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Bugger...

Entries in this blog

 

5 Minutes to Myself

Well, I've left BabyL and MrsL in the lounge to have a snooze, and have given myself 5 minutes or so to have a look for MrsL's present. I think this year i'm going to buy her a Nintendo DS Lite (Pink of course) and a pair of PJ's. So with her broken foot, she can lounge in luxury, and entertain her brain Bless her though. She's still in a heavy cast, as the swelling hadnt gone down on Wednesday. She's back next week to have her foot re-xrayed and to be (hopefully) put into a lighter cast. BabyL is doing good though. I think shes just realised that Daddy time is the best time :lol: On another note, we have had a delivery again from said supermarket that we ended up getting free shopping. Its along story, which involved words of false advertising and trading standards, and I got my refund. Plus anothe ritem I got refunded the difference. All in all, a wonderful day. Once BabyL has fed next, we are off to lunch

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Watch those sta...

Got a phone call yesterday, whilst away from home, saying to phone MrsL. Spoke to the lovely wife who said that she had fallen down the stairs, and was waiting for an ambulance...not the ideal time to be down near London. Drove back, and doesnt sound good. So going to have to juggle between looking after BabyL, MrsL and work. Nice. On a positive note, my car is telling me my break pads are worn and I have tyre pressure problems. So all in all, it was quite a positive day :lol:

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Shiny_Bottom_1

 

Deckings or Slabs...Professional or Rip-Off

Well, we decided to get some quotes in for a 3mx3m area to be either decked or slabbed. Bloke 1 - Well, decking will probably be cheaper to do. For the decking, around £350, a bit more for the roping around posts etc. Came in at £430. Bloke 2 - Well, decking will be cheaper to do. You want what?! 3mx3m. Why dont you do it all the way across the garden. Came in (for 3mx5m) £980 for slabs, £1030 for decking. Bloke 3 - Well, decking will be cheaper to do. For 3mx3m, around £1000. Slabbing will be about £500-£600. Will you be providing the slabs Anyway. Bloke 1 was the only one to come in his new van, with full advertisement, in the correct gear you would expect and actually knew what he was doing (we may be getting someone in to do it, but i've been looking to do it myself for so long now, I have at least an idea of what should be done). Bloke 2 came with his mate, and stank of booze. Bloke 3 came, and asked if we were to supply the materials? Congratulations to Bloke 1 You have won our business Funny thing is, when bloke 2 came round, Rogue Traders had a programme about people quoting for decking/slabbing :lol:

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Shiny_Bottom_1

 

Something to make BabyL Laugh

Well, BabyL has been smiling for about 2 weeks now, but over the last few days, she become a bit of a monkey...shes started to giggle Its seriously so cute. The only trouble is what MrsL and myself sometimes have to do to make her giggle. Yep. The one thing she'll dread later in life...daddy dancing. Well, both of us works best, but still, if its just one of us dancing, its still really cute. We have worked out however, that her fav music for Mummy and Daddy to dance too, is....Old Skool Harcore. By jove...BabyL loves a little junglist vibe! She also likes a little bit of singing, and of course, daddys other party piece, 'trying' to speak in different ways/accents. Of course mum, well, shes just funny :lol: (and rather cute in case she reads this ). I have to admit too, I can never spend the first 5 minutes of my life, every morning, without smiling anymore. Unless i'm up ultra early, I have the privilege of waking BabyL in the morning. So cute...from the moment of spotting me, to the moment of, aheemm, having breakfast, its smiles smiles smiles I knew I would enjoy being a dad, but the amount of enjoyment i'm getting is so much more than expected (and that was already huge) A little taster of BabyL too, giving us a smile

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Shiny_Bottom_1

 

In Search of the Ideal Winter?

Well, after my last succesful blog entry *snigger*, I thought i'd just add my thoughts for another. BTW - We have decided to buy some decking instead :lol: Anyway, with 'spring' fast approaching, my mind wonders back to the winter of 07/08. I've read so many comments regarding what has happened, what hasnt happened, whats been a let down and whats been a surprise. First of all, I think we are often fast in forgetting what has happened. We had a good cold spell in December, and many of us had some snow in November (I think it was many. OK, it didnt last long, but it was snow). January wasnt brilliant for all the country, but the northern half had quite a few snow showers (didnt they?). However, like my discussion with MrsL the other night about child birth (Seriously, you'd be amazed by some of our conversations ). For some reason, as a species, we seem to only be able to discuss the negatives, and never the positives. I dont know why, but to be more accurate, it is more probably to do with us as a nation rather then as being human. But thats another point. Anyway, it leads me on to why I created this blog quite nicely. Now, I mentioned some time ago, probably in one of my model output discussion rants. But for some reason, its not that we bench mark every winter against the best of the past exactly, but more a case of we seem to expect each winter to be the best theres ever been. 10ft snow drifts. Snow on the ground for weeks. Ongoing sub-zero days. It seems that anything out of this 'range' is deemed useless, pointless or both. Well time for some reality. Us having a classic winter, every year, has probably about the same chance of Barnsley beating Liverpool. Ok. Not the best example. But seriously, perhaps we should appreciate what we do get more often, and perhaps one day, we might have a nice (nice being a word I guess not everybody would share) surprise. Well, I better go and consider what type of decking I want, otherwise MrsL might end up getting us some pink decking tiles

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Brucie Bonus - TV Or Holiday

OK, bit naff, but got my bonus last week for 2007. Nowhere near as much as I was hoping for, but hey ho. So...New TV for the Lounge or a holiday for all three of us?

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Day 6 - Still Not Smoking

Well, another reason to be happy. I'm now nearly finished day 6 of not smoking, and feeling good. Plenty of distractions have helped, but seriously feeling ok about it. Still getting the odd craving, but it goes within 5 minutes. I did get a but short with the receptionist at the doctors though. The champix you see is a course, and I need a repeat prescription for stage 2 (or whatever it is). My doc said, just leave me a message if its working, and i'll get a repeat prescription to you. So off I trotted to the docs, and told this to the receptionist: R - Do you know what the drug is called? Me - Champix R - Is it called anything else? Me - Well. Champix is its trade name, but it will have a chemical name too. R- Do you know what that is? Me - Urmmm....No?! R - Is it Ver*$&£&^((£($£($*"*$"*&$$*$*%? Me - Urmmmmm...Dont know?! R - Well sorry. You will need to book an appointment to see the doctor. Me - But she told me to leave her a message that I would like a repeat prescription of Champix. R - Sorry, you will have to book an appointment. Ah well. As long as the pharmacist has stock, i'll be ok.

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Trying to Stop Again (Ho-Hum)

Well, 24th time lucky, eh! Been to the docs, and am now trying the new drug 'Champix' to give up smoking. In terms of pharma help, this is my last shot. Its the latest drug, and both Zyban and NRT failed (for different reasons). I still have the option of hypnotherapy, but i'm not a big believer in it myself. Started taking the tablets yesterday, and have now planned to stop on Saturday next week. Fingers crossed....

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Its Christmas (soon)...

...and I need to find MrsL a fitting present. Handbag so I thought, until the list of requirements came out: - Big Bag - For over the shoulder, but not necessarily just that? - Not Black - Not White - Not Cream - Not formal, but not scruffy looking - Not Boring looking - Not from shop n**t - God knows why - Not common in circulation - Not bought from the internet - Not silly looking, but cool looking (she's only 27 bless, mind you, i'm only just 29) - Modern looking - Blah,blah, blah looking So girlies....give me a link to the handbags of your choice. The winner will recieve my thanks, and any left overs from crimbo dinner (first class postage of course).

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Parents on the move...But where?

Well, my folks are now nearly finished paying off their mortgage. My old man is retired, but does some part time work with the disabled teaching IT, and my mo is doing supply teaching on and off. So soon, they will both be retired. They currently live in a nice little village, between Northampton and Wellingborough, and love their house. Apart from the village being quiet, they live on a cul-de-sac, and have open fields to the back. So really, a beautiful house and even more beautiful location. Have to admit that both my brother and me where lucky to be brought up in such suroundings. Anyway, with paying off the mortgage, retirement pretty much there, and with thoughts of the future, they are looking to sell up, release some capitol, and settle up in a new life (they dont have any ties with the village anymore). Their main area of interest is South Lincolnshire. Mainly for two reasons. First being that there really is some gorgeous (albeit flat) countryside, and secondly, they could buy alot for their money down there. With MrsL and myself talking about moving down that way as a possability too, they seemed quite keen. However, MrsL and myself are now thinking of perhaps settling in Derbyshire, probably further south at some point (South Derbyshire/North-West Leicestershire). But that is something when we need a bigger house, so not for a few years. Either way, we'll still be around the same area (plus, theres more jobs for MrsL, and I would spend less time driving/staying away living here, than in South Lincs). So, MrsL and myself have mentioned to my folks about moving up here. I mean, we're here (theres no family or friends in south lincs), my mum would be closer to her mum (Manchester), and my brother lives in Nottingham (although there is a high chance of him and his family moving to Switzerland for a couple of years min). Up they came at the weekend, I printed off a load of possible bungalows (their preferred style of house for retiring), and we talked. It does look like their interested, and to be fair, there's some nice countryside around here (National Forest/Peaks). Trouble is, they want open aspects to the rear. Not a problem really, as there are quite a lot with such an offering. But that means moving to one of the villages, which are not cheap. But like anywhere, Bungalows are always more expensive per bedroom than houses, so we might need to see if they are comfortable with that (my old man did pick out a house which I had printed off, so you never know). Anyway, if they moved here, we are quite sure we wouldnt move to south lincs either (as our purpose would be closer to (MrsL's) family). Plus, i'm sure at some point in the future, my folks would become grand folks (well, they already are, but we havent got any kiddies) So even more reason for both sides to be closer? So my problem. Do I try and persuade them to live near here for all of us, knowing that if they moved to south lincs, they would have a better property, and a bungalow that would have more of their requirements? We'll just have to wait and see

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Job Expenses - Tax Credits

Well, working from home for over 4 years now (well, 5.5 really), I have been claiming tax credits for job expenses. You see, this is all legitimate, as I have a room dedicated to my work, so by law, I can claim tax credits for such expenses. When we used to live in rented accomodation, we used to get tax credits for 1/5 of our rental (1 room out of 5 dedicated to work), for 1/5 of council tax, gas and electric. At the time, that is quite handy, and gave something decent in terms of credit (I think an extra £20 per month). Anyway, moved into our new house in 2005, and after informing the HMRC of my changes (and that I was now only claiming for Council Tax, Gas and Electric (Claiming on our mortgage meant getting involved in capitol gains tax )). Anyhow, after sorting it all out for 2006/2007 tax, they informed me that actually, I had been claiming incorrectly. First of all, for 06/07 tax year, what I could claim on job expenses was reduced (I cant remember what, but it was something of a chunk). In fact, it was true for 05/06 (maybe other years too), but I refused to pay for previous years. Why? Simple really. I had been in contact with the HMRC, for a couple of years, trying to sort out my tax code (there was never any major money involved), but every year, I was oweing tax, and it was coming out of my salary). Because I had been in contact, and they had not informed me of the changes (as well as going through calculations with them anyway), they were at fault. Secondly, they informed me that as I have a joint bank account (after discussing previous isses etc), that I could actually only claim half of the job expenses In fact, because we had a bank account going back for a while, all my claimed job expenses were subsequently halved (from previous years), and the other half was then used as unpaid tax for tax year 06/07 :blush: To claim the other half of job expenses, my wife would have to claim too. Stupid, aint it?! Anyway, after speaking to the HMRC some many months ago, they assured me that my 07/08 tax code calculations should not include any unpaid taxes, as this should now have been sorted and finalised in my 06/07 calculations (I've owed tax for a number of years now, so they better be right). The funny thing is, as I claim this job expenses tax credit, I also have to fill in a form every year (self assesment or something like that). So as my new tax code arrived for 07/08, I thought, I wonder how much I get for filling in this form. I couldnt believe it £2 per month Absolutely unbelievable. I've now told them that I want it taken out of my tax calculations for 07/08 (although still spplicable), as my time is worth more than £2 per month. I expect a tax investigation some time soon

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Not Smoking.....Again

I can hear you all sigh, but yes, have given up smoking again. Last one was at 17.00 on Friday 05th Jan. Actually wasnt too bad over the weekend, but now, i'm stuck working at home. So, being bored (not that i'm not busy), the cravings are kicking in. I've nearly gone to get some about 5 times this morning, but have resisted. I've got a patch on again, but eating seems to be my main distraction. The only problem being, I also joined Weight Watchers on Wednesday last week So I have to watch everything that goes in my muggins. Ah well, maybe I could substitute food with :blush: Well, apparantly, i;ve gone through this so far: 20 minutes Blood pressure and pulse rate return to normal. 8 hours Nicotine and carbon monoxide levels in blood reduce by half, oxygen levels return to normal. 24 hours Carbon monoxide will be eliminated from the body. Lungs start to clear out mucus and other smoking debris. 48 hours There is no nicotine left in the body. Ability to taste and smell is greatly improved. 72 hours Breathing becomes easier. Bronchial tubes begin to relax and energy levels increase. Thats the only thing with the patches, is you still have a nicotine intake

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Back to work

Yep. Today is D'day. The day I have gone back to work Cant believe 2 hours has already gone by. Thankfully, not too many e-mails, although there seems to be problems elsewhere ( ) In a way, its nice to be back. I was bored yesterday...very bored. Although now, I wish i'd slipped in an afternoon kip. Anyway, a 2 day week cant be that bad, and then its the weekend again :blush:

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Christmas Blues

So, does anybody else get this? It would be nice if Christmas lasts longer, but for some reason, both MrsL and myself get the Christmas Blues It doesnt help of course that MrsL has the flu, and feels rubbish, so we havent really done anything since Christmas Day. We're meant to go out today to see my Brother, Sister-in-law and niece, and was hoping that MrsL would feel better. But she was up at 4ish last night, coughing away, and feeling quite poorly. New Years Eve also looks in fine balance now, and MrsL might not be able to go if she feels like this. Ah well...its nearly 2007. A year I hope will be a good year :blush:

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Week 2 - Last week before Christmas

Well, theres another positive thing. There's only one working week left before Christmas Eventually, we got all our presents that we needed. We did have one little mishap though, which could have left someone with no present (although it would have been that someones fault). After struggling to think what to get my old man, my brother decided (as he likes photography), lets get him a decent camara. You see...the reason for this, was because he's got about 4 camaras, all doing the same job, my brother thinks it would be a good idea (They werent so good, according to my brother - I aint got a clue). The rest were going to be sold on e-bay. So we bought him a new one (brother got a good deal), and horrah...a present. But oh no He dropped one of his camaras on the floor, phoned the insurance company, and the closest replacement they had, was about a 95% match to the one he was getting for Christmas. So, no present for my old man, as he got a new camara. I'm sorted now though. A camara case. Anyway. Week 2 of non-smoking :lol: I suppose I could look at the negatives( i.e. had a couple of days of smoking), but i'm not. I've had 5 out of 7 days without smoking, and in that space of time, i've smoked about 10 ciggies, compared to the 120-140 I would normally smoke. So i'm off again. I have to admit though, i'm not sure, in the long term, if the patches are helping. Of course, they helped with the initial cravings, but when I went cold turkey, i'm sur ethe cravings had gone by now Obviously, my body is still taking in nictoine, so the actual 'addiction' is still there, so really, its just my psychological addiction thats being removed. I'll see how this week goes, but if i'm still getting the cravings (as long as they are less and infrequent), then I may come off the patches, and start on the Kalms. I'll wait and see though...not in a rush, as long as i'm not smoking.

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Day 5 to 7 - End of the week

Well, after feeling like I did yesterday, I thought bugger it, and had a lie in until 8 this morning. Still at work before 9 though, but feel so much better fo it. Well, so far so good today. I'm getting cravings today, a bit like those in day 2, although the craving itself is much shorter. So thats always good Now i've just got to remember that yesterday wasnt a failure, but just a blip in giving up. Will up date this later, as not too much too report (a good thing I think). I think after one week, i'll pobably do a weekly diary, as I think the day to day ones may get a little tedious

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Day 4 - Relapse...but it aint over

Not a good start to the day really. Unfortunately, I ended up buying a pack of ciggies. I've had about 3 or 4, but glad I just went for the pack of 10. This morning was just not a good morning. I wasnt stressed, or anything like that, I just got a little scared (if i'm honest). I'm absolutely shattered at the moment, and havent had a break for nearly 5 months now. We've been busy at the weekends, which hasnt help either. From day 3, you may have read that I was up early (5am), down to my office, work all day, and then drive back. Didnt feel to bad though, even after only 6 hours sleep (or something like that). Last night, went to bed again, but didnt get to sleep until midnight, and was then up at 5am again. Down to Kent this time. For the life of me, i've never felt so tired, that I had to stop. Even days when i'm been in Denmark, where i'm up at 5.30 uk time, work all day, get a flight back, land at 22.30, and then drive home from Stansted. I get the occasional 'bit tired' syndromn, but nothing that really makes me feel to bad. Anyway, got up, got ready and went (i've not been drinking tea (or coffee) first thing, as to avoid any triggers. So had a sip of water, and off I went. Felt absolutely fine, until I got on to the M25. Then, quite quickly, I felt tired, and even more tired the further I drove. But then I realised, there were no services on the M25 until I got to Gatwick way. I didnt know anywhere around the M25, where I could pull off and stop. Dont get me wrong though, I wasnt too tired to drive (I would have defo just pulled over), but this is the closest I have ever been to it. Concentration was down, so I slowed right down into the slow lane, and toottled along until the services. I was actually quite worried, and didnt know what to do. I tried a coffee, but that didnt work, so I bought some ciggies. After about 10 minutes, I was awake again. Then I realised....it wasnt actually the ciggies that woke me up, but the caffeine, which just took a while to do so Anyway, ciggies are in the bin again. It actually made me gag having one, so thats a good sign that my body is not liking them anymore. So, I have to remain positive. Today is not a failure. Tomorrow is another smoke free day :lol: Jeez...I like this blog stuff. Hope your not all falling asleep

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Day 3 - Different

Thanks everyone for your support so far I really struggled yesterday, but I managed to stop myself from buying a pack of 10 'just to have one'. However, today is another day. Woke up at 5 this morning, and am now in my Head Office. I have to admit, I actually felt quite positive this morning. Still though about having a ciggie, but the cravings seem to be getting shorter and more controlable. I actually feel more awake today as well, which isnt bad considering i've had 5 hours sleep, and a 2.5 hour drive this morning. Fingers crossed again today. I know last time I gave up, it was around the 3-5 day period of giving up, when I felt like I was over the cravings, and had 'just the one'. Just the one meaning I failed again. Louby - Thanks for the advice about nibbles...good idea. We've got some celery and carrots, so will prep some tonight (although i'm out again tomorrow). TTFN

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Day 2 - Wahoo

Well, I managed to do it...well...at least make a start. I now havent touched a ciggie for over 24 hours Most of yesterday was surprisingly, OK. At the end of the evening, MrsL started getting stressed and grumpy (A typical Sunday Evening :lol: ) Anyway...today is day 2. This I have found (sometimes along with day 3) the hardest of the days. In fact, as soon as I was up, I felt like a ciggie. It could have been because I didnt have a nicitine patch on (goes on after a shower in the morning), or because its my first working day (at home) without one. I have such a bad habit with working from home. I get up, have a ciggie (whilst the tea is brewing), make the tea (take MrsL one), come downstairs and drink my tea whilst flicking through e-mails. Finish cuppa, then another ciggie. Shower etc, then another ciggie. Then, throughout the day, i'm smoking. So today, is going to be a tough day. I have my patch, I have some tablets (OTC though ). So fingers crossed, I make it through the day. After today, i've got a day in my UK H/O, and a day travelling down to London and back. So a couple of busy days, which should help distract me. I suppose the only other possible problem is MrsL. She usually finds it easier to give up, but she is very stressed and tired at the mo. I'm just hoping her will power carries through.

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Is it this time?

Well. After a fantastic night out last night with work (didnt even get drunk ), I seem to have found some will power. For those who dont smoke, it may be hard to comprehend. But for me, who smokes 15-20 a day, to go until 15.00 without a ciggie, it is quite something (just ask MrsL). And to top it all, I havent even felt too bad (no hot sweats :lol: , no major stresses). I actually feel quite good. But this time, i've done it differently. Because I have given up cold turkey before, I keep trying it again, saying to myself "Its going to work this time". But it didnt, and didnt numerous times. So this time, I have a nicorette patch on (didnt use that last weekend ), and its seems to be working Still, i've got a good 7-8 hours left of the day, and from experience, the 2nd day can be the worst. Fingers crossed though

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Time for a Tipple

Its that time of year again. Works winding down a little (Christmas rush at our customers, means its hard to get meetings with them), and once again, our work has kindly put up for our Christmas Party (MrsL's Christmas Party is funded by a huge fund of £0 from the government). Its always a great time. A few drinks, some nice food, and a little disco dancing. I've been looking forward to this for a while, as we have been so busy recently, we just havent had time to chill out. So, with a night out, and a night away *snigger*, what a difference a change will make. Still havent given up smoking, but certainly havent given up giving up. Sunday (yes, another try it day) is the new day for us to be healthier..hopefully

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SIGH

Unfortunately (sorry Matt *giggle*), it didnt go too well on the giving up smoking front :lol: Woke up fine on Saturday, and so do MrsL. 2 hours later, we were both stressed out, and running late to leave. Needless to say, we bought some ciggies. We then thought, hey, what about Sunday Nope. It was, unfortunately, the thought of spending from 10-4 helping out my father-in-law on his christmas market, selling fruit and veg that made me decide today was not the day (t'was fun, but a little different to the selling i'm used too). Ah, well. Tuesday I hear you cry....yes...the new day for giving up smoking

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Todays the day...

...I actually work out that I can create a blog without subscription Today, I will be grumpy. How do I know? Well, for the umpth time, I shall be trying to give up smoking. I have some chill out tablets, and courtesy of MrsL (Free Prescriptions *cough*) I also have some patches Actually, MrsL is also trying again today, so I think there may be a wee bit of *ARGHHH* today :lol: So, for the next couple of days, I am going cold turkey, and thus, wont be on the forum Actually, we're going away, so i'm just lying Wish me luck, because believe me, after 12-13 years of smoking, I think I may need it

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