Wednesday, 30 March 2011

Support a Team

It was a fairly obvious one I'm afraid!  England V Ghana @ Wembly, I thought I'd support England ;-)

In my search for a team to support I did come across this though - top ten obscure sports - extreme ironing and rock, paper scissors, genius!

A couple of my favourite qoutes about teams/teamwork...............
Anyone can support a team that is winning - it takes no courage. But to stand behind a team, to defend a team when it is down and really needs you, that takes a lot of courage - Bart Starr
Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful, committed people can change the world. Indeed. It is the only thing that ever has - Margaret Mead
And a final word (or several) about's that time of year again! 

Once again...................on Saturday 2nd July I'm taking part in the St Michael's Hospice Midnight Walk, which is a quarter marathon (6.5 mile) walk (definitely NOT a run!) around Harrogate at Midnight.

Saint Michael's Hospice at Harrogate exists to ensure that local people get the end of life care they want, need and deserve. Living with terminal illness is not an easy journey to be on. Together we can make sure no-one faces this walk alone. St Michael's believe everyone in Harrogate, Ripon, Knaresborough, Wetherby, Pateley Bridge and the surrounding areas should be offered the choice of quality end of life care, regardless of the illness they are living with or the place from which they are receiving care.

Last year they helped more than 1200 people achieve this and want to double this figure over the next five years.

Almost 17 years ago my mum passed away in St Michael's hospice, the support and genuine care that I, as my mum's live in carer, and the rest of the family and friends received from all at St Mike's was invaluable. In order to ensure that the hospice are able to continue to provide this necessary service to local people free of charge I'd really appreciate it if you could sponsor me through my fundraising website:

For further information on the Hospice and the work they do click here.

Many, many thanks for any support you are able to give.


Monday, 28 March 2011

Climb a Tree Day!

No climbing trees for me today (or practising my juggling), I don't know whether it was falling asleep on Bernie's sofa last night or what but there's no way I'm in any fit state to climb anything today - breathing kind of hurts!

As a kid I loved trees (still do to be honest), the Enid Blyton Faraway Tree books were a great escape!

There used to be a tree (it may still be there) in the field at the back of Coppice Valley Primary School - I loved  that tree and spent an awful lot of time up there in its branches - happy days!

I would have loved a tree house when I was a kid, in fact I think I'd probably happily live in a tree house now, the idea's always appealed to me since my dad read Swiss Family Robinson to us as kids.

Tree house holidays - really?  Yes, really - fantastic idea!!

And who wouldn't want to find one of these trees at the bottom of the garden - yep, it's a money tree lol (not really very clear but it's embedded with coins!)!


Sunday, 27 March 2011

Saturday - Weekends We Love You!

Aha!  Reality - there you are, where have you been?!! 

As life starts to takes back some semblance of normality it was time to take stock and Get a Grip - there's a reason for writing grounded on your foot Orange and it's in your own interest to try and remember it!

So, woke up at 6.30 (aaaarrggh!), Asda and back by 9.30, supposed to be Getting on With Stuff - derailed by open pack of jaffa cakes by 11, wandering round town with Bernie by 12.30, back to Bernies by 3 for roast pork dinner - I guess the Getting on With Stuff can wait til tomorrow (which will actually be today - after the grand prix!)!  I had a moment of concern as Bernie grew closer to spontaneous combustion and informed me that at times she can easily understand why some people are driven to murderous rampage and that she could happily make a start on all the idiots that seem to surround her.  I was suddenly very aware that I was the idiot in closest proximity to her - apparently I'm safe though, I'm far too entertaining to be shot, phew.

Squeezed in another extra for this month - Leave a Penny for Someone to Find!  I used the penny that Elaine left for me on the floor in my office (thanks Elaine!) to make a wish in the Valley Garden wishing well and left a new shiny penny on the well for someone else to find and make a wish!


Friday, 25 March 2011

Ponder the Universe Day!

I don't know why but writing this suddenly brought to mind the weird Richard Marx dream I had last year - you know, the one where he declared his undying love for me and I promptly keeled over in full blown panic attack - bizarre!

- To weigh in the mind with thoroughness and care - yeah, right, see above!

We are but specks of dust (cheery) - I've 'liked' a Facebook group called Pondering the Universe - your mind wanders and you find yourself thinking of everything. Literally everything.

The universe is commonly defined as the totality of everything that exists, including all physical matter and energy, the planets, stars, galaxies, and the contents of intergalactic space, although this usage may differ with the context. The term universe may be used in slightly different contextual senses, denoting such concepts as the cosmos, the world, or nature. Observations of earlier stages in the development of the universe, which can be seen at great distances, suggest that the universe has been governed by the same physical laws and constants throughout most of its extent and history.


Speaking of the universe..........................great news, at some point in the near future the new Masters of the Universe movie will be released!  I didn't even know there'd been a movie made in 1987 - how has this escaped my attention (probably due to something shiny)?

That's it for me, I've already driven myself to distraction trying not to ponder and analyse everything else recently so the universe can go take a hike!

(And it's just dawned on me why the weird Richard Marx dream made a brief appearance in my tiny mind - I spent a fair bit of time yesterday evening putting together a couple of cd's for someone at work - all Richard Marx tracks - d'oh!)


Thursday, 24 March 2011

Shower Cap Day!

Ok, so, this was one of my own extras - in honour of the gift Neil received in the post last Thursday (a load of shower caps - don't ask!)!

So I dutifully brought my shower caps to work and he absolutely refused to wear one!!

Thankfully Elaine and Debbie were much more willing participants!



Wednesday, 23 March 2011

Broccoli Appreciation Day!

Hmm, well I didn't expect to find this when I got to work yesterday morning! 

Close, as in green, but no, not broccoli -   good to see my seat's been kept warm in my absence from the office though!  There's also a couple of further additions to the ginger bread family - welcome Sarah (nice teeth!) and Neil!

Anyway, back to Broccoli Appreciation Day!

Ooops, I forgot to take the broccoli to work!  I did remember to take the broccoli jewellery though so at least I was able to wear that to show my appreciation of this fine vegetable!

Broccoli has been around for more than 2000 years, The name "broccoli" comes from the Latin word brachium, which means "branch," or "arm." The first commercially grown broccoli was grown and harvested in New York, then planted in the 1920's in California. A few crates were sent back East and by 1925 the broccoli market was off the ground. This vegetable is highly recognized for its anti-cancer nutrients. It is a cruciferous vegetable and member of the cabbage family which is helpful in preventing certain types of cancer

Broccoli was first grown in the Italian province of Calabria and was given the name Calabrese. Today there are many varieties. In the United States, the most common type of broccoli is the Italian green or sprouting variety. Its green stalks are topped with umbrella-shaped clusters of purplish green florets.

Did You Know (or want to know)................
That broccoli consumption has increased over 940 percent over the last 25 years.  It's a good source of Vitamin A, and vitamin C, potassium, folacin, iron and fiber. Broccoli has as much calcium ounce per ounce as milk and contains a few important phytochemicals: beta-carotene, indoles and isothiocyanates. Phytochemicals prevent carcinogens (cancer causing substances) from forming. They also stop carcinogens from getting to target cells and help boost enzymes that detoxify carcinogens.

How To Select Fresh Broccoli
Choose bunches that are dark green. Good color indicates high nutrient value. Florets that are dark green, purplish, or bluish green contain more beta-carotene and vitamin C than paler or yellowing ones. Choose bunches with stalks that are very firm. Stalks that bend or seem rubbery are of poor quality. Avoid broccoli with open, flowering, discolored, or water-soaked bud clusters and tough, woody stems.

Store broccoli unwashed, in an open plastic bag and place in the crisper drawer of refrigerator. It is best if used within a day or two after purchasing.

Fresh vs. Frozen
Packaged frozen broccoli differs from fresh in its nutrient content. The flower buds or florets are richer in beta-carotene than the stalks. Manufactures typically cut off most of the stalk before packaging it, so frozen broccoli may contain 35% more beta-carotene by weight than fresh broccoli. The downside is that frozen broccoli has twice as much sodium as fresh (up to 68 mg per 10 oz. package), about half the calcium, and smaller amounts of iron, thiamin, riboflavin, and vitamin C.

Preparation and Cooking
The best way to cook broccoli is to steam, cook in the microwave or stir-fry with a little broth or water. These methods are better than boiling. Some of the vitamin and mineral content are lost from the vegetable and end up in the cooking water when they are boiled. Cooked broccoli should be tender enough so that it can be pierced with a sharp knife, and still remain crisp and bright green in color

What more could you possibly want to know about broccoli?  Oh, yeah, Treehouse of Horror XI, Homer Simpson is killed by eating broccoli.

And here's a broccoli joke (just when you thought it couldn't possibly get any worse).

Two pieces of broccoli catch each other's eyes in the vegetable patch. One says, "You are a hottie! You know what caught my eye about you?" The other says, "Is it my floret?" "No." "Is it sexy flowers in my head?" "No." "Then what is it?" The first piece of broccoli says, "I like your round girthy thick stem. You're long and green, and it drives me nuts." The other broccoli goes, "What are you, a 'stalker'?"

Monday, 21 March 2011

Spring Clean!

It was supposed to be the Spring Clean 'extra' for March on Saturday - I had much better things to do this weekend and it's like the plaque in my kitchen says.................

'My house is clean enough to be healthy and dirty enough to be happy' - the focus was well and truly on the happy this weekend :-)

So I'm afraid this is one extra that isn't going to get done, I'm not even going to pretend that I might get it done in the next week!


Wednesday, 16 March 2011

Great Outdoors Day!

Hmm, it would have been nice had I been able to SEE the great outdoors!  This is the view that greeted me on drawing the curtains..................

I gave it half an hour to see if there was any sign of it lifting but then got impatient and decided to set off to explore the great outdoors.  The plan was to head off in the direction of the pine woods and, instead of turning right (looks at hands to remember which one she WRITES with) and heading towards the Valley Gardens, turn left and see where it took me!

The fog did seem to lift a little in places (great, I'd actually be able to see the werewolf/mad axe murderer/marauding ewoks my over-active imagination was busy conjuring!)

I reached the observation point where apparently I could observe this

and this is what I actually observed

Yay - colour!!

and squirrels!

I'd walked as far as I could in a straight line but my plan for frequently turning round, so the view coming back would be familiar, wasn't going to work in the ever thickening fog so I decided to head back and continue on towards the Valley Gardens and go for a wander round there.

By the time I got right down into the gardens the fog was so thick even the cafe was fading!  I walk through the Valley Gardens almost every week but never take the time to wander round the many paths, I couldn't believe it when I got quite disorientated in all the fog and ended up not exactly knowing whereabouts I was!

My hair was starting to freeze a little at the ends so it seemed a good idea to head off back home and spend some time appreciating the Great Indoors!


Tuesday, 15 March 2011

Marvellous Monday!

Waking up with the same smile on my face that I fell asleep with

Knowing there's only 4 more sleeps to go

March extra - Notice the Snowdrops, Aren't They Lovely

Chocolate Orange from Boss (because it just had my name written all over it ;-)

Complimentary end of year appraisal with Boss (the chocolate caramel shortcake bites and personalised desk area decoration may have influenced this)

Something that I've been waiting for arrived in the post

Elaine's efforts at gingerbread self portrait - to add to the collection!

Picked up another 2 dances (muscle memory is a wonderful thing!)

Long hot soak in bath

News that 4 sleeps might be only 3 sleeps!

Just overall marvellousness (did you know that spell check suggests murderousness for marvellousness!)!


Monday, 14 March 2011

Alphabetise Something (anything!)

This one appeals to my slightly OCD (although if we're being pedantic this should be CDO!) nature :-)

It was a pretty easy decision to make when deciding what to alphabetise - I've sold all my CD's, I can't do my books (partly cos they're scattered all over the place and partly due to the new size that books now come in which has interferred with my bookcase arrangements  (most inconvenient!)!

DVD's it is then!  Of course it won't last long - I tend to have my own system for storing my dvd's and I just know that it'll start to irritate me when I can't find what I'm looking for (yes, I know, the fact that they're now in alphabetical order should make them easier to find - but that doesn't account for the fact that I often can't think of the name of the film I want!).


Sunday, 13 March 2011

Search Out Baby Animals and Behold Their Cuteness!

All change!

I was aiming to attempt 2 of the extras for March this weekend, it was supposed to be Alphabetise Something  (anything!) on Saturday and Search Out Baby Animals and Behold Their Cuteness on Sunday.

However, it didn't feel right searching out baby animals and beholding their cuteness on Sunday when I knew I'd be slow roasting a cute baby animal and dishing it up with Yorkshire puddings and roast potatoes etc later on - so I swapped the days round!

There's not much around here in the way of places to seek out baby animals so Bernie and I headed out to Pets at Home in the hope of finding some.  We found some adorable bunnies and I surreptitiously took some pics while Bernie did her best to look like she wasn't with me! Like I said when we got back to mine's not like you're going to go home and make your own bunnies by copying their designs is it?!

I also couldn't resist a spot of retail therapy when I saw a sparkly dress in the sale!

I don't think Rosie was as impressed as I was!  And is it just me or does Jim look remarkably like a Muskateer?!!



Saturday, 12 March 2011

Yes, it's Friday!

Friday 11th March.....................Yes! It's Friday!

Would that be like Yes! It's Monday!, Yes! It's Tuesday!, Yes! It's - you get the picture.  Everyday this week has been a Yes! kind of day!

Sadly, one of the the highlights of the day was defrosting the freezer at work!  Andy said mid morning that it couldn't be done before we all went home (which was like a red rag to a bull) so Debbie and I set out to prove him wrong!   My hot water bottle may never be the same again, it's a wonder we didn't stab each other while we were both hacking away at the mountains of ice with our knives, we thought we'd somehow set the fire alarms off at one point, and we both had our photo taken (rather like a fisherman and his fish) with the final chunk of ice to capitulate to our onslaught!

As Friday's go I'd say it merits a Yes, ask me again next Friday!


Thursday, 10 March 2011

No More Naughty Things!

Ok, let's make this clear from the beginning - the diary says No More Naughty Things on Wednesday 8th March. 

It does not say No More Naughty Things for the Next Forty Days. 

Yes, I know that's probably what it means but there's no way I'm doing this for 40 days - in fact, to be honest, I didn't even make it through one!

I've already stopped smoking, I rarely drink, I'm not overly keen on chocolate or cakey stuff although I did pass on my usual morning ginger biscuit and felt quite smug about it!

So then it was just a case of avoiding bad, wicked or naughty thoughts (how hard can this be right?).

I spent most of the day with Eliza Doolittle's (as in Audrey Hepburn) 'I'm a good girl I am' running through my mind - it was all that stood between me and naughty things!  Well, this just goes to prove that my mind has always been my Achilles Heel - I effortlessly failed at about 2.15 this afternoon (one more thing I can blame you for DB!)!



Wednesday, 9 March 2011

Have a Pancake Flipping Competition!

Yep, you've guessed it - this was an extra for March!  Thought about doing it on any day other than Pancake Day but I guess there's some things you just don't mess with!

So, it was Have a Pancake Flipping Competion With a Friend (preferably one who's not as good at pancake flipping as you) Day - having never made a pancake in my life I gave some serious thought as to who I could challenge........................and chose the only friend I have who's a chef!

Under Webby's direction I cobbled the mixture together without covering everything (except the side and my mobile phone) with flour - result!  I was told I wasn't taking this seriously enough, far too much laughing going on!

Then it was time to heat the pans and crack on, I let the expert show me how it's supposed to be done first!

Then it was time to start the competition - the first few attempts didn't quite go to plan!

But I quickly got the hang of it and, as it turns out, it would appear I've missed my calling!  I was ridiculously chuffed to discover that I CAN flip a pancake!  In fact I managed 9 consecutive flips once I got into my stride!

And - even Webby was impressed with this one, one flip up and it landed as a perfectly ready folded crepe suzette.  I couldn't do that again if I tried!

He was less impressed with this (at least that was the impression I got when he groaned and put his head in his hands).  Well, what was I supposed to do when he said I'd put too much in - it seemed perfectly reasonable to just pour some back into the bowl?

Unbelievably.........................I WON!   I proved a worthy adversary in the flipping stakes and apparently mine also tasted the best!

Here's a photo of our collective efforts - appetising yes?

Finally.............................Oolong, named after the oolong variety of tea, was a domestic rabbit owned by photographer Hironori Akutagawa. The rabbit was famous for his ability to balance a variety of objects on his head.


Tuesday, 8 March 2011

Snuggle Up Day!

I was lucky enough to spend a large portion of the weekend snuggling with the one person I'd like to have spent Snuggle Up Day (Monday 7th March) with, unfortunately he's now 212.5 miles away (I have this effect on men lol!).

Much as I love them, Rosie and Jim were poor substitutes on this occassion - it appears there's no going back once you've had the real thing......................


Friday, 4 March 2011

Try a New Hairstyle Day and Surprisingly Great Thursday!

Ok, are you ready?



It's all gone!  Dan worked his magic at Toni and Guy's and I now have the same cut I had 10 years ago (so does that mean I've actually tried an old hairstyle?!), I'd forgotten how much I love this cut (I do kind of wish I hadn't watched You Don't Mess With The Zohan a couple of days before getting my haircut but hey ho!)!  I was supposed to be spending the afternoon dying it purple but I ran out of time so I'll be doing that at the weekend (photo will follow)!

So, surprisingly great - well, apart from my 'do' I met Keith in town and had a surprisingly great bacon buttie (the Ginnel has closed and we're both bereft!).  Then popped into work to pick up the cat food I'd forgotten to take home on Tuesday and had an unexpected (suprise? a tenuous link but a link nonetheless) cup of tea with a rare visitor whilst I was there, which was great!

Then I picked up some Brymors, met up with Ray on his way home and went on to be fed and watered (ok, wined),watch East is East and have a generally great evening with Kevin and Ray - but there was nothing surprising about that!


Wednesday, 2 March 2011

Say White Rabbits Before Anything Else!


The first words out of my mouth yesterday (before I even got out of bed) were 'well that was bizarre' - closely followed by 'white rabbits' of course!

Well I suppose I should be grateful that it wasn't say white rabbits before everything else!

I was very impressed when I answered the phone and the first thing I heard was 'white rabbits' - thanks Louise!


Tuesday, 1 March 2011

Drawing on Steamed Up Windows!

The next (and last) extra for February is Drawing on Steamed Up Windows!

So of course it was typical that the one day I needed the windows to be steamed up they weren't! I tried everything socially acceptable to get them steamed up and the end result was an office hot enough to bake in and a couple of colleagues on the other side of the window wondering why I was heavy breathing all over the window (of course from that distance it's possible they may have actually been wondering why I was licking the window.).

This reminded me of a book I thumbed through when my dads bookcase used to be in my room when I lived at home, it was all about graffiti and full of examples from all over the place. I was very impressed at the time to find that Harrogate had made it into the book with its contribution of 'We are the people our parents warned us about'. Not a 'woz ere' or '4 eva' in sight for the spa town of Harrogate (with a haitch)!