31 August, 2009

Cat Fish

About six or seven years ago I bought a second hand fish tank from a chap at work. I was going through a stressful time and I hoped that an aquarium would be relaxing. I knew nothing about keeping fish and followed the chap's instructions. Filled the tank with water and stones for a week before introducing fish. We went out and bought 2 cat fish and tetras. Unfortunately the pump did not work probably and we lost the tetras but the catfish survived. We got a new pump ( and a telling off from the fish shop guy) and got guppies. Guppies have lots of children and we haven't had to buy any fish since. Earlier this year one of the cat fish died and this morning when I found that the second cat fish had died. It feels like an end of an era.

30 August, 2009


I have just finished Tess Gerritsen's Keeping the Dead. In American it is called The Keepsake, which I think its a matter name for the book and in keeping with the series - The Apprentice, The Sinner etc. British people know what Keepsake means don't they? I enjoyed it - another page turner. There was a part in it that got me thinking. I don't want to spoil it for you but a mother tells her daughter that the real definition of nuclear family are the mother and child. Fathers come and go, but the mother stays. Now there is a good reason where the character says this, but it got me thinking about my Dad. When I was growing up I didn't see much of him, because he was ALWAYS working. That man slogged his guts out making sure that his family had a good lifestyle. Mum worked hard too, but Dad put in the hours. I think he worried a lot about making enough money. As a result when he was home he was dog tired and short fused. We all had to tip toe around him. Thinking back, Dad's not stupid he must have picked up on this, and I think it must have got to him. He took early retirement and I think it was the best thing he ever done. Dad is much more chilled and I feel like I know him. We chat on the phone and go to see Agatha Christie plays together. When I see him with his grandchildren it makes me sad that he couldn't have that easy going intimacy with his children. Perhaps it is a generation thing, as the Little Dudes have a relaxed relationship with their Dad.
Amy way Dad, I appreciate all what you have done for me. I'm glad to be your daughter. Even if you do go on about cricket. A lot.

27 August, 2009

What I did this weekend

Last weekend was a Centre Parcs Weekend. Mum, me , Angela and the little Dudes. We had a fantastic time - but don't you find time passes differently at CP? It goes really, really fast. I went on the Rapids (and have the bruises to prove it), Kana-kanued (was v. rubbish) pedallo'd (much easier and a kana kanu bit got soaked when we did a de tour to the fountain in the middle of the lake) and came third in bowling. On a more chilled level Mum and I spent the morning at the Aqua sana, finishing off with a facial. It was bliss. Although it was nice to come home and see Steve again - I could have done with another day. The Little Dudes always look devastated when they have to leave, which puts a bit of a downer on it.
When I got home I did a mamouth washing sesh. Steve had kept the house spink and span, so that put me in a good mood. I was completely cream crackered though.

16 August, 2009


I've been watching True Blood . I started to read the Charlaine Harris books few years back and liked them. In fact I think they were the first modern vampire books I read. I borrowed them from the library, so don't have them to hand - but I remember the books being a tad less sexual than the series. In fact all the sex is really slowing the story line in the TV series. And, forgive the pun, I don't remember Jason having such a big part in the first book...still I'll keep watching. It is funny, sharp and sexy.
Tom got me up at 3am. He then wandered around the garden for 20 minutes!!! It is no good calling him up because if he hasn't finished his "business" he 'll only want to be let back out. And it wasn't too bad as I didn't have to get up this morning. It will be a different story if he tries that again tonight. Dogs!
I got a letter from the little girl that we sponsor. Maria tells us about the beautiful new latrines that have been built in her school. She ends with: This is all I write to you. I expect an answer to this letter.
I'm getting bossed about by my sponsor child. I always answer her letters. Now I'm too scared not to.

We Love the NHS

In the news this week there has been a big furore about a Tory MEP slagging off the NHS. He was in America speaking in a Republican do. Apparently lots of Americans are getting worried about Obama's proposed health reforms.
But my question is- even those Americans who have health insurance - what happens if you have a long term condition? When does the insurance run out? I'm thinking of my diabetic Dad, my Mum with her weird eye problem (she has been under Moorfields hospital for nearly 20 years). What if you have a child with special needs? What about when the special needs child is an adult how does that work under the American health care system?
I think that MEP may have won Gordon Brown the next election. Oh and BTW I love the NHS.

13 August, 2009


I am a bit of a sucker for self help books. One of the things they suggest is not to order the same thing when you are in a restaurant. try new things ! Don't get stuck in a rut! I did try to do this , but I learnt I feel very sad if I have a Chinese meal and do not have Kung Po Prawns. I eat whatever I have, secretly yearning for Kung Po prawns. Evey Thursday Steve and I have a Chinese takeaway (another routine. But Wednesday doesn't feel right and Friday, well I'm so thrilled its Friday I cook something special) and I order the same thing. But it makes me happy.

09 August, 2009

Killing Flies

If a bee gets into the house, Steve gets rid of it but using a glass and a bit of card board. If there is a fly and I can't whoosh it out I go mad with the fly spray. Steve says yyou should squirt the spray into the corners of the room, I just train the can on the fly and blast it.
I've noticed older people have very different ways. My 85 year old aunt uses a flannel. Her eye to hand co ordination is excellent. My Dad (69) uses his hand to nudge a bee out of the window. Rodney (don't know his age but he lives in the old people flats) uses a car key to kill a wasp. He uses the black bit of the key to trap it against the window, squishes it a bit -lets it drop on the window ledge , and then uses the sliver bit of the key to finish it off. Impressive.

08 August, 2009


When I was a little girl I thought my Dad was really, really tall. It just wasn't because I was little- my Mum's family is short and Dad towered over them. The other day I was wearing shoes with a bit of a heel and I noticed that I was nearly as tall as him.
Me: How tall are you Dad?
Dad: five foot eleven
Dad is only three inches taller than me! Steve is five inches taller than him! Funny how I never noticed before. Mind you it made me realise how minuscule my Mum's side of the family must be.