Thursday, 31 July 2008

Lovely is not the only one having a joke at work

Well, I must admit I was well and truly wound up today by a health and safety joke. We all received this email:

Dear All,
I am sorry to ask you to consider risk assessment at such a busy time of year. However I would be grateful if you could cast an eye over the enclosed risk assessment which includes the areas of manual handling and infection control. Should you require more information on either the manual handling involved or infection control please do not hesitate to contact me.
Many thanks for your kind assistance
Best wishes Miranda

I must admit I felt a little peed off and didn't look at it immediately. However, temptation got the better of me and I looked at it at this afternoon! I was straight away on the phone to colleagues saying "can you believe this...." and then when I had nearly been incontinent with laughter I saw the fist line and realised it was a joke! I was had!

School / Department: Health Date of assessment:July 31st 2008
Activity / area: Movement of Mugs to the dishwasher\kitchen

Next review date:July 31st 2009 Assessed by:Miranda Cupp RA Ref No:1/J/O/K/E

What are the hazards?
  1. Movement of Mug to dishwasher.
  2. Infection due to non washing or incomplete washing of mug. Example 6 unwashed mugs removed from the “clean” cupboard on one occasion.

Who might be harmed and how?

  1. The user of the Mug
  2. Any innocent subsequent user of the Mug particularly those with poor immune systems

What controls do you already have in place?

  1. and 2. The Provision of a dishwasher

Risk (H/M/L)

  1. Very Low
  2. Very high

What further action is necessary to reduce the risk to Low?

  1. a.Weight training to increase the Power and endurance of the dominant upper limb of the mug user. b. mobility exercises for the joints of the dominant upper limb for the user of the mug.
  2. Movement of the mug from the sink/drainer to the dishwasher (See advice above)

Action by whom?

  1. and 2. The user of the Mug

Action by when?

  1. and 2 Immediately

This of refers to the bad habits in the staff kitchen of leaving dirty mugs on the drainer rather than putting them into the dishwasher! As a post script, Miranda got a lot of replies but the best one was sent around for us all to see and is duly reported below!

From: Carlton Ruth Sent: 01 August 2008 08:53 To: Cupp Miranda RE: Risk assessment

Thank you Miranda for a most comprehensive report which highlights some very interesting concepts surrounding one of our most important tasks.

I feel that the issues raised should be formally discussed at the appropriate committee meeting. I therefore humbly propose that we form a sub group immediately to consider the issues you have raised and report our findings to the relevant committee who can then forward potential solutions to the relevant school sub group who in turn may formulate a plan which can be taken to the divisional board for amending before it can be produced for the school management team in readiness to present to the relevant University management group. I envisage that we should have an answer for you in approximately 18 months to 2 years depending on the dates when the groups meet and how many are in each group who like the sound of their own voice.
I hope this time scale meets with your approval.

Mad Cakes

I have decided to start a new label called 'mad cakes'. I quite enjoy making cakes, especially for friends and family and special occasions. Unfortunately I have never been that good at getting them right. They are always a bit wonky, with the decoration being a bit odd and mad and, in essence they are rather eccentric. I have just made one for my mother for her birthday. Here is a picture of it.

I know; it is mad but I like it. In my case I don't think I will get better with practice!

Wednesday, 30 July 2008

Lovelys' adventure 2

Work on the grand design has had to be temporarily suspended and the site is currently sealed and secured. Someone cut through a pipe and found asbestos so now they must await an inspection from specialist asbestos removers! C'est la vie!

Summer in Brighton

Today I was in Brighton. Sometimes I find Brighton a bit much and I can't wait to get home but today it was nice. It was warm and sunny but not too hot, there were people walking around taking photos, sitting in the park, sitting outside cafes and generally looking happy. I was at the student graduation in The Dome and as I left there were some Jazz musicians playing just outside. They were trying to promote their show that evening (and I'm sure from what I heard they will be sold out!). It was a good day!

Monday, 28 July 2008


As well as llamas, when we eventually get to France Ian and I would like a couple of dogs. I have wanted dogs for ages but my lifestyle has never made it possible. We have been debating many options, from rescue dogs to breeding West Highland Terriers, Miniature Schnauzers, Jack Russells (Ian's favourite not mine) and Collies (my favourite). I was initially put off the idea of acquiring a rescue dog through a French rescue agency on the grounds that we would probably not have much idea of what we were getting and I suspect that the agencies in the UK would not like to re-home a dog that was immediately going to be transported to France (to people that are not experienced dog owners). Anyway, while looking for something else I came across details of an organisation in the Dordogne (run by English people!) who rescue dogs from the French rescue organisations. They have some rather cute looking dogs so it looks like at the moment the rescue dogs are back on!


We have just had a thunderstorm that nearly took out all the lights and caused me to need to re-boot my net-gear box. This is something I can now do myself (with occasional prompting from Ian) and it seems to fix most problems. The first time I had difficulties getting my Internet connection to work I made the mistake of calling the SKY helpless desk. 10 minutes later, £5.00 poorer the customer support person told me that the problem was nothing to do with them and was caused by Microsoft and I should contact them! (How does anyone contact Microsoft!). I tried to argue that if there was some problem with their system and Microsoft then surely they should sort it out as it would affect a lot of people. I asked them to explain the nature of the problem to me. At this point I got the robotic reply "it is a problem with Microsoft madam, you must contact them" in answer to all my queries! In frustration I hung up and called Ian who told me to unplug the box, leave it for 10 seconds, plug it back in and reboot the computer if necessary. It worked and my connection was restored!

The storm has not cleared the air and it is still humid and sultry.

Sunday, 27 July 2008

Tour de France

So..the tour de France has finished for another year. Carlos Sastre won. It was the usual mix of good days, boring days, break-aways, sprint finishes, drama, seediness, excitement, good luck, bad luck, serious accidents, the predicable and the unpredictable. I will watch it again next year!

London to Mongolia car rally

The London to Mongolia car rally does not seem quite such a breeze after all! I watched a TV programme tonight where they reported that Mongolia had only 80km of tarmac! The roads looked worse than the things I mountain bike on!

Dangerous Dick

It has been a lovely warm weekend. On Saturday a friend of Ian's came down during the day and we went to the beach. I sat there for a while while he swam and she paddled! It was quite busy on the beach but pleasant! We then went to a cafe at the far end of the promenade to have some lunch. I decided to try and revive my roller-blading skills. I was pretty cr*p as I never have managed the art of stopping properly and getting back on the 'blades' is a bit like riding a bike again after a few years..the first 10 minutes are scary but after that you remember how it goes. After lunch Ian and his colleague walked back along a different route and I roller-bladed along the seafront. I had to laugh because I swear at the age of 50 someone tried to chat me up! I moved out of the way to allow someone else on roller blades to get by and he said 'don't worry, I can go either way.' I replied that unfortunately I was not so good, to which he said that he would show me how to do it on his return! At that, I sped up considerably, aiming to get to the pre-arranged rendez-vous point with Ian before that happened. He 'headed me off at the pass' however and gave me a free and quite helpful reminder on how to stop, turn, slow down etc! I thanked him and said goodbye, he said he came down there most days at 4.00 and that his name was 'dangerous Dick'. I then met up with Ian and while I was trying to get my boots off dangerous Dick skated past several times! I was secretly flattered although couldn't help wondering whether, if I hadn't seemed so cool, he would have been that interested! I was also quite amused by the incredulous looks I got from the over 55s at the sight of this obviously middle aged woman teetering along on her roller-blades!

PS: And in case you wondered Dangerous Dick was also the wrong side of 45.. or else he had aged badly! This is apparently how the middle-aged meet now!

Wednesday, 23 July 2008

Fur balls

Mandi has fur balls again! This is a regular occurrence but this time they seem to have got worse and I am currently picking up one a day. As he does not seem to be moulting that much I got a bit concerned and looked it up on the Internet. Amongst other causes I learnt that the
most important cause of fur-balls is over-grooming and in Mandi's case I'm sure this is explained by his neuroticism! This quote says it all!

"watch for the times that your cat seems to want to do something and is thwarted: they will often stop and perform a vigorous licking of their fur in mid-activity, this is obviously nothing to do with real grooming but may be an expression of frustration."

I'm afraid this is Mandi all over!

However I liked this explanation best from Catastrophes:

Furballs: A cat's point of view

We've talked a little bit about the psychological dangers of excessive licking, but there are practical considerations as well. Licking and furballs go paw in paw. Like the human phenomenon known as "a hangover," a furball is a warning signal of overindulgence for a cat. And also like our human counterparts, the medicine can be as bad as the sickness. Quite frankly, the cures for both are disgusting. Furball medicine is nasty, but at least it's not a raw egg floating in tomato juice in your bowl. The truth is that furballs bother the Higher Power more than they do us, particularly because they seem to strike mostly in the presence of fine furnishings. If you don't want to call attention to the problem, be smart and hack discreetly. If drawing attention is the real cause of your furballs, then there's work to be done.
Fur belongs on the outside, and I will keep it there by any means.

London to Mongolia car rally

Driving over to my brother's last Saturday we passed a convoy of strange looking cars heading down the Old Kent Road. On the side they had a banner saying London-Mongolia rally. The cars were a real mixture of vehicles, but most looked pretty old; there was a fair number of clapped out looking Ford Fiestas, Citroen 2CVs and even an old Austin All-aggro (I didn't think any of them had survived as they were amongst the most cr*p cars I have known!). I must admit at first I wasn't too interested in the whole thing but as the cars got more and more weird I took more note. (My favourite car had what looked like an old phone box strapped to the roof!). I read up on it when I got back and actually thought it looked like fun. Competitors can go from Hyde park to the capital of Mongolia any route they like. This may take them through Iran, Turkey, China, Uzbekistan, Russia and/or part of China!The cars must be no bigger than 1 litre and all teams must raise at least £1000 in sponsorship for the chosen charities, which help to support deprived children in Mongolia. On second thoughts it actually looks quite fun. You can read more about it here.

Monday, 21 July 2008

Stopping for a photo

One of the things that goes through my mind when I think about moving to France is that somehow I will miss all the beautiful English countryside and the changing seasons here in the South. That is why I like to put photos on the blog of things I have enjoyed looking at.

On the way back from Ian's I stopped off in Mayfield. I have driven past the town for about 2 years so I thought it was about time I stopped to see what it was like. On the whole I thought it was a nice Sussex village/town but didn't feel inclined to hang around. I did take this photo of the view from the car park, which struck me as 'typical' view of the English countryside.

Summer swimming

Ian's triathlon training continues and yesterday he decided that he wanted to go freshwater swimming, so he collected his wetsuit, I put my bike in the car and we headed off to Leybourne lake.

I think the geese were much more at home than him and I watched them for a bit before heading off around the lake on my bike. The nice weather had brought out the crowds and cycling around required concentration to avoid hitting anyone, however, I managed to find a quieter track and came across this swan family happily swimming in this little stream next to the sewage works! They were obviously used to being fed as they came over to see me as soon as I stopped to look!

After my modest exertion and Ian's more strenuous swim we sat and had bacon sandwiches from a little van that did a fantastic trade to all the divers. (The man explained that scuba diving makes you exceptionally hungry!)

The bathroom 2

As promised here are some pictures of the bath that my brother has literally unearthed while stripping out the old recording studio. We know the recording studio was there since the 1950s and the bath has probably been covered since just after the second world war. The bath takes up the whole room and originally had a fire at one end with taps all around the far wall. It wasn't particularly deep but I can just about imagine it, with the light coming through the giant glass ceiling lantern, steaming hot water, tropical plants everywhere...

They are going to try and see if they can incorporate it into the design and the renoovation but it requires a great deal of imagination and in places it is quite damaged. The worst that will happen is that it will be covered over again.

The apprentice

This time it was my brother and not me who observed this but I think it deserves a semi-public airing! He was on the underground and two London Underground employees got on and sat opposite him. One was a large, East End man who by all accounts had been working for LU for years. The other was a younger man from overseas who was definitely very much the apprentice. The conversation went something like this..

"so ..Sergei..'ave you worked out yet 'ow t' fiddle the system?"

Sergei (looking embarrassed) "no, not really"

" Well, this is 'ow you do it right.. you ave to sign off by telephone at 4 o'clock right? Well, there are three of you in a team yeh? So, simple.. two of you go off at lunchtime and at 4 the other bloke makes 3 phone calls! Easy"

"That Bob Crow.. e's bloody brilliant e is. E fights the management for every little thing e does. Brilliant..!"

I hope Sergei is smart enough to know who he should listen to!

Thursday, 17 July 2008


My increased dose of tablets has finally started to work and for the first time in 2 months my hands don't hurt! Mixed feelings..glad it has worked but not glad that I will have to take tablets for ever!

On another note I found a fellow blogger today who also has mixed connective tissue disease and have added her blog to my blogroll.


I was in town mid-day today and so decided to have some lunch in a cafe that is in a large haberdashery store. It is an old fashioned store and the only place around where you can buy knitting needles, wool, fabric, dressmaking patterns etc. Its the sort of place that tends to attract an older crowd and today was no exception. I did arrive in time to get a place to sit (just) but then proceeded to feel very guilty for taking up a seat when the elderly and infirm were queueing up! As my food arrived the lady behind me said
.."Oooo look, she's 'aving a jacket and chilli.. it looks quite nice..perhaps we should have had that."

As I quickly ate my lunch so as to free up a seat she continued talking about the food they had ordered

.."Well, I'm having a ham and pineapple toasted sandwich.. I mean it isn't something I would ever have thought of having so I have no idea what it will be like.. I'll just have to wait and see... Your having a cheebatter thing aren't you? Goats cheese and tomatoes? Well goodness knows what that'll be!

Someone then complained because the tables hadn't been cleared away, (even though the staff were running backwards and forwards trying really hard), the queues got longer and I hurriedly drank my coffee and left!

Wednesday, 16 July 2008

The bathroom

Ian is going over to my brother's place tomorrow to see if we can use any of the wood that they have stripped out from their building. In the process of stripping out one of the rooms they have uncovered the original hydropathic bath. What is currently the recording studio was a squash court and the anti-room with its big glass lantern in the ceiling was a big bath house. Given the history of the building (artists studios) I like to think of it as the prototype of the San Francisco bath houses! I will try and post a picture of it when we go over there next.

Tuesday, 15 July 2008

A typical day at the seaside

Today I had a day off. The plan was to spend it doing things in the area that I have not done for a while. A nice bike ride and a trip to the seafront, sitting in the sun, exploring the area etc. I was slightly less enthusiastic when I woke up as the promised heatwave had not materialised on the south coast and there was just one of those murky sea-hazes over everything. I spent the morning 'pottering' but by afternoon thought I had better venture out, as the sun appeared for a brief while. I soon realised why I don't go down to the seafront in the summer. Perry mortem tours had made a conference booking and were promenading en mass. I had never seen such an array of mobility equipment in my life (and my life has been spent prescribing it!). You had to have your wits about you to avoid being run down by a motorised chair or the dotto train! To escape the stress I sat down and ordered a coffee in one of the coffee bars on the seafront (run by a couple of surly but beautiful Latvians who were more interested in closing up as soon as possible.) After coffee I decided to take advantage of the toilet. I stood in the queue and listened to the shouts of a lady who really was 'locked in the lavatory'. I decided to wait! On the way home I stopped off in a park that is only 15 minutes walk away but I have never visited it. The Perry Mortem bowls afternoon was in full force. The 'whites' were truly brilliant, the lawn was the most vivid shade of green and immaculate, the roses were a brilliant shade of red. Concentration was evident on the faces of the players, the club room was lively, I overheard the end of a conversation between two players saying how tired they were. One was smoking a cigarette and the other was talking through an electronic voice box. A typical summer day in a seaside town!

Monday, 14 July 2008

Signs of ageing

I got a a letter the other day inviting me for my first mammogram. Now if Nessienora is reading this after her experience she will be encouraging me to go, and I will as I appreciate the value of free screening. Its just that I am not 50 until later on this year and somehow I was hoping I would have a gentle passage into the next decade and not have my age thrust into my face at the earliest opportunity!

They sent me an appointment for next week in the middle of Tuesday morning. Do they not think that people of 50 might be working and that it is quite difficult to arrange to have an hour or two out of the day with such short notice? The mobile screening unit is only in the area for two weeks and they had no other times on offer that I could make so I asked to re-arrange it for September.

"Well, we won't be in your area'll have to travel"

"That's ok, its getting time off work that is more difficult. Do you do any evening sessions?"

"No, I'm sorry we don't. I'll cancel your appointment for you and you can phone us nearer the time."

I don't think they understand about forward planning!

Sunday, 13 July 2008

A good victory

A 24 year old Italian called Riccardo Ricco won today's stage of the Tour de France. He put in what appeared to be a superhuman effort to speed past some of the best riders in the world going up a mountain. As Ian said "he went up that mountain faster that you would go down it". (This is a reference to my dislike of going fast downhill!). Ricco also won a stage on Thursday and when interviewed about the win he said that he had a brother who was killed in a motorbike accident and now he dedicates every success to him and his other brother, who is a footballer dedicates every goal. He said that he likes to think that he is there with him and enjoying his success. For me it sums up the motivation and determination that you need to succeed in the Tour. The other thing you need is a good team and Mark Cavendish certainly had that when they led him to within 100 metres of the finish line yesterday and he repaid them by out-sprinting everyone else to the line. He is only 23 and it is good to see such talent in the next generation. I only hope we don't learn later that it is drug fuelled.

I have to add a post-script here. Ricco has just been sent home after testing positive for EPO. I had my suspicions but am very disappointed. It does make me feel less inclined to watch it.

Friday, 11 July 2008

Teaching and learning conference

I am currently at a teaching and learning conference in a workshop on using blogs in assessment! Needless to say the topic has created much controversy about whether blogs are really suitable for higher level academic study. Someone has just accused blogs of being ephemeral and lightweight (and hence unsuitable for higher academic endeavour!). There was uproar but it didn't last long as it was time for coffee.

Thursday, 10 July 2008

British cycling

I watched Cavendish win yesterday's stage of the Tour de France. He is currently the best sprinter in the world and the first British stage winner for 5 years. It was great to watch and he really deserved it after last year when he was well placed to win the second stage in Canterbury until a female spectator walked in front of him and knocked him off his bike. I don't know whether he would have won or not but the dream of a British stage win on home ground was ended there and then by a stupid and selfish act.

Cycling was also in the news yesterday after a cyclist on a mountain bike was fined £2000 for knocking over and killing a young girl who either stepped in front of him or refused to get out of his way. The story is quite complicated and it is hard to work out exactly what happened. It does sound like the man didn't make any attempt to stop when the teenagers were in the road and that can never be condoned; and I can also fully understand why the girls parents feel that the punishment was grossly inadequate. However, this story led the papers and press to publish a whole collection of anti-cyclist articles. There was quite a nice balance in the Times presenting what I thought was many sides of the argument. As a driver, cyclist and one time regular commuter on the bike I feel I have the right to add my bit!

1. Not all cyclists break the rules in the same way that not all motorists are mad psychopaths whose one aim is to knock off every bike rider they see.

2. In order to survive as a cycling commuter you have to believe the latter so that you can protect yourself against the one that is!

3. Sometimes it is safer for everyone if as a cyclist you bend a few rules. For example, it is safer to position yourself just ahead of cars at a junction so that they can see you and it is safer to be a little out from the side of the road for the same reason. It does make some car drivers annoyed but at least they see you.

4. Most cyclists are insured; either through their household insurance, car insurance or through membership of a cycling organisation.

5. It is quite possible to accidentally kill someone when you are riding a bike. Downhill the bike will go as fast as a car (something that often seems to infuriate some car drivers who feel like they should overtake no matter what).

6. The consequence of any scrape between me on a bike and a car will always be worse for me (so it is in my best interest not to get into one).

7. Cyclists do pay tax that adequately covers their use of the roads, either through income tax or through motor vehicle tax (most cyclists own cars as well).

8. Sometimes pedestrians just don't look out for bikes. When they see me (and I do not cycle on pavements unless it is legal for me to do so) they jump and say 'get a bell'. Well, I have tried a bell and it is not heard above the traffic! If it is, it also causes people to jump out of their skins and in their shock and then they usually walk in front of me! I have tried coughing loudly, squealing my breaks, saying politely 'excuse me please' or 'just behind you' and all of it produces a startled response.

9. Pedestrians sometimes think that if I cycle more slowly it will be safer. This is not necessarily true as at very slow speeds it is more difficult to control the direction of the bike.

10. It is very difficult to hand signal as you are going down hill and braking!

Graham the grasshopper

This little creature was on my car this morning when I left the swimming pool. He seemed to like it and didn't want to leave. I thought he would go when I drove to work but I was surprised to see him on the roof at 5.00pm. He stayed with me to the supermarket, hitching a ride on the bonnet, and he was still on the car this evening. He shows no sign of leaving and I can't really understand why he likes the car so much. I think he is a grasshopper and I have decided to call him Graham (although I am a bit worried that he may be a girl!)

Wednesday, 9 July 2008

Speed dating

Brief Encounters That Last (Research Networking/ "Speed Dating" Event)
Middle Street, Joan Bakewell Theatre24th July 2pm
Final places remaining - Deadline for applications - Friday 6th July 2008

This message (with the accompanying picture) was circulated at work recently. We have now moved on from the sandpit to the latest trend in management speak and that is 'speed dating'!

According to wikipedia

speed dating is a formalized matchmaking process or dating system whose purpose is to encourage people to meet a large number of new people

and it goes something like this:

Men and women are rotated to meet each other over a series of short "dates", usually lasting from 3 to 8 minutes depending on the organization running the event. At the end of each interval, the organizer rings a bell or clinks a glass to signal the participants to move on to the next date.

Based on this principal a special event has been organised to enable people from across the university to introduce themselves to each other and decide if they like each other enough to work togther. If it is anything like the real thing then I am very glad that I am busy doing something else on that day! I think the people in the research development unit have been watching too much Sex and the City!

Tuesday, 8 July 2008

What's in a name 2

One of the slightly irritating things about emails is the jingoistic signature lines that employers add at the end of every message sent from their server. One of my students works for a local NHS trust. On the bottom of all her emails she is forced to put this little line: Help us to be the best we can be ...A rather strange comment and does not fill me with confidence at the level of care I might expect! It is like the one we all had to use about 10 years ago Working towards equal opportunities which basically meant we can continue to employ you without offering you a full time contract, insist that you sign away your rights to redundancy although you must give us two months notice if you want to leave!

Also, when I used to get letters or emails from various parts of the NHS I could tell where they came from by the name of the Trust or organisation. Therefore, people working and providing a service in Enfield would work for Enfield Trust and if you worked in a hospital the chances are the location would be in the title. Now things are not so straightforward!
Try to work out where these are!
2gether NHS Foundation Trust (by far the most irritating)
5 Boroughs Partnership NHS Trust
Calderstones NHS Trust

The 5 Boroughs Trust is committed to helping staff acheive a work-life balance and spends money publishing a newsletter called the juggler where you can read about managing your stress and making a will (at a 10% discount). I hope the two events are not connected!

Monday, 7 July 2008

Hairy llamas

One of the places that we went through on our bike ride the other week was a rare breeds farm. They had the standard strange cows, sheep and pygmy goats, but also these.

They caused much confusion amongst the visitors. Were they sheep, goats, llamas? I think I now know enough about the camelids to say that these fine looking creatures are alpacas; in need of a good haircut! You can pick up a male alpaca in the UK for £250 although top quality breeding suri alpacas, the ones with the ringlets, go for £6000 and more! Might be tempted to have a couple in France to add interest!
(Thanks to Simon for the photos)

Sunday, 6 July 2008


I'm quite glad Nadal won the men's singles at Wimbledon this year but I'm afraid I just can't watch tennis. The atmosphere is so tense that I feel my blood pressure increasing by the second and as much as I can appreciate the fantastic match I just have to make myself busy doing other things during the rallies and call out to Ian all the time "who won that point?" I think it's that I can't bear to see the look of dejection on the face of the looser and the intense concentration and frustration as the points go too and fro.

Getting money for old rope

Over the past week I have been anxiously watching my first ever item for sale on Ebay! I have bought a few things from there in the past but this time I had something to sell. When I moved into my house the previous owner had left an old fireplace in the shed. She told me she had found it in a skip and decided to rescue it with the idea of restoring it or using it somewhere but had never got round to it. It had been in my garage for 5 years and I had never got round to doing anything with it either so decided to either try and sell it or give it away. I took a picture of it, set up an account, wrote a brief description and listed it for sale with no reserve as I just wanted to get rid of it! It was a pretty tatty looking original 1930s fireplace but it seemed to generate a lot of interest and I was delighted when it sold today for a good deal more than I had hoped! Now I truly have the bug and am desperately looking around for other items to sell! I want to get a digital camcorder and have seen a nice one for £400. I need to sell quite a lot of junk to get enough to buy that! Truth is, if I really wanted to buy it I have the money but I am quite enjoying the idea of 'earning' it!

Saturday, 5 July 2008

The proper start of summer

I know summer is really here now as today was the first day of the Tour de France. I shall be in front of my television every night to watch the highlights. Ian and I still have a souvenir from last year; a road sign 'tidied up' from the side of the road somewhere in South London! We will find a nice place to put it in the house in France!