Things that make you go 'hmm'…
Category Archives: Awards
Well, hello there, I’m back! I have so much to tell you I don’t know where to begin. The new haircut? The holiday plans? My meeting up with an old friend? The lovely walks? No, it has to be my excuse for my absence. After #2 son’s graduation, he came back home with me and we have been hanging out together before he heads off again. It’s been a nice reminder of how life used to be, having a boy with a bottomless pit for a stomach in the house again, it’s been one long round of cooking, food shopping and laundry, movies, music and cooking. And more laundry.
The graduation ceremony was a great thrill for me and the rest of the family. I thought I would explode with pride. My son looked so handsome in his gown (minus cap, you will notice. Apparently, the graduates had been throwing them into the air for photographs after the ceremony and it was thought that was too dangerous – someone had hurt their eye a year or so ago, so political correctness prevailed and they were banned apart from in the official studio portraits – utter madness.)
My two sons and my ex and I, had a great few days in Leeds, it really is a fun city with lots of great shopping (unless you are shopping with/for two very fussy sons – and I thought women were supposed to be bad!) and restaurants. We had one particularly wonderful dinner at a restaurant called Anthony’s which was a bit ‘Heston Blumenthal’ if you know what I mean! Every dish had at least one ingredient that made you say ‘What?!’ (risotto of white onion, parmesan air and espresso? Or poached quail, pea sorbet, cocoa, morels? Or how about my dessert of apple parfait, pork filo and sage ice cream?) We were all totally amazed at how delicious it all was, in fact we would go so far as to say it was one of the best (if not the best) dinner we had ever eaten.
Since we returned, #2 son has spent his days fishing in the river which runs through our garden – amazingly he actually managed to catch a fish yesterday (which he threw back). I don’t know who was more surprised #2 son, me or the fish! He saw an otter in the river while he was fishing but by the time he had shouted me to come and look, it had gone – probably terrified by the loud shouting coming from the river bank :-)
We did manage to spot a fox in the field next to my garden. Apparently, it has four fox cubs which we haven’t managed to see yet but the mother fox comes out every evening for a walk around the field. We managed to catch some shots of her including this one of the fox eyeing up a crow which seemed quite oblivious.
I love the view into the field, as do some others it seems…
We have had a really fun time since we got back from Leeds. I’m very conscious that these times together are going to be much rarer in the future. My nest will be well and truly empty. On the bright side I will have lots of time to make books and play tennis… (knee is finally better, by the way). I have been working on a photo album which I am making as a gift for a friend whose daughter is about to give birth to a little girl – my friend’s first grandchild. Here is a sneak preview.
By the way, an update on my garden furniture saga. PayPal finally decided in my favour and have refunded me £500 which is the most they can, the balance is still to come from the dodgy seller, (Gemma at Land of Sofas) so I’m not holding my breath. I was contacted by someone else who read about my problems here, she had also bought furniture from this wretched woman but had been too late to file a claim with PayPal, so she stands to lose all her money.
When I was searching for alternative garden furniture, I found a web site selling the same furniture, under a different name (Home Living Online) but I could tell from the telephone number that it was the same people. Please do not buy from this company. I have reported them to the Trading Standards people and I hope that they will stop them from swindling any more unsuspecting customers.
Well, it’s nice to be back blogging and I have missed my visits to my blogging friends – thank you for your concern at my absence, but fret not! #2 son is off on holiday next week so the house will be quiet again and I can get back into a routine. Books and blogging here I come….
I try not to use this blog too often as a personal forum for all my pet peeves, personal traumas and disasters however, every once in a while something happens and I just have to explode! Back in April, I thought I was being very clever and bought some garden furniture from an eBay shop. It was a very good price (but still quite expensive -£600 or so). I still haven’t received the furniture.
Here we are at the beginning of July and my garden is still bare. I am furious. Particularly as the company that sold it to me (Land of Sofas based in Poole – be warned!) are now no longer registered as an eBay seller and do not communicate with me at all, and all their contact details are no longer available on eBay.
I managed to track them down and have contacted them several times. The girl I spoke to (Gemma) is always very short with me and seemed irritated I am bothering her. She has given me several dates for delivery, which have passed with no apologies or explanations, so I opened a dispute with PayPal and they are investigating the situation but as time goes by and our very short summer whizzes past, I am still furniture-less. My lovely big sons keep offering to go round and sort her out, as Poole isn’t too far from where I live (she signed off with her home address when she initially contacted me after the sale) but I am resisting their offer and attempting to do things through proper channels but if all else fails, I may go round there myself (with sons and a couple of their taller, even more scary friends) to discuss my refund!
The annoying thing is that the seller does appear to have lots of positive feedback but on closer investigation, most of it is for selling some sports drink bottles. All the feedback for the garden furniture they have sold in the past, says how long they had to wait for delivery and a lot of those people demanded refunds. The lesson from all this is to read the feedback properly. Don’t just look at the high positive feedback score and assume all is well. That’s the end of the lesson, I’ll keep you posted with any developments.
Anyway, rant over. A nice thing this week, has been reading the new ‘Top 101 Artists’ Blogs’ list over at Kim’s blog. Kim very deservedly (especially since her blog redesign) is at number 1, Emila’s lovely blog is at number 2 and guess who is number 3? Yes, moi! It’s such a phenomenal amount of work to update this list every month (particularly given the vagaries of Technorati) so I do recommend you head over there to check out some great art blogs. Kim was also sweet enough to pass on to me one of the many awards she has received recently – the Friendly Blogger award – well I try to be! Thanks Kim!
I’m going to pass this on to a couple of new commentators here at ‘Much of a muchness’ , 70’s teen and Daddy Papersurfer. If you read their blogs you will see why I enjoy reading them so much. And they are indeed, very friendly bloggers :-)
As I write this, there are gale force winds and rain sodden grey skies above, but does this stop #2 son from lighting the barbecue and cooking the ribs he so lovingly prepared last night? Indeed it does not. He is outside wearing shorts, a jacket and a woolly hat, cooking our lunch before we settle down to watch the tennis at Wimbledon (ladies final – the Williams sisters – should be a good one).
After the tennis, #2 son is going out (to play golf would you believe!) and I am settling in to watch Doctor Who – series finale, cliffhanger ending last week, Martha, Rose, Donna, Daleks, Davros and all the Torchwood team, especially lovely John Barrowman aka Captain Jack – I can barely wait – 5 hours 20 minutes to go……
I was supposed to be going to a picnic at Mapperton listening to Cuban Salsa music tonight but that is looking like a non-starter so more TV it is….and then tomorrow, the Men’s Final, Roger Federer versus Rafael Nadal, the dream final! Woo hoo!
Couch potato? Moi?