Wednesday, 30 January 2013

Camera UN"improvements" and Alcoholic Water!

Where does the time go? (Answer: eBay)  Right, no excuses this time.  I don't care if I'm so tired that I can hardly keep my eyes open, I am going to write something tonight (or this morning, depending how you look at it!)

May 17th 2011

We went to Chiswick and bought a camera in preparation for the great American adventure; a Pentax Optio S1.  I hate to say it, as I know David spent a lot of money on it, but Shane's Pentax Optio M50 camera is so much better.  The photos it takes are huge so have to be individually resized before being uploaded online (and no, there are no options to reduce the size on the camera), there is no "soft flash" option, so you either take pictures with full flash or no flash at all, and there is no voice recording option (the only way to record audio is as a soundtrack to a film).  And they call that improvement?

We went to Tesco on the way back.  I'd already managed to ladder the expensive Marks & Spencer tights in Clacton, so wanted to get some more before our holiday.  I did find some but wasn't sure on my size.  I decided it was better to be on the safe side and get the bigger size...but they were HUGE.  Oh well, there was no time to go back and get the smaller ones now.

We stopped at Grottsville for a couple of things too, but I forgot to pick up a spare pair of shoes.  David had two birthday cards there addressed to me which he had forgotten to bring to Woodberry. >.<

He was in a very funny mood.  He'd made a mess of his best pair of trousers but would not admit that he had wet himself in the night.  It was "more something else than wee".  Well, that sounds even better! Moving briefly onto another subject...

I was still rushing about like a headless chicken, trying to get everything done before we left.  I photographed the last of my ponies, did a lot more scanning and printed off some pictures of my old guinea pigs to stick in my diary so that I could take them with me.  I was up until 1.40am and still didn't manage to get everything done.  A great way to start a holiday, eh?

I'd bought some jewellery on eBay as a belated birthday gift to myself...

A heart locket in which to carry a photograph of someone special to the US, and matching earrings. (Yes, I realise I don't have pierced ears, but I still intend on getting round to it one day!)


And dragonfly and bumblebee pendants... I do so love pretty, unusual pendants!


May 18th 2011

David and I went to Greenford where I got some pretty floral patterned shoes (to go with my TK Maxx dress in theory, but I was never going to wear it in the US without some black tights to go with it anyway!) and a Barbie Fairytopia DVD in Fara for £2.00 (well, I do love to collect the Barbie movies for the voice acting - so many of my favourite VAs in those movies!)

David got a suitcase to take on the plane, but discovered he had no key for it when we got back to the car so he had to go all the way back to the shop to complain!  Then his colleague Gary kept ringing for work advice and David spent ages on the phone to him (on his day off, when we had so much to do!)

When I got back, I continued scanning...and scanning...and scanning.  I stressed myself to death and lost a lot more hair but, for all my efforts, I didn't get all of Mum's photographs scanned in time.

My parents went back to the lawyer to sign their wills (since Mum was so convinced she would die in a plane crash!), and Mum wanted me to go with them for some reason.  She wasn't happy with her will at all (the lawyer had made a lot of mistakes, and David hadn't helped), but she decided it was better to sign this will than not have one at all.  One problem: they had nobody to be a witness.  Not to worry though...the lawyer ran out into the hallway and grabbed the first man to walk past.  He was a very suspicious Polish man who "couldn't remember his address" for a while but thought that his name was "Uh....Bart...."!  Oh well, at least he signed the will, and that's all that mattered.

As usual, David well outstayed his welcome.  It was long gone 5pm and the lawyer obviously wanted to go home.  Instead, David sat tight, drinking glass after glass of Evian water.  Well, I say it was Evian water as that's the bottle the lawyer served it in.  But, the more David drank, the more he slurred his words and acted in a very peculiar way.  He started talking about Emma's "four children" (she has five) and laughing hysterically about everything.  I'd have said it was alcohol he'd been drinking if I didn't know better!

Meanwhile, I was stuck standing up (there wasn't a chair for me), going more and more dizzy with hunger.  We didn't get any dinner until 9pm as it happened.  Why must my parents always make sure that everything is left until the last minute so that we start any holiday or short break on the wrong foot?

After the bad wills had been signed, we ran back to the car.  Another car had been parked very near to us and Mum couldn't open her door wide enough to climb in, so David had to reverse a little.  As he was doing so, I noticed a gang of unpleasant-looking drunken men standing all around Mum.  I told David to hurry up and he told me "not to be daft".  The men started shouting at Mum and laughing (I've no idea what they were saying, as they spoke in a foreign language), and David admitted that he "hadn't seen them" before.  I told you he was in a strange mood!  Mum managed to get into the car unharmed, thank goodness, the men still jeering behind her.

My friend Steph (who happens to be turning 23 today - happy birthday if you're reading this, Steph!) sent me a lovely belated birthday gift, which came as a very nice surprise in the middle of my stressed to death, attempting to do the impossible and finish scanning Mum's photos state, I can tell you!

The card was beautiful and unusual...


The socks were adorable!  I usually only have plain white socks that I can buy cheaply in Tesco in multi-packs, so these made a very nice change (I LOVE patterned socks!)...


A gorgeous cameo necklace, leaf ring and set of Cath Kidston labels and stickers.


I love Cath Kidston but can rarely afford her stuff, and the jewellery was just my cup of tea.  I don't know how she manages it every time, but I have to say thank you, Steph.  I always really appreciate the gifts you send to me!

Instead of doing the sensible thing and trying to get an early night before our big holiday began the next day, I decided to do just the opposite.  I'd stay up ALL NIGHT so that I didn't oversleep in the morning.  I was so excited that the adrenaline kept me going...but would I crash right before we had to leave and end up missing the plane?

Find out in the next installment of Diary of a Daydreamer - The Great American Adventure: Part One!

Best wishes,
Desirée  xxx

Friday, 25 January 2013

Birthdays and New Curtains!

I'm not sure how far I'll get with this, as I am so painfully tired, but I'm determined to write *something* every night...if just to stop myself from falling even further behind!  I only hope it's not too garbled and full of spelling errors for you to understand it!

May 15th 2011

My 20th birthday, which was also David's 64th birthday.  Yes, my father and I share a birthday, but we didn't exchange cards or gifts.  I got four cards all together, and Mum put $35 inside hers as "spending money for our holiday" which was my only gift.  Still, I didn't expect to get anything so I was pretty pleased with that!


Despite knowing that I wanted to go out for the day, David slept at Grottsville the night before and arrived at Woodberry as late as ever.  I was not going to give up on my birthday outing though (especially since I was wearing a "pretty little dress" for the first time in my life along with the new tights and shoes I had bought to wear with it!) so we still went to Clacton-on-Sea as planned.  However, we didn't get everything I had planned, and it was quite frankly annoying to pass all those lovely big car boot sales by the side of the road just as they were packing up!  We also passed the Tiptree Jam Museum which I had wanted to visit for ages, but there just wasn't time to stop.

If I'd hoped to find Edwin Hall rides in Clacton, I think I was living in a time warp.  The coin operated rides there now are those cheap and nasty, huge, garishly painted things that we import from Europe these days.

I mean, this is a kiddie ride?


Or this?


Or this?


Or, worst of all, THIS?!


God, that last one really sums up what I hate about a lot of modern coin operated rides.  It's enormous with too much decoration.  If you cram that many colours and symbols into a small area, it just ends up looking really ugly.  And is it supposed to be a boat or a car?  I don't think I've ever seen a pirate ship with wheels...  Then again, maybe it's a steam engine, judging by that weird funnel-type thing on the front of it!  I think back to my childhood and wonder what happened.  Then I think back to the old photos I see from the 1950s and 1960s and wonder what had happened by my childhood.  When I compare the beautiful carving and painting work that went into the original wooden Edwin Hall rides, and then I see this...well, it just breaks my heart to think that this generation will never even get the small glimpse that I got of what the British seaside used to be like.

Still, I photographed the rides that were there as I'm sure somebody will want to remember these things some day.

Two rides I was pleased to see were "Romeo and Juliet", the identical pair of Cogan Vienna horses on Clacton Pier.  I loved them to bits and named them Romeo and Juliet when I was a little girl.

This is me with Juliet in August 1996...


And here we are together in May 2011!


Poor old Romeo was now living outside:


Actually, both of the horses looked a bit the worse for wear with Romeo missing his tail completely and almost all of the pretty shiny "gemstones" stolen from their eyes and tack.  I knew they wouldn't last much longer, so I was very pleased to see them, and have the oppotunity to get my picture taken and relive the childhood memory one last time.

I was a little worried when I saw the camera battery draining away rapidly...then I realised that I'd left it in "green mode", which meant it was taking enormous photographs.  Thankfully, I figured out how to switch back to a regular setting before the whole battery was lost!

As it was so late, there was no time to walk around the shops...I stopped for two quick snaps in front of the grimy sea.


Ugh, horrible pictures (I look like a witch!) but I can't believe how much hair I still have there.  And I thought my hair looked thin at that point!

Then we were off to Walton-on-the-Naze for a quick stroll down the pier and more ride photography.  But the machines there looked even less like my idea of coin operated rides!


I just think that "graffiti"-style painting is gross...and the bike isn't even on a proper base!  I can't imagine what it looks like when it's in motion.  The front part can't move at all, can it?

There were a couple of slightly older rides there, like Whittaker Bros.' Santa Fe Sam...


...and the MKC Designs Rainbow roundabout (I can never remember the real name for it!)


But that was about it really.

I'd brought a large bag of 2p coins with me so that I could have some fun with the pusher machines, but we didn't have time...ever onwards, as they say, especially when David never gets you anywhere until the afternoon.  Mum demanded we went to Clacton Factory Outlet as she thought we might "do something useful" by getting some waterproof coats for our American trip there.  We did manage to get some coats, and I bought myself a new t-shirt and necklace in a Marks & Spencer discount shop too.

A creepy old bloke then decided to ruin my day by coming and practically whispering in my ear, "You're nice..."  I ignored him and he wandered off.  Mum blamed the "pretty little dress", of course.  Well, I'm not going to wear trousers forever just because creepy men approach me when I wear something I feel comfortable wearing!  But it's okay, Mum said he was "just an older man trying to be nice".  Yeah, right...

Maybe I shouldn't have worn that dress.  The lady in the shop where we bought our coats told me not to look in the mirror before buying mine as it would "give me a false representation of the coat because of the other clothes I was wearing".  After all, "you have a lot of colours going on there".  A lot of colours?  Only blue and white?  Does my dress really look that strange?!

We stopped at Little Chef on the way back - it was nice to eat at a proper restaurant for once.  We discovered that they'd completely changed their menu in there and there wasn't a lot available for vegetarians, but they very kindly made something up for us that wasn't officially on the menu using parts of several different meals!

Even with the meal, David was swerving all over the road and almost had two seperate accidents.  Usually he blames being hungry, so what was his excuse that night?

May 16th 2011

It was back to work as usual, scanning, photographing Mum's possessions, indexing cassette tapes...  I didn't leave the house all day long.

The man came back and hung the curtains in the hobby room, living room and my bedroom.  The idea was that we would be able to close them to stop things fading further while we were on holiday.  Of course, nothing goes as planned.  I'd never seen my curtains unfolded before.  Mum's friend sent them to me years ago, having found them at a car boot sale, and they had been screwed up in an old shoe box ever since.  Once they were hung at the window, it became clear that they hadn't been lined...


Not only did this mean that you could hardly see the MLP pattern on them anyway, but they also didn't block much light so the ponies on my shelves would continue to fade.

The hobby room and living room looked a bit better with their pelmets, but the (pink) living room pelmet was warped and needed to be fixed.  That explains why my parents wouldn't leave them alone for long enough for me to take a picture!


Mum was still moaning at me about how silly I had looked in my "pretty little dress" and telling me off for "wasting time by making them go to Clacton".  I was working as hard as I could to get everything done in time to go on holiday, but there literally weren't enough hours in the day.  I didn't even get to do my laundry until 1am!

Let's end this on a happier note.  I got this belated birthday parcel in the mail...


So many sweet little MLP accessories!  I was especially pleased to have the Mummy Charms and they are still proudly displayed on top of my wardrobe.  I'd never had any "My Little Puppies" or "My Little Kitties" before either.  And the paintbrush was one of my grail Pony Wear items!  I also got a lovely pair of shoes, a giraffe necklace and, best of all, my first ever MP3 player!  Thanks, Louisa!

Well, I feel as though I am in a torture camp, trying to hold my eyelids open wih matchsticks...so I must sign off and get to bed.  I'll try to write a longer blog entry tomorrow though, and then maybe we'll finally get to the Great American Adventure the following day!

Best wishes,
Desirée  xxx

Thursday, 24 January 2013

Just two days in...

...And I've already broken my promise to myself by not writing a blog entry last night.  In my defense, it got very late last night after I'd finished all of my eBay jobs and I had to be up very early this morning.  Then again, I have to be up very early tomorrow morning too, and I'm not going to let that stop me tonight!

May 13th 2011

I went to see the orthodontist and hygienist at Sparkle Dental Boutique.  The hygienist told me that I was doing a great job keeping my teeth clean, but that I needed interdental brushes in order to clean between the teeth (as it's obviously impossible to use normal floss while wearing braces).  The orthodontist fitted new wires and...well, there's more information in my v-log recorded that day.


Speaking of Youtube v-logs, Mei, the dental nurse told me that she had seen my previous v-log and commented on my plush ponies in the background of the video.  How awfully embarrassing!  Oh, well.

David had said that he would drive us back to Woodberry but he didn't answer his telephone when we called him.  It turned out that he was in the bathroom at Grottsville so we had to walk back.

The man came to hang the curtains in the hobby room and blinds in David's bedroom.  But, as usual, everything went wrong.  The hobby room curtains were creased and David's bedroom blinds were completely the wrong size, meaning they couldn't be hung at all.

Meanwhile, I was hiding downstairs as I didn't want to see the creepy man who had wolf whistled at me the last time he had come to look at the curtains!  Then David rang to tell me he needed my bedroom curtains which were in a shoe box in my wardrobe.  David apparently couldn't see them there though, so I had to swallow my pride, slip on my loosest fitting hoodie and walk past the man with my face down to the floor.  Ugh.  I hate how these workmen leer at me.

I had a big argument with Mum when I got back downstairs as I wanted to walk to Ealing Broadway to do a bit of private pre-birthday/holiday shopping, mainly for something nice to wear.  She went mad (well, I wasn't supposed to take any time off of scanning etc., you see?) with her saying that she "didn't understand why I wanted a pretty little dress and shoes to wear on my birthday to go to the kiddy seaside when I was going on holiday in a few days".  Well, I wanted to go out on my actual birthday.  And I also knew it was the only chance I'd have to go to the seaside, and I was now desperate to find the old coin operated rides again!  As for pretty little dresses and shoes, perhaps I just wanted to feel comfortable and feminine for once in my life?  I'd only waited 20 years to wear a dress!

Well, much to her annoyance, while Mum was still working on the Beanie Babies cabinet, I decided I'd go shopping regardless.  I'd finished my scanning for the day anyway.  Within minutes, my phone was ringing to tell me that David was going to drop Mum outside the park so that she could meet me and come with me.  So much for having a private shopping trip!

She was upset that I asked her to sit outside Boots while I bought hair removal stuff (but for goodness sake, she's the one who has made me so embarrassed about it!) and that was all I managed to get.  No shoes, no tights and no underwear so I would be stuck in my usual t-shirt and trousers anyway.

Mum got herself a new coat and bought me a very pretty butterfly necklace in Past Times for my birthday.  I also got a camera case, lip balm and Weetaflakes.  Very exciting, I'm sure.

Oh, and since I'm sure you're all dying to know what happened about my nephew's account on Facebook, I added him, and sent a new request to my sister too.  Life's too short to not be Facebook friends due to your own personal embarrassments!

May 14th 2011

*Sighs*  The very last day of my teenage years.  Well, they were a rotten time in my life, so much as I hated leaving a chapter of my life behind when I felt it hadn't been lived properly, I was rather pleased to see the back of them.  Maybe things would improve once I became an official "adult".

Well, if things were going to improve, they would clearly wait until the last minute.

The day began with me feeling very sick.  I couldn't even finish my breakfast which is very unusual for my standards (breakfast is my favourite meal of the day!) and had to sit for a while halfway through my cereal to allow my food to go down a bit.  By the time I stopped feeling sick for long enough to start scanning, David came in from work and offered to take me to Ealing Broadway for a proper private shopping trip.

I accepted, much to Mum's dismay, and managed to get some underwear, shoes and tights which meant I would finally be able to wear a dress for the first time in my life the following day!  What can I say?  I never get birthday gifts, so I guess I felt like cheering myself up!

I had a lovely time...until the phone rang, that is.  I had just reached the checkout at Marks & Spencer to buy the packet of much celebrated tights (yes, I bought very expensive M&S tights that only lasted five minutes because I had no clue where else to buy something as simple as tights at that point!), so there was no way I could answer it.  I thought it would be David ringing to say he had finished his shopping and was ready to meet me, but when I checked, it was a strange number.  I tried calling it back but just got an engaged tone.

I began to worry when David still hadn't rung a little while later.  I tried calling his mobile but I got the answerphone.  Then I rang Mum at Woodberry to see if he had been in touch with her, but he hadn't.  I seriously began to contemplate walking home.  Mum was in a terrible panic and kept ringing me...which was how I managed to miss the strange number a second time. >.<  It then occurred to me that perhaps David's phone battery had gone flat and he was ringing from a telephone box.  So I tore around the whole of Ealing Broadway, trying to remember where the phone boxes were located and find him that way!  Eventually it worked, but he was in a terrible mood with me, and told me off for not checking my answerphone as he had apparently left a message.  But when I listened it wasn't there anyway.

While I was walking around, I saw this sign outside McDonalds:


Yes, my beloved Oreo McFlurry was back in town!  Just typical...we got the regular US McFlurry as our special edition right when I was about to go off to the US anyway!  So I wouldn't be able to take advantage of having it over here for once.

As soon as I had met up with David, we drove to Chiswick where we knew there was a camera shop (we were still hoping to find another camera, as I didn't really want to use my friend's camera too often for fear of wearing it out), but the shop closed while we were struggling to find somewhere to park.

Then we went to Hayes Toys R Us and Tesco.  The Sun newspaper was offering free Lego toys to anybody who exchanged vouchers at TRU, so we were collecting them for my nephew again.  When we opened our newspaper, we found that somebody had torn out the voucher.  Thankfully, TRU believed us...but they didn't have the Star Wars Lego anyway, and just gave us an old Dr Who one instead.

David really was in a fowl mood, acting like a little boy and stamping his feet wherever he went.  "I don't want to go!" he pouted.  "You promised to get my stamp collection out of Grottsville!"  I would have done if you'd taken me there to clear a path to the stamp cabinet!  Also, I thought you believed Grottsville to be a safe area, David?  He even swore in front of our personal travel advisor when he had to ring up with a query.  "What's the trip bl**dy called?  I don't want to f***ing go!"  The poor woman on the end of the phone must have wondered what had hit her!


Well, that wasn't a very long blog entry, was it?  However, since I am literally unable to keep my eyes open any longer and can feel my words no longer making sense, I am off to bed.  I promise I'll be back tomorrow with a longer blog all about my 20th birthday and the other days leading up to the great American adventure!

Best wishes,
Desirée  xxx

Tuesday, 22 January 2013

A Woman's Photograph Scanning Is Never Done!

Well, it's already gone 1am, so I'm really going to regret this when I can't keep my eyes open tomorrow morning, but I am determined to write a blog entry every day now, however short it may be...

May 8th 2011

David had another day off work.  He sat in front of his computer all day long, but didn't do anything useful with it.  He did no scanning whatsoever, he just half-heartedly rearranged some of the photos I had scanned in their folders to make himself look busy.

Meanwhile, of course, I was unable to do any scanning.  This give me more time to work on other jobs like housework and cataloguing ponies.  But Mum was cross that I wasn't doing enough.  I "needed to make more time" to do more work.  How can I make more time?!  A day is only 24 hours long and I had already cut my sleeping time down to a minimum!

David was rather shocked to discover a picture in the printer.  So was I.  I had attempted to teach myself how to use it a couple of days previously while I was doing the scanning, but didn't think I'd actually managed to print anything!  And all the while the photo must have been in the tray under the printer!  Thankfully, it was nothing private or embarrassing, just a favourite childhood photo which I have already shared on this blog, I believe.  Still, there is no harm in sharing it again, especially as I think some readers who know of more recent events in my life may find it amusing to see which photo I deemed worthy of printing...


Yep, pretty sure you've all seen this before, but if you haven't, this is Carousel, a beautiful 1950s coin operated horse ride who used to stand on Bognor Regis Pier, and a favourite memory from my childhood.  This picture was taken on July 19th 1996.  There were a LOT of vintage coin operated rides on the pier back then, but they had all mysteriously disappeared by the following summer.  If anybody remembers these rides, or better yet, has photographs of them, please, please, PLEASE comment on this blog or email me at coinoperatedrides@hotmail.com.

At dinnertime, David took us to Grottsville to eat the vegetarian lasagne we'd bought at Sainsburys.  (Mum still wouldn't let us use the oven at Woodberry due to cooking smells in the open plan kitchen/living room where she sleeps).  That area never failed to shock us with its drunken gangs on every street corner.  We noticed that the car repair shop opposite was building a high wall, presumably in an attempt to deter the drunkards who gather there and keep peeing on/littering/otherwise vandalising their property.  We also had a large pane of glass leaning up against our own wall.  I don't know who'd dumped it there but it was a little irresponsible when they know that one of the Grottsvillian drunks would just love to pick something like that up and use it as a weapon!

In contrast, when we got back to Woodberry, another neighbour decided to come up and introduce himself.  Very nice of him, right?  Well, it would have been, had he not spoken solely to David and purposefully ignored Mum and I!  Are we living in the dark ages when women were to be seen and not heard?  To add salt to the wounds, the man in question wrote one of Mum's favourite local history books.  Well, David didn't know who he was, so he didn't get any compliments out of him.  Perhaps if he had spoken to Mum, she would have flattered him by asking for his autograph!  Who'd have guessed he lives just two doors away?

Did I say I hoped that the brony hate would die down after season one of My Little Pony: Friendship is Magic ended?  I think I was being a little optimistic.  Lauren Faust announced that she was leaving FiM and the internet erupted into total chaos.  "I hope Hasbro don't get their grubby mitts on MLP now!" was one particular comment that stood out to me.  Were they not aware of who actually owns MLP, and has owned the franchise since 1982?

May 9th 2011

I wanted to walk to Ealing Broadway to buy a few things in preparation for my birthday and our trip to the states.  But I was not allowed any time off of my duties at home; scanning, and cleaning and tidying the house for the most part.

Mum started the difficult job of putting the Beanie Babies in their new cabinet in the hobby room.  We knew they wouldn't all fit but I don't think any of us remembered quite how many there were!


Mum asked me to choose some of my favourites (you know, since they were my collection originally?) to go in the cabinet, and then got terribly upset when I chose others to her favourites and ended up throwing my choices back in the storage crates anyway!

Things got worse when Sickton walked past on the other side of the house.  He must have seen movement out of the corner of his eye and looked up at us, so Mum shouted at him.  I wandered over to the window and glared at him.  He continued to glare back - even looking over his shoulder to do so! - until he got back to his own house.

That night we went to McDonalds for a McFlurry (I don't remember what the current limited edition was, but it was something Mum liked which is a rarity) but they didn't have any ice cream so we had to drive to a different branch.  Then Mum got in a panic that the ice cream was getting stuck in her throat (?) so a great time was had by all really.

David's driving was getting worse and worse too, and it was frankly quite terrifying to be sitting in the back of his car.  I swear that two men and a cat were almost flattened that night!

May 10th 2011

David stayed at Woodberry watching unsavoury films on his computer until 3am before going back to Grottsville to sleep, which meant he kept me awake half the night.  This resulted in me oversleeping the following morning, and not getting up until 10am.

I didn't have time to leave the house at all, let alone go to Ealing Broadway for my pre-birthday/holiday shopping trip.  I worked hard all day long scanning photographs for Mum, but still she told me I was lazy and kept asking why I hadn't done other jobs, such as filling in a survey on Swagbucks.com (if you're not already a member, join here - it really does work unlike most of these sites.  I've earned about £200 on there so far!) and sending photographs of Redwings Horse Sanctuary adoption horse Oliver Twist to my niece.  I'm not sure why Mum even WANTED me to send the photographs of Oliver to Abigale as she was desperately trying to convince my niece NOT to choose Oliver as a replacement for Boo, since Oliver lives at the Great Yarmouth Sanctuary where we can't take Abigale for a day trip.

Speaking of my sister's family, she sent a worrying letter which said that my nephew was self harming.  Poor Allan was only nine years old at this point but already had serious depression issues.  There are too many kids in that house and, with the best will in the world, there's not enough time for them all as individuals.  I always worry about Allan and Abigale as they seem to be the worst effected depression-wise, and the fact that he was self harming at such a young age is a really distressing thought.

Mum spent most of the day dressed up in her "presentable" clothes, waiting for the latest shelving unit to be delivered.  As soon as she gave up and changed into her more comfortable indoor clothes, the delivery man rang to say he was on his way!

The stress of working non-stop every day was really getting to me.  Mum told me the mobile phone needed to be charged so I ran upstairs to charge it whilst one of the photos was still scanning.  Not liking to leave the scanner unsupervised for too long, I probably rushed a little faster than I should have done, but that was no reason to suddenly develop a blinding headache and watering eyes at the top of the stairs.  Scary...it just proves what plain old stress and tiredness can do to the human body.

May 11th 2011

Another full day spent scanning.  I was starting to sympathise with David's comment about how boring the job was!  And now I had a headache to boot.  The only thing keeping me sane was scanning my childhood coin operated kiddie ride photographs.  I'd forgotten so many of the old rides and loved puzzling over who made them and how old they were.

For instance, this duck and horse, photographed in Hemsby in 1998:


The identical bases and features in their faces tell me they were made by the same company, and from my knowledge of kiddie rides, I'd estimate they date from the 1960s, but I've no idea who made them!

David was working ridiculously long hours so that he "could have the work done before he HAD to take time off for this bl**dy holiday".  It's nice to know that he'd actually PREFER to work than have a holiday, isn't it?  Oh well, never mind, after all my hard work trying to get all of Mum's photographs scanned in time, she was threatening not to go anyway.  The main reason for this being that David hadn't kept to his side of the bargain and scanned what HE had promised to scan.  But instead of picking on him, Mum just told me that I should be scanning THAT stuff as well!

My hair had started falling out again...did this prove that the problem really WAS stress?  Then again, I was also getting severe allergies again, so perhaps that was the cause.  Either way, there was nothing I could do to stop the stress or the allergies.  My parents would continue to push me to do more than was humanly possible, and while I was being pushed to do so much, I certainly didn't have time for the day to day housework to keep the place dust-free.

My grandparents' old neighbours, Pauline and Bob, put birthday cards for David and I through the front door...most likely when I was sitting in the front room, scanning and singing (loudly) along with the cassette tapes I was indexing!  This would have been embarrassing enough, but it was even worse when you consider that we'd told Pauline and Bob that we weren't living at Woodberry yet, since the house was still in such a mess and we weren't ready for visitors.  Well, perhaps they didn't recognise my voice and just thought there was a friendly singing ghost inside the house?!

They needn't have bothered putting a card through for David anyway as Mum promptly tore it up before he even got the chance to see it.  Why?  Don't ask me, I am not inside Mum's brain...and for that, I think I should be thankful!

I went to Tesco in the evening - a dull outing, but I wouldn't have left the house at all again otherwise.  The self service checkout hated us even more than usual and screamed about "unexpected items" after each and EVERY item of shopping was placed in the bagging area!  We got some socks for Mum at long last, but she wasn't happy with them as they are only made in dark colours now and she likes pastels!

May 12th 2011

I didn't leave the house again.  Still, I guess it was a small sacrifice to make if doing all this work would ensure I got to visit North America at long last... As I say, IF it did.  I wouldn't believe in it until we were safely on the plane and my parents couldn't turn back.  Actually, take that back.  I wouldn't believe it until we were safely on the RIGHT flight back and I knew my parents hadn't cut the holiday short and got an earlier flight!

I washed my hair which is always a traumatic process.  My scalp felt so much better for it, but I lost an awful lot of hair in the process.  It was nice to have a quick soak in the bath though.

I struggled to cram all of my baby MLPs on the shelves and did a lot more scanning.  I'd forgotten so many of the old rides I've seen over the years.  I'd seen two Edwin Hall Muffin the Mules in the past eight years, and yet I had no recollection of even seeing them, much less where they were!

There was this one in June 2003...


And this one as late as September 2006!  How on Earth could I not remember that?!


To be honest, I guess I'd put my coin operated ride interest on the back burner for a  few years.  We never went to the seaside now, or had any day trips for that matter.  It had got too depressing to see how the British seaside resorts had turned into ghost towns with the amusement arcades (and my beloved kiddie rides) long gone.  Now the old ride enthusiast in my brain was coming out again.  I thought for a moment and realised that there were probably no Edwin Hall rides left out there these days.  I'd probably never get to touch one of those lovely old curved coin slots again or see the familiar smile on Muffin's face.  I didn't have time to research it now, but vowed to start looking for rides online again as soon as we got back from the US.  If there was a single Edwin Hall ride (or any other vintage British ride, for that matter) left out there, I would find it and visit it/photograph it for old time's sake.  And I would finally get my coin operated ride website put together, by hook or by crook.  These things deserved to be remembered...especially those gorgeous old rides on Bognor Pier that had all been scrapped back in 1996...

My nephew Allan sent me a friend request on Facebook.  Yes, my 9-year-old nephew.  I couldn't turn down a depressive 9-year-old, but I had to wonder why Emma was letting him get a Facebook account at such a young age...or if it was even Allan at all, considering he can't read or write very well.  Emma and Nick were no longer on my friend list due to me getting embarrassed about something I'd written and not knowing how to hide/delete it a while ago, so I wondered if this was my sister's way of getting back into my Facebook to see what I was doing...without ME being able to see her wall!  Grr...  Now I needed a 9-year-old son who could request her!

David stayed at Woodberry late again, meaning I couldn't go to bed again.  I had an orthodontist appointment early the following morning so it looked as though it would be another night with hardly any sleep whatsoever.  Still, the orthodontic work did seem to be working...according to my blog notes.  I'd argue with that looking at these photos, but I guess my teeth must have been a lot worse originally!


Ew...I hate close-up pictures of any part of my face!  But I guess the progress report is necessary!  There will be a lot worse, more detailed photos and videos on Sparkle Dental Boutique's website at some point in the future!


Well, it's almost 3am now so it looks as though I shall be having ANOTHER practically sleepless night in the present day!  And I didn't even get a week's worth of blogging done like I'd hoped.  Oh well, I guess it was better than nothing.  Tomorrow I might turn 20...wish I really was still a teenager!

Best wishes,
Desirée  xxx

Monday, 21 January 2013

"See you all tomorrow, I hope?"

Those were the famous last words of a certain blog author....almost four months ago now!  A very belated Happy New Year to everybody!  I hope 2013 is treating you all kindly?  Please don't let me disappear like that again, okay?  I'll never catch up otherwise!

Anyway, I am back again for now...with an awful lot to say for myself, considering I am now 20 months behind!  There's so very much I want to tell you all about what is currently happening in my world, but first we must travel back in time to a long forgotten day called...

May 3rd 2011

Stressed as ever, I had the very curious experience of awaking in exactly the same position in which I had fallen asleep, drenched in sweat and freezing cold!  Stranger still, I couldn't remember having had a nightmare...or a dream of any kind for that matter (which is very unusual for me).

Mum and I went for a nice walk in Lammas Park.  I wore the new shoes I had bought in West Ealing which were far more comfortable than my usual ones, despite having such garish floral patterns on them that I felt everybody was staring at them and laughing at me!  Our walk was marred slightly when we saw Sickton walking back to his house with his usual smug grin on his face though.

Mum was not well and kept telling me how sick she felt and making me feel queasy by telling me stories of the "red water down the toilet".  Then David was really nasty to her when he came in from work...the stress seemed to make her even worse.

My day was spent scanning old photographs and attempting to clear up for the latest carpenter who was coming the following day to hang shelves etc. on various walls throughout the house.  David hadn't discussed it with me beforehand though, so I found I'd wasted my time, moving stuff out of the way to a room where Charlie the carpenter had work to do.  This meant I had to move everything all over again that evening!

I was still feeling reasonably good about my hair, convinced that it was growing back (or I wasn't losing as much, at least), but Mum promptly shot down any confident feelings I might have had.  "It doesn't look any better than usual," she said coldly.

May 4th 2011

Tired as I may have been from all the heavy moving work the previous day, there is "no peace for the wicked" as they say.  I was awoken by a distressed and somewhat disgusting cry from Mum (which you may wish to ignore if you are the slightest bit squeamish or haemophobic like myself).  "I am much worse!  There's blood pouring from my bottom!"

This statement sent me dizzy and I clenched my teeth together hard...discovering that my brace had broken in the process.  One of the brackets had come right off of the tooth and was sliding up and down the wire!


Thankfully David had taken the day off work to see the carpenter, so he was able to phone the orthodontist for me and the doctor for Mum. (We both share a hatred of talking on the telephone ourselves!)  But then David told me to speak to the orthodontist myself anyway.  Having embarrassed me by speaking first and making mistakes, I refused...so he changed his story and told the receptionist that I was on the loo. >.<  Way to embarrass me further, David!

The orthodontist couldn't see me until the following Friday anyway.  Mum got an emergency appointment with the doctor for 11am that day...but, as we were still registered with the surgery in Grottsville, David had to take us all the way over there before Charlie arrived.

I haven't actually written down what the doctor told her, but I guess that means it was nothing serious.  I don't remember any more about that particular ailment anyway!

We were left in Grottsville all day, but that did give us lots of time to work on clearing the place up a little, and boy, did we work hard!  I was exhausted from hauling things up and down the stairs by the end of the day, but the place didn't look a lot better and Mum said that I "hadn't done much at all".

She and I did have one break to walk to Sainsburys in order to get vegetarian canneloni for dinner.  I hate walking around in that area with all the drunken men leering at me so I refused to walk without wearing a thick winter coat which was practically unbearable in such hot weather as we had that day.

When we finally got back to Woodberry at 9pm that night, we found that numerous things had been hung in the wrong places under David's supervision.  In fact, it appeared that he hadn't supervised the carpenter at all, and had instead spent the day in his bedroom listening to the radio.  There was a big gash in my chest of drawers and the carpenter had pulled all of our towels out of the bathroom cupboard and thrown them all over the floor for reasons best known to himself. o_0

I took a few snaps of the new wall fixtures...

New shelves in my bedroom above my chest of drawers (Styling Pony for size comparison - the carpenter didn't nail her to the wall!)


Bathroom plant holder, shelves and toilet roll holder.  Both David and the carpenter forgot the towel rail!


But perhaps that was just as well, seeing where they hung the towel rail in the shower room:


Who on Earth hangs a towel rail there?  It's too high for a towel to hang in front of the radiator to dry but too low for it to hang completely above it!  David knows very well that Mum likes towel rails right above radiators anyway.  "Oh, but the carpenter said this is where everyone hangs their towel rails these days."  Not us, David.  The towel rail was soon covered with a black bag, awaiting another carpenter to move it!

In the same room, we had the toothbrush holder and soap dish (both of which Mum also decided she hated and I believe were removed shortly afterwards.  I can't remember to be honest and am too lazy to run up two flights of stairs to see for myself!), toilet roll holder and seaside-themed shelf:


A cabinet in Mum's bedroom...


Shelves for Mum's china mouse collection in the living room...


More shelves in the family history room (and they wonder why I call this house a museum?!)...


Another couple of museum exh...I mean cabinet and shelf in the extension...


Two seperate shelving units in the kitchen...


There should have been an enamel advertising plaque on the kitchen wall too, but it was hung too high and Mum removed it (and boldly marked the wall with ballpoint pen where it SHOULD have been!) before I even got to photograph it...


And finally, more display units and a toilet roll holder in the tiny restroom under the stairs...


Note the hole in the wall to the right of the toilet roll holder where this was also wrongly placed.  David must have actually pointed that one out though!

May 5th 2011

I didn't leave the house.  David had another day off work but, having slept at Grottsville, he didn't bother to get up until 11.15am and didn't come to Woodberry until almost 2pm.

He was in a fowl mood when he finally did arrive and went mad that Mum had moved the standard lamp in the extension as now the cabinet wasn't central on the wall in his eyes.  So he angrily attempted to pull the cabinet off of the wall (and failed, thank goodness - my parents seem determined to undo every bit of work they do get done!)

He also shouted at her that he was "bored with scanning" and kept picking on us for every little thing.  Then again, Mum had already been picking on me before he even arrived.  I was trying to scan her photographs for her but came into the extension to show her one of the pictures for some reason.  Because of this short break, she said I "wasn't serious about getting things done" in time for our trip to the USA.

I washed another thirty ponies and worked on my pony shelf display.  I was trying to figure out how to display my Sea Ponies around the Paradise Estate swimming pool as they kept sliding downwards and disappearing inside the pool!  Then I hit on the idea of tearing up strips of bubble wrap and other packing materials to look like "water" for the Sea Ponies to stand on!


Of course, it's all rather silly trying to make a nice water-like display when you consider just how overcrowded my little aquarium is...those poor little Sea Ponies can't swim very far anyway!


My broken brace was driving me mad, especially as I kept catching my tongue on the loose bracket.  My jaw kept clicking and my lower teeth seemed to be getting more crooked each time I looked at them.

May 6th 2011

Mum and I walked to Sparkle Dental Boutique.  We were ten minutes late by the time we got there but thankfully the orthodontist still saw me.  The bracket was re-glued in no time at all and the crooked front tooth went back in line there and then!

We saw greenfinches and sparrows in the park on the way back...the one and only time I'd forgotten to bring binoculars!  It's kind of sad that sparrows are now something to write about - even when I was a kid, I remember flocks of them in the garden.  But they're pretty rare around here now.

I was still working hard to get everything done before our holiday. (Although I'm sure some people would argue about that!)  I scanned 53 photos, washed over 30 ponies, listened through and indexed 5 cassette tapes and saved a lot of old blog entries, but there just wasn't enough time in the day to do everything.

I had a short bath that night and felt a bit better for taking a little while just to relax for once.  (Yes, terrible, aren't I?  I should have been working all night too!)

The last season one episode of My Little Pony: Friendship is Magic aired.  I was in no rush to watch it...just relieved to think the nightmare might finally be over.  Maybe if the show ended, the hate mail and other nastiness from the brony fandom would die down a bit.

May 7th 2011

Well, this appears to have been a boring day according to my blog notes.  More scanning, pony washing and photographing, tape indexing etc.  More panic about not getting it all done on time.  Blah, blah, blah...

I did take a little time out (I was determined to relax for at least half an hour each day!) to learn how to use the timer on my new camera and took some pictures of myself wearing my two dresses.  I don't think I've posted the TK Maxx dress on here yet, so here it is...


I've still never worn that dress in public, for the record.  It's far too short in my opinion!

This was also the first ever time I'd taken pictures of myself smiling with my mouth open/teeth showing, and I remember feeling really happy with myself...


Looking back now, I wonder what I was so happy about!  My teeth were STILL horribly crooked!  It certainly makes you realise just how bad they must have looked originally if this was considered a noticeable improvement!  My lower teeth were still hurting a bit from the adjustments made the previous day, but I guess it's a case of "no pain, no gain".

David and I went to Tesco in the evening.  He was still in a very strange mood and refused to look for socks which Mum desperately needed before she went away for any length of time where there would be no laundry facilities.  Then he almost crashed the car twice on the way back home as he was so distracted by the football on the car radio!



Phew, I think that just about rounds up this blog!  Now if only I could get even that much written each day, at least I would eventually catch up!  Please make sure I don't disappear again this time...and if I do, give me a great big virtual kick and tell me to start blogging again!  That's if anyboy even remembers who I am after all these months and I haven't just been writing for nothing!  HELLO?  ANYBODY OUT THERE?! :P

Best wishes,
Desirée  xxx