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Showing posts from March, 2018

Flat-line...

Sitting down at my desk to write my blog, I was on the point of telling you all that I wouldn't be making an appearance this morning.  But do you know, I am made of stronger stuff than that, and will not allow myself to be beaten by a PIECE OF FLAT-PACK FURNITURE.
Yesterday was Day Three in my plan to bring daughter number two's bedroom to full anonymity, ready to house whoever should need a bed for the night.  The last few things to go in yesteday were a new mattress, a small rug and a new dressing table.  The rug was okay, despite looking like a day old ham sandwich with its curly corners, and I'll come back to the mattress later, but the dressing table... oh dear God.
Two hours it said on the packaging, although it didn't say whether these were two consecutive ones, or one on a Wednesday afternoon and another the following day, with 18 hours spent between the two scavenging around the floor for daft looking screws and trying to work out which way round the drawers wen…

Secret...

At 9.00pm on Monday night, I crawled downstairs for a well earned cup of tea.  Actually, I probably deserved some pink champagne served on a golden platter by a heavily oiled slave, but as the husband was away, I made do with the tea.
Daughter number two's bedroom has taken on the persona of guest room, with nothing there to tell you who its previous occupant was.  I know that this is incredibly sad, but it is just a fact of life, that at some time in a mothers' life, she has to accept that her children no longer live with her.  
I found all manner of things in her bedroom drawers and cupboards.  Silly little Christmas stocking toys, notebooks with her wishes for the future ('don't let mummy fall over on her crutches') and other notebooks bitching about various children which I found particularly amusing.  I am now wondering whether 'Piggy Stephanie' ever made it through primary school, and whether Caroline was actually stealing her colouring pens in their Ar…

Don't throw it all away...

The husband was away last night, and yesterday morning around 5.30 (it felt like 4.30) the alarm went off, heralding his departure.  Of course, he hadn't packed the night before, so the next twenty minutes was spent huffing in the wardrobe trying to find clothes suitable for the adult classroom.  All this while I was trying to snatch a few extra snoozies.  
Bearing this in mind, I think that next time he goes away, I shall offer to pack his case the night before. Imagine his joy when he unzips his holdall and pulls out a frilly nightdress, a dog bowl, one wellington and a tube of hair removal cream.  That will teach him to be a bit more 'Baden Powell' if you know what I mean.
Anyway, when he goes away, I always have great plans to do stuff.  This can range from full decoration of the house to carpet cleaning or simply getting completely up to date with everyday jobs.  This time though, I have been handed quite a tricky job.
Speaking to daughter number two at the weekend, I as…

Fifty on our foreheads...

Well, what a weekend that was.  I may have recovered by the time Easter gets here.  
Let me explain. For the last three months, I have been privy to the biggest secret in the world, and on Friday, all the planning and lies came to fruition.
It was my best friend, Mrs S's 50th birthday you see, and her closest friends and family had arranged a secret birthday party, involving champagne, cocktails, sushi, more cocktails and then a bit of tail feather shaking in a fabulous cocktail bar (more cocktails).  But the biggest surprise of all, was that we had her daughter with us, hidden behind a large bunch of helium balloons.  She has been travelling for the last six months, and Mrs S wasn't expecting her back for another month, so five minutes into the big reveal, Mrs S's make up had headed south, and I was considering dropping her into John Lewis on the way through the shopping centre to get touched up (as it were).
So there was singing, dancing, drinking and birthday cake, swiftly…

Footsteps...

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 fro…

Patience...

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 …

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 tah-dah...new 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 …

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, …

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 b…

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 whet…

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…

Kinky boots...

The husband's birthday limped on for another twenty four hours after the celebration shared with Mothering Sunday.  Yesterday morning as the insistent alarm reminded us that yet another workaday week had begun, he rolled over and muttered, 'But it's my birthday.  Do I have to go to work?'  This was a rhetorical question because he knew that even if he didn't have to go to work, he'd have to go somewhere rather than get under my feet for the afternoon. 
Going off-piste slightly here, I am quietly dreading the day when he hangs up his monkey wrench for good.  I think he might turn into one of those husbands who, after thirty years of avoiding anything kitchen-related, manages on his first day of retirement to rearrange your spice shelf as 'it's better that way'.  Now correct me if I'm wrong, but after all that time, if I thought that there was a better way of doing anything, does he not think that I might have done it before the first day of his re…

Mama...

Well ladies, I hope that you all had a memorable Mothering Sunday (let's keep it non-US. shall we?)  I had a great weekend, peppered with surprises throughout.  I'd like to say that all these were good, but life is never that kind is it?
It started early on Friday when, as you already know, son number two turned up unannounced clutching a bunch of flowers and an overnight holdall.  A small confession at this point.   I had assumed that this was dirty washing, because this is what the other three would have done.  However, son number two is made of stronger stuff it would appear, as he'd done all his washing before heading south on Friday. Knowing this made it easier to let him through the front door actually.
The husband took the three of us out of Friday night for dinner, where son number two ate enough to keep an army marching on its feet for some months.  Not content with that, he then joined me for Saturday breakfast with son number one, where Full English Breakfasts wer…

The winner takes it all...

I would like to take full blame for yesterday's rain.  Having my car cleaned usually is a catalyst for one of two things.  Either heavy rain or a scratch caused by some careless person as they 'brush' past my car with a heavy metal handbag.   Anyway, you will be pleased to know that having travelled the country lanes of the Home Counties, once again, poor old Rita is resembling a Sherman tank.
It  was time to part with some of the red stuff again yesterday.  I've been donating for many years now, but after the last donation, something rather lovely happened.  I had a text telling me that my blood had been driven all the way down the M4 to be used at St George's Hospital in London.  I did wonder what kind of person now had my blood rattling around inside them, finally settling on some gorgeous 25 year old chap who'd perhaps been a bit over zealous with a can opener.  That's the joy of it, I suppose as I'll never know.
It's a busy weekend on the agenda.…

Dirty little thing...

After Wednesday's walk, when I had three dogs in my tiny car, my poor Mini  looked like it belonged to a zoo keeper.  There were paw prints all over the upholstery, and nose prints scattered over the glass.  I'm not saying it was grubby, but it's just as well that my morning drive to Binland is a straight one as I would have needed to just shut my eyes and think of England every time I turned off.  
Anyway, as the weather was beautiful yesterday, and I had a spare couple of hours, I thought I'd take a drive up to the local shopping centre and get the car treated to a wash and go.  There were a couple of cars already waiting, and after a few false starts, I managed to get across that I wanted the top clean done, and that I would be back in an hour. 
A most pleasant time was spent scouring the sale rail in M&Co (I am a classy bird) followed by a small coffee in the only cafe there.  Looking at my watch, the allotted time was upon me to go and collect my car.
From a dist…

Slip sliding away...

Have you ever seen Back to the Future?  The one with the hover board?  Well, I could really have done with one of them yesterday afternoon.
My best friend, who has an extremely important job (far more serious than flogging wheelie bins for a living) had asked me if I would have her Labradoodle, Ralph, for the afternoon.  Well of course I didn't mind.  He's an absolute joy, and is Reg's second best friend (behind Neville the Rottweiler).  Reg loves Ralph's caramel afro, and insists on hanging onto it while making some very worrying noises.  Anyway, I digress...
The plan was to get all three dogs in my Mini and drive them to a nearby wood.  We would then spend a good two hours in the woods before piling back in the car and heading home, where three pigs' ears waited for them. I would then have a cup of tea while they slept as befitting three knackered dogs.
Sounded good, didn't it.  
The trouble was that after an hour of climbing up the path through the woods, Reg an…

Baggy trousers...

I almost skipped to the scales yesterday morning for the Binland Diet Club weigh in, confident in the fact that another bit of unsightly lard had withered away over the last seven days.  Last Thursday, Mrs S (she is so kind and lovely all the time and deserves a medal from the Queen for being so brilliant at her job) said that I was beginning to change shape (round to oval I feel), and based on that, I decided that some wardrobe rifling was required.
I had a whole day off on Monday, so armed with bin liners, I opened the wardrobe door and dived in.  Hopping around the bedroom in my drawers, I pulled on pairs of jeans and trousers, skirts and dresses, and the pile of 'That Doesn't Fit Anymore' clothing grew bigger and bigger.  Digging around further in the wardrobe, I stumbled across a bag of clothes which you might label as 'One Day' items, ie, one day they might actually fit.  None of these fitted, even after my weight loss, so that all went back into the bag for a…

Settle down...

Ah, the joy of a new hairdresser. 
For the past five years, I have been hauling my barnet around various salons trying to find the impossible.  This would be a good stylist who can understand my daft curly hair and who can colour it to disguise the rampaging grey.  All of this to be done without the need for a second mortgage or the sale of a kidney.  I have lurched from high end salon (massaging chairs, teapot of fresh Earl Grey with cupcake, flowers on the reception counter, fragrant candles, beautiful staff and hip music) to budget salon (wire brush and Dettol, chipped mug of instant coffee, cheap leggings and Boyz2Men on repeat).  
I have been going to one salon since Christmas, and the young girl who does my colour is a cross between a miracle worker and a Dulux paint chart, and I am always thrilled with what she does.  She's also extremely chatty and lovely.  However, the last time she cut my hair, I came out feeling that not enough had been removed.  I tried to go back yester…