Thursday 30 August 2007


Originally uploaded by anninfotel

Hip, hip, hip, hip hurrah. Our house is getting his hat on and he's coming out to play.

Wednesday 29 August 2007


After a very frustrating day my IT guru finally uncovered the secrets of the keyboard failure in the form of an email received entitled "resolving connection problems on BlackBerry". First line of text "Please find step by step instructions below for fixing pairing issues with the newer BlackBerrys".

Now forgive me for being innocent, but why wasn't there a health warning on the instruction booklet, "This is the cutest of keyboards but if you try to connect it with one of the newer BlackBerries (which it is, incidentally, specifically designed for) you may have to be committed because they hate each other and their squabbling will drive you mad".

So ... it wasn't me, my grandson, my sister-in-law's grandson, or my IT guru being dumb. It was a compatability fault. The two devices just won't get friendly together and until there is a more permanent fix, which we are assured is in the pipeline, I have to follow a complicated and sometimes varied routine to get the two to kiss and make up.

And while I'm following this complicated routine (which my IT guru describes as "simple" - the only thing simple here my friend is me) I may accidentally turn off the wireless link, which then produces all sorts of other problems!

"My BlackBerry is still not working" from a very angry boss, "sort it out. This department is going to the dogs". Lengthy investigations later "Oh look, the silly moo has pressed the wrong button again". I tell you, this BlackBerry is doing nothing for my street cred. I can usually hide my mess ups, but occasionally they come to light in the most spectacular way. Drat.

Am I ready for the live blogging of my Orient Express expience? I very much doubt it. If there are no blogs from Tuesday onwards take that as a no! Or, alternatively, I may be having such a good time that I won't be assed with all this nonsense!!

Sent using BlackBerry® from Orange

Sunday 26 August 2007


OK, so I managed another photograph. But one swallow does not a summer make. This is a picture of the offending Blackberry keyboard and one eager didget raring to make with the words - but I just can't get the blasted thing to work. It's folds in half and is so cute, but you can see my dilema, without making the connection buster you're history. It's the bin for you tomorrow! So you've been warned.
Didget at the ready
Originally uploaded by anninfotel


Originally uploaded by anninfotel


At last I managed to post a photograph from my BlackBerry. Now whether or not I will ever be able to repeat this minor miracle is yet to be seen. I was doodling about with it this afternoon when suddenly I did it. How? God only knows but it seemed quite logical at the time. I have to calm down now and not get over excited because it's bad for my blood pressure. I think I will go and take a wee power nap now.


Now if I can only get the keyboard to work I will have it cracked.
Originally uploaded by anninfotel

Tuesday 21 August 2007


My little princesses caught the plane home yesterday. I won't blight their memory by speaking about their unspeakable behaviour on the train journey to the airport. Suffice to say that "my little butterfly" is feeling much better (thank God), but with recovery came stroppiness.

At the airport I met my beloved husband and three grandchildren. They flew in on the plane that was taking the princesses home. They exchanged waves as one pile came through arrivals and one pile went through departures.

I'm on the last mile home now. We stay until Saturday and then I get "me" time" - the Orient Express. I have a huge guilt about pampering myself, but I figure that I have "time served" and credit in the bank which I can now indulge myself with. Onward and upward.

Sent using BlackBerry® from Orange

Friday 17 August 2007


I found out why my 6 year old was carried by her helper in the 1st August parade. It’s because “I was a butterfly and Mardy (the helper) said butterflies don’t walk, they fly”.

But this week my beautiful butterfly got sick. She started throwing up every 20/30 minutes on Wednesday night and on Thursday morning managed to croak dramatically “something has happened to my bottom, it’s exploded”. I took a step back in horror, my God! Fortunately (or unfortunately for me, who had to clear up the mess) the “explosion” only turned out to be diarrhoea.

Is there anything on this earth more gut wrenchingly tragic than a sick child? I think not. She has watched me for two days from behind her beautiful big dark eyes and asked “make me get well again nanny”. If only. Her little sister tried to cuddle her well again, but that didn’t work either.

The doctor was wonderful. He is one of these old fashioned doctors that listens, cares, (with a light touch on the arm “are you alright Madam? Looking after a sick great grandchild is a big responsibility for you, is it not?”), examines, re-assures. You know, the sort of doctor we used to have in England last century.

I felt OK when he was near me, things didn’t seem so bad, but as soon as I had her home again she seemed to take a turn for the worse. Until it is time for medicine, then the poor little wilting flower becomes a she-devil and I become a maniac. “If you can fight with me like this you are well enough to take this fucking medicine”.

This child is a good candidate for drama school. In fact “drama” should be her middle name. When the doctor pricked her finger you would think she had been killed. She screamed that it was agony. He said incredulously “so - this is the worse agony you have ever had? Surely not!” She had to admit she had had worse pain, “but it really, really hurts” with big eyes filled with tears.

So, you see where I’m coming from. How much is real, how much is her managing her adoring public? I have to ere on the side of caution and summon up my non-existent caring side. When I’m sure she is really well I’ll batter hell out of her for putting me through this.

And to think, the biggest tragedy of the week before she got sick was that I accidentally deleted my blog! In the grand scale of things it turned out to be the least important occurrence of the week, but at the time I was inconsolable. I got the blog back and then my child got ill. No contest in degrees of importance. It puts things back into perspective again, but it’s another painful lesson in life.

When my IT guru discovered my gross negligence with the blog he wrote:-

Well Little Boss you have truly exceeded all my expectations today!

I can't believe you managed to totally delete the whole blog but alas
you have.

I logged in to and checked this out and the blog is gone, completely erased. So I looked around the support pages and found that some other people have recently done the same and in some instances were able to recover the blog. Therefore I have contacted blogger support on your behalf requesting help with the issue. Now we just need to wait and see if they can help.

As a final back up it is possible to recover some of your posts from the google cache and tecnorati cache. Although on some of the longer posts will be truncated as they provide links to the full article and only show the first part...

Lets hope they can get it all back for you

So, dear bloggers, the moral of the story is. Keep your children close to your heart and your blog away from idiots like me.

Sunday 12 August 2007


Recent email from my wonderful, crazy mate. With friends like this I would have to be mad wouldn’t I? And I have been assured by many, many people that I surely am mad. :-

"Just seen the picture of your wonderful house - or what remains of it - and reflected:-

The first time James & I came to stay with you we were amazed at being able to leave the bedroom curtains open as we weren't over-looked and longed to buy somewhere we could do the same.

I now note there is nowhere to hang curtains let alone leave them open. James and I also mentioned at that time that the opportunity you had for adding on was superb - up and out was going to be a must. I know you did that - ending up with the proverbial lounge that went from first office to large enough to house 250 illegal immigrants with their own swimming pool and Jacuzzi.

Well dear, looking at the ‘photo what goes around comes around. As you say, no walls, no roof but at least no illegal immigrants - swimming pool is out of water!!!!

As to the man scratching his much do we love him!!!

SO the plan is this..... tomorrow I have total charge of the Princess and the ASBO from 0600 when Mother and Father set off to sell the family silver at a car boot sale to pay for the flooring. They recently discovered the stop cock has been leaking forever.

We - that is me, Princess and ASBO , will turn up under cover of darkness with buckets of wattle and daub to rebuild the family home for you - ABSO has promised the walls, Princess says she'll daub it all and I will thatch the roof. See what friends are for. Having completed that task we'll come back with photos. You'll be amazed and I am sure so thankful!!!!!

Therefore dear friend - feel free to sleep restfully tonight knowing that I am in charge - or was it the ASBO, or was it the Princess???? Whoever, we will ensure you have curtains up before you return!!!

Loadsa again - and yes I now feel I really am becoming do-do!!!!"

My reply?:-

"……..and by the way, if Princess and the ABSO come near my fucking house with daub and wattle you are for the high jump! But thank you for your kind thoughts on the subject!
Love, your faithful friend. xx"

Wednesday 8 August 2007


Is it my imagination, or is this builder, aka my husband, scratching his head? This is not good news as this is the remant of the front of our house. Wallless, roofless and hopeless! I have to have faith that these two scalliwags will read the instruction manual before reassembly! The good news is that I'm on extended GGM duties in Switzerland.

Sunday went quite well really after a few testing issues in the qualifying session.

I was feeling good and really eager to get in the car and when I went out for qualifying I immediately hit a problem on the first lap – the final chicane has quite high kerbs and when I bounced the car over them the engine completely cut out so I was able to coast into the pits where my mechanic looked all over the car but couldn’t find a problem – I tried to start it and it fired up first time!
So off I went again, trying to get some heat into my tyres but now I was having a slight problem with my brakes in that I had none! well very little anyway, the car just didn’t want to slow down very much which makes life a little interesting at the end of the Revett straight (the longest and fastest in the UK!), I found I could drive around the problem but it was compromising my lap in several places so I made the best of it – whilst setting a reasonably tidy lap I rattled the kerbs again on a different corner and again the car cut out on me so I pulled off the circuit and waited until the session ended before climbing back over the barrier.
Unbelievably the car fired first time again! hmmm, this was going to be fun trying to find the gremlin this time…

Back in the paddock I was told that my lap time prior to the 2nd engine problem was good enough to give me 2nd in class and 19th overall in a 38 car grid, quite happy with that but there were 5 cars between me and class pole – Mark James, something I would try and rectify if we could get the car running correctly.

We went over the whole car and found that a fuel pump fuse had blown and that the master electrical switch had developed a fault which was modified and a bigger fuse was sourced, fingers crossed it should be ok!

I shouldn’t have worried, the engine was fine and I got a reasonable start and managed to dive through a smallish gap to make a place up into the first corner – my target was to make up as many places as possible in the opening laps to close the gap on Mark – I managed this and within 2 laps I had closed the gap to 1 car between us, I figured that within 2 or 3 laps I’m going to be on his tail and the power of my 16v engine would be too much for him – well best laid plans and all of that…..

My brake problem from qualifying came back to haunt me and caused a little excursion off the circuit when I pressed the brake pedal and nothing happened which is a little concerning at 90mph! I dragged it back onto the tarmac and set about trying to close the gap that had opened up now, problem was that the brakes were just ineffective now and I was really struggling to slow the car down – I was having to brake really early and was virtually standing on the middle pedal to slow it down but it just wasn’t playing ball and the gap to Mark was just stretching out bit by bit.

After 20 minutes in the 28°c heat (more like 40° in the car!) I settled for 2nd place in class D and 7th overall which was quite respectable considering the starting position of 19.

In the current championship standings I have risen to 4th in Class D, that’s very pleasing as I have missed a few rounds – lets hope I can get a few more points yet!

Silverstone International Circuit is in 3 weeks time, I currently hold the class lap record around there so I hope to go well – there is a little bit of work to do to the car but it shouldn’t be too much of a problem, new brake pads are needed I think!

Monday 6 August 2007


In my travels I get to talk to some really interesting people. We drift into each others lives, communicate and drift on again. Some of them I feel that, given more time, I could make friends with. Some I couldn’t see off far enough. Some spark my curiosity, some are rivitingly boring.

My most recent encounter was with a lady at our local bus stop. We hadn’t realised that we were neighbours and after unpeeling our little charges onto the school bus we engaged in general chitchat before getting down and dirty. I told her about my blog she told me about her philosophy.

On such a short acquaintanceship it is probably wrong to jump to conclusions but I would say that she is a lady of great charm and experience. Her main home is in a part of the Home Counties that had recently been flooded. “But luckily we weren’t affected. Our house is high in the Chilterns”. Very posh!

It is her intention to show her three boys the world before the oil runs out! And what an agenda she has. She was leaving Switzerland that week for a “few weeks” in Spain. Followed by a swift visit home and then skiing in America for three weeks over Christmas. The youngest boy will spend the winter term boarding at school in Switzerland “to learn the language and gain experience”. She also mentioned an African safari at some point!

She is determined that the boys education is not to be compromised and said that she is instilling in them the need for conventional learning along the way. The oldest two go to public school in England, but she is adamant that learning should be more than reading, writing and ‘rithmatic.

Unfortunately, the world is a poorer place because people like this have no room in our modern society. Her “carbon footprint” is to be frowned on, keeping the boys off school is irresponsible and very un-PC, she could be judged to be just another rich-bitch.

But she maintains that she is giving the boys an opportunity to gain the worldliness necessary to cope with an ever changing, dangerous world. She is probably rearing and preparing future world leaders. I say good for her!

Friday 3 August 2007


Here is a picture of one of the little princesses (dressed as a butterfly) enjoying the sunshine and village pageant to celebrate Swiss National Day. She should have been walking in the parade, but had somehow managed to wangle a shoulder lift from one of the obliging helpers. Like most young ladies in waiting she has learnt at a very young age to manipulate things to her own advantage.

The second princess, in her decorated cart-mobile, is gazing in wonder at all the crowds who have lined the paths to cheer her! Her painted face and wide grin are a joy to behold. You can tell that, although enthusiastic, I am not much of a photographer. The reward and bribe to pursuade two tired little girls to walk the distance back to the apartment was candy floss, fudge and ice cream. A perfect end to the perfect day

Locals would have it that this is the biggest, bestest and most premier parade in all of Switzerland (well they would wouldn’t they). I can testify that the evening firework display is the biggest, bestest and most premier display in all the world, EVER! (well I would, wouldn’t I?)
Unfortunately, the little princesses were too tired to view the show from our showcase balcony location. Maybe next year.

Wednesday 1 August 2007


In reply to my mate’s query “how are you?” I wrote:

How am I? Marooned in Switzerland with two mad children that hate me! I'm finding time to write this because they are not quite ready to go out yet. They will let me know when they’re ready. They have rainbows to make first. My life is being ruled by two small girls. Madness or what! They have summoned me. I must go. Talk later

This is her reply:

Ahhhh Switzerland - land of cow-bells and mountains, cleanliness and money.............only similarity to here is obviously mad Grandmothers!!!! Making rainbows seems rather 70s to me. Could you not encourage the little dears to dispense with the irrelevant stuff and get to the pot of gold quicker?????

I have become most accustomed to feeding the ducks now - (Nannie, Nannie we need to get bread for the ducks, come on) - there is now a serious flood warning out for this area since the displacement caused by such fat ducks is too much for the Waterways Department to cope with. The next time one duck manages to take off, fly and come back to land there is likely to be a tsunami in Commercial Road. Just can't tell you how enthralled I am by it all!!! And coming back to that pot of gold, I need it now if only to pay for the bloody loaves of bread!!!!

Managed eventually, with new gardening shoes, to get into son’s garden and plant the geraniums without being arrested. Got a whole swatch of the garden looking quite presentable with other plants from my garden too (daughter-in-law’s parents are coming over in August and they want as much as possible for everything to look nice) and was overwhelmed with the cries of gratitude...........not!!!.........two days later I find they have a hound dog whose greatest culinary delight is obviously geranium and fuscia heads - mine may soon be roast labrador!!!!

Work going well - EOM today and I ate up and spat out the budget so came home feeling rather pleased with myself - then thought that if that is the closest thing to getting an orgasm is anymore maybe I really am getting old!!!!

So that's back to mad Grandmothers and where I came in...... enjoy the rest of your holiday marooned in the land of cow-bells and mountains - keep in touch - and it's definitely lunch as soon as you get back!!!!!

Loadsa as always
PS Just read your blog. Conventional dear one????? The older I get the less I intend to be that and you never have been!!!! Long live that xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx.

That's what's great about having weird friends. They write the blog for me!