Monday, 31 October 2011

Happy Halloween!

No sign of any trick or treaters yet........  On Friday at work we had a Halloween extravaganza.  It was absolutely amazing, we had zombies, vampires, witches, mummies (Eygptian ones), and Ghost Busters.  Everyone got into the spirit of the  My Daughter prompted it, basically, as she remembered how many sweets she got when she went last year.  I emailed my boss and asked if we were doing it again, and she said if you organise it, so I did.  To be honest all I did was send out one email and then it took a life of all it's own.

In the afternoon we could take our Children in to do trick or treat.  I personally think the adults were having more fun.  It looked like something out of a horror film.  When I walked downstairs there was one Mummy (again Eygptian one) on a chair being wheeled around.  I could not tell who it was, other than they wear glasses.  The whole office was decorated and a lot of fun was had by all.  We did it last year but this year it was bigger and better.  I think it really boosted morale and got everyone out of their usual routine by having some fun at work.  Everyone, made such an effort.

Sometimes, it is easy to forget that going to work does not have to be dull, afterall, you live entire chunks of your life with your work colleagues and spend more time with them than you do at home with your family.  It is a rich tapestary we weave going to work and I would like to think that I make a difference by just being there.  Yes, of course I work while I am there, but I make it my mission to spread the joy.  I smile at people and take an interest in them.  It helps shape a culture and an ambiance.  No one likes miserable spread the joy!

Wednesday, 26 October 2011

Half term holidays

As it is the half term holiday this week, I am on holiday with the kids.  I am enjoying not having to get up in the morning.  Here in the Uk it is cold (around 5 degrees) in the morning and dark.  I am still doing really well resisting not turning on the heating. 

I have decided this week I will make it really boring for the kids, the reason for this is so that next week they will be really pleased when they go back to school.  Yes, you see I think that is where parents go wrong they make the holidays too interesting, taking them to theme parks etc.  Then the next week they don't want to go back to school, and who can blame them.  Yesterday we went to the tip to take some rubbish, tomorrow we might be going to B&Q (DIY store).  My advice is make it really boring so they are itching to get back to school.  It is the intelligent thing to do. Plus it is really cheap doing nothing!  OMG I am laughing out loud at what I have just written.

This morning I discovered that my Son has chicken pox, so doing anything would have been off the menu anyway.  That boy is impressive he has got great timing.  He has timed it so I am off work and don't have to take time off, great.  After my pearls of wisdom I shall go.......remember folks make it boring!

Sunday, 23 October 2011

TOWIE versus Made in Chelsea

I have a few guilty pleasures at the moment.  I am enjoying the reality shows TOWIE (The Only Way is Essex) and Made in Chelsea.  For any of you that do not know where Essex is, it is in North London and Chelsea is a posh place in central London.  I watched the Hills and never thought that we could replicate it in the UK, but we have and it is compulsive viewing.  Essex seems to have it's own microcosm going on, mostly all the women have false boobs, fake tans, botox, would never been seen without full make up or hair extensions, basically, and look like they are going to a nightclub in the middle of the day.  I have seen several reality stars from Essex that do not appear to have gone to any of their geography lessons as they have no clue as to where anything is, unless it is the tanning or beauty salon.  There is something charming about all the stars of the show.  Essex has it's own culture going on, even it's own language.

Made in Cheslea are a totally different breed.  There are all privately school educated and terribly posh.  However, the stark difference to me is that the Men don't have a clue about Women or how to relate to them.  They tend to come across as not very manly, camp and wet.  One of them called Mark Francis delcared in the first series that he would never buy any of his clothes from Topshop, only from Paris and Milan.  I am sure his new co-star Chloe Green (daughter of Phillip Green who owns Topshop) would be pleased to know his thoughts!  What a distorted view of the world that you should judge someone on where they buy their clothes.  He is definitely an uber snob.  It comes across as very distasteful and I wonder why his parents never bought him up properly with some basic life skills.  To me he is incredlibly narrow minded and must miss out on meeting a lot of good people if he judges them on materialistical values.  They live in their own microcsom of their priviledged lives.  However, they have not got the flamboyant characters that are in TOWIE.  Still very entertaining though to see how the other half live.

Thursday, 20 October 2011

Cut backs, cut backs, cut backs! Less is more!

I am having to make cut backs to survive this stupid economy that the bankers got us into!  I hope lessons are learnt from this current predicament that is affecting everyone so badly.  Everyday, the news is really depressing, if it is not Greece going to the wall it is some other country.  The news is doom and gloom, so I stopped watching it.  I have decided to less house work to use less energy and to save money:-
Less hoovering - using less electricty
Less washing - using the washing machine less, showering instead of bathing, bathing the kids less.
Not putting the heating on so much and putting more clothes on.
Not buying branded items and going for a cheaper alternative.
Not buying unneccessary things, like mouth wash.
Not doing as much in general really.
Blah blah, when is our boom time going to come? I am waiting.........

Sunday, 16 October 2011

It pays to complain!

I have had an argument with a certain utility company for months.  Everyone, seems to be trying to get money out of you.  The utility company told me that I owed them £369 extra on top of the £199 I pay every month.  Now I have not got a big house, so how did that happen?  I rang them to complain, as it is their job to calculate my payments correctly.  I am not a consumption expert nor do I understand any of it.

Their first step of complaining is to log it on the computer.  That is it they log it on a computer database.  My response to that was, "What is the point in that?  Take it to the next level please, keep it going as I am taking it to offcom.".  I must have made about 3 phone calls before I think I got to speak to someone who could actually do something.  They asked me what I wanted to happend and I said, "I want it written off.".  I stood my ground.  I got to speak to someone called Lynne who was very nice and said she could reduce it to £125.  I said, "That is very good of you, but I will still persue the remainder of it to be written off.".  Lynne called back 5 minutes later and told me, "We have written it off for you,".  I have now been put on a different tariff and I am paying half of what I was?  I saw the money expert Martin Lewis on a programme and he said that energy companies will leave their loyal customers on more expensive tariff's unless you call them to change.  I think that is an absolute joke.  Take heed in my advice call them and you can get a cheaper deal.

This Winter I am going to be mainly cold as I will not be putting my heating on unless I have to.  I am now paranoid about leaving lights on and I am forever switiching them off.  What I find astounding is that this week the news said energy companies are making £125 per customer on profits.  That is a staggering amount of money they are making.  I would not like to cast aspertions but I bet there is some fat cat at the top of the organisation awarding him or herself mega bonuses.  Between them and the greedy bankers they are making people's lives unbearably poor.  I hope they enjoy themselves on their yachts in the Summer!  I don't understand why the government are not doing anything to tackle these companies.

Thursday, 13 October 2011

Jog on mate!

As a family at the weekend we did the Swindon half marathon fun run.  It is only 2 miles, but great to do with the kids.  I love being part of the event even if it is the fun run.  The Charity this year is Macmillan.  Macmillan is a fantastic Charity as a dear relative of mine is going through Cancer and being nursed by Macmillan.  What a great way of people coming together for a good cause.

I saw in the news this week a guy who came 3rd in a marathon.  Later, they discovered he cheated and caught the bus!  I know I should n't find it funny, but I do.  Apparently, when he was being interviewed some Women he was on the bus with noticed him and told some officials.  I know it is very naughty, but there is a part of me that admires the brass neck on the fella.  When I ran the mad March Hare I was tempted to go the other way when I saw the sign that said 5k runners this way, but I did n't.  Lets face it nobody died, but I wonder how his sponsors felt?

Thursday, 6 October 2011

October - it is Breast Cancer Awareness month

It is Breast Cancer Awareness month for Break Through.  There will be lots of events taking place this month to raise awareness.  At work I am arranging wear it pink day on October 28th.  I will never forget the irony that I organised it in 2008 and unkown to me a few weeks later I was diagnosed.  I see it as an important event to raise awareness for Women to check themselves regularly and if they do find a lump to get it checked out.  Don't ignore it!  It is mostly likely nothing, but you do not know until you get it checked. 

Breast Cancer survival is the highest it has ever been.  I know this is going to sound ridiculous but it is one of the best types of Cancer you can get and thanks to the work of the charity Breakthrough there has been and still is a lot research going into Breast Cancer.  I truly believe that one day it will be irradicated.  The major breakthoughs they are making with Cancer is staggering.

I watched a TV programme with Martin Freeman (Guy who was in the office) called Who do you think you are.  It traces people's family trees.  In his family tree, there was 6 Children who never made it past the age of 18 months, they all died.  Then they went on to have surviving Children.  Martin was intrigued by this and asked the geneoligist why?  She assumed it was because they had syphillis without knowing.  Syphillis takes 8 years to work it's way out of the body, so that is the reason their Children stopped dying and started surviving.  Nowadays, syphillis hardly exists and is treatable.  Maybe in 10 years time this might be the same for Cancer.  That is the reason it is important to raise funds for Breakthrough because we can continue to make advancements against this disease that has touched so many of our lives.

Sunday, 2 October 2011

Autumn is the new Summer!

Wow, what fabulous weather we are having in October!  Today my car thermometre said it was 29 degrees.  Wowzers,  I love hot weather.  I went to one of my Son's birthday parties and it was the best kids party I have ever been to.  It was at the back of a pub in a small village called Wanborough.  At the back of the pub was a jungle party bus. 

I dropped him at the party my Husband and I then went and sat in the beer garden.  We had a lovely Sunday lunch and half a lager shandy.  There were a few other parents who had the same idea as us who we know.  We had a fabulous afternoon chilling in the garden.  Usually when I take my Children to parties you are bored, but not this time.  The only trouble is when I drink a lager shandy it makes me feel sleepy, which is fine if you can have a sleep. 

I am enjoying the weather whilst it lasts.  A few people have said to me that they are predicting snow?  I don't really see how that can be right as they cannot even predict next week let alone a few weeks time.   I am hoping this burst of mediterianian weather continues, as our Summer was rubbish.