Blue sky days · Holiday · Uncategorized

People watching in Crete!

People watching has always amused me and during my week away it has not failed to make me smile.

My first encounter was Lilo Lil who’s always on her water bed. Her and hubby have matching cool cups that they fill up at the free bar. The cups convienently fit into her waterbed and hubby pushes her around the pool. Hubby is shaped like Popeye but without the tattoos or pipe, although Lil definitely wears the trousers in that relationship. Oh and tanned? Creosote is their colour of choice!!!

Speedo Man came to my attention around the pool on my second day. Yes, he is wearing sky blue speedos and just so we are really certain, the word Speedo is emblazoned on them. He is a man of a certain age and undoubtedly drives a Mercedes Benz in his home country. He doesn’t quite strut but is confident with himself as he walks to the bar for another drink. He likes his Cuba Libre just so, which means light on the cola! The party of four are quite happy to sit all day on their loungers only moving to top up their glasses or partake in lunch and take an occasional dip in the sea. As Speedo is a recognisable word and I really don’t want to offend, he is also known as Hakuna Matata man due to his t-shirt. He obviously enjoys his labels in all areas of his life as most people would ask for rum and coke on holiday not Cuba Libre!

During an afternoon at the beach a young couple arrived and they chose their sun beds carefully. He covered himself in sun cream, laid out his towel and settled down. The tall young lady sorted out her bikini top, found her cap, book and then proceeded to apply sun cream. She must’ve stood for at least ten minutes doing her preparation and then arranged her towel and lay down. Her head hadn’t touch the sun bed before get boyfriend said let’s go for a swim. Preparation is everything they say ….. possibly not on this occasion!!

Painted lady intrigued me. Small and petite with a penchant for Louboutins. I spotted them at dinner but are they real or fake? I wouldn’t know! She revealed a dragon tattoo that ran from her shoulder, down her side to her ankle. It was fabulous if rather unusual.

Milk bottle boy was just that – bright white. No amount of factor 50 is ever going to stop him from turning lobster red. Get over it, sit in the shade, read a book and remember pale is interesting!!

Well don’t you see life on holibobs.Thank goodness for dark glasses!!

Keep smiling 😎

Maz x

New chapters · Pink calmness · Purple madness · School · Uncategorized

‘That’s all folks!’ a new journey?? …..

Well as Bugs Bunny said ‘That’s all folks!’ and another school year has ended. Sixteen years I have been a school secretary – 16 end of year school procedures I have undertaken – that’s an awful lot of children I have moved up through the school and out of it to start their new journey at the junior school. 16 new beginnings for 60 little ones starting their education with us at the infants. I have enjoyed those years and at the beginning it was an ideal career to have when my own boys were young. No child care during the long six weeks holidays!

However, now I am thinking it’s time for a change? Often I am told that the school office is the epicentre of the school. Where all problems are solved, tears are often spilled, confidences whispered, heartbreaking and heart warming news shared and my virtual swear box is continually overflowing! It is also the place where all the rubbish is dumped – physical or mental. The one stop shop that staff and parents assume everything can  be made to appear or be repaired with the wave of  -nope not a wand – but usually the magic of the WWW or in lesser problems the help of the telephone and our pleasant help desk advisers! There is not a magic wand or a magic fairy or even a Minna (who did all the loathsome jobs) as we used to say in Germany.  In actual fact it is I (sorry just had to do the quote “It is I, Leclerc!” -you’ll either know it or not) who sorts out the chaos and tries to bring pink calmness into the raging purple madness.

If I am so important and central to the running of the school here are a few questions I have asked myself recently. How come in those sixteen years I have never been asked to watch a Christmas performance (we have at least three including rehearsals). Yet I type up the programmes, source costumes, stitch and iron on occasions and smile pleasantly as devoted parents come to watch their little darlings. The same little darlings that I have seen grow from shy little three year olds to confident, sometimes over confident, seven year olds. Same goes for sports days and the most hurtful of all the Leavers Service when our Y2 sing their hearts out as they start on the next step of their educational journey. Not asked to pop into the school disco, unless I am volunteered to help out, after I have popped to the shops on the way home to buy juice and biscuits.

I would like to feel that I have made a difference to the children and staff’s lives during those years. Now, don’t get me wrong, I am under no illusion that if I were to leave tomorrow, yes I would be missed, but not for me, myself, but for the things that I do. I often refer to my job in the sense of throwing a pebble into a lake, it would ripple for a while then become calm again. I would cause the ripple by leaving, but as soon as my vacant seat is filled the calmness would resume again. At present I find myself saying frequently after another disaster has been averted, ‘you’ll miss me when I’m gone’ with the reply being ‘but you’re not going anywhere!’ Oh dear, I wonder what they would say if they knew what I am thinking.

I need to make a big decision and the most  important point of issue is – where do I go and what do I next? My first step would be to tell my employer that I wish to leave, but telling them you are leaving and do not have another job to go to – is even more difficult. Yes, I know, I have also been told that it’s easier to find another job whilst still employed. At present nothing seems to suit me or the skills that I thought I had gained over the years. It seems I might just be the typical Girl Friday who doesn’t really have any major skills. I feel if I don’t make the decision when school starts again this September, I could possibly be thinking the same thoughts by NEXT September. The years are flying by so quickly I would like to think I could do something a little bit more worthwhile with my time.

I need to think long and hard over this summer as chaos looms and there will be definitely purple madness!!

Any useful ideas or comments would be appreciated.

Keep smiling  and drink iced coffee while the sun is shining! Image result for coffee image clip art

Maz x

 

 

Family · Food, Chinese, Noodles · Holiday · London · Memory making · Uncategorized

Wicked!

A couple of weekends ago we spent time in the ‘big smoke’ .. always wanted to say that! Our lovely sons bought us tickets to see the musical ‘Wicked’ at The Apollo, Victoria. 

Rather than drive there and back in one day we decided to spend a night at the Milton Keynes Travelodge.

Yes the home of concrete cows! Actually there is a vibrant evening party feel around the hotel. Lots of trendy cocktail bars and fab foody places. Next time we’ll definitely try one those!

After a quick train ride our first stop was of course Buckingham Palace. We spent the day wandering around and I was really very surprised how close all the tourist landmarks are to each other. I thought we’d have to walk miles to see them. We did walk miles but that’s because we wanted to see as much as possible! 

Good old Big Ben, and it did chime as we walked by.We stumbled across this fantastic old world pub nestled between 20th century buildings. Unfortunately it was full to bursting so we couldn’t get in, next time hopefully.

Meet Percy, Phil and Pete (mind you they could be Petra, Paula and Phyllis for all l know!) Who all live in St. James Park, I’ve never seen pelicans other than in the zoo before. They were so funny,they didn’t move but kept looking at us then turning away and then peeping around to make sure we we’re still watching.  They were so comical l had to be dragged away.

Horse Guards Parade. I’m really quite impressed with this photo.

Tummy rumbles reminded us we should eat….soon! We’d heard of Wasabi from No 1 son, so daring to be adventurous we gave it a go. Chicken Katsu, curry and rice, ok not overly daring, but it was very enjoyable!

I adore the look and feel of wood and this beautiful door canopy and frame just blew me away. 

So our day sightseeing was coming to an end but the best was to come was next! 

If you’ve seen Wicked you’ll understand how brilliant the show is. If you’ve not seen it..  go!

It’s just ….’Wicked’!!!

Memory making trips with J are always special.

Smile folks 😘 Maz 

Family · Food, Chinese, Noodles · Sheffield · Uncategorized

Visit to Sheffield

No 1 son moved back to Sheffield October 2016 after a year in Bath. As we live in the Midlands do you think he’s trying to move away as far as possible.. hmm! To be honest he went to Sheffield uni at 18 and never  came home to live with us again. After gaining a degree and a hard worked for PhD… proud parent alert… as we now can address him as Doctor. 

This weekend was a first visit to his new flat and sunny Sheffield. I fell in love with this city twelve years ago and said this was the uni for No 1 son on the very first uni open day visit. I was right and it became his home.

Sheffield Town Hall, with beautiful blue sky.

Sheffield is a vibrant multicultural city with plenty of independent shops as well as the usual retail outlets. However take a slow stroll along the sometimes steep abd cobbled side streets and you will find amazing buildings. Like this fabulous corner pub ‘The Three Tuns’. I wonder if they managed to get a double bed upstairs and into those rooms!

Of course a visit to the Peace Gardens is a must. To watch a little one who is daring enough to brave the tall spouts of icy cold water from the fountains. Surprisingly there are always one or two brave? silly? who will dare! And more often than not… someone does!

Food often plays  big part of our visit as No 1 is vegan. Arrgghh I hear you murmur, yes it can be difficult, but not here. There is an abundance of varied food outlets, from street vendors to takeaway and high class restaurants. First stop, as H just cannot pass by a pastie shop. He reminds me of the Oxo children following the delicious smell of gravy. His internal sat nav must have all the pastie shops pinpointed! For the rest of us it’s the tiny Chinese shop. If the locals use it then it must be good. It was, spicy noodles are always a favourite.

Ok so not the most fantastic photo but from No 1 son’s flat it shows how Sheffield is a mix of buildings and big skies. It’s wonderful.

Love Sheffield 💕

Keep smiling 😘 Maz

Mazzamaid, crochet, handmade · Uncategorized

Beautiful Blues..

January can be a drab month and after all the sparkle of Christmas I’m looking forward to spring and sunshine. I enjoy all the seasons as they can bring delights in different ways. Here’s my little bit of happy which makes my heart lift. I learned to crochet a few years ago….I’m still learning! But I’m pretty chuffed with my cosy blanket  from the fab Lucy@attic24 and my own project using odds n ends..cushion. I hope you like them. Douglas seems quite cosy too!

Keep smiling 😘 Maz x

Family · New chapters · Uncategorized

New chapters…

Today I have had two thought provoking events that have made me think about my life and where I go next.

The first revelation has been that rude people are always rude and like the proverbial leopard never change their spots. In my position I am expected to always be the epitome of diplomacy never knowingly undermining any of my work colleagues or the system I work in . However, the unwashed public feel that they have the given right to be extremely rude and unpleasant to me without regards to my feelings. As always I must smile sweetly and keep my mouth shut and my thoughts to myself. If I were to meet that person in the street, I say to myself, I will give them what for….but if I’m honest I would not give them the satisfaction of caterwauling in the street. I would look them up and down, with a shoulder shrug and an icy stare I would strut off in the other direction. I am not going to lower myself to their level.

My second revelation today has been, no matter how long you have worked in an establishment, work colleagues are just acquaintances that you are in the presence of for six hours plus a day. An enjoyable work environment is pleasant, regardless of who you are in contact with, but when you walk out of the office and step into your transport of choice you become yourself again. Ringing true the saying ‘I work to live, not live to work’.

Perhaps these thoughts are putting the idea in my head that the time is right to make a move. Leaving any where after a substantial amount of time will always bring emotions bubbling to the top. Yes, people say you will be missed, no one can ever replace you, but the job continues and there is no time to mourn the leaver. It’s similar to throwing a pebble into a stream. It breaks the surface, the ripples subside….it’s gone, never to be thought of again. Perhaps not thought of is too strong a sentiment.. Christmas and special occasions you may be invited to return. Be welcomed back with hugs and kindness, but the in jokes will exclude you. The giggles will not include you and the feeling of being the outsider, the visitor will be a strain on both sides. 

Is it ever easy to leave your job? Would it be preferable to slide away quietly at the end of the day? Without the knowledge that someone in the background is badgering folk to put a few pounds in the inevitable brown collection envelope? The coffee break chats of what shall be we buy? what would they like? are we having a leaving do? who’s going to buy the Leaving Gift?? Yes it becomes a sentence said in capitals! 

It makes me think it would be easier to stay put…. but our lives are lived in chapters and I really hope my time has come to turn over a new page…

 

Christmas · Family · Uncategorized

An early birthday present…

My lovely husband surprised me last weekend with an early birthday gift. Theatre tickets for the Royal Ballet to watch The Nutcracker at The Hippodrome.

The Nutcracker was magical and not a sound could be heard during the performance. The height the boys reached was astonishing and the girls seemed featherlight. 

Oh to be a ballerina…whom I’m kidding… I’d be the baby elephant in tights… sigh.. we can all dream! 🙄

The #Hippodrome was definitely dressed to impress with its finest twinkly lights and perfect Christmas trees. The foyer buzzed with anticipation and we fuelled ourselves with coffee and fruit cake before taking our seats. We’re so rock n roll 😉

Even the fire curtain was spectacular.The boxes looked plush and comfy. I might have have to stand my ground next time and ask for a box! 

It was a special evening. Not only celebrating another birthday but also the end of a very difficult year for my fabulous husband. 

We’ll live to fight another year… onwards and upwards!