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Sunday, 28 August 2011

Bank Holiday Weekend Waffle!

First Bank Holiday Weekend this year that I haven't worked. Could have really done with the overtime I'd have got, but if I'd had to go in the bathroom once more I think I might have slit my wrists.... not that the blood would have been noticeable or anyone would have found me for months! :-) It was baaaaaad! Why do (MY) men not see the dirt? It's taken me most of the day - although admittedly I have stopped for 3 cups of tea - I needed a break! The floor area of this bathroom, by the way, is about 5' x 5'............... :o
I have a chicken in the oven for tea. Not decided yet what to do once it's cooked. R will probably be happy with chicken and chips, as will DS1. DS2 will be happy with pasta, sauce and chuck some chicken in it. Me? Actually I fancy rice - fed up of potatoes, and certainly chips; sometimes I think that's all R can cook! :-(  I could do a Roux sauce and throw the chicken in that. R would eat that with chips or mash. But we are getting into the realms of a bloomin' hotel restaurant again.
I've been doing some more on my family tree. Getting stuck now. I really need to get some certificates to get any further. One family seems to have appeared out of nowhere in the early 1840's! No births or marriage for the parents. Maybe they weren't married? Or married to other people? If I could afford the certificate for my GGgrandmother I'd find her mothers maiden name and hopefully that would give me a clue to follow.
R had an interview last week, for a driving job. I'm a bit annoyed as the employer interviewed everyone who applied based on ...."If people take the trouble to apply the least I can do is meet them" Unfortunately the same principle doesn't apply to letting people know they haven't got the job. Financially we really needed it, but as it was based over an hours drive, on the motorbike, away from here I'm a bit relieved. We're still waiting to hear what the system is going to be for R to get his Class 1 back, but are hopeful it's going to be soon.
The rain we have been needing for the canal finally arrived this week. We had got to the point that the Trip boat cancelled their last two trips last week, but everything seems to be fine again. And yet some people at work are now complaining that there is too much; as it's the same person who blamed me for letting a boat use the canal I've decided to just ignore him as much as possible. I could complain for England, but he would still beat me; he'd complain for the world and win gold - and get told how clever he was to win! :-p

And a couple of photos. We've had this little fella a year now. Look how he's changed!

In the first photo he's 2 months old, in the second he's a year old. His personality hasn't changed at all. Still as mad now as he was then. He's not grown very much as you can see. He is so like a dog we had a few years ago; like a miniature version except that Max was mostly brown with a bit of Alphies ginger colouring. Just like Max, Alphie can jump about five times his height, from the floor using all four legs straight up, flops on the floor on his side and uses his legs to push himself round the rug; chases cats (although Alph hasn't climbed a 6 foot fence yet) and protects us and "rounds us up" when we go out for a walk.
Thanks for popping by. Speak soon. Jude.x

Saturday, 20 August 2011

Crafting..

Morning! And what a beautiful one it is too! The sun is shining; there are wispy clouds in the sky; but I have to work today! :-( Lets hope we don't get 'orrible kids in today who run riot while "mummies" sit outside drinking tea and gossiping! :o Kids were touching everything in the VC, standing by the customer counter passing their hand over the reflector to add up the numbers (well, I would have let two or three go, but I reckon they added 50 between them before I saw and stopped them - it's our justification for being there, and false numbers doesn't help because it reduces the "spend per customer"!) then I saw that they were hanging onto each other while they tried to reach the water in the canal! Was it so wrong of me to hope that one of them fell in?!!
Anyway! Enough. Had a fairly good week for a change. We had an art event and made our own version of a Well Dressing; Google if you don't know about Well Dressings; they are special to Derbyshire! We used clay, but tissue paper instead of flower petals. A colleague was running the event but I drew the pattern for her. It's a boat on the canal, and I think the kids got carried away with grass and flowers but we are really pleased with how well it turned out. See for yourself:


And then I was asked to make a card. For a young lady who likes ACDC, Queen and works in a perfume shop! Blimey! That wasn't easy. But the guy I made it for seemed pleased enough with it.

The album covers were downloaded from the internet. The figure is a free "Litle Musings" by SJ, a while back. Click the word Musings to go to her website. I love her stuff, and once R is working again will be buying lots of her digital images. The figure was purple originally, but I think my printer must be out of an ink - probably blue - and it came out this deep pink. I was going to bin and start again, but realised that it would go perfectly with this colour card, and the album covers I'd printed. So happy mistake. But must remember to go and check those ink cartridges before I try to print anything else.

The other good news is that R has had an interview this week! Yay! In many ways I hope he doesn't get the job! Yes, I know he's been out of work for 9 months now, but we aren't costing the country anything because he no longer gets JSA. But it would mean a journey of an hour each way every day. That's on the bike, if he took the car (when the weather is bad I sometimes get the bus and he uses the car) it could be upwards of an hour and a half. The shifts are weird too - one week it seems he'd work 4 days, then the next two weeks 6 days and then..... well! I'd lost it by then and have no idea. I do know that it'd work out we only had a weekend together about every 6 or 8 weeks, with me doing alternate weekends. But. It's a job. With his Class 1 licence imminent I do think maybe we'd be better just hanging it out for another 6 weeks. A Class 1 job would be much better for him (he gets back problems). And more likely to find something closer to home too. I think he'll take it if it's offered though.... he's a useless housewife! :-)
Need to go and get ready for work. Speak soon.
Jude.x

Saturday, 13 August 2011

Back again!

Hi there.
Thanks to everyone who pops by to see what I've been up to. It's rarely anything very exciting is it. But it's how my life is at the moment, and I am beginning to think that it's just a temporary blip in the grand scheme of things. I actually managed to drag myself, and R out of the house today. It was the "Official Grand Opening" of the canal trust's new building - very much "how good are we", but hey! Why not? There were the usual long boring speeches that no-one could hear, and probably wouldn't have listened to if they could - some people could 'drone' for England and win Gold... :-D We also have a bit of a wander along the canal, and it turned out to be a lovely way to spend a couple of hours on a Saturday morning.
Some photos to share again - taken with R's camera because of the scratch on mine. I just don't know what to do - I feel so bad that I didn't look after mine properly and now I can't use it. :-(
So here we go. Some of these will be in the August pages in my diary (which I've shown before and is similar to the Smash! books that are all the rage just now), just haven't decided which ones yet. Which are your favourites?

Here's Alphie playing at parrots - sat on R's shoulder! :-)


And Florence who used to do the same during thunder storms and now acts like a disapproving elderly Aunt - definitely not amused!



 My garden. I couldn't even begin to show photo's of the whole garden this year - as friends will know, it's been a bad year emotionally, and it's the garden that has really suffered. But every now and again I look out of the door and see things like these, which prompt me to get out and do a little bit - even if it's only 10 minutes.
This is a Patio Rose, and one of the first plants I bought when we moved here. Isn't it pretty?

And R took this photo. The "boys" didn't know what it was, or that the "eyes" aren't actually eyes, but marking to scare off predators. It's an Elephant Hawk Moth Caterpillar. Isn't it magnificent? Go and Google the Moth too.

And Then... a baby Ladybird. Honest. This ugly little thing turns into a Ladybird..... Amazing! Not sure if it'll be clearer if you double click because I always reduce (pixel-wise) my photos to discourage them from being stolen. It's there roughly middle of the photo, just to the left of the leaf, on a little piece of wood.



And then the opening. Sad.... I know who everyone is in this photo. Guys in Purple are my colleagues - and one of the bosses in the Khaki, wearing sunglasses, at the back. Then there are boat crew, local councillors, Trust members and the mayors driver! LOL



This is where we went for a walk. R not very well so we didn't go far - probably only about a mile, but it was nice to get out because I wanted to not because I had to for work.
It doesn't look it, but the canal towpath is actually very busy - I think I got lucky when I took this.

That's it for now. Thanks for looking. Back soon. Jude.x


Wednesday, 3 August 2011

Updates

Hello
Thanks for dropping by. Busy time at work and still not crafted, but I'm feeling more positive recently! :-) R's licence is back, with the 7.5 tonne category, You'd think that would be good news, but it seems that every job is through an agency and "has just been filled"!!! However we have appealed to our MP to help with the quest to get his Class 1 back, and he (or his secretary anyway!) has written to the Director at the DVLA. It's been 3 weeks and still no news, but Hey! we didn't really expect them to help; but no doubt they will expect our vote come the next election? You get R's licence back soon and I'll vote for you chum - even if I thought you were the devil in a suit  Oh! Hang on..... You're an MP; you ARE a devil in a suit:-D
Anyway, I was 'surfing' the other night and came across something that DID bring a smile to my face. It was a recording on the BBC from Westminster Hall, and a debate about Drivers and Diabetes. An MP was asking a question about one of his constituents (so where was OUR MP? Huh? Where the heck were you when this debate was taking place? You really HAD better have been doing something more important.) and the Minister of Transport said that this guy would be able to get his HGV1 back in October...........  October. That's only 2 months. If we can just manage for another 2 months we'll be OK. Not sure we can manage, but I'll have a bloody good try.
Anyway. Other things... First something that makes me smile every morning when I fill the kettle:
No explanation needed... I can almost smell these as I'm writing! :-)
The next thing is the canal. A marina is being built and the canal restored up to it. A volunteer group spent 2 weeks building the new lock that will be beyond the marina. So here are the photos from a couple of weeks ago:
This is the North end of the new lock . Nowhere near finished of course, but we're all pretty excited that it's got this far. Only 6 months ago it seemed it was never going to happen.
This will be the bridge over the canal, just after the lock, and then around the edge of the marina.

































And then the canal where it's already extended and in water:




Here I go again with reflections! :-) But isn't it lovely? Look at all that water! Not long before there are boats on there... We're hoping for a Festival round here, next Summer so "the heat is on" to get it finished..
This is the next section along, which the Canal Trust work party are currently working every day to try and get finished by the time the marina is ready to "be watered". It hasn't helped that a couple of weeks ago someone broke through 2 gates, which had chains and padlocks, past a dozen houses down a VERY narrow road (don't tell me they heard nothing!) drove 250 yards alongside the canal (after it had been raining) in what must had been 2 fairly large vehicles and stole £3000 worth of coping stones that would have formed the top edge of the canal wall. Toe-rags. Thieving Toe-rags. You can just see them piled up on the left of the photo below the container. The thieves came in from behind the container.

To the right of this photo is an area that has become a lovely nature area - there is some hope that it can remain once the canal is finished and the by-pass completed.

Do you see the ducks? Mallards and coot on here. Definitely some May-fly and I've been told sightings of grass snake, so already a lovely wildlife area.
So moving along nicely. It'll be another half mile of restored canal by the time it's completed at the end of the year.

As you can see though, the camera lens IS quite badly scratched. Any ideas for how to fix? I know I'm going to have to have a new camera eventually but am not going to be able to afford it for a while. AND the children bought this so if there is a quick, easy and cheap way to continue using this one???? Please?

I'm still reading other peoples crafting blogs and have seen stuff recently that's got me thinking about doing some scrapbooking again. I just need to tidy up my craft area, that seems to have more junk belonging to others in the house, than my craft stuff...... Anyway, will post it if I do it!
Thanks for stopping by. Speak soon.
Jude.x
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