Wednesday, 14 January 2015

Badly Behaved Decorators, Thoughtful Gifts and a Trip to Blackpool!

You are feeling very sleepy...oh no, that's me.  I am feeling very sleepy.  Please excuse the errors.  I'm struggling to stay awake!

October 11th 2011

We had workmen here all day long.  I hid in another room because I couldn't face seeing anybody in my current depressed state.  However, unbeknownst to me, they were working on my bedroom cupboard, strengthening the floor that had fallen out from the last bodged job.  I had a terrible panic attack when I heard them drilling in there (why hadn't David warned me in advance so that I could have moved my stuff out of the way?) and ended up shouting at the workmen and showing myself up as usual.

Mind you, I think they deserved to be shouted at.  They made a terrible mess of the wallpapering job, and a terrible mess of our house in general.  There was urine all over the toilet seat and floor and a dirty Coke can by the basin in my beautifully cleaned bathroom, and that was just the tip of the iceberg.  Why are all the workmen we employ so careless around other people's property?

Still, David told me that I should have got a bus to Grottsville if I didn't want to be here.  A) I was perfectly happy to be here, I just wanted advance notice to move my valuable possessions out of harm's way. B) Where was I supposed to get the bus fare? C) He knew I wouldn't travel around Grottsville alone and D) I didn't even have a key to the house in Grottsville!

Luckily, none of my stuff got broken, but they did knock one of my valuable, fragile Dream Beauties on the floor, so it's a small miracle that her leg didn't break off!

My hair was shedding badly again.  My scalp was horribly sore and the back of my head was so greasy again.  Well, it's unsurprising when I kept putting off washing it, huh?

On a much, MUCH happier note, I received a lovely gift from my friend Grace.  She got me a 2011 Exclusive Comic Con Pony!  And she included some little stickers and lip glosses as extras.  I have never forgotten her kindness.  I doubt that you're reading this, Grace, but thank you again over three years later.  I know we don't talk as much as we used to, but I still think of you all the time.  Hope everything's going well in Kentucky. :)

In the evening, we went to Hayes Toys R Us to collect the free promotional Lego toy for my nephew Allan.  I noticed that there was a message on the back of the bag about a special golden brick which had to be found by October 21st in order to win a £15,000 prize.  Well, since Allan wouldn't have even been given the Lego by that point, I hoped we hadn't won the prize!  Imagine how frustrating it would be to find the special golden brick after the closing date!

Then to Tesco...where I shouted at a creepy old man for leering at me.  Oh boy, I was on a roll!

October 12th 2011

The workmen returned so once again I was left hiding in another room.  I got up bright and early so as to be out of their way in time...then they didn't turn up until gone 9am anyway!

They did yet more awful wallpapering, actually tearing the paper on the landing wall outside my bedroom and "matching the pattern up" with a small piece of wallpaper over the tear.  Um...yeah.  Then they helped themselves to a brand new bar of very expensive soap (why couldn't they use the one in the soap dish?), and splashed it absolutely everywhere.

David said he wouldn't pay the men the full amount since they had basically ruined our wall...then he came and borrowed the total sum off of Mum.  "Well," he said.  "They're doing something else now, aren't they?"  The "something else" of which he spoke was painting a patch of the hall wall which they had also damaged....  If they hadn't damaged it, they wouldn't have had to paint it, would they?!

I wasted most of the day stressing about my hair loss and sore, achey scalp as usual.  Mum still convinced me that I would go bald if I tried to wash it and yet, looking back, I realise that many of my problems were probably caused from delaying for so long.  I was having dreadful panic attacks and could hardly breathe but Mum would just yell at me if I tried to talk through my problems.  She was the one psyching me up and making me worse most of the time though.  For instance, at one point during the afternoon, I felt a loose hair hanging down on my arm and pulled it away from my head.  "Oh, God!" Mum cried dramatically, as if the remainder of my hair had just fallen off of my head in a big clump.  It was ONE. TINY. HAIR.  But, when I was already so scared of losing my hair, she was making things so much worse.

We repeated yesterday's exciting trip in the evening.  First to Toys R Us for today's bag of Lego, then to Tesco for bread and Volvic.  We made a stop at the garage on the way out to pick up six Dolly Mix Ponies that David had spotted there the previous night.  I thought the Dolly Mix MLPs had been discontinued by that point so it was a nice surprise to find them.  They were rehomed very quickly, of course.

Upon our arrival home, David mounted the kerb sharply when parking the car, making both Mum and I cry out as it was such a bump.  He shrugged it off.  "I meant to do that," he said.  "I just didn't realise that it was so high."  The people I live with...

October 13th 2011

The workmen returned again to finish off the wallpapering (which should have been finished the previous day), and they still didn't get round to painting the blue wall in the hall.  The place stank every time they had been in the house as well.  I still couldn't put my finger on whether the stench was curry or cigarettes (it seemed like an unpleasant mix of the two!), but it certainly offended my nose!

Back to Hayes Toys R Us for a free Disney Cars Lego set.  This was getting quite boring now.  David had promised to take us to Grottsville and McDonalds but he decided at the last minute that he wanted to take the rubbish bags to the other house on his own for some reason.

My hair was looking worse and worse.  Mum took a photograph of it that morning to "prove it didn't look that bad".  Great coming from her after the comments of the last few days!

Well, I suppose it's fuller on top than it is these days anyway.  I don't even remember a time when it was that long.  (And to think it used to be beautifully thick and long enough for me to sit on once upon a time!)  But what strikes me most about this photo is how darn DRY and unhealthy it looks.  For God's sake, Desirée, it was crying out for conditioning!  Surely I could see that?  I fear it will never be healthy again now.

October 14th 2011

Only one of the decorators turned up today.  He arrived later than ever and left early... He had to "walk to Hammersmith" apparently so he couldn't stay any longer (even though the job they had been paid to do still wasn't finished).  David felt sorry for the poor soul having such a long walk ahead of him though, of course, and didn't complain.  Anyway, we were left with marks all over our hall wall and wallpaper paste all over our walls and carpets.  Great.

David posted the eBay parcels in the afternoon, then we all went to Brent Cross Toys R Us via Hoover Tesco.  Mum swore she'd seen a kitten run underneath a car at the latter but we couldn't find it so I don't think it can have existed!  The Lego toys had run out at Toys R Us by the time we got there.  "You've done it again!" David snapped at Mum upon hearing this...although I'm not sure WHAT she was supposed to have done?  Then he disappeared.  We thought he'd gone back to the car to sulk, but it turned out that he was still aimlessly walking around Toys R Us.

We got all the Christmas shopping done for my nephews and nieces, then David dumped us back at Woodberry before going to Hayes Toys R Us where he did find the elusive Lego toy.

I had a nice relaxing bath that night and felt a lot better for sore feet were certainly thankful.  But I was STILL too scared to wash my poor neglected hair...

October 15th 2011

The day of our exciting coach trip to Blackpool.  Of course, now that we'd kind of been to Blackpool a few weeks previously, it wasn't half as exciting, but I was still determined to enjoy the day.  There's something nice and nostalgic about travelling to the seaside by coach...although God knows why as I never did as a child!

We had to get up at 5am and walk miles to the pick up point.  The the coach was late.  I was freezing but refused to admit it.  My parents had told me not to bring my coat as I was a "warm person" so all I had was my little thin blue plastic rain coat.  Why do I listen to them?  It was the middle of October and still dark...why did I expect it to be warm?!

The coach itself was also bitterly cold.  I was relieved when we stopped at a service station in Coventry for 45 minutes as it gave me a chance to warm up a bit!

I was also quite pleased to see a RG Mitchell Storyteller Van at the entrance and get some pictures for the website.  It had been a long time since I'd seen one of these.

Despite buying the Sun newspaper, we were unable to get the free Lego toy at WHSmith at the service station so Allan would have to miss out on this one.

I was happy to get back on the coach as the service station was full of the kind of leering men I loathe.  Why do they think it's acceptable to stand dead still and look women up and down like a piece of meat?  I'm a human being as much as you are.  One older bloke even stared at Mum when we were on our way out of the restroom.  She glowered at him and walked on and he just turned his head and watched her walking away.  Really?

We finally arrived in Blackpool at 1pm and David headed straight for the loo, leaving Mum and I sitting on the seafront to eat our packed lunch.

When he finally returned, we got down to business, walking around the three piers and most of the arcades.  Mum was cold, tired and moaning as usual though so I didn't manage to get around all of it, and we hardly even touched the shops.

One gift shop we did visit had some rather interesting fakie MLPs inside.  I think this is the first time I've ever seen a fakie actually called "My Little Pony"...

The fakie that really caught my eye was a large plush pony named "Lovely Neddy".  She was identical to the Jumbo G3 plushies, and even had Toola Roola's symbols!  I was in love and, even though she cost £9.99 (A bargain, the shop owner said, as they cost £25 in Argos...hmm, don't think you'll find one of these in Argos, mate!), I'm afraid to say that we spent the rest of our day carrying a large bag around with us!

The leaflet that came with her appears to show pictures of a real MLP plushie?

Even her accessories feature G3 pony pictures!

Comparison pictures with the real Toola...

How do these companies get away with it?!

I have never seen anything like "Lovely Neddy" again so I'm glad I bit the bullet and brought her home (even if it was a bit cramped on the coach on the way back!)  She might be a fakie, but she's still one of my most loved ponies and has lived between my bed and desk ever since!

Right, back to the Blackpool tale.  Having finally got the bored and tired mother to the end of South Pier and started taking photographs, the alarms went off and we were evacuated from the pier!

I'm still not exactly sure why we were evacuated.  I saw a Coke vending machine had been smashed but no other signs of trouble whatsoever.  Apparently a smashed vending machine warranted emptying the pier of paying customers and calling for two fire engines, a police car and a police van?!

Blackpool itself was nothing like I remembered as a child.  The arcades are all but gone, replaced by seedy night clubs full of loud hen and stag parties.  Men prancing about in pink cowboy hats with large plush, uh, things strapped around their waists.  Women dressed as nurses and French maids handing out leaflets advertising strip clubs.  Men in French maid uniforms lifting their skirts and flashing their Spongebob Squarepants underpants at us.  Gross. It was like a cheap and nasty version of Las Vegas which is tragic in my eyes.  Why immitate another place badly when it used to be such a lovely place in itself?

As for coin operated rides?  There wasn't one ride that I would deem "old" in the entire place.  In fact, there were hardly any rides there at all.  When I think back to the ride paradise I first saw when I was five, Blackpool breaks my heart.

For the viewing pleasure of my ride enthusiast friends, here are a selection of the ride photos I took.  Nothing of particular interest though, as I already said.

Before we knew it, it had got dark so we decided to take a tram along the Golden Mile to look at the infamous Blackpool Illuminations.  Alas, even the illuminations are nothing like I remember them as a child.  I'm sure there are far fewer of them and the ones that are there are lacking the creativity and novel ideas that used to be such a big part of the lights.  I think the auction in which the My Little Pony tableau was sold was the end of it for me.  No, not because the pony tableau was my favourite, but because so many of the old models and beautiful tableaus were thrown out at that point.  Whether they're lacking the designers or the money to put it together, they don't seem to have the ability to create those kinds of things any more.  It would have been better to keep digging out the old stuff year after year than replacing it with...nothing.

Oh well, at least I got a clear photo of the pony outside Central Pier on the "Dino Doom" tableau!

I was more happy to have a chance to visit Brownie again though.

I was not best pleased about seeing some nasty children being very rough with him though.  They had no intention of paying to ride so I'm not sure why the arcade staff didn't tell them off.  Mind you, I suppose he's seen his fair share of those kinds of kids in the last sixty years and nothing's stopped him galloping along yet!

Both parents were in an absolutely fowl mood by this time (overtired presumably) and decided to take their anger out on me.  I tried to ignore them but ended up crying and snapping something about "not wanting to be there with them anyway...especially as we hadn't got to see half of the place anyway".  "Well, excuse me, MADAM," Mum shouted loudly, drawing everybody in the queue's attention to us. "You wouldn't be here at all if not for me."  "Well, excuse ME, madam, but I wouldn't be in this country at all if not for YOU." I snapped back.  "Yes, you would.  Common sense and bad teeth are the reason you're here, not me," Mum sneered.  I don't know what common sense has to do with not following your dreams, but it was a bit mean to pick on my crooked teeth.  I couldn't even be bothered with arguing any more and just stood there and cried silently.  I could still feel everybody's eyes burning into my back from behind though.  "Oh, she's tired..." Mum mocked.  No, I was NOT tired.  Well, only tired of living with those two.

Despite Mum's nastiness, I put my arm out to help her on to the tram as usual when we reached the front of the queue.  David got in between us and pushed me ahead though, leaving Mum unable to climb up onto the tram.  Because of this, a stranger had to help her.  "Nice family I have," Mum shouted.  Well, I HAD tried to help her.  It wasn't my fault that I'd been pushed into the tram and David hadn't helped her in my place.

I would have liked to have gone upstairs to film the illuminations on the way back (it was an open top tram), but I knew Mum wouldn't be able to get upstairs.  By the time they'd settled down and stopped arguing, there was only one seat left downstairs - with a window covered in mesh.  David called me an idiot for sitting there.  Well, where was I supposed to sit?

When we got back to the other end of the road, my parents just wanted to sit down on a bench and wait for collection time.  David went to the loo for a while and I just had to sit with Mum.  The Pleasure Beach (where I would have loved to go) was just across the road but I was told that it was "too expensive to bother".  Yes, it DID cost £5 each to get in but I had the money in my own purse.  And if all they wanted to do was sit on a bench anyway, I might as well have had a couple of hours walking around the fairground rides.

But no, I was not allowed to go into the Pleasure Beach on my own.  Eventually I got so restless that I decided to walk to South Pier (the nearest) and use some of the heavy 2p coins I'd brought on one of the pusher machines.  Of course, my parents had to follow in case I got "kidnapped".  God, I'd had to go to the nearest place as it was and ended up wasting my money because the machine wasn't a good one.  What more did they want?  I didn't enjoy myself anyway due to their bad tempers.  I wished I'd left Blackpool well alone so that my happier childhood memories hadn't been tainted by their misery.

The coach was just as cold on the way back as it had been on the way there.  Remind me again why they told me not to wear my coat?!  We finally got back to Ealing at 4.15am and I almost got left on the coach, having been blocked by a weird woman using some kind of strange form of sign language to tell the driver that she wanted to stay on to the next stop...

Phew!  I thought I'd never get to the end of this blog entry!  I am so tired that I am practically having to keep my eyelids propped open with matchsticks.  But I will get this blog up to date this year, by hook or by crook!

Best wishes,
Desirée  xxx

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