Thursday 26 April 2012

Real Tulips Arrive

Yesterday we got a bit worried as the replacement flowers had not arrived. But early today a neighbour arrived with them as they had been delivered to her in error. My daughter sent me this pic to prove it.

The Stages of Saving

Guest post

I have been thinking a lot lately about the things that people save money for. Depending on what stage of your life you are in, the purpose of your savings can be pretty different. When you are in your teenage years, you are probably thinking about saving for a car. If you are somewhat financially independent, you are probably also thinking about saving for college. When you are in your twenties-thirties you are thinking about saving for things like a house and/or a wedding. When you are in your forties-fifties the cycle kind of starts over, only this time you are probably saving for your children's first car, and their college funds. Hopefully, you are also able to start putting some money away for your retirement. This is probably the most important thing, especially in today's economic climate. I know many people of the baby boomer generation who have had to put off their retirement for years because they had not saved money and banked on pensions and 401k's that have lost money or are no longer available to them and they didn't have the savings to make up the difference. Then, once you are retired, if you are like my grandmother, you save up to have extra money to spoil your grandkids with! Me, personally, I am twenty something and not interested so much in saving for a house or a wedding (thought I guess that would be the responsible thing to do) but more interested in saving up to be able to take a trip some place really awesome. I am not talking about a short vacation here either, I am hoping to put away enough money to stay somewhere for 6 months to a year. Depending on where I decide to go this could mean a substantial amount of savings, but I know it will be well worth the effort!

Monday 23 April 2012

Mail Fail

This image from Wikimedia Commons is in the public domain because its copyright has expired.

I ordered some tulips for my daughter from Post-a-Rose to say thank you for all my birthday treats that she organised and financed. Tulips are her favourites. An email told me they had been despatched last Monday by Royal Mail first class post, so they should arrive on Tuesday or Wednesday. But they didn't.

As they had been intended as a surprise, I waited till Thursday to enquire whether they had arrived. My daughter said that her post had not come through her letterbox till about 6 pm on Wednesday and there certainly weren't any flowers. The mail usually arrives at lunchtime so she had assumed the postman had delivered it to the wrong address and the recipients had delivered it to her that evening.

Now we think whoever it was kept the flowers. So if that did happen, who is more to blame? The postman who delivered them wrongly, or the neighbours who didn't pass them on? And will we ever know? It's not very nice not knowing which, if any, of the people you live near might do that.

Post-a-Rose are sending them again this week, at no cost to us. They say they will claim the cost from Royal Mail. Brownie points to Post-a-Rose and thumbs down to Royal Mail. I suggested she complain to her local sorting office and get them to give the postie a pep-talk.

Fingers crossed the tulips will get there safely this time, but sadly the surprise won't happen.

Friday 20 April 2012

The Week After the Birthday

It's been quite hard getting back to work, after all the spoiling I got  last week. Since Monday, I've only managed 6 articles with deadlines coming up. Usually I manage two or three a day. Of course, I have to dovetail them with keeping house for hubby and son, plus caring for my lovely dog, and there was a bit of catching up to do. And I took Wednesday off for the senior screen film followed by lunch with some friends.

The film was The Descendants, and I wasn't overly impressed, apart from the wonderful scenery of the setting in Hawaii, and George Clooney's gorgeous mournful eyes. The story was rather depressing - good acting though. Here's the trailer.

Next week it's W-E, short for Wallis Simpson and King Edward VIII. I have my ticket already. Hope it's good.

The weather hasn't been wonderful. This morning I got some washing almost dry outside. Fortunately I brought it indoors before we went out after lunch. Fortunately, because I ended up walking Jade in a hailstorm.

Monday 16 April 2012

Wonderful Birthday Week

I didn't work at all last week, took the while week off, even from blogging. I had one of those landmark birthdays. In the first few days I was entertained by my beloved granddaughter who came to stay. I lost my shadow because while Jade usually follows me all the time, when Eryn is here, she's the one who gets that treatment. One wild, windy day, we took the Sandbanks ferry to Studland and walked on Shell Bay beach. The pair of them had a ball chasing around over the dunes and back to the sea.

My daughter arrived on Tuesday and my son took Wednesday off work because it was the big day. Jade went to the dog minder and I was taken on a mystery drive. We ended up at the Mariners Hotel in Lyme Regis where family had gathered for a super birthday lunch. It was a surprise party for me. Ten of us sat down, including Eryn and my three year old great nephew who was with the contingent that came up from Torquay.  The hotel was great with fab food and service and a pretty garden with a spectacular view over the town and out to sea. You can see a little of the view in this pic of me with Eryn.

Next day I went to London with daughter and grandie who live there, because another surprise was planned for Friday. Eryn went to a friend's and daughter and I high-tailed it to town, pausing only at Wimbledon on the way for a little retail therapy. To my delight, when we ended up at Claridge's for afternoon tea and a glimpse of how the other half live, one of my best friends whom I haven't seen for a couple of years was there to join us. This pic is of the little birthday cake I was given at Claridge's.

We had a fantastic time, moving on to a performance of Les Miserables to end the evening.I don't think I've ever been so spoilt. It was all engineered by my gorgeous daughter who must have spent hours contacting people and swearing them all to secrecy, not to mention the amount of money she must have spent. So I took her out to lunch at Strada on Saturday as a small thank you.

Well before they were expected yesterday morning, hubby and Jade arrived on the doorstep to drive me the 100 or so miles home. I had missed them both and it was great to see them, though it was Jade who claimed most of my attention and wouldn't let me out of her sight until we were in the car and on the way home. She was so happy to see me and the girls, she was making little crying noises as she jumped all over us.

My once in a lifetime week is over now, and I have managed to write two articles today, but it's not been easy to get back in harness.

Wednesday 4 April 2012

Jade Has Been Shorn

From this

To this

 And this
To this

I put a little coat on her to go out today as the darned weather has turned cold again. It shouldn't take long for her coat to grow again, of course. Just in time for a heatwave, I dare say.

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