Sunday 30 August 2009

sucked in...

Yes, I have got sucked in watching The X factor, they are still showing the auditions at the moment. As you would expect some people are really good and others are painfully bad! I am pleased to say its another good show to watch whilst doing the exercise bike. James calls it mindless drivel (one of his more polite terms!), but I likes it ;o).

In our Starbucks on the wall by the drinks station they have up what iced drinks the baristas prefer, being primarily frappuccinos, one of the supervisors put down her favourite as a coffee frappuccino with gingerbread syrup (obviously seasonal). You guessed it, the power of suggestion got the better of me and ever since reading it I have been fantasising about a gingerbread frap...

So, yesterday I was sitting there eating my croissant with strawberry jam drinking my skinny sugarfree vanilla latte, and I see the said supervisor. So I told her that since seeing her favourite frap I NOW WANT that drink! She then whispers to me and James that she has a secret supply of gingerbread syrup, and she will leave a note to say that I can have some of her secret stash ;o). So my next thought was how do I order it? Do I have to ask for it in code such as "Fido will be going with Gretal to Grandmas house"

We went back into town yesterday afternoon as is now part of our Saturday ritual, I was queueing up to get our drinks and one of the girls said to me "so your not having your Special then" so I said no I will have that tomorrow! So I now know how to order my "special" order, phew what a relief ;o).

So today in Starbucks I am finally ready to order my "special drink" so I queue up and ask for a "tall coffee lite Special" and she knows EXACTLY what I would like. So I get my eagerly awaited drink and it was absolutely gorgeous, I had to hold on to it tightly as I feared that James would nick it from me. I reluctantly let him have the tiniest of tastes (I allowed him to sip for half a second - although I think that was way too long!).

No sure what we are going to do tomorrow yet as its a Bank Holiday, but if I want my "special drink" then it will have to involve going back to our Starbucks, what a decision to have to make!

I weighed myself this morning and was pleased that I am exactly the same, so thats pretty good ;o)

Sunday 23 August 2009

evil outlook

Since James has been temping he has needed to complete timesheets showing his hours worked. I have been doing him reminder e-mails to complete them. I did six (one, two, three, four, five, six) of them before getting fed up. The sixth and last one was Thursday.

I then had a tiffany moment (a bit like an epiphany but with bling), that I invite James to a weekly meeting, meaning that he will get weekly reminders and I dont have to keep e-mailing him! The idea then hit me that as long as I can get him to "accept" my invites, I can then manipulate his calender - such as 11am Friday (half an hour before he goes to lunch) "buy Amber a huge bar of nice chocolate" ;o) I wonder if Bill knows of my evil intentions ;o).

Back in January our Sky+ Box had a hissy fit and was saying that there were no programmes in the programme planner. We rebuilt the planner and all was fixed. Last night we were watching something we recorded, and the skybox kept on freezing and would then reboot itself. After several goes of this we then decided to rebuild the planner. The skybox wouldnt let us record anything either, and still wouldnt after rebuilding (this course of action had worked back in January). We then decided that it may work out cheaper to upgrade to Sky+HD as we didnt take out the extended warranty.

So after coming back from town I call Sky to upgrade to HD to be told that there is a six week waiting list (one, two three, four five, six), I was dumbfounded! Six weeks (one, two, three, four, five, six) of not being able to record stuff! We then hit upon the idea of calling an engineer out to get a replacement box, that will cost us £65.00 (around $100.00) and the guy is due Tuesday afternoon between 12 and 5pm! And what would you know, after booking the engineer the skybox is working ok! Aaaargggghhhh If its still ok tomorrow morning I will probably cancel!

So this morning while doing the exercise bike (with the absence of being able to watch something I have recorded) I put on a Sesame Street DVD it really made the 35 minutes whizz by ;o) What surprised me was at the beginning of the DVD they said that this show was for adults only and shouldnt be shown to pre-schoolers! Surely learning is learning. In the episode I saw it didnt show anything that I would call questionable. Did you know that Oscar was originally orange? I was quite shocked! In all honesty I dont think I will ever get over this, and may have psychological repercussions ;o)

The sausage lady came up trumps again yesterday, by having my chili chocolate sausages ;o) How many other people have sausages made especially for them? The Queen may give Royal Warrants to companies but I bet she doesnt have many things made especially for her!

Its been the V festival this weekend, I havent seen too many of the festival goers myself as I guess we have been in Chelmsford before many of them have been bothered to get out of their tents. And thanks to NXEA not allowing off peak tickets to be used between 4.29 pm and 6.34 pm this means all but the more affluent festival goers arent going to be travelling on my train ;o). Typically I was sitting next to one of them!

I weighed myself this morning and was well chuffed that I have lost the two pounds (one, two) that I put on last week ;o)

This post has been bought to you by the numbers two and six and the letters l b and s ;o)

Monday 17 August 2009

The shortlisted photo

Sorry the link wasnt working... is the photo for you ;o)

my flickr pictures are here

Sunday 16 August 2009

half a cupcake if you dare?

First thing first on Thursday I got an email from Schmap saying that one of my photos has been shortlisted for inclusion in the eighth edition of the Schmap London Guide, to be published early September 2009 ;o) How excited am I...

...I could soon say that I am a published photographer ;o) Any time that James criticises my photos I can say "well I am a published photographer so there" whilst sticking my tongue out with my hands on my head antler style ;o) Very childish I know! Actually I think I will change his wallpaper to that picture as a constant reminder for him ;o)

NXEA latest 48 hour strike started on Thursday. I was quite annoyed that they included in the Industrial Action Timetable the special trains that they had running the week before. This time they were running three per hour upto 9am, and I just knew that the train journey wasnt going to be nearly as comfortable as it was :o(.

Anyhow Thursday morning arrives and I get to the station in time for the first train and there are station staff informing us passengers of the trains that are running (just to make sure that everyone knows of the extra trains), and an announcement comes over the tannoy that the first train hasnt even left Colchester yet as there is some sort of problem *sigh*. So the (what was an extra) train arrives having started from Witham with the carriages around three quarters full, but I was pleased that I got a seat.

My boss let me leave in time for the 4pm train (because unlike the morning, the trains in the evening were still running one per hour!). I left work at 3.25 just to make sure I had plenty of time to get a good seat, I was sitting there and at about 3.55 the driver announces that tomorrows (Fridays) strike will not be going ahead as a compromise has been reached. Someone (not me Im hasten to add) shouted "Oh no" ;o). I texted my boss to let him know because his trains were also effected. The people who were sitting near me on the train were saying they wernt going to tell their bosses, and one woman was moaning because she had already made the time up!

Thursday was even more of a good day as my latest chocolate tasting box arrived from Hotel Chocolat...

Last week I bought a packet of four gorgeous lemon meringue cupcakes, I ate two at the weekend with the intention on having the other two during the week. Because they were quite calorific (did you like my new word?) I had the idea that I could have half a cupcake each night thus spreading the calories over four nights.

This idea worked ok on Monday as the cupcakes were still fresh, but by Wednesday because they were getting stale (although still before the sell by date) the cupcake disintegrated as I cut into it, so I ended up having half the crumbly mess Wednesday night and the other half on Thursday, the meringue was made of harder stuff and kept intact Im pleased to say.

I weighed myself this morning and was gutted that I have put on two pounds, I can only put it down to the fact that I didnt have my normal sausages last week. I ended up having English Breakfast sausages that were a lot meatier! I shall have to see how I go next week.

Oh well...

Sunday 9 August 2009

Going to work in the strike...

Im going to start this post from Tuesday evening...

...Im sitting on the train and notice that I have a text message from nxea, it says something on the lines of "regrettably the 48 hour strike on Thursday & Friday will go ahead as planned - limited services will run - please check website for details".

So on Wednesday morning I tell my boss that the train strike will be going ahead and would he like me to work from home, or try to come in? He says he would like me to try to come in but to "play it by ear"! So I checked the Industrial Action timetable and saw that they were running one train per hour with the first train of the day at 6.43 that was starting from Colchester. I decided that I would go for that train as it was my best chance of getting in.

On Wednesday morning, I left with James just before 6am so I could stand on the platform just where the train doors would be (otherwise you have no hope of getting a seat). I got to Chelmsford Station at about 6.25 and the platform was busy - but not so busy that they would stop people from getting on the platform (this has been known to happen if there has been signal failures or the like).

At about 6.40 there is a tannoy announcement that the 6.43 is "full and standing" but there is an extra service starting at Witham that will arrive at Chelmsford at 7.13 so if you cant get on the 43 you can get on this train. So the 6.43 arrives and they werent joking, every carriage had people standing in the doorways. And all the people "who just had to get on the first train" crammed onto the train. One carriage was so full that the doors wouldnt shut and a skinny bloke had to get off the train! THEY WERE THAT FULL THAT NOT EVEN A SKINNY PERSON COULD CRAM IN!!!!

The 7.13 then arrives and it is practically empty (I didnt tell my boss that bit ;o)), so I get a seat and get into London just before 8am. My colleagues were well surprised that I got in at all.

I then checked the trains going home... we all know getting in is one thing but going home is an entirely different matter! The trains home were again one per hour, this time on the hour. So I was told I could go for the 4pm train (as the 5pm would be crammed) so I decided to leave at 3.35 its a 10/15 minute walk to Liverpool Street Station, and this should get me there early enough to get a seat. I just about got a seat (everyone else had a similar idea!). As it was I got home just after 5pm so that was good ;o).

On Friday I again got to Chelmsford in time for the first train, again it was busy (not as busy as Thursday but there were people standing in the doorways again). Good job I was there early again as the extra service being run that day was at 6.51 (so anyone who was hoping to catch the extra service at 7.13 as per Thursday would have been disappointed). Again the extra train arrived practically empty and "the cherry on the cake" was that I had a two seater all to myself! I dont normally get that even on a normal day ;o).

My boss again was really pleased that I got in and I told him about "just getting a seat" and he said that I could leave earlier so I left at 3.30 and there were more empty seats when I got on the train (so I was well pleased).

Yesterday I was in Marks & Spencer looking at desserts, and came across some scrummy Lemon Meringue cupcakes (and even better James doesnt like them - so I dont have to share ;o)).

see my other flickr pictures here

This morning I was doing the shopping in Sainsbury's, I was in the crackers aisle and shock horror they didnt have any Marmite Breadsticks, I just stood there whimpering and pining thinking what am I going to do (they dont sell them in the Sainsburys near where I work!), I then see the shelfstacker and ask her (in my calmest "inside" voice) if they have any marmite breadsticks in the back? In reality I said "gotmarmitebreadsticksinbackneedmarmitebreadsticksneedthemnow-MUSTHAVEMARMITEBREADSTICKS!" yes I didnt pause for breath while frantically asking. She humoured me and looked in the store room. She came back with a Security guard (worrying that I would throw a hissy fit) to tell me that she was really sorry but they didnt have any but they would be having a delivery tonight. I then feeling defeated (I was close to tears I tell you) decided to go for the Marmite Ricecakes.
I weighed myself this morning and was well chuffed that I lost the 100 grammes I put on last week.

Sunday 2 August 2009

Going to work in my PJs

OOOOhhhh I have a new follower...

Welcome dot (thats what Im going to call you ;o)).

Well the train strike went ahead on Thursday and Friday last week (that was a surprise I can tell you), when I got up on Thursday morning and checked the website I was half expecting "we are pleased to say the strike has been called off", but no it was "please allow more time for your journey". Yes they were running limited trains of one per hour (as opposed to the six per hour I can get normally) on the different lines. The one would have to have got would have started from Colchester a full five stations down the line from me and would have been packed to the rafters (if trains had rafters ;o)).

So, I ended up working from home. I decided that if I got up at my normal time, then I could start work at say 7am and doing 7 hours work I could be finished by 2pm, leaving the afternoon to do as I like ;o) That was my theory and to my surprise (and yours too) thats what I did.

So what did I do with my extra hours? As the weather was nice I went out for walks ;o).

On Saturday my Mum and Sister came over from The Netherlands they are here until Wednesday (just before the next strikes are due). I went and met up with them along with Brother no 2 and his girlfriend. I promised my Mum I would mention her on my blog without blaming her for my witches hair ;o).

I never realised how much my love of fig rolls affected their childhood. Apparently I would award the person who kept quietest the longest with a fig roll! I also said that if you talked too much then you would run out of words ;o). What a nice big sister I am ;o).

All this talk of fig rolls has made me want some, so when I was shopping in Sainsburys this morning I spent a whole 5 minutes down the biscuit aisle looking for them, and was mighty pleased that I did.

You will probably recall last weeks brilliant idea of having a good dessert on Saturday night and a bad dessert on Sunday (after weighing myself), well this week I decided to go for good desserts both days. partly because I saw that Marks & Spencers also do a chocolate muffin dessert. I had that one last night and that was gorgeous too - definitely going on my desserts to have again list.

Thinking about it I dont think the list of stuff I wouldnt have again has anything on it!

I weighed myself this morning and have put on 100 grammes, no big deal!