Archive for the ‘shopping’ Category

Saturday 27 August 2011

For a while now I’ve been unhappy with our bathrooms.  Actually, since we moved into the farmhouse in 1996 I’ve been unhappy with the majority of the rooms, but the bathrooms in particular are hideous, probably because I always feel a bathroom suite can identify its age in an instant.  The downstairs one is peach and the upstairs one is avocado and both were severely neglected.  When we moved in they were limescaled up.  Need I say more?  Fortunately I was able to clean them adequately enough to bring myself to use them, but have never really felt like they were MY bathrooms, rather that they still belonged to mother-in-law.  However, in the absence of a willing husband who’d agree to either sort it out or be prepared for someone to come in to sort it out there isn’t a lot I can do other than trying to sort it out myself.  Unfortunately I’m neither a builder or a plumber so that’s that idea shot down in flames!

In an attempt to improve the downstairs one (peach!), I thought I would buy a tall narrow cupboard to sit in the small gap between the shower and the wall.  This would reduce the clutter considerably as well as providing a large mirrored door.  To that end yesterday evening I reserved a suitable cupboard online with Argos and went to collect it today.  The youth who served me was typical of someone in his late teens (not that I’m stereotyping or anything).  He sort of nodded at the large box and asked if I could manage in the kind of voice that implied that he hoped I could because he had no intention of offering to carry it to my car.  I looked at him in the hope he would make the offer, but since I hate to make a fuss or inconvenience anyone I told him I could.  And I did although the box was very heavy and I tottered to the car with my arms wrapped around it in a kind of bearhug.

When I got home Gordon carried it in for me and we opened it together on the kitchen table.  We both looked at it, then at each other and asked the same question at the same time.  “Where’s the rest of it?”  We only had half a cupboard.  The sides and back were there as well as both front doors, but no top, bottom, shelves, handles or bits to fit everything together.  According to the receipt it was 1 of 1.  According to the box it was 1 of 2!  Damn.  To say I was cross was an understatement since the traffic had been heavy the first time and I had no desire to queue again to fetch the rest of the cupboard.  However, I did want it straight away and Monday is a Bank Holiday.  Gordon got on the case and since we weren’t able to find a phone number for our local store he rang the main number.  They were very apologetic and rang the local store for us to see if they could sort it out.  They said there’d only been one bit on the shelf and they weren’t sure where box 2 had gone.  Main office gave local store our phone number and we waited for a call directly from them.  When the manager did ring us he said box 2 had been put on the counter with box 1, but I’d failed to pick it up.  I told him they had failed to give it to me since I had no idea how many boxes I was supposed to be taking away with me.  He said they’d deliver it!

A little while later it was delivered to my door and Stephanie helped me put it together.  It’s now in the bathroom with everything hidden inside it.  It doesn’t half make the rest of the bathroom look tired!



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Monday 17 January 2011

We spent the day at dad’s sorting out more of mum’s things, having given up on hoarding them.  I listed some stuff on Freecycle and a lady left this morning having acquired a knitting machine and everything she could possibly want to go with it.  She was subjected to a ‘show-and-tell’ from dad which involved him extracting jumpers from the wardrobe to demonstrate how good mum was with a knitting machine, but we managed to distract him before he talked himself into a tearful, nostalgic state.  The signs were there so afterwards we took him out to lunch – he paid!  Well, it’s the least he could do after we’d cleared so much accumulated flotsam and jetsam.

Mrs Ellis floats in and out of a confused state in the hospital.  Last week she seemed back to normal, albeit weak, but this week she’s slipped back to hallucinating most of the time.  It must be so confusing for her and I’d hate to be like that.  I’m visiting again tomorrow so will be able to see for myself how she fares.

The girls are coming home on Wednesday as it’s Alex’s 22nd birthday on Friday.  Both of them are free until the weekend so are spending some time with us.  I’m looking forward to it even though I haven’t got a clue what to buy her for her birthday.  As Gordon says, we’re no longer in a position to know what she needs or wants, but a shopping expedition on Thursday should resolve that.

Our calves are doing very well although the little one born on Christmas Day (Jenny) still causes us concern.  Yesterday morning I was convinced she was dying, but moments later she was up and running about.  She seems to sleep more deeply than any calf we’ve had before and is practically impossible to wake, even when poked.  When all the others are on their feet bawling for milk, she snoozes on, stretched out in her pen and comes round very slowly.  Usually the expression ‘stretched out’ when applied to a cow is pretty bad.  It’s almost like the final stage before they pop their clogs so to see a calf sleeping like this is disturbing.  They’re usually so much neater, curled around with their heads on their back feet.

Floyd flourishes and has revealed a nice personality even though he’s a latecomer to the group.  He seems very gentle and so obliging.  Let’s hope he stays like that as he gets older.  One of these days I’ll get round to taking a photo of him so you can see what a gorgeous boy he is.  We let the younger calves out into a much larger pen during the day so they can run and in theory strengthen their muscles, but getting them back into their own pens in the evening can be tricky.  All except for Floyd.  He saunters across to his pen and steps inside, then looks hopefully at his bucket to see if there’s any milk in it yet.

One of our older cats has taken to using our hallway (still a work in progress) as a litter box, particularly when the weather is cold or wet, much to our annoyance as you can imagine.  After some discussion Alex suggested we reintroduce a proper litter box even though we did away with it years ago.  On Saturday morning I bought some cat litter, cleaned up the old box and tucked it back into the corner.  The cat was asleep on the chair but I picked her up and took her to see it.  She looked at it for a moment then carefully climbed in.  “This is encouraging” I thought to myself.  She obviously remembered what it was and intended to use it straight away.  Instead she turned around a few times, settled down and spent the rest of that day and all day Sunday asleep in it, only climbing out to go to the hall for a poo!  Bloody cat.

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Tuesday 31 August 2010

This morning Gordon came in with a big grin on his face.  Ferdinand’s first live calf was born during the night – and she’s female.  Her mother Nancy was out with the herd as we had no due date for her although we knew she must be near her time, which probably means she was one of the first served by Ferdinand when he joined the herd in December.  She calved by herself and walked in this afternoon when Gordon went out to bring the girls in for milking.  Her calf ran the whole way, which is why her mouth is covered in drool in the photo.  Less than a day old and already running all that way!

She allowed Gordon to stroke her, but quivered the whole time, poor little thing!  Her ears were really flapping.  Isn’t she beautiful?

Stephanie and I went uni shopping today with a friend and her daughter; first to Asda for duvet, pillows and some household stuff then on to Dunelm Mills in Weston-super-Mare.  As I type, Steph is on the sofa surrounded by her new goodies like a pig in whatnot.  She’s storing it in Alex’s room for the timebeing until transferring it to her car in a couple of weeks for the big moving day.

When we got home I had a pleasant surprise in the form of some delicious blog candy from Julie at KC’s Court.  She was running a blog giveaway on the event of her 500th post and her granddaughter’s first birthday.  It was so exciting to open the package and find all the lovely goodies, so thank you very much Julie.

I have to say, I have a bit of a ribbon fetish going on so was almost as excited by the wrapping as the contents.  The parcel was tied in brightly covered ribbons, which I’ve included in the photo.  Julie designs some lovely samplers and there was a chart for one called ‘Make Much of Time’ too.

All in all, a good day.

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Tuesday 20 April 2010

Yesterday my sister Terri and I went shopping in Bristol, our nearest city.  It was a glorious day and we were able to walk around without coats.  Some children were walking around without any clothes at all, but they were paddling in this –

and this:

and they weren’t very old!  I preferred to take a photo of pigeons doing the same thing.

We used the Park and Ride at Long Ashton which dropped us by @Bristol where we wandered amongst the sculptures

past the water features

this is water running down a stainless steel sheet

then walked along the waterfront.

I didn’t actually buy anything, but had a good day!

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And Shoes!

Monday 29 March 2010

I popped over to Clarks Village in Street today and spotted these (pinker than they look in the photo) shoes.  Well, I couldn’t resist, could I?  Especially as they were reduced from £79 to £19!  I’ll make sure there is at least one photo of me in my complete ensemble on Friday (the wedding is on Thursday).

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A Dress!

Sunday 28 March 2010

On Thursday Gordon and I are going to a wedding and all the guests have been requested to wear something pink as the bride suffered from breast cancer a few years ago and has since recovered.  I like this idea although neither of us had anything pink.  We’re not really ‘pink people’.  Most of my formal clothes are very dark if not actually black, probably out of complete laziness as … well, it’s easy to match!  I thought initially that I would wear black trousers with a black jacket and put a couple of breast cancer pins on the lapel.  Again, complete laziness and lack of ‘getting into the spirit’.

On Friday I went into the local Peacocks store and spotted some lovely pink ties at £5 a pair.  Perfect for Gordon, I thought to myself, even though I realised that getting him to wear ONE pink tie might be a problem and neither of them would ever be used again.  Whilst struggling with this dilemma I spotted one shirt and tie set – in pink.  It was Gordon’s size.  And it was reduced to £4!  I grabbed it up and took it to the checkout only to find it was reduced even further to £3.  Fate meant for me to buy it.

On Saturday I walked into a shop in Bridgwater and saw the most gorgeous PINK floral dress (bearing in mind that I don’t wear pink or dresses), tried it on, it fitted perfectly and looked good too so I bought it.  I put it on to show Gordon and Stephanie when I got home and although they both liked it, they agreed it didn’t look like me because they’re used to seeing me in black!  When I told Alex where I’d bought it she went to the website and picked out the exact dress even though I’d only told her it was pink!  I also found that a beautiful freshwater pearl necklace, given to me years ago and too pastel to go with anything in my wardrobe, matched the shades of pink and teal in the dress to perfection.  Sorted.

Unfortunately the dress cost slightly more than £3!

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Friday 19 March 2010

Since I last wrote I’ve done the following:

Transferred data from an old computer to a new one for a friend, an all-afternoon job because the old computer was pretty old and downloaded at the slowest rate I’ve seen for a long time.  3.5 Gbs of data and about four hours later when I took the flash drive out and inserted it into the new laptop we were both fairly weary and wary of how long it would take to transfer into the new computer.  About five minutes, was the answer!  It whirred and clicked smoothly and made short work of that much data.

Had a massage as a thank-you for the above from said friend, a qualified masseuse.  It was lovely.

Went to find a freecycler only to get hopelessly lost and give up, flying home in a bit of a panic that the freecycler would think ill of me for not turning up when I said I would.  Thankfully this was sorted by way of e-mails and the freecycled item was picked up eventually.  There’s now a man in Cannington who probably thinks I’m several bricks short of a load!

Attended a Parish Council meeting so that I could stay in the room when Gordon was exiled.  Due to the fact that he’s a Parish Councillor with a prejudicial interest in the proposed wind turbines every time it’s discussed he has to leave the room.  Oddly enough they can’t ask me to leave so I just tell him what was discussed when we get home.  This week they approved the planning application for the test mast, a 60m high stick-mast which tests wind speed, etc.  There was more heated discussion.  I’m starting to get used to it, but was still shocked by the discovery of a poster with our name on it suggesting we should be ‘stopped now’.  The local folk are of the opinion that wind turbines chop up birds among their many other sins.  I’ve visited the RSPB site to see if this is true and it isn’t.  Apparently the greatest cause of bird fatality is the house cat who is responsible for the death of 55,000,000 birds a year – that’s not just ONE cat you understand, but all of them in the UK.  And yes, that is 55 million!  The RSPB are of the opinion that the bird population can easily withstand this loss because …. well, there are just so many of them.  They also reckon that climate change is responsible for more wildlife/bird/environmental damage and the only way to prevent that is for us all to embrace green energy – the sooner, the better, they say.  Love it or hate it, they do have a point.

Then it was Tuesday and during the day I waited in for my new camera which was due to be delivered somewhere between 7.00 am and 5.30 pm.  No commitment then!  It didn’t come.  I ordered it online during the weekend after receiving £80 of Amazon vouchers from what used to be Gordon’s airmiles.  We thought we’d better cash them in before they mutated into something else or ceased to be altogether and after a little bit of online research I decided on a dinky little red Panasonic Lumix.  I do have several digital cameras already but two of them are large SLRs and the third is an older large compact (oxymoron for you there).  The compact takes adequate photos, but nothing special and doesn’t really do macro at all.  I may not have mentioned this before, but I’m going to New York at the beginning of May so a good (small) camera is essential.

In the evening I went to the Weston Playhouse to see the Moscow State Circus.  There were no elephants but apart from that little disappointment the rest of it was pretty phenomenal.  The acrobats were so good that on several occasions we were stunned into silence and forgot to clap, sitting with our mouths open instead wondering how on earth they did that.  Lots of practice, obviously!

On Wednesday my camera arrived.  “Weren’t you supposed to deliver this yesterday?” I asked.  “Yeah, we had a bit of trouble” was the reply.  They really could have let me know, but I don’t suppose it occurred to them.  I charged up the battery then wandered around the place giving it a test run.  What do you think (bearing in mind that this camera is tiny)?

I liked the texture of this.

Pretty good macro and automatic too.  Since this is my favourite style of photography it was important this bit worked well.

Our weather-cock on the shed in the garden.  Unfortunately he’s not accurate as I think there’s a touch of rust there somewhere so he doesn’t swing round with the wind.  It looks nice though.

Spring must be coming – the fish are hungry.

In the evening on Wednesday I went out for a meal with friends then yesterday I drove to Cheltenham to spend the day with Alexandra.  We had a lovely day doing lunch at Nando’s, her favourite place to eat and wandering around the shops.  I didn’t think much of the traffic on the way home though and finally made it through at about 7.00 pm.

Today I’ve been catching up on work here, invoices again, the bane of my life.  Tonight I’ve been invited to a hen party for a friend who’s getting married at the beginning of April.  And I have to milk this weekend.  Plus I bought a couple more gooseberry bushes which need planting and some blackcurrants.

Phew!  I’m exhausted!

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