Friday, 30 May 2014

....and sleep

Busy day today and it was a relief to get home. Had dinner and the bright idea to watch Pacific Rim. I fell asleep while it was on and then just kept on sleeping! I guess I must have needed some sleep!

Thursday, 29 May 2014

Shite working day, Assassin's Creed Black Flag and Rangers win the Eastern Conference Finals!

OK so we had the great news earlier about being a grandmother again. While all this was going on I was having a pretty shite working day. Too many problems and not enough diagnostics and the feeling that those that were supposed to be helping were more of a hindrance. I ended up working an extra two hours tonight just wading through treacle and getting nowhere fast.

Toni had been on the got for around 30+ hours so got home from the hospital (she was in attendance when Zaria was born) and understandably crashed out. I took advantage of the this and fired up the PS3 to have a few hours of playing Assassin's Creed Black Flag. Did a few missions and earned a few trophies and had a great time!

Game six of the Eastern Conference Finals tonight with New York Rangers returning to Madison Square Garden to try and finish off the Montreal Canadiens once and for all. They fell apart in game five and now it was time to get revenge. The Rangers headed into game six with a 3 - 2 series advantage. This was the most important game in New York City in twenty years. Rangers came out flying and looked like they really meant business. The Madison Square Garden crowd were the noisiest I have ever heard them which was a real novelty but also very encouraging for the Rangers. It's lucky for the Canadiens that Tokarski was on form or they would have been in trouble! First period ended 0 - 0. Shots on goal were 11 - 5 in favour of Rangers.

Second period was a little more end to end although the Rangers had some good pressure being built up. Rangers power play need to do this a lot more:
The Canadiens seemed to find their legs in the second half of this period with lots of pressure in front of Lundqvist. Thankfully he was more than capable of dealing with what was being thrown at him. Rangers went on the power play again and the first shot on goal was by the Canadiens. That is NOT supposed to happen! With less than five minutes to go Lundqvist made a phenomenal save, spinning through the air to knock the puck away. At 18:07 the Rangers finally beat Tokarski as Dominic Moore takes a great pass from Brian Boyle to break the deadlock and make the game 1 - 0 Rangers. Second period ended with Rangers leading 1 - 0 .Shots on goal were 8 - 8 (19 - 13 overall).

Rangers started the third period successfully killing off a Canadiens power play. Some incredible pressure from New York at the start which sadly they couldn't convert but they kept the Canadiens at bay for the first eight minutes. Fatigue seemed to be setting in with the Canadiens who didn't roll four lines so overplayed their best players. They did managed to turn things up a notch just after the ten minute mark but the Rangers soon closed that down. At 14:18 the Rangers went on the power play after a slash from Prust. At 04:36 the Canadiens should have been called for a delay of the game penalty but the refs fluffed that call! Rangers failed to convert the penalty but went on the offensive once again. With two minutes remaining the Rangers iced the puck and it was twitchy bum time! Another icing and at 01:53 the Canadiens pulled Tokarski for the extra skater. Mad scrambles in front of the Rangers net ensued. Canadiens called a time out with 01:15 left. Rangers win the game 1 - 0. Lundqvist gets a shut out to make up for his dire game five! Shots on goal were 13 - 5 to the Rangers (32 - 18 overall).  

The Rangers win the series 4 - 2. The Rangers are going to the Stanley Cup Finals! They will face either the L.A. Kings or the Chicago Blackhawks (their series is currently 3 - 2 Kings with their game six tomorrow). 

Welcome to the world Zaria

Welcome to the world Zaria, born today at 10:20 today. Congratulations Jodie and Ahmed. We are a grandmother for the fourth time! Both mother and her little girl are doing well.

Wednesday, 28 May 2014

Last.FM listening post

Here's last week's top picks music lovers!

Top weekly tracks:

Top weekly artists:

Overall top tracks:

Overall top artists:

Tuesday, 27 May 2014

Route 1066 Cafe, clearing Pam's flat and Rangers fall flat on their faces

Took the day off today to head down to Bexhill-on-Sea to finish off things with Pam's flat. Ed came and picked me up and we headed off to Bexhill. We stopped off at the Route 1066 Cafe for some tea and a breakfast. It was lovely sitting there listening to 50s tunes and chilling out. They have great decor too, the whole place is made up like an old diner. Great murals on the walls kept the theme alive:

This was a fun mural but an odd one out LOL

Following the noms we proceeded to Pam's flat to complete our task. We bagged up the remaining rubbish and things that were no longer required, tidied up and boxed up the few remaining things that needed to come back here. I did try to have a quick hoover of the property but sadly the one I was trying to use nearly burst into flames twice so that plan was aborted. We made do with a major brush through with collection in a dust pan. It was very sad having to lock up and the leave the place completely empty. That's it now, everything is clear and there is probably no need to go back. We are now waiting on confirmation from the solicitor that the buyer is in a position to exchange contracts.

It was game five of the Eastern Conference Finals tonight with New York Rangers heading to Montreal to take on the Canadiens. Rangers lead the series 3 - 1. Derek Stepan returned to the line up after his nasty hit in Game 3 and is wearing a chin guard. A win would see the Rangers through, a loss takes us to game six.....

Things started badly with the Canadiens going on the power play after only 22 seconds. They made the most of this opportunity though and were 0 - 1 up at 01:48. I was starting to get twitchy when Stepan got revenge by making it a 1 - 1 game at 10:44. My joy wasn't to last though as Canadiens took the 2 - 1 lead at 12:24. First period ended 1 - 2 to the Canadiens. Shots on goal were 10 - 12 in favour of the Canadiens.

Early power plays for the Rangers in the second period didn't help with them failing to muster up much in the way of shots. Disappointing. Poor defence from the Rangers let the Canadiens extend their lead to 1 - 3. Just after the Canadiens had failed to convert a power play they struck gold and pushed the score to 1 - 4. The Rangers dressed Cam Talbot at this point and swapped him for Lundqvist. This was not a pretty game up until this point and I was seriously contemplating heading to bed. Glad I stayed up though as Rick Nash made it 2 - 4 with a power play goal at 09:48. Stepan struck again less than three minutes later and Rangers were only trailing by 1 as the score was 3 - 4.  Finally an unsportsmanlike conduct call was given against the Canadiens for embellishment. Chris Kreider then slotted home on the power play at 14:12 to make it 4 - 4 and we had a tied game on our hands. Canadiens took the lead once again as Bourque made it 4 - 5 at 15:10. Second period ended with the Rangers trailing 4 - 5. Shots on goal were 6 - 11 in favour of the Canadiens (16 - 23 overall).

The third period started with the Rangers on the penalty kill for thirty odd seconds. It was then a lot of pressure from the Canadiens with the Rangers struggling to clear their defensive zone. A post and a broken stick kept the Rangers in it still! 06:33 into the period and the Canadiens are sitting pretty at 4 - 6 as Bourque gets a hat-trick. The Rangers then go on a crucial power play after Nash was catapulted into the Canadiens netminder at 07:19. Rangers then have 33 seconds of 5 on 3 as the Canadiens are penalized once again! Rangers couldn't buy a goal! To make matters worse a stupid hit from John Moore meant he the Rangers then had to go on the penalty kill for five minutes. 04:17 left in the period and the Canadiens take advantage of an empty net to make it 4 - 7. With 03:32 left the Rangers go back on the power play again. 6 on 4 couldn't get the job done. Nor could the remaining 5 on 4. Rangers choked 4 -7 to the Canadiens. Shots on goal were 11 - 4 in favour of the Rangers (27 - 28 overall). What a load of shite, that was fucking dire. Rangers played like a team sitting in a comfort zone, the Canadiens played like a team needing to win.

Canadiens have now closed down the series to 3 - 2. Rangers can still finish things off in game six. They'll be back on home ice on Thursday night!

Monday, 26 May 2014

Sam is now allowed to ride a motorcycle

Sam went off to the Sidcup to Phoenix Motorcycle Training to do his Compulsory Basic Training CBT. He came back looking very happy as he has passed and is now eligible to ride motorcycles up to 125cc. He's been wanting to do this for ages and saved up the money for the test as well as all the necessary safety gear.

Next stop is for him to finish his final bit of saving to buy a motorcycle which won't be long. Have to confess that I was a little nervous about a bike versus a car but once I saw all the safety gear I did relax a little. 

Sunday, 25 May 2014

Celery, another Essex run, Science Of Stupid and Rangers win in OT to lead series 3 - 1

We've been growing some celery in the kitchen using cut off stalks from bunches that we have bought. They are coming along nicely!

We had to do another Essex run today. Mandy had stated over with us last night so needed to be dropped back in Witham. We started off with breakfast in Coffee Town before blazing the trail to Essex once again.

It was a gorgeous day and the sky was beautiful.

Mandy had someone coming to see her between 1 and 2. We dropped her off at 12:59. How about that for timing LOL

After dropping off Mandy we then headed to Stansted Airport to pick up Jade who was flying back from Spain. Short Stay car park was out of action so we had the privilege of paying £20 to park in the Medium Stay. What a rip off!!!! We had a few hours to kill so we bought magazines and settled down with coffee at Costa right next to International Arrivals. After she had safely landed we then ran her back to Deptford. Fond memories of my youth as the fair was in full effect on Blackheath. Spent some happy (and drunk) times there LOL

With Jade safely returned back home we headed back to Siducp. There was some lovely blue skies today.

The rest of the evening was spent chilling out and watching Science Of Stupid. This is a great little program presented by Richard Hammond that contains everyday folks doing really stupid shit with explanations on why what they were doing ended up with cataclysmic results using scientific explanations. It's a hilarious, entertaining and educational show. Check it out if you can!

Our night finished off with game four of the New York Rangers v Montreal Canadiens Stanley Cup Easter Conference Finals. Rangers headed into this game with a 2 - 1 lead hoping to extend that to 3 - 1. Missing from the Rangers line up was Derek Stepan after getting a fractured jaw from a late hit by Prust in game three. Thankfully though Derick Brassard made a welcome return to the Rangers after recovering from injury after being taken out in game one. Having killed off one penalty Carl Hagelin then went on a break away on the next one and scored short handed at 07:18 giving the Rangers a 1 - 0 lead. Hagelin nearly got another one on the same penalty kill. It was and end to end period with both teams having good chances. First period ended 1 - 0 Rangers. Shots on goal for the period were 9 - 11 in favour of the Canadiens. J.T. Miller was taken out in this period and headed out back for medical treatment.

Rangers came out in the second like they really meant it. They had most of the possession although the offensive efforts were fairly equal. 11:52 down and Montreal make it a 1 - 1 game. As tense bit of 4 on 4 had the Rangers with some good chances but the Canadiens must have been eating their lucky charms in that two minutes. The same came later when the Rangers had a rebound in front of an empty Canadiens net but couldn't get a shot away. Canadiens continued their dirty tactics in overselling penalties but no "diving" calls. Tokarski was proving to be a fantastic netminder. 56 seconds left in the period and Derick Brassard is back on the scoring books again as he takes the Rangers 2 - 1 ahead again. Second period ended 2 - 1. Shots on goal were 11 - 5 in favour of the Rangers (20 - 16 overall).

Third period saw the Canadiens coming out fighting. The they went on an early power play and Subann managed to tied the game up 2 - 2. This was going to be a tense period of that there was no doubt with the Rangers wanted to take a 3 - 1 series lead back to Montreal and the Canadiens desperate to tie the series up 2 - 2. Again it was end to end stuff with both the Rangers and Canadiens trying to take the lead. Less than ten left in the third it was still 2 - 2 and everything started to get a little tense. With less than five minutes left there was more and pressure coming from Montreal. It was still 2 - 2 with two minutes remaining. Third period ended 2 - 2 and it was into overtime again! Shots on goal were 6 - 8 in favour of the Canadiens (26 - 24 overall).

AAARGGGHHHH! Clenchy butt cheeks time again! Thirty seconds in and the Rangers are on the penalty kill again! STUPID! Thankfully they killed it off. There was lots of pressure from Montreal after that. Thankfully the Rangers got a lucky break and at 06:02 Martin St. Louis saved the day and won the game 3 - 2. Shots on goal were 3 - 5 in favour of the Canadiens (29 - 29 overall). The Rangers now head to Montreal on Tuesday night with a 3 - 1 series lead and a chance to get the job done and win the Eastern Conference Finals!

Saturday, 24 May 2014

Moving Katie, great signs and Dolmen Grove Essex Moot planning

Today we were over in Braintree helping Toni's cousin Katie move house. She was only moving to the next village so it was a case of loading stuff up, a quick drive and then unload. Sounds simple eh? Well, there was quite a lot of stuff to move. When we got to the other end it was time to try and make some sense of it all as well as put together lots of furniture. Thankfully there were lots of people on hand to help out and the job was done quite fast and smoothly.

As we were leaving I noticed some great signs on the church opposite her new house. Have to say there were quite clever and it made a change from the usual garbage that gets spouted these days.

After we were done helping Katie we then zipped of to Witham to pick up Mandy and then headed to TGI Friday's for some dinner as we were starving. 

Following the noms it was off to Grays for a planning meeting for the Dolmen Grove Essex moot. Following on from some recent troubles a core group had decided to get together to reboot things and get us all back on track again. It was a really good meeting with lots of vibrant energy and ideas flowing freely exactly as things had been back in the beginning. It was like a breath of fresh air and it now feels like we have a real foundation to take things forwards into the coming months. 

Friday, 23 May 2014

Reasonable day and Rishta

It was a reasonable day at work today which was a pleasant change. More like this please, makes things so much easier!

After work it was Rishta for dinner with Toni, Sam and Pam. Can't beat a nice trip to Rishta for delicious Indian food. We haven't stayed for a coffee for a while and Sam enjoyed a floater.

The floater tache/splash as modelled by Sam:

Thursday, 22 May 2014

Shite day, voting and Rangers lose in OT (series is now 2 - 1 Rangers )

It was a reasonable day at work in that there were actually things to test for once. There was lots of other frustrating behind the scenes crap that just irritated me. Sniping and bitching never makes a happy environment and the inability for people to communicate effectively just frustrates me as it makes life difficult. Add to that trying to cut corners and save a few shekels at the expense of doing something properly. Did I mention general apathy and incompetence too? I'm starting to winder if it might be time to start considering a change in the near future!

Got home from work and Toni, Sam, Aaron and I all headed out to the polling station to cast our votes for the MEP 2014 plus our local council elections. I am glad that both the boys decided to come along and have their say rather than joining the non-voting apathetic masses. I have to say though that Toni and I were less than impressed that you are given a pencil to mark your vote. I'm not saying it is likely but pencil votes would be much easier to tamper with should anyone feel that way inclined.

This seemed quite apt today:

Game three of the Eastern Conference Finals as New York Rangers returned home to Madison Square Garden with a 2 - 0 lead to take on Montreal Canadiens. This was a feisty affair. A dodgy hit by Prust on Derek Stepan (and a missed penalty call) set the temp for what was to follow. Prust and Dorsett have a fight, Carcillo gets thrown out of the game and the Rangers were really fired up. 15:18 and the Rangers made it 1 - 0 as Carl Hagelin banged one in after a scramble in front of the Canadiens net. First period ended with the Rangers leading 1 - 0. Rangers out shot the Canadiens 14 - 4.

At 03:21 into the second the Canadiens got their 1 - 1 equalizer after a defensive communication lapse between two Rangers player allowed Markov some free space. More referee cock ups as the Canadiens had too many men on the ice for a good few seconds. The Canadiens seemed to find their game in this period as they had lots of good chances. Another missed cool right at the end, this time in favour of the Rangers, much to the disgust of the Canadiens as Gallagher is called for roughing in retaliation to a slash from Ryan McDonagh. Second period ended tied 1 - 1. Rangers out shot the Canadiens 13 - 9 in the period (27 - 13 overall).

Third period began with everything to play for and the Rangers on the power play. Canadiens locked down the defence though and Rangers couldn't take advantage. This was an end to end period with both teams desperate to break the stalemate. A defensive blunder almost cost the Rangers dearly but somehow luck was on their side and they managed to recover and return the pressure to the Canadiens. 16:58 and the Canadiens pile on the pressure and manage to convert to take a 1 - 2 lead. Rangers called a timeout with 01:31 left getting ready to pull Lundqvist for the extra forward. With 29 seconds left in the game Chris Kredier makes it 2 - 2. Period ended 2 - 2 and it was into overtime. Shots on goal were 9 - 9 (22 - 26 overall).

....and so it began! It didn't last long! Galchenyuk scored after 01:12 and the Canadiens won the game 2 - 3.  ARSE! The series is now Rangers 2 Candiens 1. Next game is back at Madison Square Garden on Sunday!


Wednesday, 21 May 2014

Strange concoction and a soggy trip to Bexhill

Sam and I saw this posted while on the way home today. It looks like a strange concoction but could actually be quite nice although knowing how beer makes me go all blokey it might have a really weird effect on me! I'll definitely have to get some and try it although I don't really see the point of making rum flavoured beer when rum will do just fine!!!!

After dinner Toni and I headed off to Bexhill-on-Sea to collect the last few bits that needed to come back. We also met up with Pam's friend, Frank, who had very kindly offered to pick up her old teaching material so that it could be dropped off at a local school that has good SEN support. It was absolutely bucketing down by they time it was time to load up the car and we were very soggy by the time we set off back home. The rain didn't let up and we had to drive pretty slowly as it was so heavy and the conditions were poor.

Got home, had gluten free bagels and marmite and watched a little bit of the Kings v Blackhawks game before hitting the pit!

Last.FM listening post

Here's last week's top picks music lovers!

Top weekly tracks:

Top weekly artists:

Overall top tracks:

Overall top artists:

Tuesday, 20 May 2014

WFH, new flower beds, lasagne and goodbye Warehouse 13

It was a working from home day for me today. Even managed to get up OK following on from the late night hockey session. While I was working, Bob came round today to help out in the garden. He has done wonders with one end and has now dug out some flower beds for us and bordered it all nicely. The work in progress continues well and soon we'll be planting stuff in there too.

Sam made a gluten  free lasagne for dinner. It's not something we have very often but it was delicious! Damn my reactions to tomato based sauces. It will be worth it though. Lasagne is always worth it :)

We set about watching Warehouse 13 as is our routine on a Tuesday. There was lots of talk of things ending. We knew that season five was going to be the last. I had it in my head that this season was going to run for twenty episodes. Sadly it was six and this was the sixth. What an episode it was though. The whole series was wrapped up beautifully and at least given the decency of a well written and natural end. It actually brought a tear to my ear. An emotional episode that drew everything to a close and the fact that there will be no more. *sniff*  If it has passed you by then you could do yourself a favour and get the DVDs or watch it on Netflix.

Monday, 19 May 2014

Grumbly day at work, Glitzy cushion and Rangers spank the Canadiens again!

It was a grumbly day at work. That is all..... but there was quite a bit of laughter too so it wasn't all bad!

Dad came over later in the evening as he is staying over for a couple of nights. It was good to see him again and have a catch up. He gave us a cushion emblazoned with GLITZ that Joy had found while shopping. We were delighted as friends have told us about them loads of times before but we've never seen them anywhere.

Toni and I braved a late night to watch game two of the Eastern Conference Finals as the New York Rangers returned to Montreal to take on the Canadiens. Given the hiding that they were given on Saturday night the Canadiens came out all guns blazing. Pacioretty made it 0 - 1 to the Canadiens at 06:14 after some significant pressure from the start. Rather than let their heads drop though the Rangers fought back and Ryan McDonagh made it 1- 1 seventeen seconds later and silenced the Montreal crowd. A beautiful slap shot from Rick Nash at 18:58 allowed the Rangers to close the first period with a 2 - 1 lead. This period was mainly Montreal though and they out shot the Rangers 9 - 14.

The Canadiens kept the pressure up in the second period with both teams refusing to let up. A power play goal at 08:03 from Martin St. Louis though took the Rangers into a 3 - 1 comfort zone. This period ended 3 - 1 with the Rangers out shooting the Canadiens 11 - 8.

The third period was twitchy bum time as the Canadiens really went on the offensive, desperate to claw things back. Henrik Lundqvist was like a wall though and despite peppering him with shots they just could not score. At 15:38 Benoit Pouliot took a boarding penalty and so the Canadiens pulled their netminder for the 6 on 4 advantage and the 6 on 5 for the closing minutes. They just couldn't break down the Rangers defence or slip one passed Lundqvist though. Rangers had 10 shots and the Canadiens had 19 in this period but the Rangers won the game 3 - 1 and are now leading this series 2 - 0. On Wednesday night we head back to Madison Square Garden for two home games. Can the Rangers sweep the Canadiens in four? That would be nice!

Sunday, 18 May 2014

Out in the garden and a purple shed

Well today was a day of changed plans but it all turned out well. The plan had been for Toni to take Sam shopping for motorbike gear while I watched Pam and then for Toni and I to go to Bexhill with Sam looking after Pam. Due Toni having mahoosive headache the Bexhill plan was shelved. When she felt a bit more human she took Sam to Eltham as planned and he came back delighted to be holding all his safety clothing and helmet ready for his CBT on the bank holiday.

As we were all hungry it was back into the car and off to Ziyafet for a delicious dinner. Veal chops for Toni, Pam and I and Sam tried out one of their pizza. It was all good and we all left completely stuffed. On our way back Toni and I made a quick stop off into B&Q to pick up grass strimmer accessories and some weatherproof colour for the shed.

We got back, settled Pam in the garden and then we set to work. I took care of a major lawnmower and strimming job and Toni made a start on the new shed. The weather was gorgeous and it was hard work but the grass looked great when I had finished. After catching my breath it was time to help out Toni with the shed painting. It looked absolutely fabulous when were were done:

While we were on a roll we decided to spruce up the play house too. Here's a photo showing the new look with a side that is still old school:

It looks so good in these colours and we continued until the light started to fade:

Final stages were done in a Morecombe & Wise stylee, just because!

There are further garden plans ahead..... watch this space!