Monday, 19 January 2009

Useless workmen, talking to a good friend, broken mugs, and goodbye to... the Easter chickens?!

Current mood:  determined

Excuse the confusing title.  Welcome to another four days of my confusing life!
December 17th 2008
Due to the low temperature, we still couldn't leave the house.  And, of course, I couldn't do any clearing up for the decorations again because the man still hadn't come to fix the boiler.  So most of the day was wasted online or messing about with Pokemon on my Gameboy Colour again.
The bloke finally came to fix the boiler in the late afternoon, and announced that (because he was late) he didn't have much time for us.  He figured out that the problem was with the pump...but was unable to locate the pump within the time he was here, despite David quickly ripping up several floorboards.  "Call me back when you find it."  We were told, "It's my job to FIX it, not to FIND it."  We had found it within five minutes of him leaving the house - that was such a hard job, wasn't it?  But, due to the man's laziness and lack of time for us (which I think was disgusting, considering THEY hadn neglected to make a note of us the day before, and had already left us in the cold for 24 hours longer than necessary), we just had to continue shivering until he could return....  I have never known such a useless, lazy, bad tempered workman.  Seriously.
December 18th 2008
Having phoned the evening before to report the finding of the pump, the bad tempered workman returned...but "didn't have time to fix the boiler".   He did get the hot water working again, but that was about it.  Still, I was relieved to at least be able to wash in the mornings again!
In desperation, I began clearing all the clutter from the lounge into the library...only to find David moving more and more clutter from the back room into the lounge, trying to make it clearer for when the man returned to fix the boiler a third time.  When suddenly...SMASH!  David came in and started spitting at Mum about how it was her fault.  Um, what was her fault?  Well, David had picked up a box containing her entire collection of mugs, which had been brought back from my Grandparents' house over three years ago, and have been standing in the back room doorway ever since.  Well, you can guess what had happened.  The tape from the bottom of the box had become brittle over the past few summers, and all the mugs (which had only been wrapped in carrier bags, as we'd run out of bubble wrap by that point in the house clearance) had fallen out all over the hall floor.
Four were smashed, one of which happened to be her very first one (1968 Investiture of Prince Charles).  She was really upset because she remembers her dad buying it for her, and standing all her pencils in it in her bedroom.  I really don't understand why it was her fault David broke it, but even if it had been, why come and shout at her like that?  She's kept the pieces, but it's not really the same, is it?
December 19th 2008
Well, despite it still being freezing cold here in Grottsville with no central heating, we had to venture out of the house, because I had promised Caroline that I would meet her at Brent Cross TRU. 
I sent David back to Matalan in the morning to pick up another one of those MLP torches (a Rainbow Dash one, darling! ) because I was determined to take something for Caroline, even if it wasn't all that much.
As it happened, we had a big argument over whether Mum would stay in Grottsville, so that we could at least keep the electric fire on, but in the end she decided to change her clothes and come along to look at possible Christmas gifts for Emma's kids.  By the time all of this had happened, we were almost an hour late...so poor Caroline must have been standing at the gate for quite a while by the time I finally got there.
We spent a good couple of hours just hanging out around the shop, looking at all the stuff for sale there (although I'm sure the staff thought we had some more sinister intentions as they kept on coming up and asking us if we were all right and giving us funny looks!), and just generally chatting about random stuff like toy ponies and voices in animation - you know, like all us normal people do!   Honestly though, it was good to just chat to somebody outside of this house for a change...and somebody who knows so much about me, and has been such a huge support to me the past two years.  So thanks for that, Caroline.
It was great to see her again before she had to go back to the US, but I was so sad when it came to saying goodbye.  I will simply have to find a way to Vancouver for your special day next year, Caroline...  I'm already plotting how to raise the cash as soon as we move house. *Pony hugs*
That evening I finally got Mum to lend a helping hand towards getting those decorations up...her job?  Well, together we put the Easter chickens away!  Yes, truly.  Our Easter chickens had been on the mantelpiece ever since...well, Easter, of course.  How absurd is that?  Maybe now people will start to understand what I mean when I say nothing ever gets done in this household!
Chris Sickton e-mailed us...  I haven't got an exact quote of his message on hand, but basically following further e-mail arguments re: dirty lavatories and ruined Christmas cards, he announced he was terminating our contract.
Ten minutes later he wrote to us again about something general to do with the house works, with no mention of the terminated contract.  WTH?  Please just make up your mind! 
December 20th 2008
Having decided it wasn't that much colder when we returned to Grottsville, Mum allowed us all to start leaving the prison - sorry, I mean house - again.  So we went to the fascinating Tesco and Sainsburys to buy our usual Christmas treats (a chocolate yule log, packet of fruit cake slices, and two packets of chocolate bisuits on a BOGOF offer).  We also got a little pot of sliced papaya in pineapple juice.  I had no idea they still sold papaya that way.  Years ago, I always used to have a tin of mixed fruit for dessert every day (peaches, grapes and papaya), but when that company packed up, I stopped eating dessert.  The papaya was pretty expensive though (just over £1 a pot, I think...it does last two days though), so I'll still only be getting it as a treat on my birthday and Christmas etc.
Then back to Brent Cross TRU.  Mum had now checked with Emma that the kids didn't have the toys she'd seen the day before, so we went back toget our Christmas jobs done (finally).  It's lucky we did go that night actually, as everything seemed to be selling out fast.  I also picked out some cheap Ponyville sets for myself for Christmas (good surprises, eh?), although we had huge trouble at the checkout when not only did the ponies not show up as being reduced, but there was also a massive power cut which plunged us into darkness and confused things even further.
And...we finally got the Christmas tree assembled!  But I found that I couldn't get a lot of the ornaments out of the cupboard due to all the mess in the way.  So I ended up using Grandad's old walking stick to literally knock the stuff out of the cupboard, box by box, catching it as I went!
Hmm, so I think that's all for now.  Check back tomorrow for those exciting days leading up to Christmas...  Don't you just love that time of year?!  Stress, overeating, more stress, still no heating (in our case, and hey, at least it rhymed!), and yet more stress!  Ho, ho ho, and fun, fun, fun, eh? 
Best wishes,
Desirée Skylark  xxx

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