The Electrics broke!

Thank goodness for my mates at BestHorshamElectrician.com who saved my life when all the electrics went out. Why do these things always happen at the weekend?

These guys came out really quickly and I agree – they are the Best Electricians – in the whole of Sussex, not just Horsham!

I couldn’t even make them a cup of tea until they got the electricity back on, but they’re good guys to have out in an emergency. I’ve no idea what the problem was (though they did explain fully but it went over my head!) But suffice to say that I have all the power back on and can get on with life again. Phew.

It’s funny how we don’t appreciate something until we don’t have it any more. We happily trundle through life taking all our electrics for granted – switch on the lights, have a hot shower, keep the house warm, boil the kettle, make a cake. Everything revolves around electricity doesn’t it? At least it does in Brighton.

So now I’m back on line – because of course broadband and computers also don’t work without electricity. And what on earth would we do without Facebook?

By the way, it’s Valentines Day today. And No I didn’t get any cards. Enough said :(  Jim loves me though

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The Trees

I’ve spent the day watching tree felling over at the park with some hunky tree surgeons from Horsham. It’s so sad to see three beautiful trees (oaks I think but I’m no expert), being chopped down. Well strictly speaking I suppose they’ve been chain-sawed rather than chopped.

But it was fascinating to see how they did it. Those were pretty large trees and they started at the top removing branches. Then worked their way down. They were roped up and had obviously done the same job lots of times before because they were super-efficient and very fast.

I got talking to one of them and he told me how he’d got into the business and how he’d loved trees all his life. It must be well rewarding to do something you really enjoy.

I think he was sad to see these big trees come down too. But they were diseased and he said they’d only last another few years  then they could become dangerous. So the council decided they should be felled now rather than wait. Luckily there are lots more trees in the park so I don’t think it will worry too many people.

After the fellings, they moved on to trim some of the other trees. They removed some of the crown (I learned that from the tree surgeon I spoke to), and the idea is to let in more light and encourage the trees to grow healthily.

They’re coming back for a day next week to finish off the work so I may go back to watch again. It’s nice to see craftsmen at work, even if they are removing such lovely landmarks.

I may look out for them and have another chat to my new friend.

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Getting the carpets cleaned

I’ve got to get someone in to do some carpet cleaning now that spring is approaching.

I’ve noticed when the sun shines in the room that the carpets look dreadful. All those little stains show up – and I’ve spilt lots of things over the years! It’s funny how you can mop up something, clean it all away and it looks fine for a while. Then somehow it creeps back and starts to look grubby again.

Well the weather in Brighton has been quite nice and we’ve had some sun this week. Love to go down to the seafront and gaze at the sea. There’s always something different happening out there in the English Channel. One minute it’s raging and dark-looking, then it can be as calm as a millpond and look pretty inviting.

There is a swimming club in Brighton full of nutters who swim in the sea every day of the year! Imagine, swimming in January off Brighton beach. No thank you!

I’ve seen them on the TV and don’t remember any of them being very young. I suppose it builds resilience, but I’d rather be snug in bed than dipping my toe in that cold water.

But in the height of summer it’s lovely to have a bathe and even a short swim. The beaches get pretty crowded though in the good weather. That’s the trouble with living somewhere that’s getting more and more popular. You can’t swing a cat when everyone’s out and about and all the seasonal visitors appear.

 

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Enjoying Brighton

I’m so enjoying being back in Brighton again though the weather isn’t so brilliant when it’s blowing a gale off the sea.

I’ve decided that this year I’m really going to get down to making some jewellery, because of course Xmas got in the way so looking back on my last post I’m feeling a bit embarrassed.

Not much else to do in January, though I’m going to see Dynamo at the Brighton Centre at the end of the month, so am really looking forward to that. I find that a lot of bills need paying at this time of year, so I’m pretty broke and won’t be going out much. Luckily I bought the Dynamo tickets months ago so they’re well paid for.

Here’s a lovely photo of Brighton pier that I saw on the internet. I’ll try to add it at the top of this blog. And I’m thinking I might try to take some brilliant photos of my own this year.

cropped-Brighton-pier-1.jpg

ps Tried to add the photo at the top of the blog but it’s the wrong shape so it takes up the whole screen. It would be a shame to hide my brilliant writing haha

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Jewellery making

I may have mentioned that I was doing a jewellery course in September. Well here we are in November (mid) and I don’t think I’ve written anything about it yet. In fact I’m not sure I’ve written anything in the blog since then! Good intentions!

So I went to the jewellery making and it was quite interesting but not as good as I’d thought and there didn’t seem to be any place to use my shells. So I’ve done a bit of research and using some of the techniques I learned I’m going to have a go at doing this necklace.

sea shell necklase

It’s so pretty although I bet mine won’t turn out quite so good. I’ve got to find a shop that sells shells because the ones I found on the beach aren’t quite so stunning! I’ve found a little place on the internet that sells all the fastenings and thread and I’m about to get a book showing me how it all goes together, so I’ll be reporting back.

I was thinking that I may even start selling jewellery if it all goes well, though I’m not exactly a business woman.

On another note, I’ve just moved back to my home town of Brighton – though it has since become a City and joined up with Hove. The City of Brighton and Hove. Sounds very grandiose and of course the price of housing has soared since they changed it all.

But it’s still Brighton to me and I’ve rented a nice flat to be near my parents. Of course I’ve had to leave my job too but if you’re arty Brighton is the place to be and I’ve already been networking and got a few irons in the fire. I’m hoping to land something that’s more suited to my artistic abilities! Perhaps I could work for a jewellery shop and they would sell my unique creations – oh well dream on!

So if I decide to specialise in sea shell jewellery, at least I’m close to the beach. Unfortunately so are thousands of others so I don’t expect there’s much to be found unless the tide washes something interesting ashore.

Meanwhile I’m going to stock up on all the stuff I need to get started making jewellery and I’ll report back. First on the list is a little drill to make holes in my shells. Wonder where you get those – Amazon probably, they seem to have everything.

Then I’m going to wander around the Brighton Lanes to get some inspiration. I think I could be pretty good at making jewellery so let’s get started.

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Tea Party

Thank goodness my other two chairs finally arrived. I’m really pleased with the whole look and I’ve been shopping.

I bought a lovely purple runner for the table and black table mats and mauve napkins. It looks stunning so I simply had to have a tea party to show it off.

The garden is still looking OK, although not as nice as it did, so I figured I should get some people round fast before everything started looking really tatty. So on Friday there were four of us for tea. I love a tea party but they don’t happen often in my house.

I spent ages making lovely little sandwiches with tuna and cucumber, ham and tomato and egg. We had scones with jam and lovely thick clotted cream, and cheese scones too. We had veggie sticks and sour cream and chive dip and salsa, which was all delicious and crisps too. And to round off everything I made a lovely coffee cake. It was delicious if I say so myself.

The coffee cake could have been a disaster because I managed to put just a little too much water in the icing. Once that happens it’s hard to get it back to the right consistency so I had to dump it and start again. Wasted a whole load of butter and icing sugar, but c’est la vie.

Of course my guests were Sandy, Jane and Mand (who else) and we had a lovely afternoon and evening. We drank lots of tea until 7pm then started on the wine! Jim entertained us with a few of his weird tricks, like chasing his tail and growling, jumping for flies and balancing on the narrow fence on 2 legs. He’s pretty athletic for a middle-aged cat.

The girls stayed until 11pm so we had plenty of time to gossip and catch up on everything as usual. We’ve booked a day at a spa together in a couple of weeks so am really looking forward to that. I intend to have a luxurious massage and relax.

It’s good to have such a lovely bunch of friends you can always rely on – I’m very lucky.

 

 

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Flatpack furniture

There’s been a bit of a saga round my new dining table and chairs. I wanted a glass table and some nice chairs to complement my purple-accented living room. It’s not massive so I thought a glass top would be less intrusive than wood and look smart.

Back in July I found just the thing at Argos. A glass table together with 6 chairs in a sort of beige and black tartan-check fabric. The table wasn’t exactly what I was looking for, but I liked the chairs and decided to order it. The table had rather strange wooden legs that crossed over – they seem to be all the rage, but they aren’t my favourite.

Anyhow a date was arranged for delivery back at the beginning of August I think, when I could be home (it may even have been earlier). The day before delivery I got a text saying the table and chairs were out of stock and they re-arranged for 4th September. That was annoying enough but I decided to wait.

Then a couple of days before 4th September I got a voicemail – in fact I got 3! Guess what? The table was still out of stock.

When they contacted me again it was to offer me a different table, but with the same chairs. I checked out the table and it was a horrible wooden table, cheap-looking and not at all what I wanted.

Well eventually it turned out ok because I looked online and found a really nice glass table, with a chrome frame and legs. Much nicer than the original one. I called the company and they agreed to do a swap (luckily the new table was on sale and now the same price as the original). So all sorted. Delivery rearranged for 16th September.

Fabulous.

It arrived on time, as promised – I was so happy. I was busy at the time and didn’t have time to check the boxes until the next day.

Disaster!

Each box contained two chairs. 2 boxes contained the right chairs but the other one contained green chairs! Aaargh. I thought about keeping them because they’re quite nice, but somehow they just don’t go together and my room is purple! So back on the phone to Argos who have now arranged to swap the chairs next week.

Fingers crossed….

So today we put them together. Took ages because they had long screw things with an allen key. They seem pretty solid but it took forever to tighten everything. Of course there are only 4 chairs at the moment but they look great!

So I’m pleased with everything – or I should be once I have the other two chairs.

What a saga, but all’s well that ends well.

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Back to work!

The holiday weekend hasn’t been a complete washout, until today. It’s just bucketing and looks like it’s not going to stop all day, so I’m back to Facebook, adding some new friends and catching up on messaging some new ones and also catching up on this here blog. What on earth did we do on a wet day before Facebook?

I suppose we did more creative things and really I must get around to doing more arty stuff. Time just slips by and I blame much of that on the internet.

Looking forward to my course on jewellery making. We found some fab shells on the beach. Don’t know whether they’ll be any good for what we’re learning, but I’ll be taking them along to the first class.

Back to work tomorrow. Drat! It’s not the best part of my life but I’ve come to accept that I just don’t have what it takes to go out and be an entrepreneur so I guess I have to suffer in silence.

I did once try to set up an arty business, selling some lovely bits and pieces by local artists. I had a stall at several markets and fairs, but it just didn’t pay, in fact I lost quite a lot. So I gave it up. If I was really clever at building websites and things I could give it another go, but it’s not really my thing.

Actually the job isn’t that bad as jobs go. I’m an admin assistant at a pet supply company. We make lovely collars, leads, pet beds and loads of other things for pampered pets. I don’t get involved in making anything of course, but I’m really a goffer. Sometimes it can be quite interesting though, like the time I was sent out to see a wealthy lady with 6 dogs who wanted to buy separate beds for each one, to match their personalities! They decided not to waste a salesman so I got the job.

We spent ages trying every dog in several different beds until she was happy that they were suitable. Spent a fortune because our custom-made beds are not cheap. I often think of her in that big house with all those pooches and wonder whether they all use their allotted beds or whether they mix and match. That would upset her after all that careful selection!

Anyhow it made a nice change from typing and filing and I have a feeling she might ask to see me again if she gets another dog and needs a new bed. I expect she’ll bury the bed with the pet when the time comes!

On the whole I’ve enjoyed my holiday, even though the weather has been rubbish (that’s why we British are so obsessed with the weather, because it rules our lives and our holidays). I’ve decided to start a holiday fund and put in £50 a month, maybe £100 if I’m feeling flush, so I can go on a decent holiday next year and get out of the rain.

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The picnic is on

We’re going down to the beach and taking a picnic. At last a real holiday activity. Sandy said we should take the opportunity before the hoards arrive at Bournemouth, but we’re probably too late since it’s Bank Holiday weekend.

But I don’t care whether it’s crowded, we’re still going and we’ll have our picnic even if we have to sit in the rain!

I’m going to look for some nice shells because I’m taking a class on jewellery making in September and maybe I can use them to make something unusual. I love all the natural shapes and forms you find on the beach and it would be even better if I could find the odd diamond ring.

My brother found a ring on the beach when we were kids. We were just digging in the sand and he came across it. It was handed to the police but no-one claimed it so he got it back and sold it after a few months. Don’t know what he did with the money, but he didn’t share it with me!

Busy making sandwiches and stuff to take so I’ll update later about how it went. Excited!

 

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The non-picnic

Well you guessed it, the picnic is postponed, if not all together cancelled. The day started out good with blue sky, but didn’t last so now its raining and there’s just no point going on a picnic in the rain.

Its bank holiday this weekend so maybe we can rearrange. Disappointing tho because we were all set.

So instead Sandy and me are hitting the town for a shopping spree. Its gonna work out far more expensive than a picnic and we won’t get tanned, but at least its an outing. And I’m taking my annual holiday so can’t just sit around the house with Jim wasting the days away. Wish I could afford a proper holiday somewhere nice and hot like Ibiza or I quite fancy Gibraltar. No idea why because I don’t know anything about it, except they have apes and it would be kinda cool to see them.

So here I am holidaying at home, though we could have some nice days out but somehow chose the wettest week of the “summer”. Funny how I spend so much time on Facebook and the computer these days. I should write a book “How to spend your Summer Holiday on the Computer”. Wonder how many other sad people do the same?

But its time to glam up for our shopping trip. We’ll have lunch too so will be good and I’ll try not to spend too much, otherwise I might as well have gone away.

Checking back later with what I bought.

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