with
   my phone, which was a
   challenge as we were all on our feet & David himself didn’t stand still at all!! So forgive the blur, but I think you’ll agree that, for 62 years of age, he’s still looking good!!

So that’s it! Another item on my ‘To Do’ list checked off!! Now my attention is turning to the countdown to Christmas!
How are you getting along with your preparations?

Do you know what I'm looking forward to on Christmas day? No, not turkey or any particular gift….but the ‘Downton Abbey’ Christmas Special! I’m having severe withdrawal symptoms since series three ended two weeks ago!! So, if you’re like me, here’s something to help bridge the gap!!

Thanks so much for stopping by & do come back soon! Open-mouthed smile

Thursday, 8 November 2012

It’s Tomorrow!!!!

Have you noticed the countdown panel to the right?

It’s telling me that tomorrow I will be here….

15 Once In A lifetime

It seems such a long time ago that I bought the tickets & now, in less than 24 hours time, I will be at the NEC ready to fulfil the dream I had FOUR decades ago!! I will be seeing David Cassidy perform live!

And although this is what we both look like right now…

16 David Cassisdy

17 Me 2012







…you can be sure that in my head we’ll still look like this…

18 David 1974

19 Me 1974








Now, wouldn’t we have made a lovely teen couple??!!! (I was very proud of my pageboy bob despite my awkward centre parting!…but check out those scary ‘life of their own’ eyebrows & the ridiculously pointed shirt collar!!….well it was 1974!!)

…& an update on the job front! I was offered, & accepted the Debenhams position yesterday! Yay! I won’t be joining the statistics of the unemployed after all! Thanks for all your positive words of encouragement, they have all been much appreciated!

Thanks for stopping by & come back soon! Open-mouthed smile

Monday, 5 November 2012

Let’s Go To The Movies!

11 From Paris with LoveIt’s a new month, so that means a new challenge over at ‘From Screen 2 Scrap’ & this months poster for inspiration is ‘From Paris With Love’.

The added criteria were…

1. Use a white CS background
2. Use the word LOVE in the title
3. Use an Eiffel Tower image or embellishment.

I loved this one! Here is what I came up with for my DT submission…


12 Paris in the rain

It’s a photo I’ve used before, taken in 1993, of me on a very wet visit to Paris. That didn’t stop us enjoying a wonderful weekend visiting all of our favourite tourist spots!!

I’d love to see you join in with this months challenge…head over to ‘From Screen 2 Scrap’ to check out the rest of the DT submissions & find details of how to play along….the deadline isn’t until midnight on 30th November!!

13 Skyfall Movie Poster

   On the topic of movies, I
   managed to catch the new
   James Bond movie ‘Skyfall’
   last weekend. It was fabulous!
   Daniel Craig is so much less a
   ‘stuffed shirt’ type of Bond! As
   you’d expect, there is a lot of
   totally unbelievable, but
   nonetheless impressive action
   & I even shed a few tears at
   one point! (I won’t give details
   as I’d hate to spoil anything if
   you’ve yet to see it!)

   If you’re a died-in-the-wool Bond fan you’ll love it, but even if you’re more a chic-flick lover it’s worth catching!!

14 Taken 2 Movie PosterLast night we were wowed by Liam Neeson in ‘Taken 2’. He is one of those actors that just keeps improving with age! In this he has a craggy toughness but we still get to see his tender side too. It ended leaving a definite possibilty of a  ‘Taken 3’ to follow!
The only negative was that it was all set in Istanbul, which is a city I’ve long wanted to visit, but seeing it on the big screen, it all looked a bit shabby & frankly dangerous!! My bubble is burst!!

That’s all from me today, thanks for stopping by & I hope you’ll come back soon! Open-mouthed smile