Sunday, 2 November 2008

My Fun Fair Phobia


I’m not a fan of fun fairs, in fact it's almost a phobia. I’m not exactly sure why, but my instinctive response is to cringe when anyone asks me to go to one and I always refuse.

I’m sure I enjoyed them when I was little, when you see the coloured lights, the candy floss and toffee apples, it all looks so good. I remember my grand dad taking me to one at a nearby seaside town and I still have the photo. Poor soul it doesn’t look like he was enjoying it much with 3 small children complete with candy floss in tow.

As I got a bit older I started to see them as tacky places full of scruffy blokes, tattoed with greasy Brylcreemed hair and pierced ears, (before these became fashionable) twirling the waltzers. It shows I had stopped seeing the world through those rose tinted glasses and also the standard of the travelling funfairs we had in those days!

One really awful experience I had was when I was first going out with Eric (eventually my husband) and we decided to go to The Hoppings in Newcastle. It’s a huge event where lots of travelling fun fairs gather together for a couple of weeks in the summer. To be truthful the experience was nothing to do with the fun fair at all, just the fact that we had been there. When we got back to the car, Eric couldn’t find his car keys and he called the RAC out. Instead of taking us to a garage to get a new key, the prat started the car up himself. The car jumped and banged all the way home. I have no idea what he did but it cost a lot get the car repaired. Big fun fair psychological damage!

On the fun fair plus side, about thirty years ago, when our children were young, we went on holiday to Sweden. Neil and Claire persuaded us to visit the Liseberg Amusement Park in Gotenberg and it was great. Clean, safe, in a lovely setting and it was staffed by young people who were extremely polite and dressed in yellow uniforms. I’ve also seen the glorious ads for Disneyland, Disney World, Port Aventura, Alton Towers etc but my response is still the same, I don’t want to go.

Last week my daughter asked me to go to with her to Light Water Valley, a fun park about an hour drive from where we live. My initial response was no. However she had already bought the tickets and it was the last day it would be open until next year. She didn’t want to go on her own with 2 children of quite different ages wanting to go on different rides. Her husband didn’t want to go either. She knows I’m a soft touch and love spending time with them, so I agreed, reluctantly.

Well the weather forecast was quite good so off we went and arrived there at about 10.30am. It was a glorious autumn/winter day and the funfair is set in a lovely country park area near Ripon in North Yorkshire, not at all tacky. The rides were well spaced out in the park, yes a real park not just a name. There were very few people around too so the children could just walk onto any of the rides with no qeueing. Great!

Ah Sweet! (They're not always like this!)

The weather was great for most of the day. It was chilly but the sun warmed things up a lot. At one point there was some rain but luckily it didn't last.

Big Wheel in the Rain

Now I gave up riding the waltzer a long time ago but I have to say I took a real fancy to getting onto what they called the Skyrider. It was what we used to call "chairs" when I was little. However this one was different! A lot bigger, faster and as you can see from the photo it had a tilt to it. I have to say it was almost a work of art. I admired the colours, the lights and the designs on it, not at all tacky.

My grandson loved it and kept going on over and over again as there were no queues. I have to admit that I was sorely tempted to get on with him but I had been left carrying the coats, bags etc. whilst my daughter took Lauren onto the rides for younger children. It was probably just as well, I might not have lived to regret getting on it. What a wimp!

The Skyrider

Never mind I really enjoyed listening to the music, all 'sixties stuff. I hadn’t realised how well suited Telstar was to fun fairs. Spot on!

I wasn’t the only one feeling their age. My daughter took Nathan onto one ride called The Ultimate and hurt her neck. She thinks it will be her last time on a roller coaster ride, after all she’s 35! Another wimp in the family.

Roll on next summer, we'll be back now that I'm getting over my fun fair phobia.

Thursday, 30 October 2008

They’ve Lost the Plot!

I’m wondering what on earth is going on with the press and TV.

I watched the news at lunchtime with a sense of wonder. Yes, wonder at what’s going on with the media here in the UK.

So what was on the news?

Well, there was an inspiring item about a soldier who received the George Cross from the Queen today. In Afghanistan he had thrown himself onto a live grenade to shield the other members of his patrol. Amazingly he survived! Was this the top story? No, it got a short mention near the end.
There was another story about hundreds of soldiers marching through Colchester to honour 15 service personnel killed in Afghanistan. No this came at the end of the news.

Then there was the Jean Charles de Menezes inquest where witnesses were giving evidence about the lack of warnings given by the police before they shot Jean Charles in the head on the Tube. No, not the top story.

What about the economy and the fears for the success of largest shopping centre in Europe that’s just opened near London? No!

The freak hail and floods in Devon? No!

The UN fears about thousands of people fleeing from rebels in the Congo? No!

The Pakistan earthquake? No!

The election in the USA? No, no, no! None of these.

The main story the press have had a feeding frenzy with, is the one about DJs, Jonathan Ross and Russell Brand and the prank calls they made to actor Andrew Sachs on their Radio 2 show. Yes, they are grown men, grossly overpaid and they behaved like a pair of puerile boys, stupid and very nasty. It's sad that this type of thing passes for cutting edge humour with the young these days. However to make this the main story for three days is ludicrous when you consider what else is happening in this country and the rest of the world. I have no doubt the main story will be exactly the same tomorrow as the resignations and suspension are commented on.

Who decides what makes the main news stories these days? Makes you wonder! I think they’ve definitely lost the plot.

Me? I'm losing the will to watch the news on TV or read the papers!

Oh No! It's Her With That Camera Again!


Oscar


This is my lovely little fellow Oscar.

He's getting on a bit now. In the photograph above he was sixteen, now he's nineteen. Like Cary Grant he carries his age well.

These photographs are from a couple of days ago and he doesn't look a day older!

What's going on now?




Please tell me it's not the grandchildren here again.





False alarm thank goodness. Just her with the camera. Does she never give up? It's such a hard life being a cat.

In this weather all he wants to do is sleep. Trying to get an active picture of him proved impossible. I'll be back!

Tuesday, 28 October 2008

My First Award!



Merle very kindly nominated me for the Million Dollar Friend Award.

Now this is the very first one for me so it’s very special, a million thanks Merle.

Apologies to Merle for the delay in doing this, she must think I've forgotten about it but I haven't! It's just taken me so long to actually organise it.

Beginner that I am hadn’t a clue what to do but she graciously sent me the guidelines and here they are:


The Million Dollar Friend Award comes with the following rules :

1. Only five people allowed.

2. Four have to be dedicated followers of your blog.

3. One has to be someone new or recently new to your blog and live in another part of the world.

4. You must link back to who gave you the award.

It was hard to choose as there are so many lovely people who comment on my site. I wondered whether my Blogging friends already had this award so I tried checking and if I’ve dropped a clanger apologies!

With these rules in mind . . . I bestow The Million Dollar Friend Award on the following friends :


***********
Brenda

***********
Renie

***********
Old Lady Lincoln


***********

and my new reader Hippo Chic


Monday, 27 October 2008

Installing a Husband

Dear Tech Support

Last year I upgraded from Boyfriend 5.0 to Husband 1.0 and noticed a distinct slow down in overall system performance, particularly in the flower and jewellery applications, which operated flawlessly under Boyfriend 5.0.

In addition, Husband 1.0 uninstalled many other valuable programs, such as:

  • Romance 9.5 and
  • Personal Attention 6.5

and then installed undesirable programs such as :

  • Football 5.0
  • Cars 3.0 and
  • Fishing 4.1

Also Conversation 8.0 no longer runs, and Housecleaning 2. 6 simply crashes the system.

Please note that I have tried running Nagging 5.3 to fix these problems, but to no avail.

What can I do?

Signed Desperate

DEAR DESPERATE

First, keep in mind:

  • Boyfriend 5.0 is an Entertainment Package, while
  • Husband 1.0 is an Operating System

Please enter command ithoughtyoulovedme.html and try to download Tears 6.2 and do not forget to install the Guilt 3.0 update.

If that application works as designed Husband 1.0 should then automatically run the applications:

  • Jewellery 2.0 and
  • Flowers 3.5.

However, remember, overuse of the above application can cause Husband 1.0 to default to:

  • Grumpy Silence 2.5
  • Happy Hour 7.0 or
  • Beer 6.1

Please note that Beer 6. 1 is a very bad program that will download the Farting and Snoring Loudly Beta.

Whatever you do, DO NOT under any circumstances install Mother-In-Law 1.0 (it runs a virus in the background that will eventually seize control of all your system resources.)

In addition, please do not attempt to reinstall the Boyfriend 5.0 -program. These are unsupported applications and will crash Husband 1.0.

In summary, Husband 1.0 is a great program, but it does have limited memory and cannot learn new applications quickly.

You might consider buying additional software to improve memory and performance.

We recommend:

  • Cooking 3.0 and
  • Hot Lingerie 7.7

Good Luck!

Tech Support

I can't take the credit for this, a colleague sent it to me!

Chocaholic Alert!


Hot Chocolate Fondant Pudding with a Gooey Centre

Now I’m not a chocaholic. Not that I refuse a Thornton’s Continental when one is offered or a Cadbury’s Flake. I do enjoy chocolate, milk chocolate, now and again. I just don’t crave it and I never buy it for myself, only for my grandchildren.

Nathan and Lauren, my grandchildren love chocolate and they love chocolate cake and pudding. So when I watched TV chef Phil Vickery on the TV programme, This Morning, making these chocolate puddings, I knew I had to try the recipe for them. The recipe is here along with a video of the chef making the puddings. There are a couple of ads first and a brief description of the different types of chocolate. The video and instructions are very good.

Link to video and recipe
http://www.itv.com/Lifestyle/Food/ThisMorning/Recipes/Hotchocolatefondant/default.html

I made the puddings and they were fabulous!

A few things to note before you try this:

1. My mixure made more than 6 puddings, I ended up with 9. Maybe my ramekin dishes are smaller than the ones on the programme. When I make this again I’ll halve the ingredients and still get at least 4.

2. Eat them immediately. They go a little hard if you don’t. As they tell you in the video you can leave the mix in the ‘fridge for a while before you bake it. Just add a couple of minutes to the cooking time.

3. They are delicious but very rich. I could only eat half of one pudding. Wish I’d had some crème fraîche to take the edge off. So be warned!

Awesome Grandmas Who Blog

Well I have to say I've never thought of myself as awesome. The Pyramids, Grand Canyon, Taj Mahal and Durham Cathedral, now they fall into the category of awesome.

However Renie Burghart got in touch and told me that she and I, along with Grannie Annie had been nominated as "Awesome Grandmas Who Blog" by Lemondrop. How on earth did they find out about us? There must be millions of Bloggers out there. Amazing!

What's strange is that Lauren Bohn who wrote the article said that only 5% of bloggers are over 50. So we are in the minority yet we have more time for blogging than younger people. Maybe we need to spread the word more. Have to say I don't know anyone else who Blogs young or older. Younger people in my family use Facebook and other social networking sites but I'm not keen on them. I prefer the diary style of blogging.

Lauren Bohn asked for recommendations of other grandma bloggers, so just to let you know I've nominated a lot more grandmas who blog. Keep an eye out you might be in there soon.

Favourite Places

Durham Cathedral There are some places you visit and they stay with you, they're so special.  This is mine! I've blogged abo...