About Me

My photo
Worcester, Worcestershire, United Kingdom
Born in the year of the Coronation, I'm a Baby Boomer. In April of this year I decided I too would have a Diamond Jubilee celebration and completely change my life and that of my Husband's in the process

Saturday, 25 March 2006

Anthea Turner

Well, it’s been a hive of activity here at George Mansions today!




 Mike went off to do his Gardening Programme this morning, as usual for a Saturday.  I, despite suffering from a nasty cold, did something I haven’t done for two and a half years. Instead of spending the morning on the computer, I did ….. wait for it….. Housework. I mean proper housework. Moving things sort of housework and feather dustering.


I seem to have turned a blind eye to cleaning the house since I discovered the world of the Internet, as long as the Dyson has it’s daily five minute trip round the house and the furniture gets an occasional wipe down, I don’t care too much.


This lackadaisical attitude changed on Thursday night. Mike was out and I decided to watch a bit of telly. There was nothing on that I really wanted to see, so did a bit of channel hopping, through the Freeview channels.


I found myself watching Anthea Turner, as the Perfect Houswife. It’s a programme where Anthea tries to lick two slovenly housewives into Stepford Wives.


There were two reasons for watching this. One. Her ridiculous posturing and genuine horror at the mess these women lived in was very amusing. Two. I’m fascinated by the woman, as she married one of my ex boyfriends, Peter Powell.


That is a slight exaggeration, as we only once went out in a ‘romantic’ way but after that, I started going out with one of his close friends and Peter and I were good friends during that time. We had some great times in a caravan in Bournemouth and Peter’s parents’ holiday home in Aberdovey. I could tell you a very funny story about his nickname but I think I’d better not.........Anyway, I digress. 


What started as a bit of fun for me, soon became quite serious. The two hapless women, who had invited Anthea to publicly humiliate them, had  homes like mine!


I have places in my house, where if you dropped a sticky sweet, you certainly wouldn’t want to pop it in your mouth. I definitely have dust dollies under the dresser and most of my ceilings and pictures are draped, Hammer House of Horrors style, with spider’s webs.


I don’t like housework! Just because I was born female doesn’t mean that I’m good at it, or even have the slightest interest in it.


I started thinking of putting my name forward to be in the next series. Imagine the double look of horror when the stick thin, perfectly groomed Anthea, saw the horrors of my house and realised, this overweight woman had once been out with her ex. That perfect little nose would be wrinkling and crinkling with distaste. She’d probably need a Botox injection to sort it out.


I then realised if I did appear in the programme, my mother would never be able to walk down Hagley Village High Street again, so probably not a good idea. Although she has been known to go there with a carrier bag on her head, to prevent her hair getting wet but that’s not quite the same as having your daughter revealed as a slattern on the telly, is it?


The end result of watching Ms Turner is, although I am not now going to be a paragon of housewifely duties, I did feel sufficiently motivated to shift some dust and disturb a few spiders this morning. I’ll whisper this, as I don’t want everyone to know, I even cleaned round the edge of the hob………..with an old toothbrush. How enterprising is that?


Emily and Abigail are laying again, we’ve only had the occasional egg over the last few weeks, then on Thursday Emily laid a nice shiny brown one for us and yesterday Abigail gave us one of her special paint jobs, dark at one end and light at the other. I can always tell who has laid because Emily does nice smooth, shiny eggs and Abigail does rough ones, with a sandy sort of surface. (Ouch!) This morning there was one of each type, so Spring must be well and truly on the way.


Mike and I tidied up the front garden on Wednesday and planted a few extra plants. The bulbs are coming through now, I can’t remember how long it’s been since they were last this late, probably back in the 70’s.


I have three cards o the mantelpiece, waiting to be opened tomorrow. The first to arrive, as ever, was from my stepdaughter. She always sends cards out early, just in case. Then one came from Germany and yesterday one arrived with a London postmark, which will be from Simon, posted by his girlfriend, as he is still away at sea. I don’t get, or expect a card from my stepson, as our relationship is more of a   ‘going out and partying’   rather than a maternal one.


I keep sticking an Olbas Inhaler up my nose, in the vain hope that I might get to taste tonight’s dinner. Last night’s Moroccan Lamb could have been anything. I think tonight’s steak will be like chewing cardboard. Oh well, if I can’t taste it may help me lose weight.


As a result of last week's trip to Kempley, I have been able to make a big start on researching Mike's George family. I found they came from Taynton in Gloucestershire. I even found a photo of a farm that they had lived in. I'm really envious because all the farms my family had (and pubs) have been demolished, look at this for a little gem. Grrrr! she says through gritted teeth.









As you can see I have been taking lessons and playing around with a few things. Thanks to







Sunday, 19 March 2006

My Husband Can Fly!!!

So off we went yesterday, Mike and I, plus, I decided to invite along my stepson Dave and his girlfriend Sam. I thought we could make a day of it, having lunch on the way, the flight and then stopping at Kempley in Gloucestershire  for the Daffodil Weekend, on the way home.

As we left the house there were feeble jokes about leaving the landing light on etc.

Mike was nervous and quite right too. During this flight, he had to take the controls and fly the thing.

Now I have had 20 odd (and I do mean ODD!) years of experiencing his driving, all the family have got used to the fact that when Mike is driving, the car does not take the direct line but likes to wander a little from side to side on the carriageway. This probably adds a mile of two to most journeys. His braking can be rather late, in a will we/won't we stop  kind of away, that can often enliven what might have been a tedious journey. And as for looking where he is going...why would he want to do that? When there is an interesting view to look at, or a dead badger on the side of the road.

We went to The Royal George at Birdlip for lunch, which was very good and then, as there was a bit of time to kill had a quick walk on Birdlip Hill. Actually, due to the strong, freezing cold wind, it was more of a 'get out of the car' rather than a walk.

We arrived at Staverton Airport and oh my, was it windy!

Mike went for his briefing and was warned it could be a little bumpy due to the wind. As it was a four seater plane, a Piper Warrior for those who know anything about planes, we were offered the opportunity of going along. No thank you very much! I flew two weeks ago and have to fly again in June, that is quite enough for me thanks. Sam was of the same opinion, why would you want to go in a plane, if it wasn't actually taking you somewhere you wanted to go?

Sam and I were both open mouthed when Dave said he would go. After all the teasing he had just given his Dad, we couldn't imagine why he would want to, especially as it had now been confirmed that it was going to be a bumpy flight.

I have a theory that it was the cost that made him go. At £6.00, it did seem like a bargain, I suppose.

So Sam and I watched them take off and then went to the cafe for a nice hot drink and a warm and a discussion of the benefits of the Life policies we had on them and were they covered for this type of a flight.

I have to admit they did seem to get buffetted a bit by the wind as they flew over us.

We saw the plane heading back into the airport about 30 minutes later and went to meet them. They were smiling, until Max went and then they both said how scared they had been. Dave said particularly when Mike had the controls and seemed to be putting it into a nose dive.

Still, they survived and I think a lot of it was an act, it may have been a bit scary but they still enjoyed the experience.

Mike's father's family come from Kempley in Gloucestershire, which is famous for it's wild daffodils. They have a weekend, where they invite the rest of the world to come and visit and do wonderful cakes and teas in the village hall. It's their only real opportunity to make money for the Church and the village hall.

Sadly, this year, due to the prolonged cold weather, the daffodils aren't quite ready yet but there were still a few visitors and we managed to see some that were open.

We introduced Dave to some Great Aunts and Uncles he had never met before and he and Sam really enjoyed themselves.

The 'New' church in the village is an adorable little Arts & Crafts gem and they had some displays of photos of old village residents.

We only recently found out who Mike's grandfather was. Mike's father was illegitimate and it was only after Mike's father's death that we heard the tale of who his father actually was. He was the son of the village blacksmith, who lived next door to Mike's granny. When she found out she was pregnant he did a runner and left the village.

One of the old photos was taken outside the forge and included Mrs Smallman, the mother of the boy, who did the dreadful deed and ran off. It was very interesting to see, as I could detect a certain likeness to Mike and his father. I wonder if we could sue the family for unpaid maintenance?

On the way back we stopped at the old church, which is now a good mile out of the village. Mike's granny is buried there, so we paid our respects and then made our way home.

Just a little way from the church I took the last photo in the set above, it shows the Fingerpost and Letterbox fields, where Fred West buried his first wife and an ex lover. It gives me the creeps to think how many times I went past there, while those poor women were lying in the ground, in view of the road.

Someone I worked with used to live in the area and she was quite friendly with Fred, he asked her out but her Dad said she couldn't go. So she sneaked out the back way from their farm to meet him up the road. Luckily one of the farm hands spotted her and told her Dad, who went after her and brought her back. A lucky escape, I think.

This reminds me of going to Mike's father's funeral, he was living in Devon at the time of his death and many of the Kempley/Much Marcle family that I hadn't met before turned up for his send off.

One of Mike's cousins arrived and the room went silent, he looked like Fred West's twin! Knowing how they all inter married in the two villages, I think I may not delve too deep into Mike's family history.

Saturday, 18 March 2006

Today is the Day!

This is just a short entry this morning, as I expect to put another one on tomorrow, hopefully with some pictures of Mike's flight. This was one of those Red Letter Day presents, for his 60th Birthday last year.

It has taken a long time for him to take it because, as you may have heard, Red Letter Day went into receivership last year and it took ages for his sister to find the receipt and to get the thing validated. He finally booked it a month ago.

It's a shame for Mike, as this has been his best joke of the year. He tells people his mother knows he is scared of heights, so what did she buy him for his birthday? A flight in a light aircraft!! It always makes people laugh when he tells them but the truth is, he doesn't have a problem with flying.

He really does have a problem with heights though. I got left on my own on the Millenium Bridge, we had only just started to cross it, when he said see you on the other side and then just legged it, straight down the middle, knocking grannies and toddlers flying in his wake.

And how could I forget the trip up Worcester Cathedral Tower one Sunday morning. We had gone to meet the bell ringers, who ring from partway up the tower. We then continued to the top to hear them ringing. It was wonderful and the view was amazing. The problem was, Mike was only just starting to get his problem with heights and hadn't realised what effect the view was going to have on him BUT it was made a hundred times worse because they were ringing the bells. A full peal makes the top of the tower move by several inches. It really makes you wonder how the thing has stood up for so many centuries. The end result of the height, combined with the movement was Mike on his hands and knees crawling back to the safety of the stairs. I know this reflects very badly on us but our friends and I were hysterical with laughter.

You can see the view from the link below. Once you are there, you will find a link at the bottom of the page to an index of other panoramic views, you can have a look around the inside of our beautiful cathedral as well.

Worcester Cathedral

I'll be back later to let you know how we got on.


Saturday, 11 March 2006

Catherine's Wedding.



Well, after a couple of hectic months planning and a day when the whole thing was off, Catherine and Flo finally got married.

As expected, my Mother made travelling a nightmare. I had booked the flights for all 11 of us and we were meeting up at East Midlands Airport, together with another 3 guests.

No one wanted to risk getting caught in traffic, so we all arrived at about 3.30pm and the check-in didn't open for our flight until 5pm. That wasn't a problem, time to relax, have food and drinks and catch up with family that we only see every few months.

My Mother had other ideas! "Lets go and check in now"

We can't do that Mum, we have to do it ourselves on those computers, it's very easy but they are still checking in the Prague flight, which goes before us" 

I got one of those, you don't know what you are talking about looks but I will go along with you ....for a while.

We had coffees and beers and snacks and it was now half past four.

Mum wants to go down to the check in area, so off we all trundle. Sure enough, that pesky computer is still only showing the Prague flight. But...says Mum, "we can check in now, it's only half an hour early, so it won't matter"

I explain that if it hasn't been put onto the computer yet, there is no way we can do it.

If she was a child I would say she was now becoming petulant. I am becoming red in the face, as she has been like a dripping tap for the last hour or more, going on about checking in. I am obviously such a fool that it is a wonder I have managed to do all these bookings and arrange assistance to and from the Aircraft. This is obviously what she is thinking and is expecting to find any minute that I haven't really booked anything at all.

I had to go and cool off and went outside for some fresh air, then I looked after Abi's baby, while she went out for a cigarette.

When I arrived back, the booking had just opened and Mum had made my sister deal with it, as I obviously can't be trusted. Well the luggage labels came out fine for all of us but it said it had printed the Boarding Passes, only it hadn't. She's sent Mike over to the Easijet desk, which was about 200 hundred yards away and there was a queue and my sister is jigging up and down on the spot, looking like she is about to wet herself.When Mum is getting into panic mode, it stops anyone within 20 feet from thinking clearly. Luckily I had been able to avoid the build up to this particular crisis, so still had a few brain cells firing. 

I spotted an Easijet employee a few feet away, looking into one of the other computer terminals. I told her we didn't have our Boarding Passes. She replied" Just tell them when you hand over your luggage, they will print them there for you"

Problem solved.

I won't tell you about the nonsense in the queue involving the wheelchair, a few stragglers from the Prague flight on a Stag weekend and my stepfather. They were no problem at all, it was just that they had the temerity to join the queue, in the middle of our party!! I think at that moment both my sister and I were seriously thinking of leaving her behind.

There were several other traumas but no problems at all.

We arrived in Cologne to snow. We drove to Bad Laasphe and there was more snow. It's a lovely little town partway up some mountains.

Prices were very reasonable, only 33 euros pp per night. That included breakfast, which was as much as you could eat and we had a lovely hotel room with a huge balcony. The cleanliness was amazing and the room was cleaned while we were eating breakfast. How they made the bathroom look like it had never ever been used in the time we were eating, I can't imagine. I could spend four hours on ours and it wouldn't be so clean, dry and smearfree! 

After breakfast I went with Catherine to arrange flowers on the tables at the Reception. At lunchtime we met Flo's mother and stepfather for the first time. They were both very pleasant and friendly.

The afternoon was spent getting ready and doing Catherine's hair, during which time it snowed and was still doing so on the walk round to the Rathaus. Typical Englishwoman, I had my brolly. Catherine and Flo went by car.

The words of the Registrar were all translated for us by Flo's Mum, who did a wonderful job and the advice given by the Registrar was the best 'sermon' I have ever heard at a wedding.

We walked to the Reception, as it was only a short distance. By now it was 6pm, still light but getting dusk and the lights were coming on around the town. It was truly magical.

The food was wonderful at the Reception, How they did it for the equivilant of £10 a head is a mystery. There was melon in Parma Ham, smoked salmon and other nibbley things for starters, bowls of salad, then hot food was:- Beef in tomato and herbs, fish in a mustard sauce, pork in a delicious sauce, spaghetti carbonara, spaghetti bolognese, a vegetarian pasta dish, potatoes au gratin, cauilflower au gratin and rice. Followed by Tiramasu or cherry ice cream. All of which was home made.

The plates were those large flat pizza plates and I have to say I filled mine!!! And ate it. No, not the plate!

Catherine looked beautiful, like a fairy princess and the snow just made the whole thing magical.

All too soon it was over. Catherine & Flo stayed in our hotel on their wedding night, so it was lovely to be able to have breakfast with them on Saturday morning. Then we all met up for coffee before the flight home. Except for Abi, that is, who was still drunk and threw up all day long. Thankfully they weren't flying back with us. 

Catherine went to see her doctor on Monday and had another scan, which confirmed she is carrying the girl she wanted.

Tuesday they flew to Venice and I think they will return today. She sent me a text in the week to say it was sunny and everything was OK.

I hope to have a month or two to catch up on my own life now, before I fly out again for the birth of my grandaughter.

If you would like to see some more photos, here is a link to a Wedding Blog I did.