Sunday, 29 September 2013

Silent Sunday - 29/09/13

Friday, 27 September 2013

My Weekend in Wymondham, Norfolk.

Last weekend I was invited to a birthday party, as I haven't taken much annual leave this year I made a weekend of it and headed over to Norfolk on the Friday.  The journey there was uneventful, which is more than I can say about the return journey, but more about that later.

I had booked a single room at the hotel, I had stayed in the same hotel last year too and was perfectly happy in the single room that I had, but I was given a free upgrade to a double room.

I didn't do much on the Friday as it is quite a long day when I travel over, having left home at 10.30am I did not arrive at the hotel until after 4pm, so I had a walk round, got something to eat and then chocolate and wine to take back to the room.

Saturday morning I was up bright and early.  I went for a walk past the Abbey and up to the old railway station, it was a nice walk along the river and I got to see more of the town.

Lunchtime I headed off to the pub up the road, I was going to be all grown up and have a mature cheese & ham sandwich, but The Cross Keys had Fish Finger sandwiches on the menu, I haven't had one of those for years so I treated myself.

It was then time to head off to the party.  As it was a nice day I decided to walk there, it was only a mile or so.   When I was crossing the bridge over the main road I heard a noise, I looked down and there was a steam engine travelling along.

Most of the party was spent catching up with people that I had not seen for a while, but I also met some new people too, there was plenty of food and there may have been some alcohol too.

Sunday was very foggy, so again I was up and about early.  I walked back up to the Abbey to take some more photos in the fog.

These photos do not do the fog justice, it was extremely foggy.

The train from Norwich to London was very busy, luckily I had a reserved seat.  I arrived in London to find that my usual underground route to Euston from Liverpool Street was unavailable due to the Northern Line being closed between Angel and Euston so I had to plan an alternative route.

There isn't much time between the Norwich train arriving and the Coventry train leaving although it is plenty of time for my usual underground route, and in my rush I caught the tube going in the wrong direction so had to get off at the next station.  Those of you that use the London Underground will know that it is rarely a case that when you swap trains you can step off one, cross the platform and get onto another, the change always seems to require climbing up several flights of steps, walking miles round various corridors and then back down steps to the platform.

Once I arrived at the right platform I was pleased that there was a train already there, I hurried on and threw myself into a seat.

I then realised that I was the only person on it.

There was no-one else either on the train, nor on the platform.  There was no noise, not even any announcements.  The display in the carriage which tells you the station was blank.  

I am not someone who is easily scared, but I have watched my fair share of horror movies and read my fair share of horror stories, I was sitting there expecting the lights to all start flickering and going off one by one.

Suddenly there was a noise and people started to appear, phew!

I made it to Euston and my final train with about 5 minutes to spare, the rest of the journey was uneventful.

I am doing it all again in 4 weeks time, this time for a Hallowe'en party, I had best find a costume!

Tuesday, 24 September 2013

Lose a stone by Christmas - Week 3

Well week 3 and things are not improving.  I know I overindulged somewhat at the weekend, but I really thought that between the extra walking I did, up hill and down, well, hill (including walking around a very foggy graveyard at 7.30 on the Sunday morning) and the amount of time I spent in the bathroom (sorry), everything would have balanced out.  But I was wrong.

I have no plans this week except for being back in Birmingham all weekend with my ACCA course, so fingers crossed!

Goal: 14lbs
Lost this week: 2lbs gain
Total lost: 1lb gain
Still to lose: 15lbs

Friday, 20 September 2013

Sex, In My Opinion Really Not Worth The Hype.

As regular readers will know I did not lose my virginity until I was 40, yes I was an actual 40 Year Old Virgin, we do exist, it is not just a Hollywood invention.

And frankly, I wish I hadn't bothered.

I have discussed elsewhere the issues I faced in losing my virginity and this post isn't about that.  This post is about the build up that had happened over the 25 years or so prior to losing my virginity that was caused by books, films, television, friends and a multitude of other things.

The media leads us to believe that sex is fantastic and I was expecting fireworks and operatic music, instead I got sore, sweaty and an 'is that it?' feeling.  I wasn't expecting the act of losing my virginity to be all fun and games, it wasn't, but I did expect things to improve.

A couple of weeks after the 'deed was done' we went on holiday, this was an annual event as we had been friends for a while, and once in Spain, we started having sex four or five times a day in various positions and locations (balcony, beach etc) but frankly, I was left unimpressed.

By the end of the first day I was faking orgasms.  Now the fact that I was able to fake an orgasm well enough to convince an experienced partner tells me that either every woman he has been with faked or he just didn't care.

By day three I announced that my favourite position was 'doggy style', this wasn't a complete lie as in this position I did not have to remember to look interested as well as remembering to make all the right noises and actions.

I only had one orgasm all week and that was when I knocked him out of the way and did it myself.

I did get very turned on by the thought of sex and the anticipation of it happening so I am guessing that everything is working down there, but the act itself left me cold.  And to be honest, it has been more than two years since I last had sex and apart from a brief time on my last trip to Spain when the couple in the next room were really going for it, I have had no interest at all.

Before I lost my virginity I had the hope and belief that if I ever did lose it, then the sex would be fantastic and worth waiting for. But now I know that it isn't and I have no desire to partake again.  I have even thrown away about £300 of vibrators as I really do not have any desire to use them any more.

I don't know whether we weren't compatible (apparently that can happen) or whether as he knew that I had nothing to compare him to he just didn't really put any effort in, but it has really put me off.

I don't know whether I will ever have the opportunity to have sex again, but frankly, if I don't it will not be an issue.

Tuesday, 17 September 2013

Lose a stone by Christmas - Week 2

Today was my second weigh in and I have put 3lbs back on, but it could have been worse seeing as much of the weekend was spent eating cakes and chocolate and drinking alcohol.  This week I am on Annual Leave and I have a barbecue to go to on Saturday so am not expecting great things this week either.

How is everyone else getting on?

Goal: 14lbs
Lost this week: 3lbs gain
Total lost: 1lbs
Still to lose: 13lbs

Monday, 16 September 2013

If It Ain't Broke, Don't Fix It.

As some of you will know, I decided this exam sitting to stay over in Birmingham when I have weekend classes as it would be so much easier than trying to get over on a Sunday.

I asked for some recommendations of places to stay and also consulted Trip Advisor.  I settled on the Lionel Street Hotel, which at the time of booking was a Holiday Inn Express.  I booked the five separate nights that I needed at a total cost of £202.  

I arrived the first weekend after my Saturday course and the hotel felt so welcoming.  The staff were excellent and check in was quick and painless.  The room was clean and well appointed, in fact the mattress on the bed was so thick I could have done with a step ladder.  My only complaint was that the room was too warm. and frankly, that really cannot be counted as complaint as I am used to an unheated bedroom.

Breakfast was a self service buffet, but there was so much choice; fruit, cereals, cooked breakfast, bread for toasting, pastries, rolls, lots of tea, coffee and fruit juice.

I discovered last weekend that the hotel was becoming an Ibis Style hotel, but I really didn't think it would make much difference.

I was wrong.

As soon as I walked through the front door, it just felt wrong and I thought 'I don't want to be here'.  I don't claim to be psychic or have special powers, but I am sensitive to atmospheres, and this just felt 'not right'.

There was a queue for check in, and it was not moving.

There was a man trying to check in a group, it was either a stag weekend or a birthday, and despite him having all the paperwork, they were adamant that he had only booked two rooms, not four.  He was still at the desk when I eventually checked in.

I had made these bookings over a month ago, and they were all fully paid, but for some reason I had to leave a £25 deposit on my credit card in case of damages, this was to be refunded once I had checked out, the room had been assessed and a communication sent to my credit card provider.  In other words, probably just in time for the next weekend I have booked there.

I eventually made it to my room to find that my key card would not work, so back to the queue at reception I went (the man trying to check his party in was STILL there), my card was reset and I tried again.

This time it worked and my room was pretty much a duplicate of the one I had had the previous weekend.

I noticed a door stop on the floor by the television shelf and thought it was a random place to put a door stop.  Then I realised that the room had a connecting door with the next room.  In such a huge hotel, why would you put a single female in a room with a door that connects to a stranger's room?

The breakfast was nearly as good as the Holiday Inn Express offering, but not quite.

But it all just felt wrong, to the point that I was thinking about cancelling the remaining bookings and losing the money.  Still, only three to go.

The walk up cost is £129 per room per night, which is a good £100 more than it should be.  

It is also described as 'all inclusive'.  Now I may be wrong, but I understand all inclusive to mean bed, breakfast, lunch, dinner, snacks and all local drinks, not just bed and breakfast.  

Despite the fact that it is only about two minutes walk from my training provider, I think for next sitting, I will be looking elsewhere.

Sunday, 15 September 2013

Sunday Night Mash Up

This week has been a bad week.  Everything, and I mean everything, has really gotten on my pip.  I have lost count of the amount of times I have had to bite my lip to stop screaming at someone.

There is stuff going on at work, which obviously I cannot talk about, but that isn't helping either.

I have been in Birmingham again this weekend studying for my ACCA, it was a Sunday only weekend, but I had still booked a hotel for the Saturday night as it is so much easier than trying to get over from Coventry on Sunday by train.  I stayed in the same hotel as last weekend but it has now changed brands, and boy is it obvious, there will be a separate post about that as I cannot do it justice here.

I have been enjoying the module we studied today which is Performance Management, however (you just knew there was going to be a 'however'), today we spent the best part of three hours drawing three very simple graphs.  I know these days that we no longer draw graphs by hand, Microsoft Office has seen to that, you enter your data into a table, press a couple of buttons and presto! There is your graph.

But they are not rocket science.  

I am by far the oldest in the class.  I am also one of the few who has not been to university.  But, without wishing to sound big-headed, I do feel that I am one of the few with any sort of basic skills when it comes to doing stuff on paper, rather than on a computer when really, everything is done for you.  I have not drawn a graph since I left school, and I left school in 1987, and yet I was left twiddling my thumbs whilst everyone finished.  Some students couldn't even work out the scale of the graph, in fact for the second and final graph, the tutor actually told us how many squares on the graph paper to use per thousand.

I have a weekend off from studying next week, I am off to Norwich for a four year old's birthday party and I am really looking forward to it, I just hope the weather holds up.  And also that I can remember where I put the train tickets.

Saturday I had my hair cut at Enigma Hair & Beauty, this place is great and I cannot fault the staff.  I love my new hair apart from the fact that it REALLY highlights my grey.  I am torn between dyeing it but have no idea what colour, or just to grow old gracefully and leave it as it is, what do you think?

Friday, 13 September 2013

A Not So Grand Day Out or How A Full Day Can Still Be Boring. Pt 1

A few Saturdays ago saw our long and carefully planned day trip to the seaside (for carefully planned, read Dad had been reading his map and asking what food we would be taking for over a week).

I arrived at Mum and Dad's just before 7.30 and took Bess for a walk around the block, she had already been out but I just knew it would be easier to load up the car whilst she was out of the way.  When we got back to the house I took her lead off and she raced out into the back garden, as she always does.  A few minutes later we realised that we could not see her.  I went out and the garage doors were wide open.  She had got out!

I couldn't see her in the entry and started calling her, I then heard the jingle jingle of her collar and tags and she appeared out of someone's back garden looking extremely pleased with herself.

Eventually we all made it into the car and set off.

About two and a half hours later we were nearly at Market Rasen and found a fab, and busy, roadside takeaway selling pretty much anything you could want to eat (as long as it was fried).  It was called the Green Box, I didn't think to get a picture at the time and I have been unable to find one, but it was fantastic.  We all had bacon batches and coffee in massive cups, could well have been a pint of liquid in them.

Another hour or so and we arrived at our destination - the beach at Sutton-On-Sea.  Admittedly it is a very nice beach, but that is all it is.  A beach with a parking area.

After taking Bess for a trot along the sand and back, and a coffee and a cake we sat down.  And there we stayed.  Thank goodness for my kindle.

Parked next to us was a motorhome belonging to a kite surfer.  Bess watched him inflate his kite with great interest and then insisted on barking at it once it was up in the air.  He went out with a small board and flipped about a bit, and then came in and changed it for a full sized board.  Within minutes, the kite was dead in the water, the board was just floating and we could not see the man anywhere, but as his partner did not seem concerned we weren't.

We watched as the kite floated further and further away along the beach, still no sign of the boarder.  Dad had been watching through his binoculars and couldn't see him.  A man rode up on his bike and asked Dad if he could see him and then said he would ride up to the end of the parking area.  Dad decided to walk up, Bess went too, to see what was going on.

They all came back to announce that he was out of the water.  About 30 minutes later he walked back with his partner, carrying all his kit with him.  He said the wind just died, but something must have happened as he went back into his motorhome and didn't come back out until just before we left.

After Dad and Bess had gone, I looked at Mum and said 'Is this is?  Is this all we are going to be doing, just sitting here or walking the dog up and down the beach?'.  She nodded sadly, and said 'Yes, it is'.

Tuesday, 10 September 2013

Lose a stone by Christmas - Week 1

So I have just had my first weigh in and I have lost 4 lbs.  This looks really good, but I generally do well the first week of any weightloss program, put it all on again the second week, lose nothing the third and then get bored with it all and give up!

Hopefully this time I will break the cycle!  Fingers crossed.

Goal: 14lbs
Lost this week: 4lbs
Total lost: 4lbs
Still to lose: 10lbs

Sunday, 8 September 2013

Sunday Night Mash Up

This weekend was the start of my ACCA courses for this sitting.  I am studying in Birmingham, and this weekend also saw the celebrations for the opening of the new library (which just happens to be next to the building in which I am studying) and also 10 years since the new Bullring opened.  Birmingham was chaos.

While I was waiting for the train to Birmingham I noticed this sign 

Unfortunately it is not very clear on here, but according to the sign there are toilets available on platform 5.  We don't have a platform 5 and as far as I am aware we never have.

The train arrived on time and was pretty much empty, but for some reason it was travelling really slow.  Then is stopped altogether.  Apparently there was a complete loss of power to the overhead lines in the Stechford area.

I eventually made it to New Street station and after a quick trip into Tesco to get lunch I headed up to Baskerville House where my courses are held.

I really enjoyed Saturday's course - Performance Management - which, so far, is basically costing, a subject I had enjoyed at AAT.  Today's course - Corporate and Business Law - was so boring, I am sure I nodded off for a minute or two this afternoon, I certainly don't feel as though I have learned anything.  Next weekend is just Performance Management.

After we were released, I checked in to my home for the night, the Lionel Street Hotel.  Fab room, just really warm!

I went for a walk round the city centre, but it was far too busy, I really don't like crowds.  But I was torn, I didn't want to struggle through the crowds anymore, but neither did I want to go back to the hotel.  But after spending far too much money at Next I decided I had better go back to the hotel, so I grabbed a meal deal and a bottle of Lambrini (I know how to live!) and headed back.

I had also treated myself to some little things from Muji but I can't find them so must have left them in the hotel.

So now I am home and getting ready for work tomorrow.  Shall I wear some of my new clothes?

Friday, 6 September 2013

Is Death stalking me, or is there another reason why I always seem to identify with Susan Sto Helit.

I was talking to my Mum the other day and the subject of death came up and we were discussing how death seems to follow us when we go on holiday.

It started years ago when Mum went on holiday with Gran and Grandad, they were in Benidorm (this was the late 50s, early 60s when it was still relatively unknown with only about 4 hotels) and had to be evacuated inland as a sea mine had broken loose of its moorings and had drifted into the beach.  After the detonation, which they all heard and felt, they were allowed back into the hotels.

When I started travelling to Spain by myself I used to go by coach, this was before the advent of budget airlines and I couldn't afford package holidays, especially with the single supplement on top.  I used a particular holiday company based in Wales as they were much cheaper than the local companies, but almost every trip, one of the people who was on my coach did not come back.

Since then, I have been in Blackpool when a jet fighter crashed, luckily no-one was hurt but it was fascinating, and someone was stabbed in a bar where I had been drinking only minutes earlier.

Mum has also been in Blackpool when two bodies, on two separate occasions, have been found.  And Mum and Dad were in Mablethorpe when a body was found a short walk away from their hotel.

In Barcelona I saw a dead tramp, she actually looked quite peaceful.  Another year in Spain there was an incident where 12 people were killed and 14 injured not too far away from where I was staying.  They were on their way to a music festival to celebrate San Juan.

At home too, Mum and I were having a coffee in the shopping centre in town, and there was a young man wandering around acting a little strangely, as this was not an unusual occurrence in our city we didn't take much more notice.  Shortly after we left, he threw himself off the balcony.

I was on my way to work one morning, and walked past one of the multi storeys in the city centre to see a pair of legs poking out from under a blanket with Police and Ambulance crews standing around, he had jumped from the top of the car park.

So there we have it, am I safe to be around?

Oh, if you are wondering who Susan Sto Helit is, she is Death's grand-daughter on the Discworld.  She occasionally stood in for him, and the Tooth Fairy, and could dispatch monsters and ne'er-do-wells by doing 'the voice'.

Tuesday, 3 September 2013

Lose a stone by Christmas Challenge.

Yes, I am trying again.  This time I am linking up with 7hippopotamus's blogger challenge to lose a stone or more by Christmas (link here.)

Everyone who joins will add their weekly weigh in post so that we can all encourage and support each other.

I have just weighed in and I am 240lbs, the same as an adult tiger or female gorilla (eek) so a stone isn't going to make that much difference but every little helps!

So join in, and let's see what we can do!

Sunday, 1 September 2013

Sunday Night Mash Up

It has been a four day week but has felt just as long as a normal five day week.

I spent the Bank Holiday sat in front of my laptop, entering competitions and reading blogs.

Yesterday we had a day out to the seaside at Sutton-On-Sea, I was going to include a few lines about it here but frankly, it warrants its own post.

By the time I got home I felt really drained and ended up having a drink and going to bed.  I even forgot to take my tablets and have felt unsettled and jittery all day today, picking things up and putting them down again, not being able to complete whatever I am doing without wandering off and doing something else.

Next weekend sees the start of my next run of courses and my first night in a hotel in Birmingham.  I might even review the hotel!

Silent Sunday - 01/09/13