Friday, 16 February 2018

Working from home

I've taken a precious day of annual leave today.  I've really struggled this week with feeling so yuk and I needed the restorative power of just being home.  Sometimes that's all I need.  The longer I have to commute, the more I realise that I just don't want to do it any more. 

The powers that be are submitting proposals to the bigger powers that be this week to put forward a motion to allow our team to work from home.  As "document production specialists" we are not customer facing nor need to access printers or scanners to complete our work. There are ways to monitor work production along with Skype/email/phone to remain in continual contact if need be.  Some people thrive on workplace interaction.  I absolutely don't. 

A couple of years ago, I left the job I'd been doing for 17 years and moved, way out of my comfort zone, to an office in the city.  It was a career move and a salary hike I would not have achieved with my old company even if I'd stayed there until retirement.   Within less than a year however, my job evolved as firm wide secretarial and administrative staff changes were wrought by the company, and now I'm in the delightful position of still being well paid for probably the easiest job I've ever had in my career.  I turn up, put my headphones on, and that's how I remain all day, only interacting if I have to - or desire to.  The only fly in this ointment is the commute.  It is, like everyone else's commute, a pain in the bliddy ass.  Delayed, packed trains filled with sneezing, coughing people; more like a doctor's mobile waiting room.  Everyone glued to their phones or tablets, headphones in, trying to avoid eye contact - myself included.

I for one will welcome a decision to work from home with open arms.  Bring it on I say.  Someone else can have my seat on the train!  I will not miss the Snow Hill shuffle in the morning as a whole train full of people decant onto the platform and shuffle, painfully slowly towards the escalators.

I'm not sure how the proposal will be received.  The buzz word in our company is "mogility" (yes I know!) - basically the ability to be able to work anywhere you like.  All of the fee earners and a good proportion of the remaining staff are equipped with lap tops and can work from home or any of our offices if need be. 

I'm positive it would cut down on the amount of sick leave taken too.

Ho hum.   We shall see what transpires but I'm more than happy to put myself forward to trial it for our department.  A whole two hours shaved from my working day.  Oh Pick me! Pick me!!

Thursday, 15 February 2018


Happy belated Valentine’s Day to all you lovely people - have a big, squishy, heart shaped hug!

Walking through Colmore Row this morning on my way to work, I noticed that all the trees had been swathed in red cloaks; I thought, mistakenly that this was some kind of gimmick for 14 February but on closer inspection it was to do with welcoming the Chinese New Year on the 16th. T'will be The Year of the Dog apparently and mucho celebrating and Lion Dancing will ensue around the area.  Typical then that I have booked Friday off work and won't see it.  Epic blogging failure!

Trees look nice and warm though don't they?!  It was flippin' Baltic this morning so I'm sure said trees were very glad of the extra layer

Every so often St Phillips Cathedral attaches some words of wisdom to the benches around Cathedral Square by way of  laminated so called  "benchmarks" and these either contain quotations or more ecumenical offerings.  I liked this one cos it’s simple and to the point but still makes you think.  

Personally I think to this very day there are a whole lotta very bold people out there still eating oysters.  I wouldn’t put one near my mouth never mind in it.  And I don’t say that very often.  Cough.

In other news, man scored loads of favest hubby points with a beautiful bouquet of orange blooms. I’ve given up telling him not to buy me flowers for valentines cos he never listens so I’ll just enjoy being a princess instead!

There was a dearth of pancakes in this house this week. I was far too pale and wan to be doing such energetic things as tossing pancakes, or anything else for that matter. For I am poorly bad.  I have lurgy.  In fact I’ve had lurgy now for about four weeks and I’m ever so slightly brassed off with it.  It went away for about three whole days but then came back with a vengeance and brought with it aching eyeballs and a cough which is a hybrid combination of a barking whistle.  Has to be heard to be believed as I’m sure my colleagues will confirm.  At least they’ll have some respite from it tomorrow. And I may have some strength back. 

Pancakes for breakfast anyone?!


Sunday, 4 February 2018

Weekend catch up and Q&A

Hello there!

Thanks for dropping by.  Who stole the weekend, that's what I want to know.  Mind you we've managed to cram quite a lot in to this one.   Friday night was spent sitting in front of a roaring fire in a local pub, catching up with a great friend.  As always we put the world to rights and having said that I wasn't really in the mood for going out that night, didn't actually get in until gone midnight.  Sober as a sober thing too as I wasn't drinking.  Check me and my rock n' roll lifestyle out!

Saturday morning was spent getting me barnet sorted out (as I was very close to looking like Cousin It) then shopping then home to check the thighs fine rugby playing on the telly.

Today we have been sofa shopping - well more sofa checking out really as we have big plans to transform our rather shabby and tired looking living room.  It will be a big job but I'm sure it will all work out okay and be worth the hard work.  So cue much sitting down, getting up, squishing cushions and laughing at each other checking out the reclining action of said sofas.  We managed not to get thrown out of DFS  and returned home to our (cannily prepared before we went out) Sunday roast. 

We've been watching a box set called Britannia.  Some reviews have said that its a poor man's Game of Thrones (which we love) but to be honest, I've quite enjoyed it so far.  Although I have to say the one episode we watched today was a bit off its head!

As there's no ground breaking news going on right now here at Peapods, I've nicked borrowed the Q&A questions from the Waitrose newspaper.  This week's answers are from Susan Penhaligon who leads a far more interesting life than I do but I shall battle on regardless.

What can you see out of the window?  Oh.  Well massive fail already cos it's 9pm and I can't see a bliddy thing.  Doh!

Choose five words to describe yesterday:  Wet, snoozy, hurty, snuggly and expensive. 

Tell us something that would surprise people about you.  Um.  Um.  *Scratches head*  I had a poem published in the Daily Mail 10 years ago.  Surprised beyond belief aren't you?!

What was the last conversation you had with a well known person?   I asked Chris Moyles if I could have a photo with him after I spotted him on the stairs at a Children in Need Rocks gig at the Albert Hall in 2009.    He said "yes mate" (he'd got a cold) and that was that.   lol  See photographic evidence below!  He looks a bit scared.  I'm not surprised really.

If you could relive six months of your life, when would that be?  Um, I'm not one for looking back really.  If I could relive my wedding day then I would because it was such a blur I feel that we missed so many moments.   I wouldn't change it for the world though.

What is the most expensive item you have bought in the past month?  This lap top *covers eyes*

Recommend a book, film or album from the past year.  I really enjoyed "Eleanor Oliphant is completely fine" by Gail Honeyman.  Such a touching, poignant and quirky tale.

Who has inspired you most in your career?  HAHHHHHHhahahahahaha.  Ahem. Absolutely bloody No-one.  Ever.

What three things would you take to a desert island?  A massive bottle of sunblock as I fry in moderately bright shade.  My craft shed to provide shelter and something to do.  And probably sustenance as I'm sure there's a mars bar stashed in one of the drawers. (well no-one gave guidance on how big the three things were!).  A wind up torch.  (I'm  hopeless at this aren't I?  I'd really just take my hubby cos he's very handy and knows all about survival and shit.) 

Other than at home with friends and family, where would you most like to be this weekend?   Tucked up in a cosy cottage somewhere overlooking the sea.

That's it from me then!  See you soon - toodle-oo! 

Thursday, 1 February 2018

Blessed Imbolc ...

To those of you who, like me, follow the old ways, a very Blessed Imbolc to you and yours.  I found a beautiful image on Mr G. Oogle this morning but sadly the artist wasn't credited.  Please let me know if you know so that I can do that.  

The wheel of the year has turned already and Mother Nature is stretching beneath our feet.  Seeds are stirring and the sap is rising.  Time to ignite your light people!

Whilst we woke to a rather grey horizon, by the time I walked through the pigeon park on my way to work this morning, the sky had cleared and revealed enough blue to make a sailor some trousers!  

The daffies in the Cathedral grounds are already a few inches above ground.  This makes me smile.  They're planted in the shape of two huge crosses in different areas of lawned area on either side of the Cathedral and I think this is their second year.  Last year one side bloomed brilliantly and was a sea of yellow, and the other was a complete disaster with many of them coming up blind.  I wonder why? 

In other news I'm going to name and shame myself for I am a complete clutter monster.  I was running late(r than usual) this morning and on getting out of the cab remembered that I had to renew my train pass.  Trouble was that my bank card had fallen out of my purse (Cath Kidston no less, natch!!) and into the depths of hell that is my work bag.  The train was due in 3 minutes and train ticket man had already input the transaction on to his machine thingie.  You know that feeling when you're getting hotter and hotter and you're chucking things out of your bag like a cartoon dog digging a hole, apologising profusely to the ticket man who is giving his colleague the side-eye in boredom and amusement.  My lunch bowl was balanced precariously on the side just waiting for an opportune moment to take a flying leap on to the floor and spray rice everywhere and the announcement was being made over the tannoy that the train was approaching the platform when with a flourish I found the bloody card.  Thank gawd for contactless transactions I say. I made the train with about 20 seconds to spare.   When I got to work I was suitably embarrassed (having had another semi-meltdown trying to find my work pass half an hour later) enough to clear out my bag.   Just look at it.  Receipts, old train tickets, empty packets.  I should be ashamed of myself.  And I am.  And I will be sure to learn this life lesson, for a while at least - until the bag of doom manifests itself again!!

Lots of love
Bridget Jones 

Wednesday, 31 January 2018

Crafty doings

Hello lovely folk!

Thank you so much for dropping by and especially to those who commented.  It made my day that people would actually still read my whitterings after all these months.

So, is anyone up to anything crafty at the moment?  I've embarked on another crochet project (the Woodland crochet along)  featured on the blog of Lucy at Attic 24  here

I've just completed week one - and I think everyone else is on about week 4.  **insert eye roll emoji here**    The colours are beautifully muted and I'm enjoying it now that I've finally got the hang of the stitches and got into the rhythm of the pattern (after loads of rip backs and sweariness for a while).

Purtty ain't it?

I actually managed to finish the very colourful ripple blanket I started eleventy million years ago and featured on this blog back in the mists of time and it has actually been used over the summer!  This is/was a mahoosive feat for me as I am the biggest procrastinator in the history of the world so to actually complete a project is always somewhat of a victory (and a bit of a shock!). 

Retrospective tadahhh!!!
What about you?  Is there anything on your hook right now?!  A fish maybe?  See you soon!

Monday, 29 January 2018

Peapod Resurrection!

Hello my friends, hello!

I've been gone for ages haven't I?   Oh yes I have - so I've decided that you've had enough respite from my inane profound observations on life, the universe and everything and shall attempt to resurrect my little blog as of today. Tadahhh!

So, what's been going on in Peapod land then?  Last year was a busy year, hence the lack of blogging.  I turned 50 in September (arrrghh!!).   Lovely Man and I got married on 28th October.  We had THE most amazing day ever spent with our family and friends. Our theme was woodland/autumnal and the room was decked in orange.   I got married in purple (didn't wear a red hat tho you'll be pleased to note!), and my bridesmaids were in black fifties style dresses with orange and purple net underskirts. The guys wore charcoal grey suits with amazing orange waistcoats and cravats.  We had vintage 50s cars and I walked down the aisle to Guns n' Roses' "Sweet Child o' Mine". Our wedding cake was shaped like tree stumps and surrounded by autumnal leaves and natural findings.

It was a couple of years in the planning and at times I did wonder if it was worth all the stress and why we hadn't just run away to Gretna but I am so glad we did what we did (and spent what we spent *faint*).  Even now people are still complimenting us on the day and all the little additions which made it quirky and memorable and encompassed everything we hold dear.  A rock disco in the evening finished everything off in style! 

I'll leave it there for now and catch up again soon. 

Lots of love!

Saturday, 4 June 2016

Cocktails, containers and chickens.


It's been a bit of a mixed week really.

We had a lovely bank holiday weekend. I began with Friday off work taking advantage of a long weekend.  I met with a couple of extras work pals and we settled into a gossip filled catch up fuelled by gin. Until cocktail hour was announced and we partook of some far too many of these:


Bloody disgusterously horrible !!

On Saturday my bestie picked me up in her red sporty number and we escaped, Thelma and Louis style, to our fave getaway for brunch in the sun and much coffee. Unfortunately she had a bit of a hand cream incident and I nearly spat my coffee over the table in a most unlady like manner.
 Sigh.  We revert to being 12 years old sometimes.

Sunday was spent filling more planters. We're nearly finished now and then the big tidy up operation can be started and we can begin to enjoy the garden again.  It's like a lumbar yard crossed with an obstacle course out there at the moment and I can't wait to be able to just sit and enjoy it.  Not that any of the hard graft has been done by me I'm ashamed to say. I just can't do physical work any more so apart from some painting and planting that's the sum total of my contribution.

Here's some random pics anyway including our new Cerunnos plaque.  I love it!

Aliums and yellow poppies have colonised this corner but I love that.  

First rose of the year smells amazing.  

And lots of buds ready to pop too.  It's always a show this one.  Flowers it's head off all Sumner with frequent dead heading and light pruning. 

Big Bird (aka the predator cos of the clicking noises she makes) having a dust bath. 

Chickneequa being nosey. 

Millie aka Meggan (sic) after the girl on the Exorcist film and her eldritch screeches. Butter wouldn't melt. 

The other two are broody, have been for weeks and no doubt are inside sitting on stolen eggs laid after first swoop this morning.  

I've put myself on a plant buying ban. 

Apart from these beauties that is...... 

Happy weekend!


Where are we today then readers ?  Some ancient ruins in the background, clear blue skies?  Yep, today children, we're in Birmingham! Victoria Square to be precise.   It was far too nice (and far too bloody early) to be sitting at my desk yesterday morning so I wondered around the square and took some pics of the sculptures for you.  Aren't you lucky?!  

The above pic shows a corner of the town hall (where the columns are) and the war torn battlements in the back ground are the remains of the old library. Of course they spent millions on the new one on Broad Street didn't they?  But the less said about that... 

Moving on we have the grand old lady who gave the Square it's name when it was renamed in 1901. It was plain old Council House Square previous to Victoria Square.  This statue was originally marble but it weathered considerably and was re-cast in bronze ..     

As happy as ever!

  Apparently she unveiled the original statue in 1901  And died a few days later.  She was obviously not amused at all. 

Coming down the steps we are faced with the statue which divided opinion greatly when it was installed. Anthony Gormley's "Iron: Man" stands some 6 metres tall and represents the industry of the area.  Rumour has it that he was hidden from view when Princess Diana officially opened the newly refurbished square some time ago.   

I feel I should have Black Sabbath's tune of the same name playing in the background of this post.  Tee hee. 

Has he lost his mind?
Can he see or is he blind?
Can he walk at all,
Or if he moves will he fall?
Is he alive or dead?
Has he thoughts within his head?
We'll just pass him there
Why should we even care?

Read more: Black Sabbath - Iron Man Lyrics | MetroLyrics

One wonders if the fact that he is listing gracefully to one side is a nod to the drunks of Brum. ;)  I rather like the old fella personally but then I'm a bit strange too!

Well would you look at this shameless hussey comely maiden reclining topless in the morning sunshine.  
Well really!
She's a sturdy bird - weighing some 1.75 tonnes.  Modelled on me obvs.  This installation (she's been called some things in her time I  can tell you) was once a huge water feature with fountains. Known by locals as the "floozy in the jacuzzi"  and designed by Dhruva Mistry, who won a competition to design a water feature for the site, the formal name for her and the pool in which she once resided is The River.
This is a popular meeting area. In days past it was a favourite place for weary shoppers and stifled office workers to cool their feet in the fountains.  The area houses the German market in November and December and gets so ridiculously busy you couldn't swing a Bratwurst!  Floozy regularly gets decorated with anything from tinsel and santa hats at Christmas to strategically placed traffic cones come Friday night.
floozy in flattering post. 
Unfortunately the water feature element of the piece sprang a leak, initially costing £30000 in repairs.  Once repaired it leaked again and was found to be irreparable and so in 2015, Floozy's jacuzzi became a flower bed!

There is an inscription around the rim of the pool which is taken from a TS Eliot poem 'Burnt Norton' which reads as follows:

And the pool was filled with water out of sunlight,
And the lotos rose, quietly, quietly,
The surface glittered out of heart of light,
And they were behind us, reflected in the pool.
Then a cloud passed, and the pool was empty.

Isn't that lovely?  

Here we have the other part Mistry's installation.  Simply called 'Youth', this is another bronze  sculpture.  

The whole of the design is actually made up of four sets of works, being The River, Guardians, Youth and Object (Variations) which come together to represent youth and eternity.

Here are The Guardians.  They take features from a variety of animals.  That commonly known lesser spotted bald bloke for one.  I personally prefer to call them Thing 1 and Thing 2.  

The obelisks are just that really.  Just sandstone structures approx 7 feet tall. They're just there.  I hadn't realised they were actually part of the installation cos I'm obviously a philistine so here is a pic of one of the glorified lamp bases. I do hope you'll forgive me for not photographing them both! 

So there we have it. A whizz around Victoria Square without leaving your arm chair. I do spoil you!

See you soon. 

Sunday, 22 May 2016

A productive weekend

Well mom's eye op was cancelled.  There had been an admin error and she shouldn't have been offered a Saturday appointment as her op is slightly more risky than a standard cataract op.  Ah well.  after being up at 6, out at 7, hospital at 8, breakfast with my brother at 9, we had collected her and took the opportunity to go to Lidl shopping on the way home.  By 11.30 I was home and unpacked so the rest of the day was spent dodging showers in the garden.

Today has been more of the same. The sun was beaming in through our bedroom window this morning so we decided not to waste the day.

Lovely fella has been a DIY dervish and has been beavering away on the deconstructed pallet planters.
Tommy Walsh got nothing on this fella!

Heres some progress pics. The garden looks like Steptoe's yard at present but I'm trying to see the bigger picture.

We shall get there.

It will be so much easier for me to manage the garden when it's all done especially as my arthritic joints aren't getting any better.

Thanks for dropping by today.  Hope your weekend was a happy one. It's a four day week for me this week. Ever so slightly happy about that!

Lots of plants still to plant out. Mostly from last week's boot sale. 

First coat on. This one is going to be pink

Heuchera 'lime marmalade'

Hosta 'drummer boy'  

Salix tree, baby lupins, wegeila and a baby acer. Need a couple of lavenders for this one.  Slugs you are not invited!
Love the colour of this heuchera.  It's a trailing one
called 'redstone falls'.

Working from home

I've taken a precious day of annual leave today.  I've really struggled this week with feeling so yuk and I needed the restorative ...