Sunday 22nd August - Defrosting the freezer

The day started slowly with us not getting up until 10.30. Dave soon went off fishing so I had the day to do some housework. When I went to the freezer to get some bread for breakfast, I found that the bottle of Shloer that I'd put in the freezer on Friday evening had pushed the lid off and there was pink ice on the shelf. I've been intending to defrost the freezer for ages. It was so bad that chicken that I'd put in the top shelf was sort of wedged in the ice. All the food went into the cool box and a big polystyrene box. Armed with two towels in front of it, I left it to melt. Coming back to it later, the carpet was soaked too so I had to wring out the towels again and again throughout the day. I was impressed that all of the food, apart from some chinese rolls, stayed frozen.

Another job that needed to be done was to sort out the shoe crates. We had made a mess searching for the boot sock things for Kat's wellies so it seemed like a good time to do it. I got permission from Dan to throw out all his old trainers. I filled 2 black sacks with old shoes. I didn't find the sock things or my kiting harness which should have been there. Hopefully my harness is with the other kiting stuff.

While doing both jobs, I also cooked a chicken roast dinner for when the soggy fishers came home.

Today's photo from:

Saturday 21st August 2010 - Moving and Bewl Water

I left home about 10.30 and went to help Matt and Lisa with their house moving. Not sure that I was much help. When we got to their house, Lisa was just leaving with the van. We left the car there and walked up to Matt's new flat. There wasn't anything we could really help with there. Dave and James helped with some heavy lifting. After having a cuppa, we then walked to the bank with Matt and then rushed back to their house to do a bit more. Kat did some hoovering, I cleaned the floor and the walls in the kitchen, while the boys dismantled the bed. It was soon time to stop for lunch. We drove up to Farmfoods to get some pizza and stuff. Then back to the flat to cook and find out that Matt can't have Sky there due to the big building opposite in the way. After dinner, we went home. I went via the petrol station as the low fuel warning light had just come on and I didn't want to be filling the car up while dressed up later.

In the evening we went to a Tudor event at Bewl Water for Drew's 40th birthday. The birthday boy and his family arrived in a horse drawn cart, looking very much the part of King Henry (albeit a slim one), his queen and his army chief and young Prince. After some photos, we went down to the lake and got on a boat. We had a tour around the lake while we had wine to drink, or soft drinks for the drivers. We were entertained during the whole evening by a jester/entertainer. We were back at the building for about 8.30 for dinner. He was very funny. He also played musical instruments from the period. Mostly we stayed with our friends from the astronomy club. Nearly everyone had dressed appropriately. The most original costumes being the row of houses which were very cool and had taken a few days to make. He also made us balloon animals, as long as we wanted dogs! We could have a giraffe too but that was just an upside down dog. He told us stories of the era too and after dinner he taught us some basic dancing of the era. He was very good. A brilliant evening was had by all.

19th August 2010

My order from conference order arrived today along with £90 of goods that every attendee gets sent. All useful to start off the new season in September. We pay about £120 for conference and then get this “goodie bag” sent to us afterwards. Love it. Tonight we had meatballs and curry sauce for a change. It made a quick and easy meal.

I then went to an Ann Summers party at Gaynor's. It was good fun. Our first game was to make clothing out of a bin bag in teams of threes. We dressed Gaynor up. I was pleased that I wasn't the only one who wanted to sit out the sexual positions game. I would have been uncomfortable playing this with someone I had only just met. All in all we had a fun night. I wish I hadn't been driving though so that I could have had a drink. Maybe another time.

18th August 2010

Today would have been Diane's birthday. It is now 5 years since she was taken from us. I had intended to phone Sean but didn't have chance. I should phone them and see them more often. Once or twice a year is not enough. I guess they are as busy as we are, or they'd be in touch more too.

This evening we just had pie and chips for dinner with a bottle of wine. We watched Almost Famous that I recorded. I didn't think I would like it. Dave didn't, he slept through most of it. I will look out for it in the cheap DVD sections. I would like to watch it again sometime.

Sunday 15th August 2010 – Steve took us on an Adventure

We set off from Folkestone and headed off to Capel-le-ferne. Well, 5 of us went in the car, Dave and Steve went on the bus. When we arrived we waited for ages for them. Eventually we got out of the car to go searching for them. It transpired that they had sneaked into the pub for a crafty half.
Having regrouped we set off up the foot paths along the cliffs. It was quite a trek, past a something large that we later found out was a sound mirror We soon found the holes that we were looking for. They barely looked big enough for a rabbit to get through but somehow most of us managed to climb into the darkness underground. It was DARK. Taking photos with the flash camera was interesting as just for an instant you could see what was there. Time for the torches. I went down the first hole but I didn't venture down the second one. I still don't know how Dave and Steve managed it. We went on to search for another entrance down the front of the cliff. Well, Steve and Batty did. Kat and I stayed up the top and had kittens with the boys being so close the edge! Down the third hole, there was a long corridor leading away from the light into the darkness and round a corner to another long corridor. This one had two battery rooms off it.

There were also lots of spiders and their sacks of babies hanging from the ceiling that were quite fascinating. Some people we know might have been scared of them. When we were heading out of the holes, Steve thought he was the last one out but Batty was hiding in the darkness and scared the living daylights out of him. Oh, we did laugh!! Think Steve needed new pants!

We walked on and found another underground feature to investigate. It meant climbing down a ventilation shaft. The others went down but I couldn't navigate myself over the edge so I looked after the coats and bags. I need to go down there one day. It sounded really interesting and the pictures looked good too. We then had the trek home back to the Royal Oak pub at Capel-le-ferne for a well deserved drink. Dave and Steve got the bus back and we picked up Dave in Folkestone before heading back to Ashford.

Saturday 14th August 2010

The intention for today was for a cycle ride to the Honest Miller in Brook. All of the weather forecasts said that there would be heavy rain by 1pm so we decided to find somewhere else to go. I did a Google search for “cheap pubs kent”. Somehow a pub in Iden came up, The Iden Bell. The menu looked good, plenty of choice for Kat and starting from reasonable prices too, so we amended our plans and set the sat nav for here. We arrived at 12.30 and met up with Heather who was already there with Michael happily snoozing in his pushchair. As soon as Batty arrived, we ordered our dinners. I had scampi and chips, Heather had burger and chips, the boys had steak and mushroom pie, Dave had a pork stuffed marrow special and I had scampi and chips. Four of us had puddings but not me. They were home made and looked lovely, but far too filling. The bill for 6 of us, with drinks, came to £105. Definitely another place to come back to. I had a lovely cuddle with Michael after he had finished his milk. We realised that this was his first trip outside Kent.

We left here with the intention of going to World of Water at Rolvenden but we changed our minds en route and went to Tenterden Garden Centre instead as there is more to see. They have beautiful fish tanks – marine, cold water and tropical - as well as the reptiles, etc and the massive catfish called The Stig. Dave bought some pond accessories. We wandered up to the new spa shop. I bought some crystals for Jose and Maria. We now know where we may be able to get them a present for Christmas.

Home again, and the boys went to the fishing tackle shop. I had to get ready to go to the quiz night in Hastings as we had to leave about 6.30. The venue for the quiz was at The Bullet which is a cafe in Robertson Street. We made our introductions, got our drinks and found seats downstairs. While standing outside with the smokers a little later, I found Dad who was looking even more lost than we were when we turned up earlier. We ate some food from the buffet before the quiz started. Dad joined our team. The quiz was in 2 rounds, 30 questions each round and worked very well. Well done to Jay for doing the questions. With our combined brain power, not mine, we managed to win. We gave the prize money back to the charity. There was a raffle too which Jose one the first prize which was a Blackberry. This went to Maria who is well happy with it.

Friday 13th August 2010

This morning, I had not long since been up when I heard the fortnightly clinking of the blue box boys coming to collect. As usual, mine was still out the back garden. Having accumulated quite a few bottles from my birthday party, I thought I should rush out and drag a box full out the front. I nearly missed them. As I went out they had already started driving away. The driver saw me and reversed back a bit so that I could hand my box to the guy in the back doing the sorting. He asked me if they had woken me up. When I got back in, I realised why he said that. I checked the mirror. Not only had I run out in my pink pj's, my hair was even more of a mess than normal. Like I care!! At least, I got rid of some bottles. I guess they'll get used to me eventually!

On the way home from work today, I heard an advert on the radio. "Starburst, made to make your mouth water". Not quite the same as "Opal Fruits". It sounded so much better.

Thursday 12th August 2010

We've been watching Man V Food showing on the Travel channel. The portions they serve at some of these place in the US would feed a family. Adam Richmond is a legend when it comes to eating. Surprisingly he's not very fat. We think he must have a week off after making one of these episodes. When Queer Eye for a Straight Guy was done in the US, it worked when they brought it to the UK. Super Nanny works when it goes to the US. Not sure that there is anywhere in the UK that can compete with the giant portions that the Americans can produce.

Wednesday 11th August 2010

With the on-going road works at the Drovers roundabout and Junction 9 improvements, I saw one of the guys doing a job that I would never have thought of but obviously some poor person has to do it. He was cleaning the white reflective bits on the orange cones! I guess it's a never ending task!

This evening I tried a new recipe, Cod and cheese gratin. I think it worked out well and will definitely try it again one day.... when I can find the recipe! We watched the Twilight sequel, New Moon. As with most sequels, it was OK but not as good as the first one.

Monday 9th August 2010 - Packing up and Bowling Presentation

Breakfast today was a lovely omelette. I just can't get them right at home but Batty knows how it's done. Packing before and after breakfast, we got done about 10.30 which was quite good going. I guess we got home about 11.30. Tony and I got unpacked before Dave and Martin got home from unloading most of the camping gear at the farm. Once I'd dropped Tony off, I decided to take my car for a clean while it was empty. My car being cleaned on the inside is a diary entry in itself, and it only cost £10 for a shiny clean and a thorough hoover out. They have also reduced the cost of the clean only to £3.50. As if it wasn't cheap enough before at £4.

Back home again, and on with the unpacking. We were originally planning to go shopping up to Camping International and a few other places but as Dave is off tomorrow and I didn't really need to go, we decided not to go today. I spent the afternoon sorting out the money, etc for our bowling presentation evening. Luckily I had done the certificates already but I decided to mark up the envelopes for the money with the breakdown of the prize money. It took longer than expected and I had to rush to get ready.

The evening was good, the food and company were too. Jose started the presentation and I did the awarding of the certificates and money.

Sunday 8th August 2010 - Conference Day 2

In hindsight we should have got up earlier. We packed and got the bags to the car. Easier said than done. It was a nightmare waiting for the lift for ages. It took over half an hour to get from our floor to the car park. More people were giving up waiting and struggling down the stairs. I knew I wouldn't manage this so waited. We split up as there was limited room in the lifts and I was left waiting longer. We met up at the car and then went to breakfast together. We then had to queue to get in, then it was a bit of rush to get finished. We checked out and rushed to the hall where the conference had already started. I had won something in the door prize draw. Luckily someone had collected if for me. I've got another set of the large tealight holders. The first play of the day was the pantomime which is always very funny. Then we had the demonstrations of the new products. Lots of ooohs and ahhhhs! There was also more recognition/prize draws and inspirational talks. We had a full dinner and dessert today back in the same hall as last night. It was again good. It must be very difficult catering for such large numbers. We were back in the hall for more of the same and it was soon tea time, where we all drawled over the new catalogues.

We got away as quick as we could at the end of the day to get on the road leaving about 5.15. We had a good run back stopping off at the services to deliver Sam to her other half as they were staying with family in Nottingham for the night. We also grabbed a MacDonalds at the same time when we had found the right service station. We stopped at the wrong one to begin with. We had a toilet stop and used the shop which was very expensive. Karen got an unstable coffee that later ended up all over the car and herself. We won't be stopping there again! We had a much better journey back and got to Bethan's about quarter to 10.

Back to the campsite for a birthday drink with Gaynor and Mick. Everyone seemed to be really tired and I was wide awake. I was the last one up. I stood looking at the moon and stars in the clear sky for a while, listening to the kids in the park. It is much less scary there when there are more people staying over.

Saturday 7th August 2010 - Conference Day 1

We joined the crowds in the conference shop after collecting our welcome packs. A lot of the conference shop items were out of stock already as it had been possible to order online a few days before. I re-wrote my order and posted it in the box and then joined another queue to get some more Partylite brand goodies. It was soon time to go into the hall for the start of the conference. We had reserved seating this year so it was less of a scrabble. The conference started with Sandra entertaning us with news of the company and introductions of the management team from the rival countries. There were training tips and awards for those that had done well. The afternoon soon passed and we set off to our rooms to get ready for the evening's dinner.

Karen and I had a drink while we were getting ready and soon got our party dresses on to go back to the conference hall. There was more recognition and prize giving. It seemed weird being in the conference hall in our posh frocks. It was soon time to move into the other hall for dinner. What a lovely job had been done of the plain hall. The ceiling was black material with lights looking like stars and looked really good. I enjoyed dinner, even if a member on our table didn't. She wasn't one of the team and was really an independent. I can see why! She spent most of the time moaning! She was an interesting character. I can't recall what we had to eat now only that I enjoyed it. Before dessert, we queued for the photo session. Various group shots were done. From Karen's team to the larger unit. After dinner was cleared away, there was a live band for the evening. It was good. Just like being down the Star. Guess they could have been the “Live n Kicking” of Harrogate. This finished about midnight and we made our way back to our rooms.

Friday 6th August 2010 – Off to Harrogate

I was up at 20 past 8 and rushed off for a “potty emergency”. When I got back, I had a cup of tea and then made some coffee, the best way to make a slow start to the day. We had melon for starters and it was soon time to cook breakfast. After breakfast, I had to get ready to go. I then realised that I had lost my phone. Panic set in when I remembered the last time that I remembered having it was in the toilets. So I rushed there and no phone. Searched my bag and everywhere I could think of. I was fast running out of time. Then it was found by JosĂ© in the pocket of the jumper I forgot I was wearing earlier. Panic over!

We got to Bethan's at 11 after the sat nav had taken us on a detour through Maidstone. Once we found out where Bethan's was, it would have been quicker to go down the motorway to the next junction than fight our way through the town. We set off by 11.30 and met every traffic jam possible. It took over an hour to get through the Dartford Tunnel so we had to make a stop at the Thurrock services, and at another one on the way. Well, we did have Sam with us who is 6+ months pregnant. We ate in the car to make up time. As there was an accident on the MI, Karen took charge with the road atlas and we ignored the sat nav and took the scenic route across country and through Loughborough. It took about 7 hours to get to Harrogate so it was officially a nightmare journey. When we set out, I think we were expecting 5 hours at the most.

Once we had booked in, unpacked and changed, we met up with the girls to go and find somewhere to eat. We found an Italian restaurant not far from the hotel. The waiters invited us in to look at the menu properly when they spotted us checking the menu outside. The choices looked good and the prices reasonable so we decided to stay. It turned out that there was the Partylite management team there already as well as another large Partylite group. It was a great evening, the waiters were funny, the food was good. I had a lasagne. Sandra (the Managing Director) came round to see us a few times, each time introducing us to another member of the management team as her boyfriend and her fiancé, and then her finally her husband. On the way back to the hotel, we called into the Tesco Express for wine and snacks. Later we had a small pyjama party in our room.

Thursday 5th August 2010 – Off to Teston

I managed to get packed and round for Tony about 11 o'clock. We stopped at the Tesco Express near Maidstone Hospital to get lunch for everyone and anything else we may have forgotten. We were soon at Teston unpacked and ready to enjoy the afternoon. Over the afternoon, more friends and family arrived. The main excitement was when Dick's kite got stuck in the tree. It took 4 of us to shift it but with a bit of team work eventually it was free with no damage to the kite. As I was disappearing for most of the weekend, it was my turn to cook. Dinner was soon sorted and we enjoyed the evening celebrating birthdays again. When it was getting dark some of us went for a walk. We watched a couple of fishermen down at the lock. One of them caught quite a big fish. We also saw some glow worms.

2nd August 2010 - Happy birthday to me!

I was woken with a cup of tea in bed which probably only happens once a year. I opened my cards and pressies before Dave went off to work. Dave bought me a lovely penguin kite which is as big as our duvet. I love penguins. It was a bit tricky to wrestle it back into the bag, especially when being half asleep still. Off to work, business as usual. I didn't take cakes in today, firstly as I didn't really have time to go and get them and secondly I knew that a colleague had also had a birthday over the weekend and would be taking cakes in today. He remembered and wished me happy birthday but he was one of the very few that did. Even my closest friends forgot!

At bowling this evening, Jim and Frances bought me a birthday drink making it special with a little cocktail umbrella. I think they also arranged the balloon too.

Sunday 1st August - Oh my poor head!

We got up feeling fragile and were creeping around the house and garden thinking that Matt was still asleep in Kat's room. It was some time later that Matt phoned us from Hastings to thank us for a lovely time and to Dan for running him back home. We continued with the clearing. There were bottles everywhere. It seemed to take all morning to clear up but I was supposed to be elsewhere. Needless to say I was late! I took my candles and stuff to the Singleton Environment Centre for their Craft Day. As usual I spent more than I'd sold which was nothing again, and no firm leads. It was extremely quiet. I spent a lot of time chatting to Emma. I was also interested in possibly starting up Phoenix cards but the starting fee made me think twice. That's the joy of Partylite with it being free to be a consultant. I do love the Phoenix cards though and I stocked up those that I needed more urgently.

In the evening, instead of going bowling, Dave and I watched the Avatar film. I like it but I think a lot of the special effects really lend themselves to the 3D market and if could be removed for the standard viewing.

Saturday 31st July 2010 – Party Time

We were up early so that we could get everything prepared for the party, the large umbrella arrived and the garden was set up in readiness for our visitors. The family were first to arrive. In total there were 39 of us, but not all at the same time. The oldest being Mum who came over with Nicky and Matt and the youngest being Michael with Heather and Andy. Paul travelled the furthest and got stuck in cooking on the BBQ doing such a wonderful job. It was great to see each and everyone and I believe a great time was had by all. Many of us drank too much. Dan and his mates took Matt up the pub and introduced him to cubans. Oh dear. Good thing Matt was staying over. Thank you to all who came to share my birthday and for the lovely cards and presents. To those that couldn't join us this year, maybe next time.

Friday 30th July 2010

While cooking dinner this evening, Kat dyed my hair. It took a lot longer than intended and we were very late leaving for astronomy club. I had wanted it done for ages and especially before my birthday party so it had to be done! Looks good though.

We arrived at the hall in Woodchurch during the opening news, so we were still in time to listen to Dave and Tim telling everyone how easy it is to use the solar scope. So easy, even I can use it, but they weren't brave enough to say that in their presentation! It was soon time for the quiz. It was in the style of University Challenge with 2 teams of 4 up the front and we were the audience. The first few rounds were so specialised that even our resident experts on the panel were struggling and I'm sure none of the audience had a scooby either. I'd never heard of Messiers before, let alone know what constellations, etc they related to. Batting for Ashford there was Steve W, Dave, Steve J and the star of the team, Jonathan. He was amazing the way that he was working out some of the very technical questions and got the team into the lead at this stage. Then on the final rounds, astro-trivia, sci-fi and the astro-music, Steve, Steve and Dave took over from him. On this final round, they started out by playing a track from ELO. Dave and Steve's faces were a picture of happiness at the sound of this. (Today's pic, copied from Galex website, is Messier 83 (also known as the Southern Pinwheel Galaxy, M83 or NGC 5236).

Thursday 29th July 2010 – Partylite Home Show

At lunch time, I went to Iceland to get some food for Saturday's BBQ. I had been checking on line and had an idea of what I wanted to get. They were recommending a deal on feeding 10 people for £20. I asked one of the guys filling a freezer if I would be able to do home delivery from the front of the store. Having queued for ages, I then found out that this had to be done at the till at the back of the store. I was sure that I have arranged for home delivery from the front tills before, and in the helpful member of staff's defence, he later said that it depends who's on the tills! This was delivered about 7pm.

This evening was one of my best home shows that I've had for a while. Emma and Nikki came along first, soon followed by Sammy and Heather. We were soon joined by Julie, and then Dellanie joined us too. Emma had been to a Partylite show before and loves it, but she hadn't had a “wax lesson” and didn't know about “hugging” pillar candles. I had only met Dellanie once before at a Pamper evening and she does Pampered Chef. We are planning to do a party swap later in the year.

Wednesday 28th July - Archaeology Club Walk

We met up at the square in Lenham about 7pm, after dragging Dave away from the pickled eggs in the chip shop, we drove in convoy to the woods where we were to explore. We had a quick look in the woods at the possible iron age bank. Maybe with a little imagination but I'm not convinced. Then, losing two of our members who were busy looking at other holes, we wandered up the path to do a bit of field walking. I think the intention was to go further on the walk but everyone seemed to be enjoying picking at the field. The best finds of the evening were a nicely shaped flint and some bullet shells.

We wandered back to the cars. Those that wanted to drove up to the next stop. We walked. It was a lovely evening and we didn't feel like we'd really walked yet. We went to a group of houses up the road where some of the members live on the site of an old manor house. It has it's own church which is what we had been invited to see. It was once a lovely little chapel. It was a ruin and the roof has been rebuilt. It is also very close to the site that was bombed during the war and many soldiers lost their lives. The church is used it for parties occasionally. Another member is keen on using his divining rods and was showing us where he thinks the original walls possibly were. Again I'm not convinced but I think there is something in it.

Sunday 25th July 2010

I got up today with the intention of having a clean up, but remembered that I hadn't uploaded the photos from Brighton Kite Festival yet. So I got on with that, while watching Ice Age Dawn of the Dinosaurs. It would have taken a fraction of the time to do the photos if I could have uploaded them all in one go but I couldn't do more than a dozen without it all freezing up.

After lunch, we went for a walk to the Create Music Festival. I could have told Dave before we left that he wouldn't like it but I think he wanted something to moan about in his blog and we needed to get out and do something even if it was just a half hour walk.

When we got back, I got on with the house work and cooking dinner. I found some beef rib in the freezer. It was really tasty, served with potatoes and peas with peppers. Dave and I watched some Sponge Bob and then watched a documentary on Anacondas, currently on Anytime. It was amazing. The couple on the conservation project would walk bare foot through the water as it was easier to find them with their feet and a stick. If they wore shoes then there was more chance that they would get bitten as they would have hurt the beast before they noticed it was even there. It was also interesting to see one eating a turtle. Apparently they can even break down the shell in their stomach once swallowed.

At bowling tonight, my first game was 174 but the next two games were not so good at 120 something.

Saturday 24th July 2010

I had quite a lazy morning. The boys had gone fishing and Kat stayed at home with me. I dropped her off at the outlet, and was on the way towards town when I realised that I didn't have any mobile phones with me. It's amazing how lost you feel without them. I raced around Lidl's and Farm Foods. I drove back passed the outlet and and didn't see her so I went home to find my mobile and unload the shopping quickly. Apparently she had been waiting on the steps and had seen me earlier.

We both then went to the Star to spend some time with Lisa and her friends at their charity music day. We got home later than intended. The boys were already back from fishing. Martin soon arrived, and we had a quick run around Asda before going to Chris's. We watched “The Girl With The Dragon Tattoo” and “DOA”. The first film was OK seeing as it was billed as a thriller. There was one disturbing scene in it but the story was good. I was intended to read the book before but probably won't now. I had downloaded it on my old mobile but I think I lost it when I upgraded my phone. “DOA” is a fun action film that I had seen before.

Thursday 22nd July 2010 - Stories from work & Powerbase meeting

Stories from work today:
Firstly, a warning for the girls. Glynis's husband was driving through the shared space area in Ashford yesterday and there was a crowd of people waiting to cross, with quite an attractive girl at the front. As the car in front of him went past, he reached his hand out and dragged it across her breast. To say she was shocked was an understatement. I hope her friends were quick enough to get his number plate.

The other story was of a little boy in the bath with his Mummy. He said, “Mummy, don't move”. At first she was concerned that he'd seen a spider. Then he said, “Don't move, or it will go off”! Apparently he had seen the string from her Tampax and thought she was sitting on a party popper!! Bless!

I went to a meeting this evening at the location of the recently vacated Powerbase building. A new business tried to continue there but this wasn't working for them. So they have now decided to develop the site into “one or two bedroom cottages”, as the letter said. Actually it is proposed that there will be 8 properties on the site. Two flats at the front, with 3 two bedroom houses behind and 3 bungalow style one bedroom places at the rear of the site. They have tried to keep in line with existing building plots, but may consider adjusting the angle of the rear properties to face outwards. Apparently there are also old fuel tanks underneath the land that will need to be removed. The proposed plans on the site are in keeping with the bay window Victorian design of the other houses here and they do look quite smart. My main concern that I raised was the parking. The owner has said that he is happy for us to use the forecourt and the space at the rear, if available, for the time prior to the development starting. After that, the new home owners will not have allotted parking and it will be a first come first served basis. As there is no garden space at all, these new places will not be aimed to be sold to families, single people and couples. I also mentioned that they consider that there could be a problem with drainage and water pressure into these places. Our houses are over 100 years old and it is likely the current pipes won't cope with the extra volume. Although keen to move on the project, as it is wasted now sitting empty, they don't envisage seeing the building work starting for maybe a couple of years by the time that they have got through the red tape. They might have a further invitation for the locals when they have moved on further with this. I think it will be good for us in the long run. Better to have good looking houses than run down businesses when it comes to our house prices!

Tuesday 20th July 2010 - BBQ for Chris's birthday

At lunch time, I was going to go to Tesco to get food for the BBQ this evening. When I heard that Christine and Glynis were going, I tagged along with them. A quick whizz round the shop for burgers, sausages, etc and back to the car as quick as possible.

I had hoped to leave near to 5o'clock but I broke franking machine again. It doesn't like me. We often fall out. I think I'm too rough with it when it's get jammed.

Once home, the boys had already set light to the coals. Much too early in my opinion as we were using the special bags that are supposed to be ready in 20 minutes, but I was told not to interfere. On with preparing skewers of meat and tomatotes, and chopping onions. There were 9 to feed plus Matt. I asked him to bring along his own food which he was quite happy to do! We had sausages and beefburgers, pork skewers and meatball skewers. The meatball skewers did work in the end but some of them didn't survive cooking. Followed by chocolate swiss roll and strawberries. A good evening had by all, especially Chris who's birthday celebration it was. Today's picture is Dave having a snooze in his new chair after eating loads. Well, it's not like he did any cooking!

Sunday 18th July 2010 - Camping shops again

Back to Camping International to get another bench as the last one that we bought was so good, and another big kettle. Unfortunately, the benches were out of stock. We got a colander, cutlery tray and a cutlery drainer. Leaving there I remembered the camping shop near to what used to be Brambles, WM Camping Centre. So we went down the M2 to there via the scenic route. A quick look round the tents to see that we weren't missing out on anything. We bumped into Jane, Richard and Nicola who were also tent hunting. We're happy that we got a good deal with ours. They didn't have anything similar there. No benches or decent tables either. Dave got a good comfy chair. We had a quick look at the reptiles and fish at the nearby shop before heading off home.

On the way back, we stopped at the Lidl's in Canterbury, for a change of scenery. Much the same stuff in Ashford, as expected. I found a bottle of aniseed drink called Sambuxo. It already has blackcurrant in it so it tastes like Pernod and black. It was also available without the blackcurrant. I don't think I'll bother with that one! Ooh, just been looking for a photo for this blog... I didn't know there was a Black (liquorice) and Cherry bottles too. Wonder where I can find them, even though I think the blackcurrant will still be my favourite.

Saturday 17th July 2010 - To Woodchurch

Today our cycle ride was to Woodchurch. There was just 4 of us. It took us about an hour to get to the Six Bells. I spent most of the time left behind cycling on my own as usual but I don't mind. After all, it's not a race and I do go “at my pace”. It's so scenic and quite relaxing once you get into the country lanes and away from the busy roads. We had lovely baguettes. I had a bacon and brie one. It was warm enough to sit out in the garden. On the way home we stopped off at The Kings Head in Shadoxhurst for a drink, before going home. When we got back, Dave and Dan went off fishing.

At Chris's we watched Percy Jackson & The Lightning Thief. I enjoyed it. Must watch it again sometime. I didn't know the main actor but it has some great actors/actresses in it.

Friday 16th July 2010

Another busy day at work, and I got away at 10 to 6, working through lunch break again. I was thinking about going home to fetch my bowling ball but was put off by the thought of the long queues of traffic to get to the cows roundabout. After work, I rushed off to Canterbury to check out the new bowling pro shop in Bugsy's. Mainly to get some new shoes as mine aren't going to last much longer. They advertised competitive prices and 20% off for this evening. My shoes would have been about £32. I also got a new ball although I'm tempted to continue to use my old one to destruction. I did similar with my roller blades. Bought them from Decathlon because I liked them but I've not worn them outside yet as it would be a waste to not finish off with my previous ones.

Thursday 15th July 2010 - Training

I booked the day off work as I had been invited to a special Partylite training meeting at Karen's. Marion had come all the way down from Nottingham to give myself, and the other two Karen's extra guidance. Sarah had brought along two girls in her team, Rachel and Alison. I must get out and do some door knocking and get my diary filled up. Karen made us a lovely sandwich lunch with fruit, and we finished soon after 2.

I came home for a little while and then picked Kat up from Hannah's. Kat and I went shopping in Tesco. I cooked Chicken Rogan Josh for dinner and then had to go out again before 7. I went to Hersden to a Partylite show with Karen, for more training.

Monday 12th July 2010 - Packing up

We were woken really early to a sound that we really really didn't want to hear. The sound of heavy rain on the outside of the tent. We lay there listening to it, possibly wishing that we'd actually heeded the warning of the weather forecasters for a change and packed up Sunday night. Glad we didn't though or we would have missed out on a fun evening with the other Sunday nighters. Somehow we managed to dodge the worst of the rain. I packed up my things in our tent and when it was dry I wandered down to the toilets. We soon got on with a bit more packing with Dave's car backed into the front of brown and smelly. When the heavens opened again, we dropped the front of the tent and closed the car and cooked breakfast. After breakfast the rain eased off again and we were able to get on. As the sun started to come out I noticed that some embers started smoking a little way up the hill from us. Dave chucked the remainder of our water over it to drench it.

We got packed up by 11.30 which wasn't too bad as there was just the 3 of us. Before going home I went to Asda to top up the car as petrol is so much cheaper there by about 6p a litre. That little detour only took 10 minutes and we were soon on our way. I remembered the way home properly and we had a good run back, getting home about 1.30. We emptied both cars and then Tony and I did a bottle bank run before dropping him off home. The car was packed so tightly that we didn't hear the bottles clank once on the way. Back home again and it was nearly 4pm by the time I could get to the shower after putting most of the stuff away.

Sunday 11th July - Brighton Kite Festival Day 2

We were all awake and up early. It was too hot to stay in the tent. We stayed there as long as we could but soon had to get up. Even though we were up early, it took a few coffees before we were ready to tackle breakfast. Soon after breakfast, I realised that it was too late to move a car off the field to get some shopping, and as Julie and Mike were off home later in the day, they weren't going shopping either. I wandered down to our fellow campers/caravan friends to see if anyone else was going to Asda later. Sue very kindly offered to take me later in the day, once she'd had a sleep as she'd done an early airport run. We decided that we would go later in the day, possibly after the kite workshop. It rained during the morning and then cleared up again. We continued the lazy morning, apart from Kat who had found lots of energy to practise Capoeira. Emily was learning too which was really sweet.

Spirit fly was about 5 o'clock again. I made sure that I was there ready and waiting. Batty left soon afterwards so that he could get to see Prue before end of visiting time. More and more friends left and it was soon time to cook dinner. Dinner preparation was a joint effort. Dave went to clear the washing up whilst everyone else helped prepare food. Tonight we had chinese chicken with pineapple, served with boiled new potatoes. It was a real team effort, and was enjoyed by everyone.

Soon after dinner, half of our party departed and there was just myself, Dave and Tony left. Once we had packed as much as we could, we grabbed our seats and some drinks and wandered down the bottom of the field as we had been invited to join the others that were staying overnight. It was a fun evening chatting until late.

Saturday 10th July 2010 - Kite Festival Day 1

The boys went out shopping after breakfast while we continued our lazy morning. Lisa and I had been wandering around the stalls when we had the call that they were on the way back so we met up with them at the bottom of the field to help back with the shopping. No cars are to move on site while the festival is on, between 10 and 5. It was lovely not to have to go shopping for a change. With the lack of refrigeration it is better to buy the food as we need it. The breakfast stuff survives the weekend as it starts out frozen and stays in the cool box. We've learnt now that frozen vegetables do not keep well.

Several of our number soon disappeared to help with the Children's kite workshop. Paul and I had a wander for a little while playing with the binoculars. We got an ice cream and watched the kites for a bit and then we went to see the owls. They were all hand reared from very young and quite happy being admired by all. Kat and I held one. He was very sweet. Their feathers are almost silky. We had a look at a fire engine and Paul had a sit in the cab. We waited for Dave to finish at the workshop and went to find the reel that we had reserved for my spirit kite. It was worth checking out the prices on the reels as they varied greatly from stall to stall. Dave bought a new kite, covering all the colours that he didn't already have in his new colourful shirt and shorts. Sometime later, he had to rescue it from the tree. We got photographic evidence to squeal to Collin with later.

I had a call to say that the spirit fly in the arena was to be at 5pm. I started to wander down there with Kat about quarter to and could see others already in the arena, so I had to run. It was a bit of a rush setting up and my lines were a bit tied up. With help I soon got it into the air.

Lisa cooked dinner this evening. We had bolognaise wraps. Rice was also cooked to add to the wraps. It went down well, if a bit messy. After dinner, we wandered down to join the BBQ people as Simon had asked us to. Corinne got the award this year for all her hard work. It was soon time to get back to our camp and the girls went mad collecting lots of wood for the fire pit. Paul and Alfie helped break up the twigs which was funny as they were thinking they were really strong. We soon all settled down with more of Batty's cocktails and a variety of Purple Rain. There was 22 of us around the camp fire at one stage during the evening. More wood got added to the fire slowly, until the pyromaniac arrived and fed it everything we had. As if that wasn't annoying enough, some young muscle man (Andrew) was persuaded to dump the biggest half a tree stump he could manage into the middle. How it didn't break I'll never know. It certainly groaned under the extra weight. As our numbers dwindled, there was soon just Mick snoring. We didn't leave him there. Kat got given the job of waking him up and sending him off towards his tent.

Friday 9th July - Off to Brighton

Having got the food shopping at Farm Foods and Asda last night, I could concentrate on packing and getting ready. By the time I'd sorted out some paper work that needed doing and had my shower it was gone 10.30. It took ages to get the stuff packed into my car. I went round for Tony about 11.30. Seeing as I had said that I'd be round for him at 11, I was surprised that he still had to visit the shop! Never mind, we were soon ready to go. The journey was uneventful and we arrived at the time that the sat nav said that we would, about 1.30. The end of the journey was a bit scary where the usual route across the road to Stanmer Park was closed and we had to go up the hill and turn round but I soon worked it out.

When we arrived we sorted out the kitchen stuff and Tony had his tent to put up. Kevin and Linda set up quite close to us. They have had their new pup since yesterday and you would think she had been with them for ages. She looks so happy and settled. They've decided to call her Amber. Mike and Julie arrived too with Fiona, Paul and Alfie, Gaynor and Mick with Matthew and Caitlin. Terry and Irene joined us about 5 ish.

It was soon time to start cooking dinner. We had lemon and broccoli chicken. I chose this tonight as it was a recipe that I wanted to do and as Lisa wasn't with us and didn't like broccoli. I didn't know that Terry had a strong aversion to broccoli too. My assistant chef and I sorted him a separate lemon chicken portion. Served with rice, it was welcomed by all. We had a wander around the field after dinner to say hi to our fellow campers. Irene and I made quite serious headway into a box of wine. At one stage in the evening, she was feeling a little worse for wear and a little bit chilly. I suggested a run up the hill to wear off some alcohol and warm up a bit. She couldn't believe she went along with it and had the giggles! Sorry Irene, it worked for me!

Wednesday 7th July 2010

On checking my emails quite late in the afternoon, I found one that was from Laura asking if I could cover a Partylite show for her that evening. I let her know straight away that I would do it but did start to regret it soon after. It was on the Isle of Grain, about an hour's drive, I still had quite a bit of work to do, I wasn't sure that my kit was 100% ready to pick up, my car was low on petrol, I needed to eat and we were supposed to be going shopping for camp.

After work, I got to Tesco Petrol Station about 10 to 6, and also picked up a pasta salad bowl. Rushing home, I put Dave some dinner in the oven and told him when it would be ready. I managed to eat while getting ready, and got out again about 6.30.

I'm glad I went now. It was a really good night. The girls were all really lovely, and I'd even met a couple of them before at a show I went to with a friend for training last year. I'd not been up to the Isle of Grain before. I wonder if there's much up there to investigate? Apparently there is a Haven caravan site there.

Tuesday 6th July 2010 - Biscuits

Today I looked up the calories for my malted milk biscuit to see if it had less calories than my low fat biscuits. It has 44 compared to 58 per slice of my special ones. The website I found suggested some healthier alternatives that I might like to try instead to save calories. No one in the office was keen to try these. Who on earth would replace their lovely biscuit with their morning cuppa with a cabbage, lettuce, aubergine or spinach?

Monday 5th July 2010

Today at work, we were talking about not being able to burn tyres to get rid of them and looking up how they can be re-used. As well as using them in children's play areas, some people use them to make sandals. If you are into your designer stuff, would you only have Pirelli ones?

My new dress arrived this morning, via DHL. I only emailed them on Saturday afternoon with the alternative delivery address so I was pleased with them. I tried it on when I got home. I think it is possibly a bit too long and will need taking up. I tried it on with new black boots as they have got a platform sole and high heel. If I can find some shoes or sandals like this, it might not need any adjustment, as long as I can walk in them too. When I tried to take the boots off, I found that they were firmly stuck to my bare legs. I struggled for a while and then had to give in and ask Dan to help me remove them. He wasn't impressed being woken up by his silly mummy. They took some shifting! We nearly stuck me in the freezer. We didn't have a ruler so we used a kitchen spatula thing to try to free them. With a little bit of wriggling and tugging, I was free. It was just as well that Dan was home or I would have had to wear them to the training meeting but I don't think I could have driven in them.

I went to another Partylite meeting this evening, this time it was our Unit meeting in Sittingbourne. Two new girls came along. I hope we didn't scare them off.

Sunday 4th July - Partylite Training

Having set the alarm for 6.45am, I guess I was so worried about being up late that I was awake at 5 past 5. I did manage to get back to sleep, sort of! I got up at quarter to 7, and was in the car and on my way by 8pm. I got to Sam's on time, and arrived before Karen. Sam and I joined Karen and we set off for Middlesex. The journey was mostly uneventful and we arrived about 5 past 9. The meeting wasn't due to start until 11 so we had plenty of time to sit in the garden and enjoy the sun. We were disappointed to find out that there was no tea/coffee provided before the meeting.

We made our way to the Music room where the meeting was being held and we started on time. It was very good, informative and entertaining. The morning flew past and it was soon time for dinner. This was a buffet served outside under the gazebos. Dessert was lovely but a strange mixture of sickly chocolate cake and fruit. I had a slice of melon. We had to rush back to the afternoon session, where tea/coffee was being served as we went back to our seats. In the raffle draw, I got a pumpkin melt warmer, and I was lucky enough to buy a “Partridge in Pear Tree” for just £3. We had another fun afternoon training and we were soon finished and able to get on our way home. We had a good run back and I got home about 5. Dave was still out. I got some food out of the freezer defrosting, got changed and then it was time to go bowling.

I was trying to curve bowl and it didn't work out too well. I was below my average on all 3 games but I did show a bit of improvement.

Sunday 3rd July 2010

As I have a meeting in Middlesex tomorrow, Batty and I did our pre-bowl today in case I don't get back in time. I can't get to bowling on Monday as I will be at Unit Training Meeting. We had a good time and didn't do too bad. Just have to wait now until Monday to see how well our opponents get on. After bowling, we joined the smelly pond clearers at the pub for a lovely ploughman's lunch at the Kings Head, Shadoxhurst. It was still warm and we sat in the garden again. I had a pint of the Neame's Mild.

At Chris's we watched “Get Smart” and “D.E.B.S”. I hadn't seen Get Smart before. It was funny. We're going to try the spin off film one day. “D.E.B.S” is another of our favourite films that we have seen a few times.

Friday 2nd July 2010 - Appledore Walk

Just before lunch time today we had a power cut. I got my filing done. About 2 pm, we didn't know if it would come back on again and as the offices were getting hotter, we were told that we could go home. Unfortunately, I didn't run fast enough. The power came back on and I stayed until 5. We did get icecreams though. There were only about 20 of us left. I was on my diet again today, much the same as yesterday. A different note appeared on the fridge this afternoon. “Standing on one leg hopping about increases the risk of falling over. Please be careful”. As there were less people in the office, the mystery note leaver might well be found out.

After work we went for a walk in Appledore. We were able to get away before 6pm. The plan originally was just to walk along the canal and back again but the navigator found us a circular route up into Stone in Oxney. By the Royal Military Canal we saw a slow worm, some wood peckers and a very strange fruit tree. The fruit looked like black berries but this was definitely a tree and not a bush. We soon found a place to cross the road and went up the hill into Stone In Oxney. At the top, we found the foot path through the farm, shouted “orses” at the beasts there. The horses came to say hello. We headed up for the church and followed the road and stopped at the “pink” pub, the Crown. We had beer and crisps sitting in their lovely beer garden. It looked like it had all been decorated out recently. Apparently it re-opened in April 2009 after being closed for 3 years. We got an evening menu before we left in case we wanted to go back again. They recommended a phone call to check before turning up mob handed. A short walk on from here, and we found the next pub, The Ferry Inn. We sat in the garden again. Someone came up to say hello to me. We had a chat. It was the voice that I recognised most but it was half an hour later when we had left the pub that I remembered her name. I used to work with her years ago when she was at Planit. I wonder if she remembered my name straight away? Usually I'm really good with names, etc. We followed part of the Saxon Shore Way and soon got back to the car, ignoring the 3rd pub.

We got home soon after 9. The temperature had only dropped to 22 degrees, from 29 when we started our walk. I didn't even need my jacket all evening. It was a lovely walk and we'll probably do it again one day.

Thursday 1st July 2010

Day 2 of the diet. Special K for breakfast. I didn't drink as much water today as I should have done. Mid morning I had a low calorie snack with my tea. For lunch, another bowl of Special K. The banana and apricot one is really good. When I went for a walk at lunch time, I was picking and eating the cherries as I went. There are trees along the whole road down to the lake. During the afternoon, I munched on carrots and had another low calorie snack.

In the morning, the milk ran out while I was making my tea. I decided to tackle changing it on my own. I had to undo the box to find the spout thing. Tracy joined me. We wrestled with it together and then noticed that the box was leaking. I got milk dripped down my dress. When I told the girls later, Glynis put a warning note on it: “Box may leak when removed”. Later in the day, a note appeared on the fridge: “If you pull the handle, the door will open!” We haven't found the funny culprit yet!

This evening, I was invited to Heather and Andy's to meet baby Michael Andrew. He makes his Moses basket look enormous at the moment. We chatted and watched him for a while as he was still asleep and looking like he was dreaming. They pull some of the cutest faces when they are sleeping. When he woke up, I got to have a cuddle. He was also pulling some cute little faces while he was being cuddled too. He has lots of lovely black hair and deep blue eyes. It's so easy to forget that they start out so small. When it was time for his nappy change, I found the feet before they were wrapped back into the baby suit. When I left he was having his milk.

We didn't exactly eat healthy. Mr Brain's faggots (probably not on the Special K recommended meal suggestion list), mash potato (low fat margarine of course), sprouts and peas. It was good though and I'm not hungry... yet! I was planning on staying away from the alcohol but I had a small glass of port. It's Dave's fault!! At least he has eaten all of the smelly Camembert now that has been stinking our fridge out for ages. We watched “Underworld: Rise of the Lycans”. I've seen it a few times but Dave hadn't. I then watched “Knowing” that I hadn't seen before. It was exciting. Another Nicholas Cage film to add to my collection one day. I might have to suggest it as one that we could watch at Chris's too.

Wednesday 30th June 2010

Diet Day 1, Special K and a cup of tea. During the morning I had a piece of birthday cake but only half the size that I'd usually have. Can't say no to Jeannine's cakes. For dinner I had the Special K again and munched carrots for the afternoon. I also had a low calorie snack. The guidelines say that
I don't think it's going to work with snacks of marmite, butter and bread, even if the butter is “light”.

At archaeology club tonight, we met in Lenham Square for 7 and then drove up to Wychling church. There was 22 of us tonight so quite a good turn out. Paula, who lives in Wychling, has been doing some digging to try to find the lost village. They found evidence of a dew pond and then further into the undergrowth, with a tree in the middle, they've been excavating another area and trying to make sense of what they think could be a dwelling. Then we went for a walk around the wood. I found a flint that feels like it was worked. It fits my hand very well.

This evening I found “While You Were Sleeping” film was on Sky 2. I'd forgotten how annoying it is watching a film with adverts but I suppose that time for drink breaks. I haven't seen it for ages and I had forgotten how good it was. I'm surprised it's not in my collection.

Monday 28th June 2010

It seemed that I couldn't get away from football talk today. When I flicked between the two breakfast shows it was football reviews and when I went into the kitchen at work to make a cuppa, more football talk, and even Dave's blog....but possibly for different reasons. I guess it will soon be forgotten.

We didn't do very well at bowling this evening. We lost 8-0. It was close though but we seemed to be playing to the same pace as the other team. If we had got our last game score in one of the first games, we might have got some points. We are now in 4th place. Only 2 points behind 3rd though and we are playing against that team next week.

I've ordered my dress for the conference gala dinner now from Ebay. I got it from the same place as last year and I've emailed them my measurements. Hopefully they will make the necessary adjustments before mailing it so that I don't have to, especially the length. Last year's dress was perfect. I'm a bit concerned that the measurements on this one said 12 L... I wonder if that means “long” and they are unable to shorten it. We'll see.

Sunday 27th June 2010 - Out and About

I had breakfast in the garden again as it was so hot already. During the morning we set off for Marden to go to the Air Ambulance Open Day, stopping on the way at a pond shop to get stock up on more fish food. There was something wrong with the pricing in the shop. On a big sign it said buy two, get one free. So at £6.70 a bag we picked up 3 bags. When we got to the till the assistant tried to charge us £15 for 2 bags and then £6.70 for an extra one. We had to point out the big sign that had the offer that we wanted. Then she rung them through the till at £15 instead of £6.70 x 2, so we got an even better bargain.

At the Air Ambulance Centre, Dave bought me a jigsaw puzzle and a leather book mark. We saw the real Chitty Chitty Bang Bang. It is a beautiful classic car. There were other lovely old cars there too but nothing compares to this. When we got back to the car, the thermometer said it was 34 degrees.

On the way to Teston, we stopped at a lovely pub in West Farleigh, The Tickled Trout. It was very welcoming and the food was good. The Tiger beer was served in Tiger glasses, even my half pint. I had a lovely ham and cheese ploughman's. We went on to the dog show at Teston. We had a lovely ice cream and a wander around the stalls. I think we had missed the main attractions. The field looked quite strange with gazebos and little doggy tents in the main part of the field and nothing much around the edges.

We then went to another Aquatics shop. There was also a farm shop here. They had lots of lovely fish. The Koi, Sturgeon, etc outside, marine and tropical inside. As I wanted to go back via the A20 rather than the M20, we found ourselves near to Hobbycraft which is somewhere that I've wanted to go in for a while. So we stopped here. They even have the Bob Ross stuff that Dave can't get in Ashford any more and they also had stuffed animal kits which are difficult to find too. And a good jigsaw selection.

Back home again, I had another hour to soak up more sun in the garden before getting ready for bowling. It was so hot though that I moved my blanket into the shade and had a snooze.

When I got back from bowling, I sat in the garden until 10 pm reading my book. As it was getting darker I had to use the torch on my mobile to get the chapter finished.

Saturday 26th June 2010 - Solar Scope and Emily's party

I did a bit of housework and then got out into the garden as soon as I could. I started with breakfast and book by the pond. After breakfast, I dragged the picnic blanket out of the car with my hat, and settled down with iced coffee. I have had a Mythology book for years and decided I would read it from the beginning rather than just use it for reference. I have bravely, or stupidly, offered to do a talk at the astronomy club. I am interested in the mythology behind the stars names so I thought I'd read the book, make notes and then do selective research for a talk. Hopefully I will be able to put something together.

In the afternoon, Dave set up the solar scope. It was good. I soon worked out how to use it. I like the “twizzly” bits. If we ever get a proper telescope, I think I would enjoy it more if it had “twizzly” bits. I think I looked through it more than Dave did. I took some photos. They haven't come out very well. I got one on my phone, and edited and uploaded it on my phone. I have now checked it on line and it is very pink. I probably wouldn't have posted it if I had seen it on the PC first. The sun is not pink but is a beautiful orange. You can also see solar flares of the edges.

We went to Chippy and Sammy's for the evening as it is Emily's 18 month birthday. As well as all of the lovely nibbly bits, Chippy had made a lovely beef stew. There was also profiteroles and apple pie. I took a bottle of wine along and had the last glass at home when we watched Dr Who. I liked Dr Who but I don't think Dave was impressed. That's the last Dr Who until Christmas. I'm still shocked that I've finished a bottle of “real” wine. Lambrini, that I was drinking at Teston, doesn't count.

An observation from Kat... if Dan has been home then the music channel is on when the TV is switched on. If Dave was the last one watching TV then Cartoon Network is on!

Friday 25th June 2010 - Astronomy Club

After dinner this evening, we went to astronomy club. I got a lift there, the boys were so busy singing Christmas songs in competition with each other that they didn't hear their Sat Nav saying to turn left. Ooops. A quick turn around and we were soon there. Tonight was Steve's talk on Jupiter, after Drew's news of the month. Steve's talk was good. We learnt that even this gas giant has rings, and hopefully they will find out more on the Juno mission next year. After the break, as it was still too light outside to see any stars, Drew showed us what we might have been able to see had it not been dark using the club's favourite software, Stellarium; and what we might be able to see if we took the ground away! The joys of Stellarium. We looked at the summer triangle consisting of Vega, Deneb and Altair, amongst other things. One of the youngest members set up his new telescope in the car park before we left and we were able to see Venus.

Tuesday 22nd June 2010

The excitement at work today was at lunch time when it was noticed that there was a car parked into the back of another one. We were trying to work out why, if you crashed into a car, would you leave it there in place. Then the owner of the “innocent” car came out with a colleague and they pushed the other car back to the parking space it had rolled from! Oops! Some silly person had left the hand brake off. The stray car didn't want to stay back in it's place. The owner came out to apply the brake. We couldn't work out from our nosy office whether much damage was done.

This evening for dinner, I cooked toad in the hole. I didn't have any packets of batter mix left. What is the point of “packet batter mix” and just what is in it? All the real batter recipe requires is flour, egg and milk/water. If I remember rightly all you need for the other is the packet, an egg and water. The one I usually buy is only about 9p so I'm not sure what is cheapest either. I might still buy some more, just for convenience and in case I run out of plain flour!

I managed to clear my clothes out of Dave's wardrobe today... finally. He should be able to shut his wardrobe doors. I've now got more hanging on the outside of my wardrobe than ever before. I've also made use of a bit of space in another wardrobe that should soon have less and less in it. If I buy clothes at the moment, I'll buy a size 10 skirt so how come I can't get into size 10 skirts that I bought years ago. I think as the people of the world are getting bigger, the clothes manufacturers move the sizes up.

Monday 21st June 2010

I missed yesterday's blog, and so I had to think what did I do. I don't think I did a lot. I think Dave's blog covers most of it, apart from bowling in the evening. At bowling today we won 8-0 but that was probably because we were playing against the Ace Team and Helen wasn't there as she isn't well. Jim was playing quite well on his own but it's hard work playing with an absent player. We keep our 3rd place for another week and managed to close the gap by 2 points.... I dare say, it won't last!!

I'm watching Raising Helen. I didn't realise before but the young girl is in Heroes, the little boy is in The Cat and The Hat and the Pastor is in the film I watched on Saturday, My Big Fat Greek Wedding. Off to bed now, I'll have to record this to watch the end another time.

Saturday 19th June 2010 - Fancy Dress & Camping shopping

The original plan for today was to do some archery at the Batfarm. We have been keeping a check on the weather forecast all week and it was forecasting strong winds and showers so we decided to have a shopping day instead. Not a normal shopping day though. We started out at Kengate to sort out our costumes for a Tudor themed birthday party that we have been invited to in August. As neither of us are “normal” size we didn't want to leave it until too close to the date as we might have found that they weren't able to help us. The first dress that I tried on was beautiful but, as was pointed out to me by one of the girls there, it did look very big on me. I was also having trouble getting the skirt bit to stay tied up. We found a couple of smaller dresses to try. One was too tight and although I got it zipped up, I felt that if I was trying to move about in it all day it would have ripped. I also tried on a gold one but Dave thought another red one looked better. This red one had a matching “Anne Boleyn” style head dress but Dave thought that one looked silly. So we have opted for a ring headdress, a red and gold dress and a hooped petticoat. Now I just have to remember not to dye my hair a colour that clashes with the dress.

After dumping our cardboard recycling and broken gazebo at the tip, we then set off to the farm as we were going with the Bat. We set off to Johns Cross Camping Centre. We bought a few things here. They don't have as many tents set up here. I would guess that they stock more and most of them you would look at their website for. It is worth a visit though. On the way from here we found the Oak and Ivy pub. It was very nice but we had to wait a while for our food and I complained that my chips tasted like they had been sitting for while. The fish was lovely though. I think they were struggling as they had a wedding party they were trying to look after that wasn't due to arrive for another couple of hours. We would like to go back again one day to give them another chance. Dave and Batty's food was OK.

We found our way to Camping International afterwards in Gillingham. We had another look around the trailer tents again.... we can dream! When we got to the tents we found that all of the tents were being offered at 10%. We are glad that we waited a week now. In the camping shops today we bought: a table; a cooker; a 2 seat bench; a BIG kettle; some BIG tent pegs; a big sleeping bag, pillow and fishing stool for himself; and a tent. Our tent even has a carpet. I talked Batty out of buying the huge fishing bed yet as he would also have to upgrade his tent at the same time.