Good Vibrations?

Hi All

Nothing much to report since I last ‘blogged’…and frankly that’s fine. It’s nice for life’s waves to ripple in occasionally. My life is all too often tsunami-like and sometimes even I need a break from that. There are only so many times you can get knocked off your feet by the unexpected before you begin to wonder if you should simply stay down and not bother getting up again. Oh! That sounds a bit defeatist, doesn’t it? It isn’t meant to because as you must know by now, I’m not a defeatist.

Probably, the most exciting and mind-blowing thing that I have done in the last week is to take a trip to the local garden centre. Yes, yes, I hear you…

‘Good grief, is that how she really gets her kicks?’

Well…yes, it is. I am a creature of simple pleasures.

‘All the same… a garden centre?’

Yes, a garden centre, because you see, I haven’t told you the best bit yet. Because I needed 3 bags of potting compost, and we would have been struggling to get all 3 bags in the VW UP…we went in Betsy Land Rover! See? Now you are getting the picture.

Richard wasn’t too pleased when I suggested that the old heap should earn its keep (Betsy, not Richard) because obviously the ancient thing is a status symbol (?) a focal point for anyone passing and isn’t intended for actually use. Yes, I’m being sarcastic. Richard does go to work in it, occasionally, now that I’ve got it running for him (last post…or the one before that, can’t remember).

Anyway, I climbed aboard and leaned inwards as Richard slammed the door, and I mean slammed the door. I’m not allowed to close the door because I wouldn’t do it right? I know. Nuts or what? He positioned himself in the driver’s seat and turned on the ignition. Betsy jumped into life and the thrill of the vibrating Land Rover began. Richard fished around a bit with the gears, found reverse, and off we went in a wake of smoke. Very eco-friendly.

‘Burning oil!’ I shouted over the sound of the engine.

He didn’t even hear me. Or he could have been doing his favourite trick and pretending he hadn’t heard me?

Betsy has the clever knack of giving the impression that she corners on two wheels. The steering wheel appears to be pulled to the right and Betsy veers to the left. That could just be my impression, but she certainly has her own version of a very fancy pirouette on every bend and corner. And she has little consideration for her passenger. Richard appears quite stable, hanging on to the wheel, but I feel like a Weeble. You know, those things that are bottom-heavy and can’t fall over? “Weeble’s wobble but they don’t fall down.” Actually, I’m not sure I should have used that simile, it’s unnervingly a little too near to reality.

It took a moment for me to stop vibrating, as I half fell from the great height of the seat and landed on terra firma, at the garden centre. I have a weird idea that all this vibrating might be beneficial for my neck discs? Does nothing for the fillings in my teeth, though!

We loaded up the trolley thing with our compost, 3 for £10, and I spied another blueberry bush and another gooseberry bush and some seed things on a sticky tape and we paid for them (yes, housekeeping monies – well, gooseberries and blueberries are for the house, aren’t they?), and off we trotted.

Good old Betsy was loaded and away we went. Halfway home, Richard opened a metal vent and a rush of warm air rushed up my crutch. He war-whooped and yelled (he had to yell over the sound of the engine, remember?), ‘A heater! We’ve even got a heater! What do you think to that?’

It was a blood temperature draught coming from a 4 inch vent, and it hardly compensated for the hurricane blowing through the badly fitting doors, but I smiled sweetly and nodded. Little things please little minds… as I’ve said a million times, and will probably say a million more.022

My garden is now ready for the spring. I have 4 apple trees, 3 blackcurrant bushes, 2 rhubarb crowns, a dozen raspberry canes, 4 gooseberry bushes, 1 plum tree and 2 blueberry bushes. Lovely. As you can tell, I’m concentrating on fruit this year!

The new rhubarb crown caused a bit of a problem because there was only one place that it could possibly go and as I whacked the spade into the soil it hit concrete and almost broke my wrist. I spent the next hour…YES HOUR…trying to remove the leftover solid concrete and rock boulder that had once housed a pergola pole. Chea was no help at all as she had to be in the hole, patting at soil as it trickled down the sides of the abyss, and even when I swore at her she refused to move. After an hour I’d removed all the concrete with the help of a spade, a fork, a lump hammer, a crowbar and a pint of sweat. Sometimes I wish I was a quitter. No, really, I do. Life would be so much easier.

To be honest it’s lovely having Chea helping…and the chucks. I had to dig out an established Acer from the shrubbery area and that was almost bloody impossible with Chea and two chucks in the hole. Not only that, it was rather nauseating, as every worm was snaffled by the chucks and sucked to death.

Anyway, that concludes my blog regarding nothing, so I’ll trot off now and see if I can put in a row of spinach seeds. Chea can help…but not the chucks.

Take care my lovelies x

PS Apologies for this blog having rambled on to over 950 words. I hate long blogs. I always get bored reading them. So if you didn’t get all the way down this I have to say that I don’t blame you. Mind, if you didn’t get all the way down it you won’t be reading this, will you? I think I’m thinking too much now? I’ve gone.

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Not All Tools Are In The Shed…

Hi All

Having made the decision, two weeks ago, to have a break from writing and not to start anything new, the idea hit me this morning to go back on that decision and write a Mills and Boon! Something quick, 45k words, girl meets boy, girl hates boy, girl changes her mind, girl loves boy. I can do that. Bloody hell, it’s easier than falling off a log…not that I’ve ever fallen off a log, but knowing my luck there’s still time and opportunity.

And as I reclined, this morning, on my bed, at 5am, realisation galloped up. These Mills and Boon characters have to be instantly likeable, and bake cakes for elderly ladies and wipe the noses of snotty-nosed kiddies. I have a definite problem with instantly likeable characters, especially leading ladies and my male characters all tend to have the one raised eyebrow and a permanent expression that says, ‘idiot!’shutterstock_32893783 - Copy - Copy (2)

Then, of course, there are the ‘sexy’ imprints. Yeah, well that’s not going to work, is it? Some people can write that kind of thing…and I’m sure I could too, but I have a massively low boredom threshold and how many times is it thrilling, and earth-shattering, for her to lie on her back and be plundered by a handsome millionaire, who would rather have her (literally) than run the family business.

Placing them in different locations wouldn’t really do it for me, either. A beach location would have me worrying about all that sand getting into the wrong places. I’ve always been a worrier regarding sand. I think it stems from hearing about horses swallowing the gritty stuff, whilst grazing sandy land, and suffering massive colic attacks. Even the old potting shed would be fraught with danger. Imagine all those old, rusty tools losing their grip, victims of the wall-shaking thrusts, and crashing down on the biggest tool in the shed? Nah. I’ve changed my mind. I’m not going to write a Mills and Boon.

I’m going to stick to plan A and concentrate on the garden and doing as little housework as possible. That’s if I haven’t been arrested and put in prison. I guess it all depends on the efficiency of Wickes CCTV camera. And before you start to think that I’ve waltzed off with a pack of 2 by 2 wood, or a roll of roof felt, without paying for it I’ll quickly explain.

In the first week of January Richard ordered an end piece of work surface. Apparently it would take up to 4 weeks and they would ring when it had arrived. 6 weeks later, and endless comments to Richard to go and chase-up the bloody thing, I eventually gave up. Much the same as the Land Rover situation and decided to sort it out myself. In fairness, I guess I do have the time, especially now that I’m not writing a Mills and Boon sex novel.

The guy that Richard had dealt with was not in until the following day, so I explained the situation to a new guy. Long story short…the thing hadn’t been ordered.

‘Is it a freebie?’ the new kitchen sales person said.

‘NO! It isn’t a freebie,’ I said. ‘Why would it be a freebie?’

‘Ah! If it wasn’t a freebie, it wouldn’t have been ordered until you’d paid for it.’

He delivered that little gem with as much delight as if he’d suddenly found Shangri La or the meaning of life.

One look at my face and he added, ‘BUT I will check it with Dickhead (named changed) when he comes in tomorrow.’

I think I’d narrowed my eyes by this time, and my aura had turned a very nasty shade of black.

‘Well,’ I said, ‘let’s just put it this way, shall we? If he hasn’t ordered it and I’ve waited 6 weeks for nothing, I will be back in here in the morning and I will stab him!’

The guy laughed, briefly.

Who are these people? It’s fine when you are spending £13,000 on one of their bloody kitchens but try to buy a strip of work surface and a tube a glue and you are well and truly buggered.

The conclusion is, the new guy rang me yesterday morning, as promised, and explained that Dickhead had tried, 6 weeks ago, to ring a number (Richard’s) for the payment details and they’d never been an answer. This is Richard’s fault again, because if he doesn’t recognise the number he won’t answer his phone.

This time it was paid for and ordered – luckily I managed to find Richard’s card! New guy said he’ll fast-track it and I won’t have to wait another 6 weeks. Obviously Dickhead didn’t get back to me. Threatening to stab him was a bit over the top, but at the time I was so angry. It would only have been in a toe or something small and insignificant. So, now I’m hoping that their CCTV camera doesn’t have a terribly effective zoom and that the person/persons scanning it doesn’t have a degree in lip-reading. Richard chastised me (no, he did. Very bravely, I thought) and said that I should be more careful what I say. I told him that if he’d done the job right in the first place I wouldn’t have to watch what I was saying and that he could **** off!

Monday wasn’t a good day. I went on to have two more very ‘truthful’ conversations with two more people. But I’m fine now, honestly. Purring sweetly.

Take care my lovelies x

Expensive Screw!

Hi All

Sunday morning and I’ve been abandoned. And the main reason for this is of my own doing. Richard has toddled off to a Land Rover show, but more to the point, Richard has toddled off to a Land Rover show in Betsy Land Rover. I still can’t believe that I play the ridiculous ‘name game’ with the great heap of detritus!

This is how it happened.

A week ago, a sad Richard looked up from his plate of gruel and moaned, ‘I need to find some spare cash so that I can get the Land Rover sorted.’

I flashed a murderous scowl across the room from my sofa (we have one each. I think it’s termed as territory?) and said, ‘What!’

‘I’m stuck with it,’ he said. ‘It’s not running right, I have to keep pumping the accelerator and running it on the choke and it keeps cutting out. I need someone who knows what they are doing to look at it…and that takes money.’

The murderous scowl remained. ‘I thought YOU knew what you were doing? At least that’s what you said when you wanted to bring the heap from your mother’s garage so that it could drip oil everywhere. There’s more oil on the paving than there is in Saudi Arabia!’

‘Old Land Rovers do that,’ he said.

‘Apparently!’ I said.

This was the end of the conversation because if it had continued it was going to turn ugly. Anyone who has been with this blog for any amount of time will know that ‘Betsy’ has been under repair and renovation for the last year and although she is now running, it is very badly, and in fits and starts. Richard’s conclusion, because he accepts defeat way too easily, is to get some grease monkey (sorry) to repair it at great expense. This was an option but I hate the fact that Richard throws in the towel and thinks he can’t do these things, because judging by the amount of time he spends on the internet, slobbering over these damn vehicles, he should be able to build one from scratch.

Finding £300/£400/£500 to get Betsy running was not an option, so I gently approached my brother and insisted that he came over with his friend, who, I had been reliably informed was a mechanic and knew all about Land Rovers.

They came over two Sunday’s ago and within fifteen minutes my brother’s friend had Betsy purring. I asked Richard (demanded actually) why it had only taken Chris fifteen minutes to sort out something that had, so far, taken Richard a year not to sort out.

Apparently, the mixture was too rich and Chris had merely turned some screw thingy ( I try not to get too swamped with info, especially  irrelevant info) three times and Betsy took a deep breath and burst into life, singing as sweetly as…er…not sure who sings sweetly…so…

Chris insisted that he didn’t want anything for fifteen minutes work and for turning a screw three times so I fed him some chocolate biscuits, and two cups of tea, and then he and my brother went on their jolly way. I gave my brother a lovely floor lamp that I’d decided I no longer needed. I don’t think he needed it either but it was the thought that counted.

I’ve since found out that Chris drinks Jack Daniels so I tracked down a bottle in Morrison’s the other day. I couldn’t believe the price! Jack Daniels is also Richard’s favourite tipple and I’m damn sure when I used to treat him to a bottle, now and then, it was around £2.99. The price on it said £28.99 and that was with £5 off! I had a lightning moment of mental arithmetic and to my reckoning that would have meant £10 per turn of the screw! Bloody hell.

I feel massively disgusted with myself when I tell you that I didn’t buy it…but having thought about it I have to, don’t I? I’ll go back. Today. When they open.

So you see, it was actually me who sorted out Betsy, me who is going back to Morrison’s today, me who will buy a £30 bottle of Jack Daniels, and me who has been dumped, whilst Richard bounces off across country, to meet up with his friend, Darren, at the Land Rover show and play like big kids. Lord, he even took a flask of coffee!

Obviously the money for the JD will come out of the housekeeping monies (see last post) which Richard provides…but that’s not the point.

I do have some sad news to report…Chea’s best and only friend, Bobby, has gone! His family moved to their new house over the weekend. They met-up for the last time on Friday and toggled off together, arm in arm, on an adventure. Now she sits in the lounge window, looking across at Bobby’s lounge window, but his little face doesn’t appear. Poor Chea. And to add insult to injury, she’s been put on a diet by the wicked witch of the house, AND the ground is frozen this morning so she has had to come back into the house to use her litter tray for a pooh. As luck would have it she managed to fit it in just before Richard left so he had the pleasure of removing said pooh from said tray.HPIM2818

Off to Morrison’s…

Take care my lovelies x

All You Need Is Love…Really?

Hi All

Valentine’s Day! Brilliant! Not! I’ve actually got to put on my ‘outdoor’ clothes  and linkedHeartstraipse off to Morrison’s to find a box of chocolates, or something equally as non-healthy, for Richard. I don’t know why. It isn’t like he is my real Valentine is it? Aren’t Valentines supposed to be secret? People you fancy and such like?

We go through this same crap every year. He buys me a card and ten bunches of dreadful carnations, in abominable colours that throw-out the whole ‘colour and feel’ of the house, because he thinks I’ll be buying him a card and he doesn’t want to be in the dog house till Christmas. Then I’ll forget all about it and not get him a card, so the following year he won’t get me one, but I’ll get him one…blah, blah, blah. The whole thing is a political nightmare.

He’ll even say, ‘Are we buying each other a card this year?’

‘Shall we not bother?’ I’ll say.

And that’s fine, but then he’ll do something nice on the 13th Feb and it’ll make me love him a bit and I’ll pop out at the last-minute and buy him half of Thornton’s shop! God knows why I’m going to all the effort of putting on my boots and battling the gale-force winds that are blowing here, because he certainly hasn’t done anything nice recently!

I think it has something to do with the fact that I like to keep him guessing? After all these years he still never knows which way I’ll jump in any situation.

Frankly, considering it’s a ‘fancy’ and a ‘secret’ thing I don’t see why I can’t just buy Sherlock a card? Maybe not? But here’s a funny thing…two weeks ago I noticed that there was a small package in with the mail. It was addressed to Richard, so I left it. I never open his post. Not because I’m a lovely human being, but because in twenty-three years I’ve never known him to have anything of interest drop through the letter box. I digress…

When he came home he handed me the package and said, ‘I’ve bought you something.’

My psychic powers rushed to the fore and I said, ‘It’s a Sherlock thing, isn’t it?’

‘How the bloody hell do you know that?’ he said.

I opened it and it was a fridge magnet with a picture of Sherlock on it. I tell you, Richard is bloody dafter than me. Why would I want a stupid fridge magnet with a picture of Sherlock Holmes on it? And why would I want to put it on my super-duper, recently purchased, new fridge freezer? And why would Richard want to perpetuate my ridiculous crush on another man? It did make me smile though, and that is never a bad thing. Obviously I had to put it on the fridge freezer. It would have been rude not too.

So that’s that. I am now going to get ready to go and battle the elements, all in the name of love…or something…

For those romantics out there – have a good one. Not that I’m not romantic…sometimes…well I do love the cat and the chucks and often whisper sweet nothings in their cute little ears. Oh OK, I do love Richard a bit. Where are my boots? Oh I forgot to mention, the card and chocolates will be coming out of the housekeeping fund. Richard never knows. He bought a new printer out of the housekeeping monies the other day and he hasn’t a clue. Maybe that’s why I love him a bit? He’s adoringly clueless…

Take care my lovelies x

You Say Cute…I Say Cruel!

Hi All

I have finally come to a conclusion…do not have a cat if you don’t have a cat flap! Chea is driving me nuts (more than usual) by constantly wanting to go out and then come in, all in the space of five minutes maximum. She seems unable to grasp the fact that it’s pouring with rain, and that it will be all day, most likely. I’m sure, in her tiny little feline brain, she thinks that if she pops back into the house, has a turnaround, and then demands to go out again, the rain will have stopped and it will be summer.

Right now I’m leaving her sitting on the opposite side of the door (it’s under cover, I’m not that cruel), and I’m hiding behind the laptop screen, pretending I’m not here. I don’t think I’m her favourite person right now because I’ve put her on a diet. A very, very strict diet. I’ve always thought that fat, obese animals are a result of negligence and ignorance on the part of the owner and a form of cruelty, and I have no reason to change that opinion now. This comment does not apply to animals with thyroid and similar problems, obviously. Medical conditions are quite another thing.

I saw a photo on Facebook the other day of a woman holding a gigantic, obese cat and there had been comments left like, ‘how cute!’ How cute?? No it isn’t. It’s cruel. How would you like your internal organs squished and squashed? Idiots! Anyway… back to Chea. She hasn’t reached blancmange size yet, but she has a fat sack swaying. This is not acceptable. And even more so because I know better!

I blame a lot of it on Richard – well I would, wouldn’t I? He is always giving her treats. (Just got up to let her in! I hung that out for all of five minutes!) Every time he sees her he’s in the cupboard scouting out something for her. I’ve now hidden all of her treats and banned him from feeding her. Having said this, I still walk through the kitchen and catch her hurriedly munching a chunk of corned beef or gammon that Richard has quietly sneaked onto her feeding station. They really are partners in crime. Chea loves and adores Richard with all of her heart. I’ve always suspected that Chea is a bit barmy and frankly that confirms it.

In Chea’s defence I will say that she has a very thick coat – but that’s hardly an excuse for a fat sack! So, a diet it is.

The chucks are not much impressed with me right now, either. They are being fed a week of wormer on their feed. Although, having said that they don’t seem to mind it, but what a kafuffle! The feed has to be measured, critically, and then a small amount of olive oil added and stirred in so that the wormer powder will adhere to the pellets evenly. It’s worse than attempting the perfect soufflé…not that I’ve ever attempted a soufflé. I did attempt 48 muffin type things at the weekend when Jake (7) and Grace (2 and a bit) came over for the day. Baking with the grand kiddies is always a hoot…they destroy the entire kitchen and somehow manage to get cake mixture into every orifice…well, almost. Surprisingly, I don’t mind this at all. Children are like border collies …if you don’t channel their enthusiasm they will find ways of channelling it for themselves. To allow this is a very dangerous thing.cake making 008

After the cake baking session, Grace disappeared with Richard (she also adores him. God knows why?) and Jake set about a new book I’d picked up for him. He had to look in the mirror and then write down 5 things about his face.

He started with, ‘I have blue eyes.’ And then he was stuck.

I suggested, ‘I have red hair.’

‘I haven’t got red hair, Grandma, it’s orange!’ he said very indignantly.

‘Yes,’ I said, ‘but it’s called red.’

Jake picked up a red crayon and scribbled on a piece of paper. ‘Grandma! THIS is red. My hair isn’t red. It’s orange!’

What could I say? It is orange. I had no further argument. Jake seems to be very proud of the fact that he has orange hair so…

Right! Chea is requesting to go out again, into the torrential downpour, so her human slave will get off her posterior and go and obey her wishes, and then I’ll stir the broccoli and Stilton soup that I’m making, and then I’ll go and watch The Fifth Estate…with you know who in it!! Why? Because I can.cake making 002

Take care my lovelies x