Witterings of Tangerinecath

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Saturday, December 17th, 2005
Normal service will resume shortly...
5:41 pm
Everyone here at Tangerine Towers is poorly :o(

Little'un came home from nursery on Tuesday with a temperature that quickly escalated to over 40°C, so she was carted off to the doctors where a chest infection was diagnosed and antibiotics prescribed. She's been keeping us all awake with her coughing so we've all been very tired and run down this week.

I have picked up a viral infection that also causes a cough, and last night I had a bit of a scary moment when suddenly I could hardly breathe at all and couldn't stop coughing. Nothing I did seemed to ease the problem, I've had similar problems before when steam and/or Olbas Oil has eased the symptoms but not this time.

The Yorkshireman took me to A&E where they took one look at me and put me straight on a nebuliser and fed me steroids. Within 20 minutes I felt soooo much better - I could breathe and talk and the godawful coughing had stopped. I was sent for a chest x-ray - I was prepared to walk put was told that I wasn't allowed so The Yorkshirman had to push me in a wheelchair with Little'un sitting on my knee. I felt a bit of a fraud really, and I tried telling everyone that I wasn't really ill any more but I was overruled so I just sat back and enjoyed the ride!

After the chest x-ray came back clear I was sent on my way with a prescription for an inhaler and enough steroids to keep a bodybuilder happy for months (note to self - must take this opportunity to join the gym again!). The inhaler came as a bit of a shock - I've had a low dose powder version before to cope with chest infections and allergies but this is a full blown Ventolin aerosol job. I'm not asthmatic and this is probably a wake up call to do something about my health.

Full marks to the A&E staff, I was seen quickly and looked after by a doctor and nurse who were both friendly and efficient. Shame about the state of the department though, we were put in a cubicle that had electrical equipment hanging off the walls that Little'un kept trying to stick her fingers into, the walls had big dents and chips in the plaster where beds had crashed into them and there were some blood stains on the walls too :-O

Poor old Yorkshireman has the head cold from hell and is dripping snot from virtually every facial orifice. He has to work this weekend as the Nation Must Have Sprouts so he's just having to grin and bear it with the help of a few Lemsips.

So Tangerine Towers is temporarily closed for business, sorry but we're ignoring the phone, and we're all having an early night tonight.

current mood: sick

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Thursday, December 15th, 2005
Who ate all the pies?
4:02 pm
This morning I received this email from The Yorkshireman:

"Today I stood on the floor scales in the factory and they said ERROR



I am now on a diet."

Everyone at Tangerine Towers is a little on the portly side, The Yorkshireman and I have been "comfortably built" for some time, Little'un has a baby pot belly* and even the cat is somewhat low slung. I know more than many about nutrition and healthy eating as I earn my crust (and the rest of the bread, and the cake that comes after it) generating the information that goes on food labels. I know all about Guideline Daily Amounts, low GI food, five portions of fruit and veg a day, so why can't I do it????

*I'd like to point out that while L gets the odd treat, on the whole her diet is quite good. She doesn't sit in front of a computer all day and then go home and graze continuously on whatever happens to be lurking in the kitchen!

current mood: hungry

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Anyone wanna buy a football team?
9:15 am
Pool for sale

Applicants named Douglas Craig or John Batchelor need not apply.

current mood: thoughtful

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Thursday, December 8th, 2005
Sad Cath Happy Cath
8:57 pm
I feel that the lighthearted element has gone from my blog recently, so in an attempt to persuade myself that all is not lost I've made a list of all the bad things and all the good things in my life so that I can prove that there's much more good than bad. Here goes....

Things that piss me off:

1. Work is a bag of shite at the moment.
2. The booze in the beer fridge in the shed exploded at the weekend because the fridge decided to have a change of career and become a freezer. All the lager and most of the wine bottles popped when their contents froze leaving a big mess and a miserable, alcohol deficient me.
3. My car is still chugging a bit after the petrol/diesel incident.
4. The latest series of Little Britain isn’t as good as the previous two.
5. The Yorkshireman can’t decide what he wants for Christmas and I haven’t a clue what to get him.


Reasons to be cheerful:

1. Things could be worse, I have three friends who have had bereavements recently and every time that I get down about my work situation I remember that there are plenty of people who have more reason to be depressed than I have. After all, there is far more to life than some crummy job.
2. Christmas is coming, the goose is getting fat…. We are going to my Mums, all my immediate family will be there and we will have a great time.
3. I have a wonderful husband and a beautiful daughter who mean the world to me.
4. I have so many supportive friends and colleagues who I would be lost without.
5. I have recently dyed my hair so all the grey has magically disappeared.
6. The local Co-op sells bottles of lovely cold Sauvignon Blanc straight from the chiller so we have a source of cold wine to replace the lost plonk.
7. I am a member of two Christmas clubs, one paid out last week and I will collect the money from the other tomorrow, so for once I’m feeling nicely solvent.
8. Due to #7 I will be spending the weekend shopping :o)
9. Little'un can now say “Mama” and “Daddy” – soooo cute!
10. We are getting the decorations out this weekend so I can have loads of fun making the house look really sparkly.


So there you go.

current mood: cheerful

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Tuesday, December 6th, 2005
Aaaarghhhhhh
9:24 pm
I'm feeling pretty crappy tonight - I had a meeting today with my Head of Department (HD) and our site HR Dragon (HRD, or should that be HRT????) to discuss my application for flexible working. I really didn't know what to expect from this meeting and as it turns out I'm still none the wiser, they are going to get back to me in a few days with a decision.

I had to go through the whole saga again, explaining why...

1. I can't go part time (can't afford it)

2. Why I can't work 45 hours a week in the office(because I would be away from home for pretty much all of Little'un's waking day and the nursery doesn't open long enough for a 9 hour day and a 1.5 - 2 hour round trip to the office)

3. Why I can't make up any lost hours at the weekend (because I would then have to travel to the office 6 days a week and The Yorkshireman works one weekend in three anyway).

I tried very hard to be reasonable and said that if anyone could find a way that is acceptable to the company for me to continue working full time I would be very happy to listen. I got a bit upset though when HD said that even though he knows I want to stay and that he wants to keep me, perhaps in the long run, if it turned out that the company and I had to part ways then maybe that would be something we would all have to learn to live with!!! I mean, how cheeky and demoralising is that??? He qualified it by saying that they don't want to lose me as it would be difficult to replace someone with my skills and experience (mainly because no-one in their right mind wants to work miles from anywhere) and that he hoped we could sort something out.

One possibly positive thing that came out of today is that they may try and get some office space for me at a site recently bought by one of Premier's subsidiary companies that is only about 5 miles from where I live. HRD also said that she would ask if there were any suitable positions for me at that company.

I now know that there is no way I will be allowed to work from home unless I appeal against [what I think will be] the decision. I tried to get HRD to explain exactly why it isn't possible to work from home and all I got was the standard "setting precedents" and "the company doesn't support it" responses with no actual reason as to why, which is incredibly frustrating.

All I can do now is wait for the decision, which I will get in writing hopefully by the end of the week, and then use this as a basis for my appeal.

I think the company thought I would just toe the line when I was first told that I was expected to work in the office full time. I hope that they now realise that they have a fight on their hands......

current mood: pessimistic

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Saturday, December 3rd, 2005
Flu Jab Update
9:04 pm
The Yorkshireman went for his flu jab on Thursday, thankfully our surgery had plenty of stock so he was in no danger of missing out.

All quiet on the tangerine front, nothing much to say just at the moment! We are enjoying a relatively quiet couple of weeks just now, after what seem to have been a hectic couple of months.

current mood: calm

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Thursday, December 1st, 2005
Snow......
10:05 am
.... there hasn't been any here other than a brief flurry that disappeared as quickly as it began last week. I'm sooooooo disappointed, I love snow, and if it was deep enough I would get to stay at home with Little'un and build snowmen in the back garden :o).

current mood: disappointed

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Thursday, November 24th, 2005
Flu Jabs
8:39 pm
I've been feeling a bit guilty this week about getting a free flu jab through work - they were handed out to anyone who wanted one so I took them up on the offer as I'm not entitled to one via the NHS. Two days later, it's all over the news that the NHS is running out. The Yorkshireman is entitled to an NHS one and is due to have it done next week. How bad will I feel if the surgery runs out between now and then?!

current mood: crappy

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Tuesday, November 22nd, 2005
Jen & Steve's Wedding
9:55 pm




Little'un was a bridesmaid at BabiesEverywhere & Deckchair's wedding on Saturday! It was a wonderful day, BabiesEverywhere looked beautiful and was just oozing happiness and Deckchair looked very smart and smiley even though he had a rotten cold. We had such a good time, although The Yorkshireman has had a stomach bug since Friday and so he wasn't really on his best form. Little'un was very well behaved and made loads of friends. She spent the meal flirting with the chief bridesmaid's boyfriend! Al was the best man and managed not to shake too much during his speech, which despite our initial plans to stitch Steve right up was quite kind to him in the end.

Scarily I have known Deckchair for 15 years now - we met at college when we started our A Levels. I met BabiesEverywhere at university just over 10 years ago and they met each other at a party at the house I was living in at the time in Sheffield. They have been together for 10 years and always said that they weren't really bothered about getting married but decided to mark the 10th anniversary of their relationship with a wedding! I'm so proud to have both of them as friends and I couldn't be happier for them now. And yes, there was a tear in my eye as they said their vows....

current mood: happy

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Wednesday, November 16th, 2005
Surprise
4:31 pm
Little'un & I had lots of fun on Sunday when we went to Sheffield to pay a surprise visit to our friend BabiesEverywhere - her boyfriend Deckchair was in on the surprise so we could sneak up on her and really give her a shock! She was still in her dressing gown at lunchtime (a fact which I'm sure I promised not to tell anyone ;-) ) and once we'd scraped her off the ceiling she was really mortified! The look on her face was an absolute picture but once she got over the shock we all had a lovely afternoon. It was BE's birthday last week so we took her a pressie, and BE & Deckchair are getting married on Saturday so we took a wedding present too. Little'un is going to be a baby bridesmaid so we're all very exited.

Little'un loved the 8 cats that live at BE & Deckchair's house but they weren't too keen on her and spent most of our visit in hiding. We came home with a singing, dancing dog that is Little'un's new favourite thing. BE & D be warned.... I am bringing it to the wedding to keep her occupied and so that it can get on EVERYONE's nerves....

current mood: excited

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Wednesday, November 9th, 2005
Teeth and other stuff
8:04 pm
The offending tooth was removed last week and I'm pleased to report that I've had no bother since it came out - hooray!! It was a painless experience which has almost totally cured my dentistophobia (or whatever - I'm sure that there's a proper word for fear of dentists).

Things are moving on at work too - I went to see the Citizens Advice Bureau last week and they seem to think I have a good case to carry on working the pattern that I have already established. They have advised me to formally apply for the hours I want to work and if the company refuses the application, they will have to inform me in writing as to why. I can then appeal against the decision knowing exactly what I'm fighting against so I can build an appropriate case. This is all laid out in the DTI's regulations on flexible working for parents of young children so I have this to back me up all along. I have an official form to complete which I will hand in when HD returns from holiday next week, so wish me luck!

Little'un teething again, we're on to back teeth now and they are causing her some bother. She has horrendous nappy rash and she coughs all night which means that none of us are getting much sleep - apart from the cat of course! He can sleep through anything.

current mood: tired

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Tuesday, November 8th, 2005
This is REALLY cool
8:29 pm
Earth Google

You have to download it to get the full effect though.

current mood: enthralled

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Monday, October 31st, 2005
Happy Halloween!
10:23 pm



They Yorkshireman did this for Little'un, isn't he clever?! We have had some very cute trick or treaters knocking on our door, who were duly rewarded with chocolate.

And in the spirit of the day, here's a short film starring my brother Al for you - he's the beardy landlord. Click on the link below - the film is "A New House". Be warned though, there's fairly bad language and Satanic stuff in it so don't watch if you're not into that sort of thing. Al has said he'd welcome any comments so feel free to let us know what you think.

Link to Chateau Productions

current mood: scared

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Saturday, October 29th, 2005
Things Happen in Threes
11:03 pm
Thing 1:

Little'un has been quite poorly recently – she started off on Tuesday of last week with a temperature that wouldn’t come down which was soon followed by vomiting and diahorrea. This went on for a couple of days, the GP said she had a virus and that there wasn’t much we could do but keep her cool and keep giving her fluids and Calpol for her temperature. She got really sleepy and lifeless, all she wanted to do was lie on the sofa and she didn’t even want to cuddle her Cuski or watch telly. By Thursday of last week she couldn’t even keep the water or the Calpol down so we were back at the GP’s, who prescribed her paracetemol suppositories (poor love!) and said she didn’t seem to be getting too dehydrated so we should keep an eye on her and bring her back the following day so he could check her progress. She seemed a little better on Friday morning and as it was The Yorkshireman's turn to take the day off he took her back to the GP who said she had a chest infection and prescribed antibiotics. By Friday evening she had gone downhill, her temperature had come down but she was still bringing up everything she was given to drink and wasn’t interested in eating at all. The last straw for us was when a rash appeared, and even though it disappeared when we rolled a glass over it so we were fairly confident that it wasn’t meningitis, we took her to A&E at the local hospital. They admitted her to the Children’s Ward and said that she probably had viral gastroenteritis and the rash was caused either by the virus or possibly by an allergic reaction to the antibiotics she’d been given (they were of a variety that she hadn’t had before). She spent the next 36 hours on a drip, but thankfully she woke up on Sunday with a bit of her usual zest for life and she started to eat again – such a relief as she hadn’t eaten for nearly a week at this point. We all went back to work/nursery on Tuesday and as the week had gone on she has completely recovered, she was getting tired quite quickly to start with but now she’s absolutely fine.


Thing 2:

A bit of background history for Thing 2 – my Section Head, the guy that did so much to help me get back to work and set me up so I could work from home, was killed in a car crash while we were away in Switzerland. It was terribly shocking and sad; he was 39 with a wife and daughter and was a cheerful, friendly chap. I really feel that I owe some of my recovery to him as he was very sympathetic and understanding of me and very supportive. I’m not sure why I didn’t blog about it at the time but somehow it didn’t feel like the right thing to do. Anyway, his diary has now passed on to his boss, our Head of Department (hereby referred to as HD), who noticed an appointment that had been set up with me to discuss my working arrangements and to formalise between ourselves which days I would be working from home and which days I would be in the office. HD asked me if I was aware of the meeting (I was) and what we were going to discuss (see above re. working arrangements). He asked if HR were involved, the answer being: no, it was an informal arrangement within the department. He said he needed a few days to think about it and that he’d get back to me. Last Friday (the day that I was at work while Little'un was at home ill with The Yorkshireman) he called me back and said that he’d discussed the situation with HR and the result was that he had to tell me that the company could no longer support me working from home! To say that I was gobsmacked is something of an understatement, and I was so bloody livid that I could barely think of what to say! He said that HR didn’t want to set a precedent of home working, as they weren’t prepared to support the deluge of requests if I was allowed to do it. I countered by quoting the DTI’s Regulations on the rights of parents with young children to request flexible working arrangements, but HD simply said that as far as he was aware it only applied to working hours and not the place of work, and that as far as the company was concerned I now have two choices – either go back to working five 8½ hour days the office but I can choose my start and finish times as long as I’m in the office for 8½ hours a day, or I can go part time with a cut in salary. I said that as far as I knew the Flexible Working Regulations gave me the right to ask to work from home and that the company would have to come up with a better reason not to allow it than “We don’t want to set a precedent”.
I realise that my personal life isn’t anything to do with the company and also that it’s not their problem that I often spend as much as 2 hours a day travelling to and from work (there are a lot of roadworks around here at the moment and the traffic can get pretty horrendous at times). However when I was working full time in the office when I first went back to work, it didn’t take long for the long absences from Little'un to take their toll and as my regular readers will know it made me ill. I am NOT prepared to get into that situation again. I would dearly love to work part time and if we could afford it I would already be doing it. I told HD that if the company was going to force the issue then I would have no alternative but to hand in my notice. He told me not to be hasty and to go away and think about my options, talk to The Yorkshireman and get back to him whenever I was ready. Now, we and I have done a LOT of research into my rights and it turns out that I was correct, I do have the right to request to work from home and the company can only refuse it if they can come up with a valid business reason as to why it’s not possible. Seeing as I’ve been doing it for a few months now with no problems at all I think they’re going to struggle, so hopefully once I’ve submitted a formal written application then they’ll have to accept it. I’ll keep you posted.

Thing 3:

Even though I had a wisdom tooth removed just before we went on holiday I’ve been in more or less constant pain ever since, so I went back to the Gob Butcher on Monday. Apparently I have another wisdom tooth that’s fairly decayed so I’m off back there on Wednesday to have it removed. Gulp.

Despite all this I’m feeling cheerful for the most part, I suppose I must be either better now or completely doolally……

current mood: anxious

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Friday, October 14th, 2005
Poorly Car
6:52 pm
On the way home from work last night I stopped to put some fuel in my car as the fuel light had been on for about 25 miles or so and I wanted to make sure I got home. I only put in a fiver’s worth as the petrol near work is about 3 or 4p a litre dearer than it is in Boston and I’m too tight to fill up at those prices. Turned out that this was a good thing as I’d put unleaded petrol in my diesel car…. it was OK for a while but about 2 miles from home it went “splutter, splutter” and stopped!

The Yorkshireman was sent on a last minute mercy dash across Boston to collect Little'un before the nursery closed and I was left to ring the Breakdown people. He then came along to make sure I was OK and to tell me how many hundreds of pounds my cock up was going to cost me, and then took Lucy home while I waited for the breakdown truck to arrive. The Breakdown guy was very sweet, he didn’t laugh or call me a daft cow or anything. He towed me to the nearest garage and once I’d topped the nearly empty tank up with diesel and he’d jiggled the car about to mix the diesel with the unleaded, the car started up…. phew!! It could have cost me a fortune to get the engine drained but thankfully due to my skinflint tendencies no lasting or expensive damage was done.

The only thing broken is my pride, and The Yorkshireman's nose will be added to the “broken” list if he doesn’t stop taking the piss!!

current mood: embarrassed

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Wednesday, October 5th, 2005
Mmmmm, chocolate
10:53 am
Following the overindulgences of our Swiss holiday a diet has been declared here at Tangerine Towers (yeah, right!!!). Yesterday I did a Bad Thing though and brought back lots of chocolate from the factory shop at our sister factory near Cambridge, where I had to go for a meeting. I mean, 1Kg of mini Cadbury's Flakes for £2.50, what a bargain :-D ! The idea is that they're small bars of chocolate so I can have just one a day and not disturb the healthy eating too much. It's going OK so far, I had two yesterday and today I haven't had any at all, but it's not even lunch time yet. I'm working from home today so I can hear them calling me from the kitchen... ("Caaaaaath, Caaaaath, I'm so tasty and yummy, I know you want to nibble me......"). Hmmmm, I think I'd better stop there.

I wish I had will power.

current mood: hungry

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Friday, September 30th, 2005
P45
9:49 pm
Everyone in my office is going to get the sack because we've spent most of the afternoon doing this.

current mood: silly

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Thursday, September 29th, 2005
Another holiday photo for the family
8:21 pm
Here's Little'un with GGM & D - GGM has asked me to point out that she looks much better in real life!! Of course I have to say that she looks great, both in the piccy and in real life too.




current mood: cheerful

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Wednesday, September 28th, 2005
Wot I did on my holidays by Little'un (duck fan) aged 1 and a bit
9:53 pm




This year we went to Switzerland to see GGM and D, and to spend a few days in the mountains. I went on a plane for the first time! I waved out of the window whilst we were taking off and then I fell asleep.

GGM & D live in Vallamand near Morat, a beautiful walled medieval town. We went for a walk around Morat on our first day and ate some ice cream, yummy! Mummy and Daddy liked Morat very much, but I was more interested in the ducks swimming around on the lake.




I had a swim in a swimming pool, which I didn’t like at all. I screamed really loudly until I got out. We had Raclette (melted Swiss cheese on potatoes) for tea which I liked so much that I didn’t throw very much of it on the floor. Then Mummy & Daddy spent the evening losing at pool and drinking too much wine. I had lots of toys to play with and a cot, high chair and buggy to borrow from GGM’s grandson who isn’t much older than me and spends a lot of time in Switzerland.

The next day we drove into the mountains to spend a few days in Anzère. The studio flat we stayed in has a gorgeous view from the terrace.




We spent a day in Chamonix in France, which is near Mont Blanc. To get there from Switzerland you have to drive over the mountains on a very steep bendy road. Daddy is very good at driving on steep winding roads. Mummy isn’t, so she lets Daddy do it. Mummy & Daddy have been to Chamonix before and love it there because the town and scenery are so pretty and the atmosphere is very laid back. I liked it too, even though I didn’t see any ducks.




We also went to Montreux for the day, which is by the edge of Lake Geneva. We walked for a long way by the side of the lake and ate croissants. It was very hot and sunny and Mummy’s nose got a bit sunburned. Mummy and Daddy like it because there is a very pretty lakeside path and a statue of Freddie Mercury. I liked it because there were ducks there!




The next day we went to a festival in a mountain village called Vercorin, which was being held to celebrate the cows coming down from the mountains for the winter. Vercorin was up another steep bendy road. It was very cold so we all had to wear our warm coats, which felt a bit strange because it was so hot the day before.



Some cows wore funny hats and they all had great big bells round their necks. There were lots of cows running through the streets to the town square, which was very noisy. I didn’t like it much and I cried. We went to the village square where there was more Raclette and a big barbeque so we had our lunch there. When I had another look at the cows they didn’t seem as scary as they did when they were running through the streets. Cows are okay I suppose but they’re not as good as ducks.




The day after that Mummy had a brainwave and asked Daddy to take us up to the Col du Grand Saint Bernard to see the St. Bernard rescue dogs. The road we had to go up was the steepest and most bendy road ever. I don’t think that Daddy thought much of Mummy’s idea because he had to drive. To make things worse we drove into the clouds at the top of the mountain and Daddy could hardly see. The hospice where the dogs live is very high up.



It was really good when we got there though, there were lots of Big Doggies and I liked them very much. There were some baby Big Doggies, they were my favourite.
I got a toy Big Doggie as a souvenir that I like to play with and cuddle a lot. I like it as much as I like ducks, in fact I tell everyone it says “Quack Quack”!





The next day we went to Gruyères (where the cheese comes from) on the way back to Vallamand. I had a good long walk around the cobbled streets but I thought it was a bit boring because there were no ducks.



When we got to Vallamand we were taken out for a meal in Morat by GGM & D. Don’t I look pretty in my party dress? Aunty Helen sent it to me as a present to wear on my holidays.




On our last full day we went to Bern so Mummy and Daddy could have a look round all the expensive shops. They didn’t buy anything from the shops, but Mummy bought a scarf from the market. Bern is a big city with lots of lovely buildings that you can see from big bridges over the river. There are lots of bridges because the river flows in a loop around the old town. I didn’t see any ducks but there were some sparrows hopping around when we had our picnic lunch in the market square, so I shared my lunch with them. When we got back I watched Teletubbies on a big screen from a DVD player attached to a projector. I think this is one of the best things I did on my holidays!




I got very good at walking on my own while I was on holiday. Mummy says I look a bit like I’m on strings because I hold out my arms like a Thunderbirds puppet!




On the day we went home we stopped in Geneva so that Daddy could have a look at the Jet d’Eau. It wasn’t working though and Daddy was very disappointed. There were loads of ducks, swans and coots though which was great fun! Mummy had to watch me very closely because I kept trying to crawl into the lake to get to them!




I was very good on the flight home, I wriggled for the first few minutes as there were lots of interesting things that I wanted to see, but I fell asleep quite quickly and I didn’t wake up until the next morning when I was back home in my cot.

We all had a lovely holiday and I have decided that I like Switzerland very much, almost as much as I like ducks!

current mood: happy

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Friday, September 9th, 2005
Winding down
4:21 pm
Today ish my lasht day at work for two whole weeksh - yay! We're off to Shwitzerland on Tueshday - double yay! The day hash mainly been shpent passhing my workload on to the poor unfortunate who will be looking after my cushtomers while I'm away, with a bit of a break thish afternoon while I went to the dentisht to have my knackered tooth removed. That'sh why I'm lishping you shee, the anaeshthetic'sh shtill wearing off.
(Okay, I'm bored of typing with a lisp now, it takes too much effort!)
The extraction wasn't anything like as bad as I feared, I had a bit of a hot flush on while I was lying in the dentist's chair waiting for the anaesthetic to kick in as I was so nervous but I hardly felt a thing and the tooth came out really easily. I have kept it as a souvenir!

My inbox is now empty and I have a couple of jobs to finish then I am a free woman for a fortnight's R&R - bloody marvellous :o).

current mood: relieved

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