Monthly Archives: January 2012

Hurrah! I’m not the only mal-coordinated person out there


I read several other blogs but this entry from Deidra Alexander REALLY made me laugh (and offer up a prayer of thanks that these things don’t just happened to me.  If you need proof of how incapable I am re-read this)  Check out Deidra’s blog:  Tangled in My Own Clothes?.

Its a small world after all – my family tree


Through the miracle that is the internet, I have discovered an extended family that reaches all four corners of the world (literally).  Many moons ago, I was contacted by my cousin Rosemary (well, technically she’s my Dad’s cousin) through “genes reunited.”  Remember “friends reunited?”  Genes reunited was a spin off.

Nowadays everyone who’s everyone is on Facebook, so I’m not even sure if the “reunited” sites are even still going.  Yesterday cousin Rosemary posted something I “liked.”  Another lady called Jo Weems also liked it.  It turns out we’re fourth cousins!  How amazing is that?  A lady who lives in Arizona whom I’ve never even heard of is actually my cousin!  Now I don’t profess to be an expert or anything – that’s Rosemary’s job.  She’s put an inordinate amount of work into tracing our family tree and thanks to her, I know who my ancestors are right the way back to the mid 1700’s.  We (Gow’s, Laurie’s and Urquhart’s) originated in Scotland, but nowadays I can find relatives in UK, USA, Africa, Australia, and New Zealand.

Anyone interested in Rosemary’s journey through our family tree should check out her blog.  It’s amazing what you can discover if you put your mind to it;  it really is a small world after all!

Girls don’t do cars


Now I know all the feminists out there will disagree.  Listen, I can change a tyre, check the oil, change light bulbs, I even fitted a new bumper once.  What  I discovered today though is that I definitely cannot bump start a car by myself.  Trust me; I learnt the hard way!

So this morning the car wouldn’t start.  This has happened a few times recently so I wasn’t unduly worried.  We live on a hill and it’s easy enough to bump started once you get the car going.  Since my husband hadn’t had a good night’s sleep (apparently someone snoring… not sure who that was.. eh hem), I thought I’d do the decent thing and leave him to snooze.  I’m a big girl – how difficult can it be to bump start a car on your own?  I’ve done it before; easy peasy…. Or so I thought.

I managed to roll the car off the driveway on to the unadopted road we live on.  I even managed to get it pointing the right way.  I was really pleased with myself.  So I start pushing it down the road with the intention of getting it to the point where the hill starts, jumping in and hey presto – bump starting the car.  Doesn’t sound so difficult and I’ve watched my husband do it numerous times.

What I forgot to add into my “how hard can it be” calculations was that I am one of the most malcoordinated people I know. So there I am pushing the car to the brink of the hill and attempting to jump in.  Unfortunately, I’d pushed it a bit too far down the road so the car started gathering speed and I still hadn’t jumped in.  I tried, I promise I really tried to jump in but being the moron that I am, it didn’t go according to plan.  No.  Not at all.  Instead of the smooth entry I was hoping for, my foot got stuck under the pedals at the wrong angle meaning that I couldn’t haul myself in in the way I wanted.  I was left trying to run with the car on one leg.  Speed hopping whilst trying to steer a runaway car is apparently not my forte.  As the car gathered speed my speed hopping faltered and turned in to just being speedily dragged down the road for a couple of hundred yards instead.  “This is it,” I thought, “I’m going to die.”

Now people say that when they have a near death experience their whole life rushes before their eyes and they see bright lights.  I can confirm that it is not true.  What actually happens is that you think “if this doesn’t kill me, my husband will when I get in,” and “I wonder whether the council will mind if I plough through their Cyprus trees?”

Whilst contemplating how to tell me husband that not only have I totaled the car, I have lost a leg in the process I had an epiphany.  The handbrake!  So, whilst still trying to speed hop and steer the car I yanked the handbrake on and hoped the road plateauing would do the rest.  Thankfully I came to a clumsy stop outside a neighbour’s house, albeit at a strange angle, and breathed a huge sigh of relief.  There was pain screaming up my hopping leg, but I was still alive.

Much to my embarrassment, my ordeal had not gone unnoticed.  No, I’d come to a stop right outside some building work where my 5 foot nothing Brummie friend came careering out of the driveway, effing and jeffing and asking what in the hell I thought I was doing.  She thought I’d possibly had some sort of fit and fallen out of the car.  When I explained I was trying to bump start the car she fell about laughing.  Once she’d picked herself back up of the floor, she got out her jump leads and asked whether they might have been a safer option.  I couldn’t have been more grateful!

So, with the car now started I went off to run my errands.  I refused to look at my leg which was now agony since I thought that if I stopped to look I might not make it back to the house.

Finally I made it home.  All my plans of not waking my husband up went by the wayside as, with my bottom lip wobbling, I told him of my “little accident.”  He was not amused.  The anger soon dissipated though when I took my trousers and sock off to inspect my leg.  I had some nasty looking grazes on my knee and down my shin.  I also managed to lose some of my toenail and possibly the tip of my big toe.  I’m hoping he’ll ignore the fact I was wearing his sports socks and crocs at the time!

So there we have it.  The embarrassing story of why girls (well, this girl at least) shouldn’t do cars.  Next time… well let’s face it, there won’t be another time – I’ll get someone else to do it!

Happy motoring everyone!


Share your travel stories


Bucket List Publications - Accepting Submissions!


I don’t just write a blog, I read about what other people are up to too.  One of my favourite blogs is asking for travel story submissions.  What a brilliant way of sharing stories and collaborating with others to tell our travel tales.  Anyone wanting to write or has already written about their travel adventures, extreme adventure, top tourist destinations or bucket list adventures should check out this post over at Lesley Carter’s blog.

Happy writing everyone!

Click Bucket List Publications – Accepting Submissions! to read more about it.

Dance the Bright Flamenco


“Dance the bright flamenco.   Let the music ring.   Dance around with graceful steps and move to the Spanish beat.  Red silk roses pinned in precious hair and glossy gowns fly as you throw your hands up and dance, just dance the bright flamenco.”

Here’s the final installation of my Flamenco triptych.  I must admit to feeling a bit sorry that the project is finished.  I have other ideas in the pipeline, but nothing to start straight away…. Hmmm.  What to do! What to do!

Anyway, I digress – I hope you like it?  Feel free to look at the others in the series here.


Flamenco 3, completed in watercolour January 2012



Play it again Sam – more arty inspiration


I finally finished the second picture in my Flamenco series (there will be three).  Again, I’ve taken inspiration from my new home and the painting was completed in watercolour.  I hope you like it!

Flamenco 2 in watercolour

Back down to earth with a bump and grumpy as hell – but things are looking up already!


Firstly I have to apologise for my complete lack of communication of the Christmas period.  I have no excuse, except that I am innately lazy.  That, and the fact I spend all my working life in front of a computer and I just couldn’t quite bring myself to do it when I was on holiday.  Sadly though, the holidays are over, I’m back to work, and here I am again.

The break was great but hectic.  I’m knackered and grumpy as hell this morning since my cunning plan of going to bed early last night went by the wayside in favour of the PDC World Darts Final and a few more chapters of Lora Leigh’s Kiss of Heat.  I definitely came down with a bump this morning when I had to crawl out of bed and get my head in gear for work.  Still, at least I know I’m not alone.

So what to look forward to for 2012?  I’ve decided not bother with New Year’s resolutions.  They’re a complete waste of time in my opinion, especially since everyone always chooses things like “I will go to the gym everyday,” and “I’ll lose 10 stone by February.”  We are doomed to fail before we’ve even begun.  So this year I wont be giving up smoking – mostly because I like it.  I probably won’t be going to the gym – mostly because there isn’t one here (and lets face it I wouldn’t go even if it was in my house).  I won’t be on a diet – mostly cos, well I can’t be bothered and I managed to lose nearly 3 stone last year just by not being in the office and sustaining myself on biscuits; working from home definitely has it’s plus sides!

What I have decided to do is take a couple of road trips.  Mostly just because we can.  Now we’re in mainland Europe, the world is my lobster.  I know we’re only on the 3rd of January, but I have at least 4 trips planned in my mind already.  We’re going to Catalonia and on into France, another trip to Granada and a drive across the border to see my brother-in-law in Portugal.  We may also have a Christening in Poland and a wedding back in the UK to squeeze in too!

All very exciting I know, but the piece de resistance must be Morocco.  Yep you heard it folks.  I’m going to drive over to Morocco.  Since its basically one big cultural, historical shopping trip,I’m really excited.  I’ve even (don’t ask me how) got my husband’s blessing!  He’s not one for cultural historical anything so wasn’t really that keen on going.  My mother piped up saying she’d love to go and my husband thought it was a great idea!  Hurrah!  (I think he’s just relieved he doesn’t have to come and traipse around after me and now has the perfect excuse to booze it up in Benidorm for a weekend).  So Mum and I are having a proper girly holiday, basically looking and buying.  Heaven!  Now, all I have to do is learn how not get ourselves traded in for some mangy old camels, and it’s a done deal.  Super excited!

We’ve had our first visitors book their flights for Easter already and there are countless others looking to come over and see us too.  All in all I think 2012 is going be a great, but VERY busy year.  I can’t wait.

What will it hold in store for you??

Happy New Year everyone!