Friday, 29 January 2010

I really shouldn't have got up....

J is away for work and I have been feeling particularly unwell with a cold.  I awoke this morning late with the dulcet tones of Him Next Door shouting up the stairs for us to get up ringing in my ears....  Now groggy I staggered about doing the normal morning chores and threw myself in the shower.  So far so good.

Off went G8 to school and Him and Her Next Door to town without a care in the world, leaving me on my own with Gran and Topsy. 

The scene is set.

Just as I was going out the front door, balancing a three quarters cup full of coffee on a small tray Gran shouted for me... oops the whole lot tipped over onto the sideboard in the hall and dribbled down the back of it.... it all seemed in slow motion but I still couldn't stop it.  Five minutes later after unpacking 50 bottles of wine from the top of the sideboard and moving it out to mop up behind it, I opened the front door to throw the sodden kitchen roll out and Topsy decided to chase the post man -  **** dog. 

I remembered Gran. 

She told me she had dropped her water tablet for today, it's the size of a pin head.  Eventually I found it. 

It was now 9.20. Late for work and I can't use the traffic excuse!

Starting again I went out the front door and with a deep breath made it all the way to the office door, second time lucky surely.  Balancing my tray and carrying Topsy so she wouldn't escape again, I fumbled with the office key and just got the tip of it in the lock, Topsy wriggled, I loosened my grasp and it dropped.  Today of all days it fell between a gap in the decking.  Expletives here.  Luckily I have an old wire coat hanger, but I'm not good at fishing at the best of times.

As you can see I made it into the office, late, very.  But here.  I really should have stayed in bed.

Wednesday, 27 January 2010

Wales rules!

I received an email from G8's language teacher, an extract follows...

I would like to invite you to take part in a new project that the Language Centre has in partnership with Menter Iaith Sir Benfro (Pembrokeshire’s Language Enterprise) and Bwrdd yr Iaith (The Welsh Language Board). The aim of this project is to offer sessions for the whole family to help you assimilate with the area. By providing these sessions we hope to give you a better understanding of the linguistic nature and traditions of the area, which will in-turn, benefit you as you support your child’s education.

What a welcome (albeit a bit late in our case).  The first session included a task where we were asked to list what we think of when we think of Wales; rugby, sheep, singing, red dragons, castles, beaches, farming, community, going back in time, the language etc etc.

We listened to Max Boyce at a rugby match and found out about some local history.

I really can't wait for the food tasting session to come.

When I travelled round the world, one of the girls I travelled with was Welsh and she did the whole flag waving bit - ALL the time.  I understand now, the culture wrapped around her as she grew up gave her so much pride in her roots.

One little session has made me feel quite patriotic and proud to be Welsh, and I'm not Welsh, but if this inclusiveness continues I hope they might adopt me soon.

Monday, 18 January 2010

Grans in trouble again...

(WARNING: probably best not to read whilst eating!!)
Apparently her raised loo seat doesn't fit properly. It gets a lot of use. Her Next Door has been religiously cleaning Gran's bathroom and carefully fitting the toilet seat back on each time - now to be told that this is not worth doing as "it's always loose" has upset Her Next Door somewhat. She feels her efforts have been in vein and that Gran needed only to tell her.

The cesspit also got blocked (again) and poor Gran was accused of flushing too much toilet roll down her toilet. Blaming Gran was due to the fact that between both Him Next Door and J who tend to rectify the cesspit blockages and Her Next Door and me who organise the shopping lists the rest of us are known to be pretty green with our cleaning\washing products and also very careful about what goes down the toilets in the first place. As we haven't had any guests since before Christmas and couldn't blame them, Gran became the natural scapegoat.

This is an urgent matter as I'm sure you can imagine, to help put it in perspective Gran uses her toilet around 80 times a day.

After a few attempts by Him Next Door and J to try and clear the back flow it was decided we needed more rods as they appeared to be a few feet short. This is not by any means the first time we've had a problem, so I am still somewhat at a loss after being here over two years why Him Next Door or J did not think of purchasing enough in the first place, i.e. to be prepared before the next emergency arose! Obviously they never joined the Scout movement.

J and I rushed off to the shops. Not what I had been planning for Saturday morning.

Armed with more rod length the men tried again but after a few more goes decided that the pipe must have collapsed, they said it felt like they were hitting a brick wall. Out came the pick axe and spade, they dug in the place where roughly they deemed the problem to be and had between them decided to break the offending pipe to find the problem.

Her Next Door and I did not think this was one of their best ideas and voted with the telephone. We phoned someone - anyone who would come out on a Saturday afternoon and requested they visit with cameras and jets to diagnose and clear the problem.

With £120.00 ringing in all our ears Him Next Door and J pushed a little harder on the rods and POP, all was well. They believe because they've never had enough length of rods until now this problem had been building up - so to speak.

Him Next Door duly filled in the hole that they had dug to reach the pipe. I came along and saw he'd missed a bit and topped it up with the remaining soil left piled around it. Much neater, lovely and level. I was told in no uncertain terms that the hole was by design, ready to plant a shrub! Doh. I'm also in the dog house - with Gran, again.

Thursday, 7 January 2010

No Milk, No Post & No School

Ummm and no 4x4.

We've been snow ridden for coming up to a week. Being slightly more remote than we had been used to, getting our essentials is not at all guaranteed.

Luckily we have enough oil for a few weeks and loads of logs - so we are keeping warm at least.

J though will start growing horns if he does not have a supply of milk for his coffee. He should really think about an intravenous drip. Perhaps we can go direct to the supplier and milk the cows at the farm next door.

No post = No bills. Sound.

No school, well at least we have childcare 'on site' to help us out a bit (one advantage of multi generational living) and G8 is of course happus iawn. She likes school very much but snow is WOW.

A drawback to working from home though is that unfortunately I can still get into work. Damn. I tried to come up with a convincing excuse; too cold, path much too slippery - but they didn't wash with J. He just turned up the heating and brushed the path. Rotter! I'm considering an Employment Tribunal.

To celebrate the snow J has been building a sledge out of our old kitchen cupboards. He says it's for G8 but we all know the truth. Men never really grow up. We have some wonderful slopes we can walk to in the dam next door. A veritable playground.


Find that inner child.
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