Saturday, 31 January 2009

Bored?

Current mood:  depressed

Well, you'd better not sit down to read this blog then, as it only covers another four boring days of my recent life.
January 17th 2009
David's bad back prevented us leaving the house once again.  According to my offline diary, nothing happened whatsoever, and I spent another boring day cataloguing ponies and trying to clear the house, getting more and more depressed that we haven't moved house.
I was watching our regular wood pigeon eating an old bread roll someone had dumped in our front garden...when suddenly his friend appeared.  A ratty friend, that is.  The rat had either taken some poison or was very elderly, as it kind of moved slowly over to the bread roll.  Then it mustered all its strength and RAN at the pigeon to scare it off, before crawling into the bag that the bread roll had been packed in.  It was crawling around so slowly that I really thought it was going to die in the bag, but then it moved, clambered up on a wall, took a sip out of a coke can that someone else had dumped in our garden...then once again RAN towards the window, even frightening me (I actually wonder if it had seen me and wanted to scare me off of its territory like the wood pigeon?!)...then it crawled into the corner of our garden - and disappeared.
Now the only place I can imagine it went was THROUGH THE FRONT WALL.  Meaning there are probably rats crawling around just the other side of the lounge wall behind me, between our house and next door.  And that just makes me shiver.  How long until they actually come IN the house, if they're not here already?  We have to move house!  And I don't understand why I'm the only one who really seems to be in a rush to do so.
January 18th 2009
David was finally able to struggle out, so where did we go?  Hoover Tesco.  Exciting, eh?  ALL of the ponies that had been there before had sold apart from one Name on Leg Rainbow Dash.  Yep, my dear little Scootaloo had been sold.  Oh well...  At least it proves that MLPs are still selling well (at least in our area), whatever Hasbro may think.
Then to Woodberry to discuss colours, but we didn't get anywhere because while David had been on the floor with his bad back, Emma Renton's gardening team had assembled the back fence...and put it the wrong way round!


This means that there are two ugly metal strips showing down the central fencepost (as you can clearly see in the photo) AND the chainlink fence is resting on top of the wall at the base, rather than being attached behind the wall (meaning it would be far easier for burglars to get in).
So Mum threw a fit and nothing got done again...
January 19th 2009
Back to Woodberry but Mum got in another bad mood about the ruined garden.  I must admit that the garden IS a mess now that Sickton and Renton have seen that all the top soil be removed, leaving just puddle-covered clay.  And now we don't have any money to fix the garden, that's how it shall stay.  At least if they had left the soil we might have been able to do something.  Now we can't even walk out there, due to all the massive puddles everywhere.
There were no builders at Woodberry whatsoever, despite Sickton saying there were five days work to do at the house, and the work would be done by Friday (This was Monday).  You do the maths.
Then to Ealing Broadway to pick up an Argos catalogue.  My favourite bed is still for sale, thank goodness, and they've started making adult furniture to go with it, which proves the point that it isn't specifically a kids' bed, as my irritating father thought.  Ha, told you so!
Also, because it's no longer being sold as a kids' bed, they're selling it without all the silly pink or blue drawers.


I like the idea of having space beneath to store some of my junk, but I think folding duvets neatly isn't going to be so easy as that picture makes it look.
I see there are only three MLP items in this catalogues - two Ponyville Playsets, and some new So Soft Newborns.  I'm a bit disappointed, but then I guess Hasbro has more or less killed the actual pony range.
Later, we rang Picton to ask why there were still no builders working at Woodberry.  The answer?  "Oh, they're waiting for a kitchen on another job."  What, ALL of them?  Considering NOBODY was around when our kitchen was delivered, and our kitchen STILL hasn't been fully installed?  "Don't worry - they'll be back at work tomorrow."  David was his typical whimpy self on the phone, of course, but Mum and I were fuming when we were told about all of this.
So did they come back to work the next day?
January 20th 2009
We returned to Woodberry, and were greeted by Benny, our Italian carpenter.  He was the ONLY worker in the house.  Our new front door had arrived, and it looks lovely.  At least it will do once it's been rubbed down and painted.  Any ideas for front door colours, since we now know the hall is going to be painted in two-tone pink as my brother-in-law suggested?
Mum got a stomach ache (I think it was brought on by all the stress caused by our lazy architect etc.) so we had to leave pretty quickly.
That night we went to a talk by Save Ealing's Centre at Ealing Town Hall, but it seems we are fighting a losing battle, and most of the awful plans will go through, despite endless letters of complaint to the mayor and the fact we have been supported by English Heritage and other heritage organisations.  I'm sick of it all, I truly am.  By the time I get to live in Ealing, they'll be nothing left of it.  It's just going to look like any other high-rise, overcrowded, miserable part of London.
Oh well, that's my jolly blog for the day.  Feeling less bored now?  Sorry, I did warn you that this blog wasn't going to be of much use for easing your boredom symptoms, didn't I?!
Best wishes,
Desirée Skylark  xxx

Friday, 30 January 2009

Carousel, Aches of all kinds, and a new pony!

Current mood:  content

I've just been through another boring day stuck indoors, so I may as well do a bit more catching up with this blog...
January 13th 2009
Pretty much like today, I didn't leave the house.  So much for my new year's resolution to leave the house every day.  That was my third day stuck indoors.
In the morning, David had been to see Emma Renton (Mad Emma, the landscape gardener), and had agreed to all kinds of things that Mum and I didn't want.  How typical.   He didn't want to, but we convinced him to ring Sickton too...he still refused to ask for a timescale though.  And Sickton started asking what kind of FLOORING we were having of all things!  What's that got to do with him?  WE have to sort out the flooring AFTER he's completed the building work and LEFT. >.<
I had a dreadful headache (which I still have right now actually) I'm sick of all these constant headaches, toothaches, stomach aches and various other aches and pains...I'm sure they're caused by stress, so I just wish we could move house and I could get my life on track. 
January 14th 2009
David spent the day at a "Christmas Party" with his ex-colleagues from an old job.  Yes, I know it's a stupid time to have a Christmas Party, but they think it's a good idea, as people will be less busy by mid-January.  No doubt he bought them all drinks too, while we're so broke that we're surviving on bread and butter and half a tin of tomato soup every day.  After all, we "shouldn't let anybody know about our problems, and must act as normal in public".
In the evening, we went to the Savoy Theatre to see "Carousel".  Now I know what you're all going to say as regards our lack of money vs. buying theatre tickets, but these were bought via a special offer a long while before we knew quite how broke we were going to end up.
It was absolutely BRILLIANT - even Mum says she enjoyed it, which is compliment indeed.   In fact, the only performer who wasn't all that good was Lesley Garrett, a singer both Mum and I adore, and one of the main reasons I wanted to see the show.  However, I don't think she's particularly good at singing that kind of music.
David bought a programme which highly annoyed Mum and I (He's still living like we're rich or something!)...and especially since he bought the more expensive programme which is a con anyway, because it's filled with pretty pictures, and has nothing about the actual cast, crew or show.  In the intermission, David got up and actually had the nerve to ask if he could change the book for the cheaper one, but didn't get anywhere, of course!
I recorded the whole thing on my digital camera again.  (Shh! Don't tell on me!)  It's a lot clearer than my previous recordings - my new coat is much better for hiding the flashing "record" light in my pocket than that old fleece jacket - although still nowhere near perfect, of course.  Anyways, if anyone wants something from the show, request away and I'll send you a WAV or MP3 file.
The show was a temporary escape from reality, but Chris Sickton was ignoring our e-mail again, so I was stressed out and it wasn't long before my head went back to Woodberry...
January 15th 2009
I came downstairs to find Mum sitting in the dark, curtains still closed (she can't open them herself), and David lying flat on his back on the floor.  "Oh God, what now?!" I asked.  It soon transpired that my father had hurt his back whilst trying to go to bed (aka the sofa).  Mum has told a rather funny story to everyone she knows that "David hurt his back lifting a packing crate out of the way, so that she could hoover beneath it".  Now most of you already know this place hasn't seen a vacuum cleaner (well, apart from that half hearted cleaning job David did just before Christmas last year) since December 2000.  Not to mention I'm the only one who has been attempting to do any kind of clearing up or packing for the move, and I have next to no boxes.  THEIR stuff is still loose all over the floor that I desperately tried to clear before Christmas.  So what was the real story?  Read on.
Kind of hard to describe, but you know how David sleeps sitting upright on the one and only clear seat on the sofa, between piles of Mum's junk?  Well, her magazines/catalogues, have spread to the floor now too, and there was a pile of them about a foot in front of the sofa.  So David stepped into the space, and tried to twist to propel himself onto the sofa (this is our nightly routine, you understand!), but this time he twisted his back.  So now he could hardly move.
And what has become of the heap of catalogues, you ask?  Did they get sorted through, or cleared up?  No, of course not!  Well, I can't really say that.  "Mum's Space" has been cleared up...and they have been moved out into "my space" on the floor, giving me even less room to move while I sit here with the computer all day getting worse and worse backache and eye strain.  They're literally two feet in front of me now.  And if you don't believe me, I can take a photo to prove it.  Believe me now?  Good.  I don't think you really wanted to see our messy floor!
Anyways, with David unable to move, due to a combination of us not having moved house, and Mum's junk being in the way, I was unable to get out of the house AGAIN!  So I spent the day washing/cataloguing/photographing ponies, and trying to track down more stuff to sell.  I had to make over £30 before I could spend any more on ponies whatsoever.  Mind you, I'm starting to wonder why I collect these things.  Upon picking up my Tangerine Twinkle for her washing/cataloguing/photographing session, I discovered some kind of fungus had formed in her hooves.  She and Dance Slippers were standing on top of an old till receipt (don't ask why we still had it, we just did!  This is our house in Grottsville, remember?).  The tille receipt had turned a weird black colour on one side, and whatever it was seemed to have spread into the ponies' feet.  Dance Slippers was wearing her ballet slippers, so she's okay, but her slippers have yellowed badly.   And again, that's all because we aren't moved, because we should have moved back when I BOUGHT those ponies (back in 2007), or at least soon after, and then they would have been on shelves, instead of a rotten till receipt.  I'm so upset right now, as Tangerine Twinkle was one of my favourite G3s, and I reckon she's just going to rot away now.  The fungus is growing INSIDE the plastic, so there's no way I could clean it off with the best cleaners in the world.  I'm almost tempted to amputate her back hooves just to save her.  (Joking!  You all know I wouldn't do that!)  Poor girl - does anyone have any sensible suggestions for saving her?
January 16th 2009
Despite his bad back, David struggled to drive us to Hoover Tesco to buy some necessary shopping.  He stayed in the car, of course.  And that's when we discovered just how blind (and deaf!) Mum is now.
First off, I practically had to drag her around the entire shop, because she couldn't see where she was going.  And then when we got to the checkout, the bloke asked her if she had a clubcard (Actually, he was obviously confused too, as what he said was, "Do you have a NECTAR card, Madam?" A SAINSBURY'S clubcard, that is, not the TESCO one! )  Anyways, Mum's answer?  "More money?  Here!"  And there she was desperately trying to hand him another £5 note.  He just stood there and stared at her, and I just looked on in shock and horror for what seemed like an eternity.  Then I pushed her money back and whispered at her, "He's asking for a CLUBCARD, not MONEY!"  "Oh, a clubcard!  No, sorry, I don't have one of those!" She said, putting the cash back in her purse.  Finally, the correct answer!  Phew!  Obviously as embarrassed as both of us, the cashier said to me as I left, "That's a really nice coat you're wearing..." Looking for something nice to say, I guess.  But I'm not good at talking to men (or anyone, but especially men) at the best of times; a combination of hating my teeth, and the fact that I just generally don't get on with the male human population.   So I kind of looked at him, for what seemed like an eternity (again!), and then stammered a horridly awkward "Thank you!" in my typical squeaky, Canadian accent which I always go into whenever I'm embarrassed.  (I guess I really should quit the voice acting for a while, eh?!)  He looked at me like I was even madder than my mother, and I went on my way as quickly as possible.
I wish I didn't have to go back there again, but that's our main supermarket!
Oh, and I just have to show you a photo of part of our, um, "shopping"...


I know I shouldn't have really bought her, but I'd been feeling so down, and I DID have quite a few sales lined up on the Arena, so I figured I could pay off for her.  Scootaloo was there too, but I left her there.  I really couldn't afford more than one pony, and having missed a few editions of Cheerilee from other sets, I thought it was best to buy her.
The one good thing about not being able to afford every pony like I used to do is that I really appreciate the ones I do add to my herd.  Isn't she pretty?
Right, I'm off to bed.  I hope my catch up blogging hasn't bored you too much?  Great, then you'll be back tomorrow for the story of the next four days!!!
Best wishes,
Desirée Skylark  xxx

Thursday, 29 January 2009

More Random Writings

Current mood:  stressed

I will catch up with this blog, I will catch up with this blog, I will...
Even if I bore you all to sleep in the process!
January 9th 2009
Went to Woodberry to look at yet more colours, but didn't get very far because Mum wasn't in a very good mood.
Then to Hoover Tesco on the way back to buy frozen chips and cheesy pancakes for dinner.  Made a nice change as most days Mum and I have been trying to save money by eating one can of tomato soup between us.
In the evening, Sickton e-mailed with a bill for fixing the fireplace (the one his builders broke whilst not being supervised).  Why should WE pay for the fireplace THEY damaged?  But we didn't want to delay things further (HA!  Delay things further?  The builders weren't even at the house as usual! >.<), so we decided not to respond until we'd got the other work in progress.  Surely, Sickton can't seriously think we'll pay for the damage they caused?!  We haven't got enough money to do so, even if it was our responsibility...
January 10th 2009
Didn't leave the house, because David found out he had lost his car keys.  Well, the car he hires, that is.  Meaning that if we couldn't find them, we would be charged for their replacement, of course.  And we couldn't find them, despite searching all day.
Oh, and we got a nice letter in the post, telling David he'd missed the deadline for getting his tax forms sent in, meaning we had a £1000 charge!   How are we ever going to pay that?
Mum was obviously addled by all the stress of the fireplace bill, lost car keys, tax charge, and not being able to find any colours etc.  I knew she'd put the dinner on at some point, but she didn't tell me what time it was ready so I couldn't give her my usual reminder.  All of a sudden, I smelled this awful burning smell.
But by the time I got out in the kitchen it was too late.  The potatoes had boiled dry, and become stuck to the bottom of the saucepan, which in turn had become fused to the potatoes and...   As a result, the saucepan had to be thrown away, and we had no dinner.
The AA wouldn't come to the house, despite David still paying to be a member.  (There was some rather dodgy small print).  So we had to pay £15 to get another firm out, to tow the car all the way to the hire company's Heathrow depot because the local branch was shut (It was Sunday) and then there was a further £75 charge for the keys.
Wonderful day, huh?
January 11th 2009
Went to Woodberry - again!  Agh, have we been anywhere but Woodberry and Homebase this year?  Once again, it just turned into further arguments and silliness between my parents.  According to my offline diary, we went to Asda on our way back, although I can't remember why, or what we bought.
"Dancing On Ice" returned to ITV1, and for the first time ever, we had a good enough TV for me to actually see it!  Sadly, this year there's nobody in it who I particularly like anyway, so...  Just about sums up my luck!
David got in a bad mood that I dared to want to watch it though, because Agatha Christie's Poirot was on the other side.  Ugh, I wish we still had the TV where we could record one side and watch the other.  Dancing On Ice is one of the only programmes I watch every year, and Poirot is only endless repeats anyway.  In fact, David has them all on VHS tape somewhere, so I'm not sure why he had to complain quite so much as he did.
January 12th 2009
Back to Woodberry again, in order to catch a parcel.  Sickton might think we shouldn't have any furniture delivered four months after we should be living there anyway, but we weren't going to miss out on all the January sales, so Mum bought some bookshelves from her favourite catalogue.
David started being horrible to both of us in the evening.  I know he's stressed too, but that's no excuse for snapping at us about how we might not be able to move now due to bankruptcy.  My whole life depends on getting out of here.  An argument ensued, during which David announced he thought I was still being home educated until he lost his job last August.  WTH?  Considering he never bought me any school books, and we have such awfully slow dial-up that I can't even access a lot of websites on here, not to mention I don't have a printer anyway.  And since Mum walked out of school before her 14th birthday, what does he think she was teaching me?  Just shows how much interest he shows in his daughter though, doesn't it?  It feels weird that you, the readers of my blog, know more about me than my own parents.
I washed and photographed a load of duplicate Keypers I've had for years and years, hoping to bring in a little bit of money.  I feel bad selling them, but I'm not going to let those little eyes give me that pleading look anymore.  They're not real creatures, just plastic toys.  Right?  RIGHT?!  Ugh, I don't think I'd ever be able to sell a MLP though.  I just cannot bear to part with them, even if I buy them specifically for that purpose.
Well, I will leave it there for now.  At the rate I'm writing, I should have caught up with my blog by February 4th, I think!  I still have loads of e-mails to write to people though.  And I just got a little message in the corner of the screen to say Bonnie had written.  But I already owed her a letter!  Sorry, Bonnie!  I just don't know where the time goes these days. 
Best wishes,
Desirée Skylark   xxx

Wednesday, 28 January 2009

Woodberry, Woodberry, and more about Woodberry...

Current mood:  impatient

Four more days of my life...
January 5th 2009
Went to Hobbycraft, but couldn't find the Crayola diary there either.  So I decided to save some money and use an old diary I got for Christmas years and years ago, but never used.  It came with a special pen that wrote in ink that could only be read in ultra-violet light.  But the pen dried up by the following year (when I needed a new diary, having used a different one the year before), so I never used the book, always thinking I'd buy a new pen somewhere.  But now I'm just using it with ordinary gel pens.  Oh well.
I did buy a little snowman ornament in Hobbycraft, reduced to 29p.  He's made in the same style as Mum's Easter chicken collection.  They had other ornaments the same (Santa and a christmas tree are the ones I remember off hand), but I decided not to waste money on more than one.
Then we drove to Woodberry, but Mum and I didn't go in because we saw the silhouette of someone we thought was P*ss Sickton, and knew that if we came face to face with him after the way he'd treated us all over the holidays (I'll get back to that in a minute), we'd start yelling and swearing at him.  David went in and discovered it was actually the carpenter though...who didn't appear to be doing anything anyway.  So maybe he is the phantom junk food-eater, and toilet-user?!
Now back to the Picton business which I forgot to mention before.  You know that fireplace Mum and I wanted to keep but the builders destroyed, having apparently never been told we wanted to keep it?  Well, the copper grate to go with it is missing.  We reckon Picton probably stole it after the fireplace got smashed, probably hoping we'd think it was worthless without the (irreplaceable) old grate, and give up on getting it fixed or asking for any compensation.  We keep asking him about the grate, and he says he "took it away to look after it at the same time as the chandeliers (the ones he was storing in his own house, until we found them in Woodberry's loft being bashed around while work was being carried out.  Then they disappeared, and mysteriously returned after we complained...) but now he can't find it anywhere." (Surprise, surprise! )  He told us he'd let us know if he'd found it before the holidays...but he didn't, completely ignoring our questions about it.  Mum was distraught, and even wrote on Christmas day (part of the reason she was in such a bad mood) to say she was worried about the grate, and ask if he'd found it.  But no answer whatsover.
Anyhow, back to the story at hand...
January 6th 2009
I sold two duplicate MLP videos for £4!  Might not be much, but "every little helps", as the Tesco commercials used to say!
Went to Woodberry, where we saw the shower in its correct room for the first time.  Mum HATES it; she says it ruins the room and David shouldn't need such a big shower.  The only problem I can really see with it is that the dark blue "Mermaid" backing on the wall sticks out beyond the shower unit, and makes choosing a colour for the rest of the walls rather difficult.  After all, you can't really have a dark blue all over the room, and it would probably clash anyway.
I should add the shower hadn't been assembled.  The Italian carpenter, Benny, just kindly held it up for Mum to look at since she was having a hard time visualising it and choosing colours.  I felt a bit sorry for him when she threw a fit and went storming around the house, shouting and swearing until David and I had to follow and leave...
In the evening, we took all the Christmas decorations down.  They've gone into the storage depot until we move house to try to avoid the carpet beetles getting in with them and being transported to Woodberry.  It's awful here - all our stuff is crawling with insects.  The only way we can think of to stop them travelling with us is to re-pack EVERYTHING and take it straight to the depot, and leave it in quarantine for a while if you like.
January 7th 2009
Went to Woodberry to meet P*ss Sickton.  We were with him for about an hour despite him saying he only had 30 minutes before he had to dash off to another meeting.  Strange how he could put off meeting the other (probably fictional) person while he spoke about how much we owed him, isn't it?  It was just the actual work he didn't want to discuss.  He was trying to charge us for all "the alterations that we had made" (for instance, where he put radiators in the wrong place and then had to move them ).
Then, just when he did decide to dash off and meet his other (I reckon non existant) client, "Mad Emma" the bird-hating landscape gardener/Sickton's friend showed up, and told us (once again!) just how ill she felt and that she "hadn't been well since she was 15 or 16", then went BOUNCING into the kitchen and out to the garden.  God, she is seriously odd in so many ways.  Was it a coincidence that she showed up just then?  I think not.  Picton knows we can't afford to get the garden done now, and has probably guessed we don't like Renton's designs anyway, so I reckon he called her in when he knew she'd be able to catch us.
Anyhow, I don't think she's such great friends with Picton after all, as she started telling us all his business right there in front of him, which he quite obviously didn't want us to know.  You know his "wonderful 18-year-old young lady"?  The one who wants to be a vet and couldn't pass her exams, but it's not because she's stupid or couldn't be bothered to study, it's because they didn't mark her properly?  The one who I then saw walking down the stairs in his house wearing the most horrid revealing clothes and thick make-up, and thought "Ugh, she looks like a load of trouble if ever I saw it"?  Well, looks like I was right.  She ran away on Boxing Day and couldn't be found for four days.  Well, good.  I'm glad Sickton had a few days of stress over the holidays.  He certainly ruined ours, so he got just what he deserves.  It's a shame she showed up at all really, as she was busily flouncing up and down the road all the time we were there and making me feel totally sick.  For goodness sake, it's the middle of winter!  Put some clothes on before you freeze to death!
The best bit was when we left the house after talking to Renton, and saw Sickton leaving his house (so much for having talking with another client! ) and this horrible semi-nude figure goes bounding up to him and hugging him and making a huge show for...well, I can only presume for us, since we were the only people in the road.  "Hello, Sweetheart!" He says, and kisses her forehead.  All this straight after she ran away?  Very, very strange indeed.  It was just like a very badly acted play, so I walked out of the theatre and got in the car!
By the time we got back, having had to see Renton as well, it was too late for me to get to my orthodontic appointment again.  Just as well, as I really don't want to add surgery to my stress before we move house.  But at this rate, I'll lose my chance to get the free treatment if I don't go through with it while we're still in Grottsville.
January 8th 2009
Went to Woodberry again to measure up for my pony shelves.  When we got back, we found that Sickton had e-mailed to say he'd found a beautiful Edwardian door, just like the ones that used to be in that street, so Mum was very pleased.  It came from a salvage yard, but we could get it delivered to the house the following Monday.
However, with Sickton being helpful for once in his life, DAVID decided to cause trouble, and replied to him rather rudely asking if he'd even thought about double glazing and how cold it would be in the hall without it.  Er, but we've been talking about an original Edwardian door all along.  Why didn't you voice your concerns before now?!  I just don't get men - why can't they just learn to be polite once in a while?
I had the start of yet another cold, but then that was only to be expected since Mum had been suffering from one for several days, and it's hard not to catch a cold from someone you have to sleep next to in bed.  Echinacea really does work wonders though, and by just taking a couple of tablets each morning, that cold never really developed as I recall.
Anyways, I shall go now.  Otherwise, I'll never get all my messages written, and everyone will think I'm ignoring them again!
Best wishes,
Desirée Skylark   xxx

Tuesday, 27 January 2009

2009 - A Happy New Year?

Current mood:  tired

So I hope this year has been a happy one for all of you so far?  With all the financial troubles in the world right now, I know an awful lot of my friends are unemployed and struggling to find a source of income.  Something will turn up for all of you soon enough, I'm sure.  My Grandma often used to say, "One door closes and another door opens", and I'm a great believer of that.  She always made a big thing of New Year too, which kind of ties in with the quote above, considering her tradition of opening the back door to "let the old year out" and then run to the front door "to let the new year in".  Then she'd usually end up dancing and chatting to all the neighbours in the street well into the early hours.
Well, I wouldn't dare do that in this street.  While letting the old year out the back door, I'd probably let a rat IN, and letting the new year in through the front door could end up with me being knocked OUT by a flying glass bottle thrown by one of the passing drunkards.
However, as I watched the London fireworks display on TV (and laughed at one of the presenters who had chosen to wear a ridiculously low-cut dress and was obviously suffering for her stupidity! ), I thought of Grandma's old sayings and traditions, and hoped with all my heart as Big Ben chimed that the closing 2008 "door" would lock away all of our bad luck forever, and the opening 2009 "door" had a golden light hidden behind, leading us away from the horrors to our new lives...
All right, so I know what you're all thinking; that was one of the most stupid, confusing blogs she's ever written.  But we haven't even begun the actual blog yet!  That was just the prologue!  Will 2009 really be a better year for us?  Read on...you know you want to really!
January 1st 2009
Went to Woodberry to look at colours.  We discovered that somebody had been in there since our last visit, despite Sickton saying nobody would do any work over the holidays.  Well, actually that was no lie.  They hadn't done any work.  However, the toilets under the stairs had been used once again (and left in an even worse condition), a toffee wrapper had been dropped in the hall, and the remains of a very smelly (meat) fast food meal had been left decaying in my bedroom.  Being the strict vegetarian that I am, that made me feel thoroughly sick, so I got David to move it out on to the landing.


Not to mention all the cigarette ash on both our new front wall and at the top of the loft staircase.  And who had been in there during the holidays anyway?  Well, A big toolbox had been removed from the bathroom under the stairs, so I take it one of the builders had popped in there to collect their tools for another job, even though they were on holiday.
I did finally manage to settle on colours for the walls and woodwork in my bedroom though.  The photos below don't really show the colours very well.  I know the purple walls are Dulux "Gentle Lavender" if anyone wants to look it up and give me their opinions.  The pink isn't a mainstream colour and doesn't have a name, just a number in Wig Woman's colour chart.


Now I just needed to find a blue for the ceiling, because "Meadowbrook" had come up way too dark...
January 2nd 2009
Back to Woodberry to look at more colours, and then to Homebase to buy light switches and electrical sockets.  One problem - David discovered we were totally out of money, we'd even spent our overdraft, so I ended up paying £60 towards the stuff myself, and Mum ended up paying a lot too.  David says he'll pay us back when he has the money.  Well, when will that be?  On top of everything else, he is still continuing to buy Mills & Boon!
Then to Tesco, where I had to pay for our dinner - a bag of frozen chips between all three of us.  I couldn't really afford anything to go with them.  What can I do?  While I'm stuck in this area where I won't leave the house alone, I can't even try to get a little job, David's interviews don't seem to be coming to anything...  I got really down thinking about my future.  How will I ever get an education if I can't even afford a box of cheesy pancakes?!  Let alone extra drama classes and singing lessons.
January 3rd 2009
Didn't leave the house - so much for my New Year's Resolution (which has been the same three years running, by the way) that I would leave the house every single day.  It's a bit hard in this area with no independence.
David (the broke one) took off to the internet cafe for FOUR HOURS (That's £4 - or over three boxes of Cheesy Pancakes!) to order more books.  His reasoning?  "I need to keep the seller happy until I've got the  money to pay her!"  Basically, he's avoiding paying his e-Bay debts by telling the seller that he's bidding on more auctions, and he wants to pay it all in one go.   I was so mad when he said that.  I hadn't bought a pony for myself since the Ponycon, despite missing out on tons of collections being sold off cheaply on the Arena the last few months.  And then he goes and drops a load more money on romantic novels.
I spent most of the day washing and photographing more ponies, but what's the point when their shelves are not ready for them?  They're just sitting around gathering dust again, and my hands are so sore from washing and curling seemingly endless synthetic hair!
January 4th 2009
Went to Hayes TRU, but were unable to find a Crayola diary, like the one I had in 2007/2008.  So I was still unable to start an offline diary.  I know it sounds silly using a kids' Crayola diary, but they're really good quality without so much space that I have to write tons, but I can make important notes to refer back to.  Not to mention the padlock which just makes me feel a little safer when it comes to certain people and their nosiness!
We did, however, find a very special little pony - October Dreams!  Now I just need July Jubilee to complete my Birthstone set.  Yes, I'm ashamed to say I did buy her with a little cash I'd hidden in a secret compartment in my purse.  She was reduced to £4, and since the Birthstone Ponies were never officially released in this country, I thought it best to snap her up while I saw her.  Although there was a big palava at the checkout with me having to squeeze past a trolley and rush back to the pony shelf to get a different pony scanned, as the barcode wasn't working.
Mum wasn't best pleased, sitting in the car, because we were supposed to be at Woodberry for a set time to meet Emma and family who were coming to help her with colours.  As it was, we weren't late (in fact, we were early!), but Mum had stressed me all the way there.
Abigale was disappointed that our house wasn't completed yet, remembering that I'd said we'd be moving long before Christmas.  When Mum asked her what she thought of the house, and if she liked it, she replied, "No.  There aren't any ponies here!  Where are the ponies?  I want to see the ponies!"  I have her well-trained, see?   She'd brought along her Starcatcher and one of the Woolworths fakies that I gave her for Christmas to "meet my ponies" so that "our ponies could be best friends like she and I are."  Isn't that just adorable?  I'm glad I had October Dreams and my "daily pony" lucky charm, Backstroke, in my bag though, because I think she would have been seriously disappointed otherwise.  I actually fear for the likes of my Thailand Tornado and G1 prototypes when we are living there though!
All the kids really enjoyed running about the house though, Gabriella being pushed everywhere by Allan.  Then they started acting crazier and crazier.  The builders had left some huge planks of wood from another job in our front room, and the kids began waving them around, hitting the ceiling, and aiming them at me.  In fact, I have two films of the kids vandalising the place...er, I mean playing.  Both end with me shouting, "No, no, no!  Stop, please!" and are absolutely hilarious to watch.  God, I wish I could upload movies on here!  The first one shows Allan and Kizzy building a "car" out of the wood in the front room, then I spin the camera around to see Abigale holding a big spotlight that the painters were using, about to dip it (and her hand) in a can of white paint.  Then comes the first "No, no, no!  Stop, please!"  Then the next video.  The kids are playing see-saws with the ponies on the planks of wood.  Then it gets a little crazy with Allan and Abigale catapoulting the ponies high into the air by stamping on the end of the wooden planks...  A pony almost hits Gabriella in her pushchair in the hall, so I go to retrieve it.  When I turn the camera around again, I see all four kids waving these long poles in the air, banging the ceiling and walking slowly towards me like a team of zombies.  "No, no, no!  Stop, please!" I scream, and the video cuts off as Nick yells at the kids to stop whatever they're doing.
So off we go to join a "racing track" and run round and round the kitchen, extension and family history room, with Allan telling me and the girls when to "walk" and "run".  Oh, and I had great fun watching Allan as Indiana Jones trapping some kind of lion on his Lego Nintendo DS game.
In my unofficial babysitting job, I actually never got to hear any of the colour discussion, but Nick did pick out some lovely colours for the hall, which Mum has now just about settled on.
In the evening, I took my last gift from the tree...German Baby Glory, a great friend for my German Baby Moondancer!  (The little things around her were the other pony items I got off of the tree the days before)


So we have the "City Kids" blouse, Sundance's bridle (mentioned in a previous blog), a really cute G3 hair bobble (not sure where it came from, but it looks like it dates from about 2003, and the pony looks like Sweet Summertime, so I'm guessing it's a European thing since she wasn't available in the US at that point) and Rollerskating Melody's headphones and portable stereo set!
Anyways, it's very late, so I shall dash off now.
*Hugs hugs*
Desirée Skylark   xxx

Monday, 26 January 2009

Good Riddance to Bad Rubbish!

Current mood:  hopeful

"Bad Rubbish" being the year 2008 which was supposed to be so good to us.  Well, it wasn't.  So I was only too happy to see the back of it, and welcome in 2009...which surely will be a better year?!
December 29th 2008
We went to Hounslow to look around more sales.  I managed to get a half price guinea pig calendar.  Even if I can't have guinea pigs, I refuse to give up my guinea pig calendar!
We didn't get anything else there.  Mum fell in love with some dog-patterned hot water bottle covers but we couldn't really afford anything.  I said I'd get one for her as a late Christmas gift, but she reminded me that Christmas hadn't happened for her, so I wasn't allowed to get her anything.
I hated seeing Woolworths in such a state.  People were just so rude, turning the place over and stealing whatever was left, despite the fact most things were only 10p or so.  They'd dug all kinds of really old toys out of the stock rooms, but there were no ponies there.  Just as well, because I imagine they would have been destroyed.  There was a Care Bear Cousin Loyal Heart Dog beanie there...but he's had his head ripped off.  WTH?  The people rummaging around in that shop were just awful.
You can see the crowds in this photo, but you couldn't imagine the un-civilised way everybody was acting.


And that was to be my very last memory of Woolworths.  What a sad, sad place this country has become.
In the evening, I photographed all of my 2003 ponies - the first of my G3s.  Almost there now!  Maybe soon I'll actually know exactly how many different MLPs I have in my collection...  I'm guessing it's about 1200-1250, but I could be way off.
December 30th 2008
We drove to Chiswick to take a look in the shop Mum had heard sold her favourite bird wallpaper.  We'd decided to order that paper from the actual company that makes it though, so we were really only going to look and see if they made another design that Mum liked for the loft landing wall.
But the shop was shut over the holidays - great.  How many shops actually shut for three weeks in a row?!  And it had taken us ages to actually find the shop, meaning we'd frozen half to death.  I have never understood why the rich and famous love Chiswick so much.  It's ALWAYS cold there, even in the summer, I swear.  Not to mention the shops there are total rubbish as a general rule.  I couldn't even get any Weetaflakes in the supermarket there.
But it was probably for the better that the shop was shut.  When we returned to Grottsville we found that Sickton had e-mailed us, telling us that if we dared to have anything like furniture or wallpaper delivered to our own house (the house we should have been living in for three months at that point!), he would "charge us for inconveniencing his builders".  Um, what builders?  They weren't doing any work, just visiting to use the toilets (and, by the way, they still didn't know the meaning of the word "flush", it would appear ) occasionally.
I opened one of the little gifts my parents had put on the tree for me to cheer myself up, despite swearing I'd save them all for Twelth night this year.  It was Sundance's felt bridle!  Mum bought it for 20p at the Convention apparently.  Now I just need to get Baby Sundance's bridle to complete my original Sundance sets.
December 31st 2008
Didn't leave the house.  I got up at goodness only knows what time to make sure I could get my parents "on the Grottsville conveyer belt" (in other words, Mum out of the communal bed and into the bathroom, and David off of the sofa and on to the communal bed to wait for the bathroom!), so that I could record the episode of "Psych" I had been waiting for on Hallmark.  Louisa watched them filming part of that episode, where the two stars are walking along by the seafront, and looking closely I reckon I did indeed see you.  On the grass with all those sunbathers, right?  Or maybe I was just imagining things.
I really recorded it for Shane's guest appearance though, and I definitely saw him, even if he was only on screen for about four minutes total, and only had three lines, I think.  Oh well, better than nothing anyway - always worth getting out of bed early even if only for three lines!  So tell me, when is "Intelligence" coming back now that I have access to Hallmark? 
Mind you, I didn't even get a chance to watch that one episode of Psych for days after recording it, due to having so little space of my own around here.  So who knows how long it would take to watch a whole TV series like "Intelligence"?  I would like to get a VHS recording of the first season now though, now that my disc drive has packed up and rendered my $60 DVD totally useless.
I don't think there's really much else to say about 2008.  I saw in the New Year by watching the fireworks on TV.  At least I could see them this year now that the television has been fixed, so that's got to be one improvement at least!
Anyways, I shall leave you now, as Mum is getting annoyed that I'm not letting her go to bed.  Agh, if only we could move house, and all of us could go to bed when we wanted to do so.
See you all tomorrow with the first installment of "2009: The Blog Catch-Up!"  (Sounds like something out of Star Wars, doesn't it?!  Oh well, I must add a disclaimer here and let you know that nothing of excitement to sci-fi fans has happened during the last few weeks.  Hence, if you return, it must be based on wanting to know the story of Desirée Skylark and not Darth Vader, otherwise you will be severely disappointed, and no refunds or compensation will be given! )
Best wishes,
Desirée Skylark  xxx