I has technology

And I posted using my new phone. Whoot!  Go me!

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New Things

20150109_172413 I decided to make Thai fish curry. I had a recipe from a friend which was lovely when she made it – although she apparently makes her own curry paste. I followed the recipe. This is new in itself, to be honest!  And we ate it. There are only leftovers on the plate because the rest got wolfed down before I took a picture. We had icecream for pudding.  It turns out her home made curry paste has less chilli in than shop bought. And her recipe adds more chilli. Good, but needs more icecream. ..20150110_133235

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New ‘New Thing’, number one – conquering technology. Kind of.

I have already done a number of New Things, having prompted myself to make a fresh start. One thing is I have just started 100 Happy Days. http://100happydays.com/ I am not posting them all here (I am using my more personal and less anonymous Facebook) but I *will* post when I have done them all.  The thing I am posting here, for the New Thing is not that I have started 100 Happy Days, BUT that I have taken the time to work out how to use my new phone and actually post pictures to Facebook. So I now CAN do the 100 Happy Days rather than just like the idea wistfully and not do anything about it.

Now to work out how to do it to WordPress…

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Time to try again

Well, anyone who has been keeping count will have realised that, technically, I am NOT ‘notquite40’ at all. I am, in fact, ‘notquite42.’ Ahem.

And if anyone HAS been keeping count, then they can just keep quiet and push off, OK?

So, I promise that I *have* been doing New Things, but I have failed miserably in recording them here. And it has petered off a wee bit in my active intentions to Do New Things. This January, I have been feeling a bit BLAH, and was thinking about New Year Resolutions. I don’t do New Year Resolutions, but I have in the past set goals for the year of things I want to do.  And that is what I have decided to do.

I am not going to complete my set of 40 New Things.

I am going for 42 New Things.  In fact, I am going for one New Thing a week … with leeway!

The first week of January saw a ridiculous number of New Things as we went to Lapland for New Year as a surprise for cherub.

So, New Things included:

IMG_0754Mushing a team of huskies (let’s be fair, they knew what they were doing and where they were going. My job was just to apply the brake!)

IMG_0798Driving a snowmobile

IMG_0835Going for a reindeer sleigh ride

Driving a kick sleigh, tobogganing down a really long hill


seeing the Northern Lights (albeit in the daytime, which I didn’t know was possible)


And, of course, seeing the REAL Father Christmas in a candlelit cabin in the woods.


So, that’s 7 New Things, but I am still going to go for a New Thing this week.

Just don’t know what yet. But will get back to you at the end of the weekend to let you know…

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Bikinis and water slides

If swimming were not so cold and wet, I am sure I would like it more.  As a child I would turn blue with cold … and then throw up.  Not great.  So when my son wants to go swimming, I sit in the café and watch, with a book and a drink, while my husband has quality bonding time with his offspring.

We are on holiday. There is a pool with a water slide and I was informed that the water was pretty warm by pool standards.  So, to my son’s amazement I said I would join them.  I think he thought I was like Gizmo and something horrendous would happen if I got wet.  I then realised my swimming costume had about as much elastic left in it as a plank of wood.  You know how elastic perishes over time and it has that sort of *crunchy* sound when you stretch it?  There was not even any crunch left.

So a trip to Debenhams was in order.  I hate shopping for clothes. See:   https://40inmy40th.wordpress.com/2013/09/11/27-of-40-fabulous-me/  Well, shopping for any kind of underwear is worse.  I need decent support here, folks, and not just of the sympathetic kind.

Four trips into the changing rooms later and the shop assistant was noting my looks of desperation.  However, success was mine and I left with a two-piece.  (One-pieces are Not Flattering, unless the ‘boobs round your waist’ look is suddenly in and no one told me.)

Anyway, off to the pool we went.  And up to the top of the water slides we went.  Son is underage to go on his own, so we have to go down together. On a kind of figure of eight inner tube, with him in front and me behind; bottoms in the hole, and feet up on the side.

Squealing, whooshing and shrieking our way down, to be deposited in the shallows.

WooHoo, that was FUN.  Let’s go again.  So we did.  I went on a single, we did a double again and then… THEN, my son told me I had to go down the BLUE tube. The FAST tube. The one where there is no inner tube and you shoot out the end.  Hmmm.

Well, it IS about time I got some more New Things under my belt.  (I HAVE done a few more, just not posted due to chaos of life. Sorry.)

So off I dutifully went.  (To be honest, I got a lot more exercise going up the steps than actually swimming.)  And shot out the bottom.

Remember that new bikini?

You think you know how this is going, don’t you?

Admit it. You do.

Well, those four trips into the changing room were worth it.  Good fit = staying on and in place.


So there!

The final double ride, though?

We landed in the splash zone, my son let go the sides and disappeared down the centre of the ring and under the water.  Aaargh, I’ve drowned my son! No, he’s OK, he’s surfaced.

I can’t get up.

My bottom is well in the inner tube, and I can’t reach the sides with my feet to get purchase.  “Son, give the ring a pull.”  He lifts the edge almost vertically. NOT what I meant and my bottom slips further into the ring.  He disappears under it again.  I flail wildly. He drags me round, I wave my feet in the air.  I try to grab the sides of the splash zone and only succeed in sliding further into the ring.  Son tows me towards the exit.  Not that this helps me any at all, but he thinks it funny.

Where is husband in all this? At the top of the slide waiting to come down in a single ring.

Or so I thought.

One mighty WHOOSH later and he arrives, with the swell of water lifting me and the ring up and over the edge of the splash pool and onto the side.

Ignominiously hauled out by husband I am laughing so hard that I can hardly breathe. I am doubled over and the tears are running down my face.  If you have ever been laughing so hard that the lifeguard comes over to check you are OK, and has to double check that you really ARE completely fine because he doesn’t believe you, then you have some idea of what state I was in.

The fast chute may have been the official New Thing, but the laughing fit has been a long time coming and was well needed.  So if I can share a smile and possibly even a chortle, then that is a Good Thing.

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29 of 40 – Curling (again) but this time doing and not watching!

OK, I was back up in Scotland for work.  Again.  ::sigh:: Scotland is a lovely place, but I do get tired of actually travelling there. Early start, flight up, 2 1/2 hour drive to the client, full on consultancy and change management for a few days, then reverse to get home.  I drop into bed each evening shattered, particularly as I am usually catching up on sleep deprivation due to a wriggling burrowing five year old Cherub in the middle of most nights.

A previous time I was up there one of the people in the company mentioned her son was taking part in a curling competition that evening. As a New Thing, I went along to watch. (Number 12 of 40. Really? Was it that long agao?!) It was OK. I was glad I had made the effort to go but it wasn’t a ‘Top Ten of Amazing Things’ New Thing.

This time I was up, I mentioned that I’d watched the curling previously and a lady said there was a ‘Have a Go’ session that evening. My first evening, having been up since 4:30 that morning.

But, it is a New Thing and it had looked rather fun last time so I trotted along.

You know, what I find interesting (and I will be posting about this another time) is that my attitude to New Things has changed considerably since I started doing this.  I walked into the bar heaving with people who very obviously Knew What They Were Doing. On my own. And, when confronted with no sign as to what to do, where to go or who to talk to; I didn’t turn tail and go home. I just asked the nearest official looking person, with no qualms.

She scooped me up and off we went 🙂

There were three of us trying curling out.  She was (apparently) a pretty impressive coach and she said we were doing very well. Got me up and doing stuff a bit more advanced than on her ‘Try a session’ crib sheet she was supposed to be following.

See this picture? That was me. All elegance and grace.


See this picture? That is the (probable) origin of the term ‘Right on the button’ where the ‘button’ is the bit in the centre you are aiming for. And that stone? That was my fourth ever stone thrown down the rink.  Ever. I had a standing ovation from the viewing gallery.

on the button

And THIS picture? That was me shortly afterwards, measuring my length on the ice. This was when I was glad noone was taking photos.

penguin tummy

I never did get as good a shot as that fourth one, but I did have an enjoyable time – definitely joining in beats just watching. (And yes, I mean that in every way you would wish to take it.)

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28 of 40 – Winning isn’t everything

I like making things. You will have seen that from my previous posts: I made cheese, I tried marbling, I even tried making pop cakes.  I like crafting things, trying things out, and doing what I can to make Good Things.

But I don’t like being seen to be making an effort. It is a hang up from my childhood town, where standing out was NOT a good idea, and where being seen to try was viewed as an opportunity to mock.  I am working on this, and working through it.  The parents’ race was a big thing for me because of this, rather than any lack of natural talent.

So for the last couple of years, at the local annual community farm show, I was quite content to enter a pot of jam to the popular jam class, and to help my son with some of the childrens’ classes.  I worked hard on the jam, and even won one year with my marrow and ginger jam (with a hint of orange oil) to my utmost delight (and a deal of squealing when I saw the red card under my pot as I went to collect it!)  That was quite an achievement as there are usually about 30 entrants.  (Why enter, then? Well, you get a free ticket to the show, for one thing… 😉 And that would be my ‘excuse’ for entering. But, truly and honestly? I wanted to enter. I wanted to see if I *could* make the best jam.)

There are other popular classes, such as photography classes, fruit cake, Victoria Sponge (jam only filling. Very important that, apparently.)  But they are both very competitive and also classes that I know I don’t have any particular talent at. 

Last time we were at the show, though, I noted that there were a couple of classes that were undersubscribed.  In fact, if I had have entered one of them in particular I would have been guaranteed a Third Place, even if I had been appalling… So I thought that I stood a reasonable chance of topping up my ‘pocket money’ with a little bit of effort.

This is why this year I decided to enter a couple of classes that I would not normally have done: the decorated cake class (‘a cake fit for a Royal baby’), and the ‘Packed Lunch for a hungry farmer’ class.  It was a lot of fun working on them at home, despite a busy schedule, and I had to hurtle to the farm to display them in and amongst doing stuff for Sunday School. 

As I put them out on display, I looked at the others going out and thought to myself, “Who am I to put this offering out there?  Look at those others.  They are a lot more experienced than I am.” But I quelled the feelings attached to these, put them out, arranged everything and shot back home again. The cake, in particular, was cute, but not amazing: (A baby in a rocking cradle with a Union Jack quilt) Image To cut a long story short (OK, shortER, Mr Picky Pants) I won.  Really, I won! My packed lunch won first prize.  In it were: two types of mini calzone, rye and sunflower seed bread roll with homemade haloumi cheese, caramalized onion marmalade, scone with cream and homemade rhubarb and orange jam, pumpkin and sage soup, vegetable crisps and homemade orange and lemon cordial. Image I was so, so pleased with myself. I looked at what I had done, I looked at the others, and I thought, “Yes. I DID do well. Mine IS the best here, indeed.” And I was proud. 

The cake came nowhere, but it was fun to make and great to eat – ripping chunks off it was the only way to carve it up! I also got third prize for my jam 🙂

At the end of the day, I went to pick up my entries.  Tucked under my picnic basket was the red First Prize ticket, and alongside it was another note – The Rowley Parfitt Trophy.  “What’s this?” I asked.  “You won a trophy. Didn’t you know?! Best cookery exhibit in the show.”  “A trophy? I won a trophy?  Really?!”  By this time, my voice was now pretty much only audible to bats and certain breeds of dogs.

I had ignored the prize giving ceremony entirely, chatting instead to one of the stallholders about business grants, because, of course, those things don’t apply to me, do they? Well, this time baby they do.

And I have my trophy (a set of scales, with engraved name plates) on the top of my fridge. I will be getting my name engraved on it, and I will be displaying it with pride. I will be standing out, and I will be holding my head up high. AND I will be entering next year, so they had better watch out – I am planning already how I can hold on to my title… CIMG4600 Oh, and for any of you who were wondering, Cherub entered six classes and came home with six prizes. Some he won by default by dint of number of entrants, but others were where he genuinely did a jolly good job. So well done him, too. CIMG4603

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