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Thursday, 30 December 2010

I can honestly say....

still smiling...
After a period of reflection over the last couple of weeks, I can honestly admit that I am NOT in fact super human and can not in fact work 90-100 hour weeks any more...nope! Having scared my family once again (and myself this time) by how run down I have got in the run up to Christmas, I have had to have a difficult think about how best to proceed with my life. Something has got to give, I have GOT to learn to stop placing super human demands on my body....and I need to start looking after myself better too. Otherwise I'm just going to end up like the photo above, all over again. I can't do this any more, this lifestyle. I feel sad, but for a few months at least, my blogs are going to have to take a back seat while I get some tests run and take more time out to relax...properly. I will be making some announcements on my main blog shortly.

See that tired old looking woman in the pic?? Well that was me in the run up to Christmas (taken BEFORE I went downhill on Christmas eve). If I carry on with the lifestyle I have now, it's only a matter of time before I go back to that...and I can't do that to my family any more.

I will still be online and will be meeting my custom blog designs that are on order, but after that I'll be cutting things back for a while.

Sunday, 5 December 2010

Don't you just hate it when it gets to 5pm and you STILL haven't finished all your chores? Seriously I've been ordering shopping, cooking meals, getting the Christmas presents and other less exciting stuff. It's now 5pm and I am NEARLY done. Phew!

But anyway, that's small fry...just frustrating that's all. Something good DID happen this weekend as one of my designs has won a VERY prestigious award! Well ok, it's not *that* prestigious, but hey I'll take what I can LOL. I'll be sharing some details about that on Adori Graphics as soon as I get 2 minutes to type out a post.

I've been feeling really tired again lately and thinking I've simply taken on too much. Now I need to figure out how to cut back...again! Ugh! I always do this to myself...will I ever learn?

So, did anyone do anything fun this weekend? I'd love to hear and share in your excitement :)

Saturday, 4 December 2010

More snow pics

I took most of these in the car park at work...I'm always amazed by how different everything looks in the snow.

Why am I making such a fuss about the snow? Well apart from getting a LOT of it earlier this year (and of course this week) I haven't seen snow for 10 years...and I barely saw if for the 20 odd years before that!
view from my office
first day of the snow - just starting

Friday, 3 December 2010

Brass monkey weather

Have you ever heard that expression? Brass monkey weather? It comes from the saying "cold enough to freeze the ba11s off a brass monkey". I have no ideas where it comes from and it IS kind of vulgar, but I do think it sums up today's weather perfectly!

-11deg Celcius (not sure what that is in "old money" for you older folk and non metric people)....I reckon that's cold enough!

Look at the temperature gauge - this was taken on the work run this morning

Saturday, 27 November 2010

Don't you just hate it when....

  • People leave snarky comments when an email will do
  • People just HAVE to be drama queens
  • People are rude to you
  • Other people blame YOU because THEY can't follow instructions!
  • You say good morning to somebody and they don't answer back
  • People just won't wait for you to pull out of a parking space before they try pulling INTO it
  • Things just don't work as they should...a la Skype! grrrr
What's annoyed you today?If you want to join in, feel free to take the image and post your own "don't you just hate it when....". Sometimes it's good to voice your frustrations!

Sunday, 21 November 2010

I can hardly contain myself...

A couple of months ago I instructed a blog buddy who owns a freelance business (AD Freelance) to do some "research" for me. I've had her looking into a few things related to some {top secret} site improvements at Adori Graphics and I simply can NOT wait for her to tell me her findings. I'll be honest, she has quite a task on her hands, but I know that she can do this. I can't wait to tell all of my readers about the new plans, how on earth am I going to keep my trap shut until I have the report and recommendations in my hand? LOL. I'll tell you some more about the plans on Adori Graphics later and also some more about what Amanda might be able to do for your blog too. I've simply been blown away by her ideas and feel so excited about getting Adori Graphics onto the next step.

I have a question for you today, if you could have somebody do some research for you (blogging/blog related) what would you have them do? I'm just looking for ideas for her next project LOL.

Thursday, 18 November 2010

A visit from Royalty

the Queen meets the staff
I've known about this for a while but for security reasons I couldn't mention this earlier...which is a laugh since it seems to have been general knowledge! The Queen visited hubby's workplace today to meet some of the workers. He said he was in "spitting distance" of the Queen (his words, not mine...though I'm not sure she'd have appreciated it) although he struggled to get some decent pics.

I had to laugh at some of the preparations that have gone on for this visit:
  • Nobody has been allowed to use the stairs for over 2 weeks in case they get them dirty. Apparently the Queen doesn't use lifts....I really had to laugh at this one because I have been to this building and it is huge. The first floor (where she was heading) is actually equivalent to the 6th floor the building is that tall. Even I struggled to make it up there without dying (I went there for a conference last year) so how would a nearly 90 year old manage? Needless to say she DID end up getting the lift....I wonder if it was as clean as the stairs LOL
  • The building was painted too - Andy remarked " I wonder if the Queen thinks the whole world smells of paint". I guess there's nothing like a visit from the Queen to motivate you into a little decorating.
on her way...
no sign of the corgies...

Tuesday, 16 November 2010

I have a confession...

It seems that it was 8 years ago today that I was getting married.

9 years ago today I was PLANNING a wedding LOL.

Am I too concerned about the mistake? Nope - after all, Andy probably isn't going to notice ;)

9 years ago today....

I was getting married...
We got married in a village called Snaith (where we were living at the time). The church was 1,000 years old (yes, you read that correctly) and the vicar was an absolute scream. He really made our day. The weather however was not so kind to us - even the photographer commented that it was the second-worst weather he's ever had at a wedding. Oh well, the day was lovely and couldn't have gone any better. Even if it had all gone pear-shaped, I'd still have been happy as all I wanted to do was marry my babe :)

Happy anniversary Andy.

Monday, 15 November 2010

More diet *groan*

Diet number 5.000 started last Wednesday. 5 days in I have had a mini-binge on one occasion and yet still managed to stay within my points allowance....things are looking up! I'll let you know the progress when I go to WW on Wednesday.

I haven't eaten bread for a while - until my little "binge" yesterday. My guts were terrible all night. Lots of gurgling going on, lots of bellyache and (TMI maybe?) lots of wind...eek! Poor Hubby.

Was Hubby impressed? Nope.

Did I regret it? Yes.

Will I do it again? Probably.

Do we EVER learn?

Sunday, 7 November 2010

Cruise update

I really MUST try and update this blog at least once a week, it's looking very neglected. It's not that I don't remember to, I just never seem to get time to do it. That, and my life basically revolves around work and graphics...the average person isn't going to find my work interesting...and everyone already knows about my graphics through my Adori Graphics blog.

I do have a few small tid bits which I haven't posted about on my other blog. Things like my recent vacation which I haven't blogged about yet because my feet haven't touched the ground since I came home! We had a wonderful time though, with a few small negatives, but these were outweighed by the positive experience generally.

I thought this particular ship was well run and had excellent customer service. Us Brits are not known for good customer service (no tipping = no incentive for good service me thinks). But apart from a rocky start this ship seemed to run like clockwork, unlike the previous ship we'd been on.

My main complaints were:
  • Some elderly passengers who felt entitlement to the very air that you breathed and whined about know, the beach was too sandy, the water was too wet...that kind of thing. 
  • Food - too arty farty and no choice for those of us with more conservative palates...goodness knows how the grumpy older folk got on with it.*
  • Stock replenishment - pretty dire at first, but seemed to improve after the first day or two.
  • Queues - we seemed to spend an awful amount of time queuing in this ship. I know us Brits love a good queue but this was ridiculous at times.

Things I loved:
  • The European ports much more than the Caribbean. 
  • The unexpectedly mild weather
  • The fact it was less humid than the Caribbean (all our other cruises were there)
  • The fact that because it was less humid, my lungs didn't feel like they were wilting
  • The people we shared our table with
  • The customer service

The things I loved far outweighed the things I didn't like/enjoy. Look out over the next few weeks as I slowly add some pics and a little about each port that we went to.

*I honestly have nothing against elderly people, in fact I hope to be elderly myself one day. The thing I do object to is rudeness, lack of consideration and people who throw manners back in my face by being rude. Oh, and people who whine. It just happened that all of this came from elderly passengers. The kids, teens (mostly) and younger adults were all respectful and well behaved.

Friday, 1 October 2010

sooooo tired

I feel burnout setting in again....I can't remember the last time I felt so tired...thank goodness it's only 2 weeks until we leave for our long-awaited holiday. I sooooo need this!

So what have I been up to since my last post? Well the main thing is that I formed a team at Adori Graphics because it's just NOT a one-person blog any more. It hasn't been for a long time really and now, looking back, I don't know why I put off the inevitable for so long really. I have a wonderful team now, but it's taken some training and effort and now I am..well...quite frankly...pooped!

I will try and update this blog with a proper post over the weekend and let you know more about our outings and what we've been doing.

Friday, 30 July 2010

Family holiday disasters

They say you always remember bad things that happen to you. If that's the case, then me and Andy certainly have some memorable holidays.

First, there's the holiday where, as we were packing up to come home, the maid appeared in the doorway hurrying us along because she wanted to clean the apartment. We hurried along and on arriving back home, realised we had left ALL of my dirty washing in a laundry bag in the wardrobe. I'd bought a new wardrobe for the trip and the hotel never did respond to my email. I hope the maid enjoyed her new (albeit dirt and very smelly) clothes.

Oh and then there's the cruise that we went on in 2005...a fabulous trip to the Caribbean. We'd just got there and were unpacking the clothes. I'd put all of the clothes away and only had the t-shirts left to unpack. Andy passes me a stack of his t-shirts and I dutifully put them away in the wardrobe. "Ok, pass mine over" I said. "That's all of them" he said. Turns out he thought my t-shirts were his and had thought to himself as he was packing "I've got way too many t-shirts, better put some back" and basically left ALL of my t-shirts on the bed at home! I had to survive a 2 week holiday with the t-shirt that I was wearing, which was dirty - since I'd spilt my lunch down it on the plane - and a selection of his t-shirts. Thank goodness we're about the same size!

Ooooooh and here's one for you...we'd just arrived in Tenerife and was about to unpack the clothes...(there's a theme here, have you spotted it yet? LOL). I asked him to pass me the padlock key for the suitcase. At that moment, I remember leaving the key on the kitchen worktop and we had to get maintenance to break into out suitcase for us. For the return journey we bought some of those ones with the combination lock...and the lock mechanism failed so we had to break into the case when we got home too.

On our last cruise in November 2008, we were loading the suitcases into the car (on our way to the airport...yay!). It's 5pm and the shops are due to shut..and guess what? Our case falls apart and clothes start spewing onto the pavement. Eeeekkkk!!!! We had to dash to the shops to buy a new suitcase, on the way to the airport, and with the shops due to close...we met my mum and dad at the airport looking stressed and well ready for a holiday.

I'm just wondering what will happen this time LOL.

Talking of horrendous family trips, I was just reading this article on the BBC news website (so funny) and I especially liked this bit...
Particularly memorable was one journey to France aged six when a fellow passenger vomited on her leg on the ferry; with her clean clothes buried somewhere deep inside the family Land Rover, the senior Kennedys thought it wisest to clean her up at a public convenience when they reached the continent. Unfortunately, when they did so the young Emma managed to step into the squat toilet and cover herself in human effluent; she was so traumatised that she fainted and, as she recalls with a shudder, her parents then "had to wrap me in a bin bag, take me to a garage forecourt and hose me down".
Does anyone else have a funny holiday disaster?

Thursday, 22 July 2010

Day trip!

Today Andy & I went to Scarborough for the day. It's late and I'm tired now, but here's a few pics from the day :)
This is the main reason why I don't go to the beach much - too many people driving waaaaaaay below the speed limit - causing queues a mile long!  
The harbour
The beach
Lots of these everywhere!

PS: If you follow my photography blog, you might recognise the third pic as being the one that I posted here - just taken a season later!

Monday, 19 July 2010

awesome timing

I just posted this on the wrong blog by mistake - grrrrr

As you know, Andy lost his job 15 months ago now and to say we have struggled sometimes has been an understatement. With the mortgage insurance payments ending next month that was beginning to be a HUGE worry for us. But for the last couple of weeks, I have had this really strong feeling that everything was going to be ok. I'd had a talk with God and vented my frustrations a week or so earlier, and then that's when this feeling and calm (in amongst a few moments of sheer panic began). In fact, I had so much faith in this feeling that I even started to plan for the future (remember the study and my talk of a holiday?) - something I hadn't done for nearly 2 years, since the job losses were announced. Over the last week or so this feeling has got even stronger and FINALLY today Andy was offered a job!

I always knew this would happen in God's own time - and just in the nick of time too! To have this happen a month before we would have struggled to the point of actually making a mortgage payment is just proof in my eyes of the awesome powerful nature of God.

Ok, so I'm rambling, but I just can't get my head around the awesome timing. Suddenly everything makes sense :)

Saturday, 17 July 2010

This exciting life I lead :)

I have had such a productive day today, I've even surprised myself! I woke up at 8am and went to do the grocery of joys, doesn't everyone just hate that job? Much better to get it over and done with don't yah think? I called at the post office on my way home to post some parcels (website annoyingly sent the wrong item to what we ordered grrrrrrr) and then got comfy for a marathon graphics catch up session. After last week's fiasco, I had LOADS of work to catch up on.

So, I re-installed 4 blogs (after adding their graphics to their own Photobucket accounts) and then installed a gorgeous blog for a cake maker, which will be posted in my Portfolio tomorrow. Don't miss that one by the way because it is one of my all time faves! I then made a logo, a selection of headers for another customer. Last night I designed a business card and logo for the same cake maker.  Phew!

Tomorrow, not really sure. I have an appointment with a  Joyce Myers podcast at some point and maybe a little bible study, but I'll probably spend the rest of the day finishing off my new digital scrapbooking kit. I can't wait to release it. Sometimes I get way too excited about my graphics, it's just sad LOL.

Oh and I had a great idea for my birthday giveaway and I think people are going to really LOVE this one!

Well, nothing else is going on here really, so sorry it's kind of a work related post, but I hope somebody found it enlightening anyway. Anyone up to anything exciting this weekend?

Tuesday, 13 July 2010

Relationships in times of trouble

I had an interesting conversation with my mum last night (erm, I don't think she reads this blog, but I don't think she's mind me mentioning it anyway). We were talking about relationships and how in the last 10 years mine and Andy's relationship has had many, many storms to weather. Seriously, I don't talk about everything on my blog, but our lives have basically been one catalogue of disasters since the day we met. She was asking how our latest troubles with Andy's unemployment (now at 15 months) had affected our relationship...I think she just wanted to know her big little girlie was know? I told her if anything it had STRENGTHENED our relationship, that we were more patient (most of the time) and more considerate and loving as a result. She seemed really surprised by that, which surprised me really. I always thought that most people would get closer during times of hardship, but mum said in her experience they tend to drift apart. I guess what I'm basically saying is that I think everything happens for a reason and that maybe God does know what he's doing after all...though I'd be quite happy if we could catch a break LOL.

Sunday, 11 July 2010

I'd like to say I've been bored but...

When my computer died a death on Friday night, I {almost} had a panic attack. I mean, I spend literally EVERY minute of my spare time making graphics, so the thought of having all this spare time was actually really scary. I didn't get a wink of sleep on Friday night, wondering how on earth I was going to break the news to people and whether they would understand the delay.

I needn't have worried as everyone was super-cool about it. I just hope that Dell get me up and running quickly, otherwise I'm kind of up the creek without a paddle. People won't be patient indefinitely I'm sure of that.

Anyway, I'd like to say I've been bored, but I've actually had a lovely weekend. I spent Saturday morning at a local store gathering more ideas for the study. I found a nice lamp, lightshade and curtains. We had a BBQ Saturday afternoon and then spent the rest of the day (until late a night) sat in the garden just talking. It was like re-discovering my husband again LOL. Today we just did the usual, but also made 3 meals for during the week - all meals that I can just throw in the slow cooker on my way to work :)

So, what do you think of these?

side table


light shade

lamp - to go on the side table



Sunday, 4 July 2010

Dreaming of decorating my study

I've had a terrific week. Did anyone notice the sarcasm?

It all started earlier in the week when I was sent to work away with like 3 hours notice. I got back home yesterday and was happily unwinding by reading a few blogs...and then I noticed it....a big FAT notice on some other designer's blog about Photobucket's changes in their terms and conditions. I can't tell you how upset I am, my blog used to be within their terms and conditions...and I paid enough money for it for goodness sake! Now my blog falls outside of their terms of use and it's only a matter of time before I have to cough up a monthly rate for the image storage. The other designer is paying PER MONTH 20 times more than what she'd have paid in a year! If that happens to me, my blog will no longer exist because it just doesn't rake in that kind of money.

So I've spent 2 days drawing up a list of who needs what doing with their graphics. An action plan for 350 that's time consuming...booooooo. Oh anyway, I'm fed up just thinking about it...I wrote about it here anyway.

I cheered myself up by dragging myself around Ikea and looking for inspiration for my study. We've lived here 3 years and our house still doesn't feel like a home. When we moved in I was still a full time student and then after I finished uni Andy lost his job. So basically we've never had money to put our stamp on the house and I sooooooo want to live in a home...and feel settled. Does that make sense? I found a few things, most notably a sofa bed, a desk, a wall unit/storage thingy and a nice cushion. What do you think?
This sofa bed should go well with a neutral/green theme
I'm looking for some storage for all my books, files and other nonsense. I liked this because I can hide all my junk away and it will be easier to keep everything dust free too :)
I fell in love with the fabric on this cushion
I fell in love with this desk too but alas it won't match my theme (natural textures and colours).  But I found a similar desk with a frosted glass top
The desk we'll probably get
Comfy looking?
Of course all we need is for Andy to get a job so we can pay for it...and that's a whole new depressing story. Gosh I'm happy today aren't I? Will try harder...promise :p

Monday, 28 June 2010

Boooo hooooo

I have an update on the continuing Virgin saga, but I can't face it right now, so just assume that things are going from bad to worse! Last night I was so upset by the whole thing I couldn't help but bleep and just wanted to sit in a ball and cry. How pathetic is that? Virgin you have driven me to the brink of insanity and I am about to lose it. I have never known a company like it. I don't even blame the workers, the faults are obviously intrinsic to the system and won't be solved any time soon.

Other than the Virgin saga, I'm not sure I have much news. We spent much of the weekend out in the garden since the weather was soooo beautiful. That left me a little behind with my designs, but I still managed to load a few posts from the comfort of my garden chair :)    I can't design outside because it means taking my not-very-portable laptop outside along with my graphics tablet and's all too much of a faff. Then there's the super-glossy (supposedly non-reflective) screen which reflects anything and everything.

Any other news? Well the diet is kind of steady at the moment - no gain and no loss, but it's been a rough few weeks and I'm actually grateful to have stayed the same considering what I've eaten. I've tried a new trick this week with the cooking and I'm hoping that helps. Instead of spending ALL Saturday morning and most of the afternoon cooking like I'd been doing recently, I've chopped all the meat, veggies and seasoning for each recipe and put it in the fridge in separate boxes. now all I need to do is put it in the slow cooker on the way out to work, and it's all done when I get home. Now, tell me that's not even EASIER than what I had been doing? This way the lazy cook can still eat a healthy, nutritious meal....woo hooo. The best thing is that the slow cooker doesn't make much heat, unlike cooking on the cooker or in the oven...perfect for the temperatures we've been having here lately.

Anyone else hate cooking? How do you deal with it?

Tuesday, 22 June 2010

Feelin hot hot hot

Andy & I are BIG lovers of hot and spicy food...probably me more than him. We're always on the look out for really hot chili sauces and things and today we found a pretty decent one. We got some Louisiana Pepper sauces in jalepeno and habanero flavours and we were impressed by the heat, but seriously could have gone hotter LOL. We've been watching that Man Versus Food program where he eats all the really hot food and it's been giving us some ideas....particularly for a trip to Charleston SC which was featured on the program. There's a place there that does really REALLY hot food and has this challenge too...I gotta go LOL.

So, this is it....Louisiana Pepper sauce....burning the mouths of unsuspecting people since 1920 ;o)
Really, really tasty with chicken :)

Monday, 21 June 2010

Can I just say....

I'm not looking forward to telephone conversation number 3 with Virgin this evening. That issue I wrote about here is still ongoing after me being told it would be sorted within 24 hours. I just don't think I can face it :(

I'm now changing my thoughts from "Laura from Virgin you SUCK" to "Virgin you SUCK". You know what, as much as I complained about Sky, at least their customer service was efficient and professional (even if the service wasn't). In 11 months and 3 days, I can switch back to Sky! Woo hoo!

Anyone else ever made a decision they regretted like this?

Sunday, 20 June 2010

A weekend off

I had a weekend off custom designs and had lots of fun with the family yesterday. We had a barbecue in the afternoon and then headed out to my uncle's 50th birthday party in the evening.We set off back home about 10.30pm because we were driving home and we live about 2 hours away from my folks. We got home just before midnight and can you believe it was just going dark! Gotta love summer evenings :)

Today I spent about 10 hours designing my new digital scrapbooking kit. It still needs about 10 more hours spending on it but I've been pleased with the progress so far.  Tomorrow I'll be working on some custom designs and hopefully will shift that queue bit.

Ok, I'd better head off to bed work at the crack of's a pic of me & mum taken at the party. Its taken with my phone - which takes pretty naff pictures.

Saturday, 19 June 2010

Day off...woo hoooooo!

Those of you who follow my design blog will know that I have been busy converting my old style backgrounds and headers into the new style templates. The work that has been involved has just been...well quite frankly....ridiculous! I'm wondering what I've started and have, at times, totally regret ever starting it, but I will continue. This will be a great addition to my blog and will make it sooooo much easier for people to use my templates. Just in case you're interested, this is what is involved in making that switch to the new new downloadable templates.
  • load them onto a test blog
  • format the blog
  • make the extra bits (like post dividers) that I didn't already have
  • load all those extra bits onto a test blog
  • copy all the code
  • insert it into a Google Doc
  • take screenshots
  • format/crop the screenshot
  • upload to Photobucket
  • actually writing the post
...and then repeat for the Stretch's taking about 4-6 hours per template AT LEAST. Aaaaarrrrgggghhhh!

But today is my uncle's 50th birthday and I'm going to see my family and spend the day with them. We're not a very close (extended) family and I haven't seen some of them since my grandma's funeral 3 years ago. It will be nice to catch up. We'll be spending some time with my folks before we go to the party so I'm looking forward to that too.

I'm going to go enjoy my well earned day off now - talk later and have a nice day everyone.

Wednesday, 16 June 2010

Now I know why...

For a long time now hubby & I have been putting off a move to a new telecoms provider knowing that (as everything seems to be these days) it would just be such a RIDICULOUS hassle to change. Well with the impending death of yet ANOTHER Sky box we finally had enough and looked into changing...after all our previous deal was years old and there MUST be something better out there.

Having made the move to from Sky to Virgin, I now know why we didn't bother. It was indeed a terrible hassle, for no real improvement in...well....ANYTHING. I keep hoping that once the teething problems are sorted then everything will be hunky dory, but after the conversation I had this evening with their customer service department, I can't really say I'm left with a warm, fuzzy feeling.

When we got the new telephone account, Virgin applied their answer-phone service to the line - not something we knew about, but no biggie as it should be easy to remove. So I rung their customer service and spoke to some lovely Scottish lady who pomised me it was taken care of but would take a couple of days. 2 weeks later it still isn't cancelled and, because we don't get alerted by a beep (or something) that anyone has left a message, we keep missing messages, which is a total pain with Andy getting calls every day about job interviews and things.  So tonight, I decide to ring them back since 2 weeks is getting a bit silly.

Here is how the conversation went...
Virgin: Hello you're through to Virgin, my name is Laura, how can I help?
Me: Well 2 weeks ago I rang you and asked you to take the answer service off my phone. I was told it would take a couple of days, but it's still there. Could you switch it off please?
Virgin: What's your account number?
Me: I don't know it off the top of my head, but last time I rang you accessed my account via my phone number?
Virgin: What's your number then?  ***think "abrupt" and "terse" here***
Me: 01234 567890
Virgin: What's your password?
Me: oh heck I don't remember giving you one. ***I have no passwords like that really, incase you're wondering)
Virgin: No ***abrupt...again***
Virgin: No
Me: ***wondering just how long we're going to go on like this*** I can't remember, last time I rang I was given a prompt to remember it. There must be some other security questions you can ask?
Virgin: No
Me: No, really? No promts, but last time ***interrupted***
Virgin: I can't give you a prompt ***obviously getting VERY annoyed now, but seriously what are you supposed to do if you can't remember your password?***
Me: Oh...well last time when I rang the person seemed a lot more helpful ***said in a nice, calm voice, but go the point across I think ***
Virgin: CLUNK!

That was the sound of the phone being put down.

Really? I mean, was there any need for that? I wasn't even mad, crazy or angry...just....normal. So Laura McOldroyd from Virgin customer services (or whatever you said your name was) SUCK!

I promptly rang back on a different number, put in an official complaint and tried AGAIN to get the service removed. Hopefully all will be sorted this time because I obviously don't want to ring back! The guy was really helpful this time though and understood that I felt upset and that I shouldn't even have been having to ring back anyway.  During his conversation he told me that our account hadn't even been activated and that we shouldn't even have been able to get TV, internet or phone! kidding me? You want to give me any more problems because it's NOT like I'm regretting my decision already or anything....

Anyway, incase you missed it the first time, Laura from Virgin customer services....YOU SUCK, YOU SUCK, YOU SUCK!


Tuesday, 18 May 2010


Time for another "Dear..." - the slot where I get things off my chest...good and bad :)

Dear 6 Sigma training...
I am sooooo glad to be done with your training. You know how I hate classrooms, and you know I was a grouchy little madam while I was training too, so no doubt you're glad to see the back of me too.
From your ex-student

Dear my blog followers...
You keep me sane - thank you for your interaction and support...with all my blogs.
Big hugs and kisses from little old me

Dear Gavin & Stacey...
You know you were my favourite TV show, why did you have to end? You know there is little else worth watching on TV.
From "Abandoned" of Yorkshire

Dear Lindsey,
I know I suck at being a sister sometimes, but I love you to bits and I hope you had a wonderful time in Atlanta & Washington. Have a safe trip home today!
Hugs, your big little sis

Dear Andy,
I'm bored, why do you need to sleep in so late on a weekend?
From your loving wife

Dear new manager at work,
I don't know who you are yet but I have a feeling I'll find out tomorrow. You'd better be kind and not start ruling me with an iron fist. I'm a hard worker and you won't need to check up on me all the time - if I have a problem, you'll be the first to know.
From your hard working minion.

Sunday, 16 May 2010


Has anyone checked out Wordle yet? It's a fun site which lets you paste in your blog URL, which it then analyses and produces a picture of all of the words that have been used regularly on your blog. Pretty cool...
This useless blog snippet was brought to you by can thank me later :)

Wednesday, 5 May 2010


I have seen something carried out on a few blogs now - some call it "dear so and so" some people have a "post it note Tuesday" or whatever...but basically it amounts to the same thing...getting things off your chest. I've decided that once a week, I'm going to do this too. It will be good to get things off my chest...and who knows you may even relate to it or be able to help :)

Dear Google word verification,
I hate pop up too late (usually when I've just clicked to close the screen)...your characters are usually illegible...and you are every dyslexics worst nightmare I'm sure. Nuff said...
From Lusoie Lsioue Louise

Dear whatever political party wins this week's general election,
You'd better come up with some policies which actually HELP me this time instead of giving my money away to everyone else. I am fed up of paying my taxes so that people getting my money can save money every week towards THEIR family holiday...that I can't AFFORD to go on!
From a disgruntled and cynical voter

Dear God,
I'll be honest with you, I am struggling to understand why, after 13 months you are still putting my hubby through the unemployment thing. How you can sit on your cloud up there and watch him crumble each time yet more bad news comes in is beyond me. You bet I'm struggling to understand. You bet I feel angry.
From Disappointed of Yorkshire

Dear Job Centre Plus,
Why do you need to treat my hard working husband like he's the scum of the earth? Why do you not even know your own policies and don't stick to your word. Your inconsistencies and pure ineptness has cost my husband time, money and access to training...through no fault of his own. And why do you keep wanting to meet with him outside of appointment times, forcing him to pay MORE out of pocket expenses that we can little afford.
From Penniless of Yorkshire

Dear Security Man At Work,
I'm just wondering, do you deliberately go out of your way to be so unkind and unhelpful. Being told "same time as every day" when I ask you what time the staff car park is locked up is NOT helpful to me. If I knew what time you locked up at night I'd hardly be asking you...duuuurrrr.
From her in the Materials Lab

Well, I do feel a little better for that...I've obviously toned them down a bit LOL.

Sunday, 2 May 2010

Woo Hoo!

Before I go onto the woo hoo...I wondered if I should be changing the name of this blog to something more along the lines of weightloss, since this seems to have turned into my weight loss blog LOL. Ok, I'm only half serious...when anything majorly dramatic is going on in my life, I'll update this blog with a less weight loss oriented post :)

Well it's been 1 month since I started this weight loss journey...again...*sigh*, but it's not been as bad as I thought it would be. I must admit I'm still struggling for energy really badly, such that when I get home from the office I'm just too tired to stand there cooking a meal. Last week I really did struggle with the energy thing so didn't do quite as well as I could have, but I scraped a weight loss, so obviously I hadn't gone nuts or anything. This week has been much the same, so the weight loss probably won't be anything spectacular, but I'm just aiming for ANY loss EVERY week because I think losing consistently is more important that actual weight lost each week...if you get my drift.

So here's a quick summary of how things are looking after 1 month:
-weight...minus 9 pounds
-measurements...minus 2 inches off waist

Generally speaking, I'm finding that I can bend easier and I'm also much more coordinated too (kind of odd, but hey I'll roll with it...).

Wednesday, 28 April 2010

For anyone still following the diet saga...

You will be pleased to know I'm still sticking with it and have lost 9 pounds now. It's been easier than I thought but this week was harder than the first 2 weeks. I'm starting to feel a little thinner but it will be a long time before I look any different...and a long time before I'll be posting any pics!

Thursday, 22 April 2010

Week 2 diet update

Just a quick update for those wondering if I've got so hungry I've eaten my own arms yet....lost 5 pounds this week...woo hoo! So that makes 7 pounds in total...and one happy woman LOL.

Every day this is getting a bit easier as new habits start to form - in fact, I've been surprised at how it hasn't been as hard as I thought it would be...if you know what I mean. The trouble though is sticking to these things long term.

I usually deal with stress by eating...and I lead a very stressful life, so now I'm having to find new ways to deal with it. I haven't really come up with anything yet, except getting overly emotional and angry. So I guess, right now, I'm not really a woman who should be crossed LOL.  Hopefully I will find new ways to deal with it soon enough, but one thing's for sure, I can't keep reaching for that loaf of bread every time I get stressed.

Sunday, 18 April 2010

A dieter's best friend...

Need I say more? LOL
So it's been 2 weeks today since I started trying to eat healthier and I have absolutely not the foggiest how I'm doing weight-wise LOL. Sure I get weighed but it's never on the same set of scales (so far) and my own at home are..well...dodgy....putting it bluntly. On Wednesday I will go back to WW though so will have my second reliable weight to compare it with. Last week I lost 2 pounds and must admit to feeling a little disappointed. It's just that with so much weight to lose and with it being the first week I really did expect more. I was in a funk about it but I'm over it now..just need to plod on and get on with it! I have no idea what I weigh but I do feel thinner already and I seem to be more comfortable, so I'll be surprised if I haven't lost anything. Anyway, I'll try and update on Wednesday.

Now...anyone wanna join me for a nice coffee?

Saturday, 17 April 2010

Random news

Life has been very busy here, hence the lack of pics from my recent trip to Bristol. I'm on a training course at work too which means that instead of just working a full time day job and a full time evening/weekend job, I'm also doing 40 hours a month training and 40 hours a month on a project which goes along with the training. When do I get time to sleep? I'm wondering that myself...

Anyway, the above might explain why my graphics blog (and my other blogs) have been sadly neglected lately, but I am still trying to keep things on schedule. I'm still getting through my designs, albeit slower than I'd have hoped...I simply can't keep up with demand at the moment...wait, that's a good thing, right?

My mum and dad are supposed to be going away on holiday tomorrow but it looks like flights in/out of the UK will still be cancelled by then. Poor things, they really need that holiday too...volcanoes suck...unless you're a geologist I guess.

Ok, well more random news later - just letting you know I'm still here and still trying to post tose photos from my recent-ish trip to Bristol!

Sunday, 4 April 2010

A quick update

Will post a better update tomorrow, but just wanted to quickly share what we've done on Saturday...before I collapse into bed LOL.

Today we visitied Brunel's ship, SS Great Britain and the Blue Reef Aquarium. More tomorrow about these, but here's a brief taster...I'm saving my good pics for the better update but here's a couple of nsaps...

Friday, 2 April 2010

Guess where I'm heading tonight?

Guess where I'm heading tonight......

....yup, right across the road to the pub. I love weekends away....bliss :)

Woo 100th post!

Welcome to my 100th post...on this blog LOL. I think my other blog must have 500-600 by now!

Well, my holiday has started and I'm currently on my way down to the south of  England....yay!!!  I've talked Andy into driving, which leaves me free to answer emails and do some blogging. Typing, even as a passenger, takes some talent I can tell you. I'll fill you in more on our plans later but I just wanted to let you know I'm still witing on this blog and I plan to update it this weekend while I'm on my travels.

PS...we have some awful weather in front of us...typical! LOL

Saturday, 6 March 2010

Who wants to see what I've been doing today?

Andy and I decided that today would be a good day for a drive/walk in our local-ish area, so we hopped into the car and drove across the hills outside of Huddersfield to get to....some even bigger hills just outside of Huddersfield. Here's some photos from the trip...I apologise for the quality of them....the rainy/dull weather was bad enough, but ad ontop of that one hungry and impatient woman and......well tis is the result LOL.
On the motorway - the quickest way into the hills. We were only on here for about 4 or 5 miles. See the bridge? Well I have no idea where that goes but I've always wanted to find it and go up there...I bet the views would be fab. To the left of this picture is a reservoir and more hills, to the right is a steep valley.
The first stop was a place called Hollingworth Lake - this was the furthest place on our route, but we were sizing it up for the potential of a summer picnic and walk. This place looked great and we'll definitely be back in the summer.
The birds (at the lake) were funny, but some of them were a bit vicious to each other...pecking and squaking at each other. Second thoughts, maybe this could be the wrong destination for a quiet summer picnic after all LOL.
This picture shows just how cold it is round here....see the lake is still frozen? This lake is about 8 miles from our house.
And here is a photo to make Tonya jealous....see Tonya? It's a border crossing sign LOL.
What amazes me about this area is that you find a really great view and its spoiled by a bloomig great big string of pylons....grrrrrrrrr.
And onwards....another reservoir...
And then a stop at Booth Wood Reservoir, this reservoir is near where we live but we've never stopped here before. This place has some amazing statistics...
But you really wouldn't want to swim here....risk of cardiac arrest the sign says...
Had a nice lunch here. So there you have it....a couple of hours in the life of  Lou & Andy x

Wednesday, 24 February 2010

As usual these days I don't really have so much to write about as my life has descended (again) into a cycle of work, eat, graphics, sleep. I did however give myself a day off on Saturday and went car (window) shopping and even took a trip to the cinema...and I must say that by Sunday I felt sooooo energised and ready to take on the world again! Sadly, by Monday I was feeling distinctly Monday-ish again LOL. I did perk up again yesterday when my manager told me our business trip was cancelled. It wasn't that I didn't want to go, it's just that the timing was all wrong...snow was due (and did actually fall the last 2 days running)....I'm waaaaay behind with my graphics....and I have a big presentation to do at work on Monday and need time to prepare. If we'd gone on the business trip I would have had to pull the presentation togather over the weekend...and who wants to work unpaid at a weekend? It's not like I have oodles of spare time to waste.

Has anyone seen The Lovely Bones? I read the book about 10 years ago and loved it. As always though, the film wasn't half as good as the book. Now, I'm not much of a reader, but I believe the best thing about the book is that it really plays to your imagination, it describes things perfectly and lets you imagination run a little wild - but with the film it just gives you all that on the plate. Also, I thought the film didn't seem to get across the fact that Susie (the main subject of the book) is really angry with her murderer, whereas this is really obvious in the book. If you have seen it (or even read the book) then let me know your thoughts.

Sunday, 21 February 2010

Don't you just love it...

...when you spend an hour clearing snow off the drive way...and then it starts snowing again :(
Is anyone actually enjoying this snow? LOL

Friday, 19 February 2010


Here's 12 random facts that you may or may not already know...
1. Online I appear to be really extrovert and confident but in real life I'm quite the opposite. In fact, good luck every trying to meet me because chances are I'll chicken out LOL.
2. I can take or leave pizza and ice cream...I have to be in the mood
3. I love maths and science
4. I FINALLY passed my driving test when I was 26
5. I am TOTALLY tuneless. And I mean totally!
6. I am a twin - my twin looks nothing like me
7. I don't drink alcohol except maybe once a year...I just don't like it. I have never been bothered about being one of the crowd so I don't feel the need to keep up with them.
8. I'm currently thinking about my next car - which I will get once Andy gets a job - I was thinking of a Vauxhall (Opel) Corsa as I've had one of those before and loved it.
9. I still feel guilty that Andy was forced to sell his beloved sportscar so that I could go to university. He'd wanted that car for years and had it less than a year :(
10: I have 1 ovary and tube thanks to one of two cancer scares that thankfully turned out ok in the end!
11. I'm scared of telephones...seriously
12. My biggest fear is being lonely when I'm old - stems from having no kids I think