Friday, 23 March 2018


It's as I feared...

Work has ground to a halt, somewhere around the patch of ceiling above the dinner plate cupboard in the kitchen.  This was an addition to the three jobs handed to the husband at the beginning of the week to do in his week off.  A small leak had caused the paint to bubble up like Vesuvius, and I suggested that while he had the white paint out, he might as well sort that out too.  Coming home yesterday afternoon I was greeted by the yard broom, gently propped up against the hall table and a Yellow Brick Road of dust sheets running up the stairs and into the kitchen.

'Nearly finished then?' I said optimistically.  'Almost', was his reply.  

So the bathrooms are done (a beautiful job) the stairs are done (no more bald spots) but the square metre of kitchen ceiling is not quite finished.  Going in to make myself a well earned cup of tea, I noticed the lack of stuff on my worktops.  And then I found it.  It looked like someone had tipped the house up from one end, so that anything not strapped down simply slid to one end.  In this case, everything was huddled up by the microwave.  I managed to find most of the things I needed for the obligatory cuppa, but as I write, I still haven't found the bucket I keep my eggs in.

Underneath the patch on the ceiling (now plastered at least) there was a large bundle of dustsheets, their sides hanging down over the cupboard doors like a drunk bride's frock.

I have a feeling that this may remain like this for some time unless I resort to violence, and I have started training Reg to attack anyone wearing hi-viz clothing.

Changing the subject completely, I have been wearing the middle aged lady version of a FitBit since Christmas.  I have rechristened this the FatBat, and it is there purely for the reason to egg me on to walk 10,000 steps each day.  I do alright most days, and over the week, I usually nail my 70,000 steps, which is great. It clips to my bra in a most satisfactory way, and I just forget I have it on whilst traipsing around the Home Counties each day.

Unfortunately, Miss R, my beloved sister, has bought an all singing and dancing one.  This is waterproof, bombproof and nuclear resistant and is so accurate that it will  even measure how long she sleeps.  Why anyone needs to know how long they are asleep for is beyond me If I'm honest.  I go to bed at 10 and wake up at 6.  Eight hours, easy.

Anyway, she's also very competitive (stop denying it, you know you are) so we now have a challenge going on. But I don't think that this is very fair.  My FatBat isn't waterproof, so I can't jog around in the shower or paddle in the bath to get extra steps.  Mine is also rather ancient, and has a bit of 'I can't be bothered' on occasions.  Perhaps a new battery is needed, who knows?  Anyway, I shall never reach the number of steps she does, because she swims the equivalent of the English Channel each night, making my four mile walk look rather pathetic.

I tried attaching it to Percy's collar last time we had a challenge with marvellous results, but I can't do that again.  Perhaps clipping it to the husband's roller this week might have been a good idea.

I probably missed a trick there...

PS Going AWOL for a couple of days....all will become apparent...

Thursday, 22 March 2018


The husband is still at home and making the most of his free time to do all those little jobs which I have been waiting for him to do.  I had three things on my list for him:

1. Replace stair carpet treads where Reg (the bastard dog) had had a fine old time at the peak of his chewing phase (Request made June 2016).  I have been waiting for him to put wooden flooring down in his office, thus releasing the carpet for the stairs.

2. Paint shower ceiling (Request made circa 2009)

3. Paint bathroom ceiling (Request made circa 2012)

As you can see, I am a very patient wife.

It's all going rather well though, and the husband has done the stair carpet and the shower ceiling, with the bathroom ceiling promised for today.

However, dealing with the detritus which seems to follow him round the house is starting to play havoc with my nerves and OCD.  It started at the drive, where an old desk and broken filing cabinet had been discarded.  Having navigated my way past these and the half washed paint tins when I got back from Binland yesterday, I looked into the hall with some trepidation.  It was still full of his stuff, but not as much as I was expecting , and I gave a small virtual fist pump, thinking that as he cleaned his office out, that he had actually thrown something (anything would do) away.  

I then went into the downstairs bedroom to switch the lights off (I pay the electricity bill and the husband is very lackadaisical about lights, sometimes leaving the house looking like Battersea Power Station, while I trot behind him switching this and that off).  Mind you, I say 'went into' the bedroom, but 'hovered at the threshold' would have been more accurate.  The bed had disappeared underneath copious amounts of lever arch files and chargers and cables snaked their way across the carpet.  Backing out, I gently asked whether all of that stuff was going back into his office.  'Most of it', was the muffled reply from beneath his new desk (he was painting the skirting boards), which has put the fear of God into me.

But we're getting there, and by the end of today, my house should be free of dustsheets, stepladders, rollers and the husband.

I decided to take the dogs out for a long walk with the Mother yesterday, mainly for the purpose of getting out of the house.  When I got to her house, she was doing exactly the same, as she had a man in sanding her banisters (this sounds far more intriguing than it is unfortunately).  Getting back after a very long woofer walk, her other half made us a cup of tea and offered us both a chocolate eclair.

Believe it or not, I bloody declined.

Because therein lies the return road to Chubby Town, ladies....

Wednesday, 21 March 2018

Paint it black...

Somewhere, in a far distant country, there are a group of people working out of an office where unicorns roam and the sun always shines.  And their job?  To create the names of paint colours to confuse and bewilder the unsuspecting public.  I think that they have every word in the English dictionary spread out over two boxes.  Every time a new colour is introduced, one word is pulled from each box and colour name invented.  That's the only reasoning I can find for Dead Salmon and Stiffkey Blue.

I'm looking at painting my kitchen units you see, as I am hoping that it will be cheaper than replacing them.  So far so good.  With this in mind, the husband, who is between jobs at the moment and has been under my feet for most of the afternoons this week, suggested that we go to B&Q to take a look at what is on offer in the kitchen department.  'You never know', said the husband, 'we might get an idea of what colour we'd like for the units'.  Did you notice the use of the word 'we' there?  He has yet to realise that he has no input whatsoever as to what colour the kitchen is.  Poor deluded soul.

Anyway, B&Q.  The husband had regaled me en route as to how they had 'the biggest selection of kitchens' to look at.  I replied that 'I would be the judge of that', but with an open mind, I followed him up the aisle to where seven mini kitchens were laid out.  

They were almost all white and grey, and I am desperate to avoid any more grey in my house, choosing to go for something a bit more 'out there'.  I homed in on one which was described as 'Cashmere'.  Think milky latte and you're almost there.  So then we decided to head for the paint section to see whether we could get a colour match to take home for the decorator.

I headed down to the posh end, where the Farrow & Ball paints were.  These had the most upper class names such as Moles Breath and Nancy's Blushes, but I finally settled on Oxford Stone as a colour (this was after three trips back to the kitchenette with various swatches).  The husband was invariably drawn to the trade section as he gets major discount on these paints.  While he was scouring that colour chart, I headed to the mid range and cheap paints.  Antelope and Furry Alpaca were considered, followed by Alfie Beige and Macademia.  Hot Crossed Bun and Bedouin Trail got a look in, but in the end the Farrow and Ball one came out on top.

The husband then came back with a colour swatch, claiming that it was an exact match to the Farrow & Ball one and almost a third of the price.  


When the decorator returns for the final decision as to which paint to use, I think I'll lock the husband in the garage.

I'll give him Magnolia...

Tuesday, 20 March 2018

Never ever...

I'm not too sure what happened around 4.30 on Saturday afternoon.  It certainly didn't go as planned...

It was all very simple you see, and should have gone something like this.

Drop husband off at pub to watch rugby
Continue down road to Mrs S's house where a paint brush (a cutting in brush actually) was waiting for me
Paint for three hours
Return to pub with Mrs S in tow
Eat dinner
Scoop up husband (all Guinnessed out and sobbing like a girl)
Drive husband home and put him to bed
Watch The Voice in peace and quiet

What could possibly go wrong?

The first thing that went wrong was that the husband wasn't at home when I planned to drive down to Mrs S, as he had taken himself off for a haircut (this seems to take less and less time each time he goes, and I'm almost at the point where I suggest he sticks his head out of the car window while driving at speed every month or so thus saving himself a few quid).  Anyway, I messaged him to say that we would go with the original plan, except he would make his own way to the pub, and we'd collect his car on Sunday morning.

Here's how it went downhill after this...

Drove to Mrs S's house and painted quite happily for three hours.
Finished room, texted the husband to tell him I was on my way to the pub
No response
Texted husband to tell him to get the Prosecco ordered
No response
Walked to pub with Mrs S
Husband not at pub
Husband had never been at pub
First bottle of Prosecco ordered with a packet of crisps chaser
Called home
No response
More crisps
Called mobile
No response
Ordered food
Called mobile
No response
Second bottle of Prosecco ordered
Called home
Husband answered
Husband drove to pub
Husband found wife and best friend slumped over two empty plates, several crisp packets and dregs of second Prosecco bottle
Husband drove wife home in disgust
Wife paid for minor infringement of marital responsibilities for next forty eight hours
Wife swallowed every Anadin Extra in the house hoping to get rid of headache
Wife watched six episodes of The Crown while shivering under blanket and swearing at husband who insisted on breathing too loudly

Never again......

Oh, who am I kidding?

Saturday, 17 March 2018

Who, what, where, when, why...

Oh but it's been a busy week.  I have been poked more times than Justin Bieber on his Facebook page and coughed enough times to warrant a course of Nicorette.  I've also revealed parts of my anatomy which should remain carefully hidden for everyone's sake.  As at yesterday evening, I felt like I never wanted to step foot into my doctor's surgery again.  No offence to the lovely ladies there, but enough is enough.

Add to this a couple of sessions of torture (Pilates), twenty four miles of walking, Binland and just generally being vertical, I was extremely glad to get to Friday without having keeled over, frothing at the mouth and talking gibberish.  Leaving Binland on Friday lunchtime, I decided that I had four jobs which had to be done that afternoon:

Get car washed (dogs....say no more)
Fill car up with petrol
Get week's shopping
Take unwanted jumper (ungrateful husband) back to Next
Driving towards town, I pondered how I would do this.  I have four supermarkets close by along with a large shopping centre, and this is how my mind worked...

Go to Tesco
So-so for grocery shopping 
Long queues
Good car wash
Cheap fuel
Nowhere near Next

Go to Aldi
Cheap food
No car wash
No fuel
Major purchase distractions down centre aisle
Closer to Next but would still need additional drive

Go to Sainsbury
Average food (I don't like their fruit and veg)
Terrible car wash (see last week)
Cheap fuel
Clothes in aisle three never good news for my purse
Soft furnishings in aisle six even worse
Next close by

By the time I had mulled over this conversation in my head for the ten minutes it took to get to the first supermarket, I had given up, and I pulled into Tesco's car park.  I had full intentions of doing my food shop while my car was washed, filling up, and then driving round to Next to take the unwanted jumper back. (it wasn't that bad...who doesn't like taupe?)

However, having had the obligatory coffee and cake (Friday treat), unloaded all my shopping into my Mini - always something which you might have seen on The Krypton Factor - and filled the car up with fuel, the unwanted jumper (now buried in the boot under four large carrier bags) got a stay of execution.

I had made one impulse buy in Tesco.  Looking at the dog section on my final lap towards the till, I noticed two purple squeaky pigs.  Now I know my two dogs, and sharing is not high on their agenda, so these went into the trolley.  They loved them, and spent an enjoyable three hours biting them, and frightening themselves with the loud grunting noises.

The dogs' joy far outweighed the dismay on the husband's face as he endeavoured to watch Coronation Street last night.  

I only have two words to say.

Taupe jumper...

Thursday, 15 March 2018

Calendar girl...

Whatever possessed me to book three separate appointments with three different doctors in one afternoon is anyone's guess.  You see, in my mind everything runs like clockwork, so allowing fifteen minutes or so between appointments was a perfectly acceptable thing to do. The problem was that all three appointments were directed at three very different parts of my body.  On my calendar, I had simply written:

Doctor 3.45
Doctor 4.15
Doctor 4.30

Had I made any notes as to which doctor was checking which bit of me?  Don't be silly.  So sitting in front of the first doctor, she asked me the $64,000 question.  'So how have you been?'

'Well the itching seems to have improved', I said helpfully.  Small pause as she checked her notes and then..

'That's great news, but I was hoping you'd have some feedback about the new inhaler'.  

So it appeared that this one was for the asthma review - I had been given a new inhaler to try out and a decision was to be made whether I was going to carry on with it.  'Ah yes, the inhaler', I said hurriedly.  'It worked a treat, so I'm more than happy to keep using it'.

Clutching a prescription, it was then back into the doctors' reception area where I waited to be called for the next appointment.  I had a bit of a wait, and spent the next twenty minutes laughing silently at other people's names, and watching children climbing over the seats while their parents stared at their phones.  How is that acceptable, anyway?

So onto the next appointment.

Another lovely lady doctor (I never seem to see the same one twice) ushered me over to a chair, and said to me in a very suggestive manner, 'How's it all going then?  Hopefully, you have some good news for me!'

Well that was no help at all, so figuring that I had a 50/50 chance of being right, I said to her, 'Well the itching seems to have calmed down'. 

'That's odd', she said, 'I wasn't expecting the HRT patches to make you itch.  How bad is it?'

So this was the appointment to check on how my HRT patches were settling down, and there was a hurried explanation as to how the itching (or lack of it) had nothing to do with them.  Another success story, and another prescription, and it was back to the reception area.  No time for a sit down this time, as I heard my name shouted out by the Receptionist (for the third time it would seem) and I trundled off to see the doctor who specializes in skin problems.

This was all good news too, and as she wrote up a third prescription, I told her about the mix up with her two colleagues, expecting her to laugh with me.

Peering up from the prescription, she asked me whether a visit to the memory clinic might not be a bad idea.

Too late for that I'm afraid...

Wednesday, 14 March 2018

Throw it away...

It was bin collection day yesterday round my neck of the woods, and the husband, who had forgotten to put the recycling bins out the night before, had a bit of a shock at around 6.30 yesterday morning.  Because he's normally left the house at that time, he doesn't know about the garden waste lorry, which always comes really early.

'Quick!  Let me back in the house in a minute!  It's the bin men!'

Well I knew that it wasn't anything to worry about (we don't generate garden waste as I rarely take anything to it other than the lawnmower) but I decided that it was far more fun to watch the husband in his dressing gown (that's getting some serious press this week) and work boots, wheeling the bins out at a rate of knots.  Needless to say, as he watched the lorry sail past our bins as we had no garden waste bin for them to empty, there was a bit of gratuitous swearing and a lot of muttering.  Letting him back into the house, I slowly told him that the recycling bin would be here in the afternoon, as it always was.  His face was a picture.  More a Picasso than a Gainsborough to be fair after the penny finally dropped.

Anyway, coming back home yesterday afternoon after the bin men had finally taken the recycling, something caught my eye.  Laid reverently across the closed lid of a recycling bin was the largest pair of white drawers I have ever seen.  I'll be honest with you, going at the speed I was, it was hard to tell if the previous owner was male or female, but they sparkled on the top of that bin like a airport landing light.  Part of me wanted to stop and knock on the owner's door and ask why they were there, but that would have been a bit weird wouldn't it?  I am assuming that a gleaming pair of apple catchers don't really fall into the recycling bracket. Our council states that clothes can be recycled if they are too grotty for the charity shop, so perhaps the binman took one look at the drawers and decided that they were too good to throw away.

Either that, or my neighbour has gone very posh, stretching a pair of drawers over the lid to make it look a bit prettier.  A bit like those toilet seat covers from the '70's with matching toilet roll cover.

She'll be swapping the gravel drive for shag pile next...