Some Good News, Some Bad News

The good news is that I’ve got my first website commission.

It’s for the place where Amanda is now working, and although it won’t be a big money-spinner it’s good to have the opportunity to add something to my CV.

The bad news is that we lost our “Little Big Girl” this weekend. 😦
Image

She hadn’t been quite right lately and she passed away on Saturday.

I’ll miss my little friend who kept me company while Amanda was at work.

We Need Work

Ok folks, things are getting desperate. We need work, and we need it soon !
I’ve put together a new blog/site detailing our credentials, so if you know of anyone anywhere in the UK who is looking for staff we would be extremely grateful if you would point them in that direction so that they can take a look.
We are both very flexible as to the type of work we would consider and relocation would not be a problem as we have no ties where we are and only need to give one months’ notice on the flat.
Thanks for your help.

Frosty the Snowmam (Yep, that’s right)

Frosty the Snowmam

Frosty the Snowmam

I think I probably made a snowman in the winter of ’63; I know I did make one once when I was a kid.

Amanda has never made a snowman before and, dear little wife that she is, she badgered the living daylights out of me this morning until I finally went out to help her and offer some well needed technical advice. (It’s what us men are for).

There was me thinking that she would just go downstairs and make a little one outside the door, maybe behind my car. But, oh no, over into the car park she went to make as big a one as she could !

“Frosty” ended up at 4ft 3inches (1.3m) and with no arms, but oh, so cute. 🙂

I don’t think my back will forgive me this side of Christmas but Amanda’s happy, and that’s what matters.

Oh, and yes, it is called “Frosty the Snowmam“, because that was how Amanda labelled the folder that she uploaded the pictures into. 🙄

Amanda and Frosty  Us and Frosty

Blackberrying on the Fife Coastal Path

It’s been a while since I went blackberrying, but Amanda remembered from one of her earlier visits that the coastal path at the top of the village would be worth a visit at this time of year.  Clever girl ! 🙂

There’s nothing like fresh blackberries or a glass of fresh blackberry juice, especially when you’ve done all the hard work yourself.


Amanda blackberrying

Amanda blackberrying

Our blackberries

Our blackberries

Do my delicate bits have “Kick Me” written all over them ?

Low-Kick

Image via Wikipedia

There goes life again, patiently waiting in the shadows to leap out and kick me right where it hurts.

Amanda moved over here last Friday; I’m “back to the wall” financially at the moment after spending out on her visa (UK Government rip-off), and all the flights, and having just come back from two weeks holiday; we are struggling to find work for her; and then what happens ?

Today we were all laid off at work as the company folded.

Great ! Yippee-dabby-doobie !

I might as well go to a tattooist, drop my pants, spread my legs, and tell him to start writing “Kick Me” all over whatever he finds there.

The company can’t afford to pay us any redundancy money, so there will be about a six week wait for the Government scheme to come up with anything, and that won’t be much.

Amanda is taking it very well at the moment, but with no sign of any income at all for the next few weeks and only enough dosh available to cover food for the next two weeks (no bills, just food), it looks like things are going to get a little tough.

Thanks a bunch, Life, I love you too !

Update: 23 Sep 09:00

Forgot to mention:

Yesterday I got a call from Amanda saying that a light bulb in the living room had exploded and tripped the main fuse so I had to go home to reset things for her, then last night my printer went kaput just as I needed to print out some very important paperwork (and now I won’t have access to an office printer either).

Now this morning I went to pull the kitchen window closed and the hook came off in my hands, spilling the attachments over an inaccessible part of the roof downstairs just as the kettle developed a leak and will (desperately) need replacing.

Keep kicking !

Amanda and Mary Poppins are the same person

Mary Poppins bag

Do you remember Mary Poppins ?

Do you remember the plethora of weird things that she pulled out of her Salisbury travel bag ?

Having seen what Amanda managed to produce from the suitcases when she was unpacking the other day I think she must be Mary Poppins in disguise.

Yes, given that this was Amanda’s “moving” trip and I had to book an extra case on the flight I knew there would be endless amounts of clothes and quite a few more pairs of shoes, but the list of other items was quite impressive…

Webcam & Mic
Rice cooker
Spoons/scoops for attaching to outside of rice cooker
Spare bowl for rice cooker
DVDs of Nanning Folk Festival
2 Electric adaptors and 2 extension leads
1kg Chicken Powder Seasoning
Set of place mats and Coasters
Upright chrome drying rack for kitchen, designed for holding chopping boards, knives and chopsticks
Chinese New Year door decoration
Dried salty fish (very smelly, but very well wrapped)
Dried Longan berries
Pork Floss 200g
Pack of dried mini-shrimp
Preserved eggs (pack of 8 )
Duck wing (1)
Chinese bacon
Chinese sausages (4 packs)
1 vacu-packed pillow
Water melon seeds (large pack)
More sausages
2 boxes of soft-grip gel ink pens
Sauce for hot bean curd (6 packs)
Some liquid for helping with the cooking (clear alcohol of some sort)
A shoebox full of assorted (Chinese) medicines
59 moisturising face masks
2 new pairs of shoes for wearing with her Qipao’s (very smart)
1 gold handbag, one blue double wallet, same purpose as shoes
A plastic mini heat-preserving lunch box with sections for soup, rice and main dish
Moon Cakes (seemingly hundreds of)
Another pack of CDs/DVDs in a travel holder

Somehow we’ve managed to find homes for it all, but it’s really emphasised the need to move to somewhere bigger. 😦

What’s the first question a new resident in the UK asks ?

Arrived home with Amanda at about lunchtime yesterday.  🙂
As we started to look around the place at all the suitcases and bags that needed unpacking (!) I spotted a police van and car pulling away from one on the blocks in the cul-de-sac opposite and I mentioned to Amanda that I thought some “undesirables” must have moved in over there some time back because I had seen the police there in numbers on a quite a few occasions over the past couple of months.
A. “Do I need to register with the police ?”
T. “Why ?”
A. “Don’t the police need to know there’s a foreigner living here now ?”
T. “No, darling… Not in this country.”

Thanks, Kelly, for reminding me of that.

My own personal version of Desert Island Discs, Track 6, “These are the days of our lives”, Queen

Bronze statue of Freddie Mercury without tourists.

Image via Wikipedia

It was unlikely that I would be able to complete this little project without including Freddie Mercury somewhere along the line, so let’s get it over with now.
Although Bohemian Rhapsody would be the obvious choice as a track to take with me to a desert island (where nobody would be able to see me “perform”), Freddie holds more for me than just that one, iconic track.
Queen were just about my all-time favourite group, and the years of enjoying their music and always looking forward to their next offering, and whatever surprises that would entail, passed all too soon.
As Freddie’s story unfolded and he began to fade I remember the feelings of helplessness whenever he would be mentioned on the news, and the sense of foreboding that came across.
“These are the days of our lives” was Freddie’s final message to his adoring public.
As the lyrics move from “These are…” to “Those were…” Freddie is preparing us for what we all know but still cannot really believe.
The greatest showman it has ever been my pleasure to see was also the ultimate realist; someone who lived his life to the full, revelled in sharing his unbounded energy with us all through his performances, and took us with him to those last, tragic moments.
I still don’t believe it, even though one could see it in his eyes long before this track was released.
Thank you Freddie. Thank you for giving.
Sleep tight.
(This YouTube video uses clips from Queen Live at Wembley in 1986 behind the song.)

Previous tracks in the series:

Track 5 – Land of Hope and Glory

Track 4 – Qué Será

Track 3 – You can call me Al

Track 2 – We’ve only just begun

Track 1 – Saltwater Joys.

The long wait and the worrying is over

It’s taken many months and has been a long and stressful wait, but at last…
Amanda has got her Spousal Visa ! 😀 😀
It finally came through, although the last two days since she knew that the answer was on its way has been horrendous.
If she had been refused I don’t know what we would have done.
So now all we have to do is find the money for the flights for me to go out to collect her and bring her “home”.
Hopefully she will be here by the middle of September.
I can’t wait.
I’m going down the list of names in my phone, calling and texting everybody.
What a relief !

My own personal version of Desert Island Discs, Track 5, “Land of Hope and Glory”

The Proms 2005. Most people sit, while Promena...

Image via Wikipedia

So I’m British and proud of my (imperfect) country.

For those of you who don’t know, each year the good old BBC (“Auntie”) stages and transmits a whole series of Promenade Concerts (The Proms) from the Royal Albert Hall in London.

This year the concerts run from 16th July through to 11th September.

A good range of orchestras and singers, some world famous, some less so, are chosen to perform a varied selection of music over the season.

The traditional highlight of every Proms season though is the “Last Night”.

Read the rest of this entry »

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