Archive for February, 2008

I love a bit of cake. Its the one food pleasure I simply cannot resist (and one I won’t deny myself!) So when I arrived home on Sunday, after a hard 4-hour slog clearing out junk from my childhood bedroom, to the beautiful aroma of freshly baked cake all my frowns fizzled away.

The boy done good. Very good. He does love cooking shows, making different exotic things and trying lots of different foods so when a recipe on Something for the Weekend caught his eye I knew I was in for a treat. A simple and easy to bake Tea Cake was eagerly consumed with a mug of hot tea – sheer bliss!

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Poor Eduado, twenty five today and in hospital nursing what could be a career ending injury. I really feel for the guy. Watching the game you just knew it was serious stuff when the panic set in on the other players faces, the medical team swooped into action, and the fact that the commentators said they couldn’t replay the incident as some viewers may find it distressing. Crikey.

eduado.jpgBeing an inquisitive type, and the other half being a life long Arsenal fan, we had a quick look online, its not for the faint hearted. The whole team looked completely aghast and it seemed like it was going to be really difficult for them to continue. Win it for Eduado we said! well the managed the draw, ok in the circumstances.

Thankfully he had surgery within hours and it seems, from this press release that he’s in good spirits and determined to recover quickly, although, its going to be a long road.

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Now I don’t claim to be obsessive about anything really. I like things fairly tidy, but then who doesn’t? I’m not too keen on other people clearing up on my behalf (mainly because what might look to some like a chaotic mess is really perfectly ordered to me) and I always double check that I’ve shut the windows and locked the door when I leave the house, and who doesn’t do that?

But now my past is catching up with me. I confess I hoard stationery. I’m a stationery addict, there I admit it. I know that I could very easily spend a whole day browsing around Paper Chase or Hobby Craft and it would fly by in seconds. So now that I’ve moved into a house with my fella (only 2 years ago…) my parents want my old room cleared out, and sooner rather than later. Oh dear. Well, they have held onto the junk I’ve collected for way too long now but still, I’m seriously dreading the hours its going to take me to sort it all out and the decisions that will have to be made. Do I throw away my stick drawings and paintings signed ‘Mary aged 5’ ? and what about the 6 geography GCSE course books full of all my neat handwriting and diagrams of rivers and meanders?  And all of the paintings, sketch books, notes and then theres the music pieces that I anaylsed when studing for A’levels.  As a compulsive hoarder (which I do inherit from my mother) I find it very difficult to throw anything a way, and usually once its gone I’ll inevitably need it for some obscure and highly unexpected reason.  Just how do I decide whats worth keeping?

I suppose if I’ve not wanted for all this stuff in the last two years, it can’t really matter that much.  But I just know that I’ll convince myself into keeping the most ridiculous of items; old cinema stubs, tickets, postcards, flyers, diaries, coloured pens, note paper, endless piles of stationery, receipts, leaflets, freebies, samples just where will it end? And if I’m truely honest with myself, what a waste!

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I like to think of my self as quite a savvy shopper, I look high and low for the bargains and follow the ‘Do I need it? Do I want it?’ mantra from Money Saving Expert

I also think that I understand packaging labels fairly well and the difference between the ‘Best Before End’ (it will taste better if you eat it before this date) and the ‘Use by’ (it will be off if you eat it after this date) So when I got home last week from doing the weekly shop I was annoyed that I’d bought mayonnaise that was BBE Jan 08.  Ok, so only a couple of weeks past but still, I’d rather take it back.  So this week, I was eagle eyed at all the labels and to my utter amazement, as we now needed mayo, all of the Morrisons mayonnaise was completely past its BBE date.  One jar even had a date of December 07 and thats pushing it in anyones book.  To be fair to my local store when I highlighted the fact that this whole shelf was past its best the walkie-talkies swung into action and my observation was duely noted.

It did leave me wondering, however, just how many other people might have also bought out of date produce?  Of all the millions of products in store at any one time how many could be past it? But maybe that just what happens, the supermarkets haven’t got enough staff power to constantly be checking all the shelves so they rely on us consumers bringing these things to their attention.  The question is, is that right?

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must do more…

Exercise.  I’m having a real battle lately.  I absolutely love going rugby training on a Wednesday night and playing on a Sunday for my team Olney Ladies.  Its not just that we play in very glamorous pink and grey striped kit, its the team spirit of it all and the fact that I enjoy it so much it doesn’t really seem like I’m exercising.   But at home its a real will-power struggle to get out on other days to go running, or swimming or anything.  Now I’m no couch-potatoe (90% of the time) and walking the dog for 30 mins each night does count as exercise, doesn’t it?

I can’t understand why I daily tell myself that I’ll do some exercise tonight and never actually go through with it (except for some consolation press ups/ squats/ sit ups just before bed). Then I’ll say, I’ll get up early and go for a run. Not.

My poor other half, it drives him mad.  For a sporty guy he’s been virtually banned from any impact exercise for near on four years. Now almost 7 months since his major re-constructive knee surgery and  finally he’s out on his bike and might even try a light jog at the weekend.   I must remember this more when I’m being pathetic and wimping out.

It just goes to show that you don’t really appreciate what your body can do until that ability is taken away from you.

I’ll go out for a run tonight.

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Puppy love

This week it will be two years since I got my first dog. I’d always wanted one as a kid but my mum always managed to direct my interest in animals in other ways; mostly with guinea pigs, rabbits and walking all of our neighbours’ dogs.

So after a few months in our first house the other half, whos family have always had dogs, felt there was something amiss. So we searched and researched some more and decided a Westie would suit us just right and one in particular fitted with us straight away. Much deliberation later the name Rocky stuck and our little puppy was everything I ever hoped for when I got my first dog.

Now two years on, nothing can cheer me up more after a hard day than the dog greeting me when I get home. He’s like our own personal smiling shadow that follows you round, investigating what you’re up to and wanting to be a part of everything. Even though Rocky feels he has to bark the birds out of the garden, chew at your feet when your trying to get socks on and steal food at any opportunity we wouldn’t want him any other way. His little habits are what make him our special little dog and no one else can ever know him quite like we do now.

My life with a dog has begun at a time when I can really appreciate the hard work it takes and also the joy it brings. Honestly, theres nothing quite like a dog licking your face to cheer you up.

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Somedays I just love fulfilling the little bit of domestic goddess in me. I’m at home when in the kitchen and cooking up something scrummy but making deserts is one part of my repertoire thats somewhat lacking. I can do ice cream; thats just a bung it the in the machine type job, and I’ve managed a cheesecake in the past but otherwise baking eludes me. So yesterday with some left over pastry I decided a proper tart was in order and I was honestly amazed at its simplicity.

This treacle tart was truly scrumptious! Although, unfortunately not quite disaster free. I slightly over filled the pastry case and the resulting gooey syrup bubbled over and left a rather charcoaled smoking mess on the bottom of the oven. Any hoo, a delicious, meant to serve 8, calorie horrific pudding was eagerly consumed by just me and the other half over the weekend!

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On my way home from a friends last night I tuned in to Radio 5 Live and was listening to Stephen Nolan’s live discussion. The topic was based around Alan Sugar’s comments about why he would think twice before employing a woman. Quite a fierce and thought provoking debate ensused and some interesting comments from both male and female employers were made.

It would seem that large organisations don’t really have this problem – they have enough contingency money to fund maternity leave and the cover in the office that is required. But for small businesses it could even be a float or sink crisis. As I currently work for a small company (only 9 of us) this really got me thinking. Although it might be 5 or even 10 years before I entertain the thought of starting a family, it is definitly something I want, but suppose I am still working for a small company when my ‘child bearing age’ kicks in? Should I feel guilty about the 12months paid leave and the cost the company has to bear for my temporary replacement? Or am I just exercising ‘my right’?

A female employer called in and said she only employed older women who had had their children and were back in career mode, so, unsurprisingly, when asked about employing women of a child bearing age she responded “I wouldn’t even interview them”. Are women of that particular child bearing age really such a risk to employ?

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Hello?… is anyone there?

So why do a blog? Everyone seems to be doing it now-a-days, but thats not a real reason. So am I really just jumping on the already over flowing band-wagon of internet junk, or will there actually be someone, anyone, somewhere out there that will actually take an interest and read it? (excluding my other half and my mother if she ever grasps the concept of the internet!)

Honestly though, what does it matter if no one reads this? My own ego might get slightly dented, but really, I see my blog as an external hard drive of my own mind. The place where I can empty all the random, and sometimes pointless, ramblings out that seem to float around, ebbing and flowing, popping to the surface just at inappropriate moments.

So here I go. First post over. Starting off always seems to be the hardest point. Now I’m ready to unleash the stored up mumblings to the public, enjoy!

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