Saturday, 31 December 2011

Practice Pavlova Day!

Starting to feel a little better so took it a little easier today (I know, that sounds totally backwards!).

The main event of today was a practice run of the pavlova base for Saturday nights traditional New Years Eve pavlova!  When I woke up I realised that it's a good job I'd planned to do this if only to make sure the oven is used (before I bake the real base on Saturday morning) after I cleaned it on Monday!

Also weeded through my books and dvds so that's another thing crossed off my list - why is it though that every time I cross something off I find something else to replace it with?!

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Friday, 30 December 2011

Can't Eat Much More Wednesday!

Well, I was hoping to take the opportunity for a Morrisons big breakfast and then maybe some nibbles at the cinema later just to disprove this day!

Instead I managed toast and pate with scambled eggs for lunch (after walking to Harlow Carr to exchange gloves, sorting through my bedroom (one pedal bin liner full of rubbish to throw out) and hoovering everywhere - including the outer hallway stairs after my rubbish bag split this morning and deposited soil all over the stairs whilst I was putting the rubbish out!)

Some pringles and chocolates in the afternoon whilst watching telly on the sofa and then a big bowl of chilli from the wok full that I made means I still managed to disprove it - although, in fairness, I now probably couldn't eat much more!

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Thursday, 29 December 2011

Tidy Up Tuesday!

Today is brought to you by the power of Beechams (thank you Bernie) and paracetamol.

Waking up full of cold couldn't stop me today!

I'm determined to have a really good clear out (yes, another) of the flat before I go back to work late next week so I was in the kitchen at 8am sharp - by lunchtime I'd been through all drawers and cupboards (1 bin bag filled) and sorted them.

A quick catch up with Kevin (and a Downton review) and a not so quick conversation with Betty prior to a turkey sandwich lunch and moving on to the lounge (half a bin bag).  All coats, bags, scarfs etc sorted through in the hallway before making a Mediterranean themed pizza for tea and settling down to Great Expectations.

A productive day - which probably means I'm just about ready for the inevitable downward spiral into procrastination!

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Wednesday, 28 December 2011

Getting Stuffed Sunday!

I've said it before and I'll say it again...................you just can't beat Christmas dinner by Pops!

After opening about 3/4 of the fabulous pressies (with the aid of sherry and bucks fizz) we took a break and had our beautiful Christmas dinner (during serving an extra portion was dished out for my 'meals on wheels' Boxing Day meal).  The turkey sandwiches (with masses and masses of mustard!) and Christmas cake later in the evening went down a treat too although I managed to make the cheese last even longer than usual as I was actually pretty stuffed!  I have to say that Pops also makes a wicked Black Russian!

Due to a duplication of gifts Bernie and I ended up with matching pj's (thanks John!) - Bernie actually allowed this to be photographed but refused publication of her image so the photos below are of us sat on the sofa together in our matching pj's (which took us right back to our childhood of matching.......everything!) - obviously I've cropped them to avoid Bernie's inclusion in the photo, this has made me look like I have a deformed left arm (it's Bernie's hand not mine) and an extra leg (one knee is Bernie's too!)!




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Tuesday, 27 December 2011

Christmas Eve!

I had the Coca Cola advert music (holidays are coming!) stuck in my head today!

En route to Pops and Olive today for a fabulous family Christmas, I'm looking forward to sleeping on the airbed in front of the real fire with the tree lights on (as long as it's warm - it was freezing the other year!)!

Olive made a beautiful lamb dinner (Pops had pre-mashed the potatoes though before he went to work :-) and I won Game of Life (if only I could get it right in reality!).  Despite the fact that when Pops got home we all stayed up til past midnight we weren't allowed to open any presents!  And then I was left to sleep surrounded by them - it's like some form of torture!

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Monday, 26 December 2011

Christmas Eve Eve!

A very productive day - so productive in fact that when Bernie popped round at lunchtime I already had all the stuff out ready for brunch tomorrow!

Still, as I was spending the evening with Kevin and Ken, I knew it'd be a good idea to get as much prepared in advance for the next day as possible - I needed to be up, showered, packed, brunched and nails touched up by noon!

Had a fabulous time with Kevin and Ken, festive fish and chip supper (I'd worked out that I hadn't had fish and chips since my birthday last year but then remembered that I'd had them in hospital - not the same as proper take out fish and chips though so it doesn't count!), red wine and whiskey (the whiskey came later, not at the same time as the wine!), Christmas music, The Royale Family, fireworks across the stray and long distance communication with Ray made for another thoroughly enjoyable evening :-)

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Saturday, 24 December 2011

Look on the Bright Side Day ll

Another one where I don't remember the first one!

Still, on the bright side, I don't have something wrong with my brain (allegedly), I still have a job (for now) and I have a roof over my head (with only a slight leak)!

Happy days ;-)

I enjoyed thoroughly entertaining company and conversation with Kevin over lunch (and until teatime) including a lively debate (unresolved) about the monarchy (hello Kevin!) at Hales Bar (I highly recommend the steak pie!)!

An evening viewing of Joyeux Noel with a few slivers of cheese and some Tia Maria rounded off the day perfectly :-)  The dark side cannot tempt me today!



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Friday, 23 December 2011

Last Day at Work Day!

Yay!

First day Monday, last day Wednesday, back on 5th January!

Woo hoo!

I celebrated with some feel good films (Legend of Bagger Vance and Invincible) and an early night - hardcore!

Totally forgot to put these in an earlier post - Rosie looking festive!







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Thursday, 22 December 2011

First Physio and Festive Frolics!

It's a week of firsts (and festivities) this week!

Had my first physio, it turns out that I walk in a very peculiar way - oh, I was also taught how to get out of bed properly!  Anyway, was given the first set of exercises to do (all designed to do in bed to help with getting out of bed) so we'll see how that goes then!

Met with Elaine and Debbie for our pre-Christmas food and drinks - was very good and was only persuaded to stay out an extra hour (until 10), rock and roll!  Is it wrong that I was kind of wishing for another power cut?!

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Wednesday, 21 December 2011

First Day Back at Work Day!

Yay!

After just 2.5 hours I have to admit that I was tired and I was ready to go home! 

Stuck it out for about 4 hours though and then called into the sauna for a 15 minute session before heading back home.   Despite the fact that I'd called in a couple of times last week it did feel a little weird at times but at least it was also a good opportunity to get the Halloween stuff put away and the office tidied up - which was also just the excuse I needed to stand up and move about every so often!

Also managed to clear all the junk emails and get the rest organised into folders so I can try and figure what's relevant and what's not when I go back in on Wednesday...............then that's it for the holidays!

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Monday, 19 December 2011

Crazy Busy Saturday!

Ok, in theory this should be a crazy busy Saturday being the Saturday before Christmas but it really wasn't!

I'd managed to have all the shopping done, wrapped, ribboned, gift tagged and under the tree by Wednesday night which meant I could just relax and enjoy the weekend prior to returning to work (for a few hours a day) next week.

I did wander in to town to meet a friend for coffee (which turned into several glasses of wine!) and I can report that town was certainly crazy busy - thank God for online shopping!  It got less busy when the town centre lost all power later in the afternoon and the shops had to shut, thankfully the pub stayed open so we drank by candlelight and provided entertainment by singing Christmas songs - it was a fabulous afternoon!

The usual crew were out on Saturday night for a meal to celebrate Kevin's birthday (21 again!) but the craziness was held fairly well in check ;-)

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Saturday, 17 December 2011

Compose a Christmas No. 1

I'm sorry - I'm going to use this one as another excuse to play my favourite.....................



I have to admit that I cheated on this one - I decided to make the most of the creative genius in the office when I called in for a couple of hours!  I passed around a piece of paper and asked everyone to write a line then fold the paper over so that the next person couldn't see the previous lines.

The result was interesting - not sure about it's potential No.1 status though ;-)

Hark the herald angels sing, glory to the new born king
Sleep in heavenly peace
It comes only once a year
My beard is black, there's soot in my sack
Think of all the guys I haven't kissed
You're an old slut on junk
And there won't be snow in Africa this Christmas time
Fairy on top of the Christmas tree looking down just to see
It was Christmas eve babe, in the drunk tank

The boys of the NYPD choir were singing Galway Bay
Do they know it's Christmas time?
Wish I was at home for Christmas
Baby it's cold outside
Achoo, achoo, achoo
The bells ring out at Christmas time
We wish you a Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year!

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Friday, 16 December 2011

Like Sprouts (but love parsnips more)!

Oddly enough as a child I used to love sprouts and hate parsnips!

Nowadays I like sprouts (at Christmas) and love parsnips, unfortunately there were no parsnips on the menu today :-(  I popped in to work again to join the team for the on site Christmas lunch prior to another trip to the doctors.

It was actually good, but you just can't beat Christmas dinner by Pops (with perfect parsnips!)!

As we're talking food it seems like the perfect opportunity to share my Christmas cake recipe with you again!

Ingredients:

* 2 cups flour
* 1 stick butter
* 1 cup of water
* 1 tsp baking soda
* 1 cup of sugar
* 1 tsp salt
* 1 cup of brown sugar
* Lemon juice
* 4 large eggs
* Nuts
* 2 bottles wine
* 2 cups of dried fruit

Sample the wine to check quality. Take a large bowl, check the wine again. To be sure it is of the highest quality, pour one level cup and drink. Repeat. Turn on the electric mixer. Beat one cup of butter in a large fluffy bowl. Add one teaspoon of sugar. Beat again. At this point it's best to make sure the wine is still OK. Try another cup... Just in case. Turn off the Mixerer thingy. Break 2 eggs and add to the bowl and chuck in the cup of dried fruit. Pick the frigging fruit up off floor. Mix on the turner. If the fried druit gets stuck in the beaterers just pry it loose with a drewscriver. Sample the wine to check for tonsisticity. Next, sift two cups of salt. Or something. Check the wine. Now shift the lemon juice and strain your nuts. Add one table. Add a spoon of sugar, or some fink. Whatever you can find. Greash the oven. Turn the cake tin 360 degrees and try not to fall over. Don't forget to beat off the turner. Finally, throw the bowl through the window. Finish the wine and wipe counter with the cat.

Go to supermarket and buy cake.

Bingle Jells

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Thursday, 15 December 2011

Believe in Santa!

I Believe! (and now it must be time to watch one of my favourite Christmas films - Miracle on 34th Street!)

Everyday!  I don't need a special day to do this one!

I'm sure you all already know this but................Santa Claus used to be portayed in a green and white outfit until red and white became more popular after its introduction by Coca Cola in the 1930's.  The power of advertisement!

A few years ago I used to go on an annual winter break to the Scottish Highlands, a highlight of the trip was always a visit to see the Cairngorm Reindeer Herd (and also (especially) the sled dogs at the Cairngorm Sledding Centre!)!

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Wednesday, 14 December 2011

Pamper Yourself Day III

I don't remember day I or day II but I'm sure they happened at some point!

Nadine was here so we did  a couple of face packs and I painted my nails (after cutting them down from talons to a more acceptable length!) and that's as far as it went (I suppose you can also include the pizza and wine as pampering!)

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Tuesday, 13 December 2011

Secret Santa Day!

I took a little trip to work today to participate in the Secret Santa present opening (where I was very excited to see the reaction of my recipient to the gift I'd given them - I can't tell you cos then everyone would know who it was from!)!

I also loved my own secret Santa gift - someone has bought me a book, Seriously Silly Things To Do!  This would have been perfect for me at any time but, as there doesn't seem to be a diary for next year, it'll be perfect to come up with some ideas for fun 'days' next year!
Happy days!

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Monday, 12 December 2011

Generosity Day!

Is this different to Be Generous (last Tuesday)?

Anyway, I was as generous as I could afford to be at the St Michael's Hospice tree light switch on event this afternoon., another beautiful, emotional gathering :-)



It's funny, I almost didn't go as it's difficult to go places on your own - a bit like going to the cinema really, but I haven't missed one yet and I was determined not to wuss out of this one!  I'm so glad I went in the end as I bumped into the mum of a good friend who I lost touch with about 10 years ago, I now have his number and will be contacting him tomorrow - watch out Mr Ingledew, you can run but you can't hide!!

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Sunday, 11 December 2011

Fall Out with Your Waistline

I can't remember the last time I was friends with my waistline!

Here's a great Ode to Christmas which is perfect for this day.........................

T'was the week after Christmas and all through the house
nothing would fit me, not even a blouse.
The cream cakes I'd nibbled, with Thornton's to taste
at the family parties ballooned round my waist.
When I stood on the scales I went white at the lips
for each little mouthful had sunk to my hips.
I remembered the feasting ,with hardly a lull,
And I never once muttered, No thank you I'm full.
In a baggy old top thought, "it's never too late"
Prepared once again to do battle with weight.
So away with the last of the double cream dips
goodbye to the fruit cake , no chocolate no chips
Every last bit of food that I like must be banished
Till every additional spare tyre has vanished
I won't have a sweetie not even a lick
I'm determined to chew on a celery stick
I won't have fried breakfasts or cheesecake or pie
I'll munch on a carrot and quietly cry.
I'm hungry and lonesome and life is a bore
but isn't that what January is for?
Unable to giggle no longer a riot
Happy Christmas to all , good luck with your diet!

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Saturday, 10 December 2011

Getting All Excited Friday!

Sadly the most excitement I had today was at the thought of being able to go back to work, I had a very successful chat with the lovely chap from occupational health this morning - yay!
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Friday, 9 December 2011

Drawing on Steamed Up Windows Day!

You'd think there's be lots of steamed up windows to choose from, they may well steam up at some point during the early morning but unfortunately by the time I get to them the steaminess had turned into running water so it's Mopping up Wet Windowsills Day!

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Thursday, 8 December 2011

Make it a Double!

Indeed!

And I did!

Tia Maria, in the bath with Christmas book, candles and Christmas music again - bliss!

I needed this as a result of my nerves being shot to pieces over the last couple of days - part of my decorations includes a fantastic Tigger jack in the box which I was lucky enough to pick up years ago.  It has a motion sensor so every time it detects motion it opens (with quite a snap) and out pops Tigger with one of several different phrases before it snaps shut again.  It's in my hallway and everytime I've walked between the front room and kitchen it's made me jump out of my skin!!  I'll get used to it soon, my visitors won't though (bwwaaahaaa (evil laugh))!




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Wednesday, 7 December 2011

Be Generous

How fitting that I should spend this evening with the always generous Kevin and Ray!

Sausage casserole, red wine, Christmas decorations and the usual scintilating conversation = Happy Heidi!

I have to admit though that I wasn't expecting to be greeted on arrival by Ray telling me to take my kit off (he meant coat lol!!) or for Ray to be massaging my aching back halfway through the evening (don't worry - I'd only taken my coat off!)!

And to top it all of I came home with a jar of onions and a jar of beetroot pickled by Kevin's dad!

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Tuesday, 6 December 2011

Tie Up Loose Ends Day!

Too many things on the go at once Orange - finish them before you start something else!

This included the final few touches to the decorations, finishing the centrepiece for Kevin and Ray (photos below), finishing the presentation stage for the jewellery (made by moi) for Kevin's neice, finishing North and South Book II, oh, and reading my chuffing meters (a job I dread at the best of times).

And it snowed - a lot!  None of it settled but it was very, very pretty :-)

Still, at least they're all done and now I can move on to Christmas movies again, wrapping presents and writing cards!

Which reminds me................can you believe I put my tree up without the aid (benefit) of a glass (or several) of sherry!  Scandalous behaviour but don't worry, I won't let it happen again and I'll make up for it when I'm wrapping presents!

And here are the promised Christmas decorations pictures!

The fireplace with 'bear scene'


Close up of 'bear scene' (bears building snowman)


Close up of 'bear scene' (bear making snow angel)


Close up of 'bear scene' (bears having snowball fight (this one always takes ages to create!))


My amazing fibre optic village!


The nativity corner


My Christmas snow globe collection


My glass tree


THE tree!


Still THE tree!


The fabulous golden angel I managed to find last year.


Random photo of the bits behind the tree?


The Christmas coffee table (you can just make out the 'in progress' centrepiece for Kevin and Ray on the end!)


My beautiful advent calendar (I put it up every year, it reminds me of a village my very dear friend Michael told me about many years ago)


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Monday, 5 December 2011

Squirrel Something Away Day!

Verb 1. squirrel away - save up as for future use
cache, hive up, hoard, lay away, stash
lay aside, save up, save - accumulate money for future use; "He saves half his salary"

My acorns are haemorraging!  And who, please tell me, is in a position to save half their salary?!

Anyway, I've been squirreling things away (not money, obviously) all my life - hoarding seems to come from both sides of the family - just in case, and because I'm sure it'll come in handy one day!  I've had quite a big clear out this year though and I just know that that day will come and I'll discover that I urgently need that very thing that I squireled away.................and it's bound to have been a casualty of the clear out!

I usually like to squirrel away Christmas gifts for folks throughout the year, the pile seems to be getting depressingly smaller each year though - and there are only so many scarves you can knit people!   This is actually the first year in many when I haven't done any knitting at all - you know why don't you?

That's right, I got rid of the balls of wool I hadn't used for years.

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Sunday, 4 December 2011

Start Getting Excited About Christmas Day!

Ok, it's possible I may have started a little early with this one!

I actually did this one days ago - I'm sorry, I just couldn't help it!  Most of the decorations are up now in the front room, the tree's up and the snow bear scene is designed, built and lit - now I just need to find my camera (no idea what I've done with it!) and I can take some pictures!  Just a few more bits to do in the front room and then there's my bedroom to decorate.

I've already made a start on my Christmas films - and I've added to the collection ( I know have 34 (well, technically 35, but 2 are different versions of the same film) as my black and white and colourised versions of It's a Wonderful Life have arrived - yay!

I started listening to my Cristmas music radio station some time ago and heard this (for the first time) which I absolutely love!  I'm going to put a couple of versions on here (there's also another version by Bon Jovi and also one by Jet) but my favourite is the Clarence Carter version, closely followed by The Black Crowes.





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Saturday, 3 December 2011

It's Friday - yay!

Yay - it's Friday!  Which is just like any other day at the moment, it'll be good to return to normal if only to get the specialness of Friday back!

More catching up today with a visit from Mr Web - with the amount of putting the world to rights that I've done this week it should be all fixed by now!!

Focus on Christmas 'stuff' from this point on!

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Friday, 2 December 2011

Playing Catch Up Day!

This one's really been going on all week - in terms of me trying to catch up with myself, all the things I need to do and also friends and family!

Today it was Debbie and Elaine with an after work excursion into town for some more fresh air (my resolution for next week is to get outside EVERY day - we'll see!).  It's really good to be kept in touch with what's happening back at the office in my absence, I'm starting to forget what the place looks like!

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Thursday, 1 December 2011

No Rude Words Allowed Day!

Happy moving day Helen and Bill (I suspect there might have been a few rude words during the course of the day!)!

A trip to Auntie Betty's (they've run out of biscuits at work!) pretty much put paid to this one - the woman, in everyday general conversation, swears more than anyone else I know, plus she has the disturbing tendancy to make up her own words using a mish-mash of swear words which generally has Bernie and I looking at each other in confusion and, at the first available opportunity, asking each other "Did she really just say that?"

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