Monday, 1 September 2008

At last!

Current mood:  stressed

Both of my parents are sleeping peacefully, so maybe I can finally get this blog up to date and write some of my messages before bed.  Although I've probably only got an hour or so before I fall asleep myself, so I'd better hurry!  Mind you, I see the last part of My Scene Goes Hollywood has finally been uploaded to Youtube, so I've got to stay awake long enough for that to load...  I hope she's included the credits, unlike the girl who uploaded the Jammin' In Jamaica one.  I'd like to know what studio they were recorded at.  I hope that doesn't sound too weird or anything...I'm sure you're all aware of how strange I am by now!
Right, so today we start with the story of Thursday - the one and only day of our short break that everyone bothered to get up relatively early.  Of course they did; this was the day that was to be entirely spent at the records office.  Well, not entirely.  First we went to Little Chef again, where I had another toasted teacake...and Mum once again snagged my pot of jam for another Christmas present!   We had discussed beforehand that I would have the teacake again, but David still insisted on asking me in front of the waiter, despite the fact he knows I won't open my mouth in front of anybody because of my teeth.  I had been on a knife edge about this orthodontic treatment all the time we were away, and burst into tears.  I went to the bathroom there, hoping to hide any traces of smudged mascara before Mum could see, only to have her noisily shuffle her feet in front of the cubicle door and announce "I'm here - I needed to go myself."  Yeah, right.   Can't she just let me go to a public lavatory on my own?!
So, breakfast eaten, we set off for the records' office.  Mum moaned the entire journey about how David hadn't looked into what proof of identity we needed, and how we wouldn't get in as our National Archive tickets were old and didn't have our photographs on them.
At first, we thought she was going to be proved right.  We parked, and went into the reception area, to see a very stuck-up woman who looked to be in her late 60s, but dressed like she thought she was a lot younger.  Her name was Joan, and I'll warn you now - if you ever go to the Lincolnshire Records Office, do NOT speak to Joan.  And definitely don't get the wrong side of her.  I think that could be lethal.
"I'm not sure if I have enough identity to get in..." David started.  "Did you book in over the phone?" Joan asked, abruptly.  David told her that he had.  "Well, they'll have told you what you need to bring then!" she snapped.  David stammered something about how he hadn't heard them, and started emptying his pockets.  He produced his driving license.  "Well, that's fine for you, but what about these two ladies?" Joan growled.  "I have a driving license for my wife too!" David squeaked, producing the old document that my mum will never use again.  Joan glared at it, and muttered about how she supposed she would have to let Mum in.
"And what about you?" Joan sneered at me.  I was getting quite fed up by this point and just glared back at her.  Maybe I wouldn't be allowed in and could sit outside and guard the bags.  To be honest, I really didn't want to put all my money, the camera, binoculars, and the ponies I had brought along for the journey in a locker marked "Beware - thieves operate in this area."
Then David produced my passport.  "Well, we've got her photograph here, but where's her signature?!" Joan asked, triumphantly.  "How old are you exactly?" She looked me up and down like I was a criminal about to be put in jail.  "Seventeen." I snapped at her, trying not to open my mouth too wide because of my teeth.  "Well, I suppose we can let you in if your parents will take responsibility for you!"  WTH?  A huge argument ensued about how I couldn't get a student pass because I was over fourteen so - oh dear! - I could only get a one month pass without a signature.  Then she gave us tons of documents to fill in!  Mum and I had an argument about which form was to be filled in by whom, but Mum won, saying I "knew nothing because I was sulking."  Sulking?!  Wouldn't you be in a bad mood after what Joan had just put us through?
Of course, it turned out I was right and she was wrong, so when we returned to the desk the b*tchy Joan tore up my documents (which I'd just taken twenty minutes to fill in - that's how many there were!), and gave me yet more forms.  I scribbled down my details, and thrust the new cards into her hands.  "Good enough for you this time?" I asked.  The woman just gave me a stony glare and handed me my pass, announcing again that I could only get in for a month.  Who the heck would want to come back?
Then she gave us ANOTHER lecture about how useless we were.  Surely, we'd been to other records offices before?  Mum told her that yes, we've been to the one in Bury St.Edmunds many times.  "Well, they ask for the same documents."  Actually they don't, as I told Joan.  "Well, they can't keep original douments in the same room as the microfiche then."  Er, but they do...  "Pah, they're obviously being lazy then." Joan sniffed.  I ignored her,  put all my valuables in the "thieves operate here" locker, and walked inside.
So what were they so worried about us stealing?  Drawer upon drawer of microfiche, all of which is in disgusting condition, as these things usually are.  Once you blow it up on the microfiche mahines, you get to see the lovely magnified earwax and snot from the previous users.  Ugh.  That's why I hate going to those places.  But still I spent the day there, with Mum telling me the entire time that I wasn't working well enough, and I was in a fowl mood.  Wouldn't you be with her keep telling you how useless you are, just because you can't find a name that's not there?
By the time we escaped, it was 4.15pm, and there was no time to go elsewhere.  I ended up having an argument about my stolen pots of jam, and have since got one of them back...David didn't have a pot of jam the second day, so it wouldn't have been fair to give John or Madeline a pot extra.  Lucky me, eh?
Hmm, I think that's about it for Thursday...well, unless you want to hear about the disgusting nude people we saw in a parked lorry on the way back, who gave us filthy looks like WE shouldn't be there.  But I'm guessing you don't.
We went bathroom shopping with Chris Picton on Friday.  First we went into Woodberry while he sketched baths, basins, and lavatories on our bathroom floors, to show us the measurements.  He kindly closed the door to show Mum that it wouldn't look claustrophobic as she had feared.  It was then he realised that there are no handles on the doors yet, meaning somebody has to use a special screwdriver from the outside to open them!  Hence, we were all left screaming for help for about ten minutes before one of the builders let us out.  Mum was feeling quite weak by this time, and I don't think it had done anything for her fear of small spaces.
Since Chris doesn't drive, we had to drive him to our chosen bathroom showroom in our filthy car, which was more than a little embarrassing.  And then the trouble began.  We told him exactly what we wanted, he said he could get a 25% discount at this shop...BUT NO, maybe he could get a better discount in another store, where he would look for "similar stuff".  After all, "that's what we're paying him to do."  We'd like to choose our own bathroom furnishings, please!  We're paying you as a project manager, to manage the project and keep the builders in order!  We don't even have to worry about the toilet under the stairs - HE'S already chosen that one!  He "knows exactly what we want" (he also "knows exactly what our kitchen's going to look like", even though he hasn't seen the plan yet!)  There's "only one toilet we could have under the stairs's round, and away from the wall.  That's all we need to know about it."  We saw a toilet there that looked suspiciously like a tumble dryer, and we fear that's what we're getting.  Chris probably thinks it's a "beautiful piece of sculpture", as he kept describing David's chosen basin.

Image deleted by Tinypic before I had the sense to re-upload all my photos to my Photobucket album and update all the links.  I apologise for any inconvenience caused!

Er...maybe it is a nice basin.  But at the end of the day it's a ceramic bowl with a bit of metal sticking out of the front.  Am I missing something here?
We did see the perfect toilet seat and lid for David though...

Images deleted by Tinypic before I had the sense to re-upload all my photos to my Photobucket album and update all the links.  I apologise for any inconvenience caused!

Yep, it's full of barbed wire, razor blades and drawing pins.  Surely even he couldn't want to waste hours in the bathroom sitting on THOSE?!
On the way back to Chris's house, he started going on about wall colours.  Apparently, he wants to choose those too.  We can choose the curtains though.  "Curtains are a very personal thing which will usually take more than six months to choose.  In the meantime, stick with white walls."  Oh, and "all skirting boards and other woodwork must be white or cream."  Sorry, Mr.Picton.  My skirting board are pale pink.  That's been on the drawing board since I was promised a bedroom in this house over eight years ago.
Ooh, the My Scene video has loaded now...I will write about the weekend in a few minutes.  It's getting really late, but I'm determined to at least get this job done tonight.  I seem to have so little time these days!  Be right back!  xxx

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