Thursday, 29 April 2010

A cry for help!

I'm asking for help - please, pretty please ☺ - from anybody who follows/reads my blog and lives in either the USA or Canada and has contact with a Stampin' Up demonstrator there. You can guess what's coming - *LOL* Yep, I'm after something that's in your catalogue and not in our measly UK one! If there's anybody who's willing to help me can you contact me please (email link is on the About Me tab at top of blog) and I'll let you know what it is I'm wanting *grin*

Just to let everybody know that I'm sorted now, thank you ... and thanks to everyone who has offered help.  I always knew crafters were a great bunch and you haven't done anything to change my opinion - in fact, you've confirmed it *LOL*


Tuesday, 27 April 2010

I'm speechless! ...

... well, perhaps not quite but I'm certainly gobsmacked!

I've just been filling in a registration form and the County/State is a requirement, as it sometimes is (always, on US forms). I'm so used to putting in East Sussex as my county I've been totally thrown! I should explain I guess. Some years ago - in 1997, in fact - Brighton and Hove amalgamated as a town but it also became a unitary authority and as such we became our own 'county'. We separated from the county of East Sussex and became just Brighton & Hove without a county being part of our address. Since then, where forms have had to have a county entered I've always used East Sussex as that is what we used to be (since Sussex was split into 2 and became East and West) and is usually on any drop-down menu. Other than that I leave the State/County part blank, as it doesn't really apply to my address.

Today, I'm filling in this registration form and the State/County is a requirement. I click on the drop-down menu and - shock, horror - there's Brighton & Hove showing on the list! The first time evah! that I've seen it and where's the site based? In the good ol' USofA! Not even in my own country but across the pond and they've got a proper list.

UK based sites - please take note and update yours now 'cos I'm fed up of saying my home is in a county that it has nothing to do with any more!  You make me lie and I don't like it!

Thanks for dropping by .....

Monday, 26 April 2010

Lovely weekend ...

... quite busy and thoroughly enjoyed it. Started with a trip out to the Dogs Trust at Shoreham to leave some bits for their shop. Arrived as some of the volunteer dog walkers were returning their charges. Oh dear, so nearly came away with an appointment to take hubby Paul out for one specific little pooch. 6 months old bitsa who looked just like our old girl did but a quarter of her size. She wasn't big by any means but this one was about the size of a Jack Russell (could have been crossed with one I guess) and she was sooo friendly. I had to stop to make a fuss of her but had to put hard heart on and walk away. So difficult but our life at the moment just wouldn't allow for a little addition. I wish I could walk as I used to 'cos I'd join the ranks of the volunteers but there's no way I could do it.

Left there and made my way to pick up my good friend  Cally as we were booked for an afternoon of crafting at the Glitterpot, with Jane Gill. Just sorry we couldn't get in on morning class but saw what they did and took photos so can play at a later date. It's been a while since I did a class with Jane and I thoroughly enjoyed it, as well as seeing others I'd not seen for a long time.  The retirees group of the job I retired from 4 years ago asked for us to take a photo that represented a day in our life on Saturday.  This is the photo I took to send in ... in the process of putting my card together at the workshop.

Yesterday afternoon I was babysitting (although Amy apparently objects having it called babysitting 'cos she's not a baby - bless!). Emma had a dance show to perform in so I had Zac and Amy while Mum and Dad went to watch and support. By the time they got home both of the youngsters were in bed and fast asleep, both having gone just before 6pm. They'd played and eaten so much there was no argument when it came time to turn in *hehe*. Emma came home in one of her dance dresses, full make-up and hair gelled to the max! Shower before bed methinks which meant that she actually had a late night and they were home just after 7 - *LOL* This is one family that keeps decent bed times for the children.

This morning, postie arrived with a note saying I owed the Royal Mail £14.33! Damnation! Customs! I'd been caught! Not usual but it does happen sometimes and it could have been a lot worse. I'd ordered goods totalling $110 from the US but the retailer had put the value as $54, so saving me the duty - well VAT - on $56. VAT charge £6.33, handling fee £8 (that's the one that bugs me). The goods were still a bargain. I'd bought them reduced, saving $330 on original prices, so reckon an additional £15 to pay was peanuts! Now need to find the time, or more, the reason to use them. 3 sets of alphabet dies!

Thanks for dropping by .....

Aaaarrghhhhhhhh! ...

  ... politics! We're in the middle of a General Election Campaign and if I hear one more time Tony Blair was elected Prime Minister, not Gordon Brown, I'm gonna scream!  We don't elect a Prime Minister.  We elect a Party ... or that's what we should be doing!

Personally, when I vote, I vote for a Party and their manifesto and therefore the candidate for that party in my constituency. I've never actually seen a ballot paper with the name of Tony Blair on it (or any past Party leader of whatever persuasion) and I can guarantee that neither have the majority of the population! It's only the people in Blair's constituency that voted for him to be their MP and, because he happened to be the leader of the Party at the time, he became Prime Minister. The electorate gave the mandate to the Party- via their local MP - to act on their behalf therefore, when Tony Blair resigned his position it was up to Party to act on our behalf and bring in a new leader from the sitting MPs in the Party and we got ... for good or bad .... Gordon Brown. 

Now, I'm not saying that Labour would have won the last election had Gordon Brown been leader at that time but .... we don't elect a specific person into the position of Prime Minister. We vote for a representative of our chosen Party. The Party with the most elected MPs wins and whoever is the Party leader becomes the Prime Minister. If the Party leader changes mid-term we get a new PM and we, the electorate, have to rely on the relevant Party to make the choice for us. We do not, and never have, voted for a Prime Minister!

*LOL* Anyone would think I was a political animal but nothing could be further from the truth.   I find most of it quite boring however, when I keep hearing people say they never voted for Gordon Brown I'd say, you're right, you didn't. His constituents did, as their Labour candidate and hence, MP, just as Tony Blair's constituents did for him so where's the difference ... apart from Gordon Brown not being the Party leader at that time?  If I was voting for a personality I probably wouldn't vote at all - *LOL*

Off soapbox now ... *grin*

Thanks for dropping by .....

Sunday, 25 April 2010

Magenta Magic Workshop.

24th April 2010 - afternoon at the Glitterpot.
With the inspiring Jane Gill.

It's been an age since I posted a card on here and it's been an age since I actually made one. Here's one that I think is definitely worth posting though.

Using Woodware Magenta Style peel off stickers (Code #98219 - leaves) and vellum paper. Who could imagine that a sheet of peel off leaves could end up looking like this? Well, Jane did! Excuse the rubbish stamping. The plaque was a 2nd attempt and hides the first attempt! The 2nd attempt it definitely an improvement, believe me, but it's still rubbish and I now know how I could have made it better ... now it's too late or - is it? *LOL*.


Friday, 23 April 2010

Oh no! ...

 ... nearly a week since I last blogged! Just haven't felt like blogging. In fact, not felt like doing much at all. Why do I get this way every so often? I have been doing 'stuff', just not on lappy. When I've had lappy on I've not wanted to do anything except play games - and that's not been often. Just feel really lethargic this week although it's been quite busy.

I started prepping a slideshow to summarise the holiday but have only got half way through and lost interest for now.  Mind you, it's gonna be pretty big - *LOL*  Had thoughts on how to improve the others I've done as well.  On top of that I wanted to start prepping for a photobook so that when an offer came up that would save money I'd be ready.  Well, offer has come up for the next 3 days and am I ready?  Nope, not even started, so reckon I'll need to prep ready for the next time *hehe* 

Took Dad to get his new hearing aids fitted on Tuesday but we had to have a meeting with the Estate Manager before that. All to do with the catering service as it's on the cusp of starting up. Seems that it's now going to be all cooked on premises instead of being bought in and kept warm on the hot plate. Have to say it is a better idea but what I don't particularly like is that he's going to have to pay his share whether he has the meals or not. They've changed the tenancy agreement so there's no choice. Pity it wasn't up and running when he moved there as it would have been easier to get it into his new routine at the time. Now it's a complete change for him to cope with again. It's not just that he has to go out of the flat to have them but he'll have to change the time of his main meal so will have to adapt the size of his breakfast to ensure he's hungry enough to eat it! I am hoping that it works for him 'cos it'll make life easier all round. Shopping will be less hassle a) for me drawing up his list and b) for the carers to go and do. It will also mean he'll have better main meals - more balanced but, as Dad doesn't like veg he might not agree. Having said that, there will be a menu choice so if he doesn't want veg he doesn't have to have them. Just got to wait to hear when it's starting now.

Hearing aids seem to be a success. He could hear me without shouting or even looking at me and that hasn't   happened in a long time - *lol!* In fact, he asked me not to talk so loudly! I left a note for the carers so they were aware. Even the TV came down to a more realistic volume level. Think it'll take him a few days to get used to them but hopefully, by the time I call next week, he will have.

Had a night out as well on Tuesday.  Lovely meal with friends.  Our regular 'monthly'-ish meet. 

At home, I've been cupboard clearing and tidying and gathered another couple of large bags for the Dogs Trust. Some of it was stuff we'd decided to sell on eBay or at a car boot sale but, it's got to be stored until done and as most of it has been sitting waiting for action for over a year I reckon it ain't gonna happen so ... Dogs Trust, here it comes!

Had a lovely head massage yesterday and since then all I've wanted to do is sleep. Can't believe it's all down to the massage but yesterday a lot certainly was. I've had a few bad nights so think it was a combination of that as well. Today, I've just felt washed out, tired and headachey. Will try for an early night tonight and hope I feel better tomorrow. Craft class at the Glitterpot tomorrow afternoon and really looking forward to it. Was hoping that a space would come free for the morning as well but that hasn't happened - doh!

Thanks for dropping by .....

Paper Crafts Blog Hop.

This could fun and a great way to meet some new blogging buddies. Hope it works! Just follow the instructions below to add yours to the list.  The idea originated here and what a brilliant idea!

1. Click the blue frog at the very end of this post to add your blog.

2. Ask your readers to add their blogs on the list and also copy and paste the HTML script on their blog :0)


Saturday, 17 April 2010

Lovely ...

... sunny, spring day. Can't believe there's all this volcanic ash up there that's closed our airways down! No flights in or out of the UK for the past 2 days and now not likely to be any for a good few days the way things are going. All flights are cancelled until at least 1am tomorrow but that will probably be extended - even into the middle of next week or further. They're looking at it every few hours but the cloud isn't moving very fast and the Icelandic volcano is still belching out it's contents so is just adding to it all the time. Pretty historic event really as it's never been known before here - and there's a total of 23 countries affected! I feel for those people that have had their plans disrupted and for those stranded overseas but it's out of everyone's control. Mother Nature will always win in the end, no matter what us mere mortals do!

Some of the dust is finding it's way to earth, although not in this area yet. May have to be careful as they're giving warnings out for anybody with breathing problems. Certainly don't want to excerbate those that I already have - *lol*!

Found out, and not from the right people, that there was a fire at Dad's flats Thursday evening.  6 fire appliances and a ladder were called and one person had to be 'rescued'.  Seems it broke out on the 2nd floor - Dad's flat is on the ground floor - but the reason isn't known.  Guess there's nothing to worry about as I've still heard nothing from them.  It'll give Dad something to talk about when I see him on Tuesday - if he was even aware of what was going on!  If he was he'll be quite excited, being an ex-firefighter himself ... *grin  *

Update: 19:57 ..... Seems fire was worse than I thought, although confined to the flat it started in. The person that had to be 'rescued' sadly died from his burns later that evening. They still don't know how it started but it was in the bedroom.

Had a shopping trip yesterday, to the new Range that opened in Worthing. Great craft section so a bit of shopping was done. Had a bonus in that if you spent £50 or more you got £10 off the bill and .... they were giving out small packets of Haribo Star Mix! I love Haribo sweets and I love £10's off and it certainly wasn't difficult to spend over £50 *LOL*

I've started a slideshow to summarise the Fundu Lagoon part of the holiday - similar to the one I did for the safari part. I'm hoping, by the time it's done and with the others, I shall be able to put them onto DVD and then play them via the DVD player connected to the TV. Might work, might not but won't know without trying! I've had thoughts to improve them so may still play for a while before I finalise it all. Thought it would make a nice 'keeping' souvenir.  They take a while to get together but when this part is done I'll upload it to YouTube and publish it here ... as I've done with the others.

Thanks for dropping by .....

Thursday, 15 April 2010

Simples today ...

... tooth out yesterday, sore at mo but no pain so that's good! Last tooth extraction was in 1974 ... aaaaaaaaaaages ago ... wisdom teeth out under general in hospital. This one done under local - loadsa needles (aaarrggggggghhhhh!) - not good for my phobia but was best option so plenty of deep breathing and gripping of chair arm while needles went in and it was all over and done with in less than half an hour. A few weeks after my wisdom teeth came out I discovered I was pregnant with youngest son. At least I won't have that following this one - *LOL*!!

Dad's new hearing aids are ready so he's having them fitted on Tuesday. Hopefully we'll be able to stop shouting at him to make ourselves heard but ... I'm not holding breath! We're also having a meeting with the Estate Manager as they're starting the catering facility at the flats and we need to find out more about it. Seems he'll be charged for it whether he uses it or not :0{ Pity they hadn't got it up and running before he moved in 'cos it's gonna be difficult to get him using it now - he's such a creature of habit! If it was there when he moved in it would have become part of his new routine at the time - now he'll have to change. Don't think it right if the residents are charged for something they don't use!

Little disappointed as I should have been doing a craft workshop at the Glitterpot tomorrow, with friend Cally but, it's been cancelled *sob*. Not enough take up to make it viable. Reckon it's because the kids are still on their Easter break so Mums have to be home instead of out playing *lol*. We're going to go 'shopping' instead. There's a new Range store opening in Worthing and they are supposed to have good craft sections so ... we're off to go have a looksee - at the whole store, of course *grin*.

Not quite finished with holiday stuff! A slideshow of photos of some of the nature and wildlife we encountered at Fundu ...

Thanks for dropping by .....

Wednesday, 14 April 2010

And it's homeward bound ...

... phew!

6th March - A marathon of a holiday but a totally wonderful experience! Brilliant company, loads of laughs and beautiful people ... in the main. We did mix with people I wouldn't give you tuppence for if I were to meet them in 'normal' life. Those who thought they were above everybody else and really needed to learn some manners but then there were some really nice, decent people and completely down to earth. Normal people who didn't allow their wealth to affect them.

When we left Beho Beho, Jackie and I were paid a compliment I will never forget. I was told that we were a breath of fresh air. That we came without expectations and had shown our enjoyment and appreciation of everything that we'd seen and done. That we'd treated the staff as equals and, as such, had got the best out of them and that we would be welcome back, at any time, with open arms! Just got to save a lot then - *lol* That's the problem with high-end holidays ... they ain't cheap (unless you know somebody who knows a man ...  mind you, still not cheap ... just cheaper *hehe*)

Anyways ... early up.  Due to leave Fundu at around 8:30am. Breakfast with Matt and Anie and a few monkeys who came to wave us off. Just as well nobody else breakfasting. Monkey playing in roof - decided to deposit ... onto a table below him! How we laughed but sure some guests would have complained - as if management had control over the wildlife *LOL*

Gathered in reception to a farewell committee. William (barman), Liz (restaurant manager), Casey, Rusty (fishing skipper), Martie and, of course, Matt and Anie ... On way to jetty bar I noticed a couple of the new Masai hovering. Matt and Anie had arranged for them to be there. I noticed them, Jackie didn't, so just as well I took photos - *LOL*.

Normally departing guests are escorted by Matt, or a senior member of staff, to end of jetty to board little boat that takes them to Mkoani. Martie suggested, as tide high enough, boat should come to us and it was called to come to jetty bar steps.  Boarded and off we set ... with everybody waving us off. Have to say, a few tears were shed that morning!

Morning flight from Pemba, expected to arrive in Dar, via Zanzibar, around mid-day.  Arrived Pemba airport only to be charged $50 excess baggage.  Explained hadn't paid it coming but was easier handing it over.  Arrived in Zanzibar and greeted with a $50 refund - ???  Explain that one!  Government dignitaries following us around on our travels?  This time flight held back to allow the Vice-President to fly out....  No further delays and less than half hour later we landed at Dar Domestic and transferred to Dar International by a very, very nice man who took us right through the very small airport so we wouldn't get lost ... or was that to earn the tip he was given -*lol!!* 

Flight to Dubai not until 5:20pm - time to eat and shop a little (a very little - not many shops -*lol*!) after we'd waited for check-in to open!  Think somebody was moving country by the loaded trolleys.  Family of 4, about 13 trolleys of luggage - cases, boxes and anything else you could name.  Male left female and the 2 children to deal with it while he spent all his time on phone ... typical!  Jackie joked, hoped they weren't near us on plane .... how about seat in front *LOL*?  Have to say though, our worries were unfounded and we hardly knew they were there ... which is more can be said of Jackie who decided that she'd try reading my airline mag, over my shoulder, instead of getting hers out!

Excellent flights throughout (good one Emirates!) and no real delays.  Landed at Gatwick on time but into the cold.  Bit of a shock arriving back to -4c when we'd been basking in 40c and especially as we were still wearing our flipflops. Quick change and wrap up required before we left airport - bbbbrrrrrrrrrr *lol*

Wonderful holiday and so grateful to be given the opportunity of having it ... bring on the next one! Oh, that'll be June then - *hehe*!

Thanks for dropping by .....

Tuesday, 13 April 2010

Fundu Lagoon - Days 12 & 13 ...

4th March - luxury, luxury and more luxury!

Our penultimate day and definitely a day of chillaxing and pampering. Making the most of our new room, breakfast by room service - how spoilt were we? Message sent to say we'd got to be at spa for 1pm. No other clues given. An hour lounging on beach while housekeeping housekept then plunge pool 'til time for spa.  Low tide was getting later and not as low so there were fewer Mama's going out to cockle pick and they were getting a lot later going.  When we first saw them they were already out picking before we had breakfast.  Now it was getting on for lunch time before they started to go!  Not many days left before they wouldn't be going at all.

1pm - heaven had arrived - facial, manicure and pedicure! 2 hours of sheer pamper followed by late lunch and back to plunge pool to read until tide high enough to go for a dip! We had a visitor attempt to enter at the spa. Tap-tap-tap coming from window and there it was. A mangrove kingfisher, perched on back of chair, tapping to come in. So pretty but it wasn't invited *LOL*

Today was rounded off with our final BBQ :0{

5th March - and a day to make the most of!

Our last day - and a lovely one. Unfortunately didn't go quite as we'd hoped and, for me, a bit of an anti-climax, but was still really enjoyable if not quite what was initially expected - *lol*

Morning started well. Jackie went for morning dive off Misali with Filbert (Philbert? not sure of spelling). Note how few our boat trips had been this week - Monday, then nothing, except this one for Jackie! I had breakfast alone in room, planning on really chilling and spending morning in plunge pool once housekeeping had been - except, they were late and Jackie was back before had chance to plunge! In meantime I chilled on beach trying to get close up photos of Mama's on way to cockle pick. Got some lovely close, face fronting shots then ..... went and deleted 'em by mistake *doh*! Wouldn't get the same opportunity again!  Local lads were off  'somewhere' and were full of curiosity - *bless*.

Lunch at pool bar with Matt and Anie (who were both suffering a tummy bug and had been for a few days).

Plan had been for sundowners in room, local Mama doing henna tattoos, Liz dressing to show us her Masai finery followed by a private dinner for us, Matt, Anie and Liz but ... lunchtime it changed. Henna lady and Liz dressing up to come earlier so that we could do the sundowner cruise in Mama Cass, the resort dhow. Still a private dinner but on the beach instead. Trouble was, nobody told henna lady ... or Liz so - Mama Cass left without us :0(

Still, dinner was excellent (although no Liz and Matt and Anie still not well). Lobster (or rather, langoustine), giant prawns, fish kebabs ... all superb!

We finished the evening with farewell drinks and a nightcap at the bar. Jackie threw me out when everyone else had disappeared ... so she could spend 'quality time' with William (purely platonic, of course) *giggle* She wasn't keen on walking along beach, on own, in dark but ... I could *hehe*!

Had to prepare for early start next day ... homeward bound!

Thanks for dropping by .....

Monday, 12 April 2010

Fundu Lagoon - Day 11 (2nd post today) ...

... first, real life! We've had a beautiful weekend weatherwise but seems the forecast isn't as good for a while :0(  I managed to get a tiny bit of crafting done and some more craft stuff sorted out but still loads to do. The tales from our holiday are coming to an end. The holiday was almost over - :0( Most activity was in the first 2 weeks and the 3rd, and last, week was so much less eventful and really relaxing.

3rd March - and a tale in pictures ... nearly!

Masai security guards leaving,  early morning ... around 7:30am.  We were going to do the last dolphin safari available before we went home but it didn't happen. 

Local fishermen netting fish and a couple of Mama's looking on.

Anie came to find us at breakfast and told us we needed to pack as we were moving rooms.  Then we had to make ourselves scarce until lunch or she found us (that'd be the jetty bar then!) to tell us our new room was ready ...  She came to find us to take us our new room.  A walk along the beach, she stopped, said "enjoy ladies" and walked away.  This was the first sight of our new 'room'!

OK, so it was back to a double bed but reckoned we could live with that.  It was so large it really didn't matter and Jackie had been missing me - rflmao!

Yep, that's a plunge pool and we're right on beach ...

How the other half live ... guess where we spent the afternoon!

High tide ... no beach to walk along ... it's under water.

New Masai security team arriving

Sea now comes to us if we wait long enough!  Half a dozen paces and into the sea for a dip as sun sets.

Absolute, sheer luxury! Then we learn that this was the room that had been allocated to us for the duration of our holiday except ... bookings changed just before we arrived so we had to forego it *sob*  Still, to finish our holiday this way was wonderful.

Ellis' (owner) last night but we managed to avoid dinner with her.  Alex had left for the office in Zanzibar a few days earlier and Marcus was around but not obvious.  Dinner eaten, we decided to have nightcap back at room.  Sitting in upper lounge area listening to the sounds of nature when a bushbaby suddenly ran through the roof above our heads.  Made us jump and Jackie screamed!  Wasn't expecting it and it was all over in a couple of seconds but it set us off into hysterical laughter ... again ... as did the fight with the bedding just to get a sheet.  We'd got it down to a fine art in our old room.  Now we had double the size to fight with - and double thickness of thick, furry, fleecy blanket!

Thanks for dropping by .....