Friday, 13 August 2010

All the B's

There seems to be a bit of a theme for my holiday this week. It started off with a weekend in Bruges. Bruges is bloody brilliant. The food is ace and you can wander around the 12th century buildings for ages.
I can hardly believe some of the priceless stuff on show which you can touch without any sort of barriers.
Got a bit of a surprise in the market square when we decided to sit and have a beer. The choice was small or medium, so we have gone for medium and the waiter comes out with these two huge yard of ale style glasses. It's a good job they didn't do a large or God knows what we would have ended up with!
One chap staying at the same hotel as us had a rather novel idea for getting his money's worth. At the buffet breakfast (cheese, meats, bread and stuff) he piled his plate high, came back, wrapped it all up and popped it into his bag. He did this SIX times before finally filling up and actually eating something!
Still, the food was pretty great. We had one meal (which cost an arm and a leg) which took two hours to eat and ended up with me thinking I was going to explode. I looked like I was about to give birth to triplets which is not a good look when you have on a tight dress.
Staying with the B theme and it was off to Brighton and noodles on the pier. I love Brighton, there's just such an odd mix of people.
And, it seems, B is still a running theme as me and Bloke make our way to Broadstairs to see a few morris men shaking sticks and that guy who is always there in a dress, pigtails and his big hairy beard.

Friday, 6 August 2010


When I said I would be dressed up as a lady of Henry II's Medieval court I wasn't being strictly accurate. One look at me and they chucked me into the role of a 12th Century kitchen wench. Humph.
I may not be winning any awards for fashion in this get up but have to say living history at Dover Castle's Great Tower was quite good fun.
The Past Pleasures reenactment guys really know their stuff, not just the acting but the history too. Hardly surprising when the crew consists of historians, a PHD student, archaeologists and, obviously, actors.
More pictures and the full story in the Dover Express and the Deal and Sandwich Express on Thursday.
Til then pass me the mead cos it is the weekend.

Tuesday, 3 August 2010

Rolling back the years

IT'S deadline tomorrow. So, as usual, I will be proofing the pages and sending them off to press. This week will see the lowdown on what the new filming bill means for Dover district, Tributes to two much-loved residents and the news that Dover District Council hasn't ditched Bond City from the DTIZ project yet.
Usually I would then start the weekly hunt for new and exciting tales to pass to our readers.
But tomorrow lunchtime will be slightly different. I'm going to be garbed out as a lady (stop laughing) of Henry II's court at Dover Castle's Great Tower.
Re-enactors are at the castle this summer giving visitors a real taste of 12th Century life in Henry's chaotic and sometimes volatile household.
So, a brush up on my history, a change into costume (no idea what that will be like) and then off out to greet the public!
Oh dear. I'm not really renowned for my acting skills and wonder how many 12th century ladies had a slightly cockney accent (25 years in Kent but the twang is still there).
I'm feeling slightly nervous but will let you know how I got on (unless they throw me in the dungeon of course).

Monday, 26 July 2010


What a week.
It has been both excellent and horrible in equal measure.
Last Monday I found myself interviewing Dover girl's grammar pupil Emma Castledine who was lovely. Unfortunately I felt horribly ill and spent most of our time just praying I wouldn't projectile vomit in the school's rather lovely rose garden.
Followed by a trip to one of the classrooms for another story which found me concentrating on not keeling over because the heat was so...well, hot.
Then a story I was working on turned out to have a rather interesting twist. I'll make no comment on that other than go to the website and guess which one it was for yourselves. (GRRRR, why won't this link?)
Then came Boy's camping expedition. A tent was bought at the last minute and he went off for a whale of a time while I spent the evening wondering if he was going to phone for a lift home from the wilds of Canterbury. Not the best recipe for a night's sleep.
I had a repeat performance of this last night when he went to a party.
"I'm coming home early" actually consisted of my waking up at 3am to hear him clattering about in the kitchen trying to microwave his dinner.
This feat was then topped by his efforts to carry the plate upstairs (I don't know why) leaving a rather picturesque trail of gravy on my stairs.
The last few days have also included a pirate party (Hi Mel- arghhhhhh)and a dance show starring (well, not quite starring but including) the smallest grand-daughter who did a bit of a tap dance and then began waving and shouting "Grandad" (oblivious of the audience) when she spotted Bloke.
Here's wondering if the next four days will be as busy/draining/entertaining?

Saturday, 17 July 2010

Cutting it fine

I don't think I can avoid it any longer. My hair needs cutting.
I had found the perfect hairdresser but now not only has she had a baby but she is getting married and moving to Turkey.
Arghhhhhhhhhhhhhh.How bloody inconsiderate.
This means the hunt is on once again for someone who will actually cut my hair the way I have asked them to instead of shearing me to within an inch of my life and then insisting the near skinhead they have given me is exactly like the layered bob I asked for.
And then when you find one why do they always cut it wrong from the third time onwards? How many times do you have to explain that you just want them to do exactly the same as they did the first time?
Add to this the requirement of foils (no, when I said blonde and a darker blonde I did not mean brown and copper streaks) and the chances of finding another reliable hairdresser seem to be almost as slim as waking up to find I am a millionaire (it seems only Eastcliff Richard can actually do that but I bet even he hasn't found a great hairdresser).
Any suggestions (not of the bowl, scissors and pal in the kitchen variety please)?

Wednesday, 7 July 2010

Not on the agenda

So, there I am tonight sitting in the Walmer Sea Scout hut on The Strand waiting for the parish council meeting to start.
The only other person in the hall is clerk Kirsty Holroyd who arrived before me.
We're having a bit of a chat about things to do in the summer (she is a fan of Ramsgate beach - hurrah)when we both notice it is only a couple of minutes before 7pm and not a single councillor in sight.
Where are they?
"Probably having a knees up down the pub, " I say. Just then Kirsty's mobile goes. "That'll be them now," I said, "Seeing if you want them to get you one in."
Kirsty answers and says something along the lines of "What do you mean where am I? I'm here, at the scout hut."
This is followed up by "oh."
She turns to me and says "I think they're all outside."
I'm closest so I get up, push the door open and am confronted with a huddle of nine parish councillors, one county councillor, a PCSO and a partridge in a pear tree (I'm joking about the partridge).
"Why's it locked?" they chorus
Ahhh. I was last in which means I obviously managed to lock the door somehow.
I would have apologised but I was laughing too much.

*Off the cuff quip from Chairman Pat Heath? "How many councillors does it take to open a door?" LOL

Friday, 2 July 2010

Call the doctor

I have come home and Boy has hoovered, brought the wheelie bin back round, washed up and emptied the rubbish and recycling bins.
I am in too much shock to write anything else :-)

Wednesday, 30 June 2010

Virgin on a breakdown

I have just spent 90 minutes trying to set up a new router for Bloke.
First the disk was missing. OK, I think. No problem, I know how to go to the set up web page and sort it out from there.
All is going swimmingly well - except the green internet light won't come on.
Getting a bit irate I change the settings, I add a new wireless connection, I try reboot (it always works on mine) but have no luck.
Moments before I plunge my fist through said router I say to Bloke: "Give Virgin a ring and make sure they have actually sorted it out."
The letter from Virgin says all will be ready by the 29th.
Well, it ain't.
90 wasted minutes of my life because the broadband was not on when Virgin said it would be.
I could've been drinking wine for *!*@** sake.

Monday, 28 June 2010

Spr-out of order

Some scumbag has nicked potato planters from a Dover primary school.
Quite obviously this was a class project yet the person responsible still thought it was ok to go into the grounds and swipe all the stuff that a class of 10 and 11 year olds have been working quite hard on.
Now, I know there are far worse crimes but this particular piece of moronic activity has really got up my nose.
Did this person(s) not bother to think how upset those kids would be or did they simply not care?
What kind of arsehole nicks from a primary school anyway?
I doubt very much they had any use for these seedling spuds. It's highly unlikely they have decided to get themselves an allotment or make a veg patch. Which means the kid's project is probably dumped somewhere not too far from the school, most likely trashed first.
I only hope the saying what goes around comes around is true and something valuable to the person is question is taken away from them (obviously not their pride because they surely do not possess enough IQ to have any).

Saturday, 26 June 2010

A man's work is never done.....

...until a woman does it for him.
Take my garden for instance. This morning I got the mower out and Bloke says: "I'll do that for you."
I'm ready to start so suggest he takes over when he's had a cup of tea. Half the garden is done and he brings me out a coffee and says: "I'll be out to finish that in a minute."
A minute passes and there is no sign of Bloke. After quite a lot of minutes I decide to carry on. I'm just powering up the mower when I hear some sort of garbled shout.
Going to investigate what do I find?
Bloke disappearing up the road in the Simpson-mobile (apparently the shout was "I won't be long.")
Bloke returns about 30 minutes after I have finished cutting the grass, hacking back the bushes and trees that Orbit South Housing Association are kind enough to let grow wild on their side of the fence so it spreads into my garden, and sweeping up the concrete where the table and chairs are.
"I would've done that," says Bloke.
And he would have...eventually, perhaps sometime next summer but unfotunately it needed doing NOW.
So, with the "man's" jobs out the way I've now got time to get on with the housework.
Deep joy.

Wednesday, 23 June 2010

The best thing about football......

World Cup joy.
No, not the goal (although I'll admit that's good news) but the fact we finished work early to watch the game. Woo hoo, two extra free time hours to soak up the sun (I mean watch England play) and chill out (I mean cheer at the winning goal).
Even better, this means England is still in the tournament. Could there be more short days to come? (Please say there will be more afternoon matches).
Never have I been so excited about the prospect of 12 (or is it 11?) men running around on the grass trying to kick a child's play thing into a (very big) net.
I may even have to teach myself a pro-footie chant (to show my patriotism of course).
It's a shame the match wasn't aired on Dover's Big Screen (depending on who you ask, of course)especially with something to actually celebrate. Still the council big wigs tell us future games will be on so perhaps there will be victory parties in the Market Square yet. I can even imagine how that would sound as my street is still echoing with the noise of air horns and vuvuzelas (or is that the yoof of Prestedge kicking in the bus shelter again?)

Sunday, 20 June 2010

Just the job

BOY has applied for yet another job. I have lost count of the applications he has filled out (although I could quite easily tell you the number of firms which bothered to reply).
The lack of a job impacts on my purse quite a lot. This is because obviously child benefit ended a long while ago, he has no wage and, because he is not 18, he is not entitled to any dole money.
It's not that I expect the Government to keep him but doesn't this open a huge unemployment figure loophole? When we are given statistics for unemployed youngsters those who can't claim and are not in education are not counted.
Boy is one of the "lost" masses. This means he cannot get any of these apprenticeships being boasted of by Thanet council and he does not have the experience which most firms ask for because he can't get a job to get the experience.
It also means my wage is looking after two adults as well as trying to pay ever inflating bills on an income which has remained the same for the past two years - if only my shopping bill, gas, electric and all the rest remained the same that would be fine but they haven't
It also means I am feeling some slight panic at what horrors will be unveiled by George Osborne on Tuesday. Will his swingeing cuts affect the little people? Will we really suffer a VAT hike up to 19 per cent? More importantly, will our wages be expected to stretch even further and will anything be done about the bleak prospects for teenagers such as Boy or should I start devising ways of getting people to send me food parcels?
*Footnote: On the food parcel question, would I be able to request wine as one of my five a day?

Friday, 18 June 2010

Taking it back

You know what I said about the World Cup? Well, I'm a big fat liar. Yep, today I got all excited because Serbia spanked Germany.

Why this sudden change of heart? I've got Serbia in the work's sweepstake.

Oh the joy when I found out I was a step closer to the 30 quid prize.

That said, my footie skills (or footie watching skills) probably still need a bit of brushing up. I didn't actually realise the game was over until a press officer pal at KCC said: "They've won haven't they?"

It was at that point I gave a deafening squeal (something akin to a pig at a barbecue) and began to chatter on the merits of the beautiful game.

So, you may be wondering how it is that I've got time to blog while the England game is on if I am such a great convert?

Truth is Boy is next door (I'm going to have to stop calling him that as he is now 17 and a half, sort of Boy/Man or Geezer Bailes maybe) watching the game with pals. I will know whether we have won or lost by the volume of noise coming through the wall.

And I haven't got £30 riding on the England team.

Wednesday, 16 June 2010


Arghhh, what is it coming to when the TV choices are football or Midsomer Murders?
It's ok for Boy, he is out partying (not a bad feat considering he has no money) but Bloke and I are considering whether sticking hot pins in our eyes is a better option than watching John Nettles.
As for the World Cup, well does it make me a pariah to say I don't care? Load of blokes running around on the grass, kicking a ball - big deal. They want to try running around with a pen and notepad all day and then going home to clear up the bomb site (I mean house) and then cook the dinner (and not being paid a gazillion pounds a week).
Talking of a gazillion pounds, I see the Margate air show is going to cost an arm and a leg at the weekend. £5 to park, £2 each to get in and then £500 (or something like that for a burger).
Still, if it means I miss the football.....