Wednesday, January 30, 2008

Mid life crisis

In this morning’s Daily Mail there was an article by one of their columnists regarding woman and their mid life crisis.

Apparently people are now hitting their so called mid life crisis at the age of 44 and one of the things that women do during their crisis is get a new kitchen.

I wish to reassure everyone that although we’re getting a new kitchen (and yes it was me who suggested the idea) I’m not 44, nor am I going through a crisis.

Our new kitchen is through necessity (more cupboard space, more worktop space and more importantly, a dishwasher….) than a mid life kitchen.

I wonder if wanting a new bathroom counts as a mid life bathroom as I want one of them too ! ! !


Sunday, January 27, 2008

A letter to myself

In anticipation of Jenny tagging me, here is a letter to my younger self.

Dear Marie,

You’re probably wondering why your older self is writing to you. I would tell you but you wouldn’t believe me anyway. You are after all a teenager and you’re not supposed to understand adults…

In my time it’s 27th January 2008 and I’m 39 years old. Yes I hit 40 in September. To your eyes that will be old. In my eyes it is too ! ! !

You’re probably curious to know how your life has turned out so far. I’m pleased to say it’s been ok. However I’d like to give you a couple of bits of advice.

You’ll develop a crush on the Manchester United and England footballer Bryan Robson. Get over it ! ! !

When you have to decide your options don’t drop physics. Even though you don’t particularly like it, following your exams in the third year, you will get the highest marks – yes you even beat Alison ! ! ! Be warned. If you ignore this advice you will feel the wroth of Mr Simpson…

Don’t worry that you’re not much good at Home Economics. You turn out be a pretty good cook.

Don’t believe a word of what any of the teachers say. School is not the best years of your life and that you’ll only get one chance to gain qualifications. One thing I will say though is try and learn how to spell ! ! !

Shortly after your sixteenth birthday you’ll find your first grey hair. It’ll freak you out but it’s not the end of the world. As I write to you aged 39 you won’t be completely grey – unlike Denise….

Don’t lean on the curling tongs, the oven, rest a coffee cup on your leg or sleep on a hot water bottle. If you do you’ll burn yourself.

No matter how much pressure is put on you from family or the careers advice at school, do not join the civil service. You’ll be offered a job there in 1989. Do not under any circumstances take it. Take the teaching course you applied for instead.

When you attend your first training session at Radio Sunderland, don’t take a dislike to one of the people taking it. He’s not a bad as he seems and you do come to like him…

Put your foot down when you are organising your wedding. When it comes to the length of your train, the size of the bow on the back of the dress, who you want invited to the wedding, not having a veil and your wedding flowers, remind mam that it’s your wedding and not hers, so you’ll do what you want. I know that’s unthinkable when you’re aged 13 as she has one of the greatest tempers known to man. However you will be a force to be reckoned with too…

Have a quite word with dad about why he’s going to the loo more than normal and ask him to go to the doctors. That’s all I’ll say.

And finally. I know you’ve tried reading the Hobbit and hated it, however for Christmas ask for every single book written by Tolkien and read them. In the mean time keep up with your creative writing by writing a story about a young boy called Harry Potter who attends a school of witchcraft and wizardry. Once you’ve read all the Tolkien books go back to your story then turn it into a novel…

Lots of love,


Saturday, January 26, 2008

Decorating again

Sorry for the lack of blogs but things have been pretty quiet in the BOGOF household.

As the title of the blog suggests, we’ve donned our work clothes and got out the paint brushes again. Will all the painting we keep doing you’d think it was one of our hobbies. I can assure you it isn’t ! ! !

This weekend it’s the turn of the bathroom. I want to completely revamp it (new suite, tiles etc) but we don’t have the time to do this year - I want a new kitchen more... So it’s having to make do with a lick of paint, new carpet, wall unit etc, until next year.

Back to the painting before my brush hardens…


Saturday, January 19, 2008

The hot chocolate diet

Like most people we put on a pound (or kilogram so I don’t offend the EU….) or two during Christmas and now need to remove them and a few more of their friends.

I decided that we’d start our diet officially on 26th January giving us time to finish off all the Christmas yummys. Unofficially we started it on 5th January to give ourselves a couple of weeks before the official weigh in date so there wouldn’t be any nasty ‘how much’ when we stepped on the scales.

That was the idea anyway. However curiosity got the better of me just after the 5th and I weighed myself. I nearly burst into tears ! ! !

I got on the scales this morning and to my sheer delight found that I’d lost half a stone.

Regular readers will know that the BOGOF household is fond of wine. However it is not the dieters friend so a glass or two a night does over time amount to a lot of calories.

The thought of complete prohibition is a definite no-no so I cut the number of my wine nights down to three a week and have a hot steaming mug of Options hot chocolate on the other four nights.

Ok, a mug of hot chocolate isn’t the same as a glass of wine but it is something to look forward to on the evenings when I can’t have any alcohol.

So here’s to the loss of another half a stone with the help of hot chocolate.


Sunday, January 13, 2008

The case of the missing spaghetti

Early last October Mrs Hudson, Sherlock Harpers landlady, was busy in her kitchen making several Christmas cakes for Sherlock Harper, his friends and family. Dr Watson wasn’t keen on fruitcake so she made him a chocolate log instead.

“Oh dear”, cried Mrs Hudson.
“Whatever is the matter”, asked Sherlock Harper having dashed into the kitchen to see what was the cause of her anguish.
“I plunged a stick of spaghetti in the fruitcake to test if it’s cooked”, she said, “If it comes out clean it’s done”.
“So why the distress”, replied Sherlock Harper.
“Because it’s snapped inside the cake”, she said.
Sherlock Harper removed a stick of spaghetti from the packet Mrs Hudson had just bought from Morrison’s and measured it against the pieces she alleged snapped.
“My dear Mrs Hudson”, he said, “You are indeed correct. Without accurately measuring it I would guess it’s shorter by one inch”.

Mrs Hudson tried as best she could to locate the missing piece of spaghetti from the cake but could not find it.
“There seems to be only two options available”, said Sherlock Harper, “Cut the cake in half and retrieve it now or wait until Christmas”.
Although the thought of eating a fruitcake in October delighted her, Mrs Hudson decided to wait until Christmas.
“I think it would be safer to keep this cake away from all the rest – and label it as ours”, said Sherlock Harper, “We don’t want it to be given to someone by mistake”.

Mrs Hudson and Sherlock Harper had just finished eating the very last two slices of Christmas cake when Mrs Hudson gasped in horror, “Neither of us found the spaghetti”.
“A piece of spaghetti can’t just go missing from inside a cake”, replied Sherlock Harper, “It must have been the work of Professor Moriarty”.

Sherlock Harper got to his feet, “He must have sneaked in and switched the cakes when we were out”.
Mrs Hudson cupped her cheeks with her hands in terror, “That means either Jan or Dennis, our ex neighbour, must have had it”.

Sherlock Harper rubbed his chin. He was in deep thinking mode.
“Mrs Hudson”, he asked, “Was the kitchen foil on our cake damaged when you came to marzipan it”.
“No”, she replied.
Sherlock Harper rubbed his chin again.
“Do you think he switched labels”, suggested Mrs Hudson.
“Not without removing particles of kitchen foil in the process which you would have noticed immediately”.
Sherlock Harper rubbed his chin even harder.
“Mrs Hudson”, he asked, “When you came to marzipan the cake, were there any signs of damage to the cake”.
“Yes”, she replied.
Sherlock Harper shouted with joy.
“Mr Harper”, she said, “Whatever is the matter with you”.
“My arch enemy Professor Moriarty is innocent”, he replied, “Well on this occasion anyway. You said the cake was damaged but Jan and Dennis’s weren’t. If you remember the damage was the result of you trying to locate the missing piece of spaghetti.”
A mightily relieved Mrs Hudson said “Then I haven’t caused the death, by choking on a piece of spaghetti, of either Jan or Dennis”.

Late that evening Sherlock Harper, Dr Watson and Mrs Hudson were having a large glass of wine and a piece of Dr Watson’s chocolate log.
“So what do you think happened to the piece of spaghetti”, asked Mrs Hudson.

Sherlock Harper put down his glass, took a large bite of chocolate log, clutched at his throat and cried, “Urrrrrrgh”.

Monday, January 07, 2008

Family tree update

Other than my leg still giving me a bit grief, there’s nothing else in the bogof household to report so I thought I’d fill you in how I’m progressing with my family tree.

I’ve made contact with a couple of people via the Ancestry website who are part of the Thompson clang (my grandmother Dinah’s side) so have been passing and receiving information from them.

I’ve also made contact with Terry who lives in Marbella, Spain. He’s researching a family tree for a friend and part of that tree contains Arthur Notley who was Dinah’s step father.

Terry is a retired teacher who’s two hobbies are golf and genealogy so spent all of last Wednesday researching my tree for me. He’s uncovered that Arthur and Elizabeth (Dinah’s mother) had seven children together but only four survived past childhood.

Elizabeth then died in 1919 and Arthur married for a fourth time to an Isabella Seymour. Terry or myself haven’t been able as yet to find out if Arthur and Isabella had any children together but as Terry put it in an email ‘the old man is at it again’. Terry has also suggested I obtain the death certificates to his three previous wives just to see how they died ! ! !

If that wasn’t enough Terry then started on tracing a bit more on the Thompson side and found my great, great, great, great grandparents going back to 1745.

I’ve also found out (all by myself…) that there’s a possibility that my great, great grandfather, along with his younger brother and sister, spent some of their childhood in Cockermouth Union Workhouse, which I think is rather sad.


Tuesday, January 01, 2008

Happy New Year

Happy New Year to one and all.

I was going to do a round up of various things yesterday but sadly got waylaid by a rather painful leg. Don’t know what I’ve done with it but it’s extremely oww, oww, oww whenever I walk or make even the slightest bit of movement. Consequently I haven’t had much sleep these past couple of nights. The house and me stink of deep heat ! ! !

Anyway here is the ‘old’ news. The little men from the insurance company fitted my new garage door. Had a letter from the police to say that they are still pursuing their line of enquiries and will contact me next month with an update.

Basil hasn’t been seen again. The rat catcher from the council came out and had a good look at my mam’s and other neighbouring gardens but found no trace of Basil or his friends. He did put some poison under the rabbit hut where my mam and Gloria her neighbour think Basil may be living.

John caught the cold bug the week before Christmas so wasn’t feeling at his best. Being the lovely husband that he is shared it with me so I had that and two coldsores on Christmas day….

Santa was really good to both of us this year. One of my presents was an internet radio. Who would have thought that the Vatican City would have it’s own radio station ! ! ! I can recommend Riviera Radio in Monaco…

We had my mam for Christmas day and she thoroughly enjoyed being waited on hand and foot. We even introduced her to the sin of alcohol…

Our new, new neighbours moved in shortly before Christmas and they are really nice. Deb, Mark and their two children Chloe and Sean. I heard Chloe and Sean dashing downstairs just after six on Christmas morning which brought back so many memories of me and my sister doing exactly the same thing.

Sunday we were at my mams for lunch. My sister and her family were also there. Had to leave early as my leg was killing me.

Sadly we weren’t able to get down to Chris and Jenny’s New Years Eve party yesterday. To be honest given how my leg is I doubt whether I would have made it anyway so it must be bad for me to say that…

So there you have it, a round up of the recent happenings in the bogof household.

Hope you have the rest of a good New Years Day.