Thursday, January 28, 2010

That's it, I quit. My job. Not my job in the library - no, that earns me a salary each month, I'm part of a team and I have the satisfaction of helping people who by and large are grateful and appreciative. I'm not quitting the wedding photography job either. It's stressful and it's a lot of effort but it's rewarding when the happy couple are pleased with what you've done for them. Nor my voluntary job with RDA which pays me back in spades with the sense of helping disadvantaged people get a bit more out of life...

No, the job I'm quitting is unpaid in any monetary way and I don't get any thanks for it either. It's general maid, cook, chaueffeur and dogsbody to two teenage princesses who barely lift a finger unless it's to tap keys on the computer. I have begged and pleaded for minimum amounts of help - the occasional cup of tea, the occasional push around of the Hoover. That cups and plates be removed to the kitchen. I don't even ask them to do dishes.It would mean SO MUCH to me, just those little bits of help.

But they toil not, neither do they spin. And I've had it. I quit.

Wednesday, January 27, 2010

Now because I want to fatten you all up on this delicious treat (because there’s no way I’ll be getting thinner by eating it), I’ll share my secret recipe. Mix two cans of condensed milk (or one super sized can) with two tablespoons of butter and three tablespoons of chocolate powder. Simple eh! Of course there’s debate about whether butter or margarine works better and whether you should use sweetened drinking chocolate powder that already contains sugar and powdered milk or plain cocoa powder. Butter tastes better (and tends to not to leave a greasy residue if you accidentally use too much) and the best chocolate I’ve found so far is Sainsbury’s basics drinking chocolate.

Once you have everything mixed in a large bowl, chuck in in the microwave for two minutes then give it a stir. Do that twice more to get the heat up and then go for one minute at a time and keep on stirring. By this point you’ll see why you need to use a large bowl because the mixture grows really quickly as it’s heated. They say it’s ready once the mixture doesn’t stick to the sides of the bowl anymore, but that all depends on how you’re going to eat it.

The right way is to let the mixture cool and then roll it into small balls (margarine/butter on your hands stops it sticking so much) and then to cover in chocolate sprinkles. Of course if you’re just going to sit at home and eat it in front of the tv, then leave it in the bowl and pour the sprinkles on top. Just make sure you have a strong spoon.

Tuesday, January 19, 2010

10 things that make me happy - in NO PARTICULAR ORDER!!!(tagged by Incessant Ramblings)

1. Animals - my cats Basil & Shea. I wrote a whole post about them the other day. They bring so much laughter and love to my life. I'd be lost without them. The horses at the stables where Sian rides and I do RDA..... I love everything about horses, the smell, the sound, the feel of them. A wonderful cure for stresses and worries. Any passing friendly dog in the street who will let me stop him for a cuddle and a quick chat.

2. My camera. At long last I have found a creative outlet in my life. It's also something I can share with Phil, after years and years of it being something he did that just annoyed the hell out of me!! I have met some great friends through photography and I've also managed to earn some money out of wedding photography. This stresses the hell out of me but the high you get when the couple love their photos is unbelievable. I love how my camera (s) look & feel - like friends.

3. My husband Phil (is he a thing??) we've had plenty of ups and downs but he is my rock. Not the affectionate or romantic type, he's nevertheless the centre of my world.When things are crap he helps me put things in perspective. He's my opposite in many ways which is just as well, as one like me in any relationship is more than enough!

4. The cinema. Oh, I love the movies! The thrill of settling down in your big comfy seat as the lights dim and the Pearl & Dean music starts. I like films generally but seeing them in the cinema is the best.

5. The first day of a holiday. It's great, you've unpacked and the whole holiday is still ahead. All that anticipation. it's hard to beat.There have been no disappointing days, no cries of "I'm bored!" or "Not ANOTHER National Trust house, PLEASE!!!" After about a week of a two-week break I start to get depressed about the holiday being nearly over! Christmas Eve has that same joyful anticipation untainted by grim reality. Maybe what I'm really saying makes me happy is ANTICIPATION!

6. The colour blue. I just love it. I am so drawn to blue in photos, pictures, scenes. Blue sea, blue skies, blue flowers, so rare and so varied. Blue light as in the photo above.

7. Pottering - oh, I could write a book on the joys of pottering. Pottering (as opposed to vegging out) is how I like to relax. I am known to hug myself and do a little dance of glee with the prospect of a day's pottering ahead of me. Indoor pottering (tidying kitchen cupboards or going through my wardrobe, a bit of gentle baking, maybe cleaning the silver & brass)or outdoor pottering (weeding, planting flowers in pots, pruning)Never underestimate the potential pleasures of a day with nothing much to do and all day to do it in. The fact that it is rare that I don't have a whole list of urgent tasks to cram into a couple of hours makes it all the more joyfilled.

8. Our home. When I read on the news about people losing their homes it fills me with horror. I know that things are just things and life is about more than possessions but my home is my haven, my safe refuge. It's just an ordinary little house on an ordinary little street in an unremarkable village in Cheshire, but it's HOME.

9. My daughters. Well, they sometimes read my blog and if I left them out while putting the cats IN they'd give me hell. Last night for some reason we got out the baby photo albums. How is it possible those two cute and cuddly babies are now beautful teenagers? (and as a sidenote how is it possible I have had so many bad hairdos and pairs of glasses???) I was never the maternal type, didn't really like or understand children, I had my first baby rather because it seemed to be expected. I rather enjoyed being pregnant but nothing prepares you for the shock of actually producing a whole other person, does it? After a couple of shaky years I settled into motherhood and now I am astonished only at how much I love them. And how happy they make me. I like them both so much too.

10. The internet. Yes, I know it can be a thing of evil but it has brought ME so much happiness. Friendships for one - some of my closest friends live on other continents, I would never have met them without the internet. life without K, A and T - no, I can't imagine it! The friends I've made through blogging and online forums, the fun of Facebook - the internet is like a window on the world. So much information so readily available. I can shop at midnight in my dressing gown, check weather reports and cinema times - amazing! I could equally write a post about why the internet makes me unhappy but today I'm looking on the positive side of life - for once!

Now I've reached the end I'm thinking of all the other things I could have mentioned like friends, work, volunteering, books, music, walks, margaritas....I could go on and on. Life is really full of things that make me happy and it's nice to be reminded of that from time to time. I'm only going to tag Quiet Rage as she is so great at telling us what makes her cross but if anyone else fancies doing this, please let me know so i can read your choices.

Wednesday, January 06, 2010

Yesterday afternoon and evening we had a lot of snow! Phil, Sian and I all love snow and went out for a walk in the evening. It was magical - there were a few other mad souls out, throwing snow balls and building snowmen. It's funny to see how grown men can suddenly get very primitive when it comes to a snowball battle!!!!

This morning Phil & I got up before sunrise and walked round and up Helsby Hill. The girls weren't going into school and I don't work Wednesdays; Phil decided to work from home. Our walk was just wonderful - words fail me to describe it - when the sun came up and shone across the snow covered fields and lit up the bare branches of trees heavily laden with snow....well, it was so beautiful it was almost too much!

Snow transforms the mundane into something out of this world. I know the snow is hazardous and has caused chaos across the UK but I'm still in awe of the magnificence of a snow-covered landscape.

Phil took today's photo; I didn't take my camera in case i fell over in the snow and smashed it (not goid when we have a wedding in less than two weeks!)

Later this afternoon I went to TESCO - Kate fainted in the snow and told me only a Krispey Kreme donut would make her better so off I set like the loving mum I (sometimes!) am! I was astonished to find the shelves bare of semi-skimmed milk and lots of people going out with bags cat litter (supposedly a good substitute for grit!)- the papers are right, panic-buying is going on! I was also taken aback to see my first hot cross buns!! It is still only January, right?

I am NOT looking forward to going to work tomorrow, especially as our heating has packed in. Should be an interesting trip, to say the least...

Monday, January 04, 2010

Happy New Year to my fellow bloggers!

All the decorations are down the house looks bare and the girls are back at school. I can't believe how fast the holidays have gone. Parts of Christmas were great, others not so good, I suppose that's true of every year. I feel a bit low, though, now it's all over.

It contines very cold here although we haven't had much snow. We drove into Wales yesterday and found loads of the stuff - I'm quite jealous! But it was -5C when I went out this morning even here in Helsby.

I've got a bad cold but at least it held off until after New Year to really get going. So it didn't spoil the party on New Year's eve or the visit of Phil's parents on Jan 1st.

I've just opened a business account for my photography. It all feels really "official"! our nest wedding is in just under 2 weeks and already the nerves/fear are kicking in!