Thursday, 23 December 2010

Christmas eve eve

Well its christmas eve eve I hope you're all feeling festive, I'm starting to. I'm more or less ready now, just the last minute clean through the house tomorrow.
I spent today doing the christmas baking I made Jam and lemon tarts, mince pies, butterfly buns, shortbread fingers and some 'andietarts' they're my version of bakewells, I didn't have any ground rice so I just added a normal bun mixture to a pastry case and raspberry jam. They taste nice anyway whatever they are lol. When hubby got home we had a taste test with a cup of tea and if I do say so myself they were quite tasty. (way to go blowing my own trumpet eh lol)

There's only 2 sleeps now and I must say after standing baking most of the day I'm almost ready for my bed now so I'll say goodnight and I hope you all enjoy a fabulous christmas.
Merry Christmas everyone xxxx

Monday, 20 December 2010

Bbbbbbbrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrr its so cold

Wow its cold this week. Hubby said it was -12 going to work this morning and -6 coming home this afternoon -6 in an afternoon!!!!!  those are the type of temperatures that used to make me shiver when we were told we'd get them overnight but daytime, well it seems ridiculous to be so cold. Luckily we havent got snow this time round, we had a little dusting overnight on friday but nothing much although because its so cold it hasn't gone anywhere yet. We have been forecast the chance of light snow showers on thursday but I'm hoping we wont get it. PLEASE PLEASE let there be no more snow this year. Those of you that have got it this last few days I hope it goes soon and you're all able to get out and about soon.
It seems like the country is grinding to a halt again, planes cancelled, trains delayed and people stuck in their homes because of the snow. Its been on the local news tonight that some people are suffering with frozen pipes and are without water. Oh dear this country just can't cope with anything can it.
Our nephew is supposed to be going to his dads in bedford for christmas after work on friday and we're a bit worried if he'll get there or get stuck somewhere en route. The trains to london were cancelled last night due to problems with cables and bad weather enroute so with more snow forecast down there and maybe here before friday he may not get anywhere near where he wants to. Its such a worrying time for lots of people at the moment when we should all be looking forward to a nice time at christmas.

Sunday, 19 December 2010

Christmas has finally come to our house

 We went out to the supermarket a bit earlier than normal yesterday and did our big christmas shop. We should only need to pop back for the odd fresh thing nearer the big day now which is one more job off my to do list. We were really lucky as we found a parking space quite near the door as soon as we arrived and the shop was quieter than normal on a saturday and had everything we wanted. I'd gone with a list which is not normal for me but I thought it was necessary as I was shopping not only for this week but christmas too and didn't want to forget anything. The trolley was heaving, luckily hubby pushes the trolley so I had didnt have to fight with it, lucky for the other people instore too as Im quite dangerous behind the wheels of a shopping trolley.
Once we 'd put all the shopping away and had lunch we got the trimmings down from the loft and I trimmed up. We don't have a proper tree anymore as Lucy (our cat) likes to climb and eat it, it makes christmas unbearable for everyone when we are constantly pulling her off it and picking up the tree and shattered baubles so we don't bother anymore. We have ornaments and a little wire tree instead. I'm feeling quite christmassy now the decs are out and last night we put the lamps and christmas lights on to watch strictly which was lovely.

Our mini tree
Even the kitchen has some trimmings

Thursday, 16 December 2010

Please pause the approah of christmas

I'm not ready !!!!!!!!!!!!!!! its approaching way too fast for me this year and I just don't seem to be getting anywhere with my preparations. I'm way behind with my pre christmas clean and I still need to find a pressie for my nephew, I've still got some pressies to wrap and we have no decorations up yet. I don't know whats the matter with me this year I just dont seem to be on the ball. I left it very late to start my pre christmas clean and then started with manflu so I haven't got as far as I'd hoped with that. So far we've managed to do the kitchen/diner, hallway and living room but the rest of the house still needs doing.
I was later than usual starting my christmas shopping, I ususally start really early but this year I didn't and then when I did start the snow interfered and I lost a couple of weeks. Plus I've ordered some things online and they haven't been delivered yet despite being expected at the end of november and beginning of december. One of the things I ordered was a dvd for my niece in scotland so even when it comes it still needs posting up to scotland so I'm thinking it probably won't get to her before christmas now. Luckily she has other pressies from us to unwrap.
I'm really dissapointed with royal mail at the moment I know the snow and ice was really bad and they were advised by local police not to go out delivering in this area for over a week but even now they are back at work we are only getting little bits of mail. I know christmas is a busy time and the business is under pressure to make profits so hiring lots of extra staff to clear the backlog probably isn't an option but I'm sure they could organise things better and get the post out.
In the last ten years or so company has just gone down hill and to be honest I blame the goverment I used to work for post office counters and for years it was a lovely place to work and the business made a profit. Then the goverment started talking about privatising it and it became all about cost cutting to make more profit. The royal mail group is a public limited company with the shares held by the goverment
Nearly all the work the post office does is for goverment owned or run business such as royal mail dvla, national savings bank, department works and pensions, who all were expected to make savings on costs year on year so it was a hard thing for the post office to make more profit year on year. Each time the post office tendered for a contract for doing work for these business they had to accept lower and lower rates for them but yet were still expected to make more profit from the year before.How did they do that???? cutting costs. It became a terrible place to work and eventually I left as I couldnt stand working there any longer.
Royal mail are in the same boat, they have to tender for contracts for delivering the bills from major companies who want them to do the job cheaper and cheaper each time, while still having the goverment wanting them to make more profit. Unlike all the other mail delivering companies though royal mail still have to provide a service that delivers to every home in the country, even on routes that arent profitable and that the private companies that are stealing royal mails more lucrative contracts wont touch. Its more than a little unfair but then thats the goverment for you and it doesnt seem to matter which goverment is in power because they are all the same.
It's no wonder the post is in such a state as the companies cant afford to run themselves properly and hire proper staff with proper training. They don't seem to have time or money to vet people properly or put security measures in place that stop people thieveing. I know not everyone who works for royal mail are bad at their job or thieves but the good ones who the company  have managed to hang onto can't do everything and  if they're anything like me and my colleagues were, they're so overworked, underpressure and sick of being treated badly they have lost respect for their job and don't enjoy it anymore.
I also think both businesses are very badly run and the people hired to take charge and run both the post office and royal mail in the last decade have been idiots who have no idea how to run a business. Especially one held so tightly by the goverment, they only seem to think of cutting wages, costs and selling assests as a way to make money. Its always quick fixes but no plan for the long term.
One year when we were in talks about our annual pay rise we were told by the new royal mail group boss Adam Crozier that due to the financial climate and the state of the business we should accept a 1% pay rise and be happy about it. He said we should follow his example as he wasn't taking a pay rise at all. He had come from his former job at the FA to the royal mail group for the same salary with no increase and wasn't taking an annual pay rise. How generous of him considering he was the highest paid boss we'd ever had and he was only doing the job 3 days a week!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
He did manage to make a profit for royal mail for a few years as he changed working practices and sold off lots of things but eventually the company was back to making losses and he never even managed to get the post office back in profit, despite him shutting loads of the branches and losing loads of staff, inventing a new job description for new staff that meant they were paid less than exisiting staff and all but freezing our pay rises every year.
Its no wonder my post hasn't arrived really is it.!!
OOh  sorry about that blogettes I went off on my soap box there didn't I. There I was writing my little blog about being unready for christmas and all of a sudden I went off on a tangent about the working practices of royal mail and the post office. I bet none of you were prepared for that were you, no me neither so sorry but even after leaving the company a few years ago it still annoys me the mess that has been made of both business that have been great service providers for years and now are a bit of an embarrasement.

Tuesday, 7 December 2010

I think I have MANflu

I know I'm not a man but I do feel like I must be suffering from manflu at the moment.  You know how when men are ill they are like babies and can't just have a normal cold and carry on with life,oh no when they have a cold they feel worse than everybody else and it has to be flu at the very least, well I'm feeling like that today. Pathetic I know.  I used to be much braver when I was ill and carried on doing jobs at home and going to work but this time I dont feel upto doing anything I've hardly done any housework and even wrapping some christmas presents yesterday wore me out. I just want to sit and feel sorry for myself today but there is so much to do including the presents to finish but I don't think I'll get much done. Maybe its because I don't have to go out to work that I've given in I don't know but it's not good is it.

I started with a bit of a cough on saturday and then gradually felt worse and worse on sunday. I was coughing loads and achey all over, even my teeth and hair seemed to ache!!! I started with the shivers in the evening which then progressed to being melting hot and sweaty at bedtime. Yesterday morning I felt terrible but after some tablets, a shower and then lunch I started to feel a bit better so I did a bit of dusting and hoovering downstairs and got hubby to bring the pressies down for me to wrap. I thought Ooh good I'll be all better for tomorrow but then by the time I had all the pressies in person piles and the paper and ribbon etc set up my cough had worsened and I started to feel worse again and needed a lay down. I finally started wrapping the pressies after dinner but I only managed to do about half of them and I didn't enjoy it one bit which is a shame as it's usually a job I love. I'm hoping to finish the rest today if I can summon up some enthusiasm.
I didn't sleep much last night, in fact I doubt anybody did as I woke up around every hour for a coughing fit which lasted at least five minutes and was VERY loud. I know I kept waking hubby up and I'm sure I woke up our matt a few times as I had to go to the bathroom which is next door to his bedroom a few times to cough up flem (sorry for the disgusting info girls). I feel bad for them as they both have work today. Eventually around five am I got up and came down to the sofa with my hugrug and lay down here in a half sitting up position, sitting up seeemed to help a bit so if I'm the same again tonight I'll sleep down here.
This morning my nose has started running and my right eye, why is it you usually only have one runny eye??? Mine is my right one (which it usually is) so here I am with a red nose, bags under my eyes from lack of sleep, a red right eye with puffy eyelid and a rather whammy complexion, barking like a dog and constantly blowing my nose and wiping my eye.  I do hope noone calls round today as I think I might scare them off.

Now theres an idea
My cough hasn't been quite as painful for the last few hours thanks to a big dose of doctor kilkof and a strepsil but it's must be wearing off now as it's starting to hurt a bit more again so I must be getting due for another dose.
So there you have it girls I have MANflu and I am whiney!!!! I think I'll leave you to be dissapointed in me and go get my next dose of doctor kilkoff and maybe try wrapping a few more pressies. I need to have done something today, so far all I've managed is to get showered and dressed and put some washing on. Or maybe I will give in to temptation and just have a lie down for a while.

Friday, 3 December 2010

I am venturing out while the snow has stopped

It's stopped snowing here yesterday and the buses are running again now so I'm venturing into town to meet my mum today. I'm hoping I don't go sliding and slipping though as the causeways are quite slippy looking and there is still loads of snow around. It was freezing here last night so they're a bit frosty and icy but I have boots and I'm not afraid to use them , ok thats a fib I am a bit.  I must admit I'm my own worst enemy when its snowy or icy as I tend to do the 'oh no I've pooed myself walk' as I'm so scared of slipping and daren't put my feet down, I sort of walk stiffy legged and tight knee-ed with tiny steps, just like I've had an toilet accident lol.
You may wonder why if I'm so scared of slipping I'm bothering to go out, but I really fancy a day out and mum and me both need to go to town sometime soon as we need to get a couple more christmas presents for my sisters kids who we are hoping to go visit next weekend. Also mum needs to go to the bank to sort something out with her bank account and we aren't too sure if the weather will be better next week so we thought why not go now. We've heard that the town centre has been cleared of snow so once there we should be okay. Fingers crossed anyway. X
I hope everyone is coping okay with the cold and snow.
Take care and keep warm
Andie x

Wednesday, 1 December 2010

more snow pictures

Hubby and I went back out to clear the paths and had a bit of a play in the snow. Yes we are big kids but hey ho. We finished up with a tramp through the untouched snow in the front garden and had a snowball fight. No photos of that though as we both had our hands full of snow!!!!
Bit off romance lol
Hubby crying because its snowed
again and ruined all our hard work we
 dug out earlier


OOh its deep here
Climbing Rowan mountain aka the
pile of snow we dug away

By eck its snowy out there

Wowee did it snow last night!!!!! After all hubbys hard work clearing paths and the road to our garage yesterday he was so dissapointed to see it start to snow again yesterday evening. By the time we woke up this morning they were all totally covered again and there was no sign of all his hard work. AAAAAAAAAAAAAAAWWWWWWWWWWWWWWWWW come on now girls join in lets say it again all together now AAAAAAAAAAAWWWWWWWWWWWWWWWWWW poor paulkie.
View out of the window this morning
Snow was over the door
View of the back garden this morning
Despite it being just as deep if not deeper than yesterday and the roads being covered hubby decided he was going to give it another go at going into work. Him and Matt set off earlier today and as they didn't have to stop for traffic anywhere they made it onto the motorway fairly easily and into work.

 The snow started again around half eight and and was really heavy, by ten o'clock it was still snowing and getting deeper and deeper, traffic on our road was nearly nil. I texted hubby to warn him and tell him I thought he should come home soon. I checked online and it said local buses had stopped and trains on our line said 'cancellations and delays expected'. Hubby decided to come home and got in touch with Matt to see if he wanted a lift but unfortunately asda who Matt works for wouldn't let them leave. They had checked online and because it said 'cancellations and delays' rather than just cancellations they said that as there were still trains running they might go back to normal so people couldn't leave yet.
They finally let people go at half eleven too late for hubby to pick him up as he was already on his way back so he had to risk the trains. After a bit of a wait and a false start as he was told the train that was in and supposed to be leaving wasn't going anywhere and then told a little while later it was he managed to get home at half one which was a huge relief.
Hubby had to ababndon his car on the next street when he got home as he couldnt get up the back road until we had dug out the snow. So an hour and half of digging from both of us followed, luckily the snow had stopped for a while and even though it started again while we were digging it was only light and eventually we got the car put to bed in the garage before the snow started again heavily.

 We're hoping to go back out in a while and clear the paths round the house although as more snow is forecast today, tonight and tomorrow that might be a waste of time. It's bin day tomorrow so we're debating wheteher or not its worth taking the bin out or not. Something tells me its unlikely to emptied if the snow is still here.

Mine and hubbys hard work, cleared a
turning space in front of garage and
2 tracks up the road