Sunday, 31 August 2008


Beach huts can command high prices. A friend of a friend recently purchased one in West Mersea for £40,000.

I observed Beach Huts being used this weekend in Frinton.

I understand the benefit of storing beach stuff at the beach rather than lugging it down from the car but, at Frinton, the distance between car and beach really isn't that far. It certainly isn't worth £40K.

I understand the benefit of being able to make a cup of tea at the beach, especially as backwards Frinton doesn't allow food or drink trading on or near the beach. But again, this isn't worth £40K.

So having failed to establish the value of these benefits I thought I'd look at how beach huts were being used.

In the main, people had taken chairs and tables out of the hut and placed them directly in front of the beach hut on the concrete promenade above the beach. There they sat.

For me this does not constitute a beach experience. There's no sand, sandcastles, burying people in sand, paddling, swimming, flying kites, finding shells, admiring pebbles etc.

So why do people have beach huts? Even if I had the cash I can't see the point.

Tuesday, 26 August 2008

Smashing time

List of things broken whilst camping this weekend:

Washing up bowl - bashed with foam baseball bat by a three year old
Picnic table and seat set - sat on by husband
Pegs - several during extraction from ground
Guy rope - during peg extraction process
Bucket - hit by stone thrown on a beach
Airbed - although this may have had a puncture before the weekend
Picnic glass - perhaps broken by aggressive washing up
My spirit - only kidding, I'll be back for more of the same next year.

Thursday, 21 August 2008

Bad smell

In case anyone is interested, I don't even own one home.

My name is on the deeds of one house but until the mortgage is paid I figure it isn't mine.

Oh, and when the mortgage is paid it still won't be exclusively mine as I'll only own half of it with Dave owning the other half.

And if a pair of legal eyes were to look at this situation they may say that because I contributed less, financially, towards the mortgage then I would own less than half.

Would that be full disclosure? Could that be twisted by political spin? Probably.

I know that the Presidential candidates face extreme scrutiny and criticism. But of all the issues facing either of them, it's the initials of my preferred candidate that I think are the most unfortunate.

Tuesday, 19 August 2008

Stop it!

Medal is a noun. It is not a verb!

Will the BBC Olympics team please stop talking about people medalling.

People can meddle, but not medal.

Got that? Good.

OK, maybe I'm 40 years out of date.

(Is it appropriate to mention here that the Blogger spellchecker didn't like the word either?)

Monday, 18 August 2008


The world has gone mad.

An air freshener with a motion sensor.
That's ridiculous!

Friday, 15 August 2008

Genetic history

We went to Tropical Wings today which is a great day out for the kiddiwinks (and the adults). It's a wildlife sort of place with a tropical house for butterflies, birds, massive koi carp and other strange beasties as well as a massive outdoor area with mammals, reptiles, birds and lots of play areas.

Hannah took her camera (our old digital camera) and her Nintendo DS. These were packaged in a little girly backpack giving her the responsibility of looking after her things.

So when she lost her backpack later in the day, I also lost something; my temper.

And then I reflected. Hannah lost something. Who else loses things on a regular basis?


Hannah was always going to be absent-minded.

Luckily "Auntie Sandra" found the backpack and I regained my composure.

This probably isn't the time or the place to mention that seconds after we discovered the loss of the backpack, I lost Ethan. So I'll leave the tale there.

Wednesday, 13 August 2008

Just once

This morning I lost my keys.

I ended up leaving the house with an unlocked back door.

I even phoned Dave and wanted to know if he knew where my keys were.

This evening Dave found my keys.

Just once I'd like to lose something and for it not to be my fault.

(Obviously I'd like to find it again.)

Tuesday, 12 August 2008

I know nothing

Pimms o'clock.

Who, working in marketing, would have seen the pitch featuring a socially clumsy and awkward individual promoting a drink with the strapline "Pimms o'clock" and thought "My what a fabulous idea, I bet that catches on and improves sales"?

I am pretty sure I would have rejected the idea, and I would have been wrong.

Pimms has increased sales and brand awareness. Good job I don't work for Diageo.

Monday, 11 August 2008

Compliment of the day

I was chatting with one of the staff members at the gym today looking for some advice on a change of routine.

As we walked around discussing the merits of various different weights machines we came to one that worked the shoulder area and he said "you're shoulders aren't bad to look at."

Hmmm, not bad, but not good, so not really a compliment I guess.

Sunday, 10 August 2008

Decisions, decisions

We've not taken a summer holiday this year, and we don't plan to either.

We took a quick break to Madeira in Feb but the weather was pants and it was only a mini break.

I've got my eye on October. The choices so far are sun, sea and sand in Menorca in an apartment right on a beach or a great apartment near Paris with fantastic facilities and tickets for Disney theme parks.

Camping isn't even on the radar.

Saturday, 9 August 2008

War poetry

I've been going through old family papers and found this. This is an original work by my grandfather while he was serving in France during World War I.


Who took me from my warm, warm cot
Whether I wanted to or not
and sent me to France to die – and rot?
The Army!

Who “feeds” me up on bread and jam
and smiles as innocent as a lamb
Then days he doesn’t care a damn?
The Quarter!

Who takes parade and moans like hell
at what no doubt he alone can tell
and makes you wish your name was Nell?
The Major!

Who fries our eggs at 5 a franc
and puts the profit in the bank
While we look thin and awful lank?
Why! Dickens!

Who causes this war, the ruddy swine
And bought us here to fade and pine
Who should be stewed in boiling brine?
The Kaiser!

Who feels our pulse and says “you’re fine”
And gives us naught but “number nine”
When you’ve icicles running down your spine?
The Doctor!

Thursday, 7 August 2008

Green rubber

I've owned up to recycling Royal Mail elastic bands.

I thought I was doing the environment a favour but I discovered today that it's not the big favour I thought it was.

I bumped into a postwoman today and we started talking rubber. Apparently the red rubber bands aren't as good as their predecessors in terms of performance and longevity, but there's a reason. The red rubber bands one sees discarded everywhere are biodegradable.

One learns something new every day.

Wednesday, 6 August 2008


OK, so I lost my id badge. And I looked in all the usual places and a few that weren't usual.

I don't know whether you do this too, but when you've lost something do you look in the same place several times because you really think it might be there even though you've checked before?

We have an odds and sods draw in the kitchen (well actually we have two in the kitchen and several others scattered around the house) and, although I've never put my id badge in this drawer, I thought it might be worth checking.

I went through this same thought process and behaviour several times checking the same drawer. Nothing, nicht, nada.

This evening I said to Dave, as I opened the same drawer, "I wish I knew where my badge was" and just as I was about to close the drawer Dave said "What, this badge?" as he pulled my badge from the drawer which I'd just looked in and just hadn't seen the badge.

How annoying is that. I mean it's great he found it, but how annoying is that?

Tuesday, 5 August 2008

I need a PA

No not a public address system, a personal assistant.

This morning I couldn't find my pass for work. Normally when this happens there are about five places I need to search before the offending item is discovered.

This morning I looked in about 500 places (note exaggeration for effect).

The dumb thing I that I know that stupid piece of plastic is either in the car or the house, somewhere. I know I'll find the damned thing but only after I've gone through the pain and humiliation of the leper treatment at work.

I visited Mr Security Card today and he asked for my name and immediately on his system produced the picture on my id badge. Admittedly the picture was taken over 10 years ago but it's definitely me.

One might think that my passing resemblance to a former me might be sufficient to enable the process of replacement card creation to begin.

For a bureaucratic giant like Ford though that would be far too simple. So I was given a form to complete which needed to be signed by HR and a manager. The new card would then take five days. In the meantime I have five days to find my old card and re-activate all of the associated privileges.

All of this is a right royal pain in the backside. I've worked for the company for so long that I have built up access rights to almost everywhere. Granted I no longer have access to the design studio but, that aside, I have an access all areas card. Building this up again is too much like hard work. The alternative? Get Dave to look for my card because he's so much better at finding things than me.

Monday, 4 August 2008

It all about the money

During my, admittedly short, mid year appraisal I was told that I am expected to look for a new job in the new year.

I work part time, and I know that other part time opportunities are few and far between, which means I could end up in a job that is the only job available rather than necessarily a job I want.

Interestingly, I'm sure that when my current role is advertised it will be advertised as a full time role.

Maybe, when I'm looking for a move, I should just look at full time roles and offer myself up as a cost saving, delivering a full time workload for part time money. That could be a win win situation. I might get a job with some interest and my manager gets a bargain.

Sunday, 3 August 2008

Not the best day

Ethan's foot was still hurting so I called the emergency doctor again. While I was on the call with the doctor Ethan miraculously found that he could walk again (albeit with a limp).

As we left the house we made sure that we put the sheets on the line so they could dry while we were out.

I also made sure I took the satnav so we could do a nav off between Dave's Landie satnav and my mate Tom. We knew where we were going (Dave's parent's) but it doesn't hurt to check.

Our visit had two objectives: celebrating birthdays and delivering children for school holiday childcare.

We ended up leaving late-ish and got stuck in M25 end-of-weekend queues, and it was raining. Just before we went under the Thames I realised we hadn't handed over the child seats when we handed over the children.

We turned around and righted that wrong.

When we'd re-joined the M25 queue, the rain got worse so I turned to Dave and said "At least the washing will have dried nicely."

I deserved the look I got.

Saturday, 2 August 2008

Doctor doctor

On the way back home this evening Ethan was running and fell over and hurt his foot/ankle.

It clearly hurt. He didn't seem able to put any weight on it and was carried the rest of the way home.

For the next two hours he hopped and crawled but did anything to avoid putting any pressure on the injured foot.

I phoned the out of hours doctor service. When they called back they advise me that it sounded like a sprain and he should be dosed up with alternate ibuprofen and paracetamol.

Ten minutes later, at bedtime, Ethan wanted to sleep in his top bunk. I explained that wasn't a good idea because if his recent injury. He then said that he was better and it wouldn't be a problem.


Friday, 1 August 2008

A date for your diary

On August 8th take a camera out with you and you can take part in 24 hours of Flickr.

I didn't realise but they did the same thing last year on May 5th, encouraging people to post photos from a particular 24 hour period.

Look here to see the result.