caz963: (ten sad smile)
I wasn't around much last week, because I was doing something I haven't done for over eleven years - buying a car!

Mr Caz and I spent hours on the internet looking at various models and manufacturers, reading reviews, working out insurance costs and likely fuel consumption, honestly, it was exhausting!

(I know very little about cars, other than that they should have a wheel at each corner, an engine, a gearbox and a battery and that you have to put oil and water in them from time to time!)

But having decided to go for a Japansese car for reliability (we also have a Toyota, my parents have one and we've had no problems with either) we ended up at the dealership at the bottom of the road and have bought ourselves a four-year old, low mileage Toyota Verso. I think it's what's known as an MPV, but one of those that can seat seven if you need it. Hopefully, we'll be able to pick it up early next week.

In the meantime, we've got to decide what to do with my old car (a Mitsubishi). It's thirteen years old and has just under 96,000 miles on the clock - most of that clocked up in the last four years when I've been doing 350 miles per week to work and back. We've had a few problems with it, but nothing really major, and it's been a good runner. But it needs a bit of bodywork done and I'm pretty sure it's going to need a new gearbox soon, plus, I think the brakes might need looking at - so I'm very much afraid the old girl is going to have to be consigned to the breaker's yard :(

It seems rather an ignominious end for a car that's given us twelve years of sterling service; but we've looked around and asked around - and it seems that there's nothing else we can do.
caz963: (Kermit & Fozzie)
Gah. I'm away from LJ for 3 days and it's taken me about an hour to catch up! And even then, there are some posts I've skimmed and need to go back to read properly.

The absence was due to more visitors staying over the weekend - hence more tidying up, more cooking with the kids etc. Cazlet #2 baked a cake pretty much all by herself (under supervision of course), Cazlet #1 made apple crumble and we all had hands in various other things which emerged from the kitchen!

I also made a really awesome Citrus Pudding. It's simple to make and it tastes fantastic - the one drawback is the fact that it takes ages to zest the fruit :( But it's worth it in the end as you end up with a lovely crunchy sponge on top of a zingy sauce underneath. Yum.

I've had a massive, post-summer clothes-clearout today, too. I can actually close the drawers and shut the wardrobe, but I doubt that'll last long. So there is a trip to the charity shop and the clothes bank in my future.

I watched DW on Saturday but haven't had time to write anything about it yet and I'm too tired now, so maybe tomorrow.
caz963: (BA Bugger)
I've had one of those days - I lost my only free period because I had to go and cover a music lesson, so I've been on the go all day. I managed to get out at 4.30 - early for me these days, only to discover that my bloody car won't start. So I'm sat at my desk reading LJ and checking emails until the breakdown service gets here :-(

Sod it.
caz963: (DT on RG hand on chin)
As usual, half-term has flown by and it's back to the grind on Monday. I've started to make a list of all the stuff I need to do; I didn't get to finish all my assessments or input the data I do have because I was ill, so that's at the top of my list. It's going to be a long week though - it's the school show on Weds, Thurs and Fri and I said I'd play in the band, so that'll be three late nights. I live too far away to be able to come home after school and go back again which is a bit of a pain, but it does at least mean that I have a few hours each night to get stuff done.
Read more... )

telly )

Snow day!

Dec. 2nd, 2010 09:45 am
caz963: (winter trees)
I tried to get to work today, but the weather's beaten me. Even the main roads around here aren't gritted, and given that what snow we've had over the last few days has been melting and then icing over, the driving conditions are nasty. It took me 25 minutes to do about 3 miles - mostly in second or third gear, and after a couple of slips I turned around and came home.

My school is open, but the ones around here are closed, so the kids are off too and can't wait to get outside and play in the snow!
caz963: (stupid hurts)
I have been practicing the art of serial procrastination for the last few days - I'm very good at it :-) I really need to look at a bit of work before Wednesday, but I've been putting it off. Tonight, though - is the night.

Probably.

Today's procrastination took the form of going shopping for a school coat for Cazlet #1. She probably won't need it for a couple of months, but given the fact that Christmas decorations have been in the shops since before the beginning of the summer holidays, when she actually needs a coat in a couple of months time, they'll be full of shorts and t-shirts, so it's a case of buying it while we can.

Who on earth is responsible for "sizing" children's clothes these days? Okay, so we all know that buying clothes is a bit of a lottery in that sizes and shapes often vary hugely from shop to shop. But it's even worse with kids' clothes. Cazlet #1 turned 11 at the end of last week, but I've been buying clothes for ages 13 and upwards for quite some time now. She's reasonably tall for her age, but she's certainly not fat; in fact, according to the letter we got the other week, she's the right weight for her height and build. Cazlet #2 is a skinny streak of nothing and clothes in her "age" are often too small as well. We're constantly being told that children are getting fatter and that childhood obesity is becoing a serious problem - so why on earth are clothes made several sizes too small?!

Cazlet #1's school blazer is "age 14". Okay, so it's a bit long in the arms (not much though) but once she gets a jumper or cardi under it, it won't be big in the body. And trying to find a coat that will fit over the top of the blazer proved to be an incredibly difficult task. Most of the coats she tried on were for "age 15" and "age 16" - and they were STILL too small! So we got her to try on coats in womens' sizes. You'd think maybe a size 8 or 10 would do given she's only 11 years old and she's not "filled out" yet. But no - she's in a size 12 and even then there wasn't much room for something underneath. And of course, the proportions are wrong - if there's a belt, it's round her hips rather than her waist and the sleeves are too long.

We did eventually find something in BHS that was a girls' coat with a bit of room in it - not very much, but it's the one she liked best.

It is also nigh-on impossible to find knee-length white socks in shoe size 4-5 - I've been looking since the start of the holidays.

It's bloody ridiculous.
caz963: (curtains)
My washing machine gave up the ghost on Sunday. I've had it for quite a while, so it wasn't unexpected - but what IS unexpected is the problem I'm having getting a new one. Most places I've found one I'd consider buying can't deliver for ten days or more. One I found on the Comet website says delivery is in twenty-one days!

WTF?

Do they want my money or not?

It appears the only way of getting one faster is to go to an actual shop, buy it and lug it home ourselves. But washing machines are fucking heavy, so there's no way I'm doing that. Also, when they deliver, they take the old one away, which I need doing as well.

Yes, we have a local launderette, and we can always take stuff round to my Mum's if we need to. But seriously - ten days to get a new washing machine??!

What is the world coming to?!
caz963: (father jack)
I've just paid some bills online, and had to invent yet ANOTHER password for something.

I get that some of this stuff is an extra layer of security, all well and good. But if we're not supposed to write passwords down, how the hell are we going to remember them all?

I admit, I've taken to using the same usernames and passwords for practically everything - but it really pisses me off when a site won't let me have a particular password because it doesn't have the required number of letters/numbers/capital letters. That means I have to think of a new one, and they're the ones I'm likely to forget. The one I've just used is for Verified by Visa, which I've changed 3 times in the last couple of months. I'll have to change it next time as well, because all the easily memorable passwords are ones I've already used.

I think that next time I'll just enter a random bunch of numbers and letters, because whatever I put in, I'll have forgotten it by the next time!
caz963: (yellow)
Well, I wouldn't put money on it, but today was gorgeous.



pics under here! )

Busy day

Apr. 5th, 2009 08:57 pm
caz963: (crikey!)
So much for Sunday being a "day of rest".

This morning, I ironed for 2 hours; put in and hung out a load of washing; went to the shops; made cheesecake, a dozen jam tarts, jelly and then toad-in-the-hole for lunch - needless to say, all the cooking was accompanied by copious amounts of washing up.

Needless to say, I was pretty wiped this afternoon!

But the cheesecake was bloody awesome :-)
caz963: (stems)
Talk about a contrast. Compared with a couple of weeks ago, today was sunny and fairly warm - I could almost have been fooled into thinking that Spring had arrived!

But yes, I made it out of the house! I'd anticipated having to trek around for a bit because I had a number of different things to get for Abigail's room, including a new duvet, curtains, lampshade, rug and other bits and pieces. Fortunately, though, I decided to make our first stop at the local Range and I managed to get everything I wanted (and other stuff, too!) there. Which was just as well, because I really hadn't been looking forward to lots of too-ing and fro-ing.

So the room is done and Abigail couldn't wait to go to bed tonight! I'll try to post a couple of pics tomorrow.

We spent the afternoon sorting and putting away - God, how exhausting. It's good because it gives you the opportunity for the clear-out you've been putting off, but on the other hand, it takes bloody ages! And invariably leads to other sort-outs and clear-outs when you realise that certain items of clothing are tatty and need throwing out, so it's time to get out the stuff you've put aside and go through that... it's self perpetuating. So there will be more tidying up tomorrow.

I'm still not feeling 100%, but then that's to be expected. What I hadn't counted on though was the fact that my backside is still bloody sore and that I still can't sit for long periods. I've been sitting here updating my CV and writing my letter of resignation, and doing a bit of general "pottering" - and I'm going to have to lie down after I've finished this because I'm so uncomfortable. I've not been taking painkillers because they tend to have a certain side-effect which could make me even more uncomfortable (!), but it looks like I might have to take some when I go back to work next week.

I still have to write my job application, but that will have to wait until tomorrow when I can think about more than how much my a**e hurts!

Heh.

Jan. 28th, 2009 11:03 pm
caz963: (woof)
Mr Caz told me earlier that he went swimming today. To the Over Fifties session. *snigger*

The woman at the desk, who probably recognised him from when he takes the girls, looked at him a bit suspiciously and pointed out that the session was only open to people over fifty.

He thanked her for the compliment and said he'd still like a ticket, please.

But then she asked if he was over sixty, because then he'd get in for free.

Some people don't know to quit while they're ahead, do they?

Blerg

Jan. 13th, 2009 06:35 pm
caz963: (brad bored)
1. I updated Windows Mail yesterday to the new version and I don't like it. The colours are all wishy-washy and they've moved stuff, like the "send and receive" tab. And they've taken away the little icons on the toolbar :( Bastards.

2. I've had one of those days where I'm sure I have a hundred and one things to do, but I'm buggered if I can remember any of them. And I hate that feeling, because I'm sure I'm going to forget something important.

3. I need to make a list. :)
caz963: (snowman)
It was so nice not to have to get up before dawn this morning...

The girls and I sent Mr Caz packing this morning and we had a girly morning getting manicures and pedicures (or, as Abigial termed it, a "pedicle" :-)).

I've managed to finish marking one set of books - so two more to go. Hopefully, the rest won't take me quite as long - I just want to get them out of the way so they're not hanging over my head for the rest of the holiday.

I finished the Christmas cake yesterday - now I think it's time to make some mince pies.
caz963: (bugger)
Sunday. No kids home. Bit of a lie in, followed by some pottering about doing stuff- ironing, marzipanning (a new verb!) the Christmas Cake, nice bath before heading around to mum's for lunch.

That was the plan at 9.30

It was pretty much shot by 9.45.

Mr Caz had to pop to the shops to pick up a few things for the kids' lunches tomorrow. He took my car - I got it back from the repairers last week. Oh, it's not actually been repaired yet. I mean the incident was only about ten days ago, and clearly, the replacement wing-mirror that I need is on a slow boat from China. Or rather, seeing as the car's a Mitsubishi, Japan. But it's driveable and we need the second car, so rather than leave it at the garage while we wait, we thought we'd swap cars so that Mr Caz can use mine for local trips while I use his for work and back.

Anyway, he took my car and about five minutes later, he calls me to say that the car has broken down. The brakes locked up and he stopped bang in the middle of the main road. Luckily, on the weekend, that's not a very busy main road, but he was lucky the car behind him didn't smack into the back of him. Someone helped him to get the car around the corner, where it's currently parked on a double yellow. But that involved towing the car without the back wheels moving, so that's probably a couple of new tyres I'm going to need as well, on top of everything else.

I have breakdown cover, so I called them. They sent someone fairly promptly, but they need a different lorry (!) - despite the fact that I'd told the people on the phone that we thought the back brakes had locked. That message didn't get through to the guys at their local garage, because they were under the impression that the car had konked out and wouldn't start.

So now Mr Caz is waiting for the breakdown truck to arrive to bring the car back here. Luckily, there's a guy down the road who's a mechanic and who does the MOT and servicing etc. and he'll be a damn sight cheaper than a garage, but it's yet more expense AND inconvenience that I just don't need right now.

I'm not in the mood to do anything, now. The place is a tip, my hair looks like something the cat dragged in and the last thing I feel like doing is being out of the house for the afternoon because I have a lot to do. That I don't want to do, but which needs doing. Don't get me wrong - I have no problems at all with my parents, and I know that my mum will be happy for me to do whatever I need to do, but I would far rather sit indoors with a sandwich, a large bag of crisps and a load of chocolate.

:-(
caz963: (huddle)
Just got back from a day in London with Elinor. I took her to the Coliseum to see the English National Ballet's production of Sleeping Beauty. I was telling her that when I first discovered a love for classical music, when I was about eleven, I joined the local record library and I used to get out as many records per week as I could. I remember that when I first heard Sleeping Beauty I kept getting the set out over and over again. I think I must have worn a groove in the grooves!

There are still bits in the score that bring a lump to my throat and tears to my eyes, even though it's that familiar to me that I could probably sing the entire thing from start to finish.

It was a lovely looking production - the costumes had this whole Louis Quatorze thing going on and were goregous. Elinor absolutely loved it and came out dancing!

We then made for the nearest Starbucks in the company of [livejournal.com profile] teresadivicenzo, where we indulged in toasties, chocolate cake and gingerbread lattes amidst talk of Josh Groban, Jose Carreras and Placido Domingo. A pleasant time was being had by all when Jaz suddenly realised that some bastard had half-inched (= pinched) her bag.

I remember the last time I had a bag stolen. That first few seconds where you're looking around you, feeling sure it's there, and then that sinking feeling when you realise it really is gone. And then the panic as you start to think of all the things you need to do - cancel cards, chequebooks (because we used them a fair bit back then!) think about how you're going to get home, get into the house and all that crap. It's a bloody pain in the arse.

:hugs Jaz:
caz963: (Default)
The end of another... well, I was going to say long week, but to be honest, none of them seem that long, these days.

And it's two weeks until the end of term - thank God.

It's funny, but every teacher I've spoken to, either in person at school, or via various fora and blogs has said the same thing - that for the last week or so, the kids have been 'orrible. I can only attribute this to the fact that we're all tired. It's been a long term; staff will have done 15 weeks (of actual teaching) and the kids will have been in school for marginally less time, and we're all knackered.

This is always the case in the autumn term though - it's the longest term of the year and the one with the least holidays. Well, other than half-term, NO holidays.

But although it's December, and the kids - my own and those at school - are starting to talk about Christmas, it just hasn't sunk in that it's only about 3 weeks away now. I'm probably so focussed in just making it to the end of term in one piece that it's all passing me by. I haven't bought a single card or piece of wrapping paper. I've bought a couple of presents for the kids, but otherwise, Mr Caz is going to have to take care of it all. I'm just too tired.

But... when I do get around to getting cards, if you'd like to receive one, please drop me an email with your address (and your name!) and I'll do my best to oblige :)
caz963: (Po)
I had a pretty crappy day yesterday. I don't know why, but most of my classes were real PsITA, even the ones which are usually okay. Those are the days when I end up wondering whether I really know what the hell I'm doing in a classroom.

I was cheered up when I (finally) got home to find my DVD of Iron Man had arrived - but I only managed to watch an hour of it before I had to go to bed. Otherwise, I'd have fallen asleep on the sofa!

the rest )

I leave you with this -

caz963: (puppet song)
Just back from a short break in and around London and I thought I'd post some pics. We've not been away for a "proper" holiday this year - instead we've had odd days out here and there, which have probably cost us just as much, but what the hell! So we did a fair bit of walking and sightseeing - took the kids to The Sound of Music one evening, which Elinor and I have seen, but the others hadn't. It was the first time Abigail had been to a show so she was very excited and behaved herself beautifully - she asked "Daddy, what time does the film start?" - awwwww!

I enjoyed it, but I have the same reservations as before - the kids are good, the woman singing the part of the Abbess is fantastic but the Maria is pretty average vocally - she had a very nasal tone, which started to get on my nerves about half way through! But then, I'm picky about things like that.

Anyway, on with the photos!

Maybe it's because... )
So we're home and, apart from Elinor's birthday on Wednesday, hoping to have a fairly quiet week before I go back to work next Monday (ick).

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December 2012

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