Thursday, 25 November 2010

' AMIGURUMI ' Everyone should be doing it!

look what I just discovered... oh the excitement is too much.. !



Those ingenius Japanese have done it again, and I love it! woo woo




Amigurumi is “the Japanese art of crocheting small animals or toys.  The dolls are done in single crochet in the round.  The rounds are never joined, instead being worked in a spiral.  Amigurumi are made up of parts that are crocheted, stuffed, and sewn together.  The parts are usually an over-sized round head, a cylindrical body, arms and legs, ears, tail (if needed) and embellishments.  Sometimes, felt is used to create the ears, face, or nose.  Felt can also make some pretty cute embellishments.” – squidoo




I have bought a few books already for Christmas prezzies on Amazon, and of course one for myself..
and you can even get free patterns via this link-  http://freeamigurumipatterns.blogspot.com/

Wednesday, 24 November 2010

A view from my window.... another one of my poems..



 From here inside I watch my street
The frosty layer on the grass
Protected from the morning chill
exhaling warm breath on the glass.

The rooftops with their icy cloaks
The trees that silhouette the view
All punctuated by the sounds
Of cars and people passing through.

From here inside I watch my street
Herein such warmth and fireglow
Compared to out there such a treat
This week they have predicted snow.

written by Cheryl Powing

Tuesday, 23 November 2010

PLAY.SHIT.com




Order no...229071542
Play.com item
PlayStation3
Naruto Shippuden: Ultimate Ninja Storm 2 (PlayStation3)

This was ordered on the 10th November, a birthday gift for my son who has not yet received his game..
I have been told that I have to wait 21 days to get a new one, I am very very disappointed and feel that you have a very bad policy here as you have been paid and I did not get my order..
I usually use Amazon, and I will continue to do so as I think that your service is rubbish. I also write a blog for a magazine company and you will get some very bad press from me.
Also what the hell is a British company doing using a call center from the Phillipines, bloody ridiculous and cheap of you..
You get a massive thumbs down from me, and you have disappointed my son, which is crap on your part, and unforgivable on mine.. I hate you.
Cheryl Powling
 THE SHIT HAS STARTED ALREADY.....

--------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
--------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

LATEST ADDITION ;
 
Dear Cheryl Powling,

I am very sorry to hear that you are not happy with the information provided to you about our policies and procedures, and also for any difficulty you have had contacting us.

The discretionary powers we operate as managers are only available concerning matters in which Play.com has failed to provide the standard of service or quality of performance it expects to. In cases such as this, which concern clear cases of company policy, we are not able to go against them in order to bring about the desired resolution, although I do appreciate your frustration regarding this order.

I assure you that we do take feedback like this very seriously, and would like to thank you for taking the time to draw it to our attention. I appreciate the depth of your feelings, and promise that this is not indicative of our usual standards of service. We can only endeavour to use episodes such as this to try and underline our commitment to first class customer service, and to do our best to ensure that they do not happen in the future.

I am sorry for any inconvenience you may have been caused in this matter, and thank you for your understanding and valued custom. I understand this is not the solution you wanted and, hope you will accept my sincere apologies for the fact I could be of no further help at this time.

Kind Regards,

Customer Care Team
Play.com

Christmas panic..........

Urgh, just under 5 weeks till Christmas, and the feeling of frenzy is kicking in. The teenagers in the house, all three of them, are telling me that there is nothing in particular that they want this year which is making it worse, I have sat on the internet trying to come up with something to bestow upon them that is original and useful, but have been defeated in my efforts, as I am desperate not to disappoint on Christmas Day. The most important aspect for me, is that everyone is here together, which is a glorious gift in itself, and we will undoubtedly have a flow of visitors, full of festive cheer, and bearing the gifts you wish they hadn't, and that much rehersed face of surprise and delight is getting more difficult every year, along with the shit on TV, watching the same old films, hoping that the ending might have changed since the last time you watched it, but it never does.

Turkeys seem to get more expensive each Yuletide, and even if you don't really like turkey, the tradition takes over your belly and makes it delicious, and the rush to get the oven on at around 10am and the turkey in!.. is 'The Nightmare Before Christmas' that Tim Burton was probably referring to..



 After about a week we all stare at the Christmas tree dreading the great heave of it out through the lounge window and the careful packing away of the decorations, all that hard work and woop it's all over.. Then there's the SALES, which quite frankly scare the shit out of me, all those desperate shoppers, in their new scarves and jumpers, racing about buying stuff they really wanted for Christmas but didn't get, 'WELL MAKE A FUCKING LIST NEXT TIME!'.. and the stuff in the sales is never in your size, or the right colour, it's a total chaotic waste of bloody time, unless you want to camp out on Boxing Day, there aren't many real bargains to be had, my suggestion is.. don't bother, or, stay home and shop online the sales are there to be had at the click of your keyboards, and there's less of a traffic jam getting to my computer at home.


Then it's New Years Eve, and that party you know you should go to, or everyone will think you are being anti-social, when you'd rather stay home and watch Jules Holland, and eat the remains of your chocolate stash. My problem is I don't drink, and a party that goes on that long into the night is just a series of still images of everyone deteriorating physically and mentally, flirting with your husband, and having what they feel is a meaningful conversation about absolutely nothing, which is a total waste of effort because they don't remember anything about it the next hour less alone the next day.
And zoom back to my festive, 'thank you I'm having a great time' face and that's when my wristwatch becomes most visited, because all I've got to do is get to midnight and then I'm home and dry, unless of course it's pissing down..

Friday, 5 November 2010

Oh beautiful chickens!!

Today my beloved chickens were looking a bit wet and muddy.. still gorgeous though..










Thursday, 4 November 2010

My fear and loathing of Firework Night..

Here we go again, 'Firework Night' actually its 'Firework Month' it's the 4th of November today and it's already started....
I feel aggrieved by its canon of importance, and how Mr Guy Fawkes's plot to blow up the king has now become a bright night of festivities, the truth is he was nothing but a terrorist, and we commemorate his failure to blow our crowned head to kingdom come with that relief in mind...The poor bastard was hung drawn and quartered, on the 31st of January 1606 which was over two months after he had been captured, those were the days of justice.. haha, these days he would have been imprisoned with his own colour tv and mobile phone, and been released in 10 years for being a good catholic. Then they would have made a Hollywood fim about him, starring Johnny Depp.


The other thing I hate is how you cannot detach yourself even if you choose to, even if you stay at home trying to mind your own business, you are subjected to the invasion of fireworks popping and screaching all bloody night long, not to mention our poor pets, as one of our dogs, spends the whole evening trembling and panting in sheer terror.

I definitely think the sale of fireworks should be banned for sale to the public, controlled displays are the only sensible answer, since these hazardous sticks of dynamite, always fall into the wrong hands with devastating injuries, go ask the casualty and burns departments of each of our local hospitals they will tell you.
Also if you couldn't buy fireworks, we could draw a line under the celebrated weekend, and all relax.

D'you know what? I googled 'Firework Injuries' and the images were too awful for words.
So I'm posting a nice one....


Friday, 22 October 2010

dramatic chipmunk..





The best ever banana bread....

 This recipe is a Nigella Lawson one I have made it lots and lots of times and it never fails to be excellent, I always have squashy bananas hanging around and they are the ones to use.. the recipe refers to this as a 'bread' but it's moist and cakey.. it is utterly delightful and I made one today, yummm... I usually scatter extra walnuts on top of mine before I put it in the oven..

 

 a view from my kitchen ;)

 

 Ingredients

  • Vegetarian
  • 100g sultanas
  • 75ml bourbon or dark rum
  • 175g plain flour
  • 2 teaspoons baking powder
  • half teaspoon
  • bicarbonate of soda
  • half teaspoon salt
  • 125g unsalted butter,melted
  • 150g sugar
  • 2 large eggs
  • 4 small, very ripe bananas (about 300g weighed without skin), mashed
  • 60g chopped walnuts
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 23 x 13 x 7cm loaf tin, buttered and floured or with a paper insert

Method

  1. Put the sultanas and rum or bourbon in a smallish saucepan and bring to the boil.
  2. Remove from the heat, cover and leave for an hour if you can, or until the sultanas have absorbed most of the liquid, then drain.
  3.  Preheat the oven to 170ÂșC/gas mark 3 and get started on the rest.
  4. Put the flour, baking powder, bicarb and salt in a medium-sized bowl and, using your hands or a wooden spoon, combine well.
  5. In a large bowl, mix the melted butter and sugar and beat until blended. Beat in the eggs one at a time, then the mashed bananas.
  6. Then, with your wooden spoon, stir in the walnuts, drained sultanas and vanilla extract.
  7. Add the flour mixture, a third at a time, stirring well after each bit. Scrape into the loaf tin and bake in the middle of the oven for 1 to 1 and a quarter hours.
  8. When it's ready, an inserted toothpick or fine skewer should come out cleanish.
  9.  Leave in the tin on a rack to cool, and eat thickly or thinly sliced, as you prefer.
Serves: Makes 8-10 slices

Wednesday, 20 October 2010

poem...



Where did all the people go

The ones that taught me all I know

The ones that made the me today 

Who gave me strength to find my way

I hear their whispers in my ears

I smell their perfume, taste their tears

And as I near my twilight years

I feel their pain and share their fears

Could it be that we are one 

I've known them since my world begun

They've carried me when I felt weak

And found the words for me to speak

Such comfort to have such good friends

When I am torn such pleasure mends

I never want to step outside

For all I need is here inside.....


written by Cheryl Powling





The joy of owning a teenager...

If I'd kept the receipt perhaps I could have complained, got a refund, or even an exchange, but my teenager isn't something I can really blame anyone else for, no-one is at fault, because being a teenager is such a complex thing, and trying to understand it takes honesty and patience.

It is rebellion or just angst?, how can someone develop their values without testing just about everyone around them, to see what its like to be adored or even despised?, surely the someone who ends up with a rounded sense of values has challenged the rules, in order to form an individual and rounded definition of things they really love or hate.

We are all part of a large jigsaw in society, and we all have our place in the big picture, but where do we fit in, and who can decide for us? deciding for ourselves, is part of the autonomy that teenagers desire, and although they may appear to have the  invincible and all-knowing jacket on,  the truth is that they are probably feeling inadequate and scared.

Then whilst they are having to deal with all their physical and hormonal changes they also have their peers' hormonal and physical changes, to cope with, and the melting pot continues to boil until the heat is turned down, which I would say is about around the time when all the important decisions and exams have been taken... Yeah too bloody late!



 I think as parents or carers we need to make ourselves accessible and slightly sympathetic with a little bit of impartiality thrown in, in order to form a nice bond with our teenagers so that the confusion when met can be spoken about or shared, you cannot enforce rules and punishment with your children without a relationship otherwise you will end up with adolescent anarchy.

'Smells like Teen Spirit ' to me,  Hello Hello Hello How Low..

Tuesday, 19 October 2010

The Piano..

Tonight we watched 'The Piano' again..



Jane Campion's Oscar-winning movie is all about Ada (played by Holly Hunter), a mute who has not spoken a word for many years, who immigrates to the New Zealand outback ,and the arranged marriage to a man (played by Sam Neill) who tries to come between her and her passion for her piano, which is her voice and her biggest love until she meets Baines (played by Harvey Keitel) who is a tattooed illiterate loner who I think loved her at first sight.
The film is so beautifully portrayed it is compelling and really one of the most passionate and sexy films ever, and it's poignant ending is rather haunting as is the beautiful soundtrack by the ever remarkable Michael Nyman. 
I urge everyone to see this film, it's definitely in my top 5 favourite movies




Holly Hunter is a fantastic actress I can't imagine anyone else being so right for this part , in fact the whole cast was spot on. It is one of those films which makes you feel as if you are there, as the atmosphere was so cleverly captured, for all to see..




Don't delay watching it..

Sunday, 17 October 2010

Penis Envy..

Girls, do you have penis envy, well you too can piss whilst standing up!.

Me I use the SHEEWEE, It's bloody brilliant, the last time I used it was into a bush on the hard shoulder somewhere along the North Circular, it was so easy to use and now I keep one in my bag at all times. I even bought one for all my friends one Christmas..

 Get one here!

They really do work, the best story I have for you is the one where I was at Longleat Safari Park, with my family and we had gone half way around, and I wanted to pee urgently, obviously we couldnt stop or open windows as the wildlife would have had little sympathy for a middle aged woman with a weak bladder, so I had to scramble over to the back of my 4-Wheel drive over three teenagers and into the boot , and I managed to pee into an empty evian bottle. There is a video of it, but I daren't show you, as it is far to embarassing.

There are others on the market and here they are, but I would invest in the Sheewee, get one now




 GoGirl


 Magic Cone


 P-Mate


 PStyle


 T-Pee


 TravelMate


 Urifemme


Whiz-Freedom



freshette

Saturday, 16 October 2010

The path of righteousness...

Let me make myself clear........

I have no religion, therefore I am a rebel in the opinion of some people
I have no belief in the afterlife, therefore I am without purpose after my death
In my life I have heart and soul and I do not rely on the bible to teach me, or to put fear into me
I am my own person, and I take full responsibility for my actions
And my salvation comes from the goodness in me, made by me, and I will not sell myself to God.

There is a difference between religion and spirituality.
Religion is about politics, and rules, and spirituality is about broadmindedness
A holistic state of mind, open and free.


I will fear no evil, for thou are inside of me 
And I shall want for no higher authority than I, to lead me from wrong
The explanations for many things I did not understand are now defined with science and technology
And this makes more sense.

Peace comes with the beautiful relationships that we have with others, and ourselves.
Religion is not reality.. It is not my shield..

written by Cheryl Powling


Thursday, 14 October 2010

Loveable Rogue

this describes how I feel about someone at the moment.... we all know one don't we?

Check out this website I think it's pretty cool, great for prezzies..


The great thing is you can customise your own crockery.. I love it!!  :D

Sign of the times..

I read with merriment that a new series of the costume drama Downton Abbey has been commissioned.



 The first episode of the series in September, starring Dame Maggie Smith, actually attracted an average audience of 8.8 million people, not that I'm at all surprised, what a fabulous and long awaited Sunday night treat.

Written and created by Oscar-winning Julian Fellowes the story is set in the year 1912 and follows the life of an aristocratic family who are living in a rapidly changing society, it lets us in to the servants downstairs, and their dedication and hard work, but also their concerns and ambitions, which is really quite moving.

Why is it that every time I watch something like this I wish I was there, there's something about the way things were conducted and dealt with that I really love, the romance, the scandal, the elegance, well that was if you were rich.
Those were the days just before the horrors of World War One, and when there was a class system that was unsympathetic and rigid, when 'downstairs' never reached the 'upstairs', where you stayed at the level you were born to, hmm, but wasn't there respect, and good behaviour?.. no actually, It was fear and surrender.

If you weren't lucky enough to be born into aristocracy your life as a woman during the Edwardian era was restricted by more than just tight corsets, no decent education, employment prospects rather grim, years of childbearing due to no contraception, and marriage whether happy or not, and an age also when women often died in childbirth, when TB, rheumatic fever, diphtheria and scarlet fever were commonplace.

The rights we have gained as women in the past century are unquestionable, but in many ways we have exchanged one set of shackles for another. I for one think that our role has rather lost it's charm and in our quest to "have it all", we are burdened with competing pressures to work, manage the home, raise children and look young and beautiful, the result being that the family foundations has lost it's ever so important role, I for one despair over this, I also wonder how without this nurturing structure, kids of today are supposed to become socially conscious, without the marrow of family values running through their bones.

Without a sense of belonging, the gang mentality takes it's victims, as everyone wants to be 'a part of' and where family has stepped down, this terrible wish to cluster into territorial and bullying groups becomes apparent, it always did and it always will.

How I got onto this when I started on about 'Downton Abbey' is really typical of how my mind seems to work, I am one minute feeling rather pleasant about something or somewhere, and I am whooshed along by a sudden gust of emotion, or even enlightenment.. sign of the times maybe?, but is it the century that I find myself living in or just human nature? you decide....

Wednesday, 13 October 2010

My many career moves.

Have you ever felt that there's something that you are good at , that you just haven't discovered yet?. I think I tried particularly hard to find mine.

 I for one left school with 1 O'level which was a total waste of the superb opportunity I had at one of the top girl's grammar schools in London, I was of a rebellious nature and exams and school clashed with boys and nightclubs, and at the time I was unaware that the latter could have entertained me into my twenties, and my education would come to an abrupt end by the time I was 16.



The only saving grace was that I was good looking and fearless, I drifted from job to job, and it took me 5 years to realise that I was unemployable, due to lack of motivation, and interest in having a routine, which I found restrictive and dull.

I worked in the advertising department for The Enfield Advertiser, Enfield Independent, and the Haringey Gazette which I only did because I got a car, and even though it was just a Fiat Panda it was worth it for a while anyway.

I worked as a recruitment consultant for Atlas Staff Bureau and could not believe the office politics, I was a photographers assistant, I was a promo girl in large stores, I worked for Mars and then Rowntrees and also Whitbread, as a merchandising representative and managed to fill out enough paperwork to say I was doing my job when I really wasn't, borrrring. I got a job as a Penthouse Pet but my boyfriend at the time hit the roof.



I was a sales rep for a cleaning company, got the sack for throwing lit cigarette ends out of the window to discover to my horror they had flown back into the back seat and burned thousands of deep holes into the upholstery, then to top it all I reversed into a tree at full speed whilst going for an audition as a session singer in a studio in south London, which I got and decided I wanted to be singer which resulted in me signing a contract with a small record label, funded by Chas Chandler of The Animals fame, which culminated into bugger all.



Me and Ian Dury

I worked in a wine bar in Islington, a restaurant in Southgate, and a pub, a Greek factory on the production line, where they made cakes, a car spares center in Haringey, and a sandwich bar in Earls Court.

I was a receptionist in a seedy massage parlour in Kings Cross (that was very interesting longest job I ever had), and I worked at the Pineapple Dance Studios in Floral Street, Covent Garden.


Me at the 'Cannes Film Festival' promoting some crappy film by the Cohen Brothers, note the stickers on the boobs, hahaha


I had a lock up shop in Camden selling second hand clothes ,( I actually  liked that ). I worked in a health food shop, a Chemist, oh a bookshop, and a shoe shop in Oxford Street.
I was a pin -up for the Marines during the Falklands War. (luvverly jubbly)



I worked for a press cutting agency, called Romeike and Curtis, but got sacked for chatting too much, and I was a care assistant in a Church Army old people's home for 4 months.

Oh, and I was a 'Starbird' aswell.


 All that in 5 years......now you can't say I didn't try can you..?