Tuesday, 28 August 2007


and Bubble didn't make it. I found him dead in hs isolation tank this morning. I kind of figured this would be the outcome...even with the medication. He had even managed to get some of his colour back but I think he was just too sick. So he is now buried in the back garden under the honeysuckle tree.

A couple of pages that are in the latest issue of SI. I didn't manage to do any scrapbooking yesterday at all yesterday. Maybe I'll get some time tonight although I really need to catch up on some paperwork and housework this week. My tax return keeps calling my name lol. I am doing my best to ignore it but September will soon be here and I need to get going with it one of these days.

Monday, 27 August 2007

Lazy day

So today I did nothing. Made lots of plans for being busy during the rest of the week, but not today. We went down to the petshop to take back our loach which had grown about four times it's original size and now was being incredibly aggresive towards the other fish. I was on the phone a couple of days ago when I looked over and saw that it had our oldest fish, Bubble in it's mouth and was dragging him around. Poor Bubble was bleeding from his fins and lost every bit of his gold colour. We have treated him and the water, isolated him but he isn't picking up at all. He is still white with bloody streaks in his tail. His tail and fins have just disintigrated in pieces and he is mostly upside down. There is nothing else we can do for him apart from wait and see if he gets over the shock. He has hung on for the last two days but seems so poorly. Such a shame because he is our original fantail and he was this deep reddy gold colour with spots of sparkly gold and huge frondlike fins and tail. He has grown so much over the last few years and up until Saturday appeared quite happy and healthy - well as much as a fish can I guess.

This evening we all went over to Sam's for a barbeque which was very nice. A couple of hours relaxing except for a few minutes panic when her two year old neice flicked a spadeful of sand over my Nikon D200 as I was taking photos. I am really, really hoping that it hasn't got inside the workings. I cleaned it all off and then put it away. It appears OK but here's keeping my fingers crossed. So no photos from tonight.

Sunday, 26 August 2007

London calling...

We had a fab day in London. The weather was good and apart from forgetting that I was heading to Paddington to meet Lynetta and instead headed for Victoria as if I was going to work...everything went well!


We started with coffee in Starbucks and catching up, then headed for Westminster, the London Eye and the Southbank. For a couple of hours we wandered along watching the street entertainers and taking loads of photos. Some were the obligatory statues but they had a couple of brightly painted lizzards who cycled madly when money was dropped into their tins, a 'dog' in a cage, snow white and a few other characters. We passed an exhibition of paintings, an old fashioned merry go round, ate lunch in Gabriels Wharf, went up to the observation deck of the Oxo building, crossed the Millennium Bridge and then headed up past St Pauls Cathedral, the Royal Courts of Justice and up to Covent Garden where I found a cool mirror handmade from Lime which will look perfect in my hall if I ever get around to decorating it!

Thanks Lyn...I really enjoyed our day!

London Eye

Street Entertainers


South Bank Graffiti

Millennium Bridge

A girlie day in London

I am so looking forward to today. My scrapping buddy Lynetta (who I don't get to see that often) and I are off to London for a girlie day! We will do all the tourist things and take lots of photos. Eat lunch, do Starbucks, explore and just have a great time!

So my camera is packed; spare batteries and memory cards at the ready. Now all I need to do is get in the shower and head off!

Saturday, 25 August 2007

OMG the sun is shining!

I can't believe it! This last week has been so miserable; winter clothes, boots, driving around London in the pouring rain. And now, three days of sunshine - yay!

I took Holly over to Willow Tree Crafts for work this moring. Spent a couple of hours there; bought some new 7 Gypsies stamps and went with Rob to have a look at how their extension is coming on. It looks fab but I can't believe that Rob is doing this on top of a full time job. It is so much work. But what a difference it will make. And Amy gets her own scraproom/study!

So for the rest of the day did I enjoy the sunshine? Nope. I sat in and spent the whole time working on a SI project which is so fiddly and I need my head testing for suggesting it! There is something a little strange working on Christmas themes when the sun is shining through the windows; but it is done after about four days work on it and it looks quite cute now it is finished.

I did however manage to get three loads of washing done...and dried! All in one day. I can't believe how happy that makes me. Not the pile of ironing but an emptyish washing basket and that fresh, dried on the line smell to the clothes!

Monday, 20 August 2007

Gotta love teenagers!

Holly changed her mind about a shopping trip to London...having asked for it in the first place and decided to go to visit her sister and nephew for a few days instead. So I still walked her up to the station, she went North and I decided to still go into London and head for the home shops as planned. I didn't buy anything but there were some fab things there. I loved the simple oak furniture of Heals and The Pier; the jewel like colours of the various fabrics, throws, cushions, curtains. In particular some taffeta curtains in Habitat caught my eye. I wanted lime green for my conservatory but they didn't have any. I loved the bright pink ones though.

Then to Starbucks and back home. And not much else. I started working on a page but to be honest was not in the mood for it. So just watched House instead.

Sunday, 19 August 2007


Am I in the dog house or what? Roy has just stitched me up and told Holly that I really wanted a curry. So now she won't cook me dinner. But she wanted me to share hers. So now I am not hungry enough for a curry :( So instead, I made toasted olive ciabattas with brie, grapes and cranberry sauce with white port. Yum yum. Not sure it is healthier than a curry though but it sure tasted nice!

I think Holly and I are going to go into London tomorrow. Head down to Tooting and have a look at St Georges so that when she and Danni go down for the open day in September, she will know where to go. I never really liked Tooting much; not that I have had to go there recently for work. Probably down to the crap traffic...that usually influences my like or dislike of an area of London lol. Then I think that we will go shopping...if my credit card can stand it! If we head towards Oxford St, Holly can do the clothes shops then I can head up Tottenham Court Road to Heals, Habitat and The Pier. Just about my three most favourite 'home' shops ever. Except for The Designers Guild in Chelsea...not that I can afford to shop there - I don't think I can afford to window shop either...way too dangerous :D Oh and Pier One in the US. I think that I love it even more than the UK version - The Pier. Although that possibly is because it is so much cheaper. And I lurve shopping in the US. Especially Atlanta....my favourite city ever. Home of the Braves..and Andrew Jones. Maybe I need another trip there lol. But hey, I have Boston in a few short months. Which means Legal Seafoods. Another favourite. Best I start doing some more overtime to pay for all of this....

Anyway, it is only 9pm and I feel like doing some scrapping. If I can find some photos that inspire me. Although I have been going through the boxes and boxes of old photos from when Holly was a toddler and they have been fun to scrap. So less time on the Internet I think...

Does it ever stop raining?

It rained most of the way up to Keele. It rained ALL day whilst we looked around the University and it rained most of the way back! In fact the only time I noticed it wasn't raining was when we came off the M25 at Watford....or was that because I couldn't see the rain for the queue of cars??!! Just lovely.

But....we had a great day at Keele. It is very different from Manchester Uni although their course was based on Manchester's until this year when they start their own degree. The medical building was fab. The students seemed keen and happy with the place. The talks were informative and reassuring with regards to how little weight they attach to AS grades when offering interviews. They also gave a lot of useful information on how to approach your personal statement and interview if offered one. The accommodation was a little basic...especially for £90 a week. I'm glad I'm not the student! All in all though, a very positive day.

My camera however stayed firmly in the boot of the car. Not one photo. Nada. Way too much rain!

Now, having got home, thinking of a curry and a large glass of Chardonnay pretty much all the way home, Holly has decided she wants to make dinner....something healthy! Huh? Since when did I bring my daughter up like that?!! But I'm sure it will be perfect :)

Saturday, 18 August 2007

Top of the Championship League!

For a few short hours we were top of the table today following our one nil win against Sheffield United. Following Stoke's win later this evening they have gone above us alphabetically only. But hey this is a great start for Watford.

Finished the magazine page I was stuck on last night...but no time for any other scrapping. No time tomorrow either as we are off to Keele University.

Friday, 17 August 2007

Four days off !

Yay! I love long weekends!

Today has been a lazy day. I just did bits and pieces this morning, sorted out my banking then went over to Ickenham to meet Sam for lunch which is the first time in sooo long. I must be getting predictable because the girl in the sandwich shop knew exactly what to put in my panini, right down to the redcurrant sauce. I really must try something new lol.

As I walked back to the car I noticed a kite for sale in the charity shop so picked it up for the little boy next door. Only it wasn't a kite, it was an Indonesian kiteboat! As I found out when his dad and I tried to put it together. It needs a little repair work but it is pretty cool....I'm just not certain whether you fly it or sail it!! I'm guessing on the sailing but this is what it looks like....

I think Dave will take Andrew up to the lake at St Albans to try it out. Could be a photo op here :)

Other than that I took the car down to a new carwash to get it washed and hoovered out. It looks a whole lot better but it really needs T cutting and a good wax to bring the paintwork up. I tried to talk Roy into doing it but he wasn't having any of it... guess I will be heading down to Halfords tomorrow!

I did a little scrapbooking tonight. Not much. Just started a page for the magazine. It seems so wierd to be scrapbooking Christmas photos in the middle of summer....except that the weather hasn't realised that it is summer! Kind of got a little stuck on it. Thats what happens when you have no idea what you are doing before you start lol. Oh well...I'll give it some thought tonight.

Holly is doing a fab page based on one I did for Banana Frog recently. I really love what she is doing but she has no confidence with her scrapbooking and it is sooo hard to get her to do something with me. Cheryl is gonna love it though....


the results were better than we expected considering Holly wasn't well during the exams. The worst mark came from the exam she couldn't do anything for the last 20 minutes because of a coughing fit. But they might just not be good enough to be offered an interview or place at one or more of the Universities. Well not to study medicine anyway. It now depends on her predicted marks.

However an A for maths and Politics were great. Politics in particular because she really struggled with the revision. Then a B for Chemistry, so with a lot of hard work over the next year she could easily bring that up to an A. And a C for Biology, just 6 marks off a B but this will be much harder to make up.

But I am really proud of her, regardless of the marks. I just hope this is a wake-up call for the next year; that studying and revision must come first so that she has the best possible chance of becoming a Doctor.

Well, after a 14 hour day I finally got home, spent the next hour on the Internet and phone to my sister looking for flights to Boston and now we have them booked. For November! A long weekend which will be great fun because I think that the last time I went away with my sister on her own was about 24 years ago when we backpacked around Europe! I just hope we don't fight anywhere near as much as we did during that month lol.

Then I spent the next 3 1/2 hours trying to sort out invoices from the last year and a half as it had to be done by Friday. Somewhat frustrating as from my end they were accurate. But that is another story and hopefully the mess is now sorted.

So to bed at 3.30am....I must be mad. At least I don't have to work tomorrow...or today as it is now!!

Thursday, 16 August 2007

Results day

So today the A1 results come through. Holly could have looked online at midnight but she didn't want to. And I have to go to work today so I can't go to the school with her this time. Although she has arranged to meet her friends so I won't be needed once she arrives lol. She is quite sressed about them, she needs the grades to even stand a chance of studying medicine but she wasn't well during the week she took them and she didn't think she did well in them.

So I guess I will get a text sometime this morning.....

Tuesday, 14 August 2007

Watford win again!

Although it was a cup game. Against a lower league club - Gillingham. Which funnily enough used to be MY team when I was growing up in the Medway Towns. I spent a few of my teenage years going to Priestfield Road and a few away games, watching the Gills play.

So tonight we won 3 nil. And Saturday is our first league home game. BUT I really, really hope it is a nice day. As much as I love my football, sitting there in the wind and the rain is not my idea of fun...especially when we are losing! I love the first few days of the new season when the weather is hot and sunny and I meet up with the people who sit around me and catch up after a few months off.

But tonight was a good result and I am happy.

No scrapbooking tonight. It has been a long couple of days at work and I am too tired to be creative. May be tomorrow. I have a lot to do for the magazine and the next two weekends are tied up with University visits; Keele on Sunday, Liverpool on Monday and Nottingham the following weekend. Holly is going to Brighton with a friend on the 29th, so we just need to fit in Bristol now. Oh and St Georges in London. But that should be fairly easy although as usual their open day clashes with Brighton's...as has happened with quite a few of the actual open days. We are planning on seeing Aberdeen in September although Holly now thinks that that is too far away. Expensive to get home for visits as flying will be the only option...but we will probably still have a look.

Hey - what is it with the weather? It was more like winter than summer today. I almost couldn't see the cars in front of me on the motorway this morning...it was so grey and the rain was non-stop. And this is summer? Did I miss something??

Sunday, 12 August 2007


It was a quiet crop today...only eight of us. But it was good to get away and catch up with friends. Saw Debbie for the first time in ages which was great but no Mary Anne - she couldn't make it. I also haven't seen much of Amy and Sam recently and Amy had some fab news to share with us; but it was also good to see Lynne, Sarah, Julie and Lucy. Monday lunchtimes have kind of gone out of the windows recently, summer holidays and not working locally to Ickenham during the last few weeks have not helped.
I spent the day working on a project for the magazine. It is going to take forever I think...I only manage to to do about a third of it!

What was with the rain today? I thought it was going to be another lovely day like Satuday - not so. Good old British summers...you gotta love them!

Saturday, 11 August 2007

Yay!! Watford FC win 2-1

First game of the seeason, away to Wolves, back down in the Championship League where (realistically) we belong. And we won. 2-1!

To be honest, after we gave away a goal in extra time at the end of the first half, I thought...here we go again, same old Watford. We are so good at that. Then in the 87th minute Jordan Stewart scored from a free kick followed by Marlon King putting a goal home from the penalty spot in the dying seconds. So we start off this season in 6th place...one abnove Blackpool so I shall waste no time tonight sending a 'ha ha' text to my brother-in-law!

I don't have any photos as I watched the game in a local pub. However here are a couple of photos from last year...

Holly and I at the Millennium Stadium, Cardiff when Watford Beat Leeds 3-0 in the Championship League play-offs.

And Watford at home to Manchester United during our year in the Premiership.

I'm not sure whether I will go to the cup game against Gillingham during the week but next Saturday it is our fist home game. Lets home the sun is shining and we have our second league win....

Thursday, 9 August 2007

Frustrating two days

The last two days have been sooo frustrating.

Yesterday I was ready to scream. Ten wasted hours driving to and sitting at a station waiting for two witnesses to turn up. But they didn't.

The first because he couldn't be bothered, To turn up or to ring me to cancel. Even though I asked him to as I was so busy, so I could then offer the slot to someone else. But that didn't bother him.

The second who asked me to ring him with confirmation of the start time, so I did. Twice. But he decided he didn't want to take the calls because they showed 'private number' calling. Then didn't turn up at the aranged time. So I phoned him to find out why. And got told off because I was supposed to ring him - huh?? His comment 'Oh was that you ringing me?' So he said he would be there in 1/2 hour but two hours later he still hadn't showed. Or phoned me.

What a complete and utter waste of my time. And worse, two other jobs could have been done instead. Two other people could have had the chance to put together a composite of their attacker. But no, because two witnesses were too selfish and inconsiderate and totally happy to waste police time. And we are constantly slated by the public and media for not providing a good service!

Then today. Nine hours to get a composite because my lovely witness could not speak, or hear, or read, or write. Never been to school, only a very basic knowledge of sign language. This was probably the hardest job I have done. The witness was brilliant, as was my interpreter and video controller. Everyone so patient. But at the end of the day, how do you get past the hurdle of someone who has no concept of nationality? No concept of age? And this was just the beginning. But she kept on trying, working hard all that time, so hopefully we have something that might just work. Might just identify her attacker. I hope so. If there is any justice to be had.

I was just too tired to even think of scrapbooking tonight. Well I thought of it but I didn't do anything. Maybe tomorrow. Or the weekend. It is the Ickenham Crop on Sunday and I am so looking forward to a relaxing day. Catching up with friends and maybe even a page or two! Maybe....

On a happier note. My baby is coming home tomorrow! It has been a long two weeks without her around but she will be back home by 9.30pm tomorrow and I can't wait! She has spent the last week on work experience at Tameside Hospital under a Consultant who sounds lovely. Happy to include her in ward rounds. Direct questions at her as well as the junior doctors there. Ask her opinion and listen to her answers. Explain what he is looking for when seeing patients in his clinics. Ask her to 'diagnose' symptons. OK, she won't know but she has listened to his previous descriptions and has felt confident enough to offer an opinion. What a lovely guy to make her feel valued in that way. Suggestions on what to research in the medical library, to compliment what she has seen. All to give her an edge over other applicants if she is offered interviews when she eventually applies to the various Universities.

So far we are looking at Manchester, Liverpool, Brighton, Bristol, Keele, Nottingham and possibly Aberdeen. We have a busy few weeks ahead of us with visits!

Monday, 6 August 2007


Sam and her family had gone down to Odney near Cookham for a few days; staying at the beautiful John Lewis premises set in stunning parkland. I've been a few times before and Sam invited me over for lunch today. We sat outside alongside the river to eat, then headed over to the mini golf and then the open air swimming pool. Although it was a gorgeous day, Sam and I felt it would be really noble of us to let Ian supervise the children and we laid out in the sun with coffee and just caught up with all the gossip!

This is the beautiful main building with it's fabulous flower beds and hanging baskets....

Some of the many flowers on display....

And the old brick walled gardens.

Sunday, 5 August 2007

Canal Walk

My dad came over for the day, so after a couple of hours working in the garden whilst Roy and my dad waited for Lewis Hamilton to win the Hungarian Grand Prix we drove over to Rickmansworth for a walk down the canal. It was a beautiful day, probably the hottest so far of the year and it was just perfect for a few hours strolling along the towpath towards Watford (not that we got that far!), looking at the boats, swans and countryside.

I loved how some of the boats were really rusting up; the texture of the flaking paint and rough ropes tied around the cleats.

Along the towpath the blackberries and elderberries were just starting to ripen; in particular the blackberries were every shade from green, through to red, through to black. They tasted quite bitter still.

I hoped to see dragonflies amongst the plants and reeds at the waters edge but nothing, just a few bees collecting nectar. However there were a couple of swans with two cygnets, still with their grey feathers.

After a mile or so, we cut off through some footpaths that took us out in the town centre and made our way back to the pub at the entrance to the Aquadrome for a quick drink. It was then about time to go back and start the barby and just chill out in the garden.

Saturday, 4 August 2007

Scrapping today

After doing some jobs (not all...the weather was far too nice today!) I got down to some scrapbooking. Why is it when it is for me, the design comes easily, yet if it is for SI I struggle. Anyway these two pages are using the fab Rouge de Garance papers which I keep getting from Banana Frog and never using! I just love their bright colours and that mix of colour and black and white. I added a few letter stickers and buttons but basically it is all RdeG.

This is Holly aged four, having a blast on the Quad Bikes at the Harrow Show back in the summer of 1994.

And this is Holly and her adorable little nephew Jack on his 1st birthday. All his family travelled from far and wide (even the US and Spain) to be there for the occasion. Holly just adores him and I think he feels the same way too, judging by the way his face lights up when he sees her.


I took some photos of the little girl next door today. I was keeping an eye on Emma as she played in the garden whilst Dave and Laura were busy fitting their new kitchen. It seemed to good an opportunity to miss so I snapped away as she played. These were some of my favourites!

Handing me some leaves...

Big eyes...

Nothing tastes better than a thumb!

Summer has come back!

It is a beautiful morning, the sun is shining, the skies are blue, the washing is on and in a minute I am going to cut the grass! We seem to have waited so long for warm weather and it has finally returned and on a weekend as well.

Lat night we had a barbeque and Laura, Dave, Andrew and Emma came round. It was an impromptu one so no fancy food but it just felt good to be able to sit outside and eat. I think our last barbeque was for my brother and family when they stopped on their way from Boston to Kenya.

I plan to do some scrapbooking today, I need to think of magazine assignments as we are into the next issue now. I also want to do some for Banana Frog as I ordered some gorgeous Rouge De Garance papers from Bev a couple of weeks ago and just haven't had time to use them.

These are a couple of pages I have done for Bev since she started her blog. Not very productive :(

And a couple of pages I did for myself.

Wednesday, 1 August 2007

Banana Frog Challenge

Does anyone fancy winning a Banana Frog gift voucher and having their work featured on the blog? In that case you really need to check out Banana Frog's latest challenge - here. Tricia has used the 'Build A Bloom' stamps to create a number of fabulous projects, including cards, a layout and a mini album. All you have to do is use the same stamps to create your own project and submit it by midnight 12th August. The winner will be announced on the 15th