Friday, 31 August 2007

Not All Magnolia Is Created Equal

The last two days there has been a gentleman in my bathroom. He has been attempting a repair of my ceiling. My bathroom is lovely and large but has a sloping ceiling, under which the shower sits, close to the ceiling. Strangely this causes the paper on the ceiling to come loose and attempt to join you whilst you shower. So, now all paper has been removed and the ceiling finished off beautifully with just plain paint, which suits me perfectly. As the gentleman in question was removing the paper and repairing the ceiling a few small areas of the walls got damaged, so he kindly touched those areas up with a magnolia paint. Although he got a little carried away and ended up painting quite large patches.

Now, I dye my hair regularly so that it reaches this shade of red:

However, this means that there are splashes of bright red dye splattered in various spots. I asked if it was possible to spot some more magnolia over those areas, he kindly did so.

He's been gone about an hour now and I realise that he was using a matt emulsion, the rest of the walls are silk. It's amazing quite how much it stands out. And the polka dot effect I suggested looks, er, um, brilliant. Ahem.

I think this means I have to go shopping for some magnolia paint in order to sort out the whole room. Excellent. Either that or live with a bathroom that appears to have been painted by a pre-schooler.

Thursday, 30 August 2007


I learnt a new sum today.

Turns out that:
Long jeans + flip flops + gravel = an uncomfortable walk.

It seems that long jeans vacuum up the loose gravel and then deposit it magically in the small space between foot and flip flop. This in turn leads to unbalanced limping and the shaking of feet as though something has been lost within the trouser leg. All in all creating an aura of extreme coolness. Ahem.

Tuesday, 28 August 2007

Back To Normal

How very refreshing. Normality is restored.
I cut myself twice whilst preparing my tea tonight.
I walked into a box yesterday and scraped my leg.
Whilst trying to sort out my garden (read: jungle) at the weekend I grasped more than a couple of nettles and later cut my finger on the fence.
I also hit myself in the head with the rake.
Oh and I also have a cut on my other leg - origin unknown.

I'm not sure how I could be more accident prone and I possess no real desire to find out. Still, at least I favour the less severe injuries as a general rule so that's not so bad.

In another respect life is far from usual. My friends Paul and Lesley used to live just a couple of houses away, but they've sold up, ready for a move to Wales. It's really strange not being able to just pop down the road and knock on the door to make a nuisance of myself. I met Paul many moons ago in the world of Love @ Lycos, a short while later he met his wife Lesley there too, and we've remained friends since. I was even a tenant in that house a few yards down the road when they went to run a pub for a while. When I was looking for somewhere new to live, this cottage being available was an absolute fluke and probably the easiest move I've ever done. Paul is still local as they wait for the sale to complete on the house they're buying but when they're both completely ensconced behind the Welsh border it's going to be so strange.
Admittedly there will be less torment and abuse, and definitely less talk of hi-fi. There will be a lack of someone jumping out at me when I'm not expecting it (and when I am) because he finds it hilarious to scare me half to death.
But, it's also unlikely that I'll come home to find cat toys, peas and random items stuck in my letter box.
I'm sure the new people are lovely, but I can't go round now and steal pears and apricots damn it. And I don't think they'd be entirely keen on my hanging my washing on their line. Although Paul did give me a washing line of my very own, which I have yet to install. The fence posts are high up! And I'm somewhat low down!
I shall miss them both dearly, even though I have promised to inflict my presence upon them. It just won't be the same around here.

Saturday, 25 August 2007


I'm a dichotomy. In lots of ways, but today it was my girly ways that I spent the most time cogitating over.
I can be very girly, I love handbags. And yes, I really do need that many. Some say that having over 50 bags is excessive. To me, it's just good planning. You never know what outfit you're going to have to co-ordinate with!
Same with shoes. My Mum said the other week that maybe I had enough shoes! Sacrilege! Thankfully, when I relayed this to my sister, Gin, she responded with 'But you can never have enough shoes!'
I thought that was the case, but it was good to have it confirmed!
Today as I tried to decide which pair of flip-flops most co-ordinated with my outfit I decided that flip-flops really are wonderful. They come in so many colours and they're so comfortable. It's just that they're not so great when it snows. I mean, if you're cool with frostbite and blackened toes, then fine, but it ruins the varnish on the toenails I understand.
And, flip-flops are definitely the only shoe option at the moment, thanks to the glorious blister on my right heel. Nice.

On the flip side. I love power tools. I try not to go to B&Q any more or peruse the Screwfix catalogue. Because I can always find a reason that I need to have a new jigsaw (I want to put shelves in the cupboard in the lounge), drill (see I have thick stone walls in this cottage - I could do with one with a better hammer action), cordless screwdriver (mine doesn't have enough torque). Or maybe a circular saw. Not because I need one but because they're pretty damn cool.
And I need (ha!) one of those tools that, in beeping language, says 'Do not drill here, unless you are prepared for severe electrical shock'. Seriously, I really want to hang my knife rack, but there's a power cable there somewhere. I could do it in wellies and rubber gloves (now there's an image) but I don't want to short out the whole village. Maybe I need new screwdrivers too. Or maybe there's a gadget I have yet to discover. I don't think I have a chisel in my toolbox.......yet.

Friday, 24 August 2007

Summer Walking

My Dad came over to see me today, we'd agreed that we'd take a walk over to my barn. I've never walked it before and I fully expected to need bringing back home on a stretcher. It was 6-7 miles and it's been a good while since I properly strode out and walked that sort of distance, even though it's not really that far. Too much time is spent with my beloved books in front of the computer.

So I put on sensible shoes, was sensibly attired and I even remembered to take water. Dad had his raincoat as the skies looked ominous. Obviously I forgot my umbrella. However after a couple of miles it became clear that it was most definitely not going to rain. Not unless it's possible for rain to fall from a completely clear, bright blue sky. Was I wearing suncream? No. Excellent. More lobster skin in the offing. It was actually a really nice walk, then I realised that my sensible shoes were rubbing and my heels were sore. Eventually the barn appeared in all its remote loveliness. I would have run, but you know, my heels hurt. However I did fling my arms out and hug as much of the barn door as was possible. And that barn has some serious doors:

On removal of the sensible shoes I had blisters on both heels and the return journey to look forward to. Hurrah.
The way home was much less fun. Surprisingly. Despite my inventive blister protection, which I'm considering patenting.

After posting out the books and setting off on the final mile home, I contemplated if my tender feet would stand up to pavement, but chickened out. Did that once before after a night on the town, when I'd worn heels all night. As I stumbled into my friend, Rachael's house it appeared, from the miniature bloody footprints that I'd stood on glass.

That last mile was hard. But it has left me with the beginnings of a list:
Skills that Mifford really needs to work on:
  • Making hot chocolate/herbal tea.
  • Foot and calf massage.
  • Baking.
  • Running a bath.

Something tells me she still does not have the required interest in attaining any of these skills, as batting me in the face in a morning is just enough for her.

The hilarious thing? I'm 32. My Dad is officially an OAP and he was just fine. He had a heart attack back in 1998, I found out on my birthday and it wasn't the best gift. But, he had a quadruple heart bypass and his fitness levels? Well, he shames me. What will I be doing tomorrow? Hobbling around. What will Dad be doing tomorrow? Another walk. Not a 'short' one like today.

What I must say though is that as we walked, the barn receding into the distance behind us it was just beautiful. The barn is so isolated that the wild is all around you. But no black cat today. However as I looked into the sky as we walked five buzzards circled in the sky above, I heard their cries before I saw them. Ears pricked I commented that it sounded like a bird of prey, then there they were. They are so incredibly regal. Followed by three dragonflies dancing in the air around us. You can't help but smile. The bizarre thing is that the pheasants, who tempt fate daily with giant metal vehicles, run like crazy things from you when you're on foot. I worry for their sanity, I really do.

Anyway, a hot bath currently runs and every single bubble has my name on it. Really, well if you look really closely....

Thursday, 23 August 2007

Quote III

Do song lyrics count as quotes?
Ah well, it's my blog, my rules.

I heard this earlier today and it's stuck with me all day.

the one person who really knows me best
says i'm like a cat
yeah the kind of cat that you just can't pick up
and throw into your lap
no, the kind that doesn't mind being held
only when its her idea
yeah, the kind that feels what she decides to feel
when she is good and ready to feel it
- Ani Difranco

What really great lyrics! I have such a passion for music and for songs that have something to either say or that mean something. That you can feel were written from the heart or personal experience. I'm sure everyone has a song that speaks to them, or reminds them of someone, or of a time. A song that feels as if it was written directly about them.

Wednesday, 22 August 2007

Village Life

I took a walk to the next village yesterday afternoon. It's just a couple of miles and is a really nice walk, it's quite peaceful and I don't do it often enough. On the way there I noticed that blackberries were starting to ripen and decided to pick them on the way home. I stole myself a bag from the Co-Op and wandered my way back towards the brambles. The fruit near a road never grows quite as well, apparently the exhaust fumes stunt their growth. But there I stood, slowly turning my hands a pretty shade of purple as my paltry collection of blackberries slowly grew.

An older lady was walking purposely towards me, when someone she knew pulled up and offered her a lift, but she declined and walked on just a short distance further beyond me. She turned and came back past me, I raised my head for a smile and the required nod and greet. Apparently she had terrible indigestion and was trying to walk it off.

Then a gentleman and his dog walked towards me. He too stopped, we were both amazed, that with this weather there were any ripe fruits at all. But he suggested that even my tiny blackberries would make a wonderful pie. I said mine were heading for the world of apple & blackberry crumble.
This is what I love about village life. People don't just avert their gaze and stride past you. There are smiles and conversation.

And as a postscript. I picked blackberries, from thorny bushes, and didn't receive a single injury. Wonders really may never cease.

Monday, 20 August 2007

Spelling Snobbery

Most people that know me will know how much I abhor the world of the txtspkr. But more than that, it's the really, really bad spelling that gets to me too.

I'm over on Facebook and I admit to getting carried away playing the never ending movie quiz. But the questions on there, some are written in a truly terrible way, without any grammar or even knowledge of spelling. But what bothers me most is that they don't seem to care that the spelling is so horrendous. All of the questions are user submitted and none are checked in any way shape or form.
Today I had these wonderful cases, amongst others:
Instead of 'psychic' they wrote - sycic.
Instead of 'Who's this' they wrote - whoz diis.
Instead of 'Cinderella' they wrote - cindarrela.
Instead of 'Lucy' they wrote - loosey.

What really unnerves me is that it's somehow cool to not spell, or to not use a dictionary. I know I have a passion for words that isn't always shared and that I am a stickler for spelling.
These days I find myself amazed if someone knows the differences between their, there and they're. Or between your and you're.

I do so loathe txtspk. I hate to see 'ur' or 'm8' or the equally dreadful like. We have this beautiful language that we destroy and I don't understand it. Maybe I'm old fashioned, but I just wish that real words would come back into fashion. What also bugs me (I'm almost done) is the deliberate misspellings. Why write 'fer' instead of 'for'? It's the same amount of letters! It's cool, not kool, just as it's school, not skool.

None of us write or type without spelling mistakes, my grammar leaves a lot to be desired as my knowledge of colons and semi-colons and where they belong isn't great. But isn't it worth at least trying to get it right?

This probably makes me a pedant. And I'm fine with that.


I went to Skegness on Saturday. We'd planned to go before the fire and weren't sure whether to still go or not, but decided to risk it. So, four of us set off for the coast.

I have a strange love for Skegness. I can't say what it is. I also can't go there very often but there's something about the Jolly Fisherman that makes me smile. I'm a sucker for those 2p machines and for watching the coins tumble with a crash as they fall into the tray when you finally win your four pence prize after feeding the machine with over ten times that much.

When we finally found somewhere to park we ambled off towards the front and past the park, which was sadly closed due to the fire. The pond was partially drained, later we saw the swimming pool was empty too, all used to try and extinguish the blaze. People were standing, watching the heavy machinery slowly demolish what little was left and we joined them. Watching large chunks of wall fall into the shrubbery and I felt uncommonly sad.

We walked off, pondered over lunch choices, fed ourselves and then went to indulge ourselves in the bright flashing lights of the one armed bandits. Determined to leave with tat I found tuppence machines with plenty of tat to offer. Just because I like to get up the next day, look at it and wonder what the hell I was thinking. So some time later I was the proud owner of three little cats. All vaguely reminiscent of Top Cat. (Although I'm a Droopy fan myself.) And now I'm wondering what the hell I was thinking.

After more wandering, feeding of tuppences, and the occasional ten pence, the weather started to turn. The grey sky did more than threaten and rain started to fall. As we walked along the partially reopened front we came close to the scene of the fire and all that remained were twisted, blackened girders. Homes and business reduced to dust and rubble. When I looked at the contorted frame of what used to be it just reminded me of the scene after the towers fell. It really was the strangest emotion. By my feet a charred piece of newspaper blew in the wind and it just made me think of all that had been lost.

Whilst no lives were physically lost. Livelihoods were. Businesses razed to the ground, homes & belongings gone. It's almost too much to even imagine how that must be. How do you decide where you go from there. How do you pick yourself up and carry on?
I have nothing but empathy for the people the fire affected and many good wishes for their future.

Saturday, 18 August 2007

Toilet Humour

So, this isn't my story, but it just kills me and I got permission from Harriet to share it here.

Harriet has two dogs, Jumble and Molly. A few mornings ago she wandered down the stairs to the kitchen where her husband was. He told her that Molly had been shut outside, very definitely in the dog house and was not to be let back in as he was furious with her.

She's the cutest little thing, why could you possibly be cross with her?

Turns out, this little lady, who can't measure more than 12" tall, somehow managed, in the night, to climb onto the dining table in the kitchen and relieve herself. How to phrase it politely? A number 2. Right there on the table.

I can't think about it without dissolving into giggles.

So, after she told me this tale, I told her I was showing great restraint in not sharing the tale on my blog. She said I could, but that I should also share the encore.

The following night, Molly, climbed like a ninja back onto the dining table and relieved herself again. But for the sake of variety - a number 1.

I'm not sure what she's trying to say.

Friday, 17 August 2007

Not A Morning Person

9.04am. The phone rings. Caller display advises 'withheld'.

I answer:
Me: Hello?
Caller: You're back!
Me: Sorry?
Caller: Oh, You've gone again!
Me: Hello?
Caller:Oh, You're back again!
Me: Who is this?
Caller: Well, who are you?
Me: Yeah, I think you have the wrong number.
Caller: ..........

I'm not great in a morning. Don't try and confuse me with your wrong numbers, I'm confused enough as it is at 9am.

Thursday, 16 August 2007

More Memory Failures...

Is this the beginning of the end?
I mean really, is this it? The brain cells are already departing?

Yesterday morning I was feeling quite proud of myself, I got up and sorted out the previous nights washing up, tidied the rooms downstairs, made the bed and was just sitting down to open up my email when there was a knock at the door. I checked the time, 9.30am, wondered who could be knocking on the door and ploddled down the stairs in my poorly PJ's. So called for no reason other than I favour them when I'm poorly. A definite bonus to living alone is being able to wear terrible PJ's and remain unseen.
Anyway, so I open the inside door, look into the conservatory and see no one outside so assume it must be Paul, hiding somewhere, ready to make me jump out of my skin. I peer down the drive and see a form and think to myself, well, that looks like Harriet. Realise it IS Harriet. Then realise we are supposed to be going out. At 9.30am. My poorly PJ's are not suitable attire. And as for my hair which I tied up when I took a bath the previous night, it was giving whole new meaning to 'a life of its own'. Quite how I forgot we were supposed to be going when we'd only just arranged it I have no idea. So long, memory!
Once I'd thrown together a hasty outfit and run back down the stairs, Harriet assured me I didn't look like a lunatic and my hair realllly wasn't that bad.
Still, at least we were only going to tidy our respective shops and I didn't have to face too many people, although I suspect they would give me a wide berth. With the bright red hair sticking out all over, it probably would look like my head was on fire from a distance.

Although that makes me want to sing lines from The Acid Song by Loudon Wainwright III. (The live version on Career Moves - not that I'm a geek or anything.)
'I know my hair is on fire. It's like incense or something. You know, your face is melting? It iiiiis! It's all the colours of the raiiinbow!'

Although my favourite lines from that song have to be:
'Driving on acid is easy,
driving on acid's a breeze,
just keep the car on the highway,
don't laugh and don't fart and don't sneeze.'

I've seen him live a number of times but he never does that one live any more, no matter how many shouts there are for it. Ah well, he has so much other great stuff I forgive him.

Is it wrong that I'm so cold tonight I wish I could put the heating on? It's August! If it weren't that I think I need a chimney sweep, I'd be lighting a fire.
Last time I tried to light a fire, the room slowly filled with smoke and set off the smoke alarm as I desperately ran round opening windows and trying to remember the location of the key for the window locks. So I stood under the smoke alarm manically fanning the air to make it shut up. Eventually, immediately prior to my arms snapping clean off at the shoulder, it stopped. Only to begin again moments later. More fanning. This went on until I decided removal of the battery was the way forward until the smoke was completely cleared. So smoke alarm was dismantled, it laid in several pieces and the battery was removed. At last it was quiet. I turned my back and walked back into the kitchen. The smoke alarm started going off again. I glanced at the battery, went back and looked at the dismantled alarm, stared and said "How are you doing that?!". Very reminiscent of the episode of Friends with a recalcitrant smoke alarm that taunted Phoebe.

Anyway, I won't be lighting any fires in that fireplace any time soon.

Wednesday, 15 August 2007

Feeling Good

Some time ago I did a blog entry about things that feel good and there's a definite addendum to the list I created.

Sitting in the hot tub with it bubbling away at 38 degrees, feeling very pleasantly toasty but with a fine mist of cool rain falling on your face as you tilt it towards the sky. That really feels very good indeed.

What doesn't feel quite so good is realising that you left your towel, phone and cardigan on the chair by the hot tub. None of which are particularly waterproof.

Now, if someone would just turn down my bed, make me a hot chocolate and tuck me in, I'd be sorted. Unfortunately, Mifford may be a great cat, but her skill base is somewhat limited and her willingness to learn new skills, well she has none. It might be something to work on...

Monday, 13 August 2007


Ok, so today I have been a little OTT with the blogging, but really, I found this fella outside my barn today. I have never seen a slug this huge.

Oh and if you're not into slugs (who is?) look away now.

I mean really - check out the size of that sucker. He's going in the opposite direction to the books, or it might have been war. Although I wouldn't have put any money on me.

Oh, and if you ARE into slugs. Please email me and tell me why...

Smiles Ahoy

Apparently my little village didn't appear on my taxi drivers sat nav. He had to resort to something called 'a map', made from paper. Looked a little antique. I was blessed with a chatty driver, my favourite kind, and spent most of the journey in giggles. I have no idea how it happens, but I always find myself engaged in the most random of conversations. Apparently my crown of being hit over the head by random objects is under threat. My driver was hit, on the head, by a male blow up doll. I worry that may beat my doodlebug tale.
We spent the rest of the journey comparing foreign swear words and him referring to me as posh totty. Excellent.
One of his elbows bent the wrong way which was faintly disconcerting when I noticed it out the corner of my eye. But he was a lovely driver and made handing over £13 slightly less painful, but only slightly mind!

When I left my appointment I noticed, on the pavement, that a wasp appeared to have caught a dragonfly. I saw these huge pellucid wings that caught the light. I almost wanted to get involved and separate them, but let nature take its course. Can't get those wings out of my mind though, somehow even more beautiful than the curled turquoise body.

I'm not the biggest fan of bus journeys and it was hard reading my book with all the windows open. Trying to hold shopping bags, a handbag and my book - not so easy. I'm struggling with my book anyway, just in content, I've never read D.H. Lawrence before and am finding it hard going. But I'm almost 350 pages in and will not be beaten, although I have no feeling for any of the characters thus far.

My bus stop is next to the beck in the village and the late brood of ducklings were weaving in and out of the water weeds as I alighted, along with a sole moorhen chick. They have to be the funniest critters with those giant feet which seem to be as big as their bodies, desperately chirping as they try to coordinate movement and keep up with Mum. Left me with quite a smile on my face.
Feels like a good day.


I wandered down to the bus stop and upon examination of the bus timetable I realise that my memory of when the buses run and the actual times that the buses run have absolutely no relation to each other.
Quite how I had been sure there was a bus at 8.48am when it goes at 8.17am is a mystery to me. I have to be at the hospital for 10.15am and the timetable is so ridiculous that there isn't another bus until WAY too late.
Now, I know I hate the walk up Steep Hill and the resulting puce colour in my face, but I really hate having to pay the extortionate price for a taxi.
Still, on the upside, I won't forget the bus times for a while. I think they're etched in my mind now.
Damn I miss my car. I cannot wait for that new V5 to arrive through my letterbox! It seems like such a shame to have that lovely car sitting on the drive and not be allowed to use it. It's a mean, mean world I tell you!

Friday, 10 August 2007

Just A Normal Day

After a few manic days I thought maybe I'd have a lazy day. I lounged in front of the pc catching up on a few things and having a chat or two. Finally dragged myself into the shower around lunchtime and was pondering what to wear when Paul rang and suggested we go out for lunch. Which is always a suggestion I'm open to! So, after Paul harrassing me through the letterbox to hurry up and dress we headed over to Newark and the delicious food at Gannets.

I always promise myself I'll have something other than the potato skins & salad and I always break that promise to myself. Seriously, they're just so damn good.

We wandered around Newark and headed home with an ice cream.

When I got home Glen had already arrived and ready for an Air Hockey match or several. Except I was sure that the table would just comfortably fit through the door, be set up in the kitchen and we'd be away. My cottage appears to have small doorways. Damn that cottage. So, we played in the drive. With legs balanced on a flip flop and a piece of wood. Turns out gravel isn't too stable. Who knew?! No real injuries were sustained, but a puck to the knuckles - it smarts a little.

After beating me easily Glen scootered off and I jumped in the shower, the combination of the sun and air hockey makes you a little warm. I've always said that if they had air hockey and ceilidhs at the gym I'd go!

Mum rang and begged a favour, then Paul rang and asked if I wanted to go blackberrying. So I trotted off with Paul, grabbing my spare key as I was too lazy to grab my proper keys from upstairs. We gathered a nice amount of blackberries, suffering only minor injuries, despite Paul's almost fall into a large bramble patch, although I do seem to have thorns embedded in a thumb. As Paul went to drop me off at Mum's we smelt chips cooking on the drive past the local pub and agreed that a chip supper was in order. So a few minutes later we arrived at my mothers, complete with chips and stuffed our faces. Then it was time to assist my mother with her favour, showering a dog. Yeah, that's just as much fun as it sounds. Bless the poor mite, she's got a skin condition and is a bit manky and stinky. So on with the shampoo and Penny was understandably thrilled. I wish I had a photo of her all lathered up, but all I have is this blurry image of her post-shower, and my word she looks ecstatic:

After her bath I started getting more concerned about the fact I couldn't find my house key. We checked the car and the outside of my house and I think that key is now at one with the brambles. Excellent.
So, I went round to my new neighbours, who have only recently moved in, introduced myself - Hi, I'm Stephanie and I appear to have dropped my house key in a bramble bush, do you mind if I fanny around on your lawn and try and climb through my dining room window? I think I made a wonderful first impression. The man of the house, Brian, offered to climb through the window on my behalf. I knew my house keys were sitting on my laundry basket in the bathroom, on a bra, so I toyed with the possible embarrassment associated with this and held it against the humiliation of falling head first through my dining room window with an audience. I said he could go. At which point Paul appeared, and took over the climbing through said window. Hurrah, access was granted.
I grabbed my Betty Page wallet and we headed for the pub. And you know, I managed to get there - and back - without incident. No mean feat.

But when I woke up this morning, the phone rang and as I leapt out of bed I got cramp in my right calf. I'm limping around like the walking wounded and I've got boxes to move. I ask you. Just a hint of a simple life? Is that too much to ask?! Ah but then I'd be bored. Impossible to please? Moi?

Wednesday, 8 August 2007


I heard about this story on the radio today and was appalled.
It seems so shocking that, in this day and age, when we are so much more aware of our environment and our impact upon it, something like this can happen. How we come to lose, or, virtually lose an entire species is beyond me. It feels like a criminal offence to allow this to happen. It saddens me greatly that no one can really be held accountable for the extermination of these creatures, when responsibility can clearly be laid at the feet of a government.

I'm not very political, but things like this make me feel that I should be, that I should be involved somehow, fighting whatever fight needs to be fought.

Sunday, 5 August 2007

Cold Tubbing

I went for a bbq at Mum's tonight and finally got round to helping her change the cover for the hot tub after the previous one was damaged. So the cover is all changed. But the honeysuckle was overhanging so that got hacked back, the warm bubbly water is just not the same when there are dead leaves falling in your face constantly. Then into the tub to clean out the leaves and the remaining water. No problem.

All sorted and time to fill it up. So there I sit with the hose pipe, it was almost meditative watching the water level slowly rise, the jets slowly cover over, the water inching its way up the tub. It gets to a little over half way and I ask Mum at what point you can turn it on. She says she thinks it's fine to start it up now. She saunters over to the switch and flips it on. It gurgles into life and the filter starts to grumble. She comes back to the tub and wonders if maybe it should remain switched off until the water level is over the filter.
She starts to press the buttons.
She hits the button marked 1.
Nothing much happens.
She hits the button marked 2.

Water spurts from all of the jets. This hot tub seats about five. That's a lot of jets. It may have rivalled the Bellagio. Which looks beautiful. Unfortunately when you're sitting atop the hot tub and the water is very cold you don't spend that long looking at the jets as they soak you through your clothes. I flung my legs over the side of the hot tub, noticing Mum running fast in the opposite direction. I ran down the steps as fast as I could and away from the demonic jets. And apparently I also forgot to drop the hose pipe.... and shot my mother in the back with it. I was absolutely drenched, under and outer wear stuck to my skin, hair dripping, mouth agape. Mum was laughing somewhat hysterically and the giggles overtook me.

I peeled off my clothes and filled the rest of the tub perched on the edge in a towel. I'm so cool. I told Mum she had to drive me home. Because walking through the village in a pink towel? I think not. I must have lost my sense of adventure.

No Shortage Of Drama

I attended Digby's Party In The Park yesterday, had myself a stall there with Mum and a friend. It was a glorious day, selling our wares and doing ok. Although the combination of marshmallows, chocolate brownie and molten dark Belgian chocolate all at the same time - well, it made me feel quite sick. Which dealt with the hunger pangs successfully!

As evening drew on we packed up our things, loaded up the cars and trailer, then sat down to listen to the bands on stage for a while and wait for the finale fireworks which are always excellent. Mum and Sharron chatted away and I, because I lean towards the geek side of life, was playing tetris on my phone. (Admittedly an out of date geek.) So there I am, minding my own business, sitting quietly in my chair and only slightly aware of their chatting and their discussing a couple of lads playing not too far away. When suddenly tetris was the last thing on my mind as I was walloped in the head, totally out of the blue. Apparently the lads had been throwing a hard rubber doodlebug! Which set its missile aim at my head.

Children tend to have an accident and burst into tears immediately. It's been a long time since I did that, but my god did I cry. I held my head and cried. It really bloody hurt. I do remember screaming 'who the fucking hell did that?' but my vision was a little woozy! Next thing I know there's police, RAF police and a call for a medic. The St. John's ambulance man commented that if I had had my head cut open that the colour of my hair would make detecting that pretty hard! Apparently the lads were profuse with their apologies. Damn right.
Gave me a pretty splendid headache and a sore neck.
I also had the offer of taking further action... hell, why would I want to do that, how many people can say they got hit in the head by a doodlebug and survived?

There's just never any shortage of drama in my world.

And I'm the colour of a lobster. Even with regularly applied suncream. Rather brilliantly I have these little red circles on my back from the bra shoulder straps. No straight forward sunburn for me. No Sir.

Friday, 3 August 2007

Almost Roadworthy

I dropped in to the local garage, asked them about my car, and was told to bring it in so they could give it the once over. So last night I dropped it off. I told him the windows didn't work and he said 'Don't Care' I guess they don't matter for an MOT. He said he'd look at it so I could decide what I wanted to do.
Then this morning at 8.15am he rang to ask where the spare wheel was, I explained how I'd shredded a wheel in a pot hole incident. He said he wanted it, so I offered to drop it in as I went past at 10.15am. That was fine. Or so he said.

At 9.15am as I sat in my gorgeous pyjamas there was a knock at the door, I skipped down the stairs, saw Mum's car out the window, assumed it was her and opened the door. At that point I also remembered that I'd driven Mum's car to mine and therefore Mum most definitely hadn't driven it. So there stands the garage guy. I immediately question my decision to answer the door in my gorgeous pyjamas, but he seems to care just as much about my attire as he does for my broken windows.
He says 'I need your wheel'.
'But it's not here, it's at my mother's house.'
'Where is she?'
'Round the corner - the white house'
'Ring her and tell I'm coming will you'
Followed by a swift exit.

I ring my mother. Answerphone. I ring again. Answerphone. I ring her mobile. Answerphone. I ring her home line again. Answerphone.

Panic sets in. I fling on clothes faster than is natural and dive out the door, into the car and speed round the corner. I see garage man - Len, rolling my tyre down the drive, so I turn the car round and go home. The entire journey took about thirty seconds. My neighbours must have wondered what the hell I was doing.

Anyway, suddenly, my decision about having the work done on the car was out of my hands. Apparently I was having the work done, Len had decided. So I spent the rest of the day panicking about the cost of the brake discs being sorted, the new wipers, the new tyres and everything else. Anyway, my car is safely home with me for not a whole lot of money really. Now I just need to wait for the new V5 to finally wend its way through my letterbox.

Thursday, 2 August 2007

Open Letter To Barclays Bank

I must congratulate you on your staff training. I particularly admire the way that your training seems to suck every ounce of compassion from their souls.

I also like the way they assure you that no charges will be applied to your account when you expressly go in to the branch to check. Then find you have been charged and upon calling are advised 'There's nothing I can do Madam'.

I love that they feel, during moments of extreme customer stress that the best response would be 'May I suggest that you manage your account better?'

I am currently fantasising about shoving pineapples up each and every one of your lying, unhelpful arses. Although, as you seem to spew so much crap from that orifice I'm thinking there's probably actually plenty of room, even for one of those giant pineapples you can sometimes get from Sainsburys.

You really are the suckiest bank I have had the misfortune to have an account with, I can only blame my own teenage self for making such a bad decision, but I am paying for that decision. Literally. Damn your extortionate charges and damn your glee in taking them.

I now only dream of lottery winnings so I can show you the money and then swiftly take it somewhere else. Although I'm sure I could get your staff to perform like trained monkeys (only with less skill) should they get even a sniff of a figure with mulitple zeros.

I should also add how admirable it is that your staff are unable to make a single decision that hasn't been given to them by a computer. It speaks volumes for the intellect of said drones.

And as an aside to the bitch who I had the displeasure of dealing with today. I hope you get bitten by a rabid partridge.

Lots of love,