Saturday, 30 September 2006

The Big Stamp Show....

ALLY PALLY DAY!!! Got a budget of £150 and wanted to shop lots!! :)

It took us about 1 hour (?) to get to Wood Green to switch to the coach to Alexandra Palace - but of course that coach just left when we arrived ... and none turned up for about 20 mins. We had one of the standard buses leaving already but decided to get the next one coming around if the coach didn't turn up (which it didn't).

Alexandra Palace is an amazing building! Shame I didn't have enough time to look around (otherwise all the goodies would have gone! ;) ) but I definitely have to go back to have a closer look (Another reason to come back to visit Sharon!! ;) ). The foyer is absolutely stunning with the fountain and all the greenery!

As for "The Big Stamp Show" I was fairly disappointed by the products on offer. For a particular paper craft show I'd expected more, but suppose you cannot have everything (one day I am going to plan my holidays in the USA around a Craft Show, I tell you!). Went around a little to nose around what's on offer and got my first purchase (a Scottish map - slightly incorrect with Inverness being halfway down Loch Ness, but not that dramatic - from Dimension Fourth).

Sharon went out to meet some of her UKS Team members and I went out for a chat with them and then went back in for more shopping.

In the end I did spend my budget (well... I think £20 less) and got the following:

- Scotland Map stamp
- Sizzix & Ellison Catalogues (The Craft Bug)
- Wavey Photo Strip Die (long sizzlits - The Craft Bug)
- Christmas Set Sizzlits with Christmas Pud (The Craft Bug)
- Pumpkin Faces Ellison Thin Cuts (The Craft Bug)
- Thinkable Inkables Christmas
- Swirls Stamps (Banana Frog)
- Medallion Stamp Starter kit
- Japanese Fans Stamp
- Rob & Bob mini clipboards
- Herma Refills & mixed muted Brads
- 5 packs of Halloween buttons (Dress it up)

So yes, I got some things and did hold off with others, but I think I didn't get much from what I had on my shopping list really!!! Sharon was a very good girl!! She got a couple of stamp pads and I think in total she probably spend £45!!!

But yes, we were a little disappointed. But maybe the April one will be better?! I'm planning to get down to London and then fly from there to Frankfurt, but will have to double check this with Doug.

We left Alexandra Palace at around 3pm and then had a nice trip home, eating Belgian chocs we bought at a little stall at Ally Pally! :)

Graeme had bought tiles for the bathroom (really wonder how someone can be allowed to get a flat with THAT bathroom on the renting market!!!) and did his bid to do some DIY which - in my eyes - the Landlord should be paying for - both for the tiles & working hours!!! The bathroom definitely looks better now.

Dinner was yummie again - this time Spaghetti Carbonara and salad. But then - I know that both Graeme and Sharon are good cooks! :)

With a few glasses of wine I surrendered and set up my own Sims on their PC. A snazzy DH with kilt and me being a redhead. LOL. Not tempted to get SIMS2 myself yet though ... I know what happened when I had Sims 1 installed on my PC!!!

Friday, 29 September 2006

Day 1 of my "holiday" :)

First day in London - and Sharon and I decided to go to the British Museum after a loooong lie in and bit slumping about with breakfast etc. :) On the way to the museum we got past Sharon's nearest Stamp Shop ... they had lots of nice stamps and accessories, but I held back with purchases due to our trip to Ally Pally tomorrow! :)

The Museum was great as usual. Sharon showed me the "new" library - I am sure it wasn't there when I visited it in 1998/1999. Also went to the special exhibition about "Taboo in the Pacific" which was very interesting. I wanted to see the mummies but somehow we didn't find them so we decided to go for lunch and on the search for Sharon's brushes. Had a very nice plain Potato with Cheese (Thanks Sharon!!!) and then went searching for paint brushes (cheapy ones for Sharon to use with the H2Os) and anatomy/physiology software for me. As this took longer than we had planned (and I still don't have any software but got the October issue of Creating Keepsakes!!!) we decided against going back to the British Museum and instead went food shopping and back to the flat.

Graeme and Sharon whipped up a yummie curry for me (Sharon said we'd have food that Doug doesn't like) and a nice wine as well. And then we talked again - this time about what we're going to look for at Alexandra Palace and did disappear into the respective beds again around midnight!!

I'm in the Big City!!! :)

Arrived save and sound in London - and of course totally forgot how horrible it is to travel with big luggage in the Big City!!! Steps and some of the tube stations and then a couple of steps plus the escalators. TONS of people everyday, handling the tube fares (pretty sure they've gone up since I left for good in May 1999!!). Ticket machines that don't give you change ... the whole lot. But HEY! I made it safe and sound through Kings Cross to the tube station where I stood in line for about 15 mins just to see the sign coming up that it only takes coins - and the next one in line the same! Both had a funny note on them.... "This machine does not accept Scottish Notes" ... now that's a bit harsh, isn't it?? LOL.

Once I got my ticket at the desk I promptly went to the wrong direction of the Piccadilly line (and could have SWORN I went to the West Bound platform!!!) so changed at Caledonian Road (now that's really a sign, isn't it??? ;) ) and finally got to the right station to meet Sharon. Had a nice cuppa tea at one of the little cafe's and a quick read of my Cross Stitch mags.

We had a bit blether all evening through, got Pizza once Graeme got home and the talking went on until midnight. Well... we had a lot to catch up.. online and even phone calls are just not the same!!!

Thursday, 28 September 2006

Train Musings

"I'm on my way...."

Well, here I am on my train to London .... just stopping at Newcastle. Unfortunately, GNER wants £2 odd from me for 30 mins WiFi connection, so I won't go online just yet.

Can't imagine I am only now going back to visit London - not taking into account the flight connections at Stanstead or my module 6 last year as it wasn't really a "visit". I haven't been to the capital of UK since I left it in May 1999. Friends have been complaining that I have been visiting them more often when I was living in Germany than now that I am up in Scotland. Scary thought, isn't it?!

On my way to Waverley this morning I was thinking about my sister - she's turning 40 (!!!) this year and I hope that we will be visiting her in December for a quick trip. Unfortunately, we won't be able to go to her birthday party because of the pre-treatment scan for IVF which will be around her birthday as it seems.

Irony of life with me and my sister.... she's a single mum (my nephew is turning 9 in January) and I think she's jealous of me being married in a way. She's not been actively looking for "Mr Right" since she had my nephew, but somehow he doesn't turn up in her life by accident either. I think she's probably so used to be just a "unit" with my nephew that any outsider may find it very hard to get into her life.

On the other hand it's me - married for 5 years now .... but nae chance of a child the natural way. Gosh, life can be unfair, can't it??? Yes, I am a bit jealous of my sis for having a child (by accident), but just a bit. Totally annoyed with all the neds who seem to be breeding like rabbits though!!! Grrrrr!!!

Not sure what brought that on, probably the thinking that it all goes for the 2.5th cycle in December (once ACU can make up their mind ... they're not sure yet whether I am to start injecting in December or January!!!).
Now in Durham - so glad I got free electric point for my notepad at least! ... Twice to England in 2 weeks ... what have I done to deserve this???!?! LOL. And if I'd follow the invite from a couple of the BAFL board members then I'd be going back to Don Valley next weekend as well!!! AAAAAARGH!! But I told Doug already that I won't be going (as much as I'm tempted after BritBowl), I really have to catch up with studying.

Talking of which ... I am going to hit the books for a while now.

Wednesday, 27 September 2006

Nearly there...

Haven't done any studying today ... but did some scrapping.

Still have to do some bits and bobs around the house before retiring to the bedroom and watching TV.

Can't wait to see Sharon again!!! :) Train leaves at 11am so I am probably leaving house at 9:30am. Means I can take the bus with DH for a bit at least.

Counting down to London...

Got up this morning at 8am to get stuff done ... and have been doing Wolves registration things and now am getting some scrapping done ... wahey!! :) Been a long time! :)

Not sure if I am able to do any studying today though ... still have household chores to do (yuk) but probably will try to fit in at least 2 hours this afternoon. NO CINEMA tonight!!

Well... gotta dash and go through my "to-do" list!! :)

Still totally zonked

... and exhausted and tired etc.

The weekend was really busy and hectic and exhausting and draining ... but it still was great!!! :)

We got back yesterday at 6:45pm and all I could do was flop on the couch, order a chinese with DH and watch some SKY TV and then fall into bed.

Today I haven't studied at all and didn't get any scrapping done either. I have been cleaning the house a bit - even though we haven't been contacted by our visitor yet... and then met DH at the cinema to watch "The Sentinel" which was a very good film really! :)

Have been doing Wolves stuff since I returned home (8:45pm) and now am getting really tired.

Hope to be able to do some studying and scrapping tomorrow but still have lots of things to do before I leave on Thursday to go to London!!

Friday, 22 September 2006

Trip down to Sheffield



What a trip down!!! We left Edinburgh at 11am and had a fairly nice trip down to Eyemouth, where we dropped off DVDs for a friend of the family who's bedridden just now. Next stop was Alnwick for lunch, but we decided not to visit the gardens because the weather looked like rain and we didn't have enough time really. I told DH I'd rather have him drive relaxed (well... as much as that works!) to Sheffield instead of having him ranting about drivers again etc. Still managed to take a couple of photos of the Treehouse!! :)

And what a good decision the short stop only was! We didn't even get to Newcastle when the rain began - bucketing down!!! And we had Friday afternoon traffic in Newcastle as well ... which seemed to be the standard theme for the whole trip on the A1/M1 ... very bad rain and slow moving/stationary traffic!!! All in all our 4.5 hour trip took us 6 hours in total due to the traffic!!!

We arrived at 7pm at the hotel - which didn't have its own parking, so we decided we'd have to get up early to move the car to avoid paying (true Scots there... LOL).

I'm totally knackered, have taken 4 Co-codamol throughout the day because of thimping headache!! :( Sent DH off to meet with the other BAFL board members to discuss things. Found out that we have RTL on our telly (that's IBIS for you!! ;) ) so will watch some German TV. WiFi doesn't work in our room unfortunately, so will have to post my blog entries once we're back home.

Oh - totally forgot - my boss phoned me when we just nearing Newcastle. She's contacted HR to find out what happened. She did send everything to the correct address, which was the "leavers" information which didn't go directly to our local HR but to the head office of the company. They messed up. My holiday pay will be paid with the next pay day (i.e. 20th October). Will have to look carefully at the payslip as DH suspects they will use wrong taxation etc for it. And they should really pay it earlier as it was their blinking fault!!!! What an incompetent company have I been working for????!!!!

Thursday, 21 September 2006

Just another drop ....

I received my last payslip on Tuesday - and they have left out my 5 days holidays I was supposed to get paid as I never took them.... trying to get in touch with my boss today but guess what - cannot get anywhere. Will phone team phone number in a bit!! I thought we had settled everything when we did the paperwork on my last day but HR informed me they were never told about those 5 days .... ???!?!!? Not saying anything about my old company but it's getting a bit annoying now!!!

And then, just to top everything off - DH phoned me from his shopping trip that there's something wrong with the car - his dad's car, which we were supposed to use for our weekend in Sheffield (as per MIL - anything could happen with our little Peugeot!!!). Great! Can we please just have a breather?!?!?!

DH just phoned again, and apparently the car should be ok to drive all the way to Sheffield and back. The whole shebang has resulted in an annoyed DH who has lost yet another afternoon of his week off which he wanted to use to clear the spare bedroom as we have visitors coming next weekend (some extended family - another thing MIL has kinda arranged (with our consent, I hasten to add - as they are currently on yet another holiday!!!) and I am away from Thursday 28th until Monday 2nd!! GACK!!!

No word on the work front yet, but then - I wouldn't know where to put it in my plan anyway ... studying, tidying, getting the admin stuff ready for the Wolves Affiliation Game on 1st October AND also battling a cold that is just lurking but doesn't want to come out (and that's since Friday last week!!!!)... :( Studying? Well.. I try my best, but my brain doesn't seem to do anything, and DH doesn't understand this situation... GRRRRR!!! I WANT A HOLIDAY!!!

Well.. trying to phone work again and then off to my 3rd part of studying for today.

Wednesday, 20 September 2006

Have been using my new stamp...

Well... the one I purchased in August!! :) ) for the first time this week for Birthday card.

It's a stamp from the Heritage Rubber Stamp Co (Stamper's Grove). I love the stamp - I believe it's supposed to be Urquhart Castle, but I am not certain....

Definitely have to buy another anti-static bag at Ally Pally ... the embossing is getting a bit untidy (too much fingerprints etc.).

Will post a piccie later as Blogger seems to have problems uploading at the moment.

Sunday, 17 September 2006

Good old Encyclopedia Britannica!!!

Found some charts in there ... so I will be able to do some bits and bobs. Didn't want to search for Physiology bits as yet ... bit more complicated.

Well.. finally can leave the PC alone and watch "Little Women" (the one with Wynona Ryder) ... didn't realise until a week ago that Christian Bale is "Laurie" :D There you gooooo!!! :)

PS: Just for DH - I loved that version of "Little Woman" for a long time ... nothing to do with Christian Bale (LOL).

How hard can it be????

Mmmmh... trying to get some anatomy charts off the I-net for my notebook so I can study while on my trips to Sheffield and to London this month without having to carry all my heavy books with me ... but it seems to be a NO GO area?!?! You can BUY all that stuff but there's nothing for free?

Really have to brush up on my muscular system and the joints but the Tortora is a bit big to carry around (you can kill people by just opening it!!) and it also has lots of chapters that are of no interest for me really ....

Does anyone know of any charts or free anatomy/physiology software around? Any tips much appreciated!!!

Saturday, 16 September 2006

Slow...

I am an underachiever ....

Well... at the crop today I just wasn't with it ... didn't have photos with me and absolutely noooooo inspiration. Was thinking of doing Christmas cards ... didn't happen.

Between 10 -4 I have done 5 Christmas tags!!! That's all!!!! :( And went shopping for a bit.

Geesh, I really have to do something to get out of this loss of mojo again!!!


Used the Scalloped Tag Combo from Sizzix plus the See D's Christmas Set I got from QVC. Quite like the stamps... :)

Saturday, 9 September 2006

A bit over 1 week on

Today was supposed to be my lazy day …. But again that didn’t happen!! First of all I woke up with a stinking headache at 8am and then survived until 10am after putting an ice pack on my forehead.

Later I went downstairs to watch telly while DH was still sleeping … he got to bed very late/early after we had friends over yesterday to watch the NFL game (Dolphins @ Steelers) which lasted until 12:30am. I switched out the light at around 2am and DH must have been up until at least 2:30am. That’s why I let him sleep.

At 11:30am we were ready to go to the Farmers Market at Castle Street - that was the only thing I have been asking for our 5th anniversary … a nice Hog Sandwich and a lazy day. ( So we got our Hog Sandwiches, some super fresh strawberries and some yoghurt drinks which were yummy. Then we went to Lidl to get some more food in and after our shop we found some new toys…. A DLP Projector and a Notebook … those special Sunday only offers. And … well… HAPPY BIRTHDAY / MERRY CHRISTMAS DH (he got the projector) and ME (I got the notebook - which I am using to write this text just now!!! ( ). Very good value for the price.

Wednesday, 6 September 2006

Another birthday book...

Scrapping away since 21st August for my FIL's album for his 60th!! And I got a lot done ... 20 single LOs (Layouts) in total!! Not bad, eh?

Here are a couple of the LOs I've done for FIL. Used mainly HOTP Heritage paper & Heritage Cardstock (8x8), Prima Flowers (not sure which set though!), See D's alphabet stamps "Large Swirl Letters & Numbers", Tim Holtz Distress Inks and eyelets/brads from Dovecraft.



Wonder when I am going to scrap again for myself... ;) Next in line is a scrapbook for my friends for their wedding ... which was ... mmmmh... 2 years ago!!! :o !!! But fortunately they know about what's been going on in my life since 2004 really, so they haven't been nasty about the delay - and I am DETERMINED to get this gift album done in time for them!

Tuesday, 5 September 2006

Happy Birthday, Tom!

It's my FIL's birthday today - the real one! :)

We went to the Museum of Flight and also did the "Concorde Experience". That was a fab day, even though the museum doesn't look like much from the outside... like an abandoned military base, which it is after all, with several Hangars and other buildings... :)

It is amazing what a big plane the Concorde is and how small it is on the inside!! Not to mention the loos! :) When you had to get up and the "trolley dolly" came up the aisle you really got to know your fellow passengers better - bet you had to sit on their lap until the trolley had passed!!!

The other Hangars contained War planes in one and Commercial Planes in the other. The German plane (a Messerschmidt Me 163B-1a KOMET) looked more like a bath toy than a plane that could actually FLY!! :)

The first Hangar we visited had collectors planes - including helicopters and sea planes.






After spending a surprisingly long time at the Museum of Flight we returned to my inlaws for a bit and FIL opened his presents. He was really touched by my scrapbook and I think he had actually tears in his eyes. DH thinks the same but we cannot be certain. :)

For dinner we went to Jimmy Chungs, and I overdid it ... again. There's just something with all you can eat Chinese (specially Jimmy Chungs) that make me eat far too much! ;)

At some point fairly early on the lights went out and the "Happy Birthday" tape was played - FIL suspected that it would be for him... but it wasn't. We got him later on though with the "Happy Birthday" music ... LOL. I had that for my birthday last year, all because of DH and MIL. So I DEFINITELY won't go to JC for my birthday do! Embarassing, that's what it is!! ;)

My mum's away again...

...and I'm sad and glad at the same time. Bah, that sounds nasty ...!!! I like her being here, like visiting her, but this time I felt more obliged to entertain her (even though she never asks for any entertainment) ... and with the whole "working the notice" and big change in my life I think I was just a bit more on the grumpy side and getting more annoyed easily (and DH probably will agree with that ... just with one change .. "WAS???" :o) ).

Anyway, wasn't the easiest holiday we had, probably because I had more days off and still tried to get my FIL's scrapbook done ... and was/am yearning for a DAY OFF!! And of course I didn't get much of a break because of the translating etc. Ah well... "Hab Dich trotzdem lieb, Mutsch!"!!!!

I was working on the scrapbook, my mum was out in town, and DH was on cooking duties for his "famous" (well.. with guests anyway) Philly Cheese Steak in Ciabatta. YUMMM!!!

On 4pm we left to drop off my mum at the airport ... and she confirmed later the night that she arrived safely (LOL). Went to Lidl afterwards and got back in time for DH to watch the CFL (Canadian Football League) for 6 (!!!) hours! :)

You can see a couple of my scrapbook pages here.

Sunday, 3 September 2006

It was a Diversion!!!

The post on Friday about DH, my mum and me going to a Football game!!! :)

It was actually my FIL's secret birthday party... he was going to the Bo'ness Car museum with MIL, BIL and two other relatives while we were meeting with 12 other people at the Bo'ness Railway Museum where we ushered them onto the steam train for a tour - with FIL and Co turning up 5 mins before the train departed.


This was a long planning from my MIL since April, involving us in lots of things and all those LIES!!! LOL. We had a fab day though, and FIL thoroughly enjoyed it - and was very surprised when he saw us all on the train.

Afterwards we went for high tea at the Richmond Park Restaurant/Hotel where the food was very nice - but the service wasn't the best to state it mildly! DH held a speech before food, we had games afterwards (guess the baby photo etc.) and then even did our version of the "Von Trap Family" ...Adamson's family ... sounds a bit like "Adams Family" ... not sure what's worse ... LOL and sang "My Brother Bill (The Fireman's Song) by the Corries with BIL, DH and me going a bit reluctantly up to sing ... ;)

FIL's birthday is not until Tuesday - and we didn't give him his gifts yet (still working on that scrapbook of his!! Well.. finalising it.)

Saturday, 2 September 2006

Rainy day in Edinburgh

Well.. it just had to be, hadn't it?? Today it was raining ... nawh, even worse ... it was BUCKETING down!!!

Actually wanted to have a lazy day but my mum wanted to do the most of her trip so decided to go up town - and DH kinda volunteered us both to come with her! :)

We went to Subway for lunch (yummy sandwiches - always one of our favourite places to go for a quick but nice lunch!) and then off to the Royal and National Museum. About 1 hour on the top floor at the Royal Museum (nice Chinese, Japanese and Middle Eastern art & artefacts), then we went over to the new "Sporting Scotland" part of the National Museum (nothing about the Claymores of course ... :( ) and back to the Royal Museum to see/hear the Millennium Clock strike 4pm! :) It's a beatitul clock - in a way ... lots of gory things but then it makes sense. I only read the background of it afterwards though.

Then we went back to the Rooftop Terrace of the National Museum - what a VIEW!!! Well... it would have been if it wouldn't have been raining and being foggy ... :) Have to get back there when it's nice weather!!

We then went back via Lidl and I made my pumpkin soup ... used 3 small pumpkins which I used also as soup bowls (thank you Carol Adamson in Akron for that idea!!!). Did turn out nicely, as well as the "homemade" (i.e. from a mix) garlic/rosemary bread (Foccacia from Tesco's). Dinner was really totally yummy! :)

Going away drinks after work ...

Mmmh... was a funny one... I had my message about going away drinks passed around the company by one of the main secretaries and kinda expected other people apart from my team mates to turn up - I have been working for the company for 6.5 years after all and thought I got to know a couple more than just the 12 people in my area .... :( :(

Well.. it was just my team mates who turned up (after I have been sitting all by myself for 30 mins). Shame the Crags had again problems with their coffee machine (funny that ... heard the same when I went in the last time, and that was 4 months ago!!! :O ), I quite fancied one of their white hot chocolates...

Anyway, we had lots of fun!!! I knew that neither Lisa nor Heather would turn up because both have little ones to go back to with their DHs either away or busy that day - and Heather is working at the other office at the other end of town anyway.

Wasn't too bad, we had a good natter and people kept buying me WKD Cherry's ... specially when I told them that the one I was just drinking was going to be the last one. *grin*

I had planned to stay only for 2 hours (until 6pm) but in the end I left around 8:55pm!!! Thanks for a fab evening, ladies and gents! Thoroughly enjoyed it!! :) Was able to talk and walk straight (although DH usually suspects that I am totally pished! :( ). Did take aspirin and had something filling and spicy to eat when I got home as well (prevent sickness and migraine the next morning).

My tummy is now shouting for something substantial so I am going to have breakfast now ... :)

Oh... totally forgot - Had a GREAT lunch with my former colleague Emma - went to Metropole and I had a yummie Crayfish Salad!!! And lots of talk again as usual. Thanks for that great lunch, Emma!!!

Now ... off for breakfast ... *grin*