Thursday, 30 April 2009

Safe & healthy days in London.....

Morning everyone, I'm back from the big city after my 2 days of health & safety training & I can say I'm well & truly bushed!!!

After getting up at 4.45 on Tuesday morning I had a very long train journey.... you know the one when you think you've been on the train for ever only to find out it was 1/2 hour!!! After some strong black coffee I managed to wake up.

I was late getting in to Paddington so had to rush on the Circle line as I only had 3/4 hour to get to Liverpool street. I hate being late for meetings don't you?? After a nightmare tube journey.....far to busy..... I then had a 15 mins dash to HO finally arriving there 15 mins late & the training already under way.... :(

So day one was not so bad, in the morning we were told we had to do role play in the afternoon, now I hate role play so I was worried but the group seemed very nice...13 in total...& it was ok. We went for lunch at the end of Brick Lane... I love it here, an open space with lots of cafes & a BBQ... very cheap & cheerful.

The afternoon was spent doing the role plays & talking about what would happen if someone drops down dead in front of this point I was started to get a bit worried..... you see I work in a shop & I didn't think I had to deal with any of this!!! I was also told that if any of my staff have an accident even if it's my day off it's my responsibility!!! Now I'm having second thoughts about this.....

We finished at 4pm, which was great because I was starting to get really tried & the room was very hot. I checked into my hotel & realised they only had no smoking rooms anyone who's been to that area will know this is not a great place to stand outside a hotel smoking!!! So I had a I sit in the room all evening or do something.... the something won....can you guess what????

Yes I went shopping...... now I really don't know the east end of London but I found Algate east tube station beside my hotel & worked out I could get the Hammersmith & City line to Baker St...easier said then done as I had to wait for a while. It was also not the best time to get a tube as the rush hour was just starting...... getting off at Baker St I walked to Emma Bridgewater then on to CK. You'll have to wait to see what I got!!!

It took me 1 1/2 hours to do this & getting back to the hotel I noticed there was no where to eat near by, I had been offered to eat with the man taking the course so I called him to take him up on his offer. Boy was I glad I did...Brick lane is not for the faint hearted, so many people trying to get you to eat in their restaurant it's frightening. We found a quite curry house & I couldn't believe how cheap it was..... even though I claim it back.

Back to the hotel by 8.30 because I had knitting to do....didn't tell him that!!!

The hotel was great apart from the fact I couldn't smoke!!! I had to take a photo of the shower.....

Sad I know but I've stayed in loads of hotels & I think this has to be the best shower I've come across...... it's a walk in one with glass doors.... very powerful.....just perfect. After a long day I really needed this!!!

In the morning I had a peaceful walk to the office, this time I could stop to take in the sights. I love this pub.......

The Ten Bells.... this was the pub that the Jack the Ripper victims hide in... I went there about 10 years ago on the tour & it was very quite... Tuesday night it was packed as it now has a DJ box...maybe Jack should come back!!! When I went I was in the toilet & I heard a lady laughing, I came out to find I was the only one in there.....boy did I run up those stairs!!!

The second day was not so good... we covered bomb threats & fire.We had to watch a film of the Bradford football club fire...... do you remember that?? 1985..... where do the years go!!! Now I hate fire & have a real fear of it, I can't look if any ones on fire in films etc so I knew this would be tough. I tried not to look but saw someone rolling on the ground on fire & actually shouted out 'oh my god' & hide my face... how embarrassing!! I also had to fight back the tears, why??? I'm not sure... I often wonder if I was in a bad fire in a previous life.....well you never know!

I must admit I was glad when the day was over as I was getting a bit fed up with doom & gloom.... I got a nice certificate to say I'm now trained on H& this what you call covering your arse?? So if there's an accident in the Exeter store they can blame me!!!

When I got back to Paddington I was told my ticket was not valid...OMG!!! The person in my store had booked a return ticket for the 28th, they knew I was returning on the 29th so a really, really big mistake. I did question it when my ticket came through but I was told it was fine. They let me through the gates but I was told I may get asked to leave the train. I called my store manager who tried to sort it out but when he called back he told me that yes an error had been made & the ticket was not valid!!! Could I pay for a single ticket & claim the money back??? Now on the 5.03 train to Exeter a single will cost you around £150... so I panicked!!!
When the train manager came he took my ticket, I could've said about the error or I could keep quite...... I didn't say anything!!! He gave me the ticket back & said 'ok'!!!! Thank the lord!!!

So I was home safe & sound by 8pm...... boy did I sleep well last night!!! I don't think I'll do anything today as it's my day off, the housework can kept until next week as I'm on holiday...yes again!!!

Sunday, 26 April 2009

Sunday joy & calling all London Gals.... EDIT:

Hello everyone, hope you've all had a good week.

My My the blog world is very quite at the moment... I don't know about everyone else but I've seemed to have lost my mojo when it comes to commenting..... I do read everyone's post but can't think of anything to I don't!!

Yesterday I went to WHsmiths because I had a 20% off voucher..... you know what it's like...I wasn't going to buy ...just to look!! This is what I came home with..... Country living, supposed to be for today's treat but I've decided to wait until Tuesday...more about that later. Carol Klein's 'Cook your own veg', I'd heard this was a good book, I have the 'Grow your own veg'. I've been looking at this for a few months & yesterday it was marked £5 so I just had to have it.

Then by luck I found these CK goodies, I didn't know smiths stocked these.....

I've had the stationary set in my Amazon basket for a while now but I've never seen the note card set. 24 cards for £9.99..... I stood for a long time in Smiths trying to decide if I should treat myself, even with 20% off it's still alot to spend if you don't really need it. I finally decided to go for it as my lunch break was ticking away. Did I do the right thing??

Today I'm home alone & this morning I had so many things planned but I never complete them..... looking at everyone's blogs I think I must be really lazy!!!

I brought these bedding plants last week but haven't had the time to plant them, this was the first on my list of jobs.......

I put them in the front garden to try & cheer it up.....

Not the best photo, you can how miserable the weather is today. Me & the cats were running in & out from the they were heavy but at least it didn't thunder!!
I have really bad soil in both garden so I started a compost bin 2 years ago to help this but it's not working..... it didn't in the last house either. Yesterday I brought some powder to speed it up but I'm not sure where I'm going wrong. I have real problems trying to find any plants to grow in rubbish soil, I love cottage gardens with hollyhocks etc but every time I buy them they just die!!

My friend gave me some comfrey last year, I've got one in the front & one in the back. I think they look really nice but I know not everyone would like them.....mum!!! I can't believe how much this one has grown in the last month....

I've forgotten when to cut it back, is it after it's flowered??? Them it can go in the compost bin...right???

For the last 2 weeks I've been playing around with this.......

Can you tell what it is yet???

Here they are all pressed & ready to go. I was hoping to show you the finished thing today but I'll leave that to another day, finishing off is taking longer then I thought.

I saw my friend on Friday & her little girl had brought me these.....

She choose them herself.... not bad for a 5 year old. She told her dad that auntie Joe would love them....he wasn't sure but she was right I do love them!!! Now I'll have to have a tea party!!

LONDON Gals.......

Ok this is where I need your help..... I'm attending a H&S training course on Tuesday & Wednesday in the big city, it will be held at our head office just off Brick lane & I'm staying in a hotel in Commercial Street. I would like to know if there's any good shops in that part??? I've been there a few time but not for many years. I've found this which looks like it should be close by but is there anything else I should know about??

I feel I should treat myself because I really don't want to go, I hate H&S...... it really bugs me... I mean did they d0 risk assessments in the blitz??? .......No people used common sense!

I feel I will be a very bad student!!

So hence why I'm saving Country Living.... I find it a long evening stuck in some lonely hotel room. I can't take my crochet because I need to take too many balls of wool so I brought myself this......

Just take a look at the lovely little ball of wool, well I couldn't help myself. I had to photograph it with the other balls I brought so you could see how cute it is. The other ones are for a knitted house.... you know the one from Kirstie's homemade home???

The little ball knits a pair of baby socks, I'm going to make them for my friend.... Hello Teresa if you're reading!!!!.... she's just found out she's having a baby after years of trying. Teresa.... I'm soooo happy for you both x

Sorry this is such a long post... hope I haven't bored you all!!!!

Back soon

PS. To those of you who watch Eastenders..... can you believe Heather joining the Brownies???? Everyone is finding it very funny... oh well I best get my alice band sorted before the next meeting!!!

EDIT: I've finished!!!!! More photo's to come, sorry it's so's very late!

Nanny says....stop blogging & pay attention to me!!!!

Saturday, 25 April 2009

The Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Pie Society

Yet another excellent book..... have you heard about this??? I saw it in my local (now closed) book shop. It was only £2.99 so I thought I'd give it ago, I love the title & when I saw it was based just after the 2nd world war I knew it was for me.

It's written in letter form through out which did surprise me & it was a bit of a slow starter. I think this was because there's some many characters & it takes a while to work out whose who. Once I started I couldn't stop, the characters are lovely & you really want a happy ending...... I won't tell you!! I love it when you read a book & really care for the characters.

I've checked Amazon & it's not available so if you do see it hanging about do buy it.

Thursday, 23 April 2009

Happy St Georges day......

I love this picture.... have you seen it??? Look very closely & see the detail. I don't like the drink so I'm afraid I won't be going out to celebrate but I will be wearing my red & white scarf today...even if it's not in the uniform!
Hope you have a good day what ever you do.

Monday, 20 April 2009

Pay it forward & Ladybird books

Hope everyone had a great weekend..... the weather was beautiful here, how was it for you??

I had to work Saturday & Sunday, there was not a cloud in the sky in Exeter on Sunday...... it was a nightmare looking out the shop window, I just wanted to go home to my garden!!!

When I got home on Saturday my 'Pay it forward' gift was waiting for me. The lovely Sarah sent me this.......

Great isn't it???? Not sure where it will live, at the moment it's hanging from the handle on my kitchen window ...... I did take a photo but then you would all see how dirty my windows are....LOL!!! In the end I thought it looked better on my sofa!!

When doing my housework on Friday I found theses.......

They were on the top of my bookcase!! Now I do remember buying them but it was a long time ago, I had put them on the bookcase to take upstairs but they got buried under other books.... I'm naughty when it comes to books.

I had a comment on my last ladybird book post from Helen, if you haven't checked out her web site I recommend a visit.....she has lots to sell, I'm waiting until pay day then I will treat myself to the knitting, sewing & crochet ones.

If you fancy some free seeds click on the Dig in link on left hand side bar, lots of good ideas on the web site..... great for first time growers.

Thursday, 16 April 2009

Brownies part 2

I thought I would keep you updated with my Brownie adventure, as you know I recently found out the pack I help is the worst in the area. After reading all your comments on my last post I felt I needed to make a change. I feel so bad that the parents are paying £25 a term for their children to run wild playing tag etc....... they could play that for free in the street!!!

One of the reasons I joined was to wear this lovely uniform....

I was never in the Brownies as a child, can't remember why now.....did I not want to go or did mum not want us to?? My oldest sister was in the Guides for years & even went to rangers....

So now I've finally joined I see the uniform has changed quite a lot.... I hate it!!! Who chose those's colours...yuk!! I'm wondering if I could get away with the brown leggings


We will be moving sometime in May because we only have 9 girls & no one wants to come to this pack because the area I live is a bit rough!!!! There is a waiting list for the other packs nearby so we will be moving to another church hall, this is about 15 -20 mins walk from my home so not great...the church now is less then 5 mins. It's a shame because the girls who live near me may not come with us & it them we really need to help..... the regional person doesn't understand that not everyone has cars.

On Tuesday we had a planning meeting & I wanted to give them one more chance to change before moving on..... I wanted to join the WI but don't have enough time to do both, I chose Brownies because I felt I may be doing some good. At the meeting I used all my skills learnt from many a management course... glad they came in useful!!..... to get them to change their ways.

Anyway we now have 4 weeks planned & they sounds pretty exciting....

Next week will shall be working towards the 'cook' badge, the first badge we've done since I joined in January!

They didn't seem to know how to plan anything so I suggested that we do this over 2 weeks for full impact. So next week we will be making place mats & shopping lists. We will be making mini pizzas & smoothies the following week . By planning ahead we can get everything we need & get the girls excited about coming the following week. I've also suggested that we split the girls into 3 teams as we have one leader & 2 helpers, this means we only have 3 girls each which I think will work so much better because when it's a large group they all mess around & talk.

I'm really looking forward to this & just to keep it on track I've asked for a meeting at the end of each session so we can keep to the plan....the leader likes to change things, so I'm told......& also to see what works & what doesn't!!

They started a knitting project before Christmas but it's been forgotten about until now.... you all know how much I love knitting!! They were knitting squares but with no end result so I suggested we start a competition to see which group can knit the most squares then we can sew them together to make 3 blankets to go to the local animal rescue centre.

I'll let you know next week how it went.... I'm feeling more positive now.

Don't forget Cath tonight.

Sunday, 12 April 2009

Ladybird books

A bit of a photo overload I'm afraid...... so here we go....

The story began about 5 months ago when I came across this book in my local Oxfam......

I remembered how much I enjoyed this book as a child & thought it would be nice for my friends little girl. However after getting it home I decided I couldn't part with it. Remember this......

Always my favourite thing to make. So I looked on the Internet & found loads more information & joined groups on facebook etc, now I'm hooked!!!
I asked my mum if she still had ours, these are the only 2 remaining......

If you look closely you can see our names written very clearly on the front, I'd like to say my written has got better although not much smaller!!!
She also had these.....

These belong to my brother so must date back to the early 80's.
I then found these....

Smoke & Fluff was my favourite one as a child, I took this to my friends house & her little girl loved it, glad to see they don't date. We all read her a story when I go around first daddy, then auntie Joe & finally mummy...... she enjoyed it so much we all had to read it!!!

Glad I was able to find the pair of picture books....

The best picture in the first book....

From the second......I have theses egg cups!!!

Which one is your favourite???
I didn't have any of the 'What to look for...' but I'm sure I had the puppies & kittens

And finally the last 2 that I brought last week....

So that's my collection so far, not that many but I'm working on it. You don't always see them in charity shops, I need to go to a boot sale but the really big one in Exeter is no where near where I live so I have to wait until someone wants to take me.
I really want the knitting, crochet & sewing ones next, I've looked on ebay but I really don't want to pay £5 each....... I'm just happy to wait.
Hope these brought back some happy memories for you all.
Back to work tomorrow :(

Saturday, 11 April 2009

Pay it forward

I was lucky enough to be the first person to leave a comment on Sarah's 'pay it forward post'....

For those who don't know, it goes like this - the first three people to leave a comment will receive a hand made gift from me! The only thing you have to do is participate and carry on the gift giving to three more soon as you have left a comment do a "pay it forward post" on your blog and continue the giving.

Sounds good???

Homemade home

Hello, hope you're all enjoying the Easter break..... what lovely weather??? Not sure if everyone has sun but the weather in Devon has been beautiful.

Just a very quick post to make sure you all know about the new Kirstie Allsopp's programme that starts on Thursday 16th April at 8pm on channel 4. It's called Kirstie's homemade home, in the first one she will be chatting to Cath Kidston. Sounds like our kind of programme so I did want anyone to miss out.

I'll be back tomorrow to show you my Ladybird book collection.

Wednesday, 8 April 2009

A day in the big smoke

Hope everyone made the most of the last sunny day before the bank holiday weekend... I've just seen the weather forecast & it's not looking good. Shame as I have 3 days off.

Yesterday I took the train to the big smoke. It was a lovely journey leaving Exeter at a very bright & early 6.55!!! The sun was out, I read my book & enjoyed the peace & quite.... that is until the lady behind me started to eat a packet of crisps!!!!
I had a managers meeting in the Tottenham Court Road Store..... it was ok but I did feel like Alan Sugar was going to walk in at anytime. Maybe I should enter the apprentice next year...LOL!
The meeting was planned to finish at 4pm but at 3.15 she called it a day...yippee!!!
I was asked to go for coffee with the other people before getting our trains but I thought heck no...I'm off..... I have a date with...........

Yes that's right I had to pay Cath a visit. I was really pleased with myself because I normally just come home because I don't like walking around London on my own...boring....but yesterday I went for it. So after a bit of a (hot) walk I found Cath & all was well. I went to buy the boat hankie but they had sold out...never mind I found some other things.
Some dusters, a very cheap box (only £1!!), a lovely red spotty bowl & some fabric. Now I'm not sure what I'm going to make but I'll think of something.

So why stop there..... normally when I go to London I leave OH in the pub & hurry around but yesterday my train didn't leave until 5pm so I took a wander in Marylebone High Street.
I went to VV Rouleaux & brought some ribbon.....

I had really been looking forward to visiting but I wasn't impressed with the service.

Then I headed back to Baker Street tube & I spotted good old Emma Bridgewater....

Just had to buy this mug, I looked at it in Bristol but didn't buy it.... it takes along time for me to spend money!!! I knew as soon as I got home I would regret not buying it so I did it....

Now I need to sort my shelves out in the kitchen as they're too full.

Today was back to normal rubbish shops!! I did pop to Oxfam & another charity shop in my lunch break & brought theses goodies......

I love plastic knitting needles & I also found a crochet hook, I did have to ask & they brought out a big box...LOL! The lovely hankies were 50p for 3 ....bargain.... cheaper then CK but maybe not as nice!!!
I've been collecting ladybird books for a bout 6 months so I was pleased to find these.
I must show you my collection soon.

Only 1 day to go before my break.

Sunday, 5 April 2009

Sunny Sunday.....

Hope you're all enjoying the lovely sunshine today. I was hoping to get out in the garden but as I haven't had a day off since Monday the housework took over.

I did remember to get batteries for the stupid camera yesterday so as promised here's the gift Mel sent me......

A lovely little bag that just the right size for my lunch box & book, at the moment it's full of craft things as I had to clear the table to clean it!!! Inside the bag was some really helpful cooking leaflets.

Also some fantastic vintage CK fabric...... thanks so much Mel..... I hate cutting up fabric but I really must make some thing with this so I've decided to make a cushion cover. Now the problem is my sewing machine has a red bobbin at the moment & I'm not sure how to change it...... you see me & bobbins don't get on, when I was young my mum used to let us use her sewing machine & I used to always get the bobbin all knotted up. When I left home I brought a 1960's singer & I had the same problem, Dad was so fed up of collecting it, mum mending it & him bring it back only to do the same thing a few months later that it now lives at mum's. The new machine is supposed to be easy but I to scared just in case I mess it up!!!!!

Thought I would try to make my plant stand look a little better.....

I've just chucked some small plants on until I can find the ones I want...... not sure what they've called but I'll know them when I see them. OH hates it, it reminds him of his childhood....his Auntie had one but I think it's his fault for being so old...LOL!!!!
Sal did a great post about Otto retro, hope you all saw it.

Do you like the union jack flag I found????

Is anyone else collecting this magazine?????

Issue 2 is now out...... unfortunately I haven't had any spare time to sit & read it cover to cover but it looks really good. Every year I plan not to plant too much because I don't have the time to look after it but I always get carried away.

This is my salad bar last July....just look at that sun. My dad made me this to try & stop the cats from getting in (it's waist height)..... I think you know why..LOL!!

I've just enjoyed some lovely curly kale from the garden..... I thought it had died but it's come back with a vengeance....yummy!!! I also have loads of spinach so I'll be eating something with spinach for dinner next week. Can't wait to get growing again..... so rewarding.

My goodness it's nearly 3pm.... that can only mean one thing..... tea & cake....must dash!!!