Sunday, 29 November 2009


I've not had a good week with my laptop. The screen cracked and this made it unusable. So I have been struggling all week and cursing. So Andy got fed up listening to me and went out and bought a new one today! OMG. We really shouldn't have, but I do use the laptop a lot. Now of course i don't have Photoshop on the new one and somehow I need to transfer my photos and digital scrapbbooking kits to this one which could be tricky cos the old laptop is very difficult to use with a broken screen. But I am very happy with the new one.

I've also started dieting AGAIN. Not sure how many days I will last. I am pretty crap at sticking to diets. I am just doing a basic diet - slimming world. I find it the easiest one to follow because you dont have to weigh everything. So let's see how we go. I am just getting fed up lugging this body around and want to be able to go for walks without it being so difficult. That will have to be my incentive.

Monday, 23 November 2009

Money free weekend

I LOVE the Internet and I LOVE googling to find out new and interesting topics. I am a member of swap bot ( and there is the opportunity to swap almost anything - ATCs, knitted items, mostly hand made items, sometimes swap things like ribbons, make matchbox and sometimes there are some email swaps as well as sending post cards. There is a huge variety. Today I joined a swap which is an email one - so it is free. The challenge is to make a list of 100 things to do that are free on a weekend. Ideas available from another website -
I had a little look on this and there are some great ideas. I quickly came up with a list nearly four pages long. Some ideas are fun, some are a bit boring but they are all free.
Here is my list:
.Phone a family member or friend for a long chat (phone deals usually include free weekend and evening calls)
.Deep clean a room in the house - wash curtains, carpets, clean out cupboards, hoover under the furniture etc
. Have a long chat with a partner about life ambitions and goals
. Make a romantic dinner with a loved one and light some candles, make it special with tablecloth, knapkin, wine etc
. Go to the library. You can read a magazine or a newspaper there; have a wander around and see what facilities they offer, borrow a book, DVD or magazine
. Read a good book.
. Meditate
. Watch a local community game - cricket netball, football
. Put your finances in order, check out what unncessary extras you are paying, see if you can get a better car/house insurance
. Put your paperwork/bills in order - file and throw out old stuff
. Shred all your papers for recycling
. Alphabetise your CD/DVD collection - I know this sounds very sad, but it is very fulfilling.
. Play a board game
. Do a jigsaw puzzle
. Watch your children put on a little show
. Make a den and play a make believe game with the children
. Make an indoor assault course for young children
. Walk along the seafront, on your own, with your loved one, with the children or the dog(s)
. Make a sandcastle. The beaches in Devon have amazing sand for this.

. Wash the dog (usually after a muddy walk is a good time)

. Take a nice walk in the woods or local nature reserve/country park
. Visit a castle ruin, gardens that are open to the public
. Cook up some meals in advance
. Bake some bread
. Bake some biscuits with the children
. I used to fill the sink with water and lots of bubbles and let the children play with the cups etc
. Paint some still life indoors, or go out and paint some scenery. If not paints available then colouring pencils would be just fine too
. Have a good clear out of the kitchen cupboard,s throwing out all those out of date goods
. Make a list of 101 things to do in 1001 days - still working on mine!
. Start a blog (perhaps detailing your success of above)
. Digital scrapbooking. There are some freebie kits and embellishments available that can get you started. One site that I use, which is very friendly and supportive is
. Make ATCs. These are Artist Trading Cards - check out this site.
. Make some Christmas/Birthday cards by hand
. Make decisions and write out your will
. Walk through the house and make a maintenance to do list
. Actually do some of that maintenance around the house - fix that leaking tap, broken curtain rail etc
. Do some basic car maintenance, or teach yourself how to (good old Google will show you) Check the oil, water and air in the tyres
. Clean the car, inside and out
. Clean out the garage
. Have a boot sale. Although you do technically have to spend out to do this initially, you would actually get more than your money back as long as you don't pick a day when it rains and no-one wants to buy anything like I did earlier this year.
. Sort through your books, CDs and DVDs. Either sell your unwanted items on ebay or Amazon or swap them on websites such as PaperBackSwap, SwapTree adn SwapADVD.
. Teach yourself how to knit
. Take some digital photos
. Share your photos online
. Visit a free museum
. Play on the x-box
. Play on the Wii - Wii fit is a good one
. Play games online
. Chat on facebook
. Get together with some friends and have a nice chat
. Go geocaching - check out their site for a cache near you -

. Stay in bed and watch TV
. Practice origami
. Make a video for You tube. this can be a "how to" video or whatever takes your fancy. I spend ages just looking at the videos
. Go for a swim in the sea
. Play a game of football/boules/tennis/badminton etc
. Scan your old photos
. Make a scrapbook using your photos
. Write a snail mail letter to an elderly relative. You could pick their brains for some family history and/or tell them all about your family's activities.
. Investigate your family tree - there is a lot you can find out online
. Watch films - a series of films like all the Star Wars movies (we watched all six one day!)
. Make a zine
. Cut the grass
. Tidy up the garden/greenhouse
. Trim the hedge or tree
. Do a crossword puzzle or soduku
. Do some volunteer work
. Watch the sunset/sunrise from a hill or on the seafront
. Do an exercise DVD
. Start a journal
. Learn or play a musical instruments. This can be on your own or with friends
. Sharpen your knives, scissors and lawnmower blades
. Plan your next year's holiday
. Give your partner a massage and if you are lucky receive one in return. Last year I learnt how to do Indian head massage and reguarly give my family members a head massage when they are tired or have a headache
. play a card game
. take a child to the playground and spend a great time pushing them on the swing and on the seesaw
. Google anything - I spend hours surfing the net. I usually start reading someone's blog which often leads to a link to another web site and then go on from there.
. Take a long hot bubble bath
. Manicure yours or your loved one's toes and finger nails
. Take some unwanted items to a charity shop
. Go fishing - on the beach or if it is free to get on a local pier, off the pier
. Go cycling
. Go running
. Do some amateur stargazing. Or you can go along to a local astronomy's open evening. We have a local one that often have a number of telescopes set up and let the general public have a look through and have a chat about astronomy.
. Write a book or some poetry
. Put up the Christmas decorations
. Wrap your Christmas presents, bought last weekend
. Write your Christmas cards
. Find letters of the alphabet on Google maps in YOUR area. I know of two people who have done this, one in UK and one in the Netherlands. I think I might see what I can find in London and Essex. Check this out.
. Take part in Earth Hour and turn off all the lights and if possible what electricity you can.

Well that is 90+, not quite a hundred, but I am sure you can think of a few more. When my children were young we didn't have a great deal of money, so we often had money free weekends. In fact, I think I have probably done almost everything on this list at one point or another. When I asked the kids, now aged 16 and 18, what they would do on a money free weekend they could only come up with chatting with friends and playing ont the x-box. All my efforts were in vain!

Sunday, 15 November 2009

This weekend's adventures

I have had a busy weekend, mostly geocaching. Andy must be thinking I am getting obsessed! But I just want to make the most of the opportunities available. Yesterday there was a World Wide Flash Mob event in London which I wanted to do as well as a few London caches and today the weather was georgous so I wanted to make the most of it.

Unfortunately yesterday's weather was not so good. It rained and was very windy all day. The rain did not stop until 4pm so i was not too happy about that. I walked miles and only got to do four caches in the end. But it was nice to meet up with other caches for the event at 6pm. It was dark by then so everyone came ready "to flash" their lights and torches. The organiser had put lights all over her wheelchair and assistance dog and someone else had put little flashing lights all over their bike. They looked pretty cool. I signed my name and swapped a trackable so a successful day in the end. Unfortunately the promised fireworks for the Lord Mayor's Show which was also going on that day, had to be cancelled due to high winds which was a shame. Came home absolutely exhausted but happy.

Whilst I was walking around London I went past Westminster Cathedral and the remembrance crosses and poppies were still in place. It brought a lump to my throat to see so many little crosses, each representing one person who has given their life in war. This is a small sample of the display.

Then today when I got up the sky was blue! HOORAY. So wonderful to see blue skies again. So I thought I really must go and take some more photos of cemeteries for the upcoming swap that I am in and surprise surprise there are some caches nearby. LOL. So I thought I would go and spend a few hours wandering around the countryside. Went to two local cemeteries and got a some photos. Need to get those prepared and posted later this week. Then on to the caches. Had a very successful day finding all the planned caches easily. I was down a path with bushes either side where the cache was hidden. I was hiding in the bushes when two girls riding on their horses came by. How embarrasing. What to say to explain why I am in the bushes and not on the path. So I just blurted out "Oh I am just getting right out of the way because I don't like horses at all" Oh dear. I DO like horses really, but just couldn't think of anything else to explain my prescence there. The things we do/say to avoid detection.

Last night I swapped the sheep trackable,that I had picked up on Junction 15 on the MI last weekend on my journey back from Sheffield, for Jake from the Tweenies. Jake's "mission" is to visit football grounds, so I took him for a photo shoot at our local football ground this morning.

Anyway, I have had a very good weekend. I have had a nice dinner and a lovely hot bath and am chilling with a glass of red wine and soon will be on the DSP chat tonight. Life is good.

Today's Dishing the Week
OUTSIDE MY WINDOW - it is dark and the curtains are drawn
I AM HEARING - Andy dishing up dinner
I AM WEARING - my black jogging trousers and pink T-shirt
I AM THINKING - how tired I am
I AM THANKFUL FOR - sunny Autumn days
I AM CREATING - a matchbox book to be sent off tomorrow
I AM GOING - to have a nice hot bath after dinner
I AM READING - nothing at the moment
I AM HOPING - for another sunny day next weekend. LOL
FROM THE KITCHEN - we have a nice roast chicken dinner coming up
ONE OF MY FAVORITE THINGS - walking in the countryside enjoying a beautiful day
A FEW PLANS FOR THE REST OF THE WEEK - Apart from work finishing and posting the book matchbox for a swap and printing and preparing cemetry photos to be sent off later this week. Andy has a dietician appointment at the hospital in London.

Tuesday, 10 November 2009

Elf yourself

Check out this fun link of me and my family dressed as elves dancing to a christmas tune.

Monday, 9 November 2009

Whilst checking out my partners for swap bot cemetry photo swap I came across Maureen's blog which I found really interesting. She had included a nice little blog info that I wanted to add here at least for today, but if i remember weekly too, as Maureen has in her blog.
Dishing the Week
OUTSIDE MY WINDOW - it is dark and the curtains are drawn
I AM HEARING - Andy watching the television
I AM WEARING - my work clothes of black trousers and black and white top
I AM THINKING - how sore my eyes are and does Barney need a wee or just want some fuss or his post dinner walk?
I AM THANKFUL FOR - mine and my family's health
I AM CREATING - nothing right now, but have a matchbox book to make this week
I AM GOING - to bed at 10pm after Flash Forward
I AM READING - places to visit in London in preparation for my visit to London on Saturday
I AM HOPING - my allergic reaction of face swelling and sore eyes will go down by tomorrow morning and if not if I can figure out what has caused it
FROM THE KITCHEN - we had beef stew and dumplings, yummy
ONE OF MY FAVORITE THINGS - driving out of the car park at work at the end of a long day and breathing a huge sigh of relief
A FEW PLANS FOR THE REST OF THE WEEK - work, work, work. Apart from that making the book matchbox for a swap and getting cemetry photos uploaded and printed.

Saturday, 7 November 2009

Shattered in Sheffield

I am absolutely shattered. Have come to visit Sarah for a few days in Sheffield. Today we went geoaching in the Peak District. We went up Winn Tor which is about 400m high. I look a little windswept here! It was raining and a little bit cold and we were tired from walking up and up and up. You can just about see the view behind Sarah; she has the cache in her hands.

There was a series of caches along the way, so plenty of opportunities for a rest. We got to as far as we were going to, height wise and unfortunately it was raining. But we had had some fabulous views. I couldn't believe how many people were trekking, and cycling, up and down here. We got back to a place called Hope where we had the car parked and had a nice hot cup of tea that I had put into a flask. Boy did that taste good. So we are home now and showered and I am going through some red wine whilst chilling out. My knees are agony but I am pleased that we did it.

Yesterday we went round a cemetry looking for clues and a cache. Sadly we didn't find the cache, though I am pretty sure we got the clues right and were looking in the right area. I think the cache itself was quite small and difficult to find with all the leaves on the ground. Will have to try this one another time of the year. The cemetry was really old though, 1800 - 1850 mostly and was really creepy and overgrown. This is a picture which gives you an idea of just how unkempt and overgrown it is right now. It is a real shame as there are some noteworthy people interred here. This website gives a more in depth description about the cemetry.

It was on a hill and there were some very interesting headstones. I took some photos for a cemetry photo swap on swap bot that I am doing. I think there might be a few good photos in there. It was raining when we went round so was suitably atmospheric.

Sarah tells me it always rains here, and I think I am inclined to believe her as it has hardly stopped raining the whole time I have been here. Be glad to be home back down south, have a hot bath and hopefully not have too much rain!

Tuesday, 3 November 2009

101 in 1001

Have been ticking off more things on my list of 101 things to do in 1001 days. For the past couple of days I have been tidying my work room up, after a recent change of rooms. I have also cleared out the filing cabinet and sorted out all the household paperwork. The result is a nice tidy room and three bin bags full of recycling and rubbish. Feel exhausted now, but really pleased to have got it done. It was difficult to sort stuff out in the room because it is quite small and I still can't kneel down after the op, which is annoying, but I got there in the end.


Andy's parents decorated their house and did some halloween games for the four youngest grandchildren ranging in ages from 1yr to 7yrs. They all got dressed up and did a treasure hunt in the garden as they are a bit too young to go out trick or treating. Little Sophie was soooo cute in her witches dress; poor Abbie's dress was a little too tight in the arms but I think the boys were quite comfy in their outfits. They certainly enjoyed finding all the hidden treats in the house and garden.I am glad I went geocaching yesterday as it is raining heavily today. I got my 100th cache so was very pleased. Also I got one that I have been trying to find for ages, having gone down to the location several times. I was absolutely determined to get it this time and with a pictoral spoiler from the cache owner, I managed to retrieve it. I was pretty excited to find out that there was a cat trackable in there too. I like cats and cat ornaments. I shall take some photos and take it up to Sheffield with me on Thursday.

I am looking forward to seeing Sarah for a few days, but I sure do hope the weather improves as I don't fancy wandering around the Peak District in the rain. She seems to have the whole weekend planned so I guess I had better just relax and let her have control! mmm, a bit difficult for a control freak like me!