Friday, June 30, 2006

Holiday Checklist

Holiday checklist item no :

215 Charge camera battery Done
216 Install holiday blog header Done
217 Retrieve sunglasses from car Done
218 ...


100 and counting.

No, it hasn’t any thing to do with our holiday (t-20 hours and counting…) but the number of blogs we’ve done.

It doesn’t seem that long ago since we did our maiden blog on 25th October. Since then here’s some of the things we’ve shared with you:

Our new neighbours (who still by the way are constantly banging and hammering…).

The quirkiness of my mam (she did two great motherisms yesterday while at Sainsburys which I’ll save for later).

Our various ailments (including two trips to the A&E department).

My various culinary disasters (I am quite a good cook – honest ! ! ).

Our wine cellar (which will be restocked shortly…).

Me being the customer from hell and having tantrums in Morrisons.

Our various DIY projects (and our hatred of the paint company with an X in their name).

And the arrival of Gertie.

Here’s to the next 100 blogs…


Thursday, June 29, 2006

Feeling excited

We’ve stopped counting down to our holiday in days and are now down to hours. Lift off from Newcastle is t-34 hours and counting…

We’ve done the first sift through the clothes, having decided what’s not coming. Tomorrow afternoon will be the final sift.

Update on the cold. One minute my nose is running like a tap and the next I’m bunged up. Been putting plenty of vaseline * on it so I’m looking a bit like Rudolph.


* it’s supposed to stop me getting cold sores – never works though…


... but only just

Thanks to faulty air-con the flight from Newcastle to Gatwick was delayed. We caught the flight to Barcelona with seconds to spare. Our luggage wasn't so lucky ...

As of 9:30 am Sunday we're still waiting for it.

Now onto the good bits.

It’s a bit of a strange thing, saying that the cruise runs from Barcelona to Rome when all you see of the two cities is the road from the airport to the docks. But hey, we’ve still got St Tropez, Monte Carlo, Genoa and Bonifacio to go. It’s going to be great seeing Monte Carlo when there isn’t a Grand Prix and the streets aren’t full of stalls selling Ferrari branded tat.

The shipping company collected us from the airport and whisked us across to the port and our ship. As soon as you see the port you start straining your eyes and asking “Which one is ours”. In fact ours is probably the smallest cruise ship in the port. Maximum capacity is only 265 people. But then we find small groups much better. Silversea ships have just one restaurant, no matter who you are, and you can eat at any time you wish, and sit with anyone you wish. On the really big ships, you can only eat in the restaurant that matches the level of your ticket, and sometimes you can only sit on a certain table and eat at a certain time. No thanks, we prefer the Silversea method.

Speaking of food, the company claim that you can put on as much as four pounds a day if you really try. Think about it, you can have an early breakfast in your suite (definitely NOT a “cabin”) , then a second breakfast from the buffet in the terrace café, plus a third breakfast in the restaurant. Come eleven o’clock and the poolside grill will be open. You can have two lunches, one in the terrace café and a second in the restaurant. Then it’s back to the poolside grill (and bar!!) before afternoon tea (with the most delicate sandwiches you have ever seen). Finally there is dinner in the restaurant, usually quite formal. There is an informal buffet style dinner in the café, and of course if you’re still peckish room service is free. Add in unlimited wine, beer or cocktails and you can see where they get their four pounds a day. I presume that on the three week cruises passengers explode before the end. I should point out that we only have one breakfast, one lunch and one dinner each.

Off to our suite now to see if the luggage fairy has left us anything.

John & Marie

Wednesday, June 28, 2006

Feeling better

After my bath last night I felt so rotten that I didn’t even have a glass of medicinal ! ! ! Instead I curled up on the settee with a mug of hot chocolate and a hot water bottle.

I’m pleased to report that I’m feeling much better today. My sore throat has gone but I’ve still got the sniffles.

3 days to go. Yippee ! ! ! ! !


Tuesday, June 27, 2006

Feeling rotten

I’ve got the lergy ! ! !

My throat is sore. I’ve got the sniffles and the sneezes and I’m aching all over.

The timing for this is perfect. Not…

Off to have a long hot bath then a drop of medicinal - to help me sleep you understand.

I could be drinking vinegar for all I know as I can’t taste a thing ! ! !


Monday, June 26, 2006

I don’t believe it

There’s only five days to go before our cruise and guess what I’ve got – a sore throat…

I’m hoping that it’s just a sore throat and not the start of a cold. I’m taking paracetamols as they are supposed to help fight sore throats and colds. Plus I’m drinking lots of fluids and sucking extra strong throat lozenges.

Typical ! ! !


Sunday, June 25, 2006

Christmas is coming

Today is June 25th which means that Christmas is only 6 months away.

Today is also Paddington Bear’s birthday.


PS only 6 days to our holidays…

Saturday, June 24, 2006

One week to go

This time next week we’ll have arrived in Barcelona and already drinking the glass of chilled champagne that had been thrusted into our hands (it would be bad mannered to refuse…) when we first boarded the ship.

It doesn’t seem that long ago since I set outlook on my computer to reminder me when it was eight months, seven months etc to go. Now it’s only seven days away.

Yippee ! ! ! !


Tuesday, June 20, 2006

Opps I did it again

No I haven’t had another disaster with John’s trousers…I’ve overfilled the bath again. Thankfully I caught it just in time but did have to let some out again.

I’m so glad we don’t have a water shortage in the North East otherwise I’d be fined every time I take a bath. In my defence the bath fills up much quicker since we had the boiler replaced in December.

Only 10 days to our holidays. Yippee ! ! ! !


PS called in at B&Q and PC World tonight and boy were they empty. Wish England would play every Thursday so it’s quiet when we go shopping at Morrisions…

Sunday, June 18, 2006

Fathers day

Seeing as I did a blog for Mothers day it's only right to do one for Fathers day.

Sadly my dad is no longer with us as he died of cancer aged 65 on 17th May 2004. I was going to do a blog on his anniversary but thought Fathers day was more appropriate.

So what was my dad like. He was a life long labour supporter so must have wondered where he went wrong when his two daughters became yellow and blue supporters.

He used to be a butcher but couldn’t bring himself to slaughter the animals so wasn’t able to become a master butcher. I think I was a bit of an embarrassment to him as I can’t bear to touch meat. If I have to then I’ll only do it with rubber gloves on.

His favourite football teams were Liverpool and Sunderland. I was only four when Sunderland won the FA Cup in 1973 but can vividly remember my dad screaming when they scored a goal. He woke me up so got told off by my mam.

He liked most sports, especially cricket. In his younger days he used to play for the local team. I can always remember we used to fight over the television as he wanted to watch cricket while I wanted Wimbledon.

He was a quiet, placid man who listened a lot. I can honestly say that I never saw him loose his temper. Apparently when he did, which was extremely rare, he made his feelings known…

He liked plain and simple food with Sunday dinner being his favourite. He wouldn’t, no matter how you tried, eat anything foreign.

He was a creature of habit to which you could almost set your watch by him. When he went off to church (the working men’s club but he liked to call it church) he would meet up with his drinking chum. He would leave the house at precisely 8.23pm. Not a minute before or a minute after. He was like that for most things.

Whereas my sister was (and still is…) my mam’s favourite, I was always daddy girl.

He was a lovely dad and I think about and miss him everyday.


Tuesday, June 13, 2006


I made a slight boo-boo whilst sewing this afternoon.

I bought John some new trousers for our cruise a couple of weeks ago and have only just today got round to turning up the hems.

There were four trousers in all, each with a different amount to be hemmed so I doubled checked each trouser to make sure I took the right amount off. I should say I did until pair number four.

It was only after I had cut a piece off the bottom of the leg did I realise that I had in fact mixed up inches and centimetres. Instead of four centimetres, I had removed four inches ! ! !

Oh dear…

So it was off to Matalan for a replacement pair. Thankfully they were only £14. I would have cried if they had been expensive.

I’m now beginning to wonder if I did the same thing for the other three…


Monday, June 12, 2006


Just checked and the last time I blogged was Tuesday so one is overdue. Sadly though there isn’t a great deal to report.

John went back to work today having been off all last week with the flu.

My parcel from Amazon finally arrived on Thursday.

Had a good moan with Sandra, our neighbour two doors down, about our new neighbours and the constant banging. Sandra lives on the other side of them so knows all too well about it. She’s not very happy about them either. Upset Sandra at your peril. If you thought I was bad, Sandra is worse ! ! !

Managed to finish off the two cocktail dresses I was making for our cruise (two weeks and five days…). Gertie really came in useful, so much so that I wonder how I ever coped without her.

Went out in the sun on Saturday without my factor 60 so although I’m not sunburnt, my arms and neck have come out in a rash * Lovely ! ! !

That’s about it for now. Told you there wasn’t much to report…


* I have an allergy to the sun. It has a fancy name called polymorphic light eruption.

Tuesday, June 06, 2006

Bet she wished she hadn’t turned in today

Today is Tuesday and guess that didn’t arrive - my parcel from Amazon which the little man from the Royal Mail said would come today.

Time to ruin someone’s morning ! ! ! They must have got wind that I would be calling as the phone was engaged. However I’m not put off that easily.

I redialled again and one of the options on offer was to make a complaint. Perfect.

The poor girl didn’t stand a chance. I appreciate it wasn’t her fault, but hey if you work in the complaints department what do you expect. After much shouting:

“I will send an email to them asking for your parcel to be re-delivered on Thursday”.
“I was told previously by yourselves that they don’t look at their emails very often”.
“Well they are supposed to”.
“So will my parcel definitely be here on Thursday”.
“No, I can’t guarantee that”.
“Why not”.
“They might not have looked at their emails. Ring back on Thursday morning to see if they have. If not I’ll send them another email to arrange another day”.

I give up ! ! !


PS John’s still got the lergy. It must be bad as he’s gone off alcohol ! ! !

Monday, June 05, 2006

Six months down the line

Something lighter today following yesterdays blog.

First things first. John’s got the lergy. It started late on Saturday (must be a reaction to all the credit card usage in the Metro Centre…). Yesterday he spent the entire day in bed. I’ve had to keep him off school today as he still not very well.

So back to the main event.

On the second of January I wrote in a blog about my ‘want’ list for the coming year. As we’re half way through the year I thought I’d check to see how I’ve got one.

1: I want to win the lottery. It doesn’t matter if it’s the normal lottery, the extra or the Euro. As long as it’s the jackpot and is over £1m I’m not bothered.

Still paupers I’m afraid.

2: I want to lose a stone and a half in weight.

I did loose four pound but put it back on over our mammoth chocolate eating spree at Easter.

3: I want to finish my novel.

Never touched it.

4: I want to continue my piano lessons.

Other than dusting the piano, never been near it.

Pathetic ! ! !

In my defence.

Number 1: It’s not my fault they’re choosing the wrong numbers.

Number 2: Because of my IBS, my weight is always up and down so I could have lost the weight but didn’t know about it (ok clutching at straws a bit ! ! ! ). Once our holidays are over I’m going to make a serious commitment to loose the weight.

Number 3 and 4: It’s been a very hectic six months so my free time has been extremely limited. However after October I’ll have a lot more time on my hands so will be able to put pen to paper and tickle the ivorys….


Sunday, June 04, 2006

Ding dong the witch is dead

I make no apologies for this blog.

Yesterday when we were shopping at the Metro Centre for things for our cruise (27 days and counting…) I happened to bump into an old work colleague who I hadn’t seen since I had hip done in 1998.

We got chatting with the usual how are you, etc and she mentioned that our old boss had died of cancer last December. She was quite upset about it so I tried to appear sympathetic. However inside I was jumping for joy singing ‘ding, dong the witch is dead’. This woman was one of three of the most vilest, nastiest, bigoted people you could ever have the misfortune to meet *.

With the exception of the above mentioned colleague, the office crawler and the office snitch, she was hated by every single member of her staff.

On occasions when departments were short handed, staff would work there for a couple of days to help them out. There was always grumbles from staff as they didn’t like being moved. We loved it as it gave us a couple of days away from her. I wouldn’t say our boss was disliked but other departments eventually refused to help us out because of the way she treat her staff.

I had a couple of run-ins with her, including one which resulted in me having to make an official complaint for harassment and discrimination. I first took my complaint to her boss but she refused to do anything about it (bad move, but then they were as thick as thieves), so I took it to the harassment officer.

I was about to have my hip done so would be on sick leave for several months but was assured that it would be dealt with. I never did find out exactly what happened as I was off work for 18 months. However I did find out that my boss was eventually moved to a department with no staff under her and ‘advised’ to withdraw her application for promotion, and that her boss having been summoned to work on her day off, was told she was to be moved to another department, again with no staff under her, with immediate affect.

I’m glad she is dead and pleased that she was in pain for much of her illness. She used to enjoy holidays in the sun, well where she has gone it’ll be lovely and warm for her ! ! !


* The other two: One is already in the warm place and the other unfortunately is still with us…

Saturday, June 03, 2006

It’s amazing what you can do when you shout

Yesterday the postman tried to deliver a parcel but as it was childminder day I was out when he called.

Even though Amazon said it wouldn’t be here until the 6th at the earliest I knew it would come on Friday. Everything comes on a Friday, no matter when we order things. Order on a Monday with next day delivery and more often enough there’s a problem so guess when it comes. We’ve even tried ordering our wine on Wednesday as they say it can take 14 day delivery. Guess when it comes, yep two days later…

Sorry, I’m digressing. So this morning I ran the Royal Mail depot to arrange a re-delivery. As usual you never get to speak to a human being so I was in the middle of leaving a message on their answer machine when a human voice butted in.

Having explained that I wanted a re-delivery I was told I’d have to ring back on Monday after 3pm as my parcel hadn’t arrived at depot and they can’t arrange re-delivery without the parcel being there.

Customer from hell mode took over. “Sorry but that’s not good enough. Every time I have to arrange a re-delivery, it takes two, sometime three phone calls because you can’t be bothered to pick up the phone; don’t even bother to call me back when promised, or simply don’t re-deliver when asked to do so”.

My parcel will be with me on Tuesday. Woe betide if it isn’t ! ! !

Margo Ledbetter eat your heart out…


Thursday, June 01, 2006

Under warranty

I had to go back to the dentist this afternoon as I was still having toothache.

The intense pain when drinking anything hot or cold had gone but it was extremely painful when touched.

When I rang the dentist this morning I had the choice of either seeing Kim, my usual dentist, tomorrow at 1.30pm or being seen this afternoon by another dentist. As much as I like Kim I couldn’t wait until tomorrow so settled for the latter.

Seems simple enough – err not quite. We are talking about the NHS and their new dental charges…The receptionist explained that there were two queries.

Query 1: They would have to charge me £15.50 because I’m not been seen by my usual dentist. If I was prepared to suffer in agony another day there would be no charge.

Query 2: Even though my toothache came on while I was in the middle of on-going treatment, because they had signed me off on Tuesday I would have to pay another £42.40. It didn’t matter that Kim said to come back if I had any more problems with my tooth.

These were my options. Suffer until my next 6 monthly check-up. Pull out the offending tooth myself or pay up. I decided to go for option three.

So back to the tooth. Having told the dentist (who was really nice) my symptoms, it turns out that I have an infection in the nerve.

The only treatment is to remove the nerve completely, leave the 'wound' open then fill it up later. As the infection is quite bad I've got to take antibiotics for seven days. Thankfully I can still drink ! ! !

While I was thanking her for seeing me at such short notice she said she was going to waver the £15.50 and put the work done today and the two necessary follow up appointments as on-going work from Tuesday – thus saving me another £42.40.

Guess when I have to go back – 25th July at 11.00am which was when my appointment was to have been originally…