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Tuesday, 15 May 2018

Snail-paced broadband and...

...a spell of Jury Service.


Just a brief catch-up to prove I haven't dropped off the face of the earth.


Road works, gas main replacement and general weather conditions seem to have been impacting on the broadband services in my area for a while. I don't think having half the street dug-up during the snow helped very much as a lot of the cable piping was exposed to the elements for a few weeks.


Trying to read my emails each day has become a struggle because the limited time I have available doesn't fit well with the lengthy periods it takes to load Outlook.


On top of this, Windows 10 keeps freezing me out telling me that urgent updates are required yet when I try to install them I'm told that everything is up to date ??? ***grrrrrrrr*** more hassle. As a result, I haven't loaded any new photos for a while so I do apologise for the lack of pics.


Things were ticking along generally and I was looking forward to another weekend away with crafting friends like the one I went on last year. Panic set in when I received a summons to do Jury Service.


Although the two weeks specified should not have caused any problems, I had visions of ending up on a long case that would drag on & on &...


Luckily it didn't - I was only selected for one case which was over & done with in 3 days.


I can't say I enjoyed my time, so much sitting around waiting to hear whether you are needed. However, I was very productive - I have done a lot of crochet and managed to make a good selection for flowers and small projects ready for our "Learning at Work Week" event. I have also nearly completed a crochet blanket (700grams worth of DK yarn) which actually came in handy and helped to keep me warm as the court building is very cold - unfortunately I couldn't take the blanket into the court room even though it was like an ice-box...just had to make do with coats, scarves and lots of layered clothing. Apparently they don't like the court to be too warm as the legal folk have to wear gowns & wigs.


So I'm back at work, catching up on hundreds of emails and trying to sort out a few issues that arose whilst I was off. At least I now know that there won't be any problems concerning the crafting weekend - time can't pass quickly enough for me.......................................................................

Thursday, 29 March 2018

February came to an end...

...and we were awaiting the snow.

With warnings of the arrival of "The Beast from the East" we waited for the first flakes to fall.

On Monday 26 Feb public transport decided to stop services early and warned folk to plan their journeys accordingly and many British Rail companies serving the London area announced the introduction of 'Severe Weather Timetables' for the Tuesday.

Tuesday came and on my line the emergency time table worked well - but there was no snow!!! So late in the afternoon announcements were made that additional trains would run that evening and Wednesday we would be back on our normal timetable - fools...

This is what we woke to (photo heavy)...






 ...and this was my walk to the station...


 ...the road works relate to the re-commencement of Gas Main replacement (yep some bright spark thought it the perfect time to turn folks gas supply off - work started 26/3/18)...



 ...and guess what - no trains. Well not when they should have been...
 ...an hour & a quarter waiting for a train. No station staff to ask but there was entertainment...
 ...trees are being cleared to make way for an extension to the station buildings...
 ...and these two guys were a very long way up...

...and the snow started to fall more heavily - what fun (not).

I eventually got to work and the journey home that night wasn't too bad.

We didn't get levels of snow that some parts of the UK had but as usual, the South East doesn't cope well with the white stuff.

Parchment class was cancelled as Joanne wasn't able to get to Barleylands safely from where she lives but other than that not much was disrupted. By the following Monday most of the snow was gone. Little did we know that it was only gone for a short while.......................................








Friday, 16 February 2018

The world is full of...

...morons.

moron
ˈmɔːrɒn/
noun
informal
  1. a stupid person.

    "we can't let these thoughtless morons get away with mindless vandalism every weekend"

Early 20th Century references to the word "moron" highlighted - adults with the behaviour of between 8 & 12 year-olds.
 
Every day I see so many people that fall into this description that I truly wonder how the human race has managed to survive this long.
 
Mobile Phones
The original meaning of a 'mobile' phone was one that you could pick up and take with you so that you could have phone access wherever you were. Not as it has come to mean - that piece of equipment, permanently glued to your hand and/or ear that is in constant use irrespective of where you are or what you are doing.
 
I commute to work via public transport and the amount of morons wandering through the stations at these very busy times is unbelievable. There is a young woman that I see most mornings and if she isn't chatting on her phone she is texting or gaming. She regularly trips because she isn't looking where she is going and the other morning she had a very nasty fall at the top of the escalator - 9 hours later she is going through the same station on her way home; eyes glued to her mobile and her thumbs rapidly texting away. Some folk just never learn.
 
However, what is worse is the 'parent' who has a small tot running around amongst rush-hour crowds but they are more interested in what is happening on their phone. So many possible horrors here a lost child, a snatched child, a child under a train.
 
We live in an age where the threat of identity theft is something that we all have to be on our guard against so why do some folk have extremely detailed, LOUD, conversations with their banks/building societies whilst sat on a busy train...complete stupidity.
 
Cyclists
Whilst I will agree that many drivers do not drive with due consideration for other road users, there are many cyclists that do not help themselves to stay safe.
 
There are a lot of cyclists in London and there are many cycle routes for them to help improve their safety but every day I see them ignoring traffic lights, cutting across traffic lanes and mounting pavements without any consideration for pedestrians...and the numbers that are dressed in black/dark clothing without any reflective areas or worse still are riding in the dark without any lights just beggars belief.
 
At home, I have to walk past a parade of shops to get to/from the station and the times that cycles are just dumped outside shop doors with no thought to how they could trip someone coming out of the store or the fact that they are blocking the footpath shows they have no thought for anyone else.

I do not understand the mentality of parents who allow their kids to go out on their bikes just as darkness is falling with no lights of any kind on the bikes...

There also seems to be some kind of assumption (whether adult or child) that if you ride on the pavement you don't need lights??? Stupidity or what!!!


I could go on but this really would turn into 'War & Peace' so I had better call a halt to my rant now (I'm sure I can save my gripes about drivers and inconsiderate parkers until another day). I'll step down from my soap box for the time being.....................................


Monday, 29 January 2018

Just where has...

...January gone to?

I can't believe that we are here at the 29th of the month already - another few days and we will be in February. Gosh how time flies.

2018 has started in a rather hectic manner. Work has been a madhouse and commuting has been 'delightful' (NOT). Quite a bit of crafting has been going on but I really need to get the camera back into use - at the moment I seem to be completing bits but because the lighting is so awful nothing is getting photographed.

I've managed to organise myself right through until the end of October so that I can have Fridays off. This means that I can continue with my parchment classes which I am really enjoying.

Before Christmas I attended some of Andy Pearson's (Pinnacle Crafts) Saturday workshops where we got to play with Pan Pastels and Inks - all nice and messy and not the sort of thing that I tend to do at home. The camera did get forgotten most of the time but here are a couple of the cards that were made...

...it is lovely making a mess and seeing what results from it.

Lots of knitting & crochet has been going on and I'm pleased to say that I've made a great start on the Christmas gifts (don't groan). Christmas card making needs to pick up pace a bit but at least I've made a start...so you never know...I might have them all done & dusted well before Christmas.

Ooooo, was that a flock of pigs flying past the window.......................................................





Monday, 1 January 2018

Happy New Year...

...to you all.



May 2018 bring everything you could wish for..............................................................

Sunday, 31 December 2017

Santa Dash...

...by one of our team.

At the start of December one of our team dressed up as Mrs Santa and joined Santa dash to raise money for her local hospice. Despite a very soggy day (she said she could really have done with some glasses with windscreen wipers LOL) she completed event and raised £140.
 
She brought her medal into work....
...to show all her colleagues who had sponsored her.

As I sit here creating this post I can't believe that it has been over a month since I last posted - time has more than just flown this year but although the posts have been rather lacking I think time has been well spent on the various causes that I and my colleagues have managed to support.

Back in July my "Craft & Chatter" group completed and sent off 150 mini hats for the Innocent Smoothie "Big Knit" to help raise money for Age UK. When the hatted bottles hit the shelves in the shops this Autumn, we eagerly looked out to see if we could find any of our creations. The answer to that was NO but we all bought items with hats that had been created by other folk. There were certainly some fabulous creations.

In October we were merrily making crochet & knitted poppies...
...which helped to raise just over £180 for the Royal British Legion Poppy Appeal.

The group are currently making "Bonding squares" for local Neo-natal units.

The office supported the Newham Food Bank (part of the Trussell's Trust) again this year and as usual I decorated the collection area to make it look a little more festive. There was a fabulous response and we collected far more than in previous years. The Newham Food Bank provided nearly 2000 food parcels last Christmas and we hope our contribution helped them to do even more this year.

Our support of the RNLI is on going and folk regularly bring in books & un-wanted gifts to add to our 'shop' area. Support from wonderful folk on the web has also been amazing - handmade items & cards from Lunch Lady Jan & Shaz Silverwolf  (regulars on Julia Dunit's "What's on your Workdesk Wednesday" over at "The Stamping Ground") all very much appreciated.

Although you would never believe it due to the lack of posts on here, November & December were very busy crafting months. I finished off all my handmade gifts and managed to make all my cards (yes, I failed on the making as I went through the year - but hey-ho it all got done) but the thing that I didn't manage to do was take photos as I went. I was so determined to get everything wrapped the photos were forgotten.

With it being just a few hours away from a New Year, I can't promise that posting will be any better but I'm sure 2018 will be just as busy and just as crafty as 2017..........................................



 

Tuesday, 28 November 2017

Winter Skating Angel...

...by Kerryanne English.

 
 
Kerryanne loves all things 'Tilda' and this is her recent creation - isn't it sweet.
 
Each year Kerryanne holds a cyber event over on her Shabby Art Boutique blog called "Simply Christmas" and she shares lots of tips and ideas for putting the heart, home & family back into Christmas. She generously provides lots of free downloads to help you with your festive organisation and décor.
 

If you haven't paid her a visit before, please do - I'm sure you will find some lovely ideas to use this festive season................................................................