Sunday, 8 September 2013

Saturday night out...

Saturday night:

Three large white wine and sodas;
2 cocktails (Long Island Iced Tea and Lemon Cheesecake);
A schmirnoff ice (can't spell);
A shot (thought to be Jaeger Bomb);
1 lemonade;
1 large glass of water.

Sunday morning:

1 fuzzy head;
3 large cups of coffee.

Why do I do it?  I don't know :-(

Actually I do know!  It's because my friend and I have had a difficult couple of years and last night my friend (H) needed some cheering up, hence we don our glad rags and head off into town pretending we're 21 again!  I can at least tell you that we're not the only ones.  In our little town in the middle of the country there are many 40 somethings having a good time and even heading off into cocktail bars and night clubs!  It's grab a granny night and these days, I've suddenly realised - I'm the granny :-S.  For some reason it doesn't stop the younger lads (trying) to chat us up and our ego is boosted for a few more weeks when we will feel the need to do it all over again.

Oh I do love a good cocktail!  There's this bar in town does the most amazing ones and it's a good job we only go in about once a month because you need a whole month's salary to afford them! 

It almost makes the following dodgy Sunday feel worth it.  If only I could sleep in!  Not for me!  It doesn't matter that I roll in after 1am, I'm still wide awake (if not bushy tailed) by 6:45am! 

I wonder if I could be charged with being drunk in charge of a lawn mower?


Thursday, 5 September 2013

A Kindle for me!

Tonight my good friend J has leant me his kindle because he never uses it - not only that, he had downloaded over 300 books for me to read!  Someone please point me in the direction of the nearest beach/sunny pool side because that's where I need to be for the next 12 months, catching up on them all!  If I could just have someone to pass me the occasional bacon roll, cuppa tea or Bacardi and coke then I could wish for nothing more.  Bliss!

I've now got to work out how to use it but it probably won't take me long to work it out.  I'm not as into my gadgets as my younger brother and my sons are but then again I'm not as techno unsavvy as my mum (now 70).

The family and me are trying to get mum a bit more into Internet usage and the only way to do it is little and often.  Give her too much information and it doesn't sink in but leave it too long and she's forgotten how easy it is!  Having said that there's nothing mum likes better than picking up bargains from charity and antiques shops and if she actually understood how Ebay works she'll either become bankrupt or Britain's highest paid pensioner!

Seriously though it does concern me that so much business is done online these days that those who do not realise the benefits or simply are not able to understand how it all works will get left behind both economically as well as socially.

So what shall I read on "my" kindle?  Will it be a bit of Ian McEwan?  or shall I plummet to the depths of Fifty Shades of Grey?  Watch this space and I'll let you know.


Wednesday, 4 September 2013

Procrastinating gym bunny

Good evening  blogger-readers!

I've been blogging for a whole week now and I'm wondering how many people are reading this.  Yes I know we get stats but I many of these seem to be taken up with disreputable referral sites such as the very tedious vampirestats.  Yawn!  Give me a break!  So if you are genuine please stop by and say "Hi" - it would be good to hear from you.

Yesterday I was feeling out of sorts because I had had my coil change so I'm pleased to report that I'm feeling a bit better today although I have to say that my enthusiasm for exercise seems to have passed me by.  I've excused myself from running on the basis that it may cause the coil to drop out!  Eeek!  Imagine that, when you're trying to look cool whilst trotting past a hoard of hormonal youths! NO - not a good look!

After enough procrastination that would be enough to make my ex proud (Mr I eventually decided that the gym was the best option as I could hop off the treadmill if things started to feel a bit dodgy. 

Having the concentration span of a bowl of pea green soup I tend to spend about 5 minutes on each exercise machine rather than devote a whole hour to one sort.  I once managed an hour and a half on a treadmill and I can honestly say its one of the most boring things I have ever done!  What on earth possessed me?  Training for a half marathon I think and as I recall there was snow and ice on the ground outside.  Never again though.

So today it was 5 mins on the exercise bike, 5 minutes on the cross trainer, 5 minutes on the treadmill and 5 minutes on the rower - at which point I was sitting next to a very tasty specimen of young man :-D.  That inspired me!  Trying to be impressive enough to be noticed!  As if! - my beetroot red face was the only thing that was going to get noticed this evening.  But hey - listen up!  Today (for 30 secs only) I managed to go 15km/hr on the treadmill - go me!  Go me!  Now if I can keep that up for about 2 hours perhaps Miss Radcliffe will have cause to be concerned! 

I bet she's trembling in her trainers right now!


Tuesday, 3 September 2013


After my eldest son (R) had finished his GCSEs I thought, in my wisdom, that to keep him occupied and out of trouble, he could decorate his bedroom!  What I failed to take into account was his capacity to procrastinate and two months later we are still at the plastering stage!

But hey!  This is progress because for weeks he has been stripping a bit of wall paper here and a bit of wall paper there just adding to it a tiny little bit every time I nagged him to get on with it.

The worst thing about it was that he never picked up the fallen bits that landed on his carpet meaning that every time he left his room a trail of wall paper bits would follow him wherever he went!  All down the stairs, all into the bathroom and finally finding its way into my kitchen!  Aaagh - well why can't it just find it's way into my bin!???

So now the plasterer has been and one ceiling and two walls have been successfully plastered.  Hooray because I couldn't bear to see that 1970s woodchip of my walls and ceiling any longer.  Tomorrow the job will be complete and we will all be relieved because the all of Rs possessions and furniture are strewn around the house.  Even the poor miserable looking fish has three jigsaws and a meccano set piled up on top of his tank.

Well I'm going to have to apologise for a short blog today - after having my old coil removed (ouch) and the new one in (don't worry I'm not going to give you a blow by blow account), I am feeling a little out of sorts!


Monday, 2 September 2013

Sleep Deprived :-(

It all started on Thursday night when I couldn't get to sleep and knowing I had a party to prepare for the next day and a cake to bake I thought I'd better get to bed on time, even though I wasn't particularly sleepy.

Normally I'll drop off as soon as my head touches the pillow so I knew I was in trouble when half an hour later I was still lying there twiddling my toes.  I thought I might be dropping off when suddenly I remembered that my car needed it's MOT and feeling certain I wouldn't remember again in the morning I got up to write it down.  Try again .... twiddle toes... remember this time that I had to get Aunty A's Birthday card!  Damn... up again...write it down!  Aagh - I was wide awake by this time so read some more of my Rosie Thomas book.  Then I think I'm getting sleepy so turn out the lights and try once more.  Hmmmm... twiddle toes....think I need the toilet!  Double damn.. get up and go down stairs to the loo (I'm in the attic room) ...come back up and try again.  I think it was well past 4.30 by the time I got to sleep and I was wide awake again by 7!  Aaagh - what's the matter with me?

Friday night I felt much better and blissfully achieved the requisite 8 hours sleep but Saturday and Sunday it was insomniacs anonymous again :-(.  If you read my previous posts you may have remembered that my loud snoring friend disturbed my Saturday slumbers but what on earth was I doing wide awake at 4.30 again this morning???  There was no snoring, nothing to remember and I didn't even need a wee!  There was nothing for it but get to work early, knowing that I could finish early if I did.  As if!  Having returned from a week's holiday the inbox loomed particularly large - groan!

Well, I'm thoroughly pooped now so please do excuse my rambles!  Tonight I'm going to take some Nytol and everything will be hunky-dory in the morning!  Well, for me it will be - my boys are back to school tomorrow - one starting high school for the first time and the other starting his A level course.  Son no. 1 is doing A levels in Maths, Physics, Chemistry and Biology!  Surely he can't be related to me!  How did that happen??  Oh yes - his dad has a chemistry degree - knew it was nothing to do with me (ardent social scientist that I am).

TTFN ... zzzzzzzzzzzz

Sunday, 1 September 2013

Rainbow Cake

Last night I stayed at my friend's house in Crewe.  On the way over I dropped my youngest son's friend (O) back home on the way - they had had a sleepover.   On the journey little O explained to me that he liked baking and when I deposited him back with his folks he came running back out of his house clutching a cake wrapped in silver foil, which he had baked especially for my son's birthday.  "Lovely" I exclaimed - "I'll give that to C tomorrow"

Well I dutifully looked after that cake as it came with me on my travels and when I returned home this afternoon C was delighted to open his little cakey parcel.  Wow!  What a sight for saw eyes!  A perfect rainbow Swiss roll cake to rival  Joseph's Technicolour Dream Coat!
C ate the red end (see picky below) and can now be located hovering approximately 3 inches from the living room ceiling!

Last night whilst staying in Crewe my friend and I found a fab little Indian restaurant.  Really good value once I had had the menu translated.  Now, I do know my Korma from my Jalfrezi but I had trouble distinguishing between:
  • Tandoori Mixed Grill
  • Mixed Tandoori Platter
  • Tandoori Mix
  • Tandoori Mixamatosis  (OK so it wasn't that but you get the picture)!
I can't remember which I had but is was really great nonetheless and it came with Pilau rice and a vegetable curry sauce.  Rounded off nicely with a lovely little Chilean Merlot :-)

I've already mentioned in a previous post that I can't eat all this and maintain my non Miss Piggy proportions without some sort of exercise to mitigate it so today I have been for both a walk and a run (halo shining).  The walk was around Queen's Park in  Crewe, whereas the run (5.5 miles) was upon my return to Stafford.  Queen's Park has these adult "Gym-Style" equipment in it so friend dutifully watched like a proud parent, whilst I tested everything out. I tried really hard not to let the outrage show on my face as a little boy occupied the running machine, taking away all the fun from the adults! OK - it was just me!

Having not slept too well the night before (friend snores - loudly) I wasn't much in the mood for a run so I took it nice and gently, averaging just over 10 minute miles, chewing a few dextrose sweets along the way to try and prevent myself from lying down on the kerbside and dozing off!  Result!  Over 500 calories burnt :-D  Go me! Go me!

Time to scape C off the ceiling now and try and get him into the swing of earlier bed times in readiness for the start of term....


Saturday, 31 August 2013

I'm no Thatcherite but .... Thatcher's Cider...

Good evening!

Now, I'm no Thatcherite but you can't beat a bottle of Thatcher's cider.

You may have guessed from the blog's name that my name is Katrina.  Most people who know me well call me Trina but another variant that some people use is Katy.  So it's Thatcher's Katy cider for me!  I know I'm biased but it tastes reeeeeaal gooooood! :-)

My "ex", G, is here this weekend.  Although he can be considered "the guilty party" in the breakdown of our marriage, I do try to be as reasonable as I possibly can.  It's the best thing for my children and for that reason we do our best to get along.  He stops over (in the spare room) about once a fortnight, which means I can get out and about if I want.  I'm stopping with my friend tonight so I've left G and the boys at home trying to sort out the tip that is my eldest son's bedroom.

It's going to be plastered on Tuesday and the plasterer wants me to take off the radiator.  Hello! I'm a girl!  I don't do things like that (I nearly said can't but I'm sure I could if I really wanted to)!  Anyway, G has taken it off and when I left the house the pipe was spewing water all over the house!  Aaagh - so G was hot footing it off to B and Q (a Do it Yourself store), whilst I quietly and deftly took myself out of the situation!  Heaven knows what I will come back to tomorrow!  Wish me luck!

This morning I went for a cycle ride.  This is the first time I have been on a bike, apart from the short ride to work, for three weeks.  Three weeks I rode further than I have ever done before on a 35 mile sportive.  My butt needed the three weeks reprieve.

I know!  I know!  I can hear all you hardened cyclists out there saying "That's nothing - I do that before breakfast" but you have to take into account that I'm a lady of a certain age and I have only been riding for about 4 months.

For about 8 years I have been a runner and whilst training for my first marathon I sustained an injury (plantar fasciitis) once I'd got to 17 miles in my training.  Oddly, there was no warning, it just went and I could hardly walk for a few months let alone run.

I usually walked to work and back but even this 1.5mile trip proved difficult so I decided to cycle instead.  I live on a hill so getting to work in the town centre was dead easy but coming back home was always a good work out and I hated it.  Suspecting that this was something to do with my bike as well as me, I borrowed a bike from work and bliss - it was so much better.  So much so that I purchased one on the work cycle scheme - I didn't have to pay as much tax on it and it comes out of my monthly salary.

Shortly after I purchased my bike some colleagues entered themselves into a 35 mile sportive and I thought I could do this too - I had about 12 weeks to get up to speed.  And length.  Each weekend I would extend my mileage, and hurt my butt that little bit more!

Being a runner I already had lycra shorts so when I came across some padded knickers for female cyclists I thought that was all I needed.  Not Sexy!  No - it looked like I was wearing the world's largest sanitary towel :-(  Not a good look.  What's more they were useless at stopping my butt pain so eventually I got some proper cycling shorts.  These are better!  Phew!  Even so, getting off my bike after 35 miles was achingly painful.

So it's been three weeks since my last ride and today I went 14 miles or so - and I was really made up to note that I did it at over 1.5 minutes per mile faster than the first time I did it!  Yay! :-D  Please note that if I ever compare my achievements to the likes of Victoria Pendleton then I would have given up a long time ago.  I have found that the only way to measure achievement is to just beat yourself - there's no way I can compete with a leggy 30 year-old!

That's my excuse and I'm sticking with it!



Friday, 30 August 2013

Bad Bunny Richard

Apart from not getting enough sleep the day seems to have passed fairly trauma free :-), even though I had an 11 year-old's party to prepare and manage.  To be fair, the party was at the local Chinese buffet restaurant so all I had to do was bake a convincing cake. 

The cake was a recipe taken from the BBC Good Food recipe book and as I find most of those recipes reasonably straightforward, it all went according to plan.  So with a relatively smooth day behind me, I thought I'd say a bit about my animals.

The oldest of the bunch is a miserable looking goldfish.  His tank only seems to be able to sustain two goldfish at any one time and all was going well until his mate decided to fling himself on top of the filter, dehydrating himself in the process.  So the poor old goldfish (C calls him Lily) swims around one his ownsome making me feel terribly guilty on a fairly regular basis.

Next in the hierarchy are 4 chickens inherited from my brother.  Also inherited are their daft names - Betty, Carly, Margot and Sally - I prefer to call them all Ken.  Until I kept chickens (2 years ago) I thought that there was nothing endearing about them.  Obviously I was wrong!  They are hilarious when they chase me round the garden begging for scraps of food, running along and waddling from side to side like pregnant women.  And nothing beats the feeling of finding (and indeed using) fresh eggs on a daily basis.  That's where the problem now lies - they are getting quite old and the older they get, the lazier they get and I'm having to buy my eggs from a friend, who lives down the road.  They seem to cotton on to this fact and fearing it may be curtains for them, they'll produce a small clutch just after I've shelled out for my mate's.

I'm going to try and insert a picture now:

That is bad bunny Richard!  Awww - he's soooo cute I here you say!  Don't be fooled!  If you look behind Richard's left ear you can clearly see his '666' birth mark!  All the cables in our house now have brightly coloured insulation tape wrapped around them and I'm also in the process of redecorating half the rooms in the house because he's decided to dabble in a little wall paper stripping!  Aaaagh!
He's moulting now so everywhere I go there are little mini balls of Richard to be found - enough to make another Richard if any one out there fancies?  No? Don't blame you!
Finally there is little squeaky Dinky the guinea pig who will tell you at 2:30 every afternoon that it is in fact celery o' clock!  And if you thought that no one could get fat on celery, then you're wrong.  Dinky got so big I had to put him on a bit of a diet.  The trouble is, he knows that celery comes out of the fridge and he knows the sound the fridge door makes and he knows that if he squeaks for long enough, I'll finally cave in.  I've got a lovely picture of Dinky having a bath but it's on my phone and I've got to work out how to put it on here.  So I'll publish now and hopefully add on the photo in a bit.  Here he is getting ready for a visitor...

Thursday, 29 August 2013

Second Post: Slowly does it!

It occurred to me yesterday that I may have got some views because I used the "V" word in the title!  Oops - sorry if I mislead anyone out there - at my age I'm no virgin :-S.

Meanwhile - back at the ranch....

Trina's trial today involved a four hour car journey from South Wales, where I had been visiting an old school friend ( "less of the old please" I hear her say), to my home in the Midlands.  After a relatively speedy 45 minutes my youngest son, C and I arrived in Aberystwyth for a much needed a loo stop.  Unfortunately, my life is fairly well ruled by my bladder.  It this point in the day all references to speedy left the day's vocabulary.

Morrison's in Aberystwyth is a very convenient place to stop if not too salubrious and one can also pick up a bottle of wine to take home should the need arise, as it often does with me.  Anyway, having sorted myself out I waited for C to come out of the gents.  And I waited a bit longer and a bit longer still.  Finally he appears, looking a bit peaky and green around the gills, complaining of stomach ache.  Hence he was made to sit on the front with me, (he prefers to sit in the back like the queen) and keep his eyes on the road, instead of the I Pad.

With C clutching a Morrison's carrier as a makeshift sick bag, we continued on our way over the mountains towards Newtown.  Having got stuck behind a large heavy wagon, there was no danger of being caught by the speed police today.  At least it gave us an opportunity to watch out for red kites (feathered variety) and at least C's stomach was given chance to settle but per- lease!  Aagh - it took forever to get up them there mountains and even the sat nav gave up the will to live.

Well, anyone who has ever driven through Newtown before knows that this can never be done at a fair lick.  Fair crawl more like so we stopped for a light lunch and refreshments at Tesco's (I'm either unimaginative with my stopping choices or a skin flint).  They do actually serve a fair cup of tea.

After Newtown I was able to revive the sat nav but after the strange way it directed me to Wales the previous Monday, I wasn't about to trust it's choices.  Why have it on then?  It's because it tells me exactly how long it will be before I get home and this saves C from asking me every 5 minutes of the entire journey.  Worth the money in anyone's book.

Arriving of the outskirts of Shrewsbury I had an hour's journey before arriving home and I could feel my bladder just beginning to make it's presence felt.  Well you know how it goes - the speed at which the cars/tractors/hay waggons in front of you go is inversely proportional to the amount of pressure being applied to one's bladder and by 15 minutes from home I was getting pretty desperate :-S

I say 15 minutes from home but was it heck as like!  Turning the corner I was confronted by a very slow moving lorry, which I speedily overtook just before entering a long 30mph section.  Well it's not that long but in the circumstances....  Eventually back into the final stretch, driving like the wind I was confronted by yet another wobbly tractor - WTF I'm BURSTING! 

Finally I turned into my drive and I was already prepared with my house keys in my hand ready to dive into the house!  Noooooooo!  My lovely elderly neighbour was there cutting my hedge and wanting a blow by blow account of my holidays!  I just couldn't ignore him!  I was finally saved by my other neighbour who came to take my part in the conversation.  Relief.

And then I went shopping and then I mowed the lawn and then I did the washing.  The end.


Wednesday, 28 August 2013

The Virgin Blogger

Eek!  Well this is a first!  Something I have always wanted to do!

This will be about some of the things I do because I'm interested in them and also about things I do because I have no choice!

This is what I do because it interests me:

1. Run - I have done this for eight years.  I hated this at first but loved the impact that it had - it wasn't long before my calf muscles were thin enough for the first time in 30 years to fit into some long boots.  Yay! and the rest is history!  It's great to be able to eat cake and not look like Miss Piggy (much).

2. Cycle - I have done this for about 4 months, ever since I had to take a break from running.  I rode my first sportive recently and even found my photo in the paper - why oh why don't I look like the professionals - all long and lithe?  No, I have to settle for looking like a little gnome :-S.  So be it - one of Trina's Trials shall we say?

3.  Baking and cooking - I love the tried and trusted recipes but also trying out new stuff.  My friends and I have been known to "pimp my snack"  I.e. take a small item that can be purchased in the shops and make a giant version - my giant party rings made on a pizza baking tray are fab!

4.  Walking - well this is more like baby steps.  I love walking but for one reason and another (small children, no one to go with, blah, blah, blah), I have not done much in recent years but aim to do something about it.

5.  Small bits of knitting and crocheting - a cushion cover is in the offering at the moment - watch this space!

Ok - there will be other stuff that becomes apparent but this is the stuff I do that is not through choice:

1. Single mother to two boys - one is considerably bigger than me and the other is just about to start high school (another Eek- surely my baby is too young for this)!  I did want to be a mother but never intended to do it on my own.

2.  Internet dating - this is worth a book in it's own right - watch this space and I'll give you a summary of the last 18 months experience!  Well not every detail - I like to keep some things private!

3.  Work - groan - we have to do it don't we? If you don't, please don't tell me cos I'll only stick my fingers in my ears and start singing loud. I have had years doing the most boring thing ever but things have recently got interesting and for the first time in a very long time I love it!

4.  Mowing the lawn

5. Shopping

6.  Ironing - zzzzzzzzzz

I'll try not to talk too much about 4, 5 and 6 unless 5 is about clothes shopping and those items that just sing out to me when I least expect it.  That happened to me recently in TK Max when I was there minding my own business when a certain fine knit red cashmere dress (Ralph Lauren) started calling out to me, begging me to try it on.  Hey!  I saved £190 by buying it -  not a bad outlay for £49.

Tomorrow I'll be driving for about 4 hours from South Wales, back home (somewhere in the Midlands) but hopefully I shall have some time to spare to tell you how it went.  Oh - please wish me luck - I have left big son home alone for a couple of days - I do trust him but it will be reassuring to see my house in one piece.  Please God, also  tell me that he has fed the fish, chickens, guinea pig and bad bunny Richard!