Tuesday, 27 December 2011

So...on a scale of one to ten...

...how bad was it for you? Mine wasn't that bad - as it happens.

Bro came to fetch me from Whittlesea (not by the sea) and if you manage to ignore the hair-raising driving in his little mid-life crisis two seater sports car back up the A1 (during which I alternated between whimpering about the speed and whimpering because I was convinced I was going to pee my pants any second)(Note to self : Purchase Tenna products without delay) it was a very pleasant journey. I Particularly liked the swearing and flashing lights at other drivers who DARED to pull out in front of us. No..honestly...I did.

We got back in time for 'almost-deaf' mother to put a veritable feast of Hot roast chicken and home-made chips (with lashings of soft white bread and butter) in front of me - in the guise of a feast. Actually it was a feast. A very welcome one. Mother may not be able to hear very well or think that clearly - but she cooks a mean chip.

Xmas Eve morning saw the return of the lovely prodigal daughter. It was lovely to see her again...she's so sweet and kind - and we spent most of the afternoon laid on the sofs...snuggling. And laughing. And snuggling...and laughing. Oh yes - and demolishing a huge tin of Quality Street!

Eve evening was spent at Great Aunt's house. My Mum's cousin To be exact. Her brother was there too. He used to be on the telly. He was a comedian. And a singer. This is the second year that we have spent Christmas with him. He loves to entertain. The problem is...he's not very entertaining...but nobody has thought to point this out. Tempted though I was...I managed to refrain. It wasn't too bad if you were wearing ear plugs.

The big day dawned and I got a few gifties. The very best one was from Prodigal daughter - she sponsored the education of a child in Africa for an entire year on my behalf. I cried when I opened the envelope.

Got marched off to the pub by dearest brothers. Just the 3 of us. First time ever. Gin and tonic. Pissed little sister (me).

Lunch was...well Christmas Lunch. Lots of food and sore belly. Can't really say much more than that. Oh yes - what the say about sprouts is true. Excuse me.

Entertaining Uncle kept trying to hold the stage. Aha...because we were prepared and fore-armed...he never really got the chance to get totally into his stride. It was amusing watching him try though. This culminated in him insisting that I Google his name on my I-phone. You couldn't make this stuff up.

The day of the Box was spent a) entertaining the entertaining Uncle who just happened to be passing by (WTF) and decided to drop in for a quick coffee...lasting one and half hours (he fibbed because you can't just 'pass' my Mother's. It's on a cul-de-sac.)

And then I went to Fi's for Boxing Day afternoon party. Turkey and Pork Sandwiches. Pickled Onions...oh yes...an ex-boyfriend from some ten years or more ago - who still thinks that the best thing for me would be to be with him. But only after I've apologised for all I did wrong when we were together...and then promised to change in ways too numerous to mention. Sadly I decided to pass on this....although a more attractive proposition would be hard to find...(wry smile).

Today I have been out with Mother. In the car. I don't think she knows about 4th and 5th gear as we seem to go everywhere in 3rd. Even dual carriageways at speeds of more than 45mph. Yes...really.

This afternoon I have been doing my roots. Looking this good takes work.

Tomorrow I am having lunch with the very divine Mr Bill Rusling. Wonderful friend of great gaiety. I am very much looking forward to that. Later in the week I am having lunch with the wondrous Ms Scott and Ms Ridall. There will be wine. And laughter. And snorting. And then I shall be having fun and frolicks with the awesome Mrs Morris. I can't wait to see her. I loves her...I does.

There will be more frolicks with Mrs Smith...and then I am having tea with the delightful Briddon family on Friday.

So - all in all - I reckon all of that little lot comes out with a tally of about 11. So - that's how good it was. 11 out of 10.

Sunday, 18 December 2011

Merry Fuckwit



Well..it's on its way. Just 7 more sleeps. Bloody Christmas again. I don't like it. I don't like it all. I have just been to the shop and purchased a small box of Quality Street to try and get me in the mood. Result? I feel sick and still don't like Christmas.

Because I have no splash cash...I have bought no presents. I told my family this a month ago. I asked them not to buy me anything - and the money that they would have spent....give it to a charity. Did they listen? Nah. So now on Xmas day I will have to be the receiver of gifts with nothing with which to reciprocate. Cue - embarrassment - cue shame - cue self-loathing. My dear brother just rang and asked me what I would like if I were to get something. I said I didn't want anything - and he said 'I know...but if you did'......doh.

In other news....the lake is freezing. Not literally...it's still a relatively balmy 5 degrees in there - but if you factor in how much quicker water conducts heat than air (about 20 x) you can see why I get so flipping frozen. Luckily training dives only have to be 20 minutes duration...and I'm telling you...if we get to 20.01...we've failed!!!! The divemasters and shop staff are primed to be waiting on the jetty with lashings of hot chocolate. I'm having brandy in mine this week.

Tomorrow and Tuesday I am teaching a dry suit course...in order to gain my dry suit teaching qualification. So today I am studying 'performance requirements' a la PADI.

It's a bit dull, and a bit dry, and a huge tome...but we've made notes....and we'll be okay.

My other bro is all lined up to come and fetch me next Friday and return me to the bosom of my family for Xmas. It will be lovely. Oh yes it will. Please remember that apart from our Dan I will be the youngest person round the table. That's going to be a laugh a minute - isn't it? Combined age for 7 people?...a massive 394 years.

Merry Christmas everybody x

Monday, 28 November 2011

Awarded!


Today I have been given an award. What for? I hear you ask. For being amazing? witty? sexy? accomplished? a great diving instructor?...no! Although all of these things are worthy of note (harrumph). No..I have been given a lovely award for this blog! From a lovely lady and dear friend. She likes to read my adventures. Apparently she enjoys them. She has great taste and is very good at appreciating the finer things in life!

In the true spirit of the award...I now have to give the award to five other blogs worthy of note. So here are my nominations.

I married a Shaman - wonderful musings from a lovely artistic soul

Fantastic Reads - Thoughts about books (and other stuff) from the most well read person I know

Briddon - The thoughts of dearest Christian.

Blonde Ramblings! - wonderful and witty, sharp and daring. The lovely Claire bites back

Does this stroller may me look gay? - the journey of two husbands and their little family


Take a look at these blogs - they are worthy of note!

That's all :)

Friday, 18 November 2011

Teaching fail.....

Tonight I have taught my very first solo open water student. Here at Gildy we do a thing called 'Team Teaching'...which means that when you first qualify you teach alongside a more experienced instructor for a couple of months. This is only for the Open Water students...regular readers will know that I have solo-taught 'Seal Team' (kiddies) before.

Tonight was dreadful. My student was very nervous and kept wanting to go to the surface. We only have two hours of pool time on a Friday night - so we have to get a lot done in a short time.

The more she stressed...the more I was worried about the time - and because of my in-experience I wasn't able to get her over her hurdles as well or as quickly as another more experienced tutor may have done.

At nine o clock when our pool time ended I had only got through one and half lessons - instead of the three that I had targeted. Ooops -

She's coming back on Monday for her academics...I hope that goes a bit better :)

Wednesday, 9 November 2011

My tummy is like a ........


...bowling ball. I is fat. I is huge around the midriff. I haven't been this rotund since I was waiting for the nipper's arrival some 23 years ago. I am ashamed and disgruntled with myself. But it's soooo not my fault. I am passing the buck and placing the blame for my largeness squarely at Pauline's door.

Who the 'eck is Pauline? Well Pauline is the owner of the dive centre where I stay (and teach...sometimes). She is an excellent cook. None of this fancy haute cuisine nonsense...'A little jus madam?'...oh no Pauline is old school. She cooks proper dinners. With vegetables and three lots of spuds and hot gravy and puddings with custard and stuff. I know that your mouth is watering as you read this. I JUST KNOW IT.

Put this together with the fact the weather is colder than a witch's tit and you will understand when I tell you that when Pauline puts my dinner in front of me every night (tonight it was homemade fish pie...with loads of cheesy mash potato...followed by Bread and Butter pudding with hot creamy custard) I simply couldn't leave anything on my plate. I just couldn't. The food mesmerises me and it tastes ...oh...so....good. For lunch we had Jacket spuds with thick homemade chicken stew...and earlier I had a large (oink) bacon buttie. I reckon that's about 4,000 calories for the day. Which is way more than I need. I usually live on ten cups of coffee per day...about 15 fags...and then a bit of something for my tea. Average intake about 1,000 calories and 75 mg of nicotine and caffeine. (Wired? Moi? Mais non)

My little tummy has grown about 4 inches and really does resemble a bowling ball. I have always prided myself in having no discernable tummy as such. It's always been quite flat (apart from when I was growing a baby of course...then it was huge ...like a Zeppelin with extra air)..but five days after said bambino was pushed out - my lovely flat tummy was ...well...flat again.

The feeding by Pauline will stop on Sunday ( we have people here on a residential course at the moment and they leave on Sunday...she cooks for me because she says it's easy enough to add one more to the table) and although I will miss it - I need to get back to living on dust and the odd Cadbury's Flake - because at this rate I will soon Pop. I mean it. I will. And then there'll be a terrible mess to clean up and everything.

Luckily I wear sports clothes during the day. Sports clothes tend to have elasticated waists (me not stupid)...but I honestly don't think I could get anything else on right now.

I have turned into my nemesis...Billy Bunter.

Tuesday, 8 November 2011

Buy this book....

The other day I treated myself to an e-book reader. Not - I hasten to say a 'Kindle' (other e book readers are available)...but no...a 'Kobo' which is WH Smith's version of the same thing. I read lots of books and seeing as I think they're rather expensive....downloading them as and when I want something new to read - for about half the price - appealed to my thrifty nature.

The first book I purchased (for the princely sum of £2.99) was the one shown above. I may be wrong - but I think it's only available as a download.

I am so glad I did. It is hilarious. When reading this book - every five minutes or so - I have to put my Kobo down (doesn't that sound like a peculiar activity??? "I won't be a minute dear...I'm just putting my Kobo down...")...and laugh out loud.

It's a book that started as a blog (now there's a good enough reason to like it) and it tells the story of a very ugly man trying to find love. He has an alcoholic hapless friend who helps him...and the results are gut wrenchingly painful and poignant and very very funny.

I love this book. It's well worth reading. Honestly :)

Sunday, 6 November 2011

Lovely weekend xxxx

Oh Hello....still there then? I bet you thought I'd gone off somewhere - it's been ages. Anyway I'm here now and awfully sorry for going 'off-air' for a while....

So..what have I been up to? Not a lot to be honest. Plenty of complaining about the cold...especially seeing as the water here is getting more 'a la frigidaire' by the day. I honestly don't know how I'll cope in December and January...I'm getting a wee bit old to be chucking my body in freezing cold H2O and expecting to come up smiling...

This weekend has been lovely. I had the weekend off (!) and travelled by train back down to Surrey. I went to stay with a lovely friend and her lovely family. And she's got lovely beds. I mean...really lovely. The beds in her house actually 'hug' you when you get in! The quilt was like a proper cloud. Honestly! It was fab! I haven't slept so well for ages.

We had a night out in Esher on Friday....and then last night she cooked a lovely supper and we watched 'Strictly'...and that's a first for me this year.

I've known this friend for about 23 years and we share family members (which is truly lovely)...we also share our birthday...and in lots of ways we're quite alike. She 'gets' me - probably because she's known me for so long...and I think I get her.

When somebody 'gets' you...life is so much easier because you don't have to pretend - you can just be yourself straight away...and that's very relaxing. She always welcomes me with open arms and her home is always full of love and massively welcoming.

I won't leave it so long next time......





Thursday, 20 October 2011

Happiness
















MY ELECTRIC BLANKET HAS ARRIVED....I AM SHOUTING WITH HAPPINESS :)

Wednesday, 19 October 2011

Toasty

Today I bought myself something. It wasn't expensive (about 13 quid) but it is worth ten times that to me. I live in very basic circumstances and the onslaught of the cold weather has made me grumpy. I have no efficient heating you see and after living for four months in the heat of the med earlier in the year...the cold has been a bit of a shocker to the system. Here in the Fens it bites early...and last night I was so cold in bed...despite the extra fleecy blanket...the joggers..the hoody and the scarf (I kid you not)...that I had to move a mattress into the living area of my accommodation where it is a few degrees warmer....I couldn't get to sleep because I was soooo cold.

Today I hot-footed (don't you just love how I did that?...'hot'...'footed'..) it down to Whit's very own hardware store and purchased a heater. Of the fan variety.

Now it's so warm in here that I am sweating and have the stirrings of a headache. I have stripped off to a t-shirt and shorts...but I AM NOT TURNING IT OFF...no...first I will open a window and the door...and let Jack Frost run all over my wee little body before I will turn it off - or even turn it down.

For the very first time in about 6 days I can honestly say that I am warm...Oh joy of joys. Joy of deepest joys.

PS. I also ordered an electric blanket from Amazon. When that arrives I will be delirious.

Tuesday, 18 October 2011

The Very Best

Last night I had a long chat (by the wonders of modern technology...oh how we love Skype) with an old pal. She's lovely. Bright, beautiful, feisty, funny, and amazing in lots of ways. She's had a relationship break apart and as a result she has broken apart. She doesn't deserve to be feeling the way she is feeling. Not at all. The person who has hurt her is not even aware of the pain he has caused.

I know that in time she'll recover - because we all do - and I know it's all part of the journey - it all needs to be embraced and learned from and ...in the end...she'll be better because of this lesson.

I wish I could have transferred one ounce of the respect that I feel for her into her head - and I wish I could make her understand what a worthwhile and fabulous person she is.

Upon analysis of the relationship (I told you it was a long chat)...we discovered that the third party wasn't who she thought they were...behaved in unacceptable ways from the beginning of the relationship....to cut it short...wasn't who she though they were...at all! But - because we are all driven from a need to find love and be accepted - she had ignored and pushed aside the signs. We have all done this...some of us...many, many times. She was seduced by the passion (her own passion) for being loved by somebody else. That is what becomes addictive...it's not necessarily about the other person at all.

I urged her to take some time and look at herself and celebrate who she is. She is absolutely worth celebrating (as we all are).

Relationships are complicated...full of expectations...inner needs of the child that we all are wanting to be satisfied....scars from the past needing to be healed. No wonder it's hard!

She's an amazing woman - and deserves only the very best in her life. The third person wasn't really the best. He wasn't even alright for 'just now'. She, however - is the best...and I hope she finds the best inside herself - learns to love that 'best' person like all her friends do...learns to look in the mirror and see 'the very best' looking back at her.


Monday, 17 October 2011

Weekend report

Well..it's all been going on around here. Actually that opening phrase makes things sound a tad more exciting than they really are...but it's been okay. Actually better than okay - but we don't want to gild the lily more than is necessary :)

I've had a lovely weekend with a Gentleman Caller. (About time). When I say 'weekend' I mean that we shared the afternoon on Saturday and then most of the day on Sunday. We certainly didn't share Saturday night (as in 'over night'). Cue 'harrumphing and straightening of cardigan'...we don't go in for that kind of shenanigans until later...much later....(if at all).

Anyway - he's very nice. I like him quite a lot. However...I don't know him very well yet - and we're completely aware that people only show their good side to begin with (of course that's not a problem for me because I only have as good side :).

We spent Saturday mooching around in Peterborough - drinking coffee - and having a wander - including through the doors of Peterborough Cathedral...which satisfied my love for beautiful old buildings and ancient craftmanship (it's a very beautiful building)...then found our way into the Lakeland store (you did what?.....oh how sexy!)....well..I am 48...and I love Lakeland! Then spent a while browsing through Waterstones bookshop. On Saturday night we went for a curry here in Whit...which gave us the chance to have a proper conversation (OH I do like a good conversation).

Yesterday we did some research on the tinterweb and decided to travel to a nearby local town to visit a National Trust property...sadly - when we got there - it was shut. So we went for coffee...browsed a department store (I purchased a very natty little ensemble of gloves, hat and scarf in a very fetching purple colour)....and then went for Sunday lunch here in Whittlesea (throbbing metropolis that it is).

Then it was time for my friend to leave. Verdict? A very nice weekend...some intelligent conversation.....quite a few mirth moments....nice food.....a great camper van (yes - he has a
camper van!!!)

Will I be seeing him again? I hope so. That would be nice.




Saturday, 15 October 2011

Known and loved

I've just spotted that it's over FIVE YEARS since I started this blog. Five years. That's a long time. I haven't done anything in my life before for five years. I haven't kept a job for five years. I haven't stayed with a chap for five years. I haven't lived in one house or city for five years. I'm not...as you might say...'constant' with many things...but there must be something about doing this that appeals for me to have carried it on for so long.

Actually I have had some things in my life for more than five years. I have friends who I have loved for longer...far longer...Moya I have K+L (known and loved) for 25 years...Fiona I have K+L for 18 years...Christian and Victoria I have K+L for 18 years+, Helen and Andrew I have K+L for about the same, the divine Mrs Morris I have K+L for 43 years (YES!!!! I know it's a long time) and my lovely daughter I have K+L for 22 years.

There are other people I have K+L for great lengths of time and I am proud and honoured by these friendships. These people know me...really know me...and love and accept me for exactly who I am.

How good is that?

Bit chilly :)

Well...it's getting mighty chilly round here now. I've just been over to the bathroom block and spotted steam coming off the lake. That means the water is warmer than the air...bloody 'eck...yesterday the water was 14 degrees c - which unless you're wearing a dry suit (thankfully I was) is just a tad too cold to be splashing about it.

This week has been interesting.....I dived with a guy on Wednesday who wanted to do five dives in a day. Five dives? Who do you think you are? Jacques Coustea? The most I've ever done in one day is three...and that was pushing it! We have dive tables and computers and calculations to keep us safe....and along comes a chuff who wants to do five in a day..I wouldn't have minded if he was a good diver...but as we approached the entry point he started shaking (as my brother would say....'like a sh*tting dog')....anyway we did three - saw a huge carp - at least a metre and a half long...and then he was happy.

Yesterday I had another diver who hasn't quite finished his qualification and required / wanted more practise. Another trembler. The first dive went well....he came out with a huge grin on his face and said the dive was 'awesome'...then on the second dive...when visibility was reduced to about 25cm (I'm not kidding....minestrone anyone?) he panicked, and decided he wanted to surface...not a problem...but it is if you come up from 12 metres in a hurry. I'm afraid I had to tell him off! He still wants to come back next week and dive with me again though! Secretly I think these chaps like a woman who will tell them off :)

Today I'm expecting a Gentleman Caller. A few weeks ago we had a 'do' here on the Saturday evening....an Army reunion no less. I was serving behind the bar, and apparently caught the eye of an ex- captain (only officers for this girl). He quite caught my eye too. Anyway we chatted and I asked him for his number. Since then we've spoken a couple of times and today he is driving all the way from Bristol (a distance of some 150+ miles) to come and take me out for the day (Blimey - that's keen).

Of course...I'll let you know how I get on !!!

Wednesday, 12 October 2011

Peter Davy


24th December 1937 - 4th October 2011

RIP


Friday, 7 October 2011

A Grand Day Out



Yesterday I enjoyed a very grand day out in London Town. My lovely, lovely and uber talented cousin Richard has a bijou little hair salon there and when I live in the UK he looks after my barnett. So..on the train I went (which only takes an hour) jumped on the tube and by lunchtime was sporting a new look. It's a bit shorter than before...but I love it. It's very me!

And then...if that wasn't enough excitement for one day I was joined by the very beautiful and luscious Fi-fi who had come all the way down from Sheffield to spend the afternoon with me (she got her hair cut too!). We had lunch......in any stone's throw there is always some lovely food available in London...and a fab girly gossip. I so miss Fiona now that I don't see her every day.

Sadly - we didn't get to see the Queen. Maybe next time.




Wednesday, 5 October 2011

Smell burning?

I was thinking (can anybody smell burning?) about all kinds of stuff last night. About my Dad, obviously and about me and who I am and what I do and how I am and who I love and all that kind of gooky stuff. I suppose a parent's death will do that for you (You'd be a bit of a cold fish if it didn't...right?)

Anyway...I have wonderful folks around me..I am loved by a few very good people who make the world better and am liked (I think) by a few more. Not that many - but more than enough. I am blessed. I have the most wonderful daughter who is just lovely in every way. I've had my share of fun, and my share of disasters along the way. I have an awesome Mum and two very very lovely brothers.

We all take after our parents in little ways (nature or nurture?) and I have some of my Mum's character, and quite a lot of my Dad's. Because of who he was - I didn't really like myself when I recognised some of my father's characteristics in me. My Dad wasn't a bad person but...like many of his generation he was fixed in his ways and could never admit wrong and therefore take steps to improve or even apologise when he made mistakes. I think he was quite an angry person and he was controlling and a little bit dictatorial. You could have any kind of deep or meaningful conversation (you know...one of those where all participants gain something and nobody has to 'win') because he just didn't know how. He was, in turn, very much like his own father (who - incidentally he didn't understand or like very much...funny? eh?)

I was laid in bed last night thinking about him and his death and then I just felt a big kind of sense of relief - it was as if all the things about myself that are like he was...all the things that I don't like...just lifted away. It was as if I don't have to be like him anymore..because he's no longer here. As if those parts of me that were most like him had died with him.

I have no idea what this all means..or of it's true...or if it's all just the over-thinking of some 40+ mad batty middle aged woman late at night...who knows?

I suppose I felt a kind of peace. Now that can't be quite right..can it? or can it?


Tuesday, 4 October 2011

Bye Dad

I wanted to say Goodbye to my Dad. He died today. He was fishing in Spain and he had a heart attack. I hope it was quick and he didn't suffer. When I was a girl I loved my Dad very much...but the person he became and the person I became just didn't get along and for the last few years there wasn't much love between us.

We hadn't seen each other for a few years...funnily enough the last time we met was at his Mother's funeral.

I remember lots of things about my Dad from my childhood....some of them funny, some of them nice...and some of them not so nice.

I can't truly say that I'll miss him...but I just kind of wanted to say 'Goodbye'.

Wednesday, 28 September 2011

Fit as a 35 year old Butcher's Dog

Today I went to Nottingham to see Margaret. Margaret is an HSE Diving Medical Examiner. Which is a bit of a fancy title for a Doctor who does dive medicals. If you want to work here in the UK as a diving instructor (which I do) and get paid for it (which I certainly do) you need a full Health and Safety Executive Diving at Work Medical.

The medical is failry rigorous and takes about 90 minutes. It reminded me of medicals I used to have when I was in the Army. In Malta we pee'd on a stick, had our blood pressure taken and if you were walking and talking...you passed. Easy. Not so over here.

Here you have an ECG, Pee on a stick, blood tests, step tests, sight tests, hearing tests, full history, lung volume capacity tests, bone density tests, BMI tests...a full workout indeed!

My results came back straight away. I have a problem with my left ear - can only half hear at one frequency range (but out of 7 frequency ranges that's not too bad...and no reason for a fail)...but the rest of me in in ship shape condition.

My heart is in good condition...my blood pressure is low (which is good)...my exercise recovery rates were excellent (exercise? what the bloody hell is that?)

In fact ..dear Margaret told me that I had the same results that she would expect from a 35 year old. Just like that - she knocked some 13 years off me.

And - as for the smoking...my lung capacity and lung strength test results gave results that she would expect from a non-smoker of the age of 30. That is - someone who has NEVER smoked a fag...and is only 30 years old.

Excuse me while I just nip to the shop for twenty B&H.........and for those of you who moan about my smoking...well - you can just stick it your pipe and.....er........er.....SMOKE it :)

Sunday, 25 September 2011

I loved it.

Yesterday I mentioned a trip to Waterstones. I love books. Really love books. For a few months now I have been toying with the idea of buying a Kindle..but haven't got round to it. Why? because they just don't have the same weight or feel or texture or anything as a book. The good thing about them is that you can download a book at any hour of the day or night if you're desperate for something to read. Will I get one? hmmmmm..not sure yet. I'll keep you informed!

Today has been lovely. I've been teaching...which is what I got into this scuba nonsense to do. We had 2 students finish their Open Water course today. At the end of the final dive we tell them that the final skill is to sit on the 8 metre platform and close their eyes. We fib to them and we tell them that it's to do with their balance and stuff under water. What nonsense. It's so that we can get out their badges from whence they are hidden...then tap them on the forehead to open their eyes and give them their 'Open Water Diver' badges. The look on a student's face when they get given this is priceless. Today I gave the lovely Graham (my student) his badge and then I cried...under water..inside my mask....what a twit!

I was so proud to have been part of his journey...and to have been the person who taught him all he knows about keeping safe and enjoying the wonderful experiences of being underwater!

I loved it.

Saturday, 24 September 2011

Mooch

Well...sorry I haven't put anything on here of late...but I've been distracted. Not by new shoes...or George Clooney or anything like that...just distracted! Life is a bit 'samey' at the moment and so there's not often much that amuses or enlightens me ...enough that I want to write about anyway.

Today has been fun though. I went for a mooch around Peterborough. Whenever I go into town usually...I just get there...do whatever it was I went to do...and return straight away. Today though I had the time and the inclination for a bit of a wander. I found Waterstones and bought a couple of books...one of which I have finished already...then I went to M&S and availed myself of the vast array of produce in their food department (it's been a while)....and then I managed to locate goold old Matalan and bought a couple of hoodies! (I'm going robbing car stereos next week).

Came back...had a nap...read my book...and then watched a DVD whilst stuffing my face with M&S's finest!

And now I'm off to bed. Oh yes..I forgot to mention...yesterday was my Birthday. I am now 48. Oh Crappola.

Saturday, 3 September 2011

My very first student!

He was 9 years old....and he was awesome! Regular little Jacques Cousteau!

Friday, 26 August 2011

Trip home

Have just been on a whistle stop tour to Sheffield to say hello to a few people. I stayed with my Mum (who is deafer and dafter than ever...but also took me shopping)..spent a wonderful evening with the divine Mrs Smith before she jetted off to Portugal for her hols....had a delightful luncheon with the wonderful Mrs Morris (and saw Mr Morris too)...and had an Uncle Sams experience with the lovely Mr Elliott. Also popped by to visit the Briddons but only Mr. was home. Lovely to see him again too. Had tea with my brother and a chat on the phone with the other brother. I love my friends and family in Sheffield...and miss them sooooo much when I'm away.

Then back on the train (choo-choo) and down to Peterborough for some scuba team teaching experience (still sleeping in t'caravan....oh the glamour).

My Lovely brother is popping by later in the month to take me out for a curry...in the meantime...the microwave is going 'ping...ping...ping'...AWESOME!

Monday, 22 August 2011

OWSI


Two years after taking my first ever scuba dive.....I have successfully qualified as an Open Water Scuba Instructor!!! How good is that? I've just spent two weeks on a very intensive course - (not to mention the prior three months in Malta becoming a Divemaster)...being trained by the very lovely Helen (who is a Course Director)...in a flooded brick pit in Peterborough called Gildenburgh Water. I would like to thank the person who first introduced me to Scuba...but because he's a twat...I don't think I will!!! After all...all the hard work has been done by moi and a host of Padi professionals along the way. I am now one of those Padi professionals...and yesterday - when I was told that I had passed - and handed my certificate...it was one of my life's proudest moments.

There are people who have helped me along the way...Mum, Dan, Jules, Jopa, Adrian, Neil and Fifi la trix (who - as always has been my number one fan)...and the crew in Malta. Also the crew here at Gildenburgh have been amazing. I thank you all.

Next step? I'm going to be here for a couple of months doing some team teaching and getting some experience under my belt...and then I think I may travel the world :)

I am one VERY happy Scuba Diving Instructor :) XX

Tuesday, 9 August 2011

Shameless

Right...that's it..I have finally hit rock bottom. I am now residing in a caravan. I am officially a pikey. Hopefully it's not for good. I am staying near Peterborough at a dive school which comes highly recommended and busily studying in preparation for the IDC which begins on Thursday. What the 'ecks an IDC I hear you ask??? It's the Padi Instructor Development Course. Basically I am here to learn to be an instructor.

The accommodation - whilst quaint - is a tad basic.....I don't even have running water...but fortunately there is a tap on a stand pipe about ten yards from my front door. My neighbours are a homeless couple who the site owners felt sorry for.... and they have a child whose eyes look in opposite directions; they also own a doggie which looks suspiciously like an illegal pit bull. Oh, the glamour.

My course begins on Thursday - and hopefully by a week on Sunday I will be a fully fledged OWSI.

At present I am studying and relishing the delights of the Co-op ready meals for the microwave section....seeing as that's the only cooking thingy that I have access to...but once the course starts the catering is apparently taken care of by the lovely Pauline...who by all accounts is only one step away from Ainsley Harriot. We'll see.

I am missing the warmth of Malta, and the lovely clear water - seeing as diving here is akin to swimming in very cold Minestrone soup! I am however getting loads of sleep...because in this sleepy little backwater everything shuts down at eight pm.

There are ducks on the pond...so that's nice....I may have to catch one and see how it turns out when microwaved. Hoi Sin sauce...anyone???

Thursday, 4 August 2011

Night dive report.....

Yes...the night dive went well and I am still alive....despite Reinhart showing me that he was very nearly out of air when we still had about ten minutes to go........we had a 'touching cloth' moment when I realised that I might have to share my air supply with him for the last few minutes of the dive. It was funny because he's never ever even got close to running out of air....he must have been breathing like a rapist......(nervous dear?).....

I was totally relaxed (I wasn't in charge) and just bimbled along the reef. However...I'm not in a hurry to do it again because a) I got eaten alive by mozzies and now have a lumpy face...and b) you just can't see anything....oh yes....and at no time did I have a single clue where I was!

However - yesterday went well - because after a long dive with Jules....we worked out that I had used less air than him (the mark of a good diver is one who uses very little air). It was the first time it had ever happened and he was well peeved. I, on the other hand was dead chuffed and spent the rest of the day asking him (in front of other people) how much air he'd come out with?

Today I think he'll attempt to drown me. :)

Monday, 1 August 2011

Night Dive

Tonight we are going for a night dive. It's the first time I've ever done such a thing. The ocean is very different at night. Firstly it's dark...so you need a torch. Then you need a back-up torch in case your first one fails (we think of every eventuality)...then you also take a night glow-stick just in case you're having a very bad torch day...get the drift?

Tonight's dive will be with my dear friend Reinhart, Martin and the lovely Emma (who is admitting to being just a little bit nervous).

Different creatures are abound in the depths at night. The sea takes on a phosporescent glow which is strange but lovely. All the fish that you see during the day are sleeping soundly...and the night fish and boogly creatures come out. Octopus, squid, and some very strange other invertebrate things!!! I can't wait.

If I don't come back.............

Sunday, 31 July 2011

Proud moment for me :)

After three long hard months of 6 day weeks and much lifting of tanks...much biting my tongue and much putting up with sexist ribald comments from every direction... (and also a whole load of belly clenching laughs) I am pleased to announce that I passed my final exams today with a very respectable 97% score and am now a fully qualified Divemaster. Next stop...Instructor.

Thursday, 23 June 2011

Diving is NOT a glamour sport :)

No wonder I'm struggling to garner any male attention.....I look like somebody with moderate to severe learning difficulties :)

Sunday, 19 June 2011

Hello :)

Hello, hello, hello...from the land of the sunshine. Summer has arrived here in Malta - and it's hot...really hot. To be honest it's a bit too hot for me - but because I am a veteran of living in the med (2 years in Cyprus when I was 21-23)...I am hoping to get used to it. Now - in other news...the diving is going really well. I love it so much. We get to meet some lovely people and then our work is mainly carried out at the coast - and off we go diving. Lovely! Swimming with the fishes and exploring wrecks...and all that kind of stuff. Waaaaay too cool!

I do miss everyone back home and wish they were all here with me sharing the fun....but...alas...it's not to be :(

I am really hoping to stay until November and complete my instructor exams - but it depends on how my money lasts....keep your fingers crossed..(any donations much appreciated!)

Love to all X

Thursday, 16 June 2011

Homesick

Well - this evening I am feeling more than a little homesick. It's been nearly 7 weeks - and I suppose I feel like this because Dan was here last week...and now she's gone - and the novelty of working every day of the week and not eating properly or getting enough sleep has started to wear off a bit. I'm still loving the diving of course - and the people that I get to spend all day with are mainly cool.....but I miss my UK friends very much. So here's a big wave to Fifi La Trix, Jayne M, Bill R, Christian & Victoria, Helen and Andrew, Jopa, and loads more besides. The great thing about my proper friends is that they already know all about me...so I don't have to explain who I am, or why I do the things I do in the way I do.....nobody really knows me here - and it feels kind of odd to be 'not known' properly.....

Anyway - I'm sure it's just a phase and it will pass......

Sunday, 12 June 2011

Happy Days

This week has been lovely. One of those memorable periods of time when everything comes together and you just sit back and enjoy. Dan and Alex came out for a weeks' holiday - which was truly lovely...we all went diving..and they really enjoyed it :)

I also had some very nice attention of the male variety...which was quite nice and rather welcome (it's been a while)...and what's more - he was quite a bit younger than me (harrumph!)...he was a really lovely chap (actually he still is)..bright...funny...kind and just - well - lovely. We spent a very nice few days and evenings together...and then today - sadly - he left to return to his home in the UK. Will he come back? Who knows....possibly....possibly not. It doesn't really matter because we're busily living in the moment.....but it was really lovely to 'like' somebody again after all this time and the last couple of years (regular readers will know what I'm talking about). It would be lovely if he did return - but I am totally aware that being on holiday is a little like living in a fantasy and the magic can soon fade once you return to the drudgery of every day life back home.

My life out here is a bit like being on holiday all the time - and I love that about being here.

For the first time in a very long time I am truly happy, contented, busy and feeling peaceful and calm. Long may it continue. X

Wednesday, 18 May 2011

Black Eye !!! Ouch :)

This is my lovely black eye which is a direct result of the 'serious head injury' sustained yesterday. It doesn't hurt...just makes me look like an OAP victim of a mugging......... !!

Tuesday, 17 May 2011

More injuries.....

The other day I told you about my sore little bits on my ankles...and other tales of woe regarding over-exerted muscles and the such like. Did I get much sympathy?? Not really ...but you know what? - I've made my bed and now I must lay in it.

However I certainly didn't sign up for serious head injuries. Yesterday I was playing the victim in a rescue scenario involving my colleague Rheinhard, who needs to complete his rescue diver course (you may remember I managed this back in February 2010) along with Fred (a quite annoying Scottish ex -senior policeman who has a story for everything...oh - how interesting you are - please continue talking.....no really...I'm enraptured....honestly). The Oscar winning performance involved thrashing about on the surface as a panicked diver. I was good. Nay, brilliant. I am - in fact - expecting my Damehood in next years honours.

One of the suggestions is to throw a float attached to a rope to the victim (if they're not too far away) so that they can then be pulled to safety.

Our illustrious leader Martin Stanhope decided to demonstrate and coiled the roap in readyness for said throw. He picked up the heavy float and threw it - with vigour. The idea is that you throw it beyond the panicked diver so that the rope is by their side ......however, Martin has an excellent aim - and the float struck me squarely on the head. It was heavy. Very heavy, and - it hurt...a lot. I swore. Loudly...and then laughed out loud. Luckily I was wearing my neoprene balaclava so the resulting cut on my head was smaller and less serious than it could have been.

This morning I have woken up with a huge lump on my head. My eye is half closed and I look like an extra from Star Trek. I look so awful that I have banished to the back of the shop so that no customers can see the outcome of dive accidents.

Martin said it was my fault as I should have moved out of the way!

Revenge - which will be mine - will be swift and devilish.

Sunday, 15 May 2011

Latest News

Well..hello there! Been a bit busy diving of late and not had much chance to post anything :) I would like to tell you about my injuries though. First of all - the bottom of the seam on my wetsuit leg has rubbed a hole in my ankle. It's very sore and I have to grit my teeth every time I get in the water as it stings like hell. Large amounts of sudocreme have been applied to the afflicted area - but so far..because it keeps getting wet..it's not healing. Then -there's the very painful calf muscle. I must be doing something wrong with my finning technique because the calf muscle on my left leg is sooooo sore! I cannot walk normally when I first get out of bed in the morning...but after a few minutes - it eases and I'm okay. Then there's the gammy right ear. It has been blocked now for three days, and must have something stuck in it - because it keeps dispensing the odd drop of water at random times...very odd!

I can however now exit the water at Chirkewaa harbour completely unaided - which is vast improvement on last week when I needed a huge fully grown man to hoist me out.

Yesterday I completed a 50 minute dive - carrying only 4kg and came out with 80bar. What the flipping 'eck does that mean???? - well basically it means that my diving is improving every day.

Yaaaaay :)

Monday, 9 May 2011

Love Malta ;)

Well - in case you didn't already know it - I have news for you. Malta is the land of the mysogynist. We'll...perhaps that's a bit strong...they don't actually 'hate' women over here - but they are seriously chauvenistic. Problem?...hmm..not sure yet. I'll let you know. Funnily enough - the worst offenders are the british ex-pats. There is a large ex-pat community over here - and girls - they're at least twenty years behind the guys in the UK. They really really think that women are good for sex, laundry and making the tea. Can you just imagine how that sits with me...?It's hilarious. For the first few days I vocalised my objections quite strongly (you don't say)...and then - after a particularly warm exchange between myself and the man who owns the local pub (fifty-something...divorced...comes from Watford...speaks with squeaky voice) I just decided to shut the hell up - and not bother. It was bit like fighting a massively losing battle. Somewhat akin to trying to teach somebody to play concert standard Beethoven on a piano using two lump hammers instead of ten digits. Pointless - and a tad frustrating :)

The chaps over here regularly involve themselves in their favourite past-time (story telling) - which involves desperately trying to out-do each other with tales of sexual prowess and diving-bravery. It is hilarious. Truly. I have never been so quiet. In my life. Ever.

I honestly don't know if the ex-pats here left the UK because they chose to - or if they were asked to leave :)

Friday, 6 May 2011

Meet the team

Well this is the team that I am working with. So far they seem to be nice people. The tall guy in the yellow t shirt is called John, the girl is called George, and the other young man is called Reinhardt. He's from Germany...you don't say??? He's very nice actually...lovely manners and very helpful.

I've done about 9 dives this week already and assisted George in teaching an open water course. It's a laugh a minute at work - I have to deal with sexist comments all day long and ribald jokes from the men folk...mind you - it's nothing I can't handle - and I've been giving as good as I get :)

It's lots and lots of fun - and I am having a ball. The guys never stop with the jokes and the nonsense - and it is a whole lot of fun.

At night after work we usually go for a drink, and then home for supper and an early night...the work is very demanding and tiring and by eight pm I am so ready for my bed.

I am getting stronger by the day - On Monday I couldn't lift a scuba cylinder off the floor - but today I've been loading them into the back of the flat bed truck. Also I was having real problems getting in and out of the sea whilst wearing all my kit...after a dive my little legs were like jelly and I couldn't walk !!!! Today I managed to climb a quayside ladder with all my kit on all by myself!!! Soon I will be like Garth!

I also managed to send some postcards home today.....

Having a ball...and loving every minute of it :)

Wednesday, 27 April 2011

Busy busy busy

Ooooh - I have been busy. Getting rid of stuff and packing other stuff. Today Fiona and I managed to dismantle my dining room table and then load it into her van...without a strapping man in sight. It involved a spanner and some great strength. Tomorrow we have to do the same with the coffee table and the sofa!

Millie went to her new home this afternoon...but I will see her again because she's gone to live with special friends, so when I return to these shores I will be able to visit her...but it feels really odd without her in the house...I do miss her little face. Dan went back to Uni yesterday after four weeks at home - so the house really does feel empty.

I've got my brothers and my Mum coming for a chinky take-away tomorrow - the Friday is the Royal wedding - which means champagne breakfast at Bill's, and then elevenses at Fi's...then out for the last supper with Jayne in the evening. Then - Saturday comes - and I will be boarding the flight and going elsewhere. I am sad and excited all at the same time...how odd is that?

Wednesday, 20 April 2011

I will miss my friends...

Just over a week to go. That's all. I've got the Twirlies coming on Friday morning to help me pack all my worldy belongings...and they're under strict instructions not say daft things like "are you sure you don't want to take this with you ?"...to which my reply will be unprintable but will carry the meaning.....'what use is a food processor and a set of Carmen rollers going to be to me in Malta?'

Tonight I'm going out to supper with Helen, tomorrow I'm out with Moya and Friday night I'm out with Jayne. Saturday night I'm bobbing down to Hazel's for a night with the FB girls. Next week I've got dentist's, doctors's...hopefully a night out with the Billster....Sunday lunch with Helen and Andrew....and then Monday night tea with Christian, Victoria and the girls. Seems that everybody wants to give me a great big send-off .......hmmm..maybe they want to make sure I don't come back!

I am so excited. But also a wee bit sad. I love all my friends and they are all a great source of support and happiness to me. I will miss them all so much. No-one more than the fabulous Fifi La Trix who is my dearest friend. I love them all.

...and my dearest darling Dan. But it's okay - she's already booked her flight and will be with me after I've been there for just over a month :)

Wednesday, 13 April 2011

A Gran with a Van

Yesterday was fun. The lovely Fifi-la-Trix called to pick me up at lunchtime to wander off with the hounds for a stroll and then go get some nice lunch. She text me in the morning to say she had a vehicle. I sold my little green pea last week in preparation for the 'running away to Malta' project - and Fifi has been without a little car of her own for a few weeks. This has not been a problem as I have legs - and can walk to hers for our daily constitutional. The distance is 3.7 miles - and on Monday I walked that distance twice - there and back - plus the dog walk of just over a mile or so - in the middle. Douglas Bader would have beaten me in a jig by bedtime.

So to get the call to say she had wheels was a delightful surprise. (It doesn't take a lot these days).

When she turned up - I howled with glee. Her vehicle is a white van. Not a big white van of the 'man with van' type - but a nice little van / estate that an electrician would drive. In fact an electrician did drive it at some point because the sign-writing was still on the side. Also - inside the vehicle there were fuses, and wire clipper, and a few stubby pencils - just right for behind the ear.

We have probably never been so excited. As we drove off from my house I couldn't resist telling her that this time next year we will be millionaires.

I love Fifi x

Sunday, 10 April 2011

Ugly shoes


How sad is this? Yesterday Dan and I went to the walking shop to purchase some sandals. Yes -the sandals in the picture.  I now look like a vegetarian. Well - my feet do. The rest of me is still a healthy colour and not at all pale and thin and insipid and weak - so I don't EXACTLY look like a vegetarian - but you get my drift?

I know the sandals are ugly...but they're so comfy - and practical too. And necessary. For my diving career I require shoes that I can put on and off very quickly. Shoes that sand won't damage...shoes that salt water won't attack - and shoes that I can walk over rough terrain in (some of these beach dives require a hike across rocks and the like to reach the desired entry point...)

I never thought I would purchase anything quite so practical - or unattractive. But - when you get to my age - practicality means a lot. 

I will save my sexy high-heel FM shoes for when I go out in the warm balmy Maltese evenings. 

By the way - they were cheap because I have small feet and therefore bought them from the kiddies section of the shop :)

Buzz Buzz

I am inundated. By massive fat slow bees. There's loads of them in my house (slight exaggeration)..but I've just had a very nervous pee. There was one in my bedroom this morning - its droning woke me. And let's not forget the barge-size one that was in the kitchen yesterday...and I've just encountered another one in the bathroom. 

They are huge - chunky - chubby - fluffy and very very slow at flying. I've never seen so many. Were they wasps I would just kill them (simples) but I can't bring myself to dispatch a honey bee.

(Hands up if you thought - after reading the title - that this blogpost was going to be about a sex-aid product?)

Products I like

For those of you who have known me for some time - you will know that my hair is mousey. I don't mean that it squeaks and round around eating cheese...I mean that it's a crap brown colour. Totally uninspired and uninspiring. I dislike it muchly and am cross with God for  having been so mean when he has all the colours of a huge palette at his disposal.

A few years ago I visited my beloved cousin at his posh and swanky and arty farty London Salon and went bright white blonde...I loved it ....and have been that colour ever since (well - my HAIR has been that colour ever since - not me - that would just be odd....)

....Well - apart from a weird period last year when I went jet black for a few weeks as a kind of protest...but quickly went back to Blonde again when I realised that I looked even more like a witch than before....

Now we're skint - and trips to London and £150 hair-do bills are a thing of the past - we need to find an alternative - because no matter how much you tell me that it's for the best I AM NOT GOING BACK TO MOUSEY BROWN HAIR.

Today I found this product in Boots - came home - put on the rubber gloves (readers of a nervous disposition look away now) applied the gunk....and twenty minutes later had brilliant white-blonde hair again. I love it. I love it. I love it. And - what's more - it's only £5.99.

Result :)

Health update....

Just in case you were wondering - and I know for a fact that the lovely Ali B in London was - I got my ECG results back from the quack's the other day. You don't need to rush out and buy a black outfit ...a) because I'm not going to die and b) because if I was I wouldn't want you wearing black at my funeral (bright colours and cheerful faces only please)...

Reassuringly - my heart is normal for a woman of my age...that is to say normal to say it's been broken a few times...is a bit ragged around the edges...and has probably had its fair share of aching...but in all the ways that matter - it's doing okay.

The blood tests were normal also - no poison running through my veins - no ice - no green stuff - nope - all healthy and blood red and flowing sweetly - and after midnight - I never drink more of it than my fair share.

So - that's all good then. Still have to stay on the Beta blockers for the time being - and as a result I sometimes get painful fingers - but I much prefer that to having god-awful crippling vomity migraines. 

Had a bit of a debate with the Quack because I will need a 6 month supply before I jet off in a few weeks -- and their rule is only to prescribe for 3 months maximum...however - he wasn't totally averse to persuasion and as I left I could see that he was buckling under the pressure...

I will - of course - keep you informed.

A man with nice shoes....

I have a few quirks. (you don't say). One of them is nice shoes. I love, love, love a nice pair of shoes. I own a few very nice pairs myself - and when I meet new people one of the first thing I look at is their shoes. I am looking for style, elegance - and nicely clean. 

When we were kids we all had to keep our shoes clean - and I always knew when my dad was headed out for the evening because he would polish his shoes. Then - of course - my time in Her Maj's Army  re-inforced the highly polished shoes thing. If I go on a date and the chap is wearing crappy or dirty or ugly shoes - well - it just doesn't work for me. 

Fifi knows this quirk of mine - and whilst out the other evening she sent me this picture. She spotted the chap on my behalf - just from the ankle down.

She gave him my phone number - and the resulting phone call this afternoon has resulted in a dinner date for Wednesday.

I have no idea what he looks like - but I do like his shoes. So we're off to a good start then....

Wednesday, 30 March 2011

ECG

Today I went to the hospital. Nothing seriously wrong..but had some high blood pressure issues a few weeks ago and the doctor sent off some blood tests and asked me to go for an ECG. So..there I am laying on a table in just my bra (lovely) with little stickers attached to wires all over me...having my heart beat analysed. At first the machine couldn't pick anything up (I told you I was ill)...but eventually the data was collected and has now been sent off for analysis - and the results will be with my Doctor in about a week.

The ladies who dealt with me were lovely and we had quite a giggle. I just hope I'm still here for Christmas :)

...and thankyou to the lovely Fifi who came with me to hold my hand (and my handbag). X

Sunday, 20 March 2011

Funny !

This is brilliant. I howled whilst watching it - especially liked the first few minutes with George Michael in the car. 

The Great Escape

Oh - I am having a lovely time of late. Planning my escape - who would have thought it could be such fun? :)

I've been flogging a few things on e bay - saddles and stuff of that ilk (much as I love horses I can't really imagine ever riding another one - and the few hundred quid that is sat there in tack equipment is really better in my pocket...)..I sold my beautiful Stubben dressage saddle to somebody in Germany! I just hope that the new owner enjoys it as much as I did when I had my beloved Phoebe.

I have some storage room (courtesy of a dear friend) so most of my furniture can be saved until my return (and well will that be Oh Oracle?....probably sometime never!)...and have found a home for some other stuff.

It has made me think about 'stuff' though....you spend a lifetime accumulating 'stuff'...most of which you don't even know you have. This 'stuff' doesn't actually fulfil its promise (ie - of making you HAPPY) but we are attached to it never the less. Getting rid of it is actually quite cathartic. My goal is to leave for foreign climes owning just what I can carry. Mad? Certainly. But then again I always have been. (no comments necessary to confirm what I have just said...thanks).

This last year has taught me that I am what I am...I only need what I have...and I always have enough.

Tracy the hippy :)




Saturday, 19 March 2011

Committed

I've just read a book (you don't say). It's the sequel to 'Eat, Pray, Love'...which was a magnificent read indeed. In the second book - our heroine - Liz - discusses marriage at some length. This is because she is in the situation where she has to marry her lover in order for them to be together in her native USA (he is Brazilian you see). She has been married before and had a very painful and messy divorce - so she is reluctant to do the deed a second time. She researches the subject of marriage at length...and what she discovers is both wonderful and thought provoking.

If you are considering marriage - or know somebody who is - I urge you to read this tome. It won't put you off getting hitched - but it will certainly put what you are about to do into some kind of glorious perspective.

It - like the wonderful 'Eat, Pray, Love' - is an amazing book - and another one that I just couldn't put down.

(Guys - it's not a chick book despite how it looks - you can read it too!)

Wednesday, 16 March 2011

It's raining.....

Well bloody hell. When it rains - it pours. It does round here anyway. You suddenly make a change in your life - and then along come a few more just for good measure. I am currently making plans to run away to Malta -(flight booked already) - and give up on almost everything else in order to follow my dream...and then.......as if by magic - I meet a chap that I really like - who just happens to really like me too! Will wonders never cease?

Fourteen months in the barren landscape that is no "no job...no man".... and then as if by magic - I get the chance to fly away - and a very nice young gentleman shows an interest.

Fortunately the two things are kind of good - and not interfering with one another - so I can fly away to Malta - and by the wonders of modern technology - can stay in touch with my friend and see what happens.

Watch this space......

Saturday, 12 March 2011

Flight booked

I've gone and done it. Booked a one-way flight :) I'm going away with just one suitcase. (It always amazes me when they leave 'Eastenders' that they only take one small bag with all their worldy possessions in it...well I'm doing the same.)

I'm off to the sun for the foreseeable future...with just my dive gear and a couple of pairs of shorts and a couple of t shirts. Bloody hell...a one-way flight!!!!! Utter madness..but it just feels right :)

Day of departure? 30th April.

Loving it !

Thursday, 3 March 2011

Wanderlust

I want to go. Away. Anywhere - but preferably somewhere I can dive. Somewhere warmer than this climate where my fingers regularly turn white with the poor circulation caused by our chilly air. I want to travel to exotic locations and spend time beneath the seas with the lovely myriad of creatures that live there. I want to float aimlessly amongst the corals. I want to show a dive buddy something exciting and beautiful that I have just seen...and then take a photograph to capture the beauty for all time.

I want to splish splash splosh...I want to be a mermaid...I want to swim with the fish...and explore some wrecks...and clamber up the coastal rocks...and then I want to learn how to teach other people how to do the same thing. I want to be able to impart my love of the undersea world to others and see how excited they get when they realise how wonderful it can be.

I want to share a beer and a pizza with other divers in the evening and discuss the funny things that have happened that day.

I want to be like Jacques Cousteau.

Friday, 18 February 2011

By rights I should be dead....

Fifi has a blood pressure monitor. The other day we decided to give it a go. The last time I had my BP taken I was told it was a very healthy low reading and I was extremely fit - bearing in mind I smoke and drink gallons of coffee.

Since then I have taken more exercise and generally been a wee bit healthier. I still haven't started to eat pulses - and never has a lentil passed my lips - but on the whole - a bit healthier.

Imagine my surprise then when upon taking the BP - the reading was a ridiculous 210/119. The ideal is 120/80. That's what I mean when I say that I should be dead. If I were in hospital they would have hit that button and shouted 'Can I have some help here please.....get the crash trolley'.

Funnily enough I feel fine...never better in fact. So - poor old Fifi - supporter extroardinaire - has decided that my BP readings should be done regularly - like every few hours. To effect this she has lent me the sooper-dooper BP monitor - which is very high-tech and wonderful.

The results so far....

Thurs 10am 186/103
Thurs 1.15pm 182/81
Thurs 2.30pm 178/86
Thurs 6.00pm 165/103
Thurs 9.00pm 186/100
Fri 9.00am 175/98

Hmmmm - still not good! I wonder if I'll make it to the weekend.....I'm not even registered with a GP...maybe I should re-think that....

Saturday, 29 January 2011

Busy day!

Oh I'm busy today. I was up at 7am and in Tesco for 7.15am. I've got the FB team coming for dinner. Who the heck are they? Well - it's a group of lovely pals who I've only met once before round at Deepak's when we held an X-Factor night. They are friends on Facebook and we make each other laugh all the time with daft comments flying back and forth...especially when there's something choice on the TV. (Oh we know how to spend the winter evenings!).

They are lovely kind, supportive people - and I like them all very much. So tonight they're heading over here to be wined and dined.

I am making Coca-cola barbecue spare ribs (!), with veg.....a lovely Broccoli and Stilton soup to start and the somebody else is bringing the pudding.

I'm also making a cherry cake for one of the husbands who is stuck at home with the kiddies so his wife can come over here to play.

It's also my lovely God-daughter Amelia's birthday party today - so I'm popping up to her house later with a small gift too.

I'll be knackered by bedime....but It will be fun !

Thursday, 13 January 2011

Trying it on....

My front door bell has just been pressed. Because it did - I opened the door. Mistake number 1. There was a man standing there (we live in hope) I plastered on a smile - only to notice that it was the funny chubby guy with no hair and missing teeth and no relationship with deodorant from the building firm next door. What a great way to begin my day.

He came to tell me that their drains are blocked. Apparently their store-room regularly floods. The contents of the flooding water are not very pleasant (if you know what I mean) enough said.

He seems to believe that the blockage is down to me. I live alone. I go to the bathroom (harrumph) once per day. (I don't think any more detail is required...you get my meaning?). I am grateful for the regularity and so far no outside help is required. Not a Bran Flake in sight. Next door - they have a staff of about 15. Great big hairy arsed builders. In my reckoning - there's a 15 times more likely reason to believe that the drain blockage is down to them rather than me! Not exactly rocket science is it.

* Note - I don't technically live alone. There's also the dog. But her solid ablutions are taken care of in Ecclesall woods every afternoon.

I - on the other hand - don't have any problems. My sinks empty very well. My toilet flushes with super efficiency. I have no odious odours wafting through my dwelling. Lucky me.

So I can see no reason on God's green earth as to why I should phone the drain company and pay the bill to have the blockage removed. And I told him so. Very politely, I might add.

He's gone now - he wasn't very happy.

After he left I thought about it some more. He may as well have popped round and asked if he could take me out to dinner and me pay the bill because his wife is ugly.

Wednesday, 12 January 2011

T'were a lovely day....

Oh I've had fab day. It was really great :) This morning was lovely and lazy and I have to confess to not getting dressed until nearly lunchtime!

After lunch and a nice leisurely bath I went to Fiona's for our daily walk in the woods with the doggies. As always - it was lovely. There's something really theraupeutic about our daily stroll in the woods. Millster is getting more adventurous by the day and she kept running off after squirrels. Poppy is more sedate and tends to stay a bit closer - but she too - today - had her moments of escape. Naughty white dogs.

After our walk we set up my karaoke kit at Fiona's for her dinner party on Saturday night - and have to confess - we had a bit of a sing-song! My - that was fun. We're not quite Aretha Franklin and Lulu - but we're not far off!

Quick change and off to the flicks to see this movie which I have to say was excellent. We scored it an very healthy 9 out of 10. Certainly recommended.

Then to La Scala for supper. Pasta for me, and various bits and bobs for Fi.

Now I'm going to bed. Zzzzzzzz. Great day (Thanks Fi) XX

Tuesday, 11 January 2011

2011

Well - a new year brings new opportunities, enjoyments, friends and experiences. Bring it on! I'm so ready. I'm quite giddy about the things that 2011 will bring. Already I've been out for a long lovely walk every day since the New Year with the Millster and Fifi la Trix. I've also had a very peasant walk with Ms Scott and that was lovely too. There's something about being outside in the fresh air and the beautiful woods that just lifts your mood. I am getting quite addicted to the walks and the lovely feeling of well-being that it brings.

We've vowed to make a cinema visit once per week from now until eternity - seeing as they're so many movies that are worth watching - and we hardly ever go. Tomorrow night we're off the see this movie which I am excited about because I think it's going to be good :)

I have a date this afternoon with a nice Irish chap with whom I've been chatting for a couple of weeks - he might not be the 'one' but I'm sure he'll be a nice new friend.

I've also decided to embark on a small series of studies this year...all for improving the mind!

Happy New Year everyone XX