Monday, 28 December 2009

New Year Plans

I love New Year. Not necessarily the Old Years Night party, we wont be going anywhere this year anyway as the old bloke is in hospital for a small op (he is nervous and currently just awful to live with). What I like is the feeling of getting the chance to start over. It feels like a clean slate. A new beginning. A bit trite maybe but its really how I feel.

We are already thinking about what we will do differently this year.

The old fella says he wants to lose 10kg. He has lost about 15kg already but he did get a bit chubby after his heart attack. I bought him some bathroom scales amongst his Christmas gifts but I don't think he fully appreciated how useful they would be!

He is also declaring he will get up at 8am every morning. Several nights a week he works until 10pm or later so this is a change for him. He doesn't like to be alone and suffers from depression so he hides in sleep and then has less time at the house until he can go to work. He wont take medication as it makes him slow and tired but this year he has plans to fill his days with work and gym visits which I think should keep the black shadows away.

Lucky for me my problems are less difficult. My list will be longer but far easier to attain.

Lose 1 to 2kg each month.

Increase exercise to counter problems with back and trapped nerve in my hip. Daily walk if possible.

Salsa lessons on a Monday night whenever possible.

Meal planning - now we are four again at the house, or more often five, I could cope better with more pre planning.I am making a file of all our favourite dishes. Also considering asking other family members to cook sometimes.

Housekeeping planning - what needs doing and a tick list, plus a little help from other family members.

Shopping from farmers market, market and small stores when ever possible-supermarket last resort only. Update price book and use it but buy better quality food overall. Ensure freezer is used to optimum.

Try new hobby of glass engraving. Had a load of new kit for Christmas so use it!

Three more days to go as I add more and more to my list. No problem. I am a surprisingly goal orientated person.

Saturday, 26 December 2009

Loving Christmas

We had a lovely day yesterday and a super evening on Christmas Eve. We all go to my parents on Christmas day. Since my sister and family returned from New Zealand in 1987 we have always had Boxing day in their house, which is where we will be after our walk today. When I got married in 1989 and we got a home of our own then Christmas Eve evening became my hostess time. Its a bit of a rush as I don't actually leave work until 1pm but we were quite well organised and it all went well. This photo is the 'Christmas Tree area' of the conservatory. We moved out there from the sitting room as we don't all fit in the sitting room anymore (we haven't got bigger, except the kids, there are just more of us).


So we had lots of food, lots of games but mostly lots of talking and laughing. We watched Australia in the afternoon. An excellent film and for the first time I can remember no-one fell asleep after lunch,might also be because the kids were saying first one to fall asleep at a party always gets their eye brows shaved!. Anyway so far it has been great. We are meeting up in about an hour for a walk along along the river at Alresford, a local market town. Afterwards we will go back to my sister house for a late lunch. My parents, my sister and her husband, my husband and children and the eldest sons girlfriend, my niece and her boyfriend and his mum (dad is football talent scout and has to be away scouting for talent).

Hope everyone is enjoying their days however they choose to spend them.

Lizzie

Saturday, 19 December 2009

Christmas prep

I like to leave it quite close to Christmas before I start on my Christmas chores. Wrapping presents in October isnt appealing. It definitely focuses the mind when you have a weekend to do everything.

Today my list is -
Buy presents ( I know what i want & where to get them from)I have already bought the
Buy groceries - again I have a list but i havnt decided when to visit the shop yet, as everyone else in hampshire is visiting at the same time.
Dye hair - I am as grey as a badger.
Pluck eyebrows - okay, perhaps not essnetial but I do look better when a bit more styled.
Make curtains for the conservatory.
Pay sons cheque into the bank.
Fit the fan in the new bathroom (I am trusty assistant not main person).
Vacuum upstairs
Vacuum Downstairs
Tidy each room (not a big deal except conservatory - tools, wood etc from the bathroom work).
Laundry
Clean bathroom
Buy presents for my children from my mum.
Wrap presents.
Clear kitchen worktops and windowsills & laundry area.
Logon to work and do a couple of hours on preparing forecasts for loading.
Saturday evening at mums house with all the fmaily, we will make plans for ater in the week.

If time left then i want to make some fudge, peanut brittle, rocky road & a few other bits.


Only snag is a sore throat but its not too bad as long as i dont talk or cough. Can I manage Christmas without talking, hmmmm.

That actually sounds like a lovely but busy weekend to me.

Wednesday, 16 December 2009

See I was right

to be in denial. Spent the morning at the hospital with the old chap today. He needs minor surgery, definitely not cancer. Christmas is officially un-cancelled.

Which is good because I love Christmas. We have a £10 rule for presents apart from the kids. Kids limit is more like £50 quid. Partner limit this year is £30. Presents are also supposed to be homemade, but can also be secondhand & have to be creative. No problem there then. This weekend I have to do all of the food shopping, the present shopping & decorate the house. I didn't feel like doing any of this before but now I am feeling very Christmassy and full of enthusiasm.

I have made a Christmas list for myself because everyone wants ideas. I would like a tool for etching glass (which means home made gifts next year - more saving) & a really large roasting pan. Now that we are a family of five for food in the evening I really need a big pan as we keep running out of potatoes.

Sunday, 13 December 2009

Mid Life crisis??

If this is a mid life crisis then lead me to it. Its great. Earlier in the week I was writing about loving my work & being so fond of my staff (most but not quite all, I am not that lucky!). My son has been moving back in over the weekend. We have the same sense of humour so it really has been a laugh a minute. I trying hard not to worry about the old man until we know there is really something to worry about. He is obviously worried though and is really short tempered. I want to help him but if I talk then it always wrong so I dont and its far less problematic. Strangely even his short temper isn't really bothering me, I would just prefer he was happy. On Wednesday we will have the investigation at the hospital. Then we have an idea of what happens. I think it is the possibility of this sort of thing which makes everything else so easy. It just puts it all into perspective.

Today we had a great day planned. To Winchester for the farmers market, then to walk around the Christmas market at the cathedral. Between 4 and 6 he is filming 'I'd like to teach the world to swim'. I am not sure what that means but i see synchronised swimming to choral music in my minds eye. I know the Winchester Chorall Society are the musicians. After that he is going out with his friends from the Swim School where he works at the weekend for their Christmas Party. We took 1.5 hours to park! By then the farmers market was closing and there was nothing left that we wanted. We went to the Christmas market but it was so crowded that you really couldn't see anything or think about stopping. We saved a lot of money anyway I guess. Even though plans were entirely shot by now the cathedral was so beautiful that i was almost in tears looking at it (which is why are think hormones are involved, surely this cant be normal). Anyway now i have dropped him at the pool and later i will collect him from the pub. I have a few hours at home on my own. I am going to do a little cleaning, finish the laundry and catch up on paperwork and even that sounds like fun. Weird or what??

These photos are of the Christmas market. You can see alittle of the cathedral in the background, but probably not enough to make you cry!and there is a photo of my eldest son too, just because I thought it was a good picture.




Friday, 11 December 2009

I really love my job

Not always but really, deep down, I do. We house people who cant house themselves. People in housing need. We have nearly nearly 20,000 homes, so we house something like 50,000 people.

Today we had our Christmas party. A pretty venue, mediocre food and quite a bit of wine(which we buy ourselves, we cant waste the organisations money but we can still waste a bit of our own once a year).

We dont often get to see each other all togther. We are a big organisation these days and quite spread out. But I was reminded when talking to people today that although it was Christmas and we were having fun, we most of us do what we do because it matters to us that we make a difference. Lots of us got our jobs in the industry by chance but we stayed. Sometimes people dont get it. They think its just a job. They move on. Thats fine too. The rest of us turn into some weird extended family. We dont talk about it much but we know. I dont want to work full time for ever but for as long I decide to work then I wont be leaving the industry. If I am honest I probably wont even change my job. Um, unless i get the sack of course!

Saturday, 5 December 2009

Oh where is my schwimmbad torte now

I could moan again but I am not going to! Yesterday we visited some friends of ours after work. Margret who is German and so has cake making abilities way above the norm, made my husband his favourite cake for his birthday, a fantastic schwimmbad torte. My slice of cake was on the plate in front of me for an hour! I couldn't eat because of sudden and quite rampant tooth ache. The whole side of my face from mid forehead to mid chin. I took pain killers, in fact too many I suspect in my confusion, had hot wheat bags, bonjela, hot water bottles. Nothing made any difference. Tracing around my mouth with the tongue I found a broken tooth. I don't know what happened to the rest, I didn't see it go. This was a wisdom tooth and there just wasn't room for it in my mouth.

Of course I couldn't sleep in the night & by 4am I was ratty as well as in pain. I finally dropped off at about 6am. When I awoke I phone the NHS dental emergency helpline. I was given an appointment for 10.15am this morning. By 11.30am I was home again and toothless. He gave me the option of filling but said that it wasn't in a good place anyway so probably best to extract. Total cost to me was £16.50. They were so efficient and so reasonably priced I was yet again very grateful for the NHS. I also oddly quite enjoyed the wait at the clinic. All of the others in the waiting room were in the same boat as me as this was the emergency centre for our area. We had a real giggle all together in our adversity as we awaited our fates under the knife.

I wish I still had that slice of schwimmbad torte on a plate awaiting my attention. She only makes it once a year as it takes all day to make, so I will have to wait until next December. Bummer.

Thursday, 3 December 2009

Hurry up 2010

I know I have been moaning about 2009 for about 11 months (major illnesses for one and all, lost friends and relatives, lost pets)but I just cant wait. This morning my husband visited the doctor because of some bleeding which he has been suffering lately (don't ask where).The doctor was sufficiently concerned to say he needs to be sen by a specialist by the end of next week. By the time I got home from work there was a message asking him to ring the hospital tomorrow after 7am. I might be wrong but to me it doesn't sound so good.



Yesterday was his birthday and we had a lovely evening. He cooked for us all. We had a glass of champagne & watched a DVD that he had for his birthday. Typical birthday celebration in our house. Eldest sons girlfriend was 18 on the same day so we had a joint celebration. I was lovely. The boys bought him DVDs, I bought his some little things to open but on Saturday we will shop together to buy him some new trainers. I let him sleep in this morning when i went to work and he was smiling in his sleep. By 11am he rang me with the news from the doctor. I am trying not too worry but what can you do. Hopefully we will know soon.

Just let it be 2010 now and back to normal.

Summer Rain

The middle of summer on the sunny south coast of England, and the rain is falling heavily enough to keep us indoors again. We were hoping to...