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Archive for February, 2007

It always rains in Manchester…

…and low and behold, it rained there yesterday when I was there for a meeting with a customer.   The water falling out of the sky didn’t really bother me; it was a fairly fine rain and it wasn’t coming down too hard.  I just walked through the streets, oblivious to the fact that my Customer Facing Hairdo was going curly.  After all I am from the North West of England and I am used to the shocking weather. 

It was a long way to go for a meeting that lasted less than three quarters of an hour.  Fortunately I went with a colleague who was good company in the car.  We chatted most of the way there and sang along to the radio on the way back, making an otherwise tedious journey bearable.

And, as an added bonus, Sibling 1 works a couple of hundred yards from the building where my meeting was held, so while my colleague went for another meeting that didn’t concern me I was able to meet up with him for a chat and a cappucino.  Lovely.

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Weigh In

4½ lbs off this week 😀

Obviously I’m delighted with that – only another pound and I’ll be back to where I was two weeks ago…

I feel much better for it – not as bloated and swollen and clothes are starting to feel looser now.  I’m getting plenty of exercise too.  All the running backwards and forwards to the loo thanks to eating so much fruit and veg must equal at least a mile a day.

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Shouldn’t have laughed (and I managed not to in front of her) but it was funny…

Me:  How did that crayon get on the sofa?
Little’un [looks sheepish]:  I don’t know
Me:  Who drew on the sofa?
Little’un:  Ermmmm… it was Charlie (the cat, curled up fast asleep on said sofa)
Me:  Really?  Are you sure?  I don’t think Charlie knows how to hold a crayon and do drawing.  Was it you?
Little’un:  I help clean it Mummy
Me:  Was it you that did it then?
Little’un:  No it was Charlie
Me:  I think it was you
Little’un:  I help clean it Mummy
Me:  Well that’s very nice of  you but first I want you to tell me that it was you that did it and I would like you to say sorry.
Little’un: [looking even more sheepish]: Sorry Mummy.  I help clean it now.

I think that was an admission of guilt!  The crayons were removed for the rest of the day and she helped me clean it up. 

And so it begins…

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I put on 5½lb last week – I knew I had put a bit of weight back on but that number shocked me almost into a stunned silence.  I didn’t think it was possible to put on that much weight in just seven days.  I’m putting it down to a combination of things – a week of not eating whilst ill followed by a few days’ birthday overindulgence and lack of exercise  (I am still coughing and my lungs won’t survive an aerobics session at the moment.  I thought it best not to upset the rest of the class by either coughing up a load of green goo every two minutes or simply just expiring on the floor).  I have also swelled up, my feet and hands are really puffy.

My beloved Blackpool got knocked out of the FA Cup last night, had they managed to keep their twice won lead they would have been rewarded with a money spininng away trip to Chelsea , but it was not to be.  Never mind, I couldn’t have afforded to go to the game anyway.  Stamford Bridge is the most expensive football ground in England and a ticket, travelling costs and buying food and drink whilst out would have come to more than £50 each.

Little’un threw the tantrum to end all tantrums last night when I tried to get her ready for bed and bit me on the shoulder, drawing blood.  What do you do about that?  I gave her to The Yorkshireman after telling her that it isn’t nice to bite, how would she like it if I bit her etc etc and tried (successfully I think) not to completely lose my rag with her.  We were all friends again by bedtime though.

Well that was the last 24 hours.  Am feeling sorry for myself today.  And I can’t even console myself with chocolate <sob>

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I love my WordPress stats page, I look at it several times a day to see how many people have passed through and how they got here.

I also love the Clustrmap widget in my sidebar – go and have a look if you haven’t already – which shows where all my readers originate from.  I note with a ridiculous amount of pride and pleasure that as of yesterday I have had visitors from every populated continent as someone on the Uruguay/Brazil border has left their mark.  I only await Antarctica for a complete set, but I shouldn’t think there are too many people there who are interested in my ramblings.  (I will say very quietly that a large number of my international visitors appear not to bother coming back)

I am also very fond of my WeatherPixie.  She has a very natty wardrobe which tends to be rather more suitable for the prevailing conditions than my own.

I have more fun looking at my own site and finding widgets for the sidebar than I really ought to [narcissistic emoticon].

And you all thought I was blogging for your pleasure 😀

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A rant about road charging

So the government has decided to review its intention to tax per mile for road travel. Bloody good job say I, the whole thing was particularly badly thought out.

It’s all very well for city folk to say, “Get a bus instead!” but out here in the sticks that just isn’t an option. If I were to give up my car, I would have a 40 minute walk to get Little’un to nursery followed by a 15 minute walk from the nursery to the bus station. I would then have to hope that one of the two hourly buses between Boston and Spalding was leaving at a good time for me. The bus takes an hour and costs about £3.00 each way. I would then have to walk from Spalding bus station to work, about 20 minutes. So, assuming that I didn’t have to wait for a bus, door to door would take nearly 2½ hours. Five hours a day getting to work and back on top of an 8½ hour working day just doesn’t fit into my life particularly well. The nursery isn’t open long enough to fit all the extra travelling time in. On top of that, travel costs of £120 a month are a lot more expensive than running my little car.

I could take a job closer to home, and believe me I have tried to find one, but there aren’t that many jobs out there which pay more than minimum wage that fit in with the childcare options open to me. I have had to take work with sufficient money and suitable hours where I can find it.

I could car share, and I would seriously consider it if anyone lived close to me that worked the same hours as me. The problem is, in rural areas, people in any one workplace can travel from miles in any direction to get to work. This means your colleagues live in a huge geographical area and may live 60 or 70 miles from you. Not ideal for car sharing, and not particularly fantastic for a work based social life either.

I suppose it might have helped me if Dr Beeching hadn’t closed the railway line between Boston and Spalding, although 40 years on I suppose it’s a bit late to complain about that – especially as the track was dug up and a road (which ironically, I drive down every day) was laid over the route. It really is a shame though, I could have managed fairly well with a pushbike and a train. The buses won’t let you take pushbikes on them, understandably, as there isn’t enough room.

The Yorkshireman has similar problems. He works slightly closer to home but travels in completely the opposite direction to me to get to his office. He would have the same problem with buses. The train doesn’t stop in the village where he works.

Don’t get me wrong, I realise that something has to be done about congestion and carbon emissions. I’m all for roads that are free flowing and air that is clean. If there was a viable alternative to being a two car family, believe me, I would take it.

The way I see it is that it is a far wider issue than that of road miles. As per pretty much everything in life, its all about money.

If we could afford to live on one salary, I wouldn’t work. We wouldn’t need a second car as I could walk or cycle pretty much everywhere I needed to go (once I had invested in suitable weatherproof gear of course, I like not being cold and wet). If childcare was cheaper, I could afford to take a lower paid job closer to home and again I could walk or cycle. If there was a direct, cheap, frequent bus service from Boston to Spalding I would use it.

Modern life is expensive. If the government can do something about that, I’ll give up the viscious circle that means that I need a car of my own (need a car to get a job, need a job so I can run a car).  I can’t afford for my life to be made any more expensive than it already is.  What I need is a practical alternative.

Over to you, Douglas Alexander.

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Happy birthday to me…

… I am thirty-three

No candles on my birthday cake

I’m not fireproof you see

 Plagiarised from Pewari’s birthday song

Well I was another year older on Saturday.  A fine excuse to get BabiesEverywhere, Deckchair and Babychair over for Chinese Takeaway and wine.  My diet is screwed for this week, but we had a really nice evening and it was lovely to have visitors.  Babychair has grown, which I suppose is what babies do, and can now sit up by herself and everything.  And there is no doubting her paternity, she is sooooo like Deckchair, especially when she frowns 😀

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