Tuesday, 27 November 2007


Just to prove that I'm not totally irresponsible (see previous posting) and that at least some of the time I can be mistaken for somebody with half a brain cell- have a look at the new YouTube videos - Lesley and John, these are for you!!

Warning - Not to be taken too seriously - (I like the top one best, look out for the David Blunket look alike)

Christmas Planner

This weekend we are going over to York for the St Nicholas Fayre. It's lovely in York at this time of year and extra special for us because we get to spend time with Lesley and Lawrence. I'm not sure how much Christmas shopping we will get done as it can get really crowded around the stalls and shops but that isn't really the point of the trip. We just love wondering around looking at all the lovely sites and taking in the whole festive atmosphere of the place and when it all gets too hectic we will hopefully find a nice little pub where we can all enjoy lunch together.

I am in fact quite well organised for Christmas this year. I hate leaving things to the last minute when the shops become frantic with angry Mothers, crying kids and bored fathers because I love buying people presents. I spend hours planning what I want to get everyone and I love it when there are little ones to buy for. Generally I try to be the kind of Auntie that makes the parents groan when their children unwrap their presents of a noisy drum kit or a chemistry set with lots of messy gunk to experiment with. And if you ask my grown up nieces and nephews, whose children are such a joy to buy for, you will probably find that I am succeeding. Christmas night just wouldn't be the same without the groans of 'Auntie Joyce has bought you what?

I think that I should go into business- That Bl****y Auntie Christmas Planner- then Aunties everywhere could buy unsuitable gifts for their loved ones without ever leaving the house. All I would need from them is a list of the children's ages/hobbies/likes and dislikes and shed loads of money to go out and have fun with. (I think I'm on to winner here!)

Thursday, 22 November 2007

I need help

I need your help - I am in the middle of writing Episode 20 of Spanish Steps and I have a dilemma - is honesty always the best policy?

One the one hand living a lie can be damned hard work and is fraught with danger - what if the other party discovers the lie? how will they react? will it mean the end of the relationship? who will get hurt from the fall out?

On the other hand liars and cheats make great characters!!

So basically no dilemma - bring on the liars every time

Thanks for that, I just needed to run it past someone.(I probably should lay off the caffeine for a while)

Tuesday, 20 November 2007

Monty Python on YouTube

My computer is running sooo slowly today. The Internet connection feels like it is going to collapse on me any moment now.

It bound to be my fault. Probably I have done something wrong - don't know what - I run regular virus scans - I try to keep crud off the homepage - I don't download anything that looks suspect -

I'll probably have to try that old favourite of all system helplines...'tried everything and it still doesn't work? - let's try switching the computer off, leaving it for 5 minutes and then switch it back on again' (though we only used that old chestnut when we didn't know what was wrong and hoped that if they still couldn't get it working and had to phone back one of the other help line staff would pick up the call and then it would be their problem!!)

Thought that I could do with a laugh so as you will see I have swapped The Beatles for Monty Python on the YouTube link, go on have a laugh, you know it makes sense

Friday, 16 November 2007

Did You Know.....

Did you know that many old people in this country are housebound because their Primary Care Trust doesn't provide free foot care for the elderly. Incredible, here we are living in one of the riches countries on earth and some people who have contributed so much to society, paid their taxes, led good lives, can't get out and about because they aren't supple enough to be able to bend down to cut their own toe nails.

OK I'll admit this is not a sexy topic. Not exactly a vote winner on the hustings. But stop and think for a moment about how embarrassed your Mum or grandad would be if they were in the same position. Do you think that they would tell you? No they wouldn't. They would either suffer in silence or just stop going out. If however they knew that they were entitled to free foot care as a right not something they had to beg for, they could then take responsibility for the care themselves.

Help the Aged, a wonderful organisation that lobbies on behalf of the older people in our community, is running a campaign to try and force the PCTs (Primary Care Trusts) to provide free foot care for all elderly people. Take a minute to join the campaign by mailing your local PCT, that's all it takes, 1 minute to complete the online form.

Take it from one who knows, foot care can be an expensive business. By my very rough calculations I have probably paid out well over £1500 in foot care over the years, and this doesn't include the cost of the operations I had (luckily we had medical insurance then).

Join the campaign - when you get old you may be glad you did

Wednesday, 14 November 2007

How Was Work Today?

When James comes home from his shift in the truck stop, I always ask 'How was work today' I'm not being flippant I'm really interested. As you know I am now working from home and the one huge draw back is that unless I go out somewhere I very often don't see anyone all day. I'm not complaining, it does mean that I can get a lot of writing done but it does make me a bit of a Billy No Mates at times.

So back to the tale.... Every day I ask James 'How was work today?' and every day he answers 'Same old same old.' So yesterday I thought, he must be getting fed up me asking, so from now on I won't (don't want him to think that I am some boring old fart that can't think of a new greeting each day) When he came in I called 'Hi' (not the most imaginative greeting but I was in the middle of writing a steamy love scene) and carried on with the writing.

James came up stairs, walked into my cosy little office and looked at me with disappointment. It was the look that most Mothers dread. It's the look you get when you turn up to collect your kids from school in what they consider to be really naff clothes, or the look they pull when you are the only Mum at their Graduation Ceremony sniffing quietly and pretending not to cry when you see your first born in his cap and gown. 'Well, aren't you going to ask?' thinking on my feet I replied hastily 'how was work today'

'Well, there was a huge fire on the forecourt and I had a terrible time keeping the marauding kids from the flames till the fire engines turned up. I wasn't too badly injured but I have lost the use of my right arm' At the look of horror on my face the bugger burst out laughing and told me that it was all lies. Apparently he had spent the journey home making up the most fantastical reply that he could think of in answer to my inevitable question and then, I didn't ask it!!!

P.S A word of advice to any new Mum, the one big truth of parenting that should be learnt before all others is, what ever you do as a Mum, you just can't win.

P.P.S The second truth to be learnt is, kids lie!

Tuesday, 13 November 2007

You Tube

What do you think of the YouTube link? I am such a fool, I couldn't work out how to get rid of the car videos that came automically with the link- duhh!! I've had great fun looking around Youtube for ideas for the blog but in the end I just typed in The Beatles and look what I got, brill or what.

P.S Count yourself lucky my first option was for cute kitten videos

Friday, 9 November 2007

Headline of the Day

I am busy writing for Spanish Steps today but couldn't resist sharing my favourite headline of the day from The Times

Research found that one in 10 men think chlamydia is a flower

For the full story see BBC News

Not a funny article but a very funny headline

Thursday, 8 November 2007

Boycott The Sun

Like most people, I was horrified by the tales of harassment by the press and paparazzi told to GMTV by Heather Mills. What ever the rights and wrongs of her marriage to Paul McCartney, and I for one really don't care about their marriage, divorce or settlement, she does not deserve the awful things that have been written about her in 'so called' newspapers.

I really believe it is time in this country for ordinary people to stand up to these journalistic bullies and say enough is enough. I don't want to read day after day in the Express the silly conspiracy theories surrounding the death of Diana. I don't want to have every story in the Daily Mail to have the most ridiculous anti-government slant. I don't even want to mention The Sun in the same sentence as the word journalism, in case some poor misguided fool thinks that it is a newspaper rather than the filth rag it is.

Heather is trying to fight back against the press with a campaign to boycott the sun, I have signed it, not just for the way they have treated her but for their reporting of Hillsborough, some of us will never forget!!!

Gorilla surprise turns out to be a stripper in school

After a visit this morning to the hygienist, I thought that I would have a relaxed lunch and read the paper while eating my sandwich.

I have stopped buying a daily paper as I a) don't find the time to read one every day and b) don't believe half the rubbish in them anyway, but James has started walking the two mile round trip to our nearest shop to buy The Times, so I thought 'what the hell'.

Imagine my delight when in amongst the latest awful news from around the world I came across the following headline Gorilla surprise turns out to be a stripper in school

Apparently a Mum thought that she would surprise her son for his birthday by sending a gorillagram to his school, unfortunately the agency mistakenly sent a strippergram who proceeded to 'punish' the poor lad before she stripped of in front of his classmates. As embarrassing Mothers go even I can't beat that!!

I think that my worst offence was one time, when my son was being a little horror on the school run, I threatened him, not with physical violence, but that I would kiss him in the school playground, in front of all of his friends, before waving him into class crying 'have a good day Darling, Mummy loves you' But I'm sure that James and Lesley have been sufficiently scared for life by me to tell of lots of times when they hung their heads in shame and wished that I was anywhere else but there!

Tuesday, 6 November 2007

Free Rice

News Alert - Free Rice

I am now on level 43 !!!

Too Old For Fireworks?---Never

When I was little I used to love this time of year, Halloween, my birthday and then Bonfire night all in one week, how could it get any better. Even now I still get a kick out of seeing the little ones trick or treating and watching a big firework display (not so keen on the birthdays any more, they are coming around far too quickly for my liking)

Dave and I usually go down to the Old Town to watch the big firework display by the Runcorn Bridge but this year I was beginning to give up hope that he would be home in time for us to get there. The display was due to start at 7.30 and by 7.10 he still wasn't home. At the eleventh hour he rushed through the door and said even if we wouldn't be in time to park up and get to the river front we would just be in time to catch some of the show if we drove across the bridge.

So that's what we did, like a pair of daft school kids we drove along the Express Way, with the car windows open so that we could hear the bangs and screeches of the massive aerial display, and then (along with quite a few other people) drove back and forth across the bridge to see some of the display in all it's glory. We didn't fancy stopping on the hard shoulder, like the dozens of other cars with their hazard lights flashing, so we drove down toward Wigg Island to park up and see the show's finale. Great fun!!!

A (bed) Room With a View

I was cleaning the bedroom windows and couldn't resist taking a picture of some of the views of the garden

All the colours of the leaves really do gladden the heart on a sunny autumn morning

Monday, 5 November 2007

Marcus Brigstock

What a busy weekend.

Friday evening Lesley and Lawrence came over from York to go to the Brindley with us to see Marcus Brigstock.

Saturday was my birthday and Dave prepared me a lovely supper of all my favourite food.

And Sunday was spent laying the new flooring in our bedroom which is beginning to look really fab.

(I think Dave could do with another weekend to get over it!)

Thursday, 1 November 2007


Watching the news yesterday you could have been forgiving for thinking that the whole country was about to go crazy with marauding gangs of youths out to create mayhem by Trick or Treating.

According to the good old BBC, October 31st is the worst night of the year for anti-social behaviour. Well let me tell you, not in our street it isn't!!

We only had about 4 groups of children calling last night and they were cute little kids dressed in amazing costumes accompanied by a responsible adult.

Even though I don't have any little ones at home any more I still had great fun carving a pumpkin lantern to put outside the front door. I even bought lots of Halloween themed sweeties, you know the kind, false teeth, dripping eyeballs etc to hand out, but with so few kids calling I have lots left over.

I think that it is about time that the press stops all the scare mongering and just once, maybe, tells it as it really is. Yes, in some areas there is a problem, but the vast majority of little kids out Trick or Treating just want to wear scary outfits and collect lots of sweeties...or maybe that just where I live.

P.S When we got up this morning we found that the Pyrex dish full of rice, that I had left on the kitchen table, was smashed on the floor, what a mess, shattered glass and rice everywhere!...Could it have been done by lost souls wandering the earth on the eve of All Hallows... or might it have been that the Trick or Treaters have special powers to create havoc through closed doors? Well possibly, but more likely one of our two cats was looking for a midnight feast.

Note to self - must teach the cats how to use a dustpan and brush

Free Rice

I am hooked on the Free Rice game.

Last night I set Dave the challenge of beating my score of 41...he did and scored 42...bummer!! Not that I'm competitive or anything but I couldn't let that go without a fight...I'm now on 42 too (if you see what I mean)

If we carry on like this the UN will end up with more rice than they know what to do with - (with any luck)