Saturday, December 06, 2008

Just chatting really

Katie and Ben have started their Christmas notebook starting with polar bear facts and an interesting experiment on the insulating properties of blubber! Even Pepper took an interest in this one! We filled a bowl with water and ice cubes and used a thermometer at room temperature. In turn we wrapped a variety of materials, including a blob of playdough to represent the blubber, around the base of the thermometer before plunging it into the icy bowl of water to see which would be the best form of insulation for our artic furry friends. We tried cotton gauze, cotton wool, tin foil and bubble wrap as well as the playdough. Playdough came out tops - the mercury actually rose alittle before falling, but at a very slow rate compared to most of the others (which fell immediately) Equally as good was the bubble wrap (although I don't think polar bears would survive with this medium instead of their blubber). Good to know if you decide to take a dip in a freezing cold lake in mid-winter!!
We were looking forward to meeting more local(ish) families at a Christmas crafts get-together in our nearby(ish) town (from now on this group will be group 2) on Friday. Unfortunately, our new car continues to have its little problems (more on that in a mo) and so P was car less and needed our one for work. Katie so wanted to meet up with an MSN friend at the do, but hopefully we'll get to meet her sometime in the New Year.

So, "Bond". Still a fab car, but we bought it on the understanding that the garage would fix a rather annoying clunk that keeps happening on the front passenger side. At first they thought it was something loose under the bonnet, then they put in a new role bar (?), then new bushings and still the clunk wouldn't disappear. All along, because I'm just a hero, I kept saying it must be the shock absorber. Anyway, eventually P managed to drag the mechanic out for a run in the car and he immediately confirmed what I'd thought! We took the car in on Thursday morning for a new shock, and they rang at 4ish saying it was still on the ramp and wouldn't be ready until Friday sometime. That's why P needed our car for work. Anyway, they rang on Friday to say the mechanic was off sick and it wouldn't be fixed until the end of Monday earliest. A rather fuming P had a few small words to say about that! They rang again about half an hour later to say it was fixed and ready for picking up! Guess what, it still clunks just like before and from what we can see it doesn't look like any new parts have been fitted at all. All very strange ... the saga continues. Needless to say we're all getting rather p'd off with it all. Each time we take the car in it means leaving home at 7.30 a.m., having to take both cars in order to get home again, and returning again in the evening, therefore bringing two cars home again!

Gripe over!

Other things we are up to. Children are busy making presents for friends and family. I need to get card writing; they are piled up here next to the PC but I keep putting it off. I write notes every Christmas to everyone and that just take so long (as I can never really think of anything mega exciting to say!) Have taped a Morecambe & Wise 2 hour show this evening, so will write cards and watch that tomorrow afternoon! Have tried very hard (as I do every year) to take "the Christmas photo" to pop inside each card, but each time one or other of the children look silly/dreadful/half dead/eyes closed. I've given up! Will try and find a decent one taken some time during the year.

Thinking of starting afresh with a new blog next year. There's some brilliant blogger templates on the net that are very enticing. Katie is about to start a new blog so she can keep in with some of her young blogring pals and it's rekindled my interest! These and these look interesting. I got the fun snowglobe from the first link.

Another doom and gloom thing from last week. Boilerman turned up on Wednesday, 8.30 a.m. on the dot as arranged (wow) and spent the morning updating and fixing ailing boiler. This involved putting in new red drum thing, new tray to stop the top of the boiler from burning, new cut out valve in case of fire (the old one was manual and apparently against regulations) and new filter, put outside where it should have originally been put, rather than inside in a place you couldn't reach and upside down (so all the gunk wasn't being collected properly). During all this he discovered that the oil smell we are now getting since we'd filled the oil tank, was a leak which means a new something or other. He also promised to try and find the source of our poor water pressure - it seems the exchanger is completely limescaled (a limescale preventor had been fitted, but to the wrong pipe (sigh)) and therefore takes water forever to get hot and comes out at a very slow pace. He's coming again next week with these new bits. It's going to be costly ... not looking forward to getting the bill.

Nearly bagged ourselves another hen (or two!). P thought Gina had escaped a few days ago but we discovered a Gina lookalike roaming the roads. Didn't think any more of it until my neighbour popped by (just as I was having a right old go at Katie for not letting me show her how to do something on the PC - typical) saying I should try and entice the hen into my garden as it's right by our gate. I did have a try - it followed my grain trail nicely! Hens are so funny you know, they do have brains I'm sure, but they can take a while to twig something's happening. As this new hen arrived in the garden, the other two where nearby doing as they always do (eating) and didn't bat an eyelid! Within about 5 mins they'd decided something was up and started to really lay into the poor thing. Luckily for the new arrival, it managed to scarper under the gate to freedom. The noise my two were making for some time afterwards was truly amazing - like a couple of old ladies shocked at their lives being turned up-side-down! Anyway, as this one escaped I noticed another brown hen further down the lane. It turns out they belong, together with a beautiful white hen, to a family on the verge of moving out of their home. They apparently have no lock up for them or even a fence and the gate had been left wide open. Goodness knows how long they'll survive as they live on the busiest road in the village.

We were also offered a kitten today; it was very hard to say "no". Pepper is such a joy to watch. He's grown so much since July and has us in fits of laughter. He's started climbing the trees (only about half way up), and likes to wack me around the nose during the night if he's bored (not so good). Today, he sat inside the car as I gave it a much needed wash, trying very hard to catch the water as it ran down the windows. He was all over the place, up the seats, sliding along the dashboard, trying to climb up the back window - hilarious.

Off to watch a movie now and snuggle under a blanket by the fire. Will write cards tomorrow - yes, I will ... I will!

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At 12:19 am, Blogger stefndawniy said...

our blogger templates has loads of lovely ones on and it's very easy to do there's a link to it on my blog if you want to look.
gosh kittens are sooo hard to say no to - that's why we have so many cats :-)

At 10:00 pm, Blogger Lisa said...

Sorry about the car, sounds a nightmare. I felt a bit behind with xmas but just seen you 18 days to go and have panicked !!! May need to try the blubber experiment this week!

Lisa :0)

At 10:05 pm, Blogger Elaine, Ellies Treasures said...

Thanks Dawny, looking forward to having a play around with a new blog and template. Elle

At 10:05 pm, Blogger Elaine, Ellies Treasures said...

I know exactly what you mean Lisa. I'm tempted to take the countdown off, it scares me silly! Elle

At 12:16 am, Blogger stefndawniy said...

just sympathising with the loggerheads mentioned in my comments blog - I know just how you feel it must be something in the air because we're getting them here too . Hugs x


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