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

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