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Olympic Flame in Colchester (with pics)

Friday, July 06, 2012

I reached the end of my road about 7am, and there were already a lot of people lining the pavements. Seeing some space on the opposite side of the road, I crossed, passing behind my neighbour, there with her son and grandkids, tapping her on the right shoulder as I walked past. She fell for it! LOL

It was already lightly raining at this point, and as I stood chatting with a couple who had already grabbed a spot, we put up out brollies and leaned on the rail that was conveniently there.

The way they have arranged the route is so that the traffic can keep moving, with police there to stop the crowd from blocking the road. What we didn't realise though, was that the traffic wouldn't even be stopped when the cavalcade came past.

Just as the critical few minutes approached, a bloomin' great juggernaut stopped right in front of us, totally blocking our view! So all of us on the right side of the road had to charge round the juggernaut, to the central line, effectively narrowing the road for the cavalcade, and giving the poor policeman palpitations as he tried to keep us far enough apart from those on the left hand side to allow the various coaches and lorries through.

And it was a massive cavalcade! So many police on motorbikes! And they were high fiving the crowd as they drove past! I got a High Five from a Motorcycle cop! LOLOL

And I took photo after photo, which will give you some idea of how close we were to the vehicles.

Here's the juggernaut on the left, and some people dancing and singing on top of a bus!

Then I noticed that something was going on to my right...

As the crowds were asked to step back, I realised that there was a torch bearer standing there, ready to receive the flame!

Could the torch bearer finally be arriving?




and as I waited frantically for my phone to reset after the last photo, the Torch Bearer ran past me. I snapped a shot, and got the most amazing picture of the flame!

The curls in the flame are just beautiful.

Then we had the privilege of watching the hand-over...

And the new Torch Bearer runs off down the road...

And the crowd immediately began to melt away, and by 8am, I was back in my house, a drowned rat with a terrific memory to cherish. :-)

Enjoy the rest of your Friday!
Lex xxx
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  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

CARLA-216 7/10/2012 2:04PM

    That is SO tee-totally awesome, Lexie! I'm so glad you got to see the Olympic flame! And thank you for sharing with all of us!


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MAURIZIA 7/9/2012 3:34PM

    Oh, Lexie, seeing the Olympic torch is on my list of "things to do before I die" list. I did enjoy vicariously seeing it through your blog! :)


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VAILIEN1 7/8/2012 12:47AM


Many years ago when the Games were in the U.S. (can't recall what city it was...LOL) a friend of ours was one of the torch bearers as it passed through our city. What goosebumps I had as I witnessed as you did an actual transfer of the torch from one person to another. That was an amazing sight and I appreciate you sharing your photos which enabled me to remember this event once again. Thanks so much!


Jeff emoticon

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SCIFIREADER 7/7/2012 2:31PM

    What a great experience, thank you so much for sharing with us.

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BOVEY63 7/6/2012 1:45PM

    What an awesome experience! Thanks for sharing your pics!

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ANNEMAC5 7/6/2012 12:36PM

    Such a pity about the rain but what a great crowd and you did get a fantastic view. I wonder if you will be on tv tonight. Great pictures and you blog so well we were there with you. Flame heading my way

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SLENDERCLAIRE 7/6/2012 10:23AM

    Well done you - what a great start to the day!

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WANDAH3 7/6/2012 9:51AM

    What an amazing experience! Thank you for sharing it with us. The pictures are great and you are so right about the curl of the flame...so impressive.
Have a great and wonderful day,

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SENATOR9 7/6/2012 8:09AM

    You are a great reporter.Those picture were awesome emoticon emoticon

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BEAUTIFULBRIT50 7/6/2012 7:09AM

    emoticon emoticon that looked amazing thank you for sharing with us emoticon

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NEW-CAZ 7/6/2012 6:54AM

    So envious Lex, thanks for sharing this once in a lifetime experience emoticon

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When life gives you lemons like these...

Thursday, July 05, 2012

I just wanted to share that tomorrow morning, around 7.30-7.45 am, the Olympic Flame will be carried past the end of my road. I am not much of a sports fan, but I am looking forward to seeing the flame carried by for one reason.

That reason is that this flame originated in Greece, and as I have a passion for the Greek gods and goddesses, I am looking upon this as an opportunity to be in close physical proximity to a symbol not just of the Olympic Games, but of the Greek history and Mythology I so love.

So, tomorrow morning, as I watch the flame passing me by, I shall be thinking of Prometheus – reputed by the Greeks to have given fire to humankind, of the fire’s sacred qualities and its relationship to the Sun, and of the Temple of Hera in Olympia, Greece, and the skaphia used there mere weeks ago to direct the sun’s rays to light the flame.

I shall also think of Zeus, to whom the games were originally dedicated, and last, but most definitely not least, of Athena – namesake of Athens - whose gift of the olive tree supplied the wreath of olive branches that was placed upon the head of the winner.

This will be a once in a lifetime opportunity for me. :- )

In other news...

I have walked an Olympic marathon distance this week, I kid you not! Well, darned close anyway. In three days (Mon,Tue,Wed) I walked a total of 24 miles, which is close enough to a marathon in my book! And my constant leg ache, sore toes, and seizing up of my hips will attest that it was a tricky amount of walking to handle.

But I had to do it.

You see, Tara was offered the opportunity to attend a three-day Preview Course at the Colchester Institute, with a view to starting there in September on their Foundation to Work Course.

We only made enquiries last Monday, and were really surprised to hear so soon, but apparently we were rather late applying so they had to bypass the interview stage and have her attend the course sight unseen.

The initial trepidation on my part was squashed immediately by Tara, who leapt on me in delight when I told her about the preview course. But we were batting on a financially sticky wicket that week, so we had no choice but to walk there and back every day. A four and a half mile walk in total for Tara, but a nearly 9 mile walk for me as I had to make the trek twice each day!

Those of you with good basic maths skills will have noticed a discrepancy in my figures, but not to worry. On the third morning, Tara decided she had memorised the route there and wanted to walk it alone, so I went to Waitrose instead, cutting a good couple of miles off that day, otherwise I would have beaten the Marathon distance for certain! LOL

Anyway, it was worth every ache and pain, and still being stiff today, because not only did she LOVE the course, but she has definitely got a place in September!!!

AWESOME or what!!!
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On the way home yesterday, seeing as the finances were in slightly better shape, and seeing as it was the only place selling food between the college and our home, I treated us to our first MacDonalds meal in more than 10 years! Tara had a chicken nugget happy meal, and I had a cheeseburger and fries. I was pleasantly surprised to see the calorie count for the meals prominently displayed on the menu. A good step forward for them, I thought, and given the amount of walking I did, I doubt I did any harm eating what I did. I really enjoyed it too. :-)

Enjoy your Day!
Lex xxx
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  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

MRE1956 7/7/2012 5:46AM


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SENATOR9 7/6/2012 8:06AM

    I saw the flame in 2010 when the winter games were in Vancouver.It is awesome to see.Have fun.

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TEXASFILLY 7/5/2012 7:18PM

    YAY! How exciting to witness the Olympic flame! I, too, love everything Greek: food, music, dancing, the people, mythology~ I must've been Greek in another life! *LOL* And a big emoticon on tracking those miles! You're emoticon! emoticonBB~

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_LINDA 7/5/2012 4:55PM

    Wow! You lucky sod, you, getting to see the torch going by! I too was intigued by all those Greek Gods and Godesses..
Well done with all the walking and I can certainly sympathesize with the aches, same ones really -I thought I could wear sandals for a day at the club to cool my feet down -no such luck as my toes looked like road kill :P -I need to have socks and toe protectors on at all times -painfull lesson learned..
Doing happy dance for Tara!! Fantabulous news she is going to be accepted there!!!
Hope you have a great weekend!! Check out some of the new icons!
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Linda xxx

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CARLA-216 7/5/2012 3:41PM

    How cool to see the torch go by right there in your neighborhood!

Congrats to Tara! How exciting for her! emoticon


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ANNEMAC5 7/5/2012 3:27PM

    Hope you get a good view of the torch the weather has been lovely to-day and on the news there were good pictures of the torch in Suffolk. Tomorrow it is meant to be wet,wet, wet. Undecided if I am going to go into town to try and see the torch in Chelmsford the evening event is sold out. I am not a sports fan but I have been proud to watch how people have supported the torch as it has gone through the country. I also love Greek mythology and loved your blog.
Great amount of walking and very pleased for Tara (and for you) how long is the course is it a term ? Glad you enjoyed your McDonalds treat.
Woo Hoo new emotions emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon

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NEW-CAZ 7/5/2012 3:18PM

    emoticon Tara! I am so pleased for her.
And I love that the torch is coming so close to you, wish the same was happening around here.
DH on the other hand said he wouldn't venture out to see it- it would have to come past our house and I can't see that happening to a cul-de-sac emoticon

I haven't ventured into MacDonalds for years either- I prefer Subway now or Pret-A-Manger! But it's good to hear they're doing a calorie count now!

Have a good evening and as for the walking............. emoticon emoticon

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BOVEY63 7/5/2012 3:01PM

    How exciting to be able to see the torch go by! And also what a wonderful opportunity for Tara ~ so glad she enjoyed it!

Have a wonderful rest of the day!

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An incredibly simple way to cook fluffy brown/wholegrain rice

Friday, June 22, 2012

I love Waitrose, and their own brands are generally excellent, but they suffer from one issue which seems to be universal among supermarkets. Their cooking instructions on wholewheat foods suck!

Follow the instructions on their organic Love Life wholegrain rice, for instance, and you get a partially mushy, partially hard, chewy mess that does nothing to whet the appetite.

So I went online for a solution, and I found it!

It is so simple.

Measure out the portions of rice you need. I measured 100g, which for me is two portions.

Put the rice in a big saucepan, and pour in a lot of cold water - two thirds full or thereabouts, so the rice has plenty of water to swirl around in while it is cooking.

Bring the water and rice to a boil, and leaving the lid off the pan, boil on a mediumish heat for 20 minutes.

Strain the rice through a sieve for ten seconds, then return the rice to the now empty pan. Shake it a little to spread the rice out, and place back on the same cooker burner, but with the heat now off. Put the saucepan's lid firmly on, and leave the rice for ten minutes.

Remove the lid, and stir the rice with a fork before serving.

That ten minutes of steaming on top of the cooking time makes the rice comes out separated, as fluffy as brown rice can get, and with just enough bite to be perfect. No mush! :-)

I ate half of it with some Slow Cooker chinese pork spare ribs cooked with onion, leek, red bell pepper, and courgettes, and using an Amoy Chow Mein sauce for the liquid and flavour.

I froze the other half, and defrosted that yesterday to eat with sweet and sour chicken.

Really tasty! I think I feel secure enough about eating brown rice instead of white easycook rice now.

Over the weekend I am having some more experiments. Making two leek and courgette risottos in the slow cooker. One with the Arborio rice I normally use to make risotto in a saucepan, and the other with the Organic wholegrain rice. I'm intrigued to see how those turn out, as there seem to be conflicting opinions as to how well different types of rice cook in a slow cooker. :-)

In other news...

TOM did not play ball, and arrived too early for the scheduled appointment at the hospital, so BE-Day is now Friday 20th July instead.

However, the walk-in clinic finally got back to me about the ultrasound scan, and that is scheduled for Monday 2nd July. If that shows up the problem, I may not need BE-Day at all, but that remains to be seen.

In the meantime, I've tweaked my eating, and the smaller meals seem to be helping because I haven't had a bad attack since Sat 9th. A few twinges, but that's it.

TOM kicked in Wednesday, but it doesn't seem to have unduly antagonised anything, so I am doubtful that endometriosis is the issue.

I am a little irritated by TOM though.

I really am not looking forward to the barium enema, and just wanted to get it over with, not have it hanging over my head for another month. Bryony had managed to get the days off to be here for me and everything, so its kicking in early has been a real nuisance all round.

But hey, what can you do? Nature is nature is nature, and it is in my Nature for my bod to do its own thing! LOL


I'm getting my exercise in every day, being completely obsessed with Exerbeat to the exclusion of all other games and exercise options currently. I am working to increase the number of gold medals I have at the moment. Now I have all 20 golds in the Aerobics section, and all 20 in the Boxercising section, plus 19 out of 20 in the Karate section, and hoping to make that 20 tomorrow. The rest of the areas still need work.

So, the weekend is about here, and I need to get some work hours in. Been slacking this week, due to being more stressed than I care to admit, so I have some catching up to do. Fortunately I have a ton of TV shows saved on Tivo, so I'll grab my wool and settle down to some viewing and hooking. :-)

I'd sit outside, but it's threatening to plother down!

Enjoy your day! :-)
Lex xxx
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  Member Comments About This Blog Post:


    I leave the rice in the sieve, but run a little water back into the pan and put it back on, with the saucepan lid over the rice (it fits the sieve nicely). Same result - fluffy and nicely nubbly, not mushy or uncooked).

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SCREWIE 6/23/2012 6:27AM

    Thank you so much for the brown rice tips, I always had the same problem too. I'll try your way next time :)

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ZURDTA- 6/23/2012 6:16AM

    Will try the brown rice suggestion - not that my brown rice turns out bad - but any improvement is good :)

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ANNEMAC5 6/22/2012 3:13PM

    Sorry timing is not going right at the moment, mother nature had her own plans !But would be nice if you avoid the BE.

I will try the brown rice steam trick next time I do it thanks. Well I have the week end off but does not look like I will be sitting out in my garden
Anne :)

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BOVEY63 6/22/2012 2:08PM

    Have a wonderful weekend Lexie and praying that all goes well with the ultrasound!
Love the pics!

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TRIANGLE-WOMAN 6/22/2012 1:37PM

My cousin suggested that I invest in a rice cooker 5 years ago when I told him I hated cooking rice. I have never regretted the $40. You can get them for $20 on sale if you keep your eyes open. Mix in the proportion of rice to water according to the directions that come with the cooker (different for white vs. brown).

Turn it on and perfect rice every time.

Mine comes with a steamer basket that you can insert over the rice and steam meat, fish or veggies at the same time.

I would love to hear about the slow cooker recipes though. I use mine sometimes and have come up with some winners, but I've a fair share of losers also!

( ¯`♥ ´¯) ♥'Thanks for
.`•.¸.•´ ♥ Spreading the SPARK!!! *`*•.¸¸.•♥
¸.•´¸.•´¨) ¸.•*¨).•*´. ♥¸¸.•¨ •♥
(¸.•´ (¸.•´ .• •♥¸¸.•¨¯`•.♥.¸¸.•¨¯`•¸. •♥

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_LINDA 6/22/2012 12:07PM

    Keeping everything crossed the ultrasound is all they need from you!!
I shudder at the old pot method of cooking rice. Being in the convenience age, I love that my rice cooker makes perfect rice every time, no matter what kind. Its awesome that I can just dump the stuff in and it will automatically shut off when its done! Mom gave me this gift as her co workers gave it to her, but she never used it -preferred the old stove top method if you can believe it!!
Sorry about TOM, going on Depo was the best thing I ever did -no TOM since 1998!!
Way to go cranking up the medals in your new program!!
Enjoy your TV and have a fabulous weekend!!
Linda xxx

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SHARJOPAUL 6/22/2012 11:18AM

    Thanks for the rice recipe.

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CARLA-216 6/22/2012 10:57AM

    Hopefully the ultrasound will show what's going on so you can forgo the BE.

Thanks for the rice tip! I must try that.


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LOVESLIFE48 6/22/2012 10:23AM

    Thanks for the cooking tip!! I hope everything works out for you my friend!! Hugs!! emoticon

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-POOKIE- 6/22/2012 10:08AM

    Does brown rice freeze well?

Ive been planning to make some for my boyfriend lunchbox, rice and beans since he is vegetarian... Im worried at keeping rice long in the fridge though... so it freezes ok?

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NEW-CAZ 6/22/2012 10:02AM

    great cooking tips Lex, I confess to being lazy when cooking rice, I get the cook in a bag versions that take just 20 mins and always come out fluffy!

TOM can be a nuisance, just what you don't need!

Keep the healthy eating and active workouts going hun.
Have a good weekend, hope you have some sun where you are, it's crappy here emoticon

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SENATOR9 6/22/2012 9:37AM

    Enjoy your weekend

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Fed up with the word 'Rain'? Try these instead...

Monday, June 18, 2012

As we Brits splash, paddle, wade or swim our way to the end of what is probably going to be the wettest June on record, we are all apparently getting fed up with the limited vocabulary they use in our weather reports. Not fed up with the rain, you understand, just the descriptive failures.

Yeah, right... That's what's causing our disgruntlement! *shakes head*

So, after extensive research, some bright spark from the Beeb has come up with a chart that he hopes will be adopted for future use.

1. Not Raining

Outdoor furniture is erected cautiously in gardens and on balconies.

2. Mizzling

Light to moderate rummaging takes places in rucksacks for cagoules and pac-a-macs. Women on way to hairdressing appointments proceed apprehensively without umbrellas.

3. Grizzerable

Overseas players on county cricket teams are surprised to discover that they're required to continue playing.

4. Woodfiddly Rain

Outdoor furniture is brought back indoors.

5. Mawky

Lips are pursed.

6. Tippling Down

Garden furniture is returned to garden centres in hope of getting money back.

7. Luttering Down

Fingers drummed on indoor furniture. Eyes rolled. Tuts tutted

8. Plothering Down

Irritating displays of supposedly barbecue-friendly foods are removed from the entrance areas of supermarkets.

9. Pishpotikle Weather

Rain intensifies.Women with newly-done hair find aggressive hawkers have disappeared when they take defective umbrellas back in search of a refund.

10. Raining Like a Cow Relieving Itself

Cows relieve themselves. (this needs illustrating LOL)

11. Raining Stair-rods

Any garden furniture not taken indoors floats away. Reporters on 24-hour news channels began using words like torrential and holding their hands out with their palms upturned.

12. Siling Down

Hardy British holidaymakers are finally driven from the beach at Herne Bay. Garden furniture begins appearing on eBay. Water companies introduce hosepipe bans, pointing to dry spell five years ago.

Hope this clears things up a bit. emoticon

Today in Colchester, it has been Tippling Down overnight, but is currently Not Raining. However, I suspect it will be Grizzerable before the end of the morning! :-)

Lex xxx
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  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

SCREWIE 6/23/2012 6:40AM

    Here in the Old Smoke we had a few days of Pishpotikle Weather, interspersed with Not Raining followed by Cows Relieving Themselves.

It is currently Mizzling.

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CARLA-216 6/18/2012 2:57PM

    I imagine all that rain would be aggravating to deal with. I hope it clears away for you soon, and you have a nice sunny spell!

We could use a bit of rain here. We've gotten pretty dry, but not into drought status yet.


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BOVEY63 6/18/2012 1:44PM

    Thanks for the vocabulary lesson. Been the same here in Minnesota - rain, rain and more rain. Need more sunshine!
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YOYONOMORE1 6/18/2012 1:13PM

    We are in need of rain, but pray we don't get it like that, we had some this morning, but it stopped and sun is out now, sure hope later today we get blessed with more rain, but afraid we might just got hot. Hope July is a sunnier month for you over there. I liked the descriptions.


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SENATOR9 6/18/2012 9:59AM

    Mawky sounds good emoticon

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ZURDTA- 6/18/2012 9:25AM

    H aha ha!

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NEW-CAZ 6/18/2012 5:04AM

    I know it's depressing isn't it.
Having said that I did spy blue sky and fluffy white things for about 30mins during my walk........now it's pissing down.
And there was I hoping to get some gardening done- hope it turns again, I'm getting cabin fever!
Have a good week Lex emoticon

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Whether the Weather Be Foul....

Saturday, June 16, 2012

Just substitute your own town/city/back garden for London, for an instant and accurate forecast pretty much anywhere around the globe, it would seem!

I promise, on my honour, that I have NOT been raindancing!!!

And anyway, it isn't that bad...YET... *gulp*

However, having received three months free subscription to Spotify's Premium service courtesy of Virgin Media, I will admit I've been dancing to a lot of songs I haven't heard in years!!!

For example...



And I was a HUGE Grease fan back in the day...

The dancing, etc, plus my shrinking meal portions as the attempts to minimise my pain continue along the lines of feeding myself small amounts at a sitting (I think it is called 'grazing') has resulted in a 2 1/4 lb weight loss this last week. Awesome!!!

"I'll take Silver Linings for $500 please Alex!"

So, who do we have here who is a Billy Idol fan? I'm currently listening to his Vital Idol album on Spotify. I bought the album on tape back when Bry was a toddler, so well over twenty years ago, and it still has me dancing round the room to all the songs, specially this one...


and this one...


and not forgetting this one...


Enjoy guys and gals! :-)
Lex xxx
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  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

_LINDA 6/17/2012 10:32AM

    Yes, so familiar with that forecast, though on my vacation had one lovely sunny and warm day and enjoyed every minute of it!
You are finding out, the hard painful way, that small meals throughout the day are actually better for you and will help keep your metabolism steady and your cravings in check.. Its highly recommended for diabetics and by Spark People. I would like to do it, but find it hard to find the time to do it, inbetween my bridge and workouts (I am one of those that doesn't like eating while playing cards, too messy, and don't like working out with food in my stomach)
I love Billy Idol! Enjoy the perk!
Loved the funnies!
Feel better soon!
Linda xxx

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ANNEMAC5 6/17/2012 8:34AM

    No rain to-day but we know it wont last. Your blog is funny but I could not get the links to work, I was not a Billy Idol fan but I might nip to youtube and check him out. I have not ventured onto spotify either.
Great job on the weight loss.
Anne :) emoticon

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ZURDTA- 6/17/2012 6:26AM

    Wonderful - a slight break in the rain here in Worcestershire, so got into the garden! Gone grey again though... June!!!!

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SENATOR9 6/17/2012 12:37AM

    Another great blog

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BOVEY63 6/16/2012 6:13PM

    Love it!!!

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NEW-CAZ 6/16/2012 3:12PM

    Great blog Lex.....don't you just hate our Summer! emoticon

How you doin' emoticon

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GONEWLIFE 6/16/2012 2:47PM

    great blog !!

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