Friday, June 29, 2007


Wednesday was pay day! I am in desperate need of summer clothes so I took myself off to Oxford St for a little late night shopping. First stop the huge new Primark (classy girl as I am!) Where for once I didn’t get beaten up (too much) and actually managed to find some clothes on hangers and shelves and not on the floor!

I got 5 pairs of trousers and some socks and queued for ages as usual to pay. When I got to the door to leave I found that the heavens had decided to open and it was raining in a torrential kind of way. Now I had just that afternoon got a new company umbrella, but they only had the big golfing umbrellas that I had decided was too big to lug across town. Primark sold very nice pink spotty ones for £3 but by that point I was fed up with the queue so decided to make a dash for Dorothy Perkins, 3 shops or so down the road. By the time I got there me and my silly paper Primark bag was so wet it completely disintegrated leaving my new clothes in a soggy heap on the floor! I was not impressed and had to keep shopping to find something to buy to get a sensible plastic one to put all my bits in.

What’s going on? It’s raining, blowing a gale and freezing again today and it’s July on Sunday! I’m blaming global warming and am reducing my carbon footprint accordingly (I refused to have a carrier bag in Sainsbury’s this morning.)

Monday, June 25, 2007

New Office

First day in our new offices. We are now in the middle of Fenchurch St. The offices are really snazzy! We were half expecting to walk into something half finished but everything is here, the pcs are working and by 11 we had printers. We still don’t have fax machines, I have no idea where the photocopier is and the scanners haven’t been plugged in.

Everything is so smart. It’s all in our new colours with darkish wood desks and dark red glass. (looks better than it sounds!) The loos are huge! The cubicles are about the size of my bathroom at home! They are about 3 miles away though the office is so huge!

We have a real funky kitchen – like something out of big brother with a toaster – oh yes! And boiling water on tap – no more waiting for the kettle.

Plus (and how sad are we) we can get the phones to play the 24 CTU ring tone. That was the first thing everyone did this morning! I wonder how long it will be before that gets annoying.

Sunday, June 24, 2007

Digi layout

Ollie's gone to a stag do today. So the painting of the bathroom still needs to be done and I've been playing about with my photos I want to send off to be printed.

Mum's for tea (it's lonely cooking for 1) for pizzas with their best friends. So I got home at 10:30 and decided I'd have another go at a digi LO. I'm more impressed with this than the first attempt. It's done on a template with some more of the stuff mum has given me to play with.

Friday, June 22, 2007

The big move

Our company moves offices this weekend. Today we are all in Jeans and T Shirts and packing up our desks. I can’t wait until Monday, the new offices will be very nice and new and my walk from the station will be less than half the time! Plus it is a nicer area.

The office now looks like a very big bomb has exploded and I have discovered that I will fit in 2 types of packing crate. I was in one when my wonderful colleges shut the lid and stacked another one on top so I couldn’t get out!

We have removal men in to pack up the filing cabinets and stuff and they are all big, fat, sweaty and breathe really heavily. When they are standing behind you breathing all heavily it’s like being involved in a dodgy phone call! Not nice.

Company away day

Yesterday was our school trip away day team building wotsit for work. I was dreading it, be in London for 10 to 8 (meaning I had to get up at ridiculous o’clock) and then a 2 hour coach journey. Now I get really travel sick in coaches. It’s only coaches and only when I go around corners! So I dosed myself up with travel sickness tablets and put the silly wristbands on and gave in and sat at the back of the bus with our rabble and the finance director! I don’t know what worked but something did as I didn’t feel sick at all. I did have the Mickey ripped out of me because of my wristbands and the fact that I had chosen to wear my festival hat.

We got stuck in road works but eventually got to Woburn Safari park. We were a bit late and the coach driver had another job so we must have had the quickest trip around the safari park known to man. We were over taking all the cars and nearly took out a buffalo, lion and a zebra! We did get to see Shane the lion having sex – twice! And a five legged zebra that only really have 4 legs if you know what I mean!

We had breakfast and were then herded into the most boring conference for an hour and a half. I did fall asleep at one point – Bobbie had to hiss at me to wake up! Not so that I wouldn’t get in trouble but because she didn’t feel it was fair that I got to go to sleep and she didn’t! My tablets did say may cause drowsiness and I’m blaming it on that.

After a very nice BBQ lunch we were given very complicated challenges to do. I was unfortunately in a team with our manager who is not a team player at all. Needless to say we came last but by that time another bloke and I had got so fed up that we didn’t go to the ‘awards’ ceremony and had a go on the swan shaped pedalos instead.

We have had a laugh at my managers antics in the office today. Apparently he thinks that I am very cleaver but I scare him!


Saturday was a trip to see Muse at the new Wembley stadium. Although the arch was impressive there isn’t that much else to add character. I had decided against taking the camera as concerts and cameras don’t exactly mix but the arch against the sky would have been a good photo and taking on your phone really isn’t the same! Muse were fantastic. Unfortunately in order to catch the train home we had to leave before they came back on for the encore and missed 4 songs – one of which was one of my favourites.

Sunday we were off to mum and dad’s for a BBQ for father’s day. Yes dad had to cook but we did bring some food with us this time! Laura and I had not coordinated our father’s day presents which is unusual for us and I had got dad a father’s day edition toblerone and a posh bottle of Scotch. Laura had just got him a regular toblerone! Not to be outdone she tried to give him the bottle of Scotch she had given him for his birthday – unbeknown to her he had already drunk it so she actually gave him an empty bottle!!!!!

Bathroom update

Back to work this week. Why is it always so hard to get back into the swing of things when you have been off for a week?

The bathroom’s not finished. We have a working bath and toilet and almost a fully tiled floor. We could have had the floor finished and the basin in but we went to Wembley to see muse on Saturday and to mums on Sunday. The walls need another coat of paint which is tomorrow’s job.

Thursday, June 14, 2007


Oh and forgot to say that we finally got to the cinema last night. Well it is our holiday after all! There are loads of good films coming up so we decided to go back to our cinema passes. We didn't look to see what time the films were, we just went with all our bits to set up our pass accounts and then thought we'd see what was on. Well our passes only took a few minutes, and there was a pirates of the carribean 3 on in 10 minutes. Ollie was doubtful as he thought it would be busy but the lady assured him it was very quiet for an Orange Wednesday so we went for it. There was only about 10 of us in there.

I thought pirates was great. Much better than 2 but of course not as good as 1. Ollie hated the ending, but I quite liked it. I've thought about it and I've come to the conclusion that 1 and 3 are best because they don't really have much plot. 2 tried to have too much plot and it distracted from the pirates and Johnny Depp.

Birds, Tiles, Toilets, Paint and a new bath!

I am sooo tired. We have been working so very hard so far this week. I have muscles that ache that I didn't even know existed.

After the last post I was suddenly woken at 4am. Lying there wondering what woke me up I can hear the birds outside making a terrible racket. As I wake up I think, hold on - one of those chirps is coming from inside the house. Shaking Ollie awake (who was dead to the world still) I say "the cat's got a bird" By the time we put our glasses on and get downstairs, the poor thing is pretty much dead on the floor at the bottom of the stairs. Brian (the cat) gave it up quite readily. It's his very first catch and I do hope he doesn't make a habit of it. We were quite surprised though. This cat spends 22 hours a day asleep on the bed and is about 3 sandwiches short of a picnic!

Well what's been happening on the bathroom? Loads really. We now have most of the tiles on the floor. It is impossible to cut tiles in a curve! There's just 3 or 4 that need fiddly bits cutting and 2 by the side of the bath that we need to put the bath in first to see how big they need to be. There's 3 coats of paint on the wall, and it still needs another coat.

After having 2 days of no toilet or a toilet that you can't sit on in case it moves and have to flush with a bucket we now have a toilet which flushes, and Ollie is putting a loo seat on at half time in the football as I type. It's amazing how many things you can do around needing the loo. Such as we need to go to B & Q, we'll wait until we need a wee as there's one there! We'll have lunch in Sainsbury's and we can do a wee while we're there!

We've spent all day fiddling about with the bath and have had yet another trip to B & Q to get our new radiator towel wotsit. Hopefully tomorrow we will have hot water back again and a bath that you can put water in and water can come out of!!!!!


Monday, June 11, 2007

Bathroom Update

Yesterday's job was to take the tiles off the floor. However, Ollie hit one with the chisel and we decided that we would just tile over the old ones (it says we can in the B & Q DIY book so that's ok!)

So today we were going to remove the bottom of the shower tray, tile the floor and then go to the cinema while the tiles dried and then come home and fit the new loo. However, we got a bit carried away with the shower and ended up taking the whole thing out and all the tiles off the wall. Taking the shower tray up we discovered that there isn't actually any floor under it! But we did find a load of pipes from when we presume they used to be a bath. They have used 3 cans worth of foam which I did have to remove. I swear our whole house is held together with foam!

Now we haven't found our mains stop cock by this point and had spent all yesterday making holes in the back of the kitchen cupboards trying to find it. So a trip to B & Q this afternoon found us bying breeze blocks to fill in the hole in the floor and a gadget to stop the water from the street.

We got home and figured that we can use the existing pipes instead of running new ones from where the sink used to be. So there is a pipe at the bottom which we think runs to where the shower is which has an isolation valve. So we turn it and a load of water comes out the wall! Strange we think, but close it again.We then turn the water off at the mains to remove the shower. We need the pipe from the shower to be a lot lower, so Ollie cuts it down a bit in the wall and then cuts the bit at the bottom. We need to test the valve so turn the water back on. Water spurts out the pipe in the wall that we think we have just cut off from the mains. Off the water goes again!

Turns out there are 2 pipes in the wall and after spending 2 hours making holes in the wall to find out where the pipe goes we find that it goes back into the kitchen. So we hop off to Homebase to get a stop for the end and to feed the cats at Helen's so we can have a drink with dinner (we have earned it by this point!) When we got back there's a knock on the door from next door to say that they don't have any water! Turns out that the thing we turned off in the street is their water too! Luckily the stop end worked and we now have water again.

I've just finished the plastering (apart from the shower area which looks like a bombs gone off and has more holes than an aero!

So tomorrow is plastering, the cinema and a new loo.

Here are some photos of our progress (taken by Ollie)

Sunday, June 10, 2007

No hot water

Today we only have a few jobs to do. Removing the existing tiles on the floor in the bathroom and removing the old sink. We thought we'd start after lunch as we needed to go food shopping.

Ollie went to wash his spoon after breakfast and discovered that our combi heater does not like being without water in the central heating and now will not create any hot water. Although this is not too big a problem as we have an electric shower and can boil a kettle for the washing up. It does mean that we do have to re-plumb the new towel rail and fix the central heating before I will be able to use my new bath and shower as the new one is just on a mixer tap! We had planned to leave fixing heating until November but never mind!

Trip to Sainsbury's was also great. We forgot our bags for life so had to be environmentally unfriendly by using new plastic bags. I forgot to get a refund on the parking ticket and we spent a small fortune. We did have to stock up on cider and wine though. With this bathroom fitting lark I think we are going to need it! We also needed cat food, and when we got home to put it away Ollie worked out we now have 14 different flavours ranging across fish, poulty and other meat and 3 flavours of biscuits. Not that we spoil them at all.

Start as you mean to go on...

Yesterday was the official start of our week off and therefore the beginning of the bathroom renovation. First on the list of things to do was to find the kitchen under the mountain of washing up so we could actually find our way to the bathroom! (Ours is an old terrace house with the bathroom downstairs off the kitchen.)

Next was the monster trip to B & Q. We took mum along as dad was asleep having worked a night shift. She was in charge of the list and I must say is worse at holding the list than me! ( I always miss things so we have to go back and forth a million times!) Although Ollie didn't grumble at her nearly as much as he would if it had been me!!!

After spending a small fortune it was back home for fish and chips and to assess the situation and do a game plan. First off was draining the central heating so we could remove the radiator which will be replaced by a nicely plumbed in heated towel rail wotsit. No real dramas with this although it must be the most boring job in the world with us sitting in the bathroom taking turns on my Nintendo DS and occasionally emptying the bucket. (took 2 of us as you need 1 to put finger over draining hole and 1 to empty said bucket)

We also took all the raw plugs and screws out the walls. Unfortunately they used really long screws for the radiator bracket that went back to the brease blocks. These were stronger than the surrounding plaster which I think was made with 90% sand. This just crumples if you look at it so we ended up with some wopping holes in the wall! I do enjoy plastering...

Anyway, I also got the window sill plastered which has been without tiles for 10 months!!! I'm quite impressed with how flat and smooth it is to.

Friday, June 08, 2007

More wedding photos

Last night we had a trip round my best mates to see her wedding photos. They have only got the proofs from the official photographer and have to choose 40. They had a professional so not only did it cost them a fortune, but they don’t get the originals on a disc along with the copyright. However the photos are really good. There’s a great one of their little boy along with his Godparents (me my hubby, and two of Helen’s other friends) He’s even looking at the camera and smiling!

They are off on their second honeymoon tomorrow. They had a weekend away in Venice last weekend just the two of them and then they are going to a cottage in Newquay for a week. So we get to feed their 2 cats, Frodo and Holly, bunny George and guinea pig Mable. Not that it’s any trouble and we are off work next week to fit our bathroom so may sneakily be using theirs.

Wednesday, June 06, 2007

Business Dinner

Last night I went out for my first proper “business dinner”. We have clients over from Bermuda and they took all the people who work on the Syndicate out to dinner. We went to Chez Gerard which is some posh French place (obviously). I had goats cheese salad to start and steak to follow. The salad was really nice and so was the steak. Although it was still too well done to be called ‘rare’ and the chips were those little hard ones. I’m more a soggy chip shop chip girl than a French fries lover. Having nothing remotely chocolaty on the desert menu I just had an espresso. Which only managed to keep me awake until Chatham when I feel asleep and didn’t wake up until just before my stop. I finally got home at 20 past midnight – way too late for a school night and still have to be polite to the guests who are still here today when all I want to do is snooze at my desk until home time!

Here's some more photos that I've taken...

Tuesday, June 05, 2007

Cat picture

I took this photo of my cat on Sunday night. She was balanced on top of the airer trying to catch a fly in the window. My other cat was as usual curled up asleep on the bed! The background is a bit busy - The blind should have been up but they are scared of the noise that the blind makes and run away!

Sunday, June 03, 2007

Digi Layout!

Having not done any scrapping for about a year I finally tidied up the spare room enough to do my first paper page last weekend. I enjoyed it so much but I have run out of printed photos and we haven't found any ink for the printer after using it all up doing wedding bits!

So I had a go at a digi layout. Spent ages last night at mums having her teach me how to do it again as I hadn't done one in 3 years or more! So she sent me off with some basic instructions and a disc with a few bits on to get me started and this is the result.

I'm not happy with it, mainly because I didn't actually start with a plan, I just kind of started to put stuff places. But I just wanted to have a play and I'm pleased that I remembered how to do most of the stuff I was taught last night. I can't tell you what everything is as I've chopped and changed it so much that I have no idea myself!