Thursday, 12 January 2012

More ramblings from the year before last...

Yeah, I can't believe I've got so far behind either!  But I'm determined to change that and catch up...somehow.

September 17th 2010

David finally came out of the bathroom at 2pm when we went to Waterforce (a local bathroom shop) to look at fittings for the new taps in Woodberry's bathroom.

Then onto West Ealing where we got some jigsaws in 99p Stores for my nephew and nieces as "extra" Christmas gifts to go along with their main presents.  The real reason to go to West Ealing was to get in the PDSA charity shop where Mum had seen some calendars and similar items she thought would make nice Christmas gifts for people.  But the shop was closed for lunch!  Just across the street, there was a HUGE charity shop set to open where a clothing store had closed down a few weeks previously.  They were obviously still in the process of setting up (although there was nobody currently working inside) and the signs in the window didn't say when they would open for business.  But the windows were full of toys, including lots of 1980s Care Bears with 50p price tags already attached!  Ugh, so annoying - they were so close but there was no way to buy them!  They had the cutest plush unicorn who I would have loved to have brought home with me sitting on an armchair in the window too.  But again, I had no clue when the shop was going to open and since I had no way to get there from Grottsville, I knew the chances of being there just at the right time to snatch up those Care Bears were very slim.

Next to Ealing Broadway to buy Dove grey paint.  Mum and I had a wander around the other shops while David bought the paint.  I bought a nice Daisy Duck t-shirt in TKMaxx for £7.99, then we walked around the charity shops.  I saw Applejack in the FARA Kids shop, but there was no way I was going to rescue her with a price tag of £1.20 around her neck!  We had just gone into the Oxfam Music shop (where I wanted to have a look at the old VHS tapes and DVDs) when David rang us up and ordered us back to the car park.

We headed to Carpets4Less after that but Mum no longer liked the vinyl she had seen before and we couldn't find any carpets for the remaining rooms that needed them.

Finally we went to Sainsburys where Lucozade had been on sale at a much reduced price earlier that week, but the offer had ended.  (Wow, this was turning into such a successful shopping trip!)  Mum got annoyed that we had "lost money" by not getting there earlier in the week when David was busy at work, declared that I was "in a bad mood" (it's always got to be me, hasn't it?!), and stormed out of the shop!

I had a bath in the evening and ended up missing the chance of going to McDonalds for one of my beloved Aero McFlurries.  In actual fact, I'm pretty sure that if I had been available to go to McDonalds, David wouldn't have even offered me one.  Well, whatever.

September 18th 2010

It was a lovely sunny day but we didn't go to the big car boot sale in Denham so as to "make progress with Woodberry".  But David wasted the morning in the bathroom anyway.

A pair of noisy men from British Gas arrived in our garden, demanding to come and check the meter under the stairs.  David was in the bathroom talking to himself (!) when they rang the doorbell and took ages to go to the door.  There was no way that I was going in his place though, with the house in such a mess.  I knew they couldn't even get to the cupboard under the stairs past all the piles of junk!  Anyway, David agreed to have them in the following Wednesday.  I got upset about the dust that would no doubt be disturbed and make my allergies even worse and people coming onto our filthy premises.  It's so humiliating for someone who longs to live in a clean and tidy property.

Anyway, David couldn't understand my concerns or my embarrassment and spoke over the top of me at Mum, "What is wrong with her?"  Well, maybe if you listened to her, you'd know what she was saying! >.<

Well, at least they'd got him out of the bathroom anyway, and he went and "made progress with Woodberry" by buying a can of paint.  Yep, that was the extent of the progress.

After he returned, we all went to Woodberry to collect the carpet samples, then onto Carpet Right to order the "California Dreams" carpet for the front room.  Mum also found some vinyl she quite liked for the hall.

Then we drove all the way to Isleworth in search of a shop our neighbour at Woodberry had mentioned which supposedly sold edging stones of the kind we wanted along the side of the front garden path.  But we couldn't even find the shop, much less the edging stones!

David, our resident master driver, convinced himself that he'd driven through another red light and decided to "go back and check".  He was so stressed about the red light (which, it turned out, didn't exist) that he swerved straight in front of another car causing four or five other drivers to honk their horns at us.  Did you say you were a rollercoaster fan, dear reader?  Come take a ride in David's car - all the thrills and twice the danger without the fare!

We went to two different branches of Morrisons but there were still no new Dolly Mix Ponies to be found.  In fact, another box of the first set had appeared.  I hid it at the back of the shelf along with the other one (which the staff had obviously still not found).  I just had to pray that the next box they put out on the shelf would be from the right set!

When we got back, we found the pavement outside our house was being dug up and there were fences everywhere, making it very difficult to reverse into our own front garden.  Hussein, our oh-so-friendly neighbour who had recently broken our fence and said he had the right to as it ran alongside part of "'is keengdom" (back garden) appeared from nowhere with a smirk on his face - obviously enjoying seeing our struggle - and sarcastically offered to stop the traffic for us.  David politely declined.  Later, Hussein knocked on the door to tell us AGAIN that if we wanted to leave the house he would stop the traffic to help us.  Uh... maybe he was serious?  But why would he want to help the people he hated so much, and how did he think that HE could stop the traffic anyay?  He hardly looked like a policeman!

I'd had a Lullabye Nursery standing on the table in the porch for years and finally decided to move it into the lounge and clean it up.  Oh, it was a tragedy.  That Lullabye Nursery was in BEAUTIFUL condition when I bought it - it came as part of a collection of twelve ponies I'd bought back in 2003.  All the ponies looked like they were fresh out of the packets, and the Nursery was a stunning white with a PINK roof, the stickers were bright and clear, and it even still had the bow (with perfect elastic) still on the roof.  I had nowhere to put it but David was supposedly clearing his dirty newspapers out of Emma's old bedroom so that I could have my own room "soon" so I just put it in the porch "in the meantime".  And the rest, as they say, is history.  I did try to cover it over to stop it fading but it didn't work - the porch is so bright with extreme temperatures.  Now I have a yellowed nursery with an orange roof and white stickers on two sides.  The two sides that were against the wall are still as perfect as the day I bought it, just to remind me of the beautiful playset I once had.  Ugh.

Worse than that, when I moved the Nursery, I discovered that Mum's precious table had been scratched to bits and even looked water damaged (?) in some places.  Well, admittedly, I was only 11 when I got that Nursery and still played with my ponies sometimes.  In fact, I kept my early G3s in it and a Show Stable (which was also kept in the porch and faded, but that wasn't in such good condition to begin with) and would carry them out in the garden like that during Summer 2003 and 2004.  Maybe they got wet out there and damaged the table that way.  Well, however the damage was done, I was mortified and didn't even have the courage to tell Mum that evening.  So I just dumped the kitchen towel covers I'd had over the Nursery for years back on the table to cover the damage for now...

Hasbro were supposed to be releasing trailers for The Hub and I kept refreshing the Youtube "recently uploaded" search page hoping somebody would upload one and I'd get a clip of some of the MLP voices... but nobody bothered to upload them.  Hilarious to think about now, but The Hub was still not big news at that point and it was a struggle for those outside the US to find any information.

David went to work all evening to use his computer (no idea why... *Rolls eyes*).  Mum's hot water bottle had leaked on her the night before so David had tightened the a point that Mum and I could NOT get it to budge at all.  Hence, Mum was freezing all evening and waiting for David to come in and open her hot water bottle for her!  When he eventually did come, he brought Aero McFlurries with him as a nice surprise for us.  Well, it was a nice surprise... for me anyway.  I'm not sure my freezing mother was so pleased!

September 19th 2010

Mum and I didn't leave the house.  One of Peter Grant's workers went to Woodberry to clean the wallpaper paste off the ceiling at 2pm and David stayed there "supervising him" (playing on his computer) until 10pm.

I tried to make some recordings, and scared myself when I realised just how bad my breathing problems had got.  I got terribly out of breath and couldn't sing a note as my voice kept cracking.  Horribly distressing for me, bearing in mind how desperately I had wanted to go to Canada for two years for that theatre course.  Instead of that, here I was stuck in England with my voice and general health deteriorating rapidly and no way out.

I decided that even if I couldn't get out of that house and away from the carpet beetles, I had to get my plush ponies out of there.  But even that turned to disaster as I battled to climb over David's rubbish in my way.  I ended up falling flat on my face, twisting my ankle and scraping all the skin off my right hand in the process.

September 20th 2010

I overslept (well, is it surprising after all the excitement of the previous day?!).  David went to dump a couple of bags of rubbish at the local landfill, and sneakily saved a box off the top of a skip which was just the right size for one of the Keypers I was selling on e-Bay.

What?  It was clean, and better it was recycled once more than it went straight into the landfill, right?

We spent the afternoon at Woodberry, waiting for a man to come and measure up for the vinyl to be laid in both the kitchen and hall.  Quite boring really.  I would have liked to go out for a walk, but I couldn't very well with only 39p in my purse!

When we returned, we struggled to find anywhere to park again, thanks to the gas works going on outside.  I got angry when I saw "Scar Face" leering at me and cursed him, telling him he was a "f***ing pervert" and sticking two fingers up in his direction.  Sorry, I don't make a habit of swearing or making rude gestures at people but that creep needed to be told.

After dinner, we went out again.  On the way out, the loud men from British Gas approached us and rudely asked if we were "red-ay faw Wens-doy" (obviously laughing at the state of the place and the fact it took us so long to clear a path to the cupboard under the stairs.  Ugh.)  Then they laughed at Mum as she trod in some tar they'd spilled in our front garden.  Charming people.

Anyway, we finally got in the car, me pointedly ignoring the offending workmen and holding my head high.  We were attempting to get to Brent Cross shopping centre and specifically to Lakeland across the street from the centre.  But the traffic was too bad.  We tried to make a diversion and go round the backstreets but people kept overtaking us and wouldn't let us pass.  So we just got stuck in a long traffic jam for nothing, and turned back as the other bad tempered drivers would allow us to do so.

We did get to IKEA, but we had to rush around as it was getting late by this point, and Mum didn't like the chairs or cabinet we went there to look at anyway.  After that, we headed to Morrisons again, but there were still no more Dolly Mix Ponies and the price label had been looked as though they were going to stop selling them, and I still had all these people depending on me to find the ponies for them!

David wanted to buy some salad cream while we were there but apparently couldn't decide which sort he wanted.  I picked one up (the one he usually has) and was told he wanted a different brand...  But upon picking that one up, he snapped at me that he wanted "THAT ONE!" (the one I'd picked up in the first place)  My goodness, make your mind up!

Then he decided that he wanted to buy some reduced price, out of date chicken...  Fair enough, if you want to risk your health on that smelly thing, go right ahead!  When we got back to the car, my nose started to itch and Mum asked me what was wrong.  "Chicken!" David answered for me.  Uh, did wreak, but it was not the cause of my allergies!

It was quite late when we returned but "Scar Face" and his minions were still gathered around the bench at the end of the street, drinking.  It would have been a perfect postcard photo of Grottsville if only I could have snapped a shot.  "Scar Face" (the leader of the gang) sat in the middle of the bench with two bags of beer on either side of him.  The rest of the gang were gathered around the bench, leaning on the back of it or kneeling on the pavement looking up at him.  They all turned and glared at me as we drove past.  I guess they didn't appreciate me swearing at their leader...

And that brings us to the end of another rushed, incoherent catch-up blog!  Please don't lose faith in me, dear readers!  If I can just catch up (or learn to write at an earlier time of day when I am more awake), I'm sure the quality of my writing will improve again.

Thanks for remaining my faithful readers,
Desirée  xxx

Wednesday, 11 January 2012

Well, I was going to make a resolution... get this blog up to date.  But here we are, it's January 10th already and I have fallen even further behind!  I really need to focus on this blog or I will never catch up!

September 13th 2010

Mum and I walked to the post office again to send my final e-Bay parcel.  The woman who works in there seemed quite annoyed that we were "wasting her time with only one parcel".  What the...?

"Beer Can Man" staggered past us as we left the PO, but he ignored me, thank goodness.  At least sweltering in my winter coat had done some good, it seemed!

My breathing problems were getting worse.  I knew it was caused by extreme allergies, but other people were still trying to convince me that it was completely unrelated and that I was "just developing asthma".  But never mind, "Look on the bright side - it can go away again just as suddenly". >.<

I'd developed a bad knee too...I couldn't bend it at all.  I was really suffering from sleeping on the floor in that cold draft for so long by this point.

Another light bulb popped, blowing a fuse in the process.  So we were left with one light bulb in the living room out of the original twelve and severely sore, watering eyes.  But David "couldn't possibly come back from work tonight" to change a light bulb for us!  And when I had dug around under the stairs to look for the fuse box, I had found a load of mouse droppings and chewed paper.  So there we were, obviously surrounded by rodents, sitting in the yellow glow from the single light bulb.

David got a fine for going through another red light.  What was wrong with his driving lately?

Hasbro announced that they would not release the final version of The Hub website until the 27th.  I was still waiting to find out the cast for Friendship is Magic and hoping they would release it on the website.  But by the time I found out if any of my favourite Canadian VAs were starring in it, it would be too late to ask anybody in the US to tape it for me!  I could only hope that somebody would upload it to Youtube...

September 14th 2010

David didn't come in until 12.15pm, having spent 28 hours at work.  Mum hoped to get something done with his "afternoon off" but of course he just went to sleep so we didn't even leave the house.

I was getting sicker and sicker - I was extremely congested, I couldn't hear a thing on top of all my breathing problems.  And I was coughing up blood again.

David finally woke up late that night, but Mum declared him "unsafe to drive me anywhere" as he "still looked tired".  So he went to Tesco alone.  Then she got annoyed with me for not going with him as I "could have got some ice cream for us".  Well, make your mind up!

The bread David bought for us reeked of something.  I wonder if he bought some cut price out of date meat and carried it in the same bag.  Yuck.  Whatever the cause, I couldn't eat it.  Maybe my congestion problems highlighted it somehow, but you would have thought quite the opposite.  Even Mum (who has a poor sense of smell) struggled to swallow it down.  Ugh, it was horrible.

September 15th 2010
David had the morning off work so we went to Woodberry to make a list of jobs for our latest decorator, a man by the name of Peter Grant (Yes, he shared his name with one of my favourite musicians!  But sadly he and his team were not such reliable workmen...)

David spent ages trying to get his computer to work so that he could write the list on Excel, so I actually had a chance to see and photograph the pink carpet (which was called "California Dreams" for some weird reason...) sample.

Yeah, not sure what it has to do with California... but it is a pretty colour and matched the wallpaper/woodwork pretty well so we decided to go with it.

Just then, David turned nasty and snapped at us that we had "made him late to work".  Uh... but you were the one still fighting with your computer!  Mum, calm as ever, defended him later.  "It's a shame - he's quite nice really, then he snaps".  Well, you can snap if you like, but don't accuse us of doing things we haven't done!  That's just unfair...and downright stupid.

Later, he returned to Woodberry alone to meet with Peter Grant.  He happily handed over some more money, but still failed to enforce how urgent it was to get the work done...especially cleaning the glue off of the extension ceiling where the wallpaperer had made such a mess.  We needed to get the carpet laid and we didn't want them cleaning the ceiling with a brand new carpet below!

We went Dolly Mix hunting at Queensbury Morrisons again, but there were no new Dolly Mix Ponies.  In fact, there was still a box of the first set there and I knew they wouldn't re-stock the shelves until those were sold.  So I cheekily hid them at the back of the shelf below, desperately hoping the staff would get a new box out of the store room without noticing them!  The price was back up to £1.49 each too.  I thought 99p was too good to last but did feel bad that I had to raise the price for the people who were still waiting for me to find the ponies they needed!

We stopped at McDonalds for Aero McFlurries on the way back.  I'm a McFlurry addict, and I love the Aero ones - I wish they were available all year round!

Kelly Sheridan posted a note on Facebook explaining the whole Barbie situation, so if anybody had been in doubt as to whether she had been fired by Mattel or had left voluntarily which I know a few people had (myself NOT included, may I add...I know Kelly well enough to know she wouldn't have left a job she enjoyed so much), the truth was finally out in the open.  Here's a link to the original note on her wall:

And, just in case that's not working, this is what she wrote:

"I have been receiving lots of emails and posts to my Facebook page lately about the recent Barbie voice recasting.  I thought I would take a moment to address your concerns and questions about why I was replaced.  I debated saying anything at all, and certainly didn't want to until the most recent movie was released.  But it's now no big secret that Barbie has a new voice and some of you have genuine concerns that I was the one to leave.

Over a year ago I received a call notifying me of changes Mattel was making to the entire Barbie brand and that it was going to affect the types of movies they would be making.  They wanted to move away from the classic princess stories in an effort focus on something more modern and fashion oriented.  While they thanked me for all the work I've done on the past 18 films, I was told that they would be looking for a new voice to match this new direction.

I have immensely enjoyed playing this iconic character over the past 10 years and love hearing from fans that enjoy the movies as much as I do.  The most recent messages from fans on my board offering to campaign on my behalf and contact Mattel have been so touching.  Remind me to never make you angry!  Your encouragement and support means more than you'll ever know.  Playing Barbie has been one of those amazing opportunities that come by only a handful of times in an actor's career, and only then if you're lucky.  I am a lucky girl indeed.

xoxo K"

I am truly inspired by the professional way in which Kelly dealt with the situation and the upbeat tone in which she wrote.  I know of a few actors who have lost their jobs and been so angry that they will write slanderous comments on the internet about those who replaced them... This is neither a sensible nor mature way to behave, of course.  The comments that they wrote in the heat of the moment will be spread around for years to come and even if they don't end up totally destroying their careers, they make themselves look extremely foolish.  I'm so glad Kelly didn't go down that route and instead kept the secret for many months before writing such a calm note to her fans.

I still can't believe Mattel got rid of her.  And to be replaced with such an awful, inexperienced voice actress who attempts to impersonate her badly?!  That's got to hurt. :(  I can't even stand to watch the more recent Barbie movies.  Diana's voice hurts my ears!

September 16th 2010

David had the day off work.  In fact, he was off work now until the 27th...but he had refused to plan anything so we feared it was going to be a complete waste of time.  Still, I got up early in the hopes of going out somewhere.  But David refused to get up, then went to the launderette before returning to the bathroom for ages.

Eventually he reluctantly drove us to Daniels to pick up my desk drawer, but they'd made such a bad job of repairing it that it looked worse than before!  So we had to ask them to order a new one anyway.  Mum and I had been wanting to get back to Daniels anyway as we had seen a vinyl floor covering we quite liked for the kitchen just before David had dashed us away the last time.  But, just our luck, somebody had borrowed that very book of samples a few days previously and not returned it!

While we were there, David received a phone call.  Apparently, he had made a bank appointment but had totally forgotten he had done so!  Oh well, how convenient that we happened to be two minutes drive away from the bank.  So Mum and I got dumped in Waitrose car park and had to sit there for over an hour waiting for him.  It wasn't so bad though - it's fun to "people watch", especially when you're surrounded by such interesting people...  During our hour, we witnessed a woman dressed in a fluffy pink dress (just like something you'd see in a Disney movie!) carrying what looked for all the world like mini coffins from the supermarket and stacking them neatly in the back of her car. o_0  After she placed one in the car, she would noisily drink from a bright pink sports bottle and return to the shop for another one.  She probably got about thirty of them in total!

Then a couple returned from the shop with two frozen ready meals in plastic trays.  After packing the rest of their shopping in  the car boot, they proceeded to take the cellophane off of the trays and eat the uncooked meals with plastic forks which they had presumably bought specifically for the occasion. o_0  When they had eaten their fill, they both went to the nearest rubbish bin and scraped the remains of the meals out of the trays.  They threw out the forks but lovingly carried the empty trays back to the car...

Meanwhile, a young man who worked at the supermarket was walking back and forth gathering up all the shopping trolleys and taking them back to the shop.  However, he spent most of his time checking his phone and reading his text messages, laughing loudly.  At one point, he even blocked the traffic by parking a bunch of trolleys in the middle of the road while he read a message!  I wonder what his boss would have to say about that...

Then we went to Morrisons in Shepherds Bush.  We'd been wanting to go and see what Westfield Shopping Centre was like anyway.  The first thing I noticed was that it was £5 to park the car for up to an hour!  So we had to drive around the back streets looking for somewhere cheaper to park.  Eventually we found a parking space.

David did his usual, backing off and checking all the car doors were shut before he locked it.  He was standing right by another car when he finally did click the button to lock it... what both of my parents failed to notice was the rough-looking young man sleeping in said car.  We walked a few steps down the road when the sleeping man woke up, rolled his window down and SHOUTED  at us - "WHAT you want?  WHAT?!"  I glanced back and told my parents to walk faster as the bloke was now standing by his car, glaring at us and still shouting.  "What's wrong with you?" Mum asked, completely oblivious to the obscenities the bloke was yelling at us.  David didn't hear him either, or so he claimed. >.<

Actually the whole place was full of peculiar rude people.  When we reached the shopping centre, I went ahead and held the door for David.  But apparently he didn't have the manners to do the same for Mum and the door sprung back, causing the bloke behind her (who just assumed she should hold the door for him!) to shout at HER.  So she came yelling at me for "f***ing off when I knew she couldn't see"!  Well, excuse me, but I did hold the door for David who was standing between us.  Why isn't he to blame for not holding the door for you?  And why was the guy behind so rude as to expect a much shorter person such as my mum to hold the door for him, a complete stranger?  What happened gentlemen holding the door for ladies?!

There were no Dolly Mix Ponies in Morrisons anyway and the shopping centre was far too posh for our tastes, so it was a waste of time really.

We returned to Grottsville for dinner... if you can call it that.  I had three tiny potatoes which was all we had in the house, and Mum had three slices of the stinky bread (which I couldn't bear to eat) with tomato soup.

David went to Woodberry to paint the first coat on the bathroom radiator, then picked Mum and I up from Grottsville to take us to her family history meeting in Hounslow.  The talk was all about handwriting and what you could learn about your ancestors (or anyone) from the way they wrote.  He said you can even tell when someone is ill by their handwriting, long before doctors can pick anything up.  It was all very interesting and I loved the speaker's posh accent.  He offered to analyse people's handwriting at the end of the talk and I suddenly wished I had examples of certain people's writing.  According to what he said, my handwriting shows that I suffer from depression/insecurity and am a hopeless romantic with big ambitions (well, it kind of fits, doesn't it?), and David's scrawly, small writing and the way he presses down hard on the paper at the time shows spiteful tendencies and a need to dominate.  Fascinating.  I wish I'd recorded the entire talk now - I'd love to look back on some of the stuff he said.

Peter Grant rang two minutes after the talk ended (good timing - it would have been so embarrassing if he had rung while the guy was speaking!), and said that he would come to Woodberry at the weekend.

We went to Asda on the way back.  David took us to the branch at Park Royal instead of Hounslow for some reason, and there were no Dolly Mix Ponies to be seen.  I did get a really cute grey jumper with a dalmatian on the front though and some shampoo/hand wash at the discount price of 4 for £3.

We were accosted by another "homeless person" in the car park (seriously, when are the police going to move these crooks on?)  "Please, what's a little to you is a lot to me!  Even 10p or 20p!"  Well, at that point I actually had only 35p in my purse...  In fact, I had eagerly pounced on 6p that I had found lying on the ground in the shop, but had missed out when it had slipped out from under my shoe and a young member of staff had pocketed it for himself.  So apparently 10p or 20p is not such a small amount to everybody...  Well, whatever.  I wasn't going to hand my money over to a conman anyway!

And I think that finally brings me to the end of this blog so I can get to bed at 1.30 in the morning!  I must try to keep to my resolution from now on and get a blog entry written each and every day.  But writing it at a more sensible time of day may be a wise idea... otherwise I might faint from exhaustion before I ever get the chance to catch up!

Thanks for reading, guys!
Desirée  xxx