30 April, 2007


I was reading Hannah's blog and she did a list of all the things she loved about her husband. Here are my thoughts on Steve:

1. He is the only personwho can say to me 'Look you' and I'm still friends with him.
2. When I'm shopping for books on Amazon Steve always puts an order in. the book is always hardback and always expensive. This is the conversation we always have:

Me - I'll get it if you'll read it. I'm fed up of buying books you don't read.
Steve (general performing and huffing)- I will read it, but if you don't want to get it - fine.
Me - Ok I'll get it. Stop going on. You'd better read it though.

So the books are delivered and Steve doesn't read the book. So far he hasn't read the John Peel and Raymond Baxter autobiographies (among others)

3. Steve makes me a cup of tea even though the smell it makes him feel sick.
4. Steve made my desk. He hated doing it but he knew I had no clue.
5. Steve encouraged me to take the OU courses even though the money could been used for other stuff. (like holidays)
6. I never know what he is going to say next.
7. He helped me give up smoking by sheer nagging.
8. When we got married he had tears in his eyes. I like think that they were tears of joy..


It will be a week tomorrow when Penny died. I think it was good that we took Tommy with us, because he hasn't looked for her. Tonight when I got in from work he went mad doing his 'play - bow' and running around. He is more like the old Tom. We can take him for longer walks now which he loves. As for me and Steve - well never under estimate the benefits of a bloody good cry. It helps to talk about her. That dog would race anything. When I went upstairs Pen would sit at the bottom until I was 2 steps away from the top - and then in a mad burst of energy- run to the top of the stairs beating me.

29 April, 2007


Tidied and cleared the downstairs cupboard.
Weeded and tided front garden. it is now looking bare and will need to get more plants.
Walked Tommy to Potton island.
Cooked dinner.
Did 2 loads of washing.
Watched Joey - am I the only person who thought Joey was funny and it is a shame it was cancelled?

28 April, 2007


It is my parents' Ruby Wedding Anniversary party next month so I went clothes shopping today. I want to look fabulous. I was in Monsoon and had picked out a skirt and was wondering what the hell would go with it, when the assistant approached me. I explained I liked the skirt but wasn't sure what would go with it. The skirt was a size 16, so you can imagine my amazement when she comes back with a size ten black top.

Me: That's a size 10!
Her: oh is it?

Was she hoping I wouldn't notice? I'm not a weird triangle shape- skinny on top blossoming out to a wide bottom. It is very unlikely the assistant looked at me and thought 'She is a size 10' I'm big all over. I'm not crazy about being a large lass but I'm not going to beat myself up over it either.

I'm off to Lakeside next week I'm sure I'll get something there.

27 April, 2007

Blogging Stamina

Last Saturday Alan and Ruthie came round. One of the things we talked about was blogging.

Alan : I don't have time to blog every day.

Ruthie : No I don't blog every day.

Steve: Me neither, I don't have time.

Gina: Annoyed silence.

I think they're just jealous of my blogging stamina.

26 April, 2007

The wrong Andrew Collins

Southend Library is having a series of authors' evenings. We booked for Billy Bragg and Andrew Collins. We thought we were booking for this Andrew Collins but it is for this Andrew Collins.
So we'll be spending an evening listening about how cosmic rays effected our evolution...but we do get free wine and nibbles. At least we realised our mistake before the event.
BTW I'm not using the Royal We - I mean me and Steve .

25 April, 2007

Most Stupidest Conversation About Heroes Of The Week.

Gina (excitedly): So Mr Bennet has got a super power as well.

Ruthie (puzzled): What do you mean?

Gina: He was doing all that telepathy.

Ruthie :That's not a super power - he was just thinking loudly.

Gina: What do you mean 'just thinking loudly' You can't do that in real life!

Ruthie (sheepishly):Oh yeah. I forgot.

24 April, 2007

23 April, 2007

Nanny Sarah

Something really spooky happened today. I can't quite find the words to explain it. I've never believed in mediums talking to the other side. Why can't spirits/ghosts or whatever you want to call them, talk to their loved ones direct?
Today Angela went to a clairvoyant and the lady said 'Sarah's here..'
Sarah is our Nan, our Dad's Mum. Angela felt as if Nanny Sarah was there with the things that were said. Angela didn't want to leave the room. I don't understand it and I don't know what to believe.

22 April, 2007

Stuff that gets on my nerves

People telling me that they are on a diet and they don't feel hungry. If one only ate when one was hungry one wouldn't need to lose weight in the first place.

People that say that they wish they were vegetarian, but its too difficult. That's just silly.


People who say 'That's my personality' Like they have nothing to do with it.

Getting spots. At my age.

Putting on a new pair of tights and manging to ladder them.

When I'm cooking and I open the oven door my glasses steam up and I can't see a thing.

Flies in the house.

Women referring to their partners as their life. As in 'He is my life'

Periods. It's been nearly 30 years now, the novelty has worn off.

Steve's insistence that Hoover is a brand name, and pretends not to know what I'm talking about when I refer to the vacuum cleaner as a Hoover.

A finger nail breaking.

Poking my eye out with the mascara ward.

Loud, blaring music. Unless it is my loud, blaring music.

Famous people wanting you to feel sorry for them. It must be so hard having all that fame and money.

People telling me what I actually meant when I have said something.

The size zero debate - who cares!!!

Rose Tyler.

21 April, 2007

I Hate Housework

Today is Saturday, that means housework morning. AAAAAAAAAAARRRRRRRRRRGGGGGGHHHHHH!!!!
I effing hate cleaning it is so effing boring. I try to kid myself :This is my lovely house that I have worked hard for and these are all my lovely things that I care for. By cleaning I am honouring the house.
As my nephew would say:Yeah, Gina yeah!(in a very sarcastic tone)
Its the sheer repetition that gets me. How many times have I polished that frigging table? Getting on my hands and knees to clean round the back of the loo -what a charming way to spend my time. Steve does the housework as well but he hates it as much as I do- in fact I think he hates it even more because he feels I'm judging his standard of cleaning. He is right, I am ( I know I'm a terrible person - I can't help it.)
Then there are the bigger issues - really all the paint work needs renewing but neither of us can face that. The Robbos are not natural decorators. We need a new carpet for the hall way and stairs but there is no point while we still have the dogs.
The sad thing is I can't not do the housework because a dirty house makes me fidgety. I just wish I could afford a cleaner.

20 April, 2007


You will all be pleased to know that I haven't watched telly this morning. I'm drinking my cup of tea and caught up all on the celeb gossip on Oh No! instead. A much more enjoyable way to start the day.

19 April, 2007


In Robbo World we don't buy third world babies, we sponsor them. We sponsor through Plan . Your money actually goes to the village , but you can send the child letters and they write to you. You can also send little presents -although there are strict guidelines concerning this. The reason why I'm writing about this (the Robbos like to keep a low profile regarding their charity work)is because there was a segment about Plan on GMTV this morning. Ho hum. I had been really good about not watching that rubbish anymore - but today I got caught off guard. I even thought - this should be interesting. I'm an idiot. Kate Fadeway prattling on to Kevin Whateley that it is a good thing to do especially if you have children. It is a good thing to do full stop whether you have children or not. Poor Kevin looked embarrassed. Still I've only got myself to blame, I don't read tabloid papers so why do I watch tabloid TV? I had been so good as well, I hadn't watched it for the past 2 weeks.

18 April, 2007

Angela gets Broadband

Steve has gone over to my sister's to install broadband. At last! Angela only caved in because Aaron was fed up with slow dial up. Aaron pointed to the PC and said in a very sad voice :Its very slow, Steve.
Angela -you will have wished you did it ages ago -and it will be easier to read me! Who knows you might even become a blogger yourself.

Took the dogs for a walk tonight. This is a friendly place and people often make a fuss of the dogs and give them tidbits. We walked past someone we didn't know and the dogs really bogged at the poor man. I think they were wondering why he hadn't given them a treat.

17 April, 2007

Formula One Podcast.

Steve and Mark are recording their Pod Cast tonight. As Mark is in Boston, it is all very clever. As English isn't Mark's first language (it is American) there has been a few misunderstandings. When he referred to himself as a Homer, it got a bit confused our end. Not that there is anything wrong with that, but Mark is married to the lovely Lucy. A homer is supporting the home team, apparently. Anyway if you're into Formula One you may want to listen.

16 April, 2007

My husband, the writer

When I'm writing I don't like to be interrupted. Especially if I'm writing a story. As Steve and I share a study, he'd often come in (like he owned the house or something) and put the radio on. As Talk sh!t waffled on I'd lose my train of thought, so I'd shout at him. But Steve just didn't get it.
'But I always used to do my home work with the radio on.' he'd say. So what!
But now I think he gets it. This evening I walked into the study prattling away and he shouts 'I'M TRYING TO WRITE MY BLOG!!!'
Ah, my husband the writer.

15 April, 2007


Ho hum, totally addicted to CrimeSpace. If you like crime books, you will love this. I'm totally geeking out, sending out invites to some of my heroes. it is a charming mixture of published authors, readers and pre published authors. I love that term pre published -its so positive.

The tablets are not improving Penny's condition as much as we hoped. The vet said that she would be able to climb the stairs and she still can't. We can only take her for short walks, poor old Tommy is getting fed up.

14 April, 2007

My Penny

I've tried to write about Penny but can't. Still doesn't a picture paint a thousand words?

But I'm Innocent part 2

I received a letter this morning.
'It looks like its from the library.'said Steve.
Grimly I opened it, thinking it was a reminder. It was an APOLOGY. I love you Southend Library.

13 April, 2007

Separated at birth?

Was just reading Mrs Miggins and her interesting facts. I tried to post a comment but I couldn't get in. (Stupid Spaces).

I pick my toenails! I can't drive ! I read 4 books a week! I'm vegetarian! I love Lush!I'd rather be too cold than too hot! Sunbathing is my idea of hell!

Mrs M - do you think we were separated at birth?

If you haven't read Mrs M you'll have no idea what I'm talking about, but you have learnt some new facts about me -Lucky you!

12 April, 2007


Penny has been limping a bit since the weekend. Steve took her to the vet today and they are 90% sure it is bone cancer. If it is bone cancer we will need to put Penny to sleep. We have to take her back for a check up on 3rd May. The vet isn't optimistic.

I can't believe it. I was going to write about what a great dog Penny is, but I can't at the moment. It feels like I'm writing her obituary when she is still alive. Steve and I are devastated.

11 April, 2007

Life On Mars - was I right?

Well I was right (wasn't I?)

But I'm Innocent!

I have been mildly worried over the last few days. Last Thursday I went to the library, I was really pleased because the Library Fairy was there. I got out loads of books. You can imagine my horror when the Librarian said that according to their records I had an overdue book. An overdue book! one of things that I am secretly proud of is that my library books are never overdue. I have an unblemished record. That must be some mistake, the book in question -Mother Of God by David Ambrose (v.good by the way, David Ambrose books always have a terrific twist) I had taken back weeks before. The Librarian was very kind, told me not too worry. She would let me check out my pile of books and look in to it for me. She was sure it was a mistake. She told me several times not to worry. I think I must have looked very worried.

Then when I got home last night there was an automated ansaphone message from the library. Stating that I had a book over due. I knew I had been right to worry. Kind Librarian lady had fobbed me off. This morning I rang the library and explained what had happened. I was going to pop in lunchtime but I was too worried to wait. The switchboard lady said that I had dispute marker on my account, but not to worry (my voice must have sounded worried)she would get some one to call me. Now I need to make something clear - it is not the money. Once Tommy ate one of my library books I bought a copy and explained to the Librarian what had happened. She was a bit taken aback and said if my dog ate any more books just tell them because I would be charged a cheaper price than a book shop price. No what worried me was that my unblemished record would be blemished. Worse still they might think I was lying. That was what bothered me.
The lady rang back, said that there has been a mistake, the book was removed from my record, and not to worry.
And I replied, 'Oh I wasn't worried...'

10 April, 2007


Paula commented on the previous post that she is thinking of doing an Ou course. The OU is brilliant in that you don't have to study for a degree you can just enlist for a course that interests you. The courses are divided into level 1, level 2 and level 3. Each course has a certain amount of points. To complete a degree I think you need 330 points. I have completed a level 1 and a level 2 and that has earned me 70 points. Courses range from 12 weeks to 9 months. I was very apprehensive when I first received my course book and study plan -it is a bit overwhelming. Luckily you can e mail/phone your tutor for support - I always e mailed mine as I felt phoning was a bit intrusive. It does take over your life and it can be one more thing to feel guilty about, but I miss it now I've finished. Go for it Paula!

Changing the subject - last Life on Mars tonight! I think Sam is going to die, but then I'm cheerful like that.

09 April, 2007


Tried a different way of writing a story yesterday. I've had this story on the go for a few weeks but nothing much was happening. So taking advice from Tess Gerritsen (not personally I read her blog) I decided to not worrying about writing in a linear way, just get it all down and then work on it later. I normally write very tidily A to B and then fine tune a little bit. Tess's way is much more fun , I wrote key scenes, character studies- the time flew. I'm in the rare position of writing more than I will probably use. I've nearly got the bare bones of the completed story. Its odd but I was a bit scared of trying something different, now I wish I did it ages ago. The Open University will be offering a stage 3 creative writing course next year that I want to do. If any of you enjoy writing and want to take it further I do recommend the OU courses.

Last night Christopher Eccleston leaned over to me and whispered 'Take me to paradise' And I woke up. Even in my dreams I'm faithful.

08 April, 2007


Graham-at-work told me he much prefers Easter to Christmas. I hadn't ever thought about it before but now realise I agree with him.

- From a religious aspect it is the most important celebration. And it is celebrated around the time of year it actually happened.
- It is a four day holiday, so you have more time to visit friends and family. At Christmas it feels more like a rush to fit everyone in. Also Christmas tends to be booked up a few months in advance.
-Easter isn't so commercialised. I'm not worrying about how much money I've spent. Christmas is expensive and there is a lot of pressure to make it perfect.
-If you end up spending Easter Sunday by yourself it is no big deal. I bet the suicide rate is lower at Easter.

Talking of religion the Robbos met up with Ruthie and Alan for a meal last night. We had a heated but enjoyable debate about religion.
If you look here you'll have a flavour of what we were arguing about.

07 April, 2007

Five and a bit Things

While I've been browsing through blogs (oh the addiction) I've noticed that they are a lot of '5 things you didn't know about me' memes. BTW what is a meme- what does meme stand for? Any how here are five things about me that are not common knowledge. Unless you know me very well.

1. Between the ages of 23 and 30 I was a smoker. There was then a hazy period of 2 years when I called myself a social smoker (like my poor lungs could tell the difference). I can't imagine ever smoking again. Double yuk.

2. I don't dye my hair. For some reason a lot of people don't believe me and think I've had secret hi lights. Why would I lie about this?

3. I first met Steve a year before we started to date. There was a group of us in a pub and he knew my friend Esther. "Whats up with her. She's miserable" he asked Esther. "She's just been dumped" said Esther. We didn't see each other again until the following year.

4. In the privacy of my own home I use a lot of bad swear words.

5a. It has taken me a long time to grow up. I think I've finally managed it when I was 33.

5b. I'm left handed.

House Beautiful

It takes me three steps from my bathroom door to the loo. We have got one little bathroom, there is room for the loo, the sink and the bath. Its the next big spend really - its needs re tiling (Steve painted over the tiles when we first moved but the paint is peeling now)and a new floor. Sharon has got a lovely big bathroom. true, she did rip out the original when she first moved in. She had a dark brown suite - ugh! But now she has got a bright room with lots of storage space for her bits and pieces. her posh Molten Brown bottles are displayed on a glass ledge. I'm jealous of her bathroom, but that is okay because Sharon is jealous of my kitchen. My kitchen is quite big and 2 years ago we had a new kitchen put in. I love my kitchen,lots of storage, some where to sit and I have a display cabinet. A display cabinet - get that! Sharon's kitchen is small, although she has done a good job with it and has cleverly designed it so it looks bigger than it really is - I prefer my kitchen. I just wish I had a bigger bathroom.Ruthie has got a bigger bathroom even though her house is smaller - how jealous am I? Perhaps next time I'll take smaller steps to create an illusion of space.

I have to remind myself of when we first moved here. We never thought we would ever be in a position to buy a house like this and we were so happy. I still am happy, its just occasionally I need to remind myself how lucky I am.

06 April, 2007

Robbo's Reads.

As you know I live to read books. I meant to write love instead of live but perhaps that is nearer the mark. I always go to the crime section of the library/book shop first. I find that a lot of non genre books deal with middle class issues and as a working class gal I can't really relate to it. I'll give you an example:I was reading a Joanna Trollope book and the heroine had fallen on hard times and got a job as a school secretary. The heroine viewed it a come down and her friends felt sorry for her. I think being a school secretary is a good job, so I couldn't relate to her predicament. The exception to the rule for me is Jilly Cooper but that may be because she writes about upper class people and she is a very funny writer. As I can't have children books with babies are a no no as well, they upset me - so the whole Yummy Mummy books are off limits.

Crime is such a wide genre from the explicit violence to a cozy. All that they have got in common is a dead body. Writers can have a lot of fun twisting expectations, as Agatha Christie did making her "Watson" the killer. Ruth Rendell's "The Water's lovely" is a stark reminder that life is not fair and good things happen to bad people. I've just discovered G A McKevett's Savannah Reid series and am gorging on them just as Savannah gorges on her favourite truffles. I get a big thrill when I discover a series I love, I've got a feeling I'll be going on Amazon later.

05 April, 2007

Mapping great

Do you see my map? Its down on the right- see all those red spots- how cool is that? It takes a little while to kick in (that's why I haven't drawn you attention to it). If you want one like it on your blog double click on on it and it will take you to the web site. Who cares about comments when you can have red spots?

04 April, 2007

Poorly Robbo.

Mr Robbo is ill and has taken to his bed. Penny is sitting at the end of the bed looking at him. I think she is worried about him. It is quite hard to relax when a dog is bogging at you. Penny means well. I'm cooking a chilli stuffed with vegetables. I do hope he will manage a few small mouthfuls. Good job we got those wills sorted out. When we first got married it freaked me out that he could turn off my life support.

Had some interesting comments from why people chose Windows Spaces - mainly their friends had it or it was the first one they tried. I tried MySpace first and couldn't get on with it. After talking to Alice I managed to find my page ...but I still can't get on with it that well. There is too much emphasis on friends for me. (yes I know that's because I haven't got any...)Also one of my pet hates is blogs with adverts. It just seems so rude. I'm not keen on accompanying music either. Apart from that I'm very easy going!

03 April, 2007

Why oh Why?

Why is it when there is a short week at work, the week seems to drag, even though you v busy trying to fit 5 days work into 4?

Why does the phone ring when I'm upstairs and forgotten to bring the phone up with me?

Why doesn't the phone ring when I remember to take it with me?

Why is it only ever me that uses the last bit of the bleach -and there is only the tiniest bit left?

Why does the rain only seem to rain at lunch time?

Why do people say "Yeahbut" when they mean "no"?

Why don't drivers indicate?

Why haven't I won the lottery yet?

02 April, 2007

Blogging Exciting.

A funny thing happened today at work. In the ladies loos I bumped into Alice. Alice and I used to work together.
"I saw you " began Alice. Alice lives locally to me and I thought she was going to say "I saw you walking the dogs." BUT what she said was "I saw your MySpace page. I posted you a message but I noticed you haven't logged on since November."
So I explained how I found Blogger beta (ha! ha!) and that I would link this on My Space and I would look her up. When I got home MySpace was down so I'll do it later. But you wouldn't believe the excitement of 2 people who know each other discovering that they are fellow bloggers. Or perhaps you would.

01 April, 2007

Lipstick Hell

For my birthday I got a couple of Max Factor Infinity Lipsticks. These lipsticks stay on all day which is great for me because I don't want to be faffing with my make up during the day. I'm a wash 'n go kind of gal. To my horror this lipstick when applied to my mouth turned deep brown. I looked as if I had been at the chocolate or (gulp) that I'm sexually adventurous. I tried wiping it off- the advertising is true it does stay on all day. I just had to get on with it, and try not to look in the mirror too much.

Watched The Quiet American last night. It is a brilliant film, I do recommend it. Brendan Fraser was really good in it - it such a pleasant surprise when actors can act and are prepared to take unsympathetic roles.

Deeply enjoyed Doctor Who last night. Scary straws!