Saturday, September 29, 2007

Family tree

Last year I mentioned that I’d like to trace my family tree, in particular my Nana Dinah, my paternal grandmother. Well I’ve made a start.

As no one knew the correct spelling of ‘Dinah Thompson’ I thought it best to get a copy of my dad’s full birth certificate. I printed off the form from Sunderland Council’s website, sorted out the cheque etc and put the envelope to one side ready for posting.

I noticed on the council’s website that you could search for marriage details so as a long shot I thought I’d do a search for Nana Dinah. I couldn’t believe it when they had a record of a ‘Dinah Thompson who married a John Archer in 1926’. What’s more she was also known as ‘Nutley’. So instead of asking for my dad’s birth cert, I asked for their marriage certificate instead.

The form was posted second class last Thursday, with a second class SAE enclosed. It arrived last Saturday. Well done the Royal Mail ! ! !

From the information on the certificate I’ve found out that her ‘father’ was in fact her step-father – an Arthur Nutley – hence her other name. She was a bit older than my grandfather (he 22, she 27) which means that she’ll be included in the 1901 census.

Her address was given as ‘27 Francis Street, Eppleton’. These houses have long since been demolished. However my mam did a bit of research and it turns out that some of the houses in Francis Street were dismantled and rebuilt at Beamish Open Air Museum as part of their Pit Cottage Village. How spooky is this. At the beginning of September John, my mam and me spent a day at Beamish as we hadn’t been for years, and we actually were in the very same cottages ! ! ! !

I contacted Beamish and asked if they knew which numbers were dismantled. Unfortunately they rebuilt the six cottages using bits and pieces from twelve cottages However they have details on all twelve residents of the cottages so are going to see if anyone of them belonged to my great grandparents.

Having trailed through the records on the Ancestry website I’ve managed to find out the approximate date when Dinah died so have ordered a copy of her death certificate.

I’m a bit sad though that my dad spent his life not knowing anything about his mother and sadly is no longer with us to share the news.


Friday, September 28, 2007

M42 Overload

Not much blogging (or is it Bloggery) lately as we’ve been on the road a lot. We’ve just got back home from the National Venue Show at the NEC and I can tell you we are sick and tired of the M42.

Back at the end of August we had a few days away and our hotel was just off the M42 junction 4. Then last weekend we attended a meeting of the HBA Events team, in Solihull, just off the M42 junction 5. And yesterday we were at the NEC, which is just off the M42, junction 6.

To make matters worse, in three weeks time it will be the HBA autumn conference in Newport, and guess which route we will be taking. You guessed it - via the bloody M42 …

But back to the plot. The Venue Show was very interesting, and it was great to attend an event at the NEC where you don’t have to fight your way through crowds. We came away with some interesting ideas for conference venues, though I don’t think we’ll be using the five star hotel in St Petersburg. At least not until Easyjet do cheap flights.

Amazingly, and this will probably only interest hospital radio folks, but we met one exhibitor who knew Trevor Walters, and another who has friends at Radio Link.

In the next hall was the National Incentive Show where we picked up loads of ideas for “interesting” things to put in conference packs. We were weighed down with brochures and give-aways when we left.

And finally, Marie has had her new car for less than two weeks now, and it’s already got 1000 miles on it. And the horn has stopped working !!!


Wednesday, September 19, 2007

Windy in Fulwell

As you know we always seem to be on a diet. To be fair the Weightwatchers diet we tried a couple of years ago resulted in both of us successfully losing two stone each. We’ve both however put it back on but that’s another matter…

Like all diets you soon become bored with it so I decided to look for another one which would fit in with our lifestyle (able to each chocolate, crisps, cheese, alcohol etc).

It seemed like a tall order but I’ve found one. It’s the ‘So you want to loose weight… for good’ by the British Heart Foundation. It not only allows you to have a small chocolate bar and a glass of wine a night, it also allows you to have two (or three if you’re a man) portions of dairy so we can nibble on 40g’s worth of cheese a day without worrying about our waistline.

Plus we have to eat seven (or eight if you’re a man) portions of carbohydrate a day so if we fancy our cheese with three crackers, we can.

The down side to being able to eat yummy food on this diet is we have to eat seven (or eight portions if you’re a man) of fruit and/or vegetables a day. Even by a person who loves fruit (but not really vegetables…) that’s a lot to eat in one day. However we’re trying our best.

Consequently our gut is working overtime so the wind we are producing is spectacular ! ! ! ! It’s now got to the point where we can’t go up the stairs together in case the one in front break wind on route….

Hopefully it will settle down shortly. Otherwise there could be some embarrassing moments in Newport ! ! ! !


Saturday, September 15, 2007

Splat Splat

We had a drive-by saucing outside work on Thursday.

Yes, really. A group of people were standing outside the gates having a smoke when a car drew up. Down came the window and the passenger produced an industrial sized squeezy ketchup bottle with which he proceeded to spray everyone.

Fortunately the majority of people were machinists who would be wearing overalls, but one poor soul had to go home and change.

Yesterday someone expressed the opinion that it’s just as well the factory is in a poor area. They can’t afford guns …


Wednesday, September 12, 2007

So what have we been up to

Saturday: had a nice leisurely stroll up to Sea Road for some yummy sausages and peas pudding* from the best butchers in the world, then it was off to the Deli for the best stottie** sandwiches in the world.
The afternoon was spent having a good clearout of rubbish ready for the little bin men coming tomorrow to take away the old sofa and armchair and other various bits of things.
Watched the last night of the proms and as usually felt extremely proud to be British…

Sunday: It was my 39th birthday… One year until I reach the big 40 ! ! ! The birthday bunny was exceptionally generous so I got loads and loads of books, a couple of DVD’s (Season four of Quantum Leap and Mrs Miniver), and some dressmaking fabric.
Decorated my birthday cake with lots of chocolate buttons and crushed up flakes. Take it from me it was yummy….
As we couldn’t get to the Chinese restaurant (they don’t open on Sunday’s) I decided instead of going elsewhere to have dinner at home. We feasted on chips, the yummy sausages, bacon, eggs, baked beans and peas pudding. To say we were stuffed would be an understatement. To round off the night we have a bottle of Fizzy.
Couldn’t think of a better way to spend my birthday.

Monday: Called off to my mams with some birthday cake. She couldn’t wait until Friday.

Yesterday: Took delivery of my new 19 inch flat screen computer monitor and a Windows upgrade. I decided to spend some of the Christmas money I got from my mam last year. I’m afraid I’m a sad specimen of a woman as up until now I couldn’t think of anything to spend it on ! ! !

Today: John (with me supervising/getting in the way …) dragged the old sofa and armchair and the rest of the rubbish out into my side of the garage for the little bin men coming tomorrow. I parked my car at the front early this morning to make sure of getting a space in front of the house.

So there you have it. Another exciting couple of days in the BOGOF household…


*A local delicacy made from ham or bacon and split peas
** Another local delicacy

Friday, September 07, 2007

New sofa

We got our new sofa and armchair delivered on Wednesday and it’s huge… Granted I’m not a tall person, but I can lie down without my head and feet touching the armrests.

Like previous events, however (my new car and living/dining room carpet) things didn’t go smoothly. As soon as the little man removed the packaging from the chair, I noticed three dents in one of the side panels and one of the seams was twisted. The sofa, having had a good examination, was declared fit and well…
A little man came out this afternoon to inspect the chair and having lifted the side panel found three stray staples. So with the help of my iron, the three dents and the twisted seam were ironed out.

As we’re now all encourage to ‘recycle or reuse’ I rang the local house clearance people to see if they wanted the old sofa and chair. They said no as they already had plenty. I then rang another place which was recommended by the council. They too said no as it didn’t have a fire certificate…. So much for recycling ! ! !

In other news. Our ‘new neighbours’ have sold their house ! ! ! We had our first conversations with them and they are moving because they want a garden. Subject to everything going through ok, our ‘new, new neighbours’ will be a family with two children.

I went to the doctors this morning and while she was examining me (women’s problems….) I felt a bit embarrassed about the size of my stomach. It’s expanded seeing as we’re on holiday at the moment and have been eating out a fair bit.
I was told not to worry about it as she believes people worry too much about their weight (this coming from an extremely thin doctor…). She said it was expected at holiday and Christmas time to put on weight so I was given permission to put on half a stone each time.

Who am I to go against medical advice ! ! ! !


Sunday, September 02, 2007

Carpet wrong

We had a telephone call from Allied Carpet yesterday. There’s now another delay with our new carpet. Apparently we’ve order an ‘unusual colour’ so it’s going to take even longer than anticipated so it can’t be fitted on the 4th.

To say we’re not amused would be an understatement. If they had been a little more honest with us in the first place and said there was a problem, we’d have chosen another carpet. However they chose to fob us off with one excuse after another.

So the little man was told in no uncertain terms that I was cancelling the order. We’ve decided to wait a few months and let the new sofa settle into it’s new home before getting a new carpet.

As we bought the carpet using a credit card, Allied would only give us a refund back onto that card. This meant that we would be in credit by rather a lot of money. No worries…. I’m a woman so spending money is not a problem.

So among other things, we are now the proud owner of a brand new 32 inch television ! ! !