Wednesday, May 21, 2014

Alive and kicking

This is interesting, revisiting my blog past!

People are still coming here to read Pyk's exploits -not sure how they find me but Nigeria tops the list and Lithuania's in there, ditto Pakistan. Hmm

OK, catch up, quick:
  • Got married
  • Retired
  • Had knee replacement
  • Had DVT
  • Joined a naturist club
  • Had heart attack
  • Had naturist holiday in Spain at El Portus
  • Moved house to East Yorkshire
  • Started Aquacize
  • Took up rag rugging

  • About to go on a 3 week camping holiday, naturist, in France, with friends.

Not sure how that will go- last time we practised erecting the tent I fell out of it!
Did she fall or take a dive?

If I can fall off the ground, how come I can't jump 6" in the air?
And I put on weight - sigh. I wish that was the sound of me deflating effortlessly.
In fact, I went an a high fibre diet 2 weeks ago and have to get up earlier to eat all the food I need to consume in a day.
Lost 5lbs last week. Has to be a fluke !

Thursday, November 25, 2010

Almost four years later

Quite amazed to see I can still access this Blog. I closed it in a fit of pique which I regretted almost immediately!!

What has been interesting viewing the blog are the enhancements, for instance being able to see where in the world the readers are (were). Well, another surprise that 77 or so people actually read a page of the blog in October this year!!

I wonder what they were searching for in order that they fell upon me??

Anyway ... update ... I'm getting married next March (not to be upstaged by the Royal Wedding ... getting mine ... OURS ... in first.

I had this brilliant idea of ordered a custom-made dress which was 4" smaller at all of the vital statistics and seem to have been eating myself silly worryingabout getting into it. Of course this is not the way to get thinner.

Joined Weightwatchers tonight! Have to go for 12 weeks (it's free through my GP ) if I fall by the wayside I have to pay £50. Good incentive. But a better one is the fact that when I attempted to try on the dress I looked like a gorilla at a chimps tea party.

Now lets see if this will post ... and will I every be able to get back to it???


Friday, March 31, 2006

A rovin' we did go!

Finally got my head stuck into 'the accounts' and made good headway. Haven't totally finished the year up yet but should do, over the next couple of days. I had a deadline for Wednesday, early afternoon since CB and I were due to catch the 9pm sailing to Amsterdam, from Hull.
Went to have my hair snipped and Claire told me she had just returned, the day before, from a similar trip, to Bruges. She regaled me with tales of sea-sickness and old people with cases full of ciggies.
Well, bless the old people if they're still active enough to drag caseload's of ciggies around capital cities of Europe, let 'em do it, at least they still have the freedom to buy ciggies, even if any place to smoke 'em is fast disappearing in the UK! One lady took her little pavement scooter with her. I wondered if she'd have been able to walk if she didn't smoke quite so much though! I'm saying no more on the smoking subject cos I was guilty of buying a few packs of tobacco and some (not many) ciggies.
The tales of sea sickness did worry me though. I got some tablets to combat it but then found they wouldn't 'go' with my medication so went for natural methods by buying crystalized ginger and a tin of Altoids, a great little hot peppermint.
I know they're big ships and generally speaking one doesn't feel the ups and downs of the sea so badly in them but even so, Claire said the 8-10 knot winds meant people were confined (by the captain) to their cabins. At least lying down one has less chance of FALLING down, I suppose!
Personally, I'm haunted by a trip over the North Sea to the Ise of Man, from Morecambe, almost 30 years ago! The ship was soooo rolly that the minute it got out of the lee of the harbour I started feeling ill and spent almost the whole of the journey lying flat in a 'ladies lounge', apart from frequent trips to the loo to be ill.
On arrival in the IOM I refused to go back by boat and we had, despite having little money, to buy air tickets to fly back. It was only a day trip and I spent the remainder of the day recovering from the journey.
Anyhow, hum, though we had force 5-8 ish winds, all went well. Awaking about 3am this morning and CB saying "Have we stopped moving?" did worry me a little. Had visions of being tossed on the sea in a non-functioning ship!
A very gentle 'bing bong Irishy' tune awakens passengers from their slumbers and a time check, at 6am, followed by others half an hour later and then with increasing frequency until one finds oneself saying to the invisible lady, "Shut the **** up!"
This phrase also sprang to mind last evening in Langans Restaurant, on board ship (The Pride of Hull) over dinner.
On the outward journey we ate in the Four Seasons Restaurant, a buffet meal with quite a wide choice of dishes but I do worry a little about 'buffet' food. I mean, catering for 100s, SOME of it has to have been sitting around for a while, somewhere or other! For my main course I had a curry and maybe it was that which assailed me the following day?
However, the Langans Restaurant meals were cooked to order and last night we upgraded for a treat, also thinking we'd not be in earshot of the likes who used ***k and other four letter words as every other word in their conversation.
We got, instead, a guy with a male eating companion, who used 'bloody', instead. Not sooo bad? However, he talked incessantly. It was interesting watching his companion's body language, he physically distanced himself from the 'talker' though he had to appear to be listening. I wondered if he was an employee, or an exceptionally good friend cos I'd have been forced to 'do a Peter' and tell the guy how rude he was in that he talked non-stop and boringly and mainly about himself.
You may think that I shouldn't have listened to his private conversation? I agree but he also spoke so loudly that one had no option. About his diebetes, operation, prostitutes and finally it became so wearisome that I think I actually managed to stop listening, as did the guy's dining pal; a glazed looked came over him!
As to Amsterdam, it was a taster day, really. We docked an hour late and then had to queue for some time before disembarking, with only two immigration chappies on arrival and then we were bussed into the city, from Europort, which took a couple of hours so we arrived in the centre of Amsterdam at 11.30. We had already agreed that we'd like a canal cruise tour because despite several trips to the city I'd never used this mode of transport and I do like a 'sight seeing' trip in a city, to give one a general overview of the place.
First I had to find a loo and kindly the captain consented to allow me to nip on his boat before boarding time, for a wee! In the loo, of course.
There's an awful lot of 'social' housing, thousands of flats. I'd forgotten that the 'continentals' do 'do' apartment-living. In one housing 'project', where individual architects had been given a free rein, the original people who had moved to the island just a short ferry hop from the city were called 'pioneers' by our guide. It was hardly a move to the new world though!
However, it was all very interesting and quite enjoyable. We sat at the back of the cruise boat, for a good all round view (I led the way to the seating) to find the noise of the engine could drown conversation when the captain 'put his foot down', it was next to the loos and every now and again there'd be the loud 'schuuuup' sound of the flushing toilet like those on aeroplanes, and opening the window to cool down (sun beating on glass above) the smell of diesel fuel was quite strong! I also led the way to the coach seat on the return journey which had a broken switch and the air blower thingy was blasting cold air, mainly on CB, but of course we didn't discover that until the coach was moving and all the seats were filled!
Perhaps I'm not a very good seat-selector?
The cruise was followed by a meander thro the streets of Amsterdam, which became a faster and faster walk as I got hungrier and more desperate for the loo!
Also had forgotten those toilets were one's 'doings' sit on a sort of 'shelf' for examination (if one wishes to examine!) before being flushed away!
Having eaten and cheered up (me), we were to walk off the meal with more sight-seeing and CB, bless 'im was not too upset at my dragging him toward the red-light district, well, 'Chinatown' and other bustling areas. However, the streets where the ladies displayed their wares (some with 'considerable' wares but one would have needed a caseload of paper bags, had one consumed the wares, if one gets my meaning!) in the windows had some pretty shady characters hanging around and I had my handbag very firmly tucked under my arm, though CB said he was keeping an eye on me, walking in front of him and he was carrying a substantial umbrella, truncheon-style, ready for use!
That walk also became a quest for a loo (me again!). Yes, we could have stopped in a bar again but then I'd only have filled up and probably needed a loo on the return coach journey!
So, we had a flavour of the city, a day of loo hunting and some fun and were back at the coach stop at 4pm.
OH, nooooo, didn't visit a 'coffee shop', having experienced the weed on a previous trip and not having particularly enjoyed the experience but one street we walked down I became decidedly 'heady' as the smell of the 'grass' wafted into the street!
It was interesting getting off the ship, at the bottom of the lift were all the people with their cases full and trolley loads of booze and cigs.
The 'two for one' offers have finished now, until next September. Maybe Bruges next time??
OK, back to the accounts.

Monday, March 27, 2006

Domani, I'll start Domani!

My accounts! I had a super weekend but ended up just spending today reading and dozing. I figure I must have needed the sleep.
But I'll have to get up and at it tomorrow with those durned accounts!
CB cooked a very tasty meal for the family for mother's day. My input was the gravy and the pudding. Since the gravy was a tad 'gourmet' (blackberry liqueur, sage, thyme, peppercorns, as well as oxo!) I just made a small panful, forgot, of course, how much we Britis like our gravy so I had to hastily make a second panful when peeps went back for seconds. Using what was left I tipped in red wine, some more liqueur and thyme but made the mistake of sprinkling the oxo (the new fandangled kind which includes the thickener) on top so it lumped a tad! Should have strained it! Gravy? One lump or two?
Tora phoned me from Alaska, yayyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyy.

Sunday, March 26, 2006


A couple of posts have disappeared into the ether! One I posted a few days ago has suddenly just arrived in my mail box, though it doesn't yet appear on the blog and it arrived at the same time as the blog I've just posted, which also hasn't arrived on the blog.
Strange things happening!

Where'd the sun go?

It was a beautiful morning when I got up, balmy breeze, sunshine ...but the clouds have gathered now so I expect we're in for another dowsing.
Oh, I got my new VDU specs for work. They're great for reading and the VDU but anything further than 6 feet from my nose is very fuzzy indeed! I've bought one of those specs cords so I can hang them around my neck if I need to see further!
When the visiting optician was fitting the specs, which actually simply plopped on my ears/nose and didn't need alteration, I asked if he'd have a fiddle with my old (second best) specs since the previous evening, fed up of fuzzy vision (I'm using my 'spare' pair at the moment) I'd pushed the specs up and over to the right and 'hey presto', I could see!
Nice man altered the nose bits so I can see much better with them.
My new (from December) varifocals, which I took back since they seemed fuzzy, too, were replaced since apparently they were missing about 2mm of vision in the right lens on a very narrow reading area anyway.
The optician was very good and obliging and since the frame had also chipped, they replaced the frame. Trying on the new pair, yesterday, the assistant noticed that the new frame had chipped in a couple of places and when she ran her nail over it, the paint simply peeled away. We had a look at similar shaped frames (so we could use the same lens - which actually, they'd changed from Nikon corridor to Varilux for greater reading area, I believe!) but I didn't like the colours, so have chosen yet ANOTHER new frame which will require yet another set of lens - since the lens element of the specs was about £250 and they now have a useless set, I have to commend them for sorting the problems which were created by the manufacturer. And denying that I was the 'customer from hell', which is how I felt!
That sorted, I had a little promenade around the market place which was choc-a-bloc with people buying Mother's Day gifts and flowers. There were absolutely TONS of flowers, and each of the three or four stalls were double their usual size.
Gave me a bit of a lump in the throat, actually. Families being together today.
Tora called me last week (the US Mother's Day is in a couple of months' time, I think) and she'd been panicked into thinking it was last week. Bless her. She said she'd call me today so I'll make sure I have my mobile close by at Cheeky Boy's.
It's a family celebration there today, with CB in the chef's hat with a starter of smoked salmon (I believe), roast pork and all that goes with it and I've made a chilled lemon flan for the pudding.
Hmmm, is it a pudding or dessert? There is a difference, etiquette wise, but I can't remember what it is. Lemme think ...........
OK, just grabbed my etiquette book .... "Pudding ... never 'sweet', 'afters' or 'dessert' (except when describing a fruit course), is always eaten with a spoon and fork, with the exceptionn of ices and sorbets, which are consumed with a small spoon alone."
Wow, I've just learned how to cut cheese off the board. Well, I learned anyway, that if you're taking a slice of a wedged cheese, you cut yourself a lengthwise slice, not one across the tip and you cut a wedge out of a round cheese. AND you cut yourself off a small bunch from a big bunch of grapes, not grab 'em off individually. Mind you, I DO do that anyway, cos empty grape prongs just look so untidy sticking up off a bunch!
Michael Parkinson's jazz prog is on the radio. I've no idea why I'm listening to it, apart from the fact I don't want to listen to Radio 1 .. I know I'll try to find Radio 4. It's a bit hissy ... possibly interference from the computer. Oh, just thought, I could put the TV on and get them digitally, I think.
I was watching/listening to a really interesting (to me) programme in the wee small hours. I think I started watching it at 1am and one prog ran into another, on the same theme and before I knew it, it was 4.30am! Mind you, since we 'sprang forward' an hour overnight, I expect I lost an hour there! It was about Vivaldi and La Pieta. An English lady (name escapes me) has been going thro the Venetian archives and finding info not previously revealed. She said it was funny reading it, thinking ... "Oh I must go find more about this." Then she realised there was no more because she was the first person to be reading it!
A group, a female choir and orchestra, had travelled from Oxford to play/sing pieces which Vivaldi had composed solely for female voices for the orphans of La Pieta.
Apparently, in those times, a number of children were born malformed through veneral disease and suchalike and people would often just dump the babes in the canals. An alternative was set up whereby the babies, girls, could be left in a drawer, a bell rung to draw attention and they would then be brought up in the orphanage. The mother's would often leave a token ... half of something, a coin, a picture etc, in case they ever had the opportunity to get the baby back and would produce the matching half.
Some of these young ladies were not too pretty to look at and in the church there were 4 galleries for the orchestra and singers with screens thro which the ladies could be glimpsed by flickering candlelight, but obscured, of course. Some of the performers became stars in their own right but they stayed within La Pieta for donkeys years. Presumably because they chose to because it had become their home.
So, the first prog was the history of all this, told by members of the choir/orchestra and the second prog was a performance of Vivaldi's Gloria. I was really enjoying it but the beautiful music kept sending me to sleep and the lateness of the hour I eventually gave up and went to bed, wishing I could have recorded it for later viewing.
One amusing thing was the fact that there was one lady with a wonderful bass voice. At the time when Vivaldi's music was first performed, people believed that there must have been a man snuck in to sing the bass but it was certainly proved that women can be bass too ... in a manner of speaking!
And talking of singing .... I had a go on the karoke last night! Only the second occasion I've been mad enough to do it!
A group of Morris folks got together for a dinner in Boston at a pub and in another bar was the karoke set up. Nipping thro for a ciggie, Helen dared me to 'have a go'. There were about 5,000 songs to choose from and it would have taken a month to look thro them all and by D I was flagging, so I chose Doris Day's Que Sera Sera. I really enjoyed it and people were laughing a singing along, too! I did do one more, alone .... from Oliver - As Long As He Needs Me. Which Shirley Bassey would have laughed her stilettoes off hearing my rendition but it was great to let rip!
Then one last go as the guy was about to finish up and a bunch of us, 5 I think, did our rendition of YMCA. I was charged with going to book a spot for that and since I was in a rather inaccessable place at table, I had to crawl under the table, go out a conservatory door, thinking I could then walk around the side but found I was in a fenced area, so I climbed over the 5ft fence (to the amusement of peeps inside the conservatory ... even more so cos they could see a gate which escaped me!) and charged back into the pub !!
It was a most convivial evening. Well, apart from 3 people who left without eating cos the food numbers had got mixed up and while they weren't going to have to go without, they chose not to wait. Shame really cos we were all being served at different times so they wouldn't have been eating alone.
The main course of a roast, which some selected, drew some ribald comments but mostly the plates were cleared if only cos by 9.15pm we were pretty darned hungry. The banana split was too sweet even for my taste and had 'squirty' cream on it, yeuk and I noticed that other's who'd made that choice also just scraped the goo off the banana and ate only the fruit!
It was all about the company though and I took some piccies. The biter did get bit, I have to confess and someone got quite a good piccie of me with the mike in hand, belting out the Doris Day song!
I may pop by the crematorium on my way to CB's. It would have been my mum's birthday yesterday and followed closely by Mother's day it would be nice just to spend a few moments 'near her'.
There were circumstances strange and sad, though nothing sinister, around my mum's death, thirty-one years ago and losing her was a blow, one that I didn't feel when my father passed on.
Once or twice, once in even Dallas, a most unexpected place to expect to see her anyway, about seven years ago, I thought I caught a glimpse of mum,but of course it wasn't her! I followed the lady in Dallas around the shop just because I wanted so badly for the lady to be my mum! Daft woman I am!
Well, I'd better get myself sorted, bathed and dressed.
I'm at home the next few days, hopefully with my head buried in my accounts! I do SO want to get those off my plate!

Thursday, March 23, 2006

Strong streaks

You scored 66 masculinity and 83 femininity!
You scored high on both masculinity and femininity. You have a strong personality exhibiting characteristics of both traditional sex roles.

My test tracked 2 variables How you compared to other people your age and gender:
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You scored higher than 62% on masculinity
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You scored higher than 96% on femininity
Link: The Bem Sex Role Inventory Test written by weirdscience on Ok Cupid, home of the 32-Type Dating Test

I've no idea why it's gone do-lally above, I did a cut and paste and didn't touch it! Thanks to GW for this one.
I don't think of myself as having a strong male streak! But maybe living alone for some time has made me more independent (or selfish?)

Pleased to see that I DO have a strong feminine streak though. I mean, I am a girly!

Tuesday, March 21, 2006

Biting the bullet

Before relaxing into a stupor on Friday evening, a friend mentioned he'd had some luck with one of the companies who undertake to complain for one (at a cost) about mortgage endowment policies which are projected to fall short.
Mine's on 'red alert', harumph.
As said friend pointed out, it costs nothing (well, it doesn't HAVE to cost anything) to complain and "them as don't ask don't get".
While on the subject of asking, it's come to my notice that many people in this part of the world actually say 'ast' rather than ask, and that rhymes with the chast bit of chastity (cos you wouldn't say 'charstity', but some people may say 'parst', as opposed to 'past', so I couldn't use past as an example .... did I have a parenthesis somewhere back there?)
Martin's Money Tips, which the Cheeky Boy (CB) suggested I subscribe to, came up with yet another piece of advice on complaining about these policies so I scuttled over there (Which) and they actually compose the letter for you, where one ticks the paragraphs that pertain to one's own circumstances and hey presto, a formal, unemotional letters results.
One of which is now signed, folded and enveloped, by the front door, ready for me to pick up on t'way out in t'morning for da post.
I may as well try to do something about it, doncha think?
At least I feel like I've tried ... and one can do no more than try, huh?
I'm also trying to figure why my front room looks 'empty'.
I used that word advisedly - anyone who's been in here certainly wouldn't call it empty since when there's more than just myself present, visitors have to make appointments to move around!
However, I've come to the conclusion tis because there are no flowers in residence in the corner!
Now that, being a floral-free zone, was an almost constant state of affairs up until a few months ago but since the advent of CB as my 'fwend', more often than not a vase of flowers brightens up the room. Sometimes I get them for myself, too, for a dash of colour but only since I'd been reminded how lovely they look, having been presented them as a gift.
I should add, here, that there was a bunch until a couple of days ago, from CB but he hasn't been over for a few days, having had a jolly up in Scotland.
OH, no-one's commented how awful my hair looks so I must have got away with it. I did used to cut it myself quite regularly ... ALL over, not just the fringe. I got away with it then, too, until I occasionally did visit a hairdresser who would say "WHO cut YOUR hair???" Obviously they must have thought I was a client of Vidal Sasoon and wonder why I was coming down, so, in the world, non? :)
Well, I think my bread roll for tomorrow's lunch must have defrosted by now and I'd best go make it now so I only have to grab it out of the fridge in the morning.
I try to get organised the night before work so I can make a quick exit. However, I'm beginning to think there's a fine line between compulsion and organisation!!!