A little belatedly (the return of the missing no.7 resident has been quite a distraction), here is my account of Monday to complete the ‘my day in four’ series.

I took the day off on Monday as I knew with Neil coming home there would be very little chance any work would get done, and despite every intention to crack on with a few uni assignments, my instinct was right! Indeed I was just a little bit excited on Monday and woke up ridiculously early, opening the curtains to find another beautiful day on the other side.


Having made myself respectable to the outside world I did a little bit of shopping, posted some letters and then waited for news that Neil’s plane had landed. Finally at 11:55am it did (having been rather delayed) and within a few hours he was home safe and sound and with a present for me!

Not that I was at all expecting one at all…..

Or had sent him away with a list of acceptable gifts, my favourite colours and sizes in US and UK conversions….


Needless to say I was very happy with my new apparel!

After a fortnight apart Neil managed to stave off his jet lag long enough to catch up on the latest gossip with Janet. Here they are together…


So with Neil home once more and my source of sanity restored, Janet felt it an appropriate time to say her goodbyes, pack up her little watering can and head off home.


Wherever that might be….

The Weekend

Where did it go? As you can see I am rather behind with my weekend update – and ‘poor show’ I say being the penultimate post of the ‘my day in four’ series. Please accept my apologies.


I woke on Saturday having had a marvellous sort of sleep – one of those ones where you wake up feeling heavy and relaxed, and this happy sensation was furthered as I rolled over to find bright sunlight streaming through the gap in my curtains. I jumped out of bed (literally, I kid you not), had a shower and began what turned out to be a very productive day:

I finally got around to putting the wood stain on our new wardrobe doors!


I did some much needed housework and made all of the glass things shiny again


I looked after Janet who is suffering from a poorly yellow leaf (at the bottom draped across the pot)


After which I did some uni work and reading for my dissertation before one of my oldest and bestest friends Amanda joined me for supper. I’m not sure how she’d rate it, but I had a lovely evening as we tucked into sausage and mash, watched some girly films with a bottle of Merlot and put the world to right.

Followed by some chocolate brownie.

This is Amanda with Ant and Dec – she’s so showbiz!



Sunday was of course Mothers Day – and in true Turner tradition, this inevitably means a day out somewhere random. This year’s choice was a little village called Selbourne – somewhere in Hampshire where the locals are ‘local’ and that’s the way they like it.

In Selbourne we visited ‘Gilbert White’s House’ and the ‘Oates Museum’ – somewhere Mum had been itching to go ever since I was an undergraduate in Portsmouth and we used to drive through Selbourne on our way to the coast. If I’m truly honest the museum and house were a bit lacking in things to see, but we enjoyed a very nice ‘locally farmed’ ham ploughmans in the dear little tea shop and walked around Mr White’s extensive gardens. Here’s me and my mum:


Selbourne is a very special type of place – a place time has forgotten if you will, although they certainly are doing their bit to keep up with the times, having recently installed broadband within the community:


Selbourne may also be seen to be ‘doing their bit’ for equal opportunities and diversity within society, giving support to all participants in this years local ‘fun run’.


One way however that establishes Selbourne as a true ‘local’ community are the physical attributes of its population.


May she rest in peace.


Well…Friday was weird.

It started out perfectly normally – alarm went off, lots of grumbling, had an a.m. bath as I couldn’t find the energy to stand up and wash, found some clothes that didn’t shout at each other, explored the food stores to find a sachet of cuppa soup that would do for lunch and piled out the front door.

The next bit got interesting. Lets just say a combination of a slighly dodgy gear stick and a useless handbreak not-so-happily combined today sending my car rolling away from its designated car parking space with me gripping onto it, before very slowly – but surely kissing another car, pushing it backwards into some hedges! Fortunately all involved were unscathed, but I was a bit shaken, and having left a note I braced myself all day for being yelled at. So far however, I have not had a visit nor a phone call, and as the car rolled back at the most 2ft, I’m hoping our small incident this morning will be left at just that. Plus the other person had driven off within 15 mins of it happening. Awesome dent in the bush though!


So after calling the office to explain about my mini adventure, I worked from home today where all else went without a glich – but that sadly doesn’t make for good blogging material. It has been pretty wet today though….


which was kind of perfect weather for writing policy consultations.

At lunch time I took a bit of respite and thought I’d really push the boat out (as if my life wasn’t exciting enough!) and iron some sheets. With my squirty water squirter and the base of the iron I created an unintentional smiley face…


This evening has largely been spent in conversation, as after a lovely long chat with Neil who I’m very much looking forward to seeing on Monday, I then spoke to my Mum, and then Neil’s Mum – and after that made some curry.

All I can say is that I suspect Janet probably isn’t vegetarian after seeing her tuck into her Saag Masala…


Hooray for the weekend! Will keep you updated!


One thing about where I work is that in the winter it is absolutely freezing!

In the corner of our office we have a thermometer, and next to the thermometer is an official looking piece of paper taped to the wall telling us what extremes of temperature it has to be before we’re allowed to fold away our little foil blankets and go home.

I swear that wretched thermometer is broken.

I regularly sit at my desk in snow gear, supplemented with hat, gloves and slippers and the damn thing reads 21C. We’re almost down to our underwear in the summer – we practically live at the water cooler, and you’ve guessed it – 21C! We’ve complained to the building caretaker people on several occasions, but they merely point at the thermometer….

Damn it.

Here is Helen and I prepared for another day’s work at the Wokingham Planning Department.


Adeline got a load of stickers for Christmas that bring otherwise dull and inanimate objects to life. In our busy and important role as planners however, we never have time to indulge in such childish activities.

monsterphone.JPG stapler.JPG

This is me on a site visit at 13,000ft on top of a mountain in Breckenridge, Colorado!


Yeah, ok so it’s Neil, but as he’s not renowned for updating his blog or Facebook pages, I thought I’d show you what he’s up to these past two weeks! I also feel this picture provides an excellent example of the contrast in our lifestyles at the moment…. but that’s ok…

…… There is always Janet.



Here we are at Wednesday, and this morning started like every other in the office with an update of ‘foot watch’. We are monitoring how many people use the town centre in Wokingham for some sort of report we’re meant to be writing. Instead we decided to make a waether chart to predict when most people would be out and about shopping. This is Adeline giving today’s forecast.


I had a browse around Wokingham market at lunch time and happened upon the card stall that sported a section for those wishing to pass their sentiments onto ‘Open Males’ and ‘Open Females’. I have to admit to being openly female, but its taken years of counselling….


All I can say to the below is that a rather burly gentleman emerged from this vehicle in the Paddocks Car Park earlier today.


Me and Janet



Tuesday is the day I go to Oxford Brookes on ‘day release’ from work to study a Masters Degree. Currently we are being taught ‘research methods’ by a chap who explains everything with very emphatic hand gestures – so much so he puts the sign language interpreter who stands next to him to shame. We were quite overcome today by his frequent use of jazz hands. Below is Claire offering a reconstruction.


As we tend to switch off after about 20 mins, the lecturers build in coffee breaks in the hope a Mocha might help us through the many intellectually stimulating debates regarding PPS25. We simply take advantage of the fact the cafe gives you a free flake when you order hot chocolate.


Today as a random promotion – every ‘Fair Trade’ drink you purchased came with a fortune cookie. Mine read:

‘Accounts receivable are bill gotten gains’. Robert Orben.


Now, I’m not sure whether you stand to be misfortunate if you are unable to understand the fortune proscribed to you, but I have no idea what this means. All I can gather is that Mr Orben could be in some kind of financial difficulty. If you are able to shed any light on this mysterious note, I would be very grateful if you felt motivated to leave a comment.

I have been having too many late nights already this week, so Tuesday ended with Janet (the pot plant – please see previous posts) and myself enjoying a cosy night in.


My Day in Four

Following on from my ‘Friday Night Post’, my dear and much treasured friend Katty Blanch suggested ALBD could perhaps explore the idea of ‘my day in four pictures’ as a theme for future posts. This I thought was a tremendous idea seeing that:

a) I have become quite a whiz on my new camera phone and am now able to take pictures with the flash ‘on’ and ‘off’!

b) My best buddy and fellow cohabitee is still currently missing (although there were rumours of sightings in a down town Gucci handbag shop – but were later confirmed as ‘unlikely’ by his girlfriend), and no doubt he is missing the rambunctious fun of every day life in Reading.

c) I currently don’t have anything better to do.

For this next week therefore, ALBD will play host to a pictorial diary of events with the hope that something vaguely interesting might happen. If it does – well maybe this could become a regular feature. If not….

Well at least that’s my alibi sorted.

Reader Notice:

Unfortunately on Monday ALBD posts were delayed following a technical hitch with a piece of equipment that lives behind the bean bag in the HQ living room. Mondays post will therefore be posted along with Tuesdays edition. The editor apologies for any distress this may have caused.



Monday Morning started out pretty misty. This is the view as I walked from my car park along Broad Street to the Council Offices in Wokingham. Incidentally, I had a close encounter with one of the bollards to the right of the picture having slipped on some ice that had cunningly disguised itself as a normal pavement.


I have not been well recently, and so in line with council policy, my colleagues decided to take it upon themselves to enforce health and safety in the work place by issuing me with this notice. Needless to say I had very few visitors.


Which is just as well, as by about 12:30pm, this is what had happened.


Still, I had some red bull handy which gave the desired effect.

A Friday Night Post

Well, it’s the end of the week and I would be lying to say if the situation has improved.

I am sitting here on a Friday night at 22:01 reading ‘Participation or Pathology: Contradictory Tensions in Area Based Policy’.

What is more, Neil leaves for America on Sunday, so instead of reading my Planning Policy Journal in the company of another human being who I can relay the odd snippet or factual gem to every so often – it is likely that I will instead strike an unnerving bond with the office pot plant.

I’ll be sure to keep you posted.

In the meantime I have decided to leave you with ‘a week in pictures’ taken from my mobile phone. It is a gimmic that appears to be popular on the BBC website, and god knows ALBD could do with a bit of livening up at the moment, so here we go.

I think it tells a rather tragic tale…


Subject 1: I was fascinated to see that a robin had decided to buy its cillit bang and homous multi snack pots at the same time as me. Squint enough and its the black blob on the strip light.


Subject 2: In the depths of dispair at work, and whilst waiting for the kettle to boil in order to make myself a peppermint tea, I fashioned myself a ‘flapper-esque’ headress with the aid of some kitchen towel and the reflection of an adjustable bracket wall mounted microwave. A most unflattering photo.


Subject 3: Oh – and there was a rainbow.


Subject 4: Thursday hit another low point, so I once again sought comfort in another sort of millinery, this time on a Valentines theme (notice the carefully crafted hearts from fax copying paper) fashioned out of the motoring section of the Wokingham Times.


Subject 5: It is with great excitement we have ordered a new bathroom with which to replace the duck egg blue suite we currently suffer. This was me making sure I would not be restricted by the width of our new tub. Unfortunately ours won’t be coming with the whirlpool function. My only alternative is to up my intake of fibre….


Subject 6: On the same outing I found this beauty in COSTCO. I am lobbying Neil to get the version in kingsize.


Subject 7: Ok, so this was taken at Christmas, but its inclusion is justifiable for the following reasons:

1) Its an excuse to post a picture of Neil being silly and wearing tassle on his ears.

2) A warning that this is what will happen to anyone exposed to me for too long.

That is all.