Monday, 28 July 2014

I could say it never happened, just a dream from the start...

...But then I'd live my life with a broken heart.

Listening to old Disney music and crying my heart out at the memories it holds for me.  Couldn't just one of my dreams have come true?

July 16th 2011

I was still in agony from the orthodontic tightening of the previous day.  I couldn't sleep for rolling around in pain and my bed linen was soaked in sweat.  I ended up coming downstairs at 4am and swishing cold milk around my mouth to try to dull the pain (which had worked for the past two orthodontic visits) but it did nothing for me at all this time.  I paced up and down for around an hour because I just couldn't do anything else.  And so, for the very first time in my life, I ended up giving in and taking a painkiller.  And guess what?  Taking a single Nurofen tablet didn't kill me!  Shocking!

From burning up and drenching the sheets, I was now shivering.  So I went back to bed with a hot water bottle...which was still boiling hot when I woke up five hours later at 10am!

The removal men brought the stamp cabinet and tallboy from Grottsville, as well as taking the desk upstairs and bringing one of Mum's many cabinets back downstairs.  David brought them into the back room unexpectedly and I'm ashamed to say I said something rather rude to them all.  In my defense, I was still in dreadful pain with my teeth but I'm still embarrassed about it.  I just like to look my best when strangers come into the house and there I was, sitting there in my scruffy clothes with my hair in a mess.  I wish David would give me some warning!

Anyway, I got my comeuppance.  Due to the raised voices, David had them leave the cabinet in Mum's "bed" (or rather, the part of the floor where she chooses to sleep) and it was left to me to lift the cabinet into the right corner all on my own.

David's office looked very small with all of the furniture in place...

Remember what I was saying in my last entry about every step we tried to take forward resulting in ten steps backwards?  Well, this was no exception.  We had more furniture in place...but the removal men managed to damage the bannisters, ceiling and wall by moving stuff up and down the stairs!

David managed to leave two of Mum's precious pictures from Grottsville on the removal van (thankfully the removal men were honest and we got them back but it was stressful all the same).  He then thought that he had left the door open at the storage depot - he hadn't, by the way - so took off to check it...and used it as an excuse to slip back to Grottsville for an afternoon of sleep.

He returned late that night and took me to the ever fascinating Tesco.  Well, at least I got to leave the house, I guess!

He started a stupid argument on his way out to Grottsville upon our return.  Mum accused him of doing more for his employers than he did for his own family by staying out all night.  His answer was that he'd actually been listening to the radio all night and not working at all, (If that was the case, couldn't he have done that at home?!)

This angered Mum further.  "It's all right for some with their fancy radios," she said.  "We don't even have a television or an oven here!"

"I told you this was the wrong house," David snapped.

"What's that got to do with not having an oven or TV?" Mum asked, confused.

"We haven't got space..." David trailed off, remembering that we do have an oven in the kitchen but that Mum won't use it because of the awful open plan arrangement and not wanting cooking smells in the living room.  "You refuse to use it!" he corrected himself.

There wasn't a lot that Mum could reply to that, so she just started another barrage about how much she hates open plan houses as David retreated through the front door.

July 17th 2011

Mum was awoken by scrabbling noises up on the roof.  She looked up to see a fox staring through the rooflight at her!  Gosh, they were getting bold.

My hair was falling out badly again.  It seemed to coincide with whenever I was stressed or in pain.  I was still in agony with my teeth so put the blame on that for the latest hair fall.  The toothache was preventing me from doing anything really.  I even failed to use all of my free listing spaces on eBay and only got 100 things up for sale instead of 200.  What a waste.

David further insulted me regarding my shouting at the removal men the previous day.  He said that I was "just like his mother; skittish and afraid of men".  Well, considering what a horrible person my grandmother was, I would not want to be compared to her at the best of times.  However, this was particularly unfair.  I am not skittish around men, nor am I afraid of them.  Quite the opposite.  I loathe most specimens of the opposite sex and am not afraid to tell them when I don't like the way they treat me.  The only reason I had shouted was that David hadn't allowed me time to comb my hair and put on some decent clothes before allowing complete strangers to see me looking such a I had been in terrible pain with my teeth at the time, of course.

We went to Grottsville in the evening to set up a new video for my timer recording of Friendship is Magic.  Kind of pointless, considering I hadn't been able to watch a single episode on VHS yet!  While I was there, I made a horrifying discovery.  David had taken it upon himself to hoover the library in preparation for the removal men.  Well, the last time David had allowed me some time to clear some of my stuff out of the house, I had knocked my tin of precious Teeny Weeny Families off of a shelf, the lid had come off and many of the tiny pieces were scattered on the floor.  It was too dark to pick them up at the time and I had planned to do so on my next visit.  Having not given me any time to clear up in that house since that day, the tiny toys were still on the floor.  They obviously weren't now however, as they were all in the hoover bag.  David refused to look inside the hoover bag (even though this was entirely his fault) and told me to do so instead.  How could I open up a bag of dust and carpet beetle dung with my allergies?  And what were the chances of finding walking sticks and glasses for Polly Pocket-sized dolls in a bag of filth anyway really?  I was so upset.  I was always so careful with my Teeny Weeny collection when I was small, and now there were pieces missing from all but four sets.  He'd even reduced the value should I choose to sell them!

David spent another evening at work.  Or maybe he was listening to the radio...who knows?

July 18th 2011

Another day of depression.  My toothache had eased off a bit at long last, but I was still losing loads of hair.
David had to pick up a new pair of glasses from Specsavers so gave Mum and I a lift to Ealing Broadway.  I had hoped to find more dresses in the same style to the one I had bought in Primark, but all of the size 10 ones were now sold out.  I still managed to waste money on three more packets of Inecto coconut facial wipes and a new Inecto lip balm from Savers though!

We walked back through the parks but couldn't really enjoy them due to Mum being in a fowl mood.  The reason this time was that she had decided her new ottoman was "the wrong colour for the room"...

David announced that he had got - gasp! - a DAY OFF WORK for Mum's birthday the following day, then promptly left for Grottsville without making any plans for anywhere to go.  A sure plan for disaster in this disorganised family...

July 19th 2011

David rolled up at 9am with his work bag in hand.  Huh?  I thought he'd got the day off!  "So what's happening?" he snapped at her, more as an obligatory statement than a genuine question.  "Well, you didn't make a plan..." Mum started.  "So I'll go to work then!" finished David, throwing a birthday card at Mum.  Mum was understandably upset and tore the card in half...complete with the money that David had put inside it!  She then threw the pieces at David as he left the house.  He picked up the  half bank notes (I still have no idea how much he had given her), cursing about Mum's attitude, and apparently threw them away.  Seriously?  We could have at least tried to tape them back together.  I would have had that money if my parents didn't want it!

I was actually in bed for most of this performance and awoken by Mum's wonderful voice shouting at David about being stuck with "your kid that I don't want".  Nice.

I hadn't been able to go shopping alone to buy Mum a card or gift but drew her a "card" on a scroll and wrote a poem on it.  I also included a £10 note.  Maybe I wouldn't have been so keen had I known what she'd done with David's money!  Fortunately, she had calmed down a bit by this point and didn't tear up my gift.

I had another very bad day with my hair loss.  Mum had been horrible to me the night before saying that I "deserved to have no hair as I enjoyed winding myself up".  This because I had been trying to have a calm discussion about the best way of achieving my goal of getting to Vancouver.  She "didn't understand why I WANTED to get there" though.  *Sighs*

I scanned a lot of old photographs for her and then, when it began to rain, she turned nasty and said that I had stopped her going to the park in the nicer weather.  Uh...she never said that she WANTED to walk in the park.  In fact, she'd been moaning that her legs still hurt from walking home from Ealing.

Well, we went for a walk in the pouring rain anyway and noticed that only three pieces of her birthday card were still lying on the pavement.  I suppose the nosy neighbours must have picked up the other pieces to try to find out who it was from!

Upon our return, she sent email complaints to everyone for not sending her cards.  It turned out that Emma had sent her cards to Grottsville (where Mum had lied that we were still living because she was so ashamed of the mess at that one kind of backfired), and her cousin/ex boyfriend Bill's mother was dying which was why he hadn't got round to it.  He grovelled and apologised so hopefully that made her feel a bit better anyway.

Emma was also in a bad mood because she had apparently read one of my blog entries saying that we had visited Feltham Asda over a year previously and she thought that we should have gone and knocked on her door.  Well, we'd hardly go there uninvited, would we?!

I had a terrible panic attack in the evening of the kind that I hadn't experienced since I was a child.  It didn't last for long but it really scared me.  Too many years dreaming the same dreams and doing nothing to fulfill them, I suppose.

David scarpered off to Grottsville almost as soon as he arrived, obviously not wanting to experience any more of Mum's wrath.  He rang up to tell me that FiM had been successfully recorded...with an information bar all the way through it.  Great.

July 20th 2011

My hair was "worse than ever".  I lost - gasp! - 80+ hairs!  It looked "absolutely horrid" but Mum still said that I must not even speak of wigs.  Well, it looks a heck of a lot worse now, Desirée-of-the-Past, but somehow you just get used to these things.

Curious to know what all the fuss was about, I decided to look up the infamous "Cupcakes" G4 MLP fanfiction that everybody was talking about.  I wished I hadn't.  I don't think I've ever looked at G4 Pinkie Pie or Rainbow Dash in the same light since then!  There are some seriously messed up people out there if they enjoy writing stuff like that about children's characters.  And no, if you are one of the few people who hasn't seen it, DON'T look it up.  It ain't pretty!  With my fear of blood, I couldn't even read the whole thing because I knew I'd pass out from the thought of it all!

We walked to Lammas Park via the South Ealing charity shops.  I bought a nice dress in MAPF for £4.00.  It was very tight (What?  You're joking?  It was a size 12...I haven't tried it on for ages but I bet it would fall off of me now!) and low cut but still very pretty for wearing around the house.

We went to Grottsville that night to collect some more stuff that I had sold on eBay as well as a few G3 playsets for my pony display.  It was then that I realised I had been carrying some keyrings that I had sold on  eBay in my bag since our last visit to Grottsville!  Lucky they hadn't got lost or damaged really, isn't it?

David rushed me away from the house as fast as he could as always (how did he expect me to clear it out?). and then had a go at me for not closing the stamp cabinet properly.  (Well, you can't have it both ways - I do a rushed job or a good job!)  He dashed me back to Woodberry and then ran back to the office for some reason.  I guess he must have left something there that he didn't want his colleagues to see...

And do you know, I've still got "So Much More Than A Dream" stuck in my head.  I'm going to be crying at that earworm for days now!

Best wishes,
Desirée  xxx

Friday, 25 July 2014

Waiting for Workmen, Walking Miles and Wasting Money!

I had a very bad night last night and you should count yourselves lucky that your intrepid blog author has even survived to continue the catch up tale.  What do you mean, these are so miserable that you don't even read them any more and would be relieved to see them die?  Why on Earth did you even click the link then?!

July 11th 2011

Another day wasted waiting indoors for a workman.  This time it was the man to hang the curtains in David's office and the front room.  He eventually came in the late afternoon and was obviously in a rush to go home for his tea.  The curtains in David's office looked okay (I rather liked the contrast of the darker green with the yellow/gold shades):

But we were not so lucky in the front room where he hung the pelmet with a massive crease in it.  We didn't notice this until the man had left however.  So, for all of our waiting around, we would have to waste another day waiting for the man to come and correct his mistake.

After he had finally gone, Mum and I went for a nice stroll in Lammas Park.  There were lots of birds around (probably because it was later in the day) which was annoying as it was the first time we'd forgotten to bring our binoculars!  Typical.  I found another pretty green parakeet feather for my collection.  This was a beautiful long wing feather.  I still display it proudly on the shelf beside me to this day.

I was still in a bad state about my hair but refused to do the obvious thing and wash it.  The dirtier it got, the more my head itched.  The more my head itched, the more convinced I was that I was going bald.  Well, my hair WAS getting horribly thin but I think it was stress that caused it more than washing it.  In fact, I think not washing it just added to the problem.

July 12th 2011

Mum had promised to get me up early but unsurprisingly failed to do so.  I was just too annoying for her to handle for more than a few hours a day, don't you know?

We had our usual walk around Lammas Park and then had to wait around for David's desk to be delivered.  This was becoming a daily thing.  I couldn't wait for the day when we WEREN'T waiting for somebody!  When the desk arrived, we were horrified.  It was ridiculously big for David's tiny office and not the colour Mum had liked (which David had assured her he was getting).  AND the stupid delivery man SCRAPED it over the hall flooring creating several large scratches.  Thankfully most of these would be covered by furniture if the house was ever straight, but it really seemed that every step we tried to take forward, we ended up taking another ten steps back.

I wasted the day looking up coin operated rides and trying to distract myself from my stress issues again.  Mum was quite contently pretending to listen and then suddenly flipped.  I guess she noticed the clock and realised how late it had got or something.  She screamed at me for "delaying her dinner" (weird as, while she had claimed it would be ready in ten minutes, SHE had spent half an hour sorting out her "toy cupboard" and looking at her old toys...yes, seriously).  I calmly went and served the dinner while she sat at the table.  She then threw a massive wobbly that I was "showing off by putting slightly more potato on her plate than mine"?  "Here's some real showing off!" she cried, picking up her plate and scraping all of the potato into the bin.  I shouted at her for being wasteful and told her that she would regret it when she was hungry later.  She then told me to "keep my voice down".  She "wondered what my people would think of me if they heard me like that".  Uh, "my people"?  Do I come from another planet or something?!  Heard me like what anyway?  I was only telling her that she'd regret throwing her dinner away!

I finally emptied my large Soap & Glory gift box into the cubby holes either side of the basin which seemed to be the extent of my clearing up for the day!  Still, while it doesn't sound like much, it made a big difference to the bathroom floor!

I submitted my poem and photographs of Pepper and Salt to the Canvey Island forum.  Still the owners of the ill-fated horses were determined to tell me that their father had bought them in 1947 and that they were the only ones of their kind.  Of course, my Walter Streets' advert still hadn't arrived to confirm if I was right about their history or not.

July 13th 2011

I wanted to walk to Ealing Broadway to buy a shower attachment for the bath at Argos.  I figured this might help to encourage me to wash my hair more regularly and also cause less to fall out than keep tipping buckets of water over my head!

Mum, of course, didn't feel up to walking to Ealing and delayed it as long as she could.  Then, when she finally sucked up the energy to go, she accused me of making us late!

By the time we got there, I had lost my nerve about washing my hair that night and decided against buying  the shower attachment anyway!  Oh well, I found plenty of other things to waste my money on...

Two Barbie DVDs from a charity shop

Nivea Moisturiser and Inecto Facial Wipes from Savers

And...a really pretty little dress from Primark!

I was thrilled to find a second "acceptable" dress at long last, especially when shopping with Mum who seemed determined to put me off of anything even slightly feminine.  She claimed that the neck was too big on this one, which it wasn' was still a little short for my liking though.

She got very tired and grumpy on the way back.  She wasn't even interested in a thrush that was hopping along and making sounds like a grasshopper next to the path in Lammas Park.  It's not like Mum to show no interest in a bird.

By dinnertime, she was in a fowl mood again.  I got the dinner but asked her to watch and stir the spaghetti while I went upstairs to the bathroom.  I came back to find her staring at the washing machine (worrying that it wasn't spinning apparently) and the spaghetti stuck to the saucepan and steaming!  At first she admitted that she had forgotten to keep an eye on it, but that quickly turned to accusations with her telling me that she thought I was watching it (er...while I was upstairs?)  She continued to bitch at me and made me cry until I felt the need to gulp my dinner down in a rush (causing an "Ugh, what a pig!" from the creator of the aggro!) and go upstairs to get away from her.

David came in briefly but just slept instead of being any company to her downstairs...then he returned to work for the rest of the night.

On a happier note, my Walter Streets advertisement finally arrived...and yes, just as I had suspected, the Canvey Casino horses WERE Star-Dusts originally!  A good guess on my part, I think!

July 14th 2011

Despite what had happened the previous day, Mum decided to walk to West Ealing.  She wanted to "build her strength" or something!  We were both horrified to see how the area had gone downhill since our last visit.  All of the nice shops had closed down and been replaced by rough market stalls and pound shops selling dangerous looking plastic toys with sharp edges!  The streets were full of gangs and obvious signs of drug dealing.

I thought I recognised Vesna (my grandparents' old neighbour) but Mum walked past her twice without noticing her so I suppose it must have just been a lookalike.

The result of our shopping spree today was four boxes of Weetaflakes.  Exciting.  I did see a nice purple dress in the YMCA charity shop but didn't know if it would fit or not so decided against it.  BHS had the whole range of Barbie movies at £4 each (still too pricey for my taste!)...I saw a few in the Families Relief charity shop too, but they were all in Polish so not much use to somebody whose main interest is in the Canadian voice acting!

We stopped at Tesco to buy milk on the way back.  My arm was dropping off by the time we got to Lammas Park and I had to sit down on a bench to rest!  (Seriously?  Was I that much of a weakling back then?!)  Oh well, it was quite interesting to watch a group of women practicing Tai Chi on the grass there!

Somebody uploaded the Friendship is Magic Live Show to Youtube.  I have to admit that it was so awful that I couldn't even sit through it.  This from somebody who loved The World's Biggest Tea Party.  But, once again, with me it's the voice actors who make it or break it...and I'm afraid these VAs broke it into a million pieces.  They don't even sound like the original Applejack and Rainbow Dash!

We read on the news that a man had been arrested for brandishing two knives outside Ealing Broadway Primark just two hours before we had got there the previous day!  So much for Ealing being such a nice area!

I had a bath and plucked up courage to wash my hair that night.  Well, I say I washed it.  I rinsed it with plain water and no shampoo or conditioner.  I was surprised when it still felt sticky and greasy afterwards!

David rang us to announce that he was staying at work all night which meant that we couldn't put the rubbish bag out for the dustmen and he would have to take it to the tip.  Why couldn't I put it out, you ask?  Well, Mum wouldn't let me walk down the garden path on my own so late at night...what if I got kidnapped?!

July 15th 2011

Disturbed by David staying out all night, I had a dreadful nightmare about him being stabbed on the doorstep at Grottsville by a man named Mark who then parked his car in our garden and walked into the house dressed only in a black rubbish bag.  His mission?  To inspect a purple carrier bag which he himself had put through the door!

In reality, David had got home to Grottsville at 4.30am and really had seen two police cars attending some kid of incident opposite the house.  Well, as long as Mark wasn't there, I suppose he was safe!

I had to see the orthodontist for another adjustment.  She fitted thicker wires as well as elastics which were awfully painful and began rubbing sores on the inside of my mouth almost immediately.  I began to wonder if the teeth weren't moving as quickly as they should be and the orthodontist just wasn't telling me.  Thank God I didn't know what was to come if I was already stressing at that point!

My orthodontist also announced that she was leaving and I would be seeing a different lady from now on.  I was pretty upset as I had really grown to like and trust this one, something I rarely do with doctors and dentists!

Mum and I went to Boston Manor Park on the way home to feed the ducks.  I had a lovely time hand feeding the pigeons as I used to do as a child...then they mobbed us just like they used to do in Trafalgar Square.  Oops...guess it was my own fault really!

I helpfully posted the information from my Walter Streets advert on the Canvey Island forum to clear up the mystery of the Casino Horses at long last.  The comment was published but the owner of the site did not reply.  The owner of the horses did post a response to re-enforce the story that her father had bought them in 1947.  Oops...I guess I offended them too.  I seem to have a knack.

Following David's ridiculous work hours of the previous few days, he actually came in a couple of hours early for once.  However, he returned to Grottsville almost immediately so we still didn't get to see much of him.  What a life.

Well, there's the report of another five days of my miserable life.  See you all tomorrow, I hope!

Best wishes,
Desirée   xxx

Wednesday, 23 July 2014

Hair Stress, Kiddie Rides and Hormones!

Well, I am very tired but going to try my best to write another entry at long last.  I think I'm going to have to give up in the long run though.  I'm fighting a losing battle...

July 6th 2011

We had a boring day waiting indoors for two grey armchairs to be delivered.  And then, when they finally arrived, Mum decided that they were "too big and ugly" for the front room anyway!

Still on the coin operated ride research kick, Mum tried to find some information about A Ezzel, another of the supposed original British creators of kiddie rides.  While she found nothing about Mr Ezzel, she somehow stumbled across the Penny Machines forum where some nice photographs of old rides in Mablethorpe had been posted, along with scans of a 1960s Edwin Hall flyer.  I had never seen many of the pictured rides at this point and was over the moon about finding them.  However, no matter how I tried to sign up to the forum, they wouldn't accept me so I couldn't contribute anything to the thread!

I managed to keep busy with my internet jobs and avoid thinking about my hair loss too much.  My hair was awfully greasy but I refused to use the dry hair shampoo spray, convinced that it was clogging the hair follicles and making things even worse.

To cheer my up further, I noticed that the little butterfly pendant that Mum had bought for me at Past Times for my birthday had lost one of the stones from its wing.  It must have been really well made for the money, mustn't it?!

I had a fascinating trip to Tesco that evening...what would life be without a walk around the supermarket?!

July 7th 2011

Mum and I walked in Lammas Park.  It POURED with rain but Mum was depressed and wanted to go out regardless.  She said she felt better while she was walking but ill again as soon as we got back.  I suppose my depression had rubbed off on her...or it was a ploy to get me to shut up about my problems!

Meanwhile, I was desperately trying to keep my spirits up...a little difficult when you have somebody sitting on the other side of the room moaning that her life is over and she wishes she could die!

I finally sucked up the courage to wash my blasted hair.  It felt a lot healthier for not having been sprayed with that dreadful dry hair shampoo for a while, but I still lost a lot in the bath.

An interesting "Behind the Scenes of Friendship is Magic" video got uploaded to Youtube, illustrating how Tabitha St Germain actually records Twilight Sparkle's lines in Vancouver before being overdubbed by Tara Strong.  I find it interesting how her expression is almost identical to the finished product.  I suppose Strong just copies it directly so as to fit it in to the final recording.  So I guess you could say that Tabitha is the "real" voice of Twilight (as well as half of the background ponies!)  No wonder I hold her in such high regard.

July 8th 2011

We had another walk in Lammas Park.  It was raining lightly again but us intrepid depressives do not get put off by the weather, you know?  We had a horrid experience on the way back, almost walking under P*** Sickton's bike as he cycled past while I was trying to get Mum safely across the road.  When I hastily stopped for him, he SMILED at us.  I guess his brain didn't have time to register who we were, just that he recognised the two damp figures attempting to cross the road!

My stress levels were through the roof again.  I was suffering from a very heavy period and bad cramps though so maybe my hormones were partly to blame for these ridiculous mood swings.  I decided to home in on the fact that my 'problems' meant that I couldn't wear my favourite nightdress and would instead have to wear hot pyjamas.  Yeah...quite.  No wonder people think I'm a lunatic!

July 9th 2011

Another exciting day in the life of a 20-year-old loser.  While other women my age were leading happy social lives with their friends, I didn't even leave the house.

David, who was coming from Grottsville " than ever" (unquote - I guess he wanted to say he'd be early, but then corrected himself when he realised it was a lie!) rolled up at 11am.  Yeah, very early indeed.  Once here, he rolled around the floor for hours, moaned about hanging two pictures on the wall, and dropped Mum's precious bird clock (which makes the sound of a different bird every hour and which was given to her by my late grandma when I was small) on the floor.

To add to my other "time of the month" problems, I had developed a nasty migraine which meant that I couldn't even look at the computer.  I still tried my hardest to talk to my love (the poor guy who'd been in that awful car accident while we were in the USA, remember?  Despite being sent 'home' from hospital to his friend's house due to his lack of insurance, he still had a totally paralysed right arm and was also still having occasional seizures).  I was still spending hours every day talking to him.  I think he felt better/safer if he was chatting to somebody when his friend was out and he was alone...although what I could have done from the UK should he have had a seizure, I really don't know.

Well, while I was talking to him...shuffling uncomfortably on my bed and desperately needing to use the bathroom (but not being so impolite as to point this out), I somehow managed to break my microphone off of its stand!  So I was left holding the microphone - still attached to the computer by a thin wire - in my hand until I got a stiff arm.  I attempted to fix it with sticky tape but knew I needed a new mic in the long run.

Anyway, that's how I spent most of my afternoon...while a load of noisy kids screamed and shouted in the field on the other side of the railway, with some kind of adult 'leader' with a very common voice singing out of tune nursery rhymes to them.  Having heard her voice, I'm not surprised that they were screaming!

David reluctantly did a few bits of shopping in the evening.  He claimed that he didn't have time for the full shop though as he had to get to work.  He went straight back to Grottsville after that so we never saw him (or any of the shopping) that night anyway!

July 10th 2011

David came to Woodberry even later today (about 1pm!)  Because of this, we presumed that he would have done the rest of the shopping before he arrived...but he hadn't.

He went to the loo for hours, then came downstairs to lie around the floor and argue the rest of the afternoon away.  I went upstairs and had a nap to get away from the aggro!  I had just woken up and was in the bathroom when I head David yelling at ME.  "Do you want me to wait for you?"  Well, considering I hadn't left the house the previous day, yes, I would like to come with you...even if it is only another boring trip to Tesco!

The trip was not a very pleasant one anyway.  I lost a hair (yes, a single hair!) and flipped out in panic.  As I battled to hold back my tears about "going bald", David snapped at me that my hair was "still thick" and sent me off to do most of the shopping on my own in order to get rid of me.

My hair was awfully greasy (well, if I refused to wash it OR use dry hair shampoo, what did I expect?!) and my scalp was itching dreadfully (again, I expect the unwashed sweat wasn't helping!) but I was trying to keep calm.  Yes, I was really keeping calm if I went into that much panic over losing one hair!

After this, David went to Grottsville to empty his precious stamp cabinet.  He shouted at Mum for "delaying him" by trying to discuss his job list (even though he had spent a further two hours in the loo by this point!) and slammed the door behind him.

When he returned, he started shouting at ME!  I "hadn't done anything to clear his office" (even though I had cleared a ton of stuff out before he even came upstairs and had just now gone to rest on the bed because I felt so weak) and "hadn't done a very good job of hoovering either".  Well, I had hoovered very thoroughly earlier that week - in fact, I had almost fallen downstairs with the vacuum cleaner!  Why was it up to me to clean and clear HIS office anyhow?  I was feeling very poorly - low iron levels, I suppose - but he didn't even seem to notice this and continued to barrage me regardless.

I watched enviously as people began uploading photographs of the US MLP Fair.  I was especially fascinated to see a couple of prototypes on the Hasbro table - a Sing n Dance Pinkie Pie and...Storybelle!  Oh, I had so desperately wanted a Storybelle toy at the time of the release of the A Very Pony Place DVD.  I suppose they decided the turning windmill symbol would be too expensive to make.

I stupidly never saved the photographs at the time and can't find them online now.  If anybody has a picture of that prototype that they wouldn't mind sharing with me, I'd love to see it!

Mr Car Crash Victim also found some lovely old pictures of Southend showing the amusement arcades there in the 1960s and 70s.  It was hard to see what rides were there but I definitely picked out a horse and wagon of the kind I'd only seen once or twice before (at that time, I had no idea that this was an RG Mitchell Wagon Train) as well as the Joyride Speedboat and Edwin Hall Motorbike that I actually used to ride when I was a little girl.  Yes, they were really there for all those years!  What other rides can you see in this photograph?

(Photo courtesy of

And that just about brings us to the end of another five day blog.  Just as well really as I'm so tired that my eyes won't even open properly!  God knows what I've just written in this entry...  Apologies for any glaring errors!

Best wishes,
Desirée xxx

Monday, 14 July 2014

Slipping further behind...

I'm never going to catch up like this, am I?  David always wants the computer to look at the BBC news or watch the football etc., and what can I say when this is his computer?  I really need to start saving for my own.  I've also been out and about a lot this week again.  But it's no excuse if I ever want to get this blog updated!

July 1st 2011

David drove us both back to Grottsville to see the doctor, Mum about her stomach pains and me about my hair loss.  Mum complained that she was worried I'd walk in on her again...this followed on from our previous visit when the electronic screen in the waiting room had called my name before she came out.  I don't know what would have happened had it been a stranger in the room having something private done to them!  Mum has never believed that the doctor accidentally called me in via the screen and thinks I just walked in for the sake of it.  I'm so glad we don't still go to that stupid clinic.  It's much better when the doctors have the decency to come to the door and call your name themselves!

It was a pointless exercise anyway.  Mum refused to swallow the camera again so the doctor couldn't diagnose her.  All she could tell Mum was that her blood pressure was very low.

As for me, I was told that my hair felt very dry.  I should stop using dry hair shampoo and wash my hair twice a week.  I was also sent for another blood test as the other stupid doctor had failed to test my iron levels.

Later on, David went to see an optician and was told that he had cataracts forming in both eyes.  Cheerful news all round really, huh?

My parents then had to go and get the latest updated versions of their wills signed (you know, the ones that made sure my non-existent children were treated fairly in the event of their premature deaths).  I came along for the drive, thinking that I would walk around Ealing while they saw the lawyer.  I was sadly mistaken.  Mum was too worried that I might get kidnapped if I walked around alone and instructed me to come and see the lawyer with them and then we'd all walk around together.  As it happened, I got very distressed by my thinning hair as we were walking to the lawyer's office (no doubt brought on by the earlier doctor's appointment), had an argument with Mum about not allowing me to walk around the shops while they signed their wills and announced that I would walk home alone.  This was not allowed either though, of course, so Mum chased after me and didn't sign her will.

She spent the evening trying to research Walter Streets (the man I believed had made the ill-fated Canvey Island horse rides).  She found a remarkable amount about him and pieced together practically his whole life story in the space of a couple of hours...but she found nothing about Star-Dust, the coin operated horse in question.

July 2nd 2011

David, who had taken my eBay parcels back to Grottsville with him the previous night with the intention of posting them at the post office there, had to bring them back in the morning as two more people had paid and I wanted to post them all at once.  This turned out to be a mistake as South Ealing Post Office are apparently incapable (or too lazy) to deal with eBay parcels.  They would not provide Proof of Posting which meant that I could not reclaim my money in the event that one of the parcels should get lost.

We then all went to Grottsville to do a little tidying up.  I managed to catch a variation of the Friendship is Magic trailer on Boomerang, which depressed me again that I couldn't tape FiM itself.  David still wouldn't let me set the timer as "how would he be able to watch TV then"?  Well, we'd had to live without it for long enough!

There were big arguments as usual and I began grinding my teeth again.  I'd ground that stupid block down to practically nothing by this point and it was agonising.  My hair was driving me crazy again too.  I was sick of it - I'd waited so many years to move house and get a nice hairstyle of my own choosing.  Was that really too much to ask?

I made a film of our old street as we drove away from the house.  It actually doesn't look that bad in this sunny little movie but, believe me, it was awful there.  God, would I pleased to see that place for the last time!

July 3rd 2011

Back to Grottsville again.  All this back and forth was really making me feel ill by this point.  Why couldn't we just clear the house out already?!  This time we needed to collect the MLP balloon that I had sold to my pony pal Drusilla, and try to teach David to use the timer.  Yes, he had actually agreed to try and tape FiM for me!

The trip descended into yet more mindless arguments between my parents.  Mum discovered that a clock that had been given to her by her parents had stopped working and blamed David for leaving it in the awful conditions in Grottsville for too long.  He blamed her for not clearing out the house sooner.  She pointed out that she never got any time at Grottsville to clear the house out.  And so it continued.

My hair loss seems to have been the worry of the week for certain.  I felt paralysed to the spot, scared to move my head in case more hair fell out!  Mum made things worse by continuously telling me that it was "getting worse" and, when she attempted to comb my hair for me because I was too scared to do so, "she was struggling to cover the bald patches".  Nice.  Thanks for filling me with so much positivity, Mum!

July 4th 2011

Mum and I had a walk in Lammas Park.  It was uncomfortably hot but it was still nice to have a little stroll in the fresh air.

I stitched up a ripped leg on yet another of Mum's old teddy bears, a dog named Douglas.  Just call me Teddy Bear Hospital Nurse, as all of her old cuddly toys seemed to be coming to me for surgery or spa treatments now!

I also worked on my pony list at long last but it was a long job which I feared would never be completed...especially when I couldn't stop stressing about my darn hair!

Still in my coin operated ride research mode, I decided to see if I could find out if there were ANY Edwin Hall rides still in existence.  Some photographs of Earnley Gardens dating from the previous year showed the ostrich and tank rides were still there at that point so I decided to email them.  A helpful chap named Bill emailed me back immediately and confirmed that the rides WERE still there!  Since he seemed so helpful, I decided to ask him what was written on those mysterious manufacturer's plaques that I could see on my old childhood photos.  They looked so much like the Edward Savill plaque on my favourite Running Horse ride and yet I KNEW the ostrich was manufactured by Edwin Hall.  Once again, Bill emailed me directly, saying he would just go and check the plaques now.  I never heard from him again.  I still have no idea what happened to him.  Perhaps he couldn't read the writing on the plaque...or maybe the ostrich ate him?  Who knows?!  Either way, I decided I had to get to Earnley Gardens to see those rides pronto before they were removed from the site.

Having had no joy looking for Walter Streets' Star-Dust online, I had contacted the National Fairground Archives in Sheffield where they have copies of all issues of The World's Fair newspaper.  A January 1954 article in Billboard magazine, found on Google, stated that Star-Dust had been advertised in The World's Fair "recently".  The National Fairground Archives will look through one month's worth of newspapers free of charge if you have a specific enquiry.  So I decided to take a gamble and ask them to look at December 1953 for the advert in question.  And it paid off!  I got an email saying that the advert had been located...but a copy would cost £5.18.  Grr...if only I could get to Sheffield myself, I could make a copy for just 2p!

David set the timer for FiM for me, but I wouldn't know if it had worked until the following day.  I knew from the MLP forums that several people had set their Sky+ boxes to record it and none of them had managed to catch it!

The strangest occurence of the day was when David rang Mum from a traffic jam just around the corner to say that he was "bored".  Uh...  He doesn't even talk to us when he's here, why would he pay to ring her from the car?!

July 5th 2011

Mum was too tired to repeat the previous day's walk in Lammas Park.  So I just walked to the three charity shops in South Ealing.  I saw a fakie behind the counter at MAPF and remembered the lsdy who worked there telling me thst her grandaughter liked MLPs.  I bet that's why real ponies seldom hit the shelves there!  I also saw a nice floral dress for  four quid, but it was missing its belt and the neck was a bit low cut for me anyway.

I did some more scanning and accidentally stumbled across some more of David's unpleasant writings.  A nice story about a naked daughter treating her parents to breakfast in bed on Father's Day.  Ew...  And people wonder why I'm not keen on men.  It's a bit hard to like them when you know the kind of things that go on in their heads!

Oh well, at least he had managed to catch FiM on the timer.  In fact, he had watched the first episode himself (must be nice to have a television in Grottsville...) and thought that it seemed very similar to my old fanfiction about The Black Pony of Darkness - Nightmare Moon being the Black Pony, of course.  Well, I'm glad I'm not the only one who thought that.  If my fanfiction was online, I'd almost be able to say that Lauren Faust had read it and pinched the story for her TV series!  Great minds think alike, I believe is the saying.

I decided to bite the bullet and pay for a copy of the Star-Dust advert.  £5.18 was horribly expensive but I knew I was unlikely to visit Sheffield myself in the near future and I really wanted to know if the late Canvey Island horses had been Walter Streets' creations.

The place was in a terrible mess and we were having David's desk and chairs delivered the following day!  I just couldn't seem to fit everything into the day, even with the long summer evenings.  No wonder I was stressed to death.  I spent the evening trying to relax and listening to old Care Bears music, but my hair continued to fall badly.  (Well, did I really expect relaxation to have an instant effect?!)

I will try to write again tomorrow but no promises.  I need to get my own computer!

Best wishes,

Monday, 7 July 2014

Not Again!

It's been over a month since I posted here again, hasn't it?  That means I am officially over three years behind with this blog.  I can't believe I've let this happen again.  In my defense, we have had three short breaks since my last post and then I got caught up with exam revision and eBay, but even so.  Please don't let me disappear like this again!

June 26th 2011

We attended Allan's First Communion/Confirmation.  Now don't get me wrong, I am not a regular church goer but I usually enjoy a nice church service on the rare occasion I get to go.  Not this one.  It was the most boring two hour performance I have ever experienced.  Between my sister's large family and her friend Kelly's equally large family, there seemed to be no room for anyone else.  Everything revolved around them and them alone.  It was almost creepy, like some kind of clan.

The kids were noisy and ill behaved.  We were given the job of trying to keep them quiet throughout the service but they were, unsurprisingly, as bored as I and kept making mischief.  The priest walked up and down with some kind of "relic" (which looked for all the world like a wiggling earth worm trapped inside a cross), and we all had to follow him outside (lead by the two main families, of course, who kept very near to the priest!), around the churchyard and back into the church again, even though the service was over at this point!

They were running a kind of creche (what they termed a Sunday School) in the church hall to try to keep the children occupied throughout the dull service.  From what I could see, this exciting Sunday School consisted of a table full of colouring sheets (depicting horrifying, supposedly biblical scenes) and a man watching over the children and telling them a happy little story.  As we exited, following the worm-bearing priest, the man's voice boomed, "You may have many dreams, but remember that NONE of these will come true.  Think now about dedicating your life to Jesus and working for the church!"  Freaky.  Was this some kind of weird brainwashing cult?

We stopped at Homebase on the way back to buy some houseplant compost in order to try to keep Mum's money plant and rubber plant alive.  The poor things were still in Grottsville's kitchen and David had not been looking after them very well at all.  It's said that if your money plant dies, you won't have any money.  Well, we didn't want to risk it!

Later on, we went to Hobbycraft to buy picture hooks and then to Grottsville to collect some eBay stuff and my freshly laundered bed well as treating the plants to their new compost, of course!  Mum threw away some more of her beloved old teddy bears and attempted to wash another.  Actually I think we did quite a lot that day for our standards, but I am moaning in my blog notes how David wasted most of the day in and out of the loo and at work!  All things are relative, I suppose!

It was unbearably hot and I had a badly upset stomach as I always seem to get on hot summer days.  Mum just fell asleep early (as she tends to do on hot summer days!)  I wished that I could find some more cool summer dresses to wear but nothing I saw was concealing enough for my standards at that time!

With the main pony collection finally on the shelves, I decided to take some pictures of my pony room.  Of course, it was still nowhere near complete.  The shelves are now heaving with other merchandise and even more ponies!  However, they are also heaving with dust so I'm afraid these are probably the most complete photographs you will ever see of my pony room...especially as I am now considering selling off a large chunk of my collection and only keeping the ponies that mean most to me. :(

June 27th 2011

Mum let me lie in as she "didn't want me to get up".  Nice to feel wanted, huh?  The result was that I felt thoroughly ill from spending too much of a lovely (hot) summer day asleep under a thick duvet cover (with all of those lovely plush MLPs making my feet even hotter!)

She washed another batch of bears before I got up and only bothered to wake me as she was coming downstairs from hanging them on the airer.  No, I don't know how she hung her beloved teddies up...  It sounds painful!  She claimed that "she wouldn't get a turn on the computer if she called me before then".  Uh, why would I stop her using the computer?  I just wanted to get up and get on with tidying up the house before it got too hot to do so!

Even then, I had to wait ages for her to talk to David about goodness knows what before I was allowed near the table to eat my breakfast.  I dared to say something which was taken as a complaint and was told to "shut up as David was talking".  Always good to know one's place in the family!

David wasn't saying much anyway...well, nothing that talking could change.  He had a bill for a further $200 for his Las Vegas hospital treatment.  One reason I'm glad not to live on the right side of the pond, medical fees over there are ridiculous!

Mum remained in a bad mood with me for the rest of the day.  My grandparents' old neighbours Pauline and Bob came and put a couple of postcards from their recent holiday through the door and I was told off as apparently they would "know we were in because I was playing my tape heaven's loud".  Er...the tape player wasn't even in the room with me...  Maybe she could hear those pesky ghosts again?!

It was so hot that I could hardly move (maybe that's why Mum was in such a fowl mood?)  Oh well, at least I found the keys to the back door and patio doors which meant that we could get some air into this stuffy house at long last.  Only minutes after I opened the doors though, a cat pounced on a bird in the brambles and gave me the fright of my life!  Mum then insisted that the doors were closed again anyway, in case the cat came into the house...

I started browsing eBay for Pony Tales animation cels and got upset by all of the butchered cels on there.  Has anybody seen them?  Basically the dealer removes the original backing paper (and any sketches relating to it) and places the painted cel on a coloured background print (usually not even from MLP) before selling them as "nice pictures to get framed for your babies' nursery".  Thanks but no thanks.  These are unique pieces of MLP/animation history we're talking about.  They can NEVER be replaced.  Why alter them?  There is a specific cel from Roll Around The Clock which I really want for my collection (yes, I know the odds of finding it are VERY slim) and I am always terrified that I will see it ruined in that way.

In the evening, I had a fascinating trip to Tesco.  Apparently I was also in a fowl mood due to the weather and more conscious of gross men eyeing up the women than ever.  Again, I was left wishing that I had some more floaty dresses with which I could cover my ugly fat legs.  I hated the skin tight leggings which were all I had to wear.

June 28th 2011

We returned to Tesco.  Wow, my life is a barrel of laughs!  I took a look around the clothing section and saw some nice summer dresses...but the sleeves were cut too deep for Miss Perfect Prude's liking!

After days of being too hot, it POURED with rain.  And I do mean poured.  Hailstones were bouncing off of the rooflights "like galloping horses" as Mum put it.  And then we witnessed a magnificent spectacle.  I like to call it our "Window Waterfall"!

Yes, water was cascading down the outside of one of our sliding doors.  No, I have no idea why or what caused it, but I guess it was a burst pipe or other fault up on the roof.  Yet another problem left by Sickton and his Cowboy Builders.

I had such a lot of online jobs to do and instead started Googling random nonsense.  I discovered that Alice Playten had passed away the previous saturday.  For those who don't know, Alice was the voice of Baby Lickety Split in the My Little Pony Movie.  I spent many hours of my childhood trying to impersonate her "unforgettable" voice and Mum spent many hours of my childhood holding her hands over her ears!

RIP, Alice Playten.  Hope you're still going it alone out there somewhere with that unique voice of yours!

I then started researching coin operated rides again with a view to starting work on my website once more.  I found some nice videos depicting rides in Bognor and Southend in the 1960s as well as a Whittaker Bros. traction engine in Blackpool in the 1970s.

This one won't let me embed it here for some reason but you can see the Southend one here -  The Blackpool one seems to have been taken down (I still have it on a flash drive but obviously can't re-upload somebody else's video).

These were the first old videos I'd found of rides and I was pretty pleased with myself.

Then I found something which made me wish I hadn't started researching old rides...

Some of you may know how much I loved these two gorgeous horses at Canvey Island when I was a child?  

We went back to visit them on my 18th birthday but, as there were Swine Flu scares in Essex at the time, Mum wouldn't let me get out of the this was the nicest photo I grabbed of them.

I thought I'd Google "Canvey Island horse ride" and see what came up.  Much to my surprise, I found a whole page dedicated to these horses.  Apparently they were a bit of an icon in Canvey, having been there for around sixty years.  (Their owner claims they were bought in 1946/47, but as far as I'm aware these were not made until 1953.  As I say, around sixty years.)  

Well, I was excited to find the pages and thought I was in for a nice read...  Then three words were slowly absorbed into my brain...  The title of the latest page: "Casino Horses 'Rest in Peace'".  I felt as if my heart had been ripped from my chest as I clicked the page and read the story.  A driver had lost control of her car, swerved across the wide pavement and smashed both horses to pieces just eight months after the above photograph was taken.  Worst than that, there was CCTV footage showing the horses' last moments before they were destroyed.  You even see the legs and other parts of my beloved "Salt" flying across the pavement.

Not for the faint of heart or those who love these rides as much as I do...

I still don't know whether to believe this was an accident as it seems impossible to me for the driver to have been quite so incompetent.  Most of you will not know the area, but we are talking about a very quiet little road in a residential area.  Why on Earth would she have been going at that speed?  Did she not see the corner?  The pavement is extremely wide and even with my limited driving knowledge, I believe I could have braked or even veered to avoid those horses (or any obstacle that my car was about to crash into!).  She made no effort to avoid the horses, in fact the CCTV seems to show her swerving towards them.  I wonder if she had a personal vendetta towards the owners, especially as the driver and her family continue to frequent Canvey Island forums and JOKE and almost GLOAT about the fact she destroyed these horses every time one of their loyal fans posts an old photograph.  I wish something could be done to bring the old hag to justice, but of course, they were just fibreglass.  Not extremely rare pieces of history, the only rides ever manufactured by Walter Streets & Co. in the 1950s.  We don't pay any attention to "recent history" in the UK.

Well, there was nothing I could do to change history or the justice system.  Instead, I wrote a poem for the beautiful horses that had been lost...

"Two majestic horses, standing side by side,
Oh, majestic horses?  May I take a ride?
For when I climb upon your backs, I hear the laughter and the tears,
Of all the people who you've met on Canvey through the years.

We're galloping along now.  'Bonanza' fills the air.
Your cheerful whinnies make me smile - you're such a happy pair!
For over half a century, you served the children well.
If only you could talk to us, what tales you'd have to tell.

Even after the Casino closed, you were a link back to the past.
A link to happy days long gone; Why can't good things ever last?
For now the ride is over.  You've run your final race.
Without you, Canvey seems a somewhat sad and lonely place.

If only I could turn back time and save you from your fate.
Take you inside your stable before it was too late.
But dwelling on your sad, sad end does not help you or I,
So I'll remember happy days we spent in years gone by.

Oh, Casino Horses!  You're death tore me apart,
But I'll always keep your memory alive within my heart."

I felt physically sick and couldn't stop crying for days.  So many of these old machines have been scrapped, then when somebody does make an effort to keep a couple of them going, one careless/vengeful driver has to come and kill them.

June 29th 2011

I didn't leave the house which didn't help to ease my depression.  I felt very self conscious about my hair again and had a headache from shedding so many tears over my beloved Canvey horses.

Oh well, if they did something for ride kind, they spurred me into action with my ride website at long last!  I couldn't bring them back, but I could make sure that these beautiful works of art were remembered.  I would have done a lot more, but Mum wanted to go to sleep early and I was still having bad panic attacks about going to bed after she was already asleep.  Because, you know, the boogie man only comes out when you're still awake and your mum isn't...that's childhood legend, isn't it?!

She was not best pleased that I had woken her up the night before due to bad water creaking noises on the roof.  I'd thought that the roof was going to collapse, especially after the waterfall episode!  It didn't collapse, but by the following morning we discovered that the extension ceiling was damp and stained.

It's hard to see from the photos, but there were what looked like dirty handprints on the ceiling, as well as a large crack and what I can only describe as a long 'ripple' leading from one end of the ceiling an becoming more defined at the other (near the waterfall window).  It looked as though a mini stream had run straight through the ceiling!

A man came to fit blinds in David's bedroom.  He was supposed to hang the curtains in David's office as well, but ran out of time.  Where do we find these workmen?

June 30th 2011

My depression continued.  Mum had no patience as ever and offended me by putting it all down to hormones and the time of the month.  I told her it was to do with Pepper and Salt and the fact that my own life was going nowhere.  It wasn't even THAT time of the month so I hardly think that was the cause!

I started wrapping up eBay parcels to try to take my mind off things and Mum still had to be nasty and condescending.  "You don't do anything all day long except sit on that machine winding yourself up.  You lay yourself open to the Bronies.  Stop crying an get on and wrap these parcels up.  Then maybe you won't feel like crying!"  Oh yeah, I was still receiving tons of hate mail from 'bronies' (fans of My Little Pony Friendship is Magic) too, purely for liking previous generations of MLP and standing up for my friend - the one who had recently been in a car crash and had just been kicked out of hospital as his insurance had run out, that is - who they were relentlessly attacking with death threats because he had worked on a certain cartoon twenty years previously.

I de-boxed my art ponies and washed them, ready to squeeze them onto my pony shelves.  I was really out of space now but trying to cram in as much as I could.

In my anxiety and depression, I had ground my teeth against that darn "block" that the orthodontist had fitted on my right molars to keep my mouth partially open (and stop me biting the braces off) so that was killing me again.  I was starting to really regret ever getting the braces...but hey, I'd feel so much better when they came off, right?  Think of all the confidence I'd have for the things I wanted to do with my life...

David attempted to do a DIY job for once!  He decided to...wait for it!...HANG A MIRROR ON THE SHOWER ROOM WALL!  Mum and I were both ordered to gather for the grand performance so that we could help him with this extremely difficult operation.  And guess what?  He still failed.  Instead of a mirror, we ended up with a large hole in the wall where the hanging hook refused to stay.  And he dropped his hammer in the basin, nearly cracking it in the process...

And so there goes another five days in the life of me.  One day this blog will be up to date....but not until I have a computer of my own and a lot more time on my hands!
Best wishes,
Desirée  xxx