Saturday, 28 July 2012

London 2012

Very unusually for me, I stayed up until 2am. Of course watching the opening ceremony. It was amazing, very quirky and British. I can't believe my eyes with the skit with Queenie and James Bond. Hilarious how she then sat there her usual somewhat poe faced self but with the ruffled up hair. Hilarious.

I really liked how appreciated the volunteers, the stadium builders and so on weree. Not invisible as they can be.

It was completely barking mad but quite brilliant. My favourite combo.

Monday, 23 July 2012

No comment!

I have had to disable anonymous comments. I do pride myself on being chilled but the non stop rubbish was starting to get on my nerves. I guess they can still post but they will have to make a little more effort now. I am pretty sure none of us would click on their links anyway. Funny to choose to Spam a frugal & somewhat financially savy community with a load of adverts which only the financially challenged would fall for.

As Fahed wasn't here I have been watching more TV, and mostly more cookery programs. I have been spending most evenings with Hugh Fernly Whatsit (when Stephen Fry is not available). I want pigs, chickens, veg, ducks. Oh dear, I shouldn't be left alone with a TV.

Sunday, 22 July 2012

Sunday Lunch

One of the nicest things about Fahed being away is that I get invited to Sunday lunch at my parents house. Proper old fashioned roast. Last week we had three types of veg, all fresh from my dad's garden. He is complaining all of the rain made everything rot in the ground but obviously a few little bundles of vitamins made it through. My mum always invites whoever's partner is away, in hospital or whatever. Its really nice and breaks up Sunday for me.

I got about half way through yesterdays list before I collapsed in a big heap. My energy levels are so low I hope it is from where I was ill a few weeks back, rather than a permanent change as i get older. This whole age thing just sucks!

Fahed phoned last night. He sounded a bit 'un-cheerful'. He is ready to come home and missing us but I think a lot of it was also to do with the non stop screaming I could hear in the back ground. Both nephew and niece (who spend all day at their mothers apartment as they have the two apartments directly above her) have small children who scream, all of the time. That must be very wearing. Especially in a culture where it is normal to stay indoors most of the time. Lucky I am not there, I would be a complete basket case by now. I love kids and even their noise but screaming like a fire alarm non stop is a step too far for me.

Okay, best force my lazy backside off the sofa and maybe get a couple more things off my list before I trot off to lunch.

Sun is shining. Yaay!

Saturday, 21 July 2012

Let us have some beauty (in my eyes)

And this I am adopting for my personal statement

Sun is finally I stay inside and do cleaning

Well it is my own fault. I have been a bit slothlike this week but also the kids ahve been doing to odd job for me (hanging doors, fitting door handle etc) and they always leave mess. So today I am just going to make a plan of action and attack the whole mess.

Completed so far;
Grocery shopping
Sorted clean washing which is already dry
Sorted jewelry board and added some to my ebay selling stock
Cleaned basin and loo in upstairs bathroom

and now:
Put away shopping ( I am in the sitting down for five minutes, post shopping situation right now)
Empty dishwasher
Re-stack dishwasher
Wipe around rest of kitchen
Clean kitchen floor
Pick up in sitting room
Vacuum floor and chairs, and wipe any dirty marks away
Vacuum Stairs
Vacuum and tidy Bedroom
clean bath & tiles
Clean bathroom floor

and some non standard stuff that I wanted to complete before Fahed got back

Empty TV cabinet in bedroom (we don't have a TV up there anyway), remove to conservatory photograph and offer on eBay.
Empty German chest of drawers in conservatory and move to bedroom - or else there is nowhere for my tea/coffee etc. This will be used to store cameras etc.
Re-arrange furniture in conservatory so that the table is by the 'window' to the kitchen and the actual windows to the garden are not partially covered, as now.

Wish me luck..

Friday, 20 July 2012

Starting holiday thoughts

I have never rented out my house in Crete. I don't have an English style cooker, although I have hob, lean mean grilling thing, toaster oven etc. Also the landscaping isn't done. The old house is in bits right beside of it. This year one of my colleagues has asked if he can borrow the house. He and his wife want to take both of their mothers on holiday. I am quite interested to see what he thinks of the area, our little village and the house. I am always afraid that visitors wont like it as it is a bit of a quirky area but everyone we have ever taken out there claims to have loved it.

Anyway I am thinking that if I get positive feedback from my mate and his crew of elderly ladies then I might just see if anyone else would like to go there. It must be the most sensible financial action I suppose.

Ho, hum, what to do. And what to charge?

This is the old fella in one of our favourtie places. I made him pose like this!

Tuesday, 17 July 2012

Travel Club

Another week until Fahed comes home, then just a few short weeks until our annual holiday. Three and a bit weeks for most of us. Nine of us travelling. Eldest is 84 and the youngest 20. Possibly not the most obvious group of travelling companions but we all seem to fit together. It makes me laugh that, after a lifetime of not being particularly sociable, my dad enjoys to sit at table of 10 or more, mostly young, people and laugh and chat through dinner. All those years of working his finger to the bone for us (seven days most weeks) didn't make him happy but his retirement really did.

This will be our last time of having to holiday in the hyper expensive school holiday time since Fahed doesn't have that job anymore and the kids have outgrown college now. I am hoping this will give us a bit more travel freedom. It will be intersting to see if the travel club all stay together. I suspect we might. My kids have never shown any sign of going away without us for more than a weekend on the isle of Wight. They are naturally quite independent so I am not sure how this work but I kid myself that it is because we so interesting!

Anyway next year the plan was for a few weeks in Syria. At the moment I cant imagine that will happen now. Maybe we will chance a week or so in Jordan, just to see the enchanting Petra and so on. Then a few months later our usual trip to Crete. We will see. If I have learnt anything in the last three years it is that you can plan all that you like and fate will make the final decisions.

Monday, 16 July 2012

Another week of holiday

Ssshh. How mean. But it is just over another week until Fahed comes back from our nieces wedding.

Here she is on her engagement photo (and we'll just gloss over the fact that she was getting engaged to a different bloke!)

Widyan (the marrying neice) is a wedding organiser, with a degree in something like computer programming. I wonder why we think the women of the Middle East don't go out to work. Anyway she is using all her wedding planner skills on her own wedding. Fahed says she is never with her clip board this week. Bless her.

I am taking the opportunity for the old chap not to be here to experiment with some new meals. Today Jamal & I were eating alone so I thought a nice chicken & mushroom risotto with basil would be in order. Ahdel came back as I was cooking and it smelt so good he requested I leave him a bowl of risotto for breakfast. Yaay,success. Even the fussy ones wanted it. Anyway it was delicious and so simple so I will try it out on Fahed when he gets home. Another experiment this week will be jerk chicken and rice and peas. You can tell that I have TV control this week, its all Nigella and Jamie, no space ships or stargates around this week! I am watching The Hairy Bakers as we speak.

I have bird sitters ready for our holiday so I wont be buying my little Lutino Bourke until we get back. I cant introduce a new fella when we are not there to keep an eye on relations. Something to take my mind off the inconvenience of coming back.

Saturday, 14 July 2012

Kids - you never bloody know whats next

We are your average middle class/lower middle class family. You would expect or kids to go to university but when they were still at school they let me know, quite independently, that it wasn't or them. No problem. I can cope. I hope I am not a parent who must live their lie through their child. Fahed was disappointed that Ahdel didn't want to be a doctor but realised you can't fight these things when we helped out at a road traffic accident before the arrival of the ambulance. Ahdel fainted and whilst we were helping the injured, Jamal was comforting his older brother and trying to bring him around.

So imagine my surprise when last summer when Jamal announced he wanted to join the merchant navy. Great career plus you are sponsored to do your degree. No £40k over hanging your shoulders through life. He might not get in but he has re-taken his Maths qualification to get an A grade (I hope). Most of the employers didn't want to know without that. I don't want him to go. He will be away nine months of the year. pretty much for ever. But of course I want him to get the job. Its what my baby wants to do and is the gateway to his future. Fingers crossed or my baby when the applications start or this years input, next month.

And my oldest son. Now 22. He spent 2 years as a boat builder and was excellent, his boss would have him back tomorrow. The money was amazing but the chemicals were a killer. Then a job as landscaper. He enjoyed this but in winter the staff is cut by half. Next was delivery driver. It was great for a few weeks and then as boring as you can imagine. He helps out on a paintball corse or extra £££. Suddenly this we are talking about Open University Course. To my astonishment he pops up with 'well, actually, I think I need to go away to uni'. What??
Do my ears deceive me. No , apparently they don't. You learn so much more if you are there and working with otherss. Well yes, I would guess that you do. Who'd have thunk it, that is all I can add at this point.

Monday night we maybe discuss it a little more, when it is just the two of us home. Ahdel's lovely girl friend is otherwise here and she loves him so much that I dont think we can take her opinion as she thinks he is wonderful at everything. Looking though the eyes of love. and maybe there is a plan.

I would live with it when i thought they rejected it but i have to say i think it will benefit them in the long run.

They do make me chuckle. They are already making plans. Once Jamals qualifies he get £30,000 a year but he wont be a UK citizen so or low tax (not fiddled). He has always said he has no interest in money and will pay a random amount of my mortgage each year. That would be nice. He might also buy an old house or his brother to do up and sell. We shall see but I am extra pleased with how they talk.

I have always told them that everything will evenly to each of then when we go. I am very happy that when they do loads of work on the house or help with payments to the mortgage, they never say 'well the house be 60% then' or something similar. I might be rubbish at housework ( and indeed I am) but i think it did pretty well with my boys.

My little Lutino

I am forcing myself to be a little active even though I just want to sleep so it was up with the lark (8.30, a latish lark) this morning and off to the Asia supermarket to stock upon chilies. Its another 10 days before Fahed comes home but we are obviously missing him if we are preparing this soon.

I also had my eyebrows threaded by a little Afghan lady this morning It was agony but only for a few minutes and looks really good. Plus we had a bit of a chat of Afghanistan, Syria, mixed marriages etc. More like a focus group with a bit of plucking included. My reason for going to her was that my eye sight seems to have deteriorated to the point of not being able to see well enough to do my own, despite spending £1000 on laser surgery. Eye test booked for next week.

I managed to have a bit of push around of the vacuum cleaner and stack the dishwasher before i collapsed. I could seriously now close my eyes and sleep until tomorrow. How much longer will this go on. I even shared Ahdel's Monster drink this morning in the hope that some energy drink would pep me up. Some hope.

IN ther news I am considering buying one of these little fellas.
He would be company for Lilly. Although she is starting to be more sociable with us and with Ace. Althoguh they don't share a cage they do fly out together sometimes. Apparently these little guys prefer to have other Bourke's prakeets around for company. They are adorable and gentle. SO cute and can fly like the wind. i think Ace is a bit embarrassed about his level of flying when Lilly is out.

Tuesday, 10 July 2012

Do we never learn?

My sweetheart didn't have any toys when he was a kid, not even a bike (and I thought everyone had a bike).He was sent to work from age 7. So of course when he is old enough to purchase he fills every spare inch of home with big boys toys, drills & routers, sanders and planers, even shoes and shirts. Finally at around age 40 he learns that all the possessions in the world doesn't stop you from dying. Obviously I cant go and leave my stuff behind, I must LIVE FOREVER YAHAHAHA! Then we realise that nothing fights time and we all de-clutter like mad. Well I do, and he quietly puts up with it. So far, so good, We follow the master plan, house is emptier daily. But one of our big boys toys was to buy property. I suspect also due to the insecurities of youth (hism not mine)we own land and a flat in Syria, two houses in Greece and our little house here in the UK. The credit crunch wipes off huge amounts of value, the civil war in Syria removes all of that value and the crashing fo the Eurozone wipes out the rest of it. Doh!

So today I phone him in Jordan, where he is visiting his sister for his nieces wedding.
Do you know what he says 'we have been out looking at property today, saw a brilliant house for just £250k'. Whaaat? I might just tell the bank his card has been stolen to stop him putting a deposits down on anything!!!

Saturday, 7 July 2012

Saturday List

I went into work yesterday for a full but somewhat shortish day. By the end of it I actually did feel better. So, its all behind me now.

Today is going to be my average Saturday, except that I am home alone. Fahed is away visiting family for a few weeks, Jamal is away for a few days with mates, Ahdel is working until tonight. Which I why I am sitting at the coffee table having poached egg on toast and coffee and watching 8 out of ten cats, when I should really be on my knees scrubbing the paint spots from the floor (yep, still not done).

The list

Serious vacuuming of whole house
To the aviary to buy bird seed and wood chips and then a super clean out of the birdies.
Finish my mending pile.
To attic to find blue velvet curtains from years ago - I am considering making some patchwork covers for winter (this might wait until tomorrow as doesn't seem especially wise to get into attic when no-one can hear me scream).
Finish filling and hang compilation phot frame that my sister gave me for my birthday (done when first woke up but I like to have something on my list which I know will get ticked off).
Update Crete plan book - Fahed has said he likes me to do the overview type planning on the renovations etc with him planning individual tasks, so I will do this whilst he is away. Makes sense as he gets way too bogged down in detail and can't get things through in correct order etc. I am to do a project plan.

Thats enough to keep me busy for a while. If Ahdel gives me back my camera lead today I will post pictures of my partially complete kitchen. Its easier to focus on progress when its an actual photo.

Thursday, 5 July 2012

Last day at home

I started writing a post on Monday about going back to work and on Tuesday I trooted off to my office. three hours later I was home again having tried my best to faint at my bosses feet. Oh dear.

Tomorrow I will try again which will give me all weekend to recover from the exertion ahead of a, hopefully, normal week next week.

Fahed has now go on off to visit his family for almost three weeks. I am sure he was have a great time. I have pre warned him that I am making a lot of changes about the house (low level aspergers - better if he knows up front and also if i label everything)so now I am just hoping for energy levels to match my enthusiasm. I believe I am getting on the second stage of de-cluttering. Things that I like but don't like enough are now going into the bags and boxes. It is surprisingly rewarding. I like my house better all the time.

To keep the momentum going I am thinking of having a 'list' evening and just work through each room one by one with a list of what needs doing and what can go. I am also planning to set up Fahed's timetable and my organisation diary (which bin, what meal etc) in goggle calendars. Or alternatively I must just curl up on the sofa and go to sleep!

My life

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