an angel blog on earth

an angel blog on earth
The mad ramblings of a fallen angel .... (also known as the mad ramblings of a middle aged woman). Somewhere to vent, so I don't pee off too many people!

The weather here is ...

The WeatherPixie

Monday, 23 March 2009

More deaths ...

Two beautiful young women died in the last week

Two extremely different girls, very different lives and life circumstances

One was Natasha Richardson (45) actor, wife and mother.  Celebrated daughter of, Vanessa Redgrave and much-missed wife of, Liam Neeson.  Mother to two beautiful boys.  Died tragically young following a skiing accident.

The other was Jade Goody (27) modern-day celebrity, wife and mother.  Celebrated daughter of Jackiey Budden and much-missed wife of Jack Tweed.  Mother to two beautiful boys.  Died tragically young following terminal cancer.

Much could be said about these two unique and remarkable women and I'm sure that the various forums, blogs and tabloids have already done this.

All that I will say is may they both Rest In Peace, be happy in the knowledge that many will care for your sons and perhaps one day the world will be a lighter place where ALL deaths are mourned, all lives celebrated with care, kindness, compassion and faith.

You will both be sadly missed by an awful lot of people, from very different communities - both will be remembered.

Friday, 20 March 2009

Death ...

We heard recently on the television news of the sad death of two young soldiers, Sappers Patrick Azimkar (21) and Mark Quinsey (23), on 8 March 2009 whilst collecting a pizza from a delivery boy at their barracks in Massareene, Antrim, Belfast.

We discovered the following week that Patrick Azimkar is the son of D's second cousin, Geraldine. At only 21 it is hard to hear of such a death - especially as I think we had all maybe taken peace in Ireland for granted in the last couple of years.

Click on the links to view press releases and to see BBC film footage of the funeral and of a wonderful tribute to Patrick and his friend and comrade, Mark.

His parents, Geraldine and Mehmet, following his coffin - something no parent should have to do.

RIP Patrick and may God grant your parents and your brother the strength to carry on their lives without you. God bless x

Ooop North

Grandpa and L filling the bird feeders (above).

We also had a visit up north in March to visit D's Mum and Dad and a good time was had by all - especially when the port ... my favourite port .... the 1977 Finest Vintage Fonseca .... comes out!

Sister ....

Well my lil'sis came up for a flying visit recently, which was great - we don't get to meet up that frequently due to distance etc and our busy lives. The photograph above is after G and B took E and L to the cinema to see Bolt 3D (you can make out their 3D glasses in the image). Incidentally, G and B 'conned' the kids into thinking that the GB sticker on the back of their car stood for their initials ..... and the kids believed them!

Sis bought me a bottle of Pouilly Fume as a belated birthday gift - this was quite endearing as it was one of the wines that we had at our wedding (unbeknownst to me previously)!

March already ....

I can't quite believe that we are already moving towards the end of March and I haven't entered a single blog since last month.

The month has been really busy with lots of school activities, work, studying, family crises and the like - no excuses - I haven't made time for it.

I will try to remedy that over the next few days and see how successful I am.

Lots of photographs to post and will try and do those too - they may be seriously random though with little explanation.

Have fun in the sun, one and all x

Wednesday, 4 February 2009

My car Betsy

View taken from the top of the street by the Old Bakery, looking to the Old Smithy

My church

View of the church where 'D' and I were married, children baptised and first hubs buried

View opposite the school

Well, poor old Betsy isn't fairing (sp?) to well at the minute

We made it through the snow and the ice on Monday to the office; finished early and took 'P' to the hospital for his scan.  Then off we went to drop 'P' and 'El' off at 'El's' house before navigating downhill in Betsy the Barge (v.old estate, rear wheel, automatic 2 tonner).

She did well, bless her!  However, Tuesday morning saw 'D' off to London with work.  He had to leave early - well on the way when I called him to tell him of the joys we were having back at the ranch with Betsy.   To cut a long story, relatively short, after de-icing the locks, we all tropped into the car, key in the ignition and .......... nothing!  Key wouldn't move.

Now I guess at this point you are wondering if the steering lock was on?  Cheeky!  No, it wasn't. Squirts of WD40 netted nothing.  Luckily, a friend 'V' was passing in her car, taking the twins to school and she kindly took 'E' and 'L' up for me.

Several more tries and I gave in and called the cab company.  10 minutes late for work and £15 quid lighter of pocket, I arrived at the office to be asked by my Head of Service if I had decided to go 'part time'!  Cheeky blighter.  I think he had forgotten that I lived the furthest away (bar 1 other) and had got in the day before.

Anyway, the photos that you will see on today's blog are ones that I took on the way back from dropping 'E' and 'L' at school this morning.  Not in the office today because I'm studying.

Met with the architect last night and discussed the more detailed plans of the house redevelopment, it should look lovely if (no, be positive) ..... when it gets done.

Will try to post again soon but with 'E's birthday this weekend, I probably won't get the opportunity.  Really looking forward to Saturday - hope 'E' is pleased with her presents.

Wednesday, 4 February 2009

Well - just a quick post to catch up with myself .... again!

I took the picture above from my car in logjam again!  No surprises there.  Bleddy snow - I can't stand the stuff.

Monday, when it all came down I was due to take 'P' to the hospital for a scan.  Thankfully, all was well and no damage there - so back for more blood tests and other tests for him.  At least we can rule out liver/kidneys so that is good.

Wolverhampton BT Building

Original Wolverhampton GPO Building

Wolverhampton Civic Hall

This is one of the views from my office.  I work opposite the Civic Hall in Wolverhampton 
I don't mind the snow if I'm looking out at it, or even driving in it - not a problem - the problem comes when I have to walk on the bleddy stuff.  Bambi - yes I know a bit old and only two legs - but Bambi nonetheless!

Another view from my office is this one of the old Wolverhampton GPO Exchange, nestled down the alley between the Civic Hall and the new BT offices constructed in the 1970's.  I love the little dovecote that you can only just see (in this shot with a snow covered roof beneath it).

Wednesday, 28 January 2009

Inconsiderate parking ....

Well .... if there is one thing absolutely, cast iron, guaranteed to 'get my goat' it is someone occupying either a disabled parking space, one designated for a car with baby on board stickers or as in this case (just the downright arrogance of someone) taking more than one space!

I make no apologies for my dislike of personalised number plates -- I just don't 'get it'. What's that all about? Why does someone need to shout about themselves in that way?

This inconsiderate driver frequently parks in the car park where I park and it can start me off having a really bad day ..... I don't know why it bugs me so much, but it really does. The arrogance of the individual - because I really don't think it was just someone who is useless as parking.

Moan over ... thanks for that.

Friday, 23 January 2009

Funny old week

Not written on the blog this week as my hand has been giving me problems again. I've been trying to stay away from the laptop (rather unsuccessfully, I know!)

Went to see my lovely Dr D today, whose only suggestion was two weeks off work with total abstinence of keyboarding .... impossible, I know. So it's back to the anti-inflammatories and I'll rest it when I can. It really is frustrating though. Thankful that it's only in one hand, and the left one at that.

'D's car is back in the garage.

We are absolutely skint.

Hoping to meet 'T's girlfriend this coming week for the first time, so hopefully will get a chance to talk about the future and she might see that I'm not the 'ogre' my son makes me out to be! LOL

Had lots of texts from 'El' this week; she's very upset that 'P' has broken up with her or has another girlfriend. 'P' is very much a closed book and keeps his own counsel, so I shall wait to see if he needs me.

'E' and 'L' are really upset this evening - I had to break the news that the pool party they thought they were going to tomorrow night is off the menu! 'D' should have broken the news, as it was his decision. There has been a fatality at the pool and he is not happy for them to go there. Given his job - I have to bow to his greater knowledge and support his decision. Pity he couldn't tell them this news himself though!

Oh well - better go and see what's to be raided in the cupboard. After looking at the bank balances online - I doubt we will be having a takeaway this evening. (((sobs quietly into mug of cold tea)))

Shay (co-worker) told me about something I had missed on the telly - thought you might like to see it - click on the link.

Friday, 16 January 2009

Manuel, Sangria and Tapas

Well, what a brilliant day off

'D' and I dropped 'E' and 'L' off at school, drove into town, parked the car and then got the train into Brummijum. We found seats immediately in front of a pleasant enough gentleman ........ well, that is until he starting coughing like a TB sufferer! I couldn't face sitting there, so we moved further down the train. 'Manuel' (real name on ID badge), a very gorgeous, young, Spanish looking gentleman with spiked hair checked our tickets and 'Hola'!

A journey that is often quoted as taking only 15 meetings, seemed to take longer than half an hour!


We spent a long, long ti
me in the book
store when we got there - set over four or five floors, with a most impressive central staircase.

The bookseller told me that the store used
to be a Midland Bank in a former lifetime.

We had enormous coffees and flicked through our newly-purchased books .... Moby Dick for 'D' and Billy Budd and Other Stories for me (both by Herman Melville).

I also picked up a small, hard volume of Fanny Hill, Memoirs of a Woman of Pleasure by John Cleland (more of an inpulse buy, than something that I was looking for particularly ......)

Another treat was picking up some more of my most favourite notebooks, Moleskine (pockets - naturally), one in a gorgeous yellow ... the Van Gogh Museum edition and a five tabbed, black, info book for my new activity which will be revealed later ....


We went walking around the City and found the building I used to work in, opposite the House of Fraser, in Martineau Square (it used to be called Commercial Union Building) and when I worked there, there was a Kardomah underneath where I would stop for coffee before going into the office.

All very different now, with new structures and sails in the Square. Mind you, it has been about 27 years, so I'm not surprised.
We came out of the passage opposite HoF and I was amazed to see a vending machine, dispensing umbrellas for £3 a piece! I can honestly say that I have never seen anything like it before and it made a welcome change from condom dispensing machines!

Accosted ... As we walked around, we were stopped by market researchers. Now ordinarily, on a busy work day, I don't really have the time to be stopped - task and finish. However, today, I figured I was on holiday and could take time out for them - after all, it was freezing. A nice, middle-aged lady asked me if I used deodarant?!? I resisted the immediate impulse of bopping her and replied politely. She offered me £5 to go with her for fifteen minutes! I figured, well it might be the best offer I get all day, so I agreed. I called out to 'D' who accompanied me and the nice lady into an office building.

I can't go into details about what I did there but needless to say it was 'an experience'. That said, if the product ever does come on the market, I doubt I would buy it! Enough said.


We did lots of shopping (for nice things ....) and went for lunch at bar estilo, which is a gorgeous Spanish tapas bar/restaurant. My sangria took me straight back to my holidays!

The food was great, 'D' had lamb koftka with tzatziki (sp?) and baked mushrooms with goats cheese and chili. I had rocket and manchego salad and duck, cucumber and spring onion wraps. We shared paprika fries! 'D' did the usual of not bothering to see the dessert menu. The waiter asked if I wanted to share? I guess the guy didn't understand that you cannot cultivate a substantial frame like mine, if you share! Still, I forgave him when he brought my beautiful, baked cheesecake and strawberry compote out!

The picture doesn't really do the food justice, but it was all scrummy and gorgeous and before we knew it, we had been there for hours! Anyway, further on in the search for shopping ... we walked through The Mailbox and down to the Wharfside and Canal Walk. Cold though it was, it was nice to look at the ducks and geese on the canal - so many great places to eat and drink down there too. All very different from when I worked in Birmingham and absolutely hated having to go there by bus and train and foot every day!

We walked back towards the railway station, stopping only to ask likely-looking art students if they knew of an art supply store nearby - success, they did, where I was able to buy some more pencils, varnish and other supplies in the hope that I will take up sketching again some time soon.

Finally stopping off to get some freesias and impromptu, birthday gifts on the way back to the railway station.

The flower seller had some very unusual flowers, that neither of us had seen before. They were proteas from South Africa. I didn't feel tempted to get any, even though they did look very distinctive and unusual.

All in all, a lovely day out was had by all. We did do lots of other things, and bought lots of things too - but they're not really for here ......

Wednesday, 14 January 2009


I came across this website when looking at a blog that I enjoy.

For anyone out there that is interested in crafting, or can make or sew or create things - then this is the site for you if you want to sell your items.

My little elf ...

My beautiful and very talented friend, made this gorgeous calendar for me.

I absolutely love it.  It's in some of my favourite colours - orange and brown.

I love orange and brown at this time of year.  It makes me think of hot chocolate and satsumas, autumn leaves and scrunching through frost-ridden, muddy fields on long, cold, crisp, country walks.  I know .... how many of you seen me doing that lately!

My little elf will now sit in front of my laptop and inspire me when I am supposed to be studying and keep me focused.

Thanks MacP x

Our Robert

'Our Robert' .... we've worked for the same organisation for many years now.

Though confined to a wheelchair, Rob is always game for a laugh, a scam, a discount, (touches side of nose theatrically) - always knows someone who can 'get it for you at a better price'.  Rob also always knows the best places to get everything from software to bits of computer gadgetry that you didn't even know you wanted, until of course he told you about it!  I used to be Rob's manager and he could drive me crazy.

Rob has a long-time partner and a young son, who is a complete whirlwind and knows how to keep his Dad on his toes, so to speak.

He is seldom seen without his wireless headset (we were a matching pair for a time) until I got bored with mine and moved on ....

Rob - you crack me up, you make me laugh and I would miss you if we didn't work in the same building.  I'm going to try and find that picture of you with your Santa hat on too x

Note - I have never looked at my office closely I don't suppose - I haven't a clue why there is a bright red, waste paper basked on a filing cabinet behind Rob's head!!!

Sunday, 11 January 2009

I can't believe it .....

I know I sound like a female version of Victor Meldrew, but ....

I really can't believe it ....

After reading (and re-reading) about Rachida Dati, the French Justice Minister, I could not believe that any woman should (or would even want to) return to work just five days after giving birth.

Ms Dati is a 43 year old, unmarried, first time mother to baby daughter, Zohra.

What kind of a message is she sending out to the rest of the world.  Those of us that are 'mere mortals'.  To me, this is not the message of somebody that is particularly bright.  It seems more the actions of someone in the grips of post natal depression, who lives in a world far-removed from the reality of my own.  As a mother of four, I know how I felt 5 days after giving birth to all of my children.

I really hope that she and her daughter don't suffer because of this single act of self-publicity and I sincerely hope, for all of womankind, that this 'trend' does not catch on.

Thursday, 8 January 2009

First time for everything ....

Well, I did it!  After all these years of being a 'chicken' (or a 'wuss' as the kids would call it), I performed one of my New Year's Resolutions.

I was surprised at how quickly it was over, how painless it was and how efficient everything seemed to be.

Just really annoyed with myself now that I feel like I have wasted 30 years of not donating blood.

If I can do it, anyone can, give it a try if you haven't - click on the title for the link.

Wednesday, 7 January 2009

The car ...

'D's pride and joy has just been collected by the lovely tow man.  I'm sure 'D' will be pleased when I tell him that the tow man couldn't understand how anyone could afford to put fuel in one of these things!  I'm sure 'D' knows this already - so I won't be the one to enlighten him.  We love our old bangers - trouble is they are now getting extremely expensive to repair and we are b'rassic-lint - better buy another lotto ticket this week.

Oldest and dearest friend ....

What can I say about this photograph? Oldest and dearest friend.  We met for lunch on Monday and 'M' arrived wearing this hat.   I was speechless (which doesn't happen often).   Out we walked to go for lunch.   Now bear in mind that I am about 5'11" and 'M' is exaggerating when she says she is 5' tall!  We certainly got some looks.  Suffice to say that on Tuesday, when she again arrived in my office for lunch, she was not wearing 'the' hat.   'D' asked "Why no hat today?"   'M' replied that "even though ....(me) ..... hadn't said anything, my face had spoken volumes".  I think the later assumption that people had been staring, also swayed consensus on 'the' hat being seen again in a professional capacity.

I love her to bits, she has been a very good friend to me - I can live with 'the' hat, but sadly I can't stop my face from 'telling tales' on me ... even when I try really hard not to say anything at all!

For anyone that doesn't know 'M' she is a complete fitness freak.  She gets up at some unGodly hour, 4.30am or thereabouts to go running.  She will run before work, taking the dog with her.  Frequently then go on for a round trip in the gym or the pool before coming into the office.  We used to work together, for many years in the same office, until I defected and went to the dark side that was formerly known as 'Leisure'.  For a long time it was thought there was much pleasure in Leisure - though I witnessed much, I can't say that it was my own personal experience.  We were a strange bunch of people, thrown together through circumstance, with very different personalities.  Too complex an issue to be covered in this post - but maybe if I discover my dark side in the future, I might write about it then.


I didn't take this today (though the weather is pretty much the same). I took this one yesterday, sitting in the traffic on the way into the office, from the car window with my mobile. It seemed to sum up the optimism I had for the day.

When I reached the office 'D' (not 'D' hubs) was on a downer - despite our discussion the previous day of trying to maintain a positive mental attitude! Further discussions ensued and we soon put ourselves on the path with the sunshine instead of the snow.

'DMcG' returned from his holidays and was full of Menorca - he had never been there before but had experienced a great time with some of his extended family, taking long daily bike rides (short in comparison with his usual 30 mile stints at home). Several brochures were shown around the office of villas that he would like to buy (if they were cheap enough, if he could afford to live abroad, if he had a 'golden handshake' from work, if ....) I think a few people wanted to piss on his parade - but I was happy to let him keep his dreams .... what the hell have we got without them sometimes?

Friday, 2 January 2009

Second day of the year

Image courtesy of L

Just another Friday ...

Well, I guess it's just like any other Friday - except that I am not at work today! I guess when I do I will suffer the usual, annual problem of still writing 2008 until we are well into January!

E & L are busy singing along with the Beach Boys and watching The Simpsons - simultaneous - which is quite a feat, I'm sure you'd agree.

T went to hospital again last night - fainting/fever etc. Still it was good to hear from him as he rarely switches on his mobile these days.

Well I failed miserably to get anything constructive done yesterday. Well, if you discount all the playing about on the laptop. I HAVE TO cure myself of this particular problem as it does nothing at all for my procrastination.

To this end, I am going to limit the amount of time I spend on here and all of my other sites - it is all far too addictive. I think I will give myself computer time as a treat from now on, rather than as a right.

D went off to work in his borrowed van, still worrying about what to do with the car. Should he forget all the money he has spent trying to get it sorted out and give it up as a bad job? Or, should he carry on with it in the hope that they sort it out? Either way it's going to mean more money that we haven't got.


Thursday, 1 January 2009

The First Day of the Year 2009

Well I guess I could have tried harder to get up earlier ... but still - this probably means that I have started as I mean to go on.

Considering I am a morning person, I am not always sure why I find it so difficult to get up.

D has already done a good deed for the day; rescuing P and L who were stranded and needed to get to Wolverhampton within the hour. Off he went, without complaint, and took them there. He brought back the bacon for the sarnies that Lily and I were desperate for and the Daily Depression (newspaper: Independent). Off he's gone now in his borrowed van, which he has kindly been loaned until he can figure out what he will do with his 'broken' car. Poor bloke has thrown so much money at it and it's still not working. Our pockets are empty at the moment, well they're less than empty actually but I don't want to get depressed this early in the year so we'll skirt around that issue! LOL

The girls are busy making games (and a whole heap of mess) in the sitting room and I am yet again messing about on the computer when I should be doing other things more boring instead.

I have caught up with:

My emails
My favourite blogs (you know who you are)

I need to:

Get ironing done - failed
Weigh myself - failed
Go on the treadmill - failed

Clean up the kitchen - partially succeeded
Try and find all the mobile numbers that the new phone has 'lost'- failed

2008 Review (Original idea courtesy of Macpurp)

1. What did you do in 2008 that you'd never done before?
I went to Cambridge

2. Did you keep your new years' resolutions, and will you make more for next year?
No - failed miserably. Yes

3. Did anyone close to you give birth?

4. Did anyone close to you die?
Yes. My Uncle Harry. RIP

5. What countries did you visit?
In 2008 I visited Italy and the Canaries (Fuerteventura)

6. What would you like to have in 2009 that you lacked in 2008?
Job security, fewer arguments with a significant other, more energy and more sunshine

7. What date from 2008 will remain etched upon your memory?

Can't say that any date will do that from 2008

8. What was your biggest achievement of the year?
Making the decision that I have one life and if I don't live it now, I never will

9. What was your biggest failure?
My ability to lose weight

10. Did you suffer illness or injury?
Only minor things compared with previous years - colds, migraines, pins and needles in fingers etc

11. What was the best thing you bought?
Probably my e-reader

12. Whose behaviour merited celebration?

13. Whose behaviour made you appalled and depressed?
T's (sadly)

14. Where did most of your money go?
Living, children, books, music, toys ...

15. What did you get really, really, really excited about?

16. What song will always remind you of 2008?
Mamma Mia - Abba

17. Compared to this time last year, are you:

i. happier or sadder? Happier
ii. thinner or fatter? Fatter
iii. richer or poorer? Poorer

18. What do you wish you'd done more of?
Everything that made me smile

19. What do you wish you'd done less of?
Wasting time on my laptop

20. How did you spend Christmas?
With Grandma and Grandpa in Saddleworth

22. Did you fall in love in 2008?
Kind of - but with the same person

23. How many one-night stands?
Never ever had one

24. What was your favourite TV program?
Well apart from Coronation Street, it would have to be Gavin and Stacey

25. Do you hate anyone now that you didn't hate this time last year?
Hate is a strong word - so no

26. What was the best book you read?
A Year of Wonder by Geraldine Brooks (a tale of the Plague in 1666)

27. What was your greatest musical discovery?
English: Duffy
Italian: Louise Setara

28. What did you want and get?
A holiday in the sunshine

29. What did you want and not get?
For my Dad's health to be improved

30. What was your favorite film of this year?
Mamma Mia

31. What did you do on your birthday, and how old were you?
Dan took me for a lovely meal in Saddleworth as we were up with his parents, I was 46

32. What one thing would have made your year immeasurably more satisfying?
General levels of improvement in a lot of people's behaviour

33. How would you describe your personal fashion concept in 2008?
I wouldn't know where to start - there was a lot of black, more than a hint of orange and browns this year too

34. What kept you sane?
My children

35. Which celebrity/public figure did you fancy the most?
Strangely - probably James May (Top Gear)

36. What political issue stirred you the most?
Does Barack Obama's speech count?

37. Who did you miss?
Uncle Harry

38. Who was the best new person you met?
Apart from all the wonderful friends on-line, probably Lynsey H. Loads of fun

39. Tell us a valuable life lesson you learned in 2008.
That I shouldn't get so upset about being disappointed in people, it's life

40. Quote a song lyric that sums up your year.

Now this I truly have stolen from the beautiful Macpurp - as I couldn't have chosen a better one myself ...

I have a dream, a song to sing
To help me cope with anything
If you see the wonder of a fairy tale
You can take the future even if you fail
I believe in angels
Something good in everything I see
I believe in angels
When I know the time is right for me
I'll cross the stream - I have a dream