Saturday, 29 January 2011

Terrible Trio!

Another day with friends today. Tracy, Alison and I have been planning and looking forward to this since Autumn last year. It's Craft Show time once more at Westpoint in Exeter.
There are to be a lot of suppliers there that we are wanting to visit, along with some new ones too.
Alison is after knitting wool, fabric for some dresses she is making, and some cross stitch kits if any take her eye, Tracy and I are after various card making accessories be it card stock, double sided tape, glitter, nestabilities, CD-ROMS, or whatever else catches our imagination.
As the show is in Exeter, and is not far from a very large trading estate containing many, many car sales establishments, Paul has agreed to drive us all up to the show, and then go off car hunting (see previous post) whilst we shop.
The hour and a half drive was a breeze, as he roads were nice and clear, and we arrived just before the doors opened at 10am. After a loo stop, and a quick coffee and cake, we headed off on the rounds, winding our way up and down each aisle and inspecting each stall as we went.
Suddenly it was 11.30 and we were only half way round. Paul was collecting us at 1.30pm, so we needed to get our finger out and start buying instead of pricing up LOL.
Alison started off first with some lovely wool, quickly followed by an art deco cross stitch of a lady with a lurcher dog. It was all black and white and very elegant.
That gave Tracy and I the push that we needed and suddenly there was no stopping us. I managed to get a Debbi Moore magazine that included a CD-ROM worth £6.99. The magazine contained loads of backing papers and toppers and only cost £4.99 - Bargain!
I managed to get some Hunky Dory die cut sheets, a lovely floral CD-ROM by a company I'd never heard of, but the images are stunning. I then managed to get the glitter with tubs, glue and double sided tape that I was after, all on a special craft show deal, I even managed to get a nestability set at a very reduced price.
There was a stand selling some cleaning product that I had bought from Ideal World many years ago, and was so good I was upset when I ran out. Tracy and I bought 4 tubs to split between us, as she had borrowed some of mine a while ago and was just as impressed.
And finally...... there was a stand selling Pandora charm beads at stupidly cheap prices - Yes I know these last two things are not craft items, but we could not say no a the prices LOL
All in all a great crafty day with my friends.
Unfortunately Paul did not do so well, and found nothing in any of the 15 different dealers he visited!
Time for a relaxing evening now and a glass of something nice to finish the day off!

Thursday, 27 January 2011

Pastures New...

My lovely friend and colleague left us on Monday for pastures new.
Not only has she she been there for us in her work capacity as our nurse, but she has been a wonderful friend and a shoulder for all of us to cry on at some time or another.
She received some terrible news a short while ago, just as she was about to leave us, and so we wanted to show her how much she means to us, and that we are all there for her, when she is ready to call on us.

We all met at the Tyringham Arms, not far from St Ives. The place had just been taken over by another ex work colleague, and as it was not far for us all to go, we decided to land on him and check out how they were doing.

After a little cheekiness from us all, and a fair bit of laughing and joking, we all settled down to a really fabulous meal.

These pictures don't show all of those who were there for Lorna's leaving party, but even so, I think you can see what a great time we all had.

We shall really miss you Lorna, but don't worry, we have the next night out planned already!

Watch out Tyringham Arms, we shall be returning!

Saturday, 22 January 2011

Vehicle Downer!

Why is is, just when things are getting back on track, that life comes along and smacks you in the face!
It has been a year since I was rushed into hospital, and finally, after all this time, our finances had started to recover, and we were able to have the odd take-away, or trip out, as there were funds in kitty, our little red entertainment purse.
My car had its MOT yesterday, and thankfully passed, but had a couple of advisory notes that need to be dealt with before next year - No great shakes, so that's OK.
We then booked Paul's car in for it's cam-belt change. This is the cam-belt change that was booked for last January and had to be cancelled because of my hospital antics. Needless to say it's a must if we are to continue to tow our caravan.
While Paul was booking his car in for this, he also asked for a price for a new clutch, as he had noticed that it was causing problems, and once again, was a necessity for towing the van, and of course being able to drive the car in general.
£1000 !!!! Yep, you saw that figure correctly! £550 for the clutch and £450-£550 for some other piece of kit that has to be checked and changed at the same time, which Paul knew about and confirmed was correct.
Now, it's all good and well paying out £250 ish pounds for a cam-belt, but add the £1k on top of that, and then an engine chip to give it better BHP for towing, and it starts to become a bigger outlay than the car is actually worth!
Conclusion? We have had our hand forced to bring forward the purchase of another vehicle and drop this one ASAP. It is after all, only a 1.5d engine, and is on it's top towing limit with our caravan. When we drive up Hamburger Hill, we are almost stationary, despite having our foot to the floor. All of this we were happy to live with for a few more years, that is until this repair bill came along.
Having sat down at the kitchen table for a few hours last night, we have decided that we can find nearly £1k between all of our accounts and by cashing in £300 of Ernie certificates we forgot we had. If we can sell said vehicle for £4k, which is possible if it is done privately, but highly improbable if we P/X, it then gives us a maximum of £5k to spend on a replacement.......
Can it be done??? Will we find a suitable tow car for that kind of money, that does not have the same problems with clutch and cam belt that we have now??
Who knows, but you'll be the first to know, if we can't, as I'll no doubt be ranting on here LOL!
We shall now be spending our Saturday traipsing around second hand car dealerships, with our fingers crossed, instead of visiting my friends two year old son's birthday party, or doing the housework! This is not a happy face!

Saturday, 15 January 2011

Nightime in the Garden of Eden...

I hate the Winter!

If there could possibly be a more miserable person during the dark nights and mornings, it's me! I am most certainly SAD and just wish my life away for the Summer and sunshine once more.

Needless to say, during these dark and dreary months, I just can't be fagged to do anything! Am I allowed to say that? LOL. It's true though! I get home from work and close the curtains to hide the rain or the dark skies and I hole up for the evening, making myself feel better with chocolate and whatever fattening niceties I can find in the store cupboard.

There is however, one thing that I have wanted to do, during the Winter months, that we have not yet managed to do since moving to Cornwall. Eden by night!

If you have not yet managed to visit The Eden Project, and you have a spare day whilst you are in Cornwall, it is well worth a trip, however it's not cheap at £18 per adult.
In the out of season months, Cornish residents are able to visit Eden for just £5 per adult. This then entitles them to a free pass for the year, providing that they return with their photo ID and proof of address.
With this pass, you don't mind arriving half an hour before closing, if you have only a few minutes to kill, and just having a wander around as you have not lost anything, other than an hours drive up country to reach it. Well worth us doing.
Having checked that Saturday would be a late night opening day, we decided to make that our day to get our free annual pass. It was also a special time for me, as it would have been my Dad's birthday on the Sunday. I hoped he would be with us to enjoy the lights.... and, as I saw a Robin Redbreast. I think he was with us!

We arrived as everyone else was leaving - more fool them, another half an hour and the place cam alive with lights

We took a gentle stroll down the slop towards the biomes, and the twinkling lights and sound of music from the ice rink greeted us.

Although I was desperate for a go on the ice, it was very busy and very fast, so it was not a wise idea, after all Christopher Dean was live on TV that night, so there was no chance of him saving me if I fell!

having stopped off for some pictures of the skaters and to watch their expertise, we headed on to the tropical biome, which immediately steamed the lens of the camera up!

but having done a quick wipe with my finger over the lens I managed to snap this quick shot, before we went any deeper into the tropics

The whole place is so different by night, and the normal spot lights that show up the plants during the day, played off the leaves of the plants and hit the roof of the biome, giving the impression of stars up above.

The waterfall still rushed by on it's mission for lower ground, and the plants still bloomed despite the darkness...

from the tropics we walked through the link way to the Mediterranean biome, where the smell of BBQ food, and spicy paellas filled out nostrils and made our mouths water for our supper.
As the foods here were only small samples and finger foods though, we had decided on another plan for our meal.

Wandering back outside, we walked past this wonderfully glowing arbour, before entering the education centre.

normally this place is crammed with people hitting all of the buttons on the machines, but we were lucky enough to have it all to ourselves pretty much.
Two hours had suddenly passed us by, and it was time to head back to the car, and onwards to Portreath, for our supper in the Arms. Salmon, salad and chips for us girlies and Steak and Kidney pie for the gents.
What a great evening. Goodbye Winter blues, if only for one day!

Friday, 14 January 2011

Latest Goss!

It's been a strange few weeks since Christmas. Not that I actually got a break, as unfortunately we have to work right through at our place, but the strange part came the week before Christmas.
I have been updating and uploading my tree onto and have been in touch with many people, who I have now discovered to be cousins by varying degree's.
In amongst all of these people, were a couple, who I thought my blood link finished with the wife. It seems, from an email I received from them, that I have a lot more cousins coming from this lady, and a majority of them in Cornwall!
How bizarre is this. We chose to move somewhere that has no connection to either of us, or so we thought, and then it transpires that I have family going back generations, living within about 15 miles of us!
I am to be in touch with the local lady, whom I have not spoken with yet, but who wants to meet me.
I will update you as things transpire! In the meantime, I'll get back to the Tree!

Sunday, 2 January 2011

Sara's Seal of Approval!

When Sally-Ann heard that Simon, Vikki and Sara would be coming down for the New Year, she asked us if we would like to join them in a walk up to Godrevey to see the seals on the beach and in the bay. Sara had never seen seals in the wild before and wanted to go.
We agreed without question, one because it meant we could catch up with our friends, but secondly because the prospect of starting the new year with such a lovely walk was something that could not be missed. We had also done the same in previous New Year holidays and knew it would be a lovely day.
When we arrived, there was already quite a crowd at the top of the bluff, looking down onto the beach at the seals below. We were lucky today - there were about two dozen of the lovely animals resting their bones on the shore.

Fred took a mild interest at what they were doing, before getting fed up and whining for the rest of his walk!

It felt very odd to be doing this lovely walk without Jamie and Phill, and their absence was greatly felt by us all, and so, in honour of them, we decided that we would do the obligatory group timed photo, that Jamie is so fond of doing.
After a false start, I managed to get the timer going, and charged down the hill towards my spot, whilst everyone laughed at me.
I have actually cropped this picture, so you cannot fully appreciate the downhill run that I had to achieve to make it in time for this shot.
Hopefully Jamie will approve of my picture, and it will encourage a trip to Cornwall from them both again very soon.

Saturday, 1 January 2011

Happy 2011, Goodbye 2010

2010 has been a challenge to say the least. It started badly, with two hospital visits. It progressed to two family members needing chemo, and finished with the loss of a cousin.

In between the sadness, we did manage to fill the days with some happiness too. The touring caravan that we bought meant that we have seen a lot more of Devon and Cornwall.

I gained the most gorgeous godson, Dylan, and we became members of the National Trust, which meant lot and lots of day trip to incredible places.

Despite the years ups and downs of 2010, we survived. Our hope is that 2011 will hopefully bring us a lot more ups, and a lot less downs.

We already have two weddings and a family reunion to look forward to. Roll on 2011.
I would like to wish all of my family, friends and blog mates a HAPPY NEW YEAR 2011!