Tuesday, 9 February 2010

Happy Christmas. Happy New Year.

I've been missing in action (again. I know - shocker, isn't it?).

But I have good reason this time. A lot of my time has been taken up with a new development :-)

You may know that I'm currently studying for a degree in Geo-science, as a route into primary teaching. Teaching is, for me, a second choice career which will at least give me a proper career rather than a series of short term jobs that I previouly took in my charity based roles. Most charities only receive funding for set terms eg one year, so my jobs were usually pretty short term.

My dream for years was to have a pub. A proper, family orientated, big garden, real food pub. Hubby and I both did our personal licences to qualify us to run a pub three years ago, but decided at the time that the way the economy was going it would be risking too much to sell our house and buy a pub.


We've found the most amazing pub on the market and it's literally only a five minute drive away from home. It's got a big garden (hell.....it's a FIELD!!), big catering kitchen, two bars, a wonderful layout inside, big car park and it's in a fantastic area. It's closed at the minute, but we've had meetings with the Regional Business Manager and we've all agreed that we're going for it !!!!!!!!!!

The idea is that initially I will move in, hubby will stay in the house and the girls will split their time. That way if it doesn't work out we still have the house. If it does work out - and we've said that we will make that decision after a few months - then we will all move in and rent out our house so that the mortgage is covered and we still have an investment.

I won't actually believe it until we've signed everything. But I can allow myself now to plan for the pub that I thought for so long I'd never have. I really can't tell you how happy it makes me, although being Cautious Clare, I'm still doing my studying until we actually sign, just in case it doesn't happen.

Please keep your fingers crossed for us. This is a dream that we all share - Dave and the kids are as excited as me!


Thursday, 7 January 2010

Happy New Year !!

We've been snowed in !! We've had an enormous amount of snow over the past few days (forecast to last for the next 10 -14 days too). Lucy's school closed yesterday but they've managed to opn today, but hardly anyone has turned up. I suppose the fact that we live backing onto the school was quite a help in us making that long, treacherous 5 minute walk to the classrooms !!

Over Christmas I made some fantastic deals to accumulate more Tesco points - I'm on target now for £2,100 in February, which is an amazing amount. We all had a wonderful Christmas, full of family and food (the best kind of Christmas!) and are now in the process of getting back to normal.

As with most people, Mickey and I are trying to lose weight and get fitter as well as save money, so to help with this, I roasted a chicken last night, especially for sandwiches. I also grilled the end of a pack of lean/low salt bacon, crumbled it and mixed it with the chopped from the chicken. It made a huge bowl full, which I used to make sandwiches for all of us for today, a chicken and bacon pasta salad for tomorrow and two family size chicken, bacon and vegetble pies. The carcass is currently simmering away to make stock, so I'm feeling very, very virtuous !!

I tend to make a lot of sandwiches for packed lunches, but I admit to them being pretty boring. However I'm trying my hardest now to really pack in the flavour. Mine today includes coleslaw, bbq sauce, tomato, cucumber and onion along with the chicken and bacon. It's about 2 inches high !!!!

Let's hope that I can continue on this impressive streak !


Thursday, 17 December 2009

Happy Birthday to Meeeeee !!!

I was 39 on Monday and had an amazing birthday. Everyone treated me like royalty, we went out for a meal (very rare in this family), I had wonderful presents....all in all a fabulous day.

I got my results for my earthquakes, volcanoes and Tsunamis course - I passed !! So I can relax for Christmas now, and continue my study of archaeological science in the New Year.

Virtully all of my christmas shopping is done - I'm hoping to get a Soap am=nd Glory set at Boots tomorrow reduced from £50 to £20 to someone vey special to me. erm.....me *blushes. And I've done so well with Tesco points over this past few weeks that I'm on target to get £1,200 of voucers towards my degree in Februry. SO happy about this !!

Perhaps I should offer to teach a BA (Hons) in Clubcard collecting - although I know people are are far better than me at it !!


Thursday, 3 December 2009

A good day !!

Let me count the ways in which today was a good day -

* I used my Tesco vouchers to pay for 4 seats at the panto for the day before Lucy's birthday, value over £100. Sheila Ferguson is in it (oh yes she is !!) as well as Jonathan Wilkes. We can't wait !!

* I also used my Tesco points to pay for my next Open University course (Geology, seeing as you asked) in FULL, value £360. It's such a relief to me to have the next stage of my degree paid for.

* I was lucky enough to hear about some codes that I could use online at Marks& Spencers and the Body Shop and have done some amazing shops today - about £400 worth of Christmas presents for about £40. The picture above is of Cranbery Feet Hugs (£20) - snuggly slippers that have a sachet you take out, microwave for 30 seconds and replace for toasty feet. Cost from the Body Shop? FREE!!

I would recommend anyone to look into collecting Tesco clubcard points. Over the years Tesco have given us a free cruise for all four of us for two weeks, short breaks, jewellery, gifts, Open University courses, language courses, days out ......and pizza !!


Friday, 20 November 2009


Devastating floods have hit the UK (which makes me feel guilty for almost making light of our weather here). Hundreds of people have had to be rescued, many are reported lost....the scenes are absolutely terrible.

The armed forces have been called out, rescue services have been out all night, bridges have collapsed......my heart goes out to those affected.


Monday, 16 November 2009

English weather.........

...is something that we all like to complain about. Trust me - most conversations we have includes an element of weather - 'it's too hot !', 'it's too cold!', 'roll on summer!'.

But I think we're truly lucky not to have the weather - and events - that some countries endure. True - we hve flooding from time to time which can be totally deestating, but I'm thinking about the fires, earthquakes etc that destroy whole areas.

In my degree course I've just been studying geological events such as volcanoes and tsunamis, and I've never been so thankful to live in the UK. The photo below is of Chaiten volcano in Chile, taken during a lightning storm as it erupted in 2008. Breathtakingly beautiful, but destructive as hell.

I really don't know how people live in areas which are prone to seismic events without dying of a stress related heart attack !! Seriously - I'd make myself so ill worying about it all the time.

So kudos to those who live in more 'dangerous' areas - I'm happy in safe old England :-)


Thursday, 5 November 2009

Squirrels, squirrels everywhere

Had to share this clip that I found on the Soap Queen website - just perfect for today's weather !! You wouldn't believe how much fun Jorge and Henry would have with that number of squirrels; even one makes them tear over the garden for hours !

Feeling really down today as a few days of feeling ill ended up with me at the emergency doctors last night, where I was diagnosed as having strep throat and laryngitis. Typical. I multi task all the time, even when I'm ill !!

I can hardly swallow, and am on liquids for a while - so none of the chicken pie that I'd made for Dave ! I'll make Gray - my Dad (Happy Birthday Gray !!) his bday cake next week; he knows it's worth waiting for.