Archive for July, 2009

Cheaper Shopping

groceriesI just stumbled across a cool website.

http://www.mysupermarket.co.uk

I often shop online for food so I looked into using this site. It allowed me to import all my favourites from my Tescos list, create a shopping list and then gave me several ways that I could swap the items in my trolly for similar items of better value thus saving me money.  My initial shopping list was £98 after I’d carried out several swaps for alternative brands, sizes, weights and specials I knocked £16 off that price. From there it allows you to purchase your list online. Also at the top of the screen it shows the amount you’d spend if you were shopping at one of 3 other supermarkets. I was surprised to learn that my Tescos shopping was cheaper than if I were buying the same items at Asda.

Give it a a go even if you don’t shop online, you can always write the list down and take it to the shop with you.

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Carpet And Chickens

Wil’s Mum is selling her house and in the last couple of months she’s had a particular couple interested in it. They originally turned up to look around and brought their kids with them. Kids, Mum says, that were neither polite nor respectful of her home and belongings. She called Wil shortly after these people had left and gave him a long irate run down about how the kids had run around the rooms dragging their hands down the walls and their shoes on the carpets. Apparently they’d opened cupboard doors, walked in and about rooms eyeing up everything with a tape measure and really made themselves ‘intrusive’. Wil’s mum was incredulous but the best was yet to come when apparently the AWFUL MAN asked if she would be leaving the carpets, curtains or any white goods.

NO of course she wasn’t leaving anything behind, least of all those 30 year old velvet curtains with the sun faded edges or the Miele Dishwasher that took her 6 months to choose and deliberate over before it’s purchase. And definately, most DEFINATELY not her carpets. Those carpets that have only been privvy to the lightest sock covered footsteps and have never seen the sole of a shoe. The carpets that are so precious, no one has actually ever seen them since their lifetime has been covered by little bits of remnant carpet intrinsically placed in high wearing areas such as doorways, near the phone and the first few stairs to protect them from normal daily use. Something that Wil and I struggle to get our heads around because why be so concerned about the condition of something thats covered up for no one to see all the time anyway?

So she was gobsmacked, shocked, horrored and offended that the chap interested in her house was trying to agree some sort of deal to take her acres of 100% quality woven wool pile, rubber backed, dust, flesh and hair harbouring floor covering off her hands. Much the same way we were shocked and horrored but for slightly different reasons than she. To tell you how horrified she was about the ordeal, she lost sleep over it. She then wherreted on another 4 or 5 separate occasions about this man, this AWFUL MAN who bid her on her beloved carpets and white goods. She sat here in our living room like a mugging victim clutching a tissue and fighting back the tears about that awful day THAT DREADFUL, HEARTLESS, SPINELESS CREATURE OF A MAN BURST INTO HER HOME, PEELING COILS  OF WALLPAPER OFF THE WALLS  WITH HIS FINGERNAILS AS HE STOMPED DOWN THE CARPET OF THE HALLWAY WITH HIS MUD COVERED DOC MARTENS ON. Each time she told the story her face grew paler, her eyes wider and her eyebrows higher, just like Deadre Barlows on Corrie when Ken walks out upon learning she’s had another affair.

At the weekend we had to drag our sickly selves out of the house in aid of another poorly soul. One of our chickens, Wendy, had developed some sort of nasty sounding snotty sneezy cough. Each day it became worse and when I put her away on Friday night she was very wheezy in the quiet nest box of the henhouse. By Saturday morning Susan had started it too so it was clearly a spreading infection.

We took Wendy to the vet in a woven IKEA storgage container from which she made reassuring little clucks along the way. Once inside the vets room she was lifted out of the basket and placed on the table where she proceeded to get man handled by the vet. First her eyes, nose and beak were checked with a light. Then her wings, tail, backside and legs were all checked. Wendy was turned this way and that by the vet who handled her with a no fuss attitude, even when Wendy squarked and flapped in a bid to get away the vet simply placed a hand on each side of her and slid her back across the table.

Then she picked her up and before Wendy knew what was going on the vet plunged a needle full of antibiotics straight into her chest.

And if there was ever a comparison I could draw to describe the look on that chickens face it would be to turn to Wil’s mum and say

‘I’ve just shit…….

……..on your carpet’

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Highs and Flus

Not THAT kind of swine!

Not THAT kind of swine!

With an incubation period of 2-5 days I get the feeling it was the trip to the airport to drop the boy off that loaned the Swine Flu experience. Helped along by my physical exertion on the Sunday which left me wide open in the susceptibility stakes I have been knocked out with Swine Flu all week.

On Sunday evening after the race I felt a familiar scratchiness in my throat and although I was fairly certain it was the beginnings of a cough starting, I wondered if it could have been a bit of soreness from breathing so hard that my heart rate monitor stopped counting BPM at the top of one of the race climbs I’d taken a bit too fast!

On Monday morning I felt ok, if a bit achey which was understandable since I’d raced the previous day. However, throughout the day at work the cough began to surface a little more frequently and annoyingly, I started not being able to concentrate on what I was doing and by 3:30pm I had to call it a day. I had a headache, my legs started aching in the bone which made it impossible to sit still in a chair at a desk and I felt like if I was going down with something it’d be crappy to drag everyone else in the office down too. I went home. I placed myself on the sofa with a blanket for the rest of the evening and refused dinner, despite not eating all of my lunch I didn’t have any appetite.

On Tuesday morning I felt horrendous. My back, arms and legs all felt like each muscle and joint had been taken out, trampled on by a herd of elephants and put back in. And under the muscle the bones had a dull and uncomfortable ache resonating through them. No position I put myself in gave any relief. My temperature had gone up to around 40c and I lay there sweating, but feeling cold. The cough was at it’s worse and only served to make my stomach feel like it was going to rupture through the skin. Each muscle felt like a potato and with each cough the whole sack of spuds knocked hell out of each other and the surrounding organs. Temperature remained high despite taking Paracetamol and Lemsip, the aches were still in full force, the headache had cloaked my brain and face and I still hadn’t eaten anything. To make it worse my lungs had both become fuzzy and thick feeling creating a sensation that there was only a small pocket the size of a fist in each one with which to inhale into and this made my breathing shallow, wheezy and fast. Wil called the doctor and the NHS hotline and confirmed Swine Flu.

Wednesday was a repeat of Tuesday but the cough began to ease off a little.

Thursday I was finally able to stomach food albeit a little bowl of porridge for breakfast and a solitary piece of steamed Salmon for dinner! In the morning I hadn’t felt any better than the previous days but by the afternoon it seemed like the clouds might be clearing.

Today I’m up and dressed. I’ve yet to eat and I feel like I have a really nasty cold complete with a chesty cough and a backache, but it’s a marked improvement. Thankfully Wil was able to work from home all week which was initially his decision but then enforced by the fact his office didn’t want him in when he’d been in contact with Swine Flu, understandably!

Wil’s presence at home was also a saving grace yesterday when he walked through the dining room to get a spoon for my cough medicine and stopped dead with both feet in a puddle of water.  Great timing for our 180L Tropical Fish Tank to spring a leak. He relocated the fish to  a large Tupperware storage container and emptied the tank to stop further leakage. There’s a little job for when I’m feeling better!

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Super Sunday


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Originally uploaded by davefranciosy.co.uk

Sunday was great. Freshly minus one small blonde who’s buggered off to ‘summer’ in the States with his Pa, Wil and I did a 2 hour Moutain Bike Endurance race at Brandon County Park which was number 2 in a series of 3. I didn’t do the first one but Wil did and had a goal of where he wanted to place. I looked at the ladies category and worked out what I thought my timing should be for the 6.2 mile laps and pitted myself against one of the female entrants in the list.

The weather was great, my bike was excellent, our pre-race planning was a little shoddy and I ambled up onto the start line tucking the freshly purchased energy bar I’d bought at one of the vendor stands into my jersey pocket with less than 30 seconds to the starting gun.

I put everything I had into the race and was really pleased with my performance considering I hadn’t really been training seriously and considering that about a third or more of the ladies in my category were sponsored team riders. I’d expected to place worse than 9th out of 13 which has given me a great benchmark for my next race.

Wil had a bit of a shakey start to his race which left 2 minutes after mine. We’d had a bit of a muck up with water bottles in that I’d fitted 2 cages to my bike but hadn’t checked to see if my 2nd bottle would actually fit in the small space in the frame, which it didn’t. Wil then kindly gave me his Camelbak and borrowed a water pack from a friend at the start line, leaving him rolling into the start as the gun went. However this didn’t seem to ruin his performance, he had a blinding run and although he didn’t place where he had wanted to (within the top 100) his speed showed an improvement of 2 minutes per mile over his last race which is fantastic. Especially considering his other technical hitch was having blindly bought isotonic rehydration products instead of energy food! This is what happens when we start medalling in eachothers specialties. Bike stuff = Wil, planning and food = Ren!

Next race is in August.

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Class of 2009

SG1S1053Today is Cameron’s last day at Primary School and after the summer holiday in September he’ll go to High School.  He’s really pulled it out of the bag in the last couple of years at his lovely little primary school. He’s had a teacher he gets on well with and the school has had a Head Mistress with really good values and a fantastic way of working with the kids and because of their hard work together he got some good results in his report and end of year SAT exams. Being a very small school it’s friendly and quite close knit so I’m really sad in a way to see him lose that when he goes up to the high school next term.

Yesterday the kids did their Leavers Assembly and chose (before he actually died) to do a Michael Jackson theme! It was good fun and fortunately because of the upbeat nature of the songs I think most parents managed to keep dry eyes! The same couldn’t be said for Cam’s teacher!

Part of the assembly was dedicated to each kid to show a couple of slides of photos of them growing up and give them a chance each to read out a letter full of their best memories of primary school. Here’s Cameron (dressed partially in MJ style clothing) reading his memories which included having a fab time at the school trip to JCA in Hayling Island and many other classroom antics with friends.

The only thing missing from the assembly, dissapointly, is that Cameron didn’t make any mention to his teacher about being able to do a perfect moonwalk! Next time I’ll get in there for him!

(The other kids do have faces but I haven’t asked for permission to put them on the net, hence they have been blurred)

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Comments

I know a couple of you will have noticed I’ve switched to comment moderation. This is not permanent, it’s just that I had a completely insane keyboard warrior bombarding me with insults and childish crap in one of my posts, purely because of his inability to read it.

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Not Healthy OR Safe

I’ve been trying not to get sweary. But I FUCKING hate health and safety wankers and everything they stand for. I’m sure at some point I’ll eat my words when someone points me out to be contradicting myself but you know, they take this crap too far.

Apparently, to prevent Legionnaires Disease bacteria in our water at work H&S instructed the office manager to get the water hot water temperature turned up to 5 million degrees celsius. She did this, without following the second instruction which was to warn all employees so that no one scolded themselves.

What do you think I did this morning after eating my porridge at my desk?

Yep, washed up the bowl.

What do you think happened when I stuck both hands under the hot water tap?

That’s right, I threw the bowl and spoon down in the sink, shouted ‘FUCK’ loudly and jumped back in shock. After turning the tap off, without thinking I grabbed the spoon which was still sat in the bottom of the sink but instantly threw it down again because it was not unlike grabbing a spoon made of red hot glowing magma.

At this point my thumb and two fingers on my left hand were stinging so I ran them under cold water.

There were various people involved in this cluster fuck – one of whom I hold unaccountable for the situation as they’d have acted on instructions if they’d been charged with them. Another who is a completely clueless fuckwit who walks around with his head up his arse (for the particular person who I know reads my blog from work – this is not you), and the other who is a job dodging useless twit who persistantly creates a mess of their work and is bloody fortunate to have someone who is switched on to go around clearing up after them making them look rather good. If this person were a car they’d be a Rover.  Fucking crap.

I’m really fed up with this person. I took on a job from them back in April which I am still working on despite having had the 37 hour per week help of a temp to do much of it for me for the last 3 months. This person let this job get into such a bad state that it’s likely to take several more months before it’s anywhere near manageable. This is only one job out of plenty more that they’ve been responsible for so there is an entire plethora of shit out there just waiting for some other unlucky sod to sort out. There’s also a butt load of bad feeling amongst other people that work with this person but unfortunately in local government you can be a useless sack of crap and nothing ever gets done about it.

So, I’ve ranted off on a tangent. More to the point my fingers are still sore.  I’ve been able to tolerate this person’s slackness but I draw the line at getting hurt because of it. War on.

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