Wednesday, August 31, 2011

Absent Blogger

Apologies to all bloggers who I read and comment on, and for those that read this site.

As we speak, life in our household is upside down.

My father in law is very ill in hospital and we have had to cancel our roadtrip, which we would be going on tomorrow.

If you message me, that's fine, just don't expect an immediate response

Wednesday, August 24, 2011

Diary of a Phoneless Week

Day 1 – Tuesday
My husband had ordered me to keep my phone on me in case of emergency, which was just as well. He came to pick me up and the car battery died, I had to phone him to find out where he was. However, I then switched the phone back off and didn’t touch it.
Very odd not ringing my mum to discuss the day’s events, particularly as this week I have been working on my family tree and I needed some gaps filling in and wanted to report what I’d found. didn’t get a chance to ring them from the landline later as was at my in-laws house for a meal and we didn’t get back until bed time.
Day 2 - Wednesday
Tonight was date night, the plan being we would go to see Harry Potter and then out for dinner. However the traffic situation conspired against us and we missed the showing. Instead we spent a lovely evening with dinner at Le Bistrot Paris and cocktails at Hakamou. On the way back to the car, I decided to have an ice cream from a vending machine, which was so cold I left part of my cheek stuck to the lolly. Once we got home, I then took advantage of the landline to speak to my dad about the family tree project.
There was only a few bad points about not having my phone on today, one was that my driving instructor had to Facebook me to rearrange my lesson and two, was when I was waiting for Paul to pick me up I couldn’t just give my parents a ring. I sometimes phone them out of security if I’m not feeling too safe and just want that bit of comfort.
Day 3 – Thursday
I forgot about the roadworks! I needed to pick up a few last minute essentials for our upcoming holiday, so after picking up some new shoes and walking trousers (both on sale – bonus!!!) I made to catch the bus home. Normally, Paul would ring me on the way home to find out where I was on the journey and if we could meet up so I could be with him in the car on the way – however, no such luck with the Phoneless week.
Currently they are resurfacing the main road through our village and I am having to walk an extra 20 mins each way to get to the nearest bus stop, so instead of meeting up with husband for a nice drive home, I had a lovely walk uphill ahead of me.
I was already knackered from A-Level Results Day and promptly arrived home, got changed into my pyjamas and crawled under the blanket on the sofa – he can cook for once!
Day 4 – Friday
Husband off on stag weekend in Newcastle today. Missing him, especially the text messages to break up his journey. Hobbled home after new shoes wore holes in my heels – definitely need to buy some heel grippers tomorrow. Had to wait until Paul rang me for an evening chat, boo! Spoke to the parents on the landline and debriefed them on my family tree findings, with a few extra nuts to be added!
Day 5 – Saturday
Wandered into Hinckley today, to-do list included visting the library, buying some heel grippers and visiting the carpet store. Mum rang me when I got home to tell me about the 1940s Festival she’d been to and got scared to death by fox fur (eeurgh!) so didn't really miss the phone today as I find it rude to go up to the tills whilst you're on the phone, you also lose that interaction with the staff.
Day 6 – Sunday
Was woken up at 8.30am by a caller who didn’t leave a message – very frustrating.  Went to check the voicemails and found one from my bus stop friend offering me a lift to the bus stop in the morning, Wednesday morning that is – whoops! Found out later the phone call was from my MIL who was in hospital with FIL and trying to get hold of husband. On the plus side, at least he wasn’t on a phoneless week.
Day 7 - Monday
Having the phone off made things difficult again as husband was with his parents trying to sort out when his dad would be transferred to Hammersmith Hospital. I got home from work not knowing whether he was in London or Burton. Normally he would text me with updates so I'd know where he was and what was going on.

funny pictures of cats with captions

So what did I learn?
Erm, in hindsight this was probably not the best week to have turned the phone off in terms of little emergencies and the like, but then once upon a time, we had to cope with them without the use of mobiles. Things were definitely made easier using Facebook and email.
Would I do it again? To a certain extent I do it each time we go abroad as I'm too cheap to pay calls and texts (this is the Yorkshire side in me!) but as an experiment during "normal" times, probably not. I didn't realise how much I used the phone until it was gone. I can't think how anyone who gets their email/millions of texts/frequent phonecalls would cope with the loss.
Now that's just one more thing off the list, done!

Monday, August 22, 2011

An Intellectual Debate with Holmes and Langdon

As I'm writing this post I am thinking of the million and one things I need to get done in this next week so apologies if it's brief.

Right, The Adventures of Sherlock Holmes. Three main points came from this book :

1 - Didn't know Sherlock Holmes enjoyed cocaine - it's in there, trust me
2 - Definitely would read to my children (minus mentioning the above point!) as little short adventure stories
3 - The one negative point is that some of the stories felt a bit predictable, but is this due to the template Conan Doyle created being used in other examples of the crime genre? Either way, some of the stories I guessed the endings to, but not all.

When I was reading the book I was reminded of the series I watched several years ago, Murder Rooms : Mysteries of the Real Sherlock Holmes, if you can catch it, definitely worth a look.

As for Robert Langdon, now infamous as the main character in Dan Brown's The Da Vinci Code.

Yup, this one lived up to the hype. I've never been to the Louvre and the description in the book had me walking through the galleries alongside Fache and Langdon. I only wished I hadn't seen the movie and spoiled the identity of "The Teacher" but other than that, it drew me in and wouldn't let me go until I'd finished it - damn my day job!

Funny Pictures of Cats With Captions
And no, Agatha Christie is not on my list! Diary of a Phoneless Week coming soon ...

Wednesday, August 17, 2011

I Can't Hear the Sound of Ringing

Whilst, I'm living without my mobile on I've been getting on with another project - my family tree!

I've decided that if I can get back as far as the 1837 Census, I will be happy. Already I have logged details for 96 of my relatives, and I've got more to go!

It's been so exciting to try and trace relatives we don't even have names for, for example my great grandparents (all but one of my grandparents have passed on so cannot ask them for help).

One relative I'm particularly looking forward to tracing is my Great Aunty Dolly (who married into the family). The story goes that when she was very young, her father died and left the family penniless. Dolly's mum kept Dolly with her and went to work, but the siblings supposedly went to Canada and were never seen or heard from again.
Although Aunty Dolly died nearly a decade ago now, I would like to see if I could find out what happened. As a child, fascinated by the Anastasia Romanov story I did wonder ... but Dolly wasn't a redhead!

I can't wait to find out more about my ancestors, and will publish a diary of the mobile-less week shortly

Thursday, August 11, 2011

No communicado!

Right, the next thing I am going to tick off my list is turning my mobile phone off for a week.
funny pictures of cats with captions

I'm not quite sure what motivated me to put this on the list, I think I saw it on someone else's and thought, hey, I'll give that a try.

As a prediction for the next week (starting Tuesday 16th August), I think it is going to be very strange living without my phone.

I am by no means attached to it, unlike my husband, but each evening as I leave work and walk down for the bus, I call my parents. Will I notice anything new now I'm not distracted by the conversation and explaining to my parents what that weird noise was in the background (invariably the buses as they zoom past!)

I don't receive a lot of texts, but then I don't send a lot. I can't see this being a major issue.

Games on my phone, I am currently addicted to a ball popping game and Alchemy, and when I've finished my book on bus journeys I resort to playing on the phone. Hmm.

And finally, the main issue I can see is the texts and phone calls I get from my husband. I won't get a phone call letting me know he is half an hour away for me to put the dinner on, or asking where I am so he can pick me up on his way home. :-( I'm already feeling sad about this one.

But, hey ho, let's see how it goes. I will report back on Tuesday 23rd August with my findings!

Tuesday, August 9, 2011

Busy Busy Busy

I seem to spend more time reading other people's blogs than updating my own.

I'm also having difficulties in commenting on other people's blogs which is a bit of a pain in the backside.

Still busily planning our trip to France, but Paul crossed something off his bucket list this weekend - he got to drive an Aston Martin DB6.

For his 30th, my parents bought him a driving experience which, due to work and the wedding, he hasn't been able to book until now.

As you can see below, he really enjoyed himself :

Ooh, and on a random note (there's a surprise!) here's a picture of me from our fancy dress bbq/house party :

Sayonara! I'm off to make (yet another) cake!

Wednesday, August 3, 2011

July Update

Wow, posting has been a bit slow recently, I can attribute that mainly to being busy and a tiny addiction to a game on Facebook (if I don't say its name it can't get me)

funny pictures - Shredding your to-do list.

Right, so where am I with the list?

8 - Read as many of the books from the Book List Challenge
Unsurprisingly, this is the one item I'm not having problems completing. I'm nearly a third of the way through the books and have travelled across a wide variety of genres. I'm hoping to take some of the French authored books away with me on our road trip, maybe a little Madam Bovary n'est-ce pas?

16 - Turn off my mobile for a week
I am dying to do this, but at the moment my cousin is 9 days overdue with her first - and I won't turn off my phone until she pops. I want to get this done this month though.

21 - Stick a pin in the map and go on a road trip to get there
Not long now until our mini epic road trip! So excited, I've nearly got all my clothes (the important bits I know). I've already posted a little about it before but will unleash the full set of photos and itinerary when we get back.

25 - Relearn to speak French
I found a brilliant program on the BBC website which I am working my way through and after having a random conversation about blue cats with my Sexy Foreign Woman in French, I think we should be alright for our impending French road trip. I've even learned how to ask that my photos be put onto CD so I can keep the hundreds of pictures I'll be taking of our adventure.

I think that's enough to be getting on with for now, some of the other items on the list are still works in progress so once they're completed I'll let you know.