Saturday, December 31, 2011

End of an Era?

As 2011 draws to a close, I am thinking I should call it a day for this blog, or at least put it on hold for a while.

I have written 477 posts since Feb 11th 2009 when I posted an entry called "Start of an Era". I have documented vacations, the kids activities, and have whined and complained about life in general and the weird things people do. I think I'm done for now.

Thanks for listening and wishing you a happy 2012 and beyond.

Sunday, December 25, 2011

Merry Christmas 2011

Merry Christmas to my family and friends. I hope Santa brings you all you hoped for, your turkey stays moist and your sprouts are not soggy!

Monday, December 19, 2011

Let the festivities commence!

Presents wrapped... check!
Tree decorated... check!
Christmas cake, christmas pudding and brandy butter... check!
Egg Nog, wine, fizzy stuff...Check!
Roses, Quality Street and tin of biscuits...Check!

Bring it on Santa, I'm ready for ya!

Friday, December 9, 2011


Seems ironic that the 165 MPH winds in Scotland yesterday caused a wind turbine to explode...

Sunday, November 27, 2011

Thanksgiving break in New Hampshire

Just back from an enjoyable few days in New Hampshire over the Thanksgiving break. We stayed at the Mountain Club on Loon resort, which is set on the slopes of, well...of Loon Mountain, a ski resort. We don't go for the skiing, prefering to walk rather than hurtle uncontrollably down a mountainside. Surprisingly there was a lot of snow down, at least on Thanksgiving Day and Black Friday, so the skiers were out in force. We took some brisk walks through snow capped trees instead.

We ate at a couple of local restaurants, the Common Man Restaurant in Lincoln and the Woodstock Brewery in North Woodstock. We've been to both places on previous visits and its sad to see how the Woodstock Brewery restaurant/pub has gone downhill. The decor all looks a bit tired inside, the food was average at best and the waiter was bordering on rude. We won't be back.

The Common Man restaurant in contrast was extremely good. The wait staff could not do enough for us and the food was lovely. Definitely recommended.

One further benefit of being away for a few days is the time we get to just chill out. I enjoyed some quiet hours of reading and managed to finish my book (Unbroken by Laura Hillenbrand). I enjoyed the book - it was the true story of Louie Zamperini and his struggle for survival when held as a POW by the Japanese during WWII (I will think twice before I buy anything Japanese again!)

All in all we had a nice relaxing time. The weather was perfect, we didn't get caught in traffic in either direction,  we took some good walks, swam in the hotel pool and watched the skiers from the warmth of the outdoor hot tub. It doesn't get much better than that!

Friday, November 18, 2011

For better or for worse

TV has come a long way in the past 10 years. The color is better, the picture is sharper, and so is the sound. On the average TV show, the sound quality is so good you can hear breathing, a feather falling and a gnat's fart. However that level of detail can get annoying. I was watching Coronation Street tonight, as Lloyd and Cheryl were breaking up. Lots of tears streaming down faces etc. But I found myself increasingly irritated by the sniffing. Great big wet dribbly sniffs to accompany their tears. Good grief! much of the wet stuff have you got up your nose!? Its enough to put a girl off her wine

Sunday, October 30, 2011

Legend or Supermarket?

A new supermarket has opened up in the next town over, its called Wegmans and quite frankly, you'd think that it was the site of the second coming, such is the excitement and furor surrounding its opening. Wegmans is a family-owned chain which has appeared on Fortune's annual "100 Best Companies to Work For" list since its inception in 1998, and has ranked among the top 10 for eight consecutive years. Food Network recognized it with its award for Best Grocery Store in 2007.

Inside it looks a bit different to the run-of-the-mill supermarket.  Its not Marks & Spencer that's for sure, but it seems more interesting and original than Stop N' Shop (although so is a brown paper bag). Unfortunately we chose an odd time to make our first visit, when there was a power outage from the previous night's winter storm, so it was running on backup generators and could not power up the ovens to make fresh bread. However we still had a good look round and were reasonably impressed with what we saw. Surprisingly it was cheaper than the local grocery stores, it had a really good beer/wine section but what really sold me was the Irish/United Kingdom section which sold Crunchies, Robinson's Barley water and Bird's instant custard. What more could a girl ask for? I look forward to a return visit when they are operating on all cylinders and the crowds have gone. (Probably in 2015 then...)

Sunday, October 23, 2011


My sister-in-law has started a blog. Lets just say she has
"a way" with words. I find it extremely funny but don't read it if you are easily offended and dislike the F-Bomb...
Mother, you have been warned!!

Memory Lane excursion

A couple of weeks ago we were over the neighbors house playing with their Spotify (ooo,err Missus!). We were taking turns to select music we like from our past (I know, its a far cry from the alcohol-fueled all-nighters of our youth!). Anyway, it was fun but it was amazing how hard it is to recall favorite songs 'on the fly'. Heres one I did remember

 and here's one I should've remembered

For your Eyes only

Good grief! A blast from the past! Just listening to BBC Radio 2 (thank goodness for Internet radio!), and I hear Sheena Easton "Modern Girl" blasting out. Remember her? She was a Scottish singer who gained fame and presumably fortune on a TV show called "The Big Time" and had hits such as "9 to 5/Morning train" and "For your Eyes only" - one of the Bond movie songs.
Link to it here:

Talking of Radio 2, who is the idiot presenter Paul O'Grady? Is he for real? What a dick ('scuse my French)

Retired extremely dangerous

Watched a pretty good movie last night called RED starring Bruce Willis. It was about a  former black-ops agent Frank Moses who, when his peaceful life is threatened by a high-tech assassin, reassembles his old team in a last ditch effort to survive and uncover his assailants. It had a host of well-known actors/actresses such as  Morgan Freeman, Helen Mirrin, John Malcovich, Ernest Borgnine and Richard Dreyfuss. Quite entertaining, somewhat tongue-in-cheek. I enjoyed the special effects and thankfully, Bruce Willis did not bear his chest or wear a vest at any point.

Saturday, October 22, 2011

A typical Saturday morning

A typical Saturday morning.
  1. Wake up late, go downstairs to make tea. Cleanup mess in kitchen from previous evening.
  2. Kids are up. Clean up their breakfast mess in the kitchen. 
  3. Go to put some washing on. Tidy up the kids bedrooms. Tidy up the kids bathroom. 
  4. Inspired by a session of watching "Cupcake wars" last night, daughter is making lemon & lime cupcakes.  Tidy up kitchen .
  5. A tornado (aka husband) comes into the kitchen., returning from grocery store, and now late for daughter's soccer. 
  6. Daughter appears and declares she is ready to go. She just needs to clean her teeth, put her hair up, put on her socks, shin guards and cleats, get some water and put on her sports glasses. More tornado activity 
  7. Finally they leave. Tidy away purchases. Go downstairs to gym to do some exercise. Peace at last.
Whoever said weekends were a time to relax?

Monday, October 3, 2011

Mount Pleasant...fairly pleasant

Been quite enjoying a British sitcom called Mount Pleasant, which airs on Sky1 and is set in a Manchester suburb. It stars Sally Lindsay as Lisa, Daniel Ryan as her husband Dan, Pauline Collins and Bobby Ball as Lisa's parents. Its not of Fawlty Towers caliber thats for sure, but its easy to watch and provides a few chuckles. One such moment was when 'Lisa' was describing an overweight  friend of hers; "She makes a whale look like a tictac"...that tickled old Ernie!

Sunday, September 25, 2011

Scrabble anyone?

I'm enjoying playing a Facebook game called Words with Friends. Its basically an online version of Scrabble and you can play it with your Facebook friends or even with a random stranger if none of your friends want to play with you (which may be a problem you should look into some more...). This enables me to play Scrabble with my mother and brother-in-law in the UK, my brother in Saudi, as well as my son who is in the same room as me. Who ever said that computers destroyed family-time? This is just the good-old board game taken to the 21st century.

MAc or Windows?

My Dell laptop is on its last legs. The hinge on the lid/screen is loose so it won't stay vertical. The Q and the V keys are missing so I have to press a hole in the keyboard and hope for the best, and the M and K keys stick so I often find those letters have been issed out when I type quicly. To add to all that frustration, the fan is noisy and whirs constantly. But its obviously not working because the laptop gets burning hot underneath and occasionally shuts down because of it.

Everyone is trying to persuade me to get a Macbook Air. I'm not sure about these Macs. For a start, it takes me ages to close the window due to the buttons being on the top left instead of top right. I also don't know where the equivalent of "My Computer" or "Control Panel" is. Or how to set my desktop background as I like it. But I am tempted by the fact that it does not take 10 minutes to start up, and I don't have to wear a back support to lift it up...

However the real deal breaker for me is the fact that the Macbook Air only comes in silver. Where's the individuality in that? Where's the self-expression?! Unless I can get one in Orange or Turquoise then frankly, I will have to side with Mr Gates...

Run rabbit, run rabbit, run, run, run

I've started doing some running in over the past month or so. Disheartened by how out of condition I felt when I ran a 5K road race earlier this year, I decided that I needed to do something more regularly to build up my stamina. I must say I am enjoying it although it is very weather dependant right now - mainly because I find it impossible to run in humidity or heat, both of which seems to be affecting us currently. I don't run far, only about 2-3 miles each run but I feel like I've worked hard at the end so it must be doing something.

I use a great website called which allows you to trace out a route in an area. It then tells you the distance and the elevations that apply to that route. Heres an example of a route I run:

Unpredictable weather

What on earth is going on with the weather in my part of the world? Last week it was starting to get chilly at night, and I got my jeans out and considered packing up my shorts for the year. Then this week its been either pouring with rain, or so warm and humid that we have the A/C at full blast. I don't know whether to wear shorts, or raincoats or sweaters. September is meant to be dry, sunny and warm, somebody has obviously forgotten that this year!

PS. Like the pic? Something to do with Hurricane Irene apparently. Nice shorts...

Good riddance Samsung

After 2 years of hand washing dishes after our Samsung dishwasher had supposedly washed them, we have finally lost patience and bought a new one. We are trying a Kitchenaid this time, which supposedly, along with Bosch, is one of the best mid-range dishwashers. So far so good, and it is unusual as it is one of the few dishwashers we saw that has retained its heated drying cycle.

I am starting to get a bit frustrated with the latest energy-saving, low water-use appliances. Its not that I am not energy conscious. I am as careful as the next person and I recycle everything I can. But if the result of these energy-saving measures is a dishwasher that doesn't actually wash because of the low water usage, and doesn't dry because of the lack of a heated drying cycle, then I would prefer to be an energy hogger. Its the same as the low water usage toilets that need to be flushed 2 or 3 times in order to prevent them getting clogged.

So fingers crossed that this one will work, and my dishes come out sparkling. I can say for sure that we will never buy another Samsung dishwasher, what a piece of junk. The racks were obviously designed by some intellectual who had never loaded a dishwasher in their life - I did not possess one piece of dishware that would fit in those racks. And the Samsung customer service was bad enough to make us think twice about ever buying any Samsung appliance again.

Bottom line, Energy efficient is not always best. Oh and Samsung - you suck!

Thursday, September 1, 2011

Fangs for the memory

Its hard to believe that it's been two and a half years since my son, Robert first started his orthodontic work. The first year he tolerated a Herbst appliance in his mouth (An instrument of torture), then he put up with a full set of train tracks on his top teeth. Then just at the point where we thought the orthodontist was going to declare him done, instead he slapped a set of train tracks on his lower teeth too. Two and a half years of adjustments, elastics, brackets and wires.

Yesterday we finally heard the magic words; "Robert, you can get your braces off, you're done!"

Well, he whooped and cheered and danced around the room with glee, hugging the orthodontists, his assistants and high-fiving everyone in the waiting room (OK, I exaggerate, in reality, being a typical teenage boy,  he grunted with slightly more enthusiasm than normal...)

I will post a picture of the perfect teeth when he returns from his 'removal' appointment

Now on to the next child...

Friday, August 26, 2011

Come on Irene!

Hurricane Irene is heading up the East coast and supposedly Boston is in the direct path. Its a big hurricane, was a Category 3 over the Bahamas, is now a category 2 but is still significant enough to cause mandatory evacuation orders to be issued at various places up the coast. The people on the Weather Channel are all excited and its hard to tell whether this is serious or just something to ensure they get good viewing figures. Do I board up my windows? Do I stock up with water and buy a backup generator? Do I start looking for somewhere to evacuate to? Should I pack my suitcase? Or shall I just have an extra glass or two of wine and continue to watch the Weather Channel as the fun unfolds. Hmm....Cheers!

Where's the realism?

Just watched tonight's episode of Coronation Street. I was looking at Owen Armstrong (the builder) and a thought occured to me. Have you ever seen a builder with such puny, white arms? Come on Corrie, you are destroying your credibility ;)

Saturday, August 20, 2011

A vacation in Montreal

Last week we spent 4 nights in Montreal, Canada. It was quite a drive there (5 hours) but the time seemed to pass quickly. To save me from posting lots of info about our activities, I shall use this opportunity to advertise my son Robert's "new" blog called Burnt Toast- (link to Robert's Blog), which gives a detailed account of what we did as well as a lot of photos. Check it out. He has his Dad's razor sharp wit (ahem...)

Happy Anniversary!

Happy 51st Anniversary to my parents!!

Friday, August 19, 2011

You don't have to be Welsh to eat these..but if you are, thas great mun!

Been experimenting with making Welsh Cakes recently. I used to think I could not make them as we did not have a genuine bakestone, but I forgot that we are in the 21st century now and we have electric griddles instead! Seems to work really well. Heres the recipe we use:

8 oz (225g) (2 cups) self raising flour
pinch of salt
4 oz (100g) (1 stick) butter
2 oz (50g) (1/4 cup) sugar
2 oz (50g) (1/3 cup) raisins
2 small eggs (or 1 medium egg plus 2 tablespoons of milk)
1. Mix flour and salt, and rub in butter until like breadcrumbs.
2. Stir in sugar and currants.
3. Add eggs and mix to a fairly stiff dough.
4. Roll out dough to approx 1/4 inch thickness (slightly thicker works well, too).
5. Use small/medium diameter pastry cutter to cut into rounds - don't forget to re-roll the trimmings!
6. Place rounds of dough on a moderately hot griddle for approximately 3 minutes each side - the heat of the griddle is critical so as not to over-brown the cakes! Experiment to find the correct heat.
7. Eat hot or cold - sprinkle with sugar or serve warm with a dollop of brandy cream!
8. Can be stored for a few days in an airtight container

Wednesday, August 10, 2011

England riots - so shameful

So...what to say about the riots that have occurred in England over the past few days. A few thoughts and my message to these rioters...

(note: my opinion only, I realize that many others think differently. Don't complain to me about what I think, its my blog and I'll say what I like on it. If you don't like it,  create your own blog and express your opinion there):

- you have no real grievance, you are just looking for the chance to loot shops and get free goods

- OK, so its sad that you cannot get a job. Boo Hoo. Life is hard...but there are many unemployed who don't feel the need to riot and steal to express their discontent. Stop dressing this are just a thug. You are not starving or living on the streets. You are nice and warm in your hoodie and you are a thug. 

- The chances of getting work are increased if you have qualifications or skills. Don't complain that you cannot get a decent job when you could not be bothered to work hard at school to get qualifications that would've helped you.

- You complain that jobs are being taken by immigrants. But lets look at the immigrants from eastern europe. They want to work and they will do whatever they can to get a job. They don't whine about their lot in life..they get off their backsides and do something about it. They will start work before the sun comes up to serve breakfast in a hotel, they will clean windows, they will do whatever it takes to earn an honest wage. Who would you prefer to employ? The youth with a chip on his shoulder and an "I'm entitled" attitude, or the hardworking immigrant willing to do whatever job is available ?

- And what about the parents of these thugs? They know that their kids are going out on the street at night with their hoodie wrapped around their faces. They know that they come back with goods that they could never afford. Don't they have a responsibility in all of this? Or are parents nowadays so ineffective that all they do is all sit around in a group holding hands discussing their feelings and singing kumbaya....

- And lastly, I have to comment on the British police force,  I am not a supporter of guns, but these riots have proved just how ineffective they are with their truncheons and polite warnings. They need to be given more power. This cannot continue. It is shameful for Britain and for the millions of decent people who live there who unfortunately will be tarred by the same broad brush as these thugs.

Thursday, July 21, 2011

The Woodlands Tavern - don't bother

When we were in the UK, we went out for a family meal one evening to the Woodlands Tavern in a village called Llanfair Discoed, in Monmouthshire, South-east Wales, between Chepstow and Newport.

It looked nice from the outside, and we were shown to our table in the dining area, which was empty of other patrons - not a good sign. To add to the imposing atmosphere created by an empty dining room, we were shown to our seats by a 'hostess' who can only be described as a dragon. She had obviously been at the back of the line when personality and sociability were given out. Her facial expression could curdle milk. 

We were given a basket of fairly ordinary bread rolls while we were waiting to order. However the wait for our food became so long (close to an hour) we asked for more bread. The waitress looked shocked when we asked...I expected her to say "MORE!!! you want MORE boy!" but instead she declared that it would cost 60p (about $1) ...per additional bread roll. You have to be kidding me!
When the food eventually arrived it was good (or was it just that I was so hungry...). Anyway, bottom line is I would not recommend this place however good the food was, because of the dragon-like nature of the hostess, the lack of atmosphere in the dining area and the petty penny-pinching for the bread. Thumbs down from me I'm afraid!

Sunday, July 17, 2011

Life without kids

The kids have been staying with my parents in the UK for the past 2 weeks. I am experiencing a strange conflict in my mind between missing them and enjoying the freedom of no kids. We went out for a quiet meal on Friday night, had a lie-in on Saturday, relaxed on the deck in the sun this afternoon, and now am relaxing with a glass of wine, contemplating which I like best....

A right good read

Isn't it wonderful when you are in the middle of a book that you just can't put down? I have been gripped by a book called "Before I go to sleep"  by S.J.Watson. Its a story about a woman who, after an accident, has terrible amnesia problems such that she cannot retain memories from one day to the next. So each day she wakes up next to her husband not knowing who he is, in a house she doesn't recognize, in a body that is 20 years older then she remembers. She has to rely on what she is told to know who she is. The story develops as she finds out that all is not what it seems and she is not always being told the truth. Its a fascinating book, highly recommended. But now I have read it I feel a bit lost and I now need to find another that can take its place. But that's the good thing about think there will never be a better one but there always is.

When the cats away...

Who would've thought that clearing out the shed could be so entertaining?!
When we were away a couple of weeks ago my neighbor was feeding my cats. I put out a feeder full of dry cat fod in shed as an "emergency backup". She emailed me and said that the food was all gone and suggested she get some more. I was amazed as the feeders contain enough food for a herd of cats for a month! Anyway, I was clearing out the shed today when I came across a large flowerpot full to the top with dried cat food! Whats going on I thought? Has my neighbor ignored the cat feeder and loaded up the flowerpots with food? Possibly she was setting a challenge for the cats to keep them amused?...

Anyway, all became clear as I moved the pots out of the shed. There in the corner of the shed was a tiny mouse. He'd obviously been doing some food hoarding ready for the winter. I screeched and hopped around a bit (I was only wearing flip-flops after all!), then called Tony to come chase it out of the shed. This he did then went to the store. After he left I sorted through more pots in the shed, only to discover the remainder of the "House of mouse" nestled in the corner of a large flowerpot, three pairs of eyes all staring up at me. A few shrieks later and they were deposited at the back of the garden. The cats were watching me with a confused expression on their face, probably thinking "Aw, come on! You're not suggesting we should work for our dinner are you?! Can't we just have Fancy Feast like we normally do?"

Tuesday, July 12, 2011

The good, the bad and the ugly

Here’s my list of the good, the bad and the ugly from old blighty.

First the good:

Marks and Spencer clothes
Marks and Spencer shoes
Marks and Spencer sandwiches
Pub meals
Chip shops
Roast Chicken flavor crisps
Sunday Roast dinner with meat, gravy and lots of veg
Turkish Delight chocolate
Real Cheese

And now the bad…

Speed cameras
The cost of living
The cost of Petrol/gas
Paying for parking
Trying to find a parking spot in a multi-storey carpark
Trying to park any car larger than a Mini in a parking spot

..and finally, the ugly

No, not Abba...the litter that was the town centers, in the parks and on the beach.

Bournemouth in the sun

Back from a 2 week stay in the home country. We spent the first few days in Bournemouth to allow us to unwind a bit before facing the onslaught of family visits. Overall we enjoyed Bournemouth. The weather was wonderful, we had a "heatwave", which in British terms means it did not rain for 24 hours and the sun peeked out from behind the clouds (just kidding!). However the heatwave did bring out all the worst in a British beach vacation. There were crowds of people wearing socks huddling behind extensive windbreaks, reading the Daily Mail. At the end of the day the beach was littered with Carlsberg lager cans ("probably the best beer in the world") and drunken louts with bare chests. Thank goodness the UK does not get many heatwaves...

Don't pass me...I'm not in your age group

Inspired by Tony's 10K run, the Veale family decided to run in the Sharon Timlin 5K at Hopkinton on June 18th; to be specific, Robert, Tony and I ran the 5K and Emma ran the 1 mile kids race. It was a fun day out, only spoiled (in my opinion) by the fact that I had to run 5K. I must say I was exhausted and was just glad that I was still vertical when I passed the finish line. Not sure I'll be doing that again in a hurry (or even slowly). No pictures unfortunately, apart from the copyrighted ones taken by a photographer. But they would not have been pretty anyway so probably for the best

Rather him than me

My husband Tony has been doing a lot of running recently. He started by signing up for a couple of 5K runs, then challenged himself in a local 10K race. The weather was perfect for the run, not too hot, dry etc. I took the kids along to cheer him at the finish line. He did a respectable time of 51mins 42 secs, not bad for an old guy :)

Monday, June 6, 2011

Phew! What a scorcher!

No, I'm not referring to the new guy at the gym. The only steamy thing here is our weather forecast for the next week. I hope its not building up for another tornado!!

Sunday, June 5, 2011

Toto, I've a feeling we're not in Kansas

Massachusetts is not known for tornadoes. Texas, Kansas, Oklahoma; states in what is known as "Tornado Alley" get tornadoes. California gets earthquakes. In Massachusetts we get snow. We always thought that the worse that could happen to us was to get snowed in or slip on ice. This past week has proven us wrong as a total of 7 twisters struck Massachusetts on Wednesday evening. I was first alerted to the tornado warning while in a meeting in work. I immediately called home to my kids to switch the TV to the local weather channel and to listen for warnings and headed home as quickly as possible. The traffic was terrible - obviously everyone had the same idea as me. The twister had already touched down in Springfield, a city about 30 miles west from where I live and was heading east at an alarmingly fast rate. The weather was terrible on the drive home; forked lightening and torrential rain. The radio said to get off the roads and go to the basement - kind of difficult when you are stuck in a traffic jam. Luckily for us the tornado passed just south of us and we suffered nothing more than a very bad thunder and lightening storm. It was exciting and scary at the same time to sit in the basement waiting for the all-clear from the TV.

The people in Springfield were not so lucky. There were 4 fatalities and many people lost their homes or businesses. Here is a  local news report showing the tornado and it's aftermath. Scary stuff.

Tuesday, May 24, 2011

Happy Birthday Sarah!

Happy birthday to my favorite girlfriend. Hope you have a wonderful, relaxing, wine and chocolate-filled day. See you in a few weeks!

Monday, May 23, 2011

Family Feud - not on my wavelength

I've been playing an online version of "Family Feud" (I think it was called Family Fortunes in the UK). Basically you get asked 5 questions, and you get more points if your answer aligns with the majority of the audience when they were asked the same question. I think that the "online audience" for this game were definitely from the US not the UK.

For example, name a New Year TV host ...the most popular answer was Dick Clark...err, who? "Name something served over rice" obviously I answered 'curry' (duh, what else is there?). Well...Chicken apparently..which was the #1 answer with curry getting a big, fat zero.

And the one I felt sure would get me lots of points "Name a food that can be stuffed". I answered "Chicken". Would you believe the most popular answer was Peppers! What?! That audience have obviously been watching way too much Nigella....huh? who?

Sunday, May 22, 2011

An "Exemplary father"?

Just read a news report about an Italian father who left his daughter in a hot car after forgetting to drop her off at daycare. His 22 month old daughter died. The mother appealed for understanding for her partner saying he was an "exemplary father".

I think you will find, if you look up exemplary in the dictionary, that it means "worthy of imitation; commendable". Sorry darling, I don't think I agree with your description. 

The "Best of England"

Apparently Barack Obama has told the BBC that The Queen symbolises the "best of England" to the whole world. How interesting. Just the best of England is it? Not Wales or Scotland or Northern Ireland?

Arrival delays due to dancers on the line near Antwerp

Here's a cool clip from YouTube filmed in Antwerp train station - it was actually done as a promotion stunt for a Belgian television program, where they were looking for someone to play the leading role, in the musical of "The Sound of Music". So glad I wasn't racing to catch my train that day...

The end of the world is nigh...or is it?

Just read an amusing mini-article in "The Week" - an excellent magazine that gives an unbiased roundup of the week's main events. I quote:
Good week for the human race after the world did not end on May 21st, as Christian radio broadcaster Harold Camping had predicted. [Editor's note: We filed this item several days early, but will print a correction if its wrong.]

Sunday, May 15, 2011

Ours is not to reason why...

After 3 more sessions of acupuncture I can report a huge improvement in the state of my back pain. It has not entirely gone, however I can now move and bend and stretch like a normal person. I have been doing gardening, walking and even running! I actually look forward to each session, its incredibly relaxing. I have no idea how it works or how those needles in my legs and arms affect my back. All I know is that my back feels close to  normal again, I have more energy in general and feel much happier. Amazing...hats off to those Chinese!

Bye Bye Twin Towers

I was at Aston University, Birmingham in the 1980s studying Computer Science and Math. For 2 out of the 4 years I stayed in the "Halls of Residence", which consisted of tower blocks. In 1981-82 I stayed on the 17th floor of Dalton Tower, and in 1984-85 I stayed on the 11th floor of Lawrence Tower. Kind of sad to see that both towers were demolished this year to make way for a new student village. Here's a video of the demolition...end of an era.

Monday, May 9, 2011

Happy Birthday!

Happy Birthday Mam! Hope your present arrived safely. Enjoy your day!

Friday, May 6, 2011

A little prick does the trick (ooo-err Missus!)

Back from my first session of be truthful, the treatment had to be cut short. I suffered from the very rare condition known as 'acupuncture fainting'! Yes, I passed out. I've no idea why. I remember telling the acupuncturist that I was starting to feel faint. Next thing I knew he was gently slapping my hand saying "Heather, are in the acupuncturist office...". Apparently I was out cold for a few minutes.

So having said that, here's what I can report from what I do remember. The needles didn't hurt (apart from one, but not much). The reclining chairs were incredibly comfy. My back does not feel much different but my stomach's been gurgling all day...must have done something but I withhold  judgement for now.

Wednesday, May 4, 2011

Its a pain in the back

For the past few years I have suffered from back pain, sometimes mild, sometimes not so mild. Its been a constant source of frustration for me, making me feel old before my time and preventing me from doing the exercise that I once enjoyed. I have tried many things to relieve the pain; I gave up exercise, I took up exercise, I did walking, swimming, yoga and nothing. I had X-rays and I had MRIs. I went to a chiropractor and a back specialist and I had steroid injections in my spine. Nothing worked. A friend has persuaded me to try acupuncture, so I have my first appointment this coming Friday. Not sure whether this will help at all, but I'm willing to give it a try. I will report back after my appointment. Watch this space...

A birthday rap

My son Robert wrote a birthday rap for Emma today. Not bad...

Yo, yo, E you were born today
Eleven years ago, just like yesterday
When you walk in the room, always gotta smile
Play B-ball and soccer, can run for miles
Got some prezzies for ya and I hope you're happy
and I'm sure there's more coming straight from yer pappy
Choosing what to buy you was no less than a dilemma,
Some chocolate? A stuffy? Happy Birthday Emma,
So sit down, relax, don't let your birthday go to waste
Blow out the candles and STUFF YOUR FACE!!