Midsummer evening

Midsummer evening

Saturday, 11 January 2014

Bucket List

Everyone seems to have them and, not only that, know what is on their Bucket Lists.  I just think I have one and refer to it in the abstract but I have never actually written it down or even thought about what might be on it other than in passing.  Trouble is, if I had written down everything I'd ever thought should be on my list, it would be a serious tome (and seriously unachieveable).

So, what have I thought (in passing) should be on the list?? Well, just this evening I thought that I'd like to see the pyramids one day so that's one.

Then there's the desire to see an episode of Strictly being filmed.

And to dance at a Tea Dance at the Tower Ballroom in Blackpool.

And I've always wanted to see the Northern Lights.

I definitely want to go back to South Africa and go on a safari again.  (Can going back somewhere you've already been go on a Bucket List?  Is it allowed?)

One place that I DO want to see (and nearly did last year) is the region of Cappadocia in Turkey.  It has intrigued me since I read a detective story set there and looked it up to see pictures of freaky rock formations.  The pillars of stone with caves and houses and shrines inside.  A balloon ride over those as dawn.  Now that has got to be a photographer's dream.

Moving away from the travelling dreams (because I could fill a loooong list with places I want to go), I want to see a competitive England football match.  Rich has been to a few but I never have.  Preferably home and away and preferably in a major tournament someday, but just a  match would be a good start.

And I'd like to go to a Six Nations rugby match at Twickenham.  I've seen England vs Ireland at Lansdowne Road and been to the play-off final at the Millennium Stadium in Cardiff but not been to Twickenham, Hamden Park, Stadio Olimpico or Stade de France.

I want to fit back into 2 size 14 dressed I own and love.  (Is that a Bucket List thing??)

I want to throw an afternoon tea party in my garden.  You know the sort of thing....floaty dresses (girls only), tables and chairs on the lawn with table cloths and little vases of flowers, Pimms, homemade scones, cakes, sparkly wine, pretty sandwiches, pots of tea, maybe blinis and stuff.  Obviously it will not count unless the weather is perfect so I may have to have several.

Oooh, another one, I want to go Coasteering.  I nearly went when we were on holiday in Pembrokeshire but ran out of spare days and it has stuck in my mind ever since.  Griff Rhys Jones was talking about doing it for his new TV show about Wales recently and it sounded fabbie.  Then again, pretty much everything he did for the show looked great - a massive zipwire over a huge quarry, canoeing or whitewater rafting.  Tick tick tick

And a boat trip from Blakeney Spit to see the seals and to the Farne Islands to see the bird colonies up close.

And to adopt a rescue dog (not just yet obviously as my girls still need my love and attention).

Watch a Test match somewhere amazing - The Ashes for preference but the West Indies or South Africa would be awesome too.

To live on a street where I know all my neighbours.

Attend the last night of the Proms in the Albert Hall.

To live in a mortgage free house.

To make icecream (I have an icecream maker I've never used).

To volunteer for a charity or public group and/or do some proper fund raising (like the half marathon I did a few years ago now).  It is time to get back to thinking of others now that our lives are more on an even keel.

Well, that was fun.  I'm sure there are loads of other things I'd like to see or do before I die.  But this lot could keep me busy for a long time to come.

Oh no, what about seeing a tiger in India before they're extinct? Not to mention seeing the Taj Mahal and the Golden Temple at Amritsar???  Now I'm getting carried away and will stop....

What would be/is on your Bucket Lists??







Wednesday, 8 January 2014

Happy Christmas!!

I know it's a day late but we don't have any signal or broadband in our new house yet so it was back to the 20th century for us yesterday (and most refreshing that was too).
We are having a gorgeous Christmas. We were up late in the White Hart singing carols, both traditional and local. The local carols are brilliant, songs which are specific to our own village which are arranged in several parts and have been sung in the village for nearly 200 years. There is quite a tradition of gathering in December to sing local carols in a handful of north Derbyshire Peak District villages and to be part of it is truly lovely (especially now I know most of them).
I slipped out to midnight mass which was lovely too. Note to self....must go to church more often.
So we were a tad jaded on Christmas morning....but who cares? Only me, Rich and our friend Sean to cater for.
We walked the dogs round to the pub at lunchtime. Found some mobile signal and chatted with our families standing on top of a hill on a quiet lane then back home to cook cook cook.
As it turned out, the turkey Sean supplied was massive and with all the trimmings I could easily have fed 8! Turkey, natch, Tom Kerridge's stuffing in bacon, TK's honey roast bacon, cauli cheese, carrots, cranberry and orange relish, sprouts with chestnuts and bacon, roasties, gravy and piggies in blankets. It was all (though I say so myself) gorgeous but you can't fit more than a spoonful of each component in! I'm actively looking forward to our leftover supper tonight for a second go at it!!
Collapsed in front of the telly then rouse ourselves for some of Rich's family visiting. Just lovely.
Today we're all shattered but dragged ourselves out to our Sheffield local for an away trip to the footie. We've got Blackburn today....I'm not feeling confident of a good result as we are RUBBISH at the mo but the day out is always fun. Brekkie and beer in the pub, coach over the pennines to Blackburn and fingers and toes crossed for a decent result.
BTW, I saw a few joggers while driving into town this morning...was quite tempted so I have high hopes for 2014!
Hope you are all having a fabbie Christmas with your loved ones.
PS. Enjoy the Christmas jumpers... The finest acrylic Rothrrham market had to offer (mercifully half price!). 

At long last

I am.........drumroll....................typing this post On. My. New. Laptop!!  It's so exciting but has not been without its dramas sadly.  My tame (but painfully socially inept) IT geek confirmed that my old laptop was beyond economic repair so he is chopping it into pieces to sell what he can and we went shopping!!  We into Sheffield on News Year's Eve and had a spree.  It was great but got tiring once the decision was made and I was stuck into the selling process.  God, how dull!!  Do you want a backup, warranty, what software do you want/need/can you afford? Soooooze....

I resisted everything bar the backup service which then meant I couldn't take the newly purchased laptop home with me.....booo.

So, after a day or so it was done and  I was free to drive into Sheffield to pick it up.  I thought I'd combine the trip with some Christmas shopping.  Picking up a new golf club Rich was buying with his Christmas gift vouchers and call round to an outdoor shop with my Christmas gift vouchers to have a look for a new waterproof jacket.  (Please note the necessary presence of a whole bunch of Christmas gift vouchers in my handbag).

On my way through Sheffield, in a not-very-good area, I spotted a stray dog up ahead in the middle of the road.  A heart rending sight.  Especially when, scared by a bus or lorry it ran and was clipped by a car and ran yelping through a little park to a residential street up a hill and parallel to the road I was driving on.  I drove round the block onto the street as, somewhat strangely, I had a muzzle (a legacy from Gordie) and a spare lead in my car.  I thought I might be able to catch him if he was friendly and take him to a vet if need be.

I found him and parked up, locked the car behind me and, with some assistance from 2 more dog-owning passers by, set about trying to coax him to us so that we could see if he was injured etc.  While we doing that another car drew up somewhat flashily and, assuming that they were also wanting to help I shouted to the 2 men to try and stop the dog when he ran towards them.  They looked a bit puzzled and momentarily disappeared round the corner out of my sight.  Then they walked passed me to their car and, somewhat strangely, said "thanks,love" before getting into their car and driving off.  It was only later, when we'd decided that the dog was okay and was not going to be caught, that I got into my car and realised that the 2 men had lifted my handbag from the front seat.

I had thought that I had locked the car but, in my haste, the seatbelt had blocked the door which hadn't shut properly so it hadn't locked.  These toerags must keep their eyes peeled on every journey for car doors which are not properly shut and seize every thieving opportunity available to them.  Nice.

It was a bit heartbreaking as, along with the usual cash, cards, driving licence etc, the robbing scumbags also got our Christmas vouchers.  So, it's a pain but not a tragedy.  I've reported it to the police for the all important crime reference number and made an insurance claim and learned a hard  lesson about taking more care to shut and lock car doors in ropey areas. I suppose part of the problem is that I live in a nice area and can happily leave car doors open while I unload the car and doors unlocked pretty much all the time.

In other news.  I am resurrecting my diet.  Really, I mean it!  I haven't gained anything over Christmas BUT I weigh far too much and want to be a lot slimmer by the summer.  I'm hoping that we're going to go to Malaysia to visit my brother and sister-in-law (and maybe catch up with my Canadian cousin who will be there at the end of May). I do not want to sweat my way through our holiday carrying these 2 extra stones.  Nor do I want to have to buy new, fat summer clothes.  So, I have new resolve.  I even went for a run on Tuesday (and have plans for another tomorrow).  Watch this space (and pray for me!!).

PS. I'm not sure what is going on with Blogger as I'm sure I posted my Christmas post on Boxing Day but it seems to have jumped to the front of the queue and re-posted itself.  Ah well, enjoy those jumpers again!!

Thursday, 2 January 2014

Back to skool

It wasn't too bad actually. Working from home does make going back to work after a week off a lot easier. And knowing you have the next day off followed by a weekend makes it even more palatable! I like to break myself back in gently where possible.....

I couldn't get to sleep last night for a while. My head was buzzing with plans for the new year. The house, my diet, exercise, budgets, holidays. STUFF!! It was all pretty positive and I woke up this morning feeling ready for anything. I even reverted to my cold shower, black coffee, wait for breakfast routine which I haven't done for a couple of months (our last house was freeeezing) and it even felt good, like I'm ready to get going again. I didn't quite manage to make myself go for a run as time was tight but I did go for a brisk, hilly dog walk so I made a start.

On the downside, I'm struggling to get to grips with house jobs like unpacking, sorting out random boxes and pieces of furniture and doing minor DIY jobs. I know it'll come but I want to start seeing aome progress. It would help if there wasn't so much football coming up this month; every weekend it seems. I will have to keep the pressure on Rich I feel as he appears not to notice things which need doing....he's an all or nothing sort of guy. Works really hard when he has to but doesn't like to do a little at a time. I'm more the do a bit here and there type. Hmmmm....

But, I'm not going to let little things like that drag me down. We have our house and a new year has begun. It can't rain all year surely?? Just to remind ourselves that the sun does shine occasionally, here's a couple of pics I took while walking the dogs at lunchtime.

Wednesday, 1 January 2014

Happy New Year from Hillsborough!!

We have finally got a landline, broadband and, with it, boosted mobile phone signal. It all happened yesterday and to celebrate we went into town and I bought a new laptop. Mine has died and Rich's is in intensive care. I'm looking forward to typing posts rather than picking them out on my phone with my big fat thumb!! I arranged to have my systems backed up so not picking it up 'til Friday but it's nice to know it's on its way.

Today is New Year's Day and I'm at the football absolutely shattered. We stayed in last night but I'm still falling asleep and struggling to follow the game. I suppose a rich meal washed down by a load of booze and not going to bed til after 2 will do that, especially if you then have 3 pints of bitter and a steak sandwich! I'm truly cream-crackered. The game is not thrilling either. I was hoping it was going to be called off due to the heavy rain but no such luck.

So, I'm going to stop being a misery guts, watch the rest of the game in as good spirits as I can muster then go home where thankfully I have lamb stew waiting in the slow coook..

GOOOOOAAAAALLLLL!!!

That's woken me up and am MUCH happier now. Speak soon. xxx

And another one....GOOOOAAALLLL!!