Why do we do it? Do you work in between Christmas and New Year?

Getting up this morning, whilst finding my socks I was pondering why some businesses open in between Christmas and New Year and some businesses close completely.

I know that traditionally factories and building contractors etc stop work for the whole period. Some businesses shops, pharmacies, doctors surgeries etc have to open but I work in an office and most of my clients are businesses and factories that are shut until 6th January but still I go to work.

I won’t admit to being the most productive during this period.  I just seem to be tidying up, catching up with work that I kept putting off until another day and generally trying to get ahead with next years work.  Today, I spent the whole day on one thing which apparently is supposed to make my life easier and be more standardised (ooh how I hate that word).

I would like to take this opportunity to thank all those people that do work over Christmas and New Year to keep our country running and that’s why we go to work, to keep the cogs of this country turning 🙂 So to all of you that are working over the New Year,  Thank you and I wish you all a very happy new year. Regards xx Elaine

December 2013 Upcycling Projects – sideboard

Upcycling Projects  – Total spend about £60

Since moving into our new home in May 2013 I have been hunting for a sideboard.  I could have easily popped to the pine or oak shop and spent a fortune on one but didn’t want ‘samey’, do you know the same as everyone else.  So I started my hunt.  I looked on Freecycle, Gumtree, Ebay and constantly trawled the charity shops.  I would find something I liked but it was either to big or too small to fit the alcove beside the fireplace.


Then one day just before Christmas I trekked into my local Oxfordshire Animal Sanctuary shop and found this little gem.  My husband was,  now let me just think of how to phrase this nicely ……. not best impressed when this was delivered to our house in (I believe) a horse box according to my son.

For me this served two purposes:

1.  Selfishly, it fitted everything I had been looking for

2.  I gave the Animal Sanctuary much needed money as I know that they are struggling to find funding that they need.

This is how it arrived and actually I did quite like it like this but the other half didn’t.  So up cycling began.




The sideboard was transported to the garage for its make over.  I was just going to give it a quick rub down, new knobs and paint it.  That was my plan.

Tim on the other hand is a bit more pedantic than me. He sanded it back to the bare wood, by this time he had taken over and I walked away.  Once he had completely sanded down the sideboard and then repainted it in Cuprinol garden paint that we had left in the garage,  he let me choose the knobs.

Eventually I decided on the crystal knobs from Screwfix but I know that these can easily be replaced if and when I fancy a change.

Voila the finished article! Which already is being piled with stuff!




Windows 8 – OMG a whole new world. COMPUTER SAYS NO

I never thought I was a technophobe or someone who never had a clue but with Windows 8. I feel completely thick! I want to make tiles of things that I want to use and I can’t. Drag and drop doesn’t seem to exist!

Slowly, slowly I am getting used to it.

Its taken 3 days to set up me email so please bear with me.

Fetch Everyone Advent Competitions – Running/Walking/Cycling people this one is for you!


Fetch Everyone Advent Competitions

If you are into Running/Walking/Cycling this one is for you!

Try these competitions from Fetch Everyone.

Each day is a different competition up until 24th December:

Advent day 1 – High 5 Marathon Pack

AdventDay 2 – GORE RUNNING WEAR® Air Zip Shirt Long Sleeve

Advent Day 3 – SealSkinz Hat and Gloves

Advent Day 4– Bionic Effektor Power Running Shirt Long Sleeve

Avent Day 5 – Seals TS3

Advent Day 6 – Five Human Kinetics Books

Advent Day 7 – Custom Ordnance Survey Map

Advent Day 8 – Adidas miCoach Heart Rate Monitor and Speed_Cell BTLE

Advent Day 9 – 12 week online coaching programme from Helen Taranowski

Advent Day 10 – £100 to spend at Up & Running

Advent Day 11 – ashmei Beanie and gloves

Advent Day 12 – Garmin Forerunner 220

Advent Day 13 – X-Bionics Selection

I will try and add the new ones on each day.  Good Luck and may the odd be forever in your favour.




Is Heston really the modern day Willy Wonka?


Is Heston Blumenthal really the modern day Willy Wonka? Is it the gingeriness of his hair or the safety goggle type glasses that he wears that draws me to the tv?

Each time Heston is on the telly I am glued, wondering what he is going to dream up next.  He absolutely amazes me how thinks up his ideas and then puts them together.

Some of the things really do make me want to gag (tonight’s episode was fish heads)but maybe that’s just the Veggie in me.

Its obviously something us normal mums can’t whip up at home ….. or is it Heston?  May that’s the next challenge for you?

I would love to go the Heston’s restaurants put part of me would be terrified.





If I were an MP …..

If I Were an MP I would……

After watching the news and hearing about the 11% payrises for MP’s I have decided that I may ditch my job as an Insurance Broker and become an MP.

I was wondering what the criteria may be for becoming and MP….. so I googled and I found this:

Am I Eligible?

1.  You must be at least 18 years old and a British citizen, or a citizen of  Commonwealth country with indefinite leave to stay in the UK – Check

2.  You can’t be an MP if you’re a civil servant, an undischarged bankrupt, a member of the clergy, police or armed forces, a prisoner serving more than a year in jail, or if you’ve been found guilty of certain electoral offences. – Haven’t done any of these yet so a Check for that one too

So it seems I am eligible.

Well I know that I can talk crap as well as the next person give me a few vodka’s and there will be no stopping me.

I think one of my first policies might be controversial but who doesn’t love a bit of controversy to get ahead.

Are you sat down?   This might just be the get out you have always been looking for.

 Marriages should now come with renewal dates….

Why not everything else expires and has to be renewed why not a marriage.  Just think of all those people who are not really happy but just can’t face the solicitors, arguments, discussions of who has what.   Instead we can have a renewal date.

After 10 years you get a letter through the post offering you the chance to opt out or renew. Easy hey, renew sign it and send it back and another certificate comes through the post just like your motor insurance.

 I know, I know what your thinking…. and no it really isn’t that easy I know that  but think of all the options if it was and I can hear the church in uproar already.

You would probably enjoy 10 years knowing that at the end you can walk away split everything 50/50 after sorting the kids if there are any.  Or when you are laying in bed listening to him/her farting and snoring you can relax knowing that you only have a limited time left to listen to it.

Maybe this could actually boost the rate of marriages that do stay together. Till death do you part is such a long time but if you could break it down into 10 year periods it could be more manageable.

Of course this is a pie in the sky idea which has jumped out of my over imaginative brain but just think about it!

Where is my Christmas spirit? Christmas shopping for the kids

Really struggling this year to get inspired for Christmas shopping for the kids this year.

Both boys at difficult ages and behaviours.

Note to parents with young children don’t be tempted to buy the children games/toys for older than they are because at some point you it will come back to bite you and will struggle.

The 8 year old is just a technohead!  Never happy unless he is plugged in to his Samsung Pad and if he was allowed he would be in his element to be permanently attached 247.

The 11 year old has just grown up to fast.

Sat on the sofa scanning shops and websites for inspiration and I can’t find any!  Maybe I should have a few glassed of the mulled variety to start with.

Ho ho ho

Time to decide on my New Years Resolutions


I know we haven’t got to New Year yet and we still have Christmas to do but this time I want to attempt my resolutions will full enthusiasm and not half heartedly.

This year I am going to be 40.  I can remember my mum being 40 a few days after giving birth to my brother Jack. I am not planning a pregnancy but some other life changing events could be done.

Resolution 1 – Run forrest run!

Last year I managed to persuade my colleagues to run a half marathon with me.  Much to my surprise I managed to complete it.  It was not a world record shattering pace but I did it.  I really enjoyed the training once I got into my stride and I did enjoy (not all but most of) the half marathon.

SO I AM COMMITTING to getting my running shoes back on.  In January I shall commence a new running regime.  I am going for  some pre-January lunch time 2 mile walks with my colleague and encourager Suzanne  and then January I will start the running with Julie .  These ladies are inspiring they have both completed half marathons, lots of 10ks and Julie has also completed Marathons and 24 hour runs.  Suzanne is up for her first marathon the beginning of next year so we can support each other.

So this is a resolution for me and no one else.  I love the fact that when I am in the running zone I can just chuck on the trainers and go.  Whilst I am out I don’t have to think about anything or anyone and on the plus side I can nosey into peoples houses as I trek around the streets.

Resolution 2 – Spend more quality time with the boys.

As much as I love my boys to bits the time we spend together at the moment just seems to be a mass of testosterone verses oestrogen.  A huge big test of who will win and its got to be sorted out.

I think we should learn to spend time together boys and myself not attached to their technology and go back to basics.  Games of marbles, Jenga, Boules (mmm another Christmas present idea) dominoes.  Country walks (another burning calorie activity) or maybe I will start taking them to Park Run on a Saturday morning to burn off the excess aggression that’s flowing through their little bodies.

Park Runs are fabulous, good spirited people, fabulous tail runners (to keep me company) and all for FREE.  You just have to register and get a barcode to get a time.

That’s it just two resolutions. I am not going to set myself  the usual targets, swear less, eat less, drink less, lose weight.

Though I could shop less and start bargain hunting more.

What are your resolutions or  what is the best resolution you have ever made and kept to?

I do love a christmas tree

My Christmas tree is one of my favourite Christmas traditions.  I wanted to just share the joy with you all of my last few years trees.

2013 the Premier appearance of the 7ft massive Christmas tree. New house new tree 🙂


 2012 the year the pre-lit lights failed after being up for a few days!


2011  perfectly pretty especially with a port and lemonade.