Sunday, 21 November 2010

just because

they made me smile when I took them.


or not, as in this case. I have a trick for getting pictures of us as a couple.If I ever see someone taking pictures of their group,I always offer to take a picture for them. It works every time.Then you just ask could you take one of us? It was fine in the old days with my point and shoot camera ,but they are a bit intimidated when I hand over my new baby with its long lens.

This lady kept on backing up. I thought, boy what is she trying to get in the picture? Of course when I looked at it, we were out of focus. She had focused on the trees. I mean, there is a bit of leading lines and she’s tried to use the rule of thirds. But Chris has a bin (merger) right behind him and our legs have been cut off!! Maybe I shall have to hand over the point and shoot from now on.or take them at arms length.


The clothes in the shops here are very “bling”. Everything has to have a sparkle on it. Men's clothes included.


and checkout this mannequins “junk in the trunk” torso


on the path to the beach-he was huge.


especially for Sandra.A whole counter of Ojon products.I can hear her having an orgasm right now.


especially for Tasmin. Hi ya.



I am again at Starbucks for breakfast this time.Unfortunately still in real agony.

Saturday, 20 November 2010

bloody 4am!!!!!!!!!!

In my last post I said I’d woken at 5am and decided after a restless night to get up and play on my laptop.

Well, no wonder it was still pitch black at 7am. It turned out our clock in our room was an hour fast !!!!!!!

So I had only slept a couple of hours.

We were up and out of the hotel at 8.30 in search of breakfast. It was offered complimentary at our hotel but I already had a place in mind.

2010 Nov Miami

So we hit the pathway along the beach and walked most of Miami South Beach.


in search of The News Cafe. It’s the in place to eat breakfast and it overlooks the beach.

2010 Nov Miami1

Then it was off to the shops for a spot of retail therapy.

Right at the end of the outdoor mall was my favourite shop. I wonder what that could be? I couldn’t resist a little purchase.

2010 Nov Miami2

(PS I didn’t buy any of the above)

God knows where we are going to put the new stuff, our cases are both full to the brim. I was over on all my cases on the way out. And Chris picked up my Becky Higgins Project Life in Chicago and it fills an entire case on its own!!


Then it was time to hit the beach.


2010 Nov Miami3

Hands up who thought that was me sat on the beach???

I couldn’t stop laughing when I spotted her.

Perfect I thought.

I hope you appreciate this blog.I am sat in agony on a chair in Starbucks.

Off for dinner now.I’m all dressed up and decided to wear my one and only pair of heels.Of course my heels have blistered and I’m now wearing flip flops!!!

We’re off on our cruise tomorrow.So adios for a week.

The journey

Well, after a foggy and painful drive to Heathrow, I made it in one piece.


The airport was packed and for some reason, I must have looked like a terrorist, and I was sent for a full body scan.

So some poor bloke got to see a 46 year old woman in big comfy knickers.Luckily, they couldn’t see the dime bar contraband tucked away in my main suitcase.

I could have done with it for the journey though. I always forget that there is rarely anything for me to eat on plane. So for 9 hours I had just a choc ice and a bag of hula hoops. I was sat next to a lady who quite obviously was a smoker, as it emanated from all her pores.Not so nice when you're like me, and  have a very, sensitive nose.Add to the fact that Chris had booked me one of the last window seats, right at the back of the plane and next to the toilets!!

I tried listening to the meditation music. At points I could feel myself drifting away, but then my nostrils would be hit with the stale waft of fags and the toilet behind me would flush.

So I was glad to arrive at a warm Miami airport,where Chris was waiting for me. I would love to say he was waiting with a huge bunch of flowers and that, that would set the tone for the holiday. But alas no. He did say he’d had to hold back the tears. Ahh bless.

So we drove straight to our hotel on Miami beach south. Its right in the Art Deco area. I had already planned where we were to eat, and so as soon as our bags were dumped in the lovely all white room,we headed to Lincoln Road. We stopped off at a few shops on the way. In the window of one shop was a real fur gilet, just like I have been after for years. But it was well over a thousand dollars, so I said a sad goodbye to it.

There were lots of restaurants,so I was glad I had already made the choice back home from the safety of the internet. I had chosen Sushi Siam. It was a restaurant that specialised in Sushi, of course, but it also had a vast Thai menu. So it kept both of us happy. Chris had some disgusting, sushi shrimp crap. Whilst I had chicken satay and a Thai green curry. Delicious. We sat outside watching the sights of Miami going by.


By this time it was about 3am for me so we went back to the hotel.But I am a bad sleeper at the best of times,and because I had  just eaten my sleeping tablets don’t work.So I read and read and finally dropped off at 12pm.

I awoke fully refreshed and raring to go ,but it was only 2am! Hubby can sleep anywhere and at anytime, so for the next few hours I tried to drift in and out of sleep. But by 5am I gave up and plugged my dear friend, the laptop in.

So that's where I am now, I’ve made todays page for my book, see below and downloaded the photos I took yesterday.

Its still pitch black outside at 7am. Plus boy is Miami noisy. People sure like to use their horns at night.

I’ve just opened the blinds, so hopefully when the sun comes up it will wake Hubby. LOL

Funnily enough as I was spell checking this. I think a couple above may be having some jiggy jiggy upstairs there was some rhythmic squeaking and its awoke Chris. I hope he doesn’t get any ideas!!!

day1-the journey

Friday, 19 November 2010

I’m a leaving on a jet plane

don’t know when I’ll be back again. (by the way that was my favourite song to strum on my guitar when I was at school)

Actually I do know when I will be back-3rd December. Just in time to start putting up the Christmas decorations.

If everything has gone to plan you should be reading this either whilst I am still in the air or sitting down to a Thai meal in Miami.

Teddy will be settled on the sofa with his Nanny and Granddad who are coming to stay with him for our entire trip.

It turns out our son is now flying out to Florida this week as well.Unfortunately we will at sea the entire time he's there, so we won’t be meeting up. Much to his delight. 

I have been very busy this week setting up an entire digi book for the trip. All the templates are ready, I just have to add photos from each day and add journaling.

So hopefully along the way during our trip I will be able to blog. I doubt it will be from the cruise,unless I want to part with large sums of money.

So here’s the beginning of my digi album.

The front cover


big decisions


and one about my favourite thing lists.

to do list

So I’m off to have some fun in the sun.

Bye for now..

Monday, 15 November 2010



I’ve just started tucking into my second bar of chocolate.

I’m sat watching I’m a Celebrity Get  Me Out of Here and as Gillian mcKeith went in the ground (what a wimp) I looked closely at her.

All those years of telling everyone they are eating shit and that if we ate like her we could look and feel better

What a load of crap. She’s just 4 years older than me. She looks old enough to be my mum!!!!


Pass me the chocolate now,and constipation here I come.

I’d rather be fat and happy, than be remotely like her.

A rats tale

I went and bought a Wii fit plus game last week and we have been all been having fun on it.

I mean take today. I went for a fly to my cruise ship, I took a leisurely jog in the park, plus a bit of yoga. All finished with some step aerobics and hula hooping. Phew.

Well, how can it be that I have gained 5lbs in one night ?????

Mmmm, let me think…………..

Hubby is away enjoying the sun in California, so I only have two of us to feed. We are both easily pleased. So I took the day easy, cooking wise and enjoyed a few treats……



snack whilst shopping in Morrison's


I ate its brother a family bar of whole nut in one evening!!!


(This ones for tonight)

oh and of course after my dinner I had to have a treat for being such a good girl .


But one bonus was, I am getting younger by the day. The Wii fit now says I have a fit age of 23yrs……….

Now for the rats tale.

We have a rat that likes to enjoy the amenities of our garden. It likes the lovely arranged wood pile, the yummy walnuts strewn about and of course the comfort of life under the summer house.

On several occasions I have looked out of the window to see him sat. bold as brass tucking into a walnut in the middle of the lawn. I have to do a double take, as we also have squirrels who visit for the same snack.

They look identical apart from the tail.

Now the rat doesn't bother me. He bothers Teddy and Hubby. In fact he drives them both mad. They are very territorial.How dare that rat invade their space.

So Hubby has tried poison, huge rat traps and even blowing them up with this concoction. It seems rats don’t fart (unlike Teddy!) so if they ingest a baking soda concoction they blow up.

But no success. In fact I think that rat was poking its tongue out when it was sat on the lawn. So Hubby borrowed a gun!!!

He loaded it up and sat and waited……..and waited……..and waited

but no sign of a rat, he was snoozing somewhere.

So how to kill a rat?

What is considered the most dangerous thing known to man???

A women behind a steering wheel,of course !!!!

Yep, I killed the rat today.

At sometime in the last 24hrs, I must have hit it as I parked on the drive!!!

There it was as dead as a dodo……….

I’m off to hit that spare bar of chocolate to congratulate myself.

Thursday, 11 November 2010

pain free Christmas shopping

my arse!!!!!

I had a lovely day in London yesterday with my friend Linda.She had FREE tickets to The Country Living Christmas Fair. It was a long day, as I woke at 4am in pain. It was a bad omen for the day ahead. I struggled with the pain all day.

We hit all the stalls and worked our way around. We saw lots of lovely things but we were very good and only came away with a few things.

It smelt so beautiful in the hall, mainly from this stand of cinnamon and dried oranges.

We were both glad to have a sit down and stuff ourselves at my favourite restaurant.It was jam packed even on a winter Wednesday evening.


I’m taking it easy today, I have to try and get some energy to have a go on my new Wii fit and bounce around on my gym ball.

But I think it may have to be a day of painkillers and TV.




Here’s what I have come up with in the last few days for Shimelles “True Stories” class.

This was supposed to be a layout using the missing words prompt. But the truth was, I  just couldn’t be bothered with the strife involved in getting my family to help me out, so I just came up with this.

After reading prompt 11 I had so many ideas, but so far I have only made one digital layout to cover the prompt

Its very tongue in cheek.And of course I wouldn’t really want to sell him.

Sunday, 7 November 2010

are Wii fit??????

We have had a great laugh today on the Wii fit.

We all did our body tests today.And I had a go for 30 minutes at different activities.

But the biggest laugh was all our results.

It said I had great flexibility at yoga?????

Who me, with the ruptured disc in her spine,who can’t move?

I did my test before I went off to eat two sausage rolls,a fried egg and a plate of chips.Followed by a huge profiterole dessert. It said I had a  fit age of 40 as opposed to my real age of 46 ??

So we put hubby on it.It said he was in the overweight section and he was truly not happy,when it said his fit age was 55. He’s 48!!!!!!

He’s VERY competitive.He sat there brooding,so he went again.

We creased up when it said,he’d put on 2lbs since his last try.

To make him feel better,I had another go after stuffing myself with the goodies above.

It said I’d lost a 1lb ???????

and that my fit age was now……..

There really is no justice in this world.  LOL

ergh yeh……. ironing, cleaning and shopping……………..

What you don’t know

is I hand wrote this title on my new Wacom pen tablet.

I have been getting a lot of RSI in my hand and wrist lately. It seems that every bit of me aches nowadays.

Hubby sat and watched me make a digital layout. I was making them by using my touch pad, on my laptop, in bed so it can get a bit awkward. He decided I needed a wireless mouse, but when we got to the shop I remembered that Scott Kelby used a Wacom pen and tablet. So that’s just what we came home with.

For the last hour I have been playing around with the pen and its controls. I finished off a digital layout I had started this morning.

I wasn’t happy with the layouts I had already made concerning my children's names for Shimelles “True Stories” class. They didn’t reflect my style of scrapping at all. So as it was digital scrapbooking day yesterday I took advantage of some of the sales going on and bought a couple of kits, more to my taste.

After a little play I came up with these. They are still not right,but I had stupidly saved Ryan's one ,this morning. I am now  unable to change anything unless I start all over again. After making Tasmins I didn’t like the font colour,but I wanted to keep them both the same.

Oh well, you live and learn.

This digital lark is certainly a test of my computer skills or lack of them!!!

It seems I am surrounded by technology nowadays.I have borrowed my sisters Wii Fit for a few days to see if a bit of exercise will help my back.I have been in agony for the last 36 hours  and have had to resort to my stick again to move about. The Dr recommended some back exercises but that is easier said then done when you can’t get back up off the floor!

So I have tried a bit of hula, ski slalom and some basic yoga. Seeings I have no flexibility in my spine,I look a bit weird trying to bend sideways.

We are hoping the heat in Florida will give me a miraculous cure. I’m not sure if the heat in Spain this summer was the missing link or if it was just a fluke that in 48 hours I was “cured”.

But fingers crossed as I don’t want the pain to get as severe as it did last time.

Saturday, 6 November 2010

A bonus layout….

That's the one thing I love about digital scrapbooking .You can do it anywhere as long as you have your computer, I sat listening/watching XFactor coming up with this layout.

Jinnag had left a comment on my blog post concerning my saga on my wedding day. She thought it a good idea to make another layout using the “ what if ” prompt. So I used that as inspiration and came up with this.

The journaling says:

Why did I not let Fran wear her version of this dress.

It was my wedding day, why didn’t I stay in my wedding dress?

What was I thinking?

I had put on a stone in order to fit in my size 10 wedding gown,

but the extra weight didn’t do me any favours in such a tight fitting dress.

Plus add to the fact I didn’t wear a bra?


Oh, I know why.The dress had no back in it.

I only wore this dress once.Chris ripped the poppers off the back in his haste to remove it that night!!!

So it was returned to the shop and swapped for something more flattering.

Why didn’t I Just let Fran wear hers.

Friday, 5 November 2010

The wrong idea

I don’t want people to get the wrong idea about my writings. I have been receiving some lovely comments, but I wanted to reassure people that I am just working with prominent memories that keep popping up during Shimelles class.

I always stay true to my first feelings. In the morning I throw open my wardrobe never knowing what to wear. If its my black tutu, as it is today, that is calling me then I go with it. Its been the same with Shimelles “ True Stories “ class. I go with the first strong idea that pops into my head. Its obviously the things I feel most passionate about.

I am at the happiest I have ever been in my life. I have no dark clouds on the horizon except, maybe getting old and coping with its aches and pains. But my past is what made me the person I am today. So if my “True Stories” just help people in my life to understand why I am like I am today. Then that can only be a good thing in my eyes.

I am an open book and I have NO secrets. Its just that, sometimes even though I ramble on for hours, something's have never been told. There was never any reason to share them.But now they want to be told. So tell them I will.

Today's digital layout is called calm. I toyed for ages what to call it. But in the end it was the only title I could come up with. I am used to using real scrap stash. And I love K & Co titles. They usually are my inspiration for a layout.

Again the digital layout is not really my style of scrapping. I am finding the free papers and embellishments I am working with all a bit drab and depressing. I want to find some bright and colourful, playful digital kits and then maybe my “True Stories” will change and reflect that.

Anyway, less of the ramblings and on with the show.

I appreciate that the journaling is very small. So for anyone wanting a read this is what I wrote:

She knew it would be all her fault, that the day would be unpleasant.

Bad things would happen to her at school.

She’d flunk the latest school test.

Her friends would be mean to her and she’d have to spend break in the library, reading, alone.

Or her worse fear, her parents would row.

So, she took that short walk back to school from the childminders every lunch time on her own.

No pavement cracks could be trod on.

She had to walk down the 3 steps individually and then that’s when the touching had to begin.

There were trees that were more important than others and each had to be touched in turn.

So it was always thanks to her, that school life would go peacefully and that home would be peaceful and calm.

But sometimes, just sometimes she was late for school and had to rush.

Oh the anxiety.

What would happen?

At other times she was religious in the touching and keeping to the routine, but things still went wrong? Her parents would still shout and scream at each other.

So she did what only she could do, she went out into the garden and completed her other special routine there.

Walking down to the grass, along the path and down the steps in a particular way and peace would rain down on her, and if she saw the thrush, true delight would envelop her and she knew everything would be alright.

Just for a little while……………


Wednesday, 3 November 2010

I apologise now

The digital layout I made today is of yet another unhappy memory.

For some reason Shimelles class is bringing up lots of unhappy memories, from things that have happened in my life.

Yesterday, I was unable to read or complete prompt 7. I was in too much pain to sit down and concentrate. So I had a rest from the computer and went to bed early. Today I have cancelled everything, topped myself up with painkillers and I am not getting dressed all day. I am sat here with huge, fuzzy hair waiting for it to dry naturally.

I always go with the first thought that springs to mind, when I read Shimelles prompt and I start writing notes and ideas of photos to use.

So this is what I came up with for prompt 7


Its is of course about my wedding day. What should be one of the happiest days of your life.  But mine was marred by my best friend at the time.

Let me give you some history. Fran was my best friend for years. She happened to be my husbands, ex girlfriend. He hooked us up, as I never went out and he wanted to have evenings out with his friends. So not long after we started going out as a couple he asked Fran if she would start taking me out with her. I think he lived to regret asking her this.We became firm friends and Fran was the sort of person who got noticed wherever we went. She was loud, pretty and everyone knew her.


We both had a passion for designer clothes and spent small fortunes on the latest's in thing. It often happened that we had or wanted the same item. But usually we had them in different colours and as we were very different shapes and sizes it was never really a problem.

But for my wedding reception in 1986 I spent £175 on a dress from the designer of the moment Azzedine Alaia.

Victoria Beckham and even Michelle Obama wear his clothes now and as you can see from this link to the shop I bought mine from, he is still going strong.

Fran at this time was working in the Kings Road,London .So after buying the dress, I stupidly took it to show her.

The next thing I knew she was on the phone, just before my wedding day, to say she had bought the very, same dress for my wedding. But not only the dress, but the jacket and shoes to go with it, all worth a small fortune.

I was so upset and felt my day was going to be ruined. I never confront people, so Chris rang her. He asked her not to wear the dress and how I felt, but she just replied she had spent so much and had nothing else to wear. There was no budging her, so Chris told her we didn’t want her at the wedding if she chose to wear the dress.

I heard nothing more from her. As I walked in the church I was excited, but my main concern was, had she and all her family come. I searched everyone's faces, but they weren't there. She chose her dress over me.

It spoilt my whole day and 6 seats on the main guest table remained empty for the whole reception. People would never have known on the day how upset I was, I hid it well. In fact when I had hypnotism years later he inadvertently took me back to my wedding day, thinking I could use it as a happy memory. He immediately realised his mistake when we got there !

So from then on we never really spoke again. Three months later our other friend got married. We spent the whole day sat next to each other and even danced together, but that was it.

Here I am in the said dress with a jacket over it. If you look behind me you can see Fran checking me out in the same dress and a white jacket. I just put on a big smile for the day so I didn't spoil it for our friend.

In this picture I am smiling for the camera with Fran sat right in front of me.

So yet again I was let down by a good friend. Is it any surprise I have become a bit of a loner over the years and wary of people. I trust no one.

You would think that would be the end of it. Fran moved to London and I only once bumped into her after that wedding day.

But oh no. She hooked up with some famous people and now runs a company organising celebrity parties. There was a time, some years ago when I couldn’t open Hello or OK magazines, without being confronted with pictures of her. She got her own radio show and a column in my favourite Sunday paper. So I couldn’t get away from her.

What could it have been that hubby liked about her.What is it we have in common. Maybe check out this link to see why.

I love the internet look what I found when I goggled her today . It wasn’t only Kate Moss spilling out of her dress.

Monday, 1 November 2010

She must be narcoleptic

was my first thought when I uploaded my images from the hairdressers shoot.

There were 5 people to include in the shoot, and one person had there eyes shut in about 75% of the photos !!

I must have noticed,as every now and then you could see I had shouted eyes wide open, Julie. And there she would be ,eyes super wide open,shot ruined. When all around her everyone is perfectly posed.

I groaned so much as they appeared on my computer screen,that my son walked out of the room in a huff.

Luckily,I had done a lot of location scouting just before hand.I had found some perfect spots that might work with the lack of sunlight and the built up area and traffic.

As the time was approaching the shoot time, hairdressers where doing what only hairdressers could. Deciding to totally redo their hair. I reminded them it was now 4.30pm and it would be dark in less than 45 minutes.

So off we ran around Stevenage Old Town, with me carrying a bloody ladder. Up and down that ladder I went. We did 5 locations in 40 minutes. Not bad aye?

At one point I realised I had left my ladder at the previous location, so off the narcoleptic ran to fetch it, whilst I set about taking some individual portrait shots.

As the shoot drew to a close and the light was disappearing I asked if they wouldn’t mind just running to one more spot.I knew the light would be perfect there. They weren’t that keen they were tired and cold by this point and one of them was really unwell. But I ran off,hoping they would follow.I was right to do it,the light was perfect and these turned out to be their favourites.

Its just a shame they are going to be in black and white for the paper.

I used a lot I learnt with Karen Russell for these pictures.The one above has leading lines, I used the golden hour for lighting,and stood precariously on a ladder to get a flattering angle for the oldies. I could be a bit anal and check to see if they fall in the rule of thirds,but its nearly midnight,so that's a bit sad.I choose the depth of field I could risk as there was so many of them to get in focus.

Oh and they all have perfect catchlights in their eyes.I nearly had an orgasm when we got to the spot and I saw them.

Oh and the focus is tack sharp.

You can’t even tell that there are bright blue railings to the left and a dog poo bin to the right!


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