Wednesday, 28 October 2009


Sev went 'up North' for some aptitude tests to join the Navy and had to wear his suit. He looks really smart in it so I couldn't resist taking a photo and of course making a layout of it.

Sophie and Charlie came to visit us today, along with Barbara, Trevor and Simon. They are quite cute. It is a shame we don't get to see them that often. Charlie is 4yrs old and Sophie is about 15months old. She is just such a sweetie. Her little face lights up and she smiles her goofy one toothed smile when you call her name. That smile hides a little terror though, she climbs all over the place and she got the shiner that she has in the photo when she was climbing out of the bath at home last weekend.

Tuesday, 27 October 2009


Here is a layout I have just done of Millie. Well actually it is a plopper with her photo "plopped" in. I upoloaded it to the DSP site just now. She really is a pickle. When she wants some fuss she knows she has to sit still and not fidget so she sits gazing up at you adoringly with such a soppy face it just makes you laugh out loud. But she has been a horror too. She has dug up the new turf twice now and the garden is a mess. She also keeps getting into the rubbish bags. She just doesn't get enough mental and physical stimulation during the day. This picture is one I took about a month ago when I was out geocaching with Sarah and her friend Hannah. The light was good and fortunately after a few misses managed to get a half decent picture of her. She is very hard to photograph. She doesn't keep still long enough usually and as she is so dark the lighting has to be pretty good. Bless her!

Monday, 26 October 2009

Andy was bemoaning that, in his opinion we were well off and would always have to watch the pennies, especially that we are unable to afford a second car, one of his own choosing. In his mind having a company car is a sign of his achievement in life/work. He knows he is materialistic and has come a long way, having lived with me for the past 6/7 years, but still craves material things.

It is of course a human trait to want more for ourselves, but at the same time we should always be grateful for what we do have. I am reminded of the story of "The Village of 100 people" I have highlighted below how fortunate I am. Having heard recently of some people I know who have lost a parent or loved one, it certainly is a time for reflection and appreciation of that which we do have.

In the world today, more than 6 billion people live.If this world were shrunk to the size of a village of 100 people, what would it look like?
59 would be Asian14 would be American (North, Central and South)14 would be African
12 would be European 1 would be from the South Pacific
50 would be women, 50 would be men
30 would be children, 70 would be adults.
70 would be nonwhite, 30 would be white
90 would be heterosexual, 10 would be homosexual
33 would be Christians 21 would be Moslems15 would be Hindus6 would be Buddhists5 would be Animists6 would believe in other religions14 would be without any religion or atheist.
15 would speak Chinese, Mandarin 7 English 6 Hindi6 Spanish5 Russian4 Arabic3 Bengali3 PortugueseThe other would speak Indonesian, Japanese,German, French, or some other language.
In such a village with so many sorts of folks, it would be very important to learn to understand people different from yourself and to accept others as they are.
Of the 100 people in this village:20 are underonurished1 is dying of starvation, while 15 are overweight.
Of the wealth in this village, 6 people own 59% (all of them from the United States), 74 people own 39%, and 20 people share the remaining 2%.
Of the energy of this village, 20 people consume 80%, and 80 people share the remaining 20%.20 have no clean, safe water to drink.56 have access to sanitation15 adults are illiterate.1 has an university degree.7 have computers.
In one year, 1 person in the village will die, but in the same year, 2 babies will be born, so that at the year's end the number of villagers will be 101.
If you do not live in fear of death by bombardment, armed attack, landmines, or of rape or kidnapping by armed groups, then you are more fortunate than 20, who do.
If you can speak and act according to your faith and your conscience without harassment, imprisonment, torture or death, then you are more fortunate than 48, who can not.
If you have money in the bank, money in your wallet and spare change somewhere around the house, then you are among the richest 8.
If you can read this message, that means you are probably lucky!
(The statistics were derived from Donella Meadows "State of the Village Report" first published
in 1990)

I consider myself lucky and very rich. I have three wonderful, healthy and intelligent children. Money may be tight, but I do have money in the bank, my wallet and change around the house. I feel safe in my own home and have plenty of free time. Perhaps I should consider some form of volunteering again, something I haven't done for a long time.

How lucky are you if you lived in this vilage of 100people?

Sunday, 25 October 2009

Dotee dolls

I have made three dotee dolls this week. These are tiny little material dolls with a hanger and tail and decorated anyway you like. I have done a button one for a swap - the dark green one. She is supposed to be a chinese one and has a chinese bun with a large red hair pin through (a button). The blue one is the first one I made. I started this at the ArtFest in June. I now have plenty of beads and a few interesting buttons so plan on making a few more. I might make some for stocking presents for Christmas! Here are my first three dotee dolls.

Below are pictures of a matchbox that I made for a swap on swap bot. It was a halloween theme. I had lots of leaves and autumn colours so that is what I used.

Saturday, 24 October 2009

not quite as productive as I had hoped this week

Well at least my knees are getting much better. Mobilisation has improved tremendously and I can get about in the house without any need for support, although my left knee keeps clicking and wont work quite as well as the right. We went to Tesco's yesterday, I had hoped to walk round using the sticks but ended up opting for a motorised wheelchair. To be honest I was glad that I did cos I think it would have been a bit too much walking around. Although I ended up crashing into a display when I was trying to reverse park the thing.

But I haven't been as productive with my crafts as I had hoped. To be honest I spent the WHOLE of yesterday! (what a waste) looking at geocaching and working out all the caches I could nab along the route to Sheffield, along the M1. As it is such a main road, there are loads of caches at junctions and service stations. Not sure I will end up doing them all as there are nearly 20. It would take me all day to drive up there. That is of course if my knees are up to by that time.

Had some bad news last night. Paul's (my ex-husband) dad is dying, they say he doesnt have more than a day or so to live. He is such a character, he is in his 80s now, but that doesn't make it easier. I think it was quite hard on Paul because his girlfriend was away for the weekend and not available by phone so he had to deal with this sad news on his own. The trouble is I really would be okay to go to his dad's funeral as I really liked the guy but it is a good 5-6 hour trip there and another 5-6 hour trip back. So will have to think about that, not sure when the funeral will be. Brian (Paul's dad) split with Paul's mum when Paul was 14 and his sister, Pam, was 4. So he practically brought Pam up and she has lived in the same town as her dad her whole life. This will be particularly hard on her I feel. Brian has certainly had a full life, with two wives and several serious girlfriends. He has travelled a lot and has battled alcoholism for most of his life, like his father and his son. He was full of stories and a real ladies man. It is a great shame, I hope the end is not too difficult for him. Glod bless you Brian.

I've noticed how bereft of photos this blog is and when I get my camera back from Alice later today I will load some pictures up. I have made a few dotee dolls. There was a button dotee doll swap on swap bot that I have signed up for. That needs to be sent off before 7 Nov. But I am a bit wary about sending anything this week because of the postal strikes. Hopefully it will get there safe and sound when I post it in between the strikes. It has an oriental look to it as you will see when I load the photos up.

Tuesday, 20 October 2009


It is the morning after the day of my op on my both of my knees. I had arthroscopies of my knees to clean them up - it is called wash out and debridement. This means that they went in with the long rods through small holes in either side of my knees to take a look and rinse out any little bits of debris with water and to trim off any bits hanging off which might get caught in the knee bones and cause pain. The op went smoothly and I was in and out in one day. Andy managed to tear himself away from a 24 hour stint at work to drop me off and pick me up from the hospital. Alice thankfully helped me upstairs and was very gentle in helping me get comfortable in bed. Slept well as I was pretty tired. Woke up in pain though. After waiting for someone to get some tea and toast for me so I could take some painkillers, gave up waiting and struggled downstairs on my own. It took 45 minutes to get downstairs, make some tea and toast and take my tablets and hobble back up stairs again. Have brought some biscuits upstairs so I don't have to wait next time!

The left knee hurts me, the doctor said that it was the worst one. I had said that my right knee was more symptomatic and they have washed it out, but I dont think it needed anything more than that. They have trimmed the left knee, which is why it probably hurts more.

I was looking at youtube videos of knee arthroscopies and came across an American study which said that they did some fake and real arthroscopies (double blind to avoid skewing the results) and it turns out that those who had had the fake arthroscopies felt much better and no longer in pain. The mind is an amazing thing. I think if I remain positive about the outcome and work very hard to mobilise properly again I should have a very good result from this op. I hope to be able to walk further and even go cycling again. And maybe next summer walk up Mount Snowdon again. That is my ultimate aim; to walk up the mountain without half killing myself doing it!!!

At least being home for three weeks will give me plenty of time to do my hobbies such as swap bot and digital scrapbooking, as usually I don't get a great deal of time to do these. It does mean though that I can't go geocaching for a while, but hopefully when I do, I can walk around without too much discomfort.

Saturday, 17 October 2009

Thank God that's over!!

Phew. Have just had Sev's 18th birthday party in the hall with his friends. The lad, who was only 16 and was the DJ, was very good. He used his apple laptop for the music and had all the gear - lights and speakers. The music was a little loud but he was a good DJ. Some of Sev's 'mates' were bloody annoying though, very loud and would not shut the outside hall door behind them when they constantly went in and out. Thankfully it was over at 10.30 and we turned the lights on and started clearing up. Ended up washing the whole floor afterwards as it was quite sticky. Hopefully he had a good time. He's gone off to another party right now and we are collapsed at home. Too tired to get upstairs to bed just yet! LOL

During the day I went geocaching and took Millie for a walk. I went round a memorial park. It was nice to read the large plaques aboout those that died in WWI and WWII. There was a river along the edge of the park and a geoache along the river side. So we had a little walk along there. The river was very nice and Millie thoroughly enjoyed going in and out. One of the caches I could not find, but luckily I cam across a fellow geocacher and we went to look together. He found it after a few minutes which was great. So we sat and had a little chat and then went our separate ways.

Now I've seen it all. Andy is flicking through the TV channels as usual when he came across a programme called Celebrity Poker Challenge. Watching celebrities playing poker. My God. We will soon porgrammes about watching paint dry!!!! I don't believe it (in a Victor Meldrew voice) hee hee

Wednesday, 14 October 2009

WTJ - Day 2

Wreck this journal - day two
Made great progress on the journal today. Went outside with Deb and Jill when they went out for their fag break and took the journal with me. I couldn't find the burn page so found one where it says I could throw it to the ground and stomp all over it, which I did on the wet grass. Then I gave Jill the book to wreck it however she wished without me looking. It was really hard not to watch what she was doing. I heard a ripping of a page and gasped with horror! Then she gave it back to me. I was relieved and pleased to see that she had threaded a dead leaf through the page. It was lovely. Then later I did some writings and screwed a page up. ONe page I have torn off and put in my trouser pocket to go through the wash. I hope I don't get paper lint all over it! I have taken some photos and will upload them later.

Here is the journal in the midst of being wrecked. Jill put a leaf through one page and one page I have stuck white things all over. The last one, on its side, is a page that I tore out and washed and taped back in.

I laid a cache in some nearby woods on Sunday and last night it went live on the website. Already three people have found it today!! YAY. It is quite exciting. I might go and do some geocaching on Sunday as this is my last day for a few weeks. I have about 13 to do to reach my first 100.

Tuesday, 13 October 2009

wreck this journal

I bought a journal from amazon called "wreck this journal" It is pretty cool cos you get to do all sorts of things to it like throw it off a bridge, take a shower with it, and burn one of the pages, colour, glue and all sorts. Sounds like fun. I will keep the blog updated with how we progress.

Sev is 18 tomorrow. He is off to a gig with his mates in London so I probably wont see him at all. I am sure he will have a good time. He has booked his first proper driving lesson for Monday and seems quite excited about it. Andy has taught him to drive off road, but this will be his first proper go "on" the road. Glad he is finally doing something productive even if it meant taking away the xbox controllers!!

I took Millie for a walk after work today in some woods that we dont usually go to. It was nice to have a change of scene. She loved it as always. take my camera with meI must remember to I went off to find two geocaches that I was not aware of before I became a member. I have found about 85 caches so far, I had hoped to get to 100 before my op on Monday.

I am pretty nervous about the op. Will probably get a cold and have it delayed!!! I have a sore throat so need to nip that in the bud. Everyone around me seems to be sneezing or coughing. Am trying to make sure I have lots of things to do when I am housebound next week. Not looking forward to not being able to get for a walk every day but hopefully the op will mean that can walk further and without pain later on.

Saturday, 10 October 2009

Off to Scotland next year

WOOOOHOOOO We are off to Scotland next year. And not just once. We are going to a family friend's wedding in Doune on 14 August. Andy and I are going to hire a Mercedes and drive up, a life long dream of Andy's. We have booked thehotel for Thursday 12th to Sunday 15th. It is in Callendar and is just 6 miles from Doune Castle, where the wedding is going to be held. I love castles and the idea of going to a wedding in one is really exciting. Not only is it a castle but it is the same castle where Monty Python team made the Holy Grail film. I really am excited about going. Also...... I get to do some geocaching up there as well. hee hee. Andy and Si have always wanted to drive up to Scotland in a nice car and play a round of golf. So if we get up there Thursday night then they have the Friday to go and play golf, whilst I go geocaching, and then we have the wedding on the Saturday. Scotland is just so beautiful, it is going to be a great weekend.

ALSO I am going to Perth, Scotland for week for the Mega Geocaching Event which culminates on 31 July. There are going to be various 'satellite' events throughout the week before, and I think afterwards but at the weekend everyone will meet up and there will be lots going on.
Check the site out for more information.
They do say that you can take dogs and it would be brilliant to take Millie with me as I know she will love walking around Scotland. We can't take her to the wedding in August, so it would be good to take her on this trip. However she can't go into the main building on the weekend. They do say that you can keep dogs in the car underground so she wont overheat, but I really don't like that idea. I wonder if they can arrange dog sitters! I wont be able to relax and enjoy the event if I was worrying about her. I also asked Sarah if she would be interested in coming with me to the mega event. She is the only in the family who likes the idea of geocaching. It would be great if the two of us could spend some time going round Scotland. And if Ash wants to come to that would be great cos I could watch them climbing. I wont be doing anything quite so physical!!:S
So we'll see what happens. But YAY I am going to Scotland next year, not once but twice. :D
Oh yes this is one of my 101 things to do in 1001 days. Another one to tick off the list. It gets better!

more geocaching

I just love geocaching. I get to go out into the country side, often with Millie and have a great walk enjoying nature. I am making the most of the good weather and getting out and about as much as possible. On Sunday 27th Sept I drove for an hour to Castle Hedingham and met up with a whole bunch, about 40, of other geocachers. Some of them have found 1000's of caches. There were two series already in the area so I went round those two in the morning as we were meeting up in a quaint pub at 2pm. I found these really easily and Millie was brilliant. So it was a great morning's caching. I stopped and had lunch at about 12 in the pub garden. Millie was still being very good, thank goodness. I could see there were small groups of people in the pub who were probably fellow geocachers but as we were not openly saying who we were at the time I just kept quiet!! Just as it was approaching 2pm everyone started to head for a room/bar that had been put aside for us to meet. One woman and organised the meet and one chap had laid a trail of caches. A mum, son and his fiance had set another trail as a group. Mum, Hilary was "keeper of the caches" and she laid them all. Her son put the information on the internet. So it was a real group effort. It was nice to chat to people. The fiance, Natalie, was really nice. They are geting married in the castle next year which sounds really wonderful. The pub was really nice, very quaint and obviously quite old. There were three pubs within sight of each other. I certainly miss having a "local". There are no pubs near where I live and the pubs that are around are really spread out so a pub crawl is pretty difficult. Anyways we were given the information of the two trails and went out into the pub garden for a group photo. Then whilst I was chatting to people loading some of the co-ordinates into my gps and working out how to best utilise my time doing the caches, most people went rushing off to do some caching. I think some were keen to get a first to find (FTF). So Millie and I wandered off once I knew where I was heading. It was a lovely afternoon and I nabbed quite a few more caches. I managed to get all the caches from Andy_UK's trail but the Bartlett clan's caches were much harder to find and I only found half of them. It was a long walk, I didn't finish until 6pm. I actually managed to wear Millie out today. I can't believe. She does have a limit to that seemingly boundless energy. LOL. She jumped into the boot and collapsed and was asleep in minutes. It was a quiet journey home.

Photos below:
I picked up a trackable doggy toy from one of the caches and took a photo of Millie with it.
Millie helping me to look for another one of the caches. It turns out it was not anywhere near here!

Here is a map from the geocache website showing the caches that I did and did not find on this day. It is not very clear but you can see this a bit clearer and even have a look at some geocaches in your own area on this website.