Saturday 30 June 2007

Superstitious, moi?......

I'm not superstitious (she says with crossed fingers), well I can't afford to be having lived at Number 13 for the past 29 years!

Although, saying that, I would

  • probably walk round a ladder rather than under it

  • always say good day to a magpie

  • never put new shoes on the table

  • not open an umbrella inside

  • not cut my toenails on a Friday

  • not break a mirror

  • touch wood so as not to tempt fate

  • avoid standing on a crack on the pavement

  • always throw a pinch of salt over my left shoulder if I spilled some

  • not pass anyone on a staircase

otherwise I'm not superstitious at all!

Are you superstitious?

If you want to see some more superstitions look here.

Friday 29 June 2007

Guess what I've been doing.....

Recently I have been through our old to try to put

them into some sort of . This is not as as one might .

For a start one gets up looking at the so the task takes

as long. Of course you have to the of all the

, but at least the are usually .

Anyway, I now have all the away, so that I can

the I want with trouble at all!

I'd like to say to for the of doing

this post, and for the help she gave me.

I hope you can what I have . If you ,

let me know by what you think I have

in the box.

Thursday 28 June 2007

What your teacher really meant.....

Ever wondered what your teacher really meant with those remarks on your school report?

Satisfactory progress....................
I can't think of a single interesting thing to say.

A born leader...............................
Runs the playground protection racket.

Easy going............................
Bone idle.

Thoroughly disruptive.

Good progress.............................
If you think their work is bad now you should have seen it this time last year.

A sensitive child..................
Never stops whining.


Grasses on their mates.

Will break their neck before the year's out.

Has difficulty in forming relationships..............
I can't stand ethem either.

Expresses themself confidently.............
Cheeky little **!!***!!!!

Enjoys PE activities................

Has a lot of minor illnesses..................
Truants regularly.

Never leaves me alone or shuts up.

Easily distracted...........
Hasn't handed in a piece of work all year.

Works better in a small group............
Daren't take my eyes off them for a second.

Lies and cheats regularly.

Needs praise and encouragment.......
Thick as two short planks.

Expresses themself clearly..............
Foul mouthed.

Keen to do well.................

All their work is of a high standard................
They have ambitioius middle class parents.

Does not accept authority easily....
Father's doing time.

Is easily upset..............
Spoilt rotten.

Often appears tired................
Stays up late watching horror videos.

Works better at practical activities....
Totally illiterate.

Good with their hands............
Light fingered.

A rather solitary child..................
Smells or has nits.

Independently minded.................
Totally obstinate.

Enjoys extra-curricular activities.............
Flogs cheap fags at break times.

Completely lacking any scruples.

Inclined to daydream.......................
In one ear and out the other.

A good sense of humour.....................
Teases the other kids unmercifully.

Reads well aloud.................
Loves the sound of their own voice.

A quiet child....................
Lacking any individuallity whatsoever.

Easily influenced.............................
The class mug.

Popular with the other students...............
sells pornographic pictures at break.

A vivid imagination...............
Always has an excuse.

A very inquisitive mind............
Often caught playing doctors and nurses.

Does not give classes their full attention...............
Smokes in the toilets.

Often needs guidance...................
Always in the Head's room.

Wednesday 27 June 2007

Five things..............

Shaz from Us Danes Meme Page tagged me for this meme. . . .

INSTRUCTIONS: Remove the blog in the top spot from the following list and bump everyone up one place. Then add your blog to the bottom slot, like so:

1. Daddy Forever
2. The Ice Box
3. The Buzz Queen
4. Us Danes & Our Family
5. Everything and Nothing

Next select five people to tag:

1. The Diamond-Drops Mansion
2. Mike's Homefront
3. La Bellina Mammina
4. Kaleidoscope
5. Drunk Mummy

Then answer the following questions:

What were you doing 10 years ago?
I was working at the place I work now, living in the house where I live now, married to the man I'm married to now and thinking I wish I could win the lottery. No change there then!

What were you doing 1 year ago?
One year ago in August I was begging my doctor to refer me to an orthopaedic surgeon to get on the waiting list to have my knee replacement.

Five snacks you enjoy:
  1. Pork Crackling
  2. Cheese and Biscuits
  3. More Pork Crackling
  4. More Cheese
  5. Fruit
Five songs to which you know all the lyrics:
All the Beatles songs - name one I'll sing it to you!

Five things you would do if you were a millionaire:
1. Tell my boss what to do with the job!
2. Have a bungalow built to my specifications, including an indoor pool
3. Make sure all my family were financially secure.
4. Buy a property abroad, somewhere permanently hot and sunny but close enough to England so I can be back in a flash if needbe.
5. Treat my closest friends. You all want to be my closest friends now dontcha????

Five bad habits:
1. I buy too many shoes.
2. I buy too many clothes.
3. MWM says I snore but he's making it up!
4. I'm impatient, If I want it, I want it NOW!
5. I expect everyone to think the way I do!

Five things you like doing:
1. Being at home instead of at work.
2. Cooking, especially trying out new recipes.
3. Blogging - but I could also put that on the previous list because it's becoming a habit!
4. Reading a good book.
5. Dining out, with cheese for afters instead of a sweet!

Five things you would never wear again:
1. A bikini - my midriff is best covered up now.
2. A Ra Ra skirt - it would make my bum look big(ger).
3. A mini skirt - not with knees like mine for a million pounds. Oh go on then I'll wear one for a million pounds!
4. Platform shoes - I can barely walk in flats at the moment!
5. Leggings - see #3.

Five favourite toys:
1. The computer
2. Camera phone
3. Digital Camera
4. Food Processor
5. Plasticine - it belongs to the grandchildren really but I like playing with it!

This has been doing the rounds for a while so the chances are that you've already done it. If that's the case forget it, unless you want to do it again of course.

Tuesday 26 June 2007

A lasting effect......

I read somewhere recently that it’s important to provide holiday memories for your children. I never really thought about providing memories when booking holidays when the boys were younger, it was just "will we all enjoy it there" type of thing.

Something happened recently though that made me realise that what happens on your holiday as a child can stay with you for the rest of your life and influence where you take your holidays as an adult.

When the boys were young we couldn't afford to take them abroad, hell I didn't go abroad until I was 35, so we'd have day trips to the seaside and a week in a caravan here or there.

One place we particulary loved was Abersoch on the Llyn Peninsula in North Wales. We had friends who owned a caravan there and they rented it out to friends and family. Usually we only got as far as Lytham St. Annes near Blackpool in a caravan but, when M&H told us about Abersoch, we thought we'd venture further afield.

The boys were about 9 and 4 respectively on our first visit to Abersoch. We loaded up the car with everything we would need for a week(read kitchen sink here), MWM had planned the route - the M56 to Backford, A5117 and A550 to Queensferry, A494 down past Buckley to Ruthin and down to Corwen, A5 all the way to Bala, round lake Bala then the A414 to Trawsfynydd, the A470/A487 to Porthmadog, A497/499 into Llanbedrog which is just outside Abersoch and the place where the caravan was. If you ever want to go there you now have the directions from our house! This route took us about 31/2 hours but we passed some of the most beautiful scenery. The sun was beating down and we were all raring to go.

By the time we got to Lake Bala we were all bursting for the loo and D (youngest son) was car sick (we think it was all the windy roads that did it) so we had a 'relief' stop. By this time the sun had hidden behind the big black clouds that had been looming since Ruthin and it was starting to drizzle! You know the stuff - that fine rain that wets you through! I opened the boot to get out some wipes and a change of t-shirt for D when I suddenly remembered I hadn't picked up the kagools - they were still piled in a heap on the sofa. I heard MWM give a moan and he announced "I think the new petrol tank is leaking!"

Great, we didn't have much spending money, hoping for glorious weather so that we could keep the kids occupied on the beach with home-made sandwiches and a bottle of pop, now it looked like the majority of our meagre holiday fund would be spent on fixing the petrol tank and buying four kagools to keep the rain off! The rest of the journey passed in a blur of sick bags, rain and misery!

It was almost midday by the time we were coming into Llanbedrog, where the caravan park was, so MWM decided it would be best if we go straight into Abersoch to get the petrol tank fixed - if that was possible. Miraculously the rain stopped and the sun came out, not only that we just managed to catch the garage as they were shutting up shop for the weekend. "Could they possibly have a look at the tank?" MWM said pleadingly. "No problem" said the mechanic. I vowed never to let anyone call Welsh people to me again! There was no leak in the petrol tank it was just a loose something or other which he fixed in five minutes flat and with NO charge!

"What's the weather been like this week?" we asked the mechanic.

"Glorious" he says "we needed that rain, but it will be glorious again this week you watch".

He wasn't wrong. The temperature was in the eighties all week and we never saw another cloud the whole week - no need to buy kagools! In fact we had to buy some more sun cream.

We backtracked to Llanbedrog and found the caravan. It had everything we wanted and was on a lovely caravan park with beautiful countryside all around. The boys found friends in neighbouring caravans and had great fun chasing each other up Donkey Hill (don't ask I don't know why it was called that). We spent long lazy days on the beach at the Warren and the Harbour Beach in Abersoch itself. We found the Sandpiper Restaurant, where N (eldest son) discovered he loved deep fried whitebait and the Abersoch Rock Shop where they sold sticks of pink and white rock saying Abersoch all the way through to the end. After our evening meal at the caravan each night we all walked down to the little pub to sit outside with a drink and take in the evening air. The only complaint we had was the pubs in Wales don't open on Sundays, however it didn't stop us going back there for the next three years!

Now we never knew until very recently what a profound effect the holidays we spent in Abersoch had on our boys. Two weeks ago I had a video message on my mobile phone from N showing his three children playing on a beach with little boats in the background.

"Guess where we are?" said the message "Abersoch!"

I rang N to find out the why's and wherefore's and he told me he wanted A (his wife) and the three children to experience the best place you could possibly go for a holiday, so he had driven them to Abersoch for the day! Twenty-eight years after his first visit. They had a wonderful day there and totally fell in love with the place, so much so they're planning to go back and spend a week over the summer. D remembers Abersoch too, but not, I think, with the same affection as his brother.

I guess where you take your kids for holidays can have a lasting effect eh?

PS I just got through reading my son's blog Dan's Fi-ver where he has posted about the countryside around where he lives and mentions The Singing Ringing Tree in Burnley. Go listen to it here, it's amazing!

Monday 25 June 2007

Finish the sentence...............

I pinched this from misslionheart at A Place for Everything the FINISH THE SENTENCE SURVEY MEME

Maybe I should…… get some exercise instead of blogging.

I love……My Wonderful Man, my boys, my grandchildren, my Dad, my Brothers, My MIL - Lord I could go on, and on, and on, and on.......

People would say that I’m….... a good friend (I hope).

I don’t understand….. Chinese Writing.

When I wake up in the morning….. I'm glad I don't have to go to work at the moment.

I lost….... all reason whilst looking on the sale rail.

Life is full of… and downs. Thankfully more ups than downs!

My past is…... what has made me who I am.

I get annoyed when….... the computer dies on me.

Parties are….. great.

I wish…... I could take away people's pain.

Dogs …...... can be your best friend.

Cats….. are a blessed nuisance in my garden.

Tomorrow….. is another day to make things better.

I have a low tolerance…....of nasty, vindictive people.

If I had a million dollars….. I'd probably faint!

I'm not tagging anyone but if you'd like to do it please feel free. Let me know if you do so I can read your answers 'cos I'm nosey!

Blog ratings.....

I saw this on Letha's blog (A Stitch In Time), so thought I'd check out my blog rating.

Here it is!

Online Dating

This rating is because my blog contains the following word.....


I think I'd better be careful what I write in future.

Sunday 24 June 2007

A Brief History of the World, Part Three....

By Richard Lederer, St. Paul's School, London. Printed in Spring 1987, Verbatim, The Language Quarterly, Vol XIII, No 4J. He says "One of the fringe benefits of being an English or History teacher is receiving the occasional jewel of a student blooper in an essay. He has pasted together the following "history" of the world from certifiably genuine student bloopers collected by teachers throughout the United States, from eighth grade through college level."

During the Renaissance America began. Christopher Columbus was a great navigator who discovered America whilst cursing about the Atlantic. His ships were called the Nina, the Pinta, and the Santa Fe. Later the Pilgrims crossed the Ocean, and this was known as Pilgrims Progress. When they landed at Plymouth Rock, they were greeted by the Indians, who came down the hill rolling their war hoops before them. The Indian squabs carried porpoises on their back. Many of the Indian heroes were killed, along with their cabooses which proved very fatal to them. The winter of 1620 was a hard one for the settlers. Many people died and many babies were born. Captain John Smith was responsible for all this.

One of the causes of the Revolutionary Wars was the English put tacks in their tea. Also, the colonists would send their parcels through the post without stamps. During the War, the Red Coats and Paul Revere was throwing balls over stone walls. The dogs were barking and the peacocks were crowing. Finally, the colonists won the war and no longer had to pay for taxis.

Delegates from the original thirteen states formed the Contented Congress. Thomas Jefferson, a Virgin, and Benjamin Franklin were two singers of the Declaration of Independence. Franklin had gone to Boston carrying all his clothes in his pocket and a loaf of bread under each arm. He invented electricity by rubbing cats backwards and declared "A Horse divided against itself cannot stand". Franklin died in 1790 and is still dead.

George Washington married Martha Curtis and in due time became the Father of Our Country. Then the Constitution of the United States was adopted to secure domestic hostility. Under the Constitution the people enjoyed the right to keep bare arms.

Abraham Lincoln became America's greatest Precedent. Lincoln's mother died in infancy, and he was born in a log cabin, which he built with his own hands. When Lincoln was President, he wore only a tall silk hat. He said, "In onion there is strength." Abraham Lincoln wrote the Gettysburg Address while travelling from Washinton to Gettysburg on the back of an envelope. He also freed the slaves by signing the Emasculation Proclamation, and the Fourteenth Amendment gave the ex-Negroes citizenship.

But the Clue Clux Clan would torcher and lynch the ex-Negroes and other innocent victims. It claimed it represented law and odor. On the night of April 14, 1865, Lincoln went to the theater and got shot in his seat by one of the actors in a moving picture show. The believed assinator was John Wikes Booth, a supposingly insane actor. This ruined Booth's career.

Meanwhile in Europe, the enlightenment was a reasonable time. Voltare invented electricity and also wrote a book called Candy. Gravity was invented by Isaac Newton. It is chiefly noticeable in the Autumn, when the apples are falling off the trees.

Bach was the most famous composer in the world, and so was Handel. Handel was half German, half Italian, and half English. He was very large. Bach died from 1750 to the present. Beethoven wrote music even though he was deaf. He was so deaf he wrote loud music. He took long walks in the forest even when everyone was calling for him. Beethoven expired in 1827 and later died for this.

France was in a very serious state. The French Revolution was accomplished before it happened. The Marseillaise was the theme song of the French Revolution, and it catapulted into Napoleon. During the Napoleonic Wars, the crowned heads of Europe were trembling in their shoes. Then the Spanish gorillas came down from the hlls and nipped at Napoleon's flanks. Napoleon became ill with bladder problems and was very tense and unrestrained. He wanted an heir to inherit his power, but since Josephine was a baroness, she couldn't bear children.

The sun never set on the British Empire because the British Empire is in the East and the sun sets in the West. Queen Victoria was the longest queen. She sat on a thorn for 63 years. Her reclining years and finally the end of her life were exemplatory of a great personality. Her death was the final event which ended her reign.

The nineteenth century was a time of many great inventions and thoughts. The invention of the steamboat caused a network of rivers to spring up. Cyrus McCormick invented the McCormick raper, which did the work of a hundred men. Samuel Morse invented a code of telepathy. Louis Pasteur discovered a cure for rabbis. Charles Darwin was a naturalist who wrote the Organ of the Species. Madman Curie discovered radium. And Karl Marx became one of the Marx brothers.

The first World War, caused by the assignation of the Arch-Duck by a surf, ushered in a new error in the anals of human history.

Read A Brief History of the World Part One here and Part Two here.

Saturday 23 June 2007


Mimi Lennox at Mimi Writes has chosen me for a 'Rockin' Girl Blogger' award - how cool is that? She wrote such a fantastic review of my blog I didn't recognise myself! Thankyou Mimi.

Mimi herself has received this award twice - one from Linda at Are We There Yet? and the other from Turnbaby(As the world turns). If anyone deserves this award it is Mimi for her rockin' efforts getting the Peace Globe movement up and at 'em on the 6th June this year. I only took part this year, being a new blogger, but Mimi started the movement a few years ago. If you haven't got your Peace Globe yet, get yourself over to Mimi's and get one!

Apparently the rules for the 'Rockin' Girl Blogger' award state that if you're tagged, you get that spiffy little badge at the top of this post and then tag five other chicks who you think rock.

This will be hard choosing just five so I have taken some time to think about it and if I haven't chosen you please don't be offended, you know I wouldn't hurt you for the world.

#1 Queenie at Queenie's Random Ramblings has got to be my first choice. Queenie and I been friends for 17 years, since we met on holiday in Turkey. We have done some rockin' together over those years and, though neither of us can physically rock at the moment, we are both determined to get it together again in the not too distant future. Queenie is a great wordsmith and her blog never shows the pain she has endured. Rock on my lovely friend.

#2 Catch (A Penny For Your Thoughts) never fails to entertain with tales of her grandchildren, her Mom, who lives with her, and friends. She throws in little jokes and poems and I just love to visit her blog, but I would really like to visit her in real life 'cos she's got a pool and I just bet she has some rockin' pool parties.

#3 Val at 123Valerie Strikes Again is the ultimate rock chick in my opinion. She's sassy, bright, beautiful and I've heard her sing and play the guitar, check it out here. Besides all that her blog is entertaining, sometimes funny, and totally rocks.

#4 Laney (Miss Understood) at A Sideways Look At Womanhood certainly looks the part in her profile photo. She's feisty and her writing can have you laughing and crying all within the same post. On 30th September she will be running 10Km raising money for Cancer Research and anyone who raises money for such a deserving charity certainly Rocks in my view.

#5 Claire at A Little Piece of Me has been offline for a short while and is now getting withdrawal symptoms, as are her readers! She usually keeps her fans on their toes by 'punishing' lurkers on her blog with wickedly funny pictures and virtual punishments. She also does Happy 100's where you get a public mention if you just happen to be the next 100th visitor. Claire also helped organise 'The Easter Bunny' egg hunt, to raise money for charity. Participants had to solve the daily (sometimes thrice daily) clues, by visiting blogs you probably would never have known about to solve the clues. At the end of the egg hunt all participants, whether they won or not, got a little chick button for their sidebar - mine's there if you take a look. I know this took a lot of Claire's time and energy and, as I've said before, anyone who gives up their time for charity 'Rocks' in my book.

Well these five girls 'Rock' as far as I'm concerned, so I hope they will display their button with pride and hopefully be able to choose five 'Rockin' Girl Bloggers' to pass it on to.

Friday 22 June 2007


I have been a blood donor for a number of years, even got a ' badge' for giving 25 pints, and then some, the sight of my own blood has never bothered me at all. I've had quite a few operations, asleep and awake, and never batted an eyelid, so can someone tell me why when it came to seeing my children's blood I went to pieces?

What brought this on?

Well the other night I was watching Kramer v Kramer on TV. Yes I know it's an old film but I haven't seen it before and I wasn't tired so thought I'd catch up. Anyway, you remember the part where Ted (Dustin Hoffman) has taken Billy (Justin Henry) to the park and Billy falls off the climbing frame and smashes his eye, and Ted picks him up and runs through the streets at 90 miles an hour to get him to the hospital? When they get there Ted is in a panic because Billy is crying, covered in blood and there's nothing he can do but leave it to the doctor to stitch Billy's eye, whilst he tries to soothe him. Well it brought memories of my own kids childhood accidents when I just panicked!

When eldest son (N) was about 12 months old he had just started walking round the furniture and was doing really well when he slipped and managed to bang his top lip (not easy to do). You cannot imagine the amount of blood that came from what, afterwards, looked like a paper cut! I just panicked when I saw the blood, anyone would think he had chopped his head off! I grabbed him and flew out of the house to my neighbour, thrust him into her arms and said "he's bleeding!" then I turned and fled sobbing my heart out. My wonderful neighbour cleaned him up and soothed his tears then returned my little son to me looking like nothing had happened.

Then there was the time youngest son (D) was probably 6 years old and was playing outside with N, suddenly they both appeared with N holding a gauze pad to D's head and it was covered in blood! I almost fainted right there and then, my knees were shaking I felt sick, I couldn't even take the gauze away to look at the damage. N explained they had been playing in a friend's garden and D has slipped and banged his head on a wall, luckily friend's mum was a nurse and she'd cleaned it up but suggested it needed a couple of stiches.

Thank God MWM was home to drive us to the hospital. At the hospital MWM let us out at Emergency whilst he went to park the car and I rushed D to the reception desk. The receptionist started with the questions - name, date of birth, address - I couldn't remember a damn thing! D, at six years old and bleeding had to give the receptionist the information she required. They rushed us straight through to a cubicle to see a doctor where he informed us that D would need a couple of stiches, but because the cut was on his forehead, where there wasn't much flesh, it would be better to stitch it without a local anaesthetic. Oh dear God, as if my baby wasn't hurting enough! D was very brave and didn't flinch during the stiching, however I was a complete mess, I just sat holding his hand blubbering.

See what I mean? Where's the logic? You could cut your own arm off and eat it, but see a bit of blood on your child and you're reduced to a blithering idiot!

Talking of children, D and his partner Fi have decided to grace the www with their own blog, see Dan's Fi-ver (Dance Fever!). It's early days, but keep tuning in, he has a wicked sense of humour!

Wednesday 20 June 2007

H.G.V. Written Test Examination........

Going out shopping, so, still on the subject of driving, here's a quick laugh from my file......

Q. When should you use headlights?
A. To warn males of speed trap.

Q. When do you overtake on the left?
A. When the twerp in front won't move over.

Q. What documents do you take on the road?
A. Dairly Mirror, Sun, Playboy.

Q. When must you stop?
A. To have a pee, nooky or a pint in the pub.

Q. Where should you not park?
A. Outside the house of your mistress.

Q. What do you expect to see on a rural road.
A. Rural tarmac.

Q.How many types of pedestrian crossings are there?
A. Two, those who do and those who don't.

Q. What is the correct procedure for overtaking on the motorway?
A. Foot hard down, eyes shut and smile.

Q. When should you use the fast lane on the motorway?
A. When you are going home on a promise.

Q. What do you do in the event of a breakdown on a motorway?
A. Leave the bloody thing and hitch a lift home.

Q. What does a yellow box junction mean?
A. They have run out of white paint.

Q. What do broken white lines mean in the road?
A. Careless navvies.

Q. What does the highway code say about tyres?
A. Use only round ones.

Q. When can you cross double white lines in the road?
A. After 9 lagers, 2 vodkas and a whiskey.

Q. What must you check before leaving a building site?

A. That you have enough timber under the sheet for a new kitchen table.

Musical genes.....

My Grandfather was a very musical man by all accounts. He played Baritone with Besses o'th'Barn Band in Lancashire and apparently could play a variety of musical instruments. I have a letter from the 'Band' secretary confirming that they have a photograph in their archives of Grandfather with the band in 1888. I'm hoping to get a copy, in the meantime the photograph on the left is of Grandfather at a 'Mason's' meeting.

My father often talks of listening to his father sing. Dad was only three years old when Grandfather died, but he says he remembers being cuddled close to his father and feeling the deep, rich sound of his voice vibrating right through his little body. Dad inherited the voice, though he won't admit it, because I remember the exact same experience when he sang to me whilst I was sitting on his knee.

We had a piano when I was young and I remember Dad and I playing duets, by ear because niether of us could read music, and picking out tunes until it drove my mother mad. I was always chosen for the choir at school, so I guess I must have inherited the singing gene too but, although I love singing, my voice has deteriorated over the years and I wouldn't inflict it on my worst enemy now. I forget myself when I've had a couple of drinks though and sing to my heart's content, regardless of who's listening.

My eldest son loves music but can't sing and doesn't play any instruments. What he can do though is Dance - no two left feet there! He's definitely inherited Grandfather's rhythm.

Youngest son can't dance or sing but give him an instrument and he'll play it. God knows how many guitars he's got now, and a keyboard, plus he makes music on the computer. When he was still living at home we'd come home after an evening out to find the house invaded with his friends. They'd be sitting round playing guitars and making music, well we just had to join in, staying up 'til all hours of the morning jamming. What fun we had. I think we still have a tape somewhere of one of our 'jamming' nights! He's intent on getting his two boys playing instruments and says he's going to form a band with them, I hope he does and gets as much fun out of it as we got.

I guess Grandfather's musical gene lives on!

My Knee

Wednesday 20th June

Well I've discarded the remaining crutch now. I still have to hold on to MWM's arm when we venture further than the garden but I'm really trying. I've taken to wearing an ankle weight round the house to help build the muscle up - hope it works!

Tuesday 19 June 2007

Glossary of English/German Motoring Terms..

After writing about my driving escapades yesterday I found this in my file and thought it might come in handy if you're travelling to Germany.................

Indicators....Die Blinkenleiten Tickentocken

Bonnet......Pullnob und Knucklechopper

Exhaust Pipe.... Spitzenpoppenbangentuben

Speedometer..... Der Egobooster und Linenshooter

Clutch...... Die Kuplink mit schlippen und schaken

Puncture........Die Phlatt mit bludyphucken

Parking meter........... Der Tennerpinscher und klockenwerr

Windscreen Wiper .... Der Flippenflappenmuchenschpredder

Foot Brake............ Der Edbangeronvindschreen Stoppenkwik

Gear Lever......... Biggensticken fur kangaroochoppen

Breathalyser...........Die Puffinintem fur pistenarsen

Rear View Mirror......... Der Yokhunter Tecklosen

Seat Belt........... Der Klunkenklikker Fraulinestopper

Headlights........... Der Dippendontdazzelubastad

Exhaust Fumes............... Der Koffenundschpittpoluter

Traffic Jam.....Die Bluddifukkink Dammundblast

Rear Seat...........Der Schpringentester


Backfire.......Der Lowdenbangenmekkejumpen

Juggernaut........ Der Phukkengrett Trukken

Accident..... Der Bledinmess

Near Accident.............. Der Fukken Near Schittenselfen

Garage.......Der Heiway Robberung

Cyclist...........Der Pedallpushink Pilloken

Skid........Der Banannan Waltzen

Double White Lines........Overtaken und Krunchen

Happy Motoring.

Monday 18 June 2007

Crash, bang, whallop...

I read a post at Kaleidoscope recently where she relates the tale of when she backed into a store front in her car. It reminded me of the couple of stupid bumps I have been responsible for.

I admit I'm not very good at reversing my car, in fact I'd go as far as to say I'm rubbish, but before I tell you about the bumps I'll tell you how and when I started driving.

My Dad started teaching me to drive when I was 17 but I was such a nervous driver I gave up after only a few weeks. The fancy to learn to drive didn't come back until I was 37 when, suddenly, I announced on holiday "When we get back home I'm going to book driving lessons for myself". To say MWM and the kids were surprised is an understatement!

Once home I got straight on the phone and booked my driving instructor - Eric. Eric was a lovely man, mature, very calm, great reputation and I felt very safe with him. I only had one criticism of Eric, it was a bit disconcerting when I was driving along on my lessons to see him gazing out of the side window waving (in a Royal way) to all the people he knew. I kept asking myself and him "Shouldn't you be watching what I'm doing?" "You're doing just fine" he kept reassuring me.

Well I must have been doing something right because I started my weekly lessons in September and by early December I was taking my test.

On the day of my test, as if I wasn't nervous enough, Eric tells me that 'unfortunately' I had drawn the short straw and got the chief examiner who was a b...........rd by all accounts. Thanks Eric I needed that. I was last to leave the test centre that day, asking the examiner if he made allowances for nerves. My driving test didn't start very well, I hit the kerb on the way out of the test centre, but I don't think the examiner noticed because he let me carry on. The first right turn I had to negotiate flummoxed me a little. After I had stopped and positioned the car to turn right, watching for a break in the oncoming traffic, I noticed I hadn't a cat in hells chance of negotiating the turn without driving over the garden of the house on the corner. What to do? I checked my mirror and noticed the lady at the head of the queue of traffic behind me had left quite a gap (didn't she trust me?) so I put the car in reverse gear (the lady behind had a look of abject horror on her face) and slowly reversed until I was almost touching her bumper. I then checked the right turn again and thought I can do this!

Right turn completed successfully, I carried out the instructions of the driving examiner round the test route,wherever that was as it's all a blur. I can't remember doing a hill start, though I must have done as it's a necessary part of the driving test. I remember at one point not being able to get the gear stick into 3rd gear and blastpheming quite a lot. I think I managed the three point turn without mishap, but I probably could have driven to Blackpool in the time it took me to complete it. It all passed in a dream-like state and next thing I knew we were back at the test centre. You remember I said we were last to leave the centre? Well we were first back, and when I checked my watch we'd only been out for 20 minutes. Not looking good I thought, he couldn't wait to get back to safety!

Next came the Highway Code questions, I can't honestly remember what he asked me but I answered as best I could until he asked "when is it OK to overtake on the left?" - my mind went blank! I put my head in my hands on the steering wheel, thought for a minute then said "Ask me another!" Suddenly it was all over. "Well Mrs. Malu, I'm.................pleased to tell you, you've passed!" I just couldn't believe it, I insisted he'd made a mistake because I'd made so many, but he insisted I'd done just fine and after much toing and froing I finally accepted I had passed, after he'd threatened to fail me. We got out of the car just as Eric came out to greet and commiserate with me. I tell you there was nobody more surprised than Eric! Eric said the examiner must have been in a good mood that day as he never passed anyone on their first test.

Anyway, onto the part that's kept you glued to this post - my bumps.

MWM knew I wasn't very good at reversing so for a while whenever I'd been out in the car I would stop at the gate and he would come and reverse the car onto the drive for me. After a few months of this I think he got fed up of coming out in the rain and insisted it was time I did it myself. He should have had more sense.

"Ok" I said "I'll back it onto the drive but move your car further up away from the entrance to the drive, it's in my way".

"It's miles away" he said "just get on with it".

"I'll hit it" I said

"No you won't, it's not in the way" he insisted.

Well you can guess what happened can't you? Obviously I didn't turn the wheel far enough to swing the car onto the drive and I hit the front of his car making his two prize spotlights spring out like those joke eyes on coils! He can't say I didn't warn him!

After that, surprisingly, he let me practice some more and I got backing onto the drive off to a tee. Well that was until I lost my concentration one day and hit the gate. Oops. Drive forward and straighten up and try again. So I drove forward and guess what the bumper must have hooked onto the gate because I heard this scraping noise and when I checked my mirror the bumper was still stuck to the gate! MWM wasn't in at the time but as the garage couldn't do anything about it until the following day I had to tell him when he came home.

You'll be pleased to know that I've got a lot better at reversing since then, I only back into the hedge occasionally these days.

Sunday 17 June 2007

Before the rain............

You may, or may not, know that we've had torrential rain here this week. I've posted plenty of photos of our back garden but none of the front so, as luck would have it, I got out in the front garden and took some photos before the rain flattened everything.

It's not as lush as the back garden but it's neat and we like it. We have tulips and daffodils in the front garden too but obviously they've been and gone. There's lillies and antirrhinums ready for flowering but not quite out yet.

This is dedicated to my dear Dad, who has passed on his love of gardening to me.


and a Happy Father's Day to all you Dads out there.

Saturday 16 June 2007

A Brief History of the World. Part Two...

By Richard Lederer, St. Paul's School, London. Printed in Spring 1987, Verbatim, The Language Quarterly, Vol XIII, No 4J. He says "One of the fringe benefits of being an English or History teacher is receiving the occasional jewel of a student blooper in an essay. He has pasted together the following "history" of the world from certifiably genuine student bloopers collected by teachers throughout the United States, from eighth grade through college level."

Then came the Middle Ages. King Alfred conquered the Dames, King Arthur lived in the Age of Shivery, King Harold mustarded his troops before the Battle of Hastings, Joan of Arc was cannonized by Bernard Shaw, and victimes of the Black Death grew boobs on their necks. Finally the Magna Carta provided that no free man should be hanged twice for the same offense.

In midevil times most of the people were alliterate. The greatest writer of the time was Chaucer, who wrote many poems and verses and also wrote literature. Another tale tells of William Tell, who shot an arrow through an apple while standing on his son's head.

The Renaissance was an age in which more individuals felt the value of their human being. Martin Luther was nailed to the church door at Wittenburg for selling papal indulgences. He died a horrible death, being excommunicated by a bull. It was the painter Donatello's interest in the female nude that made him the father of the Renaissance. It was an age of great inventions and discoveries. Gutenbgerg invented the Bible. Sir Walter Raleigh is a historical figure because he invented cigarettes. Another important invention was the circulation of blood.

Sir Francis Drake circumcised the world with a 100-foot clipper.

The Government of England was a limited mockery. Henry VIII found walking difficult because he had an abbess on his knee. Queen Elizabeth was the "Virgin Queen". As a queen she was a success. When Elizabeth exposed herself before her troops, they all shouted "hurrah". Then her navy went out and defeated the Spanish Armadillo.

The greatest writer of the Renaissance was William Shakespear. Shakespear never made much money and is famous only because of his plays. He lived at Windsor with his merry wives, writing tragedies, comedies and errors. In one of the Shakespear's famous plays, Hamlet rations out his situation be relieving himself in a long solioquy. In another, Lady Macbeth tries to convince Macbeth to kill the King by attacking his manhood. Romeo and Juliet are an example of a heroic couplet. Writing at the same time as Shakespear was Miquel Cervantes. He wrote Donkey Hote. The next great author was John Milton. Milton wrote Paradise Lost. Then his wife died and he wrote Paradise Regained.

Read A Brief History of the World Part One here.

Friday 15 June 2007

Want to Play?........

I found this on Mrs Nesbitt's site, I told her I was pinching it so I don't think she'll mind me sharing it with you. It's great fun, go and have a play.

Click to Play!

Oh, and someone sent me the Alternative Olympic Logo for 2012. What do you think?
Sums up the other one in my opinion!

Also, when I did the "Eight Random facts about my town" the other day I missed out the funniest one.

Heywood is known locally as MONKEY TOWN. Apparently stools with a hole in the middle used to be made here, and folk from neighbouring towns used to say it was so that Heywood folk could put their tails through the hole when they sat down because they were monkeys!
Just for the record I was born in Manchester and didn't come to live here until I was 13!

Thursday 14 June 2007

It's easy to lose a child...............

As you see my blog is displaying a poster about Madeleine McCann, the little girl who was abducted from her holiday apartment in Portugal on the 3rd May, and has still not been found. If you want to know more, or help by displaying a banner on your blog just click on the banner which will take you to the official website.

When your child goes missing it is the worst possible thing in the world that can happen, apart from losing them altogether.

Little Madeleine has been in my thoughts ever since she was abducted and it has brought back memories of the heartstopping times when my own children went missing. The McCann's have been criticised for leaving their children whilst they were eating nearby, but you don't always think ahead and the consequences can be traumatic at best, tragic at worse.

When our eldest son was five we lived in a multi-story block of flats on the 6th floor and, as usual, one morning I got youngest son settled in his pushchair to take the elder to school. We came out the front door and whilst I was locking the door elder son pushed the button for the lift to take us down to the ground floor. Seconds later I heard the telephone ringing in our flat. I told elder son to wait whilst I ran back to answer the phone and unlocked the door and ran in. I was all of 30 seconds but when I came back out younger son was singing in his pushchair and elder son was nowhere in sight!

Can you imagine the panic I felt? He must have got in the lift, what should I do? There were 20 stories to the block, had he gone up or down? Was he riding up and down in the lift unable to reach the buttons, unable to get out? There were two lifts, should I get in one and check every floor, should I pick up baby and run down the stairs to see if the elder had gotten out anywhere, should I call both lifts jam them open then use the stairs to check other floors - I couldn't think! I couldn't think rationally. I'm panicking now just writing about it!

I have no idea what made me choose to do what I did but I called the lift, took baby in the pushchair and pressed the buttons for the five floors below and checked each one as the lift stopped. When I got to the basement, in tears, there he was with a neighbour who had got in the lift the floor below ours and waited with him in the basement knowing sooner or later I would get there. Thankfully the neighbour who found him was the only person in that block of flats who knew us, because every morning she waited with her little boy outside the flats for a lift as I set off to to take mine to school. I believe that I had help that morning in deciding what to do, a little voice in my head told me the best course of action and that's what I did, I'm thankful I listened.

Our youngest son got lost in Blackpool one summer day when we had taken the boys to the seaside for the day. We took them on the pier where there were all sorts of children's rides and a lovely little cafe where we could have a drink. On the way down to the cafe we passed some little bumper cars and of course after a drink the boys decided they wanted to go have a look. We promised them we would do it 'on the way back' but they couldn't wait. It was only about 100 yds away and eldest son at nine years old promised he would hold little one's (who was four) hand tightly and not let go. We relented and told them we would come to collect them in fifteen minutes and not to move from there.

Fifteen minutes later eldest son came sauntering over to the cafe. "Where's D" I wanted to know. He looked at me blankly, "he said he was coming back to you Mum"! The place was full of people, there's no way he would have found us, they don't have any sense of direction at three years old! Once again I was like a headless chicken but once again a little voice in my head reasoned with me.

I dispatched MWM and eldest son down either side of the pier to walk slowly, scanning the crowds to the end of the pier. I stayed put in case little one had passed us and came back looking. I told MWM when he got to the end of the pier to go to the lost children depot and report him missing if they hadn't found him in the meantime, then come back to check he hadn't returned to me.

It took them a heart-stopping half an hour to get to the lost children depot, but guess who was waiting for them when they got there? Yes, youngest son! He hadn't been found, oh no, he'd remembered I'd said to him if he got lost that was where he had to go, not with a stranger, just go there and we would find him. Thank God he'd remembered because I'd forgotten! This seemed to be a pattern for him over the next couple of years because, we would only have to look away for a second and he would wander off. I could virtually guarantee in the supermarket he would manage to lose us, but he would make his way to the customer services desk where the assistant there would announce "D is at customer services, please can you come and collect him?"

Things could have turned out so differently and I thank God every day that no harm came to our boys, we were very lucky and I pray every day that Gerry and Kate McCann's little girl, Madeliene, will be found safe and sound. They will never forgive themselves for leaving their children that night but There But For The Grace Of God Go I and, I suspect, many other parents.

Wednesday 13 June 2007

Hunky Dory.....

You remember I told you about the problem with the dishwasher? Well, even though the bloody thing starting working again after we'd called out the engineer, we decided better not cancel the callout as there must be something wrong with it to do that, and of course we already paid!

The engineer called on Monday and didn't seem surprised that it had an intermittent fault. Apparently they do that sometimes because they have a printed circuit board which gets brittle and worn. Anyway he has a machine which tests the circuit board, which he used on ours and found it was OK. There's a surprise, wouldn't you just know it! He did say though if we have any more trouble just to telephone and he would bring a new circuit board to replace the old one. What a nice man!

All my kitchen appliances are the same age, as they were installed when I had the new kitchen fitted two years ago, so by the law of averages they will all develop faults at the same time! I took out extended guarantees on the washer and cooker as they are the most expensive items, and of course now I have the guarantee on the dishwasher, I'm just praying that the fridge/freezer and the microwave don't start acting up.

This problem got me to thinking (I do sometimes!), about how reliant we are on our electrical appliances, and how we can go into a blind panic when one of them breaks down.

Now I'm not too bothered about the dishwasher because MWM can wash the dishes by hand (wink), but if my washer broke down (God forbid) I would really go ape. I have at least five loads of washing a week, I'm forever changing the towels and of course underwear is only worn once, so being without a washer is not an option. In desperation I have taken my washing to a Launderette (mostly I have comandeered my MIL's machine) when, in the past, ours has conked out, which thankfully hasn't been very often, and certainly not the new one (turns round three times clockwise, saying dib dib dib, to be on the safe side). The washer breaking down is the one thing that really does upset me which is crazy really I know. I often think about when, as a child, I used to help my grandmother to wash all the clothes, bedding, towels, whatever, in the dolly tub using the posser, then helping her by turning the mangle whilst she fed the washing through. Why, when I enjoyed doing this so much as a child does the thought of maybe having to wash things by hand turn me to jelly?

Anyway everything in my kitchen is Hunky Dory again, 'til the next time!

I have come to the conclusion that we have things so easy now we've become SOFT!

What kitchen appliance can you NOT do without?

Tuesday 12 June 2007

The "Eight Random Facts About Me" Tag..

Linda at "Are We There Yet?" tagged me for this meme. I already did it a little while ago, well actually I did '10 things you didn't know about me', so I'm going to use poetic licence and do

Eight Random Facts About My Town instead, but before I do I have to repeat the rules.

The rules are as follows:

1. I have to post these rules before I give you the facts.
2. Each player starts with eight random facts/habits about themselves.
3. People who are tagged need to write their own blog about their eight things and post these rules.
4. At the end of your blog, you need to choose eight people to get tagged and list their names.
5. Don’t forget to leave them a comment telling them they’re tagged, and to read your blog.

1. Gunpowder, Treason and Plot. A Heywood man was the key to preventing the destruction of the entire English Parliament in 1605 - and he’s the reason we celebrate Bonfire Night every November. He was Peter Heywood, a member of the famous family, and a resident of Heywood Hall. And he was reputedly the man who snatched the torch from the hand of Guy Fawkes as he was about to light the fuse which would have detonated kegs of gunpowder stashed in the cellars of the Houses of Parliament. Read more here.

2.The 'other' Peter Heywood and the Bounty mutiny incident. Another son of Heywood found himself facing an ignominious death when he was - wrongfully, it transpired, implicated in one of the most notorious episodes in British history - the Mutiny on the Bounty. Peter Heywood was a son of the famous Heywood family, born in 1773 and was just 13 years old when he joined the navy. Two years later he was a midshipman on HMS Bounty when she set sail on the fateful scientific trip to Tahiti, under the captaincy of Lieutenant William Bligh. Of course, this was the trip during which the crew, led by Fletcher Christian, mutinied over poor conditions and ship’s rations on their expedition to the South Seas. Read more here.

3.Howarth and the Co-op. The Co-operative movement is probably best known for its roots in neighbouring Rochdale, but Heywood can also claim to have played a major role in what became a worldwide institution. Charles Howarth was the architect of the first Co-op in Toad Lane, Rochdale, and it was he who invented the now famous Co-op dividend, or ‘divi’. He lived the latter part of his life in Wilton Street, Heywood, and died and was buried in the town. Read more here.

4. Queens Park. In 1873 Martin J Newhouse, a Heywood prosperous merchant died without making a will. A sum of £10,000 therefore passed to the Queen. Queen Victoria wanted Heywood to benefit from the money from Mr Newhouse’s estate. After much deliberation the Heywood board decided on a Park for the town. Read more here.

5. Heywood and its Stone Age legacy. There are signs that human activity was taking place in Heywood around 10,000 years ago. Read more here.

6. A Royal Visit. King George and Queen Mary drop in for tea and a chat. Heywood received its first visit from a King and queen on 12 July 1913, and the town came to a virtual standstill as a result. Read more here.

7. Medieval Heywood. There can be no doubt that Heywood came under the control of the next invaders of Britain - the Normans - as they conquered the whole country. Read more here.

8. Heywood a borough at last. Heywood's history may go back many centuries, but the town of Heywood, as a borough or district, is only just over 120 years old. Read more here.

My victims choices are as follows, but only if you want to do it. Remember the tag is 'eight random facts about me' unless you're naughty like me.

Headless Chicken at Having a word with myself.

Cynthia at Kaleidoscope

Early Bird at My Gentle Retreat

CG at The Compulsive Worrier

Drunk Mummy at Drunk Mummy

Steve at Bullet Holes in the Mailbox

Josh at The Gabbatha Journey

CS at AnotherTangential Thinker

As Mike at Mike's Homefront is desperate to do this tag he is now on the list too.

Monday 11 June 2007

Second Time....

I have been awarded a second Thinking Blogger Award by Around My Kitchen Table - how nice of her is that?

I'm chuffed to little mint balls that anyone at all reads my drivel, let alone thinks it's worthy of an award, so I thank you very much and I will display it with pride.

I now have to choose 5 more recipients. People who's blogs make me think. This is difficult because I visit so many blogs and enjoy them all so much, so please don't be offended if I don't choose you, it's not because I don't like you, honest injun! I have tried to choose blogs who haven't already received the award but if you already have it I hope you will accept another one.
So here are my five choices...

Linda at Are We There Yet - Linda quite often ends her posts with a question - hence making me think.

Lettie at Lettuce-Eating - writes such 'from the heart' missives, you become really involved in what she is writing about.

Nea at The Southern View - writes about her life, her family, her surroundings - a joy to read.

Mike at Mike's Homefront - a recently discovered treasure. I love his writing and he has galvanised some of us bloggers into action with his new venture The Experiment (though it's not quite up and running yet). However, I will be honest here and say another reason I nominate him is because he has (unrequested) advertised my Grandmother's Biography on his blog and one good turn deserves another in my book. Thank you Mike. x

Last but not least, this may be breaking the rules a little bit but I'm going to do it nevertheless, by nominating two of Ruth's Blogs. Firstly There Are a Million Stories in the Naked City because it has made me really appreciate my life, what I have and what I have to lose, and was the first of Ruth's blogs I visited. Since then I have been introduced to Me, My Life, My Garden , which is not, as you might imagine, just photographs of Ruth's garden, it is so much more and a delight to read.


So there are my five choices, I hope you will all take a look at them and agree with me that they deserve the Thinking Blogger Award and I hope they will take part and display their award with pride.

To the Nominees.....

Should you choose to participate, please make sure to pass this list of rules to the blogs you are tagging.

The participation rules are simple:

If, and only if, you get tagged, write a post with links to five blogs that make you think.

Link to the original post so that people can easily find the exact origin of the meme

Optional: Proudly display the 'Thinking Blogger Award' with a link to the post that you wrote.

Sunday 10 June 2007

A Brief History of the World. Part One....

By Richard Lederer, St. Paul's School, London. Printed in Spring 1987, Verbatim, The Language Quarterly, Vol XIII, No 4J. He says "One of the fringe benefits of being an English or History teacher is receiving the occasional jewel of a student blooper in an essay. He has pasted together the following "history" of the world from certifiably genuine student bloopers collected by teachers throughout the United States, from eighth grade through college level."

The inhabitants of ancient Egypt were called mummies. They lived in the Sarah Dessert and traveled by Camelot. The climate of the Sarah is such that the inhabitants have to live elswhere, so certain areas of the dessert are cultivated by irrigation. The Egyptians built the Pyramids in the shape of a huge triangular cube. The Pyramids are a range of mountains between France and Spain.

The bible is full of interesting cacicatures. In the first book of the Bible, Guinesses, Adam and Even were created from an apple tree. One of their children, Cain, once asked "Am I my brother's son?" God asked Abraham to sacrifice Isaac on Mount Montezuma. Jacob, son of Isaac, stole his brother's birth mark. Jacob was a patriarch who brought up his twelve sons to be patriarchs, but they did not take to it. One of Jacob's sons, Joseph, gave refuse to the Israelites.

Pharaoh forced the Hebrew slaves to make bread without straw. Moses led them to the Red Sea, where they made unleavened bread, which is bread made without any ingredients. Afterwards, Moses went up on Mount Cyanide to get the ten commandments. David was a Hebrew king skilled at player the liar. He fought with the Philatelists, a race of people who lived in Biblical times. Solomon, one of David's sons, had 500 wives and 500 porcupines.

Without the Greeks we wouldn't have history. The Greeks invented three kinds of columns - Corinthian, Doric and Ironic. They also had myths. a myth is a female moth. One myth says that the mother of Achilles dipped him in the River Stynx until he became intollerable. Achilles appears in the Illiad, by Homer. Home also wrote the Oddity, in which Penelope was the last hardship that Ulysses endured on his journey. Actually Homer was not written by Homer but by another man of that name.

Socrates was a famous Greek teacher who went around giving people advice. They killed him. Socrates died from an overdose of wedlock.

In the Olympic Games, Greeks ran races, jumped, hurled the biscuits and threw the java. The reward to the victor was a coral wreath. The government of Athens was democratic because people took the law into their own hands. There were no wars in Greece, as the mountains were so high that they couldn't climb over to see what their neighbours were doing. When they fought with the Persians, the Greeks were outnumbered beacause the Persians had more men.

Eventually, the Ramons conquered the Geeks. History calls people Romans because they never stayed in one place for very long. At Roman banquets, the guests wore garlics in their hair. Julius Caesar extinguished himself on the battlefields of Gaul. The Ides of March murdered him because they thought he was going to be made king. Nero was a crual tyranny who would torture his poor subjects by playing the fiddle to them.

Saturday 9 June 2007


We had the worse calamity yesterday - THE DISHWASHER BROKE!!!!

MWM is in charge of the dishwasher (or washing up now), and he is very upset I can tell you. I'm very good because I always put my dirty dishes in the dishwasher but MWM is the one who puts the powder, rinse aid etc in it and turns it on, he also empties it, so it's his baby! Imagine his little face after lunch yesterday when he'd checked I hadn't put my dishes and cups in the wrong slots ( I do sometimes), shuffled everything about so it fitted perfectly, lovingly filled the well with powder and pressed the switch only to find nothing happened.

Akela, Akela he shouted the dishwasher's not working! Perhaps it's the fuse I venture, trying to be sarcastic helpful. "I'll check it" he says. No not the fuse. All the kitchen appliances are integrated so he can't get it out to check for loose wires and things. I'll ring Whirlpool (the makers) I say. "NO, they'll charge the earth" he cries, "have a look in the local paper for a dishwasher engineer". I find one and ring.

"Ah, it's integrated you say, that means it will take me a lot longer to fix it, unless you can get it out before I arrive?" the engineer says. I pass the phone to MWM and two minutes later he tells me "Have a look in yellow pages I don't know how to get the bloody thing out!"

"I'll telephone the kitchen fitters and ask them if they can recommend anyone" I suggest. The kitchen fitters suggest my first suggestion "Ring Whirlpool, they're the best people to fix it".

MWM relents, "OK ring them but it'll cost an arm and a leg". MWM can be tight cautious when it comes to money.

The lovely lady at Whirlpool explains to me that it will cost £72.50 + the cost of any parts to come and fix it but I can pay £149.00 today which will cover the cost of everything concerned with this repair, plus any repairs in the next 12 months and if it become irreparable in the next 12 months we get a replacement.

"I'll have it" I say "here's my credit card number".

They're coming on Monday to fix it and MWM is happy, as long as we have takeaways all weekend so there's no washing up!

Then guess what - two hours later the dishwasher started up on its own!!!! WTF is that all about???

As we've already paid for the call out and there is obviously something wrong with the damn thing, we're not going to cancel the engineer's visit and let him check it over.

MWM is happy he doesn't have to wash-up by hand!

News on the knee
After my marathon walk my knee feels fine, in fact yesterday I went with MWM to the local market to collect the greengrocery and then I drove the car!! I only drove it round the block to see how it felt (wierd!) but I did it.

Friday 8 June 2007

Miles and Miles and Miles.....

Is how far I walked on Wednesday!

MWM and I decided to have a day out as the weather forecast was so good, so we went to Southport on the train from our local railway station. I took my 'stick' with me as I intended doing a lot of walking about and still feel I need my 'comfort blanket' when I'm outside.

We got the 9.30 a.m. train and arrived there at 11.15 a.m., and the first thing we did was to walk down to the promenade. Now the promenade in Southport is not as you may imagine near the sea! Oh no, there's the promenade then you have to walk about another half a mile further to get to the sea wall.

Click on photos to enlarge
photographs copyright 2007

Here's MWM standing on the Promenade with the Marine Way Bridge behind him. You have to go over the bridge to get to the sea wall.

You drive over the bridge and come to the car park and there it is the Sea Wall. The sea is a lot further out though, even when the tide's in. It's a standing joke that you can go to Southport and never see the sea!

The traditional Merry go Round Rides are not often seen these days but Southport still retains this quaint seaside tradition with this carousel at the top end of Southport's pier. The "Golden Gallopers" as it is known was built in the early 1900's and was purchased by Silcock's in 1989. It took 3 years to restore to working order and has 3 cockerels and 33 horses, all named after members of the Silccock family or their friends.

As we crossed the road and walked back into the town to have a sit down and a drink, we came across this statue of Queen Victoria and in the distance you can see an obelisk. It's not really leaning, it's just the way I took the photograph I think!

We stopped just past Queen Victoria and sat outside a pub with a drink - cheers!

Then set off again back to Lord Street (the main shopping street) which also boasts an obelisk. I think they like them don't you? You'll be pleased to know the only shopping I did was window shopping! By this time we had walked round in a circle and it was 1.15 p.m. so time for lunch.

We found this restaurant/pub in one of the side streets and had traditional Fish, Chips and Mushy Peas - an absolute must when you go to the seaside!

Fortified, I said I just had to see the sea so there was only one thing for it - a walk to the end of the pier!

Now Southport Pier is 3,650ft (1,112m) long. There is a little tram like thingy that runs the length of the Pier but I was determined to walk!

This is the start of the pier, you can just make out the sea in the distance. You can sponser a plank on the pier and have a little plaque with your name or message on it. We found this one for Ken Dodd O.B.E. Ken is a famous British Comedian.

We also noticed a skatepark and the minature railway alongside the pier.

Of course there were children making sandcastles on the beach and enjoying Donkey Rides.

Here I am striding out about halfway on my march. I'm the one on the right with the stick!

Look how big the beach is! The sea wall is just behind the line of cars on the left, where else can you park on the beach?

I made it! Here I am at the end of the pier having a well earned rest. Not sure who the chappie in the background is though! I sat down twice on my journey to the end of the pier but I wasn't in any pain, just tired. After all it was about 3/4 of a mile!

This is the the view I was looking at as I sat at the end of the pier - the long walk back! Shall I wait for the little tram I pondered? No, I'll walk and this time I won't stop until I reach the end.
So, off we go again.

I didn't stop once and as we got closer to the end we noticed a paddle steamer on the lake, which is just at the entrance to the pier. Only in Southport would you need a lake so close to the sea.

And just to the left of the paddle steamer a beer garden, right at the end of the pier. I was on a mission now! I need to rest and where better than in the beer garden with a lovely cool beer. I even managed to walk down the metal staircase you can see there.

We drank rested there for about half an hour then it was time to set off for the train home. We had another 1/4 of a mile to walk back to the station but there was no rush, we had plenty of time.

We got to the station in plenty of time, even managing to look in a few shops on the way back, but we didn't buy anything.

The journey home was peaceful as we reflected on the lovely day we'd had and how far I had managed to walk.

We're now planning another day out, probably to York as soon as we get another good weather day. I'll keep you posted.