About Me

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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, 24 May 2008

The Last Cuckoo (as opposed to the first)

I don’t know why the gaps between entries are so long, I keep meaning to write an entry but there is always so much to do.

Since last entry, I have had another practice walk with my friends for The Race For Life, we picked a hot Sunday afternoon and climbed up, over and around Wychbury Hill . For someone that would struggle to walk more than a mile, I did very well and some of it was very steep, so steep it even managed to shut the four of us up for a while! LOL.

If you want to hear talk, just put three middle aged Black Country women together for a while. It must be genetic.

The Bluebell Woods were beautiful


and the views







The old Obelisk is looking perilous these days and the graffiti refers to the remains of a woman found in a tree in the woods. Rumours abound as to who she was but she is known as Bella and may have been a German Spy in the war, or, more sinister, a victim of witchcraft, which was very widespread in the Clent Hills, of which Wychbury is one. "Who put Bella in the Wych Elm has been scrawled on walls for decades."

When I got home we had a barbeque and my sort of adopted daughter, Lucy came round. Mike is as bad as the children at school for rocking on his chair and it serves him right that I took this photo before I helped him up!


The allotment is coming on well, although slower than I would like. It was just a mass of weeds and clearing it has been hard work. There is Mare’s Tail everywhere, which is the devil itself to get rid of.

I will get some photos this week and of the garden too, which is starting to look good again after it’s drowning last summer.

Catherine, Flo and Isabella have been to seeFlo’s family in Germany for a week, which left me looking after their cats. That wouldn’t have been such a problem but Milly (the one that went missing for a month) got bitten by a neighbourhood Tom and developed an abscess on her hind quarters. So , twice a day I had to drive over there, give her anti-biotics and bathe her wound, remove the ‘lightshade ‘ she had round her head to let her eat and clean herself up a bit and generally clear up the mess that two, bored, housebound cats can make.

I mentioned in the last entry I went on a trip with year One at school. I said how I enjoyed being with the younger children. Guess what, in September I’m being moved to Year Two! I’m a bit disappointed, as I was looking forward to next year in Year 4 but no doubt I shall enjoy myself with the little uns. The teacher I will be with, I have worked with before and we got on very well, so it will be a challenge learning a new curriculum but I think also that it will be a little less exhausting.

Last week we finally heard a Cuckoo, here at George Mansions. This is the latest we have ever heard one and we kept saying how we wish one would arrive. Last year we didn’t have one at all and in previous years, we normally only hear them fleetingly. By careful what you wish for!!! This one has moved in and hardly stops, it’s going from 5am until dusk and yesterday for good measure it flew right past the open office window and cuckooed right in my ear!

From what I know of their habits, they are not a very nice bird, using other, poor unsuspecting birds to raise their offspring, at the expense of their own little ones. I imagine the call is basically, to attract any passing Cuckoos, in effect it’s shouting, here I am, come and get me. Which makes you wonder why we so look forward to hearing the blessed things.

We went to dinner at the new house of some very old friends last night. The bought the land and had the house built, it's beautiful with the most lovely view across Ledbury. Wehad a lovely evening, old friends are always so comfortable.

Catherine returned last night, they had a good time but Isabella was spoiled rotten. She isn't normally allowed too much sugar but she was fed ice cream and cake all the time. Catherine and Flo went out on their own and left Isabella with her german Grandma Vera (Oma) under strict instructions, NO CAKE!!

When they returned and got Isabella into the car, she straightaway volunteered the information 

"I did it, cake"

Catherine asked what she meant. She said "Idid it, cake, at Oma's house"

What sort of cake did you have Isabella? 

" Stwawbewy Cake" LOL!

I think you got caught out there  Vera!!


Were off to see Mike’s eldest grandaughter in a play in the Theatre in Bath this afternoon, so I’d better get myself ready now. I’ll tell you about it next time.

Thursday, 8 May 2008

Grumpy Old Woman!

It looks as if Summer is finally on it’s way!! We’ve had two barbeques this week and at last we are getting the garden sorted. It’s been almost 10 months since we did any real work out there. We both lost heart after the terrible flood last July and for much of that time it has been too muddy to spend much time down there anyway.

We did some heavy pruning a couple of weeks ago and then the weather went off again but today we managed to have a bonfire to get rid of all the prunings (so much for our Carbon Footprint!),


Mike mowed what is left of the lawn

and I set about the flowerbeds.

There was still rubbish left from the floods last July.



Lots more to do but the improvement is considerable.


I still haven’t quite made it to a loss of a stone at Fat Fighters but mine and Mike’s birthdays have scuppered that. I’m hoping that this week I will get there and with that in mind we’re eating fish. That’s what I cooked on the BBQ tonight. Basa, which is a lovely white fish and is apparently a Vietnamese Catfish. (oops, buggered up the Carbon Footprint again!!!). Salmon steaks and Cod Loin wrapped in Parma Ham. All of these are classed as ‘Free Food’ in Slimmer’s World, so, bring it on! I’ll eat as much as I like.

There’s a tale behind the Cod Loins. Wednesday evening, I had literally just parked my bum on the toilet seat, in the hope of wringing out the very last drops of anything, before going to be weighed at Fat Fighters, when there was a knock at the door.

It was Gustov. This is a man, who says he is South African but has the weirdest accent I’ve ever come across and he sells frozen food from a van. I have bought from him in the past but for thelast eighteen months I have made excuses. Now whether it was the urgent need to return to the loo, or what, I don’t know but somehow I ended up trotting, barefoot, up the drive to have a look at his frozen delights. I ended up parting with £38 for a large bag of HUGE Cod Loins. Having seen the price in Sainsbury’s lately, they seemed a pretty good buy and tonight, wrapped in Parma Ham and cooked in one of those vented, foil dishes on the BBQ, well, Mike and I had to keep telling ourselves, it was one of the best meals we have ever eaten.

I just love Sainsbury’s the salad was fresh cut from lettuce they now sell growing in a little pack and as I can’t have oil based dressing, salads could have been a bit dull but not now. I forked out £11 for a bottle of their finest Balsamic Vinegar. What!! you exclaim!! But it isn’t as mad as it sounds. A little splash onto salad, or new potatoes and there is no need for an oil based dressing and it lasts for ages. I bought this bottle last summer in a fit of indulgence, not knowing then it would turn into such a valuable resource now I am dieting.

The allotment is coming along well, I earthed up the potatoes on Tuesday and Sue planted her Broad Beans yesterday, I hope to go and plant mine tomorrow. My only concern now is, with the good weather, I am going to have to try and sort  out watering things, not a consideration until this week.


A couple of nights ago I turned into 'angry Worcester Woman'. I think this was something from a Tony Blair campaign. They felt they had to target, middle class, middle England voters and hit on the idea of Worcester Woman. Well I am one very pissed off Worcester Woman, thanks to Gordon and his cronies. My job, which gets more arduous by the day, has just been awarded a derisory pay award, which doesn’t anywhere near touch inflation. Then, at the same time I lost the 10p tax band, which means (Thanks Gordon!) now, after my annual increase, I am £1.06 a month better off.

Gordon, realising he has made one almighty cock-up, has tried to pour oil on troubled waters by saying he will make amends by doing some jiggery pokery with the Family Credits and the Pension Credits. Well, whoopee doo!! I don’t qualify for either. So Gordon, mate, @@@@ off!

I wrote to David Cameron, telling him of my thoughts and situation and had a very nice e-mail back from some flunky.

Dear Linda,

I am replying on behalf of David Cameron to thank you for your e-mail, regarding the Government’s abolition of the 10p tax band.

We are grateful to you for your comments, and for taking the trouble to get in touch. The Conservative Party has been campaigning very hard against this tax rise which has been targeted at some of the least well-off in our country. Despite Gordon Brown’s claim that no-one would lose out, the Treasury has now confirmed that 5.3 million families are paying more tax and will be worse off.

Only when faced with political defeat in the House of Commons vote, did Gordon Brown perform a humiliating U-turn and agreed to re-open the Budget, despite previously saying that this was not possible.

Of course, we welcome the Government’s climb down. However, even since this announcement, questions remain over exactly how many of the 5.3 million families will be compensated. As ever with this Prime Minister, it is important to look at the small print.

As you may know, the Finance Bill was passed by 304 votes to 262. A Conservative amendment to the legislation, which would have forced the Government to submit any compensation package to a vote in Parliament, was defeated. However, I assure you that the Conservatives will keep the pressure on Gordon Brown to be straight about who will lose out. We will also continue to fight against this tax hike, which George Osborne, the Shadow Chancellor, has described as "immoral" because it is targeted at those on the lowest incomes. The lesson from this whole episode is clear – sadly, the only time Gordon Brown listens is when he faces personal defeat.

Thank you for taking the time and trouble to write about this issue.

Yours sincerely,

Edward Young
Office of the Leader of the Opposition
House of Commons

All very nice but basically, Blah, Blah Blah!!


Went on a day trip out with Year One, that was a surprise, I was told I was going with Year 2. It was a lovely day out and we went to an Environmental Centre which was a touch odd as it was in the grounds of an electricity sub station. Having a picnic area under an electricity pylon seemed bizarre to say the least.

But, the bluebell woods were lovely and the ankle biters don’t back chat in the way their older siblings do, so it was a very pleasant day out.

Won a tenner on the Lottery. Didn’t win the Premium Bonds, so I guess I’ll keep on working but I’ve been to school the last two mornings with the roof down on my car, which has been wonderful, I can smell new mown grass and flowers as I crawl along in the traffic choked roads that are Worcester in the rush hour! So it’s not all bad.