Saturday 30th October - Lenham Court Dig and Shadoxhurst

After an early lunch, we packed our boots and digging buckets and set off for Lenham. Today's dig was at Lenham Court. The group had been invited to dig up their front lawn as they suspected there had been an earlier house on the site. Resistivity was promising so several test pits have been opened. It is looking good. We were given a hole to “play” in. Dave soon got bored and laid down for a nap. I think we found a round wall but the surrounding chalk and flints were hard to dig. I found a post hole too with a very defined shape. It can't have been that old though as it still had the wood rotting in it. The fragments have been kept in case they get chance to date it.

I had texts late from Katrina last night. Her trip to London had been called off. So she was free to come to Shadoxhurst with us. I went round to pick her up so that she was here with us when our lifts arrived. Back home, mulled wine made and introductions done, we set off for Shadoxhurst. We arrived quite early. There was lots of winning of plastic rubbish and cuddly toys from the stalls and the customary rabbit ears to be had. We also went to the BBQ stall where they sell burgers and hot dogs at very reasonable prices. Drinking our bottled beer and mulled wine by the fire while we waited for the fireworks to start. Katrina wasn't impressed with drinking beer. We were joined by friends from the astronomy club. The fireworks were good for a local display. We like the Shadoxhurst fireworks evening very much. This used to be the first one of the year that we'd go to but this year we'd already been to Eastbourne and Hastings.

When we got home, Katrina and I went over to the shop and she bought some bottles of Australian wine. Jose and Batty stayed too and us girls were drinking wine until very late. Jose and I took Katrina home when it was time to go. We'd had a lovely evening catching up and learning about life in Oz. Did you know they don't have wellington boots, they are known as gum boots, and Candy Floss is known as Fairy Floss.

Friday 29th October 2011

Another busy end of month but less stressful than recent times. We have done a record number of sales this month. We haven't seen sales like this since before the recession. From Monday, it is the start of our new financial year and we are changing the company name again. I was helping out a customer the other day and he was concerned that we change our company name so often. He says he has never dealt with another company like it. It doesn't breed confidence in us. At least our branding is staying the same...... for now!

I had been looking forward to meeting up with my friend, Katrina after work for dinner. Unfortunately she was unwell and had to cancel. So I worked on until too late again and had a rush to grab something to eat and get round to Christine's for the card party. Christine had invited us too early but we had a drink and a chat while the lady set up and she was ready to start at 8. I know I have a lot of stuff when I do my candle parties but she seemed to have more! She gave a brief talk and gave us the catalogues. We made our selections and could look through the cards she had on the stands too. I've ordered another 10 for my card box and some Christmas cards. I love Phoenix cards. Some felt that the lady was a bit pushy. I hope I don't come over like that when I do my parties. What I also felt was wrong was that she had her shoes on. I always check with the hostess if they are a “shoes off” house, and Christine's definitely is. The orders that Christine got came to £275 and 10% of this will be donated to the Pilgrim's Hospice. There was also a raffle and a cake sale. Not sure how much that raised too. I might have to try a fund raising party.

Thursday 28th October 2011

Another busy day at work. I was hoping that I would be able to meet up with my old friend, Katrina this evening. We are fast running out of time before she moves on to London on Saturday and then onto Europe before going back to Oz. We managed to chat this evening and have planned to meet up after work tomorrow for dinner, before I go to Christine's card party. Hopefully she will be able to come with me. I have wrestled some more with the new DVD player and found some strange arabic (?) news recorded on the hard drive which I have now deleted. I haven't quite worked out how to copy direct to the Hard Drive yet, but getting there slowly. I have now downloaded the 100 pages manual so this should help, hopefully. This evening, we watched Harry Potter and the Half Blood Prince. Dave slept through the second part.

Wednesday 27th October – Archaeology Club

After a busy day at work, I got home and cooked scrambled egg and beans on toast. We needed something quick as we were off to Lenham for Archaeology Club. Chippy picked us up and we arrived just in time for the start despite getting stuck in the traffic near Matalan again. After Lesley's introduction, Paula gave a talk on the dig up at Wychling church. I was interested even if the boys either side of me were falling asleep. We visited the Dew Pond and the site up at Wychling Church on one of our evening walks in the summer. The woods are very dense and it is very difficult to track what could have been an Iron Age settlement. Completely by chance this week too they have found a Roman road and they are very excited about that. I guess Tim's divining sticks have been there testing this out. I have spent more time wrestling with the new DVD recorder. I think I have it worked out a bit better now. I am now able to play back in widescreen.

Thursday 14th October - TV Day

A day off work with nothing planned except maybe a bit of sorting out. Days off like this are perfect for wasting in front of the TV. I watched a bit of Queer Eye for a Straight Guy UK, then the film Hotel for Dogs, then the film Get Smart and found the classic Bedknobs and Broomsticks. Checking on IMDB doing a bit of where are they now? Are they still alive? The two young boys in the film only ever did the one film.

Saturday 9th October – Eastbourne

First job of the day this morning was to replace the bathroom carpet with the left over bit from the lobby the other day. This went OK apart from a bit of squiffy cutting by my assistant but it won't notice now it's tucked close up to the bath.

Soon we were all ready to set off for Eastbourne for our annual trip for Corinne's birthday. We went in two cars. 5 up in Batty's car with Chippy and Emily following. Once parked up, we went to the pub first, The Buccaneer, for a quick drink. They always have a good beer selection there. It was soon time to wander over the road to the ice cream shop and meet up with everyone else. Their ice creams are really good and it is always difficult to choose one. Emily enjoyed her cup of ice cream. After ice creams, we had a slow wander down to the sea front to walk along to the pier. We had a play down at the water's edge. At the pier, we got chips. “Special” Dave was very embarrassing, having his photo taken with a special police officer and asking her if she wanted a chip several times, and a couple who were dressed up for the parade. We let Charlotte look after “special” Dave, if only she could finish giggling. Kat was having a “Kat-in-a-hat” day including 3 separate hats. Her Dad's hat in the ice cream shop, and when we found another pub, the very nice firework guys let her borrow more hats.

We walked down to the sea front to make sure that we got a good place to watch the procession and fireworks from. We took over two long benches right on the sea front moving them to the front of the path so that we could sit and the normal people couldn't stand in front of us. We were joined by couple of friends who live relatively local. The procession went along the path below and they were quite difficult to see. Jack Sparrow character was good though. The fireworks were excellent. We will be extending our annual ice cream birthday trip to include the fireworks every year.

Friday 8th October 2010

After work, I went back to Matalan. Love that shop. Where else can you get pyjama top, and trousers, a top and 5 items of underwear for £22! Shame about the pyjama trousers though. I'd been careful to check the tag on the clothing matched the size on the hanger but I didn't think that they would be tagged wrong. The label inside says size 14. I'll have to go back again now. That'll be 3 times in a week. I don't go for ages and then go several times.

After dinner this evening, I found lots of Queer Eye for the Straight Guy UK to watch on the Sky+ box. There's one on each night at the moment that I have been recording. So I was up until 2am watching these.

Thursday 7th October 2010 - Scout Group AGM

Yesterday, I went to the outlet after work. As well as bra shopping, I also did some research for Christmas shopping while I was there and bought one more present. That's 2 sorted out now. Today's picture is the beautiful sunset over the roof of the outlet.

This evening, I was originally going to be doing a Partylite show but as that was cancelled I went to the Scout Group AGM instead. It was good to see some old friends again. Not so good to find out how ill some of them are. It was quite a poor turn out and we only just have enough committee members now to cast votes. I have been voted in as secretary again. There's hardly any work involved as there are just two meetings a year and the only job I have to do is type up the minutes. Not a lot has changed. The hall electrics have all been replaced. Next job will be to replace the cooker and the kitchen. The hall is in need of a coat of paint and a bit of repair. Some of the parents have come volunteered already for this. Wonder if it will be done by the next meeting which is likely to be in 6 months time?

Tuesday 5th October 2010 - Hastings Pier Fire

I was dragged out from under the duvet when the phone was ringing. I thought it was much too early for Tony who calls about 8.30. It was Matt asking if I'd heard/seen the news. Hastings Pier was on fire. I was more upset about this than the news about Norman Wisdom passing away yesterday. Hastings Pier is part of the Hastings heritage. Apparently it's been closed since 2006 and funds have been made available to renovate it. Now it's so badly damaged it will need more than renovation..... we'll see!! Two teenagers have been arrested on suspicion of arson. The amount of damage done I doubt that two youngsters could have done it alone.

At lunch time I went to Matalan with Kat. She got some jeans and a few other bits. I found some perfect jars for Chippy's new flat. It was quite embarrassing though when Kat dropped and smashed one on the floor while we were still shopping. It's much safer to get a trolley or basket!

Sunday 3rd October 2010

Another lazy morning spent in front of the computer and the TV. Some might say “wasted” but that's their opinion! Dave had vanished early to help with moving furniture. I set myself up in the peace and quiet of the front room and watched Penelope film that I had recorded recently. Still love it and I've seen it about 3 times now. I've recorded it on to DVD to send to my niece, Fiona. I had also recorded Monsters Vs Aliens as one of our friends calls her “Ginormica” as she is getting very tall. She hadn't seen the film so I had recorded this on to disk and had enough room left to put another short film on.

When Dave got home, we had lunch and then went shopping in Wilkinsons. I think I will be going back there to do some Christmas shopping as I saw lots of good things. Just need to make a few decisions and not leave it until end of November and December like I have done the last few years, and not go with Dave. He's always keen to get in and out as quickly as possible. I mainly wanted somewhere that sold pens to write on to DVDs. Our shopping soon grew to a new bowl for the kitchen, some cleaning wipes, highlighter pens and some light bulbs. I don't think it's possible to go into Wilkinson's for just one item, unless you go there a lot.

At bowling this evening, we had arranged to pre-bowl with our opponents as I have a meeting tomorrow. It was good fun, and even better that we won 8-0. We deserved to win the first game but the other two games were not so good. The other team were also having similar bad luck. We really didn't expect such a victory as we were playing against the team that was in second place behind us. Now we have opened up our lead which is very good.

Saturday 2nd October 2010 – Moving boxes

I was in bed before midnight last night which is highly unusual for me. I must be ill!! My throat feels very sore. Guess it was too much to ask for me to avoid all of the bugs going around at work. I spent the morning on my computer and getting a couple of loads of washing done. I've now got a few bits listed on Ebay. Still lots more to go.

When Dave came home from work, we had some lunch and went round to help Chippy moving to his new flat. We got most of the boxes and some of the furniture into the van and 4 cars. Sophie was wandering around wondering what was going on. I led the convoy to the new place. We didn't realise when we'd agreed to help that we had so many stairs to navigate. Even if it was 20 floors, we would still have been there. I suppose then there would have to be a lift. After about 5 trips we were all puffing. We soon had the cars emptied and the second van load of furniture done, with a minor accident with Kat getting a bump on the head from an errant table. We unpacked stuff to the kitchen with a cheer every time we emptied a box. Once we had finished there, Dave and I went to Farmfoods as we didn't have any eggs. Expensive eggs! Some £28 later.

After unpacking the shopping and getting in the wet washing off the line, I picked up a soggy Chippy to take back to his house. When I got back I cooked our mushroom omelettes. They worked much better this time. I think the trick is to get the oil very hot and fry the extras in the pan first and then pour on the eggs. It didn't end up like scrambled egg like it usually does.

At Chris's this evening, we watched The Dark Knight. Heath Ledger played the Joker in this Batman film. It was one of his final films. Such a great loss to the film world. He was such a talented actor. Christian Bale was the sexy Batman in this film. Then we watched the Tuxedo. One of my favourite Jackie Chan films.

Sunday 26th September – Sound Mirrors

While Dave was out I was checking Facebook as usual while eating my breakfast and noticed an advert on the side about local walks run by the Romney Marsh Countryside Project. As we were looking for something to do later, I clicked on this and found information about a walk taking part today in Dungeness to the Sound Mirrors Walk at Lade Pit. Having seen the sound mirror further along the coast when we went for our walk in August, I was interested to find out more about these anyway. I phoned to check that it wasn't cancelled as the weather didn't look good. I was told that it takes a lot to stop the walks taking place.

When we arrived at the car park, it was blowing a gale and raining hard. We sat in the car for a while. Dave fell asleep. As more and more people arrived, I got out of the car to find out what was going on. I was given an information leaflet about the mirrors. Then I had to wake himself and persuade him to join in. He was very sceptical about the whole thing and was making sulky comments as we set out along the road. He soon cheered up if only to humour me When we got through the first gate, there was a talk by the guy leading the walk introducing us to the expert, Richard Newton Scarth. He is writer of a book – Echoes from the Sky. This book is very rare if you happen to find one or even have one. There are two currently available on Amazon for £59.99 and £99.99. The mirrors are on an island, connected by a locked swing bridge on a private gravel workings (owned by CEMEX). It took everyone ages to get through the single file bridge.

He took us round each of the mirrors and, from the top of a small step ladder to talk to everyone, he gave us details of each of them, starting with the smallest one at 20 feet, the next one at 30 feet and the biggest one at 200 feet. He was a very good speaker. We are hoping to go back again next year. I know there are others that would enjoy it too.

We took lots of pictures – mine can be seen here:

For full information, the best website I found is:

Saturday 25th September, Family Reunion

Today we were meeting up at St Leonards Hotel, Ringwood. We had planned to leave at 8.30 but it was nearer 9 by the time we got away. When we left the mileage was showing as 102 miles to next fill up but we were still on 100 miles to go when we got to M25. I love my car. It averaged 45 mpg today.

We were the first to arrive so we set up in the bar area enjoying a local brew. Richard and Tony joined us. As the family were arriving, we played the usual game of who are you. We had been put on a table with Peter and his girl friend Leona, Tyra and James. Peter's little girl Amelia abandoned us to sit with her cousin, Ruby. Peter is Lionel and Mary's son.... and that's about as far as we got with remembering. Later doing introductions around a table there was Mary, Meryl, Maurine, Marion and Molly. Didn't realise that we had so many M's in the family! After dinner the boys were playing paper aeroplanes with everyone's place cards. One ended up in the rafters, as did one of the younger members of the family when he somehow climbed up to rescue a helium balloon.

The journey back was just as easy going, Dave was asleep before we got to the M27 and slept to Clacket Lane Services. The only slow bit was as soon as we left the M3 and joined the M25, we came to a stop. Luckily it soon started moving again.

I was back in time to go to Chris's. The films tonight were “In Bruges” and “Equilibrium”. Both were good films. Not sure if we worked out a loose connection like we usually do.

In Bruges is a 2008 British/Irish black comedy starring Brendan Gleeson, Colin Farrell and Ralph Fiennes. I think Dave would like it as it's not American.

Equilibrium is a 2002 American Science Fiction film that stars Christian Bale. In a futuristic world, they have eliminated war by suppressing emotions: books, art and music are strictly forbidden and feeling is a crime punishable by death. Cleric John Preston (Bale) is a top ranking government agent responsible for destroying those who resist the rules. When he misses a dose of the mind-altering drug that hinders emotion, Preston, who has been trained to enforce the strict laws of the new regime, suddenly becomes the only person capable of overthrowing it.

Sunday 19th September

When we got up the boys had gone fishing and the acquired sign had disappeared back from where it came. Hopefully it wasn't missed. We had a quiet morning recovering from the night before.

We went for our Sunday visit to Lidl's and then on to the pond where the boys had been fishing earlier. I'd not been there before and we stopped off there while we were out for a drive. I scoffed a few blackberries on the way. We had a walk around the pond and Dave told me all about how it had been cleaned up and what might be a good idea to make it better for fishing. Making sure the herons don't come back might be a good idea to make the fishing better!

We went from there on to Orleston Woods for a walk. It's not very big to walk around, not like Kings Wood, but it is good for a short stroll. Last time we went we saw lots of butterflies. This time we found lizards. They were quite well camouflaged on a log. It would have been so easy to miss them. They didn't seem to bothered about us watching them as long as we didn't get too close.

Saturday 18th September - Martin's Birthday

I spent the first part of the morning trying to decide what to do with my car. Dan said that he wouldn't be happy trying to fix it. If it was just the alternator belt, I thought it might be easy enough. I checked that I could get a replacement from Beaver Batteries. They assured me that I could. I then went out to check the car. Matt came past while I was checking. I think the belt was possibly still there, hanging off. One of the cogs had come loose and was chipped probably when it moved. I then phoned my favourite garage, D & D Autos. If I could get the car there before they shut, they would sort it out for me on Monday. I then had to phone the breakdown company again to get the car transferred the garage. This was also part of my breakdown policy via my bank. It was a massive American truck from Ashford Recovery that came this time. It was left hand drive and it was strange to sit on the right of such a huge vehicle. I left the car in their capable hands and Dave came to pick me up.

In the evening, we went to Martin's surprise birthday party at the Queens Head in Kingsnorth. We all arrived early to make sure that we could hide up without being seen. The boys managed to get him in through the front entrance so that he didn't see our cars. He was dragged there on the pretence of it being just the role playing gang going out for a drink. I guess he suspected something was up but not sure if he would have expected all of his friends to be there and all of his family. Martin's mum had done a brilliant job with the food. For the most of the evening it was very much the family on one side of the room and our lot on the other. Martin was very chuffed with his presents, especially the PS3. He was close to tears. Bless. There were lots of laughs when a few o our silly friends were swallowing the helium from the balloons and reciting poems, etc. We tried to mix up the two groups with a few games. I asked Matt to organise musical chairs, seeing as he did a brilliant job at the Christmas party at the Scout Hall some years ago. It was funny. Some people get so serious about it! It was soon time to go home. A great time was had by all. When we got home a sign from the pub advertising their curry nights and quiz nights was in our front room! Wonder how that got there!