Thursday 31 May 2012

Off to South Korea

No, no, not me, my dressing table!
A man drove up from London to collect it and said he would be sending it to South Korea to be sold in an upmarket antiques shop. Apparently, English furniture is very popular there.
I am quite worried about it now. The dressing table had never been separated from his friend, the matching wardrobe, for more than 80 years, but now the wardrobe has only gone as far as Beeston, but the DT is off on journey halfway across the world on his own.
Also, check out this photo of Stuart, one of my cycling pals from Sunday. Can you see now how I got in such a panic about not being fit or fast enough!!

Wednesday 30 May 2012

Orange Wednesday cancelled due to lack of interest

I think it is the film producers problem as they have put on a load of films that I don't find interesting. They would probably say I should give one of their offerings a go, but I have got a bit wary since Avengers Assemble, and time is precious.
Instead we are going to eat some orange food - check out the picture and in the slightly amended immortal words of Rolf Harris 'can you guess what we are having for tea?'
We might watch a film later on the telly.
Or maybe not.

Tuesday 29 May 2012

Update from the Tour of the Peak

Just seen all of the stats from Sunday and of 105 finishers on the 47
mile route, we finished 84th and 85th. Well, well down towards the
bottom, but not that close to collect the wooden spoon!
Also, we actually did the short route and 375 people did the medium
distance of 76 miles, whilst 351 rode the amazing distance of 97
miles. So, when viewed in that light, we were not only slow, but wimps
as well.
Thank you to Ellie for taking this picture of me after the finish.
Looking at it now, I do look amazingly fresh, so maybe I could have
tried a bit harder on the day.

Sunday 27 May 2012

Tour of the Peak

What a day of drama today!
Signed up for The Tour of the Peaks which is a 46 mile bike ride, starting at Chapel en le Frith and going over the Cat and Fiddle, Winnerts Pass and A N Other, plus endless ups and downs along the way.
I started well, but was really psyched out by two of our cycling buddies. Stuart and Chris were both well over 6 feet tall, dressed head to toe in Lycra, many years younger than me and on really light bikes.
Trouble started halfway up the Cat and Fiddle as it was blowing a gale in our faces and I thought I was going too slow so started to panic. We had already told the group not to wait for us, but I was worried about Daz being stuck with me instead of them, so started panicking more, couldn't see the end of the climb and started hyperventilating.
Got round okay in the end and finished about half an hour behind them in about 5 hours 35 minutes. I probably lost the whole 30 mins with my mardy turn!
Couldn't get too upset though as I seemed to be quite the minor celebrity with my lovely flowery steed.  Loads of people kept calling over to me about how much they liked it.
At the finishing line the organisers even took my photo for the website, which they didn't seem to be doing with the other stragglers.
Ps don't think I will be doing it next year!

Saturday 26 May 2012

George Foreman barbi

How civilised does this look!
Lovely evening, out in the garden with glasses of Pimm's and waiting for the GF to go beep.

Thursday 24 May 2012

Artistic moi??

Our potential house buyers came round last night for a final look at everything and it seems to be going ahead - fingers crossed.
When they viewed it before they seemed to like some of the pictures on our walls so we thought it a good opportunity for an extra sale.
They looked at the ones we told them were already for sale, but they said their favourite was the big one of the blue people in the kitchen.
That's the one I did myself using emulsion paint when I copied two Matisse postcards and scaled them up.
Told them we would leave that one as a gift. Oh well, back to eBay!

Ps - the autocorrect on the phone originally changed the blog title to 'Artistic moo' which is probably more apt.

Tuesday 22 May 2012

Omaha beach American Military Cemetery

Visited Normandy today and went to the American Military Cemetery.
It has approximately 9,400 crosses and Stars of David.  About 25,000 Americans were killed during the D Day landings in 1944.
It is a very peaceful place, the beach is beautiful and it is almost impossible to imagine how different it was less than 70 years ago.

Monday 21 May 2012

1001 chocolate shops

Visiting Bruges today and it is jammed full of chocolate shops.
It is a beautiful place and between us we bagged two of the Belgian big four. We got chocolates and cherry beer and are leaving waffles and moules and frites for the next visit.
Plus I am not sure I like them.

Sunday 20 May 2012

Cheeky Christina

Out in Amsterdam this morning and watching a large barge go through the canals. They have a tag team of two officials who they have paid to cycle alongside them and open the bridges, which are actually bits of road that cantilever vertically, as they go.
It is really interesting and they are travelling at about walking pace so we have followed them for quite a distance.
Just behind them is a slightly smaller boat called the Christina.
I assume they haven't paid for the bridge opening service as the workmen are ignoring them and starting to shut the bridges as they go through.
It got very worrying at one bridge though as it was closing very quickly and the driver started shouting 'no' very loudly. There was then quite a heated altercation, unfortunately all in Dutch, but we got the gist of it.

Big 'game' hunt in Amsterdam

Having trouble deciding the criteria for my hunt in Amsterdam.
Obviously not animals, so it could be interesting items from shops, but not sure if I want to buy them! What would they say at Customs?
Decided to stick with food and I think the food 'big five' are:-
Raw herring, - I read that in a guidebook
Chips with mayonnaise, 
Applegebak with slagroom - another guidebook find.
Actually that makes five, however I had a very poor effort and only managed number three, but they were very tasty.

Saturday 19 May 2012

Canals and bicycles

Breaking a sort of golden rule today and blogging my photos in the wrong order.
Here's a couple I took earlier of Darren enjoying the sunshine along the lovely canals, whilst trying not to get run down by the many hundreds of cyclists.
Half time now in the match and WHU are 1-0 up.
The bar is getting louder and loads of people are inside smoking funny fags. Also weird is that me and the barmaid are the only women in here.
Plus, the DJ seems to be a very loud, aggressive, smoking West Ham fan. Hope they win.


In a dodgy bar in a dodgy area in Amsterdam watching West Ham on the big tellies.
Will there be a celebration, or will it end in tears?
29 minutes in and all to play for.

Friday 18 May 2012

Life jacket drill

Just arrived in Southampton and boarded the Queen Elizabeth for a long weekend trip up and down the Channel.
Was really pleased to find that we have a window in our cabin which I am surprised about as Daz booked this trip and he usually goes for the cheapest cabin where you get a blank wall with a pretend curtain in front of it.
Not a great view though as there is a massive lifeboat right outside our window, but at least it's not too far in an emergency!
Attended the drill and practiced putting on our life jackets so we are all ready to sail now.
How exciting.

Thursday 17 May 2012

Wot no furniture

Just in case you are wondering, the eBay sale went really well. Everything sold, and all of the wood pieces went for way more than expected.
A massive pile of gardening books only went for £4.34 but the lady was thrilled  - so you can't win them all.
Wondering how much we can sell before it is impossible still to live in the house. One lady who came has put in a request for most of the remaining furniture, but I think I had better make sure we sell the house before we end up in our sleeping bags on the bedroom carpet.

Wednesday 16 May 2012

Orange failure

Our two weekly Orange evening has come around again really quickly so had dinner and then joined a massive queue for tickets.
Darren commented that my attitude was poor last time and that my glaring had given him a headache, so promised to have a better approach today even though the potential films looked a bit iffy.
Queued for tickets for The Dictator (dodgy comedy) but decided we might not get in, so headed across town to see 'Jeff who lives with his mum' (no I'd never heard of it).
However, maybe we missed a treat or maybe fate was on my side, but we couldn't get in there either!

Sunday 13 May 2012

eBay - bite your nails time

Selling a load of our furniture on eBay and the first item finishes in 29 minutes.
I had lots of requests from bidders directly to see if I would sell things together, and I actually agreed a lady from London could buy my dressing table and wardrobe for £400.
Unfortunately, then found out you can't withdraw items within 12 hours of the finishing time so we had to cancel that.
They are currently only selling for a total of £186 so I might have made a mistake.
I do have 107 watchers though, so it might jump at the last second.
Might need a gin and tonic at noon to calm the nerves!

Warm showers guests part two

Played host to some more cycling guests last night. There must be some unwritten rules about this scheme that we don't know yet, as all of our guests have been about 6 foot 4 inches tall and super fit.
Not sure if me and Darren fit the profile.
These were two lovely guys, one from Canada and one from Australia. They were a bit late getting here as they ran across a cheese festival in Melton Mowbray and bought us a gift of the biggest piece of Stilton I have ever seen!
Thanks lads, just had some for breakfast.

Friday 11 May 2012

Ape 50

Update - Daz managed to get a photo of a potentially angry dog while I skirted around the back. But the main point of this blog is the little van in the background.
I love them and when I get home I an going to try to repair the scrape on the roof of our KA and buy one of these instead.

Sorrento land of lemons

Last day here today and making the most of the sunshine by sitting in a bar drinking the local vino.
Walked up through the olive and lemon groves to get here with Daz protecting me from some very aggressive dogs on the way.  Given up on my new years resolution of not being frightened of them.
Couldn't get a dog photo as too scared.

Thursday 10 May 2012

Beautiful Amalfi coast

Went for a drive along the gorgeous Amalfi coast. This is about a 20 mile journey in total along very narrow roads high up above the coast along the cliffs.
The first photo is of Amalfi town itself, where we stopped for a fairly pricy, but very tasty lunch.
The second photo is of a rather small bus travelling along a rather small street where all of the pedestrians had to nip in to shop doorways to let it pass.
Now imagine that we spent the day on a gigantic coach travelling along the same small streets.
It got quite embarrassing the way we had to inch around corners holding other people up, but there were lots of these massive creatures about.
Mid afternoon we came across some workmen blocking part of the road and in trying to get around them our driver scraped a wall really badly. Put it this way, if we were a boat, we would have sank.
I think they should all be banned and the route should just be for cyclists and donkey riders, then it would be perfect.

Wednesday 9 May 2012

High Street Pompeii

Enjoyed an outing to Pompeii today and this is a completely misleading view of the main street. We have chosen a split mili second to take the photo where all of the hoards of tour groups just happen to be elsewhere.
In the background, partly hidden by cloud is Mount Vesuvius that caused all of the problems in 79 ad.
Amazing fact - the volcano is now 1,283 metres high, but before the eruption it used to be about 3,000!
Another fact, the town planners had obviously encountered problems with traffic, even in those days, as they had one way streets with signs showing the direction on them. Also, the main square was traffic free with large standing stones to stop anyone nipping round on their chariot.

Tuesday 8 May 2012

Looking sophisticated at Positano - not

Planned to go to Positano today, which is the most classy and expensive resort in this classy and expensive area. However we got to the bus stop and found it was not running as the road was closed.
This was a real shame as I had made a bit of an effort and had on my new sandals, necklace, fancy Capri pants and blue `Prada` handbag.
We decided instead to go for a little walk and we followed a footpath that we chose because we thought it fairly flat.
Nothing could be further from the fact and we climbed over rocks and branches over the top of a mountain, round vineyards and fields and up and down thousands of steps!
Here is an example of the terrain and then a surprise find of a chair at a fantastic viewpoint in the middle of nowhere.
Did 17 k in total, but still found time to bag the Italian big four - cappuccino, pizza, wine and ice cream!

Monday 7 May 2012

Capri - island of friendly furry creatures

Caught the catamaran to Capri today and then on to the funicular for a quick ride to Capri Town. It is an amazing place as there are no cars and the streets are about six feet wide. Got ourselves a guide in the form of a cute little dog that stayed with us for ages as we walked around and even posed for a picture.
We were not sure if we were supposed to tip him, perhaps with a trip to the butchers for a few sausages, so eventually he got bored with us and joined someone else instead.
We then stopped to admire the view and were joined immediately by a friendly cat that insisted on sitting on my knee.
Very impressed with the friendly locals and the scenery wasn't half bad either.

Sunday 6 May 2012

Good hair day!

Went to the Museum Archeoligico Nazionale in Napoli today and was pleasantly surprised that all of the statues of the famous Roman emperors and people of the day had curly hair that looks just like mine! Maybe I have some royal blood.
Here I am with, I think, Hercules.
My hair is also trying to preserve the modesty of a beautiful enormous marble sculpture.

Saturday 5 May 2012

Trekking round the peninsula

Since sending yesterdays blog I had lined up some great photos to use, but the screen on my phone has broken so I can't use it anymore. I am reliant on Daz to take the photos and then lend me his phone to write the words.
I also can't answer my phone or know who has been in touch.
Nevermind, it's a minor issue.
Been out exploring today along some great, if very hilly footpaths.
The trick is to find the tiles and then obey them. Walked for miles today with quick stops for ice cream, pizza and wine and expresso.  Tutto bene.

Friday 4 May 2012

Where are we today?

Well it can't be England as the sun is shining!
Just arrived in Sorrento and checked in to our hotel. Right on the front of the hotel with a sea view although only on first floor.
Read on tripadvisor that it is not a good idea to pay extra for the sea view as the road is very noisy.
Well being tight we haven't paid, but maybe no-one else did either so we drew the short straw.
Time will tell.

Thursday 3 May 2012

Fancy bike

Here is a photo of my finished bike and isn't she beautiful! I am so pleased - what else is there to say?
Apart from, took her down to Sainsbury's yesterday and when I came out a guy was leaning over and staring really closely.  Hope he wasn't planning on stealing her, as I had hoped I had made her theft proof.

Wednesday 2 May 2012

A night of two halves

Started last nights entertainment on a high point with dinner at Fothergills, which is next to the Castle. Freezing cold and rainy night, but enjoyed a lovely starter of onion soup which warmed me up nicely for the evening ahead.
After dinner it was still pretty early as we had dashed out in time to catch the early bird menu. We also had to walk back past our house to get to the Savoy so in an unusual twist, we decided to nip home to have the shower we didn't have time for earlier, and to do a bit of paperwork.
Suitably refreshed we set off to the pictures.
There was a huge queue and I was perturbed to find they were nearly all young male students.  Not sure we would have the same taste in films
However, it started okay, with about 20 minutes of people mainly talking to each other, including Samuel Jackson, who I really like, so I thought all would be well.
Then it changed to endless fighting scenes with computerized aliens fighting the Incredible Hulk, a man in a big metal suit and a god called Thor, amongst others.
It went on and on and on, but the rest of the audience were all watching intently, and laughing in the right places, so I do know mine was a minority opinion.
Suddenly at a tense part the screen went completely dead. Fantastic, I thought, it was a weird ending but let's go home. But no, after about 30 seconds it carried on again, probably for about another half an hour.
It all ended predictability, and has set itself up for a sequel.
Avengers Assemble - probably not my favourite film of all time.

Tuesday 1 May 2012

eBay mania

I have spent most of today photographing, measuring and describing bits of our furniture as I am going to sell them on eBay.
We are going on holiday this coming Friday and I thought it would be interesting to follow the week long auction while we are away, and then hopefully everything can be taken away just after we get home.
The flat should start to look a bit empty then as I am selling my computer desk and chair, filing cabinet, dining table and chairs, my wardrobe, dressing table, bedside tables, etc, etc.
If you have ever been to my house and fancied any of our stuff then have a look on eBay starting from Sunday!
If all goes well I will be typing future blogs while sitting on the floor.