Saturday, 17 January 2009

Spanish and Hawaiian dancers, the death of a much loved shop, a possible house fire...and more!

Current mood:  embarrassed

December 12th 2008
Went to see Allan and Abigale at their school's annual Christmas play.  Allan was a Spanish dancer, and Abigale a Hawaiian dancer.  I did take some really cute photos and movies of them, but due to certain laws I can't upload them to the internet.  I escpecially loved how when Abigale came out on stage she was at the back of the group...but she just got her arms forced her way to the front by shoving all the other kids out of the way.  After all, she just had to be the star, didn't she?  Although she denied it afterwards, of course!
In the coach on the way back from Luxembourg, I'd heard the news on the radio about Woolworths going into administration.  I think I was still too stunned to take it in, but still wanted to go and walk around Woolworths, knowing it would be one of the last times.  So we went back to Greenford, where we had only been a couple of weeks before.  Obviously, they had no new ponies in the massive sale as they hadn't ordered in any new stock.  It was horrible to see everything being turned over and bashed about with nobody showing any sign of sadness whatsoever.  People are so greedy these days, they don't even stop and think about a piece of history dying out, they're only interested in what they can get out of it, and it makes me sick.
December 13th 2008
It was really freezing cold in Grottsville, due to leaving the house with no heating for four days while we were in Luxembourg.  Meanwhile, we knew that the builders over at Woodberry were busily heating their toilet facilities (and doing no work over there) and making us pay the heating bill.  So that was when Mum snapped and wrote Picton a rather rude message regarding her ruined Christmas card and the filthy toilets.
 No-one else I have spoken to has experienced such dirty toilets. These
were bought brand new, so surely it was reasonable to expect our first
sighting of them to be as new - not in such a filthy state. Why have
they used all three, and why did they leave them in such a state? I
don't think the men have been working in our house for long enough to
need to use the loo so often

As for opening our Christmas card, deliberately covering it with tar and
then throwing it back down on the floor. I can't believe it!

Not that the message would help us all that much.  Another weekend was upon us, and we all know our architect/project manager doesn't write at weekends, despite saying he was going to get the builders working at weekends to speed up the process.
It was so cold in this awful house that I could feel myself coming down with yet another nasty cold...right when I was still trying to clear the lounge so that I could get some decorations up for Christmas.  I kept going hot and cold and felt really sick.  I think stress plays a big part in it.  My immune system obviously isn't working right - winter might be bad for colds and coughs, but not this bad!
December 14th 2008
I awoke to find that the central heating had packed up.  Completely.  Yep, the house was only just starting to warm up after Luxembourg, and then the heating goes and packs up completely.  Mum immediately stated that she and I couldn't go out, because it was freezing outside, and we wouldn't be able to warm up once we got back indoors.  Probably right actually, as I was wearing a jumper (unheard of for me - I always have short sleeves indoors, even in winter!) and she was wearing her thermal vest, waistcoat and heavy winter coat...
David, however, went to the tip to get rid of our weekly rubbish (we forgot to put it outside on Thursday night having just come back from Luxembourg), making the house even colder on his way in and out of the front door.
While he was out, we heard this awful noise in the ironing board cupboard.  Of course, the cupboard was so cluttered that we couldn't see what was going on, but I reckoned it was coming from the hot water pipes at the back (probably something to do with the central heating having packed up).  Then I smelled this awful burning smell...  The noise got louder and louder, and soon it was spreading through all the radiators in the house, making the whole place vibrate!  I have to confess Mum and I were scared to death, and she started heaving all her family photos out into the hall, convinced the back of the house was going to burst into flames any second, and we'd have to run.  I must admit that, knowing David had been tinkering about with the boiler earlier that day without really having a clue what he was doing, I was a little worried myself.
By the time David got back the noise had stopped on its own, but I could still smell the burning smell even with my congested nose.  We rang around, but couldn't find anybody willing to come and check it out at a weekend, even if it was an emergency.  So until Monday, we would just have to put up with the falling temperature...
Mum insisted it was too cold to go to bed that night, and we must all sleep on the lounge floor.  I couldn't believe my ears.  No way was I going to sleep on a carpet beetle infested floor that hasn't been hoovered since just before Christmas 2001 (seriously!).  It's bad enough having to sit here all day, every day with insects crawling all over me and whatever I eat.
Mum said she would go to bed if we had a duvet for the communal bed, so I went and looked for the old duvet she and David used to use.  It should still have been in my cot somewhere...  (Can you see now why I get frustrated in this place - time stands still for a couple of decades, and nobody even notices their lives flying by!)  Eventually I found it, but it was covered in dust, more carpet beetles (yes, they are upstairs too - I just rarely find them ON the bed) and glitter.  The latter came from when I held a pony party on the communal bed in summer 2003.
I sadly brought it downstairs, and packed it into a black bag thinking it was beyond saving...but Mum took one look at it and said we could wash it so that it was only a couple of nights we couldn't go to bed.  In the end she went to sleep on the floor and left me sitting here, playing Pokemon on my old Gameboy Colour which I had found while clearing up and became quite addicted to while I was feeling ill with that awful cold.
Eventually, when I was sure she was asleep, I crept up to bed anyway.  It was 4am by this point, so I didn't get to sleep for long, but I don't think it was really all that much colder under my blanket and my old coat (you know the old lady's dog patterned fleece?  I'm currently recycling it as a bed blanket! ) anyway.
December 15th 2008
Having not got much sleep the night before, and still feeling pretty ill, I didn't do all that much on December 15th.  In fact, all I can remember is keep falling asleep.  My parents decided to sort out the other people's presents for Christmas (finally, now that the last postal dates had long passed us by!) so I got them all down from the communal bedroom, and then snoozed for another hour or so on the sofa from the effort of doing that much!  Oh well, considering just getting a seat on a sofa is a luxury to me (even if it a rather old, flattened sofa anyway!), I guess I probably would fall asleep there anyway, let alone when I was feeling as ill as I did.
December 16th 2008
The man didn't show up to fix the boiler.  We waited all day for him, but he never arrived.  At about 4pm, we rang up to complain.  We were told they didn't have any record of us ever having rung them, but they would try to send someone out the next day!
Meanwhile, we were on the verge of getting pneumonia.  David had been to Curry's the night before and bought a little electric heating fan thingemmy, reduced to a third of its original price but it didn't seem to do much good.  I guess that's the reason they were selling them off so cheaply!
Also, until the man had fixed the boiler, I couldn't clear up the lounge by moving all the rubbish into the back room, in case he needed to get in there.  Not to mention my parents kept dumping more and more stuff all over the lounge floor.  So there were still no Christmas decorations to be seen.  I was beginning to wonder if we were going to have a Christmas at all this year; the year when we were supposed to have moved house, and be having our best Christmas yet.
So did the man come to fix the boiler the following day?  Did we have decorations in time for Christmas?  Heck, did a young flying pig smash through the lounge window and make the house even colder?!  To find out the answers to these questions and more, you will just have to return to my blog tomorrow for the next installment of catch-up blogging!



Yours sincerely,
Desirée Skylark  xxx

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