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

Tuesday, 30 September 2008

Another New Beginning.

Well! AOL have just lost a customer. Tomorrow will be my first day working from home and my first job will be to sort out a new Internet provider.

Not only have I had to put up with interminable waits while I attempt to open my AOL emails, I have now received a missive from the idiots at AOL UK saying they are going to delete all our Journals with effect from 31st October. That's the way forward isn't it? Seeing as Blogs are becoming ever more popular.

So, I shall be finding somewhere else to write my occasional wafflings and doing it via, a faster and more efficient Internet provider.

Saturday, 20 September 2008

A New Beginning.

I am on the verge of a new life.

For the last twenty four years I have gone out to work. Until six years ago it was full time work. None of it was easy and much of it was working to tight deadlines.

While living in Cardiff I left home at 8 am , either travelling by car (nightmare) or train and bus (different kind of nightmare). I would return home at 6.15pm to a family that needed sorting with homework, scouts, difficult friends, dinner to be cooked, gardening and once a month returning home for a weekend with parents (Father who had had a stroke and was totally disabled) then there were other serious health issues in the family. Not to mention the logistics of two children that had to have a weekend with their Dad in Worcester and two other children that needed to come to spend time with their Dad in Wales.

When we moved back to Worcester life was not much easier. The children, who hadn’t wanted to move to Wales, now didn’t want to be back in Worcester.

Unfortunate choices in boyfriends and girlfriends led to court appearances for stalking/assaulting partners and ineffectual court orders left us, bemused, tired, frightened and fearful.

The stalking girlfriend ended up in prison, where oddly she was able to ring us, even though she was in prison for doing that same thing (270 time in one day alone) and all the time I was working for a large company that allowed workplace bullying. No, I will correct that, encouraged workplace bullying.

This week some of the buildings from the company were demolished.! I don't think Mr Kay would have wanted his company to become such a blot on the landscape and a thorn in the side of so many. Various 010

I was signed off with stress for five weeks at that time and I was one of many in the company to be signed off with the same cause. I’d never heard of such a thing before.

Moving to work at school was a great relief but even that has become a stressful environment now.

It will be wonderful to not have to spend forty minutes travelling just over four miles. WORCESTER NEEDS ANOTHER RIVER BRIDGE!!!! And I won’t be a punch bag for children under the age of ten any more.

So, from the 1st of October, I shall be working from home and for the first time in a very long time I shall feel in control of my life. (I hope)

Two weeks ago I went for a weekend at The Mercian Gathering. A Pagan Festival. It was as Satanic as Morris Dancing or dancing round The Maypole.



There was some ritual stuff, which was to celebrate the old Gods but it was just dressing up and , well, it’s hard to describe but it was just about loving the earth and the way the earth provides for us.


Nothing sinister and the whole weekend was about peace and harmony and love for the world we live in and the people around us.


There were talks and workshops, where you could learn how to make things like garlands,

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(Hair care didn't feature much over the weekend and all over baby wipes was the best alternative to the muddy showers.)

or instruments and different types of healing. There was the Healing Tent, where you could go for free treatments in Reiki. Spiritual Healing, Reflexology, Indian Head Massage and probably other things that I have forgotten.

It rained most of the weekend apart from the time of the rituals.


Then it stopped raining half an hour before each event and started again soon after we finished. People said to us, "The Goddess won't let us down" and they were right, she didn't.


The rain and the mud didn’t spoil things at all. We just wore wellies and got on with it.


Saturday night was brilliant with two bands playing. Ehdless Knot were superb and I would definitely go to see them again. It was the first time I have ever spent the night dancing in my wellies. I had a fantastic time. Unfortunately Catherine was more tired than I was and she went to bed when the band had a short break at about 11.30. So when I went back to the tent at 12.30, she was fast asleep.

I then found I couldn’t remove my wellies!! Having worn them all day, they'd now become welded to my socks! No matter how I tried, they were stuck. I didn’t want to wake Catherine, as she was obviously tired and I seemed to be somewhat incapacitated by the wine I had drunk and the blackberry leaf cigarettes I’d smoked. Not quite sure why I did the latter, it just seemed a good idea at the time!!

So, at 1.15 am I was getting rather agitated about my still, tightly attached wellies and was getting a serious stich in my side from the contortions on the end of my camp bed. I had a pair of sharp scissors and was seriously thinking of cutting them off but as they were Hunter’s and cost £50, I was a bit loath to.

I then hit on the idea of kicking my heels viciously into the ground and thankfully they gradually they came free.

I had gone to the event with my sister, niece and daughter and we all agreed we had such a great time, we have to go again next year. Surely, if we could have a wonderful time in such appalling weather, it could only be better next year?

Last weekend was the annual Black Country Boating Festival and this year Mike was able to come with me. Again, like most things this summer, it was muddy underfoot but we still enjoyed it.

Various 009 Various 006

In the week we went toHergest Croft Various 017 where they open their gardens daily to the public during the better months of the year (What are they please?) 

 Various 015 Various 020 Various 019 Various 021 Mike did an interview with the owner and we had a bit of a mooch around. They have a tearoom, where you can get a very nice cake…so we did.

I’m off to see my team, West Bromwich Albion, play Aston Villa tomorrow. There will be a huge crowd, as it’s a local Derby. Just hope it’s worth the petrol!!


PS Here's a wedding photo from my last entry.


Caz & Martyn Wedding 002

Monday, 1 September 2008

That Was The Summer?

Yes, it has been a long time!

I missed my 3 year anniversary of George Mansions, that was on the 20th August. I’m not going to make excuses for the dearth of entries. It has been for various reasons but the chief one is I’ve been ill for almost the whole of the six week summer holiday. I’ve been suffering from a virus, at least, I think that’s what it was and I’ve been in a very dark place for weeks.

The school holidays started so well, the first week the weather was good and I spent hours at a time working on the allotment and was feeling really good, there were so many things I planned to do. On the Wednesday Catherine and I took Isabella to a Teddy Bear's Picnic in aid of the local Hospice. Isabella had a lovely time and went in the paddling pool.



The weather at the end of that first week was wonderful and on the Saturday night I went with my friend Lucy to the open air Bretforton Silver Band Concert. We took a picnic and watched the fireworks that went on until after 11pm. I don’t think I got a chill but somehow I didn’t feel right after then.

On the Monday Catherine phoned me from Pembrokeshire and said how wonderful the weather was and to get down there with my tent. So off I went, with the top down on my car. Got as far as Raglan and the heavens opened and that was it. Three soggy days in a tent and on the second night a gale blowing. Several tents blew down and I was woken at 1am by the inner part of my tent buffeting me and then I realised there were flashing lights , grown ups shouting and kids screaming. I’m thankfull that my tent withstood it all perfectly and Catherine’s had some small leaks but nothing too serious.


This is my tent

The next weekend was the Hen Day & Night of an old friend. I went to her first wedding 20 years ago. By day we had a minibus out to the Cotswolds for a country wine tasting experience. I have to say Carolyn, it was certainly that!! What a laugh!! Carolyn had booked it through the Internet. There was no charge, they just hope you’ll buy some of their products.

We arrived and the minibus driver thought he’d taken us to the wrong place and got out to check but no, it was the right place. How would I describe it? Overgrown, disused, derelict? Yep that would be about right.

The owner looked like he was prematurely old, or, was quite youthful for someone who was old. Can’t be sure on that one. Ageing hippy would describe him well and his socks and sandals were the topic of conversation for hours to come.

In the evening we went to a Ball at the Worcester County Cricket Ground , a beautiful setting, where Catherine and I got dressed up in posh frocks and then got quite drunk. I danced for hours, something I haven’t done for years.


Above, my usual, frozen, hurry up and take it pose!

I found at the end of the evening I was being chatted up by a chap with no front teeth. We’d been looking at him earlier when he was ’Dirty Dancing’ with someone that looked old enough to be his Dad in drag!!! Don’t know what happened to him/her. But we’d been told the chap with no teeth was Hungarian. When I found he’d joined my table I asked him where he came from, he replied Dudley, which nearly caused me to choke with laughter. He didn’t help matters when he apologised for the way he looked and explained ‘I’m in between teeth’. Actually, I know someone else from Dudley who has no front teeth, I wonder if it’s the latest thing back in my home land?

On the Monday it was obvious this slight unwellness was getting a grip and I’ve suffered from a sort of gastric flu, which turned into a sinus and chest infection ever since. It really turned bad when I went down to Plymouth the following Saturday, I was only a bit sniffley then but of course it was the second weekend of Factory Fortnight and it took SIX bloody hours to get to Plymouth. I normally do it in under three! But I had a lovely dinner out with Simon and Tori, even although I couldn’t taste much of it.

Then, coming back on the Sunday, I think it was while I was parked in the fast lane of the M5, somewhere near Weston, I decided to get out and get a magazine from the boot and my bottle of Conovia Cough Medicine and much to the amusement of the vehicles parked around, I started swigging cough medicine from the bottle. It was at that moment that I realised I was really not very well and was wondering about the possibility of getting the Air Ambulance to come and get me out of that five mile car park. So that was another six hour journey back home.

The following weekend was Caroline’s wedding, that was a blur, couldn’t taste a thing. I hardly knew where I was. The wedding was at 4 and we went home at 8.30. But she looked lovely, as always. I would show you a photo but for some reason AOHell won't upload any  photos from the day!!!!!! 

Since then I got worse and now I am slowly getting better.

So that was my miserable summer. I could mention the weather but that’s a topic best avoided.

Actually, it wasn’t all doom and gloom, I did manage a day out last Sunday with Lucy. It was our annual girlie day out and I was determined to go, dead or not!

We had planned to go to West Wales but I knew I couldn’t cope with the distance, so we went to Tyntesfield, only an hour away (well it is with my driving <LOL>) . I think it was a bit mind over matter because I felt fine mostly, only half way round the house I had a little sit down and fell asleep!! I don’t think anyone noticed though. <LOL>

Then we went a couple of miles down the road to Clevedon, a great favourite of Sir John Betjeman . It was a little windy but some rare sunshine too. We walked along the restored Pier. What a treat, it doesn’t have the usual amusement arcades. Every plank has 3 brass plaques of names of people who donated to the restoration. Not to mention larger plaques over the benches. You could spend the day reading the stuff that’s there and some are famous people, like John Craven, from his Newsround and Mike Read. Some of the comments are really amusing. Marriage proposals and all sorts

There's a two story building at the end of the Pier and as we approached it, we were delighted to find it was the Pagoda Tea Room, with a balcony that ran all the way around it.


They offered Cream Teas. Well, it would have been rude to decline, wouldn’t it?

Tomorrow I go back to school. I don’t feel at all rejuvenated but I shan’t worry about that because I shall be handing in my notice. At last I have the job of my dreams, I shall be working from home doing music research and at last, without it being in the slightest bit scandalous,….I get to sleep with the Boss!!!!!