15 minutes with deaf ears, colleagues, M25, M1 and a breathing duvet

I should have had loads of 15-minute blogs by now. I’ve worked many through my mind all eager to hit the old keyboard and then nothing.

So trying to do a recap of a few:

  1. One was about a colleague who rents a room in a house with several others. Colleague explained that on walking into a room where her housemates are they burst out laughing at her. Are these people not miserable examples of human beings?
  2. Another was about the same colleague who was told it would not be possible to attend college in the UK as her English was not good enough, and this despite holding a full-on hour or more conversation in English and handing over English coursework etc.  I give this young person much credit, for at the end she said something along the lines of “well let’s see if you understand this then. Please call your supervisor I’d like to speak to them instead.” Suffice to say she was accepted by said supervisor immediately
  3. Sat on the M25 and M1 today for so long I might as well have got out, hitched a bag over my shoulder and strolled home. Jeepers, what a way to spend a day off. Stuck in traffic no matter the route chosen. Took me 2 3/4 hrs to do a 1 1/2 hr trip.  Good job there were rhubarb and custard sweets in a little box at hand to work my way through. Mind you, they did leave my mouth all claggy like. Note to self, take water with next time you travel
  4. Have completed 2 online hearing tests recently – as you do. One just now. The first one told me I had some hearing loss and a proper test would be good. I scoffed because the hubster is the one with the hearing problems. There be no-wax build up in his lug-holes, it’s just good old going blooming deaf. And how do I know? Holy smokes, the homeowners 3 streets away have taken to treating our house as podcasts. As in taking up seat in their lounge, flinging open the windows and just listening to our TV. OK, a slight exaggeration. OK, OK, a complete exaggeration! Truth is the volume on the TV breaks the sound barrier whenever he has the control. Second hearing test tells me no problem with my hearing, get on with your life and get the hubster to the test rather
  5. Much chatter on the radio today about switching the central heating on this weekend. I don’t know what the fuss is all about, ours has hardly been off. We will be inching it up though 🙂
  6. Hubster is away for the weekend. Doing some gardening and stuffs with his sister. I will be watching the TV at a low level. Working the graveyard shift Saturday and Sunday and with luck getting some yoga in
  7. Hubster and I are fed up with our duvet. It be cuddly, it be soft. And it be bloody boiling hot. Much googling later and it seems not so much the tog, rather it is not a breathable one. Who would have thought to ask if a duvet breathes or not? John Lewis here we come. Yep, we’re going all out, to heck with the cost, give us a duvet that breathes.

Photo credit: I am not sure and I apologise but had to use it because it is so darn cute and cheery

NB I do my utmost to use photos flagged for free reuse.

robin on fence

What the heck is this blog all about?

Should you have fallen onto this blog, the purpose it serves is to ignite my love of writing once more by simply typing whatever is on my mind for 15 minutes and stopping

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Fifteen minutes – day trip with the colleagues

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Odney – photo –  mine

Funny how the idea of a work road trip brings up such mixed emotions. Elation at a day out and leaving the desk, and familiar mouse to gather a few hours of dust. Panic – shit, who will I sit with on the bus? I don’t know them all that well. I’m not a great small talker, will I by virtue be bored shitless? Clothes, can we ditch the uniform for civies? How joyous to not wear my Business Dress shirt that likens me to a member of a local ten-pin bowling team. As in too big, in need of darts all over, and how can I forget the official shade of blue.

As it was the bus was OK. All official with its logo. Instructions to buckle up before we drive off, and even stronger instruction for no moonies on the motorway – jeepers who do I work with?! Everybody took up position, rabble in the back, graduating to the quieter ones and our leader up front with the driver.

We were off to the company Heritage Site, about an hour and a half away. Our leader having been there before, relayed how deciding to not leave her doggie at home, booked her into a local doggie day-care – at great expense. Lovely dog was provided with paw massages and facial, and our leader was provided throughout the day photo updates to her mobile of lovely doggie running freely amongst fields and orchards.

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Heritage site – photo mine

Along the road, newly married and about to be married colleagues shared how they were/would be ovulating during respective Honeymoons completely unaware of how their voices were travelling across the bus.  Needless to say, much laughter and blushes when I turned back and said, “Thanks for sharing, Ladies.”

“Members Only,” the signage said at this beautiful place we arrived at.

Heritage site, though small, holds a wealth of information along with an extensive fabric library, items conserved in various methods, physical and digital.  And if you were looking for bedtime reading, they have copies of the company magazine that’s been going for over 100 years and is the longest running in-house magazine – I stand corrected but think our lovely Archivist said in the world.

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Like a little boat trip – photo mine

As you enter there is a memory of the Oxford Street branch, bombed during WW11 – a small tin mangled, chared, with coins melted to the bottom. Very poignant.

We saw print blocks used for fabrics. An example piece called Tree of Life is on the wall. This beauty required over 300 blocks to produce and needed well over 3 years to complete. As you can expect these were pricey items, not for the regular man in the street. Jeepers one of the blocks I could hold was so heavy. Apparently, the printers knew exactly which block to use in sequence. Any mistakes, well the fabric was discarded at huge cost.

The entire place, not only the Heritage Site, for it is on a private members only estate, is idyllic. There are walks along the Thames, footbridges to take you across to further lush and extensive grounds, rowing boats available, accommodation, spa, the lot. You can even take your dog, and indeed we saw a furry friend swimming in the Thames, the ducks oblivious.

Back to the Heritage site, our Archivist – Hannah – was wonderful, sharing great snippets of company founder’s links to the Zoological Society and how after taking on a pair of gibbons to assist with breeding, founder managed to create quite an upset with his local villagers.  Apparently while he believed gibbons do not swim, he’d overlooked how they do wade, and in fact did so, deciding to take a pleasant stroll through the village.

We also saw some items pertaining to Queen Victoria, one being a rather solemn black, bejewelled funeral bonnet. The other was far more romantic. When she was sent a fabric print to agree to for Balmoral, Vicky added the silhouette of herself gazing across the printed forget-me-nots towards a silhouette of Albert. When the example was returned, these were incorporated into the print run, and yes, there they were, feint, but there.

We left in glorious sunshine, all keen to return. Let’s hope we do.

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Time to say farewell – photo mine

 

 

 

Might have cheated here a bit, this was written on the bus and needed a bit more than 15 minutes.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Pants on fire

Hubster and I are staying in a great little place called The Old Stone Barn in Warrington for a few weeks. Set on a working farm, you can only imagine how beautiful it is here. Call me biased, but for me the home counties of Bedfordshire/Buckinghamshire/Hertfordshire are really special. See the photos further on and you’ll maybe understand why I feel that way.

Well we’ve been pretty busy the last 4 months, house hunting, furniture shopping, paperwork chasing, and occasionally arguing over whether my right is hubsters right, and whether our TomTom has an altogether other right than either of us, or mankind for that matter. So when we can, we take a break from hitting our heads against the same wall and walk.

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Hello, who are you? – photo RuthBH2Day

This evening on our stroll then, I spotted some wild rabbits, which hubster is refusing to believe exist until he sees them himself. (Hang on, does that mean he is toying with liar, liar, pants on fire? Hmpf!)  While yesterday’s leg exercising had us come across  a lama amongst a field of sheep – hoping to get a photo tomorrow. Oh yes, and also today, hubster swears some noisy flappy things who crossed our paths were Guinea Fowl – will also try to photograph them. Not sure on that one, but to be fair, if all I can come up with is flappy things, then who am I to argue.

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One of many wonky stiles we used – Photo RuthBH2Day

Anyway, one of the great things to do in the countryside is to follow the public footpaths and bridle ways that can take you in every direction imaginable, over and through fields and farmland, until you end up hopefully where you intended.

Lavendon then. Another village. That was our destination as we headed in the direction where Fiona (the proprietor) had pointed and shared. “30 minute walk, straight down there.”

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Wonderful walking across this field – photo RuthBH2Day

Straight down there then took us over wobbly stiles, through fields, past feasting sheep who didn’t seem to care a hoot we were in their space, past several farms, had us engaging in conversation with a local couple who confirmed, “yes straight down there, across the bridge, to the left.” Fiona never mentioned a bridge, or a left? 2.5kms later, parched to say the least we arrived and headed straight to The Green Man for alcohol, err um, refreshment.

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photo – RuthBH2Day

Sufficed we headed back. Followed the same route, took a wrong turn and ended up walking another 3.4kms to get home again.  We were pooped, but my goodness we enjoyed every minute of it.

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Ah, refreshment at The Green Man Lavendon – photo – RuthBH2Day

#lavendon #olney #Theoldstonebarn #holiday #homecounties

 

 

 

 

 

 

Highlight of 2015 retaking our vows

#greatmoment

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Picking up our buttonholes

Hubster and I have been married for close to 18 years. I say close, because for the life of both of us, neither can ever blooming well remember the year. Although funny story, we lived next door to a couple who were married the same day, same year as us, and thankfully they are on hand to remind us.

During these years I’ve tested him, mostly as he’s been about to hit the slumber button, or better still, arm and knee dip in the garden – no pressure you see 🙂 –  with a “do you think we should get married again?”

It’s a bit of joke for us, and when he is more alert than I realise he says NO! Mostly I get the YES though. Regardless, we have a laugh and move on.

At some point this year after asking and receiving the YES, I said WHEN.

“When we go to the UK in May,” he said.

“Really?”

“Yes.”

So we did. The only conditions being, nobody was to know, and only the two of us would be going to church. It was our moment.

I’d set my heart on doing this at The All Saints Church in Leighton Buzzard, where I’d spent most of my childhood.  I sent them an email, and my goodness, they could not have been more accommodating if they had tried. Excitement grew.

All Saints Church that morning

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Leaving for the UK then, we had a new frock for me, and a smart suit for Hubster in our cases. We needed only to pick up some buttonholes, and we would be sorted.

Arriving early for our 11am service, we were directed to the church tea room to have a cuppa while we waited. There we sat in our finery, with other tea and cake drinking folk – actually I think there were a fair few fried egg sandwiches, or at least toast happening there – who neither cared, or were intrigued by us and our buttonholes.

Then we were called. Up we went to the chapel, where only Hubster, I and Canon Grant, the delightful, ruddy cheeked, resident Vicar took care of business.

That moment was quite the most special moment I had experienced in a long, long time. There we stood, facing each other, holding hands, taking the plunge once again.

Done and dusted

2015 was a lot of things for me, good, bad and challenging. And yet asked to pick one moment that will mark the year for me, I can honestly say that renewing our vows was the best of the best.

And just in case you were wondering if we went on to celebrate. Well yes we did. Here at The Stag in Mentmore. Prawns, salmon and Bubbles. Perfect in oh so many ways

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Lovely view of the village of Mentmore

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I think he looks pretty dapper, waiting on the bubbles

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All photos mine 🙂

 

 

 

 

Have a great one

This time of the year I tend to run out of energy, both physically and mentally, leaving me to wonder where the year has gone.

And what doesn’t help all that much is reading  yesterday.

“Life is a one way journey, there is no going back.”

Astute maybe, but symbolic none the less.

Without finding myself in a quagmire of reflection then, would I want to take back 2015?  Probably not.

Are there things I wish I’d done differently, not at all, or done anyway? No doubt the answer is YES.

Will I let it bother me?

NO I will not 🙂

If you are celebrating Christmas and New Year, may you have a blast. If you are not celebrating, may you too have a blast.

Catch up with you all in 2016. Until then though, relax, take a seat and enjoy every moment you are given

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