Open Plan Progress!

Glasgow looks fantastic today.

Isn’t it gorgeous out there?

The sun is splitting the sky and my neck is burned from my walk earlier this morning.

Building work progresses well as you can see below.

I think it looks fab and I’m pleased with the changes.

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Open Plan Living!

Big changes afoot this weekend. This is the weekend I’m putting through my house modernisations.

I live in a large modern house, built in a traditional style, but with modern facilities such as en-suites, better insulation etc.

When I moved in I liked that it had 2 dining rooms .. yeah I know!

One was the breakfast room attached to the kitchen, where we eat most of the time and the other a more formal dining room which I only ever use when I have people over or at Christmas and the like .. apart form it housing my keyboard.

The change should make the house more open plan and really light particularly as I have the sun behind me all day and its already bright.

I also have no-one living behind me and protected woodland .. its very private.

I’m really looking forward to the changes .. although its going to be a nightmre while it happens!!

I’ve put a breakdown of the work thats happening this weekend .. phase 1 below.

Phase 2 is later when I have a chance to get used to phase 1 being in place and decide if I need it.

The sunroom would be fab .. I don’t need the space

But I love the thought of it

Mx

Phase 1
Kitchen redesign, small wall at back of oven and microwave removed.
Oven unit moved 90 degrees against outside wall .. opens up space.
Taking the wall down between breakfast room and dining room.
Side of wall removed in dining room .. one metre long to breakfat toom.
Large window in dining room, rmoved, walll down and replaced with glass door.
Existing patio door in breakfast replaced with door matching above.
Reflooring of kitchen, hall, utility, breakfast and dining rooms.

Phase 2
A large sunroom ( 6mx 4m) outside which will cover both patio doors.

Kitchen Changes and Breakfast room wall being removed
Dining room side of wall removed and window being replaced by door
The other part of the wall being removed to make it more spacious
View From my main lounge looking to the back

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How Popular Is Your Birthday?

Yesterday on the way home from work I listened to Simon Mayo’s Drivetime show on Radio 2.

Simon usually puts on a great show, full of interesting music and chat and I particularly enjoy the daily confessions.

There is usually daily homework question where some kid asks a difficult question which doesn’t have an obvious answer.

Yesterday’s was essentially .. How popular is your date of birth?

A listener who works for Ikea called in with some statistics and indicated that their analysis is that the last couple of weeks in September have the most birthdays.

I was intrigued by this and thought I’d investigate on my system of 8 million UK customers of various ages.

As you can see, the hypothesis holds true and the highest frequencies are at the end of September and also around Christmas time.

The reasons behind the September peak are apparently due to the 40 weeks previous and the Christmas party effect!

The good ol’ Christmas spirit .. you can’t beat it!!

As for the Christmas peak, there’s the proof that when winter turns to spring then love is in the air!
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Note – The discussion can be found at the following link about 1:37 into the show.

http://www.bbc.co.uk/programmes/b020t2y6

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14 – Girls on Film

See them walking hand in hand
across the bridge at midnight
Heads turning as the lights flashing out
it’s so bright

Duran Duran – Girls On Film

I love my days out with the girls, even although it doesn’t happen very often. It’s just so difficult to get everyone together. All these mums taking the train into Glasgow and escaping from their husbands and kids for the day.

Well most of us have husbands, but there are a few singletons and a few at different stages of separation and divorce and I’m the only widow in the group.

Does that make it any easier or harder to organise?

Thankfully mum has been a god-send, I can more or less go out any time I like, whether that’s with the girls or the new man in my life.

So it is fairly easy, I have no-one to answer to, but the only minor problem is that David doesn’t like me going out with the girls and thinks I should be a stay at home mum. He’s very like his dad in that respect.

I’ve really been looking forward to today; it will be great to catch up with everyone. Even although we have regular updates about family and life in general on Facebook it’s not the same as having a good catch up in person.

It would be fair to say that the anticipation has been building and I’m not the only one looking forward to going for dinner, drinks and a dance.

Lynn had been on the phone last night almost pee-ing her pants with excitement and had even bought a full new outfit for the day.

I had too, but then I’d bought a lot of new outfits recently since I’d started going out more often and was moving away from my old mumsy clothes. When Andy was alive, we didn’t go out very often, so it was Marks And Spencer for the school runs and shopping in town for the occasional dressed-up night at the golf club.

My friend Jane, one of the single girls, was the main organiser and she had the day arranged for us. 12 girls meeting at the train station at 12 noon. Jane was bringing a few bottles of Prosecco and plastic glasses. That’s should get the day started with a bang. 12 women all trying to speak at the same time and we did a lot of the general catch-ups on the train on the 20 minute journey into Glasgow’s Merchant City.

Dinner was booked at for the Amore at 1pm, followed by cocktails at Metropolitan and more drinks and a dance at Merchant Pride in the early evening. I’d never been there before and had been told that it’s a gay club but is actually full of straight people just out for a good time as the entertainment is good.

Jane, who works as a buyer with a building company was always looking for a bargain. She did really well with Amore, 2 courses from their lunch/pre-theatre menu for £7.50. Not that the food really mattered, what really mattered was the girls all getting out for the day and being able to forget their responsibilities for the day.

Of course, we had all the usual local news and gossip. Whose kids were doing which classes at school, Jill had a new job, Jane hated hers, Karen’s husband Iain was working away and wouldn’t leave her alone when he got back. Lucky girl seemed to be the general opinion.

Although I know for sure that some of the girls were all talk and no action.

Everyone wanted to know about the new man in my life. Apparently I had been walking about with a smile on my face for weeks and had a new lease of life about me. Lynn had obviously been telling the girls a few stories about our nights out in Glasgow and Edinburgh, but nothing too graphic, I don’t think that’s her style. Lynn has never even had toast in bed, so she wants the gossip but not the details.

I must say, I did blush a little, but was happy to tell them that things were going fantastically well and much better than I had expected.

I blushed even more when Jill asked where we had met, I could feel the flush on my face as I wasn’t comfortable telling a lie, but thankfully must have sensed my hesitation and came to the rescue.

“They met in Champagne Central in Glasgow” She interjected.

“Champagne Central! Check you, very upmarket! Who were you with?” I didn’t think that Jill was going to let things slip that easy. Thankfully Lynn and I had already discussed this and she had volunteered to cover for me.

“I was with Lynn we were out in Glasgow shopping for the day and stayed on for a few drinks afterwards” I smiled and tried to cover my blushes.

But I ask myself, why is it that I’m lying at all? Online Dating is so popular nowadays and I recently read an article that stated that 1 in 5 relationships now start online. Yet still I felt the stigma attached to it. Not that I really have any problems about it at all. I just think some people particularly those who have never been in the situation can be very judgemental.

For example, Karen who has been married to Iain since she was 19 is very narrow-minded and wouldn’t be slow to gossip about me at her gym or coffee mornings. Heaven help me if Annette ever found out. I’d have half of the town pointing their fingers and trying to find my profile online.

Sometimes it’s just better to say nothing or tell a white lie to defuse the situation.

However the reality is that when you are single and have children then you really do have lack of opportunity to meet someone. So why shouldn’t you go online to meet someone?

Don’t get me wrong, another article I read stated that 50% of people online are already married or in a relationship. So I have no doubts that these web-sites are full of cheats and liars. But from recent experience, the same thing can happen when you meet someone in a bar or club and I’ve learned to be a little cynical and not treat everyone at face-value.

But at least online, you can filter people before you meet. It’s easy to spot and block the obvious idiots with their inappropriate comments or lack of communication skills.

Whats more difficult to spot is the guy who comes across well, who is interesting, educated, intelligent, funny but married. These charmers are playing the game and clocking up as many scratches on their head-board as possible.

That’s where being sensible comes in, it pays to be careful.

The cocktails in Metropolitan were as good as usual. We grabbed a booth and pulled over some chairs. Then ordered Cosmopolitans and French Martinis, the usual childish sniggers at Sex On The Beach, grow up girls for Gods sake, you would think that you never get out!
Inevitably as it always does, after the catch-ups were complete and the cocktails and wine started to take effect the conversation turned to sex!

Who wasn’t getting any – Jane single but happy and Sandra married but doesn’t enjoy it. She says that she finds the full thing rather disgusting. I feel sorry for her husband locked into a loveless or sexless relationship, why would you put up with that?

Who was getting some – That seemed to be the average with a few nods from Lynn and Jill that they were content with what they had as long as their men didn’t look for it too often as they were usually tired and in their bed by 9:30 most evenings and heaven help their husbands if they woke them up.

Who was getting lots – Susan single is currently seeing 2 guys at the same time, one is a long term friend with benefits that she works with and the other is a new guy that she met online a few weeks ago.

She says that she is having a great time with the new guy and he’s good fun, but the sex isn’t as good as with the first guy, who she has known for years but is quite boring, very needy and wants to marry her. It was a good fun joking about we would cut and paste from each relationship.

ie. The new guys physique and sense of humour and the first guys face and desire to please.

But although Susan is a good friend, with my sensible ehad on I’m not really sure how my morals sit with this.

What do you think? Is she a dirty cow or is she entitled to do what she wants?

Oh as long as she doesn’t hurt anyone? Do you think?

Does it make any difference that she hasn’t told either of them about the other?

If there’s nothing to hide, then why hasn’t she been upfront and honest?

Would it be any different if that was a man playing the field and keeping secrets?

What if you were one of those girls who were being lied to?

How would you feel then?

The conversation continued with Susan at the focus. There was the usual kidding and joking about size and technique and asking if she had ever nearly been caught. She proudly admitted that she had almost been caught one night when the first guy turned up at her door while the new guy was in bed. Fortunately she was going to the kitchen at the time and had noticed his car from the window of her flat and had turned the security buzzer off just in time.

But apart from the bawdy laughter, I think that it’s fair to say that most of the girls agreed it was fun but wrong and thought that she should dump both of the men and find someone who was fun to be with and was good in bed.

At that point the conversation went a little quite and I must confess to feeling a little sheepish in case I became the focus of the conversation.
Why then did they all turn and look at me at that point? It was as if they could sense my reticence to get involved or offer any opinions in case it drew attention to myself.

“So .. “ Jane said, looking straight at me pausing until the conversation had gone quiet and she had the attention of all of the girls “How is your new man in the sack?”

I could feel myself blush again! But this time I didn’t have to lie.

“I’ve no complaints, in fact quite the opposite” I said demurely and held her eye for a moment then looking round the table hoping that would appease them but as I feared it wasn’t enough and the girls were baying for more.

“Apparently he’s got a big dick and he knows how to use it” Jill almost screamed in excitement as she let out her little bit of gossip and the group went into fits of laughter. I hope she’s not wearing her Tena Lady and has a little accident.

I could feel myself go red and quietly glared at Lynn who was mouthing “Sorry” and had obviously been telling Jill something I’d told her in confidence.

“Well okay, if you must know, it’s true and I really do have no complaints” I thought well it’s out there now; I might as well go with the flow.
At least that seemed to keep them happy, they were almost congratulatory in that I’d met someone that I liked who was knew how to show a girl a good time both in and out of bed. Particularly as they knew I’d been on my own for so long.

After a couple of hours we took the short walk down to Merchants Pride. I’d never been before but Jane, Jill and a few of the other girls had been on a number of occasions and said that it was good fun.

That’s where I first met Stuart.

… to be continued!

This is Part 14 of my ongoing dating story, told from her point of view when she is tempted by the other guy that she meets in the bar on her night out with the girls

Interesting that she is morally judging her friend and about to put herself in the same situation.

Now Is The Only Time!

A friend of mine sent me the following poem about living in the now.

Isn’t it delightful?

I love the power of living in the moment as Now is the only moment we ever actually live in.

Appreciate what you have and go and enjoy it.

The sun is shining in Glasgow today so why aren’t we out there drinking cider righr now?

I’m in! 🙂

Now is a good time
When yesterday’s gone and tomorrow is near,
Why look for a thing when it’s already here.
And tell me you never once asked yourself how
Some people end up in the middle of the now.
Now is the beat of the feet on the floor,
Now is the then we were all waiting for.
It’s the strike of the luck.
It’s the go with the flow.
It’s the sharing the luck with the people we know.
See, a wise fool once said,
Kinda out of the blue,
That life is a dream
That’s already come true.
It’s less of the what and the where and the how,
It’s more of the you and the me and the now.

PS – This was written specifically for the latest Magners Cider campaign.

What difference does a day make?

If its your birthday, a big birthday, does the moment that the clock ticks over and you’ve hit another milestone really make any difference?

A close family member of mine hit the big 4-0 today, are they any less beautiful than they were yesterday?

Are they any less beautiful than they were on Saturday night surrounded by their family and friends, dressed to kill, dancing the night away and hugging everyone?

Of course not.

So what is age anyway?

For me its just a number, its your attitude to life and enthusiasm for living thats important.

Sometimes we feel that the weight of time is pushing against us .. but push back .. do not give up.

If like me, you were constrained in your youth, through lack of money or confidence, hopefuly you’ve grew up and past that stage. You’ve flourished as a person and you are being all you could ever be.

So my friend, I say to you, get out there and live a LOT.

Do all those ridiculous things you ever wanted to do. do those simple things that bring you pleasure.

Surround yourself in the people that matter to you and tell them how much you love them.

Most importantly, enjoy yourself, we pass this way only once.

I love this poem, it nails the frreedom that comes with age .. but do it now.

http://paulocoelhoblog.com/2011/02/10/i-shall-wear-purple/

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Me, I had a fab weekend, the right balance of friends, family and fun.

Saw a band with my friends on Friday.
Took my cousins kids to a movie and shopping on saturday..
Was at her 40th birthday party on saturday night and danced my socks off.
Drank Cidre and played football in the sunshine yesterday.
My legs are stiff and my face is red today but will brown later.

Then my dad too ill and was kept in hospital for observation.

Too much fun at the party he says!

He’s always been an inspiration to me, the wisest most astute man I’ve ever known.

A total family man who knows how to live well.

Love him lots, losing him will be devasting, but he’s certainly lived a full life.

But lets not think about that yet.