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25th February 2007

Sunday - 10.25pm : I've been too busy to participate in the past few weeks, but here's Blog Fodder #12.

This weeks question was submitted by Laquet - "What do you see when you look out of your living room / kitchen / bedroom window?"

Right now, I see parts of the village lit by street lights, but not much else. It's very dark outside. It must be cloudy as I can't see the stars. On a clear night the stars will light up the sky. They're beautiful.

In daylight I overlook the village. Hills surround us and the top of the church can be seen peering above the houses. Below us is the yellow-bricked church-like school (it has a tower very much like a church tower). My old primary school. It has been expanded since I was there and as a result the playing field is now smaller. Even the playing field has changed since I was a child. The old swings, slide and climbing frame have been replaced with smaller, "safer" playground equipment. On a school morning the bell can be heard, sounding the start of the school day. The noise of children playing is once again replaced by peace.

That is until the dog across the road starts barking! It barks at anything and everything. A car, a person walking by, a cat or even just a leave in the wind. it will bark non-stop, testing the patience of everyone in the street.

That's the view from my bedroom window and from the kitchen window. The living room windows look out to the back of the house.

We live on the side of a hill, so our view through the living room window is restricted. We can see our back garden and past the fence is the hill. In the field there is currently a young horse which will walk by every now and then. At different times of the year sheep and cows can also be seen in the field. A variety of birds and a family of squirrels live in the nearby trees, all competing for food provided in our back garden.

So, what can you see through your window?

Thanks to Pat, Cyberevolution, Shopper, Karen, Bob-kat, Andrea, Nick, Lissy, Jolynn, Claire, Utenzi, Cassie and Rashbre.


18th February 2007

Sunday - 11.35pm : I went to see Music and Lyrics at Cineworld in Shrewsbury on Friday. A colleague and I went straight from work to Shrewsbury, with a quick stop-in at her place so I could leave my car there. Once we got there I did my usual thing and bought a drink and a bag of popcorn. As usual, I'd nearly finished the popcorn before the film started!

Music and Lyrics is a comedy/romance film (Guys, don't let that put you off it!) starring Hugh Grant and Drew Barrymore. It's the story of a pop music has-been (Hugh Grant) who has been given just a short time to compose a hit record for a teen sensation, but lyrics aren't his strong point (which is where Drew Barrymore comes in).

I really enjoyed the film. Hugh Grant and Drew Barrymore work well together and their characters were well suited. I won't spoil the scene, but I had a giggling fit when Hugh Grant's character said "My face is in the butter!" I have no idea why, but I just found it difficult to stop giggling (I guess you'll have to see it)! It's an excellent film and well worth going to see. I even want the soundtrack (who knew Hugh Grant could sing?)!

The drive home was a little slow as there was water on the roads and it was foggy so I couldn't see very far. A few miles from home I passed a car that had gone backwards into a hedge. Somebody had obviously been driving too fast around the corner and spun.

I've been having a lazy weekend, so last night I got myself a Chinese take-away and (after giving my brother a lift to his house) settled down with another film. I was going to rent one, but instead settled for watching Garfield 2 : A Tail of Two Kitties on Sky Box Office (because I'm a big kid and I love Garfield!).

If you loved the first Garfield film, then you'll love this one too. This time it's double the trouble! Jon Arbuckle travels to England to see Liz and, unknown to Jon, Garfield and Odie hitch a ride in his luggage. In a case of mistake identity, Garfield ends up ruling over a castle - well suited to a feline which such cattitude! Whether you're a kid or an adult, you're bound to love this one.

I'm tempted to watch another film this weekend. It's been such a long time since I've had a movie weekend. I'll either grab a DVD off the shelf or see what else Sky Box Office has to offer. We'll see.

Commenting thanks go out to Bob-kat, Hasan, Karen, Mike, Utenzi, Andrea, Apple, Kristi, Cyberevolution, SNiP and Joshy.


13th February 2007

Tuesday - 10.25pm : I've got a new car! I've had it a week now, but I've just not had the chance to mention it. My old car (Ford Fiesta - nicknamed BOD) cost me a fortune on it's last MOT and I didn't fancy finding out what the bill would be for it's next MOT. So it was time to look for a new (to me!) car. I looked at the new style Fiesta, but wasn't sure I liked it. I also looked at a Vauxhall Corsa, but wasn't sure on them. So in the end I settled for a Ford Ka, which I nicknamed "Dinky". It's navy blue (just like my old Fiesta), nearly 4 years old and lovely to drive. I also managed to get the dealers to knock the price down a bit and fit it with a CD player (who has tapes these days?!).

It's Robbie Williams' 33rd birthday today, but he's spending it in rehab and it's all over the news. He is being treated for dependency on prescription drugs and it's assumed that those drugs are anti-depressants. It's not the first time he's been in rehab, so he knows what he's in for. Good luck Robbie!

I've now received copies of Great Uncle Frank's entries in the asylum records. I knew what was in them (thanks to a very helpful member of staff at the records office), but it's great to have copies to see it for myself. I've now got a fuller picture of what went on. I now need to see if I can look at the workhouse records (Frank was at a workhouse before he was admitted to the asylum).

I've also received Joe Groom's marriage certificate. I knew his wife's name as it is on the gravestone, but the certificate has filled in a bit more of the story. I now know his father's name and I'm a little closer to knowing how/why he ended up living in my Great Grandfather's care. I have also received his death certificate. At the time of his death he was staying/living with his wife at the pub my Great Aunt & Great Uncle ran. So he was still close to our family at that time. I had thought Joe might have died from war wounds, but the certificate notes he died from "Acute Bellow atrophy of Liver 2 days". I wonder if he had picked up something while he was in West Africa? I don't know.

The snow has all gone. We've now got rain! I hope it brightens up a bit for the weekend, otherwise it'll be a weekend of DVDs. Mind you, I've not done that for a while.

Thanks to Bob-kat, Andrea, Karen, Suzanne, Cyberevolution, Apple and Jolynn.


10th February 2007

Snow-filled FieldsSaturday - 11.45am : We've got snow! It started snowing early on Thursday morning and it resulted in nobody from our road going anywhere that morning. So no work for me that day. By midday I was bored so I decided to go for a walk and take some photos (which can be found over at Flickr).

Yesterday I thought I'd better venture out in the snow and go to work. I got to work OK, it was the getting home that proved difficult. It had been snowing steadily for a few hours and around midday we watched a few people struggling to get out of the units across the road from work. Their cars and delivery vans were spinning and struggling to get a grip in the snow. At 1pm it dawned on us that if we didn't go home then we may not get home. If only it had dawned on us a bit earlier...

When we got out to the car park we had to help a delivery van which had got stuck and was blocking the road. It took us around 15 minutes to move him out of the way and the snow was still coming down. The roads were snowed over and slippy, and in 45 minutes we didn't get very far. The road was grid-locked in the direction we were going, so a colleague and I decided to go to her mum's house to wait it out. I called my parents to let them know what was going on and found out an accident was the cause of the town being gridlocked. There had also been an accident on the big hill I have to go up to get home. So I wasn't going anywhere!

The weather wasn't getting any better and we didn't know whether to stay put or try getting home. I gave my brother a call to see if he was still at work or if he was back at his house. He was still at work trying to get all the delivery vans back to the depot, but I was free to go to his house once he'd finished (if I couldn't get home). The road was still gridlocked, so I headed to the depot to see my brother. A few more vans still needed to get back, so he wasn't going anywhere for a while. So I sat in the depot's kitchen to keep warm and chatted to the lads when they came in for cups of coffee. Not all the vans managed to get back to the depot, some were stuck, so they started to close up around 5pm.

The grid-lock had gone and the roads were quiet so it was time to see if I could get home. A sign at the roundabout said the road home was closed to heavy goods vehicles, but from the bottom you could see a lorry was stuck part way up the hill. Going past I could see it was a foreign lorry, so I guess the poor driver hadn't been able to understand the sign. He was going to be there for the night. The hill is steep and it was hard going getting up there, but it had to be done very slowly.

After getting to the village square I had to walk. Some neighbours were walking their dog, so I walked back up with them. Unfortunately, I'd got my shoes on so my feet were freezing and the bottoms of my trousers were soaked from the snow. We hadn't expected that amount of snow and I certainly hadn't expected to have to walk home in it! I was shivering by the time I got home.

Back at home, I got changed and warmed myself up by leaning on a radiator. If I'd have known it was going to take me that long to get home I'd have never gone to work in the first place!

We've still got a load of snow outside today. The snow has turned to sleet, so I think we're over the worst now, but I don't think I'll be going anywhere this weekend!

Right then, I'm off to have a nice hot bowl of butternut squash soup. Thanks to Utenzi, Paige, Andrea, Apple and Daystar12uk.


4th February 2007

Montgomery CastleSunday - 4.25pm : It's been a lovely weekend, weather-wise. So yesterday I ended up going for a walk around Montgomery Castle which looks over the Welsh/English border. The sky was clear so you could see for miles. It was quite quiet too, so no annoying people getting in the way when I was trying to take some photos! We're forecast snow sometime during the week. My favourite kind of weather!

I've found the references for Joe Groom's marriage and death certificates and have ordered them both. So I'm hoping they will shed some more light on things, especially the death certificate.

Regarding my last entry - I must explain about the gravestone lying down. It isn't a case of vandalism or anything like that. It's the council who are pulling them down for "health & safety" reasons. If it leans a touch to one side or looking in the slightest bit wobbly then down it comes. My problem with it all is they are taking the time to lie these stones down, but nothing seems to be done in regards to putting them back up again. It's not just old gravestones it's happening to others, I've seen newer ones laid down too.

A couple of weekends ago Dad gave me an envelope of documents such as Granddad's WW1 papers, a postcard notifying Granddad's family he'd been found in a POW camp (as they'd previously been notified of him being missing in action), ration cards and other such things. Some documents have been folded and after all these years are not in the best of conditions. So I've started putting them in clear polypropylene pockets (acid-free to ensure long-term archival protection) in a folder. I get the pockets from Arrowfile, I also get my photo albums/pockets from there. I've shown Dad what I'm doing and he's happy and realises the documents are now less likely to get damaged.

Thanks to Andrea, Karen, Cyberevolution, SNiP, Bob-kat, Apple, Kristi, Cassie and Utenzi.