Tuesday, 31 January 2012

MRI Monday!

Yay!

How nice to take the bus (well, technically buses) to the hospital for once instead of walking all that way! 

My back had to be in as close to the condition as when I wake as possible so............no exercises before getting out of bed, as little stretching as possible and, as walking tends to have a positive effect on my back, busing it all the way!

I had two MRIs while I was in York hospital in early November but don't really remember either of them clearly, I also had two CTs and can't even tell you which was which so I wasn't sure what to expect when I got there today.

40 minutes fighting down rising claustraphobia in a very noisy tube (how on earth did I manage to fall asleep last time, I know I was drugged up but still!) not much bigger than my body wasn't exactly what I was hoping for but hey ho!  And why is it that, having being told 'DO NOT MOVE until we're finished', 10 minutes in to it my face started to itch - and the pain started to really kick in in my back!

At least it's done now and I really didn't have to wait long at all, (just another 6 weeks until I can get in to see the specialist!) and the best bit is that I can now start taking the new pills, which is a relief after the last few days (the pain seems to be particularly bad at the moment), and will hopefully see some improvement - happy days!

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Monday, 30 January 2012

Seek Out Small Animals and Behold Their Cuteness!

SUCCESS!

I went with Elaine to the Small Animal Show at the Yorkshire Showground - I couldn't possibly fail! 

There were furry rabbits, rabbits that looked like baboons, lion rabbits, rabbits that looked like sheep/goats, rabbits with toys, dwarf rabbits and giant rabbits, hares, show off rabbits and shy rabbits (all a bit difficult to capture in photos due to the cages (which are for show purposes only) but I did my best!) but all cute!  A lovely little rabbit even went for £222 at the auction!









































There was even a Rabbit Grand National!

video
video


And then I met Nelly!!  Didn't get any pictures though - my presence alone was enough for the little chap to deal with!.

Sunday, 29 January 2012

Not Experimental Cooking Day!

Today will be rescheduled due to injury!

No, not mine (for once!), my co-pilot has damaged themselves and I'm not entirely sure it's a good idea to attempt this one on my own (without adult supervision!) - battering and deep frying things which shouldn't be battered and deep fried - so look out for it in the future!

One of the highlights of the day was finding this..........................


..................a shop in town was closing down and had only a few items left, including this which was sat in the window as though it had just been waiting for me.  At only £2.50 I couldn't resist - after all, a girl never knows when occassion might demand a rainbow feathered fan!

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Saturday, 28 January 2012

Heidi Satay Friday!

Tonight was another culinary delight at Chez Slimmon!  The bonus was that it was my first visit to the new Chez Slimmon which I have to say is absolutely stunning - good job Broadie and Bill!

We had a cucumber salad generously laced with chilli which gave it a very potent (and delicious) kick, pork satay skewers (beautiful!) and chicken with an orange and something else (sorry Broadie, I've forgotten what it was!) glaze (again beautiful!).

I was told that I'd be eating off these (Helen seems to agree with Pops that I shouldn't be allowed breakable crockery!)!


Luckily she relented and I was allowed to eat with the grown ups on proper plates ;-)

The wine was flowing, the music was excellent and the conversation was lively - all in all a thoroughy enjoyable evening!

Then I got in to another weird situation - oddly enough the taxi company were involved again!  Apart from thinking I'd forgotten my keys again, the driver and I ended up exchanging condensed life stories and he's taken my number as he's convinced he can find me a decent boyfriend - I let him continue with this fantasy as I didn't want to shatter his delusions!

I expect I'll never hear from him again as he'll be far too busy on his eternal quest (rather like Galahad on his quest for the Holy Grail) but we'll see!

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Friday, 27 January 2012

Who Do You Want to Be?

Ok, so I'm planning a Murder Mystery night.

Bernie said she wanted to play the easiest part.

Hmmmmm..........................

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Thursday, 26 January 2012

We Have a Plan Wednesday!

Oh yes we do!

I'm going to have to keep you in suspense for a while though as there's lots of research required - possible income generation with the added bonus of benefiting many people :-)  Lots of exciting conversations today though and we've begun to put the plan into action!

Not great news on the pain front today, did something funny to myself when I got into bed last night (no, not that!) and was in agony until about midday - at least I can start the new pills after the MRI on Monday!

The highlight of the day had to be catching up with Little C and Mr Gale for a little tipple in the evening, lots of news to share and memories to reminisce!

Oh, I also seem to have got a free months gas and electricity somehow?!!! Bonus!

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Wednesday, 25 January 2012

Terrific Tuesday!

I don't know about Terrific Tuesday - I've had that Friday feeling all day!

No idea why, but it's true!

Highlights of the day have to be my conversation with Broadie when I decided to tell her my orange joke (it was popular in 'the gang' when we were kids).................

Me - Why is an orange orange (or round depending on who's telling it)?
Helen - I don't know, why is an orange orange?
Me - Because you can't wash your windows with a spade!

(pause)

Helen - Did you go to some sort of remedial school?
Me - (laughing) No!
Helen - It's not too late you know.

The other highlights include an exciting invitation to Heidi Satay Friday and the idea of making lots of different coloured sets of the earrings I lost on Sunday evening (well, I only lost one but as I have ywo ears it's not much good anymore!)!



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Tuesday, 24 January 2012

Start a New Hobby Day!

I haven't started the one from last year yet, it's on my list though and at least I've started that!  Which means there'll be a few jewellery/craft projects I'll be cracking on with and finally finishing!

I've also joined Spa Sweethearts this year and I'm sure that's bound to introduce some new hobbies throughout the year - I can already now make bunting!  Wine tasting next month (ok, nothing new there then), a spot of archery and some bellydancing are also on the menu for the year ahead!

The ebaying is taking firm hold so another hobby of sorts and will hopefully be joining the gym (for the use of the pool) in a month or so, the possibility of a couple of rollerdiscos are also on the horizon so I think that's probably more than enough to be going on with for now!

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Monday, 23 January 2012

Most Nail-Bitingly-Exciting-Thing This Week!

It's possible that this was actually my taxi office experience on Fantastic Friday (early hours of Saturday morning!)!

Although it was also a good night (Sunday) at our annual Chinese New Year festivities - it's now the year of the Dragon (that's me!)!  And one of the best things about it was the opportunity to add to my collection of 'from the chinese kiddies desserts toys' - and what an addition this was, I went for the Barney Blue toy.........

Previous Collection (with a few cracker/gift things too)

Barney Blue!

The whole happy family!


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Sunday, 22 January 2012

Pamper Yourself Day!

Ok, this one will have to be postponed, I'm too tired to pamper myself (see previous post)!

In the meantime, in the spirit of pampering oneself check these two links out (one day Orange, one day!)!

top 30 infinity pools

21 places to see before you die

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Saturday, 21 January 2012

Fantastic Fridayness!

It's funny but on the walk to work the sky this morning was that stunning kind of luminescent blue that always makes me think of big blockbuster movies where either something wonderful is about to happen or something absolutely awful.  The sun was just rising on the horizon and the effect was like someone just lifting the lid a little and letting the light in, it was absolutely beautiful.

I chose to think that it was a sign of something wonderful going to happen today and throughout the day I've wavered about whether what has happened has been good or bad.  I think it could have been bad but ultimately I think it's good - I feel a little like I've been tempted by the devil but have resisted and feel better for it.

Anyway, in addition to that it was also yellow/orange/brown food day (fish, chips and beans or other menu choices that still amounted to a plate of a limited colour spectrum) at work, I had a couple of beers with Webby after work and then he treated me to a Chinese followed by Gareth joining us for a visit to the fabulous Charlie's Place and a few games of pool.

My ebaying is going well and musicMagpie are picking up some dvds and cds tomorrow, I've got an appointment thrugh for my next MRI and more tablets to take so all's good - in fact I might even go so far as to say fantastic!

P.S.  The majority of this post was written as it was occuring/shortly after it was occuring.

Here's the end of the story (written at 09.37am Saturday morning)..............

I found myself in a rather unusual situation when the festivities after Charlie's Place moved back to mine then back to Webby's (apparently the volume on my laptop isn't loud enough to play all the tracks we were playing in our 'song off' so we had to change venue) where the three of us continued to play lots of music until about 5.30 this morning.  Webby was asleep on the sofa so Gareth and I left in a taxi, dropped Gareth off and proceeded to Chez l'Orange where I discovered that I'd left my keys on the coffee table at Webby's.  Taxi driver took me back but we couldn't wake Webby so I ended up in 'lost property' in the back office at Mainline Taxis for a few hours until Bernie woke up so I could go and get my spare keys!

Thank you Mainline (particulary Kirsty and Clive) for looking after me, Bernie for waking up and Debbie for rescuing me and getting me home in time to have my parcels picked up!

I have to agree with Elaine's comment this morning......."Only you Orange, only you!"

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Friday, 20 January 2012

Terrific Thursday!

All that can really be said about Terrific Thursday is that I'm looking forward to Fantastic Fridayness (and chips!) - don't get me wrong, it wasn't bad at all, I just can't think of anything especially terrific to write about (that may have something to with the fact that it's too blummin cold in the flat to think/type etc etc!)!

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Thursday, 19 January 2012

Look on the Bright Side Day!

A much better start than Be Zen day yesterday - I managed to get up on time!

Had a really good day at work today, really feel like 'I'M BAAAAAAACK' now (Boss has already fired me once since my return so I guess I must be doing something right!)

Also on the bright side Anna arrived in my office with this (down there) gift for me (big smiles)!



Inspired by the recent discussions and searches about this (down there again)!

Iced shorties folks, Iced Shorties!

I've had a little flick through but will be saving the valuable material contained in the covers until the next Biscuit Appreciation Day!

I can't wait until then to share this little chapter though - found in the section which discusses whether the Jaffa Cake is a cake or a biscuit - all about Oranges

When everything else is letting you down, there is one fruit above all others that you can rely on: the orange.  Oranges have a special role in the universe by providing one of the key reference points in our perception of reality, and the bonus is that they grow on trees.  Not only do oranges taste of orange, but they smell of orange.  Their masterstroke, though, was to get a whole colour named after them.Not some dodgy made-up paint-chart colour like 'watermelon'.  No, a proper colour that appears in the rainbow.  To make sure that orange continues in its unassailable position it has even ensured that no new words have entered the English language that might properly rhyme with it.  That's why there's no such thing as a 'boringe' or a 'morange', when plainly these are perfectly good words that deserve a chance.
And finally, THIS really, really (seriously) made me giggle (in fact it made me proper cry with laughter and do the whole nose snort thing too)!!

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Wednesday, 18 January 2012

Be Zen!


I had every intention of being like the Zen dog today.....................FAIL!

Forgetting to take my phone (and its alarm) to bed meant getting up an hour and a half late, rushing to work and never quite feeling caught up with myself after that!

A 'strong disagreement' at work didn't help either and to make matters worse when I went to see if any progress had been made with regard to continuing the Zen series (as blogged about last year) I discovered there are no plans to make more :-(

Ah well, here's an interview with the beautiful Rufus about the 3 episodes they DID make - small consolation I know but still.....it's Rufus :-)


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Tuesday, 17 January 2012

Listen to the Ocean!

I had to choose between strapping two shells to my head (although I can occassionally get the same empty, hollow, echo audio effect without the shells ;-) or listening to Mr Billy (of the Ocean) all day.

I opted for the latter :-)

I'm still waiting for his return to Harrogate - when I saw him at the International Centre it was one of the best concerts I've ever been to!

Ok, so I realised the ticket photo (Bernie did take photo/video footge on her phone but it was never retrieved) I took was from the wrong concert so I took the right one and decided to let you have both - don't ever say I'm not good to you!




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Monday, 16 January 2012

Devote Significant Time to Comfort Food!

For a change ;-)

So, it's really very simple and it's my ultimate, favourite, comfort food!

Chop and onion and lighty fry, add a pack of mince and brown (chop with the spoon!) then add at least a pint of fairly thickish gravy and some mixed herbs, salt and pepper.  Leave to simmer for an hour (so the mince is lovely and tender - mmmmm - adding more gravy if required) and in the meantime boil chunks of potato and carrot and throw them in to the mince 10 minutes before it's ready.  Pour into a big bowl, grab a spoon and tuck in!

After a very cold and frosty walk to Aunty Betty's and back I felt I'd well and truly earnt it!

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Sunday, 15 January 2012

Most Happy Thing This Week!

This was a tough one - it's been a happy week!

A civilised evening out with the ladies (in terms of the amount of alcohol consumed and time we got home if nothing else!) on Monday, bunting making on Thursday, catch up with Webby on Friday, feeling like I'm finally starting to 'get it' again at work, starting my ebaying again in earnest - all contenders for most happy thing but I think the accolade has to go to......................(drum roll please).............tea with Pops and Olive!

We popped down the road to the Pine Martin on Saturday evening and had a lovely meal, it was really nice to be together but it never seems like long enough and the goodbyes seem to come around all too quickly - mind you I think we'd probably all have been asleep within half an hour had the goodbyes been delayed!

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Saturday, 14 January 2012

Send a Letter!

Of course as it was Friday the 13th I guess it really should have been 'Laugh in the Face of Superstition Day' but I reckon I've built up enough bad luck after smashing that mirror (and all the other stuff I did) the other year so I think I'll leave ethis one well enough alone and have 'Send a Letter Day' instead!

I didn't send a letter but I did send an electronic message about a letter!

During my new year sort out I came across a letter which my good friend Richard wrote to me 20 years ago - it included a drawing of a flower, a lovely message and along the top in big letters the instructions to 'KEEP FOREVER'. Having recently re-connected with Richard I thought I'd take this opportunity to send him an email with a photo of his letter attached!

Thinking of letters has reminded me of a lovely little (and unusual) claymation film I watched the other day featuring the voice of the wonderful Philip Seymour Hoffman. Mary and Max is a story of pen pals who send letters (and bizarre chocolate) to each other for 20 years. At the beginning of the film Mary is an 8 year old lonely girl from a poor family in Australia, Max is a 44 year old lonely obese man with mental ill health issues. I wasn't sure at first but it was a free download so I thought 'sure, why not?'. It was remarkably watchable, occasionally amusing, touching (even made me cry at a few points) and memorable.



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Friday, 13 January 2012

WI Day!

Yep, that's right - I've joined the WI!

Well, a branch of it anyway - Spa Sweethearts WI - a WI with a difference! Harrogate's newest WI, aimed at women in their 20s, 30s and 40s who enjoy meeting new people, having fun and experiencing different things!

So, they meet once a month and this month it was to do a spot of bunting making (this year will be a year for bunting after all so this could be a handy skill to have!)!  And it's at this point that I say 'thank God for Aunty Betty!' without whom I wouldn't have had the material and bias binding required to participate!

Debbie, Elaine and I had great fun and I'm pleased to say that at least Debbie and Elaine had something (a joint effort) to show for it (the least said about my efforts the better!)!


Things to look forward to over the coming months include archery (is it really a good idea to put a bow and arrow in my hands?!), wine tasting, a private bath bomb making session at Lush, belly dancing ...........and yes, jam making!

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Thursday, 12 January 2012

Wonderful Wednesday!

It wasn't at all bad for a Wednesday!

Nothing really singularly wonderful happened but it was just all good.  Today was the first day that I didn't entirely feel like a fish out of water at work and I also broke with tradition and, instead of the usual Wednesday roast, tried the macoroni cheese at lunchtime.  It was ok but not a patch on the one that Pops makes!

Then there was more catching up with stuff at home and finishing the day with a nice cup of tea, a slice (or two) of wonderful Betty's stollen (thank you Kevin) and the second part of The Mystery of Edwin Drood :-)

Got some nice pictures (although they really don't do it justice) of the sunrise this morning!




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Wednesday, 11 January 2012

Give in to Legwarmers!

As I typed the title I suddenly had a flashback of a Barbie I got for Christmas once as a child - it was some sort of 'Keep Fit' Barbie with a green leotard and green and yellow legwarmers (Bernie - if you're reading this I wonder if you remember.....you got one too of course!)!

Anyway, the only legwarmers I have are pink  - so I gave in to them.  I waited until I was back from all my appointments at the hospital and in the privacy of my own home though!  I did see a fabulous pair of legwarmers in a magazine while I was waiting for one of my appointments - typically though the magazine was a really old one!


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Tuesday, 10 January 2012

Powerballad Day!

This year I made a couple of CDs to take to work, Boss was here from down South and he was just thrilled ;-)  I also wore my rock ckickish 'sleeves' to the office (removed them for the cheeky drink with the ladies in the evening though!)!



I thought I'd avoid the really obvious ones this year (ok, I admit - there may be a few exceptions!) - here's the playlist.......

Always - Bon Jovi
Bed Of Roses - Bon Jovi
Big Love - Fleetwood Mac
Can't Stop Lovin You - Van Halen
Crazy - Aerosmith
Cryin - Aerosmith
Don't Cry (Alt lyrics) - Guns N' Roses
Every Rose Has It's Thorn - Poison
Have You Ever Needed Someone So Bad - Def Leppard
Heaven Is - Def Leppard
Here Without You (Live) - 3 Doors Down
Hysteria - Def Leppard
I'd Come For You - Nickelback
I'll Be There For You - Bon Jovi
If That's What It Takes - Bon Jovi
If Today Was Your Last Day - Nickelback
In These Arms - Bon Jovi
Iris - Goo Goo Dolls
Is This Love - Whitesnake
Life Must Go On - Alter Bridge
Love Bites - Def Leppard
Mirror Mirror (Look Into My Eyes) - Def Leppard
Never Gonna Be Alone - Nickelback
November Rain - Guns N' Roses
Only My Heart Talkin - Alice Cooper
Poison - Alice Cooper
Pour Some Sugar On Me - Def Leppard
Sweet Child O' Mine - Guns N' Roses
This Ain't A Love Song - Bon Jovi
Watch Over You - Alter Bridge
Wherever You Will Go - The Calling
Why Can't This Be Love - Van Halen

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Monday, 9 January 2012

Pootle About Day!

I did enjoy this last year but this year was probably more successful in terms of pootling proper - as in outdoor!

However - it's actually very difficult to pootle in a leisurely manner in gusts of 20mph wind!  Still, I pootled as best I could down to Asda and back (with a tea break visit to Webby and Dave) and that was me pretty much done (in) for the rest of the day!

Dave







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Sunday, 8 January 2012

Guilt Free Pottering Day!

Kind of.

Having taken all the Christmas decorations down yesterday (and having had a proper spring clean (early I know) sort out of each room over the last two weeks) it was time to do a spot of cleaning (much as I love the glitter effect on the carpets!)!

I also moved some stuff around in the spare room - which then meant I could get to other things to complete my '2012 sort out'.  I don't know why I didn't think of re-organising my towers of boxes etc before now - I barely recognise the room and have sooo much more space :-)

But don't worry - I did all this in a pottering kind of way!

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Saturday, 7 January 2012

Duvet Friday!

1. Crawl out of duvet - check
2. Drag backside to work - fail (thanks for the lift Broadie!)
3. Work for 3.7 hours - check
4. Sauna for 15 minutes - fail
5. Drag backside back from work - fail (thanks for the lift back Debs!)
6. Take down Christmas decorations and pack them away - check
7. Duvet downstairs, film on, comfort food provided - check

Aaaaahhhhhh ;-)

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Friday, 6 January 2012

Resurrect an Old Joke!

I'm sat here thinking about this post and have just had a flash of inspiration (genius!) - I'm going to resurrect last years old jokes (some of which were actually pretty funny)!

So, here it is!

(I know, it's a lazy post - sue me!)

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Thursday, 5 January 2012

Most don't-make-me-do-that thing this week!

Well this was an easy one!

It's Wednesday and it's the day before I go back to work.  I've watched facebook all week as, one by one, my friends have approached their return to work with dread and horror - now it's my turn lol!

The difference is that in the last 10 weeks (that's almost a quarter of a year!) I've only been at work for a total of a little over 7 hours!  I was back for 2 days (3.7 hours per day) in the final week of December and, in addition to having 8 weeks of emails and work etc to try and wrap my head around, I was amazed at how quickly I'd forgotten the most basic things! 

Things like how to use the printer, the location of things on the computer, how to book a meeting room, how to access and use NCALT live!, who's sponsoring which projects etc etc etc.

Having really achieved very little in those 2 days (other than deleting the vast amount of rubbish emails (that I can remember how to do!) and discussing my 'condition' with an army of well-wishers) and the fact that I won't actually be back full time until February makes me wish that I could just jump forward to February.

That way I could wake up back on track, fully functioning and ready to go instead of feeling like my head's stuffed with cotton wool every time I think about work and like the wires connecting work 'stuff' are all tangled and plugged into the wrong sockets (ironically I was actually feeling pretty damn good about work just before I got broken)!

Ah well, crack on Orange - by this time next month everything'll be back to normal!

Bring it on!

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Wednesday, 4 January 2012

Superfabulous Tuesday!

Wow, well it was superfabulous that, as I'm not back at work until Thursday, I didn't have to battle through the proper storm that was raging outside at 8am (thank you Broadie for offering me a lift in though :-)

It was also superfabulous to catch up with Broadie when she popped round at lunchtime and it was superfabulous to be starting the year feeling this sorted with everything :-) I've gone through my entire flat sorting and tidying etc and have a plan for getting rid of all of all the stuff that's to go too!  It's all good (or superfabulous!)

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Tuesday, 3 January 2012

New Years Eve!

It was another fabulous New Year at Kevin and Ray's!

I was relieved that my pavlova was a success, in fact the base was better than the practice one I made on Thursday (and, for the first time wasn't concave!) - unfortunately I overwhipped the cream (which I normally NEVER do) but it still worked!  Even more miraculous was that I managed to carry it down my stairs into and out of the taxi and all the way up all the stairs to Kevin and Ray's without dropping it!!



The evening started with an exchange of gifts (which I had no idea about at all!), Ken had been very creative with the presentation of his gifts which included Canadian mountie gifts for everyone (I keep waiting for a real one!) and also very generously gave me a bottle of Glenmorangie and some cheese!  A mountie, whiskey and cheese - what more could a girl ask for?!

Racing willies.  Not what I asked for but what Kevin and Ray got for Ken, these were hilarious and Kevin and I ended up sat on the kitchen floor after midnight having races! 



My gift from Kevin and Ray was a fabulous glittery majorette baton type thingy - I've bought loads for other people over the last month (there's something hypnotic and addictive about them) but kept forgetting to go back and get one for myself so this was a lovely surprise :-)

The kitchen was out of bounds until the meal was served and, as usual, Kevin had done a fantastic job with the table including festive chocolate novelties, posh crackers (which covered all of us in copious amounts of glitter!), place cards and individual menus (oh, and the table decoration I made - which looked great on the plate Kevin had stood it on)!  The place cards were Downton Abbey themed this year, one side from 'upstairs' and the other side from 'downstairs' - I was Lady Sybil and Mrs Patmore!





I did my usual trick of sending myself text message reminders throughout the evening  - one of them was a comment that Ray made, I think it was to do with the menu but I can't clearly recall, "wall to wall shite" was the phrase I put in my phone!!

The meal was absolutely delicious as was the wine, thankfully there was a short break between each course but even so I was still struggling by the time we reached the cheese course!

As midnight approached I did the now traditional reading of Robert Service's 'The Passing of the Year' (below), the champagne was poured and the Black Bun (traditional Scottish New Year cake - hand baked by Pops!) was sliced.  As the fireworks lit up the sky on the television we all linked hands and sand Auld Lang Syne (Kevin and I only gloated a little at being the only ones who knew all the words!)

Happy New Year!

My glass is filled, my pipe is lit,
My den is all a cosy glow;
And snug before the fire I sit,
And wait to feel the old year go.
I dedicate to solemn thought
Amid my too-unthinking days,
This sober moment, sadly fraught
With much of blame, with little praise.

Old Year! upon the Stage of Time
You stand to bow your last adieu;
A moment, and the prompter's chime
Will ring the curtain down on you.
Your mien is sad, your step is slow;
You falter as a Sage in pain;
Yet turn, Old Year, before you go,
And face your audience again.

That sphinx-like face, remote, austere,
Let us all read, whate'er the cost:
O Maiden! why that bitter tear?
Is it for dear one you have lost?
Is it for fond illusion gone?
For trusted lover proved untrue?
O sweet girl-face, so sad, so wan
What hath the Old Year meant to you?

And you, O neighbour on my right
So sleek, so prosperously clad!
What see you in that aged wight
That makes your smile so gay and glad?
What opportunity unmissed?
What golden gain, what pride of place?
What splendid hope? O Optimist!
What read you in that withered face?

And You, deep shrinking in the gloom,
What find you in that filmy gaze?
What menace of a tragic doom?
What dark, condemning yesterdays?
What urge to crime, what evil done?
What cold, confronting shape of fear?
O haggard, haunted, hidden One
What see you in the dying year?

And so from face to face I flit,
The countless eyes that stare and stare;
Some are with approbation lit,
And some are shadowed with despair.
Some show a smile and some a frown;
Some joy and hope, some pain and woe:
Enough! Oh, ring the curtain down!
Old weary year! it's time to go.

My pipe is out, my glass is dry;
My fire is almost ashes too;
But once again, before you go,
And I prepare to meet the New:
Old Year! a parting word that's true,
For we've been comrades, you and I --
I thank God for each day of you;
There! bless you now! Old Year, good-bye!

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Monday, 2 January 2012

There is a crack in everything.........

that's how the light gets in.

Today I was supposed to be posting about New Years Eve but in the early hours of this morning I recieved a text message which has compelled me to postpone that one until tomorrow.

Instead I'm going to tell you about Kristian Anderson.

I can't remember when I became aware of Kristian or how exactly but it was all down to a video posted on YouTube.



Kristian made this video for his wife's (Rachel) birthday to thank her for all her support.  He managed to get Hugh Jackman and the Prime Minister of New Zealand to take part and, as a result, the video went viral and fame followed.

The video is beautiful and as soon as I watched it I wanted to know more about Kristian's story which led me to find his blog (there is a crack in everything -  that's how the light gets in) where I discovered that Kristian was a 34 year old married man, with 2 young children (Cody and Jakob) and a deep faith in God, who was diagnosed with bowel and liver cancer in October 2009.

I also found a further video which Kristian (a film editor) had posted of their wedding day and it was so touching to see a couple so obviously deeply in love with other and dreadful to know that heartbreak was waiting just around the corner for them. 



I became a follower of Kristian's blog and also subscribed to his Twitter account (and Rachel's when she joined) and have been watching his progress, and setbacks, for quite some time.  His abiding faith in God, and a cure, and the amazing spirit he shows have proven an inspiration to people all over the world and led to appearances on Oprah and other television shows, Oprah donated $250,000 to assist with medical expenses and Train sang 'Marry Me' (the song Kristian set his video to) in tribute to them live in a television studio.





In addition to a gruelling treatment plan over the last 2 years Kristian also successfully campaigned to the Australian federal government for Erbitux (a bowel cancer drug) to be subsidised, making it widely accessible to many who previously had no hope of being able to obtain it.

In October Kristian and Rachel were told that, despite superhuman efforts, there was no longer any medical intervention that could provide curative benefit and he was given 3 - 6 months to live.  There have been no posts on the blog for over a month and the reports on Twitter over the last fortnight have been increasingly heartbreaking as it became obvious that Kristian was approaching the end of his very brave fight. 

Kristian passed away peacefully in hospital this morning.

RIP Kristian Anderson, I hope you found your God and were welcomed with open arms.

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Sunday, 1 January 2012

Finish Your Best Selling Novel and Know that Next Year Will be Even Better!

Well here it is! 

Not sure about best selling.......... but this is my effort, started on Saturday 1st January 2011 (posted on 2nd) and finished on Saturday 31st December 2011 (posted on 1st Jan 2012).  I have reached over 900 viewings this month (an all time high) so my following is steadily growing (as are my random hits I suspect!).

For me highlights of the year include Hotter than Hawaii day (this was great fun and definitely wins the prize for the most effort put in (by lots of people)), Superhero day (also great fun!) and Experimental cooking day.  In fact looking back through the years posts I've realised there's just too many mention!

Top 5 posts viewed this year

1) Pretend to be a secret agent day (the winner by a long shot for some reason!)
2) Tie up loose ends day
3) Crowned Dens Syndrome day
4) Chips, we love you and National wear red day
5) Love your slippers, they are your friends

It's been an odd year personally, I've had 5 months of absolute happiness earlier in the year (despite the upset that followed) which is more than a lot of people can say.  And then there's been the bizarre medical mystery of Oct/Nov which has been interesting!  I've caught up with old friends, strengthened existing friendships and also made new ones.

There's lots to look forward to next year, there's no official diary for 2012 so I'm making it all up as I go along!  This will include at least one murder mystery event and I'm still determined to get a pirate themed day in there somewhere!
All in all it's been a good year this year and while I may not know that next year will be even better I do live in hope!

Happy New Year to All!

H x

THE END
(til next year)

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