Friday, December 17, 2004

OMG! I can't believe it! I am floating right now! Let me explain ...

Last week I had a meeting with a guy from Beamish Open Air Museum with a view to selling my soaps in the gift shop. I showed him my full range of products, along with wholesale prices, turnover times, production levels, etc, and he said he'd get back to me in a couple of days as he had other soapers to see.

Well, a week passed, plus another couple of days, followed by a phone call to the museum with a message for him to ring me when he returns to the office ...

... well, I reckon you've guessed the rest. He has just been on the phone and we've closed the deal. I am now official handmade soap supplier to Beamish Open Air Museum! Wahoooo!
I'd better get soaping when I've scraped myself off the ceiling!

Wednesday, December 15, 2004

Well, I'm feeling better now. I can't believe it's taken me this long to start to feel ok. I was so devastated over Biff, my whole world fell apart.
Anyway, I thought it was about time I started writing in my journal again, so here I am. I have just been over to my cousin's house to a) sell her some soap she wants to give to her bairn's teachers, and b) to fix her computer! Well worth the visit ... I got £26 of sales, lunch and a free bottle of wine thrown in! LOL
However, on my way home I was frightened by some bloke who was tailgating me all the way home, then when I indicated and slowed down to turn into my street he started tooting on his horn and gesticulating and swearing at me (I could see him through my rear view mirror ... I could even lipread what he was saying to me and it's not something to repeat). There was quite a bit of traffic coming from the other direction, so I had to wait a few seconds before I could begin to turn, and he tooted and swore and made filthy gestures at me the whole time. It was quite scary and I feel rather rattled and upset about the whole thing. Luckily he didn't follow me home.
Why are some people such dickheads?!

Thursday, December 09, 2004

On Monday 29th November Biff took a turn for the worse. I made the decision then and there that enough was enough and it was time to end her pain. My husband and I took her to the vet that afternoon, and she died quietly in my arms at 2:45 pm.

This past week I have been unable to tell you about it, both of us have just spent the time grieving, indeed, typing this now has got me in tears.

Thank you everyone for all your kind thoughts. These pages have been up for a few years ... I think I'm going to leave them up now:

Biff's Pages

Tuesday, November 16, 2004

Biff, my dog, is very ill now. Those of you who've read past posts will know that she was diagnosed with lymphosarcoma a few months ago. So far she's coped very well with it ... that is until a few days ago. The cancer has spread. On top of that she has an ulcerated gut and is in pain and off her food.
I've just got back from the vets. She's is starting on ulcer treatment today, but we both know that this is the beginning of the end. If I can't make her a bit more comfortable with this lot of treatment, we are going to have to make the hard decision to have her put to sleep. I reckon she has between a few days and a few weeks left.
Needless to say, I don't feel much like posting which is why I've been quiet. I'm going to go and give her a cuddle and have a cry now.

Monday, November 01, 2004


Olivia in another of her fantastic creations!

Well, I took loads of pictures, so I thought I'd better just condense them down in the hope of giving you a flavour of what the whole thing was like.

I'm exhausted. Utterly, utterly exausted. I probably shouldn't have gone what with this virus (the doctor said that's what it was but recommends I have a blood test), and even a healthy person would be tired after such an event. However, I thoroughly enjoyed myself and will be going again in April.

The only photos I was disappointed with were the ones of Alien Sex Fiend ... I just couldn't get close enough to the stage, so I haven't included any of those. Not that it matters, I don't like them anyway, but Zodiac Mindwarp were amazing!

Anyway, enjoy. Hope you don't get too scared by what you see, and if you want to know any more about the famous Whitby Gothic Weekends, have a lookie here (although it is a bit out of date!).

Night night, y'all!


The lovely Olivia


Paul and Olivia doing the Monster Mash


The lovely Olivia. You can probably just make out some bat wings behind her. They were part of her costume and they opened!


Zodiac Mindwarp


Eeeeeeeeek! Actually, that's me. I ended up wearing bloodshot lenses instead of brown ones! And, yes, that IS a wig!


Some fat witchy lass. Oh, it's me again!


Geoff, Graeme, Graham, Glenda, me and Ian (my hubby) wearing his lovely jubbly coat that me and my lovely mam made him.


Just look at that wig! It has a boat in it! The whole thing had a boat theme.

Thursday, October 28, 2004

I'm beginning to get pretty excited now. Ian's coat is finished, and looks pretty fabby, too! I have all my stuff sorted, I think. Today is going to be spent cleaning the house and getting clothes ready for the weekend. Tomorrow I'll be packing, then we leave tomorrow afternoon after 4pm, so there won't be any more entries until after the weekend. However, I have extra batteries on charging as I type this, specially for my camera, so you can expect lots of photos of the event posted here when I get back!
Watch this space! Should be interesting!

Saturday, October 23, 2004

Ok, I'm going to keep this short because I had a big long entry typed out and lost it all when AOL crashed on me ... so ...
... the main gist of it all is that I'm almost ready for next weekend. Some of Ian's coat is done, and when it is I'll post photos of his outfit, but for now, here is mine. Please bear in mind that I'm really blonde with blue eyes! LOL Yes, my brown lenses came today! The headpiece my sister bought for me. All that's missing I think is the typical Gothic makeup and the black fingernails! I even managed to get some comfortable boots today! Yay!
Ok, here they are.



Friday, October 22, 2004

My cloak is finished! Yee haa! Got it finished last night, and got Ian's coat cut out ... 44 pieces! Aaaargh! I'm going to spend most of Monday on it, then Tuesday and Thursday nights, so hopefully we'll get it done. My poor mam, she's helped me so much on these outfits. I really hope we get the coat finished as we go to Whitby next Friday! Aaargh! Still need to find boots, too.
Ok, got to go. I've got wages to work out for Ian's staff, it's payday for them today.

Thursday, October 21, 2004

I've had an awful time sleeping the last couple of nights. This is not like me at all, I usually nod off in no time once my head hits the pillow, but the past few nights I've had an awful time because my legs won't keep still! Have you ever tried to sleep but you have an uncomfortable feeling in your legs like you need to stretch and move them all the time? It's really quite unpleasant. I have had it before a couple of times, but it usually goes away in a few days. Also, my mam suffers from it. So ... I decided to do a little research. If anyone else has this condition, have a look at this website:

http://www.ninds.nih.gov/health_and_medical/pubs/restless_legs.htm

A very interesting read, and 100% of the symptoms fit me exactly. I know I don't eat properly because my stomach is so dodgy, but I'm going to make an effort to eat better, take iron supplements and be more active.
So I'm off out now to take Biff for a walk!

Wednesday, October 20, 2004

I started to clear out the garage yesterday, and guess what I found? 12.5kg of coconut oil! Doh! And here's me panicking because I didn't have any left and worrying that I wouldn't be able to keep up with demand. The difficult thing about soapmaking is that you have to think ahead. Each batch of soap has to be cured for at least 4 weeks before it can be wrapped, labelled and sold, and so I have to have quite a large amount of stock on hand at all times. Oh, well, it's going to be a soapy day today. I'd better get the kitchen cleared out and disinfected ready.
My cape/cloak is almost finished! Yay! I won't be able to go and do some more sewing until Thursday now, but I'm keeping my fingers crossed that Ian's coat will be finished in time for next weekend. Eeeee, I can hardly believe it's so close! Wow! I need to decide what I'm wearing on my feet, though. I have plantar fasciitis in my left foot, and I sprained my right ankle weeks ago and it's still not right, so it's going to have to be something flat and comfortable, as I'll probably be spending quite a lot of time standing. I wonder if I can get some flat comfortable boots from somewhere. Ideas anybody? They must be size 2 because I'm only weeny!

Tuesday, October 19, 2004

I felt a bit better this morning. Haven't taken any Gaviscon at all today! Yay! Posted another 3 parcels this morning, and went to my friend Hazel's house this afternoon for coffee. I had a lovely afternoon, but started feeling a bit dizzy and lightheaded again by about 3 pm. I left shortly after 4, and went shopping for some onions and peppers and salad for dinner. I'm making chicken jambalaya, one of our faves! MmmMMmm.
So, I'm feeling a bit crap right now, but I cheered up no end when I checked my email and found I had an enquiry for postage costs from a potential customer in the USA! Cor! I've posted to all over the UK, but never overseas so far!
Anyway, I'd better get cracking. I have loads to do including cook, and I'm hoping to get over to my mam's later to do some sewing. The Whitby Gothic Weekend is next week, so I don't have that much time to get everything finished! Ooh, one other thing ... I wanted to get some black contact lenses to finished the demonic look (let's face it Whitby=Dracula doesn't it?!), because I have blue/grey eyes and it looks a little odd with the dark makeup and black wig. I looked on Ebay and they were £25, so I ended up getting some dark brown ones for £8!! I think they'll be just as good. The only problem is they aren't prescription lenses, which means I'll have to wear my glasses, which I didn't really want to do. Pity you can't wear 2 pairs of contacts at once! LOL Actually, I think I'll carry my specs with me and only put them on when I really have to ... the rest of the time I'll hang on to Ian and let him lead me around! Ha ha!

Monday, October 18, 2004

I'm still feeling bad, but I have an upset tum now. :-( The past 2 nights I have hardly slept because of the pain in my stomach which is worse when I lie down. And I just cannot sleep sitting up, unlike some folks I know who can fall asleep in an armchair at the drop of a hat! I'm supposed to be going to see my therapist today, too, but I don't know if I'll make it. For a start, I'm too dizzy to drive, still. I think it's more important I get myself to the doctor, actually. It's just annoying that I have to miss my therapist appointment as I still have to pay for the session even if I don't attend! Ah, well ... I signed the contract ...
On a brighter note, I have five parcels to send out this morning! Woo hoo! And I have a separate order for a friend totalling £24. It started off slow, but now it's beginning to snowball! I just hope I'll be able to keep up with demand! LOL Plus, I must keep records of how much I'm making, as I may have to sign off Incapacity Benefit soon! LOL
I haven't forgotten about the gown picture, either! Soon. Soon.
Oh well, I've almost finished my cup of mint tea, so I'll sign off for now. Bye, peeps!

Saturday, October 16, 2004

I've felt a bit odd yesterday and today, and I have absolutely no idea why.
Yesterday I started feeling a bit light-headed and dizzy, you know, woozy, kind of. I felt pretty tired all the time, too.
Today, I feel twice as bad. Really light-headed and dreamy and I've been back to bed and slept twice today. Just got up about an hour ago. I need to think about dinner, too, but I've been feeling sickly and off me bait for a good few days. Still, I shall make an effort.
I was supposed to go to my Mam's last night to do some more sewing, but I couldn't drive as I was so dizzy. I wonder what it could be?
Anyway, I just had a look on Ebay and I've sold another lot of soaps and bath fizzies and soap favours! I'm starting to get a bit worried as I'm just about out of Coconut Oil and my supplier isn't expecting any more in until next week, and legally I shouldn't buy from anyone else unless it's the same brand of oil. Sheesh, I hope they send it pronto as soon as it's in. I told them I was worryingly low on supplies, so I'll keep my fingers crossed. I have plenty of everything else (except Castor Oil, which I forgot to buy, but as I only add 60g per batch, what I have left should last a while).
Oh well, I'd like to write more, but looking at the screen makes my head swim.
Bye, folks!

Friday, October 15, 2004

Woo hoo! My gown is finished! It only took 3 night's of sewing! I'm starting the cloak tonight, then Ian's coat! I'll probably get Ian to take a picture of the frock (with me in it!) tonight so you can see it. :-) I got the patterns from a lady on Ebay (in the US) and they're really good adult costume patterns I haven't seen anywhere over here.
Anyway, I have to go ... I have about £25 worth of soap orders to fulfill.
Ta ta!

Sunday, October 10, 2004

I went to my mam's last night so try to get a decent amount of sewing done on these goth outfits we're making for the Whitby Gothic Weekend at the end of the month. It's so exciting! My frock is really taking shape, and the cloak won't take long to put together, I reckon. It would be nice to think I can get Ian's coat done, too, but ...
Anyway, as soon as the gown is finished I'll post a quick photo. Eeeeeee ... I'm looking forward to it. Pity The Damned aren't on again at Whitby this time.
By the way, I'm not a Goth, I just want to dress up and parade around the streets. Somewhere inside me there must be an exhibitionist trying to get out!

Wednesday, October 06, 2004

Yep, folks still want to buy my soaps! Wahoo! Send out 4 parcels today. Thanks, Amy, for making a purchase. One of my very personal favourite soaps is on it's way to you now. :-)

Saturday, October 02, 2004

This is the first chance I've had to sit down and think about writing an entry in my journal. What a week! I put some of my soaps on Ebay, as well as some of my hubbie's scatter cushions that he had in the shop window and didn't seem to be selling, and I feel like I've done nothing but package stuff up and take them to the post office! I'm running really low on soaps now and need to get my arse in gear and make a load more as they need a month to cure before wrapping. And, you know what? Out of all the lovely blends of essential oils and pretty colours I do, the two uncoloured, unscented soaps (Au Naturale and Honey & Oatmeal) are the best sellers! I had a couple of bidders just about fighting over one one day ... they just kept upping their bids!
Hey, Amy ... thought about putting your handmade cards on Ebay?! Might be worth a try. :-)

Tuesday, September 21, 2004

Well, I haven't posted again for a wee while. I've been busy spending the past 2 weeks giving my website/online shop a facelift. I got it uploaded a few days ago, and then thought it might be an idea to put a few soaps on Ebay really cheap in the hope of driving customers to my site. So far I've sold 4 soaps! Yay! I've also put Ian's new range of cushions on Ebay while I build his website, too.
Today I went out to buy a load of fabric to make us both outfits for the Whitby Gothic Weekend in October. I got almost everything I need in one place, which was great, and have got most of the parts for my frock cut out. I've taken on quite a challenge to get everything done in time for Halloween weekend, but I'll see what I can do. It's not the end of the world if I even only get one thing made in time.
Ok, I'm hungry. I've had no dinner, so I think I'll go and find something to eat before I go to bed. Nite, all!

Monday, September 06, 2004


I had a lovely weekend. Saturday we walked Biff up at Beamish woods. Unfortunately, she didn't seem to enjoy it (she'd had a bad tummy during the night and left me a nice present to clean up on Saturday morning), and plodded her way around the walk. Still, I got to play with my new 7mm and 10mm close up lenses.
Sunday we went up to Bamburgh with Biff. She was a different dog and bounded along exploring all the bits of seaweed and chasing after sticks that Ian was throwing into the sea. She managed the walk really well, but was plodding and looked obviously tired by the time we got back to the car. Poor girl has slept most of the day today. Still, she does amazingly well for a 16 year old.


Biff and Ian, paddling. Even though it was overcast, it was remarkably warm with hardly a breeze.


A ragworm cast. Taken at Bamburgh.


Bamburgh Castle, taken from the water's edge using my new wide angle lens. Needless to say, the tide was out at the time.


Biff and Ian, walking along the river at Beamish.


Some ropey looking blackberries, but some of the first I've seen this year. Taken at Beamish woods using a 10mm close up lens.


Another one of Bamburgh Castle, taken from almost the same spot as the previous photo using my new telephoto lens.

Saturday, September 04, 2004

I lied. I did have stuff to report, but wasn't ready to write about it. Now I am.
Several weeks ago a swelling appeared under the chin of my 16 year old dog, Biff. I found a tick on her neck, as well as one or two others elsewhere, and removed them. I sort assumed/hoped that the swelling was a reaction to a tick bite.
After a couple of days it was still there, so I took her to the vet. The vet treated her for a week with antibiotics and anti-inflammatories, with little change. So, she was anaesthetised and a biopsy taken. The results came back inconclusive. The lab report said there were some abnormal cells there, but it was impossible to tell if they were inflammatory cells or malignant cancer cells.
So, she was treated for another two weeks with a different, stronger antibiotic, in the hope that it was a persistent infection (ticks can carry some really nasty bugs). Still no change.
So another biopsy and several hundred pounds later ... we got the results from the lab today. And they ain't good. She has a particularly aggressive type of cancer which is inoperable, so we are left with two options:
a) do nothing
b) start chemotherapy
I've decided to do nothing. Before you think badly of me, my reasoning is this:
Chemo won't cure her, it'll just slow down the spread. It may upset her stomach, and she will have to come off the tablets she takes for her arthritic hips as they can't be taken together.
Now, Biff has a sensitive stomach, and has had a history of colitis, on and off, all her life, so the chances are the chemo will make her ill. Also, she is so well on her arthritis tablets, I don't want to take her off them. She now acts like a dog half her age and enjoys decent walks. I don't want to take that away from her.
So, the way I see it, I think it would be best for her to be well and fit for a shorter length of time, than to give her chemo and have her sickly and arthritic for a longer length of time. I think it's quality of life that's more important than quantity.
Since receiving this news, I have been feeling really sad all day. I keep crying when I think about her. Then I look at her and how well she is now, and I smile. We may still have her for some months yet, so I'm going to enjoy her as much as I can.

Wednesday, September 01, 2004



I haven't been playing with my camera much lately, but I thought I'd post this little snap I took while away at the weekend. I reckon it's a lady beetle. Go on, have a close look. Go on. Look at those eyelashes! LOL

Friday, August 13, 2004

I've just started learning Bryce 5. Not very good, but I'm learning! Just thought you might like to see some of my creations.





Wednesday, July 14, 2004



An overcast and moody walk across the fells.



Taken with my new wide-angle lens. :-)



Ah, the intricacies of chimp society. If only we really knew what they were thinking ...



Here he is ... the lad himself!



Ain't she sweet?! I've no idea who she is (I recognise Amy and Gordon because I've seen them so many times on TV, but I don't know this girl).

For those of you who don't know what Monkey World is:

http://www.monkeyworld.org/

Monday, June 21, 2004

I haven't been anywhere near my journal for over a month and thought it was probably a good idea to do a little updating.

Well, in the past few weeks we've taken a short trip to Dorset to visit Monkey World (I've watched Monkey Business since series one and always wanted to go there), lost a family member and a friend's mother died, and I had to have my parent's little dog put to sleep while they were away on holiday. There's a little bit more than that, but that's the stuff that jumps to mind, anyway.

So, I'll start going into detail on each issue in order in the next few posts. Watch this space.

Thursday, May 20, 2004

Mr Lisa is very poorly indeed tonight. I've just tucked him up in bed with a hot water bottle and a bucket by his bedside. He started feeling ill after he came home from work, which progressed to sickness and diarrhoea. Bless him, I'm sure it was that pork sandwich he bought for lunch. That's what he brought up, anyway.

Friday, May 14, 2004

We're going camping for the weekend. Don't feel like writing because I have a blinding headache. Will post pics when I get back.

Urgh!

Wednesday, May 12, 2004



It's here! It's blooming well here! Woo hoo! Vroom-bloody-vroom!

Wednesday, May 05, 2004

I'm having PC woes, still. :-( I can't install Mr Lisa's private certificates to access his bank accounts. Ooops. If there are an techies reading this ... HEEEELLLLLPPPPPP!

Tuesday, May 04, 2004

I had to reinstall my operating system a few days ago. Or rather, I chose to. My pooter was so full of crap that rather than attempting to clean it up, I thought it would be quicker and more effective to burn what I wanted to keep to CD and do a clean reinstall.
Well! What a fiasco. Once the pooter was back up and running I wanted to get back online ASAP (of course!) and couldn't find the driver disk for my DSL modem! Aaargh! I ended up having to connect using dialup and download the driver (which took ages!), and I did all this before I'd installed my antivirus and firewall software. Yes, yes, I know, I should have known better! Guess who got infected with the Blaster (Lovsan) worm only minutes after reconnecting to the world?!
Oh well ... I'm all healed and innoculated now.

Saturday, May 01, 2004

I've been having therapy because I've suffered from depression for some years. Yesterday's session opened up some old wounds and made me think about things I'd rather avoid thinking about (things I've avoided thinking about for years which is probably how it all started in the first place). I've felt so low since then, I really don't feel much like posting much at all. When I'm feeling a bit brighter I'll be back.

Thursday, April 29, 2004

I went to see Shaun of the Dead last night. Ho chortle! What a hoot! it's one of the funniest British comedies I've seen in a long, long time. Great stuff! Warning for anyone wanting to go and see it: it's pretty gruesome in parts. Bleurgh!

Sunday, April 25, 2004

We went to Whitby for the day yesterday. What fun! There were some great outfits to be seen! In case you didn't know, it was the famous Whitby Gothic Weekend. The Damned played on the Friday night, so I was lucky enough to bump into Captain Sensible while I was there. Didn't see any of the other band members, though. The Mission were playing last night.

Took a few photos, too. The first 2 are of a beautiful old Hearse we saw in the West Cliff car park. The third one is of my friends all dressed up and ready to go to the Pavilion. Well, Mr Lisa is in the middle, and he wasn't going, hence the lack of black! LOL





Friday, April 23, 2004

It's ordered! OMG, I can't believe it! Should take about 2 to 3 weeks to be delivered. Aaaaargh!

Thursday, April 22, 2004

Mr Lisa wants a new car. He's not satisfied with an 8 year old car that's had at least 3 previous owners, drinks oil like there's no tomorrow, and rattles, oh no! I like that car! [sigh] He wants a brand spanking new Toyota Celica. He's been out test driving one today, and has come home really excited about getting one. I just hope he gets it over with quick. I love my car. I'll miss it. I never was very good at goodbyes. [sniff]

Wednesday, April 21, 2004

Lately I've suspected that I may be suffering from migraine. I have headaches sometimes which seem to affect only one side of my head, over one eye and temple, and have hypersensitivity to light, sound and smells. Someone told me it sounded like migraine, and I remembered someone who I knew suffered from them telling me that certain foods could trigger it, classic ones being cheese and chocolate.

Yesterday, I decided to experiment, and I ate some chocolate, making a note of the time I ate it. Within an hour I had the symptoms I described above, and had to go to bed for a few hours.

I did the same thing again today, with exactly the same results. I've just got out of bed and thought I'd update my journal straight away. Tomorrow, if I feel I can cope with three days of bad heads in a row, I'm going to experiment with cheese.

Tuesday, April 20, 2004

Fatty

I weighed myself yesterday morning. I'm 61 lbs overweight. :-( 61! Can you believe it?! I wonder if I'll ever be able to lose it again. But, I have to try. As of yesterday, I was on a strict WW diet, using the point system. Right now, I'm starving. Really really hungry. I think I'll go and have an apple. :-\ Yum.



My sister's kitty. Isn't he just perfect? Isn't he just the most handsome boy? Well, I think so, anyway. :-)

Monday, April 19, 2004

I'm rather dismayed to learn that Peter Andre has released Insania ... yes that classic that everyone was humming during the airing of I'm A Celebrity, Get Me Out Of Here! You can listen to it online here, and vote. Guess what my vote was?



Has anybody any idea what this is? It's been sitting on the living room wall since last night. It's about 1 inch across, and doesn't appear to be in any of my insect books, and I don't know how it can possibly fly because it looks more like a twiggy thing than anything. Weird.



My little nephew, Ewan, is really turning into a proper little person. He's not just a baby now, he's developing a real little personality, he laughs, he giggles, he's just so cute!



I saw these in the garden and had to have a picture. They're Virginia Stock. They don't normally come back each year in the UK, but it must be so sheltered where we live that they're self-seeded two years in a row. Pretty, aren't they?



The daffodils have finished flowering, and the icelandic poppies are here! Yay! I love poppies of any kind. :-)

Aaargh! I'm really annoyed! The pub quiz tonight was it's usual dreadful mumbly durge, with the 'quizmaster' making up his questions and answers again! Since when have mink belonged to the rodent group?!! They're bloody mustelids, and he marked it wrong! Grrr! A while back he insisted the hyaenas belonged to the canine group! Aaaargh! Someone just stop me going there!

Saturday, April 17, 2004



Mr Lisa came home with a flatcake for his lunch today. It was huge! So big, in fact, that I had to take a picture! LOL



Easter weekend was fun. We went camping at Chapel Stile in the Lake District. We had tried to get onto the Old Dundeon Ghyll campsite, but it was full. As it turned out, Baysbrown Farm at Chapel Stile was quite nice, even if they didn't have any showers. At least I got my hair washed ... well ... Mr Lisa washed it for me, actually, in a bowl in the tent. It actually worked out pretty well. The photies here were taken while we were away. If I can find the appropriately shaped tuits, I might write something about each one. I said 'might'.





... and I have to start this thing all over again. [sigh] Oh, well. :-)

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