Saturday, 27 June 2009

Day off

Yeah, we are having a day off, together.

My husband was allowed home from hospital yesterday. We had already cancelled his weekend lessons.

I had a ridiculously busy week. Another one is coming next week but after that we start to return to normal. SO a couple of days of fun are in order.

We normally spend the weekend at home these days, unless we have somewhere special to go but this weekend we are actually going out. The plan is to go to Southampton if it is rainy. We need to make our annual visit to body shop for deodorant stock up. I also want to visit Ikea for new curtains for the Crete house. When the weather improves we will take a drive down to Portsmouth and walk along the beach for a few hours. We haven't been there for years. I remember my son winning some money on the games there once, the king where you put 10p in the top of the machine and it pushes coins out the bottom. He won £13 and was so pleased. He bought fish and chops for lunch for all the family. His first chance ever to treat the family. I am sure the chip shop was pleased to receive about £10 in 10p pieces.

There will be chores too, a big grocery shop, a trip tot he bank, collecting a parcel, but they all sound like fun too when you have a dy off.

Wednesday, 24 June 2009

Descisions, descisions

I haven’t had as much time for thinking as I had hoped. Work is mad busy again as we finish the audit and get the accounts to the various boards. However my husband has continued problems with the eye and is currently in hospital, again. He has drops every 30 minutes for 72 hours. He is about as much fun as you might expect from a man who hasn't had a proper sleep in days. Maybe tomorrow we get him back. In 3 months the operation is repeated as it has failed this time! Great. I am straight from work to hospital and then home to bed, so time for nothing.

So for now the plans remain much the same.

Pay off mortgage and associated debts as soon as possible.
Finish building works on all sites (oops, not very good at this, we keep having new ideas).
Get the Crete house landscaped so that we can rent it out when we don’t want to be there ourselves.

Saturday, 20 June 2009

Who am I?

Is that what I mean. Or is it 'what do I want?' I have just read this post about putting things into perspective. I have wondered over the years whether my life is different because I didn't make plans or a road map. I wanted to be a deep sea diver or astronaut when I was at school. I just got a job because it is what you do and of course because of the cash. I studied at college part time over years because i found low level work dull & I figured if I am going to work for half a century then I might as well get paid well. So I qualified as an accountant, worked my way up in the finance team in a social housing environment. Now I am pretty much the boss. If I was ambitious in the conventional sense then I have done very well for myself but it wasn't my plan, just the way it turned out. I just wanted life to be interesting.

When I was about 19 I remember making a decision not to turn down opportunities because i was shy or embarrassed. After a few years it came naturally to me. I actually changed my personality through a decision. I wonder what would have happened if I had made other changes instead.

I suppose my life might actually be considered quite dull for someone who set out to have an interesting time but on the whole it isn't. I still have an interesting job. I once went on holiday, stayed two years and came back with a husband ( I didn't realise he couldn't speak English, I just liked the way he said yes to everything).

I was thinking of spending some time over the next few weeks making a plan for the next couple of decades. The kids will be leaving home soon and life changes again. Looking back wards the path is easy to see but I think I have enjoyed myself without too much of a forward looking plan. Maybe it is time to decide whether to plan instead of what to plan.

Tuesday, 16 June 2009


I am still tired. Metatone and vitamin effervescent tablets aren't making much of an impression as I cant seem to get to sleep.

My husband had a check up at the hospital yesterday after his eye op a few weeks back. Not a success. They will try again in a few months.

Some good news though - we finally found a replacement radiator for the car. I was beginning to think we would have to scrap the car as no one has been able to find a radiator for us, or fix the one we have,in the last month. The car gets through about gallon of water a day (seems like). we saved cash though by buying the radiator and then taking it to a small local garage to be fitted. £180 fitting by the main dealer, £80 fitting including £50 for another small repairs. I feel better now!

Next we have to sort out a exhaust system on a budget.

Note for the future. If you dont like to spend a lot of money on car parts and repairs then do not buy a limited edtition vehicle, even by accident.

Thursday, 11 June 2009

June Goals - a little late

I am copying Laura over at Move to Portugal with my Junes Goal - and mine are also a little late.

They are pretty concise too so maybe that will help me achieve them

1)Eat more fruit and veg. I already eat a fair bit but I have noticed that I feel healthier and happier when most of my daily bread is actually fruit and veg.

2)More exercise. Still having awful problems with my lower back so hoping introduce swimming a few times each week. I am especially keen on this as my parents, who are in their 80s, swim everyday. Last week my mum went for a check up at the doctors surgery and the nurse thought she had the wrong records as my mum didn't look old enough. Go mum!

3) Book summer holiday.

4) Sleep better even if it means moving to the couch for a few nights. I just need to break the cycle of sleeping badly and then my energy will return.

Wednesday, 10 June 2009

Happy Birthday to me

My birthday on Monday. I had a lovely time, aside from haivng to go to work all day. My youngest son and husbahnd cooked a lovely meal for me. Then I got to open all of my presents. One of my presents was the most recent Poirot DVD and we are still making our way throug these 4 disks.

I couldnt sleep on Monday nioght, maybe because of having dinner and a pudding. Tuesday I slep like I would never wake and last night again no sleeping. I am hoping this weird sleep pattern thing is not a sign of old age as I feel about a hundred. I need to make some lifestyle and diet changes I beleive to make myself happier and more comfortable. I also need to create some new sleeping routine unless I want to end up jobless as I snooze over my desk.

Any advice is tuly gratefully received.

By the way, my presents were a bird feeder, nuts and bird food from my parents, a set of bokos from my eldest son plus a cake cookery book becuase i have not been making enough cakes lately (tireness strikes again). A lastest POirot DVDs from my youngest son. A set of scales ( i feel a cake motif arising again)which does not reuire batteries. A new hosepipe! Lastly some house plants. Hopefully I can keep them alive, fit and well.

Saturday, 6 June 2009

Lost diary = chaos reigns

I have become addicted to my diary. I note everything I need to do & manage my time a lot better than previously. I cant think where I have put the book! Disaster. I have written lists but its not the same. I need my diary, everything is going to the dogs!

In an unconnected topic we have spent the week seeking out parts for the car. Quote from the main dealer for the repairs is over £1200!! More than my first car in total. So we order parts from the cheapest supplier, still expensive as we have a limited addition car (limited edition = made from leftovers, judging from the difficulties in sourcing replacement bits). But we are happy with the 10 year old car overall and since it had a new engine just last year it should carry on and on and on. So we repair and life goes on.

My husband had an operation on his eye this week. He is in pain and very bad tempered. I am glad when he starts to feel better each day. He is not a man that copes well with adversity.

My last bit of news to bring more worry and confusion into our life. We run a swim school. We hire pools from schools, sports facilities etc and then arrange classes with my husband teaching or another teacher. Its very enjoyable and my husband is an excellent teacher. Last week we had problems with one of our swimming pools. The person who hires the pool to us agreed a rate in September. Last week he decided to double the rate (and blame someone else for the increase, interestingly). He wanted us to charge our customers more, which made his prices look less frightful. We had to agree to differ and decided it was best to finish there. We managed to accommodate most of our pupils elsewhere but lost two that couldn't come to the venues. This morning we had a letter from another pool. The main one that we use. It started off saying how expensive it was to run the pool, etc etc. I could see that another increase was being proposed but that didn't seem unreasonable. We have rented this pool for over two years and it has never increased. Worse, they cant afford to run the pool and it may have to be closed. There is a working party assessing its future. I am wonder if we can run a swim school from a smallish bath tub, it seems to be all we have left.....

Tuesday, 2 June 2009

Something new on the menu

Youngest son has been complaining that we are getting a bit set in our ways with the menus.

So I thought this would make a nice change. Turns out one of the only things that he doesn't like is ginger. Ho hum.

Gingered Spareribs with Brown Sugar and Soy
· 2 tablespoons vegetable oil
· 3 pounds well-trimmed pork spareribs, cut into individual ribs
· 2 garlic cloves, minced
· 1 tablespoon minced peeled fresh ginger
· 3/4 cup (packed) golden brown sugar
· 3/4 cup rice vinegar
· 1/2 cup reduced-sodium soy sauce
· 1 teaspoon cornstarch dissolved in 1 tablespoon cold water (optional)
· Steamed white rice

Heat vegetable oil in large wide shallow pot over medium-high heat. Working in batches, add ribs and brown on all sides, about 8 minutes. Transfer ribs to large bowl. Add garlic and ginger to pot; saute 30 seconds. Add brown sugar, vinegar, and soy sauce. Stir to blend. Return ribs to pot. Cover pot and simmer over medium-low heat until meat is tender, turning ribs occasionally, about 45 minutes. If sauce is thin, gradually add cornstarch mixture to ribs and simmer until sauce thickens slightly, about 2 minutes. Serve ribs over rice.
Good in the slow cooker

My life

My wonderful husband has died. He was in hospital for some weeks but this was very unexpected. I won’t be reading or writing for the foresee...