Tuesday, 3 April 2018

No Snow for us this March

Hope you all had a good Easter break and didn't get too many jokes played on you on Easter day.

March was a funny old month it started with the Beast from the East 1, when every where was covered in snow. Kids and some workers got snow days, some people got stuck, a baby was born (in the snow). We woke up to an inch or two and by the afternoon it was gone but it was so very cold. I just could not get warm, I even got my old jumpers out and still I was cold.  A week later it felt like spring was finally on it's way and it was just a tiny
 bit warmer. Laura and I took ourselves off for a lovely walk on the beach. It was so nice to get out in the fresh air and blow a few cobwebs away. That BftE was a bit persistant when it came back twice more. We still didnt see much snow. the odd flake that was all.

A few weeks before the BftE1 arrived I'd arranged a family get together to plant two trees in honour of our mum and dad. We planted them at the local nature reserve with the help of the warden and then scattered their ashes. Afterwards we went for a nice meal and gave a toast to mum and dad. They have a lovely veiw.

Mother's day was a nice day and Laura bought me some really nice flower bulbs for the garden that will come up each year. It was such a lovely idea. Cost about the same as a bunch of flowers but last much longer. I'm waiting for the weather to warm up a little more before planting them out.

Even though Laura is 18 she still attends a dance class each week. She loves it and as there is no upper age limit she wants to stay as long as she can.  The week-end before last was the annual dance show to showcase the different styles they do. Usually the show is held in Middleton which for us that have to travel makes it a long day. However this year it was held at the Marine Hall in Fleetwood.  Every year I'm asked to do some sewing and this year was no different. 25 pairs if mouse ears. I hand stitched them on to little hair bands. Also the brightest orange waistcoats fot the two boys. 

I've finally finished my jumper I started back in November. Sorry no picture as I washed it and it's not dry yet.

My RAF brother came for a flying visit. He'd been on a course, at BAE at Samlesbury. He retires this year and is going to work for BAE systems out in Saudi for the next five years, so it was nice to see him and catch up.
I wonder what April will bring?  We will have to wait and see.

Have a great April


Wednesday, 14 March 2018

R.I.P Professor Hawking

We are in danger of destroying ourselves 
by our greed and stupidity.
We cannot remain looking inwards at ourselves on 
a small and increasingly polluted and overcrowded planet

Professor Stephen Hawking
 8 January 1942 - 14 March 2018

Saturday, 17 February 2018

Half Term

Half term is almost over and we haven't done much. It's been so cold and wet we didn't want to venture out out doors unless we had to.
Laura spent Monday at her work experience and the following day working on an assignment she needs to hand in next week and Wednesday we had a movie day where we sat on the sofa and did nothing but kept warm and cosy. I went to craft club on Thursday morning whilst Laura cleaned out her fish tank. Some great news was announced at craft club - Our library that was closed last year is to reopen on 26 Feburary and craft club can rturn on the same day at the same time in the same old room. A lot of work has gone on at the library, walls have been painted, new solid front doors, new furnature and rearrangment of the lay out inside. I can't attend the official opening of the library as I'm at the dentist but I will call in afterwards.
What else have I done this week. Oh yes I finally got my car back yesterday. It's taken a month to fix it up after the collision last month. Because the door didn't shut properly rain got in and the drivers seat has a water stain on it. I mentioned this as I looked around and inspected the work done. The manager came out and said that they would get a proper valeter to clean it but can't arrange anything until Monday.
Yesterday I also had a man out to look at my washer, as that's broke down. I explained the problem and he had a look at it and said it was the starter motor and to get a new one it would cost £180. He advised that it wasn't worth spending that kind of money as he sold washers in his shop for £189. I took his advice and today we are going to find a new washer. 
So what else have I done since my last post. Well, about 20ish years ago I started to crochet a jacket, no ordinary jacket but an Irish crochet jacket. This year I decided that it will get finished. I have 1 full sleeve and the top of the other one to complete. I take it to craft club and manage to do about 2-3 rows. It's going to take a long time at this rate. At home I'm working on a purple jumper that I started before Christmas. All parts are knitted and need sewing together. It has a picot edge to the top, bottom and sleeves so before I stitch that down I'm sewing some beads onto each piont to make it more special. I will do a show and tell when It's complete.
I've also been doing some exam invigilating for the year 11 mocks. There is more next week and the week after. In a couple of months the GCSE's and A Levels start followed by the rest of the school's end of year exams.
I need to get a wriggle on as it's time I got breakfast and got myself ready for looking at washers.
Have a great weekend.


Tuesday, 16 January 2018

Happy New Year

Everything is back to normal. laura has been back a college a week and feels she's never been away. She really didn't want to go in today as she's being assest on feeding a geko with live crickets.  Before Laura returned to college she had her last check up at the Children's hospital, Manchester.  We saw the specialist nurse who was well pleased with her recovery and her ex-rays were good. The nurse said she could lead a normal life with no restrictions (except for the ridgidity of her spine) and was discharged. One very happy girl. She still has a few problems with her muscles but very slowly the are getting better as they become strong again.

During the Christmas break I replaced my aging vehicle (Grand Vitara). I never really liked it when we got it but it was all I could afford at the time and it served it's purpose. My new, to me, car is a Renault Capture. It's smallish and so easy to drive and feels really nippy. Unfortunatly after having it for only 2 weeks a driver thought it was a good idea to overtake me when I was turning right (indicators on) onto a side road and we collided. Thankfully no-one was hurt. I've been given a very nice courtesy car, A Vauxhall Mokka, it has so many gadgets, heated seats and a heated steering wheel. I didn't know you could get heated steering wheels. I should get my Capture back sometime next week. The insurance company has to give the repair company permission to go ahead and fix it.

Martin is also looking for a replacement car for his taxi. Begining of December his car was written off by a drunk driver. Martin's night driver got a bump to his head and a broken finger and the passenger sustained a broken collar bone. The driver of the other vehicle had no injuries and a bit of damage to his car. He was 4x over the limit and has been fined £500 and banned from driving (can't remember for how long). Insurance have still to pay out but won't be long. Martin was off work for only a couple of days as now there is a taxi hire company, locally, so he's been able to continue to work.

The last three years have been pretty difficult and I figure we've had our lot so this year is a new year new start. Except for the bump things are looking ok. I want to be more organised and possibly find a new job. I'm not sure what I can do as my arthritis is still bad.
First on my agenda is to get a pension statement and forcast and go from there and whilst I decide what I want to do I'm going to do some heavy decluttering. I did some before Christmas but the house didn't look any different. I am lucky that, thanks to my dad, I have a safety net that will allow me the time to make the right decision. Laura will leave full time education this year and hopefully will find the job she really wants, this means we will lose her child benefit and the child tax credit. Although I do have the safety net I will continue to be frugal and try and find more ways to cut down on spending. I don't spend silly anyway but I'm sure I can find ways to cut down further.
Second thing on my adgenda is to be more positive and look forwards not backwards

Thank you reading and have a nice day.


Monday, 13 November 2017

Scamming Season

 Last week I was almost caught by a scammer on email and I thought I would share my experience with you so that you too don't get caught out.

My friend was moving from a large 3 bedroomed house to a small 2 bedroom bungalow and as I sold a few things on a local selling site she asked me if I would list some of her things. This had gone very well up until last week.

All the adverts are maked "PICK UP ONLY" as I can't be doing with working out the postage and it's a local selling site anyway, also listed was my friends phone number and not my email address. I had listed some curtains and accessories for my friend and she had a text message asking to comunicate by email. Well her computer was all packed up so I did it for her. The buyer wanted to buy the curtains for her cousin but couldn't pick them up as she was in a wheelchair and had recently had a heart operation so would it be possible to post them. It was agreed and she would pay through paypal. My friend doesn't have an account (another reason for pick up only) so we used mine.
The payment email came through with £200 more than the asking price. I though this was rather strange. At the same time the buyer sent me another messages saying that she has arranged for a courier to come and pick up the parcel and the extra she had sent had to be paid in cash through instamoney/instacash/instapay or something like that, I can't remeber now. Anyway, I didn't like the sound of that. further down was some more details the name of the person to recieve the package and the country, Nigeria. No way no, no, no, no this sounded so wrong. I phoned my friend and said I didn't like it and felt very suspitious. After our chat I phoned PayPals and explained about the email. The very helpful chap I was speaking to told me, amongst other things, that they only send out emails that are addressed "Dear 1st name and 2nd name" and as mine was addessed "Hi email" I should just delete it and do nothing. Which is what I did.
Later in the day I was checking my emails and I had another from the buyer asking if I'd made made the payment yet and if not could I do it ASAP. My reply was - Nope. You're busted. See ya. And I've not heard anything else.

Scammers really prey on people at this time of year when they are busy working and doing a lot of shopping on line and waiting for parcels. In the past we have had cards put through the door. Looks like they're from the post office and you have to phone to arrange redelivery. It's not, and don't ring the number because as soon as you do you are charged £100's.

If you are aware of any other scams please share them here or on your blog to keep our readers safe.


Monday, 16 October 2017

Best Laid Plans.....

I must apologise for being away so long but sometimes things just don't go to plan and there is nothing you can do about it. I planned to return to writing after the Christmas celebrations and now it's nearly the next ones.

The week before last Christmas my father-in-law, Tom, was rushed into hospital with abdominal pains that turned out to be a twisted gut. When the Dr finally made the decision to operate, just into the new year, it was too late his body had started to shut down and was given just a few days. Tom passed away peacefully with Margaret (his wife) and Linda (oldest daughter) at his bed side. He had a lovely funeral and wake afterwards and later in the afternoon the children were playing with paper aeroplanes made by some adults (I'm guilty, I made the first one). I feel Tom would have approved (he was a lovely man and loved all his family very much). At Christmas there is often a paper ball fight back and forth across the small living room and at their 60th wedding anniversary celebrations (at the same hotel as the wake) there were paper aeroplanes going up and down the table. The in-laws are a fun family and I'm very happy to be part of it.

Just a few week later my dad was having tests done. He'd not been feeling well for a while and although he had been seeing the Dr was not getting any better. About 2 weeks later after spending some time in hospital they finally diagnosed him with terminal stomach cancer. This was too much of a shock, for me, and hard to come to terms with although dad appeared to be ok with it.. Dad decided he wanted to come home so arrangements were made with care services, McMillan's (who were wonderfully supportive) and the district nurses (again very supportive). I was granted time off work (here's another story for later) and I looked after dad with the help of my sister-in-law, Sue. Long story short, 19 days after being diagnosed dad passed away. He knew he was slowly fading but was still determined to get better. He said he didn't have time to die he had too much to do and one thing he had to do was finish a clock he was making (Laura want's to finish the wooden clock in his honour) He kept his sense of humour right up to his last day. I have thanked Sue so many times for her support and help because without her I don't know how I'd have coped. She was my rock. Before I'd had time to process the news of his illness he was gone. Dad passed way after having seen all his family except my no2 brother, who was stationed in the Falkland's at the time, but we spoke over skype at his bedside.

Afterwards we had dad's bungalow to sort out. Both mum and dad were hoarders (nothing quite like what you see on the tv).When mum passed away, 2 years prior to dad, he hadn't done anything with her things. It took us months to sort everything and clear the house. We came across many childhood items, somethings from mum's mum and a few from dad's dad. (another story here too) and a few surprise discoveries. The bungalow finally sold 3 weeks ago and all funds distributed. Next I have the tax forms to fill in and arrange the scattering of the ashes of both mum and dad.

There have been some fun times in-between all the sadness. Laura wanted to arrange something special for Mothers Day, and with her dad's help she got some tickets to see the show "Bat Out Of Hell" in Manchester. It was absolutely brilliant and we all thorley enjoyed it.  It took our minds away from our current situation for a few hours. We had a late celebration for Martin's 60th birthday and we managed a few days away in the lakes. Recently we celebrated Laura's 18th birthday.

I will not leave it so long before my next post as now I'm starting to feel a bit stronger and able to cope with thing a bit better.


P.S I'm not sure I like this new look I've picked. I feel it's a bit in your face. I think I'll look for something more gentle.

Thursday, 1 December 2016

Lost My Mojo

I've decided that I need to take a break from writing but not reading. I think maybe the events of the past two year have caught up with me and I just need to take some time out for me to recharge my battries and find my mojo again.

I didn't take time out when my mum died because then things started to move on with Laura's operation that kept being moved back and my new job hunting had to be put on hold. Then Martin had his accident followed by Laura's operation.  
Laura is recovering well from her operation and doing her physio (now and again) and her college course is going well.
Martin is still experiencing  some back pain and stiffness (should still be doing his physio exercises)
Job hunting isn't going to well at the moment but I do still have a job for now.

Before I go, I would like to wish you all a Very Merry Christmas and a Haapy New Year.          


No Snow for us this March

Hope you all had a good Easter break and didn't get too many jokes played on you on Easter day. March was a funny old month it started...