Les Mis Trailer

Tuesday, 31 January 2012

Going ok

in Sweden by the sounds of Tim's facebook comments!! Things seem to be getting organised and he was off to the bakery for the first time this morning. We have suspicions of it being a 'cracker factory' where they make the Swedish Krackerbrod, but hey, he's never made that before so it would also be a new experience. Still waiting to hear from him on Skype but that will happen soon. Got to get our timings right first! At least he sent me his account name............

It was -5 C this morning but surprisingly it is sunny now and no frost. I've taken the car out for a drive just to keep her from freezing up, and to get essentials etc. Now I have the grand task of clearing out the boys bedroom. 'Seize the day' would be a good adage!! Or 'whilst the cats away, the mice will CLEAN'!!!!
It looks in need..............I'm trying to get myself moving to start on it today. Bit of Popmaster first though..
Sue xx

Monday, 30 January 2012

And he's gone!

I took Tim to Schiphol yesterday morning and this is where we said Goodbye to one another. He had a good flight and announced that he was there and alive via a text in the evening! His facebook posts are more enlightening!!! The house is awfully still without him and I think it will take me a while to adjust to being here alone for so long. But probably not long enough for me to think, " hey, this is rather nice!!"
He is going to school this morning so a nice and easy start, and that's all I know...so far.

This morning we awoke to SNOW. You know, that white stuff that is associated with wintertime. It's only a smattering but it is still white and cold, very cold here.
Looking out from the front window.

Looking out of the kitchen window.
It's the first snow we have seen this winter and it is forecast to move off to the south of the country this afternoon, but it looks very much like a snowy sky right now!! Good job I have no plans to go anywhere today. It's more a day to get the housework done before I prepare for the wallpaper stripping which I am starting tomorrow. The wall I want to start on is cleared and all I need to do is work out how to use the steamer and lay down some protection to cover the floor etc.
Hogging the radiator as usual!
This is their seat of preference without any doubt as I take numerous photos of them sitting together in this pose. At the moment I think...hope...pray..that Genghis is feeling a tad better. He is eating some new
dried food that is much smaller and is for cats with sensitive digestions. He eats it ok and is still drinking enough water etc so I am hoping this is a good sign. Please. Finka by comparison is gaining weight!!! She is not the ultra skinny girlie she was last year!!

Right, I cannot delay the chores any longer - well I can, but they won't go away will they?

(.....and if you are reading this Joanna, please ring me and let me know how mum is)? Thanks!
Sue xx

Sunday, 29 January 2012

The boy's leaving today

and I think he is looking forward to it at last. Having packed his suitcase yesterday it became more real for him (and me) and its just a couple more hours before we need to drive to the airport. Better make him some breakfast, then..................maybe I'll get a photo at the terminal if I'm lucky........
Sue xx

Thursday, 26 January 2012

Encouraging words

Thanks Jodie for allowing me to view your inspirational diet success photos!!! Wow, you look amazing!
At the moment I am in no man's land regarding the diet as I am trying to use up all the food we have in the house before Tim goes away, but then - tan tan ta ra!! I am going on a three week STRICTLY COME DIETING spree, and have no excuses not to succeed when there is only me to feed. Right?!!
I think it will be ok, and I am planning my shopping and sticking to the game plan and doing more exercise ie wallpaper stripping, and hoping for a good result. I may take photos . . . .you are living proof that it works so way to go, girl!!!
Sue xx

Tuesday, 24 January 2012

To err is human; to forgive divine

is, I believe, how the saying goes.

I have been worrying about the absence of the subsidy payment that Tim applied for from school for his placement since we were told we would get half before he goes and the rest upon completion of the three weeks. Yet he has not received a sous as yet. Which as you can imagine causes me nightmares!! So I decided it was time to do something about it today, so I emailed his tutor..............and eventually we learned that there had been a mistake. Instead of ACTIONING the application, they had ARCHIVED it!!! Now it is panic stations as they race to get it paid out to Tim and his fellow student by next Monday or Tuesday at the very latest. At least they will now receive the full amount up front, which works out so much better for us, but what a to-do!! Not very impressed I have to say, school! So long as it gets paid now, I suppose we can be thankful. I'm learning that sometimes I need to overcome my reticence and be more assertive and enquiring about things I am unsure of....done a lot of that today!! Pat on the back, old girl!!!
Sue xx

English skies?!

Aurora Borealis, England. 23rd January 2012. WOW!!!!!

Calm & not so calm

people are living here right now! Sonny boy, the teenager, appears totally stress-free about the coming three weeks and aged and grey mum is worrying about the details!! Son doesn't want to prepare until Saturday; mum would love to do a little every day and be ready by Saturday! Is it wisdom or folly I wonder, that will win the day?

I've been out this morning gathering sheets and deo and shampoo and washing powder (being given some tabs thank goodness!) and other necessary items for the trip. I am making a tidy pile on the spare bed with things I believe he will be hunting for come Saturday afternoon . . . .and I realise this is to alleviate my blood pressure and keep me happy and sane for the next few days but ok, I need to have that. I suppose his attitude is that it will all turn out ok at the final hour, and mine is no it won't if you haven't got a checklist!! What is the old adage "failure to prepare is to prepare to fail"???? Getting older has some advantages - we have experienced the uncomfortable situations already and know what it feels like, and the boy has not. But being a parent means we never want our children to experience it really, so we do all we can to sort things out for them, even if it is on the QT!!

Right now I have other more pressing concerns to be perfectly frank, and I need to give them my full attention today. Off I go!!!
Sue xx

Sunday, 22 January 2012

bedroom in the planning

Medium Duck Egg Blue emulsion

Laura Ashley bedlinen, Elmwood Embroidered Tree pattern.
Having now painted the stairs and landing this weekend I am bubbling with more enthusiasm for decorating!!! And this is where my eye has landed - good old LA!!! Just wouldn't be my home without some Laura somewhere in the house. And I love this duvet cover more than any other I have seen. So it is on the list. A friend has promised me her steam stripper so that I can get the horrid paper off in the bedroom, and then discover the state of the walls underneath and whether I can continue with the same basic wall paper that requires painting to make it look nice. Its the cheaper and cheerful solution as I cannot consider getting them re-plastered. But ok, I can make my own roman blind later on, and I have already got some lace panels for in front of the blind.....and I have seen a light I like.....I know I sound as though it can all happen tomorrow but that is me, the planner, talking. The realist knows that it won't be until the end of the year in all honesty before I can action all this, but it makes me happy thinking about it. So there!!! I enjoy having a project in my head, I enjoy making lists, I enjoy looking on Pinterest for inspiration, I just get a kick out of it!
And when you look out of the window and its grey and wet and cold and miserable, a little day dreaming doesn't go amiss.
Sue xx

Saturday, 21 January 2012

Oh so true!!!

I saw Ineke had pinned this on her facebook page, and since the current raging debate in our house is "what is duck egg blue"? I thought this shed a whole lot of light on the matter!!!! Need I say more?...

This morning it is stormy weather once again and going out in it is far from appealing. However, I need one small pot of paint if I want to complete the landing this weekend, which I do, so that is the answer in a nutshell. I was planning on taking Tim to work in the middle of the night as the forecast was bad, and I had set my alarm and was awake, but bless him, he didn't disturb me and cycled instead. I will reward him with a cream bun today!!!! Well, maybe a nice dinner as his friend is coming over. I am also going to clean up the mirror for the bottom of the stairs as I think it will look nice there at long last, and move my picture up to the top. Oh, I do so enjoy making the house our home! We spent Thursday afternoon re-fitting and hanging the lamp over the coffee table and it looks a million times better now. I wanted a ceiling rose, just a simple one, to match the coving around the room, and because it made the fitting look so much neater/smarter. It took a while actually finding what we liked, but when we did, it was quite easy to fit it etc. We have one for the dining table area as well but no light as yet....its on the lengthy list!
And I know already that I am going to need one in the bedroom as well, as I know the light I want to buy and I know that it will suit a ceiling rose perfectly. 

Yesterday Gloria came to visit. We met at the market before Christmas in the rain, choosing our parsnips and veg for Christmas dinner, and upon hearing a fresh English voice, I talked to her, we got chatting, we exchanged address and telephone numbers, and 'Bobs your uncle and Fannys your aunt', we live really close to one another. I've been to hers for coffee and lunch and she has now been to ours, and on Sunday we are going for dinner and for Tim to watch a live Man Utd Football match on telly!!! Yey!!!
Happy boy. It's his last weekend before going to Sweden so doing something special is really nice for him.

But I ramble on. Time to sort out cats etc and brave the howling gale outside. C'mon Sooty!!!
Have a great weekend everyone.
Sue xx

Thursday, 19 January 2012


on just about everything!!
Genghis first as he has not shown any signs of getting better and I have an appointment to speak to the vet today as he 'did' something very odd yesterday!!...
My mum, who is coming out of hospital probably tomorrow.
Work, no joy with yet another application - but I expected that so not so disappointed as usual; becoming immune I guess!!
Craft evening -went really well. Ann and I both got on well with our stuff, and for a couple of hours in an evening it was really nice. Hopefully Gebke will join us next month.
Painting, still needs to be finished but I have now worked two days this week unexpectedly, so it is on hold til the weekend in all likelihood unless today goes pear-shaped...
Weather, is damp and cold and not at all inviting!!
Last weekend before Tim goes to Sweden so lots to do!!!
Choir, going to start learning some new songs tonight including The Boxer, which is ok but not particularly my taste. I have other suggestions to bring in!! Taking my ipod along this evening so that everyone can hear the music to The Boxer and others, and hopefully find it easier to learn. And to get the  words right, and the pronunciation etc.
Right, time for a shower.....brr!!
Sue xx

Tuesday, 17 January 2012

Laugh 'n Craft

This evening Ann and I are getting together for our first 'laugh 'n craft' evening. Gebke cannot join us unfortunately this time, but we decided that putting it off for another month would be the start of the slippery slope and we would always find one excuse or another not to meet. Ann is a cross-stitcher and makes lovely cards and samplers etc. I will probably do some stamping this evening as I may not have time to get to the craft shop as I had planned since I am probably going to work shortly!! I need to stay home for a while to get a parcel for Tim that needs to be signed for . . . .so hoping that delivery will be asap and I can leave the house in good time. Work is a 45 minute drive away too so it is great that they are willing to give me this leeway of time to arrive. Plus the car will be less frosty too!! I was hoping to finish the painting so have had to get changed from paint gear into something more presentable and warm. Best laid plans 'n all that, but I can never afford to say 'no'.
Sue xx

Monday, 16 January 2012

The diet debate

is, in my humble opinion, eternal. It is the debate of todays show with Jeremy because there seems to be a new party going to hand in a petition at No.10 today. An anti-dieting party who claim that diets do not teach you to listen to your body to know when you are hungry and need to eat, as opposed to changing what you eat to follow a diet plan. Hmm, they also claim that we lose weight only to regain it again and yo yo the rest of our lives as a result of dieting in the the first place.
I imagine these are skinny people............it would be so amazing to be a good weight and able to maintain it no matter what one eats or does. But who really has a body that works like that? Sadly I do know some people who are able to eat the most huge meals, drink wine, beer etc and never gain an ounce. I am not one of them! In my lifetime I have tried virtually every diet there is, and yet remain dissatisfied with my size. There are foods I really love to eat, and I suppose if I could eat a meal plan that included them all, and they agreed with my personal metabolism, I would be happy. The closest diet to my ideal is the Mediterranean one that has long been the favourite of the WHO. I can happily go without the potatoes and the pasta and the rice and the bread, I've accepted that they are hard for my body to digest, simple as that. But I love cheese and I enjoy wine with it, and the occasional chocolate and certainly cake...and giving it up for ever is not something I relish. At the end of the day, it is a choice and a healthy attitude to food is the most important thing in the final analysis isn't it? Interesting hearing what all the current trendy diets are: lighter life is the one I would do if it was available here, I admit it. I've got friends who have done it and some regain the weight and others keep it off. But it is guaranteed to slim you down rapidly and which dieter doesn't want immediate results?! Dukan is a good one too, as is Atkins, Weight Watchers, Slimming World, South Beach, Montignac.......

We all just want to wake up tomorrow and be slim. Please. No effort, just let it all evaporate during the night, thanks.
Sue xx

in the minuses

as it is -2C this morning as I found out when taking the bin round to the road for collection! Brr!!!
This is the first time Sooty has been coated in frost too, poor lass.

Did you see Sherlock last night? Extremely good I thought. It proved that suggestibility is incredibly powerful for changing perceptions and how difficult it really is to hang on to ones own beliefs in the face of such intense opposing thought. Well worth watching should it come to Dutch telly in the future which I am sure it eventually will do as there is a plethora of detective series on their channels.

I made some fantastic baked onions with our chicken dinner last night. It was a case of me forgetting I needed to buy parmesan - asking our neighbours if they had some as she is Italian - swopping baked onions for them for loan of the real parmesan - everybody happy. Yum. It is a Jamie Oliver recipe and fantastic. So simple but it really adds to a meal like our stuffed cream cheese Chicken breast that we fancied for dinner. Followed by ice cream....I'm confessing right now so that I can get back to it today!!!!
It was sort of a hormonal swing towards needing something sweet!!

I am slowly coming round to thinking that I might need to see the GP about my ear. I have been having problems with it for ages now and keep hoping it is going to go away. Then (for a while now) I have had a very painful jaw on the same side of my face, and that is not getting any better either. Is there a connection I wonder? That is what I am worrying about I suppose and what might get me to have it checked out properly. I thought I was clenching my jaw whilst sleeping due to stress etc as I know I do that sometimes, but this feels different to that. Almost as if someone has socked me one on my jaw and it is bruised and cracked. Dunno, its odd.

Right, it's Monday, it's washing; it's housework; it's painting; it's lots of stuff indoors in the warm day!!!
Sue xx

Sunday, 15 January 2012


I was sent this link by a friend who had seen it on another blog and it is super. If my books wanted to play all night there are plenty of things on the shelves to keep them company! A kindle just wouldn't be able to have this much fun! enjoy.
Sue xx

Sunday Love Songs

You just can't beat a whiff of Sunday Love Songs with Steve Wright when you are enjoying a quiet Sunday morning!! Never had a request myself, nor had one read out (yet) but it has been a programme enjoyed by so many for so many years - can't even think how many it probably is? - that to have one played for me one day, would be fantastic. The ultimate request show in my opinion..aaaah. Especially on Valentines Day!!!!

Tim and I have ventured further afield to do our shopping this morning, for a treat. There is a much larger supermarket than our regular ones if you just drive a tad further out, and we decided to go there this morning. Last decent shop before he goes off in two weeks time. We are going to have a good dinner this evening - I feel in the mood to cook!
First though, having now had my breakfast and a coffee, I need to get geared up for the painting session of the day. Taking your advice and no acrobatics today, I have a semi-willing helper I suspect. So, no further procrastination, Suze - c'mon girl!!!!
Sue xx

Friday, 13 January 2012

Great news!

well, if you loved the book anyway. Kenneth Branagh is planning to make a film (starring Kate Winslet) of one of my most favourite books "The Guernsey Literary & Potato Peel Pie Society". I am so looking forward to it!!  Its one of those books that I've given to other friends as a present because it is just such a good read. Amazon sells it!!!

I've spent the morning precariously perched at the top of the stairs on a wobbly stepladder painting the stairwell. It did get my heart racing on a few occasions as I did the splits across the top of the stairs trying to balance one foot on the hand rail so I could reach the top far corner. And at my age too!!! It used to be so much easier!! I have done one coat on all but the long wall, but I felt it was silly to risk it any longer today as I was getting stiffer and stiffer - I'm never going to reach the actual glosswork on the stairway up to the attic; that has to be done by someone else I imagine. Tomorrows another day.

There is a very heated debate at the moment on Jeremy Vine about allowing parents into the classroom to assess and observe teachers performances. Whoa, it is very heated! Whereas I agree that children need good teachers, and there needs to be more supervision available for especially newly qualified teachers, I'm not sure that the children would feel happy at the prospect of mum and dad being at school!  And is this really the best way to improve teacher performance??
When I was in sixth form we had a teacher who was not performing at all. My feeling now is that she was probably suffering a breakdown at the time, and required professional support and treatment. I was in a situation where the class needed to pass with great grades in some cases, in order to get into universities etc. We were not getting the lesson time we needed so the solution was for us to stay behind after school and our retired deputy head teacher came back in and gave us the necessary lessons.  This was only actioned due to parent and pupil pressure, and I suppose no-one wanted to hurt our teachers feelings as she was someone who normally did the job well. Perhaps I would have got a higher grade if we had had more tuition but in the end we all did well enough. In this instance it was us, the pupils who decided it was time to make the situation known and get something done about it. Perhaps that is also an option?..............
Sue xx

day dreaming

whilst the boy is away for 3 weeks I am psyching myself up for a wallpaper stripping fest!!! Having the house to myself (the cats don't mind!) means I can get on with it uninterrupted and undisturbed. I figure that by making a start I am bringing myself closer to the dream of a beautiful bedroom this year. I'm sure the condition of the walls will be pretty much the same as in the rest of the house, so I will probably just be painting over them, although I am tempted to do the 'one wall' thing and paper behind the bed....maybe. We are not all fans of wallpaper here!!! I am determined about the colour however: I've always wanted a duck egg blue and  white bedroom. It's non-negotiable, sorry. Been too long in having my wish fulfilled.
I was talking to the woman in the decor store yesterday when I cashed in my long-held vouchers for paint, trying to describe the colour I call Duck Egg to no avail (pretty much the same colours as my current background). She was being very helpful, and I think I could get the colour mixed there but then I went onto the Laura Ashley site and found that they have it for a smidgen of the price here!!! And the most beautiful bedlinen................so now I am even more sure that this is my project for spring. It won't stop there though as the whole room needs refitting and a new bed and wardrobes etc....dream on Suze!!! I do think that having the vision and knowing what you are aiming for, the finished thing so to speak, is vital. Watch this space!!

Yesterday we heard from our friend Max whom you might recall was married to Anne who died a few years ago now. I am so happy to hear that he has found a new love and is loving his retirement and life is fantastic. He thoroughly deserves to be enjoying every moment, and I need to tell him so. It was great to hear from him as it has been about a year since we last had contact, but he was delighted to get our address again on the back of the christmas card we sent. Plus point for writing the address on the back of envelopes! Just goes to prove that 'everything will be alright in the end. If it's not alright, then it's not the end."
Sue xx

Thursday, 12 January 2012

Another day dawns

with a trip to the GP's with Tim for his salmonella test. Apparently he needs proof for Sweden that he is free from the lurgy etc so much to his disgust we did that first thing today. Now I am in the middle of cooling down my dough for some Orange and Cinnamon Cookies, which we both adore! Coffee guest tomorrow so need to have something to go with it!! It has gone much darker and started to rain here as forecast, so it's a stay at home day now. I went to buy new bulbs for some lights in the house too, and of course bought the wrong fitting - change it tomorrow, eh?....after all my technical traumas yesterday I will stick within my comfort zone for the coming 2 hours please!
My new passport has arrived. Wow, I was expecting several weeks wait but I am delighted to say I have it back already. Looks posh too!!! So, free to travel again; any offers?????!!! I saw Dublin was in the sales, Ineke, very reasonable I thought too!! But you are probably already going in the spring I'm sure. And it was too short a break really. Ah well, I continue to dream.
I suppose I ought to get on with those cookies..................
Sue xx

Wednesday, 11 January 2012

a day without internet or telephone.....phew!!

You only realise the addiction to something when you are inexplicably forced to do without it for a while.
This morning I switched on the computer but there was no 'you've got mail' and no Chris Evans and no blogs and nothing at all!! I spent a long while talking with Ziggo who assured me it was a malfunction and would be fine in no time at all. Not true. Nothing seemed to be working so when Tim got home he asked our neighbour to take a look at the modem: and yes, he fixed it!!! Simply by sticking the point of a knife in it and re-setting the modem and voila, we were re-connected. Maybe he ought to go and work for Ziggo??
So here I sit, reading everything and anything just to get my fix. Oh dear................welcome back my lovely!!!!
Sue xx

Tuesday, 10 January 2012

Interesting morning!

This morning I finally got around to meeting with someone from personnel to discuss the never-ending saga of applying for jobs and getting nowhere!! Ok, that was the pessimistic me speaking, but I do think it was a very positive step to take and I am very glad I did it. There! There is still hope for me.
It became apparent that one of the major obstacles in my way is my background and education. What I have in experience and qualifications is at odds with the level of jobs I apply for, so there are mixed expectations from both sides(apparently). So maybe I ought to aim higher instead of always going for the lower roles?...............the upshot of our meeting is that I have some people to contact and make appointments with and maybe that is the opening I have been missing all this time; you never know. I am feeling happy about it, excited that this is a step in the right direction, and optimistic once again.
(I definitely think my little 'pep-talk' this morning helped enormously so thank you for that)!! x
I went into town afterwards and treated myself to a healthy coffee and bagel; diet conscious so no cappuccino!! And bagels are low-fat too........and I do love a good bagel!! I think they will be on the birthday menu this year. With cream cheese...................yummy. And I fancy a Salad Nicoise this evening - I'm on a roll!!!
Sue xx

Monday, 9 January 2012


I started with good intentions yesterday and am pleased with my start! I have re-opened my diet diary as that really helped me last year. I find that keeping a note of how I am doing and what my mini goals are keeps me motivated. I have also decided to try a little Atkins this time. There are not enough products over here in comparison with England, but more are appearing in the supermarkets. I would do weight watchers if I could afford it, but there are no classes anywhere near me!! and the range of products in the shops is abysmal to be frank. I saw that M&S are also providing an excellent range of ready meals again, and theirs are always very good indeed. So I have  sent off for my free bar and the booklet and I will see how far this one gets me. Since we are both dieting and going about it in different ways, it will be interesting to see how we get on. Tim needs to do something too but he has not got the right mindset for it right now. Sport is the key for him as he loves to eat especially bread which is my 'allergy' and very bad for me, so I am keeping my fingers crossed that he starts playing basketball again this year........no pressure, son, but it would do you GOOD!!!! I am going to do the walking thing. 20 minutes every day is recommended. I ought to be able to manage that, surely?
It was back to school for Tim this morning so we were up early and he glumly went off for the morning. Not before he had complained and moaned and groaned about it on facebook, mind!!!
What am I doing today?
Washing, by the looks of the full baskets on the landing.
A walk around the block to buy tulips at the end of the street from my penny-pot of treats!
Make more cards for the year ahead now that I have got started on them.
Read some more gardening books and make lists!
Have a nice day folks!
Sue xx

Sunday, 8 January 2012

Getting down to it:-

The new year and everything I'm thinking about doing this year that is!!!

A brand new year to live life fully, that is the promise that January 1st brings with it whether we are consciously aware of it or not. This is Leap Year of course so an additional day to do something! And it is the day after my birthday, and no, I was not born in a Leap Year, and yes, all men are aware of the proposal clause it brings with it: we women are most likely to propose to our man on this day than at any other time in the year. You have been warned chaps!!

This morning I finally got round to sorting out parts of the garden before it started to rain. I was glad I did as I saw the tulips were starting to show, and the plants that have died down over the autumn are not dead and just beginning to sprout new leaves and shoots. I do so hope we are over the frost and snow for this winter! It would be such a shame if these tender new plants were to be the target of the cold now that they are on their way towards being magnificent once again. I went outside in my slippers which is not a good thing, and it reminded me that I really do need to buy some gardening boots or clogs. Every year it crosses my mind that I ought to invest in a pair, then other things get in the way and I never buy a pair. Since Tim was the slipper present giver perhaps he might go as far as garden clogs?????
Seeing all that freshly turned soil made me think about plants for 2012. Not that I have space for many but those gaps in the border are just begging to be filled! I plant like there is no tomorrow when it comes to hiding the earth between plants. I like to see them tumbling over the top of one another really - that makes me happiest. My first pleasure this spring will be the purple flowering Aubretia I planted last year.

It has always been a particular favourite of mine. I prefer blues and purples and reds and pinks in the garden and I am delighted that these are looking good so far. They have not died; they have grown and I am hoping for a beautiful show along the front path and in my back border.......please!
I have still got a tree in mind for the back - on the wish list since we moved here. It will have to be fairly small to fit in the car but that's alright. Just got to decide which one is the best for the space I have in mind. I am tempted to plant a climber up the shed too - a self-clinger would be ideal, and I'd like to extend the Clematii along the fence too.........if there is one thing to brighten a rainy day it is the thought of spring in the garden!!!
Sue xx

Saturday, 7 January 2012

Feeling stiff

For quite a while now I have had problems with my neck and shoulders. They ache and feel stiff and tense all the time and sometimes it is incredibly painful. Especially at the base of my neck - ouch! Waking up in the morning is the worse as then I really notice how I have laid during the night and which side hurts the most. My jaw is also really painful and creaks and groans when I stretch it from time to time - which is supposed to relieve the pain but doesn't at all. And my ear continues to give me problems. Oh boy, what a list of complaints! I suppose they are to be expected as we head towards another years number change (birthday) but what I am getting round to saying, is, that I think I ought to try swimming. It's just been so long since I went to a pool and swam. Years. I do love to swim and I believe it will be the best thing for my neck and shoulders and cheaper than a physio or any other form of treatment. A free massage might be possible.....the other thing would be a better chair for the computer. It keeps going down after a few minutes of sitting on it which alters the position of my neck when I am looking at the screen. This is what's on my mind this morning as I sit here in the dark tapping out the letters. I read that if women write down what really matters the most to them every day, they succeed better at losing weight than those who don't.
Ok, so why am I not a stick insect by now?
Sue xx

Thursday, 5 January 2012


ok, I finally like this one!!!
Sue xx

Tough decisions

One thing I am very bad at is living in limbo. Give me a psychodynamic test of any kind and they will tell you I am an activist. ( they never test for dreamers so I am safe there!!). I like to plan, prepare, decide, act, when I am given a task and abhor sitting on my hands and doing nothing!! Not so our son. He has a totally different attitude which is more a "I'll jump out of the way just before the bus hits me not when I see it coming in the distance!" kind of attitude. That is youth for you. A lack of worry or concern and a complete belief that it will all be fine. Mum's just getting her knickers in a knot for nothing!! Take his up and coming placement in Sweden. There are forms to complete and send in. There are flights to book and emails to send. There are clothes to buy and suitcases to get out of the attic - the list continues.
On Tuesday I managed to persuade him we needed to go to school and get the forms stamped etc instead of waiting another week for him to go back to school. Action no 1. Tick. The school advised us to continue on to Alkmaar and the DUO offices to hand it in ourselves rather than posting it to Groningen and risking it getting lost or having a mistake and being sent back...he didn't want to. I said its the train home or a ride in the car to Alkmaar, you choose. We went to DUO, and I am so glad we did. They were really helpful and finally I think sonny boy started to appreciate that doing this was GOOD!!! Action no 2. Tick. We sent an email to Sweden but it came back as spam so no idea whether it was received or not. Need to tell school on Monday and get it sorted there. Action no 3:
At the moment we are paying for everything ourselves as we have no idea whether or not he will get any subsidy, so the pot is bare!! Result: cancellation of our holiday. Tick. Sob. Stress. Sad.
Action no 4: ring up and transfer holiday to end of year: Tick!! See, taking action makes me happy again!!! Going to have to wait a lot longer to see the kids but it will be even more worthwhile when we finally get there.
Action no 5: apply for the new passport so I can actually go on holiday! Tick. But at what cost? Almost 200,00 euros!!! The absurdity of it is laughable my friends. I have a British Passport that one used to be able to renew in Amsterdam at our Embassy there. You went, waited, paid up and got it all within an hour or so. Great! And now? It has to be sent registered post to PARIS, France. You have to send the usual passport photos, ok, that's standard, and your credit card information so that it can be paid for when the request gets processed. Takes up to 6 weeks. 6 weeks!!! Does it come back to me from France? No, from the UK. Why? No idea what so ever!! Why couldn't I have just sent it to the UK in the first place, please, folks???? Seems a rather complicated and silly system to me, but then again, I am just your average, compliant citizen who has no choice. Tick.

Do I feel less stressed? Yes, I do actually. Stress comes from inactivity for me. I do not stress easily and it takes an awful lot for things to get to me, but over the past week or so things have been building up and up and the result was I needed to do something. Take control over things instead of them controlling me. My one little word has been tested already!! PERSEVERE Suzanne; persevere.
Sue xx

Wednesday, 4 January 2012

In a bit of a funny mood...

hence the ever disappearing and changing backgrounds to my blog!! Just can't seem to find one that fits the bill right now, and reflects my mood swings!!! Hey ho, no doubt I will settle on one at some point. I think I need one that is a tad somber, but not too dark; pretty but not floral and OTT; colourful but in a faded sort of way; blue probably, and a little shabby-like............the odd flower suggested...........swirly bits..........
I dunno really, what I want!!!!
sue xx

Tuesday, 3 January 2012

Sad, sad news

Yesterday I went to the annual New Years Breakfast that we hold every year for staff and clients. I arrived at work to find out that one of our clients sadly, and most unexpectedly, passed away during the holiday week. She died in her sleep aged 54. It was her funeral yesterday. RIP.

This morning I read an email from my good friend Jackie who was here in the autumn telling me that her father passed away on Christmas Day. He had been very ill whilst she was here but was on the mend, so they had celebrated Christmas with him on December 24th at his home, as he was not up to travelling to their home, when he suddenly took a turn for the worse. She did get to spend some time with him before he died, which has to be her comfort at this awful time. My heart goes out to her and her family.
Sue xx

Sunday, 1 January 2012



Every year I choose one little word to guide me through the coming 12 months. A word that offers me what I need the most, one I can repeat and hear in my head when I need it. One that stands for what I feel I am going to want to remember when things or situations are testing me. A couple of days ago I started thinking what it might be this year, and the process of finding it has been interesting. In the middle of the day yesterday I started really focussing on a few different words that seemed to be following the same theme, and finally this one drifted up from my sub-conscious and placed itself firmly in my mind as being THE ONE:



Continue in a course of action even in the face of difficulty or with little or no indication of success.

Persevere with the relationship that matters the most to me.
Persevere with my course and training to become a counsellor/coach.
Persevere with my search for a regular job that gives me a more
secure income.
Persevere with my writing.
Persevere with everything that needs to be done in our home and garden.
Persevere with my dreams and hopes for the future.
Persevere even in my darkest moments and when nothing seems to be going right.
Persevere with the things that make me happy and do more of them!
Persevere with myself; acknowledge my imperfections and try to accept them.
Persevere with being patient.
Persevere with learning to live in the moment and not the distant future which at the best is totally unknown anyway!

PERSEVERE...................I'm going to give it my best shot!!!!!!

What will your word for 2012 be I wonder?...............
Sue xx